need the deep end

Character-owned businesses.

need the deep end

Joined: Mar 10 2011, 12:10 AM

Sep 22 2013, 10:20 PM #1

Tilting his head to one side, a faint frown creasing his forehead, Devon considered the array of products laid on the shelf in front of him. He hadn’t been in an adult store before, though he was not entirely ignorant about any of the objects that were on sale; he had just never had any personal experience of any of them before. Sex was such an awkward and stressful part of life for him, that he tried to avoid any contact with that whole area. Considering his feelings on the subject, to find himself standing in this particular store was something of a revelation. The unusual occurrence was entirely related to the co-owner of the store who was dealing with customer, who had come in just before closing time.

Devon took a small sip of one of the coffees he had brought with him, the second cardboard cup sitting on the counter near the cash register. Pretending that he was casually browsing so that Cooper could get on with his job had brought Devon down this particular aisle and he found himself looking at various different types of lube with a slightly perplexed expression on his face. Understandably it caused his mind to go in a particular direction, unsurprisingly, and he tried not to shy away from it. Since his friendship with Cooper had developed into a little something more than friendship, Devon had tried to make himself more comfortable with the idea of letting someone get close to him, physically. Sometimes he was more successful than others.

Hearing the sound of Cooper closing up the sale, and the customer exiting the shop, Devon wandered back down the aisle. Catching Cooper’s eye as he came towards the front of the shop, Devon gave him a smile. “You’re a very persuasive salesman.” He pushed a hand through his hair, moving it away from his eyes, though as usual it found it’s way immediately back across his forehead. “Can’t say that I’m surprised.” Having never been to the store before - quite shameful considering how long they had been friends - Devon hadn’t seen Cooper at work before, but it was not a leap of the imagination to think that his considerable charm would be an asset. Working at a bar, Devon didn’t have to try too hard to sell anything to the people who came into work.

“You should try and sell me something.” Devon said with a grin, moving a little close to where Cooper was standing and set his coffee cup on the counter, next to Cooper’s. As he often did with the other man, Devon knew that he was moving in a direction that was probably not good for either of them, but he still went anyway.
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Joined: Feb 27 2010, 02:07 AM

Oct 13 2013, 08:47 PM #2

His customer was a regular; a regular visitor, a fascinated observer, a picky buyer. For the longest time, Cooper had been intent to actually sell him something some day; as far as he knew, none of his co-workers had managed that feat yet either. Yet today, when the event suddenly came to pass, he’d wished for a moment that it wouldn’t have.

The reason was the heavily tattooed man he kept glancing subtly at throughout the sale (it still took a bit of persuasion; he was happy to acquiesce, despite the absolutely appalling timing). This was usually a very quiet day at the store, and it had been, for the most part; he’d hoped to close up early and duck out with Devon, to take a cheeky early night and try, yet again (undoubtedly without success), to get closer to the other man.

Closer and closer. Sometimes he felt closer to him than he could bear, other times it felt like there was a ravine between them.

Finally, the sale was closed, the man walked off with a happily swinging, inconspicuous bag in his hand, and Cooper didn’t even take a second to celebrate. He was too busy finding Devon with his eyes, making sure he’d noticed the man’s departure and was returning to join him. A small smile tugged at the corners of his lips when he confirmed that this was the case.

He busied himself with sorting money in the till, keeping his hands barely occupied to maintain at least some semblance of ease. In reality, he was giddy like a dog at the return of its human. It was one of the many occasions where Cooper felt grateful he didn’t have a tail.

“You’re a very persuasive salesman. Can’t say that I’m surprised.” He arched a brow - unintentionally suggestive - at the words, trying to seem nonchalant even though he felt a wave of strange and rather unwarranted joy roll through him at his compliment. ”You should try and sell me something.” At that suggestion, both his brows shot up, a touch of surprise mixed with excitement. “You think so, do you?” He grinned and sidled along the counter, coming closer. “We-hell, darlin’, I’d be more than happy to try out my skills of persuasion on you, if you insist.”

