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Shelter From The Storm

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He dumped his wet clothes in the bath and wrapped himself in the dressing gown Tom told him he’d find on the back of the door. It was a little frayed at the edges but still passably white. It made him smile to know Tom was a man who did things properly. It was cosy and smelt of him—something half-forgotten of sandalwood and something indefinably Tom. Half-forgotten and half-remembered. It felt good against his still damp skin. 

He padded back to the kitchen in bare feet and stood in the doorway, watching. Tom looked... at home, as well he might—busying about, making tea.  Outside the house, Stuart had said they’d better make a run for it and Tom had reached for his walking stick saying, “You can if you want. There’s an umbrella under your seat, give it to me, please”. But, instead, Stuart found the umbrella, walked round to the driver’s side, and opened the door for him. They shared the umbrella up the path and Tom leant on his arm, so as not to slip in the rain. Stuart had felt gallant but, watching him now, he knew Tom had taken his arm because he could, because he wanted to—but he would have managed without him. Here was a man of quiet dignity and careful habits, a man who knew how to do laundry—he could manage. 

Tom turned, mug in hand, and saw him standing in the door. He leant against the counter, crossed his ankles, blew on his tea slightly, and smiled. 

Stuart said, “What?” 

“You look...hmmm?”, he arched an eyebrow. 

“How do I look?” He felt like a sacrificial lamb. 

“Sweet” 

Stuart grinned—somehow, he’d made sweet sound more edible than innocent and, under the dressing gown, he felt himself respond to the thought, to the mere implication. He said, “Bastard. I thought I looked like the Devil incarnate”. 

Tom laughed, “I have to say, when I woke up this morning I did not, for one minute, expect to have Stuart Dakin naked in my kitchen by the end of the day”. 

“Yeah? Well, I’m not naked.” 

“And it’s not the end of the day.” Tom put down the mug and braced himself against the counter with the heels of his hands. He said, “Why don’t you come here and I’ll see what I can do about that?” 

Stuart crossed the room and stood in front of him, just out of reach. Tom waited and, when he didn’t come any further, leaned and, slipping his hand behind the belt knot, gently pulled him in and kissed his neck. One brief, soft, thrilling kiss on his neck; warm breath and tea moistened lips tingling a thousand nerves, but leaving his mouth hungry—leaving him wanting. Tom’s eyes wandered over his face, taking in his half-open mouth and half-closed eyes. He said, “Tell me what you want”.  

He thought about what he wanted. He knew he wanted him not to stop. He wanted not to think. He wanted to be a thing that thinks nothing and feels everything. In truth, he wanted to be swept up and carried to bed like a swooning princess. But that could not be said. 

He said, “I don’t know”. 

“Yes, you do, c'mon...”, Tom said, kindly and soft, still holding on to the belt and giving it a little tug. 

He swallowed and groped for words. Treacherous words that might fail him or make Tom laugh, or worse, judge. Words that might send him on a path he didn’t know if he wanted to take and from which he might not return. But, in the car, when Tom asked if he trusted him, he had said he did. He had said he did, so he supposed he must—because lying doesn’t suit him. He decided to trust. 

He took a breath and said, “I want your hands on me”. It was the truth.  

Tom untied the belt of the dressing gown, his own dressing gown. He pushed it gently open, stroking his fingertips over his collarbones, and Stuart Dakin was naked in his kitchen. Naked to him at least, the gown around his back making it a private show. Stuart felt ridiculous. A comical phallic object—made of glass, translucent and breakable. Too breakable to touch; too absurd to take seriously.  

Tom did not touch. He looked and he didn’t touch—but he didn't laugh either. How much time had he spent watching? How much time had Stuart spent knowing he was watched? How much time had he spent pushing and pushing this man beyond endurance with the temptation to touch? For fun. But here he was, standing in front of him aching to be touched—naked and aching—and Tom could touch, if he wanted, but he didn’t.  

After an age, Tom said, “You are very beautiful, you know”. And he felt himself blush. Blush! Where once he would have puffed himself up and taken a compliment as his right, he blushed. Tom smiled and, slipped his hand behind Stuart’s cock and placed it flat on the softest part of his belly. So close. His hand so close, but not touching, that he felt himself move towards it as though tugged by magnets. Watching all the while, Tom spread his fingers and slid that hand, firm and smooth, over his navel, over his ribs, over his solar plexus—finally resting his palm on his chest.  Resting his palm on his eggshell breastbone, over his heart, where it pounded and the blush speckled over his skin under the soft, dark hair. “Are you still keeping it here, Stu?”, he said. 

Stuart thought he must be able to see it—to feel it—but he said, “Yeah”, and reached and took Tom’s other hand from the counter and threaded it. A friendly hand to hold while he was dangled somewhere precarious. That the friendly hand also belonged to his tormentor did not escape him.  

Tom watched the rise and fall of his hand on Stuart’s chest, in silence. Then he said, “What else, Stuart? What else do you want?” Stuart could no longer look at him. He lowered his head to look at the fingers twined in his hair and said, “Your mouth. I want your hands and your mouth...” It was the truth.  

