|Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
Author: Clarry PM
Kendall would give anything for Carlos to love him, but he knows it'll never happen. It's time to move on. Sequel to Because I Wanted the Best.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Humor - Kendall & Carlos - Chapters: 17 - Words: 79,063 - Reviews: 420 - Favs: 165 - Follows: 86 - Updated: 05-23-12 - Published: 11-04-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7523700
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Notes: I do not own Big Time Rush or any of these characters, and I make no money off this whatsoever.
I know Kenlos isn't a pairing a lot of people can get behind, and I admit it took me a while to see it myself, but once I did there was no going back. This is a sequel to Because I Wanted the Best, which was the story of James and Logan meeting and falling in love. Now we have Kendall and Carlos, because as I wrote that story, Kendall kept whispering to me that he was lonely. He wanted Carlos. I tend to stay away from Carlos, but in this case I gave in because...well, because it's Kendall and I can't say no to him. I explained to him it would be a challenge to make Carlos fall for him, but he said he lives for a challenge. Yeah, I don't know. So here we go.
Dedicating this to my two awesome betas, kathrynew30 and Aranelle. They're both happy to see Kendall going after what he wants, and happy to see more of Carlos for once. And this is still fun to write, because it's lighter than what I normally do and makes me laugh. I hope you like it, too! Thanks for giving it a try.
Kendall was popping his dinner into the microwave when his phone shrilled. He set the timer for the allotted four minutes and then answered it. "Dr. Mitchell, I presume?"
"You would be correct, Mr. Knight. What's up?"
"Just cooking dinner."
"Stouffer's or Hungry Man?"
"Tonight it's Hungry Man. Beer-battered chicken. I'm living it up."
Logan chuckled. "I'm heading for McDonald's. Sure you don't want anything?"
"No, this is fine. Don't you have a date tonight anyway?"
"I do," Logan answered, and Kendall could hear the big grin through the phone. "We got my webcam hooked up before he left and we're going to use it tonight."
"I'm sure we'll just talk."
"Logan, you and James don't know how to just talk."
"You make it sound like all we do is have sex. We actually talk a lot."
"I'm not judging. If I had a boyfriend, I'd want to fuck all the time, too. Especially one I rarely see."
Logan sighed. "I know. So I'm returning your call from earlier. What's up?"
"Well, I spoke to Carlos this morning and he wants to meet James." The microwave dinged and Kendall propped the phone between his ear and shoulder to get his food out. "When is James going to be in town again?"
"He's flying back next week but only for one night."
"One night? Is it even worth that?"
"For our one-month anniversary, you bet it is."
"Dude, you've only been dating a few weeks."
"But we met a month ago. On the infamous day of the lollipop."
"You two, I swear. Is he bringing you another bouquet?"
"We'll see. He's really sweet. You never see that side of him, but that's because you put him on the defensive."
"I don't mean to."
"Yes, you do, but I know it's because you care."
"He makes you happy, that's all I care about."
"He really does. I'm so in love, Kendall."
"Yeah, yeah. So when is he in town long enough for Carlos to meet him?"
"In two weeks. I'll get him for four whole days."
"Nice." After peeling the paper off his dinner, Kendall grabbed a fork and took it to the table along with a beer. "Give me the dates and I'll let Carlos know."
"I could always call Carlos directly."
"Oh. Right. Yeah, you should."
Logan laughed. "But I wouldn't. I know you love talking to him."
"Dude, he's your friend, too. You can call him all you want. Ow, fuck, that's hot!" Kendall took a swig of beer, cooling down his burnt tongue.
"How many times did your mother tell you to blow on your food before you ate it? Or maybe let it cool down?"
"Shut up, I'm hungry. Damn, that hurts."
"Suck on some ice."
"I'm fine, doctor. So give me the dates and I'll let Carlos know."
"Got it. You haven't called him yet tonight, have you?"
"No. I usually wait until at least nine his time. Closer to bedtime. And it's...oh, look. Almost time."
"It's so cute how you get excited over it."
"It's actually pretty pathetic."
"That, too. Maybe..."
"What?" Kendall asked, trying his food again and finding it a bearable temperature.
"Maybe calling him every night is a bad idea. Like me staring at posters of James when I was trying to get over him. I know you worry about Carlos, but calling him every night just repeats the psychosis."
"You make it sound like I have a mental illness."