There was little more than a small step separating them now. He reached out and hooked his left index finger in one of the belt loops on Devon’s trousers, tugged gently at it. “But I’ll need you to tell me your deepest, innermost secret fantasy, the ones you ain’t told no one before.” His smile became crooked, a suggestive half-grin. He closed the gap between them a little more “And then I can make it come true.”
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Joined: Mar 10 2011, 12:10 AM

Jan 19 2014, 10:22 PM #3

Devon realised - though it was hardly a shocking revelation - he had given Cooper an ‘in’ so to speak, and he was not the kind of man to waste any opportunity. Watching the other man move closer to him, his brown eyes drifted a little bit, over firm shoulders and the stretch of material over biceps. Swallowing hard, he nudged his glasses further up his nose, feeling a sudden urge to busy himself with some kind of physical movement. A half smile formed and threatened to break out into a full on grin in response to the use of ‘darlin’’ at the end of Cooper’s sentence. Devon found himself unaccountable giddy every time his friend used that particular term of endearment. He knew he was not the only person Cooper used that term with, but occasionally he liked to pretend he was.

Cooper approached him, finger curling around his belt loop and Devon responded - with something very close to eagerness - by stepping forwards, closer into the other man. He thought he could feel the warmth radiating off the Southerners body though it was no doubt a figment of his overactive imagination. Lifting his hands up to Cooper’s hips, Devon tentatively slid the tips of his fingers under the hem of his shirt, stroking lightly at his soft skin, following the line of a taut muscle on one side.

The suggestion that he confess his deepest fantasies to Cooper brought flush of heat to his cheeks and a shy smile to his lips as he looked away - down and to the side. Devon removed one hand from Cooper’s hips to nudge at his glasses again, pushing them up his nose twice for good measure. Was Cooper joking? How to answer that question if he wasn’t? This was not the first time someone had asked a similar question of Devon, though it was rarely so direct and he had usually mumbled a deflection.

“My fantasies are sort of the usual type. A bit... tame.” He looked around the store, eyes settling in the direction of the collection of porn films before they darted away again, trying not to think too much about the fact Cooper had been a porn star. Switching his gaze back to Cooper, he smiled, less shyly this time. “You know, you could probably sell me anything in this shop just by saying ‘buy that, it does this’. As long as it’s under ten dollars.” Devon added, a little sheepish, at the end. East Side bartending wages didn’t often stretch to include many visits to adult stores.
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Joined: Feb 27 2010, 02:07 AM

Feb 8 2014, 12:37 AM #4

There was the faintest trickle of touch along his side, following the edge above his hip bone, the muscle that stretched there. (He was a typical Southerner; he wore his Wranglers low and his belt loose - he wasn’t an animal, after all - the fit none too tight, but perfectly fitted, nonetheless.) If that wasn’t encouragement, he didn’t know what was, and he sidled closer until it felt like he was stepping into the scent of Devon’s body, where it hovered so close to his skin. His free hand lifted and slid furtively up Devon’s abdomen, lightly tugging at his shirt as it moved, until it came to rest directly above his solar plexus. His fingers dug into the fabric of his shirt, tugged at it playfully, and Cooper smiled his most mischievous smile, with rows of pearly whites nibbling on his lower lip.

“I know something in this store you could have without spending as much as a penny.” His crooked smile widened, transformed into a suggestive grin. “And I ain’t talking about the special on condoms.” They were set neatly on the counter, two transparent plastic bowls, one half-full of the standard give-away condoms from Cooper’s AIDS charity, and the other containing only a handful of the strawberry flavoured condoms he and his business partners offered up for free, at Cooper’s behest. This was all that was left this time; those who knew about the store’s arrangement made sure to grab their share before it was too late.

He leaned into him, both hands crawling to his abdomen, pressing against the contours of his body. “And if you’re worried about being tame…” There was a spark in his eyes, some burst of invention that was eager to break through and find expression, as he followed the line Devon’s eyes had taken moments earlier, glancing through the wide entrance into the porno alcove. “Well… I’d say you could find inspiration in there, darlin’, but to tell you the truth, most of those come with a ‘don’t try this at home’ disclaimer.”

His eyes returned to Devon, one eyebrow arching as he leaned even closer and wrapped his arms around the other man’s waist. “You’d be better off experimenting with… an inventive partner.” His grin widened. “You wouldn’t happen to have any of those available, would you?”
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Joined: Mar 10 2011, 12:10 AM

Mar 10 2014, 09:12 PM #5

Hands moved over his abdomen, against his muscles, and where once Devon might have flinched or pulled away he found himself actually enjoying the touch. He might have enjoyed it even more if not for the fact he was a little ticklish in some places, and as Cooper’s hand neared his waist, he twitched slightly, his breath hitching in his throat. His usual discomfort with this level of physical contact was not particularly present; just a little twinge in the back of his mind. Over time he had become more comfortable with Cooper and even sought out these moments where he had previously shied away from them. Of course, to some people, Devon’s hand slowly stroking Cooper’s hip might not seem like much, but to him it was progress. He smiled as the other man tugged on his shirt and in response he pushed one of his hands further up under Cooper’s top, trailing just at the bottom of his ribs.

