Chapter 3: 100 Years

Warning: Rated PG 13 for a semi-graphic picture. Nothing shows, but you get the point…

Anthony rolled over in bed and glanced at the clock, 3am. He got up as quietly as he could – Franco was not a morning person. Heading down towards the kitchen, Tony thought of the horrible fight he’d had with Riley at Eva’s art opening last week. It was the first time they’d ever fought about anything, and they’d argued about Franco. Riley thought he was a bad influence. Which was ridiculous because Franco had taught him more in the last six months about being true to himself then he could ever have learned without him. He felt like he fit better in his own skin now.

What does he want from me? Tony thought as he moved towards the kitchen. There was nothing he could do about Franco’s jealous tendencies, and for Riley to take it so personally was just puerile. Franco had a fragile ego and Tony understood that but it was not something he could share with anyone else. He couldn’t tell Riley that Franco felt threatened by their friendship, no matter how many times he reassured Franco that he had absolutely no romantic feelings for his best friend, nor Riley for him. His biggest regret of that night was leaving Eva’s event so abruptly. Dre had seemed in such a rush and he’d been so upset that he hadn’t questioned them leaving. He’d make it up to her; perhaps he’d make something for Alistair.

Now, it was a week later, and he still couldn’t sleep. Riley and he never fought and he was finding it difficult to not pick up the phone and call his best friend. Why couldn’t Riley understand how important Franco was to him?

He made himself a cup of coffee and sat down in front of his computer. He wasn’t getting any more sleep tonight, so he might as well work on some of his designs. Franco’s birthday was in a month and Tony wanted to surprise him with a holographic television. As an artist, Franco had an amazing imagination and Tony found great pleasure in making his partner happy. It didn’t hurt that all his ideas brought in a large steady income either. Tony frowned at that thought. Actually, it did hurt. Franco was not good with money and he spent it very unwisely. But he was a grown man and could do whatever he wanted, so Tony kept his opinions to himself.

Turning on the computer, he opened his design software and worked on his gift to Franco. Before he knew it, it was morning and Franco was moving around the house they shared. Even though they’d only known each other for six months, it was nice to have someone to share his space with again. The one downside was living off the uGenex campus. Franco was an actor, so living in town was a deal breaker for him. When Tony graduated three months ago, he’d had to make a decision. He couldn’t work at uGenex if he lived off campus, so he’d found work at an electronics company working in their R&D department. Telling his family had been the hardest part, and not working with Dr. Gates was a disappointment but he didn’t mind. He realized how lonely he’d been now that someone else was living with him. He’d go wherever Franco needed to be.

The subject of his thoughts came into the room and gave him a kiss, picked up the coffee mug and walked out the room. Franco was definitely not a morning person, but he still managed to be sweet. Tony smiled to himself and went back to work.

“Okay. What is it, what’s wrong?” Franco demanded.

“Nothing, why?” Anthony was startled out of his thoughts. He’d been thinking about his fight with Riley. He sucked on his lip ring and frowned. Maybe he should call him…

“I’ve had to deal with you moping around for a month now. Today is my birthday and you don’t get to be sad today.”

Tony turned to Franco and smiled. “No, I don’t. You’re right, I have been moping about. I can make it up to you though.”

“Oh yeah?” Franco leaned over, ready for a kiss but Tony stood up.

“Yup. I have a surprise for you.” He laughed when he saw the frown on Franco’s face, leaned down quickly, and kissed him. “There will be time for kisses later. Promise!”

“Well, okay then. Gimme my presents.” Still laughing, Tony stepped aside and presented his gift to Franco, who stared at it before asking, “What is it?”

“Oh, almost forgot. Here you go.” He handed Franco a remote and sat back down next to him. “The on/off button is that little red one on the top.”

Rolling his eyes, Franco said, “I know how a remote works Anthony.”

Franco was the only person who called him by his full name. It made Tony feel older than he was – a good thing, since Franco was several years older.

“I just point it at this stand?” Franco asked skeptically.

