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"Wait for me after," Christophe whispers in Georgi's ear, then turns to face the microphones. He answers questions easily, flicks one glance over to Georgi stumbling over his own interviews. Christophe can't tell if Georgi is happy or upset.

Christophe isn't sure which would be better for Christophe. Either way, it's something to look forward to. He poses, blows kisses, gives his rehearsed answers in English and in French.

And when he gets away, Georgi is waiting for him. Leaning against the wall, staring at his phone, not looking at anyone, not looking at Christophe.

"Bar first?" Christophe says.

Georgi's head snaps up and his eyes go wide. Not quite the full crazy eyes of last time but still a hint of panic there. "No."

"I love your eyes," Christophe says, loud enough for a few people to look over. He leans in. "438. I'll be a few minutes." He lays a key card over the top of Georgi's phone.

The card slips and Georgi traps it with his thumb. He doesn't say anything but he slides the card into his pocket. He turns his crazy eyes away. He leaves.

Christophe watches him go.

+

He'd texted Georgi four times in the two weeks since China. A carefully worded innuendo congratulating Georgi on his performance that he wasn't sure Georgi would quite understand. A dick pic with some arty filters. A reminder to change his flight out of Paris to Tuesday. And, last Monday, a "hey".

Georgi didn't reply to any of them.

When Christophe saw him in the hotel lobby, eyes following two women checking in, he wondered if he should bother.

But when Christophe came up to him, Georgi looked almost glad to see him. And the season was boring enough without Victor.

"Saturday night," Christophe said.

"After I win," Georgi said.

"You're adorable." Christophe gave Georgi one long stare, up and down, then hard in the eyes. Then he walked away.

In the mirrors by the elevators, he could see Georgi watching him.

+

Christophe takes his time getting his things together. He's caught by another interviewer before he can leave. Some fans outside for signing and selfies. He planned to make Georgi wait, but not this long. Christophe is already halfway there just from anticipation; he doesn't want have to take the time to pick up someone else.

But when he opens the door of room 438, there's Georgi, sitting on the bed, watching TV.

There's an empty bottle on the bedside table, a tiny one from the mini-bar, and a crumpled wrapper from a bar of chocolate. "Why are you so late?" Georgi turns the volume down, drops the remote on the duvet.

He doesn't seem angry and Christophe finds that oddly annoying. "Why didn't you start without me?" Christophe throws his jacket onto a chair. "Did you want to watch something? I can hook my phone up to the TV. I have a few things that you'll like." He smiles. "One is even home made."

"You got me here to watch TV?"

"Pornography," Christophe says. "I'm asking if you want to watch some porn."

Georgi swings his legs over the side of the bed and stands up. "No," he says. "I don't." There's a crumb of chocolate at the corner of his mouth.

Christophe turns off the TV. He steps in close to Georgi. They're not touching but he can feel Georgi's breath on his face. He can feel the tension in Georgi's body, can hear it when Georgi swallows. "Do you want to suck me off?"

Georgi frowns and shifts his balance, leans away from Christophe. "Why do you always have to talk about it?"

Christophe grabs Georgi's belt. He runs his tongue along Georgi's lower lip, one slow swipe. "Then you can talk about it instead." He kisses Georgi and Georgi grabs the back of Christophe's neck, opens his mouth too wide, too fast, sucks on Christophe's tongue.

Christophe pushes up against Georgi, grinds on him, and Georgi is so hard Christophe thinks he really must have started on his own. Lying on the bed in Christophe's hotel room, touching himself through his clothes while he waits for Christophe to give it to him.

Christophe pulls at Georgi's shirt, gets Georgi to step back long enough to drag it over his head, then Georgi's mouth is back down on Christophe's face, his neck. Georgi's hands are up the back of Christophe's shirt.

That same pendant is back around Georgi's neck and Christophe wonders what would happen if he yanked it hard and broke the chain. He puts one finger inside it but Georgi steps back and fumbles it off before he's back on Christophe.

It's not the I don't want to but I can't help myself Christophe was expecting and a shiver runs through him, a flash of nerves under his skin. He undoes Georgi's pants, yanks them down to Georgi's thighs. He rubs the wet spot on Georgi's underwear and feels Georgi's fingers dig into his back. He pulls Georgi's briefs down too, then wraps his hand around Georgi's dick.

