Thursday, November 9, 2017

Bartender! Another Insult, Please! Part 9

Beckett Reed and Samiyo Datoru
Original Characters 
Written by Snarks 

Beginning March 2014

I was surprised when the phone rang again later that morning and smiled when I saw the number on the caller ID. I looked at my watch and frowned. Shouldn't the boy be in school by now? I wondered.  Shrugging the question off for the time being I picked up the phone.

"Hello again, Kanonu." I greeted cheerfully.

At first I wondered at the silence on the other end, and that was when I heard the voice I most wanted to hear.  "Hello, Beck." Sam said quietly.

"Sami," I replied, feeling my heart race at the sound of his voice and worrying about what he was going to say.  I feared that I'd gone too far the night before and that Sam was only calling me to tell me he never wanted to see me again.

"Would... would you like to come over for coffee? If you're not too tired?" he asked tentatively.

"I'd love to, hon." I replied, feeling encouraged that he hadn't told me to bug off over the phone.  I hoped that he wasn't only being kind and planning to break up with me in person.

"I missed you last night." Sam said, in that same quiet tone.

"I missed you also.  I dreamed of you." I admitted.

"When can you be here?" he asked, "there's so much I want to talk to you about. So much..."

"I understand, Hon.  I'll be there as soon as I can." I said, snatching up my keys and preparing to head toward the door immediately. Since Kanonu had woken me up so early, I'd already showered and changed and had been watching television, hoping to either pass the time or fall asleep again.

I drove there in record time only to find my Sam standing outside, waiting for me.  I parked my car quickly and fairly ran toward him. He reached out his arms and wrapped them around me with such force I was nearly knocked over.

We stood on the front walkway hugging for several minutes, each of us apologizing softly, until the next-door neighbor yelled 'Get a room!' from his upstairs window.

I looked up at him but didn't respond. A strange expression crossed his face and he shut the window, closed the curtains and seemingly disappeared.

I raised an eyebrow at Sam who laughed and then rested his forehead against my chest. "I think we should knock on his door and ask if he'd like to join us for some coffee. What do you think?"

"Do you want to talk about last night?"

"Not yet. Let's... let's talk about other things for now. Please?"

I kissed him on the top of his head and hugged him again. I couldn't help but to smile when I saw the curtains in the neighbor's upstairs window close hurriedly.

"I'm sorry about 'Nu," he said as he served the coffee. "I had no idea that he'd been calling you." 

I knew he'd been upset when he heard his brother and I talking. I knew that Kanonu hadn't told his brother he had been calling, and I knew that no one else in the Datoru house had been awake at the time because neither of them would have allowed him to make a phone call at five in the morning. I'd been a bit disgruntled when the phone woke me up, and I'd been very disappointed to find the wrong Datoru on the other end of the line, but I was encouraged by what he'd said.

"He just doesn't have the shut off valve that the rest of us have. Whatever is on his mind, he says, no matter how inappropriate or embarrassing it is." Samiyo explained. "And if I'd known he'd been calling you I would have put a stop to it. Why didn't you tell me?" He asked almost accusingly, "I could have stopped him."

"I liked his calls," I replied with a smile, "He's a great kid. He's charming and funny, and smart as a whip. He has a great mind for details. He seems to have a wonderful grasp of mechanics, and he's interested in so many things." 

"Yes!" Sam nearly yelled happily, "That is exactly what we see in him, Mama and I, and people who are open minded enough to see Kanonu as he really is, and not just what they see on the outside! But people don't bother to get to know him. They just see what he acts like on the outside where he's nervous and feeling out of place."

"I can understand that. Just keep in mind that their refusal to get to know and understand him is their loss."

"I try to remind myself of that, but it's hard when I catch those cockroaches chasing him with sticks and calling him names." he said angrily. "And when you complain to the parents they say some bull !@#$ like 'Oh, they're just being boys.' Boy hyenas, maybe, but not human boys!" he growled. Then he took a breath and calmed himself down. "No use getting upset about it now, eh?"

"True enough. Tell me more about Kanonu." Except for his anger and upset when he spoke about the neighborhood kids and the way they treated his little brother, whenever he talked about his little brother his face lit up. The love he had for his mother and little brother was evident.

Sam laughed and shook his head. "'Nu's name was actually a joke."

"A joke?" I wondered why anyone would make a joke of their child's name.

