“Got it right here,” Nick murmured, blinking at the brightness of his laptop. He was sure that it hadn’t always been this bright as he rubbed his eyes and refocused on the forms in front of him, flipping through them until he had the right one.
His hand ached slightly with his pen in it, but he ignored it in favor of filling out another line. When he turned back to the computer, the screen was still bright enough to require him to blink.
Nick reached for his mug of coffee, which was stone cold by now. He gulped it down anyway, unwilling to step away to brew more. When he reached for it again, five or ten forms later—he’d lost count—he was displeased to remember that it was empty.
He sighed, ignoring his empty mug and focusing again on his computer. His back ached in that spot above his shoulder blades, so he shifted his chair forward to lean back. It only took a second for him to lean forward again; it was easier to get to his papers this way.
Nick jumped when he felt a hand on his back, blinking up at Vincent. He had to blink again to make sure that he was really there, but he still mumbled, “Huh?”
Vincent held out a steaming mug for him. “Drink this,” he commanded softly.
Nick smiled tiredly. “You’re a lifesaver, honey,” he said gratefully, taking a sip of the much too hot… not coffee. He looked at the mug in confusion. “It’s… peppermint tea? Not coffee?”
Vincent shot him an apologetic look. “You’ve had five cups of coffee today, Nickolas. I’m a little worried about you.”
It took Nick a second to process his words with his brain still half-focused on forms and numbers. Vincent took that second to cup his cheek to be sure that Nick was looking at him. “How about you take a break, just a little one? I made you something to eat.”
Nick looked to Vincent and back to his desk. “I really should get this done…”
“Five minutes?” Vincent coaxed, holding out a large plate of chicken cutlets with some kind of noodles enticingly. “Please?”
Nick really couldn’t resist his adorable green eyes. “Five minutes,” he relented, leaning back in his chair and accepting the dish from his boyfriend.
He wasn’t sure if he actually felt hungry at all when he took a bite, but Nick ended up scarfing down a few pieces of chicken and half of the noodles before he even realized that Vincent had pulled up a chair from somewhere to eat comfortably beside him.
Nick swallowed and flushed in embarrassment. “Sorry,” he said with a sheepish smile.
Vincent shook his head. “Tax season is tough,” he said sympathetically, gesturing for Nick to eat his food. “I think I would eat quickly too if I was working 80-hour work weeks. Do you want any more?”
Nick hadn’t even noticed that he’d finished his whole plate. “Did you cook? I’m sorry, I didn’t notice.”
Vincent hummed, taking the dish from him. “It’s all right. I’m more concerned about the fact that you haven’t really eaten or slept much in the past few days,” he said with a gentle smile on his face.
Honestly, Nick couldn’t remember the last time he’d eaten anything that wasn’t greasy takeout or chips or something like ramen that he could make in a few minutes. He couldn’t even remember the last time he slept next to Vincent, although considering that Vincent had been staying overnight for the past few nights, Nick figured that that was more due to the fact that he’d only been in bed for maybe three or four hours each night.
He looked to Vincent hopefully. “You made more of that?”
Vincent smiled pleasantly. “Give me a second, Nickolas.”
Nick watched him go, reaching up to rub his eyes. He might have been more tired than he’d thought because, what seemed like only a moment later, Vincent reappeared with more food. Nick scarfed it down again, sighing when he was pleasantly full and feeling more than a little sleepy.
His eyes must have closed for a second since Nick found himself opening them when he felt Vincent rub his thumb over his cheek. “Do you want to get some sleep?”
Nick wanted to sleep so badly, but he sighed. “I have a few more papers I should go through.”
Vincent kept up the soft swipe of his thumb, making it difficult for Nick to convince his eyes to stay open. “April is a tough month, huh?” he asked sympathetically.
Nick exhaled. “You have no idea. I make lots of overtime, but…” He gestured to his computer, turning back to Vincent. “I haven’t really made a lot of time for us these past few weeks. I’m sorry, Vincent.”
“I understand, Nickolas,” Vincent said, “although I do appreciate it.”
Nick reached up to cup his hand, getting lost in his glowing green eyes. “April fifteenth is this week. I’m going to take you out when all the taxes are done.”
