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A Hundred Golden Suns

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I walked into my apartment, slipped off my Nikes and pulled my hoodie over my head. I sighed. Aiden was spread out on our sectional.  

“What you watching?” I asked as I walked into my kitchen and got some orange juice.  

“Just catching up on American Horror Story,” Aiden responded. 

“Hmm,” I said as I walked into the living room. I settle down on the couch and took out my iPhone. I propped my feet up on the coffee table. 

We sit in silence for a while. I’m scrolling through Instagram. Once I catch up I go to tumblr. “So, how was the date?” I heard Aiden ask. 

“Wasn’t a date,” I said looking at the tv. And it wasn’t. A customer that I had helped at work just kept coming back and back. “Maybe we can get coffee,” she had asked. “Sure,” I said. I had no problem with that. I looked over at Aiden now. “It was ok, I guess.”

“You guess?”

“Yeah.”

Aiden sighed and smiled. We had met back in third grade and hit it off. We were eight. Now at 22, we were roommates. Aiden was my best friend. He leaned his head back on the couch. “Just so you know, if you want to find your soulmate and feel that passionate once in a lifetime love you’re always reading about, you gotta, you know, give people a chance.” 

I gave him a look above my phone screen and kept scrolling through tumblr. He often said this. “I give everyone a chance. You know that,” I mumbled. It was true. I just knew right away, if someone was it or not. Why waste my time with someone who wasn’t it?

“No, I mean a real chance Timothée. Yeah you’re nice and friendly but I mean, on the romantic side, you’re so quick to cut people off!” I rolled my eyes. Aiden laughed. He told me my eye rolls were hilarious. When I asked him why he said it was because he knew I didn’t have a rude bone in my body and they were wasted energy but a nice try. “Look, Tim, dude, like give people at least three dates.”

“But if I’m not feeling it -“

“Dude get to know them!”

“I do!” I said. Aiden smiled and shook his head. “Look I only have a few non negotiable requirements for someone to get a foot in the door, ok,” I said. He knew this was true.  

“Right, right, right,” Aiden said quickly, sitting up. “The list of requirements!” He said. 

“Everyone should have one,” I said. 

“So your list for you to give a guy or girl a chance,” Aiden started to say. I was bi. Aiden had always been cool with that. “Ok, so first, a healthy love of movies,” he said. 

“Yes,” I replied with a huge grin. “Which means they will have a favorite movie and actor or actress.” 

“Yeah. They should have a political stance,” Aiden continued. 

“Yes because it’s 2018 and seriously, come on now,” I said, rolling my eyes yet again and sipping more orange juice. 

“A hobby,” Aiden continued. 

“A hobby of sorts,” I replied. “And I’m not even picky about it. You know? I have my socks and caps and that’s my little side hobby.” 

Aiden laughed. “And last but not least, must read books.”

“Yup,” I nodded. That was the biggest. That meant the most to me. “If it’s been twelve months and you haven’t read a book, you and I have nothing to talk to about.” 

Aiden turned off the tv. “And what did the girl today lack?” He asked. 

“She hadn’t read a book since she graduated high school three years ago,” I told him. “That and she said she didn’t know who Bernie Sanders was.”

“Shame,” Aiden said. 

“Indeed,” I replied. “She was quite cute,” I said and glanced at Aiden. “Till she opened her mouth and I ran for the hills!” 

 


 

The next day, Saturday, I had arrived at the mall an hour and a half before my shift at the Apple store started. I was determined to buy Christmas presents for my parents and was surprised when I saw a pair of earrings my mom had pointed out on a Zales flyer were on sale. I went inside and I also spotted a watch I knew my father would like. I went ahead and bought both and suddenly, I had an hour to kill. 

I needed to go to the bathroom so I went ahead. I was washing my hands and I wondered if I should just go ahead and get Aiden Red Dead Redemption 2 for Christmas. I looked myself over as I dried my hands. The bathroom was empty so I took my iPhone out, grabbed the bill of my cap and covered my face and took a selfie. I looked it over and posted it on Instagram.  

I was walking out when I noticed a wallet on top of the hand dryer. I picked it up and opened it. There was a drivers license inside. 

“Armand Douglas Hammer,” I read softly. “That’s a mouthful.” I whispered to myself. It said he was 6’5. I scoffed. “Yeah right, probably 6’2,” I said with a chuckle. I was 6 foot myself. He’s 32. Blond hair, blue eyes. There’s an address but it’s a P.O. Box. I looked inside and saw cash. Lots of cash. I shut the leather wallet quickly. It made me nervous. Was this one of those hidden camera tv shows? What Would You Do? I looked around nervously, wondering if there were hidden cameras in this bathroom. I looked at the wallet more closely. It’s a grainy black leather and said Burberry on the bottom right hand corner in white capital letters.

I exit the bathroom and sat on the bench practically in front of the bathroom entrance. I looked around. The wallet’s owner should be a 32 year old guy who’s supposedly tall as fuck, blond hair, blue eyes. He should be in a panic, looking for his wallet with all that cash inside of it. I sat there for 45 minutes but no one came. I got up and grabbed a smoothie then walked to the Apple store for my shift. The wallet tucked safely in my pants pocket. 

 


 

The next day, I composed a note. 

 

Mr. Hammer,

I found something that belongs to you at one of the bathrooms at the mall. I’m sure you’re eager to get it back. Give me a call or send me a text.

Have a great day!

 

I read it over. It’s the best I could do. If it wasn’t his P.O. Box anymore I didn’t want some stranger knowing I had a wallet. I’d ask for him to describe it. I provided my cellphone number and slipped the note in an envelope. I address it A. D. Hammer. I would run to the post office before my next shift at work. I put the wallet safely away in my bedroom. Hopefully that P.O. Box was still a current address. 

 


 

The following Wednesday, I’m at work, busy changing out yet another shattered iPhone screen when my phone buzzes in my pocket. Once I have a moment, I take it out and read the text I received. 

Hi! This is Armand Hammer. You found my wallet. Thank you! So much! I am indeed eager to get it back. Could we meet today?

“Huh!” I say a little surprised, a smile spreading on my face. I’m glad my note in the mail had worked. I got off work at 7 pm. I had to go home and get the wallet but I lived really close by. I started typing my response. 

Hi. If you don’t mind, could you describe the wallet for me

Yes! It’s a black leather Burberry wallet

Ok. It felt safe to meet him then, just had to make the meeting in a public place to be safe.

I can meet you at the mall at 7:30 tonight. Food court?

That would be great! Thank you!

I smiled and returned back to work. 

 


 

I arrived back at the food court at 7:27 pm,  wallet safely in the pocket of my gray hoodie. I looked around. I had taken a really close look at the ID in the wallet before I had gotten out of my car. I felt I would recognize Armand when I saw him. 

“Armand,” I said to myself softly. It wasn’t a common name at all. My eyes swept the bustling food court and then, I saw him. It had to be him. He truly was tall. He was looking around. His phone in his hand. My phone suddenly buzzed. I looked down. 

Hi! I’m here. Are you?

I smiled and bit my bottom lip and started walking towards him. As I got closer I took a better look at him. He was in a dark blue suit and tie with a black coat that went past his knees.  

I walked to him and ran my hand through my hair. I smoothed my bangs out over my forehead. “Hi, Armand?” I asked when I reached him.  

Armand turned quickly and laid eyes on me. He froze for a second. “Hi! Good Samaritan?” He asked.  

We both laughed. “My name is Timothée,” I said stretching my hand out. Armand took it. His hand was large and warm, firm in a gentle way. 

“Timothée, hi, please, call me Armie.”

“Ok, Armie,” I said. We kept shaking hands. Now, up close, I saw that Armie was quite handsome. He had sparkling blue eyes and wonderful golden hair that was perfectly combed to one side. It was nice and real short, a nice fade cut. It was... hot. Everything about him was hot. We held the handshake a bit longer than was necessary. We suddenly seemed to realize this and let go. My hand suddenly felt colder. 

“Oh!” I said, remembering the reason for our meeting. I reached into my hoodie and pulled out the Burberry wallet. I handed it over.  

“Oh, man!” Armie said. He opened it up. I saw him count the cash. I wasn’t offended by this, it would have been weird if he hadn’t done it. “Timothée! Thank you!” He said and embraced me suddenly. I chuckled and patted his back, my head rested on his shoulder. He smelled nice. He was so tall. His body broad. We stepped back and I swallowed. I slid my sleeves over my hands. “Please, let me, god, I don’t know? Buy you dinner? Have you had dinner?”

“No,” I said with a grin. “But it’s alright.”

“Please, please it’s the least I can do.”

I looked up into his eyes. They were so blue. Fuck, he was hot. Ok. Dinner would be ok. “Yeah, ok,” I said.  

“Great. One of my favorite places is here,” he said with a really handsome smile. I nodded and followed him inside the mall. 

Chapter Text

“Hi, Armand?” I heard behind me. I turned quickly and laid my eyes upon gorgeous green eyes. Beautiful face. Perfect lips. I froze for a second. A second though, that’s all. I recovered quickly. 

“Hi! Good Samaritan?” I asked. 

We both laughed. He had a cute laugh. “My name is Timothée,” he said. Timothée. Timothée. I’d never met anyone named Timothée. It suited him. I liked it. He stretched his hand out. I took it. It was soft. It felt good in my hand. 

“Timothée, hi, please, call me Armie,” I said looking into his eyes. I was flirting. I didn’t care. 

“Ok, Armie,” He said. I liked how he said my name. I saw his eyes wander around my face. His smile was so genuinely beautiful and warm. If I didn’t know any better I’d say he was checking me out. His hair was in this ridiculous bowl cut that shouldn’t have looked good on anyone his age but he rocked it. Not only did he rock it but it made him look so sexy. His eyes jumped out underneath the dark bangs. We stared at each other a moment and held the handshake a bit longer than was necessary. I let go gently. 

“Oh!” He said. He reached into the pocket of his gray hoodie. I glanced down at his dark jeans and black Doc Martens. He handed my wallet over. Relief washed over me. 

“Oh, man!” I said. I opened it up and was surprised to see the cash. Timothée could have taken it and say he found it that way. He didn’t. It said a lot about the man he was. I counted it. It was all there. “Timothée! Thank you!” I said and couldn’t help but embrace him. He chuckled and wrapped his arms around me as well and patted my back. He was slender and felt good in my arms. Which was insanity since I had known the guy for a solid five minutes. We stepped back. I had to thank him. “Please, let me, god, I don’t know? Buy you dinner? Have you had dinner?”

“No,” he said with a cute grin. “But it’s alright.”

“Please, please it’s the least I can do.” I really wanted him to say yes. We could talk. I wanted us to keep talking. I wasn’t ready for him to go.

He looked up into my eyes and I swear it’s like I saw the thought process of whether he should accept or not. He blinked and smiled. It was going to be a yes. “Yeah, ok,” he said. 

“Great. One of my favorite places is here,” I said grinning. I turned and started walking, he followed me. “The Cheesecake Factory,” I said. 

“Yeah. Love the place. And I seriously love cheesecake.” I noticed he had his sleeves over his hands. It made him look slightly young. Younger. He was young. Early twenties. Maybe. Hopefully. He had to be at least twenty.  

“Yeah? Me too!” I said grinning at him. I saw it up ahead. “I couldn’t believe I left my wallet in the damn bathroom. I didn’t even notice till I got home and I knew by then it would be gone,” I said. I shook my head. “When I got your note, I swear,” he glanced at me.  

“Oh, it’s alright,” he said blushing slightly. It was cute. I should stop before I made him feel awkward. We arrived at the restaurant. I opened the door for him. We walked to the hostess. 

“Table for two please,” I said. The hostess got some menus and we walk forward. I instinctively put my hand on Timothée’s lower back. He didn’t pull away so I didn’t remove my hand. We were shown to a booth and sat down. Our drink order was taken and we were told a waiter would be with us soon. We looked at one another. 

God he was good looking. The lights from the restaurant were soft and golden and he just... “So, Timothée, what do you do?” I asked. I clenched my hands into fists. Why was I so nervous around this kid?

“Do? Ah...” he chuckled. “Well I’m 22 so I don’t quite have a career,” he said clearing his throat. 22. Ok. “But I work at the Apple store,” he said. “Uh... I think I finally figured out what I want to do though,” he said. 

“Oh! What?” I asked. 

“I’m studying English Literature at UCLA,” he said happily. 

“Wow! Impressive,” I said. 

“So what do you do,” he said motioning to my suit. I laughed. 

“I’m... I’m an arts dealer,” I said. His eyes grew wide. I loved it.  

“Holy fuuucckk!!” He said. I laughed. I liked how he said the word. “Dude, that’s like, amazing!”

The waiter came and we hadn’t even looked at our menus. We hastily ordered things we had obviously eaten there before. 

“Oh my god, so, so tell me about your job!” Timothée said. I loved how he looked so genuinely excited about it. I wasn’t truly expecting this from a 22 year old. My sister was 25 and she couldn’t care less. “I mean, I mean if you want to, we just met. Oh god!” Timothée covered his face with his hands. I was enjoying all of this. It was endearing. “Oh god I’m making such an utter fool of myself,” he said. 

“No, no, believe me your reaction is doing wonders for my ego,” I said. I smiled at him. It was a genuine smile, he truly was making me happy right now. 

He lowered his hands and pulled his hoodie off. He had a white tee shirt that said Rowing Blazers on it. He fixed his hair. He ran his tongue all along his bottom lip. He looked around the table and then his eyes landed on me. Our eyes met. We stared. One, two, three, four seconds. I looked away. “You like art?” I asked.  

“I like art. I like books,” he said with a cute smile. “Music. Movies,” he said. I nodded. I knew not all 22 year olds were like him. 

“What are you reading right now?” I asked suddenly curious.

“Song of Achilles,” he said. 

Interesting. I furrowed my brow. Was he... “I read that,” I said. “It was beautiful.”

We stared into each other’s eyes again. He was wondering about me too. His eyes showed it. “It’s my third time reading it,” he said. 

Our food came. We thanked the waiter and he asked if there was anything else we needed. We looked at one another and said no and thanked him. He left.  

“Third time,” I said with a smile. “What do you love about it?”

“Well, you read it,” he said as if the answer should be so obvious.

I nodded. “It was beautifully written,” I said. I started cutting my steak. “I appreciate a beautifully written love story between two men, hard to find, sometimes,” I said glancing up at him. He was looking down at his food and nodded. “There is a gorgeous painting of Patroclus by Jaques-Louis David,” I said and his eyes flitted up and met mine. “It resides at the Musée Thomas Henry right now,” I told him. He nodded. His eyes were transfixed on me. I slid my hand down my tie, smoothing it out, it was a nervous habit. “It’s funny because, you know, since the book is told from Patroclus point of view we get a wonderfully captivating descriptions of Achilles,” I said. 

“Like his golden hair, his incredible physique, handsome face, and over all perfection,” Timothée says with a grin. 

“Precisely,” I said with a laugh. “Anyway, not sure if you can recall from memory the painting,” I said. “But it’s what I thought of. Kept thinking of, while I read.” I took my first bite of steak.  

Timothée pulled his iPhone out. He showed me his screen and I nodded. He had googled the painting. I liked that. “Yeah we don’t get told what Patroclus looks like, since he’s the narrator,” he said. “You’ve read the Iliad,” he said.  

I swallowed and nodded. I took a sip of my wine. “The scene when Achilles finds out of Patroclus’ death was profound,” I said. “I remember reading it when I was around your age,” I said. I checked his expression to see how he took this, he merely glanced up at me. He knew how old I was. He had seen my driver’s license. “It was refreshing to have such beautiful art depict such deep emotions between two men,” I said. 

He nodded in understanding. We were silent for a moment and then he spoke more of Song of Achilles. He then spoke movies and he asked me what the last great movie I had seen was. “Apocalypse Now,” I told him.  

“Is that your favorite movie?” He asked me. 

“No,” I said. 

“Oh, which is it?” He asked excitedly. Right. 

“Ah, I don’t see why that’s a big deal. What’s yours?” I asked. 

“I won’t tell you mine if you won’t tell me yours,” he said, brow furrowed. He wasn’t annoyed though, he seemed to enjoy this. 

I shrugged. “Ok!” I said. 

He gave me a wide eyed look and scoffed. “Ok, what if I guess? If I guess it, will you tell me?”

“Sure,” I said with a slight shrug of my shoulders. I took another bite of steak. 

“You vote?” He asked. 

“I do,” I answered, taken by surprised. He nodded and grinned. He kept eating. 

“So is art your hobby?” He asked. 

I sat back and thought about this. “Well, hard to say. Yes and no,” I said apologetically. “I mean I love art, and enjoy going to museums and looking at beautiful art,” I said. “So it can be one of my hobbies. I read as much as I can though,” I said. 

“Would you prefer a book or movie?” He asked. 

“Book,” I answered. 

“Me too,” he said quietly. I liked that. 

We talked further and he told me after high school he went on a road trip with his best friend Aiden. He wasn’t sure what to study and thought a road trip would help. It did not and when he came back home he got a job and moved out. He did a lot of things. He not only worked at the Apple store but he also did photography on the side, he drove Uber and Lyft when he had time. 

“How do you have time to sleep?” I asked incredulously. 

“I’m 22 dude, who needs sleep!” He said in true 22 year old fashion. I laughed. He was more though. Lots more. He was intelligent and charming and just so... pure. Honest. Genuine. I had a wonderful time. We finished dinner and ordered three types of cheesecake and split them each in half. The conversation never stopped.  

I dreaded the moment but it came. He looked at his watch. “I’m sorry,” he said. I nodded in understanding and held my hands up. “I have work and school tomorrow, or else I’d stay longer,” he said. I looked into his eyes and could do nothing else but believe him wholeheartedly. His statement made me happier. Probably happier than it should. I got the bill and left some money out. He offered to leave a tip and I told him no this was my thank you to him. 

We had both parked by the foodcourt so we still were able to talk as we walked. I felt we were more strolling than walking but that was fine with me. Finally we were outside. “That’s me,” I said as I pointed to my Mercedes G Class. 

“Nice ride,” he said. 

“Thank you,” I said. “Sometimes I don’t fit in those sexy sports cars so I make up for it by getting an expensive SUV,” I said. 

“Ha ha,” Timothée laughed. “Well, Armie,” He said. I faced him and I stuck my hand out. He took it. I squeezed his hand a bit harder this time he didn’t pull away.  

“Timothée,” I said. I looked into his eyes and gave him a half smile. “Thank you for accompanying me to dinner, thank you for the good time and wonderful conversation,” I said. It was a bit dark in the parking lot but I could have sworn he blushed. I was laying it on thick but I truly didn’t care. I had nothing to lose. “Last but not least, thank you so much for my wallet. I’m so glad it was you that found it.”

“Wow,” He said. He chuckled. We were still holding hands and he made no move to walk away. I liked how his hand felt in mine. “You’re welcome to all that and, well, I’m really glad it was me too. And hey,” he said with a cute little smile. “If you need help with anything Apple, I’m your guy.” 

“Great. Great meeting you.”

“You too.”

I pulled my car door open and watched him walk away. He turned back and I smiled. He waved as did I. I finally got into my car and drove away. 

Chapter Text

I got into my car and watched Armie’s car drive away. My phone started buzzing in my jeans pocket. It was Aiden.

”Hey.”

“Hey, man. You still busy?”

I glanced at my watch. It was 9:47 pm. “You want Taco Bell?” I asked with a grin. This was a common request of his on Wednesdays and Fridays.

“Maybe...” He said. I laughed. “Don’t you?”

“No,” I said. “I ate already.”

“Oh, so, can you please bring me some Taco Bell? The usual?”

“Yeah man, I’ll be home in 20.”

“You rock.”

“I know,” I said. I hung up and put my playlist from my phone on. I Want It by TwoFeet started playing. I smiled as I heard the lyrics

“I think that I want it. It’s all I really need. You say that you want it. Just tell it straight to me.”

I took off for home. 

 


 

I got home and gave Aiden his food. He was happy. He was talking about random stuff. Mutual friends, new music. He really liked the new music Lil Wayne had put out, as did I. He had Catfish on the tv. I listened and we laughed. The dinner with Armie was in the back of my mind. Moments flashing. His suit and tie. His face changed when we spoke of Art. He loved it. He was passionate about it. 

I suddenly remembered our little pact that if I guessed his favorite movie, he would tell me. First I wondered why he wouldn’t tell me. Was he embarrassed? Hmm. 

“So we still on for tomorrow?” Aiden asked as he threw the food wrappers into the brown takeout bag and drunk his soda 

“Yeah,” I said. 

“I think Jonathan will be there,” he said. 

I shrugged. “He doesn’t vote,” I stated as I had several times before. 

Aiden laughed. “Tim! Ok, your list may be flawed!”

I thought of Armie, who had checked every item on my list and smiled. “Maybe it’s not,” I said with a shrug. I glanced up at Aiden and he gave me a look. “What?” I asked.

“Where were you? Tonight. Where did you go?”

“Just out,” I said with a shrug and got on my Instagram. Aiden was my best friend. He knew me best. It’s not that I was keeping this from Aiden. It’s just that I wanted this to myself for right now, whatever this was. It could be nothing and in several weeks I’d forget, maybe. Or... 

“Alright. Well, Jonathan made a point to ask me if you would be there tomorrow, just saying.”

“Jonathan also has my number and could have asked me himself,” I said sounding slightly bored. “Just saying,” I said looking at Aiden and grinning, so that he knew I wasn’t mad or anything that he had brought Jonathan up. He liked Jonathan. He thought he was a decent guy and thought I was a decent guy and somehow thought that was enough. It never bothered me though. He meant well. 

He got up and hit me with a sofa cushion as he walked by to the kitchen to throw his garbage out. I got up and we said good night and walked to our rooms. I undressed and laid in bed, grabbing my copy of Song of Achilles. I picked up my phone and looked at the painting Armie had spoken of. I looked at the time, 11:34 pm.  

I wasn’t much for mind games. I always figured if you liked someone, show it in subtle ways and if you got a green light, go for it. I felt our dinner was full of green lights. He mentioned more than once the romantic relationship between men so I was pretty sure he was into men. I wanted to text him. He would either text me back soon, text me tomorrow or not at all. I had nothing to lose. 

So I wondered why you wouldn’t just tell me your favorite movie. I wondered if it was maybe a childhood favorite? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?  

I hit send. I would see if he answered me. I looked on google and found more art of Achilles and the death of Patroclus. Lots of beautiful art. Suddenly a text. 

I actually went to the movie theater to watch TMNT The Secret Of Ooze but that’s not it. Keep trying though!

I smiled. Ok. I had a foot in. 

I could go all night. Remember, I don’t need sleep. I don’t know what time prominent arts dealers wake in the morning though and I do not wish to be rude...

Ball was in his court. I went back to looking at art. 

Arts dealers get days off too. Which is a good thing as I need to get some Christmas shopping done. What time do you work tomorrow?

I smiled. “I see,” I said softly to myself. Was he asking because he wanted to see me again? I could try to be aloof and get him to ask to meet me, but I knew I wanted to see him. Again, I just went for what I wanted. 

I only work 4 hrs tomorrow, but I’m at the Genius Bar anyway and even if you came in I wouldn’t be able to help you if you wanted to buy something. I have school in the afternoon but if you want I’d be more than happy to meet up with you afterwards. Evening. I’d be able to answer all your questions. I’d be off the clock so I’d be all yours

I grinned. I thought of the party Aiden wanted me to go to. Those parties didn’t really kick off till 10 anyway. I’m sure if I wanted to make an appearance I’d have time. 

Sounds great. I’m free all afternoon so why don’t you tell me what time is good for you

Meet you in the food court at 6?

That would give me time to shower and change after class. Who knows maybe he’d suggest dinner again. 

See you at 6 then

One last thing, favorite actor and/or actress  

Hmm... actor is a hard one. Let me get back to you on that. Actress, hands down Meryl Streep!  

I grinned at his reply. 

Night

Night  

To say that I was happy was an understatement. 

 


 

The day started slow but picked up quickly at work. My shift was over soon enough and I ate in my car as I drove to school. Class seemed to drag by but finally I was driving home. I had been thinking of what to wear. I didn’t want the thought of it to consume me but I couldn’t help it. It was obvious I wanted to impress him. He seemed to be giving me positive signals, but he could really just be a friendly guy who needed help with Apple products and he could just be humoring me since I found his wallet and returned it with all his cash. 

I sighed. I shook my head. I showered. I decided to comb my hair back today, change things up for him. I put on some jeans and pulled on a plain black tee. I grabbed my Verameat Snake Lady jacket. This would do. I walked out my room and slid on my high rise Nikes. I was more than ready to go. 

 


 

I hated to be kept waiting so I always tried to make sure I was never late. I walked into the foodcourt at 5:54 and spotted him quickly. I stopped. He looked even better than yesterday. He was in jeans and a black knit sweater. He had the sleeves pulled up to his elbows, muscular forearms on display. Fuck... he was hot.

He was sitting at a table and looked deep in thought, his left index finger caressing his bottom lip as he scrolled up on his phone. I stood still a couple of seconds. I didn’t want to disturb him. He looked so good like this, I wanted to remember this moment. I took a step forward and as I got closer he looked up. I liked how his eyes brightened when he saw me. At least it appeared that way to me. 

“Timothée!” He said when I got close. I could tell him to just call me Tim but I liked hearing him say my full name. I liked the way he pronounced it. My name sounded richer coming out of his lips, even I liked it better. 

“Armie,” I said grinning. He got up and for a split second we weren’t sure what to do but then he pulled me into him. I let him. I liked being against his body. The couple of seconds of contact felt good. We pulled back and started walking.  

“So, how was work and school?” He asked as we walked out of the food court. I smiled. He remembered what I told him my schedule for the day was.  

“Work was slightly predictable,” I said. “Lots of shattered screens and phones that won’t turn on.”  He chuckled. “School was good, it was just one lecture.” 

“Ok,” he said. 

“What were you up to?” I asked. It felt only fair and polite to ask and I wanted to know. I wanted to know everything about him. 

“I’m working on acquiring some pieces for a client of mine, so I made some phone calls and hopefully I will be receiving a call tonight,” he said. I nodded. “The call will come from Europe so I’ll have to stay awake till 3 or 4.”

I hadn’t thought of that. “Your work schedule is hectic then?” I asked. I eyed the Apple store up ahead. We were walking slowly. No need for us to rush. 

“Well, yes, it can be,” he said. “But there is also a lot of freedom and flexibility too. I travel quite a bit which can be quite enjoyable and I’m always surrounded by beautiful art so I can’t complain!” He flashed me his perfect grin and I couldn’t help but grin back. 

I was so impressed by his line of work. I had my hands in my pockets and I was fidgeting with my car keys. I wanted to reach out and touch him. We walked into the Apple store. A couple of coworkers waved at me and I saw them eye Armie. “So,” I said putting on my best customer service voice. “How can I help you today?” 

He laughed at the change of my tone. I liked that he found me funny. “I want to buy my little sister a rose gold Apple Watch,” he told me and I walked him over to where they were. I asked him some questions and he picked one out soon enough. I got him someone so he could pay and then we were done. I knew the trip to the Apple store would be quick. I now wondered what he would suggest. I wasn’t ready to leave him just yet. 

“Mind if we go to Macy’s?” He asked me. 

“Not at all,” I said. It was at the opposite end of the mall, which I was happy about. The long walk meant more time with him. We started making our way there. I glanced at him as we walked. He was so good looking. I noticed that many people that walked by stared at him. It was all made the better though by how smart he was, how charming. It didn’t hurt though how snug his knit sweater was on his chest. It clung to his body perfectly. I clenched my hands into fists in my pockets. I wanted to run my hands across his chest, graze his collarbone with my fingertips. 

He glanced my way and caught me looking at him. I held his gaze. I had been truly nervous and taken aback yesterday by how good looking and intelligent he was. I didn’t want to appear nervous now by looking away first. He grinned at me and looked away. I grinned when he wasn’t looking. “So you mentioned photography last night,” he said. He remembered. Had he thought of me last night?

I looked straight ahead. “I did,” I said. “I started school a year late as you know and I truly didn’t know what to study and I had always liked photography. I was doing it lots more before school began. I have a website and some people still contact me. I don’t do it as much though but if I have the time I’ll do it. Now it’s mostly a summer thing.”

“So how did you decide on English Literature?” He asked glancing at me again. I liked how he asked me, he actually sounded impressed by it. 

“Well I feel the writing process checks a lot of boxes for me,” I said with a grin. “It’s artistic in the sense that I’m creating something. It’s challenging because I’m taking an idea and making it a reality. It’s fulfilling when I see the finished product come to life,” I told him. “I can also do so much. I can try to be a journalist or maybe try to get a job as an editorial assistant or maybe I can just write my own books and become the next Stephen King,” I said with a grin.

”Oh! Horror!” Armie said, raising his eyebrows.

I shrugged. “Would you have been as impressed if I had said the next Nicholas Sparks?” I asked. 

“Yes,” Armie said. I looked into his eyes. He was being genuine. “Yes, because writing a book, of any genre is as wonderful as creating a painting in any genre.”

“So true,” I replied. “You’d be surprised how many amazing books there are in the subject too,” I told him with a chuckle. 

“Oh no I’m not actually. Best way to pass along knowledge is to write a book about it and I’m sure there is a lot of knowledge to be passed.”

I nodded and grinned at him. I felt the exact same way. This thrilled me. “So did you always want to be an arts dealer?” I asked. We were almost at Macy’s. 

“Well my family is very into it,” he told me. “Growing up I was surrounded by it and then I was I think thirteen or fourteen when I first heard of being an arts dealer.” He suddenly chuckled as if he had thought of something. 

“What?” I asked. He shook his head. “Come on, tell me,” I said, pressing him and placing my hand on his bicep and squeezing it. I was naturally a person who liked physical contact and it felt so good to touch him and he didn’t seemed bothered by it. I put my hand back in my pocket.  

“When I acquire a work of art for someone, I feel like I’m getting that work of art a nice home. Sometimes my clients will email me a picture of the wall they have the art on,” he looked at me to gage my reaction. As if I would find what he was saying anything but thrilling. 

“Getting them a nice home? That’s nice. You obviously care for the art pieces.” He shrugged as if feigning indifference but looked pleased with my reaction.

We entered Macy’s. He told me he was meeting a client on the weekend and wanted to buy a new shirt. I patiently walked around with him and gave him suggestions. I eyed him as he shopped. I liked watching him. I liked how when he saw something he liked the first thing he did was run the fabric between his index finger and thumb and then he’d slide his hand inside to feel it. I imagine this is what he might look like when he was looking at art, he would pay attention to the finest detail.  

“Gotta try them on no?” I asked. He held my gaze a couple of seconds as if deciding if he should or shouldn’t. He grinned and nodded. His smile was so beyond perfect. I grinned back. I settled on a comfy chair, knees spread, leaning back and watched as he tried on shirts for me. He had four. I made him put two of them back on again. He finally chose one. As he changed I checked my watch. 7:02 pm. 

“Hope I didn’t bore you to death,” he said coming out. He hung up the shirts he didn’t want and we walked to a register so he could pay for the one he wanted.  

“No, I enjoyed the fashion show,” I said with a smile. I had. He seemed pleased with my answer yet again. He paid and we made our way back to the mall. 

It was my turn to make a suggestion. “Wanna get something to eat?” I asked I waited for my question to be out there a second or two before looking up at him. He met my gaze and nodded.  

“I do,” he said. The way he said it made me feel as if he had something else to say so I waited. “How about we get out of the mall though?”

“Yeah, sure,” I said. I wanted that too. “There’s a great Greek place not too far away. It’s pretty chill in the evenings, never too crowded.”

“Sounds perfect,” he said. I nodded in agreement. 

 

Chapter Text

We walked out of the mall and he pointed to his Mercedes. “Where are you parked?” He asked. I pointed to my Civic. “I could follow you,” he said and I nodded. 

The drive wasn’t long and we were there soon enough. He parked beside me at the restaurant parking lot. “I love this place,” I said. 

He grinned. “Are we to dine on Ambrosia?” He asked. I grinned at the Greek mythology reference. 

“Oh yes, it’ll be brought to us by doves,” I replied. We laughed and he opened the door for me and I stepped inside. 

“Oh, nice jacket,” he said. I glanced back and smiled. We ordered at the restaurant counter and then sat down. Our food would be brought to us. 

“I like the change in the hair style,” he said. He looked me straight in the eyes as he told me this. He was flirting. 

“Thank you,” I said. “Do you like this more than how I had it yesterday?” I asked, leaning forward, my arms crossed on the table. I stared right into his blue eyes. I gave him a closed lip smile. I was flirting. 

“Hmm,” He said as he looked me over, a slight smile on his lips, it looked as if he was holding it back. I didn’t hold mine back as he looked at me. I liked his eyes roaming over me the way they were. “It’s hard to say really,” he said and he sounded as if he meant it. “When you have the bangs it makes your eyes stand out. But now your jawline stands out,” he said. 

Our food came. There was a moment of silence as we sorted our plates out. I waited for him to take a bite of his food. When he did he widened his eyes in surprise and nodded. I laughed. We started to eat. 

“So do you prefer just eyes or jawline?” I asked. I looked at him but looked away the second our eyes met. I was still flirting. 

“You want me to make me choose?” He asked. The way he asked made me laugh, it was cute, as if I was torturing him, but I still kept my gaze down. 

“Yeah,” I told him. 

“I don’t want to choose, I prefer to have it all,” he said. The tone of his voice made me look up. I really liked his voice. A lot. “All of it,” he continued. “The whole package.” I couldn’t help but grin. We ate in silence for a moment. I knew it was my turn to speak, but I just wanted to bask in the moment. Bask in his compliment. “You really are good looking, you know that right?” He said.

I looked into his eyes again. So blue. They were beautiful. The perfect shade of blue. Armie blue, I said to myself. I felt my cheeks warm slightly. I couldn’t remember when the last time someone made me blush over a compliment. “I am no where near as good looking as you,” I said. 

He rolled his eyes. I loved it. I laughed. “Oh please,” he said but I knew he had liked me saying it by the way he was smiling. He licked his lips and looked at me again. 

“And you’re so smart,” I said, still looking at him. 

“Me? No! You are. Seriously I’ve never met someone I could talk to so easily about so many things,” he said. 

“I feel the same way,” I told him. 

We both grinned and continued eating. We were comfortable and happy in our admissions. There was some talk of the food and the restaurant. I told him it was a relatively new place. There was a Chinese place here before that I wasn’t a big fan of so I was happy for the change. “It gets super busy for lunch, because of all the businesses I’m sure, so I avoid it but luckily at this time it’s a lot more calm.”

He nodded and looked around at the white washed walls and blue trimmings. “I like the Greek music,” he said. I nodded in agreement. 

“So you mention clients,” I said. “Do you ever work with galleries or museums?”

“I would say that personal clients make about 70% of my business,” he said. “Then some gallery work and very little work with auctioneers. I prefer selling the work to someone who wants to own it rather than make a profit. If that was the case I’d take the paintings to auction houses myself. The only time I’ve dealt with museums is when someone is asking for my knowledge rather than sending me to acquire something for them or a client of mine wants to donate a painting to a museum or is working out details to lend their painting to a museum.” 

“Ok, interesting,” I said feeling more impressed by the second. He spoke more and told me about some paintings he had acquired for a gallery in New York. I listened intently to all he was saying. I was fascinated and slowly I became aware of a peculiar feeling rising up within me. 

I ate and I watched his handsome face and blue eyes sparkle as he spoke. He looked so proud, as he should be. I realized what the peculiar feeling was. I suddenly wondered why he was here with me. In this hole in the wall Greek place which was not up to par to the places he was probably used to going to. I’m sure the last man that took him out on a date took him to a much more impressive and expensive place. 

He furrowed his brow and stopped talking. “Anyway that’s enough about me,” he said. 

“I love hearing it,” I said. It was the truth. I tried to push the feeling away. 

He smiled and looked down, looking suddenly shy. “I think I’ve talked enough about myself.” He shook his head. “Tell me more about you,” he said quietly. 

“What would you like to know?” I asked. 

“Anything,” He said. He looked into my eyes. “Everything,” he said.

God he was so fucking good looking. The feeling of inadequacy disappeared completely. I stopped wondering why and just told myself to enjoy the fact that this perfectly gorgeous man preferred to be here with me now instead of anywhere else. 

I took a deep breath in. “I have an extensive sock and baseball cap collection,” I said grinning and he burst out laughing. I loved making him laugh.

 


 

We walked out of the restaurant. The sun had already set. I looked at my watch. It was 8:57 pm. 

“Plans tonight?” Armie asked. As we walked to our cars. 

“A party,” I said with a shrug. I regretted it the moment I said it. I should have said no. “So what do you do while you wait for middle of the night phone calls from Europe?” I asked him with a smile. 

“Ah, nothing as exciting as a party,” he said. “But I read, watch movies, drink some wine, whatever,” he said with a shrug. 

I nodded. I looked around and rubbed the back of my neck with my right hand. I’d rather be doing that with him than go to any party tonight. I wanted him to invite me over. I wished I hadn’t said anything about a party. I let out a sigh. “Thanks for having dinner with me tonight,” I said with a wide smile. 

“Thank you for making time for me tonight,” he said. He leaned back against his car. He slid his hands in his jeans pockets. He looked so calm and self assured but not in a cocky way. He just exuded self assuredness. “You can text me any time you want, Timothée.”

I grinned at him. “I will definitely take you up on that offer,” I said. “And likewise.” I gestured back and forth between us with my left hand. My right hand was still behind my neck. 

“Ok, then,” he said. 

“Right.” I nodded. “Have an awesome night,” I told him. 

“You too, have fun at that party,” he said with a playful half smile. He climbed into his car. I held up my left hand as he backed up and I watched him as he drove away. 

 


 

I decided to go home first. Aiden wasn’t home. I slipped my shoes off at the front door and walked through the practically dark apartment. There was light shining in from the outside. I walked into my room and turned my bedside lamp on. I slipped my jacket off and plopped down on my bed. 

I felt like Armie liked me. I liked him, I knew that. I threw my left forearm over my eyes. I probably liked him more than he liked me though. I thought about my plans tonight. I truly didn’t feel like going now. I knew I wanted to spend time with Armie but it’s not like he had invited me to his place or anything, but why would he when I said I had a party to go to when he asked me about plans tonight. I wonder what he would have said if I had said nothing. 

I had been laying there for quite a while just letting my mind wander when I felt my phone buzz. I slipped it out of my pocket. It was Aiden telling me to get to the party. No point staying home. I got up and walked to my closet. I slipped off my black crew neck. I grabbed a red v neck and got my navy blue zip up hoodie, the one with the tricolor stripe going down the middle of the back of it. I put on a couple of silver necklaces and a few silver bracelets. I put on my black Doc Martens. I checked myself out in the floor length mirror. I nodded and took off. 

 


 

By the time I pulled up I had to park a ways down the street. I stuck my hands in my jeans pockets as I walked up to the house. I could hear the music from several homes away. There were people on the front porch. I said hi to them as I walked in. 

“Timothée!” I heard behind me. I walked through the house and greeted people. I walked into the kitchen. I grabbed a beer and walked out to the backyard. Aiden was there... with Jonathan. I sighed. 

I knew Jonathan liked me, had a crush on me, whatever. We went out for coffee once but he wasn’t my type. He didn’t vote. I walked over anyway because I wanted to talk to Aiden. 

“Hey man!” Aiden said, grabbing my right hand with his, he pulled me in. 

“Hey,” I said patting his back. “Jonathan,” I said nodding at him. 

“Hi Timothée,” he said. No one said my name the way Armie did. We had some small talk and then, in true Aiden fashion, he mumbled some bullshit and left Jonathan and I alone. “How’s school going?” He asked me. 

“Fine. Good,” I said. He nodded. He had finished school last year and was working at a bank not putting his degree to any use. “How’s work?” I asked. 

“It’s work,” he said with a shrug. He opened his mouth as if to say more but a loud group of people came by and started talking to us. I used that chance to walk away. I went back inside and settled on an armchair. Aiden was close by and sat on the armrest of the couch near me. We started talking and laughing. I threw my right leg over the arm of the chair. Aiden and I had been chatting a while when a couple of girls he knew came by. I was introduced to them by Aiden and we all started talking. They were nice enough. One sat by Aiden and the other sat on my lap. She was cute, tanned skin and dark brown hair. She smelled fruity and sweet. 

She touched my necklaces, my hair, exuded over all flirty behavior. She asked me to dance and I danced with her. After a moment she asked me if I wanted to find a more quiet place and I told her I needed to find a bathroom first and she said ok, that she would be in the kitchen waiting. I walked to the half bathroom. Once I was done, I turned the opposite way from the kitchen and exited the house. I didn’t feel like finding her. There was only one person on my mind. I took out my phone, 1:44 am.

There was a group of people outside on the front porch and I started chatting with them. I could hear the music floating from inside the house. It was a song I like. Mine by Bazzi. I leaned back against the house and softly sung along with it. 

“Hands on your body, I don't wanna waste no time, feels like forever even if forever's tonight, just lay with me, waste this night away with me, you’re mine, I can't look away, I just gotta say you’re mine...” 

I let out a long breath. I walked down the steps of the porch and bit my bottom lip as I looked at my phone screen. I tapped my text messages. My heart beat a little faster, my stomach clenched a bit

“Fuck it,” I said. I rolled by bottom lip between my teeth. 

Still waiting for that phone call?

I stared at my screen with anticipation. Within seconds I saw the little three dots appear as Armie was typing. A huge grin spread across my face. 

I am. How’s the party?

Boring. Ready to leave

I looked at my screen as I waited for a reply. “Come on, Armie,” I whispered to myself. I wasn’t sure how much more obvious I could be. 

Well, I’m gonna be up for a while if you want to come over  

I couldn’t help but grin like an idiot. Another text came through 

I must warn you, it’ll just be talks of books and movies and art

How can I say no to that?

He texted me his address and I went inside and found Aiden. “You got a ride home?” I asked him.

“Yeah, why? You leaving?” I nodded. “With someone?”

“No, to see someone,” I said with a grin. 

His eyes winded. “Who?” He asked. 

I shrugged. “I’ll fill you in later,” I said. I ruffled his hair and left. 

 


 

I drove for about 25 minutes and found myself in the Hollywood Hills. The homes were large and gated. My GPS took me to his street and it had me stop between two homes. I suddenly noticed none of the homes had visible numbers. I called him.  

“So... my GPS took me between two homes and I don’t see home numbers,” I said. 

“Mine is the one with the black solid gate, it has the ivy on the side.” I looked up and noticed it was the one up the street from where I was parked. 

“Oh, I’m just in front then,” I said. 

“Ok, let me open the gate for you.” I watched as the gate slid open.  

“Ok, see you soon,” I said as I hung up the phone.  

My heart beat a bit faster as I slowly drove up the street and turned into his driveway. I drove in and the gate slid closed behind me. I followed the drive way slowly. All I saw was tall shrubs and palm trees and then it turned and his house came into view. It was a gorgeous modern home, all wood and glass and white concrete. There were spotlights on the lawn and up the side of the long concrete path to the front door. I saw his Mercedes parked in front of the garage. I parked behind him and got out of my car. I pulled my hoodie on and stuck my hands in my pockets.  

I looked around and let out a breath. The place was beautiful. I walked towards the concrete path as I looked around. I started walking up the path and was about halfway to the front door when it opened. Armie stood at the front door. He had his jeans still on, rolled up a bit, his ankles exposed. He was barefoot. He was wearing a plain white tee shirt. He leaned his left arm against the doorframe, the underside of his bicep came into view. He didn’t have a watch on and I noticed he had a tattoo on the inside of his left wrist. The moment I met his eyes he gave me a perfect smile and my heart skipped a beat.  

He pushed himself off the doorframe as I got to the door. 

“Timothée,” he said. My lips curled into a small smile. No one said my name like he did.

“Armie,” I replied. He looked down to my lips and back up to my eyes. I could feel my heart thumping hard inside my chest.  

“Please come in,” he said, stepping aside. I wiped my Doc Martens on his welcome rug and stepped inside. 

Chapter Text

I stepped inside Armie’s home. It was just as beautiful as the outside. It was sleek and modern and minimalistic. I walked down an entrance hallway and it opened up to the right into a living room. It had dark wooden floors and white leather couches. A large white marble fireplace with a flatscreen on top. There was an oblong glass coffee table on top of a plush white rug. The wall leading out to the backyard, opposite of where we were standing, was all glass and steel and two stories tall. 

“Your place is amazing,” I said turning to him. I quickly took my Doc Martens off before going further into the living room.

“Oh you don’t have to -“

“Dude, let me make my mom proud and take off my shoes,” I said. We both laughed.  

I finally took them off, and walked inside. “Would you like something to drink?” He asked me. 

“I’m ok, right now, thank you,” I said. I looked at Armie as he nods. He looks great in his white tee shirt and jeans, bare ankles and feet. I really liked his feet. Just like I like everything about him. I swallowed. 

“Let me take your sweater,” he said. 

“Yeah,” I said. I unzipped it and slid it off. I saw his eyes wander over me and gives me a half smile. I smiled back. I watched as he walked off towards the entrance hallway. He came back and we both grinned at each other. 

“I won’t lie,” he said softly as he came and stood in front of me. He had such a nice voice. “I was really happy when you texted me.” 

It was a simple truth yet... so much more. “Well,” I said. It was my turn to be honest. “I would much rather be here with you than at that party with anyone there.” 

There. It was said. It couldn’t be taken back. The air felt lighter, the weight of our confessions were off our chest. They could weigh us down no longer. We both chuckled and grinned at each other. 

“He smiled and his face was like the sun,” Armie said quoting Song of Achilles. I felt my face warm with a blush. I could melt. I had never had anyone quote something I loved back to me. He took a step towards me. We were close. More, I thought. I took a step myself and closed the gap between us. 

My hands slid up his chest and he took hold of my face in his hands. His hands felt so large. So warm. I liked how they felt on my skin. He took his time and did it slow, as if he was giving me every chance in the world to change my mind, to turn around and walk away. I did not and would not. I wanted this too. 

He slowly leaned in and I tilted my face up to his. I stood on my toes and our lips met. His lips were gentle and soft. I loved the sound our lips made as our kiss ended and we went in for a second one. A soft moan escaped my throat. We pressed our bodies closer and he wrapped his arms around me, lifting me to him. I felt his tongue run across my bottom lip. I opened my mouth and granted him access. His tongue gently slid in and caressed mine. Again, that lovely sound as our lips parted and he pulled back. 

I looked up at him. He had a dreamy smile on his face, as did I. This felt so good and slightly surreal. “Am I gonna wake up and just be laying in bed?” I asked. 

Armie chuckled. I liked the sound of his laughter. “No,” he said gently. He pulled me close and held me. “I’ve been wanting to do that since the moment I laid eyes on you,” he said. I felt myself blush again, I pressed my forehead to his chest. I had the hugest grin in my face. 

“I was too nervous to form coherent sentences when I laid eyes on YOU,” I said looking up at him. 

“You did more than that and you know it,” he said with a gentle laugh. We finally pulled back and I clasped my hands behind my back. “Why don’t I give you a tour of the place?” 

“I’d love that,” I replied. 

At the end of the living room were stairs, floating slabs of what looked like polished concrete with a metal and glass railing. I had to jog up the stairs to keep up with him. We reached the top of the stairs and turned left. I looked down my left to the living room bellow. We walked down to the end and turned right and walked to the end of that hallway. It was his bedroom. 

His bedroom was just as sleek as I imagine. I looked at his wooden platform Cal King bed with a black comforter and pillows. The opposite corner had huge adjacent windows.  We went back up the hallway, there was a guest bedroom to the right. Back to the stair railing and we turned left. The two story glass wall was in front, I looked down at the living room, now to my right. At the end, by the top of the stairs was another door. A supposed third bedroom that he turned into his home office. There were paintings on the walls. I listened to the story of how each was acquired. 

I had never been so impressed by someone. It wasn’t even the fact that he was ten years older than me, I’ve been hit on by men and women of all ages, it wasn’t even the fact that he was so incredibly good looking either, there are lots of good looking men and women out there too. I wasn’t quite sure yet.... maybe it was the way he seemed to carry himself. He was showing me his home but not showing off, he was sharing his knowledge of art with me but not speaking down to me at all. He was all these great things but at no moment did I feel he thought any less of me for not knowing as much. Humility was not something you found often in the Hollywood Hills. 

He picked a book up from his desk and handed it to me. “I enjoy art of all kinds and when you told me you also took photos I remembered I had this book and thought you may enjoy it,” I smiled at the fact that he thought of me. 

“Thank you,” I said softly. 

We went back downstairs and turned right at the bottom of the stairs. He stood at the entrance of the following room. “You may like this room,” he told me with a perfect smile. He was right. It took me a moment to get my bearings. It was a room a bit smaller than the living room but not by much. All the walls were lined with gorgeous bookshelves and filled with so many books. So many. This room had a fireplace as well and two white leather love seats flanked it. Another plush rug. 

“Wow,” I said. He smiled. 

“This was supposed to be the dining room,” he said. I nodded. We walked into the next room, to the left, which had a glass dining room table for eight. “This was supposed to be the office,” he said. “Half bathroom, laundry room,” He said and pointed down an archway and then he walked me into his kitchen. It was gorgeous here too. Stainless steel appliances and a gorgeous shimmering gray tile as backsplash. The floor was pale gray marble. There was another glass wall with a door that led outside. 

“Wow, your place is amazing,” I repeated. He shrugged modestly. I really liked that about him. He was obviously wealthy but he wasn’t flashy. I was still clutching the photography book he had given me. I put it down on the kitchen counter. “Got any cheesecake?” I asked.

His face broke into a grin. He walked to his fridge and opened it. He motioned for me to come look. “Plain, strawberry and then I got a whole mango one from the Cheesecake Factory delivered to me tonight,” he said grinning. 

“They deliver that late?” I asked confused. We had left the Greek restaurant around 9 pm. 

“Oh,” he said. “Ah, well -“

“If you have enough money they deliver that late,” I said raising my eyebrows. He looked slightly uncomfortable. I rubbed his bicep. He gave me a small smile. “Armie, what are you waiting for? Get the fucking cheesecake.” He laughed and grabbed the box with the cheesecake in it. 

He took the whole thing out and set it at one of the corners of the kitchen island. I grabbed a couple of water bottles and then two forks when he instructed me to where they were. We sat at adjacent corners on white stools. “Go ahead, you get to dig in first,” I said. He grinned and dug in with his fork. He got some and then held the fork up to my lips. I opened my mouth with a smile and he fed me the piece of cheese cake. I loved the smile on his face. He then put the empty fork in his mouth, as if wanting to taste me. That turned me on. 

We fed each other, taking turns. Everytime he gave me a piece with his fork, he would put it in his mouth as well. Before we knew it half of it was gone. We leaned in and kissed. I felt him grab my stool and pull me closer to him. He laughed at my reaction. We kept kissing. Hungrier, harder. I was panting as we pulled apart. “Should we put the cheesecake back in the fridge?” He asked me. I nodded. I watched as he did so. He walked back to me. He took my face in his hands. “We don’t have to -“

“I want to,” I said. I jumped off the stool and took his hand and walked out of the kitchen, past the dining room and the library. I let go of his hand when I reached the stairs and jogged up the stairs. I heard him behind me but I didn’t look back. I reached the second floor and walked to his bedroom. I stepped inside. I looked around and then turned to face him. We looked into each other’s eyes. 

I rushed to him as he rushed to me. I had been holding back, but I no longer could. My attraction had been so strong but it scared me because I had never felt so much for someone in such a quick amount of time. I had not let myself feel all he was making me feel, all he was waking up inside of me. I could no longer hold back though. Not now. Not now that I knew that he, incredulously, felt the same as I did. It felt as if the dam had broken and I was inundated with everything I had bottled up. I wanted him. I need him. I had to have him. 

I moaned as I felt his lips at my neck. I pulled his shirt off. “Oh fuck,” I said as I looked at his body. He smiled as he looked into my eyes. I quickly removed my own shirt. 

“You’re so gorgeous,” he said in his deep hypnotic voice. He lifted me up and I wrapped my arms and legs around him. He walked to the bed I felt myself fall back on it and he fell on top of me. I felt his mouth work down my neck and across my chest. I reached down and undid my jeans as quickly as I could. He took hold of them and slid them and my boxers off. My erection sprung forward and before I could register it, I had his warm, wet mouth around me. 

I let out a loud groan and it only made him suck me harder. I grabbed his hair. My toes curled as I arched my back and spread my legs wider. My whole body was writhing around a bit uncontrollably. I couldn’t quite think, I could only feel and it had never felt this good. Could a blow job be passionate? Because that’s how this felt. Passionate. 

I felt goosebumps spread across my skin. I kept groaning as his tongue swirled around me. He released me and I opened my eyes and looked up. He was up on his knees, towering above me, undoing his jeans. I blinked a few times. I stared as he pushed his jeans and boxers down and I saw his cock for the first time. I felt my mouth water. I had never seen a cock as perfect as his. I quickly went to him, getting on my hands and knees, I stroked him a couple of times and then slid him in my mouth. 

“Oooh, Timothée,” He said. Fuck, his voice. I sucked slowly but deliberately. I pressed my lips tightly around his head and continued stroking him. There was no way I would be able to fit all of him in my mouth. I slid him in past his head, as much as I could and what I couldn’t fit I made sure I had my hand wrapped around it. He was hard and thick and I loved having him in my mouth. I loved everything about him. He moaned and panted. He grabbed my hair, but he was gentle. Even in his intensity I felt his underlying gentleness. I loved it. 

He cupped my face and brought me up and kissed me, our naked bodies pressed to each other. We laid down on the bed and he pulled me on top of him. He kissed me harder, his palms ran up and down my back. It felt so good. 

“Timothée,” He said. 

“Armie,” I replied and slid my hand down his gorgeous body. 

“Timothée,” he repeated and I looked into his eyes. His left hand slid up my back and held the side of my face. 

“Yes?” I asked him. 

“I want you inside of me.”

I let a soft breath out. Did he? “Do you?” I asked. 

“Yes,” he said, smiling. He pulled me in and kissed me. I kissed him back but felt frozen almost with disbelief. He blinked and suddenly looked shy. “But if you don’t want -“

“Oh no, I do,” I said, rushing my words. “Oh god, fuck yes I do, I just,” I shook my head and decided to stop talking and making a fool of myself. I leaned forward and kissed him hard. My pulsed raced and body felt hot. Hot with desire. “Do you have, um...”

He pointed to his bedside table. I got off the bed and opened his drawer. I pulled out lube and a condom and looked down at him, stretched out on his bed. His black comforter underneath him. He was so tall he almost took up the length of the bed. I stared at his perfect body. I wanted to memorize it. I wanted to remember this moment. Forever. 

I think he must have noticed the change in me because he furrowed his brow and looked at me closely. He sat up and when I sat on the bed, he again held my face with his left hand. “I’ve never met anyone like you,” he said. I nodded. “I don’t normally...” bottom, I thought to myself. “But you’re so...” different. He was too. I nodded again. I understood. I just couldn’t believe it. 

We kissed softly and he laid back. I settled between his legs and put lube on my fingers. I looked down, again wanting to remember every detail. I caressed his body with my left hand a while. I wanted to remember every feeling. 

I looked into his eyes and he nodded. I slid two fingers in him at once and I loved how his body tensed. I watched his face. I added another finger. I loved how he closed his eyes a moment and then opened them and looked right into mine, how his abs tensed. It was me giving him this. I slid the condom on and slathered lube on me. I leaned in, kissed his lips and then kissed down his body. 

I spread my knees and pushed his left knee back. I pushed my erection down, my tip right at his entrance and looked right into his eyes as I slid into him. I think I groaned louder than he did. I wasn’t sure. All I felt was tightness and warmth. Perfection. My hips had a mind of their own. My brain grew fuzzy and wave after wave of pleasure and ecstasy washed over me. His face flushed and he closed his eyes and threw his head back as I fucked him. I fucked him. Hard. I couldn’t hold back. 

The harder I went the harder I wanted it. His moans and groans grew louder. I had never desired anyone so badly. I had never wanted to fuck another human being so badly. I had never wanted to lay claim to someone’s body, mind, and soul as much as I did with him at this moment. I had never wanted to banish the memories of whoever had come before me so completely. I had never not worried about me. I wanted this to be all for him. I slowed for a moment, I was getting close and didn’t want it to end just yet. I closed my eyes and tried to catch my breath. I wanted him pleased. 

“Don’t stop,” I heard him say. I opened my eyes and looked down at him. “Don’t stop, please.” 

Please. I nodded. 

I picked up my pace again and kept it steady once I found a pace he liked. This was for him. He wanted it like this, and I wanted to give it to him like this. I grunted loudly as I felt my body start to tense. He felt it too. I reached down and stroked him. I loved how his mouth opened as he panted. He was perfect and golden and I, again, wanted to remember him right here and now, in this moment while he was all mine. 

His brow furrowed and his mouth opened slightly. “Don’t close your eyes,” I said. He didn’t. I watched as his beautiful face tensed and then he came. 

“Oooh,” He said in a long, low, husky whisper and I felt his gorgeous body tense around me and I was gone. I came as well. I had never come so much. I laid on him, panting. Our bodies were so warm, sticky with sweat and his release. I closed my eyes and tried to focus on my breathing. Every cell in my body was over come by pleasure and my skin felt so sensitive. I felt every movement of his skin as he panted below me as well. 

I felt his gentle hand smooth my hair a couple of times. He caressed down the back of neck, which gave me shivers. He felt it and chuckled softly. I smiled. My cheek was on his sternum and my eyes were still closed. 

“I did not think we would ever...” he said softly and trailed off. 

I swallowed. “I did not think so either,” I said softly. Could he be more perfect?

“Are you sorry?” He asked. 

“I am not,” I said. 

“Neither am I,” he replied. 

I couldn’t believe this was real. I began to soften. I slid out and we cleaned up. He pulled me into the bathroom for a quick shower. 

“I should have asked what time you have school or what time you worked today,” he said as the large shower head rained over us. 

“I don’t,” I said. 

“Stay then,” he said. 

All I could do was nod, as if I could ever say no to him, I thought. 

Chapter Text

I was laying on my stomach, my left cheek on the pillow. I took a deep breath in but kept my eyes closed. I could hear Armie’s voice. It was slowly getting closer as he walked down the hallway. 

“... and I had your back then didn’t I?” A pause. He chuckled. “I will get you the Cogniet.” I heard him walk into the bedroom. I kept my eyes closed. I was surprised when I felt the bed dip as he sat beside me and I felt his warm palm on my lower back and then slide gently up my body. “Hmm, did he? No I hadn’t heard.” Another pause. His fingertips softly grazed across my right shoulder. “I have no plans to go to Paris and I have no wish to go to Paris in the next ten days. I will trust that you will do for me as I have done for you in the past and you will get me both the Cabanel and the Perrault.” His voice was calm but I heard the authority behind it. His palm slid down my back again, finally resting on my lower back. “As I said, the Cogniet is yours IF you come through for me. I have no problem hanging it in my dining room if you fall short on this. Either way, I come out a winner, so do it for yourself.” He got up from the bed, my skin felt cold with his hand gone. “Pleasure speaking to you old friend. Say hi to Marie for me. Good bye.” I heard him sigh. 

I blinked my eyes open. “Hey,” I said. I cleared my throat. 

He walked around and got back in the bed. Before I knew it he was under the covers I felt his knees slide mine apart. I grinned. “Hey,” He said. I felt his lips on my right shoulder. 

“Was that the phone call you were waiting for?” I asked softly. 

“No,” he replied. “I took that one while you were sleeping.” He was hard. His erection rubbed just between my ass cheeks. I gasped and felt my cock come to life. I pushed my hips back against him. 

“Oh. Well, was the outcome agreeable on both calls?” I asked him. 

“Always,” He said. As he rubbed his whole length against me. I moaned softly. I felt his right hand slide up the back of my right thigh and grab my ass cheek. “You have the cutest little ass,” he said in a voice that made me grin. 

“Wanna wreck it?” I asked, feeling emboldened by the knowledge that I had already fucked him. He quickly flipped me over and we were now face to face. He grinned at me, blue eyes sparkling. 

“Do you know how sexy you are?” He asked me. I felt myself blush. It was the first time that our age difference truly made an impact. At 22, the oldest person I had dated was 22 when I was 20. I had been called hot plenty of times, to the point where I would just nod and smile about it now. I had never been called sexy. It was one of those words that seemed reserved for real adults. Sexy. I swallowed now, nervous my youth and inexperience would suddenly show. 

“No, why don’t you tell me,” I said. The left side of my mouth curled up as I saw him lick his bottom lip. 

“Your lips,” he said. He leaned down and kissed me. “Your hands,” he said as he reached down and laced his fingers with my left hand. He pinned it down beside the pillow but made sure he was gentle about it. “The way you carry yourself,” he said. I looked at him closely, listening intently. “You’re so unaware of how everyone stares at you, how you stand out.”

“I could say the exact same thing about you,” I said. He shrugged and smiled. “Anyways continue,” I said grinning. 

He chuckled. “The way you listen,” he said. I stared up at him. “The way your face shows all your emotions.” He caressed my cheek and leaned down to kiss me. I melted. That was the best way to describe it. I melted underneath him. I wished for me to melt into him and become one with him. It was insanity and I loved it. 

“You know what else would be really sexy?” He whispered right at my right ear. 

“What?” I asked as I panted. 

“Watching my cock slide in and out of that cute little ass of yours.”

I had no words. I merely whimpered and pushed my hips up towards him, my erection rubbing on his body. 

“Is that a yes?” He asked as he lifted up and looked down on me. 

“Yes,” I replied. 

He sat up and I suddenly missed the warmth and pressure of his body on mine. I watched as he did as I had done before and reach for a condom and lube. I noticed pale sunlight coming in through the large bedroom windows. He must have noticed too. He turned off the bedside lamp. The room darkened but we could still see each other. 

“You’ll appreciate this,” he said to me with a smile. It was a cute smile and it sounded as if he was telling me a secret. “When I was shopping for houses it was really important to me that I get great sunlight in the master bedroom in the mornings. It’s a must for me,” he said. I sat up and nodded. I looked toward his windows. The bedroom was progressively getting brighter. 

“So I’d ask the realtors, how is the light in the master bedroom in the mornings and I could tell when they were bullshitting me,” he said. 

“How?” I asked. 

“The way they’d answered. Oh sure, sure, and then they’d move on. Assholes,” he said. I laughed. “When I came to this house though, I asked the realtor and she described the sunrise from the master bedroom. It was so vivid, I asked her if I could come by the following morning and see it and she said yes. I watched the sunrise from here,” he said. I followed his gaze to the windows again. “I bought this house that day.”

I watched with him as the rays of the sun flooded the bedroom. It was gorgeous and golden and bright, but in a calming way. They hit the bottom half of the bed but not any further up. It was beautiful. 

“Wow,” I said. 

“Indeed,” he replied. We grinned at each other. “Now where were we?” He asked. 

“You were about to -“

“Wreck that ass, yes,” he said. I laughed loudly as he suddenly laid down on me and tickled me and kissed my neck. I wasn’t expecting that. He lifted up and gazed at me. “You really are beautiful,” he said.

I shook my head. Again, something no one else had ever called me. I swallowed. “Thank you,” I whispered. 

He kissed me. I felt his arms slide under me. One hand sliding under my head. I wrapped my arms around his neck. He kissed down my jaw to my neck. He gently kissed and sucked my skin. I was panting. He reached for the lube and I watched as he put some on his fingers. I looked up into his eyes as I spread my legs and he gently rubbed my entrance. I sucked in air sharply as he slid two fingers in me. It stung. His fingers were large, as all of him was. He was gentle though. He furrowed his brow and stopped. “You ok?” He asked me softly. I nodded. He went slowly and gently. He slid in and stretched me slowly. I relaxed and let myself enjoy it. He added a third finger. His lips were on mine as I moaned in pleasure. He kissed me as he continued to stretch me.  

He slid out and I watched him slide a condom on. I watched him lather lube on himself. Our eyes met. My heart thumped in my chest. I had probably never been this nervous before. I had only bottomed once before this and it had been super quick. His eyes were so intense. I felt his tip at my entrance. He lifted his eye brows, as if to ask my permission again and I nodded. 

He slid in gently.  I moaned and clung to him. He was so large. It took me a moment to adjust. He waited and asked if I was ok. I nodded. He kissed me and then he slowly started sliding in and out of me. His nose rubbed on mine in a sweet way. He took his time and was gently kissing me. He wasn’t rough like I had been. My body loosened up and I began to lift my hips up to him. He noticed the change. He started going a bit faster. He was so good at this. He seemed to read all the cues my body was giving him just right. My body had never felt so taken care of by another human being.  

“Timothée,” He said as he moaned. My whole body reacted. He noticed and looked at me with a gorgeous smile on his face. “Timothée, I want you to ride me,” he said as he stared into my eyes. I nodded. With his gaze upon me like that I was unable to say no. 

He slid out and my body suddenly felt hollow. I sat up gingerly and watched as he settled down, leaning against the headboard. I shakily got up on my knees and he grabbed my arm to support me. We both laughed. He gave me a sweet look and gently wrapped his arms around me. He brought me close to him and kissed me. My heart thumped in my chest. My hands trembled. He noticed and he took my fingers and kissed them.  

He reached down and held his erection up for me. I positioned my body on top. I had never done this before and my stomach tightened with nerves. His warm hands held me and helped guide my body down onto his. Maybe he could tell this was my first time.  Soon enough my mind went blank and all I could do was feel. He felt large inside me, incredibly, even larger than before. He was in deeper, especially now in this position. He was gentle and attentive as he lowered me onto him. I let out a soft moan as I settled on him.  

I loved the look on his face. His chest rose and fell as he panted. “Fuck you feel good. So good,” he said. His neck and lips were flushed. I grabbed on to his shoulders shifted slightly forward, my body tightened around him. He moaned loudly. “I’ll come, I’ll come,” he whispered. I grinned and relaxed my body. I kissed him. I dug my fingertips into his shoulders as I started to move my hips on him. I didn’t worry about how inexperienced I came across, he made me feel so at ease, as if I could do no wrong and so I did what felt good. We kissed and my body rose and fell on him. I was going with the rhythm of his pants. I loved how loudly he moaned and how into it he was.  

Our moans grew louder as I rolled my hips faster. He then grabbed them and thrusted up. I tighted around him. It was becoming intense. He sat up straight and pulled me to him, crushing my lips into his, his left arm wrapping around my waist, he thrusted up forcefully and we both climaxed together. I cried out, as did he. I think I was louder, but I couldn’t be sure. All I could hear was the pounding of my heart in my ears. I fell upon his chest, eyes closed, panting, weak, satisfied. He kissed my cheek and down my neck. “You’re amazing,” he said. 

