The white t-shirt stated “My boyfriend is better than yours” in bold, black letters, and Paul wanted it. He wanted it. Wanted wanted wanted. He wanted it so much that before he realised, one of the M-sized shirts was resting innocently over his forearm. He covered it with a colourful hoodie he had found before a few racks further and tried to school on a nonchalant mask as he made his way to the other side of the tall shelf, his eyes landing on George who was flipping through a Bob Dylan-biography the lad had found and could not be separated from. A few feet away from where he occupied the only seat on the aisle, John and Ringo were arguing over a pair of shoes. They had been going at it fifteen minutes before as well when Paul had slithered towards the clothes, and were pretty much repeating the same things over and over again — only with a different pair of shoes now.
“Your shoes have holes in them,” John would say and wave one of Ringo’s old shoes in the air to strengthen his argument.
“Yours have too,” Ringo would answer and give a pointed look at John’s shoes, his toes curling visibly in his sock-covered feet.
“You were the one who wanted a new pair,” John would say as an excellent counter-argument, waving towards Ringo’s old shoes that were lying under the chair George was occupying.
“But not those,” Ringo would exclaim and point at the pair John had in hand. “They’re ugly.”
“They’re cheap. Where else do you see shoes for 5 pounds?” John would say with a surprisingly high voice, looking offended for the shoes.
“They’re ugly!!” Ringo yelled — for real, interrupting the mental video Paul had on repeat. He started slightly and looked down at George, who hadn’t even flinched.
“How many pairs?” Paul asked, fixing the hoodie on his arm, just in case John had developed again an X-ray vision for detecting things Paul tried to hide — usually he seemed to have some of that sort, because Paul was better off pretending to be the Queen rather than hide things from John — but it seemed that the lad was too occupied trying to make Ringo buy cheap, ugly shoes to notice Paul looking rather shifty.
“‘Bout seven I guess,” George said in an absent voice, stopping to stare at a photo of young Bob Dylan, his gaze becoming rather dreamy.
“He looked damn fine back then,” Paul said, because holding a conversation with George made him look less suspicious, and besides, Bob Dylan had his hair game On Point.
“Ye think so??” George looked up at him with wide eyes. “I could jus’ get on me knees ‘n digest ‘is dick—”
Paul turned away from the conversation, not bothering to point out that George would do it with about anyone if they breathed and had a dick.
Well. Paul just might do the same if it was Bob Dylan.
John and Ringo’s argument had evolved to the next pair of shoes that were exactly the same as the one before, but only ugly green colour. Paul, not seeing any possible progression in their grocery shopping like this, decided to be a good, independent adult, and leaned to tug at George’s coat.
“Let’s go get chocolate while they’re going at it,” he suggested. “Cheap chocolate, and not much, ‘cos I’m going to Paris, and I’ll sure get diabetes over there anyway, but some. ‘Cos they won’t notice.”
George raised an eyebrow, and then lowered his voice, although it wasn’t necessary; John and Ringo were almost at the point of beating each other with insoles.
“For a… writin’ session, right?”
Paul, ashamed, full of shame, shamefaced, and his family and cow dishonoured, nodded with a grimace, and felt a jolt in his stomach at the thought of where they had left off — right before “glorious engagement sex” that Paul was not looking forward to (oh hell, who was he kidding? He lived for the glorious engagement sex).
George grinned cheerfully and jumped up to his feet, soon strutting over to the shopping trolley that so far contained a few CDs, a pair of briefs, and John’s leather back bag. He didn’t put the book in, but just opened it against the handle and started pushing the trolley while absorbed by a photo that seemed to have Dylan in the 80’s. Paul glanced sneakily back at John and Ringo, and when the two didn’t seem to pay any attention to them heading away from the shoes, he felt safe enough to slip to George’s side and mutter into his ear,
“If I bought a chocolate bar to John, would he wanna marry me sooner?”
George’s eyes flashed over to him, and a foul smile spread on his lips that made Paul’s spine shudder with fear and his stomach jump with excitement.
George was definitely on the case, and Paul was glad that for once, he was on the lad’s side.
“What d’ye got?” John asked when they had got home and he and Paul had retreated into their bedroom. Paul was trying to stuff the hoodie into the wardrobe without showing a glimpse of it to John, which he thought to be fairly offensive, since he was a Good, Supportive Boyfriend who Supported his Boyfriends Clothing Choices even when they might be Questionable. He himself was lying in the middle of their bed, absent-mindedly stroking Creature who had spread out on top of his chest the moment he had thrown himself on top of the covers.
