BTW, Griffon, Joe and I saw Rambo last weekend. It was okay. Only, I think there was more blood and gore than in Peter Jackson's Braindead.
Title: Death Does Not Become Him
Warnings: supernatural. minor character death, talk of death, language, VERY DARK HUMOR
Summary: What if there were people who could see how, what of and when a person will die? What if one of those people was Orlando? And how does Sean fit into all this?
Disclaimer: None of this is true. Except for Dachshunds being vicious. Nasty little buggers...
Author's Note: Once again, I want to offer huge fat hugs and sloppy kisses to my beta, simplyshanni. I sometimes get quite lost when writing porn. Thanks for helping me clean up. :)
Sean looked up at the clock over the mantelpiece.
Any minute now, Orlando would be arriving.
Unless there was traffic and really, wasn't there always. Sean sometimes wondered if Los Angeles County actually imported cars to tie up the city's freeways.
Or what if there was an accident. Then Orlando could be stuck for hours until the roads were cleared.
Sean cursed Science and it's failure to invent teleportation devices.
Sean looked at the clock again.
The man ran into the kitchen to check on the status of dinner. He opened the oven door and saw that the hens were cooking nicely, as were the scallops wrapped in bacon.
The Chardonnay had been chilled and was now open and breathing. A large wooden bowl of chopped greens and cherry tomatoes sat on the counter, waiting for the dressing to be added. Everything was set. Sean rubbed his hands as he looked at the clock on the oven.
Oh good. He managed to kill another bloody two minutes.
Truth of the matter was, Sean was extremely nervous about the date. It wasn't as if he'd never had anyone over for dinner before. It was just who was coming to dinner this time.
And it wasn't Sidney Poitier.
It was Orlando.
Just thinking about the man made a goofy smile appear on his face. The day before, when he had asked Orlando to dinner, that had not been the first time he had seen the beautiful young man. The restaurant Orlando frequented was just around the corner from their firehouse. Sean had seen the man a few months back and had wanted to approach him then, but he was always surrounded by his friends, a strange quirky group Sean didn't want to confront.
He wasn't a timid man, by any stretch of the imagination, however he just knew he would figure some way to bollocks it up, thereby losing his chance. The days that he saw Orlando walk in to get something to eat, with his friends, naturally, he would quickly tell his co-workers it was time for lunch and would run out of the firehouse. Eric had accompanied him on a few of those trips and had noticed his friend's preoccupation about two weeks in.
"You're staring at him again," Eric said, a smile quirking his lips.
"I'm that obvious, am I?"
"To me maybe. To anyone else, you just look...well...yeah, obvious," Eric shrugged. "Except to him, that is," Eric said while pointing to the object of Sean's affection.
Orlando went to the restaurant about two or three times a week. Sean had decided only last Monday that no matter if Orlando was with his friends or not, he would finally introduce himself to the man and ask him out.
He had been on the verge of walking up to him when Orlando had looked up quickly from where he was, looked at a point somewhere Sean couldn't discern, said he was going to be sick and had run out of the lobby to the bathroom.
Sean just couldn't ask the poor bloke for a date then.
It wouldn't have been cricket.
So he waited for the next time Orlando would show up, as he finally had yesterday. Sean had gathered his courage and was about to approach the table when he heard his friend, the Scot, relating quite a ribald tale all the while everyone was laughing raucously at the table.
Sean sank back into the shadows. Admitting defeat, he had ordered food and stood in the corner to wait. That’s when he saw something that made his heart race.
Orlando’s friends had gathered their food and exited the restaurant, which left the young man by himself.
Victory was his at last!
Well, that was, unless Orlando turned him down, which would of course be defeat and he would retreat to his firehouse with his tail between his legs, never to come to the restaurant again.
