I’m having a bad day at work.
Nick frowned down at Vincent’s message. While he’d suffered through a few mind-numbing meetings and rushed phone calls himself, it sounded like his day was going much better than his boyfriend’s. What happened?
Some jerk smashed my lunch—on accident—someone else made me drop all my papers, and I’ve had to run all over today. I’m already exhausted and it’s only Thursday.
He smiled sympathetically, typing back: Maybe we both should have just called off. Spent the day together.
We really should have. And continue what we were doing Sunday night.
Nick flushed at the very thought of that particular make-out session. Don’t make me think of that at work, he typed, adding: How about I bring you lunch to brighten up your day a little?
I feel really lucky to be dating you.
I’ll take that as a yes.
Nick would admit that he was eager to get away from his desk for a little while too. People simply kept finding him to add to his list of things to do and he was terrible at saying no. Andrew said that it was his biggest flaw.
Trying to avoid being too sweaty when he arrived, Nick took a cab to the New York Public Library. He was pretty sure that the July heat was still making him sweat though, even on the short walk up the library steps and past the beautiful lion stonework standing guard outside.
Nick truly could have spent hours in a place like this. The stone floors and walls were regal, reflecting the thumps of his footsteps as he walked. The windows let in swaths of light, highlighting the stone steps and metal railings that he walked past on his way up the stairs. He didn’t exactly know where he was going, but Vincent had said that he would be done in a few minutes.
He found himself walking back to the entrance to wait when he heard the quick clicks of a woman’s heels followed by a hard shove and the sound of some books barreling into the floor.
“Whoops, looks like I ran into you there. I’m so sorry about that,” the woman said kindly, lowering the still sizable stack of books in her hands to see him properly. There was a smile on her heart-shaped face. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” Nick assured her. He leaned down to grab the books that had fallen off the top of her stack. “I really hope these aren’t fragile.”
“Not these ones. Oh, you can just put those right back on top,” she said, adjusting the books in her arms. For a small kind of woman, only made taller by the height of her blue heels, she didn’t complain at all about the weight she was carrying.
Nick raised an eyebrow at her. Some part of his brain noticed that her blue heels were the same color as her blue skirt as she clicked her heel on the floor again and shifted her books. “Um, are you okay with all of those?”
She continued smiling pleasantly. “Oh, sure. Just running an errand for my friend. Today hasn’t been working out for him, so I offered to do some manual labor. Vincent told me that he would do it later, but—” She cut herself off with a shrug, or something that was supposed to be a shrug but that was somewhat awkward with her hands full.
Nick figured that Vincent wasn’t that common of a name, so he asked, “Vincent Hernandez? I was waiting for him actually.”
Her eyes lit up immediately. “So, are you Nick then? Hi! So nice to meet you,” she chirped, trying to reposition her books to shake his hand. She gave up with a sheepish expression. “You don’t really look like an accountant,” she murmured, and he genuinely had no idea what that meant. There was a slight pause before she added, “Oh! I’m Colleen by the way. Unless he doesn’t talk about his work stuff—which is okay.”
“No, he’s mentioned you. And yeah, I’m Nick,” he said to her, amused. “You’re taking these books to him? Mind if I come along?”
“That’d be great. Vincent really needs the cheer today, so he’ll be happy to see you,” she said casually, leading the way down the stone hallways.
Nick let a moment pass before he asked, “Vincent mentions me, I guess?”
Colleen smiled over at him. She had no problem walking quickly even in her heels. “He likes to bring you up every now and again. He always smiles when he talks about you.”
Nick was pretty sure that he flushed. He was grateful for the opportunity to get the door for her while the color in his face faded.
“Vincent!” Colleen called. “Super special delivery for you!”
“Colleen, stop being loud,” another man said from his desk, although with no actual heat in his voice.
“Oh, shush, Mitch,” she replied in that same kind tone that she’d used before. “Hey, this guy is Vincent’s boyfriend.”
