Victorious

You watch as he intertwines his fingers with hers, ignoring the way it feels like his fingers are talons clawing through your gut.

She smiles at the contact and squeezes back with practiced familiarity. Her head turns, and she freezes you with a smile. She may as well be sliding an ice knife right through you when her gaze falls to yours.

You smile extra wide, as though all is as it should be. Big, bright and bold, the picture of happiness at their happiness.

But she knows. She’s always known. It seems the entire world has always known. All of it, every last one of them, from long term friends to complete strangers. Everyone, that is, but him. Nathan has always been oblivious to so many things about you. Especially that you’ve been in love with him for longer than you haven’t.

Isn’t this the way that unrequited love always goes?

You wait for the day that she’ll finally get rid of you from his life.

You know it’s coming; it’s in every snide comment that he doesn’t seem to hear, and in every loaded look of ‘why are you still here’ that he fails to see.

He’s in love.

There’s light in his eyes when she speaks and sheer happiness that radiates from his face the moment she steps into the room.

You see it, and it punches you, over and over, adding to a layer of bruising built up by keeping this dirty little no-so-secret to yourself for so long.

You should have hardened against it by now. You wonder if you truly ever will.

But now is not the time for introspection.

Now is the time to do the duties, be the person you’re supposed to be.

To push your true feelings aside.

“Are you ready?”

The kindly spoken man in front of you brings you back from your musings and you smile and nod.

You glance up at the man beside you, looking down at you with a knowing look, and you feel a wave of pain all over again. A pain that bathes you in a sea of guilt.

You wink, nudge him with your elbow and he grins, but the smile doesn’t quite reach his eyes. You feel like you’re drowning.

You’ll make it do that. You’ll make him smile, and smile wide. One day. Because none of this is his fault, and you know you’re using him. And that he deserves better. Because he’s perfect, he really is. In every way. All but the important one. He isn’t Nathan.

Clearing your throat and smoothing down your long white skirt that swishes around you and swirls as you stand, you clutch the bouquet tightly. With more certainty than you feel, and more confidence in your voice than you’ve ever heard, you reply.

“Ready.”

“Then, we’ll begin.”

A hush falls over the chapel and the man before you clears his throat. He looks fatherly. Caring. Would he look any differently if he knew?

You turn once more to look at Nathan, the one who should be stood next to you, not the one who is giving you away. But he’s not. And he never will be, not now, and not ever.

Today is your day, supposedly. So why does She look so victorious?

“Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today to witness…”

(Originally posted in Inkiit)

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Dream Life

Contentment.

That’s a feeling that she’s always understood but never known what it meant.

Her life, everything about her day to day, is as it should be.

She has the home, the little house that overlooks a small farmland in the middle of nowhere and yet close enough to civilisation to not be completely isolated.

She has the home life, the man who looks at her as though she is the sun and it is his life’s mission to ensure she rises every day by bringing her every happiness. The big fluffy dog that bounds around their place with exuberant joy at just existing. The loyal friends who live close by and they can see whenever they feel like taking a trip in their trusty old battered truck.

She has the job, working on her writing from her faded white porch with the breeze in her hair and the sweet scent of honeysuckle all around, and in winter she retreats inside to the small office that overlooks the same peaceful fields and is kept warm by a small fire hearth.

It is a simple existence, a quiet one that is small but so full, and everything she needs.

There is nothing that she wants for.

Nothing, aside from a horrific recurring dream to leave her in peace.

This dream is far too lifesize, and leaves her with a pain in her temples and her heart pounding in her chest.

She dreams she is in a hospital bed, muffled voices all around her and a constant bleep of monitors playing in her ears. Her body aches so badly she feels as though she is broken all the way through; shards of agony interlaced with a dull pain that never quite seems to leave, and her head, oh, how her head screams in these dreams, such pain that all these vivid images are often overpowered by a bright harsh white that blocks out everything else.

She can’t remember a time when she hasn’t had these dreams, they have always been with her, always the same, following her along like a second shadow. She acknowledges they are part of her. Much like she doesn’t really remember growing up, can’t really describe what her schooling was like, but knows these things happened, these dreams are just part and parcel of who she is. Not something to be dwelt on. They are something that happens, that she has to deal with, and if she doesn’t reign them in the second they enter her thoughts, the accompanying panic is too much. She has to jam the lid on tight to contain them, otherwise the dreams become too big to manage.

Fragments of another life invade her mind, another life where her day to day knows no contentment, only hurdles to fall on, bumps in the road that loom up and pin her down, nothing but pain and struggle and fear.

Which is why she shuts any thoughts about the dreams down as quickly as she can, forcing her breathing under control and the beating of her heart to slow.

For the same reason, she shuts all thoughts about the past out. Even though she’d love to remember good things like how she met him, and where they got their dog. She can’t risk allowing any thoughts, because in the search for good memories she knows full well she’ll stumble on the bad ones too.

She looks up at the man who is walking towards her with a basket of eggs from their small chicken coop and feels calm descend once more. He is the balm to soothe these moments of fear, even if she has never mentioned them to him, in however long they have been together.

Their dog pounds up the steps, all panting excitement, and nuzzles his head into her hand, demanding attention. She feels her arm raise, without her control, and for a moment it isn’t a chocolate labrador pushing against her hand but an unknown human, raising her pale white arm attached to some kind of drip feeding into her veins, tapping here and there as if trying to rouse her.

She shakes her head, clearing it of the image and dismissing any concerns about her health by saying her head is just sore from doing a lot of reading. He takes her hand, pulls her to her feet and into his arms where she stays, as they dance a small, slow circle in the late afternoon sun. His lips fall to her ear and he whispers all the things she loves to hear. Her arms circle around his neck and she allows him to lull her into a sense of mindless comfort.

If she hears other whispers they are too faint for her to make out, and why would she even want to try?

Some words from the whispers do manage to filter through the buzzing in her head sometimes though, words like ‘wake’ and ‘live’ and ‘choose’.

Choose.

How could she ever choose another existence than this one?

She won’t give it up, not for anything.

(Originally posted on Inkiit)

Always

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“Shot time,” she heard and smiled as she watched his hands appear slowly either side of her waist, a glass of sorts in each. She felt him press against her and leaned back in familiar reassurance whilst grinning up at the man before her; his eyes met hers with mild amusement as he shook his head lightly, reached down to kiss her softly on the cheek, and walked away.

“Yes. Shot time,” she agreed, laughing, turning slightly in his half-embrace and accepting the offered drink.”What is it?” she asked, pondering the pale yellow liquid as she swirled it gently. “And aren’t these usually…smaller?”

He looked down at her hand. “In answer to your first: I have no idea at all. To your second, yes, I suppose so – these usually come in a test tube. But I asked for doubles!” He smiled triumphantly. “Hence the-”

“Boiling tube?” She finished for him.

“Exactly.”

“Reckon they’ve cleaned these out properly? Or are they straight from the lab?!”

He laughed. “Who knows? Where’s your sense of adventure?!”

Her turn to laugh. “It’s hiding at the thought of spending the rest of the evening hidden in a bathroom cubicle with the after effects of unknown alcohol and chemical cocktails. But OK. I will if you will.”

“We should toast! Ooh, toast. Jam, marmalade, butter?”

A giggle escaped her lips as it always did in his company.

“All of the above. What are we toasting to?”

“You, naturally.” He raised his glass solemnly and cleared his throat.

“To my best friend in the world on the best night of her life. Be happy. Always.”

She smiled, not hiding the slight glisten in her eyes at his words.

“To being happy.”

He lowered his glass to clink against hers and echoed, “To being happy.”

They both flung their heads back and the liquid disappeared, leaving a pleasant burn in their throats. He swayed slightly and she reached out to steady him.

“Had much to drink tonight?” She asked drily, gesturing for them to sit on two high stools at an unoccupied table.He followed her and sat down heavily with an uninterested shrug of his shoulders.

“Probably, possibly. Maybe?”

“Well. Guess it is a free bar…”

“Yes!” He replied enthusiastically, “Thank you for that!”

“You won’t be thanking me in the morning when the London Philharmonic Orchestra is doing a parade across the inside of your skull.”

He shrugged once more and rested his hands on the table, smiling across at her. His eyes searched her own and she felt nervous as he held her gaze intensely.”I love you, you know.”

She nodded and grinned back. “I know it. And you know I love you too. Best friend forever, right?”

He didn’t answer, just continued to stare her down, hold her gaze.”I love you.” He repeated softly, quieter this time.