"Well, Mama was in the hospital, in the delivery room, and according to her the doctor kept telling her to push! Push!" He related the story animatedly, "So Mama gave one almighty push and out came 'Nu like a shot with almost enough force to knock the doctor over. According to Joseph, the doctor nearly dropped him. So as a joke they named him Kanonu... it means cannon." he laughed. I loved the sound of his laugh and had missed it the night before. "Joseph wanted to give him the middle name of Rogodo but Mama said absolutely not."

At my expression of inquiry, he explained, "It would have made his legal name Cannon Ball."

"When did you move to America?" I asked after we'd done laughing.

"I was just two years old at the time. There were no jobs to be had for a single mother, and she had no one to help take care of me while she worked at the hotel. One woman was so impressed with how thoroughly Mama would clean her room, how honest and sweet she was, that she asked if Mama would like to go to the United States and work in her house."

"It was a good job, much better money, a place to live, so she said yes. Miss Leila found a wonderful day care for me, and by the time I got home Mama would be done working and she would make dinner. She and I, and Miss Leila would sit in the kitchen and eat, talk about our day. Miss Leila was like the grandmother I never had," he said fondly.

"But then she died. Heart failure. Mama and I were heartbroken, but then the most amazing thing came out of the tragedy. Miss Leila had no children or other family to leave her money to, so she left most of it to Mama, and some in trust for me. Miss Leila's only condition was that Mama use some of the money to go to nursing school. And so she did."

"Mama is a nurse! I should I have known." I laughed. 

"Her patients call her The Angel, and have given her many angel figurines over the years," he said, "Mama keeps them in her room to keep them safe from accidents." Suddenly shy he said, "Come with me a moment," and led me upstairs by the hand.

When we arrived at the top of the stairs he turned right into the first bedroom. 

"This is the bedroom that 'Nu and I share. Sit, please," He said, motioning to the full-sized bed. A twin bed took up the opposite side of the room. I nearly laughed. It looked as though there were an invisible barrier in the center of the room. Sam's side was almost militarily neat and clean while Kanonu's side looked as though a tornado had gone through it.

"I keep this in the closet because I'm afraid that 'Nu will accidentally knock it over," he continued, taking a box out. He pulled out an angel. Cream colored robes were edged in gold, it's pale blond hair fell to it's shoulders in soft waves, it's blue eyes looked lovingly down at the child whose hands it held. Gently curved wings nearly enfolded the child as though to keep him from harm.

"When Joseph was sick, he asked Mama to buy me something special. That last day in the hospital, he gave this to me. He said that he would always be with us." Sam stopped speaking for a few moments, swallowing against the tears that threatened. 

"He said he would always be watching over us. He said that he was proud of me. He said that he knew things would be difficult for me, now that I would be the man of the house but that he also knew that I would do a good job and that I would grow into a man that he would be proud of. He apologized that he hadn't adopted me and given me his last name, but that in his heart I would always be as much a blood son to him as Kanonu was."

Sam took a deep breath and looked down at the angel in his hands. "He said that one day, when things seemed at their bleakest, my guardian angel would come to me and make himself known... and that he would take care of me just as I take care of 'Nu and Mama."

He looked up at me, his amber eyes searching my pale blue ones. "When I got home that night, when you wouldn't take no for an answer, Mama was home having a cup of tea. Someone had given her a pin in the shape of an angel, and she was wearing it on her collar. It made me think of this, and this... made me think of you." He said softly, one finger stroked the angel's porcelain cheek. "The first time you hugged me... when you wrapped your arms around me, it made me think of the angel's wings, and I felt... safe."

"But I was afraid. Afraid that you would get to know me and decide you didn't like me as much as you'd first thought. I was afraid you'd leave me. I was afraid that my sarcasm would eventually drive you off..."

"Which is why you tried to drive me off last night." I stated. "I had the feeling that you were testing me."

He looked down at the angel, I could see that he was upset and uncomfortable, and feeling a little guilty.

I took his chin gently in my hand and turned his face toward mine so that our eyes met again. "I meant what I said, Samiyo Datoru. I do love you. With all of my heart. I'm not an angel by any means but I do want to help if you need help. I want to protect you if you need protection. And I'm not going to leave you."

He gave me a somewhat watery looking smile but he didn't allow the tears to fall.

"I love you, Sam, and I even love your smart mouth, however," I said more sternly, "You will not use your sharp tongue on me."

He smiled, a combination of embarrassment and sheepishness which nearly made it impossible for me to say the words that came next.

"You've told me a lot about your family and about yourself, and I feel it's important that I tell you a few things about myself. I want to be with you, always, but there is a chance that you may choose not to be with me after I say what I need to say."

