SLASH BACKSLASH 3.0 CONTEST - 2nd place Judges Pick Winner
Title: If You Send For Me
Pairing: Seth / Carlisle
Disclaimer: Twilight characters belong to Stephanie Meyer; no copyright infringement intended.
Warnings: Slash (obviously) Angst
Word Count: 3776
Please see all entries at www . fanfiction . net/community/Slash_Backslash_3_0/74941/14/0/1/
A/N. This story was inspired by the beautiful song, Window to Window from the Off-Broadway revue, Naked Boys Singing. Yeah, go ahead, judge me. Like you don't want to see eight gorgeous, naked gay men on stage singing about love and sex. Twice. You can read the song lyrics on my blog – there's a link on my profile.
Enormous thanks to TruceOver for being an amazing beta - this lady is truly awesome, and to the incomparable HoochieMomma for the fastest pre-read ever.
Here I am again.
It's that time of night and I'm waiting. I'm half watching the TV, flipping through the channels, trying to find something to keep my attention for more than a few minutes. It's just past ten o'clock so it'll be any minute now. My eyes keep flicking to the window, watching for the bright yellow square lighting up his room, that will tell me he's arrived.
I try to relax but it's futile. Slumped down in the armchair, jabbing at the remote, I feel the familiar tightness of anticipation somewhere between my chest and throat. Ten past ten.
Any minute now.
I can't see much more than reflections of my living room in the glass from this position. I have the lights down low so I know that once I'm up close I'll be able to see out. I can't switch them off completely, or he won't be able to see me.
I catch the change of light in my peripheral vision and I'm standing and moving to the window in seconds. His window is bigger than mine, floor to ceiling glass, so I can see the entire room. The heavy drapes obscure the edges, but the huge bed is visible, as well as a dresser and a couple of doors, to a closet and a bathroom, I think. When he first appears it is such a relief. The day may be ending, but it feels like it's just begun. I watch him for a few minutes, moving slowly around the room. He puts down his briefcase and empties out his pockets onto the dresser.
Here we are again, playing the same old game.
The anticipation builds again; it's almost worse, half choking me, making my heart beat fast. He knows I'm watching him, he must know. I'm always here, waiting for him.
Any second now.
As he passes by the window he happens to look up. Just an accidental glance, exactly the same as last night, and the night before. He catches my eye again too, a wonderful accident I've been waiting all night for. We exchange half smiles as he continues past the window, seemingly intent on whatever he was doing that took him that way in the first place. I play the game, turning away to switch off the television before allowing my attention to be drawn back to the window.
I don't know exactly how long this has been going on. More than weeks. Months, definitely. Weekday nights only, Sunday to Thursday, shortly after ten o'clock. The first time we noticed each other, it really was by accident. I saw him first. The building opposite was brand new, yet another tower of plush condos springing up around my ratty old apartment building. My rent is so cheap because it's like living in a permanent construction site. It's only a matter of time before my building gets knocked down and replaced with something that will price me out of the neighborhood.
I hadn't realized anyone had moved in over the road yet, so when when the square of light caught my eye as I went to pull the blinds one night, I paused, curious. For a few minutes I didn't see anything, until he came into view through the window. I felt my face stretch in delighted surprise. He was gorgeous.
He was wearing dress pants and a white shirt with the top buttons undone, and was drying his face with a small towel. His longish dark blond hair was messed up from where he had rubbed the towel over his head. I noticed his broad shoulders, his slim hips, the way he moved so gracefully when doing the most mundane tasks. I remember thinking, how lovely - what an unexpected pleasure, to be able watch this stunning man without being observed myself. I couldn't tear myself away, feeling slightly like a stalker. He arranged his belongings and hung up his clothes; he switched on the TV but wasn't really watching it. I found myself wondering if he would take off his shirt, start getting ready for bed. I realized I really wanted him to, wanted to see what was under the crisp formal clothes.
