Twenty Four - Silent Like The G In Lasagne

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Inevitably, all that bravado didn't work out too well for Jaimee. The next day he woke up feeling even worse than he had before. Except this time, he woke up with Ricardo's arm wrapped around his waist, nose buried into the middle of his back, warm skin pressed just against the groove where his spine curved out into shoulder blades. The realisation that he wasn't alone was enough to dampen the sudden panic that overwhelmed him. Jaimee groaned and shoved a hand roughly through his hair, turning to stare up at the ceiling.

Who was I kidding?

His movement didn't disturb Ricardo - who was the heaviest sleeper Jaimee had ever encountered - even though it pushed him further across the bed. Last night Ricardo had convinced him to come home with him, though it hadn't taken much convincing. High on a post-coital rush and his new found confidence, Jaimee had headed straight for the kitchen and made them omelettes and vegetarian sausages, the only edible food in the house. Together, they sat and ate whilst watching TV, Ricardo absentmindedly rubbing Jaimee's ankle.

"So, she's sleeping with him? Even though she loves his best friend?" he had asked, mouth agape, becoming engrossed in Jaimee's favourite show.

"Yup," Jaimee had laughed in response, fascinated by his expressions.

"I should watch more TV. This is crazy."

After a few more episodes, Jaimee dragged him away from the flat screen, dropping their plates into the dishwasher and heading for his room. Ricardo stripped quickly and dived into the bed whilst Jaimee was more hesitant. He took his time, going for a shower first, trying to delay the moment when he would slide under the covers with Ricardo. He was still staring into the bathroom mirror at his wet hair when Ricardo appeared, leaning against the doorway.

"Are you gonna hide from me in here all night?"

Jaimee jumped. He turned, glad that his skin was too dark to flush properly. "I'm not-"

Ricardo cut him short with a single look. "Bull. It's different, getting into bed with someone you care about. Going to sleep. Intimacy. It's very different from pushing someone against the wall and doing what we did earlier."

"I know that-"

Ricardo reached forward and took his hand gently. He didn't bother to say anything further and so neither did Jaimee. Ricardo led him to bed, and Jaimee tried not to let the sense of home hit him so hard. He breathed through it, leaning back into Ricardo's warm chest as if he did it every day, no big deal. He ignored the way his heart beat against his ribcage, a lone drum in the silence. He'd never felt like this with Livvy. He'd never felt so much electricity within such a small circle of comfort. Ricardo's arms were the whole world, as far as he was concerned.

They spoke all night. They didn't mean to; they both had work early and neither were morning people - but it just happened. In the dark of the room, the only light being the illumination of central London through the blinds, they sketched out the past for each other. Ricardo delved into his misspent youth whilst Jaimee explained his childhood. They swapped stories, anecdotes that had shaped them into the men they had become, things that were easier to share in the darkness. And Jaimee felt so close to him in that moment that it was almost as if they had grown up together.

Fast forward to falling asleep at 2 in the morning, tucked into the crook of his arm, warmth all along his back. "You look good in my boxers." Ricardo murmured into his ear, half asleep and innocent. Jaimee was asleep before he could even think of a reply.

Now the sun had begun to rise, the room was bigger in the daylight, and Jaimee's guilt seemed to have doubled in the night. The warm, fuzzy feeling had evaporated. He was back to being just a cheat in his lover's bed. Reality was a bitch.

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