Mew sat watching TV in his living room, Chopper's head resting against his thigh. His day had been long, filled with interviews and events and a practice session with the crew, and he was exhausted to the bone. Still, something gnawed at him at the back of his mind. Something had been off today and he couldn't put his finger on what. He wasn't sure if it was him or Gulf or someone else. Maybe he was just losing it after endless hours of work, work, work.
He checked his watch. Two past midnight. He should go to sleep.
Chopper started growling. The little dog was a fierce protector, and sometimes Mew thought he had a bigger dog's soul in his tiny body.
The doorbell rang.
It was crazy late for a visitor on a Wednesday evening.
The camera showed a hooded figure, but he recognized Gulf without seeing his face. The way he stood. The way he held his arms close to his body. He managed to make himself so small even though he was taller than Mew's respectable 182 centimeters.
He let Gulf in, wondering what was wrong. They were close, but they didn't visit each other that often and never at this hour. "Hi," he said softly to make it clear he was there to listen. He'd let Gulf in anytime.
Gulf didn't say anything nor did he take off his hood. He kicked off his shoes, though, then pushed his hands deeper into the pockets of his sweatpants and wandered in.
Chopper was barking at him like crazy and usually Gulf was amused by the energy and rage Chopper showed him, but now, he just walked into the living room and even further, his long legs carrying him out of sight.
Mew followed, curious. This wasn't like Gulf at all.
He found Gulf in the kitchen, leaning against the counter, his dark eyes focusing on everything but Mew.
"What is it?"
"Do you ever wonder…?"
Mew's heart skipped a beat. Don't say things like that.
"Do you ever wonder how it would've been if it hadn't been me? If it had been someone else? Someone more… open." Gulf looked up, but his hair was in the way and Mew couldn't see his eyes. What was he trying to say?
"Never. I don't care," Mew said, still trying to figure out what was going on.
"What if I was gentler?"
Mew pulled in a deep breath. It felt so hard to breathe. This was what had been wrong today. "You're gentle enough. I don't care." Again with those words. He'd said them so many times to Gulf already. You are enough.
"I can't stop thinking about…" Gulf's knuckles were white, his fingers curled around the counter top. "I can't stop thinking."
Where was this desperation coming from? Mew brushed a hand through his hair. He was too tired to think, but he didn't want to let Gulf down. He didn't want to be a bad friend. "What is it, Yai Nong?"
"I don't know," Gulf said, but it was a lie. You are such a bad liar for an actor.
Mew took a step closer, but that seemed to be the wrong move. Gulf stared at him with wild eyes, the kind he had never seen. Well, he had, but never on Gulf's face, and he never wanted to see them again. Mew raised his hands very slowly in surrender. "I'm not doing anything," he said very softly. "I'll never hurt you."
Gulf let out a painful sound and jumped at Mew, pulled him into a tight hug like his life depended on it, like the balance of the entire universe depended on it. "I didn't think you would, idiot," he whispered. "Get that into your thick head."
Mew relaxed a tiny bit, the whispered words a comfort he didn't know he needed. Gulf always seemed to know what to say to him when he finally decided to open his tight-lipped mouth. "Okay. But tell me what's wrong. You're freaking me out."
"I can't," Gulf said against Mew's neck. "I can't."
He could've pushed. When he was younger he might have, but Gulf seemed so fragile and the world was so dark and he didn't want to. "Then stay. Let's watch a movie."
Gulf became soft in his arms, a relaxed little wound Mew couldn't quite understand, but it didn't matter. "Yeah, okay."
Mew pulled back a little, still holding onto Gulf but letting him breathe too. "So, I've been wanting to watch the Blue Hour. I've heard so many good things about it and I worship the ground under Gun Atthaphan's feet."
The quiet laughter felt so good against his chest.
In the living room, Gulf lay down on the couch on his side and watched as Mew selected the movie from a service and dimmed the lights.
Mew lifted Gulf up just enough to lay his head on his lap and pulled a blanket over his slender figure. Gulf still had the hood on, but Mew pushed it back and caressed his hair in a way that would have made any cat purr. Gulf wasn't an exception and soon, all tension left his body.
"Happy?" Mew asked and Gulf nodded. "Staying?" Gulf nodded again. His quietly charming boy.
It became a habit. Every other day, Gulf appeared on his doorstep at midnight like a fairytale princess, and Mew wondered if he'd turn into a pumpkin at some point.
Nothing made sense.
Gulf didn't want to talk. He didn't want to share anything that was behind his dark eyes. No secrets spilled. He just appeared and then disappeared before morning.
The lack of sleep was starting to show. Mew became irritated and Gulf fell asleep everywhere, more than usual.
"This is ridiculous," Mew said on one such night when Gulf was sitting in his golden armchair, staring at Chopper like he wanted to chew his head off. For once, Chopper wasn't barking but staring back, tilting his head from side to side like he was mesmerized too.
"I think he's starting to like me," Gulf said as though he hadn't heard Mew. He sounded offended. "I don't get dogs."
