“Thanks for picking me up, Mike.” Brad ducks and slides out of the SUV, a backpack slung over his shoulder.
“No problem. See you Monday?”
Brad turns around and his smile widens at the sight of his—and Trey’s—home. The welcoming tall, dark-brown mahogany door and granite rocks arrayed neatly around its frame. Two small windows framed by painted-white wood and short flight of stairs tiled with marble stones leading to the main door. All of them offer warmth and ease, and Brad knows he’s home in every sense of the word.
The quietness of it is a bit unsettling. It’s almost four in the afternoon this Sunday. It’s not Trey’s habit to take a nap. Is he out at the moment? There’s no sound of the dogs, either.
Brad fishes the key from his jeans’ pocket and starts to unlock the door when he finds out that it’s not locked. He frowns but also accepts this as a pleasant surprise. Trey is home after all. His heart bunches up. There’s nothing more he wants to do than to cuddle up in Trey’s arms or to kiss the nape of his neck. Brad feels exhausted after his trip and it has been quite lonely for him without Trey by his side.
He takes hushed steps into the house, still no signs of anyone. He puts his backpack down and begins to ascend the stairs to the master bedroom. The door gives out a small squeak as he pushes it open, and Brad sneaks a look inside. No one is in there. Brad sighs and frowns, his hands go up to his waist. He shakes his head. Where the hell are they?
Somehow a small voice tells him to check the basement. They don’t spend too much time in the basement, though Brad has made a point of furnishing it just like any other room—if not cozier and more comfy. Brad has put two big leather couches —for one won’t be enough now that Trey is staying with him—in front of the fireplace, and a pool table just in case their friends are visiting.
Darkness shrouds the room before Brad flicks the light on, and he climbs down the stairs. The scene that welcomes him takes his breath away.
Trey is sprawling on his back on one of the couches with one leg dangling down the side. An arm is thrown over his face. Benji is lying on him and his head is swathing over the other part of his face, while Rovers has to accept his place—on Trey’s leg. That position makes Brad only able to see one thing of Trey—his dark blond locks. He pities Trey for being crowded like that, yet he can’t help a sense of affection swell within him.
Brad treads softly forward, and he’s greeted by Benji’s low grunt. The mutt’s had her eyes open since Brad turned on the light.
“Ssh.” Brad puts a finger on his lips to calm her down. It works. Benji heaves a sigh and relaxes, closing her eyes again.
But Brad’s plan not to wake Trey up goes awry as Rovers stirs and barks loudly. Trey leaps up, sending both dogs away. He sits up and blinks at Brad.
“Hi, baby,” Brad smiles widely. He never guesses what comes next.
A handful of Trey, sloppy and wet kisses, and the dogs attacking his legs, almost send him butt first to the floor.
Not that Brad minds.
In fact, it is he who keeps Trey’s head pressed against his, and it is he whose tongue pushes to part Trey’s lips. He searches and delves into Trey’s mouth, wanting to make sure that Trey still tastes the same.
Brad finally lets go because he wants to see Trey clearer. Those sparkling, dancing green eyes. Those tender, moist lips that are made only for him. Because he misses Trey so much.
And because—just because—he knows now that he’s really home.
*** *** ***
Iyana Jenna’s short stories have been published by Silver Publishing, Prizm Books, and Alfie Dog Fiction.