Toby’s heart was still hammering as he ran into his room.
His mind was stuck on the events that had transpired just a few minutes ago—well, the event. Theresa had been irritating and escaping her had given him a bit of a rush, but then Adil had—
Toby slumped against the wall, face in his hands as he tried to process it all. Really, even trying to put a name to it was tougher than he imagined. But…
He took a deep breath.
Adil had kissed him.
Adil had kissed him. And he—
Jesus, he’d kissed him right back.
His hands fell into his lap as he leaned back, head turned to look up at the ceiling.
It wasn’t that it was bad, per se. Far from it; Adil had been quite gentle, and his lips had felt nice against his. Very nice, in fact.
Wait, what in God's name was he thinking?
“Christ,” he muttered, standing up and heading straight to the bathroom. His lips. He had never even remotely thought of anyone in any romantic capacity and here he was, fantasizing about Adil's lips of all things.
“Toby? Everything alright?” Shit.
Toby turned around just in time to catch his mother in the doorway. “You left rather suddenly,” she said, her brow creased with worry. “Lady Theresa said she was looking for you everywhere.”
“Oh, no, er—” Toby smiled, trying not to let the running train of I kissed a man and I think I liked it I kissed a man and I think I liked it racing through his mind show on his face. “I just… felt I had to leave early. Headache, you know.”
She smiled, a look of slight pity crossing her face, and she softly shut the door, leaving Toby once again alone with his thoughts.
Namely, that he had kissed Adil and definitely liked it.
It’s not like no one else would have enjoyed it, he thought as he splashed cold water on his face. Adil was, objectively speaking, quite good looking by anyone’s standards, what with those dark eyelashes and perfect eyebrows and sculpted cheekbones and those deep eyes you could get lost in—
—which he had no right to, frankly, not as a bloke, that was just wrong—
He smelled good, too, he noted, patting his face dry. Like scotch and aftershave. A most intoxicating combination that left him lightheaded, made him want to draw even closer to him and just—
He sharply inhaled. “Alright,” he said in a strange voice as all his blood seemed to migrate south. “Cold bath.”
One extended soak later, Toby found himself in bed, completely unable to sleep. For better or worse, Adil was still on his mind, even if it was less… frantic.
It wasn’t just him, he thought to himself as he stared up at the ceiling. Because if he’d enjoyed kissing Adil—and by God, he had—then that meant he’d enjoyed kissing a man. And, perhaps, that he’d potentially enjoy kissing other men.
The thought sank in his chest as he screwed his eyes shut. Of course. He’d never been particularly interested in girls—awkward, as his mother had put it—but he’d always chalked it up to being more interested in his studies or feeling like he was in Freddie’s shadow, not that he was… well, that. But it really did make far too much sense if he was, didn’t it? Throwing himself into his work, turning down every dance, running away from Theresa, running away to join Adil.
Pressing his hand against his mouth and pushing him back, all under the pretense of trying to escape her gaze.
He turned over.
Why did it have to be Adil? He was completely the wrong sort: wrong class, wrong color, wrong sex. It was all wrong. More than wrong, it was downright criminal. There was more than just his status on the line if they were caught; they’d risk losing their jobs or being thrown in prison for their acts.
His eyes fluttered shut again, and he couldn’t help but think of deep eyes, sculpted cheekbones, dark lashes. The scent of scotch and aftershave, the softness of his lips.
Damn the law.
The patter of his heart picked up again. He could admit it now. He’d kissed Adil; he’d liked kissing Adil. He wanted to kiss Adil again.
And… Christ, this was hard to admit, but he frankly wanted to do things to Adil. For Adil to do things right back to him.
God help him, he was in love with Adil Joshi.
He shifted to his back again, pulling the covers more securely over him. What was going through Adil’s head, he wondered? Was he having the same belated epiphany, realizing how deep his affections truly ran? Or had he known all along? Was he curled up in a corner somewhere, terrified beyond measure at being outed?
And to think, he had run away, left him all alone!
No longer grappling with himself, Toby found that sleep was beginning to overtake him. If he really was a homosexual, he thought, leaning back against the pillows, he might as well do it properly, no?
Perhaps he’d get some coffee sent up to his room tomorrow.
His last thought before drifting off was how much he couldn’t wait to see him again.