by Atsushi Saiki (篤し再起)
We are completely soaked when we finally get into the house.
“You’ll catch a cold, if you stay like that,” I tell him. He blushes and stares at our entwined fingers. He doesn’t want to let go, that much is clear. God, is he beautiful. I drop his hand, aching at the desolate expression on his face, and wrap my arms around him, pulling him close. His silence was scary. Raphael has never been a talkative person, not really aggressive either, but he can and will stand up for himself. But at the funeral he said nothing. So all I could do was stand next to him, a silent sentinel, reminding our family of their place. Because there is nobody else left to do that, other than me.
Mother told me he didn’t speak at grandfather’s funeral either. That was weird – he was the closest to both grandmother and grandfather. He should have been the first to give a eulogy. But then again, I was close to them as well… and I didn’t even go to grandfather’s funeral. I was mired in work.
It seems like no matter how much I want to know all of Raphael, something will always be a mystery.
The house is just as empty and still as when we first went outside, but this time, instead of being a sad, lonely silence, it is a silence of anticipation, of need and want. I steer Raphael toward the bathroom, nearly stumbling over a rug when he brings my knuckles to his lips and presses a kiss to my ring finger.
I want him so badly that my entire body aches.
There were times in college, when I thought to maybe replace him, but none of them could ever compare. I’ve only ever wanted him, and nobody else will suffice.
The wet fabric of his shirt is plastered to him and it’s all I can do to restrain myself. I want him. But he is delicate. I won’t take advantage of him. I refuse to, not after all he’s been through. I am no such brute. So instead of ravishing him, I pick him up and laugh when he squeaks. He’s too light.
“Quinn!” he says, and I press a soft kiss to the corner of his mouth to placate him. His voice is hoarse, but to me it’s the prettiest thing I’ve ever heard. He doesn’t struggle; he just lets me carry him through the hall with his knees bent over my left arm, clinging to my shoulders. He kisses me and I respond as eagerly as I can, holding him and walking. I need this as much as he does.
I put him down in the bathroom and slowly unbutton his shirt, peeling it away from his skin. He is flushed, breathing hard. There’s a look in his eyes that tells me that I am treading dangerous waters, but I smile and shake my head. Today is about him. It always has been.
I can’t explain it to him; words won’t do. Instead, I kiss him again, putting years of frustration, love, worry, everything, into the kiss. Communication at the basest of levels. Passionate, but unhurried. Imploring, but not demanding. Desperate. I hope that he will understand. I trail my hands down his shoulders, down to the small of his bared back, but stop at his hips. I won’t go further, not if it’s not what he wants. If our first kiss is simply warm, this one burns.
Raphael’s breathing grows uneven and I pull back. His pupils are dilated. I can only tell because we are hardly a breath away from each other. His hands clench on my shoulders, before dropping. Sunlight filters through the window, painting his skin golden. I don’t move. Whatever happens next is up to him. Uncertainty, fear, hope, a thousand emotions cross that face in the blink of an eye, mirroring exactly what I feel. He doesn’t look at my face, and there’s a sick feeling in my stomach. But I won’t move, not unless he pushes me away. He gives a small smile, and his hands tremble when they reach for the buttons at my throat. I try not to move, but I shiver as his hands slowly make their way down.
He steps forward. He is short enough that his hips slot just under mine. I swallow a rough sound, a hot coil of pleasure building in me. He pulls back my shirt. The fabric sticks to my damp skin, and I shiver when the air begins to cool the wetness. He breathes air over my collarbone, everywhere he touches feeling like it’s burning. The sound of my wet shirt dropping to the tile floor brings me to my senses.
I push him back. “Wait, please.”
My voice is strangled. I know I’m probably saying the wrong thing, like I always do, but I don’t want him like this. I need him, but not in this hurried, graceless way. I want to feel every inch of his body, to claim him, mark him as mine for everyone to see. We may be cousins, but his mother is the product of his grandfather’s former wife’s infidelity – technically he isn’t related to me. But still, I know we will be judged. Consequences be damned, I don’t care what they think; I will have him. But not like this.
Because the look on his face says that he is still not sure, that he thinks that I want this and he is willing to give it to me. But he still isn’t sure that he wants to do this right now. I want him, so badly. But not like this, not in this selfish manner.
Never like this.
I curb my need to get my hands on him by leaning over to turn on the faucet – as old as this house is, it takes some time for the water to heat up. The room is small so I’m not moving far from him, but when I look back up, Raphael is crying.
He looks as surprised as I am, blinking rapidly and touching his cheeks as though he doesn’t know why the tears are there. I swallow the lump in my throat and pull his hands away by the wrist, kissing each one where his pulse is, and pulling him close. Wiping away his tears, I kiss his forehead and pull him toward the tub until I feel the edge at the back of my calves.
“You okay?” I ask, even though he’s obviously not. He shakes his head.
The water drums against the ceramic of the tub, steam rising from it in puffs. I unzip his pants with shaking hands, rolling the top down, sitting on the rim of the tub. The denim sticks to his thighs, but drop and crumple at his feet. His boxers get the same treatment and he steps out of them, putting him between my knees. He’s half hard.
I let out a shuddering breath, and close my eyes, so there’s no warning when he presses his lips to mine. He nibbles and sucks on my bottom lip, opening my mouth, slipping his tongue along the crease of my lips. I open up and his tongue slips in, slick against my own and warm. As he licks the roof of my mouth, his fingers slip under the waist of my pants. His hands are cold, but the room is rapidly getting hotter. Blindly groping for the cold tap, I let him pull my pants down, my boxers coming off with them.
