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Red September  红色九月

Chapter 3: Talking To Yourself
第 3 章:自言自语

Summary: 摘要

“Hi.” Alex says simply, his smile soft but wide enough to sprout the dimples on his cheeks, “Fancy meeting you here.”


“In your bed?” "在你的床上?"


“Mhm.” Alex’s eyes slide shut, the smile still present, “It’s nice.”


He can’t help but ask, “What is?”


“You. Here.” His voice is barely a mumble as he drifts to sleep before Henry’s eyes, “Mm Hen.”


“Alex?” "亚历克斯?"


His only response is a soft snore.

Notes: 备注

I love writing this fic so much oh my goddddddd it is so much fun

No smut this time around, but some angst and sexual tension so get ready for ittttttt

Will likely update this fic again this week, depending on how much time I have. Hope you enjoy!!!!


As always - completely unedited

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text 章节正文

Breakfast, like everything else with the group of bandits, is a loud affair, Nora and Alex trading barbs as they toss bread rolls at each other, Alex sweeping his leg out to kick her hands away from him. Henry watches them carefully, eyes darting back and forth as he tries to discern their relationship - he fails.


He sticks close to Pez, their shoulders brushing and he relishes the moments where the other man leans in, offering context on the conversations happening around them. He finds himself learning more about the bandits he’s surrounding himself with, and strangely enough he wants to find out more.


“This is because June hit Alex with her horse once in an attempt to impress Nora.”
"这是因为茱恩有一次为了讨好诺拉 用马撞了艾丽克丝"


“No, that’s just because Alex and I got into a duel.”


“Yes, or the time June and Nora got into a contest with a barkeep. They won, of course.”


As Henry nods, his eyes flit over to June - Bug , as Alex affectionately calls her - to find her already looking at him, eyes curious. Though she’s been spotted, she doesn’t avert her gaze, a small smile twitching on her lips. He returns the smile before looking back down at his hands, counting a few beats in his mind before allowing himself to look at Alex, who has settled down across from him, no longer sparring with Nora.
亨利点点头,目光转向琼(亚历克斯亲切地称呼她 "虫虫"),发现她已经在看着他,眼神充满好奇。虽然被发现了,但她并没有转移视线,嘴角微微一笑。他也报以微笑,然后低头看着自己的双手,在心里默数了几下节拍,然后让自己看向亚历克斯,后者已经在他对面坐下,不再与诺拉争吵。


Judging by the smirk on her face, she has won this battle.


He can’t help the twinge in his gut as he glances amongst Alex and the women, unable to figure out just how deep their bond travels. It’s none of his business, but his mind enjoys having a life of its own, and he is helpless to stop it.


June and Nora are sitting very close, shoulders pressed together and leaning tightly into each other’s space. June’s head is ducked low as she murmurs something inaudible that makes Nora chuckle in response.


“So,” He says quietly as he swallows his last piece of bread, stomach happily sated, “what is the next course of action?”


It’s funny to think that twenty four hours prior he was sitting around a breakfast table, Phillip and his grandmother across from him, the picture of civility. He snorts out a laugh as Alex chokes on a piece of bread, hacking loudly until he can swallow it. He finds that he quite enjoys the contrast. Alex sucks his fingers into his mouth and Henry immediately looks away from him, but the image remains in the forefront of his mind.
想想二十四小时前,他还坐在早餐桌旁,菲利普和他的祖母就在他对面,那情景真是有趣极了。当亚历克斯被一块面包噎住时,他 "噗嗤 "一声笑了出来,大声嚼着面包,直到咽下去为止。他发现自己非常喜欢这种反差。亚历克斯把手指吮进嘴里,亨利立刻把目光从他身上移开,但脑海里仍然浮现出那个画面。


One thing he has unfortunately noticed is the size of Alex’s hands, one of them easily bigger than Henry’s own face, fingers thick, long and tanned, as they had been in his dream last night. He prays that Alex just assumes his natural colour is the bright shade of red his face has constantly become in his presence.


“We need to stock up on supplies,” Pez says idly, taking a swig from a canister before passing it to Henry, who eagerly takes it, “the nearest town is a four days' ride from here.”


The heat is sweltering, beating down on them and the water cools his throat instantly, leaving him desperate for more. He wishes he was dressed more appropriately from the heat, rather than the outfit he had gone to court Jessica Hampton in. White button up that is now completely marred with dirt and cotton pants, paired with a pair of shoes that were once white.