Paul glanced over his shoulder and gave him a nonchalant smile and a shrug, both of which blew a small suspicious whisp in John’s head before he shrugged it away. What would Paul be able to hide inside a hoodie anyway?
“Oh, it’s just a hoodie. It was for sale so I took it.”
“Put it on?” John raised an eyebrow, offering him an encouraging and curious smile, really wanting to see now. The hoodie had looked nice laying on Paul’s elbow, and Paul usually had a fairly good taste in clothes… Besides, John was a Supportive Boyfriend—
“Later,” Paul turned his back on him. Huh. He really looked like he was hiding something. “I gotta— there’s— did you find shoes for Ringo?” he turned his head towards John again with a hopeful expression that John had learnt to associate with “distracting John from the actual discussion”, all the while pushing the hoodie skillfully and tactically between a bunch of jeans and one orange jumper. The wardrobe looked like it was about to explode any minute, but once it was closed the situation seemed to be completely under control. The problem was that John and Paul had lived so long with the Sea of Clothes that they had managed to buy new clothes — and new clothes, again — and those had ended up in the Sea as well (the— thE SEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! screamed the chorus over-excitedly) and now that everything that had once been on the floor had been stuffed into the wardrobe… It was a bomb waiting to go off.
Nevermind that, though — they were talking about Ringo’s SHOES, which were by now just mocking John with their mere existence — John couldn’t believe Ringo would do such a thing and buy those exact shoes that John loathed the most —
He scoffed, letting his head falling against the pillows, Ringo’s shoes wiping everything else from his mind.
“Yes! And they were the worst pair in the whole shop!”
Paul, knowingly having a similar taste in shoes as Ringo and probably thinking that Ringo’s shoes were rather nice, nodded with an agreeing expression, pushing the wardrobe door closed with one shoulder.
“Yes, very,” he said in a sympathetic voice, and once he had managed to close the door without any sort of atomic cloth bomb destroying them all, he climbed on the bed as well, crawling over to John to flop down next to him. John automatically buried his head into Paul’s shoulder, letting out a content sigh before taking in a deep breath against Paul’s shirt.
Almost immediately he sneezed, and both Paul and Creature let out similar shrieks accompanied by startled jumps.
“S-sorry,” John sniffed, clearing his throat. “A— it was a cat hair.”
“In my shirt?” Paul asked with a raised eyebrow, looking like he was coming down from a near-death experience. He glanced down at his shirt and—
— started rushing to get off the bed. John, very much against that haste decision, chose that exact moment to become an octopus. He hung onto struggling Paul for a moment before realising the man was trying to take off his shirt — and who was John to prevent that from happening?? He retreated his tentacles and ogled.
“It’s full of bacteria — it’s the one I used for the whole last weekend!” Paul said hurriedly, and then hurried out of the room with hurry, nearly colliding with George in the hallway. John prayed that Paul would get away unscratched, and that indeed did happen, George’s brain having come to a full stop at seeing Paul dash out of their room half-naked without a warning of any kind.
“I swear to God, one day I’m gonna fulfil that bondage video,” John heard George mutter, and grabbed Creature to drop her over his face, hoping that she would block the foul, horrifying things George let out of his mouth on a normal basis.
Thinking about last weekend and Paul’s flu brought the whole ordeal in Liverpool back to John’s mind. He was yet to talk about it with Paul, not having even mentioned that he had gone to see Mimi, and that Cynthia didn’t hate them, no, she was actually rather lovely about it all — encouraging and stuff, showing that sweet side of her that had always been one of her best qualities. Paul had asked about what John had been doing, but he had been ill back then too, and John hadn’t wanted to bring everything down on him when that was the case… and then the whole work week had been rather chaotic, new orders coming in every day, for both of them — and Paul had had to double a couple of shifts due to having missed several days.
So there had simply been no good slot for any kind of talking… and now John was feeling guilty and already like he ought to spit things out before his silence went on for too long and then he couldn’t say a thing because it would be too embarrassing, and then Cynthia would show up at the WEDDING, and Paul would just lose it. And kill them all.
No. Better talk about it as soon as possible. John wanted their… thing… their… marriage thing … to be perfect.
