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Forever Yours

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Garrett had met Kieran when they were four. He had been there the first time his voice cracked, had laughed at him when he cut himself shaving, had listened to Kieran complain about his parents. Oh, and he had developed an absolutely massive crush on Kieran too. Now, with the both of them nineteen and sharing a literal room at college, Garrett blushed when his friend smiled at him. He went red whenever the man leaned in close. Sometimes, Garrett wondered how he managed to keep his grades up when Kieran shorted out his brain. He really had no plans to confess. Being friends was enough. But their best friend Ivy was always encouraging him and teasing him, and Kieran was amazing, and even his family loved the man and- Garrett really wanted to kiss him. He just needed to confess first.

Romance / Drama
Ann Royal
5.0 5 reviews
Age Rating:

Our Lives

Garrett Wulf startled when a pillow smacked into his face. Eyes barely open, it took him a moment to blindly tap around on his phone to quiet his alarm.

He sighed in relief at the newfound silence, already fighting the drooping of his eyelids again.

“Get up, Garrett,” came the tired groan from the other side of the dorm room.

“Kieran,” Garrett whined pathetically, but he did begrudgingly pull himself into a sitting position. He narrowed his eyes at the lump on the bed opposite his own. “Kieran, you’re literally facing the other way. How would you even know whether I’m up?”

“I didn’t hear you moving,” Kieran Nozick murmured, arm thrown over his face to block out the sunlight beginning to peek inside the slits in their windows. “Plus, I’ve known you for, like, our whole lives.”

“Not our whole lives,” Garrett yawned. “We didn’t meet until we were four.”

Kieran flopped onto his back to spare him a decidedly deadpan glance. “Yeah, sure, because those four years really matter,” he droned sarcastically. “It’s not like I’ve known you for fifteen years or anything.”

Someone has some attitude today,” Garrett teased.

Someone never gets up when his alarm goes off,” he mirrored with a huff.

Garrett wondered if it was normal for his nineteen-year-old back to crack like that when he slid out of bed. He felt his ankle pop satisfyingly as hit feet hit the floor. “When you put it like that,” he said through a long stretch of his spine, “it’s almost surprising that you continue to put up with me. Maybe you…”

The words suddenly fled his brain at the warmth Garrett found in those brown eyes. He was momentarily struck silent. His heart jumped.

Oblivious to the flitting in his chest, Kieran hummed. “I would get more sleep without you.”

Garrett rolled his eyes. He had to swallow to speak again. “Then go back to sleep already,” he snorted, tossing back the pillow projectile that had smacked him awake. It landed with a soft thump and a little whoosh.

Voice muffled by the pillow now on his face, Kieran mumbled, “I don’t know though. I don’t think I can live without you anymore, Garrett.”

Garrett was suddenly grateful that Kieran couldn’t see him; he felt much too warm as heat flooded his cheeks. “R-right,” he stammered, “I’m, uh… shower—I’m going to shower.”

He tripped around his bed frame on his way out, grunting as his hip knocked against the corner. “Fuck me,” he bit out weakly.

“You alright?”

He could hear Kieran sit up behind him. Garrett sucked in a breath—mostly at the pain in his hip.

“Yeah, just… a little stupid today,” he decided on. That heat crept up the back of his neck now as his brain registered how adorable Kieran looked with his brown hair ruffled like that. “Go back to sleep Kieran.”

His friend clearly didn’t need much convincing. “You probably just need a little coffee and a shower,” he murmured tiredly, thumping back into bed.

Garrett chuckled lightly. “Probably,” he agreed softly. He shut the door behind him with a soft click, aware that neither coffee nor a shower would stop the way his brain sometimes stopped working around Kieran.

He already knew why that happened.

The water felt nice though as it rolled down his back. It hit the floor with loud little plunks, curling over the curves of his feet and leaving Garrett reluctant to leave the steamy stall when he was finished.

“Garrett, that you?”

“Hey, Nolan,” he called. “Did you finish up that paper for today?”

“…paper? Oh, shit!”

