Muscle Memory

By linkthehero
Video Chat
Kumospace [Everyone]
Gather.town [Everyone]

[font "Times New Roman" "Eachann! Bricfeasta! Girls, stop pulling each other's hair!"

Eachann was just pulling on his jean jacket as he emerged from his room. "No time, Ma, I have to get to work." He grabbed a piece of toast for the road, used to the complete chaos of his home. The twins arguing over who got which glass of juice and his grandmother sitting in the old recliner staring at the television.

"Eachann, you said you could babysit tonight!" Saoirse shouted over the noise while placing plates in front of her daughters.

"And I will! I can!" he said around the toast in his mouth. "I'll be back at six." This was the game his family played every day. Who was where and for how long. One unit that had to work together to make sure every gear was well oiled. He stepped up to his grandmother and placed a kiss on her leathery cheek. She mumbled something witty that he didn't hear before he turned to back out the door. "Don't worry, I'll be here," he said.

His mother gave him a look. "And try not to get fired this time."

Eachann swallowed the feelings this brought up and left the too-small house. He always felt like he was getting a breath of fresh air when he stepped outside.

"Funny how you haven't had a job in years, Ma," he muttered to the bustling street he had stepped into. But then the guilt hit him, as it always did. Moving here had been his parents big idea. And while it had been quite some time since his father had died, his mother couldn't seem to get herself to explore the city. Not without him. So it was up to Eachann and Saoirse to make ends meet. But with the four year olds- the 'oopsies' as their grandmother liked to call them- resources were wearing thin.

Eachann didn't mind working, though. He had nothing better to do. Being at home for too long stressed him out. He thought Saoirse having twins out of wedlock and then her boyfriend bailing on them would be enough to make the family see that they were all capable of mistakes in God's eyes, but Ma doted on the girls. And she still would not acknowledge that Eachann was gay. He was 35 and in a better life he wouldn't even have to be dealing with any of this. If his father were alive, he would have moved out long ago. Kept a stable job. Had a nice boyfriend.

But someone had to pay the bills.

[center ***]

Eachann was a liar. He didn't want to hurt his family. But he had been fired a week past for tardiness. He tried to explain his case, like he did every time, but his boss didn't want to hear it. Ever since, no one was calling him back after submitting his application. He needed something. [i Anything.] Or they weren't going to make their payments on time.

He spent most of the day job hunting around town, but he got that old feeling in the pit of his stomach that would arise when he knew he was running out of options. When he knew he would have to resort to something he would rather not do. He pulled up his hood and headed downtown. He would have to head home before long, but he could easily make enough for the groceries before that...

He tried not to think about the scuzzy businessmen who had more money than they knew what to do with. How they most likely had wives. The way they looked at him from their car windows like he was something to consume. He just focused on the money. [i Focus on the money.] He told himself, over and over again. [i It's just a blowjob. You've done it before. Just focus on the money.]

He was [i so] focused on the money that he had walked right into traffic without looking and he was suddenly looking up at the sky. He didn't remember the impact, and it couldn't have been that bad because the driver was standing over him swearing. The shock wore off and he could hear what he was saying.

"The hell are you doing? Get out of the fucking road! Does it say walk? Does the light say walk?" The man was in his face now as Eachann was trying to stand up.

"I'm sorry," he mumbled at first. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" He shouted back, when he finally got to his feet. The man was huge and he regretted getting defensive immediately. He breathed out, shakily, "I'm sorry, I was distracted."

"Yeah, you fucking were!" The man was still yelling, spittle on his chin. "You could have fucked up my car." He stepped closer and Eachann held up his hands to protect himself, just in case he decided to get violent.

"Please, just let me go. We're holding up traffic," he was saying, but was cut off. The man shoved his shoulder.

"You gonna pay for the damages, little man?"

"I-" The car didn't look damaged to him, but if it was, Eachann wouldn't have that kind of money. "I don't-"
d1gn17yChristian Hayes   1y ago

“Alright that’s a wrap. Great job as always Christian. Come have a look at some of the shots.”

Christian pulled on a shirt and climbed off the set that had been designed to look just like a beach. He ran his hand through his hair to smooth it out after the fan had done its job of blowing it everywhere and made his way over to the computer.

Christian’s modelling career was still going strong, and he was finding that the older he got, the more work he was getting which was the opposite of what he was told to expect but then had had spent the last ten years looking after himself and making sure that he was always changing up his look to suit what was required from the industry. When he turned thirty, he thought about slowing down a bit, but he was enjoying his lifestyle and he couldn’t bring himself to slow anything down yet, especially since his Instagram was constantly blowing up with new followers, deals and whatever else came his way. He’d slow down one day, but today was not that day.

This job was for a new swimwear range and he spent a little bit of time looking through the shots before he decided to call it a day. He had been working on the set for hours now and he was hungry.

“Thanks for everything Brian. I’m going to shoot off but if you need anything you have my number!” With that he made his way out of the building to his car and checked his phone. It was constantly blowing up with notifications; e-mails from his agent, DMs from people on Instagram, texts and missed calls from his friends…however there was never the text or call he was hoping for. His parents had pretty much disowned him the moment he came out as gay at the age of nineteen yet somehow, he still seemed to hold out hope that one day they would reach out to him. Still, Christian didn’t let that bother him too much. He was passed it now and just to prove a point he posted and inspirational quote about being your authentic self always and never apologising for it before turning the key in the ignition and throwing his phone on the seat next to him.

About twenty minutes into his drive, he was brought to an abrupt stop when the driver of a car ended up hitting someone crossing the street.

“Ah shit!” He pulled the car over and got out to check that everything and everyone was okay, but it seemed that the driver was beyond pissed. As he approached, he looked over the car and could see clearly that there was no damage at all, and the driver was being aggressive for absolutely no reason.

“Excuse me but it’s clear to me that there is no damage to your car and there is absolutely no reason for you to be laying your hands on anyone. Now, if you continue to persist then it seems that we will have to call the police to deal with the accident and they will be extremely interested to know that you were texting the entire time I have been behind you. I’m fairly sure that makes [I you] liable for any damages and if this gentleman has to go to a hospital, I’m also quite sure you are the one who can get sued…so I would suggest you get back in your car and fuck off.”] He said with a smile and sure enough the man backed down, knowing that he had indeed been texting.

Christian turned his attention to Eachann then. “Hey man, are you alright? Do you need a ride home?”

[font "Times New Roman" It was at that moment just when he thought the man was really going to hit him that he heard the voice. Deep and commanding enough to make even the violent driver stop his yelling. Eachann didn't dare look up at its owner or the man who had hit him with his car. He wanted to disappear entirely. Melt into the pavement.

But at the mention of a hospital, Eachann stared, wide eyed at his shoes. He had always been afraid of causing a fuss. "No, no, I'm fine," he said, trying to wrap this up, but his voice betrayed him and it came out as a whisper.

He wasn't the only one stunned into silence, however. The driver bared his teeth at the new evidence against him and decided it would be best to simply reenter his car and leave, peeling away angrily. Others were beginning to honk and Eachann was beginning to feel very [i very] seen.

