on a hill

We did camp out, as I’d brought up. I think he did it more for me, thinking I wanted to go out there to enjoy the quietness of outside though it really was for him. We spent two nights out there in the woods, not far from home and he had nightmares both nights. They weren’t at bad though. I don’t know if it’s because I was holding onto him as he slept or because we were outside.

I’ve taken to sharing my bed with him over the last week. He sleeps better but just barely, he doesn’t wake up screaming though he tosses, turns and whimpers. It breaks my heart. So today, since the day is clear and we are out at daylight as our sleeping hours really are mucked right now—I don’t mind that much, I just want him to get better—I took him out. We got on the train, I didn’t tell him our destination and we just wandered off. He rested for part of the trip with his head on my shoulder. He was relaxed and mostly quiet.

I bought him a plain, empty journal for him to write in but I covered it up, weaved up a really beautiful cover in gold and I covered the book with it. I’ll be giving it to him at our destination. I should have given it to him before but it didn’t really seem to be the best of times.

The train is slowing and I can see the signs, this is our stop. I nudge him gently, kiss his cheek and curl my fingers to his to lead him up and outside. I don’t really care what people might say or think of the hand-holding. If they don’t like it, it’s their problem, not mine. I’m just showing him that he’s not alone in the world and that I’m by his side.

He looks around a little blearily, confused I’d assume, by the surroundings. We’re halfway to where the bed and breakfast was. Since I only wanted this as a single-day outing, I figured it was best. If we go back to the bed and breakfast we might have to take the boys with us and I’m not sure it’d be appreciated just yet, though they do well with wandering on harnesses.

I lead him off the platform, through the station where he doesn’t even glance about and outside, past the front door. I squeeze his hand gently and he does squeeze back so I know he’s still with me mentally. It is important, after all. I wouldn’t want him to be millions of miles away from me as I try to ease the terror that surround him at this point.

“Come on, from the maps I read, it should be about twenty minutes or so a walk from here but it’s worth every step from what I’ve seen.” I’ve taken the habit of wandering through websites and looking at photos and finding out more information. I really wasn’t comfortable with technology until he came into my life and I guess he changed me. For the better, it makes keeping track of my money so much easier too. I couldn’t be able to afford any of this if it wasn’t for that money, in the end.

We walk in peaceful silence, I can tell there’s no real tension between us, towards our goal. Or I walk towards our goal and he follows me with a certain lightness to his step. I guess we should go out more often. To do nature stuff that is. None of that locked-inside-in-a-dark-room movie stuff. That doesn’t make sense to me. People should be spending time together outside when weather permits. It’s still early in the day so the stickiness of later hours is not upon yet. It might be when we get back to the train but that is for later.

The walk takes a little longer than I had thought it would but before too long we’re in front of a slight pathway leading up a hill. It’s good exercise, it clears the mind so we start up the steps as I tell him a little about this place and how I’d found out about it. On my left side, as he’s holding onto my right, I pat the small carry-on I have with me. In it one sketchbook, a few pencils and the journal I want to give him, oh, and a bit of food. I don’t want him starving, he hasn’t been eating well. The website I browsed on said there were picnic tables at the top of the hill though it’s almost a tiny little mountain though I guess it’s mostly that there’s a valley below on the other side.

At the top, I hear him catch his breath and I can’t help but smile lightly. The view is beautiful, I really don’t have any words for it. If we look back, we see a quiet little city with just a little bit of hustle and bustle. But ahead of us, it does dip into a valley with a river and trees and just, it’s beautiful.

He squeezes my hand and I lead him to one of the picnic tables. We’re alone here right now and I’m more than thankful, I think it’s better this way. I put the bag on the table and smile at him, pulling out at first our small lunch though it still is at least a couple of hours until lunch, his sketchbook and the small pouch in which he keeps his basic sketching tools and there, the journal I bought and prettied up. I push it towards him and take a breath before letting it out.

