Christmas With Jacob
Malcolm lay stretched out on the sofa, watching Jacob decorate the small pine tree he’d brought down to the cabin. He’d tried to place a few ornaments himself, but after being gently corrected for the third time, he’d giving up. He sipped hot apple cider and nibbled on the chocolate chip cookies he’d baked. Jacob had tree decorating down to a science, apparently, and every bulb and bow needed to be placed at precise intervals or the “Whole effect would be ruined.”
Since he had no intention of inadvertently ruining any aspect of their very first Christmas as an official couple, he decided to turn up the Christmas music and just enjoy the show of supple muscles flexing and sexy strips of skin peeking out as Jacob’s purple t-shirt rode up when he stretched to wrap a string of popcorn around the small tree.
His blood warmed slowly and he sighed softly in contentment. This was what he’d missed most over their time apart. Yeah, he’d missed the most amazing sex of his life, but the contentment of being with someone you love, someone who loved you, that was what he’d rather die than give up again.
That was the reason he held back, watching, taking his cue from Jacob’s actions, trying to read every little expression and reaction. He didn’t ever want to misread his lover again. He closed his eyes tightly, trying to shut out the memories of those long, dark years. Years when he’d felt alone, even in the bosom of his family.
Soft lips brushed lightly over his. Malcolm smiled, keeping his eyes screwed tight shut. He darted out his tongue, licked the teasing lips, parted them and swept inside. A smooth hand ran down his stubbled jaw, and he wondered briefly if he should have shaved before Jacob arrived. He shook away the thought, brought both hands up to cup Jacob’s head, winding his fingers in the man’s dark curls. His breath caught, his heart rate sped. Jacob tasted of apple and cinnamon and home.
His arms lowered and he crushed Jacob to him, pulling the man across his body so they lay together on the sofa. He pushed his erection against the cradle of Jacob’s thighs. It might not be about sex, but sometimes, sex seemed like the only time he clearly understood what Jacob wanted and needed. The only time he really felt like he was what Jacob wanted and needed. His tongue plunged deep, stroked along slick surfaces, chased after Jacob’s to lure it into his own mouth.
Jacob broke away to kneel in front of him with a short, mirthless laugh. “What’s going on, Malcolm?”
“Nothing.” He stared into curious blue eyes. “What’s going on with you?”
Jacob pulled away. “The tree is done. But you’re just lying here. You were frowning. You don’t like it? We can go with a more eclectic look, if you want?”
“No!” He cast a cursory glance at the tree. “It’s fine. You like it, that’s what matters.”
“Since when, Malcolm?” Jacob asked intently, frowning at him. “Since when is it only what I like that matters?”
Malcolm shrugged. He sipped from his mug, grimacing as he realized it had cooled. “I want you to be happy with me, this time around.” Surely that was obvious?
Jacob scowled. A fine boned hand landed square in the middle of his chest as Jacob leaned over him. “Since when? All this time, I thought we were doing things differently this time. I thought we were going to do things right this time, not repeat the same mistakes.”
“I’m not making any mistakes.” Not taking any chances that Jacob would run away again, would leave him for someone else.
“Yeah, you are.”
Malcolm froze, pushing up, shoving Jacob away. “Seriously? You’re just looking for a reason to leave, aren’t you? I’ve done everything you wanted, when you wanted, the way you wanted. If that’s not enough…”
The pain ripped through him, leaving him gasping for breath. He needed a drink. He reached blindly for the mug, succeeded only in knocking it over so the cold cider spilled across the pine table and dripped onto the floor. It might as well have been his blood. He stood, frantically searching the room for his keys, finally finding the lump in his pocket.
“What are you doing?”
“I need a drink. There’s no alcohol here, ergo, I’m going to get some.”
“No, you’re not. Just us, remember? No booze, no cutting, just plain and simple, us and communication.”
