Christophe stretches as he wakes, wishing the hotel sheets were softer, then rolls onto his stomach, drowsing on his pillow. A faint glow from the city lights filters through the gap in the curtains, outlining everything in grey. He picks up his phone and squints at the time: nearly eleven.
Then he closes his eyes and waits for the door to open.
The first time he asked Josef to arrange this for him, Josef sighed but he didn't refuse. They understand each other well and, if their preferences are incompatible, their proclivities are similar.
So now Christophe asks for two keycards at every check-in and hands one to Josef. And spends his time off the ice looking at the men who go by – their bright faces when they smile at him, their lovely backsides as they walk away – and wondering who will walk through his door this time.
He touches the drawer in the bedside table, just touches, leaves it closed. He doesn't know yet if they'll open it or if they'll have no need for anything else. If their bodies together will be slow or frantic, silent or screaming. Intense or laughing. Or all of those things.
Christophe stretches again, filled with languid anticipation, and hugs his pillow. Will it be someone he knows well? Or someone he's never seen before, even to turn around to watch him walk away?
He's half-asleep again when he hears the click of the door. Soft footfalls crossing the room. Christophe leaves his eyes closed and moves against the bed. His whole skin is so hungry to be touched. He's so eager to play or be played with.
The man stops by the bed. He doesn't speak but Christophe can hear the way he fills the space in the room. He won't wait for Christophe to turn, unsure of what Christophe wants him to do, that's obvious. But he might wait too long for Christophe.
Christophe doesn't know how Josef picks the men he sends but his instincts are good. There have only been a few misfires: one man who was beautiful but wooden, one who didn't show up at all. But most have been wonderful, one way or another.
Some men have been tentative and then Christophe is the one who pulls them down and warms them. And that is a joy all its own. But more often, what Christophe wants from these encounters is someone who already knows what they want from Christophe.
This man knows what he wants, Christophe can tell. And Christophe wants him to take it.
Christophe moves again, a little, he can't be still. Then he feels the sheets slide down his back, his buttocks, his thighs. He's completely exposed, cool air and nothing else against his skin. He arches his back and smiles because he knows he's being admired.
The moments stretch out until the tension is nearly physically painful. Touch me, Christophe thinks but doesn't say aloud. His body is already saying it for him: his rising hips and splayed thighs, his face nuzzling down into the pillow.
The bed shifts as the man sits. A heavy hand presses between Christophe's shoulder blades, pinning him with just that touch, and telling him all he needs to know.
"I was hoping it would be you," Christophe says and opens his eyes.
"You'd say that to anyone who came in." Celestino moves his hand slowly, up Christophe's neck and into his hair, stroking his thumb against Christophe's temple.
Christophe leans into the touch, turning his head and trying to catch that thumb with the tip of his tongue. "You bribed Josef to give you the keycard."
"Why would I do that?" Celestino pushes his thumb inside Christophe's mouth and runs it over Christophe's bottom lip. It's still the only place he's touching Christophe.
Christophe chases with his tongue and Celestino lets him lick at the pad of his thumb before pulling it away and standing up again. Christophe reaches after him, just managing to brush Celestino's sleeve, then lets his arm hang over the side of the bed. He looks up at Celestino. "Maybe I was the one who bribed him."
Celestino turns on the lamp. He doesn't take his eyes off Christophe as he unbuttons his cuffs, then the front of his shirt. Christophe wants to be the one to push it off his shoulders. He wants to get his fingers into Celestino's chest hair, his mouth on all that skin, he's itching with it. But he waits.
This is the second time Celestino has walked through Christophe's door, the second time in three months. And Christophe has been thinking about that breathless evening in Beijing ever since: together in the shower, Christophe biting his way up the inside of Celestino's thigh.
It's not like Christophe hadn't noticed Celestino long before that, years before, but Celestino was married for a lot of that time. And Christophe notices a lot of people. But after Celestino came through his door the first time, lifted up Christophe's head, and kissed him, Christophe regretted all the years he never made a move.
Sometimes Christophe can say why he wants a certain man, sometimes he can't. The ones he can't are always better. He doesn't know why Celestino. Why Christophe has been watching him all through the competition, never quite sure if Celestino was watching back.