Samiyo looked up at me uncertainly.

"First of all, I'm thirty years old, eight years older than you. Is that going to bother you?"

Sam nearly laughed and then shook his head. "Joseph was fifteen years older than Mama when he married her at the age of twenty. Age means nothing, Beckett, it is merely a number. Now if you were, say, fifty years older than I am, I might have to think about it." He smiled to take the edge off of his words.

"Second, and this is important, Sam," I continued seriously, "I had a partner. He died eight years ago in a car accident."

"I'm very sorry to hear that," Sam replied, sorrow clear in his eyes. 

"We had an arrangement that some people might have found odd if it had been known, and if you and I are to be together... if you aren't frightened away and if you consent... we may have a similar arrangement."

"And that is?" Sam asked, curiosity and a little wariness on his countenance.

"When my partner, Xavier, would say or do something inappropriate, or something dangerous, I would spank him." I said as gently as possible, looking for Sam's reactions.

Sam was quiet for a long moment. I half expected him to throw the angel at me and tell me to get out, rule of hospitality or not. Instead he stared down at the angel as though it would speak and give him the answers he sought.

"You said if I consent?" he asked quietly.


"And if I don't?"

"Then we find what works for us and do that. I'm not going to demand that you do anything that you're not comfortable with. No matter what we decide, I respect you, and always will. What you want and what you feel are important to me."

"Beckett..." he began before trailing off.

"Talk to me, Sam. Tell me what's on your mind."

"Last night, you only took me off guard. I wasn't expecting you to do that. No one outside of my family has ever done that... but... it felt... right, somehow. That's why I had to get away. I had to think. I wondered if it were a onetime thing with you. But..."

"But..." I prompted.

"I loved Joseph very much, and Mama means the world to me, but I don't want another parent..." he said, looking worriedly up at me.

I smiled reassuringly at him. "We will not have a 'Daddy and Boy' relationship, although I may refer to you as my boy now and again, in an affectionate way. Is that all right?"

"Yes, I ... I'd like that, but... what about..." 

"You and I are equals, Sam. If there is a decision to be made then it's our decision, not just mine. But..." I continued seriously, "If you do agree to a discipline relationship, then where discipline is concerned, what I say goes. If you've done or said something completely out of line, I will spank you, and it will be more than one swat. If you decide that it feels natural and right, as you said before, you have to decide if this is something that you can live with."

"Will you use your hand? Mama uses a wooden spoon," he shivered. "How would you do it?"

"We would discuss that and decide what would work best for you."

"There was an old man in Nigeria, before we left, he would chase me with a switch and use it if he caught me. Please don't ever use a switch on me, all right?" he asked earnestly.

"Never. I won't use anything that you don't agree to beforehand. Agreed?" I asked. It took some self-control on my part not to become angry at the man who would have taken a switch to a toddler.

Sam bit his full lower lip in thought. "I... I think that this is something I would like, Beckett," He replied, looking back up at me with just a hint of that wariness still in his eyes, "But if I decide that I don't like the arrangement after all...?"

"Then as I said, we find what does work for us. My love for you is unconditional. You don't have to submit to a spanking, and I don't have to spank you to love you." I smiled at him.

He smiled back. "Then yes, I agree."

At first, I felt more than a little guilt making love to Mama Emira's son in her home, but other feelings overwhelmed me and within minutes, I forgot where and even who we were, as our bodies ceased to be two individuals and seemed to meld into one energy filled with sensations I hadn't felt in eight years.

Bartender! Another Insult, Please! Part 8

Beckett Reed and Samiyo Datoru
Original Characters 
Written by Snarks 
Beginning March 2014

Emira Datoru was just turning off her alarm clock when she was fully awakened by the sound of her youngest son screaming as though he were being boiled alive.  A sure sign that he'd done something to dam up Samiyo's endless supply of patience.

She rolled her eyes as their neighbor pounded on the wall and yelled at them to shut up.

"I can't believe you did that!  How dare you?!  You little..."

"Samiyo! Da nigba ti o ba wa ni wa niwaju!"  She called firmly as she got out of bed, wrapped a shawl around herself and walked quickly down the stairs to the living room where her two sons were shouting at each other.  (Stop while you're ahead!)

"Mama! Mama!  He's gonna kill me, Mama!  Get him away from me!"  Kanonu shouted, keeping the refrigerator between himself and his older brother. "Away from me! Away from me."  He repeated in a near whisper. "Keep him away. Away."

