I made sure the champagne was chilling in the fridge while the hors d'oeuvres trays sat on the kitchen island counter. I was feeling a little nervous, trying to keep my cool and going over the arrangements for the fifth time. We'd decided to have a New Year's party to announce some of the changes in our lives and I was wondering how many of those who were coming already knew what we were going to say.
And what they thought about it.
Peter had already changed clothes three times and he hadn't been able to eat anything for dinner. It was almost nine and I wondered who would be the first to show. I was betting on the Captain because she already knew two of our announcements and she'd coped pretty well with both of them. Her support over the last few weeks had been a blessing.
A squeak from my feet brought my eyes down to one of our 'kids'. Bending down, I scooped her up and cradled her under my chin. She was getting bigger but I could still hold her in one hand with ease. Using one finger, I scratched under her chin and she went into kitty-ecstasies, her purr shaking her whole body.
"Kermit, do I look all right?" Peter's plaintive question came from the doorway to our bedroom.
I looked at him and saw ... perfection.
"Oh yeah!" I blinked at the vision in blue and black. He was wearing black jeans and a soft blue silk shirt with billowing sleeves that gave me a severe pain in my heart. "How about we put a sign on the door sending everyone somewhere else and I'll help you undress?"
He laughed and came towards me with that distinctive prowl that always raises my temperature. Squeak purred a little louder while Peter kissed me softly with tenderness rather than passion. When our lips parted, he rested his forehead against mine with a sigh.
"I love you and I want to do this but I think I'm a little scared. I've known these people most of my adult life and I have no clue if they're going to congratulate us or call for the tar and feathers."
"Your guess is as good as mine, Peter. Captain Simms took it well. Mary Margaret knows too and she seems to find it hilarious." I quit petting Squeak and she meowed pitifully.
"TJ figured it out when we ordered the bathroom fixtures and he told me that he was jealous." Peter began stroking Squeak.
"Jealous of me, I'll bet. He's your age." I suddenly felt ancient.
"No, silly. He was jealous of me because I got you first." Peter grinned his shit-eating grin.
"You've got to be kidding me?" I thought of the irritating man who had so many fingers in so many pies.
"Nope, I got there first with the best." Peter shook his head with mock solemnity.
A knock on the door drew us apart and I took a deep breath while Peter headed for the door. Here we go, I thought with a little prayer to the Goddess of Announcements.
The twenty people in the room had broken into little clusters. Everyone was chatting easily and most of the food was gone. I had a pleasant buzz from the three drinks I'd consumed over the course of the last three hours. Peter was sitting on the floor near the fireplace with Squeak on his shoulder while Delaney dragged one of the cat toys for Squirt to pounce on. Caine and Mary Margaret were sitting rather close together on the sofa while the Ancient was doing magic tricks for Captain Simms and the Chief.
Everybody else was scattered around the room, talking shop. Get more than two cops in the same room and we all ended up talking shop. Grinning to myself, I watched the clock and headed for the fridge when it showed a quarter to midnight. There were four bottles of champagne chilling and I was pulling two of them out when a hand appeared over my shoulder to take them for me.
"Thanks, Thomas. The cork remover is on the counter behind you." I grabbed the other two and shut the door with my hip. We'd lined up the champagne glasses earlier so once we'd popped the corks, we were ready to pour. The sound of popping corks alerted the others to the time and I suddenly had a dozen helpers.
Once everybody had a glass, I tapped mine and got their attention.
"Thank you all for coming. We have a couple of announcements to make to start the New Year off right." Peter was at my shoulder and I took courage from his solid presence. "First, I have to say that I've enjoyed working with you for the last twelve years but I'm retiring from the cop business as of 1 February."
The groans were rather satisfying and I felt Peter's hand caress the small of my back. I hadn't realized just how much I was going to miss the familiar faces around me. "I'm not going anywhere. I'm taking on a second career as a writer. For the last three years, I've been writing a book and it's been accepted by Houghton Mifflin. It should hit the book stores sometime this summer."
The cheers took me by surprise and the kiss on the cheek from Captain Simms was a bonus I really hadn't expected.
Peter took over while I was still pretending I wasn't blushing. "Our next news is probably old news to most of you but Kermit and I are living together. We'd like you all to witness our commitment to each other right now."
There wasn't a sound in the place as Peter and I took our rings out of our pockets. It was like everyone was holding a collective breath. I slid a blue star sapphire set in a Celtic patterned silver ring onto the ring finger of his left hand. In turn, he pushed an emerald set in the same pattern in gold onto my ring finger. He bent his head and our lips brushed gently once before we separated to look at our audience.
These cheers could probably be heard at the precinct, I decided in a daze just before the entire crowd mobbed us. Captain Simms was brushing away tears when she kissed my cheek and murmured something about weddings under her breath. Even Delaney shook my hand and said congratulations.
"Hey, look at the clock. Where's the champagne?" Somebody said and there was a rush to get all new drinks poured in time for the ritual countdown. Peter and I stood closely together, our eyes drinking in each other.
"Five, four, three, two, one. Happy New Year!"
