He jolts awake listening for whatever has woken him but all William finds is Lennon wrapped around him, his soft snores purring against his throat. After last night’s confessions William thought they would be unable to sleep for days but Lennon passed out on top of him soon after William pulled him into his embrace. It seems that telling gruesome, horrific things of the past exhausts you like that.
He stayed awake for hours after Lennon fell asleep, just making sure that he’s awake in case Lennon wakes up from another nightmare. But he didn’t even move. He slept like a baby, calm and relaxed and beautiful in all his pain. William was thinking about everything, silently cried at moments. And then he fell asleep at some point probably exhausted as well from the thoughts and worry.
Now he is just staring from Lennon’s sleepy face to the bedroom door, he remembers leaving it slightly opened last night. He’s groggy, drenched in sweat from Lennon’s body clinging to him and still tired - it was only dawn when Lennon dozed off, and maybe around eight when he did.
Fuck, he remembers he should be in the office at 9 and he obviously forgot to set an alarm. He slowly moves Lennon away from him, but comes back to gently linger his lips over Lennon’s beauty mark, his favourite, dropping a barely there kiss careful not to wake him. He stirs a bit, but just rolls around, hugs William’s pillow and continues to sleep. He gets his phone from the bedside table and then he hears another sound from the kitchen, coffee machine is on. He hurries out, not even looking at the phone, the scent of coffee greets him as he finds his way into the kitchen.
- Jesus fucking Christ!
Sam shouts and immediately stops pouring coffee in two mugs on the counter, mouth opened, wide eyed staring at William’s crotch. That is currently completely bare and exposed. William remembers that he never put any clothes back on after Lennon’s midnight exploration.
- Morning. What are you doing here? - William yawns while trying to type a message on his phone, letting Micah know that he will be late, not much, he’ll be able to make it to the office by ten.
- Can you?! Like.. Just! What is wrong with you bro?!
Humour is sparkling in William’s eyes as he glances down at his own nudity. He isn’t hard but he is definitely a shower not a grower. And yes, he maybe loves Sam seeing him like this in the middle of Lennon’s place - staking a claim, pissing the territory, whatever one may call it.
- Sorry. I didn’t expect to find anyone in the house. - William says without missing a beat. Sam blushes and tries so hard to focus just on the coffee pot and the mugs.
- Well, I didn’t expect to find you either, you’re gone by this time.
- I slept in.
- I came to take Lennon to the hospital, remember? The consultation. At eleven.
- Shit, yeah. - William is so tired that his brain completely blacked out. - I forgot, we barely got any sleep last night.
Sam snorts, unimpressed. - Yeah, no shit.
William walks over to Sam, just to piss him off more and takes one of the coffee mugs that he knows is not for him.
- Thanks for the coffee. - he grins and starts walking away from the kitchen. - I’m gonna quickly shower and get ready for work, I’m late already, you can wake up Lennon.
Sam doesn’t say anything. William stops and turns around, now trying to cover himself with his hand, just a little bit.
- And Sam? - it takes enormous effort from Sam to lift his eyes and look at William.
- Just... let him sleep another ten minutes or so. He’s... had a rough night.
- You fucker! He has fractured bones for fuck’s sake! How can you...
- N-no man, not like that. Shit... He’s just ... He couldn’t sleep well and we talked until the morning about stuff, that’s all. I wouldn’t... I’m not an animal.
He leaves Sam confused, angry and flustered in the kitchen and goes to the en-suite bathroom of Lennon’s bedroom to shower, glancing on his sleeping form in the passing. He is hoping that the doctor’s appointment goes well but he will be disappointed to leave this house, he knows the excuse that he’s there to take care of him will not be valid when Lennon completely recovers, then there will be no reason for him to stay here.
And he loves this place, it’s such a privilege to be curled up in Lennon’s inner sanctum, looking at the objects that made his everyday life, at the walls he woke up to, his watch and rings on the bedside table. He loves the hardwood floors, a gourmet kitchen, big bathroom that has his toothbrush next to Lennon’s now - he moved it from the guest room at some point.
