CHRIS BEDELL
Staff Writer

A gust of wind howled in the background as Liam walked up to the bar. He was currently standing on the massive acres of the Ridge Brook Country Club. It was the annual Founder’s Day Party. Liam grabbed a pre poured glass of champagne that was on the bar counter. The liquid fell into his mouth as a burning sensation pricked his throat. It wasn’t long before the alcohol trickled down into his stomach. A scorching sensation lingered for another moment.
His eyes scanned the rest of the people. That made him chug down the rest of the drink. He had actually made it out of the small town. It was a tricky issue. He might have criticized the wealth but it was the same wealth that let him have an Ivy League education and see the world.
His trip to Indonesia still burned in his mind. That was one vacation that he wouldn’t forget. He couldn’t. But no amount of wealth would change the fact that Ridge Brook was just another stereotypical cliché small town where people’s dreams died while they slaved away at jobs they hated.
A few hundred feet away a rugged 20-something man shuffled over to Liam. His name was Steven. His slightly unshaven face really made his appearance pop. It was why he suspected that Liam fell for him in the first place. That was certainly a complicated situation. And Steven knew it.
A small gasp formed on Steven’s face. “Long time no see, Liam.”
He crossed his arms at him. “I have nothing to say to you, Steven.”
“You are the one that left this town.” Red remained stained on his face.
His heart thumped louder with each passing beat. “Can you blame me? There was nothing left in this small town for me.”
Steven’s eyebrows made half circles above his eyes. “What about me?”
Liam snickered. “Are you kidding me? You’re the one that made it clear that you didn’t think of me like that. But yet you still enjoyed seeing me drool over you and hang on your every word. Tell me something how is your harem of women, Steven? You might have everybody else fooled, but I see right through you. You are nothing but a big fat phony. And you know what, it was disgusting.”
Opaque beads plopped down Steven’s face. He just couldn’t believe it. Liam had done the one thing Steven never expected. He stood up to him. It was something Steven only wondered if it would happen.
Liam shot Steven a glance. As much as he hated the boring small town setting it was all coming back to him. The matter trickled down in his brain for another moment. And as it did, he hated to admit that this was why he was intrigued by it in the first place. The rush from the drama was something. But just like any other day in the past, Steven left Liam wanting more.
That was the worst part of the whole situation. It was never over with Steven. The turning of one page just meant another. Although Liam was actually looking forward to the next incident!
Rain drops crashed into the ground. He grinned a little. Liam realized that things were definitely not over with Steven.
Steven furrowed his eyebrows a little. “What if this time I want things to be different?”
Liam cackled. The sound of his voice washed through the air. “I would say that you’re lying.”
Red stained his face. “You have no idea what my life has been like, Liam.”
He crossed his arms together. “Then tell me, what’s it been like?”
Steven let out a hiss. “It’s complicated.”
The emotional intensity of the situation strangled Liam. He just couldn’t believe it. Steven had been a lot of things to him over the years. But this time was a new low. Liam remained dumbfounded as to how Steven could just stand there as if not one day went by, all the while still playing the same games. It was disgusting. The worst part was that Liam knew that Steven got off on the unhealthiness of the situation. It was written all over Steven’s face.
Steven licked his lips. “Don’t you miss me, Liam? I mean, I know a lot of time has passed by but I still think about you all the time.”
“I don’t know what you want me to say, Steven.” His stare remained fixated on the ground.
He rolled his eyes at Liam in a flirtatious fashion. “I know you’ve missed me.”
Liam’s eyes bulged up. “That doesn’t matter. None of what happened or didn’t happen matters.”
“Don’t be like this, man. It can be different.” Steven scratched an itch on the back of his neck.
Liam sucked in a gulp of air. His chest bobbed up and down a couple of times. “You still didn’t answer my question.”
“And what’s that?” asked Steven.
He inched closer to Steven. “What do you want me to say?”
Steven didn’t even hesitate. “Nothing! You don’t have to say anything.”

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