Kas 15

Here to Stay Ch. 03

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Cassidy studied at the two as they sat across from her at the table. Something was very different the last few times she had seen them, and not for the better. Emmett rarely opened his eyes anymore, especially around Gavin. He was also much more reserved and distant. Gavin was even worse. It was painstaking to even look at him, let alone into his eyes, which were now surrounded by dark circles. He seemed perpetually tired and sad, except when he was at work. Cassidy noticed he had gotten drunk when they went out last night, which was almost inconceivable. Gavin just didn’t do that, not after what had happened years ago, anyway.

Emmett excused himself to go to the restroom, and Cassidy seized the opportunity.

“Alright, Gav, what the hell is going on?” Gavin slowly looked up from staring at the table and into her eyes. It was worse than she had originally thought.

“He won’t open up. He’s put walls up around himself and hasn’t opened his eyes since I made that stupid comment last week after the wedding,” Gavin mumbled.

“You’re not making sense, Gavin. Are you okay?” she asked, concerned.

“I told him his eyes were beautiful, Cass, and so he shut them and hasn’t opened them around me since then. He hardly talks to me, he doesn’t ask for anything at the apartment unless I offer, and he barely touches me when we go somewhere, and only if he doesn’t feel like getting out his cane. I can’t take it, Cass, I can’t. I need out. It’s like he’s disgusted by me.”

“He’s definitely not disgusted by you, Gavin. And, by the way, there’s no way out now. You agreed to this, and when things get hard, you can’t just walk out. He can’t just move out or find someone else. You’re it for him for a long time, sweetie.”

“I don’t think he wants me around for that long, Cass. He can’t stand me, and I can’t take it. I can’t live with someone I care about and not be able to talk to them, touch them, or look at them. I just can’t take it,” Gavin choked, his sentence interrupted by a small sob.

“You need to tell him that. I can’t work this out for you. You two are going to have to work this out on your own.” Cassidy looked back into Gavin’s eyes. Her own eyes widened in realization and she put her hands up on the table. “Oh, my god. You . . . you’re . . . oh, my god. Do you want to talk about it? Who?” Cassidy asked stupidly, then paused, and her face became even more shocked. “Oh, no. It’s Emmett, isn’t it? I should’ve seen this coming. I knew you got along and such but I never thought . . . even at the wedding . . . that you lo?”

“Cassidy, please shut up. I don’t even know if I am. It’s too fast. I mean, I don’t even know his favorite color, not that I could since he doesn’t talk to me?”

“Your eyes don’t lie, Gav, and it’s all written there. You?” Cassidy glanced up. “Oh, good, Emmett, we were just wondering if you had fallen in.” Emmett chuckled and sat down.

“Well, you two need to get home, because I know that a certain someone sitting beside you has to be at the restaurant tomorrow at five in the morning, and it’s almost eleven now,” Cassidy told Emmett.

“What?” Emmett turned to Gavin. “Why didn’t you say something?”

“Not that you’d have listened if I did,” Gavin retorted spitefully. Emmett’s ears immediately turned red, and Cassidy knew she needed to get a word in now before it was too late.

“Listen, you two, continue this back at the apartment. You’re only a five-minute walk, so go. Now. That’s not an option.”

Gavin reached for Emmett but Emmett turned away.

“I’ll walk with my cane,” Emmett said curtly. It was a good thing that there were only two other people in the small bookstore, because Gavin broke down.

“You know what? I don’t give a damn what the fuck you do. I’m done. Walk yourself home,” Gavin almost shouted. “You want your goddamned self-sufficiency, here it is. Take it and fucking relish it.” With that, Gavin walked out the door without looking back. Before Cassidy knew what to do, Emmett had thrown his cane against the wall and sat down in the chair, fists clenched.


“Goddamn it!” Emmett yelled. “I hate him, Cassidy. I cannot stand him. What could have possibly made you think we could live together?”

“Do you? Do you hate him? Or do you just hate the fact that you’ve finally been matched up with someone as stubborn as you?”

For the first time that night, Emmett opened his eyes and looked up at Cassidy. There were so many emotions swirling in them that she couldn’t pick any out.

“You know,” she continued, “if you keep shutting him out, your emotions and feelings and thoughts are just going to be trapped in. That’s not good, not in the least.” Cassidy looked at an apparently unfazed Emmett. “Come on. Let’s walk to your place. It’s obvious you need to sit and think a little bit.”

