They had decided on a movie at the movie theater. Dorian had his usual t-shirt and jeans on along with his trainers. His long dark hair was pulled back into a low and loose ponytail. With his hands in his pockets, he waited outside the theater. He rocked from his heels to the balls of his feet with anxiousness and anticipation.
Ehren had a plan. First, a movie with Dorian and then a nice picnic on the beach which he learned how to make some food for. When he finally made it to the movie theater he smiled, glad that Dorian was actually there. “Hey sorry, I got caught up.” And he went in for a hug before going to the box office and purchasing two tickets. It didn’t much matter what was playing, as long as he got to get close to Dorian.
“Shall we?” He asked, grabbing Dorians hand with a smile. He was glad this was finally happening, they had to cancel their plans for the weekend before because Dorian had to deal with some family stuff and he’d been anxious to take the other man out.
“Hey,” he replied and took in the hug - hugging Ehren back gently. “It’s okay.” Dorian had never been on a date, so his nerves were at the forefront.
Nodding, he slowly curled his fingers around the other man’s hand. Things were looking better with the Finns - Caspian was home. So he thought it was the right time to leave the house and have some fun. Dorian still had the texting conversation he had with Ehren a few nights ago in the back of his mind. Sometimes his paranoia of being used as the sole purpose overrode wanting to live a free and carefree life.
Leading Dorian inside he took him first to the concession stand to pick up something to eat during the movie. “Don’t eat too much.” He began, squeezing Dorians hand. “I made us dinner.” Which was different for Ehren considering he wasn’t a chef at all. When they got to the concessions he ordered popcorn and a small tea to get him by until the picnic that he had planned for him.
Something about Dorian told him this was uncharted territory so he would do his best to make him comfortable and the best date he could possibly give him. Roman had made him feel small when they had run into each other at the grocery store and he needed to prove him wrong. He actually liked Dorian for who he was, and he needed to know that in anyway he could.
“Okay,” he smiled and nodded. Then he blinked. Dorian ordered a small Dr. Pepper and a bag of gummy bears. Any time to get candy was a treat and he hadn’t had gummy candy in a long while.
Dorian was a strong and silent individual, but sometimes fell back into insecure habits. But today, he was working towards that cautious confidence. Going to the movies was a ‘normal’ thing to do. He liked Ehren and wanted more time with him when they were both comfortable.
As they both ordered and got their concessions he held onto his hand. He knew the first two times they interacted weren’t part of the usual way people interacted when they were getting together but he wanted Dorian to know he could be fun too.
The movie was ok but he spent most of it looking at Dorian. He was so beautiful and Ehren had a hard time focusing on the movie when he had someone he really liked sitting next to him. Midway through the movie he put his head on Dorians shoulder, loving the way he felt so close to him.
Dorian had been around clingy, afraid, aggressive-demanding, rude, and kind people over the years pre-Caspian rescuing him and after. But these were different circumstances and everything was calmer with this instance than the last two. Ever so often, he looked down at their hands. Telling himself watching a movie with someone was going to be fun...and without obligation.
He had paid a lot of attention to the movie, having escaped into movies during his childhood. But he soon looked over at Ehren, liking how the other man looked seated beside him. It felt so normal to go to the movie with another guy! Gently he squeezed Ehren’s hand as he looked down to see his hand on his shoulder.
After the movie ended and the credits began to roll he looked back at Dorian. He could see there was something about being on a date that was new for Dorian. He pushed his hand up to Dorians face and stroked his cheek. “I’m not going to lie. I didn’t watch much of the movie.”
It was probably stupid for him to say but being around Dorian brought out the stupid in him. “Did you like it?” He asked, curious if Dorian actually saw the movie.
Dorian looked down at Ehren once the credits began to roll. And he leaned into the other man’s stroking his cheek. “Well….you had a huge distraction,” he smirked and pointed to himself.
It may have been. But Dorian often said and did stupid things. “Yeah, I did. But at times, it was boring.”
He laughed a little at being called out and stood, grabbing Dorians hand to bring with him. “Ok yeah I know, I’m sorry. You’re just really cute, so like, can you blame me?” He replied and lead him out of the theater. The picnic was what he was really looking forward to since they could talk during their picnic.
