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Linger (I)

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        The first time Sonny kissed Paul, they were on a rooftop overlooking the San Francisco skyline and had met less than thirty minutes prior.

        Sonny saw it coming. His anticipation was already taut as a bow string when Paul finally pressed further into his personal space, too close for them to pretend this was anything other than what it was. Paul was going to kiss him. He bit his lip against the rush of excitement, trying not to outright beam at Paul, though his smile still felt too big on his face.

        But Paul kept talking, and Sonny had to pretend he was still listening to whatever Paul was saying rather than what he was actually doing, which was desperately waiting for Paul to just kiss him already. Paul either didn't notice or else he was purposely drawing this out to torture Sonny. He must have been doing it on purpose, because Paul was talking to him in a sultry, hushed tone meant only for Sonny to hear even though they were already alone. If he hadn’t already guessed, then Paul's sexy tone alone would have told Sonny exactly where the rest of the night was going to take him. If he ever got the chance, then Sonny was going to make fun of him later for laying it on so thick.

        Sonny hadn’t expected to meet anyone that night. The party was thrown by a friend of a friend, and he only decided to go at the last minute. He certainly hadn’t expected to meet someone like Paul. When they met, Sonny felt a jolt, and he saw it reflected in Paul’s slightly stunned expression.

        (Later, Paul would tell him that he had an “oh, there you are” moment when they met, as if he had been waiting all along for Sonny to finally appear in his life. He thought their meeting was kismet. Paul, who would prove himself to be surprisingly romantic.)

        Looking at Paul for the first time, Sonny hadn’t been able to think anything at all. He remembered there being other people around them, talking, maybe introducing them, but they had ceased to exist the moment he locked eyes with Paul.

        (Sonny was a romantic, too. He was prone to getting swept up in things, and new experiences were at the top of his priority list. He was open to anything and everything. You only had to look at Paul to know that he was going to be an experience.)

        Downstairs at the party, Sonny had smiled at Paul, his cheeks already heating into a blush, and Paul had smiled back, slow and sure. Later, when Paul beckoned, Sonny had followed him up to the rooftop without thought, pulled by an invisible cord.

        They talked for some time, laughing and talking of nothing in particular. (Later, Sonny would remember the feelings behind them more than the actual words.) It was all foreplay anyway. Paul was pushing at Sonny’s boundaries, standing too close, holding his gaze a beat too long, caring too much about his responses, trying to read him without actually coming out and asking.

        The dance made Sonny smile, because they were doing it all wrong. He was usually so much better at playing it cool, but he couldn’t seem to stop smiling. He was sure Paul thought he was being subtle, but he really wasn’t. Not that it mattered. If Sonny didn’t want this, then he never would have followed Paul to the roof. One look at his eager expression should have told Paul all he needed to know.

        Sonny kissed Paul first.

        It couldn’t be helped. Paul looked so lovely against that beautiful skyline, and he could feel Paul’s desire for him like a tangible force between them, willing him closer. He couldn’t wait anymore.

        (Strangely, Paul would remember it similarly, but in reverse. He would remember being the one to kiss Sonny first. He said that, with the way Sonny was looking at him, he couldn’t help himself. They argued about it many times over the next year.)

        In truth, maybe they met in the middle.

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        It started slow and sweet, with Paul’s lips gentle against his own. Paul cupped his face, his fingers tracing Sonny’s cheekbones, his jaw. Mapping him. When Paul deepened the kiss, Sonny opened to him, his heart singing. He moaned when Paul’s tongue slid against his, his fists clutching the front of Paul’s jacket.

        This was definitely going to be something.

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        Sonny could have stayed on that rooftop, trading soft kisses with Paul, forever.

        But, already, Paul’s mouth had become hungrier against his. Paul couldn’t seem to get Sonny close enough for his liking. He couldn’t kiss him deep enough. His hands were everywhere, pulling Sonny in tighter against his firm body. He wrapped his arms around him, hands fisting the back of Sonny’s shirt.

