by Elizabeth Kent
Murdock flipped off the television and glanced at the clock. He didn't know why he always did that; the nine o'clock movie always ended at eleven. But years of synchronizing watches had made clock watching automatic. He carried his glass back into the kitchen, rinsed it, and set it upside down on a towel next to the sink. Face was tolerant of many things where his lover was concerned, but dirty glasses and plates on the coffee table weren't among them. Murdock was not a naturally tidy person; when he was at the VA, he routinely left clothes, cups, cassette tape cases, and mail lying wherever they landed when he discarded or lost interest in them. But when he was with the guys and sharing the cramped quarters of the van, sloppiness was not an option. And Face was the tidiest person Murdock knew. No matter where he was, with Face, sloppiness was never an option.
Face's newest place was more than a house. It was practically a mansion; even the guest bath was bigger than Murdock's room at the VA. The kitchen itself seated more people than Face would ever have over for dinner, let alone the huge dining room with built-in china cabinets, two crystal chandeliers, and French doors that opened out onto a brick courtyard surrounded by orange and lemon trees. The fruit was ripening now, and Face kept enough of it to make fresh orange juice and lemonade and to float in their sangria, but most of the rest of it he let the gardeners take home.
Murdock stood in the middle of the living room and looked around. He'd never be entirely comfortable in a place like this. It was too big, too formal. And there was no place to plug in his video games where they wouldn't look out of place. Maybe they could turn the TV room into a game room and install the machines there. It was his favorite room in the house anyway, full of cool electronic gadgetry that ran the security system, the entertainment system, even the garage door.
On the other side of the house was Face's favorite room, the library. Wall to wall bookshelves overflowed with books that reflected the eclectic taste of the home's owner, a brilliant and wealthy novelist currently teaching and researching in London. A huge fieldstone and cherry fireplace with an elaborately-carved mantel took up most of one wall, and a large cherry desk faced it across the room. Leather armchairs cozied up to the fireplace for comfortable reading. It was in one of these chairs that Murdock usually found Face. Often a small fire burned in the grate even when the weather was not really that cool because Face liked the atmosphere a fire created in the library. Decorated in rich, warm reds, greens, and browns, the library looked more like a place for hunters to relax after a day of chasing foxes than a place for a couple of weary mercenaries to put up their feet after a hard day of kicking ass. And for once, the home wasn't scammed. The novelist was a friend of Face's, one whose life he had saved when the man was just a humble war correspondent in Vietnam. Face had kept in touch with him as time and circumstances allowed, and when the man had decided to spend a year in London, he'd asked Face to stay in his home.
Face wasn't in the library this time, so Murdock shut off the light and made his way up the stairs to the large master suite. It was truly the largest bedroom, and the largest bed, Murdock had ever seen. Murdock often joked that the two walk-in closets were almost large enough to convert into bedrooms. Across from the bed was another fireplace, and this one also opened into the bathroom on the other side of the wall. You could sit in the whirlpool tub and enjoy a fire. Or you could sit in bed and enjoy the other side of the same fire, which was what Face was doing.
Murdock stood in the doorway and watched his lover. Face was in his element here. He was propped up in the king size bed, pillows piled behind him as he sat cross-legged on top of the covers and read one of the books he had selected from the owner's vast library. A half-empty glass of white wine sat on the nightstand beside him, and as Murdock watched, Face reached for it lazily and sipped it, his eyes never leaving the book Not for the first time, Murdock admired Face's unconscious grace. Any of the rest of them who had tried such a move would have ended up knocking the glass right off the table. But not Face. He took a sip, turned a page, took another sip, and returned the glass unerringly to its spot on the end table.
The room was big enough that Face was not aware of Murdock's arrival, and Murdock was glad of it because he liked to see Face this way. Face wore the reading glasses he sometimes donned as part of his priest disguise. The others saw him in them only when he was using them as a prop or late in the evening after he had removed his contact lenses. Murdock thought they made him look sexy and wanted him to wear them more often, but Face was simply too vain for it. Here, though, Murdock could gaze on him as long as he liked.
