After failing to take someone home six nights in a row, Vito stuck a sticky note to the top of a cake box and left it on Elias’s doorstep on Saturday morning. He wasn’t usually a repeat sleeper, but he didn’t have much of a choice. The new dog was stressful. Bo’s inability to find the fucker who had shot Tito was stressful. Tito’s inability to run missions and go out in the field was stressful.
And Vito was running on empty when it came to his ability to balance it all. Sex usually filled his tank for a couple days, even more so than the drugs or the booze did. If Elias was his only damn shot at that sex for now, so be it. Maybe one more time would get Elias’s feeling shit out of his system, and then he could go back to screwing whoever he wanted whenever he wanted.
Saturday evening, after locking Dude in the bathroom so he couldn’t destroy the fucking house, Vito headed out to Drake’s Place for the first time in a week. He scanned the tables and the bar for Elias, but he wasn’t there. That was fine. Vito just had to give him some time.
He ordered a beer and headed down to the pool table. He set up a game and grabbed a pool stick. He lined up his shot and hit the cue ball, knocking it into the triangle of billiards on the table.
“You’re pretty good at that.”
Vito lifted his gaze to the woman standing a good foot or two away from the table. “I certainly can be.”
She smiled. “Wanna show me how?”
Vito cleared his throat. Elias was a guarantee for sex. She wasn’t. After his last week of experience, he now knew no one in a bar was a guarantee. “I’m sorry, but I’m waiting on a date.”
“Oh, I’m sure she won’t mind.”
“She probably won’t, but the man I’m waiting for will.”
“Oh.” Her brow furrowed as she scanned over Vito. “You don’t look—”
“Mm. Bisexual.” She nodded, walking closer. She laid her hands on the pool table. “How important is this date to you?”
Vito let his eyes drag over her figure. She was certainly beautiful. Hell, he was about half-certain she was one of the sisters who had wanted to sleep with him when he’d dedicated the night to Elias instead. Well, maybe she was a guarantee. “It’s just sex.”
“Thought so.” She slid her hand over to wrap her last two fingers around his pinky. “Which are you looking forward to most? A pretty girl or a Grinder date that probably looks nothing like his picture?”
Vito glanced up at the door as the little bell above it dinged. Elias. Vito clearly hadn’t pulled his hand away from the woman fast enough. Elias had shaken his head and walked out almost as quickly as he’d walked in. Vito leaned his pool cue against the wall and hurried through the bar. Outside, he jogged over to Elias and pressed a hand to the car door before he could open it. “Hey.”
Elias rolled his eyes. “If you think I’m sleeping with you, you’re insane.”
“That’s fine. I’ve got a hot babe inside waitin’ for me.”
Elias scoffed, but he was missing that sparkle in his eyes that had been there all the times they’d played pool together. “Then go inside.”
Vito pressed two fingers to Elias’s chest, just beneath his collarbone. “Just ‘cause I’ve got her on standby doesn’t mean I don’t want you.”
Elias backhanded his fingers away. “I didn’t come here to keep you from fucking your backup of the night. I came here because… because I’m a fucking idiot who thought your note meant I was the only possibility for the night.”
Vito snorted. “You ain’t that special, Elias. There are half a dozen people in that bar who would sleep with me. You’ll never be the only possibility. I’m, like, famous in that bar. I was just bored, wanted someone I had already done the work for.” He poked Elias’s chest. “That’d be you.”
Elias pulled his bottom lip into his mouth, his brow furrowing. Before Vito could even ask what response he was biting back, the shorter man burst into tears.
Vito took a step back, hands held up near his chest. “Umm… Elias? I don’t know what to do here.”
“J-just leave me alone.” Elias tugged on the handle for his door, but it didn’t open. “Come on, you piece of shit.”
