Giles stood there, exposed, waiting for Smutty’s reply. This was worse than taking his finals. Worse than his teaching interview in front of a panel of three. Worse than waiting for Fabian when he didn’t make it home until late in the evening, strange scents on his clothing that Giles didn’t want to think too closely about.
Smutty took a step back, stared at the ground for long moments, then out at the canal, and back to Giles.
“You don’t mean that.”
“I do.” Giles had never been more certain of anything in his life. The details of how it would all work were hazy, but he couldn’t ignore the way his heart tightened when Smutty was near. The way all his senses sharpened, while the world narrowed down to an intense focus on that one person. It was love, he was sure of it, but how to convince Smutty?
Smutty sighed heavily. “You might mean it now–”
“I do mean it now.”
“Yes, but what makes you think it’s going to last? How long do think it will be before you get bored of me? I’ve got no place in your world, Giles. I don’t fit in here.”
“You fit in perfectly.” Giles gestured back towards the orchard. “You love the garden, don’t you? You’ve told me all sorts of ideas you’ve had for growing things. Stay. Do that. Give us a chance. You’ve had a great time this last week, haven’t you?”
“But that’s just a week. A holiday for both of us. It wouldn’t work when you’re back at your job. Can you imagine introducing me to your friends and colleagues? They’d think you’d gone mad.”
“I’m not going back to my job.”
“What? Why?” Smutty frowned and crossed his arms. “Don’t you go making crazy decisions on my account.”
Giles waved his hand dismissively. “This isn’t about you. It’s been coming a long time. All you’ve done is help me find the courage to do what I want with my life.”
“So what are you going to do instead?”
“Painting. It makes me happy.”
A faint smile graced Smutty’s lips. “That’s good, then.” He frowned. “But what about money? Painting won’t bring in a regular wage, and the mortgage on that place must cost a bomb.”
“Don’t you worry about that. I have investments, and the house is all paid off.” Confidence suffused Giles. So far he’d managed to counter all of Smutty’s arguments. “Come on. Take a chance. That’s what your life’s been all about so far, isn’t it?”
“I don’t think I can.”
“Why the hell not? We’re good together, aren’t we? Who cares what the rest of the world thinks about us. I can support us both, you can look after the gardens. You can even keep your bloody boat if it makes you happy.”
Smutty flinched. “Thanks for your permission, Mr Rathbourne.”
“I… I didn’t mean it like that.”
“No, but that’s the way it is with toffs like you, isn’t it? You’re used to having control. Used to making decisions for the rest of us. Tell me, what’s gonna happen when you get bored of me? Are you gonna start drinking again? Tell me it’s time to move on? You want me to fall in love with this place–with you–and then risk losing everything?”
“Love is always a risk. You just have to take your chances in the here and now. Please.” Giles raised a hand to Smutty’s face, cradling his jaw and lifting his chin. “Look me in the eye and tell me you don’t have feelings for me too.”
Smutty’s eyes rose slowly, revealing naked fear and want. “I do feel. I do care about you. That’s what’s so scary. I haven’t felt this way since Finn.”
“Finn? Who the hell is Finn?” Giles dropped his hand and folded his arms as jealousy bubbled inside him, hot and sour in his throat.
“Kid I grew up with. Best mates we were. Both figured out we were gay around the same time. Started messing around with each other. I thought we’d be together forever, you know? I was only sixteen, but I had my whole life figured out. Did you fall for anyone at that age?”
Giles thought back to his awkward adolescence and his hopeless crushes. He’d never been close to any of them, though. Never had a chance to realise his fantasies. He shook his head. “No. Not till I was much older.”
“But you remember what it was like, being a teenager? Fizzing with hormones? Thinking you were the first person in the whole bloody world to discover sex? Everything feeling so fucking intense, and no one else understood you?”
Giles gave a wry smile. “I didn’t discover sex until I was in my twenties.”
“Yeah, but you must have had a wank, surely? Fantasised about other blokes and all that.”
