Aidan’s head came up from between Nic’s legs, his tongue trailing the silver thread of saliva from Nic’s balls to the tip of his cock, and dribbling it back down on to his belly.
“God.” Nic groaned loudly. “Don’t stop there! Go down again.”
“No,” Aidan murmured. “There’s something better.”
Eyes half-closed with passion and excitement, Nic heard Aidan rummaging in the drawer beside the bed with one hand, grabbing out the lube and a condom. His other hand was still pumping Nic’s wet, aching cock, easing the pre-cum and his saliva gently over it, all over it. Nic reached his hands behind his head, lacing his fingers there. His chest expanded, his head sank into the pillow. He had some idea of how abandoned he must look, relaxing back for Aidan’s superb blowjob. He knew Aidan would like looking at him; he knew what hungry light he’d see in Aidan’s eyes. He didn’t think he’d ever get enough of Aidan.
Well, maybe after forty-odd years… and then some.
And where the hell was that thought leading? Nic was too used to sharing time between many friends, counting lovers by quantity rather than quality, moving always onward, and returning each time to his own company. If he was changing his life, though, wouldn’t that include his capacity for love?
Love. That word, again.
With Aidan in his bed.
In the background, there was the soft ‘pop’ sound of Aidan opening the bottle of lube. Smiling to himself, Nic rolled over languidly, pulling himself up to his hands and knees. He dropped his head, spread open his legs, and he waited for Aidan’s touch.
And then Aidan slid an arm under his waist and flipped him, flat on his back on the mattress. Nic fell with a whoosh of surprised breath. As he rolled to face Aidan, the condom packet spun silently across the bed and fell beside him.
“What the hell?”
“Hush, Nic. I want you to… just let me… Just watch.” Aidan lay down on the bed at his side. As Nic gazed across at the long, strong limbs stretched out in front of him, Aidan spread his legs very deliberately. Nic looked into his face, wondering. Aidan hooked his hands under his knees and pulled his legs up and apart. It exposed everything to Nic.
“Aidan,” Nic whispered. “Shit.” It was the most wanton thing he’d ever seen.
Aidan’s hands wavered, and then he seemed to re-gather confidence. He started to run his fingers along the inside of his thighs.
“Watch,” he whispered.
The muscles quivered, and Nic stared, entranced, as Aidan’s balls shifted, demanding attention. Aidan’s cock bounced up toward his chest—big, ruddy, and already glistening. He twisted his fingers into his short, dark pubic curls, then ran them lightly up and down the needy cock. And then he walked them slowly—agonizingly slowly—down under his balls and around to his small, puckered entrance.
Nic’s vision swam. He ceased to breathe for a very long moment.
“It feels so good.” Aidan voice was strangled. His fingers stroked and tapped gently at his entrance.
“Haven’t you…?” Nic cleared his throat and started again. “Do you do this a lot?”
Aidan gave a short bark of a laugh. His eyes looked glazed. “Play with my hole, or let guys watch me doing it?”
“Either. Both.” Nic had rarely seen anything so hot. Aidan looked so uninhibited, surely this was a favorite play of his.
“Been a while. Only with a toy. And never with anyone watching,” Aidan said, his words choppy. His heated gaze snapped up to meet Nic’s. “Though I think I should have. That look on your face… shit. So hot.” He slid his middle finger into his hole, his eyes still fixed on Nic. He bit his lower lip.
Nic groaned in the back of his throat. “This is… Aidan, you’re spectacular. But go careful—”
“Careful?” Aidan gave that laugh again, but it was stronger now, bolder. “Those days are fading fast, Nic. I want to seduce you like you do me. I want to give you the most precious thing I have.”
“Control,” Aidan whispered. “I want you to fuck me, Nic.”
Nic stared, stunned, as Aidan slid in a second finger, hitching up his hips to get a better angle.
“Don’t just sit there like an idiot,” Aidan huffed out. “Don’t you want me?”
Yeah! Nic was almost speechless. Like he didn’t dream about it a couple of times every hour. But he suspected the importance of this step to Aidan. “Hey, I don’t mind. I’m just as happy being bottom.”
“No!” Aidan was thrusting the two fingers in and out of his ass, concentrating on keeping Nic’s fascinated attention. His gaze dropped to where Nic’s dick curved up against his belly, swelling heavily in anticipation. “You’re big.”
The observation was in Aidan’s very plain, businesslike tone. Nic nearly laughed aloud—he couldn’t decide if he was flattered, insulted, or worried. Instead, he smiled crookedly. “You wanna change your mind?”
