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It’s Brighter Than The Sun

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David grips the first class ticket in both hands. He’s held a lot of impressive paper in his life, invitations to the most lavish and sought after parties and events, deeds for various galleries and gorgeous apartments, contracts for partnerships with amazing artists and performers. But this, this is David’s third favourite piece of paper he’s ever held, the second being the lease for the store and the first, of course, his and Patrick’s marriage certificate.

“Well, gentlemen, you’re all checked in. Just follow the rope barrier through to security and then we’ll get you settled in the first class lounge,” says the overly positive and impeccably made up woman at the check-in desk.

“Thank you so much,” Patrick replies as he takes their passports back.

“And congratulations on your wedding. We hope you have a wonderful honeymoon,” it’s a little overdone but she sounds sincere, so David shoots her a smile from behind his white rimmed sunglasses before allowing Patrick’s hand on the small of his back to guide him away.

David hates going through security, hates it with a burning passion. It’s invasive and annoying and he always doubts the cleanliness of the agents hands (even through the gloves), but even he understands the necessity of it so he shuffles obediently behind Patrick, piling his hand luggage, phone and wallet into an ugly grey tray.

Patrick keeps shooting back reassuring smiles as he waits for David at the other end of the carousel. It’s sweet, as is most of the things Patrick does to comfort an often over stimulated David in public, and it does comfort David as he holds his breath and steps through the detector.

Nothing beeps. David exhales.

In the past, David had not made it through airport security so easily. He’d never been carrying anything he shouldn’t, but being the loud and brash rich kid travelling with an entourage of beautiful ‘friends’ made him an easy target for stereotypes. And sure, most of them had been true once upon a time, but now he was someone else. His name wasn’t across every trash magazine or celebrity blog and he wasn’t wearing his mask of obnoxious self importance. Now he was just a regular business owner on a once in a lifetime honeymoon with his shiny new husband.

Patrick hands David his sleek black duffel bag and adjusts the strap of his own messenger bag beneath his collar. He’s wearing a pressed shirt and those ridiculously attractive mid-range blue jeans and David knows it’s only because they’re flying first class. He wants to look like he belongs. He’s actually nervous, the little lamb. David doesn’t point it out, though, because ‘serious businessman, Patrick’ is his favourite Patrick to get all flustered.

“Gentlemen,” another well dressed woman says as they turn to get their bearings. “If you’d just like to step on the travelator behind me, it will take you straight to the first class lounge. What drink would you like upon your arrival?”

Patrick looks a little lost but David slips on his sunglasses and back into the role of First Class Traveller so easily.

“I’ll have a sparkling water with lime and he’ll have a beer, something Dutch or whatever the dads all order.”

He gets a jab in the elbow from Patrick and an amused smirk from the staff member.

“Of course, sir,” she says, pulling a radio from her belt loop.

“Thank you,” David smiles, reaching back for Patrick’s hand before tugging him towards the travelator.

At the lounge they’re greeted by even more friendly staff who lead them to a luxuriously comfy looking set of couches around a sleek, black marble table where their drinks are waiting. David sinks into the cushioning with a long sigh.

Patrick takes the couch opposite, looking around the impressive lounge as he bounces slightly on the plump cushions.

“Well, this is nice,” he says, reaching for his beer.

David hums and lets his head fall back as the rush of the last few days washes over him. It’s been a hectic two days since the wedding with close to zero time for dwelling in marital bliss. Getting the store ready for a handover to Stevie and Alexis had made David feel somewhat queasy, and the notes he’d made about the store’s upkeep had ended up rivalling Jocelyn’s Baby Binder.

The morning feels like days ago even though it’s just a little passed five in the evening. David had been awake even before Patrick, eager to get to the store for a final once over.

“You’re still thinking about the store, aren’t you?” Patrick says, and it’s not a question. David presses his lips together, uncomfortable but impressed that Patrick can still read him through his thick sunglasses and various layers of black.

“No,” he lies, taking a sip of his water and gasping against the cool bitterness. “I’m thinking about how you look like a closeted CEO and I look like your Asian boy toy.”

It’s a low blow but Patrick ignores it.

“You don’t look Asian, David.”

David forces back his worry and smiles, sliding his glasses down his nose so he can peer at Patrick over them.

“I can be anybody I want under here, baby,” he retorts cockily. Unfortunately, Patrick knows all of David’s defence mechanisms by now, and so he peers over the top of David’s sunglasses too.

“Nope,” he smiles warmly. “Pretty sure that’s still my husband under there.”

David’s cheeks immediately tinge pink. There haven’t been many chances to call each other that in the last two days and hearing the word makes David feel so wonderfully dizzy. Patrick reaches across the table and takes David’s hand gently.

“I’m just feeling a little cautious,” David finally admits as he takes off his sunglasses. “Though I understand how such a maternal instinct from me over our commercial offspring is alarming, considering my own mother left me at fashion camp six days after it ended because she thought the gardeners non-English speaking son was me.”

Patrick fails at hiding his smirk. He’s grown used to The Tales of the Roses over the years, but still never fails to find each one more ridiculous and amusing than the last.

“I know you’re worried,” he says softly. “But Stevie does a great job with the motel and your sister puts in every effort when she can tell other people what to buy. The store will be fine, so let’s just sit back and enjoy this ridiculous wedding gift before our honeymoon really starts.”

David smiles back and laces their fingers together softly.

“That matching ‘under new management’ underwear set from your college roommate was a ridiculous wedding gift. My father’s old business mentor giving us first class flights with the airline he holds major shares in is just sensible gift giving.”

There are two hours to kill before their gate opens, and David plans to spend them eating endless plates of appetizers whilst listening to Patrick as he reads through day trip leaflets out loud.

David’s on his fourth plate of goats cheese stuffed cherry peppers and Patrick on his third boat trip pamphlet when an attendant interrupts them to let them know their gate will be open for boarding soon.

It’s been years since David last stepped on a plane and even longer since he was last on a long haul flight, and that was on their private jet. The idea of being trapped in a can with hundreds of other people, even if it is in comfier seats, for hours on end makes David’s skin itch. Patrick’s comforting hand on his back does little to soothe him as they head down the air bridge and onto the enormous A380.

“Welcome aboard, gentlemen,” say two members of the cabin crew, a young man and woman in uniforms crisp with military precision.

“Mr. Brewer and Mr. Rose, if you’d just like to go up the stairs behind me another member of the crew will show you to your apartment,” says the woman as she gestures to the winding staircase behind her.

“Apartment?” David parrots, but Patrick simply shrugs and the attendants hurry them along.

At the top of the stairs the walkway narrows considerably, and it takes David an uncomfortable moment to realise that there are doors either side and the walls of the walkway are more like thick partitions that don’t reach all the way to the ceiling.

“Ah, Mr. Brewer, Mr. Rose, welcome aboard,” says another attendant. This time it’s an older woman with possibly the most perfect skin David has ever seen. She smiles brightly at them both before sliding back the white panel door of the centre apartment. “You’re in apartment three, right through here.”

It’s one of the most ridiculously opulent things David’s ever seen up close. The cabin (or apartment) is a small yet stylish room complete with two large seats either side a slender double bed and a widescreen TV at the foot. He doesn’t need to look at Patrick’s face because he hears the intake of breath behind him.

“Wow,” is all Patrick says and the attendant chuckles softly.

“Yes, our new suites are very impressive, aren't they?” She doesn’t wait for an answer. “Your hand luggage can be stowed beneath the bed. You’ll need to be in your seats for take off, but once we’re at cruising altitude the apartment is all yours. There are six of these apartments onboard but only three of them are occupied, so you should have a relatively quiet flight. Get yourselves settled and I’ll be back to check on you before take off,” she says brightly before disappearing just as quick as she’d appeared.

David takes the seat next to his side of the bed (the right side, always the right side) and watches Patrick study the room with a dumbfounded look.

“You okay there?” he finally asks and Patrick’s eyes snap back to David’s face.

“Yeah, yeah, it’s just - I mean, this is a lot different to what I was imagining. This must have,” he lowers his voice considerably, “this must have cost a fortune.”

Though Patrick is no saint, he still has a sense of innocence about the world that makes David want to wrap his arms protectively around his husband and never let go. David knows what a couple of first class tickets for a flight like this goes for, and he also knows that for someone like his father’s friend with shares in several major airlines and travel companies, it’s chump change - a blip on the radar.

“Well, I don’t think we kept the gift receipt, so we might as well enjoy it,” David says and Patrick nods, still looking bemused.

Patrick plops down in his seat and starts messing with every button, switch and compartment he can find. He does it with such wonder, such joyful curiosity that David can’t keep the grin off his face.

As promised, the attendant (who quickly reintroduces herself as Annette) comes back before take off, bringing them each a small glass bottle of water.

“We’ll be on our way any moment now, gentlemen, so please keep your seatbelts fastened and pay attention to the safety video when it comes on screen. I’ll let you know when you’re free to move about the cabin.”

David isn’t afraid of flying, despite not being overly fond of heights. He dated a student pilot briefly after college, Hugh Something, and he was full of all the facts and figures about air travel safety. He’d mostly dated Hugh for the air miles (and the man looked astounding in that uniform), but some of the information had actually managed to sink in.

Across the way, Patrick looks a little nervous. There are four windows in their apartment and he’s been cautiously glancing out of all of them for the last ten minutes. When he starts to bite at his nails, David feels every inch that separates them.

“You know that the chances of being in a plane crash is something ridiculous like one in eleven million?”

“Ah, so about the same amount as you coming into work on time on a Saturday?” Patrick quips. David nods, he’ll let him have this one. It’s so rare that he gets to see Patrick flustered.

“Exactly,” he says instead.

“I’m fine, David. I’ve flown before,” Patrick says with a deep breath, probably trying to convince himself more than David.

“Mm, yes, but, I’ve searched for my mother’s nude photos online at her request before but that doesn’t mean the thought of ever having to do it again doesn’t terrify me to my very soul.”

Patrick presses his lips together. “Honey, we’ve spoken before about these family stories that you think are comforting.”

But David holds up a hand and waves him into silence before he can continue.

“My point is, it’s okay to be a little nervous, but nothing bad will happen,” he says and Patrick smiles at him earnestly.

“I wish our seats were closer,” he says with a sigh, peering over the top of the bed. “But this bed does make me happier about the next fifteen hours.”

“Oh, really?” David smirks, eyebrows quirking suggestively. Patrick laughs and shakes his head, but doesn’t deny it.

 

Barrelling down the runway at god knows how many miles an hour, David wishes their seats were closer too. Instead he keeps his gaze over Patrick as Patrick glances out of the windows, cautious excitement etched over his face. When their eyes lock, Patrick smiles.

“Thailand, here we come,” he says.

David’s been to Bangkok two or three times before. He loves the food and the culture and the shopping and the noise. It’s hectic and ridiculous and amazing, and Patrick’s always wanted to go. The plan is to stay in the city for a few days and then fly to Phuket, a place David’s actually never been to, despite his love of the country. It always looked like paradise in everyone else’s Instagram photos, and before everything happened there wasn’t anyone he wanted to share paradise with. So, it actually worked out pretty perfectly. As there are no direct flights to Phuket, David gets to show Patrick around a city he loves before they both get the romantic, tropical honeymoon the movies always promised.

As the world begins to fall away beneath them, David turns away from the window. This is the only part of flying he doesn’t enjoy, the plane climbing higher and higher and even higher still as everything below them gets very small. He focuses back on Patrick instead, who has relaxed considerably in the last five or so minutes.

David’s flipping through a magazine when they finally reach cruising altitude, and by the time Annette arrives to take their dinner order he’s added several useless items to the ‘Must Have’ list on his phone.

Patrick orders a steak (because why the hell not) and David just orders a lot of pasta. If he’s going to get through a long haul night flight he’s going to need the right conditions to nap hard.

“Thank you, gentlemen,” says Annette as she taps their order into her iPad. “Your dinner will arrive shortly. You’re also now free to move about the cabin,” and then she disappears out of the sliding panel like a sci-fi lieutenant.

David slips out of his seat and rounds the bed so that he can ungraciously drop himself into Patrick’s lap.

“What are you doing?” Patrick smiles, hand moving to the small of David’s back.

“She did say I was free to roam about your cabin,” David replies, and Patrick laughs shortly at the terrible joke, but pulls David down for a kiss anyway.

The hours since their last kiss feel heavy and long as David presses his lips to Patrick’s. God, when was the last one? This morning? Definitely this morning. Patrick’s mouth is warm and familiar and David sinks into the kiss quickly, sliding his fingers across Patrick’s cheekbone.

“Mm, I don’t think that’s what she meant,” Patrick hums as he pulls back to find David’s eyes in that annoying soul searching way he does.

“Silly me,” David replies with a sly smile before pushing himself back onto his feet, but before he can move away, Patrick grabs his wrist and quickly pulls him back into his lap. David goes willingly, laughing as he does so.

 

The food is incredible.

Even Patrick makes appreciative noises over his meal that make David love him even more. They enjoy every mouthful as they watch CSI:Miami on the large screen between them, and David pretends not to notice that Patrick keeps giddily flipping back to the outside plane camera on the personal screen by the head of his seat.

When Annette reappears to clear their plates, she brings along two sets of matching deep blue pyjamas.

“The lights will be dimmed for the night in the next thirty minutes,” she breezes. “The manual for the bed can be found in the compartment behind the pillows.”

“Thank you, Annette,” Patrick says quickly, shooting David a look that tells him to swallow whatever inappropriate comment he’s dying to let loose. David snaps his mouth closed and smiles innocently.

“Well, you’re no fun,” David announces as the door slides back into place.

When David gets back from the (small and most luxurious) bathroom dressed in the softest pyjamas he’s ever known and carrying his skincare bag, he’s delighted to find Patrick dressed in his own matching set. Standing on opposite sides of the bed, they grin as they catch sight of each other.

They laugh.

“Well, Mr. Brewer. First class definitely suits you.”

Patrick presses his lips, suppressing a smirk, and pulls back the covers.

“I was born to live the high life, baby. And that’s Mr. Brewer - Rose to you,” he replies nonchalantly as he slides beneath the thin duvet.

David can’t possibly hide his blush. It’s only been two days and still, many times a day, David forgets they’re married now, like, they’re actually married. As in Mr and Mr, ‘did you pick up the milk, honey?’ married.

Patrick pulls back the corner of the covers on David’s side and pats the empty space beneath it, beckoning him in.

“I usually try not to sleep with married men, but I suppose I can make an exception this once,” David sighs as he climbs into the small bed, exceptionally happy to have his body so close to Patrick’s once again.

As soon as David’s within reach, Patrick pulls him close.

“Now, where were we?” he asks before leaning in to trail his lips over David’s jaw.

“Mr. Brewer - Rose,” David mock gasps. “Are you trying to get me to join the Mile High Club?” Patrick pulls back with a skeptical look and David quickly scoffs. “As if you think I’m a former member.”

“Well, considering even half of the stories you’ve told me from your dating past-”

David stops him with a finger to the lips.

“I’m a married man now, none of that matters.”

“It didn’t matter before,” Patrick says and David’s stomach flips at the unexpected sincerity of it all.

David smiles and presses a chaste kiss to Patrick’s open mouth.

“How did I manage to marry such a smooth talker?” he murmurs against Patrick’s lips, and Patrick hums in response.

 

They’ve never really gotten to watch much TV in bed before. Sometimes they’ll watch a few episodes of Drag Race on David’s laptop and there were a small handful of times, back in the day, they had the motel room to themselves and found some random movie to cover the noise of them making out like teenagers from David’s parents. But nothing like this. This is a kind of domestic bliss David never expected to love 40,000 ft in the air.

Patrick’s arms are strong and secure around him as David rests his head on Patrick’s chest, one ear listening to his heartbeat and the other some Marvel movie through one of the wireless headphone earbuds. He’s not sure which one it is but Patrick looks happy and Robert Downey Jr is on the large screen at the foot of the bed, so David isn’t too fussed. He fiddles absentmindedly with the buttons on Patrick’s pyjama shirt as Patrick plays with the hair at the nape of David’s neck.

Bliss.

It doesn’t take long for David to get bored, and being lay entangled with his new husband in a (somewhat) private first class cabin as said husband lavishes attention on him is doing things to him, and suddenly David feels like a membership to the Mile High Club is the only thing missing from his life.

Now paying no attention whatsoever to the movie, David slyly slips a few of Patrick’s shirt buttons undone. He’s almost down to Patrick’s navel by the time he notices, and David knows he has because he smirks, eyes still fixated on the screen. If he wants to be coy about this, David doesn’t mind working for it. They do have another eleven hours to kill, after all.

He trails his fingers slowly up Patrick’s chest, nothing more than a light brush of fingertips against Patrick’s warm skin. Patrick’s breathing becomes more animated, his chest rising and falling deeply, but he does nothing more. David’s eyes darken. He’s good at this game, and Patrick knows it.

He’s still got his head resting softly on Patrick’s chest and Patrick is still staring intently at the screen. David lets his fingertips wander further south, into the darkening path of hair that starts below Patrick’s navel and disappears beneath the waistband of his pyjama pants. He rubs the bottom of his index finger along the trail slowly, giddy excitement bubbling in his stomach as Patrick’s abdominal muscles tighten. David studies his face. Still nothing.

With refreshed determination, David decides to play dirty by fastening his lips to the junction between Patrick’s jawline and neck. The skin is supple and sensitive and David sucks it between his teeth. Patrick’s hand moves to his shoulder and grabs hard as he gasps. David smirks triumphantly.

“That’s not fair,” Patrick whispers, but tilts his head and angles his neck so David has more access. David moves immediately, pulling himself further up the bed so he can suck at Patrick’s throat, careful to keep his lips from making that wet sound as they peel away from Patrick’s skin.

“Oh, really? Well, I can always stop,” David says as he starts to pull away, but Patrick tightens his grip around David’s shoulders and brings his other hand to David’s face. It’s now that David can see clearly just how hungry Patrick is for him.

“Don’t you dare,” he says, voice quiet but firm, and he moves a hand to David’s thigh, pulling it over his hip as he himself turns on his side. He pulls out his earbuds and drops them onto the small compartment behind the pillow. “So, how soundproof do you think this cabin is?” he asks and David smirks.

“Not very,” he says, kissing along Patrick’s jaw. “But I’m not the mouthy one.”