“Yes, Franco. Just point and click.” Laughing, he ducked a swinging arm. It was fun teasing Franco. It was even better making him smile. Tony had never been so happy.

When Franco finally managed to turn it on, Tony was rewarded by a huge grin from him. “It’s a holographic television! Did you make this?”

“Yes. You mentioned you wanted one, so I thought…” Tony blushed a little, hoping he didn’t sound too dumb. “Happy birthday.”

“I love it. Come here, I want my kisses now.” Franco wrapped his arms around Tony and leaned in for a kiss. When he started to nibble on his lip ring, Tony practically melted. Kissing Franco never got old and he hoped it never would. Stopping abruptly, Franco stood up and reached for Tony’s hand. “Come on. I have a surprise for you.”

“For me? But it’s your birthday!”

“Okay, so it’s really gift to myself, but I need you…” Franco didn’t finish his sentence and Tony knew what the surprise was. Rolling his eyes, he stood up and let Franco pull him upstairs. Birthday sex. Give the guy a custom made TV and he gets more excited about birthday sex.

Tony found himself laughing again and as they walked down the hallway to their bedroom, he blurted out, “I love you.”

Both men froze. Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit!

Franco let go of his hand and turned to face him. “What did you just say?”

Studying him, afraid to speak because clearly his brain wasn’t functioning today, Tony said, “Ummm.”

“Oh no. No take-backs, no backtracking. Tell me again Anthony. Now.” Franco reached out and touched his lip ring – the thing fascinated him for some reason. As did all of Tony’s piercings.

A shiver ran up Tony’s spine and he licked his lower lip. “I love you?”

Smiling, Franco backed him up until Tony was against a wall. He leaned in and nibbled on the ring and Tony’s entire body relaxed. “You don’t sound very sure.”

And just like that, they were both laughing. “I am sure. I love you Franco.”

“That’s better.” They never made it to the bedroom.

The moment he walked into the house, he knew today was a bad day for Franco. There were beer bottles, drugs and cigarettes everywhere. He didn’t get the part. Tony walked through the house, picking up empty bottles and generally cleaning up. At least there weren’t weird people sleeping on his couch this time. He needed to go upstairs and check on Franco, but knew the sight of the house in such a mess would only make him feel worse once he sobered up. Franco took rejection badly, something Tony had learned a year into their relationship.

He’d come home that day to find Franco passed out on the couch, surrounded by empty bottles and people Tony didn’t know. The table had been strewn with all kinds of drugs. Horrified, he’d tried to call his brother, but Dre was out to sea and couldn’t be reached. He’d started to call Riley, but hung up before he could punch in the numbers. He hadn’t spoken to his friend in over a year, he was sure Riley wouldn’t care about his problems.

That night had been their first fight, but not the last. After a while, Tony just stopped fighting it. This was who Franco was and how he coped.

Tony heard thumping upstairs and ran to see what was going on, taking the stairs two at a time. Please don’t be hurt. The last time this had happened, he’d had to stitch Franco up himself. There could be no hospitals or doctors; it would ruin his public image. Tony desperately wanted him to stop, but he wouldn’t tell Franco what to do. That only pushed him away and caused more fighting.

Upstairs in the bedroom, Franco lay on the floor, naked and sweaty. At the sound of Tony walking in, he looked up and smiled. “Hey, you’re home. Give me a minute and I’ll come give you a kiss, like a proper housewife.”

Tony sighed. Franco was still high. This was another major point of conflict for them. Tony had a job, a good paying one. Franco, when he was working, was happy about this. But when he didn’t have a project, he resented Tony’s career. “Let me help you up.”

“Don’t touch me. I can manage.”

He couldn’t and eventually he let Tony help. After cleaning him up and putting some pants on him, Tony brought him downstairs. He wanted to make him something to eat, but didn’t want to leave him alone.

“I don’t know why you stay with me,” Franco whispered. He was slumped against the wall, eyes heavy-lidded and words slightly slurred.