Sean laughed to himself when he recalled their strange conversation. He knew that he had made the right choice. Not only was the man beautiful but he was also someone who could never, ever bore him. He had been slightly worried that he had made Orlando out to be something more than he was when he had first seen him. He had been watching him for the past two months - the way he moved, the way he ate, the way he smiled when his friends said something he found amusing, and God! That smile!
Sean was in love then.
But when he actually got to talk to him, he knew.
He just knew.
No matter how strange and unorthodox the conversation had been, and it had probably been one of the strangest conversations Sean had ever had, he just knew.
He looked at the clock.
Sean cursed the slow rotation of the earth.
And just when he considered turning on the telly to see if there were any major accidents on the road, there was a knock on the door.
Sean stood staring at the door.
And then it happened again.
Sean decided in that moment that if it was one of those Hare Krishnas or people from the Church of Latter Day Saints, he would personally skewer them with his coat rack.
Sean breathed in deeply, let his breath out slowly and answered the door.
It was Orlando.
"Hi," the beautiful young man on his stoop greeted. "I'm not late, am I?"
"No, no," Sean stuttered. "Right on time."
Sean took in the vision standing just outside his door. Orlando's hair was brushed back and flowed softly around him. He was wearing a pair of low slung jeans that hung onto his legs as if they belonged there.
Not too tight. Not too lose.
And the shirt! The shirt looked like it thanked its very existence to be blessed enough to drape over this man in front of him.
"Why don't you come in?" Sean invited as he put his hand on Orlando's forearm, a shiver coursing through his body as he came into contact with the combination of the sensual feel of the shirt and Orlando hidden just beneath.
He grabbed at his arm again.
And then again.
"You think I could actually come in now or do you want to continue petting me out here? But I gotta tell you, I saw a large group of Scientologists coming this way," Orlando murmured with a smile.
Sean shook himself out of his stupor. "Oh by all means, come in. In fact, we should turn the porch light off so they won't know we're home."
Orlando walked into the entryway, looking up at the warm mustard colored walls, the long, winding staircase and then down at the mosaic tiled floor. "Your house is beautiful! I love Mission-style homes. Our home is a bit rustic."
"Mine and Viggo's," Orlando replied.
"Viggo?" Sean asked curiously.
Okay he was a little more than curious. This could throw a wrench into things.
"The man I live with," Orlando explained.
"Don't worry," Orlando laughed, "Viggo's into blondes."
"Well that's some relief," Sean remarked.
"With tits," Orlando specified.
That was a relief.
"Yeah," Orlando said as he walked further into Sean's home. "The house used to be Errol Flynn's hunting retreat or something. Nice place, but this is brilliant!"
"Errol Flynn, huh?"
"Yeah. Cheeky bastard actually carved ROBIN HOOD WAS HERE into a corner of the closet."
Sean laughed and then pointed at Orlando. "You remind me of him. Errol Flynn, that is."
And he did. Dashing, heroic, adventurous, handsome in a dangerous sort of way. He could almost see Orlando standing on the bow of a ship, a sword in one hand, while the sea wind whipped through his hair and billowy shirt.
Which made Sean's smile droop down a bit.
What would someone like Orlando want with someone like him? But he was here, wasn't he?
And while Sean was considering whether or not to end this before he completely lost his heart to the man in front of him, he noticed the subject of his very thoughts looking back at him strangely.
A troubled furrow appeared between Orlando’s brows as he declared, “Sorry, I just don’t see it. Looking like Errol, that is. I mean he’s so…so…so…and I’m not,” he concluded sadly.
"No, that's not true. Have you actually looked in a mirror recently?" Sean laughed, while shaking his head back and forth, not quite believing how modest this man was about his looks.
"Yes, I have. You know, you're losing this argument if you use that point, mate," Orlando smirked back ironically, then quickly changed the subject by asking, “What smells so good?” as he made his way toward the kitchen.
"That would be the hens," Sean said as he followed the man into the kitchen. "They'll be another fifteen minutes. The scallops are almost ready."
"You made me scallops too?" Orlando exclaimed with a smile.
