Every time I see your face
My heart takes off on a high speed chase
Now don't be scared, it's only love
That we're falling in
Johnny thought today’s auction had gone very well. They had sold one of their cows, and Gheorghe had chosen to buy two sheep: one that produced better milk and one that had thicker wool. Gheorghe had plans for breeding the new sheep with their flock. His sheep’s milk cheese was selling well at the farmer’s market, but he wanted to make it taste better. So, he bought an ewe that produced a better quality of milk.
Gheorghe had also made friends with a couple of ladies who owned a local yarn shop. They had a stand next to Gheorghe’s at the farmer’s market. After talking to them, he decided to improve their sheep’s wool. They suggested a particular breed of sheep that produced thicker wool, which was used to make a higher quality yarn. Once the new ram impregnated their ewes, Gheorghe could sell the lambs’ wool to the ladies at the shop.
Johnny was impressed with Gheorghe’s plans, and he encouraged Gheorghe to come to the auction with him today. He wanted Gheorghe to choose the best sheep since he had done all the research. He was happy that Gheorghe was so keen on helping the farm and constantly thinking of ways to improve it. Johnny knew that the last six months had gone so well because Gheorghe had been there, working hard beside him every day. He had honestly never been happier in his life.
After he finished signing the paperwork and paying for the sheep, Johnny made his way to their truck to help Gheorghe. He smiled as he saw Gheorghe loading the last sheep into the trailer. At that moment, Gheorghe turned around and saw Johnny. He grinned brightly at him, excited to get their new sheep home.
Johnny walked a bit faster to get to Gheorghe. He wanted to kiss the smile on Gheorghe’s lips. He loved the way Gheorghe’s eyes crinkled when he smiled so wide and bright. Before he could reach Gheorghe, Johnny heard his name being called.
“Johnny! Hey, wait up!”
Johnny blinked in confusion as the young auctioneer ran up to him. At the last auction, it had been so awkward meeting him after they had sex. They had barely made eye contact and quickly went their separate ways. Johnny had no idea why he wanted to talk to him now.
“How’ve you been?” the auctioneer asked.
“Fine,” Johnny said. “You?”
“Bloody awful to tell the truth. My boyfriend just broke up with me, and I need a distraction. Fancy a quick shag?”
Johnny stumbled backwards in shock at his bluntness. He looked over his shoulder and saw Gheorghe striding towards them, glaring at the young auctioneer.
“Sorry to hear that, mate,” Johnny said, “but I’m not interested.”
The auctioneer looked at Gheorghe as he came over, standing very close to Johnny. “Are you two together?”
“Aye, we are,” Johnny said proudly.
“Didn’t think you did anything but one-and-done shags,” he said.
“I do now,” Johnny said with an edge to his voice.
“Hmm,” the young auctioneer said as he eyed the two men appraisingly. “How bout the two of you come back to my flat for a drink?”
Johnny gaped at him for a moment. Did they really just get invited for a threesome? He shook his head as he looked over at Gheorghe. He was still glaring at the auctioneer with a dark look in his eyes. His lips were pursed tightly and his arms were crossed. Johnny placed his hand on Gheorghe’s lower back and rubbed soothing circles over his shirt. He hoped to calm down Gheorghe.
“No thanks; we’re not interested,” Johnny said.
“Worth a shot,” the auctioneer mumbled as he walked away.
“Gheorghe?” asked Johnny because he still looked angry.
“How do you know that man?”
“Uh, we…um once we had…”
“Right,” Gheorghe interrupted tersely. “We should be getting back.”
“Wait,” Johnny started, reaching to touch Gheorghe’s arm, but the other man was already walking to the truck.
“The sheep need to get settled into their new home,” Gheorghe said as he climbed into the truck, slamming the door shut.
Johnny got into the truck and looked over at Gheorghe. He had been nervous about running into one of his past hook-ups while he was with Gheorghe. He worried about Gheorghe’s reaction, but he had hoped that Gheorghe would know that part of him was firmly in the past. He wasn’t that type of man anymore.
It was a very silent ride home. Gheorghe stewed in his anger and jealousy. He hated meeting that young man. He felt blind-sided meeting one of Johnny’s past lovers. He wasn’t prepared to meet him or the rush of images of the two men together to invade his mind.
When he heard him ask Johnny for sex, Gheorghe instantly felt hurt and jealous. It felt like somebody was squeezing his heart so tightly. He felt relieved when Johnny quickly rejected him, but now he was wondering if Johnny missed his old life. He knew of Johnny’s past of casual sex with random men, young, attractive men like that auctioneer. Now, Gheorghe was imagining Johnny with men who were younger and more handsome than himself. How long would it be before Johnny grew bored of him and kicked him out of his life?
After they arrived home, Johnny and Gheorghe quietly unloaded the sheep and settled them in the barn. Johnny waited patiently as Gheorghe thoroughly checked them over and gave them food and water.
“Can we talk?” Johnny asked before Gheorghe could walk away. He wanted to have this conversation away from Dad and Nan.