Face was shirtless, but he wore pink silk pajama bottoms. They had once been red, but Murdock had tossed the team's underwear into the washer with some bleach and hadn't noticed that Face's red pajama bottoms were already in the washer, plastered against the side. Face hadn't minded the pink pajamas so much, but BA had not been amused.
Murdock stood in the doorway and studied Face's profile. Even after all the years they'd been together, Face's beauty never failed to take his breath away. Face was one of those men who would age gracefully, Murdock thought. Grey hair and lines on his face would add character, and instead of calling him beautiful, people would call him distinguished. But to Murdock, he would always be beautiful.
Left unstyled after their earlier shower in the huge, granite and glass shower enclosure, Face's hair hung across his forehead and made him look younger, more innocent. As Murdock watched, Face yawned, uncrossed his legs, and still reading, turned to lie on his back crosswise on the bed, his legs dangling over the edge, book still held over his face. Murdock let his eyes travel from Face's bare feet up the length of his shapely legs. When he wanted to or needed to, Face knew how to pose himself to attract others like a magnet, showing his body off to its best advantage. They'd lured any number of targets, both female and male, using Face as bait. And he didn't mind doing it, either. He knew how to put on a good show. But Murdock found this unintentionally seductive pose even more alluring.
He finally entered the bedroom, as easily lured as any target, maybe more easily. Hearing his soft step on the carpet, Face laid the book aside as Murdock came to stand between Face's legs.
"Is the movie over?" Face asked, glancing at his watch.
"Did it end the same way it did the last twelve times you watched it?"
"Yep. It satisfies my deep-seated need for stability and constancy. "
Face's bare feet traced their way up the sides of Murdock's legs before his legs wrapped around Murdock's waist and pulled him closer.. "That's good. Have you got any other needs I can help you satisfy?
Murdock ran his hands up and down Face's silk-clad thighs, the soft material warm and smooth under his palms. "I think I can feel a need coming on."
Face smiled. "So can I."
"Ah, yes, so I see," said Murdock, looking down. Silk pajamas didn't hide much, but he didn't want them to. He pulled on Face's legs, wrapping them more securely around his waist as he pulled Face closer to the edge of the bed.
Face smiled up at him and started to remove his glasses, but Murdock reached down to stop him. "Leave them on, please," he said.
"Guys don't make passes at guys who wear glasses," Face said, smiling but leaving the glasses alone.
Murdock leaned down, allowing his hands to slide down the inside of Face's thighs to his crotch, where he squeezed very gently. "Some guys do." As Face's legs tightened reflexively around his waist, Murdock leaned down and kissed Face.
Face held Murdock's head in his hands as they kissed, and Murdock felt the long, strong fingers warm against his cheeks while Face's tongue traced his lips and then slipped between them to meet Murdock's. He used his own fingers to tickle Face's crotch through the pajamas and felt Face break their kiss to laugh as he squirmed. "You're fogging up my glasses, Murdock."
Murdock covered Face's mouth again. He climbed up on the bed, Face's legs still around his waist, and bent over Face. He slid his hands back up Face's belly, over his hips, and underneath to the firm muscle of his backside and let his fingers rub circles there. "Oh, Facey, you feel real good in silk," he murmured against Face's lips.
Face stroked Murdock's arms. "You feel real good in me," he whispered. He reached for Murdock's T-shirt and pulled it off then ran his fingers over Murdock's bare chest, down his sides, and back up, gently scratching through the thick hair on Murdock's chest as his legs urged Murdock closer to kiss him again.
His touch drove Murdock wild every time. And even though they'd been together many years, Murdock still could not believe this handsome, sexy creature desired him. Face didn't just tolerate his touch the way he tolerated the caresses of the women who came on to him or the way he accepted the arm Hannibal sometimes draped around his shoulder. He wanted Murdock, really wanted him. Face reached down to fumble with the snap and zipper on Murdock's pants, and Murdock broke their kiss only long enough to help him. Murdock wriggled out of the pants and underwear, not paying any attention to where they dropped when he kicked them over the edge of the bed.
