Ashton moved away from the boxes, kicked at the roll of bubble tape and made his way over to Kyler, then knelt down. He took Kyler’s nervous hands in his and looked into his eyes. “Don’t leave me. I know you won’t have me as a lover because I can’t be what you need, but please don’t leave me. You’re all I have, Kyler.” He gave a resonated sigh of frustration. “Ky, you’re my best friend and I’d be lost without you, little buddy.”
Kyler rolled his head back and groaned. God how he hated to hurt Ashton this way, but what choices did he have? He could go on managing the music store and producing INDI artists, or he could go to Alaska and work on a rigging crew. At least there he’d be so damn busy he wouldn’t have time to think of anything or anyone.
The nightmares were getting worse instead of better. Instead of five hours of sleep, he was lucky to get three. Something had to give. When his eyes closed, he relived the past three years, hour by hour until he wanted to jump out of his window.
Kyler sat up and pulled Ashton to him. Though the other man stood more than a few inches taller than his own measly 5’7 and probably outweighed him by a good thirty pounds the man fell right into his lap, making his eyes almost bulge out. Kyler placed his hand on Ashton’s smooth chin and held his head up so he could look into his eyes. “I’m not leaving you; I’m leaving the hell I live in, sweets. You can always come and visit me, and I’ll come and see you and we’ll talk on the phone every day. I just can’t do this anymore.”
“I didn’t realize you were this unhappy. You hide misery well. Has anyone ever told you how pretty your eyes are? They look exactly like my coffee in the mornings.” Ashton laid his head on Kyler’s shoulder and sighed. “What will I do without you? Why can’t I be what you need? Jesus, Kyler, I love you but it’s not enough, is it?”
Kyler’s heart thumped painfully against his rib cage. “Now you’re getting all poetic on me. You need a man.” They tried dating one another years ago, but after a few months they were both miserable. Kyler needed a lot more than Ashton was capable of giving and vice versa. Oh, the sex was great, the love was there, it was everything else. Ashton needed a partner and Kyler with his constant demands needed a Master. He didn’t want to leave this his best friend or his apartment, but he had to. For himself he had to. “I wish it wasn’t so complicated.”
Ashton chuckled and kissed Kyler’s wet cheek. He sat up and wiped his own tears away and tried to smile. “If you have to leave me, at least give me one more night. Give me tonight to take you out on the town and then take it as it comes. Okay?”
Kyler sniffed and nodded. “I am wearing purple eye liner. You okay with that?”
“Was I ever, Miss Prissy?”
Kyler swatted his arm, stood up, dumping a laughing Ashton onto the floor and said, “One day you will be.”