What Jordan Wants | Chapter 2 | A Blog Serial by Jessie G

© 2018/2019 Jessie G Books, Inc. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author is strictly prohibited. https://jessiegbooks.com

Chapter 2

Caleb Butler

“Twice in one day? If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were following me.” Caleb did know better, but he couldn’t pass up the chance to fluster the unflappable Jordan. Getting him to choke on his drink was immensely satisfying and Caleb jumped at the chance to touch. Could a hearty slap on the back be considered foreplay?

“Damn it, Caleb.” With his drink wobbling in one hand, Jordan grabbed a handful of paper napkins with the other and tried to minimize the mess. “Where did you come from?”

Charmed by the less than enthusiastic greeting, Caleb made himself comfortable on the empty bar stool at Jordan’s right and pointed toward the doors of the club. “Front doors just like everyone else.”

“Asshole.”

Clutching a hand to his chest, Caleb batted his eyes, and cooed, “Oh, baby, you know I love when you talk dirty to me.”

That earned him a signature Jordan mumble. God forbid we make a scene by actually scolding him out loud. Oh no, not his perfectly pressed Jordy. The only thing better than ruffling those feathers was soothing them and Caleb itched to hug that stiff body until Jordan let him back in. The thought was a harsh reminder just how far out of Jordan’s life he was and their current location only drove the point home.

In their many attempts to build something together, Jordan never would have agreed to go clubbing. Too many people, too much noise, too overwhelming. Where Caleb thrived, Jordan shriveled up. Caleb understood, truly, but he believed there had to be a middle ground. Jordan, not so much. Instead of trying, he put up these ridiculously flimsy walls and then acted surprised when they crumbled around them.

Jordan liked to say it was his fault, but they both knew better. No matter how much it killed him to stay away, Caleb never made a move without encouragement. Be it with a look so filled with longing it made his heart hurt or actual words, Jordan was a master at goading him into action, but they were both at fault for the aftermath.

From anyone else, it would have been an unhealthy, hurtful game that Caleb never would have tolerated. But Jordan? Jordan thought he was protecting Caleb and Malik. It defied reason because Jordan would never willingly hurt a fly. At the same time, for as smart as he was, he didn’t understand that his form of protection was actually causing harm.

It was that bafflement the kept Caleb from giving up when any sane man would. The thing was, Jordan didn’t understand that he was the love of Caleb’s life. Oh, when things were good, he would soak up the three little words and give them back earnestly. Then anxiety and insecurity would conspire, and their relationship became a casualty of that ongoing war. Maybe for some that in itself would be reason enough to run, but again, Jordan held his heart, so how far would he really go?

A depressing stream of nameless, faceless bodies attested to his inability to really move on. They were good when the stress of the job became a desperate need to feel alive, but they weren’t Jordan. No one ever would be and yet, Caleb would let go if Jordan found what he needed with someone else.

Which begged the question, “Is this stool taken?”

Jordan made a face, like he’d asked a ridiculous question, and that too was heartbreaking. Mutual friends said that Jordan was applying for monk-hood and some gave him the stink-eye because he wasn’t as enamored of celibacy. They didn’t know why and Caleb didn’t find it necessary to explain himself, but Jordan knew and that was another obstacle to overcome.

“No, I…” Jordan swallowed and waved a hand around the club. “It’s my brother’s place and his partner has been raving about this new quartet they added to the rotation.”

Caleb couldn’t have been more surprised if Jordan had said he was here on a date. “Your brother owns The Royal?”

“Yes, uh…” The sad puppy eyes Jordan turned his way weren’t nearly enough.

Caleb knew the Alexander’s were a large, tight-knit family, though he never met them. He thought he understood why. Now, he was just confused. While not exclusively a gay club, The Royal was well-known in the LGBT community. The owner was proudly out and his recent engagement caused quite the stir.
“What can I get you to drink?” The man behind the counter looked between them curiously and all Caleb wanted to do was punch him.

“Darius,” Jordan groaned, head hanging low in embarrassment. “Not now.”

It took Caleb thirty seconds to realize this was the brother cum club owner and that even with the three of them face-to-face, Jordan still had no intention of introducing him. Was, in fact, embarrassed by him. Caleb didn’t think they could find new ways to hurt one another and hadn’t expected this stunning blow.

“All this time, I thought your family didn’t approve. Why didn’t you…?” Caleb let the question hang as the brothers looked at each other, one curious and the other devastated. As the seconds ticked by and the tension grew, Caleb knew he was losing again.

“Darius.” Jordan’s voice wobbled and Caleb willed him to stop. He didn’t want anything Jordan wasn’t willing to give and this…this was the opposite of willing. Back to the wall, body strung tight, he could barely force the words out. “This is Doctor Caleb Butler. He’s…he is…he was…”
Stumbling over what they could be, Jordan met his gaze and whispered, “We keep hurting each other.”

The words weren’t for Darius, though their audience didn’t look like it was going away any time soon. Caleb didn’t care either way. “Why? Just tell me why.”

“My family would love you.” That sounded like a good thing, except… “They wouldn’t understand why we don’t work.”

“Well, that makes all of us.” Caleb certainly didn’t know, and he didn’t think Jordan was any wiser. “Do you know why we don’t work?”

“Cause I’m—” Jordan gestured to himself like that was an answer. All Caleb saw was the gorgeous, stuffy, desperately-in-need-of-a-hug man he wanted to love until he died. “And you’re—”

Again, Jordan gestured and added a leer that made Darius chuckle. “I’m not sure if I should do the polite thing and leave you two to figure out what the hell is going on or make some popcorn and call the twins?”

Jordan glared at his brother, “Do whatever you’d expect us to do if it was you and Julian.”

