It happened over the space of only a few days. That was probably why it felt so raw and intense for Patrick. Why his usual self confidence wavered and as he looked at David, the love of his life, he wondered: Am I enough?
Patrick walked into the store carrying a delivery in his arms. It was the middle of summer, he could feel beads of sweat forming on his brow and around the collar of his button-down.
Stepping into the store he was greeted by the cool blast of the air conditioner, and the sight of David talking to Jake.
Jake wore shorts and a tight tank top. Patrick instantly noticed his toned arms and how he was a good deal taller than David.
‘Morning,’ David said with a smile as Patrick walked in the door.
'Hi,' Patrick placed the box on the counter.
'Well I better run. Great seeing you again David,' Jake smiled giving David's arm a squeeze. He barely acknowledged Patrick. He left with a wave.
'What did he want?' Patrick asked, trying not to let the jealousy that bubbled below the surface show.
'Oh he was just arranging delivery for some chairs he's made,' David kissed Patrick hello, 'is that the soap order?' David's interest shifted, Jake soon forgotten. For David at least. Patrick couldn't help but compare himself with David's ex. Taller and more muscular than Patrick could ever be.
Patrick pushed the thoughts away and focused on helping David unpack the delivery. They had several back orders to fill with the soap so they were pleased it had finally arrived. It was a welcome distraction.
'Hi Patrick. Is David here?' Alexis asked as she walked into the store.
'He's out seeing a vendor. Everything ok?' Patrick asked. He noticed that Alexis clutched a magazine in her hand.
'I just wanted to show him something,' Alexis replied.
'Ok?' Patrick raised an eyebrow. Alexis studied him as if trying to decide to include him or not.
She clearly did because she dropped the magazine open to a large double spread in front of him.
'Who's that?' Patrick looked. He saw the photo of a man. He wore a worn cardigan that Patrick guessed cost more than his entire wardrobe, the shirt underneath was unbuttoned halfway down his chest, showing off a good amount of a well toned chest. He looked arrogant, like he knew exactly how attractive he was and how to use that to his advantage.
'Umm… it's Sebastien Raine. David's ex,' Alexis replied, studying his face.
'Oh,' Patrick had heard about Sebastien. Had heard about how he had treated David. How he had used David and thrown him aside when he got what he wanted. Patrick felt his hand clench into a fist.
With his other hand, he flipped the pages and found the interview ran over three pages, and included a number of pictures of Sebastian in various stages of undress.
'He's opening a massive exhibition in New York,' Alexis explained.
'Why do you want to show David this?' Patrick asked.
'I thought he would want to know,' Alexis replied.
'Why?' Patrick asked again.
'I don't know. Curiosity?' Alexis replied.
'Did you want me to give it to him?' Patrick asked, his throat dry.
'No it's ok. I'll show him later,' Alexis said, sounding less confident than she did when she walked in.
'Ok,' Patrick looked back down at the article. He read a few of Sebastien's comment.
Exploration of the modernist ideals of societal norms.
Open spirited critique of capitalist values and those dominated and controlled by the concept of money.
I made a million in the last three months alone.
He sounded, to Patrick anyway, like a total moron.
But when he looked back at the pictures he couldn't help but notice his chiseled jawline, firm and defined chest, perfectly manicured hair.
And for the second time in as many days Patrick felt himself thinking: Am I enough?
Patrick was starting to suspect that David had a type that Patrick just didn't match.
Was the fact that Patrick wasn't an asshole enough for David?
'David should be back soon,' Patrick said shutting the magazine and sliding it across the counter towards Alexis. She studied him again.
'You know he doesn't care about Sebastien any more right?' Alexis spoke softly.
'I know. Thanks Alexis,' Patrick offered her a smile.
'Seriously. None of them mean anything to him compared to you. You're a button,' she tapped her finger to his nose, before walking out the door magazine in hand.
That night, magazine article and cute ex's pushed as far from Patrick's mind as possible they curled up on the couch together, Patrick's arm wrapped around David's shoulder.
The tv played before them but neither were greatly interested in what was playing.
'I dated him,' David spoke, 'for like a week anyway.'
Patrick looked up. On the screen a man wearing only underwear posed. He was all sharp angles and hard edges. Patrick guessed his body fat ratio was as close to zero as possible. It was all chiseled muscle.
'Oh?' Patrick offered in way of a reply.
'Mmm, he dumped me for a photographer. Guess it worked out well,' David turned his attention back to his phone.
