Vito worked Elias through his orgasm before chasing his own. With Elias on his back, Vito buried his face in his neck, one hand braced on the mattress as he stroked himself with his free hand. “Say it again,” he mumbled against Elias’s skin.
Elias’s response was a beautifully breathless, “Say what?”
“Vito,” Elias whispered.
Vito hated the whimper that fell from his lips, hated that Elias probably heard it. “Again,” he breathed.
“Vito.” Elias’s arms tightened around him, fingers pushing into his hair and tugging at the dark locks. “Oh, Vito.”
Vito’s breath broke as he came. He kissed Elias, even if only to silence the sound. Once he had mostly come back to Earth, he shifted to lick a trail up Elias’s stomach, stopping only to kiss him again. Elias let out a soft moan, hooking a leg around Vito’s waist to keep him close. Breaking the kiss, Vito broke out of his hold with little effort and dropped to his back beside the man. “Fuck, it has been a long time since someone’s said my real name during sex.”
“So why use the fake name?”
Vito snorted. “You know why. You knew who I was. You know the shit they write about me and my brother, trying to fuckin’ ruin our lives without any proof that we’ve done anything.” Elias rolled onto his stomach, crossing his arms over Vito’s chest. Vito’s brow furrowed. “What’re you doing?”
“Talking to you.”
“Thanks.” Vito waved a hand over his back. “I mean this… thing.”
“It lets me look at you while we’re talking.”
“Feels like cuddling.”
“It’s not.” Elias raised a brow. “Would you throw a fit if it was?”
“No, I’d just leave. I don’t do the cuddly shit, either.”
“Well, it’s not cuddling. Stop being such an overwhelming alpha playboy. Can you be a human being for two seconds? Or do you even know how to do that?”
Vito shoved him back to the other side of the bed and sat up. “After the shit I put up with for you? God, fuck you. I’m gonna take a shower downstairs. You can take one up here. Go find yourself a human being by the time I get back.”
Elias sat up just in time to completely miss Vito’s arm as he climbed out of bed. “Vito, come on. I didn’t mean it like that.”
“Then how did you mean it?” Vito asked, turning to meet his gaze. “I use a fake name when I fuck around so people can’t Google me if they don’t already recognize my face as belonging to the name. The media makes me out to be a fucking monster, they just did it again today, and you asking if I’m capable of being human tells me you believe them. You believe I’m a monster just like the fuckin’ rest of ‘em do. So again, how did you mean it?”
Elias was silent for a long while, eyes frantically searching Vito’s face. “I don’t know, Vito. Maybe I just don’t like the idea of being used like a sex doll. I don’t get to look at you while we fuck? Fine. I don’t get to touch you? Fine. But I can’t even roll over and talk to you afterward? I have feelings, Vito.”
“Then you shouldn’t have slept with me!” Vito hissed. “Fuck, man. You know I sleep around. You know this is what I do. You wanna have feelings with someone? You want your feelings tended to? Sleep with a fucking human next time.” Vito walked out of the room, slamming the door shut. He kept his hand wrapped around the door knob, dropping the back of his head to the door.
He hadn’t realized how much that reporter had gotten under his skin. Elias was far from the first person to be upset that Vito wasn’t a ‘stick around and cuddle’ kind of guy, and he wasn’t the first to ask him if he was capable of being human for a few seconds. It never bothered Vito. People were allowed to want that extra shit after sex, but he wasn’t one of them. It had never angered him before.
After his shower, he’d apologize. He usually tried not to leave his one-night-stands pissed off or upset. In his experience, that could lead to a stalker. Or, for a man like Elias, it could lead to the whole fucking nation finding out he was bisexual, and he sure as hell wasn’t ready for that. He still needed to come out to his family first, and he wasn’t quite ready for that yet, either. So he needed to make sure Elias knew it was an accident.
He pushed away from the door and headed for the stairs. He had barely made it to the bottom of the stairs when Elias started pounding on the bedroom door.
“Vito, I’m so sorry! I am so fucking sorry! I didn’t mean to insinuate you were a monster! Oh, my God, I’m so sorry. Please let me out! Please. Let me out of here!”
Vito hurried back up the stairs. He pushed the door knob in and twisted it. Elias stood on the other side, chest heaving, arms wrapped around himself. “Are you okay?”
“I-it wouldn’t… It wouldn’t open,” Elias whispered.
“I’m so fucking sorry. It’s one of those push in to lock knobs. I must’ve done it when I was holding onto it.” Vito held up both hands. “I would never lock you in a room, okay? You’re safe, man.”
Elias scanned his face for what felt like an eternity. “I’m sorry you had to put up with me tonight. I’m sorry you had to take it slow and put up with a switch in position. I’m sorry I asked you if you were capable of being human. After everything you said to me tonight, it was a horrible, disgusting comment to make. I’m sorry that I made you feel like a monster. I’m sorry.”
Vito shook his head. “People say that shit to me all the time. It doesn’t bother me. That reporter just got under my skin more than I thought she did. It had nothin’ to do with you.” When Vito reached for him, Elias took a step back, arms tightening around his chest. “I’m serious, man. We don’t have any bad blood on my end, not about any of it.”
“I just wanna go home,” Elias whispered, his voice breaking.
For once, Vito wished he was his brother. Tito would know what the hell to do. Vito was clueless. Nothing was making it better, and the more he tried with such an overwhelming lack of response, the more pissed off he got. “Okay, I’ll take you home, then.”
Elias shook his head so fast, Vito was surprised he didn’t break his damn neck. “I just need my phone from your car. I can call an Uber from there.”
“I’m offering you a free ride to your house or the bar or whatever the hell you need to go. Can’t you just accept that so I don’t have to feel like a piece of fucking shit?”