They had known each other for twelve long years throughout school, college and university. All of the unspoken things neither had had the courage to say now passed silently through their locked gaze in a steady stream of silence. In the past, one of them had always backed away when this happened, sweeping it up under the carpet before any permanent damage could be done.

Neither broke away.

“I love you.” he repeated, more adamantly this time.

She swallowed her retort, eyes not shifting away awkwardly as she had done a thousand times before. “Me, too.”

Silence continued.

Finally, she whispered, “…since when?”

His face contorted into a self-deprecating grin. “Since the beginning. Can I ask-”

“Always.” she interrupted without letting him finish his question.

“Always…” He repeated in a remorseful tone heavy with regret.

“But-”

He held out his hand to stop her, like a shield to protect him from the assault of words.

“I know. God, do I know!” He laughed a little shakily and ran an awkward hand through his hair, vowing he would cut it first thing in the morning. He had only ever kept it long for her, and now…

As one, they looked over at the tall man who had been stood with them earlier. A good man, kind, loving, full of vitality and a world to offer her. Her husband of merely a few hours. A man she loved, truly loved. Yet here before her sat her best friend, the man she had pined for, loved and trusted like no other from her teenage years through to her young adult life. He loved her. She hadn’t been mistaken. It wasn’t all in her head.

And yet. He had walked her down the aisle, given her away in the place of her father, approved of this wedding with all the generosity and enthusiasm you would expect from your best friend.

Was it selfish for him to tell her now, now of all nights, her wedding night? Would it have been kinder to have never known? No, she was glad she knew. Their moment, had they ever had one, had passed long ago in the cowardice of untruth.

Music struck up as if on cue and she watched as her husband held his hand out to her with his eyes full of happiness; their first dance as a married couple. All eyes would be on them now in the celebration of their vows. With one quick look to the man beside her she sought what: forgiveness? Permission? Acceptance?

The smallest of smiles accompanied by tear-filled eyes greeted her unperceived by anyone else. He still loved her. He would always love her. He would always be her friend. No matter how much it hurt.

Standing a little shakily and without looking back, she took the few steps needed and reached out her own hand, allowing herself to be spun out onto the dancefloor as a thousand camera flashes created a snowstorm of lights around them.

(Originally posted in Inkiit)

Keeping It Simple

For those of you who follow/have followed me elsewhere, you might recognise this story in another guise 😉


Looking back now, it all seemed like unnecessary fuss.

Everyone they’d ever met had commented on the way they looked at one another, how they gravitated towards each other without the slightest sign of effort, or even the intention of doing so. How, no matter what they were doing, or who they were with, they’d end up side by side, often forget there were even other people around them when they were talking, and more often than not would be the ones to walk each other home.

They shared clothes, split drinks, stole food from each other’s plates when they were out to dinner, and knew their way around one another’s apartments as though they lived there themselves. Which in some ways, they did, because they spent so much time together, that if any of their friends ever saw either one of them alone, they politely checked if the other one was sick, or working late.

No one said anything of course, as the looks between them became more loaded, and their closeness grew more heated, until the knowing expressions of their friends were so obvious that even they couldn’t ignore what was happening. There are only so many times you can fantasize about having someone’s lips on yours before you find yourself on them, without even realizing what you’ve done.

Mark hadn’t even said a word.

That initial kiss, when Liam had pulled back in belated realization of his own actions, all he’d felt was fear. Of rejection, of losing the best friend he’d ever had, of never knowing the taste of Mark again. He really shouldn’t have worried, though, he reflected, thinking about it all this time later with a rueful smile for himself, because the only thing Mark’s smile for him at the time had said was… finally.

And that had been it.

Well, not quite it.

Of course, there had been conversations, words that with anyone else would have stayed firmly hidden away under metaphorical lock and key. But with Mark, in private, Liam’s words flowed freely, and in turn freed him of all the burdens he’d been carrying by not letting what he really wanted to be known.

He’d laughingly told Mark of all the times he’d planned conversations with him, to tell him what he was feeling was more than friendship, or adopted brother since they’d known each other so very long. He’d imagined every outcome, both good and bad, and had reached for him countless times before forcing himself to pull back again at the last moment, never sure if this is something he could really have.

Mark had rolled his eyes, but smiled, kind as he had always been to him. He too had internalized those very same conversations, those wants, and also the same fears, he’d shared with him then, reaching out and grabbing his hand. And it proved beyond any shadow of a doubt that they really were both excellent at giving other people advice about talking, and honesty, but failed continuously at doing both those things themselves.

And after that, they just… were. No fanfares, no confessions, nothing involving any kind of fussing. No drunken announcements, or status declarations on Facebook, or lewd insinuations in their Whatsapp groups involving emojis of eggplants and winky faces. No acknowledgement of before and after. They just… were.

Everyone would figure it out, eventually.

Even if it did take one very drunken birthday party where Liam and Mark had been unable to see anything but each other, and alcohol had found them grinding together in a corner, smiles never far from their lips, lips never far from each other’s, oblivious to the flash of cameras behind them, the hollering, and even the eventual raucous round of applause. It had taken a hearty grasp around Liam’s shoulder by his brother, whose birthday party it actually was, for them to untangle themselves from each other long enough to turn around, realise they were being watched.

But it had been okay. After the initial blushing, and mumbled excuses for leaving early, they’d woken to a stream of notifications on their phones, and spent a lazy morning in bed skimming through message after message of congratulations, then losing themselves in each other once more; this time without an audience of smiling eyes to stop them. And it had taken them a while, what with the long shower and vast amount of breakfast food that followed, but then each and every one of those messages had been returned, with thanks, and love, and if they were both honest, a little bit of relief that no Big Conversation was necessary.

So now, here they were. It was okay to reach out and touch one another in public. It was fine to lean a head on a chest, or a hand on a heart, to check the other were still there. It was more than fine to somehow manage to fall asleep in each other’s arms every single night, no matter what was going on around them. Liam figured he’d done enough self-denying for so long when it came to Mark to allow him this one selfish thing.

Mark was more than happy to oblige.

So here they were, in a blissful kind of limbo between work and other obligations. Staring up at a starry sky with nothing but a blanket beneath them and a holding of hands between them, cliche dates on deserted beaches be damned.

It wasn’t always simple.

But in this moment, it was.

Tomorrow

When did tomorrow become too late?

Tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll tell him. Tomorrow I’ll find the words to sum up all the chaos that’s been turning paces round the inside of my skull for a lifetime.

Tomorrow.

Tomorrow I’ll stop making excuses, find courage that I tell myself I have for every other occasion when for this, courage seems like an impossible task.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll call, tomorrow I’ll say something, tomorrow I’ll be the person I could be, were I only to open my mouth.

Tomorrow. He’s… gone. Not here. No forwarding address, no call connecting, no way to make contact now I’ve found the strength to ask.

Did you want this? Me? Think of me for even one of the moments I’ve been dreaming of you? Did I occupy any corner of your mind, like you’ve invaded every one of my thoughts?

Tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I said, over and over and over some more, until tomorrow came, but you were already gone.

You couldn’t wait for me, and I understand that, in theory, of course I do.

But if I had just one more tomorrow. Just one more moment to hesitate.

Where would you be now?

Waiting For the Right Time

When Evan’s brother is in an accident, he’s terrified, and doesn’t know where to turn, or who to ask for support. Which is stupid, really, since Peter’s been in his life for longer than he hasn’t, and has always been a rock.


 

It isn’t fair, Evan thinks, staring down at Tom laid pristine white in a hospital bed, willing himself to concentrate on the slightest evidence of his chest rising up and down. Tom’s the baby of the family, eight years younger than Evan is himself, and all Evan can think staring down at him then, is that he’s failed him for letting this happen.

It’s beyond not fair, he adds, eyes closing in anguish at the sight of the apparatus set around the head of that bed, proof that Tom’s only there because there’s machinery keeping him alive. The bandage wound around his head speaks of swelling that hasn’t shown any sign of lessening, and there are enough smaller ones dotted to his neck and arms to make him look tiny, fragile there in that bed.

Tom’s a good guy, the best of them, never done anything but try to live a good, honest life, and do the right thing, every chance that he gets. And okay, so maybe Evan’s a little biased because Tom’s his little brother and he’ll never see him as anything but a hero. But he’s also never willingly hurt anyone, and that’s a heroic quality Evan feels a lot of people in the world are lacking, turning a blind eye where Tom is always sticking up for people. Always jumping to the defence of others without any regard for himself, without ever being asked.

Which is apparently how he got himself into this mess in the first place.

