Aidan and Matthew met because someone had set them up, thinking they’d be perfect for each other. Both profusely turned down the person in charge of setting them up multiple times, finally giving in with the promise that this person would drop the subject and never try setting them up again in the future.
“You won’t have to,” Lizzie spoke to them, although not at the same time. “You are so perfect for one another that you’ll end up married or something like that.”
“In case you are not aware Lizzie, England does not allow same-sex couples to marry. So we’ll end up domestic partners, living in a large estate in the middle of nowhere with our flower garden.”
“Don’t be dramatic, Matthew. You and Aidan will make a wonderful couple, and I expect you to name a child after me.” Matt raised his eyebrows. “Okay…maybe not a child, but a pet?”
Matt just shrugs his shoulders, shaking his head in disbelief.
“When and where will I be meeting this Aidan?”
“Eight o’clock, on Saturday at the Subway in Westminster.” Matt shot her a look. “It was the first place I could think of, okay? Just be there Saturday night, and you can thank me Monday morning.”
Aidan, although strongly opposed to the idea of being set up on another date with some person he had never met, was excited for the opportunity to get out of his house for an hour or so. He thought if things didn’t work out romantically for him and Matt, they might become good mates, which was just what the young Irishman needed most. Aidan took a shower, and arranged his unruly black hair to the best of his ability, before going out the door.
Aidan sat in the front of the slightly busy Subway by the door, so he could be easily seen by Matthew when he came in. Trying not to look like he was a mobile addict, he casually would check the time on his phone, deciding how long he should wait before abandoning hope that Matthew would show up. Every time some tall blond man would appear he was coming in, Aidan’s heart beat quicker. He had become immune to all the blond men walking by. So much that he wasn’t even paying close attention when Matt finally did walk in, ten minutes late.
“Are you Aidan?” He asked, all out of breath. Aidan nodded, because he was shocked by Matt’s looks. “I’m Matthew, or Matt, if you’d like. I apologize for being so late. I got stuck behind a bunch of tourists on the Tube, and then there was a row by the tracks, which added ten more minutes onto my route than expected. It was utter bollocks, if you want my opinion,” Matt rattled out. “Well, let’s get this damn nightmare that Lizzie created out of the way, and be on our way.”
“We haven’t even had dinner yet, Matt. Let’s not call the night a wash until we’ve gotten to know each other a bit better than just first glances.”
“I’m sorry; I couldn’t understand a damn word you just said. Your accent is so heavy. Are you from the North?”
“If you mean Northern Ireland, yes. I’m from Armagh. I’ve been in London for about a year now,” he replied with a smile. “Did you catch all that, or should I speak slower for you?”
Matt surveyed Aidan for a moment, before laughing at his response.
“I understood you completely, just then. Shall we order dinner, since Lizzie has gone out of her way to set us up?” Aidan simply nodded, and got up from his seat.
Aidan ordered a salad, which got Matt’s attention in a negative way.
Oh lord; he’s one of those snooty food-types. Because he’s thin, he’s got to watch his figure so that it doesn’t expand. What a prat.
“I am lactose-intolerant, so I order salads in places I have never eaten in before,” Aidan explained. “I was a lazy arse all week, and didn’t research the ingredients in the food or breads, so salad was the safest option.”
“Of course, of course,” was all Matt could respond with. “We don’t need you having an issue in the middle of dinner because you ordered something on a whim.” What a fucking tosser I am.
“I am curious on how you have never stepped foot into a Subway whilst you have been living in London.”
“I am not really sure. I tend to visit vegetarian restaurants or I cook at my apartment,” Aidan replied with gentle smile.
As they continued to eat, those initial thoughts they’d both had about Lizzie making a mistake slowly dissipated. They both found themselves laughing, hysterically on occasion at something the other said. After forty-five minutes of sitting inside after finishing their dinner, they decided to take a walk through Westminster.
“So where in London do you live?” Matt glanced over at Aidan, who was looking to his left at the Houses of Parliament.
“In Aldgate, in a nice apartment with a rooftop terrace,” he replied, smiling at Matt. “Where do you live?”
“In South Kensington, in pretty much the same situation,” he smiled. “I find myself going to the roof when I need to clear my head, or it’s a gorgeous evening out.”
“I think I spend all my time on my terrace. Even when it’s freezing outside, I am out there, just thinking. I even grade students’ papers out there,” Aidan spoke, stealing a look when Matt wasn’t looking.
“You’re a teacher? What level do you teach?”
“I teach year three; I cater to the minds of seven-year-olds. I vaguely remember Lizzie mentioning you were a teacher as well.”
“I am, yes. Although I teach English in a private school to teenagers, who don’t appreciate the efforts I go to to teach them.” Matt walks over to a bench and sits down. Aidan follows suit. “I am curious as to how you and Lizzie know one another, if you don’t work with her?”
“I know Lizzie from a tour of the Tower of London. She went one afternoon to view the Royal Jewels, and talked my ear off about the Crown of the Queen Mother and the various scepters housed there. I assume you know her from work?”
“Guilty,” Matt chuckled. “I have known her for the last four years. You are the first person she has set me up with.”
“For this I am grateful. I don’t know why after four years of working together she decided to take it upon herself to set me up with someone.”
“Lizzie did it for my benefit, I would suppose,” Aidan spoke up. “I had just suffered a terrible break-up when Lizzie first met me. I jokingly laid my head upon the headrest where Anne Boleyn was beheaded and asked if anyone had a sharpened ax or sword to end my pain, and she decided to treat me to dinner. You’re not the first man she’s set me up with, and I was wary to meet you because she had done so badly in the past. I haven’t been that depressed since she met me several months back, but I guess she wanted one last attempt at setting me up with someone before I put a stop to it.”
Matt sat on the bench, listening to the quieting crowds that passed by them, and the gently rushing of the Thames, taking in what Aidan had said.
“I’ll try not to be offended,” he remarked. At that moment, Big Ben rang. “It’s eleven o’clock,” Matt reported, looking at his watch. “We’ve managed to spend almost three hours in each other’s company.”
“I ought to be going,” Aidan replied. “I have church in the morning.”
“Let me walk you to the Tube station,” Matt offered.