  


 

“How does bacon and eggs sound?” Armie asked. 

“Amazing,” I said. “Can I help with anything?”

“No, you’re a guest in my home,” he replied with a smile as he started taking things out of the fridge. “There’s orange juice,” he said. “Help yourself.” I walked over and poured us both a glass. 

We had fallen asleep again and had woken up several hours later, hungry. We had showered a second time, which I didn’t mind because even his shower was amazing. I sat down gently on one the kitchen stools. “You alright?” He asked with hint of a smile. 

“Yes,” I said. 

We ate and chatted. Once we were done I helped him wash the dishes and we moved to the library where I was busy looking at his books. He laughed his perfect laugh when I told him I wanted to read everything he had. He had read practically everything I had, which didn’t surprise me and we were in a very in-depth conversation about Hamlet and his madness when his phone rang.  

“Oh, excuse me,” he said and took the call. I looked at the time and saw it was almost 2 in the afternoon. I pulled my iPhone out, it was at 25% battery. Aiden had school all day and he had texted me, he told me to stop boning for a second and text him to let him know I was alright. I did so now. I heard voices coming. I stood up not sure what was going on. I heard Armie laugh. He walked into the library with a young blond woman behind him. You could tell they were related. She had the same blond hair and their smiles were similar. She wasn’t as tall, she was actually shorter than me. Her face was softer but their eyes were the same, blue, sparkly and kind. 

“Timothée,” he said happily. “This is my sister, Victoria.”

I walked over and shook her hand. I was suddenly glad Armie had pulled me into the shower after our second time in bed. I was clean and smelled nice and my hair was combed. But the way she smiled and looked back and forth between Armie and I showed she knew exactly what was going on. 

“Nice to meet you,” I said smiling at her. 

“Likewise. Timothée? French?” She asked. 

“Yeah. My dad is French,” I said nodding. Armie stood there listening.  

“Do you speak it?” She asked. 

“Yeah, I do,” I said grinning. 

“Wow, I didn’t know all this,” Armie said.  

“No, I’m sure you two were busy discovering each other’s physical talents,” she said sweetly. I blushed and said nothing. 

“Ok, ok,” Armie said. “Be nice to my guests please!”

“What? I was saying it was mutual,” she said. “I’m just teasing,” she told me. 

“It’s alright,” I said shaking my head. I felt at ease around her. It was obvious they got along and that warmed me up to her right away. 

“Can I see it?” She asked Armie. He nodded and walked to a corner of the room where he picked up what looked like a painting covered with a white cloth. Armie walked over and uncovered it, holding it up so both Victoria and I could see. It was the painting of a woman asleep on a sofa in a black dress, one breast exposed. 

“Asleep in the Studio by Georges Roussin,” Armie said with a proud smile. “I’ve enjoyed it long enough and I’m happy to help you with your charity.”

“Thanks big brother, you always come through,” she said giving him a hug. Armie then handed her an envelope with what he said was the paperwork for the painting. 

“So are you joining us tonight?” Victoria asked me. My eyes widened and I looked at Armie. 

“Timothée,” he said turning to me with his perfect smile. “How would you like to go to a charity auction?”

I stood mouth agape. “Charity auction?” I asked. It was the kind of thing you watched rich people on tv go to but you never actually met anyone who actually went. 

“Yeah, it’s for a charity I work with. They give arts scholarships to teens as well as buy instruments and art supplies for K12 schools that can’t afford them,” Victoria said with an equally perfect smile. 

“That’s wonderful!” I said. This was sudden and I didn’t know what to say. I suddenly felt myself blush by being put on the spot. I felt way out of my league but I didn’t want to be rude. “I mean yeah, I’d love to go but -“

“Great! Can we share a limo? Last time I had to ride alone and I was so bored!” Victoria said to Armie, rolling her eyes. 

“Yup,” Armie said offhandedly as if getting a limo was no big deal. It dawned on me that it probably wasn’t for him. I watched him as he pulled his phone out and started texting quickly. 

“Ok! I’m gonna go, gonna drop this off. Hair and makeup will be at my place in a hour. Timothée, could you walk me out?” She asked. 

“Sure,” I said, glancing at Armie. He was typing away on his phone.

“It’s black tie,” she said to me. I just nodded. “So you’ll have to suit up. I’ll be back at 5:45. Have the limo here by 6, Armie. I need to be there at 6:30.”  

“Yeah ok,” he said, still busy on his phone.  

Victoria and I started walking towards the front door. My heart was thumping.  

“So are you in school?” She asked me. 

“Yeah I’m studying English Lit at UCLA,” I answers.  

“Nice!” She said grinning. I opened the front door for her. “Ok Tim, see you later. Nice meeting you!” 

“Nice meeting you,” I said. I watched her go and shut the door behind her. 

What was I doing? Black tie meant a suit. I had a suit jacket which was more a blazer than a suit jacket that I paired with jeans and converse. I walked back to the library. I had to tell Armie that I was flattered but I couldn’t go. I got to the library and he was on the phone. I patiently waited. He got off the phone and walked to me.  

“Hey,” he said, sitting beside me on the loveseat. He looked at my face. “What’s wrong?” He asked. 

“My phone is at 25% battery,” I said taking it out of my pocket.  

“Oh no problem, I literally have a charger in every room,” he said holding his hand out. I gave him my phone and followed him to one of the bookshelves were a charger was. He plugged it up. He looked at me again. “What else is wrong?” He asked. 

“I don’t own a suit,” I said. 

“I figured. It was short notice. I’m having my guy come. He’ll be here in 45 minutes and my personal shopper is on her way with anything else you’ll need. You look like you wear an 11 shoe,” he said. 

I raised my eyebrows at him and nodded. I felt as if I was in a dream. He was being very generous and I still felt that maybe I should say no and get Aiden his Taco Bell on the way home as I did every Wednesday and Friday. Armie took my face in his hands. I really liked how he did this. I felt comforted by his touch. “I’m really glad you’re coming,” he told me. I looked up at his blue eyes. “I’m going to be the guy with the hottest date,” he said with a smile. He leaned in and kissed me and I melted and knew I wasn’t going home tonight either. 

Chapter Text

“I believe the Haider Ackermann looks best,” Armie’s tailor said. I looked at the suit. It’s black with a white cut out design starts on right side at the chest and snakes around my neck and down to an elegant swoop on the left side down. I have the matching black pants on and a white crew neck underneath. The softest white crew neck I have ever worn in my life. 

“Hmm, yeah I agree,” Armie said with a nod. He looked at me intently, brow furrowed, his right arm crossed across his body, left arm bent and his index finger caressing his bottom lip. He hasn’t changed or tried anything on. He’s still in his sexy jeans and another white crew neck. I’d seen his closet. He had tons of them. I checked his biceps out. I look away quickly. 

“Aren’t you gonna try stuff on?” I asked him softly. 

“Oh I already have something,” he said with a sweet smile. Of course he did. 

I looked at myself on the stand up mirror that has been set up in the living room. There is a rack of suits behind me, I’ve tried about 5 of them on. There are probably another 5 on there I haven’t tried. Armie was able to guess my size quite perfectly. It shouldn’t be a surprise, he’s seen me naked. I wondered how much this suit was. “I thought Victoria said this was black tie,” I said as the tailor starts sewing my sleeves up to the length I need. Seems I’ll be wearing this then.  

“Oh, with your youth, this will be ok, young man,” the tailor said. I think Armie called him Henry. I had tried to ask but never quite got the chance to and it was bothering me. I always made sure I knew people’s names. 

“I’m not that young,” I said instinctively. I felt slightly guilty the moment I said it. He looked to be in his 60s. I shouldn’t be so disrespectful. “Sorry. I’m sorry that was rude,” I said. The tailor chuckled. Armie walked right up to me and kissed me. Not a quick peck or anything, but several long kisses in a row. I was on a small platform and we are eye to eye. 

“You’re so adorable,” he said. The tailor was right there, still sewing my suit sleeve. I glanced over the moment Armie stepped away from me. He didn’t even seem to notice, in fact he had a slight smile on his face. I looked back at Armie who saw me look at the tailor. He reached up and caressed my cheek, as if to tell me it’s ok. 

Once the suit is fixed and the pants hemmed, they’re left at my ankles, the tailor said something about how great my ankles are, I’m given some slip on leather boots. He shows me how to slide my hand in my pocket so the white shirt shows underneath. “For when you pose for photos,” he said to me. Photos? I look at Armie. He’s beaming at me. I smile at him. This is for him, I tell myself and I’m happy he’s happy. I look at myself again and am surprised at how grown up I look. I guess this is a bit for me too then. 

Finally I’m done and the suit jacket is removed and then Armie is dressed. I watch as he puts on his all black ensemble. Black pants and shirt, velvet bow tie and then a beautiful black suit with black embroidered flowers. 

“Wow,” I say. I have never seen another man look more handsome. He looks into my eyes and holds my gaze several seconds. 

“Yeah?” He asks and I’m amazed that’s he’s even asking. 

“Yes,” I say. “You look amazing, Armie.”

He looks happy and grins. “Indeed, Mr. Hammer,” the tailor says. “You always look wonderful in a suit but this Zegna suit looks extra wonderful on you.”

Armie looks happy. That makes me happy. He pulls me in and we look at ourselves in the mirror. “We’re gonna be the best looking couple there,” he tells my reflection with a wink. I can’t help but grin back at him. 

 


 

Victoria arrived as the tailor was leaving. She was in a beautiful white Calvin Klein turtleneck gown. Her blond hair sleek and perfect and tucked behind one ear. She looks at us and smiles and snaps a selfie with us. I flash a peace sign and I laugh as Armie gives the finger. The limo comes and suddenly we’re off. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and check my texts. Aiden says he’s happy I’m alive and asks what time I’ll be home. 

Suddenly my phone rings. It’s Aiden. I give a quick glance to Victoria and Armie. “Excuse me,” I said. I answer. “Hey.”

“Hey dude! Where you at? You haven’t been home all day at all? Shouldn’t you change underwear or something?”

I blush as I feel the soft silky fabric of the boxers Armie’s personal shopper had gotten me. She had dropped by before the tailor had arrived. I had gotten several packages of boxers and socks as well as lounge clothing. It all fit me like a glove. 

“I, yes, I...” Armie gives me an amused look as he hears me stutter. “I doubt I’ll be home tonight,” I say quickly. I see Victoria grin as she checks her makeup in a shiny compact. “You alright? You need anything?” I ask Aiden as I run my tongue along my bottom lip. 

“Yeah I wanted Taco Bell but forget you. Jess asked me bout you,” he says.

“Who?” I ask. I don’t know a Jess. 

“The girl who sat on your crotch at the party last night!” I nod. Last night, that seemed so long ago. 

“Yeah, she’s -“

“Not your type. I know. They never are. Anyway, who the fuck are you with Timothée? Spill.”

“I’ll talk to you when I’m home,” I said. 

“And that’ll be when exactly?”

“I.. am not sure yet,” I said. 

“You work tomorrow.”

“I know,” I reply.

“Ok. And use a condom!”

“Yes mother, thank you!” I say. I know I don’t sound rude at all but I don’t care. 

“Bye man.”

“Bye,” I said and hung up. Armie looked my way and smiled. “My roommate, best friend, Aiden,” I explain. 

Armie nods. “Good that he’s checking in on you.” I nod back and suddenly realize we’re pulling in. My eyes widen as I see a mob of what looks like photographers. My heart starts thumping. 

Victoria turned to me. “Just pose for a few pics please but don’t answer any questions. Don’t even tell them your name.” I just nod. Suddenly our door is opened. Victoria goes first, then Armie and then me. I watch and do as Armie does. I smile and look around. I then notice Armie has his arm outstretched and I walk to him. 

He looks at me. “Just imagine them naked,” he says and I laughed at his silly joke. I’m feeling super giddy but this all feels so surreal. I’m still waiting to see when I’ll wake up. 

We quickly walk inside and I’m fully aware of the way Armie’s arm stays around my waist. There’s something comforting about it, I glance up a couple of times as we walk and watch him smile and greet everyone. It feels too good to be true. I shake my head and tell myself to just enjoy it. 

We walk into what looks like a really nice large white tent. The kind you see used for weddings in movies. It’s crowded and there are circular tables all around. There is a small platform on one end and a bar adjacent. People are walking around, some are sitting. 

“Mr. Hammer! Pleasure to see you!” It’s dizzying how many people know Armie. He’s kind and friendly and patient with all of them. He shakes men’s hands and presses his cheek against women for a kiss. His hand is never off my waist for more than a few second. “This is Timothée Chalamet,” he says, he had asked me my last name before Victoria had come. Everyone is just as friendly to me because I’m with him and he’s important. I smile and greet and shake hands. Some ladies lean in for kisses. Everyone loves that I’m French, but all eyes are on Armie, including mine. I love how he works the room and shines. He’s easiest the best looking man here. 

Finally we go to find our table and are seated. I’m amazed to see my name on the card to the right of his. T. Chalamet. “How...?” 

“I told Victoria and she texted the people doing this,” he said as if it was nothing. Victoria sits on to my other side. There are three chairs left. An elderly couple come and sit by Victoria. By the way they act and talk to her and Armie, you can tell they’re old family friends. Victoria calls the lady Mimi. When I’m introduced she reaches for me and squeezes my hand with her wrinkly soft fingers. I smile as I recall my own grandmother. 

“Armie!” I glance over and see a tall man, dark brown hair, blue eyes, slight mustache and coarse hair on the bottom of his chin. I recognize him from tv. Armie gets up and hugs him. A really friendly hug. He’s almost Armie’s height. He stares right at me for a second or two. His blue eyes are nothing like Armie’s, his are cold and unfriendly, so is his stare. The moment he turns to Armie though, his face changes. He’s expression is suddenly warm. 

“Timothée,” Armie says turning to me. I stood up. “This is Rhys. Rhys this is Timothée.” Rhys Meyers was a celebrity chef who I didn’t care much about. Aiden loved watching his many shows and competitions. I couldn’t care less. He always came across as an asshole to me and now that I saw him in person I knew all I thought of him was right. 

He leans over and extends his hand. He smiles at me but his smile doesn’t quite reach his eyes. I shake his hand and he crushes it. It actually hurts but I don’t let it show. “And you are...” he says. He’s not asking who I am but what I am. He wants my status and reason for being here. 

I smile at him, feeling slightly possessive of Armie as I think of the hours we just spent together. “Armie is my lover,” I say confidently. He gives my hand one last squeeze and let’s go. He looks at Armie, who is grinning. We all sit down. 

Armie hands me a paddle that says 971 on it. “Buy anything you want,” he tells me. I lean in and kiss him. He turns and kisses me and I make sure I catch Rhys’s eye for the last second of our kiss. I’m not sure what I’m feeling. My chest feels tight. I wasn’t jealous of Rhys but I knew he was displeased that I was there. The auction started. I wasn’t going to buy anything, but Armie had other ideas. He bought a sculpture and 2 paintings. Rhys bought an ornate vase. It was fun and I did have a good time, but it would have been better if Rhys hadn’t shown up. After the auction was over, dinner was served. 

It was obvious Rhys had no interest in talking to me. Victoria and I chatted and I enjoyed it very much. She was warm and friendly and down to earth. I found out through her their great grandfather had been a great businessman. He was a self made millionaire. Their grandfather had a love of art and began to collect it. He would take Armie with him when he traveled and from the age of five Armie was around art. They had a gallery in New York and the Hammer Museum in LA. My eyes widened. “You guys are those Hammers?” I asked her. 

“Do you know any other Hammers?” She asked. I shook my head and felt stupid. I glanced at Armie and suddenly had more admiration for him. He looked my way. 

“Are you having fun?” He asked. 

I kept my eyes on Armie and ignored Rhys. “I am. I’m so happy you brought me. Thank you for everything,” I said. 

“Stay with me tonight,” he said, reaching for my hand. 

My heart skipped a beat. I pulled him to me and he leaned in close. “I work at 10 am tomorrow,” I whispered into his ear. 

I turned my face so he could whisper into my ear. “After we’re done here we can drop off Vic and then pass by your place and get you clothes. I want to be with you this weekend. Please.” Please. Such a word coming from his lips made me feel so much. I looked at him and nodded. I was putty in his hands and I loved it. He was so unlike anyone I had ever met. 

Dinner was over and we got up and started socializing. I was happy because Rhys was ushered away by some women. Armie held my hand now. I laced my finger with his. It was getting late and then Victoria found us and told us she was ready to go. 

“Ok, just a sec,” Armie said and walked over to Rhys. I watched as they hugged goodbye. 

“He hates me,” I told Victoria. 

“He hates anyone Armie dates,” she said. 

I asked no more and she said nothing else. Rhys gave me a cold stare as Armie walked to me. I held it. When Armie reached me, he put his arm around my shoulders and I put mine around his waist. I slid my hand down and gave his ass a quick squeeze. I knew Rhys saw. I normally wasn’t like this and it surprised me a little but I was too buzzed on wine to care. All I knew was that I was going home with Armie and if Rhys didn’t like it, he could kiss my ass. 

Chapter Text

As we rode in the limo I was pensive over the whole Rhys situation. I had never been a jealous or possessive individual. I wasn’t sure about how I felt about the way I had acted. It was an inner struggle. I felt Rhys had sort of started it though. I was brought out of my thoughts when we arrived at Victoria’s home. She hugged me and kissed Armie on the cheek and exited. Armie instructed the driver to his home. I looked at him puzzled. “We’re still going to your place, but I’m starving, can we eat first?”

I nodded. Once we were dropped off at his place we climbed into his car. “Can we get Taco Bell?” I asked. 

He looked at me surprised for a second and then he laughed. “Sure,” he said. “I’m not sure where the closest one is.”

“There’s one close to my place and I normally take Aiden Taco Bell when I’m out at night.” I glanced at him. 

He nodded and smiled. “Ok then,” he said. We reached a red light. “Put on any music you want,” he said. I looked at him and wondered if we’d like the same music. He must have noticed me wondering all this. “Timothée, really, any music you want. Go ahead.”

I nodded and took my phone out, connected it via Bluetooth to his car and put my music on shuffle. The first song that came on was Uproar. “It’s new Lil Wayne with Swizz Beatz,” I told him grinning. I really liked this song. 

We made it to the drive through and I got Aiden’s usual. “I don’t know what I like from here,” Armie said and proceeded to order almost the whole menu. “Won’t know till I try it,” he said. 

My eyes were wide but I tried not to look too shocked and just nodded in agreement. The order took a while since we had ordered so much and Armie insisted on paying for it all. Once we left I called Aiden. “Hey man, I’m coming by. I got you Taco Bell.”

“Oh way to come through bro!” He said excitedly and he hung up before I could tell him I was bringing Armie. I thought it would be weird to call him back, so I didn’t. We reached my apartment soon enough and Armie and I carried the bags upstairs. I opened the door and slid the leather dress boots off. Armie did the same. He had black socks on. Mine were bright green. When I saw the wacky socks his personal shopper had gotten me he told me he remembered I had a thing for socks. He was so perfect. 

“Hey, man!” I heard Aiden call. 

“Hey! Aiden!” I said. My heart was thumping in my chest. I had never brought someone over. No once since Aiden and I had moved here a year ago. 

“Tim, holy cow dude,” Aiden stepped out of his bedroom, shirt pulled over his head as he was putting it on. “I was watching Big Mouth on Netflix and -“ he stopped dead in his tracks as he pulled the shirt down to his neck and saw Armie. 

“Hi,” Armie said. He looked even more huge in our tiny kitchen. Armie walked over and put his hand out. “Hi, Aiden. Nice to meet you, I’m Armie.”

“Oh, hello Armie. I’m Aiden. Nice to meet you too,” he said. 

“I got you Taco Bell,” I said. 

“Why so much?” Aiden asked. 

“Yeah I’ve not had it, uh ever actually and,” Armie said shrugging. I grinned at him. “So I ordered anything that looked good,” he said. 

I bit my lip as Armie started taking things out. Aiden hadn’t moved. He looked at me and finally walked forward. We had a small circular dining room table we never used to eat. I went and removed my laptop and the shoe boxes I had left there. They had the last converse I had bought. We sat and Armie still looked like a giant in my small apartment. 

“You guys look like you’re coming from a ball,” Aiden said chuckling. He seemed to be almost back to normal. 

“A charity auction,” Armie said. 

“Oh,” Aiden replied raising his eye brows. He looked at me and I could almost hear his train of thought. “So Tim, it was Armie you ran off to see huh?”

“It was,” I said trying to not grin like an idiot. It wasn’t working. I couldn’t stop grinning. 

“Well as long as you’re both being safe,” Aiden said. I blushed. My face was burning. 

“We are,” Armie said with a smile. “I’m glad Timothée has a friend like you that looks out for him.”

“We’ve known each other since third grade. He’s grown on me,” Aiden said. Armie laughed at his stupid joke. I bit into a chalupa. I watched Armie as he opened a burrito and took a bite. He shrugged and nodded and kept eating. I’m sure I was going to wake up and realize this was all a dream soon enough. 

 


 

I looked at Armie. He had laid back on my twin size bed and was flipping through my copy of Song of Achilles. I was getting clothes to take with me. 

“How...” I started. I meant to ask how long am I staying but the words got caught in my throat. 

“As long as you want,” he said. 

“Don’t you have to go to work?” I asked him. 

“Well I don’t actually go anywhere,” Armie said putting the book down. “My office is at home and it’s mostly phone calls. I’ll also meet clients at home sometimes. Or at their home or dinner. Only time I’m traveling is when I’m going to go look at art pieces.”

“Right,” I said. 

“What’s your schedule like for next week?” He asked. 

“School Monday afternoon Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday school and work and off Friday again,” I said. 

“I mean if you want to stay all week, stay,” he said. “I’ll give the code to my gate and a key.”

“Whoa,” I said. I stared at Armie. How could he trust me this much? I suddenly imagined growing up as he did, in luxury and probably people always being nice or seeming nice to be in his good graces. Apart from that, looking the way he did. He also was such a decent person so he probably got a better side of people most others did not. He probably never had to worry much about fitting in or trying to make friends. He probably didn’t have to struggle as most have, socially. 

I didn’t mean he was a naive, no, but there was a sweetness to this, to how he was, and I loved it. I loved that despite the world and how jaded people were, it seemed if he liked you he would wear his heart in his sleeve for you and, incredibly enough, in this moment in time, he liked me. He seemed to read my mind. He propped himself up on his elbows. 

“Timothée you returned a wallet with $780 dollars in it. Plus I’m a good judge of character,” he said. I thought of Rhys and wondered how he had gotten so close to him. “And I have cameras all over my home and I now know where you live, I know your car and license plate. I know where you work and what you study at UCLA,” he said. 

“Ok! Point taken. You trust me but if I try to run off with your Monet I’ll be apprehended within the hour,” I said chuckling. 

Armie got up and walked to me. He took my face in his hands. “Except you’re a good person and would never take my Monet.”

“No,” I said smiling up at him. He kissed my lips. “I can’t say the same about to cheesecake though,” I said with a grin. 

 


 

By the time we returned to his place it was almost 1 in the morning. We went to his room and he talked about the paintings he had acquired at the auction as we changed out of our suits. He hung mine up and told me he would have it dry cleaned for me. I nodded. 

“So how do you get your stuff from the auctions people?” I asked him. We walked to his bathroom. I hadn’t brought a toothbrush because he had brand new ones still in packages and I had opened one of those up. I looked at my toothbrush beside his on the toothbrush holder and liked that it was there. 

“Oh, Rhys will come and drop them off Monday sometime,” he said. 

I nodded. “He doesn’t like me,” I said before I could catch myself. I quickly glanced at Armie. 

He didn’t look upset. “Ah, he just takes time warming up to people.”

“How you meet him?” I asked. 

Armie glanced at me. “At a party years ago. We just hit it off. He was cooking actually. He was the hot new chef and he had just come out with his first cookbook. So, like 10 or 11 years ago,” he said. 

“Did you two ever date?” I asked softly. 

Armie looked into my eyes. He furrowed his brow. “No, Timothée we never have and never will. He feels like family. Nothing romantic.”

I nodded. Rhys was a public figure and Aiden had more than once talked about him and even though he hadn’t come out and said he was gay, there were rumors since he had never had a public girlfriend. “Ok. Sorry for being nosy,” I said. 

“No, I mean, ask away. It’s ok. We’re getting to know each other,” he said. I nodded. We brushed our teeth and went back to his bedroom. 

He wasted no time in wrapping me in his arms. His lips were all over mine. He picked me up and I was quite suddenly on the bed with him on top of me. 

“I’ve been counting the hours till now,” he said. His voice got me hard. I couldn’t believe it. “Had it not been for my sister I would have skipped the auction and spend the whole day in bed with you,” he said. 

I turned my face and kissed him. I pushed my pants down. I didn’t have anything on underneath. “Lets make up for it then,” I said. 

I couldn’t believe how much I wanted him. I enjoyed sex, of course, and had had some really good experiences but this was different. The intensity with which I wanted him was new to me. “Take your pants off,” I said panting. He did as I asked. His body was so warm, it felt so good. His erection rubbed on mine. I moaned. 

“Love your sexy moans,” Armie said. I grinned as he kissed my neck. I felt him kiss my adam’s apple. I loved how he felt on top of me. I didn’t know what I wanted more, for him to be inside of me or for me to fuck him again. He lifted up and looked down at me. He smiled and caressed my face. “Did you want to go first?” He asked me. 

“I’ll do anything you want,” I said. He looked surprised for about a second and then he started kissing me hungrily again. Maybe if my head wasn’t so clouded with want I may have cringed at what I had said but it was the truth and I wasn’t ashamed of it. 

“Fuck me,” he said. I slid out from under him and went to his night table. My cock was hard and aching for him. I watched as he got on his hands and knees. My hand went to my chest. It was an involuntary reaction, I couldn’t help it. I truly had never seen a more gorgeous human being. I crawled in the bed and started kissing his back. I ran my hands all over. When he saw I was doing this first, he sat back on his feet and started chuckling. It made me smile. 

I went in front on him and kissed and caressed his chest. I wanted to kiss and touch every inch of his body. I wanted to memorize it and recall it at will when he wasn’t with me. I looked up at him and kissed his lips. “What are you doing?” He asked me. Fuck me, his voice. 

“Memorizing what pleasure looks like on you,” I answered and continued with my kissing and caressing. He laid back on his back. I would feel his hands caress my arms and run through my hair as my hands and lips and tongue explored his body. I was suddenly so glad he was so tall. It gave me more skin to love. I straddled him and lifted his right hand. I kissed each finger and I heard him chuckle. I grinned and continued. I kissed down to the inside of his elbow. I kissed the soft part inside and nuzzled it. I loved how it smelled. This was his smell, not cologne or anything. This was him.  

I squeezed and caressed his bicep and I gently bit and kissed his shoulder. I repeated this with his other arm. I loved it. I loved every moment of it. He grabbed my face in his hands and kissed me. “How are you real?” He said, more to himself than me and I felt my stomach somersault inside of me. I responded by kissing down his body and taking him in my mouth. I licked his head clean and kissed down his shaft. I made it to his inner thighs.

They were beautiful. Lean and strong and so long. Perfection. I imagine this was what Achilles looked liked. Perfect. I chuckled to myself. I gave him a bite on his left inner thigh. He jumped and laughed. I hadn’t been gentle. I wanted to leave a mark. I couldn’t wait anymore. 

“Ok, turn around,” I said. I hardly recognized my own voice. It was deeper and rough. He turned quickly and I slid my lubed up fingers in him. I was impatient and wanted to fuck him so badly. I felt the fire building from the pit of my stomach. I couldn’t believe how badly I wanted to just ravage him. It was unnatural. Just minutes before I had wanted nothing else but to sweetly worship him and now I wanted to fuck him so hard he would remember me every time he sat down for the next several days. 

I shook my head and decided I couldn’t wait any longer. I put the condom on and lathered up my hard on. I took a moment though, to gaze at him. On his hands and knees, his perfect ass prepared and waiting for me. For ME. I know we had animal instincts. We were part of the animal kingdom, of course, although we pride ourselves for being civilized. Whatever animal instinct I had showed themselves in mighty force. 

I thrusted in and quickly began my assault on his body. I grabbed his hips with force. I wanted to leave bruises in the shape of my fingers. I heard his groans and moans. I watched as he lowered himself to his elbows and I went in deeper. I had been fucking him for a moment before I even realized I was making noises, grunting loudly. I couldn’t help myself. I couldn’t take my eyes off him and I looked down as I slid in and out of him. It made me want to go faster. Harder. How do I hold back? 

“This good?” I asked between pants. 

“Fuck! YES!” Armie cried out. I almost came. I almost fucking came but I was able to hold back, to regain control. I’ll never know how I did it but I did. I leaned forward and kissed his back. I caressed his ass cheeks and ran my hands down the back of his thighs, my finger tips and nails dug into his flesh as I ran them up to his perfect ass again. I grabbed and squeezed it and resumed fucking him. 

“Come!” I commanded him and I watched as he reached for his erection. He stroked himself maybe three times and came. The delicious tightening of his body around me brought me right to edge and the writhing of his muscular body underneath me sent me over the edge. I came with such force I felt as if I couldn’t breathe. I collapsed on him and my body shook with pleasure as wave after wave of orgasmic ecstasy washed over me. He fell onto his stomach. It took me a while to slide out. I rolled over and landed spread eagle on my back, beside him. I was panting. 

He turned to face to me. He was flushed and he had a huge grin on his face. “Where did you learn to fuck like that?”

I wasn’t expecting that question and thought about it. “It’s just how you make me feel,” I said. We laid there until our breathing went back to normal. 

“What you said earlier,” he said.

“About memorizing how pleasure looks on you,” I said with a grin. 

“Yes,” He said propping himself up on his left arm. His right hand slid gently down my chest to my stomach. “It’s from the book, right?” 

“Right,” I said softly, nodding. 

He leaned down and kissed me. “So romantic,” he whispered. 

“You like romantic?” I asked. 

“I buy and sell paintings for a living, Timothée!” He exclaimed. “Of course I’m a romantic. Probably more than average guy,” he said looking down at me. 

I leaned up and kissed him hard. “Me too,” I said. “Me too.” I climbed on him and kissed him more. 

“What are you -“

“I’m ready for round two,” I said and loved the look of surprise he had. “Unless you can’t -“

“Shut up!” He said and pulled me in for a kiss. We pulled apart panting. “Shut up and fuck me again,” he said. 

Chapter Text

Timothée it seemed, could sleep through anything. I’m not sure if it was just his youth or he would forever be a heavy sleeper. I glanced over at him and smiled. He was beautiful like this, of course, soft lids closed, rosy lips slightly parted. His face, perfect and free of worry. I wondered what he dreamt about. 

I looked at my bedside clock. He had to be at work at ten. The night before he told me he could shower and dress in 20 minutes. I asked him what he wanted for breakfast and he said he’d eat some cheesecake in the car. I said that was not acceptable. I told him to get up an extra 10 minutes earlier so he could eat and I would cook for him while he got ready. Together with the 15 minutes it would take him to drive to work from my place, he told me to wake him up at 9:15. I checked now, it was 9:10. I could watch him for 5 more minutes. The sun was shining into my room and a warm glow was behind him and somehow this made him look even more beautiful. 

I thought about the previous night. He had told me he was ready for seconds and it had been even rougher than the first time. I loved that. I loved how he just let himself go. I had wanted him too but then I got a blow job after and we passed out. He would be mine tonight. I sighed as I checked the time. 9:13 am. I wish time would stop. 

I had heard of love at first sight. Of soul mates. How people just knew. They weren’t lying. They weren’t. I wasn’t kidding when I told him I was an absolute romantic. It was not something easy to be at times. I believed in that deliciously insane once in a lifetime love. The kind that made you loose your mind and throw caution to the wind. Edgar Allan Poe said it best when he said, “I was never insane except upon occasions when my heart was touched.”

“Timothée,” I said as I rubbed his shoulder. 

“Hmm,” he said waking up suddenly. He stretched. “I’m up,” he said and just rolled out of bed, naked, and walked to the bathroom. I had a stand with towels there. I grinned. I loved it. I loved seeing him so comfortable in my space. It somehow felt like I had known him forever. I was so... I didn’t even know. It was more than happy. There was so much satisfaction too in having him here with me. I was content. 

I got up and pulled on some boxers and lounge pants. I walked to the bathroom. He was in the shower. He was washing his hair and didn’t see me as I reached the sink. I watched him as I brushed my teeth. He rubbed the water off his face and as he saw me, he grinned. I gave him a wink and walked out. I grinned as I jogged down the stairs and walked to my kitchen. I got everything I needed to make him breakfast and got to work. 

Timothée was special. I felt it. He made everything feel special around him. He lit up the space he was in just by being there. He did that to me and my home. It was wonderful. I was brought out of my reverie by the sound of my phone ringing. It was Rhys. 

“Morning Armie!” He said before I could even say hello. “Thought I’d take you out for breakfast. I’m on your street now.”

“I’ll open the gate,” I said and we hung up. I’d explain I couldn’t go when he got here. I went into the app on my phone that controlled the gate and opened it. I went back to cooking. Rhys had a key to my house and would let himself in. We had been friends for over a decade and I trusted him. 

“Hello!” I heard his voice booming through from the library. 

“Hey!” I called out. 

Rhys walked into the kitchen. “Armie! You’re cooking!” He said, looking incredibly happy. I laughed. He had always offered to teach me simple dishes to cook but I had no interest. I never ever cooked. I had a cook and Rhys cooked for me sometimes. I wanted to cook for Timothée, though. I wanted to take care of him. “Am I dreaming?” Rhys asked with a very happy smiled on his face. 

“No,” I said. 

“What has suddenly brought on this miraculous change! What has made Armie Hammer cook?!”

As if on cue, by random luck of the universe, Timothée’s sweet voice floated in from the library. “Oh man, what did you cook for me?” 

I looked up as he entered. The way he smiled just warmed my heart. For a second he was happiness and joy and then he saw Rhys and I saw how both of their expressions changed. This left me puzzled and stunned. Rhys recovered first. “Timothée,” he said. 

“Rhys,” he replied. 

I put the omelet on a plate and placed it on the counter. I held my arm out to Timothée. He came to my side and we kissed. “Eat please, I don’t want you to be late or hungry,” I whispered in his ear. I liked how his hair smelled of my shampoo. 

“I’ll be in the library,” Rhys said and walked out. I watched him go. I got Timothée orange juice. “How is it?” I asked and chuckled as he wolfed down the omelet. 

“Amazing,” he said when he was finished. He downed his orange juice. He wiped his mouth with a napkin. He looked straight into my eyes. “I told you, he hates me.”

I saw now why he has thought this, given the way Rhys had reacted. I knew Rhys had a strong character and wasn’t the friendliest of people, but even I was slightly surprised by the look Rhys had given him, but I didn’t want Timothée to worry about this. I walked around the counter. When I reached him I took his face in my hands. My thumbs caressed his jaw and my fingers wrapped around his neck. “I saw how he acted. I will talk to him about it.”

“No!” He said. I raised my eye brows. “I mean,” he said quietly. “I don’t know.”

My hands still held him. I pulled him into me and kissed him again. “It’ll be ok,” I said. “Don’t worry about Rhys. I’ll take care of it. You gotta go. Can’t be late for work,” I said. He nodded. “Come on.” We walked out of the kitchen. Rhys didn’t even acknowledge us when we walked through the library. I walked him out to his car. 

“So I work a full eight hours today. I’ll call you on my lunch,” Timothée said. 

“Ok. Have a good day. I’ll see you later.” We kissed a final time and he drove off. I walked back inside and found Rhys lounging on one of my loveseats. He was staring up at the Monet I had above my fireplace. “So many books here and you’re just ignoring them,” I said sitting on the love seat across from him. 

“Only books I read are cookbooks,” he said. 

I nodded. “Why are you giving Timothée the cold shoulder?”

He stared right into my eyes. “Why should I warm up to him? I’m sure you’ll tire of him soon. I mean he’s just a good fuck isn’t he?” Even I was shocked at what he said. 

“I’ve never -“ I started saying leaning forward on the love seat. 

“Yes I know. You’ve never been one to fuck around. You only sleep with men you’re dating yet you seriously just met that kid and you’re already sleeping with him? Are you boyfriends? Your last boyfriend was a district attorney. What does this kid do?”

“Who gives a fuck!” I said angrily. 

“Society, Armie! Your parents! You will be in charge of Hammer industries sometime in the next ten years for sure and YOU and everything about you will reflect on everything your father and grandfather and great grandfather have worked for!”

“What the fuck Rhys! You’re the one that’s always telling me to live my life!” I stared at him angrily. 

“Yeah when it’s good for you. This kid is a mistake! He’s -“

“He’s not a kid. He’s a man!”

“Barely!”

“Fuck you!” I yelled getting up from my seat. “You don’t fucking know him!”

“And neither do YOU,” Rhys said standing up as well. He came and stood in front of me. We were eye to eye. He spoke more calmly. “You just met him. You don’t know him. You’re infatuated and you’re letting your dick cloud your judgement. Get him out of your system and move on with your life. He’s not husband material and you know it. You need someone who is up to par with you. He’s not.”

“You don’t know him,” I said again. I didn’t want to hear anything more of what he said. 

“No, I don’t,” He said calmly. “But you and I were his age once too. Now think back to that. Life was still a party. He’s having the time of his life having a wealthy older man spoil him. How do you even know he’s going to work? He could have a boyfriend or girlfriend on the side.”

“I met his roommate,” I said shaking my head. “He’s -“

“Right because I would never have your back if we were up to no good,” Rhys replied. “Armie,” He said putting his hand on my shoulder. “You’re too trusting. You can’t be. It blows my mind how you can be such a ruthless business man yet...” he trailed off. I stayed quiet. I wanted to punch him in the face. My father. My mother. Even Victoria sometimes always told me not to trust so much. I felt I didn’t. I felt I was just giving people the chance to show themselves to me. 

“Timothée found my wallet at the mall and sent a letter to my P.O. Box. All the money was inside when he gave it to me. He hasn’t asked me for anything. Like I said Rhys, you don’t know him.”

Rhys shook his head and put his hands up as if in defeat. “A good looking kid with a heart of gold,” he said. “You’ve already put him up on a pedestal and have romantic notions about who he is and what he’s all about. Alas,” he said sighing. “When it’s all said and done, we’ll have a drink and life will move on.”

I never wanted life to move on without Timothée. I said nothing. 

“I’ll go.” He said. 

“Fine,” I replied. He furrowed his brow and turned and started walking out. 

Once at the front door he turned to me. His face had changed, he looked concerned. “You’re so amazing Armie. I just want someone who is worthy of you. Worthy of all you have to offer.”

“I know,” I said. I did. “But who I deem worthy is up to me.” 

Rhys nodded. “Take care.”

“You too.” I said and closed the door behind him. 

 


 

I lounged pool side with my acoustic guitar. I had several books on the wicker table beside me. I didn’t want to think about anything Rhys had said. I knew the thing with Timothée was new and sudden but it felt right. I couldn’t quite explain it but suddenly life just felt perfect with him in it. It was as if he had filled a void I never knew I had. I closed my eyes. 

I started strumming my guitar. This always brought me peace. I tilted my face to the sky and began to sing. 

“All of the things that I wanted to say just aren’t coming out right. I’m tripping inwards, you’ve got my head spinning, I don’t know where to go from here. Cause it’s you and me and all of the people with nothing to do, nothing to prove. And it’s you and me and all of the people and I don’t know why, I can’t keep my eyes off of you... There’s something about you now, I can’t quite figure out. Everything he does is beautiful, everything he does is right. Cause it’s you and me and all of the people with nothing to do and nothing to lose and it’s you and me and all the people and I don’t know why I can’t keep my eyes off of you.”

 


 

I was checking my emails when my phone rang. If was Timothée. I grinned. 

“Timothée,” I answered. 

“Armie, hey,” his sweet voice came through the phone and everything felt right. “I’m on my lunch,” he said. 

“What are you going to eat?” I asked. 

“I got a smoothie and a sandwich,” he said. 

“Good,” I said. 

“Can I FaceTime you?” He asked suddenly. 

“Of course!” I said. I couldn’t believe the butterflies he gave me. I accepted the FaceTime request and suddenly there he was. Beautiful. Amazing. Perfect. 

We talked his whole lunch break and when he had to go it felt too sudden. I would see him in a few hours but it couldn’t be soon enough. We hung up and I sat at my desk thinking of him and the moments we had shared the last few days. I was in a state of all things Timothée when my sister called. 

“Hey big brother,” she said. 

“Hey little sister,” I answered.  

“What are you up to this weekend?”

“Hanging with Timothée,” I said with a huge smile on my face. 

“Armie, I like him,” she said. 

“So do I Vic,” I answered. 

“As long as you’re happy big brother. That’s all I want for you.” 

“Thank you,” I replied. 

We talked for a while longer and then I was left with my thoughts again. I made myself check some more emails and make some calls. I had a client that I had to meet with tomorrow and he wanted me at his home at 3 pm. In the back of my mind, though, was him. I got up from my desk and walked to my window and looked out over the scenery. 

“When he died, all things soft and beautiful and bright would be buried with him,” I whispered to myself. 

I sighed and returned to my desk and to my emails and phone calls. He would be back in a few hours. 

Chapter Text

At about four in the afternoon, my chef arrived to cook dinner. I greeted her and asked about her family and children. Phoenix was a wonderful woman, warm and motherly. She was Jamaican and whenever she went home she always brought me something back, a tee shirt or food or rum. She had been off to see family this week and today was her first day back from her short vacation. 

“I was thinking I haven’t cooked you some duck in a while, Armie!” She said as she came through. She did my grocery shopping as well. 

“You have not,” I said. 

“I got you one. It’s a nice size, I can quarter it for you and cook them indifferent ways,” she said in her singsong Jamaican accent. 

“Actually, you’ll be cooking for two,” I told her. 

“Is miss Victoria coming over?” She asked absentmindedly as she started throwing old stuff out of my fridge and restocking it with real groceries.

“No, his name is Timothée,” I said. 

Phoenix looked at me. “Timothée?” She asked. I nodded. Homosexuality wasn’t looked upon favorably in Jamaica. She had told me of men and women being targeted if it was known they were gay. Phoenix didn’t care though and she had met my ex. I suddenly remembered how I had dated him for almost nine months before he spent a single night over. Here now, I would have gladly accepted Timothée to live with me tomorrow. I wanted nothing else than to sink into his presence and have his scent on my pillows and his belongings scattered around my home, mixed with mine. “Armie?”

“Yeah?” I asked coming out of my daydream. 

She stopped and looked at me. “Oh, you really like this one,” she said. I nodded, half smile on my face. “Tell me why him?” She asked. 

I had had many a conversations with Phoenix in my kitchen and I loved how she asked, simply and directly. Conversations with her were honest and to the point. “He’s smart. So smart. Conversations are amazing,” I started. “He’s interested in what I do. A real interest not a feigned one.” I continued. “He’s sweet and charming. He’s gorgeous,” I said. “So, so gorgeous. His eyes, lips...”

“Oh, I’ve never seen you like this Armie!” She said with a loud laugh. 

A grinned. “I’ve never seen me like this either,” I said softly.

 


  

Phoenix was busy cooking when Timothée  came home. I was coming down the stairs as he walked in through the front door. The joy it gave me. I grinned at him and I walked to him. “Hey, welcome home,” I said as we both chuckled. I kissed him. 

“It smells amazing!” He said. 

“It does,” I said, placing my hand on his lower back. “Come on, there is someone I want you to meet.” He looked up at me and I loved how his eyes filled with curiosity. 

We walked through the library and dining room and into the kitchen. Phoenix was in there bustling around. I watched Timothée’s eyes widen and his mouth shaped into an oh. Phoenix caught sight of us. “Ah! So this is Timothée!” She said. 

He laughed and looked my way. He stepped towards her. “I am, nice to meet you,” he said putting his hand out.

“I’m cooking child, go wash your hands, you too Armie, dinner is almost ready!” I went and did as she asked. Timothée stepped aside as I washed my hands. 

“Timothée, this is Phoenix, cook and Wonder Woman extraordinaire!” I said grinning. 

“Oh, you and your honeyed words, this one is something else Timothée. He’ll sweep you off your feet with his sweet comments and poetic quotes!” Timothée laughed loudly. “He’s convinced me far too many times to make him an extra cheese cake with his flattery,” she said with a warm smile my way. 

“She knows I’m useless in the kitchen and I’d starve without her and I remind her as often as I can how lucky I am to have her,” I told Timothée. 

“You’re not useless in the kitchen,” Timothée said furrowing his brow at me. “That omelet you made me this morning was great.”

“The what?” Phoenix asked. I felt a warmth spread on the back of my neck. “Armie Hammer you never cook you sly dog!” Phoenix said. I grinned. “But I’m glad he cooked for you. Both of you sit down, dinner is ready.”

We went to the dining room and soon enough Phoenix brought us the duck she had cooked. “Jerk duck with rice and some plantain on the side. That’s how we eat it!” She said. 

“God it smells wonderful!” Timothée said. 

I asked Phoenix to sit and eat with us and she did. Her and Timothée had a wonderful conversation and he asked her a million and one questions which I loved. I loved how he just seems to want to learn about everyone and everything. I stayed quiet and let them talk and had the best time doing so. Phoenix then brought out the cheesecake she had made us and Timothée did this cute bowing motion with his arms. I laughed. It was a wonderful moment and even Phoenix liked it because she gave his cute little cheek a pinch. 

 


 

The sun was setting and Timothée and I sat outside lounging poolside. Phoenix had left not so long ago. He was again, asking questions about my job. I loved how specific his questions got and I never tired of answering them. 

“Have you ever had a painting stun you?” Timothée asked. “Not because of beauty but -“

“Yes,” I said. I stared at him. I’d never been asked this but of course with Timothée there seemed to be no bounds to what we talked about. “Yes when I was 11 my grandfather took me to London and of course we made a trip to the National Gallery,” I said looking at him. He nodded. “It was the first time I laid eyes on The Execution Of Lady Jane Grey by Paul Delaroche.”

Timothée’s eyes widened. “I know it!” He said. He swung his legs around the side of the lounge and sat facing me, elbows on his knees. “She’s in that white dress.”

“Yes,” I said. My heart thumped at the memory of it. “It’s a huge oil on canvas.”

“When I saw it I was so confused, I was like, why are they killing a bride,” Timothée said. He stayed quiet a moment, as if recalling it. “You know what gets me about it?” He asked me.  

“What?” I asked, mesmerized by him. He put his hands out, mimicking the gestures in the painting. 

“She’s blindfolded,” I said. 

“Yeah and she’s feeling out where to lay her head,” he said. “Fuck.”

“Indeed,” I agreed. I saw it in my head so clearly. I remember being struck by that too. 

“Do you know the history?” Timothée asked. 

“I knew she was queen of England for nine days,” I replied. 

Timothée nodded. “So when Edward the sixth died in 1553 he nominated Jane and her male heirs as successors to the Crown. They were first cousins. She was proclaimed queen July 10 and awaited coronation at the Tower of London. Edward chose her over his half sister, Mary. Jane was Protestant and Mary was Roman Catholic. But support for Mary grew quickly and suddenly everyone turned their backs on Jane. Mary was declared queen on July 19. Jane was then charged with treason which is a death sentence but Mary spared her life. But then Jane’s father was involved in a rebellion against Mary, Jane was seen as a threat to the crown. Father and daughter were both executed February of 1554.”

“How do you know all this?” I asked him in awe. 

“I thought of studying European History before I decided on English Lit,” he said with a cute smile. I laughed and shook my head. He just kept on surprising me.

 


 

Timothée and I had gone upstairs after talking outside for a while. We had gotten ready for bed and the moment we walked into the bedroom from the bathroom I picked him up and threw him over my right shoulder and threw him on the bed.  

“Why do we even bother with putting lounge pants on after we undress? We only have them on while we brush our teeth,” I said as I pulled his off and then mine. 

 “I don’t know!” He said.   

I leaned down and kissed him. I wanted him so badly. “You’re so fucking sexy,” I told him. I loved the way he looked at me when I spoke to him like this. “It’s my turn,” I said. 

“Yes,” he said breathlessly. 

I reached for lube and gently got him ready for me as he laid on his back. I then grabbed a condom, slipped it on and put a good amount of lube on it. I turned him on his right side. I had him hold his left leg up by the knee as I slowly slid inside him. I loved how he moaned. I held him tight, his back to my chest as I started to make love to him.  

I wanted to take my time and enjoy him. I didn’t want to rush anything. I held his leg up as I slid in and out, finally finding a pace I liked. “Is that good?” I asked him.  

I felt his warm breath on the right side of my face as he turned to answer me. “Yes,” he said. He kissed me and bit my jaw gently. 

I gazed down upon him, his eyes closed and brow furrowed, rosy lips parted as he panted. I didn’t go any faster but I was going in deeper and pulling out more. Every part of my body that was touching his felt as if it was on fire. I quickly lost myself in the pleasure of the moment. He moaned and groaned and kept pressing himself back into me. I pushed my body towards his and picked up my pace. I responded to every move he made. It came so naturally. He didn’t have to speak to tell me what he wanted, his body showed me what he liked and needed. 

I kissed and caressed him as I pleased him. I ran my hands across his soft skin. It was becoming sweaty. “I love your body,” I told him.  

“What about it,” he asked.  

“This,” I said reaching between our bodies and grabbing his ass. He moaned.  

“And this,” I said, running my thumb along his bottom lip and leaning down to kiss him. He parted his lips for me and I sucked his tongue gently. I lifted up and he gently bit my chin as I thrusted in him.  

“And this,” I said as I stroked his cock. His moan was loud against my ear. I felt his lips at the side of my neck. A gentle bite and him sucking my skin. I kissed along his shoulder and I stroked down as I thrusted in. 

Sex with Timothée was almost an other worldly experience. The night before when he had taken his time to touch and kiss my body, I knew what he was doing. I felt it for him too. I wanted to know every freckle, every line and every curve. The pleasure I got from him was beyond carnal. It was emotional in ways sex had never been for me before. He moaned again and I felt the goosebumps form across my skin. 

I wanted him to be touched like he touched me. I wanted him pleased like he pleased me. I thrusted in hard and he whimpered. It lit a fire in me. I didn’t want to hurt him so I kept myself in control, but I wanted to give him what no one else had given him before. I wanted to stay in this moment for as long as possible. Us being one felt so perfect. Our bodies fit perfectly, in every way. I gave another hard thrust.  

“Armie,” he moaned breathlessly.  

“Timothée,” I responded. 

“Fuck me hard,” he breathed out. 

“I don’t want to hurt you,” I said looking down at him. His face was flushed. 

“Fuck me hard, Armie, please,” he said with a moan and biting my chin again. 

I grabbed his slender hips and drove into him as hard as I could. I only did it a few times and my body exploded inside of him. I stroked him quickly and he came as well. I loved how he groaned loudly in my ear. He was so vocal during sex and it was such a turn on. 

Our bodies shook in ecstasy and I slowly thrusted in him still as waves of orgasmic pleasure washed over me. I nuzzled his hair and kissed it. I didn’t want to move. I didn’t want to be anywhere else. We laid still until we recovered. We finally got up and cleaned up and Timothée fell sleep quite quickly afterwards. I was laying on my back, listening to his soft breaths, with a hand on his hip when he drowsily rolled over.  

“Hold me,” he said, pulling my hand. I happily rolled to my side and spooned him. He fit inside the curve of my body as if he was made to be there. He had commented a few times how he expected to suddenly wake up and all this be a dream. I suddenly wondered if I too was dreaming. 

Chapter Text

I awoke Sunday morning. I blinked my eyes and stretched. The soft aches in my body reminded me of the night before. I was facing the windows, I quickly looked behind me and saw Armie beside me on the bed, tablet in hand, a coffee mug to his lips. I turned my body to face him. I pulled the sheets around my midsection, not sure why, he had seen all of me more than once. His hands and mouth had explored everything I was making sure stayed covered. 

“Timothée, good morning,” he said softly. 

“Morning,” I answered, looking up at him. 

In the moments of passion I let myself go. I didn’t think twice about what I was doing or saying. Moments, like this, quiet moments, all of that rushed back and it almost didn’t seem real. I was waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under me, for him to tire of me and tell me to go. I glanced up at him again. He noticed and looked my way. He smiled. I smiled back and lowered my gaze. 

“Would you like to accompany me somewhere today?” 

I looked up. “Where?” I asked. 

“I’ve been asked to acquire something for a friend of a client,” he said. “It’s very short notice and I don’t normally like to be pressured into acquiring pieces but the piece is here in LA and,” he put his tablet down, bent his legs and put his forearms on his knees, clasping his hands together. “It could be fun.”

I sat up. “Fun?” I asked, suddenly curious. 

“Yeah. Fun. Two dealers have tried to acquire this piece and haven’t been able to do so. My interest is piqued, so to say.”

I furrowed my brow. “Why would you want to take me with you?” I asked. 

He shrugged and leaned back. “You’re a good looking and charming young man,” he said. “You’re also likable and have the ability to strike up a conversation with anyone no matter how different they are from you and no matter how long you’ve known them. Those are wonderful qualities to have.”

I grinned at all he said. He grinned back. 

“Plus,” He said softly, leaning closer to me. “I like having you close to me. I feel like you bring me good luck.”

I chuckled. “How can you be so sure I bring you good luck?” I asked. 

“I’m not. I just feel it. But my feelings are rarely wrong.” He looked right into my eyes. “Please, come with me Timothée.”

Please. I sighed. As if I could say no to that. 

 


 

I made us pancakes and then we showered together and dressed. I was worried that I would look too casual in jeans since he had a light gray polo and dark gray slacks. He told me jeans was fine. 

“Why, because of my youth?” I asked, remembering the comment his tailor had made. 

“No, because I’m the one on the job, not you. You’re there for moral support,” he said before I had a chance to worry if I had been too rude. “Plus, I have no idea how old the person we’re meeting is,” Armie told me. 

“You don’t?” I asked. 

”Nope,” he said kissing me. “Ready?” He asked and I nodded again.  We got into his car and took off. 

It didn’t take long for us to drive into Beverly Hills. The houses were similar to the ones on his street. Gated and without numbers. He pushed a button on his steering wheel. “Say a command,” the voice said on his dashboard. 

“Call Hunt,” Armie said. The car did so. 

“Hello?”

“Hey, Mr. Hunt this is Armie Hammer. I’m here to talk to you about the Bouguereau.”

“Ok. Opening the gate for you,” the voice said and hung up. 

I had listened intently. “He sounds young,” I said. 

“He did right then, yeah,” Armie replied. 

The gate open in the house in front of us and we rode in. It was a large Mediterranean villa. We got out of the car and walked to the door. Even before we reached it, it opened up and a young man maybe a year or two older than me was at the door. 

Armie extended his hand for a handshake. His expensive watch flashed in the sun. I had seen his watch collection and had been truly impressed. If Armie was surprised or taken aback by the youth of the man in front of us, he didn’t show it. “Mr. Hunt,” Armie said as they shook hands. 

“Mr. Hammer,” the young man replied. He was in jeans as well and an expensive looking red sweater. He turned to look at me. “Hi,” he said looking a bit surprised. “I’m Otis Hunt.”

“Timothée Chalamet,” I said shaking his hand. 

“You two work together?” He asked. 

“No, he’s spending the weekend with me and I brought him along for moral support,” Armie said with a perfect smile. 

“Moral support?” Otis asked as we all walked in. “Since when does the great Armie Hammer need moral support?” 

“We all need it,” Armie said. “And you flatter me. I’m no greater than anyone who enjoys their job and -“

“And are fucking good at it,” Otis said tilting his head and looking at Armie. “I know about you. You’re known as someone who can get anyone anything.”

“Hmm,” Armie said with a slight head shake and a close lipped smile. It was still very friendly. “I don’t think I could get you the Mona Lisa, Mr. Hunt,” he said. 

Otis rolled his eyes. “Within reason,” he said. “Let me show you my home.” 

Otis led us to a very opulent sitting room. It had a cream upholstered living room set and several paintings hanging. Armie spoke to him about them. Armie knew each piece. “You got that for my uncle,” he said. 

Armie looked at him surprised. “I didn’t know Walter was your uncle!”

“Mother’s side. He’s not a Hunt.”

“Ah, ok. I’m sorry about his passing. I called your aunt and sent her a letter as well,” Armie said. Otis nodded. His eyes were still on the painting. “I’m assuming he willed it to you.”

“He did. He knew I loved art. I love it and admire it and cherish it,” he said. 

I couldn’t help but smile. “You sound like Armie,” I said without thinking. 

“Do I?” Otis asked.

I nodded. “Armie says when he acquires a painting he feels like he’s finding them a home,” I said remembering our conversation. I thought Otis would appreciate that about him. He did. I saw the smile on his face. 

“What do you do Mr. Chalamet?” He asked. 

“Oh, please call me Timothée,” I said. “I study,” I replied simply. It was the truth after all. Otis laughed and nodded. 

He then led us into another room with a large piano and even larger paintings and then we were led outside. There was a table set up with two chairs but I saw someone adding a third chair and a third set of plates as well. 

“Hope you don’t mind joining me for lunch?” Otis asked. 

“That’s wonderful. Timothée?” Armie asked me. This surprised me. I didn’t think I could say no, this was Armie’s work, but it was sweet of Armie to ask anyway. 

“That would be great, thank you,” I said and we walked to the table. 

The conversation hardly touched on art. Otis asked me what I was studying and when I said English Literature, he smiled and said he had studied that as well. “I only did a couple of years though and then I took over the family business,” he said with a shrug. 

I nodded. “I’m sorry, I have no idea what your family business is,” I said. 

“Better if it stays that way,” Otis said with a serious face. “If I tell you, I’ll have to kill you.”

“Ok! No need to know! I’m good thank you!” I said. We all laughed. 

Otis was really relaxed and he spoke of movies and music, the Lakers and the Kardashians. It was really like talking to someone Aiden had met and liked and wanted to introduce me to. I felt very at ease and Armie was pleasant and handsome and collected and charming. I looked at him in the sunlight. He looked so good. 

“So how long have you been dating?” Otis asked with a smile. 

“Since Thursday,” I said very matter of fact. 

“Wow! And you’re already accompanying him to client’s homes. You must be very special,” Otis said raising his glass of lemonade at me, as in toasting me, the ice cubes clinking. 

“He likes me for my mind,” I said with the same serious voice. “We connected intellectually and the rest is...” I glanced at Armie who had a very adorable smile on his face. “The random luck of the universe,” I said with a smile as well. 

“Ha! Fate! I love it!” Otis said. “I hope this happens to me. I wanna meet someone and be so enthralled and swept off my feet that I want to share every single part of me,” he said. He looked at Armie. “Even my professional side.”

Armie and I glanced at one another. I didn’t know if this is what Armie meant to happen when he invited me to come with him but this is what was happening. We finished lunch and then Otis got up and motioned for us to follow. We were led inside and to another room we hadn’t been at before. “Here you go, Mr. Hammer,” he said and pointed to a wall. 

I looked at the painting. It was a young woman sitting down with a small child embracing her round the neck and kissing her on the cheek. There was an orange on the stone step the young woman was sitting on. Armie smiled. “Timothée,” He said softly. He motioned for me to come closer and I came and stood beside him. “This beautiful painting is called A Little Coaxing by William Bouguereau. It was painted in 1890.”

“It’s so sweet,” I said looking at it. 

“It is,” Armie said. He looked at Otis. “Is it one of your favorites?”

“They’re all my favorites,” Otis said. “You’ve come for it, Mr. Hammer, are you now going to convince me to give it up?”

“No,” Armie said and I didn’t know who looked more surprised, Otis or I. 

“No?” He asked. 

“No, you already know whether you would sell it or not, I don’t think anything I say will make you change your mind,” he said. He turned to me and smiled. “But this wonderful piece of art has been in a private collection for a while and I thought it would be wonderful to share it with Timothée,” Armie said. 

I found myself smiling at him. “Thank you,” I said. 

“Your welcome,” he said and caressed my face. He turned to Otis and stuck his hand out. “Mr. Hunt,” he said. “Thank you for your hospitality.”

Otis looked utterly perplexed. “You’re not even gonna try to talk me into selling?” He asked. 

“But you have already turned two other dealers away, I really am not sure what I could say to convince you. I truly thought you had decided you weren’t selling,” he said. 

“So you only came to show your boyfriend my Bouguereau?” Otis asked incredulously. 

“Mr. Hunt, this is an exquisite work of art. You’ve talked to Timothée and know he has an appreciation for the arts -“

“And all things beautiful,” I said eyeing Armie. He may have blushed or it may have been my imagination. I wasn’t sure but I was seriously undressing him with my eyes right now because I was loving how he was making Otis come apart at this very moment.

Otis shook his head and narrowed his eyes. “Timothée did you enjoy seeing it?” He asked without looking at me and staring at Armie who was in turn looking at me. 

“It really is beautiful,” I said, my lips curling into a smile. 

“Your boyfriend likes it, Mr. Hammer,” Otis said. “Now make me an offer. Let’s see if your reputation precedes you and if you offer me something I want.”

“So you’re insinuating you’re willing to part with it?” Armie asked. 

“For the right price and or exchange,” Otis said. 

“I’m sorry I’m not quite sure what exactly you’re looking for. Why not give me an idea and so I don’t offend you by offering something that isn’t enough?” Armie asked with another easy smile.

“You’re telling me you don’t know what the Bouguereau is worth?” Otis asked him. 

“Oh I know what an educated guess would be,” Armie said sliding his hands in his gray slacks. “But I don’t know emotionally what this is worth to you.”

“What’s that matter?” Otis said. 

“It must matter enough because I know what you’d been offered for it and it’s more than what it’s worth,” Armie said. 

I looked at Otis. This was an interesting back and forth and it was obvious Armie had the upper hand. He was... incredibly sexy. 

Otis sighed. “I’m looking for Fallen Angel by Alexandre Cabanel.”

“Are you? I had an interesting conversation with a friend in Paris that is looking into acquiring that for me,” Armie said casually. “He owes me a favor.”

“Really?” Otis looked surprised. “So... we can work something out?” He asked. 

Armie smiled at him. “I will go to Paris and look into it if that’s what it takes.”

Otis looked at Armie and smiled back. “I think you and I could work something out then, Mr. Hammer.” They shook hands. There was more small talk as we were walked through Otis’s home. We said good bye and exchanged pleasantries and then walked to Armie’s car. We climbed inside. 

I leaned over and grabbed him and kissed him. Hard. “So that’s what you’re like when you work?” I asked. 

Armie was blushing. “Yeah,” he said quietly. 

“How sexy are you?” I asked. 

He stared at me. “A lot?” He asked. I laughed and kissed him harder. Deeper. My tongue exploring his mouth, gently caressing his tongue and the soft sides of his mouth. I was so turned on. 

“Let’s go home,” I said. 

“Home?” He asked. 

“Your place,” I said grinning. “You know what I mean.”

“I know,” he said and I finally sat back on my side and pulled on my seatbelt as he cranked up his car. 

Chapter Text

We had barely made it through the front door when I was stripping Armie. “You were so fucking sexy,” I said. Armie was laughing and seemed to enjoy how much seeing him in action had turned me on. “Did you know he was looking for the Cabanel?” I asked. 

“No!” Armie. “That was actually a coincidence,” he said kissing me deeply. “I knew you’d bring me luck,” he said with a gorgeous grin. 

I turned and ran up the stairs and he followed. I couldn’t believe the rush I felt. I had loved seeing that side of Armie. He had walked into the place needing something and by the end, Otis was practically begging Armie to make him an offer. Once we were in the bedroom I turned to him. “How did you know what approach to use?” I asked. 

He shook his head. “I pay attention,” he said. “I’m good at reading people. He was very self assured and had already turned down a lot of money and he has a lot of money so I knew he didn’t want money. I was just waiting for him to tell me what painting he wanted and then based on that I’d know my chances,” Armie said practically. 

“Well, the two before you didn’t have the wherewithal to get him into a position where he would tell them what he wanted.” I pulled my shirt off and now his shirt. 

He grinned. “Well I’m sure those were stiff and boring meetings. With you there it felt more like just a lunch and he let his guard down.”

I kissed him hard as I undid his pants. I pushed them down and they dropped to the floor. He stepped out of them. He had black boxer briefs on. I got down on my knees and pulled them off and took him in my mouth quickly. He was hard in no time. I pushed him back on the bed. I slid my boxers off. I walked to the side of the bed and got a condom and lube. He had scooted back and was leaning against the headboard. 

I crawled to him. Kissing his knees and thighs and giving his cock one long lick. I sucked his head clean. I loved how he caressed my face as I did this. I sat up and opened up the condom and I saw the look of surprise when I started rolling it down on him. He looked up at me. His eyes were clearly asking me what I was doing. “I’m going to ride you,” I said. His eyes widened slightly and his cock twitched in response to this. I reached for the lube, spreading it liberally. 

I crawled closer to him. I felt in control. It felt good. I had caught him by surprise and it really turned him on. I felt... very grown up. Maybe it was childish, but it was how I felt, I truly loved it. Our chests pressed together. I kissed him passionately. It felt so good. Kissing him felt nothing like I had ever felt before. But truly, nothing did. It all felt so much deeper. I felt connected to him. It was insanity. Perfect, sweet, amazing insanity. 

We kissed deeply, I moaned as I leaned my head back and he kissed down my neck. His left hand on my hip, he held his erection up. I positioned myself on top of him. His tip slid in. Both his hands were on my hips. I slid down slowly. It felt amazing. 

“I can’t believe you exist,” he told me once he was all the way in. I looked into his eyes. He looked so sincere. 

“Tell me this again, when I’m not riding you,” I said with a grin. I looked at him. His eyes were closed and brow furrowed. 

“Yes, baby,” he said in a husky whisper. 

Baby. My breath got caught in my throat. It didn’t matter that he said what he had said while he was inside me. I believed him. He felt so honest. So real. I believed him and everything he shared with me. He was different. He was more. So much more. 

 


 

We didn’t have much time to cuddle afterwards. Armie had an appointment at a client’s home at 3 pm. Once we were finished, we stayed in bed maybe some 15 minutes and then he got up, showered and got dressed. I was in my boxers and was pulling on some lounge pants as Armie walked back in the bedroom. A few minutes later Armie was dressed in khakis and a baby blue shirt that made his eyes stand out. 

We kissed and Armie said he would be back in a couple of hours. “Phoenix has the weekend off but she left food cooked. Feel free to warm up anything you want baby.”