He realized he was being addressed and finally looked up at the man who rescued him from the horrible situation. He sure looked the part of a hero, all flowing locks and a body like Adonis. Eachann's breath caught in his throat, but someone started laying on their horn again brought him back to attention.

"Uh, no!" he replied awkwardly, having to remember what he was even asked. "I'm fine, I just-" He took a slow step and proved, embarrassingly that he was just the opposite. He gritted his teeth. He would have a bruise across his entire side, he was sure of it. After a pause he mustered up the courage to limp the rest of the way across the street. He didn't want to think about the walk back home like this. Or the fact that it was only four and he told his family he would be back from "work" at six. Or that they might ask him how he got this limp and he would have to come up with some excuse as to why he was downtown in the first place.

The traffic started to flow again around the stranger's car, but he seemed in no rush to get back to it.

"Uh, thank you," Eachann finally said, accent thick even though he was speaking low. "I don't think he would have left me alone if you hadn't stepped in."
d1gn17yChristian Hayes   1y ago

If there was one thing Christian hated, it was men who thought it was a good idea to throw their weight around. It was clear that this guy had seen an opportunity to pick on someone for no reason, thinking that he would perhaps get something out of it, and he would be lying if he said that he didn’t get some satisfaction from the fact he slumped back into the car without an attempt to argue. He had been caught and that was evidently something that angered him. Right now, he only cared about making sure this stranger was alright.

As soon as another driver honked their horn, he was sure to flip him off before following Eachann to the other side of the road, making sure that he didn’t fall, but also not wanting to help him and hurt him any more than he already was. Once they were safely out of the road Christian looked the man over and it was clear that he needed some medical attention. It was also clear that he didn’t like a fuss made of him.

When he spoke, he was surprised by the thick accent but after a few words he decided that it suited him perfectly. It also helped that he had always found the Irish accent to be endearing in every possible way.

“No need to thank me at all. I hate arseholes like that.” He said with a smile. “Look, I really think you should get checked out or at least allow me to take you home so you can rest up. I don’t think it’s a wise decision to walk. Do you want me to take you to A&E? I would be happy to stay with you, if you’d like?”

[font "Times New Roman" Oh, why couldn't he just disappear? And not into the bright eyes staring him down, thank you very much. Eachann cleared his throat. He was still trying to put his mind back together. From the shock of the impact to the hatred of the man who had hit him, it was becoming a rather busy day for poor Eachann.

The stranger was still concerned for his well being, though and Eachann shook his head, faking one of his crooked smiles. "I um..." He paused a moment. He really didn't think he could make it home on foot either. People were honking again. He needed to make a decision and let this man get on with his day. "No I don't need- I mean sure. Just- just a ride home is- is fine," he stuttered through, though the giving nature of this stranger and how he was willing to stay with him to make sure he was okay seemed to calm him somewhat. If he seemed that keen on it, then Eachann couldn't feel like a burden he supposed.

With a little help from his new friend, they made their way to the car holding up traffic and he managed to get inside with only a wince of pain. It did not go unnoticed that the car was of a make and model that he never would have been able to afford. Not that he would even dream about owning [i any] car at the moment.

"I'm sorry," he finally said. "I'm not normally so scatterbrained," he confessed. "I hope you weren't going somewhere too important for me to interrupt." And then, like his good dad taught him to do, he introduced himself and held his hand out across the center console. "I'm Ian."
d1gn17yChristian Hayes   1y ago

There was no way Christian was about to leave the guy who had just been hit by a car, especially since he seemed so out of sorts and he was obviously hurt by the impact, even if he would not admit it out loud. He might even had to insist if he really disputed it but he also understood why he might be so anxious considering the way he had just been treated my another stranger.

When he finally agreed, he smiled warmly towards him and started to lead him to the car, helping him as much as he could without damaging his pride much further. He wanted to go a little slower just to piss off the drivers of the honking vehicles, but he didn’t want to make more of a scene for this stranger’s sake. Once they arrived at the car he helped him into his side of the car and then climbed into the driver’s side and offered him a smile.

“Please, don’t feel like you owe any apology at all. I was just on my way to get food.” He said as he placed the key in the ignition and started the engine before looking back to Eachann and met his hand with his own. “Christian. It’s a pleasure to meet you. I don’t suppose you mind if I run through the drive-thru? I’m starving!”] He pulled the car away from the curb and started down the street.

[font "Times New Roman" There was a short moment before the stranger took his hand. Eachann was sure those eyes could see right through him. But then the moment passed and they were simply strangers shaking hands.

"Christian," Eachann mumbled to himself, a little habit he had developed to ensure he didn't forget a name just after being told.

Upon hearing the next question, he answered far too quickly. "No, I don't mind all all!" Upon realizing his mistake he tried to cover his tracks. "Only- I was headed to get food, myself." A lie. But if he could stay away from home long enough he wouldn't have to explain his early arrival to his family.

Eachann felt at odds with himself. He wanted to leave this situation, but he also wanted to stay because as long as he was along for the ride with Thor in the driver's seat, he could put off going home. He cleared his throat, feeling an awkwardness come over them. At least [i he] felt awkward, he wasn't sure about Christian. He managed to sneak a peek at the man and tried not to let himself think about how strikingly handsome he was. And he [i sure] didn't allow himself to wonder if he was gay.

The silliness of the feeling of sitting next to him. Eachann, though short, was also rather lanky. His hair was unruly but not in the way this guy's was. Not in an attractive way, at least not that he thought. His nose had the family bump on the bridge and where Christian's beard was full and healthy looking, Eachann could only grow hair around the jaw and his upper lip. An annoying product of his Irish heritage.

He directed his eyes back out the window, wondering where they were headed. What on earth did a man with a body like that eat from a drive through?

He squeezed his eyes shut for a moment. From then on, no more thinking about it. About [i him.]
d1gn17yChristian Hayes   364d ago

Christian smiled to himself as his new acquaintance repeated his name. It was clear that it was habitual and that it was something he did almost to make sure he could remember the name. He found it rather endearing. He kept his eyes focused on the road but every now and then used his peripheral to glance over and make sure that he was alright. When it seemed that they were good to go on the food front, his smile widened, and he signalled to turn down a street that would lead them to a retail park housing several different food outlets. Christian really had no idea what Ian would eat so it made sense to come here since there would be plenty of choice.

“So we have McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King…Starbucks.” He glanced over at Ian briefly and pulled kept moving down the street until he came to the entrance of the retail park.

Christian didn’t normally eat fast food, but it was his plan all along to treat himself today. One meal wouldn’t ruin all the work he put in to maintaining a good body after all, and he had a week off so it wasn’t as though he needed to be strict with himself.

He wondered which one Ian would choose and he hoped that he could make the man feel a little more comfortable in his presence because he could tell that something wasn’t quite right there. Of course, he had just gone through something rather horrific and he didn’t want to press him too much about it.

“The choice is yours.”

[font "Times New Roman" Eachann made a face, pulling down the sides of his mouth and he held up his hands in defense. "Please, don't made a decision on my account. I'm just along for the ride," he said.

He wasn't exactly hungry anyway, especially after the days events. And he didn't have the money to be eating out, either. But he had dug himself into this hole of lies and now he had to live in it.

