Jamie knew from the very start that he liked Tyler. It was an itch, a gut feeling, something that Jamie wasn’t used to feeling about people. Yeah, he made snap judgements but it usually took him longer to invite people to dinner and to look at pictures of their dog.
It was when they met up for something that was half training/half press that Jamie had a suspicion that perhaps whatever his gut had decided wasn’t exactly normal. His heart pounded from the moment he saw Segs at the airport. They knocked against each other in a bro-appropriate shoulder knock, hands full of bags, but he only felt that he calmed down when Tyler and he actually properly hugged when they got to the apartment to pick up Jordie. It settled something inside him that he hadn’t even really been aware had been wrong, had been unsettled. Jordie sent him a look that suggests he knew something was up and he planned to interrogate Jamie all about it later.
That was why Jamie offered to drive.
Later, when Jordie had hit the quiet, maudlin stage of his drinking, Tyler knocked against Jamie again, bare hand brushing against his forearm. “Hey, so, don’t take this wrong but can I come home with you guys?”
“Wrong?” Jamie asked, laughing. “You spent enough time on the sofa when your apartment was only an elevator ride away.”
Tyler shrugged and Jamie nodded and then Tyler grinned, ridiculous and wide like always. The burn Jamie felt in the pit of his stomach was familiar then. He was tempted to blame it on the greasy fries they’d eaten but he knew better. It was something that he wished he’d be able to just forget about. The closest thing he could do was ignore it.
“It’s just,” Tyler continued, “that I missed you. You guys.” Tyler leaned closer and pressed himself close all along Jamie’s side. “Hadn’t realized how shitty it was making me feel.”
Jamie wanted to ask more, to tease out what exactly Tyler meant. Instead he settled for waving at the wait staff and dragging his wallet out of his back pocket.
Tyler was 22. He was three years younger than Jamie. Which wasn’t, like, a huge difference. But when Jamie was lying awake, in the middle of the night, his door cracked open so he could listen to Tyler’s heavy breathing that’s almost dipping into a snore, Jamie questioned that difference. He was settled, happy. He knew he wasn’t going to be traded off anywhere anytime soon. He was healthy enough that he’d be able to overcome pretty much any injury. He had a gold medal.
He’d spent a lot of the summer being grateful that he had an older brother. His mom made all kinds of comments about grandchildren and settling down but they were mainly aimed in Jordie’s direction. He couldn’t tell his mom that, actually, he was the one who wanted to settle down. He had spent maybe too long talking about Tyler’s house with her one day and she’d eased off on the whole grandchildren conversation and focused more on them finding someone to be happy with.
Jamie rubbed his hand over his tattooed arm, trying to feel the patterns in the darkness. He wasn’t lonely, he wasn’t desperate for love or anything. He hooked up plenty.
Nothing really explained why he was listening to Tyler breathe in the night and wishing he was lying beside him.
Making breakfast involved sticking on the coffee maker and watching it drip while Tyler plastered himself to Jamie’s side, making soft moaning sounds. Jamie was tempted to chirp him and his obvious new lightweight status but he knew this was pretty much just Tyler’s usual morning persona. In fact, Jamie laid his arm along Tyler’s waist and guided him to a stool without Tyler even seeming to think it was strange.
It was only after two mugs of coffee and some toast that things started to get strange again.
“Your sofa is fucking magic. I haven’t slept that well since the season ended.” Tyler stretched his arms high above his head, rolling his neck from side to side, and Jamie watched, feeling creepy. A sliver of skin was revealed at Segs’ waistline and Jamie knew, intellectually, that he’d seen Tyler a lot more naked than that. Tyler was basically allergic to shirts or to not showing his abs off. Jamie still let his eyes slide along that smooth, tanned skin, feeling unaccountably turned on.
“Cool. You can crash, you know.” Jamie shrugged. It was easier than trying to get a train of thought going. Tyler hooked his foot around Jamie’s ankle and held on while he kick-started his brain. Jordie gave them a weird look when he came out, finger combing his beard. Jamie was tempted to jerk his leg away but reckoned that he’d get more shit if he did that.
“Ready to head out?” Jamie finished the dregs of his mug and got to his feet, shaking the tension out of his shoulders.
