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Carl wakes up warm, itchy with sweat, with salt on his tongue and another flavor he doesn’t place. He’s warm because there’s a body next to his. He’s lightly sore. He got off last night, and it was good.

He takes a breath and decides: for as long as he can hold it in, he can hope. He pictures running his hands over thick biceps and nibbling along a rounded jaw. Watching sharp blue eyes fall shut as he leans in for a kiss.

He gives up, exhales, opens his eyes. Patric smiles sleepily. “Morning.”

“Oh,” Carl says, awed. “Oh.”