Title: Escape
Author: Christine Logan
Fandom: Eastenders
Pairing: Steve Owen/Beppe Di Marco
Archive: Yes to list.
Email: FanFiccer@aol.com 
Series: Yes, WIP.
Rating: R, for now.
Disclaimer: Eastenders belongs to BBC, I make no pretense of owning these
characters. I make no money from them. I take no responsibility for their sex
orgies, or the stop sign they ran over when Beppe forgot which side of the
road they were supposed to be driving on. However, the story is mine, ask
first before distributing or archiving.

Thanks to Kitty for her beta. I would definitely appreciate feedback to my
e-mail addy, I'm sure that some of the slang must be incorrect or misused,
and I'd love to hear any positive comments as well. This story is set in
March, 2001, the day after Steve found out his fiancée cheated on him with a
man he despises, and a few hours after he told best man Beppe.

Escape

by Christine Logan



He thought he could forgive her anything.

The happiest day of his life. With his passive-aggressive mother and Phil
Mitchell in the room, not likely. But he had Mel. She was supposed to make
his life good and pure and everything he'd never been.

"...no reason why I, Melanie Jane Healy, may be joined in matrimony to Steven
Richard Owen."

"May not be joined."

"Sorry, may not be joined."

Steve smiled at Melanie's quick catch-up. If she'd told him days, even weeks
after she'd bedded Mitchell, the rage would have lived, but not so strong, so
merciless.

He felt his face curling into a snarl; her own plastic, quivering display of
perfect teeth growing more unsteady.

Melanie, who had forgiven his mistakes, didn't give a monkey's about seeking
his
forgiveness. Lying every time she hugged him, kissed him, shared his bed.

Her soft fingers brushed against his face, a touch that burnt and froze the
skin.

"Steven?"

The registrar's words were easy to ignore. Mitchell, Lisa, Mark, even his
bloody mum were fleas, flicked off his back while he lived day after dreary
day in his own head, in Walford.

Mel was his reason for getting up in the morning. The crown jewel of the
Queen Vic.  Now he wondered if he had ever known her at all, if she used the same
toothpaste smile with him that she used for each face who bought a pint.

"Uh, right..."

Vows written on a shaking card. His mouth froze before he could speak the
words. More lies. So many huge plans that laid hatched in his clenched fists:
taunting, teasing, stretching her pain through this entire blessed event,
fell to the carpeted floor as the cards did.

"You're a slag."

The pristine mask finally crumbled, beautiful green-brown eyes brimming with
tears. Such pleasure in this type of cruelty, a sliver almost canceling out
the knife of pain in his chest.

A sea of faces clicked in his peripheral vision, one by one. Gasping; stoic,
constipated stare; glee; and mum, with her pained, HRH smile of satisfaction.

"Steve, I can..."

He shook his head, walking toward the double doors, the faces mixed with
swirling images of benches and endless flower arrangements.

"Steve, wait!"

His hand flew back, pushing away the air, Melanie still a few steps away.

Mitchell stood up, each step in time with that inflated, bobbing hog's head.

"Y'know, Steve, s'no harm in sharing. I'll be a nice bloke, since you sampled
'er first."

Mitchell wanted a fight; he always wanted a fight. Steve grabbed him by the
collar, that damn smirk begging for a punch.

"Don't do this."

Who'd she think she was, some puppet master?

He had the bloody bully inches away, so close to his fist, and everything
inside him yelled to pummel until he reached the place where Mel wasn't able
to hurt him.

But that meant ruining Mel's special day, and she deserved so much better.

Fingers gouging both lapels, Steve dragged Mitchell out to the aisle, shoving
him to the carpet near Mel's feet.

"Happiest day of my life, Mel."

The words were spit out, choked from the lump he swallowed. Her face flashed
pity, shoulders sagging in her blue dress, and he found it impossible to keep eye
contact. He turned away when she began walking toward him.

Steve flung the doors open, ignoring her pleading, Phil's laughing, and the
footsteps behind him. Ignoring everything until he felt the cool hints of
spring air, the backseat of the car, the driver he shouted instructions at.

View blotted by the fingertips over his eyes, Steve leaned forward, nose
pressed against his upraised knees. He'd beaten addiction, murder, numerous
threats, but a tart tossing her knickers off had blindsided him. It was
ridiculous.

