"Dad, do you have a minute?"
Benton straightened with a flinch. How long have I been in this position? Jonny was perched on the edge of the messy desk by the lab table with a nervous smile on his face.
"Of course. Let's get out of here though. I've been inside long enough this morning."
"Um, Dad, it's afternoon." Jonny grinned and followed him out of the door.
Benton looked at the clock on the wall. 2:15 "Why, so it is. Okay, that must be why I'm hungry."
"Kitchen first so you can make a sandwich." Jonny punched his arm gently.
"Good idea." Benton strode purposefully down the long hall to the kitchen. He and Jonny worked side by side while creating a platter of sandwiches from some left over sliced turkey and whatever was in the fridge. Benton watched his son out of the corner of his eye. Something's bothering him. Not a bad something, look at that smile. Oh, oh, now a frown. School or girl friend trouble, I'll bet.
Pulling the iced tea out of the fridge, Benton grabbed a couple of glasses and motioned his son out of the door ahead of him. They settled at the outdoor table under the bright yellow and white striped umbrella. Jonny stayed quiet until his father had eaten his first sandwich. He slid his fingers up and down the sweating glass, tracing abstract designs.
"That's better. Thanks for coming to get me, Jonny." Benton verbally primed the pump that was his son.
"No problem, Dad." Jonny looked up and for a moment, Benton saw his dead wife shining through. "I'm feeling a little confused right now." He took a deep breath and gulped his iced tea. "Dad, when did you know that Mom was 'the one'?"
Benton bit back a smile. Ah, the relationship talk. But he's still so young. Eighteen, last month and too young to be making these kind of decisions. To give himself time, he washed down his last bite with the sweet tea. Damn, Race must have made this batch. Where the hell does he get that sweet tooth?
"Well, you know that we met at college. It was my senior year and she was a sophomore. I remember hearing her voice first, talking to someone in the next aisle of the university library." Benton remembered the past with a smile. "Music to my ears. I pushed a book through to fall at her feet so I could meet her. Those blue eyes pretty much sent me head over heels into lust. Love followed after about a semester of steady dating."
"But you didn't get married right away?" Jonny nervously drank more of his tea.
Benton wondered just what was going through his mind. "No. The seventies were a little more conservative than the sixties had been. The government had hired me to work in their lab on campus so we could still date each other. We'd gotten pretty exclusive at that point. You know, I'm not sure when it was I knew that I wouldn't be looking for anyone else. One morning, I was waiting for a solution to boil and I found myself thinking it would be nice if we lived together so I could wake up to her lovely voice after going to sleep with her."
"Had you ..." Jonny looked up and caught his gaze, "made love?"
"Yes, we had. Very carefully and with all the proper precautions. But that wasn't the main reason I wanted her near by." Benton paused and ate another half sandwich, thinking back over the years. "She was my best friend. Someone I could talk to, argue with, toss ideas back and forth with. She didn't think like I did so she provided a counterpoint that I needed very badly."
"So, you didn't agree on everything?" Jonny watched the waves surge up onto the beach.
"Heavens, no. We had some real verbal knock down fights that had the neighbors knocking on the walls." Benton chuckled. "But through it all, we never stopped loving each other. I respected her as I did no other man or woman then. She got angry with me but she never stopped caring. We both worked very hard to make the relationship work and somehow we succeeded."
Jonny nodded and poured some more ice tea. "Is it the same with Race?"
Benton smiled. "Different but the same. It wasn't love at first sight, more like waking up one morning and realizing that I love him. I'm a very lucky man, Jonny, to have two such loves in my life. Race completes me in ways I never dreamed of twenty years ago."
"She liked him, Dad." Jonny's blue eyes met his father's. "She told me once that he always put you first and she approved of those priorities. That way she didn't have to worry about you."
He laughed out loud. "One of the National Security Council called him a 'mother hen' at the last conference they drug me to." He chortled and waggled his eyebrows. "That was right before Race found the bomb under the speaker's platform and got us all out so the bomb squad could take care of it. I told the Council member there were all kind of perks to having a mother hen guarding me."
