smushedgrapes



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  1. Rec *

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    The thing about being a thousand years old was that years didn’t feel very long anymore; they were an over-produced commodity. The years of studying at al-Azhar wouldn’t feel like much at all to him now, but back then, they’d lasted centuries, and perhaps it was because all the time he spent without Nicky felt interminable, even before he’d known who it was he was missing. He’d carried with him a vague and inexplicable sense that he was waiting for something to begin, though he knew not what.

    ***

    “I think I was in love with you before I knew you.”

    Nicky laughed into the corner of Joe’s jaw, breath tickling his neck. After all these years, he’d memorized the shape of Nicky’s nose, the sensation of his stubble at every stage of unshavenness, absolutely every imaginable corner and contour of his body, and the more he knew it the more he loved it, like an old favorite song that developed new layers of meaning every time you listened. “Always the poet.”

    “I really do think so, though,” Joe chuckled. “I die of love for you,” he said, switching to old Arabic, quoting Abū Nuwās. “And then I return to life so I can kiss you one more time,” he continued. His own words.

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    18 Oct 2020

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  2. Rec 25

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    They spend their days picking up odd jobs to earn their keep in their rented room. Yusuf usually finds work in the dockyards, the bright mix of languages and kind of physical labor that leaves you feeling comfortably sore a welcome reminder of the youth he’d left behind. He finds that his thoughts drift to the warm mornings he’d spent with his family before his father would board another ship and set out across the world. He thinks fate is kind, that such mornings would eventually lead him to where he is now.

     

    Nicolò finds rougher jobs, a hired blade for merchants transporting precious goods, or posted outside by those renting rooms to throw out anyone getting too unruly. These jobs leave his bedroll empty until the dark hours of the morning when he finally slips into their room and lays down, always between Yusuf and the door. Yusuf notices he’s taken to sleeping with a dagger under his pillow, as well. He figures there must be a kind of paranoia that settles into the bones of men like Nicolò, who spend their days on edge, figures that mindset must be hard to break out of.

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    17 Oct 2020

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  3. Rec 23

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    Joe and Nicky meet during the 3rd grade Halloween party; it takes Nicky entirely too long to realize that Joe's courting him, but some things are worth waiting for.

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    254
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    16 Oct 2020

    Bookmarker's Notes

    cute!

  4. Rec 78

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    Because it’s only been nearly a year, and Nicky's yearned for the man for longer, way before they got together. And even with all the odds, with all the numbers combined, Nicky doesn’t believe that there’ll be enough time that can pass to heal the pain that’s clawing on his chest at that moment. That has been since Yusuf said it was over.

    Nile’s legs move from his lap, and suddenly there are arms around him, pulling him close and Nicky closes his eyes, pressing his face on Nile’s neck.

    “You’re allowed to hurt as long as you have to, Nicky,” Nile says to him, and it’s so, so kind. “You can tell me as much or as little as you can. I didn’t mean to push.”

    “I still love him,” he croaks out, like it needed to be heard, like his desperation is a call out for his heart. His heart that let him go, that told him that it’s over.

    ***

    or the one where Nicky is housemates with Nile after Yusuf breaks up with him. And when he finally opens up about it, Nicky realizes that his current predicament was brought on by misunderstandings and good intentions with ill results. But it’s too late. It’s been nearly a year; it doesn’t matter now.

    Right?

    Not if your housemate is Nile Freeman.

    Language:
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    12 Oct 2020

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    Bookmarker's Notes

    yessss

  5. Rec *

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    He shoves his hands into the pockets of his coat as he makes his way towards the neighborhood where Joe and his research assistant will be living for the next four months, and steadfastly tries not to think about how the contact file on his phone that used to read "Dr. Yusuf Al-Kaysani (Jerusalem)" now simply reads "Joe". Or how there is now a photo attached to that contact file, which means whenever Joe calls him Nicolò’s phone screen lights up with a selfie of Joe in a backwards baseball cap on a sunny day somewhere in Bloomsbury.

     

    In which Nicky reaches an understanding with God and leaves the priesthood for love.

    Language:
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    09 Oct 2020

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    Bookmarker's Notes

    yes. that's it. that's my thought.