When Ariadne suggests they meet up for dinner and a drink or two while waiting for cabs outside LAX, her eyes are bright and hopeful and she looks so impossibly young and excited that Arthur has no idea how anyone could say no to her. They’ve pulled off the impossible and he can’t help but feel a strong, perhaps temporary connection to the people around him. He knows Ariadne feels the same way, sharpened by that invincible, first-time feeling.
Cobb, however, declines. He’s got too much lost time to make up for with his children. It’s all he’s lived for and no one can hold it against him. He promises he’ll make up it up to them as throws himself into Miles’ car with more life in him than Arthur’s seen in years.
Saito has long since disappeared, driven off in a luxury, chauffer-driven car. Arthur imagines he’ll be celebrating his victory over Fischer with as much decadence and debauchery as a man of his standing can afford.
So in the end, it’s just him, Yusuf, Ariadne, and of course Eames.
Arthur’s surprised when Eames grabs his wrist, saying, “Rumour has it that you’ve got a flat in the area.”
Temporary bond or not, Arthur doesn’t trust Eames as far as he can throw him and it must show on his face because Eames continues: “Now, now, don’t be like that. I was just wondering if I could kip on your sofa for a night. You know I’m in a bit of a bind financially. This job paid well, no doubt, but I’d rather not pay for a hotel room when I can stay with a friend.”
“We’re friends now?” Arthur says stiffly. He doesn’t buy this ludicrous alibi for a second, but for some reason he refuses to think about, he finds himself mulling it over.
“Arthur, you wound me.” He’s laying the charm on thick, looking at Arthur from beneath his long lashes with his hand clasped over his heart. The sunlight catches on the gold of his watch and the full, distracting pink of his bottom lip.
Arthur looks away. “I don’t know why I’m indulging you; we’re supposed to be splitting up.” Eames’ face lights up. Arthur can’t resist the urge to crush it. “One night only, you cheap bastard. Fuck anything up and I will hurt you. Badly.”
Eames laughs, flashing attractively crooked teeth. “I promise I’ll be out of your hair before you know it.”
Arthur cocks his head, sizing Eames up. And then he smiles a perfect, little vicious smile that somehow makes him look a decade younger with those deep, deep dimples. “You don’t have a credit card under an alias the US government isn’t monitoring, so you don’t want to risk using one to check into a hotel until Saito wires the money to an unused checking account tomorrow. Then you’ll buy a ticket to God knows where using cash and fuck off before attracting unwanted attention,” he efficiently concludes, not waiting for an answer before he turns to flag them a cab.
“You truly have no faith in me,” Eames says wryly, but his grin is wide and shameless and Arthur finds himself blinded for a moment.
He doesn’t give Eames much of a tour; it’s a small two-bedroom apartment and it’s so impersonal that he’s got nothing in it to hide. He wouldn’t remember it existed if it weren’t for the rent that’s charged to one of his many accounts every month. It’s never been anything more than a faint and faraway backup plan—convenient every once in a blue, blue moon.
It actually unnerves him a little. He’s been running for so long that the sudden permanence of the place is jarring.
It makes him think about the possibility that Cobb might not return to their fast-paced world of theft and guns and adrenaline. Cobb’s heart is with his children, and Arthur can’t see a way for him to have them both. He doesn’t have to think about what Cobb will choose when it comes down to the bare bones of it. He already knows the answer and he feels like shit because he’s wallowing in self-pity instead of being happy for his partner. Or ex-partner.
The thought leaves him both strangely bereft and hollow. He hadn’t realised how little he’s come to exist outside of dreams over the past few years.
He ditches Eames who’s taken a fancy to perusing his collection of books and films and indie music and goes to his room to unpack. But even the act of unpacking and settling into his own place makes him uneasy, so he ends up splayed across his bed, staring blankly up at the ceiling.
He hadn’t realised he’d fallen asleep until he’s up again and the only sign of Eames are his bags in the guest room.
