Safe Deposit


Sam sat, glaring at the beer on the table.

"Then some guy calls me with this insane story." The snap was gone from his voice and he just sounded tired. "I thought, what the hell? Take a chance. You had a fascinating tale, I could solve a mystery, maybe find a secret fortune. Do something besides sit in this fucking house feeling sorry for myself."

The bitter tone didn't suit him, and Sam almost wanted to pat his head or something so he'd stop sounding like that.

Then then elf smirk reappeared on his face, this time with a sharper edge. It was sexy -- painfully so -- but it was mad, too, almost cruel. It made Sam's heart pound and his palms sweat.

"And you were just begging for it, on the phone, by the way. I could hear it."

Sam's cock throbbed and he bit his lip, angry. How could he be so fucking fragile? He wasn't a teenage boy in a locker room, and he wasn't such an easy touch that he couldn't handle some miniature Ashton Kutcher with a paneled living room dry humping him on a couch. He was a grown man.

He had dignity, damn it.

What the hell was he even doing? How long had it taken him to get stable and build an existence for himself? And now he was a hop, a skip, and a jump from getting fucked on a couch by a dark elf. Which really shouldn't excite him as much as it did.

And Harold! Harold, who had no family who loved him, or even hated him enough to flush his ashes down the shitter. Why was Harold his problem, again? He was picking at old scabs that weren't even his.

Why was he so willing to jeopardize his peace of mind for someone he'd never even seen?

The box was resting on the edge of the coffee table. Sam pushed it back with his foot, his cock deflating as his thoughts returned to the contents.

"I don't think he was very happy." The seduction had seeped out of Thomas's voice and he was no longer whispering in Sam's ear. Just talking. "Harold, I mean."

Sam hadn't noticed, but Thomas was further away, his back resting on the other side of the couch. His feet were still in Sam's lap, and wasn't that just perfect.

"He leave a diary or something?"

Thomas shook his head. The anger was gone; he was back to being almost bubbly. "No. But there were no pictures anywhere in the house when I first came, and there were tons of clothes and boxes piled everywhere. Niece didn't seem to know much about the guy, either. Which is weird."

"He died in a nursing home in Pittsburgh." Sam thought of the time he visited. The smell. "Medicare kind of place. No visitors, according to the log."

"Yeah, there was nothing here about any other family." Thomas picked at a thread on his sweater. "He liked knitting, though, I think. Or someone did who lived here. There's a ton of potholders and coasters."

It was a perfectly innocuous thing to say, that Harold had like to knit potholders. Even as he turned it over in his mind, he couldn't find anything about it that should make him feel like he'd just gone over a cliff in a barrel. But he was getting that feeling again -- the stationery feeling --and he had to close his eyes so the room would stop spinning.

Thomas hadn't noticed, or had pretended not to notice. "Lots of old magazines, too. Mostly Time, really old Playboy. How old was Harold when he died, do you know?"

"Ninety-six." Sam said it like a mantra to steady himself. "He was ninety-six years old."

He could feel Thomas lift his eyebrows even though he couldn't see it.

"He had a lot of nice dishes, too. I still have the crystal ones. They -- "

There was a groan on the roof and what sounded like something large being dragged. For an insane moment, Sam felt sure it was Santa and his reindeer up there. It would be a perfect end to this acid trip of a visit.

"It's just the snow," Thomas said. "When it builds up too high, it all slides off in an avalanche. The roof isn't gonna col -- "

"Oh my god..." Sam got up and trotted over to the window, pulling back the old curtains. "Oh my fucking god..."

He couldn't see far. There were street lights on, but the snow fell so heavily they couldn't illuminate more than a few feet. His car was buried, a sedan-shaped mound sitting on the road.

This really was The Shining.

"What?" He was surprised to find that Thomas was beside him. "You didn't check the forecast?"

Sam swore and turned away. "I was supposed to be out of here by now," he said. He felt a misery that the situation didn't warrant. "I was supposed to be home."

How had so much time passed without him noticing?

"Hey..." Thomas's hands were on his shoulders, pressing. "It's okay. I'll help dig you out once it's over. You could call your -- "


He didn't mean for it to come out so harsh. He felt like a baby throwing a tantrum; he couldn't remember ever feeling less in control of his emotions.

Thomas stopped touching him, clasping his hands together.

