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The day that Eames' father died was the day his life began.

Of course, he didn't really know that at the time. He was confused, and a bit dazed from where his head had hit the car roof after Arthur had grabbed his arm and yanked, barking, "Get in!" with a force that Eames couldn't have resisted if he had tried.

Not that he'd tried. He'd known Arthur less than a month, but already he trusted him more than he'd ever trusted any adult in his life up to that point. Ever since his Mum had died, that was. Certainly far more than he trusted his father.

Well, that last went without saying. And it was a large part of why he wasn't too broken up when he found out his father was dead, and why he didn't flip out when he found it had been Arthur who had killed him.

In fact, almost the first thing he did when he found out was thank Arthur.


For all his sullen expressions and crooked teeth, Eames was absolutely the most beautiful fifteen year old Arthur had ever seen.

Not that he saw many fifteen year olds in his line of work, Arthur had to admit. But he watched some television from time to time. His clients and his marks occasionally had children. Arthur walked about in populated areas the same as lawyers and service workers and high school students did. He wasn't always circulating amongst the rich and powerful; only most of the time.

Regardless, Eames was something special, and Arthur knew it within moments of being dismissively introduced to the boy. His father wasn't exactly doting, that was obvious. In fact, as Arthur spent time in the household he realized that doting was exactly the opposite of what Eames' father was. The bruises and black eyes didn't happen because Eames was clumsy, no matter what his father growled brusquely. It didn't take someone of Arthur's intelligence to figure that much out.

Arthur was familiar with child abuse, unfortunately, and he wasn't being paid to be concerned about the teenage son of his mark. Eames was only a few years away from college, adulthood, and relative freedom. That was what Arthur repeated to himself every time he saw one of those sculpted cheekbones marred with blooming purple, every time he saw Eames flinch when his father moved suddenly. It was regrettable, but Eames would live through it and be stronger for it. Arthur knew that from experience, after all.

What decided him that Eames did, after all, need rescuing, what sealed his father's dire fate, was the day that Arthur had seen Eames leaving his father's office, his hair mussed, his lips raw and red, his normally bright grey eyes glassy and shining with collected tears. He hadn't noticed Arthur, had made his way quickly down the hall toward his own room, and Arthur had unfrozen for long enough to verify that, yes, it was Eames' father in his own office, not someone else.

That was the point at which Arthur decided he was going to kill his mark and kidnap the man's son. That wasn't in his contract, but as long as he came away with the information his client needed, he didn't think they would care what else he did. It wasn't as though any of it was going to come back to him or to them, after all.

Getting the information was easy. Killing the man was satisfying. The explosives Arthur rigged in that damned office to destroy the corpse and muddy the investigation... well, those were just gratuitous, but the resultant detonation was satisfying as hell.

Arthur regretted nothing, and he was going to make sure Eames had nothing to regret either.


Driving away from the family mansion while his father's office exploded in a ball of flames and shrapnel seemed so much like something out of a film that Eames felt the entire thing was too surreal to be happening. Maybe it was a dream. Only... it didn't feel like a dream. Generally Eames could always tell when he was dreaming.

Arthur was the same as Eames had come to expect, though. His hands firm and steady on the wheel, a focused expression on his face, his eyes dead ahead on the road, though Eames did think he caught those warm brown eyes flickering to the rearview mirror when the office went up in flames.

The thing was, even though he didn't know what was happening or why he was here, Eames trusted Arthur. He wasn't sure why, but he did. Even though Arthur appeared to have done a number on his ancestral home, and was evidently... abducting him?

"What... what's going on?" Eames asked, trying to sound outraged, even though he didn't feel it. Mostly, he was afraid he sounded pitiful and uncertain. But it wasn't so bad showing weakness to Arthur, he didn't think. He was pretty sure Arthur wouldn't take advantage of it.

Eames still remembered the drizzly grey afternoon when he had felt the overwhelming need to get out of the house and away from his Dad. He'd retreated to the overgrown corner of the garden maze that had become neglected in the years since his Mum's death. No one ever went there, and Eames had thought that no one could find him there. So he'd been understandably startled when Arthur had appeared out of the foggy air, a sleek slice of black suit and pomaded hair. His face had been expressionless, but Eames had thought that he hadn't been imagining the mild concern in those lovely eyes.

He had something of a crush on Arthur, he could admit to himself. Not that anything would ever come of it. Arthur was working for his father, he was gorgeous and strong and wore his fine clothing as though he'd been born to it. He couldn't possibly have ever wanted to have anything to do with a scruffy fifteen year old with a fresh shiner and jeans that never did fit quite right despite all the money his father made.

Neither of them had spoken a word as Arthur had seated himself on the cracked stone bench beside Eames. Arthur had been silent and Eames couldn't think of anything to say.

They had just sat there, watching the small songbirds that Eames felt he ought to be able to identify gamboling and bathing in the basin that was resting at a slant and filled with rainwater.

"If you could leave, would you?"

Eames had startled again when Arthur had finally spoken. His tone had been low and intense. Eames kind of wanted to roll himself up in Arthur's voice, loved the smooth throatiness of it, adored his American accent. But then, there wasn't much about Arthur that he wouldn't have wanted to roll around in, he thought with a faint blush. He wasn't used to sex being something he desired rather than a punishment, something to be avoided at all costs.... But he'd cut that line of thought off quickly and had focused on the question Arthur had asked him. Not that it needed any true consideration. It had only been at the forefront of his mind ever since he'd become old enough to realize that there could be something better out there.

"Of course," he'd answered, then flushed for another reason when he'd realized he was rubbing his bruised wrist. Sometimes.... Okay, most of the time... he really hated his father. To see the last of the man? "That'd be a dream come true," he'd admitted. Because somehow he'd known he could trust Arthur not to go telling his Dad what he'd just said.

Arthur hadn't replied to that, and they had remained like that for a long time, maybe even the better part of an hour. It should have felt awkward and uncomfortable, Eames thought later, but being with Arthur like that had made him feel... safe. He wasn't sure why, but it just had.

Then Arthur's phone had buzzed in his pocket, he'd cursed quietly, and squeezed Eames' shoulder before rising and leaving as silently as he had arrived.

Eames still treasured that one brief moment of contact, and maybe that was why he hadn't protested or resisted when Arthur had dragged him into the car and driven him away from his home.

Because on any given day, he'd far rather be with Arthur than with his father. And because, beyond all reason, he trusted Arthur. He wasn't sure why, or whether it was a good idea, but he did.


Eames had asked a reasonable question, Arthur thought with an internal wince. But how was he supposed to answer it? The truth of why Arthur had been in Eames' home was complicated and dangerous, but the truth of why he had stolen the boy away was too simplistic. He had to find a happy medium.

Well, they had a long drive ahead of them. Arthur wasn't going to stop until he was out of the country. He already had all of Eames' papers, and had packed him a small bag in the trunk of the car. He hoped there was nothing vital that Eames would be leaving behind, but if there was, he could probably arrange a small burglary to obtain it, once the heat of the murder and fire had abated a little.

"I was working for your father under false pretenses," he told Eames steadily. "In fact, he was not my primary employer. I was hired to find out some things that your father was keeping hidden, some industrial secrets as it were."

Eames was nodding and looked as though he was listening raptly. He looked small and vulnerable, curled up in the bucket seat next to Arthur, even though Arthur knew that when he unfolded himself he was nearly the same height as Arthur and increasingly lanky. Not a child anymore, but still years away from being a man.

"I got those secrets and passed them along," Arthur continued, and it wasn't so difficult after all to simplify things so that Eames could understand but not be in danger of knowing too much about Arthur's clients.

"And they.... Did they," Eames licked his lips, and Arthur cursed his peripheral vision as he felt his dick harden in his pants. Now was definitely not the time, when he had a getaway to make, and hadn't yet informed Eames of his father's demise or his hand in it. "Did they hire you to blow the place up?"

"I only placed explosives in your father's office," Arthur corrected, and here came the hardest part to communicate, so he didn't hesitate. "After I killed him."

Eames went silent and still, and Arthur found he was holding his breath. Telling Eames this while he was driving hadn't been the best idea he'd ever had, but he needed to put as much distance between them and the house as possible, and it would have been cruel to wait longer to inform Eames of his new status as an orphan.

"Are you... are you going to kill me too?" Eames finally asked in a small voice.

"No," Arthur answered immediately and with some force. "Absolutely not. I'm taking you away from that place. That's all."

That wasn't all. If all he'd wanted to do was to save Eames, he'd have accomplished that when he'd killed the boy's father. But Arthur didn't want to admit to the selfishness that wouldn't allow him to leave Eames behind, that wanted Eames with him. Not aloud, not to Eames, and not even to himself really.

Eames chewed on his lower lip a little, his dark grey gaze fixed on Arthur's profile. Arthur could feel the weight of it as much as he could see it out of the corner of his eye.

