“Callum, I said I was sorry,” Mason said, still grinning.
Callum continued to ignore him, arms crossed over his chest and eyes fixed on the window, blankly watching the darkened streets and bright headlights of the other cars that were trying to return to the city. They had left the diner after Mason completely embarrassed him with his childish chanting of Callum loving him more than he let on, bringing up Callum’s crush on him that Callum immensely regretted slipping, and after every occupant of the diner asked about the mating ceremony – basically the paranormal world version of a wedding only much more binding – Callum was beyond mortified. Mason even went so far as to grope him in public again and perfected the act of a possessive caveman when the feline girl shifter spoke to Callum, even though she was also teasing him.
“Callum, love, I was just teasing,” Mason continued, although Callum could hear worry creeping into Mason’s voice.
Good, Callum thought spitefully. He thought that Mason should feel bad. Callum wasn’t one to take embarrassment easily, especially after being forced into it constantly for three and a half years during the time of his life he was the most insecure about himself. Theoretically, it should have made him stronger, unafraid of a little humiliation, but the human – or half human in his case – mind was not something limited to linear and rational thinking.
Eventually Mason quieted down and stopped trying to get Callum to talk to him although he never let his eyes stray from Callum’s for longer than a couple minutes.
Callum sighed, “Keep your eyes on the road, Mason. I try not to test if I received the more immortal/invulnerable aspects of being part vampire.”
Mason’s eyes snapped back to the road in front of them with a new bout of apologies.
“Mason, shut up,” Callum groaned, interrupting the shifter mid extended apology.
“But…” Mason tried to continue but Callum reached over and punched his arm none too gently. It wasn’t enough to cause the other man to jerk or move, but it did hurt a bit. However it wasn’t enough to make Mason stop speaking. “I don’t want you to be mad at me.”
“I’m not,” Callum began to say automatically but then reworded his reply at the last second, “completely mad at you. I get that you like to tease people and it’s hard to break a habit. I just don’t handle embarrassment well, okay? And that’s all I’ve been feeling lately so it just kind of built up.” He slumped down into his seat, lowering his eyes to his restless feet.
Mason chuckled humorlessly, “I’m guessing that’s my fault.”
Callum felt like he should reassure Mason or something, but what could he say? It was sort of the truth. Sure there were other factors that came into play but Mason’s inability to come to terms with his feelings and projecting his emotions by becoming Callum’s exclusive bully back then wasn’t exactly helpful.
Callum settled with a simple, “Don’t worry about it. How much longer till we get back in the city?”
“If this traffic keeps up, maybe another hour and a half, I’m afraid. Take a nap, it could be awhile.”
“I slept for two hours already today, won’t be sleeping much until tomorrow,” Callum replied and then cringed at the song that started playing. On the way to the shifter area, the DJ at the time had been playing tolerable music. This DJ was a fan of those pretty boy (that Callum didn’t even think were all that attractive) boy bands and auto tune. “Please change the station.”
Mason immediately recited another station and the overly auto tuned, clichéd love song that was annoyingly catchy switched out with two DJs relaying information about a sold out concert in a nearby town.
“Do you have trouble sleeping?” Mason asked carefully.
Callum shrugged, “Since I was like twelve I’ve never been able to sleep for more than four or five hours at a time and being turned didn’t really help matters. I’m always up before the sun.”
Mason glanced at him, “Shouldn’t you get checked out or something? That can’t be healthy.”
“I’m fine. I can function normally and it’s not like I’m constantly tired or something. I just need less sleep than most people.”
“Still,” Mason said frowning. “I’m worried about you.”
Callum felt his chest tighten briefly before he forced himself to relax and roll his eyes, “If it ever becomes a problem I will go see a doctor as soon as possible.”
Callum almost snorted but Mason’s tone was serious. He nodded, “Yeah.”
Mason smiled faintly.
“…news for all you wonderful listeners. You ready? We’ve got one ticket left that is up for grabs so get ready to be the first caller in just a few moments!”
“You ever try to win stuff from calling?” Mason asked. “I tried once back in middle school with my cousins and I don’t even remember what it was for. Probably concert tickets. My older cousin ended up winning and I didn’t talk to her for a week.”
Callum couldn’t help but smile, he didn’t even realize his lips had curved upwards as he shook his head, “No, I didn’t even have my own phone until I moved here and I never listened to the radio or anything.”