Malcolm sank to the floor, buried his head in hands. He drew in a deep breath, blinked back the moisture in his eyes. “Yeah. Just us.” He’d nearly fucked things up again, with the best of intentions, yes. He snorted weakly. “You said it, didn’t you? We really did nearly fuck up this peanut butter sandwich trying to make a cake.”
Hands slid around the nape of his neck, warm breath bathed his temple before a soft kiss landed at the corner of his eye. “Yeah, but we’re not quitting, and we’re not giving up. Now, I want to do something the way you want to do it, not the way you think I want to.”
Malcolm glanced at the tree. “The tree is fine. I really don’t want to re-do it.”
A hand landed on his cock, squeezed. “Yeah, not the tree. You can tell me your theory on holiday decorating some other time.”
Light dawned as the buttons to his jeans were flicked open one by one. “Oh, but you know how I like to do this.”
A warm pink tongue lapped at his belly button. “I do? But tell me you don’t sometimes want to do it a little different…a little like that first time.”
Groaning, Malcolm squeezed his eyes shut again. His hand fisted in Jacob’s curls, his hips thrust forward. “In the elevator.”
“I was an ass.”
“You were amazing.”
“You want to do that over again?”
A sharp slap on his thigh. “I know you like that, rough and fast, and I want that if and when you want it. Love doesn’t always have to be slow and careful. Sometimes it’s a fucking storm that picks you up and tosses you around until you land battered and spent and grateful to be alive.”
“Bed, now.” Malcolm rose, towing Jacob behind him as he raced across the room, shedding clothes as they went.
If you enjoyed meeting Jacob and Malcolm here, you can red more about them in Loving Jacob, at Breathless Press
Ryder tucked his arm back under the blanket and tried to ignore the blissful aroma of freshly brewed coffee in hopes of just five more minutes of fitful sleep. He’d been sleeping like a baby lately and didn’t want it to end. Then he smiled to himself, thinking about the reason he’d been sleeping so soundly. Harlan was somewhere in this apartment, maybe working on his laptop or appeasing his OCD with cleaning again or if Ryde was lucky he might even be cooking them a little something for breakfast.
With that thought in his head he jumped out of bed, pulled his favorite pair of sweats on and headed to the bathroom. Teeth brushed and business taken care of, he set off to find his man. He walked down the hall and peaked into the spare room that now housed Harlan’s work crap. Granted, they weren’t technically living together yet—but Har spent close to ninety percent of his time here and Ryder wanted Har to have his own space so he could telecommute from work as often as possible. Anything to keep Har here for another day that was Ryde’s motto.
He stepped into the family room that was also sans Har, and stared at the tree. Earlier this week they had gone and picked out a simple tree, not more than six feet high and slightly thinner than the normally sought after ones. But it fit in his apartment perfectly and they had decorated it with all the bulbs and ornaments that they had bought together.
Ryder walked over to the tree and touched the branch jutting out at him. There was something about buying everything new and starting fresh. It was easy to let Har have his way when they decided what to purchase. The glow on his face when Ryder agreed to the silver and green garland and the multi-faceted lights that blinked made it all worthwhile.
This was the first year Ryde had put up a Christmas tree, even though he’d been living in this apartment for just over five years. He had never seen the point; not in a tree, or celebrating Christmas in general. But this year…this year there was more than just a point to doing this. This year he wanted this, and he wanted it with Harlan.
He turned to head to the kitchen when a shine caught his eye. He stopped and smiled. Damn if Harlan wasn’t true to his word and all those picture frames were back in their proper places on the mantel—with new pictures in them of a smiling and happy couple. Ryder felt the silly grin spread across his face but couldn’t restrain it. This was his happy couple. For the first time in seven years he finally had a reason to grin and he wouldn’t deny himself the right to crack a smile about the little things that really were big to him.
The kitchen was the only other place Harlan would be so Ryder went in that direction. He stopped in the archway and took in the scene before him. Harlan was setting the table with not just a little something, but with all his favorites; banana pecan pancakes, eggs, thick cut peppered bacon and lots of butter and syrup on the side.