Emira closed her eyes.  'Nu was repeating himself, always a bad sign when he was upset, it usually led to him hitting himself on the head.  Sometimes it was a bid for sympathy, but most times it was real, and then she had to hold him until he calmed down.

"I'm not going to kill you, Nu, but you're gonna wish I had when I ..."

"Samiyo!"  Emira said loudly enough to be heard over the two of them.  

"Mama!  You don't know what he did!"

"Mama!  He's gonna kill me!  Gonna kill me!  Kill me!"  The boy's hands clenched and splayed repeatedly.  Yes, this was for real.

"You had no right..."

"I only wanted to help..." Kanonu replied, his eyes unfocused and looking somewhere at the wall rather than his brother.


"Tell him to stop!  Stop!  Stop! Tell him..."

"Tell him to stand still so I can..."

If there was one thing Emira disliked it was yelling.  She had made a point to bring her sons up by example, and rarely yelled, nor did she tolerate them yelling at each other unless it was in play, and outside the apartment.  Resorting to her second option, she picked up two sauce pans and clanged them together, wincing as their neighbor made it clear that he had both heard and disapproved of the noise coming from their apartment.

It did the trick however, and both of her sons stopped dead in their tracks. 

"Sit."  She ordered, pointing with one of the pans toward the couch.

"Mama..." Both boys said in tandem.

"Sit."  She said levelly as she put the pans on the counter before opening a drawer and taking out the dreaded wooden spoon.

"Make him sit first."  Kanonu said, still keeping the refrigerator between himself and his brother. "Make him sit first.  Sit first."  He said, looking somewhere over Sam's shoulder.

"Samiyo," was all his mother had to say.  He sat on the couch with a thunderous expression aimed at his little brother.  As usual, when he was particularly angry, he wished that Kanonu would go somewhere. Anywhere.

Emira motioned to Kanonu who then entered the room and sat on the love seat, eyes on his brother and ready to run if Sam so much as twitched a finger at him.

"Samiyo, tell me what happened."

"He's a big mouthed shi..."

Without a word, Emira picked the spoon up from where she'd placed it on the coffee table and advanced on him.  

"I'm sorry, Mama."  He said as he put up his hands in surrender.

"Samiyo?" She asked again.

"He called Beckett!  He's been calling him all along to 'chat'! He told Beckett... jeez Mama he told Beckett pretty much everything I've ever said about him!"

"I was only trying to help!"  Kanonu protested again. "Trying to help... to help..."

"Help!  You humiliated me!  I don't think I'll ever be able to look him in the eye again!  What were you thinking?"  Sam yelled at his brother.

Kanonu stubbornly refused to respond to his brother, focused his gaze on their mother and refused to speak to or acknowledge Sam, although they could both hear him whispering the last words that had come out of Sam's mouth while he twisted his fingers into pretzels.

"Samiyo," his mother said in warning.

"No Mama!  I'm tired of this!  You let him get away with murder and I'm just supposed to say, 'Oh, that's all right. Go ahead and f*** my life up...', ahhhh!  Mama!" He protested loudly as his mother brought the wooden spoon down on his thigh six times.

"Lan-gu-age!" She warned.

She then turned to Kanonu, got him to his feet and gave him three whacks.  Her youngest son opened his mouth to cry but she cut him off.  "Hush you!"  She told him sternly. "You had no bus-i-ness calling Bec-kett for any reason, es-pec-e-al-ly not this morning."

Before he could justify himself, she said, "What happens between Bec-kett and Sa-mi is between them, and you just keep yourself out of it.  Do I make myself understood?"

"Yes Mama. Yes, mama, yes." Kanonu replied quietly.  

She noted the lack of echo and tears and took a deep breath to calm herself down, "Did you call Bec-kett this morning?" she asked, her accent thickening as it often did when she was angry,

"Yes Mama." Kanonu replied.

"What time did you call him?"

"I don't remember," He said, looking at the clock above the television set as though it would tell him.  "Don't remember." he repeated wringing his fingers into what looked like painful knots.

Emira looked at the clock which now read 5:34 am and sighed.  Her shift at the hospital started at 8 and she hadn't even had her shower yet.

Five thirty-five.  "And you told him what Sa-mi told me?" She repeated, trying to remain calm.

"Yes Mama.  But I was only trying to help," the teen said, tears welling in his eyes again. "trying to help... to help."

Samiyo had been about to say something akin to 'I told you so' when he noticed his mother run a hand across her eyes. A sure sign that she was tired and worn out, and Sam felt the guilt hit like a fastball. 