And that… that was another thing. The… the WEDDING thing. John was excited. He was terrified. He was exhilarated. And he wanted to vomit. And if all those feelings came from just thinking about the— the wedding, and the proposal, then how would it feel to actually do those things??? He was really actually going to propose to actual Paul “real” McCartney himself… for real.
He sat up on the bed abruptly, Creature letting out a disappointed meow, and ran a hand through his hair as he thought about it. A small box hidden deep under some advertisements of Jeff’s loomed in his mind, big and burning like the eye of Sauron, and it couldn’t be a coincidence that both the box and Sauron had a lot to do with rings.
If he was going to go with Lord of the Rings - references here, he might as well go in big. Weren’t they basically just Frodo and Sam trying to make their way to Mount Doom (Paris) and instead of throwing the ring down into the lava (the Seine) John would just slip it in Paul’s finger? Right? That’s how it was supposed to go. That was the PLAN. And John was going to hold onto that plan till his last breath.
He wondered if George was gonna do a Gollum and desperately try to get that ring for himself, and incidentally bite off John’s finger and then fall into the Seine.
That would be awful. Not because of George, but the ring drowning. Unlike Frodo, John was ready to embrace his obsession with his ring… and especially his obsession with the one who’d be carrying it.
“If I’m Frodo,” he murmured to Creature in a soft voice, scratching her under her chin to which the cat answered with a meow, cuddling closer to him so that John’s mouth pressed against her head, “does that make you Gandalf?”
“I think she’d rather be Gollum,” Paul’s voice came from the door and John lifted his head to grin at him, finding his boyfriend smiling at them with a fond expression that did things to John’s stomach.
“Why’d you say so?” he asked, Creature’s purring increasing and filling his ears, her softness against his chest starting to make him rather sleepy.
“Eats raw fish, has a fascination with things that shine, and screams too, when she hasn’t got food yet,” Paul chuckled and John joined in, nodding in agreement.
“Sorry, girl,” he said, his voice muffled by his beloved cat’s fur, “he’s right. You’re Gollum, you are.”
“Not so sure about that second personality thing, though,” Paul laughed when he closed the door and came over to the bed before throwing himself down next to John, cuddling close. He still didn’t have a shirt on, which John considered as fortunate, and seemed to have taken a pee as well — his jeans were hanging open, either from Paul forgetting to close his fly (unlikely in this house of George) or from him trying to seduce John (very likely indeed).
“Why would you be Frodo, then?” he asked after their soft chuckles had died down. John swallowed, trying not to let cold sweat break his spine. He FAILED.
“Um, it was just a thought,” he said, knowing that Paul wouldn’t be satisfied with that answer. The man had an insatiable curiosity with all things that went through John’s head and always wanted answers, always wanted to know explanations to whatever John was feeling — which was a good thing, and amazing, and John loved him for it, and God knew he felt the same, and together they were just like two sponges who tried to suck all the information out of the other simultaneously while holding hands and looking besotted with each other, but now it was just fucking inpractical, because John had a Plan, and that Plan didn’t include revealing it to the person who was most involved in it without their knowledge before the right moment.
John wasn’t sure what would be the right moment. But he had a thought, and he liked that thought… and okay, he was most likely going to follow that thought, and he most likely knew the right moment, but it sure as hell wasn’t this.
He turned his head slightly so that he could look at Paul, their faces mere inches apart. The man’s body next to him was warm and calming, and John let himself enjoy the feeling of bliss before Paul would open his mouth and say his next, fateful words:
“What sort of a thought?”
“Just a thought. Like, who’d be who if were were LOTR characters,” John shrugged sluggishly, Creature letting out a protesting sound at his movement. Paul smiled, his lips curling as his eyes seemed to sparkle with amusement. John was shortly rendered speechless with his gorgeousness, but managed to gather himself — he had had a lot of practise with this view anyway.
“I thought you’d be Sam. The most important character, the actual hero.”
“Huh,” Paul said slowly, staring at John like he, too, had got lost into John’s eyes, and his smile was dazzled, looking like it would never leave his face again. “…Right. Why don’t we just shove Creature out of the door and, say, debauch each other, if you get my meaning.”
And so poor Creature was thrown into the corridor, and no matter how good her screechy Gollum impressions were, the door remained closed while Paul and John got definitely and properly debauched.
