Sunlight

Edgar opens his eyes and looks at the clock. The numbers blink green at him, five thirteen. It’s a little early, but he is never left wanting for things to do in the morning. He rubs his eyes and slides out from under the covers. The floor is cold on the bare soles of his feet. Noah is still asleep, and Edgar tries not to let the bed creak as he stands.

The room is still dark, the sun just now beginning to rise. Edgar shuffles across the room, groping about for his trousers, which he pulls on almost desperately. The backs of his legs ache from the night before, making his movements stiff and awkward. A lot of things have changed but this room still makes him uncomfortable, like there are eyes drilling into the back of his neck.

In a few hours Edgar knows that Noah will wrinkle his brow as sunlight slants in from the window, shining on face. He knows that he’ll pull the sheets tight around himself and sigh, that’ll he’ll stretch his limbs out naked in the sunlight, uncaring. Edgar finds his shirt and does the buttons up slowly, misses the bottom one, starts over.

When he has his things in order, Edgar takes a thick black marker and a scrap of notebook paper from the top desk drawer. “I left first,” he writes, pausing a moment before adding “I didn’t want to wake you.” Edgar knows he will probably pout anyway. He smiles at the thick, bold lines on the paper and leaves the note on the desk, in the usual place.

Noah has thrown off the sheets, leaving himself naked to the waist. His breathing is soft and even, and he shivers a little. Edgar sets his things down and moves back toward the bed, grasping the sheets where they lay bunched about Noah’s hips. There is a blanket in a heap on the floor at Edgar’s feet, but he knows Noah will frown in his sleep and kick it off again, so he leaves it.

A hand reaches out and grabs Edgar by the wrist. “You’re going?” Noah asks, his voice thick with sleep, his eyes still half-closed.

“Yes,” Edgar says. Noah’s grip is light and hot. “It’s still early,” he concedes, “I could stay.”

Noah’s eyes go wide and he releases Edgar’s arm with a jerk, like it burns him. He’s awake now. “No, that’s fine,” he says quickly, “Just go.”

Edgar’s arm hangs in the air for a moment before he draws it back, and he nods. He wants to press his fingers to Noah’s warm skin one more time. “I will see you later, then,” he says, his eyes cast down but his voice steady. He takes his things from the desk and leaves.

Noah clenches his fist and then slowly fans his fingers out, as wide as they’ll go. He lies there with the sheets bunched around his hips for hours, until sunlight slants into his eyes.

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