A Thankful Revelation
Copyright November 2002
Another typical Sloan Thanksgiving with all the trimmings. Everyone is here. Uncle Stacy is regaling Amanda, Ron and CJ with one of his famous, longwinded stories. Aunt Dora, who took over the cooking duties as soon as she arrived, has drafted Norman into kitchen duty. The noise level in that particular part of the house has increased tenfold and the rest of us are staying well out of firing range.
Jack is here, which irritates the hell out of me. When Dad suggested inviting him, I almost said no. But after seeing the hopeful look in his eyes, I shut my heart and my mouth and merely nodded my head. Dad has no idea the pain I suffered at the hands of his protégé, and, unless Jack spills the beans, that knowledge will remain buried along with the commitment band I threw into the Pacific Ocean.
Jack's the last person I want to see, especially now. It took a long time for me to get my heart back into the game after having had it so cruelly stomped on and now that it's showing definite interest in Dad's newest charge, I would prefer to not reopen old wounds.
Speaking of… where is Jesse? Where's that smile that can only be described as a mischievous dose of sunshine? There he is, over on the couch with Dad, watching the football game. I take a seat in the chair closest to the couch, the only place that will give me a clear shot of Jesse's expressive face. Ignoring Jack, who's sitting across from me, I divide my attention between the game and doing what I love to do best, Jesse surveillance.
Do guys believe in love at first sight? Or is that something only found in those sappy romance novels women read? All I can say is the moment I saw Jesse and felt the warmth of his smile directed at me, I was a total goner. Reel in the net, boys, I am caught hook, line and sinker.
Of course, Jesse has no idea how hung up I am about him. Hell, I'm still trying to figure out what side of the road he's parked his convertible on. His love of women is common knowledge, especially considering he's dated nearly every nurse at Community General. What isn't well known are Jesse's toe-dipping forays into the gay pool. If I hadn't seen him at Barney's, holding hands with that EMS tech, Gary, I would never have considered risking my heart again.
Not that I've actually opened up and revealed my feelings for Jesse. Like I said, the guy has no clue. Right now I'm still in the let me show you how great a friend I can be mode, soon to be followed by the let me show you how great a lover I can be, which of course, comes with hours of hands-on demonstration.
Thinking of doing a little hands-on with Jesse ignites the fire that has been scorching me for weeks now. It's a wonder Dad hasn't questioned my daily visits to the wash machine. Wet dreams are hell on a bachelor's meager collection of sheets. Not to mention a constant work out for the old ticker. My heart, and my dick, hasn't seen this much action since I spent that week in San Francisco back when I first discovered I was gay.
In fact, if I don't quit staring at that delectable spot behind Jesse's right ear, Aunt Dora is going to think I've lost my mind when I throw myself into the upright freezer.
Ron dangles a beer in front of my face. It's ice cold, which makes me believe my midnight confessor has taken note of my predicament and decided I needed a little help. I shove the bottle between my legs and almost sigh with relief as the cold temporarily puts a halt to my misbehaving manhood.
The relief is short lived mainly due to the fact that Jesse, intent on discussing the latest touchdown drive, is leaning toward me and that god awful Hawaiian shirt of his falls open, giving me a glimpse of his smooth chest and those suck me 'til I shoot my load nipples. And because my mind has suddenly decided to vacation south of the border, I helplessly reach out to Jesse, intent on ripping his shirt off so that I can immediately partake of my personal Thanksgiving banquet.
Ron, once again, comes to my rescue, hauling my ass out of my chair and guiding my uncooperative feet out onto the patio.
"Be right back," he tells everyone. "Need to get Steve's input on a case I'm working."
The instant my feet hit the wooden planks of the patio, I'm stripping off my deck shoes and running for the beach. Ron's right beside me but stops short of the water. Not me. I wade right in, all the way to my knees, praying the cool ocean waves will douse this unquenchable lust.
"You've got it bad, Sloan."
I look over my shoulder and grin at the tall FBI agent. "You should know."
