So maybe sitting on the benches at the stern of the ship wasn't exciting or thrilling. The sun had long since set, and above them shone millions of tiny stars, white pinpricks of light against black velvet. The chilly air was bearable and the only thing to be heard was the sounds of water against the hull of the ship as it sped along the North Atlantic.
Jonathan was on his back, sprawled out across a bench, while Kyle opted to sit upright, head tilted against the backrest of the bench. As devil-may-care as he may be, Kyle still couldn't see lying across a potentially dirty bench and ruining his suit—Mother would throw him overboard for sure.
"It's so beautiful out here," Jonathan says after an expanse of silence. Kyle nods, closing his eyes and breathing in the scent of salt. Underneath all the anger and bitterness he realized how lucky he truly was to be sailing on the world's finest luxury liner, how thousands of people only wished they could have scored a spot aboard.
The only problem was that the destination would inevitably take him back to Texas where he'd be forcibly thrown back into the family business, no matter how much he wants to run away. He wasn't sure where his mother would go once the divorce was finalized, and even though the two were almost always at odds she was still his mother and Kyle did love her.
"You know, I don't really know anything about you," Kyle says, turning to look at Jonathan.
"I'm not that interesting," Jonathan replies, still looking up at the sky. Kyle can't help but think that with a little sprucing up the third-class boy could easily be mistaken as the son of a millionaire or a wealthy young entrepreneur.
"I'm sure you are," Kyle presses.
Jonathan shakes his head. "Not compared to some of the other people you spend your time around, I'm sure."
Kyle sighs heavily. "Anyone other than those rich, pompous stiffs is interesting. At least in steerage you don't have eight different kinds of utensils."
"So you'd rather be with a bunch of rowdy, constantly-drunk Irishmen and various other immigrants that don't speak a lick of English?" Jonathan says skeptically, propping himself up to look at Kyle. The lighter brunet's hair looks almost white against the dark horizon.
Kyle doesn't hesitate to nod. "I can't imagine how much fun you must have down there—that's what being on a ship is supposed to be about, especially on a maiden voyage like this."
Jonathan looks directly into Kyle's eyes, keeping his gaze there so long Kyle shifts uncomfortably, unsure if he should be flattered or creeped out by Jonathan's rapt attention. "You really are like no one I've ever met," Jonathan finally says, a note of awe in his voice.
Kyle blushes and fiddles with his waistcoat. He wasn't sure why he was getting so nervous; Jonathan was, despite his charm and good looks, a third-class passenger. Kyle's mother had said right after they boarded the ship that first-class and third-class never mixed. That's what Kyle was doing right now, blurring the lines, so to speak.
It just… feels weird for Kyle to do this. He's not used to defying his mother, defying everything she's raised him by. As much as he's yearned to be free he'd never before had the courage to do so. By meeting Jonathan, Kyle could feel his moorings start to break loose, bit by bit, strand by strand, and he'd never felt more alive.
Kyle fills the temporary gap of silence between the two. "In my twenty-five years of life I've never once broken a rule, never mind toed the line." He looks intently at Jonathan and the other boy sits up, intrigued. "Meeting you was the first step for that. I've already told you that I want to get away, start a new life where it's okay to be poor and live your dreams."
"Come with me," Jonathan says suddenly, reaching for Kyle. His hands grasp onto the rough wool of Kyle's waistcoat, knocking him slightly off-balance. The kiss Jonathan presses to his lips burns like fire and stings like ice. "When we get to New York. Please, come with me. We can go to California. Canada. Wherever you want to go, I'll go with you."
Kyle lets out a small gasp and pulls away, gripping into the fabric of Jonathan's thin shirt. "I—I don't know," he admits honestly, captivated by Jonathan's dark brown eyes. "That's such a big step, Jonathan. We just met."
He's ashamed to admit that while he wishes nothing more than to leave with Jonathan, he's absolutely terrified. Despite his rebellious side Kyle was brought up straight-laced, mindful of all the rules and their places in everyday life. He knew that, despite his balking against being the heir to the company, he'd eventually take it over, continue on as yet another Burns running the most successful oil company in the greater Southern area.
Jonathan was what Kyle dreamed of being: free and strong-willed, taking each day and the problems that come with it on with a sort of gusto rarely found in young, monetarily-challenged men. Kyle admired that, revered it, even.
"But you felt it," Jonathan replies, words urgent. His breath wisps in front of him as he speaks, small vapors of gray-white smoke curling and curving towards the endless heavens. "You know what you felt, Kyle. I know." Kyle jerks away, suddenly nervous, and can only take in a few heaving breaths of air.
"I like you," Jonathan continues.
"But you barely know me."
"I know more about you than you think."
Kyle, still unsure, bites his lip and looks off into the still night. Jonathan sighs and takes his hand, saying, "We're on the Titanic. Why not do something completely crazy?" He presses lips soft as down against the back of Kyle's hand. The slighter brunet tries not to shudder at the feeling.
"Something crazy would be jumping off the ship, not running away together."
Seeing the despairing look on Jonathan's face makes Kyle sigh in resignation. "Jon, look—"
"Jonathan," the other boy quickly reprimands.
"Jonathan," Kyle says, "I do want to run away, and maybe if I get to know you better it won't be such a hard decision." He takes Jonathan's hands in his own, warming the slightly-cold fingertips with his palms. "Give me time."
