The Morning After: Part Twelve of Angel
“…The entire race
All vying for each other's blood
Clinging to the boat that sinks
Convinced the ocean's just another flood
To afraid to risk the chance of living
They just sit inside and eat another steak…”
The mid-day sun streamed in through windows set high in the room. The walls stood fast as two boys lay, snoring, underneath a duvet, in the middle of what could be a den. Along the side opposite the boys was a desk with a computer screen, a desk lamp, a coffee mug full of pens and several drawers and slots behind that, filled with various things like notepads, old tax returns, a journal that hadn't seen the light of days in almost three years and-in between the pages of that journal-a letter from someone who was forgotten long before the journal was.
Sometime during the night, Adam awoke. He half expected to be on the train again. He thought, perhaps everything had been a dream. But he was still on top of Sam. He dreamt something that left him feeling cold and alone. Even though Sam was next to him, he didn't think he could talk to him. After all, Sam was . . . Adam didn't know what Sam was. He felt guilty. He felt like he'd cheated on Scott last night. But he knew that Scott was gone. Adam felt rejected, in a way. Death, he could deal with death. He'd been around it all of his life.
Two years ago, his friend had died in a terrible car wreck. He dealt with that. Then his grandmother left. He dealt with that. Then Scott . . . . It wasn't his fault. He knew that. Cole told him that. Cole slapped that reality in his face. It was his fucking father. Adam had a long time to dwell on it. Until the sun had risen, he brooded.
Adam watched Sam sleep. He wanted to spit on him at moments when the dull pain in his stomach threatened to foam out of his throat. He was angry at Sam for not being Scott. He was angry about not being in L.A. He was angry Scott had been taken away. He was angry he had slept with someone he hardly even knew. He was angry because it was different. . . .
On the wall with the windows, sandwiched between them, a clock ticked patiently. It kept the beat, while Adam's thoughts flew through a barrage of eighth and sixteenth notes, flying through all his pain in what seemed like one, long painful moment. It crashed through his body, wretchedly, never reaching a full crescendo. The pain moved to his throat and had stayed there, tangled in a lump that grew with each ragged breath.
Adam curled, like a shrimp in too much heat, and felt it overcome him. It washed through him and careened through his arteries and lymphatic vessels. Finally, it all came to its crescendo and he was forced to sing along. Finally, he let out a low wail that carried resonance deep into the depths of his aching soul. He hoped someone or something out there would hear him, answer his call of distress. Maybe the dues ex machina, or god, or an angel would come down to help him. Sam lay deathly still next to him, breathing steadily as Adam went staccato.
He could never imagine it hurting this much.
Sam loved the feeling of waking up next to someone. It was a soothing feeling. Most times, he never woke up in the same hugging position that he fell asleep in. Usually he woke up spooning, or being spooned. Today, he woke up inhaling the odor of Adam's sweaty body. His face was in the crook of Adam's neck, a place he found most sensual. He stroked Adam's chest and stomach; his skin was so soft.
Out across the room, deep inside his black bag, something beeped. Maybe the phone ringing had awoken him. Sam climbed over Adam as carefully as he could, but his foot grazed the sleeping boy's ankle too closely. Adam groaned and stretched out on his stomach, utilizing the empty space.
He rifled through the contents of his bag until he reached the bottom. No cell phone there, he pushed his hands deep into the next, zippered pocket. Adam tossed once or twice, trying to find a position that would be comfortable. But there was just an emptiness he couldn't fill. He sighed and opened his eyes. No Sam.
Maybe it was a dream after--
Adam turned over to see if Sam's belongings were where he remembered them ending up last night. There he was. Sam was crouching, naked and looking through his backpack. Sam didn't notice Adam watching when dialed his voicemail service. The smell of sex was thick in the air. It was concentrated on Adam's own skin, he noticed, taking a sniff of his arms and under the sheets. He made a mental note to pop the windows open before he took a shower.
Meanwhile, Sammy was busy discovering the nature of his voicemail. Adam couldn't hear much. Just the sounds of clicking keys and the distant whispering of a message he forgot to tell his friend about. The phone rang in the middle of the night, when Adam had just begun to calm down. The dull ache in his body had gone away. His hurt still lingered, he still felt guilty, but the phone. The phone somehow reminded him that he wasn't alone. Sam hadn't woken up, much to his surprise. He wished he had, in his last fit of bitter thoughts, he blamed Sam again. But he jumped off that train as soon as it came.
He watched as Sam sat cross-legged on the floor, listening intently to the muted whispers from the electronic device so clutched to his ear. There was a sad look on Sam's face. His eyes seemed far away. When the message was over, Sam flipped the phone shut and held his face in his hands.
“God damn you, Jason.” Sam asked, “Why are you doing this to me, now?”
“Come here,” Adam's command was soft around the edges.
And Sam looked up; surprised that Adam was awake. Not everyone sleeps as deeply as you, Adam thought. He held up a corner of the blanket so Sam could slide inside. Sam purred as Adam enveloped the boy in his arms and intertwined their legs.
“You're feet are cold!” Adam rubbed them together.
“Sorry,” Sam became self-conscious.
“Don't worry about it,” Adam kissed Sam's forehead.
God, you are so sweet, Sam thought.
“So what did Jason want?”
“Nothing, he was just drunk and being an asshole. He thinks I was cheating on him.”
Adam pulled Sam closer, so they were nose to nose. Sam felt tingly inside; he let out a giggle and pecked Adam on the lips..
”Technically. . . no. I slept with someone else while we were broken up the second time. I can understand why he thought that was cheating.”
“Oh.” Adam cooed.
The clocked counted the silence. They stared into each other's eyes. Sam thought this moment reminded him of the hundreds of hours he'd spent, back straight, breathing regularly, staring at the white wall in front of him. Their stares became intense. So intense that Adam wondered, briefly, if they were having a staring contest. Heat radiated from Sam and burst towards Adam with the smells of last night. He started to swell. Sam smiled and Adam grinned as he poked his friend's tummy with his erection. Sam began to grow, as well. They kissed gently, and began to gyrate. Sounds of waking came softly from the kitchen. But the boys were oblivious, as they pressed against each other.
Afterwards, they both found it necessary to open the windows. Then, they lay on the futon, gasping, both for breath. Adam's head rested on Sam's chest; Sam, who was running his fingers through Adam's long, brown hair. They stared up at the ceiling, coming down.
“Adam?” Sam asked.
“I really like you.”
He stressed “really like” to mean, “love”. Sam felt like he was falling. Anxiety hit Adam right between the eyes. Just then, there was a light rap on the door.
“Boys,” Macy's voice came from the wall. “Get ready, Adam's bed will be here in a half an hour.”
Adam let out a sigh of relief, “Okay.”