Chapter 4: New Relationship
As Bastian struck a pose, Kendrick snapped a shot on his phone. Bastian was gorgeous. Kendrick had guessed that he would look good, but he looked amazing. Cute, as he had said, and super sexy. The leotard had thick fabric but it was clear that Bastian was a little uncomfortable about being so exposed in the groin area. He had been too embarrassed to see the kids, even though there wasn’t actually anything especially inappropriate about it. Unusual, yes, but not inappropriate. But even though he didn’t want the kids to see, he didn’t mind Kendrick seeing. He was even posing rather provocatively as Kendrick laughed and took more pictures.
He was delighted. When Bastian had shown up, he had known something was off. There were shadows under his eyes and something was clearly bothering him. He wasn’t sure what exactly had made Bastian understand that Aaron was irrevocably straight, but it had likely been heart-breaking for him. And Kendrick’s gift had gotten him to bounce back. Instantly.
He had planned on giving it to Bastian after Halloween, but this was perfect. Bastian was here, on Halloween, and could fully appreciate the costume. Plus, he was here, and he wasn’t thinking about Aaron anymore. Now, finally, perhaps his full attention would be on Kendrick. There was another knock and Bastian vanished down the hall. Kendrick chuckled and gave candy to the kids. It was dark, and it looked like they were the last ones out. He gave them extra candy, not wanting to get stuck with too much, and they gleefully went on their way.
“I think that’s the end of them,” he said, and Bastian reappeared.
Bastian came up beside him, looking in the tall mirror in the hallway. He patted his tail and seemed delighted, then adjusted his ears. He looked so happy about the costume and that made Kendrick happy, especially since Bastian had been in tears earlier. He had never seen Bastian so upset or emotional, and had never expected to see him cry. But everything had switched with the costume. It was like a light switch had gone on and suddenly Bastian was shining with happiness. Kendrick took another picture and Bastian blushed.
“How many pictures do you need?”
“You’re just so cute,” he said with a laugh. Bastian blushed further.
“Thanks for this, Kendrick,” he said. “I wish I could go somewhere looking like this. But I’m glad you at least get to see it.”
“Me, too,” Kendrick said, feeling pleased. “I was hoping you’d like it.”
“It’s perfect,” Bastian assured him, then met his eyes shyly. “I really like it. What made you think to get it?”
“I wanted to do something nice for you,” Kendrick said. Now he was blushing, because Bastian looked so sincere. “You deserve nice things.”
Bastian approached him and for a moment Kendrick was confused, but then Bastian hugged him tightly. They had been in more physical contact tonight than ever before, and he was loving it. As he hugged Bastian back, he enjoyed the feel of Bastian’s almost bare body against his. He couldn’t help but feel his bare back, the strong shoulder blades shifting under his fingers as he tried to pass it off as patting his back in a friendly manner. Bastian rubbed his back, too, to his surprise. Very slowly, as if he too were feeling him up. Was he? Surely not.
Bastian backed out of the hug and paused when their faces were inches apart. His eyes were wide and his lips slightly parted. Without thinking, without realizing what he was doing, Kendrick leaned forward and kissed him.
Instantly Bastian went tense. But he didn’t pull away. Kendrick had closed his eyes and when Bastian remained under his lips, he snuck a peek to see Bastian’s eyes closed as well. He was actually kissing back, Kendrick realized. Well, better make this a real kiss. He grabbed Bastian. He was much shorter than the other man and he curved against him, his head tilted up as he tried to control the kiss. Bastian’s tongue wound around his as their lips plundered each other. This was a real kiss. Bastian was holding him up as his knees went weak. He steered Bastian back a couple of steps until Bastian was leaning against a wall and Kendrick could lean into him as they kissed. Perfect.
They kissed for what seemed like decades, and then – rather suddenly – Kendrick became aware of something pressing against his thigh. Something long and hard and when Kendrick realized what it was, his head spun. Bastian was turned on. He was getting hard. From kissing Kendrick. They finally broke apart and Kendrick couldn’t help but look down to confirm what he had felt. In Bastian’s sexy bunny costume, his arousal was obvious. Bastian covered himself and blushed, looking away.
“It’s fine,” Kendrick said, reaching out to cradle his cheek and pull him into a brief kiss. “You have no idea how happy that makes me.”