Matt walked Aidan to the station, then down the stairs, to the train itself and rode with him all the way out to Aldgate, walking him to his apartment before saying goodnight. He then took a twenty-minute ride back to South Kensington station.
That Monday, Matt was speaking to his Irish co-worker, Eoin about the date.
“Eoin, he was so handsome. He’s tall, but made of skin and bones. He eats healthily, but he looks so breakable. He has these prominent cheekbones on his face, which are accentuated by his jet-black hair and blue eyes. When he smiles, Eoin, it’s like the sunshine after a horrible rain. He’s also Irish, and has the heaviest accent. I spent most of the night concentrating on what he was saying to me.”
“You’ve left out how he was dressed that night, Monsieur Amour,” Eoin smiled widely.
“Are you actually curious, or just messing around?”
“I genuinely want to know, although I am not sure why.”
“He was wearing a plaid shirt that hung on him awkwardly with jeans and Converse shoes.”
“Good choice, if you ask me,” Eoin grins. “I have to go and give a test on the conjugations of the verbs to eat, to drink, and to sing. Enjoy your free hour, and we’ll talk more after work.”
That afternoon, Aidan was talking to his sister about Saturday night.
“You’ve told me everything else, but what he looked like, Aidan.”
“I didn’t? That’s unusual, Georgiana. Are you sure?
“Positive, Aidan. Now, do your little sister a favor and tell me all about his looks.”
Aidan sighs. “If I must,” he smiles into the phone. “He is about my height, but he appears to be shorter, by a half inch at the most. He has this blond hair that tends do its own thing—“
“Like yours,” she interjects.
“Yes, like mine,” he replies sarcastically. “Anyway, he has these blue eyes that you could get lost in, and an athletic build. I’ll wager he plays football when he gets the chance.”
“You better find out his allegiances, otherwise this is doomed.” She begins giggling hysterically.
“Georgiana, you’re not funny.” She continues giggling.
Matt spent the next few days listening to Lizzie go on and on about how amazing she was at setting people up and catching her smug smile whenever he came into the main office in the morning for his papers. He found that his only solace was calling or texting Aidan to keep himself from hitting Lizzie.
She’s just happy that it finally worked in her favour for once.
I don’t care, Aidan. She’s taking all the fun out of meeting you, and I am beginning to resent her for it.
Are you insinuating that you don’t want to see me again…ever?
On the contrary. In fact, are you available this coming Saturday? I thought we could go to the Tower and talk utter twaddle about the Crown Jewels.
Twaddle? What the heck language do you speak?
One of my students keeps saying it. After three days of hearing nothing else, it’s stuck in my brain. So…what do you say to this weekend?
If you promise never to say ‘Twaddle’ in my presence, I agree to accompany you. It will be fun to walk around the Tower with someone who isn’t preoccupied with jewellery.
Great! I will ring you tonight and we’ll iron out the details.
Sounds good. I have to get back to work now. Talk to you later.
Their “official” first date went off spectacularly, especially in the Torture Chamber. For some reason, Matt was excited to mess around with the torture devices, which panicked Aidan because they were not supposed to be touched. Every time Matt would touch them or play with a part of something, Aidan scolded him. It made Matt laugh, being scolded like he was a child again.
“I do teach children,” Aidan reminded him as they walked past a mace on the wall. “And at this exact moment, you’re acting like a child who needs to be removed from the tour.”
“You know what you need, Aidan?”
“No, Matthew, I do not.”
“You need a holiday, and to turn off third year teacher mode, okay?” Matt squeezed Aidan’s shoulder as he said this, causing a wave of electricity to surge through his body. He just nodded at what Matt had said, because he couldn’t form the words to agree.
They decided to go to some fish and chip shop after visiting the Tower, where Aidan asked Matt what he’d do if a student of his acted like he was in the Tower.
“What would you do if a male student acted like you were in the torture chamber?”
“I’d warn him once. If he did it again, I’d grab him by the collar, and make him my special friend throughout the rest of the tour. You think he’ll act up if I have him by the collar?”
“Do you see where I am coming from?”
“Aidan,” Matt stressed softly, “I am twenty-seven years old. I know when it’s appropriate to act stupid, and when it isn’t. If I thought there was any possibility of being removed from the tour, I wouldn’t have acted like a twat. I am a born and bred Englishman, and I know what I can get away with in certain historical sites. With that said, I don’t tolerate that type of idiocy from my students,” he replied with a smile.
“The males in my classes already show enough disrespect for history as it is. If they pulled that crap, I would personally see that they were flogged.”
“Your school flogs students?” Aidan’s eyes bulged from his face.
“No, it’s just a broad statement. I am sure at one point the school did publicly or privately discipline that way, but not anymore. I couldn’t work in a school that did that. It’s not acceptable.” Aidan sipped his soda, admiring Matt’s personal principles and his strong jawline.
They decided to go to St. James’s Park, for some quiet, so they took the Tube to St. James’s Station and walked through the park. As they walked past boys playing a lively match of football, the ball flew in front of Aidan’s face. Matt grabbed the ball before it made contact with Aidan. Aidan, whose focus was suddenly on Matt, watched with rapt attention as Matt dropped the ball to his feet and shot it back at the boys.
“Oi! Be more careful, okay?”
Aidan stood there, stunned. Stunned and slightly turned on.
“What is it?”
“Nothing; it was just your skills at kicking the ball back to those boys.”
“I play football with mates when we get the urge. I also was team captain in school. We’re having a match next weekend, if you’d care to come. It’s the faculty versus the administration. My close mate, Eoin is the center midfielder. He’s Irish too.”
“I’d love to see that, even if Eoin was Welsh. What position do you play? Not like I’ll really know, but I can Google it later.”
“I am center forward. My main focus in the game is to score points.” Aidan stares back, with a blank face. “I’m going to have to explain this again next weekend, aren’t I?”
“Yes, you will,” Aidan grins. “I am quick learner, but I haven’t played footie since I was eighteen. I do support Manchester United when matches are on television.”
“Manchester?” Matt asked with a mock-annoyed edge. “I support Chelsea, even though they’re breaking my heart at the moment.”
“So, are you still willing to be seen with me? Or should I catch the Tube back home, and hide in shame?” Aidan asked with a mischievous smile.
“Although your football allegiances are bit…wrong, I am an open-minded man. You may continue gracing me with your presence,” he winked.