It was only a few minutes before he moved to close the drapes. I wasn't entirely sure he could see me as my lights were down low, but he seemed to pause for a moment. My cheeks flushed and I hurriedly pulled the blinds closed. My dick was half hard and getting harder as I stumbled to the bedroom and allowed my imagination to complete the scene. I hurried to get out of my own pants and underwear and I thought about how he might strip off his clothes, unaware of my watching eyes. I wrapped my fingers around my now totally aroused cock as I thought about how he might lay naked on that massive bed and touch himself. I let myself imagine that he had caught a glimpse of me, and was thinking about me as he thrust up into his hand, just as I was thinking about him as I did the same. It didn't take long for me to get myself off, with those vivid images of in my head. I was left gasping, quite shocked at the intensity of my reaction to the beautiful stranger at the window. I knew I would look for him again.
Tonight, he's pouring himself a drink. I can see him clearly. He tips the drink to his mouth, tilting his head back to swallow it down. We're so near I can see his Adam's apple bob as he swallows. As he puts the glass down he turns his head and sets his gaze on me.
He walks towards his window and I am his mirror, being pulled towards him until only the glass and the narrow street in between us keep us apart. We smile widely as we acknowledge the next phase of the game, where we stop pretending that we don't know why we're here. He raises one hand and touches his fingertips to the window. We nod to each other, silently agreeing that we both like what we see.
Here we are again. I feel the passion rising slowly, so slowly. Everything about him is about waiting. The anticipation I felt waiting for him to arrive has given way to a different kind of waiting, wondering if tonight will be different, if he'll give me some sign, if he'll beckon to me, send for me to come to him. I love our distant encounters, I think about nothing else most days, but as more time passes I know I'm hoping for more. I want to share my dreams with him, I want to touch his skin, not just imagine it, I want someone to finally call my own. I want him.
He untucks his shirt from his pants, and then deftly unfastens the buttons using only one hand, the other still fixed to the glass. I slide my hand under my t-shirt, feeling the hard flesh of my abs, wondering what his fingers would feel like. I don't want to pull the shirt over my head yet as I might miss the moment he reveals his chest. He has to relinquish contact with the window to shrug his shirt off his shoulders, and I drink in the sight of him.
His skin is pale unlike my own Native American bronze. I can make out a dusting of hair across his chest and in a line down his stomach, but his hair is so light it's impossible to tell how much there is. He's perfectly toned, not overly muscled, just clean lines to his arms and torso that tell me he looks after his body. He's older than me, but I only know that from the maturity in his face; his body is strong and healthy and I long to run my tongue over every inch of it. We would look spectacular side-by-side, intertwined, light and dark, contrasting and complementing.
Tilting his head to the side, he raises his eyebrows slightly, indicating that it's my turn. I smile and reach behind my neck to yank my t-shirt off in one smooth movement. I've been motivated to work out a lot harder since I've been subject to his scrutiny and I'm pleased with the results. By the look on his face, so is he. His fingers twitch by his side and I know he longs to touch me the way I long for him. I show off a little for him, stretching my arms over my head and rolling my neck as I toss the shirt behind me.
His mouth falls open slightly and his eyes are hooded with desire. His hand moves to the front of his pants and I can see him palm his obvious erection. My breath hitches; I love the way I affect him. I drop my eyes and pop the buttons on my jeans, then slowly, teasingly slide them down. I step out of them and kick them aside, then slowly raise my eyes. I'm standing in my underwear and I know the outline of my hard cock is clearly visible under the fabric. I'm vulnerable, on display, open to him. He only has to make a sign, and I'm his.
When he leans against the window again, his whole palm is flat on the glass, rather than just his fingertips. He's rubbing and squeezing his cock through his trousers and I can see his breathing is as laboured as mine. I deliberately run my hand over my briefs and moan out loud, even though he can't hear me, throwing my head back in pleasure.
Sometimes this is as far as we get. Sometimes we just stop and stare. It took weeks to even get to this stage, after he noticed me watching him. I'd been embarrassed to be caught staring, but he hadn't looked away. The next night I'd switched all my lights off and he'd stood in front of the window, peering into the darkness, trying to catch sight of me. Over the next few nights we'd exchanged a lot of stares, a lot of smiles. The next week I took my shirt off. The week after that he did the same. This strange silent relationship slowly escalated day by day, until it was all I could think about, every waking hour and most sleeping ones as well.
I decide to take the lead tonight; I can't bear to wait any longer, so I slide my hand under the fabric of my briefs, gripping myself hard and stroking fast. When I look up again he's shed his pants and is doing exactly the same thing.
