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(A Less Is More Story)

M/M, Contemporary, Erotic Romance
[25 Pages / 5,200 Words]

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In the exhausted wake of a successful show, Jay comes home in the smallest hours of morning. Despite a week of conflicting schedules, he does his best not to wake his boyfriend. But when Leon surprises him by pinning him to the bed and kissing him breathless, the intimate possibilities are endless.

Series: Less Is More
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The porch light is still on when Jay reaches Leon's house, despite the fact that it's almost three in the morning. The street lingers in quiet shadows, turning the familiar road and sidewalk into something peaceful but a little bit eerie. A warm wind rustles through the silence, and the beep of Jay's car locking sounds jarring in the quiet air.

Tonight isn't the first time Jay has arrived dramatically late, but he's never pulled up quite this close to dawn.

Fatigue makes his limbs heavy as he lets himself into the house, but it's a pleasant feeling, well-earned and slow to dissipate in the wake of a successful show. Tiny venue, noisy energy, enthusiastic crowd. A selfish twinge of wistfulness twists inside him at the fact that his boyfriend wasn't there, but he doesn't begrudge Leon a solid night's sleep before the first seven a.m. class of the semester. Jay definitely wouldn't volunteer to teach at that unholy hour, but he loves Leon too much to judge the man's fondness for early mornings.

Though between Leon's early-bird routine and Jay's night-owl habits—not to mention the bizarre schedule Jay maintains between day job and music—it's sometimes a wonder they manage to see enough of each other to call this a relationship. When work gets simultaneously chaotic for both of them, there are days letting himself into Leon's house is the closest Jay gets to spending time with his partner.

This week isn't quite that bad, but it's close. Jay puts his keys on the little table by the stairs, and closes the front door as softly as he can. Slips his shoes off on the mat. Sets his guitar case down against the wall. Even as he climbs the stairs and slips into Leon's bedroom on the second floor, Jay does his best to remain unobtrusive. The last thing he wants is to startle Leon awake with only a couple hours left before the abrasive blare of the alarm clock.

Jay doesn't bother turning on any lights as he changes into sleepwear and rushes through a truncated version of his nightly routine, which means he gets only a shadowy glimpse of his own reflection in the mirror: a silhouette of wild hair, grown out chaotic and messy from a haircut left untrimmed too long; white t-shirt over skinny shoulders; clumsy movements despite his best efforts to be suave and sneaky and not make a sound.

He gets a better view of Leon, when he sneaks back into the bedroom and drops the day's clothes onto an empty chair.

The warm night has made Leon kick the covers off, and moonlight through an un-curtained window does a surprisingly thorough job of illuminating his handsome features. An otherwise dark beard shows more than a few hints of silver along a strong sweep of jaw. Powerful muscles shape Leon's relaxed frame, where he sprawls on his side with one arm folded beneath the pillow. He faces the center of the mattress, his other arm draped forward as though reaching out even though Jay isn't there.

Jay's chest goes tight just looking at him. The flush of possessive affection that rolls through him is nothing new, though Jay sometimes finds himself surprised that it keeps getting stronger with time—rather than fading as familiarity and routine replace the novelty of a new relationship.

Sometimes Jay catches himself wondering why a man like this puts up with him. Leon is as close to perfect as the world can possibly allow: sweet and soft and achingly reliable. In other words, he's everything Jay—with his prickly edges, dicey temper, dubious career path—is not. There are days Jay wonders if their incompatible schedules will eventually be their undoing. He's seen the foundations of other relationships shake apart on steadier ground than this.

But most days, Jay knows better. Because he knows Leon, and Leon knows him, and if they've made it this far then Jay's not going to let a little anxiety cost him a good thing.

And fucking hell, he's been staring through the moonlit darkness like some kind of lovestruck clod. Nearly falling asleep on his feet, and yet Jay is so captivated that even now it takes him several seconds to coax himself back into motion.

The mattress dips beneath his weight, despite how carefully he moves. Jay also isn't capable of staying on his own side of the bed. He shifts closer—still not wanting to wake Leon, but desperate to touch. It's the easiest thing in the world to lift Leon's outstretched arm and tuck himself beneath, cuddling in against Leon's chest by gradual degrees. The warmth emanating off Leon's body is almost too hot to be comfortable, but Jay doesn't care. He needs this, the solidity of his boyfriend pressed against him, the rise and fall of Leon's breath, the easy strength exuded even in sleep.

Jay hums a long, low sigh and finally closes his eyes, letting himself relax into the relief of being home, here in Leon's bed after an exhausting marathon of a day.

He doesn't even manage a full inhale before Leon moves, putting him on his back so suddenly that Jay's startled yelp is silenced by a deep and demanding kiss. Jay shivers, ecstatic at this surprise, and wraps his arms around Leon's shoulders. God, it's so easy to melt like this. To lose himself in the hot press of Leon's body half covering him, the teasing insistence of Leon's mouth.

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Sleepless: A Less Is More Story
Cover design by Yolande Kleinn
ISBN 978-1-946316-40-0
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