Heart for Trade: Week 13
Samuel’s quarters were much bigger than the room Ryan and Jarum had shared. There was a small living space, with a couch and a bookcase, which immediately caught Ryan’s eye. Stuffed full, in a surprisingly organized manner, the shelving unit housed at least a hundred novels that Ryan couldn’t wait to get his hands on. That was, if Samuel was willing to share. The comforting smell of old paper mingled with the scent of … mint? It filled the room, blanketing the otherwise sterile smell Ryan had grown accustomed to in the halls.
Ryan turned away from Sam, closing his eyes to take a secret inhale. He felt at home, even with the ivory painted concrete walls that reminded him they were still in a military facility. But Sam’s quarters were anything, but clinical. There were framed sketches, hand drawn pictures of different birds on the wall. The entertaining area spread to a kitchenette. A stainless steel basin with a faucet, a little box with a handle, and a boxed contraption with buttons that he didn’t understand, but deduced it was used for food preparation. Ryan dropped his bag on the couch and rubbed his arms. “Smells good in here.”
“You can thank Avery for that.” Sam smiled, going over to the two person table along the wall. He pointed to a glass jar in the middle. “She makes these candles in her spare time. Mint leaf and vanilla extract. We get them every year for our birthday.”
Nodding, Ryan rubbed his arms, trying not to think about birthdays. He’d read about the happy celebrations, where gifts and cake were given to a person on their special day. One, his family would never be able to give gifts. Any items they received were put to good use, not for frivolous gift giving. And two, he’d never had cake before. His sister had tried to make one once, sneaking flour from the village cook, but they didn’t have any eggs. The cake had turned into more of a flat, hard, bread in which they’d put strawberries on and ate behind his shed, laughing the entire time.
“Sorry.” He turned, faking a smile, when really, the memory tugged at his heart. He missed his family. “It’s cold in here.”
“Sorry, I forgot to turn on the heater. Not that I knew you would end up here … so soon, I mean.” He blushed. “I have trouble sleeping when I get too hot.” Sam made up an excuse and went to the space heater in the corner. “I can turn in up a little for you.” He loved the cold air. He loved snuggling under his thick blankets when it was freezing, forming a cocoon as he slept. Being hot had nothing to do with it, but he wasn’t about to look stupid, revealing his creature comforts to Ryan.
“What is that?” Ryan wandered over.
“It’s a space heater. I turn this here,” Sam grabbed the knob, “and adjust the temperature.”
“You make heat from that?” Ryan crouched in awe. “Does it run on electricity?”
Sam nodded. “Every one of our rooms is connected to the solar energy unit. Feel that?” He grabbed Ryan’s hand, putting it a foot from the box. He felt Ryan shiver.
“That’s amazing. It’s so warm. Who would have thought? Heat from a box, that’s genius.”
Sam dropped his hand, looking at the ground. “There’s one in the bedroom, too, if you wanted to see it.”
Ryan flicked his eyes to the only other door in the room, besides the one they’d entered. “Maybe I should just sleep here.” He backed up to the couch, reminded of the heated session from earlier. This was awkward enough. He didn’t need to add a bed, located in Sam’s most private domain, into the mix as well. Things would get out of hand. He just couldn’t seem to control his thoughts when Sam gave him that look. The very look he was receiving at the moment.
“The couch isn’t very comfortable.” Sam frowned, standing up and averting his eyes. “I have more than enough room in the bed.”
“I don’t want to take up your space, Sam. Really, this is fine.” Ryan looked around for a blanket. Coming up short, he hid his anxiety by busying himself with his pack.
“Ryan.” Sam approached, putting his hands on Ryan’s shoulders. “Look at me. You don’t have to be afraid. It can be just sleep. We don’t have to be intimate if you’re not ready. No pressure, I promise.”
Thinking on it, Ryan sighed. He had to suck it up. After all, didn’t he come here to be with Sam? Didn’t he want to form some type of relationship between them? He’d left Jarum on his own for crying out loud. Now it was time to make his decision worth it. “Let me change, if that’s okay. Then I’ll let you know. I think I just need a minute.”
