"That woman looks like Janie." Peter Bash said, his eyes fixated on the red headed woman on the large TV screen in front of him and his best friend, Jared Franklin.
"For God's sake..." Jared murmured as he turned to Peter who was sitting with his arm around him. They often sat like this; side by side, Peter's arm around Jared. Sometimes Peter would fiddle with the back of his hair but he didn't mind. In fact, he liked it.
"Peter, can't you go one night without bringing that witch of a woman up? She stomped on your heart and she's even got a new guy now! Grow a pair!"
His outburst startled Peter who immediately took his arm away from Jared's shoulders and looked at him angrily.
"What's got into you?" Peter half yelled. He wanted to shout at his friend for being so insensitive but there was something in the littler man's eyes that made him refrain.
How could he ever get angry at such a sweet looking, handsome man like Jared Franklin?
"I just don't understand why you still 'love' her! She hurt you so much." Jared shouted, causing Peter to flinch a little.
"You don't understand?" Peter lost it, "Well maybe that's because you've never actually been in love, Jared! You don't know what it's like to look into someone's eyes and feel at home and like no one else matters!"
"Yes I have!" their eyes locked. Jared's eyes glistened with tears which caused a dull ache in Peter's heart. When Peter didn't respond, Jared continued:
"I know exactly what it's like to feel that way when you look into someone's eyes! I know what it's like to never want anybody else. I know what it feels like to watch the person you love, love someone else!" He turned away from Peter and ran a hand through the front of his hair. How could Peter be so oblivious?
"Jared, look at me..." Peter's voice had softened and he placed a hand on Jared's thigh, "look at me. Please." Jared turned back to Peter and looked down at the hand resting on his leg. He could feel the warmth through his jeans.
"I'm looking at you." he whispered quietly and clasped Peter's hand in his own, carefully entwining their fingers. Finally, he gets it! He thought.
"I didn't realise you felt so strongly for Hanna." Peter said, completely oblivious to the smaller man's now obvious feelings.
"Hanna?" Jared yelled, "You're supposed to be my best friend! How can you not understand what I'm saying?" he yanked his hand away from Peter's and began to get up from where he was sitting before Peter threw a strong arm in front of him, causing him to fall straight back onto the sofa.
Peter's hands were suddenly on Jared's shoulders and he was crouching in front of him. Their eyes locked again and Jared felt completely lost is them. Surely he felt the same?
"Please don't go." Peter said and his thumbs lightly stroked Jared's shoulders.
"I won't go anywhere unless you're there with me." Jared suddenly felt as if it was the perfect moment to confess how he felt to his friend. He couldn't find the words to say it so he took a deep breath and moved one of his hands up to Peter's face and leant his own face in closer until he could feel the taller man's breath on him.
Peter closed the space between them and the next thing Jared knew, Peter's lips were against his own and his stomach was doing somersaults.
It was so perfect. He had been waiting years for this moment and it was finally happening. He ran his hand through the back of Peter's soft hair and Peter grabbed his waist. Jared suddenly felt as if the whole world was spinning and he was sure he was dreaming. He never wanted the kiss to end.
"What are we doing?" Peter jerked away and stood up as fast as he could. He moved away from Jared and went on: "What the HELL was that?"
Those five words broke Jared's heart. He jumped up and went to grab Peter's arm, "Please, Peter! I-"
"Get off!" Peter shouted and pushed his smaller work mate away from him. Jared staggered backwards and landed on the sofa again, only this time Peter wasn't going to kiss him.
"You kissed me back!" Jared pleaded. He sounded like such a child and he felt like one too, looking up at Peter's muscular build from the sofa with tears threatening to roll out of his eyes any second.
"I was confused! You looked so helpless and needy and..." Peter looked down at Jared who looked so scared, his eyes were wide and tears were now spilling from them.
"You wanted it as much as I did!" Jared choked, wiping the tears from his face. He considered standing up again but he was too afraid that Peter would push him back down.