Emmett sat in the chaise lounge in the empty apartment once he had arrived and changed out of his jeans and shirt and into his favorite pair of lounge pants. He knew he’d shut Halkalı Escort Gavin out. It had been deliberate. The last thing he needed right now was a romance that would end and leave him?and the life he had created, for that matter?in shambles. Emmett convinced himself that Gavin wasn’t different from any other, and would eventually lose interest after being shut out. He had not expected, however, for Gavin to get more persistent and finally challenge him. Gavin had left him alone at the bookstore. Emmett then realized that Gavin had left only because he was with Cassidy, not alone, because Gavin had known Cassidy would show him home. He recognized, though, that Gavin had still walked out on him. Challenged him.

Gavin’s words spun through his head: ‘relish it.’ Could he relish his isolation? Emmett realized that he couldn’t. Gavin had flipped his world upside-down. He realized that his independence meant less to him now than it ever had. He didn’t just need someone to live with him; he needed Gavin. The more he thought about it, the angrier he got. Emmett stood up and started pacing around the kitchen. He was even more enraged as he realized that he had no reason to be angry with Gavin. Gavin had done nothing wrong, and nothing on purpose. Emmett’s thoughts were suddenly obliterated when he heard the door open quietly. He whirled around and started speaking as soon as the door was shut.

“You. Please just turn around and take yourself right back outside, because?”

Gavin had walked over, but interrupted Emmett by grabbing Emmett’s face with his hands, bending down, and kissing him. It was the most electrifying kiss of both of their lives, and Gavin knew, in that moment, that he would never fall for anyone else. Emmett was completely taken aback, and was speechless after the kiss had ended. He even wanted to be angry with Gavin for how perfectly their lips fit, but he couldn’t. He still couldn’t summon any words, either, as Gavin wrapped his arms around him and spoke into his neck.

“I’m so sorry, Emmett. I’m so sorry I left you there, I’m sorry I acted the way I did, I’m sorry that I didn’t make you listen to me the night I told you how beautiful your eyes are. I can’t help it, Emmett, it just happened. I haven’t slept for three days now, because I can’t bear the fact that you won’t talk to me, or look at me, or touch me.” Gavin broke the embrace and grabbed Emmett’s face in his hands again.

“Emmett, I need you to tell me what you really want. Do you really want solitude? Do you want to be alone with your independence? If you can honestly tell me that that’s what you really want, I’ll leave you alone, as long as you’re happy. That means so much more to me than anything else.” Emmett grabbed Gavin’s hands in his.

“That’s what I wanted, Gavin. But I don’t know, now. You came and just mixed up everything I thought I knew. I tried to shut you out, I did.”

“Really? I didn’t quite notice,” Gavin said, laughing uneasily.

“Let me finish,” Emmett demanded, taking a deep breath. “I couldn’t shut you out, no matter how much I tried. I thought you were the same as any other person: you’d come, and then you’d go. But the more I tried to shut you out, the more you tried to get in. Until tonight, I really didn’t know what it had done to you. On the way home, though, Cassidy told me that you look like death-warmed-over and were completely distraught. I want to be so mad at you, Gavin, but I can’t, because you didn’t do anything wrong. I’m sorry, Gavin, for causing you so much pain and stress. I didn’t know . . .”

“That apology is what I wanted to hear,” Gavin said, kissing Emmett’s forehead. “What I need to hear, though, is a concrete answer. Do you want to be alone?”

“If being alone means being without you, then no, I don’t.” Emmett opened his eyes, and Gavin saw the sincerity. He bent down for another kiss, this one deeper and more passionate than the first, his hand touching the side of Emmett’s face gently. When the kiss finally ended, Gavin kissed Emmett’s forehead again. He held Emmett tightly. He noticed now that Emmett was shirtless, and ran his hands up and down Emmett’s muscular back, loving the feeling. He leaned in for another kiss, but Emmett pulled away.

“Now, now, it’s midnight and you have to get up before four, so you need to get what little sleep you can. Gavin proceeded to his room, took of his shoes, and lay on the bed. Moments later, he was absorbed in a deep sleep. Emmett sat on the couch, planning on reading a book, but after running his fingers across two pages of Braille, he drifted off.

Gavin looked at the clock. It was ten minutes before four in the morning. He knew that if he didn’t get up now, he wouldn’t be on time. He got out of bed, into the shower, and dressed before finally truly waking up. He stepped out of the hallway and into the kitchen, made a pot of coffee, poured a cup and walked over to the couch. He smiled at the sight. Emmett was asleep, one leg thrown over the back of Halkalı Escort Bayan the sofa, the other resting on the cushions, his book on the floor. Gavin stared. Emmett’s hair was messed up, he wasn’t wearing a shirt, his pants were turned awkwardly; however, Gavin thought it was perfect. Emmett was so peaceful lying there. Gavin wanted to kiss every inch of exposed skin, but didn’t want to wake Emmett up, so he finished his coffee and brushed his teeth. He walked over and kissed Emmett on the forehead.

