Joshua jumped as the sudden knock on his door disturbed him from trance. The pencil seemed to fly out of his hand, and he watched as it crossed the small space and fell to the floor.
“What do you want?” Joshua pushed himself up from his chair, groaning as he leaned over to pick up the pencil.
“It’s Gabe.” As always, Joshua perked up at the sound of his friend’s voice, his previous annoyance completely forgotten.
“Hey, man. What’s up?” Joshua said casually, twisting the pencil in his hand.
“Nothin’ much.” Joshua could hardly see Gabe’s face from behind the pile of books he held in his arms. “Jus’ needin’ some help in studyin’. Think you could help me out?”
“Yeah, sure man. C’mon in.”
Gabe slowly made his way through, struggling to keep all his books in his arms. Too late, it dawned on Joshua that he should perhaps help out his friend, but the books were already strewn across his bed.
“Is what’s ‘is face ‘ere?”
“Good.” Gabe plopped himself down on what space was available on the bed. “It’s just me and you, then.” He looked up at Joshua with a certain spark in his eyes.
Joshua looked away, trying to hide his blush. He said nothing in return.
Gabe frowned. “Oh, c’mon,” he said softly. “Just one more night?”
“Gabe, I can’t keep this up... It’s just not right.”
Gabe got up, taking a few steps forward. “You weren’t saying that last week.” He raised an eyebrow. There was a certain edge to his voice, which made Joshua’s skin crawl.
“That was last week,” Joshua muttered, still avoiding his gaze.
“You’ve made exceptions before. Why not do the same now?” He took a few steps closer.
“I’m a different man, Gabe,” Joshua protested. “It just... it doesn’t feel right anymore.”
“I can change that.”
Gabe leaned in, cupping his lips around Joshua’s. His arms wrapped themselves around Joshua’s neck, only pulling him tighter into the embrace. His eyes closed, as he let himself melt into Joshua’s arms.
Joshua stood rigid. His eyes were wide open, and his body was tense with anticipation to pull himself away from Gabe. But, as much as he wanted to tear himself away from it all, something held him still. As wrong as it was, the way Gabe’s lips suckled his own made it almost feel right.
Joshua finally let himself relax, and get swept away by those powerful feelings of romance. He leaned in closer, letting his hands guide themselves to rest on Gabe’s face. Gabe’s own hands moved down around Joshua’s waist, pulling them closer together. They began to wander even further down, catching on the edge of Joshua’s shirt, and starting to pull the fabric back up with them.
The feeling inside Joshua’s chest deepened, and, despite his proclaimed morals, all he wanted now was more. His heartbeat sped up, until all he could hear was its frantic beat bouncing around his skull. Gabe’s hands sliding across his bare flesh, their lips cupped around each others’; all of it felt surreal, like a timeless gap, filled with pure emotion and nothing more.
And then it was over.
Joshua crumpled to the ground with a started cry, clutching his side in agony. Hot tears streamed down his face, as he stared in horror at the crimson blood dripping from his fingers. He propped himself up on one hand, trying to get a better look at Gabe, towering above him, but the world seemed to be cloaked in a hazy fog, tinted with a crimson edge. He was hardly able to keep himself upright for long either, as a soupy mix of vomit and blood forced its way through his mouth, leaving him visibly shaking, and mouthing silent pleas of mercy.
Gabe only laughed, wiping a bloodstained dagger on his pants, leaving two dark stripes across his jeans at the thigh. He returned the blade to his back pocket, before looking at Joshua with mocking eyes.
Joshua just narrowed his gaze, unable to prevent the tears from leaking down his cheeks, and helpless to stop the blood oozing from the gash in his side.
After a fit of coughing up blood, he finally gathered the strength to croak out a single word, “Why?”
For once, Gabe took on a serious appearance as he said in a grim tone, “Because I love you, that’s why.”
And then he was gone, walking solemnly out of the room, with an empty expression, and bloodstains on his hands.