“Nope.” Pike straightened and turned back to Chris. “Sorry, man. Can’t do that to him.”
“Damn.” Chris rolled his eyes. Zack tried to join him and only succeeded in getting double vision. But he shared the sentiment. Pike was being too damn overprotective. “You need help rolling him into a cab?”
“Yeah. I don’t live far from here.” Pike offered Zack a hand, which he waved away. And promptly landed on his ass when he tried to stand.
“Fuck. He really is toasted,” Chris said, like Zack wasn’t even there as he and Pike hauled him to his feet. He stumbled along with the two of them, not missing the look of regret that passed between the two men.
“Y’all want to fuck, you should,” Zack babbled.
“Call me when your tourist is asleep,” Chris said to Pike.
Tourist? Did Chris mean him? Fuck. He didn’t even know anymore. He barely registered Pike and Chris pushing him into a cab.
“Wheee,” he said as the cab took off for an address Pike barked at the driver. “Hey. Wait. I’m supposed to stay at Ryan’s tonight.”
“Already texted him,” Pike said grimly. “No way am I subjecting them to you after their bad night. You can sleep it off on Landon’s bed.”
“You’re mean,” Zack said as Pike paid the driver and yanked him up the walk of a small apartment building.
“Sssh. Not so loud. And try not to break your neck.” Pike led him to a third-floor apartment.
“Imma SEAL. I can handle stairs,” he slurred right as he tripped and had to be helped up.
“Let’s find you a puke bowl,” Pike said as they entered a small cluttered living room with a battered leather couch, TV and two computer desks.
“Not gonna puke,” he assured Pike. “We should drink more.”
“Hell no.” Pike laughed.
“Or dance. We should dance more. Right here.” Zack rubbed up against Pike, who was warm with surprisingly hard muscles on his wiry frame. Muscles that he used to shove Zack toward a doorway.
“Oh no. I turned down a good time with Chris. You are not trying to start something with me now.”
“Is just dancing.” Zack tried to give him a pitiful look but only got pushed a few more feet for his efforts.
“It is not just dancing.” Pike sighed. “We dance here in private? Someone’s getting naked.”
“Think so?” Zack asked too quickly, trying to control his heart rate.
“I know so.” Pike handed him a large metal mixing bowl. “Now, do not puke in Landon’s bed.”
“You could at least kiss me good-night. Bet Chris woulda gotten a kiss...” He puckered up but found himself tumbled backward onto a bed.
Pike leaned in, kissed him on his forehead, which for some strange reason made Zack’s eyes well up. “Night, Zack.”
He’d forget this in the morning. He had to forget all of tonight, but for right now, he rubbed his forehead, trying to feel the lip prints, and moved his hips, trying to imprint the memory of Pike’s body against his own.
Pike was pretty damn proud of himself for neither kissing Zack nor abandoning him to go start something with Chris. No, he was the good, responsible friend for once, tucking Zack into bed when he started to snore moments after begging for a kiss, taking off his boots and making sure the puke bowl was right next to him. Then he checked the fridge, making sure he had the makings of a hangover breakfast in there before he collapsed in his own bed. Alone.
God, he’d been so close to taking Chris up on the offer of partying back at his place. If Zack were just a little more sober, he totally would have gone for it, but Zack was a whole ream of paper to the wind, and kept looking at him like he trusted him to keep him safe. Guy should know better than to trust someone like him.
And God, when Zack had suggested dancing back here? All those muscles rubbing up against him with purpose? Big questioning eyes asking for a kiss? Fuck, Pike was ready for sainthood right now.
After hours of dancing, Pike was also horny as hell, brain drifting to thoughts of what a kiss with Zack could have been—fuck, did Zack ever have a kissable mouth with soft pink lips. But jerking off over Zack with him sleeping a thin wall away was a bit much, even for Pike. Instead, he punched his pillow and waited for the dulcet tones of Zack puking his guts out.
Said sounds came in the early morning hours, and Pike roused himself just to make sure the guy knew where the can was.
“Oh my God, I am never drinking again,” Zack said as Pike led him to the bathroom. Pike rinsed out the puke bowl—so gross—while Zack got sick in the toilet. He wet a washcloth with cold water and handed it to Zack for his face when he finished.
“Thanks. Sorry, man, I don’t usually drink like this.” Zack straightened, swiping at his face and neck with the rag. And just like that, all Zack’s shields appeared back in place. No more vulnerable guy asking for a kiss. No more hungry look. Just a hungover dude bro looking for the puke bowl.
“No problem.” Pike’s tone was too stiff. Jeez. Was he seriously going to be hurt that Zack was retreating?
“Oh there you are.” Zack’s voice went all warm and sweet as he dropped to one knee, coaxing Pike’s cat, Gizmo, into the small room. Turning to Pike, he said, “It slept with me. Helped with the bed spins.”
It might have been Pike’s imagination, but he swore there was a note of wistfulness in Zack’s voice, like he was sad at being alone in the bed, which was just—fuck it. Pike was not equipped to deal with confused straight boy who went from remote to sweet in an instant.