And really, he’s not. It had shocked him to learn how vocal Patrick could be in bed, demanding deep moans leading to desperate pleading whines each time they pulled each other apart. David loves hearing all those long moans and filthy words of encouragement.

Patrick bites David’s bottom lip hard and David squeaks. He’s about to scold him, but Patrick starts rubbing his half hard erection against David’s thigh as he presses his own thigh into David’s thoroughly interested dick. They begin to move against each other slowly, torturously so as they listen to the plane settle around them. All David can hear is the hum of the engines and a faint clinking sound from the cabin crew quarters. Everyone else is either asleep or watching their screens. They’d illuminated the ‘do not disturb’ sign on their door since first crawling into the tiny bed, but still there’s an electric crackle of excitement and urgency between them.

With the covers pulled high around them, it reminds David of when everything first began. They’d hide beneath the sheets at Ray’s with nervous and excited hands as they explored each other again and again. When Ray would be out for poker night, they’d fuck messy and rushed like high schoolers in a parent free house. David misses that sometimes, the quick and quiet desperation, Patrick so eager to get them both to the finish line and his surprised little triumphant smile after David would come so hard he’d forget how to speak.

David starts to rub at Patrick’s erection through his pyjamas and Patrick’s eyes close, mouth falling open in a silent moan. It’s intoxicating to watch as the pleasure seeps over his face.

“Do you remember fucking under the covers at Ray’s?” David whispers and with his eyes still closed Patrick smiles and nods. “We had to be quiet, just like this.”

“Do you remember the first time we had sex in the apartment?” Patrick counters and David groans because fuck, that really was amazing. Their own space and a locked door and a bed they could get as messy as they wanted. They had so much sex that week that David had to sit on two cushions at work. It was worth it, though, because he got to feel that slight twinge of pain every time he moved, a very real reminder that he’d had his brains fucked out by his fucking gorgeous boyfriend who wanted him in his apartment as often as possible, despite working together most days. He still can’t believe how easily they slotted into each other’s lives.

David needs to feel Patrick’s skin, needs the wet heat of Patrick’s cock heavy against his palm. He dips his hand beneath Patrick’s waistband and slides his fingers against Patrick’s erection. Patrick’s hips twitch and he runs a hand up David’s thigh and around to his ass, hauling him impossibly close until there’s barely anything between them except expensive pyjamas and heat. He jacks Patrick a few times, just because it makes Patrick’s brow furrow, before pulling at the waistband and settling the elastic below Patrick’s balls. Patrick reaches for David, palming him for a moment before setting his erection free too.

They haven’t done this in ages, David thinks as he wraps his hand around both of them. He misses this. Sure, their sex life is great, but having the time and space and privacy to do whatever they want to each other has left little opportunity for quick and dirty and needy and gotta come right now. Patrick gasps as David strokes them both and David smirks. It’s going to kill Patrick having to be so quiet, and it’s going to be wonderful to see. He stops stroking them for a moment, and as Patrick opens his eyes to complain, David shoves his fingers into Patrick’s mouth.

Patrick sighs around the fingers before he sucks them obscenely, even hollowing his cheeks and giving David a little show. David wonders how someone who wears dad jeans and drinks coffee from an ‘I heart spreadsheets’ mug could be so fucking dangerous.

“Fuck,” David murmurs, rutting helplessly against Patrick’s body. Patrick spits David’s fingers back out with a noisy pop and a smug smirk that is equal parts annoying and adorable. Patrick knows exactly what he does to David, he’s practically a pro at pushing all of David’s buttons, whatever the occasion.

David wraps his wet hand back around them both, stroking slow and steady. He lowers the thigh around Patrick’s hip until he can hook an ankle around Patrick’s shin, giving him more room to work as he presses their slick cocks together. Patrick chews hungrily on his own bottom lip in a desperate attempt to keep himself quiet as David’s firm grip tightens. As much as David loves watching Patrick try and control himself, he wishes he could hear him moan. He speeds up his movement and the sound of the duvet swishing around them is almost too loud.

When Patrick opens his eyes to stare straight at David with so much lust and want, it’s David who can’t help but let a moan slip. Patrick grins.

“Now who’s the mouthy one?” he whispers and David drags the tip of his thumb across Patrick’s slit in response. Patrick moans too.

“Guess we both can’t be trusted,” David breathes, the air stiflingly hot between them.

Patrick places one hand over David’s mouth and the other over his own. David’s eyes roll back because holy fuck this might be the hottest thing that’s ever happened to him on a plane or any other mode of transport. Patrick’s hand smells like the hand soap in the first class bathroom and it reminds David of all the times he’s pulled a freshly showered Patrick back into bed to get him dirty again. He nibbles at the soft flesh of Patrick’s fingers, delighted when Patrick thrusts hard against him.

With all these memories, Patrick pressed so close, a hand clamped over his mouth and the thrill of being discovered, David knows he’s close. He jacks them both more purposely, hard and firm, rolling his thumb in alternating pressure against the head of Patrick’s cock on every upstroke. Patrick gasps against his own hand and moves to press his forehead to David’s, staring at him so intently that David can practically hear all the things he knows Patrick’s dying to say.

‘Fuck, David, you’re so fucking good.’
‘God, I love your hands.’
‘Your cock feels amazing.’
‘I can’t wait to cover your gorgeous fingers.’
‘I’m gonna come, fuck, please, don’t stop.’
‘I’m coming, David, fuck!’

Patrick comes, leaking all over David’s fist in hot white ribbons. It’s slick and messy and amazing and watching Patrick silently lose it makes David come too, his own noises muffled against Patrick’s hand that’s clamping down even tighter across his lips.

As Patrick slowly drops his hands away from their mouths, David gulps hungrily at the air. Still pressed close they pant together, grinning so wide it almost splits into laughter. The slow rise and fall of the plane makes the afterglow that much more intense and David feels like he’s floating away.

They clean each other up with the wipes from their first class kits before collapsing back against each other.

“Well,” Patrick says, rolling onto his back and pulling David back onto his chest. “As marital sex goes, that was pretty awesome.”

“Mm. Annette should be by with our member jackets any minute now,” David replies. Patrick goes to laugh, but it’s interrupted by a yawn.

“I don’t know if it’s the sex or the altitude or the fact that it feels like we haven’t stopped in the last few weeks, but I’m exhausted.”

David leans up to kiss Patrick’s temple.

“Sleep then, ” he says softly. “I won’t be far behind you.” He kisses him again and Patrick hums contently.

Sleep finds Patrick quickly and soon his breathing evens out into a soft lull that makes David feel safe and familiar. He lies there and listens to it for a while as the screen silently flips through movie trailers. When he’s sure Patrick’s sleep is deep enough that he won’t be disturbed, he slips out of bed and into his seat.

Plugging his headphones into his phone, David flips through his messages. He could probably fall asleep too if he really tried, but his brain is unusually busy after carbs and orgasms.

No way, you got free WiFi?!

David grins and double taps on Stevie’s name before hitting the video button. It connects immediately.

“You really don’t want to see my face right now,” Stevie says as a mop of tangled black hair and a pale forehead appears on the screen. “It’s so fucking early.”

“Then why are you awake?” David asks softly, glancing over at Patrick to make sure he’s not being disturbed.

“What?” Stevie snaps, and her angry, tired eyes appear comically large on the screen. “Are you kidding me right now? I have to be up early to start your insane list of chores for the store!”

David doesn’t even attempt to hold back his laughter.

“It’s part of your Best Person duties,” he explains.

“Ugh,” Stevie grumbles as she rubs at her eye with the heel of her palm. “Those duties ended at midnight of your wedding day when I wrestled the microphone out of your hands.”

“You mean when you stole it and robbed my wedding guests of another hour of my tribute to power women of the 90’s?”

Stevie smirks at the memory and shakes her head.

“I’m pretty sure I saved your marriage. You can thank me with copious amounts of duty free liquor.”

“Yeah, I’ll get right on that. Definitely a priority for my honeymoon.”

“How’s life back in first class?” she asks and David scrunches his face at the thought of his former life.

“This cabin is incredible,” he admits and he flips to the front camera to give Stevie a quick look. She yawns and pulls the phone closer to her face.

“Wow, your cabin is bigger than my apartment. Holy crap, is that a bed?”

“Sure is,” David hums.

“And is that your husband asleep in the bed?”

“Sure is,” he says as he flips back to the rear camera.

“Are you guys wearing matching pyjamas?” she asks as she squints at David’s collar.

“Sure are,” is all David says, smiling brightly, and Stevie grins in that all knowing way she always does.

“You fucked, didn’t you?” she says and it’s not a question.

“Sure did,” David says quietly, shooting another glance at Patrick and his soft sleeping features.

“Ugh, you guys are disgusting with your honeymoon sex and your gooey heart eyes,” she groans, but doesn’t stop smiling. “Well, I’d love to stay and chat but some of us have to work.”

David presses the corner of his smile into his cheek.

“Thank you for covering, you really are the best Best Person. Please don’t let my sister sample all the stock.”

“You owe me,” Stevie replies. “Don’t call me again until you’re back home. Say hi to your husband for me.”

“He has a name,” David is saying, but Stevie’s already hanging up.

David laughs to himself before stuffing his phone back into the pocket of the seat and getting up to crawl into bed. Patrick’s arms find him immediately, and David slots back in as though he’d never left.

He lets the warmth of his husband and the sway of the plane lull him to sleep.

***

When David awakens it takes him a long, uncomfortable moment to remember where he is, what the hell’s going on and why it feels like he’s floating. He scrubs his hands over his face and his vision clears the blur of sleep just in time for him to see Patrick padding softly back into the cabin, with Annette following close behind.

“Good morning, sleepyhead,” she breezes, “someone told me you like pancakes for breakfast.”

Travelling through several time zones has done intense things with David’s body clock. He’s been to Asia many times before, but he can never quite get his head around the time he loses in flight.

After breakfast, David and Patrick both get dressed. David’s black on black feels comfortable and homey, a blissful feeling that is soon shattered when Patrick steps back into the cabin.

“What are you wearing?” he demands as he gawks at his husband’s tan khaki shorts and soft blue T-shirt.

“Uhm, shorts?” Patrick replies, glancing down at himself before giving David the once over. “What are you wearing?”

“The height of New York leisure wear from fashion week 2011,” David replies instantly as Patrick gives him one of those typical Patrick stares.

“David, we’re going to South East Asia, in summer. I don’t think fashion week matters if you’re going to melt into a stylish puddle.”

David doesn’t talk to Patrick for the next fifteen minutes until Patrick apologises for saying that fashion week didn’t matter. He’s not really upset just like he knows Patrick isn’t really sorry, but it gives them an excuse to kiss and make up anyway.

 

As the plane approaches its final descent a few hours later, the sky over Bangkok is starting to darken into late evening. Patrick peers out of the window to the city lights below with excitement and enthusiasm and it makes David beam.

The next hour is an uncomfortable rush of bodies and noises and heavy cases and heat. It’s dark by the time they climb into their cab, the evening air warm and new, and by the time they pull up to their hotel David’s bodyclock is doing backflips.

Their first hotel of the honeymoon isn’t extravagant, but it’s not exactly a backpacker’s pitstop either. The city centre Ibis hotel is tall and clean, the lobby filled with funky furniture and incredibly friendly staff. David leans against their cases by the elevator and watches Patrick fondly as he checks them in.

“So,” David starts after heaving his case onto the bed in their room. “What shall we do first?”

Patrick pushes his own case neatly beneath the desk.

“What do you recommend?” Patrick asks, stepping into David’s personal space and hooking his arms around his waist. David grins, wrapping his arms around Patrick’s shoulders as he dips in for lingering, wet kiss. He enjoys the noise of their lips coming together and peeling apart, after hours of trying so hard to kiss quietly it feels glorious to hear.

“Mm, well definitely more of that,” he hums, leaning in for another sloppy peck. “But I’m also starving-”

“Shocking.”

“- and the street food here is amazing.”

Patrick kisses him again.

“That sounds nice. Let’s eat and then explore,” their lips meet again as if of their own accord. “I could use a beer, too.”

David shakes his head.

“Nope.”

“But Asian beer is great!”

“Yes, but, in Bangkok you drink sandcastles!”

Patrick blinks.

David really wasn’t kidding.

They’re barely two steps from their hotel when someone in the sea of bodies is ushering them into two uncomfortable looking seats around a rickety table and thrusting an actual sand castle bucket at them.

“What’s in it?” Patrick asks as he peers into the unknown liquid.

The table is wet and the bright bill sticks to it before the waitress yanks it up. The street is filled with identical bars and identical chairs and tables, each one covered with empty buckets and sun soaked tourists.

“It’s best not to ask,” David says as he brings the straw to his lips for a long sip. “And by the time you finish your first, you won’t care.”

Even the first taste is intoxicating enough to bring memories sweeping back to David and he feels the air of Bangkok slowly roll over him, the humidity seeping into his pores. He’d forgotten how good this place feels, like a sticky paradise mixed with grimy bars that remind him of the places in LA he spent most of his youth.

He pushes the sandcastle towards Patrick, who’s skeptical expression quickly changes to a When In Rome shrug before he brings the bucket to his lips and takes several large gulps.

David throws his head back and laughs.

With sandcastles now swirling dangerously in their systems, David takes Patrick’s hand and pulls him into the depths of Bangkok. He goes willingly, quickly overtaking David as they wander the streets, studying the stalls and the food and the markets, weaving in and out of the locals and the tourists and the taxis and scooters. He looks completely in awe and David is all too happy to follow behind and watch as Patrick takes it all in.

There are lights everywhere. It reminds David of an eastern Vegas, right down to the street drinking and selfie sticks, but with way better food. There are countless street food stalls and trolleys and skeptical looking places you wouldn’t go near anywhere else, but here David knows each one is filled with the most glorious tasting food.

David steers Patrick towards one of the stalls and buys them a tray of Pad Thai between them. It smells like heaven.

“How much was that?” Patrick questions as he stuffs the fistful of change and notes into his back pocket.

“Works out at about just under two dollars,” David replies around a mouthful of golden sunshine. He takes a forkful and shoves it into Patrick’s mouth.

“Oh my god,” Patrick moans, snatching the tray and shovelling in some more.

David sighs dreamily.

“You have never looked more attractive to me than you do right now.”

Patrick grins and pulls David in for a disgusting kiss that David wants more of.

Next to the food, David’s favourite thing about Bangkok is the shopping. There are endless rows of markets and stalls and people walking around with their arms full of strange and wonderful things. Patrick quickly becomes obsessed too, and David’s so happy to see him enjoying himself shopping that he doesn’t bat an eyelid when Patrick puts on an Adidas SnapBack cap that makes him look like an obnoxious frat boy. He does, however, pull a face when Patrick buys him a luminous green tank top with an elephant mandala on the front.

“They didn’t have it in black,” Patrick says before cackling maniacally and sauntering off towards another sandcastle bar.

Though admittedly David spent most of his past visits to Thailand in high end hotels, even he could never resist the magnetic pull of the famous Khao San Road.

“Wanna dance?” David asks as he slides an arm around Patrick’s waist.

As they turn onto Khao San Road, the noise hits them like a wave. The other streets of Bangkok are quiet compared to this, a mass of moving bodies swarming down the street as every bar pounds out different music like it’s a contest. It shouldn’t work, but it does, it shouldn’t feel freeing, but it does.

David keeps a tight hand on Patrick’s hip as they’re coaxed into another bar and handed another sandcastle.

“This place is wild!” Patrick exclaims over the music with giddy excitement.

“Are you having a good time?” David asks even though the grin on Patrick’s face is wide enough to show all of his teeth.

Patrick feeds the straw into David’s mouth and leans in to place his lips next to David’s ear.

“The best,” he says and David shudders at the heat of his breath tickling over his skin.

When David gets back from the (disgusting and small) bathroom, Patrick is talking to a pretty girl, smiling and laughing as she talks with wildly gesturing hands that rival David’s. Jealousy twinges deep in David’s chest even though he knows it’s ridiculous, and so he tries his hardest to push it down. It’s an old habit of his that’s still clinging desperately onto life.

The girl clocks David first and she grins and waves at him erratically, her many bracelets twirling around her olive skin. David checks for someone behind him, but she definitely seems to be waving at him.

“Oh my god, you must be David!” she squeals. David nods somewhat awkwardly and Patrick turns to beam at him, instantly sliding his arm around David’s waist and pulling him close.

“This is him!” Patrick announces proudly, pressing a noisy kiss to David’s cheek.

“Your adorable husband was just telling me that you’re on your honeymoon!” she exclaims, rave paint smeared down her face.

Relief, delight and happiness quickly spreads through David’s chest as he wraps an arm around Patrick’s shoulder. He wants to kiss him so bad.

“That we are,” David replies, now feeling completely at ease.

The girl buys them another sandcastle and announces to the hive of bodies near them that it’s their honeymoon. The close by crowd cheers and raises their buckets high into the air.

“Presenting!” she yells, arms stretched out towards the both of them like the Will Smith meme, “Mr and Mr Adorable for their first honeymoon dance!”

They’re toasted again with sloshing sandcastles as the clashing music of the street bars pounds over them. Patrick takes David’s hand and pulls him into the street. David goes willingly, wrapping his fingers around Patrick’s hips as they start to move to the music. Just like their wedding day, David doesn’t care who’s watching them. He doesn’t care that the world can see them drunkenly smile and fumble around each other in awkward moves that make them both laugh. He just keeps as close to Patrick as possible, watching as sweat starts to dampen the front of his hair. His face is red, sun kissed and smiling, he looks loopy and gorgeous and as much as David wants this moment to drag on forever, he wants Patrick all to himself.

Patrick leans up to brush his nose against David’s. He tries to kiss him but he’s still dancing, so ends up pressing his mouth against David’s top lip. David smiles into it anyway.

“Take me home,” Patrick stops dancing to say, looking at David with those ridiculous bambi eyes that could mean anything from take me home and tuck me into bed to take me home so you can choke on my dick.

And really, who would David be to deny his husband either?

David takes Patrick’s hand and pulls him away from the crowd and into the maze of streets, hoping one of them is at least sober enough to find the way back to their hotel. Thankfully it doesn’t take long, and soon they’re crossing the lobby with fake sober smiles before disappearing into the elevator in an echo of giggles.

