“We can’t stay too long,” Keith said in a low voice to Jason. “I really should get back to work. You know haow it gets busy after ten.”
“I’m glad you came,” said Jason. “It’s always good to see you.”
“And I got to mait Endeavour Lambano! My hero.”
“Who? Me or him?”
Keith just grinned.
“What’re are you doing after?” asked Jason, hopefully.
“I’ll bay with Esmé.” He shrugged apologetically.
“It’s all right,” Jason reassured him. When Keith looked doubtful, he smiled, and added, “I envy you.”
“Whoi?” Jason was puzzled.
“You’re settled. In a way. You have someone you love.”
“And you don’t?” Keith looked a little hurt. You have me, he thought.
“Brent was … and I screwed up. I … don’t know if I can love like that again. But, Key, you … you’re my friend and … well …. you’re sexy and you’re a good man, and …. I hope you will always … C’here!” He pulled Keith into his arms, suspecting that words were pushing them apart and that their bodies spoke more truly of their real feelings.
He looked over Keith’s shoulder and saw that Esmé was watching, her face schooled to blankness. He took Keith’s hand and crossed the short distance to her side. He took one of her hands in his free hand and nodded to Keith to take the other.
“Circle of friends,” he said. “One for all and all for one. Always.”