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 Cars and Calories {Brandon}

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Levi Jones
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PostSubject: Cars and Calories {Brandon}    15/7/2014, 01:57

The car in front of the warehouse had been sitting idle for two days, heat rising from the scorching metal frame. At first Levi didn't give it any attention, only a cursory glance every now and then to make sure no one had wandered up and stolen it from the seemingly abandoned street. It fit in with the surroundings, though, as it looked like something someone would leave and never return to. By Tuesday morning Levi had had enough of the inert vehicle taunting his curiosity.

“What a piece of shit,” he said as he walked around it, running his fingers through the baked on dirt and grime. The paint might once have been white, but was now a peeling beige that came off in chips near the wheels. The passenger side mirror was torn from the car, leaving jagged metal where it was once connected. He tried the drivers door: locked. A locked door had never stopped Levi before though, and it certainty wasn't going to now. He bent down so he was close to the window and removed a couple items from his back pocket, where they were put every day. With a little maneuvering, Levi placed a thin metal wedge into the window between the glass and the weather stripping, creating a small gap. He then took a small piece of coat hanger he had fastened into a rod with a hook on the bottom into the gap, fishing around for the locking mechanism in the door. A few quick twists and tugs and Levi heard the satisfying click of the lock disengaging and pulled the door open. The stale air rushed out, greeting him with the sickly smell of heated pleather and old air freshener. He crawled inside, inspecting the slew of loose change and left over action figures that must have been Josh's. Levi rationalized that it was Brandon's own fault that he was snooping around his car; he left it there, after-all. With a pull he opened the glove compartment, not really looking for anything in particular. A stack of pictures fell out, scattering across the passenger side floor. Levi crawled further into the car, bending over to pick up the photos and examine them.

There were groups of people in the pictures, smiling and laughing, or huddled together over a cluttered table. Levi spotted what he thought might be a much younger Brandon, his curly hair recognizable if not the bright and fresh faced young man. One showed a woman next to him, his arm wrapped around her as she smiled, radiant even in the faded picture. Levi turned it over, finding a scrawled message in red ink spelling out the obvious love between the two in the photo. With little regard he flung the pictures into the back seat, oblivious to where they landed.

Levi ran his fingers along the smooth bottom of the now empty glove compartment out of habit and was surprised when he found a small latch. It was a feature he himself had in his car, a small hidden space were he kept extra bracelets and fake i.ds, just in case he needed them on the run. Brandon seemed to think he needed a safe spot as well, as when Levi flipped the secret panel open he found a few items laying in the tiny space. A small brass key caught Levi's eye and he picked it up, feeling the weight of the old metal in his palm. It looked ancient. He briefly wondered what it could open, and instead of putting it back slipped it into his pocket. Who knew when it might come in handy? A little security measure, just in case Levi found a need to black mail Brandon. There was also a little bag of white pills in the space, which he avoided.

There were no spare keys laying around, none stashed in the glove compartment or otherwise tucked away. Since he had gotten this far, Levi shrugged and exited the car to grab a screwdriver and wire cutter, then returned to remove the panel under the steering wheel. It took him very little time to hot-wire the car; it was an action that he had performed more times than he could count. With the wires connected correctly the car sputtered to life, sounding more like a dying animal than a machine. The noise made Levi scrunch his face, repelled by the horrible condition of the car. It sounded barely functional; it was a wonder that Brandon had made it to his place in it at all. He definitely would not be driving it away in this condition.

Disconnecting the wire, Levi hopped out of the car and slammed the door. If he was ever going to get rid of this eye sore from in front of his home, then he needed to put some work into it. Otherwise when Brandon came to pick it up he would need a tow truck. Levi rushed inside to grab a black sweatshirt and his keys, then headed into town to get at least a replacement side mirror. As he drove his mind replayed what Brandon had said about leaving his car there, that the police might be looking for it. At first he did not think much of it; it was a statement he was used to hearing from his friends. Brandon, though, didn't seem the type to be running from the pigs. There was something else at play here, Levi thought, that he didn't know. And he didn't like that.

It was no surprise to him, then, when he drove close to the address on the front of Brandon's business card. He had never heard of a social worker for mutants, and to be honest he thought it sounded like a waste of time. If someone had an issue they couldn't solve themselves then they were fucked to begin with; Levi was a firm believer in fixing his own problems. He parked the car down the street and slid down into the seat, making himself seem preoccupied with something other than what he was doing, which was watching the doors and the windows of the building. It was a slightly better part of town than his home was in, which wasn't saying much. The sign on the front door said little of what went on inside; probably a precaution to the groups of mutant haters that would stop at nothing to make mutant's lives more difficult. What Levi was looking for he could not say. It was just an impulse that had brought him here, and like all of his changing ideas, he following it until something else sprang into his mind.

After a few minutes he saw the door open and out walked what looked to be a teenage boy, his exposed face and hands covered in resplendent golden scales. Poor bastard Levi thought, imagining how hard life must be for mutants who had no way to hide their talents and mutations. Brandon was walking next to the boy, talking animatedly and smiling. Levi slouched farther down into the seat, pulling his hood over his head. He watched as the boy left and Brandon walked back into the building. So it wasn't a sham. Brandon's card was the truth: he actually was working as a social worker for mutants. Levi was back to wondering why he felt like Brandon was something more than what he let on.

When Levi returned home the day was already reaching uncomfortable heat. He shed the black hoodie, leaving only a white tank top on to keep him cooler. Not wasting any time, he grabbed his set of tools from inside and began to attach the side mirror to the car. The new mirror didn't look quite right up against the faded paint of the rest of the car, but at least it was there. It would be one less thing a cop would pull Brandon over for, and Levi didn't care how well meaning he was; if the cop was human Brandon might get taken in for mutant testing. With the first task done he moved to the front of the car, dropping the tools on the concrete with little regard as he did so.

Levi popped the hood, coughing as he inhaled the acrid scent of motor oil. He spotted a few problems right off the bat: it looked like no one had touched the inner workings of the car in years. It was another thing that pissed Levi off; people seemed to think cars could take of themselves and therefore didn't take the time to learn even the most basic of maintenance tasks. He sighed, knowing he had a lot more work ahead of him today. Levi didn't question why he was doing this for Brandon, who was a virtual stranger. In fact he didn't think much about why he was doing it at all. It was just there, and Levi had the knowledge and skill to fix it. It was as simple as that. He worked through the heat of the afternoon, sun beating down onto his exposed arms, bronzing his skin and causing sweat to form rivulets down his back. Every so often he would wipe his arm across his face to remove the sweat from his forehead, smearing oil across his cheeks in the process. His white tank top was covered in dirt and spreading oil stains, his fingers black from the thick substance clinging to them. Levi neither noticed nor cared about the passing of the day, as he was focused on his task and occasionally singing along to the music of the Ramones that was blasting from the open door of his warehouse apartment.
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Brandon Conner

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PostSubject: Re: Cars and Calories {Brandon}    15/7/2014, 02:30

The bus rumbled underneath Brandon's feet. His eyes glazed over, looking out of the window at nothing in particle as the bus jerked to a sudden stop, making Brandon brace once more to the railings so he wouldn't fall. Even though he was dead tired, and wanted nothing more to do than to lye down, he gave up his seat for an elderly gentlemen. Now at that moment he let his mind wonder, moving to one idea to the next.

Brown with the dash of green was all Brandon saw. The empty lots and dirt fields were brown. Walls, fences, and buildings all brown. All of it stain by the baring heat and the unforgivable dessert. The only thing that broke up the monotony of the blain color was the green from the dessert trees. This was what Brandon thought about while standing in a crowded public bus.

For one topic to the next, Brandon moved on. He watched as people came and went on and off the bus. Most of them had expressionless looks on their face, as if the world held no joy anymore in their daily life. Questions started to filter in as he contemplate other people's happiness, and why for some, it was never attainable, which brought him to his own happiness. Was Brandon happy? Brandon could not say for certain if he was truly happy or not. He had a good job that he loved, food and a roof over his head, a child that he adored. This things did make him happy but Brandon wanted more out of life. He wanted someone to share his bed with. A person he could depend on. Someone who will not only look out for him, but his son as well. It was a tall order for anyone to asked for, especially Brandon being not so young anymore, but he held out for nothing less.

As his thoughts grazed the inner workings of his mind, he almost missed it, his stop. He hastily reached over, excusing himself to the other people around him as he pulled the yellow band that ran along the bus to signals the driver to stop at the next stop. Once the bus stopped, he pardon himself once again, untangling himself from the railing and squeezed himself through the mass of people, with no less than 15 grocery sake bags in hand. The moment he got off, the bus roared to life, billowing out black smoke in its tailpipe as it raced down the crowded streets of Vegas, the city that never sleeps.

If it was home Brandon was after he came to the wrong place. No house or anything resembling a home was in site. Gated communities of storage facilities line the street. Down the road, huge warehouses with the same tannish brown color that everything in Vegas had seem to triumph everything in the vicinity in number. Most every building was littered with graffiti, windows shatter and buildings that looked to have been abandon for years. This wasn't the place for one such as Brandon, who had no storage unit to speak of in his name and no warehouses to stash things in, but he still found himself on that particular street non the less, marching toward one of the many warehouses.

