Syed woke early the next morning, aware that he was freezing cold. He was facing the window, so he could see it was still dark outside. He guessed it was around 4am. He turned over to see Christian, still fast asleep, curled up in the bed sheets, leaving Syed with none. He smiled at the sleeping man, then pulled the sheet from over him. He turned over quickly, so it looked like he was still asleep. Christian sat up in bed, surprised at the rude awakening. Syed stuck his head in the pillow, trying to hide his laughter. Christian realised what must have happened, and joined in the laughter.

"We'll have to share body heat, then, Sy" he grinned at the man, who turned over and smirked back. Syed pulled Christian so he was lying right next to him, before wrapping his arm round his waist. Christian sighed and snuggled into Syed's shoulder. Both closed their eyes, and fell asleep together. Syed realised he would have to leave soon, but for once he didn't care. He was happy here with Christian, and he never wanted to leave him.

********* ******* ******

Christian woke to an empty bed, a feeling of disappointment rushing over him. He had known that Syed would have to leave early, but he never stopped hoping he would still be there when he woke up. He sighed sadly and got up, relying on a hot shower to clear his head.

He turned on the water, stepped in and closed his eyes. He let his mind wander, and it went back to Syed. Christian imagined that Syed was still there, right there with him. He smiled as he thought about what the two of them could be doing right this moment..... He quickly turned the shower down so icy water poured over him, helping to cast the unbelievable thoughts from his mind. Turning off the shower, he grabbed his towel and wrapped it round his waist, stepping through to the kitchen to make some much needed coffee. It was then he saw the note. It was lying on top of the coffee table, Christian's name scrawled across it in Syed's quick handwriting. Christian slumped onto the sofa, opened the note and began to read.


Last time I checked you were snoring like a train so I guess it might be a while till you get this. I had to leave, you know what my mother's like, she'd have a search party out if I stayed any longer. If life was fair, I'd still be lying in your arms right now, though I suppose if life was fair we wouldn't have to hide our true feelings. I know how cheesy this sounds, but I want you to know how much you mean to me. I've pushed you away, and now I need to tell you that I love you. I should have told you every day since the day I met you. I was scared of how I feel, but I can't deny it anymore.

My love, Always


Christian smiled to himself. He dressed quickly, before practically running over to Masala Queen. Luckily, Zainab had gone out for the morning, leaving Syed to run the business alone. Christian could see him tidying sheets of paper in the office. He darted towards him and threw his arms around Syed, catching him in an awkward but forceful embrace. Syed gasped at the sudden gesture, before relaxing and stroking Christian's hair tenderly. When Christian finally removed his head from Syed's shoulders, there were tears in his eyes. "Christian? What's wrong?" Syed asked, concerned. Christian looked into the younger man's eyes, a huge smile on his face. "I love you, too"

Syed smiled. He'd known it was true, but it made his heart burst with joy to hear it from Christian's lips. They both knew it would be difficult, and that there wasn't a way out of this that didn't involve someone getting hurt. But, at that, moment, neither one of them could think about anything other than each other, and as their lips met in a warm, gentle kiss, they felt truly complete at last.