The Simple Life
Okay—so everybody has been waiting for Dex’s story from
Chase in Shadow and I’m excited, but I’ve got to caution you—Kane is very very different from Dex, Tommy, and Chase.
Mostly, because Kane is simple.
Now, some people are going to read this book and assume Kane is stupid—but that’s not true. Simple doesn’t equal stupid—it equals uncluttered. Simple people (and very often, I’m one) don’t worry about politics—there’s people who are nice to them and people who are not nice to them, and really, that’s the only way things should work.
When confronted with the idea of the girl his friend Chase had cheated on, Kane is unwilling to hate her, just because she’s not on his buddy’s side:
Kane had met Mercy; she hadn’t seemed that bad. It was all, he thought wretchedly, part of being complicated. If you kept things simple—this person’s nice to me, this person’s a bitch—you didn’t have to get all mad about a girl who had maybe seen the same things in your man that you did.
Simple people aren’t always diplomatic, and they’re reluctant to spare a person’s feelings for dignity or personal space or whatever, when they think that’s there’s something wrong. They’re much more focused on fixing whatever’s right.
“No reason,” Kane said, and he was jumping up and down on his toes. “Chance, Chase, whatever, are you on drugs?”
Chase squinted at him and put the free weight down after hardly any reps at all. “No. Why?”
“Maybe you should look into them. I hear they can make you happy too.”
Simple people can set one goal in their heads, and achieve it, and we all know how difficult that can be, but even better? Simple people can convince anyone else in their sphere that what they’re doing is a good idea.
They got home and Dex shed his jacket and shoes and jeans in the bedroom and was about to fall into the bed when Kane—whose own shit formed a little trail from the door to the bedroom—grabbed him by the back of the neck again. It was gratifying how quickly Dex’s body went still.
“We need this,” Kane said sincerely. He didn’t have any good words. He wanted to talk about stress and human connection, but he just had those three words, and they were true.
Dex made a sound—it could have been protest or it could have been positive, but it didn’t matter.
Kane shook him gently. “We need this.”
Now, I know we can’t all be simple. It would be wonderful—and I think the world might be a better place if we were, but we can’t be. A lot of us fuss and fidget and fix things that aren’t broken and worry our chosen mates to death with our need to worry problems like a sore tooth—but simple people don’t have that sort of patience.
Unfortunately, that’s the sort of patience that hones our communication skills, and I’ve got to tell you, communication is something that simple people (such as myself sometimes!) desperately need. If the simplicity of everyday emotions flummox much of the world, sometimes the complexities of revealing our hearts is too much for those of us who are simple. That’s okay though. Simple people, like Kane, often find a way to get their feelings across.
… at the end, when Dex was a puddle of goo (not literally—Kane had gone and gotten the cloth and cleaned him up this time) and Kane had dragged him against his sweating body in the cooling dark, Kane stopped fighting the urge to smother Dex and just draped his body over Dex’s shoulders, practically smashing him into the mattress.
“Kane, you psycho, I can’t breathe!”
“Yeah,” Kane admitted. “I know. I’m sorry. I just need to.”
Dex’s chest fought up and down, and then again. “Yeah, okay. Just resuscitate me when you decide to climb off, ’kay?”
It’s funny—on occasion, when I’ve finished a shorter story, I’ve appealed to Mary here (who is my darling and no one else shall have her) or my publisher, Elizabeth, who is also my darling, although I must share her with all the world, in an effort to make sure it’s a quality product.
“Are you sure it’s okay? It seems… I don’t know… simple.”
Invariably, the answer boils down to this:
Simple is good, Amy. Simple is two guys, working shit out, and having a happy ever after.
Now, I’ll be the first person to tell you that Dex in Blue is anything but a simple book—it’s damned long, for one thing, nearly 120K, so something had better be happening besides two guys having sex, right? But simple is in Kane’s heart. If all of that other bullshit that makes life so hard gets in the way, it is certainly not his fault.
Mary here *waves* I want to add that Chris over at
Stumbling Over Chaos is giving away a copy of
Dex In Blue so pop over there and enter the contest!