And there was that smile again. If he could spend the rest of his life cataloging the different kinds of smiles Orlando possessed, he would be a happy man.
"Wine! Would you like me to pour the wine?" Sean questioned, trying not to let his thoughts get away from him.
He needed to play it a bit more cool than that.
"Yeah, I'd like that," Orlando agreed while tilting his head just right and smiling another smile.
Sean tripped while walking over to the wine bottle, catching himself on the counter top.
Yep, he was Mr. bloody fucking Cool, alright.
Sean grabbed the bottle, retrieved two wineglasses and proceeded to pour a glass for each of them. He handed one to Orlando, then lifted his own glass in salute. “Cheers,” he toasted, as he brought the wine to his lips, all the while watching as the young man took a sip of the wine and swallowed. They looked at each other over their glasses, the look conveying that they were hungry for something more than hens.
"Do you need help with anything?" Orlando asked. "I could toss your salad."
And with that Sean spit out his wine.
"Sorry...sorry," Orlando quickly said nervously, "that came off wrong. I don't want to toss your salad. Well, I did...but I meant this one...the...the one on the counter. And there won't be any salad tossing...I mean, unless you want...and I'm babbling, aren't I?"
Both men laughed, and with that the alarm over the stove beeped.
"That would be the scallops." Sean removed the pan from the oven and transferred the appetizers onto a plate.
"Those look delicious!" Orlando said as he reached for one.
"Be careful, they might be too..."
"Oh! Woof of me mawff...booning...hot...hot!"
"Hot," Sean finished. "Here, don't drink that," he instructed as Orlando reached for the wine while he retrieved a Popsicle from his freezer. "Take this. Much better for burns, trust me."
Now, they say that hindsight is 20/20. Had Sean known what the effects of the ‘Popsicle Incident,' as they would later come to know it, would lead to, he was sure he would never have reached for the wretched frozen treat.
Or come to think of it, maybe he would.
Sean watched as Orlando slid the Popsicle easily into his mouth, hating himself for actually feeling envious of the frozen confection.
"Right, you want to head into the living room until dinner's ready?" Sean asked, his voice shaking slightly.
"Um," Orlando shook his head while letting the treat pop out of his mouth, a few drops of the juice hitting Sean in the eye. "Sorry," the young man winced. "Let's go in."
Orlando walked into the other room first, Sean following close behind, trying hard to ignore the sensual way his guest walked so effortlessly.
"Music? Set the mood?" Sean asked as he bent over to find a station on his small stereo system.
"Yeah, that'd be great."
Sean, ever the grand seducer, turned the stereo on, hoping to set the mood with some soothing music. Immediately, the room was filled with the jarring sound of a head-banging, heavy metal garbage band whose lyrics seemed to include the word 'motherfucker' and 'kill' over and over again.
"What sort of mood are you trying to shoot for?" Orlando asked cheekily.
Sean smiled and turned the stereo off while sitting down across from Orlando on the chair.
The young man was continually sucking and licking at that damn Popsicle. He watched as Orlando's tongue poked out and practically caressed the fucking thing.
Sean cursed all ice-cold products on a stick.
"So...your name...that's an...unusual name," Sean stuttered out, his eyes fixated on how the young man had hollowed his cheeks to suck down some of the juices.
"Yeah, mum was a bit of a romantic. You can call me Orli. It's what my mates call me," Orlando said and turned the Popsicle onto its side to catch a drip of juice making its way down his wrist.
"I like that," Sean smiled.
Lick, slithered around the icy pop the tongue went and then Orli once again hollowed his cheeks and swallowed more of the treat.
"So a fireman, huh? I don't know many firemen. Actually, I don't know any. What other things do firemen do besides putting out fires?"
Lick, slurp, suck.
Fireman? What was a fireman?
"You know, we're usually the first at the scene of car accidents, getting people out of cars if need be..."
Sean stopped mid sentence as he watched Orlando deep throat the Popsicle, bring the pop back out slowly and then continue to lick around the top.
