Calling the Ball

BY : The_CL
Category: Original - Misc > -Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 5157
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

a/n:  So this here is my NaNo Novel.  It's finished just doing the edits so there should be no huge gaps in the posting of chapters if all goes as planned.  Just fair warning, there's not a lot of sexual content and it takes forever to get to the small amount that is there.

I have a thread in the forums for review replies and discussion and so on, feel free to look me up.

Strong hands gripped Henrick’s slim hips and lifted him, effectively breaking the connection between him and the man beneath him.  Henrick let his body slump forward to land on the broad chest of his current lover, Klaus.  Klaus easily rolled them onto their sides before he completely disengaged and got out of the bed.  Henrick sighed and rolled onto his stomach.

“Going to shower,” Klaus said.  The way he said it made it clear that there was no invitation for Henrick to join him hidden in those words – not that he’d expected them too but sheesh a change in routine wouldn’t hurt.

Henrick just grunted in acknowledgement of the statement.  He folded his arms under his head and listened to the shower run in the adjoining room.  He started to drift off just a little by the time Klaus emerged from the bathroom vigorously rubbing his short brown hair with a towel.  Klaus threw the used linen onto the bedroom floor before he bent to retrieve his boxers.  Henrick watched as the muscular man pulled them up over long well-toned legs.

To Henrick’s surprise Klaus sat on the bed then stretched out, leaning against the head board.  He reached for the remote and turned on the television.  “Are you going to shower?” he asked as he settled on a sports channel. 

“Mmmm, probably, just don’t want to move yet,” Henrick said.  Klaus started stroking Henrick’s thigh absentmindedly as he watched the sports news.

“Wore you out, did I?” Klaus asked, a hint of pride in his voice.  Henrick snorted but nodded, never hurt to stroke a man’s ego a little.  “Rest a bit then.”

Henrick was once again half asleep when Klaus’s softly muttered “What’s the jack-ass done this time?” startled him awake.

“Who?” Henrick questioned in a sleepy voice.

“Alessi, that ass is in trouble again,” Klaus said.

Henrick studied his bed partner’s profile as the sports news anchor’s voice came out of the TV in the tone, of what Henrick thought was barely disguised glee, that they reserved for bad news.  “Valentino Alessi, the bad boy of the bundeslegia is at it again.  This morning headlines across most of Europe were accompanied by pictures of the leagues number one striker entering a hotel room in Rome with two girls that upon further investigation, turned out to be under aged.  Articles in both the Sun Times of London and The Morning Press of Rome, detailed the entire event from when Alessi met the girls in the hotel restaurant until he exited their hotel room over two hours after entering.  The girl’s names haven’t been released since they are minors but so far the children’s parents have not responded to repeated requests from the media as to their awareness of the incident.  Roman police chief, Antonio Scalari, said in a statement to the press that the situation is being looked into and that if it is deemed necessary the appropriate charges will be filed.  This isn’t the first time Alessi’s come under fire for his indiscretions in the bedroom.  It’s only been a year and a half since Paulo Gianotti stepped…

“I hope that bastard gets what’s coming to him,” Klaus growled drowning out what the news anchor was saying.

“I’m sure they need to wait until all the facts are in before they can hang the man,” Henrick said as he got out of the bed.  He was no fan of Valentino Alessi but he wasn’t ready to pronounce guilt just on the say so of the media.  “I’m going to shower now.”  Klaus waved him away and turned his attention back to the TV.

Henrick showered and was prepared to dress and leave since that was how his hook ups with Klaus usually went so he was surprised to find Klaus still lying on the bed in his underwear when he finished in the bathroom.  Henrick stepped up to the side of the bed next to Klaus and looked down at him.  “Aren’t we leaving?” he asked.

Klaus put a finger inside the towel that Henrick had cinched around his waist and pulled him closer.  “I thought maybe we could order some dinner from room service.  We need to talk,” Klaus said.  He let one hand wander across Henrick’s hip and back to take one of the smaller man’s ass cheeks in his hand to give it a squeeze.

Henrick didn’t like the sound of that neither the getting a meal together after sex or the we need to talk was anything Henrick wanted to hear out of Klaus’s mouth.  They never spent any time out of the bed unless it was the rare business trip that they were put on together and ended up sharing a room.  The last time they’d need to talk, Klaus had told Henrick he was dating Lydia in accounting so needing to talk never meant anything good.  The two things combined caused a deep sense of foreboding to creep into Henrick’s body.

