I sat by the side of the hospital bed and watched my lover breath. Breathing was good, waking up would be better, I thought with a sigh. This was the third such vigil I'd sat by his side since we became lovers and it wasn't getting any easier. I'm forty years old and he's thirty-six. I will be damned if I lose a second family, I thought fiercely.
"He's going to be fine, Chris." Buck came in and touched Ezra's foot for luck.
"Yes, he will . . . this time." I rubbed my eyes and stretched. "I'm thinking of quitting the ATF and taking up horse breeding. You want to join Vin and me?"
He grinned. "You been thinking about this for a while?"
"Yeah, since the last time I was here, watching Ezra heal from yet another close call." I touched his hand and thought about how much I didn't ever want to do this again. "He could take his pick of a dozen jobs. Nathan wants to work full-time at the Veteran's Clinic. JD can name his own price at that software company who's always bugging him. You could join with us."
"What would Josiah do?" Buck asked me, already half-convinced.
"I think I'd accept the professorship at the University of Colorado that Dean White has been dangling in front of me for the last two years." Josiah's voice came from the doorway. "I've been expecting this for some time now."
"Chris," the tiny whisper brought me back to Ezra. "Stop . . . shouting . . . I've got a . . . headache."
I brushed his hair back from the bruise on his forehead. Then I bent down to whisper in his ear. "Welcome back, my love, don't let's do this again."
His chuckle was a mere breath of sound near my ear and I smiled when he spoke. "Quite . . . right, love . . . time . . . to retire."
"All right," I sat back and pushed the buzzer for the nurse. It would take some planning but before the month was out, so would we be. I wasn't taking any more chances. After all, the biggest chance I'd ever taken had brought me Ezra. Watching him being poked and prodded, I thought about the beginning of this odd love affair.
"Mr. Larabee, you have worked quite long enough. Even Josiah is ready to quit and he is usually the last one out the door." Ezra's voice broke through the mental haze I was enveloped in. "If you don't come now, I'm going have to kiss you right through your desk."
"What?" I looked up sure I couldn't have heard that.
That new smile appeared, the one I'd only seen a couple of times just lately. "Ah, something did get through that attractive but thick skull of yours."
Attractive? I blinked at him and surreptitiously pinched my arm. Nope, I was awake. "You think I'm . . . attractive?"
"Of course, I do," he said promptly. "If you were bi-sexual, I'd take a risk and make a pass at you."
Bi-sexual? I watched his eyes turn a sultry green and found I was breathing a little faster. "Um, how do you know if you're bisexual?"
He shut my door behind him and sauntered over to my desk, around the corner and right up to me. "There are a couple of different tests but the one I prefer is this one."
I was glued to my seat, my eyes wide and my hands holding onto the arms of my desk chair. His elegant hand lifted my chin and he pursed his lips, turning me to the left and then to the right. But when I was least expecting it, he leaned in and brushed his lips over mine. It wasn't enough and I licked my lips to gather his taste. He tilted my head up and smiled, taking my mouth with such fervor I was lost.
His tongue eased my lips open then skimmed inside like a hummingbird, first here, then there while my breath grew short and I had an urge to haul him down into my lap and investigate *his* mouth. But then he pulled back and I made an unhappy sound.
"You passed, Mr. Larabee. It appears you are bisexual." His face was slightly flushed and I was sure I was beet red and very out of breath.
"Oh, good," my brain had melted and I felt like an idiot.
"Would you like to discover more about your new proclivity?" He leaned back against the desk while his finger slowly traced each part of my face, along my jaw, over my chin then up to my eyebrows.
Part of me thought I was nuts but a very important part of me wanted more - and it wasn't my cock, although he thought getting some would be great. My team had lessened the loneliness but at night in my bed I realized how very lonely I was. Ezra challenged me, irritated the hell out of me some days and made me feel alive. My heart was frightened but willing to give this a try.
Taking a deep breath, I captured his hand. "Yes, I'd like to learn more if . . . you're willing to teach me?"
This time he was the one widening his eyes and taking a deep breath. "Then we should go to dinner and begin to explore what we might become."
