My Deep Lust - Chapter 28
Tobias & the Angel Derail, Lippi, 1482
𝟒 𝐘𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐬 𝐋𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐫
“Are you Isaac Harley?” asked the local barista, handing him a cup of his daily coffee. Odd, considering the fact that he’s been to this cafe several times since his arrival in France. To make matters worse, he’s also seen this barista almost every visit.
Am I Isaac Harley?
It was a question he’d grown used to since his career took off two years ago, but it left him dumbfounded all the same. Yes, the name Isaac Harley was printed on his ID card in bold letters, but was he truly Isaac Harley anymore? Somewhere in the process of rebuilding himself it felt like he’d shed his name completely to become an entirely different person. A better person, but different nonetheless.
“Yes I am,” he told her.
Her eyes lit up, glowing like the neon OPEN sign hanging from the entrance. “I love your work-modelling and art.”
He flashed her a smile, one that made her knees weak and heart flutter. “Thank you.”
As he stepped back out into the busy streets of Paris, he briefly shut his eyes from the bright sun, smelling fresh bread from a nearby bakery and smiling to himself.
He made it.
After Josiah left for America, the cover of Venus that he’d worked on with Jesse blew up, and he found himself bombarded with job opportunities. In a way he felt guilty for leaving the photographer because technically he’d be nothing without him.
But he made it, and now he bought his daily breakfast from a local Parisian cafe.
He made his way home in a rather positive mood. At least, it was positive until he opened the door to his apartment. He nearly dropped all of his belongings just so that he could shield his eyes from the monstrosity before him. Asher Alexander lay pale and bare chested on top of Charlie Franz, tongue down his throat, giggling and moaning like a freak.
“Ever heard of a room?” Isaac gagged. “I thought that’s what you were paying me rent for. Your own goddamn room!”
Isaac never intended to have a roommate when he first moved to Paris. He was paid more than substantially where he modelled, and he was one who enjoyed his privacy. Then he let it slip once how occasionally it felt lonely in his big, multi-room complex, and Asher offered to fill his guest bedroom. It wasn’t a bad idea at first, but he didn’t realize that Charlie was included in this deal.
Hell, he even forgot that they were a couple. Not because they spent no time together, no, they spent all their time together in fact. But every time he’d asked Asher about what was going on between them he’d say the same thing: “It’s complicated.” He never explained what he meant, but Isaac soon found out that it basically meant: “We fuck like rabbits but with romantic feelings involved.” Essentially a couple, but Asher tried to be discreet about it.
He failed miserably.
Asher casually pushed himself up and sneered. “We were only kissing,” he said. “It’s not like I haven’t accidentally walked in on you with Josiah’s entire thing down your throat.”
“We’re an exception,” Isaac explained, “we don’t see each other that often, so we’re allowed to be affectionate as much as we can. You and Charlie are together literally every day, in my flat, and I hate opening my door to this.”
“You’re just jealous.”
“Maybe I am.”
“You hear that Charlie? He’s pent up. I can tell because he’s grumpy.”
Charlie only made matters worse by snickering. “You’re right. Maybe we should help him out”
“Yes, let’s give him a show.”
“I’d rather not use you two as masturbation material,” interrupted Isaac.
“Your loss,” the lovers said in unison, both shrugging.
“Besides, have you forgotten what day it was?”
“Right!” Asher teased, cheeky grin forming. “Let me guess…a certain loverboy is returning from America.”
It was true, the last time he saw Josiah was six months ago when they spent two weeks touring Norway for the summer break. He really couldn’t stop smiling, because now that he finished he would finally get to live a life with this man, and he’d wanted this for as long as he could remember.
“He’s supposed to be here soon. He told me not to wait up on him, but I’m going to surprise him at the airport.”
Charlie gave him an even cheekier, but genuine grin. “I’m happy for you Isaac, really.”
