Shelter in the Storm Ch. 06byKarennaC©
Early the next morning, Shane and Declan got ready to go home. It was strange to Declan to think of the seaside town where Shane lived as home, but since he'd made the decision to move there permanently, how else could he think of it?
It was much earlier than Declan would have chosen to wake up on his own, but Shane had to be to work by nine thirty at the latest, and the drive to the city where he worked would take about four hours from Declan's now former apartment. "Only for you would I get out of bed before seven," Declan told Shane on the way to the parking lot. "And I'd only be out of bed at seven on a day I had to teach."
"You won't be teaching anymore, though," Shane said. "So I guess that means you'll sleep till noon from now on, huh?"
"That will depend on whether I have a good reason to wake up earlier."
At Declan's car, Shane gave him a hug and a quick peck on the lips. "What are you going to do all day?" he asked.
"After the insanely long drive, you mean? Take a nap," Declan replied.
"Yeah, that's it, rub it in," Shane said. "While I'm slaving over a hot desk, you'll be sound asleep."
"Yes, I will."
Shane took a keyring out of his pocket and held it out. "In case it's too loud at the bed and breakfast for you to sleep, you can hang out at my house while I'm working."
Declan wasn't sure taking the key was a good idea, given the arguments he and Shane had had over the past few days about moving in together. Then again, using Shane's house as a quiet place to sleep wasn't the same thing as moving in, and hopefully wouldn't give Shane the idea that Declan had decided he would move in. "I'm sure the bed and breakfast will be fine," Declan said.
"On a summer day? Quiet doesn't happen in that town on a summer day. Declan there are no expectations here, all right? I'm just trying to do you a favor. You wanted to do some painting up by my house, didn't you? I had this set of keys made for you on the way up here yesterday. I know you aren't planning to move in with me yet, but there's no reason you can't borrow my place while I'm at work."
Declan took the keys. "All right. Thank you. I'll probably go to the bed and breakfast first, though. I might actually manage to sleep there."
"Okay. I'll call you at my lunch break and see where you've ended up." Shane glanced around to make sure no one was watching, then kissed Declan again, more than a peck this time. "Drive safe. Maybe we can see each other tonight when I get out of work. I'll make dinner for you."
"Sounds good. Safe travel."
Declan got into his car and headed for the interstate. Shortly after he got on the highway, Shane's car passed him with a honk of the horn. Declan shook his head. Shane always had driven too fast.
Declan drove sedately, just over the posted speed limit. He wasn't in any hurry to get back to the bed and breakfast he'd moved into three days earlier. He hadn't spent much time there during those three days. He'd been with Shane all weekend, and then had left the previous morning to resign and clean out his office at the university. Declan didn't like staying in places with other people; if it had been possible, he would have rented another cottage like the one he'd had for the first week of his vacation. He'd intended that to be the only week, and the cottage had been rented to someone else for the following week. His searching had uncovered no other cottages for rent in town, though he might have found one if he'd gone elsewhere. But the whole point had been to stay near Shane.
The depth of his feelings for Shane surprised Declan. Even frightened him a little. They'd fallen in love years earlier, but after six years apart, Declan would have thought those feelings would have faded. But when he and Shane had run into each other a week earlier, it had been obvious that their feelings for each other hadn't changed.
One week. That was all it had been since the monster storm that had caused most of the town to evacuate to the high school. That was where he and Shane had found each other. It felt like much longer. In the time since, he and Shane had talked about rebuilding their relationship, about starting over. Although he still had some doubts, after thinking carefully, Declan had decided that he wanted to be with Shane.
When he got back to town, the sky was clear and sunny. His stomach was growling. Unsure how late the B&B served breakfast, he went there first. "Were you away overnight?" the owner asked.
"I had some business to take care of at home," Declan replied.
"We'd appreciate it in the future if you'd let us know if you're going to be gone," the owner said. "It gives us a more accurate count for breakfast."
For the amount they were charging him for the room, Declan felt he should have been able to come and go as he pleased. But he smiled pleasantly and said, "Of course. I apologize for any inconvenience. By the way, what are your breakfast hours?"
"Seven to nine during the week; eight to ten on weekends. You've missed today's, but there might be leftovers if you're hungry."
"That would be good, thank you."
The owner went into the kitchen and returned with a cold blueberry muffin and a plate of equally cold scrambled eggs. "Best I can do for you," he said. "There's a microwave in there if you'd like to heat them up."
