and Vadim sat in the hotel's restaurant, just about
to order, when Dan looked up and saw a familiar shape
through the arch that led towards the lobby. "Isn't
that Maggie?" he pointed towards the archway. "She
was supposed to return today." He took his cane
and got up. She hadn't seen them yet.
the haircut is anything to go by, it's her," Vadim
murmured, standing as well, but remaining near the table.
the bomb proof hairdo." Dan grinned and made his
way into the lobby. He had hardly stepped through the
archway when she turned, and a bright smile lit up her
face. She was even tinier now, deceptively fragile,
her face wrinkled and yet no less classy than it had
always been. Dressed in the eternally elegant twin set,
and her pearls, the ring sparkling on her finger as
it had done since her lost fiancé had given it
to her. She looked up at the much taller man, exuding
joy and warmth and despite her slender frame, she showed
the core of steel in the way she moved despite her years.
The aura of natural authority around her had never waned,
right now replaced with joy and warmth.
dear Dan!" She exclaimed in her upper class voice,
"so good to see you." She glanced past him
and towards Vadim, "and your almost-husband."
Her bright smile took on an almost wicked hint, when
Dan's eyes widened in surprise at her declaration.
couple of strange looks he got from some of the patrons,
made him grin like a naughty schoolboy. "Ma'm,
you look as radiant as ever."
don't be silly." She laughed. When he took her
hand to kiss it, he stooped for her, but she reached
lightly for his shoulder instead and stretched to place
a light kiss on his cheek. "Have you been looked
well, Ma'm. This place is one of the best we have ever
am delighted, and I am sure that after the celebrations
you will be convinced that it is the best one
you have ever been in. Now come and let me welcome Vadim."
that she turned, but waited for him. Standing his free
side, the other hand using the cane, she slipped her
arm into his. With an amused smile, she let herself
be escorted into the brasserie.
stood near the table, smiling as they approached. "Ma'am."
He indicated a bow. "How good to see you."
you, my dear Vadim." He kissed her hand, but she
did the same she had done to Dan and kissed his cheek.
It seemed she had decided on a new manner of dealing
with her friends.
After they'd settled, the attentive staff showed up,
offering the menus. They sat for a while and talked,
until the Baroness asked whether any guests had arrived.
"Yes, my best man and his partner," Vadim
answered, smiling. "But the last time we saw them,
they were recovering from the flight. I could see if
I can summon them, they might be hungry, too."
not sure." Dan fidgeted a little, and her eagle-eyed
ladyship looked at him with a bemused smile, when he
continued. "They seemed pretty much out of it,
didn't they, Vadim?"
they?" She interjected before focusing on the menu
and hiding her facial expression.
they did." Vadim controlled that grin which became
a smirk. "Maybe later. If you'd like to meet them."
would, indeed. In fact, I am very much looking forward
to meeting all of your friends. Especially your best
men, and of course your families. Truth be told, I am
particularly excited to meet your daughter, Dan. I am
sure I will be delighted."
you will be ..." Dan grinned, "imagine me
at my worst time, unruly, wild, but female and a teenager."
Baroness chuckled and patted his hand. "I didn't
expect anything less."
poured them all water, Baroness first. "The other
best man arrives early tomorrow, probably in time for
breakfast, his wife arrives the day before the ceremony.
And then it's a steady trickle
many more guests
than we'd have invited, but then
we were just
Ma'm." Dan smartly added with a swift salute, making
her smile at both of them.
knew that if I hadn't taken over, you would have made
this into a very short affair. Believe me, my dear friends,
it has been and continues to be a pure delight to organise
these festivities. After all, now that I am retired
and whiling away the hours in my home ..." if Dan
didn't know better he'd thought she winked at them,
"it was a most pleasurable pastime. It is affording
me the opportunity to share your joy, together with
all your friends and family, while not having to worry
about the perfect gift. You see, it was all very selfish."
She leaned closer and murmured, very un-ladylike, "of
course, it was all a ruse to see Dan in a proper Scotsman's
outfit." Her brief laugh sounded light and carefree.
that should be well worth all the work," Vadim
said, chuckling. "He wore that when his
best man married, and he looked stunning."
Dan interjected, "but that wasn't the proper McFadyen
tartan, and neither the same quality as I'm wearing
now. You just wait and see."
reached over to press Dan's hand for a moment. "Should
The Baroness smiled and they proceeded to do just that.
They had a light meal, taking the chance to catch up.
Talking about the time that had passed in between, the
current world situation, the ceremony that was to come.
Easily moving from topic to topic, comfortable and pleasant.
Several hours later, Hooch and Matt emerged, and the
Baroness took an immediate liking to them. More to Hooch,
thought Vadim, but the difference was hard to spot,
and he might be completely wrong with his assessment.
that night, after a most enjoyable evening spent in
the restaurant and after that in the Bollinger bar,
Dan commented to Vadim that her ladyship had indeed
taken a liking to Hooch. Hooch was, he pointed out,
right up her alley. As for Matt, he thought she had
taken him under her wings in a 'dear darling boy' style.
Vadim had looked confused at first, but when Dan explained
that he was certain the difference was mild but lay
entirely in her taking Hooch seriously while not quite
doing the same for 'pretty' Matt, something she would
never let on, of course, it all made sense to Vadim.
night they slept well and restful, aided by an increased
dose of painkillers for Dan. While waiting for them
to kick in, he had stood at the open window, smoking
a forbidden cigarette into the icy wind while looking
out across the magnificent city and towards the illuminated
castle. Edinburgh, the grand old lady, and he, had finally
become friends. He smiled when he 'cuddled up' to Vadim
and was asleep a few minutes later.
they picked Jean up at the airport the next day, he
looked like a guy in a fashion ad when he stepped through
the gates. He wore his hair a touch longer these days,
mostly so it could be fashionably mussed, but also,
noted Vadim, because the hairline was receding in the
corners, or at least thinning a bit. Apart from that,
expensive loafers, designer jeans, designer belt, white
T-shirt that was too simple to have a logo anywhere,
and a very tasteful jacket that he wore open and still
flattered him. Solange must have so much fun dressing
the ex-Legionnaire tastefully. The Breitling watch Vadim
spotted was certainly new and one of the more expensive
models - and unlike most men who wore the brand, Jean
had the strong wrists to not look ridiculous with the
watch. That alone told Vadim that the Frenchie was doing
Jean spotted Dan first and lengthened his stride, dropping
the bag that had hung over his shoulder, when he made
contact with Dan. He drew him into a tight hug.
"Damn, it's nice to see you again," Jean murmured
into Dan's ear.
me?" Dan grinned and held Jean close. "Not
quite the same to fuck the pretty vintner?" he
chuckled then drew back, knowing that he'd kiss the
man otherwise, and that really wouldn't be appropriate.
not the same." Jean grinned, pushing back. "Vadim.
"Sure." Vadim opened his arms, and was pulled
into a very similar bear hug. Exuberant Jean. "Like
the watch," he murmured.
oh, yeah." Jean laughed. "Solange
doesn't like it, but I told her it's a guy watch. Men
like watches like that. How are you guys, good?"
"Aye, spent some time yesterday with the first
" Vadim answered.
who turned out to be the first wedding present."
Dan smirked. "It's the other best man and his partner.
Have I told you about Hooch?"
"You mentioned him. American?"
Vadim herded them out of the terminal towards the car.
"Old friend. From the Gulf."
Gulf is the place to go for best men?" Jean laughed
as they were getting into the vehicle. "Seems it
that's right, we should start a marriage agency, based
in Kuwait." Dan grinned. "By the way, have
you got anything planed for ... later?" He craned
his neck towards Jean, once they were in the car.
open for suggestions."
on what Vadim, Hooch and Matt are going to be up to,
and if I will be missed at whatever they are up to.
Unless, of course, you want to do some good old fashioned
"Don't be cryptic." Jean leaned over towards
Vadim. "Do you have any idea what he's talking
"I guess it has to do with celebrating in a close
and intimate environment." Vadim kept his eyes
on the road, as he pulled out of the car park.
"Oh. Right. Well. As I said, I'm open."
ha ha, you fucking jokers." Dan groused. "So
much for me trying to be less obvious and not going
down the 'you want to fuck, Jean?' route." Dan
finally cottoned onto what exactly Jean had said. "...
open, Jean? Did you say open?"
coughed. "Metaphorically. My mind. Okay?"
this, too, is up for negotiations after a bottle of
plonk and some excellent food? Those beds really are
first class." Dan smirked toothily. "And ...
I'm just reminding you of the vintner." Reluctant
to say anymore about the phone call.
groaned, but laughed. "Hope the wine has arrived.
Frederic was fussing over the boxes like he was sending
away newborn kittens."
"Your wedding planner was in touch. Last year's
wine turned out pretty well. It's
planner? I wouldn't call the formidable Baroness a wedding
planner." Dan chuckled, "she didn't tell us,
probably wanted this to be a surprise from you. Thank
you, Jean, and say thanks to your Frederic."
welcome. He sends greetings, too. The way he got all
starry-eyed, I was glad I am already married."
grief, he's in love with you? You're a regular heartbreaker,
"He'll get over it."
Dan grinned and settled back in the seat while they
negotiated the late morning traffic of the city centre,
before arriving at the front of the Balmoral. The door
man in kilt, cape and tam o'shanter, helped take out
the luggage and carry it in, before a valet took the
car to its designated hotel parking space.
got Jean's keys, and Dan and Jean went up to the room,
while Vadim went to await the delivery from their tailors,
having been alerted by the reception staff. Up in the
room, the Frenchman tipped the valet and had a tour
of the luxurious room, grinning. "Edinburgh's finest.
Solange's friends were very keen on this place."
"But they are not coming, aye?" Sudden
trepidation crept in Dan's voice. "I've never forgotten
that Chrestien fellow ..."
"Course not. Hope you arranged for a different
photographer, because Chrestien is not coming."
Dan leaned the cane against the nightstand and let himself
fall onto the bed. "By the way, I was told the
suite that the Baroness has booked for us from tomorrow
onwards, is absolutely breathtaking." He patted
the space beside him and lay back.
took the jacket off and hung it across one of the chairs,
then came over to lie on the bed with Dan, embracing
him and breathing against Dan's neck. "Last chance,"
he murmured. "You could still elope with me, you
smiled into the handsome face before him, lined, tanned
and goddamned gorgeous. Flashes of the young Jean in
his mind, the man he'd met in the Gulf, the straight
man ... "You realise that Vadim and I have our
silver anniversary this year, aye? But I must admit
I do try to not commemorate the day we actually
met." He quirked a brow, then ran a hand down Jean's
back, inhaling his scent.
lifted his head to kiss Dan's lips, fingers running
down Dan's cheek, as he opened his lips for one of those
tender, skilled, heartfelt kisses. "You guys are
great together though. Even Vadim looks happy these
been a long ride. Twenty-five bloody years. Fucking
crazy, aye?" Dan took his time to kiss Jean, to
hold him and to be close. He murmured when he broke
the kiss, "I sometimes think I'm making all of
this up. It's just too damned insane, and a far cry
from the man I once was, the tough SAS soldier who went
out to work covertly in Afghanistan."
smiled at him. "Miss it?"
question. Only a few years ago I would have said 'aye,
I do', but not anymore. Funny that, but what I have
now, is a damn fine thing. Partner, family, friends,
lovers, even a daughter, and no more goddamned wars."
Dan chuckled softly. "I'm too old for wars, Jean.
The reason why Vadim came up with this whole wedding
thing? I mentioned it on the phone, I got to have a
second knee replacement. I'm okay with that, but I'm
clearly no longer fit to be a tough soldier. I'm fifty-six,
and somewhere along the way, I grew a bloody dangerous
and inconvenient thing: a conscience." He smiled,
leaning in to place a kiss on Jean's lips. "I never
thought I'd say that, but for me the wars are over,
but I would do everything all over again."
call that a happy man, Dan," Jean said, in a rare
moment of wisdom, and smiled. "Sometimes we give
up something we think is such a sacrifice, and it isn't?
And years later we finally get that it wasn't and feel
a bit weird because
we made such a fuss about
it?" He smiled, kissing Dan back, who nodded. "Few
things I regret."
are? I only have one."
turned into such a bastard because of the army and later
the Legion. I didn't like soldiering, I never did. I'd
have been alright as a civilian, I think."
I never knew you didn't like the job."
take too much away that
many never recover."
Jean kissed Dan again. "And yours?"
one that isn't really one. I regret torturing Vadim,
really torturing a man. To have become so base,
because of revenge, is my one regret. But ... if I hadn't
done it, and if Vadim hadn't done what he did, twenty-five
years ago, then we wouldn't be here. So, I say the same
that Vadim says when asked, I regret and I don't regret."
Dan reached to caress Jean's face, smiling at him.
