Two days after Zack returned from seeing his ailing mother, he called me that afternoon saying that he had to work late again. Leaving work early, I went home, got the rental car and drove to Zack's office building, and waited.

I soon saw Zack and Carl exit the building, all smiling and happy. Zack again followed Carl to the popular gay bar. I followed, parked in the lot a few moments, then went in to confront Zack.

I entered the dimly lit bar and stood to the side to let my eyes adjust to the darkness. After a few moments, I spotted them at a table back in a corner, chairs together and their arms around each other, kissing from time to time.

During one of their kisses, I stepped up next to them and when they saw me, Zack had a totally shocked look on his face then said "What are you doing here?"

"Maybe I should ask you the same thing, since you called me and said you were working late."

Carl looked at me then Zack and asked, "Zack, what's he taking about?"

"I'm trying to figure out why my lover is here with his arm around another guy and kissing him," I replied.

"Mark, let's discuss this at home," Zack said as everyone around us stopped, stared, and listened.

"What's he talking about? You told me that you two broke up several months ago."

"Oh, did he? Well, that's news to me since he's still been sharing my bed at night," I said, "but not any longer."

"Mark, go home. I'll meet you there," Zack pleaded.

"I'll go home but don't even think of showing up. Tomorrow, you can collect your things of the front yard. We're done. Go home with Carl tonight."

He's not coming with me. He knew from the start that I only date single guys," Carl said.

Carl then looked at Zack and said, "As for you, the only contact I want with you is just what we have to have at work. We're through."

Then looking at me he said, "Mark, I'm really sorry. I honestly thought you two had broken up."

"It's obviously not your fault. I'm not pissed at you."

"Just so you know that I know everything, take a look at these," I said as I tossed the collection of pictures on the table.

As Zack flipped through them, others strained to look over his shoulder. From nearby, someone said, "What a fucking slut," then another said, "I hate cheaters and liars."

Carl got up and as I headed out, he caught up with me apologizing again. I stopped and gave him a hug saying, "I'm not holding you responsible. But, if you take him back, just remember that if he cheated on me he'll probably do it to you, too."

"Don't worry. I'm through with his lying ass."

Smiling, I said, "You take care."

As we stood there talking we could hear others berating Zack asking him how he could do something like that. We watched as Zack appeared to try and respond only to have everyone turn their backs to him.

On the way home, I stopped quickly at a hardware store and bought new door locks. As soon as I got to the apartment, I switched them out, leaving Zack no way to get in.

Once inside, I began gathering his things together, crying at the loss of not only my lover but my best friend for years. By midnight, I had everything collected.

The next morning, I called off at work and placed everything outside the door. About ten, Zack pulled up and knocked. When I didn't answer, he tried his key to no avail. Beaten down, he began loading his belongings in his SUV. It was obvious that he was going to need to make two trips. I had no idea where he was going and really didn't care.

For the next week, I buried myself in my work, but the evenings at home were lonely. Then on Saturday morning, I got a totally unexpected call.

When I answered the phone, I heard, "Mark, this is Carl. I just wanted to see how you're doing."

"Well, let me just say I've had better days, but I'm getting by, and I really appreciate the call."

"I was wondering if you would even consider having dinner with me this evening."

"Of course, but why don't you come over and we'll have dinner here. Preparing dinner will be good for me."

"If that's what you'd prefer, sure. What time?"

"Oh, say around six, or a little earlier."

"I'll be there, but don't go to a lot of trouble."

"I won't," I said, "and Carl, thanks for the call."

"No problem. See you tonight."

I was glad to hear that Carl was concerned. Tonight would give us a chance to talk and get everything out in the open.

Carl arrived earlier than expected, but I was ready. After inviting him in, I got us a beer and we made small talk as I finished dinner. We had a great meal and after cleaning up, we sat in the living room and talked about what had happened.

I asked when they started dating and Carl told me and said that Zack had assured him that we had split up. He asked what made me suspicious and I said it was when he suddenly started calling me saying that he had to work late. I told Carl everything, from renting the car to sneaking into his yard and taking pictures. I apologized for doing that. He told me to forget it, and reassured me that if he had known that we were still together he would have kicked him to the curb immediately.

By the time he left near midnight, we had cleared the air and were beginning a friendship.

That friendship grew stronger over the next few weeks as Carl and I began going to dinner and sporting events together. After the third week, Carl said he had checked with a friend in their personnel department and requested a current address on Zack.

It turned out to be a small apartment in a semi-run down part of town. I didn't feel sorry for him even though Carl said that his job was on the line for coming in late too often and still smelling of alcohol.

"Mark, none of our mutual friends will have anything to do with him because of what he did."

"Well," I said, "he brought it on himself."

Carl and I began dating more frequently and our friendship grew stronger.

