...and I'd like to say? It's about... damned... time...
Content under the jump is rated NC-17/M for Mature Audiences/Whatever Your Label Is To Understand It's Explicit Sex. Of the man-on-man variety.
I know I did.
At least four times.
"What's in it for you?"
The drive back to the hotel and convention center was taking longer than the drive to the putt-putt course. Or, at least, it seemed that way. The silence in the car was deafening, traffic was heavier, the stereo was off, and neither man had enough interest to hit buttons and find a decent station on satellite radio, too lost were they in their own thoughts.
Hand-in-hand, they'd left the sports bar, and Blaze had secretly flipped off the waitress when she'd appeared horrified at two men showing such affection after walking out of a bathroom together. He'd almost joked to Arik about how the woman had been so worried about their lack of hygiene, but one look at Arik's face silenced Blaze.
"Nobody is that nice."
Dear spirits, save him, Blaze prayed, shifting in the driver's seat. Because the bitch of the matter was that Arik was right. Blaze wasn't that nice. He was definitely here for his health, though, as the consequences of ignoring a Quest were dire, indeed. And he was here for Arik, because that's what Blaze did on Quests. He showed up at the right place, right time, to the right person, and did... Whatever was required. It wasn't always nice. It was never easy. Sometimes what Blaze had to do tried to kill him, one way or the other, but he had no choice in the matter, and he certainly, most assuredly, and tragically... was not with Arik because Blaze had been kind-hearted or loving or... nice.
Blaze took the exit for the hotel, easing into traffic with exaggerated caution. He had no allowance to be driving the rental, for one, and on top of that, he had no license. He'd not brought that up to Arik, just yet. Nor had Blaze thought it was the right time to disclose to Arik that Blaze had no photo ID, no social security number, no Facebook page, and no cell phone. Arik seemed the rule-abiding and giving sort, and Blaze wasn't sure how he'd take the information. Besides, Blaze usually answered, "Despite the odds," or "Barely" or "On the grace of good people" when asked the inevitable, "How the hell do you survive?"
But Blaze worried if Arik asked the question, Blaze would be a tad too truthful: "I don't know, and I'm tired."
When Blaze pulled the car into a spot in the garage and shoved the gearshift into park, the silence ceased to be deafening and became positively oppressive. Blaze turned off the engine, and he slowly slid the key from the ignition. When Arik still didn't say anything after another long moment, Blaze sighed.
"Look, I can--" Blaze began.
"All right, here's what I propose," Arik said, too loudly for the confinement of the car.
"Okay?" Blaze studied Arik. The ashen coloring had retreated, leaving Arik his usual creamy olive tan. His brow was furrowed, his hair messy from wind and stress tugs at its roots, and he was all-over rumpled and damp. He licked his upper lip. Blaze bit his own.
Arik took a breath. "Stay," he said, and the air rushed from his lungs, his words riding the tide. "Come up and just stay. The room's booked on the company dime, so that's covered, and I'd like to at least buy you dinner after what I did in the... Well. Just after what I did."
Blaze wisely chose that moment not to tell Arik that he'd bought Blaze coffee already, today. That might clue Arik in too soon on how Blaze really did survive so off the grid, and Blaze still didn't know how long he was going to be with this particular Quest. "...And?" Blaze asked.
"Seemed like you were going to say more, is all."
Arik nodded. "I'll... I'll tell you what happened at the mini golf course, if!" He held up a finger, the condition hanging between them. "Afterward, you tell me more about you and why you're here. For me."
Blaze pretended to mull it over. He knew he had to agree, because it was the way to stay close to Arik, and until he figured out what the devil he was doing with Arik, Blaze would take every chance he got to be as near as possible. It got complicated when the target resisted or didn't give Blaze a clear way into their lives, and Blaze had to hang out in shrubs or tree houses or shadows, trying to find a way into the target's good graces.