“Why thank you, good sir,” Aidan bowed.
They continued their walk.
They made their way around the other side of the lake; Aidan knelt down to feed a piece of bread he’d kept from their lunch to a duck. Matt was so caught up in how attractive Aidan was feeding the duck, he didn’t notice when Aidan stood back up and was looking right at his face. When he did, he just pulled Aidan in closer and kissed him. Aidan gasped in surprise, but returned the kiss with a soft moan.
“What brought that on? Not that I mind, but what was the cause?”
“I can’t tell you. Maybe someday I’ll reveal the secret,” Matt replied with a sly smile.
“Fine, have your secrets,” Aidan returned. “I am going to have fun extracting it from you.” He bent back down to feed a swan and more ducks.
I am so fucked, Matthew thought to himself.
Matt decided to drive Aidan to his apartment, which Aidan questioned, since it was a twenty-two minute ride on the Tube to South Kensington to get his car and another fifteen minute drive from his apartment to Aidan’s in Aldgate. Matt said it was no problem, and Aidan secretly thought Matt was a bit soft in the head, but cute at the same time. As they rode the Tube to South Kensington, Matt was telling him about a student’s paper on Hamlet.
“She wrote this compelling argument that Ophelia may have had an undiagnosed mental disorder, which led to her committing suicide.”
“Which, of course, is correct,” Aidan nodded.
“And that if her family, or Queen Gertrude had known about it, her life might have been saved.”
“So, was there a problem with her paper, besides the glaring reality that mental illnesses went untreated back then?”
“The paper was supposed to be a summary on why Hamlet was such a tragedy. She wrote the entire paper on Ophelia’s mental state, and how it could have been treated. I ended up giving her a passing grade, but leaving a note about the fact she deviated from the actual assignment. I couldn’t fail her for it, as much as I should have.”
Aidan sat in silent reflection for a moment.
“She had a point, though. Hamlet in this day and age would be a tale of depression. Hamlet himself had several mental disorders, severe depression disorder being one of them.”
Matt chuckled, and added, “That, and schizophrenia. He swore he could see and hear his father talking to him, when no one else could. If I were a university professor, I could address this idea, but it’s not usually something discussed in Year 11 English.”
Aidan patted Matt’s hand, giving him a warm smile.
“Don’t look at me like that,” Matt warned. “If you look like that, I will have no choice but to kiss you,” he smiled.
“A pity, then, because I’m not going to stop smiling.” Aidan shrugged, a grin forming at the corner of his mouth.
He could see Matt staring blatantly at his mouth, wondering if he should breach London Underground rules and publicly kiss Aidan. Aidan took the initiative, and kissed him softly. When he pulled away, Matt’s eyes were still open, and his lips softly pursed from the kiss. Aidan laughed, causing Matt to crack a wide smile.
Matt and Aidan walked past Matt’s apartment building, which was an updated Georgian building with a red door leading to the apartments inside. They walked a bit further down the road to where Matt parked his car, a blue Mercedes-Benz coupe. Aidan’s mouth dropped open, and he floated over to the car.
“How in the hell did you afford this on a teacher’s salary? I own a Volvo, for heaven’s sake.”
“I saved up for a long time,” Matt beamed. “I drove a 1985 Citröen that broke down if I put it into third that my parents gave me as a birthday gift when I was eighteen. I began saving for this beauteous thing when I was twenty. It took me seven years, but I finally saved up enough to buy myself a nice car.”
“Nice isn’t the word I’d use,” Aidan replied, stroking the hood. “This is the sexiest thing on wheels I’ve seen.”
“You haven’t seen the inside,” Matt grinned, pushing the key fob to unlock the doors. “Now stop stroking the bonnet, and get inside.” Aidan smiled, and opened the door.
“Fuck me,” he whispered, sitting down. “God forgive me for my language,” he crossed himself, “But it had to be said.” Aidan reached out his hand to stroke the center console. “If I ever wondered if God existed, this car is the proof He hears prayers.” Matthew laughed, and turned on the car. Aidan moaned in response. Matt made sure to take the longest route back to Aidan’s, so Aidan could experience the car for as long as possible.
When they finally did reach Aldgate, Matt turned off the car, turning to look at Aidan. Aidan was still transfixed with the car, only breaking from this when Matt placed his hand on his. Aidan thanked Matt for a wonderful date, which they ended with a long, deep kiss goodbye.
Matt, I have to ask: was our date on Saturday our first date? This has plagued me since last night.
Technically, it was. But I think we should consider that first meeting that Lizzie set up for us as the first one, don’t you think?
It’s been plaguing you??
Yes, it has. It’s just my nature. Okay, I just thought I’d ask, for future reference. What are you up to today?
Not much, really. I went out for a run this morning with Eoin. I gave him all the gory details about our date. I told him you practically had an orgasm in my car, lol. He’s also excited to meet you at the football match, if you can make it.
I told you, I am coming…to the football match. You can pass along to Eoin I am eager to meet him as well. There are plenty of Irish people in London, but I never seem to find them.
And I didn’t almost have an orgasm in your car.
Don’t lie to yourself, Aidan. If you didn’t have an orgasm in the car, you almost had one stroking the bonnet.
Don’t say ‘stroke.’ For the love of God, don’t say that.
You know, Aidan, I plan to take the car to get cleaned. I am going to stroke the bonnet over and over...soaping it down with a sponge.
You’re a fucking lunatic, Matthew.
And when I am do-ne soaping it down, I am going to rinse it with water, and wax it down.
I hate you right now.
You can’t hate me. You think my Mercedes is sex on wheels. Anyway, I have to go. Eoin and I are having a practise match before Saturday’s game. Have a good rest of the day, Aidan ;)
I hope Eoin kicks the ball hard into your bollix, Matthew.
Matt couldn’t get their text conversation out of his head as he practiced with Eoin.
“Something is up, Matt,” Eoin voiced, bouncing the football off his knees. “You would have already kicked my sorry arse one hundred times. Spit it out, mate.”
“It’s about Aidan. Nothing that would remotely pique your interest,” Matt sighed. Eoin kicked the ball into his hands, and took a seat on the ground.
“Tell me anyway,” Eoin squinted, looking up at Matt. “Sit your pretty gay arse on this ground and tell Uncle Eoin all about it,” he joked.