Patrick kept looking for as long as the advert played. The man rolled around on a white bed. The camera zoomed up to the underwear, highlighting the man's ass. It was so sexual it made Patrick blush. David didn't give the man a second look.
Half an hour later, Patrick's brain consumed by the third of David's partners in as many days, he kissed David's hair and stood, 'I'm going to bed.'
'Ok,' David replied as he went to stand.
'You don't have to come too,' Patrick commented.
'There's nothing on anyway,' David turned off the tv.
They readied for bed in relative silence and as they climbed under the sheets, Patrick wrapping his arms tightly around David he thought to himself: Am I enough?
Patrick stood before the mirror. His blue shirt on but unbuttoned. Patrick's eyes traced his chest and stomach, his fingers running against the skin with his eyes. Patrick had a small amount of light hair on his pale chest. He was fit, but not obviously so. He knew no matter how much he worked out in he would never have a six pack likes others. He would always be that solid and soft combination.
And previously it had never really bothered him, he'd always felt comfortable with how he'd looked. But now that Patrick had seen three of David's ex's in as many days, a small voice started in his head. A voice that said he wasn't good enough for David, that David would eventually want more.
Patrick mentally positioned himself next to the three other men. He was clearly the shortest by a long way. Patrick wondered if David preferred his partner taller so he had to lean up to kiss them. Patrick himself understood the thrill he got when he had to tilt his head up to kiss David, so he could hardly blame David for wanting the same.
He looked at his features. Unlike the other three men, who had chiseled jaws and cheekbones, Patrick was sweet. Wholesome. He didn't earn the nickname button because he was carved from marble.
His stomach, while relatively flat, was soft. It held no real shape and his general sturdiness precluded a lot of comparison when it came to the thin muscular frames of David's exs.
Running his hands lower, down his hips, Patrick glanced at the front of his jeans.
Patrick had never asked about the sizes of any of David's other partners. He didn't really want to know. Size was one area that Patrick felt confident though. He was of a standard length, comfortably so. He knew however that it was his girth that was impressive. Much like the rest of Patrick, his cock was thick.
However, even here, where Patrick felt confident and comfortable, something else was an issue.
Patrick had only been with one man. And while that was plenty for Patrick, he didn't want or need anyone other than David, he began to wonder if his lack of experience would eventually become an issue for David. David who had experienced so much before he came to that town and found Patrick.
Patrick was sure he had improved in his time with David. Hand jobs were relatively easy to master, it was a fairly transferable skill from his own cock to David's. Everything else however, had been totally new to him. He loved giving blow jobs. The feel of David hard against his tongue, the taste of David as he came. He had improved greatly from the first awkward time he did it. He could go deeper now that before, still not as far as David but still, deep. When Patrick first entered David he thought he’d died. He’d never felt something so perfect, so tight and hot. And the way David moved against him was something else entirely. And when David had entered Patrick for the first time he was sure he had been whisked off to heaven, and that was ok with him.
So normally when Patrick thought about their sex live it actually made him a little weak at the knees. But the three exs in as many days just reminded Patrick of his inexperience. That while he was giving everything he could to David, he wondered if it was enough. Had David had better sex with another partner? Did David wish Patrick would do something more for him, but didn’t want to embarrass Patrick by pointing out his inexperience?
‘You ok?’ David asked. He stood behind Patrick but wrapped his arms around him, fingers tracing across Patrick’s chest and stomach.
‘Yep,’ Patrick lied.
‘Ok. It’s just that you’ve been standing in front of the mirror for like five minutes now. And while I’m very much enjoying watching you, it’s not your normal morning routine,’ David kissed Patrick’s neck.
‘I’m just thinking,’ Patrick replied, his fingers playing with the buttons on his shirt.
‘Mmm?’ David prompted gently, getting distracted with the taste of Patrick’s neck. Patrick watched him in the mirror.
‘Am I enough for you?’ Patrick hadn’t really planned on saying it but he felt the words escape before he could stop himself.
He both saw David freeze and felt it. David slowly looked at Patrick’s reflection in the mirror.
‘W---why would you think that?’ David asked, his voice shaking ever so slightly.
‘I… It’s nothing. I shouldn’t have said anything,’ Patrick looked down at his feet.
‘Why would you think you aren’t enough for me Patrick?’ David moved to be standing in front of Patrick, ‘Patrick look at me.’ He lifted his gaze to meets David.
Patrick huffed out a breath and spoke, ‘I just… I’ve seen three of your exs in as many days and… this is stupid,’ Patrick laughed uncomfortably, ‘but… but I just started thinking that I’m not tall enough, or buff enough, or good looking enough, or what I wear isn't stylish enough, or I'm not good enough at sex for you and I…’ Patrick was silenced as David lunged forward and captured Patrick’s lips in his own.