"Well, in a way it is. It's kind of an addiction."
"Carlos is not an addiction. James Diamond, that was an addiction."
"So we're both insane. Mine turned out okay, though. Yours won't unless you do something about it, and you refuse to. If you don't tell Carlos how you feel, nothing's ever going to change."
"Dude, what McDonald's are you driving to? How are you not there yet?"
"I've been sitting in the parking lot for ten minutes, and don't try to change the subject. Either tell him how you feel or move on."
"So now that you have a boyfriend, I have to make a decision?"
"It has nothing to do with James. I'm just tired of seeing you miserable."
"At least I date."
"You do, and they're never good enough. Guys or girls. There's always something wrong."
"That last chick was certifiable, Logan."
"I'm not saying she wasn't. But all the others?"
Kendall sighed, pushing his food away as his appetite left him.
"Maybe you should try not calling him a few nights. See what happens."
"I can't. You know how I worry about him."
"He's a grown man, Kendall. He gets by just fine."
"Because Mom looks out for him."
"What about his girlfriend?"
"Yeah, I guess."
"Okay, I'll back off for tonight. I can tell you're gonna drink yourself to sleep."
"I was fine until you called. Thanks for reminding me how pathetic my life is."
"Your life is not pathetic. You're a star player for the L.A. Kings, dude. You're living your dream."
"It'll be easier when the season starts up again. I won't have time to sit around and mope."
"I know. Go work out or something. You'll feel better."
"I can't. It's time to call Carlos."
Logan smiled and nodded. "Of course. Okay, I'll let you know about James tomorrow. I'd call tonight, but we'll probably be up half the night."
"Don't need to know. But hey. Happy anniversary," Kendall grinned.
"Next week. But thanks. Call me later if you need to."
"Even if I'm a crying drunk?"
"Okay. Goodnight, Logan."
Kendall rose to take his barely-touched food to the trash, then reached into the refrigerator for another beer. He knew Logan was right, knew he needed to let go of Carlos, but it was harder than Logan seemed to understand. From the time they were in daycare together, Kendall had looked out for Carlos. Moving away from him had been the most excruciatingly painful thing Kendall had ever done in his life, and the only way he could stand it now was to call Carlos every night for their "goodnight phone call." It was how he unwound, the only way he could relax enough to sleep. Even during hockey season he made a point to call, no matter what city he was in or what he had going on, and even if it was a brief "Hi, how was your day?" conversation, it was enough because Kendall could relax in the knowledge that Carlos was safe.
What Kendall wanted most in life was to come home to Carlos each night and kiss him until they tumbled into bed together, laughing as they got rid of each other's clothing and then loving each other until they were spent before falling asleep cuddled together, Carlos safely in his arms. No one looked at him the way Carlos did, as if he was a hero who could do no wrong, and even though Kendall knew that was complete bullshit, he loved that Carlos believed it of him. Carlos always had.
He took his beer to the living room and stretched out on the couch, making himself comfortable before pulling out his phone. He smiled at the picture of himself and Carlos that he hadn't had the heart to change since moving here. He'd taken the pic on the day he left Minnesota, when Carlos had come to help him finish packing up his house and to say goodbye. He remembered their parting conversation, how Carlos had cried but tried to be so brave. Kendall had felt horrible leaving Carlos, but the pain of seeing Carlos every day, being within touching distance and unable to do anything about it, had become too much to bear. It was fine when the two of them hung out together, but as they got older Carlos dated more. They'd doubled quite a few times after Logan left, and Kendall tried to make an effort, but each time he found himself wanting to hit the girls who giggled and cuddled up to Carlos and he knew something had to give. He wasn't happy, and he wasn't allowing Carlos to be happy because after each date Carlos knew something was wrong and would try to get Kendall talking. He never did, though, and it always made Carlos sad that Kendall was unhappy.
"I'm sorry, Carlos. I have to go." Kendall remembered saying that to Carlos right after the picture was taken, when the tears first appeared in Carlos' eyes.
"Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. Can't help who you get traded to, right? We always knew this day would come."
"Right." Kendall hated lying to Carlos, hated that Carlos believed he'd had no choice in the matter when in fact he'd requested it. "You're gonna be okay, though. Mom's here for you, and Katie, too."
"Yeah, I know. It's just gonna be weird. First Logan, now you. The last of the Three Musketeers left all alone."