God, I want him. I want him.
This connection is real. It's magic. It could be perfect. We could share our lives. I would touch and kiss and caress him. He would bring me to the edge of heaven. If we can feel so much across such a divide, actually meeting each other would be explosive. We were made for each other.
Watching his perfect face twisting in pleasure, imagining the touch of his hands and mouth on me, feeling the rough sensation of my hand pumping ferociously on my cock, all combines to build me up so fast that I'm coming and crying out and pulsing over my stomach without warning.
By the time I'm coherent enough to focus on his window again, I can see that he's reached the same state of bliss and his head is now against his arm, leaning heavily on the window. We stare at each other for long moments.
I'm never the first to turn away. I hope, I hope, I hope that tonight will be the night. He'll beckon, he'll give me some kind of sign. I could be at the door to his building in two minutes. I know exactly where it is, I've checked it many times.
He smiles, but it doesn't quite reach his eyes, and he moves to pull the drapes.
No, no, no. Don't do it. Take a risk. Send for me. Everything with us would turn out right. End this silly game. I know you want me too.
As the two drapes almost meet in the middle of the window, he hesitates. One last peek.
Well then, until tomorrow night.
I hate working Saturday nights. I really hate waiting tables. Waiting tables on a Saturday night is therefore a particular form of torture.
I spent over two years straight out of high school waiting tables before I persuaded Marcus to train me in the kitchen. He runs a massive catering company, specializing in corporate events. He provides everything from the table linen to the silverware to the waiters and of course, the food. We work in venues all over the city, and sometimes even get driven out to big estates to cater society weddings.
I'm much happier in the kitchen, chopping and mixing and arranging food on plates. I'm never going to be a master chef; I don't have the drive or creativity to come up with new dishes or pair flavors in unusual ways. But I'm efficient and reliable, and I enjoy it most of the time, losing myself in the detail of the texture and colour of the food. Most important of all, I don't have to go out and be polite to assholes in tuxes and cocktail dresses who treat waiting staff as if they're invisible, or worse.
This Saturday however, Marcus has begged me to wait tables for the night. I don't usually work on Saturdays, but half his waiting staff have been hit by flu and he's calling in favors from everyone he can think of. There really isn't any question about whether I'll do it or not. Marcus isn't just my boss, he's the closest thing I have to family. Doesn't mean I'm going to like it.
Tonight's event is some charity dinner. My least favorite kind of people, wealthy, arrogant idiots, assuaging their guilt over having so much by giving away some small amount that will be insignificant to their lives. I'm assigned three tables at the far end of the banquet hall and just get on with it, wearing my polite mask, ignoring the snapping of fingers and rude demands. Every now and then there is someone among them who is almost human. There's a pretty dark-haired girl on one of the tables who actually says "thank-you" each time I fill her glass or set down her plate. I find myself smiling at her.
It's a long night, but finally we are clearing away dessert plates when I hear the clear ring of a glass being tapped, amplified by a squealing microphone, and the room is called to silence. I move to the side of the hall as is expected, to allow the guests to listen and watch the speaker uninterrupted. As I lean against the wall, I look up to the top table for the first time in the evening.
A man in a tux is getting to his feet, his back towards the waiting guests as he pushes out the chair behind him. As he turns to face the room, my stomach threatens to explode out of my throat.
It's him. It's the man from the window.
He's smiling and thanking everyone for coming. He's talking smoothly, cracking witty jokes, prompting ripples of laughter around the tables. He's totally relaxed, like he's done this a thousand times before. He's gesturing with his hands, his beautiful long fingers adding expression to his words. He's so damn perfect, his smile lighting up his eyes, speaking without notes, never stumbling over his words. Confident, powerful, mesmerizing.
I want him so badly, it's overwhelming. I resolve in that moment, that I'm not going to wait anymore. We've been playing the game too long. Somehow I'll persuade him, standing at the window; I'll persuade him to send for me, to beckon me over. I know he feels the same way about me; he wouldn't be there night after night if he didn't.
It occurs to me that there might be a quicker way. Maybe I won't have to wait until tomorrow night. I lean over to another waiter standing next to me, and ask in a whisper if he knows who he is. He looks at me in surprise and asks if I've been living under a rock.