Darius tipped his head from one side to the other as if he were thinking about it, but instead of leaving, he offered his hand across the bar top. With Jordan watching them closely, Caleb accepted the offer. “I guess you’re the one that got away.”

More like the one Jordan kept pushing away, but that wasn’t really Darius’s business. “If that’s true, I’m not getting very far.”

“You love him.” Darius wasn’t asking, so Caleb didn’t answer, and that only seemed to amuse the nosey Alexander. “Don’t let him run you off.”

“I’m not going to stay where I’m not wanted.”

Darius looked between them and chuckled again. “Yeah, I don’t think that’s the problem.”

Jordan groaned and covered his face, clearly mortified by his brother’s antics. “Seriously, Darius, could you give us some privacy?”

When they were as alone as they could be in the crowded club, Caleb turned on the bar stool and looked Jordan over. Whatever else was going on, he didn’t want to trigger an anxiety attack. “I didn’t mean to make a scene.”

“You didn’t.” Jordan glared daggers at Darius’s retreating back. “We did.”

Arguing over who was at fault wasn’t going to make anything better. Whatever the Alexander family issue was, none of this would have happened if he hadn’t approached Jordan in the first place. But he’d been so surprised and yes, happy to see him at the bar, that Caleb didn’t think logically. All he saw was a chance to spend time with the man he loved, however fleeting and awkward, instead of respecting the boundary Jordan set when he left.

“Do you want me to leave?”

“No!” That was encouraging, at least until Jordan added, “I mean, it’s not like you’re here with me. Are you meeting someone?” What started out as a curious question, soured quickly and Jordan’s gaze darted around the room. “Oh fuck, are you on a date? Is he here? Should I leave? I should leave.”

Caleb slipped off the bar stool, blocking Jordan’s retreat, and did what he wanted to do since that morning. No, since the last time Jordan call them quits. Hugged him until all that tightly coiled tension eased. Hugged him until Jordan’s own arms came up, hands grasping for purchase, and a small sob escaped him.

“No date, Jordan, just…” Caleb hesitated.

He’d come looking for life. Good music, a little flirting, the hard crush of bodies on the dance floor, and maybe someone to get lost in for a couple of hours. Jordan had willing buffeted that mood many times in the past, and he was the only one that had more than a temporary effect. Where the others were mere bandages, Jordan had the ability to stop the hemorrhage and promote real healing.

That is, until they hurt each other.

“Oh, baby.” The whisper made his heart clench and Caleb instinctively stepped back.

Jordan knew what he’d be looking for after a rough day at the hospital. But if they were going to try again, they absolutely couldn’t start with a pity fuck. Forcing himself back another step, Caleb resumed his seat and waved down a bartender. He was on call, so no matter how much he wanted a drink to ease this conversation, he settled for club soda and a moment’s reprieve. All the while, Jordan stared and when Caleb finally looked back, the hunger in those dark depths was overwhelming.

“You need to stop looking at me like that.” Because, fool that he was, Caleb wanted to give in and that wouldn’t help them in the long run. “The next time I take you to bed, it will either be the beginning of forever or our final goodbye.”

As often as they came together and broke apart, neither had risked actually losing each other by issuing such an ultimatum. They’d played the game, making up the rules as they went, and accepting them because the alternative was never being together at all. They both deserved better though and this time, they would either commit to making it work or finally call it done.

The little chuckle in his head said he was all talk. Jordan probably knew it too, but one of them had to make a stand. Even if it was a flimsy as Jordan’s walls.

“You didn’t answer my question this morning.” Though he doubted Jordan forgot, Caleb repeated it. “What do you want?”

“I’ve only ever wanted you, but how can that be enough?”

“That’s everything, Jordan. How can it not be enough?”

“And when you realize I’m holding you back?”

“From what?” Even if Jordan wasn’t interested in doing something Caleb wanted to do, he never once tried to hold him back. Yeah, he wanted Jordan by his side always, but Caleb understood that sometimes that couldn’t happen. That was life, compromise, and he accepted that. Or, he thought he did. “Did I really make you feel like you were holding me back?”

“No. Shit. That’s not what I meant.” Jordan squeezed his eyes shut and Caleb’s heart went out to him.

“Jordan, let’s—” Caleb groaned when his phone began to vibrate. Fishing the offending device out of his front pocket, Caleb didn’t have to look at the screen to know their conversation was over. Being on call was a way of life, something Malik had learned in the cradle and something Jordan never complained about. Right now, though, Caleb wasn’t a fan.

“You have to go.” Gone was the panic that had Jordan in its clutches only moments ago. In its place was understanding and a little awe. How many times had Jordan called him a hero, even when he ultimately couldn’t save the life he was fighting for? Most days, Caleb didn’t feel very heroic, but he appreciated that support too much to want it to stop.

“Yeah. I’m sorry.”

“We never use those words. Not for this.” Jordan touched his hand briefly, maybe a little sadly. “Will you… I know you won’t come to me, not like this. But, could you maybe not find someone else. Just until we can finish this conversation.”

With half his brain already out the door, it took Caleb a second to understand and all he could do was growl in frustration. “If I promise that, what will I get in return?”

“I’ll tell you what I want and why I don’t think it’ll work.”

Caleb laughed. It wasn’t funny, but he laughed like a loon. “For someone so stiff and proper, you sure know how to play dirty. But fine. You’ve got two days. If you can’t make it by then, don’t bother coming at all.”

With that parting shot, Caleb left Jordan where he found him and tucked the whole scene away to be examined later. Jordan was never far from his mind, but the young lives that counted on him deserved better than a doctor who brought his problems to work. That line had kept the balance this long and no matter how badly he wanted answers, Caleb wouldn’t cross it now.


Come Back in May for Chapter 3

© 2018/2019 Jessie G Books, Inc. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author is strictly prohibited. https://jessiegbooks.com

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