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Title: Some Chick
Genre: Slash, Somewhat plotless
Warnings: Two hot guys with great hair having hot sex.
Disclaimer: None of this happened, because I am hated by mankind.
Summary: An argument exposes both stregnths and weaknesses.
Author’s Note: I tried to hang a bit of plot on here, but the dirty Torksmith sexing could not be denied. Hey, I tried!
Peter was showing Davy how to do simple chords on banjo when the door to their room flew open with a bang. They both jumped, and Peter looked up, confused. Mike was standing in the doorway, his handsome face drawn into a deep scowl and so red it looked like it was about to give off sparks.
Peter blanched. Mike's voice put him in the mind of a judge pronouncing sentence. A nervous smile was short-lived under Mike's stony expression, and Peter found himself having a little trouble breathing.
"'Ere, Mike, what's the matter?" Davy had recovered from the initial shock and was looking confused. "Me and Peter're in the middle of a lesson -"
"I need t'talk to Peter." Mike's eyes never left Peter's face. "Now."
Davy's head whipped round. "But -"
"It's okay, man, we'll pick it up in a little while." Peter heard a quaver in his voice and hated it. He didn't know why he felt so afraid - it was Mike, after all. His Mike. Who looked and sounded very upset. And who had the expression of one of the gargoyles on the fountain downtown - all he needed to complete the look was water spouting out of his mouth.
Davy passed through, casting a quick glance over his shoulder at Peter. Mike didn't turn to watch him go, didn't close the door, didn't do anything except stand in the doorway with that look on his face.
"M-Mike? Is there something wrong?"
The tall man said nothing for several dreadful seconds. He then slowly raised his hand. Clasped in it was a piece of paper and a torn-open envelope.
"Ya know what this is?"
"Um ... a letter?" Peter knew he was stating the obvious and he knew Mike hated when he did that, but he felt he'd rather have Mike angry at him for something he could understand rather than all stone-faced and silent for reasons unknown.
"Yeah, it's a letter. It's from the judges of the L.A. County Amateur Songwriting Competition."
"Uh ... it is?"
"Hey, didn't you already get a letter from them?" asked Micky, who, not having seen Mike's expression, wedged himself in the doorway. A tentative Davy hovered right behind the drummer. "I thought you said they didn't advance ya to the next round?"
"I did and they didn't." Mike spoke with deliberate and dangerous casualness. "So it's kinda a surprise to get this today." He cleared his throat and read:
"Dear Mr. Nesmith. Thank you for resubmitting your composition 'Sunny Girlfriend.' We're pleased to inform you that you are advanced to the next round of eight semifinalists. Each semifinalist will have a chance to perform his composition for our judges and four prizes - first, second, third and honorable mention - will be awarded. Sincerely yours, etc., etc."
"Hey, man, that's great!" Micky thumped Mike soundly on the back. "When's the semifinals? We gotta start rehearsing!"
"Semifinals'll next week, but I'd hold off on that rehearsin'," said Mike, "'cause I didn't resubmit anythin'. Last I saw of that damn song, it was in the garbage underneath the coffee grounds."
"Well, then how ..." Micky trailed off when he saw Mike had gone from reading the letter to glaring back at Peter. "Mike?"
"Peter, y'have any idea why I got this letter today?"
Peter felt the blood drain from his face. "I - I -"
"'Cause there's no way this can't be a mistake, 'less somebody dug that song out, made some changes and then sent it back in. And I know nobody did anythin' like that, right?"
There was an all-encompassing silence. "I, Mike, I can explain." Peter took a deep breath. "The song - the song was really groovy, Mike, and I told you not to throw it away and - and they said you could send it back in with changes as long as it was before the deadline, and -"
"And? And? And what?" Mike bellowed, and Peter simply stared, too stunned to move. "And y'fished out my dumb song, did some damn hocus pocus and presto! Semifinals, here I come - except it ain't my song no more!"
"Hey, man, cool it," said Micky, putting a hand on Mike's arm. "Pete didn't mean any harm. It was a groovy song. I was a little surprised that you gave up on it so fast."
"Maybe I gave up on it because it was a piece a shit, Mick." Mike swung round. "What the hell did y'think y'were doin'? It was bad enough they rejected me, now they're droolin' all over it because you changed it around!"