He rubs his thumb over the head. Georgi is almost wet enough not to need it but Christophe still manoeuvres them two steps over, where he can reach the drawer, and slicks his hand.

Georgi pushes his cheek against the side of Christophe's head, runs his hands down Christophe's back to grab his ass.

And Christophe waits, fingers unmoving around Georgi's cock.

"Bitch," Georgi says, in Russian, and it almost makes Christophe sentimental.

"It's time to talk about it," Christophe says. "Tell me how you like it."

Georgi swears again. He breathes down Christophe's collar. "Just do it."

Christophe doesn't move. "Tell me and I will."

"Fuck you, just do it." Georgi takes Christophe's head between his hands, presses their foreheads together. "Fuck you."

"It doesn't have to be in English."

Georgi pushes Christophe and Christophe stumbles back, catches himself in time to sit on the edge of the bed. Georgi lets out a burst of Russian, very likely not telling Christophe how he likes to have his dick touched.

And before Christophe can plan his next move, Georgi is leaning his bare ass on the hotel desk, closing his eyes, and jacking it.

He's frowning, his cheeks are flushed. He touches himself with a slow hand, up and down, thumb pressing behind the head, then rubbing over the top.

Christophe stares, puts his hand over his own dick, just holds it lightly, and wishes his phone were within reach because he really wants a video of this.

Georgi's hand speeds up. He gets the other one in on the action, screwing his eyes tighter, pumping his dick. His chest heaves like a heroine in the bodice rippers he probably reads.

And Christophe launches himself off the bed, drops to his knees, pulls Georgi's hands away. Gets his mouth around that cock. Licks the salty tip, slides his lips along the shaft. Christophe can deep throat — pretty well, too — but that takes time and there's no time right now.

Just time to suck Georgi's dick and listen to Georgi's strangled breathing and feel Georgi's hand pulling at Christophe's hair, so hard it's going to be sore for hours. Time to suck and suck and just barely anticipate the whipcrack of Georgi's hips as he comes.

Christophe holds the load on his tongue. He doesn't keep tasting notes on the men he blows, but Georgi's cum is thick and bitter and Christophe likes the way it feels inside his mouth. He stands, leans Georgi back over the desk. Presses his lips to Georgi's lips.

Georgi opens his mouth and Christophe lets him have it all, jizz and tongue and spit. Georgi chokes once and then he swallows. He pushes Christophe away. He passes the back of his hand over his mouth.

So pretty like that, Christophe thinks. "Return the favour?" he says. "You don't have to swallow that as well."

Georgi is slack, holding on to the desk like his knees are going to buckle. Like he needs to take a moment. Like he needs to take his pants off all the way.

Christophe strips while he's waiting, then makes Georgi lift his feet so Christophe can strip him too. "Or did you want to watch me too?" Christophe runs his hand up his own dick.

"My god, you—" Georgi steps forward, pushes Christophe back onto the bed and climbs on after. He kisses the side of Christophe's neck.

Christophe stretches out, arches his back. "Suck me."

Georgi sits up, he's going to lean down and finally get that unhappy mouth around Christophe's cock. But instead he uses a slow hand, up and down, thumb pressing behind the head, doing Christophe like he did himself.

Christophe doesn't spend more breath complaining. Georgi has a good hand and Christophe is ready to come. It's not long before he does, jizz half on Georgi's fingers and half on Christophe's stomach. He dips a finger into it, slides it into Georgi's mouth before he can move his head away.

Georgi pulls back. "You're disgusting."

"I am." And Christophe takes another fingerful, licks it up. He's not bitter, not bitter at all.

Georgi tosses a handful of tissues at him and Christophe swabs the rest away.

"Pillow talk or TV?" Christophe stretches for the remote.

"I have to go." Georgi picks his shirt up off the floor.

"No you don't." Christophe moves over on the bed, pulls the covers back. Even while he says it, he's not sure why. Maybe it's because the heat in the room doesn't work very well and another body in the bed will keep him warm. "We don't even have to watch porn. And I'm too tired to molest you in the middle of the night."

