When they had started, Auggie had neat just-expelled-from-Harvard brown hair and Corey’s hair was long, red, looking like Jesus hair. They’d been two boys, a path to being a priest and a path to being a playboy. If you add twenty years, a traumatic abduction, a nasty set of addictions, a failed law career, an excommunication - there is the mix of life that money and god can’t protect a heart from, a marriage that storybooks are not made of.
Now Auggie’s hair was down to his shoulders, grey at the temples. Corey’s hair was cut short, done with a pair of clippers in their bathroom and about as even as his temper. They stared at each other in the hall of Corey’s condo, a white button up shirt hanging from Corey’s fingers as if it were a misplaced bag of dog poop.
“What the shit is this,” Corey snarled, his green eyes narrow, thin Irish lips curling. “We had an agreement!”
August was more bulldog, wearing a suit out of a chain men’s wear store and a fifty dollar tie, his jaw shifted to the side, brown eyes glaring right back. “It’s an Armani shirt I left on your floor when I fucked you last night.”
Still holding the shirt in his left hand, his right came up, finger raised, lecture promised. “Well, for one you came in too late last night to get that chore done.”
“Is that so,” August snarled, surging forward to press his angry husband against the wall, one hand flat against the hard surface, the other pulling at the cheap tie. “Well, maybe if you didn’t go to bed like the little school boy you are....”
Corey brought his knee up between them and Auggie twisted because he’d had that knee unwelcome before. “What is this!?” he screamed losing his reserve and calm as he backed several steps away, until he ran into the couch, but not far enough to get the scent of Auggie’s warm skin out of his mind, the scent of espresso and the sharp aggression that always seemed to mix in everything Auggie touched. “What is this!”
Taking on the balance of missing calm, tie only half undone, August Richards V stopped with enough distance between them that he could reach out, but didn’t. Curvy, sometimes femme lips snarled into a smile. ’That red there on my collar? Well for one thing, that’s going to stain. I don’t know the name of the color, but when it was fresh, it smelled like L’oreal. Cheap lipstick, baby.”
Corey’s anger burst like a popped balloon and he slumped to the edge of the couch, shirt dropping to the floor. “How could you?”
August sank down too, his limp long healed. Lovingly he reached up to caress Corey’s cheek, thumb smearing hot tears. “I did not kiss or fuck anyone other than you, not since our understanding, not since being clean. Look at me, Corey.” August demanded in his I-control-the-courtroom voice. “Do I kiss lips wearing drugstore lipstick?”
Green eyes blinked, tears clinging to red gold lashes. “How did it get there?”
He shifted a little weight off his right knee and put both hands on Corey’s face, lovingly holding his attention, maybe steeling his own courage. “Having come to a place in my life where I have insufficient funds to hire a decent investigative team, I was at a strip club last night, attempting to investigate a witness. I understand your need for monogamy and I love and need you more than I can ever put justice the words to explain that. I will never engage in sexual activity without your direct involvement. But beyond that, smell it. Would I kiss that?”
Still sulky, Corey pulled the collar to his face. It smelled more like August than anything else and he couldn’t really say that he could tell the differences between one brand of lipstick to another, but eyes on his husband, he felt... okay. “Tell me again.”
August stood up, scooping his husband into his arms. They were the same height, but August out massed his slender redheaded husband by forty pounds. “I love you. I am clean of all addictions other than you and defeating my legal opponents. I will not break my vows of monogamy.”
The little two bedroom condo was a big downsize from August’s family home. Corey had never been sure how many bedrooms that place had had. However it was safe, warm, secure, and the bed was August’s bed that they’d been sharing for nearly twenty years. They sank into it as August set him down and he toed off his sandals. Hands shaking, Corey ran his fingers into long brown hair and closed his fists. “I’m sorry I can’t share. I’m sorry i’m greedy,” Corey whispered, new tears pooling in his eyes.
“Shhhh,” August whispered back, kissing his cheeks, licking at his tears. “You have to have some flaws, baby, or I’d never survive the radiant light of being in your presence. I’ll trade you. You can be a weak, recovering addict with a god complex who managed his money so well he now wears off the rack clothing and I’ll be a saint who sheds tears over worthless rich boy sinner. I have a theory that we were soul mates from the moment we were created and you know that I’d never get into heaven as a rich boy, so you came to walk with me until I could.”
Corey’s arms wrapped around August, holding him tight, needing to feel body against body. “You don’t believe in heaven or creation.”
“But you do. I was talking about your motives, not mine,” August said, letting himself be hugged like a man sized plushy. “I’m sorry I scared you, Corey. I should have said something last night or this morning, or emailed.”
Kissing the top of Auggie’s head, tugging on long strands of brown with his lips, “I shouldn’t be so freaked out. I should trust more.”