Aidan shook his head. He was still fingering himself. His cock filled, his balls nudging against his wrist each time he pushed in. “No way. It’s what I want. I want my turn. I want you here—I want your fingers—your cock inside me.”
Nic groaned. Want, want, repeated in Aidan’s fractured voice struck to his very heart. How the hell was he meant to hold back any longer? He knelt up, resting on his heels, and reached for the bottle of lube lying on the mattress beside Aidan. Spreading a generous amount on to his hand, his whole body flushed—he could feel the blood racing all around his veins, his pulse hammering in his head. Leaning forward, he gently withdrew Aidan’s hand, and slid his own finger in.
Aidan shuddered once, then his legs relaxed again. He moaned softly, with obvious pleasure. It fit perfectly—a tight, snug fit.
Nic marveled at the fierce suction around his digit. He’d had plenty of sex in his life, but just at this moment, he couldn’t see how his cock would ever go in there without pain and struggle, however much they both wanted it.
“Another…” Aidan moaned.
Nic obliged. The hole parted reluctantly for it, then closed in again on him. His other hand strayed to his own cock, stroking it gently. It was all too fucking exciting.
“Aidan.” Dammit, he was panting, his words were slurred. “Do you—do this often?”
“Too many questions.” Aidan paused in his wriggling. “But, no. Rarely. After my first lover, my tutor… well. It hasn’t been… my preference.”
Shit, Nic thought. I know I wanted honesty, but—! “Aidan, I don’t want to hurt you. Maybe we should wait… Think about it later.”
Aidan reached underneath his thighs and grabbed Nic’s wrist, forcing it up close against his ass, keeping the fingers secure inside him. “Another, Nic. Stretch me. Then I’ll be ready.”
“You’re chickening out?” Aidan growled.
Nic didn’t answer, because his chest was too tight with worry and lust. He didn’t know which emotion was winning until he pressed his third finger in, and felt Aidan stretch and moan under him. “Yesss….”
They writhed for a while. Nic moved Aidan’s legs further apart so he could watch his fingers going in and out, see the excitement rippling across the other man’s stomach muscles. His own cock was thick and full and desperate for him.
“Do it!” Aidan said. “Nic, take me. I want to be yours. I want to do this for you. With you.”
Nic shifted in between the up-stretched legs and pulled out his fingers.
Aidan whimpered a little at the loss. “Shall I turn over?”
“No,” Nic whispered. “I want to see you. I want to see your face.” He looked down at his own cock. He was very close to climax, and at his most swollen. When he opened the condom with shaking fingers, it barely stretched over the aching flesh. Every touch made him shiver, and nearly lose it. He smoothed the lube over himself, wincing at the shock reaction it set up. Then he placed his hands on Aidan’s knees, and pushed the legs further up and apart. His dick pressed up against Aidan’s pale red, blossoming, cutely puckered hole. It looked as tight as ever. They stared at each other.
Aidan’s eyes were fevered; there were beads of sweat at his throat. And then he smiled at Nic. “Please,” he said softly.
With a gargled moan, Nic started to push in. It was the most exciting, most thrilling thing he’d ever done! His cock felt sucked in, tugged from its base and then clenched into a tight, hot sheath. He pulled back a little, afraid of hurting Aidan, but thrust back in quickly, unable to leave the heaven that held him.
Aidan hadn’t been manhandled this fiercely for a long, long time. The bed rocked beneath him, Nic was heavy on top, and he was pinned by Nic’s cock inside him, possessing him.
And it was all he could think of; all he wanted.
Yet, Nic had paused above him.
“Is it… it’s no good?” Aidan’s heart plummeted. He thought he’d be able to give Nic all the pleasure he needed—that they would share this together. Having Nic watch him finger his ass had been as hot as hell, but this—this, Nic inside him!—was a thousand times better! It had hurt like hell at first, but now Nic was deep up inside him, and he’d stretched to accommodate him. And there was a spot that Nic was pressing inside him, each time he thrust, that made stars appear in front of Aidan’s eyes, and his cock shudder in desperation between them.
But he couldn’t ignore Nic’s hesitation.
“Tell me!” he urged. He would stop, he would move, whatever Nic wanted—
“Dammit, no, it’s not you.” Nic was panting hard, sweat glistening on his forehead. “You’re so tight, you’re the greatest… it’s too good! Oh fuck, I’m way too excited….”
Relieved, Aidan laughed softly, arching his back so that Nic went even deeper.
