"the hushed conversations under Aaron’s duvet during the early, tentative days of their newfound relationship" OMG you have to write about this! You can't write this sentence and not to write more! Please?
Robert had stayed over often enough for it to be a routine, now. It was still early days, still those tentative first weeks where they were just getting used to each other again, mapping out the territory of their new relationship, but they were starting to build a sort of routine, and it had started with Aaron suggesting Robert leave some clothes at his.
Until now, Robert had been heading back to Victoria’s to shower and change after spending the night at Aaron’s, but now he had a drawer of Aaron’s dresser for some clean clothes and underwear, a set of pyjamas to sleep in so he could stop borrowing Aaron’s too-short tracksuit bottoms, and a random mess of his face-wash and moisturiser, and toothbrush, sitting on one of the lockers.
It felt real.
There was a lot they hadn’t done yet, as a couple, there was a lot Aaron still wasn’t ready for, but Robert couldn’t bring himself to care, if he was honest. What they had now, it was so much more, the nights they would stay up and just talk, and learn all the things they’d never had time to learn about each other during the affair.
It felt good.
It was past one am, now, the Woolpack quiet, pub shut for the evening, the rest of the Dingles who called the pub home in bed. He and Aaron had gone for a few pints, after work, and watched a shitty film in the backroom before they’d decided to go to bed, Aaron asking if he was going to stay with a hopeful smile on his face.
It was a new expression, one Robert hadn’t seen before, at least. Aaron would bite his lip slightly, looking at him with wide eyes and an almost shy smile, inquiring if he was going to head back to Victoria’s for the night.
Robert didn’t want to be anywhere Aaron wasn’t.
Shifting slightly so he was lying on his side, looking at Aaron intently. “Where’s your dream place to go on holiday?” he asked, continuing their new nightly routine of twenty questions, asking each other all the things couples should know about each other.
Aaron looked thoughtful, hair still damp against his forehead. He’d gone for a shower, before bed, his usual routine, Robert had noticed - he’d always been a shower in the morning guy, himself, but Aaron had shrugged and admitted he liked to wash the day off.
“Ibiza,” Aaron said, decisive.
Robert snorted. “Ibiza? You’re such a lad!”
Aaron rolled his eyes. “Alright, you wanker,” he shook his head. “What’s wrong with Ibiza? It’s got the sun, the alcohol….”
“The girls,” Robert mocked, earning himself a shove from Aaron.
“Haha.” Aaron rolled his eyes. “I went there once, you know.”
Aaron nodded. “Best holiday I’ve ever been on,” he admitted. “First time in my life I felt like I could be happy.”
“Why?” Robert asked, genuinely curious. He’d never much been interested in going to Ibiza, if he was honestly - he’d done the posh resorts in Spain, and Italy, with Chrissie, holidayed in Greece with mates once, when he was twenty one, but he’d never been too bothered about going to Ibiza.
“There was no hassle, no problems,” Aaron shrugged. “I got to hang out on the beach and drink with my mates, felt like a proper teenager.”
Robert gave him a soft smile. “I might not be up for Ibiza, but we should go on holiday,” he nudged, reaching across the space between them in Aaron’s bed, tangling their fingers together.
Robert thought for a second, thought of all the places in the world he wanted to see, all the places he wanted to go with Aaron. “Anywhere,” he declared. “Anywhere where I can have ya all to myself.”