The weather is crappy, the fire is crackling, dinner is cooking, and Makai is nervous.
He's having dinner with his boyfriend Nolan, and there's something extra special about this date. He planned it all perfectly in his mind and rehearsed exactly what he wants to say. But now, when the moment has presented itself, Makai struggles to find the words.
Maybe the gift he has waiting will say it all.
His gaze strayed to the crackling fire, the little nest of blankets and pillows, and the box resting on the coffee table. All his hard work, thrown right out the window. No, he had to do this right. Anyone could ask a question, he wanted more depth to it. He wanted his intentions, the love he felt for Nolan to be loud and clear. Nerves or not, there was only one way he could do this and be happy, even if Nolan turned him down.
At least I’ll have tried. I’ll have put my best foot forward.
“Let’s adjourn to the living room, shall we?”
Nolan began to gather his dishes.
“Leave them for later. I want to do this before ... Just let them be. They’ll keep.”
“Are you sure?”
Normally Makai preferred to clean up the mess after the deed was done, seeing no need in putting off the inevitable, but figured that’s exactly what he’d be doing. Scrubbing dishes would be an excuse to avoid what he truly wanted, and what he feared could happen.
“Yes.” To show he meant it, Makai pushed back his chair and stood. He stepped around the table and offered his hand to Nolan. “There's something else I’d rather see to, if that’s okay with you.”
“If it’ll explain why you’re acting weird, most definitely.” Nolan placed his hand in Makai’s. “But I’m bringing my wine.”
“By all means, lets.”
Makai gathered his own glass as Nolan grabbed the bottle by the neck, managing to hold both his glass and it in one hand. Together, Makai slightly leading the way, they crossed the space to the little pile of comfy-ness Makai had created. Nolan got settled while Makai stoked the fire, wanting the flames to keep burning.
What a lovely metaphor, he thought before settling beside his men.
By now Nolan had noticed the nearly wrapped gift and was examining it.
“It’s for you,” Makai said.
A bit of fear flashed in Nolan’s eyes. “Oh no, have I forgotten out anniversary or something?”
Much to his surprise, Makai chuckled. “No, not in the least.” The suggestion of such an important date bolstered his spirits, driving back some of the nerves. “It’s a little token to help me say something I’ve been, well, that I’ve struggled to put into words.”
Nolan quirked his lovely eyebrow again, a minor gesture Makai adored. “Are you going to tell me you used to be a woman? Or that you were married? Or maybe you have a kid somewhere ...”
Makai’s mouth fell open.
This time Nolan chuckled, playfully clapping Makai on the arm. “I’m kidding, love. Unless one of those is true.” Their eyes met, Nolan’s laughter dying away, but his smile remaining. There was such warmth in his gaze that for a moment the fire was needless to Makai. “And should any of them be true, I don't care. They wouldn’t change how I feel about you.”
For the first time that night Makai felt the familiar sting of tears welling in his eyes. How had he been so blessed? What had he done in his life to deserve a man as splendidly wonderful as Nolan?