But then he felt rude for not making a simple decision. So he said, "McDonald's, I guess," after a moment as it was the cheapest thing on the list. [i God], he wanted to jump right out of the car, but considering he was already bruised from the hip up from one automobile accident that day, he quickly decided against it.

It was only a moment before they were pulling into the drive through and when he was offered a questioning glance he simply said, "Oh, um. Just a burger. And water. That's fine." And the next moment he was pulling out his wallet of crumpled money to hand the man enough to cover his portion.

And to think he was supposed to be making money today, not spending it...
d1gn17yChristian Hayes   364d ago

Honestly, it had been a long time since Christian enjoyed a burger, but he was sure that he would damn well enjoy it. He glanced towards Ian briefly when he made the decision and he nodded and turned the car into the retail park, following the route to the McDonald’s. He much preferred to go through the windows because he didn’t really like the smell of a whole restaurant of fast food. Luckily, there was only one car in front of them so the process of driving through to the window was relatively fast.

He ordered a meal with large fries and a large milkshake and then asked his car guest what he might like. Considering he claimed to be on his way to get food, he didn’t really eat too much but he didn’t question it, instead he smiled and ordered the food on his behalf. He pulled his card out of his wallet and waved his hand towards Ian. “Oh don’t worry about that. I got you.” He looked back towards to server in the window and paid for the food before pulling forward to the next window.

As soon as they got the food he pulled into a bay and parked up the car, switching off the engine and handing out the food to Ian. “I’m going to enjoy this. It’s been a while!”

[font "Times New Roman" When his offer to pay was rejected it took Eachann a moment to lower his hand. Sure, Christian, with his nice car and fancy hair sure looked like he could afford to buy his food, but Eachann was still rather shocked. He knew he was just doing another nice thing for him, but the paranoia started to set in. Could he tell that he was broke?

[i Psh, of course he can,] he told himself, looking down at the scuffed up boots on his feet. Compared to his savior's clean and crisp attire, Eachann looked downright homeless.

They pulled around a moment later with the food. Eachan still hadn't said anything about the money situation. He took the bag with his portion of the food in it with his free hand and set it in his lap.

"Look, please, I want you to-" He could tell Christian was a perfect soul and would not take his money. This triggered something inside Eachann. Something that had been building up since before he had even been hit by that car.

He gripped the handle and got swiftly out of the car. He had forgotten about the food on his lap and the contents spilled across the concrete. His plan had been to simply start walking- or rather limping- away. He didn't ask this guy to interfere, so he owed him nothing. But he heard the bag hit the ground and turned to see all of Christian's fries scattered.

"Shite." Foolishly, he back-pedaled. He wasn't sure if he should leave them or pick them up or... "Fuck, I'm sorry," he said through the open window. [i And he said he'd been looking forward to eating those,] he scolded himself. "I'm sorry. I- I should just-" He was stuck between staying and leaving to make up for the mishap.

He had been triggered by his shame and he had only landed himself in even more of it. He mumbled one last apology before turning on his heel and gritting his teeth against the pain as he walked away. He was even further from his house now but he didn't care. He deserved the hastle after what he put Christian through.

And now he probably thought Eachann was insane, leaving like that. But it was fine, after he got away he would never see him again.
d1gn17yChristian Hayes   364d ago

There was no way that Christian could have expected Ian to react the way he did. In his mind, it meant nothing to spend a couple of pounds on a bit of food. All he was trying to do was offer comfort to a man who was evidently having a shit day. This was just one less thing for him to worry about...

Except it had the complete opposite affect. He looked up towards Ian when he spoke but he didn't seem to finish his thought and inside he was scrambling to get out of the car. Christian had no idea what he had done to cause the man to react in such a way but it wasn't a normal reaction. Either this man had suffered some kind of trauma or he was an extremely anxious man. Perhaps his presence alone made him feel uncomfortable but he had been trying so hard not to come across as intimidating.

"It's not a problem..." he said trying to get the man to calm down and realise that it was just an accident that the food had spilled out and it was not something he should worry about but nothing seemed to sit with him.

"Hey! Wait up." He climbed out of the car and locked the door behind him and chased after him, not that it took him long to catch up. "I'm sorry if I offended you...but please let me take you home at least..."

[font "Times New Roman" Just when he thought he might be in the clear he heard the beep of the car locking and the voice from behind him. He wasn't even upon him yet and Eachann was rounding on him, saying loudly, "[i Jesus,] you're a [i saint], aren't you?" His lower jaw had a habit of sticking out when he was frustrated and he was breathing hard even from just the few strides he had taken.

"Look, I don't want your help, alright?" he added, clenching his jaw for a moment. "I- I don't want you to buy my food, I don't need a ride home, I'm a stranger to you, what could you possibly get from this interaction?" His gestures were wild enough to show his frustration, but his voice had quieted some. The skies in the past few minutes had darkened and he started to feel the soft drizzle of rain on his face.

"Oh, fuck [i me!]" he shouted at the sky. "You just couldn't help but piss on me, too?" He looked back at the man in front of him and closed the wide gap between them. "Look, I'm sorry. I lied. I'm a liar." He held his arms out. "I'm not hungry. I wasn't headed somewhere for food, was headed downtown. I was distracted and I walked into traffic because I was trying not to think about how many corporate fucks I would have to blow to pay the bills this month." This all came poring out. His sister always said he had a habit of self-sabotage. He was really starting to see that pattern now. "I can catch a cab, even though that will cost me, and all I have on me are the few pounds I tried to give you." The rain was getting heavier. "I appreciate you helping me out, but I really don't deserve any of this kindness."

There. He said it. He left it hanging in the air between them.
d1gn17yChristian Hayes   364d ago

Jesus fucking Christ. This guy really is having a bad day. Since when was it a bad thing to offer help to someone? Christian was so taken aback by the way Ian just erupted on him that he even took a step back to give the man space to rant and even get angry for whatever reason he decided to just explode in this way.

"I...wasn't looking to get anything out of this interaction..."

Christian stood their calmly watching the man shout at the sky when it began to show signs of raining and shortly after that he was stepping closer to him. He has no idea if he was going to get aggressive or what...

Instead he seemed to lay everything out, giving details that he probably would wish he never shared and honestly Christian was surprised by all of it. He stood there for a moment, letting the words hang between them. He sighed and held his hand towards his car. "Please get in the car."

[font "Times New Roman" There was a long moment of silence as the cold rain fell on them both. And then finally Christian spoke.

After [i all of that]. After everything Eachann had just laid out to scare this guy away... and he was telling him to simply get in the car. He didn't address anything he had just said he just told him to [i get in the car]? Even if it did have a "please," attached to it, Eachann couldn't believe it.

And yet... he clenched his jaw once. Twice. And avoiding Christian's gaze altogether, he went back to the car, stepped over the now soggy fries, and climbed into the passenger seat again.

He couldn't understand why he did it. Brows low and heart hammering, he could not argue himself out of this one. And a part of him liked having a leader around, he always had. That's why he'd been such a mess when his da died.

He looked through the windshield at Christian, wondering if he would be angry with him. Or disgusted by him. Or why he cared.
d1gn17yChristian Hayes   364d ago

He half expected Ian to just continue to walk away and if he did, Christian told himself that he did everything he could and he would have to let him go but it seemed that he did just the opposite, climbing in the car without a single argument, almost like a child who had lost a battle with his parent.

