"I have decided," Zack says, but his announcement stops there because he needs another swig of wine. The wine is from Germany and on the label it says "ice wine", which makes Ben think of berries with crystal frost biting their flesh.

"You have decided," prompts Ben (who is seeing stars).

Zack rolls his eyes and stands on Ben's computer chair. "I need a boy!" he shrieks.

Ben has heard this before but he shivers nonetheless. "What sort of boy?" he asks, raising his violet eyes to meet Zack's.

"A boy," Zack says, "who has floppy purple hair. Not really purple, you see, just so brown that it looks maroon."

As usual, Ben interjects. "Maroon is a shade of brown."

"Fine then. Hair that is wine-coloured. Like alcohol distilled from plums. This boy will write poems on thick paper, and the scratching of his fountain pen will be my lullaby. He will only drink fair trade coffee and listen to melancholy jazz. He will be addicted to white chocolate. At night he will try to find the constellations, and if he can't see them it will make him unhappy. He'll beg me to move to the country but I will smile and shake my head and point out that there are no art-house cinemas in the countryside. He will like arty cinema, you know. And old films – he will like The Blue Angel best and he will try to learn German. He will be able to say "star" and "mist" and I will laugh at him for that-"

"That's mean," Ben says.

"But he won't mind. He'll shrug and sip his coffee, and smoke a mint mocha cigarette-"

"They discontinued those."

Zack frowns. "Oh. Yeah. Anyway… Where was I?" He is wobbling slightly on the chair so Ben pulls him down onto the bed, where he can't do so much damage.

"You were at stars and mist," Ben reminds him.

"Ah yes," Zack says thoughtfully. "He will smell of blue roses and stardust, and the scent will make me dizzy whenever I smell it. Me and this boy… we'll read Lovecraft in the park. When we get home, I'll be thirsty for the taste of coffee and white chocolate. His eyes-"

Ben smiles. This is his favourite part.

"-His eyes are violet. Like bruises, or an iris petal."

The kiss is familiar, sweet. Zach is incoherent, passionately sucking the taste of white chocolate from Ben's mouth. "Wait, wait!" Ben says, breaking away slightly. "Bruise coloured. That's new. Please don't even say that about my eyes ever again."

Zach rolls his eyes and kisses him again.