By: S.C. Stephens

We easily made our way down to the pier and Pike Place market to look around and get some fresh food. It truly was a beautiful city. We strolled hand in hand down the pier, watching the sunlight sparkle off the Sound. It was a warm, clear day and we stopped and watched the ferries shuttle back and forth, and the seagulls fly low over the water, like us, also scrounging for food. A light, cool breeze brought the smell of salt water with it and I leaned my head back on Denny's chest as he wrapped his arms around me, perfectly content.

"Happy?" he asked me, rubbing his jaw along my neck, the light hair along it making me giggle.

"Deliriously," I answered, turning my head to give him a soft kiss.

We did all the touristy things in the area - went through all the quaint shops, listened to the street musicians, sat on a cute little merry-go-round, and watched the fish mongers chuck huge salmon to each other while the packed crowd cheered. Eventually we picked up some fresh fruits, vegetables, and other edibles, and made our way back to the car.

One unfortunate thing about Seattle, that was quickly apparent to us on the drive home, was the roller-coaster steep hills, and trying to drive a stick shift on them. By the third near accidental rear-ending, we were both laughing so hard that I couldn't stop the tears. Only getting lost twice, we eventually made it back home in one piece.

We were still laughing about our little adventure as we walked back into the kitchen, carrying a couple canvas bags of groceries. Kellan looked up at us from where he was sitting at the table, writing notes on a spiral pad of paper. Lyrics maybe? He gave us an amused grin and went back to his work.

Denny put our food away, while I began sorting through our few boxes of stuff upstairs. It went pretty quickly. Knowing we weren't moving into a huge place, we had only brought the essentials with us, leaving the majority of the stuff that a person accumulates over any given period of time, in my mom's attic. It didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would, before I had put away all of our books, Denny's work clothes, my school stuff, and a few pictures and other mementoes. I finished up by putting our toiletries in the bathroom; our dollar store shampoo next to Kellan's expensive stuff, making me smile. Then, I was done.

Heading back downstairs, I turned into the living room to find Kellan and Denny watching ESPN. The space was as barely decorated as the rest of the house; I really was going to have to do something about that soon. It pretty much consisted of a large TV against the back wall, next to a slider that led out to the backyard. A long, ratty looking couch took up the far wall, with a seemingly comfy looking chair kitty-corner to it, and a round table with an old lamp on it, was tucked between the two. Kellan appeared to live as simply as he dressed.

Denny was sprawled across the long couch, looking like he may fall asleep at any moment; he probably was still dreadfully tired. I was beginning to feel the long trip (combined with walking around the pier all afternoon) catch up with me as well, so I walked over to Denny and crawled on top of him. He shifted so I could sink in-between him and the couch, my leg over his, my arm across his chest and my head nestled in his shoulder. He sighed contently and pulled me tight, kissing my head softly. His heartbeat was slow and steady, and was gently pulling me into sleep. Before I closed my eyes, I glanced over at Kellan who was sitting in the chair. He seemed to be watching us curiously. I could do no more than wonder about it, before my eyes slipped closed and sleep washed over me.

I woke up awhile later when Denny shifted beneath me. "Sorry, I didn't mean to wake you," he said, his accent warm and delightful around the words.

Stretching luxuriously, I yawned and pushed myself up a little, to look at his face. "It's okay," I mumbled, kissing him lightly. "I suppose I should wake up anyway, if I ever want to sleep tonight." I looked around but we were alone in the room.


The thought made me instantly aware of how close Denny and I were snuggling on the couch. Grinning mischievously, I kissed him again, but harder. He laughed a little, but kissed me back eagerly. It didn't take long for my breath to quicken, my heart following. Desire filled me for this warm, beautiful man beneath me, and I ran my fingers down his chest and slipped them under his shirt, to feel his smooth skin.

He reacted by gripping my hips with his strong hands and shifting me over, until I was more directly on top of him. I sighed happily and pressed into him. Somewhere in the corner of my mind, I registered a door closing, but Denny's hands pulling me even harder against him, quickly drove any other thought from my head.

I was happily kissing his jaw and moving to his neck, when a faint, amused chuckle woke me from my reveling. I sat bolt upright on Denny's lap, causing him to grunt in surprise. I hadn't realized Kellan was still here, and I was pretty sure the color on my cheeks made that painfully obvious to him.

"Sorry." He was laughing a little harder now. He was standing in the entryway, grabbing his jacket from a hook by the front door. "I'll be out of your hair in a minute...if you want to wait." He seemed to ponder that for a moment. "Or don't. It really doesn't bother me." He shrugged, still chuckling.

It bothered me. I immediately flew to the other side of the couch, too embarrassed to say anything. I looked over at Denny, hoping he could somehow rewind time a few minutes. He just laid there, an amused smile on his face as well now. Irritation flowed through me - men!

Needing to change the focus somehow, I blurted out, "Where are you going?" It came out more harshly than I meant it, but it was too late to change that.

He blinked at me, a little surprised from the angry outburst. I got the feeling we really could have been having sex on the couch and he wouldn't have cared. Apparently he was very open about that sort of thing. He probably had only meant to tease me, not embarrass me. My irritation cooled slightly.

"Pete's. We've got another gig there tonight."

"Oh." Now that I was paying more attention to anything but my mortification, he did seem dressed differently than this morning - a brilliant red, long-sleeved shirt and perfectly faded blue jeans. He looked freshly washed too, his hair fabulously messy, but still slightly damp. He looked the rock god that I remembered from the night before.

"Do you guys want to go..." he paused, then grinned devilishly, "or stay here?"

I blurted out, more from remembered embarrassment and irritation, than any real desire, "No, we'll go. Sure."

Denny blinked at me in confusion, and what looked a little like disappointment. "Really?"

Trying to find a way to recover from my unthinking pronouncement, I came up with, "Yeah, they sounded really good last night. I was hoping to hear a little more."

Denny slowly sat up on the couch. "All right. I'll get my keys."

Kellan shook his head at me slightly, an amused grin on his face. "Okay, I'll see you there then."

On the car ride there, I tried to cover my earlier embarrassment by asking Denny about the odd conversation in the kitchen with Kellan. I looked over at him. "Kellan seems...nice?" I didn't mean for it to come out like a question, but it kind of did.

He looked across at me "No, he is. You kind of have to get used to him. He can seem like a real figjam, but he's a really great guy."

I raised my eyebrow at his weird Australian slang and smiled, waiting for him to explain. Every once in awhile, he would throw words out at me that I had no idea what they meant. He smiled, knowing what I was waiting for. "Fuck I'm Good, Just Ask Me," he explained.

I blushed a little, thinking I preferred the shortened version, and then laughed. "You never really talked about him before. I hadn't realized you guys were so close." I tried to think back over the few times he had mentioned his friend in Washington, but nothing jumped out in my head.

He looked back to the road and shrugged. "I guess we kind of lost contact when I went back home. I talked with him once or twice when I came back to the States...but we never really kept in touch. Busy, you know."

Puzzled I said, "I got the feeling from him that you were closer. He kind of seems to love you?" I felt a little weird saying that; guys weren't usually so blunt with their feelings. It wasn't as if Kellan had been writing him sonnets or anything, it was just a feeling I got from him. His comment of "owing Denny" and "doing anything for him" - in the guy-verse, that equated love.

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