Pushing it. Stefan was really pushing it. It had taken a lot for Cole to agree to this—to this…date, even if no one else would know what it was. It should have been enough that Cole was here. Why did Stefan have to touch him?
Not that Cole didn’t like being touched by Stefan. Quite the contrary; he liked it too much. Here in this very public—albeit dark—place, Stefan’s touches—firm and frequent on his thigh, teasingly light and sporadic across his crotch—brought him just as much anxiety and embarrassment as excitement and pleasure. He’d never make it through the movie if Stefan kept up like this.
“Stefan,” he said in a rough whisper, having leaned in to the man’s ear. “Could you please—” The final word was “stop,” but before Cole had reached it, Stefan had taken hold of Cole’s chin and turned his head, so that now he was the one whispering in Cole’s ear.
“A special request? As soon as we get home, partner. Whatever you want.”
Cole shuddered at that, wishing they were somewhere that would give them more than just the illusion of privacy. He knew from experience that Stefan delivered on his promises, especially ones of that nature. Stefan’s lips brushed his ear then, lightly, and he spoke again.
“I have a request, too. Can you get me some popcorn?”
Cole turned his head at that, to face Stefan, and the other man narrowly avoided getting knocked on the nose, moving back just in time.
“I can’t go out there like this,” Cole practically hissed.
“With everything I’m going to do for you later, you can’t do this one thing for me?”
Cole tried to respond, but couldn’t think of anything to say, Stefan’s hand on him again, distracting him.
“G-give me a minute,” he answered finally, and Stefan readily withdrew his hand and turned his attention to the movie. It took Cole a while to cool down to the point where he could—somewhat—confidently leave the dark of the theater. He hurried to the snack counter—not that getting the popcorn to Stefan faster would make the movie end any sooner, but his instinct was to return to the man as quickly as possible.
“Hello, can I help you?” the young woman at the counter asked with a smile.
“Yes,” Cole said. “I’d like some cop porn.”
The change in the woman’s face was instant—mouth opening a bit and eyes going wide—and Cole felt his own face fall into mortification as its temperature rose. There had been moments in Cole’s life where he’d thought he was going to die and others where he’d wished he would. He wasn’t sure which kind this was. After what seemed like long enough for Stefan to watch his movie three times, the woman cleared her throat and put her smile back on.
“Right, then. One popcorn.” She rang Cole up. He handed his money over and accepted his change, wordless all the while, chagrined expression still frozen on his face.
“You know, I get tongue tied, all the time,” she said as she scooped out the popcorn. “There’s this place I like to go. You know. Chelsea’s….” She took a moment before speaking very deliberately. “Kitchen. I always say ‘Chelsea’s Chicken.’ My friends think it’s a riot.” Not exactly a comparable error, but nice of her, just the same. She handed Cole the popcorn. “Enjoy your film.” Cole merely nodded, then forced himself to walk back to the theater when what he really wanted to do was scurry home.
He found his seat again—in the back, or Stefan would never have dared to tease Cole the way he had. “Stefan,” he said, nudging the man who didn’t respond when he sat. “I got it.” Still no response. Stefan had fallen asleep.
Cole’s first instinct was to throw the popcorn across the theater. His second was to dump it over Stefan’s lap and slam the bucket onto his head. Instead he sank low into his seat, glaring at the backrest in front of him. He thrust his hand into the bucket, spilling much of the popcorn, and crammed a handful into his mouth, the only way to keep from screaming the curses that ran through his head.