Isaac smile started to ache as he observed the grossly affectionate pair of lovers before him. It was strange to think that five years ago he never would’ve expected his life to end up like this.
Five years ago he never expected his roommate, a curly haired dork that went by the name of Asher Alexander to become like a brother to him. Five years ago, he would’ve never thought that he’d come to appreciate and even admire the petty Charlie Franz because it was obvious he cared tremendously for Asher.
Five years ago, he didn’t even think he’d live past eighteen.
Now he was happy. Genuinely happy.
Like the other day he, Asher and Charlie started dancing to ABBA while completely sober around his apartment for no other reason than the fact that he was happy. It was like all the energy he’d lost in his youth suddenly returned to its rightful owner and Isaac had nothing else to do with it other than jump around like the dancing queen he was.
“Do you want me to take you there?”
Isaac was just about to answer Asher when he interrupted by the loud ring of a telephone. He put their conversation on hold and headed to the noise, picking up the heavy phone lazily. “Hello?”
The other end was silent, but he could still hear life in soft breaths. No voice.
“Hello?” he repeated.
“Isaac…it’s Josiah.” Isaac knew right away that something was off from the way voice lacked vibrance and cracked. “I…I’m not going to make it tonight.”
“It’s my mother. She collapsed earlier and she’s in the hospital.”
“I-is she alright?”
“I don’t know yet. I’m in London right now. I’m so sorry.”
“Don’t be…I understand. Do you want me to head over”
“You don’t have to. I know how busy you are, I just didn’t want you to wait for me.”
“A-are you sure?”
“…Yes.” His voice was shaky, completely unsure of his answer. “I-I’ve gotta go now.”
Then he hung up, leaving Isaac speechless and thinking about what to do next.
“Who was that?” asked Charlie. “Is everything alright?”
He looked from Charlie to Asher, each looking at him with wide, worried eyes. “I think I have to go to London.”
✧･ﾟ: *✧･ﾟ:* ✦ *:･ﾟ✧*:･ﾟ✧
They always say that life goes by in a flash. They say that if you don’t take the time to stop and look around for once, you’ll miss it completely because that’s how fast it all goes by. Sitting in the cold and empty hospital waiting room, Josiah started to wonder if he ever once stopped in his life.
He hadn’t spoken to his mother in years, and the last thing she did was tell him that she could fix him. He never realized that all while he was growing older, attending university and expanding his horizons, his mother’s hair was becoming more grey and skin less youthful. In all honesty, he didn’t know if he could forgive her, but he did know that he’d regret leaving their relationship open ended like how it was.
A nurse brought him to his mother’s room, and what he saw left him feeling cold. His mother was paler than usual, visibly aged and tired. It hadn’t even been that long since he last saw her, but he couldn’t help but feel guilty for causing her more distress when he cut her from his life.
She was still asleep when he walked over to her bed, placing her soft hand in his rough one. He didn’t know if she sense his presence at all. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes.
“Hi, Mum.” He spoke slowly, as if although she was still unconscious, one wrong word could set her off. “It’s me, Josiah. I’m here now.”
He didn’t speak much for a while. Instead, he merely drowned himself in the scent of disinfectant and the noise of clattering of doctors outside his mother’s room.
“I know we haven’t spoken in awhile. But uh…I’m happy now, Mum. I don’t know how you’d react to this if you could hear me but I…I’ve got a boyfriend now. His name is Isaac. He means everything to me.”
He was starting to tear up when he felt the hand he was holding twitch. Glancing up, he could see that she was stirring awake. Her eyes opened slowly, and her ocean irises met his. Everyone always did say that he had his mother’s eyes, and now he truly saw it.
“Honey,” she said, voice coarse and weak.
He felt a flash of panic within him. He wasn’t expecting her to wake up at the moment, let alone hear about his male lover. “Uh…about what I said earlier-”
“Tell me more,” she interrupted, though he could tell she was hesitant. “I don’t want you to cry any longer…so tell me more about this boy who makes you happy.”