"It's already the middle of the night," Georgi says. But he drapes his trousers over a chair and crawls in bed. "Give me the remote."

When Christophe wakes at 3 am, Georgi is sleeping starfished on top of him and the TV is still on.

+

In the morning, Christophe gets up to piss. Georgi is still sleeping, tangled in the duvet and drooling on the pillow. Christophe looks at his toothbrush, but mornings are better when it's messy: bed hair, stinking breath, last night's lube still tacky on your thighs.

Georgi is up and dressing before Christophe is finished, his back to the open bathroom door as he steps into his briefs. The pendant is back around his neck. Christophe wants to pull it tight, to leave a mark on Georgi's throat.

"Twenty minutes," Christophe calls. "Ten if you're in a hurry."

Georgi pulls on his shirt. "I'm already late."

Christophe shakes off, heads into the room. Bumps up against Georgi's ass, hands reaching around and sliding down inside Georgi's waistband. "Great time last night. Much better than my last hook-up."

Georgi stops for a moment. Then he pulls away and grabs his trousers. He has the most spectacular sex hair Christophe has ever seen and if Christophe can push him out into the hallway like that just as someone else is going by, it will be the best endorsement of Christophe ever.

"When's your flight out?" Christophe steps up again, kisses the back of Georgi's neck.

Georgi pauses. He stares straight ahead, fingers on his half-buckled belt. "Tuesday," he says and his eyes catch Christophe's for a moment in the mirror.

"Bring your luggage tonight," Christophe says. "I have this room until then. Unless we want to go to a better hotel. The bedsheets are a little rough."

Georgi steps barefoot into his shoes, leaves his socks on Christophe's floor, like he's expecting Christophe to pick them up or maybe jerk off with them. "Do you have a comb?"

+

When Christophe gets back to the room, he bumps into Georgi's suitcase. Georgi isn't there, so Christophe strips down and goes to take a shower. He runs the water and takes a selfie while it heats, the glitter from his exhibition make-up still on his face and his dick in his other hand.

He sends it off to Georgi, wherever the fuck he is. He's sent a couple more texts during the weekend: comments on Georgi's ass, snippets of skating gossip. He's starting to wonder if this is all going to some stranger's phone instead.

They haven't been talking outside of Christophe's room. It's more fun to catch Georgi's eye across the room and stare at him. To imagine what Georgi is imagining, what Georgi is thinking about Christophe doing to him while he's talking to whatever pretty woman is nearby.

And that's what Georgi has been doing, at least when Christophe can see him. Talking to the female skaters, reporters, fans. Turning his head when they go by and watching them as they walk away.

Heartbroken, right.

In the shower Christophe lets himself relax, hot water streaming over his face, suddenly too tired to do much more than rub a slick of shower gel over his body.

There's still glitter on his skin when he gets out, stray sparkles that shine out underneath his face cream. He climbs into the bed with wet hair and his phone. His turn to wait.

I'm starting without you, he texts. He brings up some porn on his phone, puts his hand on his dick. He closes his eyes.

When he wakes, Georgi is lying on the bed beside him. The room is dark, but he can see Georgi's face in the light of the phone he's holding. Georgi is still fully dressed, stretched out on top of the duvet.

And he's watching Christophe's sex video.

Christophe and his rinkmate, a mediocre young skater with beautiful eyes and impressive core strength. Last July, on break from training, a long weekend in Christophe's flat. In the video, the man is on his back, one leg over Christophe's shoulder, while Christophe fucks him. He's spewing out a stream of dirty talk, how it feels to have Christophe's dick inside of him, what he wants Christophe to do to him, why won't Christophe let him come.

"Turn on the sound," Christophe says.

Georgi starts. He stares at Christophe.

Christophe sits up and takes the phone. He turns on the sound. He can tell Georgi is uncomfortable but Georgi doesn't say so, so Christophe holds the phone where they can both see Christophe's cock sliding into the man's ass, hear the slap of both their bodies and the man's pleading voice.

Christophe puts his other hand on the back of Georgi's neck, fingers up into Georgi's hair. "I'll do you tomorrow, if you like."