“I love you. No one’s perfect, Franco. We all have our issues.” He continued to cook an omelet. Franco didn’t realize it yet, but he would be starving in a few minutes.

As he flipped the eggs, he thought about the question. Why did he stay? His answer was partly true, he did love Franco and you were supposed to stay with the person you loved, no matter how difficult that might be. He noticed the trash bag with all the crap he’d cleaned up an hour ago. No matter how much it hurts. His parents were still together. He could understand why his mom was always gone now. He did the same thing, worked long hours, avoided coming home. The fighting was constant and he was tired of it. But the fear of finding Franco unconscious in the house kept him coming back every night.

They sat and ate at the kitchen counter, neither speaking. When Franco pushed his plate away and reached for him, Tony sighed. This was another hang up he had to deal with; Franco’s need to feel like a man. “You ready to go to bed?”

For an answer, Franco kissed him, hard, tugging on his lip ring and reaching up to grip his hair. He didn’t understand this need of his to dominate. He’d spoken to Eva about it once, after the first time. She’d confessed that Glasgow was the same way. Sometimes, he’d get rough and she’d have one or two bruises to show for it, but as long as he didn’t intentionally hurt her, she let him work that out of his system. Some men were just insecure and needed to prove their superiority; it had nothing to do with the people they loved.

So Tony let Franco use his body to battle his demons. It was sometimes inconvenient; sometimes he wasn’t in the mood, but even during those moments, Franco always made sure he was satisfied and he never walked away hurt. He couldn’t really complain, could he.

Tony was fixing the bed the next morning, moving a little slower than usual, when he felt Franco’s arms around him. His body tingled where Franco’s body touched his. The man never failed to get a reaction from him.

“Morning.” Franco kissed the side of his neck, pulling Tony closer.

“Hey.”

“I’m sorry if I hurt you last night.”

Tony closed his eyes. He knew that apology was about much more than just the sex and he appreciated it. He would never admit it to anyone, but Franco scared him sometimes. He was just so self-destructive, Tony was worried that he’d go too far one day and he’d come home and find his lover dead of an overdose. He wanted to say or do something to help, but he didn’t have the magic words that would penetrate through Franco’s self-hate. All he could do was be there for him and love the man.

Turning around to face him, Tony said, “I’m okay. How are you feeling?”

“I’m good. I’m good.” Franco unwrapped his arms around Tony and grabbed his hand. “Thank you for always looking out for me. I don’t know what I would do without you.”

He reached out and gave Tony a light kiss.

“I love you.”

“Happy birthday Eva!”

His sister’s laughter on the other end of the line made him smile. “Are you having fun for me all the way over there in no man’s land?”

His smile evaporated. He knew she was upset, even though she tried to hide it. He was missing her 25th birthday party and didn’t really have an excuse. Franco hadn’t felt up to it, so they’d stayed home and decided to throw a Halloween party in Eva’s honor. It hadn’t gone over well. “Louey…”

She cut him off before he could start apologizing again. “Let’s not fight tonight okay? I love you very much Tony and want you to be happy. I’m your older sister, it’s my job to worry about you, but that doesn’t mean I don’t support you in everything you do. You are happy, right?”

“Yes, Eva. I am.” Tony looked over at Franco flirting with one of their neighbors. Franco, his little flirt. He smiled and said goodbye to Eva. Walking over to his partner and the woman, he wrapped an arm around Franco.

“Sorry Lyn, I’m going to have to steal him away for a second.”

Lynda Craft tittered and blushed. “Of course Tony. I’m going to find my husband and make him jealous of all the naughty things Franco just told me. Don’t let this one get away!”

Once Lynda was out of earshot, Franco sighed. “Thanks for saving me. That woman is awful. Dance with me, lover-boy.”

After three songs, four beers and a shot of tequila, Franco was starting to look exhausted and a bit tipsy. “I’m heading upstairs for a second. I need to take a time out.”

Tony nodded and watched him leave, a bit concerned. Franco had been doing so well these last few months. He was working again and had another film lined up. Tony just hoped this lasted.