"I didn't do that much to it, honest!" Peter felt a rising panic and he fought to tamp it down. He'd never, ever seen Mike so angry. "You were really down about it, and when you said it might've worked if it was a little less, uh, rock and roll, I just looked at it -"
"That ain't the point! Y'had no right to touch it without asking me about it, let alone sendin' it in under my name!" Mike's face turned that painful red color again. "Just because I'm fuckin' ya don't give you any call t'mess with my life, man! I never asked for your help. I never wanted it!"
Mike whirled around and stormed off then, barreling through Micky and Davy without so much as a backward glance. Peter, still in shock, stared at where Mike had been moments before, the force of his hard words impacting him like bullets.
"Pete, he didn't mean it," said Micky softly from the door. "Just give him a chance to calm down."
"Yeah, man, it'll be all right," said Davy a little awkwardly. "He just probably feels strange that they like his song the way you made it and not how he originally had it. He'll get over it."
Peter only half-heard his friends. His mind looped Mike's words over and over, taking on a new, nightmarish context each time they passed through his head.
Just because I'm fuckin' ya don't give you any call t'mess with my life, man! I never asked for your help.
Just because I'm fuckin' ya don't give you any call t'mess with my life, man! I never asked for your help.
Just because I'm fuckin' ya don't give you any call t'mess with my life ...
Just because I'm fuckin' ya ...
Peter felt his throat tighten. Was that all it was to Mike then? Fucking? An hour or so a day - sometimes several times a day - of pleasure, and that was it? Nothing more? Peter couldn't understand it; Mike could just as easily use his hand, or maybe even Micky's or Davy's hands and other things when it came right down to it. Why him? If that was all that it was, why him?
It didn't seem possible that Mike meant it, but he had said it, and in such an uncompromising voice, too. Mike would never speak that way unless he meant it, Peter knew. That's how he was. And that's what he was - the guy Mike was fuckin'. Not even a bandmate, not even a friend. Not even Peter. His whole worth reduced to that one action. Like the chicks Davy and Micky took out some times and never called again.
He stood and pushed blindly toward the door. Hot tears were cascading down his cheeks, and he wasn't sure where he was going or what he was doing, except that he had to leave the pad right away. He vaguely heard someone at his back speaking in a loud voice, but he was out the door and out into the bright California day before he could register that someone had been calling his name.
Peter walked for hours. He wandered down to the pier and ambled along the boardwalk. He'd bought an ice cream cone, but it dripped onto his fingers, uneaten. As afternoon rolled into early evening, Peter tried to ignore the happy families and couples he met along the way. Finally tossing the half-melted treat, he found a relatively quiet spot to sit down and watch the water.
He couldn't get Mike out of his head, and he knew he was going to have to try, especially if what he'd said in the pad earlier was true. He loved Mike, and if Mike only saw him as just a person to have sex with, Peter knew it couldn't continue. Mike had never made him any real promises, but Peter hadn't thought he'd needed to. Things with Mike had progressed so naturally, in his mind. From locking eyes across the bandstand to locking lips, to locking other things. None of it had felt forced or strange, and all of it had felt like love to Peter.
But contrary to what others might think, he was no dummy. He heard Micky and Davy talking about chicks they'd bagged. They hadn't made them any promises either, but Peter knew his friends were respectful. They didn't promise marriage to a girl, just a nice night or two out and a good time.
So why should he have felt it was any different with Mike? Because they were both men? Obviously that didn't matter. Because they were both musicians? Well, that didn't make it, either. Mike hadn't asked for his help with his song and he hadn't wanted it, either. Peter had to admit that stung. He had wondered why Mike hadn't come to him when he'd decided to enter the contest, but he'd stayed out of it.
Maybe working on Mike's song without telling him about it wasn't the best thing to do, but Peter thought maybe it was for the best, because it brought Mike's true feelings to the surface. Still, Peter could acknowledge that a boundary had been crossed and he resolved to apologize and get on with the business of getting over Mike Nesmith. He was sure that after awhile, Mike wouldn't care or feel guilty about it. They'd just be two guys who were in a band who once upon a time ...
Peter felt tears coming on again, but he steadfastly kept them at bay. He might be considered the "dummy" but he was no sissy. If the girls who Davy and Micky moved on from after the fun was had were able to get the hint, so could he. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but he would, eventually.