“So that’s why no one had your number,” Mason mused.
Callum raised a brow, “You went around asking for my phone number?”
A light flush tinged the cheek Callum could see as Mason muttered, “Maybe.”
Callum chuckled and shook his head again, resting his elbow against the door and cradling the side of his face against the window as he looked out.
The DJ was still talking and began a countdown from ten to get callers ready. A few minutes later they declared the winner and called them up.
“Hello?” a slightly distorted female voice came from the speakers.
“Hey-low, lucky caller! Congratulations you were the first one to hit us up!”
The girl shrieked in excitement, “Oh my gosh! No way!”
“Yes way. You are the lucky gal and get to go see the sold out Bowling for Soup concert!”
Callum’s head snapped to the radio system, “Bowling for Soup?! But they sold out weeks ago.”
Mason was looking at him again, “You a fan?”
Callum nodded as he sulked, “They’re one of my favorite bands.”
“What kind of music do they play?” Mason inquired.
Callum shrugged, “Uh, punk rock? Kind of. I’m not too sure what the genre is exactly.”
Mason nodded, “What are your other favorite bands?”
The two ended up discussing their music taste. Callum was more into punk/pop rock and Mason was into American/classic rock and didn’t know many of the bands Callum listened to. They shared a distaste for pop boy bands and heavy metal and Callum found himself enjoying bashing popular artists with Mason. They talked for so long about different music styles that Callum didn’t even notice that they had finally reached the city again.
“I’ve got a lot of YouTubing to do when I get home,” Mason said as pulled up in front of Haggard. It was nearing midnight and Mason had a club to check up on. He had offered to drop Callum off at his place first but once again, Callum denied giving Mason any knowledge as to the location of his apartment.
“Why?” Callum asked as Mason turned the key, cutting the engine.
Mason grinned at him a little bashfully, “I’ve got to look up your music taste, obviously. After our first date I went home and watched everything you told me you liked and I hadn’t seen. Even back in school, if you showed an interest in something, I’d look into it, like when you were into manga, I tried to see what you were reading so that I could read it.”
Callum blinked at him, “I never knew how much of a stalker you are.”
“I am not a stalker,” Mason grumped.
“Riiiight,” Callum drawled.
Mason rolled his eyes and removed his seatbelt. Right before he got out of the car, he caught Callum’s eyes with his own and responded, “I’m a fool that is completely and irrevocably in love.”
Callum was frozen in his seat and he only managed to move when Mason had gone around the car and opened his door for him. Callum stumbled out of the car, face red and heart pounding as Mason chuckled.
Mason sighed wistfully, “I’ve got to go.”
Callum nodded, “Go do whatever it is that club owners do. I’ll… see you around.”
As Callum turned to leave and begin walking back to his apartment, Mason called out to him, “Wait!”
Callum stopped and half turned to look over his shoulder and watch Mason stride up to him. He only realized what the shifter wanted to do after the other man had his hands on Callum’s hips.
“I had fun and I’m sorry for embarrassing you so much but I can’t help but tease you. I love you, Callum, so much it drives me crazy sometimes,” Mason murmured before gently kissing Callum’s forehead as he hugged him close. When Mason pulled back, he smiled down at a red faced Callum with nothing short of affection, “Get home safe.”
Mason let go of Callum who could only jerk his head in a short nod and stutter out a choppy “Bye,” before pretty much running away.
When Callum got home less than five minutes later he collapsed onto his bed, burying his face in his pillow. Even though it was as if Mason was a broken record, that phrase still got to him; I love you. Callum could count on one hand the number of people who had said that to him and meant it and still have more than half of his fingers leftover. And none had been even remotely close to saying it with the same fervor and passion and sincerity and conviction as Mason.
Callum rolled onto his back and pulled out his sketchbook from his bag, flipping open to the pages he had used that day. He traced his fingers and eyes over the graphite markings, lingering on the contours of Mason’s face. It was only from memory and a rough sketch but Callum could still picture the intensity behind Mason’s gaze. The levels of love and affection and that happy glint he’d seen whenever Mason set his eyes on him.
When he found his finger gently brushing over the lines of his lips, Callum snapped out of his daze and closed the book, setting it back in his bag. He grabbed his computer and the USB cable that connected to his phone, plugging everything together and uploading the video to save a copy in his dropbox.
