An Apparently Unremarkable Wednesday Evening in Spring, 2004
"You don't have to cook for me, you know."
"I didn't mean - I mean, it was a fabulous meal, it's just that you cook all day. What I mean is, we could go out."
"Or maybe you could cook."
Adam shifted uneasily. "I could," he admitted hesitantly, "but..."
Ian laughed. "You're all right. I like cooking."
"And you do it superbly." Adam dropped a kiss on the back of Ian's neck, where the curve of a vertebra showed between collar and hair.
"Now, now. Pots and pans won't dry themselves, you know."
"I know, I know. I'm working. See?" He picked up the last saucepan and applied the tea towel assiduously.
"Be good and I'll open us another beer. Or do you want a coffee instead? What time are you due in the lambing shed?"
"No, it's my night off tonight. I can stay."
That 'Oh' had an ironic intonation which had Adam scurrying to explain himself. Things were so comfortable one minute, but tricky the next, and he desperately did not want to make a false move. "Yes, I learnt my lesson a while back," he went on, trying to sound casual. "Too many night shifts and I forget what day it is. Literally."
"So what happened?" Good. He sounded ready to be mollified.
"I thought it was Thursday night, and went off to meet a—some friends in Borchester. Turned out it was Wednesday."
"Oh, no! Did something go wrong? You didn't lose any of the lambs?"
"No, thank God. Brian popped into the lambing shed not long after I'd gone—I'd phoned Eddie before I left, thought he was on his way over, but of course he wasn't. So Brian found nobody with the ewes, and was stuck there for the night."
"I'll bet he was in a right state when you got home."
"It wasn't pleasant." Adam reflected for a moment on the things Brian had said to him, and the disagreeable feeling of total idiocy he'd experienced when he'd realised what he had done. "That's one mistake I won't be making again." He hung the saucepan onto its hook and replaced the tea towel. "Hence the night off."
Ian handed him a beer. "So there's no curfew tonight."
"I can stay until you chuck me out." Adam took a swig. "Look, Ian..." Better get this said now, stop the tension building up. "I just wanted to say—well, you know what I want. Obviously. But it's up to you. I know you don't, you don't work on the same timetable that I've been, that some of my, that I've—look, I just want you to know, I'm not expecting to stay the night."
God, he was hard work. Bloody worth it, though. "I mean, obviously if you—but it's okay. Really. I can wait."
"Just as well, isn't it?"
Adam sighed. "I want to be with you. I want us to spend some time together. I'm not going to push you if you're not ready to—"
"Have sex with you?"
Another sigh. "Well, yes. We can just talk. It's okay."
"Pity. I was hoping for some tongue-wrestling on the settle. Ah, Adam, you should see your face!"
"I didn't mean—"
"Will you shut up now? Please?"
* * *
Adam rather wished he hadn't worn his jeans. Tailored trousers, or chinos, something with a bit of spare capacity, would have been a damned sight more comfortable right now. But no, he had to flaunt his assets in tight denim. Very restricting. And it was pretty clear that Ian was not yet prepared to take him to bed. Ian was not, Adam knew all too well, entirely at ease with himself as a gay man, and consequently it came as no surprise that he was taking matters slowly. Well. Perhaps 'slowly' was an exaggeration, since it was not yet a week since their first kiss. But it had been a long time—a very long time—since Adam had had to wait at all.
Definitely worth it, no doubt of that. Dear God. Kisses to melt the bones. It really ought to be enough to keep him satisfied, for now, if only he weren't thirty-seven and didn't know that there was more to life than kissing, and hadn't been fantasizing for weeks about getting his hands and mouth all over Ian.
He was going to have to leave. So it'd probably be for the best if he made the move himself, rather than forcing Ian to tell him it was time to go. Reluctantly, he broke the embrace and leaned away.
"I suppose... it's time I was off."
"You don't want another beer, or anything?"
"I'd better not." He stood, then leant over and kissed Ian's irresistible mouth again. "I might be tempted to break my promise."
"What promise would that be, then?"
"Not to... push. Ian," he paused, "will you—hmm. Look, I told you, I'm quite happy for you to call the shots here, but when you do decide you want me to stay, will you please make it explicit?"
"Explicit—that's part of the deal, isn't it?" Ian was grinning wickedly.
That drew a reluctant laugh. "You know what I mean! Don't... don't make me guess, okay?"
Ian looked up at him pensively.
"I honestly don't want—look, we're both grown men. You know I want you. I've told you, I'm willing to wait until you're ready. I just don't want to be forever pushing you to see whether the boundaries have moved. Please?"
"And I thought you enjoyed being on tenterhooks."
Adam was about to refute this when he realised with some indignation that it was true. And, moreover, that he was glad Ian hadn't been an easy conquest. But he certainly wasn't going to say so, and frowned severely. Ian, plainly well aware of what he was thinking, sniggered, but got to his feet.