“I wish we could get better movies here but I’m glad you came with me.” He said as he lead him out the movie theater toward his apartment. He just needed to grab his food for the picnic before they went out.
Dorian smiled, standing and let himself be led out of the theater. “No, no I can’t blame you. Surprised you could see how cute I was in the low light. I’ve been told I look scary in the shadows.” And that was true and it had come from someone he aggressively interrogated for Caspian.
“I hadn’t been to a movie in a long time.” Walking with Ehren, the taller man continued to hold his hand even as he kept an eye on any of the guards they may pass. Then he noticed they were heading towards Ehren’s apartment building.
He raised an eyebrow at that. “Scary? I mean I don’t claim to know you well but I think scary is probably the last thing I would ever peg you at. And yeah maybe I couldn’t see you in the theater but I knew it was you, and I know you’re cute.” He explain, a little blush coming to his cheek as he admitted the fact. They had been pretty open so far about their attraction so it was easier for Ehren to admit now without getting too flustered.
When they reached his apartment he let go of Dorians hand. “Wait here for just a second, I just have to grab something.” He said, running inside to grab the items for the picnic that he’d spent the day making. He went to library earlier in the week for some cook books so he could return the favor to Dorian, when he came back he had a basket in hand and locked the door behind him. “Ready?” He asked although he was sure Dorian probably didn’t know what for.
Dorian shrugged and then he smiled. He then blushed a little. The taller man was trying to be more open, but it took a little longer for him when it was face to face and not with the realm of a job.
“Oh, okay,” he blinked and waited in the hallway. Dorian had been busy all week - looking after Laura and Caitlyn as much as he could while he waited for any word from Caspian. Then he turned his head as Ehren came back with the basket. Picnic? “Yeah…” he breathed. “Are we…,” he began and leaned in to whisper, “...running away?”
Ehren laughed out loud when Dorian asked if they were running away. “Yeah,” He joked, taking his hand again to lead him toward the beach. “I’ve got a car it’s going to take us to Nebraska where we can live out our lives on the range.” Of course he was joking, they had no where they could go.
“I’m kidding, I thought we could have a picnic on the beach.” Of course if Dorian didn’t want to, they could figure something else out but the beach was always really nice this time of night and he thought it might be romantic.
Dorian burst out laughing. It sounded ridiculous but also oh so easy. But there were surprises around every corner.
“Okay,” he smiled as he let Ehren lead him towards the beach. The taller man kept an eye out for any guards. Beyond government-sanctioned activities, he wasn’t sure if they were allowed at the beach after dark.
There were plenty of places they could go after dark that was away from the watchful eye of the guards and the beach was one of them, as long as they could slip by unnoticed. After walking for a while they finally found a spot with some light from the moon illuminating them. Out of his basket, Ehren pulled out a blanket and set it on the ground.
He sat down next to his basket and looked up at Dorian. He patted the spot next to him with a smile. “Don’t worry, I’m not going to bite.” He could say something along the lines of ‘unless you want me to’ but that seemed cliche and Ehren wasn’t about that.
Dorian kept his eyes open and casually looked about in case any guards were about. Letting go fo Ehren’s hand as they stopped and the other man setting up the blanket, he smiled and lightly shook his head.
Kneeling, he sat down beside Ehren and nodded. “This is quite new for me.” It felt good to be on the beach and under the moonlight. But he was still a wee bit nervous and anxious about this. But it was going to be fun...the movie was.
Ehren could understand things like a date being a nerve-wracking thing, especially if you didn’t go on them much. Ehren went on a lot of dates, they just usually didn’t end up working out for one reason or another. “Don’t be nervous, we’re just hanging out.” He said, not trying to imply it wasn’t a date but to give Dorian a different perspective.
He began pulling out food from his picnic basket. He’d made a caprese salad, some sandwiches on marbled rye and a plate with some cheese, fruits and various crackers. It wasn’t much but Ehren really tried hard to make something good since Dorian had already cooked for him. Bringing out some lemonade and utensils he handed them to Dorian with a smile. “I want to know more about you. Who is the little girl you know?” He asked, taking his sandwich in his hands and taking a bite out of it. He’d left some options for Dorian to put on his sandwich on a little plate next to the basket.
