Corey has a secret ability to pull objects through space from one place to another. He doesn’t ever want his lover, Will, to find out, until one day he faces a temptation he’s increasingly unable to resist.
Will had always thought true love was a Hollywood myth, and the aching that supposedly came not being able to be with your fated mate a joke. Coupling was about pleasure, pure and simple. It was the whole reason he’d resolved to start working out, all the way back when he could still count his public hairs on the fingers of one hand: he wanted to know what it felt like to rub up against other guys, and building sweet aesthetic muscle was the obvious way to up the quality of the dudes interested in letting him. Plus the guys would catch a bonus too, he figured, getting a hotter body to feel up and mash up against. It turned out to be a triple win when he discovered how pumping iron came naturally to him, the rhythm of it anchoring his occasionally turbulent home life and even helping him focus academically enough to get into a good school and aim at a real future for himself.
When he met Corey, he told himself that all he saw was another hot guy to share pleasure with. His first meeting with the man, a chance encounter in Jody’s dorm room, wasn’t his usual hook-up scenario: usually he noticed a fellow lecture-attendee’s hard, round ass as the exited the auditorium together, or the swell of his firm pecs under a sweat tee shirt as he slapped his buddies’ backs after a round of hoops, or the honed curves of his thighs as he cooled down from a run at the water-bottle refill. With Corey, he noticed—him. It wasn’t just the ice-blue eyes that entranced him, or the ridiculously sweet elfin face under the adorable mop of sandy curls. He didn’t even pick up on the decently broad shoulders then, or any of the other signs that he was mouthwateringly fit under that baggy Vikings tee. All that came later. In that first moment, what he registered was Corey’s presence. It was something about him, something Will couldn’t name, something that made him want to stroke that peach-cream cheek and slide a finger along that sharp jaw, until his thumb found those plump, slightly parted lips. He realized he was getting turned on just seeing the guy—for once, before he’d even gotten a good look at his ass!
Acting on instinct, he’d tossed Corey some bait and then bolted, shoving the stolen brownie into his mouth to distract himself from his confusing sense of full-body arousal. He was more relieved than he’d have cared to admit when Corey followed up, arranging a supposedly random meeting via Jody that instantly became a date. Will found he couldn’t get enough of Corey. Just being with him made his blood head and his heart swell—and his dick, too. Corey did turn out to have a splendid ass and an amazing everything else, and their first fuck was passionate and carnal and utterly epic. Even as he was blasting his load for the second time, Corey’s long, hot dick so deep in him he through he could taste it, all he could think through the shared, sweaty haze of euphoria was more. Not just more fucking—more Corey. More Corey, all the time.
Corey obviously felt the same way. They could not get enough of each other. They were in each other’s pockets day and night, through college and then beyond, neither questioning the need to be together even after the protective bubble of university life was behind them. They kept physically close whenever they could, his hand always on Corey’s waist or his shoulder or his ass, their bodies pressed tight in mutual comfort. Even when they were out in social situations Will wanted his face to be constantly near Corey’s, as if his soft, meticulously-kept stubble were a sensor array that could feel the proximity of Corey’s warm, smooth cheek and jaw, flooding his mind with the reassurance that Corey was there, that a kiss could be stolen at any moment. Sometimes just knowing that and being close was enough, but there were plenty of times Will just couldn’t resist and would attack Corey’s mouth without warning, winning a surprised, laughing reciprocation from his man while their friends hooted and cheered.
The travel thing, when it came, was the wrench in the works he hadn’t seen coming. Will had never done “alone” well. Even before Corey he’d always sought out people and avoided solitude at all costs. Now that he was in love, it was a hundred times worse. Their modestly upscale flat with all the big rooms and wide windows was painfully empty when Corey was away, full of vast expanses of empty he could barely cope with. Going out didn’t help; he still felt alone, even at the movies or their gym on the corner or the local gay-friendly bar they went to sometimes. Texting Jody in San Diego only reinforced how isolated he was. If he tried walking in the park, something they did together whenever they wanted a quiet moment of peace together, his sense of aloneness seemed to expand into the open air, filling the whole fucking planet.
As if that weren’t enough, as the months went by he started having strange moments when he was sure he was being watched. At first the eerie sensation was infrequent, but lately it was happening more and more, until every night Corey was away, as he lay in their too-big bed half-sick from missing him, Will was certain there was someone watching him. Craving him. Caressing unseen eyes over his ripped, naked body, seeing into his soul, feeling his aloneness and echoing its own back.
During this most recent trip to Scotland the sensation had become intense. On the third night, as Will lay there, his skin prickling, he felt his cock start to fill and his heartbeat quicken, as though his body knew what he couldn’t bring himself to believe. He closed his eyes, letting the feeling of being watched sink into him. “Corey?” he said at last, soft and uncertain, though he knew it couldn’t be anything but his man making him feel all these things.
