|Bruce Banner (isalwaysangry) wrote in doorslogs,|
@ 2014-03-30 00:14:00
Dair liked Aubrey's loft. It was very him. He remembered that first night with them, when Aubrey decided to bring him here instead of to a suite upstairs. They hadn't made use of that one, either going between the loft or Dair's own room, and it suited him just fine. His own space wasn't quite him yet, it was difficult to get the right mood going when a maid service came in every day to clean up. But he liked lounging in Aubrey's loft because it seemed more lived in and comfortable and he managed to strip his lover of clothes and pretenses. It was a comfort since the rest of his life seemed to be falling to pieces, or at least Vegas itself was, and something familiar and solid was appreciated.
Dair was a big man, so when he and Aubrey were cooling off, he was already taking up plenty of space. The obvious solve was to wrap himself around the man so they could both be comfortable on the bed. He had no problem with snuggling or being caught doing that. He was a little overheated so he pushed the blankets down and tugged Aubrey's back into his front, nuzzling his neck lightly. The sex was still amazing, he could barely catch his breath, and he smiled into his lover's skin. If only for right now, he felt better. Dair could stop thinking about the worst of things and enjoy the distractions of the physical. Thank God he had those.
"Correct me if I'm wrong, Princess, but do you have all of your shoes lined up in a perfect row in your closet?" He did some peeping because he was curious and all of it was within Aubrey's sight line. He liked the view too. It was a nice place. He could see himself enjoying something similar, although he'd never stayed anywhere for long. Like the rest of him, Dair was prone to moving around a lot. "I can count the number of shoes I have on one hand." He didn't exactly bring a wardrobe with him, and while Dair cleaned up well, he wouldn't seem like a rich boy right off the bat when someone met him. He wore low riding jeans off-duty and let his stubble grow out. "How long have you been here?"
They hadn’t actually discussed it, but Aubrey knew that the reason they’d been habitually avoiding his own suite at the Wynn was for all the same reasons - it wasn’t quite a home, it wasn’t him, and it would have felt altogether too impersonal, while Aubrey’s loft was an established haven of personality and life. There was something about their relationship, the way they were together, that demanded an element of reality. And despite whatever Dair believed about his own place, Aubrey loved it. Maid service aside, there were little touches of the man’s existence scattered into every corner. Hell, it even smelled like him: clean shampoo and a subtle cologne, although that might have been an attached sort of memory that followed Aubrey around after spending so much time with the man in recent weeks.
“Hmmm,” he hummed softly, allowing himself to be gathered up in Dair’s arms and wriggling back on his mattress so that they were pressed together, skin to skin, with warm, sweet breath tickling against the place where his shoulder met his neck. He could practically feel the width of Dair’s straight, even smile on his skin, and he wished those teeth would close over the fleshy spot on his neck that covered his pulse like they were so wont to do in the heat of the moment.
Somewhere in the very far-away recesses of his mind, Aubrey was aware of the bad things that they were both trying to escape and how soon they were destined to come crashing down around them. But the here and now just felt so much more important, and he couldn’t help but arch his back just slightly in order to press his naked ass against Dair’s lap, and he let out a slow, deep breath through his nostrils. It had been a long, long time since someone had been able to make him feel this good, and he hoped that he was doing the same for Dair.
“Obviously not,” he retorted with a put-upon, incredulous tone to his voice, blue-green eyes opening at the sound of his nickname on the other’s generous lips. He turned his head slightly to the side so that his jawline was brushing against the tip of Dair’s nose, reaching up to take one of those broad, strong hands in his own and twining their fingers together. “Those are only my winter shoes, the rest are in storage.”
That was followed by a wry smile that was at least audible in his voice, even if the other man couldn’t see it from his angle. “Um, six years? I moved in just after my father died. Why?”
Dair did like his apartment in Scotland. He'd used it off and on for years, always having it available for when he stumbled his way into town. He stayed there more often than anywhere else, even after getting himself out of the house. But it was a sleepy area, and he got bored easily. He joked sometimes that he slept with every available person so it was a tense place to be in, and that was in many ways true. He still had his apartment there, just in case. It was personal to him. It had all of his favorite albums and record player, the nick knacks he picked up over his travels, a collection of shot glasses he got from each city he visited. They were small details, but ones that mattered to him. He wasn't sure how long he'd stay in the hotel. It suited him for now.