        Someone could come up at any moment. Sonny didn’t think Paul was worrying about that at the moment. Sonny wasn’t exactly concerned either until Paul suddenly slid his hand under Sonny’s shirt and the contact of skin on skin nearly sent him to his knees. He made an undignified noise and felt Paul smile against his mouth. His hand became more sure, sliding higher up Sonny’s chest.

        It struck Sonny then that if he didn’t do something right that second, then they were actually going to have sex on that rooftop, interlopers be damned. A part of him thrilled to the idea, sure, but, ultimately, what he wanted was a bed and the opportunity to take his sweet time with Paul. He didn’t want to have to worry about people walking in on them.

        He tried to pull back, but Paul followed him, unwilling to part with Sonny’s mouth. It was Sonny’s turn to grin into the kiss, amused as he was by Paul’s determination. He was getting the impression that Paul was used to getting what he wanted. Looking as Paul did, Sonny wasn't surprised.

        He pulled back again and turned his head so that Paul’s mouth fell on his cheek instead. Undeterred, Paul just sucked a trail of kisses down Sonny’s neck. Moaning, Sonny let his head slip back and just enjoyed the sensation for a bit before he said, breathless, “Paul, wait.”

        “Hmn?” He felt the vibration of Paul’s almost-question against his skin, but he didn’t think Paul had even heard what he said.

        He whispered into Paul’s ear, “I want to go home with you.”

        Maybe he should have been embarrassed by his own forwardness. After all, they had only met— what? Twenty minutes ago? All Paul knew about him was his name and a few inconsequential details. Paul certainly didn’t know that this brazen person wasn’t really him. He didn’t usually go home with people he had just met.

        But standing there in Paul’s arms, he felt light-headed and more reckless than he had ever felt in his entire life, even while climbing mountains, as if this were some kind of out-of-body experience and there wouldn’t be any consequences if he just leaped.

        He could already tell that this was something, something special, and he wanted to see it all the way through. And he wanted Paul deep inside of him already.

        So, he asked, “Do you have a place?”

        No, Sonny wasn’t embarrassed. Besides, he already knew what Paul was going to say.

        “Yeah, I’ve got a place.”

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        It took them a long time to reach the end of the hallway because they kept pushing each other up against the wall to kiss and touch.

        “A summer palace? That makes no sense!” Walking backward, he pulled Paul after him so that they walked, tangled together, like some kind of awkward, four-legged spider.

        “Hey, it makes more sense than your aliens.”

        “It doesn’t. It doesn’t explain the perfect, uh, astronomical alignment Manchu Picchu has, or, the, ah— perfectly joined massive stones at the… oh, um, top of a mountain.” It was hard to get the words out with Paul kneading him through his jeans, but Sonny was determined to prove his point. “They didn’t have draft animals, the wheel, or iron tools. How else did they build it?”

        “Aliens then.”

        “Aliens.”

        Paul trapped Sonny against the door to his apartment. He fiddled with the keys under Sonny’s arm even as they kissed. Sonny arched and rubbed himself against Paul’s body, impishly distracting him from getting the door unlocked even though it was to his own detriment as well.

        Paul finally got the keys in, and they were inside.

        As soon as the door closed behind them, Paul had Sonny back against the door. Sonny laughed, giddy, when Paul, without preamble, dropped straight to his knees.

        However, the laughter caught in his throat and he gasped instead when Paul nuzzled his face against Sonny's still-clothed erection, as if he couldn’t wait to get his mouth around him.

        Overcome with need and arousal, Sonny let his head fall back against the door.

        Eyes closed, he said, “You don’t know anything about me.”

        His eyes flew open. He hadn’t meant to say that. He meant only that Paul had no idea if he was a good guy or the kind of person he should be bringing into his home. And it was obviously Paul’s home. There were photos of Paul all over the place with different people. Friends and family. Part of him had expected Paul to take him to a hotel somewhere. He wouldn't have complained.

