Chapter 16: A New Beginning

He wasn't convinced that coming here was a good idea but Felina insisted. It been two months since his return. He was buried under all the hoopla caused by the information he'd brought back with him. He had a tidy sum tucked away in the bank but none of it replaced his loss.

Felina and the new counselor he'd been seeing had insisted he needed to get out and meet others if he was to get on with his life. The counselor told him, with his newly opened feelings, he needed to be with someone since being alone was acutely painful for him.

It was Felina who told him about this place. She suggested, rather strongly, that he go check it out. It had taken him at least a week more before he could bring himself to come.

He had to admit there were a lot of males here that were fine to look at but they just didn't hold his attention. He was thinking of calling it a night even though he'd only been there less than an hour when a small group of males entering the club caught his attention.

He couldn't see them through the clog near the door but he could hear them.

"Come on, Jericho, don't be such a wet blanket. You need to get out. It's not good mooning after that good for nothing." Came a cajoling tenor voice.

"Yeah, he isn't worth your tears, buck up...you're bound to find someone here that'll treat you better." Sang out a more gruff voice.

"...And even if you don't...at least try and enjoy yourself...dance...have a drink...mingle..." Another coaxed a hint of concern in its voice.

"I said I'd come out and I'm here...alright!...now stop badgering me and let's find a table or something...I want to get a drink so I'll wait here...sing out when you find a spot." Said a put upon voice that sent zings of pain and joy through Ulysses.

It wasn't Swedish, of course, but it had the flavor of it and even the same cadences. He had to see the face attached to the voice. He stared hard at the backs that hid the voice but then they finally moved away.

There standing at the bar looking sad and withdrawn was a version of Blair if he had been born a kat. The male had golden fur, he was built somewhat like his human lover, had a lovely fall of blond slightly wavy hair that came to his shoulders but was presently tied back with a leather thong. He was even the same height as Blair, but did he have blue eyes?

Ulysses strained forward nearly leaning into the next bar patron desperate to see the kat's face.

The male had placed his order and turned to face the crowd.

Jericho could feel eyes on him, turning his head he beheld a piercing pair of golden eyes staring at him with such an intense look of hopeful desire and longing that he felt his chest tighten.

The big tom nearly sobbed for joy, the golden tom's eyes were the gorgeous blue of his lost lover. His mind told him firmly this was not Blair but his emotions and body begged him to grab hold of this facsimile for dear life.

Jericho couldn't turn away from that nearly desperate look in the dark tom's eyes, feeling strangely drawn to that unspoken plea he could almost feel in his own heart. Here was another poor soul who was lost and hurting just like him.

The tom was handsome and powerful looking and sent his heart racing. He'd never felt such an intense attraction for a complete stranger before. This tom was nothing like his former lover in appearance or manner. He wasn't even his type he thought and yet here he was drawn like a moth to a flame.

Never taking his eyes off the entrancing tom, Jericho began moving closer when another body with green eyes slid in front of him. The sandy hair and well built tom leaned closer to the golden tom leering suggestively at him.

"Hey beautiful, care to dance?" He coaxed.

"Uh, no thank you!" Jericho said firmly trying to move around the intruder but the male wasn't giving up so easily.

"Hey, that's no way to be. We could be very good friends if you gave me a chance." The other male wheedled pressing his body against the goldens.

"I said no thank you. I'm interested in someone else." Jericho said getting a little angry.

Before the obnoxious tom could press the issue a deep voice growled.

"He told you politely to buzz off." It snapped angrily.

The male turned around furious at being interrupted but swallowed his words of anger at the sight of a familiar face. The powerhouse before him was no one you wanted to piss off. Gulping with fear the sandy haired tom put up his paws placatingly.

"Uh...no problem Commander...sorry...I'll just be on my way..." He stuttered and quickly made his escape through the crowd.

Satisfied, Feral turned back to the golden tom.

Jericho blinked in surprise. 'Commander?' He stared harder and could now see that it was indeed the Chief Enforcer of Megakat City that he had been ogling. The dark brown tom was now staring back at him once more but looked a bit chagrined, his eyes, however, still held longing and desire.

Though an interesting piece of information, Jericho found he didn't care that this was the fearsome Commander Feral. All that mattered was that look of longing and need that matched his own. He took those last few steps until his chest was against the Commander's impressively massive one. Feral's arms were bare in the tight yellow t-shirt he was wearing. Jericho trailed his fingers up the powerful arms until he wrapped them around the tom's neck.

He lifted to his toes to press his face into the dark fur of the big tom's neck and sniffed deep. 'Oh God! He smells glorious,' he moaned.

Ulysses groaned, the golden was not put off by who he was, better yet, he wanted him. He dipped his head to brush his face against the other tom. The scent made his head spin and his body harden with lust. He couldn't resist wrapping his arms tightly around the solid body and was pleased when the male tightened his hold on his neck.