Jonny burst into laughter and seemed to relax. The next few minutes were spent finishing their sandwiches. When Benton deemed him ready, he asked his question gently.
"So, Jonny, any particular reason for the questions?"
He blushed to the roots of his blond hair before bravely meeting his father's eyes. "Kind of. There's this girl in my physics class. Her name's Carrie and she's kind of cool. Really smart and intense about school and science and everything. She's, um, really into saving the environment. She's ... just so passionate about life."
Benton sighed thankfully. A doer not a thinker. I hope she gives him a run for his money. He listened as Jonny poured out his feelings with a passion of his own. They discussed how he could approach her. What he might tell her about his own feelings and experiences with science. They were both freshmen so Benton subtly suggested a visit during spring break in three months time so she could visit the solar energy project on a near by island.
They were still talking when Jonny's cell phone rang with an invitation from their neighbor's college son also home from school to come to an impromptu barbecue. Benton declined with a laugh and watched him sprint to the boat for the quick journey to the neighboring isle.
Stretching, he put his feet up in the opposite chair and closed his eyes, letting his head rest against the tall back of the cabana chair. He let his mind wonder back over the years. How did I get so lucky? Two strong people to love, who loved me back.
His wife's memories were dimmer now after all the years apart. She mainly lived on in his son. Jonny looked so much like her and reacted with her same passion to events. It sometimes seemed like watching her all over again. But the years with Race were much more vivid. Because they're ongoing, I wonder?
Race's recovery from the Vietnam trauma was still vivid in his mind, even though it was several years back. Parts of it he didn't want to remember but getting his lover back, complete and whole was something he would always cherish. They'd been so tender with each other then. As if either of them would break if the other loved too passionately.
He shifted in the comfortable chair when his favorite memory came back from that healing time. He loved this one. Casting his mind back, he remembered.
Benton toweled his hair dry and finger combed it while his eyes searched for his son. Ah, there they were. He and Hadji had combined forces and were attacking Race on the beach near the house. He chuckled while the far-from-helpless bodyguard growled at them and flipped them both into the pool. Their shrieks of "No fair!" drifted to him and he grinned at the tall bronzed man who stood hands on hips by the pool.
He could never remember what imp possessed him but he dashed up silently behind Race and pushed him into the cool blue waters. He yelped once and managed to hook a leg around Benton and pull him in as well. They were both attacked by the slippery eels that were his sons as soon as they hit the water.
Ferocious water play ensued until the bell rang for lunch. They had dried off and devoured a huge meal before his lab assistant had called him away to check some findings. The sterile confines of the laboratory made him itch with the need to get back out to the open air. They'd only been back from Nova Scotia for a couple of days and he chaffed at the controlled atmosphere after the carefree time spent out of doors.
The sensation of being watched brought his head up from the computer printouts. Race stood with folded arms leaning against the wall by the door. His eyes rested on Benton with single-minded focus and his thoughts must have been pleasant to judge by the smile on his face.
"Murder the boys and need help hiding the bodies?"
The laugh lines crinkled about the piercing blue eyes and Race chuckled. "Nope. I sent them over to the Singletons to get rid of all that excess energy. Naomi just called and said they'd arrived. Their cook was on red alert to be ready to feed five hungry kids ... over and over again."
Benton stretched and checked the clock to find he'd been hunched over analyzing data for almost three hours. He also caught the subtle change in Race's posture at his movements. Oh good, playtime. He rolled away from the desk and preceded to really stretch all his muscles.
"Well, whatever will the two of us do until the next batch of readings come in?" He said innocently while watching his bodyguard out of the corner of his eye.
Race turned into a predator before his very eyes, crossing the room silently and pouncing on his lover in a heartbeat. His hands captured the scientist's and brought them slowly forward to wrap around his own body. His breath gusted behind his ear, making Benton shudder with sudden uncontrollable yearnings.
"Oh, I don't know." Race licked that little spot behind his ear. "How about a nap? I'm sure you're still not fully recovered from all the time zone changes."