As soon as he was in the car, Christian climbed into the driver's side and placed his hands on the steering wheel before glancing towards Ian. "Are you struggling to find work? I can't imagine what it must be like to struggle to pay the bills. Is it just you or are you supporting a family?"

He figured that he didn't have a wife or girlfriend since he mentioned what he was doing to try and get money. He couldn't imagine a straight man offering blow jobs for money.

Christian was lucky because he never seemed to struggle financially but that didn't mean he was selfish and refused to care about others who did. Perhaps there was a reason that Christian has been on that street at the time Ian got struck by a car. Perhaps he was placed in his life at the right time to do something to help him. He just wasn't sure what that might be at this moment in time.

[font "Times New Roman" The rain hitting the roof of the car seemed to help Eachann relax some. Especially now that he was not in it. He sighed softly when his companion climbed back into the car. He looked at the hand on the steering wheel from the corner of his eye so he didn't have to look at him directly.

It took him a moment to answer, not sure quite how to. After all his yelling and bickering and he was still being a perfect human.

No more lies. "My family and I... My da died a few years back and he was the one that worked mostly. My ma is in depression and my sister got pregnant with twins, only for the guy to up and leave her. And my grandma is too old to work. It's just me now. In a house full 'o women and," he let out a shaky laugh, less out of amusement and more out of disbelief. "And I can't hold down a job because I'm always late from taking care of them."

He looked to his own hands then. "You can't honestly care out of the goodness of your own heart," he said and finally looked up into Christian's eyes. "That shite's not real," he said with an amused grin. But he could tell. It was real and Christian wore it with pride.
d1gn17yChristian Hayes   363d ago

Christian wasn’t being nice just for the sake of it. He had experienced his fair share of hardships growing up and he felt like one of his biggest and best achievements was turning all the shit into something positive. Granted, not everyone could do that. Christian had bene lucky with the opportunities that opened themselves up to him and he was grateful every day for what he had because he knew that he could have easily had a very different life.

For now, he kept his eyes trained on the rain puddling before them so that Ian didn’t feel as though he was being stared down and forced to talk. If he wanted to answer his question he would and if he decided against answering, Christian wouldn’t make him say anything. He was, however, surprised when he chose to open up to him. He really did have it rough, and he wished that there was something he could say or do to make some part of his situation better but he was simply a stranger and he was not sure how he could.

He met his eyes then, when he noticed that Ian had looked towards him and he chuckled a little, trying to lighten the mood. “I honestly do. I’m a unicorn.” He said, a smile spreading across his lips as he spoke. “No on deserves to be shit on. My parents kicked me out when I came out…” He said, letting that hang there for a moment, knowing that Ian couldn’t have a problem with him being gay considering what he said he was doing.

[font "Times New Roman" Eachann couldn't help but enjoy how the smile on Christian's face unfolded and a small crinkle came to the edges of his eyes. His chuckle was deep in his chest.

Eachann grinned in return. "A unicorn." he said with a chuckle of his own. "That would make sense." His smile faded as Christian kept speaking. He lowered his gaze and listened. He tried not to bite his lip upon hearing that Christian was gay. He had been so sure he wasn't.

He glanced back up at him. [i But then again,] he thought. He couldn't remember the last time he saw a straight guy take such good care of himself. Or be so kind to him for that matter.

"I'm sorry," he said softly, looking back out the window. "I can't even imagine. Ma pretends I never came out, but she never would have kicked me out." He made a face. "Then again there were a lot more things we had to contend with, but still."

A silence fell over them again. Then Eachann looked at Christian and really took in this entire experience. He really was just a good person. And Eachann had returned that goodness with weakness and anger.

"I'm sorry. Really. I never should have treated you like that. I- I can't even come up with a good excuse other than I just... don't know how to accept nice things." He shifted in his seat a little, wincing slightly. "Could we try this over? Could you do that thing where you offer to buy me food, again? And I [i don't] spill it all over the ground again? Or you can just take me home, but I swear I'm not going to stop apologizing," he said, trying to hide his smile.
d1gn17yChristian Hayes   363d ago

The word unicorn had been used to describe Christian many times; it had become one of the hashtags his many Instagram followers had begun to associate with him. It made him chuckle most of the time but in a world that was increasingly becoming cruel ), it really was a rare thing to find someone who was genuinely nice to everyone so long as they didn't give him a reason to be otherwise like the dick they had to contend with earlier that day.

"Oh no! Please don't be sorry. I'm not looking for sympathy. It's part of what makes me who I am today and honestly I wouldn't want to be anyone else." He smiled briefly and nodded. "Denial is just has hard to contend with I am sure."

He ran his hand through his hair and glided his fingers over his jaw for a moment and then looked back to Eachann when he broke the silence. It seemed that he was no longer angry and that made Christian less cautious of his next actions.

"You don't need to apologise. I get it." He offered a smile and put the car back into gear and pulled away from the parking lot. "I would be happy to buy you dinner. Let's not bother with a McDonald's. If you are not in a rush we could go for pizza. I know a nice place and I'm craving carbs and cheese." He chuckled slightly and waited for his response before choosing a direction to drive in.

[font "Times New Roman" Eachann's smile widened at the reply he got. The car began to move again and he nodded at his host's new plan for dinner. "I can do pizza," he said, suddenly, now that the stress had left him, feeling very hungry. "But I don't get to eat it much."

He swallowed the familiar unease that came with people trying to help him. He decided he would enjoy this.

"But I can't promise I won't apologize anymore. I'm the kind of person that starts saying sorry for saying sorry," he added with a soft laugh. "So... like I said. I'm sorry."

His smile was crooked and he looked away from Christian to the road. The awkward silence settled over them once again. Eachann had no idea where this day was taking him. Would Christian expect something from him? Surely not. He was Mr. Perfect. That thought alone made Eachann relax. But it did nothing to stop his heart from beating loudly. He wasn't blind to the fact that he was in a car with one of the most attractive men he had ever seen.

He cleared his throat. "So," he said, dragging the word out. "What does a  unicorn do when he's not out saving random pedestrians?"
d1gn17yChristian Hayes   363d ago

It was Christian's hope that once they got out of the car and into a public setting, Eachann might feel a little more comfortable around him. Based on some of the things he had said, it was likely he had been in a similar situation before where someone would expect favours in return for their 'kindness' but all Christian wanted was some company to dinner.

"Pizza it is!" He said happily as he made his way towards the small restaurant. He occasionally glanced over at his guest as he drove a smiled a little when his apology came once more. "You're fine." He focused his eyes on the road once more. They were only five minutes away from the pizza place.

After a short silence Eachann decided to speak up. "I'm a model and an LGBT activist. I guess you could say I'm an influencer of sorts but I really don't like the term!" He smiled and turned left down a street. "I have a serious question to ask." He said, suddenly his voice turned serious and he allowed the smile to disappear and after a short silence he spoke once more.

"Does pineapple belong on pizza?"

[font "Times New Roman" Eachann's eyebrows rose when he learned of Christian's job. And before he had the time to think, he was talking. "That doesn't surprise me." [i Fuck]. "That- that you're a model, I mean." [i Shite, fuck.] He decided to pretend he hadn't said anything and he could feel the tips of his stupid, big ears burning red.