Dorian shook his head. “Okay.” He was nervous and a bit paranoid. With the guards and government being less than friendly, the taller man had to be alert. But he wanted to relax again with Ehren. Have a normal date.
His eyes widened at the food Ehren brought out of the basket and laid out. Had the other man put this all together, he thought to himself. He took the utensils and lemonade and smiled. “She’s the daughter of the family I came to the island with.” Dorian smiled answered and went about putting together his sandwich.
It was nice hearing Dorian open up about himself, the taller man seemed to be so reserved most of the time that he wondered if he’d ever get to know everything about him. He’d at least try. Taking a fork and opening one of the small containers for the caprese salad, he began to shovel it into his mouth, proud of himself for following the cookbook directions correctly.
After he swallowed he raised a brow. A family? Sounded like an adoption type situation, which Ehren could identify with since he had been adopted as a child. “Tell me about them.” Which was a question, not a command, which is what he felt like it sounded like. “I mean, if you want to, I don’t want to pressure you or anything.”
Opening his lemonade, Dorian ate a bite out of his sandwich and took a sip of lemonade. He hummed a happy sound at the food. “Good,” he half mumbled, then chewing and swallowing the bite. The taller man felt safer being reserved. He was selfless, keeping the Finns safe.
“I think we should stick to us. They are a good family. They’ve helped me and I help them.” Dorian replied softly. He was strict about keeping the Finns as a closed unit. It was a bit of his years at Caspian’s side as they dealt with dangerous situations and people.
A tinge of disappointment flooded through Ehren’s body. It was a stupid question to ask and he should have just kept his mouth shut. “Okay.” He replied, so that Dorian knew he wasn’t going to try and pressuring him into answer. Maybe it would help him to hear a personal story of Ehren’s.
“When I was eight..” he began, bringing up the memory of his childhood. He could remember it clearly even to this day. “I had my first vision. My dad and I were in the hospital and my mom had just died.” He sighed as he looked down at his hands, thinking about the memory again. “I thought I was going crazy, my parents told me I was just having nightmares. And when I was in high school, it happened. I’m not proud of what I’ve gone through, but I’m proud that I have something that might actually be able to help people out there.” He wasn’t sure if this was helping Dorian feel more comfortable or if it seemed like he needed comfort, but it was honest and Ehren valued honesty.
Dorian almost felt the disappointment in Ehren’s voice. It was just how it was for him and Finns - protect them. Setting his sandwich down on his plate, he turned a little more towards the other man.
He breathed softly as he watched and listened to Ehren as he told him over that memory, of that vision. It sounds so horrible and scary in a much different way than his own early to late teen years. “It must have been terrifying.” Dorian whispered. He had no idea how his own ability could help individuals. Yes, he had helped Ehren by suppressing his visions. But it may not always be a good thing.
Nodding his head, he finished off the small container of caprese and took a sip of his lemonade. “I never met my real mom so Allesia’s death was pretty hard but there was nothing I could have done. And sometimes I have to remind that to myself, I was just a kid and even if I thought I could, I would have never been able to stop it.” Maybe Dorian had his own demons he had to address that told him something was his fault.
“I’m thankful that I had her at all, if it weren’t for her and my dad I would have probably lived out my entire childhood in a foster home.” Which he did for a bit when he was younger and he didn’t want to think about what his mental state would have been like then. He let his hand fall to Dorians and he grasped lightly at it. Being so near to him sparked something that had him wanting more every time he saw him and every touch was electric.
One hand stayed on his lemonade as he listened to Ehren. “I’m glad you were able to get through that.” There was a demon that told him something was his fault. But it had nothing to do with his mutant ability. Caspian had helped him with the guilt, but he still recalled it from time to time.
“That is good to not end up in a foster home. I ran away from home when I was fifteen or sixteen,” Dorian volunteered. Just that little bit. It could have been for a variety of reasons. He kept the real reason deep down. What happened after that was his first demon.
Gently, Dorian curled his fingers around Ehren’s hand. The taller man bit his own tongue, fearing he was going to regret that bit of information he had given to the other man.
