A tongue slipped insistently between Inho's lips and a stubbly jaw rubbed his chin pink. Eyes shut tight, Inho’s thoughts drifted again to Jamie's boss, Stephen – Stephen with his bold stare and suggestive grin. A warm hand cupped his cheek and a thumb softly stroked his ear. Inho, who had been feeling quite lonely, smiled softly into the kiss.
That feels nice.
His hands reached up to toy with hair that was a little longer than he expected. That’s not right, he thought. Stephen had really nice hair– a luscious dark auburn, perfectly styled. It's shorter though, not like this. He tugged lightly on the hair in question, which elicited a low throaty growl of approval from his partner.
The kiss was getting deeper now, making him dizzy. Inho felt warmth along the length of his body where it was clasped tightly against someone else. His upper back pressed against the cool brick wall of the alley. A tall figure arched over him, now lightly biting his lower lip, now lowering to suck and nibble the soft skin where his neck joined his shoulder. He ground his pelvis instinctively against the leg pushing between his thighs, and strong hands slid down to grip and knead his hips. His breath hitched and a small gasp escaped him. He tossed his head back to give better access to the wet mouth at his neck sending goosebumps shocking down his flanks. Inho’s hands were wrapped around broad shoulders, and opening his eyes for the first time in a while, he spotted a cigarette still stuck between his fingers.
He stuck it in his now vacant mouth and patted his chest pocket for a light.
“Inho, are you ok?”
That wasn’t right; Stephen’s voice had been lower, more confident. He raised his head with bleary eyes to glare at this imposter.
Who? His whiskey-sodden thoughts grasped at identifying his partner.
His new boss Nathan was standing in front of him with a confused expression and a deep flush.
“Inho,” Nathan repeated. “Are you alright?” His hands were still on Inho’s hips. Shocked into action, Inho staggered right, pulling away, and overshot. He stumbled over a pile of recycling and almost fell.
He steadied himself with a hand on the wall, “What? Nathan, wha’s happening?”
“Inho...what? What do you mean?" Terrible realization dawned on Nathan. "Did I - are you..? I’m sorry! Inho...” Nathan was scrubbing his face with his hands, clearly very drunk and struggling to keep up. “I thought you wanted - you kept pouring me drinks...” He pulled his hands away from his face, and raised them in earnest supplication, his eyes were shining. “Please don’t quit Inho. I’m so sorry. I misunderstood, I - forgive me.”
“Iss ok Nathan, iss fine,” Inho slurred, staring blankly at Nathan, “I think we’re both juss really drunk.” Then, he turned and walked out of the alley, waving clumsily, “I’m gonna go!”
Nathan called after him, but didn’t follow.
Inho made it around the corner before throwing up. Not from the kiss - that actually still left a heat from his guts to his groin - but just because he was very very drunk.
He stopped after that, wiping his mouth, to consider where he was. He remembered clearly up to the work party, after-hours in the restaurant. He remembered teaching the other 15 or so staff to make somaek, his favourite beer soju cocktail. They had no soju though, so they’d used vodka. He remembered the warm looks Nathan gave him and smiling back. Then it got choppy, like an old movie with pieces of film cut out. More drinks. Checking his empty message inbox for the hundredth time. Smoking. Expensive wine, then cheap. Finding Stephen’s card in his pocket again, and chasing Jasmine around when she plucked it from his drunk grasp, demanding to know why he’d been staring at it all night. Whiskey shots...then blank till now.
Jamie’s eyes burned. The clock read 1am already and she was almost done with the report changes the client had requested. That last cup of coffee was no longer working, and her heart had that loose shaky feeling that let her know she'd reached her caffeine limit.
She tapped in some final words and clicked send with exhausted relish before pulling her phone from her drawer. Four missed calls from Inho at 5pm, then another nine calls at 12:45am.
She’d meant to answer when he called, but had been too in the zone with the overtime work. She gathered her purse and shrugged into her coat and scarf. She was the last one on this floor of the darkened office, and it was dead quiet.
Inho’s line rang unanswered while she stood on the curb out front, waiting for her Uber. On the seventh ring he picked up.
“Jamie! Yes? Hello!”
He was yelling. Inho was usually pretty soft-spoken, except when he was wasted.