He did bite Aubrey's neck, a lazy gentle brush of his teeth to the skin, because it felt natural to him when they were cuddled like this. He did like to latch on before climax, his hands gripping him tightly, his cry muffled that way. Dair wasn't ready for another seduction just yet, so he was enjoying the skin contact, and Aubrey's own smell and taste. He loved sex, for a variety of reasons. He liked the way it felt, and he was a sensual person, so physicality meant a great deal to him. But he did genuinely like people and finding out what made them tick until he could play their bodies like a familiar instrument. He was still learning Aubrey, but soon enough he'd know all of that, and it would be fun to play around more. He liked keeping his options open, and still enjoyed his regular lovers just as much. He was a man that never said no.
Dair laughed, both at the appalled tone, and at what he said. It was easy to forget about the worst parts, if he just focused on this. He preferred life to be easy going and fun. All the troublesome parts of the past few months, it cut away at what was normal for him. He was adjusting. At least Aubrey felt normal. "I'm trying to picture you in flip-flops during the summer. It doesn't match up." He let their fingers twine together and squeezed them.
"Curious," Dair told him, releasing his hand so he could run his fingertips up and down Aubrey's side. He admired beautiful people, and Aubrey was certainly that. "God you have a magnificent arse, anyone ever tell you that?" It was currently nestled against him, and he liked that. "Sorry about your Dad. Ancient history, maybe, but always a right shame." Dair liked his parents, more than most of his siblings did. They were harsh and distant, but he felt like it was natural to care about family, regardless of the details. But that was him. He got along with most people. "I like it here. I'm glad you brought me."
There was a small noise of surprise that escaped when Aubrey felt those teeth graze his skin, somewhere between a gasp and a moan and entirely indicative of pleasure as a tingle of electricity crept up his spine, reminding him of those desperate moments, that overwhelming heat and intensity. He felt warm and flushed in every place that his skin pressed against the other’s, and he appreciated not for the first time that Dair was a man who felt the same need for closeness while they were coming down from their respective highs, after those fervent tangles of limbs and fine cotton sheets.
It seemed like a simple thing, but after months of one-night stands fueled by the furious burn of alcohol in his bloodstream and hangovers that hurried him swiftly out the door in the mornings - and before that, months of cool indifference from Dante, who considered ‘cuddling’ to be a four-letter word -, Aubrey had just about forgotten what it meant to be tender with someone. To be intimate, in the most basic sense of the word.
The smile on his lips shaped into a grin at Dair’s musings, and he moved their hands to his mouth so that he could brush a kiss against the other man’s knuckles. “What the hell are flip-flops?” He asked, teasing. “It’s strictly Hilfiger deck shoes and Versace loafers in the warm months, sweetheart. Maybe sandals, if they’re by McQueen. And yeah, I may have been made aware of its magnificence once or twice.”
Aubrey shivered, feeling goosebumps rise on his flesh along the lines that Dair traced with his finger. Maybe six years would qualify as ‘ancient history’ to some, but there were days when he felt like he would always be living under the shadow of Michael Rois’ life (and more significantly his death), long haunted by the wealth of unspoken sentiments and disapproval. He hadn’t ever told Dair that his father had been murdered, but perhaps the man had been made aware through his own research.
“Thanks,” he said softly, bending one leg at the knee and bringing it back so that his heel was pressed against the curve of the other man’s calf. Always wishing for more contact, because it was Dair’s touch that was best at grounding him these days. “I really like having you here. You’re always welcome, you know. In… whatever capacity. Friends or otherwise.”
Dair wasn't a typical manwhore, in the sense that he didn't have his foot out the door as soon as he got what he wanted. Why settle for just one go with someone? He didn't limit his number of partners, it was in his nature to want to wander around when the mood suited him, but he believed in treating them well and indulging in affection. He wasn't sure at first which type Aubrey would fall into, since he normally took cues from his partners on what they preferred. The first time they had sex, Aubrey seemed resigned to Dair leaving, but not enthusiastic about it. So he didn't go, and found a comfortable intimacy with him. It was nice, and them leaning on each other for emotional support made the connection deeper.
