Run and Hide Pt. 03byCC_Ryder©
Paul woke the next morning with the sun warm on his face and a mop of golden hair on his chest. He had that unsettling feeling of not knowing where he was.
Suddenly, the fog of sleep cleared and he remembered what had brought him to this moment. Ace's slick skin, the irresistible scent of the oil and Ace's body, the impossible heat surrounding his cock when they finally gave in to each other.
Paul purred deep in his throat. That experience should have satisfied him, should have left him worn out and sated. Instead, it did just the opposite.
After they had rested following the first desperate joining, they found each other twice more in the night, each time a new discovery for each of them. Paul hadn't been fully naked in front of Ace until Ace had slowly stripped every remaining stitch from his body and pushed him into the shower so he could de-oil their bodies. Then Ace proceeded to lick every place his tongue could reach.
They both passed out, drunk on each other after their third coupling. Paul hadn't meant to spend the night, though he knew that once he closed his eyes they weren't going to open again while it was still dark out.
He'd never actually slept next to another man like this. Not once in all his years of being sexually active. He was hardly a virgin, but this was definitely virgin territory.
Ace stirred slightly in his sleep and wrapped his arm around Paul's waist, treating the bigger man like a human pillow. He breathed deeply and made a sleepy, satisfied sound that echoed through Paul's body.
This was expressly against the rules. This was what he needed to avoid, so he didn't let himself believe he could have it full time.
But this felt good. Right, even.
His physical need had deepened into something else, something scary. He could see a lifetime of mornings waking up to this very sight, a lifetime of evenings filled with massages and Chinese food and that fireplace.
He shouldn't be wishing on stars that were so far out of his reach. He should run away before he was so far caught in this pleasant trap that it would destroy him to have to leave it.
But he couldn't make himself do what he needed to do. In this room with Ace, he was himself, and himself was completely content and at home.
He wound his arms around Ace's body and hugged him closer, deeply breathing in his scent and willing time to stand still.
The movement caused Ace to wake up further. He made a noise that was half groan, half moan, all sexy.
"Morning," he mumbled. "What time is it?"
Paul twisted his body to find the alarm clock. "Just after ten."
"Christ," Ace sighed. "I hardly ever sleep this late."
"You probably actually sleep during the night most of the time, though," Paul smiled.
"Mmmm, true." Ace slowly pressed wet kisses into Paul's furred chest. "Something disrupted my sleep cycle."
"A couple of times," Paul confirmed.
Ace rolled onto his back and stretched his nude body, grunting with the pleasure of reawakening his muscles. Paul's cock stirred in appreciation.
"Mmmm, I can't lie around here all day. Erik is coming over for brunch any time now."
A bolt of jealousy smacked Paul in the gut. "Erik?" he asked in a tight voice.
"My best friend," Ace said. "Standing Sunday thing." He curled onto his side to face Paul. "You want to join us? We're headed to Mass Street to that great bakery and café."
Paul's heart fell. More than anything right now, he wanted to be able to say, sure, absolutely, I'd love to meet your friend, let's make a day of it.
But none of those things were possible. Not today. Would they ever be?
"I can't," Paul whispered, knowing this could cause things to cool between them. "I haven't been home much in the last two days, so..."
Ace's sleepy smile faded sadly from his face. "Of course. Right. Well, a guy can dream, right?" He threw off the cover and started to rise.
Paul tugged him back down and position himself over him. "You don't have to go right this moment, do you?" he whispered against Ace's throat.
Ace took a deep breath, as if to fortify himself. "You can't keep doing this, Paul."
"Doing what?" Paul played innocent, but he knew exactly what Ace meant. Instead of acknowledging the real issue that lay between them, Paul licked up the side of Ace's neck, swirling his tongue into his ear. He'd discovered that trick last night when Ace lost the ability to speak the first time he'd done it.
"You know what," Ace said, his words strangled by a bolt of lust. "Despite yesterday, I really have sworn off closet cases. It's my rule." He moved his hands to Paul's chest to push him off.
Paul swiftly grabbed both wrists and pinned them to the bed. "We both broke a lot of rules last night," Paul said, his face hovering over Ace's. "The night's not over yet."
Ace quirked an eyebrow. "And that bright sun in the window?"
"Moonlight," Paul murmured against his mouth.
"Nice try, Romeo," Ace said.
"The night's not over as long as we're in this bed," Paul said, capturing his eyes and holding them fast. He ground his hips into Ace's to emphasize their shared need.
