Changes 3

Copyright for this story belongs to and remains with the author. I don't have any major objection to my work being re-distributed, but ASK FIRST!!!

This is a gay adult story with the consequent language and images. If homosexuality and/or sexually explicit themes offend you then do not continue. If these are illegal in your area, then you have my sympathy, but you proceed at your own risk.

This is a work of fiction, and as such the characters are not bound by the usual dictates of modern society. Unsafe sexual practices can be undertaken with impunity only in the world of fantasy. In reality, it is your obligation and your right to play safely, sanely and healthily.

I hope you enjoy my work, and if you have any comments, or ideas that may inspire new work, please feel free to contact me -- all emails will be answered to the best of my ability. [email protected].

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Nick found the journey home that night one of the longest trips of his life. In reality it was probably no more than a half hour walk from the southern end of King Street to his home in Petersham, but it felt like endless miles as he trudged along, replaying the evening over and over again in his head. It had all started out so innocently, just like a hundred times before when he and Ian used to go out for drinks after work. He knew those times had become less frequent in the last few years, but he had put that down to his marriage and the time he now spent with Tina, which had replaced the long Friday nights with Ian that they had enjoyed since finishing school.

When Nick looked back on his friendship with Ian, he knew how important it was to him. He and Ian had shared so much as they grew up together, had been `best friends' in the truest sense of the words, for so many years. Nick had told Ian everything, confided in Ian whenever he had a secret, from the time he had pocketed small change from his mother's wallet at the age of 13, to the first time he had sex when he was 16 with Jenny Oppenheimer in her parents' garden shed. Ian knew everything about Nick, from his taste in clothes to his favourite movies, from his saddest memories to his brightest ambitions. Hell, he'd even told Ian that he thought he was in love with Tina and wanted to marry her, before he'd had the courage to voice those same feelings to the woman who was now his wife. It was Ian who had encouraged him, who had approved of Tina and urged Nick to follow his heart. And for many years, Ian had returned the confidences, telling Nick his secrets and his problems, his dreams and his nightmares. Until they were 21 or 22. It was then that Nick started to feel as if Ian was holding something back, that there was something about Ian that Nick should have known but didn't.

Back then, Nick had told himself it was because they were growing up, because Ian was studying for his law degree at university, because they didn't see each other every day. Yet still that didn't explain it. Nick still told Ian everything, and Ian seemed to respond in kind, but when Nick analysed it, Ian's words were about day-to-day things, problems with assignments, and housing, and professors. He never discussed his emotions, his true feelings with Nick the way that they had done.

When Nick met Tina, he fell in love with her quickly. Somehow he knew she was the person he wanted to spend his life with. He discussed it over and over with Ian, listening carefully to Ian's suggestions, bouncing his feelings off Ian, needing Ian's approval and blessing. Nick and Tina dated for almost 18 months before they got engaged, and during that time Tina became close to Ian as well. They were three friends against the world, but still it was Nick who bared his soul to Ian, and Tina looked on with a growing appreciation for what the two men had, and an occasional glimmer of doubt about the true nature of their friendship.

When Nick finally asked Tina to marry him, she threw her arms around him, kissed him wildly and shouted with joy, "Yes, yes, yes!" When she saw the tears of happiness in Nick's eyes, she knew he was certain of his commitment. They sat and talked long into the early hours that night.

"I wondered whether you were ever going to make up your mind between me and Ian," she had said to him, her face deadly serious. Nick's surprise was genuine, his lack of understanding unrehearsed, and his reply completely serious.

"It's not a choice is it? Ian's my best friend. I want you to be my wife. I don't see why I can't have both."

Tina smiled ingenuously at her man. "Does Ian see it that way, I wonder?"

"Of course he does! He was the one who told me I'd better hurry up and ask you before you got away." Nick looked into her eyes, trying to read her thoughts. "Tina, I love you and I want you to be my partner for the rest of my life. But I want you to love Ian too, the way I do. He is really important to me."

"I know, my darling, and I do love Ian, maybe the same way you do. But I don't think Ian loves you that same way."

"What do you mean, of course he loves me!"