“You do?” Devon quirked his eyebrows upwards in mock surprise as Cooper began to suggest there was something he could have without paying anything. He was fairly certain he knew where this was going and had no desire to divert the path they were moving along. The more time Devon spent with Cooper the more attractive he found him, even if he hadn’t quite managed to completely let down his guard. In all honesty, he thought that the other man would have grown bored with him by now and was pleased that Cooper still wanted to spend time with him. He laughed softly at the mention of free condoms, recalling how their first kiss had been over a bag of the same free condoms.

Cooper picked up on the direction of his darting glance and commented on its suitability - or lack there of, and Devon grinned, looking down as he felt heat coming back to his cheeks. He was a little ashamed at being so obvious and about the fact he didn’t have a whole lot of experience with porn. Well, he’d dabbled as a teenager but found the experience of watching it uncomfortable. After that he had become even more convinced there was something fundamentally wrong with him. Compared to Cooper and his obvious experience, Devon felt like a clumsy child. Still, he didn’t really feel the need to hide it from his friend; it would hardly be a surprise. “Yeah?” He questioned. “I wouldn’t know much about that.”

Devon pressed himself closer as Cooper’s arms wrapped around his waist, while his gaze concentrated on the other man’s lips. He always found it difficult to make eye contact at such close proximity, and, well, Cooper’s mouth had an allure all of it’s own. “I think I might know someone like that.” Devon replied, lifting his hands to grip Cooper’s upper arms, rubbing briskly up and down them a couple of times, before coming to a rest on broad shoulders.

“Just to be sure I’d have to hear some of their ideas first.” Devon paused and grinned, his hand moving off Cooper’s shoulder and down to the Southerner’s jeans, delving into the back pocket as though searching for something; a phone in this case. “You meant one of your friends, yeah? Should we give them a call?”
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Joined: Feb 27 2010, 02:07 AM

Mar 14 2014, 11:02 PM #6

A hand trailed underneath his ribs, sending a tickling sensation creeping across his skin. He didn’t flinch. There’d been a time when he would have, years ago. The ticklishness in the area around his ribs had been something of a problem at productions in the start-up of his stumbled-upon career. Experience had done nothing to rid him of it, but it has taught him how to contain it, to feel it without reacting. He remembered those days long ago, curled up in bed with Dale, and how much that first boyfriend of his had enjoyed sending him into fits of flailing laughter by letting his fingertips ghost across his ribs. These days, it took more effort to react to those signal-sparking touches than it did not to. He wondered what else he’d lost among the plethora of things he’d learnt to suppress.

It was rare that he didn’t feel the immediate need to educate people on the matter when they confessed to having a lack of knowledge. With Devon, this was the case; when he said he wouldn’t know much about it, all he did was smile, not with some patronising edge, but appreciatively. After all the impassioned speeches he’d held in defence of his former involvement in the porn industry, there was something very liberating about being this close with someone who was more unfamiliar with the entire operation than anyone he knew.

His smile widened into a grin at Devon’s response, and he edged closer, despite how close they were already standing. A brow quirked suddenly at Devon’s hand lowering to behind him, reaching into his back pocket. That was certainly more forward than he’d ever experienced Devon to be, but he wasn’t exactly complaining… Until, of course, those words left his lips and shaped Cooper’s mouth into a near-perfect O of shock and mock-offence, and he drew his torso back a few inches.

“Oh, so now you’re gonna tease me?” he spluttered, the shock and offence rapidly giving way to a widening grin and a playful look in his eyes. “Cruel and unkind, Mr. Chambers.” He edged closer again, shuffling his feet toward Devon until he was standing closer than before, where he could brush the tip of his nose against the side of the other man’s. “You’ve gone off and wounded me, now.” He seemed very wounded, certainly, tilting his head the way he did, letting his lips ghost across Devon’s. The kiss he then gave him was barely a kiss; his lips only slightly pursed, faintly pressed against the corner of Devon’s mouth. A murmur, something close to a purr, sounded in the back of his throat before he spoke softly. “I’m all torn up inside.”
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Joined: Mar 10 2011, 12:10 AM

Mar 15 2014, 01:43 AM #7

“Yeah I’m gonna tease you.” Devon replied, almost triumphant with the fact he had managed to provoke something close to shock from Cooper, even if was playful. The other man moved in again, just a little way forwards, as though they weren’t close enough - a sentiment which Devon currently agreed with. He became aware that his hand was still in the back pocket of the Cooper’s jeans and suddenly feeling a little awkward, he pulled his hand away. Instead of just letting it hang there, Devon rested it back on Cooper’s waist, feeling once again the temptation of body heat through clothing.

