He had done hardly any gigs for years. Gigs brought back too many memories of a time when he’d been full of hope and full of energy, when drugs hadn’t been a health disaster, when he recovered from a hangover in a couple of hours. When he hadn’t got the virus. After he’d got the results of the test back, for a while he’d contemplated killing himself. It had all seemed pointless—all the adulation, the fame, the screaming fans—if it led to this. But he’d met Jonathan, at one of the clinics he’d been bullied into attending. Jonathan was much sicker than he was, but he showed no self pity, no depression, no grief. In the last week of Jonathan’s life, Tom had spent every day and practically every night next to Jonathan’s bed, holding his hand, singing old Tom Falloway and other songs to him, softly so that the other AIDS patients weren’t kept awake. In his last lucid moments before he slipped into the death coma, Jonathan said to him, “Will you live, Tom? For me? I’ll go easier if I know you’re going to.” Unable to speak, his tears dripping onto Jonathon’s hand, Tom had nodded.
After that he’d stopped doing gigs, except for AIDS-related concerts, which he always did for free. There were posters in the pub for AIDS awareness, for safe sex, for condoms. In The Lord Grey, there were free condoms. Everyone knew that, and the staff were told that if they saw two guys getting amorous they were to hand them out.
At first he and Keith had used condoms, but he’d insisted Keith go and be tested, and when he’d tested positive, Tom’d been glad in a way, which made him feel ashamed about his selfishness. It meant that they could make love without bothering to stop and put on cock-jackets. But Keith had been bitter about it, about being forced onto the streets, and catching the virus, and it had taken a while for Tom to coax him round. He’d urged Keith to put aside the past, and live in the now. “We’re happy together, aren’t we?” he’d said. “Forget your dog of a dad. Be happy for what ya have, naow.”
“Ya’ve been thinkin’ hard, Tom? Ya OK?”
“Yeah. Just thinkin’ abaht us. How lucky it was I found ya, that noight.” Tom didn’t want to tell the whole truth. Maybe Keith was about to find someone to love. He didn’t want to stand in his way. He knew that whether they fucked or not, they would still be connected. Someone you took in and allowed and encouraged to grow would move on as they grew up. In a way, Tom had been Keith’s father or older brother, the older man who showed him how to be a man. The thin-lipped and judgemental might see things differently. But Tom loved Keith, and he wanted the best for him. He’d never told Keith how much money he had, nor that, apart from substantial bequests to the AIDS hospice and a couple of gay charities, it had all been left to him. And like a teenager, Keith had grown enough to move on, to fly from the nest. Tom just hoped he would still stay in touch, still love him.
From time to time, Tom’s eyes would connect with one of his customers and he’d take him home for sex, but he never let any of these relationships go beyond the first night. Now that his hormonal fires had burnt down, he wanted love. And he got that from Keith.
“How did they react when ya taold them you were positive?”
Keith had pulled up his boxers and jeans and was leaning against the door frame doing up his Levi’s buttons.
He looked up. “Ya daon’t have ta worry, Tom. Oi taold them. Loik we should. Jason was totally thraown. But he worked hard at not shaowing it. He’s a good blaoke, Tom.”
“He hasn’t got a visa, love. One of these days he’ll go back ta England.”
“… ya knew he didn’t have a visa ?”
“… ‘Course. Oi daon’t mind. He works hard, despoit bein’ from the top drawer. I met that toype when I was with the band. The Hooray Henrys, and Spandy Pams. All charm and butterin’ up, till they’re with their friends, then ya count fa nothin’.”
“Yeah, maybe.” Keith met Tom’s eyes. “But maybe with him it’s different. He’s had a bad toim, because he didn’t stick by his blaoke. And … well … I reckon he’s learnt his lesson.”
“Oi daon’t want ya ta get hurt, Keith-babe, that’s all.”
“I know, Tom.” He went over to Tom, still in the executive chair, his jeans now buttoned up again, and kissed him. “I love ya, Tom. Always.”
When Jason reached Majorca Flats, Eleanor Cumberledge was making tea.
“Morning, Jason. How are you?”
“Very well, thank you Mrs …uh … Eleanor. And you?”
“Good.” Eleanor smiled at him, and Jason could see she knew he’d spent the night out, and wasn’t going to ask about it. “Would you like some tea?”