Everyone had known that Kanonu, from the day he was born, was going to have difficulties.  Even though he was still very young, he'd been tentatively diagnosed with PDD which had been changed to Asperger's as he'd gotten older, his father Joseph, the only father Sam had ever known, had died four years later of complications due to pneumonia. Sam had been as much of a help to her as any ten-year-old could be, but that had still left a lot for his mother to deal with on her own.

"Mama... I'm sorry. It's not that big of a deal.  I... he just... surprised me is all.  I'm sorry," he said earnestly. "You go on and take your shower.  This is ended as far as I'm concerned, all right?" he said softly, taking the spoon away gently and wrapping his arms around his mother.

"I'm sorry Mama.  Sorry Mama.  Sorry." Kanonu echoed.  "I'll go get dressed." He said to the floor as he headed toward the stairs and up to the room he and his brother shared.

"Go on, Mama," Sam said quietly, giving his mother another gentle kiss and hug.

"I know that things have not always been easy or fair for you."  She replied quietly, looking into eyes that were almost the mirror of her own. "I know that your brother does get away with a lot more than you ever did, and that I have asked much of you ever since he was born.  And..."  Ever since Joseph died, she thought, but couldn't bear to say aloud.

"Mama, it's all right.  I'm all right.  I just forgot myself for a little while." Samiyo said, hugging her tightly.  "It's early, I was still half asleep when I heard him, I wasn't thinking clearly.  Go on now."  He smiled.

She smiled gratefully at him and went back upstairs to shower and get into her nursing uniform.

He hated it when he upset her, and he hated it when he lost patience with his little brother because those were the times that he felt he'd let Joseph, who had asked him to watch over them, down.  With a quick prayer of apology, he quickly made a pot of coffee, toasted bagels, set out coffee cups, poured a glass of milk for 'Nu and placed his meds beside the glass.

He thought about what he'd heard Kanonu saying when he'd come downstairs for a glass of milk and he blushed hotly.  It was then that the boy came down, neatly dressed, into the kitchen with his eyes averted.

"'Nu, I'm not mad anymore.  I know you meant well and I'm not mad, all right?"  He said gently, ducking a little to see his brother's face.

Kanonu looked up from under full lashes and focused his gaze somewhere around his brother's left ear, "OK?"  He asked.

"OK."  Sam repeated.  "Can I hug you?"  It was important to ask his little brother if touch were all right.  He'd learned long ago that his brother didn't always react well to being touched but would tolerate and sometimes even return a hug if asked.

Kanonu held out his arms and buried himself in his big brother's embrace.  That was how Emira found her two boys when she came down for a quick breakfast.


Bartender! Another Insult Please! Part 7

Beckett Reed and Samiyo Datoru
Original Characters 
Written by Snarks 
Beginning March 2014

Taking deep breaths Sam turned on his laptop and queued up his playlist to listen to his favorite boys’ choir.  He found the music and the angelic voices to be very relaxing and conducive to clear thought.

He laid on his bed, thinking about Beckett's smooth skin beneath his lips, the feel of their kiss, and his heart beat quickened.  Then he thought about the spank.  It had been more of a surprise than painful.  And Beckett's words.  He'd been so... not angry, just... firm... stern.  In a way that only his mother had ever been.  In a way that Kanonu's father had been.  

He blushed, thankful that no one was nearby to notice.  His mother, of course, had smacked his backside more than once while he was growing up, and had no problem, even though he was twenty-two, giving him the occasional swat when she felt he was out of line with her.  He had learned early on to curb his tongue around her.

But Beckett.  Samiyo closed his eyes and shook his head slightly as was his habit when he wanted to get his thoughts in order.  He clasped his hands over his lean stomach and breathed deeply, a relaxation exercise that Kanonu's father, Joseph, had taught him to use when the neighborhood kids had been teasing his little brother.

The swat hadn't hurt in the slightest, and he didn't believe that Beckett would have harmed him.  He was a forceful man, which Sam discovered that he liked.  He found Beckett's confidence as attractive as the man himself.  He'd enjoyed Beckett's pursuit of him.  There had been no tiresome flirting, simply statements of fact.  Beckett exuded an ease and presence that Sam had found alluring.

But the spank had taken him off guard.  It had been as intimate as the kiss they'd been sharing.  It had been not unlike the ones his mother still meted out on those rare occasions when he forgot himself, but the sensation that had shot through him had been entirely different when Beckett had done it.  It hadn't hurt.  While it had taken him by surprise, it had felt right somehow, and Samiyo struggled to figure out why.

