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i expected you to taste like ruin (how strange you did not)

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A million thoughts were racing through Harold’s frantic brain.

One moment, they’d been bickering about John’s brooding behavior, the next John had pulled him forward and pressed their lips together. He couldn’t focus, the room was spinning. What was John doing? Or rather, why was he doing it? Did this have anything to do with why John needed to be distracted? How had Harold gone so long not knowing that John tasted like cinnamon whiskey?

But when John started to pull away and Harold felt John’s lips parting from his own, all those thoughts ceased and Harold pulled him back in.

John kissed the way Harold expected him to (once Harold had silently granted him permission to continue)- passionately and earnestly. His hands moved to cradle Harold’s face, holding him steady, holding him still, an anchor to cling to when the rest of the world was careening out of control.

John had closed his eyes when he’d leaned in, recklessly and impulsively. Harold had driven him over the edge, and John had turned into the skid, consequences be damned. But it didn’t keep his knees from nearly buckling in relief when Harold snaked his arm around John’s waist to hold him in place.

Harold’s lips were surprisingly soft, unsure, and gentle. They were just the way John had imagined them to be. Later, John would test what it felt like to bite, to suck, to tease the tender flesh, but for the moment, it was enough to feel the gentle pressure of Harold’s lips against his own.

After a small eternity, the two men parted, slightly winded. Harold gasped, feeling the senses he hadn’t used for years awakening. John pressed his forehead to Harold’s, feeling the walls he’d maintained around his heart crumbling to dust. He felt the gentle brush of Harold’s breath against his face and smiled, letting his hand slip from Harold’s cheek to his shoulder.

When Harold caught his breath again, he spoke. “John,” he breathed, the name like a whispered prayer, “Honestly, I… I had no idea you felt this way.”

John swallowed. “I could say the same.” He lifted his head to look Harold in the eyes. “Unless you don’t.”

Harold shook his head so fast his glasses went askew. “No, I do. I just… I didn’t know it.” Adjusting his glasses, he added. “It seems we have much to discuss. I… I think I’d better call Detective Fusco now. You and I are going to be… busy.”