Benton's brain was quickly sinking back to pre-Cambrian levels. Grab. Hold. Mate. But he managed a few coherent words. "Nap? Oh, yes, lying down sounds good."
Race chuckled against his skin and nibbled up to his lips where he thrust once before freeing the scientist and stepping away. "Have a nice nap, Dr. Quest."
And he disappeared out the door before Benton had managed to get control of his body back. Grinning, he began one of their favorite games. Hunting Race. Starting in his suite of rooms, he changed clothes for comfort and convenience. Soft sweat shorts with no underwear and a sleeveless silk top with a deep scoop tucked in at the waist. A pair of canvas loafers and he was ready.
Checking Race's rooms first, he left the house and stood for a moment. The nice thing about this hunt was that Race wanted to be found. So, he'd have left clues telling Benton where he was. His eyes searched the horizon, looking for changes that might be a clue. Pool, boat house, garden gate. Wait a minute. Why is the gate open?
Smiling, he walked rapidly to the small gate that led to their experimental garden. Slowly, he walked through the herb knot and vegetable beds. No Race. Standing hands on hips, he cast his gaze about for another clue. Ah-h-h. A cut rose lying on the top of the stone wall by the back gate. Picking it up, he realized that the thorns had been carefully removed.
Blinking back sudden tears, he thought fondly of the man who always protected him. Benton sniffed the crimson rose's heady fragrance and took it with him as he exited the gate. Suddenly, he knew as if he'd read Race's mind, just where he'd be, the gazebo they'd named the moonrise pavilion. Small, secluded and just perfect for an afternoon tryst.
Along the way, he found a chocolate mint on a china plate perched on the stump of one of the trees they'd lost to a hurricane the year before. Letting it dissolve on his tongue, he hurried down the faint path towards the only knoll on the island. Spotting the driftwood gray wood of the structure, he also found a glass of red wine atop a broad moss covered rock by the path.
Taking a sip, he nodded approvingly before strolling up to the gazebo. The privacy screens were up all the way around and he smiled in anticipation of who he'd find inside. Quietly opening the screen door, he paused in disappointment. The futon was unrolled in the middle of the room with clean sheets invitingly stretched across it and lit citronella candles dotted the tables. A covered tray probably held food.
But no Race.
"Got'cha." The warm voice and hands propelled him on into the room. Holding the rose and the wine glass, he was helpless against the busy hands that slid his shorts off and pulled the shirt over his head and carefully over his hands.
The press of skin to skin made him sigh and lean back trustingly against the naked body behind him. He toed off his shoes and arched back to allow Race more of him to hold.
"Now, let's see. Somebody has to pay for dumping me in the pool today." Race's voice was velvet gravel that ran up Benton's spine like a tingle of pure energy. "And since you're the only one here, I guess you're elected."
Warm, callused fingers traveled over his sensitized skin, pausing to tweak his nipples before heading down to firmly hold his erection. The feeling of the hard organ pressing into his back made him suddenly long for the one thing Race had yet to share with him. Oh, he'd taken his lover several times since their anniversary but Race had held back from returning the favor.
Suddenly, he had to know what caused Race to thrash and moan and erupt like a volcano. He knew scientifically what was going on with the prostate stimulation but now he had to know first hand. If only Race would understand his need.
"I know, love." Race had moved him to the bed while he was thinking and relieved him of the glass of wine before easing him down onto the futon. "It's time for a little experimentation, isn't it?"
Benton blushed and turned to face his lover, clutching the rose like a lifeline. "I need to know."
That smile he loved was back and those warm fingers were cupping his face. The callused thumb brushed back and forth across his lips, teasing nerve endings he hadn't realized were there. It dipped inside his parted lips and he licked it, enjoying the clean salty taste of his lover. He had a sudden vision of that thumb dipping into another part of his body and he shuddered with anticipation.
