(DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. It’s important to remember this is all totally fabricated, embellished, and exaggerated for entertainment purposes.)
Honey I stay stoned on your love all the time.
Chris Stapleton | Tennessee Whiskey
Following the South American leg of the tour, we were allotted nearly a two-week break during which we all flew our separate ways. I went home to the UK with Pez and caught up with Shahid right away. I then spent the majority of my free time with him at the studio in Ealing, apart from when I took the missus to visit my family back home. She took my mum and sisters shopping for the day, and I got a rare chance to hang with my dad alone. I’d recently gotten into fishing, so I funded a fishing trip for the two of us and tried to teach him everything I knew.
It wasn’t difficult to see where I’d gotten my stubborn side from, because despite not knowing the first thing about fishing, he continued to pretend he knew best the entire trip, driving me up a wall. We caught next to nothing, and the few things I reeled in I had zero interest in eating. Still, it was a beautiful day weather-wise, and it was nice to chill with him and toss back a few beers. Chatting shit about the old days when we’d spend our weekends at the neighborhood gym, making a competition out of every set. Breaking our backs to show off in front of the local crowd. But I gladly informed him he was old now and had lost all his muscles and that I could whoop him easily. He immediately proved me wrong by grappling me into a headlock onboard. My reel went flying.
The run-in with Pez in Brazil left Haz steaming. He wouldn’t talk to me much, but I noticed something about our Brazil trip had compelled him to tattoo the name of the country to his bloody thigh. It had been as much a surprise to me as it was to the stadium, and when I texted him ‘nice tattoo‘ it was the only time I squeezed a passing smile out of him.
I couldn’t exactly blame him, though. He had risked his life to spare us the humiliation of being discovered by Pez, and it didn’t sit well with him that I spent the remainder of the South American leg at her side, unable to reach out to him the way I wanted. As long as she was there, infringing on everything I had planned, my texts were ignored and he didn’t bother to reach out either. The only place he even remotely warmed up to me was onstage, and those moments were always fleeting.
Little Mix’s tour begun shortly after we landed home, so I was still destined to spend a great deal of my break traveling to arenas filled with screaming fans like a supportive fiancé. By mid-set of every show, my mind was always elsewhere, drifting anytime a lyric brought me back to him.
It was impossible for he and I to properly connect over the break, because he was an ocean away in LA and refusing to take my calls. That is, until one night he was wasted and dialed me up unsolicited, rambling about how heavenly the PCH was. And it really was. By far my favorite place to visit in the States. He really liked to romanticize California and dreamed about settling there someday, since many of his idols had left their mark on those sacred canyons and boulevards long ago: Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Carole King, Harry Nilsson.
During his drunk rant, he said something about wanting to make songs people could listen to while driving down the PCH on a sunny day. I humored him as long as I could in the downstairs bathroom while Pez slept, and managed to get out of him when he’d be heading to the UK. He kept saying soon, but I pressed him a little more and a date finally slipped out. In my mind, I cleared my schedule for that day and would make excuses to free myself. I would tell Pez I was at Shahid’s, and tell Shahid I was stuck with her all day. That would get me out of both obligations I had previously signed up for. Now all there was left to do was wait.
Today was the day. I showed up to his house unannounced with two dozen pink roses and a trusty bottle of tequila. I pulled into his yard after calling him and alerting him I was outside. He was confused, but polite. Now he stepped outside in an oversized Green Bay Packers’ jumper and black briefs. His expression said he wanted to chew me out, but he stopped short when he saw the bottle of Don Julio cradled in my arm. He also lit up at the sight of the gorgeously arranged roses, which he took from me, inhaling them with a dimpled grin.
I watched his pale feet lead the way across leaf litter and twigs and dark cement towards the backdoor, and inside we set our items on the kitchen counter. Right away I spun him around and snatched him into a hug, and luckily he didn’t pull away. He wrapped his arms around his neck and fell into me instead.
“Idiot,” he muttered.