"It... it might not be so bad there... without Dad," Eames said slowly, and Arthur almost offered to find a safe place to drop him off so that he could make his way home, because he wasn't about to hold the boy against his will, when Eames continued, "But I'd rather be with you. Thank you, Arthur."

Arthur had always liked the way Eames' husky young voice curled around his name, but now he was beginning to rethink his impulsive act.

Not killing Eames' father. The man had not deserved to live, in Arthur's opinion. And he definitely hadn't deserved a son as beautiful and brilliant as Eames was. Not the way he had misused and abused him; in so many different and awful ways. Physical and sexual abuse weren't all of it. Arthur had heard the man say horrible, cutting, demeaning things to Eames as a matter of course, adding verbal and emotional abuse to that list.

"Are you sure?" Arthur asked, and he had definitely acted impulsively when he'd snatched Eames. He wasn't exactly regretting it, but the enormity of what the future might hold was beginning to crash down on his head. He wasn't used to feeling uncertain. "My life isn't easy, and it's always dangerous. You might be safe at home now...."

"I'd rather be with you," Eames repeated, uncoiling and setting his feet firmly on the mat before his seat. "As long as you'll have me."

Arthur nodded. They should probably speak about it more, later. But at least he knew now that Eames wasn't going to start screaming or trying to jump out of a moving car. In fact....

"I can't believe you just thanked me for killing your father," he said, in the most matter-of-fact, nonjudgmental tone he could manage.

"He deserved it," Eames growled, wrapping his arms around himself and staring stonily through the windshield at the falling rain. "Bastard."

"Yes, he did," Arthur agreed. Then he glanced over and allowed himself a tiny smile, because Eames was coming with him willingly, and because the boy's father would never lay hands on him again. "Now, buckle up."

Eames glanced at him, then did as directed. He was a little pale, but he seemed calm enough, and he appeared to be at ease with Arthur, despite the fact that Arthur had just admitted to killing his father.

Arthur only hoped that this was going to last.


Arthur kept driving into the night, to the point that Eames was in serious danger of falling asleep, no matter how much he felt he needed to stay awake.

As the car zipped through the darkness he thought hard about all of his things, back at the house. Upon deliberation, there honestly wasn't a single physical item he valued as much as he treasured this new freedom from his father.

Freedom that Arthur had for some reason procured for him. Even if Arthur had simply taken Eames for use as collateral... well, that was still a far sight better than what his father had kept him for.

He didn't get the sense that this was what Arthur wanted from him... but he couldn't imagine what Arthur did want. Well, he had thought... maybe hoped once or twice that he had seen the heat of desire warming those lovely chocolate brown eyes when Arthur had turned them his way.... But he'd chalked it up to his imagination every time. Arthur was powerful and gorgeous and smart. He was also an adult. What could he possibly want from Eames? Who was practically a child still, and who couldn't even avoid his own father's fist and... well.

Arthur could have any lover that he wanted, Eames was convinced. He knew that, and he knew that there was very little chance that Arthur had absconded with him out of overwhelming lust. Even if he was somehow aware of what Eames' father had made him do and thought that Eames might be an easy mark due to that, why would he bother going to all this trouble for a mere suck job?

Not to mention, Eames thought better of Arthur than that. If he could have believed that Arthur wanted him, Eames specifically, in a sexual manner... well, he'd have been thrilled. But he thought that was unlikely. He found the idea of Arthur just wanting an easy lay far less likely, though. Because, again, Arthur could have gotten someone far better looking than Eames for that. Not to mention more mature; physically as well as mentally and emotionally.

Eames didn't buy into all of his father's insults, but he was well aware that he was fifteen, all arms and legs, and had a face that, well, wasn't exactly fit for modeling. Not like Arthur, who was so handsome that just looking at him made Eames' heart ache.

Well, whatever the reason Arthur had brought him along, Eames was here. He trusted Arthur, mostly, but he didn't completely trust the situation and he knew that he shouldn't trust Arthur the way that he did. So it was only sensible to remain awake, to avoid the vulnerability of sleep.

This was tough, though, and growing tougher as the hour passed midnight.

It was when Eames had finally reached the point that he simply couldn't keep his eyes open any longer despite the strange and unnerving situation he found himself in that they actually stopped.

Well, not so much stopped as got out of the car and into an airplane.

"Last chance to break away and go to the authorities," Arthur said, shoving a bag of clothing and Eames' passport into his hands. Eames stared at him numbly. "You could mention me or not, it would be up to you. I can promise you, though, no reprisals if you did."

"You said you were taking me with you," Eames said, horrified at the way his voice cracked as he spoke the words. He sounded a little like a whiny kid and a lot like a pussy, but Arthur's serious expression softened immediately.

"If that's what you want."

Eames nodded fervently. "Don't want to deal with the authorities. And anyway," he voice gained strength and he sounded less as though he was about to burst into tears, thank God, "I doubt life would be a whole lot better with Dad's brother. He hits too."

Arthur's lips pressed together and he didn't offer Eames any more outs. Eames was grateful for the latter, but sad about the former. Arthur had a really lovely pair of lips, and Eames had spent more than his fair share of time staring at them and fantasizing.

Of course, said fantasizing had never involved Arthur killing his father and stealing him away.... But if Eames had ever allowed himself to dream a little bigger, maybe it would have done.

At any rate, he was committed now and he had no regrets. As long as Arthur would have him, there was nowhere else Eames wanted to be.


Arthur finally stopped running and went to ground in his least accessible safehouse, "In the States," was all he would tell Eames. The boy could read the road signs on the way from the airport to the cabin if he wanted, but somehow Arthur didn't think that would be the case.

The fact that Eames fell sound asleep less than three miles into the eighty mile drive, even after having dozed on the plane ride, pretty much cemented that notion. As well as surprising Arthur not at all.

He was looking forward to sleep himself, but it was going to be a while longer. As the responsible adult here he had to make sure he was awake and alert. And he certainly was responsible, considering that he'd killed a man, blown up his office, and kidnapped his teenage son.

Well, it wasn't a kidnapping, per se. That word implied that Arthur would be asking a ransom for Eames' return. When Eames had expressed no desire to be returned, and Arthur didn't intend to return him. This was more an abduction or a seizure, Arthur supposed. He was still a little startled that Eames had just come along with him, no questions, no fuss.... Well, a few questions, but none of the ones Arthur would have been asking if their roles had been reversed.

Not that he was complaining about this fact, of course.

It was a good thing he had trained his body to go long periods without sleep, Arthur thought blearily as he pulled into the carport, but even so he was going to need to crash soon. Once he'd looked into the mess he'd left behind him in England and verified that his client had delivered his payment. They'd said they didn't care that he'd murdered his mark, but Arthur hadn't gotten where he was by taking chances or by trusting people at their words. He needed to make sure. Then he'd be able to sleep.

And hope that Eames didn't slit his throat while he was out, he thought with a small grin as he shook the boy awake. But he trusted that Eames wouldn't. He might not trust other people, but Arthur trusted his gut, and his gut was telling him that Eames wasn't likely to seek revenge for his father's death. After all, Arthur had already given him several chances to escape his nefarious clutches. So he didn't think Eames would be inclined to run, either.

Eames blinked at him in bleary confusion for a moment before going wide-eyed with startlement. Then his face melted into a calm, sleepy expression and Arthur was sure that his gut was right. That was not the face of a boy who was going to freak out after the fact and do something stupid. That was the face of a boy who, for some unfathomable reason, trusted Arthur. And so Arthur could, in turn, trust him. At least for tonight.

"We're at the house," Arthur told Eames, before opening the driver's side door. The cool air of early morning went a ways toward waking him, but he knew himself well enough to know it was a losing battle. "I don't need to carry you in, do I?"

"No," Eames replied indignantly, but then spoiled the effect by yawning hugely. "Is there a bed?" he asked sheepishly, opening his own door and grabbing the bag Arthur had packed for him as he climbed clumsily out of the car, obviously stiff from all the sitting he'd been doing since Arthur had dragged him into the car for their getaway.

"No, I just thought we'd sleep on the floor," Arthur replied evenly, fetching a lock pick out of his jacket lining and letting himself in the way he always did when he hadn't had time to pick up the spare key he kept in a safe box a state over. "There's a drum full of rainwater in the back if you need a bath."

"Ha-ha," Eames snarked back, but his expression was relieved as he got a good look at the inside of the cabin. There was a full living room set, a queen-size bed, a kitchen area, and a separate bathroom with both a shower stall and an old claw-foot tub. The place was tiny, but when Arthur hid out he liked to do so in style. Everything was covered in a thin layer of dust, but it was otherwise exactly as he had left it last time he'd been here.

