Written for the prompt(s): The screen flashed 9-1-1.
|Word count: Approx. 1,760
Notes/Warnings: None. And in case you're interested, here's my idea for what Matt and Christopher look like:
The screen flashed 9-1-1.
Or at least it seemed to, to eyes that were throbbing and burning. The cool ranch-blue numerals may as well have been ringed in spears and needles for the way looking at them skewered sensitive eyes.
Groaning, Matt Gerdes sat up, his head throbbing. He glanced at the clock/radio readout one more time, left eye squinted shut so as to keep it from falling out—which it felt in serious danger of doing, the pressure behind it was so great—and swore softly to himself, so as not to wake his bedmate.
9-1-2, this time. He’d overslept.
Groaning again, Matt swung his legs over the side of the bed and leaned forward on his arms. He meant to stand so he could get to work on vanishing before Christopher opened his eyes and saw his favorite mistake still hanging around well after sun-up. He meant to pull on his rumpled clothes and quietly exit the stylish penthouse as he had countless times before. Anything to avoid the inevitability of having to make small talk with Christopher, something neither of them were apparently good at . . . even when at least one of them wasn’t epically hung-the-fuck-over.
“You don’t have to hurry off, Matthew,” a warm and inviting voice said from behind Matt, startling him, just as a gentle hand laid itself on his back, sliding sleepily up and down. Christopher’s hand was as warm and inviting as his voice. Admiring, even. This was nothing new. Christopher had, from the day they met, openly admired Matt’s physique, and that open admiration had most definitely been returned.
What was new was the possessiveness in Christopher’s touch, which presented itself as a certain unhurried, even languid way of stroking, as if Matt was a piece of fine art that Christopher had acquired some time ago, but by which he was still entranced.
“You don’t have to hurry off,” Christopher murmured again, a mellow, half-awake rumble that turned into a chuckle when Matt moaned softly under his touch. Then Christopher was shifting in the tempting softness of the bed, both hands settling on Matt’s shoulders as he kissed Matt’s shaven nape with lips that whispered and lingered.
“You are so sexy. . . .”
“Clearly you needed the rest,” Christopher noted, kissing his way down to Matt’s right shoulder, his tongue following the lines of Matt’s right sleeve, which consisted of the Elder Futhark inked in silvery-brown and black. “And you got pretty trashed, last night.” Another chuckle. “Who’d have thought such a big, burly carpenter was such a light-weight?”
Blushing, Matt pushed himself away—though it was so, so tough—from Christopher’s kisses and touch, and to his feet. On which he was surprisingly steady, taking into consideration his about-to-implode skull and about-to-rebel stomach. “I’ll be outta your hair in a few minutes.”
“You’re not in my hair, Matthew. And like I said, you don’t have to go,” Christopher said so softly that Matt paused in the act of gathering up his folded clothes from the chair across from the bed. Christopher must have picked everything up sometime in the night. A thought which made Matt’s stomach churn even more than it already was.
Then Matt was stumbling his way into his jeans, trying to wrestle up the fly without castrating himself. He could feel Christopher’s eyes on him like sunlight—something which Christopher’s floor-length drapes kept to a minimum . . . for which Matt, usually a morning person, was truly grateful today—hot and heavy.
Under that gaze, Matt pulled on the rest of his clothes: white wife-beater, blue-plaid shirt, socks, and workboots. He then patted himself down for the usual suspects of keys, wallet, and cellphone.
All present and accounted for.
So now, there was nothing for it but to face Christopher and have whatever awkward bit of conversation that would eventually lead to Matt leaving and Christopher being relieved that Matt had left.
Turning to face the man whose bed he’d been sharing for the better part of a year—and nothing else. Their relationship, such as it was, was built on mutual attraction and nothing more. Christopher had been very careful over the past nine months to keep the dividing lines between them otherwise sharp—Matt took a deep breath and tried to smile.
It must have passed muster because Christopher returned it, amusement and . . . fondness? . . . softening his sharp features and dark eyes. And despite the ravages of what had to be the worst hangover known to man, Matt felt—with utter incredulity—the first stirrings of desire spread from his core, to the rest of him, making the lingering soreness from last night not only stand out, but demand some hair of the dog.