It didn't worry him much, he was more than happy to have occasional emotional attachments, but they hadn't talked too much about the details. Not that Dair was all about the talk, Aubrey had to know he slept around, but he'd lost a good partner or two over the years from not being clear about who he was. Hmm. They were in the afterglow. He'd enjoy that before getting into iffy territory.
He laughed again at the flip-flops. "Scots don't usually wear them either, but I spent plenty of time in the Caribbean. And the better side of the mediterranean." Dair liked to travel, especially to beautiful locations with plenty of beautiful people and good food. Vegas was a drastic difference from those places and from Scotland itself. "I couldn't tell you where any of my clothes are from." He dressed well though, it was ingrained in him from growing up to wealth. He was drawn to the pricier places and liked quality. He just didn't notice what label it was. "I prefer you out of them anyway."
Dair smiled into Aubrey's skin and kissed his neck. "Mmm, I'm not surprised you like me around. I do give fantastic blow jobs." He stopped his wandering hand for now and tucked it against Aubrey's chest, giving him a little hug. "You've really kept me sane lately, love. I appreciate that."
“Tell me that your bathing suit is a kilt, so that I can die happy with that mental image seared into my brain forever,” he chuckled softly, with his face half-buried in the material of his pillowcase, eyelids drifting closed so that the muted daylight filtering through the drapes cast the sharp-edged shadows of eyelashes against his cheeks. Aubrey didn’t have a very hard time imagining the sparkling white of Dair’s easy, confident grin in the tropical sun, stretched out on a beach with pale sand and water that was too vivid a turquoise to look real, surrounded by laughter and joy. More or less the complete opposite of the landscape around them these days: red deserts and blood in the air and salt-brined stains on their cheeks that rubbed raw, no matter how tenderly their fingers worked over each other’s fallen faces.
“Well, yes,” he conceded with a quiet snort of laughter, turning his face further into the pillow so that the column of his neck was bare and exposed to his lover’s ministrations, savouring the cool press of cotton against his eyelids and his brow. “There is that minor detail.” The movement blocked out the light, however temporarily, and he found that he could almost pretend to be swathed in something that would guard them both from the outside world. Even the hand that spread over his heart and held him close could not quite draw him out of the haze of feather-light reverie that had settled over him; he rolled over onto his opposite side, but only so that he could press himself up against Dair’s bare chest, his forehead leaning against the hollow beneath the taller man’s jaw. Breathing in that familiar combination of scents and pheromones that sent a warmth into his stomach.
“I wouldn’t have been able to,” he murmured, the light vibration of his lips brushing Dair’s collarbone. “If you hadn’t done the same for me, first. Picked me up and put me back together again when I needed it. It’s been a long time since anyone has given enough of a shit to be strong for me, Dair.” One of Aubrey’s arms wound its way around the man’s rib cage, palm coming to rest against his back. Absently touching, just needing the contact if he was going to convince himself that he wasn’t half-asleep or simply making an asshole of himself.
“And what we are, or aren’t - I care about you. I want to be strong for you.”
Dair laughed out loud at the image and didn't have trouble imagining it himself. "No, no, kilts absorb too much water, it'd fall right off. Not that I'd mind too much, but other people might. Unless we're on a nude beach. I do love those." He really didn't see the point in worrying too much about nudity, but that probably came from the confidence of someone who knew he looked good. He missed the sandy shores and smell of freedom and tangy fruit in the air. Scotland was familiar and solid, and this place, it felt like it was constantly moving through his hands. He couldn't get a grip on any of it. He was always looking for new adventures and places to see, and now he was in one and felt stuck. Because he wouldn't run away, either.
"Minor detail. Oh only minor." Dair growled into Aubrey's neck and was about to nip him again when he turned in his arms. He adjusted to the change and let his hand wander along Aubrey's back. He wondered what the man went through, to seem this starved for common kindness. He mentioned having been with men who didn't treat him well before. There were two sides to everything, but Dair wasn't concerned with the other side. He just enveloped Aubrey in his warmth and tangled their legs together.