“You don’t have to buy me dinner to tell me it’s over,” Henrick said trying not to sound upset at the prospect.

Klaus released Henrick’s ass and grabbed Henrick’s hand as he tried to turn away.  “Who said it was over?” he asked.

“Did you rent the room for the whole night?” Henrick asked as his breath quickened.

Klaus frowned at the question.  “I did because I thought, it being Friday and all, that we could make a night of it,” he said as if it was something they did all the time.

Henrick shook his head.  “No, the last time we spent an entire night together was when you convinced me that you dating Lydia was just for your public image so it wasn’t really cheating when we were together,” Henrick said.  The sour taste in his mouth proved just how dirty it still made him feel to be fucking a man that was in a relationship – fake or not.  Henrick was sure that Lydia wouldn’t see it as any less than cheating on Klaus’s part.

Klaus released Henrick’s hand and turned to sit up on the side of the bed.  “It’s not cheating.  I’m not in love with her and you know that.  But I can’t get anywhere with the company if I’m not on track socially.  Do you think I want to be stuck in this position forever?  If I want to move up I need to do something that will make it easier for me to do so,” Klaus said.

Henrick turned away from Klaus because he thought he knew what they needed to talk about now.  He didn’t want Klaus to see the tears that he knew would come after Klaus said the words.  “Okay so tell me what it is exactly that you need to do to get that promotion you want so badly,” Henrick said.

Klaus cleared his throat, a nervous habit that meant bad news was on its way.  It was one Henrick knew all too well.  “I’ve asked Lydia to marry me,” he said.

Henrick let his shoulders droop.  It was what he’d expected but had hoped wouldn’t happen.  “So that’s it then.  This was supposed to be some kind of last hurrah before you went off to find wedded bliss in the arms of a woman you claim to have no feelings for,” Henrick said dejectedly because he just couldn’t pretend that he didn’t care.

Klaus was suddenly behind him.  Henrick tried to step away but he was no match for the powerful arms that held him against a sturdy body almost twice his size.  “Henrick, there’s no need to be so dramatic.  Nothing has to change between us.  I still want you and I can always get away to meet up with you,” Klaus said as if that was the answer to all the problems Henrick had with him marrying Lydia.

Henrick struggled but Klaus wouldn’t let him go free.  “Klaus let me go.  If you marry Lydia this is the last time you’ll be with me.  I won’t fuck a married man.  You know I had issues even when you were just dating her but once you take vows then I can’t in good conscience help you cheat on her,” Henrick said.

Klaus released Henrick with a little shove.  “You can’t blackmail me into not marrying her.  If it’s you or her then I’ll choose her,” Klaus spat bitterly.

“I’m not trying to blackmail you Klaus.  I knew this thing we had was just sex.  You were never in it for anything other than getting off as often and as quickly as possible, you made that abundantly clear, but I’m still not going to be your something on the side when you’re a married man,” Henrick said.  Each word that came out of his mouth stabbed him a little deeper because he’d hoped one day Klaus would change his mind and actually want a real relationship.

“You’re being unreasonable, Henrick.  What difference do a few words and a couple of rings make?” Klaus asked as he rubbed at his stubbled jaw in frustration.

Henrick turned to look him in the eye.  “They make a world of difference to me,” he said sadly.  They meant his dream of one day being the one Klaus choose to have a life with was over.   He’d have to stop kidding himself about there being anything behind those occasional soft looks that Klaus gave him.  Henrick would need to move on because Klaus had said it himself – he’d choose Lydia over Henrick when push came to shove.  Henrick didn’t come in first in Klaus’s life, he never had.

“You’re making this all about you.  What about what I need, Henrick?  Do you ever think about how hard this is for me?” Klaus asked like a petulant child.

