Part 12 of Different Tracks with
Sophie Bonaste (Part 1, 7 and 9)
Charlie Cochet (Part 8)
Grace Duncan (Part 3 and 11)
Kim Fielding (Part 6)
Elizabeth Noble (Part 5)
Brynn Stein (2 and 10)
Suki Fleet (Part 4)
As Xander strode away down the drive, Peter stared after him feeling a little stunned. He totally hadn’t got what he was expecting there.
What he’d been expecting was for Xander to gloss over their night together as though it was nothing, making it seem as though Peter was making a big deal about something completely meaningless. He’d been prepared for that—he’d begun to convince himself that’s the sort of guy Xander was. And yeah, it kinda sucked but he’d had a good time that night–it wasn’t as though he’d lost anything, right?
Absently he picked at his sandwich, lifting out the ham and leaving the bread. He no longer felt particularly hungry.
The whole conversation had left him confused. Even Xander saying he was sorry like he really meant it had been unexpected. But the really puzzling thing was, if Xander was the sort of guy who fucked around and didn’t get involved, why had he seemed so tangled up and distressed when they were talking? Wouldn’t he be used to brushing guys off? And what the fuck did ‘you don’t want someone like me’ mean?
“You look like you’re thinking too much…I take it didn’t go so well?” Jo sat down on the scrubby hot grass next to him, drew her knees up and stared up at the cloudless sky.
This was her listening pose, but Peter wasn’t sure what to say.
“He told me he doesn’t do relationships.”
Jo put her dusty hand on his arm. “Deep breath, honey, and get back out there. Come out with me tonight? Hot pants and glitter, that’s all you need.”
Like Peter would be caught dead in hot pants. He pulled a face.
“It’s just…” Peter stared down the drive. He could see the wing of Xander’s car, just visible around the corner of the office, and wondered if Xander was sat inside—it’d be like an oven in this sweltering heat. But Xander had looked pretty upset, and down in the car park he’d be unlikely to be disturbed. “I don’t know…”
“It’s his loss, Peter,” Jo said sincerely.
“It’s not that.” It really wasn’t. But Peter really wasn’t sure what it was.
There was so much to do the afternoon went quickly, and true to his word Xander kept right out of Peter’s way. Peter was sure he even saw Xander ducking into a doorway to avoid him so they didn’t have to pass right next to each other as they carried supplies up to the different parts of the roof they were both working on. It was a little ridiculous. But maybe it was for the best.
At the end of the day, Peter hung on until he was sure everyone would have left before making his way out to his pickup. As Xander seemed so set on completely avoiding him now, Peter wanted to give him a chance to get out of there without having to worry about them bumping into one another. Mick had left him the keys to lock up and he took his time.
Despite Jo’s offer of a night out, Peter had no desire to go out or rush back home. His muscles were aching and he was happy taking his time and thinking.
The last thing he expected as he pulled his keys out of his pocket and approached his pick up was Xander shirtless and stuck beneath the bonnet of his car swearing occasionally, battery leads spooled on the ground around his feet. Xander didn’t seem to have heard him coming and for a moment Peter found himself staring at the ink work highlighting the hard muscles of Xander’s back, flooded with the memory of what those muscles had felt like as he’d traced them with his fingers tips—how even the lightest touches had caused Xander to arch with pleasure as he’d thrust inside Peter all slow and deep.
Peter had never been with anyone who’d fucked as intensely as Xander had. He’d never been with someone so completely locked in the moment, so completely locked in him, who’d looked him in the eye as he came and kissed him through it. Peter had never felt so utterly with someone and so completely seen, not by any of his lovers. No one. Fuck.
But sex was just sex and remembering Xander’s words from earlier, Peter took a deep, shaky breath and quickly shook the memory away.
Whatever reason Xander was still here, and however awkward it might be, Peter wasn’t the sort of person who could just get in his truck and ignore someone even if that seemed a pretty attractive option.
“Want a hand?” he asked, trying to combat the wary edge in his voice by speaking louder than usual.
Xander stood quickly at the words. Too quickly. He caught the side of his head on the edge of the bonnet and doubled over clutching his forehead, moaning something that sounded very like “fuck ow ow ow ow”.
Peter rushed forwards then stopped.
It had been a long time since he’d felt this uncertain of someone’s reactions, and possibly just as uncertain of his own.
“God, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you…you’re bleeding.”
Straightening up, Xander squinted at him. “I’m fine,” he said with a pained expression, hands pressed against his forehead.
“There’s blood running down your face…”
As Xander lifted his hand away, blood dripped onto the paving, and Peter could see a narrow gash across Xander’s forehead.
“There’s a first aid kit in the office,” Peter said, guilt and worry knotting together in his stomach. Head wounds bled a lot, it didn’t mean they were serious but it was a head wound all the same.
For a moment they both just stood there. Peter’s heart was pounding, he couldn’t take his eyes off Xander.
The way Xander’s shirt was hanging out of his back pocket like a rag, Peter half expected him to pull it out, wrap it around his head and carry on with whatever he’d been doing under the bonnet.
It was only when Xander began to sway from side to side, looking like a slight breeze would be all it took to knock him over, that Peter realized he was staring.
“You okay? You’re not going to pass out on me are you?” Peter asked hating how worried he sounded.
“I’m gonna sit down,” Xander said, his voice sounding thin as air sucked in through a straw. Gingerly holding onto the bumper, Xander lowered himself to the ground.
“Okay. Don’t move. I’ll be back in a sec.” Peter dashed up to the office still feeling guilty as hell for surprising Xander like that—it was one of those golden rules on the building site not to surprise your co workers while they were working.
Rooting through the first aid kit for spray on plaster and antiseptic, Peter briefly considered that some higher force was fucking with him by pushing him into another situation with Xander. But even if that were the case it didn’t change the fact that Xander didn’t do relationships. Though neither did it change the fact that the chemistry between them was still world-go-to-hell-intense, even if they were both trying to ignore it.
Peter knew he was just going to have to let this one play out, complications and emotions be damned.