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Celeste looked at Apollo expectantly, waiting for him to say more than how nosy she was. That was information she was well aware of. Apollo sighed and looked at Dorian from the side of his eyes. [i How should I respond? I don't want to make things weird between us but I know Celeste will just keep hounding me if I stay quiet.]
[#123456 "I don't have a real answer for you. I guess we're...figuring things out. I like Dorian a lot but you know I'm not one to rush into anything. And I think Dorian likes me too, um at least I hope he does...so ....uh, I guess we'll see where things go?"] Apollo sipped from his drink, shooting eye daggers at his sister for making him answer such a question. Maybe she was trying to push him to speak up about his feelings but it really wasn't necessary for her to stick her nose in this.
Nevertheless, Celeste seemed pleased with his answer. She clasped her hands together and batted her eyelashes at the two with a look of admiration. [+green "Well I'm just glad that you're putting yourself out there, Polly. This is only my second time meeting Dorian but he appears to be highly suitable for my only little brother,"] she joked with a cheeky smile.
Apollo shook his head and looked down at Dorian seated next to him. [#123456 "Sorry about her. She's always like this, but I guess I wouldn't have it any other way."]
Dorian watched as the two siblings played with their food like they were little children again. He could t help but feel really amused by it all. Even Celeste’s fiancé was amused. This made him feel less guilty when he chuckles softly at the two every now and then. This playful side of Apollo warmed Dorian’s heart a bit. [i Heh I have to admit it’s cute.] He thought and continued to eat his food.
As Celeste began to speak to Apollo about their relationship Dorian couldn’t help but turn a bit red himself. The whole thing caught him off guard but it wasn’t an unusual thing to ask. Dorian quickly moved his hand from Apollo’s lap and sat up a bit. “To...be honest I’m not sure how to answer that.” He said with a slight chuckle. The two haven’t talked about what they were. This was their “second” date if you wanted to call this a date. Everything was moving slowly for them which wasn’t a bad thing. Dorian just assumed it was because Apollo wasn’t really sure how he wanted things to go.
Dorian was never use to moving so slow but then again he never went for the type of people that wanted serious relationships either. A one night stand here there. A companion for a couple of weeks. Nothing too serious. He glanced at Apollo wondering if he should let Apollo answer his sister. He grabs his wine and sips on it giving Apollo the chance to talk. [i I don’t want to say anything that isn’t true for him.] He thought and rested his glass down waiting to hear what Apollo might say.
Apollo's mother seemed satisfied with Celeste's answers to her work related question. Before long everyone was digging into the food. He didn't blame Dorian for not joining in on the sibling food war, considering he would never do something like this if it wasn't in his parent's house. Once Celeste's attention was back on him he flung a small piece of beet at her. He had never liked beets. The beat sailed across the table and hit her in the collar bone.
[+green "Horrific aim as usual, little brother."] She sighed dramatically as if to show her disappointment and popped the beet into her mouth. [+green "Soooo...what's going on with you two? Are you guys a [i thing]? Should I be interrogating Dorian? I don't think Apollo has ever brought someone to one of these things so he must really like you. Sometimes it takes him awhile to warm up to people, but he's a real sweetie."]
Color immediately spread to Apollo's cheeks and he kicked at his sister's foot under the table. Although, she had a point. He was feeling more and more comfortable with Dorian. It wasn't until he moved his leg to kick his sister that he realize Dorian's hand was resting on his thigh. Usually such a thing would make him very flustered but it felt normal. Or at least nothing to feel strange about.
[#123456 "You're always sticking your nose in my business,"] he pouted, sticking his tongue out at Celeste.
Dorian watched as the brother and sister played with their food. She also noticed how Celeste’s husband did his best not to engage in the mess but it was clear how badly he wanted to laugh. Dorian arched an eyebrow since he found this silly side of Apollo to be odd yet funny. I didn’t realize he was so silly. Especially his sister. Heh how funny. He thought. When their began to talk it was clear that she had witnessed what had happened and she wasn’t too happy about it either. “I bet you guys got in trouble a lot as a kid for doing this.” He whispered to Apollo with a smile.
As Apollo’s mother takes he listened to his date give him structionsnon what to do when the mother was distracted. “Oh no I’m not getting in trouble for throwing food around. I’m guest so it would be rude of me. But I’ll definitely cheer you on.” He whispered to Apollo. Dorian could t do such a thing. He was new to the house and wasn’t that close to anyone besides Apollo. He could easily offend someone and he didn’t want to take that risk. i want your parents to like me. Hell I want everyone to like me. He began to eat his food once he noticed everyone else was eating and socializing.