John fell onto his knees and started suckling on Paul’s hard, aching cock that throbbed between his legs like a heavy velvety metal bar
“You can’t write it like that!” Paul said with his eyes wide as saucers, his heavy velvety metal bar very much throbbing between his legs. George snickered like a naughty schoolboy, rolling onto his stomach before fixing the position of his laptop. Paul stared at their shared Google doc from his own laptop with his mouth hanging open, not sure whether he loved or hated what his poor eyes were reading.
“What, an’ why?” George asked, snapping one piece off of their two white chocolate bars, popping it into his mouth with a teasing look directed at Paul who ignored it with a tactic mastered years ago.
“That— the— John doesn’t suckle!”
“Well, I wouldn’t know!” George raised his eyebrows, looking way too innocent in a way that had Paul loathe him on sight, and then painted over the word “suckling”, fingers hovering over the keyboard. “What would ye suggest then?”
“I— it…” Paul started, and then groaned, running his hands over his face. His erection was making it difficult to concentrate, even though he had known he would be suffering from a severe case of a boner during this particular writing session. Debauchering John before had been a rather desperate attempt to tell his body to keep it down, now, but it seemed that Paul had to have another round before they’d go to sleep.
Not that John would complain or anything. He’d probably be rather frustrated later as well, although for slightly different reasons Paul hoped… Currently he and Ringo were engaging in a game of Tetris on Ringo’s laptop in the kitchen (as far as Paul knew) and according to the shouting going on between them, the game was getting rather heated. Or then it was a continued argument about Ringo’s new shoes.
“I’d just put ‘suck’ in it,” Paul said after a long silence, cheeks burning with shame and his family dishonoured. God, why was he doing this??
“Right,” George frowned, staring at the document with a thoughtful expression. “How ‘bout ‘inhalin’’?”
“Huh, so inhalin’ it is,” George said in a sly voice, shooting a knowing look at Paul, who was just about this close to throwing his laptop across the room and going after John right now, the battle of Tetris be damned. “What happens then, Paul?” George continued in that same voice, and Paul hated his face, and that tone, and his whole being. He knew George was following his reactions to see which words affected Paul the most, and then he used them. Simple as that. But wicked and terrible.
“I don’t know,” Paul said weakly, staring at the 1400 word document. They had been writing it during one week, and so far they had got from the proposal to the glorious engagement sex, although… the sex came in rather slowly. Now there was all kind of talking and cuddling and stuff, but nothing really stood in the way of the proposal and the sex. Paul would have wanted a nice dinner first, though, because that was what his parents had taught him. Besides, John looked damn fine in a suit.
‘Gotta pack his suit for Paris,’ he thought, biting his lower lip as he got lost in thought.
“Ye’re thinkin’ about John in a suit, aren’t ye?” George giggled. “Ye got that one particular ‘John in a suit’ -look on yer face.”
Paul shot him a glare, pressing his lips tightly together. Right, so what if he was? Ringo sure didn’t look as good in a suit. George was just jealous.
Of course, with Paul knowing how things really were, he also knew that George was well beyond feeling jealous, and was just actually a hideous, hideous creature who enjoyed seeing others squirm with embarrassement.
“He looks good in a suit,” he answered, trying to sound nonchalant, but ended up almost drooling at another thought of John in a suit… on his knees, his collar mussled up, a black tie thrown over his shoulder, his jacket open from the front to reveal a white dress shirt pushed deep into his trousers, his lips wrapping around Paul’s dick—
Paul’s fingers hit the keyboard before he could think, and with George watching his own laptop screen, changed the setting (from home to a rather expensive, romantic hotel), the background story (from a nice evening with friends into a date in a restaurant), and finally managed to wriggle his way into John wearing a suit without George lifting a finger.
“Wow,” George said. “Ye should really finish that novel, ‘cos ye know how to write. Although I’m better with smut.”
“I’ll learn,” Paul muttered before really understanding that those words had actually left his mouth, and then when he realised what he had said, looked at George with a slightly challenging gaze. George answered it evenly, his eyes shining with evil delight.
“Ye sure will,” he answered, and proceeded to describe John inhaling Paul’s heavy velvety metal bar in way too much detail.
Paul slouched down against the pillows that he had put between the bed’s headboard and his back, and started plotting on how to get John out of the battle of Tetris… and how to get out of this room with George guarding the door, of course.
The next morning Paul was just pulling on his new t-shirt with a beaming face, when John pulled their bedroom door open, Creature sitting on top of his shoulder, the pair looking like a family-friend rendition of Long John Silver and his parrot on Treasure Island.