“But, I mean, we’re not dating or anything,” Bastian said.
“Do you want to?”
“To date? Do you want to date me?”
Maybe that was a little too straight-forward, Kendrick worried as Bastian looked shocked. But he didn’t look horrified, or off-put, or anything negative. Just surprised.
“You actually want that?” he asked. “I mean, you want me?”
“Yeah,” Kendrick said with a smile. “I only want you.”
Bastian’s eyes were wide but his lips curled into a smile. His eyes glittered.
“We could try that,” he said. “I mean, I don’t really want anyone to know.”
“That’s fine,” Kendrick said hastily. He didn’t want anyone knowing, either. But as long as the two of them knew, that was enough. “It’ll be our secret.”
“Yeah,” Bastian said softly. “Then I guess… you’re my boyfriend. That sounds weird, but it feels right.”
Kendrick grinned. That was the perfect way to put it. It did sound weird to think of himself as having a boyfriend, since he had never really considered it a possibility, but it felt absolutely right. He wanted Bastian as his boyfriend.
“How about a picture of us together?” Bastian asked. “Me with my bunny ears and you with your pirate hat?”
Kendrick laughed and they posed together for a selfie, then Bastian tried taking a better one himself, and soon they were playfully arguing about the best strategies for taking a good picture. As they laughed and tangled together, trying to pose and aim the phones, Kendrick caught Bastian in a surprise kiss. Bastian grabbed him and yanked him into a far more passionate kiss than he had intended, and before he knew it, they were tumbling onto the couch. His hat fell off as he braced himself against the suede. Bastian had him pinned on the couch and he felt a flutter in his belly. For the first time, he realized what it meant that Bastian was his boyfriend, and the things they might actually do together. He had dreamed about it, fantasized it, but never really expected it could happen.
Bastian leaned to give him a leisurely kiss and Kendrick felt like he was melting. This was so far beyond anything he had ever expected. He certainly hadn’t expected it tonight. He hadn’t even expected to see Bastian tonight, and now they were dating.
“Hey,” he said breathlessly as they broke apart again. “I really like you, you know?”
Bastian appeared touched, and his smile was soft. “I’m glad you told me, because I didn’t know. I guess I was kinda blind, huh?”
“Yeah,” Kendrick said with a laugh. But Bastian hadn’t said he liked him back, he noticed. Was he avoiding saying it? Did he actually like Kendrick, or was this some sort of reaction to realizing he could never have Aaron? Did this mean what he thought it meant?
“You’ve been such a great friend, Kendrick,” Bastian said. “I knew, after I saw Aaron tonight, that I needed to see you. I guess I never realized how much I rely on you, and how much you mean to you.”
He ducked his head. “I really like you, too.”
Kendrick kissed him, wishing he could show Bastian how much those words meant to him. He was filled with joy and he wanted to share it with Bastian. His boyfriend. This was the best Halloween ever, and he knew he would always treasure this as the best holiday ever. As they kissed, there was a knock at the door. Bastian rolled off him, looking startled. Kendrick quietly cursed and peeked out the window. More trick-or-treaters. Bastian laughed, and handed him the bucket of candy.
“You’d better give them candy, or they’ll trick you,” he said playfully. “You wanna watch a scary movie after that? I think there’s one you’d like that we haven’t seen before.”
“Ugh, scary movies,” Kendrick said with a dramatic shiver. He started passing candy out to the kids, realizing too late that without his hat, his costume wasn’t obvious and he just looked like he was in a weird coat. He didn’t care, though. Nor did he care about the movie. He teased Bastian about scary movies the same way Bastian teased him about subtitles. He was glad Bastian was still playful with him, glad that the fun of the relationship was untouched. He loved spending time with Bastian and he was grateful he would have the chance to spend even more time with the man. As he shut the door and set the candy down, he looked at Bastian, curled up with a blanket covering most of his body but the bunny ears poking over his head. He was so adorable.
Without worrying about what Bastian would think, Kendrick got under the blanket with him and cuddled against him. Bastian seemed startled, then curved to better accommodate Kendrick’s body. The movie started, and Kendrick took a long moment to shut his eyes and enjoy the sheer perfection of this moment. He hoped it never ended.