Dorian was a huge fan of the food. The salmon was flavored nicely and moist, he even enjoyed the vegetables but he knew soon that Apollo and his sister would start throwing food again. A small smile formed in his face at the thought of the two. Dorian unconsciously puts his free hand on Apollo’s thigh. He gently rubs his thigh but not in a sensual manner. It was quite normal to Dorian.
They found their way back into the dining room and sat down at the large table, where others were starting to seat themselves as well. Most of the people he recognized from previous dinner parties. His great aunt and uncle were seated closer to his mother and father. One of his cousins that was some big shot business man was near them. Most of the other guests were colleagues and friends of both his parents. Not bad people in the slightest, but definitely not people he felt the most comfortable around.
Apollo breathed a sigh of relief when his sister, along with her fiance, took the seats right across from him and Dorian. [+green "Hey Apollo, remember that one time we were flicking peas at each other and yours somehow was angled so badly that it hit mom right in the forehead. You were always the worst at our vegetable wars,"] Celeste said with a hearty chuckle. Apollo laughed too, shaking his head. [#123456 "I definitely wasn't the worst. You always cheated and you know it."]
Plates were set down in front of them. The main course was lemon-peppered salmon with a side of acorn squash, roasted potatoes, and a beat salad. Celeste smirked at the plate and wiggled her eyebrows at her brother. [+green "Dare me?"] Apollo held in a laugh and shook his head quickly. [#123456 "She'll murder you."] Celeste didn't heed his words and angled her fingers perfectly above a small piece of squash before flicking it towards Dorian's plate. The squash sailed smoothly into the air and landed on top of Dorian's salmon. [+green "Five points. Top that."] Next to Celeste, her fiance was trying not to bring attention to them by holding in his laughter.
The sharp tone of their mother's voice snapped them all back to reality. [b "Celeste. How has work been for you? Still as busy as ever? Any new clients?"] The look in his mother's eyes confirmed that she had seen the squash attack. Apollo whispered, [#123456 "Totally busted."] To which his sister shot him a dirty look before answering the questions shot her way.
Apollo was happy that the questions about work hadn't been directed towards him. [#123456 "When my mom isn't looking we can launch an all out squash attack on Celeste,"] he joked to Dorian. He was glad that his sister had brought up such a stupid childhood memory. Their vegetable wars had always been his favorite thing about dinner parties like these when he was a child.
Dorian smiles a bit when Apollo agreed to come over to his home. “Ok cool.” He said wondering if Apollo really wanted to watch a movie at his place. [i His answer didn’t sound so confident but then again he’s a shy person.] Dorian thought. When Apollo’s mother arrived he smiles and stands up excitedly. “I can’t wait to see the house.” He said and follows the older, bubbly woman happily. Everything caught Dorian’s attention. He noticed all the small details of the house and of any art work that came into view.
There was no way he couldn’t keep from asking questions about the art work that the woman had purchased. When they got to Apollo’s old room Dorian smiles. “How adorable.” He said and chuckles softly. The end of the tour almost made Dorian feel even closer to Apollo for some reason. He thanks his mother and then looks at Apollo “I will have to ask your mother to show me some pictures of you as a kid some time.” He teased.
Soon everyone was taking their seats at the large dinner table. Dorian sat next to Apollo and looked around at everyone at the table. He felt a bit shy since he didn’t really know anyone that well. [i I’m usually not a shy person but this is a bit intimidating for me.] He thought.
Apollo chuckled at the comment about his mother's taste. [#123456 "She's quite the collector. We always joke that she would be a hoarder if my dad didn't keep her from buying every nice art piece she comes in contact with."] It was almost impossible to go to a gallery or even a small flea market without his mother finding [i something] to bring home. [#123456 "I'm glad you're eager to see the rest of the house. She'll love that,"] he joked, with a playful eye roll.
He popped another shrimp into his mouth as he listened to Dorian talk about travel. Leaving his home to travel to an unfamiliar place had never been fun to him. The only time he traveled was for family vacations, mostly because he felt obligated. [i I wonder if it would be fun to travel with Dorian? Not as stressful as traveling alone or with family I bet. This is a weird line of thought though...] Realizing that Dorian had asked him a question he blinked a few times and tried to bring his thoughts back down to earth. A movie? At Dorian's place? The thought brought a bit of color to his cheeks.