"Oh, love. The look you get on your face when you think about us is truly inspiring." Race leaned down and feathered a kiss across his lips, his tongue darting out to taste. "Did you enjoy the chocolate? One of these days, I'm going to spread chocolate syrup all over my body and let you lick it slowly off me."
Benton moaned and hardened to steel-like proportions at the thought. Race laughed and enclosed his cock in a tantalizing grip that just wasn't quite enough friction to satisfy. The scientist moved restlessly beneath him and quivered when the rose began to trace the dips and hollows of his chest and stomach with its velvety promise.
He heard the sound of a cap being opened and the smell of almonds filling the air. Opening heavy eyes, he watched Race pour the scented oil on his stomach and begin to smooth it over his skin. Every pore suddenly became a nerve ending that spread a delicious warmth over his body. More oil and his legs were treated to the same massage while Race nibbled on his toes and laved the hollows behind his knees.
Wait a minute, when did I move to my stomach? His cloudy thoughts wondered. But those magic hands were trailing down his back and over his buttocks and he held onto the sheet to anchor himself so he wouldn't miss a single movement.
His cheeks were spread and Race's hot breath gusted across the puckered muscle, making him gasp and tense. But the first moist lick of an agile tongue sent a shard of lightning straight to his groin. "Oh, God. Race!"
"Right here, love. Just relax and enjoy." The husky voice was accompanied by another lick and the quick stabbing of a pointed tongue past the muscles that guarded the entrance to his body. He shivered again and focused his energy on cataloging all the details of his preparation.
His balls were tenderly massaged with oily fingers while the other hand kept his cheeks apart for the teasing tongue that loosened his muscles. Then, a finger breached him and he tightened instinctively before consciously relaxing again. A sharp nip on one ass cheek made him jump and suddenly two fingers were scissoring back and forth within the tight ring of muscle.
The feelings were indescribable. He felt he should be able to focus on doing the things he'd researched but ... trembling he found his instincts fearing this rather than accepting it. Race stopped what he was doing and removed his fingers, moving up to blanket Benton with his warmth. Bringing them to their sides, he cradled him within his strong arms, soothing his hands down his chest to rest at his waist.
"What's wrong, love? Too much too soon?"
Benton turned and searched the chiseled features of his bodyguard. Bringing his own arms up around him, he hugged him tight. There was no condemnation on his face, only acceptance in the warm blue eyes. How could he be so lucky?
"Just nerves, Race." He thought about the feelings and realized with a blush, just what the problem was. Feeling fire engine red, he met the curious eyes before him. "It's, um, been a while since I was ... a virgin."
Race went still before he began to shake with silent laughter. It was infectious and Benton found himself resting his head on a convenient shoulder and laughing away his fear. After a few moments, he felt his erection begin to return and Race's hands stroked over his back in a soothing manner.
"We can wait. This isn't a contest, Benton. Not every man enjoys full penetration. Only with you, can I enjoy it." He hesitated, searching for the right words. "I don't give control away easily. Only to you because I love you."
They didn't use the words very often and Benton treasured every one. "I love you too. I don't think I'm afraid so much as I don't know how to deal with the overwhelming pleasure. I know with my head that I can lose control but my body thinks differently."
"Afraid of falling?" Race kissed him gently and slid his fingers tantalizingly through the downy cleft. "I promise to catch you."
Benton shivered with sensation and nodded firmly, his own hands running slowly up the long muscles of Race's back. They cuddled for a while before Benton turned back over and cradled his head on folded arms. Race gentled a kiss on the small of his back before reaching for a tube rather than the bottle he had before.
"The Internet had some very interesting things to say about lubricant. Instead of oil, they suggested a lube called Wet." Benton felt a rather cold gel slide over the muscle and he shivered and laughed at the same time.
"I thought I was the researcher here. Oh, that feels . . . slick."
"I know." Race tickled his balls while he inserted his finger again and began an easy slide in and out.
The lube warmed and trickled deep, making him quiver with the new sensation. He almost didn't notice the second finger until the tip brushed against his prostate and he shuddered with a sudden need to come. Race pulled him to his side, facing away from him while he eased his leg between Benton's.