He sat and watched the sun dip below the horizon and the moon rise to cast silver strands across the water. It was a beautiful night and Peter felt he could stay out there forever just looking at the endless crashing of the waves, but after a long time, he stood, stretched out his cramped limbs and began the long walk back to the pad.
All was dark when Peter got back to the pad except for a slice of moonlight from the patio doors that illuminated Micky's drum set. Peter checked his watch - it was nearly 10 at night. He heard footsteps shuffling upstairs and muffled voices behind a closed door. He breathed a silent sigh of relief. Mike was safely in his room, probably telling Micky what a loser he was. He hoped Davy was asleep, too, because he didn't really feel like having to talk about anything. He knew he'd have to apologize to the guys for skipping out on afternoon rehearsal, but he figured that could wait.
Padding to the kitchen for a glass of milk before bed, he was in mid-sip when he heard something shift in the darkness and a sound. A guitar being strummed. He gasped in shock, looking all around him. He heard it again, coming from the half-light of the bandstand. A chord, then another one, a familiar one. A voice singing:
Well she's got a book
That tells of everybody's past
And she can make you slow
While making your mind move fast
She's my sunny girlfriend
And she is never last ...
It was Mike singing the song he'd written. Peter flushed crimson and he felt an inexpressable anger spring up. It wasn't enough that the man broke his heart, but he was rubbing his nose in the fact that he'd ...
Peter's mind skidded to a stop when he heard Mike continue to sing. Wait ... this isn't how he wrote it. The song with the stuff I changed. He's singing the new version. He listened, enraptured, at the rise and fall of Mike's voice, the strum of guitar strings under long, graceful fingers. Peter had played the song himself when he' finished tweaking it, but he knew he couldn't come close to singing it the way it should be sung. The way Mike was singing it now.
Well she's my sunny girlfriend
And she just doesn't care
Yes she's my sunny girlfriend
She doesn't really care
The last note died away. Mike cleared his throat. "Where y'been all this time?"
Peter jumped back in shock. He'd been hung up on the song, and Mike somewhat rudely pulled him out of it with his pointed question.
"Just walking around. I went to the Pier for awhile."
"All this time? By y'self?"
"Yeah." Peter was starting to feel the tears again and he gave what he hoped was a discreet sniffle. "Look, I'm just gonna drink my milk and go to bed. I'll be out of your way in a second."
"You're not in my way." Mike came out of the shadows. He was in his bathrobe, his wool hat slightly askew. Peter thought the other man looked somewhat nervous about something. "I like it."
"Huh? Oh, yeah, a glass of milk is pretty groovy before bed -"
"No, I mean what y'did to the tune. It's good. It is better'n what I had." Mike bit down on his lower lip. "No wonder they decided t'go with it."
"Yeah, well, thanks." Peter took a breath. "But you were right. I shouldn't have worked on it and sent it in without telling you."
"Y'goddamn right y'shouldn't've!" Mike's voice raised on the last word. "Y'coulda just told me what y'wanted t'do with it. We coulda, I dunno, talked about it -"
"Talked about it?" Peter's eyes blazed. "For what? So that you could tell me 'Ferggeddit, Pete, the song just innit that groovy?'"
He saw Mike ducked his head to hide a smile, Peter guessed because of the butchering of his accent, but even a smiling Mike Nesmith was not making him happy. Even if Mike didn't love him, Peter knew he loved Mike enough to give the guitarist a piece of his mind.
"Because that's what you would've done, and you know it! Mick was right, you shouldn't've given up on the song so soon, and I knew that if I asked you if maybe we could look at it together and figure out what the judges might be looking for, you'd tell me no!"
"I wouldn't've said ... no."
"Sorry. You would've said it was a waste of time."
Mike was quiet for a minute. "Awright, maybe I woulda said that. Pete, y'know how hard it is? I worked on this tune three weeks and get rejected. You spent, what, three hours on it?"
"Two. Of course," said Mike sarcastically. "Two houurs, and it's perfect. I ain't really mad atcha, I guess ... I just wish I could do what you do. Or get it right the first time."
Peter tugged them both over to the bandstand, and with a firm push on Mike's shoulders sat him down.
"Mike, you just played the song. You tell me what's different between the new version and your original one."
Mike squinted into darkness, thinking. "Well, y'took it up a step and a half ..."
Peter nodded. "Yeah ..."
"And y'kicked it out at the break a little."
"Faster tempo ... oh, and y'put in some F major chords toward the end there. I really dig those, but it's a little hard to play."