“Thank you,” I said with a smile. Baby. Baby. It made me feel so warm. There was one final kiss and Armie left. 

I made my way over to the library and settled on a love seat. I looked around. I loved this room. I was all alone in Armie’s house. It felt... good. I took my phone out and called Aiden. 

“Hey buddy!” Aiden said. 

“Hey!” I said smiling. 

“When you coming home?” Aiden asked. 

“Tomorrow after school,” I said with a sigh.

“You sound sad about it!” Aiden said. 

I laughed. “Nah, it’ll be fine. I’m sure Armie is sick of me by now,” I said, but deep down I knew that wasn’t the case when I thought back to what we had been doing an hour ago. 

“Tim I’m seriously blown away. I saw how you looked at him. You had puppy eyes and you were laughing at everything he said,” Aiden let out a laugh. He sounded blown away. He had never seen me... quite like this. 

I felt my stomach clench and my face warm. “He’s not like anyone I’ve ever met,” I said softly. I was able to say this now. I could tell Aiden. “He’s smart and articulate. He votes. He has an opinion about society. He loves books and art. He’s an arts dealer Aiden!” I said realizing he didn’t know. 

“Whoa,” Aiden said. 

“I know!” I replied, shaking my head. “He’s an expert on the subject and it’s so sexy,” I felt my body melt into the soft white leather of the love seat. 

“What’s his favorite movie?” Aiden asked. 

I furrowed my brow and realized I didn’t know yet. I thought of him. Who he was. “I bet you it’s Titanic,” I said on a whim. 

“Oh you don’t know?” Aiden asked. 

“No I’m supposed to have been guessing but -“

“But you’ve been busy riding that dick!” Aiden said. I just laughed. Because I was giddy. “Holy fuck you didn’t even deny it! Timothée! Fuck! Do you remember what you said about -“

“Yes!” I said throwing myself down on the loveseat and throwing my right forearm over my eyes. 

I recalled my horrible experience bottoming and the guy it was with and the vow I had made myself. He was hot. Tall, blond, football player, blue eyes. I suddenly wondered if I had a type. “Aiden you remember what Troy looked like?” I whispered. 

“Like Armie’s long lost little brother. Just not so tall, he was like 6’1 but he looked like a Ken Barbie doll just a bit more muscular,” Aiden said. 

“Yeah,” I said. 

“You never did tell me what went down with Troy and you. All you said was that only man you would bottom for would be your future husband.”

I knew this. I had never told anyone. I sighed. “Well remember Troy wasn’t even on my radar till he came back senior year and he was tall and fit,” I said. “Plus I was so sure he was straight!” I said. 

“Well, no one knew you guys -“

“Oh believe me I know!” I said. “His parents were super religious and he had an internal conflict that... showed itself during...” I said slowly. “And so what began never ended,” I said, sparing Aiden of all the details. 

It was still very fresh in my mind. Troy and I had gotten a room. We had been going out for about three months and back then I didn’t have my list and I let my dick choose mates for me. I was also too young to notice certain behaviors which now meant someone was still very much in the closet. The whole ‘don’t tell anyone, not even Aiden,’ even thought I did, and ‘let’s not go to public places,’ and ‘lets keep things hidden’ is not something I would even entertain now. But I was 17 and infatuated. I had agreed to it all. 

When the night came, we had gotten a room and we had started making out. Once naked and in bed, we had given each other blow jobs. Then the moment came. I had only had one boyfriend before and he had always bottomed. Troy was so hot and muscular and... I had wanted him to fuck me and told him so. I handed him lube and a condom and got on my hands and knees and waited. He didn’t even prepare me he just went in, and once he was in he had started to cry. He pulled out and cried all night saying he hoped Jesus would forgive him. My 17 year old brain was overwhelmed had no idea what to do. 

“Ok, well, seems Armie is husband material then, right?” Aiden asked bringing me out of my memory. 

“What?” I asked. 

“I said, seems like Armie is husband material then.”

“Aiden I just met the guy,” I relied. 

“And you already did something you had vowed to only give up to your future husband,” he said. And in only 48 hours after meeting him, I thought. 

It should have scared me, maybe. But it didn’t. It felt good. “He was perfect,” I said softly. He had been. I couldn’t deny. 

“You in love Tim?” Aiden asked. 

“I don’t know,” I said. 

“Holy fuck,” Aiden said. 

“Holy fuck,” I replied, as I suddenly realized I hadn’t said no. 

There was a period of silence and then I told Aiden about Rhys. Aiden appropriately freaked out at hearing I had met his favorite celebrity chef. Aiden worshipped the asshole so he told me to try to get along but I knew he wasn’t someone I’d ever get along with. We talked further and then I told him again I’d be home tomorrow after school. 

“Ok. Well, say hi to Armie for me,” he said. 

“Will do,” I replied. 

I hung up and stayed in the library just letting my mind wander over the last several days and how everything was the same and yet so different. Is this how it happened? I wondered. One day you’re just living then the next you meet someone and suddenly everything is so... so...

I didn’t have time to finish my thought. “Armie!” I sat up quickly. I recognized the voice and anger flared inside me. “Armie, you here?”

I got up. Asshole. He has no right to just waltz in here at his leisure. I got up and ran my hands through my hair then suddenly thought I didn’t care if he knew Armie and I had just fucked mere hours ago. I walked to the library doorway. 

“Sorry, my lover isn’t home right now,” I said. Rhys froze. He gave me a deadly stare. “But how can I help you Rhys?”

Chapter Text

“Timothée,” Rhys said without much emotion. I just stared at him. I had already asked him how I could help him I felt no need to repeat myself. “Will Armie be back soon?” He asked. 

I shrugged. “A couple of hours.”

Rhys nodded as he looked around the living room. His gaze returned to me. “You and I have time for a nice chat then,” he said. 

“That’s assuming I want to chat with you,” I said. 

“What do you think Armie would say if he knew that’s how you treated his best friend?” He asked. 

A soft chuckle escaped me. “Don’t know, I’ve never seen him mad. Why don’t you tell me how it went when he told you to be nicer to his lover?” I asked him. I saw the way Rhys’ eyes changed and knew I had hit a nerve of sorts. 

“You’re using him,” Rhys told me. “You’re an immature kid who was lucky enough to get the attention of a rich, good looking, older man and you’re taking advantage of him.”

I took a deep breath in and walked into the living room towards Rhys. “First off,” I said as calmly as I could. “You have no idea about what my level of maturity is because you know nothing about me.” I looked him straight in the eye. “Second, yes he is rich and yes he is good looking, but older?” I asked shaking my head. “32 is hardly older. You say older I think 40s and 50s, but whatever,” I said shrugging. Rhys was giving me a deathly stare. “As for taking advantage,” I continued. I thought of Armie earlier at Otis’ home. “I don’t think anyone could take advantage of Armie.” 

Rhys gave an exasperated sigh. “Timothée you’re not the type of man Armie needs,” he said. 

“Oh is this your good cop bad cop routine?” I asked. “First Armie is the victim to my gold digging ways and now I’m not good enough for him?” I knew I was pushing him and getting dangerously close to him loosing his cool.  

“You don’t fool me,” he said angrily. “I see right through you.”

“Well, good thing it’s not you who I’m fucking then,” I said. “And good thing the only opinion of me I care about is Armie’s.”

Rhys eyed me with contempt. His behavior, to me, was that of a jealous ex-girlfriend. I knew Armie had said nothing romantic had ever happened between them and never would, but the way Rhys was acting made me feel he maybe didn’t feel the same way as Armie did about the subject. “You’re not husband material Timothée,” Rhys said bringing me out of my thoughts. “Not for Armie anyway, he has a lot going for him and you’re not someone who would make a good life partner for him.”

“Who would? You?” I asked. “Is that why you’re so unhappy? Because Armie seems head over heels for me?” I asked. We stared at one another. “The feeling is mutual, by the way,” I continued. “I’m as crazy for him as he is for me.” I wasn’t sure where all this was coming from. I normally shied away from confrontation. I tended to just agree instead of argue but... I couldn’t just roll over and let Rhys push me around. Not about this. It was too important. 

“Armie and I have known each other for over a decade and -“

“Yeah, I know he told me,” I said. “He told me when you met and I asked him if you two had ever dated since you’re acting so jealous of me.”

Rhys scoffed. “I could never be jealous of someone like you,” he said. 

“I beg to differ,” I said with a shrug. Someone like me? Asshole. I wasn’t going to let it bother me, though.

“Well, enjoy your time with Armie,” he said. “Eventually the novelty of fucking you will fade. I doubt you’ll be around in time for the new year.” 

“Guess we’ll have to wait and see,” I said with a shrug. 

“What do you plan to gift him for Christmas?” Rhys asked me with a smile. I stared at him a moment, taken aback by his silly question. “I’ve seen Armie give ex-boyfriends suits, trips to Europe, watches worth thousands,” he said. “He’s used to getting art and exclusive tickets to concerts and basketball games. Maybe get flown out for dinner to New York,” Rhys said with a shrug.  

“Yeah,” I said. “It really bothers you that he genuinely likes me, doesn’t it?” I asked Rhys. “You can’t wrap your head around it. You wonder what I have that you don’t and you just can’t deal with it.”

“You know nothing about him,” Rhys said. 

“Oh I do,” I said. “I know quite a bit. You talk about him as if he just saw me and was attracted and wanted to fuck me and so here we are,” I said looking into his eyes. “But you and I both know Armie isn’t that type of man. He doesn’t just pick up random people like that and it bothers you that it’s not you.”

Rhys turned red and I crossed my arms. I could tell Armie wasn’t the kind to randomly hook up and I knew that’s what bothered Rhys the most. He knew nothing about me yet he had already decided I was not worthy. His eyes bore into me and his cheeks were red. He opened his mouth as if to say something but didn’t get a chance. 

The front door clicked and Rhys and I looked towards it and Armie stepped in. The moment he saw us he froze and then he furrowed his brow slightly. “Hey Rhys,” he said. He sounded friendly but his eyes were going back and forth between Rhys and I. I was still standing there with my arms crossed. Rhys was still a bit red in the face from the anger I knew he was feeling. “What’s going on guys?” Armie said walking towards us. 

“Timothée told me you would be a couple of hours,” Rhys said. 

“Yes that’s what I told him because that’s what I thought would be true,” Armie said. He reached us and put his arm around my waist. I uncrossed my arms so I could slide one around him. We kissed and I leaned into him. It was then that I felt how hard my heart was beating. I hadn’t been aware of it during my exchange with Rhys. 

“It went well though?” I asked, trying to keep my voice steady and calm. 

“Oh yeah,” Armie said to me with a smile. “Turns out the painting he wanted is something I have possession of already,” Armie said. He turned back to Rhys. “So either one of you gonna tell me what I just walked into?” He asked. 

“Rhys was asking me what I was gonna give you for Christmas,” I said. 

“All I want is you and your time,” Armie said sweetly. I couldn’t help but grin at this. I looked at Rhys. 

“I feel I’m imposing. I’ll leave you and your boyfriend to have a pleasant evening together,” Rhys said. 

“So you just randomly dropped by?” Armie asked. 

“Well, no, I was going to tell you, I won’t be by till Tuesday with what you bought at the auction,” Rhys said. “I have something to do tomorrow.” 

“Well I could pick my things up,” Armie said. “You offered to bring me the items and I said yes, but I can pick up our items for us. You can come by Tuesday to pick it up if you wish.”

“Yeah that’s fine,” he said and gave me a sideway glance. I knew he was wondering if I would be here Tuesday. “Have a good evening,” he said and turned to go. I was expecting Armie to walk after him but he didn’t. We watched Rhys walk out the door. 

Armie turned to me. “What did he say to you? You both looked tense.”

I shrugged. “He doesn’t like me is all,” I said. “You can fill in the blanks.” 

“Oh I’m sorry,” Armie said wrapping his arms around me. 

“No, it’s ok. Really. Tell me about your incredibly quick meeting,” I said. 

“Yeah he wants a painting I own. I told him I didn’t mind selling it. I have it at another home,” he said. “So I’ll have it flown over and give it to him as soon as I can.”

“Great,” I said smiling up at him. I wondered how many homes he had. I didn’t ask. I was sure eventually I would find out. 

 


 

Armie and I were having dinner outside. We were sitting pool side and chatting contently. 

“So you’re sure Rhys wasn’t rude to you?” He asked after a comfortable silence. 

I shrugged. “He doesn’t like me. But I’m not trying to impress him,” I said. 

“Does that mean you’re trying to impress me?” He asked with his perfect smile. 

“Maybe,” I said shrugging and leaning back in my chair. 

He laughed softly. “You have impressed me more than anyone ever has,” he said. I glanced over at him. I felt myself rolling my bottom lip between my teeth which is something I did when I was nervous. Armie made me nervous. I liked that though. 

“How?” I asked softly. 

“You have such depth,” Armie said. “I feel like no topic of conversation is off topic. Even if I bring up something that you know nothing about, you will ask me and question me until you learn about it, until you know enough so that the next time I bring it up, you’ll know. You’ll remember. I feel everything I say is important and that’s so intoxicating. So amazing. And it’s so sexy. Intellectually, it’s such a turn on. Then, well, looking like you do,” he said. “I’m just in awe.” 

I grinned his way and felt my cheeks warm up. “Well you amaze me just as much,” I said quietly. “I’ve never wanted to get to know someone so much, I just want to know everything about you.”

He held up his glass of wine. “To us.”  

I laughed and clinked it. “To us,” I repeated.  

We drank some wine and sat in silence. “You’re staying tonight,” he said, he wasn’t asking. 

“Yes,” I said. 

“And the rest of the week?” He asked. 

I took a breath in. “I’m gonna go home after school tomorrow,” I said. “Back to my apartment.” 

He nodded as he looked up at the sky. “Ok, I understand,” he said, but the tone in his voice didn’t quite sound like he did. 

I looked over at him and gave him a half smile. “I love being here,” I told him. “You know that.”

“I do,” said Armie. 

“I just need to get back to... my normal life,” I said looking over at him. 

“Will you come over next weekend?” Armie asked. 

I grinned. “Yeah, I mean if you’re not busy, I’d like to.”

He nodded. “Ok.” We both looked up at the orange sky and the setting sun. “Well, right now you’re still here and the night has just begun,” he said looking at me.  

The way his voice sounded and the way he looked at me gave me goosebumps. I loved it. “Exactly,” I said. “We have all night.”

Chapter Text

After we had finished eating, Timothée and I made our way inside. We walked into my library and talked books for a moment. He pulled out a book of poetry and sat on one of the loveseats. I turned my fireplace on. 

“Are you cold?” He asked me surprised. 

“No,” I said. “I just want to see the reflection of the fire against your skin.” He looked my way and smiled. When did I start to even say things like this? I didn’t even remember feeling comfortable enough to voice such deep and personal thoughts. “I wish you could just stay,” I said. 

Timothée looked my way. “I... “ he let out a breath. “It’s not that I don’t want to,” he said. “But -“

“No,” I said shaking my head. I let out a laugh. I felt incredibly ridiculous. “No, I’m sorry. I’m being pushy and it’s not right. You don’t have to explain. We’ve just met and I’m practically keeping you prisoner here -“

“Armie you’re hardly keeping me prisoner, I love being here. I’m having such an amazing time,” Timothée said. 

I nodded. “Well good I’m glad,” I told him. I shook my head. I didn’t want to act like this. I just wanted to enjoy him being here. We talked books and poetry and then the talk turned to movies. In the back of my mind I was utterly surprised at how deeply I felt for Timothée. It was good and exciting, but it blew me away how just the thought of him not being in my bed at night made me feel... empty. 

Was this healthy? Was I going insane? 

If he noticed my shift in mood he didn’t act like it and after a while I also stopped thinking about it and focused on nothing but his company. We walked to the kitchen and shared some cheesecake. He was sitting on the counter and I fed him a bite and then would take one myself. We would also kiss. Eventually the cheesecake finished and we kissed more. Deeper. 

We made our way upstairs and undressed. We were both gentle and delicate. We made love for a long while. First me, then him, then I went again, but in the end he was on top and even though I was inside him, with him on top, it always felt like he was the one in charge. We went long into the night. Finally, when we couldn’t any more we fell into a deep sleep. 

 


 

The following morning, Phoenix arrived. I got up while Timothée was still asleep. I made a few calls and answered some emails. I told Phoenix bacon and eggs would be ok and went back up to my bedroom. Timothée was on his stomach, his preferred sleeping position and I went and ran my hand up and down his back, to feel him and to wake him. 

I wanted to do this every morning, I thought and shook my head again at my insane thoughts. Timothée and I had only just met. How could I be feeling so deeply so fast? He awoke and after he had showered and dressed we went downstairs. We ate and had pleasant conversation. We then returned upstairs and I watched as he gathered his clothes. Was he not going to leave a single item behind? As if this past weekend just didn’t happen? 

I swallowed and realized this was truly the first time I had wanted someone to stay and they were leaving. But this was like nothing else before, no past relationships seemed to matter. He was truly though, the first person I had told to stay and they had said no, I have a life to go back to. I wasn’t sure how to feel about that. I had never had asked anyone to stay more than one night either.

“I’ll leave the toothbrush,” he said coming back from the bathroom.

“Yeah,” I said. 

“And I mean the sleeping and lounge clothes you bought me,” he said. 

“Well, you’ll be using them this weekend,” I said. 

He grinned. “Yeah for those five minutes while we brush our teeth and walk back into your room.”

I laughed. He came and sat on the edge of the bed. I was leaning back against the headboard. “Is it crazy I don’t want you to go?” I asked. 

“In my opinion no but I may be biased about what your feelings for me should be,” he said with a sweet smile. 

“And in your opinion what exactly should they be?” I asked. 

He blushed slightly. “The same as mine,” he replied. 

“Which are?”

He took hold of my hand and seem to ponder a moment. He opened his mouth but closed it again. 

“Just say it,” I said. “It can’t be any more insane than what I’m thinking and feeling.”

He looked at me in surprise. We sat there for a while and then I thought I should quit acting like such a baby. I sat up, putting my forearms on my knees. He smiled and leaned in and kissed me. Of course that eased all the unhappiness I was feeling at the thought of him not being here tonight. We kissed for a while more and we drew closer as we did.

“If we don’t stop, you’re going to be late for class,” I said pulling back slightly. 

He nodded and breathed out. “I’ll text you later,” he said. 

“You do that,” I said leaning back on my headboard. He got up and got his back pack and his bag he had brought and saw I made no motion of moving. I didn’t want to see him walk out my door. It would be easier to see him exit my room and pretend he was elsewhere in the house. 

He nodded walked to me again and kissed me. He walked out silently. I closed my eyes and forced myself to not try to listen for the front door opening and closing or the distant sound of his car cranking. And although I knew it was impossible to hear, I tried to make sure I wouldn’t hear my gate opening and closing again which would mean he was truly gone. 

But he wasn’t gone gone. He just had things to do. Back to his normal life, as he had said. His normal life. This was my normal life. Was my normal life not normal enough for him? I let out a sigh and kept my eyes closed. I didn’t want to feel anything for just a while. 

 


 

My phone rang. “Hey big brother. Mimi wants us over for lunch Wednesday.”

“Ok,” I replied. 

“What’s wrong?” Victoria asked. 

“Timothée went home,” I said. 

A pause. “As in never to come back...?”

“No. We’re planning to have this weekend together.”

Another pause. A sigh. “So he’s just gone back to his place for the week. To go to school and work and spend sometime with his friends who he’s known more than a week?”

“Why do you have to say it like that?” I asked rolling my eyes. 

“You mean say it like it is?” Victoria asked. 

“Shut up. I’ll see you Wednesday at noon,” I said. 

“Ok. Bye,” she said. I could tell she was smiling. 

“Brat,” I said and hung up. 

I closed my eyes again. 

 


 

“Armie.”

“Armie!” It was Phoenix. 

“Hmmm.”

“I made you some lunch which you didn’t eat. I made Timothée take some though. I also made you dinner and now you better eat it. If you don’t, I won’t make you any cheese cake for months!” 

“Why are you so cruel to me?” I asked without opening my eyes. 

“Timothée told me he would see me next weekend so why are you acting like a baby?”

I turned my face towards her. “I already heard it from Victoria. Let me wallow in pity!”

“Oh Jesus Christ, man! Get your butt up and downstairs and have some dinner! My son is just as tall as you, so don’t think I won’t walk over there and get you up by the ear!”

I sat up and grabbed my phone. “I’m not hungry,” I said. 

“You’re 6’5 and eat like a horse. You are hungry. Let’s go.”

I huffed and got up and followed Phoenix downstairs. 

 


 

I had of course, eaten, two platefuls of what Phoenix had made because I hadn’t eaten since breakfast this morning. She was happy and gave me a slice of a cheesecake with some mango which was so good. She hugged me and left and told me she would see me tomorrow. 

I answered more emails and made some appointments for the next few days. I didn’t want to make any appointments on Friday since Timothée would have no work or school but I had no choice and had to make an appointment Friday mid morning. It was fine. It shouldn’t be more than an hour anyway. It would be a new client, so it would be a meet and greet at a French place nearby. 

My phone rang. I grinned. “Hey,” I said letting out a long sigh. 

“Hay is for horses,” Timothée said. We both laughed. It was silly. 

“How was school?”

“Ok,” he said. 

“How was work?”

“Typical.”

“How’s normal life?”

“Uneventful as always,” he said. 

“It’s never uneventful at my house,” I said grinning. I couldn’t help it. 

I heard Timothée laugh which made me smile. “Oh believe me. My body remembers.”

“You are made of memories,” I said softly. 

He paused. “I am made of memories,” he echoed. I heard him take a deep breath in and out. “I’ve never had anyone quote me anything,” he said. I sat still. “Then I meet you and you’re handsome and so amazing and everything about you is perfect and you quote the book that, to me, shows the epitome of real love.”

I felt my heart pound. His words sunk in deep. “Well, you’re the only person I’ve ever quoted anything to... Only you inspire me to do so,” I said. 

We chatted for a long while, until he told me he had to go and do some homework. We said good night with plans for him to call me again when he was home tomorrow.

I finished up with my emails and sent a few myself and then walked to my bedroom. I was getting ready for bed then I got a text from Rhys asking me what time he should show up tomorrow. I told him to come for lunch. I then went to bed and texted Timothée good night. He replied back quickly telling me sweet dreams. 

I laid on my back, my bed feeling large without him. I tried to push those thoughts aside. I closed my eyes and soon enough drifted off to sleep. My last thoughts were of Timothée. 

Chapter Text

I awoke Tuesday morning and got dressed and drove to the auction house in Beverly Hills to collect what Rhys and I had bought. Once everything was in the back of my car I drove home. Phoenix had been busy cooking. I told her Rhys was coming over for lunch and so she was going all out. She always wanted to impress Rhys, she loved his shows. 

I walked in and it took me a few trips to get the art and the vase into my home. I left it in the living room. I looked at the time. It was 11:45 am. Rhys was always punctual, so he would be here in 15 minutes. 

I went upstairs and changed into some jeans and a tee shirt. My feet were bare. It was a habit I always had. My mother hated it but now that I was in my own home it’s something I did all the time. 

It was almost twelve when I heard Rhys at the front door. I looked towards it and watched him walk in. He looked around. I knew he was looking to see if he saw Timothée. 

I rolled my eyes. “He isn’t here,” I said. 

He glanced my way. “Oh? What happened?” He asked. 

I furrowed my brow. “He went home for the week. He’ll be back on the weekend.”

“Hmm,” Rhys said. 

I stared at Rhys. “How could you dislike Timothée so much? You don’t even know him!”

Rhys sighed. “I didn’t come to argue.”

“I’m not arguing,” I said. “I’m merely asking a simple question.”

Rhys gave me a look. “But you won’t hear the truth when it comes to that boy, so it will turn into an argument.”

“You think you know him better than me?” I asked, angry anyway.

“I don’t need to know him, I know his type, I see it all the time.”

“His type?”

“You don’t see he would be a blemish on your reputation? You’ve work so hard to become such a well respected man and you would throw it all away by dating a boy ten years your junior who would only dump you once he’s gotten whatever it is he wants from you?”

I looked at Rhys a moment. “At no time did it ever occur to you that Timothée could just like me? That I could just like him? That we like each other and something is growing between us that makes us both happy?”

Rhys stayed silent. “I ran into Justin yesterday. He asked me about you.”

I sighed and nodded. “That’s nice. Justin knows how to get in touch with me if he wants to know how I am.”

“Maybe you two should go out for lunch or something,” Rhys said. 

“Oh are you playing match maker now?” I asked as we walked through my living room and library. “Phoenix is going to be happy to see you,” I said glancing back at Rhys. 

He smiled. “And I her,” he said. 

 


 

Lunch had been pleasant. Rhys was finally his normal self and Timothée wasn’t mentioned at all. He was funny and charming and he and Phoenix chatted as they always did. As wonderful as it was... I couldn’t get Timothée out of my mind. The brightest, shiniest things just seemed a little dull without Timothée beside me. 

After we had eaten, we all talked a good while and I started wondering what time Timothée would call me tonight. I was lost in thought when my phone rang. It was my contact from Paris. 

“Excuse me,” I said to Rhys and Phoenix and walked to the library. 

“Hammer,” I said. 

“Ah, bonsoir Mr. Hammer,” came the voice through my phone. “I hope you’re well?”

“I’m fine, Gerard, how are you?” I asked. I was already annoyed. I knew a phone call meant something was not going according to plan. 

“Ah, well,” came the heavily accented voice. “Not so good Mr. Hammer.”

“What’s wrong?” I asked. 

“It seems the owner of the Cabanel wants more money,” he said with a sigh. 

“More money?” I asked. “We’re offering him a good price already!” 

“Oui, mais... I am calling you to let you know what he said. He wishes to talk about the price with you.”

I nodded. It seemed a trip to Paris was in my near future. “That’s fine,” I said. “Let him know I’ll be in Paris within three weeks,” I said. 

“D’accord Mr. Hammer. Good bye.”

“Good bye,” I said and hung up. I let out a sigh. 

I looked through my contacts and called Otis. 

“Hunt,” he answered. 

“Mr. Hunt. Good afternoon.”

“Ah, Mr. Hammer. Pleasure to hear from you! Have you already acquired my Cabanel?”

I chucked. “Almost. I just wanted to let you know that I’ll be in Paris in the next few weeks to finalize the deal. I’ll be coming home with your Cabanel.”

“That’s music to my ears,” Otis said. “I would have been happy if I had had the Cabanel by Valentine’s day,” Otis said. “But it looks like it’ll be mine before February!”

“It seems like it, yes,” I said with a smile. “Happy?”

“Extremely,” Otis said. “Your reputation precedes you and I’m happy to say all they say about you is true.”

“I appreciate that Mr. Hunt,” I said. “Have a wonderful rest of your day.”

“Likewise, Mr. Hammer.”

We hung up. I had one more phone call to make. I went through my contacts. I dialed a number. 

“Armie! Hey! What’s happening!”

I smiled. “Hey, Nick. I’m great how are you?” 

“Good. I was actually planning to call you today. I spoke to my friend, the one that wants the Bouguereau, I told him I contacted you and he was wondering if you wouldn’t mind calling him to let him know how things are going.”

I chuckled. “I was calling to see if your friend would be willing to talk to me one on one about this,” I said. 

“Ha! Great minds! Ok, I’ll text you his number!”

I hang up and return to the dining room with Phoenix and Rhys. My phone chimed after a while and I went and saved the number under Bouguereau Client. I’d give him a call tomorrow. I was relaxed for the time being and started wondering when I would leave for Paris and how long I would have to stay. 

 


 

I was laying in bed. I had tried to read but my thoughts were running around in circles. Timothée. Bouguereau. Paris. Cabanel. Timothée. I sighed. It was no use to try to read. I had soft classical music playing from the Bluetooth speaker by my bed. It was almost 10 pm. I was... uneasy. My phone rang. I jumped up and grabbed and and looked at who was calling. I let out a sigh. FINALLY. 

“Hello?” I answered. 

“Hey,” came Timothée’s voice. Everything melted away. 

“Hey. How are you?”

“Ah... ok. I was on my way home and there was a girl with a blown tire on the side of the road. And so I stopped and helped her and...” he let out a long breath. 

“Are you home? Are you alright? Do you need me to go get you? Get something?” I felt concerned. 

Timothée chuckled. “I am finally home yes. I’m ok. Thank you. It just all took longer than I thought it would and they towed her car somewhere and then I drove her home and she insisted on buying me food so, it just all took a lot longer than I imagined. But I’m finally home.”

I sat still. “Huh,” I said. “You’re just a knight in shining armor saving the day, aren’t you?” I said. 

Silence. “No. I’m just me.”

I nodded. “So she took you out to eat? Like I did. After you found my wallet to say thank you.” I heard the edge in my voice. I hated it. I couldn’t help it. 

Another pause. “We went to Carl’s Jr. We went through the drive through. I took her home. Then I came home. I haven’t even eaten. I walked through the door and I called you. I still have my back pack and hoodie on.”

I closed my eyes and felt... I shook my head. “Ok. I’m glad you’re finally home,” I said. 

“How was your day?” He asked. 

“Fine,” I said. “I got the stuff from the auction earlier.” 

“Rhys came and got his stuff?” 

“Yeah,” I said. “I’m probably going to have to go to Paris in the next few weeks,” I said. “The client selling the Cabanel wants more money and my contacts don’t handle financial negotiations,” I said. The thought of the girl and him was still in the back of my mind. I wondered what she looked like. 

“Your contacts?” He asked. 

“Art is all over the world and there is only one me. Sometimes even though I have the deals made they take weeks to process so I have contacts I work with. They will hand over the money or whatever else is needed and collect the Art for me and ship it to me. They’re like assistants but they’re always local. Most arts dealers have them.”

“Wow,” Timothée said chuckling softly. “That sounds like an awesome job.”

“It has its appeals,” I said. “And it’s so helpful. It saves me from traveling more than I have to,” I said. I knew I sounded as uneasy as I felt and I knew he heard it. 

“So, two more days and then I can go see you. If you’d like,” Timothée said, soft and happy as if trying to make me feel better. 

“Two more days?” I asked. “Does they mean you’ll come on Thursday night?” I asked. 

“If you’d like me to, I can,” he said. 

I furrowed my brow. “What would you like?” I asked. “You know that if it was up to me you would be here now.” That same edge from earlier was still audible. 

“So are you mad because I said I wanted to come home for the week or are you mad because I did a favor for someone, just like I did a favor for you and now you’re wondering if what happened between us is going to happen with me and her?”

I sat still. He was right. I was angry. As childish as it was I couldn’t control how I was feeling and at that moment. “I’m fine,” I said. It was all I could think of saying. 

“You’re a horrible liar,” he said. 

“I don’t pride myself on being a good liar and I want to keep it that way,” I said. I let out a breath. “I’m sorry. I was waiting for your call all day. I would have texted when I noticed it was getting late but I didn’t want to bother you,” I said speaking the truth. 

“I know. I’m sorry. I honestly called you as soon as I stepped inside. I swear. I mean it I didn’t even take my hoodie or back pack off.”

I nodded. I felt... I pushed the thoughts away. “I do wish you were here,” I said. 

“Want me to come over?” He asked me. 

I was stunned. “It’s late,” I said. 

“I know,” he said softly. “But I can tell you’re not happy and -“

“And you don’t need to be the one getting out when you have another full day tomorrow,” I said as I got up and walked to my closet. “I’ll be there in 30.”

 


 

I parked in Timothée’s apartment building and got out. I had grabbed some jeans and a black sweater and my keys and had driven as fast as I could. I walked into his building and jogged up the stairs, taking them two at a time. I heard the door open before I even reached it and he stepped out. He had a tee shirt and jogging pants. His smile... 

I grabbed him round the waist and carried him inside. I shut the door and pushed him against it as I kissed him. Hard. I felt as if my chest could explode. 

“You drive me crazy,” I said as I kissed down his neck. I bit it. I loved how he moaned. It was breathless and soft. He felt so good against me. 

“My room,” he whispered. 

“Right,” I said. I looked down at him, still against the door. His lips were so beautiful. I caressed his face. 

“Hey, who’s -“ I turned around and saw Aiden coming out of his room. He looked half asleep. “Oh. Armie. Ok. Bye.” He turned and went back to his room. 

I heard Timothée chuckle and he grabbed my hand and led me through his apartment. I saw the Carl’s Jr. bag on the small kitchen counter. “Did you eat?” I asked softly. 

He turned and looked at me and glanced at the bag. “I’m hungry for other things,” he said. 

The way my heart skipped a beat was something I had never felt before. We walked into his room and I saw the small twin size bed. “I’ll be right back,” he said and walked out. I looked around his room. His clothes, scattered books on the small desk with his laptop on top. Random pictures. He had movie posters on his wall. He came back in and saw he had a package of condoms and lube. 

He threw them on the bed and he quickly slipped off his shirt and slipped his jogging pants and boxers off. He quickly pulled off my clothes. He pushed me to his bed and he climbed on top of me. Timothée was smaller than I. All men I had dated were, at 6’5 none had been taller than me but none had commanded me in bed the way Timothée did. 

We kissed hungrily. I was hard already and I panted as he stroked me. “Lean back,” he told me. I scooted back and leaned against the small headboard and wall. Just like he had last Sunday, he rolled the condom on me and then rubbed lube on it. It was so sexy. I was so turned on. 

He climbed on me, I lined up our bodies and slid me inside. I loved this. I loved how I was in him but he was in charge. He began to ride me. I groaned and he put his soft hand on top of my mouth. It was hot. “Shh,” He said. We began to fuck. I grabbed his hips and watched as his lithe body worked it’s magic on me. It was hypnotic, the way he rose and fell on me, the hungry way in which he used his hips, his legs, everything. He uncovered my mouth and placed his lips on mine. I then went for his neck. I sucked and bit and made an effort to stay quiet. It was feverish, the way our bodies reacted to one another. 

I pulled him close and held him tight and pushed up into him and exploded in him, burying my face in his neck as I came. He came as well. We sat there, panting. We were sweaty and our bodies quivered as the orgasm sent gentle waves of pleasure through our bodies. 

“In stories,” I whispers softly, once I caught my breath. “The gods have the power to delay the moon’s course if they wish, to spin a single night the length of many.”

Timothée’s body shook gently as he laughed. “Indeed. That’s what The Song Of Achilles said.” He sat up. I gasped at the shift of his body, I was still inside of him. He looked into my eyes and caressed my face. “We drank deeply, thirsty for all that we had missed in the weeks we were separated,” he quoted from the book.

I grinned. “I don’t want to imagine weeks,” I said. “Look how crazy I am over 2 days.”

Timothée smiled. He leaned in and kissed me. “You’re here now,” he said. “Stay.” I nodded and kissed him gently. I was glad he said this. I didn’t think I could tear myself away. 

Chapter Text

Armie  

 

Timothée’s twin size bed had been a bit of a challenge to sleep in. Timothée laughed at how I had to bend my legs so my feet wouldn’t be hanging off the bottom. After a lot of maneuvering we found a position, which was me spooning Timothée, our bodies practically squished together, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t love it. Once we got comfortable we fell sleep right away. 

We were woken up the following morning by Aiden singing in the shower. I was about to stretch when I remembered I couldn’t. Timothée stirred and he stretched just fine. He was right up against me. He felt and smelled great. 

“Remind me to get a twin size bed for my home,” I said. 

Timothée laughed and kissed my neck. “Are you kidding me? Your cal king bed is awesome.”

“No, no, because then you lay on the side on your stomach. You’re not right here,” I said said as I nuzzled his hair and ran my hands up and down his body. Timothée chuckled. Aiden was still belting out a tune. “God, he’s awful!” I said. Timothée laughed as he checked the time on his phone.  

“Who you telling,” Timothée said cuddling up to me. “We don’t have to be up for another 40 minutes,” he said and I pulled him close and kissed him more. 

 


 

Once Timothée finally got up to shower, I stood up and stretched. We dressed and stepped out of his room. Aiden was walking around putting things in his back pack.  

“Morning Armie!” He said cheerfully. 

“Morning, Aiden,” I answered. 

“There’s a pack of pop tats in the box if you’re hungry,” he said. “They’re blueberry, FYI, Timothée is a weirdo and only eats strawberry,” he said. 

“All other flavors are gross!” Timothée said from the kitchen. He was getting a bowl of Captain Crunch cereal.  

“Whatever,” Aiden said. He pulled on a hoodie and put on his back pack and grabbed the Carl’s Jr. bag. “So since you didn’t eat it.” 

“Take it,” Timothée said as he walked to the living room and sat on the sofa and started eating his cereal. 

“Bye!” Aiden called out. “Good seeing you Armie!”

“Good seeing you, Aiden,” I said. I walked to the kitchen and saw the pop tarts. I opened the package up and looked at them.  

“You put them in the toaster,” Timothée said. 

“Oh,” I said and did so. 

“So, you never had Taco Bell and you’ve never had pop tarts?” He asked. 

“We’ve always had cooks,” I said. “When we ate out it was at sit down restaurants.”

Timothée nodded slowly. He got up and walked over to the kitchen. He drank the milk from his bowl and then reached across the small kitchen island and put his bowl in the sink. The pop tarts pop. 

I took one out and burnt my finger. “Oh shit!” I said dropping it on the kitchen counter. Timothée laughed and walked to me and handed me a small plate. He placed them on the plate for me. The kitchen was small and I put my arm around his waist. I took a bite and he raised his eyebrows and grinned. “I’m sure the first ingredient is sugar,” I said. 

Timothée laughed. “I’m sure it is,” he said. “You don’t have to eat it, Armie.”

I nodded and swallowed and threw them away. “I’m sorry. I wasted his last pack. Let Aiden know I’ll send him the biggest pack of pop tarts at the store. I’ll get Phoenix on it.” 

Timothée laughed and kissed me again. 

 


 

We had finally left and I hugged and kissed Timothée a final time and I went home and showered and changed. I headed to Mimi’s for lunch.  

Mimi and her husband had been great family friends forever. They were almost like a third set of grandparents. Lunch was relaxing and wonderful. Victoria and I hugged and kissed them goodbye and walked out to our cars. 

“Come on, let’s go get a coffee or something, and talk,” Victoria said to me. 

“Sure, lead the way,” I said. 

I followed her to a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and then parked beside her. Once we had gotten our drinks we settled in one of the love seats available. 

“So? Still suffering from Timothée withdrawal?” She asked me with a smile.  

“No,” I said. “I spent the night at his place last night.”

Victoria laughed. “Wow.” She said. “So you lasted two whole days?”

“Yeah, something like that,” I said.  

She shook her head. “If he needs space, Armie,” she said softly. “You need to give it to him.”

I turned to face her. “Space?”

“Yeah, space,” she said. 

I shook my head. “I don’t... like what does that mean? When I like someone I want them with me and spend time with them.”

“Yeah, of course, but people are different and sometimes people need to live their own lives, you know? Not everything in his life has to be about you and vice verse and it isn’t because you guys just met!”

“I know,” I said. Furrowing my brow at her. “What are you saying Victoria?” 

She took a breath in. “Your life and his life are very different,” she said slowly. “Just be conscious of that and don’t take it personally if he needs to take it slow when you just want to go full steam ahead because you like him so much.”

I looked into her eyes and nodded. “Ok,” I said. 

“Promise?” She asked. 

“Promise,” I replied. 

 


 

We left the cafe and I drove home. Once home I called the Bouguereau client. They didn’t answer so I left a message. 

“Hi, this is Armie Hammer and our mutual friend Nick gave me your number. I’ve been working on acquiring the Bouguereau for you and I should have it by the end of January. You can text or give me a call at your earliest convenience and maybe we can meet up soon. Have a good afternoon.”

I hung up and walked up to my office to reply to the emails that were waiting for me. 

 


 

Timothée  

 

I pulled into a parking space at school. I got my bag out and started making my way to my lecture. 

“Timothée!” I heard behind me. I turned to see Breanna, the girl I had helped with the blown tire the night before. 

“Hey,” I said smiling. “How are you?”

“Good,” she said nodding. “Listen I want to thank you again -“

“Breana,” I said. 

“Call me Bree,” she said with a smile. 

She had a pretty oval face and thick dark brown hair. It was full and curled slightly at the ends. Her brown eyes were so friendly. I had seen her around but had never talked to her until last night. She was on the side of the road crying and on her cell phone. I stopped and asked how I could help. She said her front tire had blown out and she was lucky her car had swerved to the right. 

“I could have died,” she had said with wide eyed realization. I had called AAA for her and her car was towed. We made it to a Firestone just before closing. Her car would be there overnight. 

“Please, let me buy you dinner,” she said. I said no need. I offered to drive her home. She said if we could pass a Carl’s Jr. drive through and of course I had said yes and then she had ordered me food. Once we reached her apartment, I walked her to her front door. We had hugged and she had cried a moment. “Thank you,” she had said softly. “You’re a guardian angel.”

I blushed when she said that. I was just me. But I held her and let her cry because I’m sure it was finally sinking in what had just happened. Once she was calm, she had finally let go and I had driven home. I had almost called Armie on the way home but I was so tired and was already having a hard time concentrating on the road. It had been a crazy evening. 

Then Armie had come. The moment I had seen him I had felt how much I needed him and the sex had been phenomenal. We had both needed it. 

“Ok, Bree,” I said as I turned and started making my way to my next lecture. 

“I got my car back,” she said. 

“Oh good,” I told her. This made me happy. 

“Thank you again,” she said. 

“Don’t mention it,” I said smiling at her.

She gave me a small wave and then walked away from me. I watched after her until she disappeared. I took a deep breath in and out and made my way to the lecture hall. 

Chapter Text

Bree and I somehow seemed to bump more into each other over the next couple of days. On Thursday I saw her as I walked out of my lecture mid morning. I had a couple of hours before my next class. “Hey,” I said. 

“Hey,” she answered and waved.

“What you up to?” I asked. 

“Nothing. I got like an hour and a half to kill before I have to go back,” she said. 

“I got just as much time. More,” I said. I sighed and looked around. “Wanna go grab a coffee or something?”

“Yeah, totally,” she said with a friendly smile.

We started walking towards the Starbucks on campus. “It’s funny,” I said. “I’d seen you but never knew you.”

“Yeah I know,” she said giggling. “So what are you studying?”

“English literature,” I said. “You?”

“Biochemical engineering,” she said. 

“Oh, excuse me,” I said raising my eye brows. She laughed. She had a really honest laugh. Like her whole body laughed. I liked it. I grinned. “So are you from LA?” I asked. 

“No,” she said. “No not from these areas. You?”

“I’m from New York,” I said. 

“Oh I was there last year,” she said. “I have an uncle there and my mom and dad came to see me and we went for a visit.”

“Oh that’s cool,” I said. “Are they coming to see you for Christmas this year? Or you go see them?” I asked. 

“No,” she said. “No they couldn’t make it and I don’t have enough money for a plane ticket home,” she said shrugging. 

“Oh, I’m sorry,” I said. 

“That’s alright,” she said putting her hand on my arm. “You’re sweet.”

I laughed and shook my head. “I’m just me,” I said. 

“Well that makes it even sweeter,” she replied. 

We reached Starbucks and we went and ordered our drinks and a chicken caprice sandwich for each of us. We sat down and ate and talked. Bree was funny and smart and just had interesting little nuggets of information about just about everything. I enjoyed that. 

“So what will you be doing these holiday?” She asked me. “Going to see your parents in New York?”

“Oh, well we moved from New York to LA when I was in third grade,” I told Bree. “The rest of our family is there though so we do go for a week or ten days to New York to be with the rest of the family.”

“Oh ok,” she said. 

“So you’re gonna be spending the holidays on your own?” I asked Bree. 

“Yeah it’ll be ok,” she said and gave me a cheerful smiled. I nodded. 

We kept talking for our remainder of lunch. Time flew by. It was then time to go back to class. 

“Well, it was super nice having lunch with you,” Bree said. 

“Likewise,” I said. “Have a good rest of your day.”

“You too. Bye!” She said and waved as she turned and walked away. 

 


 

After school I went home and packed a bag. Aiden wasn’t home so I called him. 

“Hey man,” he said. 

“Hey, Aiden,” I replied. “Listen I’m going to Armie’s, I’ll be back Monday after school.”

“Already then,” Aiden said. “Be safe. Have a good time.”

“Thanks dad,” I said rolling my eyes. I picked up my duffle bag and walked out of my apartment. 

 


 

Armie’s gate slid open and I drove in. I felt my lips turn up into a smile as I drove in and parked beside his SUV. I shut my car off and reached for my duffle bag in the back seat. I exited my car and locked it. I had the key ready in my hand but I didn’t need it. He opened his door before I got there. 

I grinned and I threw my arms around his neck the moment I could. I pulled him to me and we kissed. I dropped my duffle bag and kicked it inside. He shut the door. And pushed me against the wall of his entrance hallway. I moan as he kissed down my neck. 

“Phoenix,” I said. 

“Sent her home early,” he said as we moved down the hallway and into his living room. We kept grabbing and kissing. “Right here,” he breathed. 

“Right here?” I asked 

“Yes,” He said. I slipped off my shirt and reached for his, pulling it off easily. I looked down and saw he had condoms and lube on the coffee table. 

“Oh, you were prepared,” I said as he turned me around and pulled me to him, my back to his chest. His large warm palms all over me. I loved how even the way his hands touched me felt hungry. I reached back and wrapped my arm around his neck as he quickly undid his jeans and unzipped them. I moaned as he bit the bottom of my neck. I undid my jeans and moaned as he reached down and stroked me. 

I was so turned on. It was almost unreal what he made me feel. His hands were again all over me and I felt his erection rub against me. We finally were completely undressed and he walked past me and sat on the couch, his hips close to the edge. I knew what he wanted. 

I grabbed a condom and the lube. I knelt on the edge of the couch. He ran his hands up the sides of my thighs and I loved how he looked up my body and the slight smile on his lips. I placed my palms on the back of the couch and leaned forward. My cock rubbed on his chest and we both chuckled. 

He leaned down and took me in his mouth, grabbing my hips. I straightened up and bit my bottom lip, breathing heavy as I watched him suck me. It was so good to see. I grabbed his hair. I felt my thighs quiver as he rolled his tongue around me. “Ah... fuck! Armie!” I said. 

He tugged on me as he slid me out of his mouth and fell back onto the couch. He was panting. His lips were red and glistening and my cock was throbbing and dripping on his lower abdomen. 

“Ride me,” he commanded. 

I wasted no time in putting on the condom and slathering lube on him. I slid down on him. We both groaned. He grabbed my hips and I grabbed his shoulders. It felt... I had no words. I looked down at him as I rode him. He looked right into my eyes. It was fast and hot and relentless. I had never wanted to fuck someone so badly. The world melted away and it was just me and him and the couch. 

We didn’t look away. I saw the same intensity in his beautiful blue eyes as I felt in me. I knew he was feeling the same way I was feeling. I didn’t know how this was suddenly like this. I didn’t know how I went from not knowing he existed to meeting him to suddenly not wanting to ever be too far away. I reached up and put my right hand on the side of his face. I furrowed my brow. 

Where have you been all my life? I asked myself internally. I was only 22, what the fuck did I know? I didn’t. Hardly. But I knew enough to know that what Armie and I were feeling and experiencing wasn’t the norm. This wasn’t what happened when two random strangers caught each other’s eyes and enjoyed a few fucks and then moved on. No. I don’t even think people who were dating and maybe had dated a while felt what we were feeling now. 

I wished for Armie to slip under my skin and crawl into my chest and reside there. I wanted a part of him with me always. I slid my hand back down to his shoulder. I know when we fucked it has hot and heavy and hungry but there was a deepness to it. It was truly a physical representation of what we felt. Of the need, both physical and emotional that we both felt. It was selfish and needy and desperate. It needed to be satiated. As deeply as we needed to breath. 

We climaxed together. I held his face in my hands as we did. We looked into each other’s eyes, even then. We made sure not to close our eyes and lose eye contact. I literally felt I had fucked his body and his soul. I knew he had fucked mine. The way his blue eyes looked at me, I knew he felt the same.  

We stayed still, panting, basking in our post orgasmic bliss. 

“Fuck,” he finally said softly. 

I lowered my hands and nodded. I collapsed on him. I rested my forehead on his. Then we were kissing. Long, deep kisses. He kissed until he softened and slid out. I gasped as he did. 

“Wish I had a shower downstairs,” he said. We laughed. I laid on him, my semen was sticky between us but I didn’t care and it seemed neither did he.  

“We should move before we stain your couch or something.” 

“I can buy another couch,” he said as he ran his hand up and down my back. We laughed again. We were giddy. I loved it. “Then I’ll move this couch to the bedroom and when it’s full of stains we can recount the way they came to be,” he said.  

We finally got up and walked upstairs naked and got into his shower. 

“Let’s go out,” he said as the shower head rained down on us.  

“Yeah,” I said grinning. “Where you wanna go?”

“Somewhere we can dance,” he said. 

“Yes!” I said grabbing his chin and kissing him.

He laughed. “You like to dance?”

“I love to dance,” I said. “And I’m really good at it.”

“Well then I’m in for a treat,” he said. We laughed and kissed under the water. 

Chapter Text


There was a new place in Hollywood I had heard of, Timothée had as well. We decided to go there. We got out of the shower and I wondered what I should wear. Timothée pulled on some jeans with a tear at the knee. A white shirt that said ‘America Too’ and some red adidas. He plopped down on my bed. I was still in my boxers briefs. 

“Take your time,” he said grinning. “I like the view.”

I grinned and didn’t think much about it. I pulled on some brown jeans and a navy blue button up shirt. I put on some white sneakers. 

“Let’s go,” I said. 

 


 

The place was crowded but at least they had valet parking. The music was loud and there were tons of people dancing. Timothée grabbed me and we went to dance right away. He wasn’t kidding. He was an amazing dancer. 

I forgot about the fact that I wasn’t that good a dancer and just focused on how his body moved up against mine. He felt great. We danced a while and finally tired a bit. 

“Let’s go get something to drink,” I said. 

We walked over to the bar. I saw Elio look around and then his face brightened up when he made eye contact with one girl working the bar. 

“Bree!” He said. “You work here?”

“Timothée! Hey! Yes, I do!” She said. 

I watched as she held her arms out and she reached over the bar and her and Timothée hugged. They chatted a moment more and then Timothée turned to me. 

“Armie, this is Bree. Bree this is Armie,” he said. 

“Hi Armie!” Bree said. I took a good look at her. She was beautiful. Gorgeous deep brown eyes, pretty face and long dark hair. She had a black lace top on, the black bra visible underneath. I was tall enough to see a bit more inside the bar and saw she had a leather mini skirt on. 

“Hi Bree,” I said smiling and shaking her hand. It felt really small in mine. She looked to be about Timothée’s age. “Are you guys in school together?” I asked before I could stop myself. 

“Yeah,” she said with her beautiful friendly smile. “Well, like we had seen each other here and there but truly he’s just an angel in disguise. Aren’t you?” She said affectionately stroking his cheek. I just stared. 

“Oh be right back!” She said and went to fill out some orders. 

I nodded slowly. “Oh so that’s who you rescued?” I asked. 

“Yeah,” Timothée said nodding. “She was on the side of the road, panicking and crying. What was I supposed to do?” He asked me. 

“What you did. You couldn’t have done anything else,” I said. I knew this. It was just who he was. The best out of all of us. Aristos Achaion. 

Bree returned and asked us what we were drinking. Part of me wanted to grab Timothée and stick my tongue down his throat. The other part of me wanted to leave and let them have time to themselves. 

Timothée laughed at everything Bree said and she did the same with him. It was funny, it didn’t seem flirtatious or as if they were trying to impress one another by talking bullshit and hyping themselves up. It was just obvious that they had just clicked and genuinely liked each other. Their honesty was a little hard to swallow. Maybe I would have felt better if Bree would have tried to show off physically or had been making some real advances. I don’t know. 

I wondered what if things had happened in reverse. What if he had helped her blown out tire a week before finding my wallet. Would they then be together? Would I have been coming to this club with just friends and would have spotted Timothée at the bar, thinking he was really good looking but he was just here, visiting his girlfriend. 

I sipped on my drink and didn’t join in their conversation. I put my glass down on the bar and walked off to find a bathroom. I was washing my hands when Timothée walked in. 

“Oh, there you are. You just walked off and didn’t say anything,” he said. 

“I didn’t want to interrupt your conversation,” I said as I dried my hands. 

Timothée frowned as I walked past him as he held the door open for me. I turned to face him. He stared at me a moment. “I mean you could have just said you were going to the bathroom,” he said. 

I shrugged. “What’s the big deal?” I asked. I knew I wasn’t being fair. I was turning this around and making it seem like there was something wrong with what he had done when it was me. We walked slowly down the empty hallway.  

The truth was, I didn’t know why I had just left like that. I had just wanted to get away. I didn’t want to stay in their company and maybe a part of me wanted this, Timothée away from her and with me. I wondered what if Timothée hadn’t sought me out. What would I have done?

I smiled at Timothée. “I’m sorry. I just thought I’d come and it would be quick and I would just return,” I said. “We can go back to the bar, and you can keep talking to your friend,” I said in what I hoped sounded like a very friendly voice. He stopped walking and so did I.  

“No, it’s alright,” he said shaking his head and shrugging. “I mean she’s working and we didn’t come here for me to sit and talk to one of the bartenders.” 

I looked at his face. Was he saying this to me or himself? “You can do whatever you like,” I said.  

He looked into my eyes and I was a bit surprised to see... hurt. “What?” He asked. 

I felt like an idiot then. “What I mean is, I’m not mad if you wanted to talk to your friend,” I said softly and smiled at him as I stepped closer and put an arm around him. 

It worked. He leaned into me. “Oh,” he said sounding relieved. We kissed. I held his face and kissed him. I wanted to forget everything since we had stopped dancing. When we parted he had a dreamy smile on his face. 

“Come on,” I said. “I know another really fun place we can go dance at.”

He grinned and nodded. 

 


 

We ended up going to two more places. I drank a little but didn’t get drunk since I was driving home. Timothée drank quite a lot. He was a bit rowdy drunk but I liked it. While dancing at the last place we were at, he took his shirt off as he danced and started kissing me deeply on the dance floor. 

“I know about this place,” he said. “Take me to the back. Fuck me here.”

I wanted to. I really did. But he was drunk. Piss drunk and if we did that I wanted him sober and I wanted him to remember. 

“You’re drunk Timothée,” I said laughing. 

“Then take me home. I love your bed. It’s so soft,” he said. I looked down at his face. He was flushed and looked so gorgeous. “Fuck me in your bed,” he said. I laughed.  

It was past 3 am by the time we made it back. I was sober and Timothée was passing out on the way home. I picked him up and carried him upstairs to bed. He had woken up a bit. I was undressing him. He looked up at me and smiled. 

“You like me a lot don’t you?” He asked me grinning.  

“I do,” I said as I slipped his shoes off. 

“I know. I can tell. You’re jealous of Bree,” he said. He closed his eyes and made a face. I didn’t say anything. “Why are you jealous? Are you jealous cause I like her?” He asked furrowing his brow.

“Depends. How much do you like her?” I asked. Why was I asking him? He was drunk. 

“Enough,” he said. I undid his jeans and began to slip them off. “You’re so sexy,” he said. I laughed. “Don’t laugh. I’m so serious. You’re the sexiest man I’ve ever seen in my life,” he said softly. 

“And you’re the sexiest man I’ve ever seen in my life,” I said and leaned down and kissed him.  

“Mmmmm,” he said. “I love how you taste,” he said. 

I grinned and got up and undressed. He looked at me and grinned. I turned off my lights and got into bed. He curled up into me. He ran his hands over my chest and kissed it. “I like you so much,” he whispered. 

“More than enough?” I asked, remembering what he had said about Bree. 

“A million times more than enough,” he said. “You like me just as much, I know you do.”

I chuckled. “You’re right. I like you just as much,” I said. 

With him, here in my arms, in my bed, it made the feelings I had had about Bree seem so incredibly stupid and immature. I almost had a hard time believing it was me, acting out the way I had.  

What was going on with me? I was never jealous or possessive or insecure. I never acted out the way I had. I thought of Bree. A 21 or 22 year old... child? No, she was no child. She was Timothée’s age and he was no child. 

I closed my eyes. I pulled Timothée closer to me. I knew, of course. Deep down inside, I knew what it was. For the first time in my life, I was scared to lose someone. For the first time in my life I felt as if I was not in full control of what was happening but fate and the universe was and I was afraid I would not be favored and it would be taken from me. My heart began to thump hard against my chest.

“Name one hero who was happy,” I whispered. 

“You can’t,” Timothée answered sleepily. “That’s what The Song Of Achilles says,” he whispered. “They never let you be famous and happy.”

That didn’t help how I felt. “Sshh, go to sleep,” I said kissing his forehead. I was wide awake though. After a while I finally felt him relax into me. His breaths were long and deep. I never wanted to lose him. 

I will never leave him, I thought to myself. It will be this, always, for as long as he will let me.  

I smiled this time. That was a better part of the book to think of as I fell asleep. 

Chapter Text

Armie  

 

The following day I had an appointment to see my Bouguereau Client. I woke up and showered and had breakfast. 

“Timothée is here but he’s going to have a bad hangover,” I told Phoenix as I put my plates in the sink. 

“Oh, if it isn’t one it’s the other isn’t it?” she said. “I’ll fix him something up to make him feel better.”

I suppressed a grin. “Your special recipe. Don’t kill him, I like him a lot.”

“I ain’t killed you yet! Go on! Stop disrespecting me in my kitchen!”

I laughed and held my hands up. 

“Also, next time you’re going to get rowdy in the living room, take your paraphernalia with you! Lube and condoms on the coffee table as I walk in. What are you? 18 man?” 

My eyes widened. “I’m so sorry,” I said. “Where -“ I began to ask and she gave me a look.  

“In the desk in the library. At least you’re being safe,” she said. 

“Thank you,” I said. I kissed her cheek and left. I was to meet my client at a small French Cafe on Wilshire. I slipped on my sunglasses and pulled out my phone as I walked to my car. 

Good morning handsome. Phoenix will give you something to help you feel better. Drink it. I have to meet a client but it won’t take long. Will be back soon  

I took off. I had never been to this cafe and went in and sat down with a cup of tea. I was checking my emails when I heard a voice I hadn’t heard in a couple of years. 

“Good morning, Armie, long time no see.”

I looked up. There stood Wentworth Miller. I was shocked for a moment and then shook my head and smiled. “Wentworth,” I said. I stood up and extended my hand. “How are you? Nice to see you!” I said. 

I watched as he sat down at my table. I looked at my watch and saw I had two minutes before my client walked in through the door.

“Am I interrupting something?” He asked in his soft voice when he saw me check my watch. He gave me a soft smile. 

I gave him a polite smile back. I had met Wentworth about two years ago at a cocktail party. I was single and he and I hit it off. Nothing ever came of it, he was dating someone and then when he was single I was dating someone. It just felt as if the timing wasn’t ever right. He looked really good.  

“Oh, I’m here to meet a client,” I said. 

“Oh, ok,” he said. It always took me back how soft spoken he was. He smiled at me. “I’m here to meet an arts dealer. There is this Bouguereau I’ve been wanting to get my hands on for a while now but it was in someone’s private collection.”

I couldn’t hide my look of surprise. “You’re my client?!” 

He laughed. “Is that a problem?” He asked. 

“No!” I said laughing again. “No, not at all. I’m just surprised! I... I mean why didn’t you just call me yourself?” 

“Armie,” He said. He was so suave. He crossed his left leg, ankle at his knee. “We have never exchanged numbers.”

He was right. I had just gotten his number from Nick days before. “Wow,” I said. I thought back to all the times we had seen each other. Flirted almost to the point that it was embarrassing, yet we never crossed that line. 

“I imagine you’re dating someone?” He asked with a soft laugh. “The universe has a funny way of laughing at us that way,” he said. 

“Ha,” I said. “Yes,” I continued. “There is someone.” 

“Ah, and I’m single. Another opportunity missed. Wonder how long we’ll be playing cat and mouse,” he said. “Excuse me, I’m going to order something to drink.”

He got up and I watched him as he ordered coffee. A month ago I wouldn’t have thought twice of finally seeing where he and I could go. Now though, things were so much different.  

He came back and we started chatting. He lived in Vancouver but was here on business. I congratulated him on his new tv gig. He laughed. “Didn’t think you were a DC Comics fan,” he said.  

“Are you kidding, who isn’t?” I asked. 

We chatted for a long while more, catching up and exchanging silly gossip we had heard from people we mutually knew. Then we finally got down to business.  

“So who owns it currently?” He asked. 

“I’m not at liberty to say,” I told him with a half smile. “But I will acquire it for you. I’m just going to have to go to Paris soon.”

“Oh! It’s in Paris?” He asked. 

“No, it’s in LA. Just Paris is part of how I’m getting it for you,” I told him with a grin. 

He rolled his eyes. “Tease,” he said. I laughed. “I’m going to Paris myself for Christmas and New Years.” I nodded as I looked at him. He shook his head. “Well, I’ve taken up enough of your time,” he said and gave me another handsome smile.  

We both stood up. I reached out and we shook hands. “It was great seeing you,” I said. 

“The pleasure was all mine,” he said as he squeezed my hand. He winked at me and left. He was such a flirt. I sat back down and looked around the cafe. 

It was unexpected and happy surprise to see Wentworth and I was happy to have him as a client. He truly was a wonderful person. At that moment, though, all I could think about was Timothée. 

 


 

Timothée  

 

I blinked my eyes open. My head hurt and everything spun around. 

“Oh fuck me,” I whispered softly. I waited a moment until everything stopped spinning and then slowly slid off the bed. I grabbed my phone and read the text Armie sent. Ok. Phoenix. But that meant going down the stairs. 

Armie had left me a bathrobe and I slowly slid it on. I then slowly started making my way downstairs. Everything was so bright. There was tropical music playing softly and I could hear Phoenix singing. This made me smile. She was a good singer. She saw me walking into the kitchen. 

“Oh!” She said letting out a laugh. It was too loud but I wasn’t going to say anything. “Sit down child. You look like death warmed over.”

“Thank you,” I said. “I feel like it too.” She went to the fridge and got a mason jar full of... something. “What is it?” I asked. 

“My own hangover recipe,” she said. We looked at each other. “Go on,” she said. She leaned one hand on the counter and the other went to her hip. “It ain’t kill anyone yet.”

I chuckled and my stomach tightened slightly which was awful because I felt I want to puke my guts out. “Maybe I should just throw up?” I asked. 

“You ain’t thrown up yet?” She asked. 

“No,” I said. “But maybe I should?”

“Why are you asking me Timothée. Go throw up if you must! And you better not throw up on my kitchen counters! Thank goodness I’m only the cook and no housekeeper because if I had to clean up after a grown man’s puke I’d whoop you and make you clean it and you would clean it!”

“Yes, I would,” I said. She stared at me and I stared back. 

“Hurry up then!” She said. 

So I did. I think I was more scared of Phoenix than I had ever been of my mom but I felt the caring in her too. I went to the half bathroom and puked my guts out. When I was done I shakily washed my face and made my way back to the kitchen. 

“Oh, you look even skinner and paler. Even worse than when you got up. Jesus Christ boy, sit down and drink up!”

I sat on the stool again and closed my eyes and just chugged it. I gulped it down and tried not to taste it. It didn’t necessarily taste awful. It’s just that I had just puked and I didn’t feel like drinking anything at the moment. I finished it and put the mason jar back down on the counter. 

Phoenix nodded approvingly. “Good boy. You’ll be feeling better soon. Come on,” she said. 

She led me out of the kitchen and gestured to one of the loveseats in the library. I sat there and closed my eyes still feeling gross. I had slipped my phone in one of the pockets on the robe. Phoenix came back with a fluffy blanket and threw it over me. 

“I’m going to be cooking. If you need me call out, ok?”

I smiled up at her and nodded. It was so sweet of her. I leaned back on the couch and pulled my phone out. I called Aiden. 

“Hey!” 

“Hey man,” I said softly. “What you doing?”

“At the mall. You sound awful.”

“Thanks. I’m hungover. But I’ll be fine,” I said. 

“Oh,” Aiden said chuckling. “How’s Armie?”

“Fine. He didn’t drink as much as I did. He was driving.”

“Oh good. He’s responsible.” 

I chuckled. I swallowed and then said what had been on my mind. “We went to this place and saw Bree. Armie sorta just took off and I found him in the bathroom. And I had the feeling he was jealous.”

“Did you ask him?”

“I asked why he left but he beat around the bush. But when we got home I was so wasted I told him I knew he was jealous. I said he was jealous because I liked Bree.”

Silence. “Do you?”

“She’s a nice person. Armie and I are talking though and I’m not looking to date anyone else.”

“Would you date her? Like if you were single?”

“I can’t think about that,” I said. 

“So you like her.”

“She’s nice. But like I said, it doesn’t matter.”

“Hmm... ok,” Aiden said with a soft chuckle. “So what are you and Armie doing this weekend?”

“Not sure,” I said. The room spun again. “Ugh.”

“You dying?”

“Slowly.” 

“Like the time when you got drunk and ate the whole box of Krispy Cream donuts?”

“Oh god I still can’t eat Krispy Cream glazed donuts,” I said. 

Aiden laughed. “I know. Ok gotta go. I’m meeting someone.”

“Who?”

“A girl. You don’t know her.”

I laughed. “Ok. Text you later,” he said. 

“Ok man. Bye!” 

“Bye.”

I slid down and rested my head on the arm rest. I was already feeling a bit less nauseous. I closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep. 

Chapter Text

I walked into my house, taking off my sunglasses and heard soft tropical music playing. I walked through my living room and into my library and stopped when I saw Timothée sleeping on one of my loveseats. He was in the bathrobe I had left him and curled up in a fluffy blanket. He was asleep. 

He looked like a work of art. I suddenly wished I could paint. Timothée would provide limitless hours of inspiration. I sat on the loveseat across from him and just watched him sleep. Phoenix came in a moment later and saw me. She brought me a smoothie. “Lunch will be a bit late. I’m trying a new recipe,” she said. 

“Take your time,” I said nodding towards Timothée. 

She smiled. “He’s a good young man, kind soul.” 

I nodded. “Too kind?”

She shrugged. “Sometimes the kindness is given where it isn’t deserved but that’s him you know. You can’t change his nature. Nurture it instead. He’s a wonderful being.”

I nodded and smiled at Timothée. I sipped on my smoothie as I watched him sleep. Once I finished I took the glass to the kitchen sink and rinsed it out and went upstairs and got into my comfortable jeans and a tee shirt. I came back downstairs. I had my laptop and had been checking my emails for about 20 minutes when Timothée awoke. He stirred and blinked at the sunlight coming in. 