"That's what I mean. You wouldn't have done those
things if you hadn't been a soldier."
that's true. Look at Duncan, he wouldn't even have dreamed
of doing anything like that in his worst nightmares.
Of course my family doesn't know about the things I've
done, and never will."
held him close, chest to chest, fingers running across
Dan's back. "Maybe it's different
my wife outside soldiering
you found your man
a lover kind-of inside." Dan chuckled, inhaling
deeply before rolling himself onto his back and taking
Jean with him, until Jean ended on top of him. "What
now, Frenchie? More cuddling, or getting frisky, or
heading out to see if the other best man and his partner
and the other groom are up to doing something?"
be happy with a cuddle
sex when they won't miss
good idea." Dan embraced Jean and relished the
weight of the man on top, enjoying to simply be and
hold for a little while.
next morning, they all gathered in the hotel brasserie
for brunch, which gave the Americans some chance to
adjust to the time zone, and suited Jean's leisurely
life style. Jean had, he said, perfected late breakfast
to an art form, which was altogether un-French, with
their hasty croissant drowned in café au lait,
he admitted, but he said it was probably closer to the
which Vadim turned to face him and commented: "Tell
Solange to not allow you to read her Cosmopolitan anymore."
Almost as if on cue, Hooch and Matt arrived. Hooch in
silence, as usual, Matt talking to him, equally as usual.
Only a few words, but enough to make Hooch crack a smile,
until the word 'Cosmopolitan' was all too audible around
the table. Hooch rose one brow but didn't comment. It
was Matt who introduced himself and Hooch, with his
usual killer smile.
grinned back, too relaxed and informal to stand, instead
giving a half-wave.
Dan's best man?" Hooch addressed Jean.
"Yeah. Jean-Pierre Leclerc. Dan dragged me in front
of the altar, I'm now returning the favour. Well, I
married somebody else, but hey."
other than Dan." Hooch drily stated, which caused
Matt to laugh, as both men sat down.
would have skinned me alive even before my honeymoon,"
Jean quipped, glancing at Vadim, who didn't respond,
can just about imagine that." Hooch let
the words stand in the room, and three men out of the
five knew exactly what he was saying.
"Skinning is hard work, takes a lot of control,"
Vadim stated, and reached for his coffee. "There
are cleaner, faster ways."
didn't say anything, downed his second cup of black
coffee to hide a grin, while Matt coughed and Hooch
did exactly nothing, keeping a completely neutral facial
Jean laughed. "You can still be scary. Good to
know people don't actually change all that much. Gives
me hope for my future."
find Vadim scary?" Muscles finally moved in Hooch's
face when he raised a single brow.
" Jean seemed to think about it, regarding
Vadim for a long moment. "I used to. Hard to read
him, and he's stronger than I am, and I've seen what
he can do. To other people, to himself, and the rest
of the world. Yeah. Vadim can be fucking scary."
"And you can be fucking annoying," Vadim said,
but smiled, while Dan's grin turned into a badly concealed
laugh, before he stuffed his face with some of the rolls.
Matt was the only one who regarded the table for a moment,
shook his head slightly, then got up to leave the older
guys to their pissing contest and went for what was
more important: the breakfast buffet bar and its nutritional
really think you have seen what he can do to others?"
A second brow joined the first in Hooch's face. "Tell
me more." He hadn't even touched his coffee yet.
Spetsnaz. I've seen what those guys can do. A couple
days into our friendship, Vadim smashed my elbow in
a 'friendly' bit of wrestling so that I couldn't do
anything with it for weeks."
you cry?" Hooch deadpanned.
eyes flashed - his hands stilled left and right of his
plate, and Vadim could see for a moment the Legionnaire,
a man who did more than joke and screw around and play
at being camp - or metrosexual, as they called it when
straight men did it. "You think I would've?"
Jean asked, and there it was, the gauntlet right on
the table. He didn't joke, there was no lightness in
him, a rare moment.
slowly leaned forward, dark eyes on every expression
in Jean's face, and ... he relaxed a visible fraction.
Casting his customary near invisible half-smile as a
peace offering. "No."
Jean didn't relax that easily, Vadim could almost see
how Jean had re-evaluated Hooch and decided he didn't
trust the man. Friends of friends didn't mean friends,
not to Jean, not that easily. Like a kicked puppy, he
didn't find his equilibrium again that quickly, and
Hooch wasn't any help, face once again entirely neutral.
"That's how he became friends with Dan," Vadim
murmured. "Jean decided he hated me, so my enemy
had to be his friend. And since Dan and I were at odds
at that point, Jean here figured joining forces with
Dan made sense. But he got more than he bargained for
Jean shot him a glance, likely annoyed at the insinuation,
but now Vadim smiled at him. "I'd have done the
same." Remaining deliberately cryptic.
deciding that you wanted to get into my pants even though
you were straight?" Dan smirked, cruelly continuing
in the same vein, this was too good to drop yet.
was working on an answer, but visibly discarded several,
when at that moment, Matt returned to the table, took
once glance round and put his plate down, filled with
nothing but high-protein low-calorie delicacies. He
shook his head again, and reached for Hooch's plate
without a word, to turn and retreat back to the buffet.
you fucked with Dan the same time I did." Hooch
took a mouthful of his coffee. "And Matt did, too."
fact the kid started it." Dan shrugged, entirely
too amused. "The Gulf was one big happy 'fuck Mad
Jean inhaled, forced a smile, but it didn't work on
his features. It looked strained, which told Vadim that
somewhere, he'd actually drawn blood. Jean would get
over it. His jokes weren't exactly always completely
friendly. "Well, there was precious little else
to do but play pool, and nobody could beat me at the
pool table," Jean said.
not convinced, I do remember a particular game, don't
you, Vadim?" Dan rasped a metaphorical fingernail
over the wound that had been drawn on Jean, but with
were getting naked," Jean said, sharply. "That's
not pool, that's
?" Vadim repeated when Jean
left the sentence hanging.
"Unfair." Jean gave a sharp laugh that betrayed
how ill at ease he was with the topic of conversation.
"You guys were flaunting it all over the place.
What's a man to do? I'm not as stoic as good old Vadim."
was flaunting it?" Dan asked with a grin.
you were." Matt commented. He had returned with
a plate full of similar nutritious goodness for Hooch,
with a few naughty carbs thrown in. "Or I wouldn't
have asked you, like, behind the armoured personnel
carriers, would I?" He rolled his eyes when Dan
touched Matt's back as a 'thanks' for the food, when
Matt sat down.
was that about being straight?" Hooch suddenly
asked, cleverly slicing back into the same wound, while
Matt rolled his eyes again and muttered something about
stupid pissing contests.
gaze met Hooch's, blue and brown, and Vadim could see
that the Frenchman was struggling to keep the gaze level
- and he could also see that the hair on Jean's arms
was standing up slightly. The thought hit him that if
Jean was a dog, his neck fur would be on end and he'd
bare his teeth, unsure whether to attack to defend himself
or whether attack was really what he wanted to do. Jean
certainly did not want to discuss his orientation with
a man he didn't trust. "Does it matter?"
on the grooms' plans for 'further entertainment'."
Hooch countered coolly. Nothing in his body, stance,
facial expression or eyes gave way to whatever he might
had been about to put a king prawn into his mouth, when
he stalled, eyes flashing, before he murmured, "this
time without me. Five's one too many." And stopped
any further comments with said prawn.
stared at Matt, and then suddenly understood. His tan
turned into a redder shade and he missed a few beats.
"Jean, you up for another stag night?" Vadim
helped, even though he enjoyed a flustered Jean. He'd
never seen him this insecure, this out of his depth.
Jean was too used to his charms working, if they didn't,
he was clearly struggling. That made him far more likeable
than he normally was, despite the fact Vadim had made
his peace with Jean insisting on being a 'close friend'.
"Why not." Jean glanced at him, not sure whether
that was a lifeline or another trap. "Last time
"No, it didn't."
so sure about that." Dan commented, thickly buttering
a fresh piece of toast. "I was fucking sore for
cast a quick glance, then stopped his grin with a couple
more prawns and a few slices of hard-boiled egg, while
Hooch still didn't let anything on.
it didn't hurt me." Jean's smile was more
natural now. "Won't hurt this time, because I sure
as hell won't get fucked." He kept his voice down,
but it was a clear challenge, gauntlet on the table
straight or too worried it'd make you less of a man?"
smirked; he could smell ozone, like sparks flying off
the other two men. They didn't like each other, or Hooch
was enjoying to draw Jean out into treacherous territory.
fucking H Christ." Matt groaned and washed his
latest mouthful down with a cup of coffee. Dan, for
once, actually stopped grinning and sat slightly tense,
froze again, more visibly now - anybody could see he'd
been hit hard. "Try it, you bitch, and I'll kill
you." No joke. No lightness. Just bared teeth,
a cornered feral dog. Vadim could see a completely different
Jean, the Legionnaire, as he must have been like, the
man who faced down Beauvais, a Legionnaire who was just
as vicious as the worst of men he'd seen. Losing his
composure like that, drawing out a darkness that nobody
had thought Jean possessed. Or, yes, once, when Jean
had cursed him right after his elbow had got hurt. Interesting.
again Hooch leaned forward across the table, opposite
to Jean. Slowly, deliberately getting closer and closer
into the Jean's space. "It will be a pleasure."
He said in a low, deceptively soft voice.
was bristling, silently - he couldn't break free, he
couldn't move forward, he couldn't move back. He stood
his ground for what it was worth, glaring at the other
man, fists suddenly tight, veins on his lower arms visible,
subtle play of muscles. "I promise, it won't,"
he hissed between his teeth.
yes, it will." Hooch's voice remained just as soft,
as he slightly tilted his head, baring his teeth for
a moment in a fake smile before the attack. "And
the pleasure won't just all be mine." His hand,
until now lying casually on the table, turned and moved,
fist flexing once, showing the corded strength that
ran up the arm, around the wrist and inherent in each
fucking freak." Jean grit out between his teeth.
"You think you can make me? Say goodbye to your
got yours knotted three times and then stuffed down
your throat before you can even mutter the word 'girl'."
Hooch murmured, barely above a murmur.
was taking in an audible breath, sitting tense and with
a steep frown between his eyes, but he said nothing,
was drawn to the scene before him. Part of him wanting
to stop this, but the dominant part was bloody turned
on by it. What wouldn't he give to see those two men
fight. Naked. Holy shit.
Vadim glanced from one to the other. Yes. Jean was up
in arms, and Hooch had his eyes on a target. Interesting
combination. He assumed that Hooch would win. Jean had
been softened by life as a civilian, while he'd never
assume that Hooch could be anything but danger on legs.
On the other hand, Jean would put up a fight, and that
alone would be interesting.
much as I'm getting hard from watching you two,"
Dan said fairly quietly, but with no less intensity,
"enough is enough. It's a wedding, not a battle,
even though I'm clearly getting off on the latter right
now." He glanced at Vadim with an expression that
told Vadim that Dan was part amused, part surprised,
part unsure what the heck to do about the animosity.
you're being a prat." Matt sighed. He placed his
hand onto Hooch's back and the way the muscles twitched
gave proof for all to see that if anyone else had touched
him now, that fool would have lost an arm.
he's Vadim's best man," Jean murmured under his
breath, by way of a parting shot, and murmured something
about "alike draws alike," as he pushed his
chair back. "Got to make a phone call. Gentlemen."
her my greetings," Vadim said levelly, deciding
for once to support Jean - him getting away from the
table seemed a good way to calm things down.
Jean murmured, and stepped away, heading to the bar
to pay for his mostly untouched breakfast, unaware that
all expenses were being paid by the Baroness.
sat in silence, looking levelly at Hooch for a long
moment. No accusation, no judgment either, then took
in a deep breath to let it noisily out through his nostrils.
"Guess I better assist in that phone call."
He took hold of his cane. "Could do with a fag
after all this excitement anyway." He made his
way towards the lobby, searching for Jean.
was asking the guy at reception something, then received
directions, as the other man was pointing and talking
and Jean was nodding. Jean gave a little salute, then
turned towards the doors. Noticing Dan, he slowed his
stride and gave a small smile. "Hey. I was going
to find a more peaceful place for breakfast," he
to take an old battle horse with you?" Dan smiled
and placed a hand on Jean's shoulder.
"Sure, come along."
be a good idea to grab our coats first. January in Scotland
isn't fun. Unless you rather have breakfast in bed?"
Jean looked at him. "Mind to walk a bit? I need
to blow off steam. The cold will be good."
blame me for trying."
steered Dan towards the lift and they went upstairs
to get their coats. Jean's was a lambskin affair, fur
shorn off and worn inwards, the fine leather turned
outwards, while Dan still went with the practical but
expensive high class outdoor gear.
were soon out and on the steps of the hotel. "You
want to go along Princes street," Dan pointed to
the left, "or towards Carlton Hill," pointing
to the right, "or up North Bridge? Carlton Hill's
probably out for me, and you did mention breakfast."