Just a day ago, Evan had been putting the finishing touches to a customer’s garden, enjoying the many perks of outdoor work in the late summer sun, when he’d received the phone call. A quick glance around, his careful eye checking for any small details that needed fixing, was interrupted by the scream of his phone, and Tom’s near-hysterical friend Steven announcing he’d been hurt in a fight.

Evan had driven directly to the hospital, the mantra that Tom was against mindless violence doing nothing but terrify him even more, for all the images and possibilities it stabbed into his mind. Steven’s broken words when he’d collapsed into Evan’s arms, once he’d found him wide-eyed and startled on a hospital corridor outside the operating theatre, spoke of Tom standing like a fortress, when a guy at the table next to theirs in a beer garden had been attacked. Of course he did, Evan thinks to himself for the hundredth time as he reaches out to pointlessly straighten Tom’s blanket, of course he’d done that. Without even hesitating. Without even giving it a thought.

There’s only the two of them, Evan thinks then, his stomach knotting over and over, half-glad that their parents are already long gone and not having to share this burden with him, yet also desperately missing their support. What happens next? Who does he need to call? What can he do to fix this? There’s a thousand things he needs answers to, but no one there to tell him anything.

Thank god, or whatever is out there, he thinks, that Peter is there with him.

Peter is a calming, steady presence beside him as Evan stands watch over Tom, twitching, trying to anticipate whatever Tom might need, or want, even though he hasn’t yet opened his eyes.

“I’m here,” Peter says, seeming to sense how badly he needs him, not offering any platitudes about Tom being okay, knowing it will do nothing to soothe Evan’s nerves. Instead he drapes his arm around Evan’s shoulder and allows him to shuffle closer, the only acknowledgement paid to Evan’s frustrated tears being the circling of his thumb repeatedly against his upper arm.

***

When Evan gets Tom back to his apartment to watch over him as he recovers, Peter is still there beside him offering quiet support. He brings Evan coffee, swiftly grabbing the rapidly emptying whiskey bottle from Evan’s hands with a terse look that speaks volumes Evan doesn’t want to hear about, and replacing it with a large, warm mug he can wrap his fingers around as he quietly nods in thanks.

Peter empties the bowl Tom retches into sometimes, walks with him to the bathroom when he needs help getting there – when he’s sent Evan out on errands to force him into getting some fresh air, and continues his silent vigil over both of the brothers when Evan finally succumbs to much-needed sleep.

Peter is also there, when Tom is screaming, crying out in the middle of a nightmare, and Evan is leaking silent tears of his own for all the things he can’t do for him. Peter rests a hand on Evan’s shoulder, and Evan breaks, grabbing Peter to him and sobbing wrecked into his neck, clinging on with a vice-like grip. Peter soothes with words spoken softly into his ear, and gentle hands rubbing reassurances into his back.

At some point about a week into Tom’s recovery, Evan thinks that in a fear-fuelled moment late one night, he’s kissed Peter, seeking comfort, reassurance, and escape. But his mind is so twisted in confusion with all that’s happening, and so bone-tired, that he can’t even remember if the moment was real, or just an unrealised fantasy that’s taunting him. That has taunted him, for as long as he can remember. Either way, Peter resolutely stays by his side.

***

Tom is strong, and begins to show good progress, with strength returning to his limbs, and wit making a reappearance in his words. Evan looks on, smiling proudly, reminded of a thousand times he’d watched over Tom protectively in sleep when they were growing up, repeating his mantra of thank you over and over for having him there to still do that.

As Tom gets better still, Evan begins to leave him alone for longer periods as a solution to his argument that he should go home, get out of his hair. He’s never far enough away to be out of shouting distance if Tom needs him, or wants to yell at him some more for being an overprotective mother hen; but enough to give Tom what is surely much needed space.

Peter is still there with him, and Evan finds it aches thinking about him eventually leaving when things go back to normal. His overnight bag’s become a feature of Evan’s living room, his favourite shower gel leaves a teasing scent of him in the bathroom, and his attempts to force nutritious food on Evan have filled his cupboards with strange new worlds of ingredients for all the recipes he’s got him trying.

Evan pauses outside Tom’s room, one time, hearing Tom’s soft laughter and a bemused, gentle mirth in Peter’s low, gravelly tone, leaving Evan stuck between listening and leaving, both curious and afraid of what he might overhear.

“Don’t tell him, Pete, ‘cos I can’t handle justifying all his fussing. But I don’t know how I’d have got through this without him,” he hears, and Evan feels a lump form in his throat, that he quickly forces down.

“You too,” Tom adds, and from the rustling sound that follows, Evan’s sure Tom’s reached out to pat Peter on the shoulder, or something.

“Evan wouldn’t leave your side, Tom, not for a second. When we were in the hospital waiting for you to wake up, I had to drag him out of your room to make him take even a five second break. He was terrified for you. Kept telling me, he wished he could take your place there, wished he could be going through it all for you. And though I would do anything for you, help you in any way I can, it’s been… difficult. To have to hear him talking like that. It’s probably selfish, but… I’ve felt so helpless,” Peter finishes with a sigh, and Evan wants to walk in and wrap his arms around his shoulders, tell him how vital he’s been to him throughout all of this.

“You’ve been here for Evan.” Tom answers, stealing his words. “That is far from being helpless,” Evan hears Tom reply, imagines his smile, and closes his eyes, grateful that Tom is finally smiling again.

“He’d be lost without you too, you know?” Tom adds, and Evan freezes at his words, desperate to know Peter’s response.

There is a pause, but finally Peter gives a soft, breathy sigh that sounds like acknowledgement, and answers quietly with, “As would I without him.”

“You guys need to talk stuff out, you know,” Tom tells him, and Evan thinks he can picture Peter shuffling in discomfort.

“It’s not really the time, Tom. We need you to concentrate on getting better, more than anything else.” Peter’s tone is decided, and firm, adamant he’s right in his thinking. He is right, Evan agrees, but it doesn’t stop his heart sinking a little, even if he’s not worked up the courage to do anything about this – them, himself.

“Pete,” Tom’s talking in that gentle, patient, explaining-to-an-idiot tone of his, and Evan kind of loves him for it. “I’ve known you for… it feels like all my life. You two have been friends since forever now, and it’s obvious to anyone with eyes that there’s something between you even if you pretend that there isn’t. If you keep thinking about it like that, that now’s not really the time, there’s never gonna be a right time. So why not make it the right time now? What is it the two of you are waiting for?”

Evan doesn’t want to hear Peter’s answer, too scared it will be the confirmation of rejection, so chooses that moment to go in with the tray of food he’s prepared. But it’s not like Tom’s words don’t play over and over for Evan, or stop him sneaking continual glances in Peter’s direction for the rest of the day. Or give him any chance of sleep later that night.

When he’s admitted sleep is just not going to be happening for him, Evan gets up, sighing heavily at the early hour glaring back at him on his phone, and pads through to the living room, expecting to find Peter stoically asleep on the sofa where he’s taking up what feels like just as much permanent residence as Tom. But Peter is sat at the dining table, his face illuminated by the screen of his laptop, and his eyes raise at the sound of Evan entering the room.

“Can’t sleep,” Evan offers in answer to Peter’s silent question, “What are you doing?”

Peter pauses, then reaches over to flick on a lamp on the table, and silently closes the laptop lid.

“Nothing much,” he says, coming around to lean back against the table, his hands wrapping around the edge, as he watches Evan. “Couldn’t sleep either,”

Evan watches back.

The silence remains heavy, loaded with unspoken questions. And Evan decides he can’t stand just watching anymore, so takes a courageous step forward. He bends slightly to cup Peter’s face and tilt it up, slow to give him time to resist if that’s what he wants to do. And then Evan leans down, claiming Peter’s mouth in a kiss that feels very, very long overdue. Peter’s hands are immediately around his waist, gripping Evan as he adjusts the way he stands between his legs, and pulling him as close as he can get.

The silence between them might not be filled with words, but there’s soft gasps and gentle exploration in their place, and that adds more to the sense Evan has of them finally getting somewhere. Evan feels hopeful, and humble, and more than anything, home. And when they pull apart to catch their breath, Peter’s smile for him repeats the same thing back.

***

When Tom walks through in the morning, rubbing a tired hand down his face, he comes to a stop at the foot of the sofa, his head tilting to one side as he considers the view in front of him.

On the sofa lays Peter on his back, with Evan tangled between his legs and wrapped up in his arms, fast asleep in the crook of Peter’s neck.

Peter looks at Tom, and Tom looks on back at Peter, and where Peter’s smile is small and a little timid, Tom’s is wide, and beaming happiness.

