Leaving a note on his bedroom door in case one of the Finns checked and saw he was gone, Dorian quietly slipped out of the house and briskly walked to Ehren’s apartment building. In trainers, dark blue jeans, and a dark red t-shirt, the tall man slipped into the building and found his way to Ehren’s door and carefully knocked. It had to be quite bad this time.
Ehren had been in bed for a few hours, crying. He’d just had a vision where he saw Meg pregnant and now he was intent on never seeing her again. He couldn’t keep going, not when he saw what it reduced him to. Any time there was a knock on the door Ehren was frightened but he knew Dorian was on his way so he stood from his bed, weak from his vision and opened the door to let Dorian in.
A weak smile came to his face when he saw the other man. At least now he was safe from having any visions. “Hi, thank you for coming. Come in.” He said, opening the door a bit wider for Dorian before closing it behind him. “I’m sorry, I just didn’t know who to talk to.”
Finn was already in bed, he hadn’t heard from
Bria and no one else besides Dorian knew. It didn’t hurt that he liked being around the taller man.
Dorian’s worst memories, worse traumas we’re behind him but there were triggers that had been tempering for the most part. He kept an eye for any guards. But thankfully no one else seemed to be around.
“Hey,” the taller man whispered as the door opened and he saw Ehren. Resisting a frown, he nodded and slipped inside. “It’s okay.” Dorian reached out, a hand hovering over the other man’s left shoulder.
He couldn’t help himself, he pulled Dorian into his arms and embraced the other man. It was something he really needed right now, needed someone to hold him just so he didn’t feel so alone. He didn’t say anything and the tears came on their own, falling down onto Dorians shirt. He didn’t want to be his vulnerable around anyone, let alone someone new like Dorian but he felt a kinship with him he hadn’t found in anyone else.
He let out a deep breath when he finally pulled away, mustering up the composure to finally construct a sentence. “I’m sorry,” he began, wiping his eyes. “It’s been a fucked up day.”
Dorian had a feeling Ehren would need a hug, but he didn’t initially expect the degree of need. His arms went around the other man - one around the shoulders and the other around Ehren’s back. As soon as he felt the tears, Dorian held Ehren a little tighter, bowing his head. He gently and slowly stroked Ehren’s side. It was bad. He had many a time in the past where he had needed such an embrace. Thankfully, he had Caspian in those first few days. Dorian remained silent but for his deep breathing as he listened to Ehren’s.
Feeling Ehren pull away, Dorian loosened his embrace but kept one hand at the other man’s side and the other behind his right shoulder. It hurt him to see Ehren cry. “Don’t be sorry.” He whispered and motioned over to the couch.
Even through the thick layer of emotions, Ehren
felt a surge of electricity to the touch and followed Dorian back to the couch to sit down. “I don’t even know where to start.” He began, sniffing to clear his nose. “I went on a couple of dates with this girl, things were going really well and we went back to her place. Next thing I know, I’m having a vision of her, and she’s pregnant.” God he must sound like an asshole.
Wouldn’t it have been a good thing if she was pregnant? Ehren always assumed he’d be a family man but as soon as he saw her, and saw what he was like with her, he had to run.
He felt that bit of electricity has he had held Ehren close and securely, but he had filed away because just how upset the other man was. Dorian let Ehren sit down first before he did. His hands rested in his lap as he listened. He winced a little. Wow, that was a vision. But was it that bad? Did the vision already come true?
“You are afraid of getting that close to her?” Dorian asked.
He shook his head at that, wiping off the remaining tears from his eyes. “No, I wanted that. I was afraid to become the person I was in my vision.” It was hard for him to explain. When he had visions of himself he didn’t think like the person he was now, but the person he was in the future. “I was needy, and...and depressed. Whatever was going to become of us was going to change me, mentally. I’m already unstable as it is.”
Even now as he said it he felt guilty, he felt selfish that he left her like that, with no explanation. “Is that selfish?” He asked, looking into Dorian’s eyes for some kind of confirmation that he wasn’t a monster.