Celestino drapes his shirt over a chair and sits back down on the bed. Christophe runs his fingers over Celestino's bare ankle and up under his trousers onto his calf, stroking at the warm skin. "I want to kiss you," he says.
"Let me touch you first." Celestino puts his hand on Christophe's back again, the same spot, and Christophe shivers, he wants it so much and one hand is not enough.
He lies for it, Celestino's hand sliding down his back, around his waist. Then curving around his buttock, kneading at the muscle. Christophe lies for it but not still. He's pressing his hips into the bed, sliding to get some friction on his cock.
"Do you want to do it yourself?" Celestino says. He strokes his thumb down Christophe's coccyx. "While I watch?"
Christophe bites his lip and forces himself to stop moving. "Take your clothes off. Put your hands on me."
"Keep still." Celestino stands again but near enough that Christophe can keep the tips of his fingers on Celestino's chest while Celestino unbuckles his trousers and steps out of them. He leaves his underwear on, though, black silk boxers, same as China. Lovely, but they should be gone. Christophe makes a grab at the waistband.
Celestino catches his wrist, fingers squeezing tightly. Desire flashes through Christophe and he takes a long breath. "Why won't you let me see?"
Celestino turns Christophe's arm back, slowly, but firmly, so it's pinned to the small of Christophe's back. "Still," he says.
"There's a tie in the drawer." Christophe brings his other hand up behind him so it's crossed over, Celestino's hand between both Christophe's wrists.
"Just keep still." Celestino pulls his hand away. "And let me touch you."
"You don't play fair." Christophe lets his frustrated hands drop to his sides. He can barely keep from squirming against the bed, even before Celestino's hands are on him. He closes his eyes and presses his face back down on the pillow. Focuses on the warm slow drag of Celestino's palms down his legs. Then back up, pushing his thighs apart, and stroking the insides.
Christophe can't help spreading further, lifting his hips for more, please more.
When Celestino brushes his fingers over Christophe's asshole, Christophe groans into the pillow. "I want to touch you too," he says. "But do that some more first."
Celestino laughs. He strokes Christophe again and again. Christophe's breath rasps in his throat and his legs slide against the bed before he can stop them.
Then Celestino licks up the base of Christophe's spine, wet and lingering, and Christophe thinks he's going to stop breathing altogether. Celestino takes hold of him, shoulder and hip and rolls him over. He climbs on after, knees on either side of Christophe's legs.
Christophe doesn't move and neither does Celestino, except to blink and look at each other. Christophe wants to remember this moment for a long time: Celestino's strong-featured face and broad shoulders above him, an escaped strand of hair brushing the side of Celestino's neck. Celestino looking at Christophe with hungry eyes and parted lips.
There are two ways Christophe could go, two splitting universes. The one where Christophe lies back and keeps trying to stay still while Celestino takes what he wants from Christophe and Christophe is so glad to let him do it. Or the other – and Christophe steps into it without hesitation.
"I'm done being still." He leans up and, with one slow finger, draws the strand of hair back behind Celestino's ear.
"You were never still," Celestino says.
Christophe bears him over onto his back on the narrow bed and stretches up beside him, half on top. Celestino puts his arm around Christophe's shoulders, holding him there.
"That's your fault," Christophe says and kisses him.
Maybe this is why Christophe's eyes follow Celestino whenever he's in the same room. Because they kiss together brilliantly, like lovers who have been together long enough to learn each other well but briefly enough that they're still insatiable. Christophe hardly wants more right now, just Celestino's mouth and tongue sliding against his own. Celestino's fingers curling around Christophe's neck. His own hand on Celestino's chest, stroking his chest hair and taking one nipple between two fingers.
Between them, how many mouths have they kissed? How many men did Celestino have before Christophe was even born? Christophe is so far behind but he doesn't need to catch up. All he wants right now, all he does is, kiss his way down Celestino's throat and rub his face in Celestino's armpit.
Celestino pushes his leg between Christophe's thighs. It's all Christophe can do not to lean up and ride it but he's so aroused, he's afraid he won't last. Like he's sixteen again and crammed up in a dark corner groping anyone he could find who was hungry too.