Eames comes back with half an hour to spare before they’re meant to leave for dinner. Arthur doesn’t ask where he’s been; he can hear the rustling of crisp dollar bills coming from the guest room. He’s not surprised that Eames spent the afternoon gambling. They’re in LA. Better men have been pulled into the near endless stretch of casinos, and if Eames’ upbeat whistling is anything to go by, then he’d managed to make a tidy profit.
Arthur shakes his head, fire burning hot and uncomfortable in his stomach. He doesn’t know why Eames’ ridiculous gambling habit is endearing, but it sort of is. For all Eames’ impulsiveness and wild imagination, he’s shockingly brilliant—competent and too observant to be truly likable. His vice grounds him in a strange way that makes him more human and less of an eccentric and dangerously attractive James Bond/Mad Genius character.
He pokes his head into Arthur’s bedroom, watching as Arthur combs his damp hair in front of the mirrored closet door, pulling the dark, barely-there curls away from his forehead.
“You shouldn’t put any of that pomade in,” Eames comments, propping himself against the door jamb. “You look quite nice without it.”
Their eyes meet in the mirror. Eames is smirking, but it’s an odd smirk that makes Arthur’s insides twist; the kind of smirk Eames has only flashed at him a handful of times but has carelessly wielded when he’s a hot blonde thing seducing hapless marks in dreams.
But they’re not dreaming now and Eames is certainly all male, dressed in a tan jacket and salmon shirt, hands tucked into the pockets of olive slacks that are cut like they were made for some actor from Hollywood’s golden age.
“You’re the last person I need fashion advice from, Mr Eames. Or should I say Mr Bogart?” he replies with no real sting, giving himself a final look before he pushes away from the mirror.
They both notice that his hair’s loose as he shrugs his jacket over his shoulders and heads for the door. Bogie was a classy motherfucker.
Dinner is a relaxing affair in a warm Italian restaurant. They unwind, refusing to dwell on the severity of what they’d done and instead, in Ariadne’s case, choose to joke about how off his rocker Cobb is and how lucky they were to have pulled the whole thing off unscathed. Yusuf wholeheartedly agrees with her and even Eames cracks a grin, but none of them are as close to the wound as Arthur is. He doesn’t think it’s something to joke about and when Ariadne’s eyes catch his own he knows she sympathises.
The conversation shifts.
They don’t speak much of what they’ll do next; they’re career criminals and secrecy is one of the few constants they’re allowed. But Ariadne is still so new to it all and lets on that she’s excited about returning to Paris to finish her studies and resume a normal life. But the glint in her eyes contradicts her. The glint in her eyes lets Arthur know that she’ll never be able to pull herself from the world of dreams. She’d failed the first time she tried and now she’s in even deeper.
He’s seen the look in her eyes several times before. He sees it in himself each day and he’d seen it in Mal’s and Dom’s eyes. And what good has it ultimately done?
His throat tightens and he reaches for his second glass of pinot noir.
Arthur’s had entirely too much to drink. He knows this because he can handle his liquor too well, and if the room is spinning and his face is numb yet warm and lazy then he’s probably near poisoned.
He barely remembers leaving the restaurant, but now they’re at a pub. Smashing Pumpkins is playing, muddled but yet sharpened because it feels like it was only yesterday that he’d been sixteen and at their ‘97 concert.
“Yes! In your face, bitches!” He hears Ariadne whoop. She’s bent over the pool table on the other side of the room, Yusuf beaming smarmily at her side. Eames and a man Arthur doesn’t recognise are there, too, clearly not pleased about the fact that they’re losing to a tiny slip of a woman. They’re all holding pool cues, watching the few remaining balls intently and strategising with almost militaristic gravity.
Arthur swallows the remainder of his gin and tonic and looks at his watch. It’s just past 1 in the morning. He should head home while he’s still reasonably coherent.
He stands. The chair rakes noisily against the floor, but not loudly enough to disrupt the upbeat Mumford & Sons song that’s just come on. The room twists and lurches for a moment, but he manages to steady himself by nonchalantly placing his palms down on the table. He grins a little. He’s absolutely fucked.