They nod at each other in unspoken acceptance of the change in circumstances between them all, before Tom turns and heads into the kitchen, a spring in his step and a hum in this mouth. He rinses the cafetiere, measuring out a generous amount of coffee, then settles it down on the side, fingers drumming as he considers adding another spoon.

Tom pulls down two mugs from a shelf, leans over to fill the kettle, then leans back against the counter, a gentle smile lingering around his lips for how ecstatic he feels for his brother. And with that smile, and a barrage of teasing already forming in his head, he turns around, and reaches for a third.

The Next Step

In the whirlwind that is after their first kiss, he knows that he’s got to keep making the decisions that count. There’s too much at stake here if he flounders; it’s like now he’s allowed himself to feel even a fragment of what he thinks he truly does for him, that all the blurred images that were once his rigid world, have been wiped clear, and everything is a sharper, brighter contrast than he’s ever dared imagine.

But what’s more important, what’s become bigger than all of that, in all that time after, is the responsibility he now holds in his hands; maybe, he corrects, more accurately in his heart. Because after all that pausing, all that lashing out when things are overwhelming, now he’s dared allow himself to have a taste, there is no way to resist the need to lean in for it just once more, time and time again. And he couldn’t live with himself if he pulled away from him now, even for a second, even in a moment of doubt; because he is too important, too luminescent to ever have to be smudged with the undignified shade of his awkward hesitation, of not knowing how to start.

They’ve been dancing; oh, how long have they been dancing. One of them will step forward to claim a kiss, a touch, a smile meant only for the other, and the other will then follow, only to pull back again, then lead with his own routine. It’s dizzying, this need that swells in him, more absorbing than anything else he’s ever felt, and coupled with the knowledge, the unyielding certainty of knowing that he is wanted back, well, that’s a little intoxicating.

But he can’t misstep, he can’t hesitate for too long, can’t bear to be the one that taints even a fraction of his smile, because he is too bright, too vibrant, to be anything but happy. It shouldn’t be allowed; he will not allow it, and more important than perhaps anything else, he will not be the one to ever tarnish that smile again. He’s done it too often, both meaning and not meaning to, too wrapped up in his own confusion to ever be good enough for what he might be wanting with him.

But he does want him, that much is clear; he’s never been shy with his affection or intention, so it’s a little surprising, when he reaches out, only to see his eyes widen in a fraction of alarm, before he takes a stumbling step back.

He never stumbles. And he never wants to be the one that makes him stumble; he’s too steady, too sure of himself to let such an unwieldy creature as himself be the one that knocks the backs of his knees, the air from his lungs. The spark from his eyes.

Is he wrong? Is this step he’s proposing too much too soon, or a move that was never destined to happen?

Worry, he hears, and vulnerable, and it’s laced with self-doubt, self-preservation, and so much contradiction; it’s like the want is there, lurking right behind his irises, but beneath his skin he’s twitching, churning. Fearful to reach out, fearful to take, in case he’s pushed away, permanently this time.

He wants this; does he not already know how much he wants this? Can he not tell by the tremble in his lip, the quake of his shoulders, that he wants this, him, so very badly, yet is half-terrified to reach for it as well?

He is an anchor, a port in a storm, a safe haven when the world is too much and the rain of that world comes crashing down to drown him. But he’s also the spark that ignites him, the curve in his lip, the beating of his heart in ways he didn’t ever dare to imagine he’d get to feel, to experience in his life.

This calls for bravery, a courage that he’s not sure he’s really wielding. But he wants this, in fact, he thinks he needs it, that they both need it; maybe if he can surrender his fear of falling, and he can lose his doubt of ever being caught, then they will meet somewhere in the middle. And that loneliness that swells in his gut, that he’s sure he’s seen peering out the corners of his eyes; maybe they can lose that. Maybe they can bolster each other.

What better way to find out? What better time than now?

He has to keep going, he has to keep pushing, because if he pauses for even a second, that strength and certainty he’s pretending to feel will crash and crumble, and if he steps back, for even a moment, maybe he’ll see in his eyes that this, he, is not really what he wanted after all. Not for more than a frivolity, a passing moment, a shiny new thing to brighten one of his endless days before discarding him again.

He can’t be that. He is not that. But what he is, is terrified; how can it be possible to feel so many emotions all at once? Is this what they always warned him against? Not that they could make you weak, but that they would overwhelm you; blur into and over one another, until you have no sense of time or meaning, when you are trying to feel, and be everything, all the versions of yourself, all at the same time?

He smiles then, delighted as he steps back just enough to really look at him, gripping tight enough to reassure that this is what he wants as well. It is freeing, to be on the receiving end of such beauty, to stare it down as though it is a sun he knows is going to burn him, but he won’t ever mind being forever scorched by. Not by him, and not like this; not when he’s leaning in to kiss him all over again, and the door slams closed behind them, and his heart sings at the knowledge that it is coming home.

To Forget

**previously published on Hot Chili Erotica** – suffice to say, this is not safe for work…


Rebound sex is supposed to be messy. Sweat stained sheets and spit-slick lips, no thoughts other than want, no feelings but release, a momentary pause in the heartache to remind that life goes on.

This bar, just the right side of sleazy, is perfect.

A room thick with bodies, the heat from the summer sun so heavy that the atmosphere in the bar feels almost smoky, and liquor on tap to smooth the way for getting exactly what you came for.

A wall of sound that is the disembodied conversations of other people also here to lose themselves allows you to tune in, yet switch off your own thoughts. Your fingers curl around the cool glass of the tumbler that you’ve emptied several times now, the whiskey hitting the back of your throat and providing a numbness that puts a temporary silence on the painful memories taunting you on repeat.

Absently, as though you are viewing through frosted glass, you observe the room; blond by the pool table, gym bunny at the end of the bar in jeans tight enough to make a small smile flicker across your lips. Over by the cigarette machine there’s a guy with hair so dark it looks streaked with blue under the poor lighting, standing on chaotic end, and reminding you so very much of—

Cold glass pressed in warm grip as you reign your thoughts back in yet again, signalling for another drink. You take a moment to compose yourself; this should be getting easier already, you should be able to switch off; he clearly has, able to walk out of your life as though all that time together was nothing more than a fleeting thought.

He should be easier to forget. Or at the very least, momentarily replace.

A denim-clad knee grazes solidly against yours as the stool next to you is occupied. The quick glance you give to your side shows a muscled thigh and a tanned, equally-muscular arm beneath a tight green t-shirt, and there’s a wash of relief that trickles through you. This is perfect. This is what you want. This is what you need to take your mind off—

He knows you’re looking at him. You know his eyes are lingering over you too, and you resist the urge to hold you breath, suck in unnecessarily, as those eyes lift slowly until they meet heatedly with yours.

That denim-clad knee knocks against yours and stops there, making you swallow with difficulty, as a thrill of excitement begins to stir.

You watch as he orders, smile as he gestures for the bartender to refill your own glass, and nod in thanks. There is small talk; you hear a name you intend to forget the second this evening is over, and possibly long before then.

When he leans in, you lean back.

He’s making conversation, and you’re nodding in all the right places so that to anyone who might be looking in your direction there is nothing happening that shouldn’t be. But there are fingertips pressing just above your knee, sliding a path that’s steady, and sure, and your legs part without you even thinking as those fingertips brush over your fly, pressing gently, until there’s a whole hand cupping, moulding, exploring.

His thumb strokes insistently against your length, and you shuffle slightly on the stool, feeling yourself begin to stiffen and swell under his touch. For a second you lose yourself in the feel of it, close your eyes, let a soft sigh spill from your lips. Then remind yourself that this is where you’re supposed to reciprocate.

Shaky fingers find hardness, and that’s when the low swell of desire swirls its way around your gut. This is good. This is what you need, and most definitely what you wanted from this evening. The whiskey is thrown back with the same rapidness as the previous ones, and you surge forward, parting dry lips with your tongue and swallowing the resulting groan.

The burn of stubble sings against your own, and you reach a hand up to slip through hair, angling an unfamiliar head towards you as you turn in slightly and give him better access to where he’s stroking you solid.

He tastes good; part whiskey, part unnamed spice, and your hands appreciate the firmness of the chest beneath your palm as you slide it upwards, resuming the grip in his hair as you keep him just where you want him.

There is movement, and you neither know nor care which of you is the one to initiate it; moments later there is the sound of a bathroom stall being locked and the feeling of being pressed roughly back against a door, his mouth back on yours instantly. He pulls away for a moment, a trail of kisses down your neck where he bites first into your pulse point, then back up to nip at your earlobe, forcing out a soft moan from your own mouth.

