Moving In

Jamie cranked down the old truck’s window manually. Used to the cozy warmth from the truck’s heater, a cool burst of autumn air stung his face. He nonetheless leaned out of the window and typed the security code into the panel. It wasn’t his first time ever typing it in, alone or otherwise, but this time it felt different to him. Like it belonged to him. A second of processing was all it took, and then the strong, black, iron gates slid open to grant him access. Knowing they wouldn’t stay like that for very long, he didn’t bother with the window and just drove the moving van through.

He drove it up the long, curved driveway toward the house. Jamie took it three-fourths of the way around the house’s circular driveway by the front door, and put it in park. With a deep breath and a smile, he turned the keys, rolled up the window, and jumped out.

Sweetie was waiting for him at the front door, dressed in layers that befit the cold day and the task at hand. Jamie caught him in a hug, sweeping the skinnier man into his arms and hugging tightly through the jackets, sweatshirts, shirts, and undershirts. The squishiness did nothing to downplay his affection and Sweetie hugged back with the same excitement and desperation.

“You still want to do this?” Sweetie asked, rubbing his cheek against the side of Jamie’s head as he pulled back.

“Oh yeah,” Jamie said, nodding. There was, of course, a part of him that was screaming to get right back in the rented U-Haul and peel out of the driveway without even looking back. But the rest of him was doing an excellent job of beating that part of him to a bloody pulp so the voice couldn’t even speak out in its own defense. He was inexplicably filled with more exhilaration and anticipation than he’d felt in a very long while. “I’m moving in.” He practically charged over to the truck. The heavy metal door slid up with a loud roar, revealing a dark interior packed nearly to bursting with what had previously been the contents of Jamie’s apartment.

“Wait,” Sweetie instructed, before Jamie could make a move toward a box or even a lamp. “I’ve got a surprise for you first.”

“Good thing I happen to like your surprises,” Jamie said, grinning. He had a feeling he knew what this one was, too. The fact that none of the other residents of the house were out there yet to help move them in was pretty telling. Sweetie was going to take him inside for one final round of reassurance in the form of incredible lovemaking. After all, once they started the heavy-lifting, they weren’t going to have the energy to exert themselves this well. Better to get the mind-blowing sex out of the way first. And then the memory of it would linger all day, through the stubbed toes and pinched fingers and boxes he knew he really should have packed better. “I’m all yours, Love.”

Sweetie grinned broadly at the sound of that word, and Jamie grinned back. It didn’t sound as strange coming from his mouth as it once had. In fact, it sounded wonderful, both in his voice and when it was rattling around in his head. God help him, but he really was in love with this guy.

“Good… because I need to put this on you.” He held up a large bandana, and Jamie looked at it quizzically. Sweetie folded it over on itself a few times, until it appeared to be nothing more than a strip of cloth. Sweetie made an arc around Jamie and, from behind, tied the bandana around Jamie’s head as a blindfold. “Can you see anything?”

“A little,” Jamie replied in all honesty, seeing a little sliver of light, ground, and his shoes just beneath him. He tried pulling the bandana down to fix that, but the tug was too much and the whole thing slipped down from his eyes entirely, untying at the back.

Sweetie grunted and grabbed it, tying it back on again. “How about now?” he asked, pulling it tight and double-knotting it, from what Jamie could tell.

“I still see my feet,” he said. “Sorry.”

“That’s all right,” Sweetie conceded. “If that’s all you can see, that’ll do.” Still standing behind Jamie, Sweetie put his hands on Jamie’s upper arms. “Okay, buster, start walking.”

After Jamie tripped and caught himself a few times and nearly scraped his shin against the stoop, they decided to change positions. Sweetie walked first, guiding Jamie inside by way of Jamie’s hands on Sweetie’s shoulders. “Mmm,” Jamie said, pressing his body against Sweetie’s. “I like this surprise already.”

“Just you wait,” Sweetie chuckled. “It gets better.”