“Hey, Arthur!” Ariadne greets him with a white-toothed smile as he nears the pool table. She’s all bright eyed and flushed and so blatantly drunk and relaxed and lovely that Arthur almost forgets the day they’ve had. “We’re soon done this game if you wanna play.”
He smiles and shakes his head. “I’m actually gonna head home now.”
“But it’s so early!” she protests, swinging to face him. The end of her cue smacks Yusuf in the groin and Arthur returns Yusuf’s pained wince with one of sympathy.
Eames is suddenly at his side, smelling like spilt vodka and expensive cologne and a little like sex. Arthur’s never noticed how damn good he smells. He wants to bury his nose in the hollow of Eames’ throat, right beneath his collar, and breathe him in until he’s dizzy with it.
Christ, he’s fucking drunk.
Alcohol never fails to make him painfully aware of all the things that he’d rather ignore, like the lushness of Eames’ mouth and the way Arthur’s stomach clenches whenever he’s around.
“He’s pissed off his arse. I think it’s best I get him home in one piece,” Eames says. His breath is warm and moist on the shell of Arthur’s ear.
“I don’t need you to look after me,” Arthur snaps, pulling away from Eames and the hot, hot heat of his sturdy body with an unnecessary viciousness.
Ariadne and Yusuf exchange a knowing glance that Arthur doesn’t like one bit.
“I guess you two are finally going to work on all that sexual tension,” Yusuf says sagely before he and Ariadne break into a fit of giggles that’s more suited to a flock of pubescent school girls than it is to two fully grown academics.
“Good night, Ariadne, it’s been a pleasure working with you. Yusuf, tell your cat I said hello,” Arthur says with a stiff smile and a mock salute. He turns on his heel and makes for the exit. Behind him, he can hear Eames making a playful apology on his behalf before he’s at his heels.
“That wasn’t very polite,” Eames says as they slide into the back of a cab. He sounds amused, like he knows something Arthur doesn’t. The way he always does. It’s grating. Arthur’s heart is beating fast.
Yusuf’s teasing shouldn’t have made him so defensive. He’s proven him right just by his response and he feels vulnerable and uncomfortable. Eames confuses him because he’s got so many layers and Arthur doesn’t know what he wants.
He chances a thoroughly drunk and unimpressed look at Eames, his hair spilling over his forehead and curling around the tips of his ears. He feels like a kid again, all boyish hair and narrow shoulders beside Eames’ seemingly sober solidity. He was an idiot for thinking he could’ve tolerated Eames when there is no barrier between them.
He doesn’t know what possessed him to play into Eames’ little game. Or maybe he does and he just doesn’t want to think about it.
He turns away, staring at his reflection, pale against the window. Eames’ eyes are on Arthur’s reflection, as well and he feels that uncomfortable warmth spreading in his stomach again. “I’m sure you can send my apologies in the morning since you’ve already made yourself my unofficial rep.”
He hates the wide grin that spreads across Eames’ unfairly perfect face. “I wasn’t aware it was possible for you to become more condescending, but apparently all you needed was alcohol. Bless.”
He rests his hand on top of Arthur’s, warm and sure. “You were good company up until the last three drinks. I’m man enough to say I’m glad I’ve managed to get to know you with some of your walls down. Don’t get drunk and moody on me now.”
Arthur wants to pull his hand away, but for some reason he doesn’t, and when he turns his head he finds Eames so close that the tips of their noses brush.
“Whatever this is, it’s not professional. I don’t mix business with pleasure.”
Eames laughs wryly. “Because your relationship with Cobb is so professional. If anyone else had been that bloody mental you wouldn’t even have considered working with them.”
“And that is none of your fucking business.” Arthur snatches his hand back now. “I don’t know what you’re trying to pull, but you’re not fucking with my head. You can find someone else to play sociopath with.”
Eames laughs, low and positively amused, and Arthur hates how impossible it is to get a real rise out of him. Eames can be snappish and scathing, but he’s always cool and slick about it and this is no exception. “Christ, Arthur. Could your opinion of me be any lower?”