The anger rose hard and fast in Henrick’s chest.  “Are you kidding me?  All I ever do is think about what you want Klaus.  You wanted to keep this on the down low, so I haven’t told a single soul about who I’m always sneaking out to see.  For over two years now I’ve kept your secret.  You wanted to keep this thing between us just physical, no emotions just meaningless sex and I went along with that too.  But you’ve crossed the line now by asking me to do something against my morals, so what – so that you can have the best of both worlds?”  Henrick asked.  He wanted to throw the question back in Klaus’s face and ask what about me?  What about what he wanted but he didn’t because he knew Klaus didn’t care about anyone except himself.

He’d kept his voice low to avoid having it come out shrilly and hysterical but he could feel himself balancing on the edge of a cliff.  He bent to pick up his discarded clothes because he knew he needed to get out of the room before he said something that would reveal his feelings for Klaus.  It didn’t matter how hard he’d tried to keep his emotions out of the bedroom, somewhere along the way he’d fallen in love with the big clueless oaf.  Klaus’s obliviousness hurt Henrick more than his actually choosing Lydia over him.

Klaus grabbed a hold of Henrick’s shirt as he tried to pull it over his head.  “Just stay for a bit.  We can talk this through and you’ll see that I’m not asking you to do anything more than what you have been doing.  I like you Henrick.  I enjoy the time we’ve spent together.  I realize now that I should have given you more to keep you happy with our arrangement.  I’ve been selfish.  I see that now and I’m prepared to give you more of what you need.  We can spend more time together, not just fucking, maybe we can catch a movie or a game sort of like a date,” Klaus said.

Henrick ripped his shirt out of Klaus’s grasp.  He wanted to scream ‘To little too late’ in the man’s face but he held back.  “I don’t think that’s such a good idea.  What if someone starts questioning you hanging out with the gay guy from the office?  What will your wife think of that?” Henrick sneered instead as he pulled the shirt on.  He jammed his legs into his jeans and buttoned them with trembling hands as he waited for Klaus to say something more.

“Maybe you should just think about my offer and get back to me,” Klaus said.

“Oh I’ll think about it alright,” Henrick said as the anger boiled over into rage.  “I’ll think about it while I’m out cruising for a new cock.”  He stuffed his socks into his jean pockets and his bare feet into his shoes.  He turned on his heel and opened the door.

“You’ll regret leaving like this Henrick.  I know that you have feelings for me…”

Henrick stepped into the hallway and slammed the door on whatever else Klaus had been about to say.  He was done with hiding in the closet with someone that didn’t even love him enough to make it worth the hassle of keeping it a secret.  He exited the hotel and flagged down a taxi.  He gave his address to the driver and sat back in the seat.  He needed to fix his life.  He had plenty of friends and friends with benefits all over of Europe but that wasn’t enough anymore.  Henrick wanted someone that put him first for once – someone that loved him more than everything else in their life.  Was that asking for too much, just to be the most important thing to one person?  Henrick didn’t think it was and he made a vow right there in the back of that cab that he wasn’t going to settle for second best anymore.

Valentino Alessi slumped down in the soft leather of the big chair.  He knew why he’d been summoned to his agent’s office and also why the team manager was there looking constipated while he waited for Tino to get comfortable.  His agent leaned forward with his elbows on the desk in front of him, hands clasped beneath his chin.  Tino braced himself.

“Okay Tino, let’s hear it.  Why are there pictures of you going into and then after a time long enough that it suggests that you were not just signing a couple of autographs, coming out of a hotel room with two under aged girls on the cover of every tabloid from here to Sweden?” Bernardo Calivari asked although he’d already heard the story from Tino the day before. 

Bernardo had been Tino’s first call after he’d been woken up at seven the previous morning by a reporter wanting an exclusive on the next chapter in Tino’s scandal prone career.  He was only having Tino repeat the story for the benefit of the team’s manager, Martin Trumm, who’d flown into Rome just to meet with them so he could hear Tino’s excuses in person.

“They came up to me in the hotel’s restaurant.  They asked me if I’d go back to their room to meet their little brother who’s terminally ill.  I went.  The parents were in the room with the kid.  All you have to do is call them and ask,” Tino said concise and to the point.  Tino watched Martin’s face but the guy was unreadable as always.

“You know who that family was right?” Martin asked.

“I do now,” Tino replied.  Heir Friedberg was the owner of one of the most successful snack food companies in Germany but he was a very private man so Tino had had no idea when he’d met the man that he was in the presence of such power and wealth.  The family had been polite and the young boy just as star struck by a famous footballer as any other eleven year old boy Tino had met.