The party was starting to wind down before Tony noticed that Franco had never come back. Probably fell asleep, he thought. Tony said goodbye to the last guest and made his way upstairs. He was exhausted. Having to mix and mingle with people he barely knew – and some that he didn’t know at all – was not an experience he wanted to repeat any time soon.

He heard Franco’s laughter coming from the bedroom and smiled. Maybe they could end the night on a high note.

Chapter Two | Chapter Four

39 thoughts on “Chapter 3: 100 Years

  1. amandralynn says:

    Damn. Blinks Poor Tony. 😦 Ugh. I had such high hopes for Franco and Tony that were completely just dashed at the end of this chapter. Tony, I know you love the guy, but you can do better. Your too great of a guy to stay with a cheater. Franco just has too many issues that I’m not sure their relationship can be saved, and I was Tony I wouldn’t forgive him even if he is in love with him. Great chapter! I’m really getting into this story. Love how you are giving all the kids story lines. It’s great!

    Like

    • Taina says:

      I wrote this chapter today quickly because I didn’t want people thinking that Franco was in any way worth Tony’s time. He’s an asshole. I agree with you 100 percent. Tony can do so much better but its hard letting go of your first love. A theme all the London children seem to struggle with. sigh

      I just want to say sorry if Tony’s story seems rushed, he and Dre just called to me and I had to write their story, but they are not my heirs. I realized I write scenes rather than a story about their daily lives, but it works to get the gist of their relationship.

      Thanks Amandra!

      Like

  2. TnT_Terry says:

    oh that dirty good for nothing swine! 😛 I should have known Franco would cheat, most jealous fools do and they most always accuse the other of what they did themselves….grrrrrrrrrrrrr. I love how you are delving into each character hon, it gives this story depth and makes it so much more worth the read 😉 cant wait to see what happens now. hugs

    Like

    • Taina says:

      Yeah, jealousy in a man (on that level, at least) is never a good sign. He had some gall being jealous of Riley!!

      Thank you for reading Terry! I’ve had so much trouble with Anthony, but it’s now just pouring out of me. The chapters are short, but I think that’s mostly due to where I cut things off rather than material.

      Like

    • Taina says:

      Franco is pretty pathetic.

      And yes, your counting is on point. Tony is a wild card for me. I know how I want him to react, but I just didn’t know until I was literally writing the confrontation scene. Suffice it to say, he takes it very hard.

      Like

    • amandralynn says:

      Ahhh! Two people? How did I not notice that! I know when I was looking at those pictures I was wondering if it was a woman he was sexin’ because of how they legs were positioned, but two people? Hmmm….I have a feeling, but I’m probably wrong. Good catch Sandybeachgirl!

      Like

      • Taina says:

        Tell me your feeling!! I must know now. TELL ME!!

        BTW, completely unrelated but I need to say it. I was writing Chapter 6 and I lost 6 hours worth of work. I am so completely, utterly PISSED right now.

        So, distract me, you must. Let’s do some detective work and if you’re right, I’ll give you an excerpt.

        Like

        • sandybeachgirl2 says:

          That stinks! I hate when that happens! I had 6 pages disappear when I was writing the vacation chapter for Listening. I wanted to throw my laptop across the room. Hugs I have no guess who it is. I’m just amazed that I caught the three pairs of legs thing, What would be a very interesting twist would be if one of them was Tony’s friend Riley. . .

          Man, I went back to look at that picture and when I scrolled down again to comment, I got caught on the last picture of Tony and I got lost in his eyes. . .I lost a good minute of my life there. Such beautiful eyes. . .=D lol!

          Like

          • Taina says:

            I still am pissed and so I wrote out a scene for myself that made me feel MUCH better. (Rather than working on my actual chapter!)
            It is DEFINITELY NOT Riley. Dear lord, he would never do that to Tony! I literally just shuddered at the thought.
            I KNOW RIGHT? Join the club boo! You have no idea how many shots I have of Tony’s eyes. I find it fascinating. It also amazes me because he has a round face, yet it still manages to look so sharply angled.