Training was awesome. It was hot – really fucking hot, to be honest – and there was something less than great about the humidity. But Jamie reckoned he’s done worse inside gyms and at least the smell of sweat got whipped away by the fresh air. It was Tyler who really made it better than painful though, cracking jokes and, even better, laughing at all of Jamie’s. It was as if all the weight of pressure he’d been feeling since they got booted from the playoffs was gone. Jamie was delirious, running faster, lifting more. There were pictures taken of him crushing Jordie in sprints. And all around him, Tyler was there, pressing a hand against his, passing him water bottles, and even recreating a helmet bump with their foreheads.
It was when they were so close, face to face, that Jamie noticed how ridiculous Tyler’s eyelashes were. A low, heavy burn started in the pit of his stomach as he stared. Tyler had his eyes closed, his head was still ducked, and those eyelashes were spread out like dark fans across his face. It made him surprisingly delicate, not a word Jamie ever really applied to anything to do with Tyler. Maybe his stickhandling could qualify, the way he deked around a defenseman. Jamie had to tighten his hand by his side, hold onto his shirt, to stop himself lifting a hand to cup Tyler’s cheek, to brush his thumb across the arch of Tyler’s cheekbone, to tilt his head into a perfect position for a kiss.
They were both sweat-soaked and stank and the sun was beating down on his skin and Jamie could think of nothing better than pressing himself close against Tyler and kissing him.
Tyler ducked away, lifting his own thin t-shirt to swipe at the sweat Jamie had left all over his forehead. That one Jamie was tempted to chirp him for, being as it had been Tyler’s fault in the first place. Instead he drank in the familiar flex of Tyler’s abs, his pecs. The tan Tyler was sporting from too many afternoons spent drinking out on a boat made the skin look like silk and it all made Jamie want to run his hands over all of Tyler. He dragged his eyes away, desperately glad that Jordie was tangled in resistance ropes and trying to work his way free.
“Fuck, I need a shower.” Tyler had given up on the shirt, pulling it off, making his hair stand up on end. Jamie settled his own backwards baseball cap firm to keep his own mess of hair flat. He’d probably sweated all the gel out. Tyler gave up on that, pouring a bottle of water over his head, letting the rivulets cascade down over his skin, making it gleam even more. Jamie wondered if Tyler knew what he looked like, knew he looked like walking porn.
There was a large part of Jamie that felt guilty when he jerked off later, thinking about what might have happened if he’d given in to the urge to swipe his tongue up the water running down the corded muscle of Tyler’s neck. The showers at the track had flimsy curtains separating the stalls and Jamie had spent half his shower trying to talk himself into tugging the one between him and Tyler back. He’d planted his hands flat on the white tile and let the water beat down on his back, pounding hard, lukewarm. It was later when he was home, Jordie out at the grocery store and Tyler finally heading to his own house that Jamie had kicked his door closed and shoved his boxers down. His cock didn’t take much encouragement, hard and leaking almost as soon as he’d taken it in hand.
Jamie took it slow, hand loose enough to be a tease. He’d started by trying to recall some random tits or even think about some of his hotter hook ups. Jamie gave it up as impossible when every thought circled back around to Tyler and he gave in. He drew out every moment of the fantasy, licking his palm to tease at his nipples. He dropped his hand to play with his balls, imagining Tyler’s hand cupping him rather than trying to give him a ball tap or something. Tyler’s mouth, which stretched ridiculously wide in a grin, would look spectacular around his cock. It would be wet and messy and Tyler’s lips would be red and puffy and he’d just take it as Jamie fucked up into that heat. His brain skipped around: he imagined returning the favor, he thought about pressing his fingers up into Tyler, making him spread his legs wide. There was even a moment where Jamie fantasized what it might feel like to have Tyler fucking him.
It wasn’t any of the filthy and debauched things that finally tipped Jamie over the edge. It was the thought of Tyler and him lying back in his bed and making out. Sure they were naked but it was the thought of Tyler’s mouth against his that had Jamie coming hard, spilling over his fist. He lay there, waiting for his heart rate to go back down, hand cupped on his thigh.
His door was flung open, too sudden for Jamie to grab at the sheets let alone have time to tidy himself up.
“What are you doing in there? Jerking…” Tyler’s mouth hung open for an instant as he obviously realized Jamie had been doing exactly what he’d been joking about. Jamie felt a fizz fill his veins, almost like he was working towards another orgasm, as Tyler’s eyes darted over his bared skin, his sticky cock, before fixing themselves on Jamie’s face. “Uh.”
