Hello once again! I've been so busy, it's ridiculous! But I've taken the brief amount of free time I have to finally sit down, and get another chapter of probably one of my most influential stories up. Yup, that's right, my own story influenced me. This story really has taken on a life of itself, and I'm so proud that I can write it. Anyway, this chapter's really short, because originally, the next two chapters were one, and... it was just way too long, so I split it into two. Well, enough rambling, enjoy, my lovelies~
It was two days; two whole, glorious, silent, normal days before Joseph heard from Riley again. It was a phone call rather than a text this time, and the brunet glared at his phone as the caller ID of 'Riley Stone' lit up the screen. He considered just not answering it, but then he thought of the countless voice-mails the childish redhead was sure to leave, and clicked the 'answer' button hesitantly.
He heard the other release an exasperated, over-dramatic sigh, "...Hi."
"...Can I help you?"
"Yes, you can."
"...How so?" Joseph dreaded whatever answer the younger male was going to give, because no good could come from this.
"Well... I'm really bored and my roommate's out again. And seeing as I know where you live, I was wondering if I could stop over."
"...Oh what, you ask now?" he almost sounded as if he was smiling.
"I asked before." Joseph envisioned Riley smiling, leaning forward, and rolling his eyes as he spoke.
"Yes, but I couldn't very well have said no to you, could I?"
"Not in good conscience."
"...So can I come over? It's really boring here. Oh! I'll bring over beer, or wine, or anything else you want, and do you like movies? I could bring over a movie if you want!"
"Why do you want to come over so bad?"
"...How many times do I have to tell you I like you before you understand that I like you?"
"...Relentless little weasel, aren't you?"
"Yup! So... please? I'll bring something over, I promise!"
"...If you don't talk too much, fine."
No, no; that's not what I was supposed to say.
"Really!? Okay, I'll be over with a movie and some alcohol in like, thirty minutes!" he sounded almost like an excited high school girl about to go on a date with the quarterback of the football team. "Bye!"
The brunet sighed exhaustedly and clicked the 'end' button on his phone, and rolled his eyes. He... he didn't mean to agree to that... Surely, he didn't actually want Riley to come over... but he'd already agreed. So he'd better make the best of a bad situation.
Before long, a series of cheerful knocks made him stir from his usual spot on the couch and walk over to the door. Riley greeted him with a warm smile and invited himself in.
"Hi! Okay, so I got three different types of alcohol," he set numerous brown bags down on the circular table, "I don't really like a lot of domestic beers, so I got some foreign stuff. This," he pulled out a six-pack of brown bottles, "is Japanese. And this," he pulled out another six-pack, this time of green bottles, "is Italian. I also," he ruffled the bags around, "got a nice Merlot. And," he pulled out a clear bottle with clear liquid, "Vodka!"
"Really planning on getting drunk, aren't you?"
"I wasn't planning on it, but if it happens, it happens. As for the movie, I got a horror flick. I didn't know what kind of movies you like, and I've been dying to see this! But don't worry, it's not your typical bad horror movie; it's a psychological thriller."
"I'm fine with whatever," Joseph ventured into the kitchen to retrieve a bottle opener. When he returned, Riley had pulled out two of the Japanese beers and was waiting patiently. Joseph quickly opened the two and took one from the redhead.
"Let me guess..." Riley leaned against the wall next to the table, opposite of Joseph, and smiled sarcastically, "you haven't had alcohol in five years?"
Joseph half smiled at him, "Try since Tuesday," he held the neck of the bottle out and tapped it against Riley's, "Cheers."
The younger smiled at him as he didn't expect it from the taller one, "Yeah, cheers."
He watched as Joseph brought the bottle to his lips. In that moment the brunet looked like a normal person, relaxed, at ease, and just… human. In the short time that Riley had known him, he did everything almost robotically, but as he drank, head slightly tilted back, eyes closed out of enjoyment, he just looked like a human with no concerns, who was just simply enjoying a beer after a long day at work. Riley sighed happily and Joseph finished taking a drink, and stared at him.
"You… I don't know, you're just acting human and…" he wiped away some condensation on his bottle to seem distracted and avoid meeting the other's eyes, "it's…nice."
"I do have emotions, believe it or not."
"It's just nice to see you looking so peaceful."
"…Let's just watch the movie, alright?" he ruffled the younger's dark red hair, grabbed the movie, and walked into the living room.
Riley smiled and followed the larger male closely, "Can I sit next to you?"
"If you want," Joseph put the movie in the DVD player and took his seat in the middle of the white couch, spreading his arms across the back. Riley took the seat to his left and smiled at him. Joseph grabbed two remotes, using one to dim the lights and the other to start the movie. The smaller one blushed slightly at the "romantic lighting".
"If you want anything, just tell me and I'll get it for you, okay?"
Sure, Joseph wasn't always the nicest guy, and the majority of the time he didn't go out of his way to do for others, or make anyone else's life easier, but believe it or not, he was a good host, and he knew how to be a gentleman. The two sat in silence, watching the movie, Joseph occasionally rising to retrieve more beers, or pour two glasses of wine, and every time the larger male sat back down, Riley seemed to snuggle closer. It was about three-fourths of the way through the movie, and the small male was nearly pressed up against his side and his hand, once draped across the back of the couch, was now resting on Riley's shoulders. The redhead guessed that Joseph didn't even notice how close the two had gotten, but decided to not say anything and just simply enjoy the moment. Many people would've said the two were a couple, or at least looked the part.