        He cursed himself immediately for saying it aloud and maybe ruining the mood, but Paul chuckled against his thigh.

        “I know you’ve been to Peru and that you ran all the steps at Manchu Picchu. I know you used to live in Dubai. Which is very sexy by the way. Exotic.”

        Sonny bit his lip as Paul started undoing his jeans. “You listened. I’m impressed.”

        “I did,” he agreed. Paul slipped his hand up Sonny’s shirt. “I also know you’re ticklish right… here.” His fingers danced over Sonny’s side, making him laugh and try to squirm away. He stopped trying to get away when Paul started working his pants down over his hips.

        The hungry look Paul gave him sent hard, insistent shivers up his body. When Paul leaned forward and licked Sonny’s erection through the fabric of his underwear, Sonny’s knees nearly gave out. He grabbed at Paul’s shoulders.

        Paul glanced up at him and said, “Tell me something else about Sonny Kiriakis.” He didn’t quite have a handle on the Greek pronunciation of his last name, but Sonny didn’t mind. Paul could call him anything he liked, so long as he didn't stop.

        Sonny bit down on his smile, enjoying the pleasant tingling that came from Paul’s fingers on his naked thighs. “He really likes your apartment.” Paul had the underwear off now, but was playing coy around his cock, taking his time in getting there.

        “Oh, so Sonny has good taste. Tell me. Does Sonny like this?” Paul slid his fingers up under his balls and then along the underside of his length— slowly. Tortuously.

       “Yeah,” he gasped. He really did.

        He was already half out of his mind, but he managed to say through a moan, “Tell me something about Paul Narita.”

        “That you don’t already know?” His whole hand wrapped around Sonny’s erection— finally— and he jerked him lazily, watching Sonny’s reactions with a dazed expression of his own.

        Sonny gave Paul a quizzical look. “Yes,” he said because, of course, he didn’t know anything about Paul.

        “I’d rather show you.”

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        Sonny squirmed happily in Paul’s lap. He loved Paul’s spacious, high-end apartment in general, but he loved this over-sized chair the most for being big enough for them to do this.

        Paul’s hands— God, Sonny loved Paul’s hands— pushed up Sonny’s thighs, tightening in a firm, possessive grip, holding him in place. Sonny moved slowly over Paul’s cock, giving over to the slow burn.

        He really liked Paul. He really liked sex with Paul. He had definitely made the right call in getting them off that rooftop.

        Breaking their kiss, Sonny rose back up onto his knees, which were planted on either side of Paul's lap. Ignoring the way Paul’s hands clenched on his thighs, he lifted off enough so that all but the tip of Paul’s cock slipped out of him. He hissed out a sharp breath before asking, “What’s your favorite color?”

        Paul was panting. The slow pace was clearly killing him, but Sonny had to admire his restraint so far.

        “Blue.” Paul pulled Sonny back down on his cock, and they both gasped. “God! Um. Favorite food?”

        Sonny didn’t answer immediately. He was too distracted by the sensation of Paul filling him up, setting his nerves on fire. He started moving again, sliding up and down Paul’s cock, admittedly a little faster than before. Paul’s head fell back against the chair’s headrest, his mouth gone slack from pleasure. Sonny traced his bottom lip with his thumb and grinned when Paul sucked his finger into his mouth.

        Sonny watched Paul’s tongue swirl around his thumb, knowing his expression must have glazed over. “Sorry, what was that last one?”

        Paul released his finger from his mouth in order to say, “Favorite food.”

        “Oh. Um. Henderson’s beef wellington.”

        “Who?”

        “Never mind. Do you like dogs?”

        Paul laughed. “I love dogs. But I can’t have one because I’m never home.”

        Something to do with his job, Sonny figured. He was about to ask about that when Paul asked his next question.

        “Do you have a boyfriend?”