“Then you know that if this turns sour you’ll be in a very bad position,” Martin said.

“Like I said, all you have to do is call Heir Friedberg and he should be able to tell you that he was there along with his family when I went into that room,” Tino said.  He had no idea why making a phone call to clear his name was being made out to be such a hardship by the two men. 

Bernardo cleared his throat to get the two men’s attention.  “I’ve called his offices in Berlin.  It seems Heir Friedberg and his family have taken a vacation to their private island.  The man himself left instructions that they are not to be disturbed for any reason,” Bernardo said.  He pulled a couple of papers out of a stack and looked at them before he shook his head and laid them back down.  “Now I’ve heard through certain people that they’ve gone there on their son’s wish to die peacefully at his favorite place.  I don’t think that it would be wise to try to contact…”

“But just a quick call couldn’t hurt,” Tino interrupted thinking of all the crap that was about to come his way over the presses allegations.

Bernardo’s lips turned down in a frown as he looked at Tino.  “The man’s son is dying, Tino.  I realize that this will be harmful to your reputation but I believe we must wait until Heir Friedberg returns.  Though a phone call will save you from this,” Bernardo said and waved his hands over his tabloid covered desk, “Interrupting the wish of a dying child will make you seem cruel and heartless and that may do more damage than you can recover from.”

Tino sighed and let his head drop back on the chair.  Bernardo was right but it just added to the big mess the situation was bound to become – no not a mess but a complete catastrophe – if his name wasn’t cleared quickly.  Tino had only been trying to do something nice for a sick kid and now there he was looking like the world’s biggest slime bag that fancied a bit of under aged flesh.  “Fine then what should I do?” Tino asked without picking his head up to look at either man to indicate whom the question had been directed at.

“Well the GFA has already convened and decided that a suspension until you can prove that these allegations are false is the appropriate course of action on their part,” Martin said.  Tino sat up and looked at Martin.  He couldn’t decide if Martin was happy about the news or if the slight lift of the corner of his mouth was disgust. 

“So I’m out then until we can clear my name,” Tino said.  He’d figured as much when Martin had hightailed it to Rome on the red eye but he’d still held out hope.

Martin nodded.  “It’s best if you lie low for a bit,” he said.

“And what exactly should I do to accomplish that?  No matter where I go people know who I am and add to that that the reporters have already started following me around, how do you propose I lie low?” Tino asked.

“Take a vacation, go see your family.  Just stay away from the reporters and keep your nose clean,” Bernardo said as Martin nodded in agreement. 

They had obviously discussed Tino’s fate before he’d joined them and decided that he should hide out instead of standing up to face the press on this issue.  It pissed Tino off because he believed it only made him look guilty but these sorts of things are what he paid his agent to do.  It was Bernardo’s job to figure out what was best for Tino’s career even if Tino detested the advice, he usually took it and came out better for it.

“Fine, I guess you all have it figured out.  I don’t even know why I needed to drive all the way in here for.  You could have just emailed me my directives,” Tino said with a small amount of animosity.

“Tino, you know I’m only looking out for your best interests and a scandal like this will carry over even after your name has been cleared.  You were already under the microscope after the Paulo fiasco.  You’d think that you’d have learned your lesson and made sure that nothing you do can be misconstrued by the press into something it’s not.  Remember our little talk about looking over your shoulder at all times?” Bernardo asked.

“Yeah I remember, I also remember how that one ended,” Tino said.

“Me too,” Bernardo said, “You came out of that one looking like a saint but it put your love life on their radars.  You should have known that you plus a hotel plus a couple of nice looking young women would draw them to you like flies to shit.  Now, you need to just give this some time to blow over.  When we hear anything about Heir Friedberg’s situation, we’ll make sure we waste no time in getting a statement from him.  Until then, Tino, son, take my advice and try to stay out of the spotlight.”

“What your agent is really trying to say is, keep it in your pants for once and everything will eventually work out.  They always do for guys like you,” Martin said snidely.

Tino nodded and bit his tongue, getting into a pissing contest with the manager of his team was not going to get him anywhere.  “Fine, I’ll go,” he said as he stood up.  He shook Martin’s hand quickly and then turned to Bernardo.  “Please let me know as soon as there’s any news.”  He shook Bernardo’s hand but the big burly agent pulled him into a surprise hug.

