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The Journey to Forever Starts with a Single Kiss

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Jake slid the card key into the lock as Adrien sagged against him, a pleasantly warm weight against his back. It had been one hell of a long night, but a fun one, the champagne still buzzing inside his head. He pushed open the door, held it open for Adrien, who slipped past him, grabbing his hand. Jake followed him inside, pausing to throw the deadbolt and the swing bar before turning to look at Adrien, who leaned against the wall, holding his gaze. Such beautiful eyes, clear and bright. He could get lost in them if he let himself. Happily had, on more than one occasion.

Adrien grinned, tugging Jake close with enough force that Jake had to brace his hand on the wall next to Adrien’s head to break his momentum. He lifted one eyebrow, his mouth quirking slightly. Adrien was close enough to breathe in, exactly where Jake preferred him.

“Hey there,” Adrien murmured. “Husband.”

Jake’s smirk curled into a smile. “Hey yourself.” He brushed his thumb across the graceful arc of Adrien’s cheekbone, which was tinged with a light pink flush. He leaned in and captured Adrien’s lips, watching Adrien’s eyes fall shut before closing his own. The taste of him was familiar and intoxicating, even now, after so much time. He didn’t think he’d ever tire of it. He felt Adrien’s fingers close in the front of his tuxedo shirt, tugging him even closer as Adrien’s mouth opened for Jake’s tongue. Jake let out a soft, low sound from deep in his throat as he pressed in, fingers sliding through Adrien’s hair.

Adrien opened his mouth wider…and yawned. Hugely.

Jake pulled back, the startled look on Adrien’s face pulling a laugh from him.

“Sorry,” Adrien said sheepishly, opening his eyes widely and shaking his head once, smacking himself on the cheek. “Okay, I’m awake now. I—” He yawned again. “—swear.” He smiled goofily.

Jake smiled. “Uh huh.” He gave Adrien a quick peck on the lips, then started on the buttons of Adrien’s perfectly tailored shirt. “Time for bed.”

Adrien waggled his eyebrows. “Finally,” he said, pushing away from the wall, finishing with the buttons and pulling the tails of his shirt from his trousers as he went. He shuffled to the bed and fell back on it, bouncing slightly. Throwing his arms out to his sides, he turned his head to look at Jake. “Go on then,” he said.

Jake started fiddling with his cufflinks. “Go on then, what?” he said, deadpan, trying not to smile.

Adrien turned his face back towards the ceiling, closing his eyes. “Ravish me,” he said, the words barely discernible through another yawn.

Jake smiled again, watching the steady rise and fall of Adrien’s chest. Dropping his cufflinks on the dresser, he walked over and stood at the edge of the bed between Adrien’s splayed legs, his shadow falling across the nearly asleep man lying crossways over the fluffy down duvet. “I don’t think so, baby.”

One blue eye cracked open, looking up at him. “But it’s our wedding night.”

Jake snorted. “I’m aware.” He knelt down to untie Adrien’s shoes.

Adrien was looking at him with both eyes now, meeting Jake’s gaze over the length of his torso. “We’re supposed to have sex.” He raised his eyebrows. “Aren’t we?”

Jake pulled off Adrien’s right shoe, started working on his left one. “That hasn’t really been my experience,” he muttered, pulling off Adrien’s left shoe.

“Wait. What?” Adrien was propped on his elbows now, trying – and failing – to suppress a smile.

Jake stood up, his hands moving to the loops of Adrien’s suspenders. He wondered briefly where the rest of Adrien’s tuxedo was – his vest, jacket, and tie were all missing – or the rest of his, for that matter. They both seemed to have shed various bits over the course of the evening, floating away on the tide of the night like flotsam. He unfastened Adrien’s suspenders and tossed them backwards off his shoulders.

Adrien continued to look at him expectantly, amusement sparking in his eyes. Jake sighed. “Kate’s morning sickness pretty much lasted all day at the beginning. The last thing she wanted to do on our wedding night was—”

“You?” Adrien’s face changed slightly, a hardness thinning his lips for an instant, there and gone. “Sorry I asked,” he said, falling back onto the bed and closing his eyes again.

Adrien wasn’t angry, Jake knew. Nor was he jealous, not anymore. But those two years where Jake had deliberately chosen another life – and a miserable one at that – over one with Adrien still sat heavily between them sometimes. But that didn’t belong here tonight, in this room.

Jake leaned over Adrien, bracing himself on his hands on either side of Adrien’s head, taking a moment to run his eyes over the details of the face he knew so well. “Baby,” he said softly. “Look at me.”

After a moment, Adrien opened his eyes. The sheer depth of emotion Jake saw there made him momentarily speechless, his throat burning. “Christ, I love you,” he managed, his voice thick. Not what he intended to say, but true nonetheless. The truest thing there was. “So much.”

Adrien touched Jake’s face, his warm fingers trailing over Jake’s forehead and down the bridge of his nose, across his cheek and along his jaw. “I know,” he replied, smiling. “I love you, too.” He raised his head and met Jake’s mouth in a lingering kiss, nipping playfully at Jake’s bottom lip when he pulled away. He grinned. “Now take me to bed or lose me forever,” he quipped, wrapping his leg around the back of Jake’s knees and pulling him closer, his arms circling Jake’s neck.