Kendall had hugged him then, probably tight enough to constrict his air but he hadn't complained; he'd only hugged Kendall back tighter. "I'm sorry," Kendall said again, his own eyes starting to water.
"Call me tonight? When you get settled at Logan's?"
"Of course." He'd done something reckless then, something he never would have dared had he not been flying a thousand miles away; he'd kissed the top of Carlos' head, then pulled back enough to kiss his temple. "I'll call you every night if you want. I know you sleep better when we say goodnight first."
"I do. And yeah. Do that."
"You got it. And you can call me anytime. You know that, right? Day or night. Call me, Carlos."
"Okay. You sure you don't want me to drive you to the airport? I can have Katie come too, because I know you'll worry about me being all sad when I drive home."
Kendall chuckled. "I would worry. But no, Mom already offered to drive me, and I sent her and Katie home. You guys need to focus on work, you've all got that big presentation coming up on Monday."
"We're gonna get that backing. How can any company say no when you ask for money to help orphans?"
"Especially when it's you doing the asking. No one can say no to you, Carlos. Not when you beg."
"Plus, I've got Katie on my side. She tries the puppy dog eyes first, and if that doesn't work? She goes in for the kill."
"Yeah. She scares me sometimes." Kendall stepped back as the cab pulled up. "Time to go."
"Let me help you with your suitcases."
Kendall allowed it, watching Carlos lug a suitcase to the cab. His heart wanted to burst right then and he felt a severe panic take hold. How was he going to live without Carlos?
"Here we go. Give me yours now." Carlos turned to reach for it, eyes widening when he took in Kendall's pale face. "Dude, are you okay? You look like you're gonna hurl."
"Fine," Kendall answered tightly, forcing himself to smile. "Well, no, I'm sad. This is hard, okay? Really gonna miss everyone."
"Aww, I know. Come here."
Kendall rushed Carlos, clinging desperately and shaking and he knew this wasn't going to happen. He couldn't even get into the cab, no way was he going to last more than a day away from Carlos.
"You're gonna do this. And you're gonna be fine. And you're gonna kick ass out in L.A. and take them all the way to the Cup. You know that, right?"
Kendall nodded, the tears flowing freely now even though he'd tried so hard to stay strong for Carlos.
"And you'll call me every night and I'll be fine. And you'll get to see Logan again. That's gonna be great, right?"
Once again Kendall nodded. At least he'd have that.
"Maybe the two of you might finally get something going."
The tears stopped then, because the words pushed Kendall into a hurt so deep he couldn't even cry anymore. "I told you, me and Logan aren't like that."
"Yet. You're gonna be staying with him for a few weeks until your house is ready, you never know what might happen."
Kendall shook his head, angry. "I keep telling you, just because we both like guys doesn't mean we want each other. Why do you keep pushing it, dude?"
"Because I'm tired of seeing you sad! You keep dating all these girls, and even guys sometimes, and after every date you find something wrong, say it isn't working. Maybe that's because what you need is Logan. I want you to be happy, man!"
Unable to form any words that wouldn't ruin the closeness between them, Kendall chose not to speak. He grabbed his carry-on bag and loaded it into the back seat of the cab.
"Don't leave without saying goodbye."
Kendall looked back at Carlos. "Take care of yourself. Please."
"I will. Give it a chance with Logan. Please."
Heart cracking, Kendall sighed. "Goodbye, Carlos."
"Have a safe journey. Love you, man."
"Yeah. Love you, too." He tried to smile and saw that Carlos was fighting tears again, so he stepped into the cab and closed the door. He didn't look back as the cab sped away, not wanting Carlos to see the flood of tears down his cheeks.
Lying on the couch now, the tears sprang to his eyes and he brushed them away angrily. Stupid Carlos and his stupid big brown eyes and lovable smile. Usually he didn't let himself get this emotional about it, or about anything really, but the memories were rushing him tonight.