He stared at her nearly dumbfounded. “R-really?”
“Yes,” she said. Josiah didn’t know one three letter word could make him feel so warm and fuzzy.
“His name is Isaac,” he explained, and she listened with genuine intent. “He’s got golden hair and grey eyes. He’s stubborn and hot tempered, but he’s so strong.” He bit his lip, barely able to contain a smile. “He really is my Achilles.”
His mother directed a smiled in return at him for the first time in years. He almost forgot how nice her smile was. “He sounds beautiful,” she said.
“Yeah…he is.” She only laughed softly at the sight of her lovesick son. “What changed?” he suddenly asked.
She sighed and took several seconds to herself to figure out and answer. “I missed my son,” she stated. “I hate that it took a literal flash before my eyes to realize what I’ve nearly lost because of my own stupidity.”
“You’re not stupid-”
“No mother should ever experience feelings of hatred towards their own son just because a woman can’t make him happy! I let society tell me that I couldn’t love my son. That is foolish.”
Josiah had very few fond memories of hugging his mother to begin with, for they were never a family to show physical affection. He remembered hugging her the day he lost his first football match. And another time, when he had a nightmare and woke up in a cold sweat, she was there to wrap her arms around him to calm him. That was it, really. But this embrace he pulled her into as she sat on the hospital bed-he knew it was one meant for much more than simple reconciliation.
It was a hug meant for the past. It was for every time Josiah kept his feelings locked away when he was younger because he knew they’d be brushed off, and every time he was afraid of crying in front of her because it wasn’t masuline of him to do so. It was a hug for every time they’d miscommunicated and for the time she hit him out of fear and cowardice. It was a hug that went beyond words to tell him that she accepted, but most of all loved him.
It was a hug meant for the future, because it told him that she would always love and accept him.
They spent the rest of their night chatting away about their lives. And by their lives, this basically meant that Josiah dominated the conversation by gushing about Isaac until the hospital reached closing hours. He left her hospital room feeling giddy and so ready to see the man he couldn’t shut up about once again.
It was then his mood shifted upon hearing arguing in the lobby.
“I need to see him,” said the voice. A voice he could recognize unconscious. He felt his legs pick up their pace.
“Sir, you have no relationship with the patient herself. I can’t let you in and we’re closing soon.”
“Please!” he begged. It was uncanny how familiar it sounded. He started running down the hall to the automatic doors, which didn’t seem to slide open fast enough. He panted before the boy in front of him. Clad in sweats and hair messy like a mop was Isaac Harley himself.
Josiah felt himself beaming from ear to ear as he made his way across to him. “You sly fox.”
✧･ﾟ: *✧･ﾟ:* ✦ *:･ﾟ✧*:･ﾟ✧
“So how’s your mother?” Isaac asked. They were heading nowhere in particular, only casually roaming the streets. It was cold out, but neither of them minded because the fact that it was night hid their intertwined fingers from the rest of the world.
It also hid them when they made out rather passionately in an alleyway, but that’s beside the point.
“She’s good now. They doctor said her blood pressure was dangerously low which caused her to collapse.”
“I hope she gets well soon,” he said quietly.
Josiah paused his walking. “You know…I told her about you.” Isaac could sense from his hesitation that he felt extremely shy about the topic.
“Oh? How’d she take it?”
“Really good. Like, I think she wants to meet you good.”
“Yes way,” the brunette deadpanned.
“Now I’m nervous.”
“Don’t be. She’s actually really understanding now. We…uh…we had a really nice talk about it.” Josiah flushed as he purposefully forgot to mention the part where he gushed about Isaac.
“I wish everyone could be like your mum.”
“I guess for now we’re both devils,” Isaac teased.
“Because according to everybody else, being in love makes us sinners, Beckett.”
“Is that so?” Josiah smirked. He also felt hot whenever when Isaac used the L word with him. “Then so be it, Harley.”
“Then so be it.”