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Bonus Scene from Magpie 5

(Scene between Chad & Romeo that I’ve cut from Five for Silver, but I liked it so I reworked it a little and posted it here.)


“You should be resting,” Romeo mumbled. He let loose an exasperated sigh just to nail home his disapproval at Chad in the kitchen.


Chad pouted. The chapped skin of his lips pulled harshly, and he abandoned the affronted look he’d been attempting. Yes, his cupid bow was dry from the endless tissues being wiped under his nose, but he no longer needed to be confined to the bedroom. 

His temperature had dropped. 

Chills had ceased racking his body. 


He felt better, if a little weak, and staring up at their patterned bedroom ceiling pulled at the threads of his sanity. Romeo looked him up and down, shaking his head at Chad’s comfort clothing. He wore baggy joggers, a T-shirt and a zip hoodie that hung loose. 


“Problem?” Chad asked.


“Your hoodie is inside out.”


Chad lifted his arm, and checked down the side. Sure enough, the label stuck out. “Maybe I like it that way.”


“Or maybe you’re still not quite with it.”


“I’m perfectly with it.”


“I put a bell by the bed,” Romeo shook his head. “You were supposed to ring it if you needed something,” he paused, “Or if you just wanted me up there with you.”


“It’s not that I don’t appreciate it.”


Romeo said something under his breath that Chad didn’t catch, but he carried on regardless, “But it was only a bad cold, and I’m feeling much better now.”


Romeo raised an eyebrow. “The tip of your nose is still red.”


“But it’s not running.”


“And your cheeks are flushed.”


“Maybe because you’re…you’re babying me.”


“Babying you?”


“The point is…I’m not made of glass, and you can’t lock me in the bedroom forever.”


Romeo tilted his head, staring at Chad. “Can’t I?”


Chad ignored the thinly veiled threat. “I thought, maybe, today could be a normal day.” 


“A normal day would be you at work.”


“Minus that part. A normal day for…you.”


Romeo slow blinked. “Huh?”


“You know I work on murder investigations. You know the names of my team, and things about them, but, other than the cold cases, I know little about what you do to…distract yourself. So, I thought you could just do what you usually do, and I'll join you," he frowned, "If you want me to that is, I don't want you to feel like I'm imposing."


“You want a day in the life of Romeo Knight…” he pinched Chad’s cheek, then let go, smirking.


“Yeah, I kind of think I do.”


“Okay,” Romeo strolled over to the backdoor. “Well first, we need to feed the magpies.”


“I’m not sure we need to.” Chad joined Romeo by the backdoor and slipped on his trainers.


Romeo shook his head at Chad’s choice of footwear before slipping into his mud coated wellington boots. He unhooked his oversized trench coat from the back door, already stocked with bird seed in the pockets, then stepped outside. 


Chad kept a healthy distance away from the attack. The magpies cawed and shrieked as they surrounded Romeo. He scattered seed from his pockets before calling out good morning as they began stabbing their beaks at the mud. They took it in turns to chuckle out their savage call, and one magpie in particular kept shooting Chad evil looks.


“That one,” Chad pointed it out to Romeo, “is wishing ill upon me.”


Romeo shook his head. “I’m seriously considering locking you in the bedroom until I’m certain you’re better.”


“I’m fine,” Chad waved a flippant hand. “Now they’ve been fed, what’s next?”


“A Spanish lesson.”


Chad groaned. “On second thoughts…”


Romeo had started learning languages to keep his brain busy. Not one. But three. He laughed and took Chad’s hand. “Too late, come on.”


“I failed French at school.”


“You’re English can’t be that great either because I said Spanish.”


“Yeah, I know,” Chad gave Romeo a playful jab with his elbow. “But I’m not good at languages in general.”


Romeo tugged him towards the outhouse.


“Can’t we do it in the living room, it’s cold in there.”


“I like the change of scenery,” Romeo replied, pulling him along. 


Chad found himself led through the door to the outhouse. He shuddered at the chill.

Romeo peeled off his coat, thought about hanging it on the back of the desk chair, but bought it over to Chad, wrapping it around his shoulders instead.


“Thanks,” Chad whispered.


“You’re welcome.”


The desk wasn’t into the middle of the room like on kill days but pushed into the corner. A laptop sat on top of the desk, and a stroke of Romeo’s forefinger bought it to life. Like Chad, Romeo wore joggers and a T-shirt, but unlike Chad, he filled them out perfectlyand hadn’t put anything on inside out. Chad admired him for a few moments. His shoulders, his flat stomach, the way his T-shirt stretched between his pecs.


His facial hair had bypassed stubble, verging on a beard. Chad shivered, remembering the sensation of it scraping against his thighs. It had been over a week ago since he’d tangled his fingers in Romeo’s hair, tugging while he—


“Almost time,” Romeo said softly.


