Technicolor Daze

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epilogue.

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

Theo was running late. He and Noah had agreed on meeting up at Noah’s after his performance to have dinner together before Alice’s birthday. Noah finished work at half-past seven and headed home straight after to prepare something quick for dinner. He lived closer to Sky 21, where they were going to have some drinks with their friends, so they thought it was better than having dinner at Theo’s.

"Sorry, stuck in traffic. Might be a bit late." Theo sent a quick text to Noah when he saw that he was not going to arrive on time. It was almost nine - the time they’d arranged for dinner - and he was still a few minutes away from the bus stop.

"No problem. Still cooking." Noah replied a minute later.

It had been five months since Noah had gotten the job at the House of the Dancing Water. The first few weeks, he didn’t perform as he had to rehearse a lot. He finally had his first performance in October and Theo had gone to see it. Noah had been absolutely amazing and Theo couldn’t be any prouder. He could tell that although Noah was working long hours during the week, he was a lot happier in his new job. He felt fulfilled.

As a result of his full schedule, he was only able to do two dance lessons per week at Mia’s dance school, which he did on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, his only days off. Mia had been understanding about it and had managed to find someone to replace Noah in his other classes.

He’d also reduced his therapy sessions to once a week. Theo could tell that Noah was feeling a lot better. His wounds were healing. The scars were still there, but with therapy and Theo’s support and care, they were becoming fainter. He still experienced bouts of extreme anxiety about knowing that he would have to confront the man who’d blackmailed and sexually assaulted him in court, but he tried not to think about it in his daily life.

The man had been intercepted when he crossed the border over to Macau and was questioned by the police. He’d denied all the accusations, as Noah and Joel had expected, but Noah decided to go ahead with the case. There was still no scheduled court date, but Joel was helping him build up a strong case against the man.

Theo stared out of the window, anxiously tapping his feet on the ground, telepathically urging the bus to move faster so he could get off at his stop and see Noah. Although they’d only been apart for a few hours, he craved to see Noah’s mischievous smile. The smile he’d been drawn to from their first encounter. The same smile that would invite lecherous thoughts into his mind.

He was suddenly reminded of the first time he and Noah slept together again. It had taken Noah months before he was comfortable going beyond foreplay with Theo, but in October, on his birthday, he asked Theo if they could give it a try. Theo was happy to oblige and allowed Noah to take control, knowing that it would help him feel more at ease.

It was a precious memory Theo would cherish for the rest of his life. It had felt like touching each other for the first time. So tender and hesitant at first and yet so fiery and ardent once they started to recall each other’s bodies. They’d missed each other’s touch, they missed the feeling of fitting together like two perfect puzzle pieces. So when their bodies finally intertwined, they created a magnificent work of art, they created magic.

And Noah’s beaming smile as they came down from their high was as dazzling as a colorful sunset after a rainy day.

Theo couldn’t help but grin at the memory. They’d been intimate many other times after that first time, but he would forever treasure that specific night in his heart.

He was so caught up in reminiscing that he almost missed his bus stop. He quickly got up and managed to get off the bus before the door shut.

As he made his way towards Noah’s building, he started anxiously thinking about something he wanted to mention to Noah. Alice had told him the week before that she was moving in with Jamie at the end of January. They were basically already living together and decided that it was best to just make the move official.

After getting Alice’s news, Theo couldn’t help but wonder, what if Noah moved in with him?

He and Noah basically almost lived together. Noah spent most of his time at Theo’s anyway as it was closer to his workplace. He’d spent more time at Theo’s place in the last five months than Alice had. It wouldn’t really be a big change for them, would it?

And yet, Theo was still afraid that Noah would say no, that it was too soon.

That was the last thought on his mind when he reached the door of Noah’s building. He pressed Noah’s intercom button and heard the door unlock. As anxious thoughts roamed through his mind, he got into the elevator and headed up to Noah’s floor.

When he left the elevator, he could already smell Noah’s cooking wafting in the corridor, as Noah had left his door open for Theo.

“Noh?” Theo said as he stepped in.