This was not fair. He had to sit there and behave normally as he watched his dinner date practically perform fellatio on something he bought on sale at the local grocery store.
"I've heard that your lot has to stay at the firehouse for days at a time. That true?"
"Yeah, we stay at the house for about four to five days at a time, then get the next few days off, like now," Sean said as he cleared his throat. "I'm off for the next few days."
Sean sighed as the young man did the hollow cheek thing again.
"So, I've always wondered," Orlando said as he giggled while scooting forward, his knee lightly touching Sean’s as he did so, "do you have one of those poles there that you can slide down?"
Sean could feel the slow burn as Orlando's knee touched his and once again, his attention was riveted to the man who was now licking around the middle of the pop.
"I...I slide down the pole...occasionally...when need be. I'm not a big fan of pole sliding though. Um...I mean I'll slide down me pole when I need to...I mean...I mean the firehouse's pole...cuz I don't have me own pole," Sean continued to babble.
He was vaguely aware he was talking about his pole when it happened.
A drop of juice from the evil Popsicle dribbled past the side of Orli's mouth and slid down his chin.
"You...have a drop...here," Sean said as he leaned forward and licked the drop off his chin, slowly running his tongue to meet Orlando's lips.
The two men looked at each other for a split second before everything changed.
Flinging the Popsicle to the floor, Orlando mashed his lips to the older man’s, Sean all the while holding onto the back of Orli's neck while he plundered the wet warmth of his mouth.
Tongues dueling, Sean tasted the distinct flavor of lime Popsicle, cigarettes and a smell he couldn't identify.
He could only assume it was Orlando.
Both men continued to ravish one another, lips meeting lips, tongues stroking, feeling each other’s warm breath on their skin.
"Need you...now," Orlando panted out.
"You feel...so good," Sean managed to get out between gasps. "Wanted this...so long..."
Sean started to fiddle with the buttons on Orlando's shirt, being careful not to rip them.
It would be a bleedin' shame to destroy that shirt.
Carefully, he pushed the shirt down over the younger man's back and started to kiss the curve of his smooth shoulders, breathing in while licking and caressing the skin all the way up to his jawline.
"Want to...feel you too," Orlando got out as he started to unbutton Sean's shirt. Sean leaned back and literally ripped the shirt off his chest.
"Fuck the shirt," Sean replied before attacking Orlando's mouth yet again.
Sean felt his skin come alive as the young man trailed his wonderful hands all over Sean's chest.
And then those wonderful, perfect hands stopped.
Sean looked warily at Orlando. "Is everything okay, lad?"
“Yeah…yeah, it is,” Orlando murmured as he smiled beatifically, once again starting to run his hands over the man’s firmly muscled chest. He then locked his lips to Sean’s once more while moving those exploring fingers down to his waistband. “Need more!"
Sean and Orlando both stood at the same time, each seeking to open the others pants, Sean making his way first and palming the younger man's groin.
"Like that?" Sean rasped.
"Can't you tell?" Orlando whispered, ending off with a moan, as his own hand found it’s way to Sean’s crotch.
And that was how they stood for some time, lost in passion as they stroked, nuzzled, kissed and caressed any part of each other that they could reach.
"I want you so much lad," Sean murmured against Orlando's neck while the young man broke free from Sean and started to pull his pants down. Sean, taking the hint as well, started to take off his own pants when he realized he still has his shoes on. As he moved down to pull his shoes off first, he watched Orlando hopping about as he tried to remove his pants and kick off his shoes at the same time. Sean’s own precarious balance wobbled and he knew he was about to go down. And down Sean went, taking one of the floor lamps with him as he did so.
Orlando, still hopping around on one foot, attempted to go to Sean’s rescue, but tripped over one of the ottomans, catching himself on the edge of the sofa. A predictable chain reaction ensued as Orlando’s impact jarred the console behind the sofa, toppling the table lamp that sat upon it, which in turn knocked over the rather striking flower arrangement next to it.
