Chapter Twelve: Photos From the Past
Reggy opened his eyes blearily the next morning to find Kriss still fast asleep in his arms, his hand splayed across Reggy's chest and his breath tickling his neck. Reggy couldn't help smiling as he looked down at his peaceful expression. His smile widened as Kriss murmured something in his sleep and stirred slightly before settling down again, tightening his hold slightly. They both had the day off so there was nowhere to rush off to, in fact he'd be quite happy to stay in bed all day.
As he lay there, Reggy's mind wandered back to the conversation they'd had the night before. Despite his earlier conversation with Brad about Kriss's past boyfriends it had come as a shock to hear just how badly he'd been treated, pushed into an unhealthy relationship by the stupidity of his ignorant family. If he ever got his hands on any of them.....his arms tightened around Kriss as he felt his anger at their actions return in full force.
Kriss was one of the strongest people he'd ever known but Reggy knew that, deep down, the repudiate by his family was still an open wound. He vowed, right there and then, that he would do everything in his power to protect Kriss from ever being hurt like that again.
Kriss seemed to sense his change of mood, a frown creeping onto his sleeping face, and Reggy forced himself to relax, letting out a deep breath to rid himself of any residual tension. He glanced at the bedside clock and was surprised to see it was almost noon. They'd never slept in this long before, although it had been a particularly long day yesterday. He looked back down at Kriss and smiled as he remembered the thoroughly satisfying but exhausting conclusion to their evening.
"You're staring at me again," Kriss mumbled a few minutes later, keeping his eyes shut.
Reggy grinned. "Well you shouldn't be so damn sexy should you?"
Kriss opened his eyes and smiled sleepily. "I think you win that prize."
"I beg to differ," Reggy shook his head, giving him a good morning kiss as his stomach rumbled loudly.
"Hungry?" Kriss grinned.
"Yeah...for you," Reggy growled, rolling on top of Kriss and kissing him soundly. "We don't need to get up just yet."
"I can feel that part of you is up already," Kriss smirked against his lips.
"And he's found a friend," Reggy replied in a husky voice, rubbing up Kriss's body to create a delicious friction.
Kriss groaned then, in one swift movement, reversed their positions so that he was on top of a surprised but pleased Reggy.
"You're gonna be the death of me Reg."
"Hey, go out with a bang I say."
Kriss's laughter filled the room as he lowered his head to kiss Reggy again. Things were just beginning to heat up.
They emerged from the bedroom half an hour later in search of food, both with sparkling eyes and a rosy glow on their cheeks. Kriss was able to rustle something tasty up for them fairly quickly, a skill Reggy had been pleased to learn of early on seeing as he couldn't cook worth a damn. He couldn't even do toast without it being burnt to within an inch of its life.
Once their hunger had been satisfied they turned their attention to the various towers of boxes around the apartment, this being the first real opportunity to sort them out and decide what would go into storage. The apartment certainly wasn't big enough for everything.
"What's in this big box Reg? It's not labeled."
Reggy moved over to him with a frown and opened it. "Oh, it's my baby," he replied, his face lighting up with a smile as he lifted a guitar out and lovingly ran his fingers over it's smooth surface.
"I didn't know you played guitar," Kriss said in surprise as he watched Reggy's childlike delight at his discovery.
"I don't so much anymore but I used to be quite good."
Reggy gently strummed a few chords, immediately wincing and adjusting the strings until it was once more in tune. Then he began to play a gentle melody. Kriss smiled as he watched Reggy's fingers move expertly across the instrument and thought that his face suddenly looked much younger, the music regressing him back into his memories. Reggy finished the tune and smiled sheepishly.
"I'm a bit out of practice."
"Are you kidding? That was great," Kriss said earnestly. "I've always loved music but unfortunately I can't sing or play without perforating ear drums. I guess the musical gene skipped me."
Reggy laughed as he put the guitar down. "I'm sure you can't be that bad Kriss."
"Oh I am," Kriss smiled, turning to another pile of boxes. "Trust me on this one."
