The Story Continues

Chocolate Moments – Part 1

It was at the very crack of dawn that Tobyn found himself easing out a slight opening in his door and out into the quiet hallway of the inn. He glanced back inside quickly and ignored the slight tugging of his heart when he saw that Jhon was still in bed, asleep. He bit his bottom lip as he quietly closed the door and leaned his forehead against it.

He idly trailed a fingertip over the corner of the box of chocolates he had in his pocket as he chided himself lightly in his head. He couldn’t really believe what he was doing. Running away. Why? Why couldn’t he just give Jhon the affection and attention he deserved? He honestly hated that part of himself. He had gotten better, admittedly, but not enough that he was comfortable with it.

Not enough for what Jhon truly deserved.

“Morning, Tobyn.”

Tobyn all but lurched away from the door and spun around toward the staircase leading to the second floor. “Lynus?” he muttered when he noticed that a certain medic was sat upon the middle step of the stairs, seemingly as if he had been waiting for him there. “What are you doing up?”

Lynus tilted his head to side and smiled warmly, yet with a hint of knowingness. “I knew you would try to do a runner.”

Tobyn visibly winced and spluttered incoherently for an excuse, but nothing would come out, yet alone make sense.

With a soft sigh, Lynus pushed himself to his feet and silently made his way down the stairs. “Tobyn-”

“Look, I know what you’re trying to do,” Tobyn interrupted with a slight scowl, though it wasn’t exactly directed toward Lynus. “Just…I’m not good at this stuff, ok?”

“I know,” Lynus surprisingly replied, his expression as gentle as his voice as he approached him. “And I understand. But, please listen; Jhon loves you.”

Unexpectedly, Tobyn felt himself draw in a sharp intake of air as his skipped a beat.

“And you love him,” Lynus continued as he reached out to take Tobyn by the hand, giving it a light but reassuring squeeze. “You don’t need to prove your love to anyone. Not even to Jhon. But please show him. You shouldn’t hide how you feel from him. He deserves to know. And you deserve his love and attention.”

Tobyn was unable to say anything in return. Couldn’t even make an attempt. Not with the lump of emotion that unexpectedly lodged in his throat. Lynus was…right, wasn’t he? As per usual.

“Let yourself be happy,” Lynus finished as he gave him a warm smile and gently removed his hand from his.

Wanting to utter something back, maybe even a thanks for his comfort when the door to his room suddenly opened and Jhon appeared, slightly dishevelled as if he had just awoken.

“Tobyn?” he murmured with a sleepy tone and rubbed the sleep from one of his eyes.

Lynus gave Tobyn another smile before he turned toward the blond-haired protector. “Morning, Jhon.”

“Oh, morning, Lynus,” Jhon instantly responded as he automatically straightened his posture out of curtisy, watching with a startled look as Lynus moved toward the foyer of the inn. “What are you-?”

“Hm, just doing a bit of coaxing and reassuring,” Lynus said over his shoulder, not pausing in his steps. “I’ll leave the two of you be.”

Jhon continued to look confused as he turned his attention to Tobyn, whom of which was still trying to let Lynus’ previous words to sink in. “Is there something wrong?”

Tobyn fidgeted slightly on his feet in attempt to resist the habitual urge to deny everything and pretend nothing was going on with him. “…Let’s go back inside,” he said instead as he motioned back to their room.

A small, almost relieved smile appeared on Jhon’s lips and he nodded his head. “Ok,” he said simply as he turned back into the room, Tobyn a few steps behind him. Jhon waited by the door, the handle in his hand, and when Tobyn stepped through the threshold, he quietly closed it behind him.

“Here,” Tobyn said as he hastily pulled the self-made chocolates from his pocket and presented them in Jhon’s direction, though he refused to make eye-contact with him. “I made these for you.”

“Made?” Jhon repeated, the surprise in his voice quite obvious as he received the box from him.

There was a moment of silence between them as Jhon opened the small parcel, folding back the blue tissue paper. A soft, warm scent of chocolate filled the room and Jhon was heard uttering another sound of surprise, but this one tinged with a hint of…happiness?

“Oh, are these chocolates?”

“Dark chocolate,” Tobyn answered as he peered at Jhon from the corner of his eye, his stomach doing an odd flip like motion when he noticed the gentle, warm smile on his lips. “Your favourite, right?”

“Yes,” Jhon said, his smile beaming as he turned his attention back to him. “Tobyn-”

“I’m…” Tobyn found himself spluttering, unintentionally cutting Jhon off. “Not very good with affection, I know. I’m sorry.”

Jhon looked momentarily confused, startled even, before an expression of understanding appeared on his face and a gentle smile spread across his lips. “Not at all,” he said as he carefully placed the chocolates down onto his bed and swiftly closed the distance between them, his hands resting on Tobyn’s shoulders. “You’re just self-conscious. You’re very affectionate toward me. And our family. You don’t realise how much.”

Tobyn glanced at the floor and bit on his bottom lip. He wasn’t entirely sure if that was true or not, but he didn’t find it in him to argue back.

After a moment of silence, he heard Jhon sigh. But not from exasperation, but from understanding. “I have something for you as well,” he unexpectedly said as he dropped his hands from Tobyn’s shoulders.

Tobyn lifted his gaze from the floor and watched as Jhon turned back to his bed, and reached underneath his pillow. A moment later he pulled his arm back, his hand curled into a fist to hide something. He turned back to Tobyn and pulled him against his chest, one arm wrapped around the small of Tobyn’s back.

Surprisingly, Tobyn felt himself relax when he felt Jhon’s body against his own and his hands moved to rest against his chest. He looked down as Jhon lifted his hand and unfurled his fingers, revealing a beautiful white stone that was attached to a small chain.

“A gemstone?” Tobyn murmured as he allowed Jhon to place it in his hand. An adularia stone if he wasn’t mistaken.

“It’s a keyring,” Jhon said as he turned the stone over in Tobyn’s hand, revealing words engraved elegantly on the other side. “And it has our names on it. It’s proof that my love for you is written in stone.”

His eyes wide and his breath hitching in his throat, Tobyn looked at the stone that sat in the palm of his hand. His name written alongside Jhon’s. The lettering smooth, yet sharp. Perfectly etched into the stone.

He…hadn’t realised how well their names seemed to go together.

Curling his fingers around the gift, Tobyn felt that lump of emotion from previously return and he bit his bottom lip to prevent the strange need to cry. He didn’t know how to verbally respond to the gift or what Jhon had said.

So, instead, he decided that actions truly spoke louder than words, and he pushed forward to kiss Jhon on the lips. Jhon took a half step back in surprise, but he soon recovered and wrapped his arms around Tobyn tightly, and kissed him back with the same amount of tenderness and passion.

As Jhon’s lips moved effortlessly against his, as if they were made for his lips alone, Tobyn could…see himself loving this man in his arms for the rest of his life. And being loved by him in return.

It…made him happy to be alive.

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