The man raised his eyebrows. He was a bit of an older man with salt and pepper hair and a lot of crow’s feet around his eyes. It was obvious why when he smiled and stood. “Good to meet you then. Nick, is it? I’m Mitchell. I’ve been working with Vincent for a while now.”
Nick nodded, shaking his hand. “Hello. You’ve been here for some time then?”
“About… maybe fifteen years? It’s been nice having Vincent here for the past three, and Colleen here since last year,” he said with a nod towards Colleen. He spoke somewhat slowly, kind of like an old professor might.
“And it’ll be nice if he can take his boyfriend to lunch before my arms fall off,” Colleen quipped, already leading the way. “Over here, Nick.”
Vincent may have not have had his own office, but he did have a fairly secluded area in the back where he was currently shoving papers together and jumping up from his desk.
“Ah!” Colleen called before he could run into her too. “I already dropped these once, Vincent,” she chided, not really sounding properly annoyed as she dumped her books into Vincent’s arms with a smile.
“Uh, that was my fault,” Nick volunteered, watching Vincent’s eyes turn to him. He could see the man’s shoulders physically slump in relief, as if he had been struggling to hold up the weight of the world.
“I’m sorry, Nick—do we still have enough time for lunch?” he asked, his eyes looking duller than usual. He placed the books on his desk, which was already full of paperwork.
Nick gave him a sympathetic look. “We do. Nothing fancy though.”
Vincent waved away his concern. “We’re not fancy anyway.” He turned to Colleen. “Thanks for the books, Colleen. And for finding him.”
She rocked back and forth on her heels, smiling. “Sure, it was fun. Well, not the books, but it was cool to meet Nick. Stop by again if you’d like, Nick.”
He nodded, bidding her and then Mitchell goodbye before it was just him and Vincent again walking through the quiet stone hallways. He took Vincent’s hand and watched the man sigh tiredly.
“Long day, huh?” Nick asked quietly. Their footsteps thumped lightly on the flooring.
Vincent huffed out a breath. “You have no idea. I can’t tell you how happy I am to see you today.”
Nick resisted the urge to kiss Vincent at his workplace. “Colleen says that you mention me?”
It felt like an accomplishment to get Vincent to chuckle after the morning he’d had. “Yes, I do,” Vincent admitted absolutely shamelessly, “Do you mind that I talk about you?”
“Not at all,” Nick said, feeling that warmth in his chest again. Meeting some of Vincent’s friends—and understanding that Vincent found him important enough to talk about to them—made their relationship feel pleasantly permanent.
He pulled Vincent along and out the front doors, immediately aware of the warmth of the heat all around him. Vincent’s hand was comfortable—if not slightly sweaty—in his, and the sunlight kept reflecting off of his glasses. Even though it wasn’t night, his black hair shone with those blue sparkles.
Nick was glad to see Vincent’s green eyes sparkling a little bit again too by the time they kissed goodbye—sadly, after only maybe twenty minutes together, since he needed to return to his own office.
“Nickolas,” Vincent chuckled after a particularly slow kiss in the shadow of a tree, “You need to go back to work.”
“Date night tomorrow night?” Nick suggested hopefully, wanting nothing more than to continue kissing his boyfriend.
He received a smile, and despite Vincent telling him to go back to work, the man still gave him another peck on the cheek. “I’m already looking forward to it.”
There was something about the promise of a date that made the day pass more quickly. Even dealing with a rude coworker the next day couldn’t get his spirits down. Nick did sort of escape his office kind of quickly though to meet Vincent.
Actually, he almost ran right into Vincent, but his boyfriend stopped him from hitting the sidewalk pathetically.
“Hey, honey,” Nick said brightly.
“In a rush?” Vincent smirked, looking tired, but less harried.
“You wouldn’t believe how beautiful my boyfriend is—of course, I’m in a rush.”
Vincent shook his head fondly. “Come on, Nickolas. I’m treating you to dinner tonight.”
As much as Nick wanted to spend his entire Friday evening just making out with Vincent, dinner was nice. The pancakes they’d ordered were sweet, the lights of the restaurant were soft, and the sun was slowly setting outside, turning the blue sky shades of red and orange.