"What place serves breakfast and won't get us trailed
by your American friends?"
nor plural. Leave Matt out of it." Dan sighed and
held the cigarette packet out to Jean. "North Bridge
is our best option, lots of places in the university
took a cigarette for himself, then put them away when
Jean didn't take one. "No, we walk." Lighting
his fag he went off the steps and turned sharply right,
towards North Bridge and its breathtaking views. Arthur's
Seat to the left, and the city to the right, but Jean
didn't seem to take in any of it. "So your charms
didn't work and Hooch behaved like a prat, because for
some reason you two just crashed spectacularly like
something proverbial that I can't think of right now."
Dan blew smoke into the cold wind. "Or maybe you're
just chalk and cheese and a good fuck amongst friends
would take care of that."
Jean looked at him, hands dug into his pocket, a frown
on his face. "You heard him. He's decided he'd
fuck me, and
" Jean shook his
head. "Fuck. This is your marriage do, you're getting
married, you and Vadim, and he just ticks me off like
that. Why? Because I'm suddenly some pushover that he's
decided will just lay down for him and get fucked by
a guy who doesn't
who I don't trust?"
hey, hey! Whoa, calm down, Jean." Dan put his free
arm onto Jean's shoulder and stopped in the middle of
North Bridge, in the bracing wind. Turning Jean round
to look at him, and Jean followed, after just a few
"He never said he'd fuck you. I remember distinctly
that we were joking about your stag night, you said
it won't hurt you this time either, because you won't
get fucked and all he asked, admittedly in an infuriating
way, was if you're too straight for it or if it would
make you less of a man. You blew your top after
that, telling him you'd kill him if he tried, but he
never said he would in the first place."
"He did. He said something about getting me to
"Well, you did call him a bitch before that ..."
Dan pulled in a drag from his cigarette. "Let's
get some things straight, here." Dan flashed a
grin at the age-old pun. "First of, Hooch never
said he wanted to fuck you. Second, you blew your top.
Third, you obviously have a problem with getting fucked,
or rather, the idea that anyone might know other
than you and I, that I do sometimes fuck you. Trust
me, absolutely no one knows, and that includes Vadim.
Fourth, Hooch's the most extreme masochist you can think
of, who lets himself get worked over by Vadim until
he's half dead."
Jean had opened his mouth to speak during the list,
but the fourth point surprised him so much that he lost
the thought he'd been holding onto. "By Vadim?
oh fuck." Pausing, and reconsidering.
it's just that I don't trust any other
guy to do that, okay? I've known you for forever, and
I'd trust you with anything, my life, my family, my
pride, whatever, but it's between you and me and I simply
don't trust anybody else enough. Not a total stranger,
not one that basically tells me I will enjoy it, whether
I like it or not. One that makes me feel like a bitch,
and he did that."
sorry that you felt like that. Hooch's an acquired taste,
I give you that, and you two really did hit it off spectacularly
badly. Hooch's a good guy, even though it might not
seem like that. Loyal, in a committed partnership for
years, and, yes, trustworthy. Just ... a damn acquired
taste and not everyone's taste at that, that's for sure."
"Yeah. Didn't say he wasn't attractive. I can see
what Vadim sees in him, anyway." Jean conceded.
Dan stubbed out the cigarette butt on the bridge's turquoise
ornate iron. "And no one will ever know
what we do between us, okay?" He smiled, and reached
out to squeeze Jean's shoulder. "No one."
Jean reached out and embraced Dan, a close, warm touch,
his cool lips moving to Dan's neck. "Maybe breakfast
in bed would have been the better option
we could go back, if you wanted to, that would certainly
stop the tourists from staring at us right now."
Dan chuckled, but made no move to let go of Jean. "Or
aren't you missing my famous blowjobs?" Murmured
into Jean's ear. "I am sure I could take your mind
off the unpleasant non-breakfast ..."
"You win." Jean smiled and hugged him closer.
"The tourists are just staring because we're both
damn good-looking guys." He moved away a bit, and
turned around, back to the hotel. "Let's go."
laughed and shook his head. "Hang on, got to text
Vadim, should at least let him know I won't be around
for half of the day." Producing a sleek mobile,
he texted while walking. "I am sure Vadim will
be able to entertain our American guests with a sightseeing
tour." He winked, and soon they were back at the
hotel entrance. The whole excursion had taken no longer
than fifteen minutes.
"My hotel room, or do you want to get Vadim up
there as well?" Jean asked.
just you and me, aye? We need some quality time. What
with groom and best man and all that. Besides, you know
that Vadim doesn't share anymore."
"Yeah, sounds good to me. My room, then. It's really
nice. Huge. Great view." Jean led him upstairs,
where they shed the jackets and kissed, then they remembered
food, which they ordered. When it arrived, they were
both half-undressed and breathless, but they managed
to keep their hands off each other long enough to have
breakfast, which was a whole lot more playful and tender
than expected. They returned to being breathless, trading
more kisses and later blowjobs, eventually resting,
comfortable and content, together on the bed. Talking
a bit, interrupted only by Dan smoking a fag illicitly
out of the window, then back on the bed to just be comfortable
together. Being close, and being there. True friends.
and Hooch had been exploring the city during the day,
while Vadim spent some quality time in the luxurious
Spa that was part of the hotel. Dinner with the Baroness
at night was scheduled to be a quiet evening, before
the remaining guests started arriving the next morning
the dinner in the hotel's own five star restaurant,
Matt vanished into the health club and gym, working
out, and Dan returned to Vadim, spending alone together,
probably the last chance before the big event.
Jean came out of the elevator, Hooch was leaning casually
against one of the pillars, looking at him.
"Yeah, that's okay, I'll call you later,"
Jean said into the slick little cell phone and flipped
it shut, walking casually as if he hadn't, with the
flicker of an eye, noticed Hooch and deduced that the
man was there not because he liked to watch lift doors
open and close, but for him. Unnerving, like passing
another predator at the water hole. Jean gave him a
friendly nod and proceeded on his way outside to have
moment later and Hooch moved into Jean's peripheral
vision. He hadn't made a sound, not until the last moment,
when he'd been deliberate. "Vadim told me you were
Jean lit the cigarette and inhaled. Still a light smoker,
but habitual again. He'd quit a million times and restarted
just as often. "Regular army before that, then
Legionnaire. You're Delta." And a masochist. Damn,
he didn't look it.
Commissioned these days." Hooch shrugged with a
miniature grimace. Implying the unspoken: no more missions
for the 'old man'. "The legion's damn sharp."
He leaned against the cold stone of the massive doorway,
looking comfortable in the cold, despite wearing only
a shirt. Watching Jean from dark, somewhat shielded
eyes, who didn't quite know how to take the compliment.
At face value? Was that a 'kiss and make up' without
Legion has to be. The French army boys are, in the majority,
not worth their salt. That's why they send us when they
cannot pull out just because of some bodies
whole Iraq thing
"Yeah, I remember. You were a Merc with Dan. Might
have walked past you in the Gulf. Was there anyone he
didn't have sex with?" A small, amused spark came
into Hooch's eyes, before the expression went back to
"Lots." Jean stood there, smoking for a moment,
feeling the chill more. "I developed into a regular
shag, though, in the Gulf and after. We go back a long
you and Vadim?"
friends, and so are you and Dan." Hooch gave a
slight nod of recognition. "Not that different,
after all. You're married. I got Matt. You got Dan.
I got Vadim. When it comes down to it, they got each
other. Non-negotiable." Hooch slipped his hand
into his jeans pocket as if he were looking for something,
then after a moment, crossed his arms in front of his
chest. "Dan hasn't had sex with your wife. She's
the odd one out." He flashed a small grin as a
buddies with Vadim. I guess that counts." Jean
glanced at the cigarette and dropped it, grinding it
out under his heel. "Do you smoke?" Offering
the pack, just in case. His own peace offering.
anymore." Hooch shrugged. "Got fucked up in
some shitty place, couldn't move for months. Stopped
it then." He studied Jean's face with utmost intensity,
for one short moment. "Can I buy you a drink?"
paused, long enough to stuff the pack back and slide
the Zippo back in his pocket. "Sure." He nodded
towards the hotel doors again, indicating Hooch should
lead the way. On his account, the matter was settled.
They were both best men, they'd both behave, and that
was it. "Any idea who of us is going to keep the
rings?" he asked on the way in.
idea, but you can if you want to. Uniform is shit for
"Yeah, no uniform here."
Hooch made his way straight to Hadrian's bar, where
he stopped at the bar top and leaned against it.
Jean took up position a polite distance away, briefly
checking the substantial drinks menu. After the cold,
that was whisky. "Right, you caught me off balance
just wanted to make sure you won't ambush me
and fuck me
up because of that."
said I was a prat." Hooch glanced at the whiskies
on offer before turning his attention back to Jean.
"And Matt's usually right. You got up my nose,
and I don't know why." He waited for Jean's order
before getting a Clynelish for himself.
Nevermind." Jean said while the barkeeper poured
him the 25-year old Highland Park, and, when the man
retreated a bit, added: "Don't think it makes me
less of a man, just prefer it the other way round. I'm
attracted by people, not plumbing, but I have some preference
what to do with people I take to bed."
so do I." Hooch cast another miniature grin, merely
a flash, then reached for the small jug with water and
poured a tiny amount into his whisky to allow the flavours
to come to life. "What doesn't make you less of
a man, though? That you play both fields? I used to,
I don't take it." Apart from Dan, but that was
different. He'd do anything for Dan, including that,
even if the kick was mostly in what it did to Dan, and
that weird psychological thing about turned tables and
allowing Dan to do this. Like a good sub, he let Dan
have that power over him.
taking it makes you less of a man?" Hooch raised
his glass with a ghost of an amused smile. "You've
got some weird reverse psychology working here."
Jean rolled his eyes. "Fuck, the other way round.
You said I'm afraid to be less of a man if I took it.
Do I think Dan or Vadim are less of a man? Vadim loves
getting fucked." Beauvais, Vadim, the stag night,
and the threesomes he'd had with Dan and his partner.
Somebody so powerful, cool, threatening, somebody so
aloof, yet that strength even when he was getting fucked.
How Vadim could relinquish control. How his face changed
when he felt something, lust, surrender, when Vadim's
armour cracked open. Time to change the track of thoughts,
because, damn, those were some fine memories.
made you stop? Why would anyone foreswear women."
a sip, Hooch savoured the taste for a long moment, with
half-closed eyes. Never closing them fully, not unless
he was with those he trusted, and that was exactly two
men, and no more. "Realised eventually they couldn't
give me what I needed. Was pointless, then, and too
Masochist. "You need the equal or superior strength?
Vadim's a good choice there."
a safe choice." Hooch nodded, "on all counts."
He took another small sip. "You can take it from
me that it doesn't make you less of a man to take it.
I can still wipe the floor with anyone's ass here,"
Hooch flashed another rare grin while making an economic
gesture across the bar.
your hang-up, buddy, not mine." Jean raised his
hands. "Me, I don't care what anybody calls me.
I have kids, a wife, a nice house, very nice holidays,
lots of friends - I'm fine, I'm happy, and I have no
hang-ups. Just because I don't like something that other
people do like doesn't mean my masculinity is anywhere
near dubious. Neither is yours. Our job as best men
is to take care of our friends that are getting married,
maybe throw a memorable stag night, and leave our shit
at the door, because, frankly, it's their party, not
of, I haven't got a hang-up. Secondly, seems to me that
you have one, or you wouldn't have blown your top. Thirdly,
you do have a point, like, about the best men business,
but have you got any ideas for something memorable?"
decided to leave the hang-up part unanswered. Big macho
Americans insinuating the whole receiving anal sex thing
was that much of a deal. He just didn't like it very
much. "My stag night, we had an orgy. One of my
old Legion friends
comrade, really, Dan and Vadim, well, and me. Helped
with the nervousness, I was very calm the next day."
let out a huff of laughter. As dry as the whole man.
"I can imagine. We've already all had Matt, and
I don't think they're nervous." Taking another
sip, he was relishing the taste. "Perhaps we could
make them nervous instead."
That was a nice looking guy right there, seemed exactly
the type for some fun and fooling around. Jean took
a small sip from that whisky - he preferred them neat
and worked through a shot in increments. "Short
of taking them hostage
what could make them nervous?"
the lives they had? Not much. Can't even make them sweat
if you chain them up. At least not Vadim. What about
doesn't like that. Surprising them at night? Sneaking
into the room
recording some sex, or photos,
I don't know. How nasty a prank
should it be without screwing it up? Or just
nasty." Hooch finished his whisky and leaned back
against the bar. "Let's go for unexpected."