Unable to take his hands from Patrick’s hips, David holds him close in the elevator, back to chest as they smile at their reflection in the mirrored wall opposite.

“Should probably get the key,” Patrick says, dipping a hand into his pocket. The keycard drops to the floor and as Patrick quickly bends to retrieve it, his ass rolls against David’s already interested dick. David moans and Patrick comes up slow and smiling. He presses back against David, grinding into him and leaning up to kiss his jaw. “How long has it been since I last got to ride you?” Patrick murmurs hotly.

“Fuck,” David moans again, head hitting the wall of the elevator just as it arrives at their floor.

They’ve been having great sex for years now and they’ve fallen into a routine of what they know the other wants. Mostly David wants to get fucked by Patrick, because how could he not? His cock is thick and perfectly shaped for the curves of David’s body; Patrick is more than enthusiastic about fucking David. There are, however, a few occasions when Patrick wants to be fucked, wants to be worked open and pulled apart, wants to surrender himself completely to David’s body. The first is when he can’t control something he wants to. Whether it’s a business matter or something else really not going his way, when he gets that frustrated and worked up he wants to let go of all control and have David fuck him hard into the mattress. The other occasion is when he’s drunk. Drunk Patrick is a confident cocky guy made of porn and sass mouth who wants to ride himself on David’s cock while giving them both a show.

David loves every possible Patrick, but drunk pornstar Patrick is one of his secret favourites.

As the hotel door swings closed behind them, Patrick pushes David down onto the bed with a hungry shove. He settles himself on top of David’s thighs, grinding their erections together and covering David’s chest with his own. The kiss is open mouthed and noisy, a sloppy perfect mess of tongue and teeth and sandcastles and want.

David grabs at the firm globes of Patrick’s ass with both hands, but Patrick quickly takes his wrists and pins them above his head. He bites at David’s jaw, scraping his teeth along the sharp stubble until David gasps and rocks his body upwards.

He fucking loves drunk Patrick. Like business Patrick, drunk Patrick knows what he wants and he takes it.

“Hey, cowboy,” David says as Patrick continues to kiss down his throat. “I was promised a ride.”

That earns him a bite, sharp and bruising but incendiary at the same time. Patrick lets go of David’s wrists and pins him with a stare instead, eyes dark and lust filled.

“Oh, you have no idea what you’ve let yourself in for,” Patrick sighs as he runs a hand up under David’s T-shirt.

“I don’t know, you’re a married man now,” David smirks. “You think you’ve still got it in you?”

He’s going to pay for that, and he can’t wait.

Patrick rolls off him quickly, shifting to the head of the bed to pull David’s night bag onto the pillow. He strips off his T-shirt and when David goes to do the same, Patrick waves his finger and tuts.

“I don’t think so. This is my rodeo, you do as I say.” David instantly drops his hands to the bed. Patrick nods, going back to the task at hand.

David watches as Patrick strips off. He props himself up with his hands planted firmly behind him as he gets a full glorious view of Patrick fumbling out of the rest of his clothes.

And then Patrick’s kneeling in front of him, naked and turned towards the headboard. He squirts the lube into his hands and shoots David a pointed stare over his shoulder as he reaches around himself to push a finger firmly into his hole. David pants from the foot of the bed, wondering how this wonderful angel of filth ended up his husband. His hands writhe against the sheets, desperate to touch Patrick, himself, anything. He’s the one fully clothed but he feels stripped bare as watches Patrick work a second finger into himself with a deep moan.

David tips his head back, gasping at the ceiling.

“God, Patrick,” he breathes. “You’re fucking killing me.”

Patrick’s holding the headboard with one hand as he grinds back against the other.

“You have to be more patient than that, David,” he smirks, stopping to release a slow groan that goes straight to David’s still trapped cock.

He can’t take it anymore. He is done with playing. He needs to get his hands on this man now.

David surges up, shuffling across the bed until his entire clothed body is pressed against the back of Patrick’s bare flesh. Patrick moans as David’s arms encircle him, hands running down his chest and wrapping around his aching cock. Patrick pulls his hand free, allowing David’s crotch to press fully against his ass.

“When have you ever known me to be patient?” David murmurs hotly against Patrick’s ear as he jacks him torturously slow. Patrick whines and ruts into David’s hand. He reaches his arms back over his head and David’s shoulders, fingertips pulling at the back collar of David’s T-shirt until he gets enough grip of the material to pull it off.

“Get your pants off,” Patrick growls, grinding back against David’s dick.

David smirks, dropping a kiss onto Patrick’s shoulder.

“You gonna give me a show?”

Patrick tilts his head and gives David the same look he gets when they’re over target for their monthly takings.

“I’m gonna show you how married men fuck,” Patrick says and David moans into his neck.

David pushes himself back onto the bed and makes quick work of his underwear and drawstring pants, flinging them to the side just as Patrick starts to shuffle back down David’s legs. He tosses the lube over his shoulder and it lands on David’s stomach. David laughs.

“Now who’s impatient?” but the only answer he gets is Patrick rubbing his ass against David’s already leaking cock. David groans, low and guttural. He leans back on one elbow and squirts a large glob of lube onto the head of his cock, jacking himself a few times until he’s completely covered.

Patrick reaches back to wrap his warm fingers around David’s cock and it takes all of David’s willpower not to thrust up. Patrick rubs the tip of David’s cock against his hole, teasing them both.

“Fuck, David,” he moans, as if any of this is David’s doing.

David reaches a hand forward and soothes it down the small of Patrick’s back as he eventually pushes the tip in.

“Come on, honey, all the way,” David breathes and Patrick lowers himself slowly onto David’s cock, engulfing him in slick wet heat. David watches himself disappear into Patrick inch by inch until he’s completely seated, surrounding David in tight blissful warmth.

Patrick doesn’t even take a moment to adjust before he’s rocking his hips, snapping them back and forth. He leans forward, hands pressed against the sheets between David’s legs, searching to find the angle he wants. David wishes he could see Patrick’s face, see the way his mouth hangs open and brows furrow as he takes control of their pleasure.

God, David truly loves this man. He wants to give him everything he’s ever wanted and more. He wants to worship him and surrender to him and it’s both exhilarating and terrifying. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do to make Patrick happy.

“Fuck, Patrick, I love you,” David breathes as he drops from his elbows to his back, reaching out to grab at Patrick’s hips. Patrick lays his hands over David’s and squeezes.

“I love you too, David. God, you feel so good, it’s so fucking good, so good, I need it, fuck,” Patrick babbles, bouncing harder on his knees as he drops down heavy onto David’s waiting cock.

Patrick circles his hips, still searching for that one sweet spot, and as David thrusts up to meet him, he drags slowly against it. Patrick starts to babble again, muttering filthy little words of encouragement that make David thrust up harder.

“There?” David pants and Patrick nods frantically. David squeezes Patrick’s hips harder, holding him firmly in place as he fucks up at the perfect angle, gliding against Patrick’s prostate every time.

“Mm, fuck. David, touch me. Make me come.”

David leans up to swiftly wrap his arms around Patrick’s stomach before pulling them both so they’re lay against each other, back to chest. Patrick moans and writhes down, untucking his legs and planting his feet firmly on the mattress so he can still fuck himself on David’s cock. David wraps his fingers around the backs of Patrick’s thighs, holding him open as he thrusts up desperately into Patrick’s tight heat.

“Fuck, I’m close, Patrick, I’m close,” David chants, moving a hand to help Patrick as he jerks himself frantically. Patrick turns to pull David’s mouth into an awkward but searing kiss, teeth clashing as he reaches back to pull at David’s hair.

It doesn’t take long after that, just a few more moments of messy thrusts and pulls and then they’re coming, one after the other, David unloading inside Patrick and Patrick spurting onto his own stomach in thick ribbons.

They ride it out together for as long as possible, David dragging his hands tenderly up Patrick’s sides as he feels himself soften inside him. Slowly, Patrick pulls himself off of David and rolls onto his side with an aching groan.

“That was incredible,” Patrick sighs lazily, draping himself half across David’s chest and kissing his cheek. “Honeymoon sex rules.”

David smiles dopily back at his husband as he waits for the sensitive sparks of electricity still rolling through his body to dissolve.

The alcohol and afterglow settle heavy around them like a weighted blanket; it’s not long before they’re both asleep.

***

David’s body has no idea what time it is, where he is or even who he is for the first few moments of consciousness. His head is heavy under the weight of a good night, and there’s sweat and flesh stuck against his skin.

Patrick’s snoring ever so lightly into David’s neck and there’s a sliver of deep sleep drool creeping from the corner of his mouth. David smiles, despite the hangover, because this is how he gets to wake up for the rest of his life.

When David moves slightly, trying to crack a twist in his back, Patrick groans and rubs his nose into David’s shoulder.

“Five more minutes,” he grumbles before the croaking state of his voice forces his eyes open. He instantly winces. “What the fuck,” he whispers.

“Blame the sandcastles,” David croaks back.

Patrick rolls onto his back and immediately yelps, pulling himself back onto his side as he reaches to rub at his own ass.

“Oh god,” he groans painfully, and David can see the memories of last night come flooding back behind his eyes.

“That was all you,” David says with a small smile, but pushes himself over Patrick to kiss soothingly down his hip. “Maybe a little bit me. Sorry.”

Patrick grunts in discomfort but pets affectionately at David’s hair.

“It’s not like I didn’t ask for it,” he sighs and David snorts, amused.

“Right, ask. Not like you called sex a rodeo and rode me like a prize stallion or anything.”

Patrick groans, his face flushing in embarrassment. David kisses it away, peppering Patrick’s red cheeks with affection. After a few more lazy kisses, David finally manages to stop Patrick’s blushing and pull him into the bathroom.

The shower is warm and welcoming and big enough for the two of them to stand under the spray. It’s more like a wet room with sliding glass door, but despite there being plenty of room for the pair of them, they stay wrapped in each other.

David soaps up a loofah in some soothing aloe body wash from the store and drags the sponge in small, concise circles down Patrick’s back. Patrick hums contently into the hollow of David’s throat, his own soapy hands running lazily over David’s sides.

They wash each other gently, David taking extra care as he dabs the loofah over Patrick’s ass. Patrick kisses him gratefully, running shampoo through David’s hair with his fingertips as he does so. They don’t stop kissing once they’re done, choosing to stay under the warm spray until their fingers begin to prune.

When they emerge from the bathroom, fresh and new and wrapped in soft clean towels, they lay on top of the sheets, David resting his head on Patrick’s shoulder as Patrick tousles David’s damp hair affectionately.

“Do we even know what time it is?” David asks, fighting back a yawn. “I’m starving.”

Patrick smiles warmly, still carding his fingers through David’s dark hair.

“It’s about lunchtime,” he says, completely guessing but not far off right. “Still plenty of time for eating and sightseeing.”

“But no sandcastles?”

Patrick grimaces.

“No, no sandcastles. We’ve got our flight to Phuket in the morning.”

“So, no rodeo then?” David bites his lip to contain his laugh.

Patrick tugs at David’s hair playfully but laughs despite himself.

 

Fortunately for David’s stomach, there’s a restaurant just next to the hotel. The windows of the restaurant run floor to ceiling and fold back like one huge patio door. They sit by it, taking in the sounds and smells of the surrounding streets while they wait for their food.

When it starts to rain, it feels brilliantly refreshing. From out of seemingly nowhere, rain lashes down on the hot ground in a never ending sheet. It’s amazing to watch as the locals continue with their day and the tourists scuttle for cover.

“I don’t know how I feel about these downpours with all this electrical cable hanging about,” Patrick says as he eyes the sea of cables that snake across the sky of the city like a canopy.

“Power outages are actually pretty common in Bangkok,” David comments, sipping his water without a single worry. When he turns back to Patrick he finds him smiling affectionately. David’s mouth twists in confusion. “What?”

“Nothing,” Patrick starts. “I’ve just, never been with anyone so well travelled before. It’s kind of hot.”

David smirks and lets his shoe knock softly against Patrick’s ankle.

“Well, I do own runway fashion from every continent.”

Patrick bobs his eyebrows seductively.

“Mm. Hot. Hot sex,” he mocks, but David can’t hold in his laughter.

They spend the whole of lunch laughing, and it’s the most relaxed David’s felt in he doesn’t know how long. He slides his foot up Patrick’s leg gently, mostly because he wants to stay in touching distance at all times but also because it makes Patrick smile this really wide giddy kind of smile that makes David’s heart burst.

When they step back onto the street, the rain has stopped and the city is dry again as though there were never any rain at all. David takes Patrick’s hand and uses his other to flag down a taxi.

Well, it’s not really a taxi, much to Patrick’s mortified surprise.

David loves riding in the back of Tuk Tuks, but he knows what a stickler Patrick is for road safety, so a motorised rickshaw probably isn’t Patrick’s idea of ideal transportation. But David smiles at him reassuringly before climbing into the sheltered back. Patrick isn’t convinced, however follows after David.

“I really hope we don’t die on the first day of our honeymoon,” he says as he plops down next to David and looks at the driver, who’s waving to a distant friend, uneasily.

“Don’t be so dramatic,” David deadpans. “It’s technically the second day.”

After the first few uncomfortable moments, Patrick actually looks like he might be starting to enjoy the experience. The tuk tuk zips through the streets, taking dangerous turns with a calm ease David loves. This city is so chaotic but it’s so alive and beautiful and Patrick’s staring at it all whizzing by with such awe.

David stealthily grabs his phone from his pocket and snaps a few candid photos before pulling Patrick close for a cheesy selfie, snapping three or four shots just for good measure.

The driver drops them at the gates of a large white temple and promises to be back in half an hour. David takes Patrick by the elbow and steers him towards the clean high walls.

“Why does it sound like a construction site?” Patrick asks. It’s noisy and dusty inside and there’s metal clanging somewhere in the background.

“They’re adding to the temple,” David explains. “They’re building a new shrine to Buddha. It’s supposed to be pretty impressive.”

They walk by a few smaller buildings, not impressive in stature but packed with art and offerings, flowers and fruit. There are a few other tourists milling around, but for a temple it’s relatively quiet. David enjoys the peace.

“Wow,” Patrick drawls as they round the donation boxes to the face of the almost complete statue. It’s huge, as tall as a building and then some, golden and shining in the early afternoon sun. The giant Buddha looms over them with a peaceful expression as workers high up on scaffolding frames work on the finishing touches. “That’s incredible.”

David can’t help but snap another candid shot.

They leave their small donations in exchange for a wish, a prayer, a piece of hope for the future. Patrick holds a small gold bell in his hands and studies it carefully.

“You write your name on it and pin it with the others on the frame over there,” David says softly as he hands Patrick the sharpie. “Then you ring the large bell next to it and to let Buddha know you’re done.”

Patrick quirks a questioning eyebrow. “You’ve done this before?”

David nods slowly. “The last time I was here, god knows how long ago.”

“Did your wish come true?” Patrick asks as he scrawls his name across the shiny surface. David flushes hard. He can’t tell Patrick about his pathetic happy ending wish, the product of too many lonely drunken movie nights. Patrick doesn’t pry. Instead he presses a quick kiss to David’s cheek. “I better make this one a good one. It’s a long way to come for a do over.”

They hang their bells and Patrick slides his hand into David’s as they ring the larger bell hung next to the frame, lacing their fingers together as three sharp rings echo out across the temple.

When they exit the temple to their waiting tuk tuk, Patrick asks David if there’s anything he wanted to see that he didn’t get to the last time he was here.

“The palace,” David answers instantly, because who doesn’t want to see a god damn palace.

Patrick smiles and nods. “To the palace, then.”

 

Later, in their hotel bed, David is tired and achy and full of food - but completely content. He’s flipping through the photos of the day, and where usually his thumb hovers over the edit button he finds himself adding each one to a favourites folder. He loves everything from Patrick’s soft smile and sunburned neck to his own twisted grin and unruly hair.

Patrick climbs into bed in grey boxers and nothing else, looking too damn delicious for someone with odd patches of sunburn and an unsmeared glob of aftersun running down his shoulder. He curls into David’s side, resting his head on David’s thigh as he yawns and nuzzles into the hem of David’s T-shirt.

“What - doin?” Patrick asks around a yawn as David’s hand settles into his hair and pets gently.

“Sending cute photos of you to your mom,” David admits.

Patrick snorts. “I swear she prefers you over me,” he says, cracking one eye open.

David nods. “Well, I am like the queer son she never had.” That earns him a sharp bite to the soft of his stomach. He yelps and bats at Patrick who rolls away laughing. “Speaking of, how’s your ass?”

Patrick props his head on his hand and frowns. “It did not appreciate the tuk tuk.”

“Poor little clam,” David soothes, dropping a kiss to Patrick’s temple before going back to his phone.

He exits out of Messenger and back onto the website of their Phuket hotel. He’s been fussing over the pictures since they settled on the place four months ago. He isn’t used to being around a lot of other people in hotels (Motels are obviously a different story), sharing dinner halls and pool sides and all that other normal socialisation that usually happens on a vacation. He won’t admit it, not out loud, but he feels nervous, self conscious, too on display. Which is hilarious because most of him has been on display his whole life but back then there were distractions and masks to hide behind and now it feels raw and real and unfiltered and -

“Hey,” Patrick’s concerned voice gently nudges David’s thoughts away. He sits up and places a chaste kiss on David’s forehead. “It’s too noisy in there.”

“Sorry,” David says, squirming when Patrick pulls back to frown deeply at him. Patrick’s told him a thousand times to stop apologising for things that don’t need apologies, but even after three years David is still learning. “I mean, I’m fine. I promise. I’m just tired.”

David knows Patrick doesn’t believe him, but he doesn’t press it. Instead he plucks David’s phone from his fingers and sets it by the pillow before reaching up to turn the bedside lights off. David slides down beneath the sheets, settling himself against Patrick’s chest.

No matter his anxieties, Patrick’s arms always make him feel safe.

***

Wheeling their cases through Phuket’s only airport, David grimaces as he watches people gather by the hotel coaches. He hates coaches. They remind him of their journey into Schitt’s Creek, cramped and smelly with an impending sense of doom. Even though it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to him, that coach trip was four hours of lonely anxious hell.

Patrick’s hand appears at the small of his back, pressing lightly as he steers David in the opposite direction.

“Honey, this isn’t the right-” he stops as he sees the line of drivers with their little signs, waiting impatiently for their guests. Right at the front is a short driver in a nice black suit with the sign Brewer/Rose.

