The Magic in Your Touch Ch. 15bywavyscribe©
Nate spent the better part of an hour on the phone with his mother and Seth. Three-way-calling might have its benefits, but as far as Brandon was concerned, the only purpose it had served today was to keep Nate worried and exhausted. By the time he got off the phone, his shoulders were slumping and his eyes were swollen.
When Brandon handed him a shot glass full of whiskey, Nate gave a weary grin and settled down beside him on the couch. “If you’re trying to get me all liquored up so you can have your wicked way with me, I should tell you now that I’m pretty much a sure thing.”
Brandon nudged his shoulder and laughed when he almost fell over. “No offense, baby, but I like my guys a little more lively than you are at the moment.”
Nate rubbed his hand over his face. “You try talking to a hysterical woman for over an hour and see how lively you look.”
Brandon couldn’t resist. “How is Seth, anyway?” He made a satisfactory grunt when Nate elbowed him in the ribs.
Brandon laughed. “You know I’m just teasing you. How’s your mom taking it?”
“I think we’re all in shock, to tell you the truth. Mom seems to be handling it better than Seth and I are. He and I both knew there was a good chance Dad was guilty, but neither one of us ever expected him to confess. I guess we just figured he’d deny it to the end.”
“If it makes you feel any better, so did I. I had my doubts about Calder’s actual guilt, too.”
“I know.” Nate took a deep breath. “So now what?”
“With Calder pleading guilty, the death penalty is taken off the table. The most he can get is life without parole. That will be up to the judge, but Amy’s death combined with the charges for the attack on Marjorie, the arsons, and the attempts on you, make it hard for me to see a judge giving him anything less.”
Nate didn’t say anything for a few minutes. Finally, he said, “I think I’d like to start seeing that psychiatrist you took me to, Dr. Carson? I think I’m gonna need some help to process all this.”
Brandon nodded. “I think that’s a good idea, Nate.” He reached out and squeezed Nate’s knee. “Everybody needs a little help now and then. I can’t imagine anyone going through an ordeal like this without needing a little professional help.”
Nate said, “How come you went into forensic psychology instead of going on and getting your medical degree?”
Brandon grinned. “Can you really see me sitting down with patients? I don’t exactly have a sparkling bedside manner. Besides, two doctors in the family are enough. Between you and Keith, the Nash clan is covered.”
Nate leaned back and closed his eyes. “We really are gonna be a family, huh? I mean, I didn’t just dream it all, did I?”
Brandon leaned over and kissed first one eyelid and then the other. “Nope. I’m gonna have you in front of the preacher as soon as you give the word.” He sat back against the cushions. “Speaking of which, now that this is officially over, what do you say we set a date?”
“Did I mention that you’re a part of the family now? That means my mother has a legal right to kill you.”
Nate laughed. “Just what I need, another homicidal parent.” Brandon grabbed him and started tickling his ribs. He writhed and jumped, finally calling out, “Okay, okay. I give.”
Brandon stopped tickling but didn’t move his hands. “You ready to answer my question, or do I have to get rough with you?”
“Promises, Nash, promises.” Brandon’s fingers started to move again. Nate put up his hands. “Don’t. I’ll be serious.”
“Glad to hear it.”
Nate reached up and stroked Bran’s face. “The day before thanksgiving.”
Brandon turned his head to the side and kissed Nate’s hand. “You realize that’s in two weeks, right?”
“Yeah, well it’s not like you have to order a dress or anything. Your brothers and mine will be out of school, and most of our family members will have the day off anyway. Besides,” he gave a shy smile. “The courthouse will be open. I’ll be able to file the paperwork for my name change. I already checked.”
Brandon studied him for a minute. “You’ve given this a lot of thought, haven’t you?”
Nate nodded. “Yeah. At first I wanted to wait. Without, Amy . . . Well, you know how I feel. But she wouldn’t want us to wait, and I don’t either. Now that I’m out of danger, I want us to make it official.”
Brandon kissed his brow. “I’m glad you feel that way.” He picked up Nate’s hand and started sucking on his index finger. “Have you given any thought to our honeymoon?”
Nate moaned as Brandon took his finger deeper into his mouth. “You keep doing that, and I won’t be able to think about anything.” Brandon retreated, but only a little. Nate said, “How would you feel about a week at a nice little cabin in the Smokey Mountains?”
Brandon took Nate’s finger out of his mouth but kept a tight hold on his hand. “It sounds great, but I doubt we could rent one on such short notice.”
