'I love you too,' I mumble, my words half-cut off by another kiss as Matthew rolls on top of me.

He pokes me nose and grins shyly. 'No shit?'

'No shit,' I tell him earnestly, shifting into a position where I hope my hard-on will be less noticeable. The last thing I need is Matthew thinking what I feel for him is the artificial, lust-tainted love rather than the true, deep love I actually feel. 'I didn't mean to behave so badly. I was, um, just trying to express how…'

Matthew rolls his eyes and kisses me again. 'You're allowed to go through my room now, y'know? I have some pretty good porn.'

I snort in disgust. 'Like hell you do. Come into my lair and I'll show you some really good-looking, naked men.'

We laugh together and sigh happily, staring into each other's eyes. My mind tries to make sense of what's happening, but my heart's pushing away all logic and I stop thinking about how unbelievably blessed I am to have someone like Matthew love me and simply go with the flow.

I never understood how two people could become so entirely wrapped up in each other that they could fail to notice what was occurring around them, so I'm utterly surprised to hear someone yell out 'hey gorgeous'. Tilting my head, Jared's housemates Andrew and Timmy come into view.

'Um, hi,' I offer meekly. 'Jared's gone to get pizza.'

'And Katrina was walking down the hallway naked getting out of the shower,' Andrew smirks, stealing one of my cigarettes. 'I think she's embarrassed. I tried telling her I'd seen uglier women naked but that may have embarrassed her further.'

'You reckon?' I reply dryly, sitting up. Matthew's sitting alongside me, his cheeks red and a cigarette clenched between his fingers. 'This is Matthew.'

Jared's housemates are the nice guys and they exchange hello's with Matthew before asking me if I could go inside and make sure they haven't upset Kat too much. I wish to God there was some way I could decline; comforting embarrassed women was never my forte and I really think Jared would be more suited to the task than I.

Ten minutes later, Kat's hitting me and telling me I'm a dickhead for waiting for Matthew to tell me he loves me. She seems to have utterly forgotten that she's been caught naked; either that or she really doesn't care what two gay men think of her body, and when Jared walks in carrying pizza and garlic bread the first thing she tells him is about Matthew.

'And you left him out in the yard straight after he said he loves you?' Jared asks. 'You fucking idiot Alex, go and get him.'

I leave Kat to explain her little incident to Jared and go outside, yelling that the pizza's here. The moment I lay eyes on Matthew, though, I forget about Jared and Katrina, Andrew and Timmy. The only person I'm focusing on is Matthew, and as we wolf down pizza, I think the only person he's paying attention to is me.

Separating myself from him so that we can drive our respective cars home is ridiculously difficult. I just want to be with him and touch him and maybe hear him tell me he loves me again. The drive home is interminably long, and the moment we're inside the front door, I possessively take his hand in mine. He leans down and kisses me, one hand on the back of my head, the other resting on my hip.

'I'm going to have a shower,' he whispers. 'I must stink to high hell.'

'You don't,' I argue, wrapping my arms around his neck.

He laughs, throwing his head back before rolling his eyes at me. He wants to be clean for the lovemaking, and if he feels more comfortable having had a shower first, I'm not going to stop him. I want our first time to be perfect. Not perfect in the mutual orgasm, heavy groaning, complete satisfaction way, but perfect because it's the union of two people who truly love each other and are using the act to bond. I'm twenty-four years old and I've met the man I want to spend the rest of my life with.

'I love you,' I add as he jogs up the stairs.

The smile he gives me is magical. 'Love you too.'

From Matthew's POV.

When I first developed feelings for him I used to wonder about why. Why him? He was the antithesis of everything I used to believe in. He's a 'zebra' child, a faggot, a city boy. He didn't seem too alarmed to find out what I'd been and he forgave me so easily it didn't seem right. I kept waiting to learn his dirty secrets, but the only thing I discovered was this; his were all innocent - to a degree - mistakes made on a quest of exploration and love. There's never any malice in his actions, he never, ever goes out of his way to hurt anyone and he understands what it is to have regrets. He's the sort of man that doesn't turn around and try and blame his actions on society, or his upbringing, or the people around him; you can tell him he's wrong and he'll listen. He's everything I want to be, and more, because to him the goodness is natural.