One slick hand slid down his shaft while a third finger entered him slowly. The extreme fullness was uncomfortable rather than painful and he arched back when the gland was stimulated again. The warmth was spreading throughout his whole body and he stirred restlessly, wanting something more. When Race removed his fingers, he felt empty and bereft, pressing back with a moan.
"I'm getting there, love." Rustling sounds told Benton that he was applying more lube to himself. He shivered again, while he remembered just how big Race was. "I won't hurt you, Benton. All you have to do is say the word and we'll wait."
Benton shook his head and turned slightly so he could see Race's face. "I trust you and I want this."
Race leaned forward and kissed him gently. "Just remember to relax for me. And tell me if it hurts."
Nodding, Benton settled back onto one hip and braced himself against a pillow hugged to his chest. The warm blunt tip nestled between his cheeks and he took a deep breath and let it out as Race pressed in. Initial resistance to the flaring head left him panting into the pillow. Race stopped and waited for a sign to pull out or continue.
Concentrating on relaxing, Benton finally felt the urge to push the intruder out subside. "Okay, big guy, I'm ready."
"Slow-w-w-w." Race drawled and pushed in until he was firmly seated. Resting his forehead between Benton's shoulder blades, he sighed. "You are incredibly tight and hotter than hell."
Benton unclenched his jaw and moved back, just to see if he could. The feeling of being filled to overflowing was incredible. There was pain and pleasure mixed together in a tangled web of desire. He clenched his muscles once, remembering how it had felt to him when Race did it. The moan in his ear brought a grin to his face. It worked.
Race began to pull out before moving back into place. This time he brushed against the gland that sent a tingle out through his whole nervous system.
Race chuckled and pulled out almost all the way before shoving back in with a little more force. The tingling was constant now while they established a rhythm that made Benton moan and clutch the pillow while his head tossed back and forth with the heat. Race began a counter slide over his penis that brought him almost to the edge.
He needed something more, something to push him over the precipice into free fall. Race murmured something indistinguishable and impaled him with an extra deep thrust before pulling back again. But this time, he used both hands to glove him in an tight sheath of warmth while he thrust deep within him and bit hard at the juncture between his neck and shoulder.
Benton shouted and fell. His muscles milking Race of his own climax, he felt the hot liquid flow through him while he overflowed the hands holding him so tenderly. Shuddering with the after shocks, Benton pressed back all along the hard length of his lover. This was the best time, when they were joined at almost every point of their bodies. He always felt as if they merged together at this moment.
Race sighed and moved one hand up to spread his seed over the firm stomach. Benton let the pillow go and clasped his hand close, bringing it up to his lips and licking his fingers clean. They'd both become addicted to the taste of their love.
"Thank you, Benton." Race licked the spot where he'd bitten him. "Sorry about that. You'll have to wear a shirt with a collar for awhile. I left a mark."
"Good." Benton knew he sounded sleepy but he wanted nothing more than a nap. He could feel Race softening within him and he tensed a little when he felt him begin to pull out.
"Relax, love. Don't let me hurt you now." He nuzzled under his ear on the one spot that always got a reaction.
Shivering and arching towards the heat seeking missile that was his lover, he felt Race slip free, leaving him empty. Race immediately turned him and hugged him close, kissing him senseless. Their closeness was still there and Benton held him with shaking hands.
When their lips parted and Benton opened his eyes, he saw Race gazing down at him uncertainly. Smiling, he shook his head. "I can see a lot of that in my future. You're going to have to give me equal time now that I know what the fireworks are all about."
"How about we take turns?" Race's husky voice poured over him like golden nectar.
"You've got a deal." Benton grinned and cupped his jaw. "Although I have to admit, I really liked the idea about you and me and the chocolate syrup."
Benton smiled and opened his eyes just in time to see the hover jet land on the helipad. Licking his lips in anticipation, he watched Race swing out of the pilot's seat and start towards the house. It had been a long day without him. And he knew just where the Hersey's was.
End of part nine