It also has a top-notch security and some much needed privacy for Lennon’s level of fame. The floor to ceiling windows in his living room had a beautiful view over a garden and the river. It is hidden from the outside world with tall walls, but they’re covered in greenery and tall trees make it look like a small oasis in the middle of the city. There’s a bright yellow vinyl player in the corner, the velvet green sofa with plush fluffy cushions and a piano in the living room. An old skateboard against the wall next to a big cactus. He doesn’t own any more plants because he is away from the house a lot.
Mahogany teakwood scented candles that he gets from Bath & Body Works whenever he goes to America are on a coffee table. His acoustic guitars next to the settee in the bedroom. On the chest of drawers there is a pile of paperbacks, and then some more scattered everywhere around the house. He even found a book in the bread bin in the kitchen.
The most unusual thing is that there are no pictures or framed photographs on the walls but there is a lot of windows so that might be the reason.
He likes how their shoes look toed off in the doorway next to each other. He doesn’t want to go anywhere. Ever. He wants to stay inside these walls cocooned in the deep sense of intimacy between them, safe from the outside world, safe from... safe, even, from himself.
- ... and Nate sent me this sick riff, he’s been working on for days. It fits so good with the lyrics.
- Yeah? You’re writing stuff?
- Mhm... some... since I came from the hospital, I was just scribbling shit down. Nothing else to do.
- Except William.
William stops in his tracks at the door of the bathroom, having just finished his shower, he is on his way to quickly put some clothes on and go to work but he hears his name. It’s Lennon and Sam talking, eavesdropping is wrong but so tempting.
- I’m not doing William. - Lennon just laughs, he’s still in the bed it seems, there’s a lot of rustling of sheets.
- So why the fuck is he walking around naked in this place? - Sam is suspiciously obsessed with William’s nakedness, and he wonders if he was actually right when he thought that the man has a secret crush on Lennon and is being jealous of William. A laugh bursts from the bed again.
- You saw him naked?!
- Yep. Stop fucking laughing, you muppet! - but Lennon can’t stop laughing and then there’s a sound of a pillow hitting another pillow and William can’t see what is happening on the bed but he’s not happy. Are they seriously having a bloody pillow fight right now? Lennon is practically naked. He is going to murder Sam.
- Did you see that dick? Now you know why I was obsessed with it.
- Nope. Not listening. Don’t know. No more visuals please.
- Shit, I’m getting hard right now just thinking about it. - William wants to laugh but he’s also getting hard as well just listening to Lennon talk about his admiration for William’s cock. He goes back inside the bathroom to calm down before he leaves and let them both see the tent in the towel.
- Fuck’s sake. Get ready. I’m going outside to make a phone call. Twenty minutes, hurry up. - Sam shouts and storms out, Lennon’s laugh fills the room again and seconds later he is at the bathroom door. William looks at his face, looking for the signs of apocalypse. He is sleepy, hair unruly, tired, but content. Calm. He leans his head on the doorway.
- So you’re obsessed with my dick, I hear? - William jokes. There’s steam everywhere and he’s hot. And he’s late.
- I said was. - then he looks down, where the towel just pulled around William’s feet. It’s as if Lennon has superpowers and his look willed it to fall down.
- How are you feeling? - William struggles to speak when Lennon comes behind him, hunger in his gaze.
- Good. - he cages him in, planting his hands on either side of the counter and rests his chin lightly on William’s shoulder. - Really good. - he thrust into him, so William can feel his hardness, he is only wearing tight underwear. And William is still very much naked. He clears his throat.
- I’m late for work. I forgot to set my alarm. Last night. You need to go, too. Let me know when you’re done at the doctor’s, and I’m sorry I can’t go with you but today I’m meeting with the board, we’re discussing my replacement and...
- Thank you, William. - he interrupts uninterested in his rambling and then his lips touch William, just between his shoulder blades. He watches their blurry reflections in the bathroom mirror, his skin is burning.
- Are you sure you’ll be okay today? I can try and reschedule...
