Happy Birthday, Karen!

To celebrate the birthday of someone who has become a very close friend and writing partner, I wrote a short story.   Life has been crazy for me lately, and it wasn’t until a reminder last night from a mutual friend that I remembered it was Karen’s birthday today. This plot idea has been in my head for a while, and I was able to write a fun little short story for her.  I had help from two other really wonderful people, Jules and Born, and I thank them immensely for the beta work and help with the story title. 

To Karen: Happy Birthday, Gorgeous!  I know how much you love slash and I hope you enjoy Peter and Vince’s story.

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Igniting the Embers

Warm arms slid around Vince’s waist and he shivered at the feel of heated breath and soft facial hair against his neck.  “What are you doing out here, baby?” a low voice murmured.

“Just relaxing.”  Vince closed his eyes and sank back against his lover, reveling in the feeling.  It had been months since the two of them had been together like this.  Life had a way of taking over, even when they tried to make time for each other.  They’d been together for seven years and although their relationship was strong, they’d let things slide lately.  Too much taking each other for granted, too much time spent focused on their careers.  Too little time spent together.  They’d taken this trip to Stowe to get back what they’d had before.

To reconnect.

And reconnect they had.  Multiple times, on multiple surfaces of the rustically decorated but luxurious cabin they’d rented for a week.  Vince groaned, remembering the feel of Peter’s thick cock so, so deep inside him the night before.  They’d passed out after, sweaty and sated, covered in lube and their own spunk.  Waking up still a mess had been less than pleasant but Vince couldn’t deny that there were few things better than being wrapped around the man he loved, mess or not.  “I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep,” he explained.  “I took a quick shower and decided to come out here with a cup of coffee so I didn’t wake you.  You looked like you were sleeping so well.”

“I did need the sleep.  You wore me out last night.”  Vince could smell Peter’s body wash; clearly, he’d taken a shower, too.  He imagined his lover with water dripping over him and was suddenly sorry that he hadn’t waited so they could shower together.

“I wore you out?” Vince asked, laughing.  “I beg to differ.  You wore me out.”

Peter chuckled and kissed the back of Vince’s neck, letting his hand slide under Vince’s thin, cotton shirt.  Vince’s skin was chilled from the cool, morning air and he shivered again.  “Are you cold, baby?” Peter asked, concerned.

“Mmm, I guess I’ve been out here a while.”  Vince gestured to the no longer steaming mug of coffee he’d been sipping, now resting on the rough wooden railing of the deck.   It was October and they’d been blessed with perfect fall weather the entire trip.  Cool enough for sweaters and jackets, for cuddling in front of a roaring fire, eating thick beef stew and fresh bread that Peter made, and sleeping under thick down duvets.

Stowe had been Peter’s idea, and Vince had been reluctant at first.  Peter was a country boy who’d grown up on a New Hampshire sheep farm, but Vince was a city boy through and through.  Born and raised in Pittsburgh, he’d eventually settled in Philadelphia, where he’d met Peter.  They both ended up in the city because of their careers, never expecting to build a life there.

Both had planned to move somewhere else after they gained some experience in their respective fields.  However, once they met each other in the small bookstore that adjoined the two neighborhoods they lived in, their plans had changed.  Their relationship had progressed quickly, both men ready to settle down once they met the person they wanted to spend their life with.

Their families got along well, their groups of friends meshed, and the only real bump in their relationship had come in the last year when they’d both become too wrapped up in their careers.  There had been shouting matches and a few nights spent in separate beds, but ultimately, they’d realized that it was time that they got their relationship back on track before they lost what really mattered.  Vince had been the one to propose a trip away, and Peter had enthusiastically suggested Vermont.

Vince wasn’t sold on the idea of a rustic cabin, hiking in the woods, and no television, but Peter’s fervor and the promise of a hot tub had swayed him.  Neither of them had regretted the decision.  Although the cabin looked rustic, it was every bit as luxurious as a hotel, with more amenities than they could ever use in a week.  The couple had even gone into town for several nice dinners and indulged Vince’s need to shop.  They’d found the perfect painting for over the fireplace and a few other knick knacks to decorate the condo they shared.   The men had spent hours relaxing: reading on the leather couch in the living room, playing Scrabble and Chinese checkers, listening to music.  There were mornings lazing in bed, stacks of pancakes eaten in pajamas, a picnic lunch on the trail when they went hiking.  And best of all, a chance to catch up with each other, a chance to show their love.

They’d also indulged in several sexual fantasies they’d discussed over the years, including a frantic blow job Peter had given Vince that had nearly been discovered by hikers.  They’d spent hours and hours making love, kissing leisurely, planning their future together.