“And then?” "然后呢?"


“Few more days to the big city.” Nora says sarcastically, “Shit hole if you ask me. Some good saloons though.”


Henry nods, tapping his fingers against his thighs as he tries not to think about what will come. He decides to do the one thing he has never been able to in his entire life.


Live in the moment.


“We did promise to show you a fun time.” Alex drawls, tone sending a shiver down his spine that he does his best to suppress, “And I aim to deliver.”


He knows it’s best for his wavering sanity to not comment on it, Alex’s smirk says enough. Sadly, it isn’t the type of fun he hasn’t been able to stop thinking about, that he lay awake until the sun rose and Alex’s lips smacked together as he stirred from sleep.


He had looked surprised to see Henry sitting up, either that or shock to see he hadn’t bolted in the night, he wasn’t certain.


“You’re riding with me..” Alex claps Henry’s shoulder, the motion jolting his body from head to toe, “It’s gonna be a long day. You up for it?”


“Of course.” Henry says quickly, eyes focused on Alex, the glint in his eyes and the smirk on his lips, teasing him, “I’m ready for anything.”


He internally flinches at how desperate the words come out, how pathetic he probably sounds. To Alex’s credit, his smile doesn’t waver and he climbs to his feet, holding out a hand for Henry to take. A motion that once again makes Henry focus on those hands. He prays his palms aren’t sweating as he reaches up, slotting their hands together and allowing Alex to fluidly yank him to his feet in a singular motion.


David seems to have settled in nicely, bundled between the other two horses, whinnying happily. Henry reaches up and strokes his mane, smiling as the horse nuzzles into his hand, huffing out a loud breath.


“Are you ready for that adventure?”


David’s tail swoops in response.


Alex hikes himself up on the horse, smiling down at Henry and tilting his chin up to gesture he joins him. Henry flattens his hand on the flank of the horse and boosts himself up, swinging his leg over and settling himself comfortably.


“Hold on tight, princess.” Alex flicks the rim of his own hat before settling on David, stroking his head and putting his hand out for him to sniff.


“Normally David doesn’t do so well with strangers.” Henry murmurs, mostly to himself but Alex seems to pick up on it.


“I’m not a stranger,” Henry can hear the grin in his voice, see it in his side profile, “I’m Alex .”


Henry’s responding snort dissolves into a squeal as Alex kicks off, David starting to run into the distance. This time, Henry allows himself to wind his arms around Alex’s waist, pulling himself close as Alex seems to send the horse impossibly faster, like he has something to prove. It doesn’t mean anything, he thinks as he buries his face in the back of Alex’s neck, it’s simply a means of transport. He continues to try and convince himself of this as he inhales deeply, the smell of warmth and firewood, deeply masculine in a way that makes his fingers clench tighter in Alex’s shirt.


Once Alex’s pace has stabilised, Henry manages to pull his face back and actually look around at where they are. They’re in the midst of a vast canyon, land stretching further than Henry can even see. Bright green trees are visible in the distance, hidden amongst spiralling mountains being blazed upon by the sun sweltering down. His hands remain pressed against Alex’s stomach, grounding himself, but his upper body is pulled back, hot winds whipping against his face as it’s exposed to the elements.


Despite himself, despite everything , he can feel the laughter bubbling up in his throat. For once, he doesn’t hold it back, doesn’t try to hold himself to some bizarre demure standards set out for him. He leans his head back and he laughs loudly, giddily and listens as it echoes across the canyon.


“Having fun, princess?” Alex’s voice is almost lost in the wind but he can hear him with perfect clarity, warming him to his bones.


Princess . The nickname only serves to bring him back to the previous night, back to his dream where that name was whispered with reverence, moaned into his ear like he just couldn’t get enough. The tone remains the same, light and teasing and it has Henry shifting slightly atop the horse to keep his lower body away from the other man’s.


“I am, actually.” He responds, cheeks hurting from the wide smile on his face mixed with the wind practically slapping him from their speed, “I see why you do this.”


“Glad you see it my way.” Alex leans forward, spurring David faster, “Watch this!”


Henry practically squeals, his arms flailing for a moment before clenching tighter around Alex’s waist, leaning forward with him. David weaves through the canyon as though it’s second nature to him, leaping over every rock in their path.


“You’re crazy!” Henry laughs.