“Months ago, you bought me a journal, told me I should write in it, it would help. I didn’t think it would so I didn’t at first. It honestly took me a while before I started using it but it has helped me tremendously. That and your presence at my side, of course. So I got you this book, I made the cover since I know it’s your favourite colour. I thought maybe, if writing down what troubled me, helped me, it might help you just the same. I’m worried about you and I want to do all I can to help you get better.” I hadn’t expected him to cry. I suppose I should have but it hadn’t crossed my mind so I do the only thing that makes sense at that moment. I pull him to me and I hug him for all I’m worth.

His arms curl about me and cling to me as if I were his only salvation and I feel something break inside of me. He’s been acting so strong. I knew he was hurting but I hadn’t thought a simple thing like this would bring him to tears.

I let him cry himself out, I don’t try to make him stop, that wouldn’t really do anyone any good. He needs to cry himself empty and it’s what he does. Almost ten minutes before he quiets down and sniffles, wiping his noise on a tissue. I guess he’s been carrying some of those in his pockets. I should have thought about it. He gives me a tired, red-eyed smile and kisses me cheek before wiping his eyes dry again.

“I’ll try to write it all down. I don’t even understand why it’s giving me nightmares. I suppose it reminds me of Sterling-” he pauses there and I blink at him, my head canted slightly to the side, “I’ll tell you about him later, like I’ll tell you about Beauvais and the rest, you deserve to know.”

He’s honest with me and I appreciate that to no end. I was not honest with him when we started living together but now I do my best to not hide anything from him.

We stay at the little park on the hill until the sun begins to lower itself slightly over the horizon. We talk about nothing and everything. Nothing really meaningful, just discussions about the going ons of the world around us, how things are growing in the garden, how well Areli and Lavi are doing. Just day to day things.

We walk, hand in hand, shoulders nearly touching, back to the train station that will take us back home where we’ll settle on the couch for a while, cuddle. He needs it, I think I need it and it’ll do us both good. I just want to hold him to me. Feel him breathing against me. I think I’ll stick to sleeping with him in his bed for a while more still. Until he tells me it’s enough, if he tells me it’s enough.

Anything to see him smile again.

something witnessed

Murder is a common theme in the world, that much is a sad fact I realized after watching a documentary though I’m aware I should not believe everything I see. Still. In this part of the city, on the edge where everything is usually peace and quiet with very little noise or adventure, we have had to witness a gruesome sight.

It didn’t much get to me, I suppose because of how I was raised, of how many people I saw die out in the cold. Of how often we’d wake up to kids who hasn’t been huddled enough to the pile or whose health had been poor and hadn’t made the night. Of course it’s different, the scenes aren’t the same but I’m jaded to these kind of things.

Yael, with his growing up in the streets, I would have thought that maybe he would have seen a few of those things too but I overestimated the kind of things he’d seen growing up and he’s closed in, he spends most of his time in his room, clinging to a pillow as if it would take away his pain, take away the images he must be seeing. He’s been waking up screaming for the past days, ever since it happened.

He did see more than me, he was up on the second floor, tending to the garden and I heard him scream. He’d never screamed before so I assumed the worst and I guess it was, for him. It’s not much for me, other than a startling sort of sight but for him, I guess it shut something down in the depth of him.

Beyond the window, down at street level, all I saw was the body of a young man, clutching at his throat. He was bleeding out, the puddle was growing and then some. I only had the sense to pull Yael away from that window and down to the living room with me. Sure I could have called the cops, could have called the ambulance but I’m pretty sure someone else had already done it, by the time I got him down to the couch I could hear the sirens, but as it was, sad as it is, I was pretty sure the guy wasn’t going to make it. You don’t survive having your throat sliced open the way his seemed to be, from what I could see at our distance.

That and I was more worried about Yael in the end. He was stiff in my arms, his eyes wide and blank. He was quiet, staring off into the distance as if he was locked on to the scene he’d just seen, a scene I wish I could wipe from his memories. In a way, I think I could do it but that’s digging deeper into what I am than I am comfortable with at this point and without any kind of practice I might just mess up his mind in a really bad way, so I didn’t even let it stay in my mind as more than a very briefly passing thought.

