Ah well, you guys have a good weekend/week and I'll see you sometime soon for another post. Christmas and work are starting to bury me, along with the novel I'm working on. *wipes brow* It's getting crazy! Alright, stay strong everyone. :D Lots of hugs.
XOXO NIGHT TEMPEST
Heart for Trade: Week 11
After a few hours of insanity in the control room, Samuel figured it was time to eat again. He could hear Ryan’s stomach rumble, even over the sounds of the machines and voices going non-stop around them. Plus, they had things to talk about. Things like Jarum, and what the hell was up with him. Things like why Avery told them to stay put, to let Jarum have some time, and why Ryan looked absolutely heartbroken holding Benny’s wooden dog figurine. He hadn’t said a word since talking with Avery. It was unnerving, especially after such a good morning. Things had finally started to look up for them both.
“Hey.” Samuel put a hand to Ryan’s shoulder. “I’m getting hungry, how about you?”
“I don’t really want to be around all those people right now. Sorry.” Ryan turned the figurine over his palm, not looking up.
“How about we eat in the kitchen? Yvonne lets me do it all the time.”
“Don’t you have work to do? You’ve been pretty busy for the past two hours. I’m sure you’re not finished.”
Samuel crouched down. “Making sure you eat is more important at the moment. Avery can handle this.”
“I can feed myself, Sam. I’m not a child.”
Samuel put his hands up. “Whoa. I never said you were, and I thought we moved past all this.”
“Did we?” Ryan looked up, anger in his eyes. He gripped the figurine. “Because if you thought of me as an adult, you wouldn’t be keeping shit from me. You brought me here to be your … whatever. Shouldn’t I know everything? Like this for example?” He looked down at the tiny carving.
“It’s a wooden dog. What does that have to do with anything? I know you’re upset about Jarum, but—”
“It’s not just a wooden dog and you know it.” Ryan stood, shoving the figurine in his pocket. He took the control platform steps down as fast as he could, storming off in the direction of the stairs.
“Ryan?” Sam followed. “What does that damn thing have to do with us?” Heads turned. Sam cringed. Damn it!
A few minutes later, he followed Ryan to his room. The younger man pulled his belongings out from under the bed, throwing them onto the bedding. He produced a rolled up, canvas satchel and untied it. Three small chunks of smoothed out wood and a few carving knives and tools were attached to the material. The figurine pulled from his pocket, Ryan dropped it next to his stuff.
“Start talking, Sam. I carved that damn dog and you know it. Why does Benny have it? Why does he have something that I gave to Jarum! My friend would never give this to him. Never, ever! He even lost it last week. How could Benny possibly have this? Unless, you’ve been watching us since before the fucking trade. Did you plan all of this? Did you coax my father into giving us up to be your little live in lover boys or something? Preying on a destitute man and his people to finally get what you wanted? Huh! What did you do?”
Taken aback, Sam found Jarum’s bed and sat down. He didn’t even know where to start. “I would never do that to you, or your family. It was bad enough that I had to watch you be ripped away from your father. But I answered the ad, fair and square. Not only was I looking for someone to be with me, but I wanted you to have a chance at a better life. Not some charity case, not to steal you away, not even to make you my live in lover boy, but because you weren’t meant for that place. How dare you. How dare you…”
“Then answer me!” Ryan slammed the door shut and stalked over to Sam. “Why does he have that?”
“I don’t know!” Sam looked up. “I have no idea. He got it in Surik, he said. He’s kept it on his desk all week!”
“I don’t believe you.”
“Ask Jarum if you don’t believe me. He’s the one who freaked out when he saw it! Why are you doing this, Ryan? I’ve done nothing wrong. I don’t know how to get it through your head that I just want to be your friend, not your savior. I’m not the fucking bad guy!”
Ryan stared at Samuel, his mind working a mile a minute. Benny. Jarum. Surik. He lost the figurine. When he was… “Oh fuck.”
“What now?” Samuel got up, pushing past Ryan. He was too angry to even look at him. His patience worn thin, he didn’t know what else to do.
“It’s not you,” Ryan whispered.
“Of course it wasn’t me.” Sam whirled around. “I told you I would never do that to you.”
“No.” Ryan shook his head. “Jarum and Benny.”
“What about them? What is your problem?”
“I’m sorry, Sam. Fuck, I’m so sorry.” Ryan covered his mouth for a minute in shock. “I can’t believe I didn’t notice it. But how could I? I’d never met Benny before. I didn’t know the way he was treating Jarum wasn’t anger. He was trying to hide something.”
“What?” Sam took a few steps towards him. His voice softened at Ryan’s face. Confusion, mild terror, and then, a deep frown that made his heart ache. “What is it?”
“I’ve been trying to make sense of all of this. I’ve made excuses for why this would happen. I selfishly prayed that you really were the bad guy and we could run, because I wanted to go home. But you aren’t. You’re really not.” Ryan turned away. “It’s just a really small world, and no matter where we run, there’s not one place that will be better than this.”
“You’re not making sense, Ryan.” Sam slowly put his hands on Ryan’s shoulders. “Why are you apologizing now? What aren’t you telling me?”
