Steve rubbed the back of his neck and turned his head a couple times, trying to work the kinks out of his muscles. It had been a long week with some brutal hours, but a gang of armed bank robbers were behind bars, so it was worth it. They'd shot a teller for no good reason, and another innocent customer who tried to help her. Now that shooter was in the hospital with a head wound he wasn't expected to recover from, and his three friends were on their way to Halawa.
"I think I have something that can help with that," Danny said, standing in the doorway of Steve's office.
"I thought you went home already."
"I was going to leave, but then Rachel called and said Grace wanted to go to a sleep-over at one of her friends' house, so I said okay."
"Sorry, Danny. I know you were looking forward to having her this weekend."
"She'll be with me Sunday for a while. She's a teenager now. Hanging out with Dad is going to get less and less cool as time goes by," he said, but despite his little grin, he looked disappointed.
"You're offering me a neck rub?" Steve asked.
"No," Danny said, laughing. "I won a couple's massage for tomorrow. I put my card in a fish bowl at a restaurant. I thought it was for a free dinner or something, but, lucky me, it's for a couple's massage at this fancy spa."
"You want to get a couple's massage with me?" Steve asked, surprised...and more than a little interested I the whole concept.
"It's not a big deal. I got one with Rachel for our anniversary one year. They lit some candles and put on some music, but it's mainly just both of you getting a massage in the same room. I could go myself but it seems kind of stupid to waste it."
"I can see the romance didn't overwhelm you."
"I got called in to work about ten minutes into it."
"That must have been popular."
"Let's just say if I hadn't moved fast, she probably would have snapped me with her towel."
"Sure, why not?" Steve rubbed the back of his neck again.
"Okay, fine, let me do that." Danny walked in, sighing heavily, like he was about to undertake an arduous and horrible task.
"I can see that. I bet you feel a lot better, too."
"It's a little hard to do it on myself."
Danny stood behind the desk chair and started massaging Steve's shoulders, then focused on his upper back and his neck.
"Shit that feels good."
"You really should take me to dinner for this. Plus, tomorrow's Sweetest Day."
"Keep doing that and I'll even take you someplace with table cloths." Steve closed his eyes and enjoyed the feeling of Danny's hands loosening up the knots in his back. "Sweetest Day? What's that?"
"It's kind of like Valentine's Day, only in October."
"Never heard of it."
"Tell you what," Danny said. "We have to get the massage before five tomorrow, so when we're done, you can take me out for dinner. It'll be your first big chance to celebrate a new holiday."
"A couple's massage and dinner for Valentine's Day in October? People are gonna talk, Danno," he joked.
"You know what the old song says. Let's give 'em something to talk about." Danny stopped massaging and patted his shoulders before he headed for the door. "I'll pick you up at three."
"Bring a corsage. I like gardenias."
"You got it, babe," Danny joked, heading out the door.
Steve wondered if they could look any more awkward and out of place than they did walking through the reception area of the spa to check in for their massage. It was all soft tones of beige and tan, with lots of plants and an indoor bubbling fountain. There was some soothing instrumental music playing in the background. Most of the people in the lobby were women, but there were two couples also.
He also wondered, not for the first time, how he'd let Danny talk him into this. It was Sweetest Day, and he was getting a couple's massage with Danny and taking him out to dinner afterwards. They were even dressed in good clothes, with sport coats, so they could go to dinner right after the massage. There was a pretty young woman behind the curved reception desk. She smiled brightly at them, her perfect white teeth a contrast to her olive complexion and dark hair.
"I'm Danny Williams, we have a couple's massage for three o'clock," he said, and Steve wondered if he could have announced "couple's massage" a bit louder. If he didn't know better, he'd think Danny had ulterior motives beyond just using up a free massage when they were both between girlfriends. The girl behind the desk looked from one to the other of them, smiling.
"Please have a seat and we'll escort you back in just a few minutes."
"Will you relax?" Danny said as they sat down together on an overstuffed love seat. "If you get any more tense they're gonna have to use sledgehammers to loosen up your muscles."
"Danny, I feel ridiculous," he whispered.
"Why? What do you care what these people think?" he whispered back.
"They all think we're a couple."
"So what?" Danny paused. "Would it be so horrible if somebody made that mistake? You're gonna start insulting me if you keep that up," he joked, but Steve knew him well enough to know it wasn't entirely a joke. Danny was just a little offended, or hurt, but Steve's fretting that someone would think they were together.
"It's nothing personal."
"You just don't want anyone to think you could possibly be with me like that, but it's not personal, no," Danny said sarcastically.
"We're ready for you," an attractive blonde woman in what looked like white scrubs had approached us.
"We don't have to do this," Danny said. He sounded hurt, and Steve felt guilty for having done that. It was an innocent enough activity, and Danny was his best friend.
"I think it's a great idea, Danny. Let's do it," he said, standing. Danny stood then, too, giving him a skeptical look. He had oversold it just a bit, but at least it was better than the hurt look he'd gotten a minute ago.