“Right, so you remember that feeling. The intensity of it all. The way it took over your life.” Smutty paused and Giles nodded. “Okay, well me and Finn, we shared all that. I’d always loved him like a brother, but then there was so much more. My heart felt like it was gonna burst sometimes. Couldn’t think about nothing else. Just him. His body. His smile.”
“I don’t need to know this.”
“Yeah, you do. This is important.” Smutty huffed, but he sounded frustrated rather than angry. “Things were fine when we stuck to snogging and handjobs, but it all got a bit weird when we started shagging. He started acting funny, you know?”
Giles didn’t know–not unless Smutty meant something like Fabian’s post-coital moodswings–but he nodded anyway, hoping they could get to the point quickly and then leave this conversation behind them.
“Right, well it was okay when he topped, but anytime I suggested switching things up, he’d go all moody. Tell me I was too aggressive, stuff like that. I kept badgering him, though, coz I wanted to know what I was missing out on, and one day he said he was ready to give it a try.”
Smutty was silent for what felt like an age. God knew, Giles didn’t really want all the gory details, but if Smutty was hurting, then he’d hear them for his sake. “What happened?”
When Smutty began talking, it was as if his voice came from a great distance. “I think I got carried away. I mean, I know I’m big and I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I tried to go slow, make it good. I guess I didn’t try hard enough.”
“It happens. First times aren’t always that great. I know mine wasn’t.”
“Yeah, but did your first run away the next day, leaving you a note saying not to bother trying to find him?” Smutty met Giles’ gaze, and the anguish of that old wound didn’t seem to have healed, despite almost twenty years having passed. “He was my best mate. He left me. Left everyone. His home. His life.” Smutty sniffed and made a visible effort to collect himself. “Since then I’ve never let myself get too attached. If it happened once…”
“Then it could happen again.” Giles understood now, and another piece of his heart surrendered itself to Smutty.
Smutty nodded, his lips pinched tight. When Giles pulled him into a hug, Smutty didn’t resist. They stood there, rocking slowly in the twilight, until cool tendrils of damp air insinuated themselves under Giles’ collar. He shivered.
“Let’s get onto the boat. Start a fire. We can talk more when we’re comfortable.”
Smutty nuzzled into his neck, his breath warm against Giles’ skin. “I think I’ve had enough talking for one night.”
Giles reluctantly let him go, and they crossed over to the boat.
Smutty lit his second paraffin lantern and hung it back on its hook in the galley. The light was dim, but cosy, and he thought Freya looked much more welcoming that way than under the harsh glare of electric bulbs. Giles seemed happy enough, anyway, sitting there staring at the blazing kindling in the stove. There was none of that disdain Giles’d had on his face the last time he’d been on board–Smutty had been watching carefully. One trace of it, and he’d know for sure they had no future together.
“So, what do you reckon? Looks a bit better than last time, right?” Smutty asked. “She’s much cleaner and tidier, although there’s still plenty to do.”
Giles was still staring at the fire, the flickering light playing over his features.
“Hey, you okay there?” Smutty walked over and laid a hand on Giles’ shoulder. “Falling under the spell of the flames, are you? We’ll have you juggling with fire yourself one day.” Bugger, that made it sound like he was planning to stay, didn’t it? Last thing he wanted to do was raise false hopes in Giles.
But when Giles spoke, it was about something else entirely. “I’ve been thinking. You should top tonight.”
What the fuck? “Nah, that’s all right. Not really my thing. Or yours, I reckon.”
“But I want to. I want to prove I’m not going to reject you afterwards.”
Smutty almost laughed, even though it wasn’t even remotely amusing. “That was twenty years ago, Giles. I’m over it. It’s fine.”
“You’re not, clearly, or you wouldn’t have told me it was so important. Come on, how many times have you topped since then?”
Shit, the direct questions were always the hardest to avoid. “A few times,” Smutty said, hoping Giles would leave it at that.
