Double Game

Jan. 4th, 2016 10:32 pm
thekeyholder91: (NME belldom)
[personal profile] thekeyholder91
Title: Double Game (one-off)
Author: [ profile] thekeyholder
Beta: many thanks go to [ profile] recordmachined <3
Pairing: Belldom
Rating: pg 13
Prompt: cross-dressing, carols, exploration
Summary: That awkward moment when you like two people at once. (I suck at summaries)
Author's Note: Sorry for being late a little, but this turned out longer than expected. I'm afraid the OP wanted something completely different, but I hope this is okay too. :) Feels soo good to post again!

Double Game

A young man was walking quietly on the street, admiring the lights that had been installed in the past week. He’d been ill during that period, lying with a nasty cold in his bed. As Dominic approached the great square of the city, everything became brighter and he smiled at the familiar sight of the small, wooden houses selling various goods. Although he could have taken a different route, he decided to mingle with the crowd, see if there were any new stalls other than the ones last year.

Not even five minutes had passed, when he noticed a rather large wooden stage built in proximity of the cathedral. He vaguely remembered reading in the newspaper about this – a youngster group would perform different plays there during Advent. The crowd in front of it signalled that something was happening on the stage. Dominic, after having bought a bacon and onion tart, walked there. He soon discovered that it was a nativity play, but with a modern twist: the play was interrupted by cheery songs from time to time, so it was more of a musical. Dominic wasn’t very religious, but the song of the three kings as they pondered which gifts to bring to Jesus was very catchy, and he swayed to the upbeat rhythm.

It seemed that the children, who were at the front, also enjoyed the show, watching curiously as the kings left and the setting changed to a stable as Joseph and Mary with their baby walked in. Of course, Jesus was just a doll, but the way the actress playing Mary looked at it stirred something in Dominic’s heart. The impression was completed when she started singing to her newborn – her voice was intriguing and gentle, yet it seemed to reach every corner of the square, as Dominic noticed new people arriving. Even the excited chitchat of the children grew faint during her stunning performance.

He was so enraptured, Dominic even forgot about the tart he had in his hand. Another song started as new characters walked in, but at that moment his phone started ringing. Dominic rummaged for his phone and had to leave his spot, so as not to disturb the play. He rolled his eyes when he saw the name of his sister on the screen, who probably wanted to bother him with some insignificant detail about his birthday lunch, like the colour of the napkins. Dominic glanced back at Mary and suppressed a sigh.

The next day, Dominic sat slightly morose in his office. He regretted going home after his sister called, but he hadn’t realised then that he would be unable to go to the Christmas market today. His family would celebrate his belated birthday that evening, because he hadn’t felt well on his actual birthday. Dominic looked forward to going to Angelo’s restaurant, but he could not forget Mary and her sweet face. It puzzled him slightly that she caught his attention, for he hadn’t had a girlfriend since high school. But it didn’t really matter to him; he would try his fortune on Wednesday.

However, he had no luck: the stage hosted different plays or dances in the days following. Dominic was ready to give up; he had many clients on Friday and just wanted to go home and raid his fridge, but his friend from the office, Chris, told him about a great stall where you could get half a meter German wurst in a bun and beer for a good price. Fearing that he might only find tumbleweed in his fridge, Dominic agreed to go, and he did not regret his decision. Not only was his hunger satiated, but as he and Chris walked towards the centre, Dominic recognised a familiar tune.

He dragged Chris towards the stage and this time, they managed to get a much better place, in the third row. Chris looked confused at first, until Dominic pointed at Mary and smiled widely. Chris’s eyes widened and he looked on amusedly, especially when Dom clapped and cheered the loudest. His enthusiasm did not go unnoticed: when the cast bowed at the end, Mary looked at Dominic and sent a smile his way with twinkling eyes.

“Oh my god, did you see that?! She smiled at me!”

Chris didn’t expect that such a small gesture would elicit so much rambling from Dominic, but he was happy to finally see his friend animated about something outside work.

“Any ideas about how could I approach her?”

Chris watched the people gathering the things on the stage, stroking his chin thoughtfully. “Well… I don’t know. There must be a person organising all this, right? Maybe talk to them? Ask them if you could go backstage?”

“Aha… I guess I could try. But not now.”

“Why not?”

“I need to prepare, Chris. I suck at flirting.”

They both continued their walk, laughing.

