“George… George? Hello, are you going to give me that tablet?”
George looked up from outer space and pulled himself back to the ICU. “Yeah, Amal– here.”
Amal Dara was George’s supervisor–it was his job to check out George’s paperwork from his shift. Off duty, they were friends. They’d tried dating–once–but both had agreed that their one kiss had been like kissing a relative. A female relative.
“Where are you? You’ve been somewhere else all week!”
George smiled faintly. “Going camping tonight. You know. Sort of…”
“Hoping you don’t get stood up in the mountains?”
George had tried to explain–oh, he had. He’d tried to explain about Jai taking care of him, about how steady he’d been, about watching the sunset together, and the marvelous kiss. He’d talked about sleeping folded up in Jai’s arms, like he was delicate and precious. He’d tried–he really had.
Apparently all Amal had heard was, “You threw up on the guy and you think he’s coming back.”
George grunted. “He texted me last night and said he’d be there.” He couldn’t seem to emphasize how much he thought this meant. “And Annaliese is watching the cat. So, you know. If nothing else, I’ve got my camping gear ready. I might as well go.”
“Go and not get laid,” Amal said.
“Don’t be judgy. It wasn’t like I was getting laid anyway.”
“Yeah, cause you’re too good for a threesome!” Amal laughed and George rolled his eyes.
“George, Harvey, and Gary,” George reminded him. “Think about how boring that threesome would have been, with all those names. ‘It’s like, hey, I’ve got a small white penis, you have a small white penis, we all have small white penises! This’ll be GREAT!'”
Amal smirked. “I’ve seen you in the showers. You have a medium white penis.”
“So. Much. Better.” If George rolled his eyes any harder, they’d sproing out of his head. “The point is, I don’t care how big or what color his penis is, he’s interesting. He’s… he’s kind. And he sat and watched a sunset with me with the sort of concentration other guys spare for sports. And he acted like kissing me was a big deal and not even you can pretend to do that.”
Amal grimaced. “That may be true,” he conceded. “But this doesn’t mean I want to spend next week searching the mountains for your remains. You are going to be here Monday morning, aren’t you?”
George smiled reassuringly. “Unless I get the stomach flu again, I promise.”
Amal just shook his head. “Tell Annaliese to call me if you don’t check in on your cat. What was this guy’s name again?”
“Jai,” George repeated. “No, I don’t know his last name.”
“I think he used to be with the mob,” George told him. “But don’t quote me on that.”
Amal was staring at him, so George snagged his tablet back just long enough to sign himself out and then gave it back. “Have fun looking for my remains!”
But as he hit the showers and then hopped in his truck for home, he wasn’t thinking about being scared. He was thinking about seeing Jai again, and the way his brown eyes had been gentle and smiling as he’d kissed George goodbye in the dark of the morning.
He was wondering if they’d light up with joy when George showed up around sunset, and if George could get another kiss looking decent, when he’d gotten a couple of them looking like hell.
* * *
Jai paced the campground for the third time, making sure everything was set up like it should be. He’d brought spaghetti and was reheating it on the camp stove, along with a small pot of hot chocolate, and some cut up apples in the ice chest. IT wasn’t fancy, but Jai didn’t eat fancy, and they were camping and…
And George had texted him back. Had reserved the camp site. Had double checked. Had told him when he was leaving. Had texted him from the gas station.
Every text had been like a little bell signaling, “We shall have sex now!” in the back of Jai’s mind.
He tried to tell himself it was ridiculous–George would take one look at him, his giant body, his evil smile–and shrink away in revulsion. The Jai who donned coveralls and helped Ace and Sonny out in the garage was an ex-mobster. Hell, he still performed nefarious deeds if he was needed. His George… his sweet, gentle lost little soul–didn’t need a Jai in his life.
But apparently Jai had hope, because the tend was up, the sleeping bags were zipped, and Jai had even remembered a little bit of eucalyptus mint freshener for the bags and the pillows.
The tent didn’t smell like feet.
It was a miracle.
The only thing that remained was to see if George would actually show, and if he did, would he actually–
Oh no. There he was.
His truck hadn’t been looked at since Jai had tuned it the month before, and Jai grunted. Why did people think they could abuse their vehicles and not have them turn rabid? He’d have to look at it while they were there.
But right now George was skidding to a halt, back end of the truck fishtailing as he came in to rest behind Jai’s Toyota.
He slid out and practically ran across the campsite, and right into Jai’s arms.
Jai caught him, surprised. He’d been expecting a moment of awkwardness that would enable George to beat his hasty retreat, but what he got was an arm full of George–more than that. George gave a small hop and wrapped his legs around Jai’s waist and took his mouth.
Jai opened for him no question, so primed for this kiss they could have been in a firefight and it wouldn’t have stopped him. He sucked on George’s tongue or a moment and then let George free to plunder, to take his mouth to assert ownership, while Jai cupped his ass and pulled him as close as humanly possible with that much clothing on.
Finally, George wiggled and Jai let him slide down his body. “Into the tent?” he asked breathlessly, eyes huge, pale cheeks a mess of razor burn because Jai could shave three times a day and still sport stubble.
“I have dinner,” Jai said, hoping that wasn’t a deal breaker.
George straightened up and smiled. “Really? That’s…” He bit his lip, the shyness from their last meeting not entirely gone. “That’s wonderful. You cooked dinner?”
“Spaghetti.” Jai shrugged. “Hot chocolate. Apple slices. Is not fancy.”
“But it’s thoughtful,” George murmured. “It’s thoughtful, and I’d be a heel to turn it down. Let’s sit down and have dinner, Jai. Let’s talk about the last month. And then let’s go to the tent and…” Oh, that wicked smile he had, when he was letting Jai know sex was on the table. “Let’s finish that kiss.”
It was Jai’s turn to bite his lip. “I thought the kiss was finished,” he said with dignity.
“Oh, no. That kiss is just getting started, my friend. I have so many plans for where it will go!”