Jake groaned, rolling his eyes. But he smiled despite himself. “Well,” he said, tracing his fingertips across Adrien’s chest, down the still pink ridge of the scar there, feeling Adrien’s skin jump at his touch. “We can’t risk that, now can we?”

But as he leaned in for another kiss, Adrien yawned again, this time so widely, his jaw popped.

“Shit.” His head fell back to the bed. “I’m sorry,” he said, letting go of Jake in order to drag his hands down his face. “The mind is willing…” He trailed his fingertip across Jake’s bottom lip. “But the flesh is apparently useless.” He frowned.

Jake pressed his lips to the side of Adrien’s neck. “I wouldn’t go that far, baby,” he said softly against Adrien’s skin, lingering there for a moment, breathing him in. Then he stood up. “How ’bout I put you to bed instead?” He reached for Adrien’s waistband, opening it deftly, before bending and grabbing Adrien’s ankles, tugging on the cuffs of his trousers. Adrien maneuvered his body to allow the pants with the still attached suspenders to slide off his legs, closing his eyes.

Jake turned to hang the trousers over the back of one of the cushy chairs next to the huge window overlooking the ocean. They were on the 14th floor. In the dark, there wasn’t much to see beyond the lacy reflection of moonlight on the water, but Jake knew the view would be spectacular in the daytime. Miles of ocean curving towards the horizon, kissing the sky in a thin blue line.

“You know,” Adrien said sleepily behind him. Jake turned. Adrien was still lying sprawled, his arms stretched out on either side, head tilted to meet Jake’s eyes. He looked a mess – lying in his underwear, black socks sagging, shirt wrinkled and hair disheveled. A beautiful mess.

Adrien grinned lopsidedly at him. “You can have your way with me if you’d like,” he said. “You have my permission.”

Jake huffed out a short laugh. “What, while you’re asleep, drooling on the pillow?” He slipped off his suspenders, started working on the buttons of his own shirt. “I think I’ll pass.”

Adrien smirked. “You drool on a guy once and suddenly it’s a habit.” He sat up then, slipping off his cufflinks and shrugging out of his shirt, tossing them both on the carpet. He eyed Jake with what Jake supposed was meant to be a playful look but didn’t quite hit the mark, fatigue making his muscles misfire. “Undies on or off?” he asked, popping the elastic with his thumb.

Jake toed out of his shoes as he undid his trousers. “Off,” he said, grinning. “But leave the socks on.”

“Sexy,” Adrien said, laughing. He wriggled out of his shorts, tossing them on the floor to join the shirt. But he left the socks on, as requested. Then he slid backwards on the bed, pushing half the pillows to the floor impatiently and fighting with the covers until they were folded messily back. By the time he was done, he was out of breath, his head half-sunk into one of the remaining plush pillows, his eyes drooping closed.

Jake watched the scene in amusement. “Comfy?” He stepped out of his trousers and draped them carefully over Adrien’s on the back of the chair. Pulling off his shirt, he draped it over the two pairs of trousers. Adrien may not care about the state of what was left of his tux, but that’s because Adrien’s idea of nice clothes consisted of an unfrayed sweater and mostly clean Levi’s.

Adrien let out a low, satisfied moan. “When I die, I want it to be in this bed.”

Jake finished undressing and walked naked over to the bed. He stared down at Adrien, whose face was already starting to go slack with sleep. So fucking beautiful. “When you die,” he said softly, “I want it to be in our bed, with me.”

Adrien opened his eyes at that, his blue gaze suddenly shiny. “Deal,” he said quietly. He reached out his hand, the light catching on his wedding ring. Jake took it, rubbing his thumb over the band. Inscribed on the inside were the words, I choose you, Adrien with an ‘e’. Adrien didn’t know about the inscription; it would be a surprise for someday.

A few moments passed that way, just the two of them looking at each other, breathing together. Then Jake crawled in bed beside Adrien, pulling the covers over them both, settling back as Adrien wrapped his limbs around him, resting his head on Jake’s chest. Jake absently slid his fingers through the hair on the back of Adrien’s neck, felt him sigh. He reached over and flipped off the light. Moonlight streamed through the window, a smooth splash of silvery light throwing shadows across the bed.

Adrien stirred slightly against him. “I know this evening didn’t end the way you probably expected,” he said sleepily, his warm breath tickling Jake’s skin.

Jake smoothed his hand down Adrien’s bare back. “Oh, I don’t know,” he said. “You’re naked—” He felt a stockinged foot rub against his and smiled. “—mostly naked—in my arms. I call that a win.”

Adrien made a soft sound, pressing his lips to Jake’s skin. “You’re the best husband I’ve ever had,” he mumbled.

Jake chuckled, a low rumbling in his chest. He kissed the top of Adrien’s head. “Goodnight, baby,” he whispered into Adrien’s hair.

But Adrien was already asleep.

The End