Sean looked at the devastation their lust-addled brains had caused as he lay on the floor. However it was quickly forgotten as he took in the lovely form of his soon-to-be lover, now situated on the floor next to him. Sean had to smile when he took in the warm brown eyes that stared back at him.
"Sorry about the flowers. They were rather lovely," the young man apologized with a wince.
Sean started to laugh and crawled his way over to Orlando, both men shucking their jeans and shoes as he did so. He then proceeded to crawl over the body lying on the floor, his hands roaming once again over that amazing skin. "God, you're beautiful," Sean whispered in awe.
His attention was caught yet again by the man beneath him as Orlando stroked down one side of his cheek with quiet reverence. "I knew you would be this warm."
Once again the two men kissed passionately.
Now where was that...
Sean claimed victory and thanked Eric in his head several times when he came across his supplies that happened to be in a little bowl on top of the coffee table.
"Where did you get that?" Orlando asked, breaking away from the kiss.
"Eric was a Boy Scout once...told me I should always be prepared. Told me where I could stash little goodies all over the house," he winked.
At the mention of Eric's name, Sean noticed that little wince he had seen before when he brought up his best friend. The expression soon changed into one of confusion.
"Have a lot of men over, do you?" Orlando smiled, and the older man was quick to notice the lack of reproach in his voice.
"No, lad, no," Sean reassured him with a smile. Once again he claimed the lips before him, while his hand slowly made its way down the lean abs, toward the treasure trail and over to what lay beneath.
Slowly, Sean stroked his lover's shaft, eliciting the most wonderful sounds from the squirming man beneath him. His searching fingers moved further downward until they found what they were looking for.
In an attempt to once again play the part of the suave seducer, Sean held the tube of lube with his other and tried to pry the lid off single-handed. He did manage to remove the lid but unfortunately, it fell and hit Orlando in the eye. He muttered an immediate and mortified “sorry," then quickly proceeded to squirt the lubricant onto his fingers. With tender probing and delicate touches, he found the young man’s entrance and gently began to prepare him for the breaching to come.
Neither man was sure of how much time passed as Sean sought to torture his young lover with the pleasure of his ministrations. Unable to take his eyes off Orlando, he watched the lovely expressions floating across his face, listened to his ecstatic little sounds increasing in volume. They were both so caught up in the moment that neither one heard the distant noise of the oven beeper coming from the kitchen.
At last, Sean’s fingers finally came in contact with what he had been seeking. As he rubbed the little bundle of nerves, Orlando arched his back and screamed Sean’s name.
Sean had never seen anyone look more beautiful, more erotic, more enticing than his lover did in just that moment. He had never thought it could be quite like this when he’d envisioned being with Orlando. All that time spent wanting, needing, dreaming, and now it was here.
And he hadn't even entered the man yet.
"Please...Sean...please...fuck me!" Orlando begged.
Sean swallowed as he realized Orlando needed the joining of their bodies just as much as he did. And with that, Sean hurriedly rolled on the condom and slowly entered his lover, fully encasing himself in that tight heat.
It was so glorious, so hot, this feeling of being cocooned so thoroughly. He was wrapped up in burning heat. What had he said earlier about the earth's rotation?
It was at the point Sean wished with all that was holy, that the earth would stop rotating.
So he could keep this moment and feel it for longer than humanly possible.
He slowly moved inside Orlando, wanting this moment to last forever, but at the same time, realizing that his tempo was quickly increasing to the point where he couldn’t hold back anymore.
"Oh God Sean, oh God!" his lover gasped with equal urgency.
Sean sped up the frenzied snap of his hips, Orlando eagerly meeting and matching each and every invading push, their frantic thrusting and moaning filling the quiet of the living room.