“You’re a thief, Eames. A damn good one. And a brilliant liar. And an even better forger. See? I know you’ve got your pros.”
“Those weren’t meant as compliments,” Eames scoffs. He slides so close that they’re touching without really touching at all. “You’ve just listed all the reasons why I’m good at fucking with people’s heads, as you so aptly put it. There’s more to me than that.”
Arthur looks at Eames’ mouth, perfect and tempting and deadly. He’s only just able to redirect his attention to Eames’ eyes, their slate colour muddled by darkness. “So this is how we’re gonna end all these years of tension. You’ve managed to push me into a corner so that it’s all up to me. Drunk. Little. Me.” He slips a hand onto Eames’ thigh, firm beneath the wool of his slacks. “Well played, Mr Eames.”
Eames gaze is intense, but he’s quiet. Arthur’s so anxious he could keel over and die. He feels like he’s been set on fire. He could be so wrong about this, could’ve just made a fool of himself and allowed Eames to win. If he hadn’t been so fucking wasted, he might not have taken this risk so early. Or at all. Or maybe he would have; Eames is a master at getting under his skin, getting him to play games he doesn’t want to play.
But Eames just leans closer, watching Arthur intently as he covers the hand on his thigh with his own, gently pushing it until Arthur’s limply cupping his cock, half-hard through his trousers.
Arthur can’t really figure out who’s won at this point, but he doesn’t give a fuck because he’s got his hand on Eames’ cock while he shoves his tongue past those thick lips and down Eames’ fucking throat.
Eames moans into the kiss, an almost startled rumbling noise, and it’s then that Arthur decides he’s won.
It’s all a blur from there.
One minute they’re kissing hard in the back of a cab and the next they’re tumbling onto Arthur’s bed, their clothes discarded and stretching a haphazard trail from the front door to just past the kitchen. Eames’ swanky briefs and Arthur’s generic, gingham boxers are the last things to go, carelessly thrown across each other at the foot of the bed.
Eames tastes like spearmint and too much vodka and Arthur’s surprised to find that he’s got more tattoos than the fleeting glimpses he’d seen have let on. They’re on his upper arms, at his collar, across his stomach and on his back, dark and tacky and fucking hot.
Arthur wants to ask about them, but he keeps getting distracted by Eames’ slick tongue and the way his prickly stubble drags across the sensitive skin of his neck and jaw.
“You’re not going to hate me in the morning, are you?” Eames breathes out in between mouthfuls of pale neck.
“Depends,” Arthur breathes back, his spine arcing as Eames sinks crooked teeth into his collarbone.
Eames looks up at him now, an eyebrow sceptically quirked and his lips wet and obscene. “On?” His tone is neutral, flat.
Arthur smirks. “How good you are at giving head.”
Eames laughs and licks a trail up his neck and along his chin, licking and sucking across his mouth until it feels puffy and raw. “I think I can do that,” he says softly, his thumb pulling at the corner of Arthur’s mouth before slipping inside and pushing against his inner cheek. This shouldn’t turn Arthur on, but fuck, it does. Eames licks the rim of his open mouth. “But I want you to suck me, too.”
And then Eames is on his back, his cock heavy and thick and leaking against his stomach. He’s so beautiful and fucking solid that Arthur can only stare stupidly, reaching out to run his hand over that firm chest, run his finger through the wiry hairs, but Eames catches his wrist, grinning lazily even though his eyes are positively gleaming.
“I’m flattered, love, but why don’t you climb on and shove that tight arse of yours in my face, hm?”
Arthur’s cheeks and chest flush with equal amounts of embarrassment and arousal, the tips of his ears burning bright. He sends Eames a glare that’s about as potent as milk and turns around and throws a leg over his chest. But the movement is clumsy; the room is spinning like a fucking carousel and Arthur overcompensates to suit. He lets out a startled, little yelp and clutches at Eames’ thigh to anchor himself because he swears the floor is twisting towards his face.
Christ, he’s fucking drunk. His fingers curl tighter into Eames’ flesh.