“Sure, but the bathroom is in the bedroom anyway.” Sam stepped back, leaving Ryan room to decide.
“Of course it is.” Ryan chuckled under his breath and grabbed his bag. “May I?”
“This is your room now, too. You don’t have to ask.” Sam sat on the couch, exhausted already.
Ryan shook off his unease, bending down to give Sam a brave kiss on the cheek. He received a shocked look, making him smile. “Thanks. I’ll be right back.”
Not able to help himself, Sam reached up, bringing Ryan’s lips to his again. He kissed his boy until Ryan fell into his lap, hands steady around his shoulders. Satisfied, Sam pulled back. “See? Not everything is about sex, Ry. Sometimes I just want to kiss you, just because. You don’t have to be scared to touch me or go in the bedroom, or take a piss, for crying out loud. This is your home, too. I’m sorry if I made you feel uncomfortable earlier. I just want you to be happy. No tension. If something’s bothering you, just tell me and we’ll work it out like adults. Just like the heat. You mentioned it was cold, and I gave you heat. Easy as pie.”
Ryan stared at Sam, studying how relaxed he looked all sprawled out on the tiny couch. No wonder he thought it was uncomfortable to sleep on. He’d barely be able to fit in the fetal position, and that would be pushing it. Sam’s green eyes were tired. His hands fit perfectly at the small of Ryan’s back, big paws that rubbed gentle fingers under the hem of his sweater, nothing scary, or forceful, just a soothing rhythm that relaxed Ryan. He’d had never seen Sam this comfortable since they’d arrived on the base. He wondered how hard it was on the Commander, having them here, caring for their every need while trying to deal with his own people at the same time. Ryan reached out, capturing Sam’s long braid in his fingers.
“I’d like that.” Ryan played with the tie holding all of that hair together. “Same goes for you, though. You don’t have to hide how tired you are from me. I can take care of myself from time to time.” The tie came undone with a single pull. Against his tanned skin, Sam’s hair still made him look pale it was so dark. The thick, silky texture made Ryan want wrap himself in all those shiny strands and go to sleep.
“I’m not tired.” Sam yawned, closing his eyes as his hair came loose over his chest. He shivered. The touch of someone else playing with his hair did things to him.
“Oh, really?” Ryan laughed under his breath. He leaned down, pressing a soft kiss to Sam’s lips. The more he did it, the less scary it was. Truly, it was nice. To have someone you could kiss when you felt like it, a small show of appreciation. He really liked it. “You look like you’re sleeping to me.” Continuing to splay Sam’s long, dark hair, he ran his fingers along the scalp.
“Looks can be deceiving.” Sam sighed happily, pulling Ryan closer. “That’s so good.”
“You like that?” Ryan whispered, combing his hands through all that hair, massaging along the scalp.
Ryan got the chills, feeling the space heater warm the room. “Okay, you win. Let’s get you to bed, but no funny stuff.”
“Only if you come with me.”
Ryan shook his head, humor in his eyes. “I said you win, you big dummy. Come on, get up.”
“Fine,” Sam groaned. With Ryan’s help, he got to his feet. “It’s been a long time since someone played with my hair.”
“I used to love when my mom ran her hands through my hair. That always helped me sleep.” Ryan shrugged, letting Sam lead him into the bedroom. A bed took up half the room. Big enough for five people, the thick rectangle looked so inviting that even Ryan yawned. Crisp white sheets were folded back into a perfect line across the bed. A dark blue comforter, thick and downy, was spread on top. Not one wrinkle marred the presentation. A mound of pillows made Ryan groan in delight. He wanted to run, jump, and roll around until he fell to sleep. “Wow.”
“I told you there was plenty of room.” Sam yawned again. “Bathroom’s through there.” He pointed.