Dair was not one of those alpha dogs who had a problem with sharing his emotions. In fact, he was the definition of wearing his heart on his sleeve. He didn't consider himself a complicated person, and that's why being in a complicated situation was challenging him in uncomfortable ways. But Aubrey was good, Aubrey was solid. "I care about you too. I give a shit, yeah?" They were falling into bed together more often than not. He hadn't been this invested in someone in a long time, and he wondered if it had to do with the intensity of everything going on around them. Like any port in a storm. Whatever the reason, he found himself reluctant to let it go for any reason.
"What we are ... well. I've never liked labels." He hesitated, because this was sometimes when things got tense. But Dair slid his hand in Aubrey's hair, playing with the shortest strands along his neck. "Monogamy isn't something I do. It's not personal, I'd just rather be honest than end up making a decision I regret and cheating." As usual, Dair gave it straight. If he swore to be monogamous and fucked up, he'd regret hurting someone who trusted him. "I like this, what we are, being with you. But I know ... not everyone is good with poly." That might include Aubrey. He'd respect it, but he wouldn't like losing the only thing that seemed to be working.
“Duly noted,” he mumbled even while his mouth busied himself along the ridge of Dair’s sternum, wondering if there were any clothing-optional beaches within a reasonable driving distance (though there was something of an allowance in that regard, as they could quite easily find themselves a driver while being otherwise occupied in the back seat). And then, “Yeah.” An echo of Dair’s assurance, whispered quietly with eyes closed as he savoured every grazing inch of Dair’s caress and each rising-falling of his chest, timing their breaths together. Not for any particular reason, other than the fact that it felt alright to do so. Natural and empathetic.
Aubrey wasn’t a diehard fan of labels, either. Nah, they tended to just get him in half a dozen kinds of trouble, when the men that he loved chose to disregard them, or there was some misunderstanding as to their exact definitions. But he opened his eyes when he heard the hesitation in Dair’s voice, because that was an honest thing, and he could barely keep himself from making contented sounds as the man’s strong, broad hand wound its way into his hair. God, but he was a sucker for a gentle touch; Dair’s fingertips were just slightly calloused, but they knew how to play over his skin like he was some kind of finely-tuned instrument. Plucking away at parts of him that he hadn’t even known existed. “You know, no one that I’ve ever been with, romantically, has been able to do monogamy. And it always felt like that was some kind of reflection on me, like I wasn’t good enough to make them want to stay faithful.”
He paused, turning his thoughts over in his head as he felt the light scratch of nails against the nape of his neck. “But you’re the first one to actually say that, outright, you know? That it isn’t something you do. And… I don’t know, I feel like I get that. It actually makes sense to me, and it isn’t something I ever expected to understand. So maybe - shit, Dair, I don’t know. I feel like maybe it was the betrayal that was always the problem. The promises that couldn’t be kept.”
Aubrey’s teeth scraped over his bottom lip, and he lifted one hand to trail the backs of his fingers over Dair’s cheek. “Because I like this, too. Just being with you. Even if I’m sharing you, it’s still good.”
Dair remembered the first time he realized that both sexes were an option for him. He'd been raised only thinking about girls, that was the default, and he did love them a great deal after getting through the cootie child stage. He loved women and started dating fairly early, falling into it easily, into inexperienced kisses and exploring hands. Sex he loved, but the other parts, those were fun too, like lounging in bed together or holding hands during a movie. Maybe that made him a romantic of sorts, he didn't like to put labels on that either. He knew what he liked and he got it, plain and simple.
So when he was attracted to his first man, it was later, not until his first year of college. Some things were taken for granted, and the gregarious womanizer status worked for him. He was confused, maybe uncomfortable, for the first time in his life, but after the first kiss it was just as easy. There were a lot of differences between men and woman and the way they felt against him, but they always felt right. Dair was glad that Aubrey didn't seem to pull away or get tense when they talked about their situation. He needed physical reassurance too, when something around him felt unsteady.
"Mmm, love, it's not about you. I know it doesn't feel that way, but it's true." He let his hand run from Aubrey's neck down his back, pressing into the small of it firmly, an anchor. "There's a stigma against poly, but it's not cheating when people have an understanding. The important part is knowing what works for each other, making boundaries, and sticking by them." Dair loved the way Aubrey bit his bottom lip, god that was attractive, he wanted to do it too. And he planned on it, once they talked this out first.