“I love you, Emmett,” he whispered, wishing that Emmett would hear so that he could know, but grateful that he was asleep.

Emmett woke up, unaware at first as to where he was, and then realized he was on the couch. He got up and walked to his room, pressing the button on his alarm clock, which informed him that it was past noon. He went right into his practice room and practiced without so much as changing or eating.

Gavin walked in and heard the piano, completely enthralled. It was the most beautiful sound he had heard. Emmett had always practiced in his studio at the university before. Gavin walked in the room, then behind a completely unsuspecting Emmett and wrapped his arms around Emmett’s bare torso, kissing up his shoulders and neck. Emmett jumped, surprised by the sudden attack on his nerves.

“What are you still doing in these duds?” Gavin asked. “It’s almost six o’ clock, and I have dinner reservations made for us.”

“Really? I lost track of time, I guess. That happens a lot when I practice,” Emmett said, reaching behind him, finding Gavin’s shirt, grabbing it, and pulling him down for a mind-blowing kiss. “Will that distract you long enough for me to get ready?”

“That made me want to help you get ready,” Gavin purred, completely intoxicated by Emmett’s taste and feel.

“Well, maybe I’ll let you choose my clothes. But if we match, I’ll kick your ass,” Emmett laughed, walking into his bedroom. Gavin heard the shower go on as he fell onto the couch, exhausted. He shut his eyes and soon heard the water turn off, rousing him from his rest. He walked into Emmett’s bedroom as Emmett walked out of the bathroom with only a towel wrapped around his waist. Gavin couldn’t help himself. He walked up to Emmett, pulled him close, and kissed him, running his fingers through Emmett’s wet hair.

“You have no idea how gorgeous you are, Emmett,” Gavin said, breathing slowly after breaking the intense kiss.

“And you have no idea how amazing you feel,” Emmett sighed back, “so we’ll call it even.”

Emmett walked into his closet, stepping past the shoes to the shirts and jeans.

“Come on,” Emmett invited Gavin.

Gavin stepped in, put a pair of jeans in Emmett’s hands and said, “You better put these on before I act on my temptation to take your towel off.”

“Excuse me, Mr. Adams, but I don’t believe that your motives are pure and modest,” Emmett teased, pulling the towel off by himself. Gavin turned around before he could see anything. “You can turn back around,” Emmett said. “I put underwear on underneath the towel just in case you got a little frisky,” Emmett grinned.

“Why, you little tease,” Gavin smiled, pulling Emmett in for another kiss and running his fingers lightly up and down Emmett’s back. He ran a hand across Emmett’s lower back, causing Emmett to shudder and almost collapse.

“That wasn’t very nice,” Emmett said, trying to blink away his arousal and stand on legs that felt like Jell-O. Gavin smirked, marking in his memory that Emmett’s lower back was a sensitive spot. “Now, you, out. You picked my jeans. That’s all, otherwise I have a feeling I won’t be able to put any clothes on.”

Emmett put on the pair of jeans, a nice shirt, a tie, a vest, and a jacket. They complemented each other perfectly.

“I don’t know how you remember where everything is to be able to put it together like that, but I have to tell you: you look stunning. I’ll be lucky to have you dangling on my arm tonight,” Gavin joked.

“Dangling? Maybe I’ll bring my cane,” Emmett taunted, smiling.

“You’ll do nothing of the sort, Dr. Clark. I will take great pride in taking the lust and desire of every woman and gay man in the city out without him needing his cane.”

“You have a cane, too?” Emmett asked, feigning ignorance.

“You better stick to your piano-oriented job, not comedy,” Gavin told him. “That way, I can surprise you like I did today while you’re practicing and unaware,” he whispered into Emmett’s ear, causing Emmett to shudder. Gavin kissed him again, this time only a peck on the lips. “Come on, we better be going.”

They walked down the stairs, and as they walked through the lobby, Cecelia noticed the markedly different looks on their faces. She also didn’t miss the fact that they were holding hands and dressed up.

“Good evening, you two,” she greeted. “Dressed up and going to dinner, I presume?”

“Yes, ma’am,” Gavin answered. “Do I have your Escort Halkalı permission to take this fine gentleman out for a bite to eat and then some coffee?”

“Are your intentions honorable, Mr. Adams?” Cecelia prodded.