“Hey there handsome,” I said. 

“Hey,” he said groggily.

I shut my laptop and went over to his loveseat, sitting at the edge. I caressed his face and smoothed the hair back from his forehead. He smiled up at me. “How you feeling?” I asked. 

“Better,” He said. “I puked in your downstairs bathroom.”

I chuckled. “That’s alright,” I told him. “Maybe we’ll stay in tonight?” I asked. 

“Yeah I couldn’t put my body through this two nights in a row,” he said and we laughed. 

 


 

“I wish I could paint,” I said. 

Timothée chuckled. “I wish I could play basketball, sometimes that’s life.”

We were outside lounging by the pool. We had had a delicious lunch and Phoenix had left. We were stuffed and pleasantly laying out in the sun. It was December but the sun was warm. I had pulled on a sweater and Timothée had dressed in a hoodie and joggers that looked more like my size than his. It was ok, though, he looked sexy. They hung low on his hips and he didn’t have a shirt under the hoodie so when he raised his arms to stretch I could see his lower abdomen. 

“You wanted to be a basketball player?” I asked with a chuckle. 

“Don’t fucking laugh,” he said, even though he was laughing himself. He had his arms raised and reaching behind him, grabbing the back of the lounge. I loved how he always looked so graceful when he was just being comfortable, his body just looked good everywhere. “What kid doesn’t aspire to be LeBron?”

I chuckled again. “I never fantasized about being an athlete,” I said. 

“That’s because you’re like 6 foot whatever and was probably good at every sport. We always want something that’s hard for us. Kinda like how people with curly hair wished they had straight her and vice versa. The grass is always greener, you know?”

I shrugged. “I guess?” I said. 

He laughed. “I forgot. You’re perfectly good looking and rich. Your grass was always greener.”

I glanced his way and furrowed my brow. He hadn’t said it maliciously. “Is that what you think?” I asked. 

He looked over at me. “It’s not what I think, it’s a fact Armie. But I mean, it’s ok. We don’t choose how we’re gonna look or what family we’re born into,” he said with a shrug. 

“What’s your family like?” I asked. 

“Good. Middle class. My parents are very loving I’m very lucky,” he said. “They’ve always accepted me for me.”

I nodded. “My parents took sometime. Victoria was great help,” I said. 

He nodded. “I have an older sister. She’s in Europe though.”

“Oh!” I said. “You never mentioned her.”

“I am now,” he said laughing. I grinned at him. “So this was your last week of school.”

“Yeah. Off for a whole entire month.”

I nodded. “Any plans?” I asked. 

“You,” He said looking my way. My heart skipped a beat, I swear. The way he looked and the way the sunlight hit him and his hair and the words he spoke. 

“I really wish I could paint. You’re the most amazing muse.”

“So I inspire something in you?” He asked softly. 

“You inspire a lot in me,” I said leaning my head back on my lounge.

He let out a sigh. “You don’t need to know how to paint,” he said. “Maybe if you knew how to, you wouldn’t love art the way you do and you wouldn’t have your career.”

I sat there a moment pondering over what he said. “That could in fact be very true,” I said. 

“Plus, if you knew how to paint, would you be a painter? You don’t know. There are many talented people who’s talent isn’t their career. Sometimes a talent like painting is only for you to enjoy for yourself, you know?”

I looked at him. He had his eyes closed and had his face tilted up at the sun. “Yes, that’s true,” I said and couldn’t help but smile.

We sat silent for a moment and I let my mind wander over the things Timothée had said to me. Apart from the physical aspect of our relationship, which was amazing in every way, it was this, the way he spoke and the way he looked at things and thought of things and verbalized things. He was amazing in every way. He didn’t just agree with me or tried to say what he thought I would want to hear, he was himself and spoke his mind and I admired that about him. I felt I wanted to impress him when most men I was interested in were normally trying to impress me. 

I sighed. Most men also seemed intimidated by me in one way or another. My height, my wealth, my job. It was... it could be a bit frustrating. I sometimes found myself downplaying one or the other for them. I never once felt that way with Timothée. I truly felt I could be me. It was a wonderful feeling. 

My face felt warm. I glanced his way and found his eyes closed and arms by his side. I actually wondered if he had fallen sleep. “Timothée,” I said. 

“Hmm?” He answered. He opened his eyes and looked me at me. 

I grinned. “What are you thinking about?”

“This and this and this,” he answered. We both laughed. 

 


 

It was night time and we had eaten left overs from lunch for dinner. We had then taken the second half of a cheesecake I had and we sat on my couch, flipping through channels. He finally stopped on a nature show on the National Geographic channel. 

We fed one another. I liked it. I liked how we did this without much effort, little lovely things like this just happened naturally between us. 

We were done and I placed the container and forks on the coffee table. I was looking at the tv and then I glanced at him and just gazed over him for a while. 

He looked at me. “What?” He asked with his lovely smile.

“Your hair,” I said. I reached over at a strand that always stuck out a bit. “It never quite sits flat here,” I said, smoothing it down to no avail. “Have I ever told you that?” I asked. 

Timothée smiled sweetly and leaned into my hand, as if he was enjoying the sensation. “No, you never have,” He whispered. 

“Hmm,” I said. My hand slid down the back of his head to the base of his neck and my fingers grazed across his soft skin and pulse. It was quick. “And here,” I whispered. “Have I told you about what I think of this here?”

“No,” he whispered back. 

“No?” I asked. I slid my hand under his hoodie. My fingertips were again at his pulse point. I lowered my hand and swept it across his chest. “I’m sure though,” I said. “I’ve told you what I thought of this?” I asked as my hand swept along his chest, more slowly this time. 

“Yes,” He said a little breathlessly. “Yes you’ve told me about that.”

I slid my hand down his body to his hip. My thumb caressing over the bone there. I slid my hand down his thigh and then back up to his hip. “Surely,” I said. “I’ve spoken of this?”

“Mmmm,” he said. He closed his eyes in a slow blink and nodded. “Yes,” He said. “You have.”

My hand was ceaseless now as I touched all I could. He let out a deep sigh. My hand was at his knee and I slid it up and placed it between his legs. I found he was semi hard. I looked down at his pretty lips. They were slightly parted. I pressed my palm into him and his body responded. “Surely,” I said, finding that I was now panting softly as well. “I’ve told you of what I think about this here.”

“Ah,” He let out a breath and opened his beautiful green eyes and looked up at me. “You have,” he said. 

“Good,” I whispered and leaned down and kissed him. 

He raised his hips up into my palm. He took my wrist and slid my hand into his pants where I felt nothing but his perfect skin. A soft moan escaped his lips. “Tell me again,” he whispered in my ear. 

I leaned in and kissed him softly as I began to stroke him and did as he asked and told him again. And again. And again. 

Chapter Text

Armie

 

It was the second week of Timothée’s Christmas break and I truly couldn’t wait any longer. He, even though he was on beak, had gone home on Monday after our weekend together. He then came back on Thursday night and we had another wonderful weekend. We went to an art gallery where I was able to just be me and talk all I wanted about all the art we saw. I never worried about boring him. He was so perfect and listened and... and I was over the moon happy. I was so so happy. 

He had gone home again and now I was waiting for him to come again. It was Thursday and Christmas was next week on Wednesday. I was so excited. I had told him not to buy me anything for Christmas. That all I needed was him and his time. I also knew his birthday was coming up and I just knew we would have an amazing time together. 

I was in my living room with my phone waiting. Finally he called me.  

“Hey. I’m outside.” 

“Ok!” I said excitedly. I opened the gate and got up and waited and waited and waited. 

Finally my front door opened and I saw him walk in. “Hey!” He said. 

“Hey!” I answered back. I walked to him and wrapped him in my arms kissing him all over.  

“Whoa!” He said laughing. “Someone is excited!”

I laughed. I was no good at keeping surprises so I just grabbed his hand and pulled him over to the couch. We sat down. I was so, so happy. “I have to go to Paris for work,” I said. 

“Oh,” he said furrowing his brow a little. “When?”

“Leaving Monday, the 23rd,” I said. 

“Oh,” Timothée said. “Ok. Wow. Right before Christmas.”

“Yes,” I said. “Yes. But,” I looked into his eyes. “I bought you a plane ticket too!”

Timothée froze and his beautiful eyes widened. “You what?”

“I bought you a plane ticket, too, Timothée,” I said grinning. “We can go together and spend Christmas and your birthday and New Years together. In Paris!” I grinned. 

Timothée looked at me. “Wow,” he said. “Wow, Armie.”

“Are you happy?” I asked. 

“I’m... I’m grateful and humbled and blown away,” he said.  

I felt my grin falter. “Not excited or happy or impatient to go?” I asked. 

“Ah,” Timothée said. “Ah, Armie. I...” he looked down at the floor and I saw him start to blush and it started to sink in what all this meant.  

“You’re not? I mean.. you don’t want to go?” I asked. I was shocked. Who didn’t want to go to Paris? 

“No, I do! I do!” He said.  

“Ok, great!” I said chuckling. “I was getting worried there a moment.”

“No. No Armie, I mean. It sounds amazing and I’m so grateful you know, I mean, wow. But, uh.” He swallowed. “I can’t, Armie. I can’t go.” 

I stared at him. “Why?”

“Well,” He said. “It’s five days till Christmas and my family is expecting me home. They’re in San Francisco and I normally go home right away because I only see them on my breaks and I am staying out till last minute to spend time with you,” he said. “But they are expecting me there. My grandmother came Armie.”

“Ok,” I said. “I mean you can see your grandmother at any time,” I said. 

“Well, actually,” he said pulling his hands away from mine. “My grandmother is 92 and I cherish every Christmas with her. She came in November from New York and I was looking forward to seeing her. I haven’t seen her in several years and my family means a lot to me.”

“Right,” I said. “I get that.” I did. “Family means a lot to me too but -“

“Armie,” Timothée said. “There is no buts. I’m sorry. I wish... I wish it wouldn’t be so sudden. You know?”

“No,” I said, feeling really hurt and a little mad. I had bought him a ticket so we could be together in Paris. Who wouldn’t want this? “No, Timothée. I don’t know.”

Timothée scooted back on the couch a bit away from me. “Ok, you’re right. I mean you’re, you know, you’re your own man and independent and maybe to you it’s not so sudden. Maybe you’re used to this,” he said. “I mean you’re not a 22 year old still financially dependent on his parents, you know, so maybe your idea of sudden and mine are different. 

“Maybe,” I said, not buying anything he was saying. I felt he was beating around the bush. 

“Armie,” He said. “I’ve known you five weeks.”

“So?” I asked. It was irrelevant. Time was irrelevant. I knew what he felt, what I felt. Or maybe... or maybe he didn’t. 

“So,” he said. “Maybe it’s no big deal to someone like you who travels on the drop of a hat and is used to picking up and going but...” he closed his eyes. “You’re like...” 

“I’m like what?” I asked angrily. 

 “Armie, I’m sorry. I can’t go,” he said. His voice was slightly shaky. 

I felt my anger rise. It was an ugly feeling. I had never been angry at him and just like every other feeling that flooded me concerning him it was sudden and strong and it was all I felt. 

“I can’t believe you’re turning down an all expense paid trip to Paris!” I said. My voice shook with anger.  

“With all due respect Armie,” he said softly in a calm voice. “I didn’t ask you to get it for me. I’m grateful you did, ok and I know -“

“No,” I said. “No you don’t know!” 

He just nodded. “I’m sorry,” he said. 

There was a part of me inside that knew that I shouldn’t be mad. I had no right to be mad. And maybe it was easier to lash out in anger than to let myself feel the disappointment and pain and utter shock at the fact that he truly was saying no to me. “Why?” I asked. I still couldn’t wrap my head around it. 

“It is just a bit sudden Armie and it’s too soon and I want to spend Christmas with my family. I miss my mom and dad and I want to see them.” He looked up at me with his big green eyes. “Armie I’m 22, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I’m not a kid and god knows I don’t want you to think of me as one, you know, but this is all so new. It’s all so new. And it’s sudden. And I just.. I’ve known you five weeks and I just wish to have more time before we do something like go to Europe together.”

And with that he got up. I watched as he got up and took his keychain out and I saw he took the key I gave him off the key ring.  

“I.. well if you want to, when you’re back home you can give it back to me. I don’t feel comfortable holding on to it knowing you’re out of the country. How long will you be gone?” He asked. I stared at him and he finally met my gaze. 

“I don’t know,” I said. I was feeling very hurt and empty. It was a horrible feeling and I had never felt it before.  

“Have a safe trip,” he said and he grabbed his duffle bag and I watched him leave. I didn’t even try to stop him. 

 


 

Timothée

 

I walked out of Armie’s home as fast as I could. I practically ran to my car. I just wanted to hold it together. To hold it together till I got away and hopefully til I made it home. I cranked my car and turned and made it to the gate and finally took off. I drove a lot faster than I should have.  

I could feel the tightness in my chest creeping up slowly. I shook my head and pushed it down. I couldn’t. I couldn’t fall apart driving. I couldn’t. Amazingly I didn’t. I pulled into my apartment and felt some relief. I parked and grabbed my bag from the back of my trunk. I ran up the stairs and got inside. Aiden was out. He actually wasn’t planning to come home till tomorrow. Good. The apartment was dark except for the lights coming in through the window. I took off my shoes and walked to my room and threw myself on the bed.  

I let myself go and cried. I cried and cried and cried and cried. It was horrible. I sobbed like a baby and I couldn’t stop. My chest ached. My back hurt. I could hardly breathe. I lifted my shirt and covered my face and cried until I couldn’t anymore. I was left gasping and shaking. I laid in my bed in the darkness for a while, just gasping shakily. Sometime later I fell sleep. 

 


 

“Timothée?”

“Hmm?”

“What happened?”

It was Aiden. I kept my eyes closed. “Armie bought me a ticket to Paris. He wanted me to leave Monday and come back after New Years,” I said and new tears formed and slipped out of my eyes again. 

“Holy shit dude. That’s like some Pretty Woman type shit. Maid in Manhattan type shit.”

“Yeah,” I said. “Yeah except this is real life and I have never felt more...” I struggled with how I was feeling. 

“More...?” Aiden asked.  

“More out of my league!” I said and sat up. I wiped my face with my shirt again. I had taken it off sometime in the middle of the night. 

“Oh,” Aiden said.

“Aiden I’m 22! Fuck my mom has me on her medical insurance at work still! My parents pay my Discover card and my gas card!” I said. I couldn’t stop talking. “I’m not an independent adult Aiden. I mean I live here with you but right now, I couldn’t make it on my own! Let alone buy Armie a fucking plane ticket to Paris in return! And... and...” I began to cry again. 

Aiden came and sat beside me and put his arm around me. “Just breathe,” he said.  

I breathed for a while. I had my head on his shoulder. “And then I tried to tell him. And I felt so stupid. I told him it was too sudden. Because it is. Not BAD, just sudden. I’m still learning to deal with all I feel. I felt nervous and scared. He’s my first serious boyfriend... if he even is that. I don’t know. We haven’t spoken about it. We started having sex so fast and I’m feeling so much and.. and..” 

“Breathe,” Aiden said again. “Breathe, Timothée.”

I did. I breathed and tried to calm my racing heart. “It happened so fast. It was so strong and so fast and suddenly I wondered if this is what it’s like for him. What if this is what it’s always like for him? He’s my first real anything and maybe I’m like number 6 or 7 for him and I’m just a dumb kid who doesn’t know any better?”

“No. No. Timothée I think he has real feelings for you,” Aiden said softly. 

“Maybe Rhys is right,” I said. “Maybe he deserves someone who feels it’s nothing to drop their family at Christmas and go to Paris.” 

“I think he should have asked you, Timothée. I mean, it would have been more decent if he had asked.”

I nodded. I knew Aiden, as my best friend, would always have my back. I felt tears slip down my face again.  

“Don’t cry Tim,” Aiden said. 

“I love him,” I said. 

“I know,” Aiden said. “I know.”

It was sad. I had always believed love was always enough. Now... I suddenly wondered if it truly, truly was. 

Chapter Text

I woke up the next day and blinked my eyes a few times until the memory of the day before came rushing to me. Armie. Paris. I felt nauseous. I reached for my phone. There was nothing. No text messages. No missed calls. No nothing. I felt empty. 

I sat there a moment. So maybe I wasn’t ready to go to Paris with Armie, but I also wasn’t ready to let him go. I got up. I went and showered and dressed. I got my keys and wallet. Aiden was in the living room. He glanced up at me. 

“Hey,” he said softly. 

“Hey,” I answered. I went and sat beside him. “Thanks for last night,” I said. 

He glanced at me. “It was actually early this morning, but hey, that’s what best buds are for.” I nodded. “You’re showered and dressed,” he said. 

“I’m gonna go talk to Armie,” I said. Aiden nodded. “I just want to, you know, talk.”

“Talking is good,” Aiden said. I took a deep shaky breath in. “Good luck,” he said. 

“Thanks,” I replied. I got up and went. 

I hopped in my car and made my way to Armie’s. Once I was there I called him. 

“Hello?” His husky voice sent a chill through my body. 

“It’s me,” I said. I felt so emotional. 

“Ok,” he said and his gate slid open. I drove in and as I turned towards his home my stomach sank at the sight of the red Porsche I knew was Rhys’s. 

“Fuck me,” I said. 

I let out a breath. I shut off my car and exited and made my way to the door. I was almost there when it opened. I slowed down as my eyes meet Rhys’s icy gaze. He exited Armie’s home and walked past me without saying anything. I walked forward and through the front door left open by Rhys. I close it softly behind me. I enter the living room and everything was quiet. The library was empty as well. I went up the stairs. I walked past his office and turned right and walked down the hall. His bedroom door was open. I walked inside. 

Armie was standing by his window, the big one the sun shines through as it rises. “Armie,” I whispered. I walked inside to the center of his room.

After a few seconds he finally looked my way. “You’re back,” he said. His eyes were red, he had been crying. I nodded. “I thought you had left me.”

It broke my heart the way his voice sounded as he spoke. “No,” I said. I walked over to him and embraced him tightly. “No, Armie. No.”

I felt his arms wrap around me. “Why did you leave?” He asked. 

I close my eyes. “I was overwhelmed.”

“Do I overwhelm you?”

I let out a shaky breath as I clung to him. “Sometimes,” I whispered. 

I held him tightly and buried my face in his neck, his scent engulfing me. It was so wonderful. His body so warm. It felt so good to be close to him. My heart felt so good. The never-ending ache of love and sorrow. Perhaps in some other life I could have refused, could have torn my hair and screamed, and made him face his choice alone. But not in this one.

“I... I didn’t mean to,” he said. “I never knew a trip to Paris could ever be a bad idea.”

I laughed and stepped back. “It isn’t,” I said. “Maybe... just not now. Maybe in a few more months...” I reached up and held his face in my hands, caressing him. “I’m sorry,” I said. 

He nodded as he leaned in and kissed me. It felt so good. I slid my hands inside his shirt. It’s quite sudden, and soon enough we’re on the bed and undressed. It’s almost insane how strong all my feelings are for Armie. I almost don’t understand it myself.  

I pushed him down on the bed and lean over him, stroking him and running my hands over his chest as my tongue explores his mouth. We pull apart slightly as I kiss his lips. “Fuck me, Timothée,” he mumbled into my lips. “Fuck me, please. I need you so badly. I need to feel you inside of me.”

I moan on his mouth as my body reacts so his demand. “Yes,” I tell him. “Yes. Yes. Yes.” Anything he wants, my brain is saying to me. Give him anything and everything he wants. I lean over and grab a condom and lube. 

“Fuck me, baby,” Armie says in a desperate moan. 

I can hardly breathe as I look down at him. His body is writhing against mine. I quickly put the condom on and enter him. “Oh fuck!” I say as I feel him tighten around me. “Fuck!”

I began to fuck him. I watch him as he closed his eyes and furrowed his brow and groans. I feel almost as if in a trance. “Yes,” I hear him say. “Yes. Yes.”

“Yes,” I tell him as I pound into him. As hard as I can. As deep as I can. I would never get used to this, I thought to myself. I had done this already enough times that my body was becoming familiar with being inside him and yet, I knew I would never quite get used to it. My heart would always race and my stomach would always clench and my body would come alive with desire for him. Desire that would never be quenched or satisfied. Desire that would never leave me. My desire for him would always be part of who I am. I was realizing that more and more as time went by. 

 


 

We laid side by side, panting. I looked up at the ceiling, trying to slow my brain and heart and breath. I glanced over at Armie and saw he was panting too, just as hard. He looked over at me. He turned on his side as did I and he kissed me. 

“I have to go though,” he said and I knew he was speaking of Paris. 

“I know,” I said. “It know. It’s ok.”

He nodded. He took my hand in his. “I’ll be there for Christmas and New Years,” he said. 

“Ok,” I said. “It’s ok. It’s business.”

“Yeah,” he said softly. “I’m sorry I’ll miss your birthday.”

“It’s ok,” I said. 

“Can I give you a birthday present though? Would that be ok?”

“Yes,” I said, closing my eyes and swallowing. “Just nothing too overly expensive.”

“Ok,” he said quietly. “It won’t be.”

“What if I drove you to the airport?” I asked him. He eyes quickly looked up at mine. 

“Aren’t you driving home?” He asked me. 

“What time does your flight leave?” I asked. 

“10:15 am,” he told me. 

I nodded. My plans had been to be on the road by 7:30 am to make it home as early as possible. It was fine though, I could drop him off. I wanted to. “That’s fine,” I said leaning in and kissing him. “That’s fine, I’ll drop you off and then I’ll drive home,” I said smiling at him and caressing his chest. 

“Will you please stay with me the weekend?” Armie asked. “Stay with me till I go?”

“Yes, baby,” I said. I could never say no to him. 

 


 

We drove to my apartment. Aiden was there and he looked a bit surprised when he saw Armie come inside. “I’m gonna grab my bag,” I said. I still had it packed and ready. I went to my room and grabbed it. 

“Aiden,” I said. “I’m gonna stay with Armie till I leave for home Monday,” I said. 

“Ok,” he said. He stepped forward and we hugged. “I’ll see you when I’m back,” I told him. 

“Everything ok?” He asked me in a whisper. I nodded. 

“Yes,” I said. We pulled apart and I smiled at him. “It’s all good,” I said. 

“Ok,” he said smiling at me. “Armie. Good to see you, Merry Christmas,” Aiden said. 

“Thank you Aiden. Merry Christmas,” Armie replied. 

 


 

We were back at Armie’s. We had prepared a lasagna and had it in the oven. We were on a loveseat in the library. He was laying on me, his cheek on my chest. He was holding me tight. He had felt clingy since the morning but I didn’t mind. I liked it. I held him tight too. 

“You’re not the only one overwhelmed,” he said softly. 

“No?” I asked. 

“No,” he said. 

I waited a moment to see if he would say more but he didn’t. So I just held him. “What if from now on, I drop you off at the airport anytime you have a business trip?” I asked him. I was caressing his hair. “Would you like that?”

“I would love that,” he said. 

 


 

We had dinner and we both felt better. Back to normal. He spoke of Paris to me and asked if I had ever been.  

“Once when I was younger. My dad is French and we have family there. My sister lives there,” I said. Armie raised his eyebrows in surprise as he ate. I smiled at him. “Don’t be mad I’m not going,” I said. 

“I was never mad,” he said. I gave him a look. “Yeah I was mad. Just you know, I thought I was being so amazing and I thought I would sweep you off your feet and romance you in Paris,” he shrugged his shoulders. 

“You don’t need Paris for that,” I said. I felt my face warm as I kept my eyes on my food. “Plus, later on, down the line, we can go,” I whispered. I didn’t want him to feel disappointed.  

“Yeah,” he said. “Anyway,” He reached over and held my hand. “Tell me what your plans are when you get home for Christmas.”

I looked at him and smiled and began to tell him about what my family and I were more than likely to do. Our Christmas traditions and New Years. And I told him about my grandmother. I felt myself sharing silly little stories about my family and Christmas and growing up. We finished eating and washed the dishes and I was still sharing with him. I talked and talked and I didn’t worry I was talking too much or too fast. He was grinning and smiling and so engaged. He was wonderful and sweet. 

Once we were done downstairs we climbed up the stairs, and went to his room where we started to change for bed. “I’m sorry for talking so much,” I said. 

He shook his head and came over and kissed me. “Hearing you talk is the best thing. I could hear you talk for hours.” 

I felt my face warm and he kissed both my cheeks and then my lips. I felt the butterflies in my stomach. I would never get used to all of this. He was too beautiful and amazing to me to ever get used to. “Your voice is my favorite sound,” he said. “I want it to be the first thing I hear in the mornings and the last thing I hear at night,” he said, his blue eyes were looking into my soul as he leaned into me again and kissed me once more. My breath hitched in my throat.  

I looked at his face, so close to mine. The strong jaw and the delicate curves around his eyes. He was so perfect. I slid my hand up and over his chest, caressing the muscle beneath. He shivered beneath my hand and I felt sudden hot desire rise in me. My heart raced at the realization that my touch could make him shiver in the way he had. 

I closed the space between us. My lips brushed his. They were so soft. “I need to fuck you again,” I whispered to him. 

“Take me to bed and fuck me then,” he whispered back.  

So I did. 

Chapter Text

The rest of the weekend was indeed wonderful and I was happy I had come back on Friday. We stayed inside of Armie’s home. We ate and made love and fucked. He was so beautiful and would tell me I was too but I just nodded and thanked him and wondered what I had done to deserve the love of a person like him.

Love. 

Was I in love? All indications seemed to make me think I was. Was he? The whole weekend, he kept asking me to make love to him, to be inside of him and my heart could have burst. I knew sex wasn’t love but what we had felt like more. In the times I was softer and more gentle, I would caress his face and gaze down at him and proclaim my love internally. 

I wondered what he thought. “What are you thinking?” I asked as I pressed into him. 

He smiled up at me. “How beautiful you are.”

I laughed and looked away. I slid in and out of him a couple of more times. “Is that all?” I asked. 

“No. So much more. But I’m afraid to overwhelm you.” 

“I see,” I said. 

“I’m afraid to overwhelm myself as well.”

I kept making love to him. I leaned down and kissed him and his hands slid up my back. 

When we were done, I laid in his arms. “So you don’t know how long you’ll be gone?”

“No,” he said. “I’m hoping it’ll be quick. Two weeks, the most. Worst case scenario a month.”

A month. The thought sent a slight wave of panic up my spine. “Don’t hook up with anyone,” I said before I could stop myself. 

He stayed still. “I wouldn’t,” he told me. “You think I would?”

I laid still. “Is it always like this for you?” I asked. 

“Like what?” He asked. 

“Like THIS!” I said. My heart was thumping in my chest. “Like this,” I repeated. “Fast. Hard. Trips to Paris.”

“No,” he said softly. I looked up at him. “It’s never been like this.”

I wrapped my arms around him and closed my eyes. “We should sleep,” I said. 

He turned his body to me and held me close. 

 


 

I didn’t sleep much that night and I wasn’t sure why. It wasn’t because I wished to go to Paris. I worked through all I was thinking and feeling. I thought of how I had waited till last second to leave for home because of him. I hadn’t asked him to accompany me home because I imagined he would want to stay with his family here, so I had waited until the last possible second to leave. 

It was easy to see really, I didn’t want to be without him. I sighed. I had planned to leave Christmas Eve and begin my drive back January 2nd. I would only be away for 9 days but now he was leaving and it could be a whole month. This... I hadn’t planned for this. 

When the sun began to rise, I got up and started to pack my things. He got up soon after and we showered together and ate breakfast together. He kept touching me and kissing me and his clinginess was sweet and did so much for my soul. He would miss me as much as I would miss him. 

“I’ll text as much as I can,” he said. 

“I will too,” I replied. 

“Hey, I’m on Instagram,” he told me and I looked him up and found him. He was private and accepted me right away. “Regardless of when I’m back, you should spend a whole week with me.”

I chuckled and leaned in and kissed him. I wished for time to stop but that could not be the case. “Ok, let’s start loading your luggage,” I said. “Traffic will be a nightmare.”

Suddenly his phone rang. “Oh fuck,” he said. 

“What?” I asked. 

“I forgot to tell Rhys you were taking me to the airport,” he said. 

“Armie! I’m here. Let’s go!” Rhys’s voice came from the living room.

I smiled at Armie and stood up and walked out of the kitchen. “Timothée!” I heard him call behind me. I was more than ready for this. 

“Morning Rhys,” I said, giving him a huge smile. If looks could kill, I thought as he looked at me. “Sorry you got up so early and came all the way here. I’ll be taking Armie to the airport.”

“What?” He asked. 

“I’m sorry, Rhys,” Armie said, having walked after me out of the kitchen. “It’s all my fault. I totally forgot to text you.”

Rhys shook his head. “Incredible!” He said. I looked him over. Angry wasn’t the word. He was livid. “Incredible! Armand Douglas Hammer!” I felt Armie tense beside me. “You mean to tell me you forgot to contact ME because you were fucking this kid all weekend?!”

I laughed. 

“Have you lost your fucking MIND?!” Rhys yelled. 

“If it makes you feel any better it was actually me fucking him 9 out of 10 times. So he was really indisposed.”

“Oh fuck me,” Rhys said in disgust. 

“We’d rather not.” I replied. 

“Timothée,” Armie said. 

“You shut the fuck up!” Rhys said and pointed at me. 

“Hey! Don’t speak to him that way!” Armie again. 

“I am SO sick and tired of this! You want to fuck your reputation up for HIM -“

“ENOUGH!” Armie yelled. 

“You’re jealous,” I said. 

“Timothée!” Armie said. 

“No it’s true. He’s fucking jealous!” I said. I laughed. Maybe that was the wrong thing to do. He came at me as if he was going to hit me and I was more than ready for him. 

Armie stepped in front of me. “Rhys!” He said and pushed him back. 

I stepped out from behind Armie. “Nothing you can do!” I told Rhys. “I’m the one fucking him, NOT YOU!”

“Oh for fuck sakes!” Armie said. 

“You are nothing but stain in his reputation! If you cared -“

“Oh I may have left a stain or two in his mattress but a stain in his reputation I am not,” I said. I seriously wondered when I became THIS. This fierce protector of all things me and Armie. Rhys had never scared me and maybe at my low point on Friday morning when I cried to Aiden, I wondered if all he was saying was right, but after the weekend I had had with Armie, his words were more empty than ever. 

“Rhys you need to leave!” Armie said. 

“You heard him,” I said. “Leave!”

“When this child is gone then you will wish you had treated me better!” He said angrily. 

“Yeah good luck with that. I’m not going anywhere,” I said. 

He gave me spiteful look, turned and left. He slammed the door behind him. 

“What the actual fuck!” Armie said. 

I walked to the stairs and grabbed a suitcase of his. “Do you believe me now that he hates me?” I asked. 

We loaded his luggage in silence and then we left and got on the freeway. I could feel my hands shake as I gripped the steering wheel. Armie didn’t notice though and having only known me for a month and half he didn’t know how unlike me that whole moment had been. He had no idea what a pacifist I was. But someone threatening my relationship with Armie... I didn’t know how not to react. 

He broke the silence first. 

“I am so very sorry Timothée,” he said. “Rhys is so disrespectful and... I’m just so sorry.”

I shrugged. “He must be jealous,” I said. “Why else would he act this way?”

“I don’t know,” he said and looked out the window. Pensive. Even like this he was the most gorgeous man I’ve ever seen. 

“It’s ok,” I said. I reached for his hand and held it. I didn’t want to see him upset or troubled. I smiled his way. “It’s over and done with and nothing he can say will ever make me change how I feel about you.”

“Good,” he said. “I’m just sorry. I will... I will talk to him when I’m back from Paris. I will take care of him. I swear.”

“We can’t control what others do,” I said. 

He sighed. He lifted my hand and kissed my knuckles. It was so sweet. “You’re so wonderful. So patient and kind and mature beyond your years,” he said. “I am in awe of that about you. More mature than I at times.”

I sat, stunned at all he had said. “Thank you,” I said softly 

“It’s true,” Armie continued. “There is no bullshit about you, you know? No hidden agenda. No trying to show off. Not using anyone for your benefit. You’re a breath of fresh air. Clean, pure, light air. My lungs and my soul were so starved for it.”

My heart thumped in my chest as I heard his words as we drove through LA. “Thank you,” I said again. 

“You asked me if this is what it was like for me?” I glanced at him. He was clutching my hand tight. “No, Timothée. It has never been like this for me. I am in just as much a state of shock and ecstasy. Panic and bliss. Fear and elation. I am all you’re feeling too. And this past Friday I was so afraid I had fucked up. I was frozen in fear.”

“It’s ok,” I said. 

“I’ve never met anyone like you,” he said softly. 

“And I’ve never met anyone like you,” I replied. 

We were stopped in traffic and we looked at one another. The early morning sunlight was hitting his golden hair and blue eyes just right. He almost didn’t seem real. His beauty was too much at times. It made my chest ache. I took a shaky breath in. “I know at times it’s difficult when things don’t go according to plan,” I said. 

“Who you telling?” He said absentmindedly. 

I chuckled. “I know you’re used to the powers that be, the fates that be, to just work to your favor and I know that most of the time Lady Luck is on your side and when you’re not sure if she is you make your own luck and make sure things work out your own way,” I said. 

He looked at me and nodded. “Yes,” he simply stated. 

“I know,” I said. “I know. I that’s how it works for you professionally. Personally. Romantically.”

We looked at each other. “Yes,” he said again, softly. 

“Well, maybe with me life doesn’t seem to be working out that way,” I told him. “Maybe with me everything is different this time around,” I said. 

He nodded. 

“Well I’m not used to things working out just because,” I said. “I’m used to being thrown off and struggling and working through and over things,” I said. “Maybe destiny put me in your life to show you that it’s ok if life happens to you. That you can still land on your feet and make it through, no matter what the situation is. No matter what life throws at us.”

“Us?” He asked. 

“Us,” I said. 

I loved the way his face brightened. He smiled and his face was like the sun. He was spring, golden and bright. I had never felt happier. 

 


 

He checked in his luggage and then I walked him to his gate. We sat holding hands. I saw how people looked at him and then in hind sight looked at me. I felt as if their eyes were asking me why it was my hand he was holding. I lifted my chin. Why wouldn’t he? 

We glanced at one another and smiled. “I would be lying if I said I wasn’t sad that you aren’t going but, with time I know one day you’ll come with me.”

“With time, yes,” I said as I ran my thumb over his fingers. I gave him a kiss. 

“I’ll miss you,” he said. 

“And I’ll miss you,” I responded, giving him another kiss. 

“You promise from now on, you will always come and drop me off whenever I need to travel for work?”

“I promise, Armie,” I said, giving him another kiss. 

“You won’t hold it against me if I have to travel a lot for work from time to time?”

“No,” I said. “I could never hold that against you.”

“When I come back, I mean it, stay with me a while.”

I didn’t want to make a promise I wasn’t sure if I could keep. I took a deep breath in and suddenly they were calling for his flight to board. 

“Oh,” he said. We stood up. He looked sad and I squeezed his hands. “This is it,” he said. 

I nodded.  “It’ll be ok,” I told him softly. He nodded. “Come on you’re first class,” I said. He nodded again. 

We walked closer to the gate and he suddenly turned to me. “Can I bring you something back from Paris?”

“Yes,” I whispered. “Yes.”

Relief broke in his face, and he reached for me. I let him hold me, let him press us length to length so close that nothing might fit between us.

They called for first class again and he leaned down and we kissed. “See you soon! I’ll text you as soon as I land,” he said. 

“Ok,” I told him. “See you soon!” 

And with that he turned and gave his ticket and showed his passport at the gate. He gave me one last look and smiled and winked. My heart skipped a beat. I walked and watched his golden head of hair for as long as I could and then he was gone. 

I let a breath out. I stuck my hands in my pockets and I turned and started making my way out of the airport. 

Chapter Text

Christmas with my family was good. I had a wonderful family and I cherished it. My parents were happy with the presents I had for them and that made me happy. I was given AirPods and other random nice things. It was good to be home but it was a little strange. 

This was me. Away from LA. Away from Armie. I was me still, but yet I was so different. I wondered to myself if I should mention Armie to my mom or dad or sister but then I didn’t. I figured later on, if Armie and I kept on being together then they would eventually meet him. 

I had started following Armie on Instagram and he had messaged me on there when he had arrived in Paris. I wasn’t sure what his day entailed but I knew he was there on business and I didn’t want to bother him so I didn’t message him until he messaged me first. I didn’t know if this was right or wrong.. fuck I didn’t know how to handle this, how to best do this, so I was doing the best I could. 

A few days after he had been in Paris, Armie posted some pictures. I smiled as I saw the selfies and the picturesque shots of buildings. I liked them all. I missed him but soon enough he would be back. 

New Year’s Eve I messaged him when it was 11:55 pm his time. He answered me quickly after telling me Happy New Years. 

Don’t kiss anyone! I typed out, as a joke, except it wasn’t. I deleted it though and never sent it. That felt a little over the top. 

 


 

I stayed a few more days into the New Year since Armie wasn’t home and then I took off back to LA. The drive was long but I found it relaxing. I played music all the way back from my iPhone. 

I was about two thirds of the way home when I heard a song I hadn’t in a while. When it was over I replayed it. Then replayed it again. After I had played it enough times I started to sing along with it.

“Call out of work, can’t be bothered. It's all the same. Call it absurd, putting you first. Drive me insane. So what if I'm fucked up, fallen in love. So what if I'm such a sucker for pleasure? So what if one night is never enough? Drive me insane. Don't stop, tell me, tell me, tell me, don’t stop. Heaven, is it as wonderful? Heaven, is it as beautiful as you? Is it as wonderful? Heaven, is it as beautiful as you?” 

I sighed and turned my music off. I was almost back in LA. I almost regretted giving Armie his key back. I could have driven to his home and gotten in his bed. It smelled of him. I could have stripped down and put on his clothes. The ones he had slept with the last night we were there, together. I closed my eyes and swallowed. Was it this insane for everyone? I shook my head. Maybe I didn’t want to know the answer. 

 


 

I laid on the couch, phone on my chest. It was the weekend before Aiden and I returned to school. 

“So...” Aiden said. “You’ve been moping around for a week. Wanna go get drunk? There’s a party tonight.”

“No,” I said softly.  

“Ok,” he said. 

“You can go,” I said, turning my neck and looking up at him. “I’m good.”

He gave me a thumbs up and quickly walked to his room. I chuckled. After a while I heard the shower running. The tv was on but I wasn’t really watching. I went and looked at Armie’s Instagram for the hundredth time. He had posted another picture yesterday. I had messaged him when he had and he had said he would be back before the end of January. We weren’t even halfway through the month. 

He had asked me how I was, if I was ok, if I needed anything. I had said I was completely ok and looking forward to his return. 

I closed my eyes and bit my lip absentmindedly. 

“So you’re good?” Aiden asked. 

“Yeah, man,” I said.  

“You sure you don’t wanna come? Bree might be there.” 

“Nah, I’m good,” I said again. I hadn’t talked to Bree since before Armie had left, except for the Merry Christmas text I had responded to that she had sent me and the Happy New Years text I had sent a week later. I’d see her at school, no big deal. 

“Ok, then,” Aiden said and with that he was gone. 

I stared up into the ceiling. I tapped a playlist of mine on my phone and laid there listening. I wasn’t sure how long it had been since Aiden left when my phone vibrated. I picked it up. It was a text from Bree. 

Why didn’t you come to the party?

Wasn’t feeling it

What you doing now?

Nothing  

Want some company?

Ok

I texted Bree my address. She had never been over. It took her about half an hour and then she knocked on my door. I got up and opened the door and smiled at her as I gave her a hug. I walked back in and resumed my position on the couch.  

“Aiden said you’ve been moping,” Bree said as she put her purse down on my coffee table. 

“Did he?” I asked. She nodded. “There’s soda and juice in the fridge. Maybe some beer,” I said. 

“I’m good, I’m driving,” she answered. 

I glanced at her. She had straightened her hair so it looked extra long. It was curled at the end. She had make up on. She had had make up on the night I had seen her bartending but she hardly wore that much make up to school. 

“You don’t need all that makeup,” I said. 

Bree laughed. She had a really nice laugh. “Thanks. I know but I like it wearing it every once in a while.”

“You always wear it to work?” I asked. 

“Yeah,” she said grinning. “Why?” 

“Just wondering,” I asked and chuckled. “Sorry, I wasn’t trying to be nosy.”

“Nah it’s ok,” she said. She looked at the tv which was still on. I was still looking at her. Her gaze fell back on me. “So you wanna tell me why you’re moping? It might help to talk.”

Her hands were on her knees. She had blue jeans with tears on them and black high heeled ankle boots. Her nails were black. “I miss Armie,” I said as I looked at her nail polish. She had really cute little hands. 

“Where is he?” She asked. 

“He had to fly to Paris for business. He’ll be back last week of the month.” I looked back up at the ceiling. 

“Well, just count down the days,” she said. “Once we’re back at school maybe time will seem to go by faster. 

“I hope,” I said softly. 

We sat in silence a moment. A commercial came on and Bree sang along with the jingle. “How long have you two been together?”

“We started fucking in November,” I said. 

She chuckled. “So it was lust at first sight?”

“Yes and no,” I said. “Yes. But it’s more. It’s slightly insane.”

“Insane how?”

“He’s the sickness and the remedy,” I said smiling at the ceiling. “The calm and the storm.”

“Intense,” she said. 

“He is half my soul, as the poets say,” I whispered.  

“You know already?” 

“Yeah,” I replied. “He had bought me a ticket too,” I said and looked over at Bree. She had bent her right leg and had it up on the couch, her left knee over the right ankle. She was leaning her right elbow over the back of the couch, head tilted and resting on her right hand. “But I told him it was too soon and I wanted to spend Christmas with my family.” 

She nodded. “Did he take that ok?”

“No, he took it horribly. No one says no to him but I honestly couldn’t go,” I said. 

“Why?” She asked. 

“I just told you why.”

“Now tell me really why.” 

“I... I’m worried.”

“About?” 

“Not being enough.”

“He obviously thinks you are.”

I looked over at her. She gave me a pretty smile. I smiled back and felt better than I had felt since coming back home. “How do you know?” 

“I saw the way he looked at you when you were at the club,” she said. “He wonders the same thing about himself. If he’s enough.”

I was still looking into her brown eyes. “Really? That’s the vibe you got?”

“Mmhmm,” she said. She looked at the tv. Another commercial came on and she sang along to another jingle. “He doesn’t like me much,” she said. 

“What?” I asked. 

“Armie. I think he felt... not pleased that we’re friends.”

I shrugged and shook my head. “It’s not a big deal,” I said. 

“What isn’t a big deal?” She asked. 

“He knew I helped you with the tire. Then he met you and I think didn’t expect you to look like you.”

“What?” She asked. 

“You know, he didn’t expect you to be so pretty.”

She burst out laughing. I liked her laugh. It was so infectious. I laughed as well. “That makes no sense. If you’re gay what does it matter what I look like?” She asked after we had quit laughing. 

“I’m bi,” I said. 

“Oh,” she said. She shrugged. She reached for my remote control and I looked down at her black finger nails again. I really liked them. 

“I like your nail polish,” I said. 

She giggled. “In a gay and fabulous way or in a they make me look edgy and appealing way?” She asked glancing over at me. 

I shrugged. “In a I like your nail polish way,” I said and she laughed again. 

 


 

“Rise and shine motherfuckers!” 

I jolted up. “What the fuck!” I said. 

“Rise and shine motherfuckers!” Aiden yelled even more loudly. 

“Ok! Ok! Fuck Aiden! Stop!” I looked across from me and saw Bree. She was sitting up and yawning. I suddenly remembered. She had come over and we had talked and then we had started to watch Pretty Little Liars. I had told her she was taking the secret to her grave that I loved the show and was on season three. We must have fallen sleep.  

“Which one of you fuckers drank my cranberry grape juice?” Aiden asked loudly again. 

“Dude, first off we’re not fuckers,” I said. 

“I beg to differ. The bottle was new. Sealed. Now it’s empty.”

“I will buy you more,” Bree said. He hair was slightly tousled and her black eye liner smudged but it looked even better that way. I smiled at her. She saw my smile and grinned. 

“This is not funny! I’m not laughing!” Aiden said. 

“I promise! Aiden! I’ll buy you some!” Bree said. She stretched. “After breakfast. Let’s go to IHOP.”

I sat up. “IHOP sounds good,” I said. 

Aiden looked at me. “You wanna go?” He asked. 

“Yeah,” I said standing up. I stretched as well. 

“Oh,” Aiden said. “I’m amazed you’ve done nothing but mope for a fucking week!”

I rolled my eyes. “Do you want to go?” I asked. 

“Yes!” He said.

“Ok, let me go change,” I said. 

Bree nodded and got up. “I need to use the bathroom.”

I nodded and she walked behind me. I walked into my room and she walked into the bathroom. I took off my shirt and joggers. I slipped on some jeans. My phone rang. It was Armie. My heart leapt. 

“Hello?” I answered breathlessly. 

“Hey handsome,” he said. I closed my eyes. God I loved his voice. 

“Hey,” I said sitting down on my bed. I could feel the huge grin on my face. “How are you?”

“Ok,” he said. “I miss you.” 

I felt the lump forming in my throat but I swallowed it down. “I miss you too.” 

“Did I wake you?”

“No. Aiden did that!”

He laughed. “Listen,” he said. “I ran into an old friend and he has a place out in the country side. He told me WiFi is sketchy so if I’m sorta silent for a few days, that’s why.”

I nodded slowly. My breathing had quickened, as had my heart rate. I was biting the inside of my bottom lip. “Who’s your friend?” I asked. 

“Wentworth Miller,” Armie said. “He’s an actor. Not sure if you know him.”

“Captain Cold?” I asked. 

Armie chuckled. “Yes. Turns out he’s the Bouguereau Client!” 

I raised my eye brows and nodded. “He’s also gay,” I said. 

Silence. “I’m not... this isn’t a romantic thing, Timothée,” Armie said. 

“Ok,” I said. “Well have fun.” 

“Timothée,” Armie said but I hung up. I got up and walked to my closet. I didn’t want to think about this. I couldn’t think about this. 

“Nice room,” Bree said, leaning against my doorframe. 

I smiled at her. “Let me give you the grand tour,” I said to her. I stepped back. “Bed. Desk. Closet. Walls.” 

She giggled and stepped inside. She looked around and then her eyes landed on me. “You should have told me the juice was Aiden’s. Now I’m buying him breakfast and juice.”

“Well I’ll buy you breakfast,” I said as I walked past her to my closet and grabbed a gray hoodie and a white tee shirt. 

“You’re buying me breakfast?” She asked. 

“Yeah, since you put up with me last night.” 

She leaned back on my desk and watched me as I slipped on my tee shirt and hoodie. “I hardly call that putting up with,” she said with a smile.  

“Either way, thank you,” I replied. “Ready?” 

“Yeah,” she said and we walked out of my room together. 

Chapter Text

I stood silent and then looked down at my phone. He had hung up on me. Timothée had hung up on me. 

“Everything alright?” Wentworth asked. I was in his hotel room. I had checked out of mine this morning and now I was at his waiting for him to check out. 

I stood silent a moment. 

“Armie?” Wentworth said. I looked at him. “Is everything alright?” He asked. 

“Ah... I don’t know,” I said. 

“What happened?” Wentworth asked. 

“Timothée hung up on me,” I said. 

“The man you’re seeing?”

“Yes.”

“Well, call him back,” Wentworth said with a shrug and went back to packing his suitcase. 

I called Timothée back and after two rings I got sent to voicemail. I decided to text him. 

Timothée. Can you call me please?

“Ok, I’m done. Ready to go?” Wentworth asked. 

“Yes,” I replied. 

 


 

He checked out and an employee loaded the luggage into the trunk of Wentworth’s car. It had been 17 minutes since I had sent Timothée the text. I tried to call him again and the phone never rang. I went straight to voice mail. 

We got into Wentworth’s car. We were driving into the country and for a while I knew we would have sketchy cell phone service. I decided to send another text. 

Ok so you don’t want to call me and don’t want me calling you. Can you text me? I’d like to clear the air before the radio silence that may follow the next few days.

We drove on and on and nothing from Timothée.  

I knew Wentworth was going to be in Paris the same time as I. I had not meant to text him or call him while being here since I had imagined I would have been with Timothée. Since I wasn’t though, I figured I would see what he was up to and see if maybe we could do some sightseeing together. He had originally planned to go back to the US today. 

My conversations with the client in Paris were going well and now I had to wait four days for the paperwork of the Cabanel to arrive so I had several days free and Wentworth had asked if I wanted to go to his home in the country. It had sounded like a wonderful idea. 

“I don’t mean to be nosy, but why exactly did he hang up on you?” Wentworth asked. 

“Because of you,” I said. 

“Excuse me?”

I took a deep breath in and out and tried calling him once more. Nothing. “Ok, well, that’s that,” I said. “I told him I was going to be spending time with you and he mentioned you were gay then told me to have fun and hung up on me.” 

“Does he have such little faith in you?” Wentworth asked.  

I furrowed my brow. “It’s a new thing,” I said. “We just met in November and... well it obviously didn’t sit well, me going off with you for a few days.”

“Hmm,” Wentworth said. 

“He didn’t give me a chance to explain that you and I are just friends,” I said. 

“Well hopefully he’ll be less angry soon and you can talk to him,” Wentworth said in his smooth voice. We stayed quiet a moment. I looked out at the scenery. “If it bothered him you were coming with me, why did you come?” 

I sat in silence. “I’m not doing anything wrong,” I said. 

Wentworth looked at me and smiled. 

“What are we doing that’s wrong?” I asked.  

“Nothing,” he said softly. 

“Exactly,” I said. 

 


 

We hadn’t talked of Timothée the rest of the ride and he hadn’t tried to call or text me. I was bothered but I didn’t want to not enjoy France. Wentworth’s home was beautiful. It was an old home that had been restored. He had kept as many of the original details as he could. I walked around smiling. 

“This is gorgeous!” I said. 

Wentworth was grinning. He looked very handsome. He was in jeans and chunky cream knit sweater. His blue eyes were sparkling. 

“I saw it and had to have it. It’s far away enough I can just hide and enjoy peace and quiet.”

I nodded. “I can see how that is very appealing,” I said letting out a sigh. 

“You’re still sad about Timothée,” Wentworth said. He walked over and placed a hand on my shoulder. “How about some tea?” He asked.  

“Sure,” I said, following him to the kitchen. 

“You never answered my question,” Wentworth said. 

“Which one?” I asked. 

“I asked if it made Timothée upset that you are here with me why did you come?”

“I did answer it,” I said looking at Wentworth. “I said I wasn’t doing anything wrong.”

Wentworth walked over to me. “No, nothing wrong,” he said as he stood in front of me. “Except you’ve always wondered what it would be like to fuck me.” 

I didn’t react to his words. “Don’t flatter yourself Wentworth,” I said smoothly and calmly. “You’re the one that’s always wandered what it would be like to have me fuck you.”

Wentworth laughed and walked over and got a couple of cups for our tea. 

 


 

Wentworth and I had cooked and eaten dinner. We had then gotten a fire going and were sitting in the living room chatting. We could talk for hours. We knew lots of the same people. 

We had fallen silent a moment and I absentmindedly checked my phone. I had no WiFi and no service. If Timothée had finally decided to send a text I wouldn’t receive it. I sighed.

“There, there,” Wentworth said. “I know you’re sighing for your lover.”

I shook my head. “I wish he had just let me explain.”

“Yes. So you could explain you were coming to the home of a good friend of yours, out in the country, away from everyone and everything, who everyone knows is gay and single and you were planning to stay a few days.”

I stared at Wentworth. “It sounds horrible when you say it that way,” I said.  

“Oh, I’m sorry. Which version were you going to give Timothée which would have sounded better? The one where I’m straight?” 

I closed my eyes and sighed. “Fuck I’m a tool aren’t I?” I asked feeling horrible.  

“No, you just truly only think of yourself at times,” Wentworth said with a chuckle. 

“Not funny!” I said 

“I wasn’t joking, Armand,” Wentworth said. I sat silent. “I wasn’t trying to be hurtful, Armie,” Wentworth continued softly. He came and sat closer to me on the couch. He placed his hand on my knee. “I asked you why you came if you knew it made Timothée upset.” We looked into each other’s eyes. “The answer truly is you came because you wanted to. That’s the way you operate.”

I looked at Wentworth. I said nothing in return. 

“I can understand why Timothée is upset,” Wentworth said. “You’re with me, and I’m incredibly good looking,” he said and we both chuckled. “You’re in my home and we’re in France.” I let out a sigh. “Imagine if when you called him, he had told you he was alone with a really good looking friend while you’re hundreds of miles away. You would be upset too.” 

Bree came to mind. Timothée had never gone to Bree’s place and hung out with her. I suddenly imagined them hanging out at his place, in the small apartment he shared with Aiden. Alone. I hated the idea. 

“Anyway, all that aside, I am glad you’re here and I’m glad you came,” Wentworth said and gave me a huge grin. I couldn’t help but grin back. 

I would work things out with Timothée when I got back to Paris. I’m sure he knew how much he meant to me.

 


 

The days at Wentworth’s home were really nice. There was the uneasiness of Timothée being upset in the back of my mind, but I knew I would take care of it as soon as I could.  

After our four days at his home, Wentworth and I drove back to Paris. He was leaving for the States. I still had business in France. 

He still had a few hours before he had to leave for the airport so we went to get coffee. The conversation was pleasant. I truly enjoyed his company. Then it was time for him to go. We stepped out into the street. We hugged. 

“It was great seeing you,” I said grinning. 

“It was great seeing you,” he said. “I really hope I caused no problems between you and Timothée, I would feel horrible and I -“

“Don’t worry,” I said. “I’ll call him tomorrow and explain it all.”

Wentworth looked at me. “Have you always been this handsome?” He asked.  

“Have you always been such a flirt?” I asked.  

We laughed.  

“Maybe I can meet this man of yours soon,” he said. “I’m intrigued to see who has captured the heart of Armand Hammer.”

I chuckled. “That would actually be nice. We’ll set something up.”

“Ok,” Wentworth said. He leaned in and kissed my cheek. “Take care dear friend,” he said. “I’ll see you soon. When you deliver my painting to me.”

“Very soon yes,” I said. We gave each other another hug. I took off for my hotel and he took off for the airport. 

 


 

I knew I was hours ahead of Timothée. The next day I was up early as I had business to take care off. The first thing I did was call him. I was relieved when he picked up.  

“Timothée!” I said. I let out a sigh. “Timothée, listen I knew it may have looked or sounded bad,” I said speaking hurriedly. “But I can promise you, it wasn’t.”

“It wasn’t?” He asked. 

“No!” I said. 

“So you didn’t fuck him?”

“God Timothée no!” I said. “I -“

“Then why were you kissing him?”

“What?” I asked. 

“Why. Were. You. Kissing. Him.” 

I stood frozen. “I never kissed him,” I said. I was thoroughly confused by what he had said. I started to become angry. “What the hell are you talking about? Wentworth and I have never kissed!” 

“That’s not what TMZ said. Or showed,” Timothée said. “There are pictures of you and him taken yesterday. You’re outside on the street and you’re hugging and kissing.” 

“What?” I asked. “No!”

“So that’s not you with him on the street hugging and kissing?” Timothée’s voice was shaky. 

“No, well yes,” I said. 

“Oh my god!” Timothée said. 

“No! No listen!” I said. “Timothée!”

“Fuck you Armie!” He said and hung up the phone. 

I tried to call him back and it went to voice mail. I called again. And again. The fourth time I called he picked up. “Timothée!” I said. 

“Leave him alone! You’ve done enough!” 

I froze. “Who is this?” I asked even though I knew who it was. 

“It’s Bree,” the voice said casually. “Now stop calling him.”

I hung up. I googled Wentworth and the TMZ article was the first thing that came up. I tapped it. 

‘Wentworth Miller Spotted Making Out with Mystery Man on the Streets Of Paris.’

I didn’t bother to read the article because I knew it was all fabrication. I scrolled down the pictures. There were 14 of them. The pictures were of my back and Wentworth’s face. He had a grin on his face and there were several of us hugging. There were two of when he had kissed me on the cheek and the way the angle of the camera was it truly looked like we were kissing. 

“Oh fuck me!” I whispered to myself. 

My phone rang in my hand and I jumped and for a split second I was filled with the hope that it was Timothée. It wasn’t. It was my art contact in Paris. 

“Hammer,” I answered. 

“Monsieur, the paper work has arrived. Everything is set.”

“Thank you,” I said and hung up. I needed 10 more days. I now had to clear the sale of the art with customs so I could take it back to the States and then I would be able to leave. 

My hands shook slightly. “I can fix this,” I said to myself. “I can fix this.”

I thought of Bree with Timothée. Where were they? His place? Her place? Wentworth and I had dined out and had had coffee in Paris at least six or seven times without paparazzi spotting him. I looked up at the ceiling, cursing the fates for this. It couldn’t have been worse timing. All I could do was tell Timothée the truth. I picked up my phone. My hands were trembling slightly. 

I saw the TMZ pictures. We were saying good bye. We hugged and he gave me a kiss on the cheek. It wasn’t romantic at all. He knows about you. He knows your name. He even said he wanted to meet you soon. 

I re read the text I sent. I nodded. I continued. 

Timothée. I only want you. Just you. I am so sorry that this happened. I am so sorry that I put myself in a position that this happened. It was selfish. It was wrong. But please, please believe nothing happened between he and I  

I sat on my bed and put my face in my hands. I picked my phone up one last time. 

Please. Please give me a chance to talk to you face to face when I get home. Please don’t let it end this way. I’m begging you, Timothée. Don’t let this be it

I felt the sting of tears at the corners of my eyes. I wiped them and then changed into gray dress pants and a suit jacket. I had a baby blue polo underneath. I had to get to the office and get the papers so I could start the ball rolling with customs. As soon as I did that I could fly home and fix things with Timothée. 

Chapter Text

I had a good time at ihop. We laughed and ate and I paid for Bree’s breakfast as I promised. We then went to the grocery story and Aiden got his juice. I picked up a few things and then we went to check out. 

“What are you doing tomorrow?” I asked Bree.  

“I want to relax before going back to school,” she said. “So I’ll probably paint.”

“You paint?” I asked surprised. 

“Yeah,” she said with a smile. She loaded her things to the belt of the register. 

“Have you thought of making it a career?” 

She sighed. “In fantasies yes. But my parents wouldn’t be too happy if I did art so I’m just going to finish school and do research and one day I’ll find an important cure or make an amazing medical discovery that will save millions of lives.”

I grinned at her. “Can I come over? Watch you paint?” I asked.  

She looked surprised. “Sure!” She said.  

“Awesome,” I replied with a smile. 

She paid for her stuff then waited for Aiden and I to finish and then we all stepped out and said good bye. Aiden and I climbed into my car and we took off for home.  

“Timmy, what are you doing?” Aiden asked. 

I looked at him confused. “Driving?”

“No butthead. With Bree. What are you doing?! You were putting on your moves!”

 “My moves?” I asked. 

Aiden rolled his eyes and gave me a look. “You’re whole: you’re dorky but you’re so good looking it comes across as adorable and you’re the sweetest ever and you act as if they’re the only person in the world and you ask a million questions about them and make them feel all special and before the end of the meal they’re head over heels for you.”

I blinked. “I didn’t know I did that.”

“That’s besides the point,” Aiden said. “Why are you putting your moves on Bree?”

“I wasn’t!” I said. We got home and parked. Aiden got the bags out of the back seat. 

“Did you suddenly develop amnesia about how in love with Armie you are?!”

“I haven’t!” I said as we jogged up the stairs. I opened our door. I looked at Aiden. “Armie is in fucking France with fucking Wentworth Miller! At his fucking home in the fucking French country side! For four mother fucking days with no fucking cell or WiFi signal!”

Aiden stared at me. “Captain Cold?”

“Yes! Him! Who’s gay. Out and gay. And rich and fucking perfect and a fucking actor. All the things someone like Armie should have, right?! Someone who obviously can pick up and go to France. Obviously! He paid his own way. Not only can he just go fly out there but buy a mother fucking house there that he can invite Armie to!”

I was panting and gripping the edge of our small kitchen counter. I pushed off it and went and sat on the couch, head in my hands. 

“Timothée,” Aiden said.  

“No! Aiden! No! This sucks. He shouldn’t have gone! He should have thought how painful this would be to me!” My voice was shaking. “I told you I’m not.. I mean he tells me, you know, he tells me he needs me and wants me but it’s obvious I’m not enough... he’s out of my league!” 

“Dude! You’re the only one saying that!”

 “He’s showing me, Aiden!” I said yelling. I couldn’t stop talking. “Look at this! I couldn’t go so he meets up with a fucking actor! A gay one! To have some days in his home in the country where I can’t reach him! Fuck!” I was panting and crossed my arms over my knees and laid my head on it. I hadn’t even realized I was crying until I felt the wetness on my arms. “How am I supposed to compete with all that?”

I felt Aiden lay his hand between my shoulder blades and rub my back. “Tim?” 

“What?” I asked. 

“You know you’re my buddy, my best friend. I’m always on your side. You know that right?” 

“Yeah,” I said sniffling.  

“All I’m saying is, if he was planning to go to France to fuck Wentworth Miller, one, he would have never bought you a ticket, unless he was planning to maybe convince you for a threesome and then, you know, consenting adults. I have no judgement. So then let’s say he ran into Captain Cold and obviously they’re friends and he invited him to his home. If Armie wanted to go fuck him behind your back he would NOT tell you he was going to his home. So I think the fact he told you actually means he wasn’t planning to do anything.”

I looked up at Aiden. “Ok,” I said. I took my phone from my pocket which I had off. I turned it on and his text messages came through. I still felt unhappy about the situation but all Aiden said made me feel a little better. 

“Another word of advice, Tim?”

“Yeah?”

“Do you really want to revenge fuck Bree to piss Armie off? You said she’s your friend. Friends don’t fuck friends over man.”

“No,” I said furrowing my brow and shaking my head. “I know I was being a bit much but I would never... you know me, man.”

“I do. I do know you and you’re the best man I know. And I’m here to remind you whenever you loose your way.”

I smiled at Aiden. “Thank you,” I said and I meant it. I hugged him. 

 


 

The following day, part of me wanted to not go to Bree’s, but, I thought I would look more like a douche if I didn’t. I would just make sure I kept my distance this time.  

I had texted her after I had eaten and showered and she texted me her address. “Wanna come with?” I asked Aiden. 

“Nope. You reap what you sow. Go watch her paint,” he said chuckling. 

I punched him lightly on the shoulder and left. The drive to Bree’s wasn’t long and being Sunday morning there wasn’t much traffic and suddenly three songs into my playlist I was there. I got out and walked to her door and knocked. She opened it quickly. 

“Hey!” She said. 

“Hi,” I answered. Her long hair was up in a messy bun and she had a tank top and overalls on, which you could tell she wore when she painted. 

“Perfect timing,” she said.

“Why?” I asked walking in. 

“I’m gonna have you model for me,” she said eyes sparkling. “I’ve been thinking of it since you said you wanted to come watch!”

“You’re not gonna ask me to get naked are you?” I asked. “Because I am spoken for and -“

“Oh shut up Timothée! No! Just need your profile!” She said laughing. “Jesus like I’m a perv or something,” she said with a grin. 

I grinned back. “I was just joking,” I said. 

“Yes and spoken for, as you also mentioned.” She was walking around her small apartment and came back with a stool. “Sit,” she said. I sat. “Have you spoken to Armie?”

I looked down at the floor. “Yesterday before ihop. I may have been a bit of an ass.”

“Oh?” She asked. “Wanna talk about it?” 

“Nah,” I said smiling back. 

“Ok!” She said. “Face that way,” she pointed to her window. “Mind if I put some music on?”

“Depends. What music?”

“A playlist. First song is Ellie Goulding, Close To Me.”

“Oh, with Swae Lee. Yeah I like him.”

Bree put music on and I stared out her window. My mind wandering about what Armie and... Wentworth were up to. 

 


 

Wednesday night, Aiden and I were in the living room. We were both on our laptops with TMZ on tv and not really paying attention to what was on. School had kept my mind off Armie. If I remembered correctly though, he should have returned to Paris today and I was expecting a call from him tomorrow or Friday. 

Aiden and I were sort of chatting and laughing when what was being said on tv caught our attention. 

“Wentworth Miller was spotted in Paris today making out with a Mystery Man.”

Aiden and I stared at the tv. I could feel the blood drain from my face. The picture popped up. It was the back of his head. His broad shoulders and back. It was him. 

“Is it him?” Aiden whispered. 

I stared as the next picture showed their heads tilted and Wentworth’s arms around him. Yes, it was him, I thought but didn’t say it. Another picture. I was hoping for what wasn’t coming. A picture that didn’t look like him. But they all looked like him. I would know him anywhere. I would know him blind.

“Yes,” I finally whispered. 

I reached for the remote and turned the tv off, got up and walked past Aiden to my room.

“Timothée,” Aiden called after me. 

“It’s fine,” I said. I was done with today. 

 


 

The following day, I contemplated just staying home but I realized how stupid that was. If anyone knew who Armie was and had figured out it was him with Wentworth, it didn’t matter at school because no one knew we were together because obviously we weren’t. What was the point of inviting me to Paris then? What was the point of saying all he had said when I had gone back to his place. Being clingy. Asking me to fuck him. 

I stood under the shower and thought of how he had asked me to be inside of him. I put my hand on my chest. It hurt so much until I felt nothing. I felt as if I was in shock. 

I went to school and went through the motions. I came home and was sitting on the couch when Aiden came home. “You alright?” He asked me but I didn’t answer. I didn’t want to talk.  

“Hey, come on, let’s go out to eat,” he said, pulling on my arm and I just got up and went and got into his car. I sat on the passenger’s seat. We drove somewhere. It looked like Taco Bell. We sat at a booth and suddenly I became aware of food in front of me. Then someone pushed me aside and I scooted in. It was Bree. I looked out the window. 

I heard Aiden telling her. The whole TMZ thing. I saw her grab her phone and I knew she was googling Wentworth as I had today. Five times. The TMZ article was the first thing that came up. I had stared at all the pictures. They didn’t show Armie’s face, just his back. “Is it him?” She asked.  

“Timothée says it is.” 

I thought of our book. The book we had quoted to each other so much from. I thought of how Patroclus talked of Achilles. I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world. 

“It’s him,” I said.