“I’d love some. Thank you.” Mrs Cumberledge took down a second cup from the dresser and put it on the tray next to the teapot. They went outside and sat on the back verandah, the little garden a haven of greenery and peace. Jason sat a bit further away from Mrs Cumberledge than usual, conscious that he smelled of sex and sweat and needed a shower.
They sat for a moment or two in silence then Jason said, “I lost it a bit, rather, last night. I was thinking of Brent, and I … cried.”
“I don’t think the grief ever goes away, Jason. I still think of Bart often. I miss him every day.” She hummed a snippet from La Traviata, absent-minded. Then her sharp gaze was back on his face. “Don’t keep on feeling guilty. That’s important.”
“I did wrong,” he said simply.
“I know. As long as you learn from it. I’m an old woman. Will you believe me when I tell you that we all make mistakes? Some of them terrible. I’ve told you about Bart.”
“Yes. But you blame yourself. Don’t you?”
Mrs Cumberledge nodded. “But I don’t let that destroy me. I won’t. I try and make amends by making the world a better place.”
“You know, Mrs … uh, Eleanor, I think you’d like my grandmother. She’s amazing. I wish you could meet her.”
“Would she come and visit, do you think?”
“I’m sure she would. She’s been threatening to do just that.”
“Well, she could stay here with us, if you’d like that. There’s a spare room, but it’s on the first floor. Could she cope with the stairs?”
“Oh yes. Her house is double-storeyed. She’s pretty fit for someone her age.”
“You mean someone my age?”
He grinned at her. “She’s one of my favourite people. She’s funny and kind and nice without being soppy. She and my sister were the only members of my family who really accepted Brent.”
“She’s very welcome to stay for a while here. Why don’t you write to her and ask her to stay?”
Jason reflected that Mrs Cumberledge had no idea that he had fled here and that he would rather remain incognito, and then wondered perversely whether she didn’t after all have some suspicions.
“I will,” he said. He stretched his legs out into the patch of sun on the veranda floorboards. His grief for Brent remained a black hole in him, but he knew now that he could live with it. Sometimes the black hole would seem vast and very threatening, but he knew he could survive that too. For he had friends: Luigi and Keith and Esmé, Graeme, and Eleanor Cumberledge. And maybe he could see his grandmother and his sister too. The past was the past, but now was good.
The watcher adjusted his binoculars to get a better focus on Jason’s legs and crotch. What a delicious little twink he was, with his blond hair and blue eyes and sportsman’s body. He would be perfect. His mouth was dry with anticipation. He wanted to feel that lithe, beautiful body underneath him, to thrust into it again and again, and afterwards to …
Keeping one hand on the binoculars, he reached down with the other into his pants and began to stroke. Slowly. The process had only just begun. He intended to enjoy it to the utmost. This would be the best one yet.
My darling Jason,
I feel so with it to be writing emails. The other day when Lady Fitstone, Gladys Grantham and Honoria Jimbleton (you do know them all, I think) came to play bridge, well I was boasting a little about writing emails so Janet Fitstone asked me in that sharp way she has who I was writing to, as if it were any of her business the nosy cat, and I was so taken with my hand (of cards I mean, not my real hand, you know how wrinkly and crinkly that’s got) that I said you, so she said, where is he, her little piggy eyes sparkling with curiosity just exactly like Mr Minim does when he smells my breakfast bacon, all greed and glitter, but fortunately I was alerted by then so I said oh you hadn’t said precisely, which is quite true, since you didn’t give a street address, but that I rather thought that perhaps you’d gone to stay with your nanny in France, and was it Aubeterre or Bredy-la-Falaise, I wasn’t quite sure? That’s a dreadfully long sentence but it all came out in a rush. So next thing that tiresome women gets on the blower to her friend Emma Whitehouse who tells your mother and next thing she phones all in a bate about where you are and are you all right, and I gave her the same story. So silly: if you had wanted to write to her you would have. I hope I shan’t go to hell for telling a few white lies, but the Church does say that in time of war it is acceptable to lie, though I didn’t discuss it with Canon Green because he’s likely to disapprove such a moral old stick but quite dear really and it is rather war-like here with your mother and father.
Luckily none of the others noticed because Honoria spilt her gin all over herself just then and Parker had to come in and sponge her down. Really she’d getting quite dithery (Honoria I mean, not Parker who is as crisp as ever and so formidob and by the way sends her regards, by which I think she means her love, odd woman) but come to think of it she (Honoria I mean, dear me this is getting so complicated) was always dithery even when she was a girl with me at school.
