Chapter 1: The first meeting.
"Are you sure that I have to come as well?" Erik Lehnsherr asked for the millionth time that day, even while speeding up to keep the pace next to his fiancee. The answer he got in return was a scoff and a roll of eyes, and he smiled a little bit to himself; sometimes Magda was so easy to piss off.
It was a sunny day, the wind cold and unforgiving, despite the sunrays that were glistening on the snow-covered sidewalks. He was feeling rather chilly although he was bundled up in various layers of clothing and the fact that Magda woke him up at eight in the fucking morning just to go with her to that appointment with the fucking wedding planner didn't help him.
Erik was hungry, cold and still sleepy, only managing to take two mouthfuls of bitter, cold coffee before they left. He needed something warm and full of caffeine as soon as possible.
Magda stopped abruptly, making him slide wobbly on the ice and he cursed under his breath. She huffed a snort of laughter and gestured with her head to the tall, glass-only building that was presenting itself in front of them. Erik gaped. It was an architectural beauty! His artist heart was starting to warm up.
They got through the security quickly, each getting cards labeled with a boring VISITATOR hanging around their neck. A sweet-looking old lady pointed them to the elevators on the right, telling them to press the button for the 13th floor.
Magda was typing furiously on her phone while Erik sat slumped against the wall of the elevator. A quick look in the mirror told him that he was bordering the line between a successful architect and hobo; all bundled up in his coat and scarf, hair a mess and facial hair not exactly trimmed to perfection. He made a face at himself in the mirror, his fiancee didn't even give him the opportunity to shave.
"Hopefully the wedding planner will not be thinking that I'm going to marry a man from the streets rather than a successful businessman." Magda teased him and it was his turn to roll his eyes and scoff bitterly. He wanted a coffee! He desperately needed one.
The elevator stopped smoothly and the doors opened revealing a tastefully decorated foyer: all stainless-steel and glass with the occasional green plant and colourful art on the walls. Erik kind of loved the place. Magda laced their fingers together, dragging him towards the secretary's desk.
A petite brown-haired woman was sat there and she beamed when they approached.
"Good morning! Welcome to Happy Brides, Happy Wives !" she giggled a little when she said that, making Erik choke on his tongue with the desperate need to laugh. Magda turned to glare in his direction and he pretended to cough. "I'm Moira, how can I help you today?"
"Hi! We are Miss Xavier's 9 a.m. appointment!" Magda replied swiftly and the woman, Moira, grinned harder.
"Sure, please take a seat. Charles will be with you in a minute."
"Charles?" both Magda and Erik said at the same time, and Moira laughed.
"Yes, your possibly future wedding planner is a male. He gets that a lot."
He felt Magda still next to him, and he had to yank on her arm gently to get her moving. A male. Who would have thought?
"Oh no, this is going to be a disaster!" she moaned quietly, sitting on a suprisingly comfortable chair. She put her head in her hands and leaned against Erik. "This is going to be a huge disaster!"
"Now, now, let's not get ahead of ourselves." he soothed her gently. Magda simply shook her head in his chest.
They sat quietly next to each other for a few minutes, before a door opened and the sound of people came filtering on the foyer. A couple exited the office, turning a little to wave goodbye to whoever was inside the office, before moving to Moira to talk quietly to her.
The secretary waved a hand in Erik's direction.
"You can go in, Mr. Lehnsherr." she told him before turning to give her full attention to the couple. Erik rubbed Magda's back, making her snap her head back and take in a deep breath.
She stood, nodding a bit to herself before taking Erik's hand again and struting to the door. She knocked twice, politely, before pulling the door open and stepping inside the still very tastefully decorated office.
A man was sat with his arms behind a very nice behind, overlooking the city, and he turned with a smile when he heard Magda's heels clicking on the marble floor.
Erik's breath stopped in his throat and he gaped openly at the guy.
He was, most certainly, even better looking than his nice behind. Curly brown hair ruffled on his head, blue eyes deeper than any ocean and any sea and red lips that looked invitingly kissable. He licked his lips, blinking a few times because he was having inappropriate thoughts about the wedding planner while his fiancee was sitting right next to him gripping his fingers.
"Hello, nice to meet you!" the man said, clipped british accent rolling efortlessly from his tongue. Magda offered her hand first, and he kissed her knuckles elegantly before moving to shake Erik's hand.
Why were Erik's hand suddenly so fucking sweaty and gross?
"I'm Charles Xavier, wedding planner, welcome aboard!" he continued cheerfully, gesturing for Erik and Magda to take a seat in fron of the desk.
"I'm Magda Alyonovitz, this is my fiancee Erik Lehnsherr." Magda introduced them both smoothly, crossing her legs and freeing Erik's hand.
Charles' eyes shifted to Erik and they stood staring at each other for a few seconds. It left Erik a little breathless and hot under the collar. What the fuck was going on with him? Was he having a heat stroke? He was wearing too many clothes, truth be told, and the air in the office was kind of stuffy and warm.
"Nice to meet you both." Charles continued, grinning as if they haven't been in a staring contest just mere seconds ago. "What can I do for you today?"
"To be honest, I didn't expect you to be a man." Magda offered, making Charles laugh.
"Oh, of course, I get that a lot. I can assure you that I'm very good at what I'm doing. All of my clients have been terribly happy with my services."
"I'm not trying to say that you're not good at what you're doing. That would be unprofessional of me. And also rude. I'm the one who came seeking help because I don't have the capacity of planning my own wedding." Charles eyes fleeted to Erik for a second and Magda corrected herself awkwardly. "Our wedding."
Way to boost a guy's confidence, darling. he thought half amused, half annoyed.
"Well, I'm here to help. I'm at your disposition. Let me make a few wild guesses regarding you both and see if I'm fit for your needs." he cleared his throat and hummed lightly. "You are childhood friends. Or, at some point, you have been best friends. You have the sort of familiarity that doesn't happen often, not even between long-term couples. You, Magda, want a big wedding, traditional even. Something that'll make the people talk and applaud you for your choices in venue, flowers, cake etcetera, etcetera. Your fiancee on the other hand wants a small wedding, also traditional, but not too flashy. Something that'll make him happy, not make people talk. Despite the difference, both of you want a spring wedding. Maybe late March - beginning of April? When all of the flowers are in full blossom, when it's warm, but not too warm to get uncomfortable.
Somewhere outside. Somehwere with a lake, maybe? And a beautiful flower-y garden in front of you. Expensive yet stylish. How am I doing so far?"
"I mean, if you want the post you're hired." Erik blurted out making Magda and Charles laugh. "I'm completely shook, to be honest."
"Years and years of experience, my friend." Charles declared warmly, smiling brightly at him. "Look, I know this is a serious commitment, both for you guys, because you know, you are getting married after all and I totally understand where you're coming from, Magda. You want everything to be perfect. I can guarantee you that everything will be perfect, because not to sound modest about it, I am the best in the business. You don't have to make a decision right now, but you'll have to make a decision by the end of the week at least. You're fortunate because I don't have any March or April wedding in my programm for the moment, but I can't guarantee you that it won't happen. Please, think this through, think of all the pros and the cons and when you've reached a common ground just give me a call." He took one of his business cards and turned it over to write something on it. "This is my card and on the back I wrote my personal number so you can reach me and not be bothered with Moira."
Magda took the card and stood up, making Erik copy her movements. Charles offered one of his bright smiles again.
"I look forward to working for you and planning you the perfect wedding." he said as a departure shaking their hands.
Erik bit his lip, turning around to sneak one last glance at the handsome wedding planner.
He was surprised to see that Charles was looking after him as well.
What a fucking mess!
Chapter 2: Too close to love you.
The update, hope you'll like it! I surely enjoyed writing this.
Let me know what you think in the comment section! <3
It took three full days and countless soothing words from Erik for Magda to actually make up her mind. After leaving Charles' office, they walked to the nearest bistro for coffee and breakfast. His fiancee was mulling over the wedding planner's words, debating with herself is he was the best choice for the image she had on the planning.
Erik, unbeknownst to his future wife, was having an inner battle with himself as well. He couldn't quite forget the smoldering look Charles threw in his way out. Couldn't quite take his mind off of those beautiful, blue eyes either. The fact that Magda kept silent the whole time there, and on the way home, didn't help, if only, it made him think harder about the man.
On the fourth day after their meeting, Erik was greeted with a cup of hot coffee in his hands and a swift kiss on his cheek.
"I've made up my mind!" she said when Erik sat on a stool at the island that separated the kitchen from the rest of the penthouse. "I want Charles to be our wedding planner."
"Are you sure?" he asked, not fully awake, and not really sleepy either. "It's a big decision, if you want to take another day to think about it, I'm sure he won't mind."
"I'm one hundred percent sure! I want his vision and his dedication and I want this wedding to be perfect. He has to help us."
"Alright." Erik said softly, taking his cup and following Magda out of the kitchen. She was late to work.
"Call him?" she asked putting on her coat and checking her lipstick in the mirror. "Please? I have a ton of meetings today. I left his card on the table in the kitchen. Just give him a call and plan another meeting with him. Whenever he's free."
"Alright, I'll do that."
She turned and smiled, putting her arms around his neck and dragging him in on a passionate kiss. Erik smiled against her mouth. Usually, a kiss like that would lead to other things, but today Magda was late and if he didn't jump into the shower soon he'd be late as well.
"Have a great day at work, honey." she placed another kiss on his lips and he swatted playfully at her ass.
"You too. See you tonight for dinner."
Magda nodded and exited the apartment, the door locking in place after her. Erik scrubbed a hand over his face, going to the bedroom to get his phone then in the kitchen to pour himself another cup of coffee. The card was where Magda said it will be, so he picked it up ignoring the pounding in his heart when he introduced Charles' number in his phone and let it ring...
Only to realize that it was a little after eight in the fucking morning and Charles was probably asleep!
"Sheisse!" he exclaimed, fumbling with his phone to hang up before a soft, slightly amused voice called from the other line.
"Er... hi?" Erik replied unsure, scratching at the back of his neck nervously.
"Hello." Charles replied softly, letting out a little sigh. "Who is this?"
Snap the fuck out of it, Lehnsherr.
"Hi, um... this is Erik Lehnsherr? We had an appointment four days ago?" he cringed at how high-pitched and nervous his voice sounded.
"Oh! Good morning, Mr. Lehnsherr!" Charles perked up, Erik could basically hear the smile in the other man's voice.
"I'm so sorry for calling you so early in the morning. I totally forgot about the time."
Charles laughed softly in his ear, the sound of it making Erik smile a little.
"No worries, Mr. Lehnsherr..."
"Erik." he corrected swiftly. Only his business partners and ass-kissers called him Mr. Lehnsherr.
"Erik. I aim to please." Jesus Christ, I bet you do. "What can I do for you today?"
"I was just, uh... calling to tell you that you're hired? I mean, not that you're jobless or something. My wife... fiancee... Magda, she told me to call and ask if you'll do it? Plan our wedding, I mean? I really don't know how to say it."
Charles laughed while Erik cringed. Who the fuck talks to a wedding planner like that? It's not like Erik and Magda were the only ones getting married in the whole New York. And since when did Erik become so tongue-tied? He was a snappy, brilliant architect who never took shit from anyone and who was sharp and ruthless in the business. Fumbling like an idiot was a disgrace, he felt ashamed. People would think that The Shark has gone soft and he didn't want that.
"That's one way to put it." Charles said after he calmed down.
"I'm so sorry. I don't know why Magda put me up to this, I guess she wants to torture me."
"No worries, my friend. I understand perfectly. Look, let me get to the office and I'll talk to Moira about when it's the next opening to an appointment and we'll put you and Magda there. So to discuss this openly in the presence of your fiancee as well and start planning your wedding, how does that sound?"
"Perfect." Erik breathed a sigh of relief. "Thank you."
"You're most welcome, Erik. I'll call you back around noon, if that's alright? To tell you when you have the appointment."
"That's perfect. Have a good day, Charles."
"You too, Erik." Charles replied warmly before hanging up.
Erik stood in the middle of his kitchen in his underwear, clutching his phone while the coffee was getting cold. He realized that Charles never told him to call him by his first name, yet he did it. Maybe Charles was being friendly.
Or he liked the way Erik said his name...
He missed lunch, so he was hungry.
He never got around making another cup of coffee that morning so he was going in caffeine withdrawal and that made him anxious and snappy and tired. He couldn't wait to get home already. His assistance kept barging in his office with projects, or papers to sign, but never to bring him a coffee or something. She really hated him, and honestly, he couldn't care less. He's been in a meeting that took longer than expected, because one fat cat of a businessman decided to change the plan of the building he was projecting last minute. As usual. Thankfully he avoided a real crisis (or him going out of his mind and punching the fucker square in the mouth, really) agreed to change somethings on the blueprints, but not before making it clear that this would be the last change. He didn't have time to be at the businessman back and call, he had other projects.
So, when his phone started to ring in the solitude and quietness of his office, he almost gave himself a heart attack. He didn't bother to check for the caller and snapped:
"Is this a bad time?" the same accented voice as this morning asked worriedly. Calm washed over Erik like a wave and he breathed in before letting out an embarrassed squeak.
"Charles? I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to snap at you!"
He apologized mostly because he really did feel bad, and a little part of him knew that if Charles were to pull out of the making of his and Magda's wedding because Erik was rude to him, his fiancee would never forgive him.
"No worries, my friend. Is everything alright?" he sounded genuinely interested and that made Erik smile.
"Just some problems at work. Nothing out of the ordinary."
"Oh, I'm sorry to hear so." Charles muttered. "I've called to tell you that your appointment is two days from now. At 12 o'clock. Is it alright with you?"
"I'm sure I can fit you somewhere in my busy schedule." Erik joked, only to realize that they weren't friends. He shouldn't joke with Charles like Charles was his friend.
Thankfully the wedding planner laughed.
"Why, Sir. I'm delighted to hear that."
He most certainly did not think about the current that went through his body when Charles called him "sir" in that guttural voice of his.
"I'll let Magda know, then." Erik continued. "Thank you. Ah... 12 o'clock, you said, yeah?"
"Alright. See you in two days then?"
"You most certainly will." Charles replied amused before saying goodbye and hanging up.
It took Erik half an hour to be able to concentrate again on work after his conversation with Charles.
Two days later Erik found himself in the snow, in front of the beautiful building once again. Magda was running late, she got held back at the office and traffic, as usual for a Friday afternoon was a nightmare in New York. It took Erik three minutes to convince himself that it would look terribly unprofessional to wait for his fiancee, especially if the both of them would be late. Plus, he wasn't going to wait in the cold fucking snow.
He went through the security once again getting that little square with the boring VISITOR around his neck and took the elevator to Charles' office. It was nice and warm inside, and that took Erik's mind off of being alone with the wedding planner until Magda would arrive.
When the elevators opened Erik was met with the sight of Charles laughing to whatever the blonde bombshell next to him was saying. Heat coiled in the pit of Erik's stomach, because Charles was even better than he remembered from a week ago, and also because the blonde woman next to him was rather beautiful.
"Erik!" Charles grinned when he saw him approach, making Moira and the blonde turn in his direction. Erik couldn't quite stop the way his lips stretched in a smile.
"Charles. Ladies!" he saluted with a curt nod of his head.
"You remember Moira, right? This is my sister Raven."
"Nice to meet you." Raven said, stretching out a delicate hand to shook his. She smiled weirdly at him. Like she knew something he didn't.
"Where's your fiancee?" Charles asked confused, casting a glance over his shoulder.
"She's running a bit late, got caught in some NYC traffic. She'll be here soon."
"Well, let's get inside. Moira, be a darling and show Erik to my office while I say goodbye to Raven."
Moira stood up, circling her desk and stopping to give Raven a brief hug.
"See you for game night this weekend, Ravie."
"Nice to meet you." Erik said as a farewell, and Raven smiled politely at him. Looking harder, Erik couldn't see any resemblance between the siblings. He followed Moira in the office, but not quick enough not to hear Raven's smug:
"He's so fucking hot."
And Charles desperate:
He smirked under his breath, closing the door after him and moving towards the chairs.
"You should sit on the couch. Charles would want you to be comfortable." Moira told him, gesturing towards the L-shaped white couch on the corner of the room. "Can I get you anything? Coffee, water, juice?" A pause and a smile. "Some whisky, perhaps?"
"A bit early for happy-hour, don't you think?"
"Yeah, tell that to Charles." she snorted, shaking her head.
"A coffee would be nice, thank you."
She smiled at him once again before disappearing, the door slamming shut after her, only to re-open moments later and Charles stepping in.
"Please don't tell me that Moira told the whisky line again." he groaned, sitting next to Erik.
"She made it sound like you enjoy a happy-hour or two." Erik replied amused, making the other man scrunch his face up adorably.
Fuck, but you're cute.
"It happened exactly one time and I was really stressed about this really glammy wedding and she wouldn't let it go. I need better friends."
Erik chuckled and Charles' whining.
"I guess I know that feeling. Work can be very stressful."
"Especially when you're dealing with Bridezillas and mendling mothers." Charles muttered darkly, rolling his eyes a little.
Moira came back with the coffees and Charles glared at her teasingly until she left. It was clear that the two of them were friends. Probably really close friends since Raven and Moira were hanging out. Erik didn't think that he would be able to work this close to any of his friends; all of them were either assholes (Azazel), sloths (Janos), or really hard to please (Emma).
