Empty swimming pools [BxB]

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Feelin' way too damn good


William is on his second glass of champagne and he’s been here only 10 minutes. He hates his father’s big mansion, his beautiful garden and crispness of his suit tailored to perfection, likely in a high end London tailor’s shop.

The place he grew up in is enormous. White moldings decorated the sides of the building, and dark stone clad the walls in a simple, elegant manner, three sash windows wide and three stories high, it just screamed wealth and fame and history. Walls inside are covered in paintings, maybe hundreds of them, old and new, his father is pretentious like that, have to own pieces of art that have famous signatures on them.

The huge mahogany table takes up most of the vast space the dining room offers. The walls are covered with shimmering wall paper and in the middle of the ceiling above the table is a candelabra. The polished silver cutlery shines brightly in the late afternoon light. At each place stands a tall empty wine glass and there are beautifully folded napkins.

William doesn’t want to be here.

How many times had he gone home for Christmas or birthdays, only to sit quietly and zone out while everyone got drunk and talked about topics he had no interest in. Everything about this house reminds him of his relationship with his father and also of the fact that his mother, the only person he cared about in this house isn’t alive anymore. He does love spending time with his sister, and misses her constantly but his uncles and aunts together with their children not so much.
It’s Charlotte’s engagement party and if it wasn’t for his sister and her special day he would probably not show up at all. He’s still jet lagged from his flight from New York yesterday and now he has to sit here and try to avoid his father. And Nina. Luckily the weather is lovely in Surrey today and drinks are constantly available so he thinks he will manage with that help.

- You might want to slow down babe, it’s your second glass already and the food’s not even out.

No, she won’t count his glasses of champagne, he’s not a teenager and she’s not his fucking mother, he thinks while downing the glass looking straight into Nina’s big dark brown eyes. Wearing an elegant, pale beige pantsuit with a string of pearls at her neck she smiles uncomfortably not letting anyone at the table know how upset she actually is. She’s an actress after all. William doesn’t care, he is enjoying this. In the last couple of weeks Nina did manage to piss him off more than usual.

Just when he thought he was a master of his thoughts fate takes a new turn. Emotions come taking him somewhere different to the place he had expected. It’s beautiful and has gorgeous blue green eyes and soft dark hair yet he is afraid because it is all new and his heart beats all the harder.

*

There’s something about him. When he sees him enter the backstage room, his loose hair falling around his shoulders, slight pink tinge to his cheeks, t-shirt wet from the sweat clinging to his body. His eyes are regarding him with a mild interest. He realises then that he has to talk to him, be close to him. Watching his mouth, the shape of it and the tone of the voice that escapes it doing things to him. Confusing him, making him blush. A beauty spot sits just below the corner where his lips meet.

-And don’t worry William, I won’t allow her to steal your thunder. You’ll get your chance later to show me what you’ve got. - Lennon’s voice is the only thing he hears in a loud crowded room and even though his girlfriend is next to him he only has eyes for Lennon. He is dangerous.

Lennon swipes a hand through his damp hair and strands stick up in different directions making him look like a dishevelled school boy.

It’s just another ruse to hide the danger within.

The nearness of Lennon is making his skin itch, he smells delicious, like sweet watermelon bubble gum, sweat and warm summer nights. It reminds him of those days when he was lying on the concrete edge of the swimming pool of his house, in rare occasions summer in England reached temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius, his one leg dipped in the cool water and his eyes on the script, memorizing the lines for his school play.

He is more than danger. He is deadly. Like a witcher. Like a siren that lures the prey with song and beauty before devouring it.

*

He is going to that place quite often in the past couple of weeks. When the sun sets, just before he falls asleep, then when he wakes up, maybe even in his dreams. In the shower when he touches himself more often than it’s normal, he thinks. And he tried to push it all away. After Lennon left his car he felt empty and alone. Just like those pools at the World Trade Center memorial.

Then he went home and called Nina, desperate to feel that flatter of butterfly wings in his stomach like he did when he was listening to Lennon talk. She was busy at work and started complaining about misunderstanding with her director and her voice wasn’t sexy at all, it was high pitch annoying and didn’t do anything but make William end the conversation sooner than later. He felt guilty, he was ashamed of what he did, and of this feeling that he had now- because he loved her. He was sure of it.