Anyway, I hope no harm’s done. But your mother came round (!!) and asked me to persuade you to tell me where you are and then insisted that I would have to tell her when I had found out. As if she could insist to me. So I went all vague and dithery myself and when she left I heard her telling Parker sotto voce that I wasn’t quite myself by which she meant that I was getting senile. It’s a miracle to me that I should like and love you and Amanda and Mark so much when I simply do not get on with your mother. Anyway I try to be civil to her for your sakes but I cannot forgive her for the way she treated you and Brent, in fact it makes my blood boil which is probably a bad thing because then I’ll have a stroke and then what will happen?
Must go now, it’s time for Mr Minim’s walk, and he’s looking at me all doleful and drooping.
Your email made me laugh. I could just picture Lady Fitstone quizzing you. She used to do that to me you know, when we were allowed to come to your parties during the hols and she would ask all sorts of questions. It could be embarrassing. She wanted to know about girlfriends and who was my best friend and what I wanted to be when I grew up and stuff like that. You know how shy I was. I would just mumble and race off as soon as I could. Thank you for writing. Don’t worry about letting it slip that you’re in contact with me. Just tell Amanda not to let on that she’s also talking to me. Mother would pop a blood vessel if she knew, and I don’t think Amanda can stand up to her like you can.
The lady I’m staying with, Mrs Eleanor Cumberledge, is really awfully nice. I think you’d like her very much. Anyway, yesterday we were talking and she invited you to come and stay. She has a spare room on the first floor, and she’s not a normal sort of landlady at all. Sometimes I wonder why she rents my room to me. Anyway, I could come and pick you up from the airport and you could stay here the whole time, or else we (or you!) could go sightseeing. I think my visa conditions will mean I have to leave the country soon (though I can come back after) so maybe we can go to New Zealand.
What do you think?
Jason my dear,
What a wonderful plan. I phoned British Airways and booked a seat immediately for next week and Parker said I should fly instead on one of those Middle Eastern airlines because they have cabins just like they used to have on the trains in Europe you know the Wagon-Lits but I don’t want to fly with some airline that’s full of terrorists though Parker told me not to be silly and said they’re no worse than us Christians though they wear that hijab thing the women I mean so I don’t know. In any case the young lady at British Airways assured me that the seat reclines completely and it’s very comfortable and I expect they will ply me with champagne though as you know I never have more than one watery gin. Anyway I booked it for next week, and then I thought to check just as well really because I need a passport. Of course, you knew that, and you did mention visas but I thought Australia was part of the Commonwealth and we’re all in this together aren’t we with the Queen and stuff. Anyway I phoned the minister in a positive bate to try and get it all done chop-chop and they wouldn’t put me through so I mentioned my full name and said I would phone Lillibet only I called her by her full name and did my icy polite haughtiness though I know I shouldn’t in these times what with Labour and The Greens and those Scottish Nationalists but when I put the phone down it rang five minutes later and it was the minister whose son was at school with you it turns out and I was very gracious and said that I simply had to go urgently abroad to visit my Dear Friend Eleanor Cumberledge and I hadn’t had a passport since your grandfather died since in those days you could travel on your husband’s passport and he bowed and scraped I could hear it over the phone I ask you but pulling strings worked. Parker organised photos it was such fun at a chemist I felt quite giggly and excited like a schoolgirl. I decided not to bring Parker but gave her a holiday and a present to pay for it and said the only condition is that she has to look after Mr Minim and I know he’ll pine but he adores her almost as much as me and anyway really I think he’s just after my bacon. Well you know what I mean. So she’s taking the car and driving down to her sister’s holiday cottage in Cornwall though it’s winter but Parker says she adores the sea especially on that side of Cornwall where you get the Atlantic breakers. I just hope that all those waves and winter storms don’t sweep poor Mr Minim and Parker away like mermaids.
Now I’m waiting with bated breath for the passport to arrive. The photos made me look like a Chinese madam in a Brothel but that’s Officialdom for you I could have got that nice man who did Mark’s photos to do mine but they have to be done specially according to Parker so I look like death warmed up. If they arrest me because I don’t look like the photos at all I shall have to go on a hunger strike or something like those prisoners.
Such a long email I’m getting so good at it it feels like second nature but anyway I wanted to tell you that I’ll be getting there next week. On Thursday. I’ll send you another email as soon as my new passport arrives with all the details.
