Shelter in the Storm Ch. 10byKarennaC©
The only thing worse than being stuck in a motel was being stuck in a motel when it was raining too hard to go outside.
Declan looked out the window at the grey sky over the dingy building he'd been staying in for the past three days, since the night he'd come home and found Shane and Frank kissing. Sometimes he thought he'd overreacted by leaving, but if he couldn't trust Shane, how could he stay with him?
Behind Declan, his easel and paints waited for inspiration to strike. Since the night he'd come to the motel, Declan had tried to lose himself in his art, as he so often did. But he'd been unable to come up with a scene from his mind, and with the rainy weather of the past few days he'd been unable to go out to find anything to paint. He'd spent most of his time sitting in the motel room ignoring the TV and thinking about Shane.
Shane hadn't called, which surprised Declan. He'd thought that his lover would make at least one attempt to convince him to come back. But it seemed Shane was giving him the time and space he needed to make the decision on his own. Either that or Shane had already moved on.
It was Thursday. One day until the weekend. Shane would have time off and might be able to sit down with Declan and talk this through. It bothered Declan more than he wanted to admit that Shane had invited Frank over that night, and that he hadn't told Declan about it. That felt dishonest; more than that, it hurt. Declan had planned to be gone for only one night; why couldn't Shane have stood being alone that long? Declan didn't often admit to his feelings, but he loved Shane and couldn't stand the thought of Shane with anyone else now that they were together again.
Declan's cell phone rang. He picked it up from the nightstand, hoping to see Shane's number even though he knew Shane was at work. Disappointed, he recognized the number of his landlord in the city he'd lived in until the vacation he'd taken had led to his finding Shane. "Hello?" he said, sounding more irritated than he'd intended.
"Hello, Declan? This is Arthur Forrestt."
"Yes, I recognized your number." Declan sat on the edge of the bed. "What can I do for you, Mr. Forrestt? I assume there's no problem with my rent, since I paid you through the summer."
"Yes, you did, but I've had interest in the apartment and was wondering if you've made any decisions about whether you'll be returning at the end of the summer? I'm more than happy to keep the place available for you, of course, but if you think you won't be coming back, I was wondering if you could have the place ready for me to rent in a couple weeks? Of course I'd refund the rent you've paid."
Why were people so impatient? The owner of the bed and breakfast where Declan had stayed for a few days before moving in with Shane had also pushed Declan to leave so he could rent the room to someone else, though that had turned out to be more about Declan's sexual orientation than any great desire to rent the room. Declan's lawyer was working on that case and hoping for a settlement, since the man had admitted in front of witnesses that he was essentially throwing Declan out for being gay. That of course wasn't the case with the apartment, but Forrestt had granted Declan the summer to make a decision about whether to return. Why couldn't he wait?
"I don't know what my status is right now, Mr. Forrestt," Declan said. "Things are in a bit of flux at the moment. I'll have to get back to you."
"Of course, take your time," Forrestt said. "You can still have the rest of the summer if you need. The apartment will rent easily whenever you move out, if you do. I was just wondering because I have someone ready to take occupancy at the first of July, and I thought I'd make you the offer. Like I said, I'll give you back July's and August's rent, plus of course your security deposit. That would be a nice sum for you to start in your new place."
"It isn't about the money." Declan earned more than enough from sales of his artwork; money wasn't anything he needed to be concerned about. "I'll get back to you."
"Okay." Forrestt sounded disappointed. "Talk to you soon. Have a good day."
Declan hung up the phone and went back to the window. How could he decide whether to stay or return to his apartment when he couldn't even decide whether to forgive Shane?
* * *
Later that afternoon, Declan finally decided he'd had enough of the motel room and ventured out into the rain. He had no particular destination in mind; he thought about going to Shane's to see how the rain looked on the ocean water, but he couldn't quite bring himself to go there. Instead he drove around the area looking for any scenic spot, any place that might be worth painting. Nothing struck him. Nothing even remotely interested him.
He was on his way to find a place to eat when his phone rang again. This time, Shane's number showed on the phone's screen. Declan almost decided not to answer, but just before his voice mail would have picked up, he flipped open the phone and said, "Hello?"
"Declan Morrissey, please." It was an unfamiliar voice, a woman.
How had she gotten Shane's phone? "This is he," Declan said.
"Mr. Morrissey, my name is Gretchen Kirk. I'm a nurse at Memorial Hospital. We found your number in Shane Everett's phone as an ICE number."
Declan's stomach clenched. "Is Shane all right?"
