Exchange of Gifts
by Stevie Woods

an excerpt



Juggling with his luggage and his books, Adrian managed to press the buzzer at Elliot's front door. He hoped he was doing the right thing moving in with Elliot for the next few days. Not that he didn't want to, no the problem was that he wanted to, too much. He just hoped he could keep himself in check. He managed to control his emotions when he'd occasionally stayed with Elliot overnight. It wasn't so difficult to rein in his longings when he knew he could escape the next morning. But Adrian had to admit he was finding it harder these days and it sometimes scared him just how much he was feeling.

This time, however, he would be at Elliot's for at least seven days, maybe more. It was bad enough that his place was infested, but God did it have to happen over the Christmas holiday period, when it would be impossible to get hold of an exterminator for at least four days? They couldn't even advise him of what day they would start work on his apartment until the supervisor was back from his break. They had promised that once they started it would be no more than a three-day job. It would cost him quite a bit too, though there was talk amongst the tenants' association, which he never had time or the inclination to get involved with, that they planned to sue Mrs. Hennessy.

Damn Mrs. Hennessy. She knew, like everyone else, that pets weren't allowed in the building. His fish were only just allowable, but six cats certainly weren't. How the hell the woman had kept them secret was a mystery. Well, they certainly weren't a secret any longer. Every apartment on the eighth floor was now personally acquainted with them if only via the damn fleas!

The door suddenly swung open and Elliot stood there. Adrian's mouth went dry at the sight of his friend looking so fucking hot. Why did he have to do that? Not that he did it on purpose, of course. God, if only he did, just to impress me. I'm impressed. Lord, am I impressed!

"You standing there all day or do you wanna come in?" Elliot asked with a lazy grin, grabbing the pile of books.

"Ah, sorry. Just thinking..." he trailed off, wondering what the hell he could say. Adrian could hardly tell Elliot he'd been wondering if Elliot was going commando; those jeans were so damn tight it didn't look as if there was room for anything else but Elliot in them.

Elliot opened the door wide, ushering Adrian in. "You're not still worrying about getting under my feet are you? Told you it'll be great. You'd have been coming over for a couple of days anyway."

"I know, but two days is a lot less than seven. It can't be helped, but I still feel I'm imposing."

"Hell, Adrian! Okay, you need somewhere to stay for a while, but I wouldn't have invited you unless I wanted to. Got it?"

Adrian gave a sheepish grin and nodded. "Okay. Sorry."

"Just go and dump your stuff in the guest room and I'll get you coffee."