As if he could feel how awkward Eachann felt, Christian changed the subject like a godsend, but Eachann's heart only started to pound more. He was serious now. What had he done this time?

The silence dragged on for a moment. And then he finally spoke and Eachann was letting out the breath he hadn't even known he was holding.

"Jesus Christ, you can't do that!" he said with laughter and shook his head. "Listen, if you put pineapple on your pizza, I'm going to have to jump out of this car for real."
d1gn17yChristian Hayes   363d ago

Christian was amused by the fact that Eachann didn't appear to be surprised by his job but he could tell that he was slightly embarrassed, even if he believed he had no reason to be so the change of topic worked a treat.

He couldn't help but let out a laugh when the realisation hit that the question was about pizza and no something super serious after all. "I'm sorry!" He said through his laugh and then nodded in agreement. "I'm glad you said that because I would have pulled up on the side of the road and kicked you out if your answer was different." He looked towards him with a playful smirk. "Obviously I'm kidding."

Soon enough he was pulling up at the small pizza restaurant and he turned off the engine once he picked a spot and grabbed his phone and wallet. "Alrighty! Time to carb up!" He said as he opened the door, only locking it when Eachann had climbed out of it.

"Did you need to be home by a certain time?"

[font "Times New Roman" Eachann was just climbing out of the car and smiled at Christian. It was like he could read the room better than anyone he knew. He checked his watch and nodded. "I've got a little over an hour. I need to be back by six. I told my sister I would babysit for her." He limped over to meet Christian behind the car and together they headed inside. "She had a hot date tonight apparently," he said with his brows raised as if she was likely to be let down by the man.

They headed inside and the smell of pizza hit him like a freight train. His stomach growled.

"You grab a seat, Unicorn," he said. "I'm gonna find the restroom. Go ahead and order anything. Except pineapple."

He headed to the back and found the men's room. He looked around to make sure the room was really empty before he moved his jacket aside and pulled up the side of his shirt.

He had said it was just a bruise and so that's what he expected, but he couldn't help the gasp that came from his lips. He stepped closer to the mirror and saw that the friction of the road is what had actually caused most of the damage. It looked like a cat went insane on his ribs and his hip. He hissed as he poked at the wounds before cleaning them up a bit with some damp paper towels. After he lowered his shirt he leaned against the sink and looked himself in the eye.

"You're fine," he told himself. "You've been hit by a car and [i this] is what you're freaking out about? A nice boy? As if this wasn't some kind of meet-cute you've been waiting for." He sighed. "Ugh, who am I kidding, he probably has a boyfriend. Not that you want to be his boyfriend you don't even know him."

The door creaked open and a man with his son came in. Eachann straightened up awkwardly and stepped aside then fled the room quickly.

He found Christian at a booth nearby and gave him an awkward smile before sliding in across from him.
d1gn17yChristian Hayes   362d ago

"An hour is plenty of time to eat pizza." He smiled and walked with him into the restaurant. Normally he would have made a joke about them being the ones on a hot date but he didn't want to scare him off.

The moment they walked into the restaurant the smell of pizza was enough to bring on his cravings forward. He looked over at Eachann when he told him to grab a table and he saluted. "Roger that. I'll sort us out." He watched him a little and then made his way to a booth. He ordered a couple of refillable sodas and a large pizza, half pepperoni and half cheese and tomato just in case he wanted something plain.

Christian pulled out his phone and checked his e-mail and then his Instagram a little while he waited for Eachann to return. He glanced up and saw him slide in front of him.

"How are you holding up? Any damage?" He asked, figuring that he would have taken the chance to look over himself. "You took a beating from that car. Are you sure you don't need to go for the hospital?"

[font "Times New Roman" It did not surprise him that Christian's first words were to ask him how he was. He was quickly learning that there was no end to this guy's selflessness. Eachann smiled and shook his head.

"I'm fine," he said. "Pizza is a better cure than any hospital, anyway." He took his empty cup and stood up to fill it with some sweet orange soda. Then he returned and sunk back into the seat, not hoping to move until he had devoured half a pizza.

He looked at Christian from over the rim of his cup. He had to be younger than himself. That or Eachann felt ancient.

"You know, in Ireland the pizza is awful," he told Christian, just to fill the silence. "They have no idea what they're doing over there. It all tastes like gas station pizza."
d1gn17yChristian Hayes   362d ago

He might have guessed that Eachann wouldn't really admit how hurt he was because it was clear to him that he didn't like anyone making too much of a fuss. If he had things his way, Christian never would have gone after him and he would be hobbling his way home.

"If you say so, just make sure you don't over exert yourself." He nodded and waited a moment while Eachann got himself a drink and then laughed a little when he talked about pizza. "I mean no one does pizza like the Italians in fairness. How long have you been in England?"

He wanted to know more about Eachann because he was an endearing character and he wanted to get to know him on a personal level...even if he didn't see him again after today.

[font "Times New Roman" Eachann should have known his comment would have landed him in the "getting to know you" zone. He took another sip of his drink, stalling.

"Well, since I was 14 or 15 or thereabouts," he said. Talking about himself to Christian didn't feel like ripping off a scab like it normally did. So he went on. "I grew up just south of Northern Ireland. Eventually things with the Troubles got bad enough again that we moved south. And that was all well and good until Da's job moved him here. Right into the place we were trying to get away from," he chuckled softly and shrugged. "But that's the way o' it isn't it?"

The arrival of their pizza interrupted them and it put a smile of Eachann's face. He wasted no time digging in. "What about you?" He finally asked after swallowing a large bite. "Have you always lived in Manchester?"
d1gn17yChristian Hayes   359d ago

Christian was glad that he didn’t seem to push him too much. He willingly talked about his time in England, and he didn’t look too uncomfortable when he did. He always found people’s life stories interesting, and it was even more so when the person himself was intriguing and there was no denying that Eachann was that. He nodded along with him, sipping his drink and just as he was about the speak, their pizza arrived, and he thank the server before taking a slice.

“I’m not from around here. I was born in Cheshire. My parents had money and a nice house, and they considered themselves to be part of ‘Cheshire society’ so when I came out, they were more worried about their reputation. So…I came to Manchester, got a few modelling jobs and never looked back. Luckily it seemed I caught the attention of a few important people.” He smiled and moved on to another slice of pizza.

“But honestly, my parents kicked me out was the best thing to ever happen to me in hindsight.”

Eachann couldn't even imagine. His brows rose at the thought that being kicked out might be the best thing to ever happen to someone, but Christian sure seemed like he was doing alright. He took another slice of pizza. Being there for his family was such a part of him he wondered what it must be like to feel that kind of freedom.

"Don't you miss them Your parents?" He asked, making sure to sound kind and not judgemental. The truth is, deep down, he was a little envious of Christian's ability to let things roll off his back. "Despite everything they've done."
d1gn17yChristian Hayes   353d ago

Christian sighed a little when he asked about his parents. It was a hard question to answer because he so wished that he had parents who were accepting of who he was but did he miss the parents he was dealt?

"Sometimes I do. I wish I had parents who were around and loved me enough to accept who I am but I also have a lot of freedom. It would be nice to see them again...have an apology from them but I don't think they would ever do that."