They sat as silent as I had been all day. My phone rang. I took it out of my pocket. It was him. The thought of not answering him didn’t even cross my mind. Whatever he had to say couldn’t hurt more than what I was feeling right now anyway. I slid my thumb across and put the phone to my ear. He spoke before I did. 

“Timothée!” He said letting out a sigh. “Timothée, listen I knew it may have looked or sounded bad, but I can promise you, it wasn’t.” 

“It wasn’t?” I asked. My voice sounded strange. 

“No!” He said. 

“So you didn’t fuck him?”

“God Timothée, no!” He said. “I -“

“Then why were you kissing him?”

“What?” He asked. 

“Why. Were. You. Kissing. Him.” My hands were shaking. 

“I never kissed him,” he said. “What the hell are you talking about? Wentworth and I have never kissed!”

“That’s not what TMZ said. Or showed,” I told him. “There are pictures of you and him taken yesterday. You’re outside on the street and you’re hugging and kissing.”

“What? No!”

“So that’s not you with him on the street hugging and kissing?” My voice was shaky. 

“No, well yes,” he said. 

“Oh my god!” I said. I had been wrong. The confirmation of it hurt so much.  

“No! No listen! Timothée!”

“Fuck you Armie!” I said and hung up the phone. 

I sat there. Frozen. The phone rang again. I jumped. Bree grabbed my phone and cancelled the call. It happened twice more. On the fourth time she picked up. 

“Leave him alone! You’ve done enough!” She said. “It’s Bree,” she continued. “Now stop calling him!” She hung up again and put my phone down. 

“I want to go home,” I said. 

Neither Bree or Aiden questioned me. I got into Aiden’s car and I saw them talking outside. They kept glancing my way and I knew they were worried about me. I didn’t want to think. I heard my phone chime a few times but I ignored it. Finally Aiden got in the car and Bree waved at us. I raised my hand to her and Aiden and I took off. 

The ride home was silent. Once home, I just walked to my room. As I undressed I took my phone out my pocket and saw he had texted me. I read his messages. 

I saw the TMZ pictures. We were saying good bye. We hugged and he gave me a kiss on the cheek. It wasn’t romantic at all. He knows about you. He knows your name. He even said he wanted to meet you soon. 

I glanced at the next message. 

Timothée. I only want you. Just you. I am so sorry that this happened. I am so sorry that I put myself in a position that this happened. It was selfish. It was wrong. But please, please believe nothing happened between he and I  

The last message. 

Please. Please give me a chance to talk to you face to face when I get home. Please don’t let it end this way. I’m begging you, Timothée. Don’t let this be it

I put my phone to charge and put it on airplane more. I grabbed my iPod and put my music to shuffle, turned off my lights and climbed into my bed. 

Chapter Text

The next couple of days were a blur. They really were. Then something happened on Sunday when I woke up. I woke up angry. So angry. I wanted to yell at Armie. I picked up my phone and thought of texting him but I didn’t. I text wouldn’t do. I wanted to talk to him. But not on the phone. In person. I wanted to unload all the anger and frustration I felt. I wanted him in front of me reacting to everything. 

I didn’t know how wise that was because he affected me too. He affected everything about me. I sat on my bed and wondered about it all. I got up and showered and dressed. I went to my kitchen and ate some cereal. When I finished I looked at the time. It was 9:45 am. I took a deep breath in and out. I walked to my window and looked up at the sky. Whatever the fates had in store for me, I hoped what I was about to do would not lead me astray. I picked up my phone and looked through my contacts. I dialed a number. 

“Hello?” Came the soft voice. 

“Victoria. Hi. It’s Timothée.”

Silence. “Hi,” she said. 

“Hi,” I said again. “Is it ok I called you?” I asked. 

“Yes, of course it is,” she answered. She sounded warm and caring. 

“I... I need to talk to you.”

“Yes, of course. What if we do lunch?”

“Sure,” I said. She gave me the name of a place and a time. “Thank you, see you then.”

 


 

I had googled the place and saw how long it would take me to get there. I didn’t want to be late. I pulled on and Off White tee shirt and jeans and high top Nike shoes. I stepped out into my living room. Aiden was out there and looked up at me. 

“Going somewhere?” He asked. 

“Yeah,” I answered. “I’m having lunch with Victoria.”

“Victoria?” 

“Victoria Hammer. Armie’s younger sister.”

“Oh,” Aiden said. He looked a bit confused. “Why?”

“I just want to talk to her.”

“Ok,” Aiden said nodding. “I hope... she’s an honest person.”

“I felt she was when I met her,” I told him. 

“Ok, Tim,” Aiden said. “Good luck.”

“Thanks man,” I said. 

We fist pumped and I left the apartment. 

 


 

I reached the restaurant and as I walked through the parking lot, I saw Victoria. 

“Hey!” She called out. She gave me a friendly smile and I waved. 

“Hi!” I answered. We met and hugged, I laid my head on her shoulder. 

“You’re so sweet,” she said giggling.

“I try,” I said. 

We walked to the restaurant and I pulled the door open for her and we went inside. We got a table and sat down. 

“Thank you for meeting me,” I said with a smile once we were given our menus. “I hope you’re not weirded out by me calling out of the blue.”

“No,” she said. “I know you and Armie are close and I like you!” She said giggling. “And so does he, so, I think this is cool.”

Victoria smiled at me with a kind smile. I looked down at my menu and wondered if she knew. “Ah, so, for Christmas Armie actually bought me a plane ticket to Paris,” I said. 

Victoria looked up from her menu and stared at me. “He did?”

“Yeah.”

“Oh god! He can be... a lot sometimes! He didn’t ask you before he bought it did he?”

“No,” I said raising my eyebrows and shaking my head.

“Oh god and I told him to make sure to give you the space you need and then he went and got a plane ticket to Paris!” She closed her eyes and shook her head. 

“Well, I said no because...”

“Because you’re not a gold digger,” she said softly and looking at me. 

“I’m not,” I said. “I care a lot about him.”

“And he does for you too Timothée. Believe me,” Victoria said. 

I took my phone out of my pocket and googled the TMZ article. “Do you know Wentworth Miller?” I asked. 

“Ah, I met him once at party,” she said. 

The waiter came and took our order. I wasn’t too hungry so I got  grilled chicken salad. Victoria ordered something similar.

“Have he and Armie ever dated or... fooled around?” I asked. I was ready for her to throw her water at me, but she didn’t. She seemed to think about it. 

“No,” she said. “They flirted when I saw them but it didn’t look serious and Armie has never come to me and spoken about him to me. If he doesn’t mentioned them then I don’t think they’re serious,” she said. 

I nodded and handed her my phone. She looked. She furrowed her brow and I saw her raise her eyebrows as she scrolled. She nodded as she handed my phone back to me. She looked right into my eyes. Our food arrived. We thanked the waiter. Neither of us began to eat. We looked at each other again. 

“Timothée,” she said in a soft but serious voice. “I like you. You’re cute, you’re smart, you’re funny and incredibly charming. You’re not after my brother’s money. You’re not trying to use him to get ahead professionally. Heck, your life might actually be easier without Armie in it. But yet, here you are and there he is and I actually gave him a talk to give you space!”

“You said,” I said nodding. I slipped my phone back into my pocket. 

“I know those photos looked... well, I don’t know. Wentworth tends to give kisses on the cheek, on one it looked to me like that’s what it was. It has Armie’s back so its not like its from the side so it’s hard to say,” she said. 

“Yeah,” I answered. 

“But, Timothée,” she said again. “My brother is not a cheater. I know he doesn’t cheat. And he’s so crazy about you, I don’t know why he would throw away a chance with you for Wentworth?” 

I stared at her. My heart was pounding in my chest. 

“Don’t get me wrong! He’s hot! But he and Armie have known each other several years and if they were the cheating type they would have jumped each other’s bones years ago! Why now? It doesn’t make sense. I don’t believe the TMZ piece.”

“Ok,” I said nodded. 

“It may not mean much because I’m his sister,” she said. 

“No, actually, it counts for a lot,” I said softly. “All you said, it means a lot.”

Victoria reached for my hand. “My family... ah I’ve been through similar situations. Even myself, I was hugging a friend who was married and it came out as he having an affair with me. It was a hard time. It wasn’t true.”

I nodded. “I understand.”

“Ok, I see why we’re here,” she said. “Have you spoke to him?”

“Less than 24 hours after I saw TMZ on tv and then this on my phone,” I said. “He called me several days earlier saying he had run into Wentworth and he was going to his home in the country for a few days and it was shitty service and if he was quiet, that would be why.”

“Oh god. Then this?!” Victoria asked, eyes wide. I nodded. “Oh that sucks.” 

I took a breath in. “I’m... I’m trying to just...”

“Sort out your feelings, yeah,” she said. “Well, what did he say about this?”

“He told me it was all lies. That Wentworth kissed him on the cheek and said he didn’t do anything and for me to please not end it like this.” 

Victoria took a deep breath in and out. “Well I had no idea about this,” she said. “Ah but if I had seen it without you telling me I would have called him and asked and...” her eyes widened. “I can call him and ask.”

“Ok,” I said.

She beckoned a waiter. “Can we get these to go?” She asked. She took cash out of her wallet. 

“Oh! No! No!”

“Timothée it’s fine!” She said. Within 10 mins we were out of there and back in the parking lot. I followed her to her car. We climbed inside. She looked at me. “I believe my brother didn’t do anything wrong which is why I’m doing this,” she said. I nodded. I saw her call Armie and she put him speaker. 

“Hey! Vick!” His voice filled the car. My heart skipped a beat. I stayed still and quiet. 

“Hey, Armie,” she said. “Ah... I just saw this thing on -“

“Oh god Vick! The TMZ bullshit?!” He sounded panicked.  

“Yeah,” she said.

“Are you on speaker?” He asked. 

“Yeah I’m in my car. I saw it and had to call you.”

 “Fuck. It’s a lie! I didn’t kiss Wentworth! I didn’t do anything with him! I’m.. well I thought I was with Timmy but after this! Fuck. He was so pissed.”

“Ok, so like you just ran into Wentworth?”

“Well I knew he was here and it didn’t matter I mean I had meant to come with Timothée. Then he was supposed to go  back, but he stayed a few days to spend time with me.”

“Ok?” She asked. 

“So he bought a home a couple of years back and I went and we had a nice time. He’s an awesome guy.”

I felt my neck and cheeks warm. Awesome guy?! Fuck you, Wentworth, I thought. 

“You didn’t do anything right?” 

“No, Vick! It’s annoying as fuck! He and I went out to eat at least five times while he was here. Maybe six or seven and this had to happen on the the last day when he was leaving. We were saying goodbye! It’s awful.”

Again I felt my cheeks burn and I knew I was blushing. They saw each other, several times, went out to eat. What happened before and after? More kisses to the cheek?! My anger bubbled up in me. 

“Well I hope Timothée understands,” she said. 

“God Vick I hope so too! It’s SO frustrating I’m far away! I have another week to clear customs and the moment I can I will leave here and go find him and talk to him and I hope he lets me. I know if I look at him in the eyes and tell him the truth he’ll see I’m not lying!”

Vitoria sighed. “I hope it works out bro!”

“Me too Vick,” he said in a soft voice. “I’m so sorry, I have to go.”

“It’s alright. Chat soon, ok?”

“Ok,” he said and then they hung up. 

She turned to me. “I... I mean I don’t like what I just did, but, I’m glad I did it,” she said. “My brother is not someone to cheat on anyone.”

I nodded. “Thank you,” I said. She handed me my lunch and I stepped out of her car.

“Hey!” She called out before I shut the door.  

“Yeah?” I asked. 

“We’re gonna come clean about this to him. But if you two are back together he’ll be happy I did this!”

I couldn’t help but chuckle. “I have no problem come clean to him about this,” I said. 

“I knew you wouldn’t,” she replied with a smile. “I’m glad you called me Timothée.” 

“Me too, Victoria,” I said. I shut her car door and waved at her as she pulled out and I watched her go. 

Chapter Text

In the days following my conversation with Victoria I began to feel a bit better and better. Bree and Aiden seemed happy with my normal behavior. I could sense it and saw them smiling at each other when I laughed at something I used to laugh at or share a story that caught my interest. They tended to babysit me. One or the other was usually always with me, especially at meal times since I guess they had decided I wasn’t eating enough. 

It was sweet. A little suffocating at times, but sweet and their hearts were in the right place and deep down I appreciated their company. I didn’t want to be left alone with my thoughts sometimes and they were a welcomed distraction. The Saturday after, I was back in Bree’s place. She needed my profile again. She had SHAED playing in the background. My mind drifted off with the song. I asked her to play it several times on repeat. 

Finally she was done. “Hungry?” She asked. She washed her hands at her kitchen sink. 

“Yeah,” I said. 

She pulled out some cold cuts and bread and made us some sandwiches. She sat beside me and we ate in a comfortable silence. Other music was playing now. 

I took a breath in. “I’m going to call Armie tomorrow,” I said.  

She glanced at me and nodded. “Think you’re ready?”

“Yeah,” I said. 

“How you feeling?”

“Angry,” I answered. “I’m not so much hurt now. I’m angry.” I glanced at Bree. “I had lunch with his sister last weekend.”

“Oh!” She looked surprised. “How was that?”

“Good,” I said. 

She nodded and smiled. She ruffled my hair. “Whatever makes you happy Timothée. I only want you happy.”

“Thank you,” I said. I really meant it. I knew Bree and I hadn’t known each other that long but she had truly been a good friend. I leaned towards her and she pulled me into a one arm hug. 

 


 

That night Aiden and I were watching tv. Well, more like flipping through the channels and not really watching anything in particular. Finally we ended up putting Catfish on, it was one of Aiden’s favorite shows.  

We were quiet a while as we watched. I took a deep breath in and decided to tell Aiden what I had already told Bree. “I’m going to call Armie tomorrow,” I said. I glanced over at Aiden. 

I saw him nodding. “Ok,” he said. “You have an idea of what you want to say?”

“Pretty much,” I told him. I took a deep breath in and out. “I’m not looking to resolve anything. Not over the phone. I need to see him in person.”

“Ok,” Aiden said. “You just want to start communication again?”

“Yeah,” I said looking back at the tv.  

“Have you missed him?”

I stayed quiet a moment and thought about this. “Yes,” I said. 

“I bet he’s missed you too.”

I looked at Aiden a bit surprised. 

He saw the expression on my face and shrugged. “Seriously. I’m sure he missed you too.”

I looked back at the tv again. “Well, we shall see,” I said more to myself than him. 

We watched tv a bit more in silence. “If it’s meant to be, it’ll work out,” Aiden said. 

I looked at him and smiled. “I believe so too,” I replied. 

 


 

I had strange dreams that night and I wasn’t sure how much they had to with Armie. I would wake up after each dream and would think of how strange they were, but the following morning I could only remember little snippets of them and the feeling that they were strange. 

I woke up as the sun was beginning to rise. I recalled sunrises in Armie’s room and the story he told me of the reason he had bought his home. I suddenly missed him very much, then something switched in me and I was filled with anger. Anger towards him and his actions and his disregard for me. This is the part I hated. This is the part I had yet to work out. 

I had tried to get past the Wentworth situation but was having a hard time doing it. I tried to just take the words he had said at face value and used them to make me feel better, but I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. I was in love with Armie. It was a fact now. One I had fully accepted. When I tried to be practical and just rationalize that him going to Wentworth’s home, all in the name of friendship, my emotions went haywire and my brain couldn’t function properly. This was the part where things got muddy in my head. Before Armie had left, I truly had felt he needed me. He had said he needed me. He had made me feel I was someone special to him. That there was something about me that he had not found anywhere else and I was someone he didn’t want to lose. 

Yet, I had heard when he had told Victoria that he and Wentworth had met up several times and they hadn’t been spotted by the paparazzi. I told myself that’s not something you did when you had a boyfriend. But were we boyfriends? We never said. We had never decided. It wasn’t a conversation I had felt we needed... until now. Setting boundaries and clarifying what we were.  

This normally wasn’t me. In the past I was happy just going along and seeing where things took me. That was before. I had never had what I had with Armie before. I had never felt what I felt with him. I was feeling way too much to let this keep on being a casual thing. Obviously, I was too emotionally invested in him now. 

This made me a little nervous. What if I asked for clarification of what we were and he wanted nothing else but to be casual? His last text message hadn’t sounded casual though. “Don’t let this be it.” Apparently “this” was something to him.  

I covered my face with my hands. Was I anyone to ask anything of him? I wanted to think so but I don’t know for sure. All this back and forth was why I needed to talk to him. I needed my sanity back. I needed to know what we were. What we were doing. I wanted to know where I belonged in his life, if I belonged anywhere at all. I sighed. 

I picked up my phone. My heart pounded. I dialed his number. 

“Hello?”

I closed my eyes. My heart. I was flooded with emotions. “Hi,” I said, my voice sounded small. 

I heard him sigh. “Hi. How are you?”

I shrugged. I wasn’t sure how to answer that. “I don’t know,” I said. 

Silence. “You don’t know?”

“No.” I figured he didn’t know what to say to this. “When are you coming back? Do you know?”

“Yes. Well, I have an idea not an exact date but I shouldn’t be here more than another week.”

I nodded. “Let me know when you have an exact date then. We need to talk.”

Silence. “Yes we do,” he said softly. I closed my eyes. I couldn’t deal with him talking like that. Sounding like that. Sounding as if he was as hurt as I felt. “Timothée...”

“No,” I said. I sat up in my bed. “No. We can talk when you’re back.”

“Ok but can I just -“

“No!” I said. I felt sadness flood me followed by that anger that had been overtaking everything the past week. “No,” I said more calmly. 

“Ok,” he said sounding defeated.  

“Bye, Armie,” I said. 

“I’ll call you when I have a date of return.”

“Ok,” I said. “Bye.”

“Bye.”

 


 

A few days later I was in my living room trying to do some homework. I was home alone. I had the tv on and music coming out of my Bluetooth speaker. Quiet was my enemy these days. My mind would take me places I wasn’t emotionally ready to go. My phone rang. 

I closed my eyes and prepared myself.

“Hello?” I answered. 

“Hey, Timothée. How are you?”

I shook my head. “I don’t know.”

He sighed. “Timothée, I -“

“I’m not discussing this over the phone,” I said sternly. He didn’t reply. “Was there a reason you called?”

“Yes. I’m back in on Wednesday.”

“Ok,” I said. 

“I’ll be landing in the middle of the night. So maybe we can talk Thursday. I could come to your place?”

“No. I’ll go to yours,” I said. 

“Sure. Whatever you want,” he said sounding sad and I was filled with anger and frustration. As if he was doing this all for me. As if he was doing me a favor. I had to bite my tongue to hold those words back. 

“Ok, then. See you Thursday,” I said. 

“See you Thursday,” he replied. 

“Bye,” I said and hung up. 

I was filled with the urge to throw my phone. I hated how sad he sounded at my own unhappiness. I closed my eyes. I tried to steady my breathing until I began to feel calmer. 

I was feeling all this anger and frustration and yet given a chance to hold him and kiss him, I knew I would. I knew I wanted to. I wanted him close and with me. Was it this insane for everyone? Was it even like this for him? 

I didn’t know. I didn’t care. It was overwhelming. I wanted my thoughts to stop. I truly was only working myself up over everything. I turned the tv off and put the volume up on my speaker. I leaned back on my couch and just let my mind wander. I closed my eyes as I listened to the music playing. 

“Ask me no questions, I will tell you no lies, careful what you wish for. We're looking for angels in the darkest of skies, saying that we wanted more. I feel like I'm falling, but I'm trying to fly. Where does all the good go? We're looking for answers in the highest of highs but will we ever, ever know? And I need you to know I'm not asking for a miracle. But if love is enough, could you let it show? If you feel it could you let me know? I'm not asking for a miracle...”

Chapter Text

Wednesday morning I had woken up and had grabbed my phone. 

Text me the moment you land. I don’t care what time

I didn’t care how it sounded. My frustration was now coupled with anxiousness. He would be back soon and I needed to sort all this out with him. 

But you have school Thursday, don’t you?

One class in the afternoon. We need to talk

Maybe I could have thought of waiting until he had rested. The flight from Paris to LA was a 12 to 14 hour affair...  but no. I couldn’t wait. I got up and started my day. 

 


 

It was about 2:45 am on Thursday when I got the text. 

I’m at LAX

How are you getting home?

A friend is taking me home

Text me when you’re home. I’ll come over  

Will do

I bit the inside of my bottom lip and looked at my watch. There wasn’t much traffic at this time. The ride home shouldn’t take long. He should be at home within the hour. I waited 35 minutes, passing the time by listening to music. I got up and dressed and then got into my car and went. 

I drove to his house, my heart pounding in chest. I reached his gate and called him.  

“Hey!” He said. 

“I’m outside,” I said, deadpan. 

“I will be home soon. I’m literally two streets away!”

“Ok, see you soon.” I hung up. I turned the radio up. Mariah Carey was playing. 

“So, it's summertime, a splash of wine and forget about it. If you're so inclined, let's take a ride tonight. So then maybe if the stars align we’ll fix our minds on another tangent. And it's kinda like impossible to top this at all. Giving me life and it's everything. Thinkin' 'bout when we were seventeen. Feeling myself like I'm Norma Jeane. Here in my arms is where you should be...” 

 

I saw the headlights of a car. It was coming towards me and it was impossible for me to see who was driving. His gate opened and I watched the car drive in. It wasn’t a red Porsche. It wasn’t Rhys. I drove in behind the car. It pulled in, almost in front of his front steps. I drove past the car, a black jaguar and parked where I normally did, in front of his garage. I shut my engine off and got out. 

The trunk of the jag was open and as I walked closer I saw who it was. It was Wentworth. I felt the burning in my chest of anger. I walked towards them. 

“Timothée,” Armie said. I looked at his face. He looked tired. He looked worried. He looked slightly pale. “This is -“

“I know who this is,” I said and was surprised at how calm was voice was. I had a black jacket on, jeans and a white tee shirt. I slid my hands into my back pockets. I saw two large pieces of luggage and a carry on by the steps. “Is that all you got?” I asked Armie. 

“Yes,” he said. 

“The painting?” I asked. 

“It will arrive next week,” he told me. 

I nodded. “Go inside. I’ll be there soon.” I turned to Wentworth and looked at him in the eyes. Armie turned, grabbed his luggage and went inside. “You offered to pick him up.” I wasn’t asking. It would have been way too much for Armie to have asked him. 

“Yes,” he said softly. “I feel horrible about the TMZ piece and I wanted to know what I could do to fix it. This is good. I’m glad you’re here. Nothing happened. Armie and I are just friends. The piece was a lie. I kissed him on the cheek, it’s something I do with all my friends. He and I have never crossed that line.”

“Ok. Thanks. You can leave now. Armie and I have things to discuss.” He looked at me slightly surprised but didn’t budge. “Look, Wentworth,” I said, taking my right hand out of my back pocket and running it through my hair. “I’m sure you’re a nice guy and I normally am too, but even you must understand that no one but I have business being at my boyfriend’s house at 4 in the morning.”

“Of course,” he said. “Nice to meet you, Timothée.”

“Likewise,” I murmured and watched him as he left. 

Once he was gone and the gate was closing, I climbed up the steps and walked down the long concrete path to the front door. It was unlocked. I went in and locked it. I took off my Nikes and slipped off my jacket. He was pacing back and forth past the coffee table. The moment he saw me he stopped and walked towards me. The lights weren’t all on. It was slightly dark, more like mood lighting was on. 

“Timothée,” he said. “I am so, so sorry.”

I nodded, my anger already dissipating. Of course I knew this would happen. He was so close to me. He was holding my hands. I could smell him. I could feel his body heat. “I’m such an idiot. I’m an ass. I -“

“What am I to you?” I asked. I didn’t see a point in beating around the bush. 

He stared at me. “What?” 

“When you speak of me to others, what do you call me, if you call me anything at all?” I asked raising my eyebrows. “What am I to you?”

“I say you’re the man I’m with,” he said softly. “Timothée, I know we haven’t had the talk but, you’re the man in my life. You’re my boyfriend.”

I was pleased. I nodded. “Ok,” I said. 

He smiled widely but then pulled it back. “Yeah?” He asked. “So we’re ok?”

“No,” I said. His concerned expression returned. “We still need to talk and clarify some things.”

“Of course,” he said. 

I looked at him. I could see the crease on his forehead. This skin around his eyes looked a bit dark, he looked tired. I took a deep breath in. “You need sleep. As do I,” I said. He stared at me. I grabbed the handle of one the closest luggage. “Come on,” I said. 

We walked upstairs. We walked into his bedroom. It was so familiar. It almost felt like... home. He looked at me hopefully. “Will you stay?” He asked, almost in a whisper. 

“Yeah,” I said. 

He looked so relieved, it warmed my heart. My anger was almost gone. I felt a heaviness in my chest that I felt I needed to unload but I realized he was tired and I truly was too. The rest could wait a few hours until we got some sleep. I began to undress and walked to the drawer with my clothes in it. I got undressed except for my boxers and pulled some sleep pants on. I had brushed my teeth at home so I went to the bed. I waited until he came back from the bathroom and then he climbed in bed too. 

I laid on my back, hands behind my head, fingers laced. Without a word, he crawled to me and laid his cheek on my chest. I laid my cheek on his head. It was a few minutes later when I heard the sniffling and felt the wetness of his tears on my chest. I unlaced one hand and wrapped an arm around his shoulders. He didn’t cry long. After he had finished I closed my eyes and surprisingly fell asleep quite quickly. 

 


 

I awoke and needed to use the bathroom. I slid out from under Armie and went to use the toilet. The sun was raising as I walked back into the bedroom. I watched it as I slowly walked to bed. I sat at the edge. I watched the room fill with light. 

I felt Armie’s hand on my back. “Timothée?” He asked. I bit the inside of my bottom lip and took a deep, deep breath. That anger, that tension in my body was back. 

I turned. He saw my face. His eyes widened slightly and he sat up. He looked like a child waiting for punishment. 

“As your boyfriend, I would appreciate it if you didn’t go off with single gay men for days at a time when I’m not around,” I said. 

“Yes,” He said. “I’m sorry -“

“It’s done. Saying sorry doesn’t change anything,” I said. 

“I was selfish, I realize that now.” 

“How many times did you go out with him?”

“Six? Seven? But truly, Timothée,” he said. “It would be as if you and Aiden were going out to eat together.”

“There isn’t a single cell in my body that wants to fuck Aiden. I’ve never once flirted with Aiden,” I said with a mock smile on my face. 

“Back off from Bree,” he said suddenly. I looked at him. “She doesn’t need to be answering your phone. Especially when I call.”

I took a breath in. “And that’s not something that would have ever happened,” I said. “And it’s no excuse but we were at Taco Bell and it was the day after the TMZ thing happened and my brain wasn’t working properly. She won’t... that won’t ever happen again.” 

We looked at one another. He was worried and sad I didn’t want to see that worry and sadness on his face anymore. “He is nothing. Nothing. No one. I only want you. My body only needs and wants you,” He said. 

My heart was pounding in my chest. I crawled to him and straddled him. I reached around and slid my hand up the back of his neck, grabbing his hair and pulling it gently. “Say that again.” My voice sounded rough.

“I only want to. My body only needs and wants you.”

“You better never forget it,” I said staring into his baby blue eyes. “You’re mine!” I said sternly. My heart was pounding and I was panting. I almost didn’t feel like me. This burning in my chest, this frustration, tenseness, anger. I needed a release.

I leaned in and kissed him. Hard. He froze a moment and when he went to hold me, I pushed his hands back. “This,” I said staring into his eyes and sliding my hand down. I reached into his pants and grabbed his cock. “Is for me only. It’s mine. All mine.”

“Yes,” He said in a barely there voice. 

I got off him. I was hard, my cock throbbing. “Turn around,” I said and slid my pants off. He saw my erection. 

“Timothée,” He said. I looked at him, eyebrows raised. “I’m... I’m clean.” It took me a moment to realize what he had said. “I got tested a week after you and I started sleeping together. I’m clean. Are you?”

I nodded. “I got tested back in September. We can do it at school for free. You’re the only person I’ve been with since.” 

“I’ve never...” he trailed off. “You’d be the first.”

“Why now?” I asked. I was curious. My voice didn’t have an edge of anger or anything. Just curiosity. 

“Well, you’re my boyfriend,” he said softly. “That’s been established.” I nodded. “And I..” he trailed off. He looked into my eyes. “I love you.” He said with a beautiful simplicity in his voice. As if he had said it a million times. Maybe he had, in his head. I sat there. Stunned. “You don’t have to say it back if you’re not ready.”

I watched as he slipped his pants and boxers off. He turned on his stomach. I felt the tightening in my lower abdomen as I saw him like this. I admired him for a while. I went to his night table and took the lube and nothing else. I gave it to him. “Open yourself for me,” I said.

I saw him put lube on his fingers and then I sat back and watched. My heart was hammering in my chest. My cock was impossibly hard and weeping. My whole body felt like a hot, coiled spring waiting for release. 

He was beautiful. More. What was more beautiful than beautiful? I had no fucking clue. My brain wasn’t working. All I could do was look at Armie, the most beautiful man I had ever seen in my life, working himself open for me. I focused on every sound, even hitched breath and soft moan. The noise his fingers made as he slid in and stretched himself. Until I couldn’t take it anymore. 

I grabbed the lube, where he had left it on the bed and quickly applied it to my hard on. I pushed his hand away and entered him. He was still a bit tight but we had enough lubrication. I was all the way in. I had never felt this. Not without protection. I gave him a moment to adjust. That’s all he got. A moment. Then I began to fuck him. Hard. Rough and hard. I was angry. Frustrated. And so fucking in love with him too. 

I pushed his shoulders and face down on the bed. Mine, I kept thinking. Mine. Mine. Mine. “Think fucking... Wentworth... can fuck you... like this?!” My voice was rough. 

“No!” Armie said, gasping.

“No!” I repeated. “No one can!”

I closed my eyes. The friction of his body on mine was incredible. It was ecstasy times a million. I felt every quivering of his body against me and the clenching of his tight muscles around me. My thighs shook and I squeezed his hips harder to hold my balance. Without much thought I brought my hand down hard on his ass. It stung my palm. His whole body jolted and it felt so good on my hard on. I groaned in pleasure. I fucked him rough and hard for a gloriously long time. My anger giving me stamina. I fucked him until I was really close to coming. I wanted to watch him come. I wanted him to watch me as I filled him with my come. 

I pulled out. “On your back,” I demanded. I watched impatiently as he turned over. I pushed his left knee down and away, opening him up. I slid in again. This time we were face to face. I pounded in him. It was rough and hard and everything I needed. His eyes were shut. I slid in deep. “Open your eyes,” I said, staying in deep. “Come.” 

He looked right into my eyes as he stroked himself a couple of times and then spilled his released all over his abdomen. I clenched my jaw as every inch of me was squeezed by his body. I began to thrust in and out again, fucking him through his orgasm until I too came with a force I don’t think I had ever felt before. We were still staring at each other and I saw his eyes widen, almost in an innocent way, and I realized no one had ever come in him before. This was all new to him too. 

I stayed in deep until I was done. I felt so weak. I laid in him. We were both shaking. Panting. I let out a breath and relaxed. I hadn’t felt this relaxed in weeks. I closed my eyes. I shut them tight. I clenched my jaw until my chin stopped trembling. I could hear his heart thumping rhythmically in his chest. I finally got a hold of all my emotions. I sighed. I swallowed. 

“Armie,” I said. My voice rung clear in the quiet of his room. 

“Yes?” He asked. 

“I love you too.”

Chapter Text

We laid there panting. I was hesitant to hold him since he had pushed my hands away before.

“Armie,” he said suddenly. His voice sounded so clear in the quiet of my room. 

“Yes?” I asked. 

“I love you too.”

I laid there for a moment until what he said had sunk in. “I love you, Timothée,” I said. I was feeling very emotional. 

“I love you too, Armie,” he said lifting up on his hands and looking down on me. He pulled out slowly and I groaned. “Did I hurt you?” He asked looking alarmed. 

“No,” I said. He hadn’t. He had been rough and it had been intense. He had been angry but I hadn’t been scared. I had just let him have me how he wanted... I had wanted it too.

“Are you sure?” He asked and I could tell he was worried. 

“I’m a million times sure,” I said looking at him. “It was intense,” I told him. “I can still feel you inside of me,” I whispered. “But nothing feels bad or painful.”

He collapsed back down on me. “Let’s shower,” he said after a moment. 

 


 

I had finished washing my hair and was wiping the water from my face when I felt Timothée’s arms wrap around me. It felt so good. So, so good. I turned and wrapped my arms around him. I kissed his wet head. 

“I was so hurt,” he said softly. “I was so hurt when you left with him. Then the stupid photos. My world felt upside down. So... so...” he seemed at a loss for words. “Then the photos and it was just... just...”

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” I said. I felt horrible, of course. 

“No I know,” Timothée said. “I’m not saying it to make you feel bad, I’m sorry. It’s just that all that pain then turned to frustration and anger and that’s where I was early this morning,” he said softly. 

“Ok,” I said. “It’s ok.”

“I’m sorry,” he started saying. “I -“

“Timothée you apologizing for anything is so backwards,” I told him. 

“We can both be sorry,” he said. 

“No,” I said. 

“Then we can start new? Right?” He asked. 

“We can do anything we want,” I said. 

We stood under the water and he looked up at me. I smiled down at him and he smiled back at me. 

“So we’re boyfriends?” I asked grinning. 

“I’d like to be,” he answered me. He suddenly reached up and wrapped his arms around my neck. “Make love to me. Fuck me. Whatever you want.”

I grinned and as we started kissing. We finished showering and exited the bathroom. “I want to give you what I got you from Paris,” I said. 

He looked at me and nodded. “Ok,” he said. 

“Ok,” I said, excited. I took his hand and took him to the bedroom. “By the way,” I said turning to him. “You need to get used to me wanting to spoil you. It’s going to happen.”

Timothée grinned, cheeks slightly pink. “Ok. I will try. But if it’s too much, I will tell you, and you have to listen.”

“Ok, deal,” I said. I took the towel he had round his neck and ruffled his hair with it. He chuckled. He was in a bathrobe as was I. I walked to my carry on and found the bag with the smaller burgundy velvet bag inside. “Close your eyes,” I said. 

Timothée grinned and closed his eyes. 

I pulled the velvet bag open and took out the Ecrou de Cartier bracelet I had gotten him. I unscrewed the bracelet and took his right wrist and put the white gold bracelet on, screwing it tight. “Ok,” I said. 

Timothée opened his eyes and looked down and grinned. He glanced up at me. “It’s so nice,” he said. “How much was it?”

“Doesn’t matter. It looks perfect!”

Timothée liked it, I could tell. “Thank you,” he said and stepped to me and kissed me. Our kisses became deeper. I pulled his bathrobe open. I wanted him. I needed him. 

He walked back to the bed, I ran my hands up and down his body, caressing it. “Baby, can I -“

“Yes,” he said softly in my ear. “Yes. Yes. Yes.”

I disrobed as well and wrapped my arms around him, lifting him to me and laying him down on the bed. The way he had made love to me before, or rather fucked me, didn’t bother me or hurt my feelings or made me feel apprehensive of him. I understood. I got it. Everything we felt had always been deep and strong and overwhelming. 

We were here though, together. There had been mistakes made, maybe more on my part than his, but knowing we were together and knowing we loved one another added stability to my life. 

I slicked my fingers with the lube we had on the bed and began to open him up. I loved how he moaned and writhed under me. I couldn’t wait to feel him. To come inside of him. 

He was finally ready and I positioned myself on top and lined our bodies up. I slid in slowly. I wanted to savor this. To enjoy every gentle thrust in and out of his perfect body. I wanted to memorize how it all felt. 

His moans were soft and delicate. His soft gasps were heavenly. I moved slowly and gently in him. I did it for a long while until he asked me for harder and faster. I made love to him how he wanted it, how he was asking for it. When I felt he was getting close, I slid out of him and down his body and took him in my mouth, sucking him and swallowing his released. I then slid back in him. His body was sensitive and he was whimpering as I continued to make love to him. I came in him soon after. 

I laid there holding him. “What time do you have to go to class?” I asked.

“I need to leave in about 40 minutes,” he said. 

“Ok,” I said, pushing myself up and looking down at him. “Let me take you out on a date tonight.”

He grinned again. This made me happy. This is what I wanted to do. Keep him happy. “Ok,” he said softly.

We laid for another moment until he got up and I watched him as he dressed. I was so happy. “I want to take you somewhere nice,” I said. 

“Ok,” he said softly. He came over and kissed me. “I’ll come back after class.”

“Good,” I said. “Can’t wait.”

Chapter Text

Timothée would only be gone a few hours, he only had one class to go to. I called the restaurant I wanted to take him to and made reservations for tonight and then I called Victoria. She needed to know I was home and safe and sound. 

“Hello big brother,” she said when she answered the phone. 

“Hello, little sister. How are you?”

“I’m good,” she said. “How are you? Have you been able to talk to Timothée?”

I couldn’t help but chuckle. “Uh, yeah. Yeah. We talked and then some. We said I love you and are now officially boyfriends.”

“Oh!” She said. “Wow! Good! I’m glad!”

“Me too!” I said. “He told me not to spoil him but I don’t know how not to. I bought him a Cartier bracelet in Paris. I hope he doesn’t google how much it is. He might not like it.”

“Argh! Brother! Listen to him! He’s not after your money and you have to be conscious of the fact that he isn’t in the same financial situation as you. You can’t only give him expensive things because he will think your language of love is tied with how much money you’re spending.”

I stayed quite. “I hate it when you’re right ,” I said. 

Victoria chuckled. “Then you must hate it all the time,” she said. I laughed. “Hey,” she said. “I gotta tell you something.”

“Ok?” 

“So you know I love you, right?”

I furrowed my brow. “Yeah?”

I heard Victoria took a deep breath in. “Ok, so for the record what I’m about to tell you, it was all my idea.”

“Ok?” I was confused. 

“So remember when I called you when you were in France and I said I had just seen the TMZ piece?”

“Yeah?”

“It’s true, I had just seen it, but Timothée had just shown it to me.” 

“Oh,” I said. I was surprised, of course. 

“Yeah he called me and said he wanted to talk and then we went to lunch and he showed me and I realized he was in a bad place. He was confused. He had feelings for you and I felt he was in a way asking me if I believed the TMZ piece.”

“Right, of course,” I said. 

“So... I said if I had seen it myself I’d call you to talk to you about it and I told him I didn’t believe you would cheat on him with Wentworth. It didn’t make sense. I wanted him to know. So we went to my car and he listened in as we talked.”

“Ok.”

“So, anyway I wanted to tell you because we’re always honest with each other.” 

“We are,” I said with a smile. I wasn’t angry. “Thanks Vic. I mean, he was mad still when I came home but... but it’s all good now.” 

”And I’m so glad,” Victoria said. 

“But I understand you’re reasoning and I know you meant the best and Timothée and I are ok now. Maybe we can all go out sometime soon.”

“Yeah! Sound good!” Victoria said sounding relieved. “Ok big brother. We’ll talk soon.”

“Talk soon, sis. Love you.”

“Love you. Bye!”

 


 

After my conversation with Victoria I made my way to my office. I was checking emails when my phone rang. It was Wentworth. 

“Hey,” I answered. 

“Armand. I’m just calling to make sure everything is ok?”

“It is,” I said with a smile, remembering Timothée and I earlier this morning. 

“Wonderful,” Wentworth said. “Timothée was truly upset.”

“We was but we were able to talk and work through it,” I replied. “Listen, I will have the Cabanel in my possession soon and then the Bouguereau will be yours.” 

“I cannot wait, Armand, you’re amazing. I wanted to have a cocktail party once I have it in my home to show it off. Nothing but my 50 closest. I want you and Timothée there.”

I smiled, the thought of Timothée with me, both of us in tuxes, me showing him off to the world. I liked the idea. “I’m sure we’ll be there.”

“Wonderful. Speak soon then?”

“Of course,” I replied. 

 


 

I had gotten a couple of interesting emails from friends of clients looking for some art pieces and I was in the middle of a phone call when Timothée walked into my office. He smiled and sat on one of my leather arm chairs and patiently listened to me as I finished my phone call. I looked his way as I hung up. 

“Had a busy afternoon?” He asked. 

I got up from behind my desk and walked over to him. I spread his legs and I knelt down in front of him. I saw his eyes widened. I grinned at his reaction. “Being away for a month wasn’t a good idea,” I said as I started to undo his jeans. 

“No?” He asked. 

“No,” I said. He started to blush as I pulled his jeans and boxers down. He was already half hard when I took him in my mouth. I felt his hands in my hair.

I took my time, slowly sucking and licking and tasting him. I had pushed his pants down to his ankles and I was caressing his thighs as I enjoyed myself and pleased him. 

His moans and groans got progressively louder as the blow job continued. I felt him push my head down and I began to suck harder. I could feel his whole body tensing then. I knew he was getting close. 

I slid him in as deep as I could and sucked as if my life depended on it. He came soon after. I loved the way his whole body shuddered beneath me. His thighs trembled and his breathing was ragged. I sat back and looked up at him, grinning. 

“I made reservations at a steak house I really love. I hope that’s ok?”

He nodded. His face was flushed and his eyes were still a bit out of focus. “Yeah. Yes, baby,” he said, still panting slightly. “Sounds perfect.” 

 


 

The steakhouse had a dress code and so both Timothée and I were in dress shirts and jackets. We were shown to a booth. I loved this place because each booth seemed so secluded and private. I glanced over at Timothée beside me. He had a vertical stripped black and white button up shirt on with a thin black tie. He looked amazing. I loved seeing the bracelet I had bought him on his wrist. 

“What?” He asked looking at me with a smile. 

“I just want to shout from the rooftops that we’re together and that you’re mine,” I said taking his hand and caressing the back of it with my thumb.

He smiled somewhat shyly. It amazed me. This was the Timothée I had come to know. Sweet and gentle and soft spoken and then I thought of how angry he had been and how he had taken me... there was so much underneath the surface with him. 

“Timothée,” I said softly. 

“Yes?” He asked. 

“Wentworth is the person I’m getting the Bouguereau for.”

“Oh,” he said raising his eyebrows. 

“He said when he had it in his possession he wanted to have a cocktail party and wanted us to attend.”

Timothée seemed to take a moment and think. “So, he’s your friend?”

I took a breath in. “We met several years ago and I won’t lie, there did seem to be a bit of a mutual attraction.” Timothée looked at me and nodded. “But the time was never right if he was single I wasn’t and vice versa and so we never did anything but we did become friends, yes. I actually hadn’t talked to him in while and it wasn’t him who contacted me for it, it was a mutual friend.”

“Ok,” Timothée said calmly. 

“But, that’s the past and you and I are together now,” I said smiling at him. 

“Yes, we are,” he said with a bright smile of his own.  

“And as tedious as things like cocktail parties and charity events and whatever else may be, they are a part of me and a part of my life and so are you, my love,” I said looking into his beautiful green eyes. “And it would mean so much to me if you could find the time to join me at these events,” I said. “Not only because I want you with me always, but so that everyone who’s there can meet the wonderful man I’ve fallen in love with.

Timothée was staring at me and his cheeks were a gorgeous shade of pink. “Really?” He asked. 

I chuckled softly. “Yes, baby. I’m so proud to be with you.” I leaned in and kissed him. “I want to be the best man I can be for you. I love you.”

Timothée looked dumbstruck. “I love you too,” he said. 

“I know I’m older than your friends but this goes both ways. I want to share in your life with you baby.” 

“You’ll go to Taco Bell with Aiden and I?” He asked laughing and looking incredibly charming and adorable. 

“Yes!” I said. “Absolutely. Any time.”

Timothée laughed and slid closer to me in the booth. He placed his soft hand on my face and began to caress my cheek. “Armie,” he said. “I worried so much I wasn’t quite enough.”

“No,” I said shaking my head. “No. You’re beyond enough. You’re all I want.”

I could tell by the look on his face how much all I said meant to him and I was so happy. I was only speaking the truth. Everything about Timothée was perfect.

“I think maybe everything was too sudden and maybe we moved a bit faster than we should have,” I said looking at his beautiful eyes again. “And...” I took a deep breath in. “And I will do better and be more considerate.” 

The expression on Timothée’s face made my heart flutter. “We both will,” he said. “Equally.”

I leaned in and kissed him some more. A waiter came and we pulled apart and ordered our food. The dinner was wonderful and he spoke of school and I asked him about Christmas with his family and his New Years. It was a nice and relaxed dinner. We then got in my car and drove to his apartment. He was going to pack a bag so he could spend the weekend with me.  

Once at his place, I was waiting in the living room while he packed when the front door opened and Aiden walked in. He looked a bit surprised to see me.  

“Armie,” He said in a friendly tone once the surprised had passed. 

“Aiden, how are you?” I asked with a smile.

“Good,” He said. “So I guess you and Timothée kissed and made up?” 

I chuckled. “Yeah,” I said. 

He nodded. He glanced at Timothée’s bedroom door and then walked closer to me. “Please, Armie, be good to him.”

His words sunk in deep. “I will,” I said. “I love him, Aiden and I’ll be good to him.”

He nodded. “Ok,” he said. Suddenly his eyes lit up. “Timothée said you and Rhys Myers are best friends?” 

“Yeah,” I said nodded. We were... I needed to speak to him, especially since Timothée and I were now in a serious relationship. 

“Mind hooking me up with a cookbook or two? Signed maybe? To me. Aiden. A-I-D-E-N.”

I chuckled and grabbed his shoulder. “I’ll see what I can do!” 

At that moment Timothée came out. “I’m ready,” he said. 

“Great,” I answered. I looked at Aiden and held out my hand. He shook it. “Thank you for being such a good friend to Timothée,” I said. 

“Of course,” he said. 

They said goodbye and Timothée and I walked out of his apartment. I took a deep breath in as we climbed into my car. “I’m happy,” I said. 

Timothée looked at me. “As am I, baby,” he replied. We leaned in and shared a long kiss. When we pulled apart and he giggled and wiped the corner of his mouth. I winked at him and cranked up my car. I started making my way home.

Chapter Text

The weekend with Armie was wonderful. We laughed and talked, watched movies and listened to soft classical music as I read to him. I asked him to read to me, but he liked it more when I read. He said I was so much better at it. I had to admit I liked doing the reading more. I got to choose what to read to him and so I could share all the stories I loved with him and it was wonderful. 

The week coming he told me there was a charity event he needed to go to which meant I was obviously going to go too. This was the role of being his boyfriend, his significant other. I was to go to whatever social engagement he was needed at. 

These social events were funny things. Everyone was clamoring to talk to Armie. I couldn’t blame them, he was handsome and golden and stood out in a crowded room, but I hated how it felt like everyone just wanted a piece of him, they were just seeing what they could get out of him. I knew it was business, but it put me off slightly. I hated the feeling but it was my job to be there and support him.

The charity event had been ok and then there was a cocktail party at an art gallery the following Saturday. He got me brand new suits for both events and everyone looked me up and down when he would introduce me as his boyfriend. I would make sure this didn’t bother me, I just brushed it off, their prying eyes. Most people were nice though and were pleased to hear I was studying literature. I made sure to smile a lot and ask a lot of question. I made sure I played the part which in the end wasn’t hard. I gushed about Armie a lot. It was easy. He was so incredibly perfect. 

 

We were in his room undressing, the night of the gathering at the art gallery, and I was deep in thought about the night and the people I had met. 

“Wentworth texted me earlier.”  

I looked at Armie. “Did he? Well he has the painting now. Guess he’s ready for his cocktail party?”

“Yeah, a friend of his wants to meet me. He’s in the market to buy art.”

I nodded. I knew things like these cocktail parties and word of mouth was how he got clients and so I knew I couldn’t say no. But I didn’t want to, the whole business with Wentworth was behind us now. “Sounds awesome, more business for you,” I said. I stepped up to him and kissed him. 

He smiled at me happily as we wrapped our arms around each other. “Valentine’s Day is just fast approaching.”

I grinned and nodded. “Yes. What did you want to do?” 

He looked into my eyes. “It’s on a Saturday. Could we just go off for the weekend? We can leave Friday night and be back Sunday night.”

“That sounds wonderful,” I said. “Where did you want to go?”

“How about Vegas?” He asked. “We can gamble and go dancing. It’ll be really fun!”

“Sounds great!” I agreed. 

 


 

I was back in my apartment and I was glad there was no charity function or gala or cocktail party this week. One of those meant a whole evening dedicated to the event and less time for my homework. I suddenly felt swamped with homework. 

I was concentrating on a paper I was writing when my phone rang. It was Armie FaceTiming me. I answered and propped it up on some textbooks I had so I could keep typing. 

“Hey,” I said happily. 

“Hi handsome. What are you doing?”

“Writing a paper so when we’re in Vegas I am homework free,” I replied. 

“Oh. Ok.”

I glanced at my phone. “Why? What’s up?”

“No. Nothing just was checking in.”

“You’re a horrible liar Armie,” I said looking looking right at him. 

He chuckled. “No, ah just got a last minute dinner invitation and thought I’d check to see if you wanted to come with, but you’re busy.”

“I’m sorry,” I said looking at him apologetically. 

“No, baby, don’t be. You’re doing homework. Have you eaten though? Can I bring you some dinner afterwards?”

I grinned and nodded. “If you could, that would be nice.”

We chatted a moment longer and then hung up and I returned to my paper. 

 


 

It was a couple of hours later when a text came through. Armie said he had just parked. I saved my paper, got up and stretched. I felt so stiff. I jogged to the front door and opened it. I peeked out. Armie was already walking towards me. We both grinned and kissed when we were close enough. He stepped inside. 

“How was your dinner?” I asked. 

“Typical work dinner. Lots of boring talk and then about 15 minutes of amazing art talk.”

“What do they want you to acquire?” I asked. 

“Waterhouse. A Song Of Springtime.” 

I didn’t know it so I googled it quickly. “Nice. Where is it?” I asked. 

“Mexico if I’m not mistaken. Want me to take you for a weekend?” He asked with a wink. 

I grinned up at him as he opened the bag from the restaurant. My stomach grumbled at the smell of food. 

He stared at me. “Please tell me you’ve eaten today.”

“I’ve eaten today,” I replied. 

“Tell me what you’ve eaten.”

I looked at Armie’s gorgeous blue eyes. They made my heart beat fast. “Cereal and then I had some cashews and a monster drink.”

“Oh Timothée that’s horrible!” Armie said. He walked into my tiny kitchen and got a plate. He plated the steak and mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. My mouth was watering. “Come on baby, eat,” he said. 

I did. I literally wolfed it down. “Thank you that was so good!” I said. 

“I’m going to have Phoenix come and drop food off for you. A proper lunch and dinner. I’ll feed Aiden too, ok?”

“Armie you don’t -“ 

“Yes I do. And it’s fine. I mean, she loves to cook and she’ll enjoy cooking for you guys. The days you’re here. She can come and cook or drop off food, what would you prefer?”

“Whatever she wants,” I said. I remembered Phoenix’s cooking. I was actually thrilled at the idea. I stretched again and groaned, arching my back.

“Your back aches?” Armie asked. 

“Yeah I’ve been at my desk for several hours,” I said. Armie came behind me and slipped off my shirt. He began to massage my back and shoulders. I couldn’t hold back the moans even if I wanted to. His large warm hands worked wonders. “Fuck,” I said as I felt myself loosen up under his fingers. “You’re so good at that.”

I heard him chuckle. He kissed my neck and caressed my back. I began to feel hard. 

“Let’s go to my room,” I said. 

We quickly walked in and I shut the door. I was naked in no time. He took a bit longer since he was in a button up shirt and jacket with slacks. I slathered lube on him and climbed on top, wasting no time and sliding him inside. I was ready to get fucked senseless but he held me tight. 

“You’re gonna get a tummy ache if you start bouncing around baby boy,” he said as he kissed my neck. I felt a thrill go through me. He was in me deep and was pulling me down even more, as if he couldn’t get in deep enough. I felt a deep ache in me. He was so big. Baby boy. He had never called me that. He was gently licking and sucking on my neck still. I ran my left hand up the back of his head, my right arm around his broad shoulders. Baby boy. 

“Yes, daddy,” I replied. I groaned as his cock responded to my words. I looked down at him. He was a gorgeous shade of pink. I grinned. “Oh,” I whispered. “You like being called daddy.”

I felt his body react to it again. “I’ve...” he seemed at a loss for words. “Not til now. Not til you.”

“Mmmmm,” I said as I moved my hips in a circular motion. His thick cock hit a good spot in me. We groaned in unison. I did it again. We were panting. I kissed his lips. “Yes,” I whispered on his lips. “You are one fucking hot daddy,” I said moaning as I pushed down on him. 

He groaned in return. “And you are one gorgeous baby,” he said. 

His voice was so incredibly sexy. His words sent a thrill up my spine, it was almost too much to handle. “You’re so fucking sexy,” I said. I leaned in and sucked the base of his neck. This elicited another groan. He began to move me a bit more. Long slow movements. He was in completely control. “Turn me around, daddy,” I pleaded breathlessly. “But stay in me.”

The groan that escaped him was thick with lust. “Yes, baby,” he whispered. He gently helped turn my body. He made sure to stay in deep. I leaned forward, my hands on his knees and I worked my ass up and down on him. “Oh fuck,” I heard him said. “You should see how beautiful you look...” he trailed off. 

I couldn’t help but grin and I put a show on for him. I squeezed my body around him and sensually moved my hips up and down, slowly, so he could see clearly as he slid in and out of me. I would do quick bursts of movements, my ass gently slapping on his body and then long, slow movement so he could watch in slow motion as his cock slid in and out of me. 

“Fuck, you are the so amazing!” He exclaimed. His hands were ceaseless all over me. He caressed my thighs, hips and ass. He moved them up and down my back, all as I fucked him. He slid them around and placed his left palm on my chest and pulled me back towards him. I lifted my left arm and wrapped it around his neck. He swung his legs and sat at the edge of my bed. He was careful with me, my knees were bent on either side on him. With his legs now over the side of my bed, he placed his feet flat on the floor and used the leverage to begin to fuck me.

It wasn’t frantic, instead it was controlled and deep. I closed my eyes and leaned my head back on his right shoulder. He was gently kissing and sucking my neck. His left arm held my back pressed firmly against his chest. My left arm around the back of his neck. 

“Come for daddy, baby,” he said and I began to stroke along with his thrusts. His body felt so warm and I could feel all his muscles flex as he kept fucking me deep. I was close in no time. My body began to tremble. Goosebumps filled my skin, my cock was leaking. “That’s it,” his sinful voice whispered in my ear. “Come for daddy,” he said again and this time I complied. 

I came in hot, strong bursts all over my hand. I groaned loudly and he held me tighter as I whimpered and collapsed back into him. I was still feeling limp when he squeezed me tightly and fucked me roughly. It only took a few pumps in and then he was coming too. It felt incredible. So fucking incredible. 

 


 

I glanced over at Armie on my bed. He barely fit. I grinned. He was sleeping peacefully and I was finishing up my paper. I had felt a burst of inspiration and I was typing away. I had looked across and Armie had passed out. I typed another 20 minutes or so and then I was done. I saved it and shut my laptop. I turned off my lamp and then practically climbed on Armie. 

He stirred and pulled me in and spooned me and we settled comfortably. I felt so warm and safe in his arms. I didn’t even notice the moment I drifted off to sleep. 

Chapter Text

Thankfully there were no more calls from Armie about cocktail parties or dinners for the rest of the week. He sent Phoenix as promised and with one look at our tiny kitchen she said she would bring us food cooked at Armie’s. She checked our fridge though and was appalled by the contents. 

“I ought to whoop the both of you!” She said to Aiden and I and I had never seen Aiden turn so red. I wanted to laugh. 

Armie came over Thursday as I began to pack for the weekend. “I figured we could drive my car to Vegas,” he said. “Did you want to leave yours parked here or at my place?”

“Here is fine,” I said. 

 

We took off Thursday at about 6 in the afternoon. We arrive at Vegas before midnight. Whatever tiredness I had felt earlier was gone the moment we reached our destination. We got to our hotel room and changed. Armie said we were going out dancing. 

We went to Hakkasan at the MGM Grand. The place was amazing but crowded but it didn’t matter. We had a couple of drinks but spent hours just dancing. The feel of Armie’s body against mine was something I would never grow tired off. 

 


 

I slowly began to wake up and found my heart was racing and I was panting. Armie’s large palms were caressing my chest and torso. His mouth was wrapped around me, sucking me. 

My right hand slid into his hair. “Fuck,” I breathed out. 

He sucked me harder. I didn’t want it to stop but I wanted to come so badly. My mind was half dazed with sleep and arousal so I just let my body get carried away with all the pleasure it was feeling. I came and Armie swallowed. He quickly turned me on my left side. As I tried to catch my breath, I heard the snap of a bottle of lube and then he pulled me to him, raised my right leg and entered me. 

He slid in slowly. I groaned as every inch of him entered me. His left arm slid under me and wrapped across my chest. I grabbed on to his strong forearm as he began to move in and out of me. His lips were on the right side of my neck. He kissed it down and across my shoulder. 

“Do you know how much I love you?” His gorgeous voice whispered in my ear. 

“How much?” I asked softly. 

“So much baby,” he answered. “You make me so happy. You center me and make everything so much better.”

“I love you too Daddy,” I told him. I loved calling him that and I loved how everything was feeling. I felt as if his whole body was covering mine. I loved how he kissed me in between moaning in my ear. “I love everything about you,” I said between moans. 

He made love to me for an incredible while. After he came we cuddled and fell back asleep. We woke up a while later and ordered room service. We then bathed together and that night we caught a Cirque Du Soleil show. 

When we got back to our hotel room, it was close to midnight, so I decided to give him a present I had for him. I was a little nervous about it. 

“So, I have something for you,” I said. I could feel the butterflies in my stomach. 

Armie looked surprised. “We had decided not to buy each other anything!”

“Well I didn’t,” I said. I went to my bag and came back with the small wrapped parcel. Armie looked at it then at me. “Open it,” I whispered. 

I watched as Armie unwrapped the present. Once opened he looked at the small brown leather journal. He opened it and leafed through it. He stopped and read a few things. “You wrote these?” He asked. 

I nodded. “I had this amazing professor my freshman year,” I told Armie. “He encouraged us to always have a journal ready to write down our feelings then he encouraged us to make poetry out of it.”

Armie nodded as he stopped and read some more. My heart was pounding in my chest. 

“So,” I continued. “So I did and the idea just grew on me. Anyway, I have several journals now and some stuff I like more than others. I selected some poems and just wrote them down for you, so...” I drifted off. 

Armie came to me and wrapped his arms around me. “You keep getting more and more amazing,” he said and I smiled into his chest. 

“I’m not that amazing,” I said softly. 

“Yes you are,” Armie said softly. 

 


 

The following day was Valentine’s. I woke up before Armie did and I wrapped my arms around him and pulled him close. He woke up a while later and we laid in bed just holding each other. 

The calm silence was interrupted by Armie’s phone ringing. “Don’t answer it,” I said. I had a feeling it was work related. We looked at each other and I rolled my eyes and let go of him. 

“I’ll be quick I promise,” he said. I nodded. He reached for his phone. “Hello?” I closed my eyes and tried to force myself to not listen but it was hard not to. “Hey! Yeah good to hear from you,” Armie said. He was quiet a long moment and I opened my eyes and sat up in bed. He was sitting up as well. He didn’t look happy. “When did that happen?” He asked. He nodded. “No I’ll call her now. Ok. Bye,” he said and hung up. 

“What?” I asked. 

He looked my way. “Nothing,” he said. 

“Seriously?” I asked feeling annoyed. 

He shook his head. He tapped the screen on his phone and put the phone up to his ear. “Hey Victoria,” he said. I furrowed my brow and looked his way. “Which one?” He asked. He sat quiet for another moment. “Thanks for the heads up sis,” he continued. “No I’m in Vegas with Tim,” he said. “Ok. Yeah. Bye.” 

“What’s going on?” I asked. 

“Just, some people are apparently back in California.”

I looked at him. “Look at me,” I said. Armie turned to face me. “Tell me, with detail, what the fuck is going on.”

He rolled his eyes. “Back when I was starting out I worked for a gallery for a few years,” Armie began. “I wanted to learn and make a name for myself and obviously hands on training was the best way and acquiring work for the gallery was a perfect way to learn the business of it all before doing it on my own for private clients.”

“Makes sense,” I told him. 

“Anyway,” he continued. “There was another guy that worked with me, Hector. Hector Troy.” The way he said the name made me look at him closely. 

“I take it you didn’t like him?” I asked. 

“It wasn’t that,” he said shaking his head. “We were both technically hired for the same position,” Armie explained. “We were both on a trail basis and supposedly one of us would eventually be kept but we were both kept by the gallery but it seemed he resented that. He tried to get employees, including the man running the place to turn against me. I truly don’t know what his fucking problem was,” Armie said shaking his head and looking by way.

“Usually, it’s jealousy,” I said with a shrug. 

Armie took a deep breath in and out. “He left the gallery and began taking clients about two years before I did. When I finally did branch out and start taking on clients, I ran into him and... words were exchanged.”

I furrowed my brow. “Like what?”

Armie shrugged. “I tried to be polite but he was being an ass. He and I were after the same painting for two different clients and I ended up getting it. He called me after to congratulate me. I told him to lose my number, he was being an ass.”

“You don’t think there was a possibility that he actually meant to congratulate you?” I asked. 

“No!” He said with a huff. “No he was being an absolute moron.” He shook his head. “Anyway he and his idiot brother, Paris, had moved to New York but apparently they’re back in LA.”

I slid closer to him and began to kiss him. “Forget them,” I said. 

“Yes,” Armie replied and our kisses deepened. 

“It’s my turn,” I said with a smile. I love the way Armie grinned up at me. I slid down and grabbed his thighs and pulled him down on the bed.

“We don’t have a set pattern of who’s turn it is, we just go with the flow,” Armie said. 

“Uh huh,” I replied as I patted around the bed. Armie never puts the lube back on the night table. He always leaves it on the bed. I finally find it. I put some on and settle between his legs. I slide in slowly, it feels amazing. 

I love the way Armie groans when I slide in him. It’s so sexy. I lean down and kiss his chest and then bite it gently as I begin to fuck him. I don’t hold anything back. My tongue swirls around his right nipple. I love how he reacts and do the same to the left one. I push up on my arms and look down at Armie, gorgeous and perfect beneath me. Everything about Armie drives me crazy. I groan as I feel my orgasm building. 

“Come for me, baby,” I tell him. 

He reaches down and strokes himself a few times and comes soon after. I can hardly contain myself and erratically thrust in him until I come. We lay there panting for a while. 

“Happy Valentine’s Day,” I say softly. “I love you.”

“I love you, baby,” Armie answers. “Happy Valentine’s Day. Our first of many.” The comment makes me smile. 

 


 

Dinner that night was wonderful. Armie had made reservations at a wonderful steakhouse. 

“You really like your meat, don’t you?” I said as we were seated. 

Armie laughed. “I really love my meat, Timothée,” he said and we both laughed like a couple of idiots. 

I reached across the table and hold Armie’s hand. I was in a wonderful mood despite the small interruption earlier. “I’m so happy,” I said, and I was. Time with Armie was the best. I always loved being with him and close to him. 

“So am I baby,” he said giving me a warm smile. A waiter came and we were given menus and Armie picked a bottle of red. 

We had easy conversation the whole night. It seemed to fly by. I loved how I could speak about anything to Armie. Of course, I had Aiden and my parents and they always listened to me whenever I talked but talking to Armie was great. He always understood me and I loved how he seemed to be interested in anything I said. It made me feel good. 

Hours later, dinner was over and we decided to walk the strip before returning to our hotel room. He held hands as we made our way down the bustling street. He pulled me close and wrapped an arm around me. I looked up at him and grinned. After about an hour of walking, we returned to Armie’s car and then back to our hotel room. We undressed and got in bed, pulling each other close. I caressed his chest, tugging at the hair gently. I kissed along his chest as we held each other. 

“How was your Valentine’s baby?” He asked. 

“Perfect,” I replied with a smile. I looked up at him and he leaned down and kissed me. 

“Good,” he said. “I want to make you happy.”

“I am happy,” I said. 

“As you should be,” he replied and we fell asleep soon enough. 

 


 

 

The next day, we checkout and had lunch before beginning our drive back to LA. I was the one driving back this time. 

“So,” I said glancing over at Armie. “So I was wondering...”

He looked my way. “Yeah?”

“It’s Aiden’s birthday on Thursday so we’re going out Saturday. Wanna come?” I glanced at him hopefully. I was holding his hand as I drove. I knew he said he wanted to share in my life as I did with his and the birthday outing of my best friend seemed a good place to start. 

“Yeah!” He said with a bright smile on his face. 

I grinned back. “Great!” I said. 

He raised my hand to his lips and kissed it. “It’ll be fun,” he said. “I’ll let Phoenix know, maybe we can have a cake for him on his actual birthday? Oh unless he’s going home to celebrate with family?”

I shook my head. “His parents moved out of state when he began school. That’s how we became roommates.”

“Ok! Then Thursday night we’ll have cake!”

“Ok,” I said glancing at Armie and smiling. “I gotta buy him something,” I said. 

“Let me take care of that,” he said. 

I furrowed my brow and looked at him. “What?”

“I... in talking he mentioned he was a fan of Rhys, right? I’ll get him some signed books or something,” Armie said. “Plus, I need to talk to him. It’s been a while.”

“A while?” I asked. 

“Yeah since before I left to Paris actually.”

I nodded. I wasn’t sure what to say. “Yeah,” I said. 

“I won’t take him disrespecting you, but he is my best friend and well, he and I need to talk.”

I nodded. “I understand,” I said. “And yeah Aiden is a huge fan,” I said with a smile. 

“Ok. Well, gives me a reason to call Rhys then.”

I nodded as I kept driving. He lifted my hand away and kissed it again. I looked at him and smiled. I didn’t want to wonder what his talk with Rhys would be like so I pushed the thought out of my head. He turned the radio on and I focused on the music and driving and caressing Armie’s hand with my thumb instead of focusing on anything unpleasant. 

Chapter Text

The following Tuesday Timothée was going to go home after school and I thought it would give me the perfect chance to talk to Rhys.

I texted him when I got up and began checking emails. He texted me back within the hour and told me he was going to be home all day long. I decided to wait for dinner time. Timothée texted me and told me he was at work and a while after I took of for Rhys’s home.

I wouldn’t say that I was nervous. I was... apprehensive. I didn’t want to fight. I wanted to believe whatever negative feelings Rhys had had for Timothée before had come from a heartfelt concern that for whatever insane reason Timothée would bad for me... anything else would shift our relationship and I honestly didn’t want to think of Rhys as not my best friend anymore.