Luigi couldn’t get Jason and Keith out of his head. He felt that he was falling in love with the one and in lust with the other. Or was it the other way round? He smiled at his silliness.
After telling them all about Cody he felt better than he’d done for a long time. Their casual acceptance of him, with all his effeminate gestures, his obvious gayness, his complete unstraightness, warmed his heart. After Cody, he’d often felt indifferent to life, even after his deep depression had passed. Life was so pointless, so dull. Nothing seemed to matter. But when he stopped going to the gay help line, too depressed to get up, his colleague Stephen had rung him up and invited himself round for coffee. Luigi had expected pity and a jolly hockey-sticks encouragement. Instead, Stephen had said, simply, after they’d exchange pleasantries, “They need you Luigi. They miss you. You were doing good. That’s all we can do, you know, in a shitty world. Try and make it better.”
Luigi had nodded. He’d been close to tears. His grandmother had kept on trying to cheer him up, but though he’d put on a face for her, he’d still not felt right inside. Stephen, though, had jolted him out of his rut. It was no good saying he wouldn’t again feel anger or grief or loss, for he knew enough now to know he would, maybe always. So he’d gone back to work, and step by step, things had got better. Talking to Keith and Jason, and being accepted by them had quickened the process.
When Luigi’s phone rang and he saw that the number of the caller wasn’t in his address book, he almost didn’t answer, afraid that it might be Cody using someone else’s phone. Ready to disconnect immediately, he put the phone to his ear.
“Luigi? It’s Jason! Yours is the first phone number I put in my phone. I went out and bought a phone. So I’m connected to the world! Well, to you and Keith anyway.”
“At last. So old fashioned, Jace, not to have a phone. I mean … your admirers can’t get in touch!” Luigi found himself smiling even though he knew Jason couldn’t see it. “Whassup?”
“Nothing much. I just feel … part of the world again. Thank you, Lou, for … you know … the other night.”
“You’d do as much for me. You did as much.”
“Yes, well.” Jason was embarrassed. “Anyway. So how about we get together some time?”
“The Lord Grey is closed on Mondays. Are you working that night?”
“I can switch with someone. Will Keith be there?”
“Well, yeah … don’t you want him to come along?”
Jason sounded worried.
“Oh. No of course. I’d like him there. He’s a top bloke.”
Jason lowered his voice. “Even if you end up topping him?”
Luigi laughed. “You dill. A top bloke means a good man, a nice man. Anyway, you shouldn’t talk sex on the phone. It’s illegal.”
“I knew that.” Jason put on an Inspector Clouseau accent. “Illegal, huh? What undies are you wearing?”
“Oh yeah! You were wearing one on our first time. Hot, hot, burning hot incandescent Lou, sex star, sex god. Even better than the Superman trunks.” Jason lowered his voice still more. “I want to slide it off you and reach round in front and give your prick …”
Despite himself, Luigi was getting hard. “Jace, I’m on the street. And I …”
“ … and then I want to …”
Luigi laughed out loud again. “OK, OK, I get the picture. Jason, I’m closing this phone now. Behave!”
Luigi could hear Jason laughing at his end of the line. “I’ll be in touch! You can’t escape me, thong-man!”
They were going to go to another gay pub perhaps a mile away from The Lord Grey on a street which ran parallel to their street . It was called The Lambs Go Bar. Keith assured them it was a “mixed” pub, and no one minded gay couples, hand-in-hand or kissing.
“It’ll be nice to get away from here,” he said to Jason. “You and Luigi will loik it.”
Jason and Keith had worked together for several days after they’d spent the night together with Luigi at Keith’s flat. Jason had been afraid there would be awkwardness, but it had been the opposite. Sometimes Keith would touch him on his torso or his bum as he passed, and they always kissed when they met or parted, but there was a link between them now which was not quite one of lovers but was closer than mere friends. Jason caught himself admiring Keith’s bum as he bent over a table to reach glasses and bottles from the far side. When their eyes met, Jason would find himself enjoying the chocolate warmth of Keith’s. He hadn’t forgotten that Keith was positive, but he no longer felt the abject terror he’d felt when he’d first heard about it. He trusted that there was lots of stuff they could do which wasn’t particularly risky. At the internet café he researched AIDS and the risks of infection. There had been a time when he would have run a mile in the other direction. But Brent’s suicide, and all that had happened before and after had hardened him. Besides, he was fond of Keith. More than fond. He wanted to please him and make him happy.