“Hey Paul, there’s something I need to—” the man started, but Paul’s wide grin and the movement of his hands pulling the hem of the t-shirt down stopped him on his tracks.
“What’s that?” John squinted, coming automatically closer. Paul put his hands on his hips and waited — contact lenses had apparently been forgotten this morning, as well as other helpful things, such as glasses.
“What’s what?” Paul said, smug, and watched how John’s eyes widened when the man got close enough to be able to read the text. Then a smile started to widen on his lips, eating away his face as his whole posture brightened. Paul’s heart beat a little faster at the sight, and that in itself was ridiculous.
“What’s that,” John pointed at his shirt, but his face was shining with the smile, and then his expression turned somewhat envious.
“It’s not accurate though,” he said, eyeing at Paul with lazy smugness. Paul crossed his arms over his chest, raised an eyebrow, and waited.
“Everyone knows that my boyfriend is better,” John said in a slightly teasing voice, and Paul snorted, coming to an impasse, since he couldn’t really argue against that, for even if he thought John was marvellous, Paul sure was better. Damn. John had him cornered.
“But I got the t-shirt,” he opted to say, while John just looked way too pleased with everything (which had, frankly, been the plan).
“For now,” the man answered, and Paul barely had time to open his mouth to protest the upcoming thievery that he could sense in the air, when John tackled him on their bed, Creature jumping out of the room with a complaining meow. They rolled around laughing for a minute, both fighting to get the upper hand. After some kicking and pillow-hitting, Paul managed to pin John on the bed, drinking in the sight of his rosy cheeks, bright eyes, and mussled hair. Light hit the top of his head through the curtains, and his hair had regained its red tint that would’ve not been visible in a dim setting. Paul had always loved John’s hair; it was soft and looked gorgeous in sunlight, and as Paul leaned down to kiss John gently on the mouth, he made sure to bury his fingers into it.
He wondered what John’s hair would look like under a Parisian streetlight.
“Pau— mmm,” John tried, but Paul kissed him again. This time, though, he could feel that John’s mind was elsewhere, the man’s mouth not responding to the kiss like usually.
He pulled back and looked at John, whose face had fallen into an expression that told the man was about to tell something Paul might not like, but that was necessary anyway. Paul had no clue what it could be about, but he suspected it had something to do with John’s trip to Liverpool, and possibly with him staying at Paul’s parents’ place.
He raised an eyebrow and mentally braced himself, wondering whether Jim had come to a different conclusion about John and had attacked the man’s balls during the night… but it couldn’t possibly be that, because Paul had first-hand knowledge that they were still where they were supposed to be, thank you very much.
He knew that something had happened in Liverpool though. John had fallen into strange moods every now and then, staring into space and then snapping out of it suddenly, not saying anything about his thoughts. Paul wanted to always and all the time know what was going through John’s head, and as such it was slightly frustrating to have the man keep things from him… But then again, considering possible secrets John was keeping and that Paul already incidentally kNEW (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), it was no wonder the man was being a bit quiet. And that left Paul waiting on hot coals for John to dROP tHE QUeSTIoN, and AAAAAAAAAAAAA—
Paul also knew that something had happened because within the week Jim had sent him about five not-so-subtle links to different wedding suit sites, and his mum had started even less subtly asking what relatives would Paul hypothetically want to see in his wedding, if ever there was one, possibly, in the far future, and definitely not in the near future, heavens no! How could that be? But talking about that, and future weddings, that no one is planning, this is all hypothetical, but when it comes to POSSIBLE future weddings, summer wedding would sure be nice, but autumn weddings are romantic as well, and oh dear, not saying that there will be a wedding next year but, hypothetically speaking, if there was one, would Paul prefer white wine over red, and could he do some tasting in France?
John looked at him for a moment, clearly hesitating, and then he let out a small exhale, the air brushing against Paul’s face softly.
“About Liverpool,” the man started, and Paul gave himself a mental pat on the back for knowing John so well. “I… um, there’s something I gotta tell you about that.”
Paul suddenly felt small dread, his body tensing involuntarily. He was sure John was not gonna drop the question now. He sure to God prayed it wasn’t now, since even though the moment was perfect, Paul had wanted for something better. And he expected that John did, too, and as such it was highly inprobable that John would actually pr-pr- pROPOSE now—
But then again, if John actually did it… PAUL WOULDN’T COMPLAIN.
“I went to see Mimi.”
Paul stared, and then sat abruptly up, settling on top of John’s stomach, untangling his fingers from the man’s hair before settling them on his own hips.
He arched an eyebrow, and John, to his credit, looked apologising.
“I just… I wanted to see where she stands, or where I stand in her life,” John mumbled. Paul pressed his lips tighter together, already anticipating what had happened. He could sense it in the air, the heavy truth hanging between them like an overweight ghost, and he could feel his stomach falling with disappointment.
“And?” he said, voice softer than it would’ve been had John not said those exact words. Paul knew how the Mimi situation hurt John, even though they mostly joked about it. You had to joke about it, because otherwise it would’ve been too much, the thought unbearable. But at this point Paul was ready to march to Mendips all by himself, sit the lady dragon down, and give her such a speech she would never recover.
“…I don’t think we’ll hear from her again,” John said, his eyes drilling into Paul’s. He wasn’t avoiding Paul’s gaze, but seemed to hang onto it, looking for strength and endurance, compassion and love to help him through this situation, and thankfully Paul was there to give him all of that. He just couldn’t believe John had kept quiet about it for the whole week, carrying the hurt inside, without Paul being completely oblivious—! What an idiot—
“I’m sorry,” he said honestly, and even though Paul wouldn’t have cared to hear from Mimi ever again, he knew that it wasn’t fair to think such things when John clearly missed her and would’ve wanted to be a part of her life — as scary as she was.
“It’s not your fault,” John sighed. “It’s her own choice, and I’d never… I’d never choose her over you,” his gaze turned soft. “She didn’t have many nice things to say about you, so… I didn’t wanna put you into that position.”
Paul was, in a way, touched by John’s protective trait, but now that the initial shock and sadness had passed, he was also getting very pissed that John had decided to do something as dangerous as meeting Mimi without consenting Paul first, or better, have him there to accompany him.
“You should’ve at least told me,” he sighed, shaking his head in regret, frustration, and disappointment — now in both John and Mimi. “I would’ve wanted to help you.”
“Mmh,” John muttered something incomprehensible, and he turned his gaze away — and now there was heavy guilt in him, accompanied by something else that Paul couldn’t quite place… it was a… a careful expression, and Paul felt in his gut that there was more to come to this story.
“About that, uh, I, er… after I’d left Mendips,” John paused, gnawing on his lower lip, “I ran into... um, someone we know. Knew. Er, sorta know.”
Paul frowned, crossing his arms over his chest in confusion. We?
“We?” he asked, completely lost. He didn’t know anyone from Liverpool who might’ve also been John’s friend… except for George and Ringo, who at this point where just rather persistent beings that existed in their life, had always been there, and would probably always be, no matter how hard you tried to shake them off.
John was quiet for a moment, his adam’s apple bopping up and down with a swallow — and he spoke.
“It was Cyn… Cynthia.”
PAUL WAS NOT READY.
Emotions surged through him at the speed of light, without him being able to really grasp any of them. Jealousy, anger, the red haze of both filled his mind, but those were old feelings… old, almost forgotten, and they were soon replaced by wonder, and confusion, and worry, and Paul really didn’t know which way the ceiling was anymore as he stared at John with a blank face. John himself looked rather cautious, and as Paul’s silence stretched, the man continued, voice turning feebler every moment.
“She’s doing fine, and she… she doesn’t hold a grudge whatsoever, she’s— she’s on our side. All’s forgiven — she’s glad we’re still together and she thinks you’re just the one I need, and… yeah. So. Um.”
Paul, his mind now completely blank, opened his mouth so say at least something on the subject, anything, just the first thing that popped into his mind, to show John that he wasn’t really angry or anything, just a bit confused, and that it was great if Cynthia indeed thought like that, and just like that he almost said the very, very wrong thing.
‘We should invite her to the wedding, then.’
He bolted out of the room with a scream to prevent those words from leaving his mouth, and hid on the balcony for an hour before John crawled to him meekly, begging for forgiveness and swearing that there was nothing between him and Cynthia. Paul patted him on the head and mumbled vaguely something about it being totally okay and that they should invite her over some day.
He would apparently have to fucking put a lock on his mouth to keep it shut, until his moment of yelling ‘YES’ came. Maybe, if John waited for much longer, Paul would have to get on one knee.