“You’re a good boy Tino.  I know that you are telling me the truth and you know why I do, but to clear your name in that way would only do more damage than good,” Bernardo said into Tino’s ear low enough that Martin couldn’t eavesdrop.

Tino pulled away and nodded.  “I know.  Don’t worry, it never even crossed my mind to do that,” Tino assured his agent with a smooth lie.  He had thought about coming out and ending the speculation on the matter and clearing his name at the same time – that being gay was at least better than being thought to be a pedophile but apparently he’d been wrong.

Bernardo looked relieved as he smiled and nodded.  “Okay, well then, I guess we’re done here for today.  Tino let me know where you decide to go so I know,” Bernardo said to Tino before turning to Martin.  “You and I still have a bit of business to attend to.”  Martin nodded and took the seat Tino had vacated.

Tino knew when he was being dismissed so he went to the door but hesitated before opening it.  “I think I’ll take that vacation you mentioned,” Tino said with his hand on the door knob.

“That’s good Tino.  Go get some rest and try to relax a bit,” Bernardo said in a dismissive tone.

Tino left the office building and waited for the valet to bring his car around to the front.  The smile on the guy’s face as he pulled up in Tino’s Lamborghini made Tino smile in return.  The guy jumped out of the car and held out the keys.  “This is the greatest car ever, Signore Alessi,” the young man said enthusiastically.

Tino took the keys and dug in his pocket for a tip.  He fished out a bill and handed it over to the kid.  “Thanks for taking care of her for me,” Tino said as he got in the driver’s seat.

“No problem Signore Alessi,” he said.  He put his hand on the door as if to shut it but then leaned down to make eye contact.  “You know I don’t believe what they’re saying about you on the internet.”

Tino tried to make the wan smile on his face look a bit more believable before he said, “Thanks that means a lot coming from a fan.”

The kid chuckled.  “Oh I’m not a fan, I’m a Real Madrid guy all the way but I still think it’s crap.  Have a nice day Signore Alessi,” he said before he closed the door on anything Tino might want to say in response to his little dig.

Tino pulled out onto the crowded narrow street and headed out towards the interstate.  He was going to his family’s vineyard but he’d decided that he was going to take a vacation as soon as he could get it set up.

He had plenty of time to think on the drive across the country to his parent’s vineyard outside of Bari.  Tino knew he was too young to be thinking about retirement, at twenty-nine he was at the peak of his career with at least another five years of playing to look forward too, but the thought of being able to live his life free of public scrutiny was getting more and more appealing with every passing kilometer.  He came to one decision that he believed would make his life feel more real to him and decided that there was no time like the present to start making some changes.

He hit the button to turn on his Bluetooth and another to call his parent’s house.  The ringing on the other end of the line filled the small interior of the car with sound.  After four rings Tino was about to give up hope that his call would be answered but then the ringing ended abruptly and a laugh came down the line.

“Hello, Tino, is that you,” his mother’s voice asked after the laughing stopped.

“Yeah mama, it’s me.  What’s going on?” Tino asked.

“Oh nothing, I was just cooking dinner and your niece decided to help.  The flour canister is still a bit bigger than she is though,” she said.  “So what’s new with you?”

“Mama, I know you’ve seen the papers,” he said because her tone went from mirth to worry in no time flat.

“I have seen the papers but you know that we never believe what they write about you,” she said.

“I know mama and I’m happy that you don’t.  Listen, I’m heading your way right now.  I’m about an hour away but I was wondering if it would be possible to get the whole family over tonight,” Tino asked.

“Oh I’m so happy that you’re coming for a visit and of course I can get everyone over but I need to go so I can make some more tortellini or there won’t be enough.  See you soon honey,” she said and hung up.

Tino smiled because it was just like his mama to forget her phone manners when there was about to be a food shortage.  Tino turned on the radio and switched the station from the sports news channel to one that played rock and roll music.  He hummed along feeling at peace with his decision to finally tell his family that he was gay.  He needed their support in case things took a turn for the worse and the situation got ugly.  How was he to expect them to stand behind him if they didn’t know what they were up against?  

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