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a kind of light

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Disclaimer: The characters in this story not belong to me, and no money is being made from this work.

 

He’s drinking, thinking about Alba when he notices a pair blue eyes staring at him from across the room. The young man, dressed to the nines, looks out of place in this sort of bar. He tilts his drink in his direction to be polite before going back to Alba and where in Madrid she could possibly be.

Five minutes later, the young man is casually taking the seat across his table.

“Uh…” Francisco starts, not sure what to say beyond, what are you doing?

“You look like you need company,” the young man says, smiling.

Francisco has no trouble imagining how that smiles gets him whatever he wants, whenever he wants. The way he essentially smells of money probably doesn’t hurt either.

But he isn’t in the mood. So, “I’d rather be alone.”

“Nonsense,” the guy says. “No one would rather drink alone, it’s too sad!”

“Maybe I want to be sad.”

The guy laughs. “Come on,” he says. “Are you always this serious?”

“I don’t owe you any explanations,” Francisco replies, nearing the end of his patience. “I don’t even know who you are.”

“Ah, that is absolutely my bad. Carlos,” he says, extending a hand.

“Francisco,” he says, shaking the hand offered to him, not because he wants to, but because he was raised by a mother who believed in manners.

“It’s a pleasure,” Carlos says, smiling devastatingly again. “So, what are we drinking to?”

“Alba,” Francisco answers before he remembers he has tell the guy to go away. Again. “I’m sorry, but I really—”

“Alba,” Carlos repeats, and the way he says the name is almost like he’s trying to figure out how is tastes. Which makes no sense and probably means Francisco is already drunk and very much needing to go home.

“Yes, Alba,” he says, hoping the finality in his voice is loud and clear.

“Well, to Alba it is!” Carlos toast cheerfully, glass in the air.

It would be impolite to leave him hanging, Francisco thinks, raising his glass to clink it against Carlos’. But that is it, he promises himself. Last drink.

“So,” Carlos starts, pulling a face after taking a swig from his glass. “Where’s Alba?”

“None of your business,” Francisco replies. Then, “Why do you drink if you don’t like it?”

Carlos tilts his head, considering him. “It’s what us men do, isn’t it?” And for the first time since Francisco first saw him, he doesn’t look as cheerful.

“And what else do us men do?” Francisco adds, genuinely curious now.

“Work,” Carlos says, sighing. Then, lighting up suddenly, “And have sex.”

At this, Francisco splutters. “What?”

“With women,” Carlos elaborates, as if that hadn’t been clear before. Then, winking at Francisco, “Though, not always.”

If the implication of sex before marriage had been scandalous to him, the idea of sex with men was simply absurd.

“Right,” Francisco says, reaching out to take Carlos’ glass away. “I think you may have had too much for one night.”

“And you haven’t had nearly enough,” Carlos says, his hand on Francisco’s. Then, “I’m tired of this place. Why don’t we go back to mine?”

He hesitates. Madrid isn’t a city to be wondering about with a perfect stranger. He considers Carlos as he takes out his wallet and puts down enough money to cover both their tabs.

“Hey, no, I—”

“It’s okay,” Carlos says. “Let me take care of you—”

“What?”

“Of it,” he corrects making a vague gesture with his hand. “You know, of the tab.”

“You said—”

“You must have misheard. Now, are you coming with me?”

Francisco considers this again. Madrid isn’t a city to be wondering about with a perfect stranger. And yet, Carlos doesn’t seem like the sort of stranger who’d make his mother frown. It would also be a disservice to the guy to leave him alone after settling his tab. And he probably needs help getting back.

Yes, that’s all he will do, Francisco thinks. It’s the right thing to do, helping Carlos get back home in one piece.

“Alright.”

They leave the bar, arm in arm. It’s Carlos who swings his arm around Francisco’s shoulders first, though Francisco finds himself quickly draping an arm around Carlos’ waist, just to keep the two of them from falling.

“Balance really isn’t your strong suit, is it?” he says offhandedly.

“Not tonight,” Carlos admits cheerfully. Then, turning ever so slightly so his face is against Francisco’s side, “Or maybe I just like the feeling of your arm around me.”

Jesus Christ, Francisco thinks, cursing his own bad luck.

It turns out the way to Carlos’ home is a rather long one. How the guy ended up in the opposite side of the city, drinking a dingy bar is still an unanswered question by the time they round the corner of a gated house covered in vines. Francisco has to repress the childish urge to whistle under his breath at the sight.

“Through the back,” Carlos whispers, leading the way.

The round the massive property until the reach the fenced backyard. The moment it becomes clear that he is expected to jump the iron fence, Francisco starts considering his duty to be fulfilled.

Carlos is, of course, not having any of his excuses.

“I promised you a drink,” he insists. “And you shall have one, Francisco dearest.”

“Dearest?” Francisco parrots.

“Come on, let me treat you.”

“You already treated me,” he reminds the guy.

“To cheap whiskey in a place with terrible music,” Carlos laments. “No, that was no treat. I have a real bottle of champagne waiting for us inside. Now, come on, climb up!”