“Hello, gentlemen,” the driver beams, giving a shallow bow. “Follow me, follow me,” and he scuttles off towards the exit.

“What’s going on?” David asks incredulously.

Patrick’s smile is sly and knowing. “I know how much you dislike coaches,” he shrugs, wheeling their cases after the driver.

Outside, a black Mercedes limo sits waiting. The driver makes quick work of their bags and opens the door for them to quickly climb in. David’s been in a lot of cars just like this, not a party limo but more George Clooney at a red carpet, sleek and clean and the good kind of leather seats. He just never expected to be in one again.

“When did you arrange this? How?” he asks in disbelief as the engine quietly rumbles to life.

“I have my ways,” is the only thing Patrick offers before reaching up to turn on the AC.

David stares hard at his husband for a long moment. He spots the privacy divider button directly overhead and pushes it. Patrick eyes him curiously as the partition glides up, sealing them off from the rest of the world.

“You,” David breathes, sliding closer until he can rest his chin on Patrick’s shoulder.

“Me?” Patrick smiles innocently. David presses several wet kisses to Patrick’s cheek, feeling it firm and redden beneath his lips as Patrick grins.

“You’re so incredible. You didn’t have to do this, I don’t expect you to pander to me.” Patrick raises an eyebrow. David rolls his eyes. “Ok, well I don’t always expect you to pander to me.”

Patrick curls an arm behind David’s shoulders and kisses his ear quickly. “I wouldn’t get used to it,” he smirks.

Watching the world roll by out of the tinted windows, David sighs happily. The AC feels pleasantly cool against his neck and arms, and outside the world is bright and green and beautiful. Patrick’s arm is still secure around David’s shoulders and he leans into the touch.

It isn’t until the car stops at a set of large wooden gates that David realises this isn’t their hotel. He sits up, startled, and peers out of the window as the gates roll back to reveal a long and winding driveway.

“What the fuck?” David whispers as the car pulls up in front of a large and lavish looking home, tall and square made from a smooth whine stone that looks cold to the touch. The windows are high and wide with clean white curtains hanging loosely at every side. He so bewildered, he doesn’t notice that Patrick has exited the car until he’s opening David’s door for him, smiling nervously.

“Surprise!” he says just as the front door swings open and a slender blonde young woman bounds out in a blue floral playsuit.

“Patrick!” she exclaims brightly, pulling Patrick into a strong hug. “It’s so great to finally meet you!” Her accent has a bold French twang and she looks impossibly glamorous for this humidity. David likes her instantly, even if she is clinging to his husband.

“You too, Clara,” Patrick laughs.

“David!” She turns to David and pulls him into a frighteningly strong hug. David wheezes, but smiles anyway. He’ll check for broken ribs later. “Welcome to The White House. I’m so excited you’re finally here. Patrick and I have been planning this for months.”

“Months?” David sqwalks. “I don’t even understand what’s happening, what happened to the hotel?”

Patrick squeezes David’s elbow, looking soft and kind and David wants to climb into his soul and settle down there for a few centuries. “I wanted to surprise you. It was my mom’s idea, actually. She found the place and helped me switch all the bookings.”

“What?! I talk to her almost every day, how did she get this by me?” David’s mouth twists in disbelief as he looks between the two.

“Because, she might look sweet but really she’s not to be trusted.”

“I’ll say,” David gasps. “I see where you get it from, now.”

Clara starts to laugh behind her hand. “You two sound like you’ve been married for ten years at least.”

Patrick beams and takes David’s hand. “Let’s go, David,” he says as Clara ushers them inside.

Inside is crisp and clean and sleek and modern and every other Interior Design Weekly buzzword that David can think of. The name is obvious as most of the furniture, frames and fittings are a gleaming white that captures the sun and lights up the whole place.

“This is my grandparents holiday home,” Clara begins to explain. “They’re photographers, from Paris originally but now they live in Australia. It’s a stunning five bedroom, four bathroom villa with game room, cinema room, bar and grill area and an amazing pool. They bought this place for the family, and when we’re not using it we rent it out as a holiday home to a select few clientele.”

“Select few?” David asks as she leads them through a long dining room into a spacious kitchen.

“We don’t really advertise, we mostly deal with referrals from past clients.”

“My mom’s friend at work stayed here for her 50th,” Patrick supplies. “She recommended us and put me in touch with Clara.”

“And we’re so happy to have you,” Clara adds before turning towards the glass sliding doors that lead out to what is possible the most gorgeous looking infinity pool David has ever seen. “You have to come and check out these views.”

With a hand on Patrick’s shoulder, David pulls them back a step.

“Patrick, how can we afford this?” David says, dropping his voice to just above a whisper.

Patrick bares his teeth and twists his face in the same way David’s does when he’s been caught out on something.

“So, my parents actually gave us a little bit more money for our wedding gift than I originally told you.” David doesn’t know what to do or say or even think. The Brewers had already given them a sizeable gift and they’d both agreed to put half into the store and half into savings for a bigger place. “Are you mad?”

The way Patrick genuinely looks a little worried makes David want to kiss him something fierce.

“Of course I’m not, Patrick, this is just,” he stops to gesture around. “This is a lot. This place and the car and everything. It’s too much. You didn’t have to do all of this, I don’t deserve all of this.”

Patrick rolls his eyes and brings David’s hand to his lips. “I don’t know about you, but this is the only honeymoon I plan on having so it’s going to be damn well memorable, okay?”

David laughs, fighting back the reddening sting building in his throat and behind his eyes.

“Come on, lovebirds,” Clara calls from outside.

Clara is right. The views are something else. The pool stretches towards the horizon, and just beyond its vantage point there’s a river, wide and winding, surrounded by lush green jungle. It’s incredible. David notices the dock that leads past the shore with a small motorboat at the end. Other than that, the next sign of civilisation is a dot in the distance. They’re secluded and surrounded and it’s perfect.

“This is unbelievable,” David breathes, turning back to Patrick, the kindness in his eyes making David fall in love with him all over again.

Clara steps beside them and puts a gentle hand on each of their shoulders.

“I hope you two have the happiest of honeymoons,” she says, smiling sincerely at David before turning to Patrick. “The kitchen has been stocked to your requests. The pool guy comes on Tuesday morning and the cleaner Wednesday lunchtime. The security info is all in the email I sent you last week and you have my number if you need anything else.”

She kisses each of their cheeks twice before giving them one last tender smile and making her exit.

Patrick snakes his arms around David’s waist from behind, pushing up on his toes to rest his head next to David’s.

“So, husband do good?” Patrick asks quietly and David sighs and leans back into the embrace.

“Mm, husband do very good.”

Patrick’s hands slide down to David’s hips, giving him a gentle push towards the pool. “Give me your phone, let me take a picture,” he says and David fishes his phone from his pocket and hands it over obediently.

He surveys the pool edge, and he’s just above to suggest a lighting frame when there’s a hard shove to his back. David goes barrelling forward, plunging into the pool in an undignified tangle of limbs and shrieks.

The water engulfs him, but thankfully the pool isn’t so deep and it only takes one kick until he breaks the surface with a gasp.

“What the fuck, Patrick!” David yells, pushing his sunglasses into his sopping hair. Patrick’s too busy laughing to look at all guilty.

“That’s for saying you don’t deserve this,” Patrick tells him through hiccups of laughter.

David’s about to argue back when Patrick quickly strips off his T-shirt and kicks off his sneakers. He takes a small run up before catapulting himself into the pool with a giddy yahoo! Patrick’s cannonball sends a wave of water rushing over David’s head. David splutters and splashes at Patrick when he surfaces.

“Ugh, you’re such a boy,” he complains, but Patrick is yet to look even the slightest bit sorry as he sends another wave rolling towards David. “I should have never let you buy that frat boy cap.”

Patrick laughs and pulls a squirming David into his arms. He only resists for a moment before giving up and letting Patrick pull him into a series of playful light kisses.

“I love you, David,” Patrick says in between pecks, sounding childishly happily as he starts to drag David through the water and towards the steps.

On the edge of the pool with his feet on the top step, David peels off his cardigan and T-shirt, thankful he didn’t pack anything too expensive or irreplaceable. He pulls off his shoes and sets them aside too, tipping the water out back into the pool.

Patrick swims towards him like a mischievous seal, crawling up the wide steps until he’s kneeling between David’s submerged legs. David crosses his arms, glaring at Patrick with all the fake annoyance he can muster. But all it takes is one blink of Patrick’s pretty eyes, waterdrops beading on his dark lashes, before David is letting out a long breath and capturing Patrick’s face in both hands. He doesn’t know if he leans down or Patrick surges up, but in a split second they’re kissing like it’s the first time they’ve touched each other in weeks.

Patrick makes a hungry little noise right at the back of his throat and David chases it down. He wants to hear it again, wants Patrick to sound as desperate as David feels. He slides both hands into Patrick’s hair, fingers curling tightly into the wet strands. Patrick gasps into David’s open mouth, his own hands finding purchase on the sopping material of David’s shorts.

It’s something David doesn’t think he’ll ever get enough of, Patrick kissing him like he’s parched and David’s mouth is water, all want and hunger and need. The kiss leaves David breathless and he pulls back from it with a heavy gasp. Patrick’s lips are kiss swollen and shiny, and David can’t resist running a thumb over the bottom one. Patrick smiles, bright and warm and infectious.

They strip out of the rest of their wet clothes, leaving them lay across one of the ten loungers that surround the pool to dry. Patrick pads naked across the kitchen to the downstairs bathroom, emerging with a towel wrapped around his waist and one in his hands for David. He looks so damn good as he crosses the kitchen to a sopping wet David, who feels like a feral cat caught in the rain next to his Mr-Darcy-Emerging-From-A-Lake looking husband.

Patrick pulls open the fridge and produces two bottles of water and a plate of watermelon. David’s eyes light up and Patrick laughs softly, lifting a piece to David’s lips so he can take a bite.

“I can’t believe you,” David says as he licks a trickle of watermelon juice from the back of Patrick’s hand. “You’re so fucking sneaky.”

Patrick wiggles his eyebrows, leaning in to plant a kiss on David’s cheek. He takes a bite of melon himself before returning the plate to the refrigerator. “Come on, let's go check out the rest of this place.”

The rest of the place is just as impressive as Clara had promised. The game room consists of a pool table, chess table, ping pong table, dart board and a whole stack of board games - not to mention a beautiful piano. Patrick actually gasps at the size of the screen in the cinema room and the twelve large velvet reclined seats that accompany it. David knows he’s thinking about watching sports, and he thinks maybe he’ll even let Patrick watch a baseball game or two in exchange for a night of romcoms.

It’s the bedroom that makes David gasp, because he’s honestly never been more excited for bedtime. The room is much like the rest of the house, large and bright and pristinely beautiful, glass sliding doors leading out to an incredible balcony. The bed looks like it’s made of clouds and David feels dizzy thinking about how high the thread count on the sheets must be. There’s also a bathtub in the room, oval shaped and free standing not far from the bed.

“Mm, okay, so I live here now,” David says as he trails further into the room, running his hand along the cool porcelain of the bath as he passes. “You can forward all my mail to this tub, thanks so much.”

Patrick chuckles softly from behind him, and David can practically feel how pleased with himself he is. And he should be, because for all the gorgeous places David’s stayed before, no one’s ever put so much thought into picking a place so perfect for him, for both of them.

David turns to find his husband watching him with all the tender affection David had watched him with in Bangkok. Patrick knew David would love this place because he knows David inside and out.

“Come here,” David says softly, even though he’s the one who moves first, reaching out until he’s able to press his palms against Patrick’s warm chest. He draws him into a slow and languid kiss, dragging his blunt nails down Patrick’s chest and abdomen as Patrick holds David by the shoulders.

When David rakes his hands back up again, he makes sure to catch Patrick’s nipple with the corner of his thumbnail, leaving Patrick gasping into his mouth.

“David,” Patrick’s voice is smooth and pleading and David knows Patrick is ready to fall apart in his hands. He can feel the tension of keeping secrets seeping out of Patrick’s pores as he pours himself into another deep kiss.

“I love you so much,” David says, pulling back from the kiss and backing them towards the bed. “I appreciate everything you do, so much,” he adds as he pushes Patrick softly onto the bed. Patrick’s smiling, looking both innocent and destructive as he slides further up the bed and lets David crawl between his parted knees.

“Oh, well, that’s nice,” Patrick murmurs as David closes in for another kiss, this time prising Patrick’s mouth open with the tip of his tongue the instant their lips touch.

It’s wet and messy but perfectly coordinated. David knows every groove of Patrick’s mouth, the flat roof of it and the ridges just a little further back. He fills Patrick’s mouth completely, devouring him in a way he knows makes Patrick weak.

David breaks the kiss to get his mouth on Patrick’s neck, sucking at the skin with nippy teeth. Patrick groans beneath him, hips rolling against David in search of friction but the soft cotton of their towels offer little.

Smiling into Patrick’s neck, David unwinds Patrick’s towel from his waist. Patrick tugs at David’s towel, grunting in frustration when it gets caught beneath David’s knees. Laughing, David sits back on his heels and pulls his own towel away. Patrick is almost panting, flushed from the kissing and cock hard against his stomach, begging for attention. David leans down to pepper teasing kisses along the inside of Patrick’s thigh.

“Allow me to show you just how much I appreciate you,” David says with a coy smile as Patrick stares down at him wide eyed and wanting.

If there’s one thing in this life David will never tire of hearing, it’s the noise Patrick makes as David first engulfs his cock. It’s a groan and a gasp all at once, a mix of relief and desperation as David’s lips tighten around his length, tongue lapping warm against the underside to taste something that is just so completely Patrick.

Patrick’s fingers find David’s hair, as they always do, but he never tugs right away. Instead he combs and pets and encourages, fingertips running from David’s hairline to his jaw.

When David takes him all the way, deep into his throat until his lips are pressed flush against Patrick’s pubic bone, Patrick calls out into the empty room. He pushes his hips back against the mattress to keep himself from thrusting and David rewards him by swallowing hard, closing his throat and pushing down on Patrick’s cock until his eyes water.

This isn’t something David pulls out of the bag too often. It takes careful breath placement to take Patrick’s thick cock so deep and a hard squeeze on his own thumb to suppress his gag reflex. But he does it when he really wants to make Patrick lose his mind, because the first time he ever did it Patrick came in ten seconds flat and couldn’t talk for a good two minutes afterwards.

“Jesusfuckingchrist, David,” Patrick moans, reaching down with his other hand until they’re both tangled in David’s hair. “That mouth of yours-” he starts but doesn’t finish, just lets David continue his expert ability to break Patrick down.

Just before Patrick comes, David pulls back a touch so he can taste it hit the back of his throat. He doesn’t stop sucking until Patrick is twitching, hiccuping gasps as he softens sensitively in David’s mouth.

“See,” David whispers, crawling up Patrick’s still quivering body. “Appreciated.”

Patrick pulls David in by the back of his neck, clashing their mouths together so he can suck himself off David’s tongue. David sighs, erection grinding down into the dip of Patrick’s hip.

With his free hand Patrick takes David’s cock and starts to jack him. His eyes are heavy but determined and David can’t look away from them.

“Kiss me,” Patrick murmurs, tugging purposely on the back of David’s neck, “and don’t stop,” he adds. “I want to taste my name when you come.”

David’s eyes roll back and he thanks the heavens for all those writers workshops they’ve been hosting in the last year, because Patrick’s bedroom talk has become another level, something so much more intimate and sensual than the dirty talk David’s experienced in the past.

It doesn’t take long until Patrick gets what he wants. David had rutted against the mattress the whole time he was choking on his husband’s dick and now he’s got Patrick’s firm grip to thrust into as he has the life kissed out of him, so he’s ready for his orgasm to take him.

“Patrick,” David whimpers as he comes, first helpless and without thought before he says it again and again as he covers Patrick’s fist, moaning deeper with each name call until he’s gasping into Patrick’s open mouth.

“I love you,” Patrick says tenderly, pulling David’s body weight down on top of him completely as he wraps his arms around David’s shoulders.

David sighs, his body boneless in the afterglow of his orgasm and the release of a sharp tension he hadn’t realised he’s been carrying.

The feel of Patrick’s hands on his skin is the last thing he remembers before a blissful sleep takes him.

 

David wakes up slowly. The light of the lazy afternoon drapes him in a warm glow and he luxuriates in it for a few long minutes. He rolls onto his back and stretches, the soft sheets shifting around his waist. He doesn’t even remember climbing beneath them but his body is warm like he’s been there for a while.

The space next to David is empty and instantly he misses Patrick. He wants to pull his sleepy body to his chest and kiss the back of his neck until it flushes pink. He wants to tease him awake with tender touches and quiet words and claim Patrick’s sleep warm mouth as his reward.

He pushes the sheets aside and sets his feet on the blessedly cool floor.

Their cases stand not far from the door. David smiles, because Patrick managed to haul them up the stairs in enough silence to let David sleep. He’s even left a plush white dressing gown draped on the chair nearby with David’s rose print Gucci sliders. He slips into everything and it feels so soothing.

A quiet clanging from outside pulls David towards the balcony. When he gets there he leans against the hot plexiglass, peering down to see Patrick stood at the large, gas powered grill by the bar area. He’s dressed in jean shorts and a blue tank top, his new SnapBack and sunglasses, a beer in one hand and a pair of cooking tongs in the other. David bites his lip because his husband really does look like a frat boy sometimes, and he’s a lot more into it than he’d ever say out loud.

“Yo, bro!” David calls down and Patrick spins towards the sound, smile bright beneath his black Ray Bans.

“S’up, man,” he calls back, waving the tongs at David who drops his head to laugh.

When he finally gets down to Patrick and sees that smile up close, David nuzzles into the side of Patrick’s face. He smells like smoke and sunshine and David could stand here and breathe it in all day.

“Hey, babe,” Patrick says brightly, planting a wet beer smeared kiss to David’s cheek. “Good nap?”

David nods and hums and sniffs at the food. Patrick’s grilling chicken and sweet peppers and it smells absolutely incredible. “Did you sleep?”

“No, not really. I think I’m just about adjusting. There’s rosé in the ice bucket on the table, I got you a glass.”

“Thank you,” David kisses Patrick sweetly, tasting beer and sunscreen on his lips. He’d meant for it to be a quick thank you kiss but he can’t bring himself to pull away, instead angling their bodies against each other so he can wrap his arms around Patrick’s neck and devour his mouth.