Garrett just barely caught sight of Nolan sprinting back to his room as he pushed the stall open. “Poor Nolan,” he murmured sympathetically. He gave a few other people cursory nods on his way out, ignoring the regular plops of the shower shoes his mother had insisted on buying him.

Garrett slid them off in front of his door to make sure he didn’t wake Kieran on his way in.

“Wait, why are you up?” he asked when he found his friend already awake. His towel whumped against the wall lightly as he hung it back up to dry.

Kieran rubbed at his eyes, blindly reaching around for his glasses. “You left your phone here,” he yawned, “With your alarm only on snooze.”

Garrett was glad that his brain was working well enough again to connect the dots. He winced. “I must have hit the wrong button before,” he murmured guiltily, realizing, “I forgot to check my alarms today to turn them off.”

Kieran huffed out a breath. “Well, I guess I should be up to study anyway.” His expression settled into a smile as he pushed his glasses up his nose. He had never been the type to get mad at such things. “Breakfast?”

“I’ll get us some,” Garrett chirped, eager to make it up to him. “Just need a… sweatshirt!” he exclaimed victoriously when he pulled one out of his closet. “Any special requests for today?”

“Buy yourself a coffee,” Kieran suggested.

He snorted. His keys jingled as he grabbed them. “Funny.”

“No, I was being perfectly serious,” he shrugged, “But you know what I like to eat.”

Garrett smiled at the indescribable fondness that had washed over him. “Yeah. I do.” He shook his head to clear it. “Be back in a sec.”

He was still wearing a smile that was dangerously close to goofy by the time he caught sight of his reflection in the windows of the UC—short for University Cafeteria. Even so, he couldn’t wipe it off of his face.

Coffee didn’t do much to dull it either, although a couple of gulps definitely perked him up by the time he returned to the dorms, knocked, and called out, “Ivy, delivery!”

Garrett shifted, catching sight of the little whiteboard on the door across the hall. There were tiny hearts on it; a common sight on the first and third floors—the girls’ floors. Nearly nonexistent on the guys’ second floor, barring the hearts hung around their room by—

“Ivy! I’m going to eat your cereal if you don’t hurry up!”

“Not the cereal!” she gasped, immediately pulling her door open with a whoosh. The movement made her inky black hair bounce lightly around her shapely cheekbones. “So, do I still get the cereal, or…?”

Garrett laughed lowly, jostling the food in his arms. “Take it, you menace.”

“Ugh, you’re a lifesaver, Garrett,” Ivy Lauri groaned, snatching up her favorite cereal zealously. Her door clicked shut behind her. “Really though, I would have just suffered without this. It would have been a real black spot on your conscience.”

Her bright brown eyes sparkled with mirth as she held the door to the stairwell open for him. She was so small, at least compared to his own height, that it was easy to slip right past her.

“A black spot on my conscience, huh?”

“Definite black spot,” Ivy nodded. She did a double take, raising an eyebrow at him. “Actually, you’re kind of smiley today. Something good happen?” Her footsteps echoed around the stairwell as she ran ahead to grab the door again. It slipped shut behind them with a creak.

“Hmm,” he mused, “Kieran doesn’t hate me for accidentally waking him up, so that’s relieving.”

She rolled her eyes at him. “Like he would ever hate you. You literally threw up on him back in high school and he didn’t hate you then.”

“Only on his shoes!” Garrett protested weakly.

Ivy pushed open the door to his room. Her earrings shimmered idly beneath her hair as she did. “Yeah, because where you throw up on a person really matters.”

“Uh, it definitely matters,” he said obviously.

“What the hell are you two talking about?” Kieran interrupted.

The twist of his eyebrows was cute, Garrett thought. Adorable, even, especially as he pushed his wet hair back and sent a few drops of water cascading onto his robe and sweatpants. With his glasses too, he looked… he looked very, er….

Garrett was glad when Ivy plopped her bag down unceremoniously on the carpeting, shaking him from those thoughts. “Ivy was just busy being wrong.”