- William, no. Stop fawning over me like I’m some damsel in distress. Please. Whereas I appreciate everything, no, not appreciate, I am forever grateful for your company and conversation and help, I don’t want you to treat me like I’m some fragile boy who will break down any moment, ok? I promise I will tell you if something’s wrong. If... if that’s something you want?
- Yes. Please, whenever, whatever. You can talk to me. I definitely want that.
- Ok. Right... also I’m planning on asking Dr Johnson to recommend me a therapist. - he smiles, shyly, like he can’t believe it himself. - So, you don’t have to be one anymore.
William swivels around, stays fixed, not breathing, and runs his knuckles along Lennon’s jaw. His sweet smell and proximity and him. Him.
- Oh Lennon... Lennon... - William brushes his lips over his, he is so pleasantly surprised with what Lennon just told him. It’s so hard to breathe. It’s all the steam. And him. He is suffocating. - That’s good, that’s really, really good.
Lennon chuckles, a hot breath of air against William’s mouth. And now it’s hotter, the surface of the sun hot. He’s actually been smiling since he woke up, William notices. And as if he’s not already barely breathing Lennon presses his lips to his and takes that last breath away.
- And I would never look at you as a fragile boy. - he kisses him again. - Never. You’re all man, the bravest man, the strongest man.
He hoists him up, turns around, placing him on the marble bathroom sink, still careful not to hurt him.
- But you are my boy. Yeah? My pretty boy.
It’s always been like this with them. As if they’ve known their roles all along, and it only took those first few minutes in the bed the first time they had sex to gravitate into them, without a spoken formal word the dynamics were established. Lennon pulls him by the neck, his skilled fingertips digging into William’s wet skin and he smothers his words with a kiss, needy, lovingly. He sucks William’s tongue with a tight moan and then gives a little kiss to the corner of his lips.
It’s so Lennon. Hard and soft. Sinful and innocent.
William’s still hard dick brushes along the inside of Lennon’s thigh and William drags his palms up and down Lennon’s thighs, sneaking his fingertips underneath the underwear. And there’s Sam shouting Lennon’s name from somewhere in the house and they break apart trying to catch their breath.
- Shit, fuck. - Lennon moves back. William presses the heel of his hand on the base of his dick to try to calm it down.
- Go on, I’ll let you finish in here. I’m so fucking late too. - he helps him get down, pecks him on the lips one more time, quickly and goes for the door.
- Oi. Take this. - Lennon throws the towel at him. - No more flashing that dick at Sammy. I think you finally turned him gay.
- Are you sure you didn’t do that already?
- Nope. I did try though. - William gives him a murderous look but Lennon just shuts the door in his face with the cheekiest smirk and then William just smiles at the ground. Today started well. He wants all his mornings starting like this.
He leaves the board meeting and breathes out in relief. He’s going to leave this job. It’s not like he didn’t try. He gave it a go, and he didn’t fail, he fit right in, the music part was actually something he enjoyed. But the meetings, the conference calls, the monotony of nine to five gave him no motivation for the music part.
And he wanted to like it, but since he had a taste of joy at work at Broadway, he never stopped thinking about it. How much he enjoyed that, and how this can’t compare.
Just being always on the move, having rehearsals every day but not one the same as the other, adrenaline rush he gets from different shows, different parts, different audiences. And then all the eccentric people that surrounded him, art connoisseurs and theatre lovers that made him feel free and not judged. He knows he might not work in the same Broadway position ever again, but will definitely not going to stick around in the job he doesn’t like and just wait. Part of his decision is Lennon. Lennon has that effect on him, like theatre always had. He’s making him grow, be free and be himself. He is the most real and self when he is with Lennon and when he is working on a theatre project. He is not thinking about going back to New York, even though he has a place in the theatre there guaranteed. But he is not running away anymore, he is staying here and he’s getting Lennon.
He wonders if Lennon would ever be able to make any kind of a real relationship with William work or if he’d ever really want to. He wonders if it will be over before it even begins. Just like the last time. But if he thinks about that morning, Lennon mentioning that he wants to go to therapy and all the smiles on his face, he feels optimistic. He won’t stop. And then when he gets his man he will think about work.
