Love and Books

by Jian Jie (鉴戒)


Snow is bad for those afflicted with ADD. I learned this on one of many days with my much loved, but far too easily distracted, Robin, who seems to want to watch each snowflake land on the ground and melt. I think he’d even mourn for them if there weren’t so many of them. That could lead to a dangerous discussion on whether God mourns for lost souls or not, but I’d really prefer not to go there.

Robin laughs as he looks at me, his head tilted to the side. “Snow, in my ear,” he whimpers and I cover his ears with my hands until it melts. He really acts so young and you’d never believe that someone had put him in control of twenty odd under-graduate students. He hardly seems to be able to take care of himself.

“If you’d wear your ear muffs-” I scold him.

He laughs softly, leaning in to kiss me, “Don’t be angry.”

I’m never angry with him, even when we moved in together and tried to record our voice mail. He’d wanted to warn them why we really weren’t going to answer the phone. It was most definitely something I didn’t want my mother to hear every week when she calls and I instinctively let the machine take it. I’d had to cover his mouth with my hand after his part was through. He’d licked my hand pathetically and pouted for the rest of the day. It’s hard to be angry with him.

We’ve been together for three years now, and every day he walks me to work. The impressive library makes his eyes widen every time he found someplace new. I always let him in with me, even to places he wasn’t supposed to go, because he always found things that made me smile. Even if I had already known they were there, he would find something that I hadn’t noticed before. He loves books as much as I do, but he insists, “I could never work at a library, I’d try to sit down and read every book… Besides, I’m far too loud.” He always kisses me after he says that.

“I’m just going to spend the day here,” he tells me today, with the snow flitting outside the windows in familiar patterns. He’s already stroking the backs of books like a connoisseur of fine wines, glancing here and there at labels. “That’s a good year,” I can imagine him saying to himself. “A good vineyard…” Of course, he doesn’t drink wine. He always jokes that he wants to try absinthe, but not wine. I can hear him humming softly as he drops his winter clothes onto a table: gloves, jacket, scarf, sweater. He’d take off both pairs of pants if he could get away with it. Luckily he can’t, or he wouldn’t be mine anymore.

He’s already put his headphones in, his head moving to the rhythm of what would turn out to be bad seventies music. I think he has his entire world tuned to a soundtrack. The library always has bad seventies music. Work, he tells me with a grin, is heavy metal. And when we’re alone in our bedrooms, he likes what he calls rainy day voices because they remind him of me. Reading, kissing, loving, sleeping, it all has a sound to him.

He wanders down the aisles of the library, humming to himself, while I go to my station at the circulation desk.

People respect our library. I don’t understand why and Robin will never explain it to me, but people respect our library. Except Robin, but he doesn’t respect much. I always know when he’s done with his books because it’s always around my break time. He likes to be the last person I check before going to lunch. He drops his backpack on one side, wallet on the other, and books in the middle to make my life easier. I wish other people would do the same.

“So, when’s your shift over?” he asks me with a grin.

“Well, I’m not sure I should answer that.” I return his grin as I put the last book into his backpack and tuck the wallet into the front pocket where I know he always keeps it. The woman that’s going to take over my seat for the next hour sits down and takes the next person.

He smiles and sets his arm around my waist as we walk to whatever little niche he’s found for us today. We always bring lunch and he’s set out a blanket from his backpack so we can hide behind the books and eat in comfort. He passes me one of his earbuds while we eat in silence. It feels like a dream world, separated by this line of books. He starts humming softly and singing along to the music playing. Our food is forgotten when he leans over and kisses me gently.

“I love you,” he tells me with a smile. He sets his hands on my face and kisses me again. He’s always like a dream as he lays me back on the blanket, the soft comforter that he takes time and effort to fit into his backpack so when we eat, we are protected from the cold, hard floor. All I have to focus on is him. He loves to kiss me. He says that it’s like with his books and his music, feeling a story in my skin and a song in my sounds.

He starts off so careful, tracing his hands over my cheeks and my jaw. He knows that the way he touches my lips with his thumb makes me shiver, and that when he strokes the back of my neck and down my spine I gasp, especially when he presses his lips against it. He loves to spoil me, make me gasp and moan. It feels so much like it’s all about me when he’s running his hands across my chest and stomach. The music beats softly in our ears while he kisses the back of my shoulder. I hadn’t even noticed my sweater being discarded. We’re in public but we’re in our own little world that smells like old books and sounds like the soft tones of some Asian band. It feels like the cotton against my skin where his chest is pressed against my back and the velvet of his fingertips as they trace along my stomach, toying with the button of my jeans.

We shouldn’t be doing this here, we’re far too noisy. I’m almost moaning with abandon and he hasn’t even pulled my pants open. “Robin,” I scold him as he undoes the button on my jeans and realizes with a wicked laugh that I hadn’t been able to find a pair of clean boxers.

“Yes, Daiki?” He grins against my back as he runs his hand between the fabric and skin, tracing evilly. This is the only time he focuses well, when he’s got his hands on my skin, when he’s teasing me and kissing me and touching me.

I stare at the books and wonder absently where he gets the ideas he has, but I can’t finish the thought because he’s got his hand around me and he’s starting to move it in torturously slow movements. It’s all I can do to smother the sound.

“What would happen if we got caught?” he asked against my ear because he’s evil like that. Because he’s a very wicked man.

I can’t answer because it wasn’t something covered in training. I can’t answer because I can’t think.

He attaches his lips to the back of my neck, and he leaves a mark there. As if he weren’t shameless enough. He moves his hand faster and I bury my face into his neck to smother the sound of my moans. It doesn’t work quite right, but it’s getting there. Or I’m getting there and I don’t care any more. I think it’s the second one. He’s humming softly against my ear and smiling sweetly. I almost recognize the tune. He remembers to drop his jacket over us, as if that would stop the world from realizing what he was doing to me.

I’m quickly getting lost in it, in the movements of his hand and the feel of his body against mine. I hear footsteps nearby and nearly move out of his reach, but he holds me back with a gentle hand against my stomach. Luckily, he stops the motions of his hand so I can focus. I relax as they leave. The wicked, wicked man starts moving his hand again. My breath hitches and I know that I’m far closer than I thought I was. He realizes it because my hips are rising to meet his hand, because my breathing is shorter, because he knows me and knows my body. He presses his lips against mine and my toes curl as I come, my hips thrust forward, and my sounds covered by the taste of his lips.

“You’re evil,” I tell him as I bury my face into his shoulder and he grins as he passes my shirt back.

I couldn’t care less about snow or ADD or libraries or books. All I care about there is the scent of Robin and the sight of his wicked smile as he kisses me softly. “I love you,” and I honestly couldn’t be angry.

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