Patrick does pull back eventually, breathless with pink cheeks, and slides his sunglasses up to his forehead revealing surprised and grateful eyes. “What was that for?” he says quietly.

Plucking the Ray Bans from Patrick’s head and slipping them onto his own face, David smirks and saunters away without an answer.

They eat their late lunch outside, talking and smiling at each other over grilled chicken and salad until the bottle of wine is gone. It’s so nice to talk like this, David notes. Not everyday conversations about what they need to restock at the store or whose turn it is to have breakfast with David’s mother, but real conversations like where else in the world they’ve always wanted to experience and memories from childhood about travelling. David loves these conversation, loves the crinkle in Patrick’s smile as he reminisces about his parents. He loves learning new things and knowing there are still new things to learn. He doesn’t think he’ll ever get tired of learning about Patrick.

David piles the plates into the dishwasher as Patrick plays with the remote, flipping through several channels in a variety of languages before it’s quiet for a moment and then David hears, “Ow, Netflix!”

They watch Blue Planet II for a while, lay across the enormous U shaped couch, feet and legs tangled together with their heads at opposite ends, letting the episodes loop one after the other until David’s stomach starts to grumble again.

David makes them both a sandwich with the leftover chicken from lunch and brings Patrick another beer.

“What do you want to watch now?” Patrick asks as he pushes their empty plates onto the coffee table.

David settles himself between Patrick’s legs, back to chest, and starts flipping through the genres.

“Let’s watch something creepy so we can make out instead of admitting we’re scared.”

They watch Bird Box but don’t make out because that would be an insult to Sandra Bullock.

When the movie ends it’s starting to get dark out, pink exploding across the sky and dipping into the horizon. David stands, stretches and then unceremoniously drops his robe to the floor, leaving him stood completely naked in the middle of the living room.

Patrick rolls onto his side, propping his head on his hand and smiling up at David as he waits for whatever’s going to come next, obviously down for whatever it is.

“I think I’m gonna go for a swim,” David says with a small but determined nod. “Wanna join me?”

Patrick’s smile slips into a grin and he pushes himself up from the couch. “That sounds great.”

“Good, but no fucking cannonballs this time!” David warns and Patrick laughs loudly and slaps David’s bare ass lightly before taking his hand to pull him towards the doors.

The evening air is sticky, a kind of prickly heat that starts at David’s neck and spreads down his chest. It makes slipping into the cool water all the more pleasing, even more so when he turns on the bottom step to see his husband stripping out of every single piece of clothing. His skin looks even paler when lit by the pool lights, impossibly smooth and perfect and begging to be touched. David has to turn away to stop himself from curling around Patrick like an octopus and dragging them both down to a new life beneath the surface.

As Patrick descends the steps, David pushes off from the floor to swim a length of the pool. The water glides around his warm muscles in steady cooling waves as he moves. He’s always been a strong swimmer, loving the feel of weightless power his body gets in the water.

By the time David is swimming back towards the horizon, Patrick is against the poolside, facing out towards the river and sunset. David settles next to him, arms folded over the lip of the infinity pool, water still sloshing lazily around their shoulders.

Patrick turns to David but doesn’t say anything. He doesn’t need to. It’s already written all over his face, a brief moment of overwhelming happiness that’s so consuming it’s almost too much. Because here they are, after everything, in a world so beautifully simple after such complicated lives apart. Patrick looks like he could cry, but he’s always been better at holding back like that. Instead he pulls David’s body close and kisses him.

With his shoulders pressed against the edge, David eagerly accepts Patrick’s body between his legs, unafraid to achor himself to Patrick in the weightlessness of the water. He wraps his arms around Patrick’s neck and rubs his fingers through his wet hair, fingertips digging into his scalp like David’s afraid he might pull back. Patrick moves a hand beneath the water, running it down David’s chest, back across his hip and down to his ass where he thrusts softly against David’s growing erection - clearly possessing zero intention of pulling back.

Patrick tastes intoxicating, both familiar and new and David opens up wider to it, kissing Patrick with a slow wet tongue until it becomes louder than the sound of the water trickling around their bodies.

It’s David who pulls back for breath first, breaking the kiss with a soft gasp as he tilts his head towards the stars. Patrick mouths beneath David’s jaw, the hand on David’s ass still pulling their bodies together in a motion as slow as the sunset.

“Please, Patrick,” David whispers, surprised at the desperation in his own voice. He doesn’t have to say anymore, Patrick knows just what he needs.

“Turn around,” Patrick says softly, hands at David’s sides as he turns him easily to face the pool edge. He grips David’s hips and lifts. David’s hands scrabble to find purchase on the wide lip of the pool as he’s hoisted up, and he leans forward as Patrick lifts his ass to the surface.

David’s hands slide down to the ground just a few inches below the edge as he presses his chest to the cool tile. Patrick’s hands push his cheeks apart and David can already feel hot breath around his hole. He shivers and groans, he’s about to plead some more but then Patrick moves forward, rubbing the flat of his tongue against the tight ring of muscle.

Gasping, David dares a glance back, twisting to see over his shoulder as Patrick continues to work him open with that confident mouth of his. David can feel the water lapping around his cock and he moves uselessly against it until Patrick’s fingers finally wrap around him.

Patrick pulls his mouth back as he jacks David slow and David hears the unmistakable sound of Patrick sucking on his fingers. David presses back, pleased when his eagerness earns him a small, breathless laugh from Patrick.

With one then two fingers Patrick works David open, slow at first and then quick and purposeful as he angles towards David’s prostate until withdrawing without warning.

David whines as Patrick pulls him effortlessly back into the pool, the warm water swallowing David’s body gratefully as Patrick turns David back to face him. David immediately pulls Patrick back in with his legs, winding them around his waist and rubbing their cocks together. They glide so much more smoothly in the water and the lack of friction is maddening.

“Fuck me,” David pleads and Patrick nods, pulling David’s legs higher around his waist and lining up the tip of his cock before pushing in swiftly. “Oh god,” David moans, instantly feeling so completely full.

He’s missed this feeling. It’s not even been a week but it feels so very long ago. The last time David got fucked by his husband was the first time he’d ever been fucked by his husband. Too tipsy and exhausted to do so on their wedding night, Patrick had woken David early the next morning and fucked him hard into their bed, waking up in domestic bliss apparently his new turn on. Now that memory feels so far away, thousands of miles behind him between flights and sandcastles and busy city noise. Everything has been whizzing by so quick and now this sunset feels so slow, like Patrick’s had it paused just for them.

“Fuck me slow,” David says, teeth scraping over Patrick’s earlobe. Patrick nods, kissing beneath David’s ear as he draws out just a touch and lets the water move them for a moment.

David lets his hips float away from the wall, his legs loosening their grip slightly as he anchors himself to Patrick by grasping firmly at his biceps instead.

With both hands on David’s ass, Patrick keeps his thrusts into David torturously slow. David moans each time Patrick’s deep, pressed right to the hilt before drawing out slowly again and again and again until they’re both choking on their own pleasure.

It doesn’t take long for David to start losing his mind with it all, lost in the swift gliding pleasure of water and skin, every nerve ending sparked and soothed until they start to ache again. David lets his hands move over Patrick’s neck, tilting his jaw with his thumbs as they kiss, teeth grazing over lips each time their mouths pull apart.

When Patrick’s shoulders start to shake and his mouth trembles against David’s, they both know the end is near. David rubs his hands over Patrick’s shoulders and pulls back to murmur encouragement. “Come on, Patrick, fuck, you’ve done so good.”

Patrick grunts and nods, pressing their foreheads together so he can search David’s eyes, stripping him down further beneath his gaze. He wraps his fingers around David’s cock, thumb pressed beneath the head with determined pressure as he jacks David steadily. David hisses, gasping in the small space between them as he clenches hard around Patrick, drawing a throaty moan from deep within his chest.

Release washes over David, slow at first and then all of a sudden, the world bottoming out beneath him, Patrick’s arms the only thing keeping him at the surface as he lets his mouth hang open in a silenced moan.

“Fuck, you’re perfect,” Patrick whispers, just a few thrusts away from his own orgasm, gasping David’s name in broken breaths as he finally comes. He rides out the afterglow slowly, rutting until they’re too exhausted to move anymore and the water parts them naturally.

“Oh my fucking god,” David breathes, pulling Patrick back into him. Patrick presses smiling kisses into David’s shoulder.

“That’s definitely one crossed of the bucket list,” Patrick says, voice wrecked.

“You have...a sex bucket list?” David asks in quiet disbelief.

Patrick laughs softly and nods into David’s neck. “Mmhm, and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger.”

“Oh, I am definitely keeping you.”

***

Waking up to their first morning in the villa feels like the first day of their honeymoon, the first real day. Nowhere to be, nothing to see or explore, no flight or car or tuk tuk to catch, nothing to do but whatever they want. They wake up on opposite sides of the bed and slowly move to meet in the middle in a warm and sleepy mash of lips.

They spend what feels like hours just lay there in the morning sun, talking and smiling and kissing with no real purpose. It reminds David of the first few times he spent the night at Ray’s and they’d hide out in Patrick’s room for as long as possible, praying for late poker nights and early Elmdale property viewings.

When Patrick pulls himself away to shower, David brings up the rest of the fruit plate from the kitchen. He’s eaten over half of it to himself when Patrick reappears all refreshed looking and smelling like apples, but Patrick simply smiles and accepts the pieces of melon that David hand feeds him.

“We should probably get dressed at some point,” Patrick says, his cheek warm where it rests on David’s stomach. David hums and runs a hand down Patrick’s smooth back.

“I don’t agree with that at all,” he says. “But I did want to go for a swim and I’ve already sunburned my asscheeks once in this lifetime.”

Patrick laughs and kisses David’s stomach before rolling away and off the bed completely.

“Perfect. You go for a swim and I can start the new King novel I downloaded. We can have lunch when you’re done.”

David groans like it’s a chore, but pulls himself from the warmth of the sheets anyway.

Swimming really is something that David loves, and he’s forgotten just how much. There are next to zero bodies of water in or around Schitt’s Creek that David has the desire to get into, and all those times he and Patrick booked a Spa break when Patrick still lived with Ray, well, they never actually ended up making it down to the spa. David’s body usually detests physical activity, aside from the obvious exceptions, but swimming is perfectly acceptable. He even enjoys getting slightly out of breath as he heaves himself into another length.

David can feel the burn in his thighs when he stands on solid ground again. The sun is relentless on his neck and shoulders and he grabs the sun lotion from the lounger to reapply. He stretches as he works the cold cream into his muscles, pushing into his own touch with an aching grunt.

It’s then that David sees Patrick watching from the lounger on their bedroom balcony. He’s pulled on some shorts and he’s back in that god damn frat boy hat, peering over his sunglasses at David, kindle resting ignored in his lap. David smiles to himself, grabs a towel to pat himself down and heads inside.

When he gets on the balcony, Patrick is pretending to read again. David saunters over to the edge, leaning against the warm plexiglass as he purposely angles his ass directly into Patrick’s eyeline. He can feel Patrick’s eyes on him the way he can feel the wet fabric of his shorts cling to every muscle. As he shoots a smile over his shoulder, Patrick lowers the kindle and smirks.

“Hey, hot stuff,” he says and David wants to roll his eyes hard. “You looked good out there.”

David turns to lean against the balcony, hips jutting out as he rests a hand either side of himself. “Yeah? Didn’t know I had an audience. I don’t think my husband would be very pleased about that.”

Patrick’s smirk deepens and he drops the kindle onto the table beside him. “No, he’d definitely be pissed if he knew what was going on in my head or my shorts right now,” he says.

Pushing himself away from the balcony, David slinks over to Patrick and climbs onto the lounger, covering Patrick’s body with his own. He knocks the hat off Patrick’s head and devours him in a filthy little kiss that teeters on the edge of obscene.

“God, I wanna fuck the frat boy out of you,” David doesn’t mean to say out loud, but he gasps it into Patrick’s open mouth anyway. Patrick laughs, head tipped back as the loud sound rumbles through his chest.

“I knew it,” he says, pulling David down by the hips to grind their cocks together. The water dripping from David’s swim shorts has soaked the soft cotton of Patrick’s, and now the material clings around Patrick’s erection. David moans and grinds down into it, delighted when Patrick thrusts up hard.

“Well, it’s not my fault,” David whines, planting his hands either side of Patrick’s hips as he starts to mouth down his chest, collecting the droplets of water that have fallen there. He sucks on one of Patrick’s nipples and smirks at the noise he receives.

Unlike last night, this is not lazy and slow. Patrick’s thrusts are frantic as he bucks up hard against David’s wet body, grabbing onto his dripping biceps and digging his blunt nails into the glistening flesh as they kiss messily.

Patrick’s hands quickly find purchase on David’s ass, tugging at the shorts until he can get his palms flat against the skin and grope his cheeks apart. David arches into Patrick’s body, cursing softly until Patrick pulls a hand away and breaks the kiss to suck on his own index finger.

Though he completely expects it, David still gasps in surprise when Patrick reaches back into his shorts and presses a finger inside him. He ruts helplessly forward and back, trapped between the warm hardness of their cocks and sharp electricity of Patrick’s finger curling inside of him, hitting deeper each time David moves back against it.

It’s not long before they’re coming, Patrick first and David close behind, noisy and messy in a kind of graceless beauty. Patrick pulls his sunglasses off and nuzzles into the side of David’s face, panting.

“I love that you have a weird thing for frat boys,” Patrick hums happily.

“I don’t,” David replies, pulling himself onto his knees between Patrick’s legs, grimacing at the mess between them. “Just a weird thing for you looking like a frat boy.”

Patrick smiles up at him, looking way too pure and innocent to say there’s come spattered over his stomach. “Speaking of,” he says, reaching for the discarded towel on the floor. “I don’t think I’ve come this much since I was nineteen.”

David huffs a short laugh as Patrick starts to wipe away the mess.

“You brought me to a secluded mansion in the middle of a tropical paradise island for our honeymoon. What exactly did you think we’d spend a week doing?”

“That reminds me, we have the elephant sanctuary tomorrow so we’ve got to be ready for 6:30am.”

David twists his face and pushes himself up from the lounger. “That’s terrible pillow talk,” he says as he extends a hand for Patrick who quickly accepts, allowing David to pull him to his feet. “I don’t want to get up that early.”

“Well, we have to,” Patrick sighs, linking their fingers and dragging David back into the room. “Unless you want to tell Ted and your sister that you skipped out on their wedding gift to have college role play sex.”

David presses his lips together in serious thought. Patrick rolls his eyes and jabs David in the side. “What? I’m thinking!”

Patrick whips the towel at David’s ass. “We’re going, bro. Now go shower while I make lunch.”

After lunch they lounge by the pool, Patrick actually reading this time whilst David dozes lazily in the sun, enjoying the tingle of heat that covers his body. He loves this quiet, the feel of having nothing but each other. At home, even their days off offer few precious moments of just the two of them, always someone to see, something to do. But here...here it’s just the two of them enjoying each other’s quiet company.

Hanging out with his husband is David’s favourite thing.

When David’s skin starts to sizzle, he complains and makes faces until Patrick goes to get the after sun from the refrigerator, following him inside so he can lounge half naked on the couch and have the cold lotion rubbed into his hot muscles. Afterwards, David rubs some into every inch of Patrick’s skin, even the parts not exposed to the sun, because marriage is about compromise.

Sleepy from hours in the sun and relaxed from their cooling muscles, they both fall into an unplanned nap. It’s the best nap of David’s life, and when he wakes he’s treated to the sight of Patrick snoozing softly, head in David’s lap and breathing lightly. David cards his fingers through Patrick’s hair, rousing him from his slumber with delicate little tugs.

“Muh,” Patrick mumbles, pushing up into the touch for a moment until he blinks himself awake. “I’m starving,” he yawns, rubbing at his eye with the heel of his palm.

“I’ll make dinner,” says David and Patrick instantly drops his hand from his face so that David gets a full view of his dubious expression. “What? I can cook…” Patrick’s eyebrows shoot up, “...pasta...while you supervise…”

Patrick smiles fondly, it’s the same way Stevie looks at him when he compliments her fashion choices non sarcastically. He sits up and kisses David sweetly on the cheek. “That sounds wonderful.”

Surprisingly, Patrick doesn’t have to supervise all that much. Instead he spends most of the time sat on the counter, drinking red wine and watching David work while wittering on about how terrible of a cook his dad is. He talks a lot, actually, well, a lot for Patrick, and it’s only when David tries to add wine to the sauce and finds the bottle almost empty that he realises Patrick’s tipsy.

Smirking, David steps between Patrick’s legs and studies the pink tinge to his cheeks and the tips of his ears.

“Hi,” David smiles and Patrick beams back down at him.

“Hey!” Patrick says and then giggles.

“So, it seems that someone’s been drinking my ingredients,” David states and Patrick continues to smile innocently.

“Who would do such a thing?” Patrick mock gasps before draining the rest of his glass. He sets the glass down a touch too hard before running his hands along David’s shoulders. He studies David’s face for a while as if he’s thinking of something extremely profound to say. “You’re really hot,” he says instead.

David has to bite his lip to stop himself from laughing, the action seemingly lighting something wild within Patrick, who quickly pulls David into a hectic kiss with a hand on the back of his neck. He locks his legs around David’s hips and moans filthily into David’s open mouth. Patrick tastes like wine and heat and David needs more.

They burn the sauce, but it still tastes better than anything David’s ever cooked before. They eat outside and toast a celebration to David’s success, watching the sunset, flirting and laughing and drinking red wine.

***

There’s a slight fuzz around David’s head when he wakes the next morning, the alarm on Patrick’s phone blaring from the nightstand. David gropes at it with bleary eyes until he finally hits snooze, and collapses back against his pillow with an uncomfortable grunt.

David turns to find his husband with the sheets pulled up to his nose and an arm slung over his eyes. Another alarm pings to life from David’s phone and Patrick groans and pulls the sheets over his head.

“No,” he groans. “Please, god - no!”

Laughing, David slips further beneath the sheets, pulling them over his own head so he can join Patrick in his little fort of doom.

“Morning, my love,” David whispers softly.

“Go away,” gripes Patrick, and David laughs again.

