The tombola was doing a roaring trade, and the tug-of-war teams were warming up under a bright blue sky. The crash and tinkle of the crockery smashing stall was occasionally drowned out by the plunk of balls and sighs of the crowd floating out of the tea tent, where the Wimbledon Final was being projected onto a crookedly hung sheet. The fancy-dress parade was being lined up along the edge of the cricket strip, rambunctious princesses separated from the pirates and ninjas, the vicar’s wife had lost her hat, and, in the long grass behind the hedge at the back of the field, the village plumber was kissing the new vet.
“Advantage Djokovic,” intoned the commentator, and Jason parted his lips under Ian’s tongue and sank back into the dry grass, his hand falling to the warm band of skin where Ian’s t-shirt had ridden up. The heat of the day had sunk into his bones, making him feel warm, soft and languid, everything slow and easy.
“Deuce,” and their tongues were twining together, chests heaving and bare knees bumping and sliding against each other. Jason brushed his hand down Ian’s thigh, to the hem of his shorts, and breathed out when he reached skin, slick and sweaty. A bee went buzzing over them, and Ian sighed, “Jason,” his voice breathy and soft with wonder.
“Advantage Murray.” The scents of the barbecue and the jangle of the ice-cream seemed very far away, but any minute now someone was going to come looking for them, because Jason needed to take over from his dad on Splat the Rat, and Ian was due to judge the pet show. Jason couldn’t stop kissing Ian, though, losing himself in something he’d been wanting so long the yearning had sunk right into him, tangled up in his heart and lungs and the marrow of his bones.
Ian drew back, smiling with pink and swollen lips. “Think he can win it? A British player win at Wimbledon?”
“I think anything’s possible,” Jason said honestly, because he’d never dreamed that clever lithe Ian Carmichael would ever kiss him, even though he’d been dreaming of Ian’s sarcastic mouth and dark eyes since they were twelve. Ian had left the village, like all the ambitious kids, disappearing off to Uni in Bristol while Jason stayed here to work. He’d never expected Ian to come home, but here, like a miracle, he was, newly qualified and more gorgeous than ever.
“Your freckles are coming out,” Ian murmured, scattering little kisses across Jason’s flushed cheeks. “I missed you so much.”
“I don’t get why,” Jason muttered, and closed his eyes as Ian nibbled at his ear lobe. “Oh.”
All his life, he’d been the boy behind Ian’s shoulder, the star pupil’s stocky ginger mate, never quite quick enough to keep up with him but stubborn enough to keep trying anyway. He’d never understood why Ian kept him close, why he was gentle with Jason when everyone else felt the bite of his tongue when his parents demanded too much or his workload ground him down. Jason had got steady Cs in all his exams and never wanted more; Ian had fought doggedly for As and A*s. Jason liked his job, but mostly because he enjoyed seeing people smile when he solved their problems; Ian lived to work. Jason liked people; Ian communicated better with animals. Ian should have left him behind long ago.
“Because you’re wonderful, you thick wanker,” Ian snapped, rolling his eyes, but his smile was soft, and he kissed Jason again, his lips warm and soft where they caught against Jason’s. His hands were sweaty but gentle, one cupping Jason’s neck tenderly and the other sliding down between them to rub Jason’s belly, making him squirm and laugh and then groan in delight. Time went as warm and soft as butter as they rolled over, pressing deeper into the grass and the dry, dusty earth at the edge of the cornfield.
A roar from the tea tent roused them, and Ian looked up. His dark hair was curling damply around his forehead and his t-shirt was clinging to his chest. Jason wanted to take him home and strip him naked and kiss every bead of sweat off his bare skin, and then keep him until they grew old together.
“What’s that about, then?” he asked, and bent down to kiss Ian’s shoulder, warm even through the cotton of his t-shirt.
“Murray just took the second set,” Ian told him, grinning. “It’s a day for miracles, mate.”
Jason looked up at him and let himself hope. Maybe, just maybe, this was a day when dreams could come true. Maybe he could believe that Ian had come home for good, come home for him. Maybe…
“I missed you too,” he said, and watched as Ian smiled as brightly and triumphantly as the July sunshine.
(Written during the 2013 Wimbledon Final ~_^)
© Amy Durreson 2013