Jamie was hard-pressed to think of what could possibly be better than lovely welcoming sex, with a little blindfold kink thrown in, but he trusted Sweetie implicitly. However, as he found a few minutes later, he shouldn’t have underestimated the man.

They walked into the house and down the short hallway to the main hall which stretched from one garage to the other. Jamie felt himself being guided to the left, and then to the left again. He knew they must be in the living room, and taking that particular circular staircase up to the second floor. He continued to keep track of their position as they left the room and hit that hallway. They turned left again, just as Jamie had expected.

Just before going into a room, Sweetie spun Jamie around as though to confuse him. Then a door opened and they entered the bedroom. “Do you know where we are?” Sweetie whispered into Jamie’s ear.

“In your bedroom,” Jamie answered.

There was a pause, in which Sweetie chuckled almost silently. “No. Try again.”

“Fine, all right,” Jamie said with a smile. “We’re in our bedroom.”

More chuckling. “You sure about that?” Sweetie reached up and pulled off the blindfold.

Jamie blinked for a moment as the light full-on struck his eyes. But then he adjusted and looked around. “Oh my God… what did you do to the room?” The bedroom was completely bare. Apart from track lighting and a neutral beige carpet underfoot— which he had been able to see even with the blindfold on—there was nothing in the room. But the more Jamie looked at it, the stranger he felt about it. It wasn’t quite as large as he thought Sweetie’s bedroom would look without furniture. The window seemed a little too centered on the wall. The electrical plugs weren’t where they were supposed to be. And the light switch was… on the wrong side of the door. “Sweetie,” he said, turning around in the room and facing the man, “Where are we?”

“We’re in your room,” Sweetie said, patting Jamie’s chest affectionately. Jamie looked at him blankly, inviting explanation. Sweetie obliged. “I want you to share my house, and my room. But my room is a little small for both of out things, don’t you think? And it seemed a shame to put so much of your things in storage just because my things happened to already be here. But more importantly, I thought it was important for you to have your own space here. Of course, you can still put anything you want in my room…” He took Jamie’s hand and led him out to show him where the room was. It was no surprise that Jamie had mistaken this one for Sweetie’s, as the two were next door to each other.  “I moved my computers across the hall.” He paused. “So… what do you think?” he asked uncertainly.

“I think…” Jamie started, placing his hands on Sweetie’s cheeks and looking him straight in the eyes. “I think you might have to be the sweetest, most thoughtful guy I’ve ever known.” He leaned forward and pressed his lips to Sweetie’s in a kiss of appreciation. It was a gentle, dry, but with just a little bit of noise. A tiny smack. A sharp inhalation through Jamie’s nose. Jamie kept his hands there on Sweetie’s face as he pulled back. His voice was deep and gentle. “I love you, Dominic.”

“You too,” Sweetie replied softly, gazing into Jamie’s eyes so hard they were watering. Or perhaps there was another reason they might be a bit teary. “I love you, too, Jamie.” They kissed again, heads tilted, lips parted, hands on each other’s heads to keep them close to each other. They couldn’t be closer.


Years later, when they looked back on their relationship, they would agree that the two rooms was one of the reasons the move, and their relationship, had been such a success.

They would also be of the same mind that they shouldn’t have picked for moving day the one day in November when it got up to sixty-seven degrees.

“Jamie, darling, how in the world did you manage to accumulate stho many thingth in only twenty-sthix yearth?”

“Lots of practice, Nik,” Jamie said, picking up another box. “But you’re lucky I sold my couch last weekend. I wouldn’t have wanted to try to get that thing up those stairs.” As it was, there were some extra mattresses upstairs already, so the worst things they had to deal with were the dresser and an armchair. Of course, there were also about a hundred boxes, and probably a quarter of them were going to storage for the time, even with his bedroom. There were things like dishes and camping equipment that Jamie just didn’t need at his disposal. But no matter where the items were going, they had to be taken out of the rented moving van by the evening, because Jamie had to get it back by eight that night. And though the job was long and hard, they were making some steady progress.