I reached his gate and texted him. He opened it up. I drove down the driveway to his home. I parked and got out and he opened the door before I reached it. He had a smile on his face, but it was apprehensive too.

“Armie,” he said and hugged me. I patted his back.

“Rhys,” I replied.

We walked inside and he led me to his kitchen. This is where we spent the majority of our time. “I decided to go with steak, mashed potatoes and asparagus.”

“Sounds wonderful, thank you,” I said.

This was a common happening. Me dropping by and him cooking me dinner... except it had changed three months ago when I had met Timothée. Maybe he did resent Timothée a little bit? I couldn’t keep it in anymore.

“I’m glad you were free today,” I said. “I have several things I wanted to talk to you about.”

“Like?” He asked without looking up from what he was doing.

“Well, first and most importantly,” I began. “I wanted to let you know that Timothée and I are in a fully committed relationship.”

Rhys raised his eyebrows as he kept preparing dinner. “Congratulations,” he said without meeting my gaze.

“Listen,” I began. “I know, for whatever reason, you have not been a fan of his, but, I want you to try to be civil. Please. For my sake.”

Rhys nodded as he listened.

“I love him,” I continued.

“Enough to marry him?” Rhys asked finally looking up into my eyes.

I felt my stomach clench and I smiled. My smile broadened into a grin. “Yes,” I said honestly. “Yes.” I looked at Rhys. “He makes me so, so happy. I’m happy just being in the same room as him. I can share my love of art with him and he enjoys it as well, he shares his love of literature with me. We can encourage and enjoy each other’s passion. He’s smart. So smart and charming and funny and -“

“And he’s a good fuck I’m sure?” Rhys asked.

I rolled his eyes. “Well, that’s a huge part of it, but not the main and only part.”

“Of course not,” Rhys said as he put the steaks in the sizzling pan.

I watched as he cooked. “Why don’t you like him?” I asked. This all still confused me.

Rhys shrugged. “It doesn’t matter. He’s the man in your life now and I have to accept it if I want to keep being your friend.”

I nodded. It was the truth and we both knew it.

“Ok, then, that’s that isn’t it? I’m just going to accept it.”

“Ok,” I said.

“Ok,” Rhys replied. “There was something else?”

“Yes!” I replied. “Timothée’s very best friend is a huge fan of yours and it’s his birthday on Thursday and actually he asked me if I could get a couple of your books autographed.”

Rhys let out a laugh. “Is that so? Wonder what your boyfriend thinks about it.” I gave Rhys a look. “I’m kidding. Jesus.”

He continued cooking for a moment.

“I bought a couple of your books on the way here,” I told him. “Your 2 newest ones.”

“I’ll gladly autograph them,” Rhys said. “You said his birthday is Thursday?”

“Yeah,” I said.

“I’m leaving for Italy on Saturday. You and I have hardly spent any time together. Why don’t you and your boyfriend and his best friend come over for dinner? I’ll host. You can even get here a little early and his friend, what his name?” Rhys asked.

“Aiden,” I said.

“Aiden,” Rhys repeated. “You can even get here early and Aiden can cook with me. Then he can have the books before you all leave.”

I chuckled. I knew Aiden would love this, and, well, regardless of what had happened between Timothée and Rhys, I couldn’t imagine Timothée would deny Aiden this and... it could be a new beginning.

“That would be incredibly wonderful, Rhys,” I told him. “Thank you.”

Rhys gave me a happy smile.

 


 

We had finished dinner, which had been great of course, and Rhys was getting us some wine when Timothée texted me.

Hey. On my break. How did it go with Rhys?

Still here, but so far so good.

Rhys returned. “It’s an old vintage,” he said smiling and holding the bottle up.

“Nice,” I said with a smile.

That’s good (smiley face emoji)

Yeah. Hey, do you mind if I drop by after I leave here? There’s something I want to run by you

Yeah. I’d love to see you.

Good. See you later then. I love you

Love you more xxx

I put my phone away as Rhys sat back down. “So anything else new and exciting?”

“Yeah but it’s not exciting but rather bothersome,” I said and took a sip of wine.  

“Oh?” Rhys asked, sipping his wine as well.

“The Troy bothers are back in town,” I told him with a shake of my head.

Rhys gave me a surprised look. “But I thought they were happy in New York.”

“Vic heard through the grapevine that Paris had an affair with the fucking governor’s wife. She was actually planning to leave him for Paris!”

Rhys burst out laughing. “Is she mad?! Paris will fuck anything willing to open their legs or bend over! I doubt he was in love! What was he thinking!” 

“Well, either the affair got found out or Paris saw shit got real quick and they left. They’re back! They never sold their home, you know, they were just renting it.” 

Rhys nodded. “Are you worried?” Rhys asked. “I know Hector seemed to have it out for you.”

Worried?” I asked with a scoff and slight indignation that Rhys would think someone like Hector would worry me. “No I’m not worried ,” I answered him. “What has Hector ever done to me !” I said with another scoff. “I mean, I know the asshole tries but he never succeeds.”

“Right,” Rhys said softly.

I looked at him, confused. “What? Why did you say right like that?”

“Like what?”

“Like you don’t believe me?”

“I do believe you,” Rhys said furrowing his brow at me. “I just... you know. I’d be cautious.”

“What has Hector ever done to me? Honestly. All the art we’ve gone after together I’ve always gotten!”

“Ok! No need to get mad at me,” Rhys said finishing up his wine glass.

“I’m not mad! I’m just annoyed by it all, really. He’s just a nuisance and his childish behavior is a pain to deal with, but I’m untouchable. He can’t do anything to me!”

“You’re right, he can’t,” Rhys said with a smile.

We chatted a bit more and I had another glass of wine. Once that was finished I looked at the time. It was 8:49 pm.

“I’m gonna go,” I said standing up. Rhys nodded and walked me to the front door.

“Well let me know as soon as possible about Thursday.” 

“Yeah I’ll text you tomorrow.”

 “Perfect. That’s enough time to prepare.”

I nodded and turned to face Rhys. “Thank you,” I said.

“Anytime,” he said and we hugged again. I walked and made my way to my car, feeling so much lighter and better. Rhys has been a constant in my life going on 11 years and the thought of him and I no longer being able to be friends was a sad one.  

I hopped in my car and began making my way to Timothée’s apartment. The ride took almost half an hour. I looked around the parking lot and saw his car wasn’t there. I was glad, I didn’t want Aiden to hear us in case he was home.

It wasn’t even 5 minutes later, Timothée pulled in. I got out and walked to him.

“Hey!” He said with his beautiful smile and I leaned in and kissed him.

“Hey,” I murmured on his lips as we kissed again. “Come on,” I said and pulled him to my car. We climbed in and he looked confused. I chuckled. “It’s about Aiden’s birthday and I don’t want to risk him overhearing us,” I said.

“Ok,” Timothée replied smiling.

“So, Aiden, as we both know, is a huge fan of Rhys.” 

“He is,” Timothée said, sounding neutral and nodding his head slowly.

“So, I thought it would be nice, since I was going to see Rhys anyway, to get a couple of cookbooks and have Rhys sign them as a birthday present.”

Timothée gave me a sweet look and caressed my cheek. “That’s so thoughtful,” he said.

I grinned. Aiden has asked me not to tell Timothée so I was gladly taking all this affection in. “So I asked Rhys to sign the books, and he proposed an idea.”

“Oh?” Timothée asked. Same neutral expression.

“He said he would be more than happy to host a birthday dinner for Aiden and to get there early enough so that he and Aiden can cook together. And he would sign the books for him before we left.” 

Timothée sat there for a moment. He pressed his lips together and nodded. “I think that that is very nice and thoughtful of Rhys and I believe Aiden will be over the moon.” 

I nodded. “So we’ll go then?”

“Yes, if Aiden wants to, and I’m sure he will,”  Timothée said, letting out a deep sigh.

I smiled and kissed him again. “I told Rhys we were together and he said he would respect it. Maybe this can be a new beginning?” I asked in a rushed whisper. “Maybe this can -“

“Baby, I love you,” Timothée said. “I will... I will always try to be the best for you. To make you happy -“ 

“You make me happy,” I said. “As long as you’re breathing I’m happy.” 

Timothée leaned back and grinned. “Wanna spend the night?” He asked me softly.

“Yes,” I said. We kissed and got out of the car and made our way upstairs.

Chapter Text

It was decided we would get to Rhys’s at 4:30. That would be early enough for Aiden and Rhys to cook.

Aiden, Timothée had told me, had been over the moon when he was told of the plans and I gladly texted Rhys to let him know we would be joining him on Thursday. Aiden had said Rhys could choose the meal, that he would be happy to eat anything he wanted to cook.

Rhys had asked me to ask Timothée what Aiden’s favorite meal was, so they could cook that.

“Uh, he’s always eating Taco Bell,” Timothée had told me. So I had told Rhys to cook to impress.

 

We turned into Rhys’s street. Timothée was in the passenger seat beside me and Aiden was in the back, talking a million words per hour.

“I wonder what he’ll cook?!” Aiden asked excitedly. “He has so many amazing recipes for everything. I can’t believe I’m going to his house! Wow!”

Timothée and I looked at each other and smiled. “Well, Happy Birthday!” I said as I glanced at him through my rear view mirror.

“Best birthday ever!” Aiden said and Timothée chuckled.

The gate opened after I texted Rhys and I drove in. I felt Timothée tense slightly. I had tried to talk to Timothée about this a little bit before we had left his apartment as I sat on his bed and watch him get dressed.

“Baby, I understand in you’re hesitant about today,” I began. I was searching for the right words but I was never good at things like this.

Timothée let out a breath and had come to me and kissed me. He held my face in his hands. “Hey,” he has said in his soft voice. “It’s alright. I know he’s your best friend and maybe this is a way of him extending an olive branch?”

“Perhaps,” I replied staring at his gorgeous lips.

“And if it is then I shall gladly take it, for your sake, my love,” he said sliding onto my lap.

I ran my hands up his gorgeous body. He had jeans on, his boxers visible from the top and no shirt. I ran my hands across his chest, leaning in and kissing him across it, giving a little lick to one of his nipples. Timothée sighed.

“We have to be ready to leave in less than twenty minutes,” Timothée said softly as I kept kissing him.

“Yes, my love,” I said and leaned in and kept kissing him.

“Behave,” he said as his lips found mine. We kissed deeply.

“And what do I get in return if I behave now?” I asked of him.

“Behave and find out,” he said sliding off my lap.

 

I looked at him now as we walked to Rhys’s front door. I reached and held Timothée’s hand as I knocked. Rhys came to the door soon after and we entered. He and Timothée were pleasant as they greeted each other and then all focus was on Aiden. There was no other way around it. He was talking too fast and too loud for anyone, except Rhys, to get a word in edgewise.

It was fine actually. Timothée seemed more than happy for Aiden to get all of Rhys’s attention. He stayed quiet, as did I, as Aiden gushed over Rhys. Rhys, of course, was more than happy to take all the praise showered on him and seemed pleased that Aiden was such a fan. He truly paid no attention to Timothée or I.

We all walked into the kitchen and wine was poured and within the half hour, Timothée and I had walked out and left Aiden and Rhys to cook. I took Timothée’s hand into mine. “You alright?” I asked.

“Of course,” he said. He had ended up putting on a thin black sweater. It made his hair look a bit darker, his skin a bit paler and his eyes more gorgeous than ever. He took a deep breath in. “It’s hard to forget all he’s said and leaving Aiden in there I sort of feel like I’m putting him up for sacrifice,” Timothée said and then looked at me as if he had regretted what he had said.

I pulled him into my arms and kissed his forehead. “I know, I understand,” I told him. And I did. “I have not forgotten all he’s said, baby.  I just -“

“No I understand. You truly don’t have to explain it to me,” Timothée told me.

“Hey! You guys prefer baked potatoes or mashed potatoes?” Came Aiden’s voice from the kitchen. I looked over and saw him and Rhys in matching aprons by the kitchen entrance. Rhys’s face was neutral.

“Baked,” Timothée and I said at the same time.

“Baked it is, then,” Rhys said.

 

When dinner was finally served, we sat at Rhys’s large dining room table. He was telling Aiden about his cooking competition show, some behind the scenes drama and Aiden was enthralled. Timothée glanced at me and smiled.

We were all eating and had been quiet a moment, savoring the food, which was delicious, when Rhys looked my way. “Ran into Paris,” he said softly.

I froze for only a split second. “How exciting,” I said.

“Seems Hector will actually be giving an art seminar at UCLA next year.”

I looked up at Rhys. “Seriously? What a joke! How could that be allowed?”

Rhys shrugged. “I didn’t ask.”

I nodded. I could feel Timothée’s eyes on me. I glanced at him and smiled after I drunk all my wine in one gulp. Timothée reached for the bottle and poured me more. “Thank you,” I said.

“Are these those brothers you spoke of?” He asked me softly. I nodded. He looked at Rhys. “You know them well?”

Rhys looked at Timothée a moment. “Not well , no,” he said. “I know of them and most of it is through gossip and of course them harassing Armie.”

“I’d barely call it harassing ,” I said a bit more angrily than I wanted to.

Timothée looked at me. “Why didn’t you tell me the depth of it?”

“I did!” I said, now fully annoyed at Rhys for alarming Timothée. “They’re just a pair of idiots who -“

“Who have no regard for anyone but themselves,” Rhys said. He looked at Timothée. “Please, look after him.”

“I intend to,” Timothée said.

“I’m right here you know!” I said. “And there’s no need for anyone to take care of me as I am a grown man and am capable of taking care of myself. The Troy bothers are nothing but a couple of pests that can do nothing to me! What have they done to me, huh?” I asked. I suddenly felt my cheeks warm as I noticed Rhys, Aiden and Timothée had all stopped eating and were staring at me. I rolled my eyes. “Can we stop talking about them please! This night is all about Aiden.”

“Sure,” Timothée said.

“As you wish,” Rhys replied.

“Dude I don’t even know who they are!” Aiden said to me.

“Consider yourself lucky then!” I told him and clinked my wine glass to his before emptying it in a single gulp.

 


 

Aiden didn’t seem to want to leave and Timothée looked bored. I wanted to go. I wanted Timothée.

“What if you stay Aiden?” I proposed. I was irritated. The talk of the idiot Troy brothers had soured my mood and I had drunk far too much wine. I knew it. I felt it. And, above all else, I wanted Timothée and the longer we stayed the longer I was made to wait.

Aiden merely glanced at Rhys, as if the thought was not even a possibility. “You’re welcome to! We can even bake!” He said with a huge friendly smile.

“Really?” Aiden asked, wide eyed.

I knew Timothée didn’t like the idea, but truly I didn’t care. Aiden was a big boy and could take care of himself. I stood up. “Wonderful! Happy Birthday Aiden!” I said and patted his shoulder. I went and grabbed Timothée’s hand.

We all stood up. “Are you... are you sure?” Timothée asked as I half dragged him.

“It’ll be fun!” Rhys said and Aiden nodded and grinned at him.

There was good byes and I hugged Aiden and Rhys. “Take care of him,” I said so only he and I could hear.

“Of course,” Rhys replied. He and Timothée shook hands after Timothée and Aiden had a quiet little chat. Finally, Timothée and I were on our way.

“I think I should drive,” he said.

“Let’s go to my place,” I told him and Timothée nodded. It was closer. He was quiet the whole ride as was I. I felt my bad mood hanging over me like a dark cloud.

Once we got there and got inside I grabbed Timothée and pulled him to me right at the entrance hallway. I felt him give in to me. We kissed deeply and I pulled at his clothing and mine until we were both naked and on my couch.

“I need you so much,” I said.

“I know,” he replied. Of course he knew. He always knew what I needed. It was one of the reasons why I loved him.

He got up and walked quickly to the bathroom returning with lube. “How shall I fuck you?” He asked me with a sweet little smile. I laid back along the length of the couch. He came and settled between my legs, sliding his hand under my left knee, pushing it back.

I felt my heart begin to pound. I looked up at him. “You’re a vision,” I said. “If I could paint I would paint you like this.”

“Horny and on top of you?” He asked.

We laughed. “Beautiful and bathed in moonlight,” I said with a grin shaking my head slightly.

Timothée leaned into me and kissed me. “I should make you drink wine more regularly, it gets you horny and romantic.”

“That’s you, not the wine,” I said looking into his eyes. “And you know it.”

I groaned as he slid into me without warning. We kept looking into each other’s eyes as he began to move in and out of me. I moaned as I parted my legs further for him. I wanted him in deep. I ran my hand down his torso. I stroked myself a few times. He moaned and went faster.

“I love you,” he said as he leaned forward. His warm breath was on me.

“I love you too, baby,” I said. I pulled him in for a kiss.

He went harder and faster. I couldn’t part my legs far enough for him. I grabbed his ass and pulled him in as he thrust into me. I wanted more and more and couldn’t get enough.

“You want it that bad?” He asked.

“Always!” I replied panting.

He began to fuck me relentlessly. It made me cry out and my body was hot all over as he hit that sensitive spot inside with every hard thrust in. It was relentless and hot and all I needed. He made me come before he came in me. It was too good for words. We laid there motionless for a moment.

“We should move,” Timothée said, panting as he laid on top of me. “We’ll stain your couch.”

“I’ll just buy a new one,” I said, not wanting to move. “Phoenix is off tomorrow. Can’t we just stay here?” I asked.

Timothée moved to pick up the throw that had fallen on the floor. “As you wish,” he said softly as he put it over us and settled on my chest.

Chapter Text

It was a couple of weeks after Aiden’s birthday, the second week of March. I was working from home, Timothée was in school, when Wentworth dropped by. I let him in through my gate and went downstairs to open the door for him.

“Armie,” Wentworth said with a handsome smile. We shared a friendly hug.

“Wentworth, how are you?”

“Good thank you,” he answers walking inside. We settled in my living which had a brand new leather couch which Timothée had picked out. It was dark brown leather and we had been promised it would not show a single stain. “I am ready to host a cocktail party and I wish for you and Timothée to attend,” he said.  

I smiled at him. “Sounds wonderful.” 

“I also have a favor to ask of you,” he said tilting his head at me. I raised my eyebrows. “I know you and Rhys Meyers are very close. Do you think you could give me his number or could you give him my number? I wish to have him cater my party.”

“Oh!” I said, a little surprised. “I can talk to him and pass your number to him no problem.”

“Thank you so much!” He said grinning.

We chatted a while longer and he asked about Timothée, which was my favorite topic of conversation as of late. He left soon after, and I told him I would contact him as soon as I had spoken to Rhys.

 


 

The next day, Wednesday, Timothée had invited me over for dinner. I went over, bringing a bottle of wine. Timothée had made some pasta which was delicious. He told me Aiden had helped him with it.  

Once we sat down to eat I decided to talk to Timothée about the cocktail party.

“So, Wentworth is finally having his cocktail party,” I said.

“Ok,” Timothée said.

“Obviously we’re invited.”

“I figured as much.”

“He asked me to ask Rhys if he would cater the party,” I continued.

“Oh,” Timothée said not showing much emotion. “Think he’ll do it?” 

“I’m gonna ask,” I replied. I turned to Aiden. I hadn’t talked to him since his birthday. “So how was it the night of your birthday after we left?”

“We talked about cooking and then watched some of his show and then we made brownies,” Aiden told me.

I chuckled. “Rhys loves brownies.”

“Yeah! He told me they’re his favorite,” Aiden said with a chuckle. “Then the morning after he cooked a huge brunch and then he gave me his three books and autographed all three of them.”

I grinned. “That must have been fun.”

“It was beyond fun it was... amazing!” Aiden told me with a huge grin on his face. “I’m sure Timothée is sick and tired of me talking about how nice Rhys was!”

I glanced at Timothée who only raised his eyebrows and gave a small smile as he ate silently but said nothing and kept eating.

“Well I’m glad you had a good time,” I told him.

“I had an incredible time. At first I was so nervous but Rhys was so nice and warm my nervousness went away and I would sometimes forget I was in front of Rhys , you know?”

I chuckled. “That’s great,” I told Aiden.

 


 

After we ate dinner and the dishes were washed Timothée and I made our way to his bedroom. Aiden went out.

We were laying on his bed and he was on top of me, straddling me. In the course of us getting on the bed in this position we had both lost our shirts and our pants had been unbuttoned.  

I worked my lips down his jaw and then down his neck. I kissed across his collarbone and then up the other side of his neck. He moaned softly at the sensation. I slid my hands up his back and sucked gently at his neck. He moaned again.  

“I love how you moan, baby,” I murmured against his soft neck.

“I love the things you do that make me moan,” Timothée whispered back.

“You’re such a good baby,” I told him, kissing along his shoulder. He was so beautiful. He kissed and I sucked gently on his bottom lip.

We looked at each other and his mouth, lips shiny and red, turned up at the corners into a cute smile. “I always want to please you, daddy,” he whispered against my lips.

My heart was racing. He slid off my lap, quickly undressed himself and then pulled my pants and boxers off. He settled between my legs. I looked down as he looked up at me, opened up his pretty and gave the tip of my cock a soft lick. The way he was looking at me was so sexy. I slid my hand in his hair and watched as he took hold of me and kept giving me soft kitten like licks. “You’re so good to daddy,” I breathed out. 

He smiled and then opened up and slid me in his mouth. I groaned as I felt his lips press around me and the warm wetness of his mouth engulfed me. His tongue pressed up against me and he hollowed his cheeks as he swirled it around me. I slid my legs further apart and softly bucked my hips up to him.

He tried his best to fit all of me in, but couldn’t quite. He took so much of me in him thought and he wrapped a hand around what couldn’t fit in his mouth so all of me was being pleased. “Such a good baby,” I repeated breathlessly.

He slid me out and I pulled him to me to kiss him a moment. I loved tasting myself on his tongue. I slid down, my upper back propped up by pillows. “Turn around baby,” I told him and he did as he was told. He turned and straddled me, facing my feet. I lost no time and wrapped my arms around his thighs, grabbing his hips and pulling him towards me. I reached with my thumbs and spread him open, placing my mouth at his hole.

He groaned and arched his back as I swirled my tongue around his entrance. Soon enough I was buried in him deep, my tongue sliding in and out, kissing and sucking at his sensitive skin. His erection was dripping onto my stomach and he would at times push his hips down and grind his hard on against my wet skin. He had resumed sucking me. We did this for a gloriously long moment, pleasing each other. We both came together.

We took a quick shower afterwards and settled in his small bed, which I had come to love since we had to be right up against each other. I buried my nose in his curls and wrapped my arms around him.  

“I love you,” I whispered softly in his ear.

“I love you more,” he whispered back to me.

 


 

I woke up early the following morning and decided to get breakfast for us. I told Timothée and dressed and kissed him before stepping out. Once back, I found Aiden up.

“Timmy’s still sleeping,” he said softly. I nodded. I began taking out the food I’d gotten and handed a food container to Aiden. “Hey... can I... uh. I would like to talk to you about something. In private,” he said, whispering still.

I looked over his face. “Ok,” I said. “We can have lunch later today.”

“Ok!” He nodded. “Can we... keep this between us for now?”

“Sure,” I said nodding.

Timothée woke up a while later and then ate. He dressed and then he and I left together.

 

It was about 1:30 in the afternoon when Aiden rang my doorbell. He had texted me when he had left the apartment letting me know he was on his way. I opened the door for him and welcomed him in.

“Nice place,” he said looking around. He looked a little nervous which made me slightly nervous in return. Phoenix had made lunch and had left for the day. I walked him over to the kitchen and we served ourselves and sat at the kitchen counter.

I looked at him. “Does Timothée want to break up with me?” I asked because I couldn’t stop my mind from racing.

He looked at me shocked. “No!” He said and let out a small laugh. “No. Actually, this has nothing to do with Timothée at all,” he said furrowing his brow.

I looked at him still confused, but feeling relieved now that I knew. “Ok?”

“It’s got to do with me,” he continued. “Me and... and...” he let out a sigh and put his fork down. “Can you... be... gay... for one person?” He asked.

I blinked a couple of times, trying to wrap my head around what he was asking. “You mean -“

“I mean I’m 22 and have never had thoughts about guys, not really. I mean I can look at a guy and think oh he’s good looking, he has a nice body. I’ve watched gay porn. It’s not a turn off,” he said with a shrug. “But I’ve never pursued a guy. I’m not against it, I mean Tim is my best friend since forever and the thought of two men together has never bothered me or seemed gross or anything. But I never pictured me with a guy...”

“Ok,” I said again.  

“I’ve never... well, ok,” he closed his eyes and let out a breath. “So I heard of Rhys when I was 17. I saw him on tv and I thought he was good looking, obviously, and so talented and I just considered myself a fan. A big fan.”

I nodded.

“Then I met him in person and spent time with him and he’s just as amazing as I knew he would be in person. He was kind and generous and he was so patient when we were cooking and he was funny.” Aiden smiled.

I began to realize what he was saying. “Oh,” I said.

Aiden blushed. He closed his eyes. “Please, don’t tell Timothée. I know he’s my best friend but I also know they don’t quite get along so... so I figured I could talk to you?”

“Yeah! Of course!” I said.

“Do I... I mean...” Aiden looked slightly distressed. “Do you think I even have a chance?”

“I wouldn’t know, Aiden, honestly,” I answered. “That’s a conversation you would have to have with him.”

Aiden nodded and sighed but didn’t seem surprised or upset at my answer. It was as if he had expected it. “I’m still a little confused. It’s like it’s hero worship with a crush and I truly just realized all these years I’d had a crush on him. I thought it was me being fan. But no... no... Then I meet him. And he’s all I imagined and then some and it’s... a bit overwhelming.” 

“I understand,” I said placing a hand on his shoulder.

He gave me a half way smile. “Thanks for listening.” 

“Anytime,” I told him. “I’d like you to think of me as your friend as well.”

“Thanks, Armie,” he said softly.

“You’re welcome,” I said smiling his way.

We began to eat our lunch and changed the conversation topic.

Chapter Text

I was in my office looking at emails and looking at my watch every five minutes. It was the Monday after Aiden and I had had lunch and I had devised a plan. I was never one to try to be match maker but I actually liked Aiden and during his birthday dinner I had felt Rhys had actually enjoyed his company. I had texted Rhys and had invited him to lunch and I was waiting for Rhys to let me know he was here.

I wasn’t sure about my course of action yet. It would depend on how Rhys reacted.

It seemed to take forever but finally Rhys arrived, and I jogged down the stairs to greet him at the front door.

“I brought some wine for Phoenix,” he said and walked off to the kitchen. I let them talk. I wanted Rhys in a good mood. Finally Phoenix served us lunch and we sat at the kitchen counter. Lunch was delicious and our conversation included Phoenix. I knew how much Rhys cared for her. She was now busy dipping some strawberries in melted milk and white chocolate. I looked over at Rhys and felt he was in a good mood.

“So, Wentworth came by last week,” I began. Rhys glanced my way. “He is having a cocktail party that was supposed to happen last month. He had at first told me it would be a small event but I have a feeling he’s making it larger.”

“What makes you say that?” Rhys asked flippantly as Phoenix laid some strawberries in front of Rhys. He gave her an adoring smile and began to eat one.

“Well, he asked me to ask you if you would be willing to cater, so I figured he wished to impress.”

“Did he?” Rhys asked.

“Yes,” I said. “Are you two back to speaking?”

Rhys and Wentworth had had a one night stand about a year and a half ago and as far as I understood whatever conversation had come afterwards had not been a good one.

“I haven’t spoken to him since...” he said waving a hand and taking a bite from the chocolate dipped strawberry. I nodded as I took one as well. He chewed and seemed to be in thought. “I assume the whole mess from Christmas has been resolved since Timothée will go with you?”

“Yes,” I answered. I looked at Rhys carefully. “You never told me exactly why you and Wentworth fell out.”

“Well we both had had a lot to drink and I think had we both been sober we would have never...”

I nodded. Phoenix finished with the strawberries and began to clean up the kitchen.

“It’s been a while since you dated,” I said.

Rhys gave me a look. “I hope you’re not trying to set Wentworth and I together!”

“No! I’m not! Didn’t even cross my mind!” I said.

“Good because I am not the least bit interested in him!”

I chuckled. “Anyone you are interested in?” I asked.

Rhys shook his head. “I don’t think I should date. I don’t know how to pick them.”

I laughed. Rhys looked at me and smiled. “Maybe you’re looking on the wrong places,” I said tentatively.

“What do you mean?”

“Well, all those models and actors, it can get old.”

“Is that why you’re with your boy with the golden heart and soul from the wrong side of the tracks?” He asked a bit sarcastically.

I let out a sigh. “By wrong side of the tracks do you mean not as rich as me?” I asked.

Rhys shrugged. He gave me an assessing look. “I wasn’t born rich,” he said. “I made a name for myself.”

“I know,” I told him. “You worked very hard for it and I respect that about you. Which is why I don’t understand why you would look down at someone who doesn’t have as much money as you and consider them not good enough.”

Rhys sat quiet a moment. “It isn’t that,” he said.

“Then what is it?!” I asked. “Because I never understood it!”

Rhys stared right into my eyes. “You really are a fucking idiot aren’t you?”

“What?!” I was shocked at what he said.

“I had feelings for you, you idiot.”

I saw Phoenix freeze and look at us. “I’m going to give you two a moment,” she said.

“Oh, Phoenix it’s alright. I have a lot of trust in you,” Rhys said. I was still feeling as if I couldn’t talk.

“And I thank you for that, darling, but some conversations should be done in private,” she smiled at Rhys and gave me a nod and walked out the kitchen.

Rhys picked up another strawberry and began to eat it.

“I’m sorry, I... I...” I mumbled, my tongue felt heavy.

“It’s alright you never saw me that way. It’s not your fault. I felt... well when I saw Timothée I saw the boy was pretty -“

“He’s not a boy,” I said. It was a reflex.

“No, he isn’t,” Rhys said seriously. We looked at one another. “He isn’t a boy he’s a young man. Anyway, it was... jealousy. Jealousy that believe me, is wearing off.”

I looked at Rhys and nodded. I still didn’t know what to say.

“Oh, Armie don’t look at me like I’m a wounded animal,” Rhys said. “I understand that it may be easier for me to not have said anything but the thing is you’re my best friend and have been for 10 years and I owed you the truth. But, you away in Paris did help and I got my head out of my ass and saw things as they are. You don’t feel the same and never will, I’ve learned my lesson. These feelings in me were confusing as fuck and honestly, you’ve been there for me through thick and thin for so long it just happened.”

“I’m sorry,” I said and regretted saying it the moment I said it.

“Oh Christ don’t be sorry!” Rhys said rolling his eyes. “Listen to me, I’m fine. It’s out in the open. In fact me saying this is part of me moving on!”

I looked at him and nodded.

“Plus, why are you feeling weird when you’re happy in love and in lust with your Wonder Boy!”

I chuckled and looked away. “But I am sorry I didn’t see it.”

“Well, you have never seen me as more than a friend so it’s not your fault. It never once crossed your mind. So all those times I kept saying Timothée is lacking this and that I was saying it as look I have all you need why aren’t you looking at me that way.”

“You can’t help who you love,” I said. “With Timothée -“

“Armie please, you don’t need to list the ways you love Timothée or how you can’t help but love him. I get it. I get you and I know. You can’t help who your heart falls for. Stupid thing, the heart, it doesn’t rationalize anything, it just feels and sometimes it’s heaven and sometimes it’s hell.” Rhys shrugged.

“So, your issues with Timothée were purely personal? You truly don’t care about his age and -“

“Oh well, I did have a concern about some of it. If I was really looking at it from a pragmatic point of view I would have actually raise the fact that you had more of a chance to hurt Timothée than he you.”

“What?” I asked, confused.

“All your money, your older and your social status. He’s young and not as experienced as you. You’re probably his first real ‘adult’ relationship,” he said holding up his fingers in quotation marks when he said adult. “There’s more of a potential for him to end up heart broken.”

“I would never hurt Timmy,” I said to Rhys and swallowing the fact that yes I was his first ‘adult’ relationship because I didn’t want to admit to Rhys now that yes I was.

“Right because that whole situation with Wentworth was you being a good boyfriend.”

I felt my face heat up with a blush. Rhys raised his eyebrows at me as he chewed on another strawberry.

“Timothée and I have worked that out.”

“Clearly,” Rhys said. “Since he and you became full fledge boyfriends after that. I’m sure that was all him and not you. I’m sure he came and put his foot down and told you to either shape up or loose him.” I stared at Rhys. “Am I wrong? I’ve known you ten years you’re not one to just choose commitment. You like to be commitment free.”

I rolled my eyes. “Whatever,” I said.

“I’ll take that as a yes,” he told me. “Anyway, several things happened when you told me you and Timothée were a full fledge couple.”

“What?” I asked.

“First off, it was obvious I had to let go of whatever these insane feelings I had for you,” he confessed. “It was getting tiring and they weren’t making me feel good. I had to respect your relationship because you’re my friend and I value your friendship and so you and Timothée officially being a couple was the last nail in the coffin for what jealousy I was feeling. I wasn’t going to let what I was feeling make me loose my best friend. I had to suck it up and move on with my life.”

I merely nodded. Again, not sure what to say.

“It’s alright Armie. I mean it wasn’t easy but like I said, you are my best friend and have been for a decade and I don’t want to lose you. I disliked Timothée for the wrong reasons and I still... well I wish you’d choose someone older but whatever. I’m here to support you.”

“And you agreed to host Aiden’s birthday to -“

“To extend an olive branch. I realized I had made it unbearable and so I wanted to mend things.”

I nodded. The conversation had taken a turn I hadn’t expected but I wanted to find out what Rhys felt about Aiden regardless. “Aiden is a nice guy though. Thank you for having that dinner for him.

Rhys gave me a wide smile. “He was very sweet. I’m glad he was there. I was able to focus on him and have fun.” Rhys sighed. “I don’t have to see Timothée as what you see him to accept him. He’s your boyfriend not mine. I just have to tolerate him.”

I rolled my eyes but smiled. “You liked Aiden though?” I asked.

Rhys nodded. “He was nice! A fan so he was showering me with praise and you know how much I love that!”

I laughed. “I do you egotistical bastard!”

“Oh shut up! If your little golden boy is climbing all over you singing you your praises you wouldn’t tell him to stop, would you?!”

“Of course not!” I said laughing. My heart felt light. I hadn’t felt like this with Rhys for months. We laughed. We quieted down and looked at each other. I got up and hugged him tight. “I wish I had known and I wished you and I had talked about this instead of how it turned out.”

I felt Rhys let out a sigh and then he hugged me back. “I know Armie, I know. Listen,” we parted and I sat back down. “Let’s just move on, ok? I’ve licked my wounds and want to move on and I’ve been honest with you. Honestly, you could send me to hell and be incredibly angry over how I treated your perfect little boyfriend. Well you sorta did that day you left for Paris and that helped too. I went home and realized how unlike me I was being and I hated it. I’m sorry,” he said sincerely.

“Lucky for you we’ve had a decade of friendship and I was going to give you the benefit of the doubt once the dust settled.”

“Thank you, Armie,” He said and I could tell in his face he truly was sorry about it all.

“Let’s move on,” I said.

He nodded. “I think I should apologize to Timothée.”

“I will leave that up to you,” I said.

“Yes, just like you,” he told me.

“But the birthday dinner for his best friend was a nice gesture,” I said wanting to return the conversation back to Aiden.

Rhys nodded and seemed to smile at whatever he was thinking. “I must say it went better than I imagine! I had a moment of panic before you got there and worried his friend would get on my nerves but he didn’t.”

“No?” I asked wanting to know more.

“No! Like I said he was very sweet and kept praising me. He’s watched all my shows and was talking about them and even mentioned seeing interviews I’d had on some talk shows and he was funny and easy to talk to. And when we were cooking he took direction very well! He was very precise and didn’t fuck anything up! All in all, a pleasant night. That’s why when I knew you wanted to leave to fuck your little prince and you suggested he stay I didn’t object. He was fun to be with.”

“You think he’s cute?” I asked.

“He’s straight,” Rhys said furrowing his brow at me. “Isn’t he?” I simply shrugged. “Armie are you trying to set me up with Aiden?”

“I’m not trying to do anything! I simply asked if you thought he was cute!”

“It would be like your corny ass to try to set up your best friend with your boyfriend’s best friend!” Rhys said pushing the stool I was sitting on with his leg.

I laughed and grabbed the kitchen counter. “You didn’t answer the question,” I said once I had settled back down.

“I don’t know! I mean he does have pretty eyes and a cute laugh but you know I don’t get too hooked up on looks. It depends on the person and I know fuck all about him because we truly spent the whole night talking about me and how amazing I am!” He said with a huge grin.

“And I know you loved that!” I said sarcastically rolling my eyes.

“Of course I did, I’m my favorite topic of conversation! You don’t get to be where I am without a healthy amount of self love!”

I laughed and shook my head. “So he made a good first impression?” I asked.

“He made an amazing first impression he’s a fan and thinks extremely high of me! It was easy to talk to him because all he wanted to talk about was me!” Rhys grinned at me. “But, like I said I know nothing about him.”

“Well, maybe he can come to Wentworth’s party,” I said with a shrug.

“It would be like you to think if I wanted to get to know him better I should take him to Wentworth’s party where he would be amongst people he doesn’t know and have others judge him by the amount of money in his bank account. No if I wish to get to know him better I would go to his house or he to mine and I’d cook him dinner and we could talk. Seriously, Armie you don’t think at times. You took Timothée to that auction soon after you met him and thrust him into your world without realizing how selfish you were being. That’s you though. You only think of yourself.”

I sat frozen and stunned for a moment. “What the fuck,” I said softly.

“Oh it’s ok, you don’t mean it at times. You just only think about yourself. Plus you said I could take him to the cocktail party imagining I’d cater it and so would be there. Give Wentworth my number. I’ll see if I cater it or not.”

“Ok,” I said still reeling from all he had said. I had never thought about Timothée feeling weird at the auction. It had never crossed my mind. I just always imagined it would just be fun for him to go.

“I’m sorry if what I said hurt your feelings but you know I don’t hold my tongue.”

“I know,” I said. I glanced his way. “I like that about you.”

“I know,” he said. I heard him take a big breath in and out. “Aiden is so young, Armie.”

“He’s Timothée’s age,” I said absentmindedly.

“Yes I know! And I’m trying to treat that with respect! I don’t want to be an asshole and break his heart. Like I said I don’t know him. If I take him on a date and he’s not my type I’m afraid I’ll hurt him so much because he’s a fan and he already has this perception of me where I’m like Mr. Perfect and god knows I don’t want to lead him around by the nose!”

“Then don’t ,” I said.

Rhys rolled his eyes. “I’m just saying I don’t want to hurt him and mar the perception he has of me.”

“So are you worried he wouldn’t think of you as a celebrity god? Is that it?”

“No! It’s not just about me , Armie!” He said. He gave me a look. “Fuck sakes you really are a selfish bastard aren’t you?! Listen to me! Aiden has been my fan and I knew it meant a lot to him to meet me. I, obviously, was nice because I knew it was a big deal, but also because he was very sweet. If I take him out on a date and then see he truly isn’t my type, which will be hard to even see if he is because he would go out of his way to be extra agreeable so I would like him! But say I really see he and I would never work I would have to say: sorry Aiden, I know you’ve been hooked on me since you were a teen and here you’ve had this dangled in front of your nose but I don’t wish to peruse a romantic relationship with you, it’ll break his heart probably more than with any other person! Don’t you get that? I have the potential to really hurt him and I sure as fuck don’t want to do that!”

I blinked my eyes. “You like him already.”

Rhys blinked back. “What?”

“You care about his feelings! You like him already!”

“From the time we spent together I saw he was a descent young man and I do not wish to hurt him.”

“Do you want to get to know him better?” I asked.

Rhys shrugged. “It’s not so easy Armie, he’ll be so willing to please because he has this little crush on me.”

“Oh so you knew he had a crush on you?”

“I felt it and tried to be very respectful.”

“I’ve noticed through all this you never once said no that you didn’t like him and are not interested. I’ve just heard a lot of excuses on why it would be a bad idea.”

“He has charm,” Rhys said.

“Get to know him better.”

“You mean be his buddy ? I’ve no need for more friends!”

“Well -“

“Oh Armie shut up! I’ll think about this some other time. Right now it’s like a lot at once. I don’t know. The thought of Aiden being infatuated with me and knowing how he’s a fan and holding all that in my hands is a bit much. I don’t ever want to hurt an innocent person like that. I would feel sick over it.”

I looked at Rhys in surprise. “You gave me so much shit for falling for Timothée,” I said.

“Well I was angry that you would prefer him to me but that’s in the past,” he said softly. “I don’t ever want to feel like how I felt back then.”

“Don’t you think the best way to move on is with a new relationship?” I asked.

“You can’t be serious that I use Aiden as a rebound or something?” Rhys said giving me an angry look.

“You like him,” I repeated.

“Shut up Armie! Can we stop talking about him?” Rhys asked.

“Sure,” I said giving him a smile.

“Don’t smile at me like that you piece of shit,” he said kicking my stool again.

I couldn’t help but laugh. “I’ve missed my best friend.”

Rhys looked at me and I could tell in his eyes how much what I had said hit home. “I’m sorry Armie. I’m sorry for how I acted and for how I let my jealousy -“

“It’s ok,” I said. “Really Rhys it’s ok. You’re my best friend and you’re a good person. I’m just glad we’re back to how it was.”

He nodded.

“I hope that wasn’t rude?” I asked suddenly realizing how that might have been hurtful.

“No,” he said. “I want to feel back to normal too. Believe me this hasn’t been easy.”

“I’m sorry,” I said.

“Yeah I know. It’s ok. Listen, do you want me to cater Wentworth’s party?”

“That’s totally up to you,” I said.

He took a deep breath in. “Phoenix!” He called out. “You can come back! I’d rather talk to you than this idiot anyway!” He said. I laughed and playfully punched him in the shoulder.

Chapter Text

Armie’s POV

 

I glanced at Rhys and grinned.

“Stop fucking grinning at me,” he said and let out a shaky breath.

It was Thursday, a week after Aiden and I had had lunch and he was coming for lunch again, to eat with Rhys and I. I was excited. Rhys was nervous.  

“I’m sure the food is going to be great,” I said.

“Of course it’s going to be great, I cooked it,” Rhys said absentmindedly. I chuckled. “Stop laughing!” Rhys said which only made me chuckle more.

“You’re acting like a kid!” I said laughing into the back of my hand.  

“Oh shut up -“ 

Ding dong .  

Rhys looked at me a bit wide eyed and I got up. “Gonna go answer the door. Take a deep breath. You don’t even like him, remember?” I said grinning.  

Rhys gave me an evil look and I walked off towards the door. I reached it and pulled it open. “Hey Aiden!” I said happily.

“Hey!” He said walking in. He ran his hand through his short brown hair and he looked around the entrance hall. “Oh Rhys is in the kitchen,” I said.

He nodded and grabbed my arm as I closed the door. “I am so fucking nervous.” He sounded it.

I nodded. “Well, Rhys is a man. Like you and me. You’ve spent the night at his house -“

“Yeah but...” he let out a breath. He looked down my home towards the kitchen. “Did you tell him all I said?” 

“No,” I answered. “No, I just asked him if he had fun with you and took it from there, so I mean, the fact that he proposed we have lunch clearly shows he’d like to get to know you better.”

Aiden nodded and smiled. He and Timothée were the same age and he really looked it right now. His cheeks were a little flushed and his brown eyes a little wide. He ran his hand through his short brown hair again. Aiden was about Timothée’s height, just a bit bulkier, but then, lots of people looked bulky beside Timothée.  

“Ok,” he said and grinned. I grinned back.

“He made you lasagna,” I told him.

“I love lasagna,” Aiden replied.

“Yes. He knows,” I answered as we walked down to my kitchen. “You told him.”

“I did,” Aiden said nodding. I resisted my urge to laugh again. I couldn’t believe how these two were acting. But I was happy. So happy. The endless fun us four could have was amazing. It was about 1:30 in the afternoon and Timothée usually made it to my place by 5:30. Rhys and Aiden would be here when he came home.  

I grinned as I thought about it. I knew Rhys and Timothée had been off to a bumpy start but everything would be ok now, I was sure. Rhys and I had been best friends for a decade and if something was blossoming between he and Aiden it was just more of a reason for Timothée to warm up to him.

I walked into the kitchen behind Aiden and found Rhys serving the lasagna. I settled into a kitchen stool beside Aiden. I couldn’t wait for Timothée to come home.

 


 

Timothée’s POV

 

I turned into Armie’s driveway. He had given me his spare remote for his gate but I had yet to take the key he had offered me again. I wasn’t being difficult or stubborn, it’s just that with him working from home he was normally home whenever I came over.

I exited my Honda and jogged up the steps and walked down the pathway to Armie’s front door. As usual, he opened it before I got there. I grinned at him and we kissed as soon as we were close enough to.

“How are you baby?” He asked me.

“Good,” I said grinning up at him. I had my backpack and not much else. I had half my clothes at Armie’s place anyway. He always offered to buy me more and I had let him a few times but I was controlling that as much as I could. I opened my mouth to say something else when I heard laughter coming from inside Armie’s home. I looked at him quizzically as he closed the door. He gave me a sweet smile and put his arm around me.

“I hope you don’t mind, I have a couple of people over,” he said.

“Oh,” I replied. The weekends were usually ours but of course I didn’t mind if he had people over. I just wondered why he hadn’t told me. “I’d love to meet your friends,” I said smiling up at him and wrapping an arm around his waist.

“Oh it’s not anyone you don’t know,” he said and helped me with sliding off my backpack. “Come on baby,” he said as he again hugged my shoulders and kissed the side of my head.

We walked past the living room and into his library and then turned into the dining room. We then walked into the kitchen. I blinked at what I saw. Rhys and Aiden washing dishes together. Aiden was... blushing. The whole scene confused me slightly and I actually closed my eyes a couple of seconds to get my bearings. I felt like I was in an episode of the Twilight Zone.

“Hey!” Aiden said. He dried his hands and walked over.  

“Hi,” I replied.

“You hungry? Want some lasagna?” He asked me with a nervous smile. Why was he acting nervous? Why was he offering me food at Armie’s home? 

“Uh...” I said. I was... confused. I glanced at Rhys who was washing dishes. He had his eyes downcast and then I looked up at Armie who was still hugging my shoulders. “What’s going on?” I asked.  

“Rhys and Aiden came for lunch,” Armie said smiling. I looked at Aiden who was also smiling. Rhys was still avoiding eye contact.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” I asked Aiden. It felt like a weird thing to keep from me, lunch at my boyfriend’s home.

He ran his hand through his hair, something he did when nervous. “Oh, well, I knew you would be by later on and we would still be here,” he said. We. He meant he and Rhys. I felt a weird knot in my stomach. “Come on, Rhys cooked this amazing lasagna,” Aiden began.

“You love lasagna,” I said, walking out from under Armie’s arm and towards the kitchen island where we normally ate.

“He does, that’s the reason I made it,” Rhys finally said breaking his silence. Our eyes met.  

His voice bothered me. I had a chill go through me as you would when you hear nails on a chalkboard. “How thoughtful of you,” I answered nonchalantly.

He gave me small smile and I returned it with one of my own. I actually didn’t want to eat. I wanted to yell for someone to tell me what the fuck I had walked into. It’s like everyone knew except me and now they were all walking on eggshells, wishing for me to just go along with whatever was going on.

I swallowed. “So... what’s going on?” I asked. I saw no point in beating around the bush.

“I told you baby, Rhys and Aiden came for lunch and they stuck around and waited for you to come home.”

“Why didn’t I know?” I asked. “I mean...” I shook my head.

“No big deal,” Armie said as he sat beside me. I furrowed my brow. Except it felt like it was. Aiden placed a plate in front of me with cutlery and a generous serving of lasagna. I looked up and saw him look at Rhys and saw them smile at each other. My stomach turned.

“Are you two fucking?” I blurted out.

Aiden turned a shade of red I had never seen in all my years I’d known him. “Timmy! No!” He said hastily. Rhys gave me a look of pure displeasure.

“Do you want to fuck him?” I asked Aiden not able to control myself. I felt bad for asking the moment the words had left my mouth. The expression on Aiden’s face was a mixture of mortification and embarrassment and I felt horribly. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” I mumbled. “Aiden I’m sorry that is none of my business,” I said and slid off the stool and walked out the kitchen.  

My heart was thumping in my chest. I wanted to get out of here.

“Timmy!” Armie called from behind me. I didn’t want to talk to him. My confusion was turning to anger quite quickly.

I was halfway through the living room when he grabbed my arm. I yanked it out of his hand. I saw Aiden come out of the dining room and walk towards me. I swallowed.

“I’m sorry,” I told Aiden before he spoke. “I’m so sorry I didn’t mean to embarrass you.”

“I know,” he said nodding. “Where are you going?” 

“Do you like him?” I asked Aiden.

Aiden blushed furiously again. The answer was obvious. I looked at Armie.

“You playing matchmaker?” I asked.

Armie shook his head. “We were simply having lunch -“

I turned and kept walking. I was angry at Armie but I didn’t want Aiden to see. I had to leave. If I didn’t I would say something to Armie which would hurt Aiden’s feelings and I didn’t want that. It was funny how my boyfriend and best friend were the ones dealing with this when Rhys The Snake stayed in the kitchen, unperturbed, when all this was his doing. I was feeling so much and my head was reeling and I couldn’t think while I stayed there.

I yanked the front door open and stepped out and began to jog down the walkway and down the front steps. I stopped to dig my keys out of my pocket.

“Timothée!” Armie said and grabbed my arm. Aiden hadn’t followed me out.

“You could have warned me!” I whispered angrily.

Armie looked at me as if I had two heads. “Warned you about eating with Rhys and Aiden!”

“No!” I said pushing against his chest. “Warned me Aiden and Rhys...” I couldn’t even say it.

“He’s your best friend! It was his job to tell you! Not mine!”

“Yeah if you weren’t in the know or meddling!” I retorted. I was sure to keep my voice low in case Aiden was by the open front door. “The moment you stuck your nose in it you should have told me or you should have at least told me today instead of just throwing me in the middle of it!”

Armie looked utterly shocked at what I was saying. “He asked me not to tell you!”

“You’re so willing to sacrifice my best friend so yours will have someone to fuck!?”

Armie’s eyes widened. “No! It’s not like that at all!”

“So what’s it like?!” I asked angrily shoving his chest again. “Because you’ve completely kept me in the dark!”

“Why the fuck are you mad at me when it was Aiden that wanted this?!” Armie said angrily.

I felt my mouth fall open. “Because we can’t help our feelings but we can help our actions Armie!” I said shaking my head. “Aiden obviously was embarrassed at the fact that he had feelings for someone who he knew I disliked. By the way, I still haven’t told him all the evil shit Rhys has said to me! I’d told him some but not all!”

Armie shook his head. “It was a misunderstanding... Rhys and I have talked about this!”

“Oh that’s nice! Good for both of you! Where you ever going to tell me about that too?! So suddenly you and him are back to being total bff’s and I’m just supposed to pretend nothing ever happened?! I’m just supposed to what? Accept all his insults and have it be ok because he’s your best friend?! Ever thought of asking him to fucking apologize ?!”

“That’s up to him! I can’t make him!”

“No you cannot,” I said. “Just like I can’t make you be considerate of me and my feelings.”

“Your best friend has a crush on Rhys and I helped him! How does that make me the bad guy?! I couldn’t tell you his secret!”

“But I was about to find out!” I said. “At your home nonetheless! You were thrusting me into an incredibly awkward situation the least you could have done was fucking warned me Armie! Jesus!”

Armie was giving me a wide eyes stare.

“Did you really think it would be so easy for me to just accept this?! They’re in your home! The weekends are ours! You invited them here at this time, it was all orchestrated so I would find out in your home so as to make sure I didn’t make a scene right? So as to make sure I just accepted it all and I know it wasn’t Aiden that came up with this alone! I’m sure you proposed this! I’m sure you thought that somehow by seeing them in your kitchen I would suddenly develop amnesia about Rhys’s horrible behavior and look at you as the selfless friend who helped a boy out with his celebrity crush.”

I leaned back against my car and pressed the heels of my palms into my eyes.

“It all sound so much worse when you put it that way,” Armie said.

“You could have warned me,” I told him.

“I’m sorry,” Armie said.

I shook my head. “I need to go,” I said.

“I said I was sorry! Timothée!”

I looked up at Armie. “And I’m sure it made you feel better!”

“How am I the bad guy?!” Armie said grabbing my left arm.

“I’m not saying you’re the bad guy!” I said frustrated. “I understand what you were doing! Ok! What I’m saying is, you could have warned me instead of just throwing my in the middle of this! You never once imagined what a shock this could be for me!?”

Armie shook his head in a way that showed me that no, he didn’t think this would be that big of a deal for me. I pulled of out of his grasp. 

“I need a moment to let this sink in and get my head around this, ok?” I said to Armie. “I don’t want to hurt Aiden’s feelings and -“

“But it’s ok to be mad at me when all I was trying to do was help!”

I closed my eyes. “Armie, I love you. Aiden is my best friend. In a perfect world I would have been warned about this and I would have had time to wrap my head around but I didn’t and I don’t wish to say anything hurtful and so I just... I need to go for a moment. I’ll be back,” I said.

I got in my car and Armie didn’t try to stop me. I didn’t look back as I backed out and started driving down his long driveway. As the gate opened I took my phone out. I texted Aiden.  

Hey, I’m sorry. I just need a moment. You know I’m here for you no matter what. We’ll talk later  

I drove out into the street and just... drove. I wasn’t even sure where to. I was going on muscle memory and suddenly realized I was close to the Taco Bell that Aiden and I frequented. I kept driving there. I could do with some food maybe.

I got out and walked in and ordered some food and went and sat down. I rested my elbows on the table, again, heels of my palms on my eyes and just sat there.

Aiden and Rhys. Rhys and Aiden. Sweet, trusting Aiden seemed like a little mouse put into a terrarium housed by a snake. I let out a shaky breath. I wanted to be supportive and yet I felt such revulsion at the thought of Aiden giving himself to someone like Rhys.

Rhys and I have talked about this,” came Armie’s voice in my head. How nice, I thought. It would have been equally as nice if he had talked about any of this with me.  

I swallowed as my throat tightened. I was hurt. It hurt. It hurt that Armie did all this, despite his intentions, and had left me out of the loop. Even if he had told me today, an hour before going into his home. Even if right before we had walked into the kitchen, he had taken some time to tell me. Anything. Anything instead of just throwing me into the deep end and just expect me to be ok with it all. I knew he said he did it to help Aiden but I couldn’t help but feel he was doing it more for Rhys than anyone. I shook my head. I wished desperately to have someone to talk to about this but realized I couldn’t go to my boyfriend or best friend. I suddenly felt so alone.

“Hey!” I heard. I looked up and saw Bree’s smiling face. Her expression did a 180 as she saw the look on my face. “What’s wrong?” She asked and sat down in front of me.

“Bree,” I said.  

“What’s wrong Tim?”

I opened my mouth and the floodgates opened. I had never been so open about Rhys to anyone. Of course I had complained to Armie and I had confided in Aiden some but both had an attachment to him. Armie as his best friend and Aiden, who I now fully realized, had a huge crush on the guy and I didn’t want to break his heart by letting him know his idol was a horrible human being. Bree had no attachment. I could express my anger and hurt and huge dislike for him. And then I told her about earlier.

“And I guess, I mean, I have no choice but to accept it, right?” I said. I looked into her dark eyes. Her face was full of concern.

“Oh I’m sorry it must have been such a nasty shock,” she said. 

“It was,” I told her, already feeling so much better at having gotten it all off my chest. I looked at my watch. It was almost 8. “I should go,” I said.

She nodded. “Ok. I’m here if you need me. You know that.” She reached across the table and squeezed my hand.

“I know,” I said. “Thank you.” I squeezed her hand back. I looked down at our hands. Her hand was so small inside mine. “Wow, purple,” I said holding her hand up and looking at her nail polish.

She giggled. Her laugh was really sweet. When she smiled her whole face lit up and it put me in a better mood. “It matches my eyeshadow,” she said and closed her eyes to show me.

“Beautiful,” I said and gave her hand a little squeeze. We got up. She opened her arms and I walked into them and hugged her tight. “Thank you,” I said. “It’s like the universe knew I needed someone and here you were, as if by magic.”

“Well, let’s thank my hungry stomach then and it seems as if Aiden has gotten me hooked on the damn steak chalupas because god was I craving one!” 

I chuckled. “I ordered two, have them.”

“Gladly!” She said taking the brown bag from my hand.

We walked out of the place and into the parking lot. “Thanks again,” I said.

“Anytime. I’m here whenever you need me, Timmy.” 

“Likewise, Bree,” I said and watched as she got in her car and took off.

I sighed and took my phone out. I called Aiden. He answered really quick. “Hey!”

“Hey,” I said. “We good?”

“Always,” He said letting out a breath.

I smiled. “You home?”

Silence. “No...”

I nodded feeling a slight clenching in my stomach. “With him?”

“Yeah,” Aiden said.

I nodded. “Be safe, please.”

“Always.”

“Alright. Talk to you later.” 

“Ok,” he said. “Hey, Tim, don’t be mad at Armie, ok? I asked him to not tell you. If you’re gonna be mad, be mad at me, ok?”

I let out a breath. “I’m not mad at anyone,” I said softly.

“Ok,” Aiden said. “Night bro.”

“Night,” I said.

I got into my car and called Armie. He answered right away as well. “Hello?”

“Hey,” I said softly.

“Baby,” Armie breathed out. “I love you.”

I couldn’t help but smile. “I love you,” I replied. “I’ll be home in 20.”

“Ok,” said Armie. “Good. I need you.” 

I grinned. “Say that again,” I told him.  

“Timothée, I need you. Come home please.”

“I’m on my way,” I said. We hung up and I cranked up the car and started driving back home to Armie’s.

Chapter Text

I watched as Timothée drove away. I was angry... sad... frustrated.  

“Fuck,” I muttered and turned and walked back into my house because there was nothing else I could do. Timothée said he needed time and I had to give it to him. I had to.  

I closed the door and looked up and saw Rhys and Aiden standing together and looking at me.

“I’m sorry,” Aiden said. “I didn’t mean for any of this to happen.”

“I know,” I told him. It was true, I knew he didn’t.

“This is all my fault,” Rhys said. I looked up at him. “Well, it’s true.”

“Listen, I know you and Timothée for whatever reason don’t get along,” Aiden began, furrowing his brow.

“It was all me,” Rhys told him. He gave me a look and then he looked back at Aiden. “Come sit down,” he said gently with a smile. Aiden went and sat on an arm chair adjacent to my couch, which I was in. Rhys took the corner closest to the arm chair. “I think you’re a wonderful person and I respect you and so do not wish to keep secrets from you,” he said. I looked over and watched Rhys talk to Aiden. “If after I say all I have to say you do not wish to speak to me anymore, I will respect that.”

Aiden furrowed his brow and stared at Rhys and then looked over Rhys’s shoulder at me. “Ok,” he said in a small voice.

I saw Rhys take a deep breath in and out. “Armie and I have known each other a decade. We’ve been through a lot,” he looked back at me and gave me a smile. “We’ve been each other’s support system for quite a while and some time last year...” Rhys shook his head. “My feelings became compromised,” he said simply.

Aiden raised his eyebrows and I saw his cheeks flush slightly. “You started liking Armie?” He asked.

“Yeah,” Rhys said. “It wasn’t easy. I knew Armie didn’t feel that way and I began to feel really down about it myself and the whole situation because I couldn’t control what I was feeling and I didn’t want to lose my best friend. I’m sure you can imagine if you happen to suddenly develop feelings for Timothée, how stressful that could be?”

“Yeah,” Aiden said nodding his head.  

“So in the midst of it all, Armie met Timothée. You saw how fast things progressed for them.”

“Yes,” Aiden said.

“I didn’t handle it well. I never handle anything negative well. I was horrible. Beyond horrible and I said horrible things to Timothée.” 

Aiden stared at Rhys. “It wasn’t his fault.” 

“No, it wasn’t,” Rhys said. “It was all mine. It was all me.” He sat back on the couch. “I’m sorry,” Rhys said. He said it without looking at Aiden or I. I knew he meant it for both of us. “I know he means something to both of you and this whole thing happened because of me.”

“Well, no I asked Armie to not tell him anything,” Aiden said.

“Why?” Rhys asked.

I saw Aiden flush. “Well, I felt that there was a one in a million chance that anything would ever...” he waved his hand between he and Rhys. “So I was... curious about you. I know Timothée knew how much of a fan I was and when I spoke to Armie last week I was ready for him to gently tell me I was delusional and so I thought I would one day tell Timothée about this, I wasn’t expecting... this.”

I saw Rhys smile and reach for Aiden’s hand and squeeze it a moment.

“I’m sorry, Armie,” Aiden said again.

“Well, you asked him not to tell Timothée but Armie should know his boyfriend better,” Rhys said.

“What the fuck?!” I said, anger surging.

“Well it’s true,” Rhys said. “This isn’t Aiden’s fault.” 

“Well it’s not mine!” I said. “I thought you had already decided it was yours!” 

Rhys nodded. “Ok so, say I stick around til Timothée comes back and I apologize for being an asshole. A plain I’m sorry I was an asshole isn’t going to cut it. I was...” he drifted off.  

“Was it that bad? Tim never went into detail,” Aiden said looking between Rhys and I.

“I was pretty fucking horrible. He was probably just sparing your feelings,” Rhys said. “Which I respect,” he continued after a moment. “He didn’t have to do that.”

“Well Timothée isn’t vindictive,” Aiden told Rhys. Rhys nodded.

“Apologizing to Timothée would require me telling him the completely truth and I don’t think that’s going to go over well or help him warm up to me or the current situation,” Rhys stated.

“Are you worried he won’t be ok with us...” Aiden blushed furiously. “Well there isn’t even an us, what am I saying.” Rhys again, reached over and squeezed his hand. Aiden gave him an adoring look. I swallowed as my heart ached. I wanted Timothée back.

“Well you’re not the only one that owes Timothée an apology. I do too,” I said.

“Do you know why?” Rhys asked.

“Yeah he’s mad I didn’t tell him in advance you’d both be here,” I said.

“Do you get it though, or you’re just saying that because it’s what he said?” Rhys asked.

I furrowed my brow and looked at him. “What the fuck is your problem?” I asked angrily. I was in a bad mood and Rhys was testing it.

“It’s a legitimate question,” Rhys replied. I sat there and just stewed in my anger. I wasn’t mad at Aiden at all, he was young and inexperienced and I knew this wasn’t easy for him. I closed my eyes. Young and inexperienced and Timothée’s age. I saw Timothée as my equal where I saw Aiden as a young kid. It was slightly confusing. Maybe I was being too hard on Timothée. Maybe I was expecting too much or asking too much of him.

My stomach clenched at the thought. I glanced over at Rhys. “I... am I expecting too much from him?” I asked. He knew what I meant.

“Yes, I think at times you do. You just expect him to adapt to your needs without thinking of his.” I furrowed my brow. “Not just in bed, Armie. Emotionally,” Rhys continued.

“But I do! I talk to him and ask him how he is every day. We discuss his life, I listen. I know how school is going, he tells me about his family. I’m there for him emotionally!” 

Rhys glanced my way. “Then why did he storm out of your home?”

“Because of you two!” I said. It was damn obvious. “Because Aiden asked me to keep a secret, which I’m not mad about, Aiden, and I get it,” I told him. “And because you were horrible to him before!”

“I fully accept my responsibility,” Rhys said. “Again, though, I know I’m the last person he wishes to hear from, and an apology will involve me telling him the truth and I’m sure that he will just hate me more because of it.” 

“You never cared of he hated you before,” I reminded Rhys.

“That was then,” he said.

We all sat in silence.

“Can I talk to you...” Aiden asked Rhys softly. I knew he wanted privacy.

“It’s cool,” I said getting up. I jogged up the stairs and into my office, shutting the door behind me. I called the only person I could think of.

“Hey big brother!” Victoria’s cheerful voice came through the phone.

I opened my mouth and everything rushed out. My heart was pounding hard. I was mad still but I was just getting desperate for Timothée. I hated that he was mad at me. It made me feel like a caged animal. I just wanted him back at home and back in my arms, where he belonged.

“I swear to fucking god Armie!” Victoria said. “How could you just do that to Timothée!”

“I told you!” I said angrily. “His best friend asked me to keep it a secret!”

“Ok then you tell his best friend if he wanted Timothée to find out to tell him himself and not include you in it! You knew how Timothée feels about Rhys and I can’t blame him! It was Aiden’s job to break the news to Tim! But NO your dumb ass wanted to be all up in this and decided to do it in your home! You fucking ambushed him!”

I closed my eyes and pressed my thumb and index finger to them until I was seeing white spots.  

“Rhys, I cant believe Rhys. Actually, yes I can! I know him and I’ve seen how he acts with competition. He’s a ruthless motherfucker and you knew this! Why have you not made him apologize to Timothée!”

“I can’t make people apologize if -“

“Oh bullshit Armie! Do you love Timothée or not?!”

“Of course I do!” I practically yelled.

“Then act like it and stop putting everyone else first before him! Including your own stupid self!”

I opened my mouth to respond but then the line went dead. I looked down at my phone and saw Victoria had hung up on me. I angrily texted her.  

Classy! I called you for help!  

It’s easy! Quit being so self centered and make Timothée your priority for once!

“Seriously?!” I said to myself. Of course Timothée was my priority! I loved him! I needed him! He meant everything to me! I couldn’t believe this was getting so out of hand. I walked out of my office and stood at the top of the stairs. Rhys and Aiden were on my couch, kissing. I took a deep breath in and out and walked back to my office and sat at my office chair.  

I was lost in thought, turning everyone over in my head when I heard a soft knock on my open office door. I looked up and saw Rhys.  

“Hey,” I said.  

“Hey,” he replied and walked in. He came and sat in front of my desk. “Aiden and I are gonna get going,” he said.

“Ok,” I replied.

“I’m sorry. This is truly all on me,” he said. “I will apologize to Timothée. I have to. Could you give him my number and tell him when he’s ok with talking to me, could he text or call me?”

“Ok,” I said.

“Are we ok?” He asked.

“Yeah,” I said.

“You sure you don’t hate me?” Rhys asked.  

I looked up at him. “You’re not a bad person. You just acted foolish,” I said.

“Are you mad at Aiden?” He asked.

“The kid has a crush. How could I be mad at that?” 

“And how you feeling about Timothée?”