Two months later, we were still dating and I was getting so comfortable with him that I thought nothing of slinging an arm around his shoulders or leaning against his body. And kissing was becoming something about which I dreamed. Buck had noticed and he took me aside for a long talk. Surprisingly, he'd been all for us. He told me it was about time I woke up and fell in love again.
Was I in love? Could Ezra and I be lovers? Damn it, the way my body came to attention when I so much as heard his voice, told me I was in lust but I wasn't sure if it could be love, too. The more time we spent together, the more time I wanted to spend with him. He was a perfect gentleman and we hadn't even gotten naked together yet.
But then he had to go undercover and suddenly I couldn't get my Ezra-fix on a daily basis. I broke all previous records for surliness until Vin and Josiah sat me down and read me the riot act. It was the first I knew they were a couple. They'd just bought the ten thousand acres that bordered mine on the north and were already making plans to remodel the thirty year old ranch house.
They told me to get a grip and start making plans to take Ezra home to figure out our relationship. I was speechless and Vin looked pretty smug when he reminded me of the three weeks of vacation time I needed to use or lose and the weeks Ezra had. They wanted me to take the whole time and have a honeymoon of sorts. I realized I had the absolute best friends in the world.
I felt better after our talk and I spent the evening doing chores while thinking about what I wanted. Watching my horses frolic in the lower meadow, I felt an ache of loneliness that stabbed me right in the heart. I needed my wise-cracking, erudite chameleon by my side. He cared for me, I knew that much. He was holding off because he knew I was unsure about the future.
But without him in my life, my future didn't look very rosy. I was so close to becoming the same kind of curmudgeonly hermit my former neighbor had been that it frightened me. I didn't want to retreat any longer, I wanted to move ahead. Exploring my changing sexuality was what I wanted more than anything and Ezra was the only person to help me. Now I just had to tell him that.
Sheik Ahmed Tislani was scum, pure unadorned scum. He bought and sold explosives and guns in the name of Allah but he was no religious fanatic, just your average arms dealer with a liking for money and what it would buy him. Ezra had been undercover for two months and the three times we'd spoken he'd been all business. All his calls were taped so there'd been no private message for me.
I couldn't tell him I loved him and wanted to take the next step so the Larabee-glare had been in full force that entire week. Ezra thought it was almost done and we'd be able to catch him with his hand in the gun-jar. When the word came down to meet at the Garden of Earthly Delights, I was the first one out the door. But the others were right behind me and so were Teams 3 and 4.
Barely keeping myself under control, I listened to the wire feed and felt my impatience rise. The only reason I kept it together was the fear I might get Ezra hurt if I threw caution aside. He was serving the meal with a woman he called Fatima and who called him Ali. There was the oddest jingling in the background and I wondered what the hell it could be.
I couldn't understand what they were saying since it was in Arabic and where the hell Ezra had picked up his fluid speech and accent; I couldn't wait to find out. The interpreter kept up a running dialog for us but he was translating the bad guys and not Ezra or the girl's speech. His eyes widened when he stopped speaking and turned his eyes to me.
"Sir, Agent Standish just muttered something about getting ready." He gulped and dropped his eyes. "He says if he gets groped one more time he is going to perform, ah, surgery on the Sheik's . . . um, balls."
That's my Ezra I thought with satisfaction before realizing just what kind of groping might be going on. I snapped to attention, which is hard to do when you're bent over in the back of a van, and growled at him to keep listening.
"Yo, Chris, big truck just pulled up and six guys came out to open her up." Vin's voice came over his wire feed from the rooftop where he was stationed. "Crates are the guns with the fluorescent x's on them."
I felt a surge of adrenaline hit and I waited for the first of the crates to be carried in before giving the order to move. The next few moments were a collage of colors, sounds, and odors but a few really stood out. The smell of freshly roasted lamb went oddly with the smell of gun grease. The Sheik wore the flowing robes of the Middle-East but he had rouge on his face and what I thought was lipstick. He was screaming insults in a mix of English and Arabic and the person he was screaming at was Ezra.