"Sorry," he said, taking a step back. "I didn't mean to -- "

Sam ran his hands through his hair. They were shaking and he both understood and didn't understand why. The stationery, the potholders, being trapped here -- it was all too much. Loose threads were being pulled, and he was unraveling.

So he grabbed Thomas and kissed him.

It took him a moment to respond, but he melted into the kiss and Sam was relieved beyond words that he wasn't asking questions. He slid his hand under Thomas's sweater and gripped him tighter, the hot skin under his hands filling his mind and driving out everything else. Thomas's hands were buried in his hair, massaging his scalp. Tension drained from his body even as his cock strained against his jeans.

"You can be a hard one to read, Sam," Thomas breathed into his mouth.

His mind raced too quickly to think of a reply, so he moaned and made sure Thomas could feel his cock through his pants. He'd never been much for blabbering in the act, anyway.

Thomas didn't seem to mind being the only one talking. He laughed, and more blood drained out of Sam's brain at the sound of it.

"Somebody's eager."

Thomas's hand was playing with his fly, tugging on the zipper with minimal force. Sam growled and reached for it, but Thomas blocked his hand, grabbing it and forcing it from between them.

"Don't rush me," he said. The words brooked no argument. "We'll get there."

His voice sounded like someone else's, someone larger, more commanding. It was just as smooth but not nearly as sweet, and Sam was so worked up he was afraid he'd pass out. Thomas's must have felt him swaying on his feet because he pulled away, stepping back a foot or so.

"Come on." He took Sam's hand and started down the hallway toward a room at the end. Sam had no choice but to follow; he couldn't think.

Thomas deposited him on the low bed, and Sam sat there, unsure of what to do next. Thinking felt like wading through syrup.

He didn't have long to wonder. Thomas stood in front of him shirtless, unzipping his own pants. He kicked them off; he wasn't wearing underwear.

Sam gasped and Thomas rolled his eyes and grinned. He wasn't terribly large, but he was pretty -- smooth, and thick at the head. The dark hair surrounding it was unruly but short, and Sam thought he could keep it out of his teeth easily enough, if he...

"Didn't your daddy ever tell you it was rude to stare?"

Sam's face heated; he hadn't meant to stare for so long. He tried to look up, to look anywhere else, but he couldn't. The head of Thomas's cock was now glistening, and Sam could feel body heat wafting in his direction.

He couldn't move.

"You look desperate." His voice was ice, and started to stroke himself. He sighed, and the whole thing was glistening now. "For what, though?" The words were drenched in mock innocence.

Sam's cock hurt so much he could cry.

Thomas laughed again and closed the distance between them, pressing his cock to Sam's lips. Sam moaned and tried to turn his head. Thomas was studying him intently, still stroking, and Sam still couldn't manage to look away.

"Yeah, you are." His unoccupied hand cupped Sam's cheek, stroked his jaw. He knew what Sam wanted, what would happen if he got it. It was impossible knowledge, but Thomas had it, and Sam was losing the fight to keep his mouth closed.

Thomas's fingers on his cheek felt lighter but somehow more insistent, and Sam's lips parted. Just a bit, but it was enough.

Thomas touched his tongue and Sam knew it would be over in a matter of minutes. In a distant corner of his mind he was humiliated by how close he was, but he knew this would happen, and there was no stopping it.

It had caught him by surprise the first time he had given head, and the other guy had laughed at him. He could still remember the come that had streaked the hideous green bathroom tiles as the guy had squirted into his throat, and it hadn't gotten any easier over the years. He rarely gave head because of it.

But here he was with a stranger's warm length resting on his tongue, not moving. The stillness was killing him and his hands reached up for Thomas's hips, trying to make him move.

"You want me to do all the work?" There was mirth in his voice, but strain, too. Sam could feel how close he was, taut in Sam's mouth.

Sam's vision whited out when he realized what he had said. Tears prickled the back of his eyes as he hollowed out his cheeks and tried to swallow Thomas.

Thomas let out an actual groan and grabbed Sam's hair. He wasn't big enough to choke Sam, but he filled his entire mouth and that was more than enough.

Sam felt the fluttering start in his groin and sucked harder. He didn't have much time.

Thomas finally did start to fuck his face, growling and pulling Sam's hair. His cock began to twitch in Sam's mouth, and he pulled out abruptly, taking himself in hand.

