- Friday, Ray’s bedroom, still 11.45 p.m. -
Fraser rubbed his eyebrow and said in a bewildered tone, “Isn’t that against the rules, Ray?”
And Ray had already started to open his mouth to crush every argument Fraser might come up with when he closed it again in sudden confusion.
“The, ah, the rules to this casual arrangement as I understood it,” Fraser said a little hesitantly.
Ray’s face cleared. This had to be good. “Why don’t you remind me, Frase?” He grinned affectionately.
Fraser looked slightly uncomfortable.
“Ah, as I have understood it this arrangement was supposed to be a non-recurring activity which was to be treated as non-existent on all later occasions. It did not entail romantic feelings, emotional utterances or a prolonged sojourn extending over the —“another rub to the eyebrow followed, “sexual gratification of said activity,” Fraser looked relieved once he had finished and Ray was grinning like a loon.
“You’re a freak,” Ray said still grinning.
“Understood,” Fraser answered reflexively even though he didn’t look like he really knew what Ray meant.
“There are no rules, Fraser. Usually, you just don’t stay because you don’t want them to think that you’re going to call them the day after,” he explained patiently.
“But you never call me, Ray. This expectation on my part would have been utterly unfounded,” Fraser said indignantly.
“No, heh, I know that. It’s not what I meant. It’s just that the no-staying-rule—“
“Ah, so you do admit that there is a rule,” Fraser interrupted and Ray shot him a dirty look.
“This no-staying-business is just to make sure everyone knows it’s a one-time thing.”
“Which this isn’t,” Fraser felt the need to point out. Ray ground his teeth together; Fraser was like one of those things with a sucker for a mouth –what did you call those? – Right, he was a leech when it came to letting go of something – not without someone making him do it.
“Yeah, I know that,” Ray snapped. “Fuck-buddies have casual sex on more than one occasion, alright? And we both know that it ain’t awkward the morning after so you can just as well stay… if you want to,” Ray added hastily.
“I have a function at the consulate tomorrow morning, though. It wouldn’t be right for me to disturb—”
“It’s fine, trust me on this. I’ll get you there in time, I wanted to drop by at my parents’ anyway so don’t worry.”
Fraser looked much happier now that he had Ray’s definition. Freak had probably checked his own behavior every five seconds if he was doing this ‘casual’ thing correctly… no wonder he had driven Ray insane half the time and had looked confused the other half.
Ray would really like to see the reprimands Fraser had written himself over the last few days.
This problem eliminated had them both sharing a pizza at half past 12 in Ray’s kitchen before going for another round between the sheets.
- Thursday, Ray’s couch, 9.30 p.m. -
It had been almost two weeks since they had started this and Ray had to admit that he was the happiest man on earth.
Well, almost the happiest man.
Okay, maybe he wasn’t exactly happy but he was content if not… argh, fuck all, this was driving him nuts!
The sex was great, mind-blowing even, never been better, no complaints. The partnership still had its mojo; they were a damn duet so that was greatness, too. The friendship worked well with this whole arrangement – now, see, this actually was a bit of an issue here – understatement of the fucking year.
Because Fraser seemed to be able of only being one or the other, either he was switched to ‘friend’ or he was tuned to ‘sex’.
It was like being able to choose either between all kinds of healthy, boring foods, like vegetables and fruit; or a greasy pizza with extra cheese and like a million toppings, so basically the whole shebang; without realizing that you could have an innocent little snack of milk and cookies in between no matter what you chose…
Yeah… okay… so his food analogies sucked, big deal.
Fine, Fraser was like a damn pressure gauge which only knew cold or hot and nothing in between… which Ray guessed made slightly more sense if he ever had to explain this to anyone – which hopefully he wouldn’t.
It was driving Ray mental. Either he could choose to watch something on the tube with Fraser but that meant no touching or kissing or anything even remotely like it because the moment he did stuff Fraser snapped into sex mode and dragged him off to the bedroom… or the next available surface.
He didn’t get it. He liked sex as much as the next guy but what was so horrible about a bit of harmless making out in front of the TV? Couldn’t they just enjoy a bit of a built-up, a little teasing, a little hum of arousal, and then fuck each other’s brains out later?
Ray liked touching and kissing – had always liked it – and he wasn’t above snuggling or cuddling either; he was a sensual guy he enjoyed pretty much everything that involved contact.
So when Ray leaned over to Fraser to nibble at his jaw and Fraser started to go directly for Ray’s hot spots he caught Fraser’s hands and held them still.
“Ray, what—?” Fraser asked confused.
“Shhh,” Ray whispered and nuzzled his cheek. He bit gently at Fraser’s ear before he pressed his lips against Fraser’s. They were warm and soft and Ray licked Fraser’s bottom lip before sneaking his tongue inside. Ray pushed his tongue a bit deeper, sliding against Fraser’s before he drew back a little to give that bottom lip a little bite.