Dominic spent his weekend with work, finishing various design projects for his clients. At around four in the afternoon he realised how late it was and he still hadn’t had lunch. Luckily, he found a pizza in his freezer and it was ready in a quarter hour, just as he thought his stomach would burst from hunger. As Dom sat down in front of his computer, he remembered Chris’s advice, and decided to do some digging.

He couldn’t find the members of the youth group or information about the play, but he discovered that the group’s leader was the old priest’s son, a guy called Thomas Kirk. There was also a picture on the website, and Dom committed it to memory, because this person could get him to Mary. He felt silly about his crush, but he wanted to meet her. Maybe just say hi and tell her what a wonderful actress she is. Although knowing himself, he’d just end up mumbling something stupid.

All throughout Monday, Dom was brimming with excitement. He was 99% sure that he’d see “his” Mary that evening, because the play had taken place the previous Monday as well. He told Chris about his plan, who held his thumb up and wished him good luck on his first “date”. That gave Dominic the idea to buy a bouquet, and hopefully, he’d manage to give it to Mary. He knew a great florist’s, where he always bought flowers and arrangements for his mum and sister.

However, his excited smile melted away when he saw some dancers in colourful, folk attires on the stage. Dominic felt the prickle of burning tears, and he wiped them away quickly, even though no one was paying attention to him. He didn’t know what to do, so he texted Chris about the disappointment. He thought that maybe his friend was still in the office, and he could come and they could have a drink together. Unfortunately, his friend was in a supermarket, doing some pre-Christmas shopping with his wife.

Sighing at his bad luck, Dominic looked around and decided to have a drink by himself. He spotted a mulled wine stall to the left of the stage. As he approached, he noticed that this, too, belonged to the church, and the proceedings would go to the children’s hospital. Well, at least his drink would be for a good cause. There was only a guy before him, who seemed to know the vendor, but Dominic wasn’t attentive to their conversation, self-pity occupying his thoughts. He asked for a large cup, but then he fumbled for his wallet, panic raising a blush in his cheeks when he couldn’t find it in his usual pocket.


Dominic looked up as the young man before him handed the money to the vendor, and smiled at Dominic.

He was about to protest, but a rather large group arrived in that moment, and as in a daze, he followed the generous man to the empty tables beside. Dominic placed the flowers and the cup on a table, before he started scrambling for his wallet.

“I am so sorry,” he said with a blush that crept on his neck. “I’m going to give back your money as soon as I find my wallet.”

A gentle hand was laid on his trembling one. “No need, mate. It’s for charity. Just pay it forward next time.”

Dominic, wide-eyed, finally had a good look at his kind saviour. The kid (he looked younger than Dom) still smiled from ear to ear, which calmed Dom. He toasted when the guy looked at him expectantly with his raised cup, and Dom secretly watched him over the rim of his cup. The young man was around his height, but seemed skinnier, even though he tried to hide that with his oversized, black coat. His dark hair was sticking up in every direction as though it was styled by the wind. His face was the most interesting, though, not just his clear blue eyes, but something about his serene expression was familiar to Dom. But where could he have seen the guy?

“I’m Matthew, by the way.”

“Oh, hi. I’m Dom. Dominic. Whichever you prefer.”

“Nice to meet you.”

“Likewise. Thanks again. Sorry, I was just distracted earlier.”

Matthew giggled. “Yeah, you seemed like you needed a drink.”

Dom threw a glance at the yellow roses on the table, and laughed embarrassedly. “You’re very observant. My evening didn’t go as planned.”

“Well, I’d say a free cup of wine is a good deal instead,” Matthew said with a wink.

The way his lovely eyes shone warmed Dom’s heart, and he smiled involuntarily. He felt so confused, on multiple levels; on the one hand, he kept asking himself why Matthew looked familiar. On the other hand, he didn’t understand why he felt attracted to this scrawny man who looked like he would be blown away by a strong wind. But he couldn’t deny that Matthew had some kind of invisible charm, maybe the easiness with which he seemed to behave around everyone, or how attentive he was to Dom’s every word, even when he talked about something trivial, like weather.

“It’s getting really cold, right? Makes you wonder if you’ll ever see the sun.”

Matthew smiled. “I wouldn’t worry about that.”

He stopped closer to Dom and pointed at a building twenty metres from them. “See that two-storey blue house?”


“If you look closely, there’s a sun above the balcony.”

Dom narrowed his eyes, but he couldn’t find the object. “Where exactly?”