"You have lipstick on your cheek." Erik muttered under his breath, taking a sip from his cup. It was the most perfect coffee he's ever tasted.
Of course Charles' hand went to the other cheek, and before he could process what was happening and what was he doing, Erik's fingers brushed Charles' other cheek, clearing the smudged lipstick trace with his thumb.
Charles bit on his plump, bottom lip and time seemed to stop altogether for Erik. Hooded, mesmerizing blue eyes were watching him, and Erik felt the gravitational pull between their bodies. The air was charged between them, making tiny hairs rise on his arms and at the back of his neck. Without meaning to he leaned in closer, getting a whiff of the other man's smell: a delicious combination of apple shampoo, expensive cologne and underneath a sweet smell that was all Charles. He didn't know how he knew that, but he was sure of it!
Erik was breathing heavily through his nose and each breath brought them closer together. Their lips touched briefly and Charles made a strangled sound in the back of his throat that would follow Erik to the end of his life.
If it weren't for the firm knock on the office's door Erik was sure he was going to kiss Charles properly; as he deserved. They scrambled to pull apart, put distance between their bodies and when the door opened to reveal Magda, Erik's world came crushing down.
What the fuck was wrong with him?
Chapter 3: All kinds of wrong.
Hope you'll like it! Sorry for the late update.
Merry Christmas, darlings! :)
"Are you going to tell me what's wrong with you, or are you going to sit on my couch the whole fucking day and sigh like a divorced housewife?" Raven questioned him as soon as he opened his mouth to sigh again. He picked up his glass of wine and glared at her over the wine-stained lip of the glass, letting out another exagerated sigh just because he wanted to piss her off.
Raven narrowed her eyes at him, huffing through her nose and sitting down at the other end of the couch. She took the remote, changing the channel to Say Yes to the Dress, making Charles groan out. Really. That show was the nightmare of all wedding planners, he was sure of it.
"Seriously?" he asked and Raven simply shrugged her shoulders, not bothering to look at him. He smiled. "You get really mad when you don't know something, do you?"
"That is correct." she nodded absentmindedly.
"Will you promise not to judge?"
This time she looked at him, only because she wanted to give him the finger. Closing the space between them, she smacked the back of his head and put her head in his lap, Charles' hand going automately to stroke her hair. Raven muted the T.V.
"Have I ever judged you, you absolute twat?"
"It doesn't hurt to ask."
"Tell me everything."
"I'm kind of developing an obsession to someone."
"Ooh! Is it someone I know?"
"Oh my God, Charles, you beast! Is it the cute, gruff and slightly crazy bartender down at Wolverine's?"
"I haven't been to Wolverine's in ages, Raven."
"Then who is it...?" she stopped, and she might have seen something on his face, for she let out a horrific scream, scrambling to get up from where she was laying. She turned to him, pushing her hair behind her ears, mouth open and eyes almost black because of the surprise. "No!" she told him definetly.
"I haven't even said anything!" he cried out frustrated.
"It's a no, because you're not allowed to crush on a client, Charles. Really? That guy Erik? Are you fucking kidding me?!"
"Like it's my fault." he muttered, rolling his eyes. "It's not something you can control."
"It's something you will control, that's for sure. I'm not letting you ruin your life and in addition the couple's life."
Charles winced. Why did he think that speaking with Raven was a good idea? She was too straightforward, too determinate to get ideas out out of his thick skull. He knew that Raven's words weren't meant to hurt, but it still hurt to hear. Sometimes what he needed to hear, wasn't exactly what he wanted to hear!
"I'm sorry, Charles." she whispered pulling him forecefully in her arms. "How did that happen?"
"I have no idea, honestly. I just... can't stop thinking about him. Which is ridiculous because I've met the guy like, twice. But he's all I think about, day and night. And this is coming from a person that doesn't believe in love at first sight. And when..." he stopped, biting his tongue. Of course, Raven heard him.
"And when what?"
"Charles, please don't tell me what I think you will."
"Oh my God, just spit it out already!"
"You told me not to tell you what I think you think I will tell you." he protested, pulling out of her hug and glaring at his little sister. She glared right back, an expression that Charles swore she took from him.
"Last time he was at my office we almost kissed." Charles blurted out and Raven groaned, smacking her forehead with her palm.
"I told you not to tell me!"
"Oh, fuck you."
"That makes me an accomplice to your crusade of tearing a family apart!"
"Raven, really, fuck you. No one is going to tear anything apart. It just happened."
"How the fuck it just happens after you've met the guy twice!? You barely know his name!"
"I mean it didn't happen! It almost happened. You're making me feel confused."
"You're making me feel dirty and slightly aroused because I want a scandalous love-affair with a married man!"
"Really, how does Hank feels about this?"
"Eh, he should be fine."
"Focus!" he yelled at her. "What do I do? I'm freaking out! I have a meeting with them, they want to book the venue and I'm freaking the fuck out!"
"You're not going to do anything, you're going to be a professional wedding planner that doesn't go around sleeping with the groom and not the bride. Everything will be alright."
"Raven, I hate you."
"Shush, you love me, I'm the best."
He couldn't understand why he kept on listening to Raven. Clearly, most of the time, she had no clue of what she was talking about. Charles wanted to punch himself in the face because he almost forgot how heart-stoppingly good looking Erik Lehnsherr was. Charles was waiting in front of the venue, fidgeting with his planner, a hand stuck in the pocket of his coat to play with some coins he had there, when a black, sleek Audi, clearly a brand new model, pulled in the parking lot of the venue.
Charles stopped playing with the coins.
The door to the car opened, and Erik got out of it, stealing Charles' breath in scarcely two seconds. He wasn't bundled up like the times they've met before, he was awfully underdressed for the weather even; with a pair of tight black jeans, boots and a black, fitted turtleneck under a brown leather jacket. He looked delicious. The look was completed by a pair of Ray Ban's.
And he was alone.
Oh fuck, no.
"Good afternoon!" Charles saluted cheerfully, cringing at the sound of his voice. Erik offered a huge grin, a grin that melted Charles' heart away.
"Hello." Erik replied softly.
"Where's your fiancee?"
"Magda is held at work. Something to do with last-minute things before the holidays. I hope you don't mind that I've come alone."
I mean, if I can refrain myself from jumping your bones, sure. Charles thought bitterly, but offered a broad smile - it wasn't really that hard, just the mere sight of Erik made him smile - and nodded.
"Oh, no worries. I was just surprised. Usually the brides have the last saying into wedding details. I guess your fiancee has a lot of trust in you."
They made I contact and Charles cringed. God, what a stupid thing to say to a guy that almost kissed his wedding planner when his fiancee was right outside the door. The look in Erik's eyes told Charles that the taller man was thinking the same thing.
"I have a bit of an artistic eye. Shall we?"
"Sure, of course!"
Erik made the after you general gesture with his hand and Charles went forward without a word. He could feel the burning gaze of the man traveling from the back of his head to the soles of his feet. Blood crawled towards Charles face and when the both of them came face-to-face with the manager of the venue, he was bright red.
"Good afternoon, gents!" the petite redheaded woman said, offering a professional, yet oddly warm smile. "I'm Lara, how can I help you?"
"We have a booking to view the venue, for a future wedding. Under Xavier?" Charles replied breathlessly because Lehnsherr was so goddamn close, he could feel wave of heat radiating from the man. "I'm Charles Xavier."
"Oh, of course, Mr. Xavier." she said, offering another smile. She cast a glance in Erik's direction. "I'm assuming that you're the fiancee, then?"
Charles stopped breathing altogether. Of course she would assume that they were engaged. They came here together after all. With no woman in sight. Why didn't Charles think of mentioning that he was the wedding planner? Why didn't he introduce Erik as the future groom of some woman that was currently missing because she was held back at work? Did they really look like an engaged couple? Why the fuck was Erik so silent? He should have said something by now, specify that Charles wasn't his fiancee. He was engaged to a woman.
"No!" Charles blurted out, startling Lara. "I mean. He's not my fiancee. Nor I am his. Um... I'm just the wedding planner. His fiancee couldn't make it today. This is Erik Lehnsherr."
"Oh." Lara frowned, but quickly smoothed out that expression with another bright, kind of strained, smile.
"Well, if that's sorted out already, let's proceed shall we?"
Charles nodded and followed the redhead on a tour to the main room of the venue. It was huge, tastefully decorated and one of the most beautiful places Charles had ever seen! Both of them kept silent while Lara explained the accomodation of the room. It could fit comfortably 200 to 400 people and still leave room for a dancefloor.
Charles liked it, and for the looks of it, Erik did too. He could only assume that it would be good enough for Magda too.
"What do you say?" Lara asked Erik who smiled a little.
"Do you have a garden?"
"Oh, of course!"
She rushed them through a door, into a sad-looking garden covered in snow. The grass was brown and patched with bits of ice and mountains of snow, but there was a large, now frozen, lake at the end of a pontoon, and a fountain that wasn't currently working in the middle of the garden. Even so dead and cold, the garden looked absolutely pretty. Charles was sure that the place would look amazing in the spring - full of flowers and grass and with the lake sparkling under the sun.
"Do you like it?" Charles asked Erik, putting a hand on his arm to catch his attention.
"It looks perfect."
"Oh, I assure you that it's even better in the spring, or summer. Even at the beginning of autumn, when everything turns from green to red, brown and gold." Lara said excitedly, gesturing widely. "Mr. Xavier, I could email you some pictures of how it looks. We've held a lot of weddings here. Mr. Lehnsherr, where you thinking of a summer wedding?"
"My fiancee and I thought about a spring wedding, actually. End of April, beginning of May."
"I'm afraid that you'll have to decide on a wedding date and let me know as soon as possible. We have plenty of couples that came to us requesting the venue for April and May."
"I'm sure that would be arranged as soon as my fiancee sees how beautiful the venue is." Erik replied smoothly.
"Very well. Mr. Xavier, do you have a card with your details? I'll email you the photos tonight after we close."
Charles nodded, opening his planner and taking out a business card for Lara.
"It's been a pleasure to talk to you, gentlemen, but I'm afraid I have other business to tend to. Hopefully, I'll be hearing from you soon!"
"I'll call to settle the details as soon as humanly possible." Charles said, shaking her hand. Lara nodded and with a smile in their direction she left.
"How did you get up here?" Erik asked, when they lost sight of the manager.
"Oh, my sister dropped me off. I suppose I'll have to call her to come get me."
"No reason, I'll drive you. Would you like to have lunch?"
Charles swallowed heavily then smiled. Almost an hour long ride with Erik next to him? It was almost too good to be true. The thought made him giddy with anticipation.
"I would love to." he replied softly and Erik smiled.
They decided on little diner close to where Erik was working. He swore that the food was amazing, even if he only ate there a handful of times. The coffee was good and the conversation was light while they waited for their food and when it finally arrived Charles almost cried at the sight of his burger and fries. The first bite was heavenly and he let out an obscene moan that made Erik still for a second.
"I'm sorry, but this is really good food." he muttered embarrased. Erik laughed with a shake of his head.
"That's alright, I know how it feels. Magda is all about eating healthy and strict diets. I miss the good, old burger."
Charles snorted, taking a sip of his chocolate milkshake.
"I don't even have that much time to eat, to be honest, and when I do, I make sure it's something I enjoy."
"That is an ideal to live by."
They made small talk as they ate, and Charles couldn't remember the last time he had so much fun with another person that wasn't his sister, or Moira. Let alone with a client. They usually tended to be reserved and mantain a professional relationship towards Charles, only viewing him as an employer and not someone worth consuming words with. Erik was a breath of nice, fresh air.
"How did you become a wedding planner?" Erik asked after their plates were cleared, the only thing on the table being a slice of ridiculously good tiramisu that they decided to share and two cups of coffee.
"Well I always was a pretty organized person, I loved having everything in order and planned. So, after I finished college Raven and I got invited to a distant cousin's wedding. It was a complete mess. Her dress wasn't right, the venue was crap and the food was horrible. Everything was backwards and she hated every single second of her wedding. I don't think there was a moment when she stopped crying, poor thing. Everyone thought that those were happy tears. I guess that I didn't want other people to go through her pain. I wanted to make them happy. To make their special day as they wanted it to be."
"So you started your business as a wedding planner because you wanted to make other people happy?" Erik questioned, giving him an impressed once-over. Charles blushed and moved his fingers through his hair.
"That's rather selfless of you."
"You know, it kind of was, considering that I didn't know anything about the business. And it was completely opposite to what I studied for in college."
"Where did you go?"
"No shit, I went there too."
"Yes, different promotion, I guess. I'm an architect. Well, I did a bit of engineering at the beginning, but I didn't like it. Got my master in architecture. How about you?"
"I have a PhD in Genetics. I wanted to become a professor, they even offered me a job at the university."
"You're some kind of a genius then?" Erik asked grinning that cute smile of his, stealing Charles breath away.
"Raven likes to think so. I think that you only have to be interested in a subject and have enough drive to become what others would call a genius nowadays."
Erik shook his head with an incredulous laugh.
"You have too much faith in humanity, Charles."
And there it was, that soft look that melted Charles completely. Accompanied by the sound of his slightly raspy voice and that damned pretty smile. Seeing Erik like this, hearing him talk to Charles like that, made it hard - if not impossible - to remember that he was a client. A soon to be married one. He was planning his and his future-wife's wedding. Why was the world such a cruel place? He was a man of honor, he never had these kind of thoughts towards a taken man. Did Erik knew what he was doing? Was he doing in on purpose? The soft looks and the sweet smiles...?
He hated himself for thinking that way. He wished Erik would stop looking at him like that, like he wanted Charles as much as Charles wanted him. Like the world stopped existing as soon as his eyes landed on Charles.
And above all, Charles was sure of a thing: he wanted Erik all to himself.
Chapter 4: Completely gone
Happy New Year, guys! Wish you the best this year. May it be filled with love, health and everything you've ever wished for. I hope all of you had pleasant Holidays!!
Thank you to everyone for kudos, comments, reading and bookmarking this story, it means a lot to me. Hope you'll like the new chapter! ^_^
"There's someone else." he was saying from his spot on the couch, where he was laying with his feet in the air, head cushioned by a soft pillow. "Which is terrifying because for an awfully long time there hasn't been anyone else besides Magda. And it's not like there really is someone else. I don't know. I just saw him and suddenly my heart was in my throat. I can't help it. He awoke something in my that has been asleep since forever. I never felt that way, I don't want to, but I can't stop it. I don't want to hurt Magda, I want to make her happy."
"Hm. Don't you think that the reason you got so... how to put it mildly, obsessed with this guy, is that you were never truly happy in your relationship, but rather comfortable? That you love Magda, sure, but you're not in love with her? Maybe you were, a long time ago, but that thing faded to something more platonic. The kind of love you'd share with your best friend?"
His eyes snapped open and he sat up so fast that the world spun in circles for a second before his glare settled on the petite blonde woman sitting at the edge of the couch, a notebook on her lap in which she was scribbling something furiously.
"Emma, what the fuck?" he asked her dumbfounded, the glare intensifying when one of his oldest friends smirked in his direction, throwing him a wink from behind nerdy glasses. No one knew Emma wore glasses, not even her past boyfriends.
"I'm just telling it how it is, sugar."
"You're supposed to be my psychologist." he mumbled, throwing his head back on the cushions and groaning. "You're supposed to tell me what I want to hear."
"Considering that I won't receive even a penny for my effort to listen to your pathetic whining, I'd say to let me do my job how I'm supposed to."
"You're an asshole, why are we friends?"
"Because you're an asshole too, but you have a hard time admitting it. Now, back to your problem, you didn't answer my question."
"I'm not going to, it's ridiculous."
"Erik, it's not ridiculous. As a professional, I suppose you have a hard time coming to terms that you're having these kind of feelings towards a man. It has always been Magda, right? Well, except that time in college when you went around sleeping with guys because you were experimenting."
"She doesn't know about that. She'd be crushed." Erik muttered, glancing at his friend just in time to see Emma frown.
"Why would she? It's your life, right?"
"Wow, Erik, that explains everything." she muttered, full of sarcasm.
"I mean, we've been raised a certain way. I know how she feels about homosexuals and bisexuals or any kind of sexuality besides the one between a man and a woman. She would hate me for it."
"I didn't know that she was just another judgemental bitch." Emma said completely straight-faced, ripping a laugh from Erik.
"You're awful. Don't bad-mouth my fiancee."
"Erik... you're completely missing the point here. We were talking about this guy. Who is he?"
"Do you promise not to judge me if I tell you?"
"Oh, I'm probably going to judge you, the fun part is, you're probably never going to tell the difference between me judging and not judging you." At Erik's raised eyebrow she sighed, gesturing with her hand for him to continue.
"It's the wedding planner."
"Oh, dear Lord." Emma laughed, not quite believing her ears. "The wedding planner? You mean Charles Xavier?"
"I told Magda to book an appointment with him. That makes me an accomplice to your infidelity?"
"I haven't done anything wrong! Except... well maybe, I did kinda try to kiss him the second time I met him. Which I regret. Partially. Not at all." Erik groaned, curling in on himself on the couch and letting out a pathetic sigh.