But then, Arik didn't know what he was asking. Blaze knew that to be true, even if Arik would argue the point. Despite it being a day and age wherein the supernatural and the strange were practically in every TV show, movie, and book, when confronted with actual strangeness, people panicked. It was less because of the strangeness in question, or so Blaze thought, and more because dancing with the unknown made people realize their reality really was as fragile as they feared it to be. It was hard enough to cope with the daily grind, with jobs and kids; parents who nagged and relationships that didn't work. Interject the weird into any one of those equations, and circumstances grew exponentially more challenging and terrifying. Blaze had seen it time and time... and time... again. People didn't want to meet and to know the real Santa Claus. They just wanted the legend and rational explanations for the presents under the tree.
"Blaze?" Arik asked.
"Yes." Blaze gave Arik a deliberate smile. "Of course I'll stay, and I'll tell you what I can."
Arik's eyes drifted back and forth between each of Blaze's. "Why do I think you're not saying something about wishes and being careful what you ask the genie to give you?"
Blaze snorted. "Because you heard me without me having to waste the breath."
"Point." Arik sighed, let his gaze linger on Blaze for one more moment, and then got out of the car. Blaze followed suit, getting his bag and locking the doors. He dropped the keys into Arik's outstretched palm, and Arik shoved the keys into a pocket. Arik's fingers brushed Blaze's while they waited for the pedestrian light to change, and the sparks flew all over again. Blaze pulled his hand away, jaywalking at a trot. His heart was hammering, his breath coming faster, and you would think he'd been the one who'd had some sort of nightmare vision related to a poor kid getting tortured and shoved into a barrel.
In truth, Blaze hadn't given Craig much thought. There'd been no time. Blaze had been and still was too concerned with Arik. And even on the drive and now, on the walk, Blaze's thoughts didn't drift to the horrors the innocent man had endured. No, they drifted to a time and place and people long ago. To a conversation... to many conversations...
To sitting on a wooden plank next to a fire outside a home that was half tent and half shack. Blaze could still smell the smoke, feel the way the heat fought off the chill of the air, and see how the orange and red and yellow swirled together. Like they were playing, laughing... inviting. Fire had been Blaze's skill since practically birth. His hair had been kissed by it, a thing rarer than rare; held, at least in his family, as a blessing but also a marking. Someone whose destiny was greater than toil and marriage and brats and slow death. The elders never told him to get his hands away from flame. They never chastised him for cradling red-hot stones like little girls would cuddle dolls. Heat didn't hurt him. Fire was his only friend.
And that night, and many nights, it'd been his comfort while his parents howled in the tent behind him. Whatever his mother and his father did with one another that constituted coupling, it must have been utterly magnificent. They both would wail with it, screech and curse in twin tongues of bliss.
Blaze had been scared by it in the beginning, when he'd been too small to comprehend how body parts were complementary to one another. And it'd been his Granmamere who'd sat next to Blaze and the fire, who'd held him and comforted him, and answered him when Blaze had asked why his parents sounded like banshees in the night.
"Two mystics making love feel more than most."
The elevator dinged, and Arik cocked a brow at Blaze, who'd been standing in the lobby, unmoving and forcing Arik to hold the doors.
"Sorry," Blaze said, shaking himself out of the memories. Not a good idea, this mixing his own melancholy with a Quest. The Quest was about the target, not Blaze. Never Blaze. He couldn't think of himself, couldn't focus for an instant on anything but the Quest. He couldn't get involved, invested, committed... Nothing lasted. It wasn't meant to be that way, and Blaze had long given up hope that...
No. Stop it. Blaze marched behind Arik, letting Arik go on ahead and key open the hotel room door. Blaze thought of goats, of Arik's terrified cry, of bad beer and arm-breaking holds. He stepped into the air conditioned comfort of the suite, which was far nicer than the one Blaze had bought with some of the last of his stolen cash. He dropped his bag near the door, threw the metal lock and the deadbolt, and barely had the chance to take a step before Arik was on him. Pushing, slamming, and Blaze's back hit the wall, his feet spreading wide for balance, and Arik laced their fingers together, pushing both of Blaze's hands up and next to Blaze's head. Instantly, the current sang, and Blaze arched with it, managing to transform his cry into a grunt. He shut his eyes, and one hand clung to Arik's while the other feebly tried to get out of the grip.