Tom lifted his hand and tilted Stuart’s chin with it. “Look at me”, he said, the imperative soft but compelling, and held his gaze while he licked the end of his own thumb. Then he reached and ran the thumb in decreasing circles around one, already tight, nipple and delicately over the raspberry peak of it. Stuart gasped and closed his eyes, the better to feel—but the pull to watch was stronger. When he opened them, Tom was leaning in to repeat the circles with his diamond-tipped tongue. Every sharp sensation concentrated to the point where that perfect tongue was describing wet circles and he felt held in suspension. His free hand clasped and unclasped in the air, with nowhere to go—nowhere he felt allowed to go. Tom grasped his flailing wrist tightly, whispered, “Patience”, and grazed him with his teeth. Then he stopped and smiled and observed his handiwork—from beaded cock to wet nipple, Stuart was glistening and straining towards him. He stopped and he smiled and he very gently blew. He very gently blew and Stuart Dakin shattered. “Christ, Tom,  please ", he whimpered.  

Tom laughed, gathered up the pieces, and pulled him close—his arm around his waist under the dressing gown, a cool hand stroking the warm skin of his back. He said, “I’m sorry, but that’s why men have nipples” and kissed his mouth at last—his tongue playful and apologetic. He unthreaded Stuart’s hand and finally reached between them to enclose his cock in his fist, protecting him from where he was pressed hard against the buckle of his belt. Stuart closed his eyes, wrapped his arms around Tom’s neck, and bathed in an ocean of touch. He felt safe.  

Tom said, “let’s give you what you wanted in the first place then”, pulling him over to the table and pulling out a chair. He patted his damaged leg saying, “If you wanted me on my knees, I’m going to have to disappoint you—we’ll need to improvise”.  

He nodded, mute, let himself be led, let himself be arranged. Tom said, “Your feet must be cold”, and kicked a pair of tatty slippers out from under the table. The incongruity wasn’t enough to stop him slipping his feet into them—it was true, his feet were freezing. The slippers were moulded to their owner, the ridges and furrows a perfect cast of his naked feet. But Tom Irwin was still fully clothed, not a thing about him disarrayed. He was certainly not on his knees.  

Tom sat down and pulled Stuart in; his mouth achingly close, his hands gripping his thighs. He smiled up at him, waiting for something—still waiting for something. Stuart touched his face curiously and stroked his cheek, trying to find what was holding him back now, when everything that had obstructed the path to here was washed away. He ran his thumb over his lips and said, “I’m sorry, did I hurt you? In the car? I...” 

Tom said, “I’ll live”, and took Stuart’s thumb into his mouth and closed his eyes in such an unbearable mimicry of what he wanted that he had to snatch it away. He curled his hand around the back of his neck, pressed in to the soft flesh with his fingertips, and fought the urge to press harder. He plucked Tom’s hand from his thigh and guided it quickly to where he wanted it to be. Wrapping those fingers around himself and closing his own hand over them, he whispered, “Please. I want this. I  need  this”. He had imagined this would be a taking thing—giving only if he felt like it, for his amusement. He was not meant to be the one ready to beg.  

And then he didn’t care. Because he was watching as Tom ran soft, wet kisses over him and lashed and teased him with his tongue. He was watching and wanting it never to end and needing it to end—now. His breath coming fast and shallow, he said, “I can’t...Tom... please... I can’t”. And Tom smiled and smoothed his lips over the head of his cock in a slow, wet slide and held him there for an endless heartbeat before he relented and welcomed him all the way in.  

Nothing mattered. He was in Tom’s mouth and his hands were in Tom’s hair and Tom’s nails were digging into his backside and nothing mattered at all. Nothing mattered but the push and the pull and the wet heat of it. The gown slipped from his shoulders and hung at his elbows. He threw back his head and became a helpless, formless thing, made of liquid and light that gathered and gathered and gathered itself to a quicksilver ball that dashed itself joyfully against Tom’s throat, while incoherent noises tumbled from his own. He heard himself say Tom’s name—that was all. It was the only thing that made any sense.  

The rain continued to hammer against the glass, as they let the world slowly return. Tom soothed the flesh he’d marked and Stuart held his head against his stomach, stroking his hair in silence. Breathing deep, settling, listening to the rain. 

Tom looked up at him and said, “Please, Stu”—finally asking for something—something for himself. 

It was then Stuart noticed he still had his glasses on and he laughed to think they’d survived the maelstrom. He shook his head in disbelief and laughed and went to take them off. But he stopped, and looking at Tom, knew suddenly there had been no games—only waiting for permission. He cupped his face in his hands and smiled and said, “May I?” And Tom nodded. 

And so, he did, and, seeing him unglazed for the first time, he knew what he wanted without having to be asked again. He bent and kissed his naked eyes and said, “I want you to fuck me.” 

It was the truth.  

Tom sighed a sigh of relief and said, “Okay".