Elias swallowed. “Okay.”
“Great, thank you. Take your shower. I’m gonna be downstairs takin’ mine. Then we’ll head out, okay?”
After his shower, Vito headed upstairs to his room. “Elias?” He knocked on the door. “Elias?” He listened for a moment before opening the door. He checked the bathroom. Also empty. The bastard had completely ditched him.
Vito groaned, rolling his eyes as he turned to walk out of the room. He headed outside, pulling his keys from his pocket as he approached the car. After unlocking it, he found Elias’s phone wedged between the passenger seat and the center console. Apparently, Vito had really fucked up. He’d never had someone want to get the hell away from him badly enough to abandon their phone.
Elias had most likely started walking, and he couldn’t have gone far. At most, he would have made it to the bar, and if Vito managed to miss him, he knew where the guy lived.
Vito made it to the bar in record time. Elias sat in the driver’s seat of his car, arms crossed over the steering wheel, forehead pressed against them. Vito’s brow furrowed. “Lainarc, call Tito.”
“Calling Tito,” his phone’s robotic voice said. It rang twice before Tito picked up.
“Hey.” Tito cleared his throat. “What… what’re you up to?”
“Spying on my fling.”
“Left their phone in my car. They’re upset as fuck, and I don’t know how to approach that.”
“Umm…” Tito yawned. “Why are they upset?”
“Don’t know, don’t care.”
“If you don’t care, why’d you call me?”
Unfortunately, that was a damn good question.
“I’m gonna take your silence as proof you care.”
“Mmhmm. Fuck me,” Tito agreed. “What happened before they got upset? You kick ‘em outta your hotel room or somethin’?”
“No. You know my bedroom door knob?”
“The one that locks itself all the time? Yeah, and I know you need to get it fixed.”
“Yeah, well, I accidentally locked them in my room, and they thought it was on purpose. Like… as a punishment. Probably thought I was gonna kill ‘em, given my reputation.”
“Ah, Jesus, Vi.”
“Look, I’m not too happy about it, either, okay? I wasn’t trying to lock them in there.”
“What were you doing leaving them in your personal bedroom in the first place?”
“Umm… there may have been an issue after we had sex.”
Tito sighed. “What kind of issue?”
“They may have tried to cuddle with me and I may have told them no.”
“And then they may have told me I wasn’t capable of acting like a human being, and I… may have told them to fuck off and that I couldn’t believe they would say that after I put up with them all night.”
“Vi, man, come on.”
“I mean, at least I know ‘put up with’ was a bad phrase to use.”
“Yeah, too bad that didn’t stop you from using it, dumbass.”
“Can you just help me?”
“That’s a lot easier said than done, Vi.”
“I know, but you’re my only hope for the human shit.”
Tito sighed. “When you say things like that, people around you think you’re an alien or something.”
“Lucky for us, I’m alone in my car.”
“Oh, joy.” Tito coughed before clearing his throat. “Did you apologize for ‘put up with’?”
“I don’t think so.”
“Okay, so start there.”
“Give them their phone back and leave.”
“Because otherwise you’ll say something stupid and make it even worse.”
“Pfft. Whatever. Thanks for the help.”
Tito stayed silent for a moment. “Good luck, Vi.”
“Yep.” Vito reached over and ended the call. Elias’s phone in hand, he climbed out of the car and walked over to Elias’s. He knocked on the window.
Elias flinched, head jerking around toward the window. Vito smiled, holding up his phone. Elias started his car and rolled down the window. “You didn’t have to bring that,” Elias said quietly.
“What else were you gonna do? Buy a new one?”
“That… was the plan.”
“Ah, yes, as one does after a one-night stand.” Elias’s expression didn’t change in the slightest. No little lift of one corner of his full lips. No sparkle in his eyes. No anything. Vito cleared his throat. “I’m sorry, Elias. I don’t know which part was worse, but I know I owe you an apology for saying I had been putting up with you all evening.”
Elias shook his head. “It’s fine. I’m not exactly what you signed up for when it comes to one of your flings.”
“It’s not fine. It’s a fucked up thing to say to a person.”
Elias lifted his shoulders ever so slightly. “I’m used to being put up with. It is what it is.” He cleared his throat and grabbed his phone. “Thank you for bringing this to me. You didn’t have to.”
“You’re welcome. It was no trouble.” A pause. “We good?”
“Yeah. Don’t worry, I won’t bad mouth your reputation.”
“Word of mouth is a good way to get laid, remember?”
Vito scoffed. “That’s why you think I’m apologizing? For my sex life’s sake?”
“Why… else would someone like you apologize to me for something I started?”
Elias closed his eyes for a moment. “Goodnight, Vito.”
“No, wait, I’m sorry. I just–I’m sorry. I get so angry so quick, but that’s not on you. That’s on me.”
Elias lifted a hand in departure before rolling up his window.
“Dude! Come on. What more do you want from me?”
Elias rolled the window down a crack. “Right now? I want you to get back in your car and go. I will literally pay you if I have to, but I-I can’t do this anymore tonight.”
“Can’t be around me?”
“Yes,” Elias whispered.
“You’re a real piece of work, Elias. I’m doin’ my best here. This apology shit isn’t exactly something I do on the regular.”
“I already told you we were fine. This isn’t about you.”
“Right, I’m sure.”
“Then what the fuck is it about, huh? If not me, then what?”
“You’re the first person who has accidentally locked me in a room as punishment, okay?”
Finally, it clicked in Vito’s mind. “Jesus, Elias.”
“Keep that one to yourself too,” Elias said quietly. Before Vito could even attempt to respond, Elias rolled up the window and drove away.
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