Scott didn’t seem to really react or understand; he’d just leant his head on the hollow of John’s neck and had followed silently, leaving little puddles of water behind them.
“God§ § !! You’re freezing. I swear! You better have a good explanation for this, because this is freaking me out.”
John pushed the door to their bedroom open. Like always, he had left his clothes haphazardly in a pile at the bottom of the bed, so he directed Scott right onto it.
“Stay here. Don’t move.”
In record time, and thanks God for all his West End experience, he ran to the bathroom, got rid of his soaked pajamas, put his robe on, grabbed as many as towels as he could and ran back to his lover’s side.
“We have to warm you up.”
With his index finger he drew a thin line over Scott’s upper lip.
“Your lips are blue.”
He put a towel on the bed, pushed Scott to sit down on it, slid the boxers off his partner’s legs.
“Don’t get any dirty thoughts. I’m so not in the mood. Here…”
John worked efficiently, passing a towel over Scott’s knees, another one on his shoulders and back. He stood up and with the last towel started to dry off Scott’s hair.
“Geez! Didn’t you realize it was raining? I know it’s unusual, this being the desert and all. But Scott!! You should know at your age it’s not something to do.”
“It’s like home.”
Surprised, John stopped his ministration. He looked down, searching his lover’s eyes.
The architect leant his head on John’s stomach, his forehead close to John’s navel, but didn’t offer any answers. John passed his hands through the mass of hair.
“You look like a drown rat.”
“I’m lucky you love animals so much, then.”
Scott didn’t look up, he lay his head on John’s soft stomach.
“Yep! That you are…What were you doing out there? You’re soaked and your skin is like ice. Is there something wrong with you? In case you didn’t notice, it is raining.”
John caressed his lover’s neck for a time.
“Why were you out under the rain? I really don’t understand. ”
“Home! Yeah! Y! !ou said that already. What does that mean?”
John slid a finger under Scott’s chin.
“Are you OK? Are you homesick? Do you want to go back to UK? Scott? You’d tell me if…”
The architect held up his head and for the first time in hours looked directly into his partner’s trouble eyes.
“I’m fine. It’s just…” He shrugged, not knowing how to explain his feelings.
John sat next to him, not breaking eyes contact. He took Scott’s hands in his and rubbed slowly.
“Scott, you were sleeping. Sleepwalking or whatever you call that. You stayed there under the rain for…” “No! No! I wasn’t.”
Scott grabbed John’s shoulder and toppled them together, rolling them both on the bed until he end up, sat on John’s stomach.
“I felt the humidity. It woke me up. I couldn’t get back to sleep and when the dogs became nervous, I decided to lead them out. I watched them for a while and felt the rain on me... It was so warm, it smelled so good. Like Earth. Like home.”
John traced his lover’s jaw with the tip of his index finger.
“You miss London? You want to go home?”
Scott shook his head vigorously.
“No. I just miss the rain. And you have to say, that feeling the rain falling on you in the middle of the desert is beautiful.”
“Yes! It is!” John murmured, remembering how gorgeous Scott had looked outside the patio and then frowned. “You’d tell me if…”
“Yes. John, we talked about my coming with you for weeks. Everything is OK. My firm is doing well, I enjoyed being here. And even if it means to be a bit cheesy... for me home is where you are.”
Somehow relieved that nothing was wrong with his partner, John couldn’t help but let out a big laugh
“You’ve read too many Harlequin books.”
Scott crossed his arms over his chest, trying, without success, to look really pissed off. John was still laughing and in a sing-song voice, made fun of his partner singing:
“Home is where you are, home is where you are”