Vincent gave him a little smile. “Maybe we should just stay in for a day or two so that I can make sure you sleep and eat,” he said with gentle concern. “Then we can go out.”
“But that’s like the anniversary of when I met you. We have to celebrate or something,” Nick murmured, sitting up in an effort to keep his eyes open.
“That’s right,” Vincent confirmed, remembering, “Back when you were completely wasted. I’m glad that I stopped to check on you.”
Nick smiled tiredly, very much wanting to just lie down in bed with his very comfortable boyfriend. “I’m glad too. I met you a year ago,” he quipped, leaning in for a kiss. He practically melted into it despite the fact that it lasted only about a second.
His tired mind flashed back to that moment on the couch where Vincent’s green eyes glowed and his hair shone with those bluish sparkles.
Now, Vincent was sitting in front of him with his dark hair shining under the lights and his sweater vest slightly rumpled from a full day of work. He smiled at Nick gently, reaching forward to run a hand through his messy hair.
“You’re really beautiful,” Nick murmured, his eyes trying to shut again at the comfortable scratch of Vincent’s fingers on his scalp.
Vincent chuckled. “Thank you. You’re quite the looker yourself.”
Nick yawned into his hand. “Even when I’m such a mess?” He couldn’t help but to be distinctly aware of his rumpled tee shirt and his messy hair and probably tired, bloodshot eyes.
“Even then,” Vincent confirmed, leaning up to kiss him on the cheek.
“Was it your plan to give me food and tea so I’ll fall asleep?” Nick mumbled, feeling less and less like turning back to his computer with every moment.
Vincent’s chuckle was low. “No, but I would be lying if I said that I didn’t want you to call it a night.”
Nick smiled at him sleepily. “Five more minutes. I promise. Then I’ll go to sleep with you.”
Vincent raised an eyebrow. “Before three in the morning tonight? I’m looking forward to it,” he said, standing and leaning down to give him another kiss. “I can help you with your back too. I know it’s been hurting you.”
Nick wasn’t even surprised anymore by the fact that his boyfriend knew him so incredibly well. He unabashedly stared at the man’s butt for a second before he remembered that he had promised Vincent that he would be done in five minutes.
It was probably closer to twenty minutes by the time his sluggish mind went through five more forms, but Vincent was still sitting awake in bed behind him with a book in his hands.
Nick smiled at him gently for a second, not wanting to disturb the quiet scene in front of him. He’d been dating Vincent for the past year almost. Last year during tax season, he hadn’t had anyone to entice him to eat or to remind him that it was important that he slept.
This year, his boyfriend looked up from his book and put it on the nightstand with a soft smile. “Come here, Nickolas,” Vincent said in that hypnotic voice of his.
Nick did as he was asked, crawling into bed beside Vincent with a tired groan and flopping down on his stomach. A moment later, he felt Vincent move to massage his back, right where it had been hurting for the past three hours.
He groaned at the feeling of Vincent’s hands. “Thank you for taking care of me,” Nick murmured, struggling to keep his eyes open.
Vincent leaned down so close that Nick could feel his breath on the back of his neck before Vincent was kissing his cheek. “You don’t need to thank me for that.”
Nick hummed deep in his chest, breathing out, “I love you so much.”
“I love you too,” Vincent said right away. “Go to sleep, Nickolas. I’ll be here.”
That was the last thing Nick heard before he finally gave in and succumbed to sleep, confident in the fact that when he woke up, Vincent would be there right beside him.
Five days later when tax season ended, plus an additional two days wherein Nick slept for far too long, and Nick was glad to have Vincent underneath him too.
He kissed his boyfriend passionately, enthralled at the way the man was already breathing heavily, his green eyes blown wide and his lips soft and warm as Nick leaned in again.
“God, I’m glad that work is done,” Nick murmured against his lips, ready to use all that focus on Vincent instead.
Vincent moaned and squirmed underneath him as he moved down to kiss the man’s neck. “So am I,” he breathed out. “I missed you, Nickolas.”
Nick kissed him again, but he needed to pull back to give Vincent a minute to catch his breath. “I missed you too, honey.”
Vincent pulled him closer with a hand on each of his cheeks. Those green eyes bore into him, flashing brightly. “Show me how much,” he commanded in this sexy voice.
Nick smirked. “My pleasure.”