“Bastard.” But Nic was laughing too, like hiccups, like it pained as much as delighted him. “I’ve never… disgraced myself like this before. So fucking close… too fast! Uhn.”
Aidan could feel Nic’s balls tightening, pressed up against Aidan’s ass. He felt the racing heat across Nic’s skin, saw Nic’s eyes glaze over. “Yes,” he whispered urgently. “Come on!”
Sucking in a breath, Nic hitched Aidan’s legs up over his shoulders and put his left hand on Aidan’s hip to anchor himself. He stretched out his right hand and took hold of Aidan’s cock. “Come with me, then,” he gasped.
Aidan’s throat was so tight, he could hardly breathe. His heart felt full and like it might burst out of his chest. He clutched the sheet on either side of him, swinging his head from side to side in what must have looked like a pointless plea for help, though he was pretty sure Nic would understand it wasn’t. The invasion of his body had become instead the joining of him and Nic—a fusion; a melding of them both together. He felt a drop of sweat from Nic’s brow drip onto his chest; he could see the helpless ecstasy in Nic’s eyes, as they thrust together. He wanted Nic inside him, even farther—he wanted him so fucking deep that they became one. The rough pumping of his cock was a distraction, but one his aching body needed.
With a gulping moan, he bucked harder into Nic’s hand, just as he felt his lover’s cock grind up even further into him, and jerk inside.
Nic was gasping his name, groaning his delight as he came at last. Aidan felt a wave of triumph and excitement. He’d done it! He’d taken Nic in, and pleased him, and he could relax into his own satisfaction now. He reached up, clasping Nic’s fingers even tighter around his cock, and jerked them together once—twice. He couldn’t wait any longer, and he came, groaning and spilling cum all over them, just as Nic’s muscles seemed to desert him and his body fell halfway down on top of Aidan’s.
“My God,” Nic whispered.
They just lay there, panting with the aftershock. A minute or so passed, Then Nic disposed of the condom in a tissue, and rolled back against Aidan’s side. He buried his head against Aidan’s neck, threw his arm over Aidan’s belly. His fingers caressed Aidan’s chest, stroking him with a possessive wonder.
Aidan had never known anyone touch him like that before. He supposed he could get used to it. For sure.
“Hmm?” Nic sounded very sleepy. His arm tightened its grip. “You’re staying, right?”
Aidan smiled to himself. “Yes.” Of course.
Nic gave a muffled but contented sigh.
“Nic, I want to tell you something.”
Aidan swallowed to ease his throat. “Thanks.”
Nic flapped his hand dismissively against Aidan’s stomach, obviously trying to say that whatever it was, it didn’t matter. But it did to Aidan.
“Not just the sex,” Aidan continued. “Though I suppose you might expect some praise or gratitude for a job so well done.”
Nic snorted into the pillow they both shared, but the tip of his ears went pink.
“We work well together, I know. But on personal terms, I’ve fought you every step of the way. But you’ve kept going—kept seeking me out. Challenging me, but encouraging me too. I’m not saying you’ve let me get away with bad behavior, because you’ve demanded better of me. But, at the same time… you let me be myself.”
Nic had gone still in his arms, but he didn’t raise his head.
“Nic, this may not be what you want to hear.”
“What the fuck?”
But Nic sounded weary rather than angry. Aidan supposed he’d pissed him off plenty of times with openings like that. “Wait. It’s not a problem for you, just me.”
“What is it?”
“I’m in love with you.” Aidan knew it was true. He loved Nic Gerrard. How shocking was that? He’d never felt so much, so furiously, so disturbingly for another person. Yet at the same time, the inexplicable swell of joy and comfort was inescapable—and a wonderful relief.
“Aidan.” Nic’s voice was awed: maybe wary, too. “You don’t have to say anything like that. You’re a free agent. We’ve only just started. This can be… well, just for fun, if you want. I don’t expect anything more.”
And Aidan laughed—happily, freely, so that the mattress shook beneath them, and Nic’s head jerked up from its resting place on Aidan’s shoulder. “You don’t get it, do you?”
“Get what?” Nic sounded completely bemused.
“I’m afraid this isn’t the start of something at all. For me, it’s the finish. Oh, I know plenty of people think a relationship starts with casual sex, then getting to know someone. Then eventually, maybe, falling in love. I’m the opposite.” He turned his head to smile at Nic, though it was difficult to focus when Nic’s face was so close. “I’m already there.”