“Time?” Chad cleared his thoughts. “Time for what?”


“My lesson.”


“Your what?”


Romeo snorted. He sat down on the chair in front of the laptop before patting his knee. “Come on.”


“I’m not sitting on your lap.”


“We only have one chair.”


“I’ll sit on the gym seat,” Chad said, retreating to the bench. 


“Suit yourself,” Romeo said, before tapping the keys of the laptop, clicking links and rubbing his chin in a studious manner, until “Hola!”


Chad’s gasped at the man on screen waving frantically at the camera. He had tanned skin, a thin beard and dark curls on top of his head. He grinned, showing off pearly white teeth as he looked at Romeo.


Looked. At. Romeo.


Chad stumbled to his feet, about to rush over and slam the laptop shut, but then Romeo replied, “Hola. Antonio ¿Cómo estás?” 


Chad’s jaw hit the floor. He blinked, mind whirling until he saw that Romeo had his camera off, not just that, but he’d stuck a piece of duct tape over the lens just to be sure he’d never accidently be seen.


Romeo looked away from Chad, replying to whatever the guy had said to him after their greetings. Chad returned to the bench, watching with wide eyes. He’d known Romeo was learning languages, but he didn’t know about the tutor. 

He’d seen the books, the apps, the installed programmes, but Romeo had kept Antonio secret. 


Chad didn’t know why.


And it bothered him.


Antonio chuckled, and smiled, and corrected Romeo when necessary. His eyes were a kind brown, like Keeley’s, and he bobbed his head as Romeo spoke, encouraging him to add more to whatever it was they were talking about.


Antonio was a handsome guy, and although Romeo couldn’t be seen, he still smiled, and laughed, and Chad realised it was the first time he’d seen Romeo acting like that with someone else. The prickle of jealousy had no right to be there, but it nipped at him anyway until he didn’t want to look at the screen any longer.


He picked his nails, staring at the floor as Romeo and Antonio went back and forth during their lesson. 

His unease grew, sparking damning thoughts and ugly voices in his head. They whispered to him that Romeo was with him out of necessity. Romeo was with him because he gave him an outlet, but he didn't choose Chad.


Chad had just been there.


Romeo had no choice but to take him.


But would Romeo had chosen him. If they'd met out at a club or a bar, would Romeo have approached Chad. He'd never asked about Romeo's flings, he hadn't wanted to know, but as Romeo smiled, and laughed with Antonio he couldn’t help but wonder what the guys he'd taken home long ago had been like.


Were they big and muscular, and blond? Were they young, and athletic with twisty bodies, and talented tongues? Did they have deep laughs and kind eyes like Antonio?


The lesson lasted for an hour, plenty of time for Chad's hidden away doubts to exploit his tired and worn thin mind. Antonio said his goodbyes, blowing kisses, and mumbling out words that sounded mildly flirtatious before winking. 

He ended the call.


Romeo turned to look at Chad. He raised his eyebrow. “That was my Spanish lesson.”


“You never told me.” 


Chad’s voice cracked as it left him. It had been an hour since he’d last said anything, and his throat had grown hoarse.


“You knew I was learning Spanish.”


Chad gnawed his bottom lip. “You never told me about him.”


“It wasn’t important.”


“What was the last thing he said? Before he winked and ended the call.”


Romeo tilted his head. “He said he looks forward to hearing my voice again, it makes him tingle all over.”


Chad bit his lip hard enough to taste blood. He looked away from Romeo. “Right…”


Romeo approached slowly until he stood directly in front of Chad. He took Chad’s jaw in his hand and used his thumb to pull Chad’s lip free of his teeth. 

Romeo tutted as he swiped the blood away.


“I was joking.”


“What?” Chad asked.


“He said ‘same time next week’.”


“Then why did you—"


Romeo pressed his thumb against Chad’s mouth to silence him. “I wanted to see what it felt like to make you jealous, turns out, I’m not a fan.”


Chad slumped. He licked his lip, catching Romeo’s thumb. "I was already jealous before you said that."


"Why?"


"He's a good-looking guy...you were smiling at him and laughing."


"He couldn't see."


Chad squeezed his eyes shut. "I know."


"And I don't smile at him like I do at you. I didn't laugh with him like I do with you either." He pinched Chad's chin. “It’s different.”


"I know," Chad exhaled, and he did know, he was just tired, and recovering, and Antonio and the thoughts that came with him had come from some deep-seated insecurity.

He knew he was being stupid, but he still blurted out, "If we'd have met before all this, would you have," he shrugged. "I don't know...taken me home?"


Romeo let go of Chad's face. "Your mind is a fascinating place."