He's beautiful, too. I've never seen anyone that looks the way he does, nobody so unique in features. He's slight of build, and a little short, with the most beautiful silky black hair that's neither caucasian nor asian, but some amazing combination of the two. He has the dark eyes of his father, but in their shape is a trace of his mother and his nose, lips and face are too delicate to be purely Malaysian. He's not effeminate, hell he isn't even graceful, he's the biggest klutz I've ever known; always tripping, spilling, breaking or dropping one thing or another but neither is he particularly masculine. He's simply Alex, the man I love and want to be with, the man I came to Brisbane in search of.

I pull him onto my lap as we watch television, running my fingers through the his damp hair, waiting for it to dry into it's normal silky softness. He smiles, revealing flawless, pearly teeth and the dimple on his left cheek.

'Tell me you love me,' he urges gently, turning so that he's facing me directly.

'I love you,' I whisper, a touch embarrassed.

'Hmmm,' he smiles contently, shutting his eyes. 'I love you too. Are you ready to go to sleep?'

What he's asking is 'do you want to consumate this love?'. And I do. We head upstairs to my room and as I shut the door behind us, Alex grins.

'What's so funny?'

'I was curious if you'd shut the door if we were lovers,' he explains. 'Now I know.'

I'm so grateful I shut the door behind me; if I'd left it open I'd never have had the chance to hear such evidence of his feelings. Although I was almost completely sure that when he told me he reciprocated my love he genuinely meant it, there was this tiny smidge of nagging doubt eating away at me. I slide into bed alongside him, our sides touching and his head resting against my arm. There's only one question left that plagues my mind and I ask it with more than a little hesitation.

'When did you go into my room?'

'A few weeks after I first met you,' he confesses, squirming uneasily. 'I really went through all your stuff. I even read your letters.'

'Oh.' So he knows about my parent's reaction. 'My father's still furious,' I explain nervously. 'A little more accepting, but still spitting chips.'

'He'll get better,' Alex comforts, rolling onto his side and propping himself up on one elbow. 'I know you probably don't believe me, but most parents come around.'

'Yeah,' I sigh, hating that I'm getting so depressed when I should be so exhilarated. 'Well, uh, I'm going up to see them at Christmas. You can come if you want.'

He pauses, tracing the naked lady on my bicep with his forefinger. 'Thank-you, but no. It'll be better if you go on your own this time, to explain to them. Next time, though, I'd love to. I'm curious as to where you come from.'

It's a good answer and I'm satisfied. It eases my soul that he understands and my heart is light as he softly kisses me. Our gazes meet, his black eyes shining brightly in the darkness of my room, his lithe body resting against mine.

My angel. My life, my love, my everything, smooth skinned and maneouvring himself into my arms, his heartbeat reverberating against my chest. My hands ghost over his body, resting on the smooth, firm flesh of his perfectly shaped ass as my cock grows hard with desire, whilst his own arousal digs into my stomach, unabashed and proud, his touch sending shivers down my spine.

Tender words of love exchanged, he presses his lips to mine. I didn't think he would be like this, not so langorous and sensual, not so sweet and caring. We caress each other, chests together, cock against cock, fear and embarrassment unknown as we join together in love. He reaches out, entertwining his fingers with mine, holding my hand as our kiss deepens. His mouth strays from my lips to my neck, gently biting the skin as he works his way downwards and my back arches involuntarily as he butterfly kisses my stomach, his touch too light not to tickle.