His muscle ached with the load they were carrying. More than once he had to stop to adjust the grocery bags so none of it would spill out all over the sidewalk. The straps of each and every bag left red and white indentation on Brandon's bare flesh, but the discomfort was mild compared to this morning days events. Brandon was almost to the warehouse, when he saw someone underneath the hood of his old rust bucket of a car. At first he thought someone was trying to steal it, but as he got closer, he realize it was just Levi working on it. For a time, Brandon did not make his presence known, watching the man work. Brandon was hardly interested in the vehicle or the mechanics behind fixing it up. He was memorized, by Levi, just like the first day they meet. He worked with the upmost concentration. It was only when Brandon realize he was gawking at Levi's gluts did he speak. "Breaking into a vehicle is illegal you know? Well, I guess it is only fair. My son did break into your home on Saturday."
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Levi Jones
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PostSubject: Re: Cars and Calories {Brandon}    15/7/2014, 03:10

The music was drowning out the footfalls behind him that Levi would otherwise have heard. When a voice called out to him he made a startled spin on his heels to face the direction of the noise. His body had tensed as usual, but immediately relaxed when he spotted the unassuming figure of Brandon watching him. He looked the same as he did when Levi had spied on him earlier that day, if a little more haggard. Levi's quickly moving eyes noticed the marks on his arms from the bags he has holding, which looked quite heavy. Instead of offering to take some of them off his hands, Levi only rolled his eyes and turned back to the car.

“You think I give a shit about whether something is legal or not?” Levi's voice, rusty from disuse and a dry throat, was muffled by the distance.

He was surprised to see Brandon standing there, though he had known in the back of his mind that he would be back at some point for the car. Levi wondered if he had spotted him this afternoon, and was now here to tell him off. Something about that didn't seem right, though, as Brandon had just spoken in a joking manner. Whatever the reason behind it, the sudden appearance was annoying. What if Levi didn't want company right now, which of course was the truth? Still, he couldn't help the nagging feeling that he was somehow glad to see the man again, despite what he told himself.

Levi reached up and grasped the hood of the car, pulling it down and slamming it shut. With another wipe of his forehead, he moved around the car, not letting Brandon's interruption stop him from finishing his work. He slid himself into the drivers seat, reaching down to connect the two wires still exposed from his previous attempts at starting the car. This time the engine purred into life, lulling healthily from under the hood. Levi smiled, knowing his work was done well. He pulled the wires apart again and exited the car, finally walking over to Brandon. He stopped just a few feet short of him and looked him over, no expression crossing his face.

“Your car should last a bit longer now. Would last even longer if you took care of it.” He turned back around, heading towards the door leading inside. He was hot, sweaty, and tired. The sooner he got rid of Brandon the sooner he could lie down and zone out. When he reached the top of the stairs he turned his head and called out, “Better hurry up and get going; whatever you have in those bags is going to go bad in the heat.”
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Brandon Conner

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PostSubject: Re: Cars and Calories {Brandon}    15/7/2014, 04:04

Levi's irritation and foul mouth did not put Brandon off, even in the slightest. It was kind of amusing to watched. Levi's brow would scrunch up, and his face settled across between an unamused frown and a scold look. It just made him look like a grumpy pug puppy at least in Brandon's eyes, making him grin even more at the expense of Levi's annoyance.

If he looked at Levi any longer he would bust up laughing, so he peeled his eyes away from the sour puss and checked out his car instead. Even though it looked the same with the peeling paint job, the scratches all down the driver side, and especially the orange, red rust staining the whole car, he knew it was light years better than it once was. His hand caressed the new side mirror that was the odd thing out on the vehicle, shinning metallic silver in the evening sunlight. "Why would I need to do that when I have a handy man right here?" He said jokingly. It only took Brandon a moment to figure out that Levi did more than fix up his vehicle, seeing his photos that were in the glove compartment thrown haphazardly in the back seat. He wasn't mad or angry at the violation of his personal things, he would have been disappointed if he didn't snoop. Levi most likely found the secret compartment in the glove compartment, even stole its content. But in fact, Brandon was disappointed by Levi finding only one of his hide-away places in the vehicle.

"The groceries are yours," he responded, following Levi up the stairs. The grumpy pug look was back, as Levi stood in the doorway watching Brandon like a hawk. "For your information next time, you should always check for false seat cushions and trunk for secret compartments." Brandon did not miss a beat, calling out Levi and his shortcomings, invading Levi's home once again, squeezing through a small gap between the door frame and Levi.
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Levi Jones
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PostSubject: Re: Cars and Calories {Brandon}    15/7/2014, 05:25

Levi watched in astonishment as Brandon squeezed his way through the doorway and into his home. The man had no sense of personal boundaries or of when he was not wanted. He even had the gall to insult Levi's skills at tearing his car apart! If he had wanted to he would have done a better job, probably.

“You're not interesting enough for all that trouble. What would I have found, back issues of Better Home and Garden?” He sneered, following suit and entering the open room. He shut the door behind them, effectively blocking out the heat and most of the sun. The interior of his place was much the same as it was three days ago, with the exception of new bed sheets. The bright evening sun was sending dying rays through the blinds, illuminating the room in a golden haze. Levi sighed heavily, trying to decide whether it was worth it to try to kick Brandon out. He would have a few minutes ago, but now that he was inside his mood had changed yet again and he was too apathetic to do much more than slump down onto a kitchen chair.

“What the fuck do you want? If you're here to play house wife again...” Levi let his words trail off as his mind shifted gears and he starting to imagine the man before him wandering around his home cleaning again, this time not as clothed as before. A grin spread across his face as he looked at Brandon. He sprang up from the chair, remembering how his shirt was sticking to his sweaty skin and how uncomfortable it suddenly was.

“Make yourself at home, I guess. I need a shower. Or do you prefer the grease monkey look?” He laughed mockingly as he walked past Brandon, half hoping for another playful response. When he reached the bathroom he purposely left the door partially open; if Brandon was going to interrupt his life, he was going to make sure he did his best to make him uncomfortable. Besides, this was his apartment, and he wasn't about to change his habits for Brandon's sake. Levi switched on the hot water, steam beginning to pour from the heated water. He stripped down and stepped in, enjoying the scalding water that burned his skin, only for the pain to fade away immediately. Hot showers were one of Levi's favorite things. As he was washing the grease from his hands and arms he tried to think why he felt comfortable enough to let Brandon wander his apartment while he was showering; trust like that was not something he gave easily. It was too hard for him to focus on, though, and he soon was again thinking of a million things at once. The Ramones were still playing from the stereo in the other room and Levi found himself tapping out the beat onto the shower wall as he continued washing up.
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Brandon Conner

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PostSubject: Re: Cars and Calories {Brandon}    15/7/2014, 07:48

"Nope. Not issues of Better Home and Garden, more of the latex persuasion if you get my drift?" He said, setting down the bags of groceries, giving his tired arms a rest. Of course what he said was a joke, but he never had this much fun since, well, back when he was a child living with his parents and his huge extended family. There were no such thing as personal space in his family, it is probably why it feels so natural just barging in for a second time in Levi's home, goading him like with his family so long ago. Maybe he was pushing his luck, not really knowing Levi and all, but that too was half the fun about it?

And Brandon did not come half way across town just to annoy the man, he came for a reason. "Seeing as how you feed my son ice cream, I thought you might not have any substantial food to dine on, so to repay my thanks for Saturday, I thought I would make you dinner." He did not really care if Levi, a manly man, thought cooking and cleaning was women's work or a sign of submission. He could shove that thought where the sun don't shine. Like he told Levi on Saturday, he repays his debts.

He rubbed his biceps, trying to message the soreness out of them before getting started. "Grease monkey, huh? Nah. I already got one and your not it," he said following the man's path with his eyes. He did not know if Levi heard him or not as the man stepped in the bathroom, leaving the door a jar. He heard the shower turn on through the open door. The sound of water falling always reminded him of summer storms back in Wisconsin.

Now that Levi was out of the way, Brandon could get to work with out interruptions. He pulled open the lean meat for pot roast. He bought more food than stuff to make pot roast, but it was an easy thing to make, maybe a little time consuming cooking in the crockpot and all, but after the few hours, and if Levi got tired of Brandon and kicks him out, there would be nothing else to prep. First, he had to sear the meat. He turn around to see the kitchen in disarray. The sink still overfilled with dishes, even Godzilla, which Brandon accidentally left last Saturday was still there. The floor still had, know dried ice creams stains that Joshua made and don't get him started about the clutter all over the warehouse. He couldn't do any cooking in this house, so he decided first clean than cook. Lucky for Levi, Brandon also bought cleaning supplies.

The first thing he did was load the dish washer. After it was packed, and he turn it on. It did not rumble like his piece of junk one at his apartment, but a simple hum as it clean the dishes. Than next he had to clear the floor, before he could mop and get the stains off the floor. The floor had mostly clothes. He did not know which pile was clean or dirty so he gather them all up, and hunting for the washer. He did not see one in the living room, or in the kitchen tucked away somewhere so he had to cross the bathroom to look on the other side of the apartment.

Was he tempted to look, of course, but he kept his eyes forward. Right by the bathroom door in a nook held the washer and dryer stacked on each other. They were top of the line appliances like everything else in the home, which could hold large loads without any trouble. It must be nice being wealthy, he thought to himself while sorting the clothes. Three piles were form: white, black and colors. As he was shorting the clothes, at the corner of his eyes he could see the water vapor billowing out the open door. Maybe? No! He looked at what he was doing and not the bathroom door. He wasn't a pervert. He tried to stay focus but the sound of gushing water, the smell of clean, fresh scent (probably from a bar of soap) waft in the air drew his attention.