It went without saying that Jamie, Olly and Pit took the heaviest boxes, while Nik, Sweetie, and Al took the somewhat lighter ones. Sweetie kept trying to take heavy ones away from Jamie and insisting on helping with them. It wouldn’t do to have his guy pull a muscle and be out of a job. But Jamie promised—with a kiss—to be careful.

Nik brought down a portable compact disk player and a complete set of Cher CDs to help pass the time and make the task a little less taxing. Al disappeared to the kitchen every so often, and returned with a pitcher and glasses packed full of ice cubes. With the sun beating down on them, and the temperature rising throughout the morning, they were all glad for the refreshments.

When it was time for lunch, they decided they should all take a break, instead of work in shifts. Lunch consisted of tuna fish sandwiches, Ruffles potato chips, and sweet iced tea. Not the healthiest of choices, but it gave them energy. Perhaps a little too much energy.

“Where are Sweetie and Jamie?” Pit asked, taking a second helping of chips to finish off the bag. He looked around the kitchen. The last he’d seen, they had been cleaning up and packing dishes into the dishwasher. But they didn’t seem to be around now. “Did they start moving things again?”

“I don’t think so,” Olly said, stealing a chip from Pit’s plate, and then carrying his dishes to the sink. “I think they…” He almost blushed. “I think they might be christening the new room upstairs already.”

“Then let’s give them a few more minutes,” Auntie Al decided for the group. “The move was a difficult decision for both of them. And unless we want to carry all that stuff back down again, I don’t think it hurts them to have a bit of a reminder of why they’re doing this.”

“Just so long as it isn’t just for the sex,” Olly said, running water over his plate to rinse it before loading it into the dishwasher.

“Yeah,” Nik said, chuckling as he thought about how the two had been not long before when they had almost broken up. Sweetie had been in plenty of relationships before, but he’d never before even flirted with the idea of asking someone to move in. This time, it was obvious how serious things were and how much they cared for each other. “Something tells me it’s not just about the sex.”

The group didn’t mind an extra few minutes of rest. They resumed the task when Sweetie and Jamie appeared in the kitchen, mysteriously, as though they had been there the whole time. The only evidence that they hadn’t been there was Sweetie’s un-tucked polo shirt.


“No,” Jamie said, his voice straining as he fought to hold onto the dresser. “Don’t push it anymore. It won’t fit around the corner.”

“It will,” Pit insisted through gritted teeth. He was several stairs below and holding it up, supporting most of its weight. “Just… ah…” he quickly slid his hand to the side an inch, readjusting his grip. As he did so, the dresser tilted to the side slightly and lost his hold for a moment.

“Ow! Pit!” Sweetie winced as his hand was pinched against the wall.

“Fucksorry,” Pit muttered as he summoned his strength and recovered his grip. “You okay, Sweetie?”

Sweetie grimaced as he held the dresser with his smarting hand. “No,” he said. “Let’s just get this mother upstairs and then I’ll get mad.”

“I’m telling you,” said Jamie. “It’s just not going to fit this way. The corner hits the edge of the wall here and won’t turn.”

Sweetie loved his house very much. It was unique and overflowing with character. Having staircases within rooms was especially fun, and he absolutely loved his circular staircases. But they made moving large pieces of furniture virtually impossible. He swore to himself and winced again in pain as the weight was getting to him, even though Pit was really handling most of it. “Okay. Love, just tell us what to do.” Sweetie hoped the answer wasn’t to carry it back down again and start over, because he didn’t think he had that kind of energy and was pretty sure the others didn’t either.

“Let’s try tilting it. Can you do that?”

“What, where? How?” Pit asked, starting to lose patience or lose his temper or perhaps both.