Alex only whoops in response, pulling himself slightly off of the horse so he’s crouching rather than fully sat, fingers tangled in David’s mane. Henry can only catch the barest hint of his side profile from the turn of his head, jaw sharp and defined, skin glimmering in sweat from the summer sun and curls spilling out of his hat, tumbling across his face. Henry wants to bite down on that jaw and pull the tendrils of curls between his fingers. His own fingers twitch against Alex’s defined stomach.
亚历克斯只是 "呜呜 "地叫了几声,然后把自己从马背上拉了下来,让自己蹲着,而不是完全坐着,手指缠在大卫的鬃毛上。亨利只能从他转过来的头部捕捉到一丝他侧面的轮廓,下巴锋利而清晰,皮肤在夏日阳光的照射下闪烁着汗水的光泽,卷发从帽子中溢出,在脸上翻滚。亨利想咬住他的下巴,用手指拉住他的卷发。他自己的手指也在艾利克斯线条分明的腹部上抽动。


Much too soon for his liking, the sun is setting across the canyon, blanketing them in darkness until even Alex can’t go any further, squinting into the horizon.


“We need to stop for the night,” He says before whistling to the rest of the gang, who are trailing behind, “Set up camp!”


“Yessir!” Nora calls sarcastically and as Henry turns his head he sees her salute him with one hand that switches into a middle finger as she pulls her horse to a stop, June’s chin tucked into her shoulder.


Alex pulls David to a gentle stop, rubbing his mane before turning to Henry with a raised eyebrow, “You can let go now, you know.”


“Oh!” Henry squeaks, hands flying back to his own sides, “Sorry.”


Alex shoots him a wink, “Don’t be.”


It takes an additional thirty seconds after Alex lands on his feet for Henry to move from the horse.


“Oh boy,” Henry says with a sigh as he jumps down, petting David’s nose, “I am so screwed.”


That night, June is barely conscious as they set up the tents, slumped against the legs of her horse, eyes firmly closed.


“Straight to bed tonight?” Alex says, crouching beside her and waving some food under her nose as if that will stir her, “You should eat, Bug.”


“I ate as we rode.” June murmurs, eyes still firmly shut, “Sleepy.”


Alex chuckles, running a hand down her face and pinching her chin between two fingers before leaving her be, moving to help Pez set up his tent. Henry finds himself with Nora, building a fire that likely would end up unused.


“So,” Nora starts, something in her tone that warns Henry he is not going to enjoy this conversation, “how’s sharing with Alex?”


“Fine.” If Nora notices the strain in his voice, she’s polite enough to pretend not to notice, “He’s nice.”


She snorts, “Haven’t heard someone call Alex nice in a long time. Especially those who are stuck sharing a bed with him.”


“You share beds with hostages often?”


“No.” Something in her eyes twinkle, “You’re the first. Must be special.”


“Must be.” "一定是"


His mind is a whirlwind as they finally get the fire blazing, the flames instantly warming him. Every thought he has had since the moment he woke has been completely and entirely Alex and he does not want to think about what that could mean. The thoughts of going to sleep beside Alex again terrify him, of the dreams that could come of it. He’s just confused, that’s the only explanation for the thoughts in his mind. This is just a little blip in the road, a bit of confusion, before he goes back home and marries Jessica Hampton.


Perhaps this has all been a bit of an awakening, one he can take home and truly feel passion towards the woman he is set to marry.


“I’m gonna take this one to bed.” Nora says, tilting her chin towards June who is now curled up on the ground, snoring gently.


Pez’s face lights up, eyes darting to Henry’s as his lips fall into a smirk, “Yes. I believe I may go to bed too. Long day of riding ahead of us.”


“Y’all are boring.” Alex says, plopping himself down in front of the fire, a few feet from where Henry is sitting eating his dinner, “Hen and I are going to burn the midnight oil.”


“I’m sure you will.” Nora says, and Henry watches the nonverbal exchange between the pair of them that has Nora smirking and Alex glaring at her as though she’s done something wrong.


And the three of them are gone, June holding bridal style in Nora’s arms as they disappear into their tent, Pez sending Henry a confusing wink as he ducks into his own. For the first time that day, complete silence falls and Henry finds that he hates it, making it easier for his brain to scream at him things he doesn’t fully understand.


“How are you finding the bandit life?”


One thing that Henry has learned about Alex is the fact that silence is almost non-existent - as though it personally offends him to not be talking at any point in time.


