The first time I was proposed to was with a red Ring Pop. It was in the second grade by a boy who liked to steal my crayons and pull my hair.
Now, it was with a silver diamond ring by a boy I had been sex friends with for the past year.
"Dan," I sighed, shaking my head. "Please stand up."
He slowly got to his feet and I didn't know what to say to him. He closed the black velvet box and grabbed my hand.
"Why?" I asked. "Dan, we're not even dating!"
"I know," he said, pulling me towards him. "But I love you, Jack. We can be so good together. We are so good together. Please."
I slipped my hand out of his hold and backed away, shaking my head. "I think you should go."
"Jack, please," Dan tried, walking towards me but I held my hand up to stop him.
"I'm sorry, Dan, but I don't love you. You were a friend, that's all."
"A friend you have sex with," he muttered bitterly.
"I'm sorry," I said simply. There was nothing else to say. I didn't feel for him the way he apparently did for me. I never realized the extent of his emotions. There were times where I thought he was acting a bit possessive or odd, but I never thought that he loved me. To me, we were friends with benefits. That was it. He was someone I liked having sex with. Casual sex. No commitment with the exception of being exclusive so as to have some precaution against STDs.
Dan went around the room picking up his clothes and putting them back on. He moved harshly, jerking the clothes on instead of sliding them. I walked out and went to the door, opening it just in time for Dan to exit my room.
He stood before me, at the threshold of my apartment and looked at me hopefully.
"Will you at least think about it?" he asked, grasping for straws.
"Dan," I sighed.
Dan sighed ruefully and nodded. "I take it that we're over then? You don't want to see me ever again?"
"We can still be friends if you know and accept that I won't feel the same way for you. I don't want to string you along, Dan. I respect you too much to do that."
Dan sighed and rubbed his face, his other hand palming the outside of his pocket, fingers closing over a small object.
"Just…give me some space for a bit. I…I don't think I can be around you for a while. Let me deal with the rejection."
I nodded, "Take all the time you need and I really am sorry, man."
Dan laughed humorlessly, "One of the things I love about you is that you're straightforward, but now I kind of wish you had more tact. I'll see you around, Jack."
"Bye," I said closing the door as he walked to the elevator. I leaned my forehead against the door and sighed. What a great start to the day.
"He proposed!?" I winced at the earsplitting screech. A man should not have such a high pitched voice, no matter the emotional state.
"Yes," I replied, grabbing for the remote and turning the TV on. After Dan left, I ate breakfast and decided to get a head start on some work before lounging about for the rest of Sunday. I slept all afternoon and it was already nearing five o'clock.
"And you said..?"
"I said no, obviously." I flicked through until I landed on Nickelodeon. Spongebob was playing, as always.
"What do you mean 'obviously', Jack?" Carson asked. "You've been dating the guy for a year now."
"We weren't dating, Carson. We were just fuck buddies," I corrected. "And even if we were dating, one year is way too short to propose."
Carson sighed, "How did that guy fall for a cold hearted bitch like you? Did you at least let him down easy? Or did you rip his heart out and stomp on it?"
"I was honest. I told him I didn't love him and never would and then he left and that's all there is to it." I was getting tired of having to relive that morning. "I don't want to talk about it anymore. We're not fucking anymore and he wants me to stay away from him for a while."
I could imagine Carson shaking his head at me, "Fine, grouch. And knowing you, being honest meant you ripped the poor sod's heart out and then squashed it with your bare hands."
I rolled my eyes, "Bye, Carson."
"You love me and you know it, Jack," he said in reply before cutting the line.
I dropped my phone and rolled my head back as I groaned. I really hoped no one else asked about Dan. My 'friends' knew I was fucking him but that where their relationship with him ended.
I sighed, thinking back to the morning. It started out normal enough. We had our fun the previous night and he stayed over like usual. I woke up to him kissing down my chest, he blew me, I returned the favour, and then I went to go make some tea. If it were a normal day he would get dressed while I made my breakfast and then he'd leave saying when he was going to be free next so we could plan another rendezvous. But no, today was not normal. He stopped me from leaving the room after we had our underwear on and dropped down to one knee holding the silver band that had a square cut diamond inlayed in the center.
I groaned and got up to grab my laptop and tablet. I had to sketch some ideas for a campaign advertising some fashion label's upcoming line for the department head by Wednesday. She wanted five sketches from each of us and then we were going to narrow it down from there to the seven we were going to use, but then those would have to be confirmed by the big boss, whoever that was going to be. The old CEO, Mr. West, was retiring but no one knew who the new boss was going to be. Some of us were pretty on edge, like Carson. I, on the other hand, wasn't too concerned since I rarely had any direct contact with Mr. West. I guess Carson had a reason to be worried since he was Mr. West's secretary. But whatever, not my problem.
It took me a good two hours to go over what I had done earlier in the day, create some new ones, and then pick the ones I wanted to present. Being too lazy to cook, I decided to order in and then try to sleep early for tomorrow.
After my dinner of pepperoni pizza I realized that sleeping all afternoon was a bad idea because I was wide awake. I already finished my work so I decided to call Carson and see if he was free but he basically told me to fuck off before I could get a word in about hanging out. I may have forgotten that he was super busy and paranoid about tomorrow as it would be Mr. West's replacement's first day. A split second decision later I was getting dressed in a pair of dark washed skinny jeans and a black t-shirt and heading out for the nearest club, which happened to be this place called Hung. Kind of morbid if you ask me, unless they were talking about equipment of a certain gender…
It was your typical club but I didn't pay much attention to the surroundings as I made my way to the bar and ordered a drink.