They were together for almost a year and a half, since they worked on a project in Broadway theater when William was just starting out. She was lovely and funny and just beautiful and was very interested in him, and he wasn’t stupid to turn down a gorgeous girl like her. He didn’t know a lot of people and being from England he felt even more foreign in this new job, but she helped him so much. She introduced him to all the right people, she stayed late every night with him when he needed to rehearse and his family adored her. Not that he cared what his family thought but it felt like for the first time he did something right in his life that his father approved.

So in the past two weeks after Lennon appeared and disappeared from his life all he was trying to do is to spend more time with Nina and search for all the things he loved about her in the beginning.
She is kind and smart. But doesn’t have that childish innocent type of kindness so genuine without even trying.
She is beautiful and attractive. But doesn’t look like Michelangelo’s creation after shower and there’s no sunshine in her smile.
She is funny. But actually not that funny.
She turns him on. But never did she send shock right through him, set goosebumps on his arms, shivers down his spine with just one look or unintentional touch.

Lennon has that kind of face that stops you in your tracks. Everyone seems to love him, they’re drawn to him. William saw it in the way they hang on his words and smile at everything he would say no matter how dumb it might sound. They wanted to be close to him just like he did since he saw him on that stage and then went backstage to talk to him.
William definitely listened to the band, his life was always filled with music, both for work and his own pleasure but he never went further in exploring the band then downloading their album on his Spotify and catching them on TV in couple of English talk shows. And then Liam said the lead singer and the guitarist are his mates and he has a ticket to the show, if he wanted to come with him. He loved live rock concerts so that was a no brainer.
Then he saw Lennon on stage. But it wasn’t enough, the pull was so strong, the need to find out more, to see up close, because the face and the performance didn’t match the sadness of the majority of the lyrics of the songs. It was a mystery he thought he would solve by meeting the man, or at least seeing him up close. He asked Liam if he could come with him to the backstage. He didn’t really want to admit to himself that it’s for anything other than just pure curiosity about meeting the man who wrote those beautiful heavy lyrics, definitely not the fact that he was ridiculously hot.
Nina was with him, and even if she wasn’t, never before he had an inappropriate thought about another person while in a relationship with her. Yes, he could acknowledge attractive people but certainly never wanted to be with them.

So after meeting Lennon, seeing his post-concert appearance he was stunned - he’s handsome no doubt, but inside he was a beautiful disaster. Sure, his overly bright smile and grossly good posture, his overall presence was almost too much for the typical American bar they were in. Words like superstar, prince, demigod come to mind.

Then he thought a boy; they were around the same age, Lennon just a couple of years younger then William but something about him - the combination of his baby face and something that says pretentious, spoiled, careless, made him think of him as a child, a teenager who needs a good telling off. His laugh was sometimes like a childish whine other times smooth purr.

He often shamelessly checked out obviously beautiful, gorgeous people in his surroundings but he was also aware of how gorgeous he was. Words like player, flirt, heartbreaker, tempter, come to mind.

And then there were moments of undivided attention he would give you if you peaked his interest for whatever reason, and then he’s kind, observant and a good listener. He would ask you questions that seemed ridiculous but turned out to be genius and profound. Like he wanted to know you and connect with you. Whether he actually wanted to or it was just his bubbly nature William couldn’t find out in such a short time. He was humble when he talked about his success, respectful of his bandmates and team and definitely made you feel special. At least William did after he spent almost all night in the bar in his company.

But after he found out that Lennon liked men, all those different aspects of his personality mixed with little signals that Lennon was sending him during the day, came back like an explosion, he just physically couldn’t stop himself.

He didn’t want to kiss him.

A thousand paths that lead to his destruction would begin with kissing that man.

He did it anyway.

His body instantly rushed to be closer to Lennon and taste those plump sinful lips that were subconsciously imprinted in his mind since the moment he first smiled at William.

