The sun hung low and golden on the sky; heat waning for the pleasant coolness of the evening. Roger stepped out into the garden and stopped, two hot mugs in his hand. He smiled, happy butterflies still fluttering in his stomach at the sight that greeted him. Alexandre had stood up from his flowerbed at last, and he was standing tall and beautiful, framed by the evening glow, looking towards the western fence with a look on his face that spoke of wonderful visions. No doubt visions of the vegetable patch he intended to plant by that fence.
Pol lay pooled by his feet like a dog-shaped, tail-wagging well of sunlight. Her sister’s tail was beating against Roger’s leg.
What a lucky bastard I am, Roger thought to himself. To have him, to have all this. I’d never have believed — He sighed, smiling, and took another step towards Alex, and called out: ”Done for the day, love?”
Alex turned, flashing a wide grin at him. Pol got to her feet and yapped. ”I guess I’ve gotta be. My knees are saying they won’t put up with any more of this.”
”Then looks like I got here right on time.” Roger walked up to Alex and handed him one of the steaming, delicious-smelling mugs. ”Here you are, love.”
”Oh, you made me hot chocolate!” Alex’s face lit up even more, as he took the mug into his hands. He tasted it, carefully at first, then with a big gulp. ”Mmm. Just perfect. I’m sure I’ve never had a better hot chocolate in my life. You are the best, baby.” He hooked his free arm around Roger’s shoulders and — carefully, managing not to upset their mugs — pulled him into a kiss. A big, loving, chocolate-flavoured kiss that made Roger go weak at the knees.
His insides were about to start turning into fondue when Cas barked once, sharply, and they broke the kiss, both bursting to laughter. Roger looked down and saw Cas looking at Alex expectantly.
”Sorry, dear girl, of course I’m going to pet you, too,” Alex said, crouching down to scratch her behind the ears. ”It’s been at least an hour since I saw you. But I’ve got to kiss my husband first, don’t you agree?”
Roger chuckled. ”Let’s go sit down, or soon we’ll have dogs covered in chocolate.”
But when Alex sat down on one of the chairs, Roger just put his own mug on the table and stepped behind Alex. He put his hands on Alex’s shoulders and began to gently massage them.
”Mmm.” Alex took another sip of chocolate, then put his mug down and relaxed back against Roger’s hands. ”This is good service. Chocolate, massage, and dogs.”
”Well, you’ve been working hard to make us a beautiful garden. The least I can do is pamper you a little.”
Alex chuckled. ”I hope it will be beautiful. Who knows if I’ll get them to live?”
”Of course you will. I know it. Maybe not all of them, but that’s gardening, right?”
”Right. We plant many seeds and bulbs, and hope some grow out to be something beautiful,” Alex said, switching to Portuguese. ”Or delicious.”
”What beautiful and delicious things have you been making us now?”
Alex scratched Pol behind the ears. ”That flowerbed will have two different kinds of lilies, and I’ll plant rosebushes there tomorrow. And by the fence, I’m going to have peas, and eggplants and pumpkins.”
”Mmm, that certainly will be beautiful and delicious.” Roger bent down to drop a kiss on Alex’s head. ”And so are you.” It wasn’t particularly imaginative flirting, but well, it was true.
Alex put one hand on Roger’s hand and squeezed it. ”I love you already, you know that, right?”
”I’m only saying things as they are.” Roger started to alternately rub the back of Alex’s neck, and pet his hair. Alex let out another moan of contentment and relaxed his head against Roger’s chest. Cas and Pol settled down by his feet.
The sun sank lower, its gold deepening towards red. As Roger looked out into the garden, he could already see the lilies and roses and pumpkins that Alexandre was growing there.