He looks up at Celestino. "Don't bother trying to keep still." Then he crawls down the bed, slides his face along those silk boxers, and puts his mouth on Celestino's cock.
Celestino's cock moves and Celestino's hips move and Celestino's hand gropes down to find the top of Christophe's head. If Christophe weren't already so invested in sucking right now, he would smile. But he's invested, tongue outlining Celestino's dick through the thin fabric, wet from both sides now. Lips settling over the head, remembering the shape and feel of it in his mouth.
Invested in feeling Celestino's thigh tensing under his stroking hand and smelling the fresh-showered scent of Celestino's skin. Hearing the groan that he's sure Celestino tried to keep inside his throat.
He reaches back for Celestino's ankle and Celestino draws his leg up so Christophe can press his cheek to Celestino's inner thigh. He slides his fingers up the leg of Celestino's boxers to tease at his balls.
"Are you going to finish me?" Celestino says. He tugs at Christophe's hair, pushes Christophe back towards his dick.
Christophe meets Celestino's eyes. He licks Celestino's thigh, still looking up. "No," he says. He brushes Celestino's cock with his fingertips, just enough to make the corners of Celestino's mouth turn down.
"Then what do you want?" Celestino asks.
All the things he could do with Celestino flash through Christophe's mind, all the ways their bodies can fit together, gasping in the warm light of the bedside lamp. But what comes out of his mouth is: "I want you to skate for me."
Celestino stares, then laughs, but more like he's surprised than he finds it funny.
Christophe laughs too, and he is surprised, but it turns out that's what he really does want, for Celestino to show that part of himself to Christophe. He's seen video, of course, and it's not like he expects that calibre of performance now, ten years out from Celestino's last ice show. But the core of it will still be there and that's what Christophe wants Celestino to show him, that most intimate part of himself that Christophe gives away every time he skates.
Celestino touches Christophe's cheek, two fingers on Christophe's cheekbone. "What do you want right now?"
There's only one thing that will be enough in this moment and it's not something Christophe normally requests of the men who walk into his room. He catches Celestino's hand and kisses his wrist. "I want you to fuck me."
Celestino leans up so he's sitting, legs on either side of Christophe. He puts his other hand on the back of Christophe's neck, curving around the back of Christophe's skull. "What if I don't want to?"
Christophe laughs for real this time. He licks the grooves on Celestino's palm, so slowly, then sucks two of Celestino's fingers into his mouth, watching Celestino's eyes almost close. He bites down a little, then lets go. "Fuck me," he says again.
"You're not making me want that blowjob any less," Celestino says. Then he pulls Christophe close and kisses him, hands a little too tight on Christophe's shoulders.
The heat of it pulses through Christophe's blood and body. He runs his hands up and down Celestino's sides, then down into the waistband of Celestino's boxers. Celestino pulls back and they look at each other again. "Fuck me," Christophe says.
"What do you need before?" Celestino asks. He wraps his fingers around Christophe's cock and rubs his thumb up and down.
Christophe can't help closing his eyes and sucking in breath. "If you do that right now I won't last." He pulls Celestino's hand away. "I don't need anything," he says at the same time as he imagines Celestino's head between his thighs and Celestino's tongue opening him up. But then he definitely wouldn't last. "It's my special skill." He leans across and opens the bedside table drawer. "Fuck me."
He lets Celestino untangle their limbs and stand up. He watches Celestino slide his boxers off and thinks he should hide them under the bed afterwards so Celestino will leave them behind. He looks at Celestino's cock, so ready for him and he's so ready to have it.
"The bed is a good height," he says and when Celestino has a condom, slick and ready, Christophe scoots to the corner. "Fuck me," he says. "Just fuck me."
Celestino picks up Christophe's legs and Christophe hooks them around Celestino's waist, lying back with a pillow under his hips. They shift and settle, and then Celestino pauses, his cock pressing against Christophe's ass and his hand on Christophe's thigh. "Sure you're ready?"
Christophe reaches up, the tips of his fingers on Celestino's chest. He can't wait any longer, it's long past time. "Fuck me."
Celestino pulls Christophe's hand up and kisses his fingers. Then, finally, finally, takes Christophe's hips and slowly pushes in his cock.