“It’s interesting.” Henry says, taking a long swig of water from the canister Pez had given him.


It’s silver, engraved with a P, but Pez was more than delighted to give it to him. Alex had joked that the P stood for Princess, which made Henry blush to the roots of his hair.
它是银制的,上面刻着一个 P,但佩兹非常高兴地把它送给了他。亚历克斯开玩笑说 P 代表公主,这让亨利脸红到了发根。


“Interesting, huh?” Alex chuckles, the sound low and smooth over the crackling of the fire. He pulls his hat off and lays it to the side before lying back, hands cradling the back of his neck and turning his head to the side to look at Henry.


“You aren’t what I expected.” He says softly, the words more vulnerable than he would like, “Uh. All of you, I mean.”


Alex props himself up on an elbow, grinning, “Really? How so?” 


“The stories my grandmother told of bandits…” Henry took a deep breath, “Murderous monsters that do nothing but steal and pillage. Monsters that took my-” He cuts himself off, lips clamping together as Bea’s face flashes across his mind, “something that was very important to me.”


Alex’s face falls, “Henry, I-”


“I know, it’s silly. Horror stories at most but…can you blame me?”


“I can’t. I am sorry if we scared you at all.”


Henry’s smile is half hearted, “Couldn’t have scared me that much if I practically begged you to take me for ransom.”


Alex barks out a laugh, the sound echoing in the clearing, “Yeah, shock of my fucking life . Never taken a hostage before but…you’ve made it interesting.”


“Interesting, huh?” He can’t help but tease.


“Very,” Alex’s eyes dart across his face, dark irises practically shining in the dim fire light, “I think we are going to have a great time, princess.”


“Me too.” He says and finds that he actually means it. His eyes feel heavy and he can’t fight the yawn he lets out.


Alex grins, stretching his arms above his head as he sits up, grabbing his hat and dusting it off, “Bed time?”


Henry nods helplessly as Alex climbs to his feet and goes towards their tent - his tent. Not theirs. Henry makes a quick stop by the three horses, standing with their heads together down low.


“Goodnight buddy.” He whispers before turning and leaving the three of them together.


Nora and June’s horse is aptly named Spot, while Pez’s is named Babe, which he was very proud to announce when Henry had asked him. Henry ducks into the tent after Alex, letting it shut behind him.
诺拉和琼的马名叫 "斑点"(Spot),而佩兹的马名叫 "贝贝"(Babe),当亨利问他时,他非常自豪地宣布了这个名字。亨利跟着亚历克斯躲进帐篷,让帐篷在他身后关上。


As the flap closes behind them Henry watches as Alex moves in perfectly practised movements, identical to the night before. He lights the lamp, pulls off his shirt and pants before climbing into the bed roll, tossing his hat across the room so that it lands on his pile of clothes.


Henry finds himself moving slowly, extremely aware of Alex’s eyes on him as he unbuttons his shirt, folding it carefully before adding his pants and shoes to the pile. He finds himself standing in only Pez’s underwear that he had borrowed from the other man, feigning discomfort from wearing the same pair for two days in a row. In reality, he couldn’t stick the thoughts of wearing the pair he had absolutely destroyed from his dream the night before.


He prays tonight is easier as he can’t think of another excuse to steal another pair from Pez.
他祈祷今晚能轻松点,因为他想不出别的借口再从 Pez 那里偷一双了。


“Are you coming to bed?” Henry can’t fight the shudder that runs through his body at the low, sensual timbre of Alex’s voice, calling to him.


Alex looks like the figment from his dream, blanket pooled around his waist, bare chest shimmering in the candlelight. His arms are pulled above his head, cradling his neck as he grins at Henry wolfishly, as though he’s well aware of the effect he has on him. Henry simply nods, walking slowly towards the bed and pulling the blanket up to his chin and turning on his side away from Alex.


“Hey.” Alex hisses, prodding his shoulder. Henry can’t fight the smile that spreads across his face, willing the blush not to rise. Alex pokes him again when he doesn’t turn, “Henry.”


Henry glances over his shoulder to see Alex staring at him curiously, lips pursed into an adorable pout, “Yes?”


“Turn around.” "转过身去"


Henry makes a show of huffing, rolling his eyes and turning to lean on his left shoulder, tucking his hands under his face and facing Alex head on. He can’t help the smile that spreads across his lips as they stare at each other. 