[#123456 "They don't go on too late. At least...I don't think they do. I never stay until the end. I don't have a specific time for work. Since I program from home I just have a project deadline. So I work whenever, which is why my sleep schedule is so erratic. So...uh, yeah. Sure. I'll come over to watch a movie."] His lips wanted to keep moving and spew scrambled words, but he stopped himself, not wanting Dorian to know that the invitation had caught him off guard.
[b "Dorian and Polly, there you are! Ready for the tour? I suppose we can start in the den."] The voice of his mother gave him a feeling of relief for once. The short woman bustled into the room, a refilled glass of wine in hand. She smiled at them both and started talking about her favorite pieces of art in the den. When she finished she motioned for them to follow her as she led them back to the foyer and up the winding staircase that led upstairs. She showed them to Apollo's childhood bedroom first, giggling at the nerdy posters that still remained on the wall from his high school years. Apollo responded by blushing a sticking a hand over her mouth when she tried to gush about how he's such a "sweet boy".
She showed them around the rest of the upstairs before taking them back downstairs and through the kitchen which was immaculate. There wasn't much artwork in there. Just Apollo's father pulling a large pan of food out of the oven. After their travel through the kitchen they ended up in his father's office. Built-in bookshelves were the walls of the room, filled with a variety of books that were all organized by genre. Throughout the room were vases, masks, and paintings from various vacations and local artists. [b "Well! The tour ends here. It really is so lovely getting to know someone that Apollo seems to be fond of. Ah! And someone so talented,"] she sighed, smiling still. She gave them both a small hug before exiting the office and hurrying back to the kitchen.
Dorian looks at Apollo when he took a bite of the shrimp. “Spicy is good.” He said and smiles. As the two walked around the home to find somewhere to sit he thought about how great it was to be around Apollo again. [i I hope im not embarrassing him. I should really think about my actions.] He thought and mentally made a note to think before he actually acted. The last thing Dorian wanted to do was embarrass Apollo around all of his mother’s guess. [i I guess it could be embarrassing to have your date feed you in front of everyone. Dammit Dorian.]
The den was quite cozy and warm. Dorian loved the painting hanging on the walls and the small decorative pieces around the den. “Your mother has a variety of taste.” He mutters softly since the den was completely different than the entrance of the home. A small smile formed on his lips when he noticed Apollo’s sister. Dorian would have to say hi when she was free, he liked the always smiling female.
Once seated he sips on his champagne. “I’m actually excited to see the rest of the house.” Dorian was a fan of all art, especially ceramic pieces. “Seeing all of this art makes me want to travel to see even more. My band members would have a fit though.” Dorian could t just up and leave while the band was getting gigs left and right. “How long do these dinner parties usually last? If it’s not too late for you or if you don’t have work early tomorrow you can stay over my place for a bit and watch a movie.” He suggested. “If you want to.”
Apollo was relieved that Dorian liked his mother. There wasn't much to dislike about her. She was always smiling and ready to have a good time. Still, this was first time he had brought anyone home as a date and he wasn't quite sure what to expect. The unfamiliar feeling made him a bit uneasy. He plucked a glass of champagne from a server's tray and downed it quickly, needing some kind of alcohol in him to be around all of the other dinner attendees. Hearing Dorian mention the appetizers, he chuckles and follows him towards the table of food.
He picked up a small plate and tossed a couple of appetizers onto it. Eyebrows raised in surprise as he looked down at Dorian who was bringing a shrimp to his lips. It took all of his willpower not to look around to see if anyone was watching them. Instead he smiled down at his date and opened his mouth to welcome the shrimp. He chewed thoughtfully, eyes lighting up at the delicious flavor. [#123456 "Mmm that's pretty good. A little spicy. Let's go find a seat so we can eat more...and so you can feed me more,"] he joked.
Apollo held his appetizer plate with one hand and placed his other hand on the small of Dorian's back. He guided them into the den where a fire was going. There was a small group standing and chatting. The familiar face of his sister smiled at them and she lifted a hand to wave, though didn't break away from the conversation.
Apollo smiled back at his sister and took a seat on a plush velvet couch in front of the fire. Normally he would feel obligated to go join in on the conversation just so he wasn't sitting alone like some weirdo. However, now he was perfectly content to sit with Dorian and relax. [#123456 "I'm very glad you came with me by the way. I don't know if I've said that yet. I don't feel so...hopelessly awkward."]
“I’ll show you once you drop me back home.” He said even though Apollo said he was joking around with him. Dorian didn’t mind showing his friend his body. Hell he was proud of his body and of course he wanted his potential future boyfriend to be attracted to him. “Don’t worry you will see later on.” He smirks and relaxes in his seat.
