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love on the edge of the 23rd floor

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His face slipped sideways across Nick’s as he breathed the word, the unguessed softness of his lips touched his cheeks and neck, while Nick sighed violently and ran his hand up and down on Leo’s back. He pushed his mouth towards Leo’s, and they met, and hurried into a kiss. To Nick it felt  simply like a helpless admission of need, and the shocking thing was the proof of Leo’s need, in the force and thoroughness with which he worked on him. They pushed apart, Leo faintly smiling, Nick gasping and tormented just by the hope they would do it again.

… There was something hilarious in the shivers of pleasure that ran up his back and squeezed his neck, and ran down his arms to his fingers — he felt he’d been switched on for the first time, gently gripping Leo’s hips, and then reaching around to help unbutton his shirt and get it off and hold his naked body against him. It was all so easy.


Text: Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty, excerpt
Image: Unknown, New York circa 1940s, via Varones/Flickr

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