And it was Ezra who made me stop dead in my tracks and just look. His chest was heaving with effort as he wrestled the Sheik onto the floor and the sight of bare, almost naked lover was enough to start my cock hardening. It was the 'almost' he was wearing that made me start to drool. Heavy blue and green silk flowed down his legs to cuffed ankles. But the groin part barely clung to his slender hips and flat stomach. He had a green jewel in his navel and the color matched his eyes perfectly. The bulge at his crotch looked promising and I swallowed hard to get some saliva going.
But everybody was looking at him, especially the members of Team 7. And I was suddenly jealous as hell about them seeing him this way. His eyes were snapping when he stood up, hands on hips and looked Team 3's leader straight in the eye.
"Mr. McHaffey, if you can pull your eyeballs back into place and put cuffs on this miscreant, I would be obliged." He stamped his foot on the Sheik's lower back and I heard that jingle again. "And you will let him put them on, Sir, or I shall make sure you regret every moment you spend in prison. Even if I have to call in some favors."
His voice was low and menacing and I was so hard I was afraid I'd come in my pants.
"Need a little help there, Ezra?"
A heated look pierced me and that sweet Georgian accent flowed over me. "Ah am doing well, Mr. Larabee, but a coat would be nice. Ah appear to be the center of all eyes and ya'll know how much Ah hate the limelight."
Buck burst into laughter and handed over his trench coat. "You're just a shrinking violet from the South, aren't ya?"
Ezra put it on and smiled while buttoning it up, suddenly looking like a little boy dressing up in his father's clothes. "Ah am, indeed, Mr. Wilmington. Now since we seem to be finished here, Ah'll find my shoes and we can depart. The paperwork alone will keep us up most of the night."
I cleared my dry throat and his eyes came to me. "You bring any other clothes with you, Ezra? You want to change before we leave?"
"What ya'll see is what yah get, Mr. Larabee." His lips curved upward and I wondered if I'd be able to move without coming. "Ah've a change of clothes in mah locker at work. Ah can change into them once we get there."
"Then let's get to it," I said briskly and forced myself to move away from him and over to Derrick of Team 4 so we could make sure every 't' was crossed and every 'i' dotted. Behind me I could hear Buck and Josiah joking with Ezra and him giving back as good as he got. I kept telling myself to hang on, we'd be in our offices shortly and I'd be able to hold him. Maybe kiss him and definitely help him change clothes.
But I loved his costume and wouldn't mind seeing him wear it just for me.
Back at ATF headquarters, he disappeared into the suite's bathroom and I bit my lip, wanting to follow so badly I could taste it. Vin nudged me hard and Josiah intercepted Travis while I slipped down the hall and knocked on the door. It opened a crack and Ezra's hand reached out to pull me in. Once in, he slammed me against the door and took my mouth with all the passion absent in my life without him.
He tasted of lamb and goat cheese but also of himself. His tongue wrapped around mine and sucked on it like a mother's teat. I was so hard I was afraid I'd break it off. My hands slid over every square inch of his skin I could reach and there was a lot of skin. I could hardly wait to take him home so I could explore more of him.
Finally he pulled back a bit and opened those beautiful eyes. "I missed you, Chris. Going under this time was harder than it's ever been before."
I was giddy with relief and longing. "I missed you too, Ezra. The boys will tell you I was a complete and utter bastard to everybody."
"Josiah might have mentioned it." He smiled at me and his hands came up to cup my face. "You're all right with Vin and him?"
"It was a surprise at first but Vin seems happy and content so I'm all for them." I told him honestly.
He chuckled. "Vin needs someone who will hold his heart close while letting his spirit soar free. They're buying the Timmons place."
My mouth dropped open and I blinked at him. I didn't know that but it made sense, kind of. Vin and I had spun some wishes one night at Inez's Grill about breeding and training horses. This might just prove to be the start of making that wish come true. I was still wrapping my mind around it when he pulled out of my arms and that odd jingling noise came back only louder.
"If you would be so kind, Chris to get my casual clothes out of my locker," he asked me, hands on hips.
"There are bells on your pants." I sounded like an idiot but the gentle chimes were mesmerizing. A knock on the door brought me back to attention and Vin's voice had me opening it.
"You forgot these, Chris." He had the gall to smirk at me and wiggle his eyebrows.
