Nathan stared up at the ceiling above his bed and listened to the soft sound of Aaron breathing beside him. It was a sound that both comforted and terrified him. They'd only been 'official' for a week, but being with Aaron like this, spending every spare moment in his arms, felt as natural as if Aaron had always been at his side.
Of course, the guys on their lacrosse team had teased them relentlessly for the first couple of days, but, with the exception of one homophobic twit, they'd readily accepted their relationship and moved on with the business of preparing for season opening. It hadn't fazed them at all; the fact that two of their team mates were sleeping together. The thrill of telling the sports world to go fuck itself had been greatly diminished by their acceptance.
Nathan grunted softly and crossed his arms, which must've woken Aaron up, because he rolled over to face him, nuzzling his face into Nathan's shoulder.
"You look so serious. What are you thinking about?"
"I was thinking about the conversation we had with your parents this morning," Nathan lied. "You're lucky they're cool with us being together. My parents would've disowned me."
"You don't know that for sure."
The shift and roll of the bed meant nap time was over. Aaron's body had an automatic awake switch when it came to dinner time.
Nathan turned into the pillow where Aaron had been lying and inhaled the lingering scent of him. His gut twisted and his dick twitched, remembering what they'd done together the night before, and how incredibly erotic and intense, and honest it had felt. And how he'd wished it would go on forever; that Aaron would go on holding and kissing, and fucking him forever.
Nathan fell back and returned to staring at the ceiling. This is insane. I don't do this... whatever it is.
"Nathan?" Aaron was standing over the bed. He folded his arms protectively across his chest. "Is everything alright?"
"Hm... yeah, everything's fine." Nathan closed his eyes. "I just think maybe we're spending too much time together, that's all."
"What the fuck are you talking about?"
"We're together all the time. Neither one of us has gone out with our own friends all week. And that's not a good thing. I think it's important that we have our own lives."
"But I thought we were a couple?" Aaron dropped down on the edge of the bed. "I thought this was our life... together."
"Well, you thought wrong. It makes me uncomfortable. I don't like it." Nathan frantically pushed the comforter away to free himself, and climbed past Aaron. He circled the room, looking for an evasive piece of clothing that truthfully didn't exist.
"But last night... surely you felt it."
"I didn't feel anything, and I don't appreciate the way you're trying to tie me down."
"I wasn't trying to tie you down, Nathan." Aaron stood and approached Nathan's side. "I think we're amazing together, but I can back off and give you some space, if that's what you need me to do." He reached for Nathan's shoulder, but Nathan hauled it away.
On the backlash, Nathan shoved Aaron aside and stormed towards the door, wrenching it open. "What I need you to do... is leave me the fuck alone! I don't want to do this anymore."
"Where the fuck is this coming from?" Aaron grabbed Nathan's arm to keep him from leaving, and threw the door closed. "Last I checked, things were good between us... hell, things were great!"
"Let me go!" Nathan yanked his arm free of Aaron's grasp and adjusted his sweatshirt. "This was a huge mistake. We never should've messed up our friendship like this."
"We haven't messed anything up. We're closer than we've ever been." Aaron paused. "I've never felt closer to anyone in my life."
Nathan scrubbed his hand across his face, attempting to control his temper. "Stop... just fucking stop!"
"Stop what? Stop loving you. That's not going to happen."
The force of Nathan's fist as it connected, knocked Aaron completely off his feet; he hadn't been expecting it.
Nathan knew he shouldn't have done it. As soon as Aaron hit the floor, Nathan immediately regretted it. He'd let himself fall into a familiar pattern, without even thinking it through. Deep down he knew ending things and walking away wasn't what he wanted.
Not this time. Not with Aaron.
He dropped down on one knee and laid a hand on Aaron's shoulder. "I'm sorry... I shouldn't have hit you."
Aaron shrugged away. "Fuck off! What is wrong with you? I tell you I love you, and you hit me?" He rolled onto his back, supported by his elbows. "If that's the way you're going to be... I take it back."
Exhaling softly, Nathan looked away. "No, don't do that."
