And of course it was raining.
Bo picked up the last box from his empty apartment and groaned at the stiffness in his muscles. Gavin had cleared out last night. They’d even argued over that. Debated who was going to hand back the keys. Gavin had offered but then Bo had insisted as he’d said the apartment was in his name, so it should be him.
Gavin had shaken his head and swallowed. “It’s handing over an envelope to Mrs. Chen, Bo. It’s not exactly a huge responsibility.”
“Good job I’m not asking you to do it then,” Bo snapped back immediately. The distress in Gavin’s eyes immediately made him regret the dig. It had been a stupid mistake. A fucking birthday card; that’s all it was. Bo had been working late, again… and had asked Gavin to mail his gran’s birthday card, and he’d forgotten.
Gavin had realized two days later and had immediately told Bo and apologized over and over, even offering to call his gran and explain but Bo had snapped and called him irresponsible. He’d been chasing a promotion and he’d just found out it had been given to Alan suck -up Wainwright an hour before Gavin had told him he’d forgotten to post the card.
Disappointment, tiredness, frustration, yes, but none of those had been an excuse for the unforgivable low shot he’d fired at Gavin. That he understood family didn’t mean anything to Gavin, but that it was important to Bo. He’d hated himself as soon as the words were out and seen the hurt on Gavin’s face because it was true. Gavin didn’t know what a family was because he’d been brought up in seven different foster homes.
Bo had reached for him immediately, but Gavin had turned away, slamming the door as he ran out, and he hadn’t come home that night.
He’d finally got a text from Gavin the next morning saying he was moving out and would be gone the next day. Bo had volleyed one back saying it was good timing because he’d been offered a room with one of his co-workers in the city and it would be less of a commute. He hadn’t gotten a reply to that text at all.
It had been totally dumb. Just like all their arguments over the past couple of months. Something had rattled Gavin and Bo had been too caught up in work to really find out what. It was probably a good job they were splitting up. He was a selfish asshole who didn’t deserve someone as sweet as Gavin anyway.
The ache that accompanied that thought was worse than the one in his shoulders because that hurt was in his heart. Ignoring the rain that was pelting his face he turned around after loading his last box into his car and stared back at the old house. It was split into three apartments, but Mrs. Chen wanted to retire and he and Gavin had talked about putting in an offer for it and turning it back into one big house. It even had a small yard at the back—totally private—that they could deck out properly and turn into a lovely space.
At least Gavin would have been able to. Gavin was good with his hands. The thought of how good Gavin was with his hands…his lips…his teeth, had the ache in his chest doubling, and because Bo was a masochist instead of getting in his car he ducked around the building and entered the small enclosed yard through the tiny gate at the back.
He’d known somehow it wouldn’t have been as empty as he thought.
For a second he stared into the brown eyes of the man getting as soaked as he was as he stood in the middle of the empty yard.
“What are you doing?” Gavin croaked out, and Bo knew by his voice that not all the water on Gavin’s face was from the rain.
“The same as you,” Bo replied and walked up to Gavin.
Gavin laughed shortly, the hollow sound still heard even above the noise of the downpour. “I doubt it,” he whispered.
Bo’s eyes raked Gavin’s face. So expressive as always. The hurt, disappointment was there, but it was the longing that made Bo’s breath catch. “What I said was unforgivable.”
Gavin swallowed. “I got a letter,” he blurted out. “About a month ago from an old social worker I used to have when I was a kid.” He paused. “Some guy’s come forward saying he’s my dad.”
Bo gasped. The delight for Gavin was immediately tempered with the crushing realization that Gavin didn’t feel he could tell him. And guilt, because that was all on him. “That’s fabulous,” he said infusing his voice with as much excitement as he could muster. Gavin didn’t look excited though, he looked scared to death, and clarity was a punch to Bo’s gut.
He gathered the smaller man in his arms trying to keep as much rain off him as possible. “There are a million reasons why he never stepped forward before, not least that he might not have even known you existed.” Bo was thrilled when Gavin didn’t try and pull away from him but just lowered his chin into the crook of Bo’s neck. They used to stand like this and just sway when one of Bo’s favorite tunes came on when they were making breakfast together.
He couldn’t remember the last time they had eaten breakfast together. Chasing the promotion had made him go into work early and come home late. He had made a shit ton of mistakes and at the end of the day work never mattered, not really. He’d lost the only thing that really did. The man he held in his arms and was about to walk away from. “I made a decision,” he said, finally.
Gavin raised his head to look at Bo.
“I’m going back to school. You know I want to be a realtor, but I was too afraid to lose the steady wage and go commission only. You hate working for Cormicks. We talked about flipping houses together so many times, and we both have a bit of money saved up. I think we should try.”
Gavin’s eyes widened. “But why would you want to go into business with me when we’re splitting up?”
Bo pressed their foreheads together. “I’m an idiot. I’m impatient and a stubborn ass. I don’t think there’s ever anyone that could stand working with me.” His breath hitched. “Or living with me.”
Gavin looked up. The brown eyes shimmering again. “I think you would have a line of guys wanting the job.”
“I don’t want a line of guys,” Bo croaked out. “I’m only interested in one.” The rain must be coming down harder because torrents seemed to be pouring down his face. “That’s if he’ll ever forgive me.”
Gavin reached out and put his palm onto Bo’s cheek. “And what other qualifications are you looking for?”
“Eating breakfast together every day. Dancing to the radio.” He looked up at the dark sky. “Making out in the rain.”
“I want to apply,” Gavin said breathlessly.
“No need,” Bo said as he took him in his arms. “You already got the job,” and he bent Gavin back and sealed their promise with a toe-curling kiss.
It was still raining but he didn’t care.