It was late when they got back to the Airstream, legs steady but still they leaned against each other as they climbed through the door. It was late, but they were more tired than drunk, after an evening of friendship and warmth at the Pony.
“I know it’s late but,” Alex said as they got into Michael’s truck, “we should just drive to the cabin. We can sleep in late, and my kitchen is much better.”
Michael looked over at Alex’s tired face and smiled.
“I’d love to,” he replied. “I’d love to, but I have a shift at the junkyard tomorrow.”
Alex looked over at him.
“I didn’t know you were still picking up shifts there. I thought Sanders was just letting you keep the rig there until you had somewhere else to park it.”
“He is,” Michael said, eyes on the road, despite the fact they were still in the parking lot. “I’m just helping him out. Tomorrow’s going to be a hot one, and Sanders knows it’s going to be busy.”
“Hmm,” Alex said, too tired to ask more.
He was too tired to ask when they got to the Airstream, as they leaned against each other as they walked through the cramped space. He was tired when they undressed and slide under the sheets, but still he asked, mouth pressed into Michael’s shoulder.
“Why are you going to be busy?”
“Why are you going to be busy, if it’s going to be so hot?”
Michael laughed quietly and hugged Alex closer. “You’ll see.”
Michael rarely woke before Alex, for a variety of reasons, so it was strange for Alex to wake up to a cold bed and the smell of coffee. Blearily, he looked at his phone.
“Guerin it’s 7. Why are you up? You don’t usually start until 9.” He buried his face into Michael’s pillow.
“I told you,” Michael replied, “we’re going to be busy. I should actually be out there now. The early risers will be here soon.”
Alex finally looked up from the pillow. Michael’s hip was against the counter, coffee cup blocking his face. Alex enjoyed the view. Michael’s hair was still messy from sleep. His eyes, which were almost blocked by his mug, were still unfocused and hazy. His shirt was one of the old ones, from years before and it showed. The neck was stretched and the shirt was thin for almost a decade of washes. It was comfortable and Alex loved Michael in it. He loved to see it stretch over his shoulders, loved how it clung to his abs. He loved those jeans too, too tight and too full of holes to wear anywhere in public. They were Alex’s favorite pair, with their rip in the right thigh, just below his ass. Alex thought about running his fingers over the exposed skin, how Michael would shiver and half-heartedly swat him away. He wore the jeans for a reason, and Alex knew that was it.
“Why are you wearing my jeans?”
Michael’s face scrunched in that adorable way Alex loves that Michael vehemently denies happens.
“Pretty sure these are my pants Alex. You’ve been watching me in them for years.”
Alex stood up and used the headboard and then the counter to walk over to Michael. He grabbed Michael with his free hand and pulled him in for a kiss.
“They’re my jeans because you wear them when you want me to notice you.” Alex moved his hand from Michael’s shoulder, down his back until he could slide his hand up Michael’s shirt. His skin was hot. Alex loved that too.
Michael kissed him again.
“I wear them to work too, you know.” He had a smirk on his face. “All the holes, they’re really good for ventilation.” He smirked again before he leaned in for one last kiss. “ I know you have the day off, but don’t feel like you have to stay here all day. Definitely not kicking you out, but I hate to know you’re in here and I’m not.” He smiled one last time before he extracted himself from Alex’s arms. “Well, time to earn my keep.”
Alex watched him leave, eyes never leaving the strip of skin visible on his right thigh.
Alex was surprised to hear the first car pull up only moments after Michael left the Airstream. It was almost as if the person was waiting until he closed the door. Alex could imagine what he looked like in the morning sunlight- golden, practically glowing, like a Greek god come to life. If Alex himself wasn’t half naked and without his prosthetic, he would be out there watching Michael in the morning light.
He grabbed the mug of coffee Michael had left out for him, hip leaning against the counter for balance. He did have the day off, and he couldn’t think of anything he wanted more than to just enjoy a peaceful day in the sunshine with a beer in his hand and Michael bent over an engine looking like every single one of Alex’s fantasies.