"Then tell me what you want from me." Aaron struggled to his feet. "I love you and I want to be with you... is that such a terrible thing?" He clutched his stomach as a thought occurred to him. "Is there someone else? Are you still seeing Jonathan?"
"No!" God no... fuck no. "There's no one else... only you." There will only ever be you.
Aaron took a deep breath, relaxing slightly. "Then what is your problem? I know you feel something for me."
Nathan spun away from Aaron and began pacing the room. What the fuck was he so afraid of? He was always telling himself he wanted a committed relationship, but as soon as it looked like that might be a possibility... boom! Blow up time.
He turned back to face Aaron. "The truth is I'm afraid of losing you. If I fell in love with you... and something happened to you, or you decided to leave me... where would I be?"
"Exactly where you're running to right now... alone. Except you'd have missed out on the good times we could have together."
Nathan grunted and exhaled sharply through his nose, remembering the agony he'd gone through when he'd received the news that his parents had been killed. He couldn't imagine a worse feeling than the torment a person went through when they lost someone they loved.
He studied Aaron's eyes. And he did love him.
"I'm not going anywhere," Aaron said as he stepped closer to Nathan, his eyes pleading with him. "I left Sarah... for you. I left my entire life as I knew it behind... for you."
Nathan visibly cringed and turned away, dragging his hands through his hair. "Why the fuck did you do that?"
"Christ, Nathan... seriously!" Aaron dropped onto the sofa and pressed the palms of his hands into his eyes, attempting to relieve the stress building there. "We spend every fucking day together." He looked around, arms outstretched in exasperation. "We share this cramped fucking space, you and I... we play lacrosse together, we eat, sleep, shower, study and even shit together... and I am not the least bit sick of you. My feelings for you have done nothing but grow... and maybe I'm a complete fucking idiot, but I can't imagine spending my life with anyone else."
Nathan laughed sharply. "You got the 'fucking idiot' part right."
"Fuck you!" Aaron pulled himself off the sofa and grabbed a sweater from his bed. "Push all you like... I'm not going anywhere, except down to the cafeteria to get something to eat." He pulled the door open and stood back. "Are you coming?"
"Nah, I'll grab something when I'm out. I'm going to head to the club early... I haven't been there all week."
Aaron crossed his arms, trying not to look hurt. "So, that's it? One week of fucking around with me and you're out cruising for tricks already?"
"Life sucks, hey?"
"You fucking bastard," Aaron whispered, and then clamped his teeth tight, fighting the anger. There was no way in hell he was going to give that smug, messed up bitch the satisfaction. "I'll be right here waiting for you when you come home."
Nathan dropped his head and started texting. "Don't wait up."
Miserable was not a strong enough word to describe how Nathan was feeling. The strobe lights, spinning across the dance floor, were offering seductive glances at the half naked men thrusting and grinding to the thrumming music, but Nathan had never felt so empty and alone in his life.
"Hey," a sultry male voice said over Nathan's right shoulder. "I wasn't expecting to see you here tonight."
Nathan leaned into the bar and looked out towards the dance floor. "It's Saturday night, Jonathan. Where else would you expect to see me? The fucking petting zoo?"
"I don't know... at home with your boyfriend, perhaps."
"Boyfriends are overrated." Nathan tipped his head and winked at Jonathan as their respective high ball glasses clinked.
"Well then," Jonathan dug around in his pocket and removed a small dispenser. "Welcome home, sweetheart." He inhaled heavily and then passed it to Nathan. "Here's to fucking our brains out."
Nathan smirked as he took the dispenser. Sex with Jonathan was definitely an adventure, greatly amplified by the endless supply of drugs at his disposal. Nathan's head swam momentarily after inhaling the noxious substance and then the euphoria slowly crept in, colouring the grey depressing reality of his argument with Aaron in glorious shifting rainbows.
"I think getting that gorgeous cock of yours in my mouth is the first order of business," Jonathan said as he pulled Nathan towards the dark hallway that ran the length of the club. "You can fuck me when we get back to your room."