        That question made him frown, and he stopped moving. Paul made a bereft noise. “I wouldn’t be here if I did.”

        Paul ran his thumb under Sonny’s chin. “Good.” He gripped Sonny’s hips and arched up into him, trying to get him to move again, to regain their torturous rhythm, but Sonny resisted. “Do you?”

        “No.”

        Sonny searched his face, but he didn’t see any reason there to doubt Paul’s word. Relieved, Sonny kissed him again, briefly entwining their tongues.

        But when he pulled back, he gazed into Paul’s lovely eyes, unsure. It suddenly felt very important that Paul know that this wasn’t something he regularly did. That this mattered.

        “Paul…”

        Paul waited for the question, probably thinking it was another round in their game. But Sonny was finished with that. He searched his mind for a way to phrase what he wanted to say that wouldn’t sound dumb. They’d only just met. He didn’t want Paul to think the guy he'd brought home was already being weird or clingy.

        Paul gently touched his face, making Sonny look at him. He said his name softly. Staring into Paul’s open, earnest gaze, Sonny felt his breath catch at what he saw there. He felt that, somehow, Paul knew exactly what he was thinking. Paul understood him. Reassured, he felt his worry slip away.

        Mirroring Paul, he cupped the other man’s cheek, affectionately sweeping his thumb over Paul’s cheekbone.

        They grinned at each other.

        Sonny gave up on useless declarations. He didn’t know what this was, and he didn’t care so long as he got to stay. Rather than worry, he gave in and kissed Paul instead.

        And then he rode him hard enough to make the poor chair creak in distress and hard enough for Paul to yell his name as if it were something sacred and wonderful.

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        The next morning, Sonny woke before Paul. He stretched lazily and glanced over at his bed-mate. Paul looked well and truly wrecked. His face was buried in the pillow, his hair sticking up in funny tufts.

        He waited for the usual morning-after awkwardness to hit him, but the feeling never came.

        Sonny took a moment to admire the red marks along Paul’s shoulders and back. His handiwork. If he pulled back the blanket, then he knew he would see several more around Paul’s hips and thighs. He grinned to himself.

        Sonny sat up, tugging the blanket up with him so that it still covered his lap. He glanced around Paul’s bedroom, curious. Preoccupied as he’d been last night, he hadn’t even noticed that Paul’s large window had a generous view of the bay off in the distance. He couldn’t quite see the bridge, but he suspected that if he were to leave the warm bed and angle himself right at the window, then he would be able to see it. The large rooms, the gorgeous view, even the expensive-feeling sheets beneath them…

        He realized Paul must either have a great job or else he came from money, as Sonny did.

        Aside from all the family photos, Paul had a lot of sports memorabilia. He seemed to really like baseball. Huh. Well, Sonny could get into that, maybe.

        Wait. Was that… a picture of Paul and President Obama? The hell?

        He was about to get up and take a closer look at the photograph when he felt Paul’s hand stroking his back. “Good morning.”

        Sonny smiled at him over his shoulder. “Morning.”

        “How did you sleep?”

        “Barely at all. Wonder why that was?”

        Paul grinned. “Do you have anywhere you need to be today?”

        Sonny let his gaze roam over Paul’s prone form, feeling a sated kind of possessiveness stir within himself. He pulled the blanket back so that he could see the whole package. Yup, he thought. Still just as good as he remembered. He felt heat building up in his belly again.

        “No. Nowhere.”

        Paul’s hand slid lower down his back. “Good. You should stay.”

        Sonny smiled. “Okay.”

        “Come here.” Paul pulled him down so that they were lying beside each other again. He splayed his hand in the center of Sonny’s chest, absently stroking his chest hair. “You can tell me about what it was like growing up in Dubai.” He yawned, and his eyes slid closed. “You know. Later.”

        Sonny snuggled closer to Paul and closed his own eyes, still smiling. That sounded good. They had a lot of getting to know each other to do, but there was no rush. He wasn’t going anywhere.