“Don’t have to rent one. When Grandma Morris died, she left the cabin she and Grandpa owned to me. I haven’t been in a coon’s age, but I pay a crew to keep it maintained. All I have to do is call the service and they’ll have it cleaned and ready for us.”
Brandon narrowed his eyes. “A coon’s age?”
Nate thickened his drawl. “Yep. Us country boys depend on them there critters to keep track of the seasons. Know what I mean?”
Brandon pushed him down on the couch and covered his body with his own. “Jim Varney, you aren’t. I do like the whole bumpkin routine, though.”
Nate wiggled seductively beneath him. “Oh, really? Why is that?”
“Something about that twang in your voice gets me hot.” He ground his hips against Nate’s. “Then again, there’s little about you that doesn’t get me hot.” When Nate laughed, Brandon said, “Want me to prove it to you.”
Nate’s voice was husky and his eyes were glazed over. “Yeah, but not here.”
Brandon got up and said, “Let’s go upstairs, then.”
Nate stood up, shaking his head as he went. “No.” Seeing the look of disappointment on Brandon’s face, he said, “I’m not saying I don’t want to make love, I’m just saying I want to do it some place special.”
“This isn’t where you tell me you have some fetish about sex in public places is it? I’m as flexible about some things as the next guy,” he ignored Nate’s look of skepticism, “but showing my bare ass to half of Reed isn’t my idea of foreplay.”
“Judging by some of the fights we’ve had, I’d say you’re an expert at showing your ass.” When Brandon playfully cuffed his arm, Nate said, “I was thinking we could go to your special place, the one overlooking the pond. I’ve wanted to since the first night we made love, but we couldn’t with the guards around. Now that Howard’s gone and you’ve called off your deputies, we’re all set.”
Brandon groaned. “It’s forty degrees out there, Nate, and it isn’t even full dark yet. Couldn’t we at least wait till the spring thaw?”
Nate leaned forward and nibbled Brandon’s chin. “The moon is full. I’ll be able to look into your eyes while I make love to you.”
Brandon swallowed hard. “While you make love to me?”
Nate continued to lick his way down Brandon’s neck. “Yep. You’ve been trying to get me to top you again since that night at Gale’s.”
Brandon shivered as Nate’s tongue moved from his neck to his ear. “You said it wasn’t as good for you that way.”
Nate whispered against his ear. “It isn’t that I didn’t enjoy it, but I was so stressed out that first time, I wasn’t able to relax and just let my body take over the way I do when you’re inside me. Now that I know we’re not in any danger, I believe I can give you my full attention.”
Damn. “Nate, I don’t think—”
Nate walked behind Brandon and pressed his growing erection into the crease of Bran’s jeans, then reached around to stroke Brandon’s swelling crotch. “Did I mention that I’m not wearing any underwear?”
Brandon lost all his speech capabilities when he thought of nothing standing between Nate’s most tender skin and the rasp of his jeans. He managed to say, “Huh?”
Nate licked Brandon’s other ear. “You got it, babe. I’m going commando.”
Brandon sighed and went to get a blanket.
* * *
“I can’t believe I let you talk me into this.” It was the eighth time he’d said it, but Nate couldn’t help but smile at Brandon’s disgruntled tone.
Nate pointed to the fire Brandon was building. “With that inferno you’ve got going, I doubt we’ll feel the cold. The only danger now is smoke inhalation.”
Brandon added the final log and came to sit on the blanket with Nate. “If you’re gonna do something, might as well do it right. And if you’re gonna make love outside in the middle of November in Illinois, you need a fire.”
Nate got behind him, with Brandon now sitting between his legs. He wrapped his arms around Bran’s waist. “When you grabbed the matches, I had no idea you were going to recreate the Great Chicago Fire.”
Brandon looked at him over his shoulder. The firelight and moonlight combined to make his dark hair shimmer. “Are you always this bitchy?”
Nate grinned. “Only when I’m horny and my guy won’t shut up.”
Brandon shifted until he was lying down on the blanket. He held out his arms to Nate. “If you want me to shut up, you’d better give me something to put in my mouth.”
Nate said, “Aren’t you gonna get undressed first?”
Brandon sat up, stripping and grumbling as he went. When he’d taken off everything but his boxers and his socks, he said, “I’ll take off my shorts, but I’m leaving my socks on. I may get frostbite, but it won’t be on my toes.”
Nate gave him a wicked smile. “There was a time when you thought you’d get frostbite from me.”
Brandon groaned and fell back on the blanket. “I’m never gonna live that one down, am I?”
Nate stood up and started undressing. “Nope. I’ll still be bringing it up on our golden anniversary.”