Mew picked Chopper up and held him against his chest. Nobody talked about his baby that way.
Gulf looked up, a wide smile spreading on his face. "But I get you."
What? Mew stepped back. He didn't know how to respond. Stop being so dramatic!
Gulf got up and came to stand in front of Mew, so close Mew could smell him. Gulf leaned in and kissed his cheek and Chopper let him do it, the traitor. "Good night," Gulf whispered against Mew's skin. He'd been that close so many times. It was familiar. His body was used to it, but his mind was reeling. Was Gulf flirting with him? Was this an act? Was he being led on again?
What the hell was going on?
"See you tomorrow." Gulf took a small sidestep and was about to leave, but Mew grabbed his arm with his free hand.
"What do you want?" Don't toy with my heart.
Gulf didn't look panicked like Mew had expected him to. Instead, he held Mew's gaze. It was an intense stare. Searching. Yearning. "Many things," Gulf finally said. "Many, many things. None of them seem to be on the table for taking, though."
Mew didn't want to let go of Gulf, but he put Chopper down, careful with his tiny legs. When he turned towards Gulf there was nothing he could recognize on that expressive face. He'd seen Gulf playful, sexy, wanting, needy, sleepy, hungry, confused, questioning, carefree, happy, but he'd never seen this. It was deep, dark and demanding attention. No, asking for it. It was a careful expression. Open, too, and Mew didn't know what to do with it.
"I think I'm falling for you," Gulf said very quietly. "I think I have."
Mew could only stare.
"I don't know when." Gulf looked at Mew's hand, the one still holding his arm tightly. "Sometime after New Year. You feel so different." The last part was just a long breathless sound, like it was painful to say the words.
Gulf was saying so much. He never spoke his mind. And now, now he was giving Mew more than most people had given him in a lifetime. Where did he get the courage?
"You're constantly in my head. I don't want to be anywhere without you. It's like you've become an integral part of me. How did that happen? And why can't I shut up?" Now he looked spooked. "Sorry, I didn't mean to… I don't want to assume anything. I don't expect… I've just needed to see you. Sorry. I'll go now." Gulf tried to pull his arm free, but Mew wouldn't let him.
"You like-like me?" Mew asked. He hadn't seen this in his future. This moment was off script. He didn't have any lines ready.
Gulf gave him a tiny nod.
"And you're sure? It's not curiosity?" I can't be your test drive to the land of bisexuality.
Gulf smiled. "I think I got my curiosity satisfied a long time ago."
Well then… Mew's head was empty of all thoughts. Great. Mew.exe stopped working.
Mew hesitated for a short moment, then leaned in, his forehead against Gulf's. "I don't have time for any of this. I'm trying to be a successful actor and a PhD student. I'm trying to follow my path and be a good person. I'm trying so hard." He swallowed, feeling the anxious thoughts pouring out of Gulf. "And I suck at love. You know that. I'm constantly giving it to the wrong people. But you're not one of them. The wrong ones. You're a good, good man. And I don't want to hurt you. I don't want to disappoint you. I'm not what people see. I'm not perfect. I can't be what you want. You'll be disappointed." Now he couldn't shut up. Fuck.
"But you like me?" Gulf asked with so much hope Mew wanted to pull him into a tight hug and never let him go. Gulf's life hadn't been easy. He wasn't just a young man figuring his way out in the world. He was also a bit of an old, grumpy soul and that… made him really endearing to Mew.
He nodded against Gulf's head. He liked Gulf. A lot.
"Then it would be worth it." He sounded so hopeful, so young.
Where the fuck did that courage come from? Mew wasn't some jaded asshole who chased young twinks and just wanted to fuck them and leave them. He never acted like that. He would love the person he was with. Then why was it so difficult to allow himself to have anything? Gulf was such a sweetheart. Such an annoyingly wonderful selfish boy. Mew wanted to lift him up, give him the moon and the stars and the house he was living in. Anything. "I'm so afraid," he whispered.
"I messed up before." Why wouldn't he mess up now?
Gulf's hand caressed the back of his head. "With the wrong person. I really like you. I really, really like you. I've never really felt this way. It's so all consuming. You're everywhere. When I'm with you, you own me."
Mew gasped, unable to hold it in. "The things you say."
"You like it." Gulf knew how to touch him now, how to be seductive with just a few tiny movements, like that hip pressing against his own or that thumb brushing against his ear. It felt so good because it was real. "And you like me."
"Then kiss me."
"No," he whispered as softly as he could.
Gulf tilted his head, lips almost touching Mew's. "Kiss me."
He could. He probably even should. Some things were just good and meant to be. Some things were pure. Mew touched the side of Gulf's lips with his own. Feather light. "I'll fall in love," he said against Gulf's skin. "I won't be able to separate work from real life. I won't want to."
Gulf moved closer still. "I'd let you. Mew… I'd let you."
"No more Phi, huh?" Mew smiled, his head spinning because Gulf wanted to be this close to him. He wanted to be kissed. That was… that was such a sweet idea. He'd never kissed Gulf properly, not as Suppasit Jooncheveevat, not as himself.
