Happy Halloween! Our trick-or-treaters will be descending in the next hour or two. I have lots of candy on hand…M&Ms, Butterfingers, KitKats. The usual. And I figured I’d look for a reader treat too. I dug up a short story I wrote for Matt and Aaron. It was written immediately after Better Than Good so it’s over five years old. It’s a little rusty, but if you know the story well, you’ll get the feel for where they were in the months right after they became a couple. If not, it may be time for a reread! 🙂
*Disclaimer: This is story is unedited and is just for a little holiday fun.
Look for upcoming info regarding the Leaning Into a Wish audiobook release and Book 3 in Out in College, coming January 2019!!
Happy Reading & Happy Halloween! Lane xo
Halloween – Seven Years Ago…
Standing outside Aaron’s apartment door, I gave my customary brief knock before using the key he’d given me a few months before. The door flung open dramatically before I had chance to insert it in the lock, but Aaron was nowhere in sight. My ability to concentrate was thrown by the pulsating beat of loud dance music played at top volume. I could feel my body vibrating as I rushed over to adjust the sound as quickly as possible.
One glance around the living area told me he must have run back to the bedroom. I made my way across the small space and called his name again. I heard a muffled noise coming from his closet.
“What are you doing?” I couldn’t help sounding like an irritated parent. I even had my hands on my hips as I stared down at my lover, who was sitting cross-legged on floor just outside his closet door surrounded in piles of clothing.
Aaron doesn’t do well with messes of any sort. So I was right to be a little concerned that he’d be sitting in a mess of his own making. He smile widely at me, eyes twinkling as he made a sweeping motion with both arms.
“I am looking for Halloween inspiration!”
“I know! I can’t believe I don’t have costumes picked out! It is so not like me to be this unorganized.”
“Okay, but um…isn’t Halloween like on a Monday this year? Plus, I can’t imagine you get very many trick or treaters around here.”
“What does any of that have to do with…well… anything?”
I scratched my head. Do not try to guess, let him explain, I cautioned myself. Guessing never worked with Aaron. I shrugged my shoulders encouraging him to get on with the explanation. I leaned on the doorframe with my arms crossed waiting.
“Matty, Halloween is a high holiday in my world. An event to be taken very very seriously.” His tone was gravely serious, but I couldn’t help chuckling. Aaron stood and tossed me a nasty glare as he flounced away from the whirlwind of clothing and shoes scattered near the closet door. I followed him into the kitchen, hoping to get a glass of wine along with Aaron’s philosophy of the importance of a holiday devoted to spooks and crappy candy.
Thankfully he was uncorking a bottle when I came up behind him wrapping my arms around his slim waist. I kissed his neck and nibbled his ear, relishing the purring noise of pleasure he made. I squeezed him a little tighter and moved my hands down the front of his pants, fondling his balls as he poured the wine.
“Stop teasing me.”
He wiggled into my touch but then slapped my hand away. I back up a half step and took a wine glass from him, leaning down to kiss his lips in greeting. He wrapped both arms around my neck and returned the kiss with fervor. His tongue licked inside my mouth and I swear I could feel my knees weaken as we both groaned. No one had ever turned me on this wildly in my life. I could never seem to get enough of him. I cupped the back of his head in a quest to get closer. Aaron returned my kiss passionately, but then gave me a light push back. I adjusted my hardening cock and looked into his beautiful eyes. What were we talking about?
“We have a party tomorrow night and another on Saturday. Jay invited us over on Halloween night but I was thinking that…”
“Whoa.” I held up a hand to stop him. He was in one his steamroller modes. He talked so fast and gave more details than any human could ever want, that I sometimes found myself agreeing to something I didn’t remember even discussing in the first place.
Aaron took a sip of his wine and then pulled my hand in an invitation to follow him into the living area.
“You look tired. Are they overworking you already, honey?” Aaron settled onto the sofa with his legs tucked under him. He set his wine glass on the coffee table and scooted closer to me, sitting almost in my lap.
“I am tired. It’s going to get worse before it gets better though.” I sighed and loosened my tie. I wasn’t used to wearing them as often as I’d had to lately so I sometimes forgot about it until I felt like I was being choked by the day’s end.
“Why?” Aaron ran his fingers through my longish hair. I needed a cut.
“I was just assigned to assist one of the partners with a large contract.” I grinned at him, letting him know I was actually really excited and thrilled to have been asked.
Aaron’s eyes widened as he returned my smile.
“Oh my! My boyfriend…hot shot lawyer!” He waggled his eyebrows comically. “Congratulations, Papi.”
“Thanks. All it really means though is that I have to prove myself. I’m going to have to work my ass off for the next couple of months until it’s completed.” I took a deep breath. The truth was that I was beyond stoked. It was a huge opportunity and my first as an associate. I was equal parts nervous and elated.
“You’ll be fabulous. Never a doubt!”
Aaron took my glass and set it next to his before fully climbing into my lap. He wrapped his arms around my neck and showered my face with kisses. I laughed out loud and then upending him, I flattened him on the sofa and lay on top of him. Surprise kept him from protesting immediately, but the twinkle in his eye told me he didn’t mind having my weight on him. I kissed his mouth, licking my way inside. We made out on the sofa for a few minutes until my stomach announced that starvation was not acceptable. I hadn’t eaten since lunch and I was famished.
Aaron giggled and shoved me off of him.
