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Different Air

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“You taste like cigarettes,” Robbie growled against his mouth forceful enough to raise the hairs on James’s neck and drop something molten into his core that burned down to his toes. It was a tone he’d never heard before and at this juncture was barely capable of handling. It didn’t help that his head was swimming, trying to put the pieces together of how he’d gone from a smoke in the alley beside the pub to this .

Robbie’s hand was curled tightly in his shirt, his fist pressing against the center of James’ chest and keeping him flush against the cool bricks. His lips were tingling from the sensation of the mind-blanking kiss they’d just shared. As soon as it had begun there had been no hesitation between them and the sloppy, hungry, roughness of it had been ineffably satisfying. Lewis hadn’t even moved away as he’d spoken the rumbled words, breathy and still so very near James’ own mouth.

Their lips brushed again before James could reply. This time more in sync, each seeming to know already how to tilt their heads and where their lines fit together. It should have been a test, pushing at the real truth of this thing between them, but there was no need because they each had made their own personal realizations long ago.  

Robert Lewis was usually was the one to ground James Hathaway, but in this he sent him soaring. One surprise snog, one seemingly impulsive reaction, had shifted into this second much more deliberate one. James was on cloud nine. When they broke once more he breathed deep with an innervated shudder. The air was different. It was as if the world before and the world after the kiss were entirely different places. James dared to lift a hand and cup Robbie’s face.

“I’ll quit. I quit right now . You’ve always hated the smoking. Bugger it,” The words came fast but insistent, and James ended the mini-rant with a laugh at himself. He must have sounded manic. Happy. Relieved. Desperate. Bonkers .

The endearing ramble actually made Lewis pause and grin. The older man’s initial heat gave way to unrestrained affection and he leaned to nuzzle lightly against James’ cheek.

“Never another cigarette,” James eyes widened seriously, his voice lower, as if he were suddenly promising Lewis the moon and stars. He’d finally regained awareness of his body and relaxed under the older man’s physical pressure. With a new confidence his arms ventured to circle Robbie’s waist, to pull him close while staying pressed against the wall, “So long as we do that again.” A pause, “And again.”

Robbie’s laugh was surprisingly charmed before their lips brushed once more. James, second by second, was allowing himself to believe that this was real and as he submitted to it his eyes fell closed with the overwhelming swell of emotion. It was already much too easy for him to be carried away by this man.

“I think yer misunderstanding, lad,” The fist in James’ shirt had loosened and now spread out over his chest. His heartbeat thudded tangibly just below the skin but that hand smoothed and drifted, a thumb soon brushing James’ throat and the warm palm sliding up along the curve of his neck.

Something needier sparked in Hathaway and he couldn’t stop an audible sigh when he felt those fingers on his bare skin. What had they been talking about again?

Lewis pressed closer, his knee insinuating between James’ so they could fit together just that much closer. Hathaway was not disappointed to find that Robbie’s body seemed to be as enthusiastic as his own. Every placed they touched crackled with heat and tension. He’d always thought that people talking about sparks were exaggerating. Consider him re-educated.

Their lips brushed deliberately once more and James cracked his eyes to watch Robbie. A tongue darted across his lips but was gone before he could chase it. He bobbed forward lightly, mouth parted to try but he was stopped by the other man speaking.

There was something in Lewis’s voice then, something hungry, “ I like it .”