Brandon’s eyes darkened with love and lust. “As long as we have fifty more years together, I don’t care how you choose to torture me.” He looked down at his still soft penis. “Of course, there’s torture, and then there’s torture. I’m glad you decided to top, babe, because I don’t think this ole’ boy is gonna be perking up anytime soon. Not with my balls frozen like they are.”
Nate discarded the rest of his clothes and knelt between Brandon’s legs. “Let’s see what I can do about this delicate condition of yours.” Using the tip of his tongue, Nate traced the fine veins of Brandon’s sack and then followed the long vein on the underside of his rapidly growing cock all the way up. Nate teased him like that until Brandon was all but begging for more. When Nate took the entire hardened length of him into his mouth and swallowed him to the hilt, Brandon’s hips lifted off the blanket.
“Oh, God, Nate . . . That’s unbelievable.”
Nate didn’t reply. Instead, he pulled off long enough to lube his middle finger with the KY jelly he’d smuggled outside. He spread Brandon’s legs and carefully loosened him up, returning to the job his mouth was doing as he worked his finger inside.
By the time Nate slid in a second finger, Brandon was panting and muttering under his breath. When Nate went for a third finger, Brandon shook his head.
“Now, baby. Don’t wanna wait, anymore.”
Nate slicked himself up, got into position, and slid slowly inside Brandon’s tight body, first the thick head and then his shaft, an inch at a time. Brandon was all but screaming by the time Nate was all the way in.
“Jesus, Nate. That feels so damned good. Move, baby. I wanna feel you thrusting into me.”
Nate gritted his teeth and started to move. He could feel the head of his dick bumping against Brandon’s prostate. Even if he hadn’t been able to feel it, Brandon’s husky groans every time Nate pushed back in would have been a clear give away.
After several good thrusts, Nate could feel Brandon tightening up. “I’m almost there, Nate. Come with me, baby.”
Nate locked eyes with Brandon and thrust all the way in. He filled Brandon just as Brandon came in powerful waves all over his stomach and chest. As Nate fell onto Brandon in a pleasantly exhausted heap, he realized for the first time that he and Brandon were finally over the hump. The future was free and clear for the two of them. He was still smiling an hour later when they made their way back to the house.
* * *
Brandon shook his head in disgust as Nate wrote out a check for forty-six thousand dollars. “I can’t believe you’re buying that car after our conversation last night.”
Nate handed the check to Cain and then turned back to Brandon with a grin. “Which conversation would that be? The one where you promised not to share the garage with me if I bought that ‘souped-up death wagon,’ or the one where you offered to drive me to a dealership and buy me anything I wanted if I’d forget all about buying that ‘rebuilt refugee from a thirties’ gangster flick?’”
Cain was scandalized. “You offered to take him to a dealership?”
Brandon shrugged. “Desperate times call for desperate measures.” He moved his eyes from Cain to Nate. “I almost lost you in that first car accident, not to mention what could have happened at your office.” He reached out and stroked Nate’s cheek. “I can’t go through that again, Nate. If I have to beg and grovel to keep you safe, I’ll do it.”
Nate was filled with so much tenderness for the man in front of him, he forgot all about the fact that they were standing in Lucas’s garage. He reached for Brandon and heard a loud clearing of the throat.
Cain said, “I’ll just go put this in the office safe and gather up the paperwork.” He left before Brandon and Nate could protest.
Nate pulled Brandon into his arms and said, “Look, Bran, we just got our lives back. Do you really think I would do something reckless or stupid to screw all that up?”
Brandon sighed and rested his forehead against Nate’s. “No. I know you better than that. But a guy’s got a right to try and protect his family, you know?”
Nate moved his hands from Brandon’s waist to slide them into the back pockets of his jeans, pulling him even closer. “Yeah, I do know, Bran, but you gotta trust me.”
Brandon gave up. “You win. You know I can’t argue with you when you go all logical on me. I won’t say anything else about the car” He narrowed his eyes. “But you can’t stop me from thinking it.”
Nate nodded in agreement, pleased to have won that round. Lucas came back a few minutes later with a manila folder in his right hand and something brown and fuzzy in his left.
He handed the folder to Nate. “Here’s the title and registration. I’ve still got temporary insurance on her, so all you have to do today is buy the tags and get the registration changed over into your name.” He stuck out his hand. “Congratulations, Doctor Morris. You just bought yourself a car.”
Nate felt like a sixteen-year-old with his first set of wheels when he shook Cain’s hand. “Thanks, Cain.” He looked to Lucas’s left hand. “What’s that?”
Cain held up a raccoon’s tail. “If you’re gonna drive a car like that, you’ll need one of these for the antenna.”