Beckett's words replayed themselves in Sam's mind, 'If you aim that sarcasm at me again I'll give you more than one swat, understand me?'  'You will not sharpen that tongue on me.' 'I have no intention of leaving you.'

And there it was, he thought. He had expected that Beck would be like so many of his past... he wouldn't call them lovers since nothing more than a little kissing had ever occurred between them. But without fail, once they'd met Kanonu their interest in him had waned and died.

He didn't blame his little brother by any means, but those instances had convinced him that he'd never meet anyone who could get past the surface of the boy, and see the wonderful child that he really was.

Beckett hadn't seemed phased by 'Nu, which he appreciated, but he was sure that it would only be a matter of time before the man did as the others had done, and just stopped calling him.

His mother had warned him more than once about his sharp tongue. He had gotten into more than one fight as a result of his sarcasm.  Other kids had shied away from him in school because they were afraid of his biting remarks, and Samiyo's best friends had been the books in the school and public libraries.    

They didn't make remarks about his brother, tease him about the absence of a father in his life, or make fun of his mother's weight.  There he'd found friends who spoke to him, told him amazing stories both real and imagined, and welcomed him with open pages.  

'I have no intention of leaving you.'  Beckett's voice echoed in his mind.

His thoughts were interrupted by a soft knock at his door. He knew it was his mother because Kanonu was more likely to barge in and jump on his bed rather than knock.

"Come in, Mama."  he called.

His mother walked in with a smile and approached her son's bed.  Sam sat up and moved over to make room for her to sit down.  He watched, admiringly, as his mother gracefully crossed the room and sat beside him.  Anger flared up in his chest as he thought of the close minded, cruel people who made snide comments about her.  He wished again that they could see her the way he did.

She leaned forward and gave her oldest son a kiss on his forehead, letting the kiss linger until she felt the tension ebb from his face and neck.

"Do you want to talk about it?"  She asked gently.

"Talk about what, Mama?"  Samiyo hedged.

"What is bothering you, of course."

"What makes you think anything is bothering me?"

She smiled, a beautiful, soft smile that always made his heart want to explode for love of her.  "I know you, mi dun kekere ọmọkunrin.  I know when you are happy and when you are sad.  This is the music you listen to when you are upset.  I know when you need a shoulder, and I have two, good strong ones.  Talk to me, ifẹ." (mi dun kekere ọmọkunrin - my sweet little boy)  (ifẹ - love)

He looked at his mother, her face so much like his own, her heart, bigger than the hearts of all the people who lived in their complex showing in her beautiful eyes.  His heart welled again with love and admiration.  She had given up so much for him.  Her place in her family, her life in Nigeria.  If she had given him up at birth she would have eventually been forgiven by her parents and been accepted back into their family.  Her friends would not have abandoned her.  But she'd chosen to keep him, and had given up all she might have had for him.

He reached for her, enveloped her in a hug and kissed her soundly on the cheek.  She hugged him back, one of those hugs that lingered long after she'd released him and calmed him inside.

"Is it Bec-kett?"  She asked knowingly as she searched her oldest son's leonine eyes.  "You have had an argument."

"Not... exactly."  Sam replied, not sure how to tell his mother exactly what had happened and how it had made him feel.

"You are here, and not with him. You have perhaps unleashed that viper tongue on him and you now feel badly?" She answered, a soft smile on her lips.  

His silence and downcast eyes were answer enough.

"What happens between lovers is personal and private, and long gone are the days when you would tell me everything. It is a part of growing up.  However," she continued, the hardness that would creep into her voice when she was displeased making itself known.  "You are old enough now to know when it is necessary, and when it is not."

"You do not unleash that sharp wit at home, why?"

"Because you'll smack me if I do."  Samiyo quipped then allowed himself a small laugh as his mother gave him a swat.

"Because you are among people who love you unconditionally, and accept you as you are.  Do you think that Bec-kett would have pursued you had he found you unattractive in any way?  That includes your mouth," she continued before he could argue that it was only a physical attraction.

"I have been advising you for years to stop and think before you speak.  Not everyone is your enemy," She said, unknowingly echoing Beckett's words, "You do not need to protect yourself with Kanonu and I, nor do you need to do so with Bec-kett.  It is clear that he loves you.  You have driven off everyone who has shown interest in you, and yet this man will not be driven away.  That is love.  Think about that, eh?"