“You didn’t know that already? I’m cruel and unkind all the time.” His gaze dropped downwards, lashes lowered as Cooper angled his head towards him. The featherlight touch of lips against his own was teasing and encouraging and Devon made no move to shift away from the other man. Slowly he moved his hand to rest, palm down, against Cooper’s chest, the heel of it nestling at the bottom of his sternum. “I could try to make it up to you.” He didn’t even try to imitate the low murmur that Cooper seemed so adept at producing. No doubt he would be unsuccessful.

Devon turned his head and angled it just enough to close the short distance between his mouth and Cooper’s, pressing their lips together for a few moments. Almost as soon as the contact had occurred he broke it, withdrawing back so that there was still only inches between their faces and smiling lightly, continuing with his playful tone. “Buy you a burger or something.” His smile broadened briefly and then contracted, a hint of shyness slipping back in as he moved in for another kiss. This time he drew out the kiss, lingering, his hand on Cooper’s chest clenching into a fist, bunching up the material of his shirt.
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Joined: Feb 27 2010, 02:07 AM

Apr 22 2014, 11:33 PM #8

There was a soothing sensation at his chest, where the heat from Devon’s hand reached its tendrils through the fabric of Cooper’s shirt and settled against his skin. It seemed to radiate from that point, waves of warmth melting along his skin, and it made him feel almost dazed, like something had settled around him and was making every effort to block out everything else. Someone could walk into the store right now, and Cooper wasn’t sure he’d even notice.

He noticed Devon’s words, however, and the tone with which he spoke them, and through lidded eyes saw him angle his head and close the gap between their lips again, kissing him quickly. Cooper almost involuntarily followed that touch as it broke away, all to eager to have it last another moment or two, three, five, ten - it was all too brief a touch for his liking. He couldn’t help but grin broadly at his words, though, and was about to draw back a bit, to where he could look at him, meet his eyes, make some teasing retort, be himself as fully as he knew how. But no, too slow; he was cut off before the thought had even had a chance to properly manifest itself, by Devon leaning closer again, kissing him again, letting it linger…

Not too brief for his liking this time. He could lean into the touch, savour the sensation, of this, their lips meeting, and of Devon’s hand clutching the fabric of his shirt. He felt his knuckles through the fabric, rough against his chest, and drew him closer. His arms wrapped around him, one settled against the small of his back, the other extending across his shoulders, where his hand gripped his shoulder, fingers sinking into his skin. Fervently, he deepened the kiss, drew it out further. Someone could have driven a car through the store front, now, and he wouldn’t notice. What was more, he wouldn’t care.
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Joined: Mar 10 2011, 12:10 AM

Apr 29 2014, 11:07 PM #9

Devon was twenty six the first time he had kissed a man, and drunk, drunk enough to allow the other man - a colleague at the bar in the North End he had briefly worked at - to move in and kiss him. For a few minutes, maybe longer, it had felt good, right, even. That was until he found himself trapped up against a wall, hands gripping at him, a body pressing in close to him. There was something in that which had triggered a response deep within him and he had scrambled away, heart pounding. The second time was five years later, with Cooper, over a bag of free condoms. More kisses had followed since then, but they never went much further than that. Devon always found an excuse when the anxiety set in and Cooper never pushed him. The guilt built up every time and he knew he should say something, explain what was going on. But he never did. He didn’t know how to.

He wasn’t even sure what was going on inside his own head; it would be difficult to vocalise it to another person.

Cooper’s arms wrapped around him, one firm against his lower back, the other wrapped around his shoulders. He didn’t pull away; there was no frantic attempt at escape as there had been for Devon’s first kiss. With Cooper he was past that now, he could kiss him and let him wrap his arms around him and for a while Devon would stop worrying so much. Devon’s hand remained clutching the front of Cooper’s shirt, pressed in between their bodies and holding on tightly to the material. His other hand rose up to rest against the side of Cooper’s face, before sliding down slightly to the side of his neck.

