Chapter 23 - Cherub Rock (The Smashing Pumpkins ; 1993)

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The apartment that Brendon and I were sharing was more than gorgeous. If I could get away with it, I'd trade my own apartment in San Francisco for this one anytime. The lighting enhanced everything, including the way my beautiful boyfriend looked sprawled across our bed. The entire layout of the bed was white: white sheets, white pillows, white duvet, even accentuated with a white throw blanket that had been carelessly tossed to the side last night.

Brendon was laid in a diagonal position, his head lying in the spot that was normally occupied by me as his legs laid across where his whole body usually is. The duvet was resting just below the small of his back, showing off the beautiful dimples that rested just at the base of his spine, His arms were both tucked under the pillow as his head was turned to face the spot that I was currently sitting. I was perched in a small chair, adorned in nothing but sweatpants with my sketch pad in my lap, carefully finishing the last few outlines of his body just as he stirred awake.

I smiled softly as I placed my signature at the bottom of the sketch and set the book gently on the bedside desk. I carefully climbed over his body, my knees straddling his hips as I leaned down to press a soft kiss to the back of his neck, earning a content sigh from him. "Good morning, love," I whispered into his ear as I placed another kiss to his neck.

"Mmm," he hummed before responding, "good morning to you, as well." He rolled himself over so he was on his back underneath me, looking up to meet my eyes. "Very good morning, indeed."

I smiled softly down at him before cupping his cheek in my hand as I leaned down and pressed a soft kiss to his lips. Before the kiss could ascend into anything further, we were interrupted by a soft knock on the door. Brendon groaned in protest as I climbed off of him and walked over to the door, unlocking it and pulling it open to reveal Gerard smiling at me brightly. "Good morning, Ryan," he says happily. "How was your first night?"

I smiled softly and nodded gently. "I-It was absolutely perfect," I said happily. "I honestly still c-can't thank you enough for this."

Gee waved me off and smiled brightly at me again. "It's absolutely no problem," he said with a soft pat of reassurance to my shoulder. "Is Brendon awake? We'll be leaving in about thirty minutes for brunch."

Oh, I thought to myself, I forgot about that. "Y-Yes," I said softly, "but neither of us are ready. We'll b-be ready soon, though."

"Sounds great," he said with a soft smile. "See you downstairs in thirty!"

With that, he left and I closed the door, walking over to see Brendon looking at my sketch of him. I felt my face flush slightly as he turned to look at me with an appreciative smile. "I don't know what it is about your sketches," he began as he placed the book on the desk and walked over to me, wrapping his arms around my neck, "but I feel more and more beautiful each time I see a new one and how I look from your perspective."

I smiled gently and placed my hands on his hips before pressing a soft kiss to his full lips. "You look beautiful from a-any perspective," I whispered gently. "However," I countered, "as much as I l-love to see you like this, we need to get ready for b-brunch. We're leaving in thirty minutes."

He nodded softly and pressed a kiss to my nose before walking toward the bathroom, opening the door but stopping before entering. "Aren't you going to join me?"

Hell yeah, I am.

* *~~~* *

"I was thinking that we do a mixture of candid sketches and poised sketches," Frank said as we continued eating our meals and discussing how the display should look. "It would seem more real that way."

"I agree," Gerard said as he took a sip of his coffee. "It would bring out the realism along with the naturalism of yours and Brendon's relationship."

I nodded along with their suggestions as I continued eating. I actually didn't have a preference on how the display should be set out, I just knew that it would be full of sketches of Brendon and that would've been good enough for me.

Gee and Frank turned to each other, getting lost in their own conversation - which didn't sound professional in the slightest - as I turned to face Brendon. He was studying his crepe pancakes, maybe trying to figure out why they were so thin, before turning to me. "Will you take a bite of this and tell me if they taste different to you?"

I nodded and watched as he cut a piece off and stabbed it with his fork and held it out to me. I opened my mouth as he placed the fork just past my teeth and I wrapped my lips around it, pulling off the pancake as he pulled the fork away from me. "What do you think," he asked curiously.

I chewed slowly as I pondered the taste of what I was eating and looked to Brendon with furrowed brows. "It tastes like it's made out of cookie b-batter rather than pancake mix," I said as I completely swallowed the food.

"That's what I was thinking," he said as he cut off another piece and placed it into his mouth. I watched in admiration as he ate the pancakes and couldn't help the small smile that graced my lips as he put more syrup on them.

I turned back to see Gerard and Frank smiling softly at the two of us which caused my cheeks to flush brightly before I turned back to my own food and continued eating without so much as another glance towards them.

* *~~~* *

We got out of the car back at the apartment building and walked into the lobby where we were met with two people, one of who was all too familiar to me.

"Spence?" I questioned softly.

"There you guys are," he groaned over exaggeratedly before he and the person with him walked over to us. "We've been here for like an hour and had no idea where you went."

"Ryan," Frank said as he stepped forward, "I hope you don't mind that we've invited your friend Spencer to help us endorse this gallery that will be going on. He is in business management, as you know, so this could be an easy way for him to get some first hand experience at how to set things like this up. His roommate is in advertising. also, so we figured he could promote the gallery and reach more people than we could on our own."

The man beside Spencer stepped forward and shook all our hands, mine last as he offered me a small smile.

"Jon Walker," he said softly, "nice to meet you."

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