It's a lot and maybe Christophe isn't as ready as he thought he was. But he remembers to breathe. He touches Celestino's chest. "Don't stop," he says. And even if he feels stretched too far, he has what he wants, or what he wants right now.
"I know," Celestino says. He pulls Christophe's legs around his waist. He looks down into Christophe's eyes. And he starts to thrust.
Breathe, Christophe tells himself. He bunches the bedsheets in his fingers and watches Celestino slowly fuck him. The first few strokes, that's all there is in the world, Celestino's cock and Celestino's eyes.
But then Christophe does relax and he can see the sweat on Celestino's forehead, the strands of hair falling down his shoulders and sticking to his neck. He can feel Celestino's hand wrap around his dick, not jacking him, but just holding on with those firm warm fingers.
He shifts his hips a little, just — there — and that's the angle, Celestino's cock rubbing up against just the right spot, so much, almost too much. His eyes are trying to close but he forces them open. He catches Celestino's other hand and locks their fingers together. And then he just watches Celestino's face, so intent, so focused, while Celestino fucks him, fucks him, fucks him.
Fucks him until it's too much to take, too much sensation, not enough breath. He puts his hand over Celestino's on his cock and they jack it together, fuck Celestino's stamina, fuck his eyes and his shoulders and his hand holding Christophe's. Fuck his beautiful thighs. Fuck whatever it is that makes Christophe want to be here, impaled and clutching. Fuck – and he's coming, out of control, pulling tight and spinning free, the only thought he can hold on to is to keep his eyes on Celestino.
And he does, limp and used up, semen cooling on his belly. Still filled so full, still clutching fingers until Celestino's hips jerk and his face pulls and he comes too. Celestino doesn't close his eyes until he's done.
When they finally pull apart, Celestino heads into the bathroom and Christophe climbs back onto the bed, alone except for a handful of tissues. He hears the shower start. He stares up at the ceiling. There's a water stain he didn't notice before, rippling out like waves on a lake, and the thought of the water and the shore pierces him with wistfulness.
The bathroom door opens and Celestino steps out. He's still naked and his hair is looped halfway through his hair tie to keep it off his neck. He holds out his hand and Christophe rolls off the bed to meet him, wistfulness dropping away like a stone into the lake.
There's not much room, but they rinse off together under the spray, hotter than Christophe likes it. He pushes Celestino back against the tile and they kiss, brilliantly, for a long time.
"It's too late for more," Celestino says, Christophe's mouth lazy on his throat.
Christophe traces Celestino's lower lip with his wrinkled fingertips. "This is enough." In truth, he's too tired to get it up again tonight. And maybe all he wants is this, anyhow.
After the shower, Christophe sits on the side of the bed and watches Celestino dress. Christophe forgot to kick the boxers out of sight, so he doesn't get to keep them. It's too bad to cover up that body, but there's a pleasure in seeing Celestino make each movement with assurance, no awkwardness.
When Celestino starts doing up his shirt, Christophe goes over and takes each hand in turn, buttoning the cuffs while Celestino watches him. Then Christophe puts his arms around Celestino's shoulders and just leans against him, cheek against Celestino's temple, Christophe's naked body against Celestino's clothed one. Celestino hugs him back. They just stand there together, not speaking, not moving.
You will skate for me, Christophe thinks. He doesn't say it aloud this time. But it will happen eventually.
Celestino chuckles, like he can read Christophe's thoughts, and Christophe feels the rumble through his ribcage. "So you can be still after all."
Christophe laughs too and fuck late hours and his utter exhaustion because he still wants more. "No," he says and kisses Celestino one more time.
"I have to go." Celestino steps out of Christophe's arms. On his way to the door, he takes out a plastic keycard and lays it on the bureau.
"You don't have to give that back," Christophe says.
"Get some sleep." Celestino pauses, hand on the door. He looks back over his shoulder. "That's not the key to your room."
Christophe holds in his elation until the door closes behind Celestino. Then he collapses on the bed, sore from skating, sore from fucking, feeling like the sun is shining inside his chest and laughing because it seems like one damn thing is going right this weekend.
And when Christophe opens up Instagram, Josef is showing off his new bottle of cognac.