Six months after the break-up, Carl had invited me to his place for dinner. After a great meal, we had a few drinks, when Carl suddenly asked, "Mark, would you like to stay the night with me?"

Smiling, I said, "I'd like that very much,"

We were listening to some soft easy music on the stereo and me moved over to the sofa and after sitting next to me, he casually put his arm around my shoulder. It felt so good and I gently lay my head on his shoulder.

Without realizing it, I had dozed off when i heard, "Hey, sleepy head, you ready for bed."

"Oh man, I'm so sorry. The wine got to me I guess."

"I didn't mind. In fact, I enjoyed it."

We got up and headed for his bedroom. It was my first time with another man in years and I was as nervous as if it was my first time period.

We undressed and slipped into bed and as we did, he leaned over and kissed me. A tingling sensation ran through my body as I gladly returned his affection. Before long he was sucking my cock and balls bringing me to a wild explosion. I eagerly returned the pleasure.

The next morning, I was awakened first with a kiss then a freshly brewed cup of hot coffee. Neither of us bothered to dress and were soon back in bed, this time fucking each other. After showering together, we later had a hot sixty-nine. I finally left shortly after noon, more content than I had been in years.

Later that afternoon, there as a knock at my door. I opened it to see a hot sexy young man standing there with a long box in his arms.

He looked at me and asked, "Mark Davis?"

"Yes, that's right."

"Delivery for you," he said with an almost knowing smile.

I signed for the box, noticing a florist name on it. Back inside, I pulled off the card and read it. 'Thanks for one of the est nights of my life. C.'

Opening the box, I found two dozen long stemmed deep red roses. I was stunned.

I called him to thank him and he said it wasn't necessary and that the roses were his thank you from him. He then invited me out for the evening.

He picked me up and went to the same bar where the confrontation took place, mainly because it was the nicest gay bar in town.

When we entered, the regular crowd all recognized us, shocked to see us together. After finding a table, a couple that knows Zack came over to us and said, "Since the night you confronted him, no one here has much to do with him for what he did to you. From what we hear, he picks up any one he can to take home, most o them street hustlers."

Carl spoke up saying, "He threw away the best thing he'll ever have. I know that for a fact."

The guys asked if we were a couple now.

"No," Clay said, "we're just dating, but who knows what the future might bring." With that, he reached over and held my hand.

We dated for three more months with me spending most weekends at his place. I could tell I was steadily falling in love again and was sure this one wouldn't cheat.

We frequently went to the bar a couple Saturdays a month mainly to see old friends. Then one Saturday after we had entered and visited, all our closest friends began to gather around our table. I wondered what was going on.

Suddenly, I looked toward the door and saw Zack enter. He looked my way.

Clay started talking and I turned my attention back to him.

"With all our friends here around us," he began, suddenly dropping to one knee.

"Mark, I want everyone here and you to know that i love you with all my heart and soul. Would you do me the great honor of being my life partner, and I do mean for life, for better or worse. I promise never to hurt you in any way."

With tears in my eyes, I literally yelled out "Oh, yes. I love you too."

As we kissed cheers went up all around us. The owner sent over several bottles of champagne and a supply of cups. As our friends toasted us, Zack slowly walked toward us. People stepped out of his way as he approached.

Reaching us, he slowly picked up a cup of champagne, and lifting it he said, "To the happy couple. May your life together be long and happy. I sincerely wish you both the best."

Then,looking at me, he said, "Mark, you were the best thing that ever happened to me, but I was to self centered to realize it. I threw away the best thing I ever had, and I'm glad a person of honor and dignity was there to catch you. I truly wish you both the best. Mark, I'm so sorry for what I did. Please try to find it in your heart to somehow forgive me."

I squeezed Clay's hand before standing ad walking over to Zack and said, "You have been my closest and dearest friend since high school and I want you to stay my closest friend. I do forgive you," I said, then looked around and added, "and I hope everyone else will also."

With that, I reached out and put my arms around him and hugged him. As I did he began crying and I held him closer. As he composed himself, I said, "Please, grab a chair and join us. Please."

"Yes, Zack, please do," Clay added as he too hugged him.

When the others saw that we really did forgive him and didn't hold any hard feelings, they became more friendly to him.

The entire evening was one that I'll never forget. We had a great evening with Zack there and have since began inviting him over for visits and dinner. All hard feelings have completely disappeared and we are all good friends now, frequently going to movies, the theater or sporting events together. We've gotten Zack to clean up his act and avoid the lower classes. He is now accepted at the bar and finds decent guys there to take home.

It's been four years and Clay and I couldn't be happier and more devoted to each other. Zack is now dating an up and coming lawyer and seems to be extremely happy. He has assured Clay and I that he has no intentions of any cheating should things develop into a serious relationship. I hope he is eventually as happy as Clay and I.



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