Fraser moaned very, very softly and Ray released Fraser’s hands to rest both of his own along Fraser’s cheeks. He stroked his thumb softly over Fraser’s cheekbones and probed again deeper with his tongue.
He felt Fraser’s panting against his own lips and the heat increasing in Fraser’s cheeks. Ray drew Fraser’s tongue back into his own mouth and sucked softly on it.
Fraser explored his mouth with unconquered devotion and Ray pressed a little closer to Fraser, one hand moving to the back of Fraser’s head to stroke his nape and Fraser’s arms came around Ray to pull him even more tightly against him, his warm fingers drawing patterns over Ray’s back and sides.
When Fraser worried Ray’s lip with his crooked tooth Ray gasped and drew back a little. He smiled gently at Fraser, eyes shining with happiness and Fraser simply looked amazed, features soft with desire and tenderness and Ray pressed his lips to Fraser’s once more for a single, sweet kiss before he pulled back again.
Ray snuggled against Fraser’s side and pulled Fraser’s arms around him. He sighed contentedly.
“Ray?” Fraser whispered unsure.
“We’re snuggling, Fraser. A guy needs to wallow now and then. Let me wallow here for a minute.”
Ray could feel Fraser thinking even though his hands kept up a steady stroking motion along Ray’s side. And for sure it wasn’t more than 30 seconds before Fraser spoke again.
“I’m, well, to be honest I’m confused Ray. Is that also part of being ‘fuck-buddies’?” Fraser spoke the word as if he would dearly like some nicer expression for it.
Ray was silent for a long, long while. In all honesty he hadn’t thought about this when this thing had started, not even of the possibility. And he wasn’t sure how Fraser would react to it.
“Not exactly,” Ray said very quietly. Now it was Fraser’s part to be silent but Ray was sure that Fraser could figure this out, all you had to do was give the guy a chance to think it through.
The soft touch of Fraser’s warm hands never wavered which Ray hoped was a good sign.
“Ah, Ray…” Fraser lifted one hand to rub his eyebrow before he continued with his caress.
“If this isn’t exactly ‘friends that share a sexual compatibility’ and it isn’t exactly a casual one time occurrence either,” he paused again trying to choose his words carefully, “would you mind telling me what you consider the difference between,” he gestured between Ray and himself, “this, and a relationship?” Fraser’s voice sounded gentle as if he was trying not to spook Ray.
Ray was still lying pressed against Fraser with Fraser’s arms around him and he had no power to move away from him; he closed his eyes before he answered.
“Nothing, Fraser. There is no difference,” Ray sighed.
Because one thing he had realized over the course of the week was that this thing with Fraser might be complete, overpowering madness and monstrous, intolerable torture and even though it included mind-boggling ecstasy to make up for all the rest, it simply didn’t end with that.
It was more of a vicious circle, really. The more time you spent with the man the more time you needed to spend with him, the more you touched him, the more you wanted to keep doing it, the more often he smiled, the more often did you want to be the cause for it.
Fraser was like water after you’ve been dying of thirst on your trip through the Sahara – only the thirst was never-ending because Fraser was more like a drop of water at a time, so you had to come back again and again to try and quench your thirst and you always came back thirstier than you had been before.
And it didn’t matter that this wasn’t the way casual was spelled. Casual was overrated anyway.
He only hoped that Fraser had some similar view on the matter.
The stroking continued and finally Fraser answered.
“Ray, you don’t want a relationship,” Fraser said, not unkind, he just felt that someone should remind Ray of the fact.
“I can’t even spell ‘casual’, Fraser,” Ray mumbled as low as he could.
“Ah, I see,” Fraser replied in an amused tone.
But before Ray could go ballistic and demand what the hell kinda answer that was supposed to be Fraser continued.
“I’m glad, Ray.”
This was such a ridiculous response to Ray’s confession that he twisted in Fraser’s embrace to stare at his partner.
Fraser was smiling at him with a smile that reached all the way up to his eyes; Ray could even see the soft creases where his eyes crinkled. He was momentarily speechless.
“Huh?” Was the only intelligent thing that came to mind faced with this kind of smile.
“It is awfully hard to keep personal feelings and pleasure separated on an ongoing basis. And while it is certainly possible I have to admit to feel a little relieved that I won’t have to be careful about psychological boundaries in the future.”
And while Ray wasn’t sure if he had struggled through all of this Fraserish correctly he assumed this meant that Fraser did have a section that said ‘cuddling’ on his pressure gauge after all; so he slung his arms around Fraser’s neck to pull him down for another one of those soul-deep kisses.
How to Spell Casual:a Carefree Adventure, consisting of Sex, and Undemanding, Amazing, Lust
How Ray Spells Casual:Complete, Overpowering Madness followed by Monstrous, Intolerable Torture with just enough Mind-boggling Ecstasy to lead to Never-ending Thirst