“Leave me alone, Vito. I can’t do this. I-I can’t…”
Vito stepped forward and pulled Elias into his arms. It was by far the most awkward hug he’d ever given in his life–which, with the limited number of hugs he’d given, wasn’t saying much–but it worked. Elias wrapped his arms around him and clutched at the back of his shirt. “I don’t know what I said or did, but I’m sorry. I don’t normally make people cry.”
Elias shook his head against Vito’s chest, but he didn’t respond.
Vito lifted an awkward hand as a couple walked past in the parking lot. “People are starin’. You wanna get outta here?”
“Please,” Elias whispered.
Vito pushed Elias back and wrapped an arm around his shoulders instead. He led him to his bodyguard’s car in the back of the parking lot.
“Shut up.” Vito helped Elias into the car and slid in after him, pulling the door closed. “My place.”
His bodyguard nodded. “Of course, sir. Sorry, sir.”
The drive to Vito’s house was quiet. Elias sat as far away as he could, legs pulled to his chest, forehead resting on his knees. Vito had no damn idea what the hell he’d done, but he’d clearly fucked up. He hoped one-night-stands crying at the idea of not sleeping with him wasn’t going to be a new thing. The mafia part of his life added enough drama, and he didn’t need it from his sex life too.
At the house, Vito waved at the guard to let him know he could stay in the car. Vito shoved open the door and slid out. Bending down, he stuck out a hand. “Elias.”
Elias lifted his head and turned to look at him, eyes flickering between his face and his hand.
“I ain’t gonna bitecha. Come on.”
Elias swallowed roughly and grabbed his hand. He slid out of the car, and Vito closed the door behind him. “Thank you,” Elias whispered.
“Mmhmm.” Vito led him up to the house and unlocked the door. Once they were both inside, he closed the door and kicked off his shoes. “Uh… just stay here, okay? Gonna go check on Dude.”
Elias wrapped his arms around himself and nodded.
Vito patted his shoulder–chalk up another point for awkward–and headed upstairs to the bathroom. The door knob was busted, and the door hung open into the hall. He leaned into the bathroom, flipping on the light. Dude had made quick work of the bathroom, tearing up two bath towels and unrolling a brand new roll of toilet paper before tearing into the package near the toilet.
With a groan, Vito turned off the light and headed back down the stairs. “Okay, so–Where the fuck did you go?” He turned away from the empty foyer and walked into the kitchen instead. Empty. After searching upstairs, Vito eventually found Elias sitting on the living room floor, arms wrapped around Dude, his face buried in the mastiff’s neck.
“He must really like you,” Vito said, his voice soft. “I think he’d try to bite my face off if I did that.”
“He came and got me.” Elias pulled away, wiping at his eyes with one hand. “Must be able to sniff out depressed people or something,” he said through a little chuckle. Before Vito could respond, Elias touched Dude’s cheek. “He’s missing an ear.”
“Yeah. They, uh… they cut them off of some dogs so the others can’t grab onto ‘em. It… makes a less interesting fight, I guess.”
Elias sniffled. “Bastards.”
“Yeah.” Cautiously, Vito sat down on the armrest of the couch. “So, umm… I don’t really do the whole talking thing.”
Elias laughed. “Oh, God, like I don’t know that. Believe me, I won’t be trying that again. No talking.”
“Well, I was… Uh… I was gonna say, like, if you need to talk, then, uh… I’m here?”
Elias shook his head. “No, thanks.” He pushed himself to his feet and walked over to Vito. Hands tucked behind his back, he leaned in and kissed him. Vito groaned, hands moving to Elias’s face. He barely managed to dip his tongue into the man’s warm mouth before he pulled back. “You wanna fuck me, Vito?”
“What kinda question is that?”
“A genuine one.”
“Yes.” Vito stood up and grabbed Elias’s hand. He led him upstairs and to the bedroom, but Elias wouldn’t step past the threshold. Vito looked down at their joined hands before lifting his eyes back to the man’s tired face. God, he looked so sad, so… lifeless.
