By the time Robbie finally managed to get Mark alone, Gary was in full flight of song in Paul McCartney’s dressing room, and Jay and Howard were long gone.
Mark came when he was called, leaning against the doorpost of Robbie’s dressing room holding an empty glass of champagne, his collar open and his necktie hanging undone; he smiled, slightly drunkenly.
And then Mark yelped, his cry fading against the tinkling of broken glass: Robbie had grabbed him by the collar, and wrestled him onto the nearest couch, and was...tickling him.
‘What the fuck...?’ Half-heartedly, Mark tried to slap Robbie’s hands away, yelling and laughing; as in the old days, it was completely ineffectual. Robbie had him pinned down, and Robbie was bloody big. Rob grabbed both of Mark’s wrists, looping them together with one large hand, just so he could stick the other down the front of Mark’s shirt and tickle.
‘Get off, Rob!’ Mark giggled hopelessly, tears in his eyes. Robbie playfully tweaked one of Mark’s nipples then stilled; something had caught his eye.
Yeah, that ring. That wedding ring on Mark’s finger. His slightly manic grin faded, and he sniffed, exaggeratedly.
Finally released, Mark wiped the dampness from his eyes. ‘Bloody hell! You nearly gave me a hernia. I’m not 19 anymore!’
Still pinning Mark to the couch, Robbie pulled a strained face. ‘Feels the same to me,’ he mumbled, more to himself than Mark. Then he frowned with concentration and dabbed the very tip of his tongue on the end of Mark’s nose.
Mark scrunched his nose then wiped it. ‘Stop being funny, Rob.’
‘You don’t mean that, do you?’
It was Mark’s turn to frown: not crossly, but slightly confused. Robbie finally let him wriggle up a bit, so he was more comfy, supported by the cushions rather than lolling half off the sofa. Mark asked: ‘I don’t mean what?’
‘You don’t really want me to stop, do you? We should never have fucking stopped, Markie. Why did you follow them tonight? Why did any of you leave the stage – I hadn’t felt THAT FUCKING GOOD in a lifetime.’
‘It was beautiful...’ Mark let his eyes mist over, reliving the moment: the crowd screaming, Gary’s gleeful smile, and Robbie hugging him. It may have only lasted a split second, but it was so familiar, so intimate. Rob’s hand had cupped his neck, his hot breath had skirmished against his cheek, and Robbie had held him, the way that only Robbie could ever hold him.
Snapping himself back to the present, Mark added: ‘I’d have looked a bit of a pratt, though, standing there with nowt to do while you were singing ‘Bodies’’
Robbie shook his head, pulling a face. ‘Wouldn’t have sung it. We could have thought of something else. Didn’t want you to go, mate.’
Robbie’s bulky form suddenly seemed very, very heavy; and Mark felt just the tiniest hint of...no, not of anger. Not even of irritation. But just something that made his vision haze over again, but in a completely different way. He let out a short, sharp sigh.
‘Didn’t want you to go, mate.'
Mark had said that once. Fourteen years ago. Nobody had listened to him then, least of all Rob.
‘Can you get off my foot, please? I’m going to get cramp.’
Mark smiled, but Robbie read the subtext, and finally shifted. Seconds later, they were sitting side by side, on the couch. Still too close. Robbie couldn’t stop his arm drifting along the back of the seat behind Mark; and Mark’s cheek gravitated to Rob’s shoulder, like it belonged there.
Mark winced as his focus alighted upon the broken glass and the spilt champagne. ‘I’ve got to do something about that, before somebody hurts themselves.’
‘Don’t go,’ said Robbie, his voice strangely high and wobbly. Mark glanced nervously sideways, confirming that there were tears streaming down his cheeks. ‘Don’t – fucking – go.’
Robbie took Mark’s hand, interlacing their fingers. He sniffed again, staring at the ring.
‘I want to ask Ayda,’ he murmured. ‘Do you reckon that’s a good idea?’
Mark nodded, slightly too enthusiastically. ‘Do it, mate! You won’t regret it...my life is...it’s great now.’
‘Maybe I will. Or maybe I’ll just ask you.’
He squeezed Mark’s hand, and Mark looked at him, startled. He knew he shouldn’t be surprised: this was Robbie, and this was the kind of thing he said, and it was all just meaningless really, but...
The kiss wasn’t meaningless. It was mind-blowing. Robbie plunged his tongue down Mark’s throat just as he was drawing breath to speak, and then they were both gone. Robbie kissed hard, his fist grasping a handful of Mark’s hair and pushing him flat against the sofa again within seconds. Teeth skimmed against tender flesh, tongues intertwined roughly, and Mark began to see stars for both the right and wrong reasons before Robbie finally pulled away.
He managed to get a hand flat against Robbie’s broad chest. ‘We...we shouldn’t...we really shouldn’t do this.’
‘Yeah, I know,’ murmured Robbie, not giving an inch, and he went back for more.
Nobody even got up to make sure the dressing room door was locked. But the thing that Mark really pondered about later was the question of why Robbie had the lube in his pocket at all? What happened never seemed pre-meditated. Robbie wasn’t the pre-meditated sort, right?
Still, Robbie fucked him, there and then, and it was terrifying because somebody might walk in and also bloody wonderful. And there was no choice. Mark was well past the stage where he could say ‘no’: he never was good with that, especially not with Robbie, and, with Robbie alone, he really hadn’t changed.
Mark found himself flat on his tummy on the couch, trouser-less but with his shirt and waistcoat still on; when Rob slipped a hand between Mark’s thighs, he simply parted his legs, and waited. Robbie groaned with need, pressing his cock between Mark’s buttocks, lingering for a moment.
‘What the fuck are we doing?’ Rob whispered, his voice hitching on something that sounded incriminatingly like a sob again. ‘I love her, you know...but not like I love you...’
Mark said nothing.
He pressed his face into the cushion as Robbie entered him, his fears about somebody walking in smothered by the feeling of being fucked by Robbie. That was always overwhelming. He inhaled sharply, and then bit into the fabric. Another shove and Mark was impaled to the hilt. Robbie moaned, almost a whimper – still so high pitched and needy; and then he began to move.
After that, it wasn’t quite ‘classic’ Rob; not fast and frantic and dirty, as if they were doing it up against the toilet wall, but still amazing. There was time to build a rhythm, for Mark to press his arse back against Robbie’s balls and urge him on faster and harder. Mark scrambled to reach for his own cock and build upon the friction afforded by being jolted hard against the fabric of the couch. Robbie kissed Mark’s hair, running his tongue slowly down the nape of his neck as he ground his pubes against Mark’s arse. He flexed his still-impressive biceps as he jerked himself up and down before finally climaxing with a satisfied, melodic groan.
Rob collapsed down limply on top of Mark, still buried inside of him. And for a minute, they just lay there, Mark squashed against the sofa but happy with it, his body wracked by the rhythms of Robbie’s heaving breaths.
‘Thank you,’ said Robbie, pressing a kiss onto Mark’s cheek. ‘Thank for staying. I like your ring, by the way. Looks cute on your daft little hand.’
Later, Mark wondered: did I do that because I felt guilty because I left him on stage? He decided not. He did it because it was Robbie, and with Robbie, these things happened. And then, tomorrow, Robbie would be gone, to Australia to yell about wanting to marry his girlfriend, and Mark would be at home with his wife.
And life would roll relentlessly on. Till the next time.