"Oh, he loves you alright. There's no argument there. But I think Ian loves you a lot more than either of you realise, and Ian will never, could never, love me the same way."

"I don't understand. What are you trying to say?" Nick looked helplessly to Tina for assistance.

"Nick, can't you see -- you love Ian as a friend. But I'm sure Ian loves you much more than that. I see it in his face and his eyes when he's with you. Your best friend doesn't just love you, he's in love with you, even if he doesn't know it himself."

Nick sat there, his mouth gaping. Slowly, he put his thoughts into words. "Are you saying you think Ian's a ... a poof?"

"Nick! That's an awful expression. Don't ever say that again, about Ian or anyone else, either! And to answer your question, yes. I am almost certain that Ian is gay. Aren't you? Just think about it, think about him, and tell me that you know, deep down in that thick skull of yours."

For hours they had talked it through. Nick had railed against the idea to begin with, certain Tina was wrong, and had set out to convince her otherwise. But by the end of the night he was the one who had been convinced. The girls Ian had dated -- they had never been serious affairs, and it was always Ian who had ended them. That had stopped lately. Ian hadn't mentioned a lady friend for years now. And the look Nick occasionally caught from Ian when he was unawares. Deep, longing and sad. Or the way Ian's head would turn when some handsome guy walked past. He tried to cover it as best he could, but with the clarity of hindsight and the help of Tina, Nick knew it was true.

"Why hasn't he told me?" Nick whined.

"Maybe he can't. Maybe he doesn't know himself yet. But I do know that he needs you. And he's going to need to know that he still has you, as a friend, after we get married. In fact, I'm guessing he'll need to know that even more once we do get married."

"I love you!" Nick had grinned. "You're beautiful and smart!"

"Hmmm, maybe," she had laughed. "Then why am I marrying you? No, don't answer that, I don't want to hear your opinion." Becoming more serious again, she took Nick's hands in hers. "Just remember, Nick, whatever the reason, it must be really hard for Ian. Don't push him. He'll tell you when he's ready, if ever."

So Nick and Tina had married, and Ian had been their best man. They made sure he was included in their social life as much as possible, and secretly kept an eye out for him whenever they could.


" ... and now what have I done?" Nick asked himself again. Ian was in trouble, upset more than Nick had ever seen, but Nick couldn't go to his aid. Nick was the cause of his anguish, and the focus of it. With one simple, easy little mistake, Nick had brought Ian's world crashing down. Sure, he could blame the booze, he could blame the conversation, but still it was his fault, he should have known better. How could he ever get Ian to forgive him? How could he ever get Ian to even speak to him again?


When Tina came home it was late, or rather, it was early -- about 3.00 am. As soon as she opened the front door she sensed something was wrong. All the lights in the house were on, the doors unlocked. She spotted Nick's long legs hanging over the arm of the sofa.

That's strange, she thought. Even when Nick was really drunk he managed to get himself into bed and lock up. Or, more often than not, Ian managed to get him into bed. She smiled at that. She wondered if Ian ever really wanted to get Nick `into bed'? But he didn't and he wouldn't. Ian loved Tina, and Nick, too much to do anything to come between them. He was always the perfect gentleman, even when he was drunk, and he usually coaxed Nick out of his clothes and under the sheets before locking up the house and turning off the lights, then settling himself into the guest room, to make an apologetic appearance the next morning. Tina pretended to be furious with the two of them on such occasions, but privately she was very happy and very relieved to know they had each other to look out for, and she trusted Ian completely when it came to Nick, and vice versa.

Slipping off her heels, Tina made her way quietly to the centre of the room, expecting to find her husband sound asleep where he lay. But her smile faded quickly, and then was replaced by a stabbing icicle of fear when she saw that Nick's eyes were wide open, staring vacantly at the blank television set, the tracks of his tears easily visible on his cheeks.

"Nick, Nick, what's wrong? What's happened?" she asked in a quiet, almost chilled tone. In the pit of her stomach a dagger turned, a horrible feeling of impending doom swept over her. She had never seen her husband look so lost, so empty as he did at that moment. She steeled herself for the inevitable bad news, convinced something of great moment had taken place.