It took nearly half an hour before he finally started to go limp. I never strayed from his side. He rocked slowly side by side, whimpering. His face in his hands. I felt so useless. I still feel useless now as I rock him back to as a relaxed state as I can manage. Another nightmare he woke up screaming from. At this point I might have to see about either trying to get him to open up and talk to me, or I’ll have to find someone for him to talk to and I don’t know that this option is safe at all. He could talk about more than just what he saw and if the doc thinks he’s cuckoo, I’ll lose him more than likely forever.

His head is on my shoulder, I can feel the wetness of his tears and he mumbles softly, a little incoherently. I just hold him closer, I rub his back and I breathe in the scent of his hair. He feels so tense and stressed, it breaks my heart not knowing what to do with him. The air outside is still sticky to a point of discomfort but we might just do that camping thing. It would take his mind away from the streets, I think. The cats have an automatic feeder, a running fountain for their water and there are a couple of large litter-boxes in the house for them to use. I usually clean up two to three times a week depending and even then they’re rarely needing it. So they could be fine on their own for a day or two.

We could just head in towards the wood, have a walk for an hour or so. Settle in a clearing. Just to be surrounded by nature and nothing else. We wouldn’t be too far from civilization but being partly away from it might just help him. I don’t know what else to do. I just want to hold him against me until he stops trembling, until those tears dry away to nothing, until the terror of what he’s seen stops haunting him and I don’t think that holding him would fix that.

I know that when I came back from Siberia, in shock and all the rest, I just wanted to be by myself, to forget the world existed but then I think back to that journal he got for me. It makes sense in my head at this point that maybe I should get him a journal for him to write these fears into. I know he draws, he still hasn’t stopped drawing though he does it a lot less for how exhausted he is during his waking hours, but writing is different, if he can get it out on paper, maybe we can then burn it as a sort of release from the world. I’ll bring it up to him when he’s had more than just an hour or so of restless sleep.

He’s starting to sag a little now, I can hear him sniffle softly and mumble and I know it’s an apology. I just kiss his cheek and tell him there’s nothing to be sorry for. I hug him a little tighter before I shift and move to settle down on his bed. I pull him with me as I go. This is going to be our first night sharing a bed but it’s for his own good and I know it’s not for our personal enjoyment. He just needs comfort and company. I don’t mind doing that for him. It’s like those nights we spent on the couch, nestled and resting, content and asleep. That I’m in his bed doesn’t change the set up, other than there’s more room.

He stiffens a little against me as I tug somewhat to get him to settle down with me but he gives in before too long, settling his head against my shoulder. He sniffles again softly, mumbling another apology and I just brush hair somewhat away from his face, his eyes are still wet and it’s a terrible sight. I wish I could take his pain away.

“It’s okay, you need to rest and I don’t mind being here. I want you to get better and that’s the only important thing. We’ll work on you getting better soon, I promise. For now try to get a bit more sleep, you’re exhausted.”

wood

I don’t think I realized how much wood-area there was at the back of the property when I bought it. I mean, I’m aware that I’m on the edge of the city, that everything requires more than just five minutes to get to—something I don’t mind much, really—but I didn’t really think. I bought the warehouse because I figured it would make for a beautiful sort of place once it was fixed up and I know that by buying the warehouse I essentially had bought the grounds that came with it. In the end it’s mostly that I bought the grounds and the warehouse came with but I never truly realized how big said grounds were.

When we first started up the clean up of the back yard to set something up for the cats to have a play area on the outside, we kept close to the building but it left me wondering. I knew I had bought land but I didn’t know how big it was. So I went off on a hunt to find my ownership papers and all that human-rot that proves I own this place to find out more. The lot number, the information, the width and length and the rest.

Turns out I have a lot more than I thought and it’s now all private land. Call me possessive but I don’t really want anyone wandering through my property so I might have a slight sort of fence set up on the perimeter of the land with signs posted up. I’m aware it might not keep everyone out but it should give me a better chance at discovering my own land first instead of finding it littered with debris and food wrappers and the rest. Though we’re far enough from the rest in that direction that I’d like to think it still is, in the end, ‘virgin’ land. It hasn’t had many visitors, if any.