Beneath him, Eames shakes with silent laughter, his breath coming out in hot gusts that practically burn Arthur’s inner thighs.
“Fuck you.” Arthur nips at a vein travelling over his hipbone, hard enough to make Eames hiss.
“I’d quite like that,” Eames replies, repositioning Arthur’s hips and reaching between his legs. Arthur gasps loudly as Eames’ full, slick lips slide over his cock, enveloping him in that hot, wet mouth.
“Fuck!” he shouts, pushing back so that he’s fucking straight down Eames’ throat.
He loses himself in the feeling, eyes closed and lips parted, fingers digging into the muscle of Eames’ legs. He almost forgets about Eames’ own pleasure until sharp teeth graze his cock in warning.
“Sorry.” He isn’t really sorry at all. He looks over his shoulder and grins at the top of Eames’ bobbing head.
He wants to make Eames remember this; make him lose his fucking mind.
Eames’ cock is thick and hard as diamonds in his palm, burning and purpling with hot blood. Arthur licks his lips and runs his tongue across the damp, salty head, licking into the narrow slit, sticky with pre-come. Eames moans around him in response, the vibrations almost enough to make him come.
He swallows Eames down like he’s starving; only stopping when the tip of that fat cock hits the back of his throat and threatens to choke him. Eames’ hands immediately move from his hips onto his ass, squeezing so tight that Arthur’s certain there’ll be bruises in the morning. The thought is enough to make him dizzy: Eames’ fingerprints seared into his skin.
Time stretches lazily around them and Arthur doesn’t know if they’ve been sucking each other for an hour or a day. His very existence has been whittled down to nothing but filthy, wet noises; Eames fucking his mouth; fucking Eames’ mouth; the low hum of traffic outside; and the cloudy pull of alcohol in his system. He can’t think of anything that could be better than this.
But then Eames pushes him forward, his cock slipping out of Eames’ mouth in a slow, slick slide. The air feels cold against his burning, spit-wet skin and he whimpers pathetically, whorishly, the noise desperate and muffled by the cock in his throat.
He straightens up, lets Eames slip out of his mouth in a similar fashion. “Why’d you stop?” he asks. His voice is raw and needy and it makes him feel suddenly bare and vulnerable.
Eames looks up at him. His eyes are glassy and his pupils are blown wide open and his mouth is a violent red. Arthur wants to kiss him.
“I want to eat you out,” he says softly. Arthur goes weak in the knees.
“Fuck, Eames.” Is all he’s able to choke out.
“Always wanted to; you’ve got such a perfect fucking arse.”
Arthur shivers. His heart’s beating fast and he’s so fucking turned on that he just might die.
Eames hands are hot, suddenly all over him. He closes his eyes, arcs into it, let’s Eames do whatever he wants.
He ends up on his back with Eames on top of him, kissing him breathless and pressing him into the mattress. Eames’ hair is curled tight around his fingers, but there’s nothing tender about it because he pulls on it so he can smash their mouths together, hard and barely enjoyable and just this side of fucking perfect.
He thinks he could, might, fall in love tonight. It scares him and for a second he wants to stop, throw Eames out, and never drink again.
But the thought dies before it can stick; Eames rolls them over so that they’re lying on their sides, staring into each other’s eyes like they do this every night, like it’s not some meaningless one-night stand.
“Arthur,” Eames breathes, cupping Arthur’s jaw, drawing him in for another kiss. This time it’s softer, deeper, their tongues sliding wetly in each other’s mouths. His other hand is on Arthur’s ass, palming it roughly, possessively, like he’s trying to memorise every little detail because this might never happen again. Arthur kisses him harder, reassuring despite the nagging uncertainty that’s bubbling in his own gut, too.
Eames pulls away slowly, ending the kiss like it’s the last thing he wants to do and whispers, “I’m going to lick you out now, okay?”
Arthur nods and swallows thickly. He wants to say something witty and dirty, but the words are stuck in his throat. Being with Eames like this feels earth-shattering and it makes him unsure in a way he’s never been when it comes to sex. It’s as though he’s still afraid that Eames is just fucking with his head, has lowered all his defences and left him weak and bare.
