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Pas de Deux

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It's past 7am and I can already hear the angry car horns down on the street. Still in bed, tangled in sheets, I lay with my eyes closed, my fingers brushing against my wet and puffed lips and my hand tightely wrapped around my erect cock.
I stroke myself slowly, savoring the moment as I replay images of him in my head. His muscled body, his long arms, his thick thighs and the way he so effortlessly moves around the room. I remember his hoarse voice and how strict he sounds, I remember his hot breathing on my neck and the feel of his large hands resting firmly on my arms, my waist and my leg.
I arch my back in ecstasy, dribbles of sweat running down my chest as I let a low throaty moan escape my lips. My body trashes around on the bed as I throw my head back and from my lips I let his name escape over and over again. I shoot my load all over my boxers, biting my lip and sucking on the flesh as I try to get my breathing back to normal.
I remain in bed for a little longer, my body relaxing in post-orgasmic bliss, while my head spins and I curse at myself for fantasizing about him once again. I know I shouldn't do this, but it's something I no longer can control.
I check my phone and lazily get up from bed, my body languidly making its way to the bathroom almost in automatic mode. I moan the second the cold water hits my body, the pressure of the stream works almost as a massage and soon enough my muscles are relaxing and my mind is clear.
I put on some clean clothes, grab my bag and head out of my apartment, a quick stop to Starbucks so I can get myself a croissant and an iced tea. As usual, the barista can't get my name right, but at this point I just take this as part of the day's ritual.
The walk from my apartment to the studio doesn't take longer than fifteen minutes, the crowded streets of SoHo making the task much more interesting. I like to look around, spot the most stylish woman and the guy with the worst haircut. It's harmless, it's fun and it makes my mornings a little better.
Once I make my way inside the old brick building, I take the stairs two steps at a time. I'm fully aware my little rendezvous early this morning caused me to be short on time and I have no intentions on being late once again. He hates when people are late.
As I walk inside the studio I see the usual eleven guys, all of them already warming up, stretching and putting on their shoes.  I greet them all as I make my way to the back, where Ansel is looking at me with an eyebrow raised.
"You're late"
"Actually, I'm not"
He rolls his eyes at me. "Two more minutes and you'd be"
I shrug, taking a quick look around the mirrored room. "Is he here already?"
Ansel opens his mouth to speak, but before he can actually do it, I hear his voice reverberate around the room. I turn to him and bite down hard on my lip, he is in all black today, his blond hair combed back and I know this will make practice a task way harder than it already is.
"Everyone in line, centre practice", he says and we all rush into position. He walks back and forth along the room, his blue eyes stuck on us as he corrects any mistakes on our postures.
He likes perfection and I like to give it to him.
I keep my eyes stuck on my reflection on the mirror and from the corner of my eyes I can see him coming closer. Soon enough he is standing right behind me and I feel a soft touch on the small of my back. Our eyes meet through the mirror and he pushes my back, forcing me to project my chest forward.
My lips quiver and I have to bite into it. The idea of him touching me sends a shiver down my spine and I'm afraid he can see it, that he can feel it as my body responds to such a light touch.
He doesn't though, or if if he does, he chooses to ignore it. Without a word, he walks back in front of us, turns on the music and leans against the mirror. I hear his guttural voice counting and take a deep breath as I try to regain my focus and direct it to what it really matters.
When he says eight we start moving. Lean, muscled bodies dancing in almost perfect synchrony. Our movements are graceful and yet still full of impact as he watches us, piercing eyes, arms crossed and a serious expression.
"Turn-out", he shouts. "Assemblé and return to fifth position. Repeat"
My breathing is slightly more laboured as I follow his commands. As if the infatuation for him isn't enough, the way his voice sounds as he directs us nearly makes my knees buckle. I have to use all my strength to keep myself together and even though I try really hard, there are moments I simply can't do it.
"Watch your arms, Timothée". His voice calling out my name brings me back to reality and I briefly meet his gaze. He arches an eyebrow, points at my arm and I quickly correct myself. I must not disappoint him.
"Arms on third position. Plie. Plie. Saute and back to first position". His head and feet moves along with the music, sometimes a short, almost imperceptible smile appears on his lips but it disappears all too soon. I don't think I have ever seen a proper smile on his face in the entire year I'm attending his classes.
The class goes on for hours, four to be exact. We have a break and then get back into routine. It's tiring and sometimes frustrating, but at the same time we all know this is what it takes to achieve the level of professionalism we all aim for.
By the time the clock hits midday and the class is over, my tighs are burning and I can feel the muscles on my back twitching. My feet hurts, but I've gotten used to it, nothing that a warm bath wouldn't solve.
I rush to my bag, pulling on my sweatpants and remove the headband from my hair, my dark curls falling down into my eyes. I swing my bag over my shoulder as I follow the guys to the door.
"Timothée, you stay"
His voice causes me to stop almost immediately. I arch an eyebrow, looking at him over my shoulder for a brief moment before turning my gaze back to Ansel, who's waiting for me by the door. I give him a nod and he leaves while I make my way back.
I don't get too close, fearful that being too close to him might do some damage. Each day that passes I seem to get more and more drawn towards him and it's a feeling I both love and hate.
"Something wrong, Mr. Hammer?"
"You've been a little distracted today. Is everything okay?"
I nod and try to put on the most nonchalant face I can. "Everything's okay, I just had a bad night of sleep. I am sorry I wasn't in my best today, but it won't happen again"
"I surely hope not, I've been calling out your attention for awhile and I expect you to get back on track. You can go now, but please make sure you are well rested and on time tomorrow, I don't want this to keep on happening"
"Don't worry, Mr. Hammer, I promise you it won't happen again"
He nods and I quickly make my way out of the studio. Ansel is waiting for me downstairs, leaned against the wall as he chats with his girlfriend over the phone.
"You coming to lunch with us", he asks as he hangs up the phone.
"I can't. I have to go home and take a quick shower, I need to be at the bookstore by one"
"You're coming to Tony's tonight though, aren't you?"
"Yep, I'll be there tonight."
"Okay, I'll see you then"

****

It's past nine when I finally arrive at the bar. The place is packed and I have to squeeze myself in between all those people so I can actually reach the table Ansel and some of our friends are. They are all laughing, their voices are loud and is clear most of them are already intoxicated. As ballet dancers we should try our best to keep a healthy diet and don't drink much alcohol, but we are still young and sometimes all we want is to have some fun.
They scream my name as they finally notice me and I give a shy wave. I sit beside Ansel, who swiftly slids a shot over to me. I drink it in one quick go and before I can even set my glass down, there's already another one waiting for me.
This goes on for a while and about one hour later -and maybe too many shots in-, someone changes the subject from our favorite chips to Mr. Hammer and something inside of me ignites. I had managed to spend most of my night without thinking about him, did we really had to start discussing him now?
"He's a fucking asshole half of the time", someone says.
"Look, he's one hot guy and I'd love to get a piece of that ass, but I don't get why he's always so damn angry", another voice echoes as I sit there, playing with my drink.
"He's a fucking jerk, that's what he is. If he wasn't so damn good at his job, I'd be gone by now"
I bit my lip as I hear they go on and on about Mr. Hammer, a part of me wants to stay quiet, keep my thoughts to myself so I won't drawn any attention to me and my secret infatuation, but at the same time, I can't help but stand up for him.
"He's none of those things", I say and suddenly feel all eyes turn to me. "Mr. Hammer is not an asshole nor a jerk, he's just strict and only because he cares. He knows our potential and he wants us to achieve greater things, that's why he's always making sure we're at our best behavior"
"Of course you say that, you are his favorite"
My eyes go wide at this and everyone starts laughing. Soon enough I'm caught in the middle of all their teasing. They claim Mr. Hammer only has eyes for me, that he is always correcting my posture because he wants a piece of me and so much more things that in all honesty, hit a bit too close to home. I gulp down my drink as I try to look cool and collected, no one can figure out I am attracted to the guy.
The banter goes on for awhile more, but they eventually forget about me and focus their attention on something else. I do the exact same, my eyes darting to the little space that people use as a dance floor.
There I spot a handsome and tall guy right in the middle of the crowd. He is dancing, his body moving sensually and  eyes, big and brown, are stuck on me.
"That guy's look is the definition of eye fucking". I turn to my side, arching an eyebrow at Ansel, who's looking at me with a grin on his face. "Oh don't look at me like this, he's practically undressing you with the power of his stare"
"Stop it, none of that is going on"
"Are you fucking blind? Look at him, he wants you and he wants it bad"
I bit my lip and take a quick look at the guy again, before turning back to Ansel. I am not really the kind of guy who has many one night stands, but I suppose if there's something that can get my mind off of a certain ballet professor is a night of carefree flirting.
"Seriously bro, go over there and have some fun"
I drink one last shot and get up, making my way over to the dance floor as the beautiful stranger smiles wide at me. The moment I reach him, we start moving our bodies together and he wraps an arm around my waist.
The music gets louder, the lights flicker in a hypnotic kind of way and when I least expect we are pressed together, lips locked in a wet kiss. He tastes good, his lips are soft and I soon find myself lost in the kiss and the feel of his hands on my body.

Chapter Text

At no point had I thought of ending the night with anyone, all I wanted when I went to that bar was to be with my friends, have some much needed fun, maybe a couple of drinks and forget -even if only for a few hours- about the one person who´s constantly on my mind. In the end, the night turned out way more intense than I could have expected.

The kiss we shared on the dance floor started sweet, soft and tamed, but as the light went darker and the music got louder, our kiss turned into something more ardent. By the time we were out of the bar, secluded by the darkness of an old and nasty alley, we made out like two adolescents on the prime of puberty. We groped and rubbed each other, we sucked and bit on each other´s skin and shared sloppy kisses while our moans echoed in the quiet night.

It didn´t take long for us to move things to my apartment and by the time the door was closed behind me, clothes were thrown to the ground and he was on his knees, sucking me in earnest while I knotted my fingers on his thick and short hair. Our night together was rough, sweaty and truly amazing. He marked with his seed and I did the same with him, and by the time he figured out I was a ballet dancer, it was easy to see the amusement and lust taking him over. Seconds later he was all over me again, begging me to let him fuck me once more. The silent fetish some people have for ballet dancers -male and female- still surprises me.

Of course my night of...well, debauchery is the only word I can think of right now, had consequences. As I lie on the bed, still completely spent from hours of sex with a guy I´ll probably never see again, my alarm goes off for the third time this morning and although I know I have to, I have absolutely no strength left in my body to get up and do something.

But then I think about him , I think about how he is waiting for me at the studio, I think about the look of disappointment he will surely direct me as I am once again late and something ignites inside of me. I think about how angry he will be now that I broke my promise and instead of being nervous -maybe even scared about it- the thought arouses me.

I would be lying if I said I never thought about him slamming me against the studio´s mirror and ravishing me, or that I don´t constantly think of him spanking me until my ass turns bright red while he makes sure to tell me never to be late again.

I curse at myself as I feel my cock growing hard and with the little bit of strength I have left in me, I rush to the shower. The cold water washes away any left traces of sleep and tiredness, but the images of Mr. Hammer -and consequently my hard on-  remain very vivid.

It´s 8:20am when I finally make it inside the building. I take the stairs two steps at a time, the sweat running down my forehead, my hair falling down my eyes and my breathing heavy and troubled. If this is any indication of how the rest of my day is going to be like, then I know for sure I am fucked.

I feel all eyes turn to me the moment I step inside the studio and bite down on my bottom lip. My eyes scan the room, everyone is sitting on the floor -most of the guys still in their sweatpants- while Mr. Hammer stands in front of them. His blue eyes are locked on me, a piercing look that seems like he is digging through my soul.

“Glad you decided to join us, Mr. Chalamet”. His voice is strict and loud on the quiet room and I feel a lump on my throat. Right now I have trouble even looking him in the eyes.

I mumble a soft sorry which I´m not even sure he hears it and rush to sit down along with the others. When I finally allow myself to look up at him once again, I can feel my heart beat faster and all blood rush to my groin. Looking at him from underneath makes his look even taller, even more masculine and all I can think of is his large hands on my waist as he manhandles me, throwing me around and doing to me whatever the hell he wants.

Fuck, Timothée, get a grip!

“As I was saying before Mr. Chalamet decided we were worth of his attention, the auditions will be held on the first week of December. I know you´re thinking there´s enough time and that there´s no need to rush, but that´s not true. We´re in July, the months are gonna fly by and when you least expect, it will be time for you to deliver the greatest performance of your lives so far and I want you all to prepare. This might be a once in a lifetime opportunity, one that can open so many doors to all of you and I want you guys to take it as seriously I do”

I stare at him with a mix of adoration and confusion. Adoration because I don´t think I have ever seen him so passionate and excited about something. And confusion because, well I have absolutely no idea of what he is talking about.

“Of course there are things we will discuss along the way, but I need you all to know that classes will inevitably get more intense and I expect to see you on your best behavior. Weekly, each one of you will perform a solo routine for me and the rest of the class. I´m not gonna demand anything extremely elaborated, but be aware this is how I will see what´s good and what needs improvement. Are we all clear?”

They all nod and I go along with it, my head enthusiastically bouncing up and down. I see Mr. Hammer turn to me almost immediately, a hint of a smirk and eyebrows raised. He´s clearly amused by the fact I´m sitting here pretending to know what he is talking about when he knows I don´t.

Our eyes remain on each other for a couple more seconds before she shakes his head and turns his eyes back to the group. “Get up and prepare for centre practice, we´ve got a lot of work to do”

 

                                                                                                      *******

 

“Saute!” His voice fills the air as he walks back and forth in the front of the class, his sharp eyes wandering to each one of us. “Plie, Pirouette and transition to an Arabesque with arms in fifth position”

My feet move fast, my left leg extended behind me as I watch him come closer and I take a few long breaths, doing my best to keep myself together. He watches me up and down, shakes his head and moves along.

“Straight out your leg, Timothée, and watch your arm, I asked for fifth position, not whatever this is”

I let out a heavy sigh. This is the fourth time he has called out my attention today, his coarse voice echoing in the studio and making everyone look at me. I wish I could hate him for making me go through this, tell him to go fuck himself and that I wasn´t that bad, but that would just be bullshit.

I know he is right, I know I haven´t been in my best, but what am I supposed to do when the reason to my lack of focus is the person´s who´s trying to make me better?

“...and we finish with a Grande Jeté”. As I land back to my feet, breathless and sweaty, my eyes instantly land on Mr. Hammer. His eyes are stuck on me, but different from most of my fantasies, he is looking at me with disappointment. I suck on my bottom lip, move my eyes to the floor and curse at myself.

“That´s all for today, you can all go now”

From the corner of my eyes I see everyone walking around, collecting their bags and rushing out of the studio. I sigh as I follow everyone, grabbing my things and swinging my bag over my shoulder.

“You´re going to the bookstore now or you want to go grab something to eat”, Ansel asked as we made our way to the door.

“I´m dying for some food right now, I barely had time to eat anything this morning”

Ansel chuckled. “Judging by the time you made it here, I would be surprised if you had time to do anything. Was last night so great you couldn´t make it out of bed?”

I roll my eyes and punch his shoulder before walking past him and just as I´m about to reach the door, I hear Mr. Hammer call out my name. A part of me thought he would let me walk away, but deep down I knew he wouldn´t let me off the hook. I promised him I would be better today and to say I wasn´t would be an understatement.

“I´ll wait for you downstairs...again”, mocked Ansel as he made his way past me and out of the door.

I turn around, trying to put on a serious face, but I´m pretty sure all I can achieve is to look like a freaking adolescent in front of the school´s principal after being caught for the first time doing something wrong, scared and a bit confused.

“I thought you said you would be focused on practice today”. I remain quiet, fidgeting with my fingers and looking down at my feet. “Do you even know what I was talking about when you got here?”

I swallow hard, my eyes finally meeting his as I shake my head. “I wanted to ask, but I was already late and I didn´t want to interrupt you”

“I got you all an audition for Juilliard”

I can actually feel my eyes going wide as I stare at him. “What?!”

“Exactly. I got you all a chance to audition for Juilliard´s Winter Program, something that could help you guys achieve greatness and where was my best student when I was sharing the news? He was late...again”

“I´m sorry, Mr. Hammer, I really am”

“This is not something new, Timothée and you know it as well as I do. In the last three months your performance has declined, you arrive late at least twice a week, some steps you have never gotten wrong, now seem to be a great challenge and no matter how hard I try, I do not understand what is happening. Are you in any kind of trouble? Or you´re simply not into this anymore and you don´t even give a shit about how you´re doing?”

I blink a couple of times as I try to figure out what to say to him. Am I supposed to look in the eye and say I am so desperately in love with him that I can´t even concentrate on the one thing I love the most? That would make me look even more of fool than I already look right now.

“No, that´s not what´s going on. I love ballet, I love your classes and I know I haven´t really been on my best lately, but all I can do right now is apologize”

“I don´t need your apologies, Timothée. What I need from you is concentration, because you have too much talent to waste and this opportunity that came along is not something that comes easily. You might never have this chance in your life again and I don´t want you to regret any of this when you´re older.”

“I´m sorry for everything, Mr. Hammer. I appreciate your concern and I want you to know that I will do my best to be prepared when the audition comes. I love ballet and I won´t risk losing such a great opportunity”

“I hope you stick to your promise this time.”

“I will,” I say practically in a whisper.

“You can go now, but I expect to see a least a glimpse of your old self by tomorrow”

I nod, a small smile on my lips. “You will, don´t worry”

 

Chapter Text

Cappriccio in B by Bach is playing on the background as I sit down in bed, covers pulled up to my waist, shirtless and with a book in my hands. It's Thursday night, Ansel and the guys are all at Tony's, drinking, dancing, having the time of their lives and yet here I am, alone in my extremely hot apartment with 1984 as my only company.

The book is great, the story is catchy and terrifyingly current, but I have to be honest and say this is the last thing I imagined myself doing today. I hadn't opened this book in weeks, but since I spent my entire work hours thinking about what Mr. Hammer had said to me, I decided that today was the best day to get back at it, after all, that also meant I was going to stay home and actually make it to bed early, which luckily would mean I wasn't gonna be late tomorrow.

His voice saying I was talented and that he considered me his best student had been engraved in my brain for the whole day, the look of disappointment on his face as I finished class too. He believed in me and all I had done the past two -maybe three- months was make him doubt my abilities and my commitment to ballet and his classes.

Since disappointing him was truly the last thing I wanted to do, I had decided it was time for a change. I had to get myself back on track, exercise more, drink and party less and most importantly, find a way to keep the sexual thoughts of him out of my mind during classes. I knew it wouldn't be exactly easy, I knew I would have to work hard to get back to my usual self, but if I wanted to show him I could be better, if I wanted to make sure I got a spot on Juilliard this Winter, I had to make some sacrifices. Not going to Tony every night was one of those sacrifices.

I close the book as my eyes start to get heavy and turn off the music too. I put the phone and book down on the nightstand and slid down the bed, throwing the covers away. I stare up at my ceiling, the fan spinning around and images of a sweaty Mr. Hammer take a hold of me. This is exactly what I shouldn't be doing, but apparently he's got some kind of weird spell or voodoo on me, something that makes me think about him every hour of every day.

It doesn't take long for me to slid my hands inside my boxers, tugging on my half hard cock and stroking it slowly. I lick my lips at the thought of him, the look he gave me this morning as I arrived late and interrupted him. I feel a burning sensation all over my body, my toes curling up and my hands moving fast, wrists twisting to increase my pleasure.

Mr. Chalamet. Mr. Chalamet. Mr. Chalamet.

The way he speaks my name echoes in my head and it's almost as if he is lying right beside me, his lips brushing against my ears as he whispers. My body trembles, my back arches and my ass clenches, low moans and repeated fucks leaving my puffed lips. The thought of his hand sliding down my sweaty chest and to my cock makes precum ooze out of me and I throw my head back in ecstasy.

Mr. Hammer. Mr. Hammer. Mr. Hammer.

I moan his name and in my head I can see his blue eyes staring deep into me, encouraging me. I trash around on the bed, my cock throbbing uncontrollably before I start shooting on my hand and boxers.

I swallow, beads of sweat running down my body, the sheets sticking into my back. I sigh and make my way to the bathroom, letting the cold water hit my head and slid down my entire body. I guess I can't really say this night was a waste.



***********

 

My eyes wander around the studio as I lean against the barre. Ansel is on the floor, putting on his pointe shoes as he babbles about this great idea he had for a routine. I'm assuming it is the one he will be performing for the class soon, but to be quite fair I am not really paying attention.

From the corner of my eyes I can see Julian walking over to Mr. Hammer, his skinny ass swaying side to side as he approaches him and a wide smile on his lips as he says something I can't quite understand. Mr. Hammer has his eyes locked on him, paying close attention to whatever he is saying. Julian bounces from side to side, his fingers running through his blond hair and I can't help but roll my eyes.

I have an urge to walk over to him and just tell him to fuck off, but I know better than this. The guys had already teased me enough about Mr. Hammer the other night, I should try as much as possible to keep myself quiet when it came to him. The last thing I needed was anyone picking up on my attraction towards him.

I feel a hand slapping the back of my head and snap out it. When I turn to my side, I see Ansel looking at me with a mocking smile.

"What the hell?!"

"You're drooling"

I roll my eyes at him. “Fuck off, will you?”

He laughs a little as he leans against the barre too. "We were waiting for you yesterday night, what happened?"

"After being called out two days in a roll, I thought it would be better to stay home, go to bed early and make sure I'd be here on time today"

He nods, a malicious grin on his face and I know he is about to go on with his teasing. "Of course, you don't want to disappoint your little crush"

I feel my cheeks burn at his words and curse at myself. One quick look in the mirror and it's easy to see his words have affected me way more than it should. I hear him laugh beside me and as I am about to say something -although I am not sure anything I say right now can make things better-, Mr. Hammer walks over to the middle of the room, voice loud and clear.

"Timothée, I want you in the middle. Ansel far left and Louis far right". We rush over to our positions, my eyes stuck on his as he looks around the room. "We're gonna start with a series of Plies, then we'll move to an Adagio. I want elongated arms and legs and most importantly, I want you to pay attention so the transitions, okay? I want to see the positions flow from one into another, are we clear?"

We nod and he plays the music, a slow and thrilling song filling the air as we start moving. My eyes are locked on my own reflection, my knees bending as I move to a Plie. I take deep breaths, clearing my mind from anything that isn't what he had asked us.

When he gives the signal, we move from Plie to an Adagio. We start with a Croisé, legs crossed in an angle to the mirror. Another beat of the song and we transition to a Arabesque, right legs en pointe while our left legs are extended behind our bodies in a straight line. Fromm then we move an Attitude, the leg leg now bent at the knee in a 90 degree angle. We progress to a  Tour en L´air, bodies girating in the air and once we touch the ground again, we finish with arms in third position and feet on fourth.

“Nice, now we´re back from the start. Five, six, seven, eight, c´mon…”. We start all over again, but this time he walks around the room and corrects any of our mistakes. When he walks past me all he does is lift my arm a little higher and I bite on my lip, keeping my eyes locked on my reflection and trying not to let my mind wander.

By the time the clock strikes twelve I am panting and sweating, but I am happy with the fact Mr. Hammer has only called out my attention twice in the four hours we've been here. Of course it would be better if he didn't have to, but judging by how crap my performance was on the last couple of weeks, I can easily say today's practice was a fucking success.

Ansel is the first one to leave, Violetta is waiting for him outside and he wouldn't dare to leave her waiting. We often mock about how she has him wrapped around her fingers, but to be quite honest, I think the love and devotion he has for her is kind of cute.

I'm sore and tired, my legs seem to be shaky and I lazily grab my things and stuff them all in my bag. I take a quick look around the place while I put on my sweatpants and realize everyone has left already, leaving me and Mr. Hammer all alone.

"Timothée, can I talk to you for a second?"

I furrow my eyebrows and turn around just as he makes his way towards me. I look him up and down, trying to figure out what the hell did I do today to get called out again.

"What did I do?" My voice is filled with desperation and as I see an all too quick smile appear on his face, I know he could sense it too.

"You didn't do anything, actually today has been your best practice in a long time. I wanted to talk to you because I kept thinking about our conversation yesterday, how you said you want to make sure you are ready for the audition and I might have a proposition to make"

I feel a lump on my throat and it seems like someone knocked the breath out of me. I am completely aware that he actually has a serious proposition to make me, but I'm so far gone I can't help but think the only kind of proposition I want from him involves me on my knees while he feeds me with his cock.

"What kind of proposition?" I clear my throat as I ask, trying desperately to keep those dirty thoughts away from me.

"Extra training."

"Excuse me?"

He chuckles and I can feel my heart beat faster and my knees buckle. That might be the sweetest sound I have ever heard.

"I'm offering you extra classes. You are a natural, your talent is something I have rarely seen before and even in the last couple of weeks with all the distraction and all, you're still one of the best ones in class. I know it probably annoys you, but the reason why I've been calling out your attention all the time is because I want to see you grow as a dancer and I think those extra classes can help you".

I blink a couple of times, trying to wrap my head around everything he just said. "Wouldn't that be unfair to the others?"

"Sadly yes, but right now I'm thinking about what I can do to make sure my best student is at his full potential. Look, you don't need to decide anything right now, go home, think about what I said and then you can decide what it's best for you. Does that sound good?"

I inhale deeply, my eyes stuck on his as I keep replaying his words in my head. This could be a once in a lifetime opportunity and yet I feel like there's a red neon sign on my head, telling me not to do this. Just me and Mr. Hammer, alone in the studio, his attention on me and nothing else. Would I be able to control myself?

"Timothée?"

"Yes. I will think about it and let you know what I decide"

"Great, now go, I'm sure you have better things to do than stay here talking to me"

I bite my lip and try not to smile too much. If he only knew I could spend my entire day here, just listening to him as he talks, trying to decipher each one of his expressions and slowly figuring out who is the man behind the choreographer.

Chapter Text

The Weeknd´s voice fills the apartment as I lean against the oven, my attention focused on the pasta I am stirring while Ansel sits down on the counter and stuffs his mouth with chips and beer.
“Hey, can you grab the plates?”
He nods and quickly hops off of the counter and walks over to the cabin, taking two plates with him. He opens another beer, takes a few sips of it and sits down at the stool just as I make my way over.
“So, do you plan on telling me exactly why you called me to lunch today or am I gonna have to guess?”
I look up from my plate and let out a sigh. Mr. Hammer´s proposal has been the one thing in my mind ever since I left the studio on Friday and although I know this should be something that remains between the two of us, I feel like doing anything without actually discussing it with Ansel would be a betrayal.
“Timothée, I can see that you want to tell me something, so just spill already”
I take a few sips of my beer, my body and mind relaxing a little bit more and I try to think exactly how I´m gonna approach this subject. “Before I left the studio on Friday, Mr. Hammer wanted to talk to me and make me a proposal. I have been thinking about what he told ever since I left the studio, but I wanted to talk to you before making any decisions, mainly because I don´t want you to feel betrayed by me.”
I can see the look of confusion on Ansel´s eyes as he leans a bit closer to me. “What the hell are you talking about, Timothée?”
“Mr. Hammer offered to give me extra classes in preparation for Juilliard”
He furrowed his eyebrows. “I listened to what you said and I am still confused. Why exactly would you think Mr. Hammer offering extra classes would make me feel betrayed?”
“Because that would give me an unfair advantage on the auditions. I know we´re all in this together and we should all get the same chances, but I won´t lie to you and say I am not tempted to accept it. The thing is, I can take the guys being mad at me for this if they find out about it, but you and I, we´ve know each other for over ten years and I don´t want this to come in between us”
Ansel lets out a chuckle, shaking his head as I bite down on my lip, waiting for him to say something. “Timmy, I appreciate the fact you wanted to talk to me, but there´s really no need for you to be scared of anything happening between us. You´ve always been better than I was, so that´s your advantage, and judging by how you´ve been doing in classes lately, I think you would be stupid not to accept it. The thing is, I am not sure Mr. Hammer is the most qualified person to give you those extra classes, since he is the reason why your performance has been declining lately”
I arch an eyebrow, my heart pounding on my chest as he looks at me with a smirk plastered on his face. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“Oh I see, we´re still playing that game where I pretend not to know you´re head over heels for him?”
“Ansel, I don´t…”
“Cut the crap, Timmy. As you said yourself, we know each other for over ten years and I better than anyone know how to read you. You´ve been in love with Mr. Hammer for months now, probably ever since we started taking his classes and as much as you try, sometimes you just can´t hide it”
I try to find something to say, something that would shut him up, but he is right and there´s no point in lying anymore. I bury my face in my hands and I shake my head, a groan escaping me as he laughs.
“It is that obvious”, I mumble, face still buried on my hands.
“For someone who knows you as well as I do, yes it´s quite obvious. If you want to know if the other guys picked up on it, then I don´t think so”
“Are you sure? All that teasing the other night came out of nowhere?” I finally look up at him again and I´m sure he can see how ashamed I am.
“That was just general teasing, you came in his defence and of course people would make fun of you for it. Now, when we said you were his favorite, that wasn´t just teasing and this proposal of his kind of confirms it”
I shake my head. “I don´t think I am his favorite, I think he just saw how I´ve been struggling and wanted to help me out”
“You have got to be kidding me”
“What? No, I´m serious”
“Okay, you don´t get to sit there and pretend you don´t see the fact he gives you more attention than to the rest of us. Sure, we exaggerated the other night when we said he was trying to get into your pants and all, but everything else was true.”
I groan, shaking my head as he just smiles, sympathetic to the obvious doubts going through my head. I lean my elbows on the table, my eyes wandering to my plate as I try to process everything that´s going on. I don´t think Mr. Hammer sees me as his favorite or that he gives me any special treatment, but I also can´t pretend Ansel´s words didn´t affect me.
“Timothée, stop over thinking things, okay? Accept his offer, try your best to get back on track and when December comes, you´ll kill it on that audition”
I smile at him and nod my head. “Thanks man, I really needed someone else´s perspective on this”
“Anytime, bro. Can I focus on the food now before it gets cold?”
“Sure”, I say in between laughs as I watch Ansel dig into his pasta like a man who hasn´t seen food in years.

******

The heatwave that takes over New York makes the bed sheets feel sticky and uncomfortable. As I toss and turn on the bed, eyes wide open and a thin layer of sweat on my forehead, I try to find a way to relax, to forget about how hot it is and go get some sleep.
Of course I´d be lying if I said the heat was the only thing keeping me awake. Mr. Hammer´s proposal and my conversation with Ansel on the afternoon had been clouding my thoughts and even if I did get some sleep, I highly doubt those thoughts would leave me.
There were things to consider before I could accept his offer. I was crazy for Mr. Hammer, dreaming and fantasizing about him every single day and night, and a part of me was extremely worried that I wouldn´t be able to control myself once I was alone with him, his attention focused only on me. But there was another part of me, one with a more critical thinking, that knew this man was an amazing professional, who was willing to waste hours of his life to help me and it would be stupid to say no to him.
I groan and turn on the bed once again, my eyes catching a glimpse of the clock by the nightstand. It´s almost 4am and I am suddenly very pleased Mr. Hammer cancelled today´s practice otherwise I would have been late yet once again, or would show up like a goddamn zombie.
I sigh, my eyes darting to the window and then to ceiling, trying to figure out what to do with my life. This decision could change a lot of things in my life…. For better or for worse.

******

I stand on the ladder, placing the brand new books on their righteous place as I hear the door open and the little bell above it chime. I hear footsteps, pages flipping and a low humming of a song I know, but can´t quite figure out which one is it.
As I step down, I hear a voice fill the empty bookstore and arch my eyebrows. I know that voice way too well, I hear it every morning in class and every night in my dreams. When I turn around, biting my lip, I see Mr. Hammer standing there, an equally confused look on his face.
“Timothée, I didn´t know you worked here”
I simply nod, putting on a small smile as I look at him. We remain like this for a while, quiet and staring at one another. We are used to seeing each other at the studio, where he is the professor and I am the student. We are used to a dynamic where he holds the power and this is a brand new territory, one which looks like neither one of us really knows how to navigate through.
I clear my throat and put on the best Timothée Bookstore Worker Chalamet facade I can master. “What can I help you with?”
“I ordered a book a few weeks ago and I got a call this morning saying it had arrived”
I nod and point over to the cashier. He follows me there and leans against the counter, his long and elegant fingers tracing a few of the books lying there as I click away on the computer. “I need your phone number and full name...or the name you gave when you ordered”
“Armie Hammer, 889-3375”
“Okay, just a second”. My voice is low and I don´t even know if he could hear me, but that doesn´t really bother me for too long. As I turn my eyes back to the computer, I can feel his eyes on me and I try to keep myself cool, but his stare is so intense it looks like he is digging through my soul. Ansel´s words fill my head and crazy thoughts take hold of me. Was there any chance that my feelings for him weren´t as one sided as I thought it was?
I furrow in confusion and surprise when I find his name on the computer. Who would´ve thought I would have all the information I needed about him on my work place? He was a regular client -and how did I not seen him here once, was something I couldn´t really understand- and we even had his address saved on our system. Not that I would ever use that on my benefit, that would be a little too creepy.
“Tarasov´s Ballet Technique for the Male Dancer, right?” He nods at me, a small smile on his lips and I can´t help but smile back. “I´ll go get, just a minute”
He nods one more and turns his attention back to the books. I go to the back room, but take one quick look at him over my shoulder, watching as he absorbs himself in the book he is flipping through. He looks so calm and relaxed, so different from the man I am used to seeing every morning.
When I come back he is by the front door, but he looks up the second I place the book down on the counter. He makes his way over and slides another book over me. My eyes shift from him to the book and I can´t help but smirk.
Falconer is the tittle, one I have read it just a couple of months ago and that for some reason reminded me of him. Not that this should be a surprise, lately everything reminded me of him.
“I´ll take this one too”
“Okay”, I say as I pick up the book and pack along the other. “That will be U$ 100,00”
He hands me his credit card and I quickly make the transaction. His eyes are on me again, studying me in a way I have never noticed before and I have to do everything I can not to blush a deep red.
When I hand him the bag with the books, he looks straight into my eyes. “Have you thought about my proposal?”
“Yes, I have”
“And?”
I wanted to think a bit more about this, make sure I was 100% secure of my answer, but when I realize the words are slipping through my lips already. “And I think it would be great”
“Really?”
I nod. “I know I haven´t been on my best and I am already trying to get back on track, so I think extra classes will come in handy”
He smiled at me and I nearly fall to my knees. This is not a quick and shy smile, this is a proper, bright and big smile, one I have never seen before. “I am glad you are willing to do this, Timothée. I think it will be great for you to work a little harder, build up strength and make sure you are in your best form when the audition comes”
“I think so too”
“I was thinking we could do it two hours a day, three days a week”
“That sounds good to me. I work most afternoons, so could we do it at night?”
“Sure, 7:30 sounds good to you?”
Anything involving you sounds good to me, a voice inside my head says as I nod. “That sounds perfect”
“And when can you start?”
I shrug, leaning against the counter and inevitably getting a bit closer to him. “Any day is okay for me, I have absolutely no plans”. Wow, could I sound any more desperate?
He chuckles and nods his head. “Wednesday night then, okay?”
“Perfect”
“I hope you take this seriously, Timothée. I don´t want you to be late, I don´t want you to miss class for trivialities. I wanna see you committed to this, because if for a minute I realize that you are not taking this seriously, I will have to give up on classes. Are we clear?”
I nod, eyes stuck on his. “I will take this seriously, I will give my best during class...both of them. It´s a promise”
“Are you gonna keep this promise? Because the last time you broke your promise quite easily”. His voice is serious, but his eyes tell me there´s a hint of a teasing there.
I smile, a wide and bright one. “I will. I won´t disappoint you again”
He nods and grabs the bag with his books. He gives me one last smile as he makes his way to the door. “See you tomorrow morning”
I watch him close the door behind him with the biggest and most stupid ass smile on my face. I have no idea if this whole extra class thing will work, but I sure as hell will enjoy it as much as I can.

Chapter Text

I grab my bowl of popcorn and head over to the bed as I hear the sound of heavy rain falling outside. The weather had changed drastically over the last couple of hours and instead of going out with Ansel and his girlfriend, I decided it was better to stay home and get myself ready for tomorrow.

 

Having four hours of ballet classes a day was demanding, but now that the extra classes were about to start, I would have to be well rested and strictly following my new routine and diet, otherwise I would get too tired and would only end up disappointing Mr. Hammer again.

 

I sit down on the bed and press play on the computer, the newest adaptation of Stephen King's IT starts playing and I lean back on the bedpost, stuffing my mouth with popcorn and scrolling through some new messages on my phone.

 

I don´t know for how long I am messing around on Instagram when it happens -and to be quite honest, I barely know how I got there-, but when I least expect, I am on Mr. Hammer's Instagram account. There are thousands of photos of him on his tights, dancing or stretching before a routine. One photo in particular calls out my attention and I click on it, seeing the larger version appear right in front of my eyes.

 

He is en pointe , his tights clinging into his muscled thighs, his chest project forward and his arms in a perfect fourth position. He is shirtless, his face calm and there's a clear layer of sweat all over him. The photo is stunning, the lighting working wonders on him and I think to myself if I have ever seen something so powerful and beautiful.

 

I lick my lips as I keep staring at the photo, suddenly feeling an urge to be close to him, to have those strong arms tightly wrapped around me. I want to dance with him, I want to feel his hands on my waist as he lifts me up, I want to feel our bodies pressed together as we work on a Pas de Deux.

 

We'll do a Grande Jete and then move to an Adagio, our bodies close and our hands brushing against one another. By the time we are done, panting and sweating, he will turn me around and our lips will touch. He will kiss me hard, his hands holding my hips as I wrap my arms around his neck and suck on his tongue.

A high pitched scream comes from the movie and my phone nearly falls down on the floor as I am harshly brought back to reality. I realize I am sweating already, my hand free hand is palming on my already half hard cock and my breathing is a bit troubled.

 

I let out a sigh and lean my head back on the bedpost, I can feel my cheeks are burning and I have to close my eyes to try and calm myself down. Just as I recover myself, I feel my phone vibrating on the bed and reach out for it, seeing Pauline´s name light up the screen. I pause the movie as I press the phone to my ear and hear her voice.

 

"Hey sis, how you doing?"

 

*****

 

I sit on the floor, my knees bent and my feet taping the floor to the beat of the music that blasts through my headphones. I take a few sips of my iced tea as I look around the empty hallway and wait for someone else to show up.

 

It's 7:40am and I am starting to grow impatient as I sit here for what it seems like half an hour already. The idea of arriving early had seemed like a good one, but now that I am sitting here all alone, I feel like being on time would be enough. I sigh, stretching my legs out in front on me just as I hear footsteps coming from the stairs.

 

I look to my right and bite on my bottom lip, watching as Mr. Hammer walks my way. He arches an eyebrow as he looks up from his phone and sees me sitting there. "Timothée, I know I told you not to be late, but you didn't need to be here almost half an hour earlier"

 

I shrug my shoulders and quickly rise to my feet. I grab my bag and throw my cup on the trash next to the door. "I woke up quite early and since I didn't have anything else to do, I thought it would be good to make sure I was here on time"

 

Mr. Hammer furrows his eyebrows as he stares at me for a couple of seconds before opening the door. I follow him in, throw my stuff on a corner and help him turn on the lights. I walk back to my stuff once we're done and tie my hair, remove my sweatpants and stretch out my arms, trying to get rid of the knots on my shoulders.

 

I use the barre as a support as I keep on stretching and then proceed to rest my foot on it. I stretch my arms in front of me and touch the tip of my toes with my fingers while I close my eyes, my body and mind relaxing in preparation for the upcoming exercises.

 

When I feel a large hand on my lower back, my body goes rigid and it's like the air has been knocked out of me. I look over my shoulder and swallow as I see Mr. Hammer standing there, his eyes locked on mine, his face serious and his hand forcing my body further down.

 

"You need to bend a little bit more, make sure your back is perfectly aligned with your leg, you'll work yourself harder, but the result will be better. Also, instead of just touching your toes, I want you to grab your foot with both hands. You´ll probably feel a burning sensation on the back of your knee and on your thighs, which will make you want to stop, but the knots will dissipate much faster and you´ll feel way more relaxed once you are done.”

 

I give him a quick nod and do as told just as I feel his warm hand leave my back. I feel my body relax as he does so, but at the same time I feel as if there's something missing, as if when he was touching me I was a more complete person. I take a long deep breath to calm myself down and focus on what he had told me to do, no matter how crazy I am about him, I must not let those feelings keep on distracting me. What I need right now is focus on enhancing my technique, not on his touch, his presence or his body.

 

"I want you to keep working on the barre for five minutes, then move to feet exercises and once you're all done, try a Grand Écart . Okay?"

 

"Okay"

 

I watch him from the corner of my eyes and see as he takes off his t-shirt and starts his own warming up routine. He is so effortlessly beautiful and his movements are always so powerful, it's so hypnotic that it kind of pulls you in and you can barely find your way back to reality.

 

Sometimes I like to think that he does know what I feel and does this because he wants to tease me, to make me go crazy and see me lusting over him when I should be focused on my own routine. Those thoughts don't last long though, Mr. Hammer is too passionate about his craft to do something like this.

 

I hear the sound of voices and laughter coming from the hallway and look over my shoulder to see some of the guys entering the studio. Mr. Hammer stops his warming up and goes over to his bag, taking his bottle of water and chugging on it. I sigh at the fact we are not alone anymore, but quickly remind myself that it's Wednesday and tonight both of us will be back here and it will be just the two of us, all alone, for two long hours.

 

*****

 

I swirl around en pointe , my arms rapidly moving from first to second position. I can feel the drops of sweat run down my back as I move to Grande Jeté, my left leg brushing into the air as if thrown and once I land back on my feet, I take a few steps back en pointe and finish with a Plie.

 

I do a sequence of Pirouettes, arms in first position and then move to a sequence of fast movements. The Allegro is consisted on three jumps to the right, a Turn-out, then a Tour en L'air and for last a Saute, in which I start off with a Plie, then propel myself up with both feet and land back on the floor on another Plie.

 

"And that's all for today"

 

Mr. Hammer's voice is barely audible as I find myself in a haze of mixed emotions. I am panting, sweating like a maniac, all my muscles are throbbing and yet I can't help but smile at myself. For the first time in months I have been able to focus one hundred percent in class and not get called out.

 

I wonder if this is because today all my nerves are directed to the fact tonight I will be alone with Mr. Hammer or if I am finally being able to control myself around him and get back to my usual self. Or perhaps, promising him I'd be back to old self made me unconsciously more aware of what I had to do to concentrate. Either way, I can't even begin to describe how pleased I am with myself.

 

I bite my bottom lip, trying to control the goofy ass smile that wants to take over my face and look up, instantly catching Mr. Hammer's eyes. He has a hint of a smile on his face and nods his head in my direction, which obviously makes my heart pound in my chest and my legs shake even more than it already was.

 

"Are we going to lunch or you're gonna keep staring at him for the rest of the day", Ansel whispers on my ears.

 

I chuckle and turn back to him. "Believe me when I say, I'd love to stay here all day staring at him. He doesn´t even need to do anything, you know? He could just stand there and I´d be happy"

 

"Oh, I know you would"

 

I laugh, grabbing my stuff as he makes his way to the door. I run after him, catching up just as he's about to get down the stairs. We get down a few steps in silence, the rest of the guys far ahead. When I fell him nudge my arm, I look to my side, an eyebrow arched in confusion.

 

"What?"

 

"How nervous are you about tonight?"

 

This guy knows me way too well, which can be a blessing and a fucking curse. "Enough, I guess. I think as the day passes it will inevitably get worse, but so far I can handle myself"

 

"Just don't do anything stupid, okay?"

 

"What are you talking about?" He gave me a knowing look and I rolled my eyes. "Do you actually think I'm gonna jump on him and force myself on the guy? Have you seen him? That guy's huge"

 

Ansel smirked. "Guess you spend a lot of time thinking about just how huge he is, don't you?" I can feel myself blush and he laughs. "Oh my God, you actually do. How many times have you beat one of thinking about him?"

 

Now it's my time to smirk. "Do you really wanna talk about this?"

 

He cringes, shaking his head as I let out a hysterical laugh. "Okay okay, let's fill that mouth of yours with food so you won't say anything stupid. Let's go"

 

"You are the one who started this conversation, I'm just going along with it". I wink as he rolls his eyes and walks a bit faster, leaving me trailing behind him.




Chapter Text

I stare at myself in the mirror as I put on yet another t-shirt. My bed is a mess, filled with shirts, tights and sweaters that I have put on and removed countless of times. I groan, my eyes darting to the clock on my nightstand as I swing my body back and forth.

It's 6:20pm so I still have enough time to figure my shit out before heading to the studio. I know it's silly and very adolescent of me to stand in the middle of the apartment, changing outfits as if I'm about to go on a date, but I can't help myself. Mr. Hammer brings out the most primary and idiotic sides of me and I still don't know how to deal with that.

I know I should act cool and see this as just another class, but I simply can't, this will be just the two of us, his eyes directed only to me, his touch something only I will feel and that is enough to make me a nervous mess. I don't know how or if I will be able to control myself, but I do know I have to do my best, Mr. Hammer has decided to waste hours of his day with me and I don't plan on messing it up in any kind of way.

I look back at the clock and sigh. I still have some time, but it's quite clear to me no matter how many outfits I try it on, nothing will look or feel good enough. I reach for my bag and stuff my sweater and pointe shoes inside of it, zip up and swing it over my shoulder.

I reach for my phone and see there's a message from Ansel. He is teasing and mocking me about the class, which doesn't even amuse me anymore since he's been doing this the entire day. I simply roll my eyes and put my phone on the front pocket of the bag, heading out of the apartment, but stopping in front of the mirror one last time.

This night can change everything.

 

******

 

It's 7:15pm when I make my way inside the building and take on the stairs. From here I can already hear music playing, an upbeat but still sad tune that fills the air and I can only assume he is warming up.

As I reach the studio I don't get in immediately, I stand by the door, leaned on the wall as I watch him. He is in all black, his fingers running through his blond hair as he stretches out his legs. His eyes are focused on his reflection in the mirror and I am glad he can´t see me from this position.

He goes en pointe a couple of times, setting in the rhythm before he opens his arms in a second position. He stretches out his left leg to the side and slides back close to his body slowly, following the dramatic beat of the music.

Mr. Hammer does a Pirouette followed by an Adagio, his movements so precise I can barely see as a position transits to another. He is extremely concentrated on what he is doing and yet the look on his face is calm, peaceful and in his eyes I can see just how passionate he is about ballet.

He does an Arabesque, his right leg extended behind his body in a perfect straight line. He then does a Pirouette again, this time a little slower as he brings his leg down and moves to a Croisé position. He does small jumps from foot to foot to his right and then to his left before bringing his feet together for a Sauté.

Mr. Hammer's arms are perfectly elongated throughout all his routine, his muscular legs are always on angle and when he is en pointe , I nearly lose my breath at the beauty of it. He is a incredibly tall and large man, he has lots of muscles and yet he moves with such ease and grace that he makes it all seem effortless.

I get completely lost in the sight of him, the way he moves and how his muscles clench with every new position. He is a sight to behold, something so beautiful that belonged in a museum, secured and surrounded by equally as beautiful objects.

He is in the middle of a Tour en L'air when he spots me. He finishes his move, comes back to the ground and lets his eyes wander to me. He is panting, his chest rising and falling rapidly as he pushes his already damp hair back. I bite on my lip as I give him a side smile, my hand scratching the back of my neck as I try to keep myself cool and collected.

"Timothée, I didn't know you were here already"

"I didn't want to interrupt you, Mr. Hammer"

"This is your extra classes, you're not interrupting anything". He says this while he reaches for a towel to dry off his sweat.

"You were very concentrated and it was so beautiful to watch, I just couldn't find the courage to say anything."

His eyes find mine once again and I can see his eyebrows furrow. It's almost as if he didn't expect the compliment coming from me and for a brief second, while I look straight into his blue eyes, I have a feeling he doesn't really know just how great he is.

I can see a small smile appear on his lips as he looks down and I have to suppress the face eating grin that wants to take hold of me. He nods his head and without a word walks back to where the speakers are and changes the music to something more calm. He lowers the volume as he turns to me and points to the barre.

"Next time you don't stand and stare, you walk in and start warming up, okay? These classes are for your own benefit and you have to make the best out of them."

I nod my head, throw my bag to the side and tie my hair up, making sure it won't fall to my eyes and fix my tights before I start to stretch up. I keep my feet together and lean my upper body down, the tip of my fingers touching my toes.

He watches me for a moment and then leans on the mirror, chugging down on some water. "Put on your shoes and start with some barre exercises, okay? Then we'll move to Tendu before we can start centre practice"

"Whatever you say, Mr. Hammer". I can hear him chuckle in the distance as I look for my pointe shoes on my bag and since my back is facing him, I allow myself to smile. Call me crazy, but in the few minutes I am here I feel like I am already in the presence of a completely different Mr. Hammer.

 

*****

 

If I had any expectations that Mr. Hammer would take easy on me on the first night of extra classes, that went down the drain after the first twenty minutes of class. He had prepared an entire routine for me to follow, accelerating the rhythm each time I repeated.

I could feel the beads of sweat run down my back, I could feel every single one of my muscles burn and yet he kept on going, pushing me to my limits and doing so with such a nonchalant look on his face that if I wasn´t completely in love with him, I´d have probably punched him in the face.

“....and we finish with a Grande Jeté”

The moment he stops talking and the music comes to an end, I collapse on the floor. I´m panting, my chest rising and falling with such an intensity I start to think I might pass out at any second. I stretch out my arm, reaching for my water bottle and take a few sips, the cold liquid cooling me down as it runs down my throat.

I lie down on my back on the floor, feeling the shirt cling into my body but finally getting my breathing back to normal. All I want at this point is to go home, have a nice cold shower and sleep until it's time for me to come back to practice once again.

I can't even remember the last time I felt so drained.

“Tired already?”

“A little bit, yes”

“Well then get yourself together, there´s still a lot to do”

I open my eyes, he is standing by my feet, eyes locked on mine. “What do you mean there's still a lot to do?”

“Timothée, is not even 9pm, class is not over”

“You have got to be kidding me.” I look over at the clock and groan loudly. I feel like I have been dancing around this goddamn studio for days and yet there's still over half an hour of class to go? What the fuck? “I can´t handle anymore, Mr. Hammer, my feets are killing me”

“We have four hours of practice every morning, Timothée, and you go through with it. Believe me, you can do this”

“I highly doubt”

Mr. Hammer chuckles and I can't help but smile. Sure he has been pushing me, but at the same time, ever since I stepped inside the studio tonight he has been showing me a glimpse of another Mr. Hammer, one I had only seen on my fantasies.

I see him stand his hand out for me and I take it without even thinking much about it. The electric shock that goes through me at the touch of his hand is something I should be used to by now, but in reality it still makes me feel weak on the knees.

Once he pulls me up, our bodies are almost pressed together, a scene that if seen by anyone from the outside would sure lead to speculation. Yes, I am not underage. Yes, I have my own job and apartment, but he is still my professor. Mr. Hammer doesn´t seem to care about any of this though, he keeps his eyes down on me and doesn´t pull his hand away until I clear my throat and take a step back, breaking the spell that has fallen upon us….or better yet, upon me.

“Get in third position, we are gonna do something together now”

 

We are gonna do something together.

Together.

We.

 

I can barely process what´s going on as I keep replaying those words on my mind. I know I shouldn´t overthink it, I know whatever he has in mind is completely different from what I have, but just the thought of he addressing us as a we makes my heart beat faster.

Mr. Hammer turns on the music and walks back to me. He mirrors my position and our eyes lock through the reflection. “Okay, so instead of giving you instructions of what to do, instead of teaching you the steps and then guiding you through it, I´m simply going to start dancing and you will mirror each one of my steps. Are we clear?”

“Yes we are”

I know this isn´t a much elaborated task, after years of practice I am able to pick on moves quite fast, but this is Mr. Hammer we are talking about and dancing with him, even if not yet on a Pas de Deux, it´s quite an intimidating thing to do.

I don´t know how, but he must have sensed my apprehension, because not even two seconds after I am done talking, I can feel him bump his hand against mine. I look over at him and he gives me a reassuring smile while I nod my head.

“Five, six, seven, eight”

Mr. Hammer moves slowly, following the sad and almost gloomy beat. He starts by elongating his right arm above his head while his left foot does a semi circle on the floor. He then stands en pointe and projects his chest forward, a serious and concentrated look on his face.

I repeat everything he does, our movements are almost synchronized, mere seconds separating what he does from what I do. The look in the mirror is fantastic, it almost looks likes I am his shadow, following him everywhere, desperately trying to reach him, but never doing so.

The song starts to change it´s tempo, growing faster and so does our movements. We jump in a one foot Releve, spin around the studio in a series of Pirouettes and then transition into an Assemble, both of us lifting off of the floor in one foot and landing on two.

We go on for almost forty minutes, but to me it seemed like it was only a couple of seconds. Dancing with him like this, seeing his concentration and just being so close to him makes me feel so proud of myself that I have a huge smile on my face throughout the entire thing.

When we come to a stop I can feel every single muscle on my legs spasming and a burning sensation all over me. The sweat is pouring down my body, clinging my clothes into my skin and making me feel itchy.

Mr. Hammer´s hair is disheveled and also glistening with sweat. Some of the golden strands fall down his forehead, framing his gorgeous blue eyes and if I wasn´t already having trouble breathing, I know this sight alone would have done the deed.

“That´s all for today,” he says as he reaches for his water bottle. “What did you think?”

I bend over, hands resting on my knees as I take a couple of long breaths. “You almost killed me, but yeah, it was good”

He chuckles. “Why don´t you drink some water and sit down a little, I wanna talk to you”

I arch an eyebrow as I look at him. Everything was going great and now he wanted to talk? Did I do something wrong without even realizing it? Have I messed up the whole thing completely?

“Timothée?”

I snap out of my thoughts, looking at him a little confused. “Did I do something wrong?”

“The fact I want to talk to you doesn´t mean you did something wrong. Sit down, drink some water and relax”

I do as told. Sometimes I feel like an idiot, a little puppy who´s ready to follow any order he might give me. At the same time, I can´t help but feel even more attracted to him when he is strict, when he bosses me around. I would say it's a weird, complicated and yet very sexy situation.

I watch as he sits across from me on the floor, legs crossed and towel around his neck. He gives me a small smile and I return it, waiting for him to start talking.

“First thing first, I hope you did enjoy the class. I know it wasn´t easy and that you might be in pain now, but it´s only the first night, your body is still adapting to the new routine”

I nod my head. “I know that and yes, it was challenging, but I can take it”

“I know you do and that´s why I am pushing you. I know you have a great talent, Timothée, you can do anything you set your mind to it”

“Thank you,” I say before biting on my lip. His stare and his compliments are making me feel all hot and bothered and I just know I am blushing.

“I believe in you, Timothée, and this is why I offered you these classes. I know you will do great and I hope you are as focused on the next classes as you were today”

“I will be,” I reassure him as quick as I can. “I know I messed up, but I am focused on getting back on track and I will work hard to earn my place at Juilliard”

Mr. Hammer smiles and nods his head. “This is what I like to hear. Keep up this energy and determination and things will work just fine for you. When you least expect the auditions will be here and you´ll be strong, focused and fully prepared for it”

I nod and watch as he gets up, drying off some of the sweat that still glistens in his body. I get up too, drink some water until he turns to me once again, those piercing blue eyes looking straight into my soul.

“You can go now. Once you get home try to relax, maybe have a nice cup of tea, anything to calm down your muscles and your mind. Have a good night of sleep and make sure you are on time tomorrow morning”

The last phrase comes out of his lips with a teasing tone and I can´t help but chuckle. He suddenly looks so young, so free and beautiful. I could easily get used to this new side of him.

“Will do, don´t worry”

I reach for my bag, throw my towel and water bottle inside and swing the strap over my shoulder. I take one last look at him and he smiles and nods at me.

“Good night, Timothée”

“Good night, Mr. Hammer”

 

Chapter Text

I close the door behind me and lean against it, my bag sliding down my arm and falling to the ground as I stand there with the goofiest smile on my face. Only two hours ago I left my apartment nervous, trying to figure out exactly how the extra classes with Mr. Hammer would go down and now, here I am, even more amazed at the person he is.

The fact I got to see a glimpse of the man behind the professor made me feel closer to Mr. Hammer. Seeing him smile so openly and listening to his tone of voice change as he doesn´t have to address an entire room filled with people. See the way he moves when he is lost in his own movements and how young and carefree he looks when he dances, it almost seems like tonight´s class has made me fall even more in love than I already was.

I bite down on my lip as I hear my phone vibrate on the bag. I sit down on the floor, reach for it and see Ansel´s texts. Curious as he is, I am not surprised to see the four unread texts he has sent me asking about the classes and teasing me about jumping on Mr. Hammer. He knew me well enough to know I really wanted to do that, but would never, ever, get the courage to do so….or would I?

Before I can allow those thoughts to get the best of me, I jump up, throw my phone on top of the bed and rush to the shower. The cold water hits my back and I let out a low moan, I can feel the salty sweat being washed away as well as my muscles relaxing. I close my eyes, let my curls fall down my eyes as I hear Mr. Hammer´s words echo in my head.

Have a good night of sleep.

It warms my heart to think that he worries about me, that he cares so much to make sure I know exactly how good I am or what I should do to relax. He cares...he fucking cares about me... ME.

I sigh, a smile plastered on my lips as I grab my towel, wrap around my waist and head off the shower. I dry myself off quickly, put on some boxers, prepare myself a quick salad and then head over to bed. I´m feeling so tired it doesn´t even take me five minutes to close my eyes and drift off to sleep.

As usual, I dream of Mr. Hammer.

 

*******

 

I leave Starbucks with a cup of coffee in hand and my headphones on. The sun is high in the sky, but there is a cool breeze that makes the heat a bit more bearable and I lazily make my way down the streets, eyes wandering around all the different kind of people that walk past me.

The images of last night´s class are still quite vivid on my head, the smiles, the different tone to his voice and the overall openness of Mr. Hammer left me feeling as if we were more than just teacher and student, I felt connected to him, I felt like he could actually see me as an equal.

I turn a corner and bite on my lip as I see Mr. Hammer walking a few meters ahead of me. His head is down and his headphones on, I assume he is going through his playlist on the phone and I wonder what kind of songs does he like. Is he a rock guy? Or does he prefer some indie never-heard-of bands? I chuckle at the thought that he is one of those people with a very unique musical taste, one no one can really understand, but he would defend with all his mighty.

I think of walking over to him, I would smile at him and say hi and we would walk together the rest of the way. But then I step back, it´s not even 8am and he probably wants some space, some time to himself before he has to deal with me and another eleven guys he has to see every single day.

What I didn´t think of was that by not walking over to him, I was left with the most creepy scenario of this whole situation: me following him -the right word is stalking, but that sounds a bit too much- while paying close attention to every detail about him.

His hair gains an almost reddish tone to it in the sun, he has such long legs that each step he takes is nearly three of mine. He is all manly, broad shoulders and muscles, but there´s also a natural sway to his hips, a slow and rhythmic sway that almost hypnotizes me.

The moment he reaches the building, he looks to his side and his eyes find me. I try to put on the most nonchalant look on my face, wishing with all my will that he doesn´t realize that I´ve been following him for nearly two blocks now.

“Morning,” he says with a warm smile on his face and I nearly fall to my knees.

“Morning, Mr. Hammer.”

“I see you are making a habit of being early. Should I just leave you with the keys from now on?”

I chuckle, shaking my head as I follow him up the stairs. “I made you a promise that I would be here on time, Mr. Hammer, I´m just trying to keep it.”

“I´m glad to know you are back on track, Timothée, and that you are taking this serious.” Mr. Hammer says this while giving me a long, piercing look and I have to turn my gaze down, avoid him at any cost. I don´t know if it works much though, I´m pretty sure he can see me blushing.

We make it inside the studio and he throws his bag on the floor, takes off his shirt and fixes his tank top, the palm of his hands rubbing against his hard chest in a way I have many times dreamt of doing it. He turns on all the lights and the fans, runs his hand through the barre and checks on the sound. He is meticulous, he always makes sure everything is working just right.

“Yesterday´s class was quite intense for a first day, were you able to get a good night of sleep or did the adrenaline messed you up?”

“Actually, it was one of the best nights of sleep I had in months. I was so tired, I made it to the bed and barely had time to think.”

I lean against the barre as I watch him pace around the room, clean the mirror, look through his phone and kneel down to grab something on his bag.

“Your body is gonna take some time to get used to the new routine, you´re pushing yourself and working almost twice as hard as you were, the first few weeks are gonna be intense. Are you sore? Does your feet hurt?”

“It hurt a little bit yesterday night, but not anymore. As you said, I guess it´s gonna take me some time getting used to this new schedule.”

He nods and gets up, throwing something at me while doing so. I am caught off guard, but manage to catch it before it can hit me in the head. I look down at it, my eyes scanning the small tube as I try to understand what the hell is written on the label.

“It´s not gonna bite you, Timothée,” he joked and I look up at him with a puzzled look on my face. “Use it on your feet after every class, it will help you with the pain.”

“And how come I´ve never heard of this?”

He leans against the mirror, arms crossed and a smirk on his face. “Do you think I´m giving you some illegal shit? A buddy of mine told me about it, it´s an organic brazilian cream that helps sooth the pain, no need to worry.”

“I wasn´t worried, I just….”

He laughs at me, a quick but genuine laugh that makes him squint his eyes and I stare at him as if I have just made it to heaven. I would do everything to have this side of him around me for the rest of my days.

“I was joking, Timothée...I know how to do that sometimes.” The teasing tone in his voice tells me he is 100% aware of the fact most of the guys think he is too serious and a bit arrogant. He probably has heard it as they whisper around and as much as I try, I can´t tell if he is bothered by this or if he likes it and uses in his favor.

A serious and strict professor can be quite intimidating.

“C´mon, since you are here already, better to start warming up.”

I nod and stuff the cream on my bag before removing my oversized shirt and stretching up. “What are we doing first?”

“Start with floor exercises and then move to a Grand Écart, once everyone is here we´ll work on the barre.”

I nod once again and get down to the floor, stretching out my legs in front of my body and rotating my feet in slow movements. I lean forward, my right hand touching my left toes and I count until ten before changing hands.

I hear footsteps coming closer and in a matter of seconds Aaron is walking through the door, a tired look on his face. “Good morning.”

“Good morning,” me and Mr. Hammer say in unison but the tone in his voice seems different. I look up at him and can instantly see that his expression has changed into something way more serious, more hardened, at the arrival of Aaron. At that exact moment I start to realize that there is a part of him, a more lighthearted, fun part of him that I am the only one allowed to see.

 

******



“Gather around!”

Mr. Hammer´s guttural voice reverberates through the studio as we´re all scattered around, getting our bags and taking off our pointe shoes. There´s a moment of silence between us, eyes meeting in stealthy glances. I watch as everyone runs around to the middle of the studio and throw my bag down on the floor before slowly making my way over.

“What did we do now,” whispered Ansel in my ear as I shrug my shoulders.

Mr. Hammer has his arms crossed and a serious look on his face, but I can see in his eyes that he is not mad or anything. He waits until all of us are close together and lets out a hint of a reassuring smile, which probably makes everyone even more confused than they already were.

"Tomorrow is Friday and as we had planned, the first solo performance of you guys. Steve will be the one performing and I expect you all to be here on time, I want everyone to see the performances, because all of us are gonna work together. For me these performances work as a parameter to see what´s good and what needs improvement, to you guys it will work as a way to get an even more clinic eye about ballet. See this as a kind of a test, I expect to hear comments, questions and critics, we need feedback if we want to enhance our potential. Are we clear?"

I hear some guys mumble clear while others nod their heads and I just go along with it. Mr. Hammer lets his eyes scan each one of us, as if he is waiting for someone to ask something, but as we all remain quiet, he goes on.

“Now let's run through some things again, shall we? You´ll have ten minutes to perform, the choreography can be an adaptation of something already existing or you can create your own, you can add props or whatever you want, you got freedom to decide what's best for you. Of course, you guys must not forget all of that will be taken in consideration, so if you feel even for a second that something is not working out, then please change it as soon as possible. Don't overdo anything, do what makes you comfortable and I can guarantee it will be much better than doing things only to show off."

Another moment of silence follows, no one dares to say anything unless he asks. I bite on my bottom lip to suppress a chuckle from leaving me, the man I spent two hours with yesterday wasn't that scary at all.

“....you are all dismissed now.”

Everyone goes back to what they were previously doing, most of the guys already walking out of the studio. I feel a hand on my elbow, pushing me back and I chuckle, aware Ansel is desperately trying to get any information about yesterday night.

“Need something,” I ask in a mocking tone as he rolls his eyes at me.

“Oh cut the crap, will you? I´ve been trying to talk to you ever since last night and you are deliberately ignoring me. Did something happen?”

I shrug my shoulders, a cocky smile on my lips. "That really depends on your point of view, Ansel. A lot happened, don´t know if it´s what you want to hear it though."

He arches an eyebrow and takes a step closer to me. “Did you two….”

“Of course not, Ansel, don´t be stupid”

“You are making it sound like it.”

"It´s called teasing , thought you would know what that means.” He shakes his head while I grab my bag from the ground and we slowly make our way to the door. “He was very professional and I was able to keep myself together…most of the time, at least. We did what we do in every class, we just trained and talked a little bit. You´d be surprised to see just how relaxed he can actually be.”

“Mr. Hammer has a chill side to him? That doesn´t sound right”

I chuckle and take a few sips of my water. “Oh but he has and that chill side actually smiles, laughs and can make a joke”

Ansel looks at me with an eyebrow raised and a smirk on his lips. “I didn´t think it was possible, but it seems like you are even more into him than you were before last night.”

“I didn´t think it was possible either, but he keeps on surprising me and I just don´t know what to do.”

“Just be careful, okay?”

I furrow my eyebrows and turn to look at him, confusion taking me over. “Why are you telling me this?”

"Look, just because he is showing you a side that he doesn´t show the rest of us, doesn´t necessarily mean he wants anything other than just teach you ballet or be your friend. I know I teased you about him wanting to get into your pants, and maybe he actually does want, we don´t know for sure, but just go slow and try not to get hurt, okay?"

“Ansel take a look at him, you really think he would be interested in me? A man like him probably already has a girlfriend...or boyfriend, someone who is waiting for him at home after he is done with my classes. I have fantasies with him, every day and every night, but I have no prospects of ever having anything with him.”

“Don´t you?”

I stare at him while biting on my bottom lip. My words are saying one thing, but I am sure my eyes are saying other, and Ansel knows me way too much to miss that. “Okay, maybe I have a little hope of anything happening, but I´m not gonna let that get in between our classes. I know what my priorities are, okay?”

“If you say so”

“I do say so. Now, enough with this father and son talk, let´s get something to eat because I still have to go to work today”




Chapter Text

Steve has his arms in fourth position , left arm forward at the height of his chest and right arm slightly rounded above his head; his right foot is en pointe and his left leg is raised to the side and bent on the knee in a 90 degree angle, his foot almost touching his right knee. He is spinning around, a sequence of meticulously trained Pirouettes which then transitions into a almost perfectly done Tour en L´air. His serious green eyes bring a drama to the routine but his pursed lips give away the tension he is going through as he stands there and performs for us...for Mr. Hammer.

We are all sitting on the far left corner of the studio, attentive eyes, focused on every single movement he makes. There are some whispers going around, but one person in particular remains quiet, a silent observer to what's unfolding in front of him. I let my eyes wander to him, biting on my lip as I see him lick his and lean against the mirror, arms crossed on his chest and eyes glued to Steve.

I let a small smile take over me as I watch him. Since he hasn´t done anything yet today, his hair is a little messy and I wonder how would it feel to run my fingers through it, pull on it as his lips are attached to my neck, devouring me as if he was a vampire. The idea makes my heart race and my cheeks flush, suddenly I can see us right in the middle of the studio, where now Steve does an Assemble, his arms around me, low moans escaping my lips and his cock -big and hard- pressed against my hips.

I bite on my lip and take a deep breath as I try to push those thoughts away from me, the last thing I need right now is a boner. Suddenly his eyes find me and I feel every muscle inside of me go rigid, scared of what he might do or say to me. He simple points towards Steve and I nod my head eagerly, turning my head away.

Steve is on running around the studio en pointe , his face a bit more relaxed now, more confident. I pull my legs up, rest my chin on my knees and do my best to keep my eyes focused on him, but the images of Mr. Hammer sucking on my neck are still the only thing in my mind.

 

*******

 

The bookstore is mostly quiet today, Sarah and I spent most of the afternoon wandering around, getting books back to their places, placing new books on the shelves, fixing our customer's data and changing prices. I think three people had walked in throughout the three hours I am here and I am nearly going crazy with boredom.

The fact I´ll be seeing Mr. Hammer again tonight is mainly the only thing that brings any kind of joy to me as I kneel down on the floor, organizing the mess of papers and order notes. I hear Sarah squeal and look up, an eyebrow arched in confusion as she kneels down in front of me, her big black eyes nearly sparkling with delight.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?”

“Remember that hot client I talked to you about?” I nod my head and she puts on a smirk. “Well he is here and he is looking like a full meal, seriously, I could eat him up.”

"Okay, let´s see just how hot this guy...", I stop as I get up only to find Mr. Hammer standing on the other side of the room. I take a quick look around just to make sure he is the only one here and let out a small chuckle, shaking my head as I look over at Sarah. "Is that the hot customer?"

“Yes and if you dare to say he is not that hot, then you clearly are in need of some glasses,” she whispered.

“Oh Sarah, you have no idea how hot he is.”

“Right?!” In her enthusiasm, I don´t think she listens to me properly and if she does, she simply doesn´t care. “He doesn´t come very often, but whenever he does he is always in search of this artsy books, which I have never heard of. I think he´s this kind of a hipster to be honest.”

I chuckle, hipster is not a word I´d ever use to describe Mr. Hammer.

“What? Why you´re laughing at me?”

“Timothée.” Mr. Hammer´s voice comes before I can find the time to answer Sarah, and from the corner of my eyes I can see as she stares at me with wide eyes and mouth agape.

“Good afternoon, Mr. Hammer.”

“I was looking for a book, The Roman Revolution by Ronald Syme, do you have it?”

“I´ll take a look at it.” He nods his head and goes back to looking through some books while I push Sarah aside so I can reach the computer. I type the name of book and author, her eyes piercing through my back, desperate to know exactly how I know her little crush. Oh if she only knew.

“Are you gonna tell me how do you know him or am I gonna have to take it out of you by force?”

I shrug my shoulders and hear her gasp. I look at her over my shoulder and give her a wink before making my way around the counter and over to the shelf the book must be in. My fingers trace the covers, eye focused on each name until I reach the right book. I pick it up and walk over to Mr. Hammer, who´s by the counter by now, patiently waiting for me.

“This one, right?”

“Exactly it, how much is it?”

“Twenty dollars, but you´re a regular customer, if you pay in cash I can make it for fifteen.”

He arches an eyebrow, eyes wandering from me to Sarah. “Great, I´ll take it.”

I nod and run behind the counter, putting the book inside a paper bag and handing to him just as he gives me the money. “Hope you´ll enjoy the book.”

“Thanks,” he says and then stares at me for a second. “Everything set for tonight?”

“Of course, I´ll be there, no need to worry.”

“Great to hear. See you at 7:30pm”

“See ya.”

It takes only two seconds after he leaves for Sarah to be all over me, her hands tightly grabbing onto my t-shirt, her red hair all over the place and a look of pure curiosity in her eyes. “Tell me everything about this Greek God, Chalamet. How the hell do you know him?”

“He is my ballet teacher,” I say as I push her away from me and fix my t-shirt.

“That´s your ballet teacher? Damn it, do you have vacancies in class, I suddenly feel like ballet could really be my thing.”

“Get a grip, Sarah.” The irony of what I had just say almost makes me laugh, here I am trying to control Sarah´s thirst towards Mr. Hammer, when I can´t even control my own.

“And what is all that see you at 7:30 thing, isn´t your classes in the morning?”

I lean against the counter, a smirk on my face as I look over at her. “He´s giving me extra classes at night.”

“You´re getting a piece of that ass?”

“I wish,” I mumbled as she chuckles. “Seriously, he´s just kind enough to help me prepare for the Juilliard auditions that will happen later this year, nothing else.”

“Well, either way you are one lucky bastard.”

 

*******

 

It´s shortly past 7pm when I make my way inside the building, my bag hanging on my shoulder, my hair still wet from the shower and on my face the biggest grin I could master. Only the thought of spending the next two hours alone with Mr. Hammer makes me feel so excited and agitated, I could barely rest after I left the bookstore.

I can hear a very low music as I make it down the corridor, and once I reach the door I feel like the air has been punched out of me. Mr. Hammer is on the floor doing a Grand Ecart, his long legs perfectly elongated and his upper body is leaned down towards the ground. From my position, I have the most beautiful view of his ass and I can feel myself salivate and to my utter despair, my cock come to life.

I scratch my neck and lick my lips, my eyes unable to leave the sight ahead of me despite the fact I know I am in risk of getting caught. As I feel myself getting hard, I have to use all of my strength to turn the other way around. I take a couple of deep breath, run a hand through my now sweaty neck and try to put on a nonchalant look on my face...or at least do my best not to look as horny as I am.