It was certainly nothing to compare to the veritable mansion Eames had grown up in, but he seemed to be thrilled to be there, looking around with bright eyes, and Arthur had to admit that he was fond of it himself. It was the first place he had ever owned, purchased when he had just been starting out in his career.

"Can you see what's in the cupboards while I make sure we got out clean?" Arthur requested, flicking on the central heating and then settling down on the sofa with his laptop. The smell of burning dust and cobwebs was momentarily stifling but at the same time it was familiar and strangely comforting. Then it was rapidly overwritten by the scent of canned ravioli, as Eames followed Arthur's directions quickly and efficiently, without questions or backtalk.

Eames rinsed out some bowls while Arthur checked his bank account, then set two places at the tiny table the kitchenette boasted as Arthur closed his laptop with a satisfied sigh and a small click.

"All good?" Eames asked, dishing up their makeshift meal. Arthur made a note to go on a grocery run in the morning, but right now he was famished and anything edible would hit the spot. Even the barely edible, like canned ravioli.

"Yes," he replied, seating himself. He and Eames tucked in, and Arthur mulled over the fact that they worked well as a team, and that this might not be a bad way to live, if he got Eames trained up right.

But not this instant. With both their bellies full and the cabin finally heating up, their exhaustion caught with them, both of them. Once they were done eating they stripped down to their underwear and repaired to the bed to get some well earned sleep. Arthur wrinkled his nose and Eames sneezed at the dust on the sheets, but then they were both settled and it didn't seem as important as the sweet oblivion of slumber hovering at the edge of Arthur's senses.

The last thing he felt as he drifted off was Eames slowly but determinedly cuddling closer to him. He was too tired to protest, but he doubted he would have even if he hadn't been.

As a matter of fact, he knew that he wouldn't have.


Everything seemed much weirder and yet even more wonderful in the light of day, Eames thought.

He could hardly fathom that his Dad was dead. A part of him was in mourning, he supposed, but it was only a small part, and it more a grief for the father the man had never been, for the loss of potential, than actual loss. Not that Eames was foolish enough to think his father would ever have changed for the better, of course, but....

He still wasn't upset with Arthur for what he had done. Not for killing his Dad, and not for dragging Eames away from his home, to another continent even, with one small bag that didn't even have his favourite pair of pants in it.

In fact, he was increasingly grateful to Arthur. Or... would be, once he figured out exactly why the man had done it.

Since he wasn't prone to being shy -- at least not when he was reasonable certain he wouldn't be hit for it -- Eames just flat out asked, as they both got dressed to face the day.


Arthur gave him a long, steady look. He clearly wasn't surprised by this question, but then, Eames hadn't expected him to be. He seemed to be considering how to reply.

Eames thought that Arthur looked absolutely delicious, with his normally shellacked hair all a muss, bags under his eyes but his gaze bright, his shirt still unbuttoned to reveal a strip of white undershirt that Eames already knew from waking with his cheek pressed against it to be temptingly soft.

When Arthur had first started working for his father, Eames hadn't really noticed him; just another bloke in a suit, though Arthur wore it better than most. Of course now, knowing what he knew about Arthur's real reason for being there, Eames realized that this anonymity had been by design, not by nature.

The first time he had really noticed how attractive Arthur was, how warm his eyes were and how perfect his cupid's bow lips, had been the first time Eames' father had said something cutting in front of the new hire. Eames was used to it -- not to say he enjoyed it in the slightest -- and so he tended to amuse himself by gauging the reactions or lack thereof whenever his father got comfortable enough to snarl foul things at him where the latest employees could hear. As per usual, the man had said something that no father should say to his son, and Arthur had looked absolutely murderous for all of half a second before he slapped a blank mask back on his face.

Eames had seen a fair amount of reactions, because his Dad really got nasty when he was in his own home and didn't seem to give a flying fuck who heard. The general response was mild to moderate disapproval, though there had been plenty who hadn't seemed to care one way or the other. Some had even seemed relieved that it was Eames taking the brunt of his father's rage instead of them. Arthur's reaction had been the first time Eames had thought that someone wanted to kill his father for what he said and did to his son....

Well, and that had proven to be literal, as Eames had learned. Which was unexpected, but he still didn't regret it and he still felt grateful to Arthur. Whatever else happened between them, he doubted this would ever change.

Eames wanted to believe that Arthur had done it out of the goodness of his heart, to free Eames from the heavy-handed abuse that his father doled out on a regular basis. But he wasn't sure, and so he needed to hear it from the man himself.

Only then would he feel completely at ease around Arthur. Even though he was already well on his way there, if the way he'd cozied up to the man the night before was any indication.

Arthur hadn't pushed him away, though. And they were both here. Now Eames just wanted to know why. He didn't think it was an unreasonable question.


Why? Eames wanted to know. It wasn't as though Arthur could really blame him. In fact, if it had been him, he'd have been asking within moments of being pulled into the car, back at the house, back in England.

But Eames seemed to be more inclined to take things as they came than Arthur was. Even with as little as they had interacted, Arthur had picked up on that. It had worked in Arthur's favor to this point, so he certainly wasn't begrudging Eames asking this somewhat belated question now.

Of course, now Arthur had to come up with an answer. And he didn't think "Because I wanted to," would cut it. Besides which, that answer wouldn't have been fair to Eames, no matter how true it was.

Arthur might have railroaded Eames, abducted him from his home and even his country after killing the boy's father, but that wasn't any reason not to treat him fairly. In fact, it was all the more reason to do so from here on out.

"I would have killed your father no matter what," Arthur replied honestly, moving around the tiny kitchenette and setting some coffee to brew. It had been in the cupboard so long that it was sure to be horrible, but it would be caffeine, and would get him through this morning, until he could get into town and buy more. "For the things he did to you."

Eames flushed a dull red and gave Arthur a suspicious look. Technically, Arthur had no way of knowing about the sexual abuse... but if Eames was as smart as Arthur thought he probably was, he had to guess that Arthur either knew or had guessed in turn.

"As to why I brought you here with me..." Arthur paused, giving the coffeemaker's power button a slightly harder punch than necessary to turn it on. "That wasn't a whim, but it wasn't exactly one of my best ideas either."

"I thought it was a fine idea," Eames said mildly, and while he was clearly adept at hiding his emotions, Arthur was pretty sure that he'd hurt the boy's feelings.

"Look at it this way," he offered, not apologizing but trying to appease Eames, "Bringing you with me robs you of your inheritance, it makes us both fugitives, and unless you break free of me it means you're likely to be entering a life of crime."

Arthur felt something akin to regret as he laid this out for Eames. When he put it that way, he realized that it was all true... and those were not good things.

"Okay, look." Eames drew in a deep breath, calmness settling over his face, his dark grey eyes shining. He seemed set to convince Arthur of something, and if it assuaged his guilt, Arthur was ready to be convinced. "My inheritance would have been managed by my uncle, who I've already said I don't like, who I don't trust not to hurt me. Not to mention most, if not all, of Dad's wealth was illicitly earned."

Arthur couldn't argue that second point. His delving into the details of the man's financial dealings had certainly turned up some questionable business practices. In fact, it was in question as to whether any of his dealings had been legitimate.

It was nice that Eames didn't want a piece of that, but....

"If that bothers you, then the way I earn my living--" he started, but Eames was already shaking his head, almost as soon as he opened his mouth.

"Not the same thing," Eames said, and he said it with so much certainty that Arthur almost felt the boy knew what he was talking about, almost felt he was older than his fifteen years. "Whatever you do, whatever you've done, whatever you're going to do, it can't be as bad as what he's done."

"That's true," Arthur said mildly, pouring himself some awful coffee and sitting at the tiny table. "But you don't have any way of proving that."

"I don't need to prove it," Eames argued, but rationally, not violently. Still working hard to convince Arthur. "I trust my instincts."

Since Arthur had been doing exactly the same thing the night before, when he had slept with Eames in the same bed with him, he could hardly argue this blunt statement.

"Anyway," Eames continued, his voice as tense and earnest as Arthur had ever heard it. Not that he had heard Eames speak often, and rarely flippantly, but it was as though he felt that he needed to convince Arthur right this instant. The sad thing was that Arthur wasn't going to take much convincing. "I wouldn't call us fugitives. The authorities will be looking for me since I'm underage, but they won't be looking in the States. And you said yourself that you got out clean."

"Things can change," Arthur was compelled to put in, even though he privately agreed with Eames on most points. "And your uncle is going to be trying to find you."

Eames bit his lower lip and Arthur suffered the entirely inappropriate urge to bite it as well. "True, but he'll only be doing it so he looks legit. Secretly he'll be thrilled that he won't have to share the wealth with me. He... he doesn't like me any more than I like him. Honestly."

Arthur couldn't argue that, either. Eames would know his uncle better than Arthur, considering that he'd never even heard of the man before and so knew absolutely nothing about him.