Matthew stepped even closer and pointed at the balcony, Dominic following his line of sight. “There’s the balcony, and just above the door you can see a dark brown spot.”

Dom felt Matthew’s breath on his cheek, and was distracted for a moment. “Oh, right, I see it now!”

“It’s more visible in daylight,” Matthew whispered and took a step back. “So, the story behind that decorative piece is that the lady who lived in the house across – see the pale green house? – complained that the winters were depressing, because there was little sunshine. The gentleman in the blue house, who was madly in love with her, had the sun made, so that every morning she woke up and opened her windows, the sun would be there for her, regardless of the season.”

Dominic listened, fascinated by the story, his eyes wide and mouth slightly open. “That’s a lovely story! Wow, I didn’t know about this.”

Even more interesting was the animated way in which Matthew talked, and then the lovely blush that bloomed on his cheeks when he heard praise. Dominic now had several reasons to like him. The warmth in his chest wasn’t entirely due to the wine he’d just finished.

He would have loved to stay, but he couldn’t come up with a good enough pretext to be holding his empty plastic cup.

“Well, I think I should be going.”

“What about your flowers?” Matthew asked, his head cocked to the right.

Dominic shrugged, and then he had an idea. “Here, why don’t you take them? The person they were meant for isn’t here anyway.”

“No, Dominic, I ca-…”

“Come on. You can give them to someone. Or, you could consider it a reward for your nice story.” Dominic winked.

“Oh, okay. Thanks. Have a nice evening!”

“You too, Matthew. See you around.”

The next morning, Chris found Dom staring out his office window. He couldn’t interpret his countenance until Dom turned around with a smile.

“Did you meet Mary after all?”

The question made Dominic bit his lower lip. In all honesty, his mind wondered back to Matthew more often, even while he was lying on his bed, waiting for sleep to come.

“No, sadly not. But I met someone else instead.”

Chris sat down on the edge of Dom’s desk, intrigued.

“It was really awkward in the beginning; I couldn’t find my money, so he paid for my wine.”

Chris laughed. “That’s a fun beginning, though.”

“He was really nice,” Dom sighed. “But I shouldn’t get my hopes up. I mean, what are the chances of me bumping into him again?”

Chris shook his head. “Mate, your crushes lately tell me that you like to be challenged.”

“Suddenly, meeting Mary doesn’t sound that impossible anymore, right?” Dom laughed.

Their chat was interrupted by a colleague, who told them they were both expected for a meeting. They got up reluctantly and left the room.

Unlike the previous day, Dom was lucky on Tuesday: since his workday was a tad shorter, he arrived just in time for the beginning of the nativity play. He congratulated himself for going to the florist’s again, even though he only bought one yellow rose. He was in the second row, a bit to the left. He had a clear view this time, and he watched with interest since he’d never seen the play from the beginning. Even so, his eyes mostly stayed on Mary when she was onstage. She looked delicate and innocent, and her body moved gracefully, even when she was “pregnant”.

When his crush wasn’t on the stage, he remembered to look for Mr Kirk, the leader of the youth group. Dom spotted him on the other side, close to the backstage. That’s where he would need to get as soon as possible after the end of the play. He wasn’t sure, but he thought that Mary had looked at him a couple of times, which made him feel giddy. He made sure to clap extra loudly at the end which earned him a benevolent smile again. Dominic hurried to the right side.

“Um, hello, are you Mr Thomas Kirk?” he asked, although he knew that the answer was positive.

“That’d be me. How may I help you?”

Dominic had practised what he’d say, but he forgot it when he was faced with the inquisitive look in Mr Kirk’s dark eyes.

“Er… well, I was hoping that you could let me backstage? I need to… that is, I would love to meet Mary.”

Mr Kirk looked at him, and then he noticed the rose in Dominic’s hand. His eyes shone with mischief as he opened the gate. Dom thought he might be lucky.

“Well, well, well… what’s your name, son?”

“Dominic. Dominic Howard.”

“I’m sorry, Dominic, but I cannot let a stranger in. I’ll inform Mary that she has an admirer, though.”

“Could you… could you please give her the rose?”

Mr Kirk smiled. “Certainly. Goodbye, son.”

With a resigned sigh, Dominic started on his way home. He glanced curiously at the mulled wine stall, but he couldn’t see Matthew there. His chest felt even more constricted. Mr Kirk probably thought that he was an idiot. Maybe he should have insisted more. Would Mary actually receive the rose? He had to get backstage, he absolutely had to.