"I think you're regretting not kissing him fully."
"So, the wedding planner, huh? He's really gorgeous."
"Kinky, Erik, never took you for one. Never took him for one to run with the groom instead of the bride, but life's full of surprises, isn't it?"
"You're a vicious bitch, did you know that?" he growled, making Emma sigh in pleasure.
"Thank you, sugar. That's the nicest thing you've ever said to me."
"I came here because I needed help and so far you haven't been helpful at all."
"Oh, darling, you're the only one that can help yourself." Emma told him, before silence fell on both of them, coating Erik's thoughts in sorrow and shame.
He left Emma's place soon after their talk, deciding to walk home rather than take a cab, or any means of public transport. He needed to clear his head a little bit, talking to Emma always made him feel too naked, too exposed - that may have been because she was a psychologist, of course - but he needed to hear another opinion. It's not like he could talk to someone else about it. The guys would just tell him to go for it, Azazel especially, clapping him on the shoulder and saying that a little adventure before getting hitched never hurt nobody. Magda and his mother would kill him, besides he couldn't exactly tell his future wife that he was having naughty thoughts about fucking the wedding planner.
Besides, Emma was alright. She was his friend and despite what she told him, Erik knew that Emma never judged him.
But talking to her only made it worse. She didn't exactly tell him what to do, and didn't exactly tell him what he shouldn't do. Possibly because she wanted him to suffer. Or she wanted to find the answer on his own.
He couldn't deny that she was right at some point. He never felt that way about anybody. Charles Xavier made his blood sing and his heart ache with longing and desperation. He never felt that way with Magda. It didn't matter how awful it was to compare Magda to Charles, especially since she was his fiancee and he was just a stranger.
Erik felt like he discovered something amazing in Charles. The first sparkle of lust and love, which was insane because Erik never believed in love at first sight or crap like soulmates. But what if it was true? What if soulmates existed and what if he just discovered his? Surely there had to be an explanation to his utter obsession with the wedding planner, right? He's been with his fair share of people in his life. He's had enough sexual partners, both males and females, yet no one raised to Charles standards.
He was mad enough to think that was love.
But was he mad enough to completely destroy two lives because of his heart's selfish needs?
Erik absolutely hated the idea of going to Tony Stark's Christmas party. As the architect of Stark's new tower he was, of course, invited. Magda insisted on going, even though she knew how much he disliked parties.
"We're Jews, it doesn't really matter to us." Erik was mumbling for himself while trying to fix his tie in the mirror.
"Quit complaining, you big baby. Don't you want to present your future wife to your associates? Maybe we'll find someone to invite to the wedding." she told him with a cheeky grin. Erik scoffed while helping her put on her coat. She was wearing a red dress, medium length, and the colour was stunning against her complexion. Magda was beautiful on that night. She was beautiful everyday. Erik made a mental note to tell her that more often.
"We agreed on not inviting random people to our wedding, Magda." he reminded her softly because he really didn't want to start an argument while they were leaving. While Erik let Magda take all the important decisions regarding their wedding, he made sure to stand his ground on an aspect: it was going to be a small wedding, despite what Magda wanted and how much she loved the idea of having hundreds of people sharing their big day. He was coming from a small family, neither he, nor his parents having any siblings. Magda was used to enormous family gatherings, with her being the third child and both her parents having a shitload of brothers and sisters and cousins. He hated the idea of filling the seats or unknown people coming to congratulate him for the wedding.
"I know, I know. I'm not going to start inviting strangers to the wedding. Although, we could invite Tony Stark to the wedding, with you designing his new tower and all. He's basically your boss."
"He's not my boss. Pepper Potts is my boss." Erik mumbled, rolling his eyes.
"Are we taking the car?"
"Yes. I'll drive."
"Are you going to make me drive back, in high heels may I add, because you got drunk on champagne?"
Erik laughed, turning to kiss her on the forehead.
"I'll try not to."
The Stark Industries Tower was a gigantic thing and a beauty, in Erik's opinion, and it wasn't hard at all to find their way to the floor where the party was being held. People were mingling in the foyer of the tower, pointing them in the right direction, and making Erik feel hot under the tight collar of his shirt already. He hated crowds. Maybe he could fake a headache and ask Magda to head back sooner.
The actual party was a nightmare for Erik, a sea of people opening in front of him, all of them talking over each other, laughing and clinking glasses with various expensive drinks and cocktails. There was a band on some kind of stage, playing smooth jazz, but it was barely audible over the sound of the voices. He spotted Tony at the bar, hugging someone excitedly and was eternally grateful when the billionaire wasn't the one who noticed them. Tony Stark was a bit too much for Erik's liking, but he was rather fond of the man, even if he drove Erik crazy with his stupid plans and ideas for the tower.
Pepper saw them, of course and she came to greet him with a kiss on his cheek.
"I'm so happy you could make it!" the redheaded woman told them excitedly.
"Thank you for inviting us." Erik replied nicely. "This is my fiancee Magda. Magda, this is Pepper Potts."
"Nice to meet you! Erik told me a great deal of things about you!" Magda offered, shaking Pepper's hand smoothly.
"Nice to meet you too. Oh, Erik, so it is true. You are getting married!"
The man laughed quietly nodding his head yes. Pepper's eyes got big with excitement, before she clasped Erik's hand in hers.
"Oh my God, do you have a wedding planner? Or have you decided to do this alone? If you don't, I have the perfect wedding planner for you. He's an absolute delight. He's actually one of Tony's best friends and he's here tonight. I'm sure you heard of him? Charles Xavier?"
The name came like a punch in the guts for Erik, and he involuntarily gripped Pepper's hand, if she noticed she chose not to say a thing. Charles was there? Charles was one of Tony's best friends? It was too much to take in on such a short notice. His head was spinning and the damned crowd noise seemed to be getting louder and louder. Thankfully Magda cut in before he could say something.
"Really? He's our wedding planner, actually. He's a sweetheart, I love his vision. I'm sure he's going to make our big day feel like a dream. Sadly, I haven't been able to do much talking with him, work has been crazy in the past couple of weeks. Erik handled most of the things..." she was saying, before the women got distracted by wedding plans and themes and some things Erik didn't really understand and couldn't care for.
"I'm going to get something to drink, do you want something?" he asked Magda when she stopped for a breath of air. She narrowed her eyes at him playfully.
"I could drive back if you want to drink something." she told him sweetly.
He really needed a drink, but he also didn't want to make Magda drive back when he was the one that took the car.
"No, I'll get you some champagne, alright?" she smiled at him and kissed his cheek as a departing salute, before Erik made a beeline to the bar. It wasn't especially crowded since most of the people already had drinks in their hands.
He asked the sharply dressed bartender for a glass of champagne and an alcohol free beer and settled on waiting with his head in his hands. There was a couple sitting next to him at the bar, that stopped talking for a second before the woman said out loud.
"I know you."
Erik raised his head, not sure if the woman was talking to him, but she was. It was a blonde woman that looked surprisingly familiar. She was snapping her fingers and muttering something to herself, like she was trying to place a name on Erik's face.
"Erik!" she said suddenly, a smile lighting up her face. "Your name is Erik."
"Are you testing your memory skills on me?" he asked, because although she looked familiar, he couldn't recall her name. Or if he really ever met her. She laughed, throwing her head back, and making her male partner smile smittenly at her. It was disgustingly cute.
"I have a big brain in a big head." she told him, tossing a wink in his direction. "Fancy seeing you here."
"I'd say same, but I'm not exactly happy with being here."
"Also I have no idea who the fuck you are, so excuse me." he shrugged his shoulders, muttering a thank you to the bartender that took forever to bring his drinks.
"I'm Raven. Former Xavier, currently McCoy. I'm Charles' sister, we've met when you stopped by my brother's office."
"Oh, of course. You called me hot."
"So you remember that, but you don't remember my name. Men nowadays. Hank, I'm so happy that you're not like him. Sorry, I forgot to make the introductions, this is my husband Hank. Hank this is Erik Whatever."
Erik actually snorted at that, and not in a nice way.
"Erik Lehnsherr, actually." he told Hank, shaking his hand briefly.
"Erik Whatever sounds better than whatever the hell you said there."
"It's German, right?" Hank asked, looking at Erik for confirmation.
"I'm sorry, darling, I only ever managed to learn a little bit of French. Charles is the language freak in the family. Where is he, by the way? I hope he's not God knows where with Tony doing body shots again!"
Hank shook his head with a smirk, and Erik really, really tried not to imagine himself doing body shots with Charles. Raven's secretive smirk told him that he didn't do such a good job on schooling his features.
"Are you alone here tonight, Erik?" Raven asked him, sipping from a glass of clear liquid. He was sure it was vodka.
"I'm actually with my fiancee. I should get back to her, she's probably thinking why it takes me so long."
"Nah, be serious. We're coming with you. It's time to get this party started!" she jumped off of her chair, taking her husband by the arm and her glass in the other hand.
"Don't you want to wait here for Charles?" Hank tried to protest. "Also, we can't just go and join Erik and his fiancee, it's intrusive."
"Charles can always text me. I'm not going to wait around for him. Buddy, why don't you fill this up to the brim, hmm?" she called for the bartender, smiling sweetly at him when he did just that. Turning to Erik she asked boldly: "Are we going to bother you? It's more fun when a group of people has fun together."
Erik wanted to say no, badly, but just the thought of seeing Charles again so soon and spend some time in his company made him shook his head. Raven beamed and Hank rolled his eyes. Raven was so different from Charles. She was bold and full of life and fun in comparasion with Charles' shy and sweet persona, Erik thought while making his way through the sea of people. Magda was still where he left her, still talking to Pepper.
"I was beginning to think that you ditched me." she teased, accepting the glass of champagne.
"I brought company." he told her, nodding his head to Raven and Hank. "These are Raven and her husband Hank. Raven is Charles' sister. This is Magda, my fiancee."
"Pleased to meet you." Raven and Hank said.
"You too. Your brother is amazing. He's been such a huge help. Pepper told me that he's around here as well?"
"Should be." Pepper groaned. "He disappeared?"
"God, I hope they are not doing body shots."
"Slim chances, Pepper dearest."
"I'm going to kill Tony." she muttered, making them laugh. She pulled out her phone from the small clutch she was gripping, pressing a few buttons. "Anthony Edward Stark, where are you? Yes, I am full-naming you. Where is Charles? Oh God, please don't tell me that you're off getting drunk somewhere." Pepper listened for a few seconds, her face scrunching up in fury with each second that passed. "Tony, is that a machine working in the background? Are you out of your mind? You're missing the Christmas party that you insisted on throwing because you're working in the lab? Get out and get here in two minutes!" she whisper-yelled at him before hanging up. "Excuse me, but I need a drink before I snap and go down there and kill Tony with my bare hands. Enjoy your night and I'll try to catch up soon!" she told them, smiling a little bit strained before heading in the direction of the bar.
Raven smirked and turned to Hank.
"I bet you twenty dollars that Tony is going to turn up with an oil splatter somewhere on his suit."
"I only have twenty on me."
"Fine. And I bet you twenty dollars that Charles lost his suit jacket and his bow-tie somewhere along the way."
"McCoy, are you having dirty thoughts about my brother?"
"I just know that your brother and Stark cooked something in that lab. I might know your brother better than you know him yourself."
"Oh, you're on McCoy."
"You guys are such a cute couple!" Magda exclaimed, pressing a hand over her heart. Raven and Hank smiled goofily at each other.
"Thank you. You and Erik make an oddly attractive couple, to be honest."
"How did you and Erik met?"
"When you had the meeting at Charles' office I was there. I went to have lunch with Charles and he introduced us. Your future husband is really hot."
"So I keep telling him, yet he stopped listening to me at some point." Magda teased, ruffling Erik's perfectly styled hair and making him scoff. "Oh, look, there's Charles and I'm assuming that man in the red suit is Tony Stark?"
Erik snapped his head to the side, just in time to catch Charles' surprised expression when his eyes met Erik's. It seemed like both Hank and Raven were right; Charles had the collar of his shirt hanging wide open, allowing Erik to see a peak of his milky skin and his jacket was no where in sight, the shirt's sleeves pulled at his elbows. Tony on the other hand was sporting a big, black and smudged stain on the right sleeve of his ridiculous red jacket.
"The man of the hour, Erik Lehnsherr!" Tony called out, throwing his arms around Erik in a big, awkward hug. "I am extatic that you managed to make it. Oh, you must be the lovely Magda, aren't you? You look like a peach. Hey, I know that you guys are planning your wedding, let me just present you the best wedding planner on the market. This guy here, my main guy Chucky-Charl', he's going to turn your dream wedding into reality."
"Thank you, Tony, but there's no need." Charles sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose.
"Now, Chucky-Charl' it's not nice to judge someone so quick. I know that Lehnsherr looks like he could eat you up because he does that freaky, sharky grin, but he's a delight. And I'm sure Magda is a lovely woman."
"Considering I already am their wedding planner, I'd say everything is already settled." Charles told him, rolling his eyes.
"Well, why didn't you say it already?"
"It's not like anybody can talk over you, Tony."
"That was mean. You wounded me. I better go and find Pepper before she finds me and kills me. Enjoy your night, and stay sober, kids!" and with that he was gone before any of them could blink.
"It's funny, because I bet he's already drunk. Plus, you lost, McCoy." Raven told him.
"We were both right, Raven."
"I was trying to see if you noticed."
"You were trying to trick me!"
"Sure. You watch a documentary with me and after the party we can get frozen yogurt because I know you want to."
"That, McCoy, was a declaration of love. Deal."
They sealed the deal with a quick kiss.
"Do I really want to know?" Charles asked with a groan.
"No, you probably don't." Hank told him.
"Oh God, I'm so sorry. How rude of me, I forgot to say hello. Tony makes me dizzy with all of his talking. Great to see you both here!" he said, shaking Erik's hand smoothly and kissing Magda on the cheek. "You both look fantastic."
"How nice of you to say that. Thank you, Charles. And so do you, of course. Pepper mentioned that you and Tony are good friends." Magda was saying.
"Yes, you could say that. He used to babysit me and Raven when we were kids, he's twelve years older than I am. Our parents did business together so we spent a lot of times in each other's company. He's actually great, if you stick around enough to break through that flashy and sarcastic exterior." Charles replied, smiling in the direction of his oldest friend. Erik assumed that Tony was to Charles what Emma was to him.
Suddenly the beat of the music changed, and Charles' face lightened up with a smile.
"Oh, I love this song. Come on, Raven!" he shouted over the music, grabbing his sister by the hand and dragging her towards the dance floor. Raven barely had enough time to slap her empty glass on the tray of some waiter that was passing by, before the crowd swallowed them up and they were no where in sight.
"Thank God Charles is here to ask Raven to dance, otherwise I would have to."
"Can't dance?" Erik teased.
"Can't dance to save my life. I'd rather speak in public than dance in public. It was a nightmare to have to do that at our wedding. Thankfully, Raven insisted on taking some classes, I managed to not embarrass myself."
Hank, Erik discovered, was a pleasant guy. Soft and kind, he couldn't understand how him and Raven got along so well. Considering that Raven seemed like the dynamic type of girl, going for the bad boys and living her life to the fullest. On the other hand he could understand how well the two of them completed each other. Raven was the right amount of insanity that Hank needed to get him going, and Hank was the right amount of calm and equilibrium that the woman needed to tame her wild heart. Hank was, apparently, a professor at the Columbia University, and he was Charles' old roommate. Both of them studied genetics, and Hank decided to pursue his career.
"He likes to say I'm smarter than him." Hank was babbling to Erik and Magda. Erik was absorbing every word about Charles like he was a dying man. "In reality, he's much smarter than me. He was at Oxford before coming to Columbia to get his PhD. His second PhD, if I may add. You won't regret that you hired him to be your wedding planner, he's the best out there. He's going to make all of your dreams come true."
Magda swooned and Erik nodded his head once, straining his neck to look over the crowd, searching for a mop of dishevelled curly hair. He found Charles and Raven laughing and spinning on the dance floor, talking to each other and dancing without a care in the world.
Erik took him in, breathing him in completely. His hair was a sweaty mess, clinging to his forehead and his face was flushed, making him look younger, more innocent. His mouth was stained bright red, bitten and begging to be kissed properly. He was beautiful. He had that kind of beauty that made the whole room feel on fire. That kind of beauty that would make you turn to look once, twice, over and over again.
When sparkling blue eyes, the colour of the ocean, of the sky on a clear day, turned to meet his, accompanied by the sweetest smile one could offer, Erik knew he was a gone.
He was completely gone for Charles Xavier.
His only regret was not meeting him sooner.
Chapter 5: Romeo and Juliet, but with a twist.
This chapter is divided in two and the next one will be from Erik's perspective. Hope you guys enjoy it! Let me know what you think. Also, if you have any prompts that you might want to read don't hesitate to tell me!! :)
People often thought that winter was the slowest season for a wedding planner. People were, as most of the times, completely wrong. Winter may not be as busy as the summer, because let's face it - who doesn't want to get married in the summer? - but winter was as sought for as was any other season. Especially this winter. The main objective being the beautiful scenery outside, everything was covered in snow and the professional pictures were going to look great. Charles was starting to regret engaging with so many couples that were desperately trying to pull off a winter wedding after realizing - in November, nevertheless - that they couldn't agree on anything or get anything done without help.