Heating the food didn't improve the taste any, and Declan made a mental note not to have any future meals at the bed and breakfast. If this was indicative of what they usually served, Declan had to wonder how they stayed in business.
After he ate, Declan left his plate in the kitchen sink and went to his room. Everything was as he'd left it, to his relief; he hadn't been sure whether he'd be able to trust the owners and other guests while he was gone. He lay down on the bed and closed his eyes, sure he would fall asleep immediately.
He probably would have if a group of loud voices hadn't chosen that moment to start talking outside his door. Declan pulled the pillow over his ears, but it made no difference. Of course, at ten in the morning, people would be up and about. But couldn't they be quieter about it or find somewhere else to talk?
The conversation in the hall dragged on, much to Declan's annoyance. They seemed to be talking about where to go for lunch, which would have been a more logical conversation outside the bed and breakfast than outside his door. He wanted to open the door and tell them to quiet down, but he didn't hold out much hope that that would be effective. It was a good thing Shane had given him the keys to his house.
Declan got up and pulled together his painting supplies, along with a change of clothes so he could shower at Shane's. When he opened the door, the five people outside jumped. "I hope we didn't disturb you," a man said.
"Actually, you did," Declan replied. "But I'm leaving for the day."
"Sorry," the man said.
"We're allowed to talk," a woman snapped. "What do we have to be sorry for?"
"Of course you're allowed to talk," Declan agreed. "It's just my misfortune that you chose to talk outside my door. Excuse me, please." He started trying to get out the door and into the narrow hallway with his easel and other supplies.
"How rude," sniffed the woman.
"I'm sorry you feel that way," Declan said. "From my perspective, I politely asked you to move aside so I can get out of my room. You're being rude by blocking my door."
"Just get out of his way, Doreen," the man said.
The woman moved. As Declan went down the hall, he heard her mutter something about reporting him to the owners. Not that it would do her any good, but he almost hoped she did; then he could retaliate by complaining about the noise and his door being blocked.
"Heading out again?" the owner asked when Declan passed the front desk.
"Looking for a quiet place to nap," Declan replied.
"What's wrong with your room?"
"Nothing. It's just the middle of the day, and people are awake and making noise. My friend who lives here in town offered me use of his house while he's working. It's a nice setting for painting as well as very quiet and out of the way, so I'll kill two birds with one stone, as it were."
"If you have a friend around here, why are you staying here and not with him?"
"Personal reasons." Reasons that were none of the owner's business, though he seemed to think everything was his business. "I may or may not be back tonight, but either way, I won't need breakfast tomorrow."
"Seems an awful waste of money to keep this room if you aren't going to use it."
"It's my money to waste. And since I'm paying you twice what you normally charge, I wouldn't think you'd complain. Have a nice day."
On the drive from the bed and breakfast to Shane's, Declan managed to calm down somewhat. It was absolutely ridiculous that he had been treated the way he had, not only by the other guests but by the owner of the bed and breakfast. If it wasn't for the fact that there were no vacant rooms anywhere else around, Declan would have decided not to stay. But the only available room he knew about was the spare bedroom at Shane's.
When Declan drove over the hill in Shane's driveway and saw the sparkling blue ocean before him, the last of his irritation left him. It was a beautiful view, one that made him feel more at peace than almost any other place he'd been in his life. He stopped in front of Shane's house, the only one around, and got his stuff out of the car. Once he had everything inside, he went into the spare bedroom, lay down, and fell immediately asleep.
His cell phone woke him. When he looked at it, he was astonished to see that he'd been sleeping for two hours. He answered the phone. "Shane?"
"Hi," Shane said. "Did I wake you?"
"Yes, but it's all right. I've been sleeping long enough."
"My place or the B and B?"
"Your place. There was too much going on at the bed and breakfast. It may be an acceptable place to sleep at night, but not during the day."
"Well, you don't have to sleep there during the day. At night, either, for that matter. But that's your choice. I don't want to argue about it again."
"Neither do I. Are you at lunch now?"
"If you call eating with one hand while inputting computer codes with the other 'at lunch,' I am."
"Eating with one hand and inputting codes with the other. How are you holding the phone?"
"With my foot."
Declan laughed. "A talented man, you are."
"Wait till I get home and I'll show you how talented," Shane replied. "You'll still be there when I get there, right?"
"I'm planning to be. You offered me food."