He was thoughtful, then, "how much do they trust
each of us you think?"
easy. Vadim doesn't trust me. He never did, he never
will. Dan trusts me a great deal. Why?"
doesn't completely trust me, whatever he says or even
believes, he doesn't. You trick Dan, I trick Vadim,
until they are helpless ..." savouring the thought
for a moment, "and then they find themselves with
Dan with me and Vadim with you. That's as far as my
thoughts go. Over to you." Hooch ordered another
whisky for himself and one for Jean.
swapping right in the middle? Blindfolds? Now, what
would they want to happen when they are blindfolded?
What would Vadim want of you then? I have no idea what
you guys do in bed. With Dan, he
" Jean swallowed
another bit of whisky. Damn. Dan would like to fuck
him. Like they'd done that time on the couch. But Dan
would end up fucking Hooch. And Vadim? He had no idea.
The thought was mildly disturbing, at the same time,
his body liked the idea.
good. No talking, and they haven't got a clue who they
are dealing with. No touching, too, when they're tied
up." Hooch raised is glass once more to his lips,
taking a small sip, neat this time. "Vadim and
I don't just play hard. There's the whole vanilla stuff,
"I'm glad, because no way I'd let Vadim top me
in a scene
"You said fucking's out, I can take two, but ..."
Hooch thought for a moment, "not sure if I ever
"I kiss him whenever I can. If you're going to
impersonate me, kissing is definitely part of the package."
He still hoped that Dan wouldn't ask for one of those
rare fucks. He might. He'd just have to hope that Dan
didn't give him away. "I give head, and handjobs,
and the rubbing stuff."
do you kiss?" Hooch pondered, "when I fuck
Vadim, it's pretty much vanilla."
suddenly felt his pulse jump up in his throat. "Shit,
" is useless. How do you describe
a kiss? He looked at Hooch
his lips, his eyes,
the features, the dark hair, back to his lips. He'd
somehow manoeuvred himself into a really awkward situation,
and that sober. "Guess showing is easier."
..." Hooch tipped the rest of his whisky down.
"Guess it is." Dark eyes resting intently
on Jean, before his brows arched. "Your room?"
fucking way, Jean thought, especially as Hooch made
it sound like a corny pick-up line, or that was irony
or an accident. "Yeah." He couldn't back out.
He took another sip - shame to rush it - then finished
the glass, and led Hooch to the elevator. Upstairs,
he unlocked his door smoothly and closed it behind Hooch.
turned round, facing Jean, who stood with his back to
the door. "With Matt a kiss can be anything. Brief
peck, silly smooch, full-blown snog, mindless eating
face off. With Matt it's daily, but with Vadim it's
different. It's rare, and it's intense." Hooch
stepped forward, closed any distance between their bodies.
He dropped his hand to Jean's hip, holding, the other
at the back of Jean's neck. "With Vadim,"
Hooch's voice dropped, "it's always full body contact.
Full tasting." Angling his head a fraction, his
lips touched Jean's, and his tongue instantly sought
almost jumped - but damn, this was a fucking nice way
to get kissed. Possessive, the hand in the neck was
like claiming control, but damn did it feel good, and
this stranger knew what he was doing. He hadn't had
that many casual encounters, somehow his men always
turned into relationships, if he discounted the sex
he'd paid for. Jean couldn't help the groan, couldn't
help opening up to the tongue further, without thinking,
his body greeting the full-on contact enthusiastically.
Good kiss. Damn. Bastard. To catch him off guard again.
Demonstration? It wasn't. It wasn't showing. It was
too fucking much for that.
groin pressed into Jean, growing hard, pushing him further
and further backwards, until Jean's back hit the door,
and Hooch's hand slipped from the hip to Jean's buttock,
resting there, but leaving no room for movement. The
fingers in the back of Jean's neck splayed and opened,
as much contact and guiding as possible, while Hooch's
kiss grew in intensity from zero to one hundred.
groaned, the taste was new, still whisky, but smell
and taste were a stranger's, the body was unfamiliar;
male. Fit, trained, dangerous. Fuck. He pressed against
the strong flesh, shifted his legs just enough to have
one leg between Hooch's knees to increase the pressure.
Hands moving over that body, hard, tough, sexy. He wanted
to say: Fine, I get it, that is how you guys kiss -
but by now, it wasn't Vadim and Hooch, it was him and
Hooch. And it got more serious by the second. They could
just get off together. They could. Nothing bad about
it. He broke the kiss to suck on the man's throat, the
strength there was tantalizing, sinews and muscle and
pulse. "Fuck. Vadim's lucky," he said, managed
to barely make sense.
Dan." Hooch murmured, baring his throat, head far
in his back, while grinding and pushing against Jean's
thigh. A moment later the passiveness turned without
forewarning into aggression, as he pushed full body
contact into Jean, pressed him against the door, and
sought out his lips again, while his hand searched for
and fumbled with Jean's fly.
struggled to have a little control despite the onslaught,
despite the fact how good this guy was at this. The
aggression was what he'd have imagined, and it had freaked
him imagining it, but right now, it was great. It was
fantastic, even, far away from any game or demonstration.
There was no friendship to be won here, but god, the
kissing was already blistering hot. He, in turn, fought
Hooch's tongue, mouth wide open, locked, needing and
fierce, tasting the heat and the man, hands pulling
him closer, hips rocking against the other.
Jean's cock, freeing first Jean, then himself, Hooch
never let up on the kissing, as fierce and real as any
kiss he'd exchange with either his lover or his love.
Forcing their cock's together, trapped between their
bodies, he let out a throaty sound, half swallowed and
half suppressed, but entirely needy, while stroking
and grinding both of them closer to the edge.
responded to the kisses with all the need and passion
he could muster, thoughts of threat and enemy and smug
bastard bleeding away - Hooch was a body, a great body,
and god did he know what he was doing, driving Jean
closer and further, higher. It wasn't about making it
last, that wasn't part of it. Jean pulled him close,
thrusting, muscles in his body dealing with that sheer
brute strength, and the orgasm was fierce when he came,
making him almost shout - very different to Vadim who
was always so silent.
swallowed the sound in a last, deep kiss, and with a
few more ferocious movements, near violent thrusts,
he came, in absolute silence, except for his breath
hitching. He pulled back from the kiss soon after, lips
parted, hand still closed around their combined cocks,
with their shirts and trousers splattered with cum.
looked up, trying to catch his breath and self-conscious
about that. Flushed, hot, sweaty. The post-orgasm high
racing through his blood like cocaine or speed or something
else that threw everything into sharp contrast. "And
" he murmured. "Is how I kiss."
Hand reaching out to Hooch's face, thumb brushing the
lips apart as he closed in, the kiss comparatively soft
and gentle, tender; his eyes closed to concentrate better,
not ignore the man, because after this mad race, shit,
he could easily kiss him like this, just for the buzz
he'd given him. Opening up his lips, he licked Hooch's
lips, all playful, no urgency, just tenderness, caring,
playfulness, but still fully committed. More artful,
too. Hooch had great lips.
..." Hooch murmured, and then nothing, too occupied
with allowing his body to relax into the come-down,
hand slackening, covering their spent cocks, no longer
holding, no more pressure. His passiveness came to the
surface now, letting go and giving in, he was breathing
into the kiss, with a shudder and small sound.
the bed," Jean murmured. "Or
are you in a rush to leave?"
eyes opened fully, giving Jean one long and searching
look. "Got until dinner."
of time." Jean pushed him backwards, then pulled
his shirt free, shedding clothes and taking the undershirt
off to wipe himself down. He was naked, no point in
keeping any clothes on. He showed off his body, semi-smiling
at Hooch, who was clearly appreciative. Jean had a good
body, no doubt, and after Matt, he was the youngest
took Hooch only a moment before he decided to do the
same, got out of his soiled clothes and stood naked,
allowing himself to be inspected. Unlike Dan, his scars
were not spectacular, one surgical, could have been
for a civilian reason, and an odd, but faded, senseless
pattern of dots. What was striking, though, was the
sheer deadliness of the body. Still honed to perfection,
and without the extremely ripped appearance of Matt's
ridiculously low body fat, Hooch was sharp angled and
his muscles spoke of the stamina of a killer, rather
than simple strength. He clearly was still in the business,
even though he wasn't out in the field anymore.
studied, but he'd always been more tactile than visual,
closing the distance again for another deep, gentle
kiss, manoeuvring them both onto the bed, where he rolled
on top to kiss and lick down the throat, to the chest.
Stroking and caressing, relishing in all the skin he
had underneath him and against his skin. The heat, the
power, the strength. "Caught me by surprise again,"
he murmured between kisses. "Didn't think you'd
doesn't matter," murmuring
nonsense like that, lazily, off-handed, no deep pondering.
didn't move much, less than active and more than passive.
Receiving, by no means as tactile as Jean, and yet he
left no doubt that the touches were welcome. He lifted
a hand eventually, resting on Jean's shoulder to keep
him at a distance to look at him. "There is no
fucking way we'll fool them."
could help." Jean rolled down and regarded Hooch
from the side.
but I'll never kiss like you. No chance. Am not touchy-feely."
Hooch flashed a sharp grin.
shame, that kiss wasn't bad at all." Jean rolled
onto his back and stretched out, arms above his head,
making himself as long as possible. Thinking about something
- that passion, and something he did rarely, but with
a lot of relish. "You said you like women, too?
What do you think
" He reached into the nightstand
and pulled out his copy of the setcard that Solange
had given him. "Have a look."
lazily reached over and studied the pictures for a while.
Nothing in his face gave away what he might think. "Your
Solange." Jean found that mask face unnerving -
something always remained out of reach with this guy.
On the other hand, he thought, that wasn't too different
from Thierry. A core that nothing touched. "She's
coming for the wedding. We plan to stay for a week or
two, depending on whether she has a shooting or not.
These things get cancelled a lot at the last minute."
turned his head, still lying on his back, photos in
his hand. "She's beautiful. Haven't had sex with
a woman for over ten years."
something you ever unlearn," Jean teased.
but why do you want me to have sex with her?"
I get to watch my collared slave take it from another
man." Jean gave him a sharp grin. "And you're
her type. It would be part of a scene. She'd love it."
finally did get a reaction. Hooch sat up. "Collared
slave. Scene." He raised both brows. "Don't
think I'm the right one for that."
You're the guy who has sex with Vadim. I'd have tagged
you as somebody who doesn't shy away from a little fun
and games." Jean remained on his back, comfortable,
tiredness lingering at the edge, a short snooze was
always a possibility after sex, but he wouldn't mind
a second round with this guy.
don't play games." Sitting on his hip, Hooch twisted
to look at Jean before putting the setcard down. "In
my 'scene' I ..." just a second's hesitation, before
Hooch gave Jean more than he could ever be paid back
in trust. "I'd wear the collar."
eyes lit up - possibilities here, too. He plays with
Vadim until he's half dead. Dan had said something
like that. Different from Frederic, who was vanilla,
but male, heartfelt, who was in love with him and adored
him, but who thought blindfolds were kinky. "I
can do that," he murmured. "I could order
you to fuck her, or tie you up." The thought was
arousing, his body certainly agreed and he turned onto
his side, then sat up.
miniature shake of Hooch's head was his first, unchecked
reaction. "No can do." He looked at his hand
for a moment, then back at Jean. Dark eyes intense for
a moment. "Not with a woman."
if we keep it vanilla?" Jean nodded towards the
for whom? Me? All?"
We could still have her collared."
the intensity in Hooch's eyes waned and softened. "You
can direct me. I do that. Orders, no." Another
small quirk of his lips, "but I got to get Matt's
okay first. Woman? He'll be shocked."
laughed. "So a guy like me's alright and a woman
needs to be talked about? You're a weird guy, but sure.
It's just an offer." And damn, he'd spend the next
night imagining that - even right now, it was a good
thought to have.
I love that guy. Don't want to piss him off. That so
I don't do other women that are not whores, guess we're
not that different, only I'm not telling her."
Jean took the setcard and placed it back in the drawer,
then studied the other's body. "I'm not as good
as Dan, but fancy a blowjob?
sure I'll get it up again?" Hooch grinned. "You
could always help it along by tying me up."
an offer?" Jean pushed Hooch back with a hand against
his chest, wasn't sure the kissing would be welcome
now, so he pushed the legs apart and got between them,
placed bites along the stomach, a sixpack that moved
with Hooch's breaths. Living, tanned flesh, male, powerful,
some black hair, except for his shaved balls, which
again emphasized that this body was male. Vadim always
appeared too chiselled in all that hairless beauty,
the effect of the marble statue was likely on purpose.
Hooch was a man of flesh and blood. Reserved, but willing
enough when it came to straightforward sex. Less tenderness
than with Frederic, who was a cuddler and touching him
meant a lot more.
voice had turned a notch huskier. "You dare take
grinned. "Yeah. I'd offer you wrestling for it,
but winning is not what you want." Spoken against
Hooch's skin, then emphasized with a sharp bite. "Is
let out a dry huff of laughter. "You got it."