“Tilt it to the left—your right. And at the same time, tilt it up toward me. Your side should go up…”

The direction was relatively ambiguous, and everyone tried moving it in different directions. It was easy to start getting frustrated as they were getting tired. But they worked out the angle and the dresser scraped against the wall, taking some of the paint with it and leaving a brown streak the color of the wood’s stain against the wall. It could be fixed, even though Sweetie swore at the sight. Still, the important thing was that they got it out of the stairwell and up onto the second floor. Sweetie grunted and immediately dropped it, his strength giving out finally.

Similarly, Pit swore again, loudly, and dropped it as well. Jamie did likewise, without the language. They all caught their breath and waited for the pain in their arms, hands, and backs to subside long enough to move it all the way down the hall to Jamie’s room.

“I say we push it,” Pit said, finally.

“Not sure that’ll work on the…” Pit gave it a shove, throwing his weight into it, and the dresser moved nearly a foot forward. “…rug,” Sweetie finished. “All right. Let’s give that a try.” They half-pushed and half-carried the dresser the rest of the way down. And then they set it against the wall and Jamie, who actually wanted it a little further down, decided he could live with it there.

“Great,” Sweetie said, inspecting his slightly reddened, smashed hand. It was going to hurt for a while, but it wasn’t broken or anything. “How much more do we have to do?”

Sweetie gently took hold of Sweetie’s wrist, taking a look. Then he ran a hand up and down Sweetie’s back. “Just a few more boxes, I think. But I can handle them. You don’t have to—”

“Don’t patronize me,” Sweetie sighed. “I can help you finish up. It’s not too bad.” He hissed as he shook his hand.

Pit snorted. “From the sound of it, you’d think I’d chopped it off or something.”

Sweetie made a face at him and started down the hallway, wanting to get this done with as soon as possible. Pit and Jamie followed. “Hey, at least we got the dresser upstairs,” Jamie said. “I wasn’t sure we’d manage that, for a second there.” He paused then offered a “Good work, guys. Really.”

“Yeah,” said Pit, sounding insincere about it. He’d done the most work, after all. “Well, at least we weren’t slacking off like some people.”

They met those very people at the base of the stairs in the living room. “Just two more boxes,” said Olly. Olly and Nik were together holding an especially large and heavy box, while Auntie Al had a smaller box in his arms.

“Great,” Jamie thanked them with a nod, and the three headed upstairs. “I’ll be able to get the moving van back in time and maybe unpack a little tonight after dinner.”

“Unpack?” Sweetie came dangerously close to whining. “Jamie…”

Jamie smiled. “I need to find my pajamas at least,” he said.

“Mmm.” Sweetie put an arm around Jamie’s middle, holding him close. “No you don’t. You really don’t.”

Jamie chuckled and kissed him.

Pit rolled his eyes. “I’d complain that you two were too cute, but you know I’m just jealous.”

“Aw, Pit. I love you, too.” Dragging Jamie a few steps, Sweetie wrapped his other arm around Pit. Pit grinned and reached down to pat Sweetie affectionately for the sentiment, but it was Sweetie’s bad hand and Sweetie sucked in a sharp breath and pulled it away, instinctively.

“Fuck… M’sorry,” Pit said again.

Sweetie shook his head. “I’ll get some ice on it and have Olly take a quick look. I’ll be fine.” 

Nik, Olly, and Auntie Al were heading back down the stairs by now, so all six of the house’s residents filed out again. There were only two boxes, but being there provided support, and wrapped up the event which they were all more than glad to see come to an end.

But as they got outside, they were all stopped in their tracks at the sight before them. The moving van was still there, right where they’d left it, with the aforementioned two boxes perched on the edge of the open trailer. On the other side of the circular driveway, however, there was an addition.

It was a rusty, old, olive green sedan, packed to the gills with clothes, boxes, bags, and more. Leaning against the back of the car, his arms crossed over his chest, was none other than Coyote. He smiled warmly at them all. “Hey guys,” he said, lifting his hand to give them all a sheepish little wave. “You got anything left in you to help with another move-in?”

They had enough energy, at the very least, to charge over to him and catch him in a massive, many-armed hug.