Reggy moved back to the pile he'd been sorting through, still chuckling.
"How many books?" Kriss asked incredulously a few minutes later as he opened a third box filled to the brim with thick volumes, varying from encyclopedias to fictional thrillers.
Reggy looked up from a box of personal items and shrugged. "I like reading. There was a time when I didn't used to have a whole lot else to do in my spare time."
Kriss gave him an understanding smile and continued to look through them. "Well there isn't room for all of them but I'm sure I can fit a fair few onto my bookshelves if I put half of mine into storage with the rest of yours."
"You don't have to do that Kriss," Reggy said in surprise, touched by the gesture, "this is your apartment after all."
Kriss put the books down and walked over to Reggy, wrapping his arms around him snugly with a serious expression. "No, it's our apartment Reg and it's only fair that we should share the space equally."
"Thank you," Reggy smiled, hugging him back while dipping his head for a kiss.
"What've you got there?" Kriss asked curiously, pointing to the box which Reggy was in the process of sorting.
"Oh just sentimental things, old photo albums and stuff from my childhood."
"Old photo albums?" Kriss smirked, plucking one from the top of the pile. "Now this I've gotta see."
He opened the album to a random page which was covered with photos of two boys, around nine years of age, playing at the beach. Kriss could tell which one Reggy was instantly and smiled, recognizing the sparkling green eyes and the familiar expressions although his younger face was free of lines and worldly worries. The boy beside him, captured mid-laugh, had a strong family resemblance with the same tall stature and thick wavy hair as Reggy.
"Your brother?" he asked without looking up.
Reggy glanced over his shoulder and nodded. "From another mother, childhood best friends. His name is Conner."
"He still lives in Idaho?"
"Yeah, Boise. We used to be close but....not so much anymore." Seeing Kriss's curious expression, he added, "He was one of the less approving members of my family when I came out."
"Oh," Kriss said, understanding dawning on his face, "I'm sorry."
Reggy waved a hand dismissively. "Hey, it's fine. I came to terms with his departure from my life a long time ago and I had my parents' luckily to lean on for support. It's certainly nothing like what you had to go through."
"Maybe not," Kriss sighed, "but it's still a loss isn't it? You must miss him."
"Sometimes," Reggy shrugged. "I'm not gonna dwell on it though."
Kriss turned a few pages and let out a laugh as he came across a picture of Reggy in his school uniform.
"Aww, don't you look cute," he cooed. "Nice hair," he added with a smirk.
"Hey, it was the seventies," Reggy replied indignantly, a smile breaking through despite his best efforts, "everyone looked like that. Besides you're hardly one to talk about hair."
Kriss put the album down and turned on him with a mischievous expression, hands on hips. "Oh, that was below the belt bigfoot."
"Bigfoot?" Reggy said, eyebrows raised in amusement.
"Would you prefer big bird?" Kriss asked with a grin, raising a hand to tap Reggy's nose gently.
Reggy calmly considered him for a moment then suddenly tackled him, Kriss letting out a shriek as they both tumbled onto the couch. Reggy knew exactly where all of Kriss's sensitive spots were and he put that knowledge to good use, his long fingers stroking and tickling as Kriss giggled breathlessly and frantically tried to grab his hands.
"Okay okay, I surrender," Kriss laughed, now gasping for breath.
Reggy grinned and ceased his torture, gazing down into Kriss's sparkling eyes and remembering a similar play fight on their first proper date a few months ago.
"I win this time," he said smugly.
"Uh-huh, and what would you like as your prize?" Kriss smirked.
Reggy closed the distance and kissed him; what began as a light playful kiss gradually turning more intense and stealing their breath again. Reggy gave Kriss's lower lip one last suck then lifted his head, meeting Kriss's heated gaze steadily.
"I've already got everything I ever wanted."
Kriss smiled. "Me too. Now get your sexy ass back to work and we'll continue this later."
"Yes sir," Reggy saluted, getting to his feet and pulling Kriss with him. They shared another quick kiss before returning to their respective piles of boxes, both with a newly found enthusiasm for getting the job done quickly.