Sam nearly screamed at the loss of contact. He felt like was on fire, he was about to explode, and now his mouth was empty. He tried to pull Thomas back inside, but he kept a tight grip on Sam's hair.

"No," he breathed. He was stroking himself furiously, inches from Sam's mouth; it was torture. "I want to see it."

Sam felt it before he registered what had been said. Thomas shouted and let go of his hair, both hands on his cock. The first shot hit Sam square on the lips, but the rest ended up on his cheek and nose. He thought he would die of the pain in his cock; he'd never done this without coming and didn't think he could stand it...

Thomas took his hands before they could reach his pants; Sam didn't have the will to fight. All he could do was sit there and throb while Thomas pulled himself together. He was leaning over Sam on the bed, breathing hard and looking at Sam in awe.

"Lay down." Sam was three fourths of the way there already, and it was a relief not so have to support his own weight, not to have to do anything.

Thomas unzipped him and he nearly shot off the bed. A tear really did escape his eye, and he prayed Thomas didn't see; if they stopped again he would burst into actual flames. But Thomas was quick with the necessities, and he was naked from the waist down in what seemed like a flash. Thomas was straddling his thighs and staring down at him, his expression soft.

"I want to see it," he whispered. When his hand touched Sam, his hips tried to jump off the bed. But Thomas's weight held him in place; he couldn't do anything to speed things up.

Thomas's touch was light and exploratory, maddening. He somehow knew that he was making a number of embarrassing noises, but all Sam could hear was the rush of blood in his ears and Thomas's voice.

"Are you always like that?" His voice was all honey again. "When you're blowing someone, I mean. Are you always so..." His strokes grew more serious; one hand was teasing Sam's nuts. The fluttering started again.

It had started. Sam felt a scream rising in his throat.

"I want you to," Thomas said in a warm tone. "I want to see it..."

It tore through him with a force he hadn't felt before, a whole-body thing. His eyes were shut tight as he rode it out, Thomas pumping him and saying things he could no longer hear. He felt disembodied and light, and it seemed to go on forever.


He was under blankets.


It was dark in the room; the only light was from a small and very dim lamp on the table beside him. He was in a bed, and there was a glass of water in front of him on a knitted coaster -- red with a purple star in the middle. He tried to wrap his mind around where he was; he didn't own such a thing, but it was familiar in a way that scared him.

There were arms around him, someone behind him.


It crashed into him like car into a wall and he started, sitting up. There was no clock in here, and his phone was still out front.

"What time is it?"

Thomas stirred behind him; the mattress groaned. Sam wondered absently why it hadn't made any noise earlier.

Or maybe he'd just been too far gone to notice.

After a yawn, Thomas sat up too. "I don't know, my phone's in the kitchen. Why does it matter?"

It was a good question. The storm wasn't going to let up for a full twenty-four hours, and he felt sure they hadn't been in here that long. And then there were the roads to consider.

He could be here for days.

His cheeks burned, and he was really glad Thomas couldn't see that. He lay down, facing the table with his back to Thomas and tried to get his bearings. He felt unmoored, free floating. The island of light in the otherwise dark room didn't help.

Thomas pressed his chest to Sam's back, squeezing him around the middle. Sam was alarmed by how much of a comfort that was; he felt better already, and that was a problem. He shouldn't be leaning so hard on Thomas so soon.

"Just take a breath." He spoke into Sam's shoulder blade. "Just lay here."

Sam let his eyes shut and tried to follow the advice.

"I take it you don't do that too often?"

Shame threatened to swallow him, but didn't let it affect his voice; he'd surrendered enough to Thomas already.



Sam chuckled. "You really go right for it, don't you?"

"Saves time."

He shrugged, not opening his eyes. "Always goes like that, even the first time. It's worse if I'm on my knees."


He wondered how much he should say. "I don't last as long. It's...I just can't for some reason. It's overwhelming."

He couldn't believe he was talking about this. Sam had gone to some pretty extreme lengths to avoid even the suggestion that he give head in his past relationships, even the ones with women. It exposed a part of him that he wasn't interested in exploring. It was too intense.

"Is it all about stamina?" Thomas planted a kiss on his shoulder. "Fast can be fun, too."

"Not for me."

He scoffed. "You didn't enjoy that?"

