Of all the nerve!
Danny paced his apartment, angrier than he’d been the day the city had closed down the beloved old theater he and his drama troop had been trying so desperately to save. He’d lost his home away from home that day, and it had taken a long time to find another place where he and his unique style of playwriting could fit in.
His hands were shaking as he stalked through his apartment, yanking closet doors open in search of boxes, bags, suitcases, anything he could pack Sean’s stuff in. In his haste, he banged his little toe on an end table and grabbed his foot, hopping around and cursing for several minutes before the cats tripped him up and he landed on the couch with an oomph. Chorus hopped into his lap, while Lyric purred loudly as she wound her way around his ankles. A loud meow to the left drew his attention to Inferno, who studied him with disinterested eyes as he sat down to clean his whiskers.
“Thanks a lot, fuzzies,” he grumbled as he rubbed his toe, then reached to scratch all of their ears, loving the rumbling, happy sounds they gave him in return. He stood, after setting Chorus on the floor, and resumed his search for things to package Sean’s stuff in. A short time later he was in the bedroom, emptying Sean’s dresser into a couple of backpacks he’d found. There was no way he’d get out of jail today or tomorrow, in fact, it would likely take days before he could get a hold of his uncle or his mom, who both lived out of state and were pretty much the only family he still talked to. By then, Danny knew he would have time to get the locks changed too.
Thank God the apartment was only in his name, along with the phone, cable and utilities too. It had been his place for almost four months before Sean had asked if he could move in. Kinda rushed, really, but Sean had been in a bind and Danny had been head over heels for the guy, which, looking back, should have been his biggest clue to slow it down. Too bad he always seemed to jump head first into things that didn’t always turn out to be good for him.
Contrary to what he’d practically yelled at Jax, he did have a bad habit of letting people into his life that either took advantage of him or shit all over him and he was sick of it. It was starting to feel like a great cosmic joke at his expense, how he got severed a taste of happiness only to watch it crumble to shit.
Now that he thought about it, maybe that should be the title of his next play, Cosmic Joke. At least then he’d only have to go as far as the nearest mirror for inspiration. Jax’s deep blue eyes could have been inspiring and he sure had that whole tough as nails things down pat, he might have made an interesting character, if he wasn’t such a jerk. Then again, that in and of itself might make an interesting character. He could be the antagonist in some crazy satire of a messed up life.
A quick glance at the top of the dresser and he saw he’d forgotten to pack up Sean’s toiletries, so it was back to the kitchen to grab some canvas bags. They were easily replaced and way sturdier than plastic bags from the grocery store. The last thing he wanted was Sean trying to sue him over breaking his shit.
With a sigh he grabbed the morning paper to wrap them in and headed back to the bedroom. This wasn’t the way he’d expected the relationship to end, in fact, after the first four months he’d been convinced that he’d broken the streak of bad luck he’d been on in regards to dating losers, then he’d started noticing things. Like Sean’s bloodshot eyes and decreased appetite, or the way he woke up restless in the middle of the night, or got all twitchy sometimes before going out for a walk.
Danny wasn’t naïve, not by a long shot, but when he’d questioned Sean and been told that it was just issues with work, too much coffee and a ton on his mind, Danny had been so eager to believe him that he’d ignored the truth. Sean was using, and so far, Danny had found several instances of proof in the form of small baggies.
One contained powder, one contained what he was certain was weed, while several others had contained a variety of pills. All of them he’d shoved in the backpack with Sean’s things, not wanting to have anything to do with them.
Loud, insistent banging made him jump and crumple the shirt he’d been folding. Sean’s keys were still on the coffee table, and Danny’s heart hammered wildly as he tried to figure out what to say. No, he was not letting him in here, no, they could not talk. Resolved to stick to those two basic decisions, he stalked to the door and peered through the peephole, shocked to see that it wasn’t Sean on the other side, but a fully dressed Jax.
Scowling, and completely thrown off guard, Danny unlocked the door and pulled it open a crack.
“Was there something else you forgot to snarl about?” Danny asked, trying to keep his voice level and not let the big man see how much he rattled him.
“Guess I deserved that,” Jax said, his face actually flushing a little as he shifted from one foot to the next.
“Yeah, you did,” Danny said. “So…what do you want?”
“To apologize for being a dick. I shouldn’t have heaped my shit on you. I’m sorry,” and without another word, Jax turned and headed towards the steps, the sound of his boots echoing loudly.
“Hey!” Danny called out, opening the door all the way and heading out into the hall behind him; grateful when Jax stopped and turned around. “Thanks for the, ummm apology and all. I get it, sorta, we all have baggage. Look, umm, if you’re not doing anything tonight, I’d still like to cook you dinner. A kind of thank you and welcome to the building.”
Jax fixed him with a wary look. “Yeah?”
“Absolutely. What time do you get off work?”
“Around ten, I think, to be honest, I’m not completely sure. It’s my first day.”
“Well, then that’s something else to celebrate then. Does ummm ten-thirty sound good? I umm, know its kinda late but you gotta eat, right. .unless you work too far away to make it back by then. Then ummm we could make it eleven.”
“Yeah, sure, not big on fast food so I was just gonna come home and cook something, so ten-thirty sounds great, thanks, I’ll see you then.”
“Yeah, umm, I’ll see you then,” Danny said with a small wave before Jax turned and bounded down the stairs. A small smile crossed Danny’s face as he closed the door to the apartment, remembering to lock it back again.
Well, that was unexpected.