They meet in a motel room as the sun begins to set, removed from everyone else. They make small talk – aimless and inane – far apart from each other. Thomas sits on the bed, leaning forward and resting his elbows on his knees. His head is dipping down, eyes occasionally flicking up from his wringing hands to glimpse at Guy-Manuel through the gloom. Guy-Manuel stands slouched against the opposing wall, arms folded in front of himself like a shield. His gaze never leaves Thomas’ face. Whenever Thomas raises his head and their eyes meet, his words trail off; his voice fades. Each time, a second of absolute silence passes, before Thomas hurriedly breaks away and continues where he left off. Each time, Guy-Manuel’s breath becomes a fraction shorter as the intangible spike is driven another millimeter into his chest.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. It was a mistake. Thoughtlessly done, and never meant to be. Finishing it before it’s too far gone is… good. And that’s why they’re here. To talk it out. Make sure they’re on the same page.
(When the fuck have they ever not been on the same page?)
It’s stiff. Like two strangers paired up by accident, anxious to have the ordeal be over with. And yet, beneath the fog of tension is an electricity, a magnetism that hooks into their bodies and prevents them from leaving.
Guy-Manuel leans his head back against the wall, watching Thomas with eyes half-lidded. Thomas is talking about nothing. His speech drifts together, muddling into itself until it sounds like a soft, shapeless melody. A song in want of no words, in need of no meaning. He’s always had a beautiful voice.
Thomas rises. His posture is limp. There’s a fatigue in his expression – deep furrows across his face that causes him to appear at least a decade older. Guy-Manuel is taut, like a wire about to snap. The silence is crushing; it smothers them. Then Thomas turns, in slow motion it seems, towards the door, reaching for the handle. Guy-Manuel shoots after him, seizing his hand. He jerks Thomas towards him, grasping at the lapels of his shirt, tugging him downwards. He opens his mouth to speak (he’s barely said a word), but can’t. There is nothing to say, except to ask questions already answered. To go back to what they were, what they had… How can something so simple also be utterly impossible?
Thomas’ breath is heavy on his cheeks. His eyes are cold, standoffish, but behind the mask is a hot desperation. A dark blaze, begging to be restrained. A sweet ardor, not wanting anything but to be released. For a second, Guy-Manuel lets him go. For a second, he gives up. Then he gives in.
Cupping Thomas’ neck, he draws him into a kiss. Thomas’ hands fly up to Guy-Manuel’s chest, lightly pushing away as his lips part.
No, slow down.
With a soft moan, his arms wrap around Guy-Manuel, pulling him closer until there’s no room to breathe between them. Guy-Manuel lets out a content sigh as he feels Thomas respond, feels their lips mold together and tongues meet in a slow caress. Thomas’ hands start running up and down Guy-Manuel’s back, as his delve into and rake through Thomas’ hair.
They ought to know better. They do know better. But they also know they need this (they need it) one last time. Clinging to each other, they fall down on the hard bed, the covers cold. Going under together, inebriated by the other’s touch. Straddling Thomas’ lap, Guy-Manuel begin pulling off both their shirts as Thomas fumbles with their belts. Their lips never separate for long, rather growing more frenzied as they continue to drink up each other’s taste and absorb each other’s scent (cedar, vetiver, smoky musk, a hint of something nectarous). There are so many reasons as to why they shouldn’t keep on, and none of them good enough.
Grabbing hold of Guy-Manuel’s hips, Thomas throws him onto the bed, following to push him into the mattress using his own weight. His hand travels down, beneath the hem of Guy-Manuel’s undone pants and captures him in a gentle grip. Guy-Manuel groans into Thomas’ throat, whose pulse flutters wilder beneath his skin. Finally completely bare, they embrace, slowly taking each other in, their bodies fitting together so well, interlocking like two puzzle pieces. A perfect balance. The sun is gone, the only thing illuminating the room being the multicolored motel sign on the other side of the thin curtains, bathing their intertwined bodies in a kaleidoscopic light.
Breaths quicken. Limbs tangle. Fingertips traces patterns into flesh, leaving everlasting prints. Cries of pleasure are muted by rough lips. Time stands still as they sink further into each other, getting lost in a dizzying haze, for the final time.
There are no winners in this game. They lost the instant they entered it. If they didn’t know that before, they sure do now. But, right now, it doesn’t matter. Right now, they’re stuck in a moment, not thinking of what they must and instead doing what they wish. It will be savored while it lasts, and remembered when it- when they are over.
But they won’t be over until the night is.