I clear my throat and give a quick knock on the door, a hand strategically placed in front of my groin as I walk in. “Hi.”

I see him look up, his eyes searching for me through the mirror. When he finds me, Mr. Hammer gives me a small smile and I watch as he slowly moves from his Grand Ecart to a sitting position, his legs straightened out before him. “Timothée, I see you´re taking the whole don´t be late thing quite serious, huh?”

I let out a chuckle, shrugging my shoulders as I throw my bag on the floor. “I like to keep my promises, Mr. Hammer.”

“Good to know,” he says and there´s something about his tone that gives me goosebumps. I watch him get up, fix his tights and turn around to face me, the sweat making his toned arms glisten. The shirt he is wearing today has a deep v neck and I can see glimpses of his golden like chest hair and it only makes it difficult for me to control my cock, which is by now half hard. “Since you are here already, you can start warming up and then do some stretching exercises on the barre. Today we´re gonna focus on high leg extensions and fast paced routines. Okay?”

I´ll do whatever you tell me to do , a voice inside of the practically screams and I roll my eyes at myself. Will I ever be able to simply stand near him and don´t let those kind of thoughts fill my head?

Probably not.

I exhale, push my hair back and start doing some quick and easy warming up exercises and then move to the barre, stretching out my legs and arms, getting my feet and shoes ready as I get en pointe over and over again for a few seconds, and doing a few Plies, feeling my blood warm up and my body become more aware, more prepared to what´s about to come.

The bulge in my tights makes it a bit harder to concentrate, the thoughts of Mr. Hammer there, his ass up on a beautiful Grand Ecart still clouding my vision. I try to clean my mind, but while doing the exercises I keep on going back to the exact moment I walked in. The moment I saw him.

I hold onto the barre, close my eyes and try to think about the grossest things I could possibly remember.

A pimple being squeezed.

A bunch of cockroaches leaving a drain.

My grandparents having sex.

That old, creepy and toothless dude that always whistles at me when I walk past Brommer and Sullivan.

It sure works, my body quickly reacts to the images and my cock starts to get down, saving me from an awkward situation with Mr. Hammer.

“Timothée?” His voice snaps me out of my craziness and I can see him looking at me, confused and slightly concerned. “Are you okay?”

“Me? Yes, I just got kind of lost in thoughts.” Thoughts of your ass to be more precise, that annoying voice inside of me teases as I try to put on a small smile.

He nods. “Okay. Are you ready to start or you think you need a bit more warming up?”

“I´m ready.”

Mr. Hammer nods and walks over to me. “High leg extensions are not easy, it requires a lot of practice and although you are quite good in it, I know you can be better.   We're gonna start slow, I don't want you to push yourself too hard, but we're gonna try to adjust the little things, okay? Hold onto the barre and start with your left leg, right foot on the floor first and then move to a demi pointe ."

I try to clear my head, relax my body and hold tight onto the barre. I´m supporting my body on my right foot, which is on demi pointe , my left leg slowly rising up, transitioning from one angle to another. I make a quick stop as my foot reach around my hip and then keep on going, muscles spasming and burning as I feel my leg go as far as it can. It has been a while and since I had not been the best behavior lately, my extension clearly isn´t one of the bests.

I still got my eyes closed when I feel Mr. Hammer´s hand on my lower back, there´s a small shiver that runs down my spine, my right foot almost loses it´s balance and I have to hold my breath for a second. I don´t know how I do it, but I still manage to keep myself together as his free hand rests on the back of my left knee, holding me steady.

“Is this okay? Are you in pain?”

Mr. Hammer is too close, his hot breathing is on my neck and the touch of his hands are like fire on my skin. It burns, it stings and calls out for me. It´s like when you see a candle and you instantly feel your fingers moving closer to the flame, it´s so beautiful but it can cause harm. Does he know what he does to me? Does he have to make things so difficult?

“No, I´m okay.”

 

******

 

The beat of the song is loud, powerful, fast and matches my heartbeat. My body is drenched in sweat, my white tank top is clinging onto my body and turning transparent with each movement I make. I work on a series of Grande Jete, jumping from one foot to the other, when I touch the ground I transition into a series of Pirouettes, my curls falling into my eyes.

I move around the room en pointe , arms in fourth position just as the song starts to slow down. I take a few deep breaths, my body starting to relax when his voice echoes around the studio, caughting my attention.

“Keep going,” is all he says and I know he wants me to start again from the beginning.

I don´t even stop. I quickly move my legs into first position, my chest projected forward and arms above my head in fifth position. I then move into a Croisé, followed by two Plies and a Saute. My arms move gracefully from first to third position and my left foot goes into demi pointe before I spin around, right leg bended on the knee.

Mr. Hammer´s eyes never leave me, he is leaned against the mirror and his arms crossed, his foot taps the floor, following the beat of the song. I jump up, turning in the air on a Tour en L´air. Once I reach the ground, I wince, feeling the muscles of my foot contort in one of the most intense cramp I have ever felt in my life.

“Oh fuck, fuck, fuck…,” I mutter as I fall to the ground, holding onto my right foot as I see Mr. Hammer run over to me with a concerned look on his face. His slides down the floor on his knees, reaching me in less than five seconds as I bite down hard on my lip, tears filling my eyes.

“What happened? Are you okay?”

I try to nod my head, my whole body shaking from the pain as I throw my head back, closing my eyes and praying that this goes away fast. "Yes I am....fuck...oh crap, it's just cramps"

I feel his hands on my foot and open my eyes immediately. He pushes my hand away and stretches out my leg, resting my foot on his lap and I nearly pass out as the pain intensifies.

“Hey, hey, I know it hurts, but you have to stretch out your leg if you want it to get better.”

“Oh fuck, it just….it hurts so bad.”

"Believe me, I know how it feels." He starts massaging my foot and my eyes nearly roll back. The pain is too much and for a quick second I think of reaching out and holding onto his shoulders, sinking my nails into his skin to release some of the pain that is going through me. The little bit of sanity that is left in me knows I can´t possibly do this, so I turn my hands into fists and slam them on the floor. "Is it getting better?"

I take short breaths as I focus my attention on his hands. His touch is soft and his massage is tender, his fingers working on circles on the center of my foot and making the pain go away slowly. I nod my head at him and see him give me a sympathetic smile as a few tears stream down my cheeks.

“You are almost crying, Timothée. Was it that bad?”

I nod. “You have no idea. For a moment I thought all my muscles were starting to intertwine and I was going to pass out from the pain.”

He sighs and intensifies his grip on my foot, his hand moving from my toes to my ankle, making sure to massage every single inch. "When I was younger I used to have lots of cramp, no matter how much I warmed up, it always ended the same way, me on the floor, crying my eyes out as I felt that pain shot through my entire body"

“What did you do to make it stop?”

"Ate a lot of bananas," he said as I arched an eyebrow, making him laugh. "My dad used to say bananas were good for cramps and forced me to eat a bunch of them so it would help me. It didn´t work, of course, and it took me a lot of working out to actually get it to quiet down, lately I only get cramps if I spend too much time without dancing or exercising."

“It´s not something I get very often, but when I do it´s quite painful.” I lie down on the floor, covering my face with my hands and closing my eyes, trying to get my body to relax. My foot is still resting on Mr. Hammer´s lap, his thumbs pressing on the center of my foot and surprisingly easing the pain.

"Your body is still adjusting to the new routine, you intensified your work and you might have to deal with some cramps from time to time. It will get better though, I promise."

I promise.

I promise.

His voice is sweet and apologetic, almost as if he is the blame for making me go through this. I have to bite down on my lip to suppress a smile, the way he cares about me still makes me feel weird and I don´t really know how to react to it. I´m still not used to that.

He squeezes my foot and then places it slowly on the floor. I sit down with a sigh and rub on my legs, the pain is all gone now, but there's still a numbness to my foot and I am almost scared to get up.

"Technically we still got twenty minutes of class to go, but I think you deserve to go home. Can you get up?" I nod, but he still reaches out for my hands, helping me to my feet.

A little pain shots through me but it quickly passes and I can breath properly again. I dry out my tears and take a few deep breaths before reaching for my bag. I drink some water as he turns of the music, silence taking over the place.

"When you get home take a warm bath and then massage your feet with the cream I gave you. You'll be just fine"

"Will do it. I better go now, I don't wanna force my foot, so it will be a very slow walk home"

He smiles at me. "I am sure you can do it. See you on Monday"

“See you on Monday, Mr. Hammer.”







Chapter Text

The sweat runs down my forehead and back, my rebellious curls fall down my eyes and my muscles burn and spasm. Through my parted lips low moans echo, my cheeks are getting flushed and even my vision turns a bit blurred. My chest heaves and I gasp for air, throwing my head back as I start to slow down my pace.

Kid Cudi is playing loud, the beat of the song motivating me to go on, to push myself harder. I take a few gulps of water, feeling it cool down my body, swipe the sweat out of my forehead and go back to my usual pace, turning down a corner so I can make my way back to my apartment.

It´s sunny and warm in New York but the heat is actually pleasant and not exaggerated, it´s basically a perfect Saturday afternoon. As I jog past small coffee shops, stores and art galleries, I see friends hanging out, groups of people having cold and colorful drinks, families walking over to the nearest park and I wish I could be doing at least one of those things.

But of course life has very different plans for moi . Since Mr. Hammer offered me extra classes I knew that if I did accept it -as if saying no was ever a possibility-, I would have to go back to doing exercises. I needed to get more body strength to endure six more hours of practice each week, otherwise I won´t survive one month of his extra training, which truth be told, was something I had no intentions of losing it.

I feel myself getting breathless just as I reach my building and quickly make my way inside. The elevator is not working and I have to take the stairs, five floors on foot, feeling every single muscle in my thighs -even the ones I didn´t know it existed- burn and twitch.

I´m about to reach the fourth floor when the music in my headphones stops and my phone starts ringing. I click answer and instantly hear Ansel´s joyful and very loud voice fill my ears. “Hey dude, what you doing tonight?”

“Hey Ansel, it´s nice to hear from you too. I am doing perfectly fine, thanks for asking.”

There´s a brief moment of total silence on the other side of the line and I just know he is rolling his eyes at me. “Oh cut the crap, will ya? I called because Olivia and I want to know what you are doing tonight.”

“You and Olivia? Please tell me this isn´t you guys trying to set me up on a date again, you know how last time turned out.”

He laughs. “Dude, I promised you I´d never do that again and I am sticking to my promise. Besides, I know right now you only have eyes for a certain blond with a very angry face.”

“He doesn´t have an angry face when he is alone with me.”

“Whatever you say, Romeo. Can you just, please, tell me what you are doing tonight?”

I sigh and unlock my front door, getting inside my apartment and rushing straight to the large windows, opening it up so I can get some breeze. “I am not doing anything special, Mr. Elgort. I had planned to watch a movie and maybe order a pizza, why?”

“Olivia and I are going to SoHo Room tonight and we thought you´d like to tag along. You had a lot of extra work this week and I think you deserve some fun.”

I sit down on my little balcony, chugging down on the last few drops of water in my bottle. “I don´t know, Ansel. Not only I don´t want to be a third-wheel, I don´t think partying is gonna help me much right now.”

“Oh for fuck´s sake, Timothée, it´s Saturday and you are twenty two, you are supposed to have some fun. I´m not telling you to get shitfaced, just a couple of drinks, listen to some music and talk. It will be just the three of us and you can go back home anytime you want.”

I sigh, scratching my neck as I think about it. It´s not like I´m prohibited of going out and drinking, sure I shouldn´t exaggerate but one night can´t kill me.

“Okay, I´ll go.”

“Great, we´ll be there around 8pm, okay?”

“Okay.”

“You won´t regret it, dude.”

“I sure hope not,” I say and he chuckles. “I gotta go now, dude, just made it home from a jogging session and I need to eat something and get in the shower. I´ll be there around 8:30pm, okay? I might need a nap.”

“Taking a nap on Saturday afternoon so he can go out at night...are you sure you are twenty-two?”

“I got an old soul.”

“And apparently a body too,” he mocks and I can´t help but laugh. “You go do your thing and we will be waiting for you with a shot.”

“Just the way I like it.” I let out a chuckle before hanging up and make my way back inside the apartment. I take a quick look around and let out a sigh, taking in the mess my apartment is in. I make sure to put a small lasagna on the oven and then get back to the living room, trying my best to clean up before I can eat.

It´s nearly 4pm when I´m finally able to shower. I lean against the tiled walls, let the cold water hit my back and wash away all the sweat in me. I close my eyes for a brief second, tiredness taking me over and my body screams for some kind of rest. I get out and dry myself off, put on some boxers and head over to the bed, lying down face first into the pillows. My phone is lying next to me, buzzing as I get a new text, but I fall asleep before I can even think of reaching out for it.

 

*******

 

I look at myself in the mirror one more time, biting on my lip as I stare at the reflection and don´t feel particular good with what I see. I am wearing skinny jeans, a black and white striped t-shirt and agot a silver chain around my neck, a look I´d normally go for it when going out with the guys but tonight it seems too normal, too simple.

I go through my closet, picking up almost every single shirt and pants I own, trying to decide what looks good and what not. I groan at myself and sit down on the bed, staring at the mess I have made of my clothes when I finally spot something that might interest me. I grab a tight, black and ripped skinny jeans and put it on along with a burgundy t-shirt, which has a black bird pattern all over it. I put on my combat boots and run a hand through my hair, a smile coming to my lips as I finally feel pleased with what I see in the mirror.

It´s not like I am going out to find myself some guy, but if I saw me on a bar today, I would definitely hit on me.

I hear the buzzer and arch an eyebrow, slightly confused on who could possibly be. I reach out for it, holding it between my ear and my shoulder as I try to put on my watch.

“Yeah?”

“Hey there little brother, am I interrupting you?”

“Pauline? What the hell?”

“Not the welcome I expected when I am in New York only for the weekend, but okay.”

I chuckle. “Just wait there, okay? I was just about to leave.”

“Oh, so I am actually interrupting you.”

“Oh no, you just made things better. We are going to the bar with Ansel and Olivia. Just give me a second and I will be there with you.”

I hang up with a bright smile on my face. I reach out for my phone on the bed and stuck in my pocket before grabbing my keys and making my way out. Suddenly this night seems much more interesting.

 

******

 

The brick walls and the dim light give a dark tone to the place, the music is loud, some old school rock is playing and the bar is crowded, the bartenders working frantically. We are sitting in a table on the far corner, the four of us drinking and eating some chicken wings and french fries, deliciously covered in bacon, cheddar and garlic.

Ansel has been going on and on about my infatuation for Mr. Hammer for nearly ten minutes now and even though Olivia has tried to stop him, he is so eager to tell Pauline everything he doesn´t even listen to her.

The look on my sister´s face as she hears him talk is of utter amusement, and I don´t even know if it´s because she is truly into the whole story and the way Ansel is telling it, or if she is just plotting how to use that against me next time we are alone. There´s a big chance of being both things.

“I cannot believe you never thought of telling me you had a crush on your ballet teacher,” Pauline says as she turns to look at me.

I stuff a few fries on my mouth, shrugging my shoulders as Ansel leans on the table. “Paulie, he doesn´t have a crush on the guy, he is madly in love with him.”

“You should really stop drinking, Ansel.”

He rolls his eyes, biting on a chicken wing as he does so. “Tell her the truth, man.”

“Fine, yeah, I am in love with him.”

“And why didn´t you tell me?”

I shrug my shoulders, leaning back on the chair as Pauline turns on her side, her eyes stuck on mine. “I didn´t tell anyone, okay? I only talked to Ansel about this a week ago and it still feels weird to even mention it.”

“And why is that?”

“I don´t know, maybe because it´s silly and a fucking cliche. Gay boy goes to ballet classes, gay boy gets the hots for the older teacher, older teacher doesn´t feel the same, gay boy has his heart broken when he sees said teacher with a hot wife.” I roll my eyes and take one last sip of my Coke, the three of them staring at me. “What?”

“Judging by what Ansel has said, Mr. Hammer actually seems to care a lot about you,” says Olivia, a small smile on her red lips.

“Care? Yeah, he is very nice with me and wants to help me get better, but that doesn´t really mean anything.”

“And because he doesn´t share the same feelings you decided to keep this whole thing from your big sister? The one person you tell everything?”

I groan, shaking my head at them and get up, pointing to the bar over my shoulder. “I have a feeling I´m gonna need something stronger to go on with this conversation. Do you guys want anything?”

“Beer for us,” says Ansel gesturing between him and Olivia.

“A Gin and Tonic for me.”

“Okay, I´ll be right back,” I say as I turn around. “Please, keep your mouth shut, Ansel.”

I walk over to the bar, squeezing myself in between all the people gathered around until I can finally find a less crowded spot. I lean against the counter, a sweet smile on my lips as the cute and young bartender walks over to me, stuffing the cloth he had in his hands on the waistline of his jeans.

“What can I get you?”

“Two beers, one Gin and Tonic and a Mojito, please.”

“Okay, coming right up.”

I nod and stretch out my legs before I turn around to look at the people. All tables are filled and so are the seats by the bar, there are a couple of tables on the sidewalk and some people standing close to the door, drinks in hand while they laugh, talk and make out. I sway my body from side to side, elbows leaned on the counter until I kind of lose my balance and hit on the guy standing next to me.

“I´m sorry, I….” I look to my side and feel my eyes go wide as I stare at those deep blue eyes. I feel a lump on my throat and have trouble breathing, my face flushing a bright red at the realization that he is actually there, standing right in front of me.

“Hi, Timothée.”

“Hi, Mr. Hammer.” I don´t even know how I manage to say anything as I keep staring at him. Mr. Hammer is wearing tight black skinny jeans, denim shirt buttoned up, sleeves rolled up to the elbows and black Adidas sneakers. His hair is a bit messy, but not the kind of messy of someone who just woke up, it´s more like a carefully done messy hair, golden locks taking a bit darker tone in the dark bar.

“I see you decided to take your weekend to relax a little bit,” he said a little loud, trying to be heard above the music.

“Ansel really wanted to come here and I thought it wouldn´t do any harm.”

He nodded. “I think you deserve it, you worked hard the past week and just because you are following a more strict routine doesn´t mean you can´t have fun.”

I give him a small smile and I try to say something when his name is called. We both turn back to the bar, the cute bartender holding out two beers for him. “Thanks, Nick.”

The guy nods and points over to me. “Yours is next.”

I can only nod my head as I try to figure out in my mind how does he know the name of the bartender. Does he know him well? Does that mean he comes here often? Am I suddenly a little jealous of the way they smiled at each other?

“I have some friends waiting for me, but it was nice to see you, Timothée.”

“Right back at ya.”

He chuckles. “See you on Monday.”

“Yeah...Monday.”

I curse at myself as I notice just how stupid I sound. Will I ever be able to talk to him properly? Will I ever not sound like a goddamn adolescent talking to his first crush? I used to be really good at flirting before he came along, have no idea where that skill has gone to.

I feel a hand on my shoulder and turn around, getting face to face with the cute bartender -or Nick- as he slides the four drinks over to me. It takes me a while to balance it all in my hands but when I finally have a good grip on it, I make my way back to our table. Ansel and Olivia are laughing at something Pauline was saying, but they all turn to me once I place the drinks down.

“It took you awhile,” says Ansel, his eyebrows furrowed and his eyes stuck on me. I feel like he can read every single thing that´s going through my head and as I slid into my chair, I see him lean closer. “What happened?”

The girls mirror his movement, now the three of them leaned closer to me, waiting for me to say something. “Mr. Hammer is here, I bumped into him on the bar.”

“What?!”

“Oh my God, show me, I wanna see him.” Pauline is practically jumping on the chair as she grabs my arm and looks around. “Where is him, Timmy, show me.”

“I´ll show you a picture later.”

“I don´t want a picture, I wanna see him now. C´mon, show me where he is.”

I sigh and look around the place, spotting Mr. Hammer on the other side of the room, leaned against a glass window as he drinks some beer and talks to some friends. He has a bright smile on his face and only now I can fully process the fact there´s a little stubble growing. I have never stopped to think just how gorgeous he must look with a beard.

“Tall, blond guy on the other side of the room, he is wearing a denim shirt.”

Pauline almost gets up to get a good view and I sink to my chair, feeling more embarrassed than ever. “Damn it bro, you got excellent taste in man. He must look amazing wearing those tights...dear Lord, look at the size of that man, he is huge.”

I feel myself blush again and shake my head as I try to keep Pauline from embarrassing me. “Can you please just sit down, I don´t want him to see us gawking at him.”

“Oh, don´t worry, a man like him is definitely used to people gawking at him.”

“For the love of God, Pauline, can you stop?” I push her down and she laughs along with Ansel and Olivia, while my faces seems to turn more and more red by the minute.

 

******

 

We left the bar around 2:30am, the four of us a little tipsy, laughing and talking way too loud around the street. We all walked Pauline over to her hotel and then walked back to our neighborhood, me being left alone after Ansel and Olivia arrived at Ansel´s home. When I finally make inside my apartment is shortly after 3am and I am nearly sober, the walk and fresh air working their magic on me.

I kick off my boots and socks, take a tall glass of water and move to the bed, throwing myself on it and burying my face on the pillows. I remember the look on my face when I realized Mr. Hammer was standing right beside me on the bar, then proceed to remember exactly how he was dressed, the fact I loved to see him wearing a denim shirt, looking comfy, simple and yet so stylish. I lick my lips as I replay in my head the image of him walking away from me, his black skinny jeans hugging his legs and ass, making it look even better than it did on his tights, which I didn´t even know to be possible.

My cock is already hard at the thought and in my semi-intoxicated mood, I don´t even think twice before kicking my jeans and boxers to my ankles, my finger slowly tracing the whole length of my cock, making my stomach swirl with excitement. I reach for my phone and unlock it, I search through my apps and quickly enough Mr. Hammer´s Instagram account is all over the screen. He has added new photos from tonight and I attentively look through all of them while I slowly start to hump the mattress, biting on my lip as I do so.

The first photo is one of him smiling at his friend, a bright and wide smile and the stubble on his neck pretty visible. The second one features him looking out through the window, his silhouette outlined with the contrast from the bright light from outside and the darkness of the bar. The third one is of the table, dozens of beers spread around, fries, chicken wings and tacos, some still untouched, some half eaten. The fourth photo is the one that makes my cock twitch and the thrusting of my hips intensify, he is on the street, some of his friends walking ahead of him while he looks to his side. He is serious, his stubble apparent once again and you can see just how fitting his clothes are, you can perfectly outline his muscles, his toned thighs and his beautiful ass.

I stop by this photo, lean the phone against the bedpost and move my hand down to my cock, wrapping it around the base and giving slow strokes. I arch my back, my ass high in the air and my moans starting to increase its volume. I want to run my hands through his body, unbutton every single of the buttons on his denim shirt, run my fingers down his chest, scratching him and leaving marks. I want to pull his pants off -slowly and sensually-, watching as he looks down at me with lustful eyes. I want to wrap my hand around his cock, which I imagine to be fat and long and lick the head, taste his precum like it was the most heavenly drink in the world.

I curse, my eyes roll back and my whole body shudders as I get close to an orgasm. I let go of my cock, my hands grabbing fistfuls of the sheets as I hump the bed once again, my precum smearing all over the sheets, making a mess. My cock is throbbing, the head is turning purple and I keep edging myself until I can´t take it anymore. I look at his picture once again, feel my toes curl up and arch my back once again, my finger furtively makes his way down my back and to my ass, playing with myself until a loud, guttural moan escapes me.

It´s his name I shout in the quiet night before my cum coats the sheets, my stomach and even the pillow.





Chapter Text

I open my eyes to see rays of sun shining through the curtains, I look around the room and see the mess of clothes I left last night on the floor, along with my pants and boxers. A quick look at the clock by the nightstand tells me it´s nearly 10am and I yawn, scratching my head before I sit down on the bed and take a look at myself. I´m feeling sticky and weird, my head is pounding a little bit and I groan once I remember I never made it to the shower last night, so I got dry cum all over my chest and stomach. What a nice way to wake up on a Sunday.

I get up and pull the sheets and pillowcases out, throwing in the laundry basket before I make my way to the bathroom. I take a long and much needed shower, making sure every single trace of last night´s shenanigans are washed out. There´s a soft knock on the door the moment I step out of the bathroom and I arch an eyebrow, slightly confused at who could possibly be here so early on a Sunday. I put on some shorts and open the door, a smile coming to my lips as I see Pauline standing there with a Starbucks paper bag in one hand and two cups on the other.

“Good morning, little brother.”

“Oh, please tell me this is coffee.”

Pauline chuckles and walks in, placing a soft kiss on my cheek before making her way over to the kitchen. She places everything down on the counter and I walk over to her, taking a seat in one of the stools as I watch her pull two sandwiches out of the bag and slid a cup to me. "Chicken & Double-Smoked Bacon sandwich and Iced Skinny Mocha. After last night, I figured you´d enjoy some nice food for breakfast, help ease any possible hangovers."

"You are a true angel," I say with my mouth full of sandwich. She shrugs and I slurp on my Iced Mocha, feeling like my body has come to life after ingesting some food. It´s like I'm a completely new person.

“Did you make it home alright?”

I nod my head, leaning on the counter as she sits down across from me. "I was a bit more sober by the time I made it home, I think the fresh air and the walk home helped a lot. Just gotta make sure I don´t drink today, I have classes tomorrow morning and I can´t be late."

“Gotta make Mr. Hammer proud, huh?”

I roll my eyes. “I think you spent too much time with Ansel last night, Paulie.”

“Why didn't you tell me about him, Timmy?”

“Because I truly didn't want anyone to know about this. I expected it all to be a huge crush that would disappear and I wouldn´t have to deal with it for long. Turns out he is all I can think about, day and night.”

“So, you really are in love with him?”

"Madly. Classes have become a daily struggle, I have to focus on what he is saying instead of looking at him and fantasizing. The past few months have not been easy , I lost focus, I tried going out with other guys to maybe try and forget him, but it doesn´t seem like this will go away any time soon."

Pauline smiles and reaches out for my hand, squeezing it slightly. “I know it's not an easy situation, but I think you´ll be fine in the end.”

“As long as he doesn´t find out, I'm good.”

Paulie shrugs and takes one last bite of her sandwich. “So, what are your plans for today? My plane leaves at 10pm and I thought we could do something together in the meantime.”

“Are you up for Brooklyn? I heard there's a new exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum and everyone seems to love it. Maybe we could go check it out and stay there for the rest of the day, I'm sure we can find some nice stuff to do.”

“That sounds amazing,” she says as she gets up and grabs the remains of our breakfast and the empty packages, tossing into the trash. She washes her hands and then turns to me, hands on her hips and an eyebrow arched. “C´mon, Timothée, I haven´t got all day.”

I jump up and salute her, a very serious look on my face as she rolls her eyes. “Yes sir!” I run over to the closet, grabbing the first thing I can find and then run over to the bathroom to change.

 

*******

 

The afternoon with Pauline is exactly as I had expected, fun and without worries, just the two of us walking around, laughing and talking about the most diverse range of subjects. She tells me everything about her job and how happy she is with her new apartment in Paris. I tell her about Juilliard´s Winter Program and all the opportunities I can get if I land a place there. We eat cookies in a little bakery, the wooden walls, flowers, vintage decorations and the cozy atmosphere bring Pauline so much joy she almost doesn´t want to leave.

It's almost 4pm when we make it to Prospect Park, the cool breeze that comes from the thousands of trees on the park makes the heat a bit more bearable. We walk side by side, our arms linked together and her head resting on my shoulder.

She lets out a content sigh as we find a bench to sit down. There are family surrounding us, some just laying around, others having picnic. There are people playing the guitar on the distance and others riding their bikes along the river. Pauline pulls me down and I lay on the bench, my head resting on her lap and she run her fingers through my hair, doing exactly like mom does.

“I miss New York so much,” she says almost in a whisper. “The atmosphere here, I don't think I will ever find it anywhere in the world.”

“You should come visit more often then. Everytime you are here we can barely see each other, two days is not enough.”

“I know it isn´t, but I got my job and I can´t stay away for long. I promise next time I have a few days off I will come for a longer period.” I nod my head and she smiles down at me. “In the meantime, you could find some time to go over there and visit me. Mom and dad are spending a few days with me next month, maybe you could go with them?”

“Not sure I can make it, there's work and the extra classes. Maybe at the end of the year, I could spend New Year´s Eve with you.”

“Oh, that´s interesting.”

“And we could talk to Ansel and Olivia, maybe they will join us.”

She is beaming, a wide smile on her face. “Oh that would be amazing, Timmy, please promise me you will make this happen.”

I chuckle. “I will try my best.”

“There are so many people I want you to meet and so many new places you don't know...or places you do know but that changed so much since you last been there.”

I sit down, poking her side as I do so and hearing her loud laugh echo around. “It's settled then, I will do everything I can to spend New Year´s Eve with you in Paris. Maybe I´ll find myself a cute French guy.”

She smirks, playfully punching me. “Oh, so you are just using me to get a nice piece of ass?”

“Why can´t I have fun with my sister and get laid? It seems like it would only make the trip better.”

“What about…”

I hold my hand up, shake my head at and she stops talking immediately. “We promised not to talk about him. Tomorrow I´ll go back to my daily routine of daydreaming, today we focus on us and only us.”

Pauline chuckles but nods her head anyway. “Fine, we don't talk about tall and blond teachers today. Although I feel like talking about him could make this afternoon even more interesting.”

“Oh, stop it.”

She bumps her shoulder on mine. “I'm in shipping mode already, Timmy, you can´t stop me.”

I roll my eyes and get up, pulling her with me as she laughs. “C´mon, there's a concert going on here somewhere and I wanna see it before we have to leave.”

“You´re just trying to change the subject.”

“Yes, yes I am.”

“You are no fun,” she says as she follows me. She jumps on my back and I stumble, both of us laughing as we almost hit the ground. I push some of my hair back and grab onto her legs, keeping her steady as I walk down the park in search of the tent where the concert will be held.

 

******

 

It´s not even 7:30 a.m. when I make my way out of my building. A hot breath consumes me and I frown my eyebrows. The heat wave that has taken over New York seems to get worse every day and even a simple task like walking seems unbearable. I make a quick stop at Starbucks and order a Iced Tea before walking the rest of the three blocks over to Mr. Hammer´s studio, sipping on it from time to time to make sure I keep myself hydrated and to prevent myself from sweating too much.

When I make into the building I can hear low music coming from upstairs, which means Mr. Hammer is already here, probably warming up, being his usual sexy self in his tights and tank top. I bite my lip as I remember the way he looked on Saturday night, the laid back and yet stylish look he was wearing. That night -even if for only a brief moment- I got an even better look on the true Mr. Hammer...or better yet, Armie.

The moment I make it to the studio I see Mr. Hammer sitting on the ground, knees bent while he ties his pointe shoes. His is in all grey this morning, his golden hair slicked back unless for a few rebellious locks that fall down his forehead, the stubble he had on Saturday is long gone and he is too focused on his task to even notice I am already there.

“Good morning, Timothée.”

His voice startles me and the realization he noticed I was there makes me blush a deep red. I look down at my feet, tucking a few curls behind my ear and make my way inside, tossing my bag to the corner. "Good morning, Mr. Hammer."

"I´m honestly considering giving you a key, you are making quite a habit of being here early, so might as well make yourself at home."

I scratch my neck, feeling my entire body burn in embarrassment. "I´m sorry," is all I manage to say and he chuckles, looking at me with a smile as he gets up.

"Don´t be sorry, I like this newfound enthusiasm in you. I can easily see that you are changing your habits, focusing more, making sure you reach your goal. I appreciate good students and you have always been a good one, even better now."

“T-thanks,” I actually stutter as I answer him and all I can think about is how I wish I had a hole near me right now, because I would totally bury myself in it. Could I be any more stupid?

It takes me a while to actually meet his eyes, but when I do he has a small grin on his face and for the first time ever I actually think he knows. He would have to be an idiot not to notice, right?

“So, did you have fun on Saturday? Hope all those drinks didn't get the best of you.”

“I had enough drinks to remind myself not to have too many drinks, but it's all okay now. And yeah, I actually had some fun...a lot, actually.”

"I´m glad to hear that. I know from my own experience that sometimes we get too caught up on practice and trying to be perfect that we forget that it´s okay to go out with our friends and have fun. I know I gave you a hard time a while back and I don´t regret it, because I knew that´s what you needed it, but I don´t want you to feel like it´s not okay to have fun. If you want to go out, then go out, just remember to be cautious."

His words warm my heart and I can´t help but smile. I had been thinking way too much about how to turn my life around, how to be a better dancer and I would be lying if I said that the idea of cutting out alcohol and going out with the guys for good didn´t cross my mind. But hearing him tell me that it´s okay to have fun while still being responsible and focused makes me feel better, makes me feel more at peace with my decision to go out on Saturday night. And the fact he is sharing his own experience, makes me feel even closer to him.

“Thanks, Mr. Hammer. I will keep that in mind.”

"Great. I want you to start warming up now and when the guys get here we´re gonna start working on high leg extensions, so time to show me if everything I said Friday night stuck with you."

His teasing tone is back and instead of shying away from it, I put on a smirk on my face while nodding my head. "I remember everything."



******



There´s absolutely no music as we move around the studio, the only sounds are Mr. Hammer´s voice and the clapping of his hands that sets the rhythm. The whole situation is stressful and intimidating, his blue eyes are intense and pierce through us each time we change positions. He had set up a pattern, each time he clapped his hand we had to move, arms and legs on the previously asked positions, chest always projected forward, eyes focused and above all do everything with grace and precision.

An Arabesque turns into an Attitude, then a Croisé and a Plie, then back to the beginning. Arms go from Preparatory position to a first position, then third to second, fourth to third, back to second and then fifth before ending back in Preparatory. I am tired, my muscles begging for rest, but Mr. Hammer keeps on going, clapping and walking along the studio, not missing one bit.

“Stretch out your right arm, Ansel.”

Ansel does as told and looks at me from the corner of his eyes. When Mr. Hammer turns around, he looks at me and mouths what the hell is wrong with him? to which I can only shrug. It had been a while since he expected such an intense performance from us and although he seemed quite relaxed when I got here, it seemed like his mood had changed completely.

“Timothée and Ansel, eyes ahead of you, it's not the time for conversation.”

I bite on my lip and turn back to the mirror, looking at myself and from the corner of my eyes seeing Mr. Hammer. He claps again and again, going on with the class for almost half an hour until he finally tells us to go back to first position and then rest. We are all sweaty and gasping for air, the excessive heat making us even more tired than the usual. Mr. Hammer moves to the front of the room, blue eyes traveling through each one of us before he puts on a small smile, that I am sure catches everyone by surprise.

"I know it was an intense class and doing it without music makes it seem a bit harder. The thing is, I told you guys classes would get more intense, we´re not just practicing anymore, we´re focused on the auditions, we are focused on getting most of you inside Juilliard.That being said, I want to make sure you guys know that I am proud of you. Not many people can endure such an intense class on such a hot day, but you guys did it and you should be very happy with that."

I can see the looks of confusion in some of the guys, furtive looks from one to other, trying to figure out if that was actually happening. Mr. Hammer wasn´t exactly the kind of guy to praise us, so we were not really used to such a thing, but we knew that whenever he did was because he truly meant it.

"Technically we still have twenty minutes of class left, but because of this terrible heat, I´ll let you guys go a bit earlier today."

There´s a little cheering and I chuckle, walking over to my bag as Ansel follows me. "I think the heat is messing up with him today, he just went from psycho teacher to proud and understanding in a second. You should be careful with that guy, God knows what he is gonna do while you two are all alone."

"Stop being so dramatic. You make it sound like he is gonna try to murder me, Ansel."

"We don´t know much about the guy, Tim, he could be a psychopath."

“You know what, I think the heat is messing up with you.”

He rolls his eyes and is about to speak when Mr. Hammer comes closer to us, his voice startling us and making both of us turn around. “Can I talk to you for a second?” He says looking at me and I nod my head, looking over at Ansel for a second.

“You take your time, Olivia is already waiting for me, so I gotta go now.”

I nod. “Okay, see you tomorrow.”

“See ya.”

I turn back to Mr. Hammer, who waits until everyone is out of the class to look back at me. “How is your schedule for tonight?”

I blink a couple of times, his question catching me by surprise. I have to replay it in my head over and over again to make sure I am not dreaming. Where is this going? Why is he asking me this?

“What?”

“My sister is in town and she wanted us to go out for dinner tonight in this restaurant she loves, but she could only get a table for 9pm. I was wondering if it's okay for you to be here at 6:30pm instead of 7:30pm.”

He wants to reschedule our class. Reschedule, that´s all. I should´ve known better than to get my expectation high. "Oh, that´s totally fine. I leave the bookstore at 5pm, so it won´t be problem."

“Are you sure?”

I nod, a small smile on my lips. “Yes, yes I'm sure.”

“Thank you, Timothée and I'm sorry, it won't happen again.”

“It's really not a problem, Mr. Hammer, I can totally understand it.”

His hand rests on my shoulder, squeezing it slightly and I can feel my knees buckle. He has never touched me outside classes, well only when he did the massage on Friday, but I was having cramps, so that´s understandable. His hand seems to linger there for a while, his eyes on me and a small smile on his lips. God he is beautiful and I am so close to kissing him it´s not even funny.

“Well, thank you.”

I nod once again and fix the strap of my bag on my shoulder before turning around to leave. I don't look back at him, I keep my eyes to the ground and my hands tightly wrapped around the strap of my bag, almost as if I'm clinging on it for support, as if my life depended on this. I was not ready for any of that.

Chapter Text

"This heat is starting to annoy me, I am praying for some rain soon otherwise I don't think I can take it."

I am leaned against the barre as I watch Mr. Hammer turn on the air conditioner and set up a bearable temperature. My eyes wander through his entire body, his broad shoulder and muscular legs, his toned arms and his beautiful hair. He is wearing shorter tights today, the kind that only go into your knees and I don´t think I have ever seen him like this before. I wonder how he would look in shorts, tight and short shorts that blend into his skin and make his gorgeous ass stand out.

"I know the heat seems even worse than it was this morning, but we gotta work through it, okay?" I give him a quick nod and walk over to the middle of the room, doing some last minute stretching out my arms. "Because of the heat I had the idea of us working on some breathing exercises today, okay?"

I furrow my eyebrows and open my mouth to speak, but then change my mind. I don´t want to contest him or make him feel like I don't appreciate his ideas. Clearly he notices the look on my face, because he crosses his arms and arches an eyebrow, his stare telling me he wants me to say something.

“What?”

“Nothing.”

"Timothée, you can talk to me, okay? If you have something to say, then say it."

"I- I have been doing ballet since I was twelve, I think I know enough about breathing exercises."

"I know that you know enough about breathing exercises, Timothée, you´ve been in my class for a year and half and I know everything you know and what you don´t know. When I offered you these classes was to enhance your talent, guarantee that you´ll be the best version of yourself on the audition at the end of the year and that means going through the stuff you already know. You have been practicing high leg extensions your entire life and yet we had an entire hour of that last Friday, because although you are good in it, you can always be better."

“I'm sorry.”

"Sorry for what? For saying what you think? I´ve told you already, these classes are for your own benefit and you have to talk, you have to ask and contest me when you feel it´s right. You have the right to tell me when it´s too much or when you think you can be pushed harder, I´m not gonna judge you, I´m here to help you."

“Okay, I´ll keep that in mind.”

"Okay. I want you to stand here, chest forward and arms to your side. Keep your legs parallel and try to relax your shoulders." I do as told, my eyes stuck on my reflection on the mirror and it almost seems like everything goes into slow motion when he lifts his hands and rests them on my body. His left hand is on my back and his right on my stomach. "Breath in and out, please."

I take a long breath in and then let it all out.

"Look at my hands, your middle is moving but not enough. Your diaphragm is not getting enough oxygen, so you have to work on that." He moves behind me and his hands slid over my ribs. "Do it again, but this time try to use your diaphragm properly. You will feel your ribs expand and diaphragm and lungs will fill in the right way."

I repeat the same thing I did before, but this time feeling my diaphragm fill in.

“How does that feel?”

“Better.”

“See, I know a thing or two,” he jokes and I can only smile. "Okay, next step is exhaling completely. I´m gonna use Steven as an example here. His performance on Friday was quite impressive, but there were moments were you could see he was a bit stilted and that is mainly because instead of exhaling completely, he did only partially. You need to get into a habit of completing your deep breaths cycles, because that can be a true lifesaver, specially during jumps and the longer variations. I want you to do two Grande Jeté, the first you´ll do it exhaling partially, the second completely. You´ll notice the difference."

I do as told, on the first time my body hits the ground seemingly more heavy. The second time, doing it while I exhale completely, I can feel my body become lighter and it seems like the whole movement looks more graceful.

“Did you notice how better it looked when you breath properly?”

I nod. “It looks like the movements get cleaner, like it flows better.”

“That´s exactly it.” He moves to the front of the class and puts on some music, Bach´s Third Orchestral Suite. “I want you to do a series of Grande Jete and Pirouettes, breath through your diaphragm and exhale completely."

I nod and elongate my arms and legs before starting out. Mr. Hammer is leaned against the mirror, his eyes stuck on me as I move around the studio. I try to keep everything he just said in mind and breath properly, being careful to exhale fully and guarantee my movements are graceful and precise.

 

******

 

Because of the excessive heat Mr. Hammer had planned a class that was more about adjusting little issues than actually running around or doing high jumps and elaborated movements. That was great, we were able to discuss some important points in positions and arms movements, but that also meant a lot of touching, which I honestly don't know how I am handling it.

First it was during the breathing exercises, his hands on my back and chest; then he moved to my ribs, his body almost pressed to my back; if that wasn't enough, when working on my arms, he stood right in front of me, mere inches separating our bodies. I could actually feel his hot breathing on my face and that nearly gave me a hard on.

As of right now he is again standing behind me, hands resting on my hips and eyes locked on me through the mirror reflection. We are about to start on turn out exercises and the closeness of his body and the way his voice -which right now is soft and low- fills my ears sends shivers down my spine. I bite hard on my lip as he speaks, trying to keep a good level of concentration or else my mind is gonna run to the most dangerous places possible and I will end in an abyss of dirty thoughts and fantasies.

"You know turnout is one of the most difficult things to master in ballet, right?" I nod, no words will leave my mouth right now, at least not without proper stuttering. "Turnout is unnatural to the human body, that´s why you need constant care and repetition. I´ve noticed sometimes you tend to force your turnout a little bit and that´s the worst thing you could do to your body, if you feel that you are not doing well enough you need to try it more often. Try taking a few minutes of your day to try it out, do a little session every morning, you warm up and get your hips used to the movement."

I take a deep breath, wetting my lips with my tongue as I try to speak eloquently. "I´ve always had problems with turnouts, my first teacher always talked about it."

“The question here is, what did he do about it?”

“N-nothing. I trained just like everyone else, nothing special.”

"And that´s what he did it wrong, if you had a difficulty then he had to work with on that and make sure you knew ways to improve it." I shrug my shoulders and his hands apply some pressure on my hips, before he speaks again. "I´m gonna keep holding onto your hips while you try out the turnout, okay? I want you to go slow, don't overdo anything and if I feel like your muscles and bones are not responding properly, I will stop you."

I slowly turn my feet and legs out from my hip joints until I reach a 90 degree position. I hurts a little, but nothing I can´t endure. Mr. Hammer´s eyes don´t leave me and the pressure of his hands, which I thought would make it harder, actually helps me ground myself and do it without rush.

“How does it feel?”

“Okay. Not great, but not a total shit.”

He chuckles and nods his head, stepping away from me and I nearly reach out to hold his arms, keep him close. I don´t even care if it´s 98 degrees outside, I want him pressed against me. "We are gonna keep working on your turnout for a while, I want you to start doing some tendus and then I´ll help you with a band exercise that helps strengthening your muscles and could come in hand during turnouts."

“That sounds good.”

"But first I wanna share something with you," he says and I can only nod, eager to know what he has to say. "I´m a very tall and large guy, throughout my first years in ballet a lot of people told me I wouldn´t be good in it, my height wouldn´t help and they said I was too bulky for it. I lost weight, I worked hard and suffered a lot to strengthen my body enough to achieve some things, my turnout was one of those things. We´ll never be great at everything, but practice and focus, that can help you achieve everything."

"Thank you," I say practically in a whisper as I turn to him. "I sometimes I get a bit frustrated with the things I can´t get it right at the first try. I think in some way I have always tried a bit too hard to be great in everything."

He just shrugs. "I know how it feels."

“You do?”

"Timothée, I´ve been dancing for years now and I´ve been through every single stage of career you could imagine. I´ve been to the top and to the bottom, I´ve worried about not being good enough, I´ve let myself think I was too good and now I found my middle ground. It wasn´t easy and it won´t be easy for you either, no matter what your struggles are."

I simply stare at him for a couple of seconds, unsure of what to do or say. This is the most he has ever talked about his life with me and I honestly don´t know where to go from here. Do I remain quiet? Do I ask the one thing basically every guy in my class is dying to know but never had the guts to ask? Would he ever answer me?

"Mr. Hammer, can I ask you something?" The words slip out of my mouth before I can even think properly and he nods all too quickly, leaving me embarrassed and scared. I should have just kept my mouth shut. "I-I was...actually, nevermind."

"It´s okay, Timothée, you can say it."

I shake my head, trying to give him a smile. "No, it´s not important."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, I am sure."

"If you say so." He shrugs his shoulders and walks over the stereo, turning up the volume of the song a little bit. "You can start doing the tendu, then we´ll move to the band exercise."

 

********

 

I sit down on the floor to remove my pointe shoes, reach for my bag and stuff them inside, zipping it up as I hear Mr. Hammer walking around the studio. He is turning off the music and closing the windows, making sure everything is checked on and that nothing is left on. I take a quick look over my shoulder at him and smile, he has already put on his loose shirt, the v-neck is a little deep and I can see his chest hair.

As he turns around, I quickly advert my eyes back to my bag and hope he did not catch me. His voice comes right after it, loud and hoarse, so different from the sweet and soft voice he was using while talking to me during training.

“Timothée, I wanna ask you something.”

I get up and nod my head, holding onto the straps of my bag as I walk closer to him. "Something wrong?"

“Again, just because I want to talk to you doesn't something is wrong.”

“Right...what is it then?”

"I know we only had three classes so far, but I was wondering what has been your impression so far. Are you enjoying it? Is there something you´d like to change or suggest?"

Apart from your mouth on mine, no nothing .

Oh great, that voice again. "No, I think everything is great. I´ve been a bit tired and my body is still not used to the extra training, but I´m also feeling stronger and more disciplined. I can only thank you for giving me this opportunity, Mr. Hammer, it means a lot to me."

“As I´ve said before, Timothée, you are extremely talented and I want to make sure you use that talent the right way.”

"You think I´m talented enough that it´s okay for you to waste your free time with me?"

He arched an eyebrow and took a step closer, but remained silent. It was like he was trying to read me, to understand exactly what I was thinking or worse, he was trying to figure out what I thought of myself. "I don´t see this as wasting my time. While helping you, I´m also helping my own body stay in shape. Also, when one of my students achieve something great, I like to think I´ve achieved something great too, so I always encourage them to be their best selves."

That's it, he is talking about achievements and before I can think of changing my mind again I blurt out the words. "You are still young, you went to Juilliard and graduated as one of the best, why you're not in some big ass company?"

He remains quiet and looks me dead in the eye. Suddenly, I feel like I should have just kept my mouth shut, he clearly doesn't want to talk about it and to be honest, it's not really my business. I knew I shouldn't think much of his openness towards me. He is still Mr. Hammer, the teacher, and I am Timothée, the student.

“I'm sorry, I shouldn't have asked. This is not my business.”

He shrugged. "I did get an opportunity to be in Bolshoi, but something happened and I had to say no to it"

"What could have possibly happen for you to say no to Bolshoi?" I realize after I said it that once again I have crossed the line. Apparently this heat is making me have some trouble keeping my fucking mouth shut. "Again, I am sorry, I tend to be a bit...idiotic sometimes"

"You are not being idiotic, you are being curious. I'm sure every single one of my students asks themselves this question when they see my little Juilliard diploma."

I shrug. "Yes, we do"

“As I told you before, Timothée, we all have our struggles and have to work through them. Sometimes life is full of surprises and things happen, things that can affect your dreams.”

"So this is not the life you wanted for yourself?" I got my eyes locked on him and I can feel a little bit of pain on my chest. I would hate to know this is just him getting by and that he had other dreams, dreams he couldn't accomplish and had to settle for being a teacher.

"This wasn't the life I had planned for me, but it doesn't mean I don't love it. I might be happier now than I would be if I had followed what I thought was the right path. Success and being known isn´t relative to happiness."

I smile at him as I nod my head, I didn't know it was possible, but I like him even more now.

“I should go,” I whisper and he nods his head. “Have fun on your dinner, Mr. Hammer.”

I swing my bag over my shoulder and turn around, slowly making my way over to the door as he shouts my name. I look over my shoulder, arching an eyebrow as he stares at me. “Yeah?”

“You can call me Armie.”

Chapter Text

It´s funny how fast time goes by when you are living your life to the fullest. The two weeks that followed that excessively hot Monday, where Mr. Hammer told me it was okay to call him by his first name, were some of the most eventful weeks of my life. My parents -who had been on a cruise across the Atlantic- came back home and made sure to visit me almost every day just to make sure we caught up on the lost time. Ansel and Olivia had finally decided to move in together and I, of course, had to help with all the packing. Classes with Mr....classes with Armie had become even more intense, he pushed me as much as he knew I was able to handle and it was amazing to see the little differences in my posture, movements and breathing come to life.

The bookstore had held a little autograph session with this new author, he is getting a lot of praise by New Yorker journalists. His book is about two young men, a british and an american, who fell in love while visiting Morocco; the book was sweet, sexy and extremely well written. Armie showed up at the book signing with the bartender from SoHo Room, Nick if I am not mistaken, and I gotta say I had a hard time seeing them together throughout the whole night. Not that they seemed like a couple or anything, I´m pretty sure I saw the Nick guy hand a girl his phone number, but seeing him being so casual and open with someone made me jealous. I wanted him to be that open with me, only me.

I took Armie´s advice and decided to balance my new routine, trying my best to have some fun but also focusing on what needed to be done to enhance my technique. I figured out that by doing it so, I felt more relaxed and therefore everything in my life seemed to be easier. The heat was still going strong, but the meteorologists said there was raining coming anytime soon and it wouldn´t be pretty. I am not the biggest fan of rainy days, but I had to admit that I was looking forward to it.

Careful what you wish for, Timothée, careful what you wish for.

It was nearly 7 p.m. when I walked out of my building and felt the first few drops fall down on my face, I thought it would be just a little drizzle so I did not make it back to my apartment to grab an umbrella. Of course that came to bite me in the ass, because not even four blocks later, here I am drenched and shivering from the coldness of the rain drops.

My white t-shirt is now completely see-through, my hair is all over my face and the wind is so strong that seems like it´s about to take me with it. I hold tight onto the straps of my bag, keep my head down and walk as fast as I can, but some streets are flooding and I have to take different routes. What it was supposed to be a fifteen minute walk quickly turns into almost forty minutes and I curse at myself.

I am late and Armie will be pissed.

When I finally make it to the studio the rain is already calming down, but there are a few lightnings and thunders. The building is well lighted, the front door was open but there is no sign of music and I wonder why. Normally Armie would be warming up and he always does it with music, he said it relaxes him and helps him concentrate more.

While going up the stairs I remove my soaked t-shirt, remaining on my tank top and using the shirt to dry my hair. I have my eyes down as I walk through the door, I can see Armie moving but I am too busy trying to look a bit more decent.

"I´m sorry I am late, but I was not expecting all this rain."

“Don't worry, I just got here myself.”

"Well, if you were late too then I am not feeling so bad," I say as I look up, my eyes going wide at the sight in front of me. Armie is shirtless, his bare chest glistening with what I can only assume to be rain drops, his pants are drenched which make them cling even more onto his body and his hair is dripping. I had seen him sweaty, I had seen him in a tight tank top, but this was a completely new thing for me and I was loving every second of it.

He is not even paying attention to me so I can fully stare at him. He walks around the room with a nonchalant vibe, his hips swaying in that way I love as he moves to the bathroom. When he comes back Armie has two towels on his hand, he tosses me one and uses the other to dry off his hair and then his torso. I wish he would let me run that towel down his body, dry off every inch of his wet skin.

I dry myself off and put on my shoes, starting out my warming up as Armie kneels down to the ground and looks through his bag. I hear him curse a couple of times, run his fingers through his hair and then sigh in frustration. I bite my lip as I debate to myself whether to ask him what's wrong or keep myself quiet.

“Something wrong?” My voice is low and a bit insecure, I´m not sure he wants to talk right now.

“I thought I had packed another shirt, but it seems I didn't.”

He doesn´t have a shirt. Okay, he doesn´t have a shirt, that´s not a big deal at all. I can totally handle seeing him shirtless for two hours straight. I can do this, I can totally do this.

No, you can´t. Stop lying to yourself.

I shake my head, trying to push that annoying voice to the back of my head and  watch as Armie gets up, hands on his hips as he looks around the room. He seems a bit tense today and I am not sure if it´s because he got stressed over the rain or if he is worried about class. As much as I like to think I know him, there are still so much to pick up on.

"Okay, no shirt and the air conditioner is not working out very well, but we´ll have to make it through. Let´s start warming up, we´ll do some stretching, tendu exercises and Grande Ecart. Today we´ll work on a Pas de Deux ."

“W-what?”

“A Pas de Deux.”

Told you you wouldn´t be able to control yourself.

Is he fucking kidding me? He actually expects me to dance with him, bodies close, hands touching, lifting up and all that shit when he is shirtless? How the hell am I supposed to go through that without getting a fucking hard on?

“Is everything okay, Timothée?”

I look up at him and nod my head slowly. "Yeah, I just wasn´t expecting to work on Pas de Deux so soon."

"We have to make sure we´re covering every base and Pas de Deux is a very important part of training. It helps you work with a pair, it makes sure you develop some trust on your colleagues and some of the most usual lifts in ballet are only performed during a Pas de Deux ."

“Yeah, you´re right.”

Armie chuckles, giving me a slightly confused -and still quite amused- look before turning the music on. He walks to the center of the studio and starts warming up, getting on pointé, stretching out his legs and arms, working on a turnout and rotating his shoulders. I start doing my own exercises, trying to not to stare too much at him or he could actually catch me through the mirror.

We warm up for about ten minutes before he walks over to his bag and takes out an iPad. He clicks on some things and then comes to join me on the floor, handing me the device and pressing play on a video.

"This is the routine we´re gonna do today. I want you to watch the video and memorize the steps."

I nod my head, my eyes focused on the video. The two guys move gracefully around the room, the music is powerful and brings so much drama to their performance it leaves you almost breathless as you are watching. Their bodies move in perfect synchrony, when they are doing the same steps it almost seems like they are each other´s shadows and when they are each doing a different move, it still looks great as a whole.

I try to pay close attention to every single step, almost getting in a trance as I replay every movement of the feet and arm. It´s the kind of choreography that requires a lot of touching, the bodies of the dancers are always close to one another, their faces are inches away. There´s a moment one of them slides his fingers through the other one´s hair and I can already feel the shivers down my spine at the thought of Armie doing this to me.

The video ends and I play it once again, eyes catching different nuances, different touches of the hand and placements of the feet. It´s not easy to learn a choreography by only looking at the video, which was probably edited, but I know Armie won´t expect me to do exactly as the video. That would be nearly impossible in such a short time and even if this is the case, I have a feeling he knows the choreography by heart and once he is leading me around the studio, he will know when to help me.

"You think you´re ready," he asks and his voice is sweet and calm. It´s clear to me now that he can easily see when I am not feeling so sure of myself, his voice instantly turns down a notch, it becomes more soothing and even the look in his eyes change.

I nod my head, stop the video and give the iPad back to him. I take a couple of deep breaths, watching as he sets the iPad down next to the speakers and goes through a playlist. The first notes of Hozier´s Take Me To Church starts playing but he stops the song and lets his eyes wander to mine.

"I don´t want you to feel pressured to do this perfectly, okay? We started a little late today, so we´ll do this once and on Wednesday we´ll repeat it. We´ll talk about what you thought it was easy, what it was difficult, what you think you could add to improve the choreography and discuss the whole experience, okay?"

"Yes, that´s okay."

Armie walks over to me and stands on my side. He moves his feet to a third position, his arms raised over his head in a fifth position, his chest is projected forward and he has a quite serious look on his face. I gulp, my mouth suddenly going dry as I move a bit closer to him. I recreate the same position the guy in the video was doing, feet in fourth position, arms in first and facing the opposite side of Armie.

My lover's got humour

She's the giggle at a funeral

Knows everybody's disapproval

I should've worshipped her sooner

The first few notes indicate we have to move apart from one another, feet on demi pointe , arms moving to third position and a quick spin of the body so we can now face one another.

If the Heavens ever did speak

She is the last true mouthpiece

Every Sunday's getting more bleak

A fresh poison each week

We both move to an Attitude, knees bent in 90 degrees as we spin in one foot, Armie to the right and me to the left. He does a Grande Jeté while I run over to him en pointe , he reaches for my hand, pulls me close to his body and I have to give a little spin, make sure my back is facing him. Armie´s right hand slides down my arm to my waist, gripping it tight while his left hand holds onto mine and we do a few quick series of Assembles.

We were born sick

you heard them say it

His right hand leaves my body and I support my weight onto his left while doing a Grande Jete, landing on his left side and standing side by side.

My church offers no absolutes

She tells me "worship in the bedroom"

The only heaven I'll be sent to

Is when I'm alone with you

Hand in hand we get en pointe and walk to our right, free arms stretched out to our sides, head slightly bend back. He spins until he is standing behind me, his large hands find my waist again and he lifts me up. My right leg is stretched out and my left leg is bend at the knee as if to form a 4 while my arms are in second position. Armie does two Pirouettes while in this position before slowly -as dramatic as the song requires- sliding me down to the ground.

I was born sick, but I love it

Command me to be well

Amen. Amen. Amen

And that´s when things start getting a bit too real for me. We turn face to face, bodies almost pressed together and his hands resting on my lower back. The look on his face is still serious and I can only hope I am doing the same. I do a semicircle with my upper body, then return to the previous position and feel one of his hand slid up my back and to my neck. He grips there and my mouth goes dry, my entire body lights up and I nearly forget what I am supposed to do next.

Take me to church

I'll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies

I'll tell you my sins

So you can sharpen your knife

Offer me that deathless death

Good God, let me give you my life

My body goes pliant and for a moment is like he has total control over me. He is the one moving my body down, nearly bringing me to the floor before lifting me up again and setting me up in a series of Pirouettes, arms in fourth position. Armie´s eyes are locked on me and once I finish the last spin, he moves towards me in a series of Assembles.

Take me to church

I'll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies

I'll tell you my sins

So you can sharpen your knife

Offer me that deathless death

Good God, let me give you my life

Is as if we´re playing a cat and mouse game, once he reaches me I have to escape his grip. Armie tries to hold onto my waist and my arms, but I move away from him, stomping away dramatically en pointe . He runs to me and his body slams against mine, every muscle of his chest pressed against my back. I close my eyes for a moment, is hard for me to breath, I am sweating and I have trouble concentrating.

If I'm a pagan of the good times

My lover's the sunlight

To keep the Goddess on my side

She demands a sacrifice

I regain my focus and while sliding to the side remove Armie´s hands from around me. I am supposed to act like I am running away from him, so I stand en pointe and give a few quick and small jumps, which then turn into a Tour en L´air, followed by yet another Grande Jeté. He slides slowly through the room, almost dragging his feet as he gets closer to me. When we are face to face again, his fingers slid into my hair and he grips on it softly but it's enough to make me bite my lip to suppress a moan.

To drain the whole sea get something shiny

Something meaty for the main course

That's a fine looking high horse

What you got in the stable?

I'm suppose to fall onto his chest and I do so with total confidence that he will indeed catch me. My hands hold onto his broad shoulders and my face rests on his chest as I take in his scent like I always wanted to do. Armie takes a few steps back, literally dragging me back to the middle of the studio. I pull away from his grip yet once more, but only so he can hold onto my waist and support me. We spin around, me on my own axis while Armie does several spins around me.

We've a lot of starving faithful

That looks tasty

That looks plenty

This is hungry work

The drama kicks in again and I try to escape his grip, but he keeps me close, one hand on my waist and the other intertwined with mine. We do a Tour en L´air in that position and then an Arabesque before he lifts me up again.

Take me to church

I'll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies

I'll tell you my sins

So you can sharpen your knife

Offer me that deathless death

Good God, let me give you my life

The difference this time is that my back is not facing him, so when he slides me down, my hands resting on his shoulders, we become face to face. My chest is heaving, the sweat that pours from my forehead is too much to be ignored and the shiver, oh God, the shivers are like fucking sparks going through my entire body.

Take me to church

I'll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies

I'll tell you my sins

So you can sharpen your knife

Offer me that deathless death

Good God, let me give you my life

I know I should move, prepare myself to the next position but I can no longer pretend I am not affected by this whole thing. I lock eyes with Armie, pull my body closer to his and before I -or he- can rationalize any of this, I lean in and let our lips touch.

No masters or kings when the ritual begins

There is no sweeter innocence

Than our gentle sin

In the madness and soil of that sad earthly scene

Only then I am human, only then I am clean

His lips are just as soft as I had imagined, his taste is just as sweet as I had predicted. I move my lips slowly, savouring each second, memorizing every single detail of this moment. My hands slid up to the back of his neck, I can feel his hair on the tip of my fingers and I grip on them as I intensify the kiss, letting my tongue run across his lips until he opens up for me and gives me free access.

Amen.

Amen.

Amen.

His hands are on my waist and his tongue is in my mouth, the whole situation seems surreal but also extremely arousing. I don't know how long we´re tangled together, I don't know for how long he allowed me to live out my fantasies before he steps back, my name leaving his lips almost like in a prayer.

“Timothée…”

That's when realization takes me over and I notice the mistake I have made. I stare at him wide eyed, my lips quivering as I struggle to find words to say, but then I realize there's absolutely nothing I can do to fix this situation or make it less awkward. He tries to speak too but nothing comes out, his face is flushed and he can barely look me in the eye. I´ve screwed up.

I shake my head and take all the strength left in me to run away from him, snatching my bag in the process and making my way out of the studio as fast as I can and without looking back. That's exactly what I didn't want to happen.

Offer me that deathless death

Good God, let me give you my life.

Chapter Text

The rain had slowed down but there was still thunders and lightning, the streets were still filled with water and there was barely anyone outside as I walked around, seemingly aimless. It wasn´t until I saw the building that I register that unconsciously I had made my way over to Ansel´s place, seeking comfort and a reasonable mind to help me through the mess I had got myself into.

I pressed his apartment number and waited. My head was down, my curls falling into my eyes and the raindrops clouding my vision, I was a fucking mess. The moment I heard the buzz and Ansel´s voice come through the speaker, I felt a lump on my throat and had to take a couple of quick breaths before being able to speak.

"Ansel, it´s me."

"Timothée? What are you doing here in the middle of this rain?"

"Can I come in?"

"Yes, of course."

Everything goes silent for a minute before I hear a small click and the front gate opens, allowing me inside and finally out of the cold rain that soaks my clothes. I make my way to the elevator and quickly am on his floor, lazily walking down the hallway until I knock on his door. Ansel and Olivia open the door together, their eyes wide as they see me standing there. I think it´s pretty clear I am not my best self at the moment.

“What the hell happened to you?”

I can only shrug my shoulders, my head is still processing everything that happened tonight, the dance, the kiss and the look on his face as he stood there in front of me. Olivia takes my hand and pulls me inside, dragging me with her to the couch where she sits me down. I sit there quiet as both her and Ansel walk around the small apartment, before coming back to me. Olivia has a towel and some clean clothes, which she hands me and I gladly dry myself off. Ansel has a cup on his hands, I can see the fumes coming out and the smell tells me is tea before he can even handle it to me.

I take a few sips of it, finally feeling like my body is calming down from the high it was in. I close my eyes, take one deep breath and then lean back on the couch, trying to keep myself together.

"Tim, what the hell happened? Are you okay?"

"I kissed him," I say in a whisper and can see them both furrow their eyebrows. "Mr. Hammer, I kissed Mr. Hammer."

"You did what?" Ansel´s eyes are wide, a look of pure shock on his face. "I thought you said you didn´t want him to know about what you felt for him."

“And I didn't, but I simply couldn´t control myself. It just happened.”

Olivia gives me a sympathetic smile, her hand pushing some of my hair back. "Why don´t you tell us what happened."

I nod. "It was a mix of things, to be honest. He forgot his shirt and I had to stare at his bare chest the entire time, then he thought it would be nice to work on a Pas de Deux and the idea terrified me, because I knew we would have to be too close. I did anyway, but it was too much for me and when I least expected I was leaning in to kiss him."

They remained quiet for a second before Ansel leaned a bit closer to me, his hand resting on my knee. "Did he kiss you back?"

I look at him dead in the eye, the whole scene replaying in my mind and I can already feel my chest heaving once again. He did, he actually stuck his tongue inside my mouth and I don´t know how to process any of that, because although it seemed like he was enjoying it just as much as I was, he was the one to step back. And the look on his face, the way he couldn't even look me in the eye after it.

What did it all mean?

"Timothée?"

"Yes, yes he did."

Ansel and Olivia looked at one another, a long look that I am sure meant something for them both but to me -at least right now- meant absolutely nothing. "Did you guys talk about it afterwards?"

"I ran away as soon as possible, I simply couldn´t stand there and look at him anymore."

"Why would you do that, Tim?"

"You did not see the look on his face, Ansel. He could barely look me in the eye, he could barely speak and it was...if I stayed there it would only lead to bad things."

Olivia shook her head, sitting beside me on the couch and wrapping an arm around me. "You don´t know that, Tim. Things happened too fast, maybe he was just overwhelmed as you seem to be. I think you have to talk to him tomorrow morning, discuss what happened and how you will deal with it from now on."

"How we´ll deal with it? Olivia, he is my teacher."

"A teacher who just kissed you," said Ansel. "Olivia is right, Tim, you will have to talk to Mr. Hammer about this."

I shake my head. "I can´t even look at him anymore, Ansel, let alone talk to him."

"So you´re gonna give up of everything because of a kiss? You´ll stop having classes with him altogether?"

"Maybe it´s for the best."

"You are being stupid right now, Timothée. I get that you are overwhelmed and a bit confused with everything that happened, but you can´t seriously be thinking of giving up on everything because of one damn kiss. What you need is to talk to Mr. Hammer and make sure everything is okay between the two of you, maybe it will be awkward for a while, maybe you will give a break on the extra classes, but you do not have to give up on everything."

I only stare at him, biting on my bottom lip as I let his words sink in. Olivia rubs my shoulder and I lean in, resting my head on her shoulder. "I think you need some rest. Why don´t you finish your tea, put on these dry clothes and we´ll get the spare bedroom ready for you."

"Thank you," I whisper.

 

*******

 

I make it out of the bathroom and take a quick look around the unfamiliar bedroom, a towel wrapped around my head and Ansel´s shorts falling down my hips. His clothes are too large for me and it makes me think of Arm...it makes me think of Mr. Hammer, the way his clothes would look and feel against my skin.

I shake my head, trying to put those thoughts away from me and sit down on the bed, lean my back on the bedpost and look out of the window, watching as the rain keeps on falling outside. It's weird how sometimes the thing we want the most leaves us feeling like crap, making us feel like idiots.

Or maybe, that's exactly what I am, an idiot.

The past two weeks had been amazing, Mr. Hammer had been so open, so talkative and sweet to me and now I had put it all to waste because I couldn´t control myself. Months of hiding my feelings and trying to look cool thrown away because of one night. One fucking night.

I dry my hair off, throw the towel on the floor and lie down on the bed, pulling the thin sheet over my body as I look up to the ceiling. I blink a couple of times, my mind not being able to pull away from those images. It feels like I can still feel his hands on my waist and his tongue on my mouth. It's like the softness of his golden hair is still on my fingertips and the taste of his lips, oh I don't think that will leave my lips anytime soon.

I raise my hand to my mouth, my finger brushing against my lips as I see the look on his face as we pulled away. He looked so surprised, so shocked and confused, he couldn't even look me in the eye and as of right now I have absolutely no idea of how am I supposed to handle any of this. Will I be able to fix this whole mess?

 

*******

 

I can hear Ansel and Olivia as I lie down in bed, my eyes stuck to the ceiling, by body stretched out and millions of thoughts going through my head. I barely got any sleep during the night, replaying the images of last night in my head while also trying to figure out exactly what to do now. Ansel was right, I had to talk to Mr. Hammer, I had to try and apologize to him even if I knew this was going to nearly kill me.

I take a deep breath before getting up and making my way out of the bedroom. The smell of coffee and toasts fill my nostrils as I step into the hallway and lazily make my way to the living room area. They are both sitting by the small table, talking low and stealing quick kisses from one another. They really are a great couple.

“Hey, good morning.”

I give Ansel a small smile and make my way over, sitting across from Olivia. “How are you feeling, Tim?” Olivia´s voice is sweet and gives me the reassurance I need to know that she won't be mad if I choose not to talk.

“Feeling like I made the biggest mistake of me entire life, but I think I´ll survive.”

“Your clothes dried already and I left them on the couch. Why don't you have some breakfast so we can head to the studio?”

I shake my head as I pour myself some coffee. “I am not going, Ansel”

“Tim, you have to face him.”

“And I will do that tomorrow. Luckily enough I don't have classes with him tonight, so I can take the day off to at least think of what I am going to say.”

“Timothée, I don't…”

I shoot him a look. “Ansel, I am not going to the studio today. I need to stay away from him at least for one day before I have to embarrass myself again, okay?”

He takes a bite of his toast and nods his head, trying to stay quiet but failing miserably. “I just think postponing the inevitable is never a good thing.”

“Like I said, I will talk to him but I need to take a day off.” I take a sip of my coffee, is burning hot and I almost burn my tongue, but at this point I don't really care. “I´ve already texted Sarah and asked her to tell Mr. Johnson I am not working today either.”

Before Ansel can say anything else, Olivia rests her hand on top of his and gives him a look that says everything. He looks down and stuff his mouth with toast, avoiding saying anything else while Olivia turns to look at me, a smile on her lips.

“I am sorry this whole situation didn't turn out the way you expected, Tim. I know you are not feeling your best self and I can only hope you will recover soon. I think it's actually a very good idea to take the day off and think about everything, figure out how you want to approach the situation. I know Ansel can be a tad pushy sometimes, but he only wants what's best for you, okay?”

“I know that,” I say looking at him and he sighs. “Thank you guys for letting me stay here for the night, you guys just moved in together and I'm already here being a third-wheel.”

“You are the only third-wheel we would want in our lives, Tim.” I smile and Olivia does the same. “Besides, you can always crash here. Our doors are always open for you.”

“That's true,” Ansel says. “This is your home too, bro.”

“Thanks.”

 

*******

 

It's 7:30 p.m., the rain has finally stopped and there's even stars in the sky. There's a cold breeze that makes it up for the heat as I sit down on the balcony, a bowl of soup on my hands as I stare down at the street. It's Tuesday night so the streets are of course crowded, but the rain sure keeps some people from wandering around. If I had enough courage right now, I think a good walk in the park would do me some good, but at this point there's absolutely only one thing in mind.

I don't wanna go to the studio tomorrow, I don't want to engage in awkward silence with Mr. Hammer, I don't want to go through four hours of class with him when I know all I will be thinking about is that damn kiss. But even though the idea of facing him again is dreadful, I know I have no other option.

Maybe things will turn out better than expected, maybe he won't be mad at me and will make me feel better with the whole situation. Maybe, just maybe he won't even let me talk, he will simply wrap his arms around me and say he wants more.

I chuckle to myself at how idiotic this sounds. This man has never given me a proper hint that he had any kind of feelings for me, he had done nothing but treat me as a student, a student he might care about, but still a student. Project anything other than awkwardness is futile.

I get up and make my way inside, put the bowl on the kitchen sink and walk to the bathroom, filling the tub as I stare at myself in the mirror. You screwed up so fucking bad, Timothée. That annoying voice is back, making one of its highly unnecessary visits to my head, leaving me even worse than I already am.

I shake my head at myself, tie my hair up and get in the tub, allowing the warmth of the water to relax me even if just for a couple minutes. I know I will need a good night of sleep if I plan to make it through tomorrow.

 

Chapter Text

The front door was open the moment I made it to the building, the hallway lights were all on and even from the bottom of the stairs I could see the doors to the studio open. There was not music playing, but from time to time I could hear some noise coming from upstairs and all I wanted to do was run away, lock myself in my apartment and wait until he forgets about what happened. Until he forgets I ever existed.

I have been sitting on the bottom steps for a few minutes now, my head down while I fidget with my fingers. My entire face is burning hot, the idea of being face to face with him again is making me nervous, making my knees buckle and my heart pound on my chest. I hear footsteps upstairs and get up quickly, hiding behind the door, afraid he is gonna see me here, pathetically waiting for some courage.

Sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage.

