Okay, everyone! Here is this week's free read. I hope that you enjoy it because I will not be posting one next week. Why? Because I'm going on vacation! But don't worry. I will be back with a new story on November 11th and we still have the end of the "Sacrifices" blog tour to look forward to. So in the meantime, enjoy the story. And don't forget to read the original prompt and the other responses here.
Max groaned as a fresh wave of pain sweep through his head. God, he hated being sick. His nose was stuffed up enough that he couldn’t breathe, his throat was scratchy, his stomach was all cramped up. In short, he was miserable.
Max rolled his head listlessly to the side and stared at the digital clock on his bed stand. Just after noon. Normally, Max would just be going on a lunch break from his job as an insurance adjuster. But when he couldn’t get out of bed this morning thanks to the pain in his head, he called out. It was the only sick day he ever used so he wasn’t worried about getting in trouble. Besides, he couldn’t get out of bed, so how helpful would he really be at work.?
A harsh ringing made Max cringe as the pain in his head got worse. Fumbling, he slapped his hand over on the night stand, trying to find his cell phone. Finally, his hand made contract with the smooth metal. As quickly as his aching body would allow, he swiped the touchscreen to accept the call and stop the painful ringing.
“Yeah,” Max groaned.
“Max, baby. What’s wrong? You sound terrible.”
Max couldn’t help but smile at the concern prevalent in his boyfriend’s voice, despite the pain the noise caused.
“Hi to you too. Now what’s wrong?”
“Sick? Are you okay? Did you go to work?”
“No. At home.”
“Are you okay?”
“Do you want me to come over?”
Max paused as he thought that over. He would give anything to have his boyfriend of three months come over and take care of him. But that wasn’t fair to him. Jacob had his own work to do.
“No. It’s okay. Just go back to work.”
“Oh, okay,” Jacob said, disappointment clear in his voice. “Well, I called to ask if you wanted to go out tonight, but I guess not. Maybe I’ll come over after work?”
“Sure, if you want.”
“Okay. I’ll see you later.”
“Okay. Love you.”
“I love you too, Max. I’ll see you soon.”
Max ended the call and tossed the phone in the general direction of the bed stand. Sleep. Sleep sounded good. Max closed his eyes and quickly fell into dreamland.
Max awoke a little later feeling as horrible as he did a little while ago. But something was different. There was a soft light coming from the corner of the room, something that was not present when he went to sleep. Looking over, Max saw a brand-new box of tissues and a bottle of water on the night stand. Also new. And what was that smell?
“Oh, good. You’re up.”
“Jacob,” Max croaked as his boyfriend walked into the room. Had he been asleep for six hours? Checking the clock, he saw he was only asleep for about two hours.
“What are you doing here?”
Jacob walked over to the bed with a small smile on his lips, his blue eyes shining in the low light. He sits his small form on the bed and leans over to give me a gentle kiss on the cheek.
“Please, Max. Like I wouldn’t come. You sounded horrible on the phone. I had to come and check on you.”
“But what about your work?”
“Meh. I just took a half-day off. We were slow, anyway.”
“You shouldn’t have done that.”
“Max, please. You’re my boyfriend. What kind of person would I be if I didn’t take care of you when you’re sick?”
“But you shouldn’t have to!”
“I don’t. I want to.”
“Yes. Now I came in here to wake you up. I made you some chicken noodle soup. So why don’t you come out to the living room and you can eat your soup. And then I’m going to hold you while we watch movies. It’ll be fun.”
“Jacob. I feel like death.”
“I know. That’s why I’m here. I’m going to make you all better.”
A slow smile spread over Max’s face for the first time that day. Spending an afternoon cuddling with Jacob, being catered to. That could even be enjoyable. Now he just had to summon the energy to stand up.