Nox grabbed the groceries and was out the door before I could help him. I locked up and found him standing by the elevator waiting. He hadn’t even pushed the button. I asked, “Nox you okay?”
He nodded. “Yeah.”
“We really didn’t do anything.” I reassured him.
He growled, “I know. I believe you. I don’t like that your friend knows me from my past. And the fucked up part I don’t remember her. The circle is small, the people who’d know that part I’d know.”
I sighed. “I’m not happy she knows you either. I don’t like knowing you had a dom.” I smirked, trying to lessen the feeling of guilt he had, “From what I saw she was where she shouldn’t have been. Got a few lashes from it. She thought it was worth it.”
“You aren’t into that though?” He asked. He really wished I wasn’t into the whole scene. I was glad I could reassure him. We rode down the elevator and were out the door. We were walking down the street before I even thought of responding. The people around us there didn’t need to know my business.
We passed an alleyway mouth and I tugged Nox down into it so we could talk in some relative quiet. “Nox. I told you the truth. I don’t want a sub. It’s not my thing, it’s just a job. She’s paying me to find her soul mates who were right fucking in front of her.”
He laughed. “Course. I’m not surprised, if she can’t see through you.”
I pushed him. I was a better actor than he even knew. Nox grabbed my hands and pulled me against him. “It’s pretty obvious you aren’t some flamboyant gay guy.”
“I’m a good actor.” I said flatly
Nox laughed. “We’ll see.” he said as he pulled me out of the alley, “Show me your place. Your real place.”
I nodded and couldn’t help repeating what his boss had said. I liked this side of him. “Bossy, bossy. But I’m starving and you weren’t done shopping. I literally have nothing.”
He sighed. “Fine.” We went into the local grocer and Nox picked up a few more things. It looked like we’d be having Italian from what he grabbed overall. He asked, “What do you want to drink?”
“You want a fancy dinner?”
“I said dazzle me.” I smirked. I meant it. I wanted him to impress me. Not that his steaks or his pancakes hadn’t but I knew those weren’t meant to impress. I wanted to see what his surrogate fathers taught him.
He rolled his eyes at me. “All right.” then grabbed a bottle of white wine as we passed. He didn’t even look at the brand or the price. Or anything really, just grabbed. Like it didn’t matter. But I saw in his head he knew exactly what he was doing. “You ready?” he asked.
I nodded. “I’m all yours chef. I’m starving. This won’t take long will it?”
He shrugged. “Never made it before.”
“I’m not some guinea pig!” I said with a nervous laugh. I should be freaking out and I was fucking starving, but I knew, I just knew, whatever he cooked would be amazing.
“You are tonight,” he said confidently as I pulled out my wallet to pay for the rest of the groceries, as I had earlier and the day before. I was getting good at paying for his things. Not that I minded. “But I promise it’ll be good.” He said with a smile. I loved that smile. Fuck if he wasn’t going to do me in.
“It better be!” I said.
We weren’t far from my place, We weren’t far from Nox’s either. It wasn’t a coincidence I’d been able to find him so easily. If only I’d known all those years ago. It’s not like I hadn’t been seeing him all the while while I was with Kate. He was part of my everyday life. My friend, my confidant. Fuck, he was the guy I was having sex with whenever I wanted. Without the cause for any concerns because it was just a dream.
I opened the door and the first thing Nox did was inhale deeply. I laughed, “Do you do that at every new place?”
He shook his head. “No.” He didn’t know how to explain the thoughts verbally but I caught all of it in his head. How I felt safe, like home, and smell was the majority of that sensation for him. It was why he trusted the people he did – because they smelled like home and safety to him.
I swept my hand through the living room in a grand gesture. “Make yourself at home.” I declared easily. I wanted him comfortable. Fuck if I was honest, I wanted him naked and here all the time. But I pushed the memories away. I wasn’t in this for personal gain. This was about Poet, and everything else was just mine to take.
Nox took me literally and kicked of his shoes and walked around in just his socks. He was doing half the work for me. I could get used to that.
I lead him through the apartment to the kitchen. He put things on the counter and I asked, “You want the tour?”
Nox shook his head, “No, I think I’ll feed the starving man who keeps eyeing me.”
“I think that’s a good idea.” I sat down at the bar and started unpacking his groceries to help out. I didn’t know what he wanted or needed but he didn’t seem to mind that I was doing that simple chore while he looked around my kitchen looking for the things he needed.”I don’t think I’ve ever cooked here either.” I said.
“A virgin eh?” He joked.
Which I returned with a quip of my own. “You could only wish.”
Nox shook his head “Virgin’s are so boring. I like ’em with a little experience, maybe a lot, show me a thing or two.”
“That’s fancy coming from you!” he was such a playboy it wasn’t even funny. I’d watched him coral a girl and fuck her on the dance floor. There was probably nothing he hadn’t done with someone else. Which only made things hurt even more. He’d never remembered the things we did. I was his first fucking kiss, I was his first, not those he thought of. It was me but I wasn’t real to him.
Nox groaned, “Are you calling me a slut?”
I sighed more for my own self defeating thoughts than his own self deprecation. Either way we were both thinking the same thing, “No pretty boy. I very much want to show you a thing or two.” I hadn’t meant to say it. But it was the truth. I wanted to be his everything and then the pain of it all hit and I wanted nothing more than to rip it out from under him. And here I’m thinking he’s such a fucking mess – I shouldn’t talk.