            Like

        • amandralynn says:

          Ok I guess Linda craft and her husband in a little 3 way action. Cause she was mentioned right before the 3 way when Franco disapeared. Plus she said Franco said naughty things to her. Lol. I think it’s them cause I know it’s not Riley he’s too good of friend. Am I right? Lol

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          • Taina says:

            Ding ding ding!! (Hopefully I can get some screenshots of Chapter 4 tonight, so this isn’t a spoiler for much longer lol)

            Now, for your excerpt (I made it a bit longer, since I hadn’t given Sandy an excerpt like I had planned):

            The first thing he noticed when the door opened was the mess. There were bits and pieces all over the place. And off to the side, sat Tony. He tilted his head and watched him work for a minute. He looked tired and pale. How many hours did he spend in this windowless room?

            When Tony didn’t turn around to see who had walked in, he leaned back and waited. He’d seen this before. Tony was currently working on something and disturbing him now would be a bad idea. Before, he would have teased and disrupted Tony without a thought, but it had been too long; their friendship was too fractured for that kind of casual play. Plus, getting a chance to just watch him was worth having to wait.

            Liked by 1 person

            • amandralynn says:

              Yay! I’m glad I was right. Lynda and her husband were the first ones I thought of, then I thought maybe it was too obvious, so I re-read the chapter and was like…hm…they gotta be it. LOL Can’t wait for the next chapter! Thanks for the excerpt! I’m loving Tony’s story so much. I hope he can move on from Franco.

              Like

  3. iamciane says:

    Oh I love the fact that Riley comes to Tony! You are Awesome! You know you have to write this story. (This is the one I voted for, so I have ties binding me to it.) I also love the fact that you are writing all three stories, just in case I failed to mention that. I did notice the extra pair of legs and thought the same thing (but I didn’t know it the pose player was messed up or if you intended that, so I thought I would say nothing and wait and see.) And now we get an excerpt! Thank you. Thank you! THANK YOU! You are the best storyteller!

    Like

    • Taina says:

      lol you are an awesome reader! I think this writer’s block I had was worth it for the story I’m able to now write. If I had tried to force this out, I wouldn’t do Anthony’s story any justice. So far (aside from that slight hiccup of losing the second half of chapter 5), his story has been just flowing. I think I’m really growing as a writer with this and I just want to say it gets a bit more mature than the way I used to write and you’re going to see that across the board with Dre and Eva’s stories as well. I can’t go back now. I was worried at first, but after reading Amandra and Sandy and Lily’s stories, I feel much more confident that it will be received with an equal level of maturity.

      I promise not to get raunchy without any warning lol but I am in LOVE with this generation and the people they’ve chosen to be with and I am excited to share that love, in whatever form it takes.

      Chapter 4 to come tonight – as soon as I figure out how to travel to Roaring Heights from Oasis Landing! (I just need 3 pictures…keep your fingers crossed that the game cooperates.)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Late Knight Simmer says:

    Poor Franco, he doesn’t deal well with rejection very healthily at all, does he? I’m not surprised Tony worries about whether he’ll find him laying on the floor of an overdose. Hmm… so Tony says I love you… does Franco ever say it back? o.O
    Uh-oh… trouble brews in that bedroom…

    Like

    • Taina says:

      The part of me that wants to see the good in everyone wants to agree with your “poor Franco” statement. I mean, I could say he had a terrible childhood growing up, and he got sucked into the drugs and sex lifestyle of the entertainment industry and that he feels inferior to Tony, who is openly gay and is a genius and has a good job and the respect of his peers and blah blah blah. I could tell you all these things, BUT I don’t like Franco! So no! No poor Franco!

      I haven’t figured out why he does the drugs yet…I mean, there are better ways to cope man.

      And yes, Tony says I love you first and only. Franco, to this day, has NEVER said it back.

