"Hey there! It's Trip! It's, uh...wow, heh...it's been a while since, since we all, uh...um...but, uh...Grace and I thought it'd be, uh, great, if you came over, tonight, uh...really, it-it'd be great! ...Yeah. Uh...how about, uh, 8 o'clock or something? That, that'd be, uh...that'd be really nice! ...Yeah! So...uh, I really hope you can make it...uh, see you then!"

Trip groaned as he put down the phone. He really didn't normally studder like this while talking, but the mere thought that the message was going to reach the ears of his old friend, Adam, was about enough to tie his tongue in a knot.

Adam was great (if you got used to him) and was really pleasant to be around (if you were friends with him, of course), but he could be really...over the top sometimes. It's impossible to explain his behavior in words. Sometimes it's as if he thinks he's talking to some sort of programmed, scripted AI or something, rather than real people. Basically, he says just about everything that's on his mind at the moment.

But he undeniably had a heart of gold. Or at least, in Trip's mind. He did, after all, introduce Trip to his lovely wife, Grace, all those years ago... Of course, Trip found himself contemplating more and more often whether they were the "perfect match" like Adam said.

-:-

Trip studied the abstract painting that hung above his couch. "A symbol of how, um...abstract my thoughts are right now." He laughed at his cleverness, then laughed again at how stupid he must have sounded and looked. It's a good thing that nobody was watching, or worse, documenting his dialogue and thoughts and then posting it onto the internet for all to see.

He didn't want Adam to come over, plain and simple. Sure, he was a laugh to be around (if not a grimace here and there). Sure, he brought he and his wife together. But he never had such a bright future as a child. He always wanted to be a rapper growing up, which could only mean one thing: he was either going to become a rapper, or become a hobo. To this day, he lives in a cardboard box, carries his belongings in a garbage bag, and occasionally steals cell phones to call Trip and Grace and ask them for money. So, he wasn't exactly prepared to face his old friend again.

The reason he did it? Because once, when Trip was casually talking with his wife, the topic of Adam came up. And somehow, the idea of him coming over reared its ugly head in the conversation. He saw that grin on her face and he knew that she wanted him to come over for the little reunion. And he couldn't help but say yes. After all, Trip always does what is best for his lover even if he does not want to do it, while she always argued, protested and pushed him away. He did so much for her, and wanted nothing more than to actually impress her.

She just needs to realize that.

-:-

Grace quickened the pace at which she was washing the dishes. Anything to get the idea of Adam, that pathetic slob, setting foot in HER house out of her mind.

She didn't want Adam to come over, plain and simple. Sure, he was obnoxious and laid-back, if not a little creepy. Sure, he introduced her to her husband. But he one of the most wretched creatures to set foot on this world. First, there was his money problem, or more specifically, his "lack of money" problem. You could argue that it wasn't his fault, but Adam literally refused to get a job of any kind, living off of food stamps and such. Second, he was a ravening sex addict. Whenever the opportunity arose, he would make an exceptionally perverted remark, usually aimed toward her. Though she originally thought he was a starved pervert looking for entertainment, she gradually got used to it. But, of course, if it wasn't for Trip, she would have nothing to do with it.

Anyway, about the reason she encouraged the little get-together. The other day, she was having a nice conversation with her husband, Trip. Trip, of course, casually brought up Adam. And she saw the look on his face. A nostalgic look of longing. And so, plastering on a fake grin, she suggested that he might come over for a little reunion. He eagerly accepted. She wanted to say she was happy for him, but she could not without lying. Grace always did what she knew was best for her lover, even if she didn't want to do it. Trip always argued with her, protested, pushed her away. She did so much for him, and wanted nothing more than to melt his icy exterior and reach the true warmth of his heart.

He just needs to realize that.

-:-

Trip walked at a quick pace into the kitchen. He wanted to make sure everything was in tip-top shape for Adam's visit, and he knew he'd want a drink or two.

"Where are the new wine glasses?" he asked his wife, who was busy at the moment, washing the dishes.

"What for?" said Grace. The idea of Adam in their apartment was bad enough, but a drunk Adam? Whatever microscopic sliver of self-control he had ever grasped would be lost.

Trip grunted in irritation. "That should be obvious!"

By now, Grace had stopped washing the dishes and had turned to her lover in exasperation. "Oh God, Trip, don't turn this into a big production, PLEASE!"

"Jesus, Gra-"

Trip's retort was interrupted by a sharp knocking on the door. This was followed by a hoarse, rough voice calling out "LEMME IN!"

"Uhp, he's here!" said Trip with a weak smile. That was Adam, alright.

"What?!" hissed Grace. "You told me it'd be an hour from now!"

The sharp, impatient knock continued, with enough strength to almost knock down the whole thing. Trip decided to answer before Adam broke it.

"No, he's supposed to be here now!" he called back to his wife as he approached the door.

Grace was fed up with Adam's shit, and he hadn't even entered the room yet. "God...Trip!

"COME ON!" shouted the hoarse, rough voice again. The knock continued again and another shout was just starting before Trip quickly opened the door.

"Adam!" Trip said, a warm, welcoming, and absolutely fake grin plastered on his face. "Ah, I'm so happy you could make it!"

Saying Adam was not much to look at would be a huge understatement. His hat was tattered, his coat was ripped and had a musky odor on it, his pants were covered in dirt, his boots were caked in mud, and his skin always seemed to be covered in a greasy oil. He had a curly, unshaven beard and hair slick with oil. His hair was so oily, in fact, that once, on a road trip back in college days, Trip's car ran out of gas. Adam merely wrung out his hair into the gas tank, and that was enough for one extra mile to take them home. Those were the days...

"We haven't seen you in so long!" Trip continued blabbering. He was about to continue when Adam spoke.

"Hey there, you sexy beast!" said the man at the door. This rendered Trip absolutely silent, staring at Adam, as if he were analyzing the data banks of his mind to determine exactly why the hell he said that.

Trip did what he always did in awkward situations. He laughed awkwardly. "Ha ha...Dude, that is a wierd way to say hello..."

He suddenly found himself pushed out of the way as Adam let himself in. He pursued, wondering what the sudden rush was about. "Well, come on in..." he said, a bit late.

Grace walked out of her hiding spot in the kitchen. "No, no, here we are!" she announced, trying to divert Adam's attention away from the bar.

"Where the drinks at?!" was his only reply. His intentions were clear: to get drunk without running a risk of being arrested for theft.

"Adam." Grace said, a bit more calmly, trying to ease her guest's nerves. "Hi! How are you? Oh, it's so nice to see you, it-"

Suddenly, it dawned on her what her guest just blurted out. She did what most people do when they don't know what to say: say "Uh..."

Adam turned to face her, seeming to notice her for the first time. A smile crossed his filthy lips. "Kiss me, you fool." he said, in a rather quieter tone than he had usually been talking in.

"Oh. Yes, let's..." Grace was aiming for a innocent, friendly cheek kiss, one that happened between close friends, with the customary "M-wah" sound. Whatever, she could wipe off the grease afterward, and it would look good for Trip. However, Adam's idea of a friendly kiss was quite different. His idea of a friendly kiss was groping Grace's ass, hard, leaning her back, and devouring her mouth like a starved wolf, complete with the snarling and slobbering. Trip watched in horror as his wife was abused in such a manner by his best friend, whom he had not seen in over five years. But he knew that this was just Adam being Adam, and he didn't want to make a scene. Grace was probably enjoying it, anyway...

When he finally released her, she gasped like an actor that was chewing the scenery a bit too hard during the drowning scene. Her face was now smothered in saliva, grease, and who knows what else. She tried to wipe it off, knowing Adam wouldn't give a shit. She regretted wearing a sleeveless shirt that night.

As soon as she collected herself, Grace, albeit gritting her teeth, said "Adam...you're so sweet."

Adam gave Trip a light peck on the cheek. Grace decided that kissy-time was over. "So, come in, make yourself at home..." she encouraged. She regretted it almost instantly.

First, he wiggled off his boots, which took a lot of stomping and kicking, which in turn flung mud everywhere. Then he shrugged off his coat and unceremoniously tossed it to the floor, though to his credit the flies which were swarming around the remains of the couple's dinner immediately besieged the jacket. He took off his hat and flung it at the wall, where it stuck. Grace didn't really want to know what sort of substance was on there that allowed it to do that. He then tromped off to the couch, in a stained wife-beater, dirty, torn pants, and yellow-stained socks which smelled so epically terrible that an entire choir of angels up in heaven smelled it, and proceeded to plummet toward the earth, dead.

He sat his nasty bottom on the couch, and, seeing as there was no footrest, rested his socks on their fresh, new carpet. Needless to say, both Grace's and Trip's patience were being tried at the moment. But the only thing that kept them from throwing Adam out of the window at that moment was their lover. Of course, they both thought that the other had no idea how much they cared about them, and what they were going through.

There was one thing on Trip's mind right then - alcohol. Maybe he could get Adam drunk to make himpass out, and toss him out the window or something. But he didn't, because he listened to his conscience, which said: Couldn't that get you in some serious legal trouble?

Nonetheless, he said "I'm gonna fix us some drinks." Besides, what was a college reunion without a little booze? Also, he had recently developed a fetish for fine European wines that he's been looking to try out at parties. And by fetish, I mean fetish in all senses of the word. He would have suggested that he and Grace try out some new things in the bedroom, but he and Grace never had sex anymore. Imagine that.

But I digress. Trip, feeling like quite the refined Englishman, said "Ah, you'll be the first to sample from my new set of-"

He was interrupted when Adam suddenly cried, in a tone so harsh that one might think that he was being shot in the thigh, "YOUR WIFE'S LIPS FEEL SOFT!"

Grace looked at Adam with a mixture of shock and disgust, then shot a pleading look at her husband, as if begging him to be her knight in shining armor and slay this foul creature. Trip, whose philosophy in life was Alcohol can solve all problems, just muttered "Uh - well, we should drink."

Adam got up from his seat and started to stare at their cardboard Christmas tree in the corner. "It's environmentally friendly, doesn't produce as much of a mess, and it's much easier to carry!" Grace would say when questioned. Grace sighed and buried her face in her hands at Trip's obsession with alcohol. Trip continued. "Let's have something fun, like margaritas? Everybody tells me I fix-"

"YEP, LORD KNOWS I'LL NEED IT!" Adam shouted, causing Grace and Trip to wince. Grace was standing in front of Adam, and decided that the last thing that Adam needed was a drink. She tried to change his mind in the politest way possible.

"No, no. Adam, maybe you'd like some juice, or a mineral water?" she asked, a hint of desperation in her voice. This left Trip stuttering "but...uh..."

Adam resolved this by shouting "HELL NO!", accidentally sending lobs of yellow saliva sailing toward Grace's face. She groaned in a resigned tone, wiping off her face.

Trip jumped in front of Adam happily, ignoring his despairing wife. "Excellent! It won't take me more than a minute!"

Grace attempted to relax a little and speak to Adam. With a little sigh and frown, she said "That's Trip, always happiest when he's making fancy drinks for everyone in the room."

Trip, partially realizing that he has kind of been an absolute asshole to his wife since Adam arrived, said "Grace, what can I get you to drink tonight? Surprise me."

Grace sighed again. She didn't drink a lot, but she definitely knew when she needed it. And this was one of those times. "Um...just a glass of Chardonnay for me, please."

Trip grinned. "Ah, Chardonnay! Certainly." That was one of the rare moments when he actually smiled; not one of those fake smiles he was forced to plaster onto his face at their parties, but a real smile. One that came onto his face whenever doing the only thing that truly made him happy, and that was mixing up fancy drinks.

Grace couldn't help but notice how quiet Adam was being. When she glanced up at him, she noticed that his eyes were locked onto one thing. Something located in Grace's upper chest region. He didn't even look away when she caught him. At least most perverts had a sense of ignominy...

Adam may have been a nasty scumbag, but he did have one redeeming quality - he was always honest. Brutally honest, in fact. Quite the opposite of Trip. He always tried to act to "nice" and "romantic" to her. But she felt like he was just clinging on to her, afraid to say what he truly thought. He may try to act nice, but she preferred an honest man to a nice man. Which leads to her next question: "So...Adam, you can help me understand where I went wrong with my new decorating." She chuckled.

She promptly turned around and walked toward her sculptures, pretending to examine them. Quiet footsteps followed her. Trip, predictably, babbled "Grace, oh no, we don't need to do that!"

Before she even turned around, she could feel Adam's hungry eyes burning on her ass. She was flustered, and felt like if she didn't do something soon, she would break down in a nervous rash or something. Just in time, Trip's voice called "Chardonnay, come and get it!"

Grace exhaled a small sigh of relief and turned to her much awaited and much needed drink, only to see Adam rush toward it and grab it just before she reached the glass. She was left stuttering "So, about my decorating...".

She promptly turned around and stalked toward the corner. She had always had an explosive temper, so counting to ten never seemed to work. So Grace did what she usually did: recite the periodic table. Backwards. In Pig Latin. She eventually found the strength to continue her unfinished sentence. She huffed and said "You know, I've been collecting these little glass sculptures for God knows how long now." She admired her collection, particularly the rainbow-colored object that looked vaguely...well, phallic. But that was a story for another day.

"I always hear people talking about them at our parties," Trip added, trying to get a word or two out of Adam. Big mistake.

"THIS TASTES LIKE SHIT!" bellowed Adam after a long swig from Grace's (now his, apparently) Chardonnay.

Trip, who had not yet considered the fact that Adam stole Grace's drink, said "Well, I'll just - put this on the bar for you," and placed the drink that was supposed to be Adam's on the bar.

Grace, still fuming from the overall crappiness of her room and lack of complaint from Adam, moaned "I bet I can return most of this, and start over again on this room..."

Adam approached her, and Adam waved the Chardonnay around, as if offering it to her. She made no attempt to grab it. "HEY GRACE!" Adam yelled in a manner that most people use to call other people 30+ feet away from them.

"Uhh!" Grace huffed, and she shamelessly covered her mouth and nose to escape from the stench of Adam's revolting breath. But she also had her hands clasped in prayer to kick this disgusting pig out of the room. Weren't there enough males she couldn't stand to be around in this apartment already?

Trip, for some reason (perhaps he was drunk, but nobody can tell since he is off the scree - er, I mean, never mind), said "See, Grace, as always, you're the only one unhappy with your decorating."

Grace just sighed. In response to this comment, Adam shouted "LET'S GET DRUNK!"

Trip smirked. "Oh, yeah, you know, I think I'll fix us another drink in not too long..."

Grace just looked nervous, hands folded. She looked even more nervous when Adam approached her like a wolf stalking its prey. Trip cowered, tail between his legs, too intimidated to defend his mate. When Adam backed away suddenly, Trip let out a quiet sigh of relief.

For once, Trip was aware of how awkward this was. He attempted to begin a conversation, saying "Ah-" That was as far as he got.

"NICE TITTIES!"

Grace's mouth and eyes shot open in shock and disbelief. Trip stared into the distance, blinking many times, as if making sure he just heard that right. Adam stood neutrally, as if he had just made a casual comment on the weather.

"Uh..." said Grace.

"Uh...uh, heh heh..." Trip added.

"Geez, I'm not, uh..." stuttered Trip.

"Uuh!" Grace harumphed in indignation.

"You, uh..." countered Trip.

Grace laughed in a very forced and awkward manner.

"Ha ha, heh..." added Trip.

"Ha ha ha ha ha!" laughed Grace, good-naturedly.

"Ha ha ha!" continued Trip.

"Ha ha ha, heh..." Trip concluded.

"HAHAHHAHAHA!" Adam finished.

"Adam." Trip said in a calm, warm voice. Grace laughed again, as did Trip. "Heh, you had me going there for a sec..." They continued laughing.

"I WAS BEING SERIOUS." said Adam in a somewhat quieter tone than usual.

Trip's face now morphed to a worried expression. "You're not afraid to say anything, are you? ...Push our little BUTTONS..."

"Heh heh, you're crazy, you know that?" That was probably the most honest statement Trip had made in a long time. Trip continued laughing awkwardly, which earned him a death glare from his wife, one that clearly said Shut up, goddammit.And he did so.

And after a big sigh from Trip, that little incident was over.

"Anyway, uh...what were we talking about?" Trip mused. Grace had a pained expression on her face. Possibly lamenting over her lost, much-needed, especially now, drink.

Speaking of which, Adam had just tossed it onto the counter. By some ghostly voodoo magic of some sort, it floated smoothly over and landed perfectly flat, not a drop escaping. "Goal!" said Adam, in his quietest voice possible, which is average shouting level.

Grace, wanting to distract Adam so he didn't blurt out any more obscenities, suggested "Oh, well, please, go look at Trip's Italy photo..." Trip suddenly seemed very eager to show off some random Italy photo.

"By the way, anybody, join me on the couch if you like." said Grace in a quasi-seductive manner as she headed toward the couch. She was aware that this clearly contradicted everything she has thought about Adam since his arrival. She was just trying to make Trip jealous, because she knew that Adam would want to sit with her. Of course, she would not let that escalate any further.

"Adam, this is making you uncomfortable," Grace observed. Even though "Adam" and "uncomfortable" were basically oxymorons. "See, Trip," she shot. "Was it really worth it to fly all the way to Italy so you could take that inane picture?"

"Grace...!" said Trip, surprised and somewhat sad. Grace just sighed, something clearly on her mind. Adam stood in the complete middle between the seperated couple.

"I'll take the picture down later tonight before I go to bed." Grace had given up all hope on pretending to be nice for tonight. She was now decidedly icy, and knew all too well that her coldness was biting into Trip's feelings.

Trip, desperate to try to clean things up, said "Adam, this trip to Italy was meant to be our second honeymoon."

Grace, oblivious of the fact that Adam was again dangerously quiet and slowly approaching her, said, with cold, humorless sarcasm "Oh, was that what it was? Huh, I'm always the last to know."

"Grace, I wanted us to spend some time together...!" Trip countered with annoyance clear in his voice.

"Surprise buttsex!"

Grace's mouth, once again, hung open. Though it was through two layers of clothing, the feeling of her rump being penetrated still came as a shock to her. Trip was silent as he watched his wife be not groped, not harassed, but DRY-RAPED by his best friend.

Adam stepped away and for once seemed to notice the appalled shock of his two hosts. "What?" he asked, and for a second the tiniest hint of sentient thought over his actions flashed in his eyes.

"What..." was all that Grace could say.

Trip walked, confused, in Adam's direction. Grace walked in front of her criminal friend and stuttered "He's..." She rubbed her violated bottom with one hand.

For once, Adam seemed to show some chagrin. "Just kidding?" he offered, hopefully.

The awkward silence continued. Trip made no attempt to laugh it off.

Grace broke it. "Let's get the, um...the, um..."

She continued stuttering. "We've got to take an - a, a look at the...um...

"Yeah..." said Trip.

Grace continued. "That - that electric socket in the - in the hallway..."

"It - needs - to be, aired out again..." muttered Trip.

"Ah, yes, right! Yeah..." agreed Grace.

Adam stepped forward apologetically. "A kiss will make you feel better." he said. He leaned forward and pressed a kiss to Trip's open, shocked mouth.

Trip stared on in silence. For once, he could think of absolutely nothing to say. His mind was in absolute static. As was Grace.

Adam stepped away, but one could not tell if he felt any guilt for the intense level of awkwardness he was causing.

Trip narrowed his eyes. "Okay," he said in a tone that would make any Façade player say "NOOOOO!" He hurried toward Adam. He could abuse his wife, he could grope his wife, he could steal his wife's drink, he could harass his wife, he could even rape his wife. But UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES would he give any of that shit to Trip. It insulted what little masculinity he had in him.

"Adam," he continued. "You know what?"

"NO!" was Adam's reply.

"I think you should leave." Grabbing Adam's shoulder, Trip escorted him to the door.

Adam hissed and then shouted, at the top of his lungs, "YOU MELON!"

Trip's eye twitched. He did not. He did not DARE just call him...that word. He picked up his pace with a grip that could crush the shoulder bone of a smaller man.

Trip opened the door softly, then threw Adam against the wall with the force of a catapult. Adam climbed out of the hole.

"FUKC YOU!" Adam misspelled.

"We'll be fine, you should just GO." said Trip, and he closed the door, not too hard, but hard enough to leave a sense of finality.

Adam turned back to the door, panic evident in his eyes. HIs lower lip quivered. The world was beginning to dim, losing what little color it had.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Adam howled the last of his energy out of him, then collapsed, welcoming the darkness that crushed him.