It's been two years since Gregory and Charlie found each other, and Gregory wants to make what they have permanent. A little romance, a little music and a little whipped cream couldn't hurt, right?
Gregory studied the table critically, twisting the candle holder a quarter turn. After a moment, he put it back where it had been, then forced himself to step away from the romantically set table, his hands at his sides. Plates gleamed. There was even a pale cream tablecloth just for tonight. Because tonight was a very special night.
His stomach was in knots. It had taken two years to get to this point. Two years since his world had been completely tossed on its ass and rebuilt, for the better, confronting and accepting truths about himself that he’d ignored, avoided, or even simply refused to acknowledge. Two years since he’d met Charlie on that beach in south Texas.
A lone man cocooned from the world and hiding as much as he could beneath woven wool sweaters and cotton.
An incredible man that Gregory had grown to love. In the end, it didn’t really matter how they’d found each other, he only knew he was ready to take the next step. Gregory knew what his feelings were, and what he wanted to do about them.
Gregory never doubted how lucky he was to have found Charlie, how Charlie helped Gregory become the man he was right then. A new house, a new job, and a life he’d never imagined. Now he couldn’t imagine it any other way, and only with Charlie. Gregory had plans for tonight, their anniversary, the small velvet box burning in his front pocket like a nugget of volcanic rock. He’d been building up to this since they’d found the new house, after moving out of RJ’s last summer.
They’d made a home together, blending their lives until it wasn’t Charlie’s or Gregory’s, but theirs. It hadn’t happened without its hiccups, without a few fights, but they were learning from each other. Gregory was happiest with Charlie.
The only problem he had, as he stole another impatient peek at the clock on the wall, was Charlie still wasn’t home from his last class of the day.
A moment later, Samson woofed and Gregory twitched, so lost in his whirring thoughts. Samson galloped for the door and Gregory watched as it opened, his heart doing a little flutter of a dance. He always reacted like that when he saw Charlie after being apart for more than a few hours.
“Hey, fella,” Charlie called, patting the dog on its head. “Greg?” He gripped his backpack, letting it slide to the floor by the door with a relieved sigh and a thunk.
“Right here, babe.” He left the dining nook and met Charlie inside the door. Lifting a hand, he threaded it through Charlie’s lengthening hair. He’d already teased his man about never cutting it again. Charlie was stunning with longer hair and Gregory loved it. Loved the feel, the heat, the rich silken weight. It was merely an extension of how he felt for Charlie.
With his fingers deep in those golden strands, he urged Charlie forward, to shiver when seeking palms braced on Gregory’s chest. The best part about coming home.