"I love Janie!" Peter shouted and stormed out of the room.
"She's never coming back! You have me!" Jared sobbed after him but the only response he got was the sound of the other man's bedroom door slamming shut.
Jared sat in the now silent room for a good few minutes, not know what to do with himself. He was hoping that Peter would come to his senses, stride back into the room and sweep him up into his arms but a part of him knew that that wasn't going to happen. He had to be the one to make things right again.
He slowly got to his feet and cautiously walked towards Peter's bedroom door. He'd imagined going to Peter's room after kissing him many times before but he had never even considered it being like this. He was so sure that Peter would take him by the hand and the lead the way there like he had fantasised about so many times before.
Jared came to a halt outside his friend's door and he listened to the strums of the guitar that Peter loved so deeply coming from behind it. He heard Peter softly singing;
"I'm not in love, so don't forget it. It's just a silly phase I'm going through..."
Jared slowly slid to the floor and sat with his back to the door, letting the voice of the other man take over his ears.
All of a sudden, Jared felt angry. Peter had made him feel so stupid and he had just run away from the situation, leaving him alone to cry and deal with his feelings alone. He wasn't going to let Peter hide from his feelings any longer. He had to make the man realise that they were perfect for each other.
Jared jumped to his feet and before he could have second thoughts he launched the bedroom door open.
"Jared! What are y-"
"Listen to me Peter and don't you dare interrupt me," Jared shouted as he strode over to where Peter was laying, "You can't just run away from how you feel and pretend like that was a mistake. It wasn't a mistake! It was perfect, it was magical, it was... right. You mean more to me than anyone else ever has and I want to spend the rest of my life with you and I know you feel the same. I just know it!" Tears were streaming down his face and he was breathing heavily. There was so much more he could say about how he felt for Peter but he was too afraid that he had already divulged too much.
Peter sat up on the edge of the bed and put his guitar down next to him. He didn't look angry. In fact he was half smiling and his eyes were threatening to cry as well.
"How long have you known that you feel that way for me?" He asked Jared as he stood up to face him properly, moving his hair away from his eyes as he was in desperate need of a haircut. He wasn't wearing any product in it today and Jared thought that he looked gorgeous.
"A few years..." Jared sniffed and looked into Peter's beautiful hazel eyes that were shining with tears.
"I didn't mean to react how I did... I just... I feel the same way, I do! I'm just..." Peter turned his head to look out of the window next to him and took a deep breath, "I'm just so scared."
Jared's heart was pounding so fast that it was all he could hear. It felt as if the room was spinning again. 'I feel the same way.' That one line repeated over and over in his mind and he must have had a massive grin on his face because Peter took one look at him and a huge smile crossed his own.
"Me too," Jared managed to pull himself out of the clouds and eventually answer Peter, "It would be a lot less scary if we were in it together."
"We're Franklin and Bash... a team. Of course we're in it together!" Peter held Jared's upper arms in his hands and shook his head, laughing slightly "I really am sorry for how I reacted. It's just that you caught me by surprise and I honestly never thought I had a shot with you..."
"You thought you didn't have a shot with me? Peter! You're Peter Bash, ladies man!" Jared laughed. Was he dreaming? Surely he was. Peter's hands had moved to Jared's waist and he was gently stroking his lower back with his finger tips,
"Well now I am Peter Bash, Jared Franklin's man... If that's what you want! I mean I will totally understand if you don't because I pushed you down and I am so sorry about that I was just so scared a-" Peter's babbling was cut short by Jared tiptoeing and kissing him gently on the lips.
"Nothing you can do will ever make me love you less." Jared said and he got a response in the form of Peter's soft hands on his face and their lips pressed together again.
"I love you, Jared Franklin..." Peter whispered as Jared pushed him down lightly so that he was sitting on the edge of the bed,
"I love you too, Peter Bash."