This wasn't his usual behavior when meeting someone new. Jericho was always cautious but despite that, he'd still gotten burned by his last lover. But this was so different from all his other encounters.

Jericho felt a deep connection to this tom one that overwhelmed his good sense. He wanted Feral with an intensity that should have had him backing away in fear and running the other direction. But instead he was clinging even tighter to the powerful tom.

He turned his head a little and caught the big tom's mouth in a passionate lip lock. Time lost all meaning as the pair swayed together... lost in each other. They finally came up for air and gazed longingly at each other.

"Soo, whose place do you want to go to?" Jericho breathed softly purring, a little shocked at his boldness.

"Uhmm, you don't think we're moving too fast?" Ulysses murmured loathed to let the golden tom leave his arms and a bit overwhelmed by his response to him.

"Normally, I would never consider it until sometime later in the relationship, but you...something about you...has me so captivated...I want to see where this goes...and wanting you now is a huge part of whatever this is between us." Jericho breathed hotly, nipping Uly's chin playfully. "I would like to know your first name though." He murmured.

Feral groaned at the intimate gesture, "My place is close and my name is Ulysses."

"Perfect and I love your name!" Jericho purred.

"You should tell your friends you're leaving. You don't want them to worry." Feral told him softly.

Jericho smiled and felt warm all over, this tom cared enough to insure he informed his friends. Oh yes, this just got better and better. He turned his head and searched for his friends.

"They are over there in the corner, I'll just pay my tab and be with you in a moment," Feral said nuzzling Jericho a moment before reluctantly letting go. The golden smiled sunnily at him then went to see his friends.

"Jericho! Where you been, guy?" His friend Brian shouted as he approached their table.

"Yeah dude! I thought you were going to get something to drink?" Jason sang out when he noticed his friend had nothing in his paws.

"Oh I forgot about that, oh well, doesn't matter. I came to tell you guys I'm leaving so don't worry about me." Jericho said giddily.

"Leaving?...but you just got here. You haven't really given it a chance yet..." His best friend Steven protested.

"Oh but I have!" Jericho said grinning as a powerful arm wrapped itself around his waist. He looked up into Uly's face with adoration.

All three of his friends gaped at the big dark brown tom. Jericho laughed in amusement at their shocked expressions.

"Guys, this is Ulysses. Uly, these are my three best friends in the whole world. That's Steven, Jason, and Brian." Jericho introduced them quickly. Feral nodded at them.

"Wow! Jericho you work fast." Brian said blinking in amazement at the handsome tom.

"I'll see you guys tomorrow. Have fun!" Their friend said happily as he turned in Ulysses' arms and pulled them both toward the door. Uly didn't resist, he was just as eager to leave.

Back in the bar, his friends were still stunned by this sudden turn of events.

"Didn't that kat look familiar to you guys?" Steven asked a bit concerned.

"Hell yes, he was familiar, dummy. That was the Chief Enforcer of this city. Gods! I didn't know he was gay. Jericho's a lucky kat! That tom is a feast for a starving kat's eyes." Brian gushed.

"You mean that was Commander Feral????" Steven squeaked in shock.

"Yep! So we don't have to worry about old Jeri. That kat is not going to hurt him at least not deliberately. He has far too much honor for that. If it doesn't work out Feral will be up front about it." Brian assured his friends. "Now how about we see if we can be as lucky, heh?"

His friends just shook their head in stunned bewilderment but were willing to let their more informed friend soothe them and enjoyed the rest of their night.

Outside the club...

"Did you drive?" Feral asked softly.

"No I came with them." Jericho said nearly breathless. He couldn't get over just how badly he wanted to be with this tom.

Smiling in relief, Feral led the golden tom toward his hummer. Jericho stared at the impressive vehicle as the tom unlocked the door and held it open for him.

'Oh yes, nice manners too!' He thought as he climbed in and put his seatbelt on. 'Please let this work out,' he breathed a prayer.

Feral climbed into his side of the vehicle and buckled up then started the car and was quickly driving them uptown. Both seemed too nervous to talk so the trip was made in silence but it wasn't uncomfortable, surprisingly. It was as if they were already easy with each other even though they hadn't trade more than a few words.

Feral felt joy, this wasn't Blair and he would miss his first lover for some time to come, but now with this tom in his arms, he could now move on. The intensity of the attraction, he hoped, would carry them both through the first stages of learning about each other and hopefully a lasting relationship would come of it. Ulysses was not familiar with love at first sight and when he'd get a moment to think about it, he would realize that his affection for Blair had not been true love because they'd had so little time with each other but it had been a wonderful friendship. This new tom, however, could be his future. He truly hoped so.