"Did it... did you feel this last night?" Arik whispered, his breath blowing hotly over Blaze's lips.
Of course he had, but the tingles had been smaller, gentler, less insistent. More a novelty than a real distraction; something easily writ off as excitement or an unexplained chill. Though, still, Arik's mouth and Arik's hands and Arik's cock sliding inside him... It'd been better than it had any right to be. It'd been good enough that Blaze had almost come without a stroke to his dick in the gain, but, again, Blaze had thought that to be a sign that he'd been too long without pleasure.
"Did you?" Arik asked again, and his mouth was almost on Blaze's skin, almost kissing Blaze's jawline, nearly teasing Blaze's neck.
"Yeah," Blaze turned his head, bore his throat, and earned the reward: a press of lips, a gentle suck, a long drag of teeth lightly scraping his skin. "Wasn't... it was... I..." Blaze growled at himself. "It wasn't this strong."
"I feel it, too, now, but it's... like prickles when your foot goes to sleep?" Arik spoke quietly, tightened both his hands on Blaze's. He dropped kisses along the tendon of Blaze's neck. "That how you feel?"
Blaze had to open his eyes and look at one of the points where they were joined to make sure they weren't being surrounded by some sort of electrical storm cloud hell bent on making Blaze try out electro-stimulation play by hook or by crook. He was already hard beneath his jeans, trying not to pant, trying to hold still and not give away exactly how much he did, in fact, feel.
"Not exactly," Blaze said.
"What, then?" Arik asked. "What do you -- oh." He'd pressed closer, gotten a thigh between Blaze's, and now he ground it against Blaze's groin.
Blaze gave up on holding it in. He moaned, yanked his hands out from under Arik's, and grappled the man flush. "Fuck yes," Blaze hissed, rutting along Arik's leg and grabbing anything he could reach: Arik's ass, shoulder, waist. "Nngh..." Blaze grunted, and it dissolved into a groan when Arik kissed him, held him, started trying to get clothes off him. Arik tried to do all of it at once, and soon Blaze's shirt hung around his neck, his arms out but head not, because Arik wouldn't let up on the mouth work. Blaze got a hand down to his fly, sucking on Arik's lower lip, and Blaze tried to unfasten his jeans and Arik's slacks simultaneously. It mostly went according to plan, but it wasn't enough, wasn't fast enough, wasn't enough skin let to bare, and Blaze shoved off the wall, starting to walk backward down the short hallway leading to the main room of the suite. He staggered, balance upset and head spinning. He shucked his shirt, his shoes, his socks, but didn't make it to his pants before Arik was on him, again.
Bare chest met bare chest, and the electricity spread over a greater surface area. It lessened the overall effect, but made Blaze more desperate for it. He kissed Arik's neck and shoulder, ran his hands across the smooth planes of Arik's back, and bent to lick a nipple. Fingers laced in Blaze's hair, and Arik made a low sound that didn't quite make it to air but did rumble Arik's chest. Blaze rubbed his face against Arik's body like a cat, the current dancing between them; like it tried to pull them together, wrap them up tight, keep them as one. Blaze's breathing was all over the place, and he sucked a gasp when Arik forced Blaze's head back and face up so their eyes met. Arik looked like his definition of wonder began and ended in Blaze, and Blaze reached up for a slower kiss. He took his time, tasting and teasing Arik's lips with his own and then with his tongue before diving inside. Arik stroked Blaze's arms, neck, back, hair, and Arik got a hand down and palmed Blaze's cock through denim and cotton.
"Oh... nnnah..." Blaze fumbled at Arik's hips, got belt and zipper and fly and finally slacks undone and down. Blaze shoved aside underwear and grasped Arik's cock in returned attention, and no sooner had the tiny arcs of current sizzled from Blaze's heated palm to Arik's thick dick than Blaze met mattress.
"Feel that?" Blaze panted, scrambling out of the rest of his clothes while Arik did the same. By all the gods and all their standards, the man was fucking beautiful.
"Yeah." Arik slid onto the bed and on top of Blaze, and Arik gasped while Blaze groaned.