Georgi turns to Christophe and Christophe wishes he could do it right now, do it and do it until dawn. "No, thank you," Georgi says, like he's turning down a cup of tea. A cup of tea that he wants, wants so bad, with a twist of lemon and a madeleine.

That's so funny that Christophe laughs, laughs a bit too much, and drops the phone, grabs Georgi's dick through his trousers, rubs at him.

Georgi rolls over on top of Christophe, the duvet between them. He's not laughing, he's clutching, he's bucking, pressing Christophe into the mattress, mouth on Christophe's neck, hands pulling at the bedclothes. The audio from the phone is running, Christophe's own voice gasping out as he comes.

"That's not going to work," Christophe says. He heaves twice before Georgi falls back and lets Christophe take his pants off. Christophe still can't get it up the whole way, he's just too tired, but Georgi is hard and frantic as he thrusts against Christophe's hipbone.

Christophe puts his arms around Georgi and moves with him, pulls him along, kisses him and tells him dirty, dirty things in a language he can't understand. Holds him as he shakes and moans. Wishes he could see Georgi's face twisting as he comes.

When Georgi rolls away, he falls asleep almost immediately, shirt and socks still on, one hand on Christophe's shoulder.

Christophe reaches for tissues. He rescues his phone. He pulls Georgi's arm across his chest.

He stares out into the dark room and waits to go to sleep.

+

Light morning light through the window wakes Christophe. Georgi is in bed beside him, sitting against the headboard, holding an e-reader. Christophe lies on his back, watching Georgi out of the corner of his eye, and wonders which character in the romance — must be a romance — Georgi identifies with. The bodice ripper or the bodice ripped?

It's three minutes before Georgi notices Christophe is awake. Georgi smiles, then goes back to his book. There's glitter on his face: a few flecks on his cheek and beside his mouth. There's no pendant around his neck.

Christophe rolls out of bed to piss. He drinks a bottle of mineral water. He stares at the coffee machine. "Do you want some terrible coffee?"

"Terrible tea, please. Sugar."

Christophe smiles before he remembers what's so funny and then he grins. He makes their terrible drinks and gets back in bed with Georgi, lying on the rough sheets, staring at the beige couch and sad cream walls.

He puts his coffee down and pulls the duvet off the bed.

"Hey!" Georgi grabs, too late, after the sheet, and splashes tea onto his chest.

Georgi is still wearing his socks and Christophe wants to pull them off too. Like that night in Nice when he talked his way into Victor's room, into rubbing Victor's feet, into a long slow fuck where Victor didn't say anything at all, just bit his lip and sighed when Christophe made him come.

He takes the cup from Georgi and puts it down. He leans down to lick Georgi's chest, then stops. "How terrible is the tea?"

Georgi shrugs. "Extremely terrible." He puts down the e-reader. "You have to run hot water through first. Then it's only quite terrible."

Christophe takes Georgi's ankles, pushes up to bend Georgi's knees. He starts to spreads them apart but Georgi works against him.

"There's a café down the street with less terrible tea," Georgi says.

"To be clear," Christophe says, sliding his thumbs inside Georgi's socks, "I want to push your legs up and lick your ass. You want to go out for tea."

Georgi flushes a little but he doesn't look away. "To be clear," he says, "yes."

Christophe feels a rush of heat, a flip in his gut, a pulse of blood in his dick. He wants Georgi on his back, one leg over Christophe's shoulder, he wants to fuck Georgi like the video, fuck him slowly for a very long time.

He licks Georgi's knee, a little further up his thigh, runs one hand from calf to hip. "Room service?"

"That tea—" Georgi takes Christophe's hand off his hip. "It's not as bad as the room tea but it's still terrible." He still has hold of Christophe's hand.

"We should have gone to a different hotel." Christophe pulls his hand back and slides it up Georgi's thigh, rubs his thumb along the crease where the leg meets the pelvis. "Are you going to let me?"

Georgi makes a noise in the back of his throat and Christophe decides that it's yes. He puts a pillow under Georgi's hips, then takes his ankles, socks still on, and pushes his legs up and wide.