Nick lifted his face to her, his eyes slowly focussing. It was if he were climbing up from the depths of an enormous pit. He struggled to speak, but no words would issue from his throat.

"What is it, baby?" she coaxed him. "Just tell me, it can't be as bad as you think ..." Tina desperately wanted to believe her own words but couldn't. Still, she needed to be strong for her man.

"Ian ..." Nick croaked out in a hoarse whisper.

Tina's stomach flipped again. "What about Ian?"

Animation returned to Nick's body, slowly but surely. "Oh, god, Tina, I've done it, I've really done it now! I told him I thought he was gay, and he just jumped up and ran away from me, wouldn't speak to me, wouldn't even look at me. He hates me, and it's all my fault." Nick's voice cracked as he spoke, and the tears began to flow again as his body was wracked with sobs.

The knot in Tina's stomach unravelled at speed, turning into a churning ball of nausea. So it had finally happened! Still, it wasn't the end of the world. Surely with the healing of time and the history of their years Nick and Ian could come to get over something like this. Her brain shuddered to think what Ian was going through right now, but her heart went out to her husband and she sat with him, folding her arms about him and cradling him like a baby.

"Tell me exactly what happened," she cooed. "Every word, baby. Come on, Nick, let it all out!"

Between slowly diminishing sobs Nick related the events of the evening, re-living them as he did and revealing every last detail to his wife. When he had finished a new sentiment began to make itself felt -- anger. Nick was beginning to express the resentment that had been buried for so long within him, resentment that he had to keep something from his best friend which was important; resentment that he had shared everything with Ian, but that Ian had refused to return the confidence; resentment that his `mate' had felt Nick couldn't be trusted with a part of Ian's life that in many ways defined Ian's very being.

Tina could see the emotion building, and tried to head it off. There would be time for that particular bridge to be crossed later, she told herself. Drawing Nick's eyes to her own, she calmed him again, effecting a very slight and subtle change in the subject.

"This other man who came up to you at the table -- do you think he might have been Ian's lover?"

Nick stopped, forced himself to think of this new possibility. "No. Ian called him `Mr Carruthers'. You don't speak like that to a lover, no matter how unexpected or unwanted they may be. Although this Geoff guy did seem to want to be all chummy and mates with Ian."

"Hmmm," Tina mused. "I wonder just how he fits into the picture?"

"All I know is that Ian didn't want to hang around to speak with either of us. I swear he looked like he was going to throw up on the spot. He jumped up and raced out so fast. Oh, Tina, will he ever forgive me?" Again Nick's eyes filled with moisture and he collapsed into the lounge where he sat, his body language spelling out total defeat.

If Nick is in this bad a state, how is Ian? Tina wondered to herself. Would he do anything stupid? Would he try to hurt himself? She didn't think so, but she couldn't be sure. Suddenly, she knew she had to go to him. No one else would know what had happened. There wasn't anyone else Ian could turn to, anyone who would even realise Ian had a problem. But she couldn't leave her man alone in his condition either. She winced as she realised that under any other circumstances, the one person she would have felt comfortable about calling, to come and sit with Nick, to look after him while she dashed away, was Ian!

She made her decision. Both of the men in her life needed her right now. "Nick, darling, get your jacket on," she said firmly.

"What? Where are we going?"

"To Ian's."

"But Tina, it's 5 o'clock in the morning," Nick protested.

"So? You're awake, I'm awake. I'm pretty sure Ian will be awake too. He needs us Nick, even if he doesn't know it, and he needs us now, not at some convenient time later in the day."


When they arrived outside Ian's home, Tina had Nick wait in the car while she approached the front door with growing trepidation. No sense in having the two confront each other right at the start, she reasoned. She pressed the doorbell, and stood back uneasily, wondering yet again just what state of mind Ian would be in. After a few minutes without answer she pressed the bell again, holding it down with a sense of urgency.

Eventually, a quiet voice called through the door.

"Who is it?"

"Ian, it's Tina. Open the door!"

She thought she heard a strangled choking sound, then Ian's voice again. "Go away, Tina, it's 5.30 am!"

"You're right!" she answered. "And we're all awake. Now open this door before I start yelling and wake up all of your neighbours as well!"