“Hey, just finished cooking dinner and taking a shower,” Noah stepped into Theo’s view. He was in his bedroom with a towel wrapped around his waist, his hair still wet. “Just give me a minute or two to get dressed.”

Theo stepped closed the apartment door and walked over to Noah’s room, his eyes inevitably appreciating the sight of Noah’s body. “If it were up to me, you could stay like that,” Theo said as he crossed his arms and leaned against the doorframe.

“Someone’s feeling hungry,” Noah glanced up and gave Theo a mischievous smirk as he took his towel off to slip on his briefs. Theo’s pants felt tighter all of a sudden, whatever anxiety he’d been feeling up until that moment vanished from his mind.

“I can’t help it, you’re my favorite appetizer, main course, and dessert,” Theo bit his lip as his eyes slowly roamed Noah’s torso and made their way up to his luscious lips.

“Well, dinner is already ready,” Noah said as he put his pants on. He then grabbed a shirt and started buttoning it up before saying with a teasing smirk, “But maybe for dessert...”

“You’re such a fucking tease,” Noah laughed at Theo’s remark as he finished buttoning up his shirt, “What did you cook? It smells delicious.”

“Made some pad kra pao, that stir-fried pork with basil and chili that you like,” they walked out of the room and Noah headed into the kitchen to grab the food. Theo noticed that the table was already set.

“Oh, cool. How was your performance today?” Theo served some of the stir-fried meat and rice onto two plates before taking them to the living room.

“It was great! The audience also seemed to enjoy it. We got a huge applause at the end,” Noah beamed, “Can you grab us two beers by the way?”

“Sure,” Theo headed back into the kitchen and grabbed two beers from the fridge. He knew Noah’s kitchen layout, so he knew where the bottle opener was. He opened both of the bottles before heading back into the living room.

The two men sat down and started eating, talking a little bit about Noah’s performance and Theo’s afternoon with his parents. They were savoring the food and the beer, feeling hungry after a long and eventful day.

“What time are we meeting up with Alice later on?” Noah asked before taking a bite of his food.

“She told me that she’d be at Sky 21 at 11, so we have a lot of time. Are Gavin, Mia, and Jenny also coming?” Theo took a sip of his beer.

“Yeah, but I think Jenny might arrive a bit late. She only finishes her shift at 10,” Noah said after drinking some beer as well, “Who else is coming?”

“Well, Alice, Jamie, Yoyo, Ivy, Eric and I think Eric is also bringing a date along,” Theo said.

“Is it the same guy as last time?” Noah asked with an inquisitive look.

“I don’t think so. I think Ivy mentioned in the group chat that he met someone else. You never know with Eric, he doesn’t really want to settle down yet,” after mentioning that point, Theo suddenly recalled the topic he wanted to bring up with Noah.

He glanced at the man sitting beside him, who had a carefree and happy expression on his face as he indulged in the food he’d prepared, and nervously gulped before he spoke out, “By the way, Alice told me she’s moving out next month. She’s moving in with Jamie.”

Noah looked up at Theo with a pleased expression on his face, “Oh wow! That’s awesome! She basically already lives at Jamie’s, so it’s nice that they’re making it official.”

“Yeah, it is,” Theo didn’t really know how to follow up on that. He knew it was the perfect opportunity to segue into inviting Noah to move in with him, but he kept second-guessing himself. What if Noah thought it was too soon? What if he said no? What if Theo scared him off?

As several questions popped into his head, he didn’t notice that he’d stopped eating, but Noah had noticed, “Theo?”

“What?” Theo looked at Noah, noticing a look of concern on his face. Noah had finished the food on his plate, but Theo still hadn’t finished his.

“What’s up?” Noah asked.

“Nothing...Well...,” Theo placed his cutlery down and looked down, evading Noah’s gaze, “As Alice is moving out soon, I was wondering if you’d wanna maybe, I don’t know...”

“Are you asking me to move in with you?” Noah bluntly asked, a smile forming on his face.

“Maybe. Yeah. If you want, I mean,” Theo cringed at his awkwardness. He looked up and saw Noah gazing happily at him.