He lifted his arms in front of him, crossed his wrists
and raised his brows with a challenging smirk.
got off the bed and grabbed cuffs he'd kept in his suitcase.
He was long past caring what security people at airports
thought of him and his sex life, if he'd ever cared.
They were nice, smooth metal cuffs, rounded to not cause
damage to the skin, but not padded. Clicking them around
those strong wrists turned him on more - the challenge,
challenge that was turned up a few degrees with Hooch's
growing, impetuous grin. "And now?" Rattling
the cuffs for effect, before raising his arms over his
head. He stretched out, until every muscle, sinew and
line in his body stood out, pronounced, before slowly,
provocatively, letting one knee fall open, bent.
thought that that was a good look on any human being,
male or female. "Make sure you won't get in the
" he murmured, stretching out on top of
Hooch. Jean brushed Hooch's face with his stomach as
he stretched to tie the cuffs to the bed frame.
more toys in that suitcase of yours? Or don't they come
grinned, amused that Hooch was fooled by the obvious,
the outside. "Plenty more." He checked the
knot at the frame, moved so his cock brushed Hooch's
face, who moved his head to follow and lick, which made
Jean harder. Very different game now; no way he could
be as nasty as Vadim, but Hooch clearly wanted more
than vanilla. How far could he go? Especially with a
guy who needed the extreme from somebody like Vadim.
He stood up, found the nipple clamps, and put them on
Hooch, carefully positioning the little teeth, readjusting
them on the nipple, which was painful.
no reaction, just an increased concentration in Hooch's
face, as if the pain made him focus. He made no sound,
cocked his brows, but a new timbre in his voice gave
him away. "Not bad for a start."
grinned at him. "I'll fuck you," he murmured
against Hooch's chest, glanced up, a mischievous, dark
glance, then his teeth pulled on the left nipple clamp,
twisting and turning. His weight on his left arm, the
right hand went down to Hooch's cock, his balls, squeezing
them in his hand, rolling and twisting with the motion
from his teeth. Getting reactions out of the man turned
into a bit of an ambition for him, but Hooch wasn't
body reacted, and his breath quickened with every bite
and each jolt of discomfort. His reactions were involuntarily,
but what he could control he did, except for the cock
that hardened, the breath that had its own mind, and
his voice, which betrayed the rest of his body. "What
if I don't let you fuck me?"
do my best to convince you." Jean turned to the
other nipple, licking the clamp, brushing it, the playful
motions rather different at Hooch's end, tip of his
tongue toying with the metal while he was on top, his
cock brushing Hooch's stomach and hip. "I might
fuck you the way you like it best
hard and fast,
I can give you pain there, too. You want
it to hurt, right? I can fuck you that it hurts. I can
make it burn for you."
Hooch's voice was forced now. "Make it hurt. As
much as you can." He was fully hard, moving into
the painful bites and touches, instead of away.
felt his guts tighten at that voice. Make it hurt.
He wasn't Vadim, shit, hurting people was natural for
Vadim, while he was always playful about it, but the
bottom called the shots, and Hooch was the type to call
a bluff when he saw it. "Turn," Jean murmured,
voice coarse, as he moved away enough for Hooch to roll
over onto his stomach, which he did, with surprising
compliance. Added bonus would be friction of the mattress
against the nipple clamps when he'd fuck him.
opened his legs straight away, no preliminaries with
that man. He raised his ass as much as he could with
those legs wide open. Jean pushed a pillow under Hooch's
hips, improving the angle by a few crucial degrees.
The back, the V-shape of excellent lats, landscape of
muscle. Jean was short of breath - different now that
the eye contact was broken, Hooch could have been another
man, any man. That made it easier in a way. He spit
in his hand. He'd promised pain. He rubbed the saliva
over Hooch's opening; he'd need more, but he forced
two fingers in, causing Hooch's body first to tense,
then push back against and into the fingers, while Jean
allowed more spit to run between them, opening the muscle
a little bit. Extra-strong condom from the nightstand,
he tore it open between teeth and free hand, then rolled
it down. More spit, while Hooch relaxed for a moment,
before his body tensed once more, as if he deliberately
made it more difficult for himself. Bracing and at the
same time contracting his muscles, making the onslaught
groaned, shifted weight, got on top, knew he'd need
his weight in addition to his strength to really fuck
this guy. Pulling the cheeks apart, smooth, slick muscle,
breaching him was one part violence for every part lust.
The tightness almost hurt him, it took a lot of concentration
to not slip and hurt himself, but he used his fingers
to force, to find the angle and a way in, and finally
he got a reaction. A sound, suppressed, clearly involuntary.
A sound between a groan, whimper, cry, everything and
anything; a sound that spoke of pain and lust and the
ultimate satisfaction of giving into the need, no matter
how dark it was.
fingers curled around the rope that tied the handcuffs
to the bed post, and pushed back, trying to force more
of that cock and the pain into his body. Breath coming
ragged and noisy now, he didn't have that under control,
didn't want to, even. Jean gave him what he so clearly
wanted, pushed in, deeper, the spit just barely enough
to allow this to happen, groaning in turn. Force. Male
bodies were capable of so much force, withstanding it,
containing it, unleashing that strength and focus -
against each other. Jean was covered in sweat when he
was finally inside, breathing hard, and soaking up the
other's sweat, the sounds, the breaths, that need. He
pulled back, began to thrust, hard, slow thrusts, the
tightness too much to simply speed up - he'd last longer
like this, too.
sounds that Hooch were making became more urgent, and
yet they remained suppressed, as if he fought against
them, but they forced their way out nevertheless. Moving
against and into each thrust, while deliberately rubbing
his chest and the nipple clamps over the bedding, he
was as much demanding as he was taking, even though
he did not speak a word, did not ask, nor beg, and certainly
not demand - not in words. And Jean sped up with those
thrusts, inflicting pain on top of that pleasure, following
his instincts, then came, surprisingly hard and sudden,
biting into muscles and burrowed deep inside, panting
against the sweaty skin.
kept moving into the final, erratic thrusts, towards
the bites, then slowed more and more, until he suddenly
lay still, completely unmoving, legs wide, arms stretched,
whole body tense and still. His breathing remained wild
and ragged, noisy against the rumpled bed sheets. Jean
remained there for a few seconds, too dazed to move,
then finally pulled back, holding the condom as he pulled
out to not spill anything, and got rid of it, then lay
down on the mattress, right next to Hooch, who still
didn't move. Didn't say anything either, but the tension
in his body, the way his breath had not calmed, it was
obvious he was waiting or expecting. Something, something
he did not ask for.
hand roamed across the back, to the ass, stroking, kneading.
"Turn around," he murmured and when Hooch
did, Jean moved to take the cock between his lips. The
taste of precum, he'd promised a blowjob, and the cock
seemed filled to bursting with blood. He licked the
hot tip, searing hot, left it, blew cold air on it,
then licked across it.
shuddered, a sharp intake of breath, before he murmured,
hoarse "hurt me." Finally asking.
reached up, saw how sore the nipples looked, and twisted
them with the clamps, while he took the cock between
his lips, sucking in time with the movements of his
was it, enough after a short moment to make Hooch arch
up, tense so hard, every muscle stood out as if sculpted
from solid bronze, and the sound he made when he came
was full of need, before he managed to swallow it, because
it gave more away of his self, than anything he'd done
or said or would allow Jean to see. He fell back onto
the bed, breathing hard, eyes half closed, still never
forced himself to swallow the moment he came, mouth
suddenly filled with the stuff. He didn't particularly
like that, but he did, sucking the cock for several
long moments after Hooch had come. Frederic didn't like
that, he didn't like to be touched just after climax,
too sensitive, but Hooch clearly relished it. Every
guy was different. Jean let go of the cock and crawled
forward on the bed, lay there, near Hooch, just brushing
the body, hardly a touch.
was silent for a long time, breathing into the come-down,
until he finally shifted slightly and turned his head.
His facial expression was back to exactly what it had
always been: the somewhat ironic half grin and the mocking
cocked brow. "Not bad all the way through to the
end, either." His voice was still husky.
thought he liked him better when he was needy. "That
will hurt more," he murmured and reached for the
first clamp, opening up and taking it off, and it did
cause Hooch to take in a hissing breath. Then the other
one, which caused the same reaction, before he reached
up to untie Hooch's wrists. "You okay now?"
I'm good." Hooch rubbed his wrists, which were
red circled by the steel. "How long before dinner?"
checked the watch on his wrist. "Two hours. Enough
for a snooze and a shower."
it one, I need to get back." Hooch stretched slowly,
then got up to sit. Nothing in his movements showed
that he might be sore, which he had to be.
just watched, lazy and sated, on the verge of drifting
off to sleep. "Your shower, if you want it,"
he murmured, pulling the pillow closer and resting on
top of the tousled covers, allowing the sweat to cool,
breathing deeply, and then his eyes closed and he drifted
off to sleep, discounting all danger that might come
from Hooch, trusting him implicitly.
watched him a moment, then got up and into the bathroom.
When he returned, freshly showered, Jean was asleep.
He lay down beside the man. He could do with a quick
he woke again, more than an hour had passed, and Jean
had turned in his sleep. He had turned away, his back
touching, Jean's face pressed into the pillow, arms
crossed in front of him.
touched Jean's shoulder once, then got off the bed to
dress and leave the room quietly.
he got to his own room, he could hear water running
in the bathroom, and soon Matt stepped out.
have you been?" Matt grinned while drying his face,
freshly shaved, standing in just his briefs in the doorway.
"Had hoped for a quickie after the gym."
didn't say anything, just walked closer, until he stood
close enough that he could lean against the doorframe,
almost touching Matt. So close, that Matt couldn't miss
the scent of Jean's shower gel that clung to Hooch's
fucked." Matt stated promptly. Throwing the towel
over the edge of the bathtub, before crossing his arms
in front of his chest.
nodded and quirked a brow and one corner of his lips.
When he reached for the buttons of his shirt he could
feel Matt's gaze on the bruises around his wrists.
Hooch unbuttoned the shirt and opened it, revealing
the sore and swollen nipples.
between them after all those years, that if Matt was
going to have to force each bit of information out of
Hooch, there'd be shit, and Hooch liked being in shit,
just that little bit too much.
Matt repeated with disbelief, then pulled himself up
to his full height and breadth, which was impressive.
"You're a slut, Hooch."
surprise was evident in Hooch's face. This was a new
angle to Matt's tack, and he might have been amused,
but he liked that new side in his long-term partner
more, than it amused him. "Am I?"
you are. I bet you're fucking sore now, right?"
nodded, shrugged, and slipped the shirt off his shoulders
and onto the ground. Hands on the buttons of his black
because I'm going to fuck you now, Hooch, and I don't
give a shit that we'll be late, and I give even less
of a fuck that you'll hurt like a bleeding motherfucker,
and I sure as hell am not going to try and make you
cum again, because I'm just going to fuck you as hard
as I can and get off. That's what you want, isn't it?
You want to be torn apart and you want to be made to
scream, but I won't let you."
stared at Matt with open surprise. Damn, that man was
getting better with age. When he'd snapped up the baby
Jarhead, he'd been one lucky bastard.
said nothing else, just opened his trousers, toed off
his shoes and socks, and stepped out of the jeans. He
still said nothing when he went across the room and
towards the elegant dresser, to bend over it. Silent,
still, as he lowered his chest, spread his legs wide
and reached behind to spread his buttocks apart, like
the slut he'd been accused of to be, opening wide and
presenting his sore arse. And fuck, was that a damn
didn't make a sound when Matt forced the briefs he'd
been wearing between his teeth and pushed them into
his mouth, and when Hooch finally screamed into the
gag, at the entirely reckless onslaught of brutal, unbridled
strength, when Matt fucked him, just as he'd promised,
the hand over his mouth helped to muffle the sounds
blew Hooch's mind, if not his already too sated body,
and the pain was exquisite, as was the knowledge that
this, bareback and trusting, was his lover, who was
giving him all the pain he could have wanted. He really
was a goddamned lucky motherfucker.
dinner, Jean was silent, almost sluggish, but that hardly
registered as they sat together around the table. Matt,
Hooch, who sat stiffly throughout, the Baroness and
Dan and Vadim. The conversation flowed much easier than
Vadim had expected. The Baroness had it down to an art
form to talk to such different people. Much later, after
courses and courses of food, Vadim and Dan moved into
the suite proper - both impressed with the splendour
and elegance there, and that night, Vadim couldn't help
the thought that it was just one night now, and the
one after that they'd be married - or at least a legal
he mentioned to Dan, who for once didn't quip nor laugh,
and just smiled at Vadim and held him tighter. Perhaps
awed by the extravagance of the their lodgings, or maybe
just, for once, quietened by the magnitude of what they
were going to do and what that actually meant for their
lives. Even though their lives themselves wouldn't change,
it meant that despite their past, they were two men
who had gained everything anyone could wish for: love,
trust, friends, family, children even, financial comfort
and good health - bones and joints didn't count, Dan
next day guests began to arrive - guys from the Spa
and relatively recent additions to their circle of friends.