Looking at the maps I brought back home from downtown with the boundaries marked out, I realized that we actually have a bit of a river going through a bit of a walk away. The rest is mostly all forest and wooded area from what I can tell but I think it’ll be worth a good bit of exploring. We can take makers as we go and whatever equipment we might need—Yael will know this better than me—and set the makers at the lines so that whoever we hire to set up the fence knows where to set it up.

I’m aware we won’t be able to do this marking thing in a single day, the whole area is really huge and from what the maps tell me, there’s a lake at the end and it’s in there that the boundaries end. They round up in the water and come back to land a distance off. Means that folks could get on the water and onto the property that way but I don’t really see that happening. I don’t even know if that lake can be swam in. Though this is an old map, for all I really know that lake could be dried up or something, they haven’t done any updating lately. We’ll see.

I want to take Yael along when I check out the woods just beyond the edge of where we cleared things up to set up the playpen for Areli and Lavi. Though it’d be better to take him there to explore in autumn, I bet the colours are going to be so beautiful he’ll have sketch ideas for weeks to come, if he can stop sketching me for a bit.

The thought of that makes me blush a little and I feel a warmth spreading through me. He seems me as this beautiful, almost ethereal soul and I don’t know that I am but I can’t argue with him and what his eyes see as beauty. There are so many sketches of me in his books that it made me a little self conscious for a few days. Now though, I just try to not think about it and I tell myself that if he wants to sketch me, he can. It does me no harm, really.

I’ve been thinking about buying a camera. I tell myself we should take at least a photo every now and again, to keep memories of the time we spent together. Photos we can look back on in a few decades and appreciate for the innocence we had then. I know we won’t look much different in those few decades ahead than we do now, else than we might change our style, the way we wear our hair or our clothes but otherwise, I’m about as old as I’ll ever look physically, for the first few centuries I assume, in any case. I don’t know how long I’ll live.

It’s not something I spend much time thinking about at this point. I have him with me and he makes every time we wake up just wonderful. It feels surreal to wake up and pad out into the living room or kitchen or wherever it is he is at that point and to just hug him, feel him melt a little against me. We’re affectionate, I’m learning from him. We kiss, a lot honestly and it’s marvellous. We haven’t really done anything else and I’m even better with that. It’s a good learning pace.

What I really like is those times when we’re just relaxing, doing nothing at all and we end up nestled closely. Feeling him against me, his steady breathing, I can feel his inner peace, though maybe it’s more of a sense than a feel but really, it all amounts to the same thing in the end. I feel like I’m helping him to relax and he’s doing the same with me. I’m so much more at peace with myself since we started spending even more time together—really spending time together, not just being together in the same room—that it feels wonderful.

I haven’t really changed that much. I’m still not all that comfortable around humans and other kind of mortal things but I’m getting much better about it. I’m not twitching at the idea of spending time around them and I open up a little easier. Not to say I tell them anything about myself but I’m not as tight-lipped and it’s easier to discuss of those things I need when I need them.

Yael is a beautiful influence on me and I didn’t think things would have taken this turn when I asked him to move in with me almost a year ago. I cherish this life with all I have and live it one day after the other. I think this is how everything should be, really.

floating

As per Yael’s request, we hired someone who had a team with some knowledge of botany to help us clear out the ‘bad’ out of the yard so we could then hire someone else to set up a bit of a fence. We have in mind to get in touch with someone who builds up cat play pens so the boys can have somewhere they can discover the outside in safety. All of it Yael’s idea of course but he’s the one with the mind for design and art and all, it makes me think of him as a muse more than a demon. Still, even if he is a muse and not a demon, we are still different from humans in that, well, we’re not humans. Plus, I have come to terms that I do want him in my life for who he is and not what he is.