This brief moment of yielding gave way to tender remembrance, and I recalled the last day we’d spent together in Rio. Magic beyond words. Fatal relations. Punch-drunk sex. Fucking to death. He was remembering it too, because he wouldn’t let go of me. I let him hold me as long as he wanted, only parting slightly to kiss.
“Why can’t I stay mad at you?” he quailed, holding my head and shoving our brows together.
“Uh…I dunno. Because I’m cute.”
“Yeah,” he scoffed, moving towards what looked to be Chinese takeout. He opened a pint of noodles and ate them with his bare hands. Guilt swept me when I realized I’d interrupted his lunch. In no time he was feeding me some as well, holding the noodles high because they were long, then slowly coiling them down into my mouth.
From then on we spent the day pigging out, sipping tequila, and binging Netflix. A while back he’d stumbled on my open laptop and discovered my worst guilty pleasure: Gilmore Girls. Humiliating me, he’d mocked me for days without mercy, texting me clips of the show from YouTube. That is, until he started watching himself and got hooked. He also appreciated the hell out of the theme song, because it was a lovely rendition of Carole King’s “Where You Lead” and Tapestry was one of his all-time favorite albums. Now this show was our go-to whenever we couldn’t find a decent romcom for our chill sessions, and it became a ritual to sing the intro to each other every single episode.
As I walked out of the toilet, I stopped short. He was sitting cross-legged in the center of the bed, rolling a joint and on the phone with his sister. Apparently he promised he would find a way to come home for a family event, even if he had to miss a show or fly home for just one day. I was shocked by how deftly he multitasked the call and the task at hand.
His back was to me, so I lingered in the doorway and watched him work, marveling at how meticulous he was. Everything had to be just so. He measured it all out by eye and knocked the excess off with the tip of his pinky. Soon his fingers brought the finished product to his mouth, and he licked it closed, later running a lighter alongside it. Now I cleared my throat and approached.
“Uh…hey. Haz? Is that you?”
“Hah! Yes, I’m sorry, mate. I know it’s kinda weird.”
“Shockin’, to be fair. What’s goin’ on? Since when do youh smoke?”
“I dunno…I’ve just been trying it out lately. I’ve, uh, been spending some time with a few people in LA and, uh, let’s just say some of their habits rubbed off on me. It makes me really tired, y’know, but also keeps me stress-free. I totally see why you do this stuff, mate.”
“Woah…alright then, yeah? How long youh been at it?”
“Just a few weeks. I don’t see it lasting long though. It makes in incredibly unproductive.”
“I can relate.” I lifted a baggie and sniffed the herbs. Ah, heaven.
“And I don’t think it’s a good look…for the band, y’know? No offense to you.”
“None taken. I get what youh mean.”
“I just do it in private…”
“I see…” I chuckled. “But since when do youh know how to roll a jay?”
“Learned from the best,” he smirked, referring to me. Holy shit, I had totally corrupted him. Apparently in more ways than one. Maybe I should say something helpful right now, instead of standing there sniffing the grinder like a fiend.
“Uh, noh! Bad, Harreh. Drugs are not the answer, babe. Don’t follow me. Put the joint down and step aside!”
“Now this is a thing of beauty…” he held it up and examined his work.
“Well goh on then!” I urged, clapping. “You’ve done all that work, don’t be a pussy. Light it up!”
“Shit…” he chuckled, putting it into his mouth and striking the lighter a few times. With the first hit, he coughed uncontrollably.
“Ah, rookie,” I tossed my hand at him.
Looking to get comfortable, I took my jeans off and climbed onto the foot of the bed in my briefs and t-shirt. I crossed my legs to mirror the way he was situated at the center of the mattress. The jumper he wore was super oversized, so the sleeves fell over his hands occasionally and he had to drag them up to the elbow. His long wavy hair was falling freely around his face without the typical headscarves. He looked snuggly as hell.
An empty cigar box housed his stash and I couldn’t stop laughing as I sifted through a few grams of weed and a pack of rolling papers.
