This week's excerpt:
Jordan’s Ford was the only vehicle in the lot and Reese went around to the east side of the building, to the employee entrance. He was prepared to knock but there was no need. Jordan was leaning against the building, smoking a cigarette. He shifted his body forward in alarm until he lifted his eyebrows in recognition and surprise, but didn’t say anything as he held the pack out. Reese shook his head no and he shoved it back into his jeans pocket. Neither spoke for several minutes, but Reese finally cleared his throat and broke the stillness with a low “sorry”.
Jordan gave out a muffled chuckle. “Bro, you ain’t got nothing to be sorry for. You just caught me way off guard. I never even suspected.” He paused as his thoughts drifted. “Or was Matt just an anomaly? A little bi-curious romp?”
“No. Me and Matt go way back. He calls when he’s in the area.”
“So you two are a regular thing?”
There was no visible stiffening of Jordan’s body or jerkiness in his hands to hint that he was uncomfortable, but there was a certain tightness around his eyes and mouth that made Reese think maybe he was. “I wouldn’t call it that. I met him at a club in Indianapolis about ten years ago. He lives in California now but comes back to visit his folks. We get together once or twice a year.”
Jordan dropped the butt of his cigarette and ground it into the cement. “So, what? You’re bi? Not that it’s any of my business.”
Reese shrugged. “Don’t know. Never really thought about it. I mean, everyone has dangly bits. Some just have ‘em above the waist and some have ‘em below. If I like someone, that doesn’t stop me from spending time with them.”
Jordan lit another cigarette, but Reese thought it was because he needed something to do with his hands more than a need for nicotine. The sun was only beginning to break over the horizon and the flame from the lighter illuminated Jordan’s face in the shadows. Reese had the same sensation as yesterday, noticing the little things that he’d never before. After a month, the kid still hadn’t cut his pale blonde hair and it was pulled into a short knot at the back of his head, instead of hanging in his face like normal. His eyebrows and eyelashes were dark in contrast and what Reese had thought were earrings were actually small gauges. Standing this close together, he could see a thin scar dissecting one of those dark eyebrows. Jordan slouched as he leaned against the wall and he was again the diminutive boy that Reese usually saw, as if he were purposely making himself smaller. Younger.
He wanted the man to look back up at him and he reached out, but instead of lifting his chin, he brushed his hand against Jordan’s as he pulled the lit cigarette from between his fingers. He put it to his mouth and drew deeply, letting the smoke fill his lungs, making him dizzy. Jordan watched with wide eyes, his gaze glued to Reese’s mouth as he pursed his lips and let the smoke escape. There was a tremor in his hand when Reese handed the Camel back to him but his voice remained steady as he quipped, “You can have a whole one to yourself. I offered, after all.”
“No, that was all I wanted.” The sun had come up enough to turn the whiteness of Jordan’s apron and the paleness of his skin and hair into a blinding gold and Reese felt a tightness in his chest. A thousand thoughts bounced around in his head, some of which tried to compare how Jordan would look naked compared to Matt, and he knew it was nothing more than the echo his body still felt from the hours past, and he did his best to squash it down, put it away as a bad idea. Still, he couldn’t help the flirting tone of his voice. “At least for now.”
Jordan lurched violently, knocking his head on the wood siding behind him and Reese would have laughed, except his reaction went way beyond anything that he’d expected. He had a sudden urge to push the kid against that wall and see what other response he could get but even as his brain was trying to override his body’s instincts with a “warning, warning” alert, a buzzer went off inside and Jordan slipped towards the door.
“Biscuits,” he croaked out in a cracked whisper. “Biscuits are done. Gotta go.”
The door slammed behind Jordan when he gave it a back flip of his hand as he passed it. Reese stared at it, even going so far as reaching for the doorknob and giving it a slow turn to see if it was locked. It wasn’t. It would be easy to slip inside, demand more answers, except he wasn’t even sure what the questions were. He backed away and with a determined step, headed back to his truck. He needed to take a ride and clear his head.