He saw Ace's resolve crumbling, and Paul took advantage.
"This bright moonlight is giving me a perfect view of your body, you know," Paul rumbled, his mouth pressed to Ace's neck. "Must be a really full moon tonight."
He released Ace's wrists so he could touch some of that bared skin, and he noticed that Ace kept his hands perched above his head. Paul took that as a hint – and as an offering.
He feasted on Ace's body with his mouth and hands, relishing every helpless sound he pulled from his lover.
"Mmmm, want to eat you up," Paul growled. "So fucking delicious, your sweat, your skin, your cock. Hungry for you."
Paul teased Ace's nipples with his tongue and teeth, chewing lightly on the hard nubs, wanting Ace to lose his mind in the overwhelming sensation. His skin felt alive and warm and glowing under his tongue, and it drove him to seek out the other sensitive spots he'd already discovered on Ace's body.
Paul had wondered if this would be less exciting, exploring territory that had already been conquered. Part of the thrill of fucking strange men in dark corners was that he never knew what to expect, and each man was tasty in different ways.
Paul loved the variety he found in his past encounters. Loved discovering new flavors, new beautiful bodies. It kept him hungry for the next new flavor because once he'd had someone, he never went back for more. He couldn't see the point - or the reward.
But as he drew his tongue along familiar flesh, Paul suddenly saw the appeal of revisiting one partner over and over. The taste, the feel - none of it was boring. Instead, Ace was quickly becoming his favorite meal, one he wanted to savor slowly. The kind he kept ordering at his favorite restaurant even though he knew the menu was filled with interesting options.
It's just that now he knew exactly how good Ace was, and he didn't want to waste any time with someone new who could potentially disappoint.
Paul pulled back to look at Ace's flushed face and quivering body.
"How do you want me?" Paul rasped, slowly stroking Ace's cock. "Want my cock inside you? Your cock in my mouth? My hand? Whatever you want. Anything you want. Tell me."
Ace's eyes were dilated to full dark. "M-mouth," he moaned. "Suck me. Please."
"Mmm, excellent choice." Paul engulfed his cock in one sudden motion, drawing a shocked gasp from Ace.
"Ohhh, can't, can't," Ace panted. "Gonna make me ... so good..."
"Then come," Paul rumbled. "Come for me. Want to drink you, all of you." He sucked sharply on the head of Ace's cock and tightly jerked the shaft.
Ace grunted suddenly and unloaded in Paul's waiting mouth. Paul kept his mouth on the spasming cock while he kept his eyes on Ace's bliss-filled face.
He pulled his mouth off Ace's cock with a wet pop and licked his lips with a satisfied hum.
"Oh yeah," he said. "Excellent choice."
The taste of Ace in his mouth strengthened his need for release, and Paul maneuvered to his knees and hovered over him. He needed to come badly, but he didn't want Ace to do anything for him but recover.
"Gonna come all over you," Paul gasped, furiously pulling on his cock, pushing himself over the edge. He arched his back and came with a rough jerk, letting his seed dribble onto Ace's belly.
Spent, Paul collapsed bodily on top of Ace, letting the sticky, warm fluid smear between them. He wanted Ace to smell like him for just a little longer.
Mine, he thought.
Even though his rules had no allowance for any "mine," it was just so easy to say "fuck the rules" during an afterglow.
Eventually, he slid to the side to free Ace from his own heavier body. Truthfully, though, he could have happily fallen back asleep right there.
"Mmmm," Ace purred and stretched out. "I just love it when you talk dirty."
Paul lifted his head to look at him. "Oh really? That's what does it for you?"
"Oh, a lot of things do it for me, but that's definitely at the top of my list," Ace said. "Especially with that voice."
Paul filed that away for next time. It looked as though he'd have to convince Ace anew every time, especially if Ace decided to get serious about this closet cases policy. Paul needed to use all the weapons at his disposal.
"Well, Cinderella," Ace sighed, "ball's over. Shoe's gone. We have to get out of this bed. Or pumpkin. Whatever."
Damn. Now Paul had to perform a rather delicate extraction and get himself out of Ace's house while still leaving the door open for more in the future.
"Cinderella, huh? Does that make you my Fairy Godmother?" Paul teased.
Ace grinned. "Got the fairy part right. And possibly the magic wand. Don't know if I have the power to grant wishes, though."