“Fuck off, Ty.” Jamie finally got enough presence of mind going to grab one of his pillows and stick it over his cock. “I’m going to shower again.”
“Take… Take your time.” Tyler still didn’t move from the doorway. “Fuck. You should have said. We could go out and you could pick up. Or we could, you know. Buddies.”
Jamie had no clue what Tyler was saying and he didn’t really want to ask. Instead he shuffled himself to the edge of his bed. The en-suite had a lock that would give him enough privacy to feel humiliated and awkward all by himself.
Tyler came into the room fully before he’d managed to do more than shuffle to the edge of the bed, cutting off Jamie’s escape attempt. “I mean it. I’m fucking exhausted from training but it’s still better to have someone else’s hand on your dick. Or mouth. It’d be like it was back in Juniors.” Tyler didn’t as much as perch himself on the bed as lie down in the space beside Jamie, wriggling until he was comfortable.
Jamie stopped moving, cursing his curiosity. He did try to hitch his pants up until he was suitably covered again. “What the fuck did you get up to in Juniors?”
“No girl would fucking touch me. I was getting less action that I’d had in high school. So, you know, buddies.” Tyler stuck his tongue into his cheek and made an obscene gesture with his free hand. Jamie felt his dick twitch, interested. It was almost painful. “Want me to show you?”
“No-o.” Fuck everything. Jamie wanted to say yes. Hell yes. “Jordie will be back soon.”
“Yeah. Ok.” Tyler stretched some more, eyes falling to half-mast. “Do you mind if I nap here?”
Jamie didn’t mind at all. And if, later in the night, when Tyler was safely asleep on the couch again, Jamie rolled over to press his face into the pillows where Tyler’s scent still lingered faintly, no one had to know except him.
Just like Tyler had rolled into Dallas, he was ready to roll out almost straight away. Some hockey camp organized by one of his sponsors. Jamie was still feeling off kilter as he watched Tyler get his gear together.
"It's going to be sick." Tyler twisted his mouth to mock his deliberate use of dudebro language. "But. It should be cool. Sure you guys are okay here?"
Jordie looked up, his spoon halfway to his mouth. "Why're you asking me?"
Jamie rolled his shoulders inside his shirt, feeling the ache of yesterday's practice ease. "We're just going to keep working out. Got some press stuff. The usual." He tried to ignore the way Tyler's eyes seemed to be sizing him up because that way lay madness and things he shouldn't want. "I'll walk you out."
Jamie waited while Tyler gathered what seemed like a lot of stuff for a quick two day visit. "You planning on an extended road trip?"
"Fuck. Yeah. After the camp? LA. And then back here for, you know, until the season." Tyler's face did light up goofily at that and Jamie knew his own grin was something similar. He ignored Jordie's snort from behind them. Jamie grabbed a bag and held the door open as Tyler maneuvered past him. He was only wearing flip flops so he watched carefully as Tyler fitted inside the elevator beside him. They were the only ones on it.
"So. You think about my offer?" Tyler leaned close. "Because if it made you..." Jamie wondered why the hell Tyler was bringing it up until he looked more closely. Behind the usual good-natured, nothing bothers me facade Tyler was so used to putting on, there was a vulnerable cast to his eyes, a tremble across his lips. Tyler wetted them a little out of habit and a lot nervously.
"Yeah." Jamie watched the floors fall away from them. "It's kinda all I could think about last night." He pasted a smile on his face and knew it was too fake. So he stopped trying to pretend and let Tyler read him honestly. "I think I'd be interested."
Tyler grinned, ear to ear. Jamie had seen that expression out on the ice over and over again, especially when there had been an awesome goal. Particularly when he'd been the one to score off Tyler's assist. And he had the feeling that he'd somehow, inadvertently, managed to slam one into the back of the net without even trying. He wondered if the sick, heady rush of hope to his heart meant that he was reading more into it than he really should and he shoved everything down, tried to lock it all away.
When they finally reached the first floor, Tyler pulled him into an empty hallway, out of sight of the front and the elevators. “C’mere,” he muttered, a little indistinctly as he tugged Jamie’s arms around him. Jamie let himself be tugged, fairly easily.
Then Tyler’s face was coming closer and he licked his lips and Jamie’s eyes couldn’t help but follow the wet, slick trail that his tongue left. It made sense to close the gap between them, to press his mouth against the hot, wet swell of Tyler’s lips. Tyler let out a gasp that Jamie swallowed, parting his lips and making the kiss less hesitant. It became important to him to show Tyler how much he’d thought about this, about Tyler’s mouth on his, about the way Tyler gave as good as he got, trying to press Jamie into the opposite wall, nearly.