He took a sip of his drink and then looked to Eachann. "Do you think we could do this again sometime? Without the time limit of an hour until you have to go home?"

Eachann though about Christian's answer for a long moment, supposing he might feel that way about it too if things were reversed. Still, he could hardly imagine...

They both had another piece of pizza before Eachann's eyes were drawn back to Christian's. He was asking if he wanted to meet up again. He blinked. Surely he wasn't serious.

Eachann moved to look around him as if Christian might be asking someone else. The little uneven smile was on his face again when he turned back, this time with a hint of shyness. "Y-yeah. Course. I- I would love to." He stopped himself before his mouth could blab on. Just let it sit there a moment. "Yes," he finally said, determined not to let this bad day turned good go to waste.

He checked his phone for the time. "Speaking of..." he mumbled. "We should get going. But first, uh..." he handed the old smart phone over to the man. "Maybe I could call you, too? Just... in case I get hit by another car before we get to doing this again," he said with a small laugh.
d1gn17yChristian Hayes   351d ago

Christian was amused about the way Eachann couldn't quite believe it was him he was talking to and he couldn't hold back his chuckle as he watched him look behind. He shook his head softly, barely even noticeable if someone were to look at him and he finished his slice of pizza, grinning at the smile that found Eachann's face.

He was glad he said yes. Considering how things played out today there was every chance that he could have said no so they never had to see each other again. Even more so, he was glad that he was excited about it, even if he tried to hide it a little.

"Perfect." He said with a stunning smile.

When he handed his phone over he was quick to take it and punch in his number, saving it under his name. "I will always be here to save you from the cars." He chuckled as he handed the phone back to him. "Let me get the bill and then we will get going."

He rose from the booth and made his way over to the counter and settled the bill before leading Eachann back out to the car. "Do you know your way from here?"

Eachann could hardly keep the grin off his face, even as Christian paid for their meal. He swallowed the feelings that came with being broke and just sat in the fact that Christian wanted to see him again. He shoved his hands in his pockets and nodded. "Yeah," he told him, looking at the cross streets. "Used to run around a lot when I was younger," he said. They climbed back into Christian's car and Eachann directed him down the street.

It was only then that it hit him that this guy was about to see where he lived. The small house with the shingles falling off it... the paint all chipped and peeling and toys stewn about the yard. He told himself he shouldn't be embarrassed based on everything else Christian had seen that day, but he couldn't help wondering where he lived in comparison. A fancy loft probably?

And then he wondered if this had even been special to Christian in any way. Or was he always meeting men like this? Well... not by getting hit with cars, but in general. Surely, if he was a model. An influencer. He had plenty of people pining after him. There was no way this outing meant as much to Christian as it did to Eachann...

Eachann directed him home anyway and the car slowed to a roll outside of his house. He looked at the old dilapidated thing.

"Thanks again. For everything."
d1gn17yChristian Hayes   351d ago

"Wonderful!" He exclaimed as they climbed into the car and sure enough they were on their way back to the place that Eachann called home. It wasn't every day that Christian met a genuine guy who didn't have a personality and ego way too big for one person to handle. Eachann was a nice guy, normal and down to Earth and that is something Christian truly craved in his life.

Despite being in an industry full of posers, flirts and fakes, Christian was none of those things, nor could he ever see himself with a man who was any of those things. Eachann however, he gave him hope of something real even the potential of seeing him again filled him with happiness.

When he pulled up at the house he glanced over it and then smiled towards his passenger. "I'm glad you got home safe and in one piece. Please...do take it easy. If you think you hurt today, you wait until tomorrow!"

Eachann smiled at the warning and he nodded, opening the car door. "Yeah, don't remind me," he said with a chuckle. "I'll probably lay in bed all day tomorrow."

He closed the door and waved. Then felt a little foolish and headed for the door. When he got there he glanced back at the car and he couldn't help but notice how much isn't stuck out in this neighborhood.

He finally let himself inside and just as the door closed behind him his sister was shoving one of the twins into his arms. "Oh thank God you're here." She had two dressed, still on the hangers, around her neck. "Which one? Blue or green?"

"Blue. Between the accent and the red hair he'll think he's got a date with a leprechaun if you go with the green," he said, ignoring the sticky fingers on his face. The other twin went running through his legs.

Half an hour later and his sister was gone. His mother was crocheting (she could never handle the kids alone) and Eachann and the girls were on the couch watching Disney movies while his grandmother complained about the plots. He could wait to shower and check on his side again. And to at least shoot Christian a text... but for now he was weight down by toddlers.
d1gn17yChristian Hayes   347d ago

“Definitely rest up.” He said with a smile as he was Eachann climb out of the car. He waited until he made it to his front door before finally pulling off, offering him one final wave before peeling away from the curb.

Christian found himself with a smile for most of the ride home. It was unexpected meeting but he was glad he bumped into Eachann because he could tell that there was a lot more to him that he was showing. He was obviously shy and there were clearly things going on in his life that made him a little apprehensive to trust but Christian was a patient man. He just hoped that now he had Christian’s number, he would do something with it.

That night, Christian spent most of his time catching up with work e-mails, updating his social media profiles with a few posts, one which was really about Eachann but he doubted that he followed him.

[I Sometimes you meet the most wonderful people in life. Never be afraid to let people in.]

After that, he worked out a little and turned on the TV, hoping to just chill out for the rest of the evening.

[font "Times New Roman" Saoirse's date did not go well. Once again, the man wasn't interested in a young woman who already had kids. Eachann told her he was sorry and not to dwell on it before heading upstairs for his shower. No one noticed anything off with him. He assumed they all just thought he had a long day at work.

He went across the hall to his room- his only sanctuary in this house- and ran his hands through his hair. Unlike his sister, he wasn't blessed with the red hair of their mother. He got their father's mousy brown. But his eyes shone as blue as the rest of them. He looked in the mirror at his aging face and sighed. How long would it be until he had a place of his own? Was he going to die here? Taking care of his family?

He felt guilty at the thought and threw on some old sweatpants before letting himself fall into bed. It was far too early for sleep, but he needed his space to think about the day. Christian's face kept coming back to him and he eventually reached for the tired, chunky laptop that was somehow still kicking.

He stared at the empty google search bar for a moment trying to remember if Christian had ever told him his last name. Then he remembered he had given him his number and perhaps he put his full name in his phone. He grabbed for it and searched and there it was: Christian Hayes.

So he typed in the search bar:] [font consolas christian hayes manchester]

[font "Times New Roman" And there he was. A few articles. And a [i lot] of photos. The second link was apparently his instagram page, so he let himself take the plunge and clicked the link. He had to remember to breathe when the rows and rows of pictures of the gorgeous man he had just spend the day with filled his screen. Some scenery, some food photography, but a [i lot] of pictures of the man himself. Eachann bit his lip. He had never understood much of the "influencer" thing. How people could flock to a person just because they were attractive and had things they wanted, but Christian seemed more than that. There were a lot of pictures of him at pride events and charities. Things that told his audience he was far from shallow.

He clicked on one of these pictures, mostly because he wouldn't allow himself to indulge in staring at the photos of him half naked... yet.