He moved back to the bed to put on his clothes, when he heard another car pull into the junkyard, closely followed by a third car. He could hear the doors open, could hear Michael call out greetings. He could hear voices call back. He thought he recognized one, but he wasn’t sure.
“Morning ladies,” Michael said, emphasizing his slight accent as drawled. “What can I help you with today?” Alex could practically hear the wink in his voice.
“Something seems to be wrong with my engine,” one of the voices said. They were coming closer to the Airstream. It was definitely a woman.
“Same with me,” said another woman.
“I need an oil change,” said the familiar voice. It was definitely Wyatt Long’s mom.
“Well,” Michael said, “let’s see what I can do. You ladies go have a seat while I take a look.”
It was very strange to hear three women who were definitely in their late fifties giggle like schoolgirls.
He heard Michael pop the hood to one of the cars, probably a truck or an SUV knowing the people in town. The three women went to sit around the firepit, right by the open window of the Airstream.
“Please tell me you brought mimosas this time Deborah,” one of the women said. “This show definitely needs some drinks. Mmmm, looks like he’s going right for the oil change.”
“Yeah Deborah,” the voice that definitely belonged to Mrs. Long said, “we need something to quench that thirst. Hate when he’s under the car, but I do love the way he looks in those jeans.”
Alex wasn’t entirely sure he heard correctly. It sounded like a group of middle-aged women showed up at 7 in the morning to thirst watch Michael as he worked. Now fully dressed, he moved to the table where he could look out the window while he sat and enjoyed his coffee. He almost spat out the sip he just took when he heard the voices start again.
“I’d never let that man leave my bed if I had him. You know he can just go all night,” the first voice said again.
There were noises of agreement from the other women.
“You know, I heard that he showed Karen McKellan’s daughter a good time about a year back,” the voice that had to be Deborah said. “In that truck of his. I’m not a young woman anymore, but I definitely would not say no to a ride like that.”
“Lisa pass me more orange juice will you,” Mrs. Long said. “Oh oil change is over girls. Time to look under the hood.”
Alex could almost see it. The three women staring intently as Michael raised the hood to one of their SUVs and leaned over, fabric of his jeans pulled tight and the strip of skin from the rip on the thigh in full view.
“Please Lord may he never throw those jeans away,” the woman, who was apparently named Lisa, prayed. Alex had to agree.
Alex listened to the women make appreciative comments about Michael, about his arms, his thighs, the way the sun made his curls shine like honey. He listened as the loudly sipped their mimosas and lamented that they were here at 7:30 in the morning and it wasn’t quite hot enough for him to take off his shirt.
“That’s what we get,” Mrs. Long said, “for being early risers.”
“And for wanting to avoid Donna and Karen,” Lisa replied.
“Not my fault that they’re angry my fundraiser was the same night as Donna’s silly variety show. And it’s not my fault that more people wanted to raise money for the firefighters and to see Donna dance with no grace and screech instead of sing.”
Alex heard the three women laugh. He didn’t even know there was a fundraiser for anything, or a variety show in town. It was one of the benefits of living so far out of town.
“Already ladies,” Alex heard Michael call, voice a little deeper than he generally uses. “Looks like everything’s in tip top shape. You’ve been taking care of your engines?”
Alex knew Michael. He knew that he was leaning against one of their cars, elbow resting on the hood. He looked good like that. He heard one of the women groan. Apparently, she agreed.
“Oh yes,” said Deborah, “just like you’ve been telling us. It’s so nice to go in there and work with our hands.” Her voice was practically a purr. Alex was extremely uncomfortable. Alex also knew that there was no way in hell any of those women actually touched a car besides to drive it, let alone tune up their engine.
“Then I may not see you ladies for a while, since you’ve been getting your hands dirty.” Was it possible to hear a wink? If it was, Alex just heard it.
“Oh, I’m sure something will come up,” Lisa replied. “Now it’s the usual price? Good, you keep the change. You deserve it for all your hard work.”