“So you get fed, what do I get out of this deal?” He asked as he beat eggs in one of my bowls with a fork. I had a whisk but he seemed perfectly happy with the fork.
I smirked, “Since when do I have to sing for my supper?”
“Can I what?” I asked confused.
“Sing for you supper.”
I nearly snorted “Fuck, I’ll show you pretty boy.” I went to my bedroom and looked around. The bed was fucking disaster and I had clothes strewn about, but fuck he wanted honest, this was me. I grabbed my guitar and walked back into the kitchen with hit.
“Okay, now I’m impressed.” Nox said as I sat down on the bar stool and adjusted myself so that I could play with ease.
“Yeah uh, huh.” I warmed up a little, my fingers hadn’t touched the guitar since I got here, there had been no need. Janice had never much cared unlike her mother. Her mother loved for me to play for her. started strumming and singing Stand By Me. It was a habit more than anything. I’d sung the song to him so many times over the years. It just started without me thinking about it. “When the night has come / And the land is dark / And the moon is the only light we see / No I won’t be afraid / No I won’t be afraid / Just as long as you stand, stand by me / And darling, darling stand by me.”
Nox had been startled by the playing of a song he’d felt so much connection with, but he hadn’t said anything. He was wondering how I knew to play the song for him. His thoughts made me angry. Fuck, I sang it to you!
I didn’t want to play that song to him here. In the real world, it hurt too much knowing he never remembered. Fuck if he had remembered, I don’t know what I would have done. I started playing a slower cover of Baby One more time. Nox recognized it it almost immediately and his thoughts said it wasn’t dance worthy. He wanted to dance, huh? I could do that. “You want something you can dance too.” I started playing Stayin Alive. It wasn’t a favorite of mine but it always got a reaction from the crowd. It was such a classic everyone did John Travolta’s classic moves.
Including Nox, he grinned as he said, “You really want me flinging my hands around while I coat this chicken. There is only one way to dance to that song.”
I strummed a few other things, he didn’t seem to care that it wasn’t anything particular, and I didn’t need to sing. But my stomach rumbled and I launched into something silly, “C is for cookie, it’s good enough for me.” It had Nox grinning and I kept playing and singing the song I’d grew up with. But I really was hungry. I did my best cookie monster voice, “Alex hungry!”
Nox was grinning, “I’m cooking as fast as I can.”
I wasn’t really thinking as I started playing Thriller. It was one of the more complicated songs I knew. It was an impressive song to play on the guitar and I often played it in the park to make extra bucks, most adults who were in the money knew Thriller, it was part of their generation, though that was quickly changing. What I hadn’t expected was for Nox to break out in dance. Not only did he know the moves he was almost certainly doing it right the whole thing even without the words.
As Nox cooked I played a few other of Michael Jackson’s songs. He seemed to favor Billie Jean and I enjoyed watching him dance like the King of Pop. He moved with precision and sex appeal and I was forgetting my place more often than not until his timers all went off and he was plating food.
Nox pushed a plate in front of me and I gave him a flourishing bow which brought a smile to his lips, the same smile that made me more than happy.
He was all smiles and I couldn’t help but laugh as I asked, “But can you do this?” I played a metallica riff and headbanged to it. I pulled a neck muscle with the energetic movements, or so I let on. And he saw through it with a roll of his eyes, “Obviously that was done so I’d touch you.”
I smirked. “I would never.” But Nox was already working the sore spots in my neck. He had to stop or we’d never eat and I was fucking hungry.
I grabbed his hands and pulled him closer to me and kissed him over my shoulder, “If you keep that up your food is going to get cold and I’m starving.” And my stomach rumbled on cue.
Nox played up the sigh as he sat down next to me taking a sip of his wine and then started cutting his own food. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be so polite but I didn’t just reach down and grab the chicken that looked delectable on the plate covered in pesto sauce. My apartment never smelled so good. Nox asked, “Where did you learn to play?”
I finished a bite and told him the truth, “My mom taught me. It was a staple of my growing up.” It had earned us money when we were short on cash and it had earned me a lot of tips as I played for the big wigs in other places.
I already knew the answer, but I asked anyway, “Where did you learn to dance like that?”
“Dorian paid for my instructor. She was from Spain and Dorian liked speaking Spanish with her, if I’d thought he liked women I’d have said he was flirting, but Dorian was really just interested in the language. Though I think he did learn some to speak Italian to impress Marco.”
“What else did Dorian pay for?” I asked, obviously the cooking but I wondered if he had any other mundane talents I didn’t know about yet.
“Just cooking and dancing. He did it so I’d stay out of his hair. If I was too busy doing other things I wasn’t making trouble in the AU building.” The knowledge was only slightly disappointing. I couldn’t think of anything finer for him to do. Obviously he was artistic too. I’d looked at those drawings in his notebook and they weren’t something to be shy about. There had been other doodles too. But I hadn’t looked long. I wondered how much he practiced that talent.
“I knew you were a trouble maker.” I poked fun at him.
Nox hung his head and bit his bottom lip before he looked up at me shly. He was about to say say he wasn’t a trouble maker but I interrupted him before the words left his mouth, “Fuck, pretty boy, don’t do that.”
He looked at me oh-so innocently, “Don’t do what?”
“You know exactly what?”
He shook his head. “I have no idea what you mean.”
I rolled my eyes at him, “Eat. Then I’ll give you a tour of the place and then you can give me a proper back rub. All that headbanging hurt my neck.”
He laughed. “Uh, huh.” He ate. I devoured my food and was looking forward to the left overs later. Though they might not make it through the night.