“I know…I know,”
Yet Ghoul still couldn’t keep the stupid smile off of his face. It had been a long day. All of us had agreed that we hadn’t covered enough ground so we now took it turns to carry Kobra and the bag between us. It was tough and we definitely hadn’t got as far as we should have. After he had been sick on me, he had collapsed. I was so worried even now and even Ghoul and Jet’s soothing voices telling me that he had just fainted weren’t enough to stop me from feeling frantic. I had wanted to carry him the whole way, at least he could be partially safe in my arms. I would be the first to know if anything was the matter. But Ghoul had insisted on us swapping and after looking in his eyes, I gave in quickly. We had stopped running as soon as darkness had started to fall and when we had finally set up camp, the dark was thick and we all decided against a fire. Kobra had woken up and we had gotten him to drink a little water before he fell into a deep sleep. No one had suggested giving him any food because in the back of our minds, we all knew what was wrong with him, yet no one had said it out loud yet. Food poisoning.
And it was my fault for refusing them a fire. My fault for not looking out for his interests; I was supposed to be strong but I was failing badly. Before Kobra fell into his dreams, he had tried to apologise for being sick on me but I had quietened him with a kiss on his forehead. It wasn’t his fault, it was mine and seeing my still pale faced brother trying to say he was sorry as he looked up at me weakly was enough to banish any other emotions I could possibly have felt; only guilt remained. I was now using a little of our precious water to try and clean myself with, spreading it on my fingers and using my nails to pick off sun dried chunks of the raw meat we had been eating. They didn’t look a lot better than they had on the way down. Ghoul was sat a little way off watching me and I tried not to be stupid about the fact he was seeing me in my underwear but as his eyes watched my fingers as they danced around on my chest, I could feel myself blush darkly and was glad of the night to hide it.
“You know I think I got a little of my shoe,” Ghoul tutted, frowning at his shoe slightly before meeting my hard gaze with his smiling face. I rolled my eyes at him and flicked a small chunk of Kobra’s sick at him, making him flinch and wiping the smile right off his face. He flailed his arms about and one of his hands hit his plate, which was gathered on a pile with three others, and I noticed for the first time that his plate was full.
“You didn’t eat again!”
He just kept his face down and moved his arms to hold his shoulders. He looked so innocent and just like a little boy with the frown on his face. I badly wanted to lean over and pull my arms around him, enclosing him in an embrace but suppressed the feeling, watching his hunched figure instead.
“It’s more food for you guys so what do you care?!”
He spoke sharply but some of the frustration was lost as his head was still ducked down towards the ground. I moved towards him and knelt down in front of him, causing him to move his legs up and hug them tightly to his chest but in that moment I didn’t care, I hated seeing Ghoul unhappy. He was always so cheerful and was the heart to our little band of rebels. Only now did it occur to me that it might just be a front while he battled his own demons inside alone; just like me.
“I care because you haven’t eaten in days, Ghoul!”
He just shrugged at this, still not looking at me. He had been a strict vegetarian in another life so the sudden change was probably hard for him. I got that. But he had to eat. I raised one hand to move his head up to face mine. At my touch, his head snapped up but I didn’t move my hand from his chin, fixing his head in place so his eyes were levelled with mine. His eyes swam with a mixture of emotion that I couldn’t quite figure out but his eyes were enough to make my words still in my throat for a second. But only for a second.
“Listen, I get it. Really I-“
“No you don’t get it!”
His voice was harsh and he tried to pull his head away from my grasp but my hand came up to the other side of his face until I was gripping it with both hands. He stilled his head and for a moment, seemed to stop breathing at my touch. Of course it was really my breath that had stilled, it was really me that had this creepy crush on my friend. He was probably really uncomfortable and looking for a chance to get away from me but I kept his face in my hands, trying to get him to understand.
“Okay…So maybe I don’t get it. But you have to eat!”
He just nodded slightly and his head dropped down to my chest, his eyes seeming to scrutinise it. I pulled my hands away from his head, suddenly uncomfortable and wanting to shield my body from him. He looked up into my eyes and smiled at me, making any bad feelings I had felt fall away onto the golden desert ground.
“You’ve made a right mess of this!”
He used one finger to point out a lump of Kobra’s sick I had neglected and I made a face at it, reaching out for the canteen of water I had been using. But his hands got their first and his fingers were immediately on my chest, their soft points poking into me as he cleaned me, using lots more water than he should have done but I was still and said nothing. He worked away at a spot of dried sick just above my left nipple and I watched his face as he stuck his tongue out to one side in concentration and had to stop myself from lunging at him and catching his tongue in my teeth. As he pulled his hand away from my chest to admire his work, his thumb rubbed gently against the tip of my nipple. I shivered, enjoying the sensation. Ghoul’s hand was now posed over my chest. Had he felt my shiver? I thought he had but then why had his hand stilled? Why was he not turning away from me in disgust? The moments seemed to last for hours as I watched Ghoul’s face, his lips pressed together and his eyes still on my chest.