Ryan took a deep breath. “I think, no, I know. Benny and Jarum have met before.”
“That’s impossible.” Sam turned him around.
“No. It’s not.” Ryan shrugged Sam off and went to Jarum’s bed. He crouched down, pulling out Jarum’s pack from underneath. Digging through it, he found what he was looking for. A black, hooded pullover in his hand, he stood, and turned around. “Look familiar to you?”
“Where did he get that?” Sam snatched the garment up. “These used to be given to us during training. We’d wear them when we did an overnight in the woods. Benny always kept this in the back of his buggy in case he got cold, but he didn’t usually wear it.”
“A man gave that to Jarum as payment for services rendered in Surik.” Ryan shook from head to toe.
“What do you mean services?”
“Exactly what you think I mean.”
“No way, no fucking way would Benny go to the pond. I forbid them from going there!”
“My dad told us not to either, but as Jarum said, desperate times call for desperate measures.”
“But Benny’s not even gay!”
Ryan pulled the pullover out of Sam’s hands. “Are you sure about that?” He paused. “Jarum isn’t here. We haven’t seen Benny in hours. Avery told us to give Jarum some space. Where do you think they are?”
“This isn’t right. You’re wrong, Ryan. Benny wouldn’t keep something like that from me.”
“It’s not exactly easy being gay, Sam. It’s sad sometimes. I’d never met another gay man until you. When Jarum told me about his hook-up in Surik with another man, I thought he was just desperate. I still think that, but … everyone has secrets.” Ryan sat on his bed and picked up the figurine. “Everyone.”
“No. He wouldn’t let me go through this all by myself. I’ve been looking for years, Ryan.” Sam pushed the stuff around the bed, sitting down.
“What if he thought you’d be attracted to him, and he didn’t want that? What if he was scared you would think about him?” Ryan put his hand on Sam’s knee. “I’ll tell you a secret.”
“You have to promise to never tell anyone.” Ryan scooted over a few inches.
Sam exhaled slowly. “I swear.”
“I think of Jarum as my brother. I’ve never wanted him as my partner or lover. It would never work. It would ruin everything we have together. And to be honest, I don’t think of him that way. But there’s been a few times that I can’t help it. We’re so close. He’s always around. I mean, he’s good looking. Sometimes I get really lonely and I think about it. Because he’s all I got, you know? In a world like ours, there isn’t much choice, and on occasion, I think about him… like that, if you get my drift.”
“When you touch … sorry.” Sam turned away, getting a little hot. He didn’t want to make the situation worse than it already was by looking at Ryan how he really wanted to.
“Yeah.” Ryan blushed. “Do you see what I mean, though? If you’d known that he was gay, would you think about him differently? Would you be desperate enough to try and put him in the position to be yours? Instead of…”
“You?” Sam turned. “I’m glad it was you, Ryan, even if we aren’t close yet.” He pushed Ryan’s hair back over his ear. “If Jarum was gay, would you think about him like that?”
“Yes,” Ryan admitted. “And I’d hate myself because it would push us apart. He’s my family.”
“I see your point,” Sam whispered. “I’d never want to hurt Benny.”
Ryan flushed at the look in Sam’s eyes. No one had ever looked at him like that before. No one had made his stomach clench like this. Was this what Jarum meant, that desperate need to be touched, to feel another person against you, and not because you were cold. “You don’t know me yet,” Ryan whispered.
“I know that you’re just like me. A bit shy, confused, and terrified that this won’t work. I know you feel this, but you don’t where to go from here. You’re scared to give up that part of yourself because you can’t predict the future, or what we really mean together. You’ve never touched another man, but you want to, and you’re secretly happy that it’s me, not him.”
“Am I?” Ryan exhaled into Sam’s open palm as it caressed his cheek.
Leaning in, the commander placed a kiss on Ryan’s jaw. “Yes.”
“I don’t know how to do this. I’ve wanted this all of my life, but now that it’s happening, I’m scared.” Ryan tilted his head back, groaning as Sam continued down to his neck, sucking deep at his flushed skin.
“Me too,” Sam moaned, snaking his hand between Ryan’s legs to cup his groin. Gently he squeezed, loving the sharp gasp from the other man. “But we have each other now. You can trust me, Ryan.”
“I don’t know you,” Ryan whispered. He was pushed back onto the bed. His canvas roll of tools fell to the floor, pushed by Sam’s knee.
The commander filled his hands with Ryan’s hips, pulling their groins together. “You will. I promise. You have to trust me to take care of you. Let me in, Ryan.” His long braid fell over his shoulder, coiling around Ryan’s chest. “Let me in.”
As fingers snaked under his shirt, Ryan lost his worries to Sam’s touch. A man was finally in his bed and not because it was too cold or there wasn’t enough space. Sam wanted to take care of him, to show him everything he’d ever wanted. He had to let go of his fear. He had to … oh fuck! His sweater and undershirt were pulled over his head, exposing his chest. Large hands smoothed up his skin. His heart raced. His breath caught.