He only took a peak, seeing only Levi's silhouette through the fog glass, the mixture of steam and water cascading down his back and off his body. "Don't forget to wash your cheeky bum," he said to Levi, like he always told his son, while bathing, before turning on the washer for the first load.
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Levi Jones
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PostSubject: Re: Cars and Calories {Brandon}    15/7/2014, 08:44

The water was beginning to lose its heat, cooling the longer Levi remained in the shower. He was washing his hair when Brandon called into the room from just outside the door, no doubt taking the opportunity to look in through the half open door. Levi smirked, pleased that his ploy had worked. He honestly had not known what Brandon would do when he stepped into the shower, but he was now slowly beginning to learn more about him by his actions. Instead of some snarky remark, though, Brandon seemed to be treating him like he was as young as Josh. Levi had never had parents that cared; at the best they viewed him and Sally as objects to accrue value with. He had never received prompts or reminders such as what Brandon was saying, and even if it was in jest Levi couldn't help but laugh. The older man was showing himself to be someone who couldn't turn off his care for others, and Levi was not used to dealing with such people. He didn't know whether to keep laughing for get annoyed at the treatment.

“Are you kidding me? Can you shut your mouth for five minutes and let me shower in peace?”It was with equal measures frustration and amusement that he yelled out from the shower. Levi wouldn't admit it but Brandon's easy remarks and quiet wit were starting to grow on him. It was not an easy thing for Levi to make friends, and he was perfectly alright with that. Yet, it was nice to have another person around to talk to, especially after he had gotten used to spending so much time with the girls back in California.

A few more minutes of steam and Levi was turning the water off and stepping out of the tub. He wrapped a towel around his waist after drying off, exposing his heavily tattooed chest and arms. If Brandon had wanted to peek in on him in the shower then Levi was not going to deny him this view. He strode out into the main room, confident and slightly arrogant. When he looked around he failed to see his usual mess strewn apartment, but a place nicely cleaned up and even slightly organized. He groaned at the sight: now he would never know where anything was.

“What are you even doing? I'm twenty-five fucking years old, I can take care of myself. I told you before I don't need you to do this.” Though his words were harsh Levi's hard expression was fraying, starting to betray his bemused mood. He stormed across the now clean floor over to the dresser and pulled out a pair of clean sweat pants and a t-shirt before returning to the bathroom to put them on, this time with the door firmly shut. Playing around was one thing, but Levi knew better than to start something he wasn't sure he wanted to finish just yet.

Freshly showered and clothed, Levi was beginning to slip into a better mood. He walked into the kitchen area and leaned against the counter, foot tapping onto the hard wood incessantly. His blue eyes settled on Brandon, flicking over the delicate lines that were beginning to form crinkles around his eyes when he smiled. Levi wondered how old Brandon was, then. Old enough to have a kid, at least. With a quick hop Levi perched himself on the counter, legs dangling over the edge. If he was stuck with Brandon for the night he might as well make the best of it. He grabbed a knife from the dish strainer nearby and casually tossed it up into the air, catching it by the handle each time it plummeted back towards him. Levi looked back to Brandon, seeming to pay no attention to what his hands were doing. His grin resurfaced, this time more playful than he had shown Brandon yet. “Ok, old man, what's for dinner? Wow me with your domestic prowess.”
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PostSubject: Re: Cars and Calories {Brandon}    15/7/2014, 10:26

It was a cacophony of noise in the apartment with the washer, dish washer both going, the shower being on and the radio still blaring all other noise seemed to be droned out, except for Levi's laughter. Levi's bemused irritation did not escape Brandon's attention, but he kept his comments to himself as he bent over the floor with a bucket in hand, scrubbing the floor around the bed, kitchen and common area. It was back breaking work to peal off the dried ice cream, forgotten booze stains and other such crude but he finally got the floor clean, when the bathroom door open all the way and out walked Levi. Even though Levi walked proudly only in a towel  to the dresser, showing off his tone physique  and his tattoos in all there glory, Brandon paid him no extra attention as he went about his business, making the bed.

As he folded the first sheets in the upper corners, Brandon noticed on each nightstand recent photos. Both of them pertain to a women, different women in fact. One was a black and white photo of Levi giving a girl a piggy back ride. He did not look to happy as she pinch his cheeks. Brandon could not tell if they were related or not, seeing how from the start the photo had no color but also the photo itself was grainy and somewhat blurry. The other photo was crisper and in color. It was a casual photo of Levi and a petite blonde woman at a diner, eating. Brandon did not judge Levi being a playa, or so they call it these days. It was his life choice. In fact, these photos brought out a side of Levi that Brandon wished to see more of. The side of him that makes these photos precious to him.

"Just like any adolescent child would say," Brandon said before the bathroom door slam. Another comment surfaced, which he did not dare repeat. It went along the lines of being shy and inadequate penis size. He was getting the last cover on when the door open once more and out walked Levi, fully clothed this time. He popped himself up against the counter, tossing a knife up and down without any thought, which in fact drain Brandon's energy reserves even faster. He did not say anything as he too joined Levi in the kitchen, watching opposite from the island as Levi caught the knife with the slightest of ease between two fingers. Brandon also ignored the domesticated comment, taking the context of the word in a negative light because he assumed that was what Levi meant by it.

"Well I was going to make you pot roast but seeing as how it is approaching seven now and I had to clean up your shit, it won't be done until 10. I could make spaghetti, hamburgers, ribs or steak? It is up to you," he said, finally able to de bag the groceries and put them away. It was obvious by the amount of stuff in each and every bag that it was well over 200 dollars spent for Levi's groceries. It wasn't just only meat, but fruits, vegetables, sauces and cans. Brandon never did anything half ass.
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PostSubject: Re: Cars and Calories {Brandon}    15/7/2014, 18:02

He watched distractedly as Brandon moved about the kitchen putting away the various groceries he had brought over. His eyes narrowed when he realized how much stuff there was being shoved into his fridge. Brandon had better be taking all of it back home with him; it would only go to waste here. Besides, didn't he have a kid to feed and provide for? Levi had been managing to feed himself since he ran away from home as a teenager – sure, sometimes he didn't eat for a few days, but he hardly noticed that when he got busy. His fridge was never fully stocked, but with the way he moved around so much it didn't need to be. He would have to remember to force Brandon to put everything back into the bags and his car before he left. As soon as the thought was finished it moved to the back of his mind, likely to be forgotten soon. Levi had never been good at remembering to do anything he planned to.

The way Brandon was still moving about kept Levi's eyes focused, but his mind wandering. He thought to the last time he had a meal cooked for him, and realized it wasn't too long ago. Sally was fond of cooking, and he supposed she was pretty good at it; he really couldn't tell gourmet from a frozen burrito, so all the hard work was usually lost on him. She had cooked for him before she left him here in Vegas a couple weeks ago, telling him she was certain it would be the last time he ate well until he returned to California.

“I'll eat whatever you put in front of me. As long as its not brussel sprouts.” Levi made a pained expression, wrinkling his nose in disgust. “Sally tried to force me to eat them once. Literally forced. Those things are not edible.” He laughed then, a genuine sound that thinking back to the times with his sister brought on. What would she say if she saw this scene, with the older man taking over Levi's kitchen? Probably something lude, and the thought made him laugh even more. After a moment the laughter subsided and he placed the knife, which had been resting comfortably in his hand for a few minutes, back into the dish strainer.

“Make the pot roast. I don't care. Don't you have a kid to get home to, though? Or is daddy playing hooky tonight?” His voice lacked the derisive tone he had been using since Brandon showed up, and instead was becoming more light hearted, like when he teased Sal or Ember.  

As he waited for Brandon's answer Levi sauntered over to a cabinet by the fridge and pulled out a bottle of amber liquid and unscrewed the top with a twist of his palm. The woody smell of whiskey washed over the small kitchen, slightly burning the inside of Levi's nose with its brisk ethanol scent. It was a high quality whiskey, one of the few finer things in life that Levi cared to spend his (or rather, other people's) money on. It was strong, aged to perfection, and very likely to get most anyone drunk if they were not careful with it. Levi, however, would have to drink most of the bottle to find himself stumbling or losing track of the night. His healing factor worked from the inside, as well, and his liver was put into overdrive when he drank, quickly filtering out the toxins that the alcohol brought into his system. While he sometimes wished he could get sloshed like his friends, it was mostly a benefit. He could drink anyone under the table and emerge merely buzzed, still capable and in control.

While Brandon worked on cutting vegetables farther down the counter, he filled two small glasses with ice and splashed the whiskey out of the bottle and into the now clean glasses. He took a large drink from one of them, feeling the alcohol wash over his tongue and warm the inside of his throat as he swallowed. Malty and smooth, the taste lingered on his lips and he sighed satisfyingly. After he put his glass down he picked up the other one and held it out to Brandon. “Take this,” he said - a demand, not a question if Brandon wanted the drink or not.
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PostSubject: Re: Cars and Calories {Brandon}    15/7/2014, 20:49

The fridge, the freezer and one of the several empty cupboards were all moderately stocked now. As Brandon worked around the kitchen, he hardly uttered a single word. Usually he reveled in any peace and quite he could get throughout the day, but this wasn't one of those times. Brandon looked over his shoulder to still see Levi starring at him. He could not help giving a genuine kind smile his way, wondering what he was thinking throughout the layers of his mind. It didn't take very long for Levi to grant his wish. "Your in luck," he said chuckling a little as well, finding the rough and tough Levi to have an adorable laugh. "I despise brussel sprouts as well." You can grow a boy into a man but you can't make the man like brussel sprouts anymore than he did when he was a little boy. "Whoever likes them are surely aliens," he said, acting more like a kid than a 35 year old man.