"But you did it, didn't you? I wouldn't've written it if I didn't think you could." Peter looked down at Mike's silent face. "What else is different?"
Mike was silent for a long moment. "I give up. What else?"
"Nothing. That's all I did. Why do you think I only spent two hours on it?"
"'Cause you're a genius?"
Peter blushed. "I'm not a genius, Mike."
"Yeah, y'are, Pete," said Mike quietly, seriously. "And maybe - maybe that's why I don't come to ya whenever I have a hangup over a song. I don't wanna be a drag on ya."
"You'd never be that, to me." Peter felt a surge of love for the tall man, who was now folded in on himself, his chin resting on his knees. Mike was their leader, their rock, and seeing him so vulnerable made Peter want to wrap his arms around him and protect him.
"I love writing music with you, Mike. Next to actually playing and having Mick and Davy as good friends, it's the best part for me about being in the group."
Mike looked over at him and Peter smiled tentatively. "I only spent two hours on it because that's all I had to spend on it. It was groovy the way it was. The way you had it, as country kind of song, it was perfect. You wouldn't have had to change anything. But since they were looking for something a little more rock and roll, I just punched it up a little to make it fit. But I didn't change any words, and I didn't even change the music that much. I added some chords and a tempo change. The rest was you, Mike."
"Well, I wouldn'ta known t'do what you did," Mike mumbled.
"Yes you would have, if you'd just tried instead of giving up right away." Peter gave Mike a hard look. "That's what makes me sad sometimes. It's like ... whenever something doesn't go right with a song, you just think that it's a failure and so are you. Like with I'm Gonna Buy Me a Dog! You're the one who got ripped off, and you still blamed yourself!"
Mike's shoulders hunched. Peter stretched out a tentative hand and rested it on his back, right between his shoulderblades.
"I just wish you believed in yourself more, Mike. You're a great musician. And - and if I'm a genius, it's because you - you make me look like one."
Mike stared unblinkingly at him. "Y'really believe that?"
Peter nodded. "I really do."
"Huh. Well." Mike rubbed his chin. "Maybe I'll think about that for next time. I don't like that y'went behind my back, Pete, but ... I understand why y'did." Mike smiled suddenly. "And if that song don't win first prize in that contest, then we'll know that the judges really are smokin' somethin'."
Peter laughed and Mike leaned into him. Peter couldn't resist pressing his cheek into the soft, dark hair. He would miss this, this closeness with Mike that, for him, went beyond just messing around. But he reminded himself that getting out now would save him a lot of heartache down the road. Mike lifted his head and put a hand on Peter's arm.
"Um, Pete. Do y'wanna ..." Mike inclined his head toward the room Peter shared with Davy. "I, uh, sorta asked Davy if he'd bunk with Mick tonight, because I was hopin' we'd be - makin' up for this afternoon."
Peter reddened. He heard desire in Mike's voice and knew he had to be strong, harden himself (in a different way), and tell Mike it was over. That it had been fun while it lasted, but that he couldn't continue to give himself knowing that it meant nothing more than heavy breathing and damp sheets.
"Mike, look, um, it's been groovy, y'know, being with you, but now that I know you don't love me, I - I don't think I can do that anymore." Peter swallowed hard. "I mean, you never said it was anything more than just for kicks, but -"
"What? Where are y'gettin' that from?" Mike looked bewildered. "I do love ya, Peter. I thought you knew that."
Peter frowned. "This afternoon, you - you said that just because I'm the guy you're - you're - you're f-fucking," his voice cracked on the word, "it didn't give me any right to mess with your song. And all I'm saying is that if that's all I am to you, just, you know, someone to get off with, then I don't think we should keep on, because I really love you and I don't want to get hurt. Much. More." Peter looked away.
"I was mad as hell this afternoon," said Mike, sounding a little defensive. "I don't really remember what I was sayin'. I didn't mean it."
"I think if you said it, you have to mean it somewhere in your heart," said Peter sadly. "And it's okay." No it's not, but it's going to have to be. "I'm not really angry or anything ..." And it was true, he was not angry. Heartbroken and devastated, yes. Angry, no.
"Pete," Mike's voice was soft. His hand cupped Peter's cheek and he turned his face toward his. Peter looked. "You're not some chick I saw and wanted to bang and leave right after. Y'were never that. Sometimes I think I - I loved ya from the start. From that time I crashed into Micky on the street and y'were cross the street with your arms all open like some kinda, uh ..."
