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I ♥ NY (It’s My Friends I’m Not Sure Of)

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man, in possession of the honour of gracing both the Forbes 400 and the Post’s most eligible bachelor list in the same year, must be–

“…About to kill his dear friend if she insists on spouting any more of that overworked cliché in his hearing?”

Emma pouted at him in disappointment over her lunchtime martini and Janos snickered from his seat at the breakfast bar. Erik merely raised an eyebrow at her. He’d known her far too long to be taken in by her sulks and she knew it, so she stopped making puppy eyes and instead just rolled them at him. “Well, you must admit that the rest of the quote does fit you.”

“I’ve done the wife thing once. It didn’t take and I definitely don’t want another.” Erik said. “Besides” he added placidly “I’ve sucked far too much cock since then to be an appealing prospect for any female.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about, darling.” Emma rejoined sweetly “I know of at least five women of my acquaintance who’d happily pay to see you put on that sort of show.”

“Cocksucking hardly counts as a show, Emma. Supporting act at best. You need rimming for the full song and dance.”

“You’re so lucky your mother has taken the twins out.” Janos called from the kitchen area, not looking up from where his thumbs were flying over his phone as he texted.

Erik mock-groaned and let his head fall back on the couch. “Yes, yes. I know. I should take more care with joking about sexual matters when my children could be in the vicinity because they pick things up and repeat them and this is why their school teachers keep having ‘quiet words’ with me.”

Janos’ tone was amused. “Oh no, it’s not that. I think they’re probably beyond saving anyway, poor things” he said absently. He finally looked up and added gleefully “No. What I meant was that given the news recently if your mother hears talk about marriage she’ll be all over it like a fat boy on cake!”

Erik’s groan was genuine this time. Edie Lehnsherr was a wonderful person; a small, dark, buzzing hive of energy and, in her the eyes of her son, the loveliest woman alive. She could also take nagging to the level of an Olympic sport if she felt it was for Erik’s own good and ever since he’d started calming down from his brief party period of a few years ago his mother had got it into her head that what he needed was a permanent partner.

She’d also tried the ‘wife’ angle at first and there’d been continual mention of ‘settling down with a nice girl’ until Erik gently told her that although he liked women a lot he was fairly certain he’d used up the majority of his heterosexual impulses on his short marriage to Magda.

Erik had to give his mother credit. She hadn’t even blinked. Just said “Well, a nice boy then.”

He’d tried to argue that he’d already done his duty and provided her with grandchildren but she’d just patted his cheek and said “Oh, liebling… That’s not the point. I just want you to find someone who makes you happy.” And Erik had had no answer to that at all. Edie quite often brought him up short with affection like that – he suspected women got taught how to in secret classes somewhere.

*

Erik had come out to his father later that same day – he’d figured why not get both parents out of the way – and had told him over the sprawling model train set his father was slowly building in the study of his parents’ apartment with Erik’s occasional help.

He’d felt oddly nervous as he’d said hesitantly “Papa, I wanted to tell you something...”

His father had said “Yes?” without really paying attention and Erik had plunged on, “Papa… You do know I like men, right?” Jakob Lehnsherr had looked up, blinked and said again, mildly “Yes?”

Doggedly determined to get the full picture across with no misunderstanding Erik had said “I mean that I like sleeping with men.” His father had just cocked his head and said “Yes? And?”

Completely shocked, Erik had spluttered “What? …Wait. You knew?!” and his father had said cheerfully “Well, I didn’t think you bought those ‘Bodies of Steel’ magazines as a teenager for the exercise tips. Was that all?”

When Erik just nodded, his brain offline, his father said kindly, “Gut. Well, that copper track support next to you needs a 30 degree bend put in it. See to it, there’s a good boy.”

It wasn’t just Erik’s mother who was good at catching him unawares.

*

So Janos was quite right. With the recent legalisation of gay marriage in New York that was back on the cards as far as Edie was concerned.

Erik softly swore at Emma for bringing the topic up where his mother might somehow, psychically, know about it. He had no interest in even getting together with someone, let alone married.

After all, he had his beautiful if at times exhaustingly lively children, he had his parents and his two best friends and his work.

What more could he want in life?

* * *