“A few? What kind of few are we talking about here? Once or twice? Ten? Twenty? More?”
“Once or twice.” Smutty turned away, in case Giles could read the truth in his face. It had been once, and he’d chickened out before he got halfway in because the guy had already been whimpering in pain.
“Then you definitely need to have another try.”
“Giles, I’m not gonna hurt you.”
“You won’t hurt me. I’ll be fine. I used to bottom for Fabian most of the time, and you’re not that much bigger than him. Just give me plenty of prep and I’ll enjoy it.”
“Oh really? What kind of prep are we talking about here? If you’re just after a rimjob, you only have to ask.” Maybe he could get away with just that and Giles would forget about this sudden desire to bottom.
Giles blushed. “Yes, well, that would be lovely. But, uh, only if you’re sure. I mean, I don’t want to force you, if it’s not something you enjoy doing. I’d understand if you found it a bit, er… I’m blabbering again, aren’t I?”
A grin took shape behind Smutty’s lips. “Yeah, you are.” He closed the space between them and stood between Giles and the stove. Giles parted his legs, allowing Smutty to move in closer. “And for the record, I’d love to eat you out.”
A shudder ran through Giles’ body, and he pulled Smutty into a tight embrace. Smutty looked down at the top of Giles’ head, wondering again what the thick dark curls would look like shot through with gray. But all further thought stalled when Giles began working on Smutty’s fly, and moments later his dick was enveloped in the perfect heat of Giles’ mouth.
“Shit, that’s good.” Smutty laid a hand on Giles’ head and threaded his fingers through his hair. He watched as Giles took him as deep as he could, then hollowed his cheeks. Giles was doing something different with his tongue today and it felt amazing. In fact, he seemed to be putting in twice as much effort as usual. One of his hands did the usual pump and squeeze on Smutty’s shaft, but the other was treating Smutty’s balls to possibly the best massage they’d ever had.
Smutty moaned obscenities as Giles kneaded, sucked and stroked him right up to the point where his balls tightened up. He shut his eyes and threw his head back. Then nothing but cold air and empty space around him.
“Fuck! Why’d you stop?”
Giles stared up at him, his cheeks and lips flushed, his eyes dark and glittering. Smutty stared into their unfathomable depths and felt a tug inside, like he was about to be pulled loose from his moorings. He just didn’t yet know if he wanted to go drifting off into… whatever this was.
“You know what I want,” Giles said. He rooted around in his pocket and pulled out a couple of condoms and a fresh tube of lube. His eyes flicked to Smutty’s cock and his cheeks darkened to scarlet, but he kept on talking. “I want you inside me. Deep, all the way in. I want you to experience that. To feel me ripple around you when I come.”
“Sounds good,” Smutty said, without thinking.
“It’s amazing. You’ll love it. Trust me, I know what I’m talking about.”
Smutty gave a shaky laugh. “Glad one of us does.”
Giles smiled, and there was such affection and warmth there Smutty had to look away. He made a show of pulling off his t-shirt, now that the combined effects of a blowjob and the stove had heated things up. “Come on, then. Get naked.”
Giles took a moment to get moving, but when he did he stripped in record time. They met in a breathless kiss, and for a moment it was touch and go as to whether Smutty would blow his load simply from the sensation of Giles’ tongue in his mouth and their hard-ons brushing together. But then Giles backed off again, and went to kneel on the bed, resting down on his forearms.
Bloody hell. Was this the same view Giles had of him when he offered himself up to be fucked? No wonder he ended up getting such a pounding. It was fucking hot, the sight of Giles’ buttocks thrust high, deep shadows in the cleft between. His hairy, sturdy thighs were spread wide, his balls swinging low and just a glimpse of his cock beyond them. Smutty settled himself between Giles legs and began mapping out this new territory with his hands.