The movie ended and Joseph turned to look at Riley, who was now slumped against his chest with his eyes closed and breathing softly through his mouth, "…Riley?"
The younger male didn't respond and Joseph smiled to himself. He'd fallen asleep. He was almost…cute when he wasn't constantly running his mouth. Riley began to slide down Joseph's chest, who used his free hand to gently guide the redhead down until his head was resting in the older man's lap. Joseph continued smiling and gently ran his fingers through Riley's slightly curly red-brown locks. He almost purred in his sleep and Joseph's smile widened. But he instantly caught himself. He… he wasn't supposed to be thinking about someone like this, especially not Riley. And besides, what was the point? It wasn't like… maybe somehow Riley would accept him and like him… And Riley surely wouldn't stick around for much longer, so there was no point in getting attached… but he could enjoy it while it lasted. It was harmless, right? He'd just indulge a little, even though it was so wrong of him. He wouldn't get attached; he'd just think of how precious Riley looked, and let him sleep. And that was it. Nothing more. Joseph killed the lights completely and turned on the news. He continued running his fingers softly through the young male's red hair, and within a few minutes, Joseph too was asleep.
When Riley opened his eyes, the room was slightly illuminated by the TV, still on the 24-hour news channel, but aside from that the room was dark. The last thing he remembered was watching the movie with Joseph and leaning so close to him they were practically cuddling. He then realized he was lying in Joseph's lap and rolled onto his back and looked up at the larger male, discovering that he too had fallen asleep.
The older male stirred and sat up more, "Hhm?"
Riley moved from Joseph's lap so he was sitting up next to him and yawned, "I think we fell asleep."
The brunet chuckled slightly and leaned forward, "Yeah, I think we did."
"Oh my god; did you just laugh? I think you did!"
"What time is it?" he dug his cellphone out of his pocket, "3:47? God," he fell back against the couch almost exhaustedly.
"Hey can I stay the night? I don't feel safe walking home this late."
"Yeah, sure. Pour two shots of vodka while I get you a pillow and blanket."
The two stood and walked in different directions, Joseph returning and tossing the two items haphazardly on the couch. The large man continued in to the kitchen, where Riley looked through the cabinets in search of shot glasses. Riley turned and smiled at Joseph as he entered through the right side of the kitchen. Joseph opened the cabinet to his left and pulled out two clear shot glasses. The redhead opened the vodka and took the two glasses, filling them to the brim. The two both grabbed the glass closest to them and right before Joseph took the shot, Riley held out his out slightly and smiled.
"To new friends."
Joseph smiled half sarcastically and tapped his glass to the younger's as small bit spilled out of both, "Yeah."
Both drank in synchronization, and noisily set the glasses back on the counter.
"One more?" Riley smiled, already taking the bottle back in his hand.
"Even if you get me drunk, you're sleeping out here, kid," he watched as Riley poured himself a drink.
"I'll take that as a yes," he grabbed Joseph's glass again and poured another shot.
The two touched glasses again, and downed the clear liquid, Joseph finishing slightly before Riley.
The redhead grabbed the older one's glass again and poured him another shot without even asking, then poured one for himself, "One more to help you sleep," he held up the glass, waiting for Joseph the clink his glass against his.
Joseph smiled almost in disbelief, raised the glass, and tapped Riley's. They both threw their heads back and drunk the shot then slammed the small glasses back on the counter. The taller male ruffled Riley's mop of hair and turned to walk off, exiting on the left side of the kitchen, closer to the hall that led to his bedroom.
"Good night, Joseph. Sleep well."
Joseph waved over his shoulder, opened the door and closed it behind him.
Riley smiled as he walked into the living room and stripped down to his briefs and climbed onto the couch. Joseph was certainly getting better, friendlier. He smiled, he laughed. So Riley was doing something right, and maybe… maybe Joseph was actually starting to like him too…
Joseph wanted to punch himself a little bit. How long had it been since he'd had a personality? Since he'd smiled and laughed and kidded and almost ogled over someone. Riley was cute, sure, anyone could see that, but Joseph swore he wouldn't think about another male like that. But how did he stop? How did he control his thoughts? He'd certainly done it before, and many-a-time he where was approached by males, he turned them down without a second thought… but Riley was likeable, much more than any of the others. But god! he swore he wouldn't like anyone! Even if Riley left in a week, if Joseph felt anything… well honestly, he had no idea how he would deal with this. He refused to succumb to desire and be disgusting. No, he couldn't just like Riley; it wasn't that simple.
Why was it he who was cursed to live this life? What had he done? Why couldn't he just be happy and accept himself as he was, and love who he wanted to without anyone caring or convincing him he was disgusting? But oh, where was the fun in that?
Joseph undressed and climbed into bed, thankful for the third shot of vodka.
Well, what do you think? I would love to hear it! Anyway, thank you very much for reading. Sorry it was kinda short. See you in the next chapter!