“Aidan and I sent some racy texts to each other before I came over here.”
“Okay…and what was the context of these messages?”
“Well, I kind of was using my car getting cleaned as a euphemism for sex,” Matt winced, looking through his squinty eyelids at his friend. Eoin just started laughing. “Is it funny, Eoin? Aidan took it differently. It kind of frustrated him.”
“Can I see these messages, or do you wish to keep them to yourself?” Matt walks over to his bag, and pulls out his phone, handing it to Eoin.
Eoin reads the messages quietly to himself, his mouth silently saying some of the words as he reads. He begins to smile and chuckle as he reaches the end. When he’s finished, he hands the phone back to Matt, who looks at him in slight fear.
“You have nothing to worry about, mate. It appears that you both were flirting. You just happened to stroke his fancy,” he laughed. “Have I told you how excited I am to meet him on Saturday?”
“About nine-hundred times…what about it?”
“Nothing, I was just wondering.”
“He’s excited to meet you as well,” Matt smiled, taking the ball out of Eoin’s hands. “He’s been looking for Irish people to talk to, but can’t seem to find them.”
“Where in Ireland is he from, anyway?”
“I am not telling you anything. You’ll just have to find out on Saturday,” Matt grinned. “Now, how about we get back to kicking your arse?”
Matt and Aidan went out on a series of short dates all week, meeting in pubs or cafes for quick lunches, and then texting when they weren’t together.
“It’s getting late, Matt,” Aidan said Friday night as it reached midnight.
“So? Do you have somewhere to be tomorrow?”
“As a matter of fact, I do. This guy I’ve been seeing insists I see him and his mates play football tomorrow in some match against his co-workers. He promises me it will be worth it, but I don’t know,” Aidan sighs dramatically.
“Well, that sounds like an amazing game,” Matthew smiles widely. “I am sure if this guy is a good one, he will take you out for a victory lunch or dinner.”
“What if they lose?”
“I am sure if this guy is as good as he says; they won’t. And even if they do, he ought to take you out. Hell, you might even get a good snog out of it.”
“What the hell am I doing here with you, then?” Aidan laughs.
Matt walks Aidan to the South Kensington Underground Station, kissing him deeply. Aidan gasps for air when they pull apart, smiling like a kid on Christmas morning.
“I’ll you see around noon, then?”
“It’s a date,” Matt winks.
Aidan walked from the station to the sports club where the game was being held. He was immediately greeted by Matt, who was talking with a tall man with dark wavy hair.
“Aidan, this is Eoin.” Eoin thrusts out a hand, which Aidan shakes.
“So…Aidan, where in Ireland are you from?”
“I’m from Armagh, actually,” he replies nervously. Aidan can tell by Eoin’s accent that he’s from the Republic.
“You’re a Loyalist, then?” Eoin raises an eyebrow.
“No, we’re actually Catholics, but we show allegiance to North Ireland and are not on any particular side.”
“That’s okay; I don’t care if you’re from Northern Ireland. My parents raised me not to judge anyone, unless it was necessary. I’m from Drogheda. Did Mr. Collins tell you how we know each other?”
“No, just that you two work together.”
“Figures he wouldn’t say. I teach French to year tens and elevens. And you teach…year fours?”
“Close: year threes. For some reason, I like seeing their little faces light up when they learn things. It’s a bit more frustrating than teaching teenagers, but it is fun.”
“Who said teaching teens wasn’t frustrating?” Eoin and Matt asked in unison.
“Here’s a perfect example: I had two sixteen-year-old girls ask me the other day why French guys go commando,” Eoin huffed. “I explained to them: I am a French teacher, not a guru on the French people. Can you guess what happened next? They said, ‘But you’re a bloke. Don’t all blokes know what the others do?’” He began laughing. “I didn’t have a reply. I just told them to have a good lunch break.”
Aidan started laughing.
“I guess I do have it easier. I just have the occasional kid who asks me where babies come from. I tell them that’s their parent’s responsibility, not mine. I just cover the basic everyday things, not the complex things.”
Matt smiles at Aidan, and takes him inside the club, to the stands.
“You have the perfect spot to watch everything,” he whispers in his ear as Eoin looks on with a smug smile. “Eoin and I have to go finish getting ready. You’ll be fine on your own?”
“Yes, Matthew, I think I can survive without you. Besides, Lizzie is on her way over here.” Matt looks over, and dashes off at the sight of Lizzie waving like a maniac, but not before quickly kissing Aidan.
As Aidan watched Matt warm up for the match, he found himself growing warm. Lizzie pretended not to notice the flushed-cheeked man sitting beside her. At one point, Matt looks right at him while stretching his thighs, and flashes a million watt smile. Aidan felt the all-too-familiar collection of nerves in his stomach, which traveled further down into his jeans. He was going to have to kill Matt after the match for possibly embarrassing him in front of Lizzie. Lizzie eventually left him to talk to another friend, which Aidan was very grateful for.
The match was a huge success. Aidan watched as Matt ran around the pitch in a fit of athletic fervor, his face focused on winning against Team Administration. Aidan might have been aroused at the sight of Matt drop-kicking the ball to those boys on their second date, but that was no match for watching him strategically dominate the pitch alongside Eoin. When Team Faculty finally won, Eoin whipped Matt up into his arms, jumping around in joy. Aidan noticed an unhappy face staring at Matt and Eoin across the pitch. If looks could kill, his would have. Aidan didn’t care at that moment. He ran down the steps, shouting to Matt, who ran enthusiastically towards him.
“Congratulations, Matt!” Aidan was beaming, as Matt looked up at him. Matt pulled Aidan down and kissed him passionately. Aidan’s eyes were still open, and he caught a glimpse of Eoin laughing and giving him thumbs up before he shut his eyes with the kiss. When Matt finally pulled back, Aidan’s eyes delayed in re-opening.
“Winning certainly agrees with you,” Aidan gasped.
“We’re going out for that victory dinner,” Matt breathed. “And then, we’re going to fucking snog.”
Matt pulled Aidan for another long, languorous kiss, his tongue hungrily parting Aidan’s lips apart and moving deftly with Aidan’s. Matt groaned into Aidan’s mouth, and a warm ball of energy collected in the pit of Aidan’s stomach, aching from the sexual tension.