When he ground his palms into his sockets, the tears stayed hidden, where
they belonged. The warm hand on his shoulder wasn't a surprise, easily
identified. Only Beppe had that peculiar way of showing affection while
repressing as much emotion as he possibly could. Had to have ulcers the size
of his forehead.

Steve almost leaned into the strong grip on his arm, stopping himself. No
reason to get that vulnerable, certainly not now.

"I'm alright."

"You sure, Steve?"

"What I said, wasn't it?"

Adjusting in the leather seating, he smoothed out his trousers. Had to prove
his strength, couldn't just talk. He stared full-on into the hooded brown
eyes.

Beppe wore a permanent wince, Steve's pain mirrored. Through his own haze,
Steve barely understood why. They were chums, but not great friends. Maybe
he'd joined that exclusive 'my girlfriend slept here, and there, and there
too' club Beppe was an established member of. Somehow, the compassion in
those velvet eyes ran deeper than shared adultery.

"We're here."

Time had stopped in the car, nothing but buildings and trees, faceless
people. The ideal life, no connections, no thoughts.

As soon as Steve's feet hit the pavement, he knew he had to get away from
Walford. The vultures always circling, the skies that seemed to drive away
sunshine, the judgmental, gossipy, stalled lumps that ran the stalls, and
Mel. She had to be on her way back, sure Steve would absolve her in time for
a quick honeymoon.

Steve took a step at a time, grateful he'd already paid for the driver, since
his wallet was with his keys, and his keys were nowhere to be found.

The keys to his front door.

"Here."

Steve clasped the hand drifting in his direction, squeezing lightly as he
took the keys. They were almost in the front door when the voices greeted him
from the street.

"Forget the rings, did you?"

Pauline Fowler. Dour, middle-aged widow, cryptkeeper at the launderette, her
children mired in personal crises at least once a year.

"Pauline and I saw the car pull up, here instead of the Vic, and I said to
Pauline, there are so few happy marriages around Walford now, we should do
our best to help such a lovely youn..."

Dot Cotton, town busybody, oldest woman in the Square. She knew every
going-on in Walford, and what she didn't know, she'd bust kneecaps to find
out.

Beppe began to politely brush them away, as Steve stepped over the threshold.

He smiled at the two ladies, full of a certain icy mirth, nodding for Beppe
to give up.

"The wedding's off."

Dot's eyes popped as she lit her fag.

"Wha-What's that you said? The wedding's off?"

His eyebrows raised, lips curling around the words as the door slowly closed.

"Ask Mel. And Phil Mitchell."

He pictured their chirping; a chuckle lived and died in his throat, a
momentary distraction.

Beppe cocked his head, a deeper frown setting into his face.

Steve rubbed his hands together as he briskly walked through the hall, toward
his bedroom.

"Steve, they didn't have to know."

Steve licked his lips, running a quick hand through his hair.

"Never let it be said that I didn't leave her a wedding present."

The bag had been packed days ago, ready for the trunk of Slater's taxi.

His eyes darted between the walls once, then twice, the third time leading
him to a paperback on Capone. Tons of free time.

"Spare ticket and all, wanna take a trip together Beppe?"

Even with back turned, Steve could feel the shift of muscles on the other
man's face, how moved he was, how lonely he must have been to be honoured by
an invite from a man who was obviously desperate for any company.

"Thanks mate...really...but Joe's visiting."

Children he'd never have, with beautiful smiles and blonde hair, the girl's
shoulder-length and not too shiny, just like her mum.

Steve rubbed his wet eyes, cool space behind him invaded by a warm body.

"She made a mistake."

He had to laugh that time, turning around, voice mocking.

"She made a mistake. Damn right she did."

Pocketing the book, he shrugged away the hand at his neck, only to feel it
pushed back on again, more insistent this time.

"You don't have to marry her. Or forgive her. At least let her tell her
side."

"Still the 'ol bill, eh? I heard her side last night on that tape, don't need
to again. She said she enjoyed it, can you believe that? She enjoyed sleeping
with that pig."

The last word was spit out, a few drops landing on Beppe's cheek. Didn't even
bother to wipe them away. Steve cupped the back of Beppe's neck, fingers
brushing against dark hair.