He remembered their senior prom, right after he'd admitted to himself his feelings for Carlos were more than one friend for another, or even a passing crush. He'd tried to have a good time, danced with his date and managed to get Logan on the dance floor with his (a girl then, Logan hadn't accepted his sexuality yet), but his eyes kept straying to Carlos with his own date. Carlos was the perfect partner for a dance; he was polite, attentive, humorous, and just plain fun. Kendall had helped him get ready for the dance, made sure his tux was on right and his hair was styled, and as he'd fastened Carlos' bowtie around his neck, their eyes had met and Carlos smiled at him and bam. Just like that, he knew. He wanted to kiss Carlos, the urge had been almost uncontrollable, and after being frozen in that gaze for too long he'd had to walk away and hide in the bathroom, trying to catch his breath. He told himself it was the moment, to get over it, that Carlos was his buddy and it would pass, but that night he knew better. He also knew he was doomed to a life of unrequited love, and the realization threatened to pull him down into a vortex that would keep him in that bathroom for the rest of his life, but it wasn't his style to go down without a fight. He'd gotten himself under control and returned to the bedroom with a grin and told Carlos how great he looked and that his date would probably eat him alive. Carlos had waved away the compliment, but then immediately come back with "Really?" The excitement on his face was adorable. With a heavy heart, Kendall had smiled and repeated that yes, any girl would be lucky to have him.
Watching Carlos dance with his date later, Kendall had the same thought, that anyone would be lucky to have Carlos, but he never would. He'd faked a stomachache and sat out the last few songs, overwhelmed and needing to hide. After reassuring both Logan and Carlos that he was fine, he pushed them back to their dates while his own found her friends and joined them for a bit. Kendall then sat at a table in a dark corner, his eyes glued to Carlos' every sway to the music, and when the last song was played and he pulled his date close for the slow song, Kendall watched and imagined it was him. He would've pulled Carlos close and held him, letting him know he was safe and always would be, that no one could ever compare or make Kendall laugh and smile the way he did. Carlos would've laughed but been so touched, would've looked up with wide eyes and said, "Really?" And Kendall would've had to laugh himself, leaning down to kiss Carlos, whose eyes would widen even more as Kendall's lips touched his, but then he'd kiss Kendall back and-
"Did you call your mom yet?"
Kendall looked up, face flaming, to see Logan standing over him. "No. Should I?"
Logan sat down in the chair next to Kendall. "This is the last song, so yeah. You should also quit being so obvious you wish it was you out there and not her."
"I don't know what you're-"
"Don't even bother. Who knows you better than me? Nobody. And I'm sorry. It's...not gonna happen, you know?"
Kendall nodded sadly, eyes on the tablecloth as his fingers traced the patterns.
"If it makes you feel any better, I think I'm gay."
Kendall's head swung over. "Whoa. You, too?"
"Yeah. Been forcing myself not to watch Brad and Glenn all night. They both look way too hot in their tuxes."
"I hadn't even noticed."
"Well, you only have eyes for one guy. I've been watching you fall for years, dude."
"I didn't really...know it. Not until tonight."
"Neither did I, but I'd rather be dancing with them than Teresa, so that's a pretty good indication."
"Look at his smile. He's so happy tonight. And such a perfect date. She's the luckiest bitch on this planet, Logan. I want to be her."
Logan nodded. "I know, dude. I'm sorry." He pulled out his own phone and texted Mrs. Knight to come pick them all up.
"I don't want this to change things. He's my best bud. Well, one of them. And I don't want it to change, don't want things to be awkward. I can't say anything."
"Are you sure there's no chance?"
Watching Carlos, Logan answered, "Yeah. I wish I could say differently, but...he loves girls. And worships you, but...that's not love. At least not the kind you need it to be."
"I'll take what I can get. I'm always going to be there for him. I don't care who he dates or marries, I'm going to be his knight. There when he needs me."
"So you'll spend the rest of your life pining over him?"
"That's not healthy. Is it just him, or are you attracted to other guys?"
Kendall shrugged. "I do find other guys attractive, but nothing feels like Carlos."
"Yeah. Again, I'm sorry."
"Quit apologizing. I'm the dumbass who fell for my best friend."
"One of your best friends."
"Yes, Logan, one of them. Look at you, getting all insecure."
"Not really, I just like to tease you. And I won't be hurt if you don't fall for me, too."
Kendall grinned, leaning back in the chair and shaking his head. "You know how much I love you, but...it's just not there."
"I agree. I don't stare at you and wonder what you look like naked."
"That's because you already know."
"This is true, but no, that's not it. It's more that I don't care."
"Gee, thanks." Kendall punched Logan's arm lightly, knowing Logan was doing his best to cheer him up and appreciating it. "But yeah. No one is Carlos."
"I know. Just promise me that ten years from now you won't still be pining over him, that you'll have a wife or at least a girlfriend, and you won't be letting him keep you from happiness?"