"And as for a life of crime...." Eames hesitated and bit his lip harder, and at first he seemed to be trying to avoid Arthur's gaze, but then he met it and held it forthrightly, his own eyes bright and clear, not at all confused. "I'm fine with that. If it's with you, I want that. But... are you really willing to drag me around with you? To maybe... maybe teach me to do what you do?"

"I think so," Arthur replied, because he wasn't the sort of man who made promises easily, or made promises that he wasn't completely sure he could keep. "It was on my mind."

He couldn't really read the expression on Eames' face, but he felt that there was small chance of his misreading the boy's intent when he went to his knees quickly and not exactly gracelessly between Arthur's thighs, hands already moving toward his fly with both intent and familiarity.

"Stop that," Arthur barked out, grasping Eames' wrists, feeling the bones and tendons grinding against each other beneath his fingers, feeling the boy's pulse racing.

Eames froze, staring up at him with huge eyes. Arthur read raw fear in those bright grey eyes, and he didn't like it, didn't like being the cause of it. He immediately gentled his tone and explained as simply and succinctly as he could.

"I don't want you doing anything here that your father made you do."

Eames' expression shifted, growing more confident, more calculating. "I don't mind...."

"No." Arthur stood, dragging Eames to his feet, and pulled him over the messy bed. His coffee sat on the table, completely forgotten, but that was fine because it had been as dreadful as he had expected and worse. Anyway, combined adrenaline and arousal had Arthur feeling just as wakeful and alert as caffeine might have done, if not more so.

"Are you going to...?"

Eames let the sentence trail away, and now he was looking trepidatious and a little fearful again.

"I'm not going to spank you," Arthur replied, even though he didn't know whether that had been where Eames had been going with that thought. It was probably not a good thing that it had been where his own mind had jumped. Still.... "I don't intend to ever hit you. If I ever hit you, you have my full permission to hit me back, even if you deserved to be hit in the first place. All right?"

"I wouldn't!" Eames gasped, and then he stood there in abject confusion as Arthur sank down to sit on the edge of the mattress. His face lightened up a little as Arthur tugged and maneuvered him so that he was straddling Arthur's thighs, his hands automatically grasping at Arthur's shoulders, Arthur's own hands on his hips, holding him steady.

"That's fine," Arthur told him seriously, because this point was very important even if he was headed somewhere considerably more carnal in a moment. "But just know that I won't, and that you can. Unless we're in front of a client, at which point I need you to trust me to make the right choice. But you won't be dealing with any clients face to face for a few years. Not until I'm sure you can handle it. Not until I know it'll be safe for you."

Eames nodded, and he looked thoughtful, even though he was stretched across Arthur's thighs like the best kind of wanton lap-warmer.

"I wouldn't mind blowing you, you know," Eames said, almost shyly, peering at him earnestly through long lashes. "It wouldn't be the same as having to blow my Dad. Not even close to it. I want to blow you."

Arthur was flattered -- the part of him that wasn't disgusted and appalled at what Eames' father had forced his own son to do, which was why the bastard was dead now even though that suddenly didn't seem like enough -- but he had something else in mind.

Eames' father was dead and Arthur was about to thoroughly debauch his son, driving any thought of his father and sex at the same time from Eames' mind. Arthur was going to overwrite that horrible experience, and he was going to make sure that Eames enjoyed every moment of it. What Eames' father had done had been sexual abuse. Arthur was going to show Eames how to fuck.

"Did your father ever kiss you on the mouth?" he asked seriously. He figured he already knew the answer, but he had a reason for asking.

Eames' eyes went wide, then his lids slid down, his pupils spreading, so that his gaze darkened with unmistakable arousal. "No," he replied in that husky voice of his.

Arthur didn't bother asking whether anyone else had ever kissed Eames, because that wasn't the point here. He simply leaned in and planted his lips against Eames', raising his right hand to palm the nape of Eames' neck, holding him in place and manipulating him as he kissed him breathless.

He kissed gently but not tentatively, exploring Eames' lush lips and delving into his mouth while giving him plenty of chance to pull away if he wanted.

Evidently Eames did not want, if the small, needy noise he let out and the way he leaned into Arthur, his hands grasping convulsively at Arthur's shoulders were any indication.


Arthur's tongue was hot and lithe as it tracked over the line of Eames' upper lip then wriggled between his teeth to tease at his own tongue inside his mouth, causing shivers of sensation to break over the entire surface of his skin, not just the area currently under assault. Arthur tasted a little of bitter coffee, but only for a moment, the flavour quickly fading until all Eames could taste was something that was somehow completely Arthur.

Eames had never really kissed anyone, not like this. Hardly surprising, that, when he only had fifteen years under his belt, which meant only around three years of being pubescent, and his father hadn't exactly allowed him to have any sort of a social life.

He'd known for a while now that he liked boys. Well, men. Men who weren't his father, obviously. Even before developing his world-class crush on Arthur, he'd known that, but the feelings he had for Arthur had really cemented it.

In fact, it was hard for him to believe that he was really here, being kissed so sweetly and thoroughly by the object of the strongest emotions he'd ever felt in his young life. But if he was dreaming, he never wanted to wake.

Arthur kissed Eames as though he expected that Eames would know what he was doing, and Eames was a quick learner, so he gave as good as he was getting. Or at least so he hoped and liked to think.

Eames had seen films so he knew about french kissing, but he hadn't known that it would feel like this, feel so amazing. Arthur licked his way into Eames' mouth, teasing his tongue with his own, tangling them together, coaxing Eames into tentatively sliding his own tongue into Arthur's mouth, where he then sucked at it, so wet and hot that Eames went rock-hard, already copiously leaking in his pants.

Not that he hadn't been hard nearly this whole time; since before Arthur had pulled him into his lap. From the moment he had gone to his knees out of gratitude in the kitchenette, in fact. He just hadn't expected that Arthur would want him. To say that it was surprising would have been an understatement, and yet here it was, here they were, and this was evidently happening for real.

For whatever reason Arthur wanted Eames, it was a dream come true, and Eames was going to make the most out of it that he was able.

Eames couldn't help squirming in Arthur's lap, his thighs squeezing tight around the man's hips, his hard cock pulsing uselessly against the front of his jeans, the rub of material all teasing and no satisfaction. Arthur's hands closed tighter on Eames' own hips for a moment, and he whimpered, suddenly terrified that Arthur was going to stop him moving, that he would call an end to this completely, even though it was Arthur's tongue in Eames' mouth now, and Eames could hardly have mistaken his intent that badly.

Arthur did pull back, breaking the seal between their mouths with one last curl of his tongue over the tingling swell of Eames' lower lip. Eames was fairly certain that if he looked down he'd have been able to see the dampness that he was leaking all the way through his underwear staining the front of his jeans.... But he wasn't about to lower his eyes when Arthur was now meeting his gaze so steadily.

"Did he ever fuck you in the ass?" Arthur asked, his voice so low Eames could barely hear him. It might not be right to be talking about ways in which his father had forced him when he and Arthur were engaged in their own sexual interactions, but the words and the heated purr of Arthur's tone sent a curl of sharp arousal through Eames' lower belly, hooking in his cock and pulling. Not to mention the visuals that this simple question put in his head.

Visuals that in no way involved his father; that only involved himself and Arthur.

He was pretty sure he whimpered, which was completely undignified, but when he was writhing in Arthur's lap, his fingers clutching at Arthur's shoulders as he clung tight and shuddered while Arthur's hands moved over his arse, fingers clasping tight and proprietarily through the thick material of his jeans, Eames found that he couldn't give less of a fuck about his hypothetical dignity.

There was no harm in letting Arthur know how much he wanted this, Eames thoughts fuzzily, trying to squirm closer to Arthur without shifting away from the heat of Arthur's palms and the clench of his fingers on Eames' tight arse cheeks. Right?

"Eames," Arthur growled, mouthing at the curve of his jaw, and Eames realized that his head had fallen back as he wiggled his way closer to Arthur's body. "Did he?"

"N-no," Eames managed to gasp out, and he was rewarded by the hot-wet sensation of Arthur's tongue licking at his neck, tracing abstract patterns over the throbbing of his pulse.

He was a little more focused on a different throb, he had to admit. He didn't think he'd ever wanted his jeans off more in his life, couldn't think of any reason for removing them that could have been more desirable.

"Do you want me to?" Arthur murmured in Eames' ear, raising gooseflesh over the entire surface of his body. He followed this question up by sucking the lobe into his mouth and Eames couldn't have answered if he'd tried, his mouth falling open soundlessly. It was an almost ticklish sensation, only it wasn't ticklish at all, instead sending a hot rush of pleasure bursting through him, and causing his cock to jump in his jeans as though he might come right there, from that alone.