      Like

  5. LilyParker says:

    OMG … ^%@*#% Franco! Argh! Tony deserves SO much better than him. Besides the drinking, drugs, jealousy, moodiness and spending all of Tony’s hard-earned money, he’s a !#%@!$# cheater, too?!?! :’-(

    I read this chapter at work yesterday and chapter 4 today. It’s just too hard to comment on my phone. (BTW, I can’t access your updates through my WordPress app any more. Had to open a browser & go through the TorresLegacy site to finally get to where I so desperately wanted to go.)

    I guessed who the couple was right away. Such a good update, Taina! I’m off to reread Chapter 4 now so I can comment.

    Like

    • Taina says:

      Yup, besides all that! Lol I swear Tony has the heart of a saint. I imagine their first argument went something like, “Franco, what’s going on?”
      “I didn’t get the fucking part Anthony. They gave it to some young up and coming actor. What the fuck do I have to do to get some respect in this business.” Franco threw the bottle of vodka he’d been drinking from.
      Flinching, Tony walk around the cigarette butts, empty and broken bottles and made his way to Franco. “There will be other auditions, Franco. But this, this is not okay. There are strange people in the house, they brought drugs into the house. That is not okay!”
      Franco waved a hand dismissively, “Those are some of the people I auditioned with and the drugs are mine.”
      Tony was appalled. “Franco…”
      “Don’t ‘Franco’ me! What do you know about rejection? What have you ever wanted that you didn’t fucking get? Spare me the lecture, I’m having a bad fucking day and all I want is my boyfriend to be there for me. Is that too much to fucking ask for?!”
      Tony sighed. It wasn’t too much. Franco was right, Tony had always been good at whatever he chose to do. He didn’t know what it was like to work so hard at a craft and not be recognized for his hard work. “I’m sorry Franco. I should be more understanding, but these people…”
      Franco pulled him in close and kissed him. “I’m sorry too. I shouldn’t take my frustrations out on you. You’re all I have. All I need.”
      He began to remove Tony’s jacket but Tony stopped him. “Franco, there are people – strangers – here.”
      Franco laughed and kissed him again. “You’re such a prude Anthony. But fine, I’ll get all these people out. But I’m feeling sad and I need my man to cheer me up! Deal?”
      Tony smiled a little. “Deal.”

      Like

      • LilyParker says:

        This just makes me hate Franco more. Tony is too naive to know that you teach people how to treat you. He let Franco treat him like a doormat in the name of love. Tony has a big heart but a lot of growing up to do. Hopefully, next time, he’ll make better choices (and not get dealt such a crappy hand to begin with).

        Like

        • Taina says:

          I love Rae and Connor and they are good parents, but they screwed their kids over. Tony has no sense of what a healthy romantic relationship is. Not because his parents don’t have one, but because they never showed it to their children. It’s why Eva is so resentful. And in a way, they’re right. Connor pretty much lets Rae do whatever she wants.

          He has Eva’s apparently abusive relationship, and Dre’s unrequited love triangle. That’s it and NO gay role models. To him, the relationship isn’t great but loyalty is important. He was committed to Franco. It took the cheating, the one thing that proved that Franco wasn’t committed to him, to make him leave.

          Like

  6. gernadia says:

    Poor Tony. When you love someone you accept them for who they are but you also try to make them better – somtimes it’s better to fight, be angry, and risk that loss because doing so shows your love better than letting them be in their mess. Franco is s classic taker, he had legit reasons behind some of his actions but to be in a healthy relationship he actually needs boundaries and limits in place. It’s hard to see Tony in this sadly happy state; I’ve been there before (in friendships, so not as heartbreaking as this) and he deserves better.

    Like

  7. livinasimminlife says:

    Ugh! Tony is totally gypped by Franco and his smooth manipulative ways. Poor guy. He deserves better. This is not something that anyone should have to walk in on. I wish Tony had been able to stand up for himself more because I feel like Franco has totally been using him. I hope Tony finally calls Riley, sees his family, and gets a better partner for himself.

    Like

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