Dr Williams arrived by train, and with Waverley station
being literally next door to the Balmoral hotel, he
was warmly welcomed by his old friend the Baroness,
and of course by Vadim, and even by Dan. Dr William
joined them for a late breakfast, and then, one by one,
more people arrived. The American guys Dan had rescued,
who came with their partners and wives, and who were
all much impressed with the city and what they'd seen
so far, and keen to explore with one of the double-decker
sightseeing buses. Seeing Chris again, the injured crew
member, was a moment for Dan that was more emotional
than he'd have ever thought, when the lad - no lad anymore
- pulled him into a bear hug.
and Dima arrived around lunchtime. They were still very
much in love and made a handsome, comfortable couple,
joking with Dan and Vadim for a while, before they hooked
up with Hooch and Matt. The latter enthusiastically
welcomed them, glad to meet the man who had got some
information to him during Hooch's captivity. When the
Glaswegian couple arrived, still together after all
these years, they ended up in the company of an Austrian,
a Russian, two Americans, while fitting in without the
at the same time, the whole family Krasnorada arrived.
It was Kisa who hollered Dan's name through the hallowed
halls of the posh hotel, not giving a damn for appropriate
behaviour, as she threw herself into a hug, almost toppling
Dan over, who managed to keep hold of his cane in the
last moment. He was laughing, then admiring the kid
who was still classified a kid because of her age, but
she was a tall, dark haired, deadly good looking youngster,
for all he knew. Katya clearly called the shots, though,
keeping Anoushka in line, who had arrived with a heavily
pregnant woman - her girlfriend, Nikolai said, by way
of explanation. That woman was Polish, a pale beauty
who seemed more silent and composed than Anoushka, or
Anya, as she was referred to nowadays. Anya had become
a respected surgeon, and, she said wryly, with that
undercurrent of steel that was so typical of the Krasnoradas,
she was about to become a 'dad'. Vadim spotted the hidden
edge in that, something like an accusation, but he congratulated
her and sincerely hoped she'd do a better job than he
too, congratulated both of them, and held Anya's hand
for a moment too long, while intently studying the face,
remembering the teenager he had once met. He got a hug
from Nikolai, and Kisa hardly left him time and space
to talk to anyone else, until Dan's side of the family
arrived. All of them still lived in Scotland, except
for the youngest nephew, who had settled for now in
London to make a career in - most uncharacteristically
for all of the McFadyens - fruitless fine arts, as Duncan
called it with a grin, while still making sure that
his son was supported best he could to fulfil his dreams.
Duncan and Mhairi, nephews, wives, girlfriends, babies.
Both grooms' families - with Kisa being the combining
factor, were soon settled around several large tables,
pushed together in the Brasserie.
the afternoon, Beauvais arrived, wearing the uniform
of a French army officer. He'd brought a younger man
with him, who might or might not be his lover, but was
certainly a soldier himself, dressed in the tenue de
sortie of a legionnaire. George arrived, gorgeous and
red-haired, as bland as he was English, and then Vadim
spied a blond man he faintly remembered, but wasn't
sure whether that guy was his or Dan's acquaintance.
He touched Dan with an elbow. "Any idea who he
best we find out, aye?"
They walked up to the man, who smiled at them, somewhat
bewildered by the setting.
"Vadim Krasnorada?" the man asked, in English.
Vadim smiled, touched to meet the man again, and he
stepped up and offered a hand. "I'm glad you came.
After all those years."
"Not too long, you've become a bit of a local legend
the homeless Russian who forgot who he was."
"I remember now. Manke, this is Dan, my partner."
Dan's face lit up and he quickly shuffled the cane into
his left hand, holding his right out. "So glad
to meet you at last. You are definitely a private legend
as well, because without you, I don't think Vadim would
have found out of the darkness."
glanced quickly at Vadim, then at Dan. "It's weird,
all those years, every now and then I wondered what
had happened to you. But there you are, healthy and
about to get married." Manke smiled, brightly,
clearly and strangely happy for them both.
was a bumpy road." Dan smiled.
wasn't easy to get him to talk," Manke said to
Dan. "It was my luck he had been famous, otherwise
I'd never have worked out who he was."
you hear it," Dan laughed, giving Vadim a nudge,
"you were famous. By the way, did you come on your
years later I married, but my wife died five
am sorry." Dan smiled warmly, he didn't know the
man, but without him things would be very different.
"I hope you will enjoy the party."
answered a question, Vadim thought, remembering that
strange attraction for the cop, back then. An attraction
buried so deep that he was hardly aware of it. "Come
on in," Vadim offered. "Meet the rest."
had moved through into the Brasserie, and was welcomed
into the ever growing group inside, when a man walked
up the steps. Shaved hair grey and distinguished, body
ostensibly fit and wiry, and wearing stylish glasses.
"Maurice." Dan pointed out, grinning. He hadn't
seen the man for years, and the French surgeon was everything
Dan remembered him to be: still a knockout, still fit.
It all depended on if he had calmed down his habits
a bit. Dan turned his head to murmur to Vadim, before
Maurice spotted them, "I have plans for him ..."
Tell me it has nothing to do with stag nights or honey
too old for hat shit." Dan laughed, "but did
you see George arrive with anyone? Huh?"
You planning to bore that French doctor to tears, are
you? Apart from that, French and English
not supposed to work."
wait and see. George is pretty and sophisticated and
Maurice must have fucked more men and women in his life,
than we have soldiers in the Army. You never know, he
might be ready for retirement." He flashed his
teeth in a sharp grin, then turned his attention to
Maurice, who had spotted them.
hundred quid it's not working out," Vadim murmured,
then followed to greet Maurice as well, before finding
Dima to alert him to Maurice's presence.
was much greeting, laughing, shaking hands and patting
shoulders, and both Dan and Vadim made sure that Maurice
was welcomed in by the crowd, that had taken George
and Manke under their wings.
Vadim was occupied for a moment, Dan spotted Beauvais
fairly alone in a corner, looking as stiff and officious
and as goddamned attractive in his uniform, as ever.
Age, like for so many of those men around them, had
been good to him, but then all of them were working
with the years, not against them, keeping as physically
fit as possible.
decided to exchange a few words before Jean returned,
who'd left for a short while to pick up his wife from
the airport. "Good to see you." Dan smiled
as an offering.
Beauvais gave him a nod and something that might become
a smile if he relaxed more. "And you. You are making
it real. Marriage." He stepped a bit closer.
Dan kept his vice quiet for privacy. "Who would
have thought, aye? Looks like we're respectable now,
guess we're simply too old to be disgraceful."
He smiled, then glanced around, but he couldn't spot
the young man that Beauvais had come with. "You?
Are you faring well? I saw you didn't come on your own."
It's illegal and dangerous." Beauvais gave the
smallest shrug. "He's part of my staff. It's a
secret, we don't usually appear together in public,
but we are en route to a NATO manoeuvre, so there is
how long have you been together?"
"Getting to our second year."
"That is good to hear, I am glad." Dan nodded.
"Hooch is here as well, Vadim's best man. He'll
be attending the ceremony in uniform. He is here with
his partner. I trust all our guests, even if you should
ever slip in public, but somehow I don't think you will."
Beauvais shook his head. "I can't and I won't.
We can't make it official, not like you." His brow
was dark, maybe with control, discipline. "Times
don't change that much in the Legion. He's a legionnaire,
I'd be dishonourably discharged, and he
course not, as far as I know that would be the end of
both your careers. But perhaps, one day. How much longer
before your retirement?" Dan saw the young legionnaire
come towards them in the corner of his eyes.
just yet." Beauvais didn't seem willing to discuss
that - as if denying age stopped making it happen. The
young man came to a halt in what seemed respectful distance,
just as stiff as Beauvais, impeccably dressed in his
uniform, and he looked as if he was about to salute
Beauvais looked at him, then at Dan. "St John,
that is Dan McFadyen, Dan, this is Martin St John, one
quarter American, one quarter French, half-Vietnamese,
which makes him appreciate cars, good food and a good
good men." Dan murmured very, very quietly, for
no one else to hear other than them. He smiled and nodded
to the young man, who couldn't be any older than perhaps
twenty-four or twenty-five. A good looking man, no doubt,
but not conventionally attractive. He held out his hand.
"I am glad you could make it, and I hope you will
enjoy your stay. We have American serving military here,
one of them, a Delta officer, is Vadim's best man, and
we have a lot of ex-special forces. I think you might
find the company easy to be with. They are good guys."
John took the hand and shook it. "Thank you,"
he said curtly. "It is an honour to be here."
The way he said it sounded as if he meant it. "All
this is certainly an inspiration."
tilted his head and scrutinised the young man for a
moment. The 'inspiration' was quite ambiguous, and he
liked that. He could also see how the lad had as much
of a rod up his arse as Beauvais had. "Well, who
knows." Just as ambiguous, before he stepped to
the side. "Would you like to have a word with Hooch
and Matt? They are in the Balmoral bar."
John exchanged glances with Beauvais, who nodded. Subtle,
fast, just flickers of movement, a well-honed team,
communication between them was easy and natural. "I
will find them." St John moved towards the bar,
to ask around who the men were he was supposed to have
a chat with.
Beauvais' glance followed him - and his glance did rest
on the young man's legs and arse, then returned to Dan.
Dan gestured towards the door. "Care to join me
while I continue with my vice? I need a fag." He
made his way outside, then leaned the cane against the
massive doorframe, then himself. It was cold and quiet
out there, out of the way of the tourists. "I am
curious, where the hell did you find him? He seems quite
found me." Beauvais watched him, a wry expression
on his face. "It was a bar, I was looking for company,
and was just getting to an interesting part with a local,
when he spotted me. I recognized him, too." Beauvais'
eyes showed an echo of the mortification he must have
felt. "He vanished, I went to the darkroom. Somebody
in there touched my head, then kissed me. That man had
a shaved head as well. He
fucked me, there, told
me to meet him if I wanted, and I did, so we
Beauvais breathed, "got started. I was determined
to end it after R&R, but St John had nothing of
is a remarkable young man, in that case, but
you know that, or you would have never accepted that
offer, aye?" Dan lit his cigarette, inhaling the
smoke with relish. It must have been a damn good first
fuck, he thought, but for once he didn't say it out
loud. "You are taking great risks, both of you
are. If you tell me now that he's just a good source
for sex, then I tell you that I don't believe you."
a compromise between what we are and what we feel."
Beauvais' brow was dark, determined. "I don't care
about the risk for myself. I will not risk his career,
nor would he risk mine. We're bound by that."
nodded. "Love's a funny thing, aye?" Leaving
the remark at that, he exhaled thoughtfully. "You've
been managing so far, and eventually, you'll be in an
easier situation. One way or the other. Look at us,
twenty-five years, and the first fifteen were insanely
difficult. And now?" he gestured behind him, "need
I say anything?"
Beauvais nodded. "There are always solutions. It
would be more difficult doing this alone. I'm working
to get him to realize his full potential. Actually
care for a man. Different to how I used to do it. He
will be a fine officer."
luck to you two." Dan nodded, "I mean it."
Stubbing the cigarette out in the sand bin. "Really
gave the hint of a smile. "Thank you for making
me aware of this," he said, voice low, terribly
controlled as he was. "Facing it turned out easier
smiled and reached for Beauvais. Only touching his shoulder,
he gave it a squeeze, where he would have kissed or
embraced any other man. "I wish you and your partner
as much love as I found."
nodded. "We're not there yet, but it was a good
start." Not pulling away was, for Beauvais, as
much of an affectionate gesture as he could allow himself
in the uniform.
certainly is remarkable." Dan let go of the shoulder,
dark eyes warm. "While your age gap is quite remarkable,
I somehow think there is far less of a gap between you
than seems on the outside."
was a strange flash in Beauvais' eyes, showing that,
yes, that thought had crossed his mind. "What are
thirty years between friends," he said, voice taut.
"When the time comes, I will let him go without
losing my pride," he said, staring into the distance.
will never lose your pride, Beauvais. That is one thing
I am sure of. You are what, around fifty? And he is
what, mid twenties? That's just a silver anniversary
between you, not thirty years." Dan made light
of the fact, but he reached out once more, touching
the uniformed arm for a brief moment.
Beauvais pressed his lips together, jaw muscles tensed
under the meticulously clean-shaven skin. With a small,
rapid movement of his head, he met Dan's gaze again.
"Just take what you can get." Dan said. "It
will last as long as it does, and let's face it, love
can tear down the most remarkable hurdles. Vadim and
I are proof of that. You never know what happens."
Not making promises, accepting the facts and the likely
outcomes, but he did believe that there was never a
certainty when love was involved.