One day, walking home to Majorca Flats, Jason deliberated very carefully whether he was falling in love. He didn’t think so. Yes, he was very partial to Keith, but he liked Luigi too, and what’s more, he found Luigi intensely arousing and desirable. When he pulled his wire in the shower every morning, he imagined himself with both the others, with himself in the middle of a threesome and Luigi doing him while he did Keith. Or of Luigi in the middle with himself on one side and Keith on the other.
Truth to tell though, he was beginning to feel a strong need for sex again when they set off together from Keith’s flat to The Lambs Go Bar. He was filled with the prickly excitement of a second date.
The Lambs Go Bar was a small Victorian pub, much smaller than The Lord Grey, but very charming, full of what looked like the original stained glass and oak settles.
Keith had been correct: the clientele were very different to The Lord Grey’s. There were mixed couples as well as groups of women on their own. But there were also a few gay couples, too. He admired one man wearing baggy diaphanous harem pants with a fluorescent green thong underneath, sandals with turned up tips like something from 19th century Istanbul, and a skin-tight T-shirt. You could see that his nipple rings and a stud in his belly button through the thin cotton. He was with a man still in his tradie gear, dusty blundstone boots, torn Hard Yakka pants and a T-shirt which had clearly seen better days. His shoulders were like cannon-balls, and he had a bit of a tummy. Jason didn’t know which he found sexier.
Keith noticed where he was looking. “Yeah. Interesting couple, huh? But I bet the blaoke in the gauzy pants doesn’t go out loik that unless he’s with Mr Hunk next to him.”
“No,” said Luigi. “Not even here just off Smith Street. There are still a lot of blokes who feel threatened by guys like him. Or like me.”
“Partly it’s self confidence,” replied Keith. “If ya look strong and full a shit, those drongoes will leave ya alone. If ya look timid an’ fearful, they’ll go for ya. Arseholes. I had to learn to fight those fucktards when I was on the streets. But I got beaten up a few times. They think it proves they’re real men when they beat up a homo.”
“Yeah. I’ve got beaten up a few times too,” Luigi said. “That’s why I don’t like straights.”
“Lou, those blaokes who beat us up, they’re fuckin’ gay. Ya knaow that, roight? They hate themselves. They hate bein’ gay. So they take it out on us. If they beat us up they feel better, they feel stright again. It’s complete bullshit, we all knaow that, but they jus’ daon’t … they feel rotten inside.”
“They act straight.”
“Yeah. But beatin’ up homos is a dead give-away.”
Jason didn’t know what to say. At school he’d been safe because of his cricketing prowess. It didn’t hurt that he was good at rugby too. He’d never bullied others but he also hadn’t intervened when he’d seen it done, and suddenly he felt a deep shame at that and an equal anger at those who hurt others because of their own demons.
He didn’t know how to explain what he felt, so he slipped his arm round Luigi and kissed him. Then he turned to Keith, on his other side, and kissed him too. When he turned to look at the tradie and his boi, he saw they were both smiling slightly at the three of them. The tradie raised his glass in greeting. Jason nodded and smiled in return. Brent would like this pub, I must bring him here, he thought, and then remembered. His eyes filled with tears, and letting go of both Keith and Luigi, he surreptitiously wiped his eyes on his sleeve.
“You OK, Jace?” asked Luigi, his face solemn and concerned.
The beer was beginning to go to their heads.
Luigi was feeling mellow and relaxed. He felt safe here with his friends. He didn’t, for the time being anyway, feel the need to look out for straight blokes to pick up. He was with two blokes who looked and acted straight, except in bed or, with Keith, when he was being over the top gay and deliberately putting on an act. And he liked them and they liked him. He missed Cody so much. But Cody was in the past now. He had Keith and Jason. And while it wasn’t the magic of full-flushed romance, it was good.
Keith was entirely happy. He was with his friends, and they would have sex later. What more could you want? He was half in love with Jason. He liked Jason very much, and he also found him very attractive. He knew how easily he fell in love with anyone who was kind to him, and it was even worse if they were also a hunk. Jason was most definitely a hunk, all manly beauty with a sportsman’s body. He knew he should be careful not to get too close to Jason. Tom was right. Jason would move on, one of these days. He looked past Jason at Luigi, flushed with the alcohol and the company, and thought of sex later, the three of them together. He admired Luigi’s shiny black eyes and his olive complexion and imagined his teeth grazing the bar and ring in Luigi’s nipples.