“Yes?” "什么事?"

“Hi.” Alex says simply, his smile soft but wide enough to sprout the dimples on his cheeks, “Fancy meeting you here.”


“In your bed?” "在你的床上?"


“Mhm.” Alex’s eyes slide shut, the smile still present, “It’s nice.”


He can’t help but ask, “What is?”


“You. Here.” His voice is barely a mumble as he drifts to sleep before Henry’s eyes, “Mm Hen.”


“Alex?” "亚历克斯?"


His only response is a soft snore.



Thankfully, his sleep is dreamless that night, but come morning he realises reality might be a tad more trying. As he peels his eyes open he finds himself feeling extremely warm, sweaty almost in the heat of the tent. There’s a firm weight across his chest and that damned stirring in his groin once more. When his eyes adjust to the light he finds himself eyelevel with a pair of plush dark lips.


“Shit.” He hisses, feeling Alex’s arm tighten around his waist and pull him closer.


He’s face to face with Alex, eyes still firmly closed and long lashes on display. Their chests are plastered together and Alex’s arms are tightly wound around his waist, fingers twitching by his sides.


He watches as Alex smacks his lips and shifts his body so that it’s pressed more firmly against Henry’s. As much as it’s killing him right now, he can’t help but enjoy the warmth spreading through him at the contact, head to toe. He can’t remember the last time he had been held like this - if ever. It’s only when Alex’s body shifts slightly to the right does Henry freeze entirely.


Something warm and stiff is pressed against Henry’s hip and judging by himself the other night, he can hazard a guess at what it is. He needs to move away before Alex wakes up and accuses him of… something . But, even in slumber, Alex’s grip is tight around Henry’s waist and he lets out a low whine as he tries to wriggle out of it. He is well and truly trapped.


Alex’s leg slots between Henry’s and electricity zips up his spine, making him squirm. It feels good… too good and he needs to get out of Alex’s arms, even if it means throwing him off of him. Every movement Alex makes sends the sparks skyrocketing and the panic to make it stop increases, along with the underlying thoughts of what it would mean if he were awake. Sliding his hands up Alex’s chest, he pushes as hard as he can, but the other man does not budge.


“Light sleeper, I’m sure.” Henry mutters, deciding to try another tactic.


He lowers his head beneath the loop of Alex’s arms and pushes his body outward, using his hands on Alex’s chest to brace himself. It works, but with the downside of propelling his own body straight off the bedroll and halfway across the tent, groaning from the impact. He freezes as Alex’s face drops, his arms reaching across the roll and frowning as he doesn’t find whatever he’s looking for.

With a sigh, Henry grabs his pillow and slides it into Alex’s arms, which seems to appease him, before pulling on his clothes and exiting the tent, letting the flap fly shut behind him.


Only Pez is sat outside by the now dead fire, head tilted back in order for the sun to blaze down on him, eyes closed.
只有 Pez 坐在室外已经熄灭的火堆旁,头向后仰着,让阳光洒在他身上,闭着眼睛。


“Morning, Hen.” He says without opening his eyes.


“How did you know it was me?” He sits across from the man, eyeing him warily.


“Alex normally speaks the moment he wakes up and the girls were still sleeping last I checked.” His tone is mischievous, “How’d you sleep?”
"艾利克斯通常一醒来就会说话 而我上次检查的时候 姑娘们还在睡觉"他的语气很调皮:"你睡得怎么样?"


“Fine.” His voice comes out as a slight squeak, which would be more embarrassing if he had been speaking to anyone else.


He had come to realise, in the short time they had spent together, that Pez is ‘on his side’, or as much as a pseudo kidnapper can be. He notices that Pez sticks close to his side, cajoling him into drinking water and giving him pieces of his own food when Henry finishes too soon for his liking.
在他们相处的短短时间里,他逐渐意识到佩斯是 "站在他这边的",或者说是一个伪绑匪所能做到的 "站在他这边的"。他注意到佩兹紧紧地跟在他身边,哄他喝水,当亨利吃得太快而不喜欢时,就把自己的食物分给他吃。

It’s extremely reminiscent of Bea and, as much as it pains him to admit it, he has missed the feeling of being taken care of. Of having someone care .


“Fine, huh?” Pez finally drops his head, eyes sparkling with mirth, “I bet you did.”


“I don’t understand what you’re implying.”