Vito’s brow furrowed for the briefest of moments. Why the hell did he care if Elias was sad? Hell, why did he care if anyone was sad?
“I’ve got another bedroom, if you want.”
“No, I can… I don’t want to cause any trouble for you.”
Vito walked out of his room and practically dragged Elias down the hall to the guest room. He flipped on the light and turned to face Elias. “Ta-da.”
One corner of Elias’s mouth lifted, but it disappeared just as quickly. “Are you sure this is okay?”
“Yeah, it’s my house.”
“That’s not what I mean,” Elias said quietly. “Choosing a different room for me is giving me control. If that turns you off, we should go back to your room.”
“Why would that turn me off?”
“I-I don’t know, Vito. I just don’t want to bore you out of a boner.”
Vito cleared his throat. “I’m sorry I said that.”
“Don’t apologize for things you meant.”
Vito grabbed both of Elias’s hands and tugged him into the room. He sat down on the edge of the bed and let go of his hands. “You sure you wanna do this?”
“You’re going to turn down sex?”
“That’s what I thought.” Elias pulled his shirt over his head. When his hands moved to the button of his jeans, Vito grabbed his wrists. “What?”
“You’re cool with just… jumping right into tonight?”
“I already got the take it slow shit out of my system. You don’t have to change anything up tonight. Fast and rough, the Minetti way, yeah?”
Vito shook his head, rising to his feet. “I don’t know what’s up with you, but I can’t do this.” He circled a hand near Elias’s face. “You’re, like, dead up here. I’m a lot of things, but a necrophiliac ain’t one of ‘em.”
Elias grabbed his arms, stepping closer. He leaned up, lips just a breath away. “Just make me feel something, Minetti. I’m so fucking tired of doing it myself.”
A part of Vito wondered what the hell that meant. The other part didn’t give a shit, and that part grabbed the back of his shirt and tugged it over his head. “I need to go grab a condom and the lube from my room. Take off your pants and sit down for me?”
Elias nodded. “Can do.”
Vito kissed him before heading to his room. Dude lay on the bed, watching him. Vito pulled open the nightstand drawer and grabbed what he needed. He pointed the condom at Dude. “You fuckin’ behave yourself in here, got it? I’ve already got to fix the bathroom. I don’t want to fix the bedroom too.”
Dude watched him, his tail slowly ticking from one side to the other.
“Just… just stay, yeah? We’ll have a discussion about the bathroom thing later.”
Vito could’ve sworn the fucker smiled at him.
With a roll of his eyes, Vito made his way back to the guest room. Elias sat on the edge of the bed, naked and snapping a colored rubber band against the underside of his wrist. Vito’s brow furrowed. “What’re you doing?”
Elias flinched. “J-just, umm… Let’s not do the feelings thing, okay?”
“Works for me.” Vito tossed the lube and condom onto the bed. He guided Elias to his back as he climbed onto the bed, straddling the man’s legs. He leaned down and kissed him, one hand pressed firmly into the mattress near Elias’s head. Elias let out a beautiful little sound, fingers burying themselves in Vito’s hair, shoving it back from his face. He dragged a leg up against Vito’s side before hooking it around his back.
Vito kissed a short trail down his chest, free hand reaching for the bottle of lube. “You’re missin’ your necklace.”
“You had a necklace on last time. Harley Davidson dog tag type thing and a, uh, eagle, I think on a second charm.”
“I, umm, I took it off. That’s the cool thing about necklaces.”
“Mm. Seemed important, is all.”
Elias pulled his bottom lip between his teeth as Vito eased a finger into him. He smiled ever so slightly, leg tightening around Vito. “You’d… you’d forget a tattoo or two if they weren’t attached.”
“Nah. They all mean too much for me to forget them.”
Elias locked a hand behind Vito’s neck. “Shut up and make me feel something, Minetti.”
Vito had more questions, but he always liked an excuse to not give a shit and have sex instead. “My pleasure, Payne.”
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