A smile came to his face as Dorian finally said something about himself. It was a little victory but it was at least a step in the right direction. He laced his fingers with Dorian’s and bit down lightly on his bottom lip. “I always thought about running away, after my mom died but I never had the balls to go through with it.” He admitted, since he couldn’t say anything heroic like he ran away from his bad situation because he never did. He just sat and stayed in all the misery and pain.
“I’m sorry if I’m asking too many questions. If you don’t feel comfortable telling me something, just let me know.” More than anyone Ehren could identify with traumas and he’d shut himself off completely from the world for a lot of it too. He just couldn’t stop himself from wanting to know more about the other man, like he was drawn to him by a supernatural force.
It was dangerous for Dorian to give out any real life milestone information to anyone he didn’t trust as much as Caspian. He knew any information could be used against him or the Finns. So he tried to keep it to himself. Dorian had run away out of fear of retribution and hardship. A part of him wished he had stayed and gotten through whatever happened. But his heart and rational mind told him that he was where he was for a reason. What traumas he endured were, yes his fault, but getting away from it was also something to cherish.
“I would like to focus on the ‘now’,” he spoke as he looked over at Ehren apologetically. The past was the past and who he was aside from taller book and classical music loving gay man was under lock and key.
Ehren nodded his head, appreciative that Dorian was being honest with him. “I like what’s happening now.” He said, bringing a hand up to stroke Dorians cheek. He could get lost in that sullen stare, into a trance never to wake again. He hadn’t scared Dorian off yet but there was still time to and he wanted to say all the right things.
“What are you reading right now?” He asked, since that was a subject they had both expressed a love for. Ehren could talk about books and writers all day, and sometimes he would.
Dorian sighed softly at Ehren stroking his cheek. It was hard sometimes to not be thinking about two or three different things at once. But for right now he tried to remain here in these moments.
“Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice,” he nodded. It was safer to talk about books these days or at least fiction.
Ehren let his hand fall from Dorians face so that he could eat a bit of cheese and smiled at him. “I loved that book, always thought there was some serious romantic undertones between Louis and LeStat.” He finished off his lemonade and put the empty bottle back into his basket. He’d definitely filled himself up with the food he made for them and the food they’d gotten at the theater. “I saw the movie when I was young. Brad Pitt was my first crush.” He laughed at that now, the long hair and the lack of any accents, the whole movie didn’t do justice to the book.
“I think so too on the romantic undertones. Vampire stories often do.” Dorian nodded and picked up his sandwich, eating another bite. “Hmm? I haven’t seen the movie yet.” If he did, he would criticize the changes especially in the beginning in the movie and bemoan the poor casting for Lestat.
Waving his hand in the air he shook his head to that. “Don’t bother, it doesn’t even begin to hold up to the book. So very few ever do.” Moving the basket onto the sand he extended his legs out and laid down on the blanket next to Dorian, careful not to knock over any of the food he was currently eating. One nice thing about the beach at night was the stars. It wasn’t as if you couldn’t see them elsewhere on the island, but on the beach they expanded out further than you could see.
He brought his hands to rest beneath his head and looked up at Dorian. “What’s your favorite homoerotic vampire book? I mean besides Interview with the vampire.”
“Okay,” Dorian nodded and continued to eat his sandwich. He watched Ehren as he moved to lie down beside him. Sipping his lemonade, the taller man looked up at the stars.
“Uhm, I haven’t read any other ones that were homoerotic.” He blinked as he finished his sandwich.
He had mentioned that they do that a lot in vampire books so he just assumed there were more. “Oh, well I really liked Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. Such complex relationship between the two male leads.” It was why books were so interesting to him. He loved the complex weaving of characters personalities.
He looked back at Dorian who was looking up as well. “It’s beautiful isn’t it? The stars. Almost makes you have hope to leave this place someday.” He sighed as he said that, resigned to living out the end of his days cut off from the world.
“Oh...I haven’t heard of that book. It sounds interesting.” Dorian blinked and finished his lemonade.
“It is,” Dorian softly smiled and sighed. “I know I will leave someday.”