Face wrapped his arms around Murdock's shoulders as his legs were wrapped around Murdock's waist and pulled him as close as he could get him. His face was flushed with passion, eyes closed, lips parted. He was beautiful that way, all his carefully-cultivated self control gone, just a warm, panting, moaning mass of wanting and desire. Murdock lifted off the glasses, moved only far enough away to carefully set them on the nightstand, then returned and kissed each eye in turn, then the nose and cheeks. His hands still traced paths up and down Face's legs.
Face opened his eyes then, looking up at Murdock. "Make love to me," he whispered. "Please, make love to me."
"Okay, darlin', okay." Murdock pulled the pajamas down past Face's hips, and Face had to unwind his legs from around Murdock's waist to allow him to pull them all the way off. They joined Murdock's garments somewhere on the floor behind them. Murdock returned his attention to Face and sighed happily. "You still take my breath away, sweetheart," he said. "You're gorgeous."
Face lay before him, legs spread on either side of Murdock's own as Murdock knelt between them. He held his arms up to welcome Murdock into them again. The pose was wanton and innocent at the same time, both needing and wanting to give, practically quivering with desire. Murdock bent down and Face's legs and arms wrapped around him again. He pulled Face up against him and into his lap and held him close. "You're my own little Greek god," he whispered into Face's shoulder.
Face laughed a little, and the laugh turned into a gasp when Murdock's head bent and his tongue lapped a nipple. Murdock felt Face's hips thrust involuntarily against his when he did that, so he did it again with the other nipple. He loved doing that, making Face lose control, so crazed with passion that for the short space of their lovemaking the world was no bigger than the two of them, with no room to remember the hurts, betrayals, and fear that had been so much a part of their early lives before they met, before they filled each other up.
He suckled gently, not wanting pleasure to turn into pain, hearing Face's gasping breaths as Face's hands gripped his shoulders tightly. At last Face pulled Murdock's head back up and kissed him deeply, hungrily, moaning with his need. Face's hands roamed Murdock's body, tickling, caressing, petting, found Murdock's nipples and had him moaning, too. Finally they pulled apart, and Face climbed to the top of the bed, reaching for the new tube of lubricant and the towels they kept on a shelf just above the head of the bed. Even with Hannibal and BA around, they never bothered to hide the evidence of their love and lovemaking. The towels and lube were convenient for them and as unashamedly displayed as the alarm clock and the tray for their loose change. For the time being, when they could be together, this was their home, and in it, they could be who and what they were.
Murdock followed him to the head of the bed Face unscrewed the cap on the jelly and squirted a generous amount of it on his fingers. He reached for Murdock's erection, coating it liberally, his stroking causing Murdock to throw back his head and moan again.
"I love that sound, baby," Face whispered. He knew what Murdock liked and knew how to touch him. Even in the early days of their relationship, somehow Face had known what Murdock would like, how fast, how hard, how long to stroke him, when to stop, and when not to. Face could read him like a book. Murdock didn't question it, just accepted it for the godsend it was. Murdock made the sound Face loved again when Face scooted down, lay across his lap, and took Murdock's erection in his mouth. Then he just stroked Face's back and hair as he put his arms around Murdock's waist, pressed the side of his face into Murdock's belly, and went down on him. A couple of minutes later Face pulled back. "Grape?"
"They were out of cherry. Sorry, Facey."
"It's okay. I like grape, too." Face returned to his task, but soon Murdock squeezed his shoulder, an indication that he was ready to move on.
Face pulled back, licking his lips in a most provocative fashion. Murdock only laughed and reached for the lube again, handing it to Face, who reapplied it and handed the tube back. Then Face rolled onto his stomach, bunching the pillows to pull under his hips. Murdock felt a tug at his heart as he watched Face drape the towel over the pillows, careful as ever with things that did not belong to him. Face did it as a matter of course, but Murdock always wondered what it must have been like for Face never to have had even a bed he could call his own, sheets and pillowcases he could dirty with impunity. It made Murdock ache for what Face had never had and made him wish it were in his power to give those things to him.
"Ready," Face whispered, raising his hips and looking back over his shoulder.
Murdock caressed Face's backside, pressed kisses across it from one side to the other, then squeezed lubricant onto his own fingers and pressed them against Face's opening, carefully sliding a finger into him, coating him inside and out. Then he was guiding his erection into Face, pressing gently until he was inside and Face's muscles had stretched enough to accommodate him.
