Jim approached the café where he was meeting his new boyfriend for lunch. It was a warm sunny day and he was very much hoping he could convince his boyfriend to eat outside.

Sunglasses firmly in place, Jim stepped into the entryway for the restaurant. Of course his boyfriend was already waiting.

He smiled. “Hi Spock. Been waiting long?”

“Only ten minutes.”

“Mind if we have an outdoor table?”

“No, that is fine.”

After they were seated, Jim noticed Spock was eying him rather than the menu. Pushing away his nervousness, he smiled.

“Something wrong?”

“I do not believe so.”

“Made up your mind about your food already?”

“No.” Spock paused. “Jim. May I see your eyes.”

Jim tried laughing it off. “What? Why?”


He sighed. Took off his sunglasses and waited.

“You have a black eye.”


“You have been fighting again.” The reproach was there. Oh, yes, it was.

“Geez, Spock, you make it sound like a frequent thing.”

Spock pursed his lips, picked up his menu and said, “Is it not?”

“No. I mean sure, since we’ve been seeing each other there have been three times but…” Jim put his sunglasses back on. “I’m not like that.”

Spock remained silent, continuing to look at his menu.

Jim’s heart was pounding painfully. “You-you’re rethinking this, aren’t you?”

“Lunch?” Spock murmured.

“No and you know that’s not what I mean. Us.”

Spock put down his menu. “May I inquire as to the nature of this particular latest skirmish?”

Jim bit his lip. Then winched. He’d forgotten it was slightly split. “Some guy said some stupid shit and I hit him and his friends jumped me and it went from there.”

“Stupid shit,” Spock repeated.


“About me.”

Jim nodded and looked away.

“Jim, give me your hand.”

He glanced at Spock, then put out his hand which Spock took in his.

“First, no, I am not.”

Jim frowned.

“Rethinking us.”

“Okay. Good because…”

“I do not care what they say about me.”

“Words have power.”

“Only if you allow them to, which I do not. And I would never wish for you to be put in harm’s way over thoughtless words spoken by those who are meaningless to us.”


“I ask that next time, you simply walk away and contact me. We will discuss their words or their inferior thinking or the weather or what we plan to do later that day. Anything but engaging in violent confrontations. And if I am not available because I am instructing a class or in a meeting, I ask that you walk away anyway and wait for me.”

Jim closed his eyes, sighed, and nodded. “Okay.”

“Ashaya. Remove those glasses and look at me. I wish to see your beautiful eyes, even if they are damaged.”

Jim smiled a little and took the glasses off and set them on the table. “Are you hungry?”

“Not particularly.”

“Me either. And if I am later, we can order something to be delivered. Let’s get out of here. I just want to go home and be with you.”

Spock squeezed his hand. “I concur.”

They got up and left, telling the hostess as they left that they wouldn’t be staying. And side by side, they walked home.