It had been a perfect trip.

They’d be leaving the following day and had to go back to work two days after that, so Vince wanted to enjoy the last full day of vacation.

He turned in Peter’s arms, smiling down at him.  At 5’10”, Peter was a few inches shorter than Vince, and he marveled at the way they always seemed to fit just right together.  Peter smiled back, his blue eyes lighting up, his lips parting in anticipation of the kiss to come.  Instead, Vince wrapped himself more tightly around his partner, letting the bridge of his nose skim Peter’s cheek.  He’d grown a beard in the last year—another thing Vince hadn’t been so sure he’d like—but he loved it now.  The golden brown hair was thick and soft, groomed short and neat against Peter’s face.  He looked more rugged now, less like the pretty boy that Vince had fallen in love with.  He’d mellowed, too, no longer the cocky med student he’d been, but a steady, caring pediatrician.

Of course, Vince wasn’t the same awkward boy he’d been then, either.  He’d grown into himself and his looks.  A square jaw, high cheekbones, hazel eyes, and thick brown hair that often fell over his eyes was appealing to plenty of people.  But when he’d met Peter, he’d felt gawky and awkward, unsure of himself.  Peter’s love had helped him become more self-assured and now he carried himself with confidence, both in his career as a political news anchor and as a man.

They’d both changed over the years, physically and mentally, but that was the strength of their relationship.  They’d grown together, changed, and yet they were still solid.  Sure, they needed to work to not let things slide like they had recently, but they were meant to be together, Vince was sure of that.

“Love you,” Vince whispered against Peter’s temple, and Peter sighed, melting into Vince’s body.

“Love you, too.”  Peter turned his head and captured Vince’s lips with his.  The kiss was hot and needy, like they hadn’t fucked until they were both panting, desperate messes, not twelve hours before.  Vince moaned against Peter’s lips, tasting the familiar mint of Peter’s mouthwash and the man himself.

“Take me inside,” Vince said, his voice gritty and hoarse, his cock pushing at the soft blue and white striped fabric of his pajama pants.

Peter’s answering look was heated and promising, and after one last deep kiss, he stepped away.  With shaking fingers, Vince grabbed his coffee mug and followed.  In the cabin, Vince had just enough time to deposit the dish on the kitchen island before Peter took his hand and pulled him toward the bedroom.  Vince’s long legs barely managed to keep up with Peter’s eager strides.

Peter pushed his lover over the bed, running his hands along Vince’s back as he braced himself against the mattress.   “Are you too sore from last night?” he murmured.

Vince shook his head, his cock hardening at the memory of the way his lover had fucked him roughly.  “Not too sore to take you again,” he countered.  “Besides, you know I like it when I can feel it the next day.”

Peter flushed and pressed his cock against Vince’s ass, rutting slowly against the other man.  “Yeah, I know.”

Peter didn’t mind bottoming, but he didn’t revel in it the way Vince did.  They switched, when they were in the mood, and the last few days they had both been feeling pretty versatile.  Right now though, all Peter wanted was to be buried inside the other man.

“Wanna kiss you,” Vince pleaded and stood up, twisting in Peter’s arms so he could press their lips together.  Hungry, desperate kisses led to wandering hands as the men undressed each other.  Peter pressed Vince down onto the sheets, making the man writhe under him when his skillful mouth sucked and licked at his neck.

Vince’s hands grasped Peter’s back, feeling the strength of the muscles bunching under his touch.  Vince was lean and toned from his regular running but Peter lifted weights, and it showed.  He wasn’t bulky, but he had no trouble pinning his lover to the bed when it suited him.  He grinned teasingly down at Vince, who moaned when Peter’s hands wrapped around his wrists.  The playful way he pinned Vince down to the bed made him moan and buck his hips up, his cock rubbing against Peter’s.

The men kissed, rolling to their sides, their bodies twining and twisting together in desperation, as things grew more heated.  Vince reached for the lube they’d left on the bedside table, slicking both their cocks and grasping them both in his long-fingered hand.   Peter panted against Vince’s mouth at the feeling of his cock sliding against his lovers.

Vince watched Peter’s full, parted lips, his thick lashes fluttering against his cheekbones as Vince slowly jacked their cocks.  Their chests were both heaving by the time Peter fumbled for the discarded lube, hitching Vince’s thigh over his so he could reach behind him.

With a gasp, Vince felt his lover’s slick finger sliding between his ass cheeks.  The rhythm of his hand faltered for a moment, but at Peter’s rough, whispered encouragement, he continued.  Peter’s finger pressed more firmly, sliding into him, and he gasped, burying his head against Peter’s neck.   “Oh, God,” he panted.  “More.”

