Okay-- so I admit it--I've been riding the dragon hard these days! Dex and Kane are my guys at the moment, and they are... they're... oh God they're fun!
Now I love my guys--I love all of my guys--and I never write a story without trying to put something new into it. I figure I know and love (or not so much) a lot of people--they can all show up in my brain, right? But Dex and Kane...
They could be my most human, imperfect pair. Ever. I mean, I know I write about flawed people, some comically so and some not so much with the comedy, I am aware. Dex and Kane are both comically and tragically flawed. They have equal parts great and lowly, and they start off as fuckbuddies and are as surprised as anyone else when that thing turns into something really magnificent, and achingly perfect. These two guys were side characters in Chase in Shadow and like a lot of my side characters, they had to have their own story. So, this is Kane's story, before he was Kane (his porn name.) I warn you, the language is a little raw, but there's no onscreen sex, and hopefully, he'll make you laugh just a little. (The model who inspired Kane is on the left, and Dex is on the right, btw;-)
He knew it hadn’t been forever. Hell, it was never forever. But the next day at school, the same girl who’d drooled all over his cock the night before was holding hands with her boyfriend and making limpid eyes, and when Carlos walked by, she turned up her nose.
Carlos stopped, right where he’d been walking on his way to science, the one class he didn’t fucking hate, and turned around.
“You’re gonna look at me like that?” he asked, and he knew he had a reputation for being a player, but the girls who were begging him to fuck them usually were at least a little grateful, right?
“I’m not lookin’ at you,” she said, her tiny little nose turned up, her plump brown mouth pulled up over her two dainty white teeth. “I don’t look at trash.”
Carlos pulled up his own sneer, and he knew it wasn’t pretty.
“That’s not what you said last night when I was cleanin’ your chute,” he said, and he knew he had it coming, but he still didn’t see it coming when her boyfriend, Tomas, who was actually a decent guy and didn’t deserve to be two-timed like that, cold-cocked him from the side.
His science teacher, Ms. Darcy, saw the whole thing, so Tomas got suspended while Carlos got to sit in the nurse’s office with an icepack on his cheek, watching Ms. Darcy look at him skeptically.
“So, I know he’s the one who swung first,” she said dryly, giving him a gimlet eye. She was in her late fifties, graying and hatchet faced, but she was also hella fuckin’ funny when she was pretty sure nobody like the weasley little vice principal who everybody hated and who curled her hair in her office while she was getting drunk wasn’t listening in.
“Yeah,” Carlos said, his eyes wide. “He just up and hit me outta nowhere, I swear, Ms. Darcy—“
“Cut the shit, Carlos. What’d you say to him?”
Carlos kept his eyes (which were normally a little narrow and devilish-looking, if he said so himself) as wide as possible. “I didn’t say shit to him, Ms. Darcy,” but he must have put too much emphasis on “him” and not enough on “didn’t say shit”, because she raised both eyebrows.
“What’d you say to her?”
Carlos blushed. He’d actually been raised better than to talk trash to a girl, but she’d made him so mad. Geez, this girl had chased him. He’d been checking out the lizards under the F-wing when she’d followed him between the fence and the portable building, and then taken him between the two portables, dropped his pants and sucked his dick. She hadn’t even said anything. And hell, it’s not like you just turned down that sort of shit, right? Carlos had been working out since the seventh grade, and he wasn’t stupid. He’d been carrying condoms in his pocket since the eighth grade because girls just fuckin’ gave that shit away sometimes, and what kind of fool turned that down?
“I…” Some of his innocence slipped and his halo crashed to his feet. Ms. Darcy was cool. He hoped. “It just made me so mad, you know? There she was goin’…” He cut his eyes sideways and pulled up his teacher speak. “She’s, uhm, goin’ all… personal on me yesterday, right? And today? She just turns away like I’m trash, you know? And I didn’t expect hearts and flowers, but fuck, it would just be nice if she said hello, you feel me?”
Ms. Darcy did that thing with her lips that old people did when they felt sorry for you but knew they couldn’t explain why. “Well, Carlos,” she said after some consideration. He noticed he didn’t even make her blush.
She sighed and took the ice pack off his cheek, checked the bruise forming there and then put the ice pack back. “You know in the old days, when it used to be the boys chasing the girls, right?”
Carlos grimaced. “That was like, sixth grade, right? That wasn’t so long ago.”
She smiled then, and put a hand on his shoulder. “Yeah, well, they used to tell girls stupid things like ‘Why buy the cow when you can have the milk for free’ and ‘Only trashy girls give it away’—you’ve heard that?”
Carlos nodded glumly. “Yeah, well, everyone does that, won’t nobody get some.”
Ms. Darcy laughed then and looked around furtively before going to the little cooler that only the nurse was supposed to get into. She opened a big bottle of Motrin and pulled out two tabs and brought it over to him with a bottle of water that had been in the fridge too. “Here, Carlos. Don’t tell anyone I gave them to you, okay? The nurse is supposed to call your parents and all sorts of bullshit, but she’s at the other high school today, all right?”
Carlos took the medicine glumly, and when he was done swallowing Ms. Darcy started talking again.
“Look, my dear, all I’m trying to say is that other people won’t value you if you don’t value you. You’re a good looking kid, and you know it, and you’ve got girls chasing you all over the planet, and that’s fun, right?”
He nodded vigorously, and she laughed.
“Well, if that’s what you want, that’s what you’re going to get. But if you want it to mean more, it’s got to be something that doesn’t just happen. You’ve got to make it important, you understand? Give it value—just don’t give it away for free.”
Carlos grinned, thinking of something funny. “Yeah, well it’s not like people are gonna pay me to do that, right?”
Ms. Darcy rolled her eyes. “That’s not a career we want you to aspire to, no. What I’m saying is, you don’t have to marry everybody you bang, but they’re going to think you’re trashy if you let them treat you that way.”
Carlos kept the ice on his jaw and shook his head. “Ms. Darcy, I know you’re trying to tell me something important, but all I can think of is that if I got paid to have sex, I’d be hella rich right now.”
Ms. Darcy covered her eyes with her hands and let out a long sigh, the kind that told Carlos he was being stupid even when he wasn’t trying to be.
“Or,” she said with another sigh, “you could do that. Either way, baby, you’d probably better not talk trash to the girls you sleep with, or your pretty face is gonna get way broken, okay?”
Carlos had been born with a cleft palate. He’d needed operations—several of them—before his palate had been completely closed and his upper lip was repaired with only marginal scarring. He’d been lucky—all that had happened when his family still lived in Mexico, because some charity doctor had taken care of all of that and his parents hadn’t had to pay a dime. If he’d been born here in the states, odds were, he probably would have had that big, disfiguring gap all the way up to his nose like he’d had when he’d been three or four, before the operations. He had pictures.
So even though he knew his face was pleasing—he had high cheekbones and those almond shaped eyes and Spanish pale skin and a nice square jaw—he didn’t take it for granted that someone thought he was pretty. Even if it was an old teacher lady, she was cool and he liked her, so he took the compliment seriously.
“I’ll be more careful with my face,” he said, nodding to show he meant it. “It’s all I got, right?”
Ms. Darcy closed her eyes. “You got so much more, Carlos. You know that, right?”
Carlos held the ice pack tight to his cheekbone and risked a look in the mirror. “Yeah,” he said without irony. “Like now I know I got a black eye.”