They tasted like strawberries and watermelon and the apocalypse of his sanity.

He couldn’t explain it.

Thoughts of Lennon dissolve as he concentrates on a champagne flute in his hand. It could have been minutes or hours he doesn’t know. Guests at the party are cheerfully chatting, champagne is constantly flowing and he is thinking how to escape this place without upsetting Charlotte. He dabs his mouth with a napkin and stands up from the table. He walks out into the spacious lobby, decorated with stylish antiques, cold and familiar. He is about to go ask Nina if they could go back to his hotel because there’s no way he will stay in this house overnight but that is stopped by a man he was successfully ignoring the whole day.

- William. How have you been son? - his voice echoes through the foyer.

- I was just leaving actually.

- Not so fast. We didn’t get a chance to catch up. How’s that play thing doing, you’re still into dancing in tights in front of people? - William looks at his father with a fake smile because this is exactly what he is used to hearing from him. It doesn’t bother him anymore. He replies with something sarcastic he can’t really engage much in this conversation even if he wanted, all of a sudden realising how drunk he is. After a few seconds of uncomfortable silence his father looks through the large window at Nina who is chatting with guests next to the pool in the big garden.

- She’s an amazing girl, William. Still can’t comprehend how you managed to keep her all this time. God, I am so glad that the faze you were in University is long gone. - William shivers at his father’s words, memories coming back to his drunken mind, making him sick. Making him hate this man even more. But he stays silent. - We think you should propose soon? It would be nice, wouldn’t you agree?

- We? - William’s eyes go wild at these words.

- Well, I and uncle Pete, and Charlotte obviously. The whole family. I mean, what is with the long wait. It’s t..

- Really?! Uncle Pete? So that’s why you want me to marry her, I knew you had something else in mind not actually wanting me to get married out of, I don’t know, love? Great, just great.

- Calm down William. No need to be dramatic. You know your uncle wants you to take his spot when he retires and that will be soon. If you’re married and start a family it would just look better for the board and public. They would be more accepting, you will appear more serious, more responsible. Let’s not kid ourselves, you don’t have much of a similar job experience on your resume.

- I’m not interested. I have a job thank you very much. - William presses, feeling the anger course in his body. Father chuckles, then laughs loudly, humorlessly as he walks towards the large painting on the wall. It is a portrait of his mother, when she was younger, wearing her simple white tutu and bodice, elegant and timeless. He never knew her like this. After she gave birth to him and Charlotte she never returned to her successful career of a professional ballerina. She stayed at home, knowing her place, performed her role of a perfect billionaire’s wife with pretty face and well-taught manners.

- That’s not a real job oh come on, you dance in th...

- Dance in tights, I heard it the first time. Like mum did. You’re such a hypocrite.

- That’s different. She was a woman. And she stopped her career after she had you. Because you were more important to her than anything. - William opens his mouth to say something but his father doesn’t let him by raising his voice and the black hole in his gut sucks all his words away. - She gave up the thing she loved doing the most in her life in order to raise you, our heir, the oldest of all my brother’s children. This job is what you are supposed to do for your family. We all made sacrifices. - he looks at William in a stern manner. - Just think about it, I’m sure Nina would love to get married. She loves you. You shouldn’t let her wait forever.

- I’m done talking to you. - he barely manages to say anything. His father is the only person who knows how to push his buttons. He is furious. He leaves him just standing there and rushes out, catching Nina on his way out.

- I’m going to my hotel.

- What? Why? We can stay in the house, it’s such a long drive to London.

- It’s only 45 minutes and I will go 45 hours if necessary just to get the hell away from him. - William shouts in anger showing in the direction where he stood with his father just moments ago.

- Don’t tell me you two fought? Come on babe, you just had a few. You can sleep it off here. I really don’t feel like going now.

- Then stay. I can’t stay here. I’m sorry really, but you know how much I don’t like him. - Nina sighs in understanding and hugs him. Her Dior J’adore makes him even more restless. He pulls away.

- I’m going to the hotel to sleep, I will see you tomorrow in the city for lunch, yeah?

- Ok babe. I’m going to tell Charlotte you said goodbye.

