All around them, their friends laughed and joked. Some studying, some playing Frisbee, some flirting as they enjoyed the Indian summer day. They were all oblivious to the turmoil going on inside Sean.
He stared down at the plaid blanket beneath him, trying not to let his eyes wander to the bare knee nearby. George wore shorts and a hoodie with his sleeves pulled up and no matter how hard he tried, Sean couldn’t stop sneaking glances at the bare skin. It was lightly furred with dark hair and Sean knew it was soft. He knew how it felt against his own skin, how it looked damp from sweat, or wet in the shower. He knew where all of George’s tattoos were and what his skin tasted like.
George was his roommate and his lover.
And he hated, hated that their relationship was a secret.
At first they hadn’t told anyone because they were only fooling around; getting off when they were horny or bored. Sometimes when they were drunk. But they hadn’t told anyone even after they started sleeping in the same bed every night and waking up together every morning.
They’d kept it a secret even when George’s mom took one look at them together and gave them a knowing smile. Even when they’d stopped seeing anyone else. When Sean knew beyond a doubt that after graduation, he would rather cut off a limb than be apart from George.
All he had to do was tell their friends. George had begged him weeks ago but Sean was scared. He didn’t know why exactly. He didn’t think their friends would stop talking to him and George because they were sleeping together. They might be pissed that it had been kept a secret, but that would blow over.
No, his fears were much vaguer than that. Just a stomach-churning sense of unease that everything would change once they came out. After all, neither him nor George had ever dated a guy before. It shouldn’t matter, but somehow it did.
He felt the soft brush of George’s leg hair against his hand and Sean realized that while he’d been thinking about his relationship with George, he’d shifted closer to him. He lay on his stomach, forearm pressed to George’s knee, mouth just inches from his wrist. He stared at the freckle there and felt a sudden need to kiss it. He took a deep breath and leaned in, pressing his lips to the spot he’d been eyeing.
One by one, the voices around them trailed off, growing silent, and he could feel the weight of their friends’ gazes on him and George. He stayed just like that for the longest time and heard George whisper, “thank you” before the babble of confused voices broke over them again.
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