"Yeah, sure... I mean... no... Aaron..." Nathan stumbled and plastered his body against the wall Jonathan pushed him onto. What the fuck did Jonathan give me? He repositioned his back on the wall to keep from slipping down, but the heat was unbearable. Maybe I have a fever? Nathan lifted his hand to feel his forehead, but was distracted by the sight of Jonathan bobbing up and down on his dick. He couldn't even remember undoing his pants. Maybe he hadn't. Maybe this was a dream. Fuck, who keeps yelling for jaegers and herons? Fucking freaks! Nathan rolled his head back and stared at the ceiling, but the sound of the paint was hurting his eyes, so he dropped his head back.
Where the fuck did that come from? Nathan scrubbed the saliva from his lips, searching the darkness for the familiar voice, but all he could make out were glimpses of the sights, sounds and smells that comprised the back hallway.
Nathan clutched at his chest, in surprise, as the voice appeared directly in his ear. Give me a fucking heart attack, or what?
"Nathan?" Aaron brushed his hand across the top of Nathan's head, stroking his hair. "Let's get you home."
"But I thought I was..." Nathan glanced around. The drugs were rapidly wearing off. "Where the fuck is Jonathan?"
"Jonathan was here with you?" Aaron straddled Nathan's hips, so he could lift and straighten out Nathan's jeans, and then buttoned them up for him. "I didn't see him back here." He leaned against Nathan's chest and descended on his mouth, removing any trace that Jonathan may have left behind, but the taste was pure Nathan.
Nathan wrapped his arm around Aaron's shoulder for support as they walked towards the door of the club. "How did you find me?"
"You told me you were coming here tonight."
"No..." Nathan waved his arm over his head. "Back there... how did you find me back there?"
Aaron stopped and grinned. "You don't remember yelling my name? Over and over and over..." He snorted loudly with amusement. "You were seriously pissing people off."
"That was me... fuck..." Nathan tucked himself in closer under Aaron's arm and inhaled the comforting scent as Aaron pulled him in for a hug and kissed his head.
"Let's get you home."
Aaron looked up from his book as Nathan wandered back into their room wearing just a towel. "Do you feel better now?"
"Yeah, the shower was a good idea." Nathan sat down on the edge of the bed and studied Aaron's face. There was a pretty hefty bruise colouring his left cheek. "I'm sorry for hitting you. And I'm sorry for all the things I said... except the part about losing you."
"Yeah... but..." Nathan dropped his eyes. "I'm just not ready for this."
Aaron nodded his head, letting the tears collect along the rim. He sniffed and wiped a hand across his face. "I know, and I'm not going to push you." He laughed softly. "We had fun though, didn't we?"
Nathan tried to smile back, but his lips just quivered. He'd never loved anyone as much as he loved Aaron, and to see him staring up expectantly at him like that was almost too much. He wanted to scoop him up, make love to him, and ask him to become his husband. But he wasn't going to let that happen. He loved Aaron too much to subject him to the pain he'd end up causing him.
"Yeah, we did," Nathan said finally. "Oh, this came for you yesterday." He leaned over and grabbed his backpack, and removed a small envelope. "It's from Sarah... she slipped it under the door."
Aaron crunched up his face and tore the envelope open. His eyes quickly scanned the note and then he stuffed it under his pillow.
"What did she say?" Nathan asked.
"She wants to get back together."
Nathan inhaled shakily and had to turn away from Aaron. He rose and went to look out the window. "That's good right?"
"I guess..." Aaron sighed as his body shuddered. "Nathan, are you sure? Because if Sarah and I get back together, we'll probably end up getting married... and then you and I... can never be."
Tucking his face into his hands to contain the anguish, Nathan replied quietly. "It wasn't going to happen anyways, Aaron." He took a deep breath. "I don't love you."
Nathan slid, collapsing to his knees when he heard the door close behind Aaron after stating he was going to be moving in with Sarah, and he'd be back later to pick up the rest of his things.
Author's note: I've read all your comments and tried to incorporate suggestions as best I could. Reader feedback is always welcome.
For those of you that don't like predictable 'happy' endings *Stop Here*
For those of you screaming 'No!' (like myself) I'll be working on a sixth chapter.
Thanks so much guys,