They had dinner at some restaurant Aidan couldn’t remember the name of, because he and Matt stared lustily at each other during the meal. Matt quickly got the check, and they ended up back at Matt’s, since it was closer. They fell through the door once Matt got it to unlock, after some expletive-laced muttering. Matt backed Aidan into the wall, his hands roaming all over his upper body.
“God, you’re so thin,” he moaned in Aidan’s ear. “But it’s not a bad thing,” he whispered, kissing Aidan’s mouth deeply. Matt pulled up Aidan’s shirt, his hand disappearing beneath it, running haphazardly across his chest, his fingers running teasingly across his collarbone. Suddenly, his hand was cupping Aidan’s face, as his mouth explored Aidan’s deeper than before. In one swift motion, Aidan’s shirt was off and lying in a puddle at their feet. Matt pulled off his own shirt; his body colliding into Aidan’s, his hips rubbing tantalizingly against Aidan’s tightening jeans.
“Jesus, Aidan, you smell good.” Matt licked up along Aidan’s jaw, eliciting a guttural groan from Aidan. “Fuck, I want you so bad.”
“I’ve wanted you from the moment we went to St. James’s Park,” Aidan replied, his hands running through Matt’s hair.
Matt pulls Aidan away from the wall, leading him down the hall to his bedroom. They stand in front of the bed, kissing hungrily. Matt leans into Aidan, falling back onto the bed, taking Matt with him. Aidan pushes himself up further on the bed, Matt in close pursuit, kissing a trail up from his belly button to the base of his throat.
“Damn, Matt,” Aidan hisses, gripping Matt’s hair tightly in his hands. He flips on top of Matt, immediately going for his throat; kissing and licking like it were the last time he’d be able to. Matt bucked beneath Aidan, which made Aidan chuckle throatily and do it more.
Matt used his more athletic build, and flipped Aidan back onto his back. He pinned Aidan’s arms down, their hands entwining as he kissed Aidan with a loud smack. He then removed Aidan’s jeans, tossing them into the opening of the wardrobe. He began to slowly kiss down the length of Aidan’s stomach, making Aidan groan and reach his hands fitfully into Matt’s hair. He ran his finger slowly along the band of Aidan’s boxer-briefs, pressing soft kisses into the hair just above it.
“Jesus, Matt.” Matt smiled slyly, and slowly pulled the boxer-briefs off of Aidan. Aidan’s hands kept pushing the constraining fabric away faster than Matt wanted, and he shoved Aidan’s hands away.
“It’s my decision,” Matt grinned, kissing Aidan’s prickling skin as he went. Matt moved back up Aidan’s body once he had rid of the offending garment, admiring Aidan’s endowments, before reaching into his bedside drawer and drawing out a condom.
“Better safe than sorry,” Matt shrugged.
“I would have insisted,” Aidan rasped.
Matt slid the condom down the length of Aidan’s shaft, taking special care to not tip Aidan over the edge he was teetering on. Matt began by slowing running his hand down Aidan’s length, and then taking him slowly into his mouth. Aidan moaned deeply, his hips moving up into Matt’s mouth. Matt knew he was doing something right when Aidan began muttering between ragged breaths. Matt decided to tantalize Aidan further by running his other hand around Aidan’s sack. Aidan arched his back, hissing in response.
“Fuck, Matthew, I am so close.” Aidan dug his fingers deeper in Matthew’s hair, groaning and gasping the closer he came to reaching his climax. “Yeah, just like that,” he gasped, his hips bucking wildly as he had his release. Matt looked up at Aidan, whose body had relaxed, but his chest was heaving. A moment later, he was chuckling, running his hand through his hair.
He sat up, and looked at Matt.
“Damn.” He slid off of the bed, and walked into the bathroom to clean himself up a little. When he came out, he pushed Matt onto the bed with a kiss.
Aidan wasted no time, immediately removing Matt’s jeans. He then straddled Matt, and began rubbing against Matt’s thigh. Matt groaned, his hands reaching around Aidan’s hips. Aidan pushed Matt’s hands back, pinning them behind his head. He ran his tongue around the edge of Matt’s lips, then kissing him deeply. He slowly kissed his way down Matt’s body, his tongue lashing out and circling his belly button. Matt ran his hands over Aidan’s fingers, gripping his wrists gently. Aidan lightly ran his tongue down the trail leading to the waistband of Matt’s boxers. Aidan moved up Matt’s body, his hand reaching inside the boxers, and slowly stroking Matt’s length.
“This is what you get for teasing me about your car,” Aidan whispered into Matt’s ear, pressing a wet kiss just below his ear, sending Matt into a fury. Aidan then whipped off the boxers, slowly trailing kisses back down Matt’s six-pack. He placed a condom over Matt’s girth, slowly running his tongue the length, pressing a soft kiss at the base and running his tongue over Matt’s testes. Matt responded with a guttural growl, his hand fisting in Aidan’s dark locks. Aidan took Matt into his mouth, and with his hand firmly stroking in unison. Matt fell back against the mattress, his hips slowly moving with Aidan’s mouth.
“Oh, God,” he breathed. “You’re fucking amazing.”
“Thank you,” Aidan replied, letting his hands do the work while he kissed Matt’s inner thighs.
Aidan soon took Matt back into his hot mouth, working at him. Matt arched his back, and began to buck into Aidan’s mouth. Aidan slowed him down, pushing his hips down onto the mattress. Aidan sped up his rhythm, driving Matt absolutely crazy. Matt was gathering up the duvet in his hands, moaning and speaking unintelligibly.
“Oh, god I’m going to—“
And with a loud moan, Matt climaxed. His head fell back heavily against the bed, gasping for breath. Aidan crawled up the bed, and lay down next to Matt, whose chest was still heaving. Matt could only emit a low chuckle, a smile forming on his reddened lips.
“I want to look at you,” Matt croaked, pulling Aidan towards him. “Has anyone ever told you how amazing you are?”
“It has been mentioned before,” Aidan replied, trying not to sound or become boastful.
They lie there for a while, just listening to each other breathe. Aidan stirs, getting up off the bed.
“Where are you going?”
“I thought I should get going. You probably want the place to yourself,” Aidan voices, yanking up his pants.
