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L.O.V.E

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L - Is for the way you look at me.

“David, can you please focus on the conversation.” Stevie says, waving a hand in front of his face, “this is meant to be your place of work and I need your full attention.”

David snaps his head up from where he was resting is on his hand, gazing across the store at his boyfriend. Patrick is trapped in what seems like a very difficult conversation with Roland about Mr Hockley’s tea, and the reason they can’t sell it anymore.

“Hmm, what? Sorry.” He says, wincing as he cracks his neck to one side and standing up straight to look down at the documents on the desk in front of him. “Why do you need all the foot cream?”

Stevie looks disgusted for a moment, “Roland and Jocelyn are regulars at the motel, I wouldn’t ask.”

David returns her facial expression and sighs, giving the document one last glance before signing the bottom on the line. “You need to get a signature from Patrick as well though, we both have to sign off on everything.”

Stevie nods in assent and turns to follow David’s gaze which has returned to Patrick.

He is wearing his dark blue jumper, a more casual look than his usual button-ups, that he generally reserved for days off or weekend shifts at the store. They’ve been together for almost six months, thoroughly beating the longest relationship David has ever had, and he is constantly surprised by how his attraction to Patrick has not let up at all in this time.

Their morning alarm had failed, and David had been unable to placate the desire that he felt for his boyfriend as they both dashed out of the bed and rushed around to complete their morning routine in record time, before heading straight to the store.

It can only be assumed from the smirk on Patrick’s face that he is aware of them watching him, as David is pretty sure he doesn’t smile like that at anyone else, least of all Roland Schitt.

David audibly sighs when Patrick bends down to grab a bag of something from below the counter, turning unnecessarily so that his back is facing the counter and David gets a full eyeful.

“Oh my God,” Stevie mutters, pulling her phone out of her pocket and rolling her eyes as she scrolls, whilst David just stands there and ogles.

Roland appears to change his mind about the real tea, deeming it useless when he can just go straight to Mr Hockley’s and get it straight from the source. He leaves the store without buying anything, much to David’s annoyance and Patrick’s amusement.

“Hey, you need to sign this, like now, so that I can get out of here.” Stevie says as Patrick approaches, pushing the papers towards him.

“Have you changed anything since I last saw these?”

“Err, yeah we’re asking for more of the shampoo, and more of the foot cream.”

Patrick nods as he looked down at the documents, brushing a biro pen against his lips as he reads the changes to their contract with the motel, and glancing up at David through his eyelashes every couple of moments teasingly.

“Oh my God, just sign it!” Stevie exclaims.

“Mhm, I’m just trying to be thorough.”

“You’re insufferable.” She replies, throwing her hands up and reaching for the sheets as soon as he has scribbled his signature down, “thank you! Now I can leave. Are we still doing dinner tomorrow, David?”

“Mhm, sure.” David replies, still not taking his eyes off Patrick, who is smirking back at him across the counter.

“Unbelievable.”

The door slams shut behind her, but Patrick and David still don’t break eye contact. Patrick leans in over the desk to prop himself up on his elbows and whisper up at David.

“Enjoying the show?” He murmurs.

“Uhh, I- um, mhm.” David stutters in response, backing up towards the curtain to the back room. “I, uhh, there is actually some, inventory, that I forgot to do, back here, so maybe--”

He doesn’t have to continue, as Patrick all but stalks around the counter and grips him by the hips, laughing as he pushes him backwards into the dark room and flinging the curtain shut behind them.

Any noises that were heard from the back room from that point onwards were none of anyones business. And if Patrick looked slightly ruffled, and if David’s hair fell flat on one side for the rest of the afternoon, then no-one mentioned it.

 

O - Is for the only one I see.

There was a man in the store.

Scratch that, there was a very attractive man in the store.

There was a very attractive man in the store that was very interested in Patrick’s very attractive boyfriend.