Brandon, now riffling through the lower cabinets, found the cutting board, a large non stick pan easily enough because everything seemed well organized, but he couldn't find a crock pot. The only cupboard he hadn't checked yet was being blocked by Levi. Levi didn't move when Brandon approached him and Brandon did not asked him too. The boy was fucking with him, trying to see how far Brandon was willing to go before feeling uncomfortable. Brandon was only to happy to play his game. Brandon got the door open no problem. The only problem was the crock pot was between his legs. Every possible insinuation, innuendo, and possible accident, seeing as how the knife was sitting idly on Levi's lap, crossed Brandon's mind. It would have made anyone else think twice, especially how it would look if anyone walked in at that moment, but Brandon wasn't just anyone. He crouch down, retrieving the crock pot, all the while never breaking eye contact with Levi.

Once up on his feet, he answered Levi's question. "Joshua is sleeping at a friends house. No one home to go home too, tonight." Brandon did not reveal that it was Josh's idea to come visit the monster after work, more like pestering him to come so Brandon could have a sleepover too.

He went back to work, putting the frying pan on the stove with a couple teaspoons of oil, letting that heat up. He picked up the knife that Levi just placed in the dish strainer and started chopping the fresh vegetables. First it was the carrots after being thoroughly washed. To pass the time, Brandon asked a question that Levi did not really have to answer if he didn't wish too. "You have a fully furnished home. Did you do this or did your girlfriend, Sally choose the decor?" He wasn't insinuating that Levi did not have taste, seeing how he choose masculine, grey, silk sheets, it's just that Levi did not seem like the type of person to waste money on things he would never use.

The shot of whiskey sat in front of him, taunting him. He wasn't going to deny himself of the simple pleasures like alcohol. Before he down the whole glass, he said, "I hope this is not a ploy to have your way with me. I am not that easy."
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PostSubject: Re: Cars and Calories {Brandon}    16/7/2014, 00:26

Levi burst out laughing, shaking his head vigorously when Brandon said the words Sally and girlfriend in the same sentence. “Oh, god, no! Well, yeah, Sal did decorate this place but she is most definitely not my girl friend. She's my sister. Twin. Best friend. Whatever.” His laughter faded to a chuckle. “God help anyone who turns out to be her boyfriend. You think I'm bad, she's ten times worse.” Where did Brandon get such a ludicrous idea like that from? Besides, Levi wasn't much of a relationship type...at least not lately.

The corner of Levi's lips raised slightly when Brandon suggested he had an ulterior motive for pouring the drinks, and was pleased when he watched the amber colored alcohol disappear from its glass. He grabbed the bottle from the counter and poured another two glasses, downing his second one quickly. Two shots was nothing to Levi, but his competitive nature was springing up after watching Brandon take his first shot with ease.

“Trust me, if I wanted you I'd have you. You may not be 'easy' but I usually get what I want.” He took a step closer to Brandon, close enough to smell the lingering scent of dark coffee clinging to his lips, now mixed with the spice of the whiskey, and an earthy musk Levi could only assume was given off by the heat on Brandon's skin. The combination of aromas, so close to Levi now, could have driven him crazy. His muscles even made miniscule sharp twinges, wanting to move even closer to the source of their enticement, yet Levi demonstrated rare self restraint and in an instant he was halfway across the room.

Cool it, man. Levi thought to himself, his fingers brushing through his slowly drying hair. Under most any other circumstances Levi would have acted on his urges, as he was not in the habit of denying himself much, but this time he felt different. The image of the kid, Josh, forced its way into his mind; Levi wasn't about to play home wrecker to a mutant kid who actually had a good thing going with his loving family. The young mutants needed all the stability they could get and Levi would be damned if he was going to fuck that up.  With another agile movement he was suddenly lounging in the arm chair by the bed, long legs draped over the arm casually. The venom in his voice returned when he looked back into the kitchen at Brandon.

“So, no one to go home to, huh? What about Josh's mom? What, she leave you in the dust when she found out you were a mutant, or did she wait until she found out you like dick?” He smirked from his position in the chair, waiting to see what his taunting would do to the so far easy going Brandon. Levi was trying to hit a nerve, to spark something in the other man's calm demeanor. He was pushing him, prodding at what he assumed  would be weak points in his armor, wanting to see what would happen when he found the right thing to tear apart. It was a game he played so frequently with people that he no longer really knew why he did it. It was just another thing that Levi couldn't stop himself from doing; his mouth spat out whatever came to mind, no matter how much damage it could do. Like a coin, though, it had two sides. He could be rude and condescending, but he could also be persuasive and alluring; call it a bad boy type of charm. Levi wasn't too adept at knowing when to use the right side, though, and so sat there insulting a man whom he was starting to enjoy his time with instead of working towards a more civil interaction.
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PostSubject: Re: Cars and Calories {Brandon}    16/7/2014, 01:42

Brandon placed the chopped carrots, the baby onions and the chopped celery into the crock pot beside him, when he heard the oil from the skillet starting to sizzle. It was ready for the lean pork, he got at the butchers. Using the knife, he cute the packing rope, and untangling the roast from the paper film. It already had the spices rubbed into it, rosemary and thyme, crush red peppers and other spices. Once placed in the pan, the oil started to sizzle and pop, sheering the meat on one side. He grab tongs and started to reposition the meat, not letting the meat settle to prevent it from sticking.

Over his shoulder, Brandon saw Levi slowly approaching, looking at him funny. Did he had something on his face? He was always paranoid about having food particles in his beard. Out of habit, he ran his hand through the stubble on his face, brushing away the non existing food particles off his face. "Umm..." But before he could say another word Levi scooted away from him and now sat in a chair in the living room.

"Josh's parents, both his mother and father are not in the picture anymore," he said it casually as if it was nothing more than a McDonald's menu and not something very personal. He flipped the pork roast over on the other side to cook it just as long as the first. "They used to be supporters of mutant kind, but when their son showed signs that he was a mutant they freaked, and their true colors showed." As he went on his tone became more mute, less expressive, until just the thought of Joshua being abandon like that, on the side of the road, made him angry, wanting to lash out. "DAMN IT," he yelled, slamming his fist on the counter. The counter was okay, but a shooting throbbing pain shot up his arm. Maybe his hand was broken or bruise but it hurt like a bitch trying to hold the tongues in that hand as he lifted the pot roast out of the skillet and into the crock pot. "He only has me now. I hope that is enough."

At that moment the washer buzzed signaling the end of the wash cycle. As if the prior conversation never happen, Brandon reverted to his flirtatious playful side. "Sweet cheeks, would you mind putting the whites in the dryer and loading up the dark clothing next?"
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PostSubject: Re: Cars and Calories {Brandon}    16/7/2014, 07:53

Levi's apathy soon turned to interest, then rage, and finally concern as Brandon's story of Josh's origin caused his moods to go haywire. It was a tale he had heard many times over; a mutant unwanted in a world that hated them. It made him fume, want to track down these so called sympathizers and beat them until his fists were bleeding and skinned to the bone. He could hear the same wrath, if more contained, in Brandon's voice. The yell and slam into the counter caught him by surprise, for he had so far seen only restraint from the other man.

“Hey, careful.” Levi stood up and slowly walked over to Brandon, ignoring his request to change the laundry and the topic. He was no longer giving Brandon the cheeky glare he had plastered to his face up until now, but instead a look of concern in his ice blue eyes. “Lemme see.” He took Brandon's hand into his gently, gingerly turning it over and examining the damage the punch to the granite counter had caused. The hand was surprisingly soft, yet steady in his grasp. “You're gonna have a bruise, but nothing's broken. I do that all the time, I know. Lay off the self-abuse while you're in my home though, alright tiger?” He let Brandon's hand fall back to his side, still feeling the warmth it had left clinging to his skin.

“If Josh has got you he's got more than most mutant kids get. More than I got. Well, I had Sal, but our parents...it would have been better if we had been abandoned, too.” A glint like steel crossed Levi's eyes, hardening his expression. He felt the anger bubble within him again at the memories of what he had went through as a kid, the beatings he took until he learned to fight back. No one should have to go through that, and Levi was not above showing people like his parents a taste of their own medicine now that he was capable. Eyes refocusing on the present, and on Brandon, Levi's expression softened again. “What I mean is he's a lucky kid. Whole fucking world out there trying to ruin him and he's got someone looking out for him; that's gotta be enough.”

Who did Levi have looking out for him? Sally, maybe the girls and some others. He could trust them, but he didn't want them getting into trouble for his sake; he didn't want them to have to risk anything just to look out for him. He could shoulder it all himself, whatever risk he took and whatever trouble he made – it was his alone. Maybe it was his changeable nature, maybe some deep seeded fear of losing those he let get close, as he had with his parents, Sally, Matty... Everyone he cared too much about left his life some way or another. It wasn't worth the trouble half the time. Josh and Brandon, though, they were lucky to have each other. He could never be comfortable with that responsibility, but he was glad someone else was.