"Happy New Year, Peter." "Happy New Year, Kermit." We said simultaneously.
This kiss was deeper and stronger, while we pledged all our years to come to each other. Maybe Captain Simms was right about the effect of weddings on the emotions.
"Hey look, the fireworks have started." Somebody said and I swear I blushed again until I realized that he was talking about the fireworks from the park. We had a good view out of the dining room windows and everyone crowded together to ooh and ah over the spectacular display being staged in the midst of a new snowfall.
The show lasted for twenty minutes and by the time it was over, most of our guests had decided to say goodnight. Handshakes and kisses were handed out at the door. Caine, Mary Margaret and the Ancient stayed behind to help us clear up so it didn't take but a half an hour until they too said their goodnights.
"Welcome to the family, Kermit. How nice to know that now ... I have two sons." Caine's eyes were kind and I nodded, suddenly unable to speak.
Mary Margaret's lips were warm on my cheek then she was kissing Peter too and we finally got to close the door behind them. Resting against the solid oak paneled door, I found my hand in Peter's. Turning my head, my gaze met his and I swear the temp went up twenty degrees. It might be snowing outside but at that moment it was summer in our loft.
"Dance with me?"
"Oh yeah." I breathed out while pushing away from the door.
Pulling me over to the stereo, he programmed in something and turned back to me with a rather wicked look on his face. "I love you, Kermit. Forever and always."
"My New Year blessing, that's what you are, Peter. I love you too." My hands went around his neck while his slid around my waist so we could dance slowly near the fireplace.
He'd picked the latest Air Supply album on random play and we danced to their love songs while interspersing the dance with champagne flavored kisses. But it wasn't the wine that was making my head swim, Peter was intoxicating enough. The heavy silk of his shirt slid under my hands when I moved them to his back and he caught his breath when I dipped my hands under his waistband to pull out his shirt tails so I'd have skin to caress.
He returned the favor and now the kisses grew more heated while we stroked our groins together. Suddenly, it wasn't enough and we broke apart at the same moment.
"Bed." We chorused.
Turning off the fireplace, we made sure there wasn't anything left out that the kittens could get into trouble with before making our way to the bathroom. We undressed each other with knowing hands that knew just where to touch to turn the heat up even higher. By the time we were under the warm water of our shower, we were half-hard and the pleasant ache grew while we soaped and rinsed each other.
Drying off with deft touches, we left everything where it fell and headed for bed. Leaving on the soft light on my side of the bed, we tumbled into each other's arms, still kissing. We knew each other so well by now. My tongue lapped at one nipple while his hands smoothed down my flank to trigger the spot on my hip that always made me twitch.
I paused for a moment so I could watch his face. "We just got married."
"Yep, we sure did. And there's enough witnesses that neither of us can ever back out." His eyes sparkled in the subdued light and I brushed my lips over that tempting mouth, savoring the Peter-taste that was so addicting.
"Forever, Peter." I held his eyes with mine, wondering what he saw in them that brought tears to the surface.
"Forever, Kermit." And he pulled me up over his body, spreading his legs apart so I was cradled in his embrace. "I planned a little surprise for you so I think it's time that you unwrapped your wedding present."
I wasn't sure what he meant until I reached a hand down past his balls and found the plug snugly in place. "All evening?"
"Un-uh. I've been on a slow boil all night." His eyes went needy on me. "You're the only one who can put out the fire, love."
"Oh yeah." I breathed out before taking his lips in a searing kiss. My other hand went for the pillow and the tube of lubricant we kept there. Flipping open the top, I squeezed some out onto his fingers so he could get me ready. Those caressing fingers almost made me come but I thought cold thoughts until I could get the plug out and my fingers in to make sure he was ready for me.
His groan was heartfelt and the spasming muscle drew me in like a magnet. So tight and hot that I had to pause for a moment to make sure this wasn't over too soon. We were both more than ready and I lifted his legs over my shoulders so I could slide home, deep inside of him. It was too good and we both took a deep breath, our eyes locked on each other.
"Make love to me, Kermit." His hands tenderly rubbed slick circles around my aching nipples and I began the slow pull out so I could thrust back in again.
We took it slow, something in both of us needing the connection to grow stronger as we moved in passion. But the need to come outgrew our minds need to go tenderly and when I felt Peter spasm around me, I slid deep and came. His arms kept me close to his chest while his legs fell limply to either side of me. Our hearts gradually resumed our normal cadence and I felt him try to reach for the comforter we'd pushed aside when we'd tumbled into bed.
I moved to help and felt myself slip out of his body. We both groaned at the loss then pulled up the covers. We cuddled together in the middle of the bed while we got used to being two separate bodies again. I reached out of our nest to grab the wash cloth we kept by the bed for clean up purposes. We went through a lot of them in the course of a week and I felt pretty smug about that.
"What are you smirking about?" Peter's voice was drowsy.
"Just thinking ahead to later this morning when you'll get to clean me up." I tossed the damp cloth to the floor for Squirt to find. They were his favorite play toy next to Peter's socks.
He chuckled and drew me back down to his arms. "Oh yeah, love."
Oh yeah, indeed.
End part 11