“I did not like meeting that man,” Gheorghe said as he stood a few feet away from Johnny, arms folded firmly across his chest.
“I’m sorry. It was just the one time, before you came here. I didn’t think he’d ask me for another go.”
“Was he there at the last auction? The one you went to alone while I stayed here?”
“Aye, it was bloody awkward. It was the first time I saw him after, and we could barely look at each other. I didn’t fuck him if that’s what you’re asking,” Johnny said harshly. He was hurt and angry at what Gheorghe was insinuating. He thought Gheorghe trusted him and that they had worked through their issues.
“No, no. I’m sorry, John. I do trust you; I know you didn’t,” Gheorghe said, taking a step towards Johnny, holding his hands up pleadingly. He felt guilty for even briefly thinking of Johnny being unfaithful.
“Then, why are so mad? What did I do?”
“You did not do anything,” Gheorghe said softly. “I am jealous. I don’t like thinking of you with other men. I saw that young man today, and now I can see the two of you together. I cannot stop imagining it. Knowing he touched you and you touched him, it makes me ill. It makes my stomach sick picturing the two of you together. And he is younger than me and very handsome.”
“You think he’s handsome?” Johnny asked, a spark of jealousy flaring up. He understood what Gheorghe was feeling.
“You must’ve thought he was, yes? After all, you fucked him.”
“I fucked him because he was there. I guess he’s attractive like, but I didn’t care about that. All I cared about was getting off.”
“Do you miss it?” Gheorghe asked, getting to the heart of his insecurities.
“Miss what?” Johnny asked.
“Fucking different men. Going out for quick shags.”
“Why the fuck would I miss that?” Johnny shouted. “It didn’t mean a thing. Most of those fucks weren’t any better than a quick wank by myself.”
Johnny stepped closer to Gheorghe and lowered his voice. He needed Gheorghe to really listen to him and understand how serious he was.
“I don’t even remember what they looked like. Hell, I never asked for their names. Ugh,” Johnny said, pulling at his hair in frustration. How could he explain this? “Gheorghe, you mean everything to me.”
“How can you be so sure? Why am I different?” Gheorghe asked, tears welling up in his eyes. He was moved by Johnny’s speech, but he still felt so insecure. “I don’t want you to get bored of me and tell me to leave.”
“Never happen,” Johnny said firmly. How could Gheorghe not see how he had changed Johnny? How Gheorghe made him want to be a better person? Johnny wanted to spend every waking moment with Gheorghe. He would never become bored with him.
“I was a miserable fuck-up before you. Now, I’m happy. You make me happy.”
“Johnny,” Gheorghe breathed. He reached out and pulled him closer. He buried his face into Johnny’s neck as tears rolled down his face. He sighed as Johnny trailed his fingers through his hair.
Johnny took a deep breath and pulled back so he could look Gheorghe in the eyes. He was scared. However, he needed to say this, and Gheorghe needed to hear it. He opened his mouth but no words came out. He tried again, opening and closing his mouth. He shook his head in aggravation. He probably looked like a bloody fish!
“John?” Gheorghe asked in concern.
Johnny stepped out of Gheorghe’s embrace and paced around the barn. ‘It’s not that hard,’ he thought derisively. ‘Just tell him how you feel.’
Gheorghe stepped in front of him, stopping his pacing. “It is alright. Just say it, yes?”
Johnny nodded. He could do this. ‘Say it!’ his mind shouted at him. “I love you!”
He blushed hotly as he realized he had just blurted it out, practically shouting at Gheorghe. He watched in shock as a smile blossomed on Gheorghe’s face.
Smiling even as tears flowed down his cheeks, Gheorghe cradled Johnny’s face in his hands and pressed their foreheads together. He felt incredible joy as Johnny’s declaration chased his insecurities back into a dark corner of his mind.
“Te iubesc; mă faci fericit,” Gheorghe said in his native Romanian. He was so overcome with love and joy that he slipped into his first language.
Johnny stared at him in confusion. He hoped Gheorghe was declaring his love too, but he didn’t know Romanian. “What did you say?”
Gheorghe blushed as he noticed Johnny’s confusion. “Did I not speak English?”
“No,” Johnny said, smiling softly.
“I love you; you make me happy,” Gheorghe reiterated in English. “I want to spend all my time making you as happy as you make me. Being here with you has been the happiest time of my life.”
Johnny smiled as he felt happiness flood through him. Gheorghe loved him too! He tenderly brushed away Gheorghe’s tears and leaned in to kiss him softly.
“Are you alright now?” Johnny whispered.
“Yes,” Gheorghe said. He kissed Johnny again, a long, gentle press of lips. He felt silly for letting his jealousy and insecurity overwhelm him, but he didn’t regret it as it led to a much-needed conversation between him and Johnny. Feelings were stated out loud, and their relationship felt more stable.
They walked hand in hand back to the house. They kept stealing glances at each other, and they couldn’t stop smiling. Love was definitely terrifying but also incredibly satisfying.