“Let me make you something to eat. You take a shower.”
I stood and helped him to his feet, kissing his forehead before I made my way to the bedroom. I had a small wardrobe of clothing I kept at Aaron’s apartment. It had started with boxers, a t-shirt and a pair of shorts, and had grown to me having my own drawer space and a tiny portion of his closet. Emphasis on tiny. Aaron was challenged enough to find room for his own extensive wardrobe as it was. The fact that he was willing to share any space with me was testament that his affections were true.
He laughed and scampered out of my reach. “What are you hungry for? I may just throw together a salad with grilled chicken. Sound good?”
“Yes. Amazing. Thank you, baby.”
Ten minutes later, feeling refreshed and relaxed, I stepped over the heap of clothing Aaron had left in the bedroom and made my out to join him in the kitchen.
“Smells good. Want me to do anything?” I reclaimed my wine glass and kissed the chef on his cheek.
“No. Take a seat. I’m just about done here.”
I thought it was that we’d fallen into a routine like this. We both had demanding jobs, but my hours with my new position at the law firm were much longer than Aaron’s. Since he was home before me and he loved to cook, he made dinner for us more often than not. He lived alone too, so we naturally gravitated to where we had more privacy. His place. I was beginning to feel like I should pay some of his rent. I chipped in for groceries, of course but things felt a little uneven. As though I wasn’t pulling my weight. I wondered if Aaron would totally freak out if I mentioned moving in together. The interesting thing was that the thought didn’t send merunning for the hills.
“Voila!” Aaron set a plate piled high with salad green, tomatoes, peppers, goat cheese and grilled chicken in front of me.
“Wow. This is incredible. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. Now tell me all about your fab new assignment. So exciting!” Aaron gushed.
“I will, but first I want to go back to that pile of clothes back in the bedroom and how that is somehow linked to a social calendar I know nothing about.” I took a bite giving Aaron a chance to fill me in on his plans. He gave me a blank stare that quickly morphed into an incredulous one.
“Matt. You cannot possibly tell me this is the first time you’ve heard me tell you about Katie’s annual Halloween bash? And you can’t say that you forgot about my friend Delia from work having a small party tomorrow night. Right?”
My return stare was equally blank. I had no recollection of either of these parties. Was he messing with me?
“No.” He replied as though reading my mind. “I am not telling you for the first time now and trying to make you think you’re crazy, or I’m crazy…so get that look off your face. You don’t listen! I think we’ll have to start keeping a joint calendar, so we can keep our schedules straight.”
Aaron went on some more about where we were when he’d explained our itinerary as I ate. Whatever. He may have told me and it didn’t register as important, so I filed it in my mental spam box. I wasn’t stupid enough to admit it though.
“Okay, okay. Just tell me again what that all means.”
“Are you listening?” Aaron fixed me with a serious look.
He waited for my nod before he gave me a brief rundown of said parties and who would be there. Then he asked if I had any ideas for our costumes.
“Our costumes?” I repeatd.
Aaron nodded and took a bite of his salad as if the idea of us dressing up was natural and surely I’d have a good suggestion or two to share. As if.
“Aaron, I’ll go wherever you want, but I’m not dressing up.”
He rolled his eyes at me dismissively. It kind of pissed me off, but I knew I was traveling into unknown territory. What had he said earlier about Halloween being a high holiday?
“Sonny and Cher would be cool. But you’d be the better Cher because you’re tall. Would you dress as a woman? Oh! I know where I can get the best wig! My friend Dom…”
“No. Not happening.”
He looked hurt and I felt like a big Halloween Scrooge, but come on. “Babe. I haven’t dressed up for Halloween since I was…” I stopped to think about it. Maybe high school one year? I honestly couldn’t recall. “—probably twelve or thirteen. I’m twenty-five. I’m not dressing up.”
He glared at me. He was pissed for sure. Time for diversion.
“What were you saying about high holidays anyway? Isn’t that reserved for Thanksgiving and Christmas? Surely Halloween doesn’t rank that high.”
No response. I sighed.
He stood and took his half eaten plate to the kitchen. I concentrated on my dinner. No sense wasting a good meal.
“Babe?” I brought my empty dish into the kitchen a few minutes later and found Aaron scrubbing the already sparkling clean stove. The silent treatment. Great.
So, this is where compromise begins, I thought to myself. Someone wants one thing the other doesn’t. Where do you draw the line and offer to sacrifice what you never would have dreamed of sacrificing before? This is what it must mean to really be a couple. The funny thing was that I assumed that compromise had more to do with the big issues, like coming out to my family. That was a big deal. I figured if Aaron and I made it through that we were golden. Little things like Halloween. ‘Cause who cares about Halloween?
I guess that was my answer. I didn’t really care. I didn’t want to dress up. No. Not even a little. But I would do it for him if it meant that much to him. Not as Cher though. Maybe that was his compromise.
“Okay. I’ll do it.”
Aaron turned to face me, his expression wary and guarded.
“Do what?” His voice was soft. I really couldn’t tell if he was angry or sad. He just looked a little vulnerable. I had to fix this.
“Yeah. I’ll do whatever you want, but Aar?”
“Yeah?” He still looked a little cautious.
“Not Cher. Don’t even think about it.”
Aaron jumped up and rushed into my arms. I laughed and cupped his ass in my hands to support him.
“Don’t worry Matty, I’ll think of something good.”
I didn’t have a doubt.