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Chris woke with a smile. Chris always woke with a smile which is why Luke loved sleeping next to him so much. First the full red lips would twitch and the corners lift. Just a little at first and then more as if an invisible force were tugging them upwards. Then the long dark lashes would tremble and rise like shutters revealing the brilliant summer sky.
Chris’ eyes were the thing that had first attracted Luke. Anyone who looked into Chris’ eyes had to fall in love with him, even before they saw the pretty face and ever smiling lips. To say that Chris’ eyes were beautiful would be a sacrilege on the concept of beauty. They were so far beyond beautiful that Luke couldn’t look at them without losing his breath.
This morning was no exception and, as the glorious blue orbs came into view he caught his breath and couldn’t help but smile himself.
Luke had been caught by those eyes in the very first instant he saw them and, from that instant he had been helplessly and hopelessly in love. That had been almost four years ago and he was still as much in love with the beautiful creature that lay before him as he had been in those first moments. Even more so because he now knew that behind those eyes was a sharp mind and playful personality.
Chris was a phenomenon. He was bright, funny, charming, gentle… he was like a puppy that never grew into a dog. He never growled or bit. He brought calm and equilibrium to every situation and everyone around him. He never lost his sense of humour, never lost his temper, was rarely sad and hardly ever angry. He was the one everyone went to when they needed help, the one who was the first to offer it and the last to withdraw it. He was a rock, an oasis, a good friend and an amazing lover.
Everyone loved Chris and Chris loved everyone… but no one loved Chris like Luke and no one was loved by Chris like Luke. Since the first day, when Luke had started at a new school feeling vulnerable and alone, when he had looked shyly into the sea of unfamiliar faces in the classroom and met the unbelievable blue eyes, they had been inseparable.
Soon their families had become friends and the whole lot of them had spent long summer days and cold winter evenings sharing company and stories and making memories. It was a good time, a wonderful time but all good things come to an end.
It had all started in the summer when they left school, when the close friendship between the two boys had grown into something much deeper. Loving each other had changed subtly to being in love with each other. That had been eighteen months ago but it seemed like forever now. Their families, far from having difficulties with the relationship were delighted. It had brought a whole new dimension to their friendship and how could they have been unhappy with the way that it had lit up their sons with a joy that overflowed and was boundless?
In the autumn they had separated to go to different universities but they hadn’t let that get in the way. For many people long distance relationships were difficult, the additional stress and complication of travelling home at weekends and finding time to study and socialise were never problems because for both of them the only time they truly felt alive was when they were together and, although they both made friend and were social, nothing was important enough to take precedence over their reunions.
Sometimes Luke would stay with Chris so that they could both attend engagements or occasions at Chris’ university, and sometimes Chris would travel to Luke. Both sets of friends were encompassing and became joint friends very quickly, to be absorbed into the joint family until there was one homogenous social group that shared both Luke and Chris between them.
It was perfect, too perfect. And then it all came crashing down.
Luke was thinking about all of this as Chris’ smile warmed and soothed him and the beautiful blue eyes sparkled as they met his. For a moment his musings slipped from his mind as there was room for nothing more that Chris.
He had used to love to watch Chris wake. He had deliberately set his alarm so he could lie there in the early morning light watching the sun rise and Chris sleep. The anticipation would rise with the sun and sometimes would be so unbearable he had to wake him. Usually he was content to wait, savouring the delicious anticipation until the smile tugged at his heart at the same it did Chris’ lips.
It still did, but now it was for very different reasons.
Chris blinked and turned his head towards Luke with a sigh. The sweet smile broadened and he yawned sleepily in that cute way that made Luke tingle. As always he lowered his head and kissed his lover gently, a kiss which Chris returned as eagerly as ever. But these days the kiss was different.
Luke raised his head and brushed the long dark hair away from Chris face as Chris closed his eyes and rubbed his cheek against his hand.
“Good morning. How are you feeling today?”
“You’re here, therefore I feel good,” Chris said simply.
Luke smiled. poker oyna The relief that had flowed through him the moment Chris had looked into his eyes and responded to his kiss flooded him and made him feel dizzy.
“You look worried.”
Luke’s smile faded and he tenderly stroked the soft hair. “You know I always worry about you. I love you too much not to.”