[font consolas -the unicorn is at it again!
-wish i could meet him one day, but i dont live in manchester TT.TT can you come to america?
-Thanks for being you, Christian!]

The comments just kept going and going and as far as Eachann could tell, there were hardly any trolls. He returned to the main page and went back to the top where Christian had linked his other social media accounts. He clicked on the twitter icon and saw the most recent post.

[font consolas Sometimes you meet the most wonderful people in life. Never be afraid to let people in.]

The time stamp said two hours ago. And it already had an overwhelming amount of likes. This guy was the real deal. Eachann read it again and shook off the selfish feeling that it could have been about him. Surely he met several people every day. Fans that loved him and opened up to him. No one would make a post about a dumb Irish guy that ran into traffic.

Still, he couldn't help but remember how genuine and kind Christian was. He had to be younger than Eachann, but there was something about him, something in his way of speaking and way of handling stressful situations that had Eachann feeling like the young one. He felt rather foolish about that. But another part of him had felt a strange comfort the entire time they were together. Like Christian hadn't expected him to have his shit together just because he had a few lines on his face.

He clicked back to his instagram account and looked at the photos once more. He finally allowed himself to click on one where Christian's shirt was off and he was not surprised to see just how fit he was. He bit his lip. "You idiot," he muttered to himself. This is probably what all of his devoted fans did: drool over these pictures.

Just then his door opened and he slammed the laptop closed, though he wasn't really sure why. It's like he was looking at-

"Porn?" Saoirse asked, laughing.

"Wh- N-no! I-"

"Look, I just came here to get the laundry."

"How many times to I have to tell you people to knock?"

She grabbed his laundry basket. "You have any nasty socks I need to put in here?" she joked before leaving.

He ran for the door behind her. "I wasn't looking at porn!" He hissed loudly down the hallway after her.

He closed his door again, thought about locking it, but then realized that would only make her suspect more if she back, then groaned and laid back onto his bed. He needed to get out of here. He needed to stop living like he was in his twenties, but he had no idea where to start. If he could only have some kind of guidance... He missed his father. He would have told him how to be independent while also helping his family...

Christian managed to stand on his own. When he was much, much younger, too. So there had to be a way, right?

He looked opened the laptop and instagram was still open. Christian's picture looked back at him. Taunting him. Just daring him to do what he was thinking about. "No," he said to him through the picture. "I can figure it out on my own." He closed the laptop again much harder than he intended to. Then a second later he was reaching for his phone, unable to keep his word.

[font consolas Hey unicorn,] he typed, then thought. What did one say to someone they just met, who they found extremely attractive, who they also hoped might give them life advice? [font consolas Thanks again. For everything.] He almost hit send, then added. [font consolas This is Ian by the way.]
d1gn17yChristian Hayes   338d ago

Christian’s quiet evening was just that for a little while. He was able to switch off and enjoy the peace and quiet for an hour or so before his phone started to ring. He was incredibly surprised to see that his mother was calling him. Considering she had not reached out to him since he had left home, the action itself was quite a shock. He thought about answering it but there was something within him that just could not bring himself to have a conversation with her just yet.

Christian knew that his mother took things hard when Christian was forced to leave home and a part of him always wondered whether it was something she ever came to regret but she never once spoke out against it. She did not say anything to his father when he tossed his bags out onto the street, she simply let him close the door in his face and she had not tried to make contact with him even once.

His parent’s relationship was not perfect, no relationship was, but his mother never once disagreed with his father, even though there were times when it was obvious that he was wrong. He was not abusive by any means, but he made sure that his mother barely had a voice in the relationship. However, she was also quite passive, so in some respects it worked for them. In fact, some might have said that their relationship was very traditional in the sense that she stayed at home taking care of the house and he went to work to bring in the money. They were a very conservative family which is why it came as such a shock to learn that Christian wanted to pursue relationships with men. He was supposed to take over the family business. Accountancy was not something he was interested in, but his father’s words rang in his mind clearly.

[I “You expect me to allow a fag to bring down the family name. You are no longer a Ward. Do you hear me? Get the hell out of my house.”]

So, he made sure that he was no longer a Ward, changed his last name to Hayes and found himself in a career that he loved, and it really gave him a chance to be himself.

He glanced down at his phone and noticed that the phone had rang out and his mother had left a voicemail and even though every part of him wanted to delete the message and not listen to it, he dialled the number and let it play.

[I “Hi Christian, it’s me…your Mom. I know I am probably the last person on Earth that you want to hear from right now, but…I…I left your father. I won’t go into all the details because I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t care. I just wanted you to know how sorry I am for the way you were treated. I should have tried harder to accept you, to get your father to accept you and for that I have been living with the guilt for years. I’m not calling to make you feel sorry for me. I’m calling to apologise. If you never want to hear from me again, I wouldn’t blame you, but your sister and I moved out of the house.”] She paused to chuckle a little. [I “She’s been following you on Instagram and showed me everything you’ve been up to. I know this won’t mean a lot but we’re proud of you. I hope…”] At this point he knew that she was starting to well up with tears. [I “I hope you are willing to let us have a relationship with you, but I understand if that’s not the case. Don’t worry about returning my call tonight if you decide you want to talk. I love you son.”] The line went dead then, and Christian blinked a few times, tears he didn’t even know were forming fell down his cheek.

“Shit.” He wiped his eyes and stared at the phone for a minute. He didn’t really know what to do but he knew he needed time to process everything. Just as he was staring at the phone he noticed he had received a text from a number he hadn’t saved, and he swiped the screen to see who it was. He smiled a little when he saw it was Ian. For now, he pushed his emotions aside and hit reply.

[b Hey you! I was wondering if I was going to hear from you.
=) You have nothing to thank me for.
I really enjoyed myself.]

He hit send and sighed a little. “It’s been an eventful say that’s for sure.”

[font "Times New Roman" Eachann stared at his phone for a long moment after he sent the message, instant regret running through him. He never did this. He was a hermit.

He waited. And waited. And every second there was no reply felt like hours. What if there was protocol to this? Should he have waited until tomorrow to text him? What if he didn't really want to see him again and was just too nice to say so?

He remembered Christian's eyes and the kindness behind them and knew that couldn't be the case. He let his phone go black, trying to let himself relax. But then it buzzed in his hands and his heart jumped.

He read the words. He read them again. He enjoyed himself? Should he reply? Should he leave it at that for now? He chewed his lip. Then typed.

[font consolas That's surprising considering I really gave you a run for your money. ]

Then, in what he hoped to be an attempt at sounding playful, if not a little flirty, he added,

[font consolas Next time I promise not to be such a pain in the ass. ]
d1gn17yChristian Hayes   338d ago

Christian tried to forget about that message his mother had left for the time being. He knew that it would weigh heavy on him when he really needed to consider what to do next. He wasn’t the kind of person to turn is back on someone who appealed to him for some kind of relationship, but he also wanted to guard himself just in case he was simply opening himself up to get hurt again. Things in his life were good and the last thing he wanted was to complicate anything, especially if he was about to start dating.

He chuckled to himself at that thought, clearly jumping the gun there but when his phone buzzed with a reply with a little bit of a flirty tone, he didn’t feel so stupid for letting that thought cross his mind.