I count to ten, taking long breaths after each number and only then I make my way up. I have never been so damn slow on those steps, practically taking a pause after each one, but I need that to get my thoughts together. When I finally reach the door, I can see him standing by the window, quietly looking outside. I walk in, slowly and almost without a sound, but he manages to hear me anyway.

That's when it seems like the entire world has turned into slow motion. As he turns around I stuck my hands into my sweatpants pockets, my eyes locked on his although I desperately want to look down, to avoid him at any cost. His deep blue eyes remain in me as he stands there quietly, serious but not intimidating. It's obvious he is just as uncomfortable as I am.

“Timothée…” He starts in a whisper and I hold my breath, definitely not prepared to what's about to come. “I was worried you wouldn´t show up today again. Ansel told me you were not feeling so good.”

Damn it, Ansel.

I take a few steps closer to him but decide that is best to maintain a safe distance. We don't need even more tension than we already have. I need this conversation to go by as smoothly as possible.

“Arm…” I sigh, shaking my head. “I just wanted to apologize for what happened Monday night.”

“The kiss.” The fact he even says the word makes my heart pound harder on my chest. This is all too real for me.

“Yeah. I never meant for that to happen, I didn't want to make you feel awkward or anything. I swear to God I don't know what happened, I don't know why I would do such a thing. I just hope we can…”

He shakes his head, takes a step closer and I feel my body stiffen. “Timothée, you don't have to say anything, okay? I'm not mad at you or anything, it happened and it's now in the past. I think we can both agree that the best thing to do here is act as if it never happened.”

Act as if never happened.

Never happened.

Never.

Suddenly I feel like air has been knocked out of me, like I have taken a punch to the stomach and was left in the floor agonizing. I can almost hear my heart shattering to pieces as I hear his voice say those words. He looks so calm, no signs of struggle or anything. He truly believes pretending it never happened is the best option and of course he does, why would he take any of that seriously? Why would he give a damn about me kissing him?

I put on the most fake smile in the world, knowing full well that nothing I say right now will sound a hundred percent genuine, but knowing I have to say something, kill the silence that has taken over us.

“I think you are absolutely right,” I manage to say and it's a shock that I don't stutter my way through. “We should just forget about it, I mean, it was a silly thing.”

He nods. “I'm glad we´ve reached an understanding.”

“Are...are we still having the extra classes?”

“Why wouldn´t we?” Of course, why wouldn't we? After all that kiss, his tongue in my mouth and his hands on my waist didn't mean a thing to him. “Unless you don't want it anymore. I think it would be silly to end it all because of a stupid kiss…”

Stupid kiss.

Stupid.

STUPID.

I should have expected all of this, I should have thought about how cold and insensitive he could be. He spent over a year being the serious, intimidating Mr. Hammer, it was entirely my mistake to think that glimpse of Armie I had seen cared about me in any way.

Such a fucking fool you are, Timothée.

“...so, what you say?”

Another fake smile overtakes me as I try to push back the tears that are threatening to fall down. “I am glad you are not cancelling our classes, I would hate to know my moment of stupidity lead to that.”

“Great. Classes remain the same and we forget that incident ever happened.”

I want to answer, to shout at him that our kiss wasn't an incident, wasn't something stupid, but I don't have the guts to do so. I nod slowly and let out a breath when I hear voices and footsteps. For the first time in weeks I am glad to see this studio get filled with people.

I stare at him for another brief moment, trying to see if there's anything there that hints of him being more affected by our kiss than he lets it show, but there's absolutely nothing. I gulp down, turn around on my heels and see Ansel making his way over. He has a worried look on his face and I know he can see just how broken I am.

He rests his hand on my shoulder, squeezes it slightly while looking from Mr. Hammer to me. “Hey Tim, are you okay?”

“No, I'm not.” My voice is low, almost a whisper as he gets a bit closer. “I´ve never felt so bad in my entire life.”

 

*******

 

It's a miracle that I am able to focus on class, but I think I am so mad at him -and myself too- that I find a way to channel all that anger into my routine. He goes on with class as he usually does, eyes focused on our every move, feets tapping the floor to the rhythm of the music and loud voice reverberating throughout the whole place.

Mr. Hammer is not one bit affected by what happened between us and it becomes more and more evident as the day goes by. I feel sick to my stomach as I do one last plie and he announces the end of class, his blue eye quickly scanning the room before turning his back to us.

Jerk.

Asshole.

Son of a bitch.

A fucking pile of shit.

I bite on my lip and practically run over to the back to the room, taking off my pointe shoes, stuffing it inside my bag and pulling it on my sweatpants. Ansel is right by my side, eyeing me as he changes his clothes and zips up his bag.

I take quick look at Mr. Hammer before leaving, holding my breath until I am out of the studio. I can´t break down, not in front of everyone else, not when he is so damn close. I feel Ansel´s hand on my back and we go down the stairs together, side by side and in total silence.

“You can cry now,” he says the moment we step out of the building and I feel the tears start to fall down my cheek. “Was it that bad?”

“Pretend it never happened,” I wipe away my tears before turning to him. “That's what he said to me in the most calm and nonchalant voice. As if he had not participated, as if he had not shoved his tongue in my mouth.”

“Tim…”

“He didn't give a damn about it, Ansel. It meant absolutely nothing to him, it wasn't even enough to get him mad at me. No, he simply didn't care.”

“Maybe is for the best.”

I furrow my eyebrows, crossing my arms as I look at Ansel. “For the best? How is this for the best?”

“Maybe now you can get it over your head, now that he has acted the way he did, maybe you will be able to move on. I am not saying he is right, but maybe you could use that angriness inside of you for the better.”

“Angriness.” I chuckle, shaking my head as I feel more tears coming. “I am more mad at myself for thinking, even for a brief second, that he would be just as into that kiss as I was. I still love him, I still want him and I don't think that's going away any time soon.”

He sighs, squeezing my shoulder as I bite my lip, trying to suppress a sob. “C´mon, let's get you something to eat, I think you need it.”

 

*******

 

Luckily this is one the most calm days at the bookstore, not one client has made its way in ever since I got here and all there is left to do is make sure the books on the showcase are on their place and change some price tags. Normally, I would think this is boring as fuck but judging by how I was feeling, I am actually enjoying every single second of it.

I grab some books that are no longer supposed to be on the showcase and make my way over to the cashier, where Sarah is. She has her elbows leaned on the counter, her chin resting on her hands and her eyes locked on me, studying every single move I make with great attention.

"Do you got something to ask, Sarah?"

"Yeah, what´s gotten into you?"

I arch an eyebrow. "What makes you think there´s something going on?"

"Oh please, we´ve been working together for two years. Do you really think I can´t notice when you are not at your best?"

I roll my eyes, place the books down and lean on the counter too. "Remember your sexy customer?"

All of a sudden her eyes were a lot more interested in this conversation. "Your ballet teacher? Of course I remember him."

"Yeah well, I had the brilliant idea of kissing him."

"You did what?!"

I nod my head, burying my face in my hands. "We were dancing together and I thought it would be a great idea to kiss him."

"Like, a full on kiss? Tongue and all?" I groan and nod my head once again, hearing her giggles. "Was it good?"

"Was it good?" I look up, her face merely inches away from mine as she waits for an answer. "Better than I had imagined and that´s why this situation is so bad."

"Why is it bad?"

"Because he couldn´t give a damn about it, he told me we should just forget it. I have never felt so embarrassed in my life and I can´t even find the guts to look him in the eye. And because I am quite a lucky guy, I have a class with him tonight."

"Let me guess, you are thinking going to this class is a big mistake."

"And it is."

Sarah crosses her arms, eyeing me up and down as I furrow my eyebrows. "Sweetie, avoid him won´t get you anywhere. I understand that you might not be feeling your best right now and that you are a little mad at him, but you can´t simply throw away everything because of one kiss. Those classes are important to you and if he is the best teacher you can find, I think you should suck it up and go to class."

"Ansel said the exact same thing."

She nods. "Great minds think alike."

"Except that I am feeling like shit, like the most stupid person in the entire world. He let me in just a bit and I thought...I let that get the best of me and let down my guard, let my feelings take over."

"Oh for fuck´s sake, you are acting like you committed some crime. You kissed him and he asked you to forget about it, what else did you expected him to do, Tim? He is your teacher."

"He could have been a bit more caring about what I was feeling."

"Did you tell him how you were feeling? That you were not sure you could do that and that you were embarrassed?"

I shrug. "No, not really. I mean I told him I was sorry and all, but I didn´t..."

"If you didn´t tell him, he doesn´t know what he is doing is hurting you. I´m sure he had his own struggles with this whole situation, he wasn´t expecting you to kiss him."

"You got a point."

"You know people can be mean, if anyone finds out about this they could say he was seducing you or anything. So although I don´t personally know him, I think he was only trying to do the right thing."

I bite on my lip, scratching my neck as I stare at her. All that she said does have a point and I can actually start to see Arm...Mr. Hammer´s side on this, still it hurts to look at him and see nothing in his eyes.

"Why don´t you go home, Timmy? There´s not much to do here, so go back to your place, rest a little bit and think about what I said before deciding if you are going or not to your class. And if you do decide not to go, call him or text him and let him know. If you are thinking he is being a jerk regarding all of this, be the better person and show him there are other ways of approaching the situation."

"Wow, you are good at this."

"Those psychology classes I took in college did pay off."

I chuckle and reach out for my bag, swing it on my shoulder and quickly make my way out of the store. The sun is high up in the sky and it doesn´t even seem like the past two days the rain had taken over the city. I take a few deep breaths, trying to let all of Sarah´s words sink in and appreciating the sun light in my face, reinvigorating me.

 

******

 

The music is louder than usual as I make my way up the stairs, hands sweating and mouth dry. I thought about everything that Ansel and Sarah had said and decided it wouldn´t kill me to at least try to keep up with the classes, maybe I would surprise myself and see things are not as bad as they are. Or maybe everything will go downhill and by the end of this night, neither I nor Mr. Hammer will ever be able to look at each other again.

Let the games begin!

I walk in and see him down on the floor doing push ups, which already seems like I am on a whole different dimension. He had never done this as a warming up and I furrow my eyebrows, trying to understand exactly what is going on. He looks at me for a brief second, his chest practically pressed on the floor, and gets up after he does one more.

He gives me a small smile and reaches for a towel, drying off the sweat that is already sliding down his neck and forehead. Mr. Hammer is wearing a loose and long t-shirt today, as if he wants to make sure his chest is as covered as possible after the whole Monday debacle.

"Glad to see you, Timothée."

"You said nothing had changed, so here I am."

He gives me a quick look and it only takes me a second to understand what it is. He doesn´t want to even talk about it anymore, he is full on pretending it never happened -although his change of clothes guarantees me he does remember-, and all I can do is accept this reality.

"Start with some barre exercises and then I want you to keep on working on your turnout."

"What about the Pas de Deux? Are we gonna go back to that like you said we would?"

I might be angry, sad and heartbroken, but I can still be a little brat when I want to. The look he gives me is the one of someone who is trying their hard to maintain their posture and don´t break down. I know it well, because it is the exact same look I had on my face earlier this morning.

"We´ll go back to that another night. I think we should stick to the turnout and maybe high jump exercises for tonight."

I nod my head and take off my shirt, stretching out my arms and legs before I walk over to the barre. He doesn´t even look at me throughout the five minutes I am there, only stealing a quick glance when I start working on my turnout. I bite my lip, feeling the pressure on my hips and the slightest bit of pain. I don´t think I will ever master this shit.

"Don´t force it, Timothée. Remember what I told you the other day, forcing will only get you to hurt yourself and that is not what we want."

Sure, you are the only one allowed to do that.

"If it´s hurting, stop doing, stretch out a bit more and then try again. If you feel like you still can´t do it, then don´t."

"Of course, Mr. Hammer."

And that´s the moment I finally see him show me some kind of reaction. For over two weeks now I have been calling him Armie, just like he said I could, and the moment I go back to Mr. Hammer is clear to me that his entire body stiffens and he bites on his lip. My lips twitch into a small smile, my brain processing what this could mean.

Things are definitely not good, but at least I know he is affected by the fact I went back to calling him Mr. Hammer.





Chapter Text

As if last night´s class was not enough indication that things between me and Mr. Hammer were not good, this morning pretty much sealed the deal. I woke up in time, had a nice little breakfast and made my way out of the apartment only to find out my door wasn't locking from the outside. I tried to fix everything as quick as possible, but nothing seemed to work and once I finally managed to reach the studio, I was already almost twenty minutes late.

As it usually happened whenever anyone was late to his classes or interrupted him, I got up the stairs expecting to get an ice cold glare from Mr. Hammer, but once I walked in I realized just how weird things were between us. Mr. Hammer, along with everyone else, turned to me, but all I got was a brief look and him motioning me to stand beside Steve.

I sighed, giving him a quick nod and he swiftly shifted his gaze back to the class and went on with his instructions. I tried to be as quick as possible, tying my hair and fixing my tights before joining everyone else for centre practice. It didn't take me long to realize there was something different on Mr. Hammer, his was his usual serious self, but his voice was calm and not as loud as it normally was.

But I soon realized that his voice was not really the issue here. Class progressed smoothly, we practiced our routine, he incorporated some new movements but there was one thing bugging me more than anything. He never even got close to me. Mr. Hammer walked around the class as he usually did, giving us advice on how to make the movements look better, how to make sure we were not overdoing anything, he corrected everyone´s posture, helped with the high legs movements when needed and yet, when it came to me, nothing really happened.

He would stay a few feet away, explain to me what I was doing wrong and step back as quickly as he could, with his eyes down to the floor. It was making me feel so bad with myself to go through all of this, for more than one moment during class I felt like I should stop everything, turn to him and tell him I was sorry, that all I wanted was to get things back to normal.

Which normal are we talking about here, huh? Morning classes Mr. Hammer or night classes Mr. Hammer? Cause you might as well have lost both.

I tried my best to keep that voice tamed, not listen to the silly things it was telling me because I knew it would only make things harder. Ansel had told me more than once I had to be patient, things were not going to be solved so easily and that I should try to see Mr. Hammer´s side too, try to understand how overwhelmed he must have been with the entire situation. It was easier said than done, though, because my head was a mix of sadness and angriness that I didn't really know how to live with.

By the time class ended I could barely stay inside that studio anymore, I was feeling drained and sad and so many other things I didn't even know how to comprehend. I took off my shoes, stuffed them inside my bag and followed Ansel out of the room, not without taking one quick look over my shoulder.

Mr. Hammer was leaned against the wall, arms crossed and blue eyes stuck on me. The stare made me feel uneasy and as much as I tried to read his face, I simply couldn´t figure out exactly what he was feeling, what he was trying to say. I gave him a quiet nod before leaving and he returned it, that was probably the biggest interaction we had the entire morning.

“Hey, are you okay?”

We are walking down the street, the studio now a few blocks away from us but the image of Mr. Hammer staring at me still vivid on my brain. I try to push it back, focus my mind on something and give Ansel a quick nod.

“You do know you are a terrible liar, right?”

I chuckle, taking a quick look at him before shrugging my shoulders. “You know what my problem is, Ansel. This whole situation is getting the best of me, but I am not gonna drag you into this, okay? You already helped the best way you could, you gave me advice, now it's up to me to figure my shit out.”

“Maybe you should try to channel your attention on something else and I am not talking about ballet or anything. Go to the park and spend the day there, watch some movies, go see a play, visit your parents, just do something that makes you happy and takes your mind off of the problems. It will clear your head and once you go back to this issue, you will see things are not as hard as they seem to be.”

I nod my head and turn to look at him, trying to put on a smile as he arches an eyebrow. “Come to dinner tonight, you and Olivia.”

“Are you sure?”

“You just told me to focus my attention on something else and that's what I'm gonna do. I´ll cook us something, maybe we watch a movie later, just hang out and not think or talk about Mr. Hammer, the kiss or even ballet.”

“Okay, I´ll talk to Olivia.”



********

 

There´s a mix of smells filling the apartment as I turn the steaks around, making sure both side are equally as cooked. The heat of the stove and the oven makes the entire place feel like it´s 100 degrees, making me sweat a little bit and just the sight of the food already makes my stomach growl.

I walk over to the front door and unlock it, knowing Sarah is already on her way up. It doesn´t take her long to get in, a wide smile on her face and her red hair up in a pony tail.

"I brought wine, hope your friends will like it as much I do."

"I´m sure they will love it."

She sets the wine down and moves around the counter, her hands resting on my shoulders as she looks past me to the stove. "Well, look at that, Mr. Chalamet is actually a chef."

"I am far from being a chef, but I´m not gonna lie, I am quite good in the kitchen."

"Oh, husband material."

I chuckle and point over to the cupboards. "Could help me with the dishes and stuff? It´s all over there, you´ll find it easily."

Sarah walks around the kitchen as if she owns the place, swiftly finding everything she needs to set the table. "What is tonight's menu, Mr. Chalamet?"

"Tonight we will have Caesar Salad, Grilled Steak with vegetables and baked potatoes with cheese."

Sarah chuckled, taking a seat in one of the stools as she opened the wine, pouring each one of us a glass. "Seriously, I had no idea cooking was one of your hidden talents, Timmy."

"I normally only cook the basic, enough for me to get by, but sometimes I like to try out new things. And since the past few days have been a bit stressful for me, I figured out cooking would be nice to get my mind off of everything."

"And by everything you mean Mr. Hammer?"

I take the glass, drink it all and then pour myself some more. "Yes, I mean Mr. Hammer and I hope we can leave him out of the subject of the night."

"Whatever you want, sweetie."

I smile at her and turn back to the food, opening the oven and letting the smell of potatoes and cheese fill the air. There´s a quick knock on the door and Sarah jumps out of the stool and walks over to it before I can even say anything. I take the roaster with the potato out of the oven and place it down on the counter as Ansel and Olivia make their way over, a smile on their faces and a plastic bag on each of their hands.

"We brought ice cream, brownie and cookies."

"Oh my God, this night is turning out to be even better than I imagined."

I let out a chuckle and slide a glass to each one of them as they sat down, pouring some wine for them. I take the ice cream from Olivia and place on the fridge before taking the steaks out of the stove. I sit down along with them, a proud smile on my face as I watch the food displayed there. I can only wish the rest of the night will be as relaxing as cooking was.

 

******

 

"Can someone please explain to me how all of a sudden you guys are already planning my wedding?"

Ansel´s voice is barely heard as Sarah and Olivia keep on looking through wedding dresses on Pinterest. I chuckle, tossing another popcorn into my mouth as I watch him squirm on the floor, trying to get their attention and consequently to shut them up. It´s not like the idea had not crossed his mind, I had been on the receiving end of a very long conversation -although at the time seemed more like a monologue- about whether it was or not time for him to pop the question. They were together for nearly four years now.

He looks at me with pleading eyes and I can´t help but laugh, a loud laugh that actually does get the girls attention. Sarah puts the phone down, her eyes on me and an eyebrow arched. Olivia mirrors her look, but instead of staring at me, her gaze moves from me to Ansel repeatedly.

"What´s so funny," they both asked in unison.

"Oh lord, they are like the same person already." Ansel throws himself on the floor dramatically and I take a few quick breaths, trying to recover myself so I can talk properly.

"You two were so caught up on those wedding dresses, you didn´t even notice the poor guy there, almost having a heart attack with the possibility of leaving this apartment with an entire wedding planned."

"And why would that be so bad?" The tone in Olivia´s voice is slightly defiant, but one I have heard enough to know it´s not exactly that serious.

"Nothing wrong with planning a wedding, babe, I´d just like to ask you first."

Sarah smirked. "Well, maybe you should."

Ansel shots her a look and she shrugs her shoulder. "You just got here, lady, don´t push me." She lifts her hands in surrender and Ansel gets up. "I believe there are a lot of other subjects we can cover here, right?"

"I just thought this one was quite amusing. Since we can´t talk about Mr. Hammer, I thought..."

"Wait, what?" Ansel arches an eyebrow, his eyes turning to me as I sigh. "That´s why you have been laughing your ass off, isn´t it? My doom is actually so you can diverge the focus from Mr. Hammer? Nice one, dude, nice one."

"Hey, you said I should channel my attention on something else. Seems like your marriage is the right thing to do."

"Ha ha ha."

Olivia shakes her head, her hand resting on Ansel´s knee. "Well, you don´t need to get all hot and bothered, Ansel, I don´t plan on getting married right now, so chill out."

"Thank you."

"Well, this just got very boring."

I laugh at Sarah, who throws herself back on the pillows that are lying on the floor. I take a few sips of my drink and get up, walking back to the kitchen to grab some ice cream. "We have chocolate and pistachio ice cream, which one do you guys want?"

"Both," they all answer and I roll my eyes, taking a few bowls from the cupboard.

"Oh, the other day you said you had a proposition to make us, something regarding Pauline. What is it about?"

I suddenly get excited again, I add the bowls of ice cream on a tray and head back to balcony, placing the tray down in between us. "Pauline wants me to spend a few days with her over there, so I thought that maybe, once the auditions to Juilliard are over we could all go there. You can come too, Sarah."

"Yeah, like I got money to spend some days in Paris. Thanks, Timmy, but is a big no to me."

Olivia and Ansel look at each other, smiles on their faces before they turn to me with a shrug. Sometimes they are so coordinated they actually look like fucking twins. "I think it would be a great idea, Tim. Olivia sure would love the experience, but we don´t really know which will be our schedule after the auditions, but once we have that slightly figured out, I am okay with it."

"Okay, that´s a start. It has been so long since Pauline and I got to spend some time together and I am sure having you guys around would make it even better. You too, Sarah, even though your big mouth annoys me sometimes."

"I would be hurt if I didn´t know better than this. You love me, Timmy, admit it."

I chuckle and stuff some ice cream in my mouth, watching as the stars shine bright in the sky and let out a breath. It turns out Ansel was right, all I needed was to change my focus for a moment and things would start getting better.

 

*******

 

I take a quick look around the apartment, sighing as I notice the mess on the kitchen sink. For a brief second I ponder the idea of washing it all, but that quickly leaves my mind. I take off my clothes and jump into my bed, throwing the thin sheets over me as I reach over for my phone, looking through some apps. My fingers hover over the Instagram icon, only one account in my mind as I stare out the window.

I let go of my pride and click the icon, instantly typing out Mr. Hammer´s name and watching as his account comes to view. There´s only two new pictures, one of him sitting on the studio, all lights turned off but one which shines on top of him; the other is him lying on the floor, laughing. The wrinkles on his eyes, his eyes closed and those few strands of hair falling on to his face makes him look even more gorgeous than he already is.

I let my lips curve in a small smile, half of me extremely happy to be looking at him, but another part of me feeling sad over the fact the relationship we were slowly building is crumbling to the ground. I sigh, turning off the phone and toss it to the nightstand. I turn off the lights and lie down, eyes stuck into the ceiling as I let the images of our kiss take over my mind until I finally fall asleep.




Chapter Text

I watch as Ansel spins around en pointe, his arms on third position, his eyes focused and his face serious. He starts an Adagio, slow movements that transition from one to the other so smoothly it seems like the movements flow from one to the other. He does an Arabesque and then quickly moves into an Assemble, his arms changing into fourth position. He stops after a few Pirouettes, the sweat pouring down his forehead as he takes a few deep breaths, looking over at me with questioning eyes.

"So, what you think?"

"I think it´s great, but that second Tour en L´air you are doing seems a bit forced. I get that you are using it to transition from the Adagio to the Allegro, but it´s happening all of a sudden."

“I´ve been practicing that move for the entire week and can´t seem to get it to go smoothly."

"Then remove it."

"Excuse me?"

I sigh, crossing my arms as I look at him with a serious look on my face. "Mr. Hammer said himself that if something doesn´t look good or is taking too much to master, then you should remove it. Ansel, you know he is not easy and I say you do whatever you can to make sure your routine is as clean and smooth as possible. That second Tour en L´air does not look good right now and I highly doubt you will be able to master by tomorrow morning."

He rolls his eyes, taking a seat in front of me on the wooden floor of his apartment. "I really wish I had more time to practice, think I can convince him to let me do this next Friday?"

"You are joking, right?"

Ansel shrugs, drinking some of his water. "Maybe you could talk to him, get him to give me a few more days."

"You know well enough that things have not been going well between Mr. Hammer and I. The past two weeks have been like hell to me, no matter how much I try, things are still awkward and uncomfortable between us."

"You haven't talked much about the situation the past few days, I thought that maybe things were starting to get better."

"Better? He still has trouble talking to me, looking at me and he avoids touching me at any cost. Yesterday night I was doing a turnout and he came closer to me, he was just about to hold onto my hips to help me on the movement, but he flinched on the last second. He simply looked at me and told me how to keep on going."

"Maybe the kiss affected him more than you think."

I roll my eyes. "Yeah, he is completely grossed out by my existence, that´s how affected he is."

"Oh c´mon, Tim, don´t be like this."

"It´s been over two weeks since I kissed him, Ansel, and he still can´t look me in the eye. What else can it be? The only reason he decided to go on with the classes is because he is a professional."

Ansel sighs and gets up, fixing his tights. "No matter how great of a professional he is, if he truly was that bothered by the kiss I think he would kindly ask you to cancel everything."

I look up at him, slightly confused. "Exactly what are you trying to tell me, Ansel?"

"That he cares, more than you think."

I arch an eyebrow and watch as he walks over to the kitchen, leaving me behind. I get up quickly and run after him, leaning against the threshold and crossing my arms. "What the fuck are you talking about?"

He keeps his back towards me for a few seconds before turning around, leaning against the counter, his eyes with a hint of uncertainty. "I am not sure I should tell you this, because honestly it could mean nothing, but..."

"Say it, Ansel."

"The morning after the kiss, you didn´t go to class and after everyone left the studio he asked to talk to me. He was a bit uneasy, fidgeting with his fingers and bouncing from side to side, I have never seen him so uncomfortable with himself..."

"For fuck´s sake, Ansel, get to the point."

"He was really worried about you, he wanted to know why you didn´t go to class and when I said you were not feeling okay, well he was clearly affected by it."

Ansel told me you were not feeling so good. I remember him talking about it, how he had talked to Ansel and how he had been worried about me, but at that moment I barely registered the whole thing.

“Why didn't you tell me this before?”

"Because although I would love to help you get out of this bad vibe you are in, I didn´t think it was my business to get in between this whole thing. This is your and Mr. Hammer´s business and I want you guys to solve it in between you guys."

"He did mention he was worried about me, but he was being so cold that day I didn´t really give much thought to any of it. I don´t think I even registered to be honest, the way he so easily ditched the subject, I didn´t think he cared."

Ansel shakes his head, sliding a glass of water over to me. "He took two hours of his day to teach you private classes, of all his students he only did that with you. He was opening up to you, showing a version of himself none of us know. He didn´t just stood there, he actually kissed you back and now he can barely get close to you. I don´t know what else you need to realize that he actually does care about you more than he should."

I arch an eyebrow. "More than he should?"

"He likes you, Timothée. Maybe he doesn´t even know it, but he does like you."

"You have no idea of what you are talking about."

He sighs. "Suit yourself, if you want to be completely blind then so be it. Can we go back to my training now? I wanna try it out without the Tour en L´air."

I simply nod my head and watch from the corner of my eyes as Ansel makes his way back to the kitchen. Is there any chance of him being right? Is Mr. Hammer´s coldness towards me his way of trying not to cross a line? I shake my head, pushing those thoughts away and drink my water, before heading back to the living room.

 

*******

 

Ansel´s movements are delicate, slow and beautiful; his arms are always perfectly elongated and he keeps a serious look on his face, but it's easy to see he is relaxed and very confident with his routine. He removed the extra Tour en L´air, exchanging it for a sequence of Pirouettes that started extremely fast and ended in a way that it almost seemed like he was in slow motion.

The song he dances transitions from a very fast pace to a slow, more dramatic one and it requires a lot of variations on his movements, but he does it all with grace. I smile at myself, happy to see him doing so well and dare myself to look to my left, watching as Mr. Hammer sits in a chair and watches, extremely concentrated, every single move Ansel makes.

His eyebrows are furrowed, he is biting on his lip but after all this time having classes with him, I know that when he is watching us very intensively that usually occurs. It's one of the things that make me realize how different he gets when he is the one dancing, because no matter how concentrated he is, when he is the one in the middle of the room, his face is always calm.

Mr. Hammer moves on the chair and I swiftly advert my eyes from him, looking back at Ansel, who is the middle of a high jumping sequence. His foot barely touches the ground before he propels himself back up, opening his legs in a Grand Écart and extending his arms in second position. After he lands on the floor, Ansel spins around en pointe with his arms still extended and finishes by sliding down to the floor on his knees.

A symphony of clapping hands and whistles comes right after, all of us getting up as Ansel does the same. He bows, a sly smile on his face while he looks at us, but that smile quickly turns into a much more restrained one when he looks at Mr. Hammer.

“Well done, Ansel.”

“Thanks,” he lets out a breath, aware that Mr. Hammer probably has some negative things to say, but still, it was a great start.

“What I like the most is that you know what you do best and you took advantage of that to create a beautiful routine. Your movements transitioned very well, very gracefully and you seemed quite at ease with everything you were doing. You had a moment of nervousness on the beginning and that is comprehensive, but you manage to get rid of that and found a way to focus solely on what you were doing. The transition you did from the Adagio to the Allegro was very well executed.”

“I had a bit of a hard time with that one, to be honest, but Timothée helped me.”

My eyes go wide as I hear him say my name and I am almost certain that by the time Mr. Hammer turns to look at me, I am already blushing. I shouldn't be, I was simply helping my friend, but I certainly wasn't expecting to be put on the spot like this.

“You did a good job helping him, Timothée. I am glad you took some of your time to help your friend.”

That's probably the most he's talked to me in the last couple of days and I am so damn overwhelmed all I can do is nod.

“You guys should talk to each other about your routines, see how you can help one another improve. We are all working together here.”

Maybe you should take your own advice and talk to me, you asshole.

Oh great, not now.

I stick my hand in my pockets and keep on hearing Mr. Hammer, trying to push that voice back and think about what kind of question or comment I should do. Mr. Hammer makes sure each one of us shares our opinions about each other´s routines and to be honest, that had to be my least favorite part of the whole thing.

“So, overall you did a great job, Ansel, I would pay a bit more attention to your Tour en L´air and your slid, make sure you don't force your knees too much.” Ansel nods, a beaming smile on his face as he turns to me and I can´t help but chuckle. “Okay, who´s got questions?”

 

******

 

I lean against the studio door while I watch Mr. Hammer lean against the window, watching the city bellow him. It's kind of weird and creepy to just stand there, I will admit to that, but our relationship has been so weird lately that the few little moments I get to simply stare at him, without drama or awkwardness bring me some kind of happiness.

He likes you, Timothée. Maybe he doesn´t even know it, but he does like you.

“Good night.”

My voice echoes in the quiet studio and Mr. Hammer instantly turns around, giving me a small smile.

“Good night, Timothée.”

I throw my bag on the ground and get down to put on my shoes, feeling Mr. Hammer´s eyes on me the entire time. A shiver runs down my spine, the hair on my neck stands up and my hands tremble a little bit. Ever since the kiss he hasn't stare at me with such an intensity.

Knowing he is looking at me makes the whole task of tying my shoes more difficult than it really is, which leads me to spend long minutes there, repeating the same movements over and over again until I can get it done properly. He doesn't say anything and I can only tell he moved when I hear the low music coming to life.

I don't even dare to look too much at him when I realize he is warming up, I don't wanna be caught staring at him, aware that it would only make things a lot more difficult than they already are. I get up and stretch myself up too, the silence between us killing me and that urge to scream at him comes back.

Then do it, you idiot, you might surprise yourself.

“We´re gonna start with Grand Écart exercises, okay? Then later I want you to go through some turnout exercises again, you´re still having some trouble with it and I want to make sure you are constantly training.”

“Okay, that's fine by me. Should I start already?”

My voice sounds way more dry than I wanted to and I can see by the look on his face he is slightly surprised by my attitude. I sigh and stare at him, silently waiting until he nods his head, not a single word leaving his mouth.

 

*******

 

My muscles are already worked up from the Grand Écart training as I stand in front of the mirror, feet moving slightly as I start to work on my turnout. There's a thin layer of sweat on my entire body, my shirt is clinging into my chest and I keep on trying to push some of my hair back while trying to concentrate.

It frustrates me how hard it is for me to do a perfect turnout, the constant training and pain I endure because of it doesn't seem to be taking me anywhere, and the fact Mr. Hammer keeps staring at me doesn't really help.

I control my breathing, following Mr. Hammer´s instructions to inhale through my diaphragm and exhale completely. The repetition helps me clear my head and I feel myself moving a bit better, the turnout coming out a lot easier than it was.

Mr. Hammer lets out a breath and walks over, standing behind me, his eyes locking on mine through the mirror reflection. “Go back to first position. You are still forcing too much, if you keep going with this you will eventually get an injure.”

“I'm still not sure what to do to make it better.”

“Practice, Timothée, all you can do to perfection your turnout is practice. Have you been doing it at least once a day like I told you to?”

I shake my head. “I have a lot in my mind lately, I try to do it every day, but it's not working out very well.”

Mr. Hammers blinks a couple of times, his expression a bit more serious and I wonder if he knows that our kiss is the thing that has been clouding my thoughts.

“Well, you should try a bit harder to make a routine out of this. I know you can do it, but if you only practice during classes, then you will try to push yourself harder and it will only end badly. C´mon, relax your body and close your eyes. I want you to focus your mind only on your hip bones and nothing else.”

I nod and do as told, controlling my breathing and allowing my body to relax. I try to clear my head, focus only on my hip bones as Mr. Hammer has said, but as I am about to do so his hands find my hips and presses on it. My blood boils, my head spins and a shiver runs through my body. Now, it has been over two weeks since he touched me and no matter how much I try, I can´t help but feel my entire body tremble.

Sadly, he notices that too.

Mr. Hammer hands pulls away from my body as if he had just touched fire and he steps back. Through the mirror I can see him bite his lip, run his hand through his hair and mumble something I can´t hear. I bite on my lip too, trying to keep myself quiet, but I have been through too much and I can´t handle this situation any longer.

I turn to face him, sweating even more now, feeling my heart pound inside my chest as every single hair on my body stands ups.

“Okay, that's it, I can´t handle this situation anymore.” He arches an eyebrow, his confused eyes locked on me. “For almost three weeks now I have been trying to get around this, to make this whole situation a little less awkward, but you are not helping.”

“Timothée…”

“You said we should pretend nothing ever happened and I tried, I fucking tried but I can´t do it and I don't think you can do it either…”

“Timothée…”

“...you barely look me in the eye, you only talk to me when it's extremely necessary and now you can´t even get close to me without feeling repulsed…”

“Timothée…”

“...I am sorry for what I did and I am sorry for creating such an awkward situation between us, but I don't think this is working anymore. Pretend nothing happened means going back to how things were before it even happened and clearly none of us is being able…”

“Shut up.” Is all he says before I can feel his lips on mine, his hands sliding to my waist and pulling my body close to his. I stay still for a few seconds, my eyes wide and my mind going on overdrive.

When the realization of what is going on finally hits me, I feel my body go pliant on his touch, my arms moving to wrap around his neck, my mouth opening to accept his tongue. My head is spinning as we stumble around the studio, my back hitting the mirror as I push my body closer to his, feeling every single muscle of his body pressed against mine.

I knot my fingers on his hair as his hands cradle my face and our kiss intensifies. Our tongues are fighting for control, our bodies are burning with desire, the sloppy sounds of our wet lips filling the air.

Mr. Hammer pulls away and we both gasp for air, our flushed faces close, our bodies still pressed. He stares at me for a second or two before burying his face in my neck, shaking his head as he curses at himself repeatedly. I furrow my eyebrows, suddenly confused and scared by the situation.

Will he walk away? Will he tell me we should forget about this kiss too and just cancel our private classes?

His body is shaking, his breathing is heavy and I honestly don't know what to do or say, so I just stand there, my hands sliding down his back and resting on his waist.

One minute.

Two minutes.

Three minutes.

“Mr….A-armie, please say something.”

“Fuck, I shouldn't have done this.” I can barely hear his whisper, but I can feel his lips brushing against my skin. “Fuck, I'm so stupid.”

“Well, that's not exactly what I wanted to hear.”

He chuckles and pulls away, hands resting on my cheeks and blue eyes filled with so many different emotions I can´t even start to name them.

“You are my student, Timothée.”

“So?”

“This is wrong, if anyone ever finds out what happened here…”

“I'm not a child anymore, Armie, you didn't force me to do anything. I kissed you first, I was the one who couldn't separate things.”

“And you think I could?” I stare at him, unsure of what to say. He steps back, grabbing fistfuls of his hair as he paces around. “The moment I offered you these classes I knew I was making a mistake, I knew I would never be able to keep things professional and that something like this would eventually happen. But I lied to myself, saying I was stronger than whatever I was feeling, telling myself that I was just helping a student. Bullshit, all bullshit.”

He likes you.

“Are you saying… did you…”

“Have feelings for you?” He turns to face me and I nod my head quietly, taking a step closer. “Ever since you first walked into my class almost two years ago.”

I swallow hard, my breathing getting impossible shallow, my legs turning into jelly.

He likes you.

He likes you.

He likes you.

I don't say anything nor do I wait for him to so say it, I close the gap between us once again and smash my lips against his, knotting my fingers on his hair and kissing him with hunger.

His strong arms wrap around my waist and he pulls me up, a little squeal leaving me as he does so, which makes him smirk. I wrap my legs around his hips, tugging on his shirt as I feel his grip around me tighten.

The only part of my brain that is working at the moment is the one guiding the kiss, the one that makes me feel his soft lips against mine and makes my tongue explore his mouth. I moan, repeatedly and unabashedly.

I am completely lost in euphoria.




Chapter Text

The only part of my brain that is working at the moment is the one guiding the kiss, the one that makes me feel his soft lips against mine and makes my tongue explore his mouth. I moan, repeatedly and unabashedly.

I am completely lost in euphoria.

The music keeps on playing, but it's nothing more than background noise now, a sweet melody to our moment of bliss and desire. My body burns and I feel goosebumps all over, my hands tugging on his soft hair, pulling on it as I suck on his tongue and lip.

Armie leans me against the mirror once again, his large and warm hands holding tight onto my waist, helping me keep my balance. The contrast of the cold mirror on my back and his hot body pressed against mine drives me wild, it almost makes me feel lightheaded.

I keep on moaning, my hands desperate to explore every single inch of Armie´s body and figure out if all I had dreamt of was actually true. My hands quickly find the waistline of his tights and my fingers trace it teasingly before I cup his cock through the fabric of the pants.

A small groan escapes him, but his hand swiftly moves to mine and grabs both my wrists, pinning my arms above my head in such a fast movement that I barely have time to process what happened. His lips leave mine and find shelter on my shoulder, his tongue and teeth dragging through the skin.

“Control yourself, boy.” His voice is hoarse, low and goes straight to my cock, which starts growing harder. “There's no need to rush anything here.”

“Oh fuck.” I gasp as he finds my sweet spot and sucks on it. “You are gonna keep teasing me, aren't you?”

Armie smirks and frees my arms and I drop them to his shoulders, my nails digging on his flesh. He leaves kisses all the way from my shoulder to my face, stopping when he is practically touching my lips. I can feel his hot breathing all over me. “When have I ever teased you?”

“Besides now?” I turn slightly to the side, our eyes meeting in an intense stare. “Let me see, whenever you would put on a show as you took your shirt off, when you were warming up, being all sweaty and breathless in front of me, holding my hips, walking or…”

“Existing?” He is joking, but only God knows how true this is for me.

“Yeah, actually.” He smirks, his teeth pulling on my bottom lip as his hands slide down to my thighs and he grips on them, pulling me impossibly closer.

“I apologize then, I never meant to tease you.”

“I didn't say I didn't like it.” I lick my lips and can see his eyes wander to it. It makes me so horny to see the effect I have on him, to see him reacting to the smallest of the gestures I make. It's still hard to believe this is all real.

But it is, you idiot, so take advantage of it.

“Kiss me, Mr. Hammer.”

Armie´s eyes go dark the moment his name leaves my lips in a teasing whisper. He presses his groin against mine, our hardening cocks rubbing together and sinks his nails on my thighs, the tingle of pain making me grip tighter onto him. When our lips meet he is a bit rougher, hungrier than he previously was and I smile to myself. Being in his arms makes me feel complete.



*******



I don´t even know how I manage to make it back home after the last few hours. Being in Armie´s arms, feeling his lips against mine and hearing his whisper on my ear has left my legs floppy and it´s a miracle that I am actually able to go up five flights of stairs. The goofy ass smile I have on my lips doesn´t seem like it´s going to disappear anytime soon, it´s like I have been embraced by a haze of happiness, arousal and desire.

I unlock the door and walk in, leaning against the wall as I replay every single detail of the night in my head. There´s so much going on inside of me, so much happiness and excitement I feel like screaming from the top of my lungs. My phone starts ringing in my pocket and I reach for it, answering Ansel´s call as I walk over to the kitchen, pouring myself some water.

"Where the hell are you?"

"At home?" I take a few sips of iced cold water, the liquid helping me cool myself down.

"What? You said you would meet me and Olivia after you left class."

"Shit." I sigh and shake my head, just now remembering the plans I had made with them. I want to tell him exactly why I forgot about them and as I am about to say, something stops me. Armie and I have not talked about how we´re gonna approach our relationship, if we have a relationship.

"Tim?"

"Sorry, Ansel, I wasn´t feeling very good after class and decided to take a walk, get some fresh air, you know? I totally forgot I had made plans with you guys, actually I just got home."

"It´s midnight."

"See? I completely lost track of time."

He is silent for a while and I can only hear the sound of the music in the distance, chattering and some laughs. "Are you okay? What happened in class that made you forget about everything else?"

Oh if you only knew, my friend.

"Nothing major, just the usual."

"He´s still not talking to you like he used to?"

"Ansel, you are having fun with your girlfriend, why don´t we talk about this some other time? I´m gonna go to bed and try to relax a little bit and you have a couple of shots for me."

"Okay. You are sure you are okay, right?"

"Yes, I am, no need to worry."

"Okay. Olivia is sending you a kiss and she wishes you were here with us."

I chuckle. "I´ll be there next time, I promise."

"Don´t make promises to her, you know better than this."

"Apparently, I don´t. Good night, Ansel."

"Good night. Call us if you need anything."

"Will do, thank you."

I hang up the phone and toss the phone on the bed. I kick off my shoes and take off my clothes before climbing onto bed, pulling the thin sheets over my body as I rest my chin on my knees, reaching for my phone so I can take a look at my messages.

The phone starts vibrating the moment I touch it and I arch an eyebrow as I see the message that pops up on my screen. I bite on my lip, suppressing a smile as I realize Armie stole my number from the whatsapp group we have, a group he created to let us know when a class had to be cancelled.

 

Mr. Hammer: [12:08 a.m.] I hope you made it home safe.

Timothée: [12:10 a.m.] Did you steal my phone from our whatsapp group, Mr. Hammer?

              Not very professional of you, huh?

Mr: Hammer: [12:12 a.m.] I think we´re pass the whole professional thing, dont ya?

Timothée: [12:14 a.m.] You can say so

Yes, I made it home safe.

Kind of wish I could still be there, tho ;)

Mr. Hammer: [12:17 a.m.] Do not tease me, boy.

Timothée: [12:20 a.m.] But its so much fun to do so.

Can I see you tomorrow?

Mr. Hammer: [12:22 a.m.] Sure. I dont teach on saturday

    I got the whole day off.

Timothée: [12:25 a.m.] Where do we meet?

Mr: Hammer: [12:26 a.m.] At the studio.

    Is that okay?

Timothée: [12:27 a.m.] Only if you promise we will finish that Pas de Deux

Mr. Hammer: [12:28 a.m.] Only if you promise not to runaway

Timothée: [12:30 a.m.] You are stuck with me, Mr. Hammer.

I dont plan on running away anytime soon.

Mr. Hammer: [12:32 a.m.] Good to know.

    Go to bed, its getting late.

    See you tomorrow at the studio.

    3 p.m. okay?

Timothée: [12:32 a.m.] I´ll be there.

Good night.

Mr. Hammer: [12:33 a.m.] Good night.

 

I place the phone down on the nightstand and lie down on the bed, my eyes stuck on the ceiling and a bright smile on my face. I think it´s safe to say I won´t be sleeping anytime soon.



*******

 

The sun is high in the sky and there are no clouds in sight, the temperature is high but nothing excessive, which makes walking around a bit more pleasant. I can see the building in the distance and a smile comes to my lips right away, I unconsciously increase my pace, dying to be reunited with Armie once again. The events of the previous nights are still so fresh in my memory, but I also can´t wait to have new things to remember him by.

The front door is closed but unlocked and suddenly I feel very self-conscious, looking over my shoulders and doing a 360 turn in the middle of the sidewalk before getting inside. The staircase lights are dimmed in, but there is low music coming from upstairs, it´s an old 80´s tune and I smile to myself. Is this the kind of music he likes?

I quickly get up the stairs and open the door to the studio, seeing as Armie turns around immediately. He smiles at me and I stop for a second, admiring him as he stands there with skinny jeans, a black t-shirt and messy hair. God, he is the most gorgeous man in the whole universe.

"Hi," he walks over to me, wrapping his arms around my waist and I nearly combust. Oh, how many times have I imagined this exact scenario, his arms around me, his forehead against mine and my hands grabbing onto his shirt.

"I could barely sleep last night and I blame you."

"Me?"

I nod. "Couldn´t stop thinking about when I´d feel your lips against mine again, so I rolled around on the bed for hours, thinking about you, trying to control the urge to text you."

"Maybe you should have texted me."

"Would you help me get some sleep?"

He shrugs. "Or maybe keep you awake for a little longer, but indulging in nicer things than rolling around on the bed."

"And then you say you never tease me"

Armie´s fingers grab my chin and his lips brush against mine. "I said I never teased you, doesn´t mean I won´t do it from now."

"I look forward to it, then."

We kiss, soft and slow, our hands exploring each other's bodies while our legs stumble around until we hit the barre. Armie is leaned against it as I stand on my toes to reach his mouth, both my hands traveling down his waist and to his ass, finally being able to grab on those cheeks, feel their weight on my palms.

"You have no idea how long I´ve been dreaming about this ass of yours."

"Oh really?" His lips are on my jaw, my neck and my shoulder, sucking on every single bit of skin he can find.

"Aham, the amount of times I´ve had wet dreams with you would also be a little alarming."

Armie laughs and looks at me, tucking some curls behind my ear. "I´d love to hear about those dreams, perhaps they have something to do with you lurking on my Instagram too?"

"How the hell do you know about that?"

"You liked a photo a few weeks ago," he has a smirk on his face as I shake my head, cursing at myself for being so reckless. I tried to be so careful. "It was the night we ran into each other at SoHo Room."

"Oh my God."

"What?"

"I drank a bit too much that night and might have made a little mess while staring at your photo."

He chuckles but also turns bright red at the realization of what I am saying. "Were you jerking off to my pictures? Are you serious?"

"Creepy, right?"

"A little bit, yes."

I groan, burying my face on his chest as he laughs and wraps his arms around me. I tug on the hem of his shirt and let out a contentment sigh as I feel his fingers stroke my back. This feels so natural, so perfect.

"But, it can be quite an honor to know you are someone's reason to masturbate."

"You are just trying to make me feel better."

"Yes, yes I am."

I chuckle and look up at him, pecking his lips quickly before looking around. "So, what exactly are we gonna do?"

"Have you eaten yet?"

"A little bit, but it´s been a while."

Armie nods and grabs my hand and turns me around, giving me a backwards hug as we walk towards the center of the room. "I brought some sandwiches and some other stuff, we could eat something and then work on that Pas de Deux."

"In jeans?"

"I brought my tights, but you can do it on your underwear, I don´t mind."

"Oh, I´m sure you would love that very much."



******



Everything has gone quiet, our breathing the only faint sound inside the studio as we lie on the floor, my head resting against Armie´s chest while he has an arm around me. My hand is inside his shirt, my fingertips tracing his smooth chest hair and feeling the hardness of his nipples.

This moment is more than I could have ever imagined, to be in such a simple but intimate position with Armie makes me feel happy and accomplished. I had been in love with him for months now, dreaming about the ways he would hold me in his arms and kiss me, fantasizing about his naked body pressed against mine, but this? No, romance was never really something I had in mind.

But now that it was in my mind, it did bring me a series of questions. Questions I knew I needed to make, but was not brave enough to actually say it out loud.

“You´ve gone awfully quiet,” says Armie as he tightens his grip on me, pulling me even closer to his body. “Is everything alright?”

“I was just thinking.”

“About us.”

“About us...if there is an us or if this is something that will be over by the time the weekend ends.”

Armie lifts my chin, making me look at him. He looks serious, but his eyes are soft and full of understanding. “Do you want this to be over by the time the weekend ends?”

“What?” I furrow my eyebrows and sit down quickly, hand cradling Armie´s face as he leans on his elbows. “Of course not. I want to get to know you, Armie, know every single thing you like and dislike. I want to know what makes you this beautiful and talented human being you are. I have been dreaming about something like this for months now, I don't want it to last for only a weekend.”

“I don't want that either, Timothée, but you brought up the subject and…,” he sighs and sits up too, taking one of my hands in his. “I want to get to know you too, okay? I want to see where we can go with this, because I really like you.”

“But?”

There is always a but.

“But there are things we need to discuss if we want to make this work and be honest with each other. And that's what you were thinking about, wasn't it?”

I nod. “You mentioned the fact I am your student more than once, so there's definitely some fear inside of you. You don't want people to find out about us, do you?”

“I wish it was easy, I wish we could do things like any other couple who's just starting out does, but you are right, there's some fear inside of me.” Armie sighs, biting his lip as he looks down at our hands, his thumb brushing softly against my skin. “I teach teenagers in the afternoon, they are great kids and so far I never really had any problems, but can you imagine how their parents would react if they knew I was going out with a student?”

“I don't want to be the cause of any problems to you, Armie.”

“I know that, and I don't want to bring you into the middle of any drama.”

“So we don't tell anyone about us, that's what you are trying to say. Right?”

He nods, squeezing my hand as I give him a small smile. “I think it's the best we can do for now.”

“That's fine by me. I just got one more question.”

“Sure.”

“What are we?” The moment the words leave my lips I can feel my hands sweating and my mouth go dry. Armie is staring at me, quietly observing my expression change from calm, to uneasy and then a nervous wreck. “I mean, we don't have to be anything, we can just be Timothée and Armie, that's totally okay with me, I really just…”

“Do you always talk too much when you get nervous?” I nod my head and he chuckles, tucking some curls behind my ear as he leans closer to me. “I think it's really cute.”

“Most people would say annoying.”

“I'm not like most people.” I smile at him and he places a soft kiss on my lips. “We are going out, we are starting something. Let's go slow and see where that leads us, okay?”

“Okay.”

He kisses me again, this time pulling me to his lap. I tug on his shirt, feeling his hands slid down to my lower back and the shivers that run down my body are more intense than anything else I have ever felt.

He is talented, sweet, thoughtful, beautiful, sexy and now, all mine.





Chapter Text

I lean against the brick wall, slurping on my iced tea as I look around the crowded street, filled with people who are rushing to their jobs, schools and universities. The day is a bit cloudy, there's a breeze and a big chance of raining on the next few hours, which hopefully will only happen once I am secluded at the comfort of my apartment.

I see him coming in the distance, his eyes down to his phone as he types something. His blond hair is falling on his forehead, he is biting on his tongue and he keeps on fixing the strap of his bag, which insists in falling down his shoulder. When he finally looks up and sees me, there is an instant smile on his face and I don't think I have ever felt so good with myself.

“Good morning, Mr. Hammer.”

Armie licks his lips as he unlocks the door. “I think you´ll have to stop saying Mr. Hammer on that voice or we might have some trouble during classes.”

I chuckle and drink the rest of my tea, exaggerating on the sucking noise, which makes him glare at me. “What voice?”

“Don't be a fucking tease, Timothée, we have four hours of class ahead of us and sadly we won't be alone.”

I follow him inside, keeping my voice low and innocent. “I have no idea what you are talking about, Mr. Hammer, I wasn't teasing you, that was a genuine question.”

In a swift movement Armie has me pinned against the wall, his hands pressed hard against my hips, his left leg in between mine´s, applying friction against my groin as his lips find mine in a rough and sloppy kiss.

I moan, my hands grabbing fistfuls of his hair, pulling it softly as he seems about to devour me. This is hands down the most sexy and thrilling moment of my entire life.

“I´ve missed you yesterday,” the words leave my lips slowly as I try to regain my breathing, my eyes stuck on Armie´s swollen pink lips.

“We texted the whole day.”

“Not the same thing.”

He chuckles. “I really couldn't miss that ballet seminar, it's very important for networking. Gotta know as many people as you can.”

“Is this how you got the Juilliard auditions?”

“Exactly.” He pecks my lips and pulls away, standing his hand out for me. “C´mon, let's go upstairs.”

I take his hand and intertwine our fingers as we go up the stairs. He tells me everything about his Sunday in Brooklyn, all the great people he met and old friends he was reunited with. I smile the whole time, gladly hearing every single thing he tells me because that means he trusts me, that means he wants to share things with me.

Once inside the studio I help him with the windows and lights, while he works on the air conditioning and the music. I search through my bag, grab on my shoes and put them on, biting my lip as I turn around to see Armie warming up.

He sees me through the reflection and smirks at me, arching an eyebrow as I lean back on the wall, cross my arms and enjoy the show.

“How about you start your work, Mr. Chalamet?”

“I rather just sit here and watch you, Mr. Hammer.”

“Seriously, stop. You are gonna use that sexy voice in the middle of class and people are gonna freak out.”

“Sexy voice? Well, that's nice to hear… Mr. Hammer.”

Armie walks to me, kneels down in between my legs and grabs my face. I bite my lip, feeling my cock twitch a bit and practically melt into his touch. God, I love when he is sweet, but I also fucking love when he is rough.

“Don't tease me, boy.”

I simply smile and lean in for a kiss, which I gotta cut short as I hear footsteps on the hallway. Armie gets up quickly, makes his way over to his bag on the other side of the room and I just sit there, pretending to be stretching out my legs as Paul and Steve walk in, waving at me.

I have a feeling classes are gonna be a lot more fun from now on.



******



My right foot is en pointe while my left slides in a semicircle, my chest is projected forward and my arms in fourth position. I transition to an Arabesque, my left leg now extended behind my body in a straight line, then move to an Attitude, bending the leg on the knee in a 90 degrees angle. The song continues and I move my arms to first position, spinning around in a sequence of Pirouettes. I then stand en pointe , stomping to my right as my arms transition from fourth to first position repeatedly.

I look at us in the mirror, twelve guys moving in almost perfect synchrony, creating a motion that almost looks like a wave. I chuckle to myself at the thought and go on with the routine, watching from the corner of my eyes as Armie moves around the class. He stops by Paul and his hands instantly go to his hips, pressing on it as he says something to him. Paul says something back and Armie nods, they stay in that position for a little bit longer, talking quietly and I bite on my lip.

Armie has always done this, has always touched the guys while helping them get into position and yet now I can feel a little tingle of jealousy creep on me. I know it´s stupid, I know it won´t take me anywhere, but it´s something I can´t really help. Armie and I are together now and I wish his touch would be restricted only to me.

I keep staring at them from the corner of my eyes until Armie moves along the line again. He stops by Ansel and watches him for a second before nodding and moving over to me, he holds onto my waist and I bite hard on my lip, the touch taking me back to Saturday, to the hours we spent in this very own studio, his lips on mine, his hands exploring my body. Armie moves my arm to the right position and his eyes find mine through the reflection, a smirk on his lips as if he knows I was trying to get his attention.

"Behave, Timothée."

His words come in a barely audible whisper, a whisper only I am able to distinguish and I smile, my tongue tracing my bottom lip as his grip on my arm tightens. My body jerks at the pressure he applies there and I look at him from the corner of my eyes, he is serious and calm, as if nothing was going on.

"Okay, we are moving to the end. Remember, a series of Pirouettes followed by a Grande Jeté and finishing it with a Tour en L´air."

Armie walks away from me as we all move to the last bit of the choreography, a beautiful image being projected in the mirror as we all gracefully move our bodies. The song ends and we stop, heavy breathing all around as we move around the room, some heading to the locker room, some going straight to their bags and out.

I lazily make my way over to the corner where my bag is lying and throw myself on the ground, removing my shoes and massaging my feet for a few seconds. Ansel is standing right beside me, he puts on his shirt and combs his hair with his fingers. He turns around, looks at himself in the mirror and fixes his shirt as I chuckle, shaking my head.

"What?"

"Going somewhere fancy?"

"No, but I´m gonna go meet Olivia at this new restaurant on Crosby street. She has been talking about it the entire weekend, I guess she read some reviews for it and saw some photos, so now she´s desperate to go there."

"The new Thai place?"

"Exactly, do you wanna come with us?"

His question lingers in the air as I let my eyes wonder to Armie, who´s standing close to the window, a serious look on his face as he listens to Paul. I furrow my eyebrows, trying to figure what the hell they could be talking about and wondering why the fuck Paul has to be so close to him. I feel a hand on the back of my head and groan, looking up at Ansel, who is leaned against the barre.

"What was that for?"

He kneels down beside me. "Is this how you pretend not to like the guy? Because you´re sending Paul the biggest death glare you could master."

"No, I was not."

"I´ll take a picture next time." I roll my eyes and get up, stuffing my shoes inside my bag. "So, do you want to join us or not?"

I take a quick look at Armie, who´s still talking with Paul, but glances at me for a brief second. I give him a small smile, one that only lingers in the corner of my lips and then turn to Ansel, nodding my head as I do so. "Sure, let´s go."

"Great."

He picks his bag and we head out of the studio, my eyes wandering to Armie once more before I lose him from my sight. I grab my phone, check on some messages I have and then search for Armie´s name, typing a quick text to him while going down the stairs.

 

Timothée: [12:10 p.m] Going to lunch with Ansel and his gf

                                    But Im wishing I could have lunch w/ u

                                   I will miss you

                                  See you tonight

 

"What´s with the smile?"

"Huh?" I arch an eyebrow as I look up at Ansel.

"What´s with the smile? You seem strangely calm and relaxed today, which is quite a different attitude from the guy I talked to on Friday afternoon. Actually, to be quite honest, ever since I called you on Friday night you sound different."

"I guess I just stopped worrying about me and A...me and Mr. Hammer. I want classes to go on as well as possible and although I kept complaining about him, my attitude wasn´t helping either."

"Well, that makes sense...still don´t get the whole face eating smile, but okay."

"Are you annoyed because I am happy?"

He shakes his head, chuckling as he turns to me. "No, I´m curious on why you are happy."

"I´m just happy."



******



I run up the stairs to the studio, a bright smile on my face as I count the seconds to see Armie again. The moment I step inside the studio I see him leaned against the window, watching the city below him and I bite on my lip. I can feel my whole body light up at the sight of him and my heart beat faster, just looking at him makes my day -and night- feel better.

I walk over to him, wrapping my arms around his waist and place a few soft kisses on his neck, smirking as I hear a low moan escape his lips. Armie turns around, his large hands holding tight onto my waist, pressing our bodies together. He leans down to kiss me, teasing me as he rubs his nose against mine and then runs the tip of his tongue across my lips. I get a fistful of his shirt, trying to steady myself when his lips find mine and he kisses me, slow and sensually, his tongue exploring my mouth.

Armie´s fingers find my hair and he tugs on it, which makes me moan loud, my hand slowly sliding down his stomach and to his crotch, cupping him through the fabric of his tights. He bites my bottom lip and leans against my touch, encouraging me to go on and I gladly do so, feeling every single inch of his cock against my palm and dreaming of the day I will actually see it.

When we pull away, flushed and gasping for air, Armie leans his forehead against mine, his blue eyes intensively looking at me. "You are gonna be the death of me, Timothée."

"Right back at ya, Mr. Hammer."

Armie smirks and removes my hand from his cock, placing a soft kiss on my lips. "We should get ready for class."

"Or we could keep on going."

"Timothée, just because we are together doesn´t mean I will cut you any slack. Get on your shoes and start warming up, because we have a lot to do."

"Okay, then when do we have some fun?"

Armie chuckles and lets his arms wrap around me once again, bringing my body closer to his. "I promise you we will have enough time to enjoy ourselves, but can we focus on the class first?"

"You promise me?"

He kisses me again, his sweet taste almost intoxicating. "I promise you, now go get your shoes."

"Okay, I´ll go." I roll my eyes in annoyance and turn around, only to feel Armie´s hand against my ass, slapping me playfully. I gasp and look at him over my shoulder, watching as he smirks, crossing his arms against his chest. "Is this how you plan to get me to focus in class?"

"Anything to get you going, boy."

I smirk and turn to face him, walking backwards. "You´ll get me going, but not in the way you want to."

"Just start warming up, Timothée, please."

I can´t help but laugh, my eyes never leaving his. "I can destabilize you, can´t I?"

"More than you can imagine and I am sure you´re loving it."

"I am, I really am."



*******



Armie´s hands are on my waist as we move to the side, his grip steadying, my feet moving from resting position to en pointe . My chest is projected forward, my eyes focused on our reflection and my arms on third position. His fingers tap on my left side and I do a turn out, before raising my leg until my foot is leveled with my right knee. I see him smile and his grip tighten around me before he lifts me up and spins me around.

I know it sounds silly and very cliche, but the image seems straight out of one of these musicals or rom-coms and I can barely contain myself. Armie puts me down slowly and once my feet touch the ground his arms wrap around my waist, his lips leaving a wet kiss on my neck before he looks at me through the reflection.

"You did a great job today."

I bite on my lip, trying to contain myself from smiling like a fucking idiot. I look to my side, my hand resting on his cheek and rubbing it softly. "Because of you."

"No, because you are focused and working hard."

"And you are helping me."

Armie turns me around, his hands cradle my face and I lean against his touch. "You are getting better because you want to get better, Timothée." He kisses me and I wrap my arms around his neck, getting en pointe so I can reach him. His hands slid down to my waist and wraps around me, pulling me up and allowing me to wrap my legs around his hips.

The kiss slowly turns a bit more intense and I pull on his shirt, trying to get it off of him as he chuckles. Armie leans me against the mirror, his crotch pressed against mine as he quickly pulls his shirt off of him and attaches his lips on mine once again. I ran my hands down his bare chest, feeling him shiver at my touch, which only makes me kiss him harder.

Armie´s hands slide down to my ass, holds onto it and I tremble from head to toe. He kisses down my jaw to my neck, where he sucks on it, surely leaving a mark. I tilt my head back and close my eyes, through my parted lips melodic moans escape me and my breathing gets hasty, my cock twitching inside my tights and aching for some attention.

"Fuck, Armie, I need you."

He lets go of my ass and I let my legs down, my hands holding onto his biceps. Armie leans his forehead against mine, his eyes stuck on mine as his hands slid down my body and inside my tights. I gasp, my knees shaking as I feel his hand wrap around my hard cock, stroking it painfully slowly. My lips quiver, my nails dig into his skin and thrust into his hand, hearing his heavy breathing mix with my moans of pleasure.

For so long have I dreamt of feeling him touching me this way and now it is all real. His hand is warm, his grip is tight and when he starts sucking on my neck, I nearly fall to the ground in pure bliss.

"Please, don´t stop."

"Not until you cum." He nibbles on my ear and quicks his pace, working on my cock in a way only a very skilled man would do so. I feel my stomach clench, my cock throb and my balls tighten; I lean my forehead against Armie´s shoulders, taking deep breaths as I get closer to an orgasm.

Armie´s fingers brush against the sensitive head and I moan loud, my nails almost cutting his skin. He lifts my head, runs his finger through my lips and then pulls some of my hair behind.

"Look at me, Timothée."

I keep my eyes closed, savoring every single second of what is probably the best hand job I ever received in my life.

"Look at me, Timothée, I want you to look me in the eye as I do this."

I blink a couple of times, trying to focus on him although I am so caught up on a haze of pleasure I can barely see anything.

"You look so beautiful right now," his voice is low and hoarse, his breathing is heavy and I can already feel an incredible amount of precum leave me. "I can´t wait for you to cum, I can wait to see the look in your eyes as you coat my fingers with your cum, Timothée."

"F-fuck."

"You are coming, aren´t you? I can feel your cock throbbing on my hand, it´s okay, just let it go."

"A-Armie."

"Fuck, Timothée, cum for me."

I throw my head back and loudly moan his name, my cock throbbing madly as cum spurts out of it and coats Armie´s hands. I feel his arm wrap around me as I fall into his body, completely spend after an hour and a half of class and the most amazing orgasm I have experienced this far in my life. He kisses my neck, his hand still lazily stroking me as I try to get my breathing back to normal.

"This...this was more than I could expect."

"In a good way, I hope."

I chuckle and look up at him. "Did you see just how much I came, Armie?"

He kisses me quickly and tucks a few curls behind my ear while I let out a sigh, a lazy smile on my lips. "If classes are gonna be this good from now on, I think we could move to two hours every night."

"You wish."

"I do."




Chapter Text

There's music playing in the bookstore today, Sarah finally convinced Mr. Johnson to allow us to play something during the day, nothing too loud or aggressive, things that could easily entertain our customers and make their stay a bit more cozy. For the past hour Lorde´s voice is what fills my ears, which makes the work seem even more fun than it usually is.

I stack the shelves with the new books we got while humming the song, my head bobbing as I move around, my feet tapping the wooden floor when I lean back to take a look at the shelves. I smile proudly at myself and my work and turn around, only to find Sarah leaned against the counter, chin resting on her hands, eyes stuck on me and eyebrows furrowed.

I look around confused and arch an eyebrow, crossing my arms as she keeps herself quiet. I start feeling a little bit uncomfortable with her deep staring and turn back around, grabbing some books from the box on the floor and placing them down on the nearest table, fixing the price tags and putting the newest ones in better view.

“Okay, what the fuck is wrong with you and why you keep staring at me?”

“You look happy.”

“Thanks?”

“It's just weird because until Friday you were moping around because of your hot teacher and now you´re all vibrant, you´re giggling and you can´t stop looking at that goddamn phone.” She stares at me some more, biting on her lip before a huge grin comes to her face and I fear for the worst. “Who you fucking?”

“What?” My voice comes out a little more high pitched than I wanted to and I can see Sarah´s face turn into a mischievous one. “Where that came from?”

“Oh please, it's right in your face, Timothée. I don't know what you did over the weekend, but you got laid and that's why you are beaming right now.”

“Seriously, I have no idea what you are talking about, Sarah, my sex life is quite dull right now.” I almost feel bad saying this when less than twenty four hours ago I was leaned against the studio mirror, moaning desperately as Armie gave me the best hand-job of my life.

“You do know you are not a very good liar, right?”

“Hey!”

“I can see in your face, your whole attitude changed and I can´t think of any other reason for that other than sex.”

I sigh and walk over to her, leaning against the counter and taking her hand in mine. “Believe me, Sarah, it's been so long that if I did get into someone´s pants, I´d be telling everyone about it.”

She shakes her head and holds onto my chin, bringing me incredibly closer to her. “You are keeping something from me, Chalamet.”

Before I can answer we hear the door open and I step back, gesturing for her to go talk to the customer while I get back to the pile of books I was taking care of. I look over my shoulder, watch as she busies herself showing books to a cute young woman and take my phone out, typing a text to Armie.

 

Timothée: [3:00 p.m.] Risking being called clingy…

                                  Can I see you tonight?

Mr. Hammer: [3:04 p.m.] I can take clingy ;)

                                        Wanna stop by the studio?

                                       Classes end at 4:30

Timothée: [3:06 p.m.] I leave the bookstore at 5

                                  I can get there in 5 minutes

Mr. Hammer: [3:08 p.m] I will be waiting

                                        Sweaty, tired and shirtless ;)

Timothée: [3:09 p.m] I wouldnt mind if you were pantless too

                                  Just fyi

Mr. Hammer: [3:11 p.m.] I will think about it

 

I chuckle to myself and bite on my lip, just the thought of Armie waiting for me in the studio completely naked and still sweaty from his previous class makes my body tingle and my cock come to life.

 

Timothée: [3:13 p.m.] Gotta go now

                                  But will keep the image of you naked and sweaty on my head

                                  See you later

Mr. Hammer: [3:15 p.m] If you turn out to be a good boy I could send you a visual ;)

                                      See you :)

 

I stare at the message with wide eyes, my mouth suddenly going dry as I read over and over again, trying to make sure I read it correctly. Mr. Hammer wants to send me nudes? Well, not really something I expected him to say so soon, but definitely not something I would be mad about.

Not mad at all, to be honest.

“Hey, Timothée!”

I turn around, just now realizing there's at least two more people on the store and bite on my lip. I watch as Sarah walks over to me with a little piece of paper on her hand and try to push back the thought of a naked Armie from my head.

“That lady ordered a book and she´s here to collect it, can you take care of this while I go check on what the other customers want?”

“Sure, I´ll do it.”



******



I lean against the threshold, a smile on my face as I stare at Armie. He is sitting down underneath the window, back against the wall and eyes concentrated on the book he has in hand. Rays of sunshine come through the window and there's Beethoven playing very low, the combination brings an almost ethereal vibe to the place. In this case, he is the angel; the beautiful, gracious and yet strong angel.

I watch as Armie stretches out his legs and crosses over the ankles, his fingers flipping through the pages before he combs his hair, pushing some of the rebellious golden strands back. It takes him a while to realize I am there, but when he finally looks up and sees me, a wide smile comes to his face and he instantly closes the book, placing it beside him.

“Good afternoon.”

“Good afternoon, Mr. Hammer.”

I wink at him and watch as he shakes his head, which makes me chuckle. I walk over, taking a sit beside him on the floor, our legs and arms touching. I ran a hand through his golden hair, letting out a sigh as I feel the soft touch against my fingers. I don't think I will ever get over how much I actually love this man and every single thing about him.

Armie leans down and places a kiss on my lips. It's sweet and tender, slow and passionate. The softness of his lips against mine reminds me of cotton-candy, his taste is like the most precious honey in the world, in a matter of seconds I can feel every single inch of my skin burn and my heart beat faster. I don't think a kiss has ever felt so perfect.

“What's in the bags?”

I smile and reach for the bags, placing it between us as he wraps an arm around my shoulders. “I stopped by this little delicatessen close to the bookstore and bought us some food. The thing is, I don't really know much about you yet, so I had to decide everything on my own. I just hope you are not vegetarian.”

Armie chuckles, reaching for the bags so he can take a quick look at it. “I love meat way too much to ever consider the idea of being a vegetarian. C´mon, tell me what are the options here.”

“There's Tuna and Pastrami sandwiches, chips, Iced Tea with lemon and Pink Lemonade. What does Mr. Hammer fancy?”

He bites his lip, pretending to be deep in thought before he reaches for the Pastrami sandwich and the Iced Tea. I nod and handle him a straw before opening the bag of chips, placing some on top of a napkin to make things easier for us. I reach for my own sandwich and take a few bites of it, savouring the taste of it, happy to finally be eating.

Armie stares at me with a smile on his face and I arch an eyebrow. He leans closer and lets his finger trace the corner of my lips, taking some mayo and then sucking on his finger. I lick my own lips and swallow hard, my eyes focused as his finger slowly leaves his mouth with a little popping sound. For fuck´s sake, this man is gonna be the death of me.

“Eat your food and stop teasing me, Mr. Hammer.”

He smiles and leans close, this time letting his lips rest on mine for a couple of seconds. When I try to deepen the kiss, Armie pulls away and I shake my head, watching as he stuff his mouth with sandwich.

“You are so damn mean.”

“Sorry, but you look so cute when you are staring at me like this, unsure of what to do or say.”

I can feel myself blushing and he chuckles. I punch his shoulder and roll my eyes, taking a few sips of my Lemonade while I lean against Armie once again, resting my head on his shoulder.

“So, when did you realize you wanted to be a ballet dancer?”

“I was around ten, I think. I tried soccer, football, basketball, but I didn't really like any of it. So one day I went to this event with my mom, there was a small ballet presentation and I was mesmerized by it. I seriously couldn't stop talking about it, so after a while my mom tried to find a place where I could take classes and...well, it was truly the best thing I ever did in my life.”

“Did your parents accept it easily?”

“Yes, both my parents never really had a problem with me dancing or anything else regarding my life. They always allowed me to make my own decisions, be who I wanted to be and learn with my mistakes.”

I nod and take a few chips into my mouth, chewing on it as I think about another question. “Okay, I need to know exactly how old you are.”

“How old do you think I am?”

“Thirty?”

“Thirty-two, actually, but I'm flattered.”

I chuckle, shaking my head. “Okay, let me see…”

“Am I gonna be allowed to ask questions?”

“Of course you are. What do you wanna know?”

Armie keeps himself quiet and I sit up straight, watching as he bites on his tongue, clearly on deep thought. He turns to me, his lips curving in a small smile as he rests his hand on my cheek and I lean into his touch.

“Actually, never mind.”

“What? Why?”

“I think I rather find out what I need day by day.”

Those words hit me hard, the idea of him wanting to stick around enough to get to know everything about me is more than I could have ever expected from him. For a moment is like time stands still, nothing else matters but those words, which keep echoing in my head. I lean closer to Armie, my thumb rubbing on his cheeks and I place a soft kiss on his lips, smiling as he rests a hand on my back, keeping my body close to his.