Dorian wanted to help Ehren. It sounded so horrible to have visions. To have ones that shown a version of themselves. He didn’t know how he would react. He listened to Ehren, still wanting to know how to help. But he was helping, he was there and listening.
“No. I think...maybe you were protecting her as well. But…” Dorian looked into Ehren’s blue eyes. He gently took one of the other man’s hands in his own. “...you have to look after yourself.”
Ehren felt his heartbeat quicken again as the other man stared into his eyes, which probably looked red and puffy from crying, and held his hands which were probably clammy from how upset he was. Yet beyond that was a person who sat there and made Ehren not feel like such a pathetic person, a person who knew what it felt like.
“You’re good to me.” He said simply, reaching his arms out again and wrapping them tightly around Dorians shoulders. He didn’t care how desperate he seemed, he wanted to be close to him, as close as he could possibly get so he never had to experience a vision ever again.
Dorian had low points - fearing his parents finding out that he was gay and the guilty and self-blaming after being drugged and kidnapped by people who took advantage of his hopeful and gullible self. Thankfully he had someone pull him out of it. Now he was paying it forward by helping Ehren.
Then he breathed as Ehren spoke and wrapped his arms tightly around his shoulders. Carefully he wrapped an arm around the other man’s waist and reached with the other hand to cradle the back of his head. Physical contact was calming to a lot of people. Dorian sighed and nodded mostly to himself.
When he felt a hand at the back of his neck he reacted on impulse. He leaned back into the touch and rested his head against Dorians forehead. He breathing was ragged and it felt like an unknowable force pushed him into Dorian. His lips surged up to meet the other man’s in a short kiss before pulling back.
“I’m sorry, I don’t why I did that, I just…” Well there he went, just being a complete idiot yet again. Dorian was kind to him and now Ehren was taking advantage of him.
Dorian let Ehren move, just keeping that hand on the back of the other man’s neck for physical contact and support. Then he breathed as he watched and felt Ehren rest his forehead against his. The taller man thought the other was going to sob again with that ragged breath. Dorian almost froze at Ehren’s sudden and quick kiss.
Blinking, he looked down at him. Dorian did think he was handsome, cute, warm. But he didn’t want to take advantage of Ehren. “...just...uhm..needed to?” he asked, his arms relaxing in case Ehren wanted to move away.
He shook his head at that, and looked back at Dorian. “I wanted to.” He corrected because he didn’t need this right now, but it was something that he wanted. It wasn’t as if they were going to tear off each other’s clothes, not with how he was right now but it felt good to kiss him, even if it only lasted a second.
“I’m sorry, I know I shouldn’t have but I’ve been wanting to do that since I met you. It’s fine, I promise I won’t do that again.” And there were his nerves speaking, because how could someone like Dorian like the mess that was Ehren.
Nodding, he watched Ehren. Dorian didn’t want to push him in any direction emotionally. It wouldn’t be fair. Perhaps some actions would ease Ehren’s mind, calm him, or even distract him.
“Don’t be sorry.” Dorian spoke and thought he’d bring some levity. “I wanted to when I met you, but I kinda wanted to more when you and I were over in the kitchen as I was cooking.” Then he shook his head, his hand slipping down from the back of Ehren’s neck to cup his cheek. “No, please don’t promise that. You’re okay.”
The feel of Dorians hand moving to his cheek felt good and he leaned into the touch. “Really?” He asked, his hand coming up to rest on Dorians neck. How could he not want to kiss him right now? He’d shown up at a moments notice and listened to Ehren. Dorian was his knight in shining armor.
“I wish you had.” He said biting down on his lip a little as he looked back down at Dorians. It was a silent question, if he could do it again because he needed to know it was mutual.
“Yeah. I didn’t want to get off on the wrong foot the same day we met,” Dorian replied. Ehren leaning into his touch made him smile. A part of him didn’t want to manipulate him with him being an emotionally fragile state. But perhaps he was helping him out of that. What were friends for but to listen?
Then Ehren had spoken those words. A bit of electricity went down his spine at that. And Dorian took a risk. Leaning in, he gently captured Ehren’s lips with his own - kissing him softly for a few moments before releasing and resting his forehead against the other man’s.
