Enjoy the next instance in Jeff's Way
Parking was always a bitch near Bourbon Street so when they pulled onto Royal and then whipped into a private drive he rolled down his window, leaving his car idling. Reese stepped out of his car and Jeff had to shake himself. Cam was dead and the man who looked just like him, wasn’t Cam.
“Hey, won’t we get towed? It’s a private drive.”
“No, this is where Cam and I lived.”
At the sound of Cam’s name Jeff went cold. This was his house? He had no idea Cam lived in the city near Bourbon Street. God, he really knew so little about the man though he’d wanted him so much.
“The bar’s isn’t far. We can walk from here,” Reese said.
Jeff rolled up the car window and opened the door. His legs shook as he stepped out, glancing at the house that Cam lived in. Reese came over and wrapped his arms around Jeff. The touch shocked him and he stiffened. Reese felt like Cam in his arms. A sob broke from his lips, and he shuddered. “When I first saw you, the second I spied your face, I thought you were Cam, but you really aren’t, you’re so much like him.” Jeff sobbed again.
“Let it all out.” Reese patted his back, rubbing in circles, murmuring loving words. “It will be okay.”
Jeff gulped in air, trying to calm himself. “Oh God, he was your brother and here I am crying. I’m so sorry.”
“Hey,” Reese pulled away, his eyes glossy with tears, “I’m at peace. We talked a lot about death. I don’t know why, but Cam kept bringing it up, over and over again, and you know what. He was happy with his life. Said the best thing he ever did was come out and not live a lie. He told me last week that if he died at least he lived being who he wanted to be.”
“Oh God,” Jeff sobbed. Reese tucked Jeff’s head at his neck and held him tight as Jeff sobbed, trying like hell to gain control of his sorrow but finding it near impossible. “I should have...I don’t know. He was so sweet. So special.”
“Yes, he was. Come on, let’s go to the Bone Shack, it’s Cam’s favorite hang out. We’ll grab a beer and some food, talk about Cam and you can see how happy he was.”
Jeff tried to dry his eyes with his hands. Reese noticed and handed him some tissue. He had no idea why losing Cam hurt him so much. Maybe it was because there had been so much potential and now it was all gone.
They walked the few blocks to the bar and Reese stood outside the door, looking in at the lively crowd. “Cam wanted to invite you here, thought about asking you to grab something to drink after work but he never took the chance, fearing you would say no.”
“I would have come with him. At least I hope I would have said yes.”
“You would have.” Reese opened the door, ushering him in. The room went quiet then everyone erupted in shouts of greeting. A few people came over to hug Reese and pulled Jeff into a tight hug as well. Names were exchanged but he couldn’t keep up.
Two guys walked up together, one looked to be the bartender, his towel tucked into his apron. “Reese, glad you came out. I’m so sorry about Cam.”
“Thanks Mike. I wanted to introduce you to Jeff, one of Cam’s friends.”
Mike took an appraising look, his smile contagious. “Jeff, nice to meet you.” Mike pulled Jeff close, wrapping both arms around Jeff’s back, his lips right next to Jeff’s ear. “Thanks for coming out. I know you made Cam’s life brighter.”
Jeff pulled back, his brows bunching. “You do, how?”
“He liked you and the way his eyes lit up when he spoke about you.”
“I wish I could have been more to him,” Jeff whispered.
“Hey, you didn’t make him unhappy, which with his background, him being happy was good. Come on in and have a beer. Let’s toast to Cam. He would have liked that.”
Jeff followed Mike and Reese to the bar, taking a seat on one of the end stools. A steady stream of people came up, offering words of condolences to Reese and Jeff. By the time most of the people left Jeff realized he’d drank too much. It had been a long time since he had to sleep in his car and he didn’t relish the way his back would feel in the morning, but no way he could drive until he sobered up.
Reese stood and pulled Jeff up. They left the bar and stumbled down the street in the dark, neither of them talking. There wasn’t much left to be said. Jeff saw his car and tried to head over but Reese stopped him. “No way you’re driving tonight. You drank too much.”
“Yeah, I was going to sleep in my car.”
“Hell no, come on in. You can crash here.”
Jeff eyed the home, not sure if he could face seeing Cam’s things. If he saw where Cam lived the loss would be that much more devastating. “I don’t know.”
“I insist.” Reese dragged him to the door and shoved him inside. “You want to shower before you sleep, or just hit the sack?”
Jeff fell mute as he stared at the main room, wondering which chair was Cam’s favorite seat. “I don’t think I can do this.”
“For me, please? I need to hold someone. I’ve always had Cam to hold when life got bad, but I’ve got no one now.”
Jeff’s heart slammed against his ribs and the air grew too thick to breathe. He didn’t know if he could sleep in the same bed with Reese. He closed his eyes and thought about what Cam would want. It was obvious. Cam would want him to comfort Reese, even if it broke his heart. Jeff reached out, and took Reese’s hand, allowing Cam’s twin to lead him to the bedroom where they would both sleep together tonight.
To be continued...
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