"Please. I'm not pathetic."
The memory of that hit Kendall hard. It was now ten years later and he was indeed still pining over Carlos, letting Carlos keep him from happiness. It was his own fault, no question, but the fact remained that even though Kendall had everything he'd ever wanted for his future, he still didn't have Carlos and he never would. It pissed him off that he'd known better, known back then it wouldn't happen, and yet he still looked forward to their nightly phone call more than anything else in his daily life. With shame he remembered the one time he'd called a timeout during a game, rushing off to the "bathroom" just because it went into overtime and he'd known Carlos was about to board a flight and wouldn't be able to talk to him until the next day. The coach had been angry enough about that to threaten to remove his captain status, and Kendall had claimed food poisoning that couldn't be controlled, but the fact that he'd subjected that many other people to his insanity regarding Carlos had woken him up enough to realize it was getting out of hand.
It was after that he'd requested the transfer, and though the GM and coach had tried to talk him out of it, they'd made it happen. Kendall had teased Logan mercilessly over his obsession with James Diamond, but was he really any better? Perhaps it was a psychosis. Still, moving to L.A. had made things a bit easier, and Kendall had started dating again, even though his heart wasn't really in it. He kept hoping one of these people would be the one to lift him out of his pointless devotion to a man who would never love him the way he needed to be loved, but so far it hadn't happened. He was ecstatic for Logan, who had finally found the one who completed him (and who strangely had been there for five years), but it made things tougher because now Kendall was truly alone.
What the fuck is wrong with me? Get off your sorry ass and move on with your life, ten years of dreaming about something that'll never happen is the worst kind of idiocy.
And yet Logan had dreamed about his partner for five years, never expecting that to happen, and look at them now.
So what? Doesn't change anything between you and Carlos. Logan was lucky. It doesn't happen like that for most people.
Still, it kept the flare of hope alive in his heart, and he hated himself a little for that. Needing to move, he stood up and grabbed his beer, carrying that and his phone out to the patio for some fresh air.
Make this phone call. Get through it, then you can go to bed and cry the night away, and tomorrow when you wake up? No more. This is it. Logan's right, it's not healthy, and I need to start living. Just one more phone call to get me through, and then I'm done.
Jesus, I sound like an addict. Yeah, it's time to move on.
Kendall sank down into a chair, setting his beer on the table and putting his feet up on the chair next to him. He hated the smile that graced his lips when he pulled up Carlos' number, hated the way his heart beat faster as he put the call through.
Damn you, Carlos. Why do you have to be so amazing?
"It's about time! I thought you forgot about me, buddy!"
Instant grin on Kendall's face. "Get over it, I'm only about twenty minutes late."
"You know I need to get to bed by midnight or I'm cranky the next day. And now we only have forty minutes talk, dork."
"I'm sorry, I was busy. I do have a life outside of Carlos Garcia, you know."
"That's your first mistake. Anything important?"
"I was talking to Logan and eating dinner."
"Oh, Logan. Of course. You should put him first," Carlos teased.
"Have you forgotten that Logan met the love of his life and is now happy?"
"Yeah. I bet that hurts."
"I'm not going this with you tonight, Carlos." There was an edge to his voice that surprised him, and he told himself to calm down.
"Chill, dude, I was kidding. I know he's happy. I just wish you were."
"Don't worry about me. How was your date with Megan?"
"She loved it! I went to her house and cooked dinner, had it ready when she got home. And she was excited I repainted her bathroom like she's been asking me to do."
"Wow, she gets dinner and a handyman? I'm jealous."
"Like Logan hasn't cooked for you a million times? He's the one who taught me how to make this stuff!"
"I know, but he doesn't paint my bathroom. Or fuck me after dinner's done."
"Yeah, still didn't score on that."
Kendall sat up some. "Seriously? How long is she gonna make you wait?"
"She says when the time is right. I'm willing to wait."
"Dude, I know, but...how long has it been?"
"Obviously not long enough. And I'm hopeful about tomorrow. She asked me to get her car washed and take some stuff to the dump for her, so she'll be feeling thankful."
"She...why is it every time I ask about her, you're telling me stuff she asked you to do for her? Stuff you do without hesitation and doesn't that seem weird to you?"
"No, she doesn't have any brothers or guy friends, so she depends on me. Besides, why shouldn't her boyfriend do that stuff for her? It's what I'm for."