"Tell me if you don't like it," Christophe says. "Not everyone does." And he goes down on Georgi's ass.

Georgi likes it. He's shivering, grabbing at the sheet, grabbing at Christophe. Christophe pushes his tongue inside and Georgi clenches up. Christophe strokes Georgi's thigh, breathes in the dark sweaty smell of him. "Relax," he says. "There's lots of time."

Christophe remembers the first time anyone did this to him, he was shaking too, half with pleasure, half with fear. Maybe they should stop and have a few drinks, maybe he should try the warming gel.

But Georgi's hand is in Christophe's hair so Christophe just tries again, slowly, until he's a little way inside. He comes up to straighten the crick in his neck. "Do you want more?" he says and stretches to the bedside table drawer. "We should make a video."

"No." Georgi grabs Christophe's arm. "No."

"Don't you want to see your face?" Christophe finds the tube of lubricant. "When I'm inside you."

"No," Georgi says again. "Not...no." He moves away, sits on the side of the bed, holds his hands over his face, like he's hiding. He stands and goes into the bathroom. The shower starts up and Christophe hopes he's not still wearing his socks.

"Don't jerk off in there," Christophe calls.

He goes to the mirror and ruffles his hair, runs some product through it. He turns the TV on and off again. He sits bare-assed on the couch and flicks through his social media accounts.

The bathroom door opens and there's Georgi, wet hair in his eyes and a towel around his waist.

"Do you want my blow dryer?" Christophe says. "The hotel ones are crap."

Georgi crosses the room in two steps, pulls Christophe off the couch. Takes Christophe's face in his hands and kisses him, deep and hard. Christophe tugs the towel away and Georgi drags Christophe across the room, pushes him down.

Christophe wonders if he's like this with his girlfriends, if he bears them down underneath him onto the bed, silent and hungry. Or does he whisper to them, sweet words or dirty talk.

They roll together for a while, then Georgi stops them side by side. He slicks his hand and jacks them both together, his face so close to Christophe's that Christophe has to close his eyes.

This would make a boring video, Christophe thinks, but it's good, Georgi's hands, Georgi's breath on his face. He moves his head until their foreheads touch and tells Georgi all the dirty things he wants to do to him, in English, so he'll understand.

And then they order room service.

+

They stretch out on the bed when it arrives. Georgi drinks tea with lemon and Christophe has café au lait.

"Can I video this?" Christophe reaches for his phone. "Tell me how you like your tea, Georgi. Do you like it hot? Do you like to swallow?"

"Shut up," Georgi says and scowls but the corners of his mouth are flickering.

They eat pastries, tap their phones, talk about the season. Christophe sends Georgi a text so he can see if it comes up on his screen.

It does. And Georgi deletes it.

"Twenty minutes," Christophe says. "And then we're going again."

Georgi puts his cup down on the tray. "Let's go out."

"There's water," Christophe says. "There's alcohol, there's room service." He runs his hand down Georgi's naked back, leans in to smell Georgi's cologne, a hint of lemon, like the tea. "There's a checklist to get through."

Georgi pulls away. "I'm going out. You can check 'masturbate alone in hotel room' off your list."

Christophe's feet are still too sore for sightseeing. His body still wants to play, to come, as many times as he can get it up. And the hotel concierge has been giving him signals every day.

He stares at Georgi's profile, his clean-shaven face. There are flecks of glitter still on Georgi's cheek, shining in the light.

Christophe sighs. "Let's go shopping."

+

Christophe enjoys shopping, not as much as fucking, but still a lot and it's been a while since he was last in Paris. Georgi is more careful with his money but he has a decent eye. Christophe talks Georgi into buying a few expensive pieces, because he'll look good in them. And to prove that he can.

They stop for liqueurs, shop and wander some more. Christophe sends their bags back to the hotel in a taxi and they eat supper in a bistro, drinking wine and arguing about mushrooms.

Georgi snaps his plate for Instagram. His social media moves slowly — Christophe has been following it, not subscribed, just watching — and these days it's mostly food.

There was one moody pic of Georgi by a fountain that made Christophe want to push him in, then fish him out again, soaking wet, and have him right there in Long Russian Name Square. He wondered who took the photo.