Suddenly high on Sam’s hands, his eyes as they looked down at him with hunger, Ryan gave in completely. He fumbled with shaking fingers at the hem of Sam’s shirt, desperate to see what his body looked like underneath. Shirt whisked away, he was free to roam Sam’s body with his hands. Dark hair, short and curly rubbed against his fingertips. Small tan nipples stiffened under his touch. A hard bulge pressed deeper into his own. Hard muscle, from years of training, flexed under his hands.
Ryan pulled the larger man down to his body. A long moan erupted from his mouth. The feel of another man’s weight, his naked skin against Sam’s, was nothing short of amazing. They ground together. Sam feeding at his neck, sucking the blood to the surface, and him scraping his nails down broad shoulders until his hands wrapped around a perfectly tapered waist. It was like a dream, or a scene from one of the books he’d read. Full of lust, passion, and the underlying promise of trust and care, it was all there. There was just one thing missing. An important part of the coupling that he’d craved his entire life.
“Kiss me,” Ryan moaned.
Sam lifted from his neck, lips swollen and shiny. His eyes darkened, from brown to almost black. A sure sign he felt the same. He gripped the sides of Ryan’s face, and sealed their mouths together. The spark of passion they had been looking for hit them both, hard. Ryan grabbed at Sam, rolling them over, almost landing them on the ground, if a large boot to the floor didn’t stop them. Kissing like there was no tomorrow, they readjusted until Ryan straddled his man on the bed. Hands in his hair, lips on his, and his cock fully erect, he moaned into Sam’s mouth.
He was turned on like he’d never been before. Sam’s hands on his ass, squeezing, urging him on, brought him closer to the edge. A tongue licked his teeth, sending chills up his spine and he jerked uncontrollably. Back rigid, arched while he gasped for air, his cock twitched and came in his jeans. And just like that, he was pulled out of his passionate dream. Mortified, he clamored off of Sam, hiding his face in his hands.
“Ryan?” Sam sat up, adjusting himself below. “What’s wrong? Did I hurt you?”
The blonde shook his head quickly. His cheeks were hot to the touch. “No.”
“What happened? We were just…”
“And I already did! Okay? Fuck,” he breathed.
“You already what?” Sam looked down, seeing the wet spot seeping through the denim. “Shit. Ryan, it’s okay. It happens, I mean, I…”
“You what?” Ryan turned to him, eyes full of tears. “You have this problem too?” He asked sarcastically. “I bet you don’t.”
“Well, no. But it happens from time to time when I’m really, uh, excited.”
“It happens to me all the time! I barely touch myself and this is what happens. Sometimes I don’t even have to touch myself. How embarrassing is that?”
“You’re still young, Ryan. It’s okay, kind of hot actually.”
“No it’s not.” Ryan eased off the bed. “In the books, they last forever!”
Sam tried not to laugh. “Books?”
“Yeah,” Ryan sniffled. “The guys in the books, they always go further than that. They kiss and touch and then one guy puts his … I can never last that long!”
Sam followed Ryan to the bathroom, where he watched the blonde grab a few tissues, and turn around. “Ryan, this isn’t a book. You’ve never had another guy touch you before. It’s natural to be excited. Give it some time.”
“And what if it doesn’t stop?” Ryan tried to clean the stain from his jeans, completely ashamed.
“You don’t know that if you don’t try again. Don’t be embarrassed.” Sam pulled Ryan’s hands, causing the tissues to fall to the floor. “Let me help you. Let’s try again, slower this time.” Ryan tried to hide his face, but Sam brought his chin up. “Relax.”
“I can’t.” His back hit the wall.
“Close your eyes and count to ten.” Sam kissed his neck, making him flush all over again.
“Don’t laugh at me. Please.”
“Never,” Sam whispered. He began kissing his way down. “Count for me.”
Closing his eyes, Ryan took a couple of deep breaths. “One, two, three, shit…” His nipple was pulled away from his body between Sam’s teeth, lighting him up from the inside. “Four.”
Kisses and a swipe of tongue moved past his navel. Fingers worked his jeans open. “Five, six, seven…”
Sam tugged the jeans down, spotting a wet patch over the white underwear around Ryan’s hips. His mouth descended, sucking the taste out of the fabric. “Eight!” Ryan’s hands latched onto Sam’s shoulders, squeezing hard. The flesh underneath the fabric hardened all over again. Sam smiled, sucking the length through Ryan’s underwear. A rigid outline gave way to a peak of head above the waistband.
“Nine,” Ryan moaned. His underwear slid past his hips, cool air greeting his erection. “Ten.”
Sam fisted Ryan’s cock, nestled in a patch of light blonde hair. He kissed the head before sheathing it in his mouth. His other hand soothed up and down the man’s thigh, trying to relax the shake of his body.
“Sam, I’m gonna.” Sam took him down a few inches. “I’m gonna.” His breath hitched as the door to their room opened. Voices whispered to each other. “I’m gonna.” He smacked Sam’s shoulder with urgency. “Come!”
He screamed through his teeth, driving to the back of Sam’s mouth with another climax. He heard Sam choke. He heard the voices grow silent in the bedroom. When his eyes shot open, he found Jarum and Benny staring back at him in the mirror.
“No,” Ryan whispered.
TO BE CONTINUED…