Paul loved that smile, loved the way it illuminated his beautiful face. Captivated, he leaned in to steal another kiss.
Ace dodged the move and slid out of bed. "Nope. The night is officially over. Time to face the day." He winked at Paul and strode naked into the bathroom.
Paul kept his eyes trained on that perfect, tight ass until it disappeared. He sighed and, with effort, pulled his body out of bed.
Ace's bedroom was on the top floor of his quirky Victorian house, and its window had a good view of both the street below and, off in the distance, of the taller campus buildings.
Paul heard the shower spurt to life in the adjoining bathroom as he leaned against the tall window and took in the view.
He saw his black Acura parked in the driveway and spotted a couple of cyclists speed by. Across the street, a family was returning from church, and another neighbor who probably never went to church was working on his yard.
This was a great neighborhood. A place to really live, not just a building to sleep in and play video games, which is how he saw his condo. He could picture himself here, sitting with Ace on that big front porch while Lola patrolled the yard in front of their crayon-crazy funky house.
His blood froze at a sudden realization: He had spent the night at the very visible, very recognizable house of a gay man. An out gay man. In his own town. His smallish Kansas town. His car was in the driveway. There were people all over the street who would see him leave this morning.
Privacy was a myth, he knew that. No such thing. All it took was one person recognizing him and connecting the dots – just one client or one in-law of his own neighbors – and then his carefully kept secret would collapse on top of him.
This. Is why. There are rules.
He had to get out of here. Now.
Paul threw on the clothes he found scattered around the bedroom and hurriedly tugged on his shoes. He was at the door of the room before he realized he hadn't even said goodbye to Ace.
Ace. God, he didn't want to do this to him. It seemed like every time they got close, Paul would do something to push the reset button.
He had to say something now, or there would be no coming back. And in spite of this crippling fear, he knew he couldn't stay away from Ace.
"Hey Ace?" he called out to be heard over the shower.
"Yeah?" Ace shouted back.
"I've got to head out. You have that brunch thing, right?" He tried to keep the panic out of his voice.
There was a pause, and Paul wondered if he needed to repeat himself. The sound of the shower tapered off and Ace appeared in the bathroom door, a towel slung low on his waist and water still dripping onto his face from his hair.
"Right. Brunch," Ace said without emotion. "Which you can't go to. Because you have to go. To your own house."
Paul felt himself split perfectly in two, watching the water make trails down Ace's chest and wanting to kiss away that disappointed look on his face. But he couldn't. Fear – that powerful, ruthless motivator – was pulling him out the door.
Ace looked like he wanted to say something, or ask something, but Paul couldn't bear to hurt him anymore with his inevitable answer.
"I'll see you later." That false promise, that door to leave open a crack, even as he was making his way back to the bedroom door.
"Hey, Ace in the hole! You aren't still asleep, are you?" A man's voice traveled up the stairs from the front door.
Paul froze and swiveled his head back to Ace.
"That would be Erik. Who is early," Ace confirmed. He quickly pulled on some jeans and tugged a T-shirt over his moist skin. "Want to meet him?" he asked with a voice full of dejection.
Fuck. Paul had hoped to escape without a witness.
"I've really got to go."
"Go then. I'll make your gracious apologies."
Paul was stopped by Ace's eyes in the moment before he fled, and the pain he saw in them nearly made him stay. But, coward that he was, Paul couldn't afford to take that chance. His head was pulling him one way, and his heart was tugging another.
The tug-of-war inside him was tearing him apart.
So he tucked his head into his chest and barreled past Ace's startled friend on his flight outside.
Ace helplessly watched his fears came true as Paul fled from being seen with him in the daylight. And worse, his best friend – who knew that he knew he should have known better – witnessed it.
"Was that ..." Erik started, perplexed. "That wasn't... was it?"
"Oh, right, let me introduce you," Ace said sarcastically, helplessly. "Erik, this is Paul McDonnell. He's shy, you see, so he's hiding from you. From me."
Ace slumped onto the sofa and let his head fall back against the cushions. Lola immediately jumped onto his lap and snuggled against him, as if she could tell he needed some comfort.
Creepy little psychic cat, he thought affectionately as he stroked the soft fur that curled up to meet his hand.
"Who is Paul?" Erik sat close beside him and turned to face him. "Not the guy from before? From Sparks?"
"The one and only," Ace sighed.
"Your hot hookup was Dr. McDonnell?"