You feel the press of a button being undone, and your fly sliding down, and hands sliding around your waist into your boxers, as those and your jeans are firmly tugged mid-thigh. You spring free, feeling the coolness of the air hit you momentarily, before a thumb sweeps over your head, swiping up the slickness already there.

You fumble to do the same for him, but he smacks your hands away, and gives you a grin that makes your cock pulse in its freedom. And he’s squatting down until he’s at eye level with it; you can’t blame him for not wanting to kneel in here, but the way he’s looking at you makes you thrust your hips forward until your shaft is bumping against his lips, insistent about what you want.

There is no objection on his face. He laps out his tongue, and the instant you feel that wet lick through the smear of pre-cum that’s budding out of your slit, your head drops back with a thud against the thin cubicle wall. This is most definitely exactly what you came here for. He laps over your head again, swirling his tongue in a way that has you grunting in appreciation, and half-forcing your hips to steady, before he’s sucking you in hard enough to startle a groan out of you that you know full well was far too loud for this public place.

You can’t find it in yourself to care, not with that sensation of wet heat that’s pulsing around you, teasing you harder as hands steady themselves on your sides, then slip around to mould your ass. You look down, watch the stretch of his lips around you, take in the wink he gives you as he adjusts his position. And then he’s sliding, taking in even more of you, until you feel the constriction of his throat around your head, squeezing as he swallows.

His eyes never leave yours, and there’s something about that that makes you even harder, that and the way he slowly slides off you as though to emphasize just how much of your length he’s just taken in. He swirls his tongue over your head again before those lips slide down over you once more, and again he’s sucking you down, squeezing you tight, a roll of heat surging through you that makes you lift your hands, grab his face, fuck into his mouth.

You lose yourself in the feel of him gripping and swallowing around you, the build of your orgasm burning away any other thought. But then as quick as he started he stops, rising quickly to his feet and pressing himself hard against you so you can feel how hard his dick is just from sucking you off.

You taste yourself on his tongue, shove your hands into his jean pockets and pull him close, groaning to match his own as you rut together. He whispers something about going back to yours and your mind freezes, taken over for a second by an assault of images, of someone else in your bed; of someone who left.

You shake your head, both in answer and to force the images away, and instead reach out, unzipping him quickly and wrapping your fingers around him, swirling the mess of pre-cum on his head down his shaft, then line him up against your own cock, and stroke.

He moans against you, and it’s sinful, spurring you on to set a steady rhythm that blocks out anything but the feel of skin on skin, mouth on mouth, tongues sliding and bodies grinding together. He slots his fingers in the gaps between yours and then you’re grinding harder, biting bruises into lips and digging fingers into flesh to keep you both upright as you jack off.

Your mind is clear, of anything but the sensations of him, and you, and the sounds you’re both making, the way the very stall is shaking as you rut and groan together. You’re getting close, the heat in your core growing hotter as the slickness between you grows sloppier, and your hips jut at an ever erratic pace.

He’s building there with you if the gasps he’s letting out are anything to go by, already pushing up his own shirt and hooking his thumb up under yours, expecting mess, any moment now. Your hands move faster, your tongues lick deeper, and teeth bite into lips as you get closer, and closer still.

And then you come, feeling your balls contract tight as you empty yourself, slumping at the pleasure rippling through you, spurting against both your chests just a few thrusts before he is painting you the same. He swears, leaning against you, head in the crook of your neck as you both take a moment to catch your breath, already aware of the cooling mess dripping down between you both.

Another minute passes, and there is a lazy kiss, followed by a hasty wiping down, a grimace as the toilet is flushed, and then you each zip yourselves up, standing up straight and sated. There are smiles, and he cups your face in his hands for one more kiss, before he’s gesturing at the door and you’re sliding the bolt across, following him out.

You wash your hands side by side in silence, and he waits as though he is expecting you to be the first to leave.

You are.

You pay your tab, leave, walk home pleasantly numb and empty in the best kind of way. It isn’t until you’re letting yourself into an empty apartment, hearing the resounding click of the door shutting behind you, that the feeling of emptiness changes, morphs into loneliness, and your heart aches all over again as the memories assault you once more.

You walk through empty rooms, look at shelves with dust-free spaces from taken-down photographs, pause in the doorway of your bedroom and notice how wrong it looks with your pillows in the centre of the bed instead of to the side, next to his pillows, next to—

You cross the room in three strides and wrap your fingers around the cold glass of the half-drained whiskey bottle on your bedside cabinet, and you gulp down a good measure of it before slamming it noisily back on the side.

You fall, heavy on the bed with a drop that leaves you bouncing, succumbing to the images that have been taunting you all day.

Tomorrow, you tell yourself. Tomorrow you will forget him. As you have forgotten him every night in different bars for the past five nights.

It’ll stop hurting soon.

Permission

Todd and Eric have been fooling around together for a while now, though it’s never got beyond much more than a lot of drunken fumbling. That’s about to change…

This is NOT safe for work, just to warn you. For those of you who follow/have followed me elsewhere, you might recognise this story in another guise 😉

There are very few instances in Eric’s life where he has felt truly good about himself, but here in this moment with Todd looking at him with such adulation in his eyes, that’s what he feels: good. Worthy of this, maybe even loved, if he lets himself acknowledge this is the word to describe what’s going on between them. It’s a feeling he’s never had before, and if honest is a little overwhelmed by it. But Todd’s smile for him is warm, and his hand, curled with a thumb tracing the length of his jaw is soothing, and hell, Eric is only human. He can’t stop his heart soaring and his stomach fluttering and his palms sweating like this is the first time he’s ever been touched.

Todd’s lips on his are gentle, so shy it feels like this should be a first kiss, when it’s far from it. Eric kisses back, just as nervous, just as hesitant. Jumps in surprise when Todd’s fingers catch on his neck on the way to cupping the back of his head. Todd nudges against him giving the tiniest of smiles before claiming his mouth again, a little firmer this time.

Eric waits a moment, then moves closer, winds his fingers through Todd’s long brown hair and holds on, tugging just enough to make him softly whimper, then press back at all the points he can with the way they’re sat awkwardly on the edge of his bed. He reaches to loop an arm around Todd’s waist to pull him closer, and Todd leans over him until Eric’s pressed back against the mattress. Eric opens his mouth to him, and Todd moans at the gesture, sweeping his tongue inside to catch the taste of him there. Eric shudders with the need he has to get closer to him, feeling those same trembles back from Todd. They press tightly against one another and kiss with growing urgency until Todd is mouthing down his neck, then mumbling reassurances in his ear.

“Let me undress you,” Todd requests after a moment, low and heated in a rumble against him. Eric swallows, thinks how much he wants that, but how he doesn’t know if he can handle that look of love that’s in Todd’s eyes as he says it. Doesn’t think he can let himself believe it. One beer too many on an evening that had led to a stolen moment of drunken fumbling that now seems like a lifetime ago, is when the tension between them had finally broken. But until now, it has never been acknowledged just how much they mean to each other. Taking snatches of things they’re both desperate to mean something so much bigger, but are both too frightened to ask if this is what they really have.

As though Todd is reading his mind, he’s whispering to him the truth of it, leaving tears pricking in the corners of Eric’s eyes. Todd kisses Eric so sweetly then it’s like he can’t believe he’s even allowed to, and Eric has to claim himself a harder kiss to reassure Todd that he is.

Todd’s hands are immediately beneath Eric’s shirt and rising, gentle fingers pressed into his stomach and chest as he strokes a path upwards. Eric lifts his arms to help him remove it and ends up with them light around Todd’s shoulders as he bends to kiss along his collarbone before kissing a path back to his mouth.

When Eric reaches for Todd’s shirt he sees him smiling, shrugging out of it seconds later and that smile widening as he pulls lightly on Eric’s hips until their skin is flush. “I’ve wanted to feel you like this,” Todd tells him as he strokes reverent hands up the flanks of his chest, and it’s said with such sincerity that Eric feels himself begin to blush.

They help each other out of the remainder of their clothes, and then Todd is throwing back the duvet and murmuring for Eric to crawl in. He stands to the side of the bed looking down on him, seeming to just drink in the sight of him for a moment, then with deliberate slowness pulls out the lube from Eric’s bedside cabinet and slams the draw shut until it rattles, clutching the bottle tight in his hand. With a tiny swallow that reveals a hint of nervousness Todd asks, “Will you let me?”

“Like you even need to ask,” Eric retorts, one firm nod of his head and his cock already twitching at the certainty of what Todd is wanting to do to him. Both their eyes drop to it and Todd smiles, kneeling on to the bed and immediately bending to nuzzle along his length, smiling harder at the way it jolts against his face. Eric is momentarily stunned, as he is always stunned by the ease with which Todd touches him, how natural it seems for him to know exactly what Eric needs, then smiles up at him in encouragement and earns himself a proud smile.