August is the hottest month, here in Dunkerque. It’s sticky humid. I had forgotten how bad it gets. Not that it’s that bad but it is uncomfortable and I’m now more than glad we have the pool to keep ourselves comfortable with. It’s almost a daily thing now, mostly since we bought that floating thing. It’s like a mattress but it has slightly raised sides and we both fit on there more than comfortably. That and the cats have yet to let their claws out anywhere near it, as if they understand that it’s a big no no.

We settle on the water usually just a little bit before sunrise. The way the building is set up and where the pool is, with one wall with sight to outside, we actually can’t really see the sun as it rises or sets, but we still have a gorgeous view of outside and we can see the sky start to clear up while we’re settled there, just floating and enjoying peace and quiet.

Yael is so affectionate. I had misunderstood what a relationship really was about. Not that it’s a bad way, this is honestly much better. I thought it would be all about doing these sex things to one another, mostly. I guess it’s one of these things that adult books don’t really tell you much about. It’s easier to learn with him. I feel like I’m on a cloud, it’s so perfect. Of course now I wake every day with that issue but after he showed me how he took care of his own trouble, I learned a bit better and I can’t say I’m going to complain to waking up like that. It’s a good, pleasurable start to a day.

Right now, he’s just settled against me, his head nestled on my shoulder (his toes in the water! He’s taller than me somewhat), his legs nestled with mine and he’s just breathing warmly against me. I can understand why he reacted the way he had when I was settled in a similar way last time. We’re on the floater, just relaxing, enjoying the quietness of almost morning. There’s a fine mist of rain outside but I doubt it’ll be enough to cool down the upcoming day.

To keep things from moving too fast though, we’re both wearing our swimsuits. We discussed things through and while we’re both comfortable with the idea of being bare around one another isn’t an issue, we thought that if things started to, you know, rise, it would be a little more private in its own way. Less temptation with being covered too so this is all for the better.

I honestly think he’s dozed off, his breathing is steady and I can feel his heart. I can’t complain. It makes me wonder about how much he was holding back before. Now he’s always at my side if I’m not doing something I need space for. He’s not invading, just there. There are little touches, brush of fingers, brush of lips, that warm, wanting look in his eyes. It makes me so warm inside. I really didn’t know what I was getting into but I like it. I really, really like it. I don’t want to share him with others.

Yesterday, he showed me some of the sketches he’d been doing. I noticed a lot of sketchbooks in that little trunk he keeps under his bed (and I have no idea what the other one is) but he picked out the oldest one. Told me we could start with this one and as things moved along, we could see about the rest. I don’t have much of an issue with that. He really has a talent to capture the emotions in things, to capture the flowing lines. Those sketches are beautiful and I’m not saying that because they were of me. It’s in his art style.

I admit I blushed a lot when he showed me the later pages of the book, some of these sketches were far from innocent. I didn’t ask to know how long he’d been drawing these. I almost feel bad for not having realized how long it’s been since he’s been feeling this way about me. I know I’m dense about these things and my discomfort about the idea of something like a human’s relationship was really present. I’ve realized that it’s not just humans who have this kind of relationship in the end so there isn’t really anything to be fretful of worried about. This is all so natural.

He shifts a little against me, nestling a little closer and I can’t help but breathe a sweet, pleased smile. He feels so right against me, like we were meant to be settled this way. While I’m shorter and I know, in a way, it would make more sense that I’d be the one nestling up to him as I’d fit ‘better’ against him, this feels natural. I can’t help but just appreciate it.

We don’t share a bed, I don’t know that I’m ready for that just yet and our mattresses aren’t the same, his is softer than mine, mine is a lot firmer, we’d have to see if either one of us can sleep in the other’s bed of if we somehow wouldn’t have to get a middle-ground mattress. When we really feel like we have to stay the night together, we end up falling asleep on the couch. It’s wide and comfortable. We wake up with slight kinks in our backs but they get worked out fast enough with a hot shower.