Three tiny lamps above the bed were all the light Ryan had to go on. Once his eyes adjusted to the other corners of the room, he spotted the frosty glass door. “There?”
“Mm hmm, I’m going to go ahead and get settled. Holler if you need anything.”
“Guess you were tired, huh?” Ryan threw him a smile.
“Whatever, smartass,” Sam grunted, starting to pull his shirt over his head.
Ryan swallowed, quickly going to the bathroom door. Hopefully Sam would be finished undressing before he was done, so he didn’t have to drool openly. From what he’d seen earlier, those cut muscles with a dark trail of hair leading the way, Ryan wasn’t sure he’d be able to contain himself. Showering twice in one day was wasteful, he thought, looking down at the bulge starting to form in his jeans. Damn it, he slipped into the bathroom, and shut the door.
“Chill the fuck out,” he whispered furiously to his dick. “You’re going to kill me.”
He actually paused, looking at the tight spot of denim before slapping a hand to his forehead. “Yeah,” he rolled his eyes, “that’s just what it’s going to do, start talking.”
“Ryan, are you alright?” A muffled voice made him cover his groin, even though he wasn’t naked.
“Yeah,” he called.
He waited until he heard Sam banging around before he went to the shower. Sam’s bathroom had a taller ceiling than his. There was a small light hanging from the ceiling with a few mirrors, reflecting the glow from above all around the little room. It was pretty, Ryan thought. He looked around, seeing the natural stone inlay that stopped right above his head, blurring back into the ivory concrete. Dark blue towels were folded in perfect rectangles, held on a little shelf above the toilet. A matching blue robe hung on the wall with the sink.
Biting his lip, Ryan reached out, bringing the robe to his nose. The fluffy fabric smelled like Sam, a wonderful mix of something all natural and the outdoors. He let the robe go, watching it settle. He figured Sam would come after him if the water didn’t start soon, and after fussing over the hot and cold, he managed to set the water at a temperature that wasn’t scalding. Freeing himself of clothes, Ryan shivered, padding across the dark tile to the shower stall. Steamy glass surrounded him as he shut the door, blending seamlessly back into the cubicle.
He tilted his head back, allowing the water to spray his hair and back. Opening his eyes again, he noticed other nozzles in the wall. Curious, he played with one, causing it to move with his finger. If water came out of the nozzle thingy above, he wondered what came out of these. After some searching, he found a keypad in the wall. A red zero glowed on the little screen. Other buttons with little pictures made him look closer. Checking around to make sure Sam hadn’t snuck in Ryan went back to the buttons and pressed one.
A fine mist sprayed from the walls like a spring rain. Ryan’s brows rose. He smiled, twirling a little. He could get used to this, he thought, going back to the buttons. He pressed the next one, jumping back as water began to push into his body from all sides. Hands on the glass, he closed his eyes, trying to breathe. Like a full body massage, the water dug into his muscles, not painful, but in a very, very good way. He moaned, turning to the side. One of the sprays connected with his…
“Fuck,” he moaned so loud, he had to slap a hand to his mouth. His dick swelled, but he couldn’t stop himself. Sure Sam hadn’t heard him, Ryan put his hands to the wall, allowing the spray to hit him where it was good. His forehead rested on the wall. His hips started to roll as his eyes shut tight.
“Relax,” he whispered to himself, hoping for a miracle. “You can do this.” So far so good, he wrapped his hand around his length and stroked up. “Breathe,” he reminded himself.
He counted the seconds in his head, grinning when he passed a minute. His steady stroke picked up a little. The water spray brushed over the head of his erection. He let a soft moan roll around his mouth, careful not to overdo it. The minute his thoughts went to Sam, his heart started to race and his legs started to shake.
“No,” he hissed, turning away from the spray. “Cool your shit,” he whispered to his erection. “And … you don’t talk. Idiot.”
Ryan took a few deep breaths, satisfied he’d made it this far in his self-exploration. He pulled his bottom lip into his mouth, closing his eyes, leaning against the wall. The spray hit him right at ass level. Holy… Horny as hell, he leaned forward, allowing the spray to…
“Ah yeah,” he moaned, stroking himself faster.