“I mean we could go to a movie,” Vincent said as they waited for the check, “but there’s no way I’ll actually watch it right now.”
Nick raised an eyebrow. “There’s nothing interesting enough that’ll keep your attention?” he teased, knocking his feet together with Vincent’s playfully.
“I would be in your lap in like five minutes,” he responded with this fiery kind of look that made Nick shiver slightly.
He wasn’t sure if he was glad that the check had arrived in that moment or frustrated that Vincent needed to pull his gaze away to pay it. He wished that the air outside was a little cooler; maybe it would cool down the heat that seemed to suffuse him these days.
“So, am I the only boyfriend who you would jump in a movie theater?” Nick asked when they were alone once again with the now-darkening sky for some company.
Vincent hummed, amused. “I got kicked out of a theater when I got my first real boyfriend in college. We needed a place to avoid roommates, it was dark, and I was a lot dumber.”
Nick tried to hold back his smile and a laugh, but there was no way he could sound serious. “Wow, my boyfriend is a real troublemaker.”
Vincent knocked their shoulders together, laughing lowly in his chest. “Oh, like you’ve never been caught doing anything.”
“Ugh, by my brother,” Nick lamented, making a face at the memory. “I was seventeen, he was fifteen, and he walked in my room when my girlfriend was sort of… on her knees,” he said delicately, feeling embarrassed even at the ten-year-old memory.
To his credit, Vincent really tried not to laugh. He wasn’t very successful, and ended up snorting instead. “It’s not funny,” he said through chuckles.
Nick shook his head, laughing along. “No, it’s funny.”
That was all Vincent needed to laugh a little louder. “You poor thing,” he said sympathetically through his chuckles. “And now you walk in on your roommates?”
“Truly the circle of life,” Nick drawled sarcastically. He rolled his eyes. “God, I wish those two had a sense of shame. The only person I want to see without clothing is you.”
There was no embarrassment to go with those words. Nick simply smiled over at Vincent, who smirked back and said, “That can be arranged. If you’d like, of course.”
He would definitely like that. “My place?”
“Will it be alright if your friends are there?”
“As long as they have clothing on,” Nick murmured dryly, “I haven’t really found the words to tell them that I’m not exactly straight, but I also don’t care much if they know. If they’re home, oh well,” he shrugged, almost surprised at how easily the words came to him. He wasn’t even nervous to say them.
Nick stopped walking abruptly when Vincent stopped beside him, still holding onto his hand. Nick blinked at him questioningly.
Vincent only looked at him softly. “Nickolas, that means a lot to me. You’re sure you’re okay with that?”
“You’re not pressuring me,” Nick said seriously. “You’re important to me. Plus, I want to be able to make out with my boyfriend in my own room.”
Vincent chuckled gently. “I do happen to like your room.”
“Let’s go then,” Nick said, pulling him along again.
As it turned out, Andrew and Maddie weren’t there when Nick let them in. Nick had to wonder if they had told him about a date night or something for the wedding and he had just not been paying attention.
Not that he and Vincent spent much time in the kitchen or the living room. It only took about a minute to end up in Nick’s room and atop his bed, Nick kissing his boyfriend fiercely. He was the one who pretty much crawled into Vincent’s lap, holding himself up on his knees as he connected their lips and placed his hands along his boyfriend’s cheeks.
Vincent smiled at his enthusiasm, ghosting his hands over Nick’s sides and to his butt. Nick let out a breathy noise in the back of his throat as those hands moved up higher. It took him a second to process the fact that Vincent had undone the buttons on his shirt.
He tried to do the same after he’d removed Vincent’s vest, but Nick kept getting distracted by the feeling of Vincent kissing him deeply and the sensation of his warm hands running along his chest.
“Damn,” Nick murmured when he tried and failed to undo the buttons for probably the third time. He had to lean back to legitimately focus on the task, which didn’t turn out to be so bad when he felt the heat of Vincent’s eyes on him.
