Proposal

“I’ve been thinking,” Martin said, spreading low-fat margarine over his toasted bagel. “We should get married.”

Charlie lowered his newspaper, looked at Martin over the top of his reading glasses. “What?”

“You heard me.”

“No.” Charlie went back to reading his paper.

“No, you didn’t hear me or no, you don’t want to get married?” Martin asked, grimacing as he bit into his bagel. It wasn’t the same without cream cheese and jam.

Charlie’s head popped over the paper again. “What’s the matter with you?”

“Nothing, I want to get married.” Martin said, setting his bagel down and picking up his coffee.

Charlie flapped the newspaper pages, but he didn’t look up. “No, you don’t.”

Martin snorted. “You mean you don’t.”

“Don’t tell me what I mean, you know I hate that.”

“Why? You tell me what I think.” Martin popped the last piece of bagel into his mouth and dusted toast crumbs off his fingers.

Charlie folded his newspaper, pushed away from the table. Thirty years with Martin had taught him when to retreat. “I’m off to the gym.”

“I don’t know why you bother going. It’s not like you actually work out,” Martin said, getting up to slot his breakfast plate into the dishwasher.

“Should have thought that was obvious,” Charlie said, rounding the kitchen table, and pinning Martin to the counter. “I go to get away from you.”

Laughter spilling into Martin’s face, he slipped Charlie’s reading glasses off, and set them on the counter. “Get out of here, moron.”

At the kitchen door, Charlie turned back, raised an eyebrow at Martin. “You bought rings, didn’t you?”

“Thought you were leaving?” Martin asked, pouring himself a second cup of coffee.

“Ah, shit.” 

Martin sipped his coffee, heard the hangers clang in the hall closet as Charlie got his jacket. 

“No reception,” Charlie called down the hallway to the kitchen, closing the front door behind him.

Ever the romantic, his Charlie.

Aimer at Amazon

 

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Lucky in Vegas

Eyes on his laptop, Brian searched Air Canada’s website for flights to Vegas. “The Belagio is supposed to be nice.”

“Yeah?” David wasn’t really listening to the man sitting on the other side of their kitchen table. He opened the Expedia website on his own laptop, typed Las Ve — “Wait, what?”

“The Belagio, Eric and Daniel stayed there last month. They said,” Brian looked up from his screen. “It was —”

“You are so full of shit.”

“What? They said the Belagio was excellent. Nice rooms, great pool, sumptuous spa.”

Brian was a bad actor. He couldn’t do innocent, not without a lobotomy. That tick at the side of his mouth, the one that said he was holding back a smile, gave him away every time.

“Yeah? Nice. Sounds good. We’re going to the Venetian.”

Brian shook his head, turned back to his screen. The small twitch at the side of his mouth became a full-on smile. “It’s not the only hotel on the Strip, you know.”

David didn’t bother answering that bit of heresy because they both knew that it was the only hotel on the strip — for them. “Find a flight.”

 

Brian turned from the window and his view of blue sky and white clouds over rust coloured mountains. “We’re descending.” He plugged his phone into the outlet between the seats, opened a game he’d become addicted to. “You know, we haven’t been to the Venetian in a while. They might have renovated, redecorated.”

“No, they haven’t.” David heard the smug in his voice. There was no way Brian missed it.

“You called and asked, didn’t you?”

“Yep.”

“Unbelievable. You actually asked if they still had —”

“Give me some credit. I wasn’t specific. I just said we were very happy with our room last time we were there and asked if the rooms were still the same.” David sighed his satisfaction. “I was assured that they were.”

“Happy with the room,” Brian grinned. “Yeah, that was it.”

 

A five hour flight, a ten minute taxi ride, more time than David wanted to spend standing in line at check-in and they were finally in the elevator. Brian hit the button for their floor and his eyes locked with David’s.

The door hushed closed behind them. They dropped their bags and took in the room. Same railing dividing the room in two, same set of steps leading to the lower sitting area. Same king size bed and yeah, same —

“Still here.” Brian was already unbuttoning his shirt.

“Yep.” David kicked his shoes off.

The ensuite washroom boasted a flat screen you could see from the shower, the bath was big enough for two, and the towels were luxurious. The bed linen had a high thread count, the pillows were exactly right and the view of the strip was amazing at night, but none of those things mattered all that much to Brian and David. They were faithful to the Venetian because of the bench.

It wasn’t anything fancy, not by Vegas standards. A simple, solid piece of furniture, it sat at the foot of the bed. Upholstered to coordinate with the room, most people probably never saw it as more than a place to dump their suitcases.

Like everything else in Vegas, the bench’s magic rested in a happy coincidence of numbers. The height of the bench, the depth of its cushion, the relation of bench to bed. Angles and proportions, they all worked together to describe a sensual geometry.

Coincidence and luck, the very elements that built this city. If the bench was a little narrower, there wouldn’t be enough room for Brian to kneel behind David. If it was a little higher, the mattress wouldn’t be at the perfect height to pillow David’s chest as he leaned over the bed.

They didn’t need a casino to get lucky in Vegas.

Aimer at Amazon