Brandon just shook his head.
* * *
Clive Rogers opened the door to his office at the Carlin Bank and Trust with an engaging smile. He looked to Brandon to be the stereotypical description of every British banker Hollywood ever cast. He had the three piece suit, the salt and pepper hair, even the accent. Despite his resemblance to a stodgy bean counter, Brandon found him to be warm and friendly as they shook hands. When Rogers had called to say the tapes were in, Brandon had wasted no time driving to Chicago.
“Sheriff Nash, please come in and have a seat. May I offer you something to drink? A cup of coffee, perhaps?”
“Thank you, but I had a cup on the way over.” Brandon cracked a smile. “Coffee? I thought the English all drank tea.”
Rogers shivered. “Nasty stuff, that. Give me a good cup of coffee over a mug of tea any day.” He pointed to a pair of wingback chairs perched in front of a tall cherry armoire. “If you’ll have a seat, I’ll fetch the cassette.”
Brandon settled himself in one of the chairs and waited. Rogers came back in a few minutes and opened the doors of the armoire, revealing a television with a built in VCR. He slipped the cartridge into the port and said, “I’ve used the time stamp on the check to narrow down the cassette number. I believe this is the one you’re looking for.” He settled in the other chair and pushed the play button on the remote.
Brandon did his best to be patient while Rogers ran through the film. When a familiar, red head can into view, Brandon sprang to the edge of his seat and said, “Stop the tape.”
Rogers pushed the paused button. “I take it that’s your man?”
Brandon nodded. “That’s him. Damn. I was sure the signatures on the check and the cancellation agreement were different.”
“Sometimes it’s difficult to tell.” Rogers stopped the tape, walked to the VCR and ejected it. He handed the cartridge to Brandon. “I’ve already made the necessary copies.” He then looked Bran directly in the eye. “I assure you, Sheriff Nash, we were shown the proper form of identification or we never would have cashed that check. We have a strict policy concerning the cashing of notes, especially when the person in question doesn’t have an account with us. None of my people would violate that.”
Brandon stood up. “I’m not placing the blame on you or your employees. The man on this tape was a pro. He was more than capable of making a fake I.D.”
“You used the word was, Sheriff. I take it your man is deceased?”
Rogers gave him a blank stare. “Then, there won’t be a trial?”
Brandon shook his head. “Oh, there’ll be a trial, alright, just not for Wilson.” Under his breath, he said, “I just pray to God we’ve got the right man.”
* * *
Nate was in the kitchen, stirring a stock pot full of beef stew when Brandon got home. He yelped when Bran slid his arms around his waist. Only then did Brandon notice Nate was wearing headphones.
Nate clicked off the portable CD player and slipped the earphones around his neck. “Jesus, Bran. Give a guy a heart attack, why don’t you?”
Brandon kissed his cheek. “Sorry, babe, but I didn’t see the headphones.” He turned Nate in his arms so he could watch his face. “What’s with that, anyway? We have a perfectly good system in the living room.”
Nate ducked his head a little bit. “Yeah, but Sasha’s in there sleeping.”
Brandon did his best not to laugh, but failed miserably. “Are you telling me you’re in here listening to headphones so you won’t disturb our dog?”
Nate stepped lightly on his foot. “Don’t laugh at me, Nash. I’ve had a hard day.”
Brandon pulled him closer and cuddled him to his chest. “Wanna tell me about it?”
Nate sighed. “I will, but you aren’t gonna like it.”
Brandon moved back enough to see him clearly. “Might as well tell me and get it over with, then.”
Nate said, “I ran into Mike today.”
“At the courthouse, when I went to register my car. He was there probating Amy’s will.”
Brandon reached up to push a lock of Nate’s hair off his forehead. “Why would I be mad about that? You can’t help who you run into.”
Nate took a deep breath. “That’s true, but I sort of invited him to dinner.”
Brandon did his best to cool his temper. He kept telling himself he wasn’t angry. He counted to ten and back four times. He tried deep breathing, and even prayer.
To his credit, Nate didn’t even flinch when Brandon yelled, “You did what?”
Nate went back to the stove and pretended that Brandon wasn’t standing in the middle of the kitchen looking at him like he was insane. “I ran into him, he asked if we could talk, and I invited him to dinner. I figured you’d rather have him over here, with you to chaperone, as have me go somewhere with him.”
Brandon walked over to the table and fell into a chair. “I’d rather you tell the bastard to fuck off. He did his best to take your head off at Amy’s funeral. Why in the hell would I want that son-of-a-bitch in our house?”