Jack watches from across the counter, propped up on his elbows, as Bittle prepares the peaches they picked together, hands and forearms and shoulders brushing in the shadowy lanes of the orchard. He watches as Bittle reaches for one, as he lifts it to his face and breathes deep, eyes closed and cheeks pink. The corners of his mouth tip into a smile, and Jack finds his own following suit, the contentment he feels mirrored and refracted back between the both of them, again and again and again. Summer in Georgia is hot and sticky, and Jack doesn’t care for the way his clothing feels too small, too tight against his limbs, but he loves this, here, with Bittle in his childhood kitchen.
With steady hands, Bittle slices just so into the flesh of the peach, catching the skin on the edge of his knife and pulling it free. He does this repeatedly, movements sure and easy even as his hand becomes slick with juice and the smell of peach permeates the air.