Giles’ buttocks felt firm under his touch, but when he parted them Giles’ whole body began to tremble. Smutty gazed at the place he’d revealed. That tender ring of flesh he’d soon be penetrating and stretching wide. Shit, he hoped Giles really was as into this as he’d said. Still, he could ignore the throbbing in his dick and take things slow.
He began with just his breath, a puff of air to see how Giles reacted. Giles groaned and the muscles under Smutty’s hands tightened. So far, so good. Smutty leaned in for a taste, just running the tip of his tongue down the cleft then veering off around the hole. Giles tasted earthy, stronger here than elsewhere on his body. It shouldn’t have been possible to get any harder than he was, but Smutty could swear his dick pulsed with an extra shot of blood as that manly scent and taste took over his senses.
As he continued to tease, Giles moaned, squirming in an effort to get Smutty’s tongue where he wanted it. Yeah, that was hot, having that kind of an effect on Giles.
Smutty pulled back and blew over the saliva slickened skin. “Something you’re after, is there?” he asked, in response to Giles’ needy groan.
“You know what I want.” Giles’ voice was hoarse, cracked.
“I want to hear you say it.” And with feeling, so he knew it was for real and not something Giles just felt he needed to prove.
“I want you to rim me, and then I want you to do me.”
“Do you? Do you what?”
Giles groaned. “I want you to fuck me.”
The sound of that word on Giles’ lips called up such a tide of lust Smutty couldn’t hold out any longer. This time when he touched his tongue to Giles’ skin he aimed straight for his entrance.
“Jesus! Oh Christ, don’t stop, don’t stop!”
Smutty grinned and kept up the pressure with his tongue, swirling and sucking and doing everything in his power to make Giles scream with pleasure. Once Giles was incoherent, he took a deep breath and then pushed his tongue through the ring of muscle. It gave easily, and Giles pushed back towards him in a way that let him know the invasion was very welcome indeed, thank you very much. Okay, so maybe Giles hadn’t been exaggerating when he said he enjoyed this. Smutty spread Giles wide with his fingers, licking and delving in there until his jaw ached and the muscles at the back of his tongue screamed. He brought his thumbs in to play, using them to hold Giles open while he gently teased him around the rim. Giles sobbed into the mattress.
This was going to work, Smutty realised. Giles was stretching easier than he’d imagined. He thrust a couple of fingers inside and used his spare hand to feel around for the lube. It landed on the condom. Giles’ condom. “Oh shit!”
“What? What’s the matter?” Giles was up on his knees in an instant, despite the trembling in his legs. Smutty must have sounded really upset.
He waved the condom sheepishly. “I don’t think I’m gonna fit in this, am I? It’ll split.”
The furrows on Giles’ brow were wiped out with a relieved smile. “Oh, no, don’t worry about that. It’s one of the ones I bought in France last year. I picked up extra large by mistake. They’re like bin bags on me, so you should be fine.”
“So, you’ve been planning this all day?”
Giles’ cheeks flushed. “Uh, not exactly. I’d run out of the other pack I bought, but when I picked these up they gave me an idea. I thought a bit of variety might be fun for both of us. If you don’t mind, that is.”
Smutty smiled at the strangely endearing mix of bashful and bold in Giles’ manner. He wanted to say something to let Giles know how much he appreciated what he was doing, but for once words failed him–at least, words that wouldn’t make him come across like a total sap. In the end, physical action seemed the safest bet. He kissed Giles firmly and used a hand on his chest to encourage him to lie on his back, placing a pillow under his hips. It would be better to do it this way around. He could close his eyes if watching Giles got too intense, and he could stifle any uncomfortable conversation by kissing him.
As it turned out, he needn’t have worried about Giles continuing to talk. He fell silent as Smutty finished stretching him, the only sounds their gasping breath and the low crackling of the wood in the stove. Smutty lined himself up, bracing his hands either side of Giles’ head. There was another sound then–a low, guttural moan that grew louder as he pushed his way in past the initial resistance. Giles’ heels landed against his lower back, their insistent pressure letting him know that this was fine, and to keep on going. Smutty needed the reassurance, because watching Giles screw his eyes shut, his breathing fast and ragged, had him worried he was going too fast.
