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Vignettes Regarding the Artwork of Brendon Kotes

XCIV: Present

Orion was up and making coffee in the kitchen before Brendon opened his eyes. He could hear the light taps of ceramic against laminate countertop, the sizzle and drip of the machine. He squeezed his eyes closed tighter, then finally dragged himself up.

They took their coffee standing against the kitchen counters, both of them half-dressed, both of them not quite looking at one another. At least, Brendon didn’t much look up at Orion so he couldn’t be sure where Orion looked.

“I’ve got to head back to my hotel room to get changed,” started Orion. “Would you like me to pick you up after?”

Pick him up? Oh…

“You’re going to the Yert house this morning?”

“That’s the plan.” Orion sipped his coffee, his gaze never leaving Brendon.

“I have a lot of work to get done.”

“Then I’ll see you later.” And Orion was not asking, not with that tone, not with the heavy layer of intention underneath the words. He took another swallow of his coffee, then rinsed the mug out to leave sitting in the sink.

As he passed Brendon in the tight quarters, Orion’s palm grazed across Brendon’s bare stomach. “If you change your mind, you’ve got my number.”

Brendon lasted through Orion fetching his shirt. Through him pulling his shoes on. Through him giving a sly sideways smile as he tugged open the door.

And then he broke.

“I’ll go.”

Orion didn’t even have the decency to look surprised. He merely nodded, flipped his sunglasses down over his eyes, and left.


Next Chapter Coming December 29th