He regretted having spoken almost instantly—the sensation stopped, leaving him alone again in the cold bedroom. He had felt him, though. The strangeness stopping the moment he said his name was proof—it had to be. Pretending Corey was still with him he jerked off feverishly, for the first time since Corey had left, then, after cleaning himself up, slipped into an uneasy sleep, hoping this spectral version of Corey would return to him.
Will must have spooked him, he decided, because the sensation of being watched did not recur the next night, or the night after that. Will kept his nerve, stoking his hopes. Then, on the seventh night, it happened. The unseen eyes were back, more potent than ever. Will sensed desperation and reckless need in his lover, and just the idea got him instantly hard. He lay exposed in the middle of their bed, sheet cast aside, letting himself be raked with roiling, unfathomable passion built up over too many days apart—the same passion he felt burning through him like liquid fire as he imagined Corey watching him and wanting him. Touch me, he thought. Touch me, you sweet bastard! Do it! I need to feel you! I need—
There was a moment of tingling, pervasive cold, like his body was infested with ice-spiders for the barest fraction of a second, and then the room changed completely. The sheets under his naked body had somehow turned cool and cloyingly floral-scented—no, it was a soft, thick duvet, not the chocolate-brown sheets that Corey loved, still holding his lingering scent after a week apart. The bed felt soft and full of springs. Candles flared to either side of him, casting horrific shadows on unfamiliar walls. Thunder crashed, seeming to shake everything. Slumped over him like a rag doll was a half-naked man, his pale skin looking white and exotic in the flickering candlelight.
Will gasped. Was this Corey?
He grabbed the figure by the arms and lifted him to see his face. It was Corey. At first Will had been scared he was unconscious (or worse), but to his relief he saw his eyes were half-open, though only the whites were showing under his long lashes as they lolled back into his head. Will shook him lightly, not wanting to flail his head around too much. “Corey!” he called, worried. “Corey, babe, are you okay?”
They eyes stayed lolled back, but a watery smile tried to take hold of Corey’s lips. He mumbled something in a silly voice that sounded like Willie-will-will.
Will shifted over on the bed, drawing Corey onto his back and getting him fully onto the bed. He stroked Corey’s cheek, worried and excited all at the same time. He’d been needing to see him and touch him like this, to be this close to him. He just wished Corey didn’t look so… drained.
“Corey, sweetheart,” he cooed, sliding the backs of his fingers along the fine sandpaper of Corey’s jaw. “Talk to me, babe. Tell me you’re okay.”
Corey’s lids fluttered, and Will finally saw the delicate blue eyes he loved as Corey met his gaze. “Did I do it?” he slurred. “I did it, right? You’re really here?”
Will spared a quick look around him and understood at last where he was. Lightning flickered in a nearby rain-spattered window, and in the beat before the thunder rolled he took in what could only be Corey’s much-hated hotel room in Scotland. It had been described to him at great length in their few sporadic phone conversations over the last seven days, down to the vomitous orange tulip wallpaper and the collection of three (unfueled) hurricane lamps provided as bits of pointless, random decor on the pine shelf over the TV stand. He turned back to Corey with a wonderstruck smile. “I’m really here,” he confirmed.
Then, when Corey said nothing further, he had to ask: “How?”
Corey squeezed his eyes shut, his brow creasing lightly. “Get Monkeymonk to explain,” he directed blearily. “Too tired.”
Will, bemused, glanced across the room to where Corey’s beloved sock monkey was perched on the low, old-fashioned bureau, watching them intently with what Will fancied was a rather more astonished expression than usual. And well he might, Will thought, quirking his lips as he turned his head back to Corey. He resumed stroking his cheek and said soothingly, “You can tell me later.”
“S’your fault,” Corey murmured, clearly starting to drift. “You’re way too heavy in the mind.” Will huffed a laugh and kissed him on the forehead, allowing him to fall into the deep, restful sleep he clearly needed, his other half finally, if inexplicably, once more at his side.
A two-hour nap and a mug of herbal tea from the caddy next to the Mr Coffee in the nook by the door rejuvenated Corey enough to be reasonably human again, and he was able to give a brief account of “this one thing I can do.” Will listened, a bit dazed, as they sat together on the side of the springy bed. Corey watched him nervously, finally interrupting himself to ask, “Are you… are you okay with this?”
Will felt something warm well up in him as he stared back into those worried ice-blue eyes. “You missed me so much you bent space and time to bring me near to you,” he said, his voice low and rough. He took the mug out of Corey’s hands and set it on the night stand next to the now-guttering candle, then took his shoulders in his hands, locking their gazes. “Corey, love,” he said, “I am very okay with this.”
They made love until the sun came up, first with Will on top, then Corey, emboldened and reinvigorated by Will’s acceptance of what he could do, gave him the dicking of his life.
After taking turns in the small, anemic shower they came back out and regarded each other wistfully, each taking in the other’s wet, carefully sculpted form. “I have to get to the client site soon,” Corey admitted ruefully.