When they arrived at Apollo’s parents’ house he smiles. “This is exactly how I pictured their home to look like.” Dorian actually couldn’t wait to see all of their art pieces in their home. “I’m sure they have some amazing pieces.” He said as he gets out of Apollo’s car. He fixes his clothes and walks with Apollo to the door. The woman that appeared before them made Dorian smile. He recognized Apollo’s mother. “It’s good to see you again.” He said as he hugged her back causally. Within a few seconds she disappeared to mingle and Dorian was left with Apollo.
“She’s always so warm.” He said since her smile always made him feel comfortable. The severs offered them both champagne to drink. Dorian takes a glass and noticed a few appetizers. “I want.” He said playfully and looks at Apollo. “Do you want any?” He asked as he walks over to the table filled with food. He takes a small appetizer plate and puts a little of everything on it since he wanted to try it all. Dorian holds one of the shrimp to Apollo’s mouth. “Try it.” He didn’t think much about feeding his date. They already passed that stage.
Feeling Dorian's eyes on him made him more nervous than he thought was possible. Apollo breathed a sigh of relief when Dorian agreed that he should put his sweater back on so that they could go. He slipped the soft blue sweater back over his head, fixing a few pieces of hair once it was on. Despite his still embarrassed look he was able to laugh when Dorian claimed to be satisfied. [#123456 "I'm glad I could satisfy your curiosity...uh, thank you for the compliment. I guess you were just joking though so maybe I shouldn't have just whipped my shirt off, haha oops."] Apollo started laughing at the silly situation as he retrieved the flowers and chocolate pretzels from the table he had set them on.
Outside he opened the car door for Dorian as usual before climbing into the driver's side. Apollo pulled out of the parking spot and started heading in the direction of his parent's house, tapping his thumbs on the steering wheel to the rhythm of the soft music that played. [#123456 "Well, since I took off my shirt I guess its your turn,"] he said seriously, turning to give Dorian a smile. A few seconds passed before he spoke again. [#123456 "That's...I'm not being very serious. I was teasing you like how you tease me. But I'm not very good at it,"] he chuckled.
When Apollo reached his parent's house he parked on the street since the driveway was already full. The house was large with long, white pillars stretching from one level to the next. It was an older looking house, not surprising since his parents had never been into modern architecture. Apollo slipped out of the front seat and opened Dorian's door, then led him to the enormous wooden doors that waited on the front stoop. Chatter could be heard from within and Apollo shifted nervously as he pressed the doorbell twice.
The door opened almost immediately, Apollo's mother standing in the doorway with perfectly curled hair and a glass of wine in one hand. [b "Oh, it's Polly and his date! The artist and musician from the anniversary party. My son has good taste, I see,"] she announced seemingly to the people that were already in the house. She gave Apollo a one-armed hug and gave one to Dorian right after. [b Well come in and make your self at home. Father is still finishing up dinner but there are plenty of refreshments and appetizers. I'll be around mingling. You musn't let me forget to give Dorian a tour!"]
Apollo assured his mother that he wouldn't forget about the tour before she bustled off to be social. There were about twenty people, some mingling in the foyer and others in the den where a fire was going. Apollo pointed out Dorian's vase that sat on an antique looking table in the foyer right under a large family picture from when him and his sister were in high school.
Dorian was only teasing Apollo. Yes he was curious to see what his body looked like but he wasn’t in desperate need to see it. He had self control most of the time. Dorian opened his mouth to tell his friend he was just joking with him but as Apollo began to pull off his sweater Dorian was too surprised to stop him. He’s actually doing it?! Oh my god! He thought and kept staring at Apollo.
When the male’s shirt finally came off Dorian felt his own cheeks turn a bit red but he didn’t avert his gaze. He stared st Apollo, looking at the nicely toned body before him. Everything Apollo was saying went in one ear and out the other. The shock that Dorian felt did not subside right away. “Exercise is important.” He mutters. Dorian looks at Apollo’s face and realizes how embarrassed he seemed to be. “Yeah...you should do hat and we should get going.” Dorian clears his throat and pretends fix a few things on his coffee table. Once Apollo had his shirt on Dorian looks at him. “I’m satisfied now.” He teased. He wanted to make Apollo smile. “You do have a nice body.” He added before pulling his keys from his pocket. “Let’s go.” He smiles and walks or to his friend’s car.