There was a soft click, and the door opened a crack. Ian's face appeared from within. "I don't want to see you, Tina. I don't need to talk to you or Nick!" he said flatly.

"Yes you do," she answered quickly. "And I need to talk to you. Please, Ian, let me in, for all of our sakes."

"Where's Nick?"

"He's waiting in the car. Just let me in by myself for a minute, please?"

Slowly the door opened, and Ian stood there, looking vacantly at the ground, unable to raise his eyes to meet Tina's. Gently, she pushed the door away and reached for him, her hand on his shoulder. He was still dressed in his work clothes and she guessed rightly that he hadn't slept at all. At her touch, Ian began sobbing loudly, and looked as if he were about to collapse.

Tina pulled him to herself, hugged him tightly. "It's okay, Ian," she whispered. "Everything is going to be alright." With that she helped him inside the house, pushing the door closed again, and led him to a sofa, making him sit beside her.

Still he wouldn't look directly at her. Tina ached for him, uncertain of what to do or say. She took a deep breath.

"Ian, I know you are upset with Nick. He's been crying all night ..." she began.

"He ... he thinks ..." Ian could barely get the words out between gasps, his body shaking. "He thinks I'm ..." That one word stuck in his throat.

"He thinks you're gay." Tina finished for him quietly. "Just for the record, I think you're gay too."

An anguished cry issued from Ian as his world crashed again, but this time he leaned into Tina, let her arms wrap around him, as he fought for control of his emotions.

"There's no use me denying it now," Tina went on softly. "Nick told me exactly what he said. He shouldn't have said it, but he did! But Ian, my darling Ian, it doesn't matter what we think. It doesn't matter whether you are gay or straight, or somewhere in between. What matters is how we feel about you, and how you feel about us. And right now we are all hurting badly, and we all need each other."

"But I ... I can't!" Ian sobbed. "It's so ... so hard, so difficult. I just can't talk about it."

"Ian, you must! You can't keep it bottled up inside," Tina said, almost pleading with him. "Whether it's being gay, or something else entirely, you have to let it out. We're here for you; we love you. No matter what it is, no matter what you tell us, we'll still be here for you."

Ian struggled again with himself.

"Nick ..." he said. "How can I face him? How can I explain to him, when I can hardly explain to myself?"

"Why don't you try?" Tina asked. "He's waiting outside, and I know he's desperate to talk to you. He needs badly to understand, and to help."

Ian sat there, just shaking his head, trying to shake off the last vestiges of denial. Tina sat back a little, his hands still in hers, and spoke again, her tone more serious, more commanding.

"Ian, now is the time! Now is the place to open up. We all have things to say to each other, and this is the crunch. You have to talk to us, and you have to listen to what we have to say, or you'll never be able to do it. Will you let me bring Nick in?"

He didn't answer out loud, simply slumped in the chair and nodded, his pale, watery eyes looking up at her and begging for some way out, but finding only concern and determination.

Tina backed away from him slowly, keeping an eye on him as she did. She reached for the door and pulled it open, looking to where Nick still sat in their car outside. With a wave, she beckoned to him, indicating he should come inside. Nick climbed from the car slowly, reluctantly, and hesitated as he looked at the all too familiar house, wondering what was awaiting him inside. Gradually, forcing himself to take the steps, he made his way up the path.

"It's going to be alright," Tina assured him. "Just take it easy. He's upset, but he's not angry. He needs to talk, he just doesn't know it yet," she whispered to her man as she led him inside.

Nick entered the living room, and looked at his friend. Ian lifted his face and returned the stare without words for a long moment before his resolve cracked, and he turned away again, his body shaking with emotion.

"Ian, I'm so, so sorry!" Nick blurted out, hurrying over to be closer to his friend, standing beside him but not touching him.

"No!" Ian croaked. "I'm sorry. Sorry for running away, sorry for not talking to you, sorry for everything!"

"What everything?" Nick asked, almost in tears again himself.

"Just ... being ... wrong," Ian stammered. "For being a failure, for not telling you, for disappointing and upsetting you."

Nick looked at his mate, his heart breaking. "You haven't done anything like that, Ian. You're my best friend. You couldn't disappoint me ..."