“Did someone have a little too much to drinkie?” David asks, instantly scolding himself for sounding like his sister.

“This is your fault,” Patrick mutters, pulling his arm down to glare with bloodshot eyes at David’s annoying smile. “I never drank wine before you.”

“Yeah, well, there’s a lot of things you never did before me,” David says, diving in to attach his lips to Patrick’s neck. Patrick tries to bat him away, smirking despite the ungodly hour.

It takes another ten minutes of playful kissing to encourage Patrick out of bed and into the bathroom to immediately brush his teeth. Thankfully, after this, a thorough face wash, two pain killers and an entire bottle of water, Patrick seems to fight off the worst of the hangover.

For once in his life, David is actually on time for something before nine AM, and by the time the small truck trundles up to the gate, they’ve already been waiting for five minutes.

The driver greets them kindly and then pulls down the back of the pickup and points to the rickety looking seats inside.

“I already miss the tuk tuk,” Patrick says quietly as he climbs inside, sitting opposite David.

Though the ride is bumpy, it’s actually quite a wonderful feeling to be trundling through the quieter rural areas of the island, the final minutes of sunrise still only just touching the edges of the mountains. David breathes in the air like it’s the first breath after surfacing. It’s amazing.

They stop by another villa on the way to the sanctuary, picking up another three people. One of the guys instantly sets off David’s razor sharp Queer-dar, cute and sculpted with soft brown hair and petal pink lips. He smiles when he sees Patrick and quickly climbs in to take the seat next to him. David stiffens.

“Hi,” says the guy, holding out his hand for Patrick who smile back and shakes it warmly. “I’m Michael.”

“Patrick,” he replies and then nods towards David. “This is my husband, David.”

Michael’s smile falters a little but Patrick doesn’t notice. David feels a little sorry for the guy, so he follows Patrick’s example and shakes the guy’s hand.

“Nice to meet you, Michael,” David says quietly. He decides there’s no threat, and so chooses to ignore the odd longing glances sent his husbands way.

Let the kid dream.

The ride starts to get a little bumpier, then a lot bumpier and then really fucking bumpy. The truck heaves them up the steep mountain side and deeper into the jungle, and for a few anxious moments David’s anxiety flashes images of kidnapping and slave labour, before he notices Michael and Patrick laughing as they’re knocked against one another over and over again.

David’s about to say something, about to open his mouth and release some snippy comment unknown even to him, and then the truck jolts to a stop.

“You ok?” Patrick asks as they climb out of the truck.

“Mhm,” David hums shortly, taking Patrick’s offered hand as he helps David down from the truck and onto the uneven ground. He swats at a mosquito and grumbles.

They’re lead into a large open covering and sat down at long benches. Michael and his friends are further up ahead and David can’t stop side glancing to see if anyone is staring at his oblivious husband. He sets a firm hand on Patrick’s leg as the rest of the people file in from their own trucks.

An organiser with better English than Alexis introduces himself as Eddie. He starts to tell them about the sanctuary and the work they do, detailing about the elephant’s lives before and after rescue. David finds himself smiling softly, because this is actually a pretty great and incredibly sweet wedding gift with Ted written all over it. Alexis probably agreed purely based on the image of David in the middle of the jungle surrounded by elephant dung.

“Right!” says Eddie, clapping his hands together. “The first job of the day is to prepare breakfast for the elephants. Behind us is a shipment of bananas and bamboo canes. You’ll be separating the bananas into baskets and carrying them up to the feeding hill, ready for the elephants.”

The group disperses to a large covering stacked high with massive bunches of bananas and wide empty baskets. David sighs. He’s not a fan of physical labour. Even inventory day at the store is his least favourite day. But Patrick looks excited and David doesn’t miss the bounce in his step as pulls an empty basket between them.

“This place is pretty great, right?” he says as they start to pull the bananas away from the bunch and drop them into the basket.

“Yeah,” David nods. “It’s sweet.”

“And you know it’s legit if Ted found it.”

David laughs. “If Ted found it they probably treat the animals better than visiting royalty.”

The bananas are ripe and starting to slime as they mash together in the basket, the smell making David feel a little queasy. He takes it slow and lets Patrick do most of the work, not that Patrick notices as he merrily works his way through the whole bunch.

“Grab your baskets and follow me!” Eddie calls, pointing to a short but very steep incline.

“Didn’t think I’d be doing this kind of physical activity on our honeymoon,” David gasps as they heave the heavy basket off the ground and towards the hill. Patrick shoots him a mock sympathetic pout, but still takes most of the weight.

When they finally set the basket down between them at the top of the hill, David’s hands tingle with relief. He wipes them down on his shorts before applying a thick layer of hand sanitizer, despite Patrick’s laughing.

“Alright, guys and gals, please stand still while the mahouts lead their elephants to the feeding stations. Here they come…”

There’s a rumble from the trees that reminds David of every version of Tarzan he’s ever seen. It doesn’t feel threatening, but something akin to fear keeps him stuck to the spot.

As the first elephant emerges, David gasps and grabs Patrick’s hand.

Six adult elephants and two calves trundle, one by one and neatly in line, towards the stunned group. There are a few other gasps, but then there’s awed silence as the giants are lead closer and closer until they file in line on the slope just below the visitors and their baskets. The elephant that stops in front of David and Patrick is the gentlest looking creature that could squash them like a bug David has ever seen. Its skin is dark, speckled and wrinkled, and fine hairs travel down to the very tip of the trunk. The eyes are golden brown and intensely deep.

“This Wendy,” the mahout says with a grin as he pats the animal’s side. “She very old.”

Patrick picks up a banana from the basket and offers it to her. Her searching trunk waves in the air for a moment before curling around the fruit. She takes it and guides it into her mouth, chewing messily. Patrick laughs, delighted, and hands her another.

It takes a few long dumbfounded seconds for David’s brain to register what’s happening as he stares at the amazing sight before him. He fumbles for his phone, fingers over excited as they dance across the screen to slide open the camera. He snaps several photos in quick succession.

“Here,” Patrick says as he holds out a banana. “You try.”

They swap, the phone for the banana, and David stares at the creature.

“Bow means open,” the mahout says, gesturing at the elephant’s mouth.

David nods.

“Bow,” he says shakily, and the elephant lifts her trunk and opens her mouth wide, revealing soft pink. From beside him, Patrick laughs and David throws the banana into Wendy’s waiting mouth. She chews, mashing the banana and it’s skin together. Though she doesn’t make a sound, David somehow knows she’s grateful.

They feed Wendy until the basket is gone.

David’s never disliked animals but he’s also never felt drawn to them before. And yet there’s something so entrancing, so completely intoxicating about being in the presence of this amazingly large and gentle animal that David loses track of time and barely hears the guide’s next instructions until the group starts to move again.

“- to the mud bath!”

David’s head snaps up.

“Mud bath?” he parrots, hand on Patrick’s elbow.

To David’s horror, the group are led to what looks like a large empty puddle filled with slicks of mud. As the elephants are happily led in to the brown mess, the group change into their swimwear, shedding shirts and shorts and leaving them on the embankment.

“Come on,” Patrick grins, stripping his own T-shirt in excitement. He pauses when he notices the look dissatisfied look on David’s face. “It’s just like a treatment at a spa.”

“It’s nothing like a spa,” David remarks, but Patrick takes his hand and tugs him softly towards the mud where the elephants have already begun to play.

Eddie instructs the group to cover the elephants and themselves in the mud, explaining how they use it as a natural sunscreen. David feels incredibly uncomfortable, his skin beginning to itch as he watches people slather each other and the animals in thick handfuls of mud. He feels instantly anxious.

“I’m sorry,” he says as he tugs back and away from the mud. “I’m sorry, I can’t.”

Patrick, who he expects to sigh and roll his eyes, simply squeezes David’s hand tightly and presses a kiss to his temple.

“Don’t apologies, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do,” he says softly, reminding David of the times he had assured Patrick that same promise when they first got together. “Do you mind if I go?”

David smiles and shakes his head. “Of course not. Go have fun, I’ll take some pictures.”

Patrick kisses his cheek again before wading out into the mud and David picks out his phone from his pocket, wondering what he ever did to get so lucky.

It turns out David is more than happy to watch his grinning husband pile handfuls of mud onto a baby elephant. The calf looks almost as excited as Patrick, trumpeting happily and throwing itself on its side to roll around. Patrick’s eyes are wide and giddy and David wishes his phone had a better camera to capture them.

After the mud bath, they’re lead to a lake, which is still filled with horrible looking murky water but is much less terrifying than the mud pit of doom. Patrick doesn’t even ask David if he wants to go in but simply blows him a quick kiss. Usually David prefers the real thing, but with the amount of mud over his husband’s chest, arms and shins, he’ll take the air kiss.

The elephants and their mahouts enter the lake first, which slopes from knee high waters right out so the elephants can completely submerge themselves. David takes a short video of the calf splashing deeper into the water until it can pop it’s little trunk up like a periscope. He laughs, enchanted and way louder than he expected to, and turns to see Patrick beaming at him from the water. David gives a small wave before returning to his amateur nature photography.

As he’s happily taking photos of a besotted Patrick pouring cup after cup of water over the elephants, Michael reappears in David’s view, sidling right up to Patrick with a dopey grin. Patrick smiles politely and laughs at something David can’t hear. Michael’s muscles glisten in the water, his well sculpted chest and trimmed chest hair capturing droplets like a spiderweb in the rain. David lowers the camera and narrows his eyes. He glances at the water, trying to decide if it’s truly necessary that he enter the murky sludge. He can almost feel the mud between his toes and it makes him want to gag.

A loud laugh breaks David from his gaze and he looks up to find Michael throwing his head back and letting his hand rest on Patrick’s bicep in a flirty move he’s used himself countless times in the past. He looks at the water, grits his teeth, clutches his phone to his chest and then trudges in.

It’s actually not as horrifying as he thought. The water is cool and easy to move through, nothing like the bog he’d been envisioning. The water gets to thigh height when he reaches them and Patrick turns to greet him with an astonished grin.

“Hi, sweetie,” he says, aiming for nonchalance but sounding downright ecstatic.

“Couldn’t let you have all the fun,” David replies, side eyeing Michael and trying not to look so obviously threatened.

Patrick hands David the empty cup as a mahout guides one of the calves up to the surface. The baby sprays a fountain of water from its trunk and it soaks them all. David hides his phone beneath his hands against his chest, gasping and shaking his already ruined hair. Michael slinks off back to his friends and David feels partly relieved and partly ridiculous.

David is more than thankful when everyone starts to climb back out of the lake, but his relief is short lived as he watches the elephants be led over to a very large shower area. It’s more a downpour than a shower, a large metal construction with dozens of powerful sprinklers overhead. It looks like something out of a Britney Spears video.

They’re all given thick brushes and told to scrub the elephants down. David slips his phone into their backpack on the embankment and joins everyone. At least this is getting rid of the mud. He stands next to Patrick and helps him scrub the mud off Wendy’s side, unable to stop himself from grinning when Patrick catches him getting into it.

Despite the mud and the water and the heavy baskets and the jungle and the dirt and Michael, it’s been a pretty awesome trip.

 

Climbing back into the truck after lunch (an amazing Thai curry prepared by the mahouts that David may or may not have had four helpings of), David sits next to Patrick, cutting off any hope of Michael getting near him. It’s childish and petty, David knows, but it doesn’t stop him setting a possessive hand on Patrick’s thigh.

“This was incredible,” Patrick says, kissing David’s cheek once then twice.

“It really was,” David agrees as the truck rumbles to life. “Still, air conditioning and a human sized shower sounds like heaven.”

Patrick covers David’s hand with his own. He doesn’t disagree.

 

David slips into the tub and into the luxuriously silky water. The witch hazel bath salts from the store smell and feel amazing and he makes a mental note to stock up when they get home. He stretches out his legs and sinks down further into the glorious tub - something Oprah would probably request in a guest house or holiday home, he’s sure. He’s so relaxed and lost in sweet nothing that he doesn’t hear Patrick come in from his shower.

When David opens his eyes, Patrick is leaning on the edge of the tub, arms crossed over his bare chest and a white towel wrapped loosely around his hips. He looks delicious.

“Hi,” David sighs and Patrick laughs softly.

“Are you?”

“Not with this country’s drug laws I’m not,” David replies, reaching a hand up to Patrick who takes it and kisses his knuckles gently.

“So, are we going to talk about it?” Patrick asks after a long moment.

“About what?” David asks, anxiety trying to fight above the fog of calm in his brain.

“About you metaphorically peeing a circle around me every time that guy came to flirt with me?”

David’s eyes shoot open. He expects to find Patrick looking concerned or even annoyed, but his lips are slightly curved into a little hidden smile.

“You, uh, you caught that, huh?” says David, eyes darting anywhere but Patrick’s.

“The flirting or the peeing?”

David grimaces. “Both.”

Patrick presses his lips together and nods slowly. “Believe it or not, I’ve been flirted with before.”

Right. Ken. And probably a hundred other people when David’s not at the store.

“I know,” David says softly. “I’m sorry?” he doesn’t know if he should be, but he offers it up anyway. He sighs. “Sometimes I get jealous and stupid. It’s your fault.”

Patrick laughs shortly. “My fault?”

“Yes,” David insists. “You’re gorgeous and charming and sweet and-”

“-and married,” Patrick interjects.

“I know,” David groans. “And rationally I know you love me and that you wouldn’t do anything like that - but irrationally, I think you’re too good for me and might get lured away by someone more deserving.”

Patrick’s eyes soften from amusement to something a little lighter.

“Well, jeeze, I was going to make fun of you some more but now you’ve gone and made it all sweet,” he says, reaching down to run a hand through David’s damp hair.

“Sorry,” David whispers with a small smile and Patrick squats to rest his elbows on the side of the tub, his face now level with David’s.

“I kind of like that you still get jealous, but I don’t want you to think you’re undeserving. I bet you didn’t even notice his friend checking you out, did you?” David’s eyebrows shoot up in question. Patrick laughs and shakes his head. “I love you, David,” he sighs.

“But…” David trails, waving a hand for Patrick to continue, but Patrick simply kisses his lips softly.

“Just that. No buts. I love you and I think it’s cute you still want me enough to get irrationally jealous,” he says, pecking David’s lips again.

David slides a hand up the back of Patrick’s neck and into the short hairs. “You know, I think you missed a bit in your shower,” he breathes onto Patrick’s lips.

Patrick smirks. “Really? Well, we can’t have that.”

David bites his lip and watches as Patrick steps back to drop his towel. David scoots up the tub and raises his knees, making room as Patrick steps over the side and lowers himself down into the water.

As soon as he’s seated, David scrambles forward in an ungraceful and awkward fumble of limbs until he can settle himself in Patrick’s lap. Patrick smiles into the kiss that David pulls him into, wet fingers tracing up and down David’s back as David gets more of his fingers into Patrick’s hair. Patrick’s hands are slow but David’s tongue is urgent, roaming free in long languid kisses, partly because he wants to but mostly because he can.

Their making out eventually leads to the inevitable, and soon David can feel Patrick’s hard cock nudging against his own erection. Patrick slides his hands beneath the water to grab at David’s ass as he grinds them together. David opens his mouth to release a stuttered moan against Patrick’s ear.

“Fuck, I love that sound,” Patrick laughs breathlessly.

So David makes it again, and then again, hand gripping the lip of the tub as he ruts their cocks together in the frictionless water. He thinks about Patrick fucking him in the pool and it makes him moan again, deep and guttural from the bottom of his chest.

“God, you’re so hard for it,” Patrick says as he wraps his fingers around them both.

“Patrick,” David groans, long and desperate. Licking droplets from David’s neck, Patrick sucks the supple skin between his teeth. David gasps, “Fuck, Patrick, please - more.”

Patrick squeezes a tight circle around the base of David’s dick, slowly pulling him backwards on the tracks to release. His mouth creeps from David’s neck to his ear. “Say please again,” he whispers hotly.

“Oh, fuck, please,” David moans, reaching between them to take Patrick’s cock in his hand. Patrick drops his head back against the tub and starts his steady rhythm of jacking David again.

David presses an open mouthed kiss to Patrick’s throat, flattening his tongue against his adam’s apple as their hands work to bring each other closer to the edge. But David doesn’t want the edge, not yet. He wants to make Patrick crazy, wants to make him lose it because he knows he’s the only one who can.

Patrick hisses when David lets go of his cock and grunts in frustration when David pulls Patrick’s hand off his own dick. He pushes Patrick’s biceps against the edge of the tub and pins them there as he starts to thrust sloppily.

David can’t resist smirking at Patrick’s annoyance.

“No touching,” he says. “I wanna make you come.”

“God, David,” Patrick moans through broken breath, hips arching to meet David’s thrust for thrust. “You feel so fucking good.”

Their trusts get harder, more urgent as they move with purpose, messy and wet and warm. It’s not enough, it's not enough but it’s all David wants to give them, dancing along the edge of orgasm but unable to tumble over it. It’s maddening and intense and Patrick’s desperation is exhilarating to David. He leans forward to graze his teeth over Patrick’s nipple and Patrick cries out, needing more.

“I could get your cock inside me so fucking easy,” David murmurs. “I’m so fucking wet and ready, you could fuck me right now like this.”

Patrick nods uselessly. “Yeah, fuck, David, I want that.”

David nuzzles his nose behind Patrick’s ear, nipping at the soft flesh until Patrick is gasping. “Soon,” he hums. “You can fuck me tonight or tomorrow or whenever you want, but now - fuck, Patrick, now I want you to come with me. Please, baby.”

“Let me touch you,” Patrick says, eyes dark and heavy with want and lust, hair damp and spiked, mouth red and swollen. He looks a wreck, so David nods, pressing close so they’re chest to chest.

Patrick grabs at David’s ass, fingertips buried so deep and hard into the skin that David can practically feel the bruises forming. He pulls David down roughly again and again, sending water sloshing high up the sides of the bath.

With his teeth in Patrick’s shoulder as hard as the fingertips in his asscheeks, David finally stumbles over the edge of orgasm. Seconds later, Patrick arches high from the floor of the tub and comes and comes until his body dissolves back into the water.

“I don’t think I can move,” Patrick says softly after a moment, eyes still closed. David grins triumphantly, resting his head against Patrick’s shoulder.

“Is that another one off your sex bucket list?”