The week after Christmas was so busy that he barely had time to breathe, with three huge weddings and three huge crisis he, of course, couldn't avoid. Either was the bride commenting on the color scheme, a mother-in-law yelling at him for being overpaid and not getting the thing done properly -
(Which he did, excuse you very much, he managed to pull off that fucking wedding in less than a month.)
- these are not the flowers I wanted for the center piece, Mr. Xavier, I guess you should have stuck with a more manly job, considering you can't even order the flowers correctly. I'm just going to assume you did everything else wrong.
- yes they are (you fucking witch, he wanted to tell her, but he didn't), the bride wanted me to change the center pieces and I did, because it's her wedding and not yours.
And of course the same old I-got-pregnant-and-I-can't-fit-in-my-dress-anymore tale he despised because it really wasn't his problem that the groom and the bride couldn't keep it in their pants and they got knocked up. Thankfully, Raven was there to sweep in and save the day, taking some of the stress off of his shoulders.
The weddings turned out to be a success, obviously, but Charles was so run down by everything that he couldn't even party on New Years. He couldn't even stay awake to welcome the New Year, having fallen asleep on his couch at eight in the evening, sleeping through his alarms and waking up after more than twelve hours of sleep.
On top of that he got sick with the flu, so he had to let Moira handle everything at the office which resulted in loosing some potential clients. Moira was good, but she wasn't him. She couldn't charm the pants off of them. Despite his protests that he could work while being sick, Moira and Raven were having none of it.
"You won't be any help here. So what if we loose some clients? Their loss, our gain. Get some rest. " that was Moira and Raven with:
"I don't give a fuck about your business, you can't just ignore your health. You just had one of the hardest weeks of your life, you need to recharge." and because he really couldn't be trusted to listen them, she took a couple of days off and moved in his spare bedroom. Which, in reality, was rather good considering that one day, mid-afternoon, he fainted in the living room, almost cracking his head open on the coffee table, because of the high-fever. It was good because she was there to take him to the ER and yell at him the whole way for not taking good care of himself and ignoring that he was so sick.
Charles honestly appreciated that she was there with him, but really, after an IV and a night spent at the hospital he was so much better. His doctor was a long-time friend, Alex Summers, who chided him as well for not taking care of himself and who asked to take another two, or three days off before returning back to work.
He waited four days before going back to work, just to prove Raven that he was a grown man who could take care of himself. He was feeling better, well-rested and ready to tackle new clients and continue with organizing the weddings for his current clients. At 8.00 in the morning Moira was already waiting for him with tea in her hands.
"Good morning, boss. Happy to see you're not dead yet." she joked, going behind her desk.
"Glad to see that I've been missed."
"Like the desert misses the rain." she deadpanned and Charles rolled his eyes, before taking the files Moira had ready for him.
"Do I have any meetings today?"
"Mr. Lehnsherr and Ms. Alyonovitz have called for a meeting before New Year and I scheduled them a week ago, before you got sick. I called them to reschedule. They will be here at ten, today. Then you have another meeting after lunch and that's it."
"Good. Well... send them in when they arrive."
"Will do, boss!"
"Stop calling me that, you know I hate it!" Charles yelled before the door slammed shut after him, cutting the sound of Moira giggling.
Charles had time to put his tea down before panic slammed into him, leaving him a bit breathless. He was going to see Erik, again. He was going to see Erik again and he looked like shit! Sure, he was feeling better, but the flu affected him greatly. He was paler than usual, skinnier somehow and the dark circles looked like badly-done tattoos under his eyes. His lips were dry and chapped and his hair was a disgusting mess with him having no energy to fix it after he took a shower in that morning. He panicked because of his looks for exactly five minutes before he started to panic about entirely different reasons.
Why did he need to look good for Erik Lehnsherr? The man was practically married! It didn't matter if Charles looked good or not, Erik Lehnsherr was still his client, and in a very committed relationship nevertheless. Charles knew the answer to that without even bothering to search for it for too long; he wanted Erik to look at him the same way he did at Tony Stark's party. He wanted to see that smoldering look and those flames in Erik's eyes, like he wanted to devour Charles in a single bite.
He hated himself for thinking about a taken man that way, yet he couldn't help himself. No one made his blood boil the same Erik did. No one made him loose his mind so fast and he certainly never felt so strongly towards someone that he was ready to step all over his principles if the man as much as told him a sweet word. It frightened Charles, how hooked and completely gone he was on the man, how desperate he was to taste from the forbidden fruit.
It was also disgustingly pathetic to feel that way, but he was only human, and he knew those feelings were not going away too soon. Maybe if he hooked up with someone, he would stop feeling this way. His sex life was pretty non-existent nowadays.
Yes, surely that was the answer. He'd have to ask Raven if she wanted to go pub-crawling with him, it used to be their favorite past time. Maybe he'll find a nice guy to take home and satisfy his needs. Charles smiled to himself before sitting down in his office chair and opening the first file. Sure, he desperately wanted Erik, but at the same time, screw him.
Time passed faster than usual, and before he knew there was a shy knock at his door, interrupting Charles' research on the latest trends in wedding matters. He called for whoever was on the other side to come in. The door opened, and when Charles looked up, pushing up his reading-glasses he let out an unwilling sigh.
Erik Lehnsherr looked like he stepped off of a GQ magazine, despite the fact that he was wearing simple clothes: a pair of cream-colored tight jeans and a black, fitted wool sweater. He smiled at Charles, closing the door behind him.
"Hi." he said, making Charles stand up. His ginger beard was neatly trimmed and looked soft. Charles wanted to sigh again. How could someone look so effortlessly attractive? Why didn't he?!
"Hello, Erik." looking over the man's shoulder, Charles bit his lip worried. "Are you alone again?"
"No, Magda is outside filling and signing the contract. Moira said it's long overdue."
"Oh, yes. Indeed it is! I'm glad you both could be here."
The look in Erik's eyes told him that he wasn't exactly thrilled, and truth be told, neither was Charles, despite his long debate with himself just mere hours ago.
"I didn't know you wear glasses."
"I don't, most of the times. I need them for reading sometimes. Raven says they make me look like a professor."
"I think they are cute. They suit you." Erik offered, stepping closer. The only obstacle being Charles' desk.
"I - thank you, Erik." he muttered shyly, tucking a strand of curly hair behind his ear.
Erik's grey eyes followed the movement and Charles realized how awfully close they were, despite the desk. They were leaning towards each other, like there was a pull, an invisible chord trying to mush them together. Erik licked his lips and rised his hand. Long, elegant fingers brushed Charles' cheekbone and his eyes shut as an automatic response to the other man's touch. It was just a flutter, before Erik's hand cupped his face, stroking gently the skin from his eyebrow to the line of his jaw.
"Moira told me that you were sick." Erik whispered between themselves. "Are you feeling better now?"
Charles sighed, turning his face in Erik's hand and boldly pressing a kiss to the center of Erik's palm. He gasped when the world's most precious Lapis lazuli's stones gazed into his eyes, long eyelashes brushing the skin under Charles' eyes.
"So much better." Charles whispered, before he closed his eyes again and enjoying the warmth of Erik's hand cupping his face.
Stolen moments, he realized, that's what his life reduced to. Stolen moments with a man who wasn't even his. With a man he wanted to get out of his system, but at the same time wanted to consume him whole.
His life was a bad joke. The worst Romeo and Juliet kind of scenario.
The difference between Erik, Charles and Romeo with Juliet was they weren't exactly together, and, as much as the thought made Charles' stomach churn and his soul break in million, irreplaceable pieces, they will never be!
Charles' hand was warm when it came to rest on top of Erik's. He tangled their fingers together, squeezing hard before pressing another kiss on his knuckles and letting go completely. Although his eyes were soft, the corners of his mouth were turned down in an unhappy frown. Erik wanted to punch something. He wanted to punch himself.
"I think we need to talk." Charles whispered, before taking a step back. Erik only had time to nod, before the door opened and his fiancee waltzed in happily. Charles put on his biggest, the most fake smile, circling his desk and going to kiss her on the cheek. Magda blushed and returned the gesture and now Erik had the urge to scream his soul out. The same lips that kissed his hand oh so gently touched his fiancee and he felt possessive and wrong and like the worst scumbag in the world.
The entire meeting he was like a robot and he couldn't recall a word. He knew that Charles did most of the talking, his voice a little strained, the same way it was when he told Erik they needed to talk. What did they need to talk about? Did Erik do something wrong? What a stupid question to ask yourself, he thought bitterly. Everything he did was wrong. From lusting after another man to betraying Magda. Nothing was right in Erik's heart and life at the moment.
Oh, I think we should just go with royal blue and white! Magda was saying, inspecting the color palette. Honey, what do you think?
It looks great.
Did Charles wanted to talk about Erik's bold move to touch him? Oh God, he's never touched anyone without their permission in his life. The thought was like a punch in the gut. How could he be so utterly captivated by Charles that he just touched him without his consent? What was wrong with him? It didn't matter that Charles leaned on him, absorbing the feeling like he was a starved man, like it was what he wanted the most in the world. Erik felt like he was going to burst. If he were to think any harder he was sure Magda would hear everything.
But don't you think it's a little, I don't know, dark? I mean, royal blue is a nice color, but it seems a little dark. Charles, what do you think?
I think it's perfect. Yes, it is a little dark, but it will suit you and Erik very well. Let me tell you why...
The reality of everything settled in the pit of Erik's stomach and he stood up abruptly, pushing the chair out of the way. Two heads snapped in his direction, curiosity grazing their features.
"I have to go." Erik muttered, barely breathing.
"We just got here, Erik." Magda reminded him calmly. "And we need to do this. We have to start choosing things if we really want to get married in April."
Married in April.
OH MY GOD.
"I know, I'm sorry. I have to go."
He couldn't even bother to wait for an answer, he just left. He didn't stop to say goodbye to Moira, he didn't wait for the elevator, he took the stairs two at the time, running into the street.
It wasn't snowing anymore because it was too cold and the sky had the color of rice paper. He remembered that the keys to the car were at Magda, and he was thankful for it. He was too damn distracted and angry at himself to drive, plus he didn't want to leave her without the car. Hailing a cab, he uttered an address and slumped down in the backseat. These weren't cold feet, Erik knew. It was usual for people to get cold feet, especially close to the wedding. It was just the complete and utter realization that he was going to get married to the most wonderful woman in the world and his best friend since forever and he was absolutely obsessed with the guy that was organizing their wedding.
He just wanted a few minutes of peace. He wanted those devil-like voices inside his head to stop already and let him be. Thankfully the cab-driver didn't try to make conversation, probably sensing Erik's distress.
Slowly the scenery changed from tall, imposing buildings and iced concrete to snowed driveways and houses. The driver stopped in front of a small house, full of frozen rose bushes and a snow and ice-free path.
Erik paid, more than he should have, and exited the car, shivering when the cold air sneaked through his clothes. He was such an idiot. He completely forgot about the jacket that was in the car. Crossing his arms over his chest, Erik opened the little gate in the fence and took the cleared path to the porch. He knocked and waited, his teeth clattering violently. After what felt like ages, the door opened, a breath of warm air gushing outside.
"Erik, what are you doing here?"
He crumpled at the sight of his dear, old mother, a pair of rubber gloves on her hands and an apron tied at her waist. He let out a soft cry, taking an unsteady step in his mother's direction and throwing his arms around her frame. He was almost a foot taller than her, and so much heavier, yet she cradled him to her chest, rubbing the gloved hands on his back. When she kissed his forehead and whispered:
"Oh, meine Liebe." he completely lost it.
He was sitting cross-legged on his mother's ugly, flower-y couch that he desperately wanted to get rid of. He offered his mother to buy her a new one, a more comfortable one, but she declined politely, telling him that it wasn't his duty to buy her things just because he made a name for himself and that she loved the old couch, calling it lovingly der Müll.
She put a soft, wool blanket on his shoulders and in no time returned with a cup of tea to warm him up and left him while she continued to do her cleaning. He could hear her humming songs in German while she was scrubbing something in the kitchen. His mother knew that he always needed time to collect his thoughts in time of distress. Erik took his time to look through the living room. It's been a while since he's been at his mother, and even if they talked regularly on the phone, he still missed her. He made a mental note to visit more often. At least on Sundays to spend the day together, he would hate himself if his mother felt underappreciated because he was too busy.
There was a sigh coming from the kitchen and Erik knew his mother was done cleaning. Done offering him space, in no time she would be sitting next to him on the couch, trying to coax the words out of his mouth.
"I'm happy to see you, mein Liebster." Erik heard her voice, before the couch dipped slightly from where she sat down. She was rubbing hand-lotion on her hands. His mother always did that after a thorough cleaning with chemical solutions, she always complained how they made her skin dry, even if, most of the times she was wearing gloves.
"I'm happy to see you too, Mama. I'm sorry for not coming sooner."
His mother smiled, running a hand through his hair and Erik leaned in her touch.
"Better later than never. Bist du traurig, Schatz?"
"Ein bisschen. Ich bin... verärgert."
"I'm an idiot, Mama."
"What happened, Erik?"
Erik licked his lips, staring into his almost empty cup, trying to decide how to formulate his words.
"Erik, was ist das?"
"Mama, do you know... do you know that I like men as well, don't you?"
His mother's hand didn't even still, she just continued to run her fingers smoothly through his hair.
"Ja. I've always known."
"You did? How?"
She laughed, ruffling his hair, a warm and motherly gesture.
"Erik, Schatzi, a parent always feels. I even think I knew before you did. I've always noticed how your eyes would drift towards men as well."
"Why didn't you say anything?"
"Why would I? It was something you needed to discover on your own."
"I mean... why didn't say something to help me fix this?"
His mother threw him an incredulous look, her eyebrows almost to her hairline.
"Because there's nothing broken, Schatzi. I love you, no matter what."
His eyes filled with tears, and he nodded putting the tea cup on the coffee table and curling on his mother on the couch. It was tight and uncomfortable, and a spring was digging into his hip, but he never felt better.
"I don't think you've come all the way here, without a jacket I might add, to discuss your sexuality, Erik. There's something bothering you. What is it?"
"Magda doesn't know."
"So? Do you think that she'd change her mind about you?"
"I wouldn't judge her if she did. You know her parents, you know how she's been raised. The problem is..."
"Young man, don't make me rip the words out of your mouth. Seriously, Erik, sometimes I think you like to put unnecessary burden on your shoulders."
He chuckled, rubbing his forehead on her shoulder before sighing.
"Before anything, can I ask you one more question?"
"Go ahead, Schatz."
"Do you believe in love at first sight?"
"Erik, what is this? You've never asked such questions before."
"Just answer the question. Please? I'll explain everything."
"Well, yes. I do believe in love at first sight. When I first met your father, I took one good look at him and I knew. We got head over heels for each other, I think that this kind of romance it's a one-time thing and if you happen to experience it then you should sink your teeth into it and never let it go. Not many people stumble upon such joy. The joy of finding your soulmate. Now, care to explain everything? You're giving me wrinkles."
He laughed, pressing a kiss on her cheek and straightening up to talk. His mother would never judge him, she would never think less of him, yet thinking about opening up, even in front of his mother, made his skin crawl. He took a deep breath and started:
"I love Magda, with all of my heart, I really do. Having her in my life after all these years, and being together with her made me so, so happy. But I met someone. A man. And it's like my whole world collapsed within itself. The first time I laid my eyes on him it was like I took the very first breath of air. I don't have the world to explain it, but I know that in that very moment it was just the two of us and nothing mattered anymore. I want him. Every fiber of my being is screaming and yearning to be near him. It's not just sexual attraction, it's like the world finally started to make sense after meeting him. I feel... alive."
He closed his eyes, not being able to look his mother in the eye when he uttered the next words.
"He's our wedding planner."
"Erik..." his mother gasped.
"Du weißt es nicht."
"Mama... I've never felt so horrible in my entire life. I feel like I'm leading them both on without actually doing anything. It's this constat battle with my inner self because I know - oh God I know that I shouldn't do this to Magda. Not when we're planning on getting married and spending our life together. I can't do it to him either. I'm not some kind of god. I'm not entitled to their hearts and I'd hate to hurt them, even though I know that I'm doing it. It's like I have to choose between ruining everything with Magda, loosing her forever as my best friend and my partner, or loosing the other half of my soul."
The silence that fell upon them was deafening, and Erik could hear the blood rushing in his ears and his heart thumping wildly against his ribcage. His mother, thankfully, wasn't planning on keeping it silent for too long.
"I know that you came here hoping to find an answer to your problem, meine Liebe. Yet, I cannot help you. It is you that would have to make the final decision. You'll have to decide between happiness and comfort. I know you never believed in things like soulmates or love at first sight, but I do believe you might experience it. Your situation is too delicate for me to have any input in it, but I trust I raised you good enough to make the right decision. Maybe I sound tough and cynical, but Schatz, you have to protect your soul and your heart. Think over it, hard. No rushed decisions that you might regret later, and always remember that besides me, no one is going to put you first but yourself."
Erik leaned on the couch, dragging his fingers across his face and letting out a bitter laugh.
"I came here to find answers, yet I'm going to leave with even more questions than before."
