Tom sat down on the sofa, feeling simultaneously uneasy and excited.
"John took me back," he felt the need to say.
"You told him then?" Dominic whispered.
Tom nodded. "I was amazed at his reaction. Of course I didn't mention names. But he knows I kissed you. He knows I wanted to. He even knows that for a few seconds I totally disregarded him. It makes me feel like slime."
Dominic looked away.
"I haven’t told River. I don’t know if she could take it."
He sighed, taking a swig of his beer.
Tom was alarmed. He hadn’t ever considered that Dominic might tell his sister.
"Yes! Please don't tell her! She'll hate me!"
Dominic looked at him.
"If she asks, I'll tell her. I can't lie to her. But until she asks I won’t utter a word."
"Why would she ask?" Tom asked, hearing the concern in his own tone. "I really hope she doesn't. I mean, I know it's deceptive and wrong and that but ... she can't know. She just ... can't." He looked away in shame, taking a swig of his own beer.
"Like I said... I will only tell her if she asks," Dominic said calmly, looking directly into Tom's eyes.
Tom shivered and tried to look away. But his gaze slowly wandered back to Dominic. He sighed heavily.
"Were you angry that you felt something?" he murmured, curious and a little afraid. "When it happened, I mean. Did you hate yourself for it?"
Dominic bit his lip, not replying and still looking at Tom. His eyes were full of a sadness that Tom wanted to understand.
"I hated myself,” Tom explained - “of course I did - for kissing you. But ... I didn't hate my feelings. Do you know what I'm saying? I don't regret emotion. Did you hate yours?" He asked his questions slowly but his heart felt like a cheetah.
Dominic looked away.
"I.... I don't know how I feel about it. I don't even know if I hate myself."
Tom sighed heavily, finally released from Dominic’s captivating gaze, and looked away too.
"You don't have to,” he told Dominic. “You barely kissed back. I initiated it."
It wasn’t really a relief that Dominic didn’t hate himself. Of course, Tom was glad. But he wanted to know more. He wanted to know if Dominic’s heart was totally cold towards him.
"I wanted to kiss back, though," Dominic whispered, sounding like he was talking to himself.
Tom heard him, though. He looked at Dominic, startled.
"Did you just say that?"
Dominic looked at him, stuttered incomprehensibly, blushing brightly, before he looked away and drank the last of his beer.
Tom stood up, his heart racing in his chest. "I'll go and get you another one."
Dominic nodded silently.
As Tom walked, he tripped over his own feet and turned as he fell, his hands supporting him either side of Dominic against the back of the sofa.
Dominic’s hands caught him by the hips as he fell and hesitated there as he stared at Tom with a dazed expression
“Sorry!” he said, wincing in both pain and embarrassment.
Dominic stared. His breathing became heavy and he swallowed nervously, blushing. His grip tightened slightly on Tom's hips.
Tom moaned lowly, closing his eyes briefly in pleasure. When they reopened, he looked searchingly into Dominic's eyes.
Dominic blinked and tried to move away.
Tom held Dominic's shoulders, placing his knees either side of his legs.
"You just gripped my hips," he said, not releasing his grip on Dominic's shoulders.
Dominic looked away, seeming ashamed.
"No, no, no. Don't you do this to me again." Tom turned Dominic's face with one hand so that he was facing him. "Do it again," Tom commanded, looking intently into Dominic's eyes.
"But...," Dominic stuttered.
"But nothing. You want me.I want you. It's simple. Comprende?"
"But River...," he whispered.
Tom was furious at the reminder of his sister. Angrily he moved off Dominic, sitting beside him, glaring into the air in front of him.
"Fine then! Arouse me and then stop. You're such a jerk."
"Tom... I'm sorry.. but I can't just forget about her," he said, trying to get his attention.
Tom stood up. "I'm sorry too." He spitefully rubbed Dominic in a private area and picked up the beer can to fetch another one.
"Tom.." Dominic reached out and grasped Tom's wrist, stopping him in his tracks.
Tom shifted his glare to Dominic.
Dominic opened his mouth to speak but looked down, ashamed, still gripping Tom's wrist.
"Damn it!" Tom pulled his wrist away and stalked off, returning a few minutes later with the fresh can of beer. He wordlessly placed it on the table in front of Dominic, picked up his own can and finished it and then went to sit at the other end of the sofa, brooding silently.
"Tom..." Dominic sighed
Tom looked away, not replying. He knew how immature it was but he was still suffering from the rejection after Dominic had aroused him.
Dominic sighed again, getting up.
"I'm going to the bathroom," he mumbled.
"Do you know where it is?" Tom asked, mumbling as well.
Dominic shook his head.
"I was shown but I don't remember."
Tom sighed world-wearily and led the way. He pointed at the door and said, "I'll see you back in the games room."
Dominic turned to thank him as he passed, not realising how narrow the corridor was. He bumped into Tom so that he was facing him, making their lips less than an inch from each other’s.
Tom stared, open-mouthed and horror-struck at the thoughts entering his mind due to this proximity. He moved his head backwards but then gave into the desire sparked by the kiss, returning it passionately, and gripping Dominic's hips tightly to repay the earlier favour
Dominic pulled away, swallowed and slipped into the bathroom, locking the door behind him.
Tom remained outside, motionless, unable to believe what had just happened, unable to think clearly because of the sensations exploding through him.
Dominic came out a moment later and closed the bathroom door behind him so he could lean on it.
"You can't expect me to walk away now," Tom murmured. "You've sealed your fate. Come with me." He gestured with his head as he walked in the direction of his bedroom. He felt Dominic’s eyes on him. He turned to see that they were filled with pain.
"I love your sister, Tom."
"Shut up. Come on." He paused and looked at him. "You might as well punish me well."
Dominic followed, silent.
Tom opened the door of his bedroom and gestured for Dominic to enter.
Dominic hesitated but entered.
"Tom, I... I'm not leaving your sister," he stuttered, turning to face him.
Tom shrugged. "You don't have to." He closed the door behind him and walked towards him. He kissed Dominic for one second before drawing back to see how he would respond.
Dominic kissed Tom strongly.
Tom moaned and walked backwards, sitting on his bed.
Dominic shook his head.
"No, not there."
"I'll respect your chastity," Tom murmured, looking deep into Dom's eyes. "It's just more comfortable here."
Dominic shook his head.
"No, I can't do this," he whispered, trying to leave.
Tom grasped at his wrist. He looked at Dominic, and let his vulnerability and unhappiness show.
"But you started it, Dom. You can't just leave me. You don't want to mistreat me - I know you don't. So stay. Please."
"River, Tom. Think about your damn sister. I love her and this is just wrong" Dominic pleads.
Tom let go. "I love her too," he said quietly, looking at the floor. "But if you could forget her for even one moment, is it fair to keep trying? And .... well, you're treating me like I don't matter at all. Am I insignificant to you?"
Dominic shook his head. "No, Tom, but all I'm feeling for you is lust. I can't do this and risk losing what I have with your sister."
Tom lay down and rolled onto his front.
"You led me on," he whispered.
"I didn't mean to and it’s not like you aren’t trying to lead me on," he whispered.
"I'm not leading you on," Tom murmured, too numb to resent such a thought. “I'm just trying to encourage you in your feelings. I'm helpless. I love you."
"You don't love me, Tom. You don’t even know me" Dominic whispered.
Tom shrugged. "You brought my sister happiness. As ironic as that is, I feel such gratitude towards you."
"I'm gonna go..." Dominic stuttered, before leaving.
Tom remained lying on his bed stationary, his mind still numbed by the ice in his heart.