“Broh…who the fuck even are youh, yeah? A grinder?! And why the hell d’youh have matches?!”
“My lighter broke one day…” he smirked, inhaling deeply and passing the joint. I hit it and mellowed out almost instantly.
“Woof…that’s nice…” I expelled the smoke directly into his face and he grinned. “How long have youh been doin’ this again?” All the doors and windows were closed, so the fumes filled the bedroom in no time flat. He took a big hit and repaid the favor by expelling the smoke back into my face, leaving us both in stiches.
“Your hair’s a mess,” he muttered. That stung. I’d admit it was in a rather weird stage, becoming longish, because I didn’t know whether or not to cut it. I was too embarrassed to confess I’d been inspired by him to grow it out. “Seriously, mate…looks like shit today.” At that I cracked up, at a loss for how to respond to such a blunt insult.
Out of nowhere he closed his stash box and set it onto the nightstand, before crawling across the bed and straddling my lap. My crossed legs held him in place as he plopped down and wrapped his legs around my waist.
“Ughhh, you’re sohhhh fat, babe!”
“I know.” He took another hit, then attempted to shot-gun me. It was adorably messy, but I knew what he wanted so I played along. I parted my mouth and inhaled steadily. Then I greedily slurped up the smoke on my way to kiss him. He cackled and asked me to hold still so he could try it again.
“Alright, alright…” I grinned, comforted by his weight bearing down onto my bones. Reminding me I was alive. I stroked his thighs and allowed him to hold my face again, exhaling directly into my mouth. Then he fell backwards to lay on the bed, legs slung on either side of my waist. Naturally, I couldn’t ignore his gorgeous cock staring me right in the face, and soon my hands were busy with an unexpected over-the-briefs-handjob.
When things got real, I reached into his nightstand and grabbed the scented lube before settling back between his legs and going to town. He set the joint into an ashtray on the nightstand and lay back beady-eyed; staring at me through the rising haze.
Later that evening when we lay side by side, I woke up to his face hovering directly above mine, less than inches away. His hands were planted on either side of my head.
“Youh gud?” I breathed, shading my eyes from the light as he flicked on the lamp.
“You were talking,” he said, fascinated. “Pretty clearly too. I thought you were saying something to me.”
“What’d I say?”
“Don’t worry about it. It’s for me to know and no one else.”
“Shuddup,” I whimpered, exhausted from eating and smoking nonstop.
“I know things about you that you don’t even know about yourself, mate.”
“What sorts of things?”
“All sorts of things. I figured you out a long time ago.” He maneuvered and straddled me, sitting square onto my hips. I grunted and adjusted him a bit so he wouldn’t crush my dick.
“Soh you’re not gonna tell me?” He shook his head with a shit-eating grin. All I could see was a flash of teeth. His remarkable eyes and dimples. I rubbed my hands up his bare thighs, stopping just short of his briefs.
“What don’t I know about myself?” I whispered, remembering how last time I asked this, it didn’t end well for us.
“Uh…little things…like how much you need me.”
“You’re afraid of the dark…”
“Mm-hm. You like to keep the TV on, or, uh, the drapes open on one window.” I noticed he often made that accommodation for me without being asked. “For a while, like, a few years ago you were, uh, pretty bad. You’d always pretend to forget to shut off the bathroom light, but I knew not to touch it.”
I let that sink in and had no plausible way to refute what he was saying. I didn’t think of myself as being afraid of the dark per say, like a kid or something. It was more that the dark made me uncomfortable. Made me feel a bit disturbed. Not sure why.
“You’re afraid of letting your dad down.” At that, I shifted uncomfortably. He continued, “In a lot of ways, you, uh…you feel like you already have…which is ludicrous in my opinion. You’re a fucking global popstar. What more could he want?”
“Fuck this game,” I sighed.
He bent and bit my lips, whispering, “It’s ok…I won’t tell anyone.” I nodded. Then he said, “One more, alright?”