And Jason couldn’t stop himself from touching the others often. It felt good to put his hand on Keith’s back, to touch Luigi’s arm. He wanted to kiss them both. He didn’t know whether this was mere affection or love, but any road, he desired them and liked them. It wasn’t the same as it had been with Brent. Perhaps no relationship ever would be again. But it would have to do. And it was far better than nothing.
Stumbling a little, they left the bar at about eleven. That was early for Keith and Jason but Luigi had to work the next day. The air was warm and still, the last warm days of summer. Already the leaves on the plane trees were yellowing and browning, and the rose bushes in the tiny city gardens were starting to look bedraggled, worn out by summer. But it was full moon and her light etched the shadows into indigo and lit the roads and pavements with silver and white.
At Keith’s flat they didn’t even bother to drink tea or alcohol but fell upon each other at once. Jason was kissing Luigi, his tongue exploring Luigi’s mouth while behind him Keith was pressed against his back nibbling his neck, his hands brushing against Jason’s nipples. He started undoing the buttons on Jason’s shirt, and slipped his hand between Jason’s warm hard stomach and his jeans. He squeezed Jason’s junk, and bit him gently on the neck at the same time. Jason turned round. Keeping one hand on Luigi, he kissed Keith back. He lowered his head and bit Keith’s nipples through the cotton of Keith’s T-shirt.
Luigi reached around Jason and started undoing the buttons of Jason’s jeans. As he undid each button, he kissed Jason on the back of his neck and stroked Jason’s sixpack. “I want you to fuck me straightboy.”
Keith knelt in front of Jason and helped Luigi undo the last button on Jason’s jeans. He tugged the jeans down and started sucking Jason’s junk through the cotton of Jason’s trunks. Jason groaned, “Not so quick, Key, I’m going to cum! Slowdown!”
Keith ignored him, and pulling Jason’s trunks down to his knees, took his cock into his mouth. Behind Jason, Luigi slipped his tongue down the cleft of Jason’s bum, and Jason felt the warm muscular tip of Luigi’s tongue lick his ring and then enter him. Unable to stop himself, he came at once. Keith swallowed his cum and looked up at him. His eyes were dark with lust. He stood up and kissed Jason. Luigi stood up too, and also kissed him.
Jason tasted himself in the other men’s mouths.
“Let’s go through to the bedroom,” suggested Keith.
Dropping his clothes in the lounge-room, he led the way through to his bedroom. He lay face down on the bed and said, his voice muffled by the pillows, “The cock jackets and lube are in the top drawer.”
Jason fetched two condoms and the tube of lube, and gave one condom to Keith and Luigi. He was too soft to put on a condom, and anyway, he had jizz all over his cock. It wouldn’t be safe even if he did put on a condom. Luigi started to kiss the muscles of Keith’s back, tracing the line of his spine with his tongue, all the way from the vulnerable hollow at the back of his neck to the curves of his bum. He bit each glute softly. Keith ground out, “Jeez, Lou, fuck me now!”
“With pleasure,” whispered Luigi.
He snapped the condom onto his cock and lubed it up. He slid into Keith gently, carefully. He didn’t want to hurt Keith. Or break the condom. He started to move inside the other man, sitting upright. Jason lay down next to Keith and turned his head towards him and started kissing him.
Keith was surprised how big Luigi was. Luigi managed to angle each thrust just right, and tremors of intense pleasure swam through Keith’s body each time Luigi pushed into him. His mouth was being plundered by Jason, and his arse by Luigi. He hadn’t been this turned on since he and Tom had first started fucking.
Keith climaxed first and as his ring clenched convulsively round Luigi’s cock, Luigi came too. They collapsed into a heap on the bedclothes.
“That was good,” said Luigi.
“Just good? Not earth-shattering? Heavenly? Out of this world?” Keith had rolled over and was facing up, his eyes warm with affection and amusement.
“Don’t want to give you a swollen head,” said Luigi, cradling Keith’s head as he said this, and kissing him on his forehead.
“You already did!” replied Keith smirking.
“Other head, numpty!”
Keith pretended to be downcast.
“Since you were in such a hurry just now, Jace, I think it’s your turn again,” Keith said, turning towards Jason on his other side.
Jason leaned over and kissed him and then kissed Luigi’s fingers and hand because he couldn’t reach his face. “Indeed! What are you guys waiting for, then? C’mon! ”