*******



It's been a few hours since the sun has set and yet we´re still in the studio, the night breeze coming through the window, the moonlight creating interesting patterns on the floor and the walls. Armie is sitting on the same spot he was when I got here, the only difference this time is that I am lying on the ground, my head resting on his thigh as he strokes my hair.

I got my eyes closed, my breathing is calm and I have the biggest smile someone can imagine in my face. These little moments of intimacy I am experiencing with Armie are so organic, so natural it almost seems like we have both been waiting for this moment our entire lives. And maybe we were, maybe being together was always something meant to happen.

I feel one of his fingers trace down my forehead, my nose and rest on my lips, running back and forth, making me smile even more. I open my mouth and take his finger inside, sucking on it as I hear his breathing get a little harder. When I open my eyes I can see a smirk on his face, his blue eyes are stuck on me and if I wasn't already lying down, sure my knees would give in.

We stare at each other in silence, his finger still in my mouth, his hand still stroking my hair. I raise my hand to his face, tracing his jaw with the tip of my finger as if I want every single inch of me to recognize every single inch of him. I want to recognize his touch no matter where we are, I want to close my eyes late at night and remember every hair on his body, every tic he has and every birthmark.

“The way you look at me kind of scares me.”

I arch an eyebrow, playing with the hem of his shirt. “It scares you? Why?”

“It's like you created an image of me that I might not be able to live up to, which will eventually leave you disappointed and that scares me.”

“I have fantasized about you, that's true, but I imagined things because I honestly knew nothing about you besides the fact you are a ballet teacher. Now I am starting to know the real you and I like what I see, even more than what I imagined you to be like.”

“I am glad to hear, but I still hope you won't find yourself disappointed in the end.”

“I never imagined you to be perfect, Armie, if that's what you are thinking. I fantasized about you, but I was always careful enough not to put you on a pedestal. Besides, that was my take on Mr. Hammer not Armie Hammer.”

“Oh, I'm two different people now?”

I shrug. “Let's say the ballet version of you is a character you created, it's still you, but not who you truly are. Does that make any sense to you?”

He chuckles, leaning down to place a kiss on my forehead. “It does, actually.”

“Good.” There's a minute of silence before I sit up, hands now resting on Armie´s thighs. “That makes me wonder, did you actually planned to create this whole Mr. Hammer facade or it just happened?”

“It is not a facade, when it comes to my work and training I am a very serious person. I like to think of myself as a fun person to be around, I like to go out with my friends, have some drinks and even get shitfaced from time to time, but ballet is my life, it's what I always loved and I take it very seriously.”

“I know that...everyone does, actually.”

“I am a strict teacher because I know there needs to be hard work to achieve anything, so I rather come out as the annoying guy who never gives his students a break, but sees them achieve something great in life. Like you will do.”

“Do you really have that much faith in me?”

“Why are you even asking me this?”

I shrug my shoulders and chew on my lip, my hand rubbing up and down his leg. “Do you really believe in my talent or there's a chance you are saying this because you like me?”

“My feelings for you have absolutely nothing to do with this, Timothée. I could see from day one that you have a rare kind of talent, that you could do great things if you set your mind to. You definitely have a spot waiting for you in Juilliard.”

“Please, don't say that.”

Armie smiles, kisses me softly and tucks a curl behind my ear. “I am only speaking the truth here, Timothée, you will definitely get a spot.”

I try to control myself, not get too hyped up, but the fact he trusts me enough to say those things make me feel so good. I kiss him once more, letting our lips linger together for a little longer before pulling away.

“I better get going.”

“Want me to walk you home?”

“People could see us.”

“We are allowed to run into each other in the street, Timothée.”

I chuckle and nod my head. “In this case, yes, I´d love to.”



********

 

The streets are fairly quiet compared to how busy they normally are at this hour, many stores are already closed, most bars are still quiet and the weather is hot but cloudy and windy. Armie and I walk side by side, but always keeping a reasonable distance between us in case anyone would see us.

The walk from the studio to my building isn´t very long, just a couple of blocks, but we do it slowly, savouring the moments we have alone. He laughs at my silly jokes, listens carefully as I talk about my friendship with Ansel, how I started doing ballet and how my parents always encouraged me and my sister to appreciate all kinds of art.

“They sound like really cool people.”

“They are. Since my dad retired they have been traveling a lot, so we don't get to spend much time together, but when we do is always great.”

“You still live with them?”

I shake my head, getting a bit closer to him and wishing I could reach out and hold his hand, intertwine his fingers with mine. “No, I moved when I went to college, I wanted the full experience of being on my own.”

“At what time of the day do you go to college?”

“Don't you know my days have twenty-eight hours, Mr. Hammer?” I laugh, shaking my head while I point over to the left, making sure he knows where we are going. “I don't go anymore. I started out, very enthusiastic to be honest, but slowly realized it wasn't exactly what I wanted, so I decided to focus solely on ballet.”

“What was your major?”

“History.”

He looks down at me, a smirk on his face as I arch an eyebrow. “Not what I expected.”

I open my mouth to say something when I feel the first drops of rain fall on me. I look up, watching as the rain quickly gets more intense and instantly grab onto Armie´s wrist, pulling him with me as I run the last blocks to my apartment.

I only stop when we're safe under the awning of the building. I shake my head, trying to get rid of the excess of water in my hair as Armie pushes his hair back, drops of water running down his neck.I bite on my lip, leaning against the brick wall and watch him for a second, his body glistening.

Armie looks at me, deep blue eyes piercing through my soul and I can feel my breathing getting a little hasty. He looks around before stepping closer to me, a hand sliding to my waist as he presses his body against mine.

“We are in the middle of the street.”

“I know,” his voice is a whisper before he closes the gap between us. Our lips move together, a famished desire as our hands wander through each other´s body and my heart pounds inside my chest. He only pulls away when we are both breathless, our faces flushed and our lips swollen. Armie keeps his hands on my hips, keeping me close as he leans his forehead against mine. “I should go now.”

“Or maybe you could get inside.”

“I know myself, if I go upstairs with you there's no way I will be on time tomorrow morning. So go inside, take a warm bath and have a good night of sleep.”

“Are you sure you don't want to come in?”

“I am sure.”

“But…”

“Friday.”

I arch an eyebrow, my hands tugging on his shirt. “What's on Friday?”

“If you want we can have dinner at my apartment, just the two of us, no one to bother, no need to wake up early on Saturday.”

I nod, my lips quivering, my hands sweating and my whole body catching on fire at the promise his words bring.

“Let's call it a date night.”



Chapter Text

I can hear the cars in the distance and see the city lights flickering through the closed curtains as I lie in bed, sheets kicked to the ground, a pillow in between my legs and my eyes stuck on the window. Armie´s voice is still echoing inside of me, the way he looked at me while talking about Friday, the way he proposed the whole thing. A date, we were going to have a fucking date night and I didn't even know how to process that information.

I needed to talk to someone, I needed to let it out all of the expectations and excitement I had inside of me. I reach for my phone on the nightstand, unlock it and look through my contact list, my finger hovering over Ansel´s name for a good minute before I lock the phone once again. Armie´s job is in line here, if anyone finds out about us, if any of the parents of the teenagers he teaches finds out about us, it could lead to him losing many students and that's something I´d never want it to happen.

I unlock the phone once again, click on Ansel´s name and start typing something out, deleting it all right after it. I'm nearly losing my mind right now, so I toss the phone on the bed and get up quickly, heading over to the kitchen and getting a glass of water, drinking it all in one go. I let out a sigh and head over to the balcony, taking a sit on the chair and leaning my feet on the table.

I never thought only the idea of an actual date with Armie -and on his freaking apartment- would leave me so damn nervous.



******



“...and now a final Assemblé.”

Armie´s voice comes loud over the music, his sharp eyes focused on us as I lift off the floor on one leg and land on two, my legs assembling at the same time and returning to fifth position just as the song comes to an end.

“And this is all for today, guys. Great job everyone, you can all get some rest now. Remember class starts at 9 a.m. tomorrow instead of 8 a.m.”

We all nod and in a matter of seconds everyone rushes to their bags, gathering their things and leaving the studio as quick as possible. I make my way to the small locker room and wash my face, trying to get rid of some of the sweat and stalling as much as I can.

When I finally leave, Ansel and Paul -who is again talking to Armie- are the only ones there. I grab my bag, pull out my t-shirt and put it on over the tank top before getting down to the floor, taking off my ballet shoes and lazily stuffing them into my bag.

“You have time for lunch today?”

I shake my head. “No, I gotta make a quick stop at the bank before I head to the bookstore, so I brought myself a sandwich and I´ll just eat there.”

Ansel nods, swinging his backpack over his shoulder. “In this case I'm heading off. Why don't you stop by at my place later tonight, Olivia is planning on cooking some pasta and you know she always ends up doing too much.”

I chuckle and nod my head. “Sure, I´ll be there, but can only make it after...you know what.”

Ansel takes a quick look at Paul and Armie, who keep on talking near the window and then turns back to me, nodding his head. “I´ll let her know, we'll wait for you.”

“Thanks, man.”

“See you tonight.”

I give Ansel a quick nod and watch as he walks away from me, exiting the studio. I turn back to my bag and take a long look through it, letting out a sigh as I wait for Paul to leave once for all. When he finally says goodbye, I give him a small -and quite fake- smile and get up, turning to face Armie, who´s already making his way over.

“I didn't know you and Paul had so much to talk to with each other.”

“What?” He arches an eyebrow, wrapping an arm around my waist and pulling me closer to him. I rest my hands on his biceps and shrug my shoulders, watching his expression change from confusion to amusement. “Are you jealous?”

“What? Why would I be jealous?”

“I don't know, but you are.”

“I'm not jealous, don't be stupid.”

Armie chuckles and pecks my lips, his hands sliding up to my face, cradling it as he rubs my cheeks. “Paul is having some trouble and might not be able to attend classes as regularly as he does, that's why we were talking, nothing for you to worry about.”

“I was not worried, I was just…”

“Jealous.” I roll my eyes and bite on my lip, crossing my arms as he laughs. “You look cute when you are jealous, but you do know there's absolutely no reason for that, right? I like you and only you.”

“Sorry, I really didn't mean to sound stupid or jealous. I mean, we barely started this and I am already making myself look like a damn fool.”

“No, you are not.” He kisses me once more and this time I hold onto his shoulders, deepening the kiss for a moment. “I said I wanted to know every single thing about you as the days went by and this little things, this is what makes you you.”

I chuckle and peck his lips, his large hands sliding inside my t-shirt. “I never really had the chance to say, mainly because I was too excited to do so, but I am looking forward to Friday.”

“So am I, Timothée.”

“You know you can call me Tim or Timmy, right? Timothée sounds so serious.”

He nods, burying his face on my neck and leaving little kisses until he reaches my ear, nibbling on it. “That's nice, but I really like your name and the way it sounds when it leaves my mouth.”

A shiver runs down my spine and my nails dig into his skin. He presses our bodies closer together and whispers my name on my ear over and over again, every single hair on my body standing up and my knees giving in. I grab his face and make him turn to me, his blue eyes are glazed over, his face slightly flushed and it takes only a couple of seconds for him to close the gap in between us and attach his lips on mine, kissing me hungrily.



*******



Washington Square Park is filled with people as I run down the walking path, the sweat dripping down my forehead and my breathing a little heavier. It's a hot Thursday night, there's no breeze and most people have decided to stay on the park, sit around the fountain and enjoy the rest of their nights.

I would much rather spend my night with Armie at the studio, his arms wrapped around me and my fingers knotted on his hair, but since he had already planned a dinner with a friend, we couldn't see each other again after this morning´s class. The thought kind of saddened me, I was quickly getting used to seeing him every day and night now, but whenever I remembered that in about twenty four hours I would be alone with him at his apartment, none of that really mattered.

A part of me was still nervous, too eager to make sure everything went down perfectly on this date. I had been daydreaming about this for far too long, now that I was so close to making it a reality I didn't want anything to go wrong. I had spent an awful lot of time staring at my closet already, trying -effortlessly- to decide which kind of outfit would be the best for the occasion. I had sat down in bed for a long period of the afternoon wondering what Armie could have planned and on whether I should or not ask him about it. But mainly, I thought about how much I wanted to share this excitement with someone.

I stop by a popcorn stand and by myself some water, taking a seat in the nearest bench and fishing for my phone in my pocket. I unlock it and smile as I see a message from Armie, he had just left to go see his friend and wanted to let me know it would probably take some time before he could text me again. His thoughtfulness constantly surprised me, but also helped me see just how sweet of a man he really is.

 

Timothée: [6:30 p.m.] Hope you have fun with your friend

                                   Although I am slightly jealous that you chose him over me

Mr. Hammer: [ 6:33 p.m.] I thought you didnt get jealous?

Timothée: [ 6:35 p.m.] Maybe I get a little bit

                                    Dont like sharing my boyfriend with others

Mr. Hammer: [6:36 p.m.] Boyfriend?

Timothée: [6:40 p.m.] Fuck

                                   I didnt mean to make it sound so serious

                                   Sorry….

                                   Seriously...sorry

Mr. Hammer: [6:42 p.m.] I never said I didn't like it ;)

 

I let out a sigh as I see his message, feeling a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. Although I would love to call him my boyfriend, I am aware we are just now starting out this relationship and it seems too rushed to label things this way...even for me.

 

Timothée: [6:44 p.m.] Glad to hear...read that

Mr. Hammer: [6:48 p.m.] I just got to the bar

                                      I gotta go now

                                      Will text you later

Timothée: [6:51 p.m.] You have a class to teach tomorrow morning, Mr. Hammer

                                  Behave yourself!

Mr. Hammer: [6:51 p.m.] Is this Timothée the student or Timothée the boyfriend speaking?

 

I bite on my lip, leaning back on the bench as I try to control the giggles that so badly want to burst out of me. I really don't want to make a scene in the middle of a crowded park.

 

Timothée: [6:53 p.m.] Maybe both…

                                 Have fun tonight

                                Cant wait for tomorrow ;)



********

 

“Thank you,” I say quietly as the waiter places our plates down. I take a quick look at me steak and caprese pasta salad and smile, feeling my stomach growl in anticipation.

“The waiter is really into you.” I look up and arch an eyebrow, watching as Ansel chuckles and points over to the kitchen´s direction. “You didn't even notice, did you? He couldn't stop smiling at you the  whole time.”

I shrug my shoulder and focus my attention back to my food, stuffing my mouth with salad as Ansel keeps looking at me. His stare is kind of unraveling and it makes me feel uncomfortable because I know he knows I am hiding something from him. I want to tell, I want to share the excitement I am feeling, but the fear of jeopardizing Armie´s career always takes over.

He is your best friend, he would never fuck up with you.

“Maybe you should try and go out with someone. It could help you get over Mr. Hammer, that's if you want to get over him, of course.” I shrug, trying to keep myself quiet, which only encourages Ansel to go on. “You haven't really talked much about him or your situation lately, how are classes going?”

“Classes are going good, Mr. Hammer and I were…” I sigh and push my plate to the side, leaning my arms on the table as Ansel furrows his eyebrows, clearly confused and worried. “Look, I have been keeping something from you and I am sorry about it, it's kind of a delicate subject and I need to talk to you about it, but I also need you to promise me you will keep it a secret.”

“You know me well enough to know I don't go around spreading gossip, Tim.”

I nod. “Yeah, I know that.”

“Then what is it? What could be such a delicate subject that you thought you had to keep it from me?”

“Mr. Hammer and…” I sigh again, fidgeting with my fingers as I take a deep breath. “Armie and I are together.”

I can see a thousand of emotions and expressions go through Ansel´s face before he shakes his head and leans closer to me. “Are you trying to tell me you and Mr. Hammer are actually a couple?”

“That's exactly it.”

“What the...when did this happen?”

“Last Friday.”

“And you waited the whole week to tell me?”

“I shouldn't even be telling you about this, Ansel”

“And why not?”

“Because we need to keep things privately, we don't to draw any kind of attention towards the both of us. Armie is my teacher and some people might not understand the situation.”

“I gotta say I am a bit surprised.”

“What? You were the one who said he had feelings for me.”

“Yeah and I was clearly right, but I didn't expect anything to actually happen between the two of you, specially after the whole mess that kiss was.”

I shake my head and let out a chuckle. “It was a mess because neither one of us actually knew how to approach the situation in a healthy way, we closed off in fear of what could happen if we told each other the truth.”

“I can´t believe you and Mr. Hammer are actually a couple.” I smile and nod my head. “Now tell me, if this was supposed to be private, why did you decide to tell me?”

“Because you are my best friend and because I am going to his apartment tonight and, well I really needed to talk to someone about it.”

“Why?”

“Because I am nervous and excited and…” I take a few sips of my drink. “Honestly, I am freaking out a little bit, I can´t stop thinking about how it will be to see him in another environment, at his own place, to know a little bit more about his world.”

“Like this will be the actual transition from Mr. Hammer to Armie?”

“Exactly.”

Ansel shrugs, leaning his elbows on the table. “I think it's totally normal to feel this nervous, Tim. You´ve been in love with this man for months now, you´ve been waiting for this to happen for a while and now it's finally here, of course you´re excited and anxious about it.”

“He said he was worried about me getting disappointed as I figured out more about who he was, but now I am the one scared. What if in the end this turns out to be a disaster?”

“At least you´ll have tried.”

“Ansel…”

“You either try and fail or not try at all and regret it in the future. Stop worrying about what's gonna come next, live the moment and enjoy what you two got right now.”

I nod and take another sip of my drink, feeling a lot better with myself now that I have actually said what I was feeling to someone.






Chapter Text

French music fills the air as I stand in front of the mirror, my body completely naked and my eyes roaming through every bit of skin. I took a long and relaxing bath, trying my best to let go of my nervousness and my anticipation, trying to tell myself that this is what I´ve been dreaming of for months and there's no reason for this.

I never had a problem with my body and I still don't, but I also wonder what Armie will think when he actually sees me naked, sees every single freckle, birthmark and hair that covers me. Will he like what he sees? Will I be able to please him the way I want to?

Stop over thinking, you idiot. He likes you. He invited you over. He has already touched your dick. He wants you as much as you want him.

I sigh, taking a quick look at the clock before walking over to my closet, my eyes and hands scanning through all the clothes hanging there as I try to decide what to wear. I put on my boxers and then reach for my black skinny jeans, putting on and taking a quick look in the mirror again, making sure it looks as good as I remembered.

I furrow my nose as I try to make up my mind on which shirt to wear, pulling three out and trying on each one of them. I put on a tight grey shirt with sleeves that go all the way to my elbows, the fabric is thin and fits perfectly into my body, showing off my toned torso, but still not making it look like I want to show off.

I reach for my white sneakers and put it on, taking a step back so I can look at myself in the mirror. I run my fingers through my hair and try to style it in the best way possible, making sure it's tamed but still has a bit of a disheveled look to it. I bite on my lower lip, actually pleased with what I see in the reflection and smile to myself. I hear my phone buzz and run over to it, seeing a message from Ansel wishing me good luck tonight, which makes me laugh, and a message from Armie, which instantly makes my heart beat faster.

 

Mr. Hammer: [6:30 p.m.] Everything set for tonight, right?

Timothée: [6:32 p.m.] Im about to leave the apartment

Mr. Hammer: [6:34 p.m.] You got the address alright?

Timothée: [ 6:35 p.m.]  Yes I do

                                    I´ll be there in a few.

                                    Cant wait to see what you got planned

Mr. Hammer: [6:36 p.m.] I hope you will enjoy the night

Timothée: [6:38 p.m.] I am sure I will love it

                                    See you in a few minutes ;)

 

I lock my phone, stuff in my pocket and reach for my drawer, taking a condom out of it and stuffing inside my wallet. I take a long look at the open drawer, chewing on my lip before I reach for another one and put it along with the other. Might as well be prepared for everything.

I put my wallet on my back pocket and take one long and last look in the mirror. I check on the windows and the balcony door and let out a sigh, my palms sweating and my heart beating with excitement as I walk out of the apartment.

Hopefully I won't be back until tomorrow.



******



I tap my foot on the floor of the elevator, my hands tucked inside my pockets, my tongue repeatedly wetting my lips as I let my eyes wander around. The elevator is quite simple, but the entire building sure fits the stereotypes you see in movies about New York. Bricks, old school architecture and large windows on the outside, minimalist decoration with an industrial touch on the inside. The elevator was down a long hallway and the doorman seemed quite a nice guy, he told me Armie was already waiting for me and I should just go up to the seventh floor. Only when I was inside the elevator I noticed neither he nor Armie gave me the exact number to the apartment.

I reach for my phone and unlock it, about to write Armie a text when the elevator chimes and hits a stop. I hear the doors open and look up, instantly seeing Armie´s blue eyes; he is standing across from the hallway, leaned against the slide door and it only takes me one quick look to the side to realize I never got a number because this is a one apartment per floor kind of building, which already leaves me in awe. I take a quick look at him up and down, he is in all black, no shoes and his hair has that look of perfectly made mess that makes him look so damn hot. He smiles at me and I smile back, taking a step closer to him and getting on my toes so I can place a kiss on his lips.

“Welcome to my home.”

He slides to the right and lets me in, my eyes going wide as I take in the beauty of the apartment. The whole place is bright, brick walls painted white and the wall across from me has three large glass windows that overlook the city. I take a few steps in, mouth hanging open as I look around the place with the amusement of a child who has just seen the presents under the Christmas tree.

To my right there's a staircase and the kitchen, filled with utensils and extremely neat. To my left there's a dining table with enough space for eight people to sit down comfortably. I take a few more steps in, taking in every single detail of the place. Closer to the large glass windows is the living room, a large black leather sofa, coffee table and two armchairs. On the wall behind the sofa there are two shelves with minimalist ballet posters and some plants. On the opposite side there's a bookcase completely packed and in front of it a large desk. There's a computer, books, a photographic camera and what seems to be a sketchbook.

I spin around, stopping as I face Armie, who´s by now leaning against the kitchen counter, a smirk on his face. “Like what you see?”

“I am definitely thinking about having a career as a ballet teacher now.”

“This place has absolutely nothing to do with being a ballet teacher, but everything to do with family money.”

“Wow.” I look up and notice there's a small mezzanine and from what I can see from down here, there is where his bedroom is. “This place is amazing, Armie.”

“I gotta agree with you.”

“That view, you can see the city lights and even catch a glimpse of the park. You are one lucky dude.”

He reaches for my hand and pulls me close to him, letting a hand slid to my waist as we lean our foreheads together. “Yes, I definitely am lucky.” I smile and lean in to kiss him, my hands resting on his hard chest. “Dinner is almost done, I just gotta finish the Risotto.”

“Risotto?”

“Yep, I hope you like spinach.” I give him a quick nod and he pecks my lips. “You wanna drink something while you wait? I´ve got wine, beer, iced tea and water.”

“A beer is fine.”

Armie nods and I follow him as he walks around the counter and heads towards the fridge. I lean against the counter and watch him move around the kitchen, bare feet practically sliding on the floor as if he was dancing. Armie hands me the beer and then turns to the stove, stirring the Risotto in the pain and making the smell of food take over the whole apartment.

“I can´t believe you also cook.”

He looks over my shoulder, a smile on his face. “My mom taught me and my sister when we were quite young, her and my dad always wanted to make sure my sister and I were independent.”

I take a few sips of my beer as I nod my head. I rock back and forth for a few seconds, looking at Armie as he cooks before I have the guts to actually walk away from him, taking another good look at the apartment.

“You really like reading,” I say as I ran my fingers through some of the books in the bookcase. “Are they all related to ballet and dance?”

“No, not all. I like almost every single literary genre so, you´ll find a very diverse range of books there.”

“I like a cultured man.” I turn to him, a smile on my face and he chuckles. I walk over to one of the windows, watching the city below me and have to take a breath. The view is absolutely stunning and I get lost in it for a while, because when I least expect I feel Armie´s arms wrap around my waist, his face buried on my neck as he places a few kisses there.

I let my hands rest on top of his, leaning my head back and close my eyes, feeling my whole body turn soft with his touch. Armie turns me around, cradles my face and places a tender kiss on my lips. I rest my hands on his hips, deepening the kiss for a little while before he pulls away, a smile on his face.

“Dinner is ready.”

“Okay.”

He takes my hand in his and leads me to the living room. There are some cushions on the floor around the coffee table,  which now has a bottle of wine, glasses, two empty places, silverware and dinner. I sit down in one side and watch Armie as he sits across from me, uncovering the two large plates where the Risotto and a beautifully grilled steak with onions and garlic are set. I have definitely found myself the perfect man.

Before I can even think of doing anything, Armie reaches for my plate and serves me the food. He does the same for himself and then fills our glasses with wine, the whole experience feeling so surreal and yet so amazing, I barely find the courage to say anything.

“I hope you´ll enjoy the food.”

“Armie, everything looks absolutely amazing and smells heavenly. This whole dinner is way more than I ever fantasized and I am loving every single second of it, even though it has just began.”

Armie smiles and reaches out for my hand, rubbing my palm as I smile at him. “I'm glad you are enjoying it, I gotta admit I was a little nervous about this whole thing.”

“So was I.”

“I wanted to make sure you felt comfortable here, that you didn't feel pressured or anything. I just want us to have some proper time together, just the two of us getting to know each other, no worrying about anyone showing up.”

“I love being here with you and I hope we can do this many times from now on.”

He nods. “Me too.”

I look down at the food, the smell of steak and the cheese from the Risotto filling my nostrils and my mouth water. “Shall we eat?”

“Please.”



*********

 

I sit in between Armie´s legs, my back leaned against his chest as I take a few sips of my wine and stare at the view. The city lights flickering, the buildings forming a beautiful skyline and the clear sky, filled with stars makes me feel peaceful, so complete that I nearly forget about how nervous I was just a few hours ago.

During my walk here I kept thinking of all the ways this night could go wrong, imagining how I would end up the night back in my apartment, searching for a few place for my ballet classes and yet, from the moment those elevator doors opened and I saw him, I knew everything was alright.

As the hours passed and we talked, discussed little things about one another, ballet and music, I noticed that although we clearly had our differences, there was so much more that connected us and that we wanted to know about the other. Being with Armie made me feel like this was what I had been waiting for my entire life. I didn't need to worry, I didn't need to overthink anything because even if what we have doesn't last long, while it lasts it will be the most amazing experience of my life.

I take one last gulp of wine and Armie takes the glass away from me, his fingertips running up and down my arms and bringing goosebumps to my skin. I close my eyes in ecstasy, leaning my head back on his shoulder and smiling as his lips find their home on my neck and shoulder.

“You look so beautiful tonight.” The way he whispers on my ear makes me shiver and I know he can feel it, I know he can easily see how much effect he has over me. “Those skinny jeans and this shirt, the way it hugs your body...I could stare at you the whole night.”

I move quickly, turning around and straddling him, my arms wrapping around his neck while he holds onto my hips. My lips are on his in a matter of seconds, a hungry and desperate kiss, as if we haven't been around each other in years, as if we need this kiss to survive. And in some ways we actually do, because now that I have tasted him, now that I had him, I needed him every day and every night.

I push my body closer to his as I feel his hand slid over to my ass, squeezing it softly as I moan through the kiss. My fingers knot on his hair and my hand tugs on his shirt, desperately trying to pull it off of him. He pulls away for a brief second, only to remove his shirt, then connects our lips once again, kissing me roughly, feeling me up and making my body tremble.

I run my fingers down his bare chest, loving the feel of his chest hair against my skin and move my lips down his jaw, his neck and his shoulder. I kiss, suck and bite on his feverish skin, leaving a trail of red marks and hickeys, which will make sure he won't forget about me so soon. Armie hisses, moans and curses, I can feel the shivers on his body now and the bulge in his pants. I let a hand rest on top of it and rub softly, looking at his eyes as I do so.

“Fuck, Timothée…” His breathing is laboured, his cheeks slightly flushed and I love the sight. I rub him a bit harder, leaving soft kisses on his lips from time to time until his entire body is trembling and his head falls back a little.

“I think it's time for you to show me your bedroom.”

Armie looks at me, eyes slightly glazed over but when he speaks I can tell he is trying his best to be serious, responsible. He wants the same as me, that is easy for me to see right now, but he wants to make sure I am sure of my decision, he wants to make sure whatever happens here today is because I fully wanted it to happen.

He cares about you more than anyone else ever has.

“Are you sure you want this? We don't have to do anything right now, Timothée.”

“I want this, Armie.”

Armie nods and places a soft kiss on my lips before he stands up and brings me with him. His fingers intertwine with mine and he leads me past the kitchen and up the stairs. The whole world slows down, my heart pounds in my chest and my mouth goes dry. This is it, it's finally happening.

Chapter Text

Our clothes start falling to the ground the moment we reach the mezzanine, my eyes quickly scanning the room as Armie turns me around, his lips pressed against my neck, sucking on it hard, his fingers intertwined on my curls, tugging on it slightly. It's a matter of seconds until I find myself lying on back on Armie´s large bed, the black sheets contrasting with my pale skin as he hovers on top of me.

When we kiss is not rushed, it's a slow and sensual kiss, full of meaning and desire. Our bodies, now covered only by our boxers, are already sweaty and feverish, goosebumps filling our skins as our hands roam through each other´s body. We take out time to discover new things about each other, cherish the ones we already love and simply savour the moment, knowing this is one of the moments of our lives that we will never forget.

Armie´s lips feel great against my skin and the way his tongue runs down my chest makes my toes curl and and my cock twitch. His large hands run down the whole length of my body, partying my legs when he reaches my thighs and looking down at me with some much intensity, I can feel my whole body go pliant, my mind thinking only of how amazing he will feel inside of me.

He kneels on the bed in between my legs, his blue eyes scanning my entire body as he slowly removes my black boxers, my cock springing out, the head already turning a little purple, the veins already popping out. His hand is wrapped around it in seconds, slow and strong strokes that make me bite my lip and arch my back.

I fight the urge to relax completely and keep my eyes open, watching Armie jerk me off as he palms himself through his underwear. My mouth is salivating, my whole body is screaming for his touch, his lips, his fingers and his cock. Our eyes lock and Armie smiles, sucking on two fingers before he circles my hole with it, a grin on his face as I hiss and push my ass closer to his touch.

When his fingers enter me I have to grab a fistful of the sheets, my knuckles turning pale, my thighs spasming and I can't help myself, I throw my head back and let a long moan escape my lips. I can feel him pumping his fingers in and out of me, twisting, scissoring and curling them up inside of me. I am in cloud nine, every single inch of my being lightening up, electric waves running through my body, my cock leaking and begging for attention. If his fingers can do that to me, I can't even fathom how amazing his cock inside of me will make me feel.

I moan his name, beg him to stop teasing me and watch through hazed eyes as he chuckles, a hand rubbing on my inner thigh and making me lose my damn mind. When he starts laying kisses on my legs, going all the way from my knee to my groin, I tug on his hair, trying to get him to suck me off, but he is stronger and clearly has other plans for us. He takes my hands in his and pins my arms above my head, the feeling of emptiness as he retrieves his fingers from inside me makes me whimper.

“You still sure you want this? We can stop here if you feel like it.” His voice is sweet, his touch is delicate and I know -now one hundred percent- that he cares, he likes me just as much as I like him. We are in love.

“I want this, Armie.”

Armie nods, kisses me and reaches for the small nightstand besides his bed. From the corner of my eyes I can see him place the condom and a small bottle of lube on the bed. My heart starts beating faster with anticipation and when he kneels down again, this time to remove his own boxers, I feel like air has been knocked out of me.

He is gorgeous, every single inch of his body is perfect, from his hair to his toe, all the way through his toned chest, strong legs and beautiful, fat and long cock. I lick my lips and reach for the condom before he can do anything with it. I rip off the package, try to get in a better position and slowly roll it onto his cock, taking my time to feel it against my palm, to feel the twitching and weight of it. Armie closes his eyes, throws his head back slightly and from his lips I can hear low moans. When my name leaves his lips it feels like a symphony has taken over the entire apartment.

I reach for the bottle of lube and slick my fingers in it before stroking Armie, slow and long strokes just like he had done to me only a few minutes ago. He bends down, a hand on my hips while the other supports him up. His eyes are on mine, our breathing synchronized and our chests heaving. He kisses me once again, this time a little harder, a little sloppier and with more urgency. It's clear we are both far gone.

I open my legs wider and lie down on the bed, bringing Armie with me. He kisses down my neck and shoulder while his hand slowly removes mine from his cock; he wraps my legs around his hips and I can feel his cock brushing against mine opening. Armie leans on his forearm, his hand sweetly brushing my cheek as he guides his cock inside of me.

Armie goes slow, the head pushing past the first ring of muscle and opening me up. I take a couple of deep breaths, his cock is big, it burns a little but I want more, I want all of him inside of me. I moan softly as he pushed more and more in, taking his time and rubbing my hip as he does so. He is sweet, gentle and thoughtful; when he finally gets all in, Armie stops, leans his forehead against mine and I can feel his laboured and hot breathing on my face. I slid my fingers on his hair, tug on them and place a soft kiss on his quivering lips.

“P-please.”

He understands what I mean without the need to say anything else, he starts to thrust in and out, slow and steady, his stomach brushing against my cock repeatedly. My moans -and his- get a little louder as he starts moving a bit faster, our kiss turns a bit sloppy and my nails dig into his asscheeks, encouraging him to move faster, harder, rougher.

Armie pushes some of my curls back, placing kisses down my face, counting every freckle he finds and driving me crazy, making me feel loved at the same time he gives me so much pleasure I could burst. He grips on my thighs with both hands, pulling them further apart as his movements become faster and a bit more frenetic. I arch my back, feeling the sweat run down my body and my muscles clench around his cock.

“You feel so good.” He whispers, nibbles on my ear and then buries his face on the crook of my neck, his hips moving faster, his flesh hitting against mine, his cock slamming against my prostate over and over again. I drag my nails on his back, scratching him and hear him moan, feel his teeth against my skin and his body tremble on top of mine.

I gasp as I feel my cock start throbbing, my balls tightening and my whole body shiver. Armie´s thrusts and the friction of his stomach against my swollen cock quickly bring me close to my orgasm. I curse under my breath, biting my lip and trying to prolong the sensations. Armie clearly can tell what I am doing, he wraps his hand around my cock, gives a few tugs and smiles as I throw my head back.

“Don't hold back, I'm almost there too.”

His voice is slow and each word comes followed by a short breath. His hips slam against mine, both of us getting lost in our pleasure, moaning, whimpering and cursing repeatedly. The smell of sex and sweat fills the air and it doesn't take long for of us to grip tight into one another, the bodies that were only seconds ago trembling from head to toe, suddenly going stiff. Our voices blend in as we shout each other´s name, foreheads pressed together.

Armie kisses me slowly, both of us riding down the waves of our pleasure as he pulls out of me. I whimper at the emptiness, cradling his face as I try to deepen our kiss, but find it hard to do it since I can barely breath. His finger brushes against my lips and he smiles at me, the most beautiful smile I have ever seen in the world.

He rolls to the side, pulling me close to him and I wrap my arm and leg around his sweaty body. I breath him in, face buried on his neck as I feel his fingers running up and down my spine. My eyes are heavy, I blink a couple of times, trying to stay away as Armie lifts my chin.

“You can go to sleep.”

“I don't wanna go to sleep, I wanna stay awake, I wanna talk to you.”

“We have the whole night for that, Timmy.” Armie kisses my nose and I smile, relaxing on his body and feeling the tiredness take me over. Soon enough all I see is darkness, but the warmth of Armie´s arms around me is all that matters.

 

******

 

Our giggles and laughs echo in the quiet and dark apartment, the only light comes from the moon that infiltrates the apartment through the large windows. Both Armie and I fell asleep quickly after we were done, waking up almost an hour later. Silently we decided to stay in bed, naked bodies pressed together, legs tangled and black sheets all over the place.

Despite my protests, Armie eventually got up from the bed and quickly made his way down the stairs, his naked body glooming with the moonlight. He made it back to bed shortly after, a bowl filled with brownies and a smirk on his face.

We both devoured the brownies in record time, poking, making fun of each other and stealing kisses from time to time. It felt amazing to be with Armie in his own environment, because as much as he could be himself inside the studio when we were alone, being in his apartment was something completely different. This was the place where he was himself 100% and being here meant I got to know more about Armie without having to ask anything.

He likes photography, he really loves books and cooking, he appreciates art and he is one of the sweetest people I have ever met in life. And I hope he will be with me for the rest of my life.

My fingers run up and down the length of Armie´s chest, my eyes scanning his entire body as if it was a monument, a beautiful statue that belonged in some of the most prestigious museums in the world.

He is a work of art.

I chuckle to myself, for the first time in a long time actually agreeing with this voice. I feel Armie´s hand on my hair, stroking it and pushing some curls out of my face.

“Why you laughing?”

I look up, snuggling closer to his body and letting a finger trace his jaw. “I was thinking about how gorgeous you are.”

“And that made you laugh?”

I roll my eyes and climb on top of him, straddling his lap as I massage his shoulders. “I laughed because there's this little voice inside of me saying you are a fucking work of art and I can't help but agree.”

“A work of art, that's far from reality, Timothée.”

“Have you looked at yourself in the mirror? Specially when you are dancing.”

He chuckles, pulls me down and kisses me softly. “I could say the same about you. You are so graceful when you are dancing, the way you spin around that studio and how passionate you are, it's always a pleasure to see you dance, Timmy.”

The corner of my lips curve in a small smile. “It's the second time you call me Timmy, I really like the sound of that.”

“I like the sound of your name leaving my lips, no matter in what form, although Timothée sounds way more sexy than Timmy.”

“Everything sounds sexy in your voice.”

Armie furrows his nose and I laugh, resting my head on his chest and rubbing his sides with my hands. We go back to silence for a little while, our breathing the only sound that echoes as I feel Armie´s heart beat.

“Can I ask you something?”

“Anything.”

“What exactly happened for you to give up on Bolshoi? I know you said things happened and you had to say no to it, but what could be more important than following your dream?”

The hand Armie had on my back suddenly stops moving and as he remains quiet I know he probably still doesn't feel comfortable talking to me about this. I let out a sigh and rest my chin on his chest, a comprehensive smile on my lips as I try to assure him this is not actually a big deal.

“You don't have to answer if you don't want to, Armie.”

“My father,” I arch an eyebrow and he sighs, holding onto my waist with a tight grip. “The same week I got the call that offered me a spot on Bolshoi we found out my dad had brain cancer.”

“Armie, I am so sorry.”

“It was in a very advanced stage when we found out and the doctors said there was nothing else they could do. The operation would be so delicate, my dad would be in too much risk, the best option at that point was to take him home, make sure the family was around him and make him feel the least possible pain.” I sit down on the bed and pull Armie to me, resting his head on my lap while I stroke his hair.

“He tried to convince me to go, said there was absolutely no reason for me to stay when he had my mom and my sister, but there was no way in hell I´d move to Russia and leave him like that. My father always believed in me, he encouraged me to keep on trying to be better when everyone said I wasn't fit for ballet. When I was seventeen and told him I was gay, he held me in his arms and told me he would always be there for me. I couldn't leave him behind when he needed me the most.”

“You did the right thing.”

He nods. “For a long time my mom worried that I had regretted my decision, that I was living a life of sadness. It took her awhile to realize that what I loved was ballet and no matter what form of. I could have been a successful Bolshoi danseur, but I could have failed too. What I do know is that I love the life I have right now, everything is the way it should be.”

I smile down at him, a few tears on my eyes after his revelation. “I'm sorry if I brought you any bad memories, that was not what I was trying to do. And I am glad you enjoy the life you have, because I know all of your students really appreciate having you around.”

“Even the ones who call me an asshole?”

I bite my lip and give him a nod. “Even those.” He chuckles, shaking his head as I move my finger to his cheek, rubbing it softly. “You do know they might call you names sometimes, but every single one of them truly appreciates you, right?”

“I don't know, I never really give much thought about this, I just want to do my job in the best way possible.”

“And you are doing, they might get annoyed sometimes, but everyone knows how great of a professional you are, how talented you are.”

Armie smiles, his hand rubbing up and down my arm. “Why exactly are you telling me this?”

“Because I thought you should know.”

“Because you thought I should know?”

“Because I want you to know that your decision wasn't in vain. Not only you got to spend more time with your dad, you also became a great teacher. Also, you saying no to Bolshoi is the best thing to happen to me.”

“Oh, really?”

“Wouldn't be here tonight if you had said yes.”

“See? Everyday I am more and more sure not going to Bolshoi was the best thing I did.” I smile as he pulls me down, kissing me as I let my hands slid down his bare chest.



******



Slow and tender kisses, hands that roam through each other's bodies, giggles and soft moans that echo. We roll around on the bed, our naked bodies tangled in a mess that's impossible to figure out where each one of us starts and the other ends. Perhaps that doesn't exist anymore, we are one.

We fool around for hours, but don't have sex again, not because we don't want to or because we didn't enjoy it, but because there is so much more to talk, see and explore. I took my time jerking Armie off, hearing my name leave his lips repeatedly, I saw him tremble at my touch and had a nice close up of his cock as he came in my hand.

Armie played with my nipples while he sucked on my neck, arousing me in ways I have never felt before, making me cum in my stomach without even touching myself, which was one of the most erotic things that has ever happen to me.

We talked about the posters he has on his living room, about the camera I saw on his desk and he showed me some Polaroids he had on the nightstand. Photography was his second love, the one thing he would have gone for if ballet didn't work. I asked him about his Instagram, who took those amazing photos and he talked about this friend of his, who took a photography class with him when they were teenager and had become a professional.

There are records in a corner of his bedroom and a vintage record player on the floor. The minimalist, black and white theme is his apartment is also featured in some of the Polaroids, he said he is a simple man and likes simple things. I didn't say anything, but I know he is much more complex than he wants to show, he has his fears, his insecurities and his dirty little secrets like everyone else...I can only hope he will once allow me to get know those parts of him as well.

As I lay on my side on the large bed, I stare at him as he sleeps. He has a serious but peaceful expression on his face, his hair is all over the place and his scent -strong, manly and with a hint of sex- is intoxicating. I snuggle closer, rest my hand on his shoulder and wrap my arm around his waist as I close my eyes and try to get some sleep.

See what happens when you stop worrying so much, you idiot.

I smile to myself, burying my face on his neck and letting out a contentment sigh as I feel Armie move slightly, his nose burying on my hair, his arm around me, keeping me as close as possible. He is warm, strong and it feels like heaven to be pressed against him. I have a feeling this is gonna be the best night of sleep of my entire life.




Chapter Text

I let out a yawn and flick my eyes open, smiling as I see Armie lying beside me, his face serene, the stubble on his jaw starting to grow and his golden skin a beautiful contrast to the dark sheets. I push some hair out of his face and get up carefully, trying not to make any noise that could wake him up.

I look for my clothes but both mine and Armie´s are tossed to the side, a mess that I just don't want to deal with right now. I get down the stairs on my tiptoes, make my way to the kitchen, filling myself a glass of water and taking it all down in one go. The curtains were never closed and the sun is starting to creep in through the windows, a beautiful sight as the tall buildings gain an orange glow around them.

I quickly wash the dishes that we let from dinner and then walk to the window, arms crossed and a goofy ass smile on my face as I watch the city below. I think about last night, how beautiful Armie looked, how great his dinner was and how unbelievably sweet he was to me throughout the whole night. The way he touched, talked to me and made sure I was always okay was something I had never experienced before.

You never experienced before because you never liked anyone the way you like him.

“Good morning, early bird.”

I chuckle and look over my shoulder. Armie is leaning against the rail, his naked body hidden by the tinted glass, his hair a mess and his blue eyes still carrying a hint of sleep in them.

“Good morning.”

I watch as he lazily gets down the stairs and walks over to me, his cock sporting a nice morning wood that makes my mouth salivate and my own cock wake up. I bite on my lip and close my eyes as he reaches me, wraps his arms around my waist, buries his face on my neck and presses his cock against my ass.

“Did I wake you up?”

“No, you didn't.”

“Good, I tried to keep myself as quiet as possible. I washed the dishes from yesterday night and then decided to take a look at the view. Honestly I am still not over this, it's amazing.”

“It sure is.” His hand slides down to my cock, his palm teasing the head as I take in a deep breath. I lick my lips, push my ass back and hear Armie moan softly against my skin. His cock is throbbing and I can feel the heat of it against my ass, making my own start to ooze precum.

“Get it in,” I manage to whisper as I lean my hands against the window and arch my back, urging him to get inside of me already.

“Condoms are upstairs, babe.” Armie kisses behind my ear and squeezes my cock, which makes me gasp. “But there are other things we could do.”

I simply nod, way too deep into this fog of pleasure that has surrounded me to manage to utter any word. Armie grabs onto my hair, yanks my head back and I feel my knees buckle. Fuck, this is so sexy.

“I want you to lean against the window and open yourself for me, can you do that?”

“Y-yes.”

I press my chest and cheek against the window, the cold glass a contrast to my and Armie´s feverish skin. I pull my asscheeks apart and let out a loud moan as I feel Armie´s cock nestle itself in between, feeling him move slowly, rubbing his throbbing shaft against my crack.

His nails dig into my skin as he holds my hip, his thrusts matching the speed of his hand on my cock. I quickly become a mess of sobs and whimpers, surprised at how much pleasure I am taking from this, but loving every single second of it.

Armie kisses my back, my shoulder and neck, his breathing getting a little bit more laboured as he starts rocking faster against me. His cock is so hard, I can feel it twitch and when the tip brushes against my skin, precum smears all around.

“God, you are amazing.” He wraps an arm around me, his palm pressed against my stomach as he starts moving in an almost animalistic way. His chest hair rubs against my sweaty back, his moans sound like music in my ears and when he bites into my shoulder we both lose control.

My cock throbs uncontrollably as I cum all over Armie´s hand, some -or a lot- landing on the window and obscenely sliding down the glass. Armie holds me close as his cock twitches and he cums, the warm and thick liquid landing on my lower back. I take a few deep breaths and reach back for him, sliding a hand to his neck and bringing him to a kiss.

Armie turns me around and presses me against the window, our softening cocks rubbing together as he devours my lips. I tug on his hair, I press myself against him and moan as he rubs his hand, filled with my cum, all over my back, mixing our fluids together.



******



Armie is already setting breakfast at the counter as I make my way out of the bathroom. I zip up my jeans, pushing some of my still wet hair back and lean against the wall, watching as Armie moves around the kitchen, eyes focused on whatever he is cooking and lips moving along to the music that is playing.

He is wearing gym shorts and loose grey shirt, his hair is now slicked back and the stubble on his jaw is a bit more apparent. It took us quite a while but after some unnecessary arguing, Armie decided we were to shower separately, otherwise we would never make it to breakfast. He went first and I made sure to clean my cum out of the window and tried my best to make his bedroom look decent.

The smell of omelet and bacon fills the air and I snap out of my thoughts. I walk to the kitchen and hop of one of the stools, leaning against the counter as I watch Armie finish our breakfast. I reach for the coffee and pour some down for me, taking a few sips just as a plate miraculously slides over to me.

“Thank you.” He nods and leans down, kissing me softly before he turns back to the stove, getting his own plate. “Hey, I need to talk to you about something.”

“Is everything okay?”

“Yes, but I did something and I need to tell you about it, I just hope you can understand my side here and…”

“Timothée, what happened?”

“I told Ansel about us.”

He chews on his bacon, his eyes locked on mine while I bite my lip and patiently -or as much as I can be- wait. When he remains quiet, I sigh, scratching the back of my neck as I try to think of the best way to go through this.”

“I know you said no one should know, but…”

“He is your best friend and you feel like you can trust him.” I nod my head and watch as he smiles, reaching for my hand. “He knows about the classes and hasn't told anyone, I think we can trust him to keep this secret too.”

“We can, I explained everything to him and he knows what's at risk here. He won't do anything stupid, Armie, I can guarantee.”

“Ansel seems like a really cool guy and you know him for years, if you trust him, then it's okay with me.”

“Really?”

Armie nods, looking at me from under his lashes as he takes a few sips of his coffee. “You trust him and I trust you.”

“Thanks.”

He shrugs and kisses my hand, making me giggle a little. This whole situation would have seemed surreal just a little over a week ago and now here I am, having breakfast with Armie and talking about our relationship.

“So, what are your plans for the day?”

I shrug my shoulders, taking a few bites of my omelet. “I don't know, what are your plans for today?”

“Stay in?” I hum, nodding my head and Armie smiles. “I got some movies I want to catch on, maybe we could watch it together, unless you have other ideas.”

“I have one idea, but that can easily be done in between the movies.” I lick my lips, arching an eyebrow and Armie shakes his head. He leans in, holding onto my chin and bringing me closer to him.

“And you claim I was the tease.”

“Maybe this is my payback...Mr. Hammer.” He hisses, shaking his head and I smirk, leaning a bit closer to him, our noses touching. “You love the sound of that, don't you?”

“You have no idea.” His eyes are darker already and I take full advantage of it to close the space in between us and kiss him hungrily. I grab his face in my hands, my tongue invading his mouth and exploring it until I am completely breathless. He knots his fingers on my hair , pulls my head back and I moan, my eyes closed in pure bliss. “You little devil, you are gonna be the death of me.”

“I could say the same.” My voice is barely a whisper and when I open my eyes, I can see the amusement in Armie´s face. “God, I love when you do this.”

“Good to know,” there's so much malice in his voice that if I wasn't sitting down, I´d probably have fell down on my knees. “What you say we get back to breakfast before it gets cold?”

“I rather go on with this, to be honest.”

He chuckles, pecking my lips. “After breakfast we can get back from where we stopped. If you behave yourself, of course.”

“Anything for you, Mr. Hammer.”



*******



My fingers trace the desk, my eyes wandering from one object to the other. Armie is in the kitchen, popping us some popcorn before we sit down for the first movie of the day. I reach for the small sketchbook lying there and look around it, my curiosity is taking the best of me and before I can make the mistake of looking through it without permission, I turn around, waving the sketchbook in the air to catch his attention.

“Can I?”

Armie looks over at me and gives a nod, quickly turning his attention back to the popcorn. I open the little book and smile as I go through the pages, instead of drawings, there are notes about ballet, routines he has already taught us and some random comments about some of the guys.

“You make notes about us?”

“Yes, specially when I notice something that needs to be worked on.”

“Am I gonna find anything insulting about me in here?”

“You won't find anything insulting about anyone there, specially about you. Why would I have anything bad to say about my best student?”

“Best or favorite?”

“I never said you were my favorite, Paul is my favorite.” I shoot him a glare and Armie laughs, shaking his head as he turns off the stove. “And that is all the confirmation I needed, you really are jealous.”

I roll my eyes, sitting down on the chair and going through some other pages. “I am not jealous of Paul, Armie. I mean, I have absolutely no reason to...right?”

He pours the popcorn in a bowl and walks over to me. He places the bowl on the table and leans on the arms of the chair, trapping me. “I never offered extra classes to Paul, or invited him to my apartment. I barely speak to Paul, because the guy is very quiet and keeps himself kind of secluded from everyone else. Not gonna lie, he's good looking, but not who I want.”

Armie reaches for a popcorn and feeds me, my lips touching his fingertips and I smile as he smirks. I lick my lips, cleaning the butter that was smeared all over it and giggle as Armie licks my lips before kissing me softly.

“Now, can we stop the jealousy session and watch the movie?”

I nod my head and get up quickly, taking the bowl with me as I walk to the couch. Armie closes the curtains, giving the apartment a darker tone, and then rushes over, lying down beside me on the couch.



*******



“Stop it.”

Armie covers his face as I snap yet another Polaroid of him, giggling as he shakes his head and rolls his eyes. We had finished the movie and end up lying on the floor, talking, stuffing our mouths with popcorn and making out.

I was the one to grab the Polaroid on the desk, I had very little contact with one and wanted him to teach me how to use his. He gladly did so, until I snapped the camera out of his hands and started taking his pictures. He blushed when I got very close, laughed when I made funny faces to try and get him to relax and held me close when I tried to take a picture of the both of us.

I had made sure to keep that one in my back pocket, the first photo of us together, kissing and I would keep it safe and sound until the end of my days. Armie wanted one for himself too, but I promise I´d only give him one after he allowed me a photo shoot of him, in his ballet attire and posing against the beautiful windows of his apartment. He obviously said no.

“Just let me take the pictures, c´mon.”

“No, I don't want to.”

“So your friend can take all those beautiful, sexy pictures for your Instagram and yet your own boyfriend is denied such a treat? That's not nice of you, Armie.”

“The friend takes the pictures while I am working out or dancing, I don't feel like it's a photo shoot. The boyfriend on the other hand just wants some pics he will get off to later on.”

I gasp, shaking my head. “How dare you say such a thing?” Armie pulls me down and I fall into his chest, giggling away as he rolls his eyes. “I already have a selection of photos I use for that, I don't need new ones...at least not now.”

“The ones you stole from my Instagram?”

“Maaaaaybe.”

He chuckles, running his fingers through my hair, making me close my eyes and sigh in pure bliss. “You have any idea of how beautiful you are? How perfect your face is and how soft is your skin? Or how crazy I am about you?”

“Just as much as I am about you, at least that's how I like to see it.”

“I never thought we would get here, honestly never thought anything would ever happen between us.”

“That makes two of us, I wanted you so bad but I was always on tiptoes, trying to make sure you didn't notice anything. As much as I liked you, I didn't want to risk losing your classes and definitely didn't want to make you feel uncomfortable.”

Armie smiles, his hand cradling my face as I lean in to his touch. “That's why you ran away after you kissed me?”

“The way you looked at me, how confused you seemed to be, I thought you were about to scream at me, so I ran off.”

“I was shocked because I wasn't sure you felt the same way, I kept telling myself that those looks we shared, the long touches were just me projecting something, but when you kissed me, things got real...way too real.”

“You think we would have settled this earlier if I didn't run away?”

He shrugs. “I was willing to talk, but you ran away and then didn't show up for class, I thought you were sick of me, feeling disgusted with the situation and that's why I told you we should forget about it.”

“Ugh, the weeks we wasted by not talking to one another.”

He chuckles and rolls us over, hovering on top of me and snatching the camera from my hands. “Things happened the way they were supposed to, Timothée. We are here now, that's all that matters.” I nod and he turns on the camera, snapping a few pictures of me as I laugh and make funny faces.

This is easily the best Saturday of my entire life.



*******



My hair is a mess and there's sweat pouring down my body, my head is throw back, my lips slightly parted and my heart is beating faster. Armie´s hands are on my waist, holding tight onto me as I move my hips, using every single thing I know to make sure he is feeling just as great as I am right now.

He is moaning my name repeatedly, his hips moving upwards from time to time, his delicious cock hitting my prostate and making me go even faster. When I look at him, he has his blue eyes locked on my cock, watching as it bounces around, the swollen head turning a deep shade of pink and leaking precum. It's like he is hypnotized by the movement, he licks and bites on his lip, his nails scratch my skin and his cock, oh his cock throbs inside of me, which makes me moan his name loud.

My movements become less and less steady, my body losing itself in a haze of pleasure, every single inch of my skin burning and every single hair on my body standing up. Armie slides a hand to my ass, squeezing the flesh, while the other wraps around my cock, stroking it quickly, his thumb teasing the slit and smearing precum all over the head.

It's like in seconds I am in this trance, nothing else in the world exists, the tension building inside of me, this pleasure that is about to erupt is all I can think and feel. I lean my hands on his sweaty chest, my muscles clenching around Armie´s cock, milking the orgasm away from him and he loves it. He arches his back, throw his head back and sinks his nails on my asscheeks.

His face and neck are a bright red by now, his breathing is short and laboured, his skin is glowing. He looks tremendously beautiful when he is just about to cum. I moan his name, getting louder and louder each time I do so, feeling my body stiffen and holding onto Armie´s shoulders for dear life.

We cum at the same time, my cock spraying cum all over my stomach and chest, while Armie empties himself on the condom. I collapse on top of him, my body is still shaking and I am a bit lightheaded. His strong arms wrap around me, his hands stroking my back and playing with my hair. When his cock actually slips out of me, I let out a little whimper, burying me face on his neck and smiling as I hear his chuckle.

I could live in this moment for the rest of my life.

“I really am loving this weekend.” Each word comes after a kiss on his neck and with each kiss he held me tighter. “I wish we could be here forever.”

“Forever might not be possible, but we can do this every weekend. Starting after your night classes, of course.”

I chuckle, looking up at him as he smirks. “Not even dating the teacher I get to miss classes? What are my perks here?”

“Boyfriend Armie would love to have you for more hours, but Mr. Hammer knows you can't waste your classes.”

“Can't Mr. Hammer make some compromises from time to time?”

Armie laughs and when he does so, his eyes squint and wrinkles show up. He looks amazing and sounds like a symphony. This is my reality now, I can have the smiles, the laid back attitude, the playfulness all the time. We don't hide ourselves anymore.

“Hey, you okay?”

“Huh?”

“You dozed off there for a bit.”

I shrug. “Was only thinking about how lucky I am right now.”

Armie smiles and I let out a yawn, I can feel my body going pliant on top of his, my eyelids feel heavier. I'm getting sleepy and tired, but I am so happy it doesn't even matter.

“Then we are both lucky.” His voice is somehow distant now, my eyes blinking repeatedly as I try to fight off sleep. Armie strokes my hair, his lips whispering sweet nothings on my ear as I smile and slowly drift off.

I'm looking forward to a Sunday of more fun.



Chapter Text

I move around on the bed, eyes still closed, body pressed against Armie, his arms tightly wrapped around me as the annoying sound of my phone ringing fills the entire place. It's loud, high pitched and makes me want to kill myself, why on earth did I think this ringtone was a good idea?

I lean on my elbows, sleepy eyes looking around the bedroom, trying to figure out where the sound is coming from, where the phone is in the middle of the mess of clothes and sheets on the floor. God, we really had fun last night. I finally spot it close to the stairs and jump out of the bed, hearing Armie groan as he moves around. I check the name on the screen, arching an eyebrow as I realize it's my mom and answer quickly.

“Hey mom, good morning.”

I grab my shirt and jeans from the floor and walk back to the bed, sitting on the edge as Armie sits down too, his large hands on my shoulders, his lips on the nape of my neck. Ugh, he is not making this easy.

“Sorry mom, I totally forgot about it. Yes, I know. Yes, I understand.” Armie sucks on my neck and I nearly moan into the phone. He chuckles and I look at him over my shoulder, elbowing him and pushing him back on the bed. “I´ll be there as soon as possible, mom, I'm just about to leave the house, okay? Yes, yes I will. Okay, love you, bye.”

“You leaving?”

I nod and fish for my boxers from a pile of clothes and put it on as fast as possible as Armie watches. “I had planned a brunch with my parents, but I totally forgot about it and my mom is kind of mad at me right now.”

“Can't you reschedule?”

I pull on my jeans, a wide smile on my face as I look down at him. He is spread on the bed, golden hair disheveled, lips a bright pink and naked body urging me to crawl back into his arms.

“They are always out of town and with work and classes I have barely seen them lately. Besides, they are about to head to France to visit my sister, I can't say no to brunch.”

Armie nods and sits down, pulling the sheets from the floor and covering his body with it. “Shouldn't you at least take a shower then?”

“I have no time for a shower, Armie, I need to be at Aurora SoHo in at least ten minutes.”

“Babe, you smell of sweat...and sex.”

With a grin, I kneel down on the bed, placing a kiss on his lips and running my fingers through his hair. He kisses me back, holding onto my shirt and making me smile.

“Good, then I will spend the entire brunch thinking of you.”

“Not sure your parents are gonna like that.”

“They won't even notice.”

He laughs, shaking his head as I furrow my nose, loving the look on his face. “I really gotta go, do you have any idea where my shoes are?”

“Probably downstairs.”

“Oh yeah, I saw them near the kitchen yesterday.” I peck his lips once again and then grab my phone, sticking in my back pocket as I ran off towards the stairs. “I´ll call you as soon as I am done with brunch.”

“I´ll be waiting.”



*******



I manage to get to the restaurant in fifteen minutes. The place is packed and I make my way past a few people that are waiting for tables, smiling sweetly at the waitress who walks over to me, ready to send me off to the end of the line. I tell her there's people waiting for me and she leads me to my parents, who are happily chatting on the table.

They look up the moment I reach the table and that is the moment I regret not listening to Armie. I really should have taken a shower, because there is no way my mom won't notice something. As if on queue, my mom arches an eyebrow and looks at me up and down as I take a sit across from her on the table.

“Morning. I am so sorry I am late, I went out yesterday night and I kind of forgot we had talked about brunch.”

My dad nods, squeezing my shoulder as he smiles at me. “It's okay, son, don't worry about it.”

“Dear Lord, Timmy, is everything okay? Did you even take a shower?”

I bite on my lip and shake my head, watching as my mom sighs. “I'm sorry, but I know how much you hate when we are late and I didn't want to make you mad first thing in the morning, mom.”

“I wouldn't be mad at you, Timmy.” I shrug and she smiles, taking my hand in hers and squeezing it softly. “You do look immensely happy, though. Am I allowed to know why?”

“Nothing special, actually.”

“Son, even I can tell there's something different in you, a kind of spark in your eyes that was not there the last time we saw you.”

My mom nods. “And whatever it is, or who it is, was enough to get you to forget about brunch with us, so I think it actually is kind of special.”

The waitress places some things down on the table and we all thank her. I instantly go for the coffee, pouring myself some and taking a few sips of it. My parents keep their eyes on me all the time and I sigh, aware there is no reason to lie or keep myself quiet. The Chalamet family simply can't hide anything from one another.

“Yes, I am going out with someone.”

“Oh sweetie, I am so excited for you.” My mom´s smile is so big it makes me chuckle. “What's his name?”

I lick my lips, my legs suddenly bouncing in nervousness. What are the chances of them actually remembering the name of my ballet teacher? Is not like they have many -or any- interactions with him.

“Armie, his name is Armie.”

“And where did you meet him?”

“Mom, can we focus on brunch and your trip to France? Armie and I are just starting this out, so there's really not much to talk about it.”

She nods, but I can tell she noticed that something about me was off. As much as I´d love to sit here and tell them about how amazing, talented, sweet and gorgeous Armie is, I knew I couldn't take the risk of them figuring it out. Ansel knows and that's enough.

“Okay, if you say so...but can we at least talk about your ballet classes? How are you getting yourself ready for that Juilliard audition?”

I smile, leaning on the table and reaching for a croissant. “Classes are going great, Mr. Hammer really knows how to push us and make sure…”



*******



I made it back to my apartment shortly after two in the afternoon, took a shower and headed straight to bed. My eyes were heavy and my whole body was begging for a couple more hours of sleep; waking up to your phone ringing at 9 a.m. after you and your boyfriend were up until 4 a.m. does that to someone.

I woke up fully charged, texted Armie and then talked to Ansel for a while. Olivia was going to test some receipts from her cooking class and so I was going to have dinner with them, make sure she had someone other than Ansel there to tell if it was good or not.

When it was almost time to leave, I rushed to the bathroom, taking another quick shower while I replayed the events of this weekend. Armie and the moments we spent together were the only thing in my head for the entire day, I missed his touch, his kisses and his smiles almost as if it had been days since I last saw him.

The moment I leave the bathroom, a towel wrapped around my waist, I hear my phone going off. I looked around the apartment, catching a glimpse of it by the kitchen counter and rush over to it, smiling wide as I see Armie´s name on the screen.

“Hey, sorry I didn't reply to your text earlier, I was getting something to eat, then I started cleaning the house and end up falling asleep on the couch. How was brunch with your parents?”

“It was nice, they wanted to know everything about this guy I am seeing, but told them it's not worth it, guy is not even that great.”

“Shit, would hate to be that guy.”

I chuckle and throw myself in the bed, eyes stuck on the ceiling and what I can only assume is the goofiest smile ever on my face.

“Seriously now, they did want to know everything about you, but I managed to change the subject. They were pleased enough to talk about their trip to France, how amazing brunch was and my ballet classes and how great of a professional my teacher was for encouraging us all to be the best version of ourselves for the auditions.”

I can hear Armie chuckle on the other side of the line. “So, you still found a way to talk about me.”

“Yep, which is not really a surprise. I always talked about you and now...well, now I have even more reasons to.”

“You´ll get tired of me easily.”

“Impossible.”

There is a few seconds of silence, I can hear his breathing and the sound of him moving around. I wonder if he really thinks I could ever get tired of him, ever find myself bored beside a man that is so amazing and passionate about everything he does.

“So, what are your plans for the night?”

“I am going over to Ansel´s, his girlfriend is cooking us some stuff from her cooking class.”

“Oh I see, I´ve been ditched for the whole day.”

“I could cancel,” my answer comes almost before Armie can finish his sentence. “I just need to change, I´ll stop by some place to buy us some food and will be there in fifteen, twenty minutes tops.”

“What? Timothée, I was only joking. We spent Friday night and the entire Saturday together, now it's time for you to have some fun with your friends.”

“Are you sure? ´Cause I really don't mind.”

“But I do. You are not gonna stop hanging out with your friends because of me, go to Ansel´s place, enjoy the food and the company, but make sure you are in bed early. I don't want you, neither Ansel, looking like zombies tomorrow.”

“Mr. Hammer strikes again.”

He laughs and I can't help but giggle. “You´ll never get rid of Mr. Hammer.”

“Good, because I want both versions of you.”

“Greedy fucker.”

“Oh, that I am.”

Armie laughs again and I take a look at the watch, letting out a sigh as I realize I'm almost late.

“Everything okay?”

“Yes, but I gotta go now.”

“Okay, have fun with them.”

“Will do, will also call you once I'm back home, Mr. Hammer.”

“Mr. Hammer will be very pleased to hear your voice before going to sleep.”



*******



“Dinner is almost done, guys, I just need five more minutes.”

We nod and watch as Olivia heads over to the kitchen and leaves us with the silverware, plates and napkins to set the table. Ansel watches her with a smile, his eyes following her until she is absorbed in her task in the kitchen.

When he turns to me, there's a smirk on his face and he leans over the table, placing a set of knife and fork on the plate in front of me. I know well enough what he wants, how desperate he must be to know everything -or almost everything- about my date with Armie, but he still contemplating on whether to ask or not. When he finally does it, his voice is low and he can't help taking another quick look at Olivia, making sure she is not listening.

“Okay, am I allowed to know exactly how your date with Mr. Hammer go?”

“It was the most amazing night of my life, Ansel, which then turned into the best day of my life.”

“So there was no need to be nervous?”

I shake my head, folding the napkins and placing them on the plates. “No need at all. Everything went by so smoothly and he made sure everything was nice and that I was comfortable.” I let out a sigh, a wide smile on my lips as I sit down, instantly replaying the weekend in my head. “I got there on Friday around 7 p.m. and left this morning, but only because I had planned brunch with my parents. If my mom had not waken me up, I´d have probably stayed there the whole day.”

“Do you have any idea of how big is the smile on your face right now?” I nod my head enthusiastically and Ansel laughs. “I don't think I have ever seen you like this.”

“Because I have never been like this. I am happy, Ansel, the most I have ever been and it's...it's amazing. We have a lot in common, but there's also so many differences and as strange as it may sound, I love him even more because of all those differences, because I want to get to know him, I want to figure out every little thing about him.”

“I'm happy for you, bro, I know how long you´ve been dreaming about something like this.”

“Ansel, nothing I dreamt of comes close to any of this. He was the sweetest man ever, he has the most amazing apartment I have ever seen and he cooked me dinner, like from scratch.”

“You cook too, Tim.”

“Yes, but not like that, not like him.”

Ansel chuckles and sits down across from me. “You're hopelessly in love.”

“Yes, I am.”

“Okay, everything´s ready.” Olivia´s voice catches us by surprise and we both turn to her with wide eyes. She arches an eyebrow, hands in her hips as her eyes go from me to Ansel repeatedly. “What were you guys gossiping about?”

“Nothing,” we say in unison, which only makes Olivia roll her eyes.

“Men.”



******



I lock the balcony door and close the curtains, leaving the apartment almost entirely dark, the little lamp by nightstand providing the only light. I quickly take off my clothes, keeping only my boxers and head straight to bed, reaching for my phone in the meantime. I scroll through some message from my mom and Pauline, before I stop by one of Armie, biting my lip and feeling my cheeks flush.

 

Mr. Hammer: [9 p.m.] Hope you are having a good time with Ansel and his gf

                                   But I gotta admit I am a bit lonely

Timothée: [00:00 a.m.] Are you still awake?

                                    I had a lot of fun

                                   But kept thinking of you all the time

Mr. Hammer: [00:03 a.m.] Oh look who is finally back

                                         Glad you enjoyed yourself

                                        Thought about you the whole day...and night...and in the shower

Timothée: [00:05 a.m.] MR. HAMMER!!

Mr. Hammer: [00:06 a.m.] Please, I know you have done the same

Timothée: [00:07 a.m.] I have done things I am even ashamed to admit

Mr. Hammer: [00:09 a.m.] Would love to hear more about those things ;)

Timothée: [00:10 a.m.] Dont tease me Mr. Hammer

Mr. Hammer: [00:10 a.m.] Maybe I want to tease you

                                         Maybe I REALLY want to know about those things

Timothée: [00:13 a.m.] Fuck

                                    If you keep insisting on this subject I might end up getting hard

Mr. Hammer: [00:14 a.m.] Mission accomplished then ;)

Timothée: [00:15 a.m.] Can I call you?

                                    Need to hear your voice

 

My phone starts ringing right away and I can't help but giggle. I answer it while lying down on my bed, shyly letting my hand run down my body and palm my cock, which by now is semi hard. If only implying sexting with him can do that to me, I am seriously screwed, I will barely be able to go on through classes.

“So, you think of me while showering now?”

“Now? Who said I wasn't doing it before?”

“You were?” There's an obvious shock in my voice, the idea of Armie jerking off as he thought of me was just too good to be truth.

“Once...but I felt like a total ass after it.”

“Why?”

“Because I am your teacher and I had no clue you liked me too? It felt so good and at the same time it made me feel so bad with myself.”

“So you never done it again?”

“Forced myself not to.”

I let my hand inside my boxers, wrapping it around my cock and stroking it slowly. “But you don't have to feel bad with yourself anymore. I mean, I could even provide you some material now.”

I can hear a faint moan coming from him and I smile, teasingly running my fingers through my slit.

“Fuck, Timothée.”

“Would you like the visual or the audio?” He chuckles and I bite my lip, trying to suppress a moan, but failing miserably.

“Fuck, I could hear you moaning for the rest of my life.”

I start moving my hand faster and feel my breathing get a little heavier. We are barely doing anything, but the smallest things about him make me go crazy and just to be jerking off while on the phone with him, arouses me three times more than normal.

“Do it again, babe.”

I tilt my head back and let his name leave my lips. My chest is heaving and the heavy breathing that comes from him makes my body shiver. I hear him curse and hiss, I hear him whisper incoherent things then call out my name very low. God, this is all so sexy.

“Can I...can I hear you too?”

“Damn it, Timmy, you have no idea how hard I am right now.”

I lick my lips. “I wish I was there, I´d wrap my lips around you in no time and get all of you inside my mouth.”

“S-shit.”

“Get you nice and slippery, ready to get inside of me.” I groan, precum leaking and coating my fingers. Armie is moaning, my name leaving his lips repeatedly, telling me how good it feels to be inside my mouth. “I want you to fuck me, Mr. Hammer, deep and hard, leave me a sobbing mess.”

“Oh babe, I will.”

“Promise me?”

“I promise you, babe, I will fuck you until you are begging me to stop.”

I moan loud, my cock twitching in my hand as I arch my back. “I never want you to stop.”

“Timmy?”

“Y-yes.”

“I want you to cum for me, I wanna hear you...do this for me, babe.”

I stroke myself harder, a thin layer of sweat on me, my whole body thrashing around on the bed while my moans get louder and more frequent. When I am about to cum, I start to call out Armie´s name and the moans I hear back let me know he is also on the verge of an orgasm.

“Oh...oh...here it comes.”

“Yes babe, I'm about to cum too, let me hear you.”

“S-shit Armie….I….I…” I let out a loud fuck and open my eyes just in time to see my cum erupt from my throbbing cock and land all over my stomach. Armie follows suit, my name escaping his lips after a series of grunts. Hearing him cum drives me insane and I need to take deep breaths to compose myself again. Or at least try to.

“Fuck, that definitely wasn´t what I was thinking when I sent you those messages.”

I chuckle, licking my dry lips and still trying to get my breathing back to normal. “Well, I for once am really happy things turned out this way.”

“That makes the two of us.”

There is a few minutes of silence, both of us listening as each other's breathing starts to slow down, get back to normal. Whenever I found myself in silence with someone after sex, it was always awkward, but with Armie it almost made it feel like we were in his room, lying side by side and just basking in the afterglow of this chemistry and bond we created in such a short time.

“I wish we could stay here for the rest of the night, but we both need to be up early tomorrow and I really need another shower.”

I laugh, getting up from the bed as I do so. “Yeah, me too.”

“I´ll see you tomorrow.”

“Have a good night and dream of me, will you?”

“I most certainly will, you don't even have to ask. Good night.”

“Hey, Armie!”

“Yes?”

“Thank you.”

A moment of silence and then he chuckles. “For what?”

“For the most amazing weekend of my life.”





Chapter Text

When you are in love, time goes by faster. My mom used to tell me and my sister that when we started getting interested in boys, she would sit down with us on our bedroom, put on a smile on her face and say how things seem to be more intense and vivid when we are in a relationship, when we are in love with someone. Throughout many years I started and ended relationships that were short, passionate and important in my life, but I had never really understood what my mom was trying to say, not until now.

My relationship with Armie started out of the blue, from a moment of pure angst to an outburst of sentiments and desire. Until two weeks ago the only way to describe us was by addressing us as teacher and student, now we are a couple, we are slowly figuring out the little things about one another, finding the quirks, the good and the bad, learning how our personalities match and at what point they clash. We have a relationship, one that as my mom used to say, is intense, vivid, passionate and that is making time seem like is going by way too fast.

Is not that I am not enjoying things to the maximum, because I am and I believe so is Armie. It´s way more to do with how it seems like just yesterday I was moaning to Ansel about how he wouldn´t even talk to me and today, I am running late to class because I talked to him on the phone until 3:30 a.m. and totally forgot to set up my alarm. It´s less about not appreciating every single kiss as much as I could, but much more about how I wish every day lasted 48 hours so I could touch him more often.

"Mr. Chalamet, glad you decided to join us this morning."

I bite on my lip as I look over at Armie, who´s standing in front of the guys, arms cross over his chest and a wide smirk plastered on his face. As usual all eyes are on me and secluded by everyone's attention on me, I can easily see him trying to suppress a chuckle. I can see in his eyes how amused he is by this whole situation.

"I´m sorry, Mr. Hammer." I want to drag out his name, speak in a lower voice and make his knees turn into jelly, but since I am aware this would leave the entire class freaking out, I restrain myself and put on a small and innocent smile. "I had some issues to deal with and couldn´t be here on time."

"Put on your shoes and get in line." He is full on Mr. Hammer mode now, his voice is rough, his body language is restrained and his eyes are serious, but I know him enough now to know he is trying to mess with me.

Well, maybe today is the day Mr. Hammer will give us a little spanking and make sure we behave.

I chuckle to myself at the thought as I quickly put on my shoes and rush over to the front line. He has us on two lines today, all of us facing the mirror as he stands there in the middle and gets us started on the last few warming up exercises. I keep letting my eyes run to him, a small smile creeping in everytime his eyes find mine. At first I was a little worried about how it would be to pretend that nothing was going on, pretend that we were still just student and professor, but surprisingly enough things were going easier than expected.

Not only that, the idea of hiding our relationship and yet still be able to be around one another every day, have him touch me every morning even if just for a little second, all that made things a lot more fun than I could have ever expected.

"Okay, we´re gonna start a new routine today. I will play all first and then we´ll go step by step together, okay?" Silent nods come and he gives us a quickly chuckle. "Paul, can you press play, please?"

Paul is in the end of the line and he rushes to the phone, pressing play before he can run back to his place. The music that starts playing is slow, melodic and extremely dramatic, something that reminds me of a tango.

Armie moves his feet so he´s en pointe , his right foot slowly sliding to the side in a semi-circle and his arms in first position. He then moves his left arm up, tilting his head back as he does so. His right arm then straightens out and in a perfect executed transition, he is in third position. The beat of the song turns impossibly slow, almost a whisper and Armie tip toes to his side, a hard look on his face and focused eyes. He spins around once and stops for a second, then does the same thing again and I smile, it almost seems like he is doing things in slow motion and I don´t think I have ever seen anything as beautiful.

Suddenly a loud drum sound comes and Armie crunches forward, his muscles contracting as he falls to his knees and then tilts his head to the right while also throwing his arm in the same direction. I breath heavily, licking my lips as I watch every single step he takes and marvel at the talent and beauty of his movements.

I have yet to see someone dance with as much emotion as he does.

When he gets into his feet again, Armie does an Arabesque and then quickly transitions to an Attitude before mastering a perfectly executed Tour en L´air. En pointe he gives a few steps to the left, does a Pirouette and then slow downs his movements again, telling a story that the song can only do until a certain point. He goes on for another few minutes, dramatically highlighting every single turn the song does and the pain of it.

I am nearly brought to tears as I watch him.

When the song comes to an end, everyone remains silent. I take a quick look around and see in everyone´s eyes the same expression I am sure I am sporting. Eyes blinking away in a mix of sadness, bliss and astonishment for seeing something so touching and beautiful. I can´t help myself and start clapping, hearing as everyone joins me only a second later.

I can´t help but smile as I watch Armie shake his head. I don´t know if everyone can see it, but his cheeks have turned a slightly pink shade and I am almost certain that is not because of the exercise. He was not expecting this, he is genuinely impressed by our reaction to his dancing.

Armie only looks back up when the clapping stops and I can see he is trying his best to keep himself serious. "Okay, enough with that. We´re gonna do it step by step now, okay? I want you guys to pay good attention to every single step and the beat of the song, this is a very dramatic routine and one step out of time makes the whole thing look weird."

Again, his response comes in silent nods and he furrows his eyebrows as he chuckles slightly. He walks over to the phone and press play, quickly running back to his place as the song starts to take shape and the first beats of it can be heard.

"6,7,8.."



******



“Okay class, this is it for the day.”

Armie´s voice comes as soon as the music finishes, my body is heavy and I am sweating buckets. This new routine is not very long, but it's intense and demands a lot of us and our bodies, which leaves everyone breathless and extremely tired.

“You guys did a great job today, I am impressed.” As usual, no one is really used to high praise from Armie, so we remain quiet, some of the guys nodding quickly. “Tomorrow is Friday and as we discussed previously, it's Mark´s turn to perform. Mark, I expect you to be rested and focused tomorrow, while everyone better be here on time.” His eyes turn to me for a quick second and I bite on my lip. “You can go now, have a good day.”

I let out a sigh, rolling my shoulders as I try to relax my muscles and walk over to my bag. I quickly take off my shoes and stuff them in my bag, watching from the corner of my eyes as Ansel walks over to me and throws himself on the ground.

“Tired much?”

“I worked until 8 p.m. yesterday, then had to endure a very long dinner with Olivia´s stuck up friends from her cooking class, when I made it home I forgot I had some things to work on and by the time I made it to bed, it was nearly 2 a.m.” He sighs, shaking his head as he takes his shoes off. “Although, I did make in class in time, so I guess I am still better than you.”

I chuckle. “I forgot to turn my alarm on.”

“Had too much fun with Mr…,” he stops abruptly and looks around, before whispering. “With your boyfriend.”

“Maybe...a little.”

Ansel chuckles and looks through his bag, fishing a t-shirt and putting it on. I drink some water, watching as some of the guys start to walk out of the studio just as Armie´s voice fills the room once again, loud and severe as he always does when he wants to get someone's attention.

“Mr. Chalamet, I wanna talk to you for a moment, so please stay.”

I can feel eyes on me, the usual stare of when someone is called out by Armie. The look we give one another when we know he is gonna lecture us about something we did wrong. I look over at him, his blue eyes stuck on me and I nod my head, holding back a smirk from taking over my face.

“Okay, that's my cue, I am not waiting for you today.”

I chuckle and nod my head at Ansel, who swings his bag over his shoulder and gives me a quick pat on the shoulder. His pace is quick as if he wants to get away from me and Armie as fast as he can, which makes me laugh. Poor boy is probably annoyed of hearing me going on and on about how great it is to be dating Armie.

He handled a whole year of your moaning about how much you wanted Mr. Hammer, believe me this is nothing compared to how annoying you were back then.

I wait a few seconds after Ansel is gone and turn around, a small and innocent smile on my lips, my eyes roaming through Armie´s sweaty body. He has a serious look on his face, arms crossed over his chest as he takes a few steps closer to me.

“Are you gonna punish me for being late for class, Mr. Hammer?”

He breaks down his serious face, laughing loud and shaking his head as I smirk, my hands sliding down his chest and to his waist, pulling him close to me. “Why do I have a feeling you´d actually enjoy that?”

“Because I would?”

Armie chuckles, cradling my face and placing a soft kiss on my lips. “You are amazing, you know that, right?”

“I try my best.” I shrug my shoulders, winking at him as he plays with my hair. “But seriously, are you gonna punish me? I wouldn't be opposed to you bending me over the barre and maybe, you know, giving me a little spanking.”

Armie sucks on his bottom lip, his cheeks and neck turning a bright red, the grip he has on my hair tightening. I can see in his eyes that he actually loves this idea, that he would love to watch me bend over for him and take whatever he wanted to give me. It's amazing to see how the whole things plays out in his mind, his eyes get darker, his breathing gets slightly quicker than normal and then after a few seconds it's as if he gets back to normal.

I watch him shake his head, lean his forehead against mine and pull on my bottom lip. “You are a fucking tease and I love you or hate you for that.”

I love you.

I love you.

He doesn't mean it that way, boy, please don't make things awkward.

I let my nails sink into his skin and catch his lips in between mine, kissing him passionately as he lets his hands slide down my back. We stumble around a little, chuckling in between kisses until we stop by the window, Armie´s back leaned against it as I press my body against his.

“Can I see you tonight?”

“Don't you ever get enough of me, boy?”

“No, never.” I say with a smile. “Are you tired of me?”

Armie rolls his eyes, places soft kisses on my cheek, my forehead, my eyelids and my nose before placing one last kiss on my lips. “I waited for you for two years, you really think I´d get tired after two weeks?”

“I can be quite annoying.”

“You can be quite amazing.”

Now it's my turn to roll my eyes at him and he chuckles, the wrinkles on the corner of his eyes making me smile. “I mean it, though, can we see each other tonight? Maybe you could stop by my place? None of the guys lives nearby and most of the people in the building don't give a damn about ballet, I am sure no one would give two fucks about you being there and I am sure we…”

“Hey hey, calm down.” I bite on my lip, nodding my head as he smiles down at me, tucking a curl behind my ear. “I would love to go to your place. I´ll even get the dessert.”

“You are the dessert.”

“All this time you only wanted me for my body, I knew it.”

I giggle, wrapping my arms around his waist and leaning my head on his chest, listening to his heartbeat. “Oh your body did start all of this, but believe me when I say now it's about so much more.”

“Hey, I never doubted that, I was just kidding.” He lifts my chin, making me look at him and places a kiss on my forehead. “At what time should I be there?”

“I get out of the bookstore at 5 p.m., so around 6 p.m. is okay for me. I´ll cook us something quick, get us some drinks, maybe we can watch a movie. I promise you´ll be on your own bed by midnight, Mr. Hammer, I would hate to mess up your schedule.”

“So thoughtful.”

I shrug. “Yes, I am known for that.”



*******



I dry my hair off as I walk out of the bathroom and over to the closet, keeping a towel wrapped around my waist as I look through my clothes for a few seconds. I take a shirt and sweatpants and put them on quickly, throwing the towels to the floor before taking a quick look at myself in the mirror. I run my fingers through my hair, trying to tame the curls a little bit and let out a sigh, through the mirror I can see the clothes scattered on the ground and a mess left from this morning on the kitchen sink.

Great, Timothée.

I shake my head and pick up the towels and the clothes on the ground, throwing everything into the laundry basket. I rush over to the balcony, open the door to let some air in, rearrange the small table and chairs there and then move over to the kitchen, where lies my biggest problem. I not only have to wash the dishes from this morning, I also have to think of something to cook Armie, which for a moment makes me think this whole idea was a big mistake. I should have thought this better, maybe I should have let this for the weekend.

But you didn't and he will be here at any moment, so get your ass on the dishes, boy, we got work to do.

I groan, reach for the sponge and start washing everything. It takes me about ten minutes, but I manage to wash everything, dry the sink and clean the counter. Now the real problem comes, what the hell am I gonna cook him? One quickly look at my fridge and the cupboards let me know I am in serious need of grocery shopping, but lucky enough I got everything I need to make some nice pasta and a pesto sauce.

Before I even get the pan on the stove, the intercom rings and my heart starts pounding on my chest. I turn on the stove and rush over to the door, answering the intercom before it can buzz again.

"Hello?"

"Hey, it´s me."

His voice sounds low and a bit scared, as if he is afraid someone will show up and see him walking in my apartment. I giggle to myself and tell him to come on in, pressing the button on the intercom and allowing him in. I leave the door ajar and rush back to the kitchen, taking nuts, basil, parmesan and some garlic and lay it all on the counter.

There´s a low and quick knock on the door and I look up, a wide smile coming to my face as I see Armie poking his head inside, looking at me with those beautiful blue eyes of his. I gesture for him to come in and watch as he opens the door wider, taking a few steps in before he can lock it behind him. He stands there, his eyes looking around the entire place, just like I had done with his apartment almost an entire week ago.

"It´s nothing like yours, but it´s quite nice."

"I think it´s awesome and it definitely matches your personality."

"It does?"

He nods and walks over to me, placing a paper bag on the counter before his hands hold onto my waist. He leans in, placing a soft kiss on my lips and I smile, wrapping my arms around his neck, my fingers playing with his hair.

"How was work?"

"Quiet and a little boring, luckily I have Sarah there with me to make sure I at least have someone to talk to."

"She looks like a nice girl, maybe a bit too enthusiastic sometimes, but a nice girl overall."

"Well she is usually very cool with clients, but she has a crush on you, so..."

"What?"

I nod, getting en pointe so I can peck his lips. "You might not notice, which is ridiculous, but you got people lusting for you all over the place."

"Huh, maybe I should pay more attention, maybe I can find someone interesting."

I punch his chest and he chuckles, holding onto my wrists to prevent me from doing it again. I roll my eyes, but lean closer to his body, my lips placing soft kisses on his neck.

"So, what did you bring?" I ask, my eyes wondering to the paper bag on the counter.

"I didn´t know exactly what to buy, so I stopped by this small bakery and brought a few Chocolate Hazelnut croissants."

I lick my lips. "Sounds delicious."

"And what do you got for us?"

"Pasta with pesto. Sounds good to you?"

"Sounds great." I smile and push myself away from him, turning to the counter so I can start working on dinner. "Want some help there?"

"Sure, why don´t you work on the garlic and I will cut some nuts." Armie nods and slides to my side, grabbing a knife and a small bowl. I look up at him as he starts cutting the garlic and smile, still unable to fully understand how I got so damn lucky.

"Why are you looking at me like this?"

I shrug my shoulders and he squints his eyes, making me chuckle. "I´m just happy, that´s all." He nods, bumps his hips on mine and then turns his attention back to the food.

"I´m happy too, just so you know."



*******



When we finished dinner I was practically lying on top of Armie, our lips connected the second the pasta in our plates were gone. We made out there for a while, hands roaming each other´s bodies, fingers curling on each other´s hair, soft moans and giggles, moments of pure bliss that were becoming more and more constant and yet never got boring or common, we always found a way to make things different, interesting.

Once lying on the hard ground became slightly uncomfortable we headed to the kitchen, brewed some coffee, got a hold of the croissants Armie brought and made our way to the balcony. The moon was already high in the sky, the stars shining bright and the little lights I had on the small balcony gave us a cozy and unintentionally romantic vibe.

Armie leaned against the glass wall, one leg stretched out while the other one was bent, serving as prop for my back while I sat in between his legs. We remained quiet most of the time, basking on each other´s presence and scent while savoring the hot coffee and the delicious croissant. From time to time I´d feed him some pieces, licking my lips every time his lips and the tip of his tongue brushed against my fingertips.

I still have a hard time understanding how you can love someone so much that the tiniest bit of thing they do causes your entire body to respond. Armie started out as my crush, then a little obsession and now, after two weeks of dating, he has become a source of comfort and happiness I never expected to have in life.

"Can I ask you something?"

Armie looks up from his cup of coffee, a smile coming to his lips. "Why is it everytime we are together you start out with your twenty questions game?"

"Because although the idea of getting to know you as the days go by is amazing, there are some little things I actually want to discuss it. So, can I ask?"

Armie leans closer, his finger cleaning some chocolate from the corner of my lips. "You know you can, what is it?"

"I was just wondering about your past relationships, I know it might be a weird topic, sometimes people rather not know about their partner´s life prior to them, but I am not like that. I had a few boyfriends, nothing that lasted much although I really was in love with some of them."

"Same goes for me, I only had one really long relationship. We met at Juilliard when I was your age, we became instant friends and he helped me a lot during my father's illness. After a few months, in a night of drinking we slept together and figured out it had been more than just a simple friendship all along. Connor and I were together for almost five years, the last year and a half we were living together."

I nod my head and take a few sips of my coffee, my eyes locked on Armie. It´s not that I am jealous, but there is something about his eyes, a sadness there that makes me feel a little bit uneasy. Whoever that man was, he meant a lot to him.

"Why did you break up?" I finally ask, biting on my lip as I feel Armie´s hand resting on my thigh.

"I found out he was cheating on me, actually the whole time we were living together he was having an affair." He chuckles, shaking his head and squeezing my thigh. "He talked about getting married, adopting kids and buying a house on the country. He played me well for a while, but eventually it was hard to keep the lie."

I grab Armie´s mug and place it down on the floor along with mine. I climb on top of him, straddling his lap and let my hands rest on his chest, rubbing it softly. His hands rest on my back and he pulls me closer, our foreheads leaning together as I smile softly at him. "He was a jackass, you deserved much more than him. I am sorry you had to go through any of that."

"I am not. Things happen for a reason, I learned a lot with my relationship with Connon, took a lot of good things from it." He smiled at me, his hands moving up to my neck, his fingers playing with my hair. "I had great relationships after it, nothing very lasting, but meaningful."

"What about now?" I bite on my lip and Armie smirks, cradling my face as he leans closer to kiss me passionately. I sigh, grabbing a fistful of his shirt and let my body fall on top of his, deeping our kiss until we are completely breathless.

"Now I´m wondering how the hell was I able to resist you for two whole years." I chuckle, rolling my eyes as Armie rubs my cheeks. "I´m not even joking, Timothée. Being with you has been one of the greatest things to happen to me lately, and I am hoping this will last for a long, long time."

I kiss him once again, knotting my fingers on his hair, pulling on it slightly. Armie lets out a low moan, his body completely pressed against mine as our tongues dance together. I grind myself against him, my lips quivering as I feel Armie´s lips on my neck, sucking hard on it and giving me goosebumps.

"What you say we move this back inside? We still have some time for ourselves and I think that bed of yours is much more comfortable than the floor."

"Whatever you want, Mr. Hammer." He smirks and gets up, pulling me with him. His hands rest on my waist and then slid down to my ass, pulling me up and making me wrap my legs around his hips.

I wrap my arms around his neck and lock our lips together once again while Armie walks back inside the apartment, closing the balcony door behind him before walking to the bed. He pulls me down on the bed, crawls over me and pulls my t-shirt off of me, kissing my stomach and my chest. I close my eyes, letting out a contentment sigh and let my fingers knot on his blond hair, all the while keeping a wide smile on my lips.

It´s hard to imagine a life better than this.

 

Chapter Text

“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you…”

I chuckle as Sarah rolls her eyes and furrows her nose as I engulf her in a big and tight hug. She keeps herself quiet, listening as I finish singing before placing a wet and audible kiss on her cheek. If there is one thing Sarah is not very fond of is public displays of affection.

"How does it feel to get older, grandma?"

"Ha ha ha, always so charming and funny." I chuckle and hop on the counter. The bookstore is completely empty, just the two of us are here and I am well aware that Fridays are not exactly are most crowded days, so the chance of a customer coming in and finding me like this is practically zero. "But thank you for remembering."

"I never forget my friend´s birthdays, Sarah." She nods and I nudge her with my foot until she sits down beside me. "How are you celebrating?"

"The only way possible, I am going to this new club in Brooklyn, I´m gonna put on my best dress, drink some nice cocktails and hopefully get myself a nice guy."

"Oh, I like the way you think, girl."

She shrugs, turning to look at me. "You are coming, right? I texted Olivia and she is coming with Ansel, so you have to be there, I don´t care if it´s Friday. Call Mr. Hammer, tell him is your best friend´s birthday and you need to be there, he will understand."

I bite on my lip, contemplating what to do. Sure, I would love to party with Sarah, Ansel and Olivia and one night without class would not kill me. But then there´s the fact that night classes have become much more than just that, it´s a moment where Armie and I are alone and doing what we love the most. I cherish those classes more than anything.

"Tim?"

"Yes I will go, I don´t think he will be mad if I cancel one class."

"Of course he won´t. You never miss those classes, even though you two have not been in a very good place." I nod my head, keeping myself quiet so I won´t say anything I could regret later on. "By the way, you have been very quiet about Mr. Hammer and your current situation with him. I know you got yourself some nice ass, which is why you always have that smile on your face, but it seems like you completely forgot about him."

Oh shit.

Time to get your lying game on, boy.

"I just figured that it was better to do exactly what he said we should do, pretend that kiss never happened and move on with my life. It was silly of me to think, even for a second, that anything could happen between the two of us. He is my professor, he doesn´t see me that way."

Wow, you could actually win an Oscar for that.

Sarah keeps her eyes on me for a second and I briefly think she didn´t buy anything of what I just said, but when I see her nod her head, I have to control a sigh of relief from escaping me.

"Poor boy, that´s why you went out to get yourself someone else? Try to forget Mr. Hammer?"

"I don´t have anyone, Sarah. Okay, I might have had a few one night stands, but that´s just it. I just chose to keep myself positive and focused on my main goal, which is Juilliard at the end of the year." Well, at least that part wasn´t a lie. "But, it´s your birthday and you have a nice party at a fancy Brooklyn club tonight, I think we have better things to discuss than my relationship with my ballet teacher."

"You do have a point and maybe you could help me with something."

"With what?"

"Picking a dress. I took a few pictures earlier today so I could send to a friend of mine, but she hasn´t answered me yet, so I want your advice."

I rolls my eyes. "Sure, because that´s what the gay friend is good for."

"So you don´t wanna see it?" Her arms are crossed on her chest, her eyebrow arched and her lips in a pout. I stare at her for a second and then sigh, nodding my head as she rolls her eyes. "I don´t know why you even try to pretend you don´t like this kind of things, Timmy, I know you better than this."

"Yeah yeah yeah, just show me the damn thing."



*******



Armie´s voice fills my ear the moment I lock the door to my apartment. I smile, his raspy and low voice on my ear always making me feel good and comfortable. "Hey, I hope I am not interrupting you."

"You never interrupt, Timothée. I just finished class, was going to head into the shower and then grab something to eat before our class."

"Yeah, about that. I know how important these classes are, and you know how much I cherish them and appreciate all you´ve been doing to help me out, but..." I stop as I hear Armie start to laugh; I bite on my lip, furrowing my eyebrows and letting my eyes wander around the apartment as I wait for him to stop. "What? Why are you laughing?"

"Is this your way of trying to get yourself off of class tonight?"

"Maybe."

"Than why don´t you go straight to the point, Timmy?"

I giggle, lying down on my bed and staring up at the ceiling. "Today is Sarah´s birthday and she invited us to go to this club in Brooklyn, now I know class is important, but it´s been a while since I went out with them and you said yourself that I should know when to stop practice and enjoy life."

"Mr. Hammer says you can miss tonight´s class. Armie, the boyfriend, is slightly disappointed he won´t be seeing you tonight."

"Maybe I can stop by your place once I leave the club, I know I miss waking up to your face."

I can hear him chuckle and the sound makes me smile. "I´ll see you later tonight then, hope you have fun and tell Sarah I said happy birthday."

"Can´t do that, Mr. Hammer, but will make sure I hug her for both me and you."

"Okay, you do that. Text me when you are leaving the club, I´ll tell the doorman to let you in without ringing."

"I´ll miss you."

"You´ll still be seeing me tonight, but I promise you to make it up to you once you get here."

I lick my lips and close my eye. "Now I can´t wait for it."



********

 

Sarah chose a small new club in Brooklyn to celebrate her birthday, the place had dark walls and a lot of wood furniture spread around, mixed with neon signs and all those modern kinds of lights all hipsters like to have around them. She managed to get us a little cozy corner with a large round couch and some fancy chairs, the perfect place for all the countless pictures she was taking of us and herself. Truth was she was having the time of her life, singing from the top of her lungs, dancing like there was no tomorrow and tasting all the different kinds of drinks she could.

Ansel, Olivia and I were a bit more quiet than the rest of the people, although we were having a lot of fun. Ansel was drinking his usual beer, Olivia had a Sex on the Beach and I -although aware this wasn´t exactly a good idea- was alternating between some cocktails I had never tasted before. I wasn´t drunk, the chicken wings Ansel ordered made sure I had enough fat inside of me to keep me sober, but I had to admit that there were moments I felt myself getting a bit lightheaded.

Sarah throws herself on my side, wrapping an arm around my shoulder and smiles wide at me, making me chuckle. "I am so happy you made it, and so so happy that Mr. Hammer was okay with you missing class."

"He can be a very reasonable guy."

"But where is your boyfriend? I thought you were gonna bring him too."

Olivia arches an eyebrow, holding onto my left wrist as Sarah squeezes herself closer to me. "Boyfriend?" She shouts over the loud music, looking from me to Ansel. "You have a boyfriend and didn´t tell me anything about it?"

"Sarah is completely drunk and should not be trusted, Olivia." She keeps her eyes on me, her eyebrows furrowing as Ansel chuckles behind her, aware she won´t let go of the subject until I actually give her a reasonable answer. "I told her I have had a few night stands lately and now she thinks I am dating someone, seriously don´t listen to anything she is saying."

"He is trying to forget Mr. Hammer, so he got himself a few rebounds, that´s the tea."

Ansel is cracking up behind Olivia and I can only sigh and hope this conversation doesn´t end up going the wrong direction. I look over at Sarah, a small smile on my face and give her a glass of water that Olivia had grabbed for herself a few minutes ago. "Drink this, it will be good for you." I then turn back to Olivia, her eyes still locked on me. "I am not getting any rebounds, I am just trying to move on from something that will never happen. Sarah is no condition to say anything that makes sense right now, Olivia, you really gonna pay attention to her?"

She turns back to Ansel, who shrugs his shoulders. "As far as I am concerned our boy is just as single as he was a few days ago, so don´t even try to get anything out of me, babe."

"Okay." I sigh, relieved she is letting go of the conversation. "So, since you are trying to move on, maybe we should take a look around, I am sure we can find yourself a very nice guy, someone for you to take home later."

"I think I found one."

We both turn to Ansel, eyebrows arched as he snaps out of his trance and looks to us, putting on a smile that even Sarah could tell it was fake. He shakes his head, gesturing towards the dance floor and makes up a excuse about a guy that was looking at me, which Olivia doesn´t give much thought into it, since Sarah grabs her hand and drags her to the bathroom. I watch as they walk away and turn my attention back to Ansel, who motions over to the bar.

I look around for a few seconds, trying to figure out what the hell he is talking about when suddenly my eyes land on Armie. He is sitting on the bar, talking to the bartender, who clearly has the heart eyes for him and is being all sweet and caring. He is wearing a striped black and white shirt, his hair is a bit messy and for a moment I feel like I am having a deja vu, the images of this moment here and the night I first saw him in a bar kind of overlapping.

"What is he doing here?" Ansel is talking on my ear, trying to be heard over the music and at the same time make sure no one else knows what the hell we are talking about. "I thought you said he was staying home tonight."

"That´s exactly what he told me."

The tone in my voice must have been enough for Ansel to notice my jealousy was starting to show up, because in a matter of second he pats my shoulder and turns me to look at him. "Don´t do this, Timothée."

"Do what?"

"Get all jealous and start imagining things, go over there and talk to him."

"In a public place? No one is supposed to see us, Ansel."

"You both run into each other in a bar, that has happened before, no one is gonna think you are banging just because they see you talking." I bite on my lip and he rolls his eyes. "Fine, you don´t wanna talk to him then don´t do it, but I don't wanna listen to you moaning about how he lied to you."

I keep staring at him for a while and then get up, rubbing my hands up and down my legs in nervousness before making my way through the crowded dance floor and over to the bar. I lean against the counter, a smile on my lips as I ask the bartender for a water and then bump my shoulder with Armie, watching as he looks down at me.

"I thought you were staying home tonight."

He smirks and in his eyes I can tell he knows exactly what I am thinking. "I was going to stay home, but then my friend Jack called saying he was in town and asked if I wanted to get some drinks. Since you were celebrating Sarah´s birthday, I figured I would spend some time with him and then head back to the apartment to wait for you."

I keep my eyes on him, looking away only when the bartender hands me a bottle of water. I take a few sips of it and hear Armie chuckle, shaking his head before he leans on the counter too, our faces a lot closer now.

"Did you actually think I was playing you? That I said it was okay to cancel class because I wanted to hit the bars and get wasted, hook up with someone else?"

"No, of course..." I sigh, scratching my forehead as he remains quiet. "I am sorry, okay? I was just surprised to see you here, I am not usually like this, I promise you I won´t be the annoying boyfriend who gets jealous over silly things and completely ignores your right to go out with your friends and have fun."

"You are rambling."

"You should be used to it by now."

He shrugs, his fingers brushing against my shirt, pulling on it slightly and making me smile from the corner of my lips. "I sent you a message, I told you I was going out but you were probably here already."

"I am sorry, okay? I really am."

"It´s okay, Tim, don´t worry."

"No it´s not okay, I saw you here and immediately started imagining all these silly things and it´s not..." He pulls me a bit closer and I bite on my lip, our bodies merely an inch away from one another.

"I would never do anything to hurt you, okay? I am not that kind of person and you have nothing to worry about, just as I know there is nothing for me to worry about. Now why don´t you go back to your friends, get some drink and maybe dance a little bit.”

"Dance? Do you want me to put on a show for you, Mr. Hammer?"

"I would love."

I lick my lips and he mirrors me, his blue eyes locked on me as if he is undressing me and I can´t help but feel a little shiver go down my spine. I smile at him, grab my bottle of water and walk back to my little corner of the club, a wide smile on my lips as I slid on the couch beside Ansel.

"So?"

"He is here with a friend who´s visiting."

Ansel nods. “And I suppose before you knew about this you made sure to master the whole jealous boyfriend look, didn't you?”

"Just a little bit.”

“And how did he react?”

“As always, he was the amazing person he is and didn't give much thought to it.”

“Lucky you.”

I nod and get when I see Sarah and Olivia walk over to us, I take their hands and pull them with me to the dance floor, standing the closer to where Armie and his friend are as possible. The DJ changes the music to Starboy by The Weeknd, one of Olivia´s favorite, and we start moving our bodies, dancing to the beat of the song and singing from the top of our lungs. I try to be subtle, not let the girls notice, but my eyes keep on wandering to Armie, who is leaned against the brick wall, beer in hand and a smirk on his face as he watches me.

I have a feeling our night together tonight is gonna be quite amazing.



*******

 

It was 2:00 a.m. when I left the bar, getting inside my Uber and heading back to SoHo, while texting Armie to let him know that I was already on my way to his apartment. The night had turned out to be a lot more interesting than I had predicted and dancing around to show off to Armie had left me a little extra horny. I bounced my leg up and down during the entire car ride, fidgeting with my phone in my hands and biting on my nails, completely desperate to be with Armie, this time with him all to myself.

The car stops in front of his building around 2:30 a.m. and I practically jump out of it, not even saying goodnight to the driver. I make it to the front gate and the doorman lets me in, pointing over to the elevator as I give him a small smile and nod my head. I tuck my hands inside my pockets once I am inside the elevator, tapping on the floor as I wait for the doors to open once again and I am face to face with Armie´s sliding door. The door is wide open and the moment I step inside the apartment I am face to face with a completely naked Armie, who is looking at me with a wide smirk on his face.

I chuckle as I walk over to him and wrap my arms around his neck, feeling his hands pull me closer to his body. "You are quite bold to walk around the apartment completely naked when the door is open."

"It´s almost 3 a.m. and half of the people in this building only show up during their vacations, so believe me, I am not even a bit worried."

"Well, can´t say I didn´t enjoy the reception." My hands travel down his chest, feeling every single inch of his skin until it lands on his cock, which I stroke slowly, watching as Armie closes his eyes and lets out a sigh. "Maybe we should head upstairs, I feel like making it up to you for even thinking you lied to me."

"How exactly do you plan on making it up to me, Chalamet?"

"Lets get upstairs and I will show you." I pull on his bottom lip, squeezing his cock and he moans, his hand sliding down to my ass and pinching it.

Armie takes my hand in his and leads me up the stairs, taking my shirt off the moment we make it to the last step. He works on my jeans, pulling them down quickly and I toss them to the side, smiling as I watch him look me up and down, a proud smile on his lips as he realizes I just ditched my boxers for the night.

I pull him closer, kissing him fiercely, my hand back to his cock, stroking it until Armie is moaning repeatedly. I lead him to the bed and push him down, making him sit on the edge as I fall down to my knees in front of him, hands on his thighs, rubbing it softly and feeling his muscles clench. I keep my eyes on him, my tongue tracing the whole length of his cock, tasting the precum at the head and my nose taking in his masculine scent. My own cock twitches as I wrap my lips around Armie´s, slowly moving down and then back up, my tongue swirling around the head.

I keep it slowly at first, hearing Armie´s moans increase its volume, feeling his legs tremble from time to time. I then close my eyes, focusing all of my attention on him and taking more and more of his thick cock inside my mouth each time I go down. It doesn´t take long for Armie to get a hold of my hair, adding more pressure into my movements and making me go further down.

Armie is always so soft and sweet to me, whenever I get to see or experience his more dominant side, a fire consumes me and I can´t help but crave for more. I suck him harder, feeling his cock hit the back of my throat, feeling my saliva run down his shalft and to his balls, which I am now playing with, rolling them on my hand, pulling and squeezing it. The sounds that come from Armie are like a symphony to me and I let a hand wrap around my own cock, stroking myself as I try my best to make him cum.

I hear him moan my name loud and open my eyes to see him fall back on the bed, his grip on my hair tightening a little bit and I smile to myself. I take his cock out my mouth, wrapping my hand around the base as tight as I can and stroke him hard and fast, teasing his slit and smirking everytime he arches his back. He grunts, groans and grabs a fistful of the dark sheets, his eyes meeting mine as I suck on his sensitive head until he starts coming on my mouth, which I gladly swallow.

"Fuck...fuck...fuck..." he says in between short breaths as I climb on top of him, leaving wet and sticky kisses all over his stomach and chest. I hover on top of him and he runs his thumb all over my red lips, shaking his head as a wide smile comes to his face.

"Ready for more, Mr. Hammer?"

"Oh I definitely am, how about you boy? What you say I do something about you being late for class yesterday and doubting me tonight?"

I feel my cheeks burn and my cock throb just thinking of what that might imply. "What are you gonna do with me, Mr. Hammer?"

He rolls us over, pinning my hands above my head and I chew on my bottom lip, my whole body ready for whatever he wants to give me. "Oh I have some ideas and I am sure you´ll like it."







Chapter Text

I got my face buried on the pillows, arms and legs stretched out on the bed, naked body clinging onto the messy sheets as I try my best to get back to sleep. I groan at myself, my hand moving around the bed as I try to get a hold of Armie, but I quickly realize he is not there. I raise my head, my eyes flickering open, trying to adjust themselves to the sunlight that comes in through the curtains and take a quick look around the bedroom; his clothes are lying on the ground, his phone is nowhere to be seen but there is a small post-it glued onto his pillow, which makes me chuckle.

 

Couldn´t get back to sleep, so decided to go for a run.

I will be back soon, don´t worry.

Mr. Hammer

 

I turn around on the bed, staring up at the ceiling and laugh at him for signing Mr. Hammer. At first I actually thought this was the first thing we would get rid of the moment we started going out, but it was actually the complete opposite, now this has become kind of our thing and I love it.

I take one long breath, trying to build up the courage to get up and actually do something. I sit down, reach for my jeans on the floor and stuff the post-it in the front pocket, making sure I won´t lose it. It might sound silly to keep something like this, but I always thought relationships are based on these small things and moments that makes us feel like no one else has. I´ll try to save those moments with me as much as I can.

I fish for my boxers, put them on and grab my phone before I lazily make my way down the stairs and over to the kitchen. I sit down in a stool, scrolling through some new messages and checking my social media; nothing new, nothing important and nothing to keep me occupied as I wait for Armie to come back home.

I spin around on the stool, my eyes wandering around the entire kitchen for a moment before I hop ofl. I go through my playlists and put some music on before heading to the fridge, taking some eggs, milk and butter and laying it down on the counter. I look through the shelves and grab some pans, bowls, coffee and chocolate chips; I reach for a spoon on the drawer and get to work, mixing some things in the bowl.

I spin around the kitchen, dancing along to the music as I get the pancake mix ready and then move to get some coffee done. While I wait for the water to boil, I scramble some eggs and fry some bacon, always keeping a close eye on everything so it burn. I start working on the pancakes, singing and dancing along and I barely notice time passing by. I barely finish setting up the counter with the dishes when the door slides open and Armie shows up. He leans against the threshold, arms crossed and a smile on his lips as he stares at me; he is sweaty, his arms shining and his hair disheveled, which is a look I love on him.

I smile wide at him, pour some coffee in a mug and hand to him as he sits down across from me. "Good morning, handsome."

"Good morning, I see someone made himself at home."

“What else was I supposed to do? You left me here all alone, I had to find something to do with my free time.”

Armie smiles, leaning on the counter so he can get closer to me. He grabs my chin, rubs his thumb on my lower lip and then pecks my lips quickly.

“There's nothing I like more than seeing you here, feeling comfortable with the place and dancing on your boxers while you cook us breakfast, so if you want to keep on doing this every time you find yourself alone, I am here for it.”

I wink at him, kiss him one more time and then sit down on the stool, pushing a plate over to him and watching as he takes a few bites of his eggs. I arch an eyebrow, waiting for him to say something but he keeps himself quiet, head down and the fork moving around on the plate.

“Are you fucking serious?”

He chuckles and looks up. “It's amazing, Timmy.” I smile proudly and he winks at me before taking a few more bites. “What are your plans for today?”

“I was supposed to have lunch with Ansel and Olivia, but he texted me earlier and said Olivia is facing a massive hangover, so I guess I have the day off. Do you have any plans?”

“Not until tonight. Jack goes back to California tomorrow afternoon, so we planned on going out for dinner and a couple of drinks.”

I nod, tapping my fingers on the counter. “That means we have the day for ourselves, which means we could watch a movie, listen to some music…and maybe you could help me out in some things I have planned for my presentation next Friday.”

“Sounds great to me, babe.” He takes a few more bites of his food, quickly devouring everything on his plate and I can't help but stare. I really should stop being amused by everything he does.

Yes, you really should.

I drink the remains on my coffee and watch as Armie gets up, taking our plates and placing it on the sink. He then spins me around on the stool, trapping me in between his muscular arms and leans his face close to mine. He has a smile on his face, his little fangs showing, the tip of his tongue teasing me and the erotic scent that emanates from him, a mix of his own scent and sweat, makes me want to jump on him.

“We started the day with a nice breakfast, what you say we head to the shower now? I could use some help soaping my back.”

“Oh really? Why didn't you say before, I will gladly help you, Mr. Hammer.”

“Great.” he picks me up and throws me over his shoulder, his hand slapping my ass as a little squeal escapes me.

“Careful, Mr. Hammer, you left quite an impression on those cheeks yesterday.”

I can almost feel the smirk that I know it's on his face right now. “In this case, maybe I should be the one helping you shower.”

“Be my guest.”



********



Armie is lying on his stomach on the bed, his half naked body sprawled underneath me as I sit on his thighs, my hands massaging his back, shoulders and neck. My fingers slid over to his left shoulder, circling the birthmark there with a smile on my lips. He also has a scar on his lower back, close to his hip, and for some reason I find it mesmerizing to look at.

I lie down on top of him, my bare chest pressed against his back and my lips sucking on the nape of his neck. I push some hair to the side, placing soft kisses until I reach his ear and take a bite, smirking as I hear Armie hiss.

"What´s up with that scar on your lower back?"

He chuckles, reaching out with his hand to hold onto my legs. "It was a little skate incident. I was with my friends and we started to compete on who could perform the best trick, as you can see it, I didn´t win."

I roll over to the bed, lying on my back as Armie moves closer and buries his face on my neck, his nose rubbing against the skin and making me giggle. I run my fingers through his hair while my other hand finds his and we intertwine our fingers together. I close my eyes, letting out a sigh and allowing one goofy ass smile to take me over.

"You´ve talked quite a lot about your friends, but what about your sister? Are you two close?"

Armie gives a quick nod, kissing my neck before he leans his head against my chest. "She´s a little older than you, so we were not exactly the best of friends when I was a teenager, but after a while we started to work our way to a good relationship. She loves fashion, so after she was done with college here she decided to move to London, she got a masters degree in economics and built her own store there. She comes here as much as she can, but lately she is always traveling. She called me the other day and she was in Germany, then she would fly over to Italy...." He chuckles and I can hear how proud he is. "She is living her best life in Europe."

"My sister lives in Paris and she loves life there, she keeps on asking me to move there and join her."

"And why don´t you?"

I open my eyes, looking down at Armie and letting out a sigh. "Because as much as I´d love to be close to her or experience the european lifestyle, I can´t see myself living anywhere else in the world. New York is where I belong, Armie."

"And what happens if Juilliard grants you a place in Bolshoi or Stuttgart? Wouldn´t you go?" He looks up to me, a calm but serious look on his face that kind of scares me a little bit. I guess he can notice it, because he smiles and sits down on the bed, pulling me with him. "I´m just wondering what you would do if you got the call, no need to get worried or anything, Timmy. If I am asking this is because I believe in you enough to know that it is a very possible thing to happen, not because I want to get rid of you or anything."

How does he know exactly what I am thinking?

Maybe because your face says more than you can imagine.

"Okay, I don´t know what that voice inside your head is saying, but don´t listen to it."

I chuckle, shaking my head and move a bit closer to him, resting my hands on his thighs. "I don´t really think much about any of this, you know? Of course I want to be successful and have the opportunity to work with what I love the most, but by now you know I have a tendency to overthink things and I feel that if I do that with ballet, I will go crazy."

"You are a smart kid, when the opportunity comes you will know what to do, so don´t worry."

I want to say something else, but Armie´s lips finds mine before I can even try. He cradles my face and lies me down again, this time with him hovering on top of me, our groins pressed together and our legs tangled. I pull on his lip, my hand sliding down his back and pulling him even closer to me, moaning as his tongue finds mine.

It takes only a few seconds of this for me to completely forget about what I wanted to talk about.



******

 

“Hey, would you like being photographed while you perform something?”

Armie´s voice thunders in the quiet apartment and I quickly look up from my phone, furrowing my eyebrows as I look at him, who´s upstairs, leaned against the rail.

“What the fuck are you talking about, Armie? I am not really into shooting a porn.”

“What?!” He arches an eyebrow and then shakes his head, letting out a loud laugh. “That's not what I meant. I was actually wondering how you would feel to be photographed while you dance, not while you are blowing me.” He then stops for a moment, a mischievous smile on his face. “Although that idea isn´t that bad either.”

I shot him a glare and he smirks. “What are you talking about exactly?”

“Remember Jack?”

“Your photographer friend, the cute guy that was with you at the bar yesterday.”

“Cute?” I shrug and he rolls his eyes, walking down the stairs as I sit up on the couch. “Anyway, he is working on a project where he goes around the country photographing male dancers. He was supposed to take this photos with a ballet dancer tonight, but the guy had some problems and can't make it.”

“And now you want me to do it?”

He shrugs and sits down on the coffee table across from me. “He asked if I could help him out, if there was anyone I knew that would be willing to do it and I thought of you.”

“I don't know, Armie, I have never done anything like this before.”

“I understand if you are a bit apprehensive about it, I was too the first time he photographed me, but it is not that difficult actually.” I bite on my lip and he gives me a reassuring smile, his hands rubbing on my thighs. “Look, all you gotta do is dance and he will do his job, maybe he will get you to repeat a thing or two, but normally it goes by so smoothly you don't even notice the camera. You can say no, though, I just thought I should ask you before going for anyone else.”

“Wouldn't it be weird, though? Of all the people in the business you know, why would you call one of your students?”

“And who says I won't suggest another one of my students if you say no? I think it's a great opportunity for people who still haven't got a breakthrough.” I nod, still a little unsure of this. “But if your concern is because of what Jack will think, then you can relax because he knows about us.”

“What?”

“He knows about us before there was even an us, Timothée, he's been aware of the whole situation ever since I realized my feelings for you.”

“Well, that's brand new information.”

He chuckles and I lick my lips, thinking about what he said, of how great would it would be to have my photo on a book or exhibition and suddenly I can't really contain the smile that comes to my face. Armie arches an eyebrow, his lips mirroring mine in a smile as he pulls me closer.

“Is that a yes?”

“Yes, but I gotta stop by my place and grab my clothes and shoes.”

“He is expecting us in an hour, so you have time.”

“And where exactly is this photo shoot gonna be?”

“Not sure, somewhere near Brooklyn Bridge.”

 

******

 

I need to admit that doing this is way harder than I had expected. Getting focused on my routine is a little more challenging when there is a man standing just a few feet away from me, with a camera on his hands and trying to capture the best fragments of something I am doing completely out of the blue.

I had people filming or snapping pictures of me while dancing only when I was in presentation on my last school, but whenever that happened, there were at least other four people with me on a stage and the lights were so bright I could barely notice. This, this is something completely different.

For starters there is only the three of us and the only lights are the ones from the street, mainly because Jack´s idea is to do things in the most organic way possible. We are settled in a little green area near Brooklyn Bridge, a place not many people walk by, but that has the perfect view of the bridge and a great skyline of Manhattan. The song he has chosen was one of Bach´s most famous ones, something sweet, melodic and that luckily I had danced before, so I knew from the start how it went and which kinds of steps worked best.

Armie is standing behind Jack, arms crossed over his amazingly tight black shirt, eyes focused on me and a proud smile on his face. Him and Jack share a few words from time to time, Armie usually nodding at whatever Jack will tell him. There are moments he will nod at me, encouraging me to keep on going. As if he really needed to do anything, just to have him here is enough. Just the thought that he was the one to choose me for this is enough to get me to do my best.

“Okay, Timothée, I guess this is it.”

I finish the movement with a plie, bringing my arms down and letting out a breath. “You think you got it? I can go again if you feel like anything needs improvement or if you want to take a few more shots…”

Jack chuckles, shaking his head as Armie bites on his lip. “I got more than needed, actually. You are amazing and the camera seems to love you, which is great for me, because I got some spectacular photos.”

“Why don't you come see it?” Armie stands his hand out and I rush over to them. He takes my hand in his and pushes me close, wrapping an arm around my waist and looking over my shoulder as we both look through the photos in Jack´s camera.

“Wow, they look amazing, Jack.”

“I barely did anything here, Timothée, is all you.”

“I really like this one.” Armie points to the camera, a photo of me in the middle of preparation for a Tour en L´air, my feet just leaving the ground and my arms pressed against my chest. On the background, the Brooklyn Bridge and its twinkling lights give the whole photo such a beautiful lightening that I can barely talk about it. I never thought I would like this experience so much. “You look beautiful.”

I look up at Armie with a smile. I can feel my cheeks burning and he chuckles, leaning in to place a kiss on my lips. It's a quick kiss, but the grip he has on me is comforting and makes me feel cozy, loved and taken care of.

“What the two love birds think about going to get some drinks?”

Armie looks at me and I quickly nod my head. Right now I don't give a damn about being seen with him in a public place, I don't care if anyone we know might see us, I just want to have a proper night out with him.

“We´re in.”

 

******

 

We´re in a tiny bar in one of the most crowded streets of Brooklyn, brick walls all around us and a guy playing some old songs on the small stage. Armie and I are sitting side by side, his hand resting on my thigh under the table, rubbing and squeezing it from time to time.

“Here you go.” Jack places three beers on the table as he sits down across from us.

“So, Jack, are you ready to tell me some embarrassing stories about Armie?”

He chuckles, nodding his head as Armie groans. “Oh, I got loads of these stories. Has he ever told you about the day he peed his pants during class?”

“He did what?!”

“Are you fucking serious?”

Jack laughs, his face turning a bit red as he locks eyes with me. “We were sixteen, we were messing around with some other friends in the back of the class, one of our friends was talking about this date he had gone in, which went terribly wrong and Armie could not stop laughing. And I mean red face, tears in his eyes, holding his stomach and everything. I remember looking at him and realizing things had gone bad, it was like he had stopped breathing for a second and when I looked down, I saw the stain getting big on his jeans. He got up and just stormed out of class, trying his best to hide it, but everyone could see the stain. It was one of the most hilarious things I have ever seen.”

I cover my mouth, feeling tears come to my eyes as I laugh. I look over at Armie, who is shooting a death glare over at Jack, and hold onto his shoulder, squeezing it softly. “Why...why didn't you tell me this?”

“Why on earth would I tell you this story, Timmy?”

I lean my forehead on his shoulder, trying my best to stop laughing. I take a few deep breaths, dry my tears and then look up again, biting my lip as Armie glares at me. “I am sorry.”

“Oh, I got a lot more of embarrassing stories about this guy, one time he…”

“No no no.” I move back as Armie practically jumps over the table and covers Jack´s mouth with his hand, a serious look on his face. God, I am loving every single second of this. “One embarrassing story is enough for the night, leave whatever you thought of for next time.”

Jack sighs and nods his head. It takes Armie a few more seconds until he sits back on the chair, shaking his head and reaching for his beer. I giggle, bumping my shoulder with his and he looks at me with a half smile. I give him a quick wink and then reach for my beer too, turning to take a look at the musician, who just started playing Duran Duran´s Come Undone.

“Your song.” I turn to Jack confused and he points over to Armie. “Armie always loved Duran Duran, so he once asked one of our friends to work on a string chord version of this song and being the show off he is, he performed that on our art school summer festival. Pretty sure is what got him into Juilliard.”

“Why are you keeping this things away from me?”

“I am not keeping it away from you, babe, I just didn't find the time to talk about it.”

“You didn't find time to talk about ballet with me?”

He nods, pulling me closer by my shirt. “Too busy kissing you.”

I roll my eyes, but smile as he leans in and places a quick kiss on my lips. He then turns back to the stage, watching as the man reaches the bridge of the song and intertwines his fingers with mine, our hands resting on his thigh. I smile to myself, still unsure of what I did to deserve so much happiness.





Chapter Text

The moment the elevator door closes, Armie has me trapped against the wall, his huge body in front of me, hands resting on each side of my face and blue eyes staring down at me with passion and hunger. Judging by the way my body is burning, how my knees have gone weak and how my mouth is salivating in anticipation for his kiss, I can only assume my eyes are exactly the same as his.

He leans a bit closer, nose brushing against mine for a brief second and then moving to my neck, where he breathes me in. I tilt my head back, exposing myself to him and licking my lips as his tongue drags all the way from the crook of my neck to the back of my ear. He nibbles on it and my hands instantly grab onto his shirt, pulling him closer and smashing our bodies together. We both moan, his hand finds my neck and wraps around it, all the while his lips move around my face, slowly and sensually until he reaches my lips.

We stare at one another for a second, both of us already breathing heavily, our lips quivering as we ache for one another. He kisses me hard, desperately and almost painfully. Our tongues dance together, our teeth bite and pull on each other's lips, we devour one another with famish desire, one I had yet to experience with anyone I had ever been with. The elevator bips and Armie´s hands hold onto the back of my thighs, he pulls me up and I tightly wrap my legs around his hips.

We don't pull away as he takes just a few steps from the elevator to his front door, but have to when he moves a hand to his back pocket, fumbling around until he gets a hold of his keys. Armie presses me against the wall while he unlocks the door and I take advantage of that to latch myself on his neck, sucking and biting on the tender flesh, leaving a red mark on it that will soon turn dark. He slides the door open and I jump off of him, walking in and removing my shirt as I do so. I toss it to the ground and unbutton my jeans as I watch Armie lock the door behind him.

He throws the bag with my spare clothes to the side, his hungry eyes on me as he walks over, removing his shirt. My back hits the kitchen counter and I take a hold of it, breathing heavily as Armie closes the gap between the two of us and brings our lips together yet once again. My fingers run up his arms, his neck and find home on his hair, tugging on the golden strands until he moans between my lips.

Armie squeezes my ass, all the while pressing our hard cocks together, which makes us both shiver. I allow one hand to slid down to his chest, fingers playing with his chest hair and his nipples. He bites on my lip and pulls it, hands now on my pants, pushing them down my legs as best as he can. Armie kisses down my neck, my shoulder blades and then my chest; his eyes are locked on mine as his tongue swirls around my nipple before he nibbles on it. I throw my head back, holding onto the counter for dear life as a low moan escapes me.

Suddenly he is on his knees and I watch him pull my pants down the rest of the way. I raise one foot and then the other, helping him get them out of the way and chuckle as he throws it away. His hand is warm around my cock and he teases my slit with his wet tongue, working me over until I am moaning low and repeatedly. When my cock enters his mouth I feel like air has been knocked out of me, his lips are tight around me, the sucking motion he does is superb and when he has just the tip inside, he lets his tongue trace the sensitive head, tasting my precum and making me legs feel like fucking jelly.

“Turn around.”

His voice comes hoarse and low, barely a whisper. I look down at him and he is stroking my thighs, his lips swollen, his cheeks a bright pink. His cock is still confined in his skinny jeans and I can see is begging for attention, desperate to be released.

“Turn around.”

This time I don't think much about it, I simply do and oh what a joy it is when he grabs onto my ass cheeks, parts them away and lets his tongue run across my hole. I open my legs wider, bite down hard on lip and lean my chest against the cold counter. Armie explores me with his tongue slowly, paying attention to every single corner and poking in and out from time to time. I shudder, cuss, slam my fist against the counter, arch my back and cry out in pure ecstasy.

Could he please set camp there and never leave?

I moan loud, nodding to myself in one of the very rare times I actually agree with this annoying voice. Armie keeps on going, his speed alternating from slow to fast, my moans increasing its volume each second and my cock leaking precum all over. A finger joins his tongue, then two and I arch my back, reaching back with my hand to pull him away.

Armie looks up at me, his eyes slightly concerned as he licks his lips. Fuck, I could cum right now from that sight alone.

“Is everything okay?”

“Y-yes...I just….I want you inside of me.”

Armie smiles and turns me back around, hands sliding up my legs as he gets up from the floor. I reach for his jeans and unbutton them, my lips on his neck once again, kissing and biting. He holds onto my waist and lifts me up, sitting me on the counter. He makes me face him, his fingers tracing my lips and pushing my hair back. My hand moves inside his pants, stroking his cock slowly as he leans his forehead against mine, taking long breaths.

“Please, tell me you have condoms down here.”

Armie smirks. “On my wallet.”

I smile and in record time I proceed to get his wallet out of his back pocket and take the condom on my hand, ripping off the package and rolling on his hard cock. He is staring at me the whole time, an amused look on his face, to which I simply shrug my shoulders.

“Don't make me wait any longer, Mr. Hammer.”

He groans and pulls my legs up, bringing my ass to the edge of the counter and slipping into me with ease. I sink my nails on his shoulder, arching my back and throwing my head back, his name rolling out of my tongue effortlessly. Armie keeps himself in place for a few seconds, then starts moving just as slow as his tongue was. He is teasing me, his eyes on me as I try to get him to move faster and harder, but he is stronger and as long as he wants to be in control of things, he will be.

When he finally starts moving faster, I nearly lose myself in a haze of pleasure that surrounds me. He holds tight onto my hip with one hand, the other lazily stroking my cock, his thumb smearing precum all over the head. A symphony of Mr. Hammer echoes in the apartment and his loud, heavy breathing sounds so sexy I have to bring him down so I can it right on my ear. Our bodies are sticking together, the sweat runs down our backs and when his flesh hits mine, the sound is nearly obscene.

After his cock starts hitting my prostate I lose track of time, things become a blurry and all that matters is reaching my orgasm and watching him reach his. His thrusts are hard and fast now, his face and neck are turning bright red and I clench my muscles around him, making him moan my name and bury his face on my neck. I can feel his cock throbbing and expanding as he shoots his load on the condom and that's when I start imagining how it would feel to have his cum inside of me, no condom, just me and him, bare, skin to skin. The thought is all I need, I wrap my arms and legs tightly around Armie and groan, spurts of white semen coating mine and Armie´s abs.

Armie tries to keep himself up, but he ends up collapsing on top of me. I chuckle, rubbing my feet up and down his ass and moaning low as his softening cock slips out of me. “God, you are so amazing.”

I smile to myself, eyes closed and breathing still hasty. “I could say the same, Mr. Hammer.” I can feel his cock twitch at the sound of that and can't help but laugh. I find the strength to open my eyes and look down, watching as his cock gets a little bit harder. “Are you ready for more, Mr. Hammer?”

Armie looks up, sweaty face mere inches away from mine, and smiles. “With you? Always.”

 

*****

 

I jolt up in bed, awakened by a loud thudding that reverberates through the entire apartment. I rub my sleepy eyes with slightly shaky hands, looking around the place until I realize it's pouring outside. Lightning strikes and a loud thunder follows, which makes me sigh, finally realizing what had woken me up.

I lie back down, eyes stuck on the ceiling as I feel my heart beat slowly come back to normal. Armie is sleeping peacefully on my side, his naked body sprawled on the bed, taking over most of the space as he buries his face in the pillow. One thing I have noticed is that he -unlike me- is a heavy sleeper and it would take a damn hurricane to wake him up.

I turn to my side, leaning on my elbow and stroke Armie´s hair softly, all the while my eyes roam through his fit body; his golden skin is beautiful and without even realizing I start to run my fingers down his neck, shoulder and then his back, tracing the birthmark, the very few freckles he has spread around and then his lower back, my finger circling the little dimples that form on the junction of his back and ass.

My tongue traces my dry lips as I finally reach his ass cheeks, drawing imaginary patterns on each one of them, rubbing it and wishing I could pinch and bite them. My finger stops moving when I feel Armie moving, his body lazily shifting positions, his head turning to me. He keeps himself quiet for a second and I start rubbing his ass once again, chuckling as I see a small smile appear on his lips.

“What the fuck are you doing, Timothée?” His eyes are still closed and his voice is raspy and very low, almost inaudible in the middle of the storm.

“Appreciating your beautiful body?”

“You are weird.” He blinks a couple of times, letting out a long sigh before he fully opens his eyes, tired blue iris staring straight at me. “Good morning.”

“Good morning.”

He looks around, furrowing his eyebrows as he realizes it's raining. Suddenly his hands is on my face, thumb tracing my lips as he pulls me closer and kisses me.

“Guess we´re having a lazy day today, huh?”

“I'm all up for that, to be honest. Actually, the idea of not having to share you always pleases me.”

“Possessive.” I chuckle, nodding my head and Armie kisses me once more, this time letting his lips linger a little bit longer against mine. “I should go get breakfast ready.”

“Or you could stay right where you are.” In a swift movement I roll him to his back and get on top of him, hands resting on his chest as he holds onto my waist. “It's a lazy day in, let's make the best out of it.”

“We still need food.”

“I'm not hungry.” My stomach growls before I can even finish the sentence and Armie laughs, loud and contagious.

“Are you sure about that?”

“I'm not that hungry.”

“Your stomach says otherwise.” I roll my eyes and he rolls us over again, laying me on my back. “I´ll just get some coffee and toast done, okay? It won't take longer than ten minutes and you can stay right where you are, we'll have breakfast in bed today.”

I pout, my fingers knotting on his hair as I shake my head. “I don't want you to go.”

“Well, I don't want you to starve yourself, so I will have to disappoint you a little bit and make it out of this bed for a few minutes.”

“Fine, but I expect this to be the best coffee and toast I ever had in my life.”

“It will be, don't worry.” He winks and leans down again, kissing me a bit more intensively this time, his tongue tracing my lips before it enters my mouth. I moan a little, wrapping my legs around him and hear him chuckle. He looks down at me, but doesn't say anything, he simply unwraps my legs from his body and gets up quickly, rushing down the stairs as I am left alone in the bed, watching as his naked body disappears from sight.

 

******

 

Armie and I are on the couch, a blanket covering us as I rest my legs on his lap. His warm hands are underneath the blanket, massaging my feet and ankles; his touch is soft and sweet, but it makes me giggle from time to time, specially when his fingers brush on the most sensitive spots of my foot.

Outside the rain keeps on falling, thunders and lightning still going strong and the large glass windows are blurred with all the raindrops. We stayed in bed for hours, talking, laughing, making out or just lying there on each other´s arms, until we finally gathered enough courage to get up and head to the shower.

Armie cooked us some pasta, we drank wine, managed to wash the dishes despite all the kisses and teasing and once we were done, went back to just lying around once again, fully enjoying our lazy day.

"...but I am sure you were not angel towards her either."

I lean on my elbows, glaring at him as he chuckles. "Well yeah, I played some pranks on her and annoyed the hell out of her, but nothing like she would do to me. She was actually very mean to me, Armie, she would make up lies and all that shit." Armie chuckles, side eyeing me as I nod my head in desperation. "You think I am joking? She once came to me and said, with the most nonchalant look upon her face, that I wasn´t actually her brother, that our parents had found me on the garbage can and decided to take me in." Armie bites hard on his lip, trying to suppress a laugh. "I don´t know how, but I actually believed in her and spend almost two weeks thinking about that, feeling so bad with myself that my dad actually took me aside one day and asked what was going on. He was so pissed at Pauline for doing that to me, he spent hours talking to her and then made her apologize and promise me she would never do something like this again."

"And did that work?"

"Of course not."

Armie laughed, leaning his head back on the couch cushions. "Catherine and I never really had this kind of relationship, she was always a very serious child and I think the age difference made our relationship a bit different than most of the ones I had contact with. Most of my friends who had siblings were just like you and Pauline, always arguing, making up stories or blaming the other for breaking things."

"How old is Catherine?"

"She´s twenty four, so there´s an eight year difference between us, which kept us from fighting but brought other kind of problems." I arch an eyebrow, sitting up on the couch as he looks at me from the corner of his eyes. "I was eight when she was born and I could understand a thing or two, but that doesn´t mean it was easy for me to accept that suddenly there was someone else on the house that got all of the attention my parents had towards me."

I let a small smile come to my lips and watch as Armie furrows his eyebrows. "You were jealous of your baby sister, Armie?"

"Yes, I was. We used to go out every summer, we used to have picnics and my dad would take me to ride a bike on the park on the weekend, but then Catherine was born and things started changing, because she was little and had to be watched out all the time. I knew why they had to do that, but it wasn´t easy to actually accept it, but I did it eventually."

"How exactly?"

"My parents talked to me and my mom decided that once a week we would do something together, just the two of us."

I shake my head, laughing at him as he pulls his legs up in the couch. "Such a spoiled little boy."

"Not gonna lie, I was a little, yes."

"But it´s sweet that your mom would take a whole day to be with you."

"Yes, it was pretty great actually. It did last more than I expected, though."

"How long?"

"Until I was fifteen, which can be quite a weird thing when you´re a teenager. I loved to be around her, but also found extremely embarrassing that I wanted to hang out with her."

I kneel down on the couch, my fingers stroking Armie´s hair as I look at him with a smile. "I think it´s cute that you enjoyed spending time with her, that maybe you waited for those days with eagerness. I don´t think we fully understand how important it is to spend time with our parents, not until it´s too late."

Armie suddenly turns serious, nodding his head and looking down at his hands. It´s clear he is thinking about his dad and I since I don´t really know if he wants to go into that topic or not, I simply swing my legs over his lap and wrap my arms around him, resting my head on his shoulder.

"Does she still live in New York?"

"She moved to the Hamptons a few years after my dad passed away. She wanted to be closer to her own parents and she thought the fresh air, the ocean and calmer life style would make her some good."

"Do you visit her often?"

"I try."

I look up at him, a smirk on my face. "That means no."

"That means I try as much as I can. Sometimes she is traveling with her friends, sometimes I have too much work, but we do talk every week. She makes sure to call and ask if I have been eating enough."

"Moms, they are all the same."

"Yes, they are."

I lick my lips, leaning my forehead against Armie´s face, my nose brushing against his cheek. "Do you think your mom and Catherine would like me?"

"I do not think it´s possible to meet you and not love you, Timothée."

"Oh, you´d be surprised."

He chuckles, lifting my chin so he can look me in the eyes. "They would...they will love you." I nod slowly, biting on my lip as he leans down, kissing me quickly. "Not sure with your parents will be the same thing, though."

"Because you are my teacher?" He nods and I roll my eyes. "I am a grown man, I can decide who I want to date or not. Besides, my parents are not like that, they never get in between my relationships."

"But you never dated your ballet teacher before, or have you?"

"Armie, they won´t care about this, believe me." He nods and let my fingers slid inside his hair, playing with the golden strands. I kiss him, softly and slow, savoring his taste as he holds onto my waist and keeps my body close to his.



*******

 

Yeah, uh

Tell me what you really like

Baby I can take my time

We don't ever have to fight

Just take it step by step.

 

I swirl around the living room, my feet moving to the beat of the song, my arms waving around as my hips swing from side to side.

 

I can see it your eyes

´Cause they never tell me lies

I can feel that body shake

And the heat between your legs

 

I start bobbing my head, my curls bouncing around and my hand sliding down my chest and stomach, putting on a little show. When I open my eyes, I am turned directly towards Armie, who's sitting on the couch, his eyes locked on me and a small smirk on his face.

 

You´ve been scared of love and what it did to you

You don't have to run, I know what you´ve been through

Just a simple touch and it can set you free

We don't have to rush when you're alone with me.

 

I sing along with the song, practically shouting as I point to Armie, pursing my lips and gesturing him to come over to me. I watch as he shakes his head with a grin plastered on his face and roll my eyes.

“Come dance with me, Armie.”

“I'm not really a good dancer.”

I stop moving, hands on my hips as Armie arches an eyebrow, looking up at me. “Are you seriously gonna pull that shit with me?”

“What? I'm serious?”

“You are my ballet teacher, Armie.”

“And I am fucking great at it, but that's it, any other dance is just….a cry for help.”

“I don't believe it.”

He just shrugs and I shake my head, reaching for his hand, but he quickly tucks them under his legs. I roll my eyes and start moving again, swirling around while shaking my ass, provoking him.

“Come dance with me, please.”

“Nope.”

“I will let you give me a couple more spankings.” I look at him with a mischievous smile, watching as he turns his serious face to a slightly more amused one.

“Last time I did that I didn't have to dance, so I will take my chances.”

I gasp, looking at him shocked as he smirks. I quickly put on a pout, though, giving him the best puppy eyes I can master and watch as he moves slightly on the couch.

“Don't you dare give me that look.” I pout even more, slowly moving closer to him, standing my hand out. “Seriously, Timothée, stop.” I shake my head, blinking a few times and try to suppress a smile when Armie sighs and takes my hand. “I fucking hate you.”

“Yeah, that's bullshit.”

 

I feel it coming, I feel it coming, babe

I feel it coming, I feel it coming, babe

I feel it coming, I feel it coming, babe

 

I wrap my arms around his neck, smiling as he holds tight on my waist and starts moving side to side along with me. Our bodies are almost pressed together, our movements are synchronized and when he leans his forehead against mine, his eyes closed and a smile on his face, I can feel my heart beating faster.

I want to tell him how much I love him, tell him how amazing he is and how great he makes me feel. I want to shout for everyone that this is the man of my dreams, the one I want to be with for the rest of life, through thick and thin, for better or worse.

 

I feel it coming, I feel it coming, babe

I feel it coming, I feel it coming, babe

I feel it coming, I feel it coming, babe

 

I close my eyes too and smile wide at myself, taking in a deep breath. Armie´s hold on me tightens and he pulls me a bit closer, his nose tracing my forehead, nose and cheeks. He breathes me in and then places soft and quick kisses all over my face, making me giggle.

When I finally open my eyes we are staring straight into each other, his blue eyes filled with care. I bite on my lip, suddenly a little nervous, worried that those three words will just roll out of my tongue.

I love you.

I love you.

I love you.

“I probably shouldn't say this so early, I mean, we´ve been together for a little over two weeks, but…” I feel my breathing get heavier and my mouth go dry.

“I love you,” it slips out of my lips before he can finish and for about three seconds my brain thinks about all the possible outcomes for this. How quick can I leave his apartment? How long should I stay away from classes? Is he gonna laugh at me? Why the fuck must I be so desperate?

Armie chuckles, cupping my face in his hands and kisses me softly, his thumb rubbing on my cheeks. I start to calm down a little bit, watching him watch me, waiting for him to say something that will ease the silent. That's when I hear his voice, sweet and low, caring and soft.

“I love you, too.”





Chapter Text

How fast can a month go by? Before I started dating Armie it seemed my life was going on a snail pace, every day was as long as a month, every week seemed like a goddamn year. Nothing cool seemed to happen, nothing exciting seemed to cross me, not even the night outs with the guys, going at bars and hooking up with random boys seemed that exciting.

But the moment Armie came into the picture, the moment our lips touched for the first time, everything changed drastically. Let me put it like this, if my life was a movie, this would be the moment a cool montage would start playing. Some nice and stylish music, maybe some rap from the 90´s, would be on the background. A series of images from New York would fill the screen, showing Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, SoHo and it's cool bars.

At some point a sequence of moments between me and Armie would come; us in bed kissing, having sex, dancing, laughing and working out on the park, Armie with a happy and relaxed look upon his face while I looked grumpy and tired, because it was Sunday morning and I would rather be in bed. Then scenes from ballet classes would come, which would be mixed with little snippets from work and hanging out with Ansel, Olivia and Sarah.

Big letters in the bottom of the screen would say the cliche One Month Later or maybe A Few Weeks Later, which then would transition to a current scene, maybe me laying on my bed while watching Armie cook us breakfast or, the one I am living right now. Me, leaned against the bookstore´s counter, my chin resting on my hands as I stare into the glass door, praying to all known Gods that someone, anyone, walks in and takes me out of my boredom.

Sarah has not come to work today, her mother had an accident and she needed to rush to help her. Ever since I opened at one, only one old lady walked and after three seconds she realized she was on the wrong place. I tried to text Ansel, make sure we were still going out to celebrate Olivia´s birthday tonight, but got no answer. I texted Armie, but all I got was a brief i miss you because he was in the middle of a break in class. Now it's nearly five and I am so tired of doing nothing, I am actually considering rearranging the shelves I worked on early this afternoon.

I bury my face in my hands, shaking my head and let out a loud groan. Suddenly the door opens and I look up, arching an eyebrow, but smiling wide as I see Armie standing there. He has a confused look on his face as he walks over, hands tucked on his jean pockets.

“You okay?”

“I'm bored as hell here, Armie. Only one person came in and it wasn't the place she was supposed to be in.” He leans on the counter, a little pout on his lips as he stares at me. “The highlight of my afternoon was getting the shelves organized, which lasted like ten minutes.”

“Oh, my poor babe.” I nod, making a good use of my puppy eyes and Armie chuckles. He takes a quick look around before kissing me softly, my hands instantly grabbing onto his shirt, trying to keep him close. “Your shift is almost over, though, isn´t it?”

“Yeah, half an hour to go.”

“What you say I head to your place, make us a nice hot coffee and some sandwiches? We can spend some time together and then you´ll head to your party with Ansel and the girls.”

“That's a great idea, actually.”

“I am full of good ideas.”

I roll my eyes, shoving him back -or trying to- as he laughs. “You are so full of yourself, damn it.”

“Oh babe, you love it.”

“No, I don't.” He arches an eyebrow and I shake my head, biting my lip to keep myself from smiling. He rolls his eyes and leans in again, his nose brushing against mine for a second before he kisses me once again.

“I´ll let you get back to your very busy work now. I´ll be waiting you at the apartment.”

I nod and reach for my bag, fishing my keys from the front pocket and throwing it to him, who catches it mid air. “I actually went grocery shopping yesterday after I left the studio, so there's a lot of stuff in the fridge.”

“It was almost midnight when you left the studio.”

“The wonders of New York, Mr. Hammer, sometimes you find the right places at the most unexpected hours.”

He smirks, shaking his head and stuffs the keys on his pocket as he heads to the door. “I´ll see you in while. Love you.”

“Love you, too.”

 

*******

 

“Does this look good?”

I stand in front of the mirror, furrowing my nose as I stare at myself up and down. There's rap playing low, the remains of our little snack are scattered on the kitchen counter and Armie is lying on my bed, his head leaned against the bedpost as he reads a book.

“Aaaarrrrmmmmiiiieeee.”

He raises an eyebrow and looks at me up and down. I give him a look and point over to my outfit, to which he simply shrugs.

“Seriously?”

“You look great, babe, as always.”

“That's cute, but also bullshit.”

He chuckles and sit up properly, tossing the book to the side and intertwining his fingers together as he stares at me, now putting on a serious look. I furrow my eyebrows, his blue eyes scanning every single inch of my body while I wait for him to say something.

“I think you can get yourself a better shirt.” I nod and turn back to the closet, going through some of my shirts. “That dark green sweater looks great on you and with those jeans, you´ll be the hottest guy in the club.”

I giggle and take the sweater off of the hanger, putting it on quickly and turning to face him. He smiles, winks at me and I roll my eyes before taking one good look at myself in the mirror.

“You sure this is good?”

“Do you plan on finding yourself someone in this club? Because you sure seen very worried about making an effort with your outfit.”

I turn on my heels, a smirk plastered on my face as I slowly march over to the bed. I climb in, crawling all the way over to Armie, my hand sliding up his leg as I do so. He has his eyes locked on mine, a serious look upon his face, which makes the whole thing a lot more amusing.

“Are you jealous? Does Mr. Hammer actually get jealous?”

“I'm not jealous.”

“Oh you are, I can see it in your eyes.”

He rolls his eyes as if to prove a point, which makes me chuckle. “I am not jealous, just find it interesting that all of a sudden you want to look so good for a night out with your friends, especially when just yesterday you said you didn't give much of a damn about always looking good.”

I shake my head, swinging one leg over and straddling him. “You are such a fucking liar. You are jealous, I can see it in every single expression you make. You think I'm gonna get a few drinks and just let anyone hit on me? Don't you trust me?”

“Oh, I trust you. I don't trust the other guys, who will get to see you on those tight jeans all night long.”

Armie grips onto my waist, pulling me closer to him. I smile to myself as he kisses my neck and then nibbles on my ear, making my body tingle before we lock our lips together. The kiss starts slow, but quickly gains tempo and heat, our hands rubbing and grabbing onto each other, tongues desperate and teeth pulling and biting on each other's flesh. I moan softly, reluctantly pulling away from him, but feeling his hand on my back, keeping my body close.

“I really need to go.”

“Mhmm.”

“Seriously, Armie, Ansel and Olivia are waiting.”

“Okay,” he whispers in between soft bites on the bit of exposed flesh on my shoulder.

“Shit, you're making things very difficult for me.”

“Am I?” His teasing voice nearly makes me shiver and I have to grip tight onto his shoulders to keep myself together.

“Armie, please….”

Armie smirks and raises both of his hands, giving me free access out of the bed. I clearly don't give a damn about it and remain in place, our chest pressed together, my neck exposed and nails digging into his biceps.

“I thought you had to leave?”

I groan and attack his lips, kissing him fiercely, rubbing myself against him and melting into his body as he moans softly. I open my eyes and find him staring right back at me, our troubled breathing producing a sound that nearly overpowers the music.

“Will you be here when I come back?”

“I don't know, Timmy.”

“Pleeeeeease….”

“If I sleep here I will have to get up by six to make sure I have enough time to go back home, shower, get some clean clothes and head back to the studio.”

“I know the drill, Armie, and I also told you to keep some clothes here.” He nods, letting out a sigh as I run my fingers through his hair. “I always have clean clothes at your place when I need them.”

Armie cups my face with his hands and smiles. “Okay, okay, I will be here, no need to worry.”

“Great, than we can get back from where we stopped.”

“Would you like me to wait naked, ass up and ready to take it?” I know he is joking, but I can't help myself and play out the whole scene in my head. “Oh, you are actually considering the idea.”

“I really was.” I shrug, getting up quickly and reaching for my sneakers. “But undressing you is quite an erotic part of the whole deal, so leave the clothes.”

“You horny little shit.”

“One you love.” I lean in and kiss him quickly before getting up. I reach for my wallet and keys and give him a wink, heading over to the door as he sinks on the bed, making a mess of my sheets and grabs his book once again. “I´ll see you later tonight.”

“I´ll be waiting.”



********

 

The lights are flickering, a rainbow of colors taking over the dance floor as we move our bodies in sync to the music. The club is crowded, people bump into one another, drinks spill to the floor, but that doesn´t stop anyone from giving in to the cool vibe that has taken over the place. The smile on Olivia´s face is contagious, there´s a special glow on her eyes and it´s easy to see she is truly enjoying herself and I couldn´t be happier.

It has been a while since we spent some time together and celebrating her birthday was the best opportunity to reunite. She giggles as I take her hand and spin her around a couple of times, then take her in my arms and dip her to the side. She holds onto my arms for dear life and I laugh, shaking my head as I bring her back to her feet.

"Have you got no faith on me, woman?"

"Give a warning next time, will ya? I have seen you drinking your cute Mojitos all night long, you expect me to trust you´ll actually hold me?"

"I just did and I am outraged that you doubt my skills as a dancer."

Olivia laughs, pinching my cheeks before she returns to Ansel´s arms. I smile over at them and point over to the bar, watching as they nod their heads. I squeeze myself in between people, trying my best to reach the bar without being stumbled on or dropping anyone´s drinks.

"Hey, can I get a water, please."

The bartender nods, reaches for a bottle of water and hands it to me. I thank him and lean against the counter, taking a few sips of the cold drink as I watch people on the dance floor. I let out a sigh of contentment, in my mind the only thought is how did I get so lucky in life. I got a good job, a happy and drama free family, great friends and a boyfriend that loves me just as much as I love him, someone who believes in me and encourages me to be the best version of myself. The only thing that could possibly happen to make this all better was to get in Juilliard and even that feels closer and closer.

I have never been so happy in my entire life.

"What are you doing there all alone?" Ansel asks as he approaches me and grabs the bottle of water from my hands. He chugs on it, letting out a loud sigh once he is done and takes hold of my arm, pulling me with him back to the dance floor. "We have class tomorrow and sadly can´t stay here until the sun rises, so let´s enjoy the time we do have, Tim, no sulking on the corner."

"That´s not what I was doing."

"Whatever, let´s dance."

I laugh and slide across the dance floor, earning a little cheer from Olivia and Ansel. I shake my head and bob my head to the beat of the song, a wide smile on my face as I let myself go.




********



I fumble for my keys on my pockets, trying my best not to make much noise. It's nearly three in the morning, the whole building is quiet and I don't want to disturb anyone. I open the door, take my shoes off and tip toe inside the apartment, squinting my eyes and trying to get used to the darkness. I walk over to the bathroom and turn on the lights, leaving the door ajar so I can have some sort of illumination and yet not disturb Armie, who´s sleeping peacefully on my bed.

The serene look on his face, his clothes and belongings scattered around the place makes me smile. We´ve been together for a total of six -almost seven- weeks and we feel so at ease on each other's place, I can't help but feel proud of how much we accomplished in such a short time.

I rush to the bathroom and quickly take a piss and brush my teeth, then turn off the lights and head to bed, climbing in beside Armie and pulling on the covers over my body. I feel his arm slide across my stomach and look to my side, smiling as I see his sleepy blue eyes looking directly at me.

“Hi, I didn't mean to wake you up.”

He shakes his head. “You didn't, I haven't been able to sleep properly for the past two hours.”

“Are you okay?”

“Just couldn't sleep, that's all.”

“Can't sleep without me anymore?”

He smirks and places a kiss on my shoulder. “You wish. How was the celebration?”

“It was amazing. It had been a while since the three of us got to hang out and I forgot how much fun we can have together.”

“You should go out with them more often.”

“I know I should, but I can't seem to let go of you.” Armie chuckles and I smile at the sound. “But seriously, it was a great night. We talked, got some nice drinks and danced a lot. Only way to make it better was if you could have been there.”

“One day I will be, I promise you that.”

I roll my eyes and turn around to face him, my hand pushing his hair back. “I didn't say it so you could promise me stuff, Armie, I am fine with things the way they are. I have you all to myself, what else could I ask for?” Armie simply smiles and I peck his lips. “We should try to get some sleep now, we both need to be up early tomorrow.”

Armie nods, his finger tracing my shoulder and neck. “Or maybe we should just call in sick.”

I arch an eyebrow. “Is Mr. Hammer actually suggesting that we skip class for the day?”

“Maaaaaybe.”

“Oh my God, I am such a bad influence on you.”

“Oh, you have no idea.”

“Are you for real, though? Would you cancel class so we could spend the day together?”

He shrugs. “I feel like I am in need of a day off.”

“I'm all in for that.”

“I know you are.” Armie moves away from me, his hand reaching for the phone on the nightstand. He sits down on the bed and types something, shortly putting the phone back down. I hear my own phone buzz and he smirks, making me chuckle. “No class tomorrow, Mr. Chalamet, I guess we can actually get back from where we stopped before you left.”

I bite on my lip and climb on top of him, pulling his shirt off. “Oh Mr. Hammer, you have no idea what you got yourself into.”

 

Chapter Text

We swirl around, left foot en pointe while our right leg moves from perfectly straightened to the side and bent over the knee. Half of us have our arms in second position, while the other half keeps them in fourth. The music is loud and fast, the sweat pours down my back and soaks my tight shirt while Armie moves silently around the room, his blue eyes intensely staring at each one of us.

When he moves back to the front and gives us the sign, we change positions. Now both our feet are en pointe, arms raised above our heads in fifth position as we take quick and short steps to the side. It goes like this, four steps to the right, a Pirouette on our own axis and then four steps to the left. It's quite an outstanding sight through the mirror, watching as twelve guys move gracefully and in perfect synchrony, creating such an organic movement it is impossible not to get affected by it.

I mean, I am affected by this and is only a class.

The next part comes and we switch positions, the back line swirls to the front while the ones that were on the front have to run backwards, torso bent over to the front and arms straightened out in front of them. Once we are all in position we move to an Arabesque, arms in third position and chin up. Armie walks in between the two lines, arms crossed and a dead serious look on his face. Months ago I'd be intimidated by that look, today it makes my whole body tingle with the idea of him looking at me like that while we are in bed. Just the thought of Armie dominating me makes me shiver and for a quick second I lose my balance.

“You okay?” His voice fills my ear as he holds onto my arm and keeps me steady. I look at him quickly, knowing if I stare too much into his eyes I will probably give myself away. I nod and try to put on a small smile and can feel him squeeze my arm slightly before letting go. “Okay, we´re heading to the last part.”

I straight myself up, project my chest forward and move my arms so they are back into first position. In synchrony, we all propel ourselves up, doing a plié once we hit the ground again and instantly pressing our arms to our chest, doing a final Tour en L´air sequence before ending back on a plié.

“And that's it, class.” Everyone relaxes the moment we hear Armie´s voice, but as he gestures us to come closer, I can see a few worried looks go around. “We are heading to the end of October, which means we are a little bit over a month away from your Juilliard auditions. I am not saying this to freak anyone out, I want you guys to work hard and to be prepared, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun and try to ease your mind from time to time. Actually, from personal experience, I´ve learned that unwinding for a while actually helps a lot and…”

Armie keeps on talking, but suddenly all I can think about is the fact that soon enough our classes will be over, he won't be my teacher anymore and if I do get into Juilliard, our time together will be more limited. Of course there's the perk of being able to actually tell people about us, to go out together without the fear of being caught. But I can't deny the fact I will deeply miss having four hours of class with him in the morning every single day. This is how I met him, how I fell in love with him, it will be hard to let go.

“...I also just found out the actual date of your auditions.” Suddenly he gets my attention again and I can see everyone else also has a serious look on their faces. “You all will be auditioning on the 10th of December, it will be a tiring experience, not only physically but also mentally, since you will be there waiting and watching as one after the other goes into that room. I have been through all of this and it's scary, I am not gonna lie, but if you keep yourselves focused and present the best choreographies you can, something that enhances your best skills, everything will be easier.” We all nod, a few sighs echoing as Armie takes a long look at all of us. “You can all go now, get some rest this weekend, you guys deserve it.”

I smile a little and turn around on my heels, walking back to where my bag is. I reach for my towel and wipe away the sweat, looking over at Ansel, who is leaned against the barre, checking his phone.

“Have you started working on a choreography for your audition?”

He looks at me and lets out a sigh, shaking his head. “I wish I had, but I can't seem to decide how I want to approach this. Do I go for something completely new or do I work around the choreography I did here? Mr. Hammer seemed to like it.”

I lean beside him on the barre and bump shoulders with him, giving him a small smile. “Whatever you choose, I am sure it's gonna be awesome, Ansel. You are extremely talented and Armie has nothing but praise towards you, so I'd say you got great chances.”

“Do you guys talk about me when you're alone?”

I shrug. “We do it sometimes. Why?”

“Please, tell me that doesn't happen while you are in bed.”

“Ansel, we have better things to do with our mouths when we are in bed than talk about you.”

He cringes, furrowing his nose as I laugh. “Okay, that's enough for today. I am gonna get out of here before you start telling me what kind of things you are doing.”

“Oh c´mon, maybe you can incorporate something with you and Olivia. He does this thing with his tongue that I…”

“You shut your mouth right now, Timothée.” I can't help but laugh at the look on his face, a look that's a mix of surprise and fear. “I gotta go now, I´ll talk to you later, man.”

I nod and watch as he swings his backpack over his shoulder and heads to the door. I can feel Armie´s arms wrap around my waist the moment Ansel disappears and I lean back on his chest, a smile on my face as I look up at him.

“Hello.”

“Hello.” I turn around, wrapping my arms around his neck and give him a quick and soft kiss. “I´ve missed you in bed last night. After the whole day together, it felt weird to sleep all alone.”

“Oh babe, I am so sorry.”

“And the fact tonight it will be the exact same thing doesn't help.” I pout and he smiles, leaning his forehead against mine and stroking my cheeks. “At what time do you leave?”

“In about two hours, I need to be in New Haven by five to make it in time. I booked a hotel there for the night, but I will be back tomorrow before midday.”

“Good, because I have a little surprise I want to show you.”

“What is it?”

“Like I just said, it is a surprise, but I want you here at the studio tomorrow at three. Think you can make it?”

“I definitely can.”

“Good. I gotta go now, I need to stop home before work.”

He nods and kisses me softly on the lips and I pull his body close to mine for a brief second, wanting to feel him as close to me as possible for as long as I can. “I´ll call you later, okay?”

“Okay, I will be waiting.” I grab my bag and swing it over my shoulder, heading out of the studio backwards, so I can keep looking at him. “Probably in bed...naked...and hard.”

“Don't tease me, boy.”

“Goodbye, Mr. Hammer.”

 

******

 

“Good afternoon.”

I close the door behind me and give Sarah a little wave as she fixes some books on the shelves.

“Good afternoon. Are you feeling better today?”

“Huh?”

“Yesterday you said you were not coming because you were not feeling very well.” I nod my head, suddenly remembering the little lie I had to tell while still lying in bed with Armie yesterday. “So, are you feeling better?”

“Yes, I am. I think I did some wrong move yesterday in class and I was left with a little bit of pain in my lower back. Nothing a painkiller, a warm bath and some rest didn't solve.”

“I'm glad you are better, Tim, this place ain´t the same without you.”

“I know you can't live without me, Sarah.”

She looks at me and rolls her eyes, making me chuckle. “So, have you heard about the party Olivia and some of her friends are having for Halloween?”

“Yeah, Ansel said something about it.”

“Are you going?”

I shrug my shoulders, turning my attention to the computer and checking some things on the system. “I'm still not sure to be honest, it seems like it will be fun though. Are you going?”

“Hell yes, I love Halloween parties.” She walks over to me, her hand resting on my shoulder as she leans in to whisper on my ear. “Maybe you could take your boyfriend and finally introduce him to us.”

I nod, turning to her with a smile. “Sure, I just need to find myself a boyfriend first.”

“Oh please, you don't fool me.”

“Sarah, you're going crazy with this whole thing, so let me tell you one final time that I don't have a boyfriend.”

She nods, crossing her arms and leaning against the counter. “Let me also tell you something one last time, Tim. You are a terrible liar and I can see in your eyes that you are in love.”

“Yeah, I´ve been in love with my ballet teacher for over a year, forgot about that?”

She just shakes her head and grabs some books, heading back to the shelves as I sigh. “I will find out who the mystery guy is, Tim, but on the meantime can you help me with the display?”

“I´ll be right on it.”

 

******

 

“He's a ballet teacher, why is he going to conferences, workshops and all that shit?”

I look up from my phone and stare at Ansel, who's sitting right across from me on the booth. Since Armie wasn't in town and it had been a while, we decided to go out just the two of us, get some beers and talk a little bit. Honestly, it felt great to be able to talk about our lives freely, without tip toeing around any subjects.

“He needs to have a strong network, Ansel, how do you think he got us all to audition for Juilliard?”

Ansel takes a sip of his beer and nods his head. “Calm down, no need to get all stressed. I wasn't trying to diminish your boyfriend, I was just curious.”

I nod my head and pull my leg up, drinking some of my beer as my phone starts buzzing on the table.

“That's him?” I look over at the screen, see Armie´s message and nod my head. “You can get it, I don't mind.”

“He's just sending me a good night message. I texted him earlier saying I was going out with you, so I wouldn't be home for our little night chat.”

“Do I even wanna know?”

“It involves nakedness, so probably not.”

“Definitely not.” I chuckle and he leans back on the seat, a little smile on his face. “I know you for ten years and I have never seen you like this. You are so into this whole thing, like really deep into the relationship.”

“Yes I am, I love him and I waited to be with him for months. And being with him has made me feel better with myself, made me feel more confident at times and just… well loved and taken care of.”

“I can see that and I am really happy for you...both of you.” I nod with a wide smile on my face, but can see Ansel´s expression turn a bit serious. “Have you guys discussed how things are gonna go once classes are over?”

“We talked briefly about it, but it's not like we made plans or anything. Why?”

He shrugs. “Just wondering how things are gonna go. Are you guys gonna be open about the relationship? Or you feel like it's best to wait a little longer?”

“I don't think neither one of us wants to wait much longer, but we will see how it goes. There's still a whole month and a half ahead of us, we have plenty of time.”

He nods, biting on his lip for a moment before his eyes find mine again. “One more question.”

“Jesus, you're full of them tonight, aren't you?”

He completely ignores my remark and just leans closer. “Is France for New Year´s Eve still a thing? Olivia was asking and since now Mr. Hammer is on the mix, I got a bit unsure.

“Shit, I totally forgot about France.” Ansel chuckles and I sigh, shrugging my shoulders. “I mean, I suppose we can still go and maybe he will come with us. It would be amazing to be in France with him.”

“Is he ready to meet the family?”

“Okay, when did this night become all about my relationship? I thought it was a bro night.”

“As if we don't excessively talk about Mr. Hammer for months now.”

“Oh, since we are on the subject, could you possibly stop calling him Mr. Hammer when we are out of clas? Is quite odd to me.”

He arches an eyebrow. “And why is...oh shit, you turned into a kinky thing, didn't you?”

I simply smile, shrugging my shoulders as he rolls his eyes.

 

********

 

The moment I turn on the corner, I can see Armie leaned against the wall of the studio building. Skinny washed out jeans, grey long sleeved shirt, messy shiny hair, arms crossed and eyes down to his phone. I smile at the sight of him and instinctively rush my pace, desperate to be with him after over twenty four hours.

“Hello,” I say in a cheerful voice the moment I reach him. Armie looks up from his phone with a smile on his face and I lean in, placing a quick and tamed kiss on his lips.

“So, are you gonna tell me what is this surprise?”

“In a moment, let's get in first.”

He furrows his eyebrows, but nods anyway and unlocks the door, letting me in. He locks the door behind him and follows me up the stairs, telling me everything about the conference while he holds onto my waist. He unlocks the studio door and we both get it, opening the windows and turning on the lights. Once it's all set, Armie turns to look at me, an eyebrow arched and a questioning look upon his face.

“Do you plan on telling me what's going on or you're just gonna stare at me for the rest of the afternoon?”

I shrug, walking over to him and wrapping my arms around his waist. “Not exactly a bad idea.” He chuckles, shaking his head and I smile, getting en pointe so I can kiss him. “Okay, here is the thing. I started working on my routine for Juilliard and I thought I could show you and see what you think, if there's anything I should change or that I should make it more dramatic.”

“I am sure whatever you have prepared is amazing, babe.”

“Yeah yeah, but I am actually trying something new, something I have done only alone in my apartment and I would love to know if you think it will work or not.”

Armie stares at me for a second or two, smiles and then nods his head. He pecks my lips and quickly pulls away, taking a seat on the floor, his back against the mirror as he looks at me with serious eyes. He is now channeling Mr. Hammer.

“Impress me, then.”

Suddenly the tension in the room is a bit bigger than I had expected and although I know he doesn't expect me to achieve perfection, I get a little worried about him not liking it. I try to shake those thoughts off and prepare myself for the routine; I take off my shirt, leaving me only in a tank top, set the phone to start playing a music and leave it on repeat in case is needed, then I grab my bag, taking two black satin ribbons out of it.

I move to the center of the room, fasten the ribbons on my index finger and hide them in my hands. I stand with my feet in third position, arms in preparatory position and chin up. I keep a serious look on my face, my heart pounding on my chest just as I hear the first chords of the song come up.

 

I guess now it's time for me to give up

I feel it's time

Got a picture of you beside me

Got your lipstick mark still on your coffee cup

Oh yeah

 

The moment the lyrics fills the room, I get en pointe , my arms turning into third position while I release the ends of the ribbons and watch them cascate down, creating a wave like motion. I rise my left foot until it is leveled with my knee and spin around; I rotate my shoulders and with my index finger make motions so the ribbons will twirl around me.

 

Got a fist of pure emotion

Got a head of shattered dreams

Gotta leave it, gotta leave it all behind now

 

I raise my right arm, turning my hand into a fist as I stand en pointe , eyes closed and trying to bring the drama of the song into my performance. I crunch forward, my head down and my arms crossed against my chest; quickly I straighten myself up again while spinning around, then project my chest forward and run to the left, the ribbons swaying behind me.

 

Whatever I said, whatever I did

I didn't mean it

I just want you back for good

(Want you back, want you back, want you back for good)

 

I swirl the ribbons until each one is wrapped around one of my arms and then do a Tour en L´air, which is then followed by an Allegro , fast jumping steps to the right, followed by a slid to the ground and a turn.

 

Whenever I'm wrong

Just tell me the song and I'll sing it

You'll be right and understood

(Want you back, want you back, want you back for good)

I want you back for good

 

I raise to my feet and do an Arabesque , one leg raised behind the body and extended in a perfect straight line. I do a sequence of Pirouettes , the ribbons creating waves around me as I leave my arms in second position. I do a Grande Jeté, jumping high from one foot to the other and when I land on the ground once again, I do a quick Plié , followed by an Assemble.

 

Unaware but underlined

I figured out this story (no no)

It wasn't good (no no)

But in a corner of my mind (corner of my mind)

I celebrated glory

But that was not to be

 

I finally allow myself to take a glimpse at Armie. He is sitting in the exact same position that he was when I started, his body rigid and his blue eyes staring intensely into me as he bites hard on his lip. My heart pounds on my chest and I start wondering exactly what he is thinking when his voice echoes above the music and I stop mid Tour en L´air.

I keep my eyes on him, confused and a bit surprised by the sudden outburst and watch as he gets up and walks over to me. I am breathing heavily, my chest heaving as he stands only an inch away from me and stares into my eyes. There's a darkness to his eyes, one I have seen before but take too long to notice when.

“Are you trying to drive me insane?”

“W-what?”

“Are you doing this on purpose? You like teasing me?”

I arch an eyebrow and look at him up and down, quickly noticing the bulge in his pants. A wide smirk comes to my face at the realization that my dance has aroused him and suddenly the darkness in his eyes make a lot more sense. My tongue slowly wets my lips as he breathes heavily and slides his hands down my arms until he is holding my hands. I swallow dryly, the proximity of him, the look in his eyes and the warmth of his hands making my own cock come to life.

He takes the ribbons away from me and smiles down at it as he holds them on his hands. My eyes move from his hands to his eyes and I can see he is in deep thought. When he leans close, his lips brushing against my ear, his voice is soft and melodic.

“Do you trust me?”

“Do you have to ask?”

“Then take off your clothes.”

“What?”

“Take off your clothes and kneel down on the floor.”

My mouth goes dry and my heart beats as if I am about to have a fucking heart attack. I take a deep breath and take off my shirt, then my tights, my eyes never leaving Armie´s. I remove my shoes and toss it to the side before I kneel down in front of him, fighting an urge to simply pull him close, remove his jeans and suck him off right then and there.

“Put your arms behind your back.”

I do as told and watch as Armie walks behind me, kneeling down in between my legs. Our eyes lock through the mirror reflection and I bite hard on my lip as I feel one of the black ribbons being wrapped around my wrists. He takes his time, make sure there is a tight knot, but not tight enough to hurt me in any way. When he leans to whisper on my ear once again, I can feel my thighs trembling.

“Can I go on?”

“Yes, please.”

“Then I'm gonna blindfold you, okay?” I simply nod, too excited to even utter a word. How many times have I dreamt of Armie dominating me, now it was finally happening. “If you ever want me to stop just say so and I will do it immediately, okay?”

I nod once again, trying to control my breathing as I am welcomed by darkness. Now all I can see are little light spots, but my body is feeling more aware than ever. I can tell Armie moved back in front of me and can hear the sound of his zipper; I feel his hands on my hair, massaging it slowly as I lick my lips in anticipation for what I know is about to come.

When the head of his cock brushes against my lips, I open my mouth immediately, taking at least half of it in in one go and hearing his soft moans. I smile to myself, always pleased to know I am the one giving him pleasure, that I am the one who gets him hard.

I relax my throat and body, letting Armie take control of the whole situation. He starts slowly but quickly fastens his pace, feeding me all of his cock. The desire to touch him and see him is huge, but since I can't do either, I do my best to give him the best blowjob he has ever had. I swirl my tongue around the head, suck hard on it and let it hit the back of my throat, loving the grunts that come out of Armie every time I gag on it.

When he pulls out, my lips wet and probably shiny with a mix of his precum and my spit, I feel empty and desperate for more. I feel his hands slid down my shoulders, to my stomach and then my cock, his fingertip tracing the whole length of it and making me shudder. When he suddenly grips tight onto my cock, I throw my head back and let out a loud and long moan. My whole body seems to be on fire, my mind is racing and my breathing has never been so laboured.

From that moment on, everything else happens in a blur, as if I am so high in pleasure that only a few fragments are able to be saved in my brain. The wetness of his tongue, the moans that escape me, the soft touch of his skin against mine, his warm cock pressed against my back. His loud breathing, his cock hitting my prostate over and over again, the sweat that runs down his chest and my back mixing it together and the music, that keeps on playing and playing throughout the whole thing.

 

Whenever I'm wrong (whenever I'm wrong)

Just tell me the song and I'll sing it

You'll be right and understood

I want you back (want you back, want you back, want you back for good)

See, I want you back for good

Oh yeah

I guess now it's time that you came back for good



Chapter Text

I can hear some faint noises on the distance as I feel Armie disentangle my arm from around his waist. I move slightly, keeping my eyes shut and sink my head in the pillow, trying to get back to sleep. After such an exhausting Saturday afternoon -and night-, all I wanna do is lie down for a little longer and then climb into a warm bath.

I can feel the bed moving and open an eye, seeing a blurry version of Armie putting on his sweatpants. I furrow my eyebrows and just as I am about to get up, he kneels down and places a kiss on my cheek.

“Go back to sleep, is still early.”

“Where are you going?”

“Just downstairs. Get some sleep, babe, you need it.”

“Is everything okay?”

“Yes. I´ll be back in a second, okay?” I nod and he kisses my cheek once again while fixing the blanket on top of me.

I let out a sigh and close my eyes, trying to get back to sleep as I hear Armie´s footsteps getting more and more distant. Just as I am about to drift off, I hear a woman´s voice and open my eyes quickly. Now I am confused and very much awake.

Who the hell is here?

“...so can you explain to me how come he is now lying on your bed?”

“Okay, first calm down and lower your voice, there's no need to get loud here. Second, what the fuck are you doing in my apartment?”

“I told you I was coming for the week…”

I turn around and sit down on the bed, hugging my legs and leaning my chin on my knees. They are trying to talk in a lower voice, make sure I am not hearing it, but in an apartment so open as Armie´s, I can still make it all out. The only question is, who is this woman?”

“...so maybe next time you can text me before simply showing up at my place unexpectedly.”

“You are gonna turn this on me? You gave me the keys years ago, I never had to call or anything, you always allowed me to come in whenever I wanted.”

“Things changed, Catherine.”

Catherine.

Armie´s sister.

“...because you decided it was a good idea to fuck your student?”

“Seriously, keep your voice down.”

“Awww, are you scared he is gonna wake up and listen to your sister trying to get some sense into your head?”

I bite on my lip, suddenly feeling a bit uneasy to be sitting here while they argue downstairs. Especially when they are arguing about me.

“...because I know exactly what I am doing.”

“Do you? Because last time we talked about this, you said you were attracted to him but that you would never do anything about it. So, what happened?”

“Finding out he loves me just as much as I love him, that's what changed.”

I smile to myself even though the whole conversation still makes me feel bad. Not that I didn't believe him before, because I did, but to hear Armie say he loves me to someone else makes it all more real.

“...what happens when the parents of your students find out what you are doing? This can ruin your entire career, Armie.”

“Catherine, I don't need you to explain to me what's on stake here, okay?”

“Are you sure? Because it seems to me you have completely forgot about everything we talked about regarding this exact subject.”

I can't help but feel like I am about to have a panic attack. Sitting here, quietly listening to them argue about me is making my heart pound of my chest and my hands shake. My breathing is slightly altered and as much as I try, I can't get it back to normal.

“...I am sorry if I decided that my happiness was more important.”

“He's younger than me, Armie. What happens when he gets tired of this in a few weeks? Are you willing to risk everything you built for something that can end so quickly?”

“Things have been pretty good for the last two months, Catherine, so I will take my chances.”

“Two months? You´ve been keeping this from me for two months?”

“And clearly was the best thing I did, because the way you are acting right now is completely childish and unnecessary.”

“Childish? I am worried about your life, I am worried about what happen to you if…”

“Let me worry about it.”

Armie´s voice is loud and it makes me jump a little in surprise. I take a deep breath and close my eyes, burying my face in my arms as I try to ignore their voices. I never expected everyone to be okay with our relationship, but I definitely didn't expect his sister to be the one to be so oppose to it.

“...if this turns out to be a mistake, which I doubt, it will be my mistake.”

“Fod God´s sake, Armie, what is wrong with you?”

“What is wrong with me? What is wrong with you, Catherine? I love that man and he loves me back, we are happy together and you got absolutely no right to march inside my apartment, without being called and question me for trying to happy.”

“I am trying to protect you.”

“I don't need your protection. I never did.”

There is a long moment of silence and I look up. I take a deep breath, force myself up and slowly walk over to the railing, my shaky hands leaning against the metal as I look down.

The living room and kitchen are empty, which makes me a bit confused, but then I hear the door close and footsteps. I can see Armie running his fingers through his hair, his shoulder hunched as he lets out a heavy sigh. When he turns around, he quickly looks up and our eyes meet. It doesn't take him much to notice that I have heard the entire thing and as he tries to speak, repeatedly opening and closing his mouth, I simply shrug my shoulders.

“It's alright.”

Never have I said such a big lie.



********

 

The curtains are open as usual, the bright sunlight coming in and illuminating the entire apartment, which is quiet and all of a sudden seems too small. Armie and I are sitting on opposite stools on the kitchen counter, our heads down, eyes locked on our plates as our breathing -and the scratching of the fork on the plate- becomes the only audible sound.

We haven't been this quiet since our awkward weeks post first our kiss; back then an awkward silence was bad but understandable, but after two months together, after confessing our love and experience the most amazing time together, an awkward silence seems threatening.

I was scared of even asking Armie what had happened, why his sister reacted the way she did. While Armie was probably embarrassed for making me go through all of this, hear as his sister contested our relationship. The very few times he looked me in the eyes ever since she left, he looked sad, confused, sorry and agitated. I want to wrap him around my arms and hug him tight, tell him that everything is okay. But is it okay?

I have a mix of feelings going through me right now. In a way, I know I shouldn't give a damn about what Catherine said, because I love Armie and he loves me too. But I simply can't ignore the fact she is his sister and family seems as important to him as it does to me.

I would hate anyone who ever came in between me and Pauline, so I really don't want to be the guy who caused two siblings to part ways.

I take a bite of my eggs, lazily chewing it as I look at him from under my lashes. He is moving his fork around the plate, biting on his bottom lip while his free hand grips onto the counter. His knuckles are turning pale and so is his lip, but he doesn't stop. He is trying his best to keep his mind off of what is going on.

My phone vibrates on top of the counter and when I look at it, I see a new text from Ansel. I had texted him the second everything happened, trying to ease my confusion and agitation by talking to someone.

 

Ansel: [10:00 a.m.] Are you okay?

                              What exactly happened?

 

I wet my lips, my leg bouncing as I try to decide on whether to text him back or not. My eyes suddenly meet Armie´s and we stare at one another for a moment; he silently nods and I do the same before reaching for my phone. I stare at the blank space, the cursor blinking as it waits for me to type something.

 

Timothée: [10:05 a.m.] Can you meet me at the park?

                                      Kind of feel like doing this in person.

Ansel: [10:06 a.m.] Are you okay?

Timothée: [10:07 a.m.] Yes…

                                      Maybe

Ansel: [10:09 a.m.] Im heading to the park now

                               Meet you there in five

Timothée: [10:11 a.m.] Thanks

 

When I look up from my phone, Armie is already standing by the sink, washing the dishes. I hop off of the stool, shove my phone into my back pocket and slowly -and quite shaky if I am being honest- walk over to him. I let a hand rest on his shoulder and he stops, slowly turning to me and trying to put on a smile.

“I am gonna go now.” He nods but even that movement is almost imperceptible. “Ansel is waiting for me at the park and…”

“You don't have to explain yourself, Timothée. I know this is the last place you want to be in right now and, believe me, I can fully understand you.”

“Armie, I am not mad, I…”

“You should be,” his voice rises up a notch now, but it is still very low. “I know I am.”

“Being mad is not gonna change anything.”

He shrugs and places the plate down on the sink before turning around. Armie forces himself to smile, to look as if he is not going through a whirl of emotions, but his eyes betray him.

“Go to the park, try to make the best out of this day. You deserve it.” I nod slowly and he leans in, kissing me quickly before turning back around and going back to the dishes.

I stand still for a moment, wanting to say something but definitely not sure of how to even begin. I take a deep breath, turn around on my heels and walk to the door as fast as I can. For the first time ever since I stepped in this apartment, I am relieved to be leaving and it crushes me to feel this way.

I enter the elevator, find shelter in the corner and tuck my hands in my pockets. Only when the doors close and the elevator starts going down, taking me away from him is that I feel the tears fill my eyes and I wonder if I did the right thing leaving him all alone.



*******



The sun is high in the sky and the weather is surprisingly warm for this time of the year; if I wasn't going through such a confusing moment, I would have loved to just sit down on the grass and enjoy the day.

When I make it to the park, Ansel is waiting for me on the entrance closer to my apartment building, eating a hot dog and talking to the vendor. I give the man a quick nod and a smile, then walk away with Ansel. My fingers play with the sleeve of my sweater as I tell him what happened between Armie and Catherine, trying to be as objective as possible when not even I know how to process the whole thing.

“This doesn't make any sense. Why would she be so pissed at him for dating you?”

“She is worried about his career.”

“He's thirty two years old, Tim, he doesn't need his baby sister to worry about his career or his love life.”

“Well, that's what she claimed she was doing.”

“And what did Armie say about the whole thing?”

“Nothing.” Ansel looks at me with an eyebrow raised and I sigh. “When you texted we were in the middle of the most awkward breakfast we ever had, we didn't share a word the entire time and when we did was because I had to tell him I was leaving.”

“Okay, let me get this straight. His sister barges in his apartment unannounced, they have a fight because she doesn't really accept your relationship, he sends her away and you don't talk about it?”

I bite on my lip, nodding my head slowly as he sighs.

“What the fuck is wrong with you two?”

“We were both caught off guard, Ansel. We were sleeping peacefully, suddenly she´s there and acting kind of crazy. Neither one of us knew how to approach the situation, what to say to each other.” I groan, pushing my hair back and just trying to think straight. “He told me it was okay to be mad, but I am not even mad, I'm just...confused.”

“I can understand why neither one of you could really find the right words. You love each other and that's pretty clear, but it's his sister we are talking about so things are a bit more delicate. You will have to talk about this, though.”

“I know, i just don't wanna do it right now.”

Ansel stops and takes a hold of my arm, making me stop abruptly. “Please, tell me you are not gonna avoid him like you did after your first kiss.”

“He's my boyfriend, Ansel, of course I won't avoid him.”

“I don't know, when it comes to Armie, you change completely.”

I furrow my eyebrows. “What is that supposed to mean?”

“That you are so keen on making things work perfectly, that you start overthinking. It happened with the first kiss, it happened on your first date, it happened just a couple of weeks ago when you went on and on about how you wanted to leave some of your clothes at his place, but you were not sure he would like it.”

I furrow my nose and look around, not really in the mood to look Ansel in the eye right now. I hate the fact he knows me so damn well.

“Just take some time for yourself this afternoon and call him tonight. Maybe have dinner together and talk this through. Just don't dwell on this on your own, tell him what you are thinking and try to help one another. I am sure he is not on his best self too considering his sister is the one causing all of this.”

I just nod, tucking my hands in my pockets. “I will think about it.”



********

 

It's nearly midnight as I lie alone in my bed, a warm blanket on top of me while I hug the pillow, which now smells like Armie. I have tried to clear my head and not to think about what had happened this morning, but no matter what I do, my thoughts always go back to that moment. Me coiled up on the bed, listening to them arguing about me as if I wasn't there.

I tried to text Armie many times, but could never come up with something I thought it was good enough. I have never been in a situation like this one, what can I say that won't hurt his feelings? I can't simply go around saying his sister is a bitch or anything. But is there even any other word I can use to describe her right now?

I hear my phone vibrate on the nightstand and reach for it. I lean on my elbows, unlock the phone and let out a sigh as I see Armie´s message there. God, I miss him.

 

Mr. Hammer: [11:58 p.m.] I didnt text before because I wanted to give you some space

                                          I know this morning wasnt easy

                                         I am sorry for how Catherine acted

                                        Never expected things to happen that way

                                       Please dont let that get into your head

                                       Love you

 

I bite on my lip, trying to decide on what to write back to him. He is clearly hurt and as Ansel said, we need to talk and try to fix this, but I might need a bit more time.

 

Timothée: [00:05 a.m.] Please dont feel guilty

                                     I know this wasnt what you expected

                                    What neither one of us expected

                                   Love you too

                                  Always

 

I sigh, lying back on the bed and staring at the ceiling.

 

Timothée: [00:08 p.m.] Please dont worry if I dont show up at class tomorrow

Mr. Hammer: [00:10 a.m.] Take your time

                                          Good night.



*********



The bookstore is quiet like most Monday afternoons, a day mostly schedule for adding new books, fixing price tags and dusting off the shelves and the books that are untouched for too long.

Sarah is on top of the ladder, her red hair cascading down her back, while she sings along to the low music that is playing. I am sitting on the stool, trying to concentrate on the list of new books that have arrived a while ago, but finding it hard to do so. Concentrating has been something I am lacking ever since yesterday morning.

I groan to myself, tired of sitting and get up, reach for the new price tags and head over to the display. I start working on that, momentarily filling my head with something else other than Armie and Catherine´s voices. I get so lost in the job that it takes me a while to process that the bell rang and that someone is inside the store.

I take a deep breath, trying to put on a smile and turn around. Suddenly I am face to face with a tall young woman, her blonde hair falling down her shoulders in waves and her blue eyes way too similar with someone else´s for me to ever doubt who she was. Not that I would, I had seen plenty of photos.

“Catherine?”

She smiles. “Timothée, it's nice to finally meet you.”

“Is it? Didn't seem like it yesterday.”

Okay, so we are dealing this with passive aggressiveness. Good to know.

“Can we talk somewhere private?”

“What do you want to talk to me about?”

“My brother obviously.”

I look over at Sarah, who´s watching us with a confused look on her face. “Can you handle everything on your own? I need half an hour.”

“Is everything okay?”

I look from her to Catherine, not really sure of what to say. I nod my head anyway and Sarah mumbles an okay.

“I´ll be back as soon as possible, Sarah, no need to worry.”

She nods and I rush to the counter to grab my phone and my jacket. I lead Catherine out of the store and down the street to a small coffee shop, one where Sarah and I usually get our coffee from.

We both order something, my coffee ready in a matter of seconds since they already know my usual. I wait until Catherine has her cappuccino and then lead her to a table in a far corner, away from the few people on the shop and the windows. I have a feeling she hasn't told Armie about this encounter.

“So, what is this all about?”

“Look, I am not gonna apologize for what I did yesterday….” I scoff and her blue eyes intensely stare at me. “I may have been a bit harsh at some points, but I was saying what I was feeling. My brother worked his ass off to accomplish what he has today, his studio and his students. I don't want to see him lose any of that.”

“And you think I do? You think this is a game for me?” She sighs, her hands resting on the table as I lean forward. “I´ve been in love with your brother for over a year now, Catherine. I kept myself quiet, watching and dreaming of him from afar because I was afraid of what I was feeling, afraid of not knowing what he thought of me and even more afraid of the fact he was my teacher.”

She nods, takes a quick sip of her cappuccino and I do the same with my coffee.

“Even when we did kiss, I was confused and scared, I tried to keep myself away, forget what had happened, but I couldn't do it. We couldn't do it.” I lean back on my chair, my eyes scanning every single expression she makes, or at least trying to. The woman seems impenetrable. “Your brother and I know the risks of our relationship, we know what's at stake here, but we also love each other and want to be happy.”

Catherine nods and mirrors my movement from just a minute ago as she leans forward on the table. “And you are both willing to jeopardize your ballet careers for this? Look, Timothée, there's nothing I want more than to see my brother happy, but he has already given up on way too important things because he is too sentimental, I can't see him…”

“Staying here instead of going to Russia while his dad was dying is not being too sentimental, Catherine. Armie did what he thought was best and he was in peace with his decision, so why can't you?”

“He was in peace? Because what I saw was a young man turning miserable the moment he said no to the one thing he had always dreamt of. I might have been just a teen, but I could see the sadness in his eyes, I could see the agony of the early days when he doubted himself and his decision. When my dad died, only six weeks after he declined the offer, I saw him lost and insecure.”

I take a deep breath, trying to get my thoughts straight. Armie had never said any of this to me and I can't decide if I should believe Catherine or not. I count to ten, take another deep breath and lean closer to her.

“That was ten years ago, Catherine. Things have changed, Armie has changed and you have been around the world, so I doubt you really know what's been going through your brother´s head lately.”

“And you do?”

“More than you? Definitely.” She sighs, leans back on the chair and we stare at one another for a long moment of silence. It's pretty clear to me why she is here with me this afternoon, although why she hates the idea of me and Armie being together is still a bit of a mystery. It's hard to believe this is only because I am his student. “You are here for one reason and one reason only, so why don't you go straight to the point?”

“Which is?”

“You want me to break up with him. You talked to him, it clearly didn't work, so you decided to come to me. Pour me your fear of him losing his students, tell me how bad he was after he gave up on Bolshoi. All of this so I would get so caught up on this thoughts that I would end up breaking up with him, because the last thing I want is to be the reason why he loses something that is so important to him.”

“So you do understand my point.”

“No, I don't understand why you're being a bitch about this whole thing. Or why you can't let your brother decide what's best for him. He is not a child, Catherine, he is thirty two years old and can make up his own mind. If he wants to be with me, against all odds, then you better believe I won't be giving up on him.”

I get up from the chair and head out of the coffee shop as fast as I can, not even looking back. I take deep and long breaths once I am out on, trying to get my heart beating to calm down as I walk down the street. I reach for my phone, check the time and bite on my lip. It's almost five, Armie´s class will be over any minute and I feel a desperate urge to see him. I text him quickly and then turn the other way around, heading over to the studio.

Chapter Text

We are lying under the covers, quietly staring at one another, legs intertwined, bodies pressed together and hands tracing each other's arms, shoulders, hair and face. Armie seems tired, his blue eyes are somehow heavy and he keeps blinking, probably a mix of a day of work and the tension from yesterday that still lingers on him. My fingertips trace his lip and I smile as he closes his eyes and lets out a sigh of contentment, the arm he has around my waist, pulling me incredibly closer.

We can hear the faint sound of rain outside, giving the whole apartment, which has all lights out, a very cozy vibe to it. I shiver, feeling a bit cold and watch as Armie opens his eyes in worry. I just shrug my shoulder and snuggle myself closer to him, burying my face on his neck and breathing him in. His large hand is now on my back, stroking it as he kisses my hair and forehead. I´ve never felt as safe as I feel when I am in his arms.

“We need to talk.”

His voice is calm and low and as I look up, he gives me a reassuring smile while his hand moves to my hair, pushing some of the curls back.

“Do we?”

“Yes, we do.” I pout and he shakes his head, moving slightly so we can see one another better. “I am extremely sorry for what happened yesterday morning, I could never imagine Catherine would do something like that, that she would behave like she did. I never had to go through anything similar to this with her and I just keep asking myself what is going on.”

I bit on my lip, my hand gripping onto his shirt as he sighs. His voice is still calm, but there is also some hints of desperation on it, mostly because he doesn't seem to know exactly what to say to make things better. Understandable, since he is not the one who should be apologizing.

“I know I should have talked to you yesterday after everything happened, but I could barely think straight back then, I could barely look you in the eye. I know I was an idiot, but…”

“Please, stop apologizing for things you didn't do and for the way your sister is behaving, because you have absolutely no control over her.” He looks at me and it's as if that phrase alone or the tone in my voice is enough for him to figure out there is something I haven't yet told him.

“Timothée, what is going on?”

“Nothing.”

“Nothing.” He repeats as I nod and look down at my hands. “Then how come you can't even look me in the eye right now?”

“I'm not hiding anything, Armie, I just…”

Just tell him, you idiot. You lie to him and you will be making this whole situation a lot worse.

“Timothée?”

He is sitting on the bed by now, eyes kind of worried as I sigh and push myself up. I chew on my bottom lip, my eyes down to my hands as I fidget with my fingers. I hate to be in this situation.

“Timothée, you're scaring the shit out of me now.”

“Catherine showed up at the bookstore today.” He arches an eyebrow and I nod my head. “She wanted to talk to me in private.”

“Jesus Christ, what did she say?”

“Basically the same thing she had said yesterday morning. She is worried about your career, she saw how bad you were after your father died and you had not gone to Bolshoi, she knows there was a moment you regretted that decision and that now that you have finally got this studio, a great amount of students and recognition for your work, is not fair that you lose it all because of...well, essentially, because of me.”

Armie gets up from the bed before I can even reach him, his hands grabbing onto his hair, his head down and groans escaping him.

“Armie…”

“I can't believe she went after you.” I sigh, rubbing my hands on my thigh as I try to ease off the nervousness inside of me. “She has crossed all the lines now. Who the fuck does she think she is? Who gave her the right to do something like this?”

“Armie…”

“I'm a grown man, I don't need my baby sister going around telling people what's best for me and…” He sighs, shaking his head before he turns to look at me. “I never regretted my decision not to go to Bolshoi. Of course it wasn't easy, but I knew what I was doing, I had thought things through.”

“Armie, listen to me.” He sits back down on the edge of the bed, head buried on his hands as I move closer, my hand resting on his shoulders. “You need to talk to her, just the two of you.”

“I know.”

“You have to tell her what you feel.” He simply nods and I wrap my arms around him, leaning my head on his shoulder. “I love you, okay? And if you feel like we need a few days apart from one another until you…”

“What? No, I want you here with me.”

“If you say so.”

“I'm sorry for making you go through all of this nonsense. You can't even tell your friends and family about us, it's not fair that you have to go through this too.”

“Hey, look at me.” He turns to face me with sad eyes and I cup his face in my hands. “Being with you is all that matters. Besides, we all need some drama to spice things up, don't we?”

Armie chuckles, shaking his head as I pull him down on the bed with me. He wraps his arms around my waist, pulls me closer and gives me a soft kiss on the lips.

“How did I survive all these years without you?”

I shrug, knotting my fingers on his hair and leaning our foreheads together. “I don't know, but you´ll never have to do it again.”



*******

 

I open up the curtains and take a look outside; the sky is grey, filled with clouds and it seems like it's gonna start raining again anytime soon. There streets are crowded already, cars, motorcycles and bicycles fill the roads, while the sidewalks are painted in all shades of black, grey and brown from people´s autumn´s clothes.

The sound of the kettle signals it's time to get back into the kitchen to finish breakfast and I lazily make my way over, turning off the stove and taking the toasts out of the toaster. By the time I hear the bathroom door open, everything is already set and I am sitting on a stool, sipping some of my coffee and going through the news on my phone.

I can hear his footsteps, but keep my eyes down until his lips are on my neck and his hand slides down my thigh. I giggle and look over at him, pecking his lips before he turns me around on the stool and place a full kiss on my lips. I grab onto his shirt, pull his body closer to mine and chuckle between the kiss as Armie stumbles forward. He grabs onto the counter for leverage and pulls away, laughing and shaking his head.

“One of these days you are gonna end up hurting me with your eagerness.”

“If that happens, I promise to take good care of you.”

“Will you give me a bath?”

“As many as you want.”

He smiles and pecks my lips once more before pouring himself some coffee. He steals a toast from my plate, despite my complaints, and has half of the thing in his mouth before he can even reach the stool across from mine.

Armie reaches for his phone  and starts going through it while eating his breakfast. All the while, I keep staring at him, biting on my lip and trying to figure out if I should or not ask him about Catherine. I know he texted her last night, I know he said he would talk to her, but I had fallen asleep so quickly, I don't even know if he had time to do it yesterday or if he was going to wait and do it in person.

“You do know I can feel you staring at me, right?”

“I'm always staring at you.”

He looks up and arches an eyebrow. “Just ask.”

“I don't know what…,” he rolls his eyes and I chuckle. “Have you talked to her?”

“I texted her and she called me back right after you fell asleep. We talked briefly, but I will meet with her for lunch and we will discuss all of this. I promise you everything will be okay.”

“Armie, I don't care what your sister thinks. Sure, it was a bit of a shock to start things the way it did, but as long as you are willing to be with me, nothing else matters.”

“She won't be a problem for us, that I can guarantee.”



******

 

I move some books away and place the packages down on the counter, careful not to squeeze my fingers and hurt myself. I reach for the box cutter, rip the top of package open and take some new books out of it, checking on the list I got on top of the keyboard to make sure everything's in order.

I take a brief look at one of the new books, one about dancing and instantly think about Armie and the first time I saw him here. I remember how freaked out I was to see him and how amused Sarah was to realize I actually knew him. To think at that time I had no idea we would get to where we are now, together and happy.

The door opens and I look up, expecting to see Sarah, who left to grab us some coffee, but actually come face to face with Ansel. I arch an eyebrow and watch as he approaches me, throwing his bag on the floor and leaning against the counter.

“I´ve been texting you for a few hours now, would be nice if you checked your phone from time to time.”

“Sorry, dude, work´s been a bit chaotic.”

“Yeah, I can see.” He looks around the place, furrowing his nose at the massive pile of books spread around every single corner. “What is going on here?”

“A bunch of new orders arrived this morning and we have to get this all catalogued and in place. It's a fucking mess and we clearly won't be done with it ´til five, but we gotta try to get as much done as possible.”

“What about the other issue in your life, you know, the one that doesn't involve books.”

I look up from the pile of books on my side and sigh, leaning my elbows on the counter as Ansel looks at me a bit worried.

“I talked to Armie and we solved our part of the whole thing. He was going to have lunch with his sister today and talk to her about everything that happened, but I texted him a while ago and got no answer from him.”

“Oh, so you do have time to check your phone.” I shoot him a look and he chuckles. “I'm glad you guys talked, but if everything is okay then why weren't you in class today?”

“I slept at Armie´s and only figured out this morning I didn't have any clean clothes there. By the time we left the apartment, I wouldn't be able to make it on time.”

“The perks of dating the teacher.”

“I wish I had all the perks you think I have. He sometimes lets me out of night classes because those are extra, but he still lectures me if I am late for class.”

“I have a hard time believing that.”

I shrug just as Sarah´s voice fills the room. We both look over to the door and she smiles at us while trying to take her hair out of her face and still hold onto three plastic bags and two cups of coffee in her hands. Ansel shakes his head and rushes over, taking the coffee away from her before she spills everything. She thanks him and finally pushes her hair back as she lets out a sigh.

“I said I wanted a coffee and a muffin, what is with all the bags?”

“I may have took the opportunity to buy some things I didn't have at home, that's why it took me so long.” I nod and she blows me a kiss, making me roll my eyes and Ansel chuckle. “Your muffin is on the this bag and your coffee is the bigger one.”

“Thank you.” I take a bite of the muffin, watching as she makes her way to the stock room and sigh, before turning back to Ansel. “Did I miss anything important in class?”

“No, he was quite chill today.”

Ansel´s voice has lowered down a notch, which is usually the case when we talk about me and Armie. As much as I'm okay with keeping our relationship private, always having to tiptoe around my own friends does get a bit annoying.

I take a quick look over my shoulder, making sure Sarah ain´t near. “How exactly was he? Because he is trying to look tough and all, but I know this whole thing affected him way more than he wants me to believe.”

“He had that serious face he always has, but he was a lot more quiet, even instructions were a bit limited today.” I nod, taking a few sips of my coffee as Ansel smiles at me. “Hey, I know you are worried and all, but give the guy some time to adjust to all of this, okay? He didn't expect his sister to show up and act the way she did, he is probably just as confused as you are.”

“I think he is more ashamed and disappointed than confused. The look on his face when I told him she had come after me was…”

“Hold on, she came after you?”

I nod. “That's what actually triggered me to go and talk to him. She actually had the courage to come to me and basically ask me to break up with him.”

“What the fuck is wrong with this woman?”

“I wish I knew for sure. She claims is because she is worried about him, but I don't know.” I sigh, trying to shake off the thoughts of Catherine. “Anyway, he will talk to her and hopefully this will all be the solved by the end of the day. Auditions are just around the corner, I have more things to worry about than Catherine liking me or not.”

“Who´s Catherine?”

I look over my shoulder at Sarah, who´s now leaned against the doorframe. “No one you know.”

She furrows her eyebrows, her eyes going from me to Ansel. “You two are full of secrets.”



********



I change the bags from one hand to the other, trying to level the weight of it all as I walk down the crowded streets. It's nearly nine and I still haven't heard from Armie, the silence inside my apartment was killing me and I decided to go out and do some grocery shopping. Anything to get my head out of whatever might have happened between Armie and Catherine.

I groan as I feel the first rain drops fall down on me and quicken my pace, hoping I can reach my building before the rain intensifies. Obviously, the universe has different ideas and not even a minute later, a torrential  rain starts falling, drenching my clothes, shoes and hair. I bring the bags close to my chest, doing my best to protect the products inside and run the last block to my building, rushing inside as fast as I can.

I curse to myself as I walk up the stairs, the wet clothes are clinging into my body and making a squeaky sound that makes me roll my eyes annoyance. Strange how a day that started out so incredible has turned into a shitty night, in which all I have done is worry and project things that are probably far from reality.

As I take the last flight of stairs, I can see a shadow moving on the darkness of the hallway. Normally I would freak out, take a step back or just turn the other way around, but it doesn't take me more than two seconds to realize who that body belongs to. The censor is activated the moment I reach the last step and the entire hallway lights up, which makes Armie look up.

I let out a sigh of relief as I finally see his face, but my body reacts in a completely different way than my heart and mind. Instead of quickening my pace, my feet seem to make the short walk from the stairs to my front door three times slower. It's like a part of me couldn't be happier to see him, but the other one dreads that he is here to tell me bad news.

He gets up as I reach him, rubbing his palms against his jeans before crossing his arms over his chest. He is tense, serious and I can't see that beautiful sparkle he normally has on his eyes. Whatever happened between him and his sister, it wasn't pretty.

“Hey,” his voice comes in a whisper, almost inaudible even with the quietness that surrounds us.

“Hey.” I try to smile, to ease the tension between us right now, but it's futile. Until we can solve this whole thing, there will always be a hint of awkwardness between us. “I...I tried to talk to you the entire afternoon.”

“Yeah, I saw it.”

I don't even know what to say at this point. He has seen my calls, my texts and yet he hasn't answered, not even to try to assure me that everything was okay with him. Even if it wasn't okay with us.

There's a long moment of silence, both of us staring at one another unsure of what to say, or at least, unsure of how to say the things we want. I bite on my lip, inhale deeply and let go slowly, trying to control my nerves as much as I can.

Without saying anything, I reach for my keys inside my pockets and open the door. Armie walks past me and I stare at him for a moment before locking the door behind me. He walks around the apartment, looking slightly disoriented as I make my way to the kitchen, setting the bags down on the counter.

I lean against it, close my eyes and count to ten. When I feel like I have reached a more calm state of mind, I turn around and walk over to Armie, who´s standing by the balcony door. We stare at one another, he bites on his lip and I sigh, tired of feeling so hopeless and confused.

“Armie, please, just tell me what happened. I have spent the entire afternoon wondering what was going on, building all these twisted scenarios in my head and I can't take it anymore.”

Armie tucks his hands in his pockets. “I am sorry. I didn't mean to worry you, I just needed some time on my own.”

“Was it that bad?”

“Lets just say it was draining.”

“I don't want half answers, Armie. I wanna know what happened and why you like this. I wanna know exactly where we are right now.”

“We are in the exact same place we were this morning, Timothée. I love you and I am not giving up on our relationship.” I sigh in relief and he takes a step closer to me, taking my hands in his and squeezing it softly. “I spent three hours with Catherine today, explaining to her that I get where she´s coming from, but that my decision is made. I told her that I´ve always known that embracing what I felt for you could be a risk, but I´ve also realized that not taking that risk is pushing my happiness aside. My career is very important to me, ballet is what I'm truly great at, but my career means nothing if I am lonely, sad and miserable.”

I keep myself quiet, my thumb brushing against Armie´s skin as I feel a couple of tears fill my eyes.

“I know the idea that out of all people my sister is the one going against us sucks, but I truly believe that this won't last much longer. Catherine is strangely over protective of me and she is very stubborn, but she is not stupid or mean, although right now she might look like she is.”

I chuckle but quickly cover my mouth, looking down as Armie comes closer and closes the gap between us.

“No need to be ashamed of saying or letting me see you are not my sister´s biggest fan.”

“Well, she is your sister.”

“And she´s been quite a bitch about this whole situation. Timothée, I would be surprised and worried if you were okay with the way she handled things. You are allowed to be mad.”

I inhale deeply and shake my head. “I don't wanna be mad, I just want us to be okay.”

“And we are.”

“Really?”

Armie nods, cradling my face on his hands. “The only way I am giving up on this relationship is if you say you don't want me anymore.”

“That will never happen.”

“Then everything´s settled. With or without Catherine´s approval, you and I are together.” I smile and he leans down, placing a sweet kiss on my lips. I grab onto his jacket, pulling him closer to me and deepen the kiss for a brief second before Armie pulls away. “Now, how about you take these wet clothes off and I will run you a bath? If you stay like this any longer you might end up with a cold.”

“Okay.”

Armie takes my hand and leads me to the bathroom. He turns on the water and makes sure it's warm as I take off my clothes and toss it to the side. I watch him as he sets up the bath and then takes off his own clothes, adding them to my pile of my dirty clothes.

He steps into the bathtub and stands his hand out for me. I give it a squeeze and he smiles at me, helping me inside and then bringing us both down. I am now sitting in between his legs, my back pressed to his chest and my head leaned back against his shoulder. His hands roam through my skin, his lips leave soft kisses on my forehead and I close my eyes.

“Everything´s gonna be okay, Tim.” I smile as I hear his voice on my ear and nod my head slowly. “I love you, always remember that.”

I look up at him and can see that sparkle is there again. Not as bright, but definitely there.

“I love you, too.”





Chapter Text

Our feet move from preparatory position to en pointe , our hands resting on our waists, our chests projected forward and our chins up. We all look serious, lips pursed, eyes concentrated and ears ready to listen to Armie´s new command.

The moment his voice echoes, we move again, slowly turning into yet another position. This time we stand with left foot en pointe, while the right leg is raised to the side in a ninety degree angle. Once again we stand in position for a couple of seconds, the room in complete silence, the only sound being heard is our breathing.

Another signal and we move yet once again, this time doing an Arabesque with our arms in second position. Armie watches silently, his arms crossed as he leans against the mirror. He nods his head, snaps his fingers and we change positions again.

It's almost as if this is some kind of patience game he is playing on us. Every step and movement we make must be performed practically in slow motion, it must look graceful and not a word should be uttered. Honestly, I don't know exactly why he is making us go through all of this, but I am sure this all part of his preparation for Juilliard, so I take it all without questioning him.

Not that I have ever questioned his method as a teacher. Armie knows the business, he has been through the whole selection process in Juilliard, he knows the people who work there and what they want in a student. Every little thing he teaches us is with an intent and I trust him enough to know that if he thinks we should do this, it´s because at some point it will be necessary.

Not gonna lie though, going through this routine is tiring as hell and I would rather be doing Pirouettes all over the room.

“...and the last one.”

My eyes wander quickly to the clock before I move to an Assemble, arms up in fourth position. He keeps us in position for a whole minute and then finally gives us a nod and signals for us to get back in preparatory position. I let out a sigh, feeling some sweat run down my neck and the clothes stick to my body, even if is fucking cold outside.

“This is it for today, class. You can all go now.”

There are some nods and small chatter as we move around, some collecting their things, some heading to the small locker room and others running out of the room as fast as they can. I grab my bottle of water and take a few sips of it; I remove the tie from my hair and run my fingers through it, trying to make sure the curls are tamed and I look presentable.

“Wanna go grab something to eat? I am starving and I don't feel like going home and cooking.”

Ansel nods. “Sure, just let me recover myself from this class. You could ask your boyfriend to tone down on the exercises, for a moment I thought I would collapse to the ground.”

“Oh please, stop being so dramatic.”

“I am not, I am being completely honest.”

I roll my eyes at him and take off my tank top, dry my sweat off with it and shove it back inside my bag. I put on a clean long sleeved shirt, change my dance shoes to sneakers and smile as I get up and feel Armie´s arms wrap around my waist. I haven't even noticed, but Armie, Ansel and I are the only ones left in the studio by now, which allows me to turn around on his arms and kiss his lips.

I can hear Ansel groaning in the distance, the zipper of his bag and footsteps, which quickly makes me pull away. I shoot him a look while wrapping my arms around Armie´s neck and he sighs, hands on his hips as he stares at us.

“I am not gonna stay here while you two make out, Tim.”

“We´re not gonna make out.”

“We are not?” I look over at Armie, who has a pout on his face and giggle while shaking my head.

“Sadly no. I'm gonna have lunch with Ansel, try to find myself a costume for tonight´s party and then head to work. Our make out session will have to be rescheduled.”

“That's a bummer.” He leans in to kiss me quickly, his fingers playing with the hem of my shirt. “But what party is this one you are talking about?”

“My girlfriend is throwing a Halloween party with some of her friends.” Ansel says before I can even open my mouth. “Maybe you could stop by with Tim.”

“Ansel…”

“It's a costume party, Tim, no one would know it's him.” I shake my head and Ansel rolls his eyes. “Besides, it's not like Olivia´s friends from cooking school will know who he is...no offense.”

Armie chuckles. “None taken, Ansel.”

“Seriously though, you two should go together. It's the perfect time to be together in public and yet have enough privacy that people won't know who you are.”

“You seriously don't need to…” There's a knock on the door before I can finish and my first instinct is to move away from Armie immediately. We all turn to the door, a sigh escaping me as I see Catherine standing there.

“Hey.”

“What are you doing here?”

“I just want to talk to you, Armie. You and Timothée, actually.”

“I think we´ve talked enough, Catherine.”

“Oh.” Ansel´s voice comes a lot louder than he expected and when we turn to look at him, is easy to see his cheeks turning a bright pink. He scratches the back of his head as his eyes wander from Catherine, to Armie and finally me. “I will just wait for you downstairs.”

I nod and take a step closer to Armie, holding onto him as Catherine gives Ansel a small smile and walks inside the studio, making sure to close to the door behind her.

“Look, if you came here to tell me once again how big of a mistake this is, you can save your breath and time. I am done talking to you about my relationship with Timothée, okay? If you are not okay with it, that's your problem, I won't waste my time trying to change your mind.”

Catherine sighs, her hands tucked in her pockets and her bottom lip trapped in between her teeth. She has a look on her face that I can't quite decipher, but it does remind me of Armie when he is in deep thought. They truly are very similar.

“That's not why I came here, Armie. I came here to say I am sorry, to try and fix what I have done.” I arch an eyebrow, Catherine´s blue eyes wandering to me and Armie´s grip on me tightening. “I was a bitch to both of you, but I truly had the best intentions at heart. The idea of you losing everything you worked so hard to get is terrifying to me, more than it should probably, but I can't help it. I worry about you, Armie, I just want the best for you.”

“Nice way of showing.”

She takes a deep breath. “Yes, I did things in the worst way possible, I played the Evil Queen when I could have easily talked things through, but sometimes we don't think, we act on impulse.”

I bite on my lip, my eye stuck on Catherine as she bounces from one leg to the other. She is clearly nervous, her voice is low and in her eyes I can see she is struggling to find the right words.

“Timothée, I am sorry for the things I said and for the way I behaved. If you never find the will to forgive me, I will understand, I probably wouldn't forgive myself either. But you and my brother clearly love each other and even on my crazy state of mind, I could see the happiness in his eyes as he talked about you, so…” She takes a few steps closer to us. “So I promise you, both of you, that I will make everything I can to guarantee that we will have at least a civil and respectful relationship from now on. You and my brother deserve it.”

“Catherine…”

I shake my head and disentangle myself from Armie, which makes him stop talking. I take the few steps left that separate Catherine and I and stand my hand out for her, a small smile on my face. No, I haven't forgiven her for the things she said and what she tried to do, but not only can I see she is trying, but I also know she is right. For Armie´s sake, we should have at least a respectful relationship.

“Maybe we can start all over again.”

She nods, shaking my hand. “I'd like that very much.”

I nod back at her and then feel Armie´s hand on my back, stroking it softly. He kisses my hair and pulls me close as Catherine looks at us.

“Knowing you the way I do, I know this wasn't an easy thing to do.” Catherine shrugs. “Thanks for coming here, sis, for trying to be better.”

“I know I am stubborn as hell, but sometimes I can see my mistakes.” Armie smiles at her and she lets out a sigh of relief. “I will leave you two alone now, I got some work things to do.”

Armie simply nods and she turns around, heading over to the door. Just as she is about to walk away, I shout out her name and watch as she turns around, a confused look on her eyes.

“Maybe the three of us could have dinner or something before you head back to Europe.”

I can feel Armie´s eyes on me as silence fills the room. Catherine seems shocked with the idea, but eventually a smile appears on her lips and she nods.

“Yeah, that can be a good idea.”

“We'll set something up then.” She nods once again and gives us a little wave before heading out of the studio. Armie turns me around, his blue eyes stuck on me and a look on his face that's a mix of confusion and amusement. “What?”

“Dinner with her?”

“She´s your sister, Armie. We may have started in the wrong way, but I want us to be able to be in the same room together, I want us to be respectful. I want you and I to work, and a good relationship with your family is part of that.”

He smiles and cradles my face. “You are unbelievable. I didn't think it was possible to love you even more, but you just proved me wrong.”

I shrug and he leans in, kissing me passionately as I get en pointe and wrap my arms around his neck.

 

*********

 

“You are late.”

“Good afternoon to you too, Sarah.”

I set the bag on the counter and lean in to give her a kiss on the cheek, chuckling as she squirms and looks at me with furrowed eyebrows. She opens her mouth to say something, but stops as she notices the bag and reaches for it, trying to take a peek inside.

“Nosy much?”

“What's with the new outfits?”

“Who says they are new? I went thrift shopping, trying to find a nice costume tonight´s party.”

Sarah raises an eyebrow, leaning her elbows on the counter. “You are going to the party?”

“Why so surprised?”

“For once you haven't gone out with us much lately.” I sigh, biting on my lip. “And you said yourself you were not so sure you were going, so I assumed that was your way to say no without really saying.”

“I genuinely wasn't sure whether I was going to or not, Sarah, but I have this voice in my head that says something nice might happen, so I decided to go.”

“Maybe your boyfriend will show up there, you know.”

“Sarah…”

She rolls her eyes and takes a step closer to me, her hands resting on my shoulders. “I don't know why you feel the need to lie to us, but it's pretty clear that there's someone in your life, someone you at least care about and that seems to care a lot about you too judging by how happy you are lately.” I swallow dryly, suddenly surprised at her words and slightly unsure of what to do. “But I´ve also noticed that you clearly don't wanna talk about this person, so I promise this will be the last time I will talk about this. Feel free to come to me and talk, if you need to.”

“Thank you, I…” I sigh, scratching my neck as I try to find the right words. “You are right, there's someone, but I rather not talk about it now.”

“Okay, whatever you want.” I smile and she winks at me. “Now, there's a pile of boxes on the back room and since you were late, it's your job to take care of it.”

“Oh, that's so not fair.”

“Yes, it is. While you were shopping around for your Halloween party, I was here dusting the shelves and fixing the new tags, so now it's your time to do the dirty work.”

I shake my head, placing my bags down on the floor and swirling around on my heels, heading to the back room. “Since I am an extremely nice guy I will do this, but this is your job, so I will remember this the next time you try to pull this stunt on me.”

“Tell me who your bae is and I will let you off the hook.”

“HA! Nice try, Sarah, nice try.”



*******

 

I enter the warehouse with a smile on my face, my eyes roaming around through the entire place, paying attention to every single detail of the decoration. There are skeletons and ghosts hanging from the ceiling, spider´s webs spread all over the building, the floor has dust all over it, some of the brick walls are splashed with red paint to make it look like blood and on the darkest corners, there are huge graves that look weirdly real.

Red, yellow and purple lights flicker all around the place; the bar is crowded and bartenders with very short clothes make a show as they prepare colorful drinks, all of them with a Halloween touch to them, of course. On the opposite side of the bar there's a stage, where a small indie band is performing some classic movie soundtracks.

I don't know who was in charge of the decoration, but whoever that person is, did one hell of a job.

I fix my suspenders and look around the place, trying to spot any familiar faces. It takes me a while, but eventually I see Ansel and Olivia -in matching outfits, of course- standing close to the food area. I walk through the crowd, bumping in some shoulders, trying my best to dodge most people, especially the ones with drinks on their hands.

Olivia smiles wide as she sees me and rushes over to give me a tight hug. I chuckle and hug her back, then pull away and take a good look at her outfit. She is dressed as Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman and Ansel is a very weird Richard Gere, if I do say so myself.

“I'm so glad you decided to come, Tim.”

“You guys did a terrific job here, Olivia. This place looks incredible, I have no idea how you guys managed to do all of this in two weeks.”

“Lots of sleepless nights.”

I chuckle and take a quick look around, tucking my hands in my jeans pockets. I can feel Ansel´s eyes on me and when I turn to face him, I arch an eyebrow in wonder.

“What exactly are you supposed to be, dude?”

“A New Yorker hipster.” He chuckles, shaking his head as I cross my arms. “What's so fun about that?”

“You don't really need a costume for that, do you?”

I roll my eyes and he laughs. Olivia hits his arm and he looks down at her, shrugging his shoulder.

“Sorry, Tim, but your friend here likes to play the asshole.”

“Oh, I know that very well.” He shoots me a glare and I smirk. “I'm gonna go get something to drink, do you guys want anything?”

“No, thank you.”

“Okay, I´ll be right back.”

They both nod and turn back to the band while I turn around and head over to the bar. I take a quick look at the drink menu and then make my order to the bartender, a tall and blond guy with beautiful black eyes, who winks and smiles at me. I smile back, but quickly turn around, leaning my back against the counter while I wait.

“Timmy!”

I look over my shoulder and smile as Sarah, dressed as Poison Ivy, runs over and wraps her arms around me. I chuckle at how tight she holds me and wonder how many drinks she has had, although knowing Sarah she might be completely sober and just having one of her rare moments of excessive affection.

“Damn Sarah, you look hot.”

“Oh I know, I'm sure if you weren´t gay you´d tap this.” She gestures to her body and I laugh, shaking my head. “Where´s everyone? I am here for ten minutes and have yet to find Olivia and Ansel.”

“They are over there, between the food and the stage.”

“Oh okay, I´ll go talk to them in a minute.” She leans against the counter, takes a look around us and then looks back at me. “Where is the boyfriend?”

“I didn't invite him.”

“What?” I shrug and she sighs. “Seriously, Timmy, what's up with this guy? Is he married and that's why you don't want to say anything?”

“I thought you were done asking me about it?”

“Touché.”

I giggle just as the bartender rushes to me and slides a tall glass over to me. Sarah and I both look at it, there's a red handprint on the glass and dry ice to look like there's smoke coming out of it. We look at one another, laugh and turn back to the band, my foot tapping on the floor as The Breakfast Club soundtrack comes on.

“Oh, I really like this song.”

“Let's go dance.”

Sarah nods and takes my hand, pushing me with her to the middle of the dance floor. “You seem very happy tonight.”

“Well, thank you.”

“Did your boyfriend give you a good workout before you came here?”

“Sarah!”

“I know I promised to shut up, but I can't.”

I shove the drink to her and she furrows her eyebrows. “Drink and keep your mouth occupied.”

“I should be offended, but I actually like this idea.”

I laugh and am about to say something when Ansel and Olivia join us, dancing and singing. Sarah wraps an arm around Olivia and they start dancing together, shouting every single word of the song and Ansel and I dance a bit more restricted to the side, letting them perform as best as they can.

 

******

 

“Oh my God, this is the best burger I have ever had in my entire life.”

Olivia chuckles, taking it away from me as I let my eyes go wide. She takes a bite of it and then hands it to Ansel, who shoves the whole thing in his mouth, making me gasp.

“Well, that's just mean.”

“You had five of this, Tim.”

“Let me live, will ya?”

I reach for another mini burger and take a bite of it, chewing with pure delight. My eyes wander around the food table, appreciating all the incredible food displayed there, trying to decide what to eat next. I bite on my lip, knowing full well I shouldn't exaggerate on food -especially fat ones- when I am so close to my audition, but reach for a mini chocolate pie anyway.

Before I can even think of getting a bite of it though, I feel Ansel nudging me and turn to look at him slightly confused. He is looking ahead, a look that's a perfect mix of confusion and amusement on his face.

“What?”

“What is he doing here?”

“Huh?”

He opens his mouth to answer, but what I actually hear is Sarah´s voice. “Timmy, what the fuck is Mr. Hammer doing here?”

I turn around and can actually feel my eyes going wide as I see Armie across the room. His hair is messy, his blue eyes wandering around the room as the lights dance on his face and on the most sexy firefighter costume I have ever seen.

I swallow dryly, trying to understand what the fuck he is doing here, but right now I can't even move, let alone think straight. I keep hearing Olivia and Sarah´s voice, they are asking questions, trying to get me to say something, but before I can even acknowledge what they are saying, I feel my feet start to move.

I cross the room in what seems to be slow motion; in my mind million of questions, my hands shaking and my legs feeling like they will turn into jelly at any second. Armie´s eyes find mine and he smiles, that dashing, wide smile that can bring me to my knees. I try to put on a smile too, but I am so fucking nervous, I know I can't.

“Hey.”

“Hey.”

I sigh, playing with my suspenders to try and take the focus out of how nervous I am. I wet my lips, bounce from one foot to the other and after what feels like ages, finally find the strength to say anything with more than one syllable.

“Armie, what the fuck are you doing here?”

“Celebrating Halloween with my boyfriend?”

I can't help but smile, the nonchalant way he says this, the little smirk on his face. Does he even understand how much risk we are taking here?

“Armie, we are not supposed to be seen together.”

“I know, but sometimes I get a little tired of that. Don't you?”

I sigh. “Yes, I do and I know it can get really frustrating from time to time, but your career is at stake here, Armie, we need to be careful.”

“I know that, I know that more than anyone, actually. And I´ll tell what, my career is very important to me, but you and our happiness is more important.” I open my mouth to speak, but nothing comes out, so I remain staring at him. “Having my sister here and seeing her reaction to our relationship made me realize a few things. Not everyone is gonna be okay with us being together, but we never know where this opposition is gonna come from. Maybe my students and their parents won't care, maybe your parents will hate me. All I know is that I want to be able to sit down and talk to your friends, I want to meet your parents and your sister.”

I can feel my heart pounding on my chest, my hands that were shaking before are also sweating now and I try, hard and long to find words that can work as an answer to him.

“In six weeks we can do all of this without any worries.”

“I might not be here in six weeks.”

“Armie…”

“Okay, that was a bit morbid, I´ll admit that.”

“Yes, it was.”

“Look, as much as I want to hold you in my arms and kiss you in the middle of the streets in broad daylight, I know that's not something we should do now. But it's also not fair that you can't even talk to your friends or your family about us, is not fair that we have to keep this to ourselves. Besides, this is New York, no one gives a damn about who we are.”

“That's what you think.”

“Look around you.” I arch an eyebrow and he nods, urging me to do so. “Look around and you´ll realize the only people paying us any attention right now are Olivia and Sarah.”

I bite on my lip as I see Olivia and sarah, their eyes locked on me and Armie as they whisper to each other. I turn back to Armie, letting out a sigh as he reaches out for my hands and squeezes them in his.

“This is crazy, Armie. If anything goes wrong your sister is gonna come at me with…”

“My sister promised to give us a chance, didn't she?”

“Yes, she did.”

“Besides, she was there when I was getting ready, she knows I am here.”

“And what did she say?”

“That I am stupid, but a good boyfriend.”

I giggle and he pulls me closer. “You are stupid.”

“But a good boyfriend?”

“Right now you are a crazy boyfriend, Armie.” He shrugs and I smile, my thumb brushing against his skin. “I understand everything you just said and believe me, I want us to be open and free too, but it's hard for me not to be scared of what might happen.”

“Timothée, if anything happens that will be my problem to solve.”

“You are part of my life, Armie, if anything happens to you, it affects me.”

“Jesus Christ, of all the things I thought we were going to have a problem with, coming to a Halloween party and possibly posting a part of your body on my Instagram was definitely not what I had in mind.”

“Stop making jokes, this is serious.”

“I am not making jokes, Timothée.”

“You really think this is a good idea?”

“I don't care if it's a good idea.”

“Armie…”

“I can't believe tying you up only took four words and this is taking all this precious time we could be having fun and drinking with your friends.”

I shake my head, grab a fistful of his uniform and pull him close to me. He leans his forehead against mine, a wide smile on his face as he brushes our noses together. I giggle, my hands moving to the back of his neck, tugging on his hair.

“Still think you are stupid.”

“I´ll take being a stupid, but good boyfriend any fucking day.”

I kiss him softly, our lips moving together slowly as he wraps his arms around my waist and closes the gap that still remained between us. I can't hear them, but I am sure Olivia and Sara are attentive and enthusiastic spectators of our little show.

 

Chapter Text

It's almost two in the morning, the building is dark and quiet, the sensor turning on the lights every new flight of stairs we take. Armie has his arm wrapped around my waist, pulling my body close to his as I lean against his chest, my finger playing with the little details on his firefighter uniform.

I hook a finger on one of the belt looks and pull on his pants, making him smirk. When I look up, his blue eyes are staring down at me and I can feel myself blush a little at the intensity of it. He winks, leans down to kiss me and we nearly stumble on the stairs, which makes both of us laugh.

He signals for us to keep ourselves quiet and I nod, quickening my pace. We reach the door and Armie gives me enough room to reach into my jean pockets and fish for my keys. Once we are inside, we walk straight to the bed, falling down on it with a heavy sigh.

“This was actually quite an amazing night.”

Armie hums and runs his fingers up and down my arm, giving me goosebumps and making me smile. “It really was, although it seems like we broke Sarah. She didn't even say a word, she just stared at us and nodded her head.”

“I´ve been working with that woman for almost three years and I have never seen her speechless, Armie.” I turn to my side and look up at him. “I didn't know our kisses could be this powerful.”

He chuckles, shaking his head before he turns on his side too, his fingers leaving my arm and resting on my face. I lean in to his touch, bite on my lip and close my eyes, taking in a deep breath.

We stare at each other in silence for a while and I start to replay the moment I saw him on the party. How accelerated my heart was, how my mouth went dry and how I was shaking from head to toe. Incredible what being in love with someone does to you; I fear for his career more than I fear for mine.

When I feel his finger on my lips, I leave the trance I am in and focus my eyes on the beautiful smile he has on his face, before allowing myself to look down his body. I run my hands down the uniform and then tug on it, pulling him even closer to me.

“I didn't get to ask, but why on earth would you get a firefighter uniform?”

“Because I always thought that if I didn't make it as a ballet dancer, I would be a firefighter.”

I arch an eyebrow, not sure I have ever heard him talk about this before, but realize he is playing me the moment he starts laughing.

“For a second, I actually thought you were being honest.”

“Don't you think I'd have told you that before?”

I shrug. “That's why I was confused.”

“Actually, going to the party was a last minute thing and this was the only costume on the shop that actually fitted me.”

“Aww, my poor giant.” I cup his face and bring him down for a kiss, our lips moving together slowly, savoring every single second of it. “You look really hot, though.”

“Oh, I do?”

“Well, to be honest you always do, which is not really fair with us mere mortals. But this uniform does enhance some of your best attributes.”

“Which are?”

“The tone of your skin really fits with red, your eyes kind of pop up, your dark blonde hair also looks incredible contrasting with the dark red and the most important of it all, your beautiful, round and smooth ass looks marvelous.”

“This uniform makes my ass look better? Maybe I did choose the wrong profession.”

“Oh babe, this uniform does wonders to your ass, but nothing will ever come close to your ballet tights. The first time I saw you bend over in one of those...damn it, I had a semi for the rest of the class.”

Armie laughs and wraps his arms around me, rolling me on top of his body. I smile down at him as I start to unbutton the uniform, his fingers hooking on my suspenders and pulling them down.

“We have class tomorrow morning.” He says while unbuttoning my shirt and pushing it down my shoulders. I simply nod and lean down, kissing his neck and feeling the light stubble he has rub against my skin. “Will I ever be able to resist you?”

“No, you won't.”

 

********

 

I open the curtains, taking a look outside as I take in a deep breath and stretch out my arms. It's a little windy, leaves are falling on the ground, the sky is cloudy and it seems like it rained during the night. I smile to myself, run my fingers through my hair and take a look over my shoulder, biting on my lip as I watch Armie sleep peacefully on the bed.

I think about all the things he told me last night, the little sparkle in his eyes and the smile he had on his face throughout the whole thing, even when I was repeatedly telling him how terrible that idea was. I look outside again, watching the city come to life as millions of thoughts run through my head.

A quick look at the clock tells me it's 6:30 a.m. and I should start getting ready. I run over to the bathroom, take a nice and warm shower, put on my tights and tank top, prepare breakfast and while I wait for the toasts to be done, I reach for my phone and scroll through the dozens of pictures of me and Armie I have. I choose one where we are lying on the bed, legs intertwined and his hand on my knee, no face in sight. I add a filter, some shy emojis on the corner and then let it go on my stories. It's only after I am done that I realize my heart is pounding and my hands are slightly shaky.

The toaster bips, the two slices of bread pop up and I hop off of the counter, putting on a plate. I head over to the bed and climb on it, my finger running from Armie´s toes to his jaw, which makes him squirm and groan. I smile wide, doing all over again until he opens his eyes and shoots me a glare.

“Good morning, Mr. Hammer.”

“Good morning.” His voice is low and raspy, his eyes are barely open and his sleepy face is one of the cutest things I have ever seen in life. “What time is it?”

“Time for you to get up, have some breakfast and then head to the shower, or we´re gonna be late for class.”

Armie yawns, scratching his jaw and looking around the apartment. I pull on his hands and he groans loud as he sits up, the sheets doing very little to cover his naked body.

“Seriously, if you don't get up we´re gonna be late.”

“I'm up, I'm up.” He stretches out his long arms and legs, gets up from the bed and fishes for his boxers, putting it on as I head to the kitchen.

He joins me seconds later, pouring himself some coffee and taking a couple bites of his toast. I can see him looking around the counter and over to the oven, arch his eyebrow and then finally turn back to me.

“Just coffee and toast? Where´s the usual pancake or the eggs and bacon?”

“I'm cutting them out.” I can see the look of confusion in his eyes and chuckle. “Not for good, just gonna try to slow down on them for a while. Auditions are in five weeks and I need to be focused on it, I need to make sure my body is in shape and strong. I´ll try to cut out the fat and the alcohol, do more exercises even if I hate it and give my all during classes.”

“Timothée, it's great that you are focused on your audition, but please, make sure you don't overdo on anything, okay?” I nod and he reaches out for my hand, squeezing it. “I mean it, you do whatever you think it's best, but don't become a slave of this diet and workout routine. You are in perfect shape and your talent is outstanding, you don't need much.”

“Thank you, but I know there's still a few things, like my turnout, that I still need to work hard on.”

“Great thing I planned a whole class on turnout for tonight.”

I place my mug down on the counter as I look at him confused. “It's Thursday, Armie, there's no class tonight.”

“I rescheduled our classes.” I let my eyes go wide and he chuckles. “You wanted a night out to go to the Halloween party, but like you just said yourself, we´re five weeks away from the auditions, so I will see you tonight.”

I shake my head, rolling my eyes as he shrugs. “I really don't get any perks with you, do I?”

“You get to kiss me, hold me and get very useful tips no one else has. Isn´t that enough?”

“You're a tough cookie, Mr. Hammer.”

He hops off of the stool and looks around the apartment for a second. He then walks to the armchair and grabs his phone, taking a look at it and then looking over at me with a smile. He shows me the photo and I blush, scratching the back of my neck as he smiles wide.

“You chose a great one.”

“I think so too.”

He gestures for me to walk over to him and I obey in a second. When I reach him, Armie wraps his arms around my waist and pulls my body close to his, his lips on mine in an instant. I grab onto his his hair as I deepen the kiss, pressing myself against him and smiling through the kiss as I feel his fingers brush against my skin.

“You really should go take a shower.” I say in between kisses and he nods. He kisses my neck, shivers running down my spine, my eyes closed in pure bliss and a smile on my face.

 

******

 

“You guys can stop now.”

Armie´s voice is like a switch, the moment he said stop we all immediately interrupt the movement we are making and sigh in relief. I lie down on the floor, rubbing my face and trying to get my breathing back to normal as I feel the sweat run down my body. For the past two hours we´ve been alternating between turnout practice and stretching exercises, and I think I speak for everyone else when I say it was extremely demanding.

I sit back down, reach for my water bottle and chug down on it, feeling the still cold liquid sooth my body a little bit. I look over at Armie and he is going through some pages of his sketchbook, probably taking a look at some notes he had done previously. I watch as he makes his way back to the front of the studio, standing in front of us with arms crossed and the usual serious look on his face.

“For the next part of the class, we´re gonna work in pairs. Pas de Deux is extremely uncommon during auditions, at that moment they are there to judge you by your individual strength and not your collective work. But it's important that you are well trained in all aspects of the dance, because the moment you get your spot there, anything can happen.”

We all nod, taking quick looks at one another. It's easy to see that the tension for the auditions is starting to get the best of us; we all want to be on our best, prove to ourselves, to Armie and to all the amazing teachers in Juilliard that we are capable of great things.

“So for the next part of our class we´re gonna do some intense work on your high jumps and lifts. High jumps are easy to be found in solos, but lifts are restricted to group work and not only requires strength and discipline, but also requires a lot of trust on the person you are working with. That's the main thing I want you guys to work on, that's why you're all gonna work together today. For the next two hours, you´ll switch pairs and work on a routine of high jumps and lifts, nothing too extreme, but that will give you strength and help you practice.”

We nod and Armie gestures for us to get up, which we do it immediately. He starts separating us in the first set of pairs and I am left with Paul, who gives me a quick nod and a smile. We never really talked much and Paul only went out with us once, so it's not like we know much about one another. All I know is that after my little jealousy towards him, I am sure Armie did this on purpose.

“Okay, now that the pairs are formed, I will show you guys the routine you will follow.” He looks around the room for a few seconds until his eyes land on me and Paul. “Mr. Chalamet, would you come forward and help me show the rest of the class the routine?”

Oh, he's such a smart ass, isn´t it?

I take a deep breath and walk to the front of the room, standing next to Armie while I bite my lip. His hands land on my waist and he turns me around, so I am now facing the mirror; there´s a small, almost imperceptible smirk on the corner of his lips and I have to take long breaths to control myself. Armie lifts my arms and then returns his hands to my waist, all the while making sure to tell the rest of class exactly what we have to do.

His grip on my waist tightens and he lifts me up, smoothly and elegantly; I keep my chin up, my eyes locked on my own reflection and when Armie brings me down, I make sure to land with my whole feet on the floor, doing a plié . He then changes my position; right leg en pointe while the left is perfectly extended to the side. One of his arms wraps around my waist, while his other hand supports my extended leg; this time he lifts me up just a couple of centimeters away from the floor and then does a spin.

The whole thing is so surreal, being this intimate with Armie but masquerading it all as usual practice makes my heart pound inside of my chest and my palms sweat a little bit. He pulls me down once again, turns me around so I am facing him and puts my hands on his shoulders. When he propels me up, my legs are suppose to form a four and once I am high in the air, I open my arms in second position.

It only lasts a nanosecond, but I can still catch a glimpse of Ansel looking at me with a smirk plastered on his face. I try not to pay much attention to it, otherwise I know I will end up cracking up or blushing and that is definitely not a good idea.

After Armie puts me down again, he turns to face the class and calmly explains the next part of the routine. He gestures for me to step back and I take a couple of steps away from him; he nods and I inhale deeply before doing three high jumps until I reach Armie, who grabs onto my waist and lifts me off of the ground, spinning me around and then placing me back down.

This goes on for a couple more minutes, Armie patiently explaining to us exactly how we should execute the steps. Once I am back to my pair, he gives us some final instructions and then hits play on the music, letting it play low on the background as we try to follow his instructions.



*******

 

I make it to my apartment shortly before midday and head straight to the shower, washing away the sweat after four long hours of class. I sigh as the warm water hits me, relaxing my muscles and easing out the soreness that has spread out through my entire body. I stand there for a few minutes, eyes closed and the water cascading over me until I finally turn off the shower and step out.

I grab some clean clothes on the closet and quickly put them on before heading to the kitchen, looking through the cabinets and the fridge to try and find something for me to eat. I put some music on my phone and start working on lunch, a grilled chicken breast and Caprese salad; nothing too heavy, but enough to fulfill me. I take some fruits out of the fridge, add them all to the blender and make myself a vitamin.

By the time I sit down on the stool it's almost 1:30 p.m., but since I got no work today, I patiently eat my lunch and check out my phone. There are messages from Sarah and Olivia, all of them asking about Armie of course; there are also messages from my mom, who wants us to meet for  lunch on the weekend and a notification from Armie´s Instagram account.

I bite on my lip, click on the notification and am instantly directed to his page, where there's a new photo. A wide smile spreads across my face and I see the photo he took here not even a week ago; my counter set up for dinner, plates filled with pasta and wine glasses. The caption, pesto for two, is a direct reference to something he said that night and each second that passes, my cheeks hurt more from keeping the huge ass smile I got in my face.

How is this man real? You got very lucky, idiot.

I sigh in contentment, shaking my head as I imagine the look on his face as he posted that photo. It's almost as if he is standing right in front of me, almost as if I can see him smiling wide, blue eyes sparkling as little wrinkles show up on the corner. I am very lucky indeed.

I finish eating and wash out the dishes, before reaching for my phone and heading to bed. I sit down, back leaned against the bedpost and scroll through my contact list. I find Pauline´s name and click on it, pressing the phone to my ear as I eagerly wait for her to answer.

“Bonjour.”

I smile as I hear her voice, my heart beating faster in anticipation for this conversation. “Salut Pauli. Comment allez vous?”

“Je suis génial. Et vous? Vous semblez très joyeux.”

I sigh, nodding my head even though I know she can't see. “I am, I really am.”

“Oh, you got me curious now. What is going on?”

“I have something to tell you, something I wish I could have told you earlier, but better late than never, right?”

“Timothée Chalamet, what the fuck are you hiding from me?”

“I´ve got a boyfriend.” I can hear her squeal on the other side of the line and can't help but laugh. “For two months now….well, actually a little over two months.”

“Wait, what?” Then comes a moment of silence and I bite on my lip. “You´ve been dating someone for two months and I am just hearing about it now? What the fuck, Timmy?”

“I'm sorry, but the situation is a little complicated.” Pauline remains silent and I take the chance to keep on going. “We both love each other, we are having the time of our lives together and I truly never felt so connected with someone as I do with him…”

“But?”

“But he is my teacher.”

“He's your what? What the fuck are you….oh my God.” I hear her gasp and then everything goes silent for a long period of time.

“Pauline?”

“Are you saying what I think you're saying?”

“What do you think I am saying?”

“You're dating Mr. Hammer?”

“Yes, yes I am.”

“How the hell did that happen, Timothée? Last time we talked you said you were trying your best to move on, to focus your attention only on the audition and let your love life to some other time.”

“Yeah well, as you might have noticed this by now, by the time I told you this Armie and I were already going out.” She simply hums and I chuckle. “A few weeks after our first kiss, I had to confront him. I couldn't handle the tension between us anymore, classes were not going any anywhere and when I finally got the guts to speak, so did he.”

“So he really was just into that kiss as you were.”

“After I confronted him, and made a fool of myself I might add, he kissed me. And it wasn't just a normal kiss, it was a fucking great, movie like kiss that left me breathless and disoriented.”

“Timmy?”

“Yes?”

“I´ve never heard you like this.”

“Like what?”

“Happy. I mean, I have seen you happy many, many times, but nothing like this. I can hear it, in every single word you say, just how much he means to you.”

I lean my head against the bedpost, closing my eyes and allowing a smile to come to my face. “Paulie, I wish I could explain, but I can't put into words what I feel when I am with him. We´ve been together for a little bit over two months, we have had some issues already and yet, every single time I see him, my heart beats faster and I can't help but smile. I love him so much is nearly scary.”

“You should never be scared of loving someone, mon amour. But I need you to back it up a bit and tell me what kind of issues are those, because your voice altered a little bit there, so it was important.”

“His sister is in town and…” I let out a heavy sigh and slide down until I am lying on the bed. “Let's just say she wasn't really happy with the situation. She said some things that truly upset me and left Armie confused, sad and ashamed.”

“She didn't know he was into guys?”

“Oh no, she knew for years. Her problem is that I am his student and that can cause him problems.”

“Well, I can see her point.”

“Pauline!”

“What? The fact you are his student could cause him problems and I am sure you are both aware of that, that's probably the reason why I am just now hearing about this relationship.”

“Yes.”

“Anyway, how are things right now? Is she still mad?”

“She says she wants to start over. She claims she knows she said things that she shouldn't have and even if she is still scared for Armie´s career, she can see he loves me and for that reason she will try to be better.”

“It seems to me she made a mistake and is at least trying to find a way to make it better. Don't be too hard on her, Tim, try to build a relationship.”

“I will, Armie deserves that.”

“Okay, I need to know every single thing about Armie.” I laugh as she says his name in a singing voice. “And I mean everything, even the dirty bits.”

“Oh, I have a lot of those.”

Pauline laughs loud and I smile. “Oh you bastard. Come on, tell me everything, we don't have all day.”

“Where should I ever start?”

“I thought I´ve made it very clear, Timothée. I want the dirty bits, for fuck´s sake. I have seen that man, I need to know if everything goes as I have imagined.”

“Pauline! Have you fantasized about my boyfriend?!”

“Fantasize? No, I haven't. Wonder about some of his attributes? Definitely.”

I shake my head. “Damn it, maybe this is a family thing.”

“Timothée, stop trying to distract me and start talking.”

“Okay, okay. Let's see….”

 

Chapter Text

“Fuck…” A quick look at the clock and I see it's almost seven, my hands are slightly shaky, my heart is accelerated and I keep telling myself this was a bad, like really bad idea.

“Hey, calm down, okay?”

“Armie is almost seven, we still need to finish the quiche and I need to take a shower. How on earth do you want me to calm  down?”

“Tim, you are freaking out here. You have to relax a little bit.”

“Your sister will be ringing that buzzer at any moment, Armie. Is truly astonishing to me that you are so calm about it.”

“Who says I am calm? I am fucking terrified of how this dinner is gonna go down, but if we both freak out, then it's guarantee for disaster.”

Armie smiles, takes a step closer to me and holds onto my shoulders. He takes a long breath and shoots me a look, encouraging me to follow him. I do so, rolling my eyes in the process and hearing him laugh. When I exhale, my eyes stuck on his, Armie simply smiles and nods his head. It's his way of saying everything will be okay, or that he will at least try to make sure everything is okay.

Trust him. Take deep breaths and try to relax. Nothing good will come out if you keep over thinking.

I take a couple more long breaths, close my eyes and count to ten. When I finally feel like my body is starting to relax a little bit, I open my eyes and try to put on a smile for Armie.

“I'm okay.”

He nods. “Why don't you go take a shower and get ready? I will finish cooking dinner.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, you need to unwind a little bit before Catherine gets here.”

“Thank you.” I lean on my tip toes and kiss him softly for a second, then turn around and rush to the bathroom. “Don't forget to take a look at the brownies in the oven,” I say while poking my head out of the bathroom.

“Timothée, I can handle this. Just go take your shower.”

I nod and close the door again, taking off my clothes and rushing to the shower. I close my eyes, a long sigh escaping me as I try to relax my mind and my body, focus my attention only on this moment and not on how the rest of the night might go by. I was the one who had the brilliant idea of inviting Catherine for dinner, I need to pull myself together and just handle the situation like a grown man.

Long minutes later, after a lot of thinking, projecting and self loathing for all the projecting, I finally make it out of the shower. Once I am out of the bathroom, Armie has already set everything on the counter and is taking the brownie out of the oven. The smell is great and he looks over at me with a smirk as he takes a few chunks of it and tosses into his mouth.

I simply roll my eyes and head to the closet, going through almost every single piece of clothing I got. I smile and close my eyes as I feel Armie´s arms wrap around my waist; I lean back into his body, resting my head on his shoulder and he kisses my forehead.

“I love that you are focused on making this all work, but you got to stop.” I open my eyes, staring at him a little confused. “You are stressed, worried and desperate to make sure everything seems perfect, but we are not the ones who need to prove a point here. Catherine is the one who messed up and promised to start over, to be a better person. We just need to be who we are every single day, because we´ve done absolutely nothing wrong.”

“I know all of that, but it's easier said than done.”

“I know and I am sorry for making you go through all of this.”

I turn around on his arms, shake my head and take a fistful of his shirt. “Stop apologizing for things you have no control over, okay?” He nods and I kiss him, smiling as he deepens it and runs his hand down my back to my hips. “Now, why don't you go find something to do on the kitchen before we get too carried away? I still need to put on some clothes.”

Armie chuckles, kisses my lips once again and then heads to the kitchen just as I turn back to the closet. What does one wear for dinner with your boyfriend´s sister? And one that doesn't necessarily likes you that much.

Oh for fuck´s sake, just pick something. If she already doesn't like you, your outfit will be the least of your problems.

I finally grab some clothes and put it on just in time to hear the intercom buzzing. For a second it's like I have stopped breathing and when I look over my shoulder, Armie is standing there at the counter, biting on his lip.

He gives me a reassuring smile and heads to the door, answering the intercom and allowing Catherine inside the building. I look at myself in the mirror, run my fingers through my hair and once again try to put on a smile on my face.

Soon enough there's a knock on the door and Armie opens, smiling down at his sister, who holds up a bottle of wine.

“My peace offer.”

 

******

 

We sit around the counter quietly. Only a couple of words were shared between us and most of the time Armie had to pull out his best teacher vibe to actually get something out of me and Catherine. This was not how I expected things to go, but I guess I would be too much of a fool if I actually thought for one second that things would go by smoothly between us. Just a week ago, Catherine was shouting at Armie for being with me; the fact the three of us can actually sit down together and have a meal is a already a big improvement.

We are nearly done when Armie´s phone starts ringing, the sound startles us and we all turn to look at it as it lays on the far corner of the counter. He hesitates for a moment, looks at us and I nod my head, trying to let him know everything is gonna be okay. Armie remains on his seat, chewing on his bottom lip as Catherine looks in between us.

“Go get it, Armie, it might be something important.”

He nods and hops off of the stool, grabs the phone and heads over to the balcony, closing the door behind him. Catherine gets up as soon as he does so and collects our plates and glasses, taking it to the sink.

“You don't have to do this.”

“You guys worked on dinner, this is the least I can do.”

She has a small smile on her face and I simply nod my head. As she turns her attention to the pile of dirty dishes, silence falls upon us once again. I bite on my lip, tap my fingers on the counter and bounce my legs up and down. Anything to try and get rid of the awkwardness.

My eyes turn to Armie, who wanders around the balcony with the phone pressed to his ear. Then I look over at Catherine, millions of thoughts going through my head until I finally let out a heavy sigh, build up enough confidence and hop off of the stool, grabbing a cloth as I join her by the sink.

“You wash and I´ll dry.”

She looks at me and nods, her blue eyes kind and apologetic. “I really feel like I should say sorry again. The things I said about your relationship with my brother, nagging you on your job and implying such a terrible thing. I was really out of line and I can see that now.”

“It's okay, we don't have to talk about this anymore.”

“Of course we do. It took me a very long and difficult conversation with Armie for me to start seeing things in a different way. Also, I know it doesn't justify my actions, but I am really proud of everything he's accomplished and that makes me very protective of him and his career, because I know how much he fought for it.” I can only nod at this, not really sure of what to say. “He told me you have a sister, so maybe there's a part of you who can understand me.”

“I understand where your fear comes from. But as a brother and as a man who really knows my sister, I know neither one of us would have ever acted the way you did.”

Catherine nods, turning her attention back to the dishes. “Thank you for being honest, Timothée. And for even allowing me anywhere near your apartment after everything I did and said.”

“You're Armie´s sister, Catherine, I want us to have a good relationship.”

She turns to face me, leans against the sink and smiles a little. “You really do love him, don't you?”

I place the plate down, a wide smile on my face as I look at her. “More than anything in the world. And I worry about him too, okay? I know you are probably hating this idea of not being so secretive of our relationship, but I will do my best to guarantee that his job won't be at harm.”

“Thank you.”

“For what?”

She shrugs. “For making my brother feel loved and for being someone he can trust.”

“No need to thank me for that.”

“I want to do it anyway.” I shrug and she bites on her lip, clearly pondering whether or not to say something. “One last thing.”

“Yes?”

“You might never believe me or truly forgive me for what I did, which wouldn't surprise me at all because I know I was a major bitch. Just know that I am never gonna say or do anything else that might jeopardize your relationship with my brother, okay?”

“Okay.”

Catherine nods and goes silent for a second, before letting out a few giggles, which makes me arch an eyebrow.

“My dad always said he was kind of scared of me, because I really knew how to be aggressive. Guess this last week made me realize he was right all along.”

We both chuckle just as the door to the balcony opens and Armie steps back into the apartment. He walks over to us slowly, a confused look on his face as his eyes wander from me to Catherine.

“Is everything okay here?”

Catherine nods and hands him a glass and the sponge. “Here, you wash this while I go to the bathroom.”

He can only nod as she walks away and locks herself on the bathroom. When his blue eyes finally find me, I smile up at him and he steps closer.

“You two were laughing?”

I shrug. “We talked a little bit, I think we can make this work.”

Armie wraps an arm around my waist and pulls me close. Our lips lock in a sweet but short kiss, his thumb rubbing my back through the shirt.

“I'm glad we are headed towards a better place with her. I really am.”

I nod. “So am I.”

 

******

 

Tears fall down my cheeks as I throw my head back, laughing and contorting myself as Armie tickles my stomach. I try to get away from his grip, moving around the bed, kicking and squirming, but it's all futile. Armie laughs, buries his face on my neck and gives me soft bites; there's like a thousand different things going through my body and I couldn't even begin to express them.

But the world bliss would be a nice way to start.

“Stop it. Please, stop it.”

My voice is low, I am breathless and my face is burning. It takes a couple more seconds, but Armie then stops, looking up at me and pecking my lips before he flops down on the bed on his back. He pulls me close, wraps his arms around my body and now it's my turn to bury my face on his neck while letting out a sigh.

“Relieved?”

I not and look up at him with a smile on my face, my fingers combing his golden hair. “Yes, I am. Dinner went better than expected and the conversation I had with Catherine was calm, respectful and necessary. So yeah, I am feeling quite well right now.”

“I'm glad. Nothing makes me happier than seeing a smile on your face.”

I peck his lips, my fingers curling on his hair and pulling it. “What was that call about, by the way? You didn't want to answer but spent quite a long time on it.”

“Maybe I was giving you and Catherine time to talk, thought about that?”

I shoot him a look, arching an eyebrow and he chuckles. “Cut the crap, will you?”

“It was an old professor from Juilliard. He was always very nice to me, gave me advice, helped me focus after my father passed away and always made sure I knew he was there for me if I needed.” I nod my head, slightly confused on where this going. “A few years ago he moved to California and made his dream come true. He opened an art school aimed at poor young people, where they have panting, music and dance classes. He's planning an event, where people from different areas will talk about their jobs and try to encourage the kids to pursue their dreams, cling into this instead of wandering to a more dangerous patch.”

“And he wants you to speak to those kids?”

Armie nods, a small and quite shy smile on his face. “Yes, he did.”

“Armie that's amazing. You're going, right?”

“Yes, yes I will go.”

“When do you have to be there?”

“The event is on Wednesday.”

“I'm so proud of you right now. This is such an amazing idea and you to be part of it, it only proves me what I already knew, which is the fact you are an unbelievably good person.”

Armie tries to stay cool, but I can see his cheeks getting slightly more pink, which makes me giggle and wrap my arms around him as tight as I can.

“You know, there's a way to make this experience even better.”

“Which is?”

“Come with me.”

 

*******

 

“So you're going to California with him?”

I nod, a wide smile on my face as I sit on the floor with Sarah and Olivia while Ansel is by the door, grabbing the pizzas we ordered.

“One of his old professors from Juilliard asked him to speak in this event, share his experience with ballet and I did some research on the whole thing, it's such a nice project, it will be a great experience to go there and see it with my own eyes. Not to mention, it will be amazing to sit there and hear Armie talk to this crowd of young people, trying to inspire them.”

Ansel sits down with us, placing the pizza boxes in between the four of us. “I bet the fact you´ll be on the other side of the country, where no one knows you and you two will be able to be all over each other every second of the day definitely helps, huh?”

“It's not bad.” He shoots me a look and I roll my eyes. “Is great actually, spending some time with him, meeting someone who was important for him during his Juilliard time, maybe getting to know a bit more about him through someone else´s eyes. I like it, a lot.”

“God, the way your eyes sparkle when you talk about him.” Olivia shakes her head, a wide smile on her face. “This is a whole new world for me, I have never seen you like this.”

“I know, right? I mean, I have always considered myself to have a pretty good life, even the bad moments were nothing I couldn't get over it. But ever since Armie came into the picture, everything seems brighter and easier to deal with.”

“Even the not so good moments?” Ansel asks, arching an eyebrow as I nod.

“The fact that it's so great might make it harder to accept the bad moments, but that also means I have something to hang on to. Once the bad moments are past us, we are back to greatness.”

Sarah takes a bite of her pizza and nods her head. “I'm assuming this means dinner with his sister went well yesterday.”

“It did. We talked, were respectful, polite to one another and even shared a laugh.” They nod and I sigh. “I know it's not that easy, though. I still remember every single word I heard from her that day, but I can see she is being honest when she says she regrets what happened and is trying to make things better.”

“Well, at least now you can calm yourself down a bit more. I know this whole thing was stressing you out.”

“Yep. Now I can focus solely on my trip to California with my man.”

“Oh, since we are back to that topic. How long do you guys plan on staying there? I wanna know how many free days I will have.”

I roll my eyes and Ansel laughs, shrugging his shoulders. “Our plan is to go on Tuesday afternoon and get back on Thursday night or Friday morning. So from two to three days, is that enough for you?”

“Oh that's perfect, but just make sure you come back on Friday. No need to rush anything, right?”



********

 

I yawn and stretch myself on my cold bed, pulling on the thick blanket on top of me and pouting as look at all the emptiness beside me. Since Armie and I started spending more time on each other's houses, whenever I sleep without him I feel so lonely, like my bed is way too big for me.

I reach for my computer, press play on the movie I had prepared to watch and as in cue, my phone starts ringing. “Judging by the time you are calling me, I believe you won't be coming here tonight. Right?”

“Good night to you too, Timothée. I am doing fine and I hope so are you.”

I roll my eyes and slide down further on the bed, nearly burying myself under the covers. “Yes, I am doing fine. Spent some time with Ansel and the girls, we had pizza and I had to answer a lot of question they had regarding us. Now I am lying in bed, feeling very lonely because my boyfriend is not here with me.”

I hear him chuckle, the faint noise making me smile. “Well, your boyfriend is very sorry that he can't be there with you tonight, but he went out for dinner with his sister, who´s leaving the country tomorrow morning.”

“Is she there with you?”

“Yes, she is actually.”

“Tell her I wish her a good flight. I hate those things, so I have a sympathy for everyone who steps into one of those monsters.”

“Huh, I have a feeling our flight to California is gonna be quite interesting.”

“You better not pull any crap with me, Armand.”

“Armand? Damn it, you really hate flying.”

“Of course I hate flying. It's a fucking gigantic metal piece of shit, that is supposed to go beyond the clouds and cross oceans. How can people be calm over something like this?”

“Babe, I think you're starting to hyperventilate.”

“I damn well am.”

I can hear some moving and a low giggle on the other side of the phone. Well, glad he is amused by my fear.

“Listen to me, I will make sure this is the best flight of your whole life. You won't even feel it.”

“Will you give me drugs?”

Armie laughs. “No, I won't give you drugs. But I can give you kisses and maybe a massage.”

“Kind of hard to give massages on an airplane, isn´t it? Those chairs are not very comfortable and they are so small, we'll have to get on some odd…”

“That's not the kind of massage I was talking about.”

“Huh? What other kind of massage could you…” I stop talking, listening as Armie laughs and I can't help but giggle. “Okay, I think that kind of massage could definitely help me relax.”

“Yeah, there's just one problem.”

“Which is?”

“You are a little loud.”

I gasp and shake my head, feeling my cheeks burn a little bit. “Oh that's just…”

“Right?”

“I will control myself, I promise.”

“I'm sure you will.” He says with a hint of mocking on his voice. “I need to go now, babe, I just called to make sure you were alright. I already bought our tickets and booked us a hotel, but I will let you know everything tomorrow.”

“Okay, go spend some time with your sister.”

“And this time without an argument.” He says this part in a whisper and I can only assume Catherine is nearby.

“You better shut up before she listens to you.”

“You are right. Good night, Tim. Love ya.”

“Love you, too.”

Chapter Text

The Uber wanders the streets of Los Angeles, the sun is high in the sky, a light breeze blows from time to time and in the car, as if in a movie where the right songs play on the right time, Eagle´s Hotel California is playing. I have a smile on my face, one of those which makes your cheeks hurt and your eyes sparkle; it's not my first time in Los Angeles, but being here with Armie and being able to hold his hand, to hug him and kiss him without the fear of what people around us might think is exciting and liberating.

My foot taps the car floor, my trembling hands rest on my thighs and my eyes are attentive to everything that passes through the window. Armie is sitting quietly beside me, an arm around my shoulder and his finger tracing my arm.

When the car stops in front of the hotel, I can barely contain my excitement. I am the first to jump out, my eyes scanning the whole length of the hotel as if I were a child who sees a skyscraper for the first time.

The front of the hotel is not very lush, but the colorful windows and the design of a mandal on the side catch the eye of anyone passing the street. I get lost in my thoughts, coming back to reality only when Armie takes my hand and pulls me towards the entrance.

Armie takes care of everything at the front desk while I walk around the lobby, now much more impressed than I already was. The place is wonderful, well decorated and clearly expensive; maybe a bit too expensive for two people who will spend only three days here.

Armie nods to the elevator and I follow him, not without paying good attention to every single detail around me. I think I´ve fallen in love with this place in less than five minutes. We remain silent in the elevator, smiles on our faces as we each lean against one of the walls, eagerly waiting to see our room.

When the door opens, Armie grabs my hand in his and leads me down the long, grey corridor. He opens the door, steps aside and in a very eighteenth century gentleman style, tells me to come in first; I roll my eyes and nudge his stomach as I walk past him and enter the room.

My eyes widen as soon as I see the place, large floor-to-ceiling windows that provide some insane light and view of the city, a dining area, sitting area and a separate bedroom. The walls are grey, there are fun and colorful chairs and tables, a comfy sofa, art in the walls, a large flat screen tv and some modern lamps hanging from the ceiling.

I walk around the entire room, completely dumbfounded by how gorgeous and fancy it is. When I return to the living area, Armie is standing there, looking out the window; he hears my footsteps and looks over his shoulder with questioning eyes.

“So?”

I tuck my hands in my pockets and lean on the wall beside me. “So, I think you are spending a lot of unnecessary money on a hotel that we´re not even gonna enjoy that much.”

“You didn't like it then?”

“Are you fucking kidding me? I love this place already, I could easily live here.”

“Good to know.” He says with a chuckle. “So, what do you wanna do? Stay here and make a test drive on that bed, or you want to hit the city?”

I walk over to him slowly, my eyes roaming through his entire body and a big smirk on my face. Once I reach him, I wrap my arms around his neck, pull him down closer to me and let my lips brush his briefly.

“Stay in and get on that bed is a tempting idea, but I really want to get to know the city.”

“Your wish is my command, Mr. Chalamet. Let's go take a look around the city and see what we can do to have some fun around here.”

I nod and he pecks my lips before turning to walk to the door. I slide my hand down his arm, grab his elbow and make him turn back to me, which he does with an eyebrow arched.

“What?”

“Thanks.”

“For what?”

“For inviting me to come with you. And for being the best boyfriend I could ever ask for, especially after the week we had.”

“The last thing you need to do is thank me, Timothée. I love you and being with you is the best thing that has ever happened to me, so your happiness is my happiness.”

Armie winks down at me, wraps an arm around my waist and lifts me up, which causes me to let out a squeal. I wrap my arms around his neck and he kisses my lips, slow and tender, savoring each second.

I can't wait to see what this trip has in store for us.

 

******

 

“So, if any special places you want to visit? Or you just walk around and discover new places?”

“Oh, I'm glad you asked.” I grab onto his arm, pulling him even closer to me and lean my head on his shoulder. “I´ve got a little list of places I'd like to visit. Most important, we have to go to LACMA, I have always wanted to visit it.”

“Okay, LACMA it is.”

“Oh sweetie, there's more.” He chuckles and nods his head; he stops, brings me with him to a more quiet corner and leans against the wall, nodding for me to continue. “I also want to visit the Griffith Observatory, I read that the view from up there is amazing and that they have an spectacular planetarium.”

Armie nods once again, his blue eyes focused on me and a little smirk on his face. I know that face very well, it's the one he does when he's highly amused by whatever I am saying or when he's surprised at how fast I can talk.

“There's this shop downtown, The Last Bookstore. They have vintage books and records, things that if you can't find it there, you probably won't find anywhere else in the country.”

“Okay. Bookstore, museum, observatory and planetarium. Anything else?”

“Santa Monica and Venice beach seem like a good idea too, we could sit down on the sand, enjoy the view and just make out a little.”

“Oh, I like that one.”

“Of course you do.”

Armie stares at me for a moment, little smile plastered on his face as he shakes his head and pulls me close, his hands holding tight onto my waist.

“What?”

“I just like how enthusiastic you are. You were reading weather reports, doing research on Mr. Martinez, finding cool places for us to hang out and the best places to eat and drink.”

“It´s our first trip together, Armie, the first time we can actually be one hundred percent free and just do whatever the hell we want. So yes, I'm so fucking hyped for it, you got no idea.”

“I think I do.” He leans in and kisses me; at first is slow but he quickly deepens it and as much as I hate to do this, I have to pull myself away from him.

“No no no. There's no time for kissing now.”

“What?”

“We got places to go, Armand, we can't waste our time making out in the middle of the street.”

He chuckles. “You can't be serious.”

“Tomorrow we'll spend most of our day at Mr. Martinez for the event, so we gotta start now otherwise there will be too many things left to do on Thursday.” Armie sighs but nods his head as I smile sweetly at him. “Great, so come with me. Since we want to enjoy the view, we´re going to Griffith Observatory first.”



*******



It's already dark when we exit LACMA, the rows of lights in front of us giving the place a beautiful and somewhat mysterious vibe, as if something out of an old movie. With his Polaroid in hand, Armie snaps a few pictures here and there, capturing the nightlife of Los Angeles. The billboards, the people, the streets and of course the lights; he manages to tell a little story through his photography and I smile at him, completely astonished by his talent.

He urges me to go along one of the rows and after a moment of doubt, I finally do it. I walk past the most crowded area and reach a point where I can be nearly on my own; Armie is following me close by and I can feel his eyes on me as I move around. Then the sound of camera going off comes and I look to the side, seeing from the corner of my eyes as he goes on taking pictures of me.

I turn to face him, walking backwards and stick my tongue out, doing silly faces as Armie chuckles. He starts walking over to me, confident as always and with that look that seems like he is a model who just came out of a photoshoot. He winks, wraps an arm around my waist and I take the chance to snap the camera out of his hands. I get on my tiptoes and place a soft kiss on his lips as I snap a picture of us. The classic and cliche kind of photo, but I couldn't care less to be honest.

Being in love is living in constant cliche.

“I had a great day today,” I whisper on his ear.

“Good, because so did I.” He kisses me once again and takes my hands in his, leading me down the row and away from the museum. “I'm starving. Do you wanna eat around here or you want to head back to the hotel and see what they have?”

“Actually, I did hear about a place around here that seems interesting. Maybe we could check it out.”

Armie nods and wraps an arm around my shoulder. “Lead the way, babe.”



******

 

One final gasp echoes in the dark hotel room as my sweaty and pliant body collapses on top of Armie´s. My curls are clouding my vision and my legs are still trembling as I bury my face on the crook of Armie´s neck, trying to get my breathing back to normal. Armie´s chest is heaving, his golden chest hair glistening as I lazily tug on it and kiss his skin, the salty taste lingering on my lips.

His fingers find my hair, pushing the curls aside before he lifts my chin and leans in to place a lazy kiss on my lips. I smile through the kiss and then roll over to the bed, laying on my back and staring up to the ceiling.

“You really are enthusiastic about this trip, huh? You nearly broke down your spine while riding me, babe, I was getting worried.”

I laugh, shaking my head and elbowing him in the stomach as he smirks. “So worried you didn't even tell me to stop.”

“I figured you knew what you were doing.”

“Oh, I certainly did.” I turn on my side, reach my hand out and cradle Armie´s face. He leans in to my touch, closes his eyes and lets out a sigh at the same time as I do so. “Is it weird that we´re here for half a day and I already want more?”

“We'll have more,” he says with eyes still closed.

“No, I mean more trips. Going somewhere new and experiencing together.”

He finally opens his eyes again and smiles at me. “We can try. Juilliard is very demanding, but we can make some time for ourselves. Find a nice place we want to visit and make the best out of it.”

I nod. “I want that. I want everything with you, the good and the bad.”

“Hopefully more good than bad.”

“Definitely more good than bad.”

We stay in silence for a little while, bodies pressed together, his chin resting upon my head and his finger delicately tracing my spine. When my stomach starts growling, both of us laugh immediately and Armie gives me a little squeeze before pulling away.

“I think that's our cue to call room service.” I nod my head and Armie reaches for the nightstand, fumbling with some papers until he finally finds the menu. He sits down on the bed and I do the same, resting my head on his shoulder as we both look through the piece of paper. “Hamburgers?”

“Oh yes, please. And mine with extra mayo and chips.”

“Like always.”

I smirk, looking up at him. “Like always.”

 

******

 

It's nearly ten in the morning as Armie and I walk into the 40´s mansion where Mr. Martinez art school is located. Armie tells me the place was entirely reformed, the garden gained a new path where the students can walk, jog or ride their bikes; the interior was adjusted to fit different classrooms, a cafeteria, locker rooms and a big living area with couches, chairs and tvs.

On the walls there are photographs of the students dancing, painting, winning awards or just the usual kids being kids portraits. It's such a heartwarming feeling to see someone dedicate himself to help kids who are in need, give them a new perspective in life and, in one way or another, change their future.

“Oh, there he is.”

I look up at Armie and he gestures to the middle aged man on the other side of the room. He is tall, a slim but fit body from his dancer days, that he clearly maintained after his retirement, black hair with some hints of grey peeking in and as he talks to a woman, you can see the happiness in his face. Armie told me about how much effort Mr. Martinez had put into this event, so it is great to see him happy and proud of what he has accomplished.

“C´mon, let's go talk to him. Let me show you off.”

I giggle, wrapping my arm around his waist as we make our way across the room, kids running past us while playing or showing the place to their own parents. The vibe here is of excitement, pride and it's so vibrant that I am feeling proud of this whole thing, even if I am not involved.

We´re just a couple of steps away from Mr. Martinez when he turns around, a wide smile on his face as he seems Armie there. He walks over to us, wraps his arm around Armie in a tight hug and I can't help but smile proudly at them. He clearly meant a lot to Armie as professor.

“It's nice to see you again, Armand.”

“It's a pleasure to be here, Mr. Martinez.”

“Mr. Martinez? After all these years and you still can't call me Victor?”

Armie shrugs his shoulders. “Force of habit.”

“Well, we need to change that.”

Armie nods and pulls me close to him, a smile on his face as he looks from me to Mr. Martinez. “Victor, this is my boyfriend Timothée.”

“Nice to meet you, Timothée.”

“It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Martinez. Armie said the most wonderful things about you and it's amazing to be here today.”

“Thank you, but please call me Victor.” I give him a quick nod and watch as he looks at me up and down. “Are you also a ballet dancer, Timothée?”

“Yes, I am.”

“The body doesn't lie.”

Armie smirks, his hand resting on my lower back. “Timothée here is weeks away from auditioning for Juilliard, actually.”

“Oh, you must be so excited.”

I shrug. “A mix of excited and freaked out, but yeah, mostly excited.”

“It's understandable, the fear is necessary to keep us grounded.” Victor gives me a reassuring smile and then turns back to Armie. “Armand, I want to thank you once again for coming here today. I´ve put a lot of work on this event and have you with us is a pleasure.”

“Victor, I'm glad you even considered calling me to be part of this. It will be great to sit down with this kids and talk to them.”

“Oh, there's just one little thing I wanted to discuss with you.”

The look on Victor´s face shifts and it's clear to see he is slightly worried, which makes Armie furrow his eyebrows in confusion.

“Is everything okay, Victor?”

“The past two days I had some last minute cancellations and had to reach out to a few friends and ask them to join us today.”

Armie nods and as Victor opens his mouth to speak, we hear his name being called. We all turn to the side, watching as a tall, handsome brunette approaches us and throws his arms around Victor, hugging him tight.

I watch as the brunette pulls away from Victor and turns to Armie, suddenly a nearly malicious grin taking over his face.

“Armie, what a surprise to see you here.”

“Right back at ya, Connor.”

My own smiles drops and my head starts spinning. Well, I know I said I was excited to see what this trip had in store for the both of us, but not even in my wildest dreams did I expect this to happen to us.

Of all people in the world we could run into, why Connor?

Why his ex boyfriend?

Chapter Text

There is a moment of silence, almost as if the room has stopped moving and all eyes are on us; the four people standing awkwardly and uncomfortably in the center of the room, staring at one another and wondering what the next step of this mess would be. My eyes wander to Armie and it doesn't take me more than a second for me to notice how tense he is; his shoulders, his serious eyes which have absolutely no sparkle and his clenched jaw.

I wet my lips, tapping my foot on the ground as I think to myself if I should or not say something, break the awful silence that has fallen upon us before this becomes too much to bear. I clear my throat, stand my hand out in Connor´s direction and try to put on a smile, although I am sure it's hard for me to control the look of annoyance that has taken over me.

But I can't really be blamed for it, can I?”

“Nice to meet you. I am Timothée, Armie´s boyfriend.”

I can easily see the smirk that takes over Connor´s face as I mention the word boyfriend and it takes me very little time to realize he might actually be enjoying the tension between us.

“Is a pleasure to meet you, Timothée. I am Connor, Armie and I went to Juilliard together.”

“Oh, I know. I know everything about you.”

“I bet you do.” Connor says with a malicious grin upon his face and then turns back to Armie, who remains quiet and still. “Victor didn't tell me you were gonna be one of the spokespersons today, but I shouldn't be surprised, you were always his favorite.”

“You're here too, so I guess I'm not the only one.”

Armie´s voice is calm but he's still nervous and tense with the situation. I land a hand on his shoulder, give it a quick squeeze and then let my hand slide down his arm until our fingers are entwined.

“Victor only called me yesterday afternoon, which I am sure is because someone dropped off and since I live here, it would be easier for him to invite me.”

“I invited you because you are talented, Connor.”

“You're living here now?” Armie asks before the conversation can drift off.

“My boyfriend moved here a few months ago for work and I decided to come with him.” The look on Connor´s face is enough for me to want to jump on him and just punch him right on the face. I might be a bit paranoid, but it seems like he is actually pleased to talk to Armie about his love life. “Actually, we´re engaged now.”

“That's great.”

“Yeah, he is the best.”

I can feel Victor´s eyes on me and I turn to look at him, doing my best to seem calm and comfortable, but I think he can easily spot the truth. He nods in my direction and then turns to Connor, taking a hold of his arm with a smile on his face.

“Connor, I actually wanted to discuss a couple of things with you. Do you mind if we do it now?”

“No, of course not.”

“Great.” Victor turns back to us. “Armie, Timothée, I will talk to you two later.”

We nod and watch as Connor looks back at Armie. “It was great to see you again, Armie. You look happy.”

“I am.” Armie says and turns to look at me for a brief second, that little sparkle coming back to his eyes for a moment. “We are.”

Connor doesn't respond, he simply turns around and follows Victor across the room. I let out a sigh, shake my head and turn to Armie, trying to put on a smile on my face as he stares down at me.

“That was...something.”

Armie chuckles, nodding his head. “I think we need a drink after all of this.”

“I don't think they have alcohol here, Armie.” He laughs and I pull him closer to me, pecking his lips briefly. “But I think we do need something, so let's go.”

 

********

 

“...and we´re all gonna have our own struggles. I was lucky enough to have a family that could pay for my ballet classes and for everything they thought was necessary for me to build a career, but that doesn't mean I didn't have to go through hard times either. I had to make tough decisions, I had to listen to people say my body didn't fit the expected look of a male dancer and that wasn't easy…”

Armie is standing in front of the room, talking about his experience as a ballet dancer and his life; how he got to where he is right now, how he developed his love for dance and how to have hope even on the moments of desperation. Leaned against the all, I stare at him with a big and bright smile on my face; my heart is full and I am so proud of him I barely know how to express it.

“He has a way with words, doesn't he?”

I turn to the side, arching an eyebrow as I see Connor standing there beside me. He is facing forward, hands on his pockets as he carefully listens to every single word Armie says. I eye him up and down, that annoyance that so easily took me over just a few hours ago coming back.

“Yes, he does.”

“Teachers in Juilliard just loved to hear him speak. It was always like everyone was under a spell, you couldn't find one soul that did not like Armie, not one person who did not want him around.”

“I can think of one person.”

Connor smirks as he finally turns to look at me. We stare at one another for a moment, silently trying to figure out what is going on through the other's head. Then Connor lets out a sigh and shakes his head, his eyes wandering from me, to Armie and then back at me.

“Timothée, you know there's no need for you to be jealous, right? I have a boyfriend, we´re making plans for our wedding, we want to have children and build a family…”

“Exactly like you wanted to do with Armie, right?”

“Yes, Timothée, I did something wrong and I admit that. I shouldn't have lied to Armie, I shouldn't have cheated on him, but no matter what I did, it doesn't mean I didn't care about him.”

I can't help but let out a chuckle. “Nice way of showing how much you care about someone, Connor.”

“You only know what he told you, Timothée. There's much more to the…”

“Is this the time you try to turn the tables? When you tell me how distant and cold he was? Because if that's what you're going for, please, save your breath.”

“He wasn't cold or distant, but he did have other priorities than our relationship.”

“And you thought fucking someone else was the best way to solve the situation? Ever heard of having a conversation? That will be very important once you get married, otherwise you´ll just start sleeping with the entire state.”

Connor lets out a sigh, nodding his head and even I have to admit I might have gone too far. “I get it, Timothée. You don't like me and no matter what I say, you won't change your mind.”

“I'm sorry, but did you expect me to be your friend? To pat you on your back and congratulate you on your engagement?” I shake my head and take a step closer to him. “You were very important to Armie, he trusted you, he loved you and instead of appreciating all he had to give you, you hurt him pretty bad. So I am sorry if I can't find the strength in me to be your friend, Connor. I just find it very hard to be close with someone who hurt the person I love the most.”

Connor shrugs, turning on his heels to walk away. “You know, things are not black and white. I wasn't the evil one in the relationship, Timothée, I was hurt too...a lot.”

And just like that he walks away from me, leaving me with all these unanswered questions flooding my head. I turn back to Armie, watch as he talks with some young kids and arch an eyebrow, wondering what the hell he could have done to Connor.



*******



I kick some leaves on the ground as I walk down the pathway in the garden, my hands tucked inside my jeans, my eyes wandering around the place and taking in the beauty and grace of this house. Armie has finished his speech, but swiftly after found himself surrounded by local journalists and friends from Victor who wanted to know more about the man Victor praised so often.

It was a beautiful sight to see actually, Armie with a little blush on his face as people gathered around him and thanked him for his words, while also trying to understand more about his career and how well his studio was going. Our eyes met for a brief moment, I smiled at him, but the second he turned his attention back to the man talking to him, I stepped out of the room and decided to come out here.

You know, things are not black and white. I wasn't the evil one in the relationship, Timothée, I was hurt too...a lot.

I look up at the sky, unable to push back Connor´s words from my mind. A part of me is sure he only said that to plant a doubt in me; but there's this other part who wonders what the hell could Armie have done to him. Did he cheat too? Was he somehow aggressive? I can't think of anything Armie would do to hurt someone he loved. Not the Armie I know, but then again, this was ten years ago and a lot can change in ten years.

“Timothée!”

I stop in my tracks and look over my shoulder, smiling at Victor as he walks towards me. “Hey.”

“Are you okay? Why are you here all alone?”

“All of your guests are in love with Armie after his speech. There was a bunch of people trying to talk to him, so I left him to do his thing and came to take a look around the place. I love how you turned this old house, that was probably falling apart, into something so beautiful for the community.”

“Thank you. I had a lot of help the last two years, it wasn't easy, but when I see the smile on those kids faces, I know all the stress was worth it.”

I nod. “It really is, Victor. You're changing their lives.”

“Hopefully after every storm comes a calm, right?” I chuckle and he smiles, walking down the path with me. “And to celebrate the calm that is coming, I´ll have a little cocktail here tonight. I called everyone who helped me here the last two years, called everyone who is part of today´s event and I hope you and Armie will stop by.”

“Of course, I wouldn't miss it for anything.”

“Oh, that's great. I know you guys are not here for many days, but I promise it will be fun.”

“No worries, Victor. We have the entire day tomorrow to go around town.”

Victor nods, but suddenly turns serious, which makes me a bit confused. “There's just one thing.”

“What?”

“Connor and his fiancé are probably gonna show up too.”

I shrug my shoulders. “That's okay. I can handle Connor and I am sure Armie can do it too.”

“I´ll keep him away from you guys.”

“No need for that, Victor, we are fine.”

Are we though?

 

******

 

The bedroom is slightly dark, the only light coming in is the one from outside that enters through the large floor-to-ceiling windows. I can hear the shower running and even the low voice of Armie humming a song; all the while I sit on the couch, head down as I play with my fingers. It's been hours and yet I can't stop thinking about what Connor said and I hate myself for doing so. This is probably what he wanted all along, to drive me crazy, make me question Armie´s behavior.

Stop being a little bitch, just walk over to Armie and ask him what happened.

I sigh and take a long look outside the window, trying to build the courage to address the subject. And most importantly, trying to build enough courage to handle whatever Armie says to me.

“Why you're not dressed yet? Didn't you already take a shower?” I nod, not even looking back at him, but I can hear his footsteps as he comes closer. “Are you not going to the party anymore?”

“I don't know.”

“You don't know? But I thought you…” Armie stops mid sentence and sighs. From the corner of my eyes I can see him come from behind the couch and walk over to me. He only has a towel wrapped around his waist and in any other moment I'd already be ripping that thing out of him, but today, I remain quiet. “Timothée, what the hell is going on? You´ve been strangely quiet this afternoon and I tried to give you some space, but it's clear there's something bothering you.”

“What did you do to Connor?” I raise my head and look at him as he stares at me with confused eyes. “During your speech he came to talk to me, he talked about how he is making plans of a family with his fiancé, how I don't need to be jealous of him and made sure to tell me that things were not exactly easy when you two broke up, that he was hurt too. So yeah, I´ve been quiet, mostly because I spent the last few hours wondering what the fuck happened between you two. What is it that you're not telling me?”

Armie groans, shakes his head and sits down on the coffee table in front of me. He rubs his hands together, looks from one side to the other and then wets his lips. I can see he is flushed, his expression with a hint of anger.

“Did he also tell you that our relationship wasn't my main priority?” I simply nod and he scoffs, rubbing his hands on the towel. “I didn't do anything to him, okay? I loved that man and nothing can justify how much pain he caused me.”

I loved that man.

I loved that man.

The words sting more than they should, I know how much Connor meant to him and I should be okay hearing him say it, but it's easier said than done. Still -and I really don't know how-, I manage to keep myself together and focus on what needs to be said.

“Then tell me what happened. What did he mean when he said you hurt him too?”

Armie remains silent for a long moment, his blue eyes kind of lost and his body tense. It's almost as if he is replaying the whole thing in his head before he can actually say anything, before he can explain himself.

“All I did was be honest with him.” I arch an eyebrow, now even more confused than I was. “We had just moved in together, we were constantly making plans for our future, the trips we would do and the places we would meet. Like I told you before, he talked about adopting a kid and one night in particular, while he was talking about this subject, I told him I didn't want kids.”

“What?”

“I never saw myself as a father, I never nurtured this feeling of parenthood and people close to me always knew about this.  When I met Connor, there was so much going on in my life and his, we never really discussed that, but once we did move in together, those conversation became constant and I couldn't lie to him, I couldn't keep such an important thing away from him. So I told him the truth.”

Armie sighs, his body relaxing as if saying all of this out loud has taken an extremely heavy burden from his shoulders.

“We had a huge fight that night, he yelled at me, accused me of not loving him enough, of being more worried about Juilliard than him. And in some ways he was right, I loved him more than anything, but I did put my career first. I had already given up on the biggest opportunity I had had in my life until that point, I couldn't risk losing anything else and living a life where ballet wasn't part of it.”

I remain silent, his words replaying in my head over and over again. I had not expected something like this, but I have to admit I am a lot more relieved now. He wasn't a douche, he didn't cheat too, he just wanted different things.

“So, maybe he is right. Maybe I did hurt him a lot more than I could´ve imagined, but that still didn't give him the right to cheat on me for almost an entire year. I was honest with him, why couldn't he do the same?”

I lean forward, raise his chin so I can look him in the eye and cradle his face. Armie closes his eyes for a second, leans in to my touch and lets out a sigh. I know right now a smile doesn't do much, especially when he got all these memories coming back to haunt him, but when he opens his eyes again, I am smiling at him, trying to reassure him everything´s okay.

“You have no idea how relieved I am right now, Armie.”

“Relieved? So you're not disappointed in me?”

“Why would I be disappointed in you? Because you don't want kids?” He shrugs. “Armie that's your right, no one can force you to be someone you are not and if you don't see yourself as a father, people have to respect that.”

“What about you? Don't you want kids?”

“I´ll be completely honest with you and say I never really stopped to think about this. Being a father or having a huge family was never something I gave much thought to it, so I guess my answer is no, I don't.”

“But what if you change your mind?”

“Then we'll talk when or if I change my mind. Right now we´re on the same page, so I say we brush this off and go get ready for that party.”

Armie nods his head while I lean in to kiss him. When I get up, I feel his hand on my wrist, keeping me in place.

“I guess it's my time to say thank you.”

“For?”

“For giving me a chance to explain everything and for respecting my decision.”

“I love you, Armie. And I love your honesty and your bravery, so you don't have to thank me, you just have to be yourself.”

He smiles, gets up and pulls me closer to his body. I rest my hands on his shoulders while he leans closer to me and rests our foreheads together; in his eyes I can see relief, but it's also pretty obvious that this subject does bring not so pleasant memories.

I run my hand through his hair, watch him close his eyes and then hug him, as tight as I can possibly do. In one of his rare moments of complete vulnerability, Armie´s body melts into my touch and he buries his face on the crook of my neck, while wrapping his arms around my waist.



*******



There's music playing and dim lights, the living area now has fewer couches and people are gathering around, either drinking and talking or dancing. I am sitting quietly on a stool by the bar, sipping my Margarita and watching as the barman goes crazy, trying to get everyone´s order.

Through the mirror in front of me, I can see Connor and his fiancé, who´s called Jamie and that Connor made sure to introduce to me and Armie on one of the most cringy moments of my life. They are on the improvised dance floor, dancing and laughing, but Connor´s eyes keep on finding me, which to be quite honest is making me a bit uneasy.

I roll my eyes and take another sip of my drink as I feel arms wrap around me and Armie´s sweet lips on my cheek. I turn to look at him with a smile, pecking his lips and watch as he takes a seat on the stool next to mine, an eyebrow arched as he looks at the counter.

“Please, tell me you were not the one drinking all of this.”

I look at the five glasses near me and shake my head, raising my Margarita with a little smile. “I'm still on my first, Armie. We have a lot to do tomorrow, I don't want a hangover.”

“That's great to hear, because I might have a surprise for you tomorrow.”

“A surprise? What is it?”

“Like I said, it's a surprise, so you´ll have to wait and see.”

“I don't really like surprises.”

“Well, that's too bad.” I gasp and he shrugs, hopping off of the stool and taking both of my hands, pulling me up. “C´mon, lets go dance a little bit.”

“I thought you didn't dance?”

“With you I am willing to go through all the embarrassments life might throw at me, so will you please join me?”

“You can't do this all the time, you know?”

He arches an eyebrow. “Do what?”

“Be all charming and sweep me off of my feet every chance you got.”

“Oh babe, I´m afraid I can't do that.”

I roll my eyes and punch his chest, which makes him smirk. He takes my hand, leads me to the dance floor and swirls me around; I laugh, holding onto Armie´s arms as we sway to the beat. I can still feel Connor´s eyes on me and can't help but sigh, which catches Armie´s attention almost instantly.

“What's wrong?”

“Nothing.”

“Timothée.”

“Connor won't stop looking at me...at us.”

Armie looks around and then turns his eyes back to me, a sweet smile on his lips. “Let him stare all he wants, Tim. He's in a party, with his fiancé and if staring at us is the best thing he can do, then I can only feel sorry for the man.”

I bite on my lip, nod my head and as I am about to speak, Hozier´s Take Me To Church starts playing. Armie and I smirk at one another, knowing looks on our faces as he pulls my body closer to his, wrapping his arms around my waist.

“Who would´ve thought.”

“This song comes up and I am instantly back at the studio, shaking from head to toe as I lean in to kiss you.”

“I can still see the look on your face, you know? A mix of fear and eagerness.”

“That's pretty accurate.”

“But most of all, I can still remember how soft your lips felt against mine and how my whole body seemed to catch on fire when our lips met.”

“That kiss was the best decision I had in my whole life, even if at the time I thought I was crazy for doing that.”

“You were,” he says with a shrug and I arch an eyebrow. “But I am glad you did it, because I don't think I'd ever have the courage to take the first step.”

“Not even once classes were over?”

He shakes his head. “I don't think so. The fear of you thinking I was a creep was too big, so if you had not kissed me, I'd have probably kept my feelings for you well hidden for the rest of my life.”

“Well, I'm glad I did it then, now you can love me for the rest of your life.”

“And I will do it with a smile on my face.”

I simply smile, unable to say anything else. I lean my head against his chest, hearing his heartbeat and his hand on my back, stroking it softly.

 

No masters or kings when the rituals begins

There is no sweeter innocence than our gentle sin

In the madness and soil of that sad earthly scene

Only then I am human

Only then I am clean

Amen

Amen

Amen

 

Chapter Text

I got my head leaned against the window, my feet up on the seat and my arms wrapped around my legs. I'm in this limbo where I am half asleep and half awake, my mind unsure of what is reality and what might be a dream. We´ve been on the road for a few minutes now, Armie driving the rental car while I remain quiet on the passenger seat. There's music playing low and I can hear Armie singing along to it in the distance; even on my zombie state of mind, I smile at the sound.

I let out a yawn and blink a couple of times, my eyes painfully adjusting to the light. It's not even six thirty, the sky is a mix of shades of blue and orange, the sun peeking out on the horizon. I smile to myself at the sight and roll down the window, feeling a cool breeze hit my face and my sleep finally starts to wear off. I feel Armie´s hand on my knee and look over at him, watching as he winks at me before concentrating back on the road.

Signs past us by and I see the Santa Monica one, which swiftly shifts my mood from just awake to fully awake and excited. I sit down properly, reach out my hand and rest it on Armie´s neck, playing with his hair and watch as the ocean and the famous Pacific Wheel comes to view. Although with all its lights turned off, the Wheel is still imposing, mesmerizing and makes me remember of some of the movies I would watch as a kid with my sister. Seeing in front of me is ten times better, though.

Armie parks the car in front of the beach, takes a look at me and gestures towards the ocean. I nod my head and we both get out of the car, take our shoes off and head over to the sand side by side. The cold and slightly wet sand makes me shiver and Armie swiftly wraps his arm around me, bringing my body close to his and keeping me warm. We stand still in the middle of the empty beach, a sigh escaping me as I take in the beauty surrounding us.

“Aren't you happy I took you out of the hotel room?”

I giggle, poking his side as he squirms. “If you had told me what was the surprise, I wouldn't have stayed at the party until three in the morning, Armie.”

“We were having fun….despite Connor.”

“Yes, we were.”

Armie kisses my hair and then pulls away from me, which instantly makes me turn to look at him. I arch an eyebrow as he removes his jeans and shirt, staying only on his boxers. When he looks at me with a smirk, I can only shake my head and take a few steps back, my heart already beating faster with the realisation of what is about to come.

“Don't you dare, Armand.”

Armie takes a couple of steps towards me, all the while I shake my head and try to move faster, although the sand prevents me from doing so.

“You stay right where you are.”

Armie stops and I relax, only to see him run towards me one second later. I scream, turn around and start running down the beach, trying my best to run away from him, but I can't find the strength to overpower someone as tall and strong as him, especially this early in the morning. He grabs me by my waist, pulls me back to his body and spins around a couple of time. I squeal and kick my legs in the air, my hands holding tightly onto Armie´s arms, trying to keep myself balanced so I won't fall. Not that he would ever let me fall. He puts me down on the sand and his lips find mine in no time; I wrap my arms around his neck, deepening the kiss and hearing his low moan.

We stumble around and end up falling down, our laughter echoing in the quiet morning. Armie pushes some hair out of my face and gives my skin a few kisses, which tickles me a bit. He kneels down after a while, pulls me with him and when I least expect he puts me over his shoulder, which makes me gasp.

“Armie, put me down!”

“We´re going for a swim, babe.”

“No way in hell I am getting inside that water, it must be fucking freezing.”

“Oh, we´re getting in alright.”

“Armie, put me down!”

“Nope.”

“I don't know how to swim.”

“Bullshit.”

It really is and I should´ve known better than imagine he wouldn't remember me saying I took swimming classes when I was younger.

“Armie, seriously, just….” I scream as we finally enter the ocean, the waves coming and going, crashing on Armie´s long legs and splashing against my body. I hit his back, hearing his laughter and just try to get away from his grip, although I know it's nearly impossible. “Armie, please just…”

Before I can even finish, I have to hold my breath and brace myself for impact as Armie dives in with me on his arms. He releases me as soon as we are underwater and I push him away from me, swimming back to the surface as fast as I can. I take a deep breath, push my hair back and look around for Armie, rolling my eyes as I realize he is playing the typical I drowned prank. I keep myself quiet, waiting and in a matter of seconds he emerges from the water, wrapping his arm around me and twirling me around.

I wish I had the same mood as he does so early in the morning.

“I see you survived.”

I mock him and push him away from me, walking back to the sand as he trails behind, laughing.

“Oh, I see. You're gonna pretend you are mad at me.”

I look over my shoulder. “I am mad at you.”

“No, you are not. You are pretending to and I gotta say you look cute when you're doing this.” I shake my head, he grabs my hand and pulls me to him, our bodies crashing together. I let my hands rest on his arms, squeezing his biceps as he stares down at me. “So, so cute.”

I try to keep a serious face, but fail miserably and end up laughing. He raises my chin, places a soft kiss on my lips and then takes off my shirt.

“Take off your pants, I brought you some spare clothes.”

“Oh, so you were planning this all along?”

“Of course I was.”

I roll my eyes and follow him back to where his clothes and his backpack are. I take off my jeans, toss it aside along with his and then sit down in between his legs. I rest my head on his shoulder and bring his arms around me, smiling as he holds me tight and places a kiss on my cheek. We sit there quietly, listening to the waves crash and watching as the sun starts to get higher in the sky.

 

********

 

The first chords of the song fills the air, sitting on the passenger seat, with the windows open and the wind of my face, I tap my fingers on the dash and bounce my head up and down. From the corner of my eyes I can see Armie doing the same, his fingers tapping on the steering wheel and a grin on his face as he waits the first words come along.

We look at each other, laugh and take deep breaths before we start shouting the words to the song, simply giving in to a moment of pure freedom. The road ahead of us, the sun still setting in the sky and the mesmerizing ocean that remains with us throughout the entire ride.

 

We´ve been on the run

Driving in the sun

Looking out for number one

California here we come

Right back where we started from

 

I chuckle, but have to admit Armie impressed me with his singing skills, which only makes me wonder if there's anything about this man that is bad or annoying. I lean back on the seat, turn the volume up and wink at Armie as he shakes his head at me.

 

Hustlers grab your guns

Your shadows weighs a ton

Driving down the 101

California here we come

Right back where we started from

California (California)

Here we come!

 

We both drag out the o, making faces and being as dramatic as we can be to fit the tone of the music. As the song goes on, I turn down the volume a little bit and turn to Armie, my hand on the nape of his neck.

“You're actually a good singer.”

“Oh, please.”

“No, I mean it. You should sing more.”

“I´ll save the world from such an unpleasant thing, Timmy.”

I roll my eyes and shake my head, my fingers playing with his hair. “You can't possibly believe ballet is the only thing you're actually good at.”

“I'm not good at ballet, I'm fucking great at it.”

“Geez, use that arrogance to talk about the other things you are good at. Like cooking, singing, photography, sex…”

“Oh, for fuck´s sake, just stop.”

“Oh c´mon, you are great at sex. You have all these nice moves and I…”

“Seriously, stop.”

I go to say something, but keep myself quiet when Armie turns to the right and parks the car. I look around us, seeing nothing but closed shops and a small diner on the pier and arch an eyebrow.

“And where are we going now?”

“I thought it was quite obvious? To the diner, I heard they have the best pancakes in the area.”

“You do know you already paid a lot for a hotel that serves breakfast, right? This is practically throwing money away.”

“Wow. You try being romantic, take your boyfriend out for the day so he can fully enjoy the city and that's what you get.”

I lean in, placing a kiss on his cheek. “Babe, I am so happy you are doing this, but you know it's true.”

“We´re in Venice Beach, Timmy, we´re gonna stay here for the rest of the morning and once we are done with lunch, then we go back to the hotel.”

“Okay, Mr. Hammer, we follow your plan.”

“Good, now let's go.”

I jump out of the car and wait until Armie walks over to me; he takes my hand in his and leads me down the pier and to the diner. The place is small, cozy and has a vintage decoration, lots of records hanging from the walls and old car photos. We take a seat by the window so we can look at the ocean and the people who slowly start to fill the place, the waiter swiftly bringing us the menu.

I take a look through the pages and then back at Armie, who seems deeply concentrated on what he will choose. “I think I´ll just have some tea and toasts.”

“What?” I nod and he furrows his eyebrows. “There's omelets, bacon, sausages, pancakes, every single known flavor of milkshake and you're gonna get tea and toasts? Who are you and what have you done to my boyfriend?”

“Armie, I´ve already exaggerated on food and booze the last two days. I need to keep myself in check if I want to stay fit.”

“For what?”

“You know what for.”

He rolls his eyes. “Bullshit.”

“Armie, I got an audition in a few weeks, I can't just let loose.”

Armie leans forward and takes my hands on his, a warm smile on his face. “You seriously need to stop with this, okay? I don't want you to start over thinking about everything you eat or how much exercise you have. You are in perfect shape and you train every single day, there's absolutely no reason for you to do any diet or anything similar. Are you listening to me?”

“Yes, I am.”

“Good, then I expect you to stop with this nonsense.” I chuckle and as the waiter approaches us, Armie turns to look at her. “Hi, we'll have two chocolate milkshakes, omelet with bacon, toasts with sausages and an order of your chocolate chip pancakes.”

“Okay, I´ll be right back.”

“Thank you.”

“You have got to admit that's an exaggerated order, even for us.”

Armie shrugs. “We'll be walking around for a while and once we head back to the hotel, I do plan on making sure that bed can handle us, so I think we need the energy.”

“You're crazy.”

“And yet you love me.”

I nod, squeezing his hand. “Yes, I do.”

 

*********

 

With every single thrust, a gasp escapes me and the sweat that runs down my back makes my body sticky and shiny; Armie´s nails dig on my skin, scratching and claiming me as he moans into my ear. My face is buried on his neck, my lips kissing and sucking on his salty skin, my hands holding tightly onto his thighs.

The sounds of our skins slam together, our moans and heavy breathing creates a beautiful and melodic symphony; the way our bodies move together seem like a elaborated ballet choreography. A mix of dirtiness, beauty, need and love. A perfect way to celebrate our time together.

When his hand runs to my hair, grabbing a fistful of it and yanking my head back, I moan loud through quivering lips. Armie´s lips find my neck and he sucks hard on it, only so he can then run his tongue all the way to my lips. He pulls on it, kisses me hard, wrapping his legs around my hips and pushing me deeper inside of him.

He arches his back slightly and I allow a hand to reach in between us, wrap around his cock and stroke it fast and hard. I pull away when I'm nearly breathless, my heart pounding on my chest as I get closer to an orgasm and feel my entire body tingle. Armie knows what's coming, he smiles at me, runs his nails from my ass all the way to my neck and when I shudder, he embraces me.

We both moan as we cum practically at the same time, Armie all over our stomachs and me inside the condom. We take deep breaths, our bodies slowly coming down from our high. I stroke Armie´s arms, kiss his lips a couple of times and then roll over to the bed, resting my head on his shoulder.

He kisses my forehead and pushes some hair out of my face while I let my eyes close, just basking on the post sex bliss I am in. Armie knows it too well by now, so he pulls away from me, reaches for the sheets and covers us with it, wrapping an arm around me after he does so.

“You might not believe me, but this is the best trip I´ve ever made.”

He chuckles. “And why wouldn't I believe you?”

“I don't know.”

I keep my eyes closed, but feel Armie lean closer, his lips brushing against my ear. “This is the best trip I´ve ever made too. Being here with you, out in the open, has truly been one of the most wonderful experiences of my life.”

“I can't wait until we can do this in New York.”

His voice is a little distant now, my tiredness finally getting the best of me, but I can still manage to hear a whisper come from him.

“Soon enough, babe, soon enough.”

 

*******

 

The moonlight enters the room through the open curtains, our clothes are still scattered through the ground and the sheets are falling down the bed as we both lie naked. Armie is in deep sleep, body curled up and a peaceful expression on his face; I smile at him, my finger gently tracing his hair, pushing some strands back so I can get a better look at his face as I recount everything I love the most about it.

His lips.

His golden hair.

The dimple that rarely shows up.

And his eyes.

His deep blue eyes that always seem to dig through my soul and understand exactly what I want and think; his eyes read me like an open book and although complex and layered, through those eyes I can see the vulnerability that he doesn't always show the world.

I take a long breath, my mind filled with so many thoughts and wonders. For me is still slightly surreal that I get to lie here with him, a man who I´ve dreamt of for a whole year and that now I get to call mine. A man that loves me, supports me and believes in me more than I believe in myself; sometimes I even wonder if I should be scared, if all of this might end abruptly and I´ll be left hurt and alone, dreaming of these days like I once fantasized about being with him.

I try to push those thoughts away from me as quick as possible, knowing if I give in to these ideas, I might become obsessed with being perfect and maintaining the happiness we have now. Trying to fill my head with something else, I reach for my phone and open the camera, snapping a couple of photos of Armie. The light hits him and creates different patterns on his body, which makes the photo seem like a painting, a work of art, just like he is.

The phone starts vibrating in my hand and I quickly jump out of the bed, quietly walking to the living area so I won't wake Armie up. I take a good look at the screen, throw myself on the couch and press the phone to my ear, Pauline´s excited voice filling my ears.

“Bonne nuit ma chère.”

“Bonjour, Pauli.”

“I hope I didn't wake you up, I know it's late in California, but I am dying to know how the trip is going.”

I chuckle, curling up on the couch as I stare out at the view of the city. “It's been amazing, Pauli. The city is beautiful and being here with Armie sure makes it so much better, so even what could be an issue becomes something a lot less serious.”

“An issue? Did something happen between you two?”

“Us? Not really, but when we showed up for the event Armie was speaking, his ex boyfriend was also there.”

“As in the one who cheated on him?”

“Exactly. The man he loved and that crushed his feelings and played with him for almost an entire year.”

Pauline is silent for a second or two and then I can hear a little sigh. “Is this jealousy I hear?”

“Not really. I mean, it ain´t easy to hear Armie say he loved him and it was even harder to be face to face with him, but overall I don't think I was jealous. To be frank with you, I think anger is the right word to describe how I was feeling.”

“You feeling protective of Armie, is that it?”

“Exactly. Seeing how tense he got when Connor showed up, seeing the look on his face when he told me why their relationship started to crumble and how scared he was that I would end up disappointed with him like Connor was. I don't know, I think seeing him so vulnerable caused me to target this anger towards Connor, because somehow he was responsible for it.” I sigh, closing my eyes for a brief second and then turning on my back. “Being around the guy definitely made me go through a lot of emotions, but it also made me feel closer to Armie. Does any of that even make sense?”

“Yes, perfect sense. You are in love with him in a way you´ve never been before with anyone else, you're exploring a new kind of relationship and you love him so much you just can't stand the idea of him getting hurt. It seems reasonable to me.”

“Thanks. Seriously, thanks for calling, because I think I really needed to talk to someone else about this.”

“I know it's none of my business, but you said something caused their relationship to crumble.”

“Yes.”

“Is there something other than the cheating?”

“Connor wanted a family, he had plans to adopt a baby and Armie...well, Armie doesn't want kids.”

“And you're okay with this?”

“Yes, I am.” I smile to myself in the darkness, feeling completely in peace with my answer. I keep on talking to Pauline, keeping my voice down and trying not to laugh too much. Once we hang up the phone, almost an hour later, I turn around and feel my eyes getting heavy, my body nearly succumbing to sleep.

It takes all of my energy to get up, but I do so and lazily drag myself back to bed, lying beside Armie, who puts an arm around me and buries his face on my neck. It doesn't take even a full minute for me to actually fall asleep.

 

Chapter Text

The elevators door close and Armie slams his back against the wall; he closes his eyes, lets out a heavy sigh and then runs a hand through his hair. Once he opens his eyes again, he smiles sweetly at me; I wink and snuggle close to him, wrapping my arms around his waist as I lean my head on his chest.

It only takes us a couple of seconds until the elevator stops and we are in Armie´s floor; he takes our bags in his hands and steps out, while I trail behind, playing with the key to his apartment. I unlock the door, slide it open and let him in, locking it behind us. I stretch myself and walk over to the kitchen as Armie places our bags under the staircase; when he joins me in the kitchen, wrapping his arms around me and kissing my cheek repeatedly, I can't help but giggle.

I turn around on his arms, grab onto his neck and let our lips meet in a passionate kiss. He pushes me against the kitchen counter, knots his fingers on my hair and pulls on it slightly, which makes me moan in between the kiss. My hands run down his chest and inside his shirt, feeling his skin against my palms and the hardness of his body.

Armie slides his hands down to my thighs, takes a hold of them and pulls me up on the counter. I pull on his bottom lip and he opens his eyes, staring at me with love and desire. He remains in silence for a while, just staring at me and playing with my hair, sending little shivers down my spine from time to time.

“Back to reality,” he finally whispers. “We´re back to light touches, cryptic photos and sneaking out after classes.”

“I'm not gonna lie, a part of me actually likes the thrill of a secret relationship, it can be quite fun and sexy. But I am counting down the days so I can actually be in your arms, hug and kiss you whenever and wherever I want, like any other couple does and without the fear of getting caught.”

“Four more weeks, that's it, twenty eight days and we'll be free to do whatever we want.”

“What do you wanna do first?”

He chuckles, shrugging his shoulders. “I don't know, I never really thought about it. Do you have anything special you wanna do?”

“Not really. Just the fact that we will be able to do whatever the hell we want is enough for me.”

Armie kisses me softly, his lips lingering against mine as he strokes my cheeks. “You're the best boyfriend anyone could ask for, Tim. The way you handled Catherine and Connor, the fact you even accepted being with me even though it had to be in secret. I don't deserve you.”

"That's bullshit, because I would not go through any of this if it were not for you. You're the reason I have the strength to face anything that comes our way, be it your sister or Connor or whatever else we might have to face.” Armie stares at me, chuckles and then shakes his head, which makes me arch an eyebrow in confusion. “What? What did I say that was so amusing?”

“Nothing, but you might be the wiser and most intelligent twenty two year old I have ever come across. Which makes me love you more than I already do, if that´s even possible.”

I wink and pull him closer, kissing his lips softly. “You know what else this wise and intelligent twenty two year old wants?”

“What?”

“Some proper food, because the food on that airplane was just a big no for me.”

“Okay, I´ll see what I have here.”

“Or maybe we could just order something.”

“I'm not sure there's much, but I can cook us something really fast.”

“We just got back from a long trip, I am dead tired and I am sure so are you, Armie. Let's order something, take a nice bath while we wait and then just chill for a while. Can we do that?”

He stares at me for a while then nods his head and reaches for the menus at the little shelf under the counter top, handing them all to me with a smile. “You go through the menus, choose whatever you want and I will go run us a bath.”

“That's perfect.” Armie kisses me softly, but quickly pulls away and heads to the bathroom, while I take a close look at all the menus. “You fancy some Thai?”

“Whatever you want, babe.”

“Thai it is then.”

 

********

 

Led Zeppelin is playing on the record player, the curtains are wide open and the sunlight is coming through the large windows. Armie is sitting on the living room floor, his back leaned against the couch as I lay with my head on top of his thigh. I got my eyes closed, on the verge of falling asleep while Armie runs his fingers through my hair and hums along with the song.

Armie shifts around and I groan a little in annoyance, only to seconds later feel his soft lips against my face. I chuckle as he places kisses on my forehead, eyelids, cheeks, nose and chin, all the while his hand cradles my face and his thumb rubs against my skin. When he finally moves to my lips, he pecks them quickly and loudly while I take a hold of his sweater and keep him close.

It's funny, I never really saw myself as the type of guy who engages in this kind of things, all the cuddling and kissing around is not something I was actually used to, but then again, Armie is the first serious relationship I am in, one I am enjoying more than I ever thought I would and that has allowed me to reach out to a part of me not even I really knew.

His hand slides down to my waist and I open my mouth, silently inviting his tongue in, which he does right away. I moan softly, hold onto his arms and push myself up on my knees; I swing a leg over his body, tower over him and slide my fingers onto his hair, tugging on it as he rests his hands on my ass.

I pull away, gasping for air and swiftly pull the sweater off of him, tossing it to the floor. Armie forces me down on his lap, stretches out the collar of my shirt and bites down on my shoulder, causing me to throw my head back and squint my eyes shut in a mix of pain and pleasure.

Armie makes me face him and through clouded vision, I stare at him, quivering lips and heart pounding on my chest. I lean in to him, resting my forehead against his and grind our crotches together, smirking as Armie bites on his lip and breathes heavily. As he leans forward to kiss me, his large hands on my neck, his phone starts ringing and we both groan in unison.

“Don't answer,” I practically whisper.

“It might be important.”

“It's not important.” I say in between kisses on his neck. “It's probably just some random telemarketing.”

Armie reaches for his phone on the couch and looks at it from the corner of his eyes, while I remain placing kisses all over his shoulder and chest. He sighs, hits answer and presses the phone against his ear, earning a glare from me.

“Hey mom.”

“Oh.” I bite on my lip and roll over to the floor, fixing my clothes and hair, almost as if his mom could sense what we were doing.

“Everything was great, mom. Timothée and I had a lot of fun.” I arch an eyebrow and he shrugs, smiling over at me as I shake my head. “Well, actually, he's right beside me. Yes, yes I am sure he knows that, mom. Yes, I have made sure to explain to him you don't agree with what Catherine did...no mom, he's not mad at you, there's no reason for him to be.”

I chuckle, covering my mouth so she won't hear me. Armie´s cheeks are a bright pink right now and I don't even know if it's because he is actually having to deal with his mom in front of me, or if it's still from our little make out session.

“Do you want to talk to him yourself? I am sure he would love to.” My eyes widen and he smirks, taking a hold of my hand before I can even think of moving away. “Yes, I´ll pass him the phone, just a second.”

He hands me the phone and I glare at him, watching as he bites hard on his lip to keep himself from laughing. He shoves the phone to my ear and I mouth a quick I hate you.

“Hi, Mrs. Hammer.”

“Timothée, it's nice to finally hear from you. I heard wonderful stories about you.”

“You did? Well, I'm sure your son exaggerated on whatever he said about me.”

“I don't think so, I don't even know you and yet I am already sure you're exactly what he needs.”

I look over at Armie from the corner of my eyes and see him staring at me with a proud smile on his face. I'm gonna kill him for whatever he has said about me to his mom, but I can't help but feel my heart fill with love at the thought of him talking to her about me.

“Well, I´ve heard wonderful things about you too and I can't wait to meet you.”

 

*******

 

From the middle of the street you can already heard the buzz, people talking, singing and laughing, taking over the sidewalk in front of the bar and making it their own little dance floor. Inside, the lights are dimmed low, the loud sound of the drums reverberates and gives the impression the whole place is about to crumble to the ground.

I run a hand through my hair, my eyes scanning the crowded bar in search of a familiar face. I spin around a couple of times, groaning in frustration until I see Ansel from the corner of my eyes; he's grabbing a beer, body leaned forward on the counter and eyes down on his phone.

“Ansel!” I shout and raise my hand, trying to make my way through the crowd that separates us. When I finally reach him, I let out a sigh and immediately turn to the bartender, asking for a beer too.

“Well well well, I thought you wouldn't make it.”

“Almost didn't. I was too tired and wanted to stay in today, but Armie insisted that I should come and celebrate with you guys.”

“I think he is absolutely right.” He shouts through the excessively loud noise in the bar. “So, how was California?”

“It was incredible, even if it did have its what the fuck moments.”

Ansel arches an eyebrow. “Did something happen?”

“It turns out his ex boyfriend was speaking at the same event as he was.”

“You're joking, right?” I shake my head, an annoyed look on my face, which makes Ansel cringe. “How did that happen?”

“Can we talk about this later? I don't feel like talking about his ex right now.” Ansel nods just as the bartender hands us our beers; we thank him and Ansel gestures for me to follow him. “Where is the birthday boy?”

“Getting shitfaced.”

“As he should.”

Ansel chuckles and tries to dodge some people, leading me back to where the rest of the boys are. It's been quite a while since I have come to a night out with guys from class, but since it was Matt´s birthday and Armie made sure to tell me -more than once- that I should enjoy the time I have around them before classes are over, I decided it wouldn't be such a bad thing to join them for the night.

“Look who decided to show up.” Matt shouts as Ansel and I take a seat. I shrug my shoulders and he chuckles, patting my back. “Nice to have you with us, Tim, it's been a while.”

“I know, I just have a lot on my plate lately.”

“Oh, did you also got yourself a boyfriend?”

I arch an eyebrow as I hear Jensen´s question. “What you mean by also?”

“Mr. Hammer, or you're gonna tell me you didn't notice?”

And that's when everything seems to slow down around me. I stare at Jensen, my mouth going dry and my hands shaking as I keep telling myself this is nothing serious, that they don't actually know anything.

Why do they always have to end up talking about Armie?

“I honestly don't know what you are talking about.”

“You follow Mr. Hammer on Instagram, don't you?” Matt asks and I give him a slow nod, almost as if I am scared even that will give something away. “Then you must have noticed that he has been posting photos of this random guy, we have seen photos of the guy´s legs, of him walking, there was a story of four feet moving en pointe , but he has never posted a photo of this guy´s face, so we´ve been sitting here for a few minutes now trying to see if we can find out who he is.”

I look over at Ansel and I just know my expression is the one of a person who´s desperately searching for help.

“And how exactly do you guys plan on figuring out who this guy is?” Ansel asks, leaning closer to Matt, who´s going through Armie´s Instagram. I see a photo of the sunrise in Santa Monica and have to control all my instincts not to smile like a teenager in love, so I chug on my beer, my eyes shortly meeting Paul´s. “I mean, even if you guys do get a clue, what makes you think we know his boyfriend?”

“Oh please, he is always at that damn studio, Ansel. Do you really think he had that much free time on his hands?” Evan says with a smirk. “He is definitely going out with one of his students.”

“What?!” I nearly choke on my beer, but manage to keep what I think is a straight face. Ansel looks at me briefly and kick my feet under the table, a clear get a grip sign. “I think you guys are reaching a little bit, he could be dating anyone.”

“You sound very keen on dismissing this hypotheses, Ansel.”

Matt chuckles. “Are you Mr. Hammer´s boyfriend, Ansel?”

“I'm straight.”

“Okay, good point. So Ansel, Jensen and Jacob are full on straight guys. This would leave nine of us, but since I know it's not me, then there's eight possibilities left.”

“Maybe it's someone from the afternoon period.”

“No, it's not.” We all turn to Paul, who´s been quiet all this time. “He teaches teenagers on the afternoon, my sister has classes with him. So unless we think he is that kind of guy, then no, definitely not someone from the afternoon.”

There's a moment of silence and then they all nod in agreement. This whole situation is ridiculous and I have never been this scared and anxious in my life, but it's good to know creep and possible pedophile are not things they associate Armie with.

“Timothée…” I turn to Ashton, arching an eyebrow as he winks at me. “You have always been his favorite.”

“I honestly think you guys are giving too much thought into this, it could literally be anyone.” They shake their heads and I sigh. “He could have met this guys anywhere.”

“Maybe that's why he went to California.” Matt jumps in. “Maybe his boyfriend lives there and that's why he basically cancelled an entire week of class right before our auditions.”

Jensen smirks. “Whoever that guy is, he must be great in bed to get Mr. Hammer to leave us alone for an entire week.”

“Then maybe we should be thankful for him.” I turn to look at Ansel, who shrugs his shoulders. “Mr. Hammer has been a lot more relaxed the last few months.”

“That's true, he actually smiled the other day and I could barely believe it.”

I chuckle, finally relaxing a little bit as they seem to slowly drift off from the subject of the boyfriend and focus on Armie and his brand new attitude.

 

*******

 

“You think he was trying to throw you and Armie against one another?”

I shrug my shoulders and leans against the brick wall, taking a few sips of my beer. Ansel and I are at the open area of the bar, where people usually go to have a cigarette. Although the smell is not the most pleasant one, this was the only place we could find where we could actually talk and have some privacy, even if we were still surrounded by people.

“I honestly don't know, Ansel. He talked to me in a way that insinuated a lot more than what actually happened and he had this constant grin on his face, but I don't know the guy, maybe that's just how he is.”

“You said he spent most of the party staring at you and Armie.” I nod and he shrugs. “I don't know, but it seemed to me he was trying to see how far he could push you two, when things would get strangely uncomfortable.”

“He has a fiancé, what would he gain with that?”

“People are weird, Tim. God knows what went through this guy´s head as he saw Armie there with you, happy. The guy who he cheated on has moved on, found someone he loves more than he has ever loved him, maybe he didn't like to see that.”

I furrow my eyebrows, my eyes stuck on Ansel´s for a moment. “Okay, this conversation is making me depressed as fuck. To think someone is so self centered, that he would get angry at an ex moving on is ridiculous.”

“But totally possible.” I sigh and Ansel chuckles, tossing his beer bottle in the nearest trash can. His phones bips and he reaches out for it, smiling as he reads something on it.

“Olivia?”

He nods. “I think I'm heading home, dude. She just got back from Sarah´s and we haven't seen each other the whole day, so…”

“I think I´ll go too, Armie is waiting for me at home.”

He arches an eyebrow, an smirk on his face. “At home? One trip together and his apartment is already your home?”

“I didn't mean it that way.”

“Yes, yes you did.” I roll my eyes and he laughs, wrapping an arm around my shoulders as we make our way back inside the crowded and hot bar. “Look, I think it's awesome how great you two get along, but calm down.”

“I don't need this kind of conversation, Ansel. It just slip out of my mouth, okay? I won't be moving in anytime soon, neither Armie nor I are crazy enough for that. We´re living day by day and even though things might get intense sometimes, we are not pushing anything.”

“If you say so.”

I take his arm away from me and push him away, while gesturing behind me. “I´ll go to the bathroom, see you outside?”

“I´ll be waiting.”

I nod and as Ansel makes his way outside, I turn back around and walk towards the bathroom, which apart from Paul is surprisingly empty.He is standing on the first urinal and our eyes meet for a brief second, before I nod my head and quietly make my way to the urinal further away from him.

Silence fills the room, an awkwardness I will never be able to explain and that I honestly don't know where it comes from. We´ve known each other for nearly two years now, we spend four hours together every single day of the week and yet, I highly doubt we ever exchanged more than a couple of words. And none of them were actually meaningful.

The longest minute of my life goes by and I walk over to the sink, washing my hands as Paul does the exact same thing. I look at him through the mirror, his eyes are down and I keep debating with myself if I should try to say something to clear the air, make any kind of small talk and see if we can actually hold a conversation.

It seems Paul was thinking the exact same, because before I even come up with something to say to him, I realize he is already talking to me.

“....but then, that's really none of my business.”

I furrow my eyebrows, utterly confused with whatever the hell he is saying. “I'm sorry, what?”

“I'm talking about the way you acted while the guys were talking about Mr. Hammer´s boyfriend.”

He says this in the most nonchalant voice ever, his slim figure wandering around the bathroom in search for paper towels; all the while my heart is already pounding on my chest. Why the fuck is he talking about this?

“I mean, you could try to engage more in the conversation instead of looking almost scared by it.”

“I don't know why you're suddenly talking about this, Paul. I don't get how the way I react to that kind of conversation is important.”

“I say it's very important if you want to keep the lie.”

Dry mouth, shaky hands and sweaty forehead. I can't find the strength to look at myself in the mirror, but I am sure I look like a wreck. This is not happening, he must be joking; a terrible, terrible joke, but a joke.

“Paul, where are you going with this?”

He sighs, takes a few steps closer to me and looks around the bathroom as if to make sure we´re still the only ones in. “I know about you and Mr. Hammer.”

“What? I don't know what you're talking about.”

“Timothée, I know you are Mr. Hammer´s boyfriend.”



Chapter Text

I slide the door close with gently, trying to be as quiet as possible and lean my back against it. I let out a sigh and close my eyes for a brief moment, my head still spinning with the events of the night. I take a look around the apartment and push away from the door, walking to the window and closing the curtains Armie left open.

I place my phone down on the desk and head up the stairs, taking off my shoes in the meantime. I smile down at Armie, push some hair back, then take off my jeans and shirt, before climbing on bed with him and fixing the covers. I run a finger down his stubble and then push some of his hair back, retrieving my hand quickly as he moves.

I bite on my lip and watch as Armie lets out a sigh, blinking a couple of times before he fully opens his eyes and greets me with a lazy smile.

“You're home already.”

Home.

Home.

He said it too and I can't help but smile, because despite what I have said earlier to Ansel, this is my home. Not his apartment, not mine, but him. So every time I am back in his arms, I am indeed back home.

“I just got here,” I whisper while tracing his lips with my fingertip. He wraps an arm around me and pulls my body closer to his, our noses brush together, our eyes remain locked and I cradle his face before he leans in and kisses me softly.

Trying to keep my mind off of what happened, I keep Armie close to me and deepen our kiss, feeling his stubble scratch my skin and his tongue dance along with mine. He knots his fingers on my hair and I smile, for a moment -even if a brief one- Paul´s words disappearing from my head.

“How was the night out with the guys?” He asks once we finally break the kiss. “Did you have fun?”

“Yes, it was alright.”

“Just alright?”

I close my eyes and let out a sigh. A part of me says we should leave this for tomorrow, it's late at night and we could both use some rest. But there is another part of me who knows that I won't even be able to sleep properly, let alone wait until tomorrow to tell Armie everything.

Besides, he can always tell when I am keeping something from him.

“Timothée, did something happen?”

“Paul happened. Well, actually we happened and Paul was just on the wrong place at the wrong time.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Paul knows about us, Armie.”

A whole minute of silence follows, Armie sits on the bed and I do the same, watching as he buries his face on his hands and shakes his head. I reach out to touch him, let a hand rest on his shoulder and try to put on a smile as he finally looks up and in my direction.

“How did he figure it out?”

“I wasn't in my best state of my mind when everything happened, I was way too shocked to make sense of most of things he told me, but apparently he walked back to the studio one day after class to talk to you and the door was open, he saw us together and just run off”

Armie nods, inhales and then exhales deeply. He runs his hands through his hair, his eyes locked straight ahead and I can see he is in deep thought. I remain quiet, letting him go through everything that's on his mind, but deep inside I am shaking in fear. Fear of him thinking we should stay away from one another for a while; fear of Paul spreading this to everyone in class; fear that he has already told his parents and that any day now they are gonna threaten Armie and his whole career.

Fear of not knowing what to expect.

When Armie looks back at me again, his face is calm and he even tries to put on a small smile; clearly more to reassure me than anything else. He reaches out to my hand and I crawl over to him, nestling myself in between his legs. He kisses my cheek, hugs me tight and I can feel my body relax a little bit more. He truly is my home, my safe haven.

“Knowing you the way I do, I know you must be all over the place right now, but please don't let this take over your head or blame yourself for anything, okay?” I nod slowly and move my head to the side so I can look at him. “I know this is not what we wanted to happen, but we can't freak out before we know exactly what is going on.”

“So what do you suggest?”

“I don't think there's many options here, Tim. We wait until Monday and then we talk to Paul and try to sort this all out.”

“You think it will work?”

“I don't know when he saw us, but it was before California. So if he managed to keep his mouth shut until now, I think we´re safe until Monday.”

“Okay.”

“Tim?”

“Yes?”

“That changes nothing between us, okay?” I turn around now, staring into his eyes. “If this thing blows up, we deal with it together.”

“Together.”

 

*******



When I wake up Armie is already sitting on the counter, a toast and a mug of coffee in front of him as he scrolls through his phone. From the railing, I stare at him for a while, watching as he peacefully eats his breakfast as if nothing is going on. First his ex boyfriend shows up, now Paul knows about us and yet, somehow he manages to keep himself together. How he does this will always remain a mystery to me. I reach for a shirt and put it on, before lazily going down the stairs, trying my best to smile as he turns around on the stool and stares at me.

“Good morning.”

“Good morning.” He wraps me in his arms and kisses me softly, but his expression swiftly changes into a worried one. “Have you managed to get any sleep last night?”

“A little bit. But if I am being honest, I spent most of the night staring into the ceiling, trying to find a way to calm myself down.”

“Babe, you can't let this get the best of you, okay? Try to relax, focus on something else and put a smile on that beautiful face of yours.”

“Hard to smile right now, Armie.”

“And why is that?”

“You know damn well why, Armie, don't play dumb.”

The tone in my voice is a little harsher than I wanted it to be, but Armie doesn't seem to care. He leans against the counter, tucks some curls behind my ear and gives me one of the warmest smiles he has ever given me.

“Tim, he knows and right now there's absolutely nothing we can do about it. I know you´re anxious and worried, I know you're probably thinking of all the ways things can go down, picturing all those angry moms coming at me, but you need to find a way to let go of all of this and focus on right now. Focus on us and the fact we planned a dinner with your friends tonight, that's something to look forward to.”

“How can you be so calm in a moment like this, Armie?” He shrugs and I shake my head, leaning closer to him and grabbing onto his shirt. “First your sister, then Connor and now this, there's not even a part of you that might think this is all a sign that hell is about to break loose around us?”

“No.”

“No? Not even a little bit?”

“I don't care what is going on around us, Tim, I care about what's going on between us. And through everything that's happened this past month, one thing hasn't changed and is the fact I love you. And because I love you so much, I´ll be here to balance your freaking out and your anxiety, I´ll hold your hand, I´ll take you in my arms and I will do whatever I can to make you feel better.”

I can feel my eyes water as I put on a smile, this time a genuine and meaningful one. I have no idea what I did to deserve someone like Armie in my life.

“Can you promise me one thing?”

Armie arches an eyebrow, but nods anyway. “Sure, what is it?”

“No matter what happens between us, even if it doesn't work out on a long term and we break up, just promise me you will never disappear from my life.”

“Tim, that's not gonna…”

“Armie, please.”

“I promise you, I´ll never turn my back on you.”

I nod and hug him tight, burying my face on the crook of his neck as he strokes my back. I try to control myself, to keep myself from breaking down, but there is so much going through my head right now I can't help but let some tears fall. I grab fistfuls of Armie´s shirt, making sure he doesn't pull away and he slides his hand up to my hair, stroking it softly until I start to calm down.

Armie pulls me away slowly, cradles my face and smiles while he wipes away my tears with his thumb. “Hey, everything is gonna be okay.”

“I'm sorry, I'm so sorry for just breaking down like this.”

“You're only human, Tim. We´ve been through a few unpleasant things lately and you have a lot on your head already with the auditions, it's okay to feel overwhelmed sometimes.”

“Thank you.”

Armie shrugs and winks at me before hugging me one more time. “Why don't you sit down now and get something to eat?”

“I´ll do that.”

“Then we can discuss what we will have for dinner, I need to know what your friends like.”

I look over at him with a smile on my face and nod my head. This little things he does, like wanting to know exactly what my friends like so he can make a dinner that will please them, makes me love him even more than already do.

 

********

 

The remainings of our dinner remain on the table while we sit on the living room floor, glasses in hand, music playing on the background, laughter and chatter. I have to admit with everything that is going on, a part of me doubted I could actually enjoy this night and have fun, but it turned out this was exactly what I needed to help take my mind off of Paul and what might happen on Monday.

Sarah and Olivia played the part exactly as I predicted they would, asking Armie a million questions and gazing at him like two high school girls who have a crush on the school´s jock. There wasn't a word he uttered that they did not pay attention to, not a movement he made that wasn´t met by their constant stare. It was almost as if my infatuation for Armie had rubbed on them.

Ansel took a little while to get used to the whole situation, knowing your best friend is dating your teacher is one thing, actually being on your teacher´s apartment is a whole new world. Of course with everything he had heard me say about my relationship with Armie, it didn't take long for his awkwardness to disappear. Actually, it only took him one beer.

“....no no no, you have absolutely no idea of the level of fuckboi vibes on this guy during high school. You would never imagine that once he took off those pants, which were nearly on the middle of his thighs, he would put on his tights and gracefully spin around a ballet studio.”

I glare at Olivia, shaking my head as I hear Armie laugh. He wraps his arms around my shoulder, pulls me closer to his chest and kisses my cheek. “I'm loving every single second of this.”

“Of course you are, you have three people telling you all these embarrassing stories about me, what's not to like?”

“You had your fair share of embarrassing stories about me.”

“Jack told me one story about you and then you nearly threatened his life, so I think I'm in disadvantage here.”

Armie rolls his eyes. “Fine, next time he is in town, I´ll let him tell you all the stories.”

“Good.” I kiss him quickly and once I turn back around, Sarah and Olivia are looking at us with smiles on their faces. “Okay, you two can stop with the heart eye shit, is not like this is the first time you see us together.”

“No, but we barely had time to talk at the Halloween party,” starts Sarah, pouring some wine on her glass. “And then you two flew to California, we barely got any intel on this relationship.”

“Oh please, don't ask too much, because he will tell you.”

Armie laughs, shaking his head before giving Ansel a reassuring smile. “I'm sorry, Ansel, I feel like you´ve been hearing way more than you expected to hear about your ballet teacher.”

“And you are absolutely right. The funny thing is, he actually lied to me about his crush on you until I confronted him and now he can't stop talking.”

“So this is how this night is gonna go down? You all trash talking about me? Embarrassing me with all these high school stories? I knew I shouldn't have agreed to this dinner.”

“Oh please, you're loving this.” Olivia winks and I roll my eyes. “Oh c´mon Tim, you know of the four of us, you're the one with the most exciting life right now, so it's only fair.”

“What about you and your boyfriend, because I heard talk about wedding, so I would say your life is way more exciting than mine.”

“Wedding?” Armie asks surprised. “You two are thinking of getting married any time soon?”

“Nope.” They both answer in unison, making us laugh.

“We want to get married, have a family and all, but is definitely not happening right now. Tim is just trying to shift the conversation topic out of him.”

I shrug, snuggling myself on Armie´s arms as I take the glass from him and take a few sips. “I was trying, but clearly failed.”

 

**********

 

Concentration is the one thing I am lacking today, the moment I walked into the studio and bumped straight into Paul, all the focus and calm I had went out of the window and I was left once again scared and anxious. Talking to Armie about it was a big no since everyone was around, leaving class equally as bad of an idea, so all I could do was stay, try my best not to mess up and just hope the hours went by fast enough so this could all be done.

I tried to concentrate on Armie´s calming words, on the fact that if Paul knew about us and still managed to remain quiet until last Friday, it probably means he won't tell anyone else. I tried, I really did, but nothing seemed to work and in my crazy state of mind, not one single step came out right.

“Timothée!” I snap out of my thoughts, turn to look over at Armie and can feel not only his intense stare, but also the looks the other guys give me. “Chin up, eyes ahead, straight out your leg and pay attention.”

“Sorry.” The world slips out of my mouth in a whisper and I quickly straighten out my posture, only to catch Paul looking at me through the mirror. We stare at one another for a moment, only breaking contact when Armie´s voice fills the room and we have to change positions.

I turn to my side and see Ansel looking at me with worried eyes. He still doesn't know what happened, I tried my best to play it cool after we left the bar, not really in the mood to throw more of my problems at him when I am sure he has his own things to solve.

I shrug and give him a small smile, trying to reassure him everything is okay. I highly doubt he buys it though, because the way he keeps looking at me is quite telling. I gesture over to Armie and he sighs, turning his attention back to the front.

“Okay, we have time for one more, let's go.”

I inhale deeply, trying to relax my body and move to an Arabesque, followed by a single Pirouette and finish with a Grand Jeté. When Armie turns the music off, I sigh in relief and lean forward, resting my hands on my knees. Never have I been so glad to see a class end.

“Good job, guys, I´ll see you all tomorrow.” The guys nod and as always rush around, getting their bags, running to the locker room or simply walking out. There's not even half of us left when Armie´s voice fills the air again. “Paul, can you stay, please? I need to talk to you.”

There's some teasing from the remaining guys, but it all ends quickly. Left confused beside me, Ansel slowly packs his bag, his eyes wandering from me, to Armie and then Paul.

“What the fuck is going on?”

I turn to look at him and shake my head. “Stop by the bookstore later, I´ll tell you everything.”

“Okay, I´ll see you later then.” He looks over at Armie, nods his head and then heads out of the studio, closing the door behind him.

An awkward silence fills the room, the three of us staring at each other, building enough courage to speak, but seeming to fail miserably. I am not gonna lie, I spent hours in front of the mirror last night, trying to come up with a good way to have this conversation, but it all seemed desperate.

Maybe because you are desperate.

I look to my side as Armie makes his way over, wraps an arm around my shoulders and brings me closer to his body. Paul silently watches us and I can already feel my cheeks burning in embarrassment.

“Look Paul, Timothée told me about what happened on Friday and as awkward as this may be, I need us to have this conversation.”

Paul nods, takes a step closer to us and tucks his hands in his jeans. “I never meant to cause any trouble, you know?”

“We know that Paul, you were kind enough to come to us first and we truly appreciate that. It's just that this is a very delicate situation, there are things at stake here and we´re just trying to make sure you understand why we can't have anyone figure this out. At least not for now.”

“You don't really have to tell me any of this, Mr. Hammer. I understand that you are both scared of what people might think, of how that could affect your career and if depends on me no one will know anything about your relationship.”

“Really?” My voice sounds a lot more squeaky than I want to, but fuck it, there's nothing I can do about it. “You're not gonna tell any of the guys? Or your parents?”

“I´ve been keeping this to myself for two weeks now, Timothée and lets be honest here, there's absolutely no reason for me to say anything to anyone. I don't get anything out of this situation, it's your lives and you are both adults, you know what you are doing.”

“Paul, neither one of us wanted something like this to happen, I am so sorry you have to be dragged into our lie without even asking for.”

“There's nothing to be sorry about, Mr. Hammer.” He smiles at us and I finally let out a sigh, feeling like this huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. “I'm a grown man, I can handle keeping something like this from everyone else, especially when I am aware of the consequences.”

I close my eyes, feel my body relax and then try to smile. “Thank you, Paul. Seriously, thank you so much for doing this.”

“You two can stop thanking me and apologizing. I´ll be okay and if depends on me, so will you.”

Armie takes a step closer to Paul, shakes his hand and smiles. “Thank you for allowing us to have this conversation and solve everything.”

“No problem.” He looks from me to Armie, bites on his lip and then scratches the back of his head. “Can I go now? My dad is waiting for me.”

“Of course, we don't want to disturb you any longer.”

Paul chuckles, waves at me and then grabs his bag while he heads to the door. I wrap my arms around Armie´s waist, lean my head against his chest and look over to the door, watching as Paul stops and turns around. He gives a kind of shy smile and shrugs his shoulders, looking almost like a kid.

“You guys are cute together, by the way.”

Armie and I chuckle. “Thank you.”




Chapter Text

As it usually happens on the weekends, I wake up to an empty bed and a quiet apartment, a now knowing signal that Armie has already left for his morning jogging. I have to admit that at first it felt a little odd that while he could stay in bed with me, he would still rather wake up early in the morning to run and sweat. But after a few weeks, I actually started to enjoy the moments of solitude in his apartment.

Standing in front of the closet, I look through some of the clothes I got here until my eyes land on Armie´s black satin bomber jacket. He bought it while we were in California and I can vividly remember just how sexy he looked in it. I take the jacket off of the hanger and put it over my naked body; the smooth fabric kisses my skin and the contrast of colors immediately takes me back to a couple weeks ago, when I danced for Armie with the black ribbons.

I stare at myself up and down in the mirror. The shoulders are obviously too big and the jacket goes all the way to my mid thighs; it's a look that should be silly and yet -whether is for what it reminds me of or for who it belongs to-, it arouses and gives me goosebumps. I pull the zipper up, run my fingers through the H patch on the left side and smirk to myself; never could I imagine a jacket would bring me so many dirty thoughts.

I stare at myself for a couple more seconds, chuckling at the silliness of all the thoughts going through my head. I push some hair back, look around the messy room and bite on my lip; maybe it's time to concentrate on something more productive. I walk over to the other side of the room, get on my knees and go through Armie´s record collection, picking one out and placing it on the record player; the music starts and my body instinctively starts to move, head bobbing and hand patting on my thigh. I pick some of our clothes that are scattered on the ground and get up, swaying my hips from side to side as I walk over to the laundry basket and throw the clothes inside.

 

Listen to the wind blow, watch the sun rise

Running in the shadows, damn your love, damn your lies

 

The chorus comes, I bang my head from side to side, stomp my foot on the floor and pull out the best air guitar I can master.

 

And if, you don't love me now

You will never love me again

I can still hear you saying

You would never break the chain (Never break the chain)

 

I moonwalk to the other side of the room, my arms doing wave like motions in the air. I stand in the front of the mirror, dramatically walk over to it and rotate my body to the beat of the song, my lips mouthing the lyrics that I don't know quite that well.

 

And if you don't love me now

You will never love me again

I can still hear you saying

You would never break the chain (Never break the chain)

 

I grab onto my hair, then slide my hand down my face, neck, shoulders and down my body, the smoothness of the fabric making me smile. I slowly pull on the hem of the jacket, sensually exposing my thighs and a bit of my cock.

 

Listen to the wind blow, down comes the night

Running in the shadows, damn your love, damn your lies

Break the silence, damn the dark, damn the light

 

I move around in circles, shaking my ass and watching from over my shoulder how does it look in the mirror; I smirk at myself, giggle and keep on going, sliding my hand up my body. I stomp my foot once again, sway from side to side and then crouch of my knees.

 

And if you don't love me now

You will never love me again

I can still hear you saying

You would never break the chain (Never break the chain)

I get up and go for a Pirouette , give half a spin and stop abruptly as I see Armie standing there, arms crossed, back up against the wall and a wide smirk plastered on his face. I bite on my lip, feeling my cheeks flush and even my ears burn in embarrassment. Nothing like getting caught by your boyfriend doing silly dances on his bedroom while half naked.

Silently and with his eyes locked on me, like a wild animal about to jump on his prey, Armie walks closer. I look up once he is standing in front of me, blink a couple of times and then close my eyes as his fingers finds my skin, stroking my cheek and then my lip. He is close enough for me to sense the strong, mainly scent of his, now mixed with sweat.

 

Chain keep us together (running in the shadow)

Chain keep us together (running in the shadow)

Chain keep us together (running in the shadow)

 

I take his fingers in my mouth, suck on it and hear his breathing get caught up. He takes his finger away, holds onto my jaw and pulls my face to his, kissing me fiercely. My hands hold onto his arms, squeezing the muscles as I bring myself closer to him, feeling the heat of his body.

Armie breaks the kiss, traces the tip of his tongue across my puffed lips and then forces me to turn around. He slams my back against his body, one of his large hands resting on my stomach while the other pulls on my hair. I gasp, rub my ass against his crotch and smile as his lips find my neck, sucking on it.

“Do you have any idea how gorgeous you look right now?”

I open my eyes and stare at us in the mirror. Armie´s eyes are intense and darker, his face is flushed and I am not so different myself. When his hand leaves my hair, it slides down my sides all the way to my thighs. He stops there, his fingers tease the hem of the jacket, making my body shiver in anticipation every single time he threatens to lift it up, but he just chuckles and stops.

 

Chain keep us together (running in the shadow)

Chain keep us together (running in the shadow)

Chain keep us together (running in the shadow)

 

I groan, place my head back on his shoulder and take long breaths; my cock is hard, my body is burning and low moans escape me even if we´re not doing anything.

“So, so beautiful.”

Armie´s hands slide over to my ass, his fingers teasing my hole and making me whimper. I bite on my lip, spread my legs open and let out a sigh as his finger finally enters me; he whispers on my ear, praises me and tells me how beautiful I look in his jacket. The motion of his hand causes the satin to rub against my asscheeks, adding a new and extremely satisfying sensation to an already great moment.

“Lean against the mirror.”

I don't speak not do I nod, I simply follow his instructions and lean against the mirror, eyes wide open and body slightly shaken as Armie slides down to the floor. His hands part my cheeks and in seconds I am welcomed by his wet tongue, which explores me in a way I will never be able to forget. Not that I would want to, I want to have that with me for the rest of my life, I want to have him for the rest of my life.

I moan and whimper, the sight on the mirror one of the most erotic things I have ever seen in my life. I lose myself in the sensations, the way Armie´s hands rub my legs up and down, the way he teases my balls and chuckles when I get too eager.

When he gets back up, my knees are weak and I can barely keep myself up. Armie holds onto my waist, kisses my neck and then guides my hand to my cock, making me stroke myself almost painfully slow. I start panting, my chest heaving and a few dribbles of sweat run down my back; Armie´s voice on my ear works as an anchor that keeps me grounded on this world and not lost in complete and utter pleasure.

He pulls my hand out just as I'm about to cum and I can't help but groan. He gestures to the bed, I nod and even with wobbly legs, make my way over to it. I watch him take off his clothes, toss them to the ground and crawl over my body, his eyes locked on mine and his fingertips tracing my feverish skin.

My lips quiver, my heart pounds on my chest and I debate with myself whether I should or not say what I am thinking, what I want. I need to feel him inside of me, his whole being, to have his flesh fully against mine. I knot my fingers on his hair, pull him down and through pressed lips let the words slip through.

“I don't want you to wear a condom today.” Armie blinks a couple of times, his grip on my waist tightening. “I want to feel all of you inside of me, nothing in between.”

“Are you sure?”

I simply nod, a smile on my face that he quickly mirrors. I spit on my hand, bring it down in between us and stroke Armie´s cock for a couple of seconds, watching as he closes his eyes and sighs. I wrap my legs around his hips, guide him to my hole and then dig my nails onto his waist, allowing him to take control.

Armie´s bare cock enters me slowly and I arch my back, moaning his name and dragging the i. He leans his forehead against mine, our eyes locked and he starts moving with steady and long thrusts. He kisses my face, a hand roaming through my body under the jacket while the other holds firmly onto my hip.

It's an incredible and indescribable feeling to have him inside of me like this, to feel every vein and the heat. I´ve dreamt of this moment for so long, now that I am finally experimenting, I can barely hold myself together. It makes only a couple of minutes and I feel Armie hit me right on the spot, I throw my head back, close my eyes and with a nearly animalistic moan, my orgasm takes me over. I sigh in contentment, my body shaking as Armie keeps on thrusting inside of me; when I look down, the black satin on the jacket is painted with my semen and the sight nearly brings me back to the edge.

I can feel Armie is about to pull away, but I stop him and shake my head. He nods, thrusts a couple more times and then digs his nails on my flesh, his cock twitching inside of me, his cum filling me up as he shakes from head to toe and curses in between groans. Armie collapses on top of me, his heavy breathing on my ear as I feel not only his cock slip out of me, but also his cum. I moan softly, kiss his cheek and he turns to face me, a little smile on his face.

“Happy anniversary.”

I chuckle, hitting his arm and making him laugh. “Happy anniversary.”



******

 

There's snow falling outside, covering the streets in white as the cold wind blows and whistles. Inside, the apartment is warm and the smell of chocolate and cinnamon fill the air as the cookies we baked earlier lie on the counter top, waiting for us to devour every single one of them. As usual, there's music playing but for once, instead of clothes and records scattered around on the living room floor, today we have Christmas decorations.

Sitting on the arm of the chair, I take a few sips of my hot tea, watching with a wide smile on my face as Armie stretches and gets on his tiptoes to add new ornaments at the top of the tree. The look on his face as he goes around the big -and fake- tree, almost resembles the one of a child, who waits the entire year to see the tree, the twinkling lights and, of course, the presents.

Little moments like this one, where I see Armie completely immersed on something so mundane, I can fully appreciate the beauty in him. At first he's just a tall, strong and intimidating guy, but as time goes by you realize that's just a very small part of who he really is; mainly because when you do actually get to meet him like I do now, you see he -like everyone- has his own demons, his doubts, a self deprecating side that I would never even imagine and yet one of the most beautiful souls in the world. Looking back at the three months we´ve been together, I realize that every new side of him I know, every little detail about him that comes to the surface, makes me love him even more than I did in beginning.

“Do you plan on helping?”

I snap out of my thoughts and look up at him with an arched eyebrow. He rolls his eyes, gestures to the tree and I shake my head, turning my attention back to my tea, stirring the spoon into the cup before taking a few sips.

“Seriously? Not even one little ornament? Where´s your Christmas spirit, Timothée?”

“I'm Jew, Armie.”

“I know that, doesn't mean you can't help your boyfriend put up his Christmas tree, right? You were the one who asked me about it.”

“I asked about it, but I never said anything about helping with it. Besides, I find it very amusing and kind of cute to see how focused you are in doing a good job there.” Armie has his hands in his hips by now and he shakes his head, making me chuckle. He shoots me a look and then turns back to the tree, picking up yet another ornament to put it on. “Did your family make a big deal out of putting up the tree?”

He shrugs. “A little bit, yes. My father was always way more into it than my mom, so he would get me and Catherine, sit us in front of the fire and we would help him.” He looks over at me and I smile at him. “Mom usually would be taking photos for her family albums or cooking something.”

“Family albums, you say?”

“Yeah and if it's up to me, you won't see them anytime soon.”

“Aww, why not?”

“You already heard my friend talking about me peeing myself, Tim. I'm not gonna leave you alone with my mom long enough for her to reach out to one of those albuns, I need to keep some dignity.”

“No no no, I demand to see some of those family albums.”

“Not happening.”

“We'll see about that.” I place the mug down on the coffee table and walk over to Armie, wrapping an arm around his waist as I take a long look at the tree. “Okay, what do you want me to do?”

He stares at me for a second, turns to grab a star and hands it to me. He simply gestures to the tree and I get on my tiptoes so I can reach where I want. I smile at myself as I look at the ornament and then feel Armie´s lips on my temple; I turn to look at him, a proud look on my face and he chuckles, shaking his head.

“You're cute, but I'm still not letting you anywhere near those albums.”

I groan and roll my eyes as Armie pushes me to the other side of the tree and shoves a box filled with ornaments on my hand. “Are you serious?”

“Help me finish the tree and maybe I will let you see one.”

“Two.”

“This is not negotiable, Timothée, you help and you get to see one. Take it or leave it.”

“Ugh, you're so mean.”

He laughs and I stick my tongue out before reaching for a couple ornaments I can add to the tree. I steal a quick glance at Armie as I do so, smiling as I see him concentrated, taking long looks at the tree to guarantee everything is in order.



*******

 

“...but I was getting weird vibes from him, so I just called a night and went back home.”

“Mom taught you well.” I tell Pauline as I adjust myself on the bed and pull on the blanket, covering myself properly. “What about your film? How is it going?”

“Is a lot of work, a lot of stress and tears, but at the same time we want to tell this story, so we´re working our asses off to make it happen.”

“You could send me a little video of it, I'm curious to see how it's turning out.”

“When you come here for New Year´s Eve I will show you.” She stops for a moment and furrows her eyebrows. “You still coming for New Year´s Eve, right?”

“That's still the plan, although I haven't discussed with Armie yet to see if he will join me.”

“Join you in what?”

I look up and smile over at Armie, who´s leaned against the railing. He smiles back at me and walks over to the bed, sliding under the blanket and looking over at me, waiting for an answer.

“So, what am I joining you in?”

“Paris!” Pauline´s voice echoes in the room, making me laugh. Armie looks at me confused and I turn on my phone so he and Pauline can actually see one another. “Hello, Mr. Hammer. It's a pleasure to finally speak to you.”

“Pauline.” Armie smiles and nods his head. “It's my pleasure, really. I have heard wonderful stories about you and was wondering when I would have the luck to be face to face with you...although, FaceTime wasn't exactly what I had in mind.”

“And that's why you need to come to Paris with Timmy on New Year´s Eve.”

Pauline winks and Armie nods his head, smiling at her. I bite on my lip, watching as their interaction plays out so smoothly right before my eyes; it almost seems like they have been around one another before. I can't help but be overflow with happiness at this, my boyfriend and my sister getting along, everything I needed to give me more hope for the day Armie finally meets my parents.

“...because I am sure whatever he said about me wasn't true.”

“Well, he did say you once told him he was found on the trash can, but he also said you are an amazing actress and that you're now directing your first film. So, I take that you are an incredibly talented young lady and I can't wait to see your movie.”

Pauline smiles and I can see her cheeks turn a bit bright, which honestly surprises me. If there's one thing I´ve learned in the last twenty two years, is how hard it is to make Pauline Chalamet blush.

Is the Armie Hammer effect.

“Well, thank you. I will make sure you and Timmy get to watch it first...just don't tell my mom, please.”

“Your secret is safe with me.” Armie winks and then turns to look at me. “I will let you two keep on talking, I´ll be downstairs.”

“Armie, you don't have to go. I don't want to kick you out of your own room.”

Armie shakes his head. “It's okay, Pauline. You two finish your conversation and I will be downstairs collecting some material for Monday´s class.”

“What kind of material?”

“You´ll see Monday in class.” I shoot him a look, but Armie simply shrugs. He kisses me quickly and waves over at Pauline before getting up from the bed and heading back downstairs.

“I like him. He has a sense of humor, he doesn't cut you any slack just because you are his boyfriend and he is even hotter up close.”

“Hey!”

“What? He is and you chose him well, bro.”

I look over the phone and can see Armie downstairs, sitting by his desk and going through his computer. I smile, nod my head and then look back at Pauline.

“Yes, yes I did.”

 

*****

 

“What's the best way to propose to your partner?”

I sit on the kitchen counter, swinging my legs back and forth while scrolling through my phone with one hand and taking fistfuls of pistachios with the other.

“Not like this.”

I chuckle and look up at Armie, who´s standing in front of the stove, putting all the pans and bowls he used for lunch back on their rightful places.

“You wish.” I joke and he shrugs his shoulders, a smug look upon his face. “Actually, Jensen is trying to find the best way to propose to his girlfriend of seven years or something, so he decided it was a good idea to throw the questions at the group chat and now we´re discussing it.”

“What group chat?”

“The one I have with the guys.” He raises an eyebrow and it's now my turn to shrug my shoulders. “What? You thought the one you created for announcements was the only one we got? We need a safe place to where we throw some shade at you, babe.”

“Very funny.” He turns back to the cupboards, rearranging some things before he looks at me over his shoulder. “I don't know Jensen that much, let alone his girlfriend, but if they are together for so long and they both are into the idea of getting married, I think whatever he does she will not only love it, but definitely say yes to.”

I smile at him. It's incredible how he always seems to know the right things to say.

“I think you´ve summarized that quite well. I have seen Eliza only a couple of times, but for what I could tell she is a very cool girl, one who doesn't really care about big declarations of love or anything like that.”

Armie nods and walks over, standing in between my legs and holding onto my waist. He takes a few pistachios on his hands and feeds it to me, smirking as I nibble on his fingertip. He leans in, places a soft kiss on my lips and then lets his hands slide down to my thighs, rubbing them softly.

“Tell him to just be himself and not think too much, everything will be okay. But if he does want something simple and yet memorable, I heard proposing on Christmas is always a good call.”

“Oh, that's actually a great idea.”

I turn my attention back to my phone, unlock it and quickly message the guys; Jensen sees it immediately and sends me a thumbs up. I chuckle, but before I can even type anything else back, Armie takes the phone away from me and places it on the counter. I pout and he leans in, kissing me once again, but this time deeper and more passionately. His fingers knot on my hair, pulling on it slightly as I tug on his shirt, keeping his body close to mine.

“I actually got something I need to tell you.” He says nearly breathless as he pulls away from me.

“Should I be scared?”

He chuckles. “Of course not, actually you should be quite excited about it.”

“What is it?”

“Remember your photoshoot with Jack?” I nod and he smirks. “Well, it will be in the Agora Gallery in a couple of weeks.”

“What?!”

“Jack texted me yesterday night, after a few weeks of sending the project back and forth to everyone he could imagine, trying to make something out of it, he finally got a response from the gallery and then want to make an exhibition with the photos.”

“This is so incredible. Jack must be thrilled.”

“He truly is and expects to see the both of us there on opening night.”

“Of course I will be there, when is it?”

“December 14th, which means we can not only celebrate Jack´s exhibition, in which we are both featured on, but also your Juilliard acceptance and it might just be our first time out as a couple that doesn't need to hide from anyone.”

I let out a sigh, feeling as happy as I have ever been. The excitement of not having to pretend anything anymore gets bigger and bigger inside of me and all I can think about is having the chance to hold Armie without fear, tell everyone how lucky I am to have him and enjoy the little things we had to deprive ourselves because no one could see us.

I can't wait to be free with him.

I wrap my arms around his neck, lean my forehead against his and smile wide. “I can't wait for this.”

 

Chapter Text

December.

As I stare out of the glass door, watching the city below, I wonder how come time has gone by so fast. It's weird to look back to the last few months and think about all the things that have happened in my life, all the ups and down, the frustration, the happiness and now the anxiety for something I have waited for my entire life.

Juilliard has been my dream since I started ballet, to be among some of the greatest teachers and artists in the country, to be among people who share the same passion as I do in the same intensity. Nothing has ever seemed more suitable for me than Juilliard and now that is actually approaching, I can't seem to think of anything else. I am living and breathing ballet, in a way I have never done before.

I take a look at the clock and let out a sigh, stretching out my arms and legs and getting myself ready for the last week of preparation. I start my workout with some simple warming up exercises, getting the blood flowing and my muscles burning; I then change into splits, doing both the standing up version and the floor one.

Then comes the jumpings jacks and jumping rope, so I can work on my agility and make sure my legs are strong enough for whatever I might have to endure in a couple of days. Only when I actually feel drenched in sweat I stop, take a few sips of water and then gather my running gear.

I strap my phone on my arm, put on my sneakers and fill my water bottle, which fits perfectly on my sweater´s front pocket. I stuff my ballet stuff inside my bag and zip it up, leaving it on top of the counter to make sure Armie will see it once he gets up. It's only when I turn around to grab my keys that I notice Armie is already wide awake, staring at me with serious eyes.

“Please tell me you are not about to start working out in the morning too.” I sigh, but try to keep a smile on my face. The past two weeks, Armie has showed concern regarding my latest behavior, as he likes to call, and no matter how many times I tell him I am alright, he doesn't seem to believe me. “It's not even 6:30am, Timothée, you should be resting, getting as much sleep as you can.”

“I don't have time for that, Armie.”

“You don't have time for sleep?”

I walk over to him, sit down on the edge of the bed and take his hand in mine, my thumb rubbing his skin softly. “There's only a week left, I can't bother to be weak.”

“Weak? Knowing when it's too much it's not weakness, Timothée, actually is quite the opposite.”

“I am not gonna have this conversation with you now, Armie. I have more important things to do then listen to you worry about something there's no need to worry about.”

“Okay, then when do we talk about this? Because lately every time I try to bring this subject, you find a way to dodge it.”

“Because it's a waste of our time to discuss something that does not need to be discussed.” I sigh, shaking my head and get up from the bed. I reach for my keys on the nightstand, stuff them in my pocket and then turn back to Armie, who´s looking down at his hands. “Can you take my bag with you to the studio?”

“Why?”

“So I don't have to stop home before class.”

He eyes me up and down, remains serious for a moment then nods his head. “Fine, I´ll take it with me.”

“Thank you.” I lean down to kiss him on the lips, his body not moving an inch. “There's coffee on the counter and bread on the oven, if you like.”

“Okay, thanks.”

“I´ll see you later then.” Armie nods and I bite on my lip, hating the way he is treating and looking at me, but also aware that I am not doing anything wrong to cause him to be mad. Trying to be better ain´t no crime. “Don't forget to lock the door when you leave.”

Armie nods once more and I sigh, heading to the door. I look over my shoulder, watch as he reaches for his phone and goes through it for a second or two before his eyes meet mine again. We stare at one another, both with things we want to say, but neither with actual courage to do.

“Armie?”

“Yes?”

“I'm okay, I promise you.”

“Just make sure you are not late for class, okay?”

I nod and in complete silence make my way out of the apartment, closing the door behind me. I take a look back, wondering if I should go back and talk to him, but shrug it off and turn on the music on my phone. I have way too much to think about now to spend time arguing with Armie over my workout routine. We'll have to do it later, hopefully once I am already in.



*******

 

The snow is falling down on the ground, heavy and constant; the wind is intense, hitting you like little sharp glass that cut your skin. My cheeks are flushed and my whole body shivers despite the layers of clothes I have on, which makes running a task a lot harder than it already is.

My breathing is laboured and my chest seems to burn every single time I take a longer breath, making me cough. I try to clear my head, push back the cold, the snow and the sound of Armie´s voice from my head, focus only on my workout, but it´s nearly impossible to do.

Suddenly my legs feel wobbly and the air seems to have been knocked out of me, making me stumble around and gasp for air. I hold onto my chest, lean against a brick wall and close my eyes, remembering all the classes about breathing and trying to calm myself down.

Cold sweat pours from my forehead, my vision gets slightly blurred and I reach for my water bottle, pouring some on my face before taking a few sips of it. I finally feel my heart slow down and my legs go back to normal, which makes me sigh in relief.

Armie can´t even dream of any of this happening, or else he will try to stop me from working out in the morning ever again.

Now much more relaxed and breathing properly, I finally take a look around myself and see the streets are basically all decorated for Christmas already; fake snowmen in front of the buildings, twinkling lights all over the trees, garlands, red bows and candy canes decorating doors and windows. It seems like I´ve been so caught up, I haven´t even noticed this all coming to life.

I smile to myself, taking in the beauty of it all but quickly reminding myself I still have work to do. I look at my phone, see it´s nearly 7:30am and take long and deep breaths, before jogging through the three blocks left to Armie´s studio. When I make it there, my heart is already pounding on my chest again and I have a little bit of a headache, but I know it´s nothing a good five minutes of rest won´t solve.

I make my way in and turn on the lights of the corridor, slightly confused as I hear voices coming from upstairs. I take a quick look at my phone and arch an eyebrow, wondering who the hell would be here so early in the morning. Suspiciously, and at the same time very much curious, I make my way up the stairs and as closer I get to the top, I get more and more aware of who the voice belongs to.

Ansel.

What the fuck is he doing here so early?

Could something have happened with him?

"...so I thought that maybe if you talked to..."

Ansel stops talking the moment I knock on the door. They are standing in the middle of the studio, only a few inches separating them and when they both turn to the door, it seems like they are truly surprised -and slightly worried- that I am standing there. I look from Armie to Ansel for a second, the stupid part of me feeling a tingle of jealousy for seeing them so close, while the reasonable part of me knows they are probably discussing class related things.

"Hey, didn´t expect to see you here so early Ansel."

"I wanted to talk to Armie, so figured it would be better to do it before class. I was surprised I didn´t find you here with him, though."

"I was out jogging."

"You hate jogging."

"Sacrifices have to be made, my friend." I wink over at him while walking over to Armie and Ansel simply nods. I take a fistful of Armie´s shirt and pull him close to me, getting on my tiptoes to kiss him, sighing as he barely kisses me back.

"Your bag is on the locker room. Why don´t you go change and start warming up with Ansel? We only have three days left and there´s a lot to do."

"Are you still mad at me?"

"Quoting you, I don´t have time to do this now. We can talk about us later, if you have time in between your workout sessions, of course."

"You´re being childish, Armie."

"Again, we will talk about this later."

I nod my head and head over to the locker room, taking a quick look over my shoulder and seeing as Armie and Ansel exchange looks. I slam the door shut behind me, look at myself in the mirror and then splash some water on my face, trying to clean the sweat and bits of snowflakes that have dried on my face.

I close my eyes, take a couple of deep breaths and count to ten, trying to empty my head of any problem and then change into my ballet clothes and put on my shoes. By the time I make it out of the locker room, Ansel and Paul are already sitting on the floor, stretching out their legs and arms.

Paul waves at me with a smile and I do the same. Things have been much better between us ever since he admitted to knowing about me and Armie, the weird awkwardness that seemed to always be around us now had disappeared and although I wouldn´t call him a friend, the whole experience sure brought us a bit closer.

I throw my bag on the floor along with Ansel´s and join him and Paul on the floor, stretching out my legs in front of me and rotating my feet. Ansel nudges my ankle and I turn to look at him, arching an eyebrow.

"What?"

"Everything okay between you two?"

"Not really, but I don´t wanna talk about it." He nods and I sigh. "Is everything okay with you? Why did you have to talk to him so early?"

Ansel shrugs. "Just me getting a bit nervous about the audition and trying to talk to him and see if he could help me get rid of this anxiety."

"I know how you feel, I´m a mix of emotions right now, but talking to Armie about it is a big no."

"You can always talk to me, you know that."

"Of course I do."

"Actually, why don´t we have lunch together today? It´s been quite a while."

I nod. "Yeah, that will nice."



********




The restaurant is calm, most of the tables still empty and low Christmas music playing as background noise. The waiter has already taken on our order, now Ansel and I sit across from one another on the table, both of us scrolling through our phones, although my mind is nowhere even close to this place.

Armie barely looked over at me today during class and when he did, it was this piercing cold look, one he had never directed towards me. Even before we started dating, whenever he had to call out my attention, he did with a stern look but nothing like this, not with a hint of disappointment. Worst thing is that I don´t even know why he is acting the way he is, I am not doing anything wrong, I am not hurting myself or anyone around me.

I just want to achieve what I have always dreamt of, I just want to make him, my parents and myself proud. Is that such a bad thing?

"Hey, are you okay?" I look up at Ansel, arching an eyebrow as he looks at me with a concerned look on his face. "Is everything okay? You seem kind of lost...and sad."

"I´m fine, I´m just a little bit tired, but I will be okay."

"Are you sure? You and Armie seemed a bit distant today."

"Armie is..." I sigh and shrug my shoulders. "Armie is overreacting for things he shouldn't even be worry about, but everything will be fine soon enough."

"If you say so." He shrugs, scrolls through his phone and then places it down on the table; when he looks back at me, there´s this little smirk on his face. "Can you believe in two days classes will be over? It´s still a bit surreal to imagine after two years, I won´t be seeing the guys every single day, or hearing Armie´s loud voice when I mess up. I mean, there was some frustrating moments the past two years, but damn it, it will be weird to let go."

"Imagine how I am feeling." I try to put on a smile and Ansel bites on his lip. "This is where I met and fell in love with Armie, now it will all be gone. And I know it sounds crazy, because classes being over means we finally have freedom, but is still so bittersweet. I think I will have a hard time adjusting to the new life."

"I think you´ll adjust just fine, mainly because you have Armie by your side and he knows better than us how tough the Juilliard life can be. He went through all of this, he knows what we are going through right now and what we will go through if we get in, so I am sure he will be ready to help you with anything you need."

The waiter walks over to us, hands over our drinks first and then places the two plates in front of us. I thank him, reach for the fork and take a few bites of my Caesar Salad, watching as Ansel stares at me with furrowed eyebrows.

"What?"

"Is this all you´re gonna eat?"

"Yeah, why?"

"You went for a run, you had four hours of practice and all you´re gonna eat is a plate of Caesar Salad? Don´t you think you should get something a bit more substantial?"

"We´re one week away from the most important day of our lives, I am not working my ass off just to drown myself in pasta right after. I need discipline, I need to keep focus on my diet."

"You can still have discipline and eat more than just a salad, Tim."

"Oh for fuck´s sake, not you too. I don´t need anyone telling me what to do with my life right now, I know exactly what I need and what I should do."

"Chill, okay? I am just saying that you don´t need to be so hard on yourself. You´re in perfect shape, your talent is outstanding, you´ll get in."

"I´m in perfect shape because I´ve been taking care of myself and I will keep on doing for as long as it´s necessary."

Ansel shakes his head and leans forward, resting his elbows on the table. "Why are you so pressed about this? I´m just trying to have a nice conversation."

"No, you´re trying to tell me what to do, just like everyone else."

"Everyone else or Armie?"

"Fuck off, Ansel." I reach for my bag, grab some bills and throw it on the table before getting up. Ansel looks up at me, confused and slightly annoyed. "If I knew this was why you called me for lunch, I wouldn´t have come."

"I called you for lunch because you are my friend, because until a month ago we used to do this all the time, but now you don´t have time for anything other than training. I called you for lunch because I think of you as a brother and I worry about you."

"Find something else to worry about then, because I do not need anyone worrying about me. Are we clear?"

"You have no idea of what you are doing to yourself, but I will be here when you need to talk....like always."

I stare at him for a moment, grab my bag and swing it over my shoulder, heading off of the restaurant as fast as I can. The moment I step outside, I feel the cold hit me and zip up my jacket before heading down the street. I can only hope that Sarah won´t give me any hard time today at work, because I really can´t handle this anymore.



******



"You're late!"

Armie's voice is loud and aggressive as he greets me inside the studio. Leaned against the window, still on his jeans and shirt, he looks me up and down, serious and clearly angry.  He takes a few steps away from the window and I sigh, closing the distance between us.

My hand rests on his waist as I lean in to kiss him, but Armie simply steps back, which causes my hand to slip away from him. I arch an eyebrow and stare at him for a while, trying to understand exactly why he is doing things the way he is.

"I know I am late and I am sorry, I just lost track of time."

"Of course you did, you had another one of your workout sessions after work, didn't you?" It takes me a few seconds but I eventually nod, which makes him let out what I can only describe as a sarcastic chuckle. "Timothée, tell me what's the point of classes every single night if you're gonna be late for them?"

"You're overreacting a little bit here, Armie. Don't you think?"

"No, no I don't. You were the one who asked for classes every night, even though I told you I thought it wasn't a good idea. Now, because of your crazy and stupid new habits, you're either always late or so fucking tired, you can barely go through the exercises. So no, I am not overreacting, Timothée."

"Oh, here we go again. I'm not gonna have this conversation with you right now, Armie. I'm tired of this subject coming over and over again today, I am fucking tired."

"I take that Ansel talked to you."

"How do you..." I stop for a moment and suddenly things start making sense. The glances, the awkwardness and the way Ansel abruptly stopped talking the moment he heard my voice. "He wasn't worried about auditions, was he? This is what he was doing here this morning, talking to you about me behind my back. Is this how is gonna go now? You two are gonna team up against me?"

"Listen to yourself, Timothée. This is your best friend we are talking about, your best friend that is so worried about you he came to me to see if we could do something to help you."

"But that's the point, Armie, I don't need your help, I don't need the help of anyone. Why can't you both understand that? Why is so difficult for you to support me?"

"Excuse me? You don't think I'm supporting you?" I shrug my shoulders, trying to control the tears that are filling my eyes and threatening to fall. "All I have done in the past two years is support you and help you get better."

"Oh, I see. So you're mad that I finally can do things without your help, that's the issue here, right?"

"Oh my God, you think this is about my ego?"

"I don't know, Armie. I don't understand shit about what's going on right now."

"This is not about ego, Timothée, this is about love." I take a deep breath, shaking my head as he steps closer to me. "I love and support you so much that I can't watch you walk down this dangerous path and remain silent. I've seen people do the exact same and I've seen them end up in hospital for starving themselves or exercising until exhaustion."

"Starving? Armie you're with me all the time, you know damn well I am not starving myself."

"No, you are not. But what happens when you get in and you become obsessed with getting the best spot?"

"I'm not like this, Armie."

"No one thinks they are until it starts happening."

"Armie..."

"And the fact you can't even see what's happening, that's very troubling to me, Tim. People are worried, people want to help you and you're pushing us away."

"I don't need help, Armie. You are projecting something that is not gonna happen and you can't even listen to me. I keep saying everything is alright and you won't believe me."

"Because I can see it's not alright." He sighs, shakes his head and turns his back to me. "I don't want you to get hurt, Timothée. I don't wanna see you put your health on the line like this."

"I'm not risking anything here, Armie. I know exactly what I am doing."

"No, you don't."

I let out a sigh of frustration and reach out for my bag, which is lying on the ground. I swing it over my shoulder, take one last look at Armie and walk over to the door.

"I don't think there's a point of staying here any longer." He finally turns back to me, blue eyes glistening with tears just like I'm sure mine are too. "No need to worry, I will be on time tomorrow morning."

"Timothée..."

I shake my head and leave the studio, slamming the door shut behind me. I take down the stairs as fast as I can, sighing as I am welcomed by the cold wind. I take one look up, wipe away my tears and rush down the street, not ready to be all alone in my apartment, but desperate to be as far away from Armie as possible.