Barely a month at Charles’ home and Erik was still amazed at how quickly he’d fallen into certain routines. The early mornings and training schedules were nothing new. Those he’d had for years in one form or another - first under Shaw and then under his own regime. Those were meant to hone his body and powers for the day he would kill Shaw.
It was the other routines that unsettled him from time to time - with the comfort they provided and a sense of contentment he hadn’t felt since his family had been torn from him. It was the long, hot showers after training followed by a quiet time before supper where he was alone with his thoughts. Most often, he found himself preparing a cup of tea (Charles had gotten him hooked), before wandering through the house, learning its’ secrets and hidden spaces. He’d found several rooms that offered solace and good light to settle down to read or think, depending on his mood.
After dinner the norm had become to withdraw to retreat to the parlor where there was a roaring fire to chase away the damp night air, a chessboard and good brandy to drink while conversing with Charles over a variety of topics. Those nights were a quiet joy Erik had never expected to find.
Today, Erik took his tea into one of the rooms that overlooked the forest behind Charles’ mansion. From the window he could gaze out on the land left to the wild compared to the perfectly kept grounds of the rest of the place. He’d already seen a few deer moving through the trees.
As he looked out, Charles came around the house, hands shoved deep in his pockets as he strolled towards the woods. Erik watched him, wondering, not for the first time, where the other man occasionally disappeared to in the time before dinner. Erik found himself setting down the teacup and walking outside, stretching his legs to better follow Charles.
His friend had disappeared beyond Erik’s sight. Erik found a winding footpath at the edge of the forest that led him deeper into it. It was a quiet place, leaving him feeling calm and at peace as he listened to the sounds of animals moving about. After walking for a while, it opened up unto a grassy shore overlooking a lake. It was here Erik discovered what his friend did when he disappeared.
Charles’ skin was pale under the late afternoon sun. Erik took in the breadth of his shoulders down the line of back as it tapered into his hips. As Charles bent to slide his pants and underwear down his legs, Erik couldn’t look away. He lingered over the swell of Charles’ ass, the slender lines of his body, and the glimpse of his prick hanging between his legs.
Charles walked to the end of the dock, obviously very comfortable being naked. The last few steps were at a run as he dove. Erik moved out into the open, wanting to see more of his friend. Charles was sleek, moving through the water with barely any waves behind him. The late afternoon sun shimmered on the surface of the water, sometimes blocking Erik’s view of Charles. He moved closer, until he stood on the dock, and watched, drawn to the elegant beauty that was Charles swimming. He reminded Erik of the otters Erik had once seen years ago in the way Charles twisted and turned, clearly taking pleasure in his swim. Erik found himself smiling at his friend.
As though sensing him, Charles stopped swimming, turning around to tread water as he looked up at Erik. Erik gazed back at Charles, seeing the enjoyment the other man was experiencing in the lake. One of the benefits of his gift - Erik had yet been unable to sneak up on him along with the children. If Raven knew of a way she wasn’t telling anyone.
“Come join me.” Charles said. “The water is cool but quite refreshing.”
Erik didn’t hesitate to pull his turtleneck sweater over his head, letting it drop onto the pile of Charles’ clothes. Charles watched him, just as avidly as Erik had watched Charles earlier. Erik kept his eyes on Charles as he stripped off the rest of his clothes to stand naked before Charles. The look in Charles’ eyes found an answering curl of heat fill Erik’s belly.
Erik dove off the dock and swam out to meet Charles. The water was cold but bracing and, invigorating Erik. Charles turned and started to swim again, Erik easily matching his strokes. He could see why Charles took such pleasure in this. The sun was warm against his face while the water flowed freely over his naked body.
They both ended up heading towards the shore at the same time. As soon as he could, Erik stood up, the water lapping at his chest. Charles turned to face him, smiling, the touch his mind against Erik’s conveying warmth and affection.
Erik returned the smile, feeling the attraction that had been steadily grown over the weeks as he’d gotten to know Charles. It was an unexpected feeling much like several of his new routines. Erik was used to bedding strangers in quick, impersonal encounters, enough to sate his body for a time and leave him free of emotional entanglements as he continued his hunt for Shaw.
He’d never taken the time or permitted himself to engage in the slow building of desire between himself and the person he wanted. It – this feeling for Charles – was as thrilling as it was scary for Charles had become his friend when it had been such a long time since Erik had been close to anyone He saw the same feelings mirrored on Charles’s face as they stood there silently. Erik found himself savoring the moment, and the sweet build up of his own desires. He could feel it echoed back to him from Charles as the telepath sank gently deeper inside Erik’s mind, tiny pulses of pleasure wrapping around Erik’s own need.
Erik reached out to touch Charles’ cheek, feeling soft, damp skin under his fingers. The touch lingered for a long moment as the physical sensation mingled with the mental one. He traced the planes of Charles face, over cheekbones, the arch of his nose, and Charles’ red lips. He lingered there, feeling the flick of Charles’ tongue against the pad of Erik’s finger the same time Charles’ mind caressed Erik’s.
Then Charles moved into Erik’s arms, his mouth pressing lightly against Erik’s. Erik kept his eyes open as he returned the kiss. His eyes soon drifted shut as one kiss flowed into the next one, as he learned the taste and texture of Charles’ mouth. The slow, simmering heat that had been building over the past few days warmed his body as much as him mind. He tilted his head, slanting his mouth over Charles as he deepened the kiss. His hands slid around Charles, pulling him closer until their bodies were pressed together. Erik cupped Charles’ face between his palms, enjoying the brush of stubble against his skin and the contrast of sleek skin over hard muscle as the water lapped around them. With most of his life steeped in blood, pain, and anger, Erik couldn’t quite believe the joy he experienced at being here like this with Charles. He’d not only discovered he wasn’t alone in his mutation but found a friend and equal in Charles. This happiness flowing through him seemed almost foreign but becoming more familiar the more he felt it.
Charles’ hands slid over Erik’s body, exploring him just as his thoughts eased through Erik’s. Erik could feel the enjoyment Charles took in the hard lines of Erik’s body and the sharp angles of Erik’s mind. Erik lost track of time in the taste of his friend, the smell of his skin, and the wet warmth of his mouth. Desire swept through him, but he felt no urgency to take things further beyond exploring the lean length of Charles’ body and the movements of Charles’ tongue stroking over his.
Slowly, they broke apart, staring at each other. Charles’ mouth was red and swollen, his eyes dark with desire that found its match in Erik. Erik knew their chess game later tonight would be an interesting experience. A form of foreplay as they took their time to tease each other, knowing both of them would end up in either his or Charles’ bed, skin to skin as they took their pleasure in each other.
He sent that wordless knowledge to Charles’, feeling how Charles’ mental touch grow sharp with anticipation. They waded back out of the lake, pulling their clothes over damp skin as Erik looked his fill, seeing Charles do the same.
They walked back to the mansion, shoulders brushing against each other in comfortable companionship. Charles’ mind still lingered at the outer edges of Erik’s, leaving Erik to wonder what it would feel like to be fully immersed with his friend, physically and mentally, later tonight. It sent a shiver of want through him as he looked toward to finding out.