[b How about breakfast tomorrow? I know a good place for pancakes.
Surely you can’t be a pain in the ass first thing in the morning?]

He sent the message, hopeful that he would accept his invite. Perhaps he could even use him as a sounding board about his mother since he would likely understand his predicament.

[font "Times New Roman" The response came quicker this time and Eachann couldn't stop the grin from coming to his face when he read the message. This couldn't be real!

[font consolas You'd be surprised. I'm not a morning person. But if there are pancakes involved I suppose I can tone it down a bit. For you. What time?]

Before he could chicken out, he hit send and felt the heat come to his face. He was much braver through text it would seem. The smile refused to stay away. He got a second chance with the most amazing man he had ever met. This had to be a dream!

He went face first into his pillow and he wriggled around on his bed like a teen texting his crush for the first time.
d1gn17yChristian Hayes   338d ago

There was every chance that he was pushing things a bit with Eachann, that he probably only took his number to be polite, but his response would give him the answer he was looking for. If he declined, then he would not pursue things and the ball would be in his court but if he accepted, he would know that perhaps the connection he felt with him was a mutual connection.

His reply came through and the smile continued to spread across his face.

[b For me ey? I’m honoured.
How does 9 work for you? I could pick you up if you like!
Or we could be at Donna’s. Totally your call.]

He hit send and then sent another text as an afterthought.

[b I am looking forward to seeing you again.]

[font "Times New Roman" Eachann sat up straight when the reply came in. He chewed his lip once more, thinking. He didn't want to impose, but...

[font consolas I wouldn't mind a ride.]

He would have to get up even earlier if it meant grabbing public transport and he wanted to be honest with Christian. He didn't have a car and his bike was stolen two weeks prior. A new one was far too expensive.

[font consolas I'll see you at 9!]

Just as he sent this a new text came in and Eachann smiled even wider than before.

[font consolas ME too], he replied, not wanting to say any more and freak the guy out.

He set his phone aside, knowing that would probably be the end of that, and went about getting ready for bed. The smile did not sleeve his face and he could barely sleep that night due to the nervous jitters in his stomach. But they were a new feeling. A happy kind of uncertain.

The next morning Eachann took another shower despite having taken one the night before. He wanted to make a better impression on Chriatian than he had the day before. Instead of the ripped jeans and sweatshirt, he put on his nicest pair of dark trousers and a black t-shirt. He rolled the sleeves up a couple times just to show off the little bit of muscle he [i did] have. After tugging on his boots and jacket, he checked his watch. He was ready far too early. His nerves got the better of him. He stepped outside and onto the front porch without waking his family. They would think he had just gone off to work.

He looked at his mother's flowers in the front garden and decided they could use a little sprinkle of water, so he grabbed the hose and watered them as he waited for Christian to pull up. Or to call and say he was no longer interested...
d1gn17yChristian Hayes   338d ago

With plans solidified, Christian placed his phone on charge and got himself ready for bed. The shower helped refresh him a little and he put all the thoughts of his mother to one side for this evening in the hope that Eachann might be able to offer his ear tomorrow. He pulled on his boxers, brushed his death and ran his fingers through his hair and looked at his reflection for a moment, considering whether he wanted to let his hair grow out again or not. For the first time though, he considered whether Eachann would like that or not. He laughed and shook his head before making his way to bed and considering everything, he slept pretty well that night.

His alarm woke him in the morning and he went about his usual routine. He showered again, shaped his beard and styled his hair all before he chose what clothes to wear. He eventually settled in a pair of dark blue jeans and a white shirt, leaving the top two buttons undone and the sleeves rolled up a little. He slide some Converse on and grabbed a jacket in case it was cold and he made sure he had his wallet and car keys before heading out to the car.

It was a little early but he figure he could just drive around the block a couple of times if he was too early. He remembered the way from the day before and when he pulled up he noticed Eachann in the garden watering some plants.  He smiled to himself as he slowed down and lowered the window.

"Morning sunshine." He said with a grin.

[font "Times New Roman" Eachann smiled to himself as he watered the flowers and it only widened when he heard the voice call out to him. The term of endearment made his heart skip. He turned and shielded his eyes from the sun with his free hand.

"Mor'in Unicorn," he said, his accent always a little stronger when he was still groggy. He turned away to turn off the hose and tried not to run with excitement to the road to meet Christian.

He leaned against the open window of the car, still grinning. He couldn't stop, even if only to make himself seem more put together. "You're early," he said, looking at his watch. He was glad he wasn't the only one ready to start the day.

He looked over Christian's face and it was as perfect as ever. Ever beard hair was in place and his eyes still seemed to see right through him. Eachann wanted to run his hands through his hair...

He blinked the thoughts away before the man could see them written on his face and finally rounded the car to climb into the passenger seat.
d1gn17yChristian Hayes   338d ago

He was a little early but that didn't matter when it was clear that Eachann was up and about and ready for the day. He took a minute to take in his appearance, granted from behind but he couldn't deny that he looked good. His jeans fit him perfectly and the shirt wasn't too loose on him. He smiled when he turned to face him and met him with his strong accent.

"Oh wow, so you're calling me Unicorn as well huh?" He grinned a little and looked at the clock. "You're right I am. I just couldn't brush my hair another time. I can go around the block one more time if you like?" He said, his voice laced with humor.

However, it seemed he decided against that and climbed into the passenger seat. "I'm not going to lie... I can't wait for these pancakes. They are my favourite and I've been waiting for an excuse to go." He said as he put the car into drive and started towards the cafe.

"You look good." He glanced over at him and smiled.

[font "Times New Roman" "Nah, that's alright," Eachann said when he climbed in. "I don't mind the extra time," he said with a little smile in his direction, ignoring the comment about his hair since it only made him want to touch it even more.

He started to drive and talked about pancakes and Eachann thought a moment. "I can't remember the last time I had breakfast out. I usually wind up forgetting to eat it all together," he confessed. It was so easy to be honest around Christian. Sometimes so easy it scared him.

And then the compliment came and Eachann could feel the blush hit is ears. His ears that were a little to big for his face. The ears that Christian would no doubt notice were turning red.

"You too," he said, softer than he intended, but the breath was taken from him. It was the truth, though. He looked like a damn angel in that white shirt. He tried not to stare at his forearms as he drove.

Eachann felt like his heart was about to burst through his chest. He tried to think of something to say. Anything!

"I have a confession," he finally said and glanced over at Christian. "I... looked you up last night," he chuckled softly.
d1gn17yChristian Hayes   338d ago

Christian concentrated on the road for the most part, occasionally glancing over at Eachann when he spoke. He was the same with his busy schedule, always forgetting to eat breakfast and then trying to make up for it around lunch time.

"I haven't had breakfast out in a long time either. It will be nice to just chill out and not think about work. Day off for me today." He grinned and little and noticed the redness come across his face after the compliment but he didn't comment in it in case it made him worse.

He raised his brow a little when he told him he had looked him up. "Oh you did? What did you come across? My Instagram? Did you find anything embarrassing?" He asked genuinely curious to hear his perspective about his online presence.

"I have to admit that I'm on social media a lot. I'm sure a picture of our pancakes will end up on my Insta later. Do you have any accounts?"

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