Peter lay awake for a long time, watching Stuart sleep quietly in his arms. He reached over and ran his fingers across Stuart's face. The younger man looked so different when he was asleep. He didn't have that perpetually worried look on his face, and Peter could now see why so many men were interested in him... he'd seen how Cole Riccardi looked at his assistant. Not to mention a few others around the studio.
A lot of people made the mistake of thinking he didn't know what went on around him. Sure, he acted indifferent. And sure, he was a lot of the time. But not always.
He gritted his teeth as he thought about the boy that had risen from Stuart's bed - the very one who had fled in the face of Peter Dragon's wrath - and he would never forget how Stuart looked, lying on his stomach, his face pressed into the snow white pillow, the crumpled sheet around his butt and the boy, a slim dark youth running his hand over Stuart's back and ass.
He hadn't been that angry in a long time. Hell, he knew Stuart had boyfriends - what was that ones name from last year? The tall one? He couldn't remember. He just never liked the prick. There was just something about him... Peter was sure that the asshole had mistreated Stuart in some way. And then there was that fucking foreigner - damn! He couldn't think of that assholes name either. What if he had brain damage from the accident? He chewed on his lip worriedly and slowly reached up to touch his head to check for damage when Stuart rolled over and hugged him closer, murmuring his name.
Peter smiled and patted Stuarts back, sighing as Stuart scooted closer. His mind drifted on to the other boyfriends that he knew Stuart had been with. That tall one - what *was* his name? Brian? Something like that. He would come to the studio parties with Stuart and sneer at Peter every chance he got.
Bastard. Peter thought about how he treated Stuart in public, trying to isolate what it was about him that he couldn't stand. He held Stuart tighter and closed his eyes.
<I hate that they treat you like a whore> Peter thought angrily, <like you're some fucking trophy. Then they drop you like you're shit when someone younger sashays past, waggling his ass in their face. And I hate that they take you for granted, think you should be grateful when they look in your direction. You deserve more than that.>
Suddenly, he touched his head again, <Yeah, definitely brain damaged!>
It was strange, daylight didn't come slowly, softly bathing the island in a dawn glow before the sun rose gently over the horizon. No, it was like someone turned on a five hundred watt light-bulb in the tent, the piercing sunshine crashing into both men's less than restful sleep.
"Oh God, turn that fucking sun *off*!" Peter snarled.
Not quite conscious, Stuart buried his face in Peter's chest, running his hand down the body beneath him and murmuring something in a husky tone.
Peter shivered as Stuart's hand came to rest on his crotch and he rubbed softly, at the same time wriggling his body against Peter's.
Peter Dragon wasn't gay, he'd never been particularly turned on by guys, but he wasn't so far over the heterosexual fence that he'd never *noticed* them, either. And at this moment, what Stuart was doing felt great.
Suddenly with a jerk, Stuart came to consciousness, snatching his hand away and tripping over the words, "Oh... I'm sorry.. I didn't, I forgot... I never meant... Oh God... No, I mean... I -"
"Relax Stuart, who am I going to tell that I woke up being groped by you?" For once Peter was laughing.
Stuart stared uncontrollably, "Oh. Yes. Well... sorry."
Peter pushed himself up and crawled from the shelter. Already the heat was building and he immediately began to shed the layers of clothing. "Hell, I could do with a shower!"
Following him out and also removing the now sweltering sweaters and jacket, Stuart remained silent, still blushing over what had just happened.
"That looks very inviting," Peter sighed as the clear, cool water beckoned.
Both now down to a pair of shorts and still sweating, Stuart peered into the water, "Wonder if there's anything dangerous in there? Like alligators or piranha?"
With a grin and a shove, Peter pushed Stuart into the pond, watching as the younger man thrashed about, swearing and cursing. After a few moments, he shook his head. "No, doesn't look like it."
Slipping off his shorts, he plunged into the welcoming water and swam towards the waterfall.
"God this feels so good," Peter sighed as he floated past Stuart.
"Peter, I've got to tell you something." The younger man's hair stood up at the ends, looking adorable as the bright sunlight glinted off the wet strands.
"What?" Peter sighed again, closing his eyes as his body bobbed in the water, feeling truly free.
"Have you heard that Cole Riccardi is opening his own studio?" Stuart sounded nonchalant as he swam in circles around his boss.
"No!" Peter's eyes flew open. "What in the hell!? He's my *star*!"
"Yeah, well.. I didn't know if you had heard." Stuart said quietly, standing in the clear water and looking down into Peter's face.
"Fuck no," Peter said, disgusted. "Tell me about it."
"It's called Pride Productions, and er.. it's.. ah..."
"Gay and Lesbian friendly," Peter supplied with a smirk.
"Yes." Stuart nodded, looking relieved.