But this kind of sleeping together, just nestled close, floating on the water in the middle of our little oasis is fine and perfect. I just want to hold him this way to the end of the world. I’m not even sure where this need to possess him utterly comes from but it’s all there and I can’t imagine letting anyone else ever have a chance of getting close to him this way. He’s mine, absolutely mine and I won’t share. I refuse to share.

many pages

I think this is my third sketchbook of Quentin-art. I guess I don’t really realize, when I really get started, just how much he inspires me, how many sketches of him I do. Most of them are quick sketches but it still is pretty easy to tell it’s him, they’re not just shapes but they’re not cleaned up, not shaded, not coloured in. I also don’t just sketch once on a single page and move onto the next, I the whole page, nearly to the edges and back.

I don’t know what I’d feel, deep down in my gut, if he were to find out these sketchbooks. I mean, I’m pretty sure he understands I do care to him to a certain point but it’s that very point I know he doesn’t grasp just yet and I don’t want to be the one to spill everything. I want him to be able to work out the details of how he feels, then I can just open my arms wide and tell him I feel the same. It seems the safer pathway.

At this point, I have two chests under my bed and both are locked. Though one is locked with a key and the other a number code. Ironically enough, it’s the art-chest that is under the key. I wouldn’t be too worried if somehow he was curious enough to try and work out the number combination to find out what was in the toy-chest, the adult chest, but my art chest seems more important, more precious and it needs to be kept under closer watch until things work out for us, should they work out for us but it is looking good. One day following the other. A little more with each sunset and sunrise.

I’ve started working on that painting a bit more. I defined the sketch more and I set out a few colours to get myself started on this project that I know will take me a while. If it turns out to be like most of my other bigger projects where I throw my all into it and I’m never satisfied, it might never be finished but I’ll try to go easier on myself. I doubt I’ll manage but it’s the thought that matters, I know.

He’s laughing, out there in the living room and it’s tempting to go and see what he’s doing but that would keep me from working on this piece, might be for the best. I did tell myself I wouldn’t work on this painting while he was in the house or awake, just in case. Alright, I guess that settles that. The canvas goes back carefully against the wall with its cover where I know it is absolutely safe and my feet lead me back out of my little studio and into the living room where he’s sitting on the couch and watching—are those cartoons?

I never thought he’d be the kind to like watching cartoons like these, the funny kind. Like the Roadrunner and Bugs Bunny. I guess I learn a little more about him every day. It’s nice to know he can laugh more freely now. Every day is a little bit better with our lives. I’m still the one that goes through the mail though we haven’t received anything suspicious in a couple of months now. It makes me think they might have given up on their crazy idea of taking-over-the-world.

I mean honestly, what kind of bullshit is that? Folks trying to take over the world resulted in wars, in deaths and fights and decay and abandonment. The world should remain a free place as it mostly is now—in a very general sense, mind you—and that’s my thought on it.

I lean down over the back of the couch and kiss his cheek. He startles and blushes brightly, shooting me a look that means somehow I’m in trouble, playful trouble by the quirk of his lips but trouble. I blink innocently at him, or as innocently as I might ever be able to and I laugh as I straighten. “You looked like you needed a distraction!”

That one is a lie but still. He looks at me a moment more, quirks a brow and grins at me. I’m not sure what I’ve just gotten myself into but I feel some heat rise into my face. “If I needed a distraction, you could at least have kissed me properly, or you know, sneaked in a grope.”

“Wait, what?” That’s it, this has to be one of my numerous fantasies. I must have fallen asleep or in a doze while working or sketching again. I have one sketchbook with pages filled with nothing but absolutely naughty images, it’s that one sketchbook I’m most afraid of him finding it. What would he think of me, really?

I’m staring at him now, cheeks flaming and he’s still grinning, snickering lightly. “Remember a couple of weeks back, you went off to that one store where, when you come back, you never show me what you bought?”

Yeah, I’m aware of what that store is, it’s the store I get the toys and the lube from. “I was curious, really. After you went to sleep two days ago, I went out and had a walk. You find me more than a little confused when I walk in there but the woman behind the counter was really helpful and I got a few books after I managed to sputter out what kind of knowledge I was after. What I wanted to learn more about.”