For a few moments, Matt wanted nothing more than to get naked again and crawl back into bed with Christopher and feel that long, lean body against him, on top of him, in him—just all kinds of perfect with him, and so right. For a few moments, Matt was on the verge of breaking the unspoken, but tacit contract between them. . . .
Then he came to his senses and shook his aching head a little. This wasn’t how things worked between them. Matt never stayed after sun-up and Christopher never asked him to.
“See ya around, I guess,” Matt said lamely when nothing else was forthcoming from either of them. And Christopher’s sleep-soft face went from hopeful and amused, to unreadable in the space of Matt’s exhaled words. Then Christopher was laying back in his bed, arms folded behind his head, face turned away.
“See ya,” he replied quietly, turning onto his side facing away from Matt and toward the curtained window. Leaving Matt to make good his escape . . . though it felt less like an escape and more like Matt was walking away from something terribly important and obvious.
The feeling did not fade, was not soon forgotten as he let himself out of the penthouse and into the sunlit hallway. He winced and hissed in the syrupy sunlight and hunched his shoulders, making his way to the elevator. He jabbed at the DOWN button with one thick, impatient finger, then waited approximately an eternity and a half for the damned thing to make it all the way up to the penthouse.
All the while, he did his best, to no avail, to not think about the feeling or the man who’d inspired it. For the fact was, he and Christopher didn’t do feelings . . . though Lord knows they’d done damn near everything else.
When the elevator finally arrived, it was empty, another thing for which Matt was grateful. He stepped into it—the elevator was larger and nicer than his apartment in Greenpoint—pushing the button for the lobby and leaning against the back wall, waiting for the doors to close, his eyes falling shut as he listened to the all-drum marching band in his skull play Wipeout.
And try though he did, to force away any thoughts of Christopher—Matt supposed he’d hear from the man again sometime soon. Barely a week went by that Matt didn’t get a call from Christopher asking if he was free, and if so, would he like to come over?—but he couldn’t help but remember the way those kisses had felt, so warm and tender on his skin. Couldn’t help but remember the hopeful, amused look on Christopher’s face before it’d closed off.
Couldn’t help but remember the way Christopher had said he, Matt, didn’t have to go. Had basically said it was okay for him to hang around.
Had asked him to—
Christopher had never asked Matt not to go, before today. Matt had no clue what that might mean—at least in the grander scheme of things—but he understood, suddenly, that it might, just might mean that Christopher . . . had wanted him to stay.
And Matt . . . hadn’t wanted to go.
If he was being honest with himself, he’d never wanted to go. But that had been part of Christopher’s terms for their continued . . . relationship. And rather than have none of the man, Matt had chosen to accept what little of Christopher he could have.
But suddenly . . . more seemed to be on offer. . . .
The question was, did Matt still want more of Christopher than he’d grown used to having?
The elevator dinged its doors-closing ding and Matt was reaching out to hit the OPEN button before he’d even opened his aching eyes. He didn’t know exactly what he wanted, but he knew that there was only one place to find out, and it wasn’t at the end of a long-ass subway ride back to his place in Greenpoint. It wasn’t alone, something he’d been for long enough to know it wasn’t where his answers were.
When his eyes fluttered open, his jaw dropped and his finger fell short of the button panel. The elevator doors continued to close on his view of a wide-eyed, bed-headed Christopher Bosch, wearing nothing but a pair of black low-rise jeans and that stricken expression.
A beat passed, and the doors almost shut in both their faces.
Christopher reached out and stuck his hand in between the closing doors and they dinged again, immediately opening and presenting Matt with a sight he rarely saw: half-dressed Christopher. His long, bony feet were bare, as was his chest. Which was covered in livid hickeys Matt had no doubt he’d put there, despite not remembering doing so. His boyish, handsome face was all-over stubble of Miami Vice-proportions.
He looked. . . .
They stood there, staring at each other—Christopher with his hand still held out, almost as if for shaking—though it was a toss-up as to who looked more surprised that he was there.
Neither of them said anything for long moments. And though Matt tended toward being the strong, silent type, Christopher was very much a talker. So when no words of explanation made themselves heard, Matt began to fidget and wonder if he’d gotten everything wrong, after all. And if so, what was Christopher doing here. . . ?
Finally, Christopher stepped in between the elevator doors and smiled a little, hopeful and amused once more. This time . . . this time, Matt returned the smile.