"Yes, an inspirational example if there ever was
one," Beauvais said. "You and Vadim. Matt
and Hooch. Even those mixed civilian military couples,
everybody finds their way to live. But legislation and
tradition what they are, we have to exist in the spaces
that others leave us. Servants of the civilian order,
we don't have their rights or liberties. They expect
us to lay down our lives and live like dogs, but we
may not do things they do with impunity or they will
destroy our careers and lives. It's still worth it.
I'm more than what I do in bed," he said, the small
speech brought forth like he was reporting to a commission,
calm, every syllable carefully pronounced, the only
emotion in the choice of words.
know." Dan nodded. Legislation, rules, and most
of all what made a person. He'd learned it the hard
way. "You are not what your needs are, they can
even be suppressed, but at the same time, your sexuality
is a defining part of you, of the man, not the soldier.
It does seem to me that the man has found a way to exist
within the confines of the soldier."
have merely let go of my anger and accepted my place."
Beauvais' lips quirked with a hint of irony. "Time
will tell whether I will be the last generation that
has to play the game like that, or St John's generation,
or the men coming after him. We merely have to be stronger
than our peers. And at that, a real Legionnaire excels."
nodded again, slowly this time. "Don't forget that
when I joined up, and even when I left the SAS, it was
still illegal to be homosexual in the British Forces.
I would have been discharged without a second thought,
no matter how good a soldier I was. And now? Not only
has Britain become all inclusive, we can even marry
now. Would you have believed that if anyone had told
you, even less than ten years ago? I wouldn't. The legion
might still be the most traditional military force of
the whole lot, but as I said, you never know."
He half-turned towards the doorway, picking up his cane.
"You are strong, especially if you are given the
opportunity to sometimes just be."
have our arrangements," Beauvais said, with the
hint of a smile, then opened the door for Dan. The way
his gaze swept the room when they returned was not mistrustful,
merely to locate the other man and seek his gaze, and
St John, who stood in a group with Hooch and Matt must
have a seventh sense for Beauvais, because he nodded
to the Americans and half-turned to look at his superior.
Dan was certain he saw the ghost of a smile in the young
man's face, before Beauvais joined the group, standing
near St John, but at a distance that was perfectly acceptable
between soldiers. Nothing even hinted at their relationship.
took a look around himself and spotted Vadim talking
to his family, which made him smile even more. He then
he joined the group of ex and current soldiers. Even
Matt wasn't touching Hooch, not in public, and Hooch,
like Beauvais, stood close, closer perhaps than the
other two, but there was nothing obvious. Certainly
not in the eyes of the former crew of the American chopper
and their families, who could return any time from their
addressed the group. "Gentlemen, I thought I'd
best mention to those who might not know yet, that free
use of the hotel's luxury Spa and the gym are included
in the festivities. Matt, I guess you've used it?"
laughed and nodded. "Yeah, it's, like, as high
class as the hotel. I was about to go for a couple hours
before dinner, anyone care to join me? Was pretty much
Hooch shrugged, "could do with a workout."
would be quite partial to some exercise myself."
St John's well chosen words were a surprise to Dan.
The young man didn't sound like the usual crop of soldiers
the legion conventionally recruited. St John half-turned
to face Beauvais. "Sir?"
was not asking to be allowed, but asking to join. Beauvais
gave a curt nod. "I will see you there." The
'you' ambiguous, meaning the group or the man.
moved away to head to reception to get directions and
then to his single room, where he changed not into private
sports kit, but into the legion's tenue de sport. White
shorts, white vest with a broad yellow block stripe
across the chest. Both skin-tight.
he joined the gym, St John was already there, in the
same outfit, listening to Dan who had just arrived and
was asking him how he enjoyed the stay so far. The gym
was otherwise deserted, despite the state of the arts
kit and machinery. Dan wasn't the one who turned first
to welcome Beauvais with a glance, it was St John again,
who seemed to sense his superior before he was visible.
gave him a glance, then took a moment to make himself
familiar with one of the treadmills, placed the towel
across the screen - he knew exactly how fast he ran,
he didn't need a computer to tell him. Then he stepped
to St John's side.
was almost immediate, and altogether visible, how St
John relaxed the moment Beauvais stepped to his side
and they were alone with Dan. Dan, who grinned at them,
thinking for all his control and all his masks, the
legionnaire was still very young and when the mask slipped,
he became entirely transparent. "Quite fetching,
those outfits." The joke seemed to relax the young
man a little more, and Dan realized that he had to trust
him, because the young man smiled, for the first time
since he'd arrived. Beauvais had probably told St John
about himself and Vadim,. When Dan glanced at Beauvais,
he knew what he saw in those almost black eyes. Hunger
and something else. Bigger, deeper.
think so, too. On some." Beauvais commented.
was clear who he meant, and only one. Dan noticed how
the young man's hand twitched, as if he wanted to touch
but couldn't or didn't dare to. Beauvais, in turn, relaxed
more, rolling his neck and shoulders as if he were getting
ready for exercise. "We are spending a lot of time
improving our times on the triathlon," he said,
off-handed. A good reason why they were spending time
together, and a clear indication why Beauvais was as
hard and fit as his age allowed. "St John could
beat me, but he is too polite." He raised a hand
and, once, touched the young man's shoulder, who smiled
warmer, and who leaned a fraction into his superior's
craned his head towards the doorway for a moment, then
cleared his throat. "You do realise that single
rooms side by side were booked for you?"
"We will make good use of the facilities,"
was when Dan saw St John, for one moment, relax completely,
letting go of any and all guards. He touched the small
of Beauvais's back, hand resting there, leaning down,
to steal a kiss onto the side of his face, while smiling
brightly, which entirely transformed the whole man.
Beauvais didn't change as much, just smiled, which was
shocking enough for him. But then there was a sound
outside, and immediately, without hesitation, St John
straightened back up, the mask slipped on, his dark
eyes shielded, and he stood perfectly respectable and
recognised Matt's voice and smiled. "I shall leave
you now, as much as I could do with some exercise, I
have to take care of our guests. Especially my daughter."
Turning towards the two Americans who stepped into the
gym, he grinned at them, then back at the legionnaires,
"it's only Matt and Hooch ..." Leaving the
comment in the room, he re-gripped his cane and made
his way out of the gym and back into the hotel.
Beauvais turned to face the Americans, shoulders squared,
but not hostile. "Our American friends," he
said in French, again with a double edge, hinting at
deeper meanings, the days he'd spent understanding how
he could be himself without destroying something that
was also him. St John nodded, and the mask of his face
relaxed a little, but only a fraction. Following Beauvais'
lead to the letter.
to see you again." Hooch started the conversation,
a rare occurrence. "It's been a while." He
stretched his hand out to Beauvais, while Matt smiled
took the hand, nodded to Hooch. "I heard your lives
have changed quite a bit in the meantime, but seems
you are faring well. You met St John." Indicating
the younger man.
to both accounts. Matt left the Marines and I'm commissioned
now, have taken over a training wing in Fort Bragg after
a ... mishap with enemy forces in some years ago."
Hooch gave the slightest indication of a wry smile.
"We're doing well, or rather, Matt is the one who
is making all the money."
laughed. "The gym turned out to be a success."
Focusing on the young man, a mere ten years or so younger
than himself. "Since we seem to be at the lucky
end of the aging scale, up for a round through the machines
against me?" Adding, "but leave out the treadmill,
I'd lose against a legionnaire."
Hooch commented, one brow raised.
Even I." Matt grinned.
wouldn't mind." There was something immediately
eager and competitive in St John, an edge that seemed
Matt slapped St John on the shoulder, all buddy-like,
and St John hardly flinched. "Let's get started
with the weights, then."
watched the younger men get on the weights, shifting
his stance to stand closer to Hooch. "You had the
mind to be commissioned," he said. "And to
train young men." Which was his way of saying 'it
suits you' and 'they couldn't have found a better one'.
"I managed to follow your advice, eventually. The
hard way, but I learnt."
stepped onto the treadmill beside Beauvais'. "Getting
out of the operating theatre and taking over the training
wing wasn't merely a decision I made. I was more or
less forced to do it. Physically, after a broken pelvis,
and mentally. I had become too human after the ... mishap."
He began to walk on the treadmill, towel around his
neck, checking the setting. He had to take his time
to warm up, or his pelvis would give him grief.
started the machine as well, going for a slow, but steep
setting for the warm-up, merely accepting what Hooch
had said. Taking it at face value, no pity, no questioning
of a foregone conclusion. Hooch clearly not only appreciated
it, but had anticipated the reaction, or he wouldn't
have admitted to the real reasons instead of the usual
"St John is your lover, I assume?" Hooch asked,
as straightforward as ever.
"He is." Beauvais reduced the angle and sped
up, now moving at an easy trot. "Part of my staff,
we outed each other in a local bar. The haircut."
And the built, and the discipline. The place hadn't
been seedy enough to reduce men to just shapes.
remained in a fast walk with long strides, rolling his
shoulders to ease his neck. "Local? Gay place I
presume? That was courageous." He added, with a
quirk of his lips, "or presumptuous."
bit of both. It was on R&R, but in the area. Best
part about being the highest-ranking legionnaire in
the region is that I had less to fear than he had."
that so? In our military the superior would get dragged
in front of a tribunal, for misuse of their position."
Hooch let out a dry huff, lacking any humour. "If
only they knew what position the superiors might want
to get themselves into."
glanced at him, but was clearly amused. "That position
can't be abused," he conceded, playing upon a private
joke. "He had no business being there, either.
I'd have pulled rank if he'd attempted anything. There
are very interesting postings for legionnaires. Very
nodded, speeding up the treadmill, but when he started
jogging he grimaced. He was still sore, worse than anticipated,
and he turned the treadmill back down again. Muttering
something under his breath, before he caught a glance
from Matt in the mirror, who was spotting St John in
a shoulder press. Hooch gave a rueful smile to Matt,
then commented to Beauvais. "I was too reckless
yesterday. No running for me."
cleared his throat. "I'll join you in twenty minutes."
nodded again, not offering another comment, then hit
the stop button and got off the treadmill, walking over
to the free weights section instead. He settled in,
working on shoulders, biceps, triceps and chest, while
watching the two younger men piling on the weights,
continuously fighting to outdo each other.
brought the speed up, his strides lengthened, moving
faster, then found his best speed, and went for it,
breathing deeply and controlled. He began to sweat after
a few minutes, focused on a point far beyond the walls
of the hotel, somewhere only he could see, and a place
where he was by himself, just he and his body, the systems
that kept him going. The pounding of blood and pulse,
the second rhythm of breath, the third rhythm of his
feet on the treadmill. When the twenty minutes were
up, he was pumped up and sweaty, veins visible at his
temples and more so at his hands. He wiped his face
with his towel and watched how St John stood over Matt's
weights, ready to take the bar off him if Matt lost
his strength midway through a chest press.
didn't though, but he almost got to failure. When Matt
got the barbell back into the rack, he demanded that
St John should put on five kilos more. He was going
to widen the margin, even if it killed him.
he sat up, he was sweaty, every vein visible along the
arms, wrists, hands, pulsing in his neck and into his
chest. He took the shirt off, used it as a towel, wiping
the sweat off his hands and neck. Deliberate or not,
it did cause Hooch to glance across and admire that
body. He always would and it always made Matt grin.
Beauvais' eyes lingered, too, but then returned to St
John, whose muscled form was beautifully outlined by
the sports kit. Beauvais walked over to Hooch's position,
then selected for himself a bar and weights, stretching
the hips before he prepared for deadlifts.
have thought you could ruin your running like that,"
he said, after the thought had settled in that Hooch
might have taken on too much. Ten years ago, Hooch hadn't
seemed like a man who would.
wiped his hands on his shorts, taking his eyes off Matt,
who was sitting back in position concentrating before
another rep. Hooch glanced across at Beauvais, taking
his time to assess and decide, finally conceding. He'd
given an opening earlier, if the man was willing to
take him up on it now, he wasn't going to rescind the
offer. "I've ruined a lot more at times, than a
quick run. Just not with Matt."
of recklessness or ignoring things?"
Out of need."
found the tableau of the two men riveting, the hiss-groan
of Matt lifting the weights, and St John, steady and
strong, ready to help and take the weight instead. Very
distracting. "You have also given a lot of help."
could have given more, had I allowed you to see deeper."
Hooch's gaze was drawn to the way Matt's arms started
to tremble, the sounds he made as he tried the last
rep, the determined struggle, and the inevitable failure.
The barbell was safely caught and put back into its
rack by St John. "He sounds very much like he does
when he comes." Hooch commented quietly.
shuddered. An off-handed comment from Hooch could affect
him deeper than far more explicit material. "I
was struggling too much, and I wasn't done," he
said, quietly. "That was why I didn't stay closer
you now?" Hooch let his gaze rest on Beauvais,
intense and without escape. "You are always welcome.
Your lover, too. Does he already have his passport back?