“I told you not to.”
“I know but not even you can command my heart to that extent.”
Chris’ smile was sweet and gentle, his eyes soft. “I know. I’m sorry I make you worry.”
“Oh babe, it’s not you. You know it’s not you. As if. It’s just the whole situation. I feel so…”
“Ssh. There’s no point. You don’t have to feel bad.”
“I love you Chris. How can I…?” There were tears in his eyes. “Every day it’s a torment… watching, waiting.”
“It’s alright Luke. I still remember.”
“Today. But what about tomorrow; the next day? One day you won’t and then what will I do?”
“How can I?”
“Because you’re strong. You’ve always been the strong one.”
Luke laughed and, taking Chris’ hand in his he pressed his cheek against it. It was trembling. “Are you kidding? You’re the strong one. You have always been the strong one. I don’t know where I would have been if not for you. I don’t know how many times you’ve saved me and now I wish I could save you.”
“You do. You save me every day. Every time I wake up looking into your eyes you save me.”
“But it won’t…”
“Remember what we promised. One day at a time. And today is a good day. The sun is shining and you love me, and I love you. That’s a good day.”
“Yeah.” Luke said hoarsely. Chris’ hand twitched in his and then the fingers brushed his cheek, wiping the tears away.
“It’s a good day Luke.” He said firmly. “Maybe tomorrow won’t be, and who knows about the day after but today; today is a good day. Besides, he said softly, it’s almost Christmas and I have a great present for you.”
“You know why Luke.”
“There’s only one present I want.”
“I know, and maybe you’ll get it but… maybe you won’t and you have to deal with that. You have to.”
“I can’t Chris. I just can’t bear the thought…”
“Then don’t think, just kiss me.”
Taking Chris into his arms Luke kissed him with all the desperation that took possession of his soul in that moment. Chris did his best to take it in and pay it back with sweetness and love, but there was only so much that even he could do. He couldn’t stop the tears that trickled from his eyes as his best friend, his lover, his life sobbed helplessly and there was nothing he could do to comfort him.
“Luke please, please don’t.” He said after a while. “Luke it hurts too much, please don’t.”
Luke sat up as if he had been burned. “I’m sorry.” He said, panic in his eyes and voice. “Did I hurt you? How…?”
“Not my body Luke, my soul.”
For the first time Luke saw the tears glistening on Chris cheeks and he wiped them away with immense tenderness, sniffing away his own. “I’m sorry babe. I know I promised I wouldn’t do that again. It’s just… you’re so beautiful and I can’t bear the thought of being separated from you.”
“It’s not something I’m looking forward to either but there’s nothing we can do about it. We can’t stop it so we have to deal with it. I have and so must you.”
“See. You are the strongest. I don’t know how you can be so calm about it. How can you bear it? How can you not want to tear out your hair and scream?”
Chris smiled, his eyes twinkling. “If I could maybe I would but I don’t think the bald and manic look would suit me.”
“Anything would suit you.”
“Flatterer.” Chris sighed and closed his eyes.
“I’m always tired. I need coffee.”
“Do we have to get up just yet?”
“Well… depends on the alternatives on offer. Are you going to ravish me?”
“As if.” Gently Luke stroked his long soft hair, his white throat and over his alabaster shoulder. Chris sighed his body, which had been trembling, twitched.
“Please Luke, I need…”
Luke looked hungry, doubtful and afraid. “You know how I feel, what I want but…”
“It might be out last chance.” Chris said softly and he might as well have slapped Luke’s face.
“I HATE this. Why did this have to happen? Why now?” He cried out angrily and Chris sighed.
“Do you think I haven’t asked that? This is not what I want either. Do you think that if I could stop it I wouldn’t? This isn’t my choice. Please don’t make me feel guilty for the fact that I’ve come to terms with it more quickly than you have.”
“I don’t mean to Chris. I’m trying, really I am. It’s just…”
“I know Luke. But I need you now more than I ever have before. Please… please just hold me and make me feel that it’s going to be alright, even if it’s only for a little while. Don’t think about what happens after, just think about now. Please Luke.”