- Sir, you have to sign this document, it’s urgent. - Micah runs after him, he’s on the way into his office. He needs to call Lennon, he should be out of the hospital already. He needs to sign a bunch of documents because he’s job is not done until it’s officially done. He has a one month notice and he will officially resign tomorrow.
- Yes, give me.
- Also Mister Hamilton-Smith is here to see you.
- What? I just saw my uncle in the boardroom, Micah.
- The other Mister Hamilton-Smith, Sir. Senior. I mean Gabriel. Your father, Sir.- and that’s the moment he sees him sitting in his chair at his desk.
- Hello, son.
- Thank you, Micah, you can be excused.
- Of course. Good afternoon, Sir. - Micah fidgets in the doorway after he greets his father and William gives him a look. - Um... Goodbye, Sir. - the door closes and William just walks in and pours Glenlivet in his glass from the drink cabinet in the corner. He rarely drinks alcohol at work, he has it so he can offer it to a client, but this might be a perfect day to treat himself.
- So your assistant, he’s definitely... interesting. - he doesn’t stand up from the desk, William sees from his peripheral. - Are you having sex with him too now that you out of the closet again? - his tone is brutal and amused and William gives him a sharp sideways glance. He prides himself on having walls that are impenetrable, strengthening by years of living far away from his father. The stone walls and rules have taught him how to keep a straight face yet his father always seems to find the one loose stone, with one look he could knock through his armour.
- Firstly it’s rude to assume someone’s sexuality just based on how they look. Secondly, I don’t fuck every gay man. Only one. Thirdly, I’m busy.
- So you admit it. Is this one man the reason you’re resigning the company?
- No. - he sighs massaging the bridge of his nose - I never even wanted to do this, you know what I wanted, since I was a teenager, and it wasn’t this. What is it that you want?
- Well, I came to try to talk you out of resignation. You know the consequences if you do, I told you you would be left without inheritance. - he looks commanding and strict sitting in that chair, with his broad shoulders in his suit and white Oxford shirt, he always looks like the most important man in whatever room he is.
- Do whatever, dad. I can get a job and earn money. You’re wasting your time. And mine.
- I know. You know... - he looks out of the window, suddenly pensive and William downs his whisky. - You are so much like your mother. The love for theatre and all that, I used to take her to West End all the time when we started dating. She loved it, soaking everything in, I couldn’t care less about the plays to be honest. But I cared so much about her so I took her and just watched her watching the play. I... miss her, if I could have her back for just one day I would take her to a bloody theatre this second.
- I know we can’t seem to find the common language. I made mistakes, after she passed, I... just couldn’t get a grip, nothing was important to me. I know you needed me. But I wasn’t... I didn’t know what to do except to focus on keeping the empire I’d built in the family. So it’s on me.
- What is this? An apology or another tactic to try on me to change my mind on resigning?
- Apologies won’t fix anything now.
- Very true. - William gives a humourless laugh. His silhouette reflects in the window.
- I would like to meet him.
- The man you’re seeing.
- Why? So you can insult us together for being gay?
- No. Christ... can you... William, I’m trying here, alright? I’ll probably fail but I’m trying. Can you try too? - he looks at William and motions for him to take a seat at one of the black leather chairs in front of his desk.
- Charlotte told me about Nina. She said you broke up and that she kicked her out. She didn’t say the details because she said it was not on her to say. I was not happy when I heard that obviously, the wedding was supposed to be happening and I just couldn’t believe the scandal and the drama that would cause. And then Nina asked to meet me for lunch.
- Seriously? And you went? - William can’t believe the nerve of that woman.
- Yes. I had to fix another one of your messes, I thought. I went and she told me the story about this man that seduced you, brainwashed you, drugged you basically I don’t know, she went on and on. She didn’t really sound quite right in the head, William, to be honest with you. But I listened. She said you had an affair with him and that he was just using you as a stepping stone to get into the business, to get the record deal with our label. She said a lot of nasty things about the guy. Obviously she asked for my help, to personally talk to you about it and try to put some sense into you.
- And is that why you came?