Francisco thinks he really should refuse. Enough is enough. He has things to do in the morning. There are still places where he hasn’t looked for— He looks down at his battered watch, an inheritance from his late father. It’s been hours since Carlos sat across his table. Hours since he last thought of Alba.

The memory of her rushes over him like a dead weight fallen from the sky. He’d felt so light before, and now he’s back where he started.

“Francisco?” Carlos asks.

He looks up and sees Carlos halfway to the top of the fence, waiting for him.

“Okay,” he says, willing his brain to shut out images of Alba.

Later, he won’t know how to feel about the fact that forgetting her in the company of Carlos is surprising easy. Later, he’ll look back and feel guilty and his guilt will drive him to look for her even more fervently.

But tonight, all he wants is to forget. So, he follows Carlos’ lead, climbing the fence and running through the backyard and into the main house.

“Carlos?” a voice calls. “Is that you?”

“Yes, mother!” Carlos calls back, a finger on his lips to tell Francisco to stay silent,

He disappears upstairs, and Francisco hears muted words before a door closes quietly. In no time, Carlos is downstairs, grabbing his hand.

Their first stop is the kitchen, where they grab a bottle of expensive champagne, bread and cheese. Their second stop is the living room, where Carlos grabs a couple of glasses. Finally, they make it to Carlos’ room.

Like the rest of the house, the room is larger than anything Francisco has seen before. The bed can easily fit four people and the mahogany desk is about as large as his mother’s dining table.

“Come here,” Carlos says, sitting on the bed and patting the space next to him.

“You shouldn’t eat on your bed.”

“You sound like my mother.”

Francisco smiles despite himself. “You’ll be sorry you didn’t listen when you have ants crawling in your sheets.”

“Is that a smile, Francisco?” Carlos says. “And here I was, thinking I’d have to stuff you full of cheese and champagne before that happened.”

“I…”

“Don’t worry,” Carlos goes on, popping open the champagne. “I’m still stuffing you full of cheese and champagne.”

And Francisco can’t help himself. There’s something contagious about Carlos and the way his smiles. A kind of light.

Seating on the bed, he takes the glass of champagne offered to him. It tastes like nothing he’s ever had before, sparkly and sweet and none of the sour bitterness of a cheap drink. He downs the glass in a minute flat.

“Now we’re talking!” Carlos says, finishing his own glass before pouring them both another. “There’s a knife on the table,” he says, pointing behind Francisco. “Would you mind grabbing it for the cheese?”

Turning, Francisco finds the knife and hands it over. Their hands brush over the knife, and not for the first time he feels something warm settling in the pit of his stomach.

Carlos slices the cheese and breaks the bread, which crumbles all over the bed. He laughs, saying something about Francisco and his mother being right before he says, “Take as much as you want.”

It isn’t that Francisco isn’t used to sharing or random acts of generosity. It mostly that he’s never seen anyone do so as willingly and openly as Carlos does. He remembers his mother once telling him to stop being to open, to stop wearing his heart on his sleeve. But, looking at Carlos, he doesn’t think he was ever like him.

“You look like you’re enjoying yourself,” Carlos says.

“I am,” Francisco admits. “Thank you.”

“You’re too polite. And stiff.”

“I’m not.”

“You are, too.” Then, taking both of their glasses and setting them aside along with the bread and cheese, Carlos lies down on his side. He takes Francisco’s hand again before saying, “Come, lie down.”

Francisco hesitates a fraction of a second before following Carlos’ example. He wonders if everything in Carlos’ life comes as easily to him as this.

He feels a warm finger on his forehead, right in between his eyebrows. “Stop thinking so hard.”

“I can’t help it.”

“Surely there’s something we can do about that.”

“Like what?” Francisco asks, eyes staring at Carlos’, their faces inches apart.

“Like this,” Carlos says, closing the distance and sealing it with a kiss. He pulls back a second later, searching for an answer in Francisco’s stunned face. “Yes?”

His body replies before his mind has time to catch up, nodding before he’s really able to process what’s happening. And by the time his mind is finally caught, Carlos is half on top of him, kissing him, sucking on his lower lip and on that spot right below his left ear.

Heart drumming, he drapes an arm across Carlos’s back, holding him there.

“You like this,” Carlos says, lips brushing against Francisco’s skin.

“Yes,” he says. Then, “What do you like?”

At this, Carlos pushes himself a little off the bed so he’s looking down at him. “You’re the perfect boy, aren’t you?” he teases. “Knight in shining armor and all.”

“Don’t know about that,” Francisco replies, staring up at his puffed lips. “Come here,” he says, dragging him back down.

“Whatever you want.”

Their next kiss starts slow with Carlos smiling into it as Francisco wraps his arm around him again. It’s Francisco who pushes up to deepen the kiss first, and what happens next is a blur of the taste of champagne and quiet moans. It’s enough to make his voice breathy, enough to make his heart race.

“Why are you wearing these many clothes?” Carlos complains, trying to pull his shirt out of his trousers but failing on account of the vest layered on top.

