Nothing's Going Change My Love For You

an excerpt

Kent carefully negotiated his way through the staff canteen as he looked around for where his friend had gone.

"Hey, Kent. Over here, mate."

At Alan's shout, Kent headed over to the table his friend was already sitting at and set down his tray. Kent eyed the meal he'd selected as Alan devoured his with great gusto. He hated nights. Hated working from ten o'clock at night until six in the morning. His dinner, eaten at two a.m., consisted of bacon, eggs, sausages, and toast. A large mug of coffee was at the side ready to wash it all down and give him a much needed caffeine kick.

"Hate nights," Kent muttered as he sat and began to eat.

"Think of the pay cheque at the end of the month," Alan replied around a mouthful of toast. "A couple of weeks with night allowance will give you extra spending money for your trip up to Scotland. You said Cam was really looking forward to seeing his family up there."

"He is. Kingman would never have taken him. In fact, quite the opposite. He tried keeping Cam from anyone not in Kingman's own circle, and that included Cam's family."

Alan paused from his eating. "He never beat Cam, though, did he? I mean, Cam was never hit by him."

"There's more to abuse than using your fists," Kent replied, his voice quiet, despite his rising anger. "Cam wore clothes Kingman picked. His clothing was separated into work, weekend, and night out. Everything, even down to his underwear, was chosen by Kingman. Cam chose nothing. He earned more than Kingman, worked longer hours, and still was expected to do all the cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping. He used to walk the best part of a mile carrying five or six grocery bags."

"Hey, sorry." Alan held up a hand. "I didn't realise."

Kent took a deep breath and took a couple of gulps of his coffee. He and Cam now lived together and had for a few months. Kingman was a part of Cam's past, but not one that would be easily forgotten. Cam constantly checked if what he wore, wanted to buy, even wanted to watch on TV was okay with Kent. And Kent wanted nothing more than for Cam to be happy. And we will be.

The trip to Scotland was a treat for both of them. Kent had never been to Scotland, and the last time Cam had gone, it had been with his mother about a year ago, when his relationship with Kingman was finally breaking apart.

"It's okay. I just get so angry when I think just how much of a hold Kingman had. Cam did everything to make that bastard happy. Then he'd claim Cam had said or done something to upset him and wouldn't speak to him for days. Do you know that on one occasion Cam got dressed for a night out, but chose the wrong outfit, so he had to get changed? They went out, and Kingman walked the legs off him. He didn't settle on anywhere to eat; most places were full by then anyway, and so they walked back home. Then Kingman blamed Cam, because he'd made them late going out."

"You're kidding," Alan said. His friend looked as angry as Kent felt.

"I wish I was. I know it's only the early days, but he's the one for me. I just hope I can make him realise how much I love him."

"Love at first sight," Alan said and laughed.

Kent grinned back. "I fell in love with him without even seeing him. Head over heels just by talking to him on the phone. Paul was almost right. He said I'd fall in love with Cam if I ever saw him. Seeing him for the first time just confirmed what I already knew."

"How's Paul taking that?"

Kent grimaced. Time was there might have been something between Paul and him. But Paul found someone else, although he and Paul remained friends and had often flirted with each other. "He knew we were never going to be a couple, so he settled down with Kris. Yes we flirted, but that was it. There was never going to be anything more than that. Fortunately, Cam brings out all Paul's protective instincts, so there was no real fallout between him and Cam."

"Where in Scotland are you going?" Alan asked as he pushed away his plate and sat back in the chair.

"His family lives on Seil Island, not far from Oban. We're staying in Oban itself in a bed-and-breakfast run by a friend of his cousins, so we get a double room there. We're stopping off near Kirkcudbright on the way up. I'm really looking forward to it."

"I hope you have a great time, mate." Alan slapped Kent's shoulder.

"Thanks, Alan," Kent said and smiled at the older man.

Alan was one of just a few select work colleagues who knew Kent was gay. His workplace wasn't the place to let that kind of thing slip. Fortunately, Kent had good, solid friendships with those who did know, and there was a vibrant gay area in town for him and Cam to expand their social life. All he needed now was for Cam to start coming out of his shell. It would take time, but Kent was prepared to wait. Nothing was going to change his love for Cam.