"He's been in an accident. He was unconscious when they brought him in. I believe he's awake now, but he's disoriented and we're planning to keep him for observation overnight. The doctor doesn't think there are any broken bones, but Mr. Everett's being taken to X-ray just in case. He's confused but he's been asking for you."
"I'm not familiar with the area. Please give me directions to the hospital, and I'll be right there."
The nurse gave him directions, and Declan turned the car around and headed for the nearby city.
By the time he arrived, Shane had been moved from the emergency department to a shared room on the second floor. The other bed in the room was empty. Shane's eyes were closed when Declan came in, but he said, "I don't want any more damn tests, and I don't have any more blood for you to steal."
"That's fine," Declan said.
Shane's eyes flew open. "Declan? What are you doing here?"
"They found my number in your cell and called me." Declan pulled a chair over to Shane's bed and sat down. "What happened?"
"I can't remember." Shane rubbed his head. "Guess I got knocked around a little. They found a couple lumps and some cuts on my head." He held up his hand, which was wrapped in gauze. "And other places. They told me the car was totaled."
"I'm glad you weren't hurt worse," Declan said.
"Thanks. Hopefully someone will tell me what happened. I was driving home from work listening to some music, just got on the highway, and that's the last thing I remember until I woke up in the ER."
"It might come back to you."
"Yeah. Sometimes things do." Shane looked away. "So why'd you come?"
"Because they called me and I wanted to be sure you were all right."
"I'm fine. You can go now."
"I'm not leaving, Shane."
"Why not? You're pretty good at it, at least lately."
"Shane, I'm not here to fight with you," Declan said. "I do care about you. You know that. It hurt when I found you with Frank, but that doesn't mean I hate you."
"You did a pretty good imitation of hating me the other night, then."
"I was hurt," Declan repeated. "Look, we don't have to discuss this now. You're injured; you should be resting. I'm here, and I'm staying until they tell me visiting hours are over and throw me out."
"They're probably going to send me home tomorrow, unless they find something really wrong with me. They think I have a concussion, but that and the cuts and bumps are all they've found. I'm waiting for them to talk to me about the X-rays."
"I'll wait with you."
"I'm not sure I want you to. You think it hurt you when you found Frank at the house? It hurt me just as much when you accused me of cheating and decided to walk out. Maybe that's a sign that we're better off apart."
"You don't believe that any more than I do."
"I don't know what to believe."
"Good afternoon." A doctor entered the room. "Shane, do you remember seeing me downstairs?"
"Yes, Doctor Hayworth," Shane replied. "The only thing I don't remember is the accident. Otherwise, I'm fine, and I'd like to go home."
"You know we have to keep you overnight," the doctor said. "It's standard procedure with head injuries. You definitely have a concussion, and we need to keep an eye on you for a while." He turned to Declan. "Are you a member of Shane's family?"
"I'm..." Declan trailed off, unsure how to define himself. "I'm a close friend."
"He's my partner," Shane said. "He can hear whatever you have to tell me. Any broken bones or anything, according to the X-rays?"
"Everything looks fine," the doctor said. "You're very lucky. From the way the EMTs described that crash, you could have been hurt much, much worse. Your car was pinned between an SUV and the guardrail, and they had to cut you out of it."
"Don't remember any of that. What caused the accident, does anyone know?"
"I don't know. I'm sure the police will be in touch. You'll have to do insurance paperwork and so on to get your car repaired or replaced. But you're going to be fine, from what the X-rays and tests show. You'll be able to go home in the morning, unless some complication shows up overnight."
"Good to know. Thank you."
"You're welcome. Do you need anything?"
"Something to eat would be good."
"I'll see what we can do."
The doctor left the room. "So there you have it," Shane said. "I'm fine. You can go now."
"I'll have to go soon, since visiting hours will be over, but I'll be back tomorrow," Declan said. "You're going to need a ride home."
"I'll manage. I don't need your pity, Declan."
"It isn't pity." Declan took Shane's hand. "I've been thinking a lot the past few days. I haven't really had anything else to do. I was wrong. You were wrong to bring Frank to the house, but I was wrong to react the way I did. I should have talked it out with you instead of taking off. I'd like to come back."
"I don't know if I want you to. I understand what you felt like when you saw Frank kissing me, but you didn't even give me a chance to explain. I love you, Declan, but if you're going to be that jealous, I don't know if I can be with you."
"All right." Declan stood. "Think about it overnight. I'll come drive you home when they release you tomorrow anyway, and we can talk on the way."
"Thanks for coming."