Todd presses Eric firmly on his hips to insinuate he stays on his back, then crawls between his legs, kissing his way up Eric’s chest. He sneaks a hand between them to grab their cocks and line them up together before thrusting against him, groaning into Eric’s neck as he does for a few rolls of his hips. Eric’s arms are up and around his back, and lets out a contented sigh as he continues, that sigh inching over into a moan as teeth and tongue replace the lips against his skin. Todd raises his head for just a second as though he’s considering asking for permission, then bends back down, sucking in a bruise there. Eric swears he hears Todd mutter mine against him, and feels himself stir and swell even harder.

They kiss, lazy and sloppy, their hips moving together in a languid roll as they’ve done so many times before – though always through at least partial clothing, as though that final barrier between them made any difference to what they were doing to each other. It’s easy yet feels so different, and Eric thinks it’s because they’re both really on the same page now, that they both know how the other is feeling. Honesty has turned their rushed fumbles into something enduring, and affectionate. It’s taken them long enough, he thinks, hands greedily skimming over Todd’s hips as he gives a particularly hard roll beneath him, making Todd’s cock slip and nudge between his cheeks. They both blast out a moan then look down as one over the trial of precum they’ve left over each other’s skin from rutting together, and that sight just stirs them both harder still.

Todd pitches over to his side though doesn’t break their kiss, a brief stroke over his own cock before he wriggles to reach for the lube he’d unconsciously dropped to the bed earlier, with Eric plucking it from his fingers for Todd to pop the cap so he can pour some over his waiting hand. Eric slides his feet up the bed until his knees are splayed, then hooks one over Todd’s leg, settling and nudging against Todd’s cock wedged tight against his side.

Eric hums at the first slide of Todd’s slickened hand over his cock, raising his head to get a better angle as he watches him stroke him over, letting out small hums of pleasure to encourage him on with every slide. He gives a particularly louder moan when Todd gives this little twist over his head that he already knows from multiple past experiences Eric really, really likes.

Eric surges upwards, claiming a harder kiss, drags his leg back over Todd then rolls on to his side as well. He makes quick work of lubing his own hand up and reaching down to wrap it around Todd’s cock, and soon they’re whispering encouragement into each other’s lips with slides of tongue and slickened grips forcing out the most sinful of moans.

Todd drops his grip on Eric, teasing a trail of fingertips up over his hip and down over his ass. He slides one up and down the crack of it smiling as Eric hums, then slips it between his cheeks, nudging at his hole, this time groaning when Eric tilts his hips back to meet it.

Todd rolls Eric onto his back again with a firm press of their chests together, arranging his legs splayed just how he wants them before bending and licking over his cock head, pausing to suckle until Eric’s precum is flooding into his mouth. He gives one firm drag of his lips up and off his length then rolls himself back up, lubing his fingers up again with Eric’s assistance then kissing him firm, nudging his cheeks apart once more so he can press a finger against his hole to slip inside.

Eric’s desperate to have Todd inside of him, and shows that need by straightaway thrusting his hips down so he’s impaled on that finger Todd is giving him. Todd grins, mutters soothing things to him about being patient and kisses him quiet with a steady slide of that finger in and out. At Eric’s whimper, he adds a second, and smiles hard at the thankful sigh Eric blasts against his lips as he tries to kiss him.

“You getting a little eager for me there, Eric?” Todd teases, grinning as he crooks his fingers inside Eric, seeing the way it feels from the look on his face, and hearing it in the whimper that falls from his lips.

“I want you in me,” Eric stutters, his feet slipping as he tries to splay his legs open even wider, “I need it,” to which Todd closes his eyes and lets out another groan, pausing to drop his head down on Eric’s shoulder for a second as though he needs to get himself composed. But then he’s back to opening Eric up in all the ways he likes; repeated scissoring of his fingers, occasional nudges at his prostate, and an eventual third finger that on receiving makes Eric stutter out a broken wail.

Todd is leaning his head against Eric’s shoulder once more, muttering there what Eric thinks is keep control. It makes Eric smile; he’s not seen Todd like this before, not with eyes so full of need and such closeness to not being in control of himself. He likes it a lot, Eric decides, lifting his head up to drop a kiss down on the top of Todd’s, earning himself a self-deprecating smile and quiet laugh.

Todd leans to kiss him, and a few moments are taken up only with that, a closeness that is steadying and reassuring for them both. Then Todd is slotting himself between Eric’s legs and arranging him how he wants him again, leaning down to give Eric’s cock one final mouthing over before straightening up, bracing himself briefly with warm hands against his stomach, then pushing on Eric’s thighs until they’re open enough for him to fit between.

Eric shifts a little himself. He wants to watch Todd sliding in to him; he’s been waiting long enough for it to happen and as well as feeling it, he doesn’t want to miss a second of seeing him disappear inside. His legs jolt as Todd strokes his fingers down the creases of his thighs to linger and nudge against his balls, then drops his hands lower, one thumb sweeping over his hole and briefly dipping in to him before it’s joined by the other in pulling him open.

Eric watches Todd duck his head, angle back a little to watch for himself as he nudges his cock tip against Eric’s hole and rolls his hips, until his cock head is plugging him. He gives one glance up to Eric for permission, swallows greedily when he receives it, then gives one continuous roll of his hips until he’s all the way inside.

There’s a delayed moan shared between them, Eric’s eyes wide and round at the view he’s got in front of him and the feel of Todd’s cock all the way up inside and stretching him open. They raise their gaze from where they’re joined up to each other’s faces and give a little smile before they look back down and watch, as Todd pulls out until his head’s catching against Eric’s rim, then is sliding all the way back in.

They watch through another few thrusts, through another few groans of encouragement. Then Todd is pitching forward and getting comfortable, grinning at Eric as he brackets his face between his elbows and dives in for a kiss. He gives a languid roll of his hips that he hums his approval at the feel of against Eric’s lips, the rumble of that joining Eric’s own as he settles his hands around Todd’s lower back.

They keep grinning at each other, stupid and silly, interrupted only by the groans they drag out of one another and the continual meeting of their lips. Todd presses a harder kiss on him then drops his head down to nuzzle over the bite he left on Eric’s neck earlier, raising it again to keep eye contact as he gives another thrust into him. Eric bites down on his lip, watching as a wave of pleasure shivers through Todd, ending with a loud, desperate groan.

When Todd looks back up again, Eric lifts one hand to slot his fingers through the back of his hair and pull him in for a longer kiss, which they keep up for as long as possible until their gasps take over. Todd drops another on his cheek and stirs his hips a little, smiling at Eric’s answering arch. “Wrap your legs around me,” he whispers at him, eyes fluttering closed when Eric does just that and the angle shift has them both cry out as it feels like Todd is sinking into him deeper still.

Their thrusts grow more rapid, kisses impossible for the need to keep catching their breath in between their continual gasps and groans, with Todd’s hips soon losing the smoothness of their rolls and giving way to erratic judders that unhook Eric’s ankles from where they’re crossed around him until his feet are back on the bed.

Eric begins rolling up to claim Todd’s thrusts desperately, them both building so fast, getting so close that their movements become purely instinctual, with no conscious thought behind them. Todd has just enough sense about him to shift until he’s wedged his hand between them to wrap around Eric’s cock, bringing him to orgasm with no more than a half dozen strokes, his hips beginning to jolt even more at the noises blasting out of Eric and the way his hole is fluttering around his length.

Todd picks up his pace, desperate and needy, staring Eric down the closer he gets. A couple more thrusts and then he’s coming, wailing it out as he grinds his hips against Eric, and Eric letting out his own whimper as he does, sure he can feel every spurt of Todd inside of him.

Todd gives out another grunt and collapses on top of him, pressing as close in and around Eric as he can get. He pets an idle hand along Todd’s back, pressing kisses to the side of his head as he flexes his muscles, grinning what he knows is probably ridiculously at his continual assessment of that wetness inside of him.

When Todd has recovered a little he’s shifting, kissing Eric triumphantly before kneeling back. He pulls out of him carefully, his face splitting into a smile as he tilts back to inspect Eric’s hole, plunging his fingers in and holding them up for Eric’s inspection to show him what he’s done. Eric bursts out laughing and reaches to squeeze Todd’s sides where they rest between his open thighs. “Why do I feel like I’ve just been claimed?”

