“Does Hugh love you Cary?”

“I suppose so Tabby from the way he acts, though he’s never come out and said so.”

“This sounds more like an arrangement of convenience than anything else if you want my take on it.”

Cary winced but couldn’t deny what she’d said. “It does sort of, doesn’t it?”

Tabitha nodded as she got up again to get the coffee. “Cream, sugar?”

“Sugar thanks.” He put in three spoonfuls when she set it and his coffee in front of him, chuckling when she winced. “Yeah, I know, but I like it sweet.”

After sitting down again and taking a sip of her coffee Tabitha looked at him, “You know he loves you.”

“Hugh? Like I said, I suppose so.”

“No Cary, I meant Pres.”

He nodded slowly. “I sort of got that feeling when I was here last night. He didn’t say anything, but then he wouldn’t, but a couple of times there was something in his eyes, in his expression.”

“And you?” she asked, staring questioningly at him.

“God Tabby I don’t know. I could have, way back when. Probably did though I’d never have said anything to him.”

“Why the hell not?” she said almost angrily.

Cary winced. “I was afraid. He was so open about being gay when he was with me and had so much experience. I’d barely admitted what I was to myself, and that was just before I left for college. He wasn’t going to want some virgin. At least that was what I thought.”

“So you shot him down before anything could happen. Oh yeah, he told me about your friend vs. fuck thing. Then you went off and left him behind.”

“It wasn’t like that," Cary protested, "I was going on to college, he wasn’t. Instead he went off and did his thing before ending up here.”

She laid her hand on his arm. “And you still didn’t let him know how you felt.”

“He was a friend that I was very happy to see again. He knew that.”

“May I ask you something, or a couple of somethings I guess?”

“Sure.”

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