"Yes Mama."  Samiyo replied, somewhat chastened. There was no way that he was going to tell her why his past relationships hadn't worked out, though he was pretty sure she already knew.

"It is late now.  In the morning you will call Bec-kett and apologize for your words."

"What if he doesn't accept?"  Sam asked sadly.

"If he is the man I think he is, he will take you back with open arms."

"Mama..." he began uncertainly.

"Yes ifẹ?"

"Beckett... he... I mean, he...."  He trailed off lamely

His mother's eyes narrowed, "Did he harm you?"

"No.  No of course not," Sam answered hastily,  "He didn't harm me.  I just wonder, no one has ever stayed with me for long.  My biological father left.  Joseph died and left us."  He continued, referring to Kanonu's father.  "Other than you and Kanonu I've never been close to anyone before and it scares me."

"Joseph did not leave us willingly, kekere ọmọkunrin.  If people have not been able to become close to you it is because you have not allowed it," she said gently.  "But I believe that Bec-kett loves you.  He has heard how you deal with people, and yet he still pursued you, pursues you still. Speaks with you nearly every night, sees you as often as he can."

"Sleep now," she said, reaching out to smooth back his hair, "Call Bec-kett in the morning.  I believe him to be a good man.  I trust him with one of my most precious possessions, and I believe that you should trust him as well.  Dara bayi?" she asked as she pulled his head over to rest on her shoulder.  (Dara bayi? - Better now?)

"Bẹẹni Mama, dara."

"Good night then, mi omo."  (My baby)

"Mama," he complained half-heartedly as he slid back down to rest his head on his pillow.  He fell asleep dreaming of the feel of Beckett's lips on his own.


Bartender! Another Insult, Please! Part 6

Beckett Reed and Samiyo Datoru
Original Characters 
Written by Snarks 

Beginning March 2014

It was another week before we could see each other, since our schedules clashed, and even as the owner of my gallery I couldn't justify taking off too many nights, especially when we had a huge showing like tonight.  However, we did talk frequently on the telephone and sent emails or texts when we weren't able to talk.  I did receive several calls from his little brother, 'just to chat'.  I found the conversations enlightening and enjoyable.

We had finally made a date to get away for Wednesday night and Thursday when the gallery and bar would both be next to empty.  We hadn't any set plans other than to go to my apartment to have a homemade dinner, and relax in each other's company.

Other than chaste kisses I hadn't made any real moves on him yet, but I hoped tonight to get more than a taste of his full lips, and perhaps convince him to stay the night.  I'd found that while I was wildly attracted to him, and according to his brother the feeling was mutual, I fantasized frequently about simply holding him close, falling asleep with my chin on his shoulder, feeling the smooth warmth of his skin, the steady rise and fall of his chest as he breathed.

That Wednesday he was scheduled to get off at nine so I went in at eight thirty to sit and nurse a beer while I watched him work.  I heard him as soon as I saw him, fending off amorous customers and joking with the wait staff.

"Hey Sam!  I had a guy complain to me that you're a smart !@#.  I stood up for you though buddy!  I told him you're just an !@#."

"Jonah, you marvelous man you, thank you."  Sam replied sweetly, "Oh and by the way, tomorrow is trash day so remember to stay inside while the trucks are coming by."

"!@#$ head." Jonah laughed as he picked up his orders.

"Nik ni ọwọ rẹ ki o si gba labara ara rẹ ni oju."  Sam replied as he bowed toward his coworker.

"You bet my wish is your command, smart !@#."  Jonah quipped back.

I'd heard him say that before to Crow, but there was something in my Sam's smile and the sly cant of his eyes that told me, without doubt, that was not what he'd said.

One woman wouldn't stop hitting on him as he worked and I couldn't help but to smile.  I felt that I knew him well enough to know that even if he were interested in women, she wouldn't be on his list.  She was loud and wore entirely too much make up and perfume.

"Hey! Hey! Hey!! I'm talkin' to ya!  HEY!  What's your problem?  Your mother raise you to ignore a lady?"

His face froze into an expressionless mask for a moment at the mention of his mother, then he turned to look at the woman.  "I never ignore a lady,” he said pointedly, before turning his back on her to wait on his other customers.

"Hey! HEY!  Are you always an !@#$%^&* or do you only act this way when I'm around!?"  She countered.

"You do manage to annoy me, I'm afraid." He said sadly.

"What! Now you're sayin' I annoy you?  I annoy you!?"

"Oh, not all the time, sweetheart," he was quick to reassure her,  "Only when you breathe."

