We walked through the halls hand in hand. Sage headed for the elevator and I followed him a step behind him. He pressed the button and then he squeezed my hand, “What’s bothering you?”
I grinned. “Is it that obvious?”
“You are trembling.”
“Afraid of heights. This elevator is the worst for my fears. But I’ll be okay.” I smiled at Sage.
The elevator doors slide open and a familiar face stood inside. I smiled as we stepped inside. “Hey, Dorian.”
Dorian smiled. “Nox. I see you have company again.”
“Dorian, this is Sage Morgan.” Dorian offered his hand as I continued. “Sage, this is Dorian Vega, my mentor.”
Sage spoke first as he took Dorian’s hand. “I’ve heard a lot about you.”
“All good, I hope.” Dorian shook Sage’s hand.
Sage laughed. “Yeah, how your helped him through trying times.” Sage wrapped his arm around my waist and rubbed the small of my back and I froze. My heart raced and my breathing increased. I tried not to let any of it show. Dorian’s eyes went wide but Sage didn’t seem to notice as he was looking at the statue in the middle of the lobby. “Nox really make that down there?”
Dorian nodded and Sage pulled me closer when he realized I was having a panic attack. He stopped rubbing my back and just held me against him. I smelled his laundry detergent on his clothes, and the lavender and jasmine of his shampoo and bodywash. Leaning against him I buried my face into his neck. I smiled against his soft skin.
Dorian answered, “He did. It was spectacular. No one believed a ten-year-old did it.” Dorian chuckled, “You handle him well.”
I laughed. “You have no idea, Dorian. No fucking idea.”
Sage kissed my cheek. “I try.”
We hit the level of the Academy and Dorian stepped off the elevator. He turned around and held the door open as he spoke to Sage. “You take care of him on his birthday. Make sure he doesn’t do anything stupid.”
“Yes, sir.” Sage smiled against my neck. When the door closed Sage asked, “Do you want me to stop touching your back? I keep forgetting.”
I whispered in his ear, “No.”
Sage pulled me away so he could see my face. “No what?”
I smiled and gave him a soft peck on the lips, “Don’t stop.”
Sage grinned, and I leaned back against him and buried my face in the crook of his neck. It was not my usual pose, it felt good having someone taller than me for once. His hand went under my hoodie and my t-shirt to the top of my waist band and his fingers rubbed against the rough puckered skin of the slash marks that ran just below the line. My bodied stilled and my breathing increased but I hummed into his neck encouraging him despite my bodies reaction. Sage whispered, “You know, I don’t think I’ve ever been with a guy who was quite so open about public displays of affection in today’s world.”
I hummed against his neck and bit it. “I usually play up the gay. Though, I’m not playing anything right now though.”
The elevator doors opened at the lobby level and I untangled myself from Sage’s body and we disembarked. There was a small crowd waiting for the elevator but that was the extent of the people who saw us up close and personal.
Sage took my hand with a smile. “There’s a great place across the street.”
I laughed. “I don’t think I’ve ever been there for breakfast.”
Sage smiled, “It’s fantastic.”
We walked across the street when the lights changed down the block. Traffic was never empty in the City, but at least we could cross without getting hit.
The door gave off that familiar little tinkle as we opened it and stepped inside the old school dinner. The red neon letters outside in fancy script read “Bonnie’s Diner”. Bonnie had owned the place for many years. I had come here many times throughout my days in the Academy to eat and study where no one would bother me.
Bonnie looked up from reading the morning paper and blinked at us. She smiled. “Never thought I’d see the pair of you together. Take a seat boys.”
Sage laughed. “You are a regular too?”
“Just not at breakfast.” I smiled as I sat down with my back to the door.
Sage nodded his head to move in. I laughed. “If you are going to sit with me we should sit on the other side then.”
Sage gave me a strange look but backed up from the table so I could get out and switch sides. I smiled at him and took his hand to follow me in. “I don’t like my back to the door, but I was letting you have the better seat.”
“Ah.” Sage grinned and squeezed my hand. “I never understood the convention of sitting across from someone.”
Bonnie came over and stood over the table. “It allows for easier and more intimate conversation. I don’t suspect either of you boys care too much for intimate conversation. Always coming in with your books and your laptops to work.”
I grinned up at her, “I like intimate conversation. I like Sage.”
She asked, “Your usual, Nox?”
I shook my head. “Not quite. I’ll take steak and eggs and whatever fresh fruit you have. Coffee please and a glass of water.”
