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‘Eduardo, ándale! Let’s go!’

‘You can’t rush perfection!’

Richie wasn’t all that surprised by Eddie’s grooming habits when they first moved into their house in LA together. The size of his toiletries bag definitely tipped over the baggage requirements at the airport check-in. But despite all the time he spent waiting for his boyfriend to fuss around, Richie loved the domesticity of it all. All the years spent alone in his Malibu mansion and he hadn't realised this was what he wanted all along - yelling up the stairs to the love of his life to hurry the fuck up.

‘Jason’s in the car out front! The red carpet thing starts at 6!’

Richie knew his equally fussy manager would direct his ire towards himself and not Eddie. Even though he was supposed to keep the client happy, Richie knew Jason had a bit of a crush on his boyfriend. Who could blame him? But that also meant the two of them would gang up on him any chance they could get.

‘I’m coming!’

‘That’s what your mom —’

‘Do not finish that sentence, dickwad!’

Any retort Richie had died on his tongue as Eddie finally made his way downstairs, fiddling with his cufflinks and beaming like a matinee idol.

‘See, we have a good hour before the red carpet even starts,’ Eddie waved his wristwatch indignantly in Richie’s face. Richie didn’t argue, in fact, Richie couldn’t move. All he could do was stare slack-jawed at the sight before him, his heart beating wildly in his chest.

Eddie looked ridiculous. Ridiculously hot.

He was wearing a tuxedo that fit him perfectly, tight in all the right places all the way down to his shiny leather shoes. His hair was handsomely coifed and shining with gel and Richie caught a whiff of his aftershave coming from his expertly shaved jawline.

‘Rich…hello…’

Snapping out of his trance, Richie stammered out, ‘What the fuck is that?’

Richie motioned up and down Eddie’s body but Eddie knew exactly what he was doing to him right now. He put on an act of adorable feigned confusion.

‘What?’

‘That! Look at what you’re wearing! You just gonna strut around like a fucking James Bond fantasy all night?’

‘What? Oh–I’m sorry, does this outfit bother you?’

Eddie looked up at him through his dark eyelashes, a glint in his eye as he stepped closer into Richie’s space. The air grew thick with tension and Richie wished he had Eddie’s old fucking inhaler so he could catch his breath.

‘Yeah, it does bother me.’

Eddie grinned, his fingers moving up to play with the immaculately neat bow tie around his neck. ‘Oh well…guess I’ll have to just take it off…’

‘I know what you’re doing you little turd.’

‘What am I doing?’ He raised an eyebrow, pretending to ponder as he rubbed his chin.

‘You know why we used to always rent From Russia With Love from the video store.’

‘It’s just a tuxedo, Richie. I didn’t know it would get you so…hot under the collar.’

Before he could place a heated kiss in that spot under Richie’s earlobe that he knew would make him melt into a whipped puddle of submission, Richie managed to grab his collar and back him into the nearest wall. Eddie gasped, the mischievous look in his eyes now replaced by darkening pupils and hooded eyelids.

‘You better get into the car before I rip this off you and bend you over the dining table.’

‘But then I wouldn’t get to hear you thank me in your acceptance speech.’

Eddie moved his hands inside Richie’s blazer, opening it up and wrapping his arms around his waist. Richie sighed, breaking out of his lustful spell for a moment to admire just how far Eddie had come. Almost two years together and he was finally comfortable being the person he always wanted to be. He smiled proudly, placing a gentle kiss on Eddie’s cheek, on top of the jagged scar above his left dimple.

‘Don’t jinx me, you know John Mulaney is in the same category.’

‘Richie…stop. Humility doesn’t suit you.’

Then he flashed a grin that was equal parts charming and cheeky and just his Eds that Richie tugged on his collar again and kissed him. It had taken them decades to get here, to this moment of perfection, and it was everything Richie had ever wanted. Richie ‘Trashmouth’ Tozier, Derry’s very own Bucky Beaver was walking the Emmys red carpet with the man he loved tonight. He was going to hold his hand and kiss him for every gossip columnist and tv news crew to see. He didn’t care if he won, this was enough.

This was everything 13-year-old Richie ever wanted.

‘Promise you’ll rip this off of me tonight?’ Eddie pouted as they reluctantly pulled away and walked towards the front door.

‘If I can’t keep my hands off you at the afterparty that’s a guarantee.’

‘Then we better hurry up,’ Eddie chuckled, pulling Richie towards the awaiting limo. Richie’s manager was waiting patiently in the front seat.

But before they stepped inside, Eddie whispered in his ear - ‘By the way, Pierce Brosnan is way hotter than Sean Connery.’

He was wrong. He was so fucking wrong but it didn’t matter to Richie as he watched Eddie climb into the limo. That ass had a license to kill.