Okay, now I’m even more sure I don’t really want to know where this is going but it’s going there and there’s no stopping the conversation. He’s been to the store and he’s bought a few books, he says. They don’t sell just any books after all. Everything is adult themed in there and I really don’t know what to think so I sort of just flop down on the couch next to him. I don’t think my legs could hold me up for much longer with this conversation as it is.

“They’re interesting books. One of them is called the Kama Sutra.” Well hell. “Not that I’ve started in on that one, just looked at some of the art in there. One of the other book is a story book, sort of. Has short stories and all, that’s the one I’ve been reading and there is so much to this whole sex thing I hadn’t realized about.”

Well, at least he’s thinking it in terms of ‘sex thing’ and not ‘relationship thing’. That makes me feel a tiny bit better, really. “What brought on the grope thing, though?”

“Oh!” and he’s back to blushing ever brightly himself but there he leans in and oh, the feel of his lips against mine, I think I could melt. It’s not as awkward as it could have been, it’s a close-mouthed kiss but I feel something flutter warmly in me and I sigh against him, closing my eyes and I feel his lips quirk into a smile. He’s pleased to himself. He doesn’t pull back yet, as if he’s testing things out, getting a feel for kissing me, I guess. When he does, his eyes are bright and it’s easy to see that he really is pleased with himself.

“It’s just something I read in one of the stories, sorry. Though I’m not really sorry. I mean, I’m not about to rush. I know you really like me and I think I feel the same. I feel really warm when we’re together and like I wouldn’t want to let anyone in the world really have you around if I can’t be with you. I’m not sure how to explain it.” He pauses and breathes in before he shifts and there, he moves to settle himself against me, shoulder to shoulder though it’s more shoulder to arm and his head against my shoulder, I can feel him breathing against my neck and I’m sure a shower might not hurt me in the near by future. “I don’t really want to rush into doing those physical things I’ve read about in the books but I think it might not hurt to admit aloud that things might move forward on their own now that I’ve admitted to things, right?”

I must have died, this has to be it. Though his warm breath against my neck is straining my control. I wouldn’t jump him but my libido still has a pretty good control over me and I don’t know how long I can keep my hormones from taking over and letting him know how much I like him right where he’s at. I think that would be rushing though. “That sounds about right, though now I’ll be absolutely honest with you, Quentin. The way you’re settled and just… my neck is really sensitive and you’re sort of turning me on. I don’t want you to think I’m rushing but I might just need to have myself a bit of private time before too long.”

“Oh. Uh…” and he’s now looking up to me, his lashes halfway down over those gorgeous eyes that are almost like molten gold. “Well, you could show me how you do it.”

Oh hell. I guess this is a big step forward in our relationship and I swallow against the sudden desire that is trying to overwhelm me. One thing after the other. I breathe in deep and straighten lightly, nudging him to do the same. I turn my gaze on his and now I feel those strings tighten to the point of no return around my heart. His gaze is so open, so trusting. “First things first. Before we jump head in into any of this. I really, really like you. I’m pretty sure I love you. I’m not expecting you to feel ready to say those words yet, I don’t mind. But we’re going to do things right. Do you want to me mine?”

I don’t want to use labels. ‘Boyfriends’ is just one of these terms and ‘lover’ isn’t fitting yet. ‘Being mine’ is broad, it can be emotional as much as it can be physical and he’ll still be the one to set the boundaries and the speed at which we travel towards them.

He blinks at me, his head canting but he smiles, oh he smiles and I do feel myself melting utterly. “I think I could like the idea of being yours, Yael. If that means I don’t have to share you with anyone else this way, then yes.”

Relief, I’ve never felt relief flood me in this way but it’s there and I lean closer to him, I press my lips to him. I’ve never actually kissed anyone before him and I know we’ll learn together but the feel of his lips is just perfect and how he breathes that sweet little sigh, I know we’re on a good path for now.

I’ll be sketching so much more from now on that I know I really can. I might even show him some of those countless pages I have of nothing but him. The tame stuff first. Of course.