Ian stood up, a little shaky on his feet, but avoided Nick's offered support. He walked away a little before turning to face the two of them. He took a deep breath, and started again, his eyes wide and pleading.

"Nick, Tina, I ..." he stopped, coughed, started again. "I'm ..."

"It's okay, mate, you don't have to say it," Nick interrupted, but Tina cut him off. Suddenly she knew that that was exactly what Ian did have to do -- say it.

"Yes he does Nick! Come on Ian, just tell us. Whatever it is, just say it!"

"I'm ..." There was a strangled, choking sound in his throat, and finally he found the word, the one awful word he had been avoiding for years. "I'm gay!"

"It's okay," Nick responded instantly, this time going to Ian and throwing his arms around him. "I don't care!"

Tina joined them. Her arms around both, one hand on each of their backs as she nuzzled her head between theirs. "We still love you, Ian," she whispered.

Suddenly the floodgates opened. Ian shook as the words tumbled out in a torrent long held back. "But I'm gay! I'm `one of them', a poofter, a fairy, a queer. I'm the kind of guy we used to make fun of at school, the kind of guy you warn kids about, and stay away from. I have sex with men! You don't want to be near me, don't want to have people think you know me. I'm the one women giggle about and men want to beat up." He tried to break free of them, but Nick held him tight, and Tina embraced him again.

"That's not true!" Nick almost shouted. "You're my mate, my friend. You know all my secrets and you care about me. I don't give a fuck who you sleep with! And if anyone laughs at you, or tries to beat you up, I'll be there for you, to give as good as you get."

Tina joined in. "Ian, you're a wonderful person. I won't have you use those awful words, and I won't have anyone else use them around me! I'm proud to be with you, proud to be your friend. And I'd be prouder than hell if you ever wanted to introduce me to your boyfriend! Not only won't I warn my kids about you, I hope and pray they turn out to be half the man you are!"

Ian still shook his head, still resisted, but his strength waned. Now that he had said the words out loud, it somehow seemed easier.

"Ian," Nick spoke again. "We've known, or at least suspected, that you were gay for a long while." Ian looked up sharply, disbelief on his face, but Nick didn't let him speak. "If we didn't want to be associated with you, if we were upset or repulsed by you, do you really think we would have stayed friends all these years? We've been waiting for you to tell us, to trust us enough to share it with us."

"Am I that obvious?" Ian asked in a hushed voice. "Does everyone know? Can they see it on my face?"

"Of course not!" Tina said. "But we're not everyone. We see you in a different way. We see how you feel, we know when you're upset, or when you're trying to hide something. We want to be a part of all of your life, not just the edges."

Ian shook his head again, and Nick finally released him. "I need a drink," Nick declared, heading for the liquor cabinet.

"Just one shot!" Tina warned, but without trying to dissuade him. "And make that three. We could all use it! I'll put the coffee on."

As Nick and Tina went about their self-assigned chores, Ian sat down heavily in an armchair, looking at the two of them and trying to come to terms with what had happened. It all seemed so unreal, and he had lost track of time as this night had played out.

Tina set down steaming mugs of coffee for each of them as Nick handed out shot glasses of Sambucca, Ian's favoured spirit. He sat in the other arm chair and Tina took up a position between them on the sofa, watching both carefully.

"When did you know?" Ian asked softly, not addressing either of them specifically.

"We didn't know for certain," Nick began, "but we suspected. It was the way you avoided certain subjects, the fact that you haven't dated for years."

"The way you look at men when you think no one can see," added Tina. "Nick didn't pick it up at all, Ian, until I pointed it out. If anyone is at fault it's me. I could just sense it."

"So, how long?"

"Before we were married!" Tina said softly.

"Oh, my god! And you kept it to yourself since then?" Ian's eyes were wide.

"We guessed you'd tell us when you were ready. Until then it was your business," Nick said.

"Yes!" Tina said, shooting a look at Nick. "We didn't mean for it to come out like this at all."

Nick looked downcast again, and his wife regretted her outburst. Trying to regain the momentum, she added. "But it has, and I'm glad. Finally we can discuss it openly." As Nick looked up again, she gave him a look of love and apology, and he smiled.