Ehren wasn’t going to let it end there, he surged forward again and took Dorians lips in his, his arms pulling tighter around the other man. He dealt him one exploratory kiss after another, realizing this feeling had been strong since the moment they met. A smile, a real genuine one, formed on his lips for the first time tonight as he finally pulled back again.
“Will you...will you stay with me tonight? I just want someone to be here with me.” He asked softly, feeling light headed from the kissing. He didn’t want it to go any farther, not yet anyway but having Dorian so close to him made him feel at ease.
Dorian almost gasped as Ehren kissed him. But he didn’t resist, returning each kiss and bracing the other man with his arm around his waist and stroking his cheek with his thumb. There was that attraction brought to the forefront. He had closed his eyes and opened them as Ehren pulled back. A grin tugged at one corner of his mouth as he loosened his hold once more.
He breathed as he thought about Ehren’s request. He had definitely been in the other man’s spot. But definitely not after kissing the person he had wanted to stay with him. Thankfully this was different. “I will.” Dorian didn’t know if they were going any further. Better just stay in the present.
His smile widened as he placed a hand on Dorian’s face, tracing his jawline with his thumb. “Thank you.” He said and pressed another quick kiss to his lips. He didn’t know how he’d gotten so lucky to find someone like Dorian, but he was grateful nonetheless. Ehren had always been fragile but now he was more vulnerable than ever. He needed someone to keep him grounded and Dorian was the perfect person to do so.
“You’re amazing, do you know that?” He asked Dorian. If someone had asked him the same he’d reject it completely because he knew that he wasn’t, but for once in his life he felt like someone else needed to hear it.
“You’re welcome,” Dorian smiled. A part of him, accustomed to making the other person feel good, was whispering from a corner of his mind. Instead of one extreme or the other, Dorian was more balanced. If he could keep Ehren calm and centered, he would.
Gently smoothing the hair of the back of Ehren’s neck, he gently shook his head. “You caught me on another good day,” Dorian whispered.
“I want to see you on the bad days too.” He admitted, bringing his hand up to bury into Dorians hair. “I can see something in you that speaks to a part of me and I don’t want to pressure you but maybe someday you can tell me about that.” They barely knew each other but that didn’t matter to Ehren when they first met and he’d told him his biggest secret, and it didn’t much matter now.
“Whenever you feel ready.” He added, and rested his head in the crook of Dorians neck.
Dorian bit his lower lip at that admission. It touched him that someone wanted to see those days as well. Closing his eyes as Ehren’s hand went into his hair, Dorian sighed and held Ehren. He was not ready to tell him anything about what brought on the less common bad days.
Ehren leaned like that in Dorians arms for a bit, not saying a word. So many things were going through his mind and the stillness of the moment was therapeutic. He spent so much of his time overthinking everything that it was just nice to have nothing to focus on. All this, all this that had happened to him had made him feel so very week and it would probably take days before he was back to his normal self.
A yawn escaped his mouth and he looked up at Dorian. A hand came up to trace the outline of his face. He was so handsome, and so gentle that Ehren wasn’t really sure if he believed in angels, because that’s how he saw him, as an angel. Finally words formed in his brain and he cleared his throat before speaking them. “I think I want to go to sleep. Can you sleep next to me? I won’t try anything I promise.” The last part was mostly in jest as Ehren was definitely not actually in the mood.
It felt good to just be. Dorian was concerned that Ehren wanted to go further than kissing, but he was thankful for this. And he knew quite well what havoc and fatigue panic attack could produce.
At the tracing of his face, Dorian bowed his head to look down at the man resting in his arms - so handsome, so fragile. He would deny the description of being an angel. He was more of battered cat. “Hmm? Yeah, I can.” Dorian whispered. That last part made him arch an eyebrow and he half-grinned at the jest.
He smiled and leaned into press another kiss to his lips before standing up from the couch, grabbing Dorians hand. “It’s not that I don’t want to…” he continued, looking up at Dorian as he stood. “...I just need a little time.” He offered and lead them to his bedroom.