“Bullshit,” August said shifting to pull away enough that he could sit up and straddle his husband’s lap. “You’ve trusted me more than any human has a right to ask for. I am going to make that a good investment. As a sample of your expected dividends, would you care to receive oral sex this fine afternoon?”
“Oh Jesus,” Corey complained shifting up onto his elbows. “Auggie, do you have to make everything like some legal argument?”
The crotch of Corey’s sweat pants between his teeth, he wiggled an eyebrow and growled like a dog. Corey blushed brightly, his excitement not hidden in the least by the thin gray cotton.
“I think I may have uncovered some evidence of your acquiescence,” August teased, a hand lovingly caressing the rising tent pole. “I think more fact finding may be called for.”
“No, I’m still upset,” Corey said, sitting all the way up, even though August didn’t even bother to move, just rubbing his face against that hardness. “I was really worried and angry. Maybe I don’t trust you anymore! What if I don’t really trust you? Doesn’t that bother you?”
August climbed farther up so he could tuck his now bare feet under Corey’s thighs and run his hands over that short red hair. “No, it doesn’t bother me. You’re not an idiot, Corey. It would bother me if you did trust me, mindlessly. You love me. You have loved me when I couldn’t love myself, when the world seemed to hate me, and when the only okay moment was in poison that was killing me. I’m weak and arrogant, which is a shit combination. Don’t trust me. Can you still love me?”
“No, no,” Corey said, hands on August’s chest, thumbs seeking the sensitive nipples he knew were under there. “I do trust you. I can’t help it. It’s part of love, but my world just... burns in ashes if I stop. I think, maybe that was what you felt when your friend died, then, and I’m sorry to bring that up, but I think I understand. If I couldn’t trust you anymore, my whole world just... doesn’t work.”
Auggie rocked back a bit, both hands covering his face, brow drawn down with emotion. It hadn’t been getting kidnapped that had wrecked him. As a senator’s son, he’d expected to get rescued and honestly, it’s very hard to rape the willing - Auggie’s sexual taste was as broad as the bacterial appetite of the world. It had been the death of his friend, of a friend who was trying to help him, a death he couldn’t prevent or undo. It was the loss of his youthful illusion of immortality.
To connect that pain to the pain he’d caused his beloved, brought a new understanding that all the yelling in the world could never have achieved. “I’m so sorry, Corey. I ... I will never give you reason to doubt me again, ever. If I do, I will make it up and it will never be founded. You are the air I breathe.”
“I’m not sure that’s healthy,” Corey teased scooting up on the bed, drawing August with him. “Come on, it’s too early to have sex. I’ll just fall asleep after. Tell me about some naughty fantasy you have, order me take out, and we’ll see later?”
“Oh I’m good at naughty!” Snuggling into Corey’s embrace, head on his chest, he raised one hand in a grand gesture. “We could open a brothel, a themed brothel, virtual reality and we could make my daddy’s lost money right back.”
“Money isn’t everything.” Corey said, smoothing August’s long hair through his fingers.
“Says the man who thinks delivery Chinese is edible.” Auggie slipped a hand under Corey’s tee-shirt. “What if we did a scene where you were an angry priest and I was a repeat sinner who needed a fierce whipping?”
Corey snickered, pulled Auggie’s hair lightly. “I asked you for fantasies, not reality.”
“Well, in the fantasy I’d be a virgin and frightened. You’d bend me over your desk and pull down my pants and tell me I was getting a whipping and then you were going to forced your hard dick into my ass - for my own good.”
“I can work with that,” Corey agreed snuggling close. “Are you going to start moaning in pleasure as I make you my little cock slut?”
“Oh yeah,” August agreed.
“Maybe we’ll get one of your nipples pierced this weekend,” Corey said, rolling towards him, hooking a leg over Auggie’s more muscular legs.
“Can we do it in a scene?”
“Sure,” Corey agreed. “Tell me about what you might like?”
“For the moment,” Auggie begged, “Put your hand around my cock, force me to tell you.”
“God, you’re a bad boy,” Corey agreed, kissing August’s nose. “I said no sex until after dinner. Then I’m going to have my dividend samples and your ass. I love you, you poetic bastard.”
“I love you too,” Auggie agreed, pulling out his phone, now on his back as he ordered delivery. “Will you put on lipstick and maybe the black skirt?”
“Maybe,” Corey said. “Ask me in an hour.”
“Will do,” Auggie said, snuggling close, maybe slipping into a nap in the safest place in the world. “Love you.”
“Shh, sleep for a bit,” Corey said, wrapping his arms around him protectively. “You need your rest cuz I might just cane your feet tonight.”
“Promises, promises,” Auggie said, sleepily.