He looked up at Dorian when he said that. He knew he would leave? How could he know that. “You do?” He asked him instead, because nobody deserves to feel hopeless. He sat up a little as he addressed Dorian, suddenly feeling like he was laid bare laying down beside the other man.
“That’s very optimistic of you.” He said with a soft smile, using Dorians own words back to him. He placed a hand on Dorians shoulder, enjoying the way it felt under his fingers. “You should lay down to look at the stars with me, they’re better from that perspective.” And it might have been an excuse for Ehren to get close to Dorian but where was the harm in that?
“Yes,” he smiled as he turned to look down at Ehren. Optimist, confidence in Caspian. They had been quite a few tight spots and they had gotten through it.
“Thanks.” Dorian grinned and sighed at Ehren’s touch. “Maybe.” He spoke softly and slowly scooted a little to lie down on the blanket beside the other man. His arms remained at his side, hands on his abdomen.
He wasn’t sure if Dorian wanted it but Ehren felt it was better to ask for permission than forgiveness. He pulled Dorians arm next to him up and positioned himself underneath it. It was a bolder move than he’d made before but something told him that Dorian wasn’t going to make the first move. If Dorian didn’t want it, he’d have to let Ehren know. Dating was hard, and signals were hard. Maybe he was in alright territory but he could be ruining it completely.
Being manipulated wasn’t something Dorian liked. And yet there was a bit of a soft spot when it came to Ehren. But he didn’t know how gradual their friendship or relationship was going. So the taller man let the other move his arm and slip underneath it. His eyes followed Ehren. “You would tell me if this ‘first date’ is going okay since I haven’t been on a date before, right?” Dorian asked.
Ehren smirked up at Dorian then, bringing his other hand to bring his face to him to look at him in the eyes. The smoulder was dark but it was still there. “I’m having a good time. Are you?” He asked him, honestly, because he wanted to know. Dorian wasn’t very vocal about how he was feeling. “And in my opinion it’s going very well.” It was a bit surprising he had never been on a date before with how handsome he was but Ehren wasn’t going to judge him for that.
He breathed as Ehren turned his face to look him in the eyes. “I am,” Dorian nodded. He was still a little nervous, but mostly cautious. “Okay. I wasn’t sure if I was taking this too slowly,” he added. Since their first meeting was stressful and kisses were exchanged not too long afterward. And the mutual sleeping in Ehren’s bed. He felt unsure even with their playfulness over text.
Tracing the line of Dorians jawline, Ehren couldn’t help but lean in and press a chaste kiss to his lips. “Does that answer it?” He asked after pulling away. “You can take this as fast or slow as you want. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you go, I just want you to do what feels right.” And if it wasn’t Ehren, then disappointed though he might be, he wouldn’t try to manipulate Dorian into being with him. No one wanted to be in a relationship where one party didn’t have the same feelings.
As soon as Ehren’s lips touched his, Dorian reached over with his free hand and cupped the other man’s cheek. “Yes,” he whispered as he looked into Ehren’s blue eyes. “Stargazing with you feels right,” Dorian replied. A part of him hated to disappoint the beautiful and kind man he was able to help. But the self-aware, defensive side wanted to feel that spontaneous spark of attraction like he felt watching Ehren go back into his bedroom without pants on and the sneak-peek of his abdomen.
It was hard not feel like putty in Dorians hands when he said stuff like that. It felt like every moment they spent together he got to chip away from that wall that he’d created to keep other people out. It felt good. His eyes softened and a hand fisted into Dorians shirt. “I think so too.” He replied, leaning his head into Dorians touch. Everything about what he did with Dorian felt right. It felt right to kiss him that night after his vision, it felt right to have him in bed next to him. Sure, only time could tell if they would last but for now he was just enjoying his presence. No matter how hard he tried he couldn’t focus on the stars in the sky, only on Dorians faze.
Learned ways of moving, touching seemed to rise up the surface of Dorian’s actions. A part of it came sincerely from his heart. The wall was safety. He breathed, not too anxious to go further with Ehren. He was looking at him, thinking of what could happen if they were both strong individuals without the baggage. A hyper-vigilant portion of Dorian’s mind listened to the water hitting the shore, trying to hear for any bootfalls of guards.