As I sat at the bar, waiting for my third scotch on the rocks, I came to the conclusion that coming out was not a bad idea. There was definitely some eye candy and it was a gay friendly club to boot.
"Here you go," the bartender said, handing me my drink. "Sorry for the wait."
"It's fine," I assured her and took a sip as she disappeared to appease the only growing crowd of club goers. Tonight was pretty busy considering tomorrow was a workday. There was probably some party or something. I did notice quite a number of college kids.
As I sipped my drink I continued to survey the surroundings. I wasn't planning on hooking up with anyone – I'm not that heartless – but it never hurt to have a look.
By the time I finished my drink I had seen all of seven people I would have picked up had I not had work in the morning. Surveying had also taught me something. I had a thing for brunets. I had never realized that. Even Dan's a brunet.
The bar area had also quieted down, people heading home or wherever else they had to go. It was nearing midnight and I figured I had best take my leave as well.
Just as I was about to head out, the bartender from before stopped me, "Sir, your drink."
I frowned at the glass of scotch and then at the bartender, "I never ordered another."
The woman nodded to the other end of the club where the little booths and tall tables were, "It's on him."
There were four people in the direction she had gestured to but I was going to assume that the drink was from the brunet who was staring right at me. If it wasn't from him I was going to be extra careful going home.
I took my time giving him a once over but he was too far away in the dim lighting for me to make out any distinct details. All I could see was that he had cropped brown hair and was dressed in a pair of snug blue jeans and a red t-shirt. My eyes caught his and he ducked his head down as he raised his glass in greeting.
I raised a brow at his bashfulness even though he bought me a drink, and debated on taking my gifted drink and going up to him. My decision was taken from me though when, as I picked up the glass, someone knocked into me, toppling the drink all over my chest.
"Shit, I'm so sorry," a deep voice said. I looked up to see a man a bit taller than me, and brawnier. He had dirty blond hair, cobalt blue eyes, a diamond stud in his left ear, and he did not look the least bit apologetic about spilling my drink on me.
"It's fine," I said, grabbing a couple tissues that one of the bartenders offered to wipe my chest. My shirt was already sticking to my skin with the strong scent of alcohol drifting up my nose.
"Let me make it up to you," the man said.
"How?" I raised a brow.
He grinned, "Well, you could come to my place and I could get that cleaned for you. While we wait, we could… get to know each other some more."
"Did you make me spill my drink just so you could take me home?" I questioned. I couldn't help the upward quirk of my lips.
"And if I did?" he replied, smirking.
I chuckled and shook my head, "Look, buddy, I just came out for a drink or three. I'm not going home with anyone. I've got work tomorrow."
The blond only continued to smirk and moved to trap me against the bar. He leaned down, attempting to kiss me but I turned my head at the last moment. He didn't seem deterred and merely changed his course of action by kissing the top of my ear before biting down.
"Sure I can't change your mind? I'll make it worth your while," he whispered huskily.
I turned my head to face him again and slid my hands up his corded arms and onto his firm, warm chest, internally appreciating his build. He wasn't too shabby, a bit more muscular than I preferred, but not too bad.
I smiled up at him coquettishly and leaned up, having to actually go on my toes, and whispered back, "Fuck of, blondie."
His eyes widened in surprise and I used the moment to push him away and free myself. He stumbled back and crashed into someone who was well past the point of being hammered. Using the distraction, I paid my tab and walked out of the club.
I was outside for only a few seconds when I heard someone calling out and a hand wrapped around my upper arm.
Thinking it was blondie, I scowled and turned to yell at him but was surprised to see the brunet who had bought me the drink that was now all over my shirt. Up close I realized he was kind of on the short side and pretty lanky. Not much muscle on this one.
"Oh, hey," I said.
"Hi," he replied, shyly, face burning as he took his hand off me.
"Thanks for the drink, even if I didn't get to drink it," I said.
He laughed nervously, "Oh, no problem. I'm really bad at talking to strangers so I thought getting you a drink would make it easier. Are you alright though?"
I nodded, "Yeah, I'm fine. It was just a little whiskey. No big deal and I was going to head home anyway."
"Oh." He looked disappointed for a second before he put on a smile.
The guy seemed nice enough, if pretty shy; although I found myself thinking it was rather adorable in a newborn puppy kind of way.
"You know," I began. "If I didn't have work tomorrow I really wouldn't have minded getting picked up by you."
The man blushed making me grin.
"Name's Jack, and you?" I held my hand out.
He shook it as he replied, "Timothy, though I mostly go by Tim."
"Alright, Tim. Wanna get some drinks together Friday night?"
He seemed really surprised by eventually shook out of his daze and nodded eagerly, "Yeah! I would love that." He realized that he sounded super excited and blushed, backtracking, "Uh, I mean, sure, if you want to." Definitely a newborn puppy.
I chuckled, "I'll meet you here at say eight?"
Tim nodded, "Eight's fine."
"Great. Well, I really should get going. See you Friday, Tim."
Tim nodded and we parted ways after getting each other's number.
When I got home, it was almost one in the morning and I had to wake up at six if I wanted to get to work at eight.
I smelled strongly of alcohol but if I took a shower now, there was no way I'd be able to sleep. I'd just take a shower when I woke up. Decided, I stripped down to my boxer briefs, tossing my clothes into the hamper, and jumped into bed. It didn't take long for my alcohol dazed mind to be put to sleep.