The kiss drew out and Devon hardly realised the insistency with which he was starting to press himself against Cooper’s body. The only distraction came with a noise from the street outside, close enough to convince him that it was someone coming into the store. He pulled back slightly from Cooper, hand falling away from the other man’s chest as he looked towards the still closed front door. “Is this okay? Doing this here?” Devon asked, looking back at Cooper, feeling a little awkward and sheepish at having broken off the kiss for no good reason. “I don’t want to scare away your customers.”
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Joined: Feb 27 2010, 02:07 AM

Apr 18 2015, 06:42 PM #10

A moan was building in the back of his throat. It was so ready to find expression, to rise up and extend itself into Devon's mouth, to be muffled by the kiss they shared. Hovering at the precipice, it edged ever closer, egged on by the press of Devon's body against his, ever more insistent, ever more demanding...

Cooper didn't hear the sound that distracted Devon. When the other man broke away, that moan did find expression, but as a faint whimper instead, as that growing sensation of warmth and electricity was suddenly ripped away from him, leaving him feeling suddenly disoriented. His arms lost the firmness of their grip, hanging instead loosely around the other man's body, as confused as the rest of him was by the sudden change - though it hardly should. Every time they got to a certain point, Devon would pull away. He should be used to it. He should come to terms with it and just... But he couldn't. There was always hoping something more would emerge, and he... He wasn't ready to give up. It seemed like a terrible idea, really, but he wasn't ready.

A breathy laugh escaped him when Devon worked, followed by a near-grin that was as charmed as it was charming. Sweet, shy Devon, who looked as tough as a bear, but was as gentle as a lamb - and as timid as a squirrel. Cooper's arms drew him nearer again, and he mumbled a quiet, "It's fine," as their lips met again. He kissed him deeply, wrapping both arms around his waist, slipping his hands under the fabric of his shirt and drawing his fingertips down his back. God, but he was firm. It always left his skin tingling after he'd touched him.

"But if you're really worried," he continued, only barely breaking of the kiss to say the words. Their lips still touched, his moving against Devon's to speak, and the moment the words were out, he resumed the kiss, only to break it off in the least committed fashion a few moments later, "I can always close up early."

He pulled back now; just enough that he could look into Devon's eyes as he quirked a suggestive brow. He didn't last there long, before he, with a crooked smile, leaned in again, ducking his head to press a kiss to the man's throat, just below his jawline. "Head back to mine..." He pressed another kiss to his throat, moving a little further down. "Lock the door..." Another kiss, pressed with a smile tugging at his lips. "See what happens?" He straightened again now, coming in close enough to press a quick kiss to Devon's lips, then pulled back enough to meet his eyes again. "What do you say?"
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Joined: Mar 10 2011, 12:10 AM

Apr 25 2015, 10:34 PM #11

If they had been in the East of the city rather than the South, Devon would have made a very swift attempt a separating himself from Cooper at even the slightest indication that they might be discovered. In Cooper’s store he felt safe enough to avoid any possibility of discovery by someone he knew; possibly a little too safe if he was really thinking about the probability of someone from his neighbourhood walking into an adult store in the South End. He doubted it was completely unheard of. The people he grew up with and worked with now were not the most tolerant or so it seemed to Devon and he knew for a fact that his father would be disgusted and enraged if he knew what Devon did with Cooper. Still, he kept his hands on Cooper as the other man soothed his concerns.

Devon smiled softly, looking down rather than at Cooper as he was drawn back into a tight embrace. It felt okay, to be held like that, less like he was being trapped and threatened, and more like he was being protected. Anyone who looked at him might think that the last thing he would need or want was to be protected. Devon leaned into the kiss, stroking his hands down Cooper’s back as he did so, only to find that it ended too quickly as Cooper began speaking again. His eyes slid shut, accompanied by a sharp exhale through his nose as Cooper turned his attention to his throat, sensitive skin practically tingling at the touch.