"Hippie?" Peter grinned.
"Uh, naw, not a hippie. Y'were dressed like a stockbroker." Mike smiled briefly before his face turned serious again. "But I could tell y'were special, even before I knew ya, and I think that even back then, I, I was hopin' I'd be special to you, too."
Peter felt his heart fill near to bursting at Mike's words and a huge smile spread across his face. Mike groaned low in his throat.
"Dammit, Pete, when y'smile like that, it makes me wanna ... wanna ..."
"Fuck me senseless?" Peter asked sweetly. He grinned when Mike groaned again. Mike had told him that it turned him on to hear him swear because he had such a soft, innocent voice.
"Uh, was gonna say write songs, but yeah, that, too." Mike swallowed hard. "Well, uh, maybe I'll just lay out here on the bandstand. Mick and Davy're probably asleep, too late to change rooms again."
"Yeah, I hope they are asleep." Peter stood and pulled Mike to his feet. "You know they get really sore about us waking them up when we're ... you know."
Mike looked shocked. "But I thought y'didn't wanna ..."
"That's when I thought you didn't love me. But now that I know you do, um - wow."
Peter found himself swept up in a Texas whirlwind, and next he knew, he was in his room, being lowered onto his bed. Mike sure is strong. And fast!
Mike lay down at his side and Peter felt his whole body grow warm when Mike began stroking him through his pants. They hastily divested themselves of inconvenient clothing and then settled in again. He kissed his way up Mike’s neck, over his chin, to his lips. His hands wandered over Mike’s body as they kissed, and his fingers delighted in the feel of smooth skin, tracing over the muscles and ridges.
Breaking their kiss, Peter bussed the tip of his lover’s nose before moving down to tongue Mike's neck and then his collarbone, driven downward by Mike’s sighs and the feel of strong fingers tangling in his hair. Moving down to Mike’s chest, Peter flicked his tongue over a dark nipple, sucking it and nipping at it playfully, smiling as the bud swelled to hardness between his lips. Peter dragged his tongue across the tender flesh of Mike’s chest and gave similar treatment to his other nipple, lashing it with gentle, wet strokes.
Continuing his lingual exploration of the long-boned body, Peter slid his mouth and tongue over smooth skin and down the trail of hair leading. Hooking his thumbs into the briefs, he stared up at Mike as he pulled them down, laughing softly when Mike's erect dick sprang out and whapped him on the chin. Mike was staring down at him, eyes hazy with longing and lips slightly parted. A glimpse of tongue peeked from between Mike’s rosebud lips, and Peter allowed himself to marvel at how beautiful the man of his dreams truly was before he turned back to what was pulsing just inches from his mouth.
He took Mike’s dick into his mouth and moved his head progressively down until his nose was buried in the thatch of silky hair, the musky, sharp scent bypassing Peter's nose completely and making the detour straight to his dick, which swelled and hardened in response. Peter moved up the throbbing flesh slowly, rolling his tongue gently over the swollen head and teasingly dipping into the slit. He fought hard not to smile at Mike’s low groan as he pumped his hips, fucking his face with long, slow strokes. Peter closed his eyes to better enjoy the sensation of Mike’s cock sliding in and out of his mouth, and he opened his throat wide, with effort managing to take Mike’s entire dick each time he shoved his hips forward. A keening cry and a gentle hand on his shoulder let Peter know just how much Mike was appreciating his efforts.
Peter kissed and licked and sucked, not minding at all the stray hairs tickling his lips or Mike's strengthening grip on his shoulder. Nothing at all fazed him, in fact, until Mike sat up, reached down and pulled him up so that they were face-to face.
Mike leaned in and began kissing his eyes, forehead, all over his face.
"I love being in your mouth, but I’d rather be fucking you right now."
He reached down and Peter gasped at the feel of Mike’s warm hand on his cock and shivered at Mike’s voice, rough and urgent, in his ear.
"I want to be inside you, Peter. That all right with you?"
Despite the maelstrom of sensation Mike’s hand on his cock and his very nearness was wreaking on his body, Peter found the energy to laugh. Mike just sounded so ... polite, which was not very like him at all. It was sweet, and, in a way, kind of kinky.