He turned away from Brandon, aware that the other man wanted the conversation to be over. Like a good boy he listened and made his way to the washer and dryer, figuring since it was already started he didn't have much of a choice but to finish the chore. He unceremoniously tossed the clothes into their respective machines and slammed the doors shut, the sound loud in the suddenly quiet apartment. With his task done Levi returned to the kitchen, pulling a chair out from the table and pointing to it commandingly. “You've cleaned my apartment - against my will - and started dinner. Now you sit down and stay put or I'm going to have to get a rope and tie you to the fucking chair.” Levi wasn't even sure himself if it was an idle threat or something he may actually do. It was hard to tell just what he was capable of.

After Brandon had taken a seat, finally, Levi had the chance to sit across the table and take a closer look at how tired he appeared. The lines and dark circles under his eyes were more visible than when he had walked in, his posture more slumped now that he was no longer moving. “So, what are you, like fifty? You know they make hair dye to cover up those nasty gray streaks you have,” Levi asked, teasing. It didn't matter that he found the whole look rather appealing. Brandon didn't need to know that, at least not yet. They had all night.
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PostSubject: Re: Cars and Calories {Brandon}    16/7/2014, 22:12

Brandon only had time to turn off the stove before Levi swooped in from out of no where, like an agile cat on the move, to take Brandon's hand to examine it. His hands were rough, not surprising, seeing he is an athlete of some sort, but also his touch was gentle. He cupped both of his hands around Brandon's, only making him jump once as he applied pressure to the center palm, seeing if any of the small bones in the hand were broken. His gentle touch, the concern in Levi's eyes, they took Brandon off guard. When Levi withdrew his hands from his, Brandon too hastily retreated. Just one touch sent Brandon into a tail spin of a need to be close to Levi. He never acted on those impulses knowing full well that he had no chance in hell with him.

He turn away, ashamed for having those thoughts at a time like this. All he did was nod every once in awhile as he continued the work he was doing, all the while pondering about his Joshy, and would he be happier with two parents, who loved him unconditionally. It was hard to admit, even to himself, but Brandon's only response was yes, he would be. He would have two someones to hold him when he is scared, who stayed by his bedside while sick, who would go to bat for him every time. Joshua deserved a stable environment that a duel household could provide.

He finished off the meal. Only what was left was adding the vegetable stock, some water, and a few other ingredients to add a little more flavor. Now that it was done, he had really nothing to do. He kicked back and watched Levi work. With all of Levi's agile and grace, not to mention confidence, it was hard to watch him do this simple task of loading the washer and dryer. It was like watching a bull in a china shop. It was bad. It seemed like it was Levi's first time ever doing laundry. "Don't forget to add the laundry detergent," he said, because it looked like Levi was going to shut the door without adding it. Brandon guess, Levi wasn't about the domesticated home life. It was kind of funny watching Levi fumble like that, funny and sad.

"BDSM, my favorite," Brandon said, taking his glass of whiskey to the chair across from Levi. It was good for him to sit down. He had been on his feet for most of the day. He was tired, but he hid it from Levi better than their last encounter. He drank the liquor more slowly this time, savoring the taste. It was a little watered down by the ice melting, but still had the desired taste to satisfy any man after a long hard day of work.

The gentle, soft look was gone from Levi's face. He looked at Brandon critically. Brandon's old paranoia kicked in making him feel uneasy in his seat. What was he looking at? Brandon could not help but smile even before Levi uttered a single word. "Fifty? Hardly, I would have you know the salt and pepper look makes me look distinguish." Brandon ran his finger through the curls in his hair, before turning the tables on Levi. "What about you? Huh? What age are you? Let me guess. You act like a twelve year old, I.Q. of a six year old and the manners of a two year old. I am guessing around there."
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PostSubject: Re: Cars and Calories {Brandon}    17/7/2014, 03:07

Brandon's response to the threat of ropes caught Levi's attention and he leaned forward across the table, decreasing the distance between them. “Don't tempt me,” he purred, the smirk on his face one he saved for occasions that usually lead to clothes strewn haphazardly on the floor. He leaned back in his chair, stretching his arms behind his head and resting it in his hands. The sleeves of his shirt had pulled up, displaying more of his toned biceps. If Brandon was going to make provocative comments so was he.

Levi's eyes flicked up to Brandon's hair as he ran his fingers through it and spoke, though did not supply his age as asked. Levi became distracted by the bounce of the curls and his fingers twitched on the surface of the table, wanting to reach out and do what Brandon's hand has just done. He caught the end of Brandon's insult and returned his focus to what was being said. “Fuck you. I'm twenty-five.” He retorted.

“And I'm not an idiot. You didn't answer my question. What's the matter, old man? Embarrassed? Worried you're too old to keep up?” Levi's voice was venom seeping through his lips. He didn't like to be insulted, and Brandon's words had pissed him off. It was a reflex for him to snap back, to attack Brandon with even more malice than he had before. He did not think before he spoke, did not have time to consider how mercilessly he had been assaulting Brandon's self confidence. “Sorry,” he mumbled under his breath a moment later, barely audible. It wasn't like Levi to apologize, but for some reason he felt like he had suddenly done something wrong by taunting Brandon. It never should have bothered him; he had said worse things to people with less reasons, but he couldn't look back up into Brandon's eyes again until he apologized. The man was cooking him dinner, after all. He might as well stop trying to make him storm out the warehouse in a rage.

With a shift in the seat, his feet now propped up on the table and long legs stretched out in front of him, Levi's expression suddenly became mischievous. “I saw you at work today. Your office building is a shithole.” He was staring right at Brandon, not wavering in his confidence. Yes, he had pretty much spied on Brandon. So what? He wasn't going to hide what he did; it wasn't something he was ashamed of. In fact, he thought it might let Brandon know he didn't give a shit about what most people thought was socially acceptable or not. Levi did whatever he wanted, not caring what anyone else would think. He could have stayed there, watching the building from his car, or he could have even made his way into the building if he had wanted to. He was adept at such things, and letting Brandon know he had his eye on him was like letting him know that he could be dangerous, and not care about the consequences.

“What kind of job is 'social worker for mutant-kind' anyway? You dry their tears and tell them everything's gonna be ok? That their mommies and daddies love them? Lie to their faces about how fucked up the world is?” Despite his jaded attitude to the subject, Levi was genuinely interested in what Brandon actually did for the mutants he had seen exiting the building. If he provided useful advice and support, well, that was admirable and Levi couldn't hold it against him or speak ill of it anymore. However, if he was just another sham that gave false hope and added to the progression of mutant kind into sheep, then Levi would be ready to kick Brandon's ass out of his apartment with no regret.
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PostSubject: Re: Cars and Calories {Brandon}    17/7/2014, 04:22

One thing you have to get straight about Brandon is that he did not just fit into one category, he tried them all. Yes, he was a father, who loved his son very deeply and wouldn't do anything to hurt him, but he was also a man with wants and desires of his own. The flirtatious banter, his leering, he tried to keep it at a minimum around his son to set a good example. But his son wasn't here, and it was all harmless good fun. Brandon did not expect this to go anywhere, seeing as how it was doom to fail before it even started. Levi was straight and way out of his league. He was handsome and charming (when he is not being a total ass), Joshua wouldn't shut up about him. Why not do a little harmless flirting?

Brandon did a double take, wondering if he heard that correctly. Was that an offer? Nah. Levi was once again being a dick to get a rise out of Brandon. It did not stop him from fantasizing about the notion, watching Levi lean back in his seat, flexing his already bulging muscles as if to remind Brandon on what he lacked. His insecurities about himself was one of the reasons why, it prevented him from finding a serious relationship. Levi was probably the first boy he ever flirted with since becoming a dad.

The only thing Brandon could do about Levi's insensitive comments about his age is laugh about it. When his hearty laugh died down some, he answered, "Old man? Ha. I may be old but I have the stamina of a ox." He chuckled some more, before dying down. He too was being insensitive jerk, but it was just to good to pass up. "I am thirty five and No need to apologize, Levi. I don't take your taunts personally. It is kind of nice having someone who doesn't care about what other people thinks of him, his words and actions. That is what makes you so interesting."

He did not expect the conversation lead to his work and Levi being so open about stalking him. Once again, it did not really surprise him. Brandon doubted that Levi would let Brandon into his home for the second time, unless he checked up on some of his suspicions. "Well we are a small group, mostly made up of mutants but a few mutant sympathizers help also. Are aims are geared toward the individual, not the institution usually. Yes, we counsel mutants. We also do job placement, housing for run aways, parenting classes for parents who seeking help and other, let's just say not governments sanction actions. Our biggest job is to teach mutants though. About themselves and who they are. We get teens, who are runaways, scared out of their mind and not able to control their powers. We teach them that their powers are not to be feared."
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PostSubject: Re: Cars and Calories {Brandon}    17/7/2014, 18:22

Levi was taking another drink of his recently refilled whiskey glass and nearly spit it out when Brandon compared himself to an ox. Instead he swallowed hastily and joined in with Brandon's laughter. With a quick wink he said, “Did  you not hear me a minute ago? I said you better not tempt me or you might get something you're not ready for, old man.” The back and forth was relaxing Levi, making him more comfortable with the other man in his home. It was all in good fun, for he had no illusions about Brandon's intentions.  