“Will I have to sleep in Alice’s old room?” Noah teased him.

“If you want...Or we could share our room and just do something else with that room,” Theo suggested, secretly hoping Noah would choose the latter.

“I’m kind of used to sleeping on your bed at this point,” Noah smirked at Theo.

“So, is that a yes?” Theo gazed hopefully at Noah.

Noah smiled and nodded.

“Are you sure?” Theo asked in disbelief.

Noah reached out and placed his hand on top of Theo’s, “Theo, I basically already live at your place most of the time. Hell, most of my clothes are at your place.”

Theo chuckled, relieved after hearing Noah’s comments before the brunette added with a meaningful gaze, “Besides, staying at your place throughout this process has been amazing. I don’t know if I could’ve gotten this far without you. And I kind of hoped you’d ask me to move in with you after you told me about Alice moving out.”

“You could’ve told me,” Theo playfully whined before picking his cutlery back up to finish the food on his plate, “I was stressing out about how to ask you. I wasn’t sure if I was being too impulsive or if this is too fast for you.”

“I mean, I wasn’t going to ask you if I could move in with you. I was waiting for you to ask,” Noah smirked at Theo, “but I guess we’re now officially going to be housemates.”

“Please don’t call me your housemate,” Theo retorted as he ate his final bite.

“I won’t because technically we will be sharing a room, so that makes you my roommate,” Noah kept glancing at Theo with a mischievous smirk.

“Now you’re just fucking with me,” Theo playfully glared at Noah.

“Speaking of fucking, I kind of feel like having a dessert. You know, to make this official,” Noah hinted with a coquettish grin.

“I guess we should give your bedroom a proper send-off,” Theo said as he got up, looking at Noah with hungry eyes.

It didn’t take long before their clothes were off and they were a panting sweaty mess on top of the bed. As they lay next to each other in the afterglow of their climax, Theo breathlessly said, “Fuck, I guess we both have to take another shower after that.”

Noah giggled before turning on his side and giving Theo a deep kiss, “I mean, after teasing me like that when you arrived, you were asking for it.”

“I never say no to dessert,” Theo smirked at Noah, “What time is it by the way?”

Noah glanced at his phone that was on his bedside table, “It’s half-past ten. I guess we’ll be a bit late.”

“If they ask, it’s your fault,” Theo said as he got up.

“My fault? How is it my fault?” Noah got up from the bed as well.

“You’re way too hot and then I can’t resist you,” Theo gazed dreamily at Noah.

Noah smiled before throwing a towel at Theo, “You’re the one who is always teasing me. So it’s technically your fault, Mr. Edwards.”

“Mr. Edwards? Your dick was in my mouth just a moment ago. No need to be so formal,” Theo teased.

Noah playfully shoved Theo and pushed him into the bathroom, “Fuck off. Let’s get you cleaned up.”

“Yes, sir,” Theo obediently headed into the bathroom.

The two men showered, put their clothes back on, and cleaned up the dining table before heading out of the apartment. It was already eleven by the time they headed out, so Theo texted Alice, letting her know they’d be late.

“Alice just told me that she still hasn’t arrived, so not too bad,” Theo said as he pocketed his phone after seeing Alice’s reply.

“That isn’t surprising. She’s always late anyway,” Noah retorted with a smile.

“That’s true,” Theo smiled as well.

“What’s the plan for tonight by the way?” Noah asked curiously as they crossed a street.

“I think the plan is to head to D2 or Cubic after Sky 21,” Theo didn’t really feel like partying after having some drinks. He was tired after a week of work and just wanted to cuddle up with Noah in bed. And maybe kiss a bit. Or a lot. He really liked kissing Noah.

“Oh, do you wanna go, or can we just stick around for the drinks and head home after?” Noah seemed to share Theo’s line of thinking.

“To be honest, I like the second idea better,” Theo smiled at Noah before chuckling to himself, “Getting too old for parties. Plus, I only really used to go out to see if I could meet some cute guys.”

“Oh, no longer looking for some cute guys?” Noah teased with a smug grin.