"You know him?"
"By name. Didn't know he had that face," Erik said. "He ran out of here like he was on fire."
"Well, he is pretty hot," Ace sighed.
Erik peered intently at Ace, whose face revealed every emotion he wanted to hide.
"Spill," he said.
Ace filled him in on how Paul had re-entered his life through Steven and about the sinful massage that led to this awkward morning. He kept some of the juicier details to himself, wanting to hold them close to his chest to warm him when he was alone.
"Well, you wanted to bring him home in the first place, didn't you," Erik said with a short sigh. "And he just showed up for you."
"Yeah, he shows up like the Great Gazoo," Ace said. "I'm the only one who can see him when he's gay."
"The Great Gazoo!" Erik squeaked. "Ah, childhood."
"I promised myself no more guys in closets," Ace continued miserably, "and now I just can't seem to escape this one."
Erik stayed silent after that and rubbed Ace's hand reassuringly.
"How about we head over to WheatFields," Erik decided. "I'm feeling like waffles. And you need to finish dressing before that can happen."
Ace gently lifted Lola off his lap, and it gracefully leapt to the floor. He opened the front door to let Lola out, but the cat surprised him by jumping back onto Ace's place on the couch and curling up in the warm spot he left behind.
Huh. This cat kept surprising him. Now all of a sudden Lola was a house cat, not a porch stray. He made a note to pick up some proper cat food and a dish on his way back.
"Well, looks like someone wants to stay at least," Erik observed, nodding toward the comfortable cat.
Yeah. It's a start, I guess.
They snagged a great seat by the front window at WheatFields Bakery so they could watch the Sunday crowds strolling by.
"So back to the topic at hand," Erik announced as he tucked into his grilled portabella sandwich. "Dr. McDonnell. You like him? Aside from the closet thing? And the running away? There's something to like?"
"There's lots to like," Ace said. "He makes me feel..." he trailed off. He makes me feel. Haven't done that in months.
"So, next question: Do you think he's worth it? All this heartache you're feeling right now, the hiding away from the world that you'd have to do if you want to see him again?"
Ace paused. Was he? At times Ace was ready to believe all the impossible dreams could happen with Paul. And then the morning came.
"He might be," he said finally. "I just don't know if I'm strong enough to go through another Cameron if Paul turns out to be not strong enough in the end."
"Well, if he turns out to be another Cameron, he'll have to answer to me," Erik said fierce and low.
Ace's throat tightened suddenly. Erik was such a good and loyal friend, offering to take on anyone who bruised Ace's heart. He wanted Paul to be the one to fight for him, to be with him. Instead, Ace was going to be the one fighting to help keep the world at bay if he decided to let Paul back in.
He looked out the window to let that tightness ease. Just as he looked up, he spotted his Web site architect strolling by.
Ace ducked his head down to avoid eye contact, but Tanner had clearly already seen him and stopped until Ace looked up again.
"Hmph, speaking of men who are hot for you," Erik muttered. He gave his student worker an acknowledging wave, which was all the encouragement Tanner needed to come to their table.
Ace gritted his teeth, bracing himself for more innuendo and body critique.
"Hey boss," Tanner said, giving Ace a sly, sidelong smile. "Ace. Good to see you again."
Ace nodded briefly and cursed his weakness for free blowjobs.
"It's funny that I spotted you here," Tanner continued. "You still owe me some photos, you know."
"I remember, yes," Ace said. "And I have some. Just need to get them off my camera."
"I could stop by your house when you're ready to get them off," Tanner nearly purred. "Then we could take care of everything all at once. Maybe even hit the gym like we talked about."
Erik rolled his eyes covertly. Ace fought the urge to giggle.
Ace's phone blessedly rang before he had to invent an excuse. He didn't recognize the number, but at this moment he didn't care.
"I'll send over the photos I have so far when I get home," he told Tanner. "I'd better take this." He smiled faintly as a goodbye and stepped outside to take the call.
"Hey Ace, it's Holly," Steven's fiancé chirped. "How are those weary bones?"
Ace was glad to hear her happy voice.
"Oh, it's all good. All my bones are good," Ace said, putting on his flirty persona. "Ask anyone."
"Anyone in particular I should ask?" she said, all sly and knowing.
Ace started. She doesn't know. She couldn't. I mean, we just...no way. "Any hot guy you come across," he said, recovering. "It's important to get a broad sample for statistical purposes."