"Why do you ignore all my text messages?" Christophe asks.

"Why do you send them?" Georgi looks up at Christophe.

Christophe rolls his eyes and looks away without answering, because he really doesn't know. It's fun, or it would be if Georgi would play.

A pretty woman walks by and Christophe watches Georgi watching her. Christophe reaches his leg under the table, rubs his calf up the inside of Georgi's. Georgi turns back to Christophe. "You're here with me," Christophe says.

"That doesn't stop you from leering at every man who goes past." Georgi picks up his wine glass, stares inside it.

"See anyone you like?" Christophe says. "We can take him back with us."

Georgi drains his glass. The glitter on his face catches the light, tiny sparkling stars. He pours more wine, kills the bottle. A storm is gathering around him. Christophe doesn't know if he wants to take shelter or ride the storm together.

"Let's go," Christophe says.

Georgi looks at him, doesn't speak. He reaches for Christophe's half-full glass and drinks that too. Christophe watches his hands, wants them on his body now, wants them both in the alley behind the restaurant, Christophe's back against the wall, Georgi raking him, kissing and grinding in the cold air.

Christophe takes a deep breath. "La tour Eiffel," he says. "Since we're already out."

"I've never been," Georgi says.

+

The tower is brilliant against the dark sky. Georgi stops and Christophe takes a half-step back to stand beside him. They stand and look, their breath puffing out in clouds, Christophe's ears are beginning to hurt with the cold.

Georgi leans closer and puts his hand on the small of Christophe's back. He doesn't speak but his eyes shine and Christophe wonders if he's working up to quote some deeply emotional Russian poetry.

That can't be allowed, so Christophe turns to Georgi, hooks his fingers in Georgi's front pocket and pulls him closer.

"Here?" Georgi says.

"No one will recognize us," Christophe says. He slides his fingers deeper, to get more leverage, and in Georgi's pocket, he feels the chain and the pendant.

He lets go. He takes out his phone. "Turn around," he says, and they pose with the lights behind them. Georgi puts his arm around Christophe's shoulders, looks up with a smile.

Just as he taps the screen, as the flash blinds them, Christophe turns his head and licks Georgi's cheek, glances at the camera with his best bedroom eyes.

"I'll tag you," he says and uploads the photo before Georgi can do more than blink at him. Eiffel Tower with Vodka Tonic ;)

"What the fuck?" Georgi grabs his own phone, taps, swears some more. "Why did you do that?"

"It's just for fun." But it feels more like a white heat inside Christophe's gut, a band across his chest. "You're here aren't you?"

"But—" Georgi can't find the words and he lapses into Russian. Christophe can only pick out the swear words.

"Georgi..." Christophe puts his hand on Georgi's shoulders, but Georgi knocks them away. Christophe can't think what to do: yell back, shove Georgi, walk away.

So he stares at Georgi and Georgi stares at him, breathing hard in the cold, the lights of the tower on the side of Georgi's face, gleaming in Georgi's crazy eyes, the tension pushing between them.

And then it changes. Georgi grabs Christophe's wrist, pulls him along against the wind, until they find a dark alley. Georgi pushes Christophe up against the cold brick wall, kisses him, and they grind together like fifteen-year-olds at boarding school.

When he's coming in his pants, Christophe thinks he's never been so warm.

+

They split a cab to the airport and stand by the check-in area, looking at each other. Georgi clearly has no idea what to say and Christophe isn't quite sure either. It's been a great couple of days but next time maybe blow me doesn't really cover it.

Christophe wishes he'd bought one of those cheap Eiffel Tower keychains from the hotel shop. He'd toss it to Georgi now, give him a flirty look, and walk away.

"Give me a call sometime," Christophe says. "And I'll talk you off." There are still two flecks of glitter on Georgi's temple and Christophe thumbs them away.

A man walks by, so beautiful that Christophe can't help his eyes following him, can't help wishing they were going the same way. When he looks back, Georgi is watching the man too.

Georgi turns to look at Christophe for a few seconds more. "Good-bye," he says, then turns and walks off in the same direction as the man.

Christophe watches him go.

When he gets home, he calls his rinkmate.