"Right this way, gentlemen," she said, leading them through a door and down a hallway. There were doors on either side of it, and she stopped at one about two-thirds of the way down the hall and opened it. The room was dimly lit, and there were candles in floor-standing holders flickering. There were two...stretchers? Gurneys? Beds? Steve wasn't sure what the spa term was for them, but they were covered with crisp white sheets and had a couple fluffy white towels piled on each one. The floors were tile, and it looked expensive. The walls were tiled, too, with subtle shades of beige and tan, occasional diamond patterns highlighting them here and there. There was soft piano music playing, and there was a scent of something nice in the air; Steve couldn't quite identify it. "You can go ahead and get undressed. We'll be with you in a moment," she said, then left, closing the door.
"This is nice," Steve said, looking around. This is weird. Seriously fucking weird. Surreal, even. And he couldn't shake the feeling that Danny was up to something, but what, he couldn't say.
"It's been a rough week," Danny said, taking off his jacket and hanging it on one of the hangers on the clothing rod on the wall nearby. He was calmly and methodically stripping, like this was normal. "You want them to massage you through your jacket?" he asked.
"I guess that wouldn't work too well, huh?" he replied, smiling. He took off his jacket and hung it up, then followed Danny's lead and started stripping down. He wasn't sure why, but he was surprised when Danny even took off his shorts and then stretched out on his stomach on one of the beds.
Oh, well, when in Rome... He took off his shorts and tried not to look at Danny laid out there on the bed, naked, head resting on his folded arms, eyes closed, his skin painted with the shadows and glow of the candles. His hair was golden in this light, and so was the hair that dusted his arms and legs. He looked serene there. Danny never looked serene, but he did there. Serene, and...beautiful.
"Danny," he muttered, reaching toward him.
"Oh, yeah, you wanna throw that towel over my ass?"
"The towel, Steven? I'm a little exposed here."
"Yeah, sure." Steve laid the towel across Danny's ass, both relieved and disappointed to have broken the magic of the moment. Of that view.
"You might want to lie down."
"I will," Steve said, willing his dick to forget the image of Danny that was burned into his mind. An image he had a feeling would be with him forever. He wondered if he could ever look at Danny again without seeing him that way.
He stretched out on the other bed, threw a towel over his own ass, and folded his arms, resting his head there. He was facing toward Danny.
"If I doze off, just make sure to wake me before I start snoring," Danny said, yawning. "How much sleep did we get this week anyway?"
"Whatever it was, it wasn't much," Steve replied, yawning himself now. It was contagious.
A few minutes later, their masseuses came in and began their work. The woman, Sharon, who had shown them to the room, got started on Danny while her partner, Adam, a blond guy who looked about the same age as Danny, went to work on Steve. Steve hoped he wasn't going to have the problem it felt like he was having. His dick was a lot more interested in watching Danny's massage than it was in behaving itself while he had his own.
It did feel good, but the guy was getting a little aggressive around his shoulder, which had been through enough injuries to make it a bit sensitive.
"He's got a tricky shoulder, so go easy," Danny said, eyes open, watching Adam like Steve had seen him watch a suspect he didn't trust.
"Thanks, I will," Adam replied, keeping his tone customer-polite, but he sounded annoyed.
The massages went on in silence for a while. Then Steve heard a little grunt out of Danny he didn't like, and noticed Sharon was working her hands along his side.
"He's got some scar tissue there from a puncture wound," Steve said, pinning her with an accusatory look.
"Anytime you're uncomfortable, just let us know," Sharon said, hiding her irritation at being corrected a bit more than Adam had.
Steve tried relaxing again, but he found he wasn't enjoying watching someone else handle Danny's body. He wanted to kick out the pros and do it himself.
Adam was working on his legs, which felt good, until he started on the thighs and got too close to Steve's ass.
"You can skip that part," he said. "I'm good."
"You sure? There's a lot of tension in your lower back and this is all strictly professional," Adam said. Danny raised up on his elbows.
"He said skip it. You have a hearing problem, pal?"
"No, not at all," Adam said, visibly annoyed, wiping his hands on a towel and storming out.
"I'm sorry, gentlemen," Sharon said. "I can find another masseuse to finish your massage in just a few minutes," she said to Steve.
"I think it's finished, but thanks," he said, sitting up, keeping the towel around his waist and over his lap. "Just relax, Danny. Let Sharon finish up on you, since you're all tensed up again," he said, smiling, more than a little pleased the way Danny had sprung up to defend his honor. "Oh, he tore his ACL a few years ago, so be careful around his knee," Steve said. Sharon's hands froze where they were, and Danny was grinning at him.
"Uh, Sharon, could you give us a few minutes?"
"Of course. There's a call button right there, by the door. Just press it when you're ready," she said, forcing a smile and leaving the room.
"I'm sorry...I was just thinking that the one working on me gave my knees a pretty deep massage and I didn't want her to aggravate your knee."
"That's okay. I didn't much like that guy doing your thighs, either."
"I thought it was my shoulder you were worried about."
"I was. He acted like he was kneading pizza dough."
