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“I love you to pieces, distraction, etc.”

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Of course, Cairo knew how hot his boyfriend was. He’s known it since the very first moment he laid eyes on the guy, that fateful day when he unwittingly answered a stranger’s call, and every moment since, when they’d have video calls doing whatever it was they could to keep sane while in lockdown. But some days he felt it more keenly, like being gobsmacked out of the blue, other times it felt like getting whiplash, leaving you a bit dazed and confused afterward.

For instance, he knew Gav was way more capable and self-reliant around the house, having lived alone for a long time, and being his lola’s primary caregiver before that. He also knew Gav liked working out, being healthy, looking the way he does. He just didn’t realize just how much the sum of all those things, and the implications that they bring would gravely affect his own well-being. It’s usually the most deceivingly mundane things, that seem innocuous at first, but would later deal him with such a blow that would leave him reeling.

Like this one time, Gav said, “Come on, let’s make lunch! I’ll teach you how to cook.” Cai thought it would be easy enough to focus this time around, since it’s Gav who would be teaching him, not his mom. His mom tried, she really did! But she had a tendency to ramble, and go off on her tangents, that Cai would often lose track or lose interest, and her lessons never stuck. With Gav, he always pulled Cai’s focus, so perhaps it would be more fun and enjoyable. He was sooo wrong.

So they were standing side-by-side on the kitchen island, shoulder to shoulder, and Gav was explaining something about how to cut the vegetables. They were going to make chop suey. Gav was pointing out the vegetables they were using. Cai didn’t know when or how he started spacing out, but the words just stopped making sense, and he was fixated on Gav’s thick moist lips as they moved while he was talking. And Gav’s voice. It was nothing out of his typical timbre, but there’s a surety to it, a certain decisiveness, belying how capable and familiar he was with the task at hand.

Whew, the room was suddenly a couple degrees warmer. AND THEN! Gav started actually demonstrating his instructions. Words to actions: a thing Cairo didn’t realize he strongly abided by until Gav. Gav got the knife and a carrot, angling the knife a certain way and slowly demonstrating how to cut the carrot into smaller, even sizes, saying words that didn’t make sense to Cairo because Gav’s biceps. Flexing, wow. Huh. They look more delicious when they’re doing a chore. Cai tried to inhale surreptitiously as he bit his lip and sidled to the side a bit to distance himself.

“H-hhoww? Show me how you did it one more time,” Cai frowned at the uniformly shaped carrots. “How did you know to make them the same thickness?” To his mortification, his voice sounded gravelly, even to himself. Cai coughed and cleared his throat to hide his embarrassment.

Gav stared back at him, and started to narrow his eyes. “Were you even listening?” A pause.
“Or were you just ogling me the whole time?” Gav let out a full-belly laugh, his shoulders shaking in mirth.

“What!? You wish! You’re so full of yourself!” Cai blustered but he knew that his protest was weak. He knew he looked so obviously flustered, with the way his cheeks felt warm, and his hands were fidgeting.

Gav grinned as he pulled Cai into his arms, anchoring his chin on Cai’s shoulder. Cai protested a bit, but only for show, as he hid a small smile. “You’re always welcome to look as much as you like, baby,” Gav quipped as he nuzzled Cai’s neck sweetly. Cai turned in his arms and wrapped his own arms around Gav’s neck. They kissed open-mouthed and lazy, relishing the feel of each other’s arms as they suck and nip at each other’s lips.

Regrettably, Gav had to let Cai go. He released his hold and stepped back. “Tell you what, why don’t you just park your pretty ass on one of those stools. We’ll do our cooking lessons some other time. But for now, let me take care of all this. Otherwise, we'd be eating this chop suey for dinner instead.”

Gav walked backwards toward the sink, maintaining eye contact with Cai the whole time. He gave a saucy wink before turning to wash the pots he will be using. Cairo could only sigh dreamily as he looked on.