“I love him,” I said. “I need him. I want him happy. Always. It sucks when he isn’t ok.” I looked at up Rhys. “I saw you kissing Aiden.”

He smiled. “I like him,” he said. “I’m just nervous.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because it’s a lot of pressure. He’s so... innocent.”

“I doubt he’s a virgin,” I said.  

“No I don’t mean that way. I mean he’s so innocent when it comes to how he feels about me. He’s so open and vulnerable and it’s nerve wrecking because I want to treat him with respect.” 

I nodded. “Yeah I get it.”

“Do you?” Rhys asked.

“What the fuck is up with you?!” I said angrily.

“Because Timothée is like Aiden when it comes to you. Innocent and vulnerable and -“

“I am not a bad boyfriend!” I told Rhys angrily.

Rhys stood up. “I know I fucked up with Timothée at the beginning and I don’t expect he and I to be best friends and frankly I don’t care if we are or not,” Rhys said with a shrug. “But I obviously do not wish to see you or Aiden unhappy. When he comes back, please let him know I wish to clear the air and will do so when he wishes to.” 

“Ok,” I said.

“Ok, we’re gonna go,” Rhys said. I nodded and watched him walk out of my office. A moment later I heard my front door open and close. I sat at my desk a while longer, again lost in thought.  

The last thing I ever wished to do was hurt Timothée. I wished for him to be happy and content. I shook my head. I wasn’t sure how much longer I sat there, with the thoughts of how I never wanted Timothée hurt or sad or angry and thinking of how much I just wished he was in my arms when my phone rang. I felt relief wash over me when I saw it was him.

“Hello?” I answered. My throat felt tight.

“Hey,” He said softly.

I felt as if my heart would burst. “Baby,” I said letting out a breath. “I love you.” I said it without thinking. I needed him to know.

“I love you,” He replied. “I’ll be home in 20.”

“Ok,” I said, relief washing over me. “Good. I need you.” 

“Say that again,” came his soft voice.  

“Timothée, I need you. Come home please.” I felt as if my chest was so tight.

“I’m on my way,” he said and hung up. 

I let out the deep breath I had been holding in and leaned back on my chair. “Thank god,” I muttered under my breath.

 


 

I was pacing by the front door when I saw Timothée’s head lights. As always, I could hardly wait for him to be with me, so I yanked open the door and waited. I saw him as he jogged up the stairs and began to walk towards me. He grinned at me and my heart began to race.  

“Baby, I’m so sorry,” I said as soon as I wrapped him in my arms. I squeezed him. “I’m so sorry. I’m sorry I hurt you. I’m so sorry.” 

“I know,” he said as I gave him a kiss on the cheek.

We walked inside. “You must be hungry,” I said.

“Yeah I am,” he said with a chuckle. I took his hand and led him to the kitchen. 

“I have other food,” I said. “You don’t have to eat Rhys’s lasagna”

“I’m ok with eating his lasagna,” Timothée said.

I nodded and got some on a plate and put it in the microwave. I looked at Timothée. “Rhys asked me to give you his phone number. He said he wishes to clear the air and if you could call or text him whenever you’re ready.”

Timothée nodded slowly. “Invite him over tomorrow,” he said looking into my eyes. “Not for lunch or anything. It’ll be to talk.”

“Ok,” I said. The microwave beeped and I took the plate out and placed it in front of Timothée. I got him a fork and something to drink and then went and sat beside him. He began to eat and I watched him. “Am I a bad boyfriend?” I asked.  

Timothée looked my way. “Why do you ask?”

“Because Victoria and Rhys pretty much said so. And of course there was the fact that you had to leave because I hurt your feelings.”

Timothée kept eating and would glance at me every so often. He didn’t say anything more and just ate. I sat there, waiting.  

“You don’t get why I got mad, do you?” He asked me softly.

“You said because I didn’t warn you about the situation. I’m sorry I kept you out of the loop. It was inconsiderate. No more secrets. Not anyone’s. Ever.” 

Timothée bit his bottom lip. “It’s you though,” he said.

“What?” I asked.

“It’s you. Your way of thinking. Being. You don’t think of anyone but yourself and how you see the world. You think something is ok so you assume it should be ok with everyone.” 

I sat there and stared at him. “That’s not true.”

“It is true. Sometimes it works in your favor and other times it doesn’t. When it comes to work it helps you. You accept something as a fact and you just wait for everyone else to catch up. When Rhys was telling you how horrible I was, none of it mattered because you knew you wanted me.”

“Yes, I knew he was wrong.” 

“You didn’t. I mean,” Timothée shifted in the kitchen stool. “I wasn’t anything he was claiming I was, but there was no way for you to truly know. You had just decided I was it and nothing he was going to say would deter you.” 

“Ok,” I said slowly.

“So I was happy then. Now though I’ve gotten to see the other side. The Wentworth thing. Now this. You go about things acting in a way where you only take your feelings into consideration. Sometimes it benefits me like it did with you ignoring Rhys, sometimes it doesn’t like today.” 

I was annoyed. Not angry, because I loved Timothée and it would take a lot for him to truly anger me but I was annoyed by all this. I wasn’t sure what to say. “I would never hurt you on purpose,” I said. It was the truth and I knew he knew this.  

“Oh I know,” he said. “But you still do because, again, you only think of things from your point of view and how things affect you.”

I got up. “You done eating?” I asked as I grabbed his plate and glass. I walked around and washed the dishes in the sink. Once I was done I dried my hands and looked at Tim. “Ready to go upstairs?” I asked. He nodded and walked in front of me. I shut off the lights in the kitchen and followed him upstairs. We changed in silence and brushed our teeth in silence. I glanced at him. He looked fine. He didn’t look upset.  

I leaned down and rinsed my mouth and put my toothbrush away. He did the same. I turned to face him and he looked up at me. “I’m not a bad person,” I said.

“I never said you were,” Timothée replied.

“Well you sure made me sound shitty,” I said turning and walking into the bedroom. I felt an ugly heaviness in my chest. I got into the bed and leaned against the headboard.

I watched as Timothée walked in and crossed the room. He got into bed beside me. I stared at him and he met my stare. “What?” He asked.

“You make me sound like I’m horrible!” I told him. “I fucking love you and you make me sound like a horrible person!” I was feeling hurt now. “You, Victoria, even!” 

“What did she say?” He asked. I grabbed my phone and showed Timothée the text she sent me. “Stop being so self centered and make Timothée your top priority for once,” he read.  

“I do!” I said. “I think about you all the time! I.. I do what I can to make sure you have all you need! I love you! I need you!” I shook my head in disbelief. I looked at him and took his hand. “You don’t doubt my love for you do you?”

“No I don’t,” he said. He looked into my eyes and gave me a smile. He leaned forward and kissed me. I felt him wrap his arms around me and I held him close. After a moment of hugging him, I nuzzled his neck and kissed it. He pulled back. I looked at him confused. “I’m not in the mood,” he said.  

“Oh,” I replied. It felt as if my heart was breaking. He had never denied me his body before. It almost felt surreal. He smiled at me and kissed me again.  

“I love you,” he said.

“I love you,” I replied softly.

He pulled back and turned off the lamp by his side so I turned mine off too. “Good night, baby,” he whispered and I watched as he laid down on the bed. I slid down and laid on my back.

“Good night,” I said into the darkened room. I looked up at the ceiling, feeling more hurt than I had ever felt before.

Chapter Text

Aiden watched as Armie got up and jogged up the stairs, his long legs taking them two at a time. He looked back at Rhys and felt his heart race. Rhys did that too him. Seeing him in person still seemed surreal. Aiden still felt as if he would pinch himself and he would awake in bed, all this having been a fantastic dream. He would just be him and Rhys would be someone on tv or on the cover of his cookbooks. A personality. An amazing one. Not a flesh and blood man in front of him.

Aiden swallowed. He looked down at his lap.

“You need to apologize to Timothée,” he said. He realized his voice sounded small and with not much weight behind it. He couldn’t help it. Rhys made him breathless. He looked up at Rhys. “Anything you said, Timothée didn’t deserve it. He’s a great guy. A good friend.” He watched Rhys who nodded. “You have to apologize to him.”

Rhys held his gaze. He was quiet for a moment. “If I don’t would you stop talking to me?”

Aiden didn’t have to think about it. “Yes,” he said.

Rhys smiled at him. “I admire that,” he said. Aiden felt himself blush. “I will apologize. I’ll tell Armie to tell him I wish to apologize. I’ll let him decide the time and place.”

“Ok,” Aiden said, feeling a bit better about it. He ran a hand through his hair and then rubbed his palms on his jeans. He wasn’t sure what to do or say now.

“Hey, come here,” Rhys said and patted the couch beside him. Aiden got up and went and sat with him. “I’m really sorry about all this,” Rhys said and he sounded sincere. “I acted shitty and I didn’t even worry about the consequences of my actions. You’re right Timothée didn’t deserve to be the punching bag to my anger and now looking back on it all, I’m... ashamed.”

Aiden nodded. “Tell Timmy that.”

“I will,” Rhys said.

Aiden realized they had both shifted slightly closer each other. His skin prickled and he felt the hair on the back of his neck rise. Aiden had never felt this way towards anyone. Rhys’s presence felt like a surge of electric energy running through him. Aiden wondered what Rhys felt. He wondered if maybe he was imagining all this, if he was just making this all up in his head, trying to make his fleeting fantasies realities.

Rhys smiled at him. He reached up and gently ran his thumb over Aiden’s cheek. Aiden was almost frozen in place, the rise and fall of his chest as his body let out shallow, ragged breaths was the only movement from him.

“Aiden,” Rhys said.

“Yes?”

“May I kiss you?”

“Yes.” 

Aiden closed his eyes and Rhys moved forward. He felt he closed them maybe too soon but he felt if he didn’t, the magic of the moment would break and there would be nothing else.

Rhys’s lips were soft and tender. He wasn’t pushy or greedy. The kiss was perfect, much more perfect than anything Aiden could have imagine. He wasn’t sure how long it lasted, time became irrelevant at that moment. When Rhys pulled back, Aiden waited a couple of seconds before opening his eye back up.

Rhys was looking at him expectantly. “How was that?” He asked. He seemed... nervous and that made Aiden grin widely.

“That was perfect,” Aiden said and leaned in and kissed Rhys harder. He could feel he caught Rhys by surprise. They were both chuckling after that.

Rhys looked at his watch. “I can drive you home -“

“Or you could take me to your place,” Aiden said, smiling, feeling emboldened by the kissing.

“If that’s what you wish?” Rhys asked.

“It is,” he said.

Rhys nodded and grinned. “Ok, I’ll go tell Armie we’re leaving.”

“Ok,” Aiden said and watched as Rhys got up off the couch and jogged up the stairs just as Armie had, two at a time.

Chapter Text

With the raids came distribution. This was a custom of ours, the awarding of prizes, the claiming of war spoils. Each man was allowed to keep what he personally won—armor that he stripped from a dead soldier, a jewel he tore from the widow’s neck. But the rest, ewers and rugs and vases, were carried to the dais and piled high for distribution.

The third week, a girl stood on the dais amidst the swords and woven rugs and gold. She was beautiful, her skin a deep brown, her hair black and gleaming. High on her cheekbone was a spreading bruise where a knuckle had connected. In the twilight, her eyes seemed bruised as well, shadowed as if with Egyptian kohl. Her dress was torn at the shoulder and stained with blood. Her hands were bound.

Agamemnon mounted the dais, and I saw his eyes slide over the girl, a slight smile on his lips. He was known—all the house of Atreus was—for his appetites. I do not know what came over me then. But I seized Achilles’ arm and spoke into his ear.

“Take her.”

He turned to me, his eyes wide with surprise.

“Take her as your prize. Before Agamemnon does. Please.”

He hesitated, but only a second.

“Men of Greece.” He stepped forward, still in the day’s armor, still smeared with blood. “Great King of Mycenae.”

Agamemnon turned to face him, frowning. “Pelides?”

“I would have this girl as my war-prize.”

 

❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉

 

I wasn’t sure what to expect... really. Armie and I had slept in and had gotten up and Phoenix had made us a delicious lunch which I hardly ate. Rhys would come a couple of hours after and I didn’t know what to expect. He wanted to apologize, that’s all I knew.

Would I accept?

Did I want to accept?

Did I have to?

For Armie’s and Aiden’s sake, it would be easier if I just said fine and accepted whatever apology Rhys would give me and grin and bear it. But did I want to... did I have to..?

I was always did what was best. I always did what was mature, or tried to anyway. Maybe for once I could be selfish.

I sighed. 

We were in the library and I bounced my legs a bit. Armie and I were on the loveseat. I had a book and he had thrown his body over me in a way that I was literally pinned down. He was so much bigger than I and he was being clingy. He was clingy, I knew, because last night we hadn’t had sex and it hurt him. But, I hadn’t been happy. I had been ok but I felt the whole situation was still unresolved and still shitty and so why would I act like everything was ok when it wasn’t? I wasn’t angry at him anymore, but I wasn’t feeling 100%, so I needed my space.

He sighed against me. I extended my left arm out and squeezed him as best as I could. I didn’t want him sad or hurt and I knew he was feeling sad and hurt. I knew I could tell him a million times ‘I’m not mad at you, I’m just not happy with the situation as a whole’ but he would take it personally regardless so I saved my breath and just tried to physically show him how much I loved him by holding him and caressing him and kissing him. Armie was very receptive to physical affection.

Finally, the doorbell rang and I felt my body tense. Armie pushed up and kissed my cheek and he walked out of the library. I crossed my arms and leaned back on the love seat. A few moments later I heard Rhys and Armie enter the library. I didn’t look up. Armie sat down beside me and Rhys sat across from both of us.

“Timothée, how are you?” He asked.

“Fine,” I said.  

He nodded. “I’m sorry,” he said looking straight into my eyes. “I’m sorry. I was an absolute asshole. I was... I was horrible and there was no excuse for my behavior. There was no good reason for it. To be honest I wouldn’t be surprised if you never forgave me... and well... I don’t think we were ever meant to be friends but we have a couple of people we care about in common don’t we?”

I felt the heat rise from my chest to my neck and it wasn’t me blushing. It was my anger. “Oh so you suddenly care about Aiden? Since when?! How do you I know you’ll be good to him?”

Rhys sat back and looked at me. I couldn’t read his expression. “You don’t,” he said and I felt my stomach drop. “Just like you didn’t know how Armie would treat you and he didn’t know how you would treat him. We take a plunge of faith and hope for the best.”

“There is no hoping !” I said angrily. I had uncrossed my arms and they were gripping the edge of the couch. “You either make a choice to be good to him or hurt him! That’s not a guessing game!”

Rhys nodded. “I promise to be decent to him. I promise I will do my best and treat him with respect.”

I let out a huff of breath. I had no damn choice but to accept what he said. It was Aiden who was with him anyway, this was out of my hands. All I needed to be was supportive to Aiden, at the end of the day. “Whatever.” I muttered. I took a deep breath in and out and finally looked back at him. “So what was your problem with me?” I asked. I was curious and I wished I wasn’t but I was.

I saw Rhys pull his lips in a straight line and also breathe in and out. “I... I had developed romantic feelings towards Armie.”

I sat there stunned. “What?”

“I... of course I knew he didn’t feel the same. I was telling myself I was insane and then he met you and proved me I indeed was.”

I heard all he was saying but it wasn’t quite sinking in. “What?” I asked again. He didn’t repeat himself. I looked at Armie who looked completely unsurprised which meant... “You knew?” 

“Yeah, he told me and we talked about it. I told you we had.”

I nodded my head. Of course, Armie was ok with all this and so should everyone one else be.

“Aiden knows, I was frank with him,” Rhys said. “Obviously, I no longer have feelings for Armie.”

I felt myself raise my eyebrows. Again. Everyone knew but me. This was fucking wonderful. I rarely felt sorry for myself and it’s not that I was feeling sorry now... but I suddenly felt very sick and tired of being the last one to know. To have Rhys, Armie and now even Aiden, make conclusions about things that greatly impacted me and me be the last one to find out. 

I knew there was nothing I could do and at the end of the day I was going to have to play nice with Rhys. I felt myself bite the inside of the bottom of my lip and I nodded. “Is that all then?”

Rhys looked slightly surprised for a moment. He fixed his face rather quickly. “Yes,” he said.

“Ok,” I said nodding. I glanced at Armie. “I’ll be upstairs.” I got up and walked out of the library and turned left to go up the stairs. I walked down the hall and into the bedroom. I didn’t know if I wanted to laugh, cry, scream or disappear. I tried to be practical about the whole thing.

Rhys couldn’t help that he had had feelings for Armie could he? Nope. Can’t help who you love. I was proof of that. I had fallen head over heels for Armie and I didn’t see anything making me fall out of love with him. Aiden couldn’t help himself either, could he? He had actually had a huge crush on Rhys for years. No. Couldn’t be helped. The heart wants what it wants. If I could cry and scream to make the feeling in the stomach disappear I would have, but I couldn’t make it go away with an emotional outburst.

I took my phone out and was texting when Armie walked into the bedroom.

“You ok?” He asked.  

“Yeah,” I said and slipped my phone in my pocket. “I’m... I’m gonna go out for a while.”

“Why?!” Armie said clearly annoyed. He never thought twice about just acting out how he felt. For a moment I was envious of that, but I forced the thought out of my head.

I walked to him and pushed up on my toes and kissed him. “I just... I need space.” 

“The weekends are ours!” 

“Baby, I won’t be gone long. I’m trying to handle this as best as I can, you know? So Rhys was in love with you. Now he magically isn’t and he’s what? Using Aiden as a rebound? Can I go to Aiden and say that? No because apparently Rhys has already spoken to him and he’s ok with all this just like you’re ok with all this! So if I’m not ok with this I’m an asshole right?” I asked looking into his blue eyes.  

“What? No!” 

I rolled my eyes and looked away. “I just... I need a moment to gather my thoughts, please.  Rhys went from public enemy number one, one I did not choose, Armie. He was hateful to me from the start and now I’m supposed to just swallow the fact he was in love with you but is now in love with my best friend and act as if a sudden 180 in the way I feel for him should be so easy? The man who was trying his hardest to come between me and the only man I’ve ever loved, I’m just supposed to trust and -“ I shook my head and broke off. Tears were threatening to spill. “This isn’t easy for me Armie! Please! Understand that!”

“I can help! I can... I can make you feel better.”

He wrapped his arms around me and held me and I hugged him back, squeezing him tight. I held him for awhile. Once we pulled apart I looked into his eyes again. “I just... need a moment away from it all.” 

Armie looked defeated. “Please don’t be gone long.”

“I won’t be,” I said. I kissed him again and walked past him and out of the bedroom.

 


 

I grinned as Bree’s laughter rang out. It was such a pretty laugh. Her whole face was lit up. I loved how her dark eyes sparkled. In the sunlight I could see the natural brown highlights in her dark hair. The ducks around us quacked loudly and she laughed again.

“Give me more bread before they eat me!” She demanded. 

I reached into the bread bag and handed her a couple of slices, chuckling. The ducks quacked louder and crowded around her. She squealed. “Help! Why do the crowd around me when you’ve got the bag of bread!?” 

I laughed. “Obviously they have taste! I’m a lot less appealing to crowd around. I walked forward and grabbed the last few slices of bread. We broke them up and threw them away from us and we made our escape. I threw the bag away in the closest trash can.

Bree was still laughing. I grinned at her. “I’m glad you texted! It’s such a pretty day.”

“Indeed it is,” I said looking around and sliding my hands into my jeans pockets.  

Bree closed her eyes and tilted her face up to the sky. I watched her. She turned to me. “You sure you’re alright?” She asked softly.  

I sighed and shrugged. “Just a lot going on,” I said.

“We can talk.” 

“I know. But I don’t want to. I just want to...”

“Forget about it?” Bree asked.

“Forget about it,” I said smiling. I stuck my elbow out and she slid her hand inside of it. “I have time for some ice cream. What do you say?” I asked.  

“I say you had me at ice cream,” she said grinning.

 


 

Bree and I had eaten our ice cream and then I had driven back to Armie’s home. I wasn’t even gone two hours. Armie was waiting at the door when I walked up the walkway.

“Hi,” he said.

“Hey,” I said kissing him as I walked inside. He pushed the door closed.

“You... feel better?” He asked. I shrugged. “Where did you go?” He asked.

“I hung out with Bree,” I told him. “We went to feed the ducks at the park by campus and then we got ice cream.”

Armie stood frozen. “Sounds like a cute little date.”

I looked up at his face. “Except she’s just my friend and you’re my boyfriend.”

“So you needed space to go be with Bree?”

“No I needed space to not be overwhelmed by the fact that I now have to swallow the fact that you and Aiden expect me to embrace the man that’s been treating me like garbage for months and I have no choice in the matter. Bree is my closest friend after Aiden. So I went and hung out with her.”

I closed my eyes and shook my head. I walked into Armie’s home and sat down on the couch. Armie came and sat beside me. I felt exhausted. I opened my eyes and looked at Armie. I leaned into him. I felt him wrap his arm around me. “I love you,” he told me.  

“I love you too,” I said and lifted my face up to him. We kissed.

“I’m... I want to make you happy.” 

“I know,” I said. “So do I. I want you make you happy.” 

“You do,” Armie said. “Do I?” 

“Yes,” I said letting out a sigh. “This thing with Rhys will blow over, ok? I’ll... I’ll get used to it and it’ll be fine.” I felt Armie nod his head. I had no choice. But it was fine. I would deal. I wouldn’t let someone like Rhys drive a wedge between me and the love of my life.

I pushed up and climbed on top of Armie. I grinned down at him. He was so handsome. Handsome and amazing and he loved me. I knew he loved me and if I asked he would do his best to give me all I wanted. I leaned down and kissed him. I wanted something from him now.

“Take me upstairs,” I said.

I didn’t have to ask Armie twice. He stood up and I wrapped my arms and legs around him, kissing and sucking on his neck as he wrapped his strong arms around me and took me to his bed.

Chapter Text

I woke to his nose on mine, pressing insistently against me as I struggled from the webbing of my dreams. He smelled sharp and strange, and for a moment I was almost revolted at this creature that clung to me and shoved its face against mine. But then he sat back on his heels and was Achilles again, his hair damp and darkened, as if all the morning’s sun had been poured out of it. It stuck to his face and ears, flattened and wet from the helmet.

He was covered in blood, vivid splashes not yet dried to rust. My first thought was terror—that he was wounded, bleeding to death. “Where are you hurt?” I asked. My eyes raked him for the source of the blood. But the spatters seemed to come from nowhere. Slowly, my sleep-stupid brain understood. It was not his.

“They could not get close enough to touch me,” he said. There was a sort of wondering triumph in his voice. “I did not know how easy it would be. Like nothing. You should have seen it. The men cheered me afterwards.” His words were almost dreamy. “I cannot miss. I wish you had seen.”

“How many?” I asked.

“Twelve.”

Twelve men with nothing at all to do with Paris or Helen or any of us.

“Farmers?” There was a bitterness to my voice that seemed to bring him back to himself.

“They were armed,” he said, quickly. “I would not kill an unarmed man.”

“How many will you kill tomorrow, do you think?” I asked.

He heard the edge in my voice and looked away. The pain on his face struck me, and I was ashamed. Where was my promise that I would forgive him? I knew what his destiny was, and I had chosen to come to Troy anyway. It was too late for me to object simply because my conscience had begun to chafe.

“I’m sorry,” I said.

 

❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉

 

I slowly awoke to warm hands caressing me. I blinked and felt soft kisses along my jaw. I turned my face and my lips met Armie’s. They were soft and warm and perfect. I softly stretched and felt soft aches all over, a reminder of the night before, of all he had done to me. I could still feel him in me. The memories ran through my head and I slid close to him, pulling him onto me.  

“I want more,” I breathed out.  

“Do you?” He asked. I felt his warm body shaking with soft laughter. He pushed up on his hands and looked down at me. I ran my hands up his chest, loving the feel of his chest hair under my palms. I loved how manly Armie was. It was incredibly sexy. I looked down over him and then back up at his beautiful blue eyes. “Can we talk first?” He asked.

I felt my eyes widen with surprise but I quickly fixed my expression. I didn’t want Armie to feel hurt. “Of course,” I said.

He gently laid on top of me caressing my face. “I... I want to be a good boyfriend.” I felt a tightening in my throat as I nodded. I opened my mouth as of to speak but he continued. “I realize I have some things to work on. Will you help me?” I nodded. “I don’t want anything to come between us.”

“I love you,” I told him. I pulled him close and held him tight. “I don’t want anything to come between us either.” 

“I’ll try my best,” he said. “I love you so much.”

“I know,” I replied. He pulled back and I looked up at him. I let out a shaky breath. “We both will. I will too. I’m sorry about yesterday. I should have stayed home and talked to you.”

“And I should have spoken to you about everything instead of just dropping the bomb on you.” His blue eyes looked pained. I hated seeing him in pain.

“We will work at this together. We’re together. It’s a partnership right?”

“Right,” he agreed looking into my eyes. I gave him a moment as he seemed to have more on his mind. “If I’m not being considerate of you or your feelings, slap me and tell me.”

I nodded and took his face in my hands. Armie wasn’t used to being so concerned for others, I was seeing this more and more. It wasn’t because he didn’t care, he just came from a world where the world catered to him. The world was his for the taking and he just waited for everyone else to catch up. I wondered if this had led to the demise of all this past relationships. I felt a clenching in my stomach. I would not let this be the demise of us. I looked right into his eyes.  

“We’ll work hard at communicating,” I told him. “It’s the only thing that will help us get through this and make sure we’re taking proper care of each other.”

He nodded looking at me intently. “I can do that,” he said. I felt he was saying it half to himself and half to me. We could do this. I knew we could.

“Of course we can,” I said. “We can work through anything.” 

“Yes,” he said kissing me softly. “Because we belong together.” He pulled up and the look he gave me now made me melt. I felt so incredible. I was still blown away by being the one Armie loved. It made me want to burst.

I smiled as I caressed his face. He smiled back and I loved how tender his blue eyes now looked. He leaned down and rubbed his nose to mine. I grinned and kissed him. “I want more, daddy,” I reminded him.

“Yes, baby,” he whispered in my ear.

I pulled him to me again and kissed him. I wrapped my legs around him and let myself get carried away by all I was feeling. I knew no one could make me feel the way Armie made me feel. When he pulled back and we looked at one another, his blue eyes dark with intent, it made me feel open and vulnerable. Nothing mattered. Just him and I.  

“I love you,” I whispered again. He murmured he loved me too as he kissed my neck. I closed my eyes and kept them closed. I only wanted to feel. I heard the snap of the bottle of lube and felt as he slid his right hand under me, pressing his palm on the small of my back. I pressed my thighs and knees against his muscular body. He entered me slowly. I gasped as I felt a slight ache from all we had done last night.

Last night had been rough and needy. We had both needed it that way. Now it would be soft and tender and loving and passionate. I moaned and opened my legs wider for him. He began to move tenderly in and out of me. He held me close and I wrapped my arms around him, loving how his huge body felt in mine. The weight of him on me felt amazing.

I felt him push our bodies closer together. I gasped for air as he pushed into me with a bit more force. I wrapped my arms around his neck and moaned. I began to kiss and suck his neck. My hips were all the way off the bed, my body was at Armie’s mercy.

I felt his lips along my collarbone and then he kissed up the right side of my neck and sucked on my earlobe. A shudder ran through me and I felt my arms and legs tremble. He pushed in deeper. I groaned and moaned and whimpered. It was intense. Every nerve in my body sang with the pleasure he was giving me.

With a single swift motion, he pulled out, turned me over and slid back in. I groaned. I reached and placed right my palm flat on the headboard. He still was being controlled. I could feel as he was sliding almost all the way out, keeping just his tip in before deliberately sliding deep into me again. He reached under and began to stroke me to the his rhythm, I placed my hand on top of his.  

“I’d do anything for you baby,” came his hot whisper in my ear. I whimpered in return. I wished to tell him I would too. I wished to tell him no matter how difficult it felt at the moment there was no one else for me but him... I will never leave him. It will be this, always, for as long as he will let me.  If I had had words to speak such a thing, I would have. But there were none that seemed big enough for it, to hold that swelling truth.

The room was bright now and I focused on nothing else but the feel of his strong body on top of mine and inside of me. I groaned as I leaned down, my chest almost on the mattress. I closed my eyes. He picked up the pace, stroking me a bit faster. I was all his. He could do as he wished with me. I could feel my orgasm building. It was incredible. My thighs trembled. I wanted it all, to come and to go on forever. “Armie,” I half moaned, half whimpered. “Armie.” 

“Timmy, baby,” he breathed against my ear. His stubble gently scratched my skin. I shivered at the feeling it gave me. I closed my eyes as my body tensed. I was panting hard now. I felt him gently bite my shoulder. His hand tightened around my cock and I knew I would not last much longer. I felt wave after wave of incredible pleasure and then... I groaned loudly as I came. He stroked me softly through my orgasm, he wrapped his left arm around me, pressing his chest to my back. He came soon after.  

I collapsed forward and he gently laid on me, until he slid out and laid beside me a moment. I hummed happily as I felt a wonderful tingling all over me. He got up and came back with a towel and I sighed as he cleaned me up. Once it was all done and he crawled back in bed I slid to him and curled up in his chest. His chest hair was soft and tickling in a nice way. I kissed his chest. I felt him trailing his fingertips along the underside of my right arm which was draped across his body.

I felt as if I could fall back asleep. Our bodies were soft and soft and my mind was fuzzy. Armie’s phone rang and it jerked me into awareness. He shifted slightly as he reached across for his phone. I wished for him to ignore it but he never ignored work.

“Hammer,” he answered. I stayed silent on his chest. “Oh, yes, how are you?” He asked pleasantly. I let out a sigh. I felt him tense. “Today?” He asked. I looked up at him and he gave me a sorrowful look. I kissed him on the cheek so he would know it was alright. “Sure, yes. Ok. See you then.” He hung up. “I’m sorry,” he said.

“Don’t be,” I answered caressing his chest.

“Come with me,” he said and wrapped his arms around me.

“Ok,” I said with a smile.

 


 

I didn’t know who the client was, but Armie put on slacks and a suit jacket and I figured I should be equally presentable. Of course, Armie had bought me plenty of very presentable clothes and I could choose from any of those. I decided on slim black fitted pants, Berluti lace up ankle boots, a white tee shirt and a black Thom Browne blazer.

I was running some styling cream through my curls when Armie walked into the bathroom. He stopped and stared at me, gorgeous grin on his face.

“Well, aren’t you sexy?” He said.

I grinned at him in the mirror. “Not as sexy as you,” I replied. I meant it. He had gray trousers and jacket with a purple polo underneath. The trousers showed off his muscular thighs and ass. I couldn’t quite stop myself from staring.

“Like what you see?” He asked with a sideways smile.

“So much,” I replied. 

Armie chuckled and kissed my neck. We were ready to go.

 

It turned out we were meeting someone at an office building. I was surprised. I glanced at the plaque on the door and saw it was a law office. Armie opened the office door and walked inside into a small waiting room. There were leather chairs and a couple of loveseats. There was a counter of sorts where a receptionist would sit.

We weren’t alone for long. A man dressed much like Armie came out quickly after. “Mr. Hammer,” he said with a grin.

“Mr. Turner. How are you?” They shook hands. “This is my boyfriend Timothée,” Armie said turning to me and placing his hand on my lower back.

“Timothée, I’m Josh. Nice to meet you.”

“Likewise,” I said with a polite smile.

Josh turned to Armie. “I was told you were the man to turn to. My husband’s birthday is in two months and I wish to surprise him.”

Armie nodded. “What piece were you thinking?” 

“Nicola D’Inverno by John Singer Sargent.”

“Ah,” Armie said and nodded sliding his hands into his pants pockets. I watched as he thought about this. “It won’t be easy to get.”

Josh breathed in and out. “I’m willing to pay whatever it takes.”

Armie nodded. “Ok, then,” he said and stuck his hand out. They shook hands and it was obvious the deal was made.

 


 

Armie and I had gone to a nearby coffee house. I had ordered some tea and Armie got coffee. I watched him a moment. He was sitting across from me in a little table for two. “You’re so quiet,” I said.  

He nodded. “That piece won’t be easy to get.”

“Who owns it?” I asked.

Armie rolled his eyes. “I’m gonna have to ask idiot Hector.”

I raised my eyebrows. “Hector Troy?”

“Yes. He acquired it for someone a few years back. I wasn’t sure who.” Armie looked unhappy about this. 

“So are you ever gonna tell me exactly what happened between you?”

“I did,” he said.

“Not the whole story.”

Armie sighed. “Maybe. One day. In the mean time...”

I reached over and squeezed his hand. “Is there no other way for you to find out? Word of mouth? Anything?”

“I guess I could poke around,” he said squeezing my hand back and looking back up at me. He grinned. “Spring break is in two weeks.”

“Indeed it is,” I replied.  

“What would you like to do?”

“Anything you want,” I replied. I loved how happy he looked.

“So I can plan it?” I nodded. “Ok,” he said.

“Ok,” I told him.  

“Hey! Timothée! Armie! How are you guys?”

I looked up and saw Bree. “Hey!” I replied grinning up at her. “Bree how are you?”

“I’m awesome! How are you two?” She looked at Armie and gave him a friendly smile.

“I’m good thank you. Would you like to join us?” I looked at Armie a bit surprised.

“Oh, no! I don’t want to impose. I just wanted to say hi. You guys have a good afternoon. See you at school, Tim.”

“See you,” I said and she waved and walked away. I looked back at Armie and squeezed his hand. “I’m surprised you invited her to join us.” 

“Why? Your friends are my friends,” he said nonchalantly. He met my gaze and we looked at each other a moment.  

I pushed up off my seat, our fingers still intertwined, I leaned over the table and kissed him. “I love you,” I told him.

He gave me a dreamy smile. “And I love you,” he replied. 

“Good,” I said as I sat back down on my chair. I ran my thumb over the back of his hand. “I’m sure you’ll figure something out about the art. I’m sure you’ll figure a way around the Hector situation.”

Armie nodded and lifted my hand and kissed it. “I’m sure I will too baby. He’s nothing to worry about. Just a minor nuisance, that’s all.”

He sounded so confident. We stayed a moment longer and then left the coffee house to return back his place.

Chapter Text

Our mouths opened under each other, and the warmth of his sweetened throat poured into mine. I could not think, could not do anything but drink him in, each breath as it came, the soft movements of his lips. It was a miracle.

I was trembling, afraid to put him to flight. I did not know what to do, what he would like. I kissed his neck, the span of his chest, and tasted the salt. He seemed to swell beneath my touch, to ripen. He smelled like almonds and earth. He pressed against me, crushing my lips to wine.

He went still as I took him in my hand, soft as the delicate velvet of petals. I knew Achilles’ golden skin and the curve of his neck, the crooks of his elbows. I knew how pleasure looked on him. Our bodies cupped each other like hands.

The blankets had twisted around me. He shucked them from us both. The air over my skin was a shock, and I shivered. He was outlined against the painted stars; Polaris sat on his shoulder. His hand slipped over the quickened rise and fall of my belly’s breathing. He stroked me gently, as though smoothing finest cloth, and my hips lifted to his touch. I pulled him to me, and trembled and trembled. He was trembling, too. He sounded as though he had been running far and fast.

I said his name, I think. It blew through me; I was hollow as a reed hung up for the wind to sound. There was no time that passed but our breaths.

I found his hair between my fingers. There was a gathering inside me, a beat of blood against the movement of his hand. His face was pressed against me, but I tried to clutch him closer still. Do not stop, I said.

 

❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉

 

In the couple of weeks before Spring Break it really felt as if Armie and I truly found our way back to each other. We seemed to communicate better and I felt at peace. I had told him he could plan Spring Break, that we could do whatever he wanted. I knew there was a part of him that wished to lavish me with expensive presents and such and I still didn’t feel completely comfortable with it, but I told him we could do whatever he wanted for that week.

I arrived at this place Thursday evening as always. I tried not to think about where we were going. I got my over night bag from the backseat and jogged up the stairs and began walking down the concrete walkway. The door opened and there he was. Gorgeous as ever. Bright blue eyes and golden hair and that smile...

“Hi,” I said stepping to him, pushing up on my toes to kiss him. It felt wonderful. I closed my eyes and melted into him. I felt as he wrapped his arms around me, pulling me even closer. We pulled back and I stepped inside.

I put my bag down and grinned up at Armie as he took my hand and we walked into his living.

“So...” I began.

“So?” Armie asked smiling and turning to me.

“So what are we doing this week?”

Armie grinned. “Are you excited about it?”

I chuckled. “Yes?” 

“Yes? You sound like maybe not really.”

“No I am!” I said rolling my eyes. I looked around. “Where’s Phoenix?”

“She’s off now. She’ll be off all of next week too.”

“Oh, good,” I said nodding and slipping my hands into my back pockets. “So?” I asked clearing my throat.

“So?” Armie asked and grinned. He looked so handsome.

“So what are we doing this week?” I asked him again. 

“Are you excited about it?” He repeated and we laughed at our silliness.

“I’m excited any time I spend time with you.” It was the truth.  

Armie nodded and I walked towards him and wrapped my arms around his waist. I felt his hands slide up and down my back. “I thought we could go camping this weekend.”  I couldn’t keep the look of surprise off my face and I knew Armie could see it. He gave me a quick kiss. “Surprised?”

“I am,” I said nodding.

“Why?” Armie asked holding me close.

“I guess I was expecting something a little more extravagant?”

He rolled his eyes and let a breath out. “I want us to do things we haven’t done and we haven’t gone camping. In fact, I’ve not been camping in years. Since I was about 12 or so.” 

“Did you enjoy it?” I asked him.

“I did,” Armie said nodding and caressing my back again. “I did and I want to share this with you.”

I felt a warmth spread through my chest as I looked up at him now. Perfect and golden and mine. “Good,” I said, squeezing him tighter. “I want you to share everything with me.”

 


 

We left the following morning. I was happy and excited. I knew the drive was a couple of hours.  

“So, Rhys said he and Aiden were going to Malibu?” Armie asked. I could hear the slight nervousness in voice. Aiden and I had talked and I had told him we would take anything to do with Rhys a day at a time. I realized he had the right to be with whoever he wanted just like I had the right to not like them.

I let a breath out. Armie and I had decided we would move past this and by moving past this it meant a new beginning and the Rhys situation would be dead and buried. He still though, had moments where I think he feared I would still be upset or hurt by it. It wasn’t easy, but I had meant it when I said it was a new beginning. “Yes, I believe so,” I answered. “Aiden and I don’t talk too much about it. I mean, he keeps me updated but we don’t speak over each and every single detail. He’s happy though.”

“Well, that’s good. Rhys is happy too, I can tell.” 

I nodded as I looked out the window. “Good.” After a moment I looked back at Armie driving. He was looking straight out at the road. I reached up and caressed his cheek with the back of my fingers. His prickly stubble scratched my fingers slightly. He turned his face and kissed my fingers. I smiled at him. I lowered my hand and he reached and held it. I felt him give my fingers a little squeeze as he kept driving.

 


 

We reached the campground. Armie and I walked into the office and got everything ready and then drove further to a parking area, gathered our things and walked out to our spot.

“I’ve not been camping in a long while,” I said as I looked at the tent.

“It’s not so hard,” he said and I was amazed at how quickly he set everything up. I helped anywhere I could. It wasn’t cold at all, of course, but he had brought some nice fluffy blankets to sleep comfortably in. We set the inside of the tent up. It was mid afternoon once we were finished and I was glad we were in a nice shaded spot. “I got something to show you,” he said.  

“Alright,” I replied.

Armie took my hand and led me down a path. It was obvious he had been here before. I asked him. “Yes,” he said giving me his gorgeous smile. “Our parents used to bring Vic and I here lots. It’s nice now in April. I know here in Cali we don’t get much of seasonal changes, but...”

The woods opened up and I saw a gorgeous sight. There was soft grass on the ground with small pink, purple and orange flowers. It was beautiful. The sky was clear and a bright blue and a ways down, the ocean. We began to walk towards it.

When we finally reached the beach I looked around and saw the coast was pretty much deserted except for us. Armie noticed me looking. “It’s really peaceful here,” he said. I nodded. “And I may have rented all the surrounding camping areas to make sure we weren’t bothered.”

I looked up at him. “What?!” I began wondering how much all that would have cost him.

Armie shrugged. “Can you blame me? I wanted peace and quite and you. Just you.”

 


 

We had stayed out on the beach for a while. When it was getting late we went back to our campsite and watched the sun set from just outside the woods. We had lanterns so we turned and went back and made a fire and roasted some hotdogs and other things. It was warm and nice and I was so relaxed. Finally we were ready to turn in. Once we had taken care of everything outside, we climbed into the tent, lighting up a small lantern and setting it down, leaving our dusty shoes outside.

I stripped down to my boxers and laid down amongst the open sleeping bags and blankets we had set up there. I looked up at Armie as he too finished slipping his pants off. He knelt down and crawled toward me. I smiled as I wrapped my arms around his neck and parted my legs so he could settle on top of me.

“Comfortable?” He asked softly. 

I nodded as I looked down at his lips and licked my own. I pulled him in. We kissed. His body was warm. So warm. His chest felt good against mine. We didn’t have to speak. At moments like this, we both felt and knew what the other was thinking, wanting and needing.  

I may have said his name and he mine, those words were the only words uttered. Soon enough, we were both undressed. He had turned me over and I laid on top of him, kissing his lips, my tongue sliding in and out of his mouth, savoring each kiss. I had my eyes closed and opened them slowly as I pushed up and gazed down at him.  

“You’re so beautiful,” I whispered.  

“Not as beautiful as you,” he whispered in reply, taking my face in his hands. He reached up above his head and produced a small bottle of lube from the tangle of clothes and handed it to me. I stroked it on him. I loved the way his body trembled as I did this. I felt goosebumps raising on my skin. I leaned down again and pressed my lips to his. It was slow and gentle, loving. My heart was racing. I felt his hands all over my body and then at my hips and slowly I slid him inside of me.

We both groaned, our pants were warm against our lips. It felt wonderful to have Armie fill me. I pressed my forehead to his jaw and began to move my body on his. Moments like this with Armie felt... magical. I felt his hands caressing me, fingertips digging into my skin and his thumbs circling on my hipbones. Time seemed to stand still and we kept kissing. I loved how he tasted. I could kiss him forever. I wanted to kiss him forever.

He moaned softly and I again laid my forehead on his jaw. He bent his knees and I felt my body relax into his, letting him take the lead now. He was murmuring softly. I closed my eyes and let his heavenly voice take me away. He said he loved me and never wanted to be without me. He spoke of how much he needed me and how he never wanted to let me go. How I made his life better. I moaned softly in reply, kissed him and told him I felt the same.  

He turned us over and he held me close, kissing my neck as he continued to make love to me. I moaned as he bit me gently. “Don’t stop,” I begged breathlessly.

Everything was feeling amazing. Intense and good and amazing and I never wanted it to end. Armie went on for a long while, always telling me he wouldn’t when I pleaded with him to never stop making love to me. The night felt endless and it felt as if he moved in me for a small eternity.

After what seemed like all night, he reached down and stroked me and I came and he came soon after. We laid there, panting, sweaty and blissfully spent. He held me close. I didn’t want to move. Finally, he slid out and cleaned us up. He turned the small lantern off and pulled me close, throwing a fluffy blanket over us and spooning me. After a moment, I turned and curled up against his chests and closed my eyes.

I felt him caressing me as he held me. I felt peaceful. I knew we belonged together. No one else could make me feel this at peace, this complete. Everything made sense with him in my life. I felt him sigh and relax and soon enough I had fallen asleep. My dreams that night were all of Armie and I, walking hand in hand beside an ocean that was full of shimmering stars.

Chapter Text

I opened my eyes. I could hear crickets and other bugs making noise. Some birds. The temperature was pleasant. Timothée was wrapped around me, I loved how he did this. I kissed the top of his curls and sighed, relaxing into him. We had two more days and nights and I wanted no distractions. Just he and I and all this gorgeous nature. It felt good already.

I had pushed aside the nagging thoughts that had been plaguing me all week. The Sargent I was looking for was no where to be found. Anyone I asked for, after following whatever they knew of it led me back to the same name: Hector Troy. I could feel my blood pressure rising. Fucking Hector Troy.

 


 

 

Ten Years Earlier

 

I glanced at my watch as I quickly walked down the street. I looked at brownstone after brownstone, cursing myself for not taking a taxi like Victoria had told me to. It was chilly. Wet and chilly. Freezing actually. Having lived in California all my life, my body was a bit more affected by the cold damp New York air. Finally I reached my destination.

I jogged up the steps and rung the doorbell, I ran a hand through my hair. The door opened soon enough. Paris Troy opened the door. “Armie!” He said grinning. Paris had very curly dark hair, which he let grow a little longer on top. It looked ridiculously good on him. At 21 he still had a boyish roundness to his cheeks, had sparkling gray eyes and a square jaw and high cheekbones that let know exactly how good looking he would be as he aged.

“Hey,” I replied, grinning back. He stepped aside and let me in.

“Here, let me take that,” Paris said helping me out of my coat and then taking my scarf. “Hector is upstairs,” he said nodding to the stairs. “He’s too cool for my friends!”

I chuckled. I quickly slipped off my pull on leather ankle boots and jogged up the stairs. I had been to this home enough this past year to know my way around it. I reached the second floor and walked to the second door on the right, walking in without bothering to knock.

Hector was laying on his bed, headphones on. They covered his ear. He was softly singing to whatever he was listening to and didn’t even notice me walking in. I gently closed the door and slowly walked to his bed. I jumped on it, jumping on him.

“Oh fuck!” He said breathlessly. I laughed as he playfully tried to push me off but couldn’t. I pinned his his wrists down and kissed him. Hard. He opened his mouth willingly to mine and I slid my tongue in. He moaned under me. I loved how submissive Hector was. It was a surprise. He had such a sharp tongue and if we had a one on one fight, he might be able to beat the crap out of me, but in bed, it was me that called the shots. “Hi,” he said as we parted and I pushed up.

His lips were red and swollen, shiny with spit. I leaned in and gently sucked his plush bottom lip.

“Hi,” I replied, grinning. I looked at his hazel eyes and dark brown hair. He was so gorgeous. “Missed me?”

“Always,” He said. I felt him part his legs and I settled down on him. “Any news?”  

“Yes,” I said. I released his wrists and reached up and caressed his cheek with my thumb. “My dad talked to Mr. Burgess and although he only takes one intern per year this year he will take two, you and I!”

I loved how Hector’s eyes widened. “Oh my god! You did it! You fucking did it! You gorgeous son of a bitch!” He pulled me in and kissed me greedily. “Thank you! Thank you!” He was saying breathlessly as he kissed and sucked on my jaw and neck. “How can I ever repay you?” He asked softly looking into my eyes.

“I think we can figure something out,” I said lifting an eyebrow.

 


 

Hector and I laid in his bed a couple of hours later. We were naked under his covers. He was leaning on me, stroking my chest. “Wealth really does open doors, doesn’t it?” Hector asked.  

I furrowed my brow as I caressed his bare shoulder. “It’s not like your family is broke,” I said.

“No, but we’re nowhere near as rich as the Hammers.” I sighed and shrugged. He did this a lot. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” he said and kissed my neck. “I’ll stop. Thank you, Armand. You know my dream has always been to an arts dealer and without you...”

I squeezed him into me. “Be quiet. You don’t need to thank me. If it was the other way around, you would do it for me.” I looked down at him and and he looked up at me and he gave me his perfect smile. His eyes smiled also.

“Of course I would,” he said softly. He kissed my chin. “Imagine us, ten years from now. We could even have our own gallery, Armand. Hammer & Troy. The world is our oyster.”

I grinned and looked at him. I had never truly thought of my future like that until I had met Hector. The future wasn’t much of a concern, I knew I would always be ok. I loved his drive and ambition. We were equally matched there. He was... so unlike anyone I had met.

“As long as you’re happy,” I said.

He pulled back the covers and climbed on me, straddling me. “I have never been happier,” he said leaning down and kissing me deeply.

 


 

Timothée stirred in my arms. I kissed the side of his face softly, kissing down his cheek. He slowly opened his eyes and I smiled at him. Timothée. My Timothée. He was everything to me. I loved him more that I had ever loved anyone. More than I had loved Hector... if that had been love. I wasn’t sure. I just knew, no one made me feel the way Timothée made me feel. No one felt so right.

“Morning,” he said in a groggy voice.

“Morning,” I replied. “How did sleep?”

“Wonderfully,” he said and leaned into me. “Mmmm,” he hummed against me chest. I wrapped him in my arms and held him close.

 


 

Eight Years Earlier

 

I parked my car in front of Mr. Burgess home. My heart was pounding. I wanted to be wrong, but there was only one way to know. I swallowed and got out. Mrs. Burgess and my mother were having cocktails somewhere in Hollywood. They were then going to some movie premier. I had left after they had left my home. They would be gone hours.

I closed my eyes and the sight of Hector’s phone flashed in my mind. The number wasn’t saved, but it was a number I knew by heart. It was the number of my father’s best friend. I called it as often as I called my father’s when I wanted to reach him. They golfed together. They had dinner every Wednesday night at their polo club. Mr. Burgess always had his phone on him, my father had a habit of forgetting his in his car or jacket pocket or he would forget to charge it. So when I saw the number and the text: tonight, 6:30...

I felt sick. Hector’s car was parked ahead of mine. It had to be work related... Something to do with the gallery... Mr. Burgess was teaching us about art dealing. He was proud of me, of us, Hector and I, he told me. He had wished his own sons appreciated art like we did. He had three of them, the youngest was Paris’s age, a year younger than Hector and I.  

I felt as if it wasn’t me that walked to the front door. My mother had a spare key to their home. She always fed their dogs when they had to go out of town. I knew the home as well as I knew Hector’s New York home. I slowly climbed up the stairs. I began to walk down the hallway.  

I could hear classical music playing...

Laughter... Hector’s laughter.

Then I heard him moan.  

For a moment I was surprised at how not hurt I felt. I was numb. Suddenly, all I felt was anger. Red blinding anger.

I half ran to the door and burst through it. Hector was on top of him. The look on his face... I looked away and stared at Mr. Burgess. “You pig!” I said angrily. My hands were shaking.

“Armand!” He said.

Suddenly Hector was at my side. “Armie! Armie! Baby, calm down.”

I shoved him. “Fuck you!” I said. I turned back to Burgess. “You pig! Everyone knows, by the way! Everyone at the gallery knows you fuck your interns! But you couldn’t fuck me! Is that why you agreed to have two interns this year! So you wouldn’t have to go without?!”

“Ar- Armand!” Burgess said. He was shaking.

“Armie! Hey!”  

“Fuck YOU!” I said shoving Hector harder. “You’re nothing special to him, in case you didn’t know. He’s married with kids and he will never leave Kitty. You’re just a piece of ass. You’re nothing!”

Hector stared at me.

“Did you hear me?” I said to him. “You’re nothing!” He said nothing and just kept staring at me. I grew angry at his silence. “Congratulations. I hope fucking him opens up all the doors you wish! Because if not then you fucked him for nothing!”

“I’m sorry,” he said.

“About what?!” I asked, half laughing. Anything special, anything bright I had seen in Hector was gone. He was as dull as everyone else now. “You had a boyfriend when I met you and we fucked before you had broken up with him. I’m not surprised.” I shrugged.  

“Armie, I love you,” Hector whispered.

It took me a moment to register what he had said. I shook my head. I laughed. “Wow. Nice! See.. that would only work if I actually loved you, which I don’t.” Hector’s eyes widened in a way I had never seen before. I swallowed. “See, you are ambitious and driven and a great fuck. But let’s face it, Hector. We were never actually gonna last. But hey,” I gave him a closed lipped smile. “Now you can fuck Burgess as much as you want.”

I turned and began to walk out. “Armie!” I heard Hector call behind me. I was halfway down the hallway before he caught up to me. He grabbed my arm.

I yanked out of his hand. “Don’t worry. I won’t say anything. He’s my father’s best friend. His wife if my mom’s best friend and I have known his sons all his life. I won’t say anything,” I said panting.

“Armie, I’m sorry, really -“

“Whatever,” I said. I began to turn and walk away.

“I mean it!” Hector said. “I mean it, Armie! I love you!”

I shook my head and shoved him away from me. “You disgust me,” I said. “You have to quit. Go back to New York. I’m going to make sure you are never able to work in Southern California,” I said to him.

“Armie!” Hector said putting his hand to his chest. “You know I can’t go back to New York! You know I can’t -“  

“Yeah well not my problem,” I said.  

“Armie please, I’m sorry I did this to you! I know it’s fucked up! I know it’s -“

“Stop,” I said. I shook my head. “You didn’t do anything to me. I told you. For this to hurt me I had to have feelings for you, which I don’t.”

His eyes stared into mine. “We’ve been dating over two years, you -“

“No,” I said shaking my head. “We have been fucking for two years. That’s all. Look, I’ll be kind. I’ll give you a year. 18 months. Then you leave for New York and never come back. If you come back, I’ll destroy you!”

“Don’t fucking threaten me!” Hector viciously whispered.

“It’s not a fucking threat,” I said standing up straight to my full height. I had a few inches on him. “I will make sure your name is synonymous with the trash that you are if once you leave you ever come back!”

I turned, took a deep breath and began to walk away. “Well, if that’s the game we’re playing then you better wish I never come back because if I do it will be me that destroys you!”

I looked over my shoulder at Hector. “There is nothing a piece of garbage like you could ever do to me!” I said. “But you’re welcomed to try.” 

With that, I turned and left. I jogged down the stairs and got back into my car and drove away. I would never speak to Hector again.

 


 

“What are you thinking?” Timothée asked me.

I shook my head and the tent came back into focus. The sun was out and shining bright now. I could see it through the tent. “I’m sorry,” I said and turned and smiled at him. I kissed his nose.

“Is it work? The Sargent? Are you going to have to talk to Hector about it?”

I let out a breath. I hated hearing Timothée mention his name. “Looks that way,” I said.

“When are you going to tell me the truth about what happened between you two?”

“I did,” I said. “We worked at the same gallery for a while and -“ 

“Yeah there’s more to it. I can tell,” Timothée said. He pushed up on his elbows and looked down at me. “You can’t lie to me, Armie,” he said softly.

“I don’t want to lie to you,” I said.

“Well omitting information can be considered lying,” Timothée whispered. He leaned down and kissed my lips. “Did you two date?”

“No,” I said.

“Did you fuck?”

I looked into his gorgeous green eyes. They were open and honest. They were the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I gave him a single nod.

“Ok,” he said nodding back. He began to kiss me and slid on top of me. His body was so soft and warm and my hands went to his hips. “Were you afraid I’d be jealous or something?” Timothée asked. I looked at him.  

“I don’t know,” I whispered. I had honestly not thought of how Timothée would react to my history with Hector. I just knew I didn’t want to ever be reminded of it and I never wanted to lay eyes on Hector again.

“I’m not jealous daddy,” Timothée said softly. He began to softly kiss my jaw. “And if you have to talk to him to get the Sargent, well so be it.”

I rolled my eyes. “I don’t ever wish to speak to him ever in my life.”

Timothée chuckled. I looked up at him. “What did he do to you?”

“Nothing. He can’t do anything to me,” I said. It was the truth. He was nothing. He was garbage. He could do nothing to me. “Baby, I didn’t come camping to talk about -“

Timothée pressed his lips to mine and the movement of his hips told me that we were done talking. I was hard in no time and any thoughts of anyone else apart from Timothée were light years away.

Chapter Text

The days camping with Timothée were like a dream. The outside world didn’t exist. It was us and the beach and the ocean. We made love in the tent our first morning and then drove into the closest town in the afternoon. It had a small gym which I had a membership at and we shower and had dinner in a small diner. When we got back to the campsite we watch the gorgeous sunset from the beach. Then we go back to our tent. We shed our clothes as soon as we got back inside. It’s just us with the soft light of the small lantern we have reflecting off our bodies which we share with each other.

It felt as if the world was nothing but us inside that tent. Timothée was soft and beautiful I wish to do nothing but stay with him in this tiny space forever.

It’s our second night there. I look up at him, my hands on his thighs as he smiles down on me. When Timothée smiles at me nothing else mattered. I suddenly feel as if the atmosphere between us is back to those first days, when we couldn’t get enough of each other and nothing had come between us. Not Rhys, not Bree, not Wentworth or Hector. Nothing. It’s just him and me and the way he smiles at me and the way he kisses me. The way he feels under me and on top of me. The way I feel inside him and the way he feels inside of me. 

“What is it, daddy?” Timothée asks leaning down on me. He smells so good. I run my hands up his thighs and caress his hipbones with my thumbs. He hums as he moves his hips on mine. His skin on mine feels amazing. Glorious.

We were like gods at the dawning of the world, and our joy was so bright we could see nothing else but the other.

“I’m just so happy,” I said. I close my eyes and open my mouth as Timothée’s lips touch mine. We kiss for an infinite moment. It feels almost new and wonderful. I smile when Timothée laughs on my lips and his lips move down my jaw to my neck.

“Can I fuck you?” He whispers in my ear.

“Since when do you have to ask?” I asked him. I let out a long breath. His lips soft and feathery on my neck. I feel soft licks as well. It feels so good. His soft palms are caressing my chest, his thumbs finding my nipples and circling them. I let out a groan. It all feels so incredibly good.

“Just felt like asking,” Timothée tells me.

“Yes,” I reply but he makes no move to get off me. He stays straddling me and kissing me, across my collarbone now, as his hands touch anywhere they want. He kisses up my neck to my other ear. 

“Or maybe you want to fuck me?” He asks softly in my other ear. My skin fills with goosebumps at his words. He knows what he does to me and he enjoys doing it.

“Whatever you want, baby,” I tell him and turn my face towards him. Our lips meet again. We’re both hungry for the kiss this time. The energy in the tent has changed. It does not matter between us who is inside of who. We both yearn for it equally, give it equally. It’s just who we are.  

Timothée slips off me and I turn to my left side. We lay facing each other, hands traveling all over, kissing non stop. Our kisses and grunts and moans seem loud inside our tent, especially since there is nothing but the sound of crickets and other small insects and the far distant sound of the shore surrounding us.

I reach down and take his erection in my hand. He moans and bites my chest. I push him back and quickly slide down between his legs. I take him into my mouth greedily. I feel his legs part, welcoming me in and his hands slide into my hair, tugging it as I suck him as hard as I can. I love the way Timothée cries out. He’s pulling me off, then pushing me in. It’s too much but never enough. I know the feeling. He makes me feel like that all the time. 

“Ooh, fuck!” Timothée groans.

I slide him out of my mouth and swirl my tongue around his head. I love the salty taste of his precum. I suck his head clean and slide him deep into my mouth again. I finally release him and his erection falls on his bare abdomen with a loud plop. We both laughed and I go for his mouth. He slides out from under me and pushes me forward. I lay on my stomach. 

I can feel him settled behind me, between my legs. He’s moving around a bit and then I hear the snap of the bottle of lube. My heart rate quickens. I had truly thought I’d never find a man who I wanted to give myself to as much I love giving myself to Timmy. It feels good. I need it. I want it. It’s all because of him. 

“Do you know how much I love you?” Comes Timothée’s voice from behind me.

“As much as I love you,” I answer.

He chuckles and kisses my back. “Maybe more,” he whispers.

“Impossible,” I tell him.  

I put my left cheek and chest down on the fluffy covers we have in the tent. I gasp as he enters me. It feels so good. Timothée moans as he slides inside of me. I feel him drape his body over mine and his soft hand lays on mine, entwining our fingers together as he begins to gently move inside of me.

His lips feel soft against my back. “You feel so good,” he tells me.

So do you, I want to reply but I can’t quite talk at the moment. Feeling Timothée inside me is overwhelming, even in tender moments like this one.

He is half my soul, as the poets say...

I’m fully aware of all that Timothée means to me. This isn’t just a wonderful relationship, this is the relationship. I know no one compares and no one will ever come close. He’s the one for me. He goes on for a long and wonderful moment, then pulls out and turns me over, before entering me again. I look up at him. He’s gorgeous. Perfect. Everything I could ever want and need.

“Why are you looking at me like that?” Timothée asks me.

“As if you don’t know?” I reply breathlessly. I love how his eyes soften. “As if you don’t look at me the same way.”

“I know I do,” he tells me, leaning over me.

He’s barely moving now. Just gentle thrusts and loving kisses and caresses. The night seems even quieter. “I love you so much,” I whisper to him.  

“I love you just as much,” he whispers back.

 


 

We slept in Sunday morning. The night before had been long and pleasant. After Timothée had made love to me, I made love to him. We got up mid morning and went into town for somethings to roast over the campfire that night.  

We decided to walk down to the beach again to watch the sunset. We held hands and sat on the sand as the sky turned purple and orange. Then it became dark. Timothée had brought the small lantern.

We sat on the beach a while. The stars were beautiful here, away from city lights. I looked at Timothée. I took a deep breath in. I had thought about it and had decided to tell Timothée more about Hector.  

“I met Hector when I was 19,” I told him.  

“Oh?” He asked surprised at my conversation topic.

“My parents were doing charity work. They were donating money for school arts programs,” I told him.

“Like Victoria? That auction you took me too?”  

I glanced at him. “Yeah. That was for elementary schools. My parents were doing it for high schools.” 

“Ok,” Timothée said.

“I had just finished my first year of college and I went with them. It was the summer before my sophomore year and my parents were going to meet some of the kids that had gotten their scholarship money.”

Timothée nodded, listening to me.  

“Hector was one of them.”

“Oh,” Tim said raising his eyebrows. He looked over my face as if trying to decipher me. I disliked it when he did that. He was the only one that could see through it all. He was the one I could never completely block out. But... I was realizing more and more I didn’t want to. “So you two met and it was instantaneous was is?” He asked.

“What was?” I asked.

“The attraction,” he said and looked out into the ocean.

“In a way?”

He looked back at me. “Why are you saying it like you’re not sure?”

“Because I’m not,” I told him.

“It’s been a while Armie. It’s been 13 years.”

“Well we met and we emailed a while. Then I saw him the summer after. Some stuff happened -“

“You slept with him,” Timothée said.

“Yeah,” I replied. “But we weren’t exclusive. He wasn’t my boyfriend or anything.” 

“So when did he become your boyfriend?” 

“He never was,” I said.

“Bullshit!” Timothée exclaimed.

I felt a surge of anger run through me. “No. I’m being serious!” I said. “I convinced my parent to let me go live in New York a year when I turned 21. Once I was living there I saw him more frequently and he called himself my boyfriend and I was exclusive to him. For two years. But I later found out he was never honest with me. He was always screwing around on the side. He lied to me. He’s like practically every other person in this world, Timothée,” I told him quietly. “Except for you.”

Timothée looked at me. His expression hadn’t changed much. He was still studying my face.  

“You’re the only honest and pure thing in this world,” I told him. I reached over and took his hand. “You’re the best person in the world. You’re the only one worth it. Just you.”

“What’s it?” He asked me. I looked at him. “You said I’m the only one worth it. What’s it?” 

I gave him a small smile. “Everything,” I replied.

 


 

We didn’t discuss anything Hector related further. I wasn’t sure if I felt better telling Timothée more about him. To me Hector was nobody now. He was a bad memory and I wished him to stay one and I wished I could think of him as such, but, alas, I couldn’t.

Timothée sighed and curled into me. I held him close. He had fallen asleep the moment we had laid down. We were going back to LA tomorrow and part of me wished not to. I couldn’t explain it. I just... wished to not go back. Timothée and I would have to leave our safe little bubble and face reality and everyone else when we returned.  

I turned a bit on my side and kissed the top of Timothée’s head as he buried his face in my neck. “Philtatos,” I whispered as I buried my face in his curls. He was my most beloved indeed. I knew, I had never truly loved before Timothée came into my life. “I’ll keep you safe,” I whispered.  

I knew Hector meant trouble. I could feel it. I wouldn’t let him hurt Timothée. “Safe from what?” Came Timothée’s sleepy whisper.

“The world,” I told him. I kissed him softly. “Go to sleep.”

He mumbled something else but was soon breathing softly in my arms.    

Chapter Text

Although I didn’t want to leave Monday morning, we did. It was fine though, we still had the rest of the week. As we drove home we talked about what we wish to do.

“We could stay home or we could drive wherever and get a hotel,” I told Timothée.

“It’s spring break, all the hotels will be booked,” Timothée replied.

I raised an eyebrow. “I’m sure I could call in a favor here or there,” I said.

Timothée grinned at me and shrugged. “Of course you could!” He chuckled and shook his head. He looked back at me. “Or we could have a nice day at home today and tomorrow we can decide on what we want to do.”

“Deal,” I replied.

 

We did just that. We got home, having picked up lunch on the way, and after we ate, showered together. Timothée and I got into soft comfortable clothes and we went downstairs. We put something on from Netflix and we relaxed on the couch. It wasn’t even an hour later that Timothée was breathing deeply, lithe body wrapped around me. I kissed the top of his head, taking in the scent of his curls. Timothée used a shampoo and body wash that his mom got him from France. It had the soft scent of roses and I absolutely loved it. The scent lingered on me and on my bed and I cherished it.

I closed my eyes and held Timothée as he slept on me. I let my mind drift. As of late all of my thoughts of the future had Timothée in them. It was an effortless thing. I would merely think of planning things in the future and Timothée naturally seemed to take part in them all. I wasn’t sure when that began happening. It just did. It felt good and it made sense.

I was feeling completely relaxed. The warmth of Timothée’s body was pleasant and the tv wasn’t too loud. There was the continuous humming and murmuring from the movie on tv playing. I began to feel nice and relaxed and felt myself begin to drift off. The scent and feel of Timothée against me was heavenly. I was in that in and out state when suddenly I felt my phone buzz in my pocket.

I was half dazed and then it buzzed a second time. Timothée adjusted on my chest but kept sleeping peacefully. I held one arm tight around him and with my other hand I dug into my jogging pants. I pulled my phone out. It lit up as I held it up to see.

Miss me?

I furrowed my brow. I didn’t have the number saved but I saw the area code. It was from New York. I felt the anger grow in my chest. I unlocked my phone. I knew who it was. It was fucking Hector and I wasn’t going to entertain this. I would block his number and be done with it. Another text suddenly came in.

Don’t block me just yet Armand. I heard you’re after a Sargent I have.

I stopped a second.

“Fuck,” I said breathed out. 

I took a couple of deep breaths. My heart was thumping a bit hard from the adrenaline rushing through me from my anger. I was not going to let anger control me. Not when it came to Hector.

You have 2 texts max to tell me why I should give a fuck about anything you have to say.