"Better see you to the door, then, hadn't I?" He promptly put his arms round Adam and pulled him into a hard, fierce embrace which didn't last nearly long enough. "Will I see you tomorrow?"
"I'm on night duty. But I could come over during the day?"
"I'll pop out for a quiet fag break, then," said Ian blandly. "Here, let me help you with your jacket."
Adam turned round obediently, and pushed his arms into the leather sleeves, but found himself unexpectedly pinioned with his arms encased to just above the elbows, so that he could not quite shrug himself into the jacket. Ian, close behind him, murmured into his ear.
"Before you go, maybe you could fill me in on a few details? Like, exactly how sensitive are your ears?" He followed the ticklish murmuring by taking Adam's left lobe between his teeth, while at the same time his right hand traced circles round the other ear.
Adam, whose ears were hot-wired to his groin, tensed, and concentrated on not wimpering under this treacherous attack. Ian's warm breath, his tongue, and the brush of his short beard were sending imperative signals straight down.
"You see," Ian continued, "I have to admit, I've been thinking about you quite a bit lately. Sometimes when someone says something daft at work, and I want to tell you about it. But you know, when I'm lying in bed at the end of a hard day, I get to wondering what it'd be like to have you lying there with me, and what I might be doing to you and what you might be doing to me. And when I put my hand round my cock, I imagine it's your hand bringing me off, and have you any idea how excited I get?"
"Ah.... ummm." Jesus, that wasn't fair! Much more of this and he wouldn't be able to walk.
"I've thought about seducing you, wondered where I might start. Ears would be good, d'you reckon? Easy to reach, and very effective. After that I generally imagine I'm undoing all the buttons down your shirt so's I can slide my hands over your chest. I'm looking forward to that part."
Adam mentally cursed the impulse that had led him to put on a polo shirt this evening, and vowed never again to leave the house in anything that didn't have buttons all the way down the front.
"Of course, I could always improvise." Ian's right hand slid under the hem of the polo shirt and up over Adam's taut and quivering belly to start on a slow, flat-palmed exploration. "I'll be glad to have an idea whether you've hair on your chest or not. Makes the fantasies more realistic, you know? So that when I do eventually invite you into my bed, I'll know just what to do with you, hmm?"
"Er, yeah." God, he was a tease. This wasn't... fair...
Now Ian's left hand was making a slow foray towards Adam's thigh. And there was a hard ridge pressed against his backside. And Ian was still murmuring in his ear, and licking it, and sometimes giving it a nip. Warm honey and electric shocks, and Adam couldn't think straight at all. Then that wandering hand strayed over the extremely stressed zip of his jeans, and he did wimper.
"While I'm gathering information, seems there's something else I'd like to know," said the voice in his ear. There was a wicked giggle. "Briefs or boxers?" Fingers delved behind the zip to protect him while it was drawn down. A hand took a purposeful grip on his erection and began a slow, merciless caress. Adam, completely ambushed and overwhelmed, let out a groan.
"You're not... uncomfortable, are you? I wouldn't want you to be uncomfortable."
"I'm not sure I can stand... for much longer," Adam panted.
"No problem." He was turned round and found himself leaning against the door. The leather jacket fell to the floor. "Is that better?" Ian's hands came up to his face, but Ian's hips pressed him firmly backwards, the rough fibre of Ian's trousers rubbing against his cock. There was tenderness in Ian's eyes, but his smile was predatory. "You look so delicious when you're all worked up," he remarked, and leaned in to run his tongue along Adam's parted lips. "Taste good too. Now what does that remind me of?" He dropped to his knees and slid his mouth onto Adam's straining cock.
"Oh, God, Ian..." Thank God for the door to lean against. Adam's fingers wound themselves in Ian's hair. Lips, tongue, hot slippery silkiness, the heat of it. Lips taking him in, sliding up, sliding down. Hot, wet, avid. Tongue flickering and swirling and stroking. Beard prickling against his shaft. Sensation burgeoning and concentrating to a point. "Please... please... please don't stop."
Ian stopped. Slid upright. Adam's eyes opened to see that face, full of mischief, inches from his own. "Ian—please!"
"You understand, don't you—none of this is actually an invitation. If I was going to invite you into my bed, I'd say something like, come to bed, now, wouldn't I? This is just," he grinned evilly, "an appetiser."
"Trust a chef to work from a menu," muttered Adam, trying hard to regain a measure of control over himself. Wasn't easy.
"Of course. Just wait till we get to the entrée."
"I—okay." Resigned, Adam let his eyes close. He couldn't look at Ian and get himself back in order.
There was a pause. "You are incredible, you know?"
Me? I'm just standing here, minding my own business, you're the one doing the ravishing... "Right."
"Adam." Adam opened his eyes. "Come to bed."