"Is that a no?"


"Yes. If we'd have met before all this, and you looked at me like you do sometimes—like you just want me to devour you—then I would've taken you home. I would've taken what I needed from you without ever knowing your name and shoved you out of the front door the morning after. Is that what you wanted to hear?"


Chad frowned. "I don't know."


"I didn't have a type. I still don't. I have you. I only want you, and the more we go on this adventure together, the more in love with you I fall. You have no reason to be jealous of anyone, the living or the dead. I only want you."


"I only want you too," Chad exhaled. "Sorry, I…"


"And I'm sorry I didn't tell you about Antonio. I wasn't keeping him from you, he just isn't important. You are an idiot getting jealous over him though, sure you’re not still sick?"


“I’m fine.” Chad growled.


Romeo smirked.


“What happens now?” Chad asked, feeling lighter now Romeo had slayed his demons and silenced the ugly voices in his head.


“It’s gym time,” Romeo replied, pushing Chad in the chest until he laid down on the bench. He frowned. “The actual gym before you get any other ideas. Chest, shoulders, triceps, your biceps, your abs, your quads, hamstrings and glutes. By the time I’m finished with you, you won’t be able to stand.”


“So, just like sex then?”


Romeo laughed; a deep rumbly laugh that made Chad grin despite the torment he was about to receive from the man he loved. “No,” Romeo snorted. “Not like sex.”



****



Chad groaned like a dying animal, turning onto his side on the bench.


Romeo chuckled as he watched him. “Big…five letters, infant.”


“I’m not a baby.”


“You sure you don’t want me babying you after all?”


Chad ignored him. “My arms are so heavy. I think I’ve pulled something in my back.”


Romeo rolled his eyes, but there was fondness in them, and amusement.


“No more, Romeo, no more.”


“We’re barely forty minutes in.”


Chad groaned again. “If I had the strength to lift my arms, I’d put my hands together and pray for your mercy. Please Romeo, take pity on me.”


Romeo held out his hand. It took Chad a few attempts to swing his arm up and grab him. He whined lowly as Romeo hauled him to his feet. The muscles in his legs burned, particularly his thighs where Romeo had upped the weight on the leg press. Romeo kept him upright, wrapping his arms around Chad’s back.


“Please say we’re done.” 


Romeo hummed. “We’re done.”


“Thank God.”


“No. Thank me.”


“What next?” Chad asked. “Please tell me it’s something sitting down. Or lying down. Please say you have a late morning nap. We’re only halfway through your day and I’m already exhausted.”


Romeo laughed, swinging Chad slightly in his arms. “No nap, but I think I’d like to stray from my usual routine.”


“What? Why?”


“You like this…all vulnerable and defenceless,” Romeo bit his lip. “It makes me want to do things to you.”


“What kind of things?”


“Dirty things.” Romeo smiled. He leaned down, kissing Chad until his head spun. He tried to grip Romeo’s vest, but his fingers were weak, and he could only twitch them against the fabric. Romeo kept his arm tightly wound around Chad as he knocked Chad’s head to one side with his nose, giving him access to his neck where he sucked a mark before nipping the skin. 


Chad closed his eyes, letting Romeo mark him. Romeo pulled at the top of Chad’s T-shirt, stretching it so he could bite along the side of Chad’s neck until he reached his shoulder. The muscles ached. They ached enough for him to whine when Romeo sucked them, pulling at them with his mouth. 


"I hurt."


"I know," Romeo murmured.


Chad’s knees gave out a little, enough for Romeo to take a few hurried steps forward to compensate. 


Romeo spoke against Chad’s wet skin. “I would’ve taken you home with me and destroyed you, especially if you’d reacted to me like this.”


He snuck his hand up the back of Chad’s T-shirt, slipping over his sweaty skin. He dug his fingers into Chad’s over-stretched side, making him gasp, but he was too weak to struggle away. He gritted his teeth, forced to endure Romeo’s rough massage. 

Romeo skimmed his mouth back up Chad’s neck, then leaned back to look at him.


“And who knows, maybe if you’d looked at me like you are now, maybe if you’d begged for my hand around your throat like I can tell you want so badly…”


Chad nodded, albeit jerkily.


“Maybe I would’ve kept you, Chad. Maybe I’d have locked you away anyway, not knowing who you were or even your name, I’d have made you fall in love with me because me and you are meant to be.” 


Chad blinked back the burn in his eyes. Yes, that was what he wanted to hear. They were meant for each other. He smiled at Romeo, a weak, watering smile, before leaning up on his tiptoes to kiss him on the lips.


They weren't a fairytale, they weren't love at first sight, but Chad needed to hear that someway, somehow, they were always going to end up together. 

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