Patrick chuckles, warm hands moving to stroke slowly up David’s sides. “Mm. Didn’t know it was even on there until now.”

They lay there for another minute until David forces them both out of the tub and into the shower, bickering about who’s cleaning the spilled water from the tub.

***

Patrick spends the first half hour of the next morning complaining of back and shoulder pain. David’s not surprised, considering they were shaken around the back of the truck yesterday like chickens on the way to market. If anything he’s surprised they’re both not crippled with whiplash. Actually, he’s more surprised they weren’t thrown violently from the truck.

While Patrick’s taking a hot shower, David sneaks his phone from his side of the bed. He smiles warmly at Patrick’s lock screen photo; it’s a selfie David took of the two of them at the wedding dinner, the emotion of the ceremony and the buzz of the champagne ever present on their faces. He stares at it for another long moment before Patrick’s humming from the bathroom quickly pulls him back to his task. With another cursory glance to the ajar bathroom door, David flicks open Patrick’s emails and searches for Clara.

When Patrick emerges, David’s on the bed flipping through his own phone nonchalantly.

“Good shower?” he asks.

Patrick’s towelling his hair and David lowers his phone to find no towel around his damp husband’s hips. His mouth instantly dries.

“Yeah, it was nice,” says Patrick, slinging the towel over his shoulder to stretch and rub firmly at his neck, his stomach muscles pulling taut as he does so.

David stares hard at his phone, though doesn’t see anything on the screen. He thinks about clashing patterns on shirt and jacket combos, because there’s only about twenty minutes until his surprise arrives and he’d need 45 minutes at least to do all the things his mouth wants to do to Patrick’s body right now.

25 minutes later, the doorbell echoes throughout the house. David’s just about managed to think of enough fashion faux pas to talk himself out of a boner and stop himself from devouring his husband, so he’s extra jumpy when he leaps up from the bed.

“Expecting company?” Patrick looks up from his kindle to ask, eyeing David curiously.

“Put some underwear on,” David calls as his skids to the stairs. “Nothing too tight!” he calls.

 

The masseurs have set up the tables, towels, candles, oils and music by the time Patrick makes his way downstairs in boxers and a bathrobe. He stops at the bottom of the stairs and smiles, looking surprised as David nervously plays with his rings.

“What’s all this?” Patrick says with a small delighted laugh.

“I thought it might be nice to do something as a couple that doesn’t involve a mosquito riddled mud lake,” David explains. “And it’ll help with the pain.”

Patrick steps closer and kisses David chastely.

“I love you, David.”

The massage turns out to be one of the best ideas David’s ever had. He can practically hear the tension leaving Patrick’s body - well, if the moans are anything to go by - and he looks completely blissed out as he lies boneless against the table. If it weren’t for the noises, David would think he were dead.

The hour slips by like the oil on his skin, and before David knows it, the masseuse is stepping back and politely thanking them for their custom.

Patrick pulls David into the kitchen as they pack up, and crowds him against the fridge door, nuzzling into David’s neck and breathing deeply.

“You are the best husband ever,” Patrick sighs, arms winding tightly around David’s waist.

David grins, pleased with his work, and sinks his fingers into Patrick’s hair. “Well, if you’re feeling generous-”

“Oh, I’m definitely feeling generous,” Patrick smiles, pressing his lips to David’s neck to taste the oil. David groans softly.

“You can always make me lunch and then blow me?”

Patrick laughs and nips at the refreshed skin.

“What do you want for lunch?”

“Surprise me,” David smiles, pecking Patrick’s lips before grabbing a bottle of water from the side and heading to the stairs to change.

 

The screen in the cinema room connects to the internet and has every major sports website saved to favourites. Patrick says they don’t have to watch any - “David, you’ve done enough today, put on what you want,” - but David pays no attention to him, using the control to select the baseball channel.

“I want you to watch baseball on this ridiculous screen,” David says, handing Patrick the controller and flopping back in the smooth velvet of the reclining seat. He picks up a large bag of popcorn from the armrest and unlocks his phone.

“You’re going to get the blowjob of a lifetime later,” Patrick tells him joyously.

“I know,” says David, grinning down at his phone.

Though he’s still not much of a baseball fan, watching Patrick watch baseball is always fascinating to David. He’s just so enthusiast about it all, his body tense and eyes wide for way longer than looks comfortable. Patrick says it’s all part of the excitement. David says they’ll have to agree to disagree.

After the game, Patrick passes over the controller and plants a big wet kiss on David’s cheek.

David picks One Fine Day because nineties Michelle Pfeiffer is perfection, not to mention George Clooney in his classic asshole nice guy role. There’s even sports (a children’s soccer game, but still, it counts), zingy one liners and cliche montages. David enjoys every millisecond of it, deciding his new purpose in life is to save enough money for a cinema room. They saved for the espresso machine easily enough, so this can’t be that much different.

David’s hungry again when the movie ends.

“You know Clara said there’s some great take out places nearby,” David says as they traipse back into the kitchen.

“When did you talk to Clara?” Patrick asks, rubbing his eyes as they adjust to the light.

“I emailed her this morning. She helped me set up the massage,” replies David, waving a hand in Patrick’s general direction as he starts scrolling through his emails. “Aha! Found it. The options are Thai, Thai or Thai.”

Patrick grins for a split second before smoothing his expression again. “Can you see if they have Thai?”

David sucks in a breath. “It might be a stretch, but I’ll see what I can do.”

When the food arrives they eat outside by the pool, watching the start of the evening sun reflecting off the river below. The air is cool and crisp and they stay out in it for hours, devouring the mountain of food they’ve ordered.

“I want to mix a martini,” David announces as he watches Patrick stack the leftovers in the fridge.

Patrick glances at him oddly. “You don’t like martinis.”

“I know,” David replies with a casual shrug. “I just want to mix one. There’s a bar in the game room. A pool table too…”

Patrick chuckles and closes the fridge door to wink (terribly) at David. “Sure. I guess I can whoop your ass at pool before I blow you.”

David snorts, coughs and nods with mock resignation. “Be gentle.”

 

When Patrick joins him in the game room some ten minutes later, David is holding a bottle of vermouth at eye level and peering at it suspectly.

“How’d it go?” Patrick asks as David stirs the martini with the olive stick.

“You tell me,” David says, handing the glass over.

Patrick takes a cautious sip, instantly grimacing as he swallows, face contorting in distress. He coughs and hands the glass back. “Smooth.”

“Did you change?” asks David, only now realising his husband is wearing a deep blue button down with some garish beach pattern.

“Yeah,” Patrick chimes. “I thought I’d look nice for our date.”

“Date?” David echoes, smirking.

“Sure. There’s a bar and a pool table and the promise of sex hanging in the air,” Patrick continues in a dreamy kind of way, waving a hand slowly between them for emphasis. “This is totally a date.”

“Ok, well, some notice would have been nice,” David protests, glancing down at his own plain white T-shirt, “because now you’re outdoing me outfit wise and in that shirt that’s not a good thing.”

That’s when Patrick reveals the shirt he’s been hiding behind his back this whole damn time, the little sneak.

“Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered,” he says, brandishing a pale yellow and blue nautical shirt triumphantly.

“Oh my god.”

Patrick looks positively delighted with David’s outrage, even more so as he holds it open for David to easily slip his arms into. He doesn’t button it but still smooths his hands down David’s chest.

“Perfect,” Patrick marvels. “It’s a proper date now.”

“I promise you, if I had been wearing this when we first met, we would not be where we are right now,” David insists. “I don’t understand why customs didn’t confiscate these from you and incinerate them.”

Patrick laughs and leans up to peck lightly at David’s lips.

“Why don’t you finish your disgusting martini while I rack up the table?”

David picks the glass back up but doesn’t take a drink. “Wanna make this interesting?”

“What did you have in mind?” Patrick says, smiling tightly.

David shrugs. “How about...loser can’t come until the winner says so?”

Patrick’s smile curls into something darker. He steps back into David’s space, their noses brushing slightly.

“You’re on.”

 

The look on Patrick’s face says he’s realised his error as soon as David breaks. He hits the triangle dead centre with a sharp crack, sending balls skittering in every direction across the table. He pots a red ball instantly, and then another.

David blows on the tip of his cue theatrically. “Looks like I’m red.”

Patrick stares, dumbfounded, and steps up to take his shot. He pots a yellow and then nothing. On David’s shot the white ball ricochets off the side and pots two red consecutively.

“How are you so good at this?” Patrick asks, completely baffled.

“Alexis taught me,” David replies, leaning over the table to line up his next shot and purposely lets his ass knock against Patrick’s crotch.

“Alexis,” Patrick repeats as David pots another ball.

David comes up slow, bumping Patrick’s hips again as he turns to lean against his cue. “Admittedly I’ve never had to play for my friend’s freedom but I’d imagine this is equally inspiring.”

“So, exactly how long have you been planning on hustling me?”

“Pretty much since we got here,” David admits unapologetically, and then adds, “the shirt sealed your fate.”

It doesn’t take long for Patrick’s inevitable and humiliating defeat to be complete. David doesn’t even hide his cockiness as he swaggers into position for his final shot, potting the black ball effortlessly into the bottom left pocket. He blows on the tip of his cue again before laying it across the table amongst Patrick’s four remaining balls and tattered dignity.

Patrick smirks and shakes his head in disbelief. “I’d be more offended if watching you play wasn’t one of the hottest things I’ve ever seen you do.”

“Even in this shirt?” David asks, eyebrows quirked.

Patrick crowds David against the side of the table, hands running beneath the shirt tails and over David’s T-shirt.

“The shirt made it,” he murmurs, tilting his head to capture David’s mouth.

David winds his arms around Patrick’s shoulders and lets the kiss go from hungry to downright filthy, all spit slicked and demanding. Patrick gets a knee between David’s thighs and David moans wetly, bucking into the much needed friction. Patrick pulls back slightly, just enough to get his hand into David’s drawstring shorts and palm his cock.

“Fuck, yes,” David hisses, suddenly feeling like he’s been hard all day. His mind drifts back to the morning and to Patrick stood naked in the middle of the bedroom, flooded with sunlight and looking like the best porn David’s ever seen. He moans and thrusts against Patrick’s grip, hands tugging at his hair.

“You have no idea what you do to me,” Patrick murmurs as he bites at David’s jaw. David huffs out a weak laugh, intent on replying before Patrick quickly sinks to his knees and then his mind goes blank.

Patrick peels down the waistband of David’s shorts and boxers, freeing his erection as it springs up against his stomach. He’s already hard and leaking and Patrick groans at the sight, leaning forward to press sloppy kisses along the underside of David’s cock.

When Patrick wraps his lips around the head, David has to grip the ledge of the table behind to keep himself upright. Patrick sinks down further, staring up at David through dark lashes as he reaches the base and quickly pulls up again.

“Fuck, Patrick,” David gasps as Patrick sets up a steady rhythm, fingers curling around the root of David’s cock as his head bobs quickly, stretched lips meeting his hand on every stroke.

Patrick works David’s cock with his hand, mouth and throat until David is panting, making desperate ahh sounds each time he hits the back of Patrick’s throat. The pressure of Patrick’s hands on David’s hips feels amazing until it slowly gets less and less.

“Hands where I can see them,” David orders. “You know the rules.”

Patrick moans and pulls off to jerk David hurriedly. David comes not long after, spilling over Patrick’s hand and lips with a coarse cry. Patrick swipes a thumb across his lips and sucks the come from the tip before sitting back on his heels, obediently waiting.

David groans and curses, grabbing Patrick by the shoulders and hailing him to his feet. The kiss is dirty, a sticky mess of spit and come that makes David want to melt.

“Fuck me,” he grunts into Patrick’s mouth, and quickly Patrick flips David so the table bites into his abdomen, pulling down David’s shorts and unbuttoning his own. Clearly he doesn’t need telling twice.

Bracing his hands on the green felt of the table, David spreads his legs as he hears Patrick sucking messily on his own fingers. He spreads David’s cheeks with one hand before pressing the first finger inside. He fucks David with one and then two, working him open until David thrusts back.

“Fuck me,” David orders. “Come on, I’m ready, put it in me.”

Patrick moans and withdraws his fingers, quickly lining himself up against David’s asshole and then pushing in firmly, slowly gliding in until he’s flush against David’s ass.

“Oh my god, David,” Patrick murmurs huskily, leaning forward and pressing an open mouthed kiss between David’s shoulder blades. He rests there for another second before pulling out and pushing back in again.

He fucks David hard and intense, one hand bruising on his hips as he pulls them to meet his harder and harder, over and over again, and the other scraping at David’s back beneath his T-shirt.

David knows when Patrick’s close because his thrusting gets erratic and uncoordinated, but just before it gets too much David pulls his hips sharply forward, forcing Patrick to slide out of him. They both groan at the loss of contact.

“Come on it,” David commands before Patrick can complain.

“What?” Patrick breathes.

David looks over his shoulder to see Patrick’s flushed face and confused expression.

“The shirt, come on it.”

Patrick’s grin is wicked. He shakes his head but does as instructed, jerking himself until he comes in thick spurts over the back of the shirt. David feels the warmth of it and smirks to himself, pleased.

As he turns to face Patrick, David shucks off the open shirt and lets it fall to the floor. Patrick laughs and doesn’t stop even when he pulls David in for a lewd kiss.

“And that’s one off my sex bucket list,” says David.

***

“You said we were going on a boat trip.”

Patrick pulls a tub of fruit from the fridge and slips it into the cooler. David’s watching from behind his sunglasses, one hand resting on his jutting hip and phone clutched in the other.

“We are.”

David’s mouth twists. “What kind of trip organisers don’t supply lunch?”

“They are supplying lunch,” Patrick replies as he adds another bottle of water to the cooler.

David opens his mouth to say something but ends up pressing his lips together instead. He nods. “Okay. What time are they picking us up?”

Patrick closes the cooler and checks his phone. “We should probably get going.”

Picking up the cooler and the bag David hadn’t noticed him pack, Patrick smiles and heads out back to the pool. David follows cautiously behind, curiously wondering if his husband is delirious with heat stroke.

As soon as they reach and begin to descend the steps at the end of the garden, David sees the dock that leads out on the river to a gleaming white fishing boat. It’s probably the smallest one David has ever personally seen, though it still clears 20ft with a large Yamaha motor, comfy looking seats and a cuddy cabin.

David gulps. “Uhm, I can’t sail a boat.”

Patrick turns to smirk, eyes soft but teasing. “David, it’s only sailing if there are actual sails. This is a motor boat. You drive it.”

“I can’t drive a boat,” David corrects and Patrick kisses his cheek sweetly.

“Lucky for you, I can drive a boat,” he says and then sets off again.

“Since when?” David calls, but gets no answer. He tries to keep up as Patrick strides purposefully down the dock, taking a deep breath and trying desperately not to think about Twyla’s last seven tarot readings.

Seeing Patrick stood at the helm of the boat is almost worth the ungraceful boarding of it. David drops himself onto the pleather seating and watches Patrick slip on his sunglasses and refold the map he’s been studying.

“Where are we going?” David asks, hands clasped between his knees as he tries to feign complete confidence in his husband.

“I don’t know,” Patrick shrugs. “I just thought we’d head for the horizon and see where we end up.”

“Ok, so Alexis has literally dozens of examples as to why that’s a bad idea.”

Patrick laughs and leans over the side of the boat to release the line.

“I know what I’m doing, David. I used to go river fishing with my dad every summer and Clara has been sending me information on the area for months.”

David panics. “Oh my god, please tell me we’re-”

“We’re not fishing,” Patrick interrupts, crossing back to the wheel and turning on the engine. David jumps as the motors roar to life, churning the water as they begin to glide steadily forward.

It’s a surprisingly smooth ride, and the breeze, heat and sight of his husband confidently navigating tropical waters is dampening David’s fears of pirates, river monsters and/or drowning. Also, Patrick keeps looking back at him and smiling and it’s making something tighten in David’s stomach like when they first started dating.

Their villa is just off in the distance, no more than a mile or so away. It looks so much smaller, like a cabin hidden amongst the hills. David leans back and tilts his head up towards the clear blue sky, bathing his face in the heat of another gorgeous day in paradise. He takes a deep breath, breathing in the calm warm air, and when he comes back finds Patrick staring at him again.

“What?” David says, somewhat self consciously.

Patrick doesn’t reply, but simply turns off the engine and moves to slide on the seat next to David. He pecks David’s cheek.

“You don’t remember what today is, do you?”

David startles. “Uhm…” He mentally whips through birthdays and anniversaries from kisses to sex to moving in.

“It’s been a year since I proposed,” Patrick supplies, smiling like he’s not at all mad David didn’t remember, like it’s what he expected, and it makes the guilty knot in David’s chest twist.

“Oh, god. I can’t believe I forgot,” says David as he glances down at his rings.

Patrick slides the cooler over and pulls out a bottle of champagne hidden beneath the bottles of water. “Don’t be. If you remembered everything I wouldn’t be able to plan things like this and tease you.”

The knot eases but doesn’t dissipate. David watches Patrick open the champagne, laughing with surprised delight when the cork shoots off and disappears into the water. He takes a slow swig from the bottle before handing it to David.

“What? No glasses?” David teases as he takes a drink.

“We didn’t have them on the hike,” Patrick leans close to whisper, lips warm and tingly against David’s ear.

David hums at the memory. He remembers licking the sticky sweetness from Patrick’s lips and neck, remembers letting it collect in the hollow of Patrick’s throat so he could suck it out again. He remembers it dribbling down his fingers as Patrick sucked them clean, and tasting bubbles when they came.

“Didn’t need them,” David swallows, pressing the bottle back into Patrick’s hand.

They lay towels down on the floor of the boat so they can stretch out while they eat. Patrick peals clementines and feeds every other segment to David, smiling brilliantly when David licks the juice from the meat of Patrick’s palm.

The gentle sway of the boat is calming and Patrick reaches for his phone to put on a playlist from the store, a soft and slow instrumental jazz that goes perfectly with the steady rock of the boat.

They eat cheese and olives and cherry tomatoes and David savours the taste of them from each kiss they share. He just wants to kiss Patrick and never stop, but there will never be enough kisses to make up for everything Patrick does for him, for them. All his little plans and surprises. It still feels foreign to David sometimes, still sets off some distant alarm bell that something’s going to give, something’s going to crawl out of the dark and claw away his happiness.