She sat for several seconds, mouth opening and closing although thankfully no sound emerged.  Finally, she slammed her hand down on the bar, got up noisily and flounced away. I winced when I saw the seams of her silver lame’ dress stretch dangerously tight over her more than ample hips.  

I have no problem with large women.  As a matter of fact, I have to admit to myself that if I did fancy women, I would fancy larger women over their skinnier counterparts.  But I did have a problem with people of any size wearing clothing that was obviously too tight or too loose on them. 

It wasn't long before yet another person tried to hit on him.

"Of course, I'd love to go out with you," I heard Sam say as he smiled that coy, enticing smile that sends jolts through my body.  "We'll make it a threesome!  This is my boyfriend. Isn't he delicious?"  Sam continued, coming around the bar to embrace me.  The words 'My boyfriend.' rang in my ears. I looked down at Sam and then gave the other man an appraising look.

The patron looked at me, blanched until he was nearly as white as I am, apologized as he paid his tab and quickly made his way to the side exit.

I didn't know whether to be offended or not.  I'm just a hair over six feet and athletically built, but I don't exactly picture myself as Herman Munster.  I looked questioningly at Sam.

"Oh, you have no idea, do you?  That makes you even sexier."  He purred.

"OK, so clue me in?"  I smiled, nibbling at his ear and neck, inhaling his cologne as he drew me away from the bar and into the darkened, currently unused coat room.

"You have that lovely, exotic, pale skin and a face like an angel, but when you get angry or jealous your eyes turn nearly white with just a hint of pale blue, like an iceberg.   It's thrilling, frightening, and ever so sexy at the same time. Guys who see that don't know whether to jump your bones or wet their pants."  he joked.

"Oh, marvelous," was my wry reply as he continued to kiss my neck.  I put my finger gently beneath his chin and directed his lips up to mine, conveying with that one kiss what I didn't seem able to tell him verbally at the moment.

His eyes widened and he licked his lips before standing on his toes to kiss me back, long and hard.  The jolts of electricity became full on lightning strikes.

"You know, I thought..."  I said breathlessly.

He drew back slightly and in a sad tone replied, "A thought crossed your mind?  Oh, the poor thing!  It must have had a long, lonely journey." 

"Hey!  Aim that somewhere else, little boy!"  I replied sternly as he laughed. 

"Whatever you say, my little schlemiel."  He said, wrapping his arms more tightly around my neck.  

I surprised him by swatting him on the rump.  He drew his hands back to cover his backside.  "I can't believe you just did that!"  He gasped.

"If you aim that sarcasm at me again I'll give you more than one swat, understand me?"

"I... I... you... you..."  He stammered.

"You will not sharpen that tongue on me," I said firmly, pinning him with my gaze.  "or call me names. And as far as some of the things you say to the customers here, that is going to be toned down.  Quite a bit.  Understand me?"

"I don't... you can't... I..."  Large, black rimmed amber eyes seemed glued to mine.

"Samiyo Datoru," I said more gently, watching as he nervously licked those full lips, "I am not the enemy.  I have no intention of leaving you.  From the moment I saw you I knew you were what was missing from my life, and I'm not going to let it go for any reason."

Softening my expression and my stance.  "Now, if you would still like to go home and have dinner we can do that.  If you'd rather take the time to think about what I said then I understand, and I'll drop you off at your apartment."

"No... n-no t-that's all right..."  He stuttered.  "I'll just go... go home.  I mean, I'll walk."  He replied.

I opened my mouth to tell him that I was giving him a ride but he turned and all but ran into the kitchen.  I would have followed him but I was stopped by Gordon, who refused to let me pass.

"Come on Gord!  I'm family!"

"Insurance regs, Beck, you know that.  Besides, after the debacle with the dishes, Pop said you were banned."

"Oh, come on Gord!  That happened when I was twenty!  And if I remember, your father took strips out of me for it!"

Gordon put his arm around me and lead me toward the bar where Gary had just arrived to start his shift.  "You just have a seat and a cola and then go home."  He said kindly, "Whatever happened with you two, you'll work it out, just give him time."

He leaned down and whispered in my ear, "He's been a lot kinder... a lot sweeter since he met you.  You're good for him.  Don't f*** it up."  Then he patted me on the shoulder and went to make his rounds.

I left my cola untouched and went to stand by my car, but there was no sign of my Sam.  Finally, I went home and laid down on my bed, thinking about my Sam and his eyes, before I fell asleep to dream about his kisses.