“Me too, actually,” Will said. “I’ve got two long consults this morning back to back.” Of course, with the time difference Will was not in such a rush, but there was no point hanging around if Corey was going to be in meetings. He frowned. “Are you sure you can do this? It seemed to take a lot out of you last night.”
Corey nodded, though his expression was more uncertain. “It was weird—it had never felt like that before,” he said. “Usually it’s just flicking something one place to another. Like at school I was always sending my change to the Coffee Castle every week, but—”
“Wait, what?” Will broke in. When Corey explained about the regular exercise he’d forced on himself involving transferring his spare change to the coffee shop’s tip jar, Will jumped in again. “I saw that!” he said excitedly.
Corey blanched, looking alarmed, and Will hastened to reassure him. “I didn’t see it actually happening,” he said. “But I was in there a lot on Friday nights as they closed, and I saw them empty out that mug with the tips a few times. And—remember how I was always doing early morning runs on Saturdays? I’d stop in when they opened as I was finishing, and I kept seeing change in the change jar all over again that I knew shouldn’t have been there…”
Corey was still looking a bit unnerved. “Fuck, and I always worried how I’d get caught,” he babbled, giving Will a crooked smile. “It’s like that Charmed episode where Piper uses magic on some asshole and he realizes what happened and it ends up causing these witch hunts that start tearing everything down, and—”
Will put a hand on his shoulder, grinning at him. “Dude, dude, you weren’t ‘caught’!” he said quickly, chuckling. “Anyway in retrospect it’s actually hilarious. I just ended up telling myself they were seeding the thing to get more tips, though I didn’t ever quite believe it. The truth is, I kinda liked the spooky strangeness of it all.”
Corey’s smile resurfaced, a little stronger this time. “You liked the… spooky strangeness?”
Will stepped closer, catching Corey’s gaze as they felt each other’s body heat against their bare, chilled skin. “I love the spooky strangeness,” he said.
Corey beamed, and Will had to kiss him—solemnly, deeply, and at great length, meetings or no meetings.
“Do you… want me to lie down on the bed?” Will asked.
Corey threw up his hands. He was looking a little pale, but now that he wasn’t so overwrought he didn’t seem to be on the brink of collapse like he’d been the night before.
“I don’t get it!” he said, turning away from Will and ranting, seemingly to himself. “I got the chill, I felt the weight of him in my mind, I saw our living room—” He shook his head, turning to Monkeymonk. “Do you have any ideas?”
The sock monkey said nothing.
“Okay, look, maybe doing a whole person two days in a row is too much of a strain,” Will said. “You said you’ve never done people before, right?”
“No, just Monk.”
Will nodded, glancing at the sock monkey again. “R-right. So, let’s do this. What if you… transferred?”
“Wormholed,” Corey corrected, still turned away from Will with a scowl contorting his sweet face, one Will very much wanted to assuage.
“Wormholed,” Will repeated. “What if you ‘wormholed’ me my wallet, keys, and passport—maybe some clothes, if that’s doable—and I can just fly home? Easy answer, no problema.”
Corey turned back to him, shoulders slumping. “That’s ridiculous,” he said. “I can send you back.”
“I don’t want you to hurt yourself.”
“I won’t!” Seeing Will’s worried look, he said, “Look, let me try it one more time, then we’ll do it your way.”
The second try to reverse Will’s little wormhole trip to Scotland was not a success, though Will thought just for a moment it might—he was sure he could sense the ice-spiders, only to have the whole feeling snuff out like a doused match. Corey was chalk-white after that final try, and Will forbade any further attempts to send him bodily back to the States. Instead, and only after a decent breakfast and two black coffees in the restaurant downstairs, Corey glumly set about wormholing Corey’s wallet, keys, passport, and some comfortable traveling clothes straight out of the clean laundry basket from the two loads Will had done the night before to distract himself and hadn’t gotten around to putting away. Smelling the smell of their dryer sheets, something he associated with home, in this dingy countryside hotel halfway around the world triggered his amazement at what Corey could do all over again.
He had to reschedule his consults after all, of course, and getting back home took almost the entire day, but he was riding high on seeing Corey and didn’t care too much. He still had a smile on his face when he got out of the rideshare from the airport, and he was already starting to miss Corey again as he unlocked the door to his apartment, stepped inside… and froze.
The apartment door opened into the living room, and there were three shirtless men standing right there in front of the sofa, less than ten feet away, in a close cluster as if Will had interrupted an intimate discussion. Will gaped at them, and they stared right back. They were olive-skinned, handsome, exquisitely muscled, hairy-chested, hazel-eyed, stubble-cheeked, and, most shockingly, they were all him. He knew it, instinctively and unquestioningly: All three of these men… were him.
The one on the right turned to the others. “I told you there’d be one more,” he said smugly.