"Shit," Blaze said against Arik's throat.
Entwined as they were, tingles, prickles, and sparks were everywhere. Arik shuddered as though freezing from the cold, and Blaze was sweating from being on the edge of the best sensation, orgasm, whatever, but with nowhere to go.
"Stronger..." Arik rasped. "Like this... it's..."
Blaze wrapped around Arik, legs and knees and arms and hands, and he kissed the man like it was a drowning man's last breath of life. Arik moaned, responding in kind, and Blaze liked to die from the tenderness in Arik's touches along his spine, the gentleness in the squeeze of Blaze's hair, and the unarguable vise-like strength that was absolutely, without question, not letting Blaze out of Arik's arms. No way, no how, not ever, and Blaze had a second to think that he was getting used to the connection sensation. He had a flash moment to wonder if maybe the longer they were together, the more in tune with one another they got, and the more aware Arik was of Arik's obvious gifts, the stronger this would be. There was an opportunity to think how awful it'd be if Blaze was wrong, a glimmer that made Blaze want to laugh at himself for being such an idiot and plunging so fast off the cliff of togetherness when it wasn't allowed or even welcome...
...and then thought was blown all to hell by a Vision.
Pounding, slapping, striving... Blaze watched himself getting ploughed into the mattress, Arik behind him and holding Blaze's hands at the small of Blaze's back. View of Arik's face from below, view of cock sliding into Blaze's body, view of Blaze's fingers white-knuckle holding Arik's... The feel of pleasure just a heartbeat away, the sensation of covers over Blaze's face, the helpless thrill in letting go, of being slack-limbed loose in somebody else's arms... The sound of Arik's grunts, of Arik coming, of Arik yelling... yelling...
Blaze was ripped out of the imagery by Arik's teeth nipping Blaze's nipple, Arik's fist steadily and too-slowly working Blaze's cock, and by his own dry mouth, devoid of moisture from continual cries. Blaze choked, swallowed, hissed, and yanked Arik up Blaze's body. The kiss was ferocious, but Blaze turned his lower body to dislodge Arik's grip. Arik hugged Blaze, and Blaze rolled, knocking them onto their sides and then sprawling across Arik.
"What... what happened?" Arik murmured, breathless.
Blaze knew Arik had to mean why did Blaze make Arik stop, when, Blaze was sure, it'd been really fucking obvious Blaze had been enjoying himself. "Not yet," Blaze answered, meaning both the physical and as a way to reassure himself that now was not the time to speak of Visions.
"Mmm..." Arik hummed, arms and hands dragging across Blaze's body. He burrowed against Blaze, and they rocked into one another, gaining friction: rubbing and sliding and kissing and caressing. "God... you're beautiful, Blaze..."
Chuckling, Blaze kissed Arik with his eyes open. They stared at one another, and Arik's eyes were hazy, blown darker with want, and it occurred to Blaze that if the sparks from palm to cock had driven Arik to the brink, then mouth to cock might drive Arik over it.
Blaze flew down Arik's body, pausing only to lick at a hipbone and reposition himself. He rolled his eyes northward when his tongue met the underside of Arik's dick, and Arik's expression was the world's greatest display of shock, awe, and need that Blaze had ever seen. Blaze's tongue tingled, he swirled it around the head, and Arik's hands slammed onto the bed, wrenching at the covers. Blaze sucked where crown met shaft, teased it with the tip of his tongue, and then quit fooling around. He spread his lips around Arik in a tight ring, sucked, and sank slow-slow-slowly down Arik's length.
"Jesus... Christ!" Arik called between clenched teeth, his jaw flexing and his head turning side to side. Spittle flew with the bursts of his breathing, and his thigh muscles jumped and tensed.
Blaze came up to catch a little air, whole face aflame with numbing buzzing. He bobbed a steady up-down, and Arik's hand flailed toward Blaze. His mouth had fallen open in a soundless curse-wail, and Blaze shifted. He got his weight across Arik's lower body, and Blaze caught Arik by reaching around Arik's bent leg. Arik groaned when their hands linked, and he shuddered from head to toe. Gooseflesh rippled across his skin, and Blaze kept at him. All the way down... hold... hold... Fight the panic, come up with care and not speed, lick and tease with tongue... Come off all the way only to push lips over the reddened head, barely allowing give enough for the dick to slip within, and descending, sucking in deep drags...