“You wanna think about what you’re saying? All the arguments we’ve had…”
“I know. I’m sorry about that. And I can’t guarantee we won’t argue still. All the time. But I realize that was my warped idea of courtship. I was in denial. And now…”
“Now I have you here—you want me here—and I can accept it all.” The pleasure was deep and almost disorientating. And, of course, it would be his alone. “I fully appreciate you’re a free agent as well. I don’t expect you to be at the same place as I am. If you ever will be. And I hope we can continue working together without any weirdness. I know I’ve failed you in many ways, and I will do my very best to make sure I don’t presume on you for anything more—”
“Crap,” Nic said.
“You haven’t failed me at all. In fact, you’ve been the brave one. You’ve held on to your principles, but let others help you, realizing when and how you needed to do it. That’s made you a success, at work and as a person.” Nic’s eyes were suspiciously bright. “Thank you for letting me into your life, making yourself vulnerable again. Letting me into your love. You’ve shown me that the best things don’t come easy—but they’re worth fighting for. And I’m with you all the way.”
“What do you mean?”
“Not always such a bright guy, are you? I mean, I love you too.” Nic yawned, a sleepy smile on his face.
“But you said, about having fun…”
“Sorry,” Nic said, sounding anything but. “Those days are gone, buddy. It’s just you now. I don’t want anyone else. Can’t even imagine it. We’re a couple from here on out. And come morning, let’s talk about finding a place together, in the near future.” He wriggled in the bed, nestling closer to Aidan. “It’s time I settled down. But I guess I wasn’t going to do it for anything less than the real deal.”
Aidan lay still for as long as he could, until the weight of Nic’s body loosened, and Nic slept. And still he lay there, just savoring it. He accepted Nic’s touch with a bliss that both consumed and comforted him. He didn’t think it was possible to feel this good! Exhausted, sated, and totally spent. And over it all, the most beautiful, alien feeling of togetherness.
He realized now with a humbling clarity what it was that Nic had shown him; what he’d tried to show him before, in bed and out of it. That it was a gift to find something that was more than just pure physical satisfaction. More than just relief—more than just fucking.
What had this night been? Aidan knew the real answers now. It had been sex to be shared. Sex with care.
Sex with love.
It was two o’clock in the morning, and the IT suite at Sparks head office was dark and deserted. Or perhaps not. Nic had increased the security substantially since the hacking incident, and nowadays no one entered without the proper authorization.
There was a man there now, a silhouette in the dark. One blinking screen. His hands fast on the keyboard. But there were no alarms ringing throughout the building, because it was Aidan West; arguably the man with the most right to be here at any time he chose.
Nic moved slowly from his position at the door, out of the shadows and into the room. He had every right to be here too. But why was Aidan here when he should still be in Nic’s bed?
“Nic! What are you doing here?” Aidan stood abruptly, pushing his chair back. He’d been so obsessed with his task, he’d obviously not heard Nic approach.
“I could say the same to you.” Nic didn’t like the harsh tone in his voice, but his fear and uncertainty spoke for him. “Running out on me again?”
“No!” Aidan snapped. Then his expression twisted into a more unfamiliar concern. “I wouldn’t do that to you, not now. I just couldn’t sleep. I came to erase the data—to erase the test system. Didn’t you see my note?”
“Uh-huh. On the bedside table. I didn’t want to disturb you, but I couldn’t settle. I had to come and finish this.”
He left a note! sang Nic’s inner voice. Aidan had told him where he was going; he’d told Nic because he knew Nic would want to know, he knew he’d care. Maybe he’d even anticipated Nic’s reaction to finding him gone! He loves me.
“Didn’t you see it?” Aidan looked puzzled and worried.
“No.” But Nic was grinning. What did that matter now? The confused misery of the last hour, after finding Aidan gone again, was pushed happily and impatiently from his mind. He moved to stand by Aidan. “So why are you running the matching again?”
“What? No, I told you, I’m just erasing it.”
“No, you’re not,” Nic said firmly. “I may not be as bright at this as you, but I recognize my own program at work. You want to know, don’t you?”
“Exactly what I’m intrigued about myself,” Nic said softly.
Aidan tilted his head, half-questioning, half-accepting. His growing smile shone in the muted light.
“What were your preferences, Aidan? When you entered your data?”
Aidan raised his eyebrows. “I recall you being pretty coy about your own.”