His mother shook her head, pulling him in a bone-crushing hug.
"Ich liebe dich. No matter what."
"Ich liebe dich auch, Mama."
He ended up staying at his mother's longer than he expected, but he was happy to be in her company, just the two of them again. His chest felt a little lighter, but the feeling still persisted in some part of Erik's brain. He had lunch with her, before he extracted his phone from his pants to see numerous calls from Magda and some texts asking if he was alright and why did he have to be so embarrassing and leave so out of the blue? He decided not to answer her, choosing to deal with whatever thunderstorm Magda stored for him when he eventually got back.
Among Magda's calls and texts he found one from Charles.
Still feeling up for talking?
Yes, he typed back, to which he got an answer barely seconds later. An address, somewhere pretty close to where Charles' office was.
My apartment. I should finish up in an hour or so, feel free to drop by whenever you're ready.
His apartment? It kind of made sense. They couldn't discuss those type of things in public, it was awkward, and he couldn't return to the office or Moira might start asking questions.
I'll be there.
Charles' apartment was in a nice part of the city. Everything one would need was within walking distance and the buildings seemed relatively new and polished. The cab stopped at the curb and the driver leaned on his seat to point with his finger the entrance of the building. Erik paid without much adieu and exited the car. The sun was already beginning to set, the chill in the air growing stronger. Thankfully his mother insisted on finding him a suitable jacket among his father's things that she could never get rid off. It was a little big for him, but it was thick enough to keep him warm.
The doorman had to call for Charles to confirm that yes, indeed, he was expecting an Erik Lehnsherr before granting him the access and saying to take the elevator to the seventh floor. The hammering in his chest didn't stop, he felt like his heart was going to burst in any moment. There were no new messages or calls from Magda and he cringed thinking about the scene he had caused earlier. What was he going to say to her?!
He didn't have enough time to think about that, because the doors opened, forcing him to exit the elevator. He checked his phone for the apartment's number again. 704B, which was right in front of the elevator. Stepping closer and breathing deeply, he knocked twice, loud enough, before he could loose his courage.
It took Charles less than thirty seconds to answer, stealing Erik's breath away completely. He was wearing and oversized multicolored jumper and a pair of black, wool, pyjama pants.
"Hi." Charles whispered, and Erik nodded dumbly at him.
"Come on in."
He stepped inside, the door closing swiftly behind his back.
"Make yourself comfortable." Charles told him, squeezing his shoulder briefly. He removed his jacket and his shoes, arranging them neatly by the door. Charles showed him to the living room, he had a nice apartment. Maybe a little bit too big for a single person, but tastefully and expensively decorated. Erik liked it.
"Would you like something to drink? Tea, water, juice? I don't drink any coffee, but I usually buy some for when Raven visits."
"Oh, tea would be nice."
"Be right back."
He left through a door, assuming that it was the door that led to the kitchen and Erik took his time to look around the place. It was neat and organized, Charles did tell him some time ago that he liked having things in order. There was a bookshelf against one of the walls and he took his time to look through the various titles. There were books varying from young adult fiction to genetics and space books. Not a single one of these books was able to define Charles.
"See something interesting?" he heard Charles say and when he turned around he saw the man next to him, offering a cup.
"You have a lot of books." Erik commented.
"Oh, these are nothing. I also have two more bookshelves like this in my office, down the hall, and don't get me started on the library I have in Westchester. It could rival the one in Beauty and the Beast."
And with that joke, both of them seemed to loosen up. Erik chuckled shaking his head fondly. He stretched his hand out, grasping Charles fingers in his and dragging him towards the couch. They sat down, with their hands still united, both drinking their tea and trying not to glance at the elephant in the room.
After what felt like forever, Charles cleared his throat.
"We can't keep doing this." he said softly, turning to catch Erik's eyes. On his part, Erik stared stubbornly in his cup. He wanted to scream that they, in fact, were not doing anything, but he wasn't a notorious liar.
"I know..." he tried, squeezing the hand in his briefly.
"You're getting married. I'm your wedding planner for fuck's sake!"
"It's really unprofessional."
"For both of us. You're not the only one in this."
"I know! That's why we can't go on like this. I just... I wanted to say that."
Erik put his cup down, turning with his whole body to look at Charles. He was beautiful, radiant, vibrating with a magnetic force that was begging for Erik to come closer, envelop him in a hug and never let him go. His mouth was red-bitten with worry.
"I can't stop thinking about you." he whispered ashamed, heat traveling through his body with a zing.
"Me neither. And it's wrong. Completely and utterly wrong." Charles leaned closer, pressing their foreheads together.
"What did you do to me?" Erik wondered, cupping Charles' face with his hands. "I've never felt like this before. You got me completely hooked."
"I thought I was alone." Charles whispered softly.
"You are not alone." Erik replied, sealing their mouths together in a kiss.
Translation for the German words. To all the German readers, I'm sorry if I butchered your language, unfortunately my German is not so great and Google translate is not too helpful. :')
"Oh, meine Liebe." - Oh, my love.
"der Müll" - the garbage.
"Mein Liebster." - my love.
"Bist du traurig, Schatz?" - "Are you sad, sweetheart?"
"Ein bisschen. Ich bin... verärgert." - "A little. I'm... angry."
"Du weißt es nicht." - You know nothing.
"Ich liebe dich." - I love you.
"Ich liebe dich auch." - I love you, too.
Chapter 7: You got yourself a bad habit
Hi, guys! Sorry for the delayed update on this story, university has been kind of crazy in the past couple of weeks.
Can't believe we've reached 100 kudos!!! Yes!!! Thank you so much for this, you have no idea how much it means to me. Hopefully, I won't disappoint you in the future.
Bear with Erik for this chapter, he has a lot on his shoulders, and because of that he's a jerk. But he's a jerk that we all adore! :')
This chapter's title is from the song Bad Habit by The Kooks. :)
Charles kissed with his whole being. He was pliant, yet dominant, taking easily over the kiss, drowning in it and dragging Erik with him. The taste was of pure unadulterated passion and lust, sweet, strong, something to remember Charles by - and the raw emotion of the action, somehow bitter, thinking that this could be their first and last kiss altogether. Erik didn't want it to end, and from the way Charles was clinging to him, he didn't want that either.
They came up for air, Erik burying his face in Charles shoulder, inhaling his scent deeply and the other man trembling like a leaf in his arms.
"Erik... we can't..." Charles gasped out, tightening his arms around Erik's shoulders. Somehow, in the heat of the moment Charles ended on Erik's lap, looming over him like the most beautiful thing on Earth - his pale skin flushed with arousal and lips red with the intensity of their kiss.
Erik wanted to love him, God, he wanted to love him so bad.
"We have to... we can't do this. I won't allow it." Charles mumbled, casting his eyes down in shame. Lord help him, Erik knew, but the urge to have Charles in his arms like this and keep him forever seemed stronger. It was a battle inside of him. One without any winners.
"Please, I just want to hold you in my arms. Just for today." Erik whispered back, as if he were to talk any louder the magic veil that fell upon them would be ripped.
Charles made a weird sound in the back of his throat, something between a sob and a laugh, but nodded his approval, settling better on Erik's lap and making himself comfortable at his chest. They fit together well, too well, and Erik put his arms around him tight. Charles didn't seem to mind as he pressed a kiss on Erik's chest, over his heart. For a while it was silent, just the sound of their erratic breaths and Erik's heart pounding in his ears. Charles kept his eyes closed, absorbing every detail of how it felt to be in Erik's arms, his expression a mix between content and agony.
"I told my mother about you." Erik said, pressing a kiss on Charles' forehead.
Curious, blue eyes peaked at him and Erik couldn't help himself but lean down and pull Charles in on another kiss. He allowed it for a moment, before he pulled away to ask Erik.
"Because I know she wouldn't judge. Because she's my mother and I was going crazy with thoughts and the need to talk about this with someone."
Charles' eyes softened and he opened his mouth to say something, before Erik silenced him with a short kiss.
"Don't you dare apologize to me, Charles. I said that as a matter of fact. I know you can talk to Raven about this, I don't have anyone besides my mother. My friends would probably say to go for it. Even my best friend who is a psychologist said that - not with these words, but she had me thinking."
"What did your mother say?"
"That I'm the only one capable of protecting my soul and my heart."
"What is that supposed to mean?"
"She believes that this, between us, is a once in a lifetime thing."
"And you?" Charles whispered, cupping his face and brushing his thumb over Erik's cheekbones.
"I know that never in my life I've felt something like this for anyone. I don't think I have the words to describe this. It's too..."
"Much?" Charles completed, burying himself deeper in Erik's arms. "I feel the same."
"I just want you to know that, that I'd rather hurt myself before hurting you."
"The sentiment is wholeheartedly returned. But we can't just think about ourselves, Erik."
"I won't be that person that comes between a couple. I can't."
Erik wanted to shout that he already did. That he somehow, in these short weeks he managed to squirm his way in Erik's heart and get him completely hooked. He kept silent, not wanting to bother Charles with his sentimentalisms. Not wanting to see a frown fall on that beautiful face that haunted Erik's days and nights.
"And that's it?" he couldn't help himself but ask. "That is how it's supposed to be for the both of us? Leaving and praying that in twenty years neither of us will regret this?"
Charles straightened his spine, detangling himself from Erik's grip. He was still in his lap, but somehow, now he seemed far, far away. Charles looked like he was in a lot of pain, his expressive eyes darkening, filling to the brim with painful, bitter tears. Erik couldn't look him in the eye, couldn't see that he was the reason for those tears and that pain.
"It's how is supposed to be, Erik."
Of course. That's how it was supposed to be. Both wondering the outcome of this thing. Both thinking that they were destined to be together, but couldn't. He shook his head, running his tongue over his lips before shifting to stand up. Charles gasped, rushing to get off of Erik's lap and follow him to the hall where Erik began to dress. It was late, Magda was probably worried, right?
"I'll be seeing you, I guess." Erik muttered, the knot in his throat rising and expanding and making it hard to breathe. He had his hand on the door handle when Charles whispered wait, leaping on him and pulling Erik back in another kiss.
Powerful, seductive, making his blood boil and his skin feel like it was on fire. Charles poured everything in that kiss; adoration, love, bitterness and anger, and Erik replied with as much force. He wanted nothing more than to drag Charles back to the couch and have him there - for better or for worse. When they pulled apart, Erik had to lean on the door, trying to catch his breath and get his heart under control.
Charles looked stunning, glowing and thoroughly kissed and like every wet dream come to life. He averted his eyes when Erik looked at him, and that was it: his cue to leave.
Erik turned around just for a second, looking at the wedding planner that sat inside the apartment, hugging himself and leaning against the open door for support.
"Why did it feel like you just kissed me goodbye?" Erik asked and he hated how weak and pathetic his voice sounded. Charles managed to bring him down to his knees and he both loved and loathed the vulnerability that came with those feelings.
"Because I did." came Charles' reply, before he shut the door with a finality that made Erik's gut clench.
Erik and Magda had the next day all planned out. Between grocery shopping - that he missed because he was still sleeping when Magda went to the store - and visiting Magda's parents for a huge family lunch with all of her relatives. When he arrived from Charles, Magda was already sleeping in their bed, tucked on her side of the bed and Erik couldn't find it in himself to just get in there with her so he went in the living room, turning on the T.V. and filling glass after glass of some expensive scotch that Tony Stark gifted him a few months ago. He ended up falling asleep with his head cushioned on the couch's arm and he woke up with his neck stiff and Magda banging pots and slamming the cabinet's doors to put the food away.
He was staring at the ceiling when Magda came into the living room to check up on him.
"You're finally awake." she said snappishly, glancing at the clock. "When did you come home last night?"
"I can't remember when."
"I hope to God you didn't bail on me and our wedding planner to go and get drunk in God knows what filthy bar!"
Just the thought of the wedding planner made the bitterness he tasted on his tongue seem even worse.
"No, I was visiting my mother." he replied, as calm as possible, coming to stand in a sitting position and moving his head from left to right to ease the pain in his neck.
"Why did you run like that? You have no idea how awful that was, it was like I was left at the altar. I couldn't even look Charles in the eye."
"I don't know and it doesn't matter anymore, anyway."
"Of course it matters, don't you dare shut me out when we have so little time until the wedding." she yelled, taking a step closer to him - either to slap him, or take him in her arms. Erik couldn't deal with that at the moment, so he raised one hand, placing it on her shoulder.
"I won't run like that anymore, alright? I'm going to take a shower, my head is pounding and we have to leave to your parents soon."
"Don't think you're off the hook, Erik." she warned him, shaking his hand off and moving towards their bedroom.
"Wouldn't dream of it, Magda." was his only reply before he closed himself in the bathroom.
For the first time since they started to go out as a couple, Erik and Magda got ready by themselves, taking turns in using the bathroom or rummaging through the closet for clothes. It was supposed to be a family lunch, so nothing too fancy, yet he knew that Magda's mother and her aunts were going to gossip if he were to turn there looking like a hungover hobo. He put on a pair of jeans and a crisp white button down, softening the casual look and bringing a bit of color on his face. He looked worn-out, awful and incredibly sad. Erik wondered if Magda noticed this?
"I'm going to wait for you in the car." Erik announced his fiancee when she was applying the finishing touches to her make-up. She scoffed under her breath, but he couldn't really deal with the mood anymore.
He knew how unfair it was to pour everything on Magda, it wasn't her fault that things turned out how they did. Erik was aware that he couldn't hold himself guilty any longer - he found his soulmate in Charles, it was no one's fault. Not his, not Magda's and certainly not Charles'. It would have been his fault if he would have started a relationship with Charles, knowing well that he was a soon to be married man.
But he didn't.
So there was no reason to feel guilty, right?
The thoughts made something unpleasant squirm in the pit of his stomach and he entered the first store in sight, buying a pack of cigarettes and a lighter.
Smoking was probably one of his worst traits and worst habits. He used to be an avid smoker by the end of the high school and through his college - Magda and his mother trying their hardest to make him give up the bad habit. Eventually, he did, but whenever he was in times of distress he found comfort in puffing cigarettes and breathing in the smoke. How much of a bad habit it was, he missed smoking, Erik realised after crushing the cigarette butt with his foot on the ground and moving towards the parking lot. Magda was already there, her fingers playing with what could only be the car keys. Car keys that Erik forgot in his hurry to get the hell out of the apartment.
His fiancee narrowed her eyes at him, suspiciously, and without adding something she threw the keys in his face, turning to get in the car. He was planning to apologize to her, for his weird behavior, but now everything was going down the drain. He knew Magda better than anyone else and decided to not tell her anything as to not anger her further.
Cramped in the close space of the car Erik realized how bad he reeked of cigarette smoke, Magda noticing two seconds after he pulled out of the driveway.
"Have you started smoking again?" she yelped, sniffing the air between them and Erik rubbed the spot on his forehead where he could sense a headache forming.
"Yes, I did. That's what I was doing while you were waiting for me."
"You gave up this habit a long time ago, don't tell me you'll start doing it again."
"I'm not..." She silenced him with a finger.
"Because you know how unhealthy it is."
"Yes, I do, Magda..."
"And you know how hard me and your mother have worked to make you give up."
"I can't believe you're doing it again. Do I need to call Edie? How long has this been going on?!"
"Enough!" he shouted, losing his temper and stepping on the break with a muttered curse under his breath, barely avoiding a collision with the car that was stopped at a red light.
"Lord Almighty, Erik, are you trying to kill us?" she yelled back, slamming her palm on the dashboard. "What the hell is wrong with you?"
"Could you maybe stop asking so many questions at once so I can fucking say something?"
The look on her face was of pure shock, mouth opening and closing several times before giving up and huffing an angry puff of air. She turned her head in the other direction, and Erik gritted his teeth when the car behind him honked to get him moving. Right, traffic. He almost forgot he was at a red light. Starting the car again, he took several calming breaths, fumbling in his pocket after the pack of cigarettes. Magda was looking at him from the corner of her eye, and when she saw he pulled out the pack, she ripped it from his hand, throwing it on the backseat.
"Don't you fucking dare." she snarled, looking like she wanted to slap the living daylights out of him. "Seriously, Erik? I lecture you about this and you go and pull a cigarette out of your pocket? Don't you have the tiny bit of respect for me?!"
"Stop picking at everything I do." he replied with a groan, slamming his head against the headrest.
"I will if it puts your life, or my life in danger. You know what, excuse me for caring, Erik. I'll try not to in the forseeable future!"
Erik bit his tongue to stop him from saying anything they'll both regret, and Magda let out another angry sound before turning to look out of the window. They traveled like that all the way to her parents' house, both fuming with anger and tension. It felt like a relief when Erik pulled the car in Magda's parents driveway. She didn't even wait for him to stop the car, she climbed out of it and all but ran inside the house. Erik sighed, dropping his head on the wheel and breathing deeply he didn't even understand where this fight was coming from, or what was the problem with this weird tension. He felt drained of energy. Everything that happened from yesterday up to this hour it was too emotionally hard for him.
Taking a deep breath, he followed Magda inside, not bothering to knock and walking in the middle of a nightmare. There were a lot of people gathered at his soon to be in-laws: aunts, cousins, uncles and children, all of them gathered around Magda trying to make her talk about the wedding.