He let go of Dorian’s hand and shrugged out of his blazer, laying it on top of his dresser drawers. He was tired, it was obvious by the way he lazily unbuttoned his shirt and tossed it into a laundry hamper, and the way he kicked off his shoes and socks. He walked over to his closet and grabbed a plain t-shirt to pull over his head before undoing his belt and removing his pants.
When he’d been ready and dressed for bed he slipped underneath the covers and looked at Dorian. He was lucky, at least right now he was.
Dorian breathed through his nose at kiss. Letting go of Ehren, he watched him as he stood up and took one of his hands. He slowly stood as well and smiled. “Mmm, I thought I probably stunk or something.” A jest, but he understood. The other man had to be worn out, he thought as he was led into Ehren’s bedroom.
Walking over to the foot of the bed, he waited - not trying to watch Ehren as he removed clothing and got ready for bed. Dorian sat down on the foot of the bed, he did peek as Ehren was shirtless and then pantless.
He removed his shoes and socks once Ehren began to slip under the covers. Not ready to remove anything else, he put his keys in his shoes and walked around to the unoccupied side of the bed and climbed atop of it and settled alongside Ehren. “You’re okay,” Dorian whispered and gently stroked the other man’s brow with right thumb.
Ehren looked up at Dorian as he stroked his brow, staring up at the man he wanted to know more about. He adjusted in the bed and wrapped an arm around Dorian, keeping him as close as humanly possible. He closed his eyes and within just a few minutes he fell asleep.
Dorian sighed as he looked down into Ehren’s eyes. He wasn’t ready to tell him anything about himself that delved into the sections still and would always be healing. And yet he didn’t want to come up with a more pleasant and equally tragic story. As Ehren wrapped an arm around him, Dorian settled and draped an arm over him. The taller man remained awake for a couple of hours before sleep took him.
When Ehren awoke he was disoriented and a little weak. He opened his eyes and looked over at the other man in the bed. A smile came to his face and he let his fingers lightly brushed through the long straight hair. He lifted himself from the bed and walked into his bathroom to take the little iron pills he’d been given for the anemia he experienced after particularly bad visions.
He made his way into the kitchen and made some coffee for both of them before returning to his bedroom where he watched Dorian still sleeping. He slipped back into the bed and laid down next to him, watching the calm over his face as he slept.
Dorian had wanted to remain awake to watch over Ehren in case something happened while sleeping. But he had fallen asleep, waking up a few times due to the foreign bed and having someone in the bed with him. It was an old habit of hypervigilance.
He slept dreamless and calm. Then he woke, first smelling coffee and then Ehren. Slowly, Dorian opened his eyes to see the other man laying there and watching him. “Hi,” he whispered.
A smile came to Ehren’s face when Dorian sleepily greeted him. “Hi, yourself.” He said, a hand coming up to stroke his cheek. “You stayed.” He offered, since Ehren was convinced that at some point in the night Dorian might get uncomfortable and leave, especially considering they hadn’t even done anything.
“I’m making some coffee, would you like some?” He asked, just enjoying the feel of Dorians face against the back of his fingers. He didn’t fully understand why he was so attracted to Dorian. He was handsome, yes but there was something in his quiet exterior that endlessly interested him.
Dorian had planned to leave, slip out once he knew Ehren was deeply asleep. But he had stayed. “Looks like I did.” Perhaps it was a good thing.
“Yes, please.” He hummed as he closed his eyes at Ehren’s stroking his cheek. Open his eyes again, Dorian liked those blue eyes. “Better?” He asked as he reached to cup Ehren’s hand.
He smiled at Dorian’s question. Was he better? Not really, he wasn’t sure how long he’d be feeling this way, but at least Dorian was by his side still. “A little bit I guess.” He offered instead, leaning in to brush his lips against Dorians before kissing them again. He didn’t know when he felt ok just kissing Dorian, sometime last night when he had kissed back, but nothing could stop him from doing it now. Nothing but Dorian himself.
He let go of Dorian before getting off the bed again. “Cream or sugar?” He asked him, about his coffee of course.
“Good. Sleep often helped me.” Dorian replied, offering just a sliver of some history. It felt right, compelling as Ehren kissed him and Dorian kissed him back in kind. If Ehren was more emotionally settled, he was happy with that.