“Sure you don’t, darling.” Pez smiles, “Breakfast?”


“Yeah. That’d be nice. I’ll help you spark the fire.”


Pez claps his shoulder, “Good man.”


They work side by side as Pez asks what he’s pretending are casual questions about every aspect of Henry’s existence.
他们并肩工作,Pez 假装不经意地询问亨利生活的方方面面。


“I have a brother.” He says when Pez asks, “He’s a bit…tightly wound. And my sister…” He trails off, surprised that he doesn’t feel tears prickling behind his eyes for the first time in years upon mention of her, “I haven’t seen her in years.”


“Were you close?” "你们很亲密吗?"


“Extremely.” His smile is thin as the pan sizzles atop the fire, “I miss her every day.”


Thankfully, Pez seems to know better than to comment. They make enough breakfast to feed all of them and Pez sets Henry to work filling the small wooden bowls from his satchel with water for the horses, who lap it up happily.


“We need to get more water.” Pez says, “We won’t have enough to get us to town. There’s a stream not far north from here. Would be good for a wash too.”


Henry hums in acknowledgement, opening his mouth to speak when a loud crash sounds from within his - Alex’s tent. The flap flies open and Alex stumbles out, shirtless but having pulled on pants, eyes immediately fixing on Pez.


“Pez!” He exclaims, “He’s gone! I don’t- he -”


Henry folds his arms with a frown, waiting for Alex to look slightly to his right and notice his existence.


“Alex-” Pez starts, but Alex is frantic, waving his arms wildly.


“We have to find him! He could be hurt , why would he fucking run-” He stops in his tracks as he nearly barrels into Henry, “Oh.”
"我们必须找到他!他可能受伤了,他为什么要跑......" 他停下脚步,因为他差点撞到亨利,"哦"。


Oh ?” Henry mocks, not feeling as happy as he had been mere moments ago, “Cheers for that. What? You think I’m stupid enough to just bolt into the desert when I have zero clue where we are? Do you take me for a fool?”


“Woah, Henry. I didn’t-”


“I don’t have a choice in these matters but to trust you.” He says, feeling the traitorous tears prick behind his eyes, “Silly me for thinking you would grant me the same level of respect.”
"在这些事情上,我别无选择,只能相信你"他说着,感觉到叛徒的眼泪在眼眶里打转 "我真傻,以为你会给予我同样的尊重"


He feels foolish, like a child believing in absolute folly as he stares Alex down, the man that clearly sees him as nothing but a nuisance , a ransom to be gotten. Which is exactly what he is, and he feels worse for having allowed himself to believe otherwise, to think that Alex saw him as anything else.


“Henry,” Alex’s eyes are wide, haunted almost as he reaches out a hand, but Henry pulls away from him, “I-”


“Breakfast is served!” Pez announces, wrapping an arm around Henry’s shoulder and pulling him back towards the fire.


“Thank you.” Henry whispers and Pez squeezes his shoulder in response.


A glance over his shoulder shows Alex stood in the same spot, mouth working uselessly as he stares at the space Henry had just vacated. He tells himself that the sharp pain in his chest is just from the spice of the food he begins eating.


Alex is uncharacteristically silent even as the girls stumble out of their tent and join them and Henry can’t find any words to say to break it.


“Alright, Alexander.” Pez announces as they get everything packed up and loaded onto the horses, “You’ve been hogging my boy for long enough. Today he rides with me .”


“Pez-” Alex starts, but quickly stops at the glare the other man shoots him, mouth clamping shut.


Henry could kiss Pez.


“We have much to talk about, don’t we Hazza?”


“Hazza?” Henry can’t help but smile.


Pez shrugs, “Everyone gets a name with me, babes. It’s a privilege.”
Pez 耸耸肩:"在我这里,每个人都有名字,宝贝们。这是一种特权。"


“I’m honoured.” "我很荣幸"


Alex watches them silently, brim on his hat pulled so low that Henry can’t make out the look in his eyes. The girls say nothing, but he notices the long glance they share before climbing aboard their own house. He feels slightly traitorous as he joins Pez on his horse, leaving Alex to handle David on his own.


For the first time, Alex hangs back instead of bounding miles ahead of the others and Henry’s heart pointedly does not ache at the thought of him, silent and head hung. It’s all he can think about for the remainder of the day while his arms are wound around Pez’s slim waist. It isn’t the same, not by a longshot, and it surprises even him how disappointed it makes him feel.