“You’re going to marry me.” My eyes darted to his in a heartbeat.
“Did I say that? When I was sleep?”
“I don’t believe youh.”
“Well, you did, and I’ll always remember it, Malik.”
“Yeah, we’ll see about ‘dat. Get off.”
“What were you dreaming of just now?” he asked, climbing aside. I burst out laughing and covered my face.
“Fuck…if I’m honest, I dreamt I was stuck inside the Yellow Submarine movie. Can’t get the song outta my head!” He fell over cackling, kicking his legs in the air.
“Wait, you’ve had that dream too??”
A while later we were still so high we hadn’t moved at all. My limbs felt fossilized; like solid rock. I seriously had to piss from the tequila, but was too lazy to make it the few feet to the bathroom. I thought about taking a leak right there in the middle of his bed, but stopped myself because he’d be pissed at me for eternity.
“Your eyes…” he breathed, somehow hovering above me again. “Mate…they’re orange…”
“Oh.” He disappeared and lay back down for a while, before reappearing inches from my face.
“Hey…” I welcomed him.
“Huh?” he snickered uncontrollably.
There was still so much smoke around us I couldn’t see anything beyond a few feet. We hadn’t opened the window and I got the craziest, continuous contact high I had ever had in my life. He blinked and I remembered he was there. He started to blow softly on my face, and I relished the cool breeze and tilted up into it; tequila rich on his breath. His lead fingertip traced my eyebrows and then slid down the bridge of my nose, making me go cross-eyed as I tried to follow. He laughed at my eyes and started tracing my features from the top again.
Someone banged on the door and scared the shit out of me. I nearly jumped up until he put a hand to my chest to halt me.
“Youh hear that?!” I fretted.
“That! The knocking! Listen!” The banging continued. “Who is it?!” I called out. Haz looked at me like I had two heads.
“You smoking again?!” Preston demanded on the other side of the door. “Damn it, Zayno, you’re gonna get us all kicked out again, mate!”
“It wasn’t me! It was Harry!”
“Mate?!” Haz waved a hand in front of my face. “You’re daft! Do you even hear yourself right now?!”
I gazed back over at the door and there was nothing. We weren’t even in a hotel room, we were still in his master suite. Now I instantly remembered back when we made love here for the first time two years ago.
“I’m opening a window, mate. You’re fucked!” he laughed.
“Right…” When he came back to the bed, I reached for him. “Haz…”
“Youh ever think of flyin’?”
“Yeah maan… just like…imagine if we could. Like…” I chuckled to myself, seeing faces in the ceiling. “I’d get the fuck outta here right now.”
“Anywhere, broh…anywhere but here, y’know? Like…Africa or some shit.”
“You liked Ghana a lot.”
“Yeah…I did,” I frowned in confusion. “That was a sick trip, to be honest. Sad as fuck too—”
“Ahhhhh!” I shouted, suddenly standing up on the bed and jumping up and down. Now I dramatically sang “One Thing” pointing at him when I got to the lyric: “You’re my kryptoniteeee!!” All he could do was laugh, sipping his drink.
After I plopped down onto my knees in front of him, he kissed me, breaking only to trace my lips with his tongue. It took a fraction of a second for him to take me there again. Deepening the kiss, he trapped my face so I couldn’t escape. My toes curled uncontrollably as his tongue explored my mouth, impatient hands later snatching me onto his lap. He was hungry, but I wouldn’t let him top. Not this time. As revenge for my demands, he wouldn’t let me breath. We grappled with each other for a minute before I finally broke away and fell back onto the bed, rasping for air.
I had not known desire like I did that day. Somehow we’d ended up in the living room, fucking over the back of the sofa. No place was off limits, apparently, including the kitchen counter. The bedroom had gotten boring. I strode down the hall now, following every trace I could to figure out where he’d gone. My search took me first downstairs through his dining room, living room, and office, then back upstairs to sweep the master suite and the guest rooms. There was no sign of him.