But Giles didn’t whimper and he didn’t complain, and so Smutty pushed on in, painfully slowly, until he was tightly encased in astounding heat. As his hips met Giles’ skin, they both moaned. The sound wasn’t like anything he’d heard from Giles before–heartfelt and astonished. Smutty wondered if he sounded the same. The sensations were more overpowering than he’d anticipated: an all encompassing embrace that promised to feel even better when he began to move.
Smutty leaned down to press a kiss to Giles’ lips. He licked along the seam until Giles opened to him. As their tongues moved leisurely, the hammering of their hearts began to slow.
Until Giles jerked his hips.
“Fuck!” Smutty had thought he was all the way in, but Giles movement pushed him even deeper.
“Yes,” Giles rasped. “Please.”
Smutty may not have ever been in quite this position before, but his body seemed to know what to do and he gave a small, sharp thrust with his hips. Giles sobbed and his heels dug into Smutty’s back.
“Was that okay? You’re not hurting are you?”
“More,” was the only word Giles seemed to be able to form between his panting breaths.
And so Smutty began to experiment by alternating short thrusts with longer, slower gliding movements, less concerned with how they felt for him than with the effect they had on Giles. The faster movements made Giles close his eyes and grunt as beads of sweat popped out on his forehead. The slower movements made Giles groan and eventually persuaded him to open his eyes. They were darker than Smutty had ever seen them, and he couldn’t look away.
Stay, they seemed to be imploring him. Stay with me.
Smutty closed his own eyes to focus on the sensation of Giles’ body welcoming him in, of that dive into perfect heat and pressure with every push of his hips. It was bliss, and Giles had given it to him. He wanted to make it last forever, but his arms were aching so he pushed himself up onto his knees and hooked his arms under Giles’ thighs.
The pressure around him changed and with the next thrust Giles made a desperate, throaty sound. Smutty watched, mesmerised, as Giles’ dick dribbled precome onto his belly. He pumped his hips again, in search of that perfect angle, and when he was sure he had it he changed the rhythm to short stabs. A low whimpering noise came from Giles, but Smutty was no longer worried about hurting him. Not when he knew he was hitting the spot every time.
Smutty watched the stream of precome snake its way down Giles’ belly until it was lost in the mat of hair. His gaze carried on travelling to meet Giles’ eyes.
Stay, they were still pleading. I want you to stay.
If he kept this up for much longer, Smutty was going to end up giving in.
Heat pooled at the base of Smutty’s spine. He reached out to grasp Giles’ dick and stroked fast and hard. Those eyes finally surrendered their demand as they glazed over. Giles’ body stiffened and his dick throbbed as spurts of come flooded out. Giles’ voice was so hoarse his cry barely registered, but Smutty could feel the orgasm rush through his body like a tidal bore. He thrust in deep as Giles pulsed around him, the clenching heat ripping his own climax from his balls. The force of it pulled Smutty under, drowning him in waves of terrifying joy.
He gasped for air as everything faded out to grey.
Time stood still as Smutty floated somewhere far away. The return to his body was gradual: first a twinge in his leg, then an ache in his balls, then a shudder that pulled him back to the here and now. And then there were lips on his, kissing him tenderly.
“How was it?” Giles asked.
Smutty laughed. He had no idea how to answer, and was afraid to force his eyelids open in case that plea was still burning in Giles’ eyes. But when he did it was gone, only a soft, sated expression remaining. “Fucking amazing,” he whispered.
“Me too,” Giles said.
It turned out the worst thing about topping was having to deal with the condom afterwards, and by the time Smutty got back to the bed, Giles had pulled the sleeping bag over himself and was already half asleep. Smutty nestled in behind him, peering over his shoulder to gaze at the flames through the glass door of the stove.
Was he playing with fire here? And if he said yes to Giles, would he end up getting burned?