“I want no such thing,” Matt asserts. “Now bring your arse back here. I don’t want to be forced to have to bring you back here myself,” he grins wickedly.
“As tempting as the prospect of having you bring me back to bed is, I am absolutely exhausted. I come back of my own choosing.” Aidan shuffled back to the bed, falling onto the mattress. He throws his arms out to Matt, who takes them and pulls him up to his side.
“Night, Aidan,” Matt murmurs, running his hand across Aidan’s back. A light snore escapes Aidan, causing Matt to smile and close his eyes.
They were up and down the whole night. Aidan awoke at ten, hungry, so he tip-toed to Matt’s kitchen and nibbled on some shortbread cookies. He was grabbing a glass of tomato juice when Matt sleepily walked into the room, scratching his head.
“Raiding my fridge?”
“Did I wake you? I was trying hard not to.”
“Don’t worry; my intentions were the same as yours, except you got here first. Enjoying the tomato juice?”
“Yes, I am, thank you,” Aidan gasped, taking a drink. “I was tempted to drink the apple juice, but I thought you might have a kid coming into the place, so I held back.”
“The apple juice is mine. I’m in my late twenties, and I still drink apple juice. It’s good for you, and tastes better than most shit they throw at people my age. Judge me if you will.”
“There will be no judging. I just admitted I would have drunk it, so I think just like you.”
“You are something, Aidan.” Aidan smiled, taking a sip of juice.
Matt found him so sexy sipping at the juice from his Chelsea F.C. glass, that he pushed him back against the kitchen counter, making Aidan yelp from the suddenness of it.
This pattern continued into the early morning.
Matt woke up Sunday morning, sneaking out to get in a run with Eoin. Matt spent the whole drive out to the park that Eoin wouldn’t ask for the details, but having known him since he began working at the school; he knew there was no escape.
“So, did you and Aidan…?” Eoin winked and nudged as they stretched before the run.
“That is none of your business, Eoin. What Aidan and I did or didn’t do isn’t any of your affair.”
“Matthew Collins, it is everyone’s business since yesterday. We won the match, and you basically sucked off Aidan’s lips in front of everyone. Now I want to know: did you suck off Aidan too?”
“I am not telling you anything,” Matt exclaimed, taking off into a run. Eoin wasn’t too far behind, tying back his hair with one of his ex-girlfriend’s hairbands.
“Okay, I can respect your privacy when it comes to sexual escapades,” he breathed. “But did you two at least fucking snog?”
“Yes, Mr. Dirty-Brain, we snogged. Anything else remains between Aidan and I.” Eoin cracked a knowing smile. Then, he stopped dead in his tracks, cackling.
“You two totally rode the crazy train!” Matt turned around to look at Eoin. “I’ll bet you made it all of twenty minutes in the restaurant before going back to your flat and ripping each other’s clothes off. Don’t worry; your secret is safe with me.”
“Thank you…I think?”
Seven months later, Aidan and Matt were closer than ever. Aidan told Matt he had fallen in love with him at Matt’s birthday party in October, but it was lost on him. He later declared the same feelings for Aidan, although he was very drunk and had awakened Aidan from a peaceful slumber by arriving at three in the morning to do it. They fell onto Aidan’s bed, clutching each other closely and falling asleep immediately. When Eoin and Lizzie found out, Matt had difficulty being in the same room with them for more than five minutes before wanting to smack them both.
“They’re just happy to see you happy,” Aidan remarked when Matt was telling him about it. “Of course Lizzie may just be gloating on the inside, but they’re both just happy for us.”
“Easy for you to say, Mr. Easygoing; you don’t see them on a daily basis. And after almost an entire month of them gleaming like Stepfords, I just want to rip my eyes out. I am glad they’re happy for you and I, but can’t they exhibit a different facial expression? Is that too much to ask?”
Aidan smiled, and took Matt’s hand in his, caressing it softly across the table.
“Is it too much to ask that you quit talking about it? This is supposed to be a nice post-work week dinner for us. You’re ruining it with all this talk.”
“I know…and I am sorry, Aidan. What can I do to make it up to you?”
“Hmmm…,” he grinned, stroking his stubbly chin. “How about you lean across the table and give me a kiss?” Matt smiled, and pulled Aidan’s face to his.
“This is something I can comply with,” he beamed, kissing Aidan softly on the lips.
“Are we interrupting?” Matt pulled back, and looked up at Eoin. “I don’t want to interrupt this moment of saccharine love, but I wanted to say hi.”
“Hi, Eoin how is everything?” Aidan smiled. “No, you weren’t interrupting. I was just trying to get Matt off of the subject of you and Lizzie continually smiling at him all the time.”
“Do I, mate? Jesus, I’m sorry! It’s just…I’m so happy for you and Aidan, that I smile when I see you. I’ll try to not do it as much.”
“Don’t let it eat at you Eoin,” Aidan added. “Matt likes to be melodramatic, but I am sure he’s happy that his friends are so supportive. Isn’t that right, Matthew?”
Matt smiled, looking up at Eoin.
“Of course I am. I just want you and Lizzie to find new expressions for it. You’re beginning to look like Stepford Wives with the perma-smile all the time.”
“I promise.” Eoin smiles, and takes his girlfriend’s hand. “Where are my manners? Gentlemen, this is Catherine. Catherine, this is Aidan and Matt.”
“Eoin, I know them. You and I have been dating for five months! I have met them several times.” Matt and Aidan exchange a smile.
“We have to be going. She’s making me take her to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One.”
“Oh, that’s good one!” Aidan voices. “Make sure you have some tissues, just in case you’re sensitive.”
Eoin scoffed, and the two of them left with a wave.
Later that night, Matt is lying in Aidan’s bed, staring up at the ceiling. Aidan’s breathing is growing heavier, the effect of Matt stroking his head. Matt found that stroking Aidan’s hair could be quite effective if he was tired after a long day of work, and all Aidan wanted to do was talk in bed. Matt smiled, and pressed a soft kiss to the top of Aidan’s head. Aidan moaned lightly, snuggling in closer.
“What are you getting me for Christmas?”
“What?” Aidan lifted his head off Matt’s chest. “It’s the first week in December, for heaven’s sake! And I was just about to reach deep sleep.”