The water pressure between his ass cheeks was enough to send him through the roof, but he was determined to do this the right way. He was not a child and he would shoot when he damn well wanted to, and not a second before. Green eyes flashed in his head. Memories of only a few hours ago flooded him with fire. His hand moved like a blur over his length. Sam’s breathe, hot on his body. Those hands on his dick, tugging. That tongue engulfing him, surrounding him with an inferno of heat.
He slammed his ass against the spray, thighs quaking, and his eyes rolling back into his head. This was how it was supposed to be, he opened his mouth, wordlessly crying out. His body went stiff. A choked sound breached his lips and his eyes shot to his hand around his cock. White ropes hit his chest, dribbling down his skin as he sank to the shower floor with a smile. He laughed, covering his mouth to mute the sound. The water cascaded over him, washing his victory away.
A few minutes later, ready for sleep, he was toweling off in front of the sink. He liked the look on his face. Pleased, cheeks a bit red, and his eyes sparkling with the afterglow, he’d never been so proud of himself in his entire life. He went to pick up his clothes and stopped, thinking better of it. With a confident grin, he grabbed the loop of Sam’s robe from the hook on the wall. His finger pressed against the upper hook, bringing down the entire hanger, where it hissed into the wall.
Naked, gasping, Ryan shied away from the robe as it fell to the floor. The wall where it’d hung, silently receded into the dark, leaving an entrance in its place. It slid to the left and Ryan’s eyes went wide. His heart raced, wanting to call out for Sam, but he thought better of it. Sam had to know this was here, this secret hideaway that wasn’t meant for prying eyes. He took a step forward. A light inside the dark clicked on. He jumped away, only leaning forward when another light burned on, then another. A hallway to nowhere stood before him.
Ryan tiptoed across the dewy tile, putting a shaky hand to the frame of the entrance. He felt the cold chill hit him. The smell of dirt and something musty fill his nose. He again pulled away. A hiss sounded. The light at the end of the hall clicked off, then the next and the next, until the light right on the other side of the entrance went dark, leaving a black hole once more. Ryan took a few more steps back, watching as the wall slid back into place. When done, the secret passage was nothing more than a bathroom to the rest of the world. Though, he knew better. The hook for the robe clicked up and Ryan quickly hung Sam’s fluffy robe on it.
He looked to the door, waiting for Sam to appear, but he didn’t. Now that the water was off, he tiptoed to the glass door, leaning in to listen. A loud snore settled things. He didn’t even need to check. He’d heard that sound from his shed-mate for years. Jarum was a bear in his sleep. Ryan knew Sam was completely out of it. Ryan eyed the hook again and swallowed. What the hell would someone need a secret lair for, if that’s what this was? Why would Sam have a hallway in his bathroom or a secret entrance at all?
Always curious, needing to know the answers, Ryan again pulled the hook down. He donned Sam’s robe, tying it tight around his smaller waist and waited as the wall slid away. He took a deep breathe then stepped onto cold concrete as the first light clicked on. A few steps in, the wall slid back into place, leaving him trapped. He panicked, seeing his own breath smoke in the air.
“You’re not a child,” he whispered, wrapping his arms around himself. “What the fuck are you hiding, Sam?” Ryan turned around and went to the first door in the hallway of questions.
Back in the bedroom, Sam’s eyes followed Ryan’s shadow behind the frosty glass. He made another loud snore for show, sitting up in bed and narrowing his eyes. The red security light next to his bed blinked furiously as he saw the black square appear in the wall, even from behind the hazy glass. He threw back the covers and stood, watching Ryan disappear from the bathroom completely. He slipped the ends of his pajama bottoms into his boots and threw on a hoodie. Pulling his flashlight out of the bedside table, he made his way for the bathroom, trained not make a peep.
TO BE CONTINUED…