And just like that, Orlando’s eyes took on that glassy look, the one that epitomized extreme pleasure. A loud cry escaped those perfect lips and Sean could feel the warmth of the young man’s release as it hit his stomach. His tight passage clamped down on Sean’s cock, pulsing rhythmically, and he could no longer hold anything back.
He thrust faster and faster until he, too, came, amazed that the scream that could be heard echoing through the room was his own voice, one single word bouncing off the walls.
Instead of rolling over to catch his breath, as Sean was usually wont to do after a good shag session, he leaned down and kissed Orli's lips thoroughly to assert his presence.
"Brilliant?" Sean supplied and both men laughed.
"Yeah." Orlando looked around the living room. "Should we call FEMA in to assess the damage?" he questioned facetiously.
Sean looked down into the man's eyes once again, not quite believing what had just happened, that this wonderful man was here, with him, and that they had just had the most amazing...what was that smell?
"Do you smell burning?" Sean asked suddenly.
"Yeah, I do," Orlando said quickly as he sat up. "Eric's not here, is he?"
And there it was again.
Orlando and his penchant for non-sequitor thoughts. "What do you mean by that? Don't be daft," Sean scoffed as he furrowed his brows. "It's just the hens. Oh, me hens!" he exclaimed as he rushed to his feet, quickly located his pants and put them on as he ran into the kitchen.
Sean opened the oven door and saw the blackened bird carcasses.
Oh that was a shame.
"I'm sorry, lad," Sean apologized as he heard Orlando walk into the kitchen, his bare feet softly padding behind him on the hardwood floor.
"'Sokay, wasn't really hungry anyway," the young man declared as he came up behind Sean and wrapped his arms around the man. "By the way," he inquired as he planted tiny kisses along Sean's neck, "how did you learn to put your pants on that fast?"
"Hello, fireman," Sean chuckled. "And speaking of pants," he said as he turned his lover to face him, noticing that the young man had indeed put his own pants on. Sean licked his lips as he took in the sight of his freshly fucked boyfriend, his chest covered in a light sheen of sweat, the low slung jeans completely unbuttoned, "Wearing pants that way should be completely illegal."
"Yeah, well the way you fucked me should be fucking illegal," Orlando taunted back as he was slowly walked backward to the opposite wall.
"Hmm...illegal fucking. How long would I get?" Sean growled as he trapped Orlando against the wall, the force of it knocking the wall phone receiver off its hook, which thereby knocked a canister off the counter as it swung down.
And just as Orlando was about to say something, no doubt witty or charmingly askew, Sean slammed his mouth against the other man's, quickly stopping any further commentary. Both men devoured each other, running their hands over every surface of skin available. Sean's hands frantically gripped Orlando's biceps, while the younger man's legs wrapped around his torso. Sean moved his hands to just under Orlando's bottom, holding him up while bracing him against the wall. Orli moved his arms from around the older man's neck and began to run them across Sean's broad chest, across his nipples and over his lightly haired pecs.
And then something changed.
No longer were Orlando’s hands running across his chest, teasing at his nipples. Instead, they were suddenly pushing him away.
It was then that Sean noticed it. He looked up into the beautiful face of the man before him. The look of utter rapture and total abandon had disappeared from the warm brown eyes. This time those eyes were as large as saucers, a slightly haunted look about them. It was as if Orlando were no longer looking at Sean but through him.
"Orli...lad...you're scaring me," Sean admitted with great concern, as he slowly lowered the young man back to his own two feet.
"Let me go. I need to...just let me by," Orlando practically begged as he pushed the older man away.
Sean stepped aside and watched as his lover ran to the kitchen sink and turned the water on full blast. He walked over slowly to stand behind the young man as he scrubbed furiously at his hands, his forearms and his chest.
"Orli, what is it?" Sean asked as he placed a hand on his forearm.
He watched as Orlando took the water sprayer and had sprayed down the interior of the sink, as if rinsing away whatever it was that he’d washed off himself to begin with.