“I’m sorry. I’m just being selfish.” He took a deep breath and kissed Chris canlı poker oyna again while he let his hand roam slowly over the trembling body beneath him. Chris closed his eyes and moaned into his mouth.
Luke forced himself not to think while he made love to his lover. He simple existed and acted; no though, no regrets, no pain, no tears. He kept his face turned away from Chris so he wouldn’t see how much it cost him.
It wouldn’t have mattered because Chris had his eyes closed and his head thrown back. His body jerked and shook uncontrollably as he lost himself in the caresses of his lover as Luke’s hands and lips explored him.
Luke had just worked his way down to wrap his lips around Chris shuddering manhood when there was a knock on the door.
“Are you two alright in there?”
Luke raised his head and mumbled. “Uh… yeah, yeah we were just… just er… We’re fine.”
“Oh. It’s just that I heard… I’m sorry. Just give me a call when you’re ready to get up.”
“Okay. Thanks Mrs B, I will.”
Chris giggled. “How embarrassing would that be? I’m so glad I’ve trained my mother to knock.”
“Shut up and concentrate. If we’re too long my mother will be over here and she won’t knock.”
Chris giggled again but it turned to a moan as Luke went straight back in at the point he’d left off.
Chris’ breathing speeded up and the shaking in his body increased as he jerked uncontrollably. He started to whimper and wondered if he was being selfish holding out for as long as he possible could until, with a grunt through gritted teeth, he could hold on no longer and an intense orgasm ripped through him for the first time in weeks.
His stomach muscles spasmed powerfully and his hips slammed into Luke’s face knocking him off balance and making him choke. Coughing Luke righted himself and crawled up to lie at Chris’ side again. Chris was giggling helplessly.
“I’m so sorry. I couldn’t help it. I… it just…” The giggling made any more speech impossible and, despite the way he was feeling inside Luke had no choice but to join in.
When they sobered Luke kissed Chris softly and when he lifted his head it was to see a speculative look in his eyes.
“What are you thinking?”
“There really isn’t any reason why we shouldn’t do that every day.”
“You know we can’t.”
“Why not? Now that you’re staying over here who’s going to know?”
“Well… I think your mother has a pretty good idea.”
Chris giggled again. “No seriously. You’re sleeping with me so why shouldn’t we… well make the most of it while we can?”
“I don’t know. It’s just that… Every time I touch you I can’t help thinking…”
“Then don’t think, not until we have to. We’re going to be alright Luke. We can face anything. We can do anything.”
He sighed. “Yeah. Okay…” He grinned. “Why not? Every day for as long as we can.”
“Awesome. We could have been doing this for weeks you know. I don’t understand why you stayed away for so long.”
“I know. I was an idiot. I should never have hurt you like that.”
“You did hurt me. I… I missed you but… but I understand why.”
“No. You don’t understand. You don’t understand because you are too sweet and good to ever understand. I was a selfish jerk. I don’t deserve you.”
“No… you don’t. You deserve better.”
“Don’t you say that! Don’t you ever say that! You are the best thing that ever happened to me, ever. I love you more than life and I can’t believe I ever forgot it, even for a moment. It’s you that don’t deserve all this.”
“Since when does life give us what we deserve? Although I do feel that I deserved that orgasm. It was fucking awesome.”
“Glad I could oblige.”
Raising himself on one elbow Luke looked down into Chris’ beautiful face and sparkling eyes. He smiled at the wicked twinkle there.
“You’re a bad man Chris Baker.”
“No I’m not. I’m good, very good.”
Luke slipped his hand behind Chris’ head and raised it to meet him as he lowered his lips again.
This time the knock was softer and less obtrusive but still both Luke and Chris sighed. They had been lying side by side, naked skin pressed against naked skin and for a while they were both content and happy.
“Hang on a moment.” Luke called and hurried got up and dressed. Chris lay back lazily and watched through half closed eyes with a smile on his face.
“It’s okay Mrs B, I’m decent.” Luke called while he was still pulling on his shoes.
The door opened and a pretty woman who didn’t look old enough to be the mother of a nineteen year old boy peeped around the door. Luke smiled at her, thinking that she looked tired. They all did. The strain was starting to show.
“I don’t need to ask if you boys are okay, do I?”