“I mean, why would I? I landed the hottest dancer at the club,” Theo flirted back, making Noah blush.

They kept on chatting all the way to the AIA building. After reaching the building, they took the elevator to the 21st floor and headed into the bar. Theo checked the time. They arrived thirty minutes late. The music was blasting and there were quite a few people sitting at the tables inside the bar. Theo sent Alice a message asking her where they were. She quickly replied, saying that they were on the balcony, so Theo grabbed Noah’s hand and they both walked out onto the balcony, where they were greeted with a magnificent view of the Macau tower, shining bright in the dark night.

“Oh, there they are,” Noah pointed at a table in one of the corners, where his and Noah’s rowdy friends were taking photos and talking in a lively fashion. They were the last to arrive. Even Jenny had arrived before them. Theo could tell that everyone had already had a few drinks by their glossy eyes and slightly blushed cheeks.

“Theo! Noah! You’re finally here!” Ivy yelled as soon as she spotted the two men heading in their direction.

“Yes, sorry we’re late,” Theo said, before greeting Ivy with a hug.

“I wonder why,” Alice looked at Theo and Noah with a knowing teasing gaze.

“I’m sure it wasn’t dinner,” Eric added with a cheeky laugh.

“Actually, dinner was very delicious,” Noah played along with a smirk, “the dessert was particularly tasty, wasn’t it, Theo?”

Theo’s cheeks blushed as he recalled what he and Noah had done before leaving the house, “Yeah, Noah is a very talented cook.”

“Okay boys, stop flirting,” Alice tipsily waved her hand, “By the way, where are your drinks? You guys have to get on our level!”

“We’ll go get some. Be right back,” Noah grabbed onto Theo’s hand and dragged him back into the bar. They headed up to the bar counter and ordered two Hoegaardens.

“You’re so cute when you blush,” Noah said as they waited for their beers.

“It’s not fair. I’m a lot paler than you so it is a lot more obvious when I blush. When you blush, nobody notices it,” Theo whined.

“You notice and that’s all that matters,” Noah grins before leaning in and whispering in Theo’s ear, “That way only you can see this side of me.”

Theo’s heart fluttered at Noah’s comment just as the bartender placed two pints of beer on the bar counter. Noah grabbed his drink and asked a dazed Theo, “Shall we head outside again?”

“Sure,” Theo recovered from his daze and grabbed his beer before turning to Noah and saying, “And for the record, you’re the only one who gets to see every side of me as well.”

Noah just smiled warmly at Theo as he followed the latter man onto the outdoor area. As they approached the table where their friends were sitting, Theo looked around at their friends.

Alice was drinking a bright pink cocktail and wearing a small tiara with the words ‘Birthday Girl’. She then turned to Jamie and whispered something in her ear with a big smile plastered on her face. Jamie, who had one of her arms wrapped around her, was taking a sip of her margarita and almost choked on her drink with something Alice said. Ivy and Yoyo were taking some selfies with Mia and Jenny to post onto their Wechat moments, taking multiple shots until all of them were satisfied with the outcome. Eric was enthusiastically chatting with Gavin. From Eric’s body language, Theo could tell that he seemed to be interested in the quiet photographer. And Gavin was also listening intently and responding, so the interest seemed mutual.

“Yay, you’re back! I ordered us two rounds of shots while you were gone!” Alice tipsily said when she saw the two men approaching the table.

“Two rounds? Damn, you’re really going all out tonight!” Theo was surprised. Alice wasn’t usually one for spending a lot of money and shots were expensive.

“Fuck it, it’s a special day. In a few minutes, I’ll be 28! That is just 2 years away from turning 30!” She raised her glass and waved it around to get her point across and some of her drink spilled onto the table.

“You’re getting old,” Theo teased her as he grabbed a cigarette and offered Noah one. Noah accepted it.

“Shut up, Theo! You’re almost turning 28 too!” Alice glared at him, “A toast to 27 wonderful years before I say goodbye to them!”

“Woo!” Ivy enthusiastically cheered as they all clinked their glasses together. She had definitely had plenty to drink before coming to Sky 21.

