“How do they fit?”
There was a long pause before a stilted voice replied from behind the dressing room door, “…Perfectly.”
“Good,” Tanim shifted in his seat and stifled the urge to request Daren model the clothing for him. “What about the sweater? The cashmere one?”
This second pause preceded a sigh of barely veiled frustration. “Stop. Stop, this is too much.”
“What are you talking about?” Tanim rose and opened the unlatched door. He found Daren leaning back against the dressing room’s tall mirror, a scowl on his lips and a gorgeous pair of creased black slacks hanging unbuttoned around his hips. “I don’t deserve all this; it makes me uncomfortable,” the man muttered as he stared at the expensive clothes piled haphazardly on a chair. Crossing his arms over his bare chest, he added, “The clothes I have now are just fine.”
“Oh lovely,” Tanim shook his head and favored Daren with a fond smile. “Of course they’re not, and of course you do. This and more.” Risking retaliation from his companion’s black mood, Tanim came forward and looped his arms loosely around Daren’s waist, burying his face against the curve of his neck. “Daren, you took me out of the darkness,” Tanim murmured into the familiar warm skin. “There’s no possible way I can ever completely repay you for that. Let me do these small things for you, at least. It makes me happy to dote on you when I can.”
Daren’s chest rose and fell as he inhaled, exhaled a sigh and relaxed. “I’d rather have you, not things,” he countered, though his voice had lost its argumentative edge. Sensing the change, Tanim let his hands slide along the younger man’s hips to toy with the unfastened slacks and inquired with a sly smile, “Why can’t you have both?”
“You just can’t control yourself, can you,” Daren shoved Tanim back playfully, rolling his eyes in mock disgust. “Get out of here so I can dress, you beast.”
“Fine, fine. I’ll put this back and meet you up front,” Tanim snatched the soft silver sweater from the pile and headed out the dressing room door. Daren may not care if he wore the finest cashmere or the hand-me-downs Tanim had scrounged out of the closet when Daren came to live with him, only the shirt on his back to his name, but Tanim did. His lover deserved to be lavished with gifts of gold and silk and velvet; and besides, the silver would look gorgeous beneath those stark black eyes.
“I know what you’re doing!” Daren called from behind the door as Tanim made his exit, and he had to hurry his pace to reach the service counter before the man could catch up.