Hot Cold Season

Kissing at midnight is not a luxury afforded to men having an affair. A New Year's ficlet.


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Notes: I read on the forum that Julian and Noel spent New Year’s at a lock-in at the Hawley Arms with Julia and Dee and was inspired to write this. Nevertheless, this is a complete fabrication. I mean no offense.

Hot Cold Season by jeudi

Kissing at midnight is not a luxury afforded to men having an affair. He embraces Julia while the last minute of 2007 is counted down. Her mouth under his is familiar and sweet. She is beautiful and brilliant and the mother of his children. He carefully does not look at Noel and Dee, who he is sure are sharing a far more lewd celebration of the New Year.

He greets it inebriated to the point of sloppiness, wrapped in a warm, dizzy haze. It’s not often he goes all out like this anymore. Julia does not find his drunkenness endearing. When Noel sees him, Julian knows he will smile predatorily in a way that says, as soon as possible, I am going to take advantage of you. Julia’s smile is indulgent, but a bit tired.

Noel finds him at 1:23 a.m., January 1, 2008 and drags him into the cloakroom. The curve of his mouth promises danger and excitement and miracles. He backs Julian into a nest of winter coats and presses against him and Julian feels, as always, the same sense of marvel at how well they fit together.

Like so often now, there’s too little time and too much hazard. Julian wants to spread Noel out on a bed and worship him, to celebrate the night properly, to taste skin and sweat, to take his time in mapping Noel’s body, but he chose his path years ago.

A confident hand curls around the back of Julian’s neck and he’s drawn in like a fish on a hook. Noel wastes precious seconds by nibbling teasingly on Julian’s bottom lip and Julian doesn’t know whether to be flattered or annoyed that Noel thinks he has to be seduced anew every time.

He cards his fingers through Noel’s hair and makes the kiss something rough and deep, more suitable to the illicit nature of their tryst. Noel moans against him, a humming vibration that makes desperate desire unfurl in Julian’s stomach. He stumbles back until he feels the solid support of a wall behind his shoulders, pulling Noel with him, submerging them both in hangers and outer garments that blanket the music and noise of the bar.

His hands stray to Noel’s hips, cocked jauntily in his grip, and he can’t help jerking Noel closer, though he knows they can’t go any farther without excessive risk. Noel pulls away and Julian feels instantly empty without the wet slide of Noel’s tongue in his mouth.

“I wish–” Noel breathes against the curve of Julian’s ear.

“I know,” Julian interrupts quickly because voicing it will only make the pain more difficult to bear. Julian can see the year stretched out before him, made up of stolen moments and deception. The thought exhausts him, terrifies him, thrills him.

Noel looks at him with something like disappointment. “Happy New Year,” Noel says and then he slips away to rejoin the party.

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