"Yes, I did. I should have known better; now I'll never get rid of you. I'll be home around five thirty. Meanwhile, make yourself at home. Are you going to do some painting?"
"Most likely. It's beautiful out here."
"It's a great spot. I thank goodness every day that Frank didn't want that house when he and I split. Oops, sorry, I said I wouldn't mention Frank anymore."
"It's okay." Though Declan preferred not to be reminded of the man Shane had lived with for five years after he'd left Declan. "I'll let you go so you don't have to juggle quite as much. See you when you get here."
"See you then."
Declan hung up. He showered and changed into the clothes he'd brought, then took his easel outside and spent the afternoon painting. Involved in his art, he paid no attention to the passing of time, and was startled when Shane's car pulled up in front of the house. "Take your time," Shane called. "I'm going to go change."
"I'll be there in a minute," Declan replied, pleasantly surprised that Shane didn't seem inclined to interrupt him.
Shane went into the house, and Declan returned to his painting. Once he was satisfied with what he'd done so far, and felt that he could finish it without having the scene in front of him, he packed up and went inside. Shane was in the kitchen. "You didn't have to stop," he said.
"I was done," Declan replied. "What's for supper?"
"Pizza." Shane looked sheepish. "I forgot to go grocery shopping. Happens once in a while. But the local pizza shop prepares much better meals than I do, and they deliver."
"Pizza's fine as long as there's no meat on it," Declan said.
"No meat. I remembered. Green peppers and mushrooms. I hope you still like those."
It was only a few minutes before the pizza arrived. Shane paid the delivery person and brought the box into the living room. "It's still hot," he said. "Do you want to eat or wait a bit?"
"We can wait. And maybe while we wait, you can show me how talented you are."
"I guess I could."
Shane's lips met Declan's. Their tongues came together, entwining, and their hands explored each other. "I love you," Shane said hoarsely. "If you knew how good it felt to see you here when I got home tonight..."
"Don't push it," Declan said. "I love you too. Let's leave it at that."
"All right." Shane cupped Declan's ass. "But I don't think I want to leave it."
"Then what do you want to do?"
"Come into the bedroom."
Declan followed Shane. In Shane's room, they shed their clothes quickly. Declan felt like he hadn't been with Shane in days, though they'd made love just the night before at his old apartment. Shane knelt and took Declan's cock in his mouth. "Mmm, that feels good!" Declan said.
Shane's mouth did its work on Declan's shaft, and his hand went to Declan's ass. When a finger penetrated his asshole, Declan shuddered. He loved Shane's touch; the sex between them was as good as ever.
Soon, Declan felt his balls tighten, and his orgasm hit. "Fuck, Shane!" he shouted.
Shane released his cock with a grin. "Liked that, did you?"
"Just a bit."
"Do you believe I'm talented now?"
"Yes, I do, but I could use more proof."
"Then get on the bed."
Declan lay on his back. It was a position he and Shane hadn't often used, but he enjoyed being able to look into Shane's eyes as they fucked. Shane lubed his cock and Declan's asshole, then slowly pushed into him. "Is that good, baby?" he asked.
"That's incredible," Declan moaned.
Shane fucked him slowly at first, but picked up speed. "Fuck, I love fucking your ass!" he said. "Declan, you're so fucking good!"
"So are you," Declan said.
For long moments, Shane fucked him hard. Declan felt the pleasure build. Then Shane cried out, "Fuck, I'm coming!"
He pushed hard into Declan's ass and groaned as he released his cum. Then he pulled out and collapsed onto the bed. "You didn't come," he said to Declan.
"I came in your mouth," Declan pointed out. "It's fine. You can just pay me back after we eat."
"Definitely after. I need to rebuild my strength." Shane kissed his cheek. "So you couldn't stand to stay at the bed and breakfast today?"
"Rude guests, a nosy owner, and horrid food," Declan said. "Not my idea of a fun place to be."
"You could come here. You know that."
"I know. I'm thinking about it." Declan had thought about it quite a bit that afternoon. The peace and quiet at Shane's was just what he needed; he wouldn't be able to tolerate the bed and breakfast much longer.
"Take your time to think," Shane said. "The room's yours whenever you decide." He stood and stretched. "I don't know about you, but I'm starved now. And the pizza's probably cold. Let's go eat."
"I'll be right there."
Shane left the room. Declan looked around it. Could he see himself living here? Definitely. Was he ready to live with Shane again? Not really. But he was running out of options.