PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE NEW VERSION OF THIS EPISODE!
Episode three of eight. I'm a little all over the place with this episode. It doesn't feel as tight to me as the others. When in doubt, sell sex, right? See you next Thursday.
Back to Life
“That was amazing,” says Noah, climbing off Wade. “How do you do it?” He reaches for the towel he placed at the foot of the bed and begins wiping off Wade’s chest. “I made a mess.”
“It’s okay, baby.” Wade pulls Noah down to him and kisses him. “I like it messy.”
Noah slowly removes the condom from the Wade. “Damn, Wade, I see all that jerking off hasn’t stopped shit.”
“You know how I do, baby.”
Noah throws the towel in the hamper and the condom in the wastebasket. “I’ll start the shower,” he says.
“Uh-oh,” says Wade.
“What’s wrong?” asks Noah, coming back from the bathroom.
“Look,” says Wade.
Noah walks over to the bed. “You’ve got to be kidding me?”
“What can I say,” says Wade, holding his hard cock by the base. He smiles widely. “You know I can’t control it around you.”
Noah grabs Wade by the hands, pulls him up from the bed, and guides him to the bedroom by his dick. “Time for a dirty shower.”
Trey takes a can of chicken soup from the cabinet. “Alex, where are the bowls,” he calls from kitchen. He’s scared to touch anything. Everything is in immaculate order; even the food in the freezer and refrigerator is labeled and arranged alphabetically.
“Trey, they are in the cabinet. Damn,” Alex replies. A fit of coughing catches him before he says, “And don’t cook that in the microwave. On the stove, please. And plenty of black pepper.”
Trey sighs. It’s been two days of this nightmare. Last night he prayed hard, pleading with God to never let Alex get sick again. He’d been running around Los Angeles getting various “comforts” for Alex’s sickroom. Boxes of Kleenex, fresh lemons for him to suck on, Vogue magazine, and some clay masque for his face so, as Alex told him, his skin can refresh from the sickness. Now he is making him chicken soup, which he has never made before. The only thing he knows how to make are his protein shakes. Plus, he also has to meet Anne, Oje’s breastmilk hookup, to pick up today’s milk and take it over to Chance, who was watching Ojew until Alex got better. Last night, he had to change Oje’s cloth diaper, which perplexed him a great deal. “Alex,” he’d dared to ask, “why are we using cloth diapers?” He found out in so many words that commercial diapers contains so many unhealthy chemicals, that he’d rather lose all limbs than put his son in them. He pretended he didn’t mind washing the diapers last night, while Alex directed him on the exact science of laundering a cloth diaper.
“Trey, where are my Motrins?”
“I put them on the nightstand,” Trey yells, turning the flame off and removing the gloppy, bubbly soup from the stove top. He pours it into a bowl. He searches the cabinet, looking for the black pepper. He finds a clear pepper mill and starts shaking it over the bowl. Nothing comes out. He shakes harder. No dice. “This black pepper isn’t coming out,” he yells to Alex.
“You got to turn it Trey!” Alex yells back. “Hurry up and get out my kitchen, Trey.”
Trey turns the mill and finally the pepper releases. He turns until the top of the gloppy sloppy soup is blanketed in black. He puts the bowl on a tray and takes it to his majesty.
A few seconds later, the bowl of soup paints the wall and Trey comes flying from the sickroom, a spoon flying behind his head.
Chicken Soup for the Soul
“No, Kenya, you can’t hold him,” says Chance, boucing baby Oje in his arms. “You’re too young.” Chance places Oje on the blanket spread out on the floor. “You can play with him and help him crawl, but don’t pick him up.”
Eddie walks into the living room. “Noah’s in the kitchen.”
Chances plants a peck on Eddie’s lips. “Thanks, honey. I told Kenya she can play with Oje. Watch her.” Eddie shakes his head.
“Noah!” Chance Hugs Noah. “You’re glowing.” He winks.
Noah blushes. “I am.”