He grins at me, amused at my reaction, releasing his hand from my grip and using it to stroke my erection. The pleasuring is soft and slow, not rushed but not drawn-out, his attentions focused on my arousal only long enough to tease. He flops onto my chest, excited and happy, his feelings mingling with my own exhilarated emotions to form a mood of love and lust and playful exuberance. He gasps in surprise as I flip him onto his back and kneel over his chest, fonding his dark red nipples into hard, indignant peaks. His chest is smooth and firm, his ribs covered in olive flesh and a neat trail of hair leads from his belly-button down. The groans he emits as I touch and stroke and kiss his body serve only to turn me on, knowing that it is me that he desires.

'The time is now,' he murmurs, pulling me up for a kiss. 'Make love to me.'

The lubricant and condoms are collected from the second drawer, a flush covering Alex's face as I retrieve the items. He's still embarrassed about having invaded my room, but I'm grateful he did, grateful that we're making love rather than fucking in a lust-controlled, stoned blur. Being with him like this is everything I've ever dreamed of.

Gently spreading his legs, I massage his entrance, letting him relax before warming a little lubricant in my hand and applying it to his delicate skin. He dilates quickly and his breathing quickens as his prostate is found and stimulated. His whimpers are aphrodisiac to me, his body arching needfully in a wanton display of longing. I take my time with the penetration, cautious of his comfort, but there's no restriction on my entry and he accepts the intrusion with ease.

'I'm fairly flexible,' he whispers, holding his ankles around my neck. 'Kiss me.'

Cradling his head in one hand and using the other to balance, I find that 'flexible' is an understatement. He's exceedingly limber and moves one hand to my waist, intimating that he requires satisfaction. Thrusting gently into his constricting warmth I'm assaulted with nearly unbearable sensations, every inch of my body eager for his touch. There's a pause as I guide his hand to his erection, curling his fingers around the heavily veined protrusion and helping him commence the rhythm.

We maintain eye contact as we make love, revelling in the skin-on-skin contact, our mounting desire and each other's increasingly loud cries. A thin sheen of sweat coats his chest as the speed at which he masturbates himself increases. Biting my lower lip in a concerted effort to delay my own climax, I watch his face contract and tighten, his eyes widening and his desperation for release obvious. He cries out my name as he orgasms, the tautness of his body as it contracts with pleasure destroying my self control and becoming the catalyst for my own release. Fighting the urge to turn my face, I keep my eyes trained on his while the relief of climax washes over me in rapturous waves of unprecedented strength.

'Matthew,' he whispers, falling back into the pillows as I thrust one last time, unwilling to accept it's over. 'I love you.'

A sigh of happiness escapes my lips as his legs slide off my shoulders and my orgasm draws to a close. 'I love you too Alex,' I whisper, smoothing my hands over his hips. 'You're my angel.'

He smiles brilliantly, unpredictably and suddenly wrenching me down for a kiss. He doesn't want to let me go, and as much as I return the desire to never, ever let go of him, my erection's starting to subside and I learnt the hard way, with Peter, why staying 'in' for too long afterwards isn't a good idea. Trying to retrieve a lost condom can be extremely tricky.

'Alex,' I murmur. 'Angel...'

'Shut-up Matthew,' he argues, planting kisses all over my face. 'You're not going anywhere.'

Shaking my head in disbelief, I duck out of his grip long enough to withdraw and dispose of the contraceptive. The second it's off, he grasps my arm, demanding affection.

I'm only too happy to give it. We snuggle together, kissing and cuddling and whispering our secrets and the tortuous hell we each experienced when we thought our love was doomed to be unrequited. We're almost asleep when I remember the gift in my arms and hug him firmly, one more time.

'What is it?' he questions, his eyes fluttering open.

'Nothing,' I tell him gently. 'I'm just so bloody happy I don't want to go to sleep.'

He grins, yawns and wriggles out of my grip, sitting up and lighting two cigarettes. We smoke in silence, Alex shushing my attempts to ask what he's doing. Only when the cigarettes are stubbed out does he reveal what he wants.

'I really like oral,' he offers evilly.

I laugh at his shamelessness. There's nothing else to do when the man of your dreams gets a second wind in the middle of the night. Nothing, that is, except slide between his legs and do as he demands.