Patrick Brewer is not a jealous man by nature, he’s always treated ex-girlfriends with respect and made a point not to treat them like an object to be won. But with David, the sight of a tall, dimpled brunette openly flirting with his boyfriend was eating him up.

He is pulled from his jealous reverie as the unnamed man laughs loudly at something David has said and reaches out to place a hand on his arm, lingering slightly and smiling at him through his eyelashes.

Patrick looks down at his hands which are clenched in front of him, gripping a pencil so hard it almost snaps as he takes deep breaths and tries to focus on the numbers in front of him, mind still focused on the conversation taking place in front of him.

The next time he looks up, David is a full metre further away from the mystery man, having stepped back to put the counter between them and force them to separate. Patrick is surprised, and concerned for a moment, until David notices him looking and looks over, smiling and offering a small wink.

Patrick purses his lips to block the smile that was rising on his face in response and looks back at the book in front of him, silently relieved.

He rings up the customer when they come over, smiling politely and packing their numerous tubs of moisturiser into a tote bag.

“Are you sure I can’t convince you to take my number?” The man asks after grabbing the bag off the counter and turning back to David, who just smiles and shakes his head dismissively.

“I’m sorry, I’m just really not interested.” He said.

“Okay, well, if you change your mind maybe--”

“I won’t, thank you though, I’m flattered.” David says, moving to stand beside Patrick behind the counter.

The man sighs in resignation, “alright,” he says, withdrawn, as he heads to the door, looking back one last time, his eyes raking up and down David’s body, before disappearing down the street.

Patrick places his pencil down decisively, and turns to face his boyfriend, quirking an eyebrow questioningly.

“What?” David says in an exasperated tone.

“Are you not gonna show off about it? Not even one little comment?” Patrick asks, disbelievingly.

“I- er, no I wasn’t going to. Why, do you think I should?”

“Hah, no, I’m just surprised is all.”

“Well, I don’t know why you’re surprised.”

“Were you not even interested in taking his number? You didn’t have to do anything with it, but I thought you would have at least taken it to wave in front of my face like I did, um, the last time.” Patrick asks through an awkward cough, leaning forward to place a firm hand on David’s waist.

“I- there was really no need, you saw it all.” David said humorously, “besides, I hardly even looked twice at him. I don’t really notice anyone when you’re in the room.”

He’s smiling as if he’s saying something funny, but his words make Patrick melt in front of him. “David,” he says softly, as if it’s something reverent, “you’re so--”

He cuts himself off by placing a soft kiss against David’s lips, both of them smiling into it, and cutting it short as they end up all teeth and no tongue.

“Every time, you always just, you always surprise me.” He says, foreheads still pressed together.

“Is that- is that a bad thing?”

“Mm, not at all, I- I love it.”

David just shakes his head disbelievingly and plants another kiss against his boyfriends’ lips to silence him, getting lost in the heady feeling of being desired before pulling back.

“You don’t have to - it’s always been you; it’s always going to be you. You know that, right?”

David just nods, and they steal a few more sweet kisses before the next inevitable interruption.

 

V - Is very, very, extraordinary.

It’s a normal Sunday in the flat, and David is lying in bed, next to the man that he loves, who has yet to wake up yet. His face is pressed into the pillow, and his mouth is lying open in a way that should be extremely off putting if it were anyone else, but instead, David can’t help but find it anything but endearing.

He takes the time to look around the apartment. Two short years ago, he would have been disgusted. The walls, a dirty white shade, with marks and scuffs covering them that Patrick had refused to paint over, claiming it was a waste of time and money, and that they just added character. The art was tacky, and meaningless, and the kitchen was a simple, scruffy set of cupboards, with an old, partly leaking refrigerator and only one section of workspace.

And the man next to him, so different to anything he could ever have imagined, and yet so much better.

Patrick began to stir, shifting in an almost shimmy to reach out for David next to him, he mumbles something incomprehensible and falls back to sleep, making little snuffles and snorts which David has to hold back a giggle to.