“We should stop here!” June calls from up ahead, the sun beginning to set in the distance.


“What?” Alex shouts from his place behind the group, “There’s still light out. If we want to make it to town before the week is out we should really keep going!”


“Because I feel filthy and I want a damn wash!” Nora chimes in, “There’s that lake we went to last summer through the clearing up here. We can stop for the night and head off in the morning. We’re only two days out, it’s not a big deal Alejandro .”


Alex scowls audibly and Henry pointedly does not turn around to offer him a supportive smile.


This time, Henry helps with setting up the tents, having watched the rest of them do it the previous two nights and he finds himself wondering if he will be sleeping with Pez in his tent tonight, rather than Alex. Both outcomes seem to upset him the more he thinks about them.


“Right. We’ll go in shifts. Someone needs to watch the horses.” Nora says, smirking, “Alex, you and Hazza can hang out here while we go, then we can swap.”


“I don’t think-” Pez begins, but immediately falls silent at the fiery look Nora sends his way, “Sorry, Haz. You’re on your own.” His jaw is practically detaching from his face as Nora crooks a finger at him and Henry fights down the wave of nausea he feels from the look in her eyes.
"我不认为......"Pez 开了个头,但看到 Nora 向他投来的火热眼神,立刻沉默了下来,"对不起,Haz。你得靠自己了。"当诺拉对他竖起手指时,他的下巴几乎要从脸上脱落,亨利强忍着从她的眼神中感受到的阵阵恶心。


“Fine.” Alex says dryly, “Off with you because if you stand here for another minute I am going to vomit.”


June’s cheeks pinken as she and Alex stare at each other before she turns, walking off with the other two close on her heels. Henry watches them carefully, eyes widening in realisation.


“Are they…?” "他们是......?"


“Yep.” Alex says, “I try not to think about it too much.”


“All three-” "所有三个"


Yep . Let’s not talk about it.”


Henry nods, drawing his lower lip into his mouth as he looks anywhere but at Alex, who he can feel moving closer to his side.


“I am really sorry for doubting you, Henry.” Alex says, voice practically in his ear and he stiffens his shoulders to fight the shiver begging to run down his spine, “I do trust you.”


“Why?” Henry says, still not turning around.


“Why?” "为什么?"


“You have no reason to trust me. Why should you?”


“Because…I do. You’re a good person, Henry. Better than me. If anything you shouldn’t trust me.”
"因为......我愿意。你是个好人 亨利比我好如果有什么你不应该相信我。"


Henry finally turns, heart stuttering in his chest at the crestfallen look on Alex’s face, hat wrung between his hands like a cloth, “I do, though.”


A small smile crosses his face, “And I promise to not betray that trust.”


“Thank you.” "谢谢"


“I know it’s sudden but…I do care about you, Henry. I promised you no harm would come to you and I mean that.”
"我知道这很突然,但是......我真的很关心你,亨利。我答应过你不会伤害你 我是认真的"


“I believe you.” "我相信你"


Alex’s responding smile is blinding and Henry’s heart seizes in his chest - the only difference is that this time, he can’t avoid the fact that it’s Alex causing that reaction.


By the time the three return - giggling and arms around each other - Henry is more than ready for a bath of his own, his skin caked in dirt and deep beneath his nails where he can’t quite reach.


Pez claps his back as he passes, a reassuring smile on his face, “You okay?”


“Yeah.” He nods, “Much better, thank you.”


The lake is small, a small circle hidden amongst trees that looks like an oasis to him. The fact that he can finally be clean , it could be the size of a hole in the ground and he would take it. Alex is practically vibrating next to him and the second they grow close enough, he shucks off his clothes, briefs included and bounds into the water, hollering like a damned vagrant as he goes.


Henry, frozen on the spot from the sight of Alex’s round bare ass in his direct line of vision, doesn’t move until Alex hollers at him to “get fucking moving, princess!”


With shaky hands, he unbuttons his shirt, folding it and leaving it beside Alex’s pile of clothes before doing the same with his shoes and pants, hesitating as he reaches his briefs. Does he take them off? Leave them on? A quick glance at Alex’s clothes makes his decisions as he reaches into the waistband and tugs them down, kicking them off and letting them land atop the rest of his clothes.


As he looks up, he stops in his stride as Alex is staring at him, wide-eyed and flushed cheeks.