"Oh, yes," Face whispered as Murdock pressed further and further into him.
Once he was all the way in, his groin pressed against Face's smooth backside, he stilled his movement. He leaned forward, laying against Face's back, his arms wrapped around Face's waist, holding him close and still. Face liked this, liked it better at the beginning than at the end. Being still and being one, just experiencing the sensation of being full, of Murdock's heartbeat against his back, breathing together so their chests and bellies rose and fell as one.
Murdock finally pulled back and began thrusting, knowing by the way Face jerked in his arms that he'd found Face's prostate. He slowed then, letting the climax build gradually. He murmured endearments to Face as he thrust gently in and out, told him he loved him, told him how beautiful he was, how sexy and desirable he was. "You make me so hot, Facey, all the time."
"How hot?" Face murmured, playing along. Face was secure in the knowledge that Murdock loved and desired him, but he still liked to hear it.
"Hot as an anthill under a magnifying glass, Facey. Hot as a vinyl car seat in July."
Face grimaced. "That's hot, baby," he said. "Mmm...that's good." He met Murdock's thrusts, and Murdock grasped his erection, stroking from one side and thrusting from the other. Finally Murdock abandoned all attempts at self-control and thrust hard and fast, sating himself in Face's willing, welcoming body, but taking pains, too, to see that Face climaxed when he did.
He kept his arms wrapped around Face as they collapsed into the pillows, both of them dizzy and gasping for breath. They lay together a long time, Murdock pressing Face into the pillows, but Face made no complaint. When they revived enough to separate and reach groggily for the towels to wipe up, Murdock fumbled around on the shelf over their heads for a jar of baby wipes, knocking it off in the process. It just missed Face as he scooted to the edge of the bed to drop the towels into a plastic laundry tub they kept under the bed. Face took charge of the clean up, wiping himself and Murdock. Then he pulled himself wearily out of the bed to throw away the wipes. Murdock watched him move about in the firelight, picking up Murdock's pants and his own pajama bottoms and draping them over the foot of the bed before he crossed the room to turn out the bedroom light.
At the moment, sated and exhausted, Face was again unaware of his own appeal, of the way Murdock's eyes followed him fondly about the room. Face stretched to work the kinks out of his muscles, raked his fingers carelessly through his hair, and yawned. "You ready for bed?" he asked.
"I'm in bed," Murdock said. "You're the one who's still up." He laid aside the abandoned book and pulled back the covers, crawling in on his side and holding the covers up invitingly. "Come to me," he murmured, trying to sound seductive.
Face laughed a little then climbed into the bed and into Murdock's embrace. He rested his head on Murdock's shoulder and with the fingers of one hand stroked Murdock's chest, rubbing the thick hair between his fingertips. When Face was a boy, one of the nuns at the orphanage had sewn little strands of yarn to the blanket they gave him. It was a blue blanket with little cowboys on it and satiny binding around the edges. When he couldn't sleep, he would lie under his blanket and twist the little strands of yarn in his fingers, enjoying their soft, fuzzy texture. He did much the same thing with the hair on Murdock's chest, gently twisting clumps of it as he drifted off to sleep. Murdock didn't mind the comparison. He'd be Face's blanket, his teddy bear, his guardian angel, if it would keep Face in his arms.
Murdock pressed his lips to Face's forehead and held him close. He couldn't give Face much, but he could give him love. He could give him one person in the world who would sit up with him when he was ill, celebrate victories with him, mourn his losses with him. He could belong to Face the way Face belonged to him, unashamedly and forever. No matter what.
"I love you, Face," he murmured. "I'm always gonna love you."
Face rubbed his cheek against the hollow of Murdock's shoulder. "I love you, too, Murdock."
"I wish I could show you more. I wish I could give you all the stuff you want."
"You gave me everything I wanted tonight," Face murmured sleepily. "You made love to me. I don't need anything else."
"There's nothing else you want, baby?"
"Lots I want. Nothing else I need. Just you." Face pressed a kiss into Murdock's chest and pulled himself closer, draping an arm across Murdock's shoulders and a leg across his hips. "Just you."
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