“Hey!” she huffed, already having broken into her cereal. She blinked. “Oh, wait—milk…”

“Admit your wrongness and I’ll give it to you,” Garrett teased.

“No way!”

Ivy may have been smaller than him, but she pounced like a jackal to snatch the little milk carton from his hand. He might have knocked himself into the bedframe again if Kieran didn’t jump to steady him with a warm hand on his arm.

Kieran was a few inches taller than him standing up. It felt especially obvious with him so close.

Garrett resisted the familiar urge to stand even closer, managing to say, “If your cereal is crushed, you saw it—it’s all Ivy’s fault.”

“He eats it dry anyway,” Ivy shrugged, settling herself atop Garrett’s desk, “so who cares if it’s crushed? Actually, wait, why do you eat it dry again?”

“It took you twelve years to ask me that?”

“I have asked you that! I asked you when we were like eight—when I met you both! All you said was that milk ruined it.”

“Still does ruin it.”

Garrett snorted out a laugh, digging his fingers into his orange to get the peel off. He threw a piece in the trash at the same time he pulled himself back up onto his bed. “Yet you like milkshakes,” he pointed out. “A literal drink of milk.”

“And ice cream,” Kieran said obviously.

Garrett shot him a look. “Ice cream is also basically milk.”

“And sugar. Plus, almond milk is a thing now, which is way better than actual milk.”

“Okay, I can get on board with that,” Ivy agreed through another crunch of her cereal.

Garrett just shook his head at the both of them, biting into a slice of orange.

For the record, he was listening when Ivy asked Kieran about something at the bookstore, really, he was. But for a moment when Kieran made to remove his robe, his mind wandered.

Kieran had this lithe kind of body, certainly not muscular, yet defined somehow. It was impossible not to trace the lines of his hips down to his sweatpants or to watch the way his spine shifted in his back. The couple of freckles dotted along his stomach and shoulders stood out like constellations on his light skin.

More than once, Garrett had imagined running his hands over those freckles—

“Oh my god!” Ivy interrupted suddenly, causing both of them to jump. She looked between the two of them with wide eyes. “U-uh, oh, it’s just… wow, that book is expensive, huh?”

Kieran frowned curiously. He had to look down briefly to get the buttons on his shirt lined up right. “The one I mentioned? Uh, it was only like ten bucks, actually.”

Ivy waved him off. “No, no, the math one. Er, the big textbook one that you used last year, Garrett.” Her eyes were still jumping between them. Her smile was impossibly wide.

Garrett didn’t exactly know what was going on with her, but he offered, “Uh, I still have it. If you don’t want to pay for the thing.”

“Wow, that would be great!” Ivy said with renewed cheer. Maybe the sugary cereal was kicking in. “But anyway, you need to finish dressing, Kieran, and I really don’t want to see you without pants on again, so I’ll see you guys later!”

Kieran blinked after her as she flounced out of the room, shutting the door a little loudly behind her. “Uh,” he mumbled into the sudden silence, “I was going to wait to change my pants actually.”

“No time like the present?” Garrett suggested, although he was just as confused. “Your boxers are pretty horrifying though. You really can’t blame her for running away.”

“You have no idea what color boxers I’m wearing, you ass,” Kieran laughed, fixing up his collar and smoothing out his shirt.

“Yeah, but I do know that you have those ones with snowflakes all over them in the rotation somewhere.”

“We live in California, Garrett—let me have my snowflakes somewhere,” he joked.

There was just something about the thought of Kieran wearing silly boxers—super smart and well-spoken Kieran with his button-up shirts and thin square glasses—that made Garrett chuckle.

He couldn’t stick around to tease his friend anymore though, not unless he wanted to be late for class. And he definitely didn’t want to be late after he woke Kieran in his effort to get up early.

Garrett had barely walked out of his second class when Ivy was suddenly yanking on his arm.

“Ivy?” he exclaimed, “I thought the three of us were meeting at the library?”

With the wind blowing her dark hair around her face and her eyes bright underneath the warm September sunlight, she said clearly, “You have a thing for Kieran.”

For probably the fifth time that day, Garrett’s brain stopped.

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