His reflections had distracted him for a moment. He was startled when Cody pulled off him.
“I can’t. It hurts too much. He … he hurt me. He didn’t prep me. I dunno. I don’t think it’ll ever be right again.” Cody sat on the edge of the bed, deliberately avoiding Luigi’s eyes.
Luigi put his arm round Cody’s waist. “There’s more than one way to make love, Coads.”
Cody ignored him, his regard steadily on the carpet.
“Come, love, let me show you,” coaxed Luigi.
Still Cody wouldn’t speak.
Luigi wanted to explain to Cody the insights he’d just gained. But he didn’t have the right words. His feelings were so sure, his perceptions so certain, and yet he found himself tongue-tied.
“Cody, love, it’s about … well … love and caring. Sex is … nice … but what really matters is whether you love or not.
Cody muttered, “And I’m not very good at that, am I? Look at how I treated you and Phillippa. That wasn’t love, was it?”
He turned to look at Luigi and the anger and self-contempt in his expression made Luigi flinch.
“Whatever you said—and didn’t say—I knew you loved me. I knew it when we made love, I knew it when you smiled at me, I knew it when you came through that door after work, and your face would light up when you saw me.” Luigi sat next to Cody on the edge of the bed, his arm still round the other man’s waist. “You did some things wrong, Coads, but only some. Don’t beat yourself up, love.”
“I deserved what happened to me. It was just.”
“Rubbish! No one deserves that. No one! To be tortured? Nearly killed? To be drugged, attacked with a knife, have pieces cut out of you, and barely escape with your life? No, Cody, you didn’t deserve any of that! None of it, OK?”
Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter