Before There was a Saturday
by Sebastian Blade
all rights reserved
Note: My grasp of Catholic tradition and methods is squishy... no disrespect is meant.
"Where is this man of yours," Aunt Cordilia asked as August leaned to kiss the back of her fingers. "I've heard so much about him."
The fur of her wrap brushed against his hand. He smiled softly. If being a lawyer hadn't given him a second sense about people, living with his extremely dramatic and political family would have done the job. Something was bothering Corey. As soon as August figured out what it was, he was going to solve it.
"I expected him here," August said, he leaned closer, smiling, "Thank you for the desk. He was very impressed."
Now that was an understatement. As an engagement present, Aunt Cordillia had given Corey a twenty thousand dollar antique desk. August's sandal wearing, second hand clothes, food bank running red headed finance had been impressed enough to about swallow his tongue. That had really been the start of the growing distance between them and August knew what the answer was. He just didn't want that to be the answer. He wanted Corey to come around, to just understand that August didn't need him to be someone else and Corey didn't need August to be someone different. A desk was a desk and no, he couldn't sell the desk that Aunt Cordillia had given him, even if he did have to take up two offices at Saint Sarah's.
"I hope he gets here soon. The second act is my favorite!"
August nodded, offered her his arm. "Let's get a glass of wine, Auntie," he said, patting her hand. In a very elegant tuxedo, tall, brunet, he hardly seemed the son of a senator anymore, more like a senator in the making. "I think they are doing a splendid job. I hope Corey is able to join us. Sometimes his work requires him to attend to emergencies."
"So he started his practice as a psychiatrist," she asked. "It's always good to have a doctor in the family. Have you set a date yet, my dear?"
"Not yet," August admitted, as they stood in line for the elegant marble bar. "I'm hoping for next summer. The summer does such lovely things to his hair. It's quiet red."
She patted his arm and smiled up at him. "I'm so glad you're happy, Auggie. I was very worried for you for a while, so wild, if you know what I mean."
"No idea," he said, though his smile admitted that he did.
Corey's room at the Richard's home was attached to August's room with a bathroom connecting them. He'd never meant to live with his lover before they were married. There were enough concerns about if he should be marrying August in the first place and he couldn't bring himself to stop sleeping with his lover.
He prayed. He wished. He willed. He sucked.
In several senses of the word. August did not seem to understand how important faith was. Money did not buy faith.
They'd talked, days, hours, months.
August knew that Corey grew up at Saint Sarah's. It was his family. What kind of a man betrays his family?
Corey's stomach knotted. Taking care of other people was how he paid for being the only member of his family to survive, to survive things he wasn't going to tell August or anyone else what had happened. He didn't even trust his own memories. He'd been five. It didn't really matter. They were dead. He wasn't.
He was in love with the most perfect man in the world, who was rich, kind, loyal, heaven on Earth in bed, who loved Corey with more passion than Corey had imagined humans being able to love each other. He knelt by his bed, head on the bed, just to the side of the beautiful custom made tuxedo that he ought to have been wearing. He imagined wearing it, standing next to August, saying nice things about the play they were expected at. He was betraying August by not going. He could still go. He should go.
Panic closed his throat, made his head hurt. "God, please, please, I need to know what to do! How do I serve you and still take care of Auggie? Tell me where you want me? What should I do?"
"Why are you still here?" Roman asked as he pushed the door open, while trying not to seem as if he were pushing the door open.
Roman was 19, the youngest son of the Richard's family.
Corey jumped to his feet, one hand squeezing his knuckles. "Good evening, Roman."
"You should just give that shit up," Roman sneered. "The only one that listens to you when you get on your knees is my brother. He deserves someone who will at least put on presentable clothes and go out with him, not embarrass him. You have a PhD. How can you possibly believe in some stupid myth?"
"The love of God is not a myth," Corey said, angrily.
"I suppose not," Roman said, arms across his chest, a sneer on his face, "I guess the love of God is what got a gold digger like you a room in our house. How long do you think it'll be before my brother realizes that he's carrying around a peasant who won't be dressed well enough to take out our trash."
Corey's heart hurt, a ripping agony. He covered his mouth with his hand and stared.
"Oh? Is the little god boy going to cry," Roman asked. He gave the door a shove, making it hit the wall. "I thought your kind hated gays, but here you are banging my brother, collecting expensive gifts from my family, and standing my brother up at important dates. He told you it's important, right? Are you going let him down all the time?"
"No," Corey ground out.
"So you're a liar as well as a faggot and a priest wanna be," Roman snarled. "I'm only saying what everyone else wishes they could say."
"Leave me alone," August whispered.
"Why don't you act like a man? If I said shit like this to August he'd find a way to make me pay for it, but you... you won't even tell him I bitched you around, will you?"
"No," Corey admitted.
"Well, this went better than I thought," Roman said, a vicious smile on his face. "See you tomorrow, bro."
Corey ran in the bathroom, shut the door, told himself he wasn't going to puke, but did anyway. Darkness from the past, layers and twisted hurts that he couldn't even begin to sort out in that moment swallowed him and he found himself curled against the bathroom door.
Corey's doors were closed when August got home and he was angry enough to think that might be a good thing. He didn't know what had happened. Some homeless teenager with a cold or a baby needed diapers, or fuck knows what had taken his little cleric away into the night. He slammed his door hard enough that Corey would know he was home. The red head always slept light, always, unless they actually slept together.
Breakfast was served, but Corey didn't show.
Lunch was served. Corey didn't answer his door.
Roman laid low.
August called Saint Sarah's. The Mother Superior hung up on him. He called back. A younger sister asked him not to call again. He called back. The same sister told him that Father Anderson was no longer in Detroit.
Roman had never heard his older brother scream. He'd never heard anyone scream like that, as if one's soul could be drawn out and burned at the same time, as if all life could bleach away its color and leave a person living. He sat on his bed, arms around his knees.
The doctor was called, August sedated. August's father called the church. He sat with August that afternoon, smoothing his hair, rubbing his back, telling him the stories he'd told him when August was a little boy. August clung to his father, rocking and crying. He never told his son that it would be okay. He didn't lie.
Roman stood in the door, arms wrapped around himself.
Six months later, August requested an appointment with the Archbishop. Corey loved him. He knew he did. He knew he loved Corey with a stronger conviction than ever. All he had to do was convince the Archbishop to get Corey back to Detroit and then Corey to come home. If Corey won't come home, August considered joining the priesthood. He did look good in black. He hadn't been back to court since Corey had left, but he straightened his tie, smiled like his cocky self, and strode into the office of the Archbishop. Plan A almost always worked.