“I take it you and Wade are back on the good foot?”
Noah bounces up and down. “We are. I haven’t written anything since Friday morning.”
“Wow, that good, huh? Two days good!”
Noah sits down at the kitchen island. “Let’s just say, no place in the house is safe from a black light.”
Chance grabs a green apron from the pantry. “Too much information.” He grabs a frying pan and saucepan from the hook. “Noah look in the fridge and get me that bowl of veggies on the top shelf.”
Noah hands Chance the onion. “Did Trey bring the baby over?”
Chance nods. “Yesterday afternoon.”
“Aww, I’ll play with him before I leave.”
“He’s a great baby.” Chance pours extra virgin olive oil into the frying pan, then adds chopped onions, celery, and carrots. “The work is keeping Kenya from trying to hold him.”
“Alex called me this morning.”
“He is running poor Trey crazy.”
“He told me if the sickness doesn’t kill him, Trey’s cooking will,” says Noah, munching on a carrot stick.
“He told me, ‘Bitch, make some soup.”
“Yeah? He told me, “Bitch, go pick up my soup from Chance.’”
“He’s such a sweetheart, isn’t he?”
Chance grabs the egg noodles from the pantry. “He told me about Ricky.”
Noah drops his head. “Did he?”
“He said his eye was blackened, and he was drunk.”
“He left Saturday morning without saying a word,” says Noah.
“I’ve tried calling him, but all I get is his voicemail.”
Chance stops sauteeing the veggies. “Ricky has been acting strange lately, don’t you think?
Noah taps his fingers on the island counter. “Chance…”
Chance starts back stirring the veggies. “Yes?”
“Ricky’s in love with me.”
A long moment passes before Chance says, “I know.”
“I’ve known for a long time, Noah. I’ve never said anything because it’s not my place, but I’ve known.”
Noah eyes are wet. “I don’t know what to do, Chance.”
Chance turns the flame down and lets the veggies and chicken simmer. He joins Noah at the island. They hug. “I know, it’s hard.”
“So hard. Why do things have to be so complicated?”
“It wouldn’t be life without complications. It makes us stronger.”
“Wade hates Ricky. He doesn’t say it, but I can feel it. He threw a fit when he found Ricky sleeping on the couch Saturday.
“Noah, if I knew Ricky loves you, don’t you think your husband knows? He knows Ricky loves you.”
“I just want things to go back to the way they were.”
“No you don’t, Noah. You can’t run from this.”
Noah places his head on Chance’s shoulder. “Help?”
“Nuh-uh, brother. I’m not getting involved.”
Noah pushes him away. “Does Alex know?”
“Who the hell do you think told me?”
Ricky Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
Ricky opens the box of Ginch Gonch underwear that arrived that morning and stocks them neatly by the window display. Normally, his assistant would be doing this, but he’d called Demarcus last night and told him not to bother. He didn’t want to be around anyone on a first name basis. He just wanted to get through the day with minimal human interaction as possible. “Excuse me,” asks a young, built caramel brother, “but where is your bathroom?” On any other day, Ricky would escort him there himself, with a detour to the backroom for a ten minute fuck out of this world, but it was a Monday afternoon, he was depressed, and sex is nothing but trouble.
“Around that corner.”
He places the last of the underwear on the display, noticing the vivid yellow pair with red firetrucks swimming on them. “Junito,” he whispers. He remembered pulling them off Junito one heated August night and laughing so hard, they couldn’t even have sex. He took the pair and placed it underneath the rest. Being reminded of Junito was the last thing he needed today. After going to Junito’s house in Westwood, and being told Junito was in Venice with Travis, on their honeymoon, he felt like he would cry. His first feeling after being told the news was to call Alex and cuss him out for not telling him about Junito. But he resolved himself to just not deal. The night before, he lay on his sofa, eating Panda Express, watching reruns of The Sopranos, and if he’d for one second thought in reality, he’d probably would have slit his wrists. On his coffee table lay his Fuck Book, brimming with hundreds of names, all willing to drop everything and give up the onion just like that. Yeah, he had it like that, but having it like that did nothing for him anymore. It had all started with Junito, but he’d suppressed it, fought it even. Now it was living with him; waking up with him; sitting down to eat with him; waking him up in the middle of night. Love. He hated that motherfucker—that intrusive bitch. The fucked up part was he loved his best friend. Off all the men in his life, why did it have to be Noah?
