One Shot: Only One Bed

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"Ready for house shopping?" Caspar said excitedly on his phone.

"Like a good old couple we are, yeah!" replied Joe's voice from the receiver. 

"We're basically married!" Caspar joked. "I'm waiting outside the hotel. You there yet?"

"I'm on the right street, but I can't find the actual building."

"Number two-seventy-six. I'm waving my arms right now. You should be able to see me." Caspar scanned the crowds for a confused looking 23-year-old. London was busy today. Then he spotted the lanky handsome mop head. Directly across the street.

Caspar shouted gleefully, waving his arms violently. When Joe spotted him, he laughed outright, covering his mouth with his hand and shaking his head. Joe ran across the street, narrowly escaping a car accident. 

"Sorry!" Joe called over his shoulder to the angry driver. The driver yelled obscenities in response, but Joe wasn't paying attention. He had already switched focus to Caspar: "Buddy! So excited for today!"

"Yeah, come on let's get your bags in the room." 

The two checked in together. Joe slid in the key card into the door slot. It blinked green, and the two boys entered, looking around.

The hotel room was beautiful and simple. Clean white curtains, a neat wooden desk, a pale rug, and a big mirror hanging over the bed.

"Nice bed." Caspar commented, staring at the white Queen with massive fluffy pillows. He waited for Joe to state the obvious: they were going to share tonight.

"Yeah," Joe replied. Caspar turned to look at Joe. Come on, Caspar urged silently. He counted the seconds of silence passing. Joe looked back awkwardly. 

Caspar sighed internally. Joe was 3 years older, but still dense as a brick. 

"So, I guess, for the sleeping arrangements . . . we're sharing, right?" Caspar kept it casual, ignoring the thumping in his chest. He shook it off. He had slept with boys before. This was not different. 

"Sure." said Joe, throwing the word around carelessly. "I'll take whatever side. It doesn't matter."

"Yeah, right." Caspar tried to imitate Joe's carefree attitude. Stop being stupid! he told himself.

"Casp, you alright? We should go. House tour in thirty minutes!" Joe looked at Caspar oddly. 

Casp. What a beautiful nickname. Caspar tried it out in his head. Yeah. He liked it. He liked how his lips pursed together softly at the end to form a 'p' sound. 

"Caspar." called Joe's voice.

"Yeah." Caspar replied, his voice slightly dreamy. He blinked, bringing his vision back into focus. "Yeah. I'm ready."

Joe was such a lad.  He wasn't much for physical contact. At most, Caspar could get away with a high five or a quick hug. Of all the boys, why did Joe make him feel this way? Joe certainly wasn't trying. If anything, Joe was intent on making their relationship as platonic as possible. Caspar wished he could reciprocate the platonic feelings. Unfortunately, his body wouldn't obey.

The hormones made for a slightly awkward start. Caspar would find himself leaning on Joe and putting his arm around him whenever he could. Joe would shrug him off. Caspar would daze off staring in Joe's direction. Joe would laugh it off uncomfortably. For the majority of the morning, Caspar's cheeks were a slight red. Joe's were flushed too.

As the day went on, they learned to ignore the tension. Joe took opportunities to scare Caspar whenever he fell into a dream state. Caspar would act tired as an excuse to cuddle up to Joe. Joe forgot to shrug him off. He grimaced occasionally, but didn't do anything to stop him.

After a mellow dinner accompanied by a few beers, both Joe and Caspar were mildly tipsy. Walking clumsily back to their hotel, Joe tackled Caspar and dragged his tongue over Caspar's cheek. Caspar laughed gleefully, and pulled Joe close. 

It was 12:00 AM when they returned to the hotel. House shopping, a late dinner, and couple drinks had drained all energy from their bodies. Joe was exhausted, and Caspar even more so. Without a word, the two of them undressed. Caspar slipped on flannel pajamas, while Joe crawled right into bed, naked except for his boxers, flopping on his stomach. It was too late to care about awkwardness.

Joe watched as Caspar pulled his shirt over his head. He stared at his back muscles, the curvature of his spine. It was like staring at a Ancient Greek statue. Joe imagined sketching him, shading in each muscle, capturing the softness to his waist, his smooth skin. He watched as Caspar slid into his pants, watched the t-shirt cascade over his head onto his shoulders. Caspar climbed into bed, snuggled into the covers, and turned to his side, facing away from Joe.

For a while, Joe just looked at Caspar's hair, and listened to his breathing. It was very calming. Jokes flew out of Caspar's mouth per minute in public, but in the dark, alone, Caspar looked so innocent, like a friendly giant. Without thinking, his arms wrapped themselves around Caspar's torso. He closed his eyes. He felt a sense of steadiness, as if with Caspar, nothing could go wrong. He could hear Caspar's heartbeat, and his relaxed muscles underneath his shirt. From nowhere, Joe felt Caspar's soft lips on the back of his own hand, a light, gentle kiss. Tingling sensations pulsed through Joe's body. Joe hugged Caspar tighter, and kissed his soft blond hair.

"Caspar?" Joe whispered.

Caspar made the quietest noise in response. He was seconds from sleeping.

"You awake?"

Caspar shook his head, nestling himself more into Joe.

Joe smiled, and the two of them drifted off into sleep.

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