I growled at him but my heart wasn't in it and I took the clothes he handed me before turning back to Ezra. He gave his hips a little shimmy and the bells hanging from the gold trim on the waistband chimed again. I was so hard I ached. His sultry look softened and he moved back to me, his hands busy at my waist. Then my cock was springing free while he went to his knees in front of me.
"I dreamed about doing this while I was trying to sleep in the back room of the Garden." His hands gently stroked the hood of skin down my cock but then his tongue was tasting me and that hot mouth of his was sliding down me until all I could feel was him.
I shivered once, a full body shiver that made my bones ache then he was humming around me and I was shooting like a sixteen year old with his first blow job. If my knees hadn't been locked and the door hadn't been bracing me, I'd have fallen right over. But he was still swallowing around me and every last seed I had was joining its brethren down his throat.
"Tasty, very tasty, my love," he chuckled and licked around my cock. "And now, if you'll leave me to redress, I can join our colleagues in finishing up the never-ending paperwork." He rose to his feet gracefully and tried to take the clothes I was still clutching to my chest.
"I want to go further." I blurted out. "I want you to show me how . . . full intercourse goes. I'm ready."
His gaze went hooded and he stilled. "We're still quite new, Chris. A little longer won't hurt."
Shaking my head, I smiled. "I'm no shy, innocent virgin, Ezra. Well, I mean I haven't ever experienced anal penetration but I know the basics. There can be pain but you're experienced and I trust you to make it good for me. I've never even seen you completely naked yet and I want to."
He pursed his lips and tilted his head in the thinking pose that makes me so hot. Then his eyes refocused and I wondered what his speculative look meant. "All right, Chris, we'll start with that and then proceed."
I nodded eagerly and watched his hands go to the waist band of his harem pants. There must have been a hidden snap or something because they suddenly let go and slid down his legs to the cuffs above his golden sandals. But my eyes were too busy looking at the cock rising to attention to notice anything else.
He was . . . big.
I licked suddenly dry lips.
He was . . . thick.
He was . . . never going to fit inside of me. I swallowed and took my courage in hand. Sinking to my knees in front of him, I dropped his clothes to one side and reached out with both hands to stroke him. He was warm and velvety soft. I could barely fit one hand around him and I wondered if I'd need a tape measure to figure out his girth. I gripped him firmly and heard him gasp.
Looking up, I made sure it was a 'good' gasp before going back to gazing at his monster cock. A single tear of fluid appeared in the long slit of the flaring plum colored crown and I daringly leaned over to lick it away. He tasted bland and maybe a little bitter but I was determined to give him the same release he'd just given me so I persevered. He groaned when I sucked in the whole of his crown, only then realizing I wasn't going to get much more than that in my mouth.
"Dear heavens, Chris, you feel wonderful." His hands came down to card through my hair and I smiled at the praise. "Don't over tax your muscles, love. That's enough for now. Just rub your tongue over me and add in a little suction. He's been deprived of any release for over a month so it won't take long to make him let go."
I hummed agreement and felt him jerk, releasing more seed to me. Adding in a little suction while my hands slid up and down the rest of his shaft, I managed to get in a bit more of him. I was pretty proud I'd managed that and decided to move a hand to his balls to see what that would do. He groaned again and I felt them tighten in my fingers.
"Pull back, Chris, I'm close." He warned me with a hand to my cheek but I just winked at him and sucked harder. "Oh my . . . Chris . . . dear God."
His harsh whisper sounded so unlike him I almost stopped but then he was jerking and coming. I tried to swallow it all, but some of it escaped and ran down my chin. His fingers tightened around my head but finally they went back to combing through my hair.
"You were inspired, Chris. I haven't come that hard in years." His voice was relaxed with a husky note that made me want to start all over again. "Sweetheart, once we get home, we're going to practice this until we both can't get it up again."
I hummed agreement and slowly pulled away. "He's not softening, Ezra. Did I do something wrong?"
He pulled me up and back into his arms. "You did everything so very right, I have no words to describe my joy." He kissed me hard and we shared our tastes. But then he stopped and stepped away to finish getting undressed so he could put on his regular clothes. "I don't soften until I've come at least twice. He'll just have to wait until we finish up the paper work. Then we'll go home to . . . practice."
I watched him dress while zipping myself back up. Practice had never sounded so good.
The end of this part