"Eames," Arthur breathed in his ear again, and he could only hold on and whimper, shaking with overwhelming arousal. His skin was so sensitized that he could feel Arthur's smile curving against the delicate skin right beneath and behind his ear. And that was sexy too, made him shiver. "I'll take that as a yes, then."

Eames was still incapable of speaking coherently, but he managed to give a vigorous nod.


Eames nearly clocked Arthur in the skull with his chin when he nodded, but Arthur was relieved to receive this validation, glad to know that he was getting explicit, if not verbal, permission.

It wasn't a good idea, making what was obviously Eames' first sexual experience -- because blowing his own father in no way counted -- full out penetration. But Arthur only listened to his conscience when it had something helpful to tell him.

This situation definitely didn't count.

Getting Eames on his back on the bed wasn't easy, despite how skinny the boy was, because he seemed determined to cling to Arthur as though any space between them was a horror to be avoided at all cost. Not that Arthur really minded, but it was detrimental to continuing along the path he intended.

"Eames," Arthur soothed, stroking the boy's hair back from his brow, smiling gently and giving him a quick kiss on those plump, red, pressure-bruised lips. "Let go so I can get you undressed, all right?"

Eames wasn't exactly amenable to this request, but he clearly took directions well when there was good cause, and so he did let loose his grip on Arthur. He didn't exactly sprawl back on the bed, he was tight and tense all over, and Arthur was a bit concerned that he wasn't going to be able to get the boy's jeans off without him coming in his underwear, he was that close to the edge.

Then he reconsidered. As keyed up as Eames was.... And he was only fifteen, which ought to mean a minimal refractory period....

Arthur smirked. Better to get Eames off now; otherwise he was never going to last as long as Arthur intended this tryst to go on. And that way Arthur would get to control Eames' orgasm. Arthur was well aware that he liked to be completely in control of his partner's pleasure, and he didn't feel there was anything wrong with this. At least he made sure that whoever he was fucking enjoyed it, rather than just taking what he wanted without giving anything in return.

As he dragged the denim down Eames' lean legs, Arthur spared a moment to consider that this was likely to be Eames' first time getting off with someone other than his own hand. That unverified but highly probable thought sent a sharp, proprietary stab through Arthur. He felt it like a mild ache in his chest and a heavy pulse in his dick. He wasn't as hard yet as Eames was, despite the fact that he'd had the boy squirming in his lap, but that wasn't through any lack of desire on his part. And he would get there. Oh, yes, he would get there.

He took a brief moment to run his gaze over the lovely young thing lying on his bed. Arthur wasn't any perverted pedophile. He normally didn't go for teenage boys, for teenage anything. But Eames was something special. This was about Arthur's desire for Eames, and that desire existed because of the person that the boy was, the potential that Arthur saw in him, and had little to do with the age Eames was now. Though, Arthur had to admit that knowing he would be the first real lover the boy had was something of a rush.

Well, admittedly, Arthur's desire was largely physical as well. Not because of Eames' age, but because of how good looking he was. Those impossibly lush lips, the bright eyes, his sharp cheekbones and jaw.... Arthur found Eames to be extremely desirable and entirely attractive. An opinion that Eames seemed not to share, though with the father he'd had who could blame him.

Eames was flushed with passion, but as Arthur's eyes moved over him his cheeks reddened with something that Arthur thought regretfully might be embarrassment. He'd have to teach Eames to be proud of his naked body, not ashamed. But not right now. There would be time. Arthur wanted to erase that look from Eames' eyes, wanted to show him how beautiful he was, wanted to linger over every inch of his face and body, but that was something for later. Eames was going to stay, and this pleased Arthur. Somehow this had all been so organic that Arthur wasn't quite sure how it had happened... but he wasn't going to fight it.

"Has anyone ever sucked your dick?" Arthur asked, continuing his trend of asking questions he was already fairly certain he knew the answer to.

Eames flushed again, shaking his head, and Arthur smirked. Taking pity on the boy, but at the same time showing no mercy, Arthur reached down and wrapped one hand around his bobbing hard-on.

Eames was slender, had quite a bit of growing to do yet, but he had a nicely sized penis, Arthur was pleased to note. It filled his palm, thick and smooth, uncut, the flushed head peering out of the foreskin, beads of thick pre-ejaculate already oozing from the tip and running down the shaft. His balls were drawn up tightly beneath, and Arthur was relieved to see plenty of wiry curls surrounding Eames' genitalia, because otherwise he might have really felt like a pedophile.

Having no reason to hold back, Arthur bent and ran his tongue in a broad sweep over the blunt head of Eames' dick, tasting Eames' youth even as he used his thumb and index finger to pull the foreskin down the rest of the way. Yes, he was a pervert, but not a pedophile. Eames was old enough now for this and he would only get older from here on out.

Eames loosed an involuntary little yelp, nearly kneeing Arthur in the head as his entire body closed up around that one focal point, his flat stomach clenching, his hard dick jumping in Arthur's hand, more pre-come blurting from the tip.

Ignoring everything else, Arthur took the head of Eames' erection into his mouth, savoring the heat and salt-sweet for all of a couple seconds before Eames was shuddering, spilling over his tongue, fingers clutching at his shirt while his thighs tightened to the point they were trembling. He didn't manage to make any sound as he came other than a low whine, but Arthur was just as gratified by the hoarse gasps for breath and the spunk in his mouth as he would have been another yell.

"S-sorry," Eames managed to choke out after a moment, as Arthur removed his mouth but not his hand, raising his head and licking his lips. Eames curled into himself further, rolling onto his side as much as he could with Arthur still holding onto his dick, and he looked and sounded on the verge of bursting into tears.

"No, don't apologize," Arthur hastened to murmur, sliding into bed beside Eames and pulling him into his arms, even though this hadn't been the plan and he was still fully dressed yet. "That was what I meant to happen, Eames."

Eames snuffled into his collar for a moment, fingers plucking at the front of his shirt, then he raised his head, looking confused and utterly, completely debauched. It was a good look on him, and Arthur was only getting started here. "Wh-what? Why?"

Arthur smirked, nuzzling at those incredible lips, not quite a kiss, but communicating the affection he was feeling more effectively than a kiss would have done. "Because we've got a long way to go yet, and there was no way you were going to last."

He thought that Eames blushed again. Those tempting lips parted, probably to say something, maybe to protest, but before Eames could reply, Arthur leaned forward and claimed Eames' mouth in another deep kiss. Letting the boy taste his come on Arthur's lips, tangling their tongues together, getting himself even more worked up, and he could feel Eames' dick still hard where it was pressing against his lower belly, confirming for him that he had definitely made the right choice.

Honestly, though, that had never been in question.


Eames couldn't help arching into Arthur's embrace as the man kissed him breathless; not that he didn't still feel as though his orgasm had punched all the air out of his lungs.

He'd never come that hard before. But, then again, his cock had never been in someone else's mouth before. For half a second it flashed through his mind that this was why his father had used to force him to do that, but he banished that thought before it had fully formed, because that had absolutely no place here. Arthur had sucked him off, and Arthur was going to fuck him, with his cock in Eames' arse, and that was all new, and nothing whatsoever to do with the life that Eames had left behind.

The life Arthur had rescued him from.

Eames wanted to say something, to thank Arthur for putting his mouth on his cock, to ask him to fuck him now, but Arthur wouldn't let his mouth loose, and Eames wasn't sure he could have formed articulate words even if he had done.

Arthur had let go of his cock, but now he had both hands on Eames' arse, kneading the bare flesh of his cheeks, pausing now and then to trace teasing fingertips over the swells that sent shudders through Eames' entire body, then squeezing tight again. Eames had the vague idea that it was going to hurt when Arthur fucked him, but he absolutely didn't care, because he wanted it. He wanted it more than he'd ever wanted anything before.

Arthur kissed Eames until his lips were in danger of going numb, until his hips had begun rocking without his conscious permission, even though he knew it had to be a little rude to be jabbing Arthur in the stomach with his renewed hard-on. Arthur didn't seem inclined to tire of Eames' mouth, and Eames knew that he would never tired of kissing Arthur's beautiful lips.

Of course, all good things had to end -- although Eames was fervently hoping for other, better good things -- and Arthur finally left off kissing Eames, raising his head away and smiling down at him. It was then that Eames realized they'd somehow gone from lying side by side to Arthur's slim but strong body pressing Eames down into the mattress. Not that he minded this. He found it to be insanely hot, and that was why he let out a ridiculous whine when Arthur went to lever himself up off of the bed, and off of Eames, clutching at the man in an instinctual attempt to keep him there.

"I've got to get undressed," Arthur told Eames reasonably, only slightly out of breath, and Eames nodded shamefacedly, forcing his fingers to turn loose of the material of Arthur's shirt. It was hard to let go, but Arthur did have a very good point.

But rather than shedding his clothes, once he was on his feet beside the bed, Arthur bent and brushed Eames' bangs back off his sweat-dewed forehead again, giving him a warm kiss on the corner of his tingling mouth.