Suddenly I felt his thumb at my nipple again and stopped myself from shaking under the touch of him. He flicked the end lightly but I stayed stock still, just enjoying the sensation of his thumb, not daring to breathe. His other fingers joined his thumb and this time I did shiver, the light touch too much for my quivering chest. He giggled and I turned my head up to look at him. I hadn’t heard that sound in so long, a sound I had grown to love after being friends with him so long. In this black and unfriendly new world, I had thought the simple joys like this had been lost forever. I was snapped back to reality to see Ghoul’s face now inches from my own, his eyes lit up with an emotion I’m sure mirrored the one in my eyes; lust. He licked his lips slowly and I watched his tongue, stopping a moan escaping my lips at the sight of his lips, wet and parted begging for my own to meet them.
I looked up and found his eyes on my lips, staring at the slight gap between them, his eyes begging for permission to enter. Up close, I could see the small imperfections on his face, things I would have thought impossible on the face on someone so beauty. But up close the black circles under his eyes were worse and on a small patch by his cheek, sat a patch of dry skin, probably from all those nights sleeping face down in the dust. Yet, it was the little things that seemed to be driving me forward, it was that small patch of dryness which made me want to run my lips over his face even more. It was the dark marks which needed my lips to smooth them away, to chase them away with a lick from my tongue. I looked at his eyes again to see they were already watching me and something in them made a force drive up from my stomach; suddenly I needed him, I needed his lips on mine more than everything in the world.
I moved forward to meet him, cocking my head to one side and he did the same, the force moving him too as it did me. A noise to one side of us made me stop and spring apart from each other. My eyes were wide as they scanned our surroundings, looking for signs of movement. But it had just been Kobra, rolling over in his sleep. Jet was breathing loudly next to him, his head lolling. I moved my gaze back to Ghoul, who sat facing Kobra, his teeth moving up to bite his lip and his knees now at his chest.
“I’m…I’m gonna go to sleep now.”
He moved away from me, leaving me dazed as he settled into a spot next to Kobra.
It was all I could say and I just sat there for a few minutes thinking everything through in my head, my brain buzzing and running at a million miles an hour. Eventually, I sighed and stood up, yawning. I shivered but this time from cold and turned to my clothes. I would have to put them back on, despite the fact they were still covered in vomit. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted Ghoul’s jacket laid out beside me, its presence making me frown. I looked at Ghoul who now lay deep breath, with his thin shirt around himself for warmth. I sighed and shook my head. He was just too kind! I pulled on my trousers, trying hard not to moan at the moist sensation they had despite the fact the sun had dried most of it. I left my shirt for the minute and walked over to Ghoul, his jacket in my arms. I delicately laid it over him, watching his face all the while for signs of movement. I breathed in quickly as his eyes fluttered open, confused as he looked from me to his jacket.
“No, idiot,” he whispered, half asleep, “this was for you!”
Before I could reply, his hand pulled at my arm making to fall onto my back beside him. I rolled over to face him, slightly confused but he just used his hand to feel down my spine, making me release a small gasp as his light fingers stroked the skin. He increased the pressure on my spine making me buck my hips forward and pulling me in closer to him. While he draped the jacket over us both, I took the opportunity to inhale deeply, his hair falling slightly in my face. Good, this was creepy but he really did smell so good. I had closed my eyes and opened them in see Ghoul staring at me, a small smirk on his face. Jesus, had he caught me smelling him? But whether he had or not, I didn’t know because he simply closed his eyes and lay facing me, deep breathing. He seemed to have fallen asleep and while I was tired, I didn’t want to waste a second of my time here with Ghoul. I lifted my hand up, careful not to disturb Ghoul and reached out quietly to touch his cheek, pulling the hair back from his perfect pale face. He wriggled and his face twitched but he didn’t wake up. I rubbed my fingers in a circle over his smooth skin and leaned forwards again to breathe in his scent. Wow, I really was creepy but before it had felt like Ghoul at wanted it too, when he had looked at me with that expression in his eyes.
I froze as Ghoul’s arm came up and waved a little in the air, maybe he was dreaming, before clamping down hard onto his side. My arm lay trapped underneath his and I sighed as I reached for his hand, locked it in mine. His smile was back on his face but he was still asleep. I looked once more at his face before closing my eyes and drifting off into a dreamless sleep, praying I could stay like this forever.