Dear Brit - This is yours. Enjoy!

Chapter 4

JJ was looking for new places to visit, to see if he could find someone new, that special someone. He hadn't given up totally on Dee, but a guy needed someone to keep him happy. The last string of guys had turned out to be real disasters, starting with Walter - that was almost two years ago. Maybe he was too trusting of others. Ha, that's funny. That's what everyone said of Ryo. And he definitely wasn't Ryo.

This wasn't the normal type of club JJ would frequent. It was quite deep in the Village, more homey and working class than his normal upscale haunts. The club was crowded that evening, odd for a Wednesday but then maybe not so odd for here.

He sat at the bar since most of the tables and booths were filled with couples, mostly male, enjoying the calm atmosphere of the club. It had a very warm, cozy feel. Dress was sexy casual with moderation, no flaming divas here. White tablecloths with frosted-glass Hurricane candles were on each table. Booths and tables lined two of the outer walls, a setup for a small band was on the third, and the fourth was home to a long mahogany bar with brass foot rails. The room was still large enough to accommodate a nice sized dance floor.

Just before he arrived the band had gone for a half hour break, clearing the dance floor and allowing a better view of the patrons of the club. His gaze took in the room. There didn't seem to be many singles here, everyone seemed paired off ... like this was more a place to enjoy an evening with one's lover rather than to find comfort with a stranger. There seemed to be a very subdued, friendly feel between most of the patrons, almost like family. He was beginning to feel like an intruder.

It was then he spotted Dee in a back corner, evidently out with friends for the evening. There were three others with him, none of whom he could see well enough to identify. The only reason he had seen Dee was that he was facing towards him and the table candle lit his gorgeous face with its soft glow.

Dee was wearing his grey satin shirt, unbuttoned down as far as he could see. Usually when he wore that shirt he had on his black jeans, the ones that nicely accentuated that perfect bottom that he dreamed of caressing. With the black belt with the silver Harley buckle. And the black biker boots. JJ had only seen him in that outfit a few times, and it had been a long time since he last saw him dressed like that. Like the last time he admitted to dating. Before Ryo.

Dee's hair was more relaxed than normal; there was no attempt to keep it neat and out of his eyes. Even though Dee was not looking his way he could see the glint of the candle in his eyes, adding a look of bedevilment to his already handsome face. He was smiling at the person directly opposite him. But it was a different smile than he normally wore on his face. This was a loving smile.

So he had been right, Dee had found someone else to replace Ryo. He couldn't even imagine Ryo in a place like this – everyone here was same-sex, and paired at that. But that also meant that Dee hadn't replaced Ryo with him. Dee had found another to lavish his attentions on. Now what should he do? He'd been delegated at least to third place in Dee's heart. He turned as he saw the bartender pass and ordered another drink. He needed it right now. He was glad he was in the shadows –no one would see the hurt in his eyes.

The band had started up again, and couples flooded the dance floor. JJ noticed that very few people were left at the tables, and none seemed to be singles. Yup, this club was off the list. This was someplace to go with a serious lover, not to find a new fling. So why was Dee here? He could no longer see the table where Dee and his friends sat; there were too many people on the dance floor.

When he saw Dee again he was on the dance floor, holding someone in his arms. His left hand cupped the right buttock of his dance partner, his right arm wrapped up and around to his partner's neck, which he was caressing. Dee's eyes were closed, his lips resting on his partner's hair. They looked way too comfortable for JJ's liking.

The dance partner had his right hand inside Dee's shirt; the other was behind Dee, probably holding that sexy ass JJ adored so much. He seemed to be kissing or nibbling on Dee's ear. He had to admit whoever it was, well, he was quite sexy. He definitely had the 'look' that Dee liked.

Who was that with him? The lighting was bad but he could see a fine, lithe body encased in a gold silk shirt, brown leather pants, and leather ankle boots. That hot, sexy body was clinging to Dee. Said body was slowly gyrating against Dee, rubbing his groin against Dee's thigh in a very provocative manner. JJ was extremely envious and jealous. Who was this interloper and how dare he touch his Dee in that way?

But before he could move to approach the couple the other man turned his smiling face to look up at Dee, and JJ was finally able to identify Dee's date. The shock caused JJ to drop the drink in his hand, shattering it to pieces, exactly like his heart had just been shattered.

It was Ryo.

As the tears filled his eyes JJ made for the exit, not caring whom he ran into as he hastily left the dance area. Somehow he made it to his car, the sobs shivering though his body, his heart torn from him by the scene in the club. Ryo had taken his Dee. He sat there sobbing, not knowing how long he had been there, trying to make sense of what he had seen. Dee. His Dee. Being caressed by Ryo. Shy, sexless Ryo. Ryo in silk and leather. Tight leather. NO!

It took almost an hour to get himself under control and carefully drive back home. He entered his apartment but didn't turn on the lights. He didn't want light. The light would make this nightmare real. He would see himself for the fool he was.

He slowly moved toward the bedroom where he flopped on the bed fully dressed. Dee was taken. Dee was no longer available. Dee belonged to Ryo. No doubt about it now. Was this his fault? Did his chasing Dee force him into Ryo's arms? Should he have been more careful in how he expressed himself to Dee? Would it have made a difference? Could he have gotten further by being hard-to-get? Dee had already met Ryo by the time he had transferred in. Had it already been too late then? What if …?

Should have, would have, could have. It all made no difference. All that was in the past and he wasn't in Dee's future. That was Ryo's domain. Unwanted tears soaked his pillow. It would be a long night.

Next step: Like, Like, Love