"If Sandra came back, saying it was all some big mistake, would you take her
back?"

Beppe shook his head.

"It isn't the same."

"Yeah, you let her fuck you over twice."

The soft, chocolate eyes brimmed with storm clouds, and where their foreheads
had almost touched, the cool air returned.

Even as Beppe stormed out, the heat from his neck reddened Steve's palm, his
friend's sharp pain flashed in Steve's mind, like a puppy who had been
kicked. Second person that day he'd hurt, but this one did absolutely nothing
to deserve it.

Running, almost tripping over a rug, he caught Beppe before he reached for
the handle.

Neatly trimmed  facial hair scraped Steve's thumbs, holding the sides of
Beppe's pear-shaped head as he whispered.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I don't know what I'm doing."

The slight musk of Beppe's cologne wafted from his rumpled suit jacket. Such
a different smell from her perfume. Drawing a closer breath, his nose brushed
against the white collar.

"Steve."

Beppe's narrow lower lip snuck inside his mouth as he talked, probably worn
down by decades of buffeting that gargled-in-glass voice.

Steve's fingers drew deeper tunnels into Beppe's dark locks, sudden urge to
taste the complexion pushing a sharp, jerky nip of that slender lip between
his teeth. Beppe swallowed, Adam's Apple bobbing.

"Ste..."

"Shh."

Breaths loud and intermingled, Steve could no longer tell his own apart from
Beppe's. He and Beppe were enjoined at this moment, shorter, Italian frame
flanked against his lankier body. The hand that slid down Beppe's shoulders
helped this painful friction, stopping at the small of his back.

Beppe's nose rubbed against his, trails of sweat swimming down his temple. In
a slow, vertical trail, Steve bathed the slick surface, tongue tainted with
salt.

Beppe let out some sort of raspy sigh, and Steve pulled back marginally. This
masculine, sexual man, creased with daily frown lines and worries, gave him
such a naked stare. Waiting, waiting for...

Head cocked, Steve brushed his lips across the hesitantly eager lips, both
sets of skin pillows held together by friction and curious amazement.

Hearing another gasp or groan, Steve dipped into the opening mouth, saltiness
coating the remnants of champagne and cereal. Very warm, sucking on Beppe's
tongue as he imagined sucking on his cock. Threading his fingers in and out
of Beppe's jacket buttons as he pictured sinking into his arse.

Sliding along the roof of Beppe's mouth, he let hands push at his chest,
slowly dissolving into exploratory touches, across his flat stomach, up his
broad shoulders.

Beppe's grey suit pants brushed against Steve's, slow thrusts, erections
stabbing clothed thighs until their mouths disconnecting with a slimy, low
pop.

Teeth sank into Steve's chin, biting and then smoothing over the cleft,
apologetically. Steve heard himself gasping this time, planting a soft, wet
kiss on Beppe's forehead.

"I want you so much."

Panting, he barely noticed Beppe freeze up at the words.

Thumb and forefinger tangled in metal, Steve began unzipping Beppe's fly,
grunting at the hand pushing him away.

Their eyes met for a moment, genuine fear in Beppe's as he backed away, the
kind only seen when he thought he might lose his son. A terrible idea, bad
timing, maybe, but Steve felt no guilt, even though he thought he should.

The door opened, cold air rushing in before it closed, and Steve was alone
again. Leaning against the wall, he waited for his breathing to calm, fixing
his tie for no reason.

In business, he hid behind his suits, his casual arrogance. That mask had
been discarded for Mel; now that it was gone, he was 16 again, ready to
blubber at the wrong word. He refused to blubber for Beppe Di Marco.

Bag ready, he found Slater standing by his taxi, and rattled off an address.
As soon as he found her number, he'd call Jackie, she could meet him and take
him back to her place.

Looking back as the cab drove off, he saw Melanie running to his door,
knocking, mouthing his name.

Billy could take over day-to-day at E20. Until Steve found someone with a
brain at least. His stuff could be shipped to Jackie's place, a few sob
stories about their mother and she'd crumble.

No reason for him to ever come back to Walford.

Beppe stood on the sidewalk, arms crossed, dress shirt still ruffled under
the unbuttoned jacket.

Steve felt his gaze burning all the way through the glass.

No reason, he told himself again. No reason at all.


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