“Can you ring me up?” the built caramel brother asks.
Ricky mimes a smile. “Sure thing.”
The brother places two pairs of jeans, several colorful pairs of underwear, and a belt on the counter, and hands Ricky his credit card. “Uh…how does one get in touch with you?” he asks Ricky.
Ricky swipes the card. “I’m always here.”
“I mean, outside of here.”
Ricky hands the credit card back to the brother. “I’m always here,” he says. He hands the brother his bag of purchases. “Thanks for shopping with Trade Analysis.”
I Love You, Boy
“I’ll do the dishes,” says Noah.
Wades grabs his husband around the waist, snatching the salad bowl from Noah’s hand. “Leave them until the morning.”
“Okay, Papo.” Noah nuzzles Wade’s neck. He presses his body into Wade’s.
“You feel that?” Wade asks.
“Hell yeah. Do you feel this?”
Wade laughs. “Coin toss tonight?”
Wade sucks the tender flesh of Wade’s neck. “No. You can get it.”
Wade turns Noah around, so that his chest presses firmly against Noah’s back. He runs his tongue up and down his man’s neck, taking in Noah’s cologne. “I’m ready to explode, boy.” He grips the edges of Noah’s tee and pulls it off. He presses him hard against his chest and runs his hands all over Noah’s hard, quivering body.
“Damn, Papo, let me get ready,” Noah says, trying to free himself from Wade’s grip.
Wade grips him tighter. “Baby, I don’t give a fuck, give it to me right now.” His breathing is heavy, and before he knows it, he is giving Noah a hickey. He unzips Noah’s jeans, and pulls them down. He reaches down the front of his underwear and grips Noah’s hard dick. “Turn around,” he commands. Noah obeys. Wade drags his wet, soft tongue from Noah’s clavicle to the tip of his engorged cock. He fully takes him in his mouth.
Noah throws his head back. He lets the pleasure take over him, and soon he is moaning loudly. Within minutes he is coming. He tries to pull Wade off his spewing dick. But Wade holds tight. “Fuck, Wade.” When he is finished, Wade rises and plants a sloppy kiss on his lips. Noah pushes Wade away. “That’s nasty.”
Wade turns Noah around, bends him over the table, and in few movements he has him lubed up and ready. He aims his raging hard cock at Noah’s opening.
“Condoms!” Noah yells. It’s too late, Wade is in, pumping away. “No, Wade. Take it out.”
Wade can’t hear—he is too horny to care about caution. He yanks Noah’s curls, pulling him hard against his thrusting hips. He is is only brought back to earth by the hard elbow directed to his stomach. It knocks the air from him. “Noah, what the hell?”
Noah reaches back and removes Wade from his ass. “You’re fucking me raw.”
“So. We’re married.”
“I’m just not ready for that yet.”
“Do you know what you’re saying?”
“The only thing I am saying is I’m not ready for bareback.”
“You’re saying you don’t trust me. I would never hurt you, Noah.”
“Wade, I know. But…”
“I love you, boy.”
“I love you, too. It’s just—“
Wade hugs Noah. “I want to feel you the way it’s meant. And I want you to feel me, too.”
Noah stares into his husband’s eyes. “Wade, this is a big step.”
“Look,” Wade says.
Noah looks down. Wade is holding his hand. “Oh, Papo.”
“We’re ready, Noah.”
They kiss for a long time. Noah runs it over in his head the nicest, least accusing way to ask Wade to take an HIV test.