Eames kisses him again and his words are hot against Arthur’s swollen mouth. “I want you to sit on my face.”
His eyes are hungry, smouldering, like he wants to devour Arthur whole. Arthur’s never seen him like this, so open. He’s stripped to basics and it’s intoxicating, to be wanted so blatantly by someone as cagey as Eames. Arthur’s never been this turned on, so hard that his stomach hurts.
They shift again, the mattress shifting with them, rocking like gentle waves but doing nothing to put out the fire that’s burning between them. Arthur’s hands are braced on the headboard, fingers splayed, thighs on either side of Eames’ head. His skin is flushed, burning a soft pink. He feels insecure, exposed; Eames can see parts of him that he’s never considered flattering, but something about this position just feels so deliciously perverse that he just wants Eames to hurry up and touch him already.
He bites back a moan, teeth sinking into his faintly sore bottom lip, as Eames spreads him open, fingers pressed deep into his firm flesh.
“Christ, you’ve got a pretty, little hole,” Eames murmurs, and Arthur feels, rather than hears, his dirty words, warm against where he’s most vulnerable. “So pink and smooth. I suppose your fastidious grooming habits extend to the finest details.”
In spite of himself, Arthur smiles broadly and his shoulders shake with an amused laugh. “You’re the only person I’ve ever slept with who says words like ‘fastidious’ in bed.”
“I’m honoured to be your first at something.”
Arthur’s retort dies in conception; Eames’ tongue is wet and insistent along his taut sac, licking from the smooth of his perineum to the pink, crinkled skin of his hole, making him feel wet and filthy.
He goes boneless, gripping at the headboard with white, straining knuckles.
Eames teases him, his tongue flat and lapping broad stripes against Arthur’s hole, leaving him wet and dripping and starved. Arthur wants more, wants Eames to lick up into him, push his tongue as deep as it can go, fuck him with it until he’s a mess.
“Come on.” His voice cracks. He sounds needy and desperate, like he’s sixteen all over again and being touched by someone else for the first time. He doesn’t care. “Come on,” he whispers again, fingers tightening around his cock. “Go deeper.”
Eames moans, a purring rumble from somewhere deep in his throat, and Arthur feels it under his skin, hot and heady. His stomach clenches with want.
Eames grabs him with rough, digging fingers, pulling him lower and spreading his ass even wider with his thumbs hooked on either side of Arthur’s hole, opening him up enough for it to burn.
“Oh, fuck.” Arthur’s eyes flutter shut.
Eames’ tongue feels different now; no longer soft and pliant, firmly pushing past the tight rim of muscle. It feels amazing, being slowly worked open like this. He can feel Eames’ stubble scraping against his vulnerable skin, his vodka-tinged breath moist and warm.
Arthur pushes his ass back, riding Eames’ tongue as he pulls at his own cock. He isn’t going to last much longer, not with the way Eames is pushing his tongue inside him, slick and wriggling and absolutely filthy, thick lips flush against his opening.
He feels loose and sloppy and he almost chokes on his spit when Eames pushes two fingers up inside him, fucking him hard with them until he’s coming, shooting hot spunk onto his belly, a thick glob of it spattering onto the headboard, dripping down the varnished surface.
It’s bright out when Arthur wakes up, white, afternoon light filtering in through the half-drawn blinds. The sheets are twisted around him, tight like he’d been carefully tucked in.
He sits up and immediately regrets it.
He feels awful. His head hurts and his limbs feel like they’re made of lead. He runs his fingers through his hair, thinking back on the night before. He remembers Ariadne laughing over a bowl of tomato soup; Yusuf making eyes at her when he thought no one was looking, his own risotto neglected.
There was music and a pool table and then he remembers Eames and buries his face in his hands. He remembers making out in the back of a cab, Eames’ mouth slick and tasting of vodka; how he’d let Eames on top of him, broad and heavy, pressing him deep into the mattress; the way his thick fingers had twisted inside him…
He’d been so fucking stupid.