"He was a little rough. Not like you. I mean, you did a good job on it last night." It was awkward as hell saying it, but if Danny's smile was any indication, it was worth the discomfort. He sat up, too, keeping his towel sort of over his lap. Steve had the feeling Danny was showing him a bit more skin than he had to.
"Did he hurt you? I can still press the call button and kick his ass," Danny offered, and Steve laughed, picturing Danny summoning Adam back so he could punch him out. It was an even more amusing thought because he wouldn't put it past Danny to do just that.
"I'm fine. Besides, I know someone I trust to give me a great massage."
"What about the part under the towel?" Danny ventured, looking right into Steve's eyes.
"I'd trust him to do that part, too," Steve answered, wondering what he was getting himself into. He hoped it was more than a quick fuck in a massage room. He hoped he was getting himself into Danny's life, into his heart, and his bed, for the long haul.
Danny slid down off his bed and tossed his towel on it. "C'mere, babe."
Steve did the same and moved forward. He took Danny in his arms and kissed him, pulled his naked, massage-oiled body against him and ran his hands over that broad, solid back, following it down to the swell of Danny's ass. That ass he'd checked out more times than he even wanted to admit to himself. Danny's hands were always in motion, so it didn't surprise Steve that they were moving around on him, holding him, caressing his back, grabbing his ass.
They wound up on Steve's massage bed, horizontal, finally able to get their erections lined up. Danny, God bless him, found the massage oil and squirted some on them there, and shifted them so he was on top of Steve, guiding their movements. Reaching the a climax didn't take long, and after the first shout of ecstacy escaped him, Danny clamped a hand over Steve's mouth with a chuckle and stifled his own outcries against Steve's neck, turning them into strangely sexy, growling, animal sounds that wouldn't carry to the reception desk.
"I like your technique better than Adam's," Steve said, when Danny finally moved his hand.
"If Adam does that to you, I'll kill the fucker where he stands."
"Possessive, aren't you?"
"Is that gonna be a problem?" Danny was hovering over him, looking in his eyes. His hair was a little mussed and they were both slick with sweat and massage oil. Steve couldn't think of anyone else he'd rather be in that state with.
"Nope," he replied, pulling Danny back down on top of him and kissing him again. "I love you, Danny." Danny pulled back and smiled at him, touching his cheek.
"You don't know the half of it."
"The half of what?" Steve needled, and Danny laughed, obviously remembering how Steve had dragged the words out of him once they'd made it out of that collapsed building. The truth was, Steve didn't hear those words very often in his life. He didn't say them lightly, but he didn't hear them much, either. That's why they were so precious to him when Danny said them.
Danny framed his face with both hands. "I love you, Steven."
"You wanna go out for dinner now?"
"Usually it's dinner and then sex, but I'm getting hungry. We should probably stop off at your place for a shower."
Steve ran his hand down Danny's back and over the curve of his ass one more time, just because he could, and because the feeling of the massage oil on Danny's skin was a little too intoxicating not to feel again.
"If I get you in the shower, we probably won't make dinner."
"It can be a late dinner."
"A really, really late dinner," Steve replied, kissing and nibbling his way down Danny's neck.
"We'll need to replenish our fluids and build up our energy," Danny insisted.
"It's a date," Steve said as Danny moved off him and grabbed a towel. "Hey, let me do that," he said, commandeering it and moving it over Danny's skin slowly, almost reverently, savoring the movement of the fabric over every part of Danny's body.
"Eventually they're gonna want their room back. You're gonna get me going again," he complained, but the protest was weak. He retrieved a towel and started working on Steve.
Amazingly, they eventually got dressed, pushed the call button, tipped Sharon walked out of the spa hand in hand. Steve marveled at the fact he'd actually fretted over someone thinking he and Danny were a couple when they first arrived. Now they were, and he didn't care if the world knew it. Truthfully, he wanted to stop some random stranger so he could tell someone he just got everything he ever wanted.
"Dinner's on me," Danny said as they reached the Camaro. Steve paused on his side, looking over the roof at Danny.
"I thought I was gonna treat to dinner, since you provided the massage."
"I won a free dinner at Azure."
"Wait. I thought you won the massage."
"I won something, close enough," he said, grinning devilishly at Steve.
"So you set up this whole thing to trick me into having sex with you?"
"When you put it that way, it sounds a little sordid, but okay. Yeah. I did. I was going to invite you for the dinner, but I wasn't sure you'd go to a romantic dinner for two with me on Sweetest Day."
"I would have," Steve said, and he was surprised at the admission, and the truth of it. "Not that I'm complaining about how the massage turned out." Steve walked around the back of the car to where Danny stood and pulled him close, kissing him. "I never celebrated Sweetest Day before. When you talked about it, it sounded like another greeting card gimmick."
"Nothing wrong with a gimmick if it works," Danny reasoned. Steve hugged him, and Danny hugged back, enthusiastically.
"It worked, Danno. Happy Sweetest Day."
"This is about the sweetest day I can remember for a while, babe," Danny replied, giving him a good squeeze.