- Thank you. - he kisses her quickly and reaches for his phone to call for a car.

He feels better as soon as the car, one of the family perks, starts driving him away from that gorgeous but cold Edwardian mansion. He opens the window, breathing in trying to sober up. It is a beautiful evening in April and he looks forward to going back to his hotel room and sleep, so he can plan the next few days doing something he actually enjoys.

But one thought is constantly on his mind - what if he runs into Lennon. It’s nearly impossible, London is a big city and who would even guarantee that he is in London anyway. As those thoughts are running through his drunken mind he suddenly spots a billboard on the side of the road.
It is for a music festival that summer and there is Lennon on it jamming his guitar,mouth opened, eyes closed, like in trance, or an orgasm, William mind can’t decide. And he knows it. It is a sign. Literally sign on the road telling him that in fact he has to see him again.

So he reaches for his phone and damn it, he doesn’t have his phone number. How is he going to reach him? Liam. He’s already calling his friend in New York not even minding the time difference, it’s only afternoon on the East Coast.

- Hi mate, you busy?

- Hey Will. Where are you? I thought you’re in London?

- Yeah yeah I am. Listen, I need Lennon’s number. If that’s ok? - he says it and instantly regrets it because it sounds so desperate.

- Er... Lennon Lewis’ number? Why?

- Oh, well just wanted to reach out, you know, we said we would hang out when in London but we actually forgot to exchange numbers. So...

- Ok? William?

- Yeah, mate? - William can sense that Liam is suspicious.

- Just be careful, alright? I know Lenny, he’s my best friend and I love him to bits, but he’s a bit of a player, if he made a move on you just don’t... don’t go there, yeah? Because he dips his cock in anything that moves.

- What? Liam, no! He didn’t make a move on me. It’s just friendly casual hanging out. - William defends, feeling awful for lying. Well, to be fair Lennon didn’t make a first move, William did. That dipping cock part lingers a bit longer then he expected in his mind.

- Ok ok, I’m just saying. I noticed how he looked at you that night in the pub. - Liam laughs and William tenses in the back seat of the car because that information only makes him be more impatient. He only later caught up with Lennon’s flirting - have everyone seen something there but him? - He’s the loveliest human being but he goes through guys like they’re nothing. - Liam lets out a husky laugh again. - They’re disposable.

- I can imagine. - he answers weakly. The guy he talked to for hours in New York doesn’t match the one Liam is describing, sure Lennon was charming and flirty but can’t see him as a predator. But Liam knows him better than William does.

- But I heard he makes it worth their while. Few blokes said to me he’s hung like you wouldn’t believe it.

- Jesus Liam. -not what William dick needs to hear right now.

- Sorry, TMI. Anyway, my point is, you have a nice girlfriend and Lennon barely sleeps with one person twice so... yeah, I’m just looking after you Will.

- Thanks Liam but I’m sure I can take care of myself.

After a few more minutes they hang up and William gets Lennon’s phone number. He doesn’t think much, he is almost positive he wants to see him. He has to confirm that all this agony that he’s been dealing with is for a reason.

They’re stuck in traffic in central London near Hyde park. He types. He’s casual, not desperate. Hi Lennon, hope you’re doing well, I’m back in London for a few days, are you free to hang out? William. Sending. Sent. Fuck. It’s done. Why the fuck did he do that?

He shuts his eyes in frustration instantly regretting it, realizing that Lennon might not even reply or he will reply saying - William who. He’s panicking.

His iPhone chimes and little message pops up, William smiles.

Lennon: What a pleasant surprise.

Lennon: Always free for you William Hamilton- Smith.

Lennon: When it is good for you?

Lennon: I’m free now.

Four separate messages come when he could have typed it all in one and that makes William smile to himself for some reason. Maybe because he can almost hear Lennon saying these words in his voice. He is happy he’s not rejected but he didn’t think of his next move. So he just tells him he is on his way to his hotel and that they can meet wherever is convenient for Lennon.

Lennon: I will just meet you at your hotel lobby and then we can figure it out from there.

It’s what he says and William agrees, typing his hotel address.

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