‘Patrick. I love you but that's the stupidest fucking thing I've ever heard,’ David said when he pulled back.
‘Oh?’ Patrick said, his cheeks flushed.
‘Patrick. I love your body. You are so fucking sexy to me,’ David ran his hands over Patrick’s still exposed chest, ‘your chest, and stomach, those thick thighs. Patrick, everything about you turns me on.’
‘But your ex's all looked like models. I’m… a button at best,’ Patrick said, still not believing what David said.
‘Well yeah. I mean some of my exes were models. But they were also assholes. You are sexy. Do you have any idea how many of our customers have full-blown crushes on you? I'm fairly sure you and your looks are the reason we always sell out of the hand creams.' Patrick just rolled his eyes.
'And while every part of me wants to be offended that your wardrobe consists entirely of blue button-down and mid-range denim, I end up just feeling really turned on by what you wear. The sleeves rolled up to show off your arms. That extra button undone to shows just a bit extra of your neckline. And no man has any right to fill out a pair of boring jeans the way you do.' David ran his hands along the ass of Patrick's jeans.
'Ok David. You've made your point,' Patrick's cheeks were a deep rose colour.
'I'm not done. What was your other complaint? That you're not good enough at sex? I don’t know how to make you believe it, but sex with you is the best sex of my life,’ David played with Patrick’s shirt, ‘not just because you take the time to make me happy and are so attentive that I end up completely satisfied, but because you are also just really fucking good at sex.’ Patrick laughed.
‘I’m serious. If I didn’t know any better,’ David continued, ‘I would think you had been with tons of guys because you know exactly what your doing. You give head like a fucking athlete. I feel like I can't stand after you've fucked me.' The blush of Patrick's cheeks spread down his chest.
'I'm sorry I said anything,' Patrick said, feeling stupid about having brought the topic up.
'I'm not,' David kissed Patrick's neck again, 'I want you to tell me if you're feeling like this. Are you ok now?'
'Yeah David. I'm ok,' Patrick smiled, 'thank you.'
'I love you,' David leaned in against Patrick's lips. Patrick pulled David forward kissing him deeply.
All of Patrick's concerns washed away as David held him in his arms. He knew that David loved him and that he had nothing to worry about. He realised how crazy it was to compare himself to David's ex's, but hearing David's reassurances made him feel a lot better.
'I need to finish getting ready,' Patrick said running his hands along David's arms.
'Sure,' David replied leaning in for another kiss. David wrapping his arms tightly around Patrick and as the kiss deepened, David slowly guided Patrick back towards the bed.
Patrick smiled into the kiss, knowing exactly what David was doing, and while the store needed up be open soon, Patrick let himself be guided until he was pushed back onto their mattress.
David crawled up the mattress kissing every part of Patrick's exposed skin. He never felt sexier than when David paid so close attention to his body like this.
He kissed along Patrick's collarbone, stopping to leave a hickey just below where Patrick's shirt would stop. It made Patrick groan with pleasure as he held David close.
'Did you realise the one area you didn't compare yourself to those ex's?' David's spoke up.
'What? I don't know if I can handle any more comparisons today David,' Patrick groaned. He already felt stupid, he didn't need another reminder of it.
'No I'm serious,' David sat up and moved so his legs bracketed either side of Patrick's hips.
'Ok. What did I forget?' Patrick placed his hands on David's knees.
'Your brain,' David stated calmly like it was the most obvious thing in the world.
'Don't tell me one of them is a brain surgeon or something too,' Patrick rocked his head side to side.
'God no. But that's not what I meant,' he leaned down slightly, 'I mean your brain is more amazing than all of theirs combined.'
'Ok David,' Patrick blushed and looked away.
'No. You're really smart. All the business stuff that you do. I could never do that…' David gripped Patrick's shoulders.
'David, you could--' Patrick started. He leaned up on his elbows.
'See. That's another thing. You also believe me in. Possibly too much. You love me for me. Not my money, or my family name, or the status of it. And the fact you chose me, when I had nothing to offer but myself is the sexiest thing you could so,' David felt tears prick his eyes.
'I'll always pick you David,' Patrick said, low and breathy. And it was true. Patrick knew that as long as David would have him, he would always pick David and their relationship over anything else. David smiled and leaned down to kiss Patrick again, slow and languished. Everyone else forgotten, falling away until it was just the two of them, wrapped in each others arms, exactly where each man belonged.