"Stay here for me, all right?" Arthur requested, and his smile was reassuring, but Eames was suddenly riddled with nerves. He didn't want Arthur to leave him, but on the other hand he didn't want to screw this up in any way. "And roll onto your stomach."

Eames chewed on his lower lip, but did as directed, trying to keep an eye on Arthur as he headed for the bathroom. He could see that Arthur was hard in his trousers, so he didn't think they were stopping, but....

"I thought you were getting undressed," he said plaintively, grabbing a pillow and clinging tight. It still smelled faintly of dust, but more strongly of Arthur, and Eames fought the urge to bury his face in it as Arthur turned, halfway to the bathroom, still smiling gently at him.

"I am," he said, and his eyes were so warm that it made Eames feel... safe. Which was a strange thing to feel when Arthur had promised to fuck him in the arse, but it was a grand thing to feel at any time. Eames hadn't felt safe more than a handful of times since his Mum had died.

"I need to get some things first," Arthur continued, and his fingers did move to unbutton his shirt while he spoke, which mollified Eames a little. "Now, lie there and try not to hump the bed too much."

Now Eames did press his burning cheeks into the cool surface of the pillow as Arthur chuckled and strode to the bathroom, because he hadn't noticed until Arthur had said something that he was indeed pushing his hips into the mattress beneath him.

"It doesn't count if I didn't know I was doing it," he called after the man, stilling himself, and trying to get his breathing under control. He'd already spunked in Arthur's mouth once, after only having been in it a moment or two. If he came so quickly a second time he'd never live it down, and dry humping the bed was getting him far too close.

Not that it was the bed that had turned him on. That had been all Arthur. The ways that Arthur had touched him, the way Arthur had tasted, the scent of Arthur filling up Eames' own personal space and overwhelming him....

He missed Arthur's body heat almost more than he missed being kissed, and he really hoped that the man wouldn't take too long in the bathroom. Whatever he was doing.

"Losing your nerve?" Arthur asked, causing Eames to start, because he hadn't heard him approaching over the thumping of his heartbeat in his ears, hadn't seen him with his face still buried in the pillow. Arthur's hand trailed hot and somewhat damp down the curve of Eames' spine, then closed over one arse cheek. "Spread your thighs more, all right?"

Eames blushed into the pillow but did as directed. He wanted desperately to look at Arthur, to see if he'd undressed as promised, but he was exposing his most vulnerable place to the man's gaze, and so it was easier to hide his face and squeeze his eyes closed as he felt Arthur kneel on the mattress, then settle between his spread legs.

"All right?" Arthur asked, and his hand was back to rubbing at the small of Eames' back in a manner that might have been soothing if it hadn't reminded Eames that Arthur was in a position to have a prime view of his bum-hole. Not that shyness suited here, when he had been ready to beg Arthur to stick his cock in there, but... well, before this morning, Eames had never even been kissed.

"S'all right," he raised his head enough to mumble, instinctively knowing that Arthur wouldn't continue without some sort of permission. "Just... just get on with it, please."

He tacked that last on in the hopes of not sounding too petulant or too demanding. He wanted to hide his anxiety, but he'd rather Arthur recognize that for what it was than infer it as any sort of reluctance on his part.

"Just relax," Arthur instructed, his voice low and easy, but Eames still nearly leapt out of his skin when something warm and wet moved over and into his crack.

"What the hell--?" he gasped, levering up onto his elbows and turning to look as best he could when Arthur had clamped his free hand down at the small of Eames' back, holding him still from the waist down.

Arthur's other hand was wielding... a washcloth? Eames' mouth fell open, and he was torn between feeling humiliated and feeling remarkably turned on. To have Arthur washing him there made him feel a little like a naughty child, but at the same time it was a very intimate touch to a very sensitive, previously untouched area, and the heated, damp washcloth felt awfully good....

"Relax," Arthur said again, and he wasn't laughing at Eames, looked aroused rather than amused, as he carefully but thoroughly cleansed him, so Eames was mostly willing to forgive him. Even though there was cooling water dripping down his balls and he had his thighs spread wide around Arthur as he swabbed the pucker of his anus with the washcloth.

"Give a bloke a little more warning next time," Eames groused, knowing that he was a vibrant red up to the tips of his ears as he turned back around, unable to maintain eye contact when Arthur was washing his bum. No matter what else he wanted the man to do to that particular part of his anatomy, this couldn't be but a little humiliating.

"Sorry," Arthur apologized, and he did sound sincere, but mostly he sounded distracted. Eames had noted while he'd had a chance to look that Arthur had stripped down to his boxers. He wished he had a better view, or that he could touch that beautiful exposed body, all hard muscle and lean limbs, but Arthur still had an unmovable hand at his back, holding him down, and Eames didn't have any intention of fighting to break free. Not when that would have been the last thing either of them would have wanted.

Suddenly the washcloth hit the floor beside the bed, and both of Arthur's hands were on Eames' arse cheeks, fingers spread, palms warm and heavy, thumbs tracking over the skin that he had just cleaned, close to Eames' hole. Eames shivered, reveling in the sensation, even though he was still blushing almost painfully at being spread wide and exposed.

"All right, fair warning as promised," Arthur rumbled, the mattress shifting as he leaned forward. "I'm about to put my tongue in your ass."

What?! Eames thought he got out, but maybe it was only an inarticulate squeak, as this was the moment in which Arthur did as he'd said he was going to do and stuck his tongue in Eames' arse.

It was completely different than the damp washcloth had been, Eames thought with this part of his brain that wasn't screaming in mortification and bizarre, undeniable titillation. Even after cleansing him, he wouldn't have ever thought this would be anything Arthur would want to do. He was familiar with the idea of oral sex with a woman, but he'd never have thought that two men could do this.

He wasn't sure why Arthur had chosen to do this, but he was rapidly coming to the conclusion that he didn't mind one jot. In fact, once he'd gotten used to the idea of the whole thing, had adjusted to the weirdness of it all, he felt that he quite enjoyed it. Arthur had a quick and nimble tongue, as Eames already knew from kissing him, and his breath broke hot over the inside of Eames' arse cheeks, to either side of his hole.

Arthur kept the experience interesting. He would lap at the edges of Eames' pucker for a few moments, then try to thrust his pointed tongue through the tight sphincter, before nipping lightly, teasingly, at Eames' arse cheeks. His fingers flexed on the taut muscles, then one hand slid down to press against the spot between Eames' arse and his balls, making him jump and yelp into the pillow at the unexpected jolt of pleasure this sent through his entire nether region.

He didn't know if he was glad or displeased when Arthur didn't linger there. Honestly, it was probably a little of both.

"Is that all right?" Arthur asked, throaty and obviously as turned on as Eames was, lifting his head to bite briefly at one cheek, then licking at the sweat pooling in the small of Eames' back. Eames would have thought that the way he was humping into the mattress again, completely mindlessly, would have been answer enough, but he tried to give Arthur an at least somewhat articulate answer.

"Better than," he gasped out, and he might have thrust his bum back at Arthur in that moment, though he'd never had admitted to it afterward if asked. "Don't stop."

"Will you come again if I don't stop?" Arthur asked, and it was hard to tell when his face was back by Eames' hindquarters, but it sounded as though he was smiling. He certainly didn't seem to be squeamish about having his face between Eames' arse cheeks.

Without waiting for a reply, Arthur dove right back in. Eames gasped and whined, writhing as Arthur's hand slid down to carefully but firmly cradle his balls, and he could feel them drawing up. Arthur was right to worry. It had only been a short time, probably less than a minute since Arthur had started, even though it had seemed to Eames to last forever in his aroused, breathless state, but he was more turned on than he had ever been before in his life.

Nothing he had ever dreamed of or fantasized about could have come close to this reality. Never mind that he'd never have imagined that anyone might put their tongue in his arse, there was also the fact that not even his most vivid fantasy could conjure up the sensation of having someone else touch him, someone else kissing him, whether on the lips or... well.

Arthur's mouth moved upward, quick tongue lashing at the thin skin over Eames' tailbone, while one finger, wet with what Eames vaguely considered was probably lube, in that he was at all capable of rational thought by this point, slid easily and effortlessly into the tight hole that Arthur's tongue had just been teasing. That was too much for Eames, and with a small choked cry, he convulsed, grinding his aching cock into the mattress as he came a second time.


Arthur was impressed despite himself. It had been rare he'd been with a lover who got off without a hand on his dick... though, to be fair, Eames had been rather insistently humping the bed while Arthur had been rimming him. He hadn't stopped the boy, finding it to be both flattering and hot as hell, and he thought now that if it had happened like this, it was probably for the better.

