“C’mon Jesse, let’s walk the dogs!” Vincent chirped, his tone alarmingly cheerful for someone who’d only had five hours of sleep.
Jesse buried his head against the pillow with a groan. “Too tired.”
“It’s the first day in months we’ve had off at the same time. I wanna spend the day together.”
“Let’s spend it in bed.” His words were muffled by the fabric.
Vincent ripped back the covers. “Tasha and Blanche need to be walked.”
Jesse howled into the pillows before sitting up and glaring at the black lab mix and Dalmatian who sat beside the bed wagging their tails. “Fine.”
He reached for shorts, blinking away exhaustion. Neither of them got much sleep these days. He worked two part-time jobs, and Vincent had recently picked up a third. As is, they barely scraped by and he’d swear the two dogs Vincent had begged to adopt six months ago ate half their grocery budget.
As Jesse followed Vincent’s skinny ass as he bounced down the stairs of their fifth floor walk-up—the dogs eagerly yanking him forward—Jesse admitted that there wasn’t a damn thing he wouldn’t do for Vincent. Even get out of bed on his only day off to walk two dogs he loved but had never wanted. But if Jesse’s life had been rough growing up, Vincent’s had been a thousand times worse and he carried the physical and emotional scars to prove it.
How fate had managed to put them in the same line at the homeless shelter, Jesse would never know. But five years and umpteen jobs later, they’d managed to claw their way out of the kind of hell the hipsters walking by with their intentionally sloppy clothes and seven dollar lattes could never dream of.
A little apartment to call their own, two dogs, and love were all Vincent had dreamed about. Jesse couldn’t make up for Vincent’s past so he worked himself to the bone to give him a good future. Jesse and Vincent had cobbled together a pretty damn good life.
Out in the sunshine, the dogs prancing ahead, Jesse smiled at the happiness on Vincent’s face.
“You’re quiet,” Vincent said, reining Blanche in as the spotted dog strained to go faster.
“Sorry. Just thinking about how happy I am. I never thought we’d get to this point. But you … you always had faith we would.”
Vincent stopped and the dogs turned back to stare at him with questioning brown eyes. “I had faith in you. In us.”
Jesse swallowed past the lump in his throat and pressed Vincent back against the ornate metal and concrete fence that circled the park.
He vaguely heard someone mutter a disapproving comment but he tuned it out when he heard them continue on. He kissed Vincent, gripping the sides of his shirt as he deepened it. What did Jesse care what anyone else thought about them? He had everything he needed.
Even Blanche and Tasha he thought with a resigned sigh as the dogs tangled around their legs.
When I first glanced at the picture I saw the guys and dogs and it wasn’t until quite a bit later that I noticed the people in the background. I could have gone several directions with this story, but I decided to go with my initial idea and briefly mention them but not make them the focus of the story.
As always, thanks to Helena for letting me join her and be sure to check out her blog for her story. I am thoroughly enjoying doing this.
Be sure to come back next Monday for the next round of flash fics. I can’t wait to see you there!