Levi was relieved when Brandon told him exactly what went on in his job. So he wasn't a fake. While Levi was part of particular underground organizations working diligently for mutant rights, there were things his circles could not do. Function right under the sight of the government, like Brandon was doing, being one of them. It took all types of institutions to fuel change, and places like Brandon's office did their part. Starting to think about the system and the way the world was run by anti-mutant scumbags made Levi jump up from his seat and start to pace the room in agitation, much like a caged animal.

“Good. Better than most of the other people trying to 'help' within the system. Fucking mutant haters and the government treating us like we are nothing but bugs to be eradicated. You know how many of those kids I see on the streets, too? Fucking tons. Hide outs in the sewers, ware houses like this? All banged up and scared and nowhere to go because of these little metal chains?” He picked up a pile of I.d bands that were laying on the bedside table, curtsey of Glitch, and flung them across the room, metal tinkling together when they hit the floor. “You get involved but you just end up on the run the rest of your life, moving city to city trying to stay ahead of the pigs chasing you. It starts the moment you feel that power – the moment you leave your home behind you. These kids don't fucking deserve this. You're doing something good. Trying to change that for them. Giving them something else to turn to other than what I see when I'm out there. You gotta expand, get offices in other cities. Coulda used one in New York about ten years ago.”

Levi had inadvertently been reciting the story of his own life as he spoke, riled up about the way in which so many others had grown up. Would he have turned to a life of crime and rebellion if there had been someone like Brandon around, someone who gave a shit about him and his life? Would Sally have learned to control her powers, to avoid slipping into that coma? How different would his life have been if there were places that actually helped mutants instead of prosecuting them? Levi couldn't pass it off as wishful thinking; this is what he was working towards. Equality, acknowledgment, improvement. Brandon was part of the same cause as he was, and that sparked a feeling of kinship and respect in Levi towards him. He rounded on him, stepping back to the kitchen table with a huge grin on his face, the fervor of his speech replaced with enthusiasm.

“So the kid, he's a little punk isn't he? Bet he's a handful for you; kid had more energy than I did and I'm not known for sitting still.” Levi recalled his constant energy when he was a kid, even more than he had now. He was always moving, being thrown out of class for not staying in his seat. The only thing that had put a dent on it was his martial art and gymnastic classes. They had helped him focus and use his gifts with more intent and ease. While they did not sap his energy or fatigue him as much as they did the other kids, he was able to contain himself until he got to class and did slightly better while at school and at home.

“You got him doing any sort of physical thing? Like sports? Helped me when I was that age. Kept me from bouncing off the walls so much and my parents from pulling their hair out. I could show him a thing or two if you -” Levi stopped abruptly, shook his head, and continued his pacing. Why had he been about to offer to hang out with Josh? This was a one time thing; he wasn't going to be seeing Brandon or Josh again. The idea of him showing the kid some moves to keep him active was stupid. He didn't want to be spending his valuable time with a five year old or an old man. Right?
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PostSubject: Re: Cars and Calories {Brandon}    18/7/2014, 01:57

The jocularity behavior was eclipse by the truths Levi spoke. He had sparks in his eyes and fire in his soul.passion was his weapon as he spoke about his convictions. To be honest, his words were like a reflection in the mirror, Brandon saw himself in them. He too was unwanted by his strongest supporters, the Catholic Church. Run out of town because of fear mongrels. "Always on the move till you find that one place where you just fit in." He did not realized it till after the fact that he spoke out loud. Brandon got the sense that Levi too was speaking from past experiences.

He took a hard sip of his whiskey until there were nothing but ice left. The poisonous nectar seem to do the trick of pushing away his dark past. Even though he did not ponder it any further, it was still in the back of his mind, lurking, chasing him. Sooner or later his past would catch up to him and than where would he be? What about Josh? Brandon had to remind himself that he wouldn't let that happen. He wouldn't let anything bad happen to his son. That was a promise he made on the day he sign the adoption papers.

"Sometimes he can be a handful, but he is a good kid."

It was a natural transition for a father when pondering his past and what has yet to come to think about his children. But for Levi to do it, especially about his kid, it was kind of weird, in a good way. "I've tried on several different occasions. They never worked out." He didn't go into details about it, because it was the same story for a lot of mutant kids. They accept Joshua on their team, but when Josh gets over excited, his powers start acting up, disqualifying him by the couches because it gave him an unfair advantage over other players. He was his own basketball team, he was his own quarterback and receiver, he could get to home base in less time than it would take the ball to travel ten feet.

He was caught off guard even further, when Levi was in mid offer to spend time with his son. This no nonsense badass, who doesn't give to shits on what anyone thinks of him, was offering to play with Joshua. Brandon thought it was a one time deal, Levi being nice to him, using his body as a shield because of his natural instinct, but it was more than that. Brandon felt like Levi generally like the kid, even going as far as caring for the kid. It made Brandon like him even more.

"A marshmallow, that is what you are. A big, soft, gooey marshmallow." Brandon generally meant every word of it. With his sad puppy dog glare, and his soft side coming out, "it is kind of cute," Brandon said, waiting for Levi's wraith.
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PostSubject: Re: Cars and Calories {Brandon}    18/7/2014, 07:10

When Brandon spoke it seemed to come from far away, his voice distant and quiet. His words were a longing that Levi had heard before out of many mutants mouths, though never his own. “Fuck finding a place to fit in. Make your own.” Levi was not about waiting around, or spending his life searching for anything but change. He didn't need to fit in, didn't need others to make him feel like one of their own. He was comfortable where ever he was; all it took was knowing that you never would fit in, and realizing that that was ok.

Levi was across the room when Brandon spoke next, and his words at first left Levi off guard. A marshmallow? What was he going on about? Very few people had ever called Levi cute, and never in such a childish way. He was then annoyed; all his tactics that usually left people uneasy around him were failing when put up against Brandon. He was far from ill at ease, but seemed to be growing more fond of Levi as the night wore on. It was time to step it up a notch, to let his body and instincts take over briefly. It was easier than trying to comprehend just what Brandon was trying to accomplish by taunting him. So Levi did the first thing that popped into his mind, curious to see how Brandon would react.

“Cute, huh? You're gonna go with cute? Not provocative? Sexy?” As he spoke Levi moved with all the grace and finesse that years of gymnastics had given him and his work as a dancer had refined. His strides were long and languid and when he reached Brandon he stood with a poise the exuded appeal. With Brandon sitting and him standing the other man would have to tilt his head to look up into his face, which was currently locked in a devilish smile. “You tell me where you think I'm soft or gooey, go ahead. I doubt you can find somewhere, though finding something big is another story. That shouldn't be too hard.” His voice was velvety smooth, dangerously quiet and close to Brandon's ears. His mood shifts were hard to map, and now even he was unsure why he was now so close to acting on his constantly tugging impulses.

Levi suddenly let out a bark of irritation and walked away from the table, unable to keep up the ruse and worried he might take it too far. The look on Brandon's face was killing him; he couldn't tell whether his advances were being acknowledged and ignored or if he was making the older man uncomfortable. Either would have been acceptable, he just needed to know. What had he been expecting, anyway? It was a joke, so why did part of him wish that Brandon would stop being such a tease and actually back up what he had been saying throughout the night. It was starting to get on Levi's nerves now that he thought about it. He walked over to a bookcase, organized neatly thanks to Sally and the fact that he rarely touched it. With a quick swipe of his hand he picked something off the shelf and put it into his hand before walking to the table yet again.

“Ok, Brandon.” It was the first time Levi has used his name, and he vaguely noticed the way it rolled off his tongue so easily. “We got how long until the foods done? Lots of time to kill; thanks for barging in on my night, by the way." The sarcasm in his words was nearly tangible. "You play poker? I'm more of a paint ball player myself but since we're inside...” He slammed down a pack of playing cards onto the table in front of Brandon before sitting down opposite him. Seeing that Brandon's glass was once again empty he poured more of the whiskey into it, this time devoid of ice. He grinned over the top of the glass, a sly look on his face. “I even promise I won't cheat. Much.”
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PostSubject: Re: Cars and Calories {Brandon}    19/7/2014, 00:48

Even when Levi spoke those words, Brandon doubted the truth behind them. He could see the truth in the photos he kept close on his bedside. Levi belonged. He had people that liked him, that cared for him, that needed him, like his sister, Sally and the cute blonde. That is where he belong, no matter how vehemently he tried to refute it.

It came as no surprise to Levi's reaction. He was stun, than confused, than irritated and it was all directed towards Brandon. It did not escape him, the front Levi gave off. Brandon had dealt with many juvenile delinquents in his line of work with the same attitude. They were standoffish, arrogant, even had their own extremes about them. It did not perturb Brandon, not even in the slightest. Levi in many ways were similar but in other ways he was not. That's what made Brandon so intrigued.

Brandon went stone stiff, looking up at Levi. It wasn't the way he carried himself, which by itself oozed desire and longingness, that made Brandon go silent, it was his weight behind his words that did it. A tingling sensation ran up his spine as he held Levi's gaze. He tried to speak, to move but to no avail. Even breathing was difficult at this point. All he could do was hold onto fleeting memories of this moment; His warm breath on Brandon's ear, the fresh, clean scent that still lingered after his shower.