Dominic looked at the calendar on his office wall with mixed feelings. The closeness of Christmas brought him happiness, but also panic: the play would end soon. His chance of meeting Mary were diminishing with each day, so he decided that he needed to toughen up and bring out his argumentative skills. Mr Kirk had to let him in, for Christ’s sake! Christmas spirit and all that…

He knew the play wouldn’t be performed two days in a row, so Dominic left the office in a relaxed state. He looked at the different stalls and bought some roasted almonds to nibble on on his way home. However, his heart skipped a beat when he saw a familiar figure at the mulled wine stall. He approached it, grinning.


“Hi,” Matthew said from inside the stall with a small smile.

Dominic didn’t know if he was just paranoid, but it seemed like the man gave him a searching look. He dismissed this impression, though.

“So, how have you been, Dominic?”

“I’m fine. I was going home when I thought I saw you here, so I came to say hi.”

“Yes, I jumped in instead of my brother. He came down with a cold.”

“Ouch. Hope he gets well soon.”

Dom’s eyes lit up when he remembered his debt. “Oh, Matthew, I’d like a cup, if you don’t mind. I brought my wallet this time, though.”

Matthew smiled, but his eyes widened when Dom gave him a tenner. “How many cups do you want?”

“One for you and me,” Dom replied grinning. “The rest is my donation, if you will.”

“Thanks, that’s nice of you.”

“By the way, I looked for the sun on that building the other day. What an intriguing detail! Got any other awesome stories?”

Matthew smiled boyishly, tugging his beanie lower on his head. “That I do. Let me see… did you know that, according to the legends, a woman was built inside the castle walls in the fifteenth century?”

“What? Why would anyone do that?!”

“Well, the builders thought it would make the castle more stable… I think it’s just a legend, though.”

“Still creepy.”

They talked for a long time about various topics, even when Matthew had customers. At seven, a woman with green hair came to take her turn at selling wine. Dom waited for Matthew to say goodbye and wanted to propose a continuation of their discussion in a nearby café.

“That would be great, Dom, but I have to get home, unfortunately. Thank you so much for keeping me company, though.”

“It’s alright.”

“How about you visit me on Friday? Or some time next week? I mean, if you want to and have time, of course,” Matthew said shyly, fumbling with his beanie.

“Sure, I’d love to. I mean, I go home this way anyway, so the next time I see you in the stall, I’ll come and have some wine with you again.”

Matthew smiled broadly, his rebel front tooth peeking out. “Awesome! You’re a special customer, though, I only drink with you.”

“Good thing, otherwise I would have to visit your drunk arse in a hospital.”

They laughed and shook hands, Dominic looking back as Matthew disappeared in one of the parallel alleys.

The following days were a blur, either spent with Dominic discussing tactics with Chris on how to convince Mr Kirk or actually putting those plans into practice. Dom was certain that Mr Kirk was just playing with him, often teasing him in good humour. He didn’t believe the pretext that strangers weren’t let backstage. Moreover, he had the distinct feeling that Mr Kirk was hiding something; his eyes always sparkled in a way that rose suspicion.

The play was put on two days in a row – to Dom’s delight, but also growing frustration – and Mary looked at him several times and graced him with smiles too. She knew of his existence and hopefully, Kirk gave her the flowers too. However childish his infatuation, he couldn’t give up now.

But then, he also looked forward to see Matthew on Friday, and left the office with a huge grin. He tightened his scarf around his neck; the temperatures had suddenly dropped during the night. He hurried to the now familiar mulled wine stall and at first thought that Matthew wasn’t there. As he got closer, though, he realised that the man was sat down, his nose buried in a thick book.


“Dom! I thought you wouldn’t come tonight,” Matt exclaimed, and Dominic felt warmth spread from his chest when those blue eyes lit up at his sight.

“Sorry, I had tons of work today. How are you? What are you reading?”

Matthew got up and showed his book to Dom. “Studying for an exam on Monday. Haven’t had much time lately, to be honest, and I’m scared shitless.”

“Introduction to Urban Design?” Dom read. “Wow. So you’re studying architecture?”

“I am.”

“Good luck, Matthew, I’m sure you’re going to ace it. This also explains why you know so much about the buildings in this square.”

Matthew smiled timidly. “Thanks. Well, this city has great history.”

A few moments later, when he noticed Dom’s red cheeks and nose, Matthew offered embarrassedly: “I’m so stupid, I forgot to invite you inside. It’s not that much warmer in here, but still better than freezing out there.”