- No. The whole story didn’t make sense, she didn’t make sense. And believe me, I wanted it to make sense because I would have loved for you two to get married. You two seemed perfect for each other. Not you and some peculiar character from a band. But I just wanted to confirm her story in order to help her maybe, I don’t know, if he was that much of a bad influence I was going to help you see it yourself with evidence. So I asked my friend from the police department, you know, to do some investigating on the side. On your friend. Nothing too much, just to see his criminal record and if he really was this disgrace of a man that she’s claiming. There’s some interesting things but nothing too much. He has a drug dealer. But what rock star doesn’t. He was never convicted, only once held up for public indecency - apparently he pissed in a public place. His family is dead - his sister died of cancer, father in a car accident and mother overdosed on heroin. - William is relieved that he actually knows the majority of these facts otherwise he would certainly not be having a good time hearing all this for the first time from the mouth of his father. Although he didn’t know about Lennon’s mother. God, does Lennon know she is dead?
- He didn’t finish school. Had a short modelling career then found a band. Ended up in a hospital recently, hit by a car. So he investigated the reason. And then he showed me the surveillance video from the street.
- What? - he frowns and it is as if his heart has stopped. - There’s a surveillance video?
- Well it’s Hampstead Heath, of course there are cameras everywhere.
- What’s on it? Tell me.
- Well....Nina pushed him under the car, he wasn’t even looking, he was walking away from her. - blood pounds in William’s head and his skin itches with a need to run from this building and look for Nina Perry.
- I knew it. I fucking knew it!
- He’s doing alright now? - he can’t hear any words anymore, angry waves washing over him. - William?
- Yes yes. I took him to Dr Johnson, to Saint Mary’s wing.
- Good. I’m glad he’s doing alright. No matter what he did he didn’t deserve to be dead.
- He didn’t do anything! She’s obsessed, she’s... - his anger is a living, breathing beast. He tries to comprehend her motives for such a vicious act but fails. He tries to understand how he could be fooled like that.
- She attempted the murder. And I’m happy to go further with investigation. If I have your permission. I can take it to the police. Officially this time.
- Yes, of course I bloody want that. I need to talk to Lennon first, I can’t do it without discussing it with him.
- Of course. Alright. - he stands up and moves around the desk. - I’ll be out your way.
- Dad. - William lifts his head and looks him in the eyes. - Thanks for this.
- I know you think the worst of me but I’m not a monster, William. You’re my son and this is just plain wrong. Like I said, I would like to meet him. Bring him over to the house, we’ll have dinner, Charlotte and Jack can come, we’ll make a toast to the baby. - there’s a ghost of a genuine smile on his father’s face, the one William only saw him give to his mother. - Can you believe it? I’ll be a grandad.
He then leaves without any form of goodbye, leaving the strong smell of his expensive cologne behind him and William just stares.
Then he feels his phone vibrate in his pocket and this fire and fury that Nina caused inside him disappears as he reads the messages from his boy.
Lennon: As agreed this morning I’m checking in ;)
Lennon: Doctor said I’m fine.
Lennon: Well not 100%, he’s changing some of my medication
Lennon: I’m on my way to Nate’s now we’ll be jamming in his home studio probably all night, we have a song
Lennon: You can stay at the house anyway
William: Thank you for letting me know, I’ll stay at the Seasons tonight and see you tomorrow. We have to talk. Take it easy with the jamming xxx
Lennon: Okay DAD
Lennon: Oops you don’t want me to call you daddy now do you
Lennon: Not sure I’m into that
Lennon: Are you into that?
Lennon: You certainly looked like a daddy when you spanked me
William: Lennon, I’m very busy at work and you’re distracting me. And no, I’m not into that. But if you are then I can be. Whatever you want xxx
Lennon: Spoiling me so much, already like a true daddy
Lennon: I’ll stop
Lennon: C ya tmrw x
His grin is brighter than the sun just from texting him. Even the annoying, ridiculous way Lennon sends his texts warms his heart. If he ever even thought that he is one who has all the reins in their strange dynamics he is completely wrong - it may look like it at the first glance but Lennon is the one who’s very much in control here, whatever he wants William will obey to make him happy.