He should be used to this by now. Nothing should change even after their encounter at the store.
Yet Kaoru had spent the last few days thinking about today. The nervousness and anticipation which he couldn't ignore.
Keigo was in no hurry tonight.
On the table there was a bottle of opened wine. Kaoru sipped from his glass and tried not to stare at Keigo, who was dressed casually in a simple jumper and jeans. How did he make jumpers and jeans look so good?
"You look wary," Keigo said ruefully. "Calm down. I just want a drink first."
"Oh." Kaoru blushed. "Was it that obvious?"
"It just feels different, that's all," Kaoru said without thinking. Then he wanted to crawl into a hole and never come out.
Keigo gave him an inscrutable glance.
"I haven't had a whole weekend to myself in a while. Let me enjoy this."
Kaoru relaxed slightly.
It seemed that Keigo was open to conversation tonight and Kaoru was curious about a few things.
"Do you ever get time off from work?" he asked.
"Rarely after I took over the company," Keigo replied.
"Even on weekends?"
"Sometimes, it's an urgent matter. Or I catch up with paperwork." Keigo shrugged. "If I'm in the country, there's also usually some entertaining to do."
"That sounds tiring," Kaoru frowned.
"Golf is incredibly boring. The clubs all look the same after a while. Some bars or restaurants know me by sight," Keigo said casually. "But it's not tiring."
Kaoru was not convinced.
Keigo noted wryly, "It's damn hard but not tiring. I AM fully aware of how privileged I am."
He couldn't describe the odd, warm flutter in his stomach. Kaoru tried to tease him instead.
"That doesn't seem to fit your image."
"Of course not," Keigo seemed affronted. "That would ruin my reputation."
Kaoru tried to cover a giggle with another sip of the wine.
"Enough about me," Keigo decided. "What about you? How's the job? And your classes?"
"My manager is nice. The owner's a little eccentric but she's fair to us," Kaoru said cheerfully. "The course finishes in two months and it has been really fun. Oh, and my teacher thinks the internship opening is up next month. I'm going to try for it."
"Where is the internship?" Keigo queried.
"A publishing house. Hakusen."
Keigo nodded with approval. "In that case, your teacher wouldn't recommend you if she is not confident."
It was silly but Kaoru's heart bloomed a little with that encouragement.
"Won't you have to quit your job then?"
"Yes, but the manager said that I can just do the weekend shifts if I still want to," Kaoru explained and added in embarrassment, "I mean, if I get the internship."
"Just go for it," Keigo told him seriously. Then with a pleased smile. "You seem happy. I'm glad."
"T-thanks," Kaoru mumbled and stared at his glass because he wasn't sure he could look at Keigo without wanting to give him a hug at the moment.
That sounded ridiculous even in his head. He groaned inwardly.
"Who was the man at the store the other day?" Keigo asked suddenly.
That caught Kaoru by surprise. "Just a friend."
"A friend who was asking you out?" Keigo teased.
Kaoru was embarrassed. "Did you hear the whole conversation?"
"Just enough," Keigo laughed. "Your manager's voice was hard to ignore."
"She's enthusiastic," Kaoru felt the need to defend her.
"Indeed," Keigo allowed. "But back to you. This friend, are you interested?"
"No," Kaoru replied honestly. How could he?
Keigo assessed him briefly before remarking, "Good. I don't have to be noble and let you go."
Please don't, Kaoru's mind whispered. Don't ever let me go.
He quickly shoved the thought aside.
"You didn't have to buy all of that," he changed the topic and pointed to the bags of clothing from the store.
"I want to," Keigo answered simply. "For you."
"Is it for..the last time?" Kaoru asked uncomfortably.
"No," Keigo denied strongly. "For that, I can't make it up to you even if I tried."
"You don't need to," Kaoru said, knowing that he was almost pleading. He didn't want that night to be another awful imprint in Keigo's memory.
Then words tumbled out before he could stop them, "You don't have to buy me anything too. It doesn't matter. I just want-"
Kaoru caught himself right then and snapped his mouth shut. He looked away again. He seemed to be doing that a lot tonight.
There was a brief silence.
Keigo took the glass from him and set it on the table. Kaoru felt a hand caressing his cheek, before tilting his chin upwards.
He looked at Keigo, desire and possession abound in those eyes.
"Let's take it slowly tonight," Keigo's voice was like deep velvet.
Kaoru let out a breath and nodded.
He sat down on the bed and watched, perhaps properly for the first time, the man he had been fucking for almost a year. Kaoru had fallen asleep while he showered.
Kaoru was unlike anyone Keigo had ever known. All his life he had believed that relationships resembled business transactions. There was a commodity to sell and a price to be paid.
He had certainly started off his relationship with Kaoru, if one could call it that, in that manner. For a time, he thought nothing of it. He didn't think Kaoru would view it as anything different either.
Then Keigo thought about the absence of any demands or requests. How Kaoru hadn't turned away even when he was at his worst. He had witnessed Kaoru turning down a seemingly decent man who might have given him an open relationship and some semblance of normalcy.
He reached out and brushed the dark hair.
Kaoru stirred and opened his eyes. Then after a second, he sat up in shock.
"I'm so sorry! I didn't-"
"Weren't you staying the night?" Keigo interrupted quietly.
A knee-jerk reaction caused by Keigo's words when they first started this whole arrangement. What had he said back then? That they would never sleep together?
Kaoru stared at him in surprise and then asked tentatively, "Are you sure?"
Those dark eyes looked at him for a moment.
The smell of coffee greeted him. Keigo leaned against the wall as Kaoru, still in a robe, placed a cup on the counter.
"Morning," he called out.
Kaoru looked up and returned shyly, "Morning."
Keigo walked over and hugged him from behind. "You're up early. I didn't tire you out enough?"
"You did!" Kaoru protested and then looked mortified by his own words. "I just slept well. No, I meant-"
Keigo kissed his temple and chuckled. "Shh, I'm teasing."
"You always do that," Kaoru grumbled.
"Don't be so cute," Keigo warned. "Or I'm dragging you back to bed."
"You're right," Keigo went on, enjoying this tremendously. "The counter looks tempting. Want to try it?"
"Keigo," Kaoru choked out his name. "I-I need to get to work."
"Fine, fine," Keigo pretended to acquiesce and released him. "Another time."
Kaoru tried to give him a glare but the effect was marred by the pink stain on his cheeks.
He sighed resignedly and said, "I'll make you a cup."
"Thank you," Keigo smirked, unrepentant. Kaoru mumbled something to himself and went back to the coffee machine.
It was something so simple. A cup of coffee. Keigo has had coffee made for him every morning for as long as he could remember. By the servant in the house, his secretary in the office or a flattering waiter at a cafe.
Why did watching Kaoru do so please him to no end?
"Here," Kaoru placed a cup next to him. "Do you want sugar?"
A perfectly sensible question.
Although the answer which formulated in Keigo's mind was entirely different and unsuitable.
No, I want you.
"No, thanks," he said. "When do you need to get to work?"
"In another two hours," Kaoru answered. "Oh, I forgot! Did you want milk?"
"Black is fine." Keigo wished he hadn't raised the subject of the counter. When did damn coffee become so attractive?
"How about some breakfast before you go?" he asked instead.
Kaoru's face lit up. "Can we? That will be nice."
"Of course we can," Keigo responded with a smile.
He was fully cognizant of the sensation in his chest. Something alien. Warm. Light.
Was this happiness?
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