No one would know you in America."
has it." Beauvais met the gaze. "And I would."
America, a country that was so large that people simply
got lost in there, lost from the world, from other humans,
from the constraints of smaller places.
a deal, then. I leave you our contact details. You're
always welcome. If I'm on a training course, Matt will
be there. Unless we're on holiday, there's a gym in
Fort Bragg, with a large flat above, a comfortable guest
room that is 'mine' but never used, and staff that has
been proven trustworthy for years, and who are used
to 'don't ask, don't tell, and we have seen nor heard
nodded, then continued with the lifts, working legs,
arms, back with every motion, precise and focused like
a machine. It helped not thinking about the other men,
kept him firmly grounded in his own body.
returned his focus for a while to the weights, before
he sat up, watched the two younger men still outworking,
outdoing, and outlifting each other, until he caught
Matt's eye again, who was spotting for St John, doing
straight triceps pulls. Hooch offered a ghost of a smile
that he knew only Matt could read, then glanced at Beauvais,
then at St John, who was working too hard to notice.
Hooch finally gave a minuscule shake of his head with
another fleeting grin.
seemed to understand, because he flashed a grin and
nodded, then concentrated on the man beneath him. Hooch
heard him say soon after, once St John's last rep ended
in failure, "I think I'm done in. Shall we call
John turned his head to look at Beauvais, who placed
the weights back on its stand and came over to offer
a hand. St John didn't need it to get up from the bench,
but he took it nevertheless. "We wouldn't want
to be too late for dinner," Beauvais said.
decision." Hoch stood up from his bench and rolled
his shoulders again. He stepped beside Matt and put
his arm around the younger man's bare shoulders. "There's
only a couple of hours left. Taking a shower does
take time ..." he deadpanned without a twitch of
a muscle in his face, while Matt broke into a bright
grin, wrapping his arm around Hooch's waist. Comfortable
with each other.
see you later, buddies."
John smiled once more and nodded, the young man hardly
ever said a word, but when he turned, he allowed his
hand to touch Beauvais, and with a fleeting but tender
gesture, he placed it between the other's shoulder blades,
until they reached the door. They went straight to Beauvais'
hotel room. Beauvais was glad when the door was open,
and then closed behind them. Decorum intact for another
moment, before St John turned round and with one fluid
motion, pulled the sports vest over his head and stepped
closer, into Beauvais, pushing him against the door.
He spoke in French, barely above a husky murmur. "Need
you. Badly. So long." Stammered words, not even
reached up, touching the other man's face was like burning
himself, too intense after all that denial. The same
room was too close with him, every step further was
torture. Grabbing St John by the neck, the kiss made
him gasp, burned all oxygen immediately from his blood,
that was the reason why he was suddenly panting. Shaved
neck, whisper of short hair, the fresh sweat, all that
need coupled with youth and strength. "Yes,"
Beauvais said, in French as well, breaking the kiss
just for that long.
John didn't say anything else, as if all the words had
been spoken that could possibly be said. He pulled on
Beauvais' vest instead, tearing it off. There was nothing
controlled about his movements, only demand, when he
stepped back, pulled Beauvais with him, pushed, nearly
forced him onto the bed. Beauvais resisted only enough
to feel the strength and the need, heating his own blood
more, being wanted like this, and St John passionate.
He'd be rough, he knew that, which was what had attracted
him from the start; where other men probed, insecure,
St John simply did. He got on the bed, still sweaty
from his own workout, managed to kick the shoes off
before St John joined him there, after he'd somehow
managed to get off his own shoes, socks, even pulled
down the shorts and off.
St John straddled Beauvais's legs, he was naked, taking
hold of the waistband of Beauvais' white shorts and
pulled them down in one swoop with both hands. He followed
through, took the socks off on the way, until Beauvais
was naked. St John mumbled something in French as he
came back up, letting his hands roam all over the sweaty
body laid out below him. Need, unbridled need, nothing
was tender in those touches, it was groping, taking,
grabbing of muscles and sinews. Open admiration for
a body that belonged to a man who could be his father,
but that he wanted so much.
those touches, Beauvais grew fully hard, reached in
turn for the other's body, vibrating with the strength
from the workout, the smell heady, male, fresh.
"Bathroom." Beauvais hadn't expected it like
that, had just arrived and put the bag with everything
into the bathroom.
John nodded, was off the bed and in the bathroom, where
an almighty clatter was followed by a heartfelt "merde"
and another grunt. He reappeared a moment later, lube
in his hand, and was back on the bed, not straddling
this time, but roughly pushing Beauvais' legs apart.
Too needy for consideration, just the pure, visceral
greed. Base instincts, pushing up Beauvais' legs with
one arm, and his hand, slick with cool lube, found the
cleft, the ring of muscle, the resistance that he breached
the next moment.
kept his legs up as St John pushed the fingers in a
few times, rough, using enough lube to slick him up
good. He rolled over while St John lubed up his own
cock, then pushed himself up on all fours, slightly
grimacing, too aware of his own need, the fact he offered,
very nearly demanded to be taken like that. Movements
replaced all words, they knew each other well, never
mind the age gap, or, worse, the gap in rank. All pretence
went out the window when they were alone, during sex.
They both preferred these roles, Beauvais taking it,
St John giving. Beauvais lowered his head, saw St John
shift behind him, saw his own, hard cock expectant,
and felt, rather than saw, how St John positioned himself.
In one formidable, brutal thrust, he breached and entered,
nearly taking Beauvais' balance with the onslaught,
making him brace, bend deeper, shaking from the way
the other man took him. Already. Perfect. So good he
fought hard to not make a sound, because it would have
been begging, and he couldn't, simply couldn't do that,
not right now. Not yet.
John groaned, his whole body suddenly trembling as he
stilled, both hands on the narrow hips before him, two,
three, panting breaths, before pulling out, almost completely.
Knowing what Beauvais could take, as much as he needed,
and the next thrust buried his cock deep into the offered
body. Again, Beauvais hissed, teeth clenched, he opened
his legs further, clenched his ass to feel as much as
he could. The strength and resistance, the thrusts made
his body tighten, ass, guts, throat, the next thrust
stripped him off more control, and he groaned, pushing
back, so desperate to get all that strength. "Yes.
Please," he said in French, the last word choked
when he received yet another thrust. God, please yes.
St John answered. Only ever 'yes'. No negations, never,
and he gave Beauvais everything he wanted, everything
they both needed. Fucking the man with all the strength
and need of his twenty-five years, with months and weeks
of denial, he was soon dripping sweat onto the bared
back, with its muscles coiling beneath smooth skin.
He had the stamina to wait for Beauvais, not touching
the man's cock, while groaning, cursing, growling under
his breath. He knew Beauvais, had known the body long
before he could have known it, had wanted it even longer.
Knew the angle, the strength that was needed, the treatment
and unbridled passion. Knew better than to reach for
in turn fought that damned pride, every groan got him
further to his own brand of denial, denying that he
was an officer, and so much older, and that it was improper,
that they were both at risk and breaking every rule
that was drilled into him. Denying he could lose this
man, denying that he couldn't show what he felt for
he could lose himself like this, losing that
control, this kind of sex finally set him free. The
unbalance in their lives matched by the unbalance in
bed - true natures, true selves, as equal as they could
never be because of it. Beauvais lost more and more
of himself, slipped towards burning, excruciating need.
for me. Come. Come ...." St John stammered, French
words, thick accent right now, "can't hold back
... can't ..." senseless, breathless, and even
though nearly impossible, St John still sped up, still
increased the strength and violence of his thrusts and
still had yet more power to unleash as he completely
let loose and fucked Beauvais with utter abandon.
climax was just as violent - Beauvais had been close.
This tipped him over the edge, tensed every muscle while
the pressure mounted and suddenly exploded, and he had
to clench his teeth or he would have screamed. Beauvais
felt the pulsing, the twitching, and the impossible
relief wash through and over him, going weak for those
moments, barely able to withstand the fierceness, when
St John could finally let go of his own control and
crashed over the edge, coming inside of him. I need
you, Beauvais thought when thoughts returned. I need
you like that, need you more than anything.
John stayed in the position for a long while, breathing,
his hands roaming over Beauvais' sweaty back. Gently
this time, fingers slightly trembling. With exhaustion
perhaps, or with the fulfilment, and while his cock
eventually softened, he was still caressing, still touching.
As if taking now what he couldn't have taken earlier,
and what he could never have outside the confines of
the locked room.
carefully withdrew eventually and leaned down to place
a kiss between Beauvais' shoulder blades, then slowly
kissing along the spine, until he reached the small
of the back. He lingered there for a long moment, before
he left and went into the bathroom to clean himself
up, soon returning with a wet washcloth. Smiling at
Beauvais as he got back onto the bed and handed the
washcloth over without a word.
cleaned himself lazily, then left the washcloth and
kissed St John, the kiss tender and strong, more emotional
now than he'd been before the sex. Defences down, purified
of all that steel, relishing the weakness alongside
the exhaustion. Speaking, however, was a different matter.
Talking about deeds, actions, practices was one thing,
emotions were quite another. Fuck me was easier than
St John didn't speak either, not even outside of bed,
unless he absolutely had to. Obeying an order, yes,
Sir, came easy, but all other words were locked up inside
of him. His emotions transmitted themselves through
his touches, his smile. Open, warm, relaxed, and without
the hint of a mask. Each kiss was tender, every touch
said without words what he couldn't voice. Holding Beauvais
close and being held. Now that the need was over, he
finally could be once more what he was as well as being
a legionnaire: a young man, in need of tenderness and
eventually rolled onto his back, and St John rested
his head on his shoulder, one leg possessively thrown
over Beauvais, while his arm rested across the chest,
holding onto. He closed his eyes, drifting, being caressed
and caressing. Beauvais' lips at his temple, and Beauvais
relished the closeness and silence, and how they breathed
in the gym, Matt grinned and settled down on the bench,
straddling it. "Well?"
what?" Hooch sat down, but carefully and he sure
as hell didn't straddle the barely padded bench.
look like a man who is on the one hand quite pleased
with the world, like, and on the other has got something
chuckled dryly. "You know me too well, kid."
Matt laughed out loud, then scooted closer to rest his
chin on Hooch's shoulder. "Thanks for the compliment,
but a kid I ain't no more."
you ain't." Hooch smiled back, reaching to touch
the handsome, smiling face. "You're everything
that another of your weird love declarations?"
could well be, but is it?"
do you think, Donahue?" Hooch smiled and Matt lifted
think that you do love me."
I said, you know me too well." Hooch leaned closer
and placed an infinitely tender kiss on Matt's lips,
whose smile grew.
that was not what you wanted to tell me, right?"
was, partly." Hooch twisted on the bench until
he sat face to face, "seems to me these days that
it's something that bears repeating." He let his
arm rest on Matt's shoulder, who turned his head enough
to place a kiss on that arm.
the other part is?"
stag night. Jean and I, as best men, are going to come
up with something hopefully memorable for the two grooms,
but I didn't want to leave you out of it. Don't want
to take you for granted." Hooch smiled, more at
Matt's touched expression and the open emotions, than
anything else. In many ways Matt was still and would
always be 'the kid', no matter how much of a man he'd
know you don't."
don't ever forget that."
shook his head, then rubbed it along Hooch's arm. "I'm
sorted for tonight. Martin and Gordon are taking me
out. We'll get the train to Glasgow. They want to show
me the gay scene, they said it's pretty thriving in
grinned. "You'll be a busy man tonight."
chuckled. "Don't think you won't be either."
... that's true." Hooch's grin morphed into a warm
smile. "There's something else, Jean offered me
his wife, Solange. She's his slave, and he wants a threesome.
Haven't had a woman for over ten years, but wouldn't
mind having a go in a setting like that. Are you okay
with me having sex with a woman?"
broke into a huge grin. "A woman? Holy fuck, girl
cooties!" He didn't mention the 'slave' thing,
living with a man like Hooch had pretty much stopped
him being surprised at anything. "No, I don't mind,
no more than I'd mind other men, and you know that I
don't mind them." Adding suddenly, "usually."
Hooch tilted his head, studying the face before him.
Still no lines, no wrinkles, and so goddamned 'pretty',
but if he told him that, Matt would verbally whop his
ass again, and that would only make him laugh.
but I don't want to talk to you about that right now.
It's nothing bad, like, just different."
You speak in riddles, Matt."
know." Matt grinned, "makes a change, eh?"
had to laugh, and when he trailed off he leaned his
head forward, resting his forehead against Matt's. "You
know what I want to do tomorrow night?"
Matt smiled, their faces so close, all each man could
see was a blur.
be with you. You and I, no one else, and then make love
to you. You need a thoroughly good, slow and long fuck."
would have quipped another time, might have joked about
the old man getting it up and still having stamina,
but nothing of that sort right now. He just smiled and
murmured, "yes, I still do."