“I don’t know, why are you wearing them, too?” Francisco retorts, laughing at Carlos’ unimpressed look.

Sitting up, Carlos says, “Fine, I’ll undo yours if you undo mine.”

Not one to back away from a challenge, Francisco easily agrees, leaning forward to kiss Carlos as his fingers work their way down their buttons. They keep hitting hands, getting in the way of each other and frankly making a whole mess out of a simple undressing. It makes them both laugh into each other’s mouth.

“Aha!” Francisco says as he undoes the last button of Carlos’ shirt.

“Not fair,” Carlos complains. “You have a vest and a shirt and a tie,” he says the last word as though he finds the item particularly offensive.

“If you need help, you just have to ask,” Francisco says.

“Let no one say you are not a proper gentleman. But, seeing how I’m already half-naked,” he says, shrugging out of his shirt. “I think I’ll have better luck without you getting in my way.”

“Is that so?”

“Mhmm.”

Another kiss, and Carlos’ hands are on him again, discarding the tie first before unbuttoning what’s left of the vest. On impulse, he reaches out to touch the naked skin in front of him, making Carlos jump, startled. He stops, removing his hand.

“Your hands are cold,” Carlos says.

“Sorry.”

“Don’t apologize,” he says, taking Francisco’s hand and placing it on his naked chest. He shivers a little before he says, “I want you to touch me.”

For a moment, Francisco only blinks at him. Then, “Do you always get what you want?”

Unbuttoning the last button of Francisco’s shirt, Carlos looks up at him. “No.”

There’s not a trace of duplicity in his face, which makes Francisco wonder again. He doesn’t need an answer now, however.

Shrugging out of his shirt, Francisco says, “I want you to touch me, too.”

Smiling wide, Carlos wastes no time in flinging himself at him. It’s so sudden, that it catches him off balance and they’re soon falling back onto the bed, Carlos’ arms around Francisco’s neck.

It’s striking how soft Carlos’ hands are, now that he feels them on his naked skin. They quickly find sensitive spots on his chest as they grind against each other, a little more forcefully each time.

“Fuck,” Carlos breathes out, rolling them around so Francisco is on top.

The view is different looking down, and he can’t help but kiss Carlos slow and deep. And he has plans, perhaps not very experienced plans, but he still has them. He wants to find the places on Carlos that make him moan like Carlos found his. He wants to brush his fingers over every inch of exposed skin. He wants, but Carlos slides a little down the bed, hooking both his legs around Francisco’s waist.

There are at least two layers of fabric on each of them below the waist, but he can still feel the hard length of Carlos’ cock grinding against his.

“Oh, god,” Francisco moans, mortified when Carlos tells him to keep it down unless he wants his parents to wake up.

“We’ll have to do this somewhere where I can make you scream,” he says, sucking a bruise on Francisco’s chest.

“Yes,” Francisco agrees, stifling a moan as he feels a warm hand worming its way inside his trousers and underpants. “What are you—”

“Shh,” Carlos says, his hand working its way all the way down to Francisco’s balls. “Let me take care of you.”

Only a handful of things would make Francisco stop right now. Only a handful of things that he can’t really think about right now. Not when Carlos is pumping his cock up and down, kissing him and sucking on his lip for good measure.

“I want,” Francisco starts against Carlos’ open mouth. “Can I touch you?”

“Yes,” comes Carlos’ reply.

And Francisco has never done this before. He’s never touched anyone else like this, so it feels odd, but familiar, too, when Carlos guides his hand into his pants. Carlos feels as hard as he is, and he moans softly the second Francisco wraps his fingers on his cock.

“Shit,” Carlos says. “Fuck, fuck.”

“Is it always like this?”

“It’s better without pants,” Carlos’ laugh turns into another quiet moan as Francisco starts moving his fingers up and down.

Up and down, up and down, their mouths open, their eyes closed. Up and down, up and down. Fuck, fuck.

“Kiss me,” Carlos demands, another moan dying in the back of his throat.

Obediently, Francisco presses his lips to his, a soft brush as their hips rock harder into the mattress. He feels like he’s reaching the highest point of a mountain, heart rate climbing, higher, higher. And Carlos’ hand keeps moving. Up and down. Up and down. And their lips are still kissing, and their hips are still grinding. Up and down. Up and down until he’s there, at the very top and all he has to do is jump and just let go.

A moment later, he hears Carlos cursing in the distance. “Fuck,” as warm come spreads over his own hand.

Their hands are a sticky mess, though it doesn’t seem like either of them particularly cares. Francisco tells himself he’ll only stay a little while longer as he drops on the bed next to Carlos. He’ll leave before the sun is up, he—

“Stay,” Carlos says, draping an arm across his waist and breathing deeply. “There’ll be pancakes and strawberries for breakfast. Eggs if you want them, too.”

“Your parents—”

“Will think you’re a friend.”

He tells himself he’ll wake up later and figure it out. He doesn’t have to decide what he wants now, nit when there’s a soft pillow waiting for his head and a warm arm across his waist.