"Can't you even say the word 'gay', Stuart? Are you that - oh forget it, I'll sort it out later." His eyes closed and he relaxed again, determined to enjoy his time in the water.
"I'm going to work for him, Peter."
Peter Fucking Dragon sank like a stone.
"Peter!" Stuart shrieked as his boss disappeared from sight, "Peter, oh God...crocodiles? Peter!"
With a splutter, the older man surfaced. "You're *what*? You're leaving *me* for Cole Riccardi?"
Shaking with a mixture of relief and fear, Stuart headed for the shore.
"Hey, don't you walk away from me... well swim away..." Peter made a grab and pulled Stuart back into his arms, "Why?"
"Peter, this isn't really the time or place. I shouldn't have said anything. I'm sorry."
"Just tell me why?"
"Because it's an excellent career opportu.."
"Bullshit! You know what Hollywood is like, a gay studio won't last five minutes."
"Peter, lots of people in Hollywood are...that way inclined.."
Say it, Stuart. Say;*gay* or homosexual or something but stop pretending that if you don't say it it's not real."
"I don't think that."
Peter frowned, "Yes you do. You're gay, Stuart, but you can't even say the word. Are you so damned ashamed that you can't use the correct terminology?"
"No!" Stuart turned in Peter's arms angrily, "I have never been ashamed of what I am and I've never made any secret of the fact."
"What about being 'ashamed' of the fact that you're hot for *me*?" Peter watched the color drain from Stuart's face. "What? You thought I didn't know?"
"Contrary to popular belief, I am not totally clueless, Stuart. I know you've always been attracted to me."
"You never said.. you don't mind?"
"It's no big deal for me, I'm not going to fly into some homophobic panic attack if that's what you mean."
Stuart shook his head and looked away, "I'm sorry Peter, I never meant it to be so obvious, I never meant it to happen at all."
"It's okay. So, why are you leaving me for *Cole Riccardi*," Peter spat the stars name with venom.
"Because, he.. I.. you see, we're.." Stuart trailed off and looked over to the bank. "I think I need a drink."
"You're not going to find anything to drink up there, Stuart." Peter said. Suddenly a thought struck him. "This isn't about money is it? I mean, he's not going to be able to pay you what I do - plus you've got that fantastic benefit plan, don't you? And the IRAs and things.. what could he give you that I haven't?"
The two men stared at each other for a long moment when Stuart stood up straighter, suddenly seemingly resigned to something. "Cole is very good to me, Peter. He wants us to run the company together... we're -"
"Don't tell me - he's your *lover*?" Peter stared at the younger man, aghast.
"Yes, Peter, he is. Remember the invitation you got to our commitment ceremony taking place next week?" Stuart said almost angrily, jerking away from Peter, easily pulling out of the other man's stunned grasp. "I believe your words were, 'Fucking fags, next they'll be wanting me to pay for the ceremony.'" Stuart was shouting now. "Fine! I may be a 'fucking fag' Peter, but at least I didn't have a frog up my ass!"
Peter watched as Stuart stormed out of the water, his mouth hanging open. "That wasn't really your invitation was it?" He shouted up at his companion who was walking into the jungle. "Stuart, come on, please? I didn't mean it! I didn't mean anything by it. Stuart!" Peter struggled out of the water and followed after his assistant. "Stuart, I -" But Stuart was gone. Peter stared around the leafy expanse of jungle and sighed. He turned and went back to their shelter and sat down, looking at the crumpled space they had shared.
He remarked to no one in particular, "There wasn't a frog up my ass."
The silence was almost tangible and unbelievably painful.
There was never true 'silence' in Hollywood, there was never true anything there. Everything was phoney and trite and no one really mattered.
But here, in this wilderness, Peter *needed* Stuart, they needed each other to survive and they were falling into a Hollywood snit over a gay relationship that shouldn't really bother a 'straight' guy anyway.
But this gay relationship threatened Peter Dragon's little world and more importantly it meant he was losing the only man he really trusted.
Peter fucking Dragon was *not* taking this lying down and Cole Riccardi was *not* having Stuart.
Stuart sat at the waters edge, idly flicking pebbles into the water. He was trying to hide the fact that he was upset, but Peter knew him too well to be fooled.
"Will you look at me?"
"What do you want, Peter?"
"I want...I ...oh hell." Peter sighed and leaped to his feet, moving over and sitting beside Stuart, "I..I don't want to lose you."
Stuart nervously glanced sideways at his companion, "What?"
"I don't want to lose you to fucking Cole Riccardi."
"I love Cole..."
"No you don't! You love *me*!"
Stuart jerked as if he'd been shot, and he shook his head. "What does that have to do with anything?"
"A lot, I'd say, wouldn't you?" Peter asked, amused.