Alex heard them as they lingered in the junkyard, before they called out their goodbyes and started their cars. Once he heard them pull away he got up and grabbed a large glass. He filled it with water and made his way outside.
Michael stood by the fire pit, head shaking as he laughed to himself.
“Busy day, you said?”
He turned around at the sound of Alex’s voice and smiled.
“Oh yes,” he said as he moved towards Alex.
“A busy day of being objectified by the bored housewives of Roswell?”
“It’s a hot day, you know. Not much to do besides sit in the shade as an attractive man fixes the nonexistent problems with their cars.”
“Is this why you’re working? Because the weatherman said it was going to be hot?”
“Oh yeah, happens a few times a month. We’ll have the next group soon, it’ll be the early brunch crowd- Karen M, Donna, Celine, and Karen S. They used to be part of the breakfast crowd, but Karen S had a huge falling out with Lisa over a fundraiser a year back. Still haven’t forgiven each other.”
“I heard them say something about it.”
“Oh yeah, haven’t forgiven each other for the things they said. Karen heavily implied that Lisa was sleeping with her gardener who is Mexican. That old racist hasn’t forgiven her.”
“How do you know all this?”
“They are not quiet Alex. Plus, Sanders and I do double to business as any other day, and they don’t even realize that we overcharge. And they tip, so I keep all the extra. I take great pleasure in taking their money.”
Alex just laughed as he handed Michael the glass of water.
“I wouldn’t want you to get heat stroke swindling money out of the racist housewives.”
“Hey!,” Michael spat out a bit of his water. “Not all of them are bad, I don’t overcharge the younger ones or the ones who are having a rough time of it.”
Alex just laughed again. He gave Michael a quick kiss. The quick kiss didn’t stay that way as Michael slid an arm around Alex’s waist and pulled him in close.
“My next group won’t be here until 8:30, you know. That’s at least forty-five minutes. It’s plenty of time.”
Alex laughed into the next kiss. “Sorry Guerin, you’re on the clock. That would be unprofessional.”
“You say as you continue to kiss me,” Michael pointed out. Alex loved this, the giddiness and the joy and the teasing. He could live in these moments forever.
“How about you make the breakfast I made you before your next group of thirsty housewives show up?”
Michael scrunched up his nose, but made a noise of agreement.
The clock on Michael’s wall had just ticked over to 8:30 when another group of cars rolled into the yard. Michael gave Alex a look that said ‘I told you’ before he gave Alex a kiss on his head and left the airstream.
“I’ll be nonstop from now until noon,” he had said over breakfast. “But I get a nice lunch break before the younger group comes. Then everyone clears out around 3:30 or 4, pick up the kids and all.”
And it was nonstop. Alex listened to the newest group of fawning fifty-somethings as they commented on everything from how Michael looked like a “Greek statue come to life” to how much they wanted to “lick his honey-colored skin” when discussing his sweat-soaked skin. The group of fifty-somethings were replaced by thirty-somethings eventually. Alex could hear them discuss how their kids were with in-laws or grandparents so the women could come here today. He heard their gasps somewhere around the three and a half hour mark when Michael must have took off his shirt.
From his seat in the Airstream Alex could hear it all, but he could only catch glimpses of Michael. A shirtless Michael apparently. He heard one of the women outside discuss how she bought new tires just so they could watch Michael replace them.
“God blessed that man with an ass,” one of the thirty-somethings said, the Late Brunch group as Michael called them. “And he blessed me with eyes to look at it, so damn it I’m going to.”
There had been noises of agreement and even one “Bless you Bethany” for that comment.
Alex passes the time in the Airstream pretending to do paperwork, but paying more attention to the parade of ooglers outside the window. He listened to the gossip, amazed that there was so much drama in such a small town.
“Did you know that Brigitte slept with Cathryn’s husband before they were married, or even dating, and they still refuse to be in the same room together? It’s why you two Brunch groups, apparently.”
Alex took a bite from his lunch, just a sandwich. It was all Michael had in the Airstream. Michael stared at him, sandwich in hand.