As Orlando turned to face him, the older man could hear how deep and ragged Orli’s breathing had become. He met Sean’s eyes anxiously and his breathing grew even raspier as he made a futile attempt to explain away his odd behavior. “I thought I could…I saw…I should tell you…I need a cigarette, yeah?” he concluded lamely.
Orlando broke free from Sean and dashed into the living room where he looked around until he found his keys and wallet. There next to his wallet was his pack of Marlboros. Sean continued to watch as the young man picked up the pack, shook a cigarette out and tried to light it.
‘Tried’ being the key word here.
Orlando's hands were shaking terribly.
"Let me," Sean offered as he walked over, took the cigarette from Orlando's violently trembling hands and lit it for him. He passed it on to Orlando, who brought it to his own lips, inhaled and blew out. He turned away from Sean and ran his hand through his hair a couple of times. Sean continued to watch as the man paced back and forth in front of the fireplace.
Several words sprang to mind to describe what Sean was seeing.
Nervous. Anxious. Spooked.
He'd been present at a countless number of disasters - fires, car accidents - but nothing had ever made him feel as helpless or useless as the scene now unfolding before him.
Fires he could fight.
This was something else.
Orlando stopped and took in the fireplace. "It was here," he said as he pointed to a space before the hearth. Quickly he spun around. "Do you have a security system?"
"No, Orli, what the fuck is this about?"
"Do I look like I have a damn dog? Don't start going off on some tangent!" Sean quickly strode across the room and planted himself in front of Orlando. "What happened back in the kitchen?"
"Why don't you have a bloody security system!" Orlando yelled at him. "This is Los fucking Angeles!"
"Fine! I'll play your little game. I don't have a security system because," Sean said calmly and then yelled, "I don't have anything bloody important enough to steal!"
"You have...you have," Orlando said as he searched around and then spotted the thing in the corner, "this telly."
"The neighbors have a fifty-two inch plasma. Why would anyone want that thing?" he shrieked incredulously as he pointed to his modest flat screen television set.
"Probably because your neighbors have a bloody fucking security system!"
"Whot the bloody fuck does that have tah do with whot happened in the fuckin’ kitchen?!?!?” Sean screamed, his Northern burr becoming more pronounced as he grew more and more upset.
"Everything!" Orlando yelled back and then puffed nervously on his cigarette again. "Sean, look," he started more calmly, "I need to tell you something, but when I do, you'll probably kick me out cuz you'll think I'm crazy, so I'll lose you, but if I don't," Orlando sighed, "if I don't, I’m going to lose you anyway. Catch 22, yeah?"
"What is it lad? You can tell me anything," Sean stated with quiet resignation.
And Sean realized exactly how true that statement was. He didn’t bloody well care if Orlando told him he was the third gunman on the grassy knoll or where to find Jimmy Hoffa's body.
Because he was that far gone at this point.
"Here it goes," Orlando sighed apprehensively. "This is gonna take a while."
"We have all night."
And just then, there was a knock at the door.
Suddenly the definition of 'all night' was in question.
"Scientologists?" Orlando shrugged.
"At this fucking time of night?" Sean asked incredulously.
The knock was more insistent this time and was closely followed by "Sean, I know you're there. Open up!"
Sean ran to the front door and opened it to see Eric standing there, a duffel bag in one hand.
He knew what the duffel meant.
"What the?" Sean laughed. "Where's the fire?" he inquired resignedly.
"Angeles Crest. Big one. Fucking Santa Ana's. They're calling in all the off-duty guys. Oh, hey Orlando!" Eric greeted as he walked into the living room. "What the fuck happened here?"
"Eric," Orlando acknowledged as he waved to the big man, Sean noticing yet again how the younger man winced when he looked at his best mate. He watched carefully as Orlando tried to look at anything but his friend.
"We have to leave now?" Sean asked in exasperation.
"Yep. Hey, look, how do you think I feel? I was in the middle of a hunky fireman calendar shoot," Eric pouted.