Nick moved back in to kiss up his neck, pleasure jumping up his spine when he heard Vincent let out a low moan. They fell backward into the pillows, Nick reconnecting their lips with fervor.
His hands wandered. Over Vincent’s chest and down to his stomach, but stopping just before his belt.
“We can go further,” Vincent said gently, his chest heaving in and out.
Nick met his eyes. His brain was slightly fuzzy, but he was fully aware of the way Vincent’s belt felt underneath his fingers when he undid it.
“You’re sure this is okay, Nick?” Vincent asked seriously, having caught his breath.
Nick ran his hand over his boyfriend’s thigh, watching him shut those green eyes for a second and resisting the urge to move his hand higher. “I’m sure. I know I’ve been kind of slow, but well…”
“But the anatomy is a little different between guys and girls,” Vincent finished with a fond smirk.
“That’s true,” Nick chuckled, “so I might still be a little slow, but I can’t even put into words how much I’d like to do this.”
He wasn’t exactly sure of what he was referring to when he used the word “this,” but then he was on his back and Vincent was on top of him. The man’s hands were like fire as they tugged on his belt to undo it. Nick sighed in relief when Vincent had the button on his pants undone, but those warm hands mixed with the weight of the other man on top of him brought him far too close to the edge.
“You’re going to make me ruin my pants like a teenager,” Nick mumbled, taking a few breaths. He almost went over that edge anyway when he saw Vincent with this hungry look in his green eyes.
“You’re going to boost my ego way too much,” he teased with this sexy smile, hovering above him.
Nick moaned when Vincent lowered himself to nose at his neck and slowly press them together from groin to shoulder. That weight on top of him, mixed with his firm chest and warm body, was almost too much.
Somehow, Nick possessed enough self-control to lift his hips and shrug his pants off. His heart almost jumped right out of his chest when Vincent mirrored him, sitting up for a second to slip his own down his hips and to the floor.
And then Vincent was atop him, Nick was hot and incredibly turned on, and he felt as it the tension between them had skyrocketed.
He really might have ruined his boxers if there wasn’t a knock at his door that forced Nick to remember that he did in fact still live with his two friends who must have returned. Two friends that he sort of hated in that moment as Vincent shifted to sit beside him and let him catch his breath.
“What do you want?” Nick called out tersely, frustration in every word.
There was a pause from the other side of the door. “What, did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed today?”
Vincent was sitting next to him, breathing quietly. He would have looked calm if not for the way his green eyes were blown wide, or the way his hair stuck up messily. Of course, the tent in his boxers also made it pretty clear that he wasn’t exactly calm.
Nick almost forgot that Andrew was on the other side of the door, but evidently, being quiet didn’t scare his friend away. “Uh, you’re not dying in there, right?”
He would never be able to accurately recount why he said his next words, although Nick figured that it was a mix of frustration and the heat in his gut that made him answer, “I’m masturbating, so either tell me what you want, or go the hell away.”
Vincent had to put his hand over his mouth to stop himself from bursting out in laughter. He muffled the sound, but he still snorted.
Nick imagined Andrew’s eyebrows going up in surprise based on his tone. “Well, alright. Have fun in there, I guess. Just wanted to let you know that Maddie and I will be gone until Sunday. Wedding stuff with her mom.” He ended up laughing near the end, his laughter fading out as he walked away. The front door shut maybe a minute later, also shutting out Andrew’s chuckling.
Truly, Nick didn’t feel any shame at all when he turned back to Vincent and asked, “So, care to help me make sure that I didn’t lie to my friend?”
Vincent was still chuckling, his smile wide. “Oh, I can definitely do that.”
It took one touch of his warm hand for Nick to feel the heat ignite again and for thoughts of Andrew and Maddie to be entirely pushed from his brain. He was pretty sure that he made some kind of noise at the way Vincent shifted his hand up his thigh and to his crotch, but Nick doubted that he would ever find the words to describe that sound.
All he knew was that Vincent was insanely good with his hands, and that in the end, he really didn’t care that the anatomy was more than a little different.
Not when it was Vincent with him.