"Carlos, dude. You're worth more than that. Does she at least say thank you?"
"Of course she does! She appreciates me."
Not like I would. Fuck, Carlos, come cook for me, I'll make love to you all night. "I'm just saying. You have this...thing."
"What sort of...thing?"
"You always seem to end up a slave to your girlfriends."
"I'm not a slave! I do this stuff because I want to. Because it makes them happy."
"Okay. I just feel like they're always taking advantage of you."
"I'm aware of what I'm doing. I'm not a kid, Kendall."
"I know. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to imply that you were. I just want you to be happy, Carlos," Kendall said, his voice taking on a desperate tone he didn't like.
Carlos softened. "I know, buddy. I want the same for you. Why can't we find the ones we're meant to be with, like Logan did?"
"Because our dream guys are too stupid to see what they could have. Well. Girl, in your case."
"Shoot, I'd probably have better luck getting into a guy's pants at this point. Aren't guys always horny?"
"Why are you asking me? You're a guy, aren't you?"
"I am. And I'm always horny."
"Then there's your answer," Kendall laughed.
"So why aren't you getting laid all the time, dude? Holding out for that special one like Logan did?"
"Logan wasn't holding out, he was just too busy. And when he wasn't, he was obsessing over James."
"It's crazy how that worked out, isn't it? Imagine loving someone that long and thinking you'll never get him. It would drive me crazy."
"Mm." A subject change was definitely in order. "So James will be in town in two weeks. He'll be here for four days."
"Oh, cool! What days?"
"Not sure yet, Logan's gonna let me know. They're on a cyberdate as we speak."
"A cyberdate?" Carlos laughed. "That's actually kind of cool. Webcam?"
"Why haven't we been doing that all this time? Instead of phone calls?"
"Well," Kendall started, "we don't date. It's just a nightly phone call."
"No, I know, but you know you miss this mug."
Kendall smiled into the phone. "You caught me. I really do, Carlos."
"Yeah, I miss you, too. We should do that next time. Tomorrow night. You gonna be home? If not, we can do a phone call, like always."
Kendall hesitated, feeling his resolve failing him. What he'd give to see Carlos' face again; it had been over a year. "I...don't know yet." He stood up and paced the patio. "We'll see how tomorrow goes."
"Okay, no pressure. So how was your day?"
"It was fine. Getting back into gear for hockey season."
"Yeah, I bet you're restless. You're so lucky to play for a living, man."
"Too bad you had to leave the Wild, though."
"I'm happy where I am, but...yeah. I miss it." I miss you.
"Okay, buddy, I gotta get some sleep. You doing okay, though? Nothing you need to vent about tonight?"
"No, I'm good. But Carlos?"
"I miss you. I can't wait to see you again."
"Aww," Carlos answered. "I'll be there in a few weeks. And I expect a hug from my big teddy bear."
"Why must you still call me that?"
"Because you love it. And it makes you smile every time."
Caught, Kendall argued, "That is not true."
"Bullshit. I can hear your smile right now."
"Go to bed, Carlos. Give me some peace."
"Never. Goodnight, buddy."
Kendall sighed, but he was still smiling and wondered how Carlos always managed to do that to him. "Goodnight."
"Just think. In two more weeks, we can say that in person. I can stay with you, right?"
"Of course." It was a horrible idea, the worst thing Kendall could allow to happen for his own sanity. "Like I'd let you stay anywhere else."
"I could stay with Logan."
"Fuck that, you're staying with me."
"I love it when you fight over me."
"Stop grinning, it's only because James will be staying at Logan's."
"I'm going now. Goodnight."
"But I'm not tired."
"Carlos, you're the one who said you needed sleep!"
"Doesn't mean I'm tired."
"Fine. Goodnight, Kendall. Webcam tomorrow night? I can show you this new dance move I learned?"
"Awesome! Night, big teddy bear!"
"Shut up! Goodnight, Carlos!" Kendall hung up before Carlos could say anything else, laughing and feeling light as he chucked his nearly-full beer bottle into the trash.
This was why he kept doing it. This was why he couldn't stop. No one was like Carlos. No one made him feel like this.
Damn you, Carlos. Why can't you be gay? Why can't you want me?
Unwilling to let the sadness pull him down again, Kendall closed up the house and went to sleep, not feeling guilty at all about the smile on his face.