Something woke Vinnie. It was dark. Then he felt Sonny bump him, then an icy palm pushing lightly on his chest. Sonny had taken a couple of pillows and piled them against Vinnie’s shoulder. He’d curled up there, but he wasn’t asleep. Vinnie moved and Sonny said, “Vinnie?”
The voice was almost strange. Still not fully awake, Vinnie just grunted.
Then Sonny said something truly bizarre. “I couldn’t find you.” His body was shaking.
Vinnie woke up more. “Huh?”
“I didn’t know where…you…were…”
Vinnie reached out one arm, snaking it around Sonny’s waist. His skin was cold. Sonny shuddered. “I’ve been here beside you all night. And before that, inside you.”
Sonny smacked him lightly on the chest. “Shut up…fuck. That nasty mouth of yours…”
“Well, it’s the truth. Why are you so cold?”
“I was looking for you.”
“And your hair is wet. What’d you do, go outside?” Now Vinnie was more alarmed.
“Yeah. It was raining. The snow is all melting.”
Vinnie had visions of a lost, naked man walking around the yard in the middle of the rainy night. Sonny’s next words diminished that. “My robe is soaked now. And my slippers.”
“What were you doing?”
“Looking for you.”
“I know. Shut up. I’m fucked up.”
Vinnie sighed, tightened his arm. It scared him to think of Sonny wandering around in a daze and not thinking right. That damned PTSD. So he said, “Well, it’s okay now. You found me.”
Sonny shuddered again.
Softly, “I guarantee you I’m not going anywhere away from you. I like you too much.”
Vinnie kissed his head, then stroked back the wet hair. Sonny shuddered again, pressing closer.
“It’s okay. You found me.”
Sonny lay silently against him for a long time. His tense body slowly relaxed and warmed. He said, not quite so shaky now, “You really do have a dirty mouth, Vincent.”
“My mouth is creative and enthusiastic and you love it.”
“Your mouth talks about stuff that shouldn’t be put into words.”
“What? Sex stuff? People have been trying to put that into words since time immemorial. 90 percent of poetry is written about it. It’s in just about any novel you pick up…”
“Yeah, but you say stuff….”
Vinnie laughed. “What, that I like to make you feel so good then watch you come apart at the seams? And you begging me…”
Sonny hit him again. “See what I mean? There you go again.”
Vinnie said, “You think what we do is dirty?”
“It’s a fucking vision quest with you, but yeah maybe.”
Vinnie felt flattered, but still… “Is that a problem or something?”
“No. I like it. But you don’t got to talk about it.”
Vinnie laughed again. “It’s okay to do it but not talk about it, okay…”
“Well, it’s kind of like mob secrecy. You do stuff but you never talk about it. It’s not part of the “real” business.”
“You equate what we’re doing with whacking people?”
“Well, it’s officially a sin…”
“Yeah. Right. Let me ask you something, how can love be equated to murder? How can love be a sin? Huh?”
“That’s just what people call it, us, you and me, what the Bible says about it…”
“Yeah, what Catholic people call it. Or right-wing Bible-thumpers…”
“We’re both Catholic.”
“Sonny, can you be with me like this and not have it cross your mind that they’re all idiots? Because this…this… We’re not fooling around with this. It’s real. It’s about us. And it’s not about anyone else, so they can just all go fuck themselves.”
Sonny was quiet.
Vinnie said, “Christ, we live in a fucked up world.”
“So you have thought it.”
He heard Sonny swallow. “Well you don’t see me going for Holy Communion, do ya?”
“It’s just some stuff, you talk about it and…”
Vinnie interrupted him with a grin. “I like to suck your cock.”
Sonny hit him.
“It’s nice-looking and I like the texture, okay?”
Sonny hit him again.
Vinnie turned this time into the blow and grabbed him, kissing him. He was all wiry yet soft to the touch even with the hard edges. He loved the feel of Sonny’s so smooth, coppery skin. “It’s just that I think you’re fucking beautiful. All of you. When I think it, there are words. I can’t help it.”
Sonny kissed him back. “I know.”
“Wanna wash my mouth out with soap?”
“My mother did that to me once. I’ll never forget it.”
“So my tongue likes to tease you in more ways than one. And you seem to like it.”
“I do,” Sonny admitted.
“What’s the problem?”
“Oh, there’s no problem,” Sonny said. “I was just making a statement of fact.”
“Yeah. You have a dirty mouth.”
“Oh Sonny, I haven’t even begun.”