Dom accepted the offer; his fingers were indeed icicles already. There wasn’t much space inside, but neither man minded that they had to share a chair. A cup of the aromatic wine (financed by Dominic) warmed their fingers and feet while they chatted away and laughed. Dom wasn’t even sure how he managed to concentrate on the conversation with Matthew’s thigh pressed so close to his. He was also convinced that he now had a permanent blush on his cheeks, but he didn’t care because he was having a lovely evening.

They had customers from time to time, but that didn’t bother them: if the flow of people was thick, even Dominic helped out. Matthew cheekily told him that the queue was his doing, because his gorgeous smile attracted all the pretty girls. Dominic just showed him his tongue, but the half-hidden compliment made him giddy. Later, they listened to the chorus that sang carols on the stage; with the nice Christmas lights around the square, it truly created a magical atmosphere.

However, when Matthew’s “vendor shift” was almost over, he remembered the dreaded exam. Dom offered his help, so they ended up practising questions. Some of them sounded so alien, Dominic was sure he could never remember the answer. Matthew got most of them right, though, but he still felt unprepared. Plus, he also said the teacher was volatile; if one was unlucky, one could catch the professor in a bad mood and then failure was certain.

“Well then, I guess you need a talisman to bring you luck,” Dom said.

“That I do.”

“How about this?” Dominic asked boldly, and placed a quick kiss on Matthew’s right cheek.

It was Matthew’s turn to blush, mumbling his thanks as he tried to suppress a grin. The last minutes were spent in silence, their thighs pressed up even more, and the tension almost palpable in the air. It was like a sweet perfume enveloping Dominic’s mind. He suspected that if Matthew’s colleague hadn’t arrived in that moment, they would have been found heavily snogging under the counter. That wouldn’t have been appropriate for someone who was working (even though only substituting) for the church. It was wiser to slow down a bit, even though both of them were reluctant to say goodbyes that night.

Dominic could barely concentrate during the following days. He spent most of the weekend remembering Matthew’s smile and how his skin tingled when they touched. He thought he would go mad, and mentally slapped himself for not asking for the man’s number even after so many meetings. It didn’t matter, though, he would see Matthew again, and he’d ask him out. But then he also remembered Mary, and he felt guilty. Although Dominic had never even talked to her, it felt like he had promised her something. He also wasn’t sure if he could forget her.

All these feelings were swirling around Dominic, so he needed a small nudge in the right direction. After the lunacy that Monday proved to be, Tuesday seemed rather calm, and Dominic decided to enjoy his lunch in the kitchen area of the office, something that he hadn’t done in a while. He was munching on his tuna sandwich absentmindedly, when Chris came in too, carrying an empty mug.

“Stoking up already, huh?”

“What?” Dom asked, confused.

“Why are you eating already? Didn’t you hear we’d all go out and have lunch at the sushi bar?”

Dominic vaguely remembered his colleague, Tina, saying something, but he completely forgot about it. He put down his sandwich with a guilty expression.


“Nah, mate, don’t worry. So what’s going on with you? We haven’t chatted in ages.”

Chris poured coffee into his mug and leaned against the counter.

“I’m such a pillock, Chris. I’ve been single for years, and now suddenly, I like two people at once, and I feel like I’m going to explode if I have to decide between them. Yet at the same time, I know Matthew would be the right choice: I got to know him, and he’s the sweetest guy ever. I’m sure he likes me too. But there’s Mary; I don’t even know if that’s her real name, I suspect not, but I just can’t stop feeling guilty at the thought of giving her up. I don’t know if it’s the bloody mystery surrounding her that pushes me on, but I must get some kind of closure at least.”

Dominic groaned and buried his face in his hands.

“That’s a right tangle, Dom. If you ask me, I’d let the universe, god or whatever settle this.”

“But how?”

“Look, buddy, there are only two days till Christmas. That’s not a whole lot of time. If you really think you can’t let go of Mary, then try your luck one more time. If it fails, it means Matthew is the one. He sounds like a nice guy from what you told me. However, if that stubborn priest kid lets you in, well, it still might not mean that Mary likes you, maybe she’ll just want to kick your arse, but at least you’ll have some kind of answer. Much better than this uncertainty, right?”

“Yeah, absolutely. I think the play will be staged today too. I’ll try again and see what happens.

“Good luck, Dom.”