"I'll call you whatever you want me to call you, boo."
"Are you trying to seduce me?"
"Is it working?" Mew could hear the smile in Gulf's voice.
Mew grabbed the back of Gulf's head, changing everything between them. "Yes." He kissed the side of Gulf's eye, then the closed lid, and he could feel the gasp. They'd always had to hold back the sounds while filming, even afterwards when they were bringing each other down. But now, Gulf just let out a moan when Mew bit his neck. He wanted to capture that sound. Everything else was familiar so far but that tiny sound. No one else was listening. It was all for him.
"I'm…" Gulf didn't finish the sentence because Mew took his earlobe between his teeth and licked it. Gulf held him tighter, his fingers digging into Mew's shoulders and back, searching.
Mew lifted him up and without hesitation Gulf wrapped his legs around Mew's waist. Yeah, this would drive him crazy. He sat Gulf on the dining table but showed with his hands that Gulf should keep his legs around him. Don't let me go. Show me what you want. Then he attacked Gulf's upper lip because it was his favorite. The whole fucking world knew about it. He could use his tongue and that changed everything. Gulf groaned into his mouth, their hard cocks pressing against each other. He'd felt that before too, but he'd never had the right to acknowledge it, not like this.
He grabbed Gulf's ass and pulled him even closer. Feel it, feel me, feel how much I want you. His other hand mingled with Gulf's hair, holding him close, forcing him closer.
Mew wanted to untangle every knot in Gulf's mind and just make him feel wanted. He wasn't the sex god everyone thought he was, but when he loved someone, all that mattered to him was their well-being and happiness. He wanted to make Gulf lose his mind.
The kiss was so deep Mew didn't know how to breathe anymore. He wanted to bury himself in those soft moans. He wanted to have all of Gulf around him. He wanted to get deeper into this feeling of belonging.
When he pulled back a little, Gulf looked at him with such longing Mew didn't know how to respond. Gulf's mouth was swollen from kissing, his eyes so dark no irises could be seen, and he breathed shallow breaths of pure want. Mew had never seen him like that. "God, I want you," Mew said and kissed him lightly.
Gulf's hands on his shoulders pulled at him, impatient and needy, his legs iron-tight around his waist. He shouldn't waste time, but he couldn't help watching Gulf like this. Debauched. Alluring. All for him.
Mew bit Gulf's chin, then his neck, kissing and licking the spots that he hurt. Gulf's hold on him became uncomfortably strong, but it only made everything more focused and clear in Mew's mind. This was what they wanted. He wasn't the only one yearning for something he could never have. Gulf was offering everything. Even though he was so young and hadn't even graduated from university yet. This was it. This person. This moment.
"Can I take you upstairs?" Mew whispered in Gulf's ear, and Gulf nodded, burying his face in Mew's neck. "Yes," Gulf said after a moment and Mew wasn't expecting words. Gulf was never direct with what he wanted or needed. Things were changing.
"I don't want to do anything you're not ready for. Please tell me what you want?" Now that he could still think and wouldn't just take.
Gulf breathed against Mew's skin, then said with his softest voice. "Anything. Everything."
God, the boy would kill him someday with his willingness.
Mew pulled Gulf tightly against him and lifted him up again. Gulf had never been light, but it had always been easy to carry him. Maybe because Gulf liked it. He liked to be taken care of. In time, Gulf would learn to take care of others, too. He'd already learned so much. His selfishness was not the destructive kind.
He carried Gulf up the stairs, their kisses getting frantic again. It was like they couldn't get enough of each other now that they finally had the chance to touch without restraints.
In the bedroom, Mew sat on the bed, Gulf straddling his lap, constantly moving, constantly begging with his body. Mew let his hands roam freely over Gulf's back and sides and that wonderful, wonderful ass, lifting him up and helping him down, being a part of that sensual slide of their bodies.
"If you keep doing that I'm... gonna... come." Gulf moaned in Mew's ear. "I'm not... used to this…"
"So come. I want to see you." Mew kissed Gulf's shoulder. "Show me, please."
Gulf shook in his arms, the idea overwhelming to him, but he changed the way he was moving against Mew and became more intent, like he was suddenly sure this would not cross any boundaries and he could be whatever he was with Mew.
Mew held him through it, watched him, helped him, and almost came with him because it was the hottest thing he had ever seen: Gulf coming undone, totally free of inhibitions, just letting go.
When it was over, Gulf was breathing hard, his head buried in Mew's neck again. He was exhausted, a little scared perhaps, but still close, not pulling away. Mew stroked his back with gentle, soft touches to bring him down, to soothe him.
"So, how was I?" All curiosity and no fear. Mew felt relieved.
He kissed the side of Gulf's head. "Beautiful. I'm so happy you let me see you."
Gulf smiled, the feel of that smile wonderful against Mew's skin. Like bottled happiness. He would remember that feeling forever. "Let me show you everything then," Gulf said.
That boldness. It would keep surprising him. Always.