“Which one is Brigitte?”
“No clue,” Alex replied before taking another bite. “Didn’t look outside to see. I had no idea there was that much drama in Roswell.”
Michael snorted before finally taking a bite of his sandwich. Alex tried not to get distracted by the little bit of mayo that ended up on the corner of his lips.
“It’s like our own version of the Real Housewives here. Where’s Andy Cohen when you need him.”
Alex laughed in response. “Maybe the Thirsty Housewives. You should have heard what they said… wait. You watch The Real Housewives…?”
“Alex, Isobel’s been watching since season one of Orange County. Who do you think she watched it with?” Alex could only shrug in agreement. “Besides,” Michael continued, “RHoNY is obviously the best, why wouldn’t I watch it.”
“I honestly have no idea what you just said.”
Michael just shrugged and kept eating his sandwich.
“I think that may have been the gayest thing you have ever said,” Alex quickly corrected himself. “Sorry, the most bisexual thing you have ever said.”
“Pretty sure me telling you how much I love your cock immediately after I said that girl at the bar was hot was the most bisexual thing I’ve ever said.”
Alex nodded his head with a thoughtful frown on his face. “Yeah, that sounds right. But seriously, The Real Housewives?”
“It’s entertaining and mindless. And I don’t have to explain myself to you,” Michael replied with a smile. He finished his sandwich and stood up. “The next group are the younger ones. You really need to be outside to experience it fully.” He offered his hand to Alex, who had also finished his lunch. “Trust me. There are memes.”
Alex laughed again as he took Michael’s hand.
“Ok, let’s see if they can out thirst the middle-aged women who came out to drink and stare at you.”
Michael just smirk.
The twenty-somethings out-thirsted everyone.
Honestly, Alex was impressed.
“That man is a walking orgasm.”
“Katie, I know his dick is big. I know it. I know it’s big.”
Alex sat next to them all around the fire pit. They showed absolutely no shame. Alex could respect that.
“Christ those pants show everything and we are truly #blessed.”
Alex wasn’t sure if he should interrupt or just let it happen.
“He looks like someone took a piece of marble, covered it in honey, and stuck a ‘Please Lick’ sign to him.”
He just let it happen.
“He is a piece of steaming hot tofu and I just want to consume him- what? I’m a vegetarian. It’ll be like a piece of fake sausage.”
“Ugh, I’d give him my fake sausage.”
“Lori omg! You can’t just say that!”
“MEN GET PEGGED AMANDA!”
“I’d like to get my hands on that ass.”
“Don’t act so scandalized Lauren! Men like butt stuff too.”
“Fingers in the booty ass bitch.”
“Do you really have to bring that up every time Jaime?”
Alex couldn’t leave this one alone. From the way Michael keeps smirking in his direction, he knew it too. They locked eyes and Alex raised an eyebrow in question. Michael’s smirk widened and he nodded. It’s not like they hadn’t been going out on dates. It wasn’t like they were hiding. It was just that most people in Roswell thought they were just ‘really good friends’. Michael always responded to that comment with a muttered “straight people are weird” and a shake of his head.
“Yes I do Amanda. It was a classic. Look at him, he’d totally be into it! Besides, tell me you wouldn’t--”
Alex cut her off as he stood up. “I really don’t want to hear the end of that sentence Katie.” He made his way towards a smirking Michael. “Besides, I can confirm it for you right now. Guerin is very into--”
It was Alex’s turn to be cut off. Michael’s kiss was searing, open-mouthed and dirty in a way they never kiss in public. Or at least, not with people around mostly. They had been known to get a little distracted in deserted hallways, or empty corners of rooms, or the back of the Wild Pony. Alex dipped his body to change the angle of the kiss, and so that his hand could wander down Michael’s side, until it hit the bare skin of Michael’s thigh through the hole in the jeans. Alex forgot they were in public. Whether or not Michael forgot was unclear.
Their kiss lasted until a breathy voiced behind them spoke.
“Omg,” the woman named Jaime said. “They were roommates.”