"That's Carlisle Cullen," he whispers back. "He's some kind of multi-millionaire. Him and his wife set up the charity for their dead kid or something."
I'm not sure I can breathe. I hear all the words, but I care about very few. I don't care that he's rich. I don't care why he's here. The same words ring in my head, over and over again.
My eyes are fixed on the stage but I can no longer hear what the window man is saying. He turns to the side and gestures for a woman sitting next to him to stand. As she does so, he pulls her close, wrapping an arm around her shoulders and softly kissing her forehead. She's beautiful too, with long, wavy chestnut hair. Her smile matches his as they stand next to each other, gazing at him in adoration.
I think I'm going to throw up. I stumble out of the room, unable to bear watching or hearing any more. I stagger past the doors to the kitchen and manage to make it to the bathroom before collapsing to the floor. My body is heaving as great sobs explode from me. How could I have been so stupid? I've never even spoken to the man, I know nothing about him, and yet I've given away my heart to him so completely.
The pain is indescribable, yet I keep trying to find words to wrap around it, as if they will somehow bind it inside and stop it flooding my heart. Ache. Stab. Rip. Crush.
Why does he come to the window every night? What does he want from me? Do I love him enough to be his secret, to take whatever tiny portion of himself that he's willing to share? What if there is only ever the window?
I shuffle backwards until my back hits the wall and I bring my knees to my chest. I don't know how long I stay like that. Marcus is going to be livid, but someone will cover for me. My eyes feel raw, my ribs and neck ache and I'm barely able to take a breath without another whimper escaping me. There is simply no way I can go back out there and do my job.
Eventually, I think I may be able to stand, to walk on wobbly legs for long enough to get out of the building and into my car. I splash some water on my face and straighten my clothes, attempting to regain a scrap of self-respect. I use a service corridor I remember from previous jobs at this venue, hoping to be able to find my way back to the parking lot from wherever it exits the building. It curves around the side of the banquet hall, allowing waiting staff access at regular intervals. It would be quicker to go through the kitchen but I don't want to have to explain myself to anyone.
Of course, that would be too easy. A side door opens just as I pass it and I hear voices and laughter.
"We can go out this way I think," calls a deep baritone. "Let me just go ahead and check."
I freeze, and then force myself to breathe evenly. It's him, I recognize the velvet voice. As I hear the footsteps approach I feel my chest constrict and the tears start tumbling down my cheeks again. I can't stop them. I step to the side and look at the floor. I can't move. Maybe he'll just pass by without looking at me.
He sees me and slows.
"Oh, hello," he says brightly. "Can you tell me if we can get to the parking lot this way?"
I look up helplessly, unable to stop myself. I can tell he hasn't recognized me. He's seen the vest and tie that mark me as waiting staff and it hasn't occurred to him that he might know me.
I don't answer. I can't.
He finally looks at my face, puzzled that I'm not replying. Comprehension dawns on him. His mouth falls open and he too is lost for words. We stare at each other, as we have done so many times before. We're so close I could touch him, if I just lifted my hand, just leaned forward a few inches. Instead I wipe the wetness from my face, ashamed.
A clattering of heels breaks the silence and a woman appears around the bend in the corridor. A beautiful woman with wavy, chestnut hair. His wife.
"There you are, darling," she twitters. "I asked someone back there, we can definitely get out this way."
She's clutching a half-empty wine glass in one hand, and slips her other arm into his, pulling him forward without breaking her stride. She barely registers my presence until she seems to remember her glass, and waves it in my direction.
"Be a dear and take this for me," she says, not even looking at me. He lets her drag him away, his head turning to keep eye contact for a moment, and then they're out of sight. I can still hear her voice as they make their way down the hallway, until the outside door bangs and cuts her off.
I set the glass down carefully on the floor and slowly count a hundred breaths before following them. There's no sign of them in the alley at the back, but I take the long route around the front of the building to make sure I don't run into them again.
I get in my car. I drive home. I strip out of my stupid uniform and lie naked on top of the covers. More tears spill as I wait for sleep.
Here I am again.
It's that time of night and I'm waiting. My apartment is silent. It's just past ten o'clock so it'll be any minute now. My eyes are fixed on the window, watching for the square of yellow light that will tell me he's arrived.
Any minute now.
It's nearly eleven.
Any minute now.