together, but we could do that in a matter of days once we got together. It’s like he said. We can pick up on each other’s moods and thoughts like this.” Henry snapped his fingers. “Sometimes it’s a good thing, sometimes it can suck, let me tell you. At least with another man you won’t have to deal with some of the hormonal mood swings women have.”
“Dad!” Oscar shrieked, horrified at the depth of intimacy the conversation was sinking to. “I don’t want to know that stuff! Oh my god!”
“Sorry,” Henry said, having the decency to appear abashed. “Your mother would kick my butt for saying such a thing. Besides which, men have their own issues, like our ego to name just one. My point is, though, I wouldn’t trade it for the world, Oz.”
Oscar knew how strong his parent’s love was, and yeah, he wanted that too, but still. What was he fighting for? He didn’t know until he said it. “It just feels like I’m being bullied by fate or whatever, being forced to do something I don’t have a choice in.” It was a familiar feeling, not that he’d tell Henry so. He hadn’t told his parents about the bullying he’d endured at school, mainly because he hadn’t wanted them to be frustrated when nothing changed. Oscar wasn’t the only bullied kid, and he’d seen how fruitless it was to have parents involved.
Henry cupped Oscar’s chin and forced him to meet his gaze. “But what if you’re being given a gift, Oz? You’re being saved heartaches and mental anguish, years of being lonely, of searching and hoping to find the right person? Why don’t you try to see it like this instead?”
Oscar closed his eyes and flopped back on the bed. “Because I’m an asshole!”
“I wouldn’t go that far,” Henry teased, but he didn’t lecture Oscar on his language. It wasn’t the first time he’d let it pass since Josiah had showed up. Must mean I really am being a douche.
Oscar opened his eyes and tried to organise his thoughts. They were all his own now, no presence of Josiah, no lingering disappointment or waves of desire, nothing that wasn’t his own emotions. And he felt empty, which was stupid, considering he’d had all his own thoughts and shit up until about fifteen minutes ago, and even then he’d only shared for a few minutes. So why the hell did he suddenly feel so bereft?
“You’re young still, and I don’t think you’ve had a boyfriend.” His dad looked at him and Oscar just wanted to die on the spot.
“No,” he croaked out and promptly jumped up off the bed. “I gotta—do something,” he said as he waved towards the bathroom.
Great, now he’s gonna think I’m announcing my shits or something!
“Argh!” Oscar ran into the bathroom and slammed the door. Could he possibly be any more of a dork?
“Son, I’m not trying to tell you how to live your life.” Which meant Henry was doing just that, Oscar wanted to snipe. “But you might consider hurrying up in there and showering after, then finding Josiah before his scent grows cold. Oh!”
Yeah, oh .
No doubt his dad just had the same thought he’d had. “He probably drove here.” Man, he’d really screwed up. Maybe he could find Josiah at the club tonight, or—and here was a thought—he could Google the guy, right? Josiah Elias Baker. And his dad’s name is Jodiah . Someone sure likes those ia’s together.
He heard the hotel room door shutting and hurried out of the bathroom. His dad was gone, and Oscar thought he knew why, if not where. His cell phone was lighting up, too. Oscar picked up his phone and read the message from his dad. Gonna see if I can catch him before he gets away.
Oscar snorted. The message made it sound like Josiah was an escaped convict or something. He wished he had more time to think about everything, but there was a clawing sensation in his gut, as if his cat was threatening to come out all on its own. Not possible, he knew, but it sure was his leopard’s way of letting him know