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Reconnection

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Burt trailed Tyler back inside the garage after Rosalita had walked away, knowing that even though apologies had been made they still needed to reconnect.  Pulling his lover back against his body, he threaded his fingers into Tyler’s long hair and the younger man tipped his head back into his touch with a sigh.  “You could have told me.”

“I didn’t want to.”  Tyler stared up at the rusty corrugated roof, his voice quietly apologetic.  “I didn’t want you to know.”

Burt sighed.  “I want to know, Tyler.  We’re partners.”

“Yeah.”  Tyler leaned back a little further and Burt let his hand slide down, caressing Tyler’s cheek before his arm slipped around the younger man’s broad shoulders.  “I missed you.”

“I have been gone a lot lately.”

Tyler finally relaxed into Burt’s hold with a sigh of his own.  “Yeah.  But you have stuff you have to do and so do I, we aren’t joined at the hip.”

Burt didn’t quite smile.  “We could make the attempt.”  The low chuckle that bubbled out of his lover’s chest was his reward.  “Well you know what I always say.”

“Where there’s a will there’s a way.”  Tyler turned his head and grinned.  “And you’ve got a lot of will.”

“So do you.”  Burt rested his forehead against Tyler’s, shutting his eyes.  “I could have lost you.”

Tyler closed his eyes too.  “You didn’t.  I won’t say you won’t, but it for damn sure won’t be to some overgrown appetizer.”  Burt reached up and gently squeezed his injured arm, and the younger man gasped lightly.  “Okay, it was a little bit more than that.  But I’m okay, Rosalita’s okay, everybody’s okay.”

“I’ll be the judge of whether you’re okay once I’ve looked at that arm,” Burt told him, squeezing again before letting go.  When Sheriff Boggs had contacted him to come bail his partner out two days ago, the man had mentioned as though it wasn’t very important that Tyler’s trip to jail had been by way of the emergency room because the younger man had passed out in the back of the squad car on the way into town.  Burt had been so angry over the whole situation at the time that he’d barely asked his lover if he was all right when he’d picked him up, much less listened to the answer, and then he’d proceeded to worry about it the whole time he was out of town.  Among other things he’d been worrying about, like a certain Latino bombshell who’d gotten Tyler into the near-fatal mess in the first place.  Burt opened his eyes and frowned down at his lover; he didn’t think it was possible, but he had to ask for his own peace of mind.  “Tyler, about Rosalita…do you, um, want her?”

Tyler snorted and leaned a little more of his weight on his lover.  “If I did, I could have probably already had her.  I like her just fine as a friend and she’s damn pretty to look at, but in bed…”  He smiled and nuzzled Burt’s cheek.  “She’s so not my type.”

“Thank God for that.”  Burt pulled him close, kissed him soundly, and then released him.  “How about I make you dinner and we have an early night?”

“Cactus?”

“Nope, steak and potatoes and mushroom gravy – I stopped at the store on my way back into town.”  Burt slipped regretfully back into his untouchable survivalist persona and headed for the door.  “Well, get your gear and haul ass out to the jeep,” he said loudly, walking out the door.  “We’ve got a lot of fence to repair if you’re going to make it up to me for going to work for Melvin!”

“Just hold your horses, geez,” Tyler replied in the same vein but with a mischievous wink at his lover.  “I’m comin’, I’m comin’.”

Burt saw Jodi and Nancy shaking their heads as they ducked back into the store and smiled slightly.  Camouflage, wonderful stuff; keeps people from seeing what’s right in front of them.  “Not yet, but you will be,” he chuckled under his breath.  “That I guarantee.”