"There he is! The man of the hour!" someone shouted and all those pairs of eyes went from Magda to him. Erik felt his cheeks warming up due to being the center of unwanted attention, but he greeted everyone politely, hugging Magda's father - Howard, and kissing her mother Esther on the cheek.
"Erik, it's so nice to finally meet you!" somebody else said, grabbing at his hand to shake it firmly. A kiss was planted on the corner of his mouth and just like that, they spent almost an hour answering questions, about their relationship, the upcoming wedding and their careers, from people Erik's never met in his entire life. He knew how large Magda's family was, he never imagined it would be that large.
"Oh come on" an aunt named Eva was saying, her voice nasal and very unpleasant to Erik's ears " who keeps tradition anymore? That thing died ages ago."
"Yes" her husband Hubert was agreeing "plus, look at him. Such a big, strong man like this guy wouldn't be able to refrain from intercourse until after the wedding."
"Is that why you're rushing with the wedding, sweetheart?" a sweet looking woman asked Magda, if Erik recalled correctly her name was Ruth. "Are you pregnant?"
"What? No, I'm not!" Magda protested and Erik felt sick to the stomach. They were like a pack of wolves, and the two of them landed face-first into their cage. Jesus, Erik never felt so embarrassed in his life.
"Your family wouldn't judge you if you were." Ruth continued, nodding her head in understanding.
"Well, she's not." Erik snapped, making Magda kick him in the shin.
"I was just saying, sweetheart. Since you're rushing with getting everything planned."
"We're not rushing. We've been together forever." Magda explained. "Okay, maybe we are rushing a bit, but not because any unplanned pregnancy, our wedding planner is really busy because he's one of the bests, he tried to squeeze us somewhere in his busy schedule."
"Oh, really? Who is he?" Lissa, Magda's cousin asked. She recently got engaged, maybe she was already thinking of planning her wedding.
Erik wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. Somehow, Charles' ghost managed to hunt him even when there was nothing related to him.
Dinner was served and even if they were seated around the table, the chatter never seemed to dissipate, if anything it got worse, the main subject still being Erik and Magda.
"Magda would make a wonderful mother." Esther was saying between bites of food. "She's such a caring woman. A couple of kids would make her life complete."
"Indeed. You need to get started on giving your mother grandchildren as soon as you tie the knot." another aunt was saying. Erik couldn't for the life of him remember her name.
"There's plenty of time to do that." he replied, earning a few weird looks.
"Nothing makes your life better than kids, sweetie." Esther said, smiling encouragingly at him.
"Silence, does. Our careers. I'd like to have kids when I'm ready to have them - stable, both financially and emotionally."
The table was silent all of the sudden, and Erik really wished he got rid of the habit of putting his foot in his mouth. All of the relatives were looking at them with shocked expressions on their faces, like they couldn't believe what was being said. Magda was throwing daggers at him and if looks could kill, Erik would have been long dead. Howard cleared his throat, trying to steer the conversation in another direction, but Eva, the aunt with the nasal, annoying voice butted in:
"Sounds to me like you don't want children, Erik, dear."
"Of course he does!" Magda replied, a little bit hysterical.
"I do, just not right away. Certainly not right now."
"What if it happens? Accidentally?"
"It won't. We'll be careful."
"Dear, you do know that using contraceptive methods is a sin, don't you?" Eva almost snapped, her face turning pink at Erik's unimpressed look.
"Ever heard of pulling out?"
As soon as the words left his mouth, Magda was on her feet, manhandling him out of his chair and out of the front door, while the men roared with laughter and the women flushed with embarrassment. Good, Erik thought. That would put her in her fucking place.
"Are you out of your damn mind?" Magda whisper-yelled at him, pushing him in the chest. "What gives you the right to talk like that in front of my family?"
"She provoked me! She thinks she knows better than us what's good for our relationship." Erik replied, going to the car to retrieve his pack of cigarettes and lightning one. Magda and her crap be damned, he needed that puff of smoke more than he needed air right now.
"I don't even know who you are or what's wrong with you. You never pulled a stunt like that. You should be ashamed of yourself for what you said!" she shouted at him. "Get that fucking death-stick out of your mouth."
"I think that I deserve a smoke after putting up with your family, don't you think?"
"Oh, so my family is the problem now? Not the fact that you act like a complete fucking jerk?!"
"Careful with the cursing, otherwise your Holy Aunt Eve would think that you're a sinner."
Magda sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose with two fingers.
"It's clear that something's wrong, and truth be told, I don't have the patience to deal with you right now, so please leave. You've done enough. I'll have to go inside and face my family and try to repair what you said. And I'm going to stay over, I can't and I don't want to deal with one of your fucking moods right now, or later tonight. Feel free to take the car and just go home, I'll talk to you tomorrow." and without a spare glance in his direction she went inside, the door slamming shut after her.
Erik stood there, trying to sort the mess inside his head. God, he was an idiot. A complete and utter idiot and Magda certainly didn't deserve the stress caused by his attitude. Her aunt pissed him off, he should have handled it a little bit better than he did.
Stomping the cigarette with his heel, he unlocked the car and pulled out of the driveway. He didn't want to go home, it wasn't good for him to sit around, locked in and stew in his thoughts.
So he went to the root of his problems.
Chapter 8: I'm a mess. I'm a loser.
This chapter contains brief sexual encounter.
Title from Bebe Rexha's song "I'm a mess".
Hi guys! Happy belated Easter to all of you who celebrated last Sunday! :)
Let me know what you think of the new chapter in the comments, and thank you for reading!!!
He didn't mean to fall asleep. Half hanging from the couch, he opened his eyes confused, not knowing what woke him in the first place. A wedding book was laying on the floor, along with several other papers that fell from his hand when he fell asleep. Charles fixed his glasses on the bridge of his nose, thankful they weren't bent or otherwise harmed, before straightening his posture and standing up to see who was at the door.
A knock was what awoke him from his nap.
A desperate one even, it made something unpleasant clench in his gut and for the millionth time he cursed the fact that he didn't have a peephole. Running his fingers through his hair, Charles tried to make himself look the tiniest bit presentable for whoever was on the other side of the door.
It was understandable how much of a shock it was when he came face to face with Erik looking awfully distressed.
"Hi." Charles muttered, because really, what else to say?
"Hi." Erik replied back, his face pinched with an emotion unknown to Charles. "Is it a bad time?"
Yes, say yes. Spare yourself of his presence.
"No, come in, please." Charles, ever the polite gentleman, gasped out while moving from the doorway to make Erik room to enter the apartment. Everything was dark inside, the sun was high on the sky when he fell asleep on the couch, now the living room was cast in pitch black. He felt blindly after the switches, turning the lights on everywhere. He hissed and squinted, his palms flying to his glass-covered eyes to protect him from the sudden brightness.
Charles finally saw the state Erik was in when his eyes adjusted to the lights. The other man looked awful, stressed and alert, like he was a bomb ready to explode. It was an unusual look for Erik who always seemed so calm and composed, like nothing could truly touch him.
It broke Charles' heart.
"Erik? Is everything alright?"
What are you doing here? After yesterday, what could you possibly want from me?
"I'm sorry." Erik breathed out, looking Charles' directly in the eye. "I didn't know where else to go. I just..." he stopped and shook his head, worrying his lip between his teeth with a muffled sigh. That look punched a wave of sympathy out of Charles' chest and he found himself cradling the much taller man in his arms, rubbing soothing circles on his back.
They stood like that probably longer than it was morally accepted, but Erik was warm and in need of comfort, and Charles wasn't a cold hearted monster, he couldn't let a suffering man deal with everything alone. Even though he didn't know what was going on and what brought Erik in this state. When they parted he didn't look better, if only, it seemed like Charles' hug was the ultimate drop that filled Erik's glass to the brim.
"Let's go to the living room." Charles said, steering Erik away from the hallway. It was like leading a blind man to his death with how hard Erik was grasping his hand. He made the taller man sit on the couch and get comfortable among the decorative pillows while he gathered his papers and went to the kitchen to fix him a cup of tea.
He had no idea if Erik was a tea drinker, but it wouldn't matter. If Charles learned anything from his mother it was that a hot cup of tea would make everything feel better - no matter if you were sick, tired or happy. When Charles returned in the room, he found Erik sitting with his head in his hands, swaying back and forth like a mad man. He cleared his throat, announcing his presence and Erik snapped his head up so fast, Charles was afraid he hurt himself.
"Tea." said him, intelligently, offering the hot beverage to cold, shaking hands.
The silence between them was only broken, from time to time, by Erik blowing over his tea, or him sipping from the cup.
"I hope I'm not disturbing you." Erik said softly, turning his whole body towards Charles. Like he was a sunflower and Charles was the sun, it made the wedding planner feel warm and mushy inside.
"No, don't worry. I was working and I seem to have fallen asleep."
"Oh," Erik muttered, casting his eyes down "I'm sorry for waking you up."
"It's no problem, Erik. Are you alright? You seem troubled. You said that you didn't know where else to go."
"Yes, I... I don't even know how to say this without sounding like a fucking jerk. Or an idiot."
"Just say it, Erik. Whatever it is, I'll help you. And I won't judge you."
Taking a deep breath, Erik put his mug on the coffee table and leaned closer to Charles:
"Yesterday, after I left, I was... how to put it simply, in emotional distress. I didn't know what to do. So I just went home and drank something and fell asleep on the couch. I've missed everything that Magda and I had planned for the day and when she woke me in time to get ready to go to her parents, she wasn't happy. Yeah, she wasn't happy at all. We fought a little and after I went to get myself a pack of smokes, because, yes, sometimes I still smoke, when I'm stressed or in a bad mood I just need it. And I needed one right then. She realized and we fought a little more, worse than before, and everything culminated when we arrived at her parents' house for dinner and all of her relatives were there and everyone started to talk about the wedding, and how we have to get started on having children and I just snapped. I snapped because I don't want that. I don't want kids right now, sure, maybe someday, but not right now, not after the wedding. Not with..."
He stopped, looking quite shocked with himself and Charles felt his throat drying up.
Not with what?
Not with Magda?
Was that what was going to come out of Erik's mouth?
The man sighed, burying his face in his hands and letting out a pathetic whine.
"You must think I'm an idiot."
"Well," Charles began in a friendly, light tone, trying to ease the atmosphere even though his heart was pounding "people usually get cold feet hours before the wedding, you're a special case, you got cold feet months before the wedding."
Erik laughed, a hollow, awful sound that ripped Charles heart apart. Erik was hurting, bad, and Charles didn't know what to do. His laughter turned into a sob, making the wedding planner waste no more than three seconds before he was gathering him again, tight, in his arms.
"God, I'm a mess." Erik whispered, burying his face in Charles' neck, breathing the soft scent of the wedding planner deeply.
"Oh, my darling." Charles sighed, moving to sit on Erik's lap without disturbing the man.
"I'm sorry for coming over like that. Especially after yesterday. However weak that makes me sound, I couldn't deal with everything alone. I had to see you."
"Shh, it's alright, Erik. Everything's alright. I'm sorry too, for shutting you out like that yesterday, it wasn't fair."
"Yes it was. I understand, I don't blame you. You did what you think was right. I could never blame you for that."
Charles nodded, pressing a soft kiss on his forehead, still keeping his arms around Erik and his ass in his lap. It was better than anything he ever experienced - a hug, Erik's hug was better than anything. He wondered if he felt like that because by some ridiculous joke, Erik was his soulmate. Everything had to be better with a soulmate, right?
"Thank you." Erik whispered against his neck, making goosebumps rise on Charles' skin. "For being here."
"Oh, Erik... Always, no matter what. Would you like to stay, for dinner? I can't cook to save my life, but we could order something."
Erik laughed, looking up at Charles. He was devilishly handsome, and dangerously close. If Charles wanted, he could lean in just an inch and their mouths would press together. Erik was looking at him like he was a precious gem, something to cherish, and Charles basked in that glorious feeling for a few seconds.
"I can cook for you. Got nowhere else to be, and to be honest, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else." Erik whispered, smoothing his palm over Charles' bangs, aware that his words made the wedding planner blush like a schoolgirl.
"Yes!" Charles exclaimed, throwing the last bit of morality he had left, pressing their lips together in a soft kiss. "Yes, I want you to cook for me."
The wedding planner thought that seeing Erik in his kitchen would be awkward and weird. Or at least, that Erik would be awkward and weird. It was the exact opposite; he was moving freely around, banging pots and chopping vegetables, seemingly unaware of how Charles was heatedly ogling his back and his ass. More than that, it filled Charles' heart with joy, seeing another person in his kitchen, someone other than his friends or Raven, or lousy, ignorant one night stands that would stumble hungover in search of a glass of water.
Erik was at ease, cracking jokes or complaining about difficult clients he had to encounter and wanted to murder. He spoke about his childhood and his mother, about his relationship with Magda and how they were best friends. It was clear to see that Erik loved her very much.
Charles in turn spoke about his miserable childhood. How he grew up privileged and how for the longest of time, his sister was his only friend. He told Erik about his mother and his father, how his step-father abused him and Raven - but mostly him and how hard he wanted to escape and make a name of himself. Charles never wanted to be part of the Xavier Estate, at first he hated the weight of the name, but he grew to get used to it. Lastly he told Erik about his studies, his college years and how much he adored his current job.
They bonded over Tony Stark, both complaining about the man's quirks, but admitting that - in a way - they found him adorable, and a reliable friend.
Erik cooked them delicious pasta, and Charles opened a bottle of red wine, stealing sips and bites from the other's glass and plate. It made Charles feel less lonely, Erik completed him on a whole new level. He hated that, at some point, Erik would have to leave. They moved to the couch, each with a cup of coffee and sharing a bowl filled with different ice cream flavors, whipped cream and fresh strawberries.
"Best pasta I've ever eaten." Charles commented, feeding Erik a strawberry covered in melted ice cream. Erik rolled his eyes, moving to plant a sweet kiss on the wedding planner's lips.
"You don't have to sweet talk me to win me over." he replied.
"I'm not!" Charles laughed, even harder when Erik threw him a dirty look. "I'm really not trying to sweet talk you. I think you're an amazing chef. Wish I could cook like that."
"Well..." Erik muttered, taking the bowl off the couch and putting it on the glass table before crawling over Charles "if you wouldn't have stared at my ass all that time, maybe you could have helped."
Charles' legs circled his waist automatically, pulling Erik flush against him: a delicious, warm weight.
"You felt that, huh?"
"I was having a hard time concentrating. I almost sliced off my fingers." Erik said, bending his head to press his lips against Charles' pulse point. The wedding planner sighed in pleasure when Erik bit down on his neck, moving his mouth up, in search of Charles' kiss.
"I was having a hard time concentrating t-too." Charles stuttered, hips bucking involuntarily, grazing the stiffness in Erik's pants with his. Erik groaned in his mouth, his hands coming to rest on Charles' hips, squeezing so tight, he was sure it was going to leave a bruise. Compared to their other kisses, this one felt different, filled with raw emotion, need and lust, all of these feelings burning Charles from inside out.
Erik pushed into him, making their clothed erections slide together.
"Erik..." Charles moaned, breaking their kiss to suck in a deep breath. Erik's reply was a grunt, and a thrust of his hips, making Charles beg for more. In the depth of his soul he felt like a cheap whore, begging like that for someone's touch, something he never done during intimacy, but on the other hand he couldn't care less. He wanted Erik to know how badly he craved his touch.
Soon Erik's rhythm turned wilder, his breath more erratic making Charles squeeze his arms and his legs around Erik, before their orgasms washed over them like a wave.
"Mein Gott..." Erik said, his breath hot and heavy against Charles' neck. "I haven't come in my pants since I was a teenager."
Charles laughed out loud, making the both of them shake.
"Me neither, but it was glorious."
"There's nothing glorious about semen drying up in my underwear, Schatz."
"Lord, you're such a baby." Charles chuckled, pushing Erik off of him. "Come on, I think I have a pair of sweatpants big enough to fit you in my bedroom."
"Was that your subtle way of saying that we should move this to the bedroom?" Erik teased with a cheeky grin, smacking Charles' bottom lightly.
"No, you pervert! I mean... imagine I wouldn't make a scene if something like this were to happen again. Without the wet underwear, of course."
Erik raised to his full weight, grabbing Charles by his waist and dragging him closer.
"Trust me, Schatz, there won't be any clothes in sight, next time"
Chapter 9: A wedding planner, a fiance and a Raven walked into a bedroom...
Hello again, you beautiful people! Hope you enjoy this chapter that has come after such a long wait! Actually, I really hope that it was worth the wait! :)
He woke up because he was feeling watched. His sleep-addled mind whispered that it was like in one of those romantic movies, where he would wake up to see the man of his dreams staring down at him with the sappiest, most loving expression on his face. It made something light up in his chest, but it also made him feel all sorts of embarrassed because he could feel his hard on, screaming with attention, and the pillow surely left some unpleasant marks on his face.
But, when he opened his eyes, oh so slowly, like he'd seen all those girls doing in movies, he realized that he was staring at the back of Charles' ruffled head, with him snuggled as close as possible to Erik's front.
Huh, so that was the reason of his hard-on.