Taking cues for Dorian he let go and laid back down against the taller man to look up at the stars. He brought a hand up to point to the cluster of stars in the sky. “That’s Orion right there. His belt, the hilt of his sword, his head, his feet.” He didn’t know much astrology but what he did he always felt drawn to. He wasn’t going to pressure Dorian for anything, because he could tell that wasn’t what Dorian wanted. Maybe one day he’d be more comfortable with Ehren but Ehren would take what he could get.
His arm under Ehren remained, cradling him a little, the other hand let go. His eyes went back to the stars. “And in his armpit...betelgeuse,” Dorian smirked. Taking it slow, waiting for that feeling where it felt electric - that was where he wanted to be. Past trauma still held him back at times.
Ehren laughed at that, the joy he was emitting he hoped was contagious. Dorian didn’t often make jokes but when he did they made Ehren laugh. “Wow, must suck to be someone’s armpit.” He joked, nuzzling his head into the crook of Dorians neck. There’d be time for passion but he assumed the beach was not the best place to get into that.
Behind him he heard the soft padding of boots and he immediately sat up to see what was happening. Being in the faction he always was on high alert for the government. When the guard finally approached them he was calm and quiet. “Hello. Hi. You two shouldn’t be out here at this time, do you mind going along home now?” It was clear the guard was a man who didn’t want conflict, unlike the rest of them, and was politely instructing them to be more careful.
Dorian smiled, liking Ehren’s laugh. See there was a genuine reaction.
The taller man flinched a little as he heard the bootfalls. Rising to sit, he turned and looked up at the guard. Was it a kind or cruel one? “Hello,” Dorian replied as he carefully inched away from Ehren and stood up. He looked for a name tag, but spoke, “We don’t mind. I’m Dorian.” He held out his right hand in greeting, hoping to get this guard’s name to add to the mental list Laura and he had agreed to make.
Ehren got to his knees to put his things back into the basket. First it was all the silverware and food. He then got off the blanket to roll it up and put into the basket. This guy was nice but it didn’t mean there wasn’t a bad one coming in for backup.
He didn’t give Dorian a chance to get his name because he grabbed him by the arm and started pulling him away. “Sir, I need the two of you to leave. I can’t guarantee the next person who catches you two down here will be as courteous.” Said the guard, standing his ground in the sand.
“We’re sorry, we’ll get going now.” Ehren replied, giving a light tug on Dorians arm to signal him to go.
Dorian made sure to keep himself between the guard and Ehren. It was simply second nature. Immediately, the taller man tensed as the guard grabbed his arm and began to pull him away. “We’re leaving.” he replied, his dark eyes trying to lock on the guard’s.
At Ehren’s words and tug, he looked over at him. “Excuse us,” Dorian glared as he pulled his arm out of the guard’s grip and urged Ehren away from the guard and the beach.
As they walked away, Ehren blew out a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding in. They walked in the general direction of his apartment, quiet for a bit. He stopped in his tracks once they were far enough away and looked up at the other man. “You stood in front of that guard and didn’t even blink. That was badass.” He beamed with a smile on his face, beginning their walking again.
He wished he had more guts like that, to just stand up for something instead of cowering at any sign of danger. “You really are something special.” He said more quietly this time, a secret smirk on his face.
Dorian remained quiet, his breathing normal. He’d been through possibly hair-trigger situations like that. Then he slowed and stopped as Ehren stopped and looked up at him. The taller man shrugged. “Maybe,” he said in a whisper.
He began walking again alongside Ehren. It took a while for Dorian to be that brave, but he had a good teacher. “We got away without a shove. I call that a good thing.” He looked over at him, catching that smirk.
As they walked Ehren realized this hadn’t been part of the plan. He didn’t want the night to end but he hadn’t exactly thought of something else. “Um, I don’t know if you want to but we could go hang out at my apartment, or I could walk you home, I mean it’s up to you.” He said with a shrug. This isn’t how he wanted it to end but he would respect whatever boundaries Dorian needed to put up.
Ehren was patient and he would enjoy just the idea of spending time with Dorian over trying to put him in an uncomfortable situation. He’d grown used to rejection so he didn’t give his hopes up.