Todd grins at him, lowers himself back down over for a kiss that turns into another hum of approval before nuzzling against him and dropping his chin down on his shoulder with a sigh and another kiss into his neck. “You have been; though long before now, though, I’d say,” he tells him, squeezing him tight for one more minute before rolling down beside him, and pulling Eric into his arms, content.

 

 

Getting Lucky

**previously published on Hot Chili Erotica** – suffice to say, this is not safe for work…


I am not this lucky.

Lewis stares up at his bedroom ceiling in a silence that only comes of it being the middle of the night, and lets his fingers creep across the mattress, until they come into the reassuring contact that is skin on warm skin.

Sebastian doesn’t even stir.

But even though there is bare skin right there beneath his fingertips, Lewis still doesn’t believe it, has to turn his head to the side to make sure there really is a warm body beside him in his bed, that his imagination is not that cruel, and is not actually taunting him with nothing but wishful thinking.

Because Sebastian looks like something out of a wet dream, yet is also someone who is warm, fun to be with, and smart as hell too. Those things don’t usually go together well in any good kind of combination, Lewis knows this from past experience. He still finds himself holding his breath, waiting for someone to tell him what the catch is. To tell him he doesn’t have the right to this at all.

It’s been eight months since his cousin introduced them, and from that first glimpse of hazel eyes and perfectly-styled hair, Lewis has been hooked. One well-behaved first date later, and Sebastian had invited him over for dinner. Somewhere between the main and dessert—because of course, Sebastian is incredible at cooking too—he’d led Lewis over to the sofa, spread his legs wide, and sucked him off with such skill, Lewis suspects he’s been ruined for life for anyone else.

And Sebastian knows this; Lewis sees it in the glint in his eyes when he’s unzipping him beneath the table at their local bar. He feels it in Sebastian’s palm when he’s got them slicked up and is fisting them together in the shower, making them both late for work. And he knows, from the late night messages he gets of Sebastian’s spent cock, cum pooling on his stomach and beginning to slide its way down his side, with the accompanying message this is what thinking of you does to me…

Sebastian also knows, it seems, when Lewis is not able to get back to sleep.

Fingers thread between his own where they’re steepled against Sebastian’s thigh, and there’s a soft yawn and a slight stretch, before Sebastian is arching against the bed, and waking himself up.

“Don’t,” Lewis whispers, because he never meant to wake Sebastian with his sudden rush of insecurities. But Sebastian is already awake, gripping his fingers softly, and anchoring Lewis there beside him without even needing him to ask for it.

“Lewis,” Sebastian says, his voice gruffer than it is by daylight, and gravel enough to have Lewis’ cock stir. He adds nothing else, but that grumbling of his name is enough to send a shot of desire flaring through Lewis, leaving him shifting as he begins to stir.

“Go back to sleep,” Lewis tells him softly, rolling on to his side as though that might stop the way he’s reacting, and pressing a light kiss to Sebastian’s shoulder as he loosens his fingers from beneath Sebastian’s, resting them on his stomach instead.

Sebastian shifts a little, humming with approval as he slots his fingers through Lewis’ against his skin. “Why can’t you sleep?”

With a shake of his head, Lewis kisses Sebastian’s shoulder again, splays his fingers to touch as much of him at once as possible, and rolls forward further until his front is pressing fully against his side. Sebastian circles his wrist to free it in the slight gap between them, wraps his hand around Lewis’s immediately interested cock, and gives a lazy pull.

“I didn’t mean to wake you,” Lewis tells him, his voice catching at the feel of Sebastian’s fingers around him, and that heat surging through as he hardens against his palm.

“But now we’re both awake,” Sebastian adds, with a long, languid stroke, and Lewis is lost. And thankful. And so utterly helpless when it comes to resisting Sebastian – and that voice he’s using right now.

Lewis slides his hand up Sebastian’s chest as Sebastian’s tumbles to the bed, grazing his fingers in circles over each of his nipples in turn, continuing the kisses to his shoulder, and smiling there as Sebastian arches up a little at his touch. Lewis lifts his head, trailing kisses up Sebastian’s neck that he echoes with soft bites, then down his throat to nuzzle, and finally settles his chin against his sternum, where he scratches his stubbled chin, looking up at Sebastian in expectation.

A second later, Sebastian has reached out to switch the light on so they can see each other properly, and is staring down at him with a smirk on his face that has Lewis’ breath quickens, making his cock give another twitch right there against Sebastian’s thigh.

“I don’t have a single objection to you continuing,” Sebastian tells him, and Lewis hears the lust there in his tone that just spurs him on. So Lewis does just that, wasting no time at all in sliding his way down Sebastian’s body, wrapping his hands lightly around his waist, and grazing his teeth and tongue over hipbones that, quite honestly, have been distracting Lewis since day one. Sebastian gives a low hum of approval, and Lewis manages a single, pained swallow, as Sebastian begins to swell and thicken under his attention, mere inches from Lewis’ mouth.

Another shift, and Lewis is bracing himself against the bed, hands flat on the sheets as he blows softly over Sebastian’s head, smiling at the way it jolts in response. Lewis is flicking his tongue out a second later, groaning in answer to Sebastian’s own, lapping against him, relishing the smooth hardness of his crown, and the way his slit glistens and leaks so quickly just from only those barest beginning of touches.

Lewis presses a kiss to his tip, unmoving and waiting for Sebastian to look at him again. And when he does, Lewis opens his mouth and slides down, lips stretching over that ridge, down his shaft, until Sebastian’s cock head is bumping at the back of this throat. Lewis hollows out his cheeks and sucks hard, groaning to himself at the way Sebastian’s thighs flex in answer, and how he’s reduced to these short, sharp breaths that are saying how good Lewis’ mouth feels on him.

Another hard suck and Lewis pulls off, but instantly takes Sebastian in his mouth again, starting up a slow, thorough slide up and down his shaft, one he continues without breaking eye contact, and always taking in as much of Sebastian as he can. He shifts a little to adjust his weight against the bed, and Sebastian echoes the movement to get more comfortable, splaying his legs a little wider to give him easier access. Then Lewis is pulling off altogether, nuzzling into Sebastian’s base, laving a long lick all the way up his length along the vein that Lewis swears tastes different to the rest of his shaft, and then over his head again, before kissing his way back down.

Lewis ghosts wet, open mouthed kisses up and down Sebastian, earning him whines of protest for more, a thrusting of hips that asks Lewis to swallow him down again, and fingers that grip frantically through his hair, pulling him ever closer, gentle but insistent. Lewis looks up at Sebastian, winks, and swallows him down as far as he can once more, smiling around him as Sebastian arches, groans, and trembles beneath him.

Lewis breathes out steadily in an effort to relax, takes in a little more of Sebastian’s cock, and pauses through the reflex of his throat to fight the intrusion of his cock head. Instantly, as though begging and inviting more, Sebastian parts his legs wider still; Lewis adjusts himself so he’s still comfortable then pulls off, slow, teasing, before swallowing down again, a little deeper.

Sebastian groans his name as Lewis continues this slow, controlled swallowing of him down, until his throat is full, and he’s having to breath out through his nose. There is a pause as Lewis settles himself, and then he’s swallowing around him, closing his eyes at the barrage of praise and obscenities it squeezes out of Sebastian as his throat constricts around his cock.

Lewis shifts his head slightly, grazes his thumbs lightly against Sebastian’s sides, wordlessly tells him what he wants him to do next. Sebastian is gasping, feet braced against the bed as he fucks up into Lewis’ mouth, his fingers twitching through his hair as he fights the urge to go rougher and faster.

Sebastian loves this; Lewis learned early on that deepthroating Sebastian is a surefire way to earn him whatever sexual favours he wants in return, and has also on three separate occasions led to breakfast in bed, as well as several lazy Sundays where he’d been left so spent, he’d barely been able to move. So Lewis holds on as long as he can through Sebastian’s thrusts and gasps, ignoring his own need as much as is possible, torture when he’s aching and leaking, hanging heavily between his legs.

But Sebastian knows Lewis well enough to notice the way he braces himself to try to hide the trembles surging through his arms, the shallowing of Lewis’ breath that says he’s getting tired, the slight rasping through the moan Lewis is giving that says his jaw is beginning to ache.

So Sebastian is moving, gently tugging on Lewis’ hair to tell him to pull off, then gripping him around the shoulders once he does and dragging him up the bed, on to his back. Sebastian kisses him hard, desperate, thrusting his tongue into Lewis’ mouth repeatedly in the most dirty of kisses Lewis thinks he’s ever been on the receiving end of. Yet another thing he’s come to really, really like about this man.

