It was almost eleven when Joe came back, looking tired.
"Were they okay?" He asked Graham, who was still up. Graham nodded.
"There was a projectile vomiting thing between Louise and me, but she started it, I swear." Graham grinned. Joe smiled wearily.
"Thanks for looking after them."
"No problem." He paused. "There's some chicken in the fridge leftover from lunch, if you want some sandwiches." He said. "I can get them for you, if you like."
"Thanks." Said Joe. He sank wearily into a dining chair and rested his elbows on the table. He placed his chin in his hands and surveyed the room. Graham came in a moment later, carrying a plate of chicken sandwiches and a mug of hot chocolate. Joe smiled at him. "Thanks." He said again, tucking into the sandwiches with indecent enthusiasm. Graham watched him, his eyebrows raised, a look of amusement and pity on his face. Joe slowed down after two sandwiches and apologised. "Did you clean up in here?" He asked Graham. Graham nodded.
"I did some cleaning while the kids were asleep this afternoon. I made a cake as well, and soup for tomorrow." Joe raised his eyebrows.
"You kept busy then?" Graham grinned.
"Not as busy as you, by the looks of it."
"Thanks for… doing all this. It's been a while since I've had the time to do much around the house." Graham shrugged.
"I'll do it as long as I'm here. I'm going to bed." He said, standing up. He took Joe's plate and empty mug through to the kitchen. "You coming?" Asked Graham. Joe gave a small smile and shook his head.
"I've got work to do."
"Still?" Joe nodded.
"Alright." Said Graham. "See you in the morning."
Joe went through to the study. It was gone midnight when he finally finished his paperwork. He locked up the house and went upstairs and found Graham sleeping. Graham was curled up on Joe's side of the bed, his face nuzzling against Joe's pillow. Joe sat down on the edge of Graham's bed and watched him sleeping. His long, thick black hair was fanned out on the white pillow. He looked very peaceful. It struck Joe how good-looking he was, and he felt a rush of affection. He changed quickly into his pyjamas and shook Graham awake. "Budge up." He grunted. "You're on my side."
"Does it matter?" Graham grunted, moving over. "This side's all cold."
"I always sleep on this side. I told you that last night."
"Well, it was all warm and comfortable and smelt like you."
"Is that good?"
"Mm…" Joe reached out and stroked a strand of black hair back from Graham's forehead. Graham closed his eyes against the pleasure of Joe's contact. His cheek pressed against Joe's hand. He opened his eyes and smiled at Joe. Joe scooted up behind Graham and wrapped his arms around Graham's waist, pulling him in close. He kissed the back of Graham's neck gently. He felt Graham's fingers gently twist around his own. Joe felt his arousal begin to grow as Graham's body heat rolled over him. He caught hold of Graham's wrist and rolled him over to face him. Graham's blue eyes were twinkling as Joe looked at him. Graham leant in and kissed Joe.