Maybe the feeling of being watched was just his imagination, and Erik was fully ready to go back to sleep before he heard someone clear their throat from the other corner of the room. He jumped up, startling Charles' in the process, and looked towards the far end of the room. Raven was the only person in the world he didn't expect to see, sitting in an armchair and munching on a bagel, like the Earth's weirdest sister.
"By all means, don't stop on my account." she said, smirking through her mouthful of cream cheese.
"Raven?!" Charles exclaimed, sounding rough but wide-awake, from next to him. Hilariously, he pulled the sheets closer to his body, covering his naked torso.
"Yeah, Charles, cover your boobs! They are bigger than mine." she cheered, throwing a crumpled paper bag on the bed.
"Raven what in the world are you doing here? And um... good morning."
"Good morning to you too, dear brother. Seems like you had a good night." her blue eyes turned to Erik, and she desperately tried to look composed and uninterested, but he could see the gleam of harsh judgement and coldness - directed towards him. "And who are you again?"
"Raven!" Charles exclaimed again, covering his face with his hands. He muttered something that vaguely resembled this is so embarrassing.
"I'm Erik Lehnsherr." Erik decided to reply. Was it too prematurely to offer a handshake? Would it be too weird?
"Oh. The married guy."
Charles tensed next to him, and Erik had to fake a cough to cover the curse that came to his lips. It was clear that Raven pointed to something, that's why Charles felt, suddenly, miles away from him. God, but he wanted to curse her, for ruining their perfect, impenetrable bubble. But he couldn't. Mostly because she was right. Partially because he didn't want to upset Charles.
"Raven, please get out so we can get up." Charles gritted out, pointing the door with his chin.
"Why, are you naked? Did you have sex last night?"
"Get out, now!" Charles snapped, making Raven huff in annoyance before standing and exiting the room without so much as a spare glance in their direction.
Charles was the first one to snap into action, throwing the covers over Erik, hitting him in the face with the corner of the duvet, and standing up a little bit too fast judging by the way he spun on his feet for a second. He was mumbling like a madman under his breath, and Erik couldn't understand anything else besides always with her nose up in my business and why is she such a weirdo sometimes? He threw Erik's sweater over his torso, making the taller man swoon like a schoolgirl when he noticed how cute Charles looked drowned by the layer of soft wool that stopped once it covered his butt. Charles was, understandably, angry, but Erik still couldn't help himself and think that he looked more like a pissed pocket-dog.
Before following Raven outside the bedroom, Charles turned around and offered an apologetic glance.
"I'm very sorry for what you're about to hear."
And with that he left, slamming the door shut on his way out and leaving a very confused Erik behind, tangled in rustled sheets and stuffy air. Welp, he thought, time to get up as well.
There was a en-suite bathroom attached to the bedroom, so he went over his routine, using Charles' toothbrush to clean his teeth and taking a quick shower. His underwear was ruined by last night's activities, so he tossed those in the hamper and put on his pants like that.
What he didn't expect was to hear a full-on screaming match between the two siblings outside the bedroom door.
"For fuck's sake Charles, you're planning his fucking wedding and you play between the sheets with him." Raven was yelling, and Erik winced because true. "Why would you do that? I specifically told you to stay the fuck away from him!"
"Stop yelling at me, Raven. This isn't going to change a damn thing." Charles replied back harshly. "Even more so, it's not going to change how I feel about him."
"You're stealing another person's life and husband! How you feel about him? You don't know shit about how you feel about him."
"I know that I like him." the brother said, his voice rising with each word.
"Jesus Christ, Charles! Do you even hear yourself? You're ready to ruin someone's marriage and future because you like them. Don't you have even a little bit of respect for that? I mean, what do you think? That he's going to leave his fiancee for you? The wedding planner? No, better yet. Let's ask him."
"Raven, don't..." Charles managed to say before Erik was caught in the middle of the bedroom, with a crazy-looking Raven bursting through the door. Charles was quick on her tail, trying to pull her back by the arm, but she stood her ground.
"Are you planning on leaving your fiancee for my brother?"
There it was. The question that haunted every single one of Erik's moments since the first time he's seen Charles in his cute, fancy office. The single question that could both ruin and lighten Erik's life and of those around him. Was he? Was he ready to throw everything he shared with Magda out the window, just like that? They had history, and despite everything that was between them, they used to love and respect each other fiercely. But also... Charles was Charles. Erik was sure that he'd never felt true happiness before meeting Charles. That everything in his life was going well, before him, but now everything was going great.
And fuck him. And fuck Raven too for daring to ask him such a question. To spoke the truth out loud so easily like it couldn't ruin three lives just like that. With just a positive or negative answer.
"You take too long to answer." Raven hissed between her teeth, bringing Erik back from his thoughts. Turning to her brother who just stood there, head hanging down and shoulders slumped in defeat. "See? You're just the fun, pretty, little thing that can warm his bed before tying the knot."
"Don't talk to him like that!" Erik heard himself say and the siblings both turned to look at him. "You don't know a thing about what's going on between the two of us, so stop sticking your nose where it doesn't belong. And if someone is going to get hurt, and trust me, hurting your brother is the last thing I want to do, then it will be our business, certainly not yours. This doesn't concern you, Raven."
"Yes it does. He's my brother."
"Who's old enough to make his own decision. How about you stick to your own marriage and let us do our thing?"
Raven opened her mouth to reply back, but Erik was quick enough to cut her off.
"Now do you mind? I need to talk to your brother. Privately."
The sister searched for help in Charles' direction, but he raised his chin as a challenge, making Raven huff annoyed and storm out of the room. As soon as she was out of sight, Erik let out a huge breath.
"I'm sorry to say so, but your sister is the devil. She's scary as hell."
His words bought a smile to Charles' lips who came crashing into him for a hug.
"I'm sorry for the things I said. I shouldn't have. I know that she's mad at me, but I couldn't stop. I was way too over the line."
"You were great." Charles muttered with his face mushed into Erik's shoulder. "Thank you for sticking up for me."
"Always." Erik said, pulling him in on a kiss. "I should go."
"Are you better now? Better than you were yesterday?"
Erik thought that no one should sound so concerned after that huge fight happened. But here he was; Charles. In all of his genuine worry. It made Erik's insides turn to goo.
"Don't worry about me. Worry about yourself. I'm sure your sister will have some chosen words for me."
"Oh, she will. I'll keep you posted."
"I wanted to take you out today. For breakfast. But I think it would be wise to postpone this. After everything."
"It's a date." Charles replied shyly, tucking Erik's sweater over his head and handing it back to him. The wedding planner found a shirt to put on him and escorted Erik out of the room. Raven was sitting in an armchair, furiously texting someone on her phone. She didn't even spare them a glance, making Charles roll his eyes at his sister's pettiness.
"See you soon?" Erik asked when he was finished with putting on his shoes, jacket and making sure his phone and wallet were in place.
"Sure, as soon as possible."
They kissed, slow and sensual, making Erik chuckle at the dumbstruck look on Charles' face and Raven's pissed one. He looked at her, licking the last traces of Charles' taste from his lips, and winked.
"See you around, Raven."
Raven was a bitch, in the true essence of the word, and he wanted to show her that he could be bitchier.
That would definitely work.
Chapter 10: Alles ist gut.
Back again with a chapter. Shorter this time around, but I'd say vital for the storyline. Next one will be, of course, from Erik's perspective!
Hope you'll like it and thank you so much for your kind words, they make me keep going. <3
If there was one thing Charles hated with all his being it was the cold. He couldn't stand it. No matter how many layers of sweaters and how thick his coat was, he was permanently cold. That being told, being a wedding planner and not having a car - even though owning a car in New York City was, what others would call, a death penalty - fucking sucked. The damned sidewalk not being cleaned of the heavy snow that kept on falling, was also an impediment. Even more so considering he ran all of his errands on foot. He never once complained when it was raining, years and years of living in England helped him get accustomed to that kind of weather. Or when it was too sunny and you all but melted on the ground, the heat of the sun amplified by miles of concrete, too many cars and people, and unnecessary buildings.
He couldn't stand it.
He was trying to walk faster, but his boots kept on sliding over the snow. In times like these he hated his job. Especially since he was up since six a.m. sorting out details for the upcoming weddings. At eight in the morning his phone rang for the first time, which wasn't a surprise, some of his clients called him earlier than that. One bride, that he couldn't for the love of God remember the name of, called to yell at him over the phone that there was a mistake at the store with the bridesmaids' dresses. They arrived in tones of peach. Not lemon like she asked for! We had an agreement, she was yelling. They didn't. Not when
Charles kept on telling her that lemon on the bridesmaids' dresses would clash with her wedding theme.
He managed to convince her. Or so he thought. Not after that giant scandal she pulled on him on that morning. He tried so hard to make her give up on that color, saying that the pictures would turn out not as good as she would have hoped for. And also, the bridesmaids hated that color.
It's my wedding day. I have to be the most beautiful.
Suit yourself, Charles thought bitterly, telling himself that it was the last time he didn't trust his gut feeling about someone. As awful as it may have sounded, he was pretty sure that this bride and her groom were to be separated in less than a year.
He was thinking so hard about everything that he didn't notice the portion of ice until he was skating over it on wobbly legs. Thank God for that hand that grabbed the hood of his coat, trying to stabilize him before a strong arm wrapped around his waist.
"Charles! Are you alright?" Magda's concerned face cleared before his eyes. "Thank God for Erik's quick reflexes."
So much for catching a break these days, he said to himself before turning towards his savior. Surely it was his life mission to stumble upon Erik whenever he looked like a dork. His glasses were already fogging up with the force of his blush when he realized how clichee everything was. The two of them tangled in the middle of the sidewalk after Erik saved him from a nasty fall.
Thankfully the other man seemed to believe that as well, for he retreated his arm slowly, but kept his hand around Charles bicep just to be sure. Charles realized that Erik didn't look any better. They haven't seen each other in a week, and that was one week too long, but something must have happened to Erik in that week. He looked tired. Sad, hunched over like he was carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders, dark marks circling his eyes due to the lack of sleep.
"Are you alright?" he asked and even his voice was rougher around the edges.
"I'm fine, thank you." Charles squeaked. "That would have been a tragedy considering how busy I am these days."
Erik's eyes flared with amusement and his eyes creased at the corners, before he bowed his head graciously as an acceptance of Charles' gratitude.
"Hello you two, fancy meeting you here!" the wedding planner exclaimed nervously, tearing his eyes from Erik to kiss Magda on her cheek.
"You as well, Charles. What are you doing around here?" Magda asked, accepting the kiss.
"I was going home from adverting a crisis involving a bridezilla, a few dresses and poor taste in colors. What are you doing here?"
"Waiting for Erik's mother to arrive. We were thinking about having brunch here."
"Oh that's wonderful." Charles replied, inhaling deeply when the sweet smell of clove filled his nose.
He turned towards the source of the smell, surprised and the tiniest bit aroused when Erik took a slow drag from a cigarette, puffing the smoke towards the sky.
"I didn't know you smoke." Charles blurted out by accident, making Erik chuckle and Magda laugh nervously.
"He doesn't." she said something before Erik could. "It's a bad habit that he picked again, I'm trying to make him quit."
"It's a form of relaxation, so to speak." the wedding planner shrugged his shoulders.
"It's a form of dying faster." she groaned. "It's not healthy in the long run, it causes a lot of problems. Especially since if you're trying for a baby."
Charles almost choked on his own tongue at the words and he heard Erik inhaling sharply through his nose. Right. Kids. Because they were a couple. A soon to be married couple that had been together since forever. It was only natural that after having a long-term relationship, marriage and kids were the next logical steps in their lives. Even though the knife that got stuck in his heart ever since meeting Erik twisted a little, making him bleed on the inside. He wanted to say something, he really did, but he was afraid his voice was going to crack. Thankfully a voice cut sharply through the cold and the sound of Charles' heart breaking.
"Erik! Was machst du hier draussen?"
The one whose name was called turned abruptly, completely forgetting about the hand sustaining Charles.
"Mama. Eis. Achtung!" Erik replied, moving the help his mother through the mountain of snow.
When Charles turned it was the first time in his entire life when he felt like he's seen a ghost. The same imposing sillhouete, tall and proud, but at the same time sweet and gentle, wearing gray splashed hair in the same French braid that he knew how to make. Even though she was mostly hidden by the layers of wool and a thick scarf around her neck, Charles could recognize those eyes everywhere. The eyes that were the same color as the man before him: stormy, mysterious and the most beautiful he had ever seen.
"Edie?" the wedding planner yelped, not knowing how to react. He was pretty sure the woman before him didn't recognize him anymore. He changed a lot since he was thirteen.
But her eyes widened and he was suddenly being pulled in a hug by skinny, yet very strong arms.
"Charles! Mein Junge. Liebling, I can't believe it. Is this really you?"
He felt the tears pooling in his eyes, hot and heavy like lead and he nodded his head.
"Oh, Charles. I missed you, Schatzi."
Of course he ended up having brunch with Edie, Magda and Erik. The older woman wouldn't have it any other way, even though he insisted not to impose on a family gathering. At some point Erik dragged him inside by the hand and showed him to a table because he was too stubborn to even budge and they were getting desperately cold.
Now, he was sat listening to Edie switch from heavily accented English to rapid fire German, trying at the same time to explain to both Erik and Magda how she and Charles met.
She was his tutor. Back when he was just a teenager. Back when his mother was still alive, when he wanted to make him the best gentleman in the whole New York. A lot of his good memories regarding his last few years in Westchester involved Edie. Afternoon tea. Traditional German food cooked with love and the most fun tutoring hours he's ever had in his entire life.
"He found me on the street." Edie laughed, shaking her head and gripping Charles' fingers with her hand. He brought it to his lips to place a kiss on her knuckles. "I was talking to Erik, in German, as we always were, and this little cutie waits for me to finish the call and ask me if I speak German very well. He wanted to be tutored and he hated the teacher his mother picked for him."
"Truth be told, Mr. Shaw still gives me the creeps to this day."
"That's because he was a pervert, Schatzi." Edie muttered, shaking her head. "I tutored him for a year. It took him a lot to learn German."
"Maybe I just liked the company." Charles grinned and turning to Erik he said: "I remember her talking about you. Mein Erik is der Beste. He's in college. Vielleicht triffst du dich, wenn er nach Hause kommt. Ich bin sehr stolz auf meinen Erik."
"Ah, your German is still good, darling. You make me proud." Edie beamed. "How do you know Erik and Magda?"
"Oh, I'm their wedding planner." Charles said as a matter of fact, only to feel Edie still next to him. He looked up to see how Erik's eyes widened before he remembered.
"I told my mother about you."
"What did she say?"
"She believes that this, between us, is a once in a lifetime thing."
Edie knew. Edie knew about what was happening between her son and the wedding planner. Even though Erik was positive she wouldn't judge Charles felt immensely embarrassed. Wrong in every way possible.
Even a little bit dirty. Edie knew that her son was lusting after the wedding planner, and that the wedding planner didn't do anything out of the ordinary to stop him.
Magda was smiling while taking a sip of her drink, clueless to the tension between the other three people at the table. She asked a question Charles didn't hear and the conversation started to return to normal.
When Edie shifted, placing her hand over his sweaty palms he felt like he could breathe again.
"Alles ist gut." she said to them and Charles wanted to believe her with all his being.
If only, he thought bitterly.
Nothing was alright.
Chapter 11: For as long as you'll want me
Hi guys! Back again with a new chapter. Hope you'll like it! ^_^
Things begin to complicate between Erik and Charles, and we're nearing the end so stay tuned! I'll try to update more regularly.
Thank you for reading! <3
March was a welcomed change. It brought more sunlight, less cold and beautiful scenery. He was never the one to brag about a favorite season, but the spring right around the corner made something loosen in his chest.
It also brought the wedding.
Stepping inside Charles’ office after weeks of not seeing each other and only talking briefly on the phone or through texts made him giddy with an unknown emotion. He closed the door after himself, feeling guilty thankful for the dumb fuck of a driver that managed to splash Magda with water from head to toe. That gave him the liberty of ogling the wedding planner unashamedly.
The said wedding planner was pacing the floor of his office like a mad man, hair sticking out in every direction and his pale chest and delicate collarbones peaking from underneath the opened shirt.
’’You got the color wrong, Geary. You fucked up a day before the wedding.” He was saying, not stopping to acknowledge Erik whatsoever. ’’Now the bride wants to change everything on your expenses... I don’t give a shit about your business, Geary. Not when it threatens mine! Get those fucking flowers at the venue tomorrow or so help me God, I will make sure you have no business.”
He ripped the Bluetooth headset from his right ear, letting out a frustrated groan, seemingly unaware that someone was there in the room with him. Erik took a second to admire the compact, athletic figure of the wedding planner, before clearing his throat to make his presence known. Charles gasped embarrassed, blood already coloring his face, when he turned around with a cry of:
’’I am so sorry you had to hear that!’’
Erik laughed, shaking his head.
”That’s alright. Work can be a bitch sometimes.”
Charles’ eyes softened for a second before he traveled the distance between them to throw his arms around Erik in a short, but longing hug.
Erik sighed with relief. However bad that sounded he was happy that the wedding planner didn’t seem to have forgotten about him. After so much time spent apart, he was sure that Charles’ feelings would decrease in intensity. Having him in his arms, clinging so desperately to Erik proved him wrong.