“A little of both, please.” He spoke, punctuating another response with ‘please’. Gently, Dorian sat up on the bed and remained. Sleeping hard made one groggy. The bit of disorientation from being in an unfamiliar bed wasn’t present. Good. His own panic trigger hadn’t gone off. Good.
Ehren nodded and made his way into the kitchen, pouring them both mugs full of coffee, careful not to add too much cream and sugar to Dorians. He was a black coffee kind of person and would be until the day he died. Hopefully that wasn’t today since Meg was probably pissed at him and she could seriously fuck him up if she wanted to.
When he came back into the room he handed Dorian his mug of coffee and headed back to the living room to sit down on his couch. It was days like this that he wished he hadn’t quit smoking because there would definitely be a lot of stressful things to deal with. “Thank you, again, for staying with me. Usually I have to deal with the aftermath of things like this by myself.” He offered, scooting to the side of the couch so that Dorian could sit next to him.
Taking the mug of coffee, Dorian slipped off the bed and followed Ehren into the living room. “You’re welcome,” he nodded and walked over to sit down on the couch beside the other man. “Sometimes it’s good to be by oneself, but other times, yeah, having someone or something to ground you is much better.” He slowly sipped the coffee, savoring the taste and warmth.
He nodded his head, sipping his coffee. “Yeah I think I just needed someone to talk to this time.” And the thought came to his head, what if Dorian thought he was just using him for comfort? It didn’t seem fair to let that line of thinking even start.
He placed his coffee on the table and grabbed Dorians to do the same. He grabbed the other mans hands in his and looked him straight in the eyes. “I want you to know that I like you and I’m sorry for bringing you into my mess. This isn’t how I expected to try and win you over.” He admitted, giving Dorians hands a little squeeze.
“Mmm, that too.” Dorian smiled softly and took another sip of his coffee. He didn’t want to take advantage of Ehren. Yet he wondered if the spontaneity of the fun they had playing pool would come back. He didn’t want to dwell on how fragile the situation could be.
Not flinching or growing too still, Dorian watched Ehren and then let him take the mug and then grabbed his hands. Damn, those eyes were beautiful tropical waters blue. Listening, he nodded and gently squeezed back. “I like you too. It’s okay. I approached you the first day we met. And...I liked how you showed me those pool tricks.”
The smile grew wider across his face. Even though he was still having a hard time, it felt so much better being around Dorian. “Let me take you out for real. Like a real date.” He said, intertwining his fingers with Dorians. He wasn’t sure what they could do, he’d probably want to avoid the marketplace because of Meg, but there were other places to go on the island.
“How about this weekend?” He asked, hoping the answer was yes. Even though Dorian had clearly stated many times that he liked Ehren, it was still kind of hard for him to see. Always self-deprecating.
Dorian was a little surprised at the idea of a date. He hadn’t been on one before in all honesty. “Really?” He smiled. He brushed his thumbs over the back of Ehren’s hands.
“Sounds good!” The taller man replied. More normal, friends-who-kissed sort of things. It was refreshing to perhaps be around those who wanted to be around him for him.
Ehren was glad that Dorian agreed and he let go of Dorians hands before he went to drink his coffee again. “Great. I’ll text you and we can figure it out from there.” He said and sipped at it. He had to go see Dani today, there was no way he was going to keep anything from her, especially not because she would be asking him questions about Meg.
He stood as he sipped his coffee and put it down to go into the bedroom to put some clothes on. She might not be awake yet but he needed to do this sooner rather than later. “We could go see a movie and maybe get some drinks afterward.” He knew Dorian said he wasn’t much of a drinker but they could at least play some pool or something.
Taking up his mug, Dorian drank more of his coffee. “Okay.” He smiled. Perhaps they could start again slightly in a better angle, with an even state of mind.
He would be lying if he didn’t say he watched Ehren go into the bedroom. Breathing, he then sipped his coffee. “A movie sounds good. I haven’t seen one in a while.” It was true he wasn’t a drinker - being impaired was something he was mindful of especially when he was not in a ‘safe’ place.