Chris grinned. “Nope. I’m totally okay. Can’t speak for Luke though, he’s been working hard.”
Amy Baker blushed delicately but the smile on her face as she and Luke exchanged glances conveyed such a lot. She raised her internet casino eyes and the smile changed to one that only a mother can give her child. Chris was glowing today, his eyes bright and colour in his cheeks. She had made absolutely the right decision in talking Luke into staying here with him.
She sighed as she looked into those beautiful eyes and a shudder went through her as she released her fear for another day, another day when her son remembered; when he still knew who she was.
It had all started innocently enough. Who would have known where it was leading? In the very beginning Chris hadn’t even bothered to tell anyone. It was a cold, flu, a virus… and it was, but it wasn’t one that was going to be cured with a few anti virals and plenty of fluids.
It was Luke who first realised that something was very wrong when Chris cancelled the weekend they were going to spend with each other. This was the first time it had ever happened and he got straight on the train.
Although Chris tried to brush it off and minimise the impact it was having on him, far from getting better he got weaker and more tired every day.
Numerous doctors, many specialists and a lengthy stay in hospital later it became obvious that the dramatic and rapid decline was not going to be halted let alone reversed. When they realised there was nothing more they could do to help him and that they were no nearer finding out what was wrong with him than they had been at the start, the doctors had sent him home and everyone knew that he was coming home to die.
Now Chris had almost completely lost control of his body. His muscled spasmed regularly and randomly causing his body and limbs to jerk unpredictably and uncontrollably. Thanks to a cutting edge neural transmitter implanted in the base of his scull he could still hold up his head and control the muscles in his face, lips, eyes and throat. He couldn’t hold a cup or raise it to his lips but he could drink and swallow. He couldn’t hold Luke in his arms but he could kiss him.
He still had some control and, if Luke held his hand to his face he could caress it with his fingers, until his muscles contracted and jerked it away. He could still get an erection and experience an orgasm but he couldn’t give the same pleasure to Luke. He could smile and talk, breathe and eat. He still had full sensation, which wasn’t always a blessing and his mental faculties had been left intact… until recently.
After the last visit to the doctor they, but not Chris, had been told that his previously untouched neural activity had begun to deteriorate. It had already started with memory lapses and slurred speech but they had been warned that the decline was likely to be even more dramatic that the physical decline. It had become more and more obvious until everyone around him was waiting for the day they had been told was coming and coming fast when he opened his eyes to a world that was entirely unfamiliar to him peopled with strangers.
Initially they had not been able to bring themselves to tell Chris. It had hit Luke badly and he had not been able to face his lover, knowing that he would have to keep such a huge secret. For a few weeks he had run away and refused to speak, talk or think about what was happening to Chris. In the end he realised that the not knowing was worse than anything that might be happening in truth and he had to come back.
By the time he had come back Chris knew, and understood why Luke had run. He had completely forgiven him and that was part of the reason that Luke had been entirely unable to forgive himself.
No one was under any illusion that, with Christmas only a little over three weeks away, the strong likelihood was that the Chris they knew and loved would not be celebrating it with them, if he had been able to hold on to life at all.
Of all of them Chris had coped best. He was completely resigned to his fate and was on a mission to make his last days as easy as possible on everyone else and filled with as much love and laughter as he could. No one cried or mourned or was anything but cheerful… while he was in the room.
Chris chatted happily about Christmas, which he had always loved and approached with all the excitement and anticipation as a small child. He was determined to be involved in the planning of everything and had already purchased and wrapped (or at least arranged for his mother to buy and wrap) presents for everyone he cared about. He had engaged the aid of Luke’s mother to buy his own.
He wanted to see every present that the household was sending and directed the card writing. He drew up the shopping list, planned the meals for Christmas Day and Boxing Day and chose the decorations and table linens. He had even persuaded his parents to trim the house. No one complained about the fact that he had effectively moved Christmas on by a month and were planning to hold the celebrations themselves early… just to make sure… although even that might be too late.
Between them Amy and Luke got Chris up, showered, dressed and strapped into his specially designed wheelchair. It wasn’t an easy job because not only was Chris unable to help them in any way but they also had to contend with the erratic jerking of his muscles.
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