I watched as the little text bubble popped up. My fingers tightened around my phone. I knew if Hector had approached me in person, I probably would have punched him. Hard.

Why so hostile? You need something from me and I’m being mature and telling you, I’m open for discussion.

I clenched my jaw. “Asshole,” I whispered. I hated this. I hated feeling like he could hold something over me and he knew this. Someone must have told him I needed the Sargent.

What if we meet tomorrow?

I rolled my eyes. I hated this. I hated this so fucking much. I wished to tell him to fuck off... I could always tell the client no... except... I had never said no. I had a reputation. Everyone knew: I could get anything and have become richer for being very good at it.

I’ll check my schedule and text you tomorrow

This would give me time to think.

I’ll expect to hear from you no later than 11 am

I rolled my eyes. Asshole, I thought to myself. I tossed my phone on my coffee table and wrapped both arms around Timothée.

His warm, soft body felt amazing and I soon drifted off. I wasn’t sure how long I was asleep. When I woke up, the sun had shifted and I was feeling incredibly... good. It soon became obvious why. Timothée had climbed on me, straddling me. He was kissing and sucking my neck, his chest on mine. He was rocking his hips on me, his hand palming my erection through my soft jogging pants. I was hard. Excruciatingly so. A moan escaped my lips.

“Baby,” I said, in a throaty whisper. I grasped the back of his teeshirt. My fingertips dug into him. He moaned a bit and arched his back, pushing his erection on mine which caused me to moan.  

I looked up at him. He was slightly flushed. His lips a gorgeous deep pink. I pulled him to me and sucked on his pouty bottom lip. I nibbled it slightly and pushed my hips up into him. I couldn’t wait much longer. I felt like I would go insane.

“Baby,” I repeated again, more urgently this time. I pushed my hips up into him. He looked down at me, eyes dark with lust and need. “Fuck, I need you,” I said. “I want you, need you, baby, please!”

He didn’t answer. He just acted. He got his shirt off and lifted up, pushing his pants down. I reached and ran a hand down his torso. He lifted off me and finished undressing.  

“Sit up. Undress,” he said. I did. I sat up and reached behind me to pull my tee shirt off. I lifted my hips and slipped my gray jogging pants off. I had no boxers. Timothée walked to the half bathroom downstairs and came back with some lube. I watched him saunter to me naked. I grinned and leaned back on the couch. Nothing was sexier than Timothée naked.  

The moment he was close enough, I reached for his hips and pulled him to me. We kissed heatedly, as if we hadn’t done so in ages. Our tongues danced between our lips and then Tim was slathering lube on me. I groaned. He then turned and spread his legs, putting them on the outside of mine, he sat on my lap.  

“Fuck me, daddy,” he moaned as he leaned back on me. He didn’t have to ask me twice. I looked down as he lifted his hips. I guided my hard cock, lining our bodies up, and I watched as he sunk down slowly, my throbbing cock disappearing in him. We both moaned. It felt incredible. He reached back, his soft hand sliding to the back of my neck, grabbing it, pulling me forward.

I held on to Timothée’s hips as he began ride me. It was incredible, of course. Tim’s body was gorgeous. He reached back with his right arm and again and grabbed the back of my neck. My hands are on his hips as I helped steady him. I watch, hypnotized, as Timothée’s body rises and falls on mine. The tightness and heat are almost overwhelming. I’m not sure if it’s because I woke up aroused of just the heat of the moment, but it’s all feeling too good.

I lean back on the couch, my feet flat on the floor and begin to thrust up to meet Timothée. He’s leaning forward now, hands on my knees. His gorgeous moans and groans are filling the air and every nerve in my body is alive and singing with pleasure.

I run my left hand around, placing it on Timothée’s lower abdomen as I run my right hand up his spine. I feel him shiver under my touch. It makes my cock twitch and he moans in pleasure. “Is that good baby?” I ask him panting.

“Yes, daddy,” came his reply.

After a wonderful while, I stopped and asked Timothée to turn around. We worked together and he turned while I stayed inside him. He leaned forward and we began to kiss as his hips worked on me. Our tongues working in tandem to the rhythm that our bodies set. I couldn’t stop touching him. My hands roamed his gorgeous, soft, pale skin ceaselessly. I felt the tightening of his muscles as I began to feel mine.

He pushed up, palms on my chest and stared down at me with an intense gaze as his body got closer to orgasm. I love the way his face changed, how it showed the pleasure of the moment and how his body was needy for release. He began to lean forward, moaning louder, his body trembling, his noises needier by the moment. He sounded amazing. I feel his body tightening around me. Bringing my climax forth. We come together.

I feel Tim’s hot come hit my stomach and chest as I explode inside of him. He collapses on me, trembling and panting. I hold him tight, caressing his back and kissing him gently down the side of his face.

“I love you,” I whisper to him.  

“I love you too,” Timothée whispers back. “So much.”

I sigh and relax holding Timothée tight as long as needed.

 


 

After we had gotten ourselves off the couch, we cleaned up and ordered dinner. We had eaten and were relaxing when I grabbed my phone off the coffee table and showed it to Timothée. I hated doing it because I did not want to deal with anything Hector related but, I figured he would want me to be... open.

He furrowed his brow as he read the texts. “Invite him over tomorrow,” he said.

“To my home?! No!”

Timothée blinked at me. “Ok,” he said. “Wanna meet him at a cafe or something?”

“No,” I said leaning back on the couch and putting my feet up on my ottoman.

Timothée sighed. “I’ll go with you,” he said sliding closer to me and laying his hand on my chest, caressing it.

I glanced at him, his cute nose and freckles looking more adorable than ever. “I guess,” I said. Timothée smiled at me and we leaned in and kissed. “Can we stop talking about this now?” 

“Yes,” Timothée said laughing sweetly and leaning in to kiss me again.

Chapter Text

I begrudgingly texted Hector the following morning and gave him the address to a cafe on Wilshire. Timothée was incredibly supportive through this. He kept me calm, cool and collected and I just fell in love with him even more.

Finally it was time to go and we left. We arrived some 20 minutes later and entered the cafe. As we walked in my phone rang. It was Victoria.

“Hey,” I said. “How are you?”

“Oh god! Armie! Can you come get me?! I’m on my way to a charity meeting and my car stalled! I called AAA but they said it can take up to two hours!”

“Uh!” I froze.

“What?” Timothée said.

“Vic’s car stalled.”

“Where is she? I’ll go get her!” Timothée said without hesitation. We got everything sorted out, I gave him the keys to my car and he was gone in less than five minutes.

I went and sat at a corner booth, where I could see the front window and door. I knew Hector would be late. He wouldn’t be more than 10 minutes late though.

Seven minutes later than the agreed time; I saw him walk in quickly. He looked almost the same, but older. Hair a bit shorter, face more angular, but it was still him.

He actually gave me a grin, not sure if he was amused at the fact that we were actually meeting or what, but the grinned seemed genuine which puzzled and infuriated me.

“You got 15 minutes, max,” I said.

“Why do serious, Armie?”

“Quit fucking around,” I said. I clenched my jaw for just a second, releasing tension. “Who owns the Sargent?”

“Me,” he said nonchalantly.

I wasn’t expecting that. “I through you acquired it for a client.”

“I did,” he said with a smug grin. “But then, I just fell in love with it and we came to a private deal and I traded for it.”

I squinted my eyes in annoyance. “Ok. How much?”

Hector held up his hands. “Whoa, whoa, Armie. I said I would meet to discuss if maybe I  was interested in selling.”

It was my turn to smile, and it was at him, not with him. “You’re here. There’s a price you’re willing to settle for. Now man up and tell me what it is. I don’t have time for games.”

I saw the dark cloud descend upon his face and I knew I had hit a nerve. “You think everything has a price?”

“I don’t think it. I know it. Now quit acting as if you’re sentimental. As if I’m speaking of buying a damn human organ or something. What’s your price?”

Hector leaned back on his chair. “Paris is in trouble.”

I rolled my eyes. Why was it always like this with these two? I stared at him again.

“He... he had an affair with a married woman and the husband found out and literally tried to kill Paris.” He let out a shaky breath. “We had to leave.”

“And what’s any of this have to do with me?” I asked.

“Your family is rich and influential -“

“Not with murderers. Sorry.”

Hector clenched his fists. “It’s a politician who’s friendly with your father. Ajax. You know the man.” Indeed I did. “He has donated countless times to your museum and to the scholarship fund your family runs!”

“How do you know?”

Hector swallowed. “Paris fucked the wife and I fucked him.”

“Good to see you haven’t changed,” I said nonchalantly. Hector gave me a poisonous look. “Again, I don’t see me calling him up, friend of the family or not and asking him to not kill Paris.”

Hector sighed and nodded. “But... maybe there is a way?”

“How?” I asked.

Hector drummed his fingers on the table. “I...” he looked around. “Maybe we can speak somewhere more private?”

“No,” I said.

Hector gave an exasperated sigh. “Anyway, you know what I want.”

“That’s a vague and huge want. Give me a dollar amount!”

Hector swallowed. “I’m not sure yet. I mean, it’s Paris I need to look after.”

I rubbed my face with my hands. “Yeah... again I don’t know what I can do with that.”

Hector nodded. “Well, thanks for meeting me,” he said. “I’ll see you around?”

“No,” I said.

Hector gave me a half smile. “Ok.”

“I’m not planning to meet up with you again,” I said, making sure I held my voice steady. “So name a price.”

“I have.”

“Go to the cops,” I said smugly.

Hector squinted his eyes. “You know they won’t take Paris seriously with his record.”

“Oh,” I said widening my eyes in mock surprised. “How much does Paris’s safety cost, you think?” I ask Hector.

“A lot,” he answered me.

“Name your price,” I said. Hector gives me a defiant shake of his head. “I won’t wait forever,” I said sternly.

“I know,” Hector said seriously. “Believe me, Armand I know.” He shakes his head.

“Well, he’s all the way across the country. What could he do to Paris anyway?” I asked, more out of curiosity than concern.

“Ajax has men all over, you know this.”

I knew he was right. “Look, Ajax and my father aren’t even that close! Plus if you fucked him why is he so bothered his wife fucked your brother?”

Hector made a face. “She was planning to leave him for Paris. My brother, being the idiot he is, kept telling her yeah they could run away together. The day came and Paris stood her up and never met her. She though, had packed and had left Ajax a note. Once she saw Paris was a no show, she went back, tail between her legs but Ajax wished to hurt Paris. We ran. Now we’re here.”

“Ten years ago I remember the target being you. Seems you managed to keep yourself alive. Do the same for your brother.”

“Times are different. Things have changed,” he said softly.

“Fuck sakes,” I muttered under my breath. “Name your price!”

Hector sighed. “Five million dollars.”

“You’re insane,” I said.

“Well that’s the price. 5 million or you find a way to reach Ajax.” Hector waited a moment and then got up. “Let me know what you decide,” Hector said and I watched as he walked out of the small cafe.

 


 

I called Vic as soon as Hector had left.

“We’re almost at the Charity meeting!” Vic said. I waited patiently at the cafe and then ordered something to eat when I got hungry. Timothée showed up soon after. He ordered something to eat too.

“How was it?” He asked me. I gave him a rundown of things. Timothée stares at me. “You’ve got to be... are you... is this for real?”

I shrugged. “Ajax isn’t well known. Well, he is and he isn’t,” I said thinking. “He’s old money and he donates a lot. But he stays out of the news and the limelight and for good reason. This isn’t the first time I heard he literally wishes to kill someone,” I said raising an eyebrow.

“Has he... succeeded?” Timothée whispered, eyes wide.

I thought for a moment. “I don’t think so,” I said. “But if he has, he won’t be offering up that type of information freely or have people talking about it.”

Timothée nodded and looked perturbed. “I think you need to steer clear of this,” he said to me. “This is slightly insane.”

I raised an eyebrow. “I’ve never said no to a client.”

“Well, there’s a first time for everything,” Tim said.

I looked at him, surprised. I reached over and took his hand. “My reputation means so much.”

“And if you end up dead your reputation really won’t mean shit,” Timothée said. “I’d rather you break your perfect streak than prod at this Ajax and end up dead.”

“Baby, no one is ending up dead,” I said softly.

“You’re right,” Tim said with a smile. “No one is, because you’re gonna tell this client that you’re sorry, but you can’t get them the painting they want.”

“What if Hector takes the money?”

“Is the painting worth 5 million?”

“No,” I said.

“So you’d loose money. Your reputation is meant to make you money, not lose it.” Timothée laced his fingers in mine. “I know your reputation means a lot, daddy,” Timothée said in his soft voice. “But I love you and I hate this situation. I think you should drop it all and walk away. That’s my humble opinion.”

I nodded. “Thank you baby,” I said.

Timothée looked at me for a moment but said nothing. We finished eating and left the cafe. On a whim, I took him to my family’s museum. I looked at Timothée as he looked at the art.

I leaned in from behind and put an arm around his waist. “You’re more beautiful than any piece of art here,” I said.

“I bet you say that to all the boys,” he replied in a teasing tone, turning to look at me over his left shoulder.

I grinned. “Only the ones I’m in love with,” I said wrapping my other arm around his mid section.

“And how many times have you been in love?” Timothée asked in a quiet voice.

“Just once,” I whispered in his ear. “That’s all one needs,” I continued softly. “Just a one ‘one in a lifetime’ love.”

Timothée looked at me, cheeks flushed. He seemed at a loss of words for a moment and I was deeply pleased. “Is that... am I...”

“Yes,” I said and kissed his temple softly. “Yes, you are.”

I felt him lean back on me. “I... Armie, I love you...”

“I know,” I said and closed my eyes and held him just a bit tighter. “I didn’t say it so you could tell me you felt the same. I just... wanted you to know.”

I felt Timothée sigh. “Thank you,” he said, rubbing my arms.

I smiled and enjoyed the feel of Tim in my arms. I felt peaceful knowing, no one could take this away from me.

Chapter Text

We stood by the campsite that had been laid for us, a small fire and pavilion. “Is all well here?” Odysseus had come to stand with us.

“Very well,” Achilles said. He smiled, his easy smile, his honest one. “Thank you.”

Odysseus smiled in return, teeth white against his dark beard. “Excellent. One tent’s enough, I hope? I’ve heard that you prefer to share. Rooms and bedrolls both, they say.”

Heat and shock rushed through my face. Beside me, I heard Achilles’ breath stop.

“Come now, there’s no need for shame—it’s a common enough thing among boys.” He scratched his jaw, contemplated. “Though you’re not really boys any longer. How old are you?”

“It’s not true,” I said. The blood in my face fired my voice. It rang loudly down the beach.

Odysseus raised an eyebrow. “True is what men believe, and they believe this of you. But perhaps they are mistaken. If the rumor concerns you, then leave it behind when you sail to war.”

Achilles’ voice was tight and angry. “It is no business of yours, Prince of Ithaca.”

Odysseus held up his hands. “My apologies if I have offended. I merely came to wish you both good night and ensure that all was satisfactory. Prince Achilles. Patroclus.” He inclined his head and turned back to his own tent.

Inside the tent there was quietness between us. I had wondered when this would come. As Odysseus said, many boys took each other for lovers. But such things were given up as they grew older, unless it was with slaves or hired boys. Our men liked conquest; they did not trust a man who was conquered himself.

Do not disgrace him, the goddess had said. And this is some of what she had meant.

“Perhaps he is right,” I said.

Achilles’ head came up, frowning. “You do not think that.”

“I do not mean—” I twisted my fingers. “I would still be with you. But I could sleep outside, so it would not be so obvious. I do not need to attend your councils. I—”

“No. The Phthians will not care. And the others can talk all they like. I will still be Aristos Achaion.” Best of the Greeks.

“Your honor could be darkened by it.”

“Then it is darkened.” His jaw shot forward, stubborn. “They are fools if they let my glory rise or fall on this.”

“But Odysseus—”

His eyes, green as spring leaves, met mine. “Patroclus. I have given enough to them. I will not give them this.”

After that, there was nothing more to say.

 


 

 

For the next few days, we merely spend them together. Armie and I focused on each other. We went to a few art galleries and the movies and drove to the beach once. On Thursday, while at dinner, he bumped into someone he knew, a broad man with a dark beard. He looked at least 10 years older than Armie. I watched as they slapped each other on the back in a very friendly way. They seemed like old friends.

“This is boyfriend, Timothée,” Armie said after they had said hello. “Timothée, this is O.”

“O?” I asked with a confused smile.

“My name is long and boring and you don’t want to say it,” he said with a loud laugh. “Listen, why don’t you both come by Friday? It’s Penelope’s birthday and the party will go on all night. It’ll be at our home in Malibu.”

“Yeah! Sounds like fun!” Armie replied, looking excited about it. When O looked at me I grinned back and nodded trying to look as equally excited as Armie.

“Perfect!” He said. “See you then.” And with that he was gone.

“You’re good friends?” I asked.

“He’s a business men with deep pockets and appreciated arts. He’s very well connected. He’s the type of person I want to keep on my good side, not necessary because I like him,” Armie explained. I nodded. “Anyway, he does throw a good party. I think we should go. I’m sure there will be some important people there I could network with. You know social gatherings can be so much more in my line of work.”

“Yes, of course,” I said and leaned in and kissed him.

 


 

The following day, we left Armie’s home at around six in the evening. Armie looked amazing in blue pants, a gray polo and white leather sneakers. I was in jeans with a purple tee shirt and converse. We reached O’s home as the sun was setting.  The mansion was huge and decorated for the party. There were string lights and loud music and tons of people. So many people. Armie took my hand and we went inside. I looked around. It was dizzying to see how many people were there and the noise of everything. It was obvious though, people were having a good time.

There were men in suits and some just with swimming trunks. Some women had flashy, slinky gowns and some were in skimpy bikinis. Everyone stared at Armie as he walked by and some stopped to say hi. Armie was pleasant and tons of hugs were given and kisses on the cheek to women. It reminded me of the charity auction when we had first met. I felt like a fish out of water and squeezed his hand a bit harder. He squeezed mine back and glanced back at me after we had been just walking through the maze of people for about half an hour.

We finally made it outside and I took a deep breath in. “You alright?” Armie asked me circling his arms around me. I looked around and then nodded. “Why did you look around?” He asked me.

“I... I just remember you said this might be good networking for you...”

Armie shook his head and pulled me closer. “So I shouldn’t show affection towards my boyfriend?” He asked me. Before I could reply, he pulled me in for a kiss. A deep one. I felt powerless against him. His tongue slid deep inside my mouth and my body melted into his. His powerful arms wrapped around me. When he finally pulled back, I last left panting and limp, with him holding me up. “You’re the most important thing to me,” he said staring into my eyes. “Never forget that.”

I nodded. He released me slowly and as a waiter walked by with a tray of drinks, he grabbed two and gave me one. The evening went on. There was a buffet style dinner set up and Armie and I ate. We talked to so many people I lost count, but they all knew Armie. Eventually, we saw Penelope and Armie and I wished her a happy birthday.

We kept drinking. I always felt I had a drink in my hand, but Armie always held the other. Later on, once it was really dark, the party seemed to wind down slightly. The music was not as loud. Less people were dancing and everyone seemed more subdued. I was leaning on Armie as he talked to someone. I was nursing yet another drink in my hand. I couldn’t remember how many I had had now.

“I need to go to the bathroom,” I said.

“Ok,” Armie replied and we got up and he led me through the crowd of people and to a half bathroom. Once I was done, he took my hand again.

“I’m so warm,” I told him.

“Let’s walk outside,” Armie said and I nodded. We walked out and away from the pool and it’s surrounding area, where most people were. The backyard was huge. Armie and I walked further and further until it got quiet. There was a small stone bench and we sat down. I leaned against him again. I was warm all over, but feeling really good. I leaned in and kissed him. It felt so good.

“What are you doing?” He asked chuckling.

I laughed softly as I climbed on him. “Nothing,” I said. I kept kissing him. I took his hands and slid them under my shirt. My mind felt fuzzy but I was hyper aware of how good Armie felt. His mouth and hands and body. We kissed for a while. My head was swimming a little. “I want you,” I said. I straddled him on the bench and pushed my hips forward.

“I want you,” he replied.

“Fuck me daddy,” I whispered to him. The sounds of the party seemed to have disappeared. Armie began to kiss me harder and I felt him begin to undo my jeans. He slid off the bench, holding me close to him. It was slightly disorienting for a moment. My head was swimming and wasn’t sure what was up or down, but then I was on my knees, Armie behind me. “Fuck me,” I said again, reached back, sliding my hand up the back of his head and grabbing his hair.

I groaned as I felt his spit slicked fingers slide into me. It felt amazing. I reached down to stroke myself. I leaned onto the stone bench. Then I felt Armie enter me. He began to fuck me. It was amazing. My whole body felt amazing. Armie’s hands felt so powerful on my hips and he held nothing back. It was as if we were both so needy for this. We came together soon after. We fell over on the grass and helped each other pull up our pants and fasten them. I couldn’t quite button my jeans, Armie had to do it.

He began to laugh as he did it and then I began to laugh too. It’s like we couldn’t stop. We laid on the grass, laughing. We were giddy. “Fuck that felt so good,” he said.

“It did,” I agreed. I curled up on his side and closed my eyes.

 

“Timmy,” I heard Armie say.

“Hmmm?”

“Come on.” I felt myself being lifted but my eyes felt so heavy and I felt slightly dizzy. I curled into Armie’s chest and closed them again. I drifted off into a peaceful sleep.

 


 

I heard birds chirping and I opened my eyes slowly. They hurt. The world was too bright. I was laying on my stomach. I rolled over and a wave of dizziness and nausea washed over me. My heart was thumping hard in my chest. I moved very slowly. Finally, as I blinked, Armie’s room came into view.

“Fuck,” I said as I slowly pushed myself up into seating position. I closed my eyes and leaned back onto the headboard. I wasn’t sure how long I sat there, trying to will everything around me to stop spinning.

“Hey,” I heard and barely opened my right eye. Armie was walking towards the bed. He sat beside me and kissed my forehead. I heard him chuckle. I felt him get up and then when he came back he had the steel wastebasket form his bathroom. “You look like you’re about to puke,” he said.

“I... I don’t remember coming home.”

“I know,” he said. “You passed out.”

Memories were snippets of things. I tried to remember all of last night. “Things get fuzzy after we ate,” I said. I felt him sit down beside me again and I half opened both eyes. I blinked.

He was looking into my face. “We both got pretty drunk,” Armie said. He bit his bottom lip. “You remember what we did in the garden?”

I nodded. I felt my face warm. “We fucked.” Armie nodded. “Holy shit, Armie! We fucked in the middle of a party!”

Armie chuckled. “Well, not in the middle of it,” he said.

“Did anyone see us?” I asked.

“I... don’t think so?” He replied. “It was dark and that part wasn’t well lit and most people were by the pool...”

I put my hands to my face. “Holy fuck.”

“Hey,” he said. He slid closer to me and wrapped his arms around me. “I think practically everyone was as drunk as us. Or worse!” He held me a while. “You ok?” I gave a single nod. He pulled back and looked down at me. “I know... we got drunk and did something we normally wouldn’t do,” he said stroking my cheek. “And... well, I should have been more responsible,” he said. “I should have drunk less.”

I furrowed my brow. “We were both responsible for it. We’re a partnership. We’re equal.” Armie didn’t look convinced and it angered me, which was made worse but how hungover I was feeling. “Don’t give me that I’m older so I should know better look,” I said, the anger apparent in my voice. “I won’t take that from you. We’re equal Armie.”

“Ok,” he said and smiled at me. He leaned in and kissed me.

I leaned back on the bed and finally got a good look at him. He had showered and dressed. I furrowed my brow. “Where are you going?” I asked.

“A client texted me early this morning. I told them I’d meet them,” he looked at me intently to see if I would be upset. I wasn’t. I merely nodded. “I won’t be gone long baby. Once you’re up to it, go down stairs and eat. I felt you water here,” he pointed to the bedside table, there were 3 bottles of water and some crackers.

“Thank you,” I said.

He nodded. “I’m meeting with a board of members and they want to acquire some art. So it’ll be a full on business meeting so my phone with be on silent,” he said. I nodded. “I won’t be long, ok?”

“Ok,” I replied. Armie kissed me again and then I watched him as he left.

 


 

I never went back to sleep. Instead I downed the water bottles and then got up to use the bathroom. The nausea was almost gone but it was replaced by a horrible headache. Laying in bed made me feel even worse so I slowly ventured downstairs. I found some aspirin and then got on the couch and began to scroll social media.

I hadn’t been down there long when I heard a beeping come from the front door. I sat up, confused. I had never heard it before. I got up and walked slowly to the door. I realized, someone was beeping at Armie’s gats. I was confused as Armie always handled that. Armie has shown me how to use the control pad by the front door though. I had met people delivering food in belfry. I took a shaky breath in. I pushed the button to talk.

“Hello?” I said.

“Morning! It’s Timothée right? I’m Paris Troy. I’d like to speak to you.”

I felt the blood drain from my face. It took me a few seconds and my headache seemed to get worse, which I didn’t think was humanly possible. I pushed the button to talk again. “Leave,” I said simply.

“Let me in, Timothée. I got something that could ruin your boyfriend and I’m sure you’d want to see it.”

I felt frozen. My heart was racing and my palms were cold and sweaty. He could be lying, I though. Or... he could be telling the truth. I pushed the button to open the gate. It was a moment later I heard the sound of a car pulling up and then a car door slam close. The doorbell rang and I opened the front door.

There stood Paris. He was a bit taller than me, but our body types were similar. His had brown hair and green eyes. He was pleasing to look at. He smiled at me and suddenly he looked... slightly sinister. It could have been in my head. I stepped out and closed the door behind me. “What do you want?” I asked in a firm and steady voice.

“Not gonna invite me in?” He asked. I didn’t answer. He shook his head. He reached behind him, and reached for something. He brought a Manila envelope around. “So! Your boyfriend and you were at a wild party last night!” He began. I stared at him. “And you guys got pretty wild!”

He handed me the envelope. I opened in and reached inside and pulled out pictures. It was Armie and I, last night, in the garden they were a bit blurry, but it was obvious to see what we were doing. They had been taken from above it seemed, from a window of the home that overlooked the area. Thankfully, my hands weren’t shaking. I wasn’t sure how I was managing this cool exterior.

“Hardly illegal for boyfriends to fuck,” I said looking up at him. “It’s not like I’m fucking anyone else’s spouse.”

The dark shadow that passed over Paris’s eyes was gone as quickly as it came. “No, you’re right,” he said cheerfully. “But tabloids are a horrible thing. Once they hear of Mr. O and Lady Penelope holding drug and alcohol fuled orgies and that the respectable Armand Douglas Hammer brought his barely legal boyfriend, or... are you even legal? You look young. If the tabloids say you’re 17, people will believe it! I mean, you’re quite small and -“

I was moving before I even registered what I was doing. I shoved Parish, the heels of my hands making rough contact with his chest. He seemed surprised and almost fell back.

“Those are fucking lies !” I said in angry voice.

Paris laughed. “Yeah, and I’m sure the tabloids can print a little article a week later if Armand wants to sue and have the story corrected or redacted but by then the damage will be done and O won’t be happy Armie brought him such disgrace because he couldn’t keep his dick in his pants at his home! I mean, who fucks out in the open like that? Do you and Armand do that often? I mean I’ve done some kinky shit in my day but -“

“Leave,” I said. I balled my hands into fist.

Paris stood up straight. “You haven’t even asked what I want so I don’t give this pictures over to the tabloids!” I said nothing and Paris rolled his eyes. “God! You’re no fun!” He let out a breath and looked right into my eyes. “Tell Armie he has three days to call Ajax off or these pics will show up online.”

I shook my head. “You fuck things up for yourself and your plan is to blackmail an innocent man so he can clean up your mess for you?” I took pleasure in the redness that came to Paris’s cheeks.

He gave me poisonous look. “Three days.”

“I can go to the cops. Blackmail is illegal.”

“Go ahead,” he said with a shrug. “But I’d ask your boyfriend about that first. Again, this was in someone else’s home. Do you even know O? You think Ajax is scary? O is scarier and he won’t appreciate the unwanted attention.”

With that Paris turned and began to walk away. I watched him get into his car and began to drive away.

 


 

I was sitting on the couch, knees pulled up to my chest, arms wrapped around them when Armie came home about an hour later. The envelope was on the coffee table. It felt almost like an out of body experience telling him. I had never seen Armie look so angry. He balled his hands into fists and I got up and grabbed them, afraid he would punch a wall or something and hurt himself.

He seemed almost lost in his fury, but then he suddenly stopped and looked at me. I wasn’t sure what it was and then I noticed I was crying.

“Oh baby,” he said softly as he pulled me into his arms.

“It’s my fault,” I said. “I remember I asked you to fuck me. I was so drunk and I wasn’t thinking straight.”

“Sshh,” Armie said. “Sshh, Timothée. We’re a partnership right? You said so yourself.”

“He can... he can damage your public imagine,” I said squeezing him. My voice was muffled in his chest. “Your reputation. You always told me how important your reputation is to you and now because of me, it’ll be ruined.”

“No, no, no,” Armie said in a soothing voice. “Never. I’ll take care of this my love,” he said softly.

“How?” I asked. I leaned back and looked up at his handsome face and perfect blue eyes. “How?”

“Don’t worry,” he said taking my face in his hands. He leaned in and kissed my tears. “I will take care of everything.”

I wasn’t sure what to think and felt I couldn’t think anyway. I was emotionally, physically and mentally drained. I wished to tell Armie we should go to the cops or call one of his lawyers or call someone. Something. He shouldn’t take care of this himself. “Armie,” I said. “You need to be careful.”

“I always am, baby,” Armie said and I felt him kiss the top of my head. “Don’t worry. Ok? I’ll take care of everything.”

I hugged him tight and nodded. I didn’t have the strength to do anything else.

 

Chapter Text

Agamemnon stepped forward. He opened his hands in a gesture of welcome and stood regally expectant, waiting for the bows, obeisance, and oaths of loyalty he was owed. It was Achilles’ place to kneel and offer them.

He did not kneel. He did not call out a greeting to the great king, or incline his head or offer a gift. He did nothing but stand straight, chin proudly lifted, before them all.

Agamemnon’s jaw tightened; he looked silly like that, with his arms out, and he knew it. My gaze caught on Odysseus and Diomedes; their eyes were sending sharp messages. Around us the uneasy silence spread. Men exchanged glances.

My hands clutched each other behind my back as I watched Achilles and the game he played. His face seemed cut from stone as he stared his warning at the king of Mycenae—You do not command me. The silence went on and on, painful and breathless, like a singer overreaching to finish a phrase.

Then, just as Odysseus moved forward to intervene, Achilles spoke. “I am Achilles, son of Peleus, god-born, best of the Greeks,” he said. “I have come to bring you victory.” A second of startled silence, then the men roared their approval. Pride became us—heroes were never modest.

 

❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉

 

I awoke and blinked a few times. It took me a moment to gather my wits and for my eyes and senses to focus. As I did, I heard Armie’s voice.

“He should know better than to fuck with me!”

I sat up, startled. I got up and walked out the bedroom, holding a thin bedsheet around my waist.

“I will take care of it,” Armie said as I made my way to his office. “As long as I know I have your backing, I will play my part.”

I felt my brow furrow as I pushed open Armie’s office door. He looked up at me and gave me a smile.

“Great,” he said as he got up, cellphone to his ear. He grinned as he looked at me but I just looked back at him, feeling concerned. “I’ll see you later.” He hung up.  

“Who was that?” I asked.

“Good morning, baby,” Armie said. I rolled my eyes as he walked around his  desk towards me.

“Don’t try to change the subject,” I said defensively.  

“I’m only trying to say good morning to you,” Armie said as he approached. When he came to stand in front of me, he took my face in his large hands. I melted, of course. I felt the goosebumps forming in my skin and my heart begin to race. “All that matters to me is you,” he whispered.

Armie leaned in and I felt his warm lips against mine, soft yet urgent and I gave in, leaning into him and kissing him back. I wrapped an arm around him as I held the sheet with the other. After moment of kissing, I felt his strong hands reach around me, sliding down and grabbing me along with the thin sheet. He lifted me up and I wrapped my arms and legs around him.

I felt breathless as he took a few steps forward, carrying me, then pressing my back against the wall beside the door of his office. He pressed his whole body against me, eliciting a groan from me as he took my mouth again. He kissed me like this for a while more, my mind growing cloudy and almost forgetting what I had heard as I had come to.

Almost.

I leaned back and looked up at him as we parted, leaning my head back against the wall. I was panting slightly and I felt my neck and chest were flushed. He seemed to enjoy seeing me this way.

“Who were you talking to?” I asked.

Armie took a deep breath in and out. “O,” he said softly.

I nodded. “What are you going to do?” 

“Neuter Hector and Paris,” he answered and pressed into me.

I groaned softly. “How?” I asked, trying to ignore my body and the way it was feeling.

Armie looked right into my eyes. He seemed to be deciding whether he should tell me or not and I opened my mouth to protest and remind him we were a partnership, but I didn’t have to. “I talked to O and he’ll contact Ajax,” Armie answered me. “We will deal with Hector and Paris.” 

“How?” I asked again.  

“I’ll deliver Hector to Ajax,” Armie said in a matter of fact voice. “He has plans to get Paris.”

“What’s Ajax going to do to them?” I asked.

“Don’t know, don’t care,” Armie answered. “Whatever they have between them can stay between them. I will not have Paris come to my home and threaten you ever again.”

I felt my heart and breath quicken. “So you’re meeting them later today?” I asked. “O and Ajax?” Armie nodded and slowly leaned in and kissed me again. I let him, enjoying the feeling and wrapping myself tighter around him. “I want to go with you,” I whispered.

Armie furrowed his brow and seemed keen to say no, but then nodded after a moment and began to kiss me harder. He pressed his hips into me and kissed down my neck, biting me. I cried out in pain, taken by surprise. I felt Armie chuckle. “Too much?” He asked in that sexy voice of his.

“No,” I said and pulled myself up, seeking his lips.  

We kissed more and this time I let myself feel everything. I groaned as I felt his strong hands grip my ass and pull me into him. He kissed down my neck again, biting me more, not as roughly as the first time, but enough for me to feel. It stung and I found myself grinding my body against his, panting. I felt him spin us around and take a few more steps forward and then I was on his desk. I heard the clatter of things falling to the floor but Armie’s lips were on my body and I could only focus on that.

He kissed and sucked and bit my skin as he frantically pulled the sheet off me, I had wrapped it several times around me, and finally he freed me from it and took me in his mouth.

I groaned loudly as he sucked me urgently. His hunger was apparent and it did things to me. I slid my hands in his hair and tugged as I arched my back and cried out and before I knew it, I was coming down his throat and he was swallowing it all. His hands were ceaseless, his warm palms all over my trembling body.

I was panting and limp. He sucked me gently for a while longer and then softly kissed around my lower abdomen and hips, his lips warm and tender. Once he was done he lifted up and gently pulled me to him. I slid to the end of the desk and leaned against his chest as he wrapped his arms around me.  

“Take me with you,” I whispered to him.  

“Ok, baby,” he replied.

I nodded, satisfied. 

 


 

We left Arnie’s home at around 3 pm. I tried to not seem as nervous as I felt. Armie sensed it though and held my hand as he drove.

“Don’t be nervous,” he said softly.

I glanced his way and nodded but let him know how I was feeling. “Things seemed to have shifted overnight,” I whispered softly. I glanced at Armie but he kept his eyes on the road. He was listening though. “Things have changed,” I continued. “You seem... different.”

Armie stayed quiet a moment. When we reached a red light he glanced my way. He lifted my hand to his lips and kissed it. “Timothée,” he said in a serious tone. “You mean... the world to me.” He looked at me as if what he had just said explained everything. I furrowed my brow. Armie sighed. “No one will come to my house and threaten the man I love. If the Troys thought I was going to just agree to their ridiculousness then they’re insane. They’re desperate. It obvious. That’s usually the best time to strike down an opponent. When they’re desperate.”

I nodded as the light turned green and Armie began to drive. He kept my hand in his. His large warm palm was a reassuring comfort, which most days erased any doubt I had, but not today. I decided not to ask more.

We pulled up to a restaurant with valet parking. After Armie banded over his keys he waited for me and I felt his hand on my lower back as we walked inside. It was all dark cherry wood and a thick red carpet. The booths were very private with Tiffany lamps hanging over them. Armie mumbled something to the hostess and we were quickly ushered inside.  We passed the tables and were led to the back, through a swinging door and then down a hallway. There were separate rooms here and finally we were shown into one. I recognized O. The other man was new to me.  

He stood up the moment we walked in. He was tall, as tall as Armie. He gave Armie a smile and extended his hand which Armie took and shook. Armie grinned back. “Ajax, good to see you. It’s been a while.”

“Indeed it has Armand,” he said eyes on Armie as if he wished to devour him. I felt my face twist into something not so pleasant. “Been in Europe for the better part of the last 18 months. Was planning to return tomorrow but O here called me and explained we had a... situation?” 

At this point he looked at me, assessing me. I couldn’t read his expression. I could have fixed my face, but didn’t. I felt Armie slide his arm around my waist and pull me close to him. “Well... seems you had a situation which has somehow now become my situation,” Armie said almost playfully, except I knew him better and heard the edge in his voice. I looked up at him and saw he was smiling at Ajax.

There was a moment of silence and then Ajax spoke. “Indeed,” he said. He swept his hand forward as if inviting us to sit down and we finally did. Waiters came and put a couple of wine glasses in front of Armie and I. They filled one with a red and one with a white wine. There were appetizers... or so I thought. I was never much for the overly fancy food at over priced restaurants. I glanced at Armie again, suddenly feeling like a fish out of water.

O took a deep breath in. “It is all of our situations now.” He glanced at Armie and Ajax. “I think it’s time we rid ourselves of the Troy brothers once and for all and move on with our lives.”

I felt a clenching in my stomach but didn’t look at anyone. I simply pushed the small amount of food around my plate.

“Hmm,” Ajax said. “I agree.” I snuck a look at him. “Pity. Hector has such a pretty mouth,” he continued. He slowly looked up and looked right at me. “So do you,” he said with a raise of an eyebrow. “What’s your name?” 

For a moment I almost looked at Armie but didn’t because it dawned on me that would have looked very childish. “Timothée,” I answered. Ajax nodded.

“He’s my boyfriend,” Armie said.  

Ajax nodded again. “I discerned from the way you had your hands all over him,” he said nonchalantly. I made a face again. I wasn’t sure if I liked Ajax... or trusted him.

O spoke again. “So... Hector has art you want, Armand,” he said. He wasn’t asking. Armie nodded. “You will go to him and pretend you want it. Offer him whatever he wants. Bring him here for dinner. We should only need 30 minutes,” he said. He glanced at Ajax.

Ajax nodded. “You must make sure he comes alone,” he continued. “I want them separated. Then I’ll move in and... acquire Paris. Bring him here. Present him to his brother so he knows we’re serious. We’ll take care of things. And that will be the end of it.”

I listened to this and said nothing with a growing heaviness inside me. I glanced at Armie now who was eating and not even looking at the other two men. He finished chewing and swallowed, took a sip of wine and then finally spoke. “The art will be mine. One of you will give me the cash. You can get it back from him when you have them.” 

Ajax chuckled. I glanced at him. “Always looking to get yourself the biggest piece of the pie Armand.”

Armie grinned at him. “Don’t act like you don’t know me,” he said.  

“Of course,” he said. “You know it could have been me. I could have been the golden boy of the art scene here but then you came and stole my thunder. Had to run off to Europe,” he said. I looked at him with curiosity. He shrugged. “I don’t mind. I don’t envy you like Hector does. But of course, you and I don’t have that history do we?”

I felt the heat on my neck. It was anger. I didn’t like the way he spoke to Armie. I almost felt angry enough to say something and then I felt Armie’s large warm hand on my thigh. It almost felt like a gentle way of telling me to stay calm and not say anything.  

“No,” Armie replied. “And I’m glad we don’t. I respect you,” Armie said with a smile. “And I have enough with Hector being the snake he is. But soon, he shall no longer be an issue.”  

O made a disgruntled noise. “I sure as hell hope not.” He chewed absentmindedly. “The Art is a big deal you then Armand?” 

“You know it is,” Armie said seriously. “You both know it is.” He looked back and forth between them and they both eventually nodded at him. This seemed to please Armie. He then picked up one of his wine glasses. “To... ridding ourselves of the Troy brothers,” he said with a smile.  

“I’ll drink to that!” O said, raising one of his wine glasses as well.  

I glanced at Ajax as he looked over Armie. He seemed to think for a moment but finally picked up his glass. “Here, here,” he said with a smile.

 


 

The ride back to Armie’s home was a quiet one. I learned in conversation that Ajax was an art dealer as well, also from a wealthy family. He bluntly told me he lacked the charm Armie had and so kept loosing high end clients to him.

“I always wished to travel,” he told me. “So I did and have gathered a decent international clientele.”  

As I heard him talk I disliked him less. But my main question never got answered throughout the course of the afternoon. I glance at Armie now. “How exactly are you going to get rid of the Troy brothers?” I asked softly.

Armie took a deep breath in and out. “I’m only responsible for getting Hector to the restaurant and getting my art. Whatever happens after is between them and Ajax and O.”

I furrowed my brow. I stared at Armie as he kept driving. I felt my heart rate accelerate. “He’s not... he’s not gonna hurt them is he?” I asked softly.

Armie glanced at me quickly. “Timothée you realize that the Troy brothers don’t give a fuck about us! You realize that right? They’d gladly drag my name and yours through the mud. They’d gladly destroy a reputation I spent years building. Your family would get dragged into this, as tabloids got a hold of those pics of us at O’s party....” Armie trailed off.

“I know,” I said. “I know.” I took a deep breath in. “But Jesus... Armie. I don’t want anyone physically hurt .”

“I know baby,” he said softly.

I looked at him. “Can you... can you talk to Ajax? Just...” I trailed off this time, not even sure what to say. It was none of my business I thought. They were both assholes and they got in too deep with men that could hurt them and now their chickens were coming home to roost and I shouldn’t give two shits... but I did.

“Ok, baby,” he said gently.

“Thank you,” I replied. Then, as my chest swelled with feelings I squeezed his hand. “I love you.”

Armie glanced at me. The happiness in his face was so clear to see. “And I love you,” he replied. He lifted my hand to his lips. “You are the best man I have ever met, Tim. I’m so proud of you. And so proud you’re mine.”

I couldn’t help but melt a little inside. I looked at Armie dreamily and smiled. “I am all yours,” I told you. “And you all mine.”

Armie grinned at me. “That, I am,” he said and kissed my hand again. The heavy mood of the evening lifted off me. I had never been happier.

Chapter Text

All along the line, rowers jammed their oars into the water to slow our approach. The men on the beach were undoubtedly soldiers, all dressed in the dark crimson of the house of Priam. A chariot flew along their ranks, churning up sand. The man in it wore a horsehair helmet, and even from a distance we could see the strong lines of his body. He was large, yes, but not as large as Ajax or Menelaus. His power came from his carriage, his perfectly squared shoulders, the straight line of his back arrowing up to heaven. This was no slouchy prince of wine halls and debauchery, as Easterners were said to be. This was a man who moved like the gods were watching; every gesture he made was upright and correct. There was no one else it could be but Hector.

“We are almost in range of their arrows,” Achilles commented. He did not seem alarmed by it, though around us there was panic and the sound of feet pounding the deck.

I stared at the shore coming closer.

Hector was gone now, back up the beach to a different part of his army. But there was another man before us, a captain, in leather armor and a full helmet that covered all but his beard. He pulled back the string of his bow as the line of ships drew closer. It was not as big a weapon as Philoctetes’, but it was not far off. He sighted along the shaft and prepared to kill his first Greek.

He never had the chance. I did not see Achilles move, but I heard it: the whistle of air, and his soft exhalation. The spear was out of his hand and flying across the water that separated our deck from the beach. It was a gesture only. No spearman could throw half so far as an arrow could fly. It would fall well short.

It did not. Its black head pierced the bowman’s chest, drove him backwards and over. His arrow twanged harmlessly into the air, shot wild from nerveless fingers. He fell to the sand and did not rise.

We were close now, and arrows began to fly on both sides. Many hit the water, others stuck in masts and hulls. A few men cried out along our line; a few men fell along theirs. Achilles calmly took a shield from Automedon. “Stand behind me,” he said. I did. When an arrow came close, he brushed it aside with the shield. He took another spear.

Our men slid down ropes, lifted huge shields to cover themselves from arrows, and began to stream to shore. The Trojans were well marshaled, but the beach offered no natural defense and we outnumbered them. At a command from Hector they seized their fallen comrades and relinquished the beach. Their point had been made: they would not be so easy to kill.

 

❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉ ❈ ❉

 

I exited my car and looked down both sides of the street before crossing it. I was familiar with this part of Hollywood. Part of me wondered how Hector was affording to live here, if he was as down on his luck as he claimed to be. I shook my head as I looked at the list of names. I pushed the button beside Troy.

“Hello!” Came his voice. If sounded so cheerful I was taken a back... but only for a second.  

“It’s me,” I said, sounding just as cheerful. Two could play this game. 

“Well, come on up me, second floor to the right of the elevator.” Hector answered and buzzed me in.

I pulled open the door and walked in. The building wasn’t exactly worn down but it had seen better days. I bypassed the elevator and took the stairs, I felt as if I had a lot of energy to burn. I had woken up feeling anxious. I had left Timothée, warm and sleep and had gone for a jog at sunrise. It had done the trick for a moment but now that rush of adrenaline was back.  

I let out a breath as I opened the door and turned right. I ran a hand through my hair before I knocked on the door. I relaxed my shoulders and slid my hands in my pockets. The door opened. Hector grinned at me, as if he was actually happy to see me. “Armand,” he said. “Please come on in.”

He stepped aside and swept his arm to the side. I stepped in. The inside of the apartment was a lot more impressive than the aged hallways, as I’m sure all the apartments were. I glanced around and saw an aesthetic similar to mine, bright minimalism. Hector and I had always had similar tastes. I nodded and remembered my role to play. I turned and gave him an easy smile. “Nice place.”

He rolled he eyes in an attempt to look bashful but Hector loved compliments. “Drink?” He asked me as he moved towards the small stainless steel kitchen. I looked at the beautiful backsplash, different shades of silver and gray with some small white tiles. “I got some hard lemonade or beer or -“

“Beer is good,” I told him as I reached and touched the tile.  

“It does say Armand,” Hector said as he brought me the beer. I looked at him and he put his beer out, I clinked his bottle of his with mine and drank. I inspected the tiles further and hated that he knew my tastes. “Well, I know this isn’t a social visit,” he said, trailing as he stepped closer to me, then leaned on his kitchen counter.

He was right. It wasn’t. I watched the way he licked his lips and a corner of his mouth turned up in a smile. I remembered Ajax mentioned his pretty mouth. He did have one. For a split second I recalled it use to make my heart race. But it was only for a second. I looked at him, curly hair and pretty lips and I expected a forked tongue to come through them at any minute. I smiled at him.  

“Not a social call at all,” I said putting my beer down on the counter. “May I see the painting?” 

“Right this way,” he said placing hit bottle beside mine.

The apartment was a two bedroom and the smaller one was an office. There was an easel in the corner that was covered. Hector walked over and lifted the cover off it. I couldn’t help but smile at the beauty in front of me. I slowly made my way towards in, admiring it. The art, a figure of a man laying back, body on display with a simple sheet draped over his bent left leg just so, was incredibly gorgeous. I couldn’t help and look at Hector and smile, for a moment, forgetting. It quickly passed. I glanced back at the art and then at him. “What?” I asked, furrowing my brow.

He shook his head. “Nothing,” He said. “You always get that dreamy look on your face when you see a piece of art for the first time.” 

Again, I hated how he knew small details like that about me. But, just how he knew about me, I knew about him. His downfalls and tricks. I stood up straight and nodded slowly as I appreciated the art, making sure I showed no emotion. “And that’s is why I’m better at this than you,” I said nonchalantly, not bothering to look away from the painting. “For you this was merely a job. A means to an end. For me, it was about -“ 

“Oh, I’m sorry!” He said cutting me off. I blinked and glanced his way, feeling my face harden. “Not all of us were born with silver spoons up our asses. Some is actually need to work for a living.”  

I simply stared his way. “I didn’t know people with less money than me in their bank accounts appreciated art less.”

Hector rolled his eyes. “Four million,” He said.

“It’s not like I carry that type of cash on me,” I said. “And I would feel weird writing a check.” 

He took his phone out and tapped away at the screen. He handed it to me. There was a routing and account number. I took my phone out and called Ajax.

“Hello,” He said.

“Hi, I would like to make a wire transfer.” I glanced at Hector who was looking smug.  

“Alright, give me his bank account info. It’ll show as pending. Tell him it make take 48 hrs to clear if he asks. That’s how long it’ll show pending before it disappears.”

“Perfect,” I said. I read the routing number and account number to Ajax. As I did this, Hector paced back and forth, looking pleased and I had to make sure I kept my emotions in check.  

“Alright. I’m going to go get little brother. Get Hector to the restaurant.  

“Thank you,” I said and hung up. I handed Hector back his phone and watched him as he checked his bank balance. He grinned. “I’m gonna call one of my guys to come pick this up,” I said. Hector nodded. I made the phone call. Hector covered the painting back up and waited for me to hang up. Once I did I glanced his way. “He’ll be here in 15,” I told him calmly.  

Hector nodded. “We left our beers out there anyway,” he said.

I followed him back to the kitchen and came to terms with what I was about to do. We reached our beers and this time when Hector leaned against the kitchen counter, I took a step closer to him. “Let me take you out to dinner,” I said softly.

Hector froze for a moment and in that split second I panicked, imagining he would say no. He should say no. Someone less cocky and more cautious would have said no. I would have said no. “Sure,” He said licking his bottom him. I forced myself to look calm and to smile. “Where did you want to take me?” He asked.  

I stepped back because I couldn’t stand being that close to him any longer, I finished my beer and threw the glass bottle in his recycling bin. “I know a place,” I said finally facing him again. “The food is good and we can have a private room.”

He finished his beer and tossed his bottle in after mine. “Sounds fancy,” he said, giving him his smile one more time and walking closer to me. “Won’t your little boyfriend mind though, if you’re taking your ex boyfriend out to dinner?”

There was a knock at the door. I thanked my lucky stars. “Must be my guy!” I said. Without asking him, I walked over and opened the door. One of my assistants was there and I led him to the office and the easel. “Keep it covered,” I instructed him. Hector walked over to me, handing me the paperwork for the art. I checked it over and then handed it to my assistant as well. “Take it to the gallery and have it checked, cleaned and reframed if needed,” I instructed him. “Quickly as possible. Deliver it to Mr. Turner no matter what the time.”

“Yes, Mr. Hammer,” the young assistant said and he was quickly gone.

“My, my,” Hector said. “It is quite impressive to see you do all that ,” he said with a grin. “No wonder people hire you. They must feel such a rush knowing they can afford Armand Hammer!” I said nothing and he sighed. “What’s the dress code to this place?” He asked.

I looked him over. “Go put on a dinner jacket,” I said. He nodded and walked to his room. I pulled my phone out and texted Ajax.

On our way in 10  

His reply came soon enough.  

Perfect

 


 

It wasn’t hard to convince Hector to ride with me to the restaurant. I felt a surge of anger as we climbed in my car and took off. Did he really think it was this easy to fuck me over? I felt insulted. But I quickly pushed it out of my head. He could keep believing this.  

Hector talked all the way to the restaurant. It was something he did when he was in a good mood. He talked non stop. Once we got there I gave my keys to the valet and when at the entrance the hostess recognized me.

“Mr. Hammer,” she said pleasantly. “Party of two?” She asked.  

“Yes,” I replied and I noticed how smug Hector looked. I clenched my jaw and placed my hand on the small of his back so he would go first. I knew it wouldn’t take long for O and Ajax to make an entrance. I felt my senses heighten as I looked around. There were two ways into these private rooms, the entrance from the hallway and the entrance from the kitchen for the staff. Both had doors that could be shut but not locked. I notice the door shut behind us from the hallway. I was pretty sure Ajax and O would be making their way in together, O from the hallway and Ajax from the kitchen since he would have Paris. It would be then that I would make my exit. I had my art. The would have the brothers. Easy.

Hector picked up the menu and a couple of waiters came in with bottles of wine. I let Hector pick. The wine was poured and the waiters left. 

“So you never did answer my question,” Hector said.  

“What’s that?” I asked as I pretended to look at the menu.  

“What would the boy think about you and I out on a date?” 

I closed the menu and placed it on the table. “For one, he’s not a boy,” I said calmly. I took a glass of wine and sipped from it. “And two,” I continued. “This is no date.”

Hector sipped his wine as well, half smile on his face. “Oh? What is it then?”

“We’re celebrating our business transaction,” I replied and gave him a smile.

Hector grinned. “Well to business then! May we do many more transactions in the future!”

O slipped on as Hector spoke. “Oh, no, that’s a hard no to that,” he said with a chuckle. I saw Hector freeze and then his eyes went to the other door as I heard a bit of a scuffle. I didn’t bother to look back. I could imagine Paris, hands bound and probably something over his mouth as well. Hector made to get up from his chair but O was behind him, and placed his big hands on his shoulders.

“No, you sit,” O said. “We need to talk.” I wiped my mouth with a napkin and stood up. O extended his hand. “Pleasure doing business Armand,” he said.  

I took his hand and shook it. Hector looked at me with an anger I had never seen. He said nothing thought. “The pleasure was all mine,” I said.

“You lied,” Hector muttered.

I couldn’t help the chuckle that escaped me. “Bit hypocritical don’t you think?” I said and winked at him. I gave a glance back. Paris was sporting a bruised cheekbone and a bit of a swollen bottom lip but looked no worse for wear. Ajax was holding his hands from behind.

“Armand,” he said with a nod.

“Ajax,” I responded.

“Stay for the chat!” He said as he walked Paris forward. A couple of guys in dark suits walked in behind them. Ajax sat Paris down where I had been. “Waiter!” He called and the waiters showed up again, with extra glasses and more wine. They looked as if this was just an everyday dinner.

“Thank you but I gotta get home,” I said.

“To that boyfriend of yours?” Ajax asked, grinning.

“Indeed,” I said. “Gentlemen.” I nodded to them, turned and left the room without a second glance back.

 


 

When I got home Timothée and Phoenix were in the kitchen laughing. She had already served him dinner. I slid in beside him and she served me. I wrapped my arm round his waist and kissed his cheek. 

“How did it go?” He asked. He fidgeted with my shirt collar as he anxiously looked at me.

I smiled softly at him. Timothée was beautiful when worried... I hated for him to be but I melted at the way his eyes widened and the way his bottom lip stuck out.

“As planned,” I whispered back to him. “Now quit worrying and eat.”

“Yes! Fatten up Timothée!” Phoenix said. I grinned at the way his name sounded with her Jamaican accent. Timothée blushed and rolled his eyes but it was obvious he wasn’t bothered at all.

 


 

I glanced at the clock in the darkened bedroom. 1:07 am. Timothée was laying on his stomach. I softly ran my hand down his bare back, resting my hand on the swell of his ass for a moment. My phone buzzed. I reached over to my night table for it.

They’re officially gone

It was O. I began to text back.

Did they put much of a fight?

The reply came soon after.

Hector tried to plea with Ajax. But that love affair has run its course. Paris said nothing the whole time. I would be surprised if I ever see them in California ever again.

I put the phone down on my stomach and sighed.

“Who was that?” Timothée asked groggily.

“O,” I answered. “Go back to sleep baby. I patted his ass affectionately.

“Come hold me,” he said.

As I was about to move my phone buzzed again.  

Armand! I apologize for the time but I just needed to thank you! My husband was beyond pleased with the art! He said it was the most magical of birthday gifts and I am husband of the year! All thanks to you! Your reputation is well deserved! I will be letting anyone and everyone know: Armand Hammer is a GOD!

I grinned stupidly at my phone. Rereading the message twice, quickly.

“Daddy! Come hold me!” Timothée’s cute whine interrupted my third re read.  

“Coming baby,” I said. I put my phone to charge and slid over, pulling Timothée to me and hugging him tight.

“Mmmmmm,” He said sleepily. “Your arms are so strong.”

I grinned. “The better to protect you with, my dear,” I whispered and nuzzled his curls. I kissed the top of his head and relaxed and was asleep in no time.

 

Chapter Text

He turned to look at me, his gaze intent.

“But you will not fight, even if they strike at you. You hate it.” If it had been any other man, the words would have been an insult.
“Because I don’t have the skill,” I said.

“I don’t think that is the only reason,” he said.

His eyes were green and brown as forest, and even in the dim light I could see the gold.

“Perhaps not,” I said, at last.

“But you will forgive me?”

I reached for his hand and took it. “I have no need to forgive you. You cannot offend me.” They were rash words, but I said them with all the conviction of my heart.

He looked down a moment at where our hands sat joined. Then his hand ripped itself from mine and blurred past me so swiftly I could not follow it. He stood, something limp and long as a piece of wet rope dangling from his fingers. My eyes stared at it, uncomprehending.

“Hydros,” Achilles said. Water-snake. It was dun gray, and its flat head hung brokenly to the side. Its body still trembled a little, dying.

Weakness sluiced through me. Chiron had made us memorize their homes and colors. Brown-gray, by water. Quick to anger. Deadly bite.

“I did not even see it,” I managed. He threw the thing aside, to lie blunt-nosed and brown among the weeds. He had broken its neck.

“You did not have to,” he said. “I saw it.”

 


 

I awoke slowly. I shut my eyes against the brightness of the sun pouring in through the large windows and turned my back to them. I felt Armie’s warm body there. I pressed against it, my right cheek to his chest and slid my left arm and leg over him, pulling our naked bodies close. I moaned in soft satisfaction, trailing open mouth kisses along his skin. He stirred then, a throaty groan escaping him as he turned and wrapped his strong arms around me.

We didn’t talk... we didn’t have to. I tilted my face up and our lips met. The kisses quickly grew hungry, possessive. I climbed on top of him, pushing the heels of my hands on his shoulders and devouring his mouth. I wanted him... but I also wanted him in me... what a dilemma, I thought and began to chuckle.

“What?” He asked grinning and looking up at me. His gorgeous blue eyes were dark and his palms were sliding up my thighs to my hips.

“Nothing,” I said and dove for his mouth again. This time I didn’t stop. I kept on kissing, my hips rocking on his growing erection and my own cock growing hard and heavy, laying on his abdomen. He reached for the lube and I grabbed it out of his hand. I quickly stroked it on him. He laid back and let me, watching me and the urgency of my moves. He knew what I was going to do.

Once he was slick enough, I threw the lube aside and wiped my hands on the sheets and got up on my knees. He pushed his erection up with his left hand, an almost smile on his face, which was sexy, but I loved the look in his eyes the most. What was it? Love? Lust? Need? Want? All of them mixed together. Whatever combination it was of all of them it was gorgeous. Beautiful. Wonderful.

“You’re all mine,” I said, out of nowhere and kissed him roughly.

“I am,” he said panting as I lifted off him. “I am and I would do anything for you.”

“I know,” I said softly. I knew this. I did.

I caressed his face with my right hand and slid it down to his chest. I began to lower my body on his. Slowly, taking my time, watching his face as he slid into me and my body sunk onto his. We both groaned in pleasure as he slid in as deep as possible. I took my time. I didn’t rush. I relished the way his body filled mine and I wanted it to last forever. At moments he would buck up and wish to fuck harder and faster, and I would let him, but then I returned to my steady pace.

It wasn’t a teasing pace, I knew it was strong enough to bring us to orgasm, it would just take a while and I wished it to. I let him know. “I never want this to end,” I said breathlessly.

“But we can fuck as often as we need,” he said with slight frustration.

“I don’t want to just fuck,” I said and he seemed to finally fully understand and relaxed and let me continue as I wish.

It was glorious. He was perfect and as all the sensations heightened and our bodies tensed with the constant pleasure, I felt my heart almost burst. The amount of love and desire I felt... it left me speechless and I was happy. I needed no words to show him how he made me feel. All I needed was my body and his and I could truly show him. And I did. I did. For as long as I could. When we came, it was incredible. The release was indescribable and the emotions overwhelming.  

“God I love you,” I heard Armie said.

“I love you too,” I replied.

“I would do anything for you.”

“I know,” I said smiling and pulling myself closer to him. “I know”

 


 

The days that followed were pleasant. Everything just seemed... right .

It was about two weeks after the situation with the Troy brothers was over, I was at home, in my room working on a paper for school when Aiden came knocking at my door.

“Hey,” I said looking up.

“Busy?” He asked.

“Never for you,” I replied with a smile.

“Ok so, party tonight dude!” He said walking into my room excitedly and grabbing my shoulders, shaking them. “And it has been a while since we have gone out and partied!”

I grinned as I turned in my computer chair to save him. “Yes. Yes it has,” I replied. I got up and stretched. “So?” I asked. “Where is this party at?” 

“Good man, Timothée!” Aiden replied laughing.

 

The party was a typical house affair. It was just past 11 when we got there. It was Thursday which normally meant I was at Armie’s for the night but he and Victoria had a family thing, something to do with a scholarship thing the Hammer family had and he was out of the state and he wouldn’t be back until Sunday.

The music was loud and Aiden and I grabbed beers when we finally made it to the kitchen. “So when will Rhys be back?” I asked casually. I didn’t know exact details but I knew he was in New York promoting something.

“Not til Tuesday,” Aiden replied looking around.

“Well, well! Do my eyes deceive me or is this really Timothée and Aiden?!” Came a cheerful voice behind us. I knew exactly who it was though.

I spun around and grabbed Bree round the waist, twirling her around and knocking her drink out of her hand which landed on someone who gave me an eat shit look. “I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” I said. I hoisted Bree over my right shoulder.

“Timothée! Timothée what are you doing?! Put me down!” She cried out pounding on my back, not hard. I’m sure if she wanted to really hit me she could have but she didn’t.

“I will!” I said and began to make my way out of the kitchen through the sliding doors, Aiden laughing behind us. Everyone looked as Bree kept complaining, although she was laughing now. She was giving half hearted kicks as I walked around the pool in the backyard and finally deposited her on the grass and then threw myself down beside her.

Aiden was still laughing when he reached us and plopped down beside me. We all laid there a moment, looking up at the sky.

“Someone could like... step on us,” Aiden said, finally breaking the silence. Bree and I began to laugh again. I saw her sit up, though I stayed down on the grass. “I’m gonna get some more beer,” Aiden said. “Be right back.”

I watched Bree as she watched Aiden go. She looked back down at me. “Where you been?” She asked.

“Here,” I said with a smile.

Bree laughed and pushed my shoulder. “How are you?”

“Good,” I said crossing my arms and sliding them under my head. “You?” 

“Awesome!” She said. She turned to face me and gave me a huge smile. “Did you... did you ever meet that new art professor we had? Hector Troy? He -“

I sat up quickly. “Whoa!” I said. Bree stopped talking. “Bree! Stay away from that guy! He’s trouble!”

Bree looked at me like I had two heads. “Uh... says who?”

“Armie!” I said.  

I saw Bree roll her eyes. She got up and began to dust off her jeans. I got up quickly as well. “Hey I’m being serious!” I told her.  

“Look, Tim,” Bree said and I was surprised at the annoyance in her tone. “Just because your boyfriend doesn’t like someone it doesn’t automatically make them a bad person, ok? Hector is amazing! He knows so much about art! I showed him my paintings and he told me I was good enough for -“

“Bree!” I said and grabbed her shoulders. “The guy is like a petty criminal! You don’t know -“

“No! YOU don’t know!” Bree said angrily and shoved my chest to push me away. This time it wasn’t playful. “Just because the sun raises and sets for you according to your boyfriend doesn’t mean the rest of us have to live that way!” 

“I never -“ 

“Just because Armie hates him doesn’t mean he’s a bad person!” Bree continued.

“I didn’t -“

“And just because someone doesn’t see eye to eye with your boyfriend -“

“Enough!” I said, equally angry at this point. “Enough Armie has been nothing but good to me! He loves me! He -“ 

“Yeah! Ok! Fine!” Bree said shaking her head. She put her hands on her hips and took a deep breath in and out. “Look... can we agree to disagree? Hector put me in contact with some wonderful people who have looked at my art. He’s opened doors for me.” I nodded as I listened. “Just... whatever happened between Armie and Hector is between Armie and Hector. Armie shouldn’t put you in the middle of his battles and -“

“He hasn’t!” I said calmly. “He didn’t. If anything it was Hector’s brother who tried to fuck with me. Alright? Armie has done nothing but keep me safe.” 

“Alright,” Bree said softly. “Alright I’m sorry. I -“

“No, no it’s ok,” I said gently. I felt a sudden tightness in my chest. I stepped forward and hugged her. “You’re a good friend. It’s ok.” I said rubbing her back.

“You’re a good friend too,” Bree said laying her cheek on my shoulder.

 


 

The rest of the party had been mellow and we left past 1 am. I spent Friday hanging with Aiden and then Bree came over in the afternoon. We ordered pizza and watched Netflix. Bree left late in that night.

Saturday, I woke up, had something to eat and made my way to Armie’s. I was going to spend the night at his place and then Sunday we had decided I’d pick him and Victoria up at the airport.

I was already in bed Saturday when my phone rang. I smiled when I saw who it was.

“Hey,” I answered softly.

“Hey handsome,” came Armie’s honeyed voice. It made me feel warm all over.

“Hey,” I repeated as I laid back down in bed. “How are you?”

“Ah... anxious to get home,” he replied with a sigh. “Miss you and our bed. I can’t wait til tomorrow when I can see you and hug you and kiss you!”

I couldn’t help but laugh and feel all giddy inside. “Yes my love, tomorrow,” I whispered. “And we can spend all day and all night in bed.”

“Alright,” Armie said and I could hear the smile in his voice. “You better not complain then when I don’t let you out of bed except to use the bathroom!” 

“I’ll need to eat!” I exclaimed, grinning.

“I’ll go downstairs and grab you food. You’ll need all your strength for me.”

We continued talking for a while longer until I was yawning and could hardly keep my eyes open. I didn’t want him to go thought, so I put my phone on speaker and he got into bed as well and we whispered to each other softly. Eventually, my eyelids felt too heavy and they closed.

My dreams that night were of me and Armie, happy and in love and Hector and Paris, chasing us, but they looked like snakes and wanted to bite us. They weren’t quick enough though, and Armie caught them every single time they tried to bite me. He did this over and over and over and each time I would wrap my arms around Armie and kiss him and tell him thank you.

“That’s my job, baby,” he would tell me each time. “To keep you safe. And I will because I love you.”