"That's beside the point."

"Whether you enjoyed it beside the point?"

He sighed. "Okay, I liked it, okay? Are you happy?"

"Yes." He stifled a laugh. "But why would you avoid what you want?"

The question forced his mind back to the coaster under the water glass.

"Sometimes what you want isn't what's best for you." He recognized it now, finally remembered where he'd seen it before. Why this whole escapade had rattled him so damn much. "Sometimes what you want can hurt you."

Sam's eyes burned. He wanted to stop talking, but he also wanted to keep talking. He wondered bitterly if he would ever quit being so conflicted. Harold's fucking box was going to land him in a 72-hour hold.

He managed to keep from turning into a blubbering mess by taking shallow breaths, but it was a close thing.

"Correct me if I'm wrong," Thomas said, "but we are not talking about head anymore, right? This is about something else?"

A cough of laughter escaped his chest, and Sam found himself pressing backward into the embrace.

"Yeah," he said. "That last part was definitely not about head."

"Good." The relief in his voice made Sam want to laugh again. "Because we really, really have to do that again."

Sam knew he was finished for at least twelve hours, but just the mention of it was enough to make him want to try anyway. He could do it, lose himself in fucking Thomas, but the coaster in front of his face reminded him of what temporary relief it would bring. The keys and he knitting would be there no matter what.

His vision blurred and he let out a long sigh. Thomas didn't react except to hold him tighter.

"She must have really loved these things." He could barely hear his own voice. "There were a lot of them. In our apartment. I used to play with them. They...they were blankets for when my toys went to sleep."

He was trembling. How could he have forgotten these? It was as clear as day now -- most of the ones in the house had been green with a white star in the middle, but some were red with white stars. She had kept those in a drawer. He wasn't supposed to play with those.

"What happened to them?"

It wasn't the question he was expecting, and the surprise helped him to get a grip on himself.

"I don't know." It was true. When his grandparents had come to get him, he didn't remember if they'd taken any stuff with them. He had been pretty hungry by the time they came. He remembered that. "I..."

He couldn't speak for a few minutes, but Thomas didn't press.

"She just...didn't come back." His voice was so raw he almost didn't recognize it. "It was one of these old brick apartments, and you had to go downstairs when someone buzzed for you. I remember..."

Thomas shifted behind him; Sam could feel his hair sliding around on his back.

"Someone came." Everyone said he must have imagined it, remembered wrong, but he hadn't. "Someone rang the buzzer thing. And she went down the stairs to open it. But she didn't come back up again. I waited, but..."

"She didn't come back," Thomas echoed. It was incredible, hearing someone else say it, having someone believe him.


"You looked for her, though. Later." It wasn't a question.

"She's dead."

He thought it would destroy him to say it out loud, but it was easy. His grandparents hadn't wanted to talk about it; they insisted she had abandoned him, had run away, couldn't handle being a single mom. He had tried to tell them, tried to get them to see, but they refused to even listen. Maybe it was easier for them, to think she ran away.

"You don't know for sure, though." Another non-question. "It's why you were reading those o -- "

"She hasn't had any credit card activity, no new address, no bank accounts, no P.O. box. Nothing. She left the car outside. Left her purse inside."

He shut his eyes tight and listened to Thomas's breathing.

"So she's dead." Thomas was breathing on his back and the warm puffs were tethering him to the world. "Bodies?"

"Too many. Too much decomposition. Mutilated faces. She could be any one of them." After a while, he couldn't handle reading about bodies that had turned up around the Pittsburgh area, reading what had happened to them. It was too much. He knew they might be able to find her now, with DNA, but he couldn't bring himself to go down that road. "Or none of them."

"I'm sorry."

As he started to shake, he thought to himself what simple words they were, how easy they were to say without meaning them. But Thomas did mean them. He could feel that, even under everything else he could feel.

He never did turn to face Thomas, but it didn't matter.

Thomas didn't let go.


He woke to find Thomas gone.

The bed was strange and cold without him, and for a long moment, Sam lay there wishing he'd come back. It was insane. They'd just met. He knew more about Thomas's cock than he knew about Thomas. But it had been so long -- too long -- since he'd felt anything as strongly as this. It was like he'd been asleep for years, and now he was awake. And even a less than perfect view was a nice change from the back of his eyelids.

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