Just an exercise, so no editing/re-reading has been done.
Trey plopped down on the long tote packed full of books, the sturdy plastic and sheer mass of paper holding his weight. Not soft, not comfortable, but sturdy.
And his bed. At least for now. He had plans. Good plans. Great plans, really, if they’d just follow through like he wanted. But for now he was happy with a job, a place to crash–as long as the boss didn’t find him–and enough money for a meal now and then. Once he got his first paycheck. For now, a bed was enough.
The sheet over the totes almost made it look like a bed, even if it was just there to cut down on dust. And it was warm enough he didn’t even need to pull his blanket out, although he should put it down for an extra cushion to sleep on. Once he had the energy to get move again.
He’d just stripped off his shirt to use as a pillow when the unmistakable ku-chink echoed across the large storage unit, practically a warehouse. Shit.
He jumped to his feet and yanked his shirt, trying to find the bottom to pull over his head as the door ground open. Creeeeeeeeak.
Shit. Shit. Shit. He’d gotten his head through the arm hole, somehow. He nearly ripped an ear off pulling the shirt from his head.
He winced. Andy’s smooth voice echoed in the room, despite the books lining the walls. He fisted his hands in the shirt and stared at it. “Hey.”
The door clanged behind Andy, although he didn’t move in any farther. “What are you doing here?”
His fingers clamped harder. The words he’d prepared, the jokes he’d wanted to make for just this occasion, fled him. Instead, he blurted, “Please don’t tell James.” He winced.
The flat soles of Chucks scuffed across the floor. “But why are you here?”
He risked looking up. Andy stood on the other side of the totes, dark brown eyes flickering from the sheets to Trey, then around and back to Trey. He swallowed and dropped his gaze back to his shirt. “I just needed a place to crash.”
“Crash? Crash? You’re sleeping here?”
He shrugged. “I just needed a place for a bit. I wasn’t hurting anything!”
“I didn’t think you were, T. But why are you sleeping here?”
Trey peeked. Andy looked seriously confused and concerned. Jeezy Creezy. Why else would he be sleeping here? “I’m kinda between places.”
“Yeah. So if you could not tell James, I’d–”
Trey jerked back, the words a knife in his chest. What the fuck was Andy’s problem? Did he not understand anything more subtle than I’m a homeless motherfucker right now?
Andy must have seen something on his face, because he quickly added, “I mean, why didn’t you say something! I thought we were friends!”
It was Andy’s turn to look hurt. “Yeah. But I guess not.”
“No… It’s just… Jeez. Hey, by the way, I’m homeless isn’t exactly third day of work conversation, you know?”
“Yeah…I guess not.” Andy’s smile looked sad, which just wasn’t right on the guy. “Sorry. But we have been working together for three months.” He paused, his brow wrinkling. “Have you been sleeping here the whole time?”
He looked back down at his shirt.
“Dammit!” Andy stepped over the book totes and grabbed Trey’s shoulder, hauling him in for a rib-crunching hug. “Way to make me feel like shit, man.”
Trey was suddenly very aware that he was shirtless and the summer heat made their bodies stick, cling, the ripe scent of young man clinging between them. Thankfully he’d gotten a shower the other night at the gym with the shit security, so it was only a heady scent and not a changed-my-mind-about-the-hug stench. Andy’s hand rubbed up and down his back, his breath a humid sigh against his shoulder. “I wish you woulda told me.”
“Not something I go bragging about, you know?”
“Yeah.” Andy squeezed, then slowly let his arms slip away. “Get your things.”
Andy stepped back, shoulders hunched defensively as he shoved his hands in his pockets. “Get your things, you can stay with me. I’ve got a roommate and no couch, but we can share a bed, it’s cool.”
He swallowed. The warehouse environmental control must have kicked in, because it suddenly felt warmer in there. That didn’t make sense at all though. He swallowed. “What?”
“I mean, I know it ain’t ideal, but it’s a big bed, and it’s gotta be better than these, right?” He toed the tote.
“Yeah, but I don’t want to put you out or anything.”
Andy sighed. “Jeez, you’re a dumb ass. Get your things, you’re not putting me out.” He paused and chuckled. “Heh. Putting out.”
Trey’s face flamed and he yanked his shirt on over his head, actually getting it through the neck hole this time. “You don’t gotta do this.”
“I know.” Andy waited until Trey looked up. “But I’m doing it anyway. Now get your shit and let’s go.”
So Trey grabbed his shit–one bag of clothes, a book, his wallet, and some stupid-ass keychain he’d found that now carried the warehouse key so he could open up in the mornings. “What were you coming in here this late for anyways?”
Andy smiled, his eyes distant. “I’d forgotten something.”
The smile stretched. “It doesn’t matter, I have it now. Let’s go.”
One thought on “Exercise: 12.17.13”
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