The door of the apartment swung open, revealing Dorian. Apollo smiled down at his friend and welcomed the hug he received. It felt nice to feel Dorian's arms wrapped around him again. He followed his friend inside, shock crossing over his face when he was handed the flowers and sweets. [#123456 "Such a nice bouquet! This...this is very sweet. Ah, you really didn't have to but thank you,"] Apollo said shyly as he brought the flowers up to his nose to take in the lovely scent. He chuckled at Dorian's comment about his sweater and lowered the bouquet. [#123456 "I do like wearing sweaters. You look really good too."] A blush rose in his cheeks as he looked Dorian up and down. [i Everything he wears always looks so nice and put together.]
“Oh don’t think I forgot about you showing my what your upper torso looks like.”
The statement immediately snapped Apollo out of his thoughts, the red in his cheeks darkening. Nervous laughter escaped from his mouth. He wasn't necessarily uncomfortable just a little confused. [#123456 "Oh...you remembered that? Or are you just joking with me? Well, either way, I guess I did say I'd show you when we weren't in public."] Apollo set the flowers and chocolate pretzels on the nearest table. He then lifted his sweater over his head and removed it completely, leaving him shirtless. Somewhat toned abs and a nice torso were revealed. His arms and back were nicely defined as well. He tried to pose somewhat like a model to make himself feel less awkward. [#123456 "Since I work at home in front of a computer all day I think its important to eat well and e-exercise. I wouldn't compare my body to a Greek god exactly but uh...um, I think I look pretty good."]
Apollo was able to look in Dorian's general direction as he talked but he was too nervous to look him in the eyes, his face as red as a tomato at this point. His hand holding the sweater rubbed at the fabric as he waited for a response from Dorian. [#123456 "We should...I should probably put on my shirt and we should probably get going..."]
Dorian wore a nice, dark grey button up with a black vest. He tucked in his shirt loosely and wore a pair of black slacks. Once he messed with his hair he sprayed on some cologne and looked in the mirror. “Hmm...I look good.” He said with a smirk. It didn’t take long for Dorian to get a text from Apollo. This made him smile as he read the text. “I’m excited to see you too.” He mutters to himself and grabs a nice pair of shoes before going down stairs.
On his coffee table laid a bouquet of flowers. He picked out a beautiful set with colorful tulips and daisies. He wanted to do something different so that’s why he didn’t get roses. He also got Apollo chocolate pretzels since he knew his friend didn’t have a big sweet tooth he settled for a sweet and salty treat. “Hopefully he likes it.” He mutters.
When he heard a knock at his door he rushes over to it. With a deep breath he calms himself down and opens the door. “Hey.” He said and hugs Apollo. It was clear that Dorian had missed his friend. “Come in.” He lets Apollo inside and the. He hands him the flowers and the sweets. “I told you I would give you flowers next time.” He smirks. Dorian took this time to check Apollo out. He couldn’t help but smirk a bit. “You look great. I like the sweater. I think sweaters are your thing.” Dorian could keep Apollo in sweaters for the rest of his life. “Oh don’t think I forgot about you showing my what your upper torso looks like.” His smirk widens. “You might as well just show me.” He shrugs causally wondering if Apollo would.
The next two weeks seemed to fly by with both males being preoccupied by other obligations. While they hadn't been able to go on a second date, they were still in contact with each other like usual. Apollo was finally finishing up the project he was given for work and he was looking forward to having a few days off. His sleep schedule had been more messed up than usual lately. But mostly he was just happy he would be able to see Dorian again now that both of their schedules were clearing up. Although he was still wary about the dinner party at his mother's he believed that Dorian would definitely make it an enjoyable experience.
Apollo stood in the mirror holding a shirt in each hand. [#123456 "The black sweater or....dark blue? Does it matter? Yes, of course it matters."] He chewed on his bottom lip before deciding to slip the blue sweater over his head. It fit similar to the sweater he wore on their last date and he smiled thinking about the compliment Dorian had paid him last time. [i Okay, now hair. Maybe I should try to do something different with it.] He slid a hand through his perpetually messy locks and pushed the hair back off his forehead. As soon as he moved his hand it flopped back into place. [i Or maybe I'll just not mess with my hair.] Instead of pushing it back he only fiddled with a few locks and fluffed the sides nervously. Before leaving out, he studied himself in the mirror for a few more minutes, sighing at the bags under his eyes. [i Hopefully my tiredness isn't as noticeable to others.] The tall male thought as he pulled out his phone to send a text to Dorian. [b I'm so happy I get to see you tonight! I'm leaving out right now :)]
When Apollo arrived at Dorian's apartment he hesitated at the door. [i Oh, shit. I forgot that I was going to buy him chocolates for our second date. My mind has been all over the place and I completely forgot.] Apollo groaned to himself and lifted his hand to knock on the door.
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