"Mmph..." Arik almost whimpered, his voice high and lost and spellbound. "Blaze... oh...oh God... oh fuck..." Arik gasped faster, tensioned and shook, and Blaze drew it out. He loosened his mouth, sliding along flesh slickened with spit, and Blaze came completely off Arik after every downward glide. Over and over... take and retreat... And Blaze was hard to aching, his lower half rutting for relief, and Arik was cursing, slurring words and moans into a mess that all added up to please.
Blaze had mercy. He added his hand to the action, circling the base and stroking. He sped up, swallowing Arik whole and doing it faster, hand meeting mouth, and tongue pressing all the while. He got a quick glance at Arik, head back and skin flushed and eyes squeezed shut. The sight of him shoved a fist of greedy want into Blaze's torso, and Blaze groaned, trembling. Arik's jaw went slack, his upper body pressed into the bed with force, and his hips rose-rocked to meet Blaze in a broken rhythm that faltered fast.
"Oh," Arik whispered. "Oh... oh...oh-oh...nnh!" With a sharp inhale and hold, it was done, and Arik came in Blaze's throat, the steel-like skin between Blaze's lips pulsing and throbbing as Arik spent himself dry. Blaze milked Arik with his tongue and a few lesser pulls of lips and suction. Arik gasped, his free fingers skimming up Blaze's neck and tightening in Blaze's hair. This time, the hold was not gentle, but directive and forceful, and Blaze bowed to it. He crawled up Arik's body and met Arik's mouth for a lingering kiss.
Arik hugged Blaze close, and Blaze whined. The room was spinning, his head was stuffed with cotton, and the only thing he heard was his own frantic sounds and Arik's come-drunk voice: "Sit up."
Blaze obeyed without thought, though he had to slap holds on Arik's bent knees to keep from falling over. Blaze's legs were to either side of Arik's torso, his cock jutting out from his body.
"Higher," Arik ordered, but kindly, almost lovingly, and Blaze, shaking all over and with his vision tunneling, rose up over Arik.
"Yeah... good. Damn. Like that." Arik rubbed Blaze's thighs, the touch so hot and full of contact spark that Blaze threw his head back and sobbed a cry, and when Arik's hand wrapped around Blaze's dick, Blaze began to beg in time to the strokes.
"Please... shit... please... can't... oh fu--I'm... mmph... mmng... oh... fuck... close... so goddamned..."
"Look at me."
Blaze tucked his chin to his chest, meeting an approximation of Arik's face. He couldn't focus, couldn't do anything but feel and crave and long. Blaze's vision was spotted and blurred. Sweat ran into one of his eyes, burning it, and he knew he had to be hanging on to Arik tightly enough to bruise. He blinked, desperately trying to get Arik's hand to go faster or the current to ignite more intensely, or something to, dear spirit and all things holy, let him come. Make him do it. Make him.
A finger pressed between Blaze's cheeks. He froze, it nudged, and it slid inside with the perfect push of insistence. Blaze's mouth opened in a wounded animal cry that was at once startled and also grateful, and he jerked rough and halting back-and-forths between Arik fucking him and Arik stroking him. Faster, now--
"Oh God, yeah!"
Plunge, slide, twist--
One finger became two, the growl below him was feral and full of ownership, and Blaze's brain fritzed. Showed him pictures of getting fucked while being fucked, and Blaze had no idea when he started to come, but he knew he didn't think he was going to live through it. He called down the gods, old and new, hissed and sobbed and felt actual wetness in his eyes from sheer, unadulterated overload, and when, at last, it was over, and the climax let Blaze loose of its clutches, Blaze fumble-tumbled onto Arik.
And Blaze was caught and held, almost too tightly, like he was someone precious, not something accursed, and the electricity sang sweetly between their bodies, which curled around each other like they'd always known exactly how they could and would fit together.