”Hi.” Charles whispered, pulling back to kiss him shortly on the lips before stepping back in case someone decided to enter the office.
”Hi.” Came Erik’s reply, stretching his arm out to cup his face. „”I missed you.”
”I missed you too. So much.” Charles said, kissing the palm of his hand. ”Will you stop by my place tonight?”
Magda’s voice came filtering through the door, she was laughing at something Moira was saying.
”Of course, anything for you.” Erik promised and the smile on Charles’ face was enough to get him through the next hour of guilt, sitting next to his fiancée and lover; discussing the wedding date, dresses and tuxedo’s.
”Charles was so nice for setting me up with his sister to go dress shopping, it would be weird to go with you. Not to mention, you’re not supposed to see my dress until the wedding!” Magda said from the living room. „”Thank God you’re going with him to find a suit, you have impeccable taste, but I think another opinion would be even better – Where are you going?”
She stopped inside the bedroom, watching as Erik pulled a hoodie over his T-shirt.
”To Azazel’s to watch the game. Janos will be there as well and we haven’t hung out in a while.” He lied effortlessly.
”Why haven’t you told me sooner?”
”I wasn’t aware I had to tell you every detail that involves the guys.” Erik muttered, tightening the laces of his shoes before standing up from the bed.
”Don’t start with this shit, Erik, I had a good day. Enjoy the game.” She replied bitterly, almost wanting to flip him the bird.
”I’ll take the car. Don’t wait up for me.” He softened his harsh words with a kiss on her forehead before grabbing everything else he needed and disappearing out of the door.
It seemed like Charles was looking for him through the peephole, for he opened the door as soon as Erik delivered the first knock. He was pulled forcefully into the arms of the wedding planner, crashing into him with all of his weight and making Charles stumble a little.
”I missed you so fucking much.” He whispered between them, sealing their lips in a searing kiss.
It felt even better than he remembered. It felt like coming home. Like the sun peaking through the clouds after a heavy rain. He tightened his arms around Charles’ waist, lips parting with a sort of urgency that made his brain melt and his limbs tremble. The wedding planner leaned into him, kissing back with as much fervor and winding his arms around Erik’s neck to pull him closer than it was humanly possible.
”I need to tell you something.” Charles whispered when they came apart for air. ”And I need to say it now, get it off of my chest.” He took in a deep breath and although Erik’s anxiety could be sensed from miles away he remained glued to the other man, waiting for what Charles had to say. ”We already established that this is bad and at the same time extremely good, or that we shouldn’t be doing this because you are going to get married and I am your wedding planner. But the truth is Erik that you’re far more important than anything I have in my life right now and I know I shouldn’t be saying this, but I’m yours, my heart, my mind and my body – they all belong to you, ever since you stepped into my office with your damn eyes and your damn turtlenecks. For as long as you’ll want me, I am yours and I am done with being the good guy and letting all the best things in life avoid me. I want you, no matter for how long.”
His speech made Erik’s heart roar with life, setting his whole body alight with the force of a thousand suns. He wanted to say all of those things and more to Charles. He wanted to say that there was no one like him. No one. And no other person compared to him. He wanted to say that Charles had him wrapped around his little finger since the second he laid eyes on him; all cute smiles and shy glances and incredibly beautiful eyes. But Erik Lehnsherr was a man of few words, and he felt like Charles already knew that when he finally managed to nod.
”Good. Because I am not going anywhere. I’ll be yours for as long as you’d have me.”
Normally after such a declaration, in movies or books, you see the two main protagonists carrying their affairs to the bedroom to prove just how devoted they were to one another. In real life, or really, in Erik’s version of reality, things evolved to the opposite pole. They moved to the couch in Charles’ elegant living room, ordering food through the food app and sharing long kisses.
When the food arrived they shared that too, trading bites and feeding each other while the TV was running on some French movie he couldn’t care about. How could he? When his entire world was snuggled cozyly in his arms, pressed close and hugging tight as if he wished to never let go, under a soft blanket that smelled entirely like Charles.
”This feels nice.” Charles sighed, closing his eyes in bliss when Erik traveled with the kisses down his throat, sucking on every inch of skin.
”Clearly not enough if you’re still talking.” Erik teased, sinking his teeth in the soft flesh of Charles’ neck. The wedding planner let out a strangled moan, his hand gripping the back of Erik’s head.
” Mhmm. So do you.”
Erik grinned, pushing his hips in Charles and making him fall across the couch with a giggle.
”I am not on the receiving end of this.”
”Oh? Then would you like to be?”
Charles hands traveled down his torso, sneaking cold fingers under his hoodie and wasting no time in pulling it over his head. They kissed, soft at first, not rushing, like they had all the time in the world. For the time being, it even seemed so. As the kiss progressed so did Erik’s state of clothing. The T-shirt he had underneath soon followed the hoodie and it was then that Charles decided to break the kiss.
”I think... I think we should go to the bedroom now.”
Erik looked at him, feeling this amazingly immense desire for the man beneath him. Charles looked deliciously flustered, his pupils so dilated that the blue of his eyes was just a ring of color around the dark pools of liquid passion. His lips were swollen and looked thoroughly kissed. He wanted Charles, more than he ever wanted or needed to breathe. His very own soul was yearning for the touch of the wedding planner.
He nodded, swapping Charles off of his feet and making him giggle adorably.
The bedroom was a semi-dark room, illuminated only by a bedside lamp that was left running. It looked cozy, personal, with a big bed in the middle of the room and soft colors accentuating the dark furniture.
”Are you hurrying to get back?” he asked softly, when Erik put him on the bed, stretching himself over his frame.
”Why? Were you thinking about kicking me out?” Erik asked in return, making Charles roll his eyes with a fond smile.
”I want to make love to you.” the wedding planner whispered shyly, blushing to the roots of his hair.
His words made the air in the room charge with some unknown tension and upon hearing them, Erik’s air was punched out of his lungs.
He always found the saying to be a little bit to cringe for him. Too sappy. It was still sex between two persons, even though those persons were in love. He and Magda never made love, they only had sex when one of them was in the mood, or fucked when both of them were. But making love? Never. Was it, maybe, different from the other forms of intercourse? Softer, gentler?
He realized that he wanted to make love to Charles. He wanted to pour all of his affection, feelings he couldn’t say out loud, over Charles’ body.
”Erik?” Charles asked softly, cupping his face in his hands. ”What is it?”
"Nothing, forgive me." Erik whispered back, managing to distract Charles with a kiss for exactly thirty seconds. The wedding planner pulled back reluctantly, brows coming together in a frown that somehow made him look younger, boyish.
"We don't... we don't have to do that. If you don't want to."
Erik wanted to laugh then. Here he was, the bastard trapped between people whom for each of them he would give up his very own soul and be damned for Hell for the rest of the eternity. Here was Charles, beautiful and kind and everything Erik could have ever wished for. The only things missing were the halo and the pair of wings attached to Charles' body to be truly called an angel. When the wedding planner smoothed his fingers on Erik's forehead, he was pulled back from his thoughts. Cupping the hand, Erik kissed each finger before answering.
"I want to make love to you more than you could ever imagine."
"But?" Charles inquired, placing a soft kiss on his chin, making Erik smile.
"There's no but here, Schatz." he replied before putting his lips on Charles and kissing him senseless.
Leaving Charles all by himself in the dead of the night was the hardest thing he has ever done. Harder than lying to Magda about his whereabouts, especially since the wedding planner was soft and warm and clinging to Erik like a scared child. As mind-blowing as their night was, Erik wanted to break down and scream from the top of his lungs when he turned around to see the kicked puppy expression on his lover's face before the elevators doors slammed shut.
He was an asshole.
Unworthy of both Magda and Charles.
Once in the car, he couldn't stop thinking about them. How amazing Charles was. How he somehow understood that it was too soon to say any words out loud, but on the course of the night, he never shied away from showing Erik where his affection stood.
Poor, clueless Magda.
She believed that Erik was too stressed out, that's why he was acting so weird. He couldn't quite tell her that he was over the moon in love with a person that wasn't her.
The realization came to punch him in the face and he gripped the steering wheel so tight he was going to break his fingers.
He was in love with Charles. He was in love with someone he didn't even quite knew so well, but he was desperately in love with Charles. The shock of realizing he could throw away without a care in the world his entire relationship with Magda and their upcoming wedding and possibly anger all of their relatives and friends, came like a second punch in the face, and when he got home, already past midnight, to a dark house, he also realized that he couldn't bear to see Magda right now. Couldn't stand to sit next to her knowing how much he'll hurt her.
Erik took a blanket and a pillow and slept on the couch in the living room, cold, frustrated, but feeling like the weight of the world got lifted from his shoulders.
"I'll be damned, if it isn't Charles Xavier!" the dark skinned man, staying behind a desk, better dressed than Erik has ever been in his life, whispered-yelled with a huge smile on his face, before standing up and moving to pull the wedding planner in a bone-crushing hug. "My little man." he patted Charles affectionately on the back and released him. "What brings you in our humble shop?"
Erik looked at the polished floor that was as shiny as the man's dress shoes, and the expensive, light furniture and dark walls, a beautiful contrast between the entire room and the dark suits hanging from every corner. Humble? A suit here was probably two of his pay-checks combined, and he had a more than satisfying salary.
"Darwin, it's so good to see you." Charles exclaimed, eyes sparkling with delight and cheeks coloring slightly. "My client here needs a tuxedo, so I brought him to the best place in New York City."
The dark skinned man, Darwin, turned in Erik's direction, analyzing him for a second before sticking his hand out.
"Armando, but call me Darwin, everybody else does."
"Erik Lehnsherr." he replied simply, shaking the man's hand.
"Finally, Charles, you finally brought me someone I could work with. Besides yourself, of course." Darwin winked, making Charles giggle.
"I also recommended you to Tony Stark. I take it he hasn't come?"
Darwin's face did a weird thing upon hearing the name, like he ate a lemon and Erik chuckled. The impact of working with Tony Stark was evident on the other man's face, Erik was sure that was the face he pulled whenever he had to work with the billionaire.
"Oh no, he came." Darwin muttered. "I thought he was cool, alright? I never understood why the tabloids pictured him in such a bad light. We did a couple of jackets for him, some printed shirts that were ridiculous, but hey, the man paid well, I couldn't complain. Until he asked for a bright pink, sparkly tuxedo. Then I told him to get the fuck out of my shop and never come near it again."
Erik and Charles looked at each other before laughing. That was Tony Stark in his true essence.
"He sent me some flowers as a apology gift, though."
"That sounds like Tony. Now. Back to business." Charles commented, moving further inside the shop. "Erik needs a tuxedo for his wedding."
"Right, I'm going to ask Angel to bring in some champagne before I take his measurements. Make yourself comfortable." Darwin replied before disappearing behind a door.
There were two comfortable looking couches and a coffee table in the middle of the place, surrounded by racks of pressed shirts and trousers. Music was playing softly in the background, too quiet for Erik to recognize the song, but loud enough to create an atmosphere. They sat down next to each other and a quick scan of the room indicated that there was nowhere near. Erik put his arm around Charles waist, dragging him closer, and the wedding planner laughed, throwing his arms around Erik's neck to kiss him.
"If I knew you'd bring me to the most expensive place in New York, I would have bothered with my appearance today." Erik grumbled a little, before moving to press kisses all over Charles' face.
"Now why would you even bother, love? You're the most handsome no matter what." Charles replied with sincerity, stealing another kiss.
They heard voices approaching, and Charles let go of him seconds before Darwin accompanied by a petite girl entered the room. She was carrying an ice-bucket with her and two glasses.
"Good morning, gentlemen." the girl smiled, placing everything on the table before kissing Charles on the cheek.
"Angel, my darling, is so good to see you!"
"Right back at you, Professor." she winked at Charles, opening the champagne and pouring in the two glasses before exiting the room.
Charles made himself comfortable on the couch, taking one of the glasses in his hand and shrugging out of his light jacket. Darwin mentioned for Erik to stand up, showing him to some platform that he didn't notice before.
"Take off your jacket. Lord, you're taller than most people that come here."
Erik shrugged, folding his leather jacket neatly and stepping next to Darwin.
"I'm German. Most of us are tall." he managed to reply before Darwin was all over him, measuring and scribbling words on a notebook and then measuring some more. It made Erik feel a tad uncomfortable, considering he's never went through this before. Usually the suits he tried on, from regular shops, were good enough and when he suggested Charles to go to the mall or something, the wedding planner protested loudly. "With a body like yours, you'll need something bespoken to you." Charles looked like he was having fun, his champagne flute already half empty, his eyes dark and hooded watching Erik's every intake of breath. He could feel the wedding planner's desire all the way from here, and it made him gulp loudly, the butterflies in his stomach flapping wildly.
"I must say" Darwin broke the companionable silence "you have a very interesting physique."
"Interesting?" Erik laughed. He has been called hot before, sexy and strong. But never interesting... in that way.
"Yes, you see, you have very broad shoulders. A strong back and strong thighs. But a very slim waist and calves. We're going to do some fittings before the wedding."
Erik shrugged his shoulders.
"Anything you need."
"Good. Now, I have some things for you to try on, get a good image of what we're going to be working with. Are you going for the traditional black? Maybe a white tux with a red rose like James Bond?" Darwin smirked at Erik.
"Black." he answered at the same time as Charles said:
Both Darwin and Erik turned in his direction, watching as Charles sipped elegantly from his glass before standing up to come closer to them.
"Blue?" Erik asked confused.
"Blue, yes. Dark blue, dark green, burgundy or maroon. Anything that would make you stand up like a beacon among your guests. Anything that would make your eyes pop. You're far too complicated to be wearing such a simple color as black, Erik." the wedding planner replied, a warm smile and a twinkle of something darker showing on his face. "So we're trying colors!" he exclaimed to Darwin who clapped his hands excitedly.
"Finally, some good fucking taste. I'm going to get everything ready."
Erik looked in the mirror and couldn't quite recognize himself. The first two shirts were too tight, and the second pair of pants was too loose around his middle. Even though both Charles and Darwin said that both blue and maroon were definitely his colors, Erik thought that the green tuxedo he tried last was the perfect one. He felt comfortable. The material soft and not as tight as the other ones, and although the pants and the sleeves of his jacket were too long, he was sure Darwin could fix that for him.
He stepped out of the changing room, stopping the other two men in the middle of a conversation.
"Is this good enough?" he asked, doing a pirouette and stretching his arms out.
"Fabulous!" Darwin exclaimed. "I love the details on the jacket." he came over, fussing over Erik with the excitement of a four year old boy, pinning his jacket and pants with needles. "You look fabulous even if it's a tad long on you, but it's nothing we can't fix. Charles, what do you think?"
Erik whipped his head up, looking the wedding planner right in the eye. The other man was watching him closely, eyes alight with desire, the blue in them fierce and out of this world. His lips were curved in the softest smile and with his head slightly tilted to the side, Erik wanted nothing more than to scoop him in his arms and kiss him senseless.
"Perfection." Charles finally uttered, the smile on his face morphing into a smirk. "You're going to break a lot of hearts, Erik."
Darwin snorted, shaking his head.
"Are you sure this is the one?"
"Positive." Erik replied.
"Alright, then you're good to go change. I think I heard the sound of the door, best I go and see who it is. Come to the front when you're ready to leave and I'll take your details."
"Thank you, Darwin." Charles said warmly and the man waved his hand around before disappearing.
"I'm going to get changed. Would you like to have lunch together?" Erik asked the wedding planner, entering the changing room once again and closing the door after himself.
He only managed to take off his jacket before the door to the changing room opened and Charles was crowding Erik in a corner, hands going to the button of his pants.
"What are you doing?" Erik asked between two kisses.
"You look hot." was Charles' only explanation, before he dragged both his pants and his underwear down and dropped to his knees.
Erik's whole body filled with anticipation and need, shaking him to the core. The night before they weren't in the mood to do such things, too consumed by their passion and love for one another. The sight of Charles on his knees was something Erik wished for desperately, and the source of many of his fantasies involving the wedding planner. He wasn't surprised how hard he already was, or how much the simple image of the wedding planner between his thighs made his insides melt with need.
"I've been dying to do this ever since I've met you." Charles whispered solemnly, before Erik's cock slid into the welcoming warmth of his mouth. He clamped a hand over his mouth, trying to stop himself from shouting when Charles swirled his tongue around the head of his cock.
"Charles, stop. I'm going to..." he didn't get around to finishing his sentence, not when Charles sucked hard, dragging his teeth softly over his shaft and pushing Erik right over the edge. Both his hands came to cover his mouth, crying out his orgasm right into them.
The wedding planner pulled back with a pop, licking Erik's orgasm from his lips and groaning softly. He felt boneless, like floating, and his legs couldn't support him any longer so he dropped on his bare ass next to Charles, dragging him on his lap. Charles cuddled to his chest, pressing soft kisses on his jaw and chin. They stood like that, snuggling on the floor of the changing room, Erik's suit most probably rumpled.
"Hope I swallowed everything." Charles said, out of the blue, making Erik sputter out a laugh.
"Why is that?"
"We wouldn't want to have Darwin find cum stains on your pants, now, would we?" he replied earnestly and Erik laughed a bit harder, pulling him into a deep kiss.
Truth be told, Erik couldn't even care less.