One finger was nothing compared to where he meant to take Eames. If just one finger was going to see him shooting off in several quick streams that Arthur could hear hitting the sheets -- and didn't that just make his mouth water, more than it already was -- then it was a good idea to get it out of the way now, so that Arthur could do his best to bring Eames off a third time when he had his hard, throbbing dick buried deeply in the delicious ass he had only just begun to prepare.

Eames didn't apologize again, didn't seem capable as he collapsed, panting and letting out one small moan that had Arthur's hard-on jerking against the front of the boxers he still wore. It sounded both broken and sated, and Arthur shifted, not removing his one finger but twisting it a bit as he levered up to plaster himself over Eames' back, mouthing at the nape of his neck, nibbling at the thin skin, tasting the salt of his perspiration, murmuring soothing things that he wasn't even sure Eames could hear.

Once he'd assured himself that Eames was mostly okay, Arthur went back to readying the boy's asshole. He was generous with the lube, reminding himself that Eames was a complete and utter virgin, but he was relentless, stepping things up from one finger to two just as soon as he thought that Eames would be able to handle it.

This drew another low moan out of Eames and he turned his head toward Arthur, his eyes opening but so glazed over that Arthur wondered if he could even read the proud, pleased expression that Arthur could feel was on his own face.

"You're doing good," Arthur soothed, kissing one hot, sweat-soaked cheek, then shifting down to kiss a lingering line across the sweep of Eames' shoulders. Someday the boy would be broader here than Arthur, he thought with a sense of both anticipation and ruefulness, but then he let himself get distracted, moving to where he could see his fingers sliding in and out of Eames, slick with lube, squeezed together by the clenching muscle.

Even though Eames was still incredibly tight here, Arthur upped the finger count to three. Because Eames might be able to come multiple times during this tryst, but Arthur wasn't a teenager anymore and his dick was hard and aching, urging him to get on with this and get in that hot young ass now. Or at least as quickly as possible.

Eames whined and wriggled underneath him, but he didn't seem to be trying to get loose, wasn't trying to escape Arthur's intrusive fingers. Arthur had to make sure, though.

"Are you ready?" he asked, working his fingers in the same rhythm he intended to fuck Eames to... if it was okay. He wasn't going to force Eames to anything. The boy had gotten enough of that from his father. And there, that thought right there quelled Arthur's libido enough that he thought he'd be able to get into Eames' ass and thrust a few times before popping off, while the nubile young body squirming beneath him kept him hard enough that penetration wasn't going to be a problem.

If Eames was okay with it, that was.

"I can just rub off between your thighs," Arthur murmured, moving back up to nuzzle the soft, hot skin behind Eames' ear. "Or jerk off on your back. It would be fine."

"No," Eames gasped out, twisting and kissing Arthur as though he'd forgotten that the man had been licking his asshole just a few minutes ago. Although, Arthur supposed that fair was fair, and if he'd been willing to put his mouth there, then Eames might as well be willing to kiss him.

"I want it," Eames continued, barely able to form the words, mumbling them against Arthur's chin, his eyes nearly closed and so dark with desire that they appeared black. The fingers of one hand plucked weakly at Arthur's collarbone, the other locked on the pillow he was still clutching. "Please."

"If you're sure," Arthur whispered, and he kissed Eames soundly, with as much care and intent as he could, because there wasn't going to be any more of that once he got started.


"M'sure," Eames managed to slur out, even though words weren't easy to come by. Not to form in his brain, and not to trip over his tongue.

Arthur was destroying all higher cognitive functions in a systematic and effective, completely ruthless manner, and Eames didn't regret a moment of it.

His second orgasm had been even more intense than the first one, with Arthur's finger in his arse and the memory of his tongue fluttering over the sensitized skin around it... but he was ready for more now. He wasn't hard again yet, but he could feel that he had the potential, and he wanted the fulfillment of Arthur's promise; that the man would put his hard cock inside of Eames and fuck him raw.

Already the three fingers Arthur had in him stung, on the right side of pain. So Eames was aware that the sizable erection he had seen tenting out the front of Arthur's boxers was going to hurt even more... but he just didn't care. There was something in him that wanted this, that needed it, and he couldn't bear the thought of Arthur calling it off on account of thinking Eames was being a pussy.

"Please," he gasped into the pillow again, but he didn't know whether Arthur heard. The man was back down between his widely spread thighs, and Eames tilted his arse up toward Arthur as best he could manage, a wordless invitation. No more embarrassment or shyness, not with Arthur's fingers moving in and out of him to a teasing rhythm.

He felt the slick slip and slide of more lube, chill for a moment before the friction and the heat blazing between them warmed it. It dribbled down his balls the same as the water had done, but this wasn't water, and Eames had enough sense left to him to be grateful that Arthur was being generous with it. This was going to be a tight enough fit as it was.

Then Arthur's fingers were gone and Eames let out a bereft little wail, even though he damned well knew that this meant the man was slicking up his own cock. In fact, when he held his breath and strained, he thought he could hear the wet sounds of Arthur's palm sliding lube over his shaft, knew that he heard Arthur give a low rumble of a groan deep in his chest.

"Eames." Arthur sounded breathless with arousal and anticipation, and Eames was right there with him, couldn't catch his breath no matter how he tried. "Eames, this is going to hurt. I'll try to go slow, but--"

"Just do it," Eames ground out, because he was too far gone to lose his nerve now, and he wanted Arthur in him immediately. Even if it did hurt, he didn't care. "Hurry up."

"Be careful what you wish for," Arthur grunted, and Eames marveled that the man was able to form complete sentences, but then he'd been having sex a lot more than Eames. Or at least so Eames would assume, since he himself had never had sex and Arthur seemed to know what he was doing and what he liked, what he wanted.

Without any further conversation, Arthur moved into position, and Eames could feel the blunt tip of his cock pressing up against his well-slicked, thoroughly-teased hole. It felt enormous and Eames had to fight not to tense up. It was one of the hardest things he'd ever done, though, as Arthur punched inside with inexorable pressure.

He knew that Arthur was murmuring something against his cheek; soothing words or encouragement, advice, he didn't know. He couldn't hear it over the surging of blood in his body, the ringing in his ears. He clung to the pillow, sobbing into it without shame, while Arthur split him open, because it did hurt, it did. But he still did his best to arch into the penetration because he didn't want Arthur to get the wrong idea, didn't want him to stop. It went beyond discomfort, beyond a throbbing ache, but it felt right, it felt like something he wanted more than anything else, and it felt like something that was going to shift into pleasure and go straight to his poor confused cock once he managed to adjust to it.

If Eames was the sort to quit when the going got tough, he'd have curled up and died years before. He wanted Arthur's cock in him -- which it damned well was by this point -- and he wanted Arthur to fuck him, as promised.

"Okay?" Arthur breathed in Eames' ear as his senses came back online, and he was holding himself still over Eames. His cock was buried all the way in Eames' arse but he wasn't moving and his voice was strained and tight.

Eames nodded, swallowing tightly and trying to regain the power of speech as quickly as possible. At least he wasn't crying anymore. That had been a quick storm, and he hoped that Arthur hadn't noticed, that he'd managed to hide it in the pillow, while being aware that this was unlikely. Then again, Arthur had been fighting to put his cock in Eames at a slow, steady rate, so maybe he hadn't caught Eames bawling like a baby.

"Please," he managed thickly, and he felt dumb saying the same thing over and over again, but it occurred to him that Arthur might not mind hearing him beg as the man's breath caught and his hips gave a quick twist toward Eames, as though his cock could get any deeper into his body.

"God, what your voice does to me," Arthur growled in his ear, and Eames could have echoed the sentiment if he could have articulated it, but at this point Arthur began a long, slick, aching withdrawal, and all Eames could do was hold onto his pillow and shake.

Yes, his cock was definitely interested again, he thought through a haze of rising arousal, his arse clenching around Arthur's erection -- which was huge from the feel of it -- his hips twitching from side to side since he didn't have the room necessary to hump against the bed again.

As expected, the pressure and pain evolved quickly into a rising pleasure, and the sensation of Arthur's cock moving in and out of him, slick with lube and filling up spots inside that Eames hadn't even known he'd had, was rising up to overwhelm him, setting his head swimming. His hard-on was caught between his belly and the mattress, chafing a little because he was still in his own wet spot, but he really couldn't care less as Arthur rocked him toward his third climax of the day.

Arthur was making delicious noises against the tingling skin of Eames' neck and upper back, needy and demanding at once, rough and feral as his thrusts picked up speed. His hands were tight on Eames' shoulders, holding him still so that the vigorous motions of Arthur's body against his didn't send him sliding across the sheets and into the headboard. Eames was barely aware of anything outside his own skin, but he realized he was making helpless little sounds himself, whimpers and little cries that were torn from him by the sheer force of his rising passion.