"You're welcome." Declan left.
* * *
Late the next morning, he received a call from Shane. "They're shipping me out. Are you still willing to drive me home?"
"Of course," Declan said. "It's going to take me a while to get there, though."
"That's okay. They're still getting my instructions ready. See you when you get here."
An hour and a half later, when Declan arrived at the hospital, Shane was dressed and sitting on the edge of his bed. A nurse stood nearby. "I'm good to go," Shane told Declan. "I think they're glad to get rid of me."
"No, you're one of the nice patients," the nurse said. "We're just glad to see you've recovered so quickly."
"We'll see how well I've recovered when I start fighting with the insurance company about getting a new car," Shane said. He stood up and grimaced. "I'm a little stiff, but otherwise fine," he explained.
"Good to hear," Declan said.
They went down to Declan's car. Shane sat in the passenger seat and closed his eyes. "It's impossible to sleep in that place. They kept waking me up every couple hours."
"Well, you can sleep on the way home," Declan said.
"No, we're going to talk on the way home. What are your plans, Declan? If you want to come back to me, that's fine, but if you're going to hold Frank against me for the rest of our lives..."
"No, I'm not." Declan drove out of the parking lot. "As I said, I've had abundant time to think the past few days. You're right. I should have talked it out with you. You said Frank was there to watch a game with you?"
"Yes, and that's the only reason he was supposed to be there. The kiss happened, but not because I wanted it to. And like I said, it was one kiss. Not something to repeat, and not something that would have led to anything else. I don't know what I can say to get you to believe that, Declan."
"I do believe it." Declan hesitated. "I know how I feel about you, Shane, and I know that you feel the same way."
"I love you."
"And I love you. We found each other again in the most unbelievable way, and that should have showed me that we're meant to be together. We need to talk about things; I shouldn't get so angry without finding out the whole story. I want to come back."
"Are you sure?"
Shane nodded. "All right. I want you back. I've missed you the past few nights."
When they arrived at Shane's house, Shane took a moment to stretch before going inside. "I could use a massage," he said.
"I'd be happy to oblige," Declan replied.
Shane grinned. "And if it goes beyond a massage?"
"So be it."
They went into the bedroom. Shane lay on his stomach, and Declan started gently massaging his back. "Feels good," Shane said. "Harder."
"You like it hard, huh?" Declan teased.
"You know it."
After several minutes, Shane turned onto his back. His cock bulged at the front of his pants. "Looks like you have something else that wants a massage," Declan said.
"Looks like I'm not the only one," Shane replied. He caressed Declan's shaft. "I'd like to see this."
Declan stood and stripped. Without getting up, Shane wriggled out of his pants. Declan stroked Shane's cock. "Are you feeling up to this?"
"I think I'm definitely up."
Declan laughed. "I'd say so."
He positioned himself to take Shane's cock into his mouth while Shane sucked Declan's. For several minutes, they pleasured each other with their mouths and hands, until Declan felt himself nearing orgasm and pulled back. "I don't want to come yet," he said.
"I want to come inside you," Shane replied. "Is that okay?"
"If you think you can handle it. You said you were feeling a little stiff."
"Right now, my dick's the only thing that's stiff. Give me the lube."
Declan reached over to the nightstand for the bottle of lube that Shane kept there, and handed the bottle to Shane. He shivered as Shane dripped the cold lube onto his asshole, then moaned as Shane's cock began to penetrate him. "I missed this," Shane said.
"It's only been a few days."
"A few days too long." Shane entered him fully. "Can you tell me you didn't miss it?"
"I missed it." Declan gasped. "God, Shane, that feels good!"
"Yes, it does." Shane thrust hard. "I love you, Declan."
"I love you too."
"No more leaving?"
"No more leaving."
Shane fucked him harder, until Declan was no longer able to hold back. "Shane, I'm coming!"
"I'm right behind you."
Declan laughed. "Yes, you are."
"Hold it for a minute, Declan. I want to taste it." Shane groaned as he emptied himself into Declan's ass. "Oh, fuck!" He pulled out. "Give me your cock."
Declan turned to him, and Shane started sucking his cock. After only a few seconds, Declan felt himself erupt into Shane's mouth. "God!"
Shane released Declan's cock. "No, just Shane." He lay down and held out his arms. "Come here."
Declan lay beside him and they held each other. "I'm sorry, Declan," Shane said. "Sorry about everything."
"So am I," Declan said. "It doesn't matter now. It's all right; we're together."
"Forever, I hope." Shane kissed his cheek. "Welcome home, Declan."