When I stand to kick them off, his cock brushes against mine, making all the air in my lungs leave.
He pulls me into the tub and I feel like I’ve lost my initial objective, but that’s all right. His hips buck a little and I grab the back of his head so I can tilt it back to get access to his throat, nipping gently. I maneuver him backward until his back hits the tile of the wall and I can grab the shampoo. I spill a little of it when I roll my hips and Raphael bites down on my shoulder, but I manage to get most of it on my hand so I can wash his hair.
I sud his hair, but his hands don’t remain idle: light touches ghost over my sides, down my stomach and finally settle on my hips. His eyes never leave my face, but I pretend I’m completely concentrating on cleaning his hair, which I am, mostly.
When I can’t stand those torturous, light touches I shuffle us backward until we’re under the stream of the shower. A flicker of expression, the barest of smiles, tells me he knows what I’m doing, but I was honestly about to lose it with just that, and I can’t let him win.
But as I am rinsing the shampoo out of his hair, he manages to grab the soap and applies it with his hands. I choke and glare at him, but he looks pleased, content. I suck in a groan as his palms slide over the curve of my ass, and he kneels to get the rest of my legs. I pull him up before he can do anything else, arms wrapping around his shoulders so I can kiss him hard, stepping between his legs.
“I want…” he starts, gripping my hips.
I shake my head. “Not here though.”
His eyes close, but he nods. I pull him closer, and out of the spray of the shower, using the excess suds from my body and rubbing against him. His eyes open wide and he flushes. I laugh softly, but start to kneel, mirroring his actions in all except that I nip and suck a trail down his front on the way down. He is shaking and gripping my shoulders by the time I am far enough down to soap his legs. He is fully hard, and I cannot resist the temptation to press a soft kiss at the head of his cock.
Today is about him, and I want him properly, but there is no reason why I can’t service him in this way.
When I take the head in my mouth, he falls back against the wall, slumping a little as though his knees simply can’t support him. I chuckle a little, pleased that I can get this reaction from him, pleased to know that he wants me, but my attention remains focused.
With the hand that isn’t holding his hip, I take what I couldn’t fit into my mouth and rub, running a finger against his balls. Even though the sound of the water hitting the floor of the shower is loud, it seems as though I can hear every hitch in Raphael’s breathing, every pant that leaves his lips, every suppressed groan, and that makes my head swim.
Finally, he comes, fingers gripping almost painfully in my hair. He moans my name and it goes straight to my cock.
I stand and pull him back under the spray of the shower, rubbing him down, letting him do the same. His fingers pause uncertainly at my cock, fully erect, and I choke when he starts rubbing, thumb paying particular attention to the slit. My hands find the taps as I stumble back, but he doesn’t pause. I push him back.
“Wait,” I say, trying to collect my wits, and turn to shut off everything. When I’m done, his hand snakes unexpectedly forward and grips me. My palm smacks painfully against the wall. With my other hand, I grip his wrist. “Stop, please, I can’t-” I stop, worrying that he’ll mistake what I am saying, but when his fingers curl around mine and he tugs, saying, “well, come on,” I know he understands.
I grab a towel from the rack as we leave. There will be puddles of water on the floor in the hallway, but this house has seen much worse from us, so it isn’t like it matters much.
“My room is upstairs,” he says.
I remember that much, at least. He had it converted to a studio when we were in high school. He must have been staying here before grand-mère was transferred to the hospital.
“Hold on then,” I tell him, and start to pat him down. It might be all right to walk around while wet on the first floor, but the stairs are dangerous and it’s easy to slip even dry and fully clothed. He tugs impatiently at the towel and gives me the same treatment.
I don’t know which of us is more eager to get to his room, but somehow we manage to get up the stairs without incident, tugging one another along.
The room is the same as I remember, though the air is stale from disuse as much as the rest of the house. The hospital hasn’t granted Raphael visits when grand-mère’s condition deteriorated – it must have slain him.
In one corner of the room is an easel, obviously with a canvas on it, but it is covered by a white sheet. Beside it is a pile of paint and brushes and other things that I could never guess the use of, cluttered in my eyes, but probably organized in such a fashion as to be useful. On the opposite wall is the bed, stripped of everything but the fitted sheet. Raphael sinks down onto the edge, holding the towel in his hands.
I feel dreadfully exposed, but this is Raphael, and the way he is looking at me makes my pulse race. Stepping in, I slide one thigh between his spread legs, one knee coming to rest beside him. He lets me push him so he’s laying flat, legs from the knee down over the edge of the bed. I slide my tongue into his mouth, caressing, thrusting in and out, until he’s panting to keep up. I feel slightly smug – until he grabs my cock, making me twitch and pause in my ministrations. I see the faintest flicker of a grin on his lips, which are wet and red with my efforts, and I take up his challenge.
His inexperience is obvious, he pauses when I grunt with pleasure, as though he isn’t sure he’s doing this right, but between the two of us, we manage somehow. As I make him come once again, he stops, hands dropping to cling at the mattress, and I rut against his hip, biting down on my lip as I watch him, his come splattering my stomach and chest, eyes wide and mouth open. I don’t last long.
My heart is still thumping, but the evidence of our release will get sticky on our bodies, if I don’t clean us off. So I fumble for the towel, barely managing to find Raphael’s lips for a sloppy kiss. I push him onto the bed properly and dump the towel in the corner of the room. At the end of the bed is a chest, which I know probably contains blankets. I pull one out and clamber onto the bed, settling it over us, pulling him so his back is to my chest. He murmurs sleepily, and I kiss his temple and ear.
Thanks to Cat for the beta.