The whole office got their holidays that day, and the boss even let them go home an hour earlier. Dom decided to get a last bouquet of yellow roses. He glanced at the blue house with the sun decoration, and gulped. A walk to the mulled wine confirmed his suspicion that Matthew wasn’t there. Dominic then walked to the stage, although he was reluctant to go to the very front, so he stayed on the side. Even so, he thought Mary found him at some point, and she seemed to smile, but Dominic wasn’t sure. He wasn’t sure of anything anymore.

Nevertheless, he hurried again to Mr Kirk, as he did quite a few times in the past weeks. Dom knew the other man probably thought he was a creepy stalker, but this was the last time. Maybe he’d relent, his heart softened by the closeness of Christmas. Maybe this was the last time the play was put on! As soon as Mr Kirk saw him, he snorted.

“You again, Mr Howard.”

“I know you probably hate my guts, Mr Kirk, but I have to try again.”

“Look, the rules still haven’t changed.”

“Please, Mr Kirk. I’ll be quick, just give her the roses and say hi. I swear I’m not a bloody serial killer or something.”

“Your perseverance is admirable, but my answer is still no.”

Defeated, Dominic sighed and looked at his shoes.

“It’s okay, Tom, let him in.”

She was there, not even three metres away. Even in the darkness, Dominic recognised her long, blue dress and the white cloth that covered her long, dark hair. He didn’t know what to do or say, so he just stared, although he couldn’t see Mary’s face. He remembered the bouquet he was holding and offered it to her.

“Yellow roses again, Dominic? To be honest, I actually prefer gerberas,” she giggled.

She stepped closer, into the light, but she needn’t have: Dominic recognised her voice. His voice. But this was impossible!

Dominic stood dumbfounded, until Matthew was right in front of him. Of course, no one else could have such gorgeous eyes. Dominic noticed some wooden boxes and he sat down on one of them, Matthew holding his dress as he gingerly sat down beside him. He wasn’t upset with him, just very surprised. All his worries about having two crushes disappeared in the blink of an eye. This explained the déjà vu feeling. No wonder Matthew was cautious around him at the beginning.

“I know this is very confusing, and I didn’t mean to hide anything from you. But Tom was afraid word would get out about this. You know, I’m just replacing someone. This girl, Sandy, was supposed to play Mary, but she broke her arm two days before the first performance. The group’s small, and most of the roles were already given out. There was no one who could replace her. Tom, my brother, my whole family, pressured me into this. I mean, I was shitting myself during the first performances. You know how old-fashioned some people can be; if they knew Mary was played by a dude, I’d get more than a booing or a tomato in my face.”

He looked at Matthew, the way his features seemed tense suddenly. Dominic remembered the time he was punched in the stomach once when he was in high school for going out with a guy. He placed his hand over Matthew’s who looked at him openly. He squeezed Dom’s hand and then took off the white shawl and the wig, placing them beside him.

“I hope you’re not upset, I never meant to deceive you. But this… this is me, Dom. No wig, no dress, just a guy who’s passionate about local history, and who tells stories, hoping that he can impress you a little.”

Dominic turned sharply, placing a hand on Matthew’s nape and bringing the man closer to him. They looked in each other’s eyes for a moment before leaning forward for the long-awaited kiss. Matthew captured Dominic’s lower lip, and bit it slightly before abandoning himself to the sensation. He opened his mouth for Dom’s tongue, and caressed his face, tingling warmth spreading through his body. When they broke the kiss, Dominic looked around self-consciously, but it looked like everyone was busy in the back. He pecked Matthew’s smiling lips once more.

“So, did you bring those flowers for me?” Matthew asked impishly, looking at the forgotten bouquet in Dom’s lap.

“Well, they were intended for this lovely young lady, but it seems she was playing a double game – ,” Matthew punched him lightly in the arm, Dominic laughing loudly. “Of course they’re for you. I promise I’ll get your favourites next time.”

Matthew accepted the flowers and dragged Dominic with him as he got up.

“Come, I need to change. Then we can go and have that coffee you invited me for.”

“Oh? No more exams then?”

“Nope, I nailed the last one yesterday,” Matthew said with a smile.

“I knew that you’re brilliant,” Dominic replied and put his arm around Matthew.

Matthew winked. “Couldn’t have done it without the talisman you gave me.”

The two young men hurried to the dressers, so they could then continue their conversation in a more intimate place. They had a lot of stories to share.
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