“Yes, ma’am. I’m even saving dessert for when we get home,” Gavin smiled. Cecelia let out an exuberant laugh while Emmett blushed profusely.

“You guys have fun. And Emmett?”

“Yes, Cee?”

“After you’ve returned to your normal skin tone, try to go easy on him.”

“Have a good night, Cee,” Emmett replied. They walked out the door that Cecelia was holding for them and started down the sidewalk.

“We’re walking tonight,” Gavin informed Emmett.

“That sounds good to me,” Emmett replied, squeezing Gavin’s hand. Gavin’s head reeled as he smiled broadly. It was a dream come true for him: he was walking down the sidewalk holding hands with Emmett. People passed them, and some stared, but Gavin was unfazed. A couple of girls walked by and whistled at them, then broke out into a series of, “Aws” and “That’s so cute,” when they noticed Gavin’s and Emmett’s entwined hands.

“According to most of the pedestrians, I have the most beautiful man on my arm right now,” Gavin said into Emmett’s ear as they stopped to wait for traffic.

“You know, I offered to bring my cane so I didn’t make you look bad,” Emmett beamed, stepping in front of Gavin, facing him, and placing his hands on Gavin’s chest. “Plus, for all I know, you’re probably making me look bad.”

“Emmett, you would stand out in a crowd of men as the most stunning one,” Gavin told him, turning him around and covering Emmett’s right hand with his and threading his left arm around Emmett’s lower back. As they crossed the street, Gavin noticed Emmett blushing.

“So, you didn’t tell me where we’re eating this evening,” Emmett said.

“Well, it’s this wonderful little Italian restaurant. I got reservations only because I know the owner.”

“Do you? And just how well do you know the owner?” Emmett asked.

“Oh, no, this isn’t my restaurant. That would be disastrous. I would never go there when I’m spending time with you, because as far as I’m concerned, you deserve my full attention, not them.”

Emmett blushed again as Gavin guided him through a door and into the restaurant. Emmett was surrounded by the most heavenly smell that he had ever experienced. He heard Gavin mumble a few words to someone, and before he knew it, he was being led to his seat. Emmett sat down, and Gavin took his seat across the small table. Gavin watched intently as Emmett slowly and gently felt everything in front of him on the table. Afterwards, he set his hands in his lap politely.

“I have to know where everything is, so I don’t break something, or knock it over, or spill my glass of water,” Emmett explained, looking away, feeling Gavin’s eyes pierce him.

Dinner passed uneventfully, and Emmett had never tasted such amazing Italian food in his life. He discovered that the owners, a husband and wife, were from Italy, and had moved there when they were young. They started the restaurant 40 years ago, and ever since it had been one of the most successful in the city.

Gavin was fairly quiet throughout dinner, but his eyes rarely left Emmett. He couldn’t bring himself to look away. Everything Emmett did was so endearing.

“I’m paying, since you took the time to make these reservations, and took the time to bring me,” Emmett stated when the meal was coming to an end.

“Oh, no you’re not,” Gavin argued. “It’s already done. The owners and I have a sort of deal,” Gavin said. He saw the fire rise in Emmett’s eyes.

“You are so frustrating sometimes,” Emmett said.

“Oh, you don’t know the half of it,” Gavin replied, no small amount of innuendo in his voice. The anger immediately disappeared from Emmett’s eyes, replaced by something like shock.

“Come on, you, let’s go get some coffee,” Gavin said, smiling.

“Only if I can pay for it,” Emmett said, crossing his arms in mock pouting, then rising.

“Alright, deal,” Gavin answered, pausing for a few seconds to join Emmett. “But you should know you’ve paid me enough by giving me a chance in your life.”

“Well, it was somewhat inevitable, seeing as you’re living with me,” Emmett joked, smiling to break the tension. He looked up to steal a quick kiss before threading his fingers between Gavin’s and resting his other hand on Gavin’s arm. They walked quietly to a nearby café like that, listening to the sounds of the city while engrossed with each other.

They sat at a small, round table. Emmett removed his jacket and put it on the back of his chair, and offered money to Gavin. Gavin took it, but put it back in the pocket of Emmett’s coat as he leaned in and kissed Emmett on the cheek.

“I’ll be right back,” Gavin said into Emmett’s ear. He walked up to the bar and waited for their drinks, talking with one of the baristas.

Emmett smiled to himself. He couldn’t remember a time that he had been this happy.

“Dr. Clark, how are you today?” Emmett turned to answer the question.

“I’m great, Clara. Are you having a good week?”

“Yes, I am. You know, if I may say so . . .” she trailed off, waiting for Emmett’s response.

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