“You called me gorgeous,” he murmured, and he shifted so that he was a tiny bit closer. “You said I have nice hair, ‘cool eyes’ and a nice face. Let’s forget the weird stuff for a minute - are you attracted to me?”
Claude was taken aback.
“Wow. What a question.”
Matt’s eyes were very intense. He almost looked like he wanted to see into Claude’s mind.
“Why are you asking me this?” Claude asked, confused.
“You’re a really cool guy, Claude. Your smile makes me feel like I’ve achieved something - even when I haven’t. And I’m asking you now because of the look that came into your eyes when you were calling me gorgeous.”
“What are you saying?” Claude asked, still puzzled.
Matt looked frustrated.
“What do you think that I’m saying? I want to make you happy, Claude. I want to be your guy!”
Claude stared in amazement. He thought about all the times he’d spoken to Matt - seen him and hung out with him. Never once had it seemed like Matt might have a crush on him. But perhaps Claude was dense, or perhaps Matt was good at concealing his feelings.
“Well?” Matt demanded, looking more than a little flustered.
Well, he did think Matt was good-looking. He loved spending time in Matt’s company and they had shared many a laugh together. But did this signify attraction? Or were they merely great friends and Claude just happened to find Matt handsome? It wasn’t to be forgotten that platonic relationships could still be brilliant.
Claude thought harder, anxiously aware of the fact he was leaving Matt hanging.
All those times he’d imagined him as the Silent, Watchful Presence - had he merely thought of Matt as a friend then? There had had to be an underlying deep emotion - else where would be the pleasure in watching those scenes?
He thought about security; he thought about intimacy.
Finally he looked at Matt, having realised the answer, and spoke one single, definite word.
Matt looked relieved.
“Oh, thank goodness. It was such a risk to tell you I liked you.”
Matt moved up towards Claude and placed a hand on one of his. He looked up into Claude’s eyes and smiled.
“I’m so glad you feel the same.”
He leant in towards Claude and kissed him on the mouth.
Claude was filled with delight and kissed back, enjoying being swept along by the current of his emotions. There was an underlying sense of profound gratification to it all - as if Claude had fulfilled a lifelong dream. He also found true acceptance and when Matt drew away, he felt a sense of loss, though Matt’s gentle smile quickly chased the blues away.
“Heya, Claudie-boy,” Matt murmured, his tone affectionate.
Claude tilted his head to the side.
Matt nodded. “It’s the start of something new.”