Slade withdrew from all social activities, even telling Barrymore he needed his space. They had forged a ten month trust, breaking down the most personal barriers. But Slade couldn't trust his partner anymore.
Barrymore didn’t take it well, calling every night, leaving urgent messages. Slade didn't answer. His boyfriend tried using his key on several occasions, but Slade locked the deadbolt requiring an additional key he didn’t share with Barrymore.
The weather had been sunny and unseasonably warm the entire month, but Slade ignored invitations. His diminished ego had suffered enough. He wouldn't partake in anymore of Barrymore's escapades he spontaneously created in the Alter Ego Club, like he and their friends did on New Year’s Eve. He wanted to forget their triumph, leaving him at the club, handcuffed to the waiter's station with an ex, while Barrymore and group attended a private party in Bernal Heights.
A cold, furious storm arrived on the last weekend of the month. Slade figured it was safe to come out of hibernation. Barrymore’s calls had stopped. He knew Barrymore and his friends wouldn’t venture into these nasty elements. They were too prissy. He would finally be free. He showered and shaved his month’s growth of beard. He hadn’t a plan where to go, but his testosterone level was soaring high.
"Damn. It's been a whole month. I've been celibate too long." Slade glared at his reflection in the mirror. "It's time to quench these carnal cravings. Dammit! I'm horny."
He slipped on his jeans and opened the front door, allowing cool, damp air to flush the rooms of stagnating house-itosis. Staring at the pattern of raindrops illuminated in the round, hazy sphere surrounding the streetlight, he closed his eyes. Enjoying the cold, prickly sensation from a gust of the wind slapping his bare chest, he inhaled the winter's normal, damp air. When he slowly exhaled, the shock of cold metal around his neck jolted him to a startling realization. "I'm not alone." Opening his eyes, those familiar, steel blue eyes pierced his solitude, melting his isolation with heated lust.
Shirtless and clutching the ends of a heavy steel chain with his hands, Barrymore forced Slade down on his knees. “I’ll stop you from hiding from me again.” His few words came without an apology or explanation.
Desire erased Slade's pain. Unbuttoning Barrymore’s jeans, he lowered them to his hips. His heart beat loudly, as each pounding pulse wakened Slade's hibernating passion, reinventing the trustworthy bondage he shared. While his lips and tongue glided over Barrymore’s smooth rippled abdomen, he forgot and forgave Barrymore’s distant insult. He was trapped in the alluring web of his masculine scent again.
"So, you missed me." Slade sneered, and then bit Barrymore's taut skin below his bellybutton.
"Of course. Each time I miss you more. But a whole month is too damn long."