She looked over at Sage with a smile. “Your usual, hun?”
“Yes, ma’am. Though his sounds reall good.”
Bonnie left and took our orders with her. She brought coffee over and poured two black cups before she left. My leg pressed against Sage’s and it was difficult to move without elbowing him. Sage had elbowed me three times in that short time. “Maybe this isn’t as easy as I’d like it to be,” Sage said.
“I don’t mind.” I leaned back and put my arm around Sage on the top of the booth’s bench. “Is this how you sit when you are on dates?”
Sage nodded. “I like to touch my partner. Playing footsie and holding hands is nice and all, but I’d rather be able to do this.” He leaned over and kissed me hard on the mouth. My body reacted and I brought my other hand up around his neck holding him close and deepening the kiss. His tongue darted into my mouth and I let out a small moan.
By the time Sage pulled away my knees felt weak, and I had to catch my breath. Sage’s lips were swollen from kissing me and I bit my bottom lip at the look on his face. God, I wanted him. I grinned at him. “I didn’t expect that.”
Sage grinned. “It’s your birthday.”
“I could think of something else you could do for my birthday.” I said with a wink.
Sage leaned in and whispered in my ear, “Nope. Not yet.”
I laughed. “I didn’t think so.” I took a sip of my coffee and smiled at Sage. “I am good with that.”
Bonnie brought our breakfast and sat it down in front of each of us with a tall chocolate shake with two straws.
I looked up at her and rolled my eyes. She interrupted before I could say anything at all. “It’s your birthday. Indulge me.”
“Yes, ma’am.” I picked up the shake and took a sip of it, then smiled at Bonnie.
Sage took it from my hand and handed it to Bonnie. “Bring it back later please. It’ll ruin our breakfast.”
I looked at Sage with a grin, “That’s kinda why she brought it out now. I don’t indulge on such things but when I do it’s before.”
Sage smiled brightly at Bonnie, “Please?”
“You don’t have to bring it back at all, Bonnie.” I said. I didn’t need ice-cream.
Sage looked at me with a wide grin, “Of course she does. Just not for breakfast.”
I nodded to Bonnie, “You heard the man.”
She raised an eyebrow behind Sage’s back questioning the situation I only smiled back. Sage turned to his own plate and pressed his leg against mine and picked up his fork with his left hand and his right fell to my knee and he squeezed, “Eat.”
I winked at Bonnie and did as he asked. I grinned at Sage, “It’s better that we sat on this side, anyway.” If we’d sat on the other side, we’d be bumping elbows as we ate. Now we could hold hands while we ate, and that’s what we did as I slide my hand between his hand and my leg and curled my long fingers around his.
Sage grinned down and looked at the color on my nails. “You always match them?”
I shook my head. “No, I’m still sporting the usual club look. Nails change as they chip.”
Sage set his fork down and pointed to a chipped spot on my index finger, “Like that one?”
I nodded, “Yeah. Now it’s going to drive me crazy. Thanks.” I stuck my tongue out at him.
“Don’t do that.” Sage warned with a smile.
“Why not?” I asked playfully.
“You might not get it back.” He teased as he popped a forkful of scrambled eggs and bacon into his mouth.
I grinned at Sage. “That might not be so bad.”
It stabbed the steak I had already cut on my plate and pulled my attention back to my food. “Eat.”
“All right, all right.”
We ate in relative silence, holding hands and our legs pressed against each other in the booth. Several people had come and gone in the time we ate our meal.
When Bonnie placed the check and another chocolate milk shake on the table I reached for the check and Sage moved faster than I had expected and was pulling it from underneath my hand and handing Bonnie cash. “I got it. I asked you here remember. No macho games. Whoever asks pays.”
“What if we don’t ask, like it’s a agreed upon stop because we were hungry?” I asked playfully as I pulled my hand back.
Sage laughed. “Always plan everything?”
I shrugged. “Not everything. I’m not good with surprises honestly.”
“I could tell you I would rather always pay. Would that bother you?” Sage asked with a smile. I wasn’t sure if he was being serious or if this was some test.
“No. It wouldn’t bother me. But it makes me wonder how much more you’d want to control.” Was Sage one of those men who had to be in control? Did he need someone who would obey everything?
The look on Sage’s face was a little worrisome. His eyes were warring with something inside. I put my hand on his knee and smiled. “I can give you control when we are together. I don’t need to be alpha male.”
Sage smiled back, but it didn’t reach his eyes. “You are already an alpha.” He stood up and offered his hand. “I want you to meet someone.”