"It’s always all right with me, Mike." Peter murmured, rolling onto his back. "Always."
Mike grinned, and for a moment, Peter stared at the pale expanse of Mike’s back as he rolled over to the nightstand, removing lube from a drawer. In less than no time, Peter found himself with his legs over Mike’s shoulders and his lover’s cock entering him with excruciating tenderness. Peter breathed shallowly as Mike began fucking him slowly and delicately, leaning down until their foreheads pressed together, whispering reassurances and caressing every bit of skin his hands could reach as he plunged in and out.
Peter stared into dark eyes and moved his body in rhythm with Mike’s and felt whole again. Everything was all right again. He wasn't angry anymore, and neither was Mike, and Mike was deep inside him, fucking him, loving him with everything he had. Peter arched up and cried out with relief and pleasure.
Everything was finally all right again, the harsh words of the afternoon that had been echoing in his head replaced with the sounds of their fucking, the wet slap of their bellies sliding together, the gentle rasp of hand on dick as Mike began slowly jacking him off. Mike’s soft words of reassurance, of tenderness, of love. Mike’s breathless voice telling him that being inside him was amazing, that he was beautiful, that he needed this, they needed this . . . that it was good, what they were doing ...
"So, so good, Peter . . . so good . . ."
“I love you, Mike,” Peter groaned and closed his eyes, barely aware of the other man’s response, not that he could be aware of much at that point in time. Sensations were sweeping over his body, starting from the root of his cock and radiating out, threatening to consume him as Mike’s hand and cock continued to work their magic on his body.
“Lookit me,” Mike said with an urgency that shook Peter to the roots of his hair. “Open your eyes, Peter. It’s me. I want y'ta see me ... see what y'do t'me.” He thrust in hard, rocking his hips. “How y'make me feel ...”
Peter opened his eyes and saw Mike staring down at him, eyes locked to his. Peter held his lover’s gaze and that was how their fucking went; eyes riveted to one another’s, breathing in perfect sync and their forms thrusting together and pulling apart in a seamless, continual rhythm. Peter felt keenly aware of the soft cotton sheets beneath his body, and saw clearly on the ceiling his and Mike’s shadows flickering as they moved as one.
He felt his heart beating in his chest, felt the sweat pooling into his navel, heard the air in the room sizzle, the darkness fade away like a healing bruise, but mainly he was aware of Mike, of those dark eyes and strong chin and dark hair and thick dick. Peter felt it all, saw it all. Everything around him, around them, was real, including the love he was sure he saw radiating out of Mike’s guarded eyes.
Peter reached up to palm away the sweaty hair hanging in Mike’s face, and that’s when he saw the change in his lover’s expression, the slight shift of eyes and the tautness of neck that meant he was on the precipice of orgasm and getting closer and closer to the edge. Peter, too, felt his end approaching, and he bucked faster and with purpose, attempting to complete the synchrony of their fucking by climaxing together.
Taking note of Mike’s ragged, uneven breathing, Peter clamped down hard on his dick. That seemed to do it for Mike, who bent and kissed Peter fiercely, thrusting deep and hard. Peter felt Mike’s cock pulse inside him, and that set off his own descent into orgasm. Peter's cries were muted by Mike’s mouth over his as his cum shot out, slicking the space between their bellies. Peter panted into his lover’s mouth as he let himself go, bonelessly jerking and flopping on the bed as his orgasm seized him.
It was some time before he felt Mike loosen his hold on him; several minutes after they’d both come, at least. It could’ve even been hours afterward. Peter wasn’t sure; he’d been too wrapped up in his post-orgasmic haze and in the wonderful feel and smell of a sated Mike Nesmith to care one way or the other. But when Mike opened his arms a little – just enough to let Peter roll onto his side and spoon up beside him – Peter came back to himself.
He felt drowsy, but not very, and he could tell by Mike’s breathing and the way he was kissing his neck that Mike was not going back to sleep any time soon, either, and would maybe even like to talk some more about what else had happened that day, maybe about the contest, rehearsals for the song.
But Peter didn’t want that, not right then. It all seemed inconsequential now. Nothing existed for him except the subtle burn in his ass, soft lips at the nape of his neck and a pair of arms that held him close, protected him, kept him safe no matter what, and always would. That was Peter’s world at that moment, the certainty and safety of the arms that held him tight, and he was quite content to live in the here and now for as long as he was able.