Erik does come, but not until much later.

I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
What ever you see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.

By the time he steps into the foyer of the Estate, Hank and Logan have long since retired for the night to their own alcoves at the far west end of the house. If Charles is where he ought to be, Erik will find him in the library/study on the first floor, adjacent to the sitting room, just before the winding spiral staircase leading upstairs.

Erik closes the French doors softly behind himself, turning his spare key in the lock. It is a ritual of habit, needless considering his friend's near omniscience. But Erik learned long ago that one should always keep their doors locked. It is, in some small way, a means to relieve his anxiety.

I am not cruel, only truthful-
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.

He is very anxious to be back in this place. It is like he is Adam, once-exiled and now welcome back into Eden. A sudden, strong chill overtakes Erik, beginning in his scalp and shooting all the way to his feet. Welcome, Erik. I've been waiting.

Ah, there it is. The same sweet, melodious voice that he heard on the phone hours earlier, crisp and lilting in its enunciation. "Where are you?" Erik calls softly, his voice a soft murmur, little more than a whisper. It is enough. Come and find me, Charles answers in a similar soft fashion. I'm waiting for you.

"Waiting for me, for what?" Though he knows it is almost pointless to ask, he does so anyway, unable to quash his curiosity. Come and see.

Faces and darkness separate us over and over.
Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.

Erik walks ahead, obediently, and hesitates before the study's thick oak door. The grey tear-shaped knob glints at him, as if daring him to open it. Ready or not, Charles: here I come.

Erik closes a hand over the knob and pushes the door open. He cannot help but cringe when he hears the creaking whine of old hinges, but once inside the study he brightens at the familiarity of the surroundings: there is the bookcase, twelve tidy rows of leather tomes, ranging from Darwin's Origin of Species to the hefty light blue English-Hebrew Tanakh with gilt pages which Charles proudly presented to him on his birthday eleven years prior.

There is the desk, bright cherrywood with six drawers brought over from England. There is the fireplace, hosting a beautifully dim flame; there are the leather recliners and the coffee table where they once played so many games of chess; and there, sitting on the table, where the chessboard was once placed, is Charles. His long red hair has been neatly trimmed, but he retains a small, scraggly beard. He smiles knowingly, and his blue eyes seem to twinkle in the firelight. Erik thinks that he has never been more beautiful.

It takes him a moment to realize that he has been staring, mouth agape. He recovers and quickly crosses the room, sitting on the carpet beside the table, his eyes level with Charles' chest. He has been waiting, but now that he is here, Erik has no idea what to say. Mercifully, Charles breaks the silence.

"Erik," he murmurs and takes Erik's hand in his own, twining their slender fingers together. Charles pulls Erik close, and buries his face in his thick brown hair. Erik feels a light wetness, and holds his breath as Charles weeps wordlessly against him. Erik does not know quite what he expected, but this isn't it.

She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.

He returns the embrace, and presses kisses against Charles chest, fumbling with the blue silk material of his robe to reach more bare skin. His hands are rough, his lips infinitely gentle, as he pulls at the tie holding the robe together. The material falls, and Charles is exposed, whole and pure before him. Erik tears at his own clothing, carelessly ripping cotton and denim as he casts off his shirt and jeans.

Now he too is bared before Charles, body and mind. "Jeans, Erik, really? I didn't think they were your style. 'Overrated,' if I remember right. Wasn't that in September of '62, when we went on holiday in Paris? I would have gotten them for you, you know." Charles is teasing, of course. All of their time spent together amounted to about six months, from the time Charles saved him from the frigid Virginia waters to his paralysis and subsequent separation from Erik in Cuba.

"I got them free at a church function in Tarrytown. I normally wouldn't choose to wear such things, but then beggars can't be choosers, can they?" Erik laughs and leans back. With one hand he anchors Charles to the table, and with the other he rhythmically strokes and squeezes his thickening member.

Charles gasps, as Erik hoped he would. His mouth parts, and Erik takes it captive, eliciting more breathy gasps and moans as his hand continues to pump Charles' shaft. He steadily gets closer to his release, when Erik abruptly stops. Before Charles can whimper a word of protest, Erik has lifted him up. Holding his friend's soft dense weight, Erik quickly turns him around and bends down to run his tongue meticulously over his hole, an intimate action so deep that it scares him, a little bit.

Go on, Erik. What are you waiting for?

"Nothing," Erik mutters, and slowly penetrates him, Charles' breath coming out in rapid pants of fog against the glass tabletop. He has missed the sensation of Charles' body beneath his, the strangled moans that he fights but that he cannot suppress.

For a few, glorious moments they are one, as close as any two people can possibly be in tandem. Erik comes inside him, and his climax sets off Charles', who spurts his seed heavily across the glass. It is too much; Erik's legs buckle, and he pins Charles to the table. For his part, Charles enjoys the thick, gooey sensation of cum against his chest, revels in the pleasurable ache in his rear.

Erik gingerly withdraws, clutching Charles' hips with his hands. Charles exhales in a rush, and starts to shudder as Erik stands again, lifting him bodily and cradling him in his arms. Soon, he knows, he will have to leave again, and who knows when they will be together again?

Stay, the thought comes out as a plea, a piteous command as Charles clings to Erik's neck. Please stay with me!

"I can't," Erik replies, and plants kisses down on Charles' forehead, cheeks, and lips. "I'm sorry, but I cannot."

He holds Charles as he cries, waiting patiently until his friend has fallen asleep.

Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.

Gently, he uses his torn shirt to wipe the cum off of Charles' body and the tabletop. Somehow, Charles' robe has escaped tearing and soil. Smiling wistfully, Erik lays Charles back into the recliner and covers his naked body with the robe.

In a few hours, it will be morning, and Charles will wake up and carry on with his plans to run the school – and he will be long gone.

When will they see each other again? Soon, Erik hopes. I promise.