With his shirt still open he walked back out into the living room. “Great.” He replied, buttoning his shirt from the bottom up. He knew it probably wasn’t a good idea, not after everything that had happened to him but he liked Dorian and he didn’t want to let that slip through his fingers. Once his shirt was done he sat back down on the couch and drank his coffee again.
“I have to get going, I have a few errands to run.” Namely, telling Dani, because he was tired of lying to her and he knew he could trust her to keep his secret.
Dorian finished his coffee as he watched Ehren return to the living room. Such a temptation. It was easy to entice the taller man, but he had learned to control himself and bide his time or brush off what or who he didn’t want. With all that had happened since last night, Dorian was going to take things slow. He wanted to see if the attraction was still there and not the sole desperation to keep the visions from happening.
“Okay,” he nodded as he stood and went into the kitchen - place his empty mug in the kitchen sink. Looking over his shoulder at Ehren, Dorian then went into the other man’s bedroom to get his shoes, socks, and keys.
Ehren gulped down the rest of his coffee and padded across the living room to his bedroom where he grabbed Dorians arm. When Dorian turned around to look at him, he pressed his entire body to the other man, sliding his hand around his neck to press a kiss to his mouth.
Sure this was probably not something he was supposed to be doing, kissing Dorian before they even went out on a first date, but Ehren just couldn’t help himself. When the kiss broke he looked into those smouldering eyes. “Thank you, again. I know I’ve said it a lot but I really don’t think I could have made it through the night without you.” He meant emotionally really, since visions rarely happened so close to each other.
Physical contact was always a flip of a coin - good or bad with either one disguised as the other. Dorian held his shoes, hooked over three fingers as he felt Ehren’s hand. Turning he breathed. As soon as the other man’s body pressed against his, Dorian loosely wrapped an arm around Ehren’s waist. He kissed him back, returning the affection but not the spontaneous energy.
It was gratitude for both of them. Dorian felt a tinge of lust mingled in his gratitude in return. His hand moved to rest on Ehren’s hip when the kiss broke. Breathing in through his nose, he nodded. “You’re welcome.”
It would be easy right now to forget everything and throw caution to the wind. Dorian was so open and compassionate, but Ehren needed to take it slow. It all went so fast with Meg and that didn’t end well. Still, he allowed himself little things, like staying close to Dorian for as long as his body would let him. He didn’t need to go see Dani with a raging hard on.
Finally he pulled himself away and shook his head. “Oh wow, ok, I definitely need to go now before something else happens.” He said, looking in the mirror to see how he looked. Not good. His eyes were a bit sunken and his skin was pale but at least his hair wasn’t a complete mess.
It would be easy. But they had to be patient and Dorian could do that. He breathed as he watched Ehren, feeling that hard on. In years past, he had been in numerous situations where he or the other party was in such a state and there wasn’t any waiting.
“Yeah,” he breathed as Ehren pulled away. Dorian slowly sat down on the foot of the other man’s bed - pocketing his keys and putting on his socks and shoes. Soon he was standing again and leaving the bedroom to stop at Ehren’s apartment door.
Following him to the door Ehren leaned against the open door frame. “So I’ll see you Friday?” He asked, realizing he probably needed to stay back for a little so that Dani didn’t hit him across the face for sporting a boner. “I’ll check to see what showtimes are and we can plan it from there.” He offered, since a movie did kind of sound like a great idea.
Dorian turned around to face Ehren. “Yeah,” he smiled softly. “Sounds good.” They definitely needed some time away from each other, but Dorian really liked the idea of going to a movie with Ehren. Trying not to eye that hard on, the taller man blushed as he slipped out of the apartment and closed the door behind him.
Ehren turned and leaned his back against the door as Dorian left, looking down at his pants where he was still clearly hard. It was going to have be taken care of before he went to go see Dani so he gave in and rushed to take his pants off and himself in hand.
He knew it was going to be difficult to take it slow with him, especially considering how Dorian made him feel like a horny teenager, but it would be good to wait. Until then, he could at least jerk off to the memory of their kisses