He went through his daily ritual of checking his email and comic updates, and getting ready for bed even though he wasn’t going to be sleeping soon or for very long.
Once he was settled in bed with his laptop for some late night reading and comic searching, his phone pinged a new text. Callum stretched to grab it and saw that it was Mason.
Mason: You get home safe?
Callum rolled his eyes when not even a second later, before he could even slide his thumb across the screen to unlock the phone a new text popped up.
Mason: You’re okay right?
Callum quickly tapped out a reply.
Callum: Yes, Mason. I’m fine, got home a while ago. I can take care of myself
Callum stared at his phone, waiting for Mason’s reply because Mason would reply as soon as possible. And as predicted, Mason’s response arrived just a few seconds later.
Mason: I still worry about you. I want you safe at all times. I want to take care of you
Callum: Aren’t you supposed to be working?
Mason: I’m the boss, I can be distracted especially if it’s by the man I love
Callum didn’t reply to the new message, unsure as to how and his face was burning. He had never met anyone who used that word so consistently and didn’t sound fake. But Mason was special it seemed.
Mason: You’re not mad at me?
Callum: From what happened at the diner?
Mason: Yes. I really am sorry and I’ll control myself. Promise
With a sigh and shake of his head, Callum could picture Mason pouting apologetically like a reprimanded puppy. It was weird how easily the image came to mind when just three days ago he would have never put Mason and pouting in the same universe.
Callum rolled his eyes at how easily Mason got worried. It was so different from when they were in high school, but then again, in high school, Mason made sure to always have Callum within view. The halfie had just never realized until now.
Callum: It’s fine, Mason. I appreciate you trying to control yourself though
Mason: Am I allowed to tease you when we’re alone?
Callum pursed his lips before relenting.
Callum: In moderation…maybe
Callum didn’t like message behind that emoticon, but it wasn’t like he was planning on being alone with Mason if he could help it.
Mason: What are you doing right now?
Callum: Planning on reading
Mason: Reading what?
Callum: Nothing much
Callum spluttered, face bright red.
Mason: There are much more fun ways to get hot and bothered ;)
“Oh my god,” Callum gaped. He had the mortifying suspicion that Mason was about to suggest something that would definitely make Callum spontaneously combust.
Mason: Like if I were with you right now
Mason: I’d have you sideways on my lap
Mason: Kissing up your smooth neck
Mason: Stopping at your pulse and sucking hard
Mason: Id leave a dark mark and lick and suck and kiss all the way up until you grab my face and press our lips togther
Mason: Youd open your mouth for me and my tongue would move with yours
Mason: Youd moan out loud and yank at my hair and id growl and pull you closer than posible
Mason: My hands would stroke and squeeze whatever bits of your skin they could touch
Callum was torn. On one hand he wanted to close his phone and ignore Mason’s texts, but on the other hand he couldn’t stop reading them and a warm burn was slowly traveling through his body. He couldn’t remember the last time someone had sexted him because no one had ever sexted him.
Mason: My kissses would trail down to your nipple
At his point, Mason had lain Callum down on Mason’s bed and was kneeling between Callum’s spread legs with Callum’s shirt hiked up to his armpits.
Mason: Id bite and lick and youd arch your back to get closer
Callum’s breathing was shallow and rapid. With wide eyes and a flushed complexion, Callum wasn’t sure what to do. It had gone on far too long for him to ask Mason to stop, and truth be told, he wasn’t even sure he wanted Mason to stop and Mason hadn’t even gotten to the main event. The past ten or so minutes – Callum had lost track of time – of texts were all foreplay.
Mason: Were both hard as steel and i cup you through your pants before slowly removing them and your in just your underwear
Callum couldn’t help it when the hand not holding his phone slid down his chest, hovering over the forming bulge at his crotch. He bit his lip and hesitantly trailed his fingertips over the waistband of his boxer briefs, teasing the skin of his lower abdomen with a feather-like caress.
Just before his hand slipped past the elastic, his phone blasted out his ringtone, startling him. He scrambled to catch his phone that had slipped out of his hand in his surprise and checked the caller ID before sighing shakily and trying to collect himself.
“Hey, Georgia,” he finally answered.
Disclaimer: I don't know how to sext.