He turned his head to the side and kissed Aubrey's fingers. "I want you. You're hot in bed, you're smart as hell, and we have a great time together. I'm not going to lie to you about liking my freedom, but I won't flaunt it around you either. Not unless you're into that. Or want a threesome." Dair didn't have a lot of limitations on himself. He was of the mind he'd try anything, within some reason. His hand wandered past Aubrey's back to rest on his ass instead, because it was a damn good one. "I can be faithful to you in other ways. Sex is sex. It's physical. What we're doing right now isn't just sex." He kissed Aubrey gently, his body started to respond again, but he was trying to ignore it. "Tell me what you want."
What do I want? Try as he might, Aubrey couldn’t bite back the little cough of dry laughter that escaped his chest as the other’s words reached his ears. Not because he found the question humorous, but because it was so foreign. What a strange thing that was, to hear someone that he cared about wonder aloud about what he might desire of their relationship. As if he had a choice. Because he did.
Everything in the touch that ran down the length of his spine to the small of his back told him as much in its reverence and appreciation; he had as much of a say in how this relationship would play out as the other. It shouldn’t have been something particularly revolutionary, but it was unfamiliar. And though the way that Dair turned his head to plant a soft kiss against his fingertips was thoroughly distracting, still he could feel the pit of his stomach heating up with that heady mix of butterflies and hesitance.
“I want you,” Aubrey murmured with his mouth still close enough to brush against the line of Dair’s jaw, eyes half-shut, one hand sliding over the curve of a broad shoulder and down, down to clutch at his particularly well-defined bicep. The tips of his fingers dug into flesh just enough to leave faint white marks, but it was a move inspired by desire, rather than reluctance, to be closer. It was a new feeling. And Aubrey felt the subtle responses of his lover’s body stirring against him, and he also felt the swooping sensation of his own stomach. “And I want you to have your freedom, because it’s part of you, and because I couldn’t imagine you without it, and because I think it’s beautiful: your honesty, and your sweetness.
“But more than that,” he went on, ducking his head slightly so that the tip of his nose brushed against the corner of Dair’s mouth. “More than any of it, Dair? I just want to know that someone cares about me as much as I do them. You know? I’m so fucking sick of having to question my relationships, and my own worth according to selfish people. I really care about you, already, and I could see this - us - being something good. And I don’t want to feel like a fool for thinking that, even if I end up being wrong.”
He closed his eyes for a long moment then, dark lashes contrasted against the flushed skin of his cheeks. There was a pulse beating steadily in his throat, and Aubrey could only credit it to the way that this man’s hands were pressing against his bare skin. He swallowed thickly, and raised his eyes to meet Dair’s gaze.
“I want that. To be faithful in other ways.”
He was surprised at the laugh and wondered at the core of it, where it came from. He knew Aubrey didn't have a good history and that Dair's gestures of kindness and affection were rare for him. It never occurred to him not to want what the other person wanted, if they were to continue on. Then they both came out of it the better. He was far from a selfless person, he just saw how being good to other people could lead to having good things himself, and wasn't that what everyone wanted? A little quid pro quo.
"That might be the sexiest thing you've ever said," he teased, after Aubrey confirmed he wanted to let Dair have his freedom. It was important to him. Of course the fact Aubrey was moving up against him like that was sexy too, and he smiled when Aubrey squeezed his bicep. He flexed it in response and then slowly and intentionally rubbed himself against his lover. It was fun to get them going again, taking his time, the end result of this conversation attractive for how well it was going. They weren't arguing, Aubrey wasn't pulling away, and Dair had every intention of rewarding him for that.
He was trying to focus since Aubrey was talking, and he could tell it was important, that his words mattered. He kissed him gently and brushed a hand through Aubrey's hair. "I care about you. This is good. You're not a fool." He leaned back enough so they could lock eyes while it was being said. So Aubrey knew he was being honest. "I like being here with you and I'm not going anywhere." He was drawn to the city because of the voice in his head, and his family, but now he had at least one reason to stay outside of that.
Dair grabbed a firm hold on Aubrey's hip and then leaned his weight into the other man, encouraging him to roll onto his back. He moved on top and kissed Aubrey's neck. "Mm, you've given me exactly what I wanted, love." He kissed down his chest and rolled his tongue around Aubrey's belly button. "And now I'm going to give you the same." Words he wasn't always good at, but this? This he was good at.