Home excerpt #2 (PG)

September 13, 2010

Excerpt

Eli sat up on the bed, rubbed his eyes, and yawned. He held his mop of dark brown hair out of his eyes and glanced at the clock face. Bollocks! He was running behind everyone else, so he quickly scrounged up some sweatpants and a T-shirt, grabbed his cane, and then went into his bathroom to splash some water on his face.

Looking in the mirror, he tried to recall the dream he’d been having. He smiled, realizing it had been about his and Alec’s first time. But even as the edges of the dream began fading and blurring, he clung to the memory of that walk the two of them had taken in the freezing November air and the heat they’d generated in bed that night. Something had happened after, later that night, but it skirted away from him as he tried to catch the memory.

He went back into his bedroom to slip on some shoes and smiled at the sunshine and fresh April breeze pouring through his window. The sounds of activity outside reminded him that the others had been up for some time already. Tony and Lyle were moving out today, and he didn’t want to miss their send-off.

Reaching the front doorway of the house, Eli cringed as he watched Alec and Dray preparing to lift a bureau into the rented truck.

“Ready?”

“Lift with your legs.”

“One, two… lift!”

“This cannot be good for my back,” Dray said as he straightened up and walked backward, bearing his half of the weight. Alec remained on the ground, lifting the bureau above his head.

Convinced he could hear Alec’s muscles screaming, Eli bit his bottom lip, fearing permanent damage to his man. He smiled. My man. Alec’s shirt was wet at the pits and chest, with sprinkles of moisture on the back, and his dark hair hung stringy and dripping on his head. After the bureau’s four feet were firmly on the truck’s bed, Alec hopped aboard and helped Dray carry it deeper in and secure it for the trip to their friends’ new flat.

The two of them were out of sight for only a few moments, but it was long enough for Eli’s suspicions of what Dray might be trying with his boyfriend to nearly flare into action. He stopped himself. He trusted Alec, and they’d obviously been working together for hours without his supervision.

Still, he fidgeted uncomfortably as he waited. I forgot you were going to be here, Mr. Jenkins. Dray had been pursuing Alec relentlessly since meeting him at their annual Last Blast campout the year before.

The two men reappeared, Alec looking no worse for wear, and he hopped deftly to the ground and grabbed a bottled water, while Dray remained above, leaning against the inside of the truck and chatting amiably to him.

Panting from the exertion—or, as Eli suspected, for show—Dray stared down at Alec like a starving man looks at a cheeseburger with the works. Eli glanced at his boyfriend and knew he didn’t see it. Alec looked at Dray, at his casual body language, at his easy, relaxed demeanor, and saw only that. Eli’s eyes narrowed as he watched Dray. He doesn’t feel you watching him from the tall grass, you arrogant tosser.

“You stare any harder at Dray, and he’ll burst into flames,” Ilsa whispered in Eli’s ear, startling him.

“I’m… n-not.” Eli fought hard not to blush, but it didn’t work.

Ilsa eyed him skeptically. “Riiiight. And I’m not an ample, sexy sistah from Louisiana.” Eli smiled against his will. “Finish this for me,” she said, passing him a mug of hot coffee as she dug her keys out of her pocket. “There’s iced tea in the fridge, if anyone wants any. And there’s casserole left over from last night.” She kissed him on the cheek. “See you tonight.” She skipped down the front stairs and went to her car. “I hope they keep the party going until we get there, because I’ll be too tired to start it up again when I arrive.” She dropped behind the wheel and was gone before Eli remembered to wave.

He sipped the coffee and returned his attention to Alec and Alec’s stalker. Dray gripped the top of the truck with both hands, stretching, elongating his perfect torso and giving Alec an eyeful. A fine sheen of sweat coated his dark skin, most notably his shaved head, as he continued to smile down at Alec with that electric smile of his. His jeans were just tight enough to accentuate his package, while not hindering his activities.

He leaned down suddenly and snatched Alec’s water from his hand, then proceeded to gulp it down as Alec watched, apparently enraptured. Eli’s grip tightened on his cane. He swore he could see Dray’s throat working, even from this distance. Dray drained the bottle dry just as Alec glanced toward the house, catching Eli’s eye. They exchanged smiles. Dray followed Alec’s gaze and frowned slightly, tossing the empty bottle over his shoulder and into the back of the truck.

He gripped the red fabric handle of the sliding door and, after giving the contents one last look, leaped to the ground, pulling the door with him. It sounded like a gunshot and reverberated throughout their neighborhood, announcing that someone was leaving.

“I think that’s it,” Tony said. Eli turned to see him in the hallway, struggling with two canvases as he shoved two huge suitcases ahead of him with his knees.

“That’s it, huh?” Eli asked, laughing. “Are you certain?”

“Had a bit of a lie-in this morning, eh?” Tony asked as Eli joined him, draining his mug and setting it on the hall table before grabbing hold of one of the suitcases. “Don’t bother with that. You’ll hurt yourself.”

Eli’s expression darkened briefly, but he leaned on his cane before lifting the case effortlessly. “I’m a lot stronger than I was last year.” Eli turned away from his friend. “I’ve been working out regularly.” He carried the bag to the front door, but paused, momentarily befuddled by the stairs he couldn’t manage.

“I bet you have,” Tony said as he watched Alec running toward them.

“Hey, I got these,” Alec said, relieving Eli and Tony of their burdens and running back down the stairs with the bags toward Tony’s car.

“He seems to have an alarming amount of energy,” Tony said, peering at Alec’s rather fit, retreating form before pulling out his sunglasses.

Eli went a bit pink, but he had no intention of sharing any intimate details with the artist. And it was probably best that Tony not know that he and Alec had fucked in nearly every room in the house since getting together last November—a feat difficult to accomplish with three other housemates who followed hectic, unpredictable schedules.

“Are you listening to me?”

“Huh?” Eli asked as he unconsciously rubbed his hipbone and considered talking to Ilsa about getting carpet for the living room.

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