“Fair enough.” Nic breathed in the air around Aidan—the smells of his shampoo, his clothes, his skin—and his body thrilled. “I expressed a preference for a man. For an intelligent, challenging man with strong opinions, and who probably didn’t realize yet how much he could achieve. For a man without empty vanity but with strong integrity and commitment. For a man who was self-confident when it came to sex, and saw no reason to hold back from what he wanted. A man who wanted to fuck me—but who would also enjoy being fucked by me.”
Aidan sucked in a breath: he blushed, the color on his cheeks more of a gray shade in this light than pink. “That’s lucky, then. As I wanted the same.”
“Yeah?” Nic chuckled, then yawned. There were hours until he had to be in work. He wanted to spend those hours back in bed, with Aidan beside him. Yet… “We’re both still curious, right? To find out who Sparks matched us with. You never took either of us off the database, did you?”
Aidan frowned. He instinctively turned his body as if to shield the screen from Nic. “No, but the hacker had tampered with the test system, remember? It may have been corrupted. Who’s to say it works properly?”
“Worked on Marisa Cohen, didn’t it?” Nic said mischievously. “What’s up, Mr. West? Afraid of finding out the answer?”
“No!” Aidan said hotly. “Seems to me you’re believing your own publicity now. It was just a test system.”
“But you told it the truth, didn’t you? When you put in your own data?”
“So did I.” They stood together, silent for a moment. Nic was unsure whether to be afraid or amused. He lifted a hand and brushed lightly at Aidan’s hip, then gave an embarrassed cough. “I confess I don’t want to find I’ve been matched with one of those spotty youths in Accounts. Or Charlie.”
“Or his mother,” Aidan agreed wryly.
“Remember our ‘animals’,” Nic said cautiously. “Panther and tiger?” He slid his hand up to rest at Aidan’s waist. He remembered the comfort of Aidan’s body as they’d drifted to sleep, feeling warmed by the memory trails of pleasure. “I said once we might fight. After all, that’s what we’re always doing, on and off, aren’t we? What’s the betting there’s a hundred incompatibilities like that between us?”
“Uh-huh. But the program allows for that. Many of those incompatibilities, as you say, may be complements. The partners may co-exist, not clash.”
Wow. “Aidan, you’re off with the poetry again. Sometimes I think you have a better idea than I do of what a relationship’s about.” He tightened his grip, and Aidan leaned into him instinctively.
“We don’t have to look, do we?”
Nic had thought he said it, but Aidan appeared to have beaten him to it.
“No.” Nic smiled again. The low light made him feel as if they were shielded here, hiding out together. He turned Aidan’s face to him and kissed him. Slowly; sensuously. Feeling for the moist, hot, eager lips in the darkness. Aidan tasted wicked—like an illicit secret, a rich indulgence just for Nic’s pleasure, the two of them embracing here in the middle of the empty office. Nic wanted desperately to bend him over the nearest desk, tug down those borrowed sweat pants he was wearing, and fuck him—hard—stretched across the keyboard. He sighed. Probably not a good idea right now, when he hadn’t time to disable the CCTV cameras. But wasn’t that such a lost, golden opportunity? Smirking to himself, he filed it away for future reference.
“It doesn’t matter, does it?” he said. “Not looking?”
“No.” Aidan smiled back. He put out a careful hand, there was a flash of fingers on the keys, and the screen blinked and died.
Nic yawned again, loudly. His cock was half-full, nudging at his own loose pants. He’d not bothered with dressing properly, coming back to the office just on a hunch that Aidan would be here. He seemed to have forgotten his socks, too; he’d been too worried about Aidan. But all was well, wasn’t it? Aidan hadn’t deserted him. Aidan was here to stay.
And he wanted Aidan back between the sheets to celebrate.
“Can we get back to bed now? Leave your car here. I’ll bring us both back to work later this morning, when we can sign off that vacation form of yours. I love my system, Aidan, but I’m not living by it. We know the real result anyway, don’t we? We’ve got it here already.”
“Of course.” Aidan followed him as they went back to the exit. He flipped the alarm system back on as they passed the door, and paused to check all the lights were off.
“Yes.” Aidan smiled, and slipped his hand into Nic’s. He looked relaxed, like a contented cat, a man comfortable in his life. And the gentle swell at the front of his sweats showed that he and Nic were in agreement on where they should go next. “Yes, we already know the real result.”
Nic also paused at the door for one last moment, glancing over at the monitor, recalling how its soft, residual glow had faded into the darkness. Yeah, there were no questions left they needed answers to, no curiosity as to what a bunch of plain algorithms may have made of them.
He laughed softly to himself, and closed the door behind them both.