Sebastian’s hand is on him, thumb swiping up the precum leaking, and gripping him firm, fisting him at a pace that is going to bring Lewis over the edge in just seconds if it continues at that speed.

But it doesn’t.

Because Sebastian is shifting again, hand fumbling around in the drawer beside the bed and pulling out the lube that they’re getting through at a rate that talks of how much they love fucking each other. Sebastian coats his fingers; Lewis closes his eyes expecting the cool gel to graze over the pucker of his hole any second, but instead feels the bed dip either side of him. He opens his eyes instantly to Sebastian kneeling over him, and before he can comment or offer encouragement, Sebastian is spearing himself open, as though he is just desperate to be filled.

Lewis is helpless but to hold on to Sebastian’s hips and tilt him so he can watch more easily as Sebastian’s fingers arch and scissor him open, with accompanying moans that just make Lewis leak. And then Sebastian is lowering himself to straddle Lewis’ lap, holding himself open with one hand, and guiding Lewis cock with the other, until it’s slipping inside of him with a slick slide.

They both moan softly as Sebastian sinks down, until he’s fully seated and gasping. The tightness is narrowing Lewis’ focus to nothing but the feel of Sebastian squeezing around him, and Lewis’ hips are jerking of their own accord as Sebastian circles his hips to get comfortable, bracing his hand against Lewis’ chest.

Lewis splays his hands wide around Sebastian’s thighs, the tightness of strained muscles beneath his palms adding to the force behind the groan that escapes his lips from just how very good Sebastian feels clenching around him. Sebastian circles his hips a couple of times, groaning himself at the feeling of Lewis deep inside him, and then raises himself until Lewis’ cock head is catching and lightly tugging against his rim, only just keeping him in place.

Sebastian pauses, smirks, waits, because he knows how hungry Lewis is to look down at where their bodies are joined, at where Sebastian is now sinking down on him again and filling himself up. He does it again; raising himself slowly, his neck arching at the drag of Lewis inside him, pausing then lowering himself once more.

Lewis’ hands fall as though boneless to the sheets, his feet flush against the bed, knees spread. He spreads them further, and the movement as Sebastian sinks down on him again has Sebastian grunting and cursing out. Lewis curls his fingers to grip onto the sheets, eyes intently on himself slipping in and out of Sebastian, as Sebastian rides him slowly, his head thrown back with these soft moans that Lewis swears go straight to his own cock.

Sebastian brings up a hand to wrap around himself; Lewis’s mouth dries as he watches Sebastian circle his thumb over his own head and moan out loud again. Sebastian slicks himself up, finding a rhythm to fuck into his hand as he fucks himself down on Lewis, the most delicious of noises escaping out of him, until Lewis has to start taking some for himself.

Lewis raises his hands again, grips hard around Sebastian’s hips, braces his feet against the bed and thrusts up at the angle he’s learned will have Sebastian crying out his name. The stuttering, breathy Lewis he hears is the confirmation he needs to go harder, to grip tighter, to pound up into Sebastian without any further holding back at all.

Lewis is chasing Sebastian’s reaction every time his cock head glances over his prostate, eyes fixed on the way his lips form these little ohs each, and every time another one escape has Lewis gasping himself. Pretty soon Lewis is lost to chasing that warmth spreading out through his core that’s sending sparks and jolts of pleasure through him, urging him to drive up harder, grip tighter, take more, and he is lost to thinking of anything else but being inside Sebastian.

Sebastian is clearly eager for even more himself, slamming his hips down against Lewis’ thrusts, calling out a litany of dirty encouragement, grunting and groaning out one long, wordless sound. It is always at this point when they’re together like this when both of them lose control, littering the air with gasps of encouragement and the rapid slap of skin on flushed skin.

But Sebastian, it seems, has other ideas, ideas that mean prolonging this even more than they already have done at this early hour of the morning. He presses a hand firmly against Lewis’ sternum, wordlessly asking him to slow, and Lewis does that instantly, panting hard with exertion, pressing his ass back against the bed to fight against the way his own hips twitch for him to take even more.

Sebastian takes a stuttering breath, and then he’s back to raising himself slowly, sliding down on Lewis’ cock even slower, and circling his hips, the movements deliberate and slow so they can both feel every drag of Lewis’ cock deep inside him, making them both moan out long, desperate gasps.

Lewis watches Sebastian fighting against going faster, short, stabbing breaths speaking of the effort it’s taking him to keep this slow, to enjoy every languid thrust and stroke. Sebastian leans down for another kiss; there is something about being buried inside Sebastian like this and barely moving when they’re kissing, that has Lewis’ stomach jolt and flip in the most delicious of ways.

Sebastian raises and eases himself down on Lewis then, flaring his hips insistently so that Lewis is as deep inside him as he possibly can get. Lewis answers by fucking up into him at that just right, practised angle, and Sebastian grinds down on him hard, whimpering, and shakily wrapping his hands around Lewis shoulders to hold on.

Lewis holds on for as long as he can, but the heat is too much, Sebastian feels so good, so tight around him, and he needs to chase his release right now, because any longer feels impossible. Sebastian’s fingers tighten, and he’s spreading his knees a little wider, slamming his hips hard down on Lewis unrelenting, urging him to keep going, and looking just as desperate as Lewis feels.

Lewis’s grip around Sebastian’s waist as he fucks up into him is brutal enough to leave marks, and knowing how Sebastian will admire and smirk at the marks in the mirror and then kiss him for it just encourages Lewis on even more, bucking and driving up into him, crying out Sebastian’s name as he writhes and rocks on his lap.

Sebastian shifts and begins to fist himself faster, his desperate grip on Lewis’ shoulder slipping as he rides Lewis as hard as he can, and then he’s tensing, groaning, hot white spurts covering his hand and painting a stripe across Lewis’ chest as he calls out in a broken, desperate moan. Lewis groans as Sebastian tightens around him, that fluttering feeling proving the final push to take him over the edge as well. He grips Sebastian harder, gives two, three sharp thrusts, and arches up on the bed into Sebastian with such force, that Sebastian is jostled forward, landing with a huff on Lewis’ chest as he slips.

Sebastian rights himself once he’s caught his breath a little, grinning down at Lewis in wicked triumph, circling his hips a little sloppily now that he is slick with Lewis cum. To see him doing that has Lewis dropping his head back against the pillow with a grunt, his hands sliding up Sebastian’s sides as he presses their chests together. Lewis feels a rush of what he thinks must be contentment, as Sebastian kisses the corner of his mouth, nuzzles against his jaw, and drops his head down on his shoulder with a deep, satisfied sigh.

“Does this count as you getting lucky?” Sebastian asks, the mirth-tinged words kissed into his neck.

Lewis looks up at him questioningly when Sebastian pulls back, and Sebastian nods, leans back again, pressing gentle kisses along Lewis’s jawline, before turning his head and pressing open mouth kisses along his neck. He takes the time to stop, lathe his tongue there, then bite hard enough to leave a tiny trace his own marks on Lewis’s skin, pulling back enough to swipe his thumb there and smirk at his handiwork.

“You were talking in your sleep. Again,” Sebastian murmurs into his ear when he bends back down, nuzzling at the sensitive skin just behind it and humming to himself.

“Uh…” Lewis stumbles out, embarrassed, his heart racing at how many times those insecurities might have slipped from his mouth unchecked.

“We’re doing this. We’re good,” Sebastian tells him, those earlier dirty kisses replaced with tender ones that have Lewis rooted to the spot, feeling cared for and wanted in ways he’s not sure he’s ever known in the past.

Sebastian smiles at Lewis adoringly then, as though he can read his very thoughts. He kisses him once more, long, and thorough, then holds on to Lewis’ arm as he leans over the bed to retrieve his t-shirt from earlier, and cleans them both up a little with a lazy, sleepy swipe.

Sebastian lays beside him then, insistently pressing against Lewis’s shoulder to turn him away, just to pull him back firmly against his chest and tuck in his knees behind Lewis’ own. His splays a hand across Lewis’ stomach, and Lewis can’t help feeling claimed, but only in the best kind of ways.

There are soft kisses that follow to the back of his neck, growing increasingly softer the closer Sebastian gets to falling asleep. Lewis hears a soft but determined mine muttered into his skin, and then he feels the slackening in Sebastian’s grip that announces he’s finally gone. Lewis breathes out deeply, smiling into the darkness and feeling thoroughly sated, allowing himself the luxury of thinking that perhaps, once in a while, he really does get to have this kind of luck.

With a tiny stretch to get comfortable, Lewis finally allows himself to relax, and lets Sebastian’s warmth around him lull him into a dreamless sleep.