“Was there a pre-gaming session that we were not invited to?” Noah asked as he glanced at Ivy and Mia who seemed to be four or five drinks ahead of him and Theo.

“We had dinner together and they had a few drinks before we came over,” Yoyo clarified.

“Yeah, they were already like this when I got here,” Jenny agreed, “Fuck, I need some shots after work today!”

“Let me guess, your boss?” Noah asked before lighting up his cigarette. Theo also lit his cigarette up.

“Fucking bitch! God, I hate her! Theo can I have one? I ran out of mine,” Theo handed Jenny a cigarette, “Thanks. Like, that woman just enjoys making my life a living hell. I heard she’s transferring to another department and when I heard that, I was like, fuck yes! Like, finally I can say bye to that bitch.”

“But what did she do this time?” Noah asked.

Theo drowned out Jenny’s rant on her boss. Every time they’d met up with Jenny, she seemed to have a new rant about her boss and it usually amounted to the same exact story, even if the details ended up being different. He admired Noah though. He was a lot more patient than he was and just listened to his friend as she vented.

Instead of listening to Jenny and Noah’s conversation, Theo just watched as everyone at the table engaged in conversations in smaller groups. He was glad to see the two groups of friends getting along together and celebrating Alice’s birthday together.

The waiter suddenly appeared with a tray of shots. As soon as he placed them on the table, Jenny said, “Yes, shots! Just what I needed!”

“Guys, hold on!” Alice swatted Jenny’s hand away before she could grab a shot. She looked at her phone and saw that in less than than a minute it would be midnight, “Thank y’all for coming tonight and celebrating with me. This year has been fucking amazing and it’s thanks to all of you. I really love you guys!”

Ivy and Jamie cheered and everyone followed their lead, clapping after hearing Alice’s speech. “To a fucking amazing 2014 and an even better 2015!” Alice cheered before looking down at her phone again.

“Allie, it’s your birthday, it’s not the New Year yet,” Theo teased her.

“Shh, who cares? I’m now 28! So let’s get this party started!” Alice announced, grabbing a shot and raising her hand.

Everyone grabbed a shot and cheered, wishing Alice a happy birthday, before downing it. Once Alice and Jamie had drunk both of their two shots, they started kissing.

“Happy birthday, Allie!” Theo said to his friend as soon as she was done kissing her girlfriend.

“Thank you, Teddy Bear,” and that is how Theo knew Alice was already wasted. She only called him Teddy Bear when she was already completely fucked.

“Are you sure you can still go to D2 or Cubic?” Theo asked, an amused glimmer in his eyes.

Alice pressed her finger against Theo’s lips, “Shhh, don’t be a party pooper. Get on my level! You need to drink more!”

Alice looked at Theo, her eyes not really managing to see Theo straight, waiting for his reaction. “Okay, Allie. I’ll get on your level,” he obediently agreed. She was already too drunk to notice if he was really going to follow her request.

“Is she okay?” Noah whispered in his ear.

“She’s okay for now, but I’ll ask Jamie to keep an eye on her if they go out,” Theo said to him, before sending Jamie a message saying: ”We might not go clubbing with you guys. Keep an eye on Alice."

He noticed Jamie looking at the phone. Although she was also slightly tipsy, Theo knew that she was a more responsible drinker than Alice. Jamie looked up at Theo and nodded with a smile before texting back with: ”Will do. I don’t plan on drinking much more, so don’t worry about her :)"

Theo felt relieved after getting her reply. “Yeah, Jamie will take care of her. She can handle drunk Alice better than I can.”

“Didn’t you guys meet when you were drunk?” Noah asked.

“Yeah,” Theo chuckled as he recalled that night, “I went out with some classmates from university and she tried to flirt with me when she was as drunk as she is now. I told her I had a boyfriend and she felt disappointed but quickly recovered and invited me to join her table for some drinks. We ended up having a really fun night and becoming friends.”

“Funny how the world works,” Noah smiled.

“Hey, Noah!” Mia called out, “Are you guys coming with us to Cubic? We were thinking of heading in an hour.”