“You okay?” Henry frowns, glancing behind him as though expecting to see someone standing there.


“Uh…yeah. Right as rain, sweetheart. You coming in?” Alex’s voice is stilted and Henry can’t for the life of him figure out why.


With a shrug, Henry continues his walk towards the lake, letting out a sigh of relief as his toes breach the cool waters. He walks until he reaches a few feet of Alex, water hitting him mid stomach. Alex is bobbing alongside him, chest bare and exposed, droplets running from his collarbone down to the water again.


“Earth to Henry?” "亨利的地球?"


Henry’s head snaps up, cheeks absolutely an unbecoming shade of red as he meets Alex’s gaze, the other man smirking at him like he knows exactly what he’s thinking about.


“Sorry.” Henry says, unable to think of anything else. He feels exposed and resists the urge to cross his arms across his pale chest, feeling even paler in the moonlight shining down on them.


Alex tilts his head to the side, as though considering him, yet never breaks eye contact. Henry sees him lick his lips in his peripheral vision and wonders what it would be like to lean in, cover his lips with his own-


Christ . 基督 .


He is treading dangerous ground, harbouring these kinds of thoughts for another man - let alone one that has technically kidnapped him. His eyes widen as Alex moves slightly closer, a hand reaching out to grab his forearm, pulling him in.


The hand burns where it holds him in place, those damned fingers curled around his skin, grounding him. He imagines what it would be like to lift that hand, pulling those fingers into his mouth and swirling his tongue around the tips of them.


He feels lightheaded, like he would collapse beneath the waves without Alex there to keep him in place, keep him afloat. 


“Henry…” Alex’s voice is low, a smooth drawl that he wants to drown in, let it be the last sound he ever hears and he will die a happy man.


“Alex…” His voice breaks on the last syllable, which makes Alex’s eyes widen.


A smile spreads across Alex’s lips, stretching over perfectly white teeth that Henry wants to sink into his skin, leaving their mark. He feels like a prey trapped beneath the gaze of a hunter and he wants nothing more than to give in - to let the other man do whatever he wants to him.


His chest is heaving as he stares deep into Alex’s eyes, so dark that they’re no longer their usual shade of brown, instead closer to black. His tongue is stuck to the roof of his mouth, fingers twitching beneath the water as they resist the urge to reach out and touch.


He can practically feel the tension in the air, likely his own creation, but Alex isn’t speaking. Isn’t doing anything but staring right back at Henry, panting with concealed effort to not do something. His face grows closer and Henry does what Henry does best - he absolutely panics.


His grandmother’s frowning face flashes in his mind, warning him of what people would think . He sees Jessica Hampton, the woman that is technically to be his wife . All he wants to do is lean in and kiss the man standing in front of him but he can’t . He’s not allowed.
他的祖母皱着眉头的脸在他脑海中闪过,警告他不要让别人这么想。他看到了杰西卡-汉普顿,那个严格意义上将成为他妻子的女人 .他只想俯身亲吻站在他面前的男人,但他不能 .他不被允许


In a last ditch effort of self-preservation he leans back before plunging himself deep beneath the water. He holds his breath, allowing the water to wash over him, freezing cold against his skin and burning against his closed eyelids. He only resurfaces when his lungs burn, screaming at him to get some air. When his head pops back up, Alex is leaning against the riverbank, eyebrow raised.


He thankfully doesn’t comment.


That was close - too close. Because as badly as he wants the man in front of him - and by Christ it’s badly - he knows without a shadow of a doubt that he can’t have him. That it’s unnatural and his grandmother would likely have his head. Beyond that, Alex doesn’t want him that way, especially given how close he seems to be with the girls. Henry has always had an active imagination, as his grandmother often told him, it’s easy for him to imagine the darkening look in Alex’s eyes, to mistake it for lust.


It’s too many thoughts fighting for dominance in his mind when all he wants to do is bound forward, grab Alex by his curls and kiss him for all he’s worth.

At least he still has his dreams.

Notes: 备注

Ahhhhhhhhhh couldn't have them kiss JUST yet.

Pez is my absolute favourite. Always makes me so sad when i remember the disservice they did him in the movie.
Pez 绝对是我的最爱。每当我想起他们在电影中对他的伤害,我总是非常难过。

You might want to stick around for the next chapter just saying. The summary may make its appearance then ;)

Until next time babes xoxx
下次再见,宝贝们 xoxx