A bright idea occurred to me, and I ran up the steps to his rooftop terrace and searched for him there. Still nothing. The cement was icy beneath my bare feet. I walked around a bit, shivering in the late-night air; looking to the stars for answers. It was well after midnight and super chilly. I zipped his hoodie up around my naked torso, pulling it down over my briefs as far as it would go. Now I grew worried that he had left the premises altogether, except he hadn’t been dressed at the time he disappeared, and his car was still in the yard.
Trudging back down onto the second floor, I called to him drunkenly. The tequila and weed had made me a different person. I couldn’t stop fucking him. One more round, I told myself. Just one more and I’d be able to sleep. Apparently, he wasn’t having it. After his third brutal orgasm, he was tapped out and said he was done for the night. Said his dick needed a vacation after what I’d put him through. If it was a crime to give anyone that good of a time, then take me to fucking jail. I’d done him a favor really. Sucking the daylights out of him. Milking him to death with his own toys. The ones he thought I didn’t know about. I’d gone shopping in his locked cabinet and tormented him with his own devices. Still, I wanted back inside. I needed back inside. My body felt ill, and his was my only medicine.
Back on the first floor, I stubbed my toe with an infuriated growl. Then I shed his hoodie as I plodded forth like the undead, eyes half-shut. Calling his name. Trying to coax him out of hiding. I’d walked this entire house four times now, so he must’ve been moving as I moved. Slinking into new hiding spots after I’d already checked them. Hopping from floor to floor whenever he heard me on the opposite one. What a slick bastard. Too smart for his own damn good. But it was time for me to outsmart him.
As I moved back to the staircase, I pretended to walk up the steps, but only moved halfway up and feigned the rest of the steps. Then I quietly slinked back down and hid behind an adjacent wall to see if there’d be any sign of him. And like clockwork, my theory of him repeatedly trading hiding places was proven correct. Since he thought I’d gone upstairs, he emerged at the second-story landing with the Nerf Elite Demolisher that came equipped with a rapid-fire magazine and missile. He peered through the shadows below, checking his surroundings thoroughly before soundlessly hurrying down the steps. In his mind he was moving away from me. Little did he know I was on the ground floor too, watching his every move, grateful for the shadows of the living room because they gave me an excellent cover.
I let him get halfway down the hall before I ran out and shut the hall light off. He glanced back and got a good glimpse of my silhouette, then scream-laughed and ran towards the back of the house. I growled and ran after him, feet thumping against the hardwood floor as I caught up to him in the guest room. He fired off a few rounds and I ducked for cover, moving back out of the room and shutting the door halfway. Fuck, we were stoned out of our minds. The first joint had been followed by another much fatter one, and then another, and the tequila was absolutely done for. We were suffering the effects of it all now.
“Harrehhh? Where ya goin, babe?”
“No more, Z. Please… no more!”
“Who is Z?”
“No more, Javadd. Please. I’m so tried, mate. I’m drained!”
“Yeah…I’m sure…” he called from around the corner.
I cracked the door a bit more and could see through the reflection of a hanging photo that he was peering from behind the wall of a closet, positioned safely in its meager light. It was the only light on in the house at the moment, and therefore his only safe harbor. I thought about a sneak attack waged by crawling across the floor on my belly, since I knew his position and he didn’t know mine, but thought against it because he was strapped. He could easily pick me off and shoot me dead as I approached.
“It’s okay, babe. I surrender. I’m not gonna try anythin’ else. I’m tired too, y’know. Soh youh can come out now…”
“You said that earlier as well, and look how that turned out.” He cocked his gun to let me know he meant business.
“I know, I know…but I really mean it this time. I’m just chillin’ broh. Cool as a cucumber. Let’s call it a night, yeah? I just wanna hold ya, is all. Can’t sleep without ya…”
“Alright…” he nodded nervously. “If you really mean it…”
“I do. It’s okay. Lay down your weapon…”
“I already did.” I confirmed he was telling the truth in the reflection. He’d set the gun on the floor and kicked it aside. The stand-off was officially over.