Devon’s body stilled in response as Cooper finished his suggestion, his eyes opening as he looked into his friend’s eyes. “Are you sure?” A stupid question, perhaps. He knew that Cooper was sure, and he was ready and willing, but Devon was always surprised that Cooper was willing to keep seeing him when he was hardly able to begin undressing without freaking out and leaving. That was hardly something he could start questioning Cooper about though; are you sure you want to do this when you know I’m probably going to leave? “I mean...” He paused and cleared his throat, frantically scrambling to find something to say that wasn’t what he was really thinking. “It wouldn’t matter that you’d miss some customers if we did that?” Did that save the situation? Devon couldn’t really tell just yet.
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Joined: Feb 27 2010, 02:07 AM

Apr 29 2015, 11:02 AM #12

Was he sure? The question was so unexpected - and struck Cooper as so ludicrous - that he couldn't help but issue a quick, breathy laugh in response. His lips quirked into a half-formed, lopsided smile, as quizzical as it was amused. To be quite honest, Cooper wouldn't think twice about ripping Devon's clothes off his body here and now and calling it a marketing installation without pausing if someone happened to walk in. Or, to preserve the other man's modesty, he could easily be perduaded to lock the door and lead him to the couch in the back room. If he'd thought for a second that Devon would be up for either of those options, they would be halfway there already. So was he sure? Please; he was practically ready to start pleading for it.

Another breathy laugh left him at the next words out of Devon's perfectly sculpted mouth, though his smile was more endeared and less amused now - warmer, in a way, and gentler.

"Darlin'," he started, almost like he was exaggerating his southern drawl as he said the word, "I'd pick you over making a few bucks any day of the week." After a quick grin, he leaned in and gave him another kiss - soft and slow and lasting, savouring the warmth and taste of the other man's lips. When he was content (though he could never quite have his fill where Devon was concerned; whether he wanted to or not, his thoughts would drift to the other man, and he'd find himself licking his lips, hoping to recall the feeling in vivid detail), he pulled back just enough to look his friend-and-then-some in the eyes.

"Give me a second to lock up, and then we'll head out, alright?" He'd save the after-work clean for tomorrow, he reckoned. Phoenix and Pax probably wouldn't mind... At least if he cited a "sexmergency" as the excuse. They were quite acquainted with Cooper and his ways, after all, and they'd never complained in the past.
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Joined: Mar 10 2011, 12:10 AM

May 3 2015, 12:34 AM #13

Devon smiled softly as Cooper assured him that he wouldn’t mind closing the store. Even if that hadn’t not been his initial concern, it was still somewhat reassuring that Cooper was not losing interest in him, even with Devon’s oddities. Oddities that he knew he would either have to talk to Cooper about soon or risk losing him. That was for another day, though. He hoped, at least. He couldn’t even imagine how he would go about explaining what was going on in his head, particularly as he didn’t quite understand it himself. Cooper’s kiss distracted him from his concerns, briefly, at least, as he pressed into the kiss with something that could certainly be considered neediness. In the end, it felt too brief, but there was the promise of more, and so Devon let Cooper pull away.

“Okay.” He quirked a smile as he watched Cooper getting ready to leave. He could do this, he could keep it together. They were just going to head back to Cooper’s, something which he had done many times before. Devon took a breath, urging himself to keep calm before he’d even begun to feel anxious. That lack of anxiety was only a temporary thing as his cell began to vibrate. There were only a few people who would be calling him; either of his parents, work or Amber, the latter being the only good option in his opinion. Digging into the pocket of his jeans, Devon pulled out his phone and noted that the phone call was coming from his dad. It was only then that Devon noticed he had a few texts from his dad as well, mostly written in caps, accompanied by some creative use of swear words.

Shoving his glasses a little further up his nose, he pressed his lips together and watched the phone until it stopped ringing. A few beats passed and then it began to ring again. His heart beat seemed to kick up a few notches and this time the deep breath he took was to control the wave of anxiety that was already building up in his chest. “I think... I might have to go.” Devon said, his voice sounding tenser than he intended. He looked over at Cooper, wishing with sudden intensity that he could stay with him, somewhere safe, with someone he trusted. Whatever happened between them, he didn’t think that Cooper would hurt him.

“It’s just my dad.” Devon gestured slightly with the phone which had stopped ringing again. Only then did he check his text messages, mainly revolving around where he was and why he hadn’t come yet. “I told him I would see him later today, but I guess he wants me to go now.” Devon shot back a quick text, saying he was sorry, he hadn’t heard his phone and he would be there soon. It wouldn’t save him from taking a few hits if his dad was in an energetic mood but it should stop him phoning at least. “I have to work this evening, as well, so I don’t know if I’ll get back to you.” Probably for the best; spending time with his dad when he was angry always left Devon struggling afterwards.

“I’m really sorry.” Devon added, his voice quieter, and acting on impulse he found himself closing the distance between the two of them and reaching out to hug Cooper, pulling him in close and holding on tightly. “Maybe we can pick up where we left off later this week?” Devon suggested, voice slightly muffled as he rested his face against Cooper’s shoulder.
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