He closes his eyes and lets Patrick feed him another olive and opens them again to find Patrick staring. David’s about to ask, but Patrick closes in and kisses him again, an innocent and gentle rub of lips.

“I love you, David Brewer-Rose,” he whispers.

David smiles weakly and pulls away to sit back, looking out across the tops of the trees where they meet the afternoon sky and tries not to think about how it feels too much.

“Can we swim?” he says and Patrick nods, smiling brightly.

 

With the anchor now dropped and steps thrown over the side, David stands in his shorts as Patrick rubs more sun lotion into his shoulders for him.

Patrick drops a kiss to the back of David’s neck. “All done. Wanna top me up?” David turns to take the lotion and starts to rub down Patrick’s arms. “What’s the matter?” Patrick asks, and David looks up to find Patrick watching him with searching concern.

“Nothing, why?” David continues to rub the cream down Patrick’s shoulders, arms and chest.

“You didn’t make a joke about topping,” Patrick states seriously, and his concern makes David bark out a laugh. Patrick laughs too, the worry slipping from his face as David pulls him in by the wrist, crushing their mouths together.

David stomps down on his stupid, stupid anxiety and demands he pay no further attention to it. He turns to face the water and takes in a cleansing breath.

“So, how are we doing this? Are we going down the steps or—”

Thud, thud, thud...splash

David whips back around to find his husband leaping from the bow of the boat into the water.

“Be careful! You’ve just eaten!” he leans over the edge of the boat to call when Patrick surfaces.

Patrick laughs and lets his body float upwards until he’s sprawled on his back. “Sure thing, mom.”

David holds up his phone. “Don’t think I won’t call her!”

 

After floating in the calm river together for over twenty minutes, David decides that’s all the bravery he’s got in him for today. He tempts Patrick back onto the boat with the promise of more lazy kisses, and soon they’re lay against each other amongst their picnic, a large beach towel draped across their waists as they dry in the sun.

They kiss as calm as the water, brushing lightly against each other, not hurried but never parting more than a fraction of an inch, just enough room for their smiles to curl. David can’t take his hands off of Patrick, sliding his fingers over his chest, neck, shoulders and face. He tucks a thumb behind Patrick’s ear and tilts his chin, licking at Patrick’s kiss swollen lips, tasting suncream and olives.

“I can’t remember the last time we made out for this long,” Patrick says, however long later.

David’s got no idea how long it’s been but his hair is completely dry now, probably sticking up in all kinds of embarrassing angles. He nips at Patrick’s jaw, “I don’t think we ever have.”

“First few weeks of dating we probably did,” Patrick points out, tilting his head back as David’s mouth searches along his neck.

“Uninterrupted?” David says into his skin.

Patrick chuckles. “Probably not then, no. We should set aside more time for,” he stops to gasp as David sucks a mark higher than he’s usually allowed, “uh, for more of this at home.”

David lets the skin go to smirk. “We’ll make a schedule,” he says, licking at the teeth marks.

Patrick groans. “I’ll make... make a spreadsheet.”

David slips a hand beneath the towel and cups Patrick through his shorts. “I’m gonna wait here so I can feel you get hard while you think about spreadsheets.”

Even though he’s already half hard Patrick bats David’s hand away, chuckling. David protests but Patrick quickly rolls away and grabs his phone.

“We should probably get changed and make a move,” he says.

David rolls onto his front and grumbles.

They redress slowly from the backpack Patrick brought into clean shorts and T-shirts. David slips his sunglasses back on as he drops the last water bottle into the cooler. He’s not really ready to leave yet, not ready to break this bubble they’ve created on the water. He seats himself with a sigh and watches Patrick fiddle with the map.

David expects the boat to do a sweeping U turn, but Patrick drives them further away from the villa. David knows next to nothing about navigating any body of water, so he says nothing, just chews on his thumbnail and waits.

Another few minutes later, something emerges from around the river bend. David sees the roofs first, large wooden slats covering three long rectangle huts floating on the river. They’re beautifully decorated with lights and flowers and as Patrick shuts off the engine David sees rows tables and chairs and people.

It’s a restaurant. It’s a floating restaurant.

“Surprise,” Patrick turns to say as the boat knocks softly against the dock.

“Patrick…” David whispers, standing now that the boat is still.

“I didn’t think either of us would really want to cook, and this place is supposed to have the best seafood on the island.”

David’s trying to think of something intelligible to say when Patrick reaches into the backpack and pulls out a jacket. As he slips it on and smooths it down, David’s breath catches in his throat.

“Is that the jacket you wore on our first date?”

Patrick smiles like he knew David would notice. Of course he would. He never forgets an outfit.

“Yeah, yeah it is. I thought this was better than the boat shirt for date night.”

“So much better,” David interjects softly.

“I didn’t forget you,” he says and then pulls something else out from the Mary Poppins backpack. “It’s not the sweater you wore that night, even you aren’t crazy enough to wear a sweater here, but I do like you in this.”

It’s his black Amiri cardigan with the white palm trees. David hadn’t even meant to pack it, and now that Patrick’s sliding it over his arms David wonders just how long this has all been planned. He’d never be able to pull off something like this, let alone think of it in the first place. He wouldn’t even know where to start or how to —

David feels his heart start to hammer and his brain start to fizz. He blinks hard, trying desperately to shake it away.

Patrick reaches for his hand and leads them off the boat. A server is already waiting for them at the end of the dock, hold a tray with two glasses of champagne. David accepts his eagerly, downing it in one before placing the empty glass on the tray, earning him a look from Patrick but nothing more.

When they reach their table, David’s stomach twists around the champagne that burns there. In the centre of the table is a small gathering of white rose heads. They’re the same kind of roses from their wedding, even wrapped with rustic twine. David slumps down into his chair just so Patrick can’t sweep him off his feet.

Instead of sitting opposite, Patrick sits next to him on the small, square table. He takes David’s hand and strokes it, looking at David with so much unyielding adoration that it makes David’s skin feel like it’s burning.

“I love you so much, David,” Patrick says, and that’s it.

That’s the straw that breaks him.

“Patrick, no, stop it,” David snaps, pulling his hands away.

Patrick recoils like he’s been burned, but still there’s no pain on his face. The waiter startles and looks at Patrick awkwardly.

“Um, give us a minute. Thank you,” says Patrick softly as the waiter nods and steps away.

David wants to slam his face into the table. He swore to himself the last time he left Asia that he wouldn’t make scenes again that had locals referring to him as ‘crazy white boy’ but, fuck, here he is.

“I’m sorry,” he whispers, scrubbing a hand over his face. “Fuck. I’m sorry.”

Patrick takes a breath and then sighs.

“Talk to me,” he says, eyes so wide and trusting it breaks David a little.

“It’s too much,” David blurts. “All of this, I can’t compete with it. The planning and the surprises and the details. You deserve it and I can’t do it.” He stops to search Patrick’s face but he can’t read it. God, he’s ruining this. He swallows. “I know I’m a lot. I know it takes a lot to love me, but you don’t have to keep doing this.”

And then Patrick’s laying an open hand on the table, waiting patiently for David’s fingers to curl into the offering. He does, of course he does, palm to palm and grounding.

“David. I’m not, I don’t do any of the things I do because I think you expect them. I know you don’t. I do it because I owe you, David. You changed my life. You made me into the person I needed to be, and planning things - arranging things, it’s what I do, it’s what I know how to do, but I have never, for one moment, thought that you expect me to.”

David doesn’t know what to say. Why does Patrick always know what to say? It’s so unfair. He can feel the familiar sting of tears welling and he wants to roll his eyes at himself if he didn’t think the movement would have him sobbing.

“And for the record,” Patrick adds as David squeezes his hand. “It isn’t work, loving you. Running a business with you, sure. Living with you, god yes. But loving you is the easiest thing I have ever done.”

David laughs wetly. How is he even real?

“How are you even real?” David sniffs. Patrick’s smile is small but understanding.

“I could say the same,” he says. “And I hope that one day every part of you is convinced of just how much I love you, and just how much you deserve it.”

Rubbing his hands over his eyes, David breathes in shakily. “You need to stop saying such beautiful things before I drown us all.”

Patrick chuckles and gives David’s wrist a squeeze before letting go.

“Come on, let's eat so much that we sink the boat on the way home.”

David drops his hands with a huff. “I said stop saying beautiful things!”

 

On the ride home, David stays next to Patrick as he drives the boat across the afternoon water. The sway keeps them close, hips knocking together so often that eventually David moves to stand behind Patrick, arms around his waist and chin tucked over his shoulder. Patrick leans back into the embrace, one hand lay over David’s, fingers entwined.

When arriving back at the villa, they walk through the back hand in hand, dropping the cooler into the kitchen and the backpack at the bottom of the stairs so David can get both arms around Patrick’s waist again, lips pressed against the back of his sun warmed neck.

It’s a struggle to make it up the stairs like that, and the way Patrick giggles and David kisses exposed skin doesn’t do anything to help. David doesn’t care. He doesn’t want to stop touching or kissing or being pressed so close to the man that loves him - all of him, the good, the bad and the messy.

“Promise me you won’t always be this perfect,” David says as they finally reach the bedroom.

Patrick hums and turns in the embrace. “This feels like a trick,” he laughs.

David kisses him firmly. “I just need you to fuck up sometimes.”

“I’ve fucked up before,” Patrick points out.

“I know, and I’m gonna need you to do it again. Stay out late with your friends when I’ve made dinner, forget an important day, redecorate a room without submitting a mood board and
colour scheme at least three weeks in advance,” David explains as he pushes Patrick down onto the bed, crawling between his knees as they part.

Patrick grins, hands combing through David’s hair and pulling his head down to place a soft kiss on each cheek and forehead. “I can promise you at least one of those things will happen.”

“Good,” David murmurs, lips pressed to the crook of Patrick’s neck. “I like it when you have an edge.”

“Mm, I don’t think it counts as being an asshole if you like it,” Patrick replies, gasping when David’s teeth start to scrape over the skin.

“Oh, I won’t. Decorating a room without my permission is grounds for divorce.” David gets a hand beneath Patrick’s T-shirt and he’s just heading for his favourite nipple when Patrick bucks and flips them until David’s on his back at the foot of the bed, Patrick kneeling between his knees.

“Maybe I’ll start by rearranging the artwork,” he says, pulling off his jacket and T-shirt quickly.

“Don’t you dare,” David gasps, hips raising at the magnetic pull of Patrick’s skin. “You haven’t had the training.”

“Well, I know one thing I’ve had the training for,” Patrick growls, pulling off David’s shoes before pulling at the elastic of his drawstring shorts. David groans and lifts his hips, helping ease his shorts and underwear down and off. He sits up to get his own shirt off and help Patrick with his shorts.

David pulls Patrick back on top so it’s skin on skin, Patrick solid and warm beneath his hands. He ruts up against the pressure, hands in Patrick’s hair as he guides their mouths together for a kiss that is surprisingly tender, considering the way they’re grinding against each other.

Pulling back from the kiss, Patrick takes David by the hips and flips him onto his front. David moans at the friction of the bedsheets on his cock, rubbing into the mattress as Patrick groans behind him, hands gliding over the globes of David’s ass and squeezing. He moves away to fumble through the bottles on the nightstand, leaving David pressing helplessly into the mattress.

David gasps, spring curving as he feels the first glob of lube hit between his cheeks. The next noise is more desperate, more needy as Patrick rubs his fingers through the lube and over David’s exposed asshole.

Leaning forward, Patrick teasingly circles the tip of his tongue around the puckered muscle.

Fuck, Patrick,” David bites out, half muffled by the clump of bedsheet in his mouth. He grabs the edge of the mattress, pushing back against Patrick’s tongue. The heel of Patrick’s palm presses against David’s balls, fingers rubbing along the underside of his dick, trapped between the bed and hot skin.

Patrick pulls back and pushes the tip of his thumb against David’s slick hole before pressing in slightly. David’s hips buck back and he shudders. Quickly Patrick slides his thumb away and pushes his index finger inside instead, instantly putting it to work as it slides and rubs and curls and fucks until it’s joined by another.

“God, I love your ass,” he groans, dropping a kiss to the base of David’s spine as he scissors his fingers in and out. “I wanna fuck you,” he breathes onto David’s warm skin. “I wanna make you feel so good.”

David nods into the mattress. “Please, please,” he whispers.

Patrick pulls his hand away and, whilst David takes a moment to recover, grabs a pillow from the head of the bed.

“Turn over,” he instructs softly, smoothing a hand down David’s hip. David turns, allowing Patrick to slip the pillow beneath his hips. Patrick’s flushed and panting, mouth shiny with spit and lube from eating David like a goddamn dessert. David moans and grabs the discarded lube, leaning up on an elbow and slicking Patrick’s cock, being more thorough than necessary just to see Patrick’s face fall in silent pleasure.

When David lays back, thighs spread, Patrick bites his lip and studies him for a moment. David smiles through the raw need thrumming through his body, because the feeling of being so safe and loved while sprawled out so vulnerable is something that will never get old. He leans up again, sitting to pull Patrick into a kiss that’s too slow for how fast he wants to move, but perfect for what he’s trying to say.

The kiss breaks and the words leave his brain, but still he takes a moment just to stare at his husband in all his sunburned, turned on, beauty. God, he loves him so fucking much.

“I know,” Patrick says, hand sliding to the nape of David’s neck. David blinks away the emotion that unfurls before it can take over, instead crushing his mouth to Patrick’s and pulling them both back down to the bed.

As Patrick slides his cock inside, David hooks his heels behind Patrick’s thighs and pulls him closer, deeper, all the way to the hilt. Patrick holds himself over David so they can kiss again, hot and calm as his hips pull back and push forward at a maddeningly slow rate. David loves the stretch, the slow burn, the feeling of being so full and complete.

Patrick kisses down David’s jaw and throat, tongue lapping against the hollow so it vibrates when David moans. David trickles his fingertips down the backs of Patrick’s arms, light and soft, before pushing over Patrick’s back to his ass. David squeezes firmly, pulling Patrick in harder and faster as he ruts up to trap his cock between them.

As Patrick’s hips roll a little quicker, David sucks another kiss from Patrick’s mouth, wetter and dirtier than their other kisses. He raises his knees closer to his chest so that Patrick can fuck him deeper, and Patrick moans into David’s open mouth as he does so.

“Fuck, Patrick — harder, fuck me,” David whines, and Patrick pulls back a little on his knees so he can grab David low on the hips and fuck into him at speed.

David jerks himself messily, getting off on the way Patrick’s pupils blow when he watches him touch himself.

“I’m gonna come,” Patrick warns and David nods.

“Yeah, come on, come for me,” he chants, and then Patrick’s coming with a strangled cry, filling David to the brim until he feels it start to drip out with the last few lazy thrusts.

“David,” Patrick breathes, taking a moment to collect himself before knocking David’s hand out of the way and jerking him quickly.

David can feel Patrick still softening inside him, and that with the feel of his strong slick hand stroking David’s cock has him coming hard, arching off the bed like Patrick’s the only thing keeping him there.

Patrick leans over David to kiss his stomach, chest, shoulders, and eventually his mouth. David can’t help but smile into the kiss, and even with his eyes closed he knows Patrick’s smiling into it too.

***

On the last full day of their honeymoon, David makes Patrick breakfast in bed. Its French toast and fruit, one of the few things David can make pretty damn well. Patrick blinks and smiles sleepily, pulling himself upright as David slips the tray onto his lap and plants a quick kiss on his lips.

“Well, aren’t you just the best husband?” Patrick yawns, tucking his fork into a slice and pulling away a chunk. He chews it and hums appreciatively. “Mm, that’s so good, baby.”

David grins triumphantly as he tucks into his own breakfast.

When David gets back from taking the plates to the kitchen, Patrick is running him a bath in the bedroom tub.

“Thought you might want to luxuriate one last time,” Patrick says, dropping another handful of salts into the bath.

David slips out of his robe and sliders and grabs his headphones from the bedside table. “Don’t have to tell me twice,” he grins.

Whilst David relaxes amongst the bubbles, Patrick potters around the bedroom. He pulls their cases from the closet and sets them open on the bed. David pulls out an earbud and makes an unhappy face.

“We at least need to start packing,” Patrick says without looking over, like he just knew David was watching.

David pops the earbud back in and turns up Mariah, choosing to ignore reality for just a few more songs.

 

Patrick’s picking up downstairs by the time David manages to pull himself from the tub. He dries off and wraps himself back in his robe before shifting the cases to make himself a sliver of room on the bed to lounge out.

David thumbs through the photos on his phone. His photo grid is a bright splash of blue sky and clear waters, Patrick’s gorgeous smile and stupid frat boy cap. The photos from the elephant sanctuary make him smile the most. He selects a few of Patrick and the baby elephant and sends them to Marcy and Clint.

Several photos he forgot he’d taken are selected and moved to ‘hidden’, which is a real shame because the one of Patrick naked sunbathing by the pool, ass tight and biceps glistening, is so spectacular that David wants to make it his home screen.

David wants to get Patrick back in the pool. God knows when they’ll get a vacation again, and being around a dripping wet Patrick is something he usually only gets when David throws him out of the shower before his hair mask sets too far. He wants to swim until his arms ache and have Patrick pull him through the water playfully. He wants to watch Patrick cannonball and complain about it after.

Swinging his feet onto the floor, David grabs their swimming shorts from the case and heads to find his husband.

When he’s at the bottom of the stairs, David hears the familiar tinkering of piano keys. Bright chords are distant but prominent and David follows them curiously.

He finds Patrick in the games room at the baby grand in the corner, fiddling with some vaguely familiar melody. The smile that creeps across Patrick’s face lets David know his presence has been noted. Patrick becomes more forceful with the chords, and the memories come flooding back as Patrick starts to sing.

“I never understood before
I never knew what love was for
My heart was broke my head was sore
What a feeling…”

David takes a seat on the bench next to Patrick, sliding closer until their shoulders are pressed.

“Caught up in ancient history
I didn't believe in destiny
I look up you're standing next to me
What a feeling…”

The smile that spreads across David’s face is unstoppable. He leans his head against Patrick’s shoulder, enjoying the sway of his husband’s body as his hands move over the keys.

“What a feeling in my soul
Love burns brighter than sunshine
It's brighter than sunshine
Let the rain fall I don't care
I'm yours and suddenly you're mine
Suddenly you're mine
And it's brighter than sunshine…”

***