Peter quickly added a second finger, and they both slid in easily.  “You gonna come for me, baby?”  Peter’s hoarse voice and the way he crooked his fingers only ramped up Vince’s need, and he shuddered against him.

“I’m close.”  He closed his eyes and gritted his teeth, pushing gently at Peter’s chest.  “Wait.”

With a groan, Peter let his hand fall to the bed and Vince’s grip on his cock loosened.   Peter pouted at him and Vince laughed, capturing his lips in a quick kiss.  “I want you inside me when I come.”

“Fine, fine,” Peter grumbled, but Vince saw the dimple at the corner of his mouth and gently pushed him to the bed, knowing his lover wasn’t that disappointed.  With another quick slick of lube on Peter’s cock, Vince straddled him, sinking down onto his lover.  He was sore, but his need to have the man he loved inside him trumped any discomfort.  Besides, he liked the idea of still feeling Peter in him as they drove home the next day.   Peter tensed underneath him—it felt too damn good—and Vince ran his hands across his chest and stomach, soothingly.

When Peter was buried inside him, Vince began to move, rising and falling over his cock in a slow, easy rhythm.   The pace was languorous; sweet, easy movements that felt like they could go on without ever stopping.   He leaned back, bracing one palm on Peter’s strong thigh.  With a groan, Peter’s hands slid up over Vince’s hips, caressing his sides.  Vince’s heart stuttered when Peter’s bright blue eyes met his.  The intensity, the love there, hit him square in the chest and he swallowed hard, leaning forward to mesh his mouth with Peter’s, needing to reassure himself that the man wasn’t going anywhere.

When he moved to sit up again, Peter followed, bracing an arm on the bed behind him so they could continue to kiss as Vince rode him.  God, he loved this man.  He was everything to him, and the thought that they’d let their relationship get to the point it had made him cringe.  He kept his eyes closed as Vince rested his forehead against his, wrapping a hand around Peter’s neck.  Slick and tight around his cock, Peter could barely breathe through the need he had for the other man.

“I love you.  God, I love you so fucking much,” he muttered against Vince’s lips.

With a needy whimper, Vince collapsed against his chest, forcing Peter flat on the bed.  He gripped Vince’s ass, holding him tight as he rolled their joined bodies over so Vince was underneath him.   Elbows on the bed, arms hooked under Vince’s, Peter thrust into him again, but this time he was controlling the tempo.  There was a desperation that hadn’t been there before, the very thought of losing the man he’d laughed with, cried with, and loved so fiercely for the last seven years made him crazy.

Vince’s hands threaded through Peter’s hair, and his long legs wrapped around the other man’s hips.   It wasn’t enough, he wanted his entire body to merge with his lover’s, but it would have to do, and the telltale tightening in his groin reminded him that they couldn’t go on like this forever.   “You’re never gonna lose me, okay?” he said, his voice cracking.

“Promise me,” Peter begged roughly.

“I promise.  I’m yours.”

The pace sped up, desperation fueling their need and Vince clutched at Peter, anchoring him as he drove in and out of his body.   With a hoarse cry, Vince came, painting their bellies and chest with white just a scant few moments before Peter spurted into Vince.

They shuddered together and Peter dropped onto Vince’s chest.  Vince winced at the weight, but wrapped his arms tightly around his lover anyway, holding him close.

“Whatever it takes, we’ll make our relationship a priority, right?”

“Absolutely,” Vince promised, meaning every word.  Peter pressed his lips to Vince’s smooth chest and Vince tugged at his arm so they could thread their fingers together.

Half-drifting, drowsy and sated, Peter could feel Vince’s heart beat finally beginning to slow and he sighed, rolling them just enough that it took the weight off Vince’s body.   No longer inside him, he twined their legs together, sighing with contentment.

With a sleepy chuckle, Vince threw the blankets over them, cocooning them in down and soft sheets.

“Marry me.”  The words popped out, unplanned—but not unfelt—and both men paused.  The words had been lingering on both their tongues, but neither had intended to speak them at that moment.

“You mean it?” The other man asked quietly, wanting to be sure.

“I know I want to spend the rest of my life showing you—and the world—how much you mean to me.  Yeah, I do,” the first man replied quietly.

“Yes,” the second said gruffly, carding his fingers through his lover’s thick hair.  Fiancé, he thought with a sleepy smile, remembering the ring box tucked in his own luggage.  “Of course I’ll marry you.”

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