“Don’t play coy, Aidan Reilly. You’ve had my gift since July, when you went to Paris for Bastille Day.”
“I did no such thing,” he replied with an affected sniff. “And even if I did buy you a Christmas present, I am not telling you what it is. Now if you don’t mind, I am going to get some sleep.” Aidan plopped his head back onto his pillow, turning his back to Matt, who was silently laughing.
“You can stop laughing,” Aidan muttered, pulling the covers over his shoulder.
“I can’t when you’re being sleepily stubborn,” Matt returned.
“Good night,” Aidan voiced.
Matt smiled, and closed his eyes.
Christmas Eve found Aidan staying at Matt’s, purely because his space was “larger.” Aidan tried to protest this, saying that his flat was just the same size, but it fell on Matt’s Christmas-induced deaf ears. They went to a party at Eoin’s, and were tricked into standing beneath mistletoe three times. While Aidan took this in stride, Matt was annoyed. Aidan took Matt home, and they fell asleep watching A Christmas Carol.
Aidan was the first to wake up Christmas morning. He quietly tip-toed in the living room, seating himself on the black leather sofa Matt had bought himself for his birthday. He sat silently listening to Muse on his iPod, the glow of the Christmas tree lightly illuminating the screen. He had gone so deep into the music that he didn’t hear Matt stirring in the other room, and pad across the room to stand by the tree. He only became aware of Matt’s presence when Matt knelt down to kiss him good morning. He jumped out of his skin.
“Scared you, did I?” Matt chuckled, walking back over to the tree.
Matt sat down on the floor, and looked through the presents beneath the tree for one with his name on them. Aidan had brought his presents from his family to Matt’s, at Matt’s suggestion. Aidan was hesitant, because he was going to have more presents than Matt. That was until Matt informed him that his sister sends him presents from Paris, since she hasn’t been home since their granddad passed away. He also had friends from university that sent him gifts, although he didn’t know why. He also told Aidan he didn’t care if he had to sit there and watch Aidan rip apart those gifts. The look on his face would be enough of a thrill.
Matt recognized the tell-tale look of the gift Aidan had brought with him on Christmas Eve, and he looked like an ecstatic child.
“Go ahead and open it, you big kid,” Aidan grinned. Matt didn’t need to be told twice. He tore into it, and found a worn copy of John Keats’ ‘Endymion.’
“It’s a first edition, or so they told me at Shakespeare and Company. I figured the worn leather cover was enough evidence that they were telling the truth.”
Matt looked up at Aidan, his face in shock. “But, we’d not even been dating two months when you went to Paris. Why would you have bought this for me?”
“Well, I thought about it like this: I like ‘Endymion.’ So if things hadn’t worked out, I got a beautiful book from it. I also thought about giving it you for your birthday, but since you anticipated it, I waited. Besides, you love Keats. Do you like it?” Aidan’s lit up.
“Do I like it? This is the best gift anyone has ever given me, with the exception of the tickets my sister got for me to see Hamlet at a Shakespeare Festival in Stratford. Come over here, so I can thank you properly.”
Aidan walked from the sofa to the little space between the tree and bountiful presents to sit across from Matt. Matt leaned over the gifts separating them and kissed him deeply. He then pulled out his gift to Aidan, and handed it over. Aidan looked at him with a pleased giggle, and opened it. Inside was an iPhone case that read, “World’s Best Teacher.”
“I feel bad, Aidan. You spent all that money, and I spent all of £25.”
“It’s not the money that matters, Matthew,” Aidan reasoned. “It’s the thought. And I love this gift, thank you very much,” he smiled, leaning in for a kiss.
For the next hour, they both opened gifts from friends and family, with Matt receiving a promise for a Sacré Coeur snow globe from his sister, because she got caught up and couldn’t buy him a present. Aidan received a new jumper from his sister, a fishing cap from his parents, and a pair of mittens knitted by his granny. He then went to call them, as Matt watched from a distance. Aidan got choked up when he spoke to his granny. Matt came and squeezed his hand, giving him a gentle kiss on the cheek. Matt then had to talk to each member of Aidan’s family, which was a nice experience for him, since his family disavowed any knowledge of him besides his sister.
“Why aren’t there gifts from your parents?” Aidan asked later that morning.
“My parents don’t recognize me as their child.” Aidan looked at him questioningly. “You know how Alicia hasn’t been to England since our granddad died?” Aidan nodded. “That’s because I came out to my Mum and Dad right after the funeral. I’ll admit it wasn’t the perfect moment to reveal such a huge bombshell, but I couldn’t keep it in any longer. Alicia already knew, and was there holding my hand through it all. That night, my parents threw me out, saying I was an abomination of natural law. Alicia told my parents they were a bunch of unfeeling bastards, and we went to The Savoy for the night. She left for Paris two days later, and I only see her when I go to Paris.”
Aidan sat there, with his hand over his mouth, shaking his head.
“Oh my…I am so sorry that I insisted on you talking to my family. I hope they didn’t make you too uncomfortable. I can see why Alicia hasn’t come home. Why didn’t you come with me to Paris over the summer?”
“I thought it was too soon for us to be on a holiday together,” Matt responded, playing with the silver band on his thumb. “I liked talking to your family. It reminded me that there are tolerant people in this world.”
“My parents weren’t keen on it at first when I told them,” Aidan explained. “But after about two weeks, they called me into the kitchen and said that ‘I was their child, and that my sexuality wouldn’t make them love me any less.’ I got lucky, and for that I am eternally grateful.”
“What about your religion? You’re Catholic, how did they take that?”
“My priest here in London is incredibly progressive,” Aidan grinned. “’God made his children different.’ He believes that God would not judge his children for their sexuality. Within the Catholic faith, that is quite an interpretation, but he is very supportive. As was my priest in Armagh,” Aidan added. “But he’s my uncle, so he’s biased.” That made Matt laugh.
The doorbell rang.
They both got up to see who was at the door. It was Eoin.
“I forgot to hand you your gifts last night,” he smiled, handing over two bags. “Merry Christmas, and see you at the New Year’s party in a few days.” With that, Eoin left, leaving Matt and Aidan looking at each other.