Noah and Theo looked at each other before Noah glanced back at Mia with an apologetic face, “Actually, we were thinking of heading home after this.”

“What?! Aren’t you coming with us?” Jenny overheard the conversation and decided to interrupt it.

“We got up super early...” Noah tried to find a reasonable excuse that wasn’t ‘I just want to cuddle with my boyfriend in bed.’

“You guys are such killjoys. You never party with us anymore!” Jenny whined.

“We did last time! We’re just tired and we’re gonna spend the night at your place,” Theo helped Noah.

“If you don’t party with us on my birthday, you’re dead to me, Noah Aiwald,” Jenny glared at her friend.

“I promise I’ll make an effort on your birthday. And it’s Eichwald,” Noah corrected her with a teasing smile on his face.

“Whatever, German boy,” Jenny rolled her eyes.

They kept on chatting, drinking, and smoking for the next hour. Theo and Noah joined Ivy and Yoyo and took some photos with them and talked about the latest guy Ivy had met on Tinder. And while Mia and Jenny were dancing along to the music coming from the bar, Gavin had loosened up after some drinks and was bluntly telling Eric that he was interested in having sex with him, making the usually chatty Eric blush shyly. Alice and Jamie occasionally joined in on some conversations but spent a large portion of the night exchanging kisses and giggles.

Eventually, Alice wanted to move the party to a place where she could, as she put it, “shake her booty,” so the group started gathering their things and leaving the bar. Once they stood outside the AIA building, Alice and Jamie started looking out for Taxis to head to Taipa.

“Guys! I see one Taxi about to come! Who’s getting in with us?” Alice yelled.

“You guys can go. Noah and I will probably pass on Cubic,” Theo said.

“Noo! You guys should come!” Alice started whining.

“We’ll join you for brunch tomorrow just as we promised,” Noah added.

“You party poopers! Fine! Ivy? Yoyo? Are you in?” The taxi was approaching and Jamie called it over.

“Sure, we’ll go with you and Jenny, Mia, Gavin, and Eric can get another one,” Yoyo, who wasn’t as drunk as Ivy, answered for the two of them.

Once the taxi stopped, Noah and Theo wished them a fun night and watched them get into the cab. As it began to drive off, a second taxi appeared and Gavin extended his arm out to call it.

“Have fun guys! Make sure Alice gets home in one piece!” Theo yelled as the rest of the gang got into the second cab.

“See you!” Noah shouted as both men waved goodbye.

“So... shall we head to your place?” Theo asked when the taxi had driven off.

“Actually... I was wondering if you wanted to go for a walk around here before we head home. It’s a nice day out. Not too cold,” Noah suggested.

“Sure, kind of want to sober up before heading to yours anyway,” Theo smiled, his body feeling warm after all of the drinks they’d had at the bar.

They walked around near the Nam Van lake area aimlessly, talking and giggling about the shenanigans their friends had gotten up to that night - from Alice’s drunken antics to Gavin’s progressively more aggressive flirting approaches as the night progressed. Eric had definitely found his match and Noah said to Theo, “You know, I kind of ship it.”

Before they could even notice, they were standing at the same spot where Theo first bumped into Noah all those months ago and where the mysterious dancer had asked him for a lighter. “Oh wow, this spot...” Theo uttered.

“Yeah... The place where you were gathering liquid courage to head up to D2,” Noah smiled as he teased Theo.

Theo chuckled before adding, “Yeah. I never expected to bump into you here that night... of all places! But I’m kind of glad I was a coward. Maybe I would’ve gone to D2 and you would’ve already left and we wouldn’t be talking here now.”

“That’s true. It would’ve been another missed connection,” Noah sat down on the stairs and reached for his cigarette pack. Theo followed his lead and did the same.

“I’m almost out of cigarettes,” Theo commented as he looked at the two remaining cigarettes in his pack.

“Same. I only have two left... Oh, by the way, do you remember how we talked about making a bet about quitting smoking?” Noah said before lighting up his cigarette.

“Yeah, we never really were serious about it, were we?” Theo smirked, exhaling a bit of smoke.