Brandon was melting, putty in Levi's hands. He was about to give everything up and go for it, when Levi grunted out of irritation and moved away from him. Brandon slumped back in his seat, disappointed. Maybe it was a good thing that Levi prevented him from going for it. He would have just made a fool of himself, and probably saved himself from loosing a few teeth in the process.

Levi came back with a deck of cards and a refill for Brandon's drink. He seemed to have cooled down from moments ago, but Brandon could see it in his expression, that something was bothering the lad. He did not asked, because it was probably none of his business too. If Levi felt comfortable sharing that was his prerogative. Brandon wouldn't pry.

"Can't," he declined the offer to play poker, because right at that moment the buzzer for the dryer went off. He got up off the chair and went over to the dryer. Heat radiated off the clothes, mixing delightfully with the coolness of the air condition room. "Why don't you play solitaire? You seem like the type of person, who would be good playing with himself. I should know, I changed your bed sheets."

Brandon purposely settle himself and Levi's clothes in the middle of the grey, satin sheets. The freshly clean clothes cascading off his lap, as he began to fold.
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PostSubject: Re: Cars and Calories {Brandon}    19/7/2014, 07:01

The loud and abrupt buzz of the dryer shutting off caused Levi to rush to his feet, half turned to the machine before realizing what the noise was. He sighed, ran his hand through his hair and seated himself once more. When he was around sudden movements and sounds Levi couldn't help but react: his body was too far ahead of his mind to sit idle and think things through. It was a life saving talent, and Levi used it to his advantage every chance he got, but at times it became more tiresome than anything else. From his slumped position near the kitchen was saw Brandon fiddling with the dryer, then walk over to his bed and settle himself right in the middle of it, cozy as can be.

“Could you be more of an intrusive asshole? Get the fuck off my bed and leave my clothes alone. I don't need your grimy little hands all over my stuff. Especially not where I sleep. God, do you do this to all the guys your son pops in on? Your way of meeting people instead of being a normal person and going to a fucking bar?” Though his words were harsh his tone had yet again softened, now only carrying the slightest of exasperated annoyance.

Brandon of course did not listen, and Levi was forced to give up, as the only thing he could have done was get up and forcibly remove the other man, which at the moment just seemed like too much work. Instead he remained at the table until Brandon was done and returned to the kitchen. They were once again across from each other, glasses and whiskey resting on the table between them.

At the beginning of the night Levi had assumed he would be spending the night counting the minutes until he was rid of the intruder, until Brandon finally left him alone for good. As the clock above the oven ticked on, though, Levi found himself becoming relaxed and actually enjoying himself. Brandon answered nearly every question he threw at him, no matter how rudely put or invasive. He himself even supplied the most basic of information, when it applied. They spoke of what made Brandon become a social worker, what he did when he wasn't working, how he adopted Josh. They spoke about Josh a lot, Levi prompting Brandon only the slightest yet he would go on and on. It was endearing, and despite himself Levi would smile. It was easy to listen to Brandon, and to sit nearby, tapping his foot or strumming his fingers to keep his body occupied. The hours passed quickly, much more quickly than Levi would have imagined.

It was nearing ten when Levi started noticing how good it smelled in his apartment. The scent was wafting through the air and into his senses, nearly making him drool in anticipation. While he had been staying here he had been living off frozen dinners and take out, left overs and beer dominating the fridge in place of fresh vegetables and fruit. While it sustained him just fine and he never really cared much for the more domestic things in life, the thought of the home cooked meal being prepared for him was suddenly appetizing. The last thing Sally had cooked for him had been...well, she had said it was edible but it was so foreign to him he really didn't care to try much of it. The smell of the meat and vegetables, though, was pure comfort. Growing impatient, Levi stood from the chair and stretched, shirt rising up to show off a few inches of his well toned six pack. He had been siting for longer than he was usually capable, having only gotten up a to pace around or switch seats a handful of times in the last three hours.

“Is that done yet? I'm starving,” he said, making his way over to the counter to peer inquisitively into the crock pot.
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PostSubject: Re: Cars and Calories {Brandon}    20/7/2014, 03:22

Brandon could not sit still for very long. He was up and he was down like a perpetual yo yo, to the annoyance and aggravation of Levi. First it was his clothes. He was on autopilot as he worked. Finely creasing each and every fold he did until they all laced perfectly flat. Levi could not help but make a derogatory comment to this prompting Brandon to throw the pile of briefs at his face. With his super human reflects, he caught all of them, thanking Brandon for being considerate, in his own obnoxious way, about needing a fresh pair of underwear because he was going commando. Next he moved the black clothes from the washer into the dryer, and moved his colors into the washer.

Once he sat down, he got up 20 minutes later to check on the pot roast, all the while answering all Levi's questions, no matter how personal it was. He did not go into much details about why he became a social worker and about adopting Brandon. How could he tell Levi that he was living out His dead fiancé's dreams. No, even now as he relived every beautiful smile she ever had, he could not bring himself to utter her name. Brandon gave enough of the facts to sate Levi's insatiable curiosity.

He wanted to know everything about Brandon: his likes and dislikes, his hobbies and fears, how many people he had sex with, had he ever had a threesome, an orgy. Jokingly, he could neither confirm or deny that he had either. Nothing on God's green earth was off topic for Levi, so he told him. He liked running in summer rain, and exploring the wilderness at midnight under a full moon. He straight up told Levi he hated the police, eluding to his sketchy past. He went into extensive details about his favorite hobby, scavenger hunting with his son. He hide things around the house, in a park or somewhere in the city and he would leave clues at random spots, until josh found it.

Levi was a good listener, even when he was shouting off obscenities or making fun of Brandon. He chuckled a few times especially when Brandon told him about an incident that happen at the airport. Brandon and Josh was on there way to Florida for vacation, but Joshua could not seat still for the life of him. When they got their boarding pass and luggage checked in, Joshua was already done with waiting in lines, but there was the TSA security check point with half of Los Vegas in the terminal. Being a devious kid that he was, he asked daddy to take his hand, so Brandon did. The moment he took his son's hand, they both vanished and appeared on the other side. No one noticed a father and son materializing out of thin air. Consequently he had to have a talk with his son about appropriate use of his powers, but he was secretly proud of him.

Levi found this hilarious. Levi comment that Joshua had a natural talent for criminal acts and would be somebody, some day. Brandon did not like that idea very much, but he took it as a complement none the less. Brandon felt comfortable talking to Levi, like a life long friend that he hasn't seen awhile, picking up where they left off. Did he expect Levi to feel the same way? No, after all, Levi seemed like the type of guy who would be out partying, drinking and not at home with a 35 year old man, talking about his son.

After two hours that flew by really quickly, all Levi's laundry folded and put away and Levi's apartment looking pristine, it was time for dinner. "I knew you were hungry. I am glad that my skills won't go to waste." He said, picking up the crock pot and setting it on the table with a hot pad underneath. He open up a few cupboards, acquiring two plates, two forks, knives and a spoon, setting them all on the table. He went to the fridge and pulled out two beers and came back to the table. Levi was already there sitting in his favorite spot, or Brandon assumed seeing as how each and every time Levi found himself at the table he sat in that exact spot. Instead of sitting across from Levi, disconnected and out of reach from Levi, he set up his placing right next to him, wanting to be closer to him.
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PostSubject: Re: Cars and Calories {Brandon}    20/7/2014, 20:51

Levi glanced at Brandon, perplexed, as he took a seat next to him, instead of across the table as he had done the rest of the night. He could not figure out why the man had switched places, nor could he admit to himself that he liked the feeling of his presence nearer to him. The denial of his emotions brought out another surly comment directed towards Brandon.

“Yeah, well, who wouldn't be hungry this late at night. I hope you're more punctual about feeding your kid.”

He was unusually quiet as he ate, savoring the taste of the home cooked meal. It was good; better than he had had in weeks. Brandon knew what he was doing in the kitchen, and Levi wondered if he cooked for Josh every night. The thought of it, a family sitting down for dinner each night, was both comforting and disgusting to Levi. It brought more images and thoughts to his mind, about how he lived his life and how others did so so differently than he.

Levi was unstable; he was well aware his life could crumble down around him at any moment, at any misstep that he took. His recent capture and escape from the Mutant Control Facility was a prime example of that – he could be arrested, or even killed, for many of the things he did to survive and affect change. Knowing this, the only people he allowed himself to become close to were like him, people who also had the shadow of pursuit and death lingering over them at all times. It was safer; everyone knew that a sudden disappearance might be necessary, that one moment their friend could be there, and the next gone. Spending the night with Brandon, enjoying his stories and his company, was dangerous. He had a stable life, very unlike Levi's. To become friends would put him at risk, and depending on how well they got along, emotional stress. Would someone like Brandon be able to understand why Levi had to skip town often, to be gone with little notice? Even without the threat of the police Levi was not one to settle in one place, or to keep up communication with others. Getting close to Brandon just wasn't worth it for either of them.

After they had finished eating Brandon stood up and gathered the empty plates and utensils, bringing them over to the sink. The sound of the faucet tore Levi from his reverie and grated on his nerves. Mixed with all the heavy things on his mind, things he rarely liked to think about, the sight of Brandon yet again taking charge and cleaning his home was too much for Levi.