They sat down on the sofa, and opened their bags. Inside was a photo of the two of them at Matt’s birthday party, before he started drinking. They were sitting on the sofa, their hands tightly linked together. Aidan had said something funny, because Matt was laughing. Aidan was smiling in response to Matt’s laughter. They looked at each other and smiled.
“It appears that Eoin has found the perfect gift,” Aidan spoke, looking at the photo. “I cannot wait to put this on my desk at work.”
“Me too,” Matt smiled. “I look like a fucking horse laughing like that.”
That night, they were lying in bed, their fingers woven together as they looked out of Matt’s window at the lights of London through the gauzy window coverings.
“I’ve decided to give yoga a try,” Aidan spoke as Matt traced mindless shapes on his bicep with a finger.
“That’s great, baby,” Matt spoke softly. “What spurred this on?”
“It was Eoin, actually. He’s been taking yoga recently, and said it’s done wonders for his breathing and his muscles.”
“Like he’d fucking notice,” Matt muttered. “He’s been muscular ever since I met him. When do you start?”
“Monday morning. I’ll go to a class, and come home. The routine will remain the same, even when school’s back in session, except I’ll be going to work and not home.”
Aidan didn’t even speak. He just straddled Matt, and parted his mouth with his tongue. Matt grabbed Aidan’s hips, and dug his fingers in.
“I’m glad one of us caved,” Matt panted. “Baby, lie on top of me. I want our legs to tangle together. It’s my favorite thing.”
“Your wish is my command,” Aidan groaned. Matt took the opportunity to flip himself on top of Aidan and take control. “God, you’re such a control freak,” Aidan gasped between kisses.
“You know you love it,” Matt murmured into Aidan’s ear as he went to kiss it.
“When I start yoga, I am going to give you a power struggle,” Aidan moaned.
“I look forward to it, my love.”
Matt took Aidan’s t-shirt, and ripped it off over his head. By this point, Aidan was begging Matt to do something, but Matt prolonged Aidan’s suffering. He slowly removed Aidan’s sleep pants, and his underwear. And just when Aidan was whimpering for mercy, he bent down to Aidan’s ear and whispered, “I am going to fuck you so hard into this mattress, that you’ll be begging me to stop.”
“I don’t think I will ever beg you to stop,” Aidan moaned, running his fingers through Matt’s hair roughly.
“We shall see,” Matt grinned, making his way down Aidan’s body.
“That was fun,” Aidan laughed. “That was a lovely Christmas gift, apart from the iPhone case.”
“I think I know where the term ‘Merry Christmas’ comes from now,” Matt chuckles.
Before they knew it, it was March 2011. Aidan had been hard at the yoga every day, sometimes in a class alongside Eoin. Besides the yoga classes, Aidan had been hanging out with Eoin more often, usually in an Irish pub just talking. Matt was beginning to take notice, and it was setting Aidan on edge. Aidan had also been spending a lot of time at Matt’s flat in Kensington, which is where he usually came after a late yoga class.
Aidan awoke March 12, ready for another yoga class. Matt had slipped out of bed earlier, and Aidan could hear him puttering around in the kitchen. Aidan dressed for a class, and began searching for his gym bag. He frantically came into the living room, and began throwing things around in search for it.
“Do you want me to make you some breakfast, baby?”
“No, that’s okay. I have to be going soon.”
“Oh? Where are you headed so early in the morning?”
Aidan looked up from looking under an armchair, slightly dumbfounded.
“I have a yoga class…and it’s not early, Matt.”
“Oh…right. Are you going to this class alone?” Aidan’s ears perked at this question.
“No, I am meeting Eoin there, actually.” Aidan waited for the response, which was in the form of Matt dropping the pan he’d used to cook eggs into the sink.
Aidan groaned, and walked over to the broom cupboard to find the bag. Pulling it out, he quickly left the room to grab his towel and a change of clothes. When he came back, Matt was seated at the dining table, forcefully forking his eggs.
“You and Eoin have been spending a lot of time together recently,” Matt observed. “If I didn’t know better, I’d think you two were having an amour.”
“Matt, we’re not having an ‘amour.’ We’re meeting for a yoga class, like we have for the last couple of months. It’s not the big deal you’re making of it.”
“It just seems you see more of him lately than you see me.”
“Matt, that’s ridiculous! I practically live here…with you. I have spent more time at your flat than I have in mine since Christmas. Stop making fucked up assumptions, please.”
Matt gets up from the table, and walks over to Aidan, who continues to stuff things into his gym bag.
“If you’re not fucking Eoin, why are taking a towel and change of clothes to a yoga lesson?”
“Because, Eoin and I might get some lunch after class, and I don’t know about you; but I’m not keen on the idea of looking disheveled when eating in public. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get to my class.” Aidan picked up his bag and yoga mat, and headed for the door.
Matt intercepted him at the door.
“You can tell me the truth, Aidan. If you and Eoin are having a liaison, you can tell me.”
“You’re a lunatic, Matthew. Eoin is straight. He’s in a relationship with a woman. He loves her, as I love you. While Eoin is a bit extroverted and flirts with everyone, he doesn’t have feelings for me other than friendship. Now, please let me get by so I can go to class.”
“I’m not done,” Matt replied.
“Well, I am. I am walking out this door, and I will see you later.”
“Aidan, just be honest with me,” Matt pleaded.
“I have been nothing but honest with you, Matt. I have never cheated on you, nor will I ever cheat on you. I think I am going to spend a few days to myself, and I’ll get in contact with you when I am ready to talk to you.”
“Goodbye, Matt.” Aidan pushed Matt out of the way, and walked out the door. Matt shouted at Aidan through the closed door, banging on it and then stalking off across the room. He threw his plate of eggs at the door, sitting down hard in the chair, running his hands through his disheveled hair.
Aidan spent the whole of his yoga class thinking about Matt. His downward dog suffered because of it, and he ended up asking Eoin for a rain-check for lunch, heading back to his flat in Aldgate. When he got home, he found Matt standing outside his door, looking contrite. Aidan felt all the emotion he’d felt at Matt’s flood back into his body, and he walked past Matt.
“Are you going to talk to me?”
“I think I was clear this morning, Matt; I need a few days to regain my focus. Once I have done that, I will call you. Now, please just leave me alone.”
“I don’t want a few days. I want us to sort this out right now. I love you. Does that mean nothing?”
“It means ev
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