The Weather in Paris

The Weather in Paris

“What’s the weather going to be like?” Rafael called to his boyfriend, who was currently on the phone in the other room, babbling to his best friend about their Paris plans. Raf didn’t mind, but he did need to know what he was supposed to pack for the trip.

Declan didn’t respond.

“Declan! Weather!”

“Babe, it doesn’t matter! Give me five minutes!”

Rafael screwed up his mouth in a benign scowl. “Five bucks says he loses track of the time,” he muttered as he folded thin sweaters on top of his jeans. “Damn extroverts.”

“What did you just call me?”

Rafael’s head jerked up. Declan leaned in the doorway, his eyes wide and mouth open with entertained offense.

“Was that ‘damn extrovert’? Did my sweet little honeybunch just swear at me?”

Rafael didn’t think he looked properly insulted, but he clarified anyway, under his breath, “Technically it was about you, not at you.” They’d already had the sweet little honeybunch discussion, so that wasn’t worth protesting again.

“‘Damn extrovert.’” Declan tilted his head as he rolled the words around in his mouth. “I can’t believe you kiss your mother with that mouth.”

“Well, I kiss you with it, and it doesn’t seem to bother you.” Rafael looked back down at his folded laundry, and he fully intended to finish packing.

Well, he did until slim dark fingers laced through the belt loops in his jeans and tugged him away from the suitcase. He stumbled pelvis-first into the hard line of his boyfriend’s body. Declan’s full lips grazed a searing line up Rafael’s neck, and he trembled.

“You’re sure it doesn’t bother me?” The breath from the words tickled the underside of Rafael’s jaw. Declan nosed Rafael, who reflexively arched his neck, baring more.

Blood pounded hard in his veins, and his breathing shallowed, but he had enough air for a few words: “No. You’ve said worse.”

“Have I?” Declan raised his head, and Rafael felt the loss of him like a cold ache. “Well, then, I wouldn’t want to besmirch your inno—”

It was a game, the teasing, but he didn’t want to wait. He reached up and pulled Declan back to him, pressing their lips together. Declan’s soft laugh faded into a sigh, and one hand left Rafael’s belt loops to appreciate the hard curve of his biceps through his ratty old sweater. Raf shifted his own fingers to splay under Declan’s soft glimmering shirt, feeling the heat of the skin twice as fiercely because of the coolness of his own. He traced the binds of muscle, bone, sinew as carefully as if he were petting a cat, as intentionally as if he might have to reproduce the lines from memory afterward.

Twisting closer in pleasure, Declan teased Rafael’s mouth open, and the tickle of his tongue burned all the way down between his legs. The careful, intentional fingers dug in. Ah, Declan groaned, the word little more than a vibration.

Sometimes, in times less close and warm than this, Rafael wondered if he was supposed to be having doubts. If there were secrets and insecurities he ought to explore. But when it was just the two of them, he couldn’t imagine any problem fierce enough to drive him away from Declan, to drive a wedge between them, to have it make any difference.

In a sudden gesture that surprised Rafael from his thoughts, Declan tore the ratty sweater off—as in, he yanked it up over Raf’s head with such force that a lattice of thinned fabric literally split apart. Declan took to the freshly bared skin with delight, mouthing down his neck, his shoulder, spanning every curve and plane he could get his hands on. To even the playing field (it was only fair), Rafael gathered the glimmery fabric and lifted it off. Two bare chests pressed together, a study in contrasting shades and synchronized breaths.

Of course, half-naked was not naked at all, or at least so seemed to be Declan’s personal mantra; he breathed hotly against the crook of Raf’s neck and then bit down, making his toes curl. Declan dragged his fingers through Rafael’s hair, and tugged once—enough, more than enough.

Rafael made a pleading noise that he would deny later. Declan interpreted it correctly: he swiped the suitcase off the bed (scattering piles of once-folded clothes onto the floor) and hopped onto the sheets, crawling backward and tugging the other man along on top of him.

“Is this,” Rafael gasped when Declan yanked his jeans down, “what we’ll be doing in Paris?”

Declan grinned. “You see now why the weather’s irrelevant,” he purred before he set about making sure Rafael couldn’t spit out a complete sentence.

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Ivy L. James

Author Ivy L. James writes inclusive romance and funny, down-to-earth advice about life and writing. Read more of her stories at

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