"How could you do one of those things, I'd hate that."
"Well, you may have a problem with women drooling over your picture, but I don't," Eric smirked. "Then again, I did feel kinda like a piece of meat during the shoot."
Both turned as one when they heard a short bark of laughter emanating from Orlando.
"Sorry, but if you knew the irony of that statement," Orlando said as he shook his head. They watched as he took another nervous pull from his cigarette.
Eric turned to look at Sean and raised one eyebrow, Sean shrugging at the unspoken question.
"So," Orlando questioned as he walked toward Sean, "you'll be fighting this fire...now? When would you be back...home that is?"
Eric walked over to Orlando and into his space, Orli flinching back while scrunching his nose, as if he had smelled something quite foul all of a sudden. Sean watched in confusion. "They have a temporary barracks set up for us. It'll be at least three days."
"Oh! That's good," the young man nodded, and both men turned to look at him in a puzzled fashion.
Eric raised one eyebrow again.
Sean was going to hit the big man the next time he did that.
"I mean...it's bad...you know...the fire. But you won't be home for a few days...you want...you want me to get a dog while you're gone?" Orlando asked innocently.
"A dog. We're back to that again, are we lad?" Sean sighed.
Eric raised an eyebrow and Sean slapped him on his large forearm.
"Yeah," Orlando nodded eagerly, "we could get one of those Great Danes, or...or a Pit Bull or oh! If you don't like 'em big, how about one of those Dachshund dogs! They're tiny but vicious! I once knew a guy who had one. The little bugger nearly took his head off."
"A Dachshund?" Eric laughed. "You mean one of those wiener dogs? Oooh. Watch out. Vicious wiener dog on duty," Eric laughed while imitating a growling dog.
"Would you stop?" Sean said, his brow furrowing in growing annoyance.
"Yes, please, stop. That was so many kinds of wrong," Orlando concurred, not looking at Eric again.
Silence filled the air, Eric being the first to break it.
"Well Orlando, as usual, it's been...entertaining but we gotta get to the Flintridge area. Now Sean. You know, it being an emergency and all," Eric said flippantly.
Sean took one look at Orlando, who seemed to have calmed down quite a bit. He strode over to the young man and gripped both shoulders while looking down at him. "Are we okay? You wanted to talk about..."
"No, I mean, yeah. I mean yeah, we're okay. And no, we don't have to talk now. You know, big fire," Orlando finished with a nervous laugh. "Just...call me when you get back." Orlando bent over to pick up his wallet and keys. "Wait!" he said quickly. "Call me before you get home. In fact, call me a few hours before you get home. Okay Sean? Promise you'll call?" Orlando pleaded with the man. "It's really important."
"Okay lad, I will, I promise." It was a strange request, but Sean didn't want to leave Orli for the next few days on a sour note. He bent down to kiss Orlando on the lips. Chastely.
If he did anymore than that, he would never get out of there.
Plus, they would probably do more damage, and at this point, he would already be leaving his cleaning lady a nice big tip as it was.
And he didn't want to give Eric a show.
Orlando gave another kiss to Sean's cheek, whispering, "be safe Sean."
And with that, he watched as the young man walked out the front door.
"I thought you had rules against fucking the mentally unstable?" Eric laughed.
"Shut it, Eric!” Sean warned darkly.
"Sorry," Eric said, looking contrite. "For what it's worth, he may be quirky, but I like him. Should I be picking out china patterns?"
Sean continued to stare at the door, while touching the spot where Orlando's breath had just touched him.
No matter what had happened, what strangeness had occurred, Sean was gone.
A smile spread across his face.
"Aw fuck, come on Romeo," Eric said as he led Sean out the front door.
Sean was in love, and it was because of a young man named Orlando.
Even if the lad was a bit touched in the head.
I dedicate this chapter to Snyder, the most vicious Dachshund that I know. Of course, it may be because he doesn't take too kindly to being called a 'walking footstool.'