“We could bet on it now. We’ll quit once we finish our packs and whoever gives in to temptation has to do whatever the other person deems to be a fitting punishment or dare. What do you think?” Noah looked at Theo.

“Does weed count?” Theo took a puff of his cigarette.

Noah smoked a bit as he pondered before answering, “If it’s pure, it doesn’t count. We don’t smoke it every day anyway.”

“What if we both quit for good? What happens then?” Theo retorted.

“Well, in that case, none of us gets punished. We just keep being awesome together,” Noah smiled.

“Well, that sounds nice. I mean, I’ve been meaning to quit anyway, so why not? Fuck it!” Theo said.

“Yeah, fuck it!” Noah chuckled.

“So that means, we’ll probably have to quit after tonight,” Theo realized.

“Yeah. It’s gonna be hard as fuck. Not looking forward to it,” Noah laughed.

“You were the one who suggested it!” Theo threw back, laughing at the situation.

“Fuck, what have I done,” both men giggled at the thought.

“Oh well, if you give in, I already know what I’ll ask you to do,” Theo said with a mischievous glimmer in his eyes.

“What is it?” Noah asked.

“You’ll have to give in to find out,” Theo cryptically answered.

“Fuck you. I still haven’t thought of what I’ll ask you to do when you give in, but I’m sure I’ll come up with something good on the spot,” Noah said with a smug grin.

“If I give in,” Theo countered.

“When you give in,” Noah emphasized with a cocky smirk.

“Yeah, right,” both men chuckled at their childish exchange.

Theo loved how playful he could be around Noah. He could unleash his inner child when he was around him. When he and Noah had first gotten to know each other, he’d only seen two of Noah’s faces. He’d seen the side of Noah that he showed to the world and the side of Noah that he only showed to close friends and family. But after everything they’d been through together, he’d slowly been discovering Noah’s third facet - the one he didn’t show to anyone -, and this latter one was the true reflection of his identity. And the more Theo peeled off Noah’s layers and learned new things about his beloved, the more bewitched he was in the man who had captivated him with a single dance.

After their little exchange about the bet, the conversation settled into a comfortable silence, in which both men gazed at the Macau Tower and the Nam Van Lake. That part of the city was quiet and calm at that time of the night. Most people were either asleep at home, partying at nightclubs, or gambling in casinos. A very different sight from the dazzling lights and crowded streets of the city center.

“Hey, Theo?” Noah suddenly broke the silence, just as Theo took his last puff.

“Yeah?” Theo looked at Noah.

“I think... I think I’d like to try bottoming tonight,” Noah said in a small voice.

“Really?” Theo was caught off guard by Noah’s sudden declaration. As a result, he started rambling, “Are you sure? I mean, we can wait until you’re sure. I really don’t mind-”

Noah shut him up with a kiss, before saying with a warm loving smile, “I’m sure. If I change my mind at any point, I will let you know. But I’m really sure.”

“Okay, we can try,” Theo smiled back at Noah before leaning in to kiss him again.

He could never get enough of Noah’s kisses.

Although Theo hadn’t known Noah for very long, he felt like their souls were connected in some way. After all, he’d felt a magnetic pull from the very start.

It was as if their souls had been lost and wandering their entire lives and finally found what they were looking for when they serendipitously laid their eyes on each other that night under the pulsing electric purple and blue lights of the nightclub.

A/N: And that is the end of this story that has been on my mind for years.

For those of you who don’t know me, I used to write a lot in my teen years, but after getting into university and starting my career as a teacher, I felt like I was always too busy to write and kept finding excuses.

Last year, thanks to the pandemic, I’ve been working on personal growth and got inspired by Margaret Atwood, who taught me that I can’t improve on my writing if I don’t write. So I decided to stop making excuses and to write down a story that has been on my mind since 2014.

This story, in a way, was also my way of feeling less homesick. I miss my hometown dearly and I hope to be able to move there in the near future. So it’s kind of my love letter to Macau.

I reall

Hope you guys enjoyed it and thank you to everyone who decided to give this story a chance :) I really appreciate you.

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