“C’mere, baby…” He ran through the shadows to get to me, afraid of the dark. He hugged me and I slapped his bare ass, then took his hand and led him back toward the staircase. Halfway there, I slung him around in front of me and walked with my body pressed against his, step for step. Wrenching him back into me and squeezing his belly. Kissing his shoulder. Pressing my relentless boner into his ass.
Sensing I wasn’t going to keep my word, once we got to the banister, he snatched away and darted off up the steps without me. I followed, spotting only a flash of his pale flesh as he bent the corner into the room. All I could hear was his panicked breathing and hoarse laughter and rapid footfalls. When I arrived at the room, it was just in time to see the bathroom door slam shut. It was like a scene out of Panic Room. I rushed to try the handle, but he had barricaded himself inside. I looked around and noticed he’d stolen a pillow and blanket from the bed, in addition to his phone. Fuck.
“Haz?” I called, knocking at the door. “It’s me, Z. I’m here. Youh can come out now, babe. Javadd’s gone.”
“No! I’m not falling for that shit again! I’ll talk to the real Z in the morning. Fuck you, Javadd! You’re insane!”
“Hazza…babe…” I pounded harder, trying the handle although I knew it was locked. “It’s our last night together, babe. I don’t wanna spend it apart. All jokes aside. Please come out.”
“Fuck off!” I tried the handle again, yanking the door back and forth. “I said fuck off, whoever you are!”
“Haz! Open the fuckin’ door!” I slammed the palm of my hand against it repeatedly.
We had to separate first thing in the morning. I’d have to meet Pez to travel to Scotland with her for a few shows and he’d be off doing his own thing with God knows who. The mere thought of saying goodbye made my stomach ache, too much like the first day of school after a long, gratifying summer.
“Come out or I’ll break up with youh!”
“Go right ahead. Be my guest!”
“Baby…I can’t sleep without youh…”
“It’s 5am. We have about three hours of sleep to get now and it’s all your fault. I’m taking full advantage of those three hours, mate. You need to do the same. It’s better for us to be apart. Goodnight.”
“Fuck youh!” I spat, kicking the door with the heel of my foot and walking away. I paced back a few times, utterly defeated, then passed out on the floor outside the bathroom door, not even bothering to seek the comfort of the bed. It was no good if he wasn’t in it.
When I awoke in the morning, twisted painfully on my side, all I saw were the tops of his feet and his inscribed ankles. The lyrics to “Careless Whisper” by George Michael played in my head. I shifted to lay on my back, gazing up his nude body. Everything was immaculate. The unblemished calves and supple thighs. Wondrous cock and hips. The pudgy belly. Gorgeous butterfly—a frowny face.
“You’re a disgrace,” he spat, dropping to the floor beside me. He lay sprawled out, staring at the ceiling. I tried to touch him with my foot but he kicked it away.
“I wish I had a cigarette—”
“Well, I wish I could feel my ass. We can’t always get the things we want, now can we?” I burst out laughing but sobered when I saw his pout was sincere.
“I really am. I don’t know what came over me.”
“You never do.”
“Youh make me crazy.”
“Don’t make this about me.”
“It’s always about youh. I can control myself around anyone else. One time is usually enough. But with youh…?” At that, he turned his face towards mine.
“Your dick has a mind of its own.”
“I know.” I shifted my face closer to his so I could seep into his eyes. “I just can’t get enough sometimes.”
“I dunno…it’s just the way I am.”
“Were you always that way?”
“Noh…I dunno…maybe…” I scowled, lost in thought. Lost in the weird coloration of his irises.
“What does it feel like?”
“Uh…like I can’t stop. Just like youh said…like my body has a mind of its own. And it doesn’t help that every part of youh turns me on.”
“Hell yeah.” I licked my lips and he mirrored the action, unconsciously biting his bottom lip for a second.
(Thanks for reading! ❤️)