Patrick, who had forced his way into David’s life, and made a home for them both, showing him both what he deserved, and also what he wanted. This straight-leg, mid-range denim wearing business major, who was also the most romantic, the most desirable, the kindest, and the most perfect man David has ever met.

Slowly, as if sensing the attention, Patrick opens one eye and peeks at David, looking disoriented.

“What are you doing awake?” He mumbles, seeming frustrated slightly.

“Couldn’t sleep,” David replies, “didn’t want to sleep.”

“I was going to make you breakfast,” Patrick says, pouting pathetically and reaching out a hand to comfort him.

“Don’t let me being awake stop you from doing that.” David replies, accepting the embrace and leaning over to push Patrick back into the pillows, “you know how sexy you are to me with a towel over your shoulder and grease on your hands.”

“Mm, on second thoughts, maybe we should just skip the breakfast and bring the grease to bed.” Patrick says, and David practically growls from on top of him.

“I could be tempted,” he says, leaning in for a sloppy, open-mouthed kiss, “can we still have breakfast after though.”

Patrick laughs, leaning in for more languid kisses, “ooh, I don’t know David, I might not have the energy to cook afterwards.”

At this, David backs off fully and retreats to his own side of the bed, crossing his arms petulantly, “then this will have to wait until after the breakfast,” he says, face betraying the amusement he was feeling.

Patrick laughs in disbelief and follows David, “are we sure about that?” He asks, rubbing his stubble against the side of David’s neck and cheek, and pressing sweet, soft kisses to the spot under his ear, “last chance.”

“Mm, actually--” David says, reaching out but grasping thin air as Patrick leans away and jumps off the bed.

“You’re right David, we should have breakfast,” he says cheekily, as David whines from where he is still stretching his arms out for him, “you’re going to need the energy for when I come back anyway.”

 

E - Is even more than anyone that you adore.

They go for lunch at the café on a casual Wednesday evening after closing the store. Patrick takes David’s hand in his after pausing to lock the door, and their fingers lace together in a familiar way, which has never failed to make butterflies soar in his stomach.

They sit down in their usual booth, and order drinks, looking casually at the menu. They immediately opt against the mozzarella sticks that they save for date nights and anniversaries, partly to keep them a special treat, and partly to avoid the food poisoning they are sure will follow one of these days.

Patrick looks up at his husband across the booth, who is frowning slightly at the extensive menu spread out in front of him, taking the occasional sip of his drink, and making comments about the food he has tried, and is not willing to try.

David looks up and catches Patrick staring, smiles shyly and purses his lips, “have you paid attention to anything I’ve just said?” He asks teasingly.

“Hmm? Er, yeah, of course, um, but could you just repeat it so I can make sure?”

This earns a laugh from David, who is shaking his head fondly at him and looking carefully at him, “have I forgotten an anniversary of something? Why are you looking at me like that?”

“You haven’t forgotten anything David, I just, I had a moment.”

“What moment?”

“I just had a moment when I realised that I never could have predicted how happy I would be with you.”

David’s face crumples, and he reaches across the table to clasp Patrick’s hands in his.

“Me neither,” he says, “I don’t know why the sticky café tables have gotten you feeling this way though.”

Patrick just rolls his eyes and nods, reaching down to take a sip of tea with his free left hand, “I think it’s just easy to slip into a routine and stop appreciating the things around you, and I am trying not to do that.”

David smiles blindingly and squeezes his hands tightly.

“It’s easy to do when you’re looking as good as you do today.” He continues, trying to bring some more casual energy to the conversation, “have I seen this sweater before? It’s really working for me.”

“Thank you and no you haven’t, it’s Givenchy.” David says, raising his shoulders casually but his smile revealing how he had taken the compliment to heart.

“I love it. I love you.”

“I love you too old man,” David quips, raising his eyebrows haughtily as he picks back up the menu. “I think this is an occasion for the mozzarella sticks, don’t you?”