Jonathan laughs slightly, though it's not as spirited as before. "You've got nothing but time. It's only the thirteenth. We're on the ship for awhile more. I'm not asking you to uproot your life for me, okay?"
Kyle frowns. "I feel like you are."
"That's not my intention," Jonathan pleads. "You are just so incredibly fascinating, Kyle. I'm captivated by you, in more ways than one. Is it so wrong for a man to be enthralled by another?"
"In most places, yes," Kyle replies, tone slightly scathing. "We are a minority, Jonathan. Pariahs in any social standing. No one must know what we do, or why we do it."
Kyle stands up, releasing Jonathan's hands as he does. He takes purposeful steps towards the railing of the ship and proceeds to lean against it, the bite of the chilled metal lessened under his wool overcoat. It only takes a few seconds before Jonathan's footsteps are heard behind him and he comes to stand beside Kyle.
"This is absurd," Kyle says, hair blowing about his face, tossed by a cold wind. His breath carries and disappears. He lowers his gaze down the side of the black-painted hull, watching the white caps of the waves lap and crash against the side of the ship. "I cannot even begin to fathom the consequences of being caught for our deeds."
Jonathan's voice is right next to Kyle's ear as he says, "Then don't get caught." He gently pries Kyle's hand from the railing, lacing their fingers together. "Live in the moment. Think of it: we're on a ship, thousands of miles from land with nothing but thousands of tons of iron keeping us afloat. What happens here will never be spoke of on land. That is, unless you wish to disembark with me." His eyes sparkle mischievously.
Kyle's eyes dart from their hands to Jonathan's eager face, looking so boyish under both the yellowish lights from the ship and the silvery light of the stars. Quickly checking to make sure no one is within seeing distance, Kyle leans in and closes the gap between them, pressing his lips to Jonathan's with a hungry desperation.
The noise Jonathan makes in the back of his throat stirs something primal inside Kyle, and he finds himself letting go, hands groping and touching, caressing and just feeling as their kiss deepens. Kyle's not exactly sure who suggested a room first, but Kyle knows that his stateroom is completely out of the question. They both agree on Jonathan's steerage room.
Navigating the ship and its corridors proves to be somewhat of a hassle. Besides being unable to keep their hands off one another, they giggle like drunken schoolgirls down, down until they reach E Deck. It's late at night, some time past eleven or so, and by now most passengers will be asleep. Still, Kyle is cautious even when Jonathan gets the door open and they enter, shutting it behind them.
An air of awkwardness settles around them for a few, seemingly-everlasting seconds, and Jonathan makes the first move, stepping forward and running a hand through Kyle's hair. Their eyes lock for the briefest of seconds before Kyle's stepping forward, pressing their bodies and mouths together simultaneously.
Jonathan moans softly, taking Kyle's awkwardly-placed hand from his shoulder down to the waistband of his pants. Kyle takes the hint and moves down further, cupping the hot heat of Jonathan's cock through the material. This time Jonathan whines, the noise louder, and Kyle increases the pressure, moving his palm in slow, circular motions.
"Shit," Jonathan gasps, leaning his forehead against Kyle's. "Yes, please." He cants his hips up slightly into the weight of Kyle's palm, slipping the overcoat off Kyle's shoulders, giving him no choice but to step back and shrug it off.
No words are exchanged as they both undress, a light blush coloring Kyle's cheeks as he slips off his trousers and undergarments. "You're gorgeous," Jonathan murmurs, gently touching Kyle's cheek with his fingertips, running the backs of his fingers down the elegant, swanlike curve of Kyle's exposed neck.
They end up in Jonathan's bunk, the space confined and suffocating, but they're both so lost in each other that they don't notice anything but their scents, the way their skin feels together. Kyle closes his eyes against tears that still leak out when Jonathan slowly pushes in, comforted only by the older man's soothing, encouraging words and gentle touches as he slowly sheathes himself to the hilt.
Kyle's breathing is strained, back muscles taut as he adjusts to the sudden fullness and pressure. When he nods, Jonathan's first thrusts are slow, almost painfully so, and it's not until Kyle manages to somewhat lock his legs around Jonathan's waist that he speeds up. They're both careful to keep their noises down as they lose themselves in a wall of heated pleasure.
Kyle feels himself getting close, and he grabs the back of Jonathan's head to pull him down for a kiss, stroking himself with his other hand. When he feels that familiar tingling low in the pit of his stomach he arches up slightly, moaning into Jonathan's mouth as he releases over Jonathan's stomach and his own hand. Jonathan comes not long after with a soft, wavering cry of Kyle's name.
They curl up in the small bunk together, sated. Kyle rests his head on Jonathan's chest, eyes half-mast. Jonathan lazily cards his fingers through Kyle's hair. "I'm really glad we did that," Kyle says after awhile, not long before drowsiness threatens to overtake him.
Jonathan chuckles. "I am, too."
"I—I may consider your offer."
Jonathan raises an eyebrow. "'You may'?"
"Mhm," Kyle hums, already mostly asleep. "We'll just have to wait and see."
Jonathan watches as Kyle's eyes slip closed and his breathing evens out. He smiles softly as he says, "Yes, we will."