There was one rule that David ought to have learned by now. One rule, but it was the big one, the big kahuna, numero uno. The First Rule of Fight Club, if Fight Club had been about sex.
The rule was: don't sleep with straight guys.
It was always very flattering at first. 'You're the only one who ever made me feel like this. I never understood how much I could want someone until I met you. You've opened my mind forever.'
And then they turned up to the bar on Friday night and told you that they were engaged to your sister.
"Engaged," said Mike. "Dana and I. We love each other, okay?" He looked like he meant it – and so did Dana, who was sitting next to him and beaming.
"Funny," David said. "Very funny." We spent three hours in bed together last night, and we sure as fuck weren't talking about my sister.
"I don't know why you're so surprised," Dana said.
There were lots of reasons – and David was even more surprised when, underneath the table, Mike's hand landed on his thigh. Maybe it was just an attempt at comfort – but no, no. The next thing Mike's hand did certainly proved it wasn't that.
Okay, David thought. I'm hallucinating, maybe. Or dreaming! That's it, this is a nightmare. Any moment now, he was going to wake up.
The second time, David managed to keep his composure, though it was a close thing.
"Right," he said. "Right. What about—" Dana and Mike had broken off the engagement after just three weeks; David and Mike had only fucked, like, four times during that period. David considered that to be restrained, given the circumstances. Then Chris had come along and it was easy to leave Mike behind. Apparently Dana thought so, too. "Nevermind," David said, glancing at Dana's delighted face. "Congrats. I'm sure you'll be very, um, happy?"
They celebrated with a few more drinks, but when the bar closed, Chris sent Dana off on her own with a lingering kiss, gazing deeply into her eyes before whispering, 'goodnight, my darling.'"
When she'd gone, the two of them were left standing alone on the sidewalk. "Want to come back to my place?" Chris said. "This doesn't have to change anything, you know."
"Of course it does!" said David, but he let Chris put a hand on his ass as he flagged down another cab.
Eric skipped the step of telling him in the bar and broke the news while they were in bed together. It was not the best sex David had ever had.
"Well, we have some news," said Steve.
"Let me guess, you're engaged to Dana," said David.
Steve liked some unusual stuff – David had even invested in a clown costume. He'd thought he was safe with this one. Apparently not.
By the fifth time it happened, David was over it.
"I just want you to know," Andy said. "I never meant for any of this to happen. I never meant to hurt you in any way."
"You didn't mean to start dating my sister behind my back?" The words burst out before he could control himself. "'Oops, I'm sorry, David, somehow I started dating your sister!'" he mimicked. "'Oops, I'm engaged to her now! I hope you're not hurt or anything, David.'"
Okay, maybe he wasn't over it.
Andy's next words didn't help. "Look, it wasn't until I met you that I even thought I could be gay. I fell in love with you as a person."
David had heard that before. Four times, to be exact. "I think you should go, Andy," he said.
Andy didn't say anything in response… but it was no surprise when he reached over and put his hand on David's leg.
Plus 1. Jake
"Don't get upset," said Jake. "But—"
Dana wasn't even there at the bar, so David had a brief surge of hope.
It was – inevitably – dashed.
"I'm kind of engaged. To Daniel."
"Daniel. My brother Daniel?"
"Uh," said Jake. "Yeah. I didn't intend it! It's just, once you showed me that I could be gay—
"Right. Of course."
"The thing is, though," said Jake. "I was wondering…"
"What?" David resisted the urge to bang his head on the table.
"I was wondering if you wanted to join us?"