“Um…” He chuckled nervously. “Last time you made a spread like this you had just broken into my apartment. Should I be worried?”
“That I’ll break in? I already stole your key and made duplicates.” Har laughed. “Or that I’ll try to break out? Sorry, that one isn’t happening either.”
Ryder shook his head in mirth and made a beeline for his lover. With three long strides he had Harlan on the counter and took ownership of his mouth, forcing his tongue through those perfect lips and tasting Harlan. Harlan should be the first flavor to pass his lips every morning, nothing else would do.
Grabbing Harlan’s hips he tugged him to the edge of the counter and grinded against him.
“Hey. You’re wearing jeans?” He leaned back and looked Harlan up and down. Sure enough, he wasn’t dressed for a sexy stay-at-home Saturday breakfast. He was dressed to go out in his skinny jeans and crisp white shirt with his flannel on over it, he even had sneakers on.
“Yeah…um…my mini-skirt was dirty?” Har joked.
Ryde swatted him on his hip. “First, don’t play—that actually sounds hot. Second, why are you dressed for a day out instead of a day in? I don’t wanna go out on Christmas Eve, people get crazy this time of year! Let’s take our food and head back to the bedroom and find interesting ways to eat it.” He waggled his eyebrows at Harlan.
“Oh yeah, that’s not happening! No food in the bed, need I remind you of the toast fiasco of last month? I had crumbs in places that should never be touched by food!”
“Ha! Says you, my tongue found every single crumb thank you very much.” Ryder chuckled.
“Yeah well, I actually have plans today.”
A knock on the door stopped Ryder from wondering what his boyfriend had up his sleeve. “I’ll get that, and when I come back you better have a darn good reason for leaving me alone without any morning hanky panky.” He headed off for the door.
Ryder heard Harlan hop off of the counter. “Wait. Maybe I should answer that.”
“I’m already here.” He turned to look questioningly at Harlan as he opened the door.
“Yeah. I’m still wondering why he keeps you around.” The voice from the front door of the apartment grated down Ryde’s nerves like nails down a chalkboard.
He swung his head back to the open doorway and growled at Ritchie while addressing Harlan, “What is he doing here? It’s Christmas Eve, shouldn’t I be safe from having to put up with annoying little twerps?”
Ritchie smiled wide at Ryder. “So I see you decided to keep the stray, Harlan. I hope he has his shots and has been neutered. You don’t want him spraying all over thinking he has territory to mark.”
“Don’t you worry about my territory, Ritchie, I marked it last night…twice.”
Ritchie pushed his way past Ryder and propped on the armrest of the sofa. “Only twice? Well you are older than us, twice is probably the best you got. By the way, cover up some, answering the door shirtless isn’t the best look for you.”
Ryder ignored Harlan’s attempt at controlling his best friend and leaned against the edge of the still open front door, massaging his chest with his hand. “What’s wrong Ritchie, don’t like staring at the chest that Harlan chose over you? It must really get your goat that I have what he wants.”
Ritchie waved his hand to stop Harlan’s interruption. “Harlan always was one for charity cases, one of the things that endears him to me. Now if you don’t mind, we have Christmas shopping to do for his worse half.” He grabbed Har by the wrist and headed out of the apartment.
Harlan paused long enough to kiss Ryder quickly on the lips and tell him he loved him, then they were walking down the hall together. Ritchie’s voice floated back to Ryder, “I’m thinking you need to pick up a nice pink g-string with white fringe for that man of yours. Do you think they carry them in the size small?”
Ryder let the door swing close and smiled. He reached into the pocket of his sweats and pulled out the ring box, opening it to look at the matching platinum bands with a tiny row of diamonds on each one. Tomorrow was the day he would ask Harlan to be his husband forever, and Harlan would want Ritchie to be his best man at the ceremony.
Yeah, Ryder’s life was good. No…great. No. Ryder’s life was perfect.
Enjoy meeting Harlan and Ryde? Get to know them better in Harlan’s Ryde, featured in Story Orgy’s Word Play anthology!