There was no more pain now, the lingering ache of being stretched so wide blending seamlessly into a fierce pleasure that engulfed him and shook him in its grip. He existed for two things; to take Arthur's driving cock into his eager arse, and to feel the impending climax spiraling up from his nethers to fill every cell in his body with growing arousal.

He didn't need a hand on his own erection, even though he'd have dearly loved to have had the coordination necessary to do so. The way Arthur's cock rubbed the sensitive skin of his opening, the spots that it punched up against inside him, and the way his own cock was rutting against the rumbled sheet was more than enough to have him hovering on the edge of coming once again for long breathless moments.

He cried out, trying so hard to buck back into Arthur's increasingly vigorous pounding, Arthur's hands tightened on his shoulders, and there, there it was, bursting through him like an exploding fountain of skyrockets. Unbearable pleasure broke through his body, flooding his mind, and he barely heard as Arthur gave vent to a strangled cry, hardly felt it as Arthur shuddered against him, pressing in as hard and as deep as he could while he shook his way through his own climax.

Somewhere, on some plane of existence, Eames was faintly aware of Arthur collapsing on top of him, but then rolling to one side before he could squash him. Arthur very slowly, very careful slid his softening cock out of Eames, and there was the ache, back with a vengeance, pulsing in the abused flesh, but Eames didn't regret it, not one little bit.

He could feel heated wetness trickling down the curve of his arse and thigh as Arthur tugged him into his arms, blessedly pulling him out of the double wet spot, and realized that Arthur hadn't bothered with a condom. This might not be as rash an act as it seemed, Eames thought sleepily, considering that he hadn't ever had a lover.... So if Arthur'd had access to Eames' father's medical records and his father hadn't contracted any diseases....

"I'm clean, by the way," Arthur murmured in Eames' ear, as though he had been reading his mind.

"You say the most romantic things," Eames managed to say in reply, and he was grinning widely. Even though he hadn't liked the way he'd just reminded himself of his father and what the bastard had done to him, he was safe from the man now, he would never use Eames that way again, and Arthur had just fucked Eames brains out, quite spectacularly. Now whenever Eames thought of hard cocks and coming, he'd think of Arthur, not... anyone else.

Only ever Arthur. Eames didn't want anyone else ever again. Maybe it was only the endorphins and the warm flush of his afterglow, but Eames was abruptly certain that he never wanted to have sex with anyone else, ever again.

Arthur chuckled and maneuvered them both so that he could claim Eames' mouth in a long, slow kiss. Now that their passion was sated it was even sweeter, and Eames couldn't help but lean into it. Arthur's hand was in his hair, his palm cupping the back of his head, his other arm tight around Eames' waist, and Eames felt... cherished. Even if he wasn't, Arthur was succeeding in making him feel that way, and he gloried in it.

It had been a long time since he'd felt he had any value to anyone.

"Condoms make cleanup easier," Arthur said against Eames' lips once they broke for air, as though Eames gave a flying fuck about the subject when he was cradled in the man's arms, resting against his chest. "But since we're not going anywhere for a while...."

"Need sleep now," Eames yawned, cuddling closer. And he didn't have to do it clandestinely now, like he had done the night before. He had damned well earned the right to press close to Arthur, and he loved the way that Arthur's arms felt around him.

"I suppose so, after coming three times and getting fucked for the first time," Arthur said, and he sounded more amused than exhausted, even though he'd done most of the work toward the end there. "Not to mention had your first experience with rimming."

Eames had something witty to say to that, he was sure he did, but his eyes were sliding closed and he was rapidly drifting off to sleep. The last thing he felt as slumber wrapped itself around his senses was Arthur's hand rubbing soothing circles between his shoulderblades.

And that was very nearly the most wonderful feeling he'd experienced so far today. Because he was pretty sure that Arthur meant it.


Arthur held Eames as the boy drifted off to sleep, thinking. Sex didn't tend to knock him out the way it did most everyone else he'd ever slept with, and he took advantage of this time to appreciate the warm, pliable body in his arms, resting limply against his chest.

There was still hot coffee in the machine, but it was ancient and vile, and there was nothing outside of an enemy attack that could have compelled Arthur to leave this bed, to leave Eames alone. Not after he had just completely and thoroughly despoiled the boy. He owed him this, owed him some cuddling, and besides that, Arthur simply liked holding Eames close like this.

Now that they were finished Arthur had to admit that he was feeling a bit of guilt. Not much, and he fully intended on doing right by Eames. Whatever had brought them to this point and convinced Arthur that he wanted to keep Eames and train him... well, he wasn't going to fight it. If it turned out to be a bad idea, so be it; he would deal with the consequences then.

But Arthur didn't think that this would happen.

They were both sticky and sweaty, covered in come, and they hadn't bathed since their flight from England. Arthur would give Eames a little longer to snooze, but he was going to have to get them both into the shower soon. Even if he might have to carry Eames. He really hadn't held back in fucking him, despite knowing that the boy was a virgin.

So, yes, he felt a bit of guilt... but he didn't feel any regret. And he would make it up to Eames. Hell, he'd be supporting the boy until he was able to stand on his own two feet. Then again, that was only fitting, considering that it was due to him that Eames was orphaned and penniless in a strange country.

Things were going to be all right, Arthur thought with a small smile. Of this he had no doubt, and he didn't think Eames doubted it either.

There was still no logic to the manner in which they had fallen together, but Arthur intended that it work out for both of them. It might not be easy, but it was going to be worth it. Arthur would make sure of that along with everything else. And he was relatively certain that Eames would do his own part to help, more than he tried to hinder. Already he'd picked up that sense from the boy, and he knew what he wanted in his own heart.

The fact that they were going to claim all this as their own while also having amazing sex.... Well, Arthur could hardly regret dragging Eames along with him to the States now, and so he let go the last lingering feelings of guilt as well.

Arthur let Eames sleep for the better part of half an hour as he plotted out the next several years in his mind, but then his desire to bathe rose up to overwhelm him and so he slid his hand down from Eames back to grip one of his ass cheeks. Eames let out a discontented noise, rubbing his face sleepily against Arthur's chest, but he slowly roused.

"Hey," Arthur said softly, pressing his lips to Eames' forehead as the boy blinked sleepily up at him. He felt a completely incongruous swelling of affection, which was a powerful weakness in his line of work, but he wasn't going to turn his back on this, and he knew that he had the ability keep Eames safe. Until Eames was old enough and strong enough to protect himself, and even after that point. Then they would have one another's backs.

"Hey," Eames echoed hoarsely. There were faint tracks of tears on his cheeks, but Arthur knew that he had enjoyed the sex so he didn't apologize. Besides, he knew Eames would only be embarrassed if he mentioned it. The hot water in the shower would wash the tearstains away, along with the sweat and the semen and Eames' memories of his life up to this point.

"Ready for a bath?" Arthur asked softly, running his fingers through the boy's mussed hair and leaving his poor sore ass alone.

"Mm." Eames nodded, then his smooth brow creased in a frown. "Together?"

"Well, I wouldn't be able to wash your back otherwise," Arthur replied, smiling slightly.

"Sounds good," Eames murmured, before giving vent to a wide yawn. "Then more sleep?"

"I think I ought to feed you first," Arthur said, his grin widening. "Which means a trip to the store. But once we've done that, we can hole up here as long as you like."

Eames looked skeptical, and Arthur had to admit that this was a promise he might not be able to keep. But he intended to do his best keep to it for a while. It was only in his own best interest, after all. And he and Eames needed time to get to know each other. Carnally and in all other ways.

"First, shower," Eames slurred, shifting and grimacing. Whether from discomfort, because he was covered in dry come, or both, Arthur didn't know, but he figured the hot shower he was planning would fix most of that.

Afterward they would figure out what they were doing. They had the future before them, and for one of the first times in his adult life, Arthur found he was looking forward to seeing where the future would take him.

And from the bright gleam in Eames' eyes, the boy felt the same way.

Wherever they were going, Arthur thought, they were in it together.

And that was a good feeling.


The day that Eames' father died was the day his life began, but there was more to it than that.

There was also Arthur. The things that Arthur promised, and the things that Arthur delivered. Eames didn't know how he had gotten so fortunate as to have a man like Arthur take interest in him, why he was lucky enough that a man like Arthur was willing to take Eames into his life and give him the tools he would need to forge a life of his own. A life that he fully intended to share with Arthur. Because it wasn't just about Eames' freedom from his father.

It was also about the freedom he had to be with Arthur. And that was what he was going to do with the rest of his life.

It was the least he could do, and it was all that he wanted.

Under the spray of the hot shower, crowded close to Arthur even though it was a large stall, Eames pressed up to kiss Arthur sweetly on the mouth, feeling the man's hands moving broad and powerful over the muscles of his back, soothing and supporting at once.

"Thank you," he said again, and he meant for everything.

Arthur just smiled and kissed him back, and that was all that Eames needed.

That was everything.