He knows Eames is long gone; he’s got no reason to stay. He’s got his money and he’s got Arthur’s dignity and he’s probably flying first-class and sipping champagne with a smug grin and another notch carved deep into his bedpost.
Arthur’s so frustrated he could cry, something he hasn’t done since he’d cried in Dom’s kitchen after Mal’s funeral. They’d both been a wreck that night, he and Dom, sharing a bottle of cheap wine on the cold, kitchen floor.
He doesn’t feel quite as wretched now as he’d felt then, but it’s a worryingly close second.
“You’re awake.” Eames is standing in the doorway. He looks freshly showered, carrying plastic grocery bags that Arthur recognises from the convenience store a block down; the flimsy ones that say ‘thank you’ over and over in thick, red font.
Arthur’s throat goes tight. He doesn’t know what to say.
Eames continues in, unperturbed by his silence. “I picked up a few things at the corner shop. Your cupboards were absolutely bare, save for a tin of coffee and some crisps. I ate the crisps, by the way.” He sets the bags on the floor and joins Arthur in bed, and Arthur’s suddenly conscious of the fact that he’s got nothing on but faint bruises and twisted sheets. He hugs his knees to his chest.
“I didn’t think you’d still be here,” he says honestly.
Eames scrapes his teeth over his bottom lip, leaving it gleaming with spit. Arthur wants to suck on it so badly that it scares him.
“Would you rather I’d left, then?” Eames tilts his head, an eyebrow quirked.
Arthur shrugs. Eames has already laid him bare. He’s not ready to be open and easy. “I haven’t made up my mind yet,” he says.
Eames laughs. “I’m sure you haven’t.” He pulls one of the grocery bags into his lap. “I got us both turkey ham subs. I hope that’s alright with you.”
“ ‘s fine,” Arthur says, digging into the bag. He’s starving.
He unwraps the sandwich and bites into it. It’s a bit dry and crumbs fall onto the sheets.
“Never took you for the type who eats in bed,” Eames says, taking a bite of his own sub. His eyes are bright and curious, lingering on Arthur’s bare shoulders.
Arthur shrugs, his face faintly flushed. “I’m not. The sheets are dirty anyway.”
Eames curves his mouth suggestively. “Fair enough.”
Arthur’s stomach clenches and his blood runs hot the way it always does whenever Eames is around. He looks away.
“Arthur—” Eames starts.
“Did we fuck last night?”
Eames appears stunned for a moment. He leans against the headboard, eyes positively sparkling with amusement. Arthur immediately feels foolish.
“No,” Eames says evenly. “We didn’t. You fell asleep after I ate you out.”
Arthur crinkles the sandwich wrapping between his fingers. It crumples noisily. He’s mortified.
Eames cups his jaw, his fingers calloused and warm. He tilts Arthur’s chin so that he’s got no choice but to look at him. “Don’t sulk, love,” Eames says softly. “You were amazing. You were just a little drunk, is all. We both were.”
“I don’t want to talk about this.” He curls his fingers around Eames’ wrist, but makes no effort to push him away. “You should’ve just left.”
“Arthur,” Eames sounds tired, his tone suddenly hard. “If you really want me to leave, I’ll be on the next flight out of LA. I won’t hold a drunken fumble against you if that’s all it was.”
Eames is giving him an out.
Arthur knows he should take it, knows he should let Eames go before he can make an even bigger mess of things. He doesn’t.
He kisses Eames so hard that they’re both breathless by the end of it.
“Don’t go yet,” he whispers against Eames’ damp mouth. He’s managed to twist his fingers around Eames’ shirttail, like he’s afraid Eames will just slip away if he lets go.
Eames smiles at him, modest and showing no teeth and Arthur thinks it’s the most honest smile Eames has ever sent his way. It’s beautiful. Arthur smiles back, cheeks dimpling.
“I’ll stay as long as you’ll have me,” Eames says, kissing him again. “But first, you owe me an orgasm. I picked us up a box of condoms and we’d better use them all before you get sick of me.”