"What about you?" Nick asked Ian. "How long ago did you realise?"

"That I was ... `that way', you mean?"

"The word, Ian, is `gay'. It's not a dirty word and it doesn't upset us or offend us. It doesn't even have four letters! For heaven's sake, you're gay! You're not perverted, or a homicidal maniac. You're not even a politician," Tina burst out, trying to lighten the mood a little. She stopped, pretending to think, and went on, " ... of course, you are a lawyer ..."

Finally, the three of them shared a laugh, and began to relax.

Ian tried to answer Nick's question. "I guess in hindsight, I've known for as long as I can ever remember thinking about things from a sexual point of view." He stopped, sipped his drink and thought about it again. "I just didn't want to believe it myself. I didn't want to be gay; I didn't want to be different. I kept telling myself I'd grow out of it! Like it was just a phase I was going through."

"Some phase!" Nick said.

Ian smiled again. "Remember the girls I dated at school?"

"I sure do," Nick leered. "There was Suzie, and Jane, and Michaela -- now that was one hell of a pair of ..."

"Nick!" Tina warned, and her husband blushed and silenced himself.

"Well, they were all good friends," Ian went on, "but I just never felt, you know, `aroused' by them. I tried, but nothing ever happened."

"You mean you never...?" said Nick, surprised now.

"I tried," Ian said. "I even almost did `it' once. I'm not saying who, not while Tina's here anyway," he grinned, and she stuck her tongue out at him. "But we got close. We were naked and kissing and petting, and she wanted to. I started, but all of a sudden I just lost it ..."

Nick whispered conspiratorially, "But that happens to everyone at some time, mate."

Ian chuckled to himself. "Maybe, but not because you're actually thinking about her brother instead of her!"

"Oh, shit!" came a chorus that was followed by gales of laughter from both Nick and Tina at once. Ian joined in, trying to drink some more as he did, unsuccessfully.

"Eventually it dawned on me that I just wasn't going to change, that I was `stuck' like this. I thought about getting married, but that wouldn't have been fair either to me or to the girl I married. So I just decided to bury it, keep it a secret. From everyone. And for that much I'm so sorry," he said, his eyes pleading with them for forgiveness.

Tina nodded sagely, and Nick grinned at his newly re-discovered best friend.

"What about, ummm, `partners'?" Nick asked hesitantly.

"Well, I'm no virgin," said Ian with a smile. "But there hasn't been anyone special, anyone long term, if that's what you mean."

"Not at all?"


"Oh, Ian, that's sad, and wrong," said Tina. "You'd make a wonderful partner. Any man would be lucky to have you."

"Maybe ..." mused Ian, sounding unconvinced.

"Please don't bite my head off ..." said Nick softly, as Ian turned to face him again, curious now.

" ... but what about this guy from last night -- Geoff?"

Ian's eyes opened in shock, and a recurrence of fear, which he slowly brought under control again. Eventually he answered. "No. He's a client. That's all."

"Seemed a bit more than that," Nick risked, pushing the new limits of Ian's personal life discussion.

"He drops hints about getting together all the time," Ian said quietly. "But I don't know. I don't know how he knew about me, and it scares me to think about seeing him."

"Well, that's something to mull over later!" Tina declared, closing off Nick's questions on the subject as she shot him a warning glance. "Right now, I think we could all use some sleep!"

She began to usher Nick to the door, and turned back to Ian. "Are you sure you'll be okay?"

He smiled, and with that smile quite a few years of hiding and secretive behaviours fell away. "Yes, I'm sure. Thank you."

Nick stood watching the two people who were most dear to him. He stepped back to Ian, threw his arms around him, and held him tight. "I love you!" he said sincerely.

Ian looked at him, and tears formed again, but this time they were tears of joy. "I love you too," he said. "Both of you! And thank you again. For everything."

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This story is a fantasy, it is not real and only happened in my imagination. YOU MUST REMEMBER that in the real world, you can DIE from having unsafe sex. It is your right and your duty to make sure that condoms are always used, whether you are giving or receiving. It doesn't matter how good looking or how ugly he is, and it doesn't matter whether you are top or bottom, USE A CONDOM!