“Fuck,” Tyler whispered, as Jamie pulled back. He disengaged his arms from around Tyler’s hips and grabbed a bag. “So that’s pretty much all I’m going to be thinking about.”
Tyler's cab was idling curbside, so Jamie helped load the bags into the trunk. He grabbed Tyler in a hug, putting a bit more pressure, holding on too long, to let him know how he was feeling. "Look after yourself."
"Hell, yes." Tyler wasn't letting go so Jamie didn't either. "No injuries screwing up this year."
Jamie could get behind that. He pressed his nose behind Tyler's ear, drinking in his sudden heave of breath. Then he stepped away and waved one handed as Tyler slid into the cab. He watched the cab merge into traffic and then kept an eye on it as he rounded the corner. Jamie kept watching even when he knew there was no possible way that the speck he had his eyes on was the car containing Tyler. An emptiness he hadn't even been aware of seemed to settle in his bones, a cold ache despite the early morning heat.
Jamie didn't hurry on his way back up to the apartment, taking the stairs one at a time.
Jordie caught him, dicking around on his laptop, two days later, watching the video of Tyler’s sponsorship training camp thing. Jamie had been wondering if Tyler extended similar offers to any of those guys, if he promised to make them feel good like he’d promised Jamie. Jealousy was a dark, bitter taste in his mouth, a burn in his throat.
“This is fucking sad,” Jordie said, throwing a shirt at Jamie. “Just call him.”
“What?” Jamie shut the laptop, sliding it onto their coffee table and finishing getting dressed. “Why would I call him?”
“Because your mooning about is ridiculous?” Jordie shot him an incredulous look, mouth half-open in shock and eyebrows raised. It made Jamie throw a punch which bounced off the solid muscle of Jordie’s bicep. The smug answering grin just irritated him even further. Jordie reeled him in, scruffing his beard all over Jamie’s cheek. Jamie struggled, as was expected, and slowly Jordie let him go.
Jamie’s phone beeped. From the laugh Jordie let out, Jamie knew his sudden shift in attention hadn’t gone unnoticed and he was almost tempted to ignore it, let Jordie think he was unconcerned. He wasn’t one of those guys who were glued to their phone like some people he could mention. But the stupid, insane hope that perhaps Tyler was the one who had made the first move was impossible to ignore.
The message was from Tyler, a text and a photo of him grinning, posed on a running track like Usain Bolt. Jamie lay back on the couch, positioned a bag of chips on his chest and raised his hands up to take a selfie. The uncomplimentary reply he received made him grin. Jamie thought that was it until he received another text where Tyler complained about being bored in his hotel room.
Jordie grabbed his keys from the dish by the door. “I’m heading out. Don’t do anything where I sit, you know.”
“What?” Jamie felt like he was saying that a lot lately.
“Phone sex is still a bedroom only activity.” Jordie ducked the second balled up shirt Jamie threw at him and slammed the door behind him.
Jamie made it through three minutes of a random Law and Order episode before he muted it and called Tyler.
“Jordie thinks we’re going to have phone sex.” Jamie’s not sure what made him admit that but Tyler’s delighted laughter makes it all worthwhile.
“You are such a shit, sometimes, Jamie Benn.” Tyler trailed off into giggles. “It’s not a bad idea, though.”
“Tell me about your camp, though. It sounds cool.” Jamie grabbed some more of the chips and settled back on the couch. “Been eyeing up the competition?”
It was strange but, as Tyler talked to him, Jamie felt something he wasn’t even aware of being knotted up inside of him relax. It was as if a tightness across his shoulders eased and he could relax more into the comfort of the couch. The nervous fluttering in his stomach also seemed worse, thrumming as if the little bit of Tyler he could get was only taunting him.
They ended up sticking on the same movie and watching it together, passing comments back and forth. Jamie was reluctant to end the call but he could hear Tyler’s yawns increasing in both frequency and intensity. “You should go to bed, man.”
“I’m in bed.” Tyler yawned again. “We just need to make sure Bruce gets back home.”
“We’ve watched this before. We know he does.” Jamie smiled down the phone. “How long before you get back home?”
“Few more days.” Tyler paused and Jamie watched a ridiculