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Thursday, December 22

When the door buzzer goes, Georgi is soaking his feet in the kitchen and thinking about winning. He sighs and takes a few seconds, just a few more seconds, to keep sitting there. He’s tired and he’s trying to focus on tomorrow’s skate. Rest his body, sharpen his mind. Ignore all distractions.

But the buzzer goes off again like a swarm of angry wasps. How hard would it be to have a silvery chime instead? A soothing gentle voice?

Georgi reaches for a towel that’s not there and curses as he trails wet footprints from the kitchen to the front door. “What do you want?” he says into the intercom. His voice isn’t either soothing or gentle but his knees are aching, more than they should be right before Nationals.

The speaker crackles something unintelligible. A little late in the day but it’s probably a delivery. Flowers, maybe, or the cod liver oil his mother keeps ordering for him. He’s already got too many of the red and blue bottles lined up in his cupboard, even though he takes it every night.

While he waits, he does a few squats and tries not to listen to the crackle of his cartilage. He’s not stiff, just sore. Not past it, just working hard. And even if his knees are not what they used to be, his mind is clear and sharp and ready.

When the knock comes, he springs up, a little bounce off the floor, plenty of energy still. Hopefully, it’s flowers, for luck. He’s owed some luck, after the interruption.

He opens the door. It is flowers. And Christophe is holding them.

“Hi,” Christophe says.

“What are you doing here?” Georgi says, in Russian because he hasn’t been expecting to speak English. His heart rings with a silvery chime and for a moment, he can’t even move. “Christophe, you, come in.”

Christophe hands him the flowers but Georgi wants both hands free so he drops them on the hall table and wraps his arms around Christophe, presses his face into Christophe’s neck. The winter damp is still on Christophe’s overcoat and it chills Georgi through his t-shirt.

Christophe hugs him back, one deep breath pressing against Georgi’s chest. “Just came to get laid,” he says and his hands slide down to Georgi’s ass.

Right now, Georgi doesn’t even care if that’s true, he’s so glad to have his arms around his lover, he’s so glad his heart is beating fast. “You know you can use your phone for more than dick pics.”

“Stalkers never call first.” Christophe eases back and kisses Georgi, hands on his face, just hello.

“Give me your coat and your bag and go sit down.” Georgi picks up the flowers: roses, red and fragrant. Lucky, very lucky. “Do you want a drink?”

Christophe looks Georgi up and down. His cheeks are still pink from the winter air and it makes him look wholesome instead of sultry. “I want everything.”

“I’ll bring you a drink.” Georgi kisses Christophe’s cheek as he takes his coat. Christophe’s skin is so smooth, with a faint whiff of cologne. He must have shaved at the airport after his flight. Georgi’s heart thumps and he wants everything too, right now: the satin of Christophe’s cheek, the rasp of his beard, climbing the inside of Georgi’s thighs. He kisses Christophe again, his mouth lingering, hello, hello.

Christophe pulls him close and Georgi loses his grasp on the coat and the roses too. “I could use a drink of water,” Christophe says against Georgi’s throat. He kisses along Georgi’s neck, hands moving over Georgi’s back.

“Come on then.” Georgi moves back a step, onto his own damp footprints. Hand on the back of Christophe’s head, keeping him there, mouth on Georgi’s skin.

Christophe follows him up, then turns around so he’s the one pulling at Georgi. “Fuck, I missed this.”

This. But Georgi missed it too, nearly misses it now, he wants it so much. He stumbles against Christophe, bumping him against the wall, pressing so his whole body is against Christophe, like they can occupy the same space. “I missed you.” He leans his forehead against Christophe’s. “It felt like a year.”

“Then you’re ready for it.” Christophe grinds in with his hips, he’s ready for it too. Then he pushes Georgi back, gets his hands under Georgi’s ass, and heaves.

Georgi doesn’t figure it out until a moment too late: Christophe is lifting him off the ground. But it’s too late for Georgi to jump with it so he’s left with Christophe hauling on his buttocks. “Are you trying to carry me?”

“Aren’t your feet sore?” Christophe squeezes Georgi’s ass, licks the corner of his mouth.

“I’m not a princess,” Georgi says. “What if you dropped me?”

“No lifts until after Nationals, got it.” Christophe drops his hands. “Are you still allowed to come? Or are you abstaining?”

“Don’t fucking ask me that right now.” Georgi takes Christophe’s arm and pulls him the rest of the way to the kitchen. He pours a glass of water and holds it out. “Drink this. Flights are dehydrating.”

Christophe takes the glass and looks at Georgi over the rim for a moment but he doesn’t speak before he drains it.

Georgi refills the glass. “One more, then I’ll get you a real drink.”

Christophe takes the glass and sets it down on the counter. He pulls his shirt over his head and drapes it over the back of a chair. “I like your kitchen,” he says and unzips his trousers. “Last time I was here, you cooked me dinner and we got drunk at the table afterwards but we haven’t had sex in here yet.”

“You haven’t even been here ten minutes,” Georgi says. He’s never prepared for what Christophe is going to do: he’s at right angles to everyone else in Georgi’s life. “I’ll make you dinner again.”

But Christophe is already down to his socks and underwear. He might as well not be wearing the underwear because his dick is half out of it. And then it’s moot because the underwear is gone too and he’s standing there naked. Like he and Georgi have one set of clothes between them and Christophe only got the socks.

“Don’t put your bare ass on my chairs.” Georgi twists the tap harder, it drips if he doesn’t. But he’s looking at Christophe because he can’t look anywhere else.

Even in Georgi’s chilly kitchen, Christophe looks warm and relaxed, beautiful and golden, dominating the cramped space. His dick moves as he shifts his weight to one hip.

Georgi gets wanting Christophe, he gets wanting men, but he still doesn’t really get dicks. He likes the feel of Christophe’s. How it moves in his hand, in his mouth, between his thighs. How it’s ready for him, because he’s the one Christophe wants.

But it looks weird. They all do, even his own. That whole area, dick, balls, that they tuck away into their dance belts. Is this how his girlfriends felt? Did any of them actually like the way his looked? Does Christophe?

Christophe wraps his hand around his own cock, still looking right at Georgi, and maybe Georgi doesn’t get dicks, but he gets this: Christophe’s aggressive desire. His body gets it. His sore knees get it and he leans against the counter.

“You’re so fussy.” Christophe steps close. He takes Georgi by the waist and spins him around. Puts him in the chair that’s still turned away from the small table, by the full basin and the splashes on the floor.

“Come here.” Georgi reaches up for Christophe’s bare shoulders. “Kiss me, I want you to kiss me.”

Christophe stoops and they kiss, Georgi’s arm around Christophe’s neck, his tongue sliding into Christophe’s mouth. Georgi is starved for this, for Christophe in his arms, naked in the kitchen or the shower or the bedroom.

Then Christophe pulls away and crouches in front of Georgi, hands on Georgi’s hips and those long eyelashes blinking slowly. “The way your face flushes for me is beautiful, you want it so much. You want me to suck your cock until you can’t even speak. Don’t you?”

Georgi’s heart flashes on beautiful and the rest of him on suck your cock. “Yes,” he says. And because he knows Christophe likes to hear it: “Suck me, please.”

“You work so hard,” Christophe says. He pulls up the hem of Georgi’s t-shirt and starts by kissing his abdomen, stroking his sides, not even brushing Georgi’s dick.

And Georgi is back where he was before the buzzer went and this whirlwind caught him up. But instead of visualizing his short program, he’s looking at the back of Christophe’s neck where the hair is cut close. Instead of playing the music in his head, he’s listening to the sound of Christophe’s mouth on his body and the hum of the refrigerator.

Christophe’s mouth reaches Georgi’s waistband and he hooks his thumbs inside the elastic — sweats, briefs — and pulls. “Give me some help here,” Christophe murmurs.

This time Georgi is ready and he lifts his hips for Christophe so that he’s the one bare-ass on the kitchen chair, pants around one ankle and cock jutting free.

“You have a great dick, by the way,” Christophe says. “Very suckable.”

“I don’t want to hear where I rank in your catalogue of dicks,” Georgi says. Even though he does, he really wants to know.

“Every dick has a special place in my heart,” Christophe says. “But I think there was somewhere else you wanted yours to be.” He gives Georgi that exaggerated grin, the one that makes Georgi melt and roll his eyes at the same time, and bends down.

Georgi puts his hand on Christophe’s head, not to guide him, just to touch him. He slides his fingers around the curve of Christophe’s ear, rests his hand on Christophe’s shoulder. Christophe is really here, in Georgi’s kitchen. This is really happening.

Christophe noses at Georgi’s balls. “Christ, I love the way you smell.” He sucks one testicle into his mouth, cradling it on his tongue a moment before he lets it go. “Do you ever grow your hair out here? Not that I don’t appreciate it but…”

“In the summer,” Georgi says. One finicky girlfriend talked him into waxing before she would go down on him and he liked the way it felt. Now in the competition season, he keeps it up: pubic hair, underarms, chest. “Come on, don’t tease me now.”

Christophe sits back on his heels, one long look into Georgi’s eyes, and Georgi braces for the next smart remark. Instead Christophe drops to his knees, bending over Georgi’s lap, and takes Georgi’s cock down, all the way down, so deep Georgi can hardly believe Christophe isn’t choking.

“Fuck,” Georgi says. “Fuck.” He puts both hands on Christophe’s shoulders and kneads at the muscle there, he can’t help his hands clenching. He can feel the back of Christophe’s throat against the head of his cock. Christophe isn’t moving, just holding Georgi there like he’s daring Georgi to raise his hips and fuck him, one more goddamn tease. “Do whatever you want, just do it.”

Christophe pinches Georgi’s hip, eyes turning up, and he finally starts to move. Warm and wet around Georgi’s cock, hands on Georgi’s thighs. Where fifteen minutes ago, Georgi was soaking his feet and thinking about his skating, too tired to stand up to open the door.

Georgi wants to savour this but he might not be able to, not when he’s this keyed up. He puts his hands on top of Christophe’s and strokes with his fingers, just lightly, while Christophe’s mouth slides over his cock. “I missed you,” he says. “I missed you so much.”

Christophe’s hands tighten over Georgi’s thighs. Saliva strings from the corner of his mouth and he frees one hand to swipe it away.

If he could, Georgi would pull Christophe into an embrace, press him tightly, wrap himself around Christophe’s whole body. Instead, he just gets his toes against the side of Christophe’s calf because he doesn’t want to shift and make it difficult for him.

“It’s good,” Georgi says. “You’re good.” He never feels like he can talk dirty enough for Christophe but he gives what he can. “The best. You feel so good.” So good that Georgi can hardly find the words any more and he trails off into Russian, “So good, so beautiful, jewel of my heart,” and soon enough that goes as well and he’s only gasping.

Christophe looks up, his eyes gleaming, and he turns one hand so that their fingers are crooked together, squeezing tight. The other he wraps around the base of Georgi’s cock, following his mouth up and down. He blinks rapidly, a signal that Georgi can’t remember, maybe, or just Christophe showing off his eyelashes.

Georgi strains to keep his eyes open, fixed on Christophe, but he’s losing focus, he’s nearly there. He tries to gasp out a warning but there’s no time and he starts to come, a crash of pleasure and of happiness that goes on until tears leak from his eyes and his face is sore from twisting.

Just as it begins, Christophe’s mouth slips away and he strokes Georgi’s cock lightly while he spasms. And when Georgi’s eyes slide open again, he sees the glistening chain of semen around Christophe’s neck, perfectly executed and almost beautiful. Like Christophe is an artist and ejaculation is his medium.

It’s also ridiculous and when Georgi catches Christophe’s face in his hands for a tender post-blowjob kiss, he laughs into Christophe’s mouth instead.

“That face,” Christophe says. “Show me that face every day.” He brushes Georgi’s cheek with the back of his hand.

Georgi leans into Christophe’s touch, closing his eyes for a moment while his pulse slows and his heart fills. But he’s making Christophe wait. He turns his head and kisses Christophe’s hand. “Now you.”

“Yes, now me. But let me see you first.” Christophe pulls up the hem of Georgi’s t-shirt and Georgi raises his arms to let it go. Christophe runs his fingers down Georgi’s chest. “Video chat just doesn’t provide me enough detail. Maybe you should get a high def camera.”

“Not VR?” Georgi reaches out to touch Christophe too but Christophe’s pearl necklace is running, matting the hair on his chest. “You’re dripping.”

“Shit!” Christophe swipes at the mess with Georgi’s t-shirt.

“That’s going to stain,” Georgi says. It’s an old shirt, just to wear at home, but still.

“Sorry,” Christophe says and he does look it. “I’m distracted by lust, so please let me come. I’ll buy you a new shirt. A new old shirt. You can have one of mine. Just touch my dick now, please.”

Georgi stands up and pulls Christophe up too, wraps his arms around Christophe so they’re pressed together, Christophe’s dick hard against Georgi’s hip. “Do you want to go into the bedroom?”

“Do me here,” Christophe says into Georgi’s ear, his tongue sliding around the lobe. “So you’ll think about me coming for you every time you cook.”

Better not to kneel on the floor tonight, not when he has to skate tomorrow. Georgi backs Christophe into the counter and kisses him: his mouth, his face, his neck. “Do not,” he says against Christophe’s throat. “Do not, do not put your ass on my countertop.”

Christophe leans in with his hips, rubbing his cock against Georgi’s hipbone. “Or what? You won’t let me come?” He squeezes Georgi’s ass, pulling him closer. “Nobody’s ever edged me before, could be hot.”

“There’s no ‘or what’.” Georgi digs his fingertips into Christophe’s back, pulling him closer for a moment. “Just don’t.” Then he makes some room and takes Christophe’s cock into his hand. “Just let me make you happy.”

Christophe’s face changes, that grin slipping away, and Georgi wonders if he’s broken the mood somehow. But Christophe presses his cheek against Georgi’s, slides his fingers up into Georgi’s hair. “Please do.”

Those silvery chimes ring in Georgi’s heart again and he jacks Christophe at the kitchen counter, kissing him again and again.

“I missed your hands on me,” Christophe says. “I missed your kitchen.” He puts his hands on Georgi’s face, stroking Georgi’s mouth with his thumbs. His breath is speeding up now, puffing onto Georgi’s face.

“You’re here now.” Georgi takes another kiss, circles his thumb around the head of Christophe’s cock. “In my kitchen, in my arms.”

“So domestic,” Christophe says. “Next time I’ll bring my apron.” His hands tighten. “Fuck, I’m close.”

Georgi can tell, he knows the signs by now. He catches Christophe’s mouth again and Christophe groans into it while his cock jerks in Georgi’s hand and he comes hard between them. No fancy art, just the full-body shudder that Georgi loves and Christophe’s semen over his own belly.

Christophe leans back against the counter, eyes closed and skin flushed. A film of sweat on his forehead. One hand limp on Georgi’s shoulder. He opens his mouth but no words come for a few seconds.

This is the moment Georgi loves best: Christophe unsmiling and satisfied. Speechless because Georgi shut him up. He takes Christophe’s hand from his shoulder and kisses the palm with a long press of his lips so he doesn’t spill his entire heart at once.

Christophe opens his eyes and his smile returns. “That was worth travelling all day for.” He stretches out and grabs the glass of water, tipping his head back and drinking it all in three long swallows.

“I’m glad you did.” Georgi looks at the roll of paper towels on the counter but pulls his poor t-shirt over instead and wipes them both off. “Now go sit down. I’ll bring you a drink.”

Christophe pushes himself upright and catches Georgi in a hug. “Is the throw still behind the couch?”

“You actually remembered.” Georgi hugs back. He’s feeling the chill in the room now, and Christophe is warm. Warm and here. “Will you get a robe for me? You know where the spares are.”

“Hint, hint, I get it,” Christophe says. “No lifts in the hallway, no asses on the countertops, robes preferred.” He moves his hands to Georgi’s waist. “No dancing in the kitchen?” He rocks his hips and spins Georgi around. Once, halfway to twice, then he kicks over the basin.

Water splashes out, pooling over the floor and wetting their feet.

“No dancing in the kitchen,” Georgi says.

“Fuck, sorry!” Christophe lets go and rights the empty basin. He starts sopping up the water with Georgi’s t-shirt, bare ass in the air.

“I’ll get the mop.” All the fatigue comes back at once and Georgi leans against the counter. The tiring week of practice, too much practice. The ache in his knees and his hips. The after-effects of surprise and joy and orgasm.

How much extra food does he have? He’s already prepped and labelled all his own meals for the weekend: the nutrition that he needs, no cooking, no decisions to distract him. He’ll have to go shopping early tomorrow. Pick up that rye bread that Christophe liked so much. Fresh coffee beans. A special wine for Saturday night.

Saturday night, after he wins gold.

“I’ll clean it up,” Christophe says. “Do you want me to fill the basin again for you?”

“You’re my guest—” Georgi starts but Christophe cuts him off.

“And you’ve been very hospitable to me and my dick but you should go get your fancy robe and then sit down and rest. I won’t tell anyone you were a fake Russian.” Christophe opens the broom closet and looks inside. “Mop in here?”

Georgi is too tired to argue so he just picks up the wet t-shirt and the rest of his clothes and leaves Christophe to it. He cleans up a little in the bathroom, himself and the fixtures. Gets out fresh robes. Turns up the heat.

In the living room, he gets the blanket from behind the couch and spreads it over the cushions. He sits down heavily and leans his head back. The couch feels so good, his mood is so good, everything is good. Christophe coming here is an omen. Georgi’s luck.

Christophe comes in with glasses but no bottle. “Black robe for me?”

“If you want. Or just sit on the blanket.” Georgi takes the glass Christophe offers him. A swallow of vodka in the bottom, from the bottle Georgi keeps in the back of his fridge for when he needs it. An old man’s drink. The same brand Georgi always saw on his grandfather’s kitchen table back home.

“I’ll get you more if you want it. Or open some wine.” Christophe sits, naked, and holds up his own glass. “I put a blanket on my couch for my cat to sit on when she’s shedding.”

“To us,” Georgi says and they drink.

“Let me check your feet.” Christophe pulls them up into his lap. He looks seriously for a few moments, then just strokes Georgi’s ankles with his fingertips. “They’re fine, you’ll be fine.” He lifts one foot and kisses Georgi’s instep.

Georgi’s heart turns over and he reaches out to brush Christophe’s shoulder with his fingertips. “You’ll be lucky for me.”

“Georgi,” Christophe says, and it’s the first time he’s used Georgi’s name. “I’m here to cheer for you and suck your dick, not to fuck up your skating. If you want, I’ll go to a hotel until Saturday night, stay out of your way.”

“You can’t stay in a hotel.” How can Christophe even suggest it? “How could you spoil my skating?” And yet. Already, Georgi is behind schedule, the burn of cheap vodka in the back of his throat instead of an electrolyte drink. Thinking about his lover instead of the ice. Lounging instead of stretching. Smiling instead of focussing.

“Or Victor said I could stay with him.”

“Victor–” Georgi says but his phone rings, his mother’s ringtone. If he lets it go to voicemail, she’ll just call back. “Sorry,” he says and picks up the call.

“Gosha,” she says before he can even say hello. “Why aren’t you sleeping?”

“It’s still early, mama,” he says. “How’s your back?” He looks over at Christophe. When has he been talking to Victor?

“You shouldn’t worry about my back,” she says. “You have enough to worry about.”

Christophe keeps stroking Georgi’s ankles, just lightly, fingers circling the anklebone and rubbing the tops of his feet. He picks up his own phone and swipes at it one-handed.

“What did the doctor say?” Georgi knows what the doctor said, always the same things: take it easier, do these exercises, use the painkillers for once. He looks over at Christophe smiling over his messages and thumbing out a reply. More invitations from Victor?

“Nothing worth hearing.” She sighs. “You should be resting. You need someone to take care of you.”

”I’m resting now.” When Georgi was younger, he always rolled his eyes at his mother’s groans, the theatrical way she pressed one hand to her back, such a big fuss over a little pain. But now when his knees ache and his hips don’t want to flex, he has more sympathy.

“So you say but you’ll be up half the night reading.” A childhood transgression she always accuses him with, he’s learned not to protest.

Christophe runs his hand further up Georgi’s calf but he’s still engrossed in his phone.

Georgi reaches down and slides their fingers half together. “I’m going to win,” he says. “Be sure to watch.”

“It’s bad luck to say so,” his mother says. “Take your cod liver oil and go to bed.”

When Georgi puts down the phone, Christophe taps at his a few moments longer, then drops it on the coffee table. “Do you want to come again? Or I could rub your feet.” He squeezes Georgi’s hand. “Or should I call a car for Victor’s?”

Georgi takes Christophe by the wrist. “You’re staying here with me.”