And Ron does know. A midnight commiseration of two lovesick bachelors on a deserted beach with an ice cooler filled with beer… he definitely knows everything. The moon that night heard all our secrets and desires and probably blushed bright red when a few of our kinky fantasies were bawdily discussed.
"When do you plan on making your move?"
"As soon as things calm down in the Middle East."
"Taking the slow approach, I see."
Wading out of the water, I hunker down and start drawing aimlessly in the sand. "I just don't know if Jesse's ready to see me as anything more than a friend."
"You'll never know if you don't give him the chance."
"Easier said than done."
Ron bends down and taps me on the hand. "Maybe not." He points at the sand. "He's on his way over here. Why don't you show him your artwork?"
Well, shit. How sappy can I get? Stumbling to my feet, I kick at the heart and initials I've unconsciously drawn in the sand. And not a moment too soon. Jesse runs up beside us, announcing the meal is ready. Ron takes off immediately, having promised to watch CJ help Dad carve the turkey.
Jesse flashes me that smile of his and I nearly fall on my face, trying to escape the need to pull him into my arms and kiss the daylights out of him. He dances before me as we make our way back to the house, crowing with delight over the fact that his team beat mine and that I now owe him a hundred bucks.
Wonder if he'd let me fuck my way out of debt?
Damn! I really am losing it.
I give Jesse a tight smile before heading downstairs to take a quick shower and jerk off. Maybe if I cool the tool, I won't be such a basket case.
Ten minutes later I'm sitting beside my Dad toasting Aunt Dora and the fabulous meal she has laid out before us. I'm feeling in total control, right up until the minute Jesse takes the seat beside me. He squeezes my arm and wishes me a Happy Thanksgiving, which totally negates the cold shower I just took.
Dad starts to give his usual blessed are we speech but I'm not listening because my thoughts are wrapped around the man sitting beside me. God, I love Jesse. He is everything I want in a mate. Everything I need to make me happy. In fact, if anyone is listening up above, can I say the only thing I want for Christmas is….
"And Steve? What are you thankful for this day?"
"… the gift of Jesse's love."
It takes a full five seconds for me to realize I have spoken my desire out loud. The silence is deafening and I absolutely refuse to turn my head and look at Jesse, unwilling to find out if there's absolute disgust or welcome surprise in his blue eyes. With a gruff apology, I excuse myself and leave the table, taking refuge outside, seeking the soothing sounds of the ocean.
Footsteps follow me and I ready myself to face my fate.
"Classic Steve Sloan moment. Thanks for the memory."
"Look, I'd appreciate it if you'd haul your ass back inside. I'm not in the mood to play your games, Jack."
The dark-haired physician throws his hands up in the air. "Sorry. Thought I'd come out here and lend some friendly support. Far be it for me to stay where I'm not wanted."
His sarcasm bounces right off me. "I stopped wanting your support a long time ago."
"Go fuck yourself."
"Yeah… well… if I do, at least my heart won't end up being a casualty."
I don't waste my time watching Jack stomp off in a huff. Instead, I turn my attention to the setting sun, letting its brilliant colors calm the turmoil inside me. Unfortunately, I hear footsteps returning and this really ticks me off.
"Look, Jack. I'd rather not wrestle with you right now."
"Instead of wrestling with Jack, how 'bout wrestling me for the wishbone?"
"Jessman, I'm sorry. Didn't mean to drop that shit on you like that." I take a step away from him, afraid of seeing that sunshine smile tinged with pity.
"Personally, I'm kinda glad you did. Sure made things easier for me."
Being the articulate professional that I am, I respond with, "Huh?"
Jesse slips his hand in mine and offers me a smile I will carry to my grave.
"I love you, Steve. Hope you don't mind."
My mind goes completely blank and all I can do is wrap my arms around Jesse and pull him into an embrace. Resting my chin on his head, I feel a sudden peace invade my soul and it's all I can do to keep from shouting with joy.
After several minutes of watching the sun sink into the ocean, Jesse peeks up at me and grins wickedly.
"Does this mean I get the wishbone?"
I lower my head and softly kiss his cheek. "Absolutely. Just make sure you wish for a tall, well built, blond detective."
"Steve. Your hair's not blond."