"No, no... you see, you're *straight*, Peter," Stuart said slowly. "Straight men don't fall in love with gay men. The other way around, yeah... but only in fairy tales does Prince Charming ever come and -"
"So why do this?" Peter persisted. "Why have this ceremony?"
Stuart sighed and looked out over the beautiful blue water. "Did you love your wife?"
"Is this a trick question?"
"No, of course not." Stuart sighed then persisted, "Did you?"
"Yes, I loved her."
"And when you were with her, you weren't lonely anymore, right?"
"For awhile, yeah."
"There's your answer. Cole loves me. I'm tired of being lonely. Cole... understands."
"Like hell!" Peter said desperately. "Look, I'll do -"
"No you won't because I don't want you to." Stuart smiled a wan smile. "Besides the point is moot right now anyway, right Peter? We're stuck on this island and we'll probably never get off."
"Stuart, please..." Peter watched as Stuart walked off. "Stuart, please?"
Stuart didn't look back.
They lay in silence, close, their bodies touching, and all they could both think about was what a mistake they had made.
"I never wanted to love you, Peter."
"Don't leave me for Cole, Stuart."
"So you want me to just hang around and *pine* for you?" Stuart's voice was heavy with emotion, "Is that it?"
"No. I just don't want you making a mistake and getting mixed up with Cole Riccardi. Hell, I *know* how persuasive the guy can be...*do* I know."
"At least he cares about me, he said he'd always take care of me and protect me."
"Stuart, I could buy you a fucking Rottweiler that would do that!"
"What's the big deal, Peter? *You* don't want me, but you just don't want Cole to have me? What is this, some game where you don't want the other kids to steal your toy?"
"That's not what I meant." Peter turned to face Stuart. Pushing himself up onto one elbow he tried to peer through the darkness, "I rely on you, I t...trust you. I don't have anyone else that I feel that way about. I know that I don't exactly inspire loyalty amongst my employees!"
"That's because you're a totally ruthless bastard, Peter."
"Well, yeah, there is that I guess. But, shit...Stuart, I *need* you." Suddenly Peter reached down and touched Stuart's face Leaning in he kissed the younger man, slowly, deliberately.
"Please don't do this to me, Peter. It's *not* fair, you're still using me, don't you see? Just like all the others."
"Can't you believe that I feel?" Peter asked, touching his forehead to Stuart's.
Stuart closed his eyes and shivered with the emotions he was feeling. Suddenly his eyes snapped open and he murmured, "But you don't feel anything but 'want' Peter. I need more than 'want'... I need love."
Aghast, Peter stared down into Stuart's face. Could he truthfully say he loved Stuart?
Before he could make his decision, Stuart smiled wistfully. "It doesn't matter, Peter. I understand."
Quickly, Stuart wiggled out from their shelter. Peter peered out of it and saw Stuart running away.
Would he be able to keep Stuart?
How could he keep him?
What could he do?
"Dammit." Peter cursed. Alone in the darkness he buried his face in his hands. He'd really fucked up this time.
It was beginning to get light when Peter heard the sound...an engine, definitely an engine. Rushing from the shelter he grabbed the flare gun that they'd found in the plane.
"Stuart? Stuart! Can you hear that?" Straining to see something, hear something definite, Peter bellowed Stuart's name again.
Suddenly he saw the other man appear from the trees.
"I can hear something!"
"No shit? Maybe they just have big dragonflies around here?" Peter growled, "Just keep looking."
The sound was getting closer and Peter took the chance of firing off a flare.
When the package dropped from the plane to signal that they'd been spotted, Peter wasn't sure how he felt about being rescued now. So much had changed, when they got home, so much would be different, Stuart would be gone.
Twelve Hours Later
They were seated in a plane, back to Hollywood - back to life... and Peter Dragon wasn't sure he would consider it life without Stuart there. Sure, he'd said the other man was his whore.. but he meant it in a *nice* way. Really.
Stuart made his life bearable. He made sure Peter had the right foods, the right drinks.. the right everything! Who would take care of him when Stuart left?
"Mr. Dragon? We'll be landing soon." The attendant smiled as she headed down the aisle, and Peter looked over at Stuart.
"Me? Fine. Just fine, Peter." Stuart smiled. "I'll be fine."
Peter wondered if he would be.
As they disembarked the plane, Peter scanned the terminal, his feeling of relief dying as Cole Riccardi swept Stuart into his arms and pronounced, "I was so worried about you!" Cole and Stuart embraced again, this time, the two shared a long, leisurely kiss before Peter heard them murmur the words 'I love you' to each other.
The two men headed off together, hand in hand, leaving Peter standing there alone, shock on his face and pain in his heart.
Suddenly he realised what he had to do. He had to win Stuart away from the other man. And he'd do it too, or his name wasn't Peter Fucking Dragon!
The End...'the hell it is!'