Dorian looked over his shoulder, making sure the guard from beach was not following, before looked back over at Ehren. “I think it would be better if I walked you home. Ok?”
It had been a good evening for the most part.
“Sure.” He agreed, a little curious as to why Dorian didn’t want Ehren to walk him home. It seemed his family was something he kept very guarded under closed lock and key. Ehren didn’t mind, Dorian would introduce them in time. They continued to walk as the apartments got closer and closer into view. “I’m glad we did this. I haven’t seen a movie in…” he thought about it long and hard. “I’m not sure actually, it’s been a while.”
As they approached his apartment door he fished his keys out of his pocket and unlocked it so that he could put down the basket down that he had in his hands. “Well…” He didn’t know what to say. He wanted Dorian to come in, wanted to kiss him again and more but this was a new idea to him and Ehren wasn’t trying to scare him off.
The Finns were his family - they were the most important to him on this island. Sadly, if the decision came, he’d pick them. And walking home alone in the dark only brought out the guards. The taller man listened and nodded. It had been fun.
“...I had a good time, Ehren.” He breathed. Was it safer to not get closer, to stop right now? It was a risk. Then Dorian gently wrapped his arms around the other man and pulled him in for a hug.
“Me to.” He said softly into Dorians ear as the taller man pulled him in for a hug. His body melted into the touch and soon he was wrapping his arms around Dorian too. He rested his head against the taller mans shoulder, breathing in his scent. He smelled good too, which shouldn’t have surprised Ehren, but he was surprised nonetheless.
As he pulled back a little he looked up into the smouldering eyes, the ones that said so much more than then mouth, and his hand came up to push away a stray hair that had fallen from his hair band. He pressed his thumb against the crows feet at the corner of Dorians eyes and leaned his head up to press a cautious kiss to his lips.
Now it was up to Dorian how far this would go and Ehren would stop when Dorian decided he wasn’t comfortable anymore.
It felt good to hug and be hugged. The warmth, the contact. Dorian always tried to smell good, to be clean and well-kept. It was a habit from the not so great times, but it had been a good habit to keep. As he hugged Ehren, the taller man closed his eyes and sighed as he remembered that he should trust his instincts.
Centered, focused - Dorian felt better when he could think things through. He remained still, his embrace loosening from around Ehren. Then he felt the other man’s lips against his. He gently reciprocated.
“Ehren, I think we should say ‘good night’,” he breathed as he slowly opened his eyes. Instincts - they had served him well in the past. The taller man’s arms slowly fell away from the other man.
Of course Dorian was right, if they were going to take it slow then they couldn’t just jump into bed on their first date. They’d already kissed before, no point in breaking all the rules. A little breathless he let his arms fall as well and felt his cheeks redden at how good it felt to be held. “Yeah, of course. Can we do this again?” He asked, leaning himself on to the frame of the door with one arm.
He was happy that Dorian was being more vocal about what he wanted and while he craved to be with Dorian in other ways, he knew he had to respect his boundaries.
His gut was telling him something and he often trusted his gut. And this was another one of those times. Dorian took a step away from Ehren. This was for the best. That nagging feeling that ever reliable instinct was there and he agreed with it. Now to just live with what came after.
“I think it would best if we didn’t.” He replied, his facial expression stoic. “It was fun.”
Ehren’s expression fell and the whirlwind of emotions that were going through his head right now were impossible to process. Wanting to save face he nodded his head and stepped backward into his apartment, hand on the door knob. “Oh, um, ok, have a good night I guess.” He said but as he said it he shook his head.
He’d fucked it up, somehow, it must have been him because that was what always happened. He guessed it was probably a good thing, since all he could ever do was just ruin everyone and everything around him. At least now Dorian would be as far away from that as possible. “Be safe out there.” He added because why not?
“Good night,” Dorian breathed, nodding. He then turned around began walking. He exited the apartment building, not looking back at any moment as he shoved his hands in his pants’ pockets and walked back to the house he lived in with the Finns. That instinct kept him safe most days, but a sliver of him felt injured. Ehren just wasn’t the one. One day Dorian would make that breakthrough of working with someone he could be with without doubt.