“Hey.” He stood up, passed the table and walked over to the sink and Brandon. “Stop.” Levi was repeating himself, knowing he had said this same thing time and time again throughout the night, in attempt to make Brandon step away from whatever he was doing around the apartment. This time, though, he wasn't going to take no for an answer. He reached out to Brandon's back, grabbed him firmly by the shoulder and easily turned him around so that they were now facing each other. Levi's eyes were a cold steel, that hard glint betraying not only his anger but everything else that was rushing through his head. There was hardly a foot between them, his hand still clasped menacingly on Brandon's shoulder, his strength evident in the way his fingers dug into the flesh. He didn't let go of the other man while he spoke, but instead stayed more still than he had all night, his gaze never wavering from Brandon's soft brown eyes.

“Just fucking stop. I am getting real tired of you trying to take care of me like I'm one of your messed up delinquent kids. You have no right to come in here and try to fix everything up, try to organize my life like its somehow less than yours.” Levi's voice was rising now, dominating the otherwise quiet of the warehouse. He was yelling, unable to keep himself calm. He could only take so much provocation before he snapped, and he had just reached his limit. “Yeah, I get it, ok? You got your job, your kid, you can fucking cook; I get it! I'm beneath you and you feel like you have some sick responsibly to help wayward mutant kids. Well, you self righteous asshole, I'm not a kid and I don't need your pity or help. And I definitely don't need your sassy fake come-ons. Stop throwing it in my face that you're outta my league, alright? Cause if you don't I swear to Christ I will knock your fucking teeth in.”
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PostSubject: Re: Cars and Calories {Brandon}    21/7/2014, 00:47

The only sounds coming from the warehouse was the scrapping of utensils on glass plates. Brandon, who hadn't eat anything since this morning, was not hungry at the moment, but Levi on the other had looked famished. He eat second helping and even thirds, which Brandon was pleased that Levi liked it so much. Slowly picking at his food, and waiting for Levi to finished gave Brandon time to actually take in his surroundings. Yes, he had been up and down the warehouse on numerous occasions just today alone, but he was a man on a mission at that moment. Driven to repay his gratitude.

Exposed bricks line both the back wall and the wall that had the bed pushed up against it. From the floor all the way to the skylights in the ceiling, giving the warehouse a rustic feel. Skylights let in a lot of natural light during the day, but they were no good at night because of the light pollution. Brandon sometimes missed Wisconsin. This was one of those times. He missed looking up at the sky and see it flooded with stars.

Even with no walls, every space was well define. From the front of the apartment, where situated to the living room, through the kitchen, dinning room, bed room and office. It flowed naturally from one room to the next. It seem that Sally, Levi's sister, had the taste of a designer in her. The home was functional and spaces with a dash of the finer things in life. It wasn't like Brandon's home at all, so jammed pack with things, mostly second hand items that sometimes it felt more like a garage than a home.

Both Levi and himself, down the last of their beers, before Brandon cleared away the table. He went over to the sink and turned on the faucet to start cleaning the last of the dishes before he departed for the night. He did not realize that Levi was behind him until two forceful hands firmly grasped his shoulders and spun him around. His first response to being yelled at was becoming defensive. Retort after retort came to mind to every point Levi was making.

Anger welded up inside him. Levi did not know anything about him. A few pictures and several hours of conversations did not tell that douche bag a thing about Brandon, who he is and where he comes from. He had no right to fucking judge him. He didn't come back here to be made fun of, than interrogated by this shit head, so in the end he could use that information to throw it back in his face. He had enough. "You fucking asshole! Who do you think you are?"

The only thing that stopped Brandon from slugging the guy was "sassy, fake come ons" and out of Levi's league. Those words stood out above the rest, making Brandon rethink the last past four hours. Did Levi really thought Brandon was out of his league? Did Levi had feelings even in the smallest of measurement towards Brandon? Brandon was fairly well at reading people, but how could he have missed this or was he just reading to much into it. His senses were on overload, and he let instinct take over. A sober man, a man with a level head, would think twice about what he was about to do, but Brandon wasn't sober. He was laying all his cards out onto the table, hoping to win big.

All of a sudden Brandon closed the distance even further, cupped his hands around Levi's cheeks and pulled him into a kiss. Both their breaths salted the air as Brandon's desires took hold. Levi's lips tasted like onions, meat and beer but Brandon did not care. He pulled him even closer, until their was absolutely no space between them. Their bodies firmly intertwine as Brandon embraced Levi with the long awaited kiss. His hands moved on their own accord, moving down his chest and over his rock hard abs. Brandon wanted more, he wanted it all.

Brandon grabbed the base of the shirt and started to lift up. Realizing where this was going, what he was doing, he pulled away, pressing himself up against the sink, because their was no where else to go. "Stop...we can't..." He said in bated breath.
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PostSubject: Re: Cars and Calories {Brandon}    21/7/2014, 02:56

Levi noticed the change in expression on Brandon's face, watching it go from passive to irate. His words were finally getting to Brandon, finally causing something other than playful  composure to surface. He liked the way he saw fire in the brown of Brandon's eyes, liked the way he lashed out at him with the same harsh words he had been using himself. It showed Levi that he wasn't just some push over office worker, that Brandon had that spark of passion in him that Levi so admired. Sally had it, the girls back in California had it, even Matty had had it when he was pushed far enough; anyone that had made a mark in Levi's life had that same passion, which was one of the few things that could get Levi to truly trust and confide in someone.

When he finished speaking, breath heavy, he was ready for a hit, ready to pivot to the side and avoid a fist aimed at his face. All his muscles were on the verge of action and aching to have something to react to. The tension in the air was tangible and it went straight to Levi's over eager brain, making him want to act on any little impulse he might feel. It was a familiar feeling, one that Levi was probably addicted to. He craved the release of endorphins that acting on his instincts brought. His need often went so far as to lead him to dangerous situations, left him places he had no right to be. This moment, this interaction, might well have been one of those times.  How well did he actually know Brandon from just a handful of hours together? He could have done anything when pushed this far; that unknown, that chance for anything to happen for Levi to respond to, that was what he lusted after.

The result he got from Brandon, though, was not one he would have imagined even in the farthest reaches of his imagination. Instead of lashing out with violence, a normal reaction, Brandon pushed himself forward into Levi, closing the gap between their bodies. Before his eyes could take in what was happening Brandon's lips were crashing into his, a kiss that was both soft and eager and full of the passion Levi had spotted in Brandon's eyes a moment ago. Levi's already tensed muscles reacted as fast as his mutated genes were capable, and his arms were around Brandon instantaneously. He was pulling him, crushing Brandon's body into his own. He could feel the lines of the other body pressed into him, the vague softness of flesh that Levi lacked, but enjoyed feeling against him all the same. That same musk of coffee and whiskey that had so nearly driven Levi into action early in the night was now enveloping him, intoxicating him far more than the alcohol had. With a muffled groan of pleasure he moved a hand from Brandon's back into his hair, clenching his fingers around the curls. He felt Brandon's hands tug on his shirt, start to cautiously lift it and reveal the flat of his abs underneath it when the other man started pulling away, dropping his hands and looking to the floor, possibly ashamed.

“Can't what? You started this. Is there something wrong with this?” Levi, in a moment of so far unseen tenderness, brought his hand up to Brandon's face, rubbed his thumb over his cheek and smiled; not that devilish, arrogant smile he used so often but something softer, more intimate. He was right back to the heat of their previous exchange, though, when he really looked at Brandon standing there before him; slightly out of breath and pushing himself farther into the counter. Levi followed in Brandon's retreat, placing his arms on either side of him, effectively locking him into his position against the sink. He wasn't about to let Brandon get out of this easily.

With a swift movement Levi effortlessly lifted Brandon up onto the counter, situating himself in between his open legs. Another press forward and his lips were back on Brandon's, forcefully taking away his moment of hesitation and replacing it with hunger. Levi was losing himself in his instincts, letting his body take over and barely thinking as he kissed the man now perched on the counter top. He had been watching Brandon all night, listening to his stories and the way his voice was at once soothing and inviting. He had wanted this, knew that he was attracted to the older man. Was there more to it, though? Levi couldn't stop his desire long enough to think about any other motives he might have than purely physical. His hands were resting on Brandon's thighs now as he leaned forward, firmly pressing into the muscles beneath the man's jeans, creeping ever so slowly upward.

Levi paused, moved his head away from Brandon's slowly, unwilling to break the contact with his lips. He then stared intently into Brandon's eyes, searching for an answer to an unspoken question. The blue of Levi's eyes was melting into something warm and soft as he stood half entwined with this man who had until a few days ago had been nothing but a stranger. Every thought and urge of his body wanted him to continue, to keep going down this path of desire and sweat and skin. He remained still, though, as he spoke to Brandon, his voice raspy with lust and a new affection.

“You better tell me right now if you don't want this. Or else I am going to do my best to fuck you until you can't even remember why you came here in the first place.” His hands slid farther up Brandon's legs, his face moved closer yet again, mouth pressing against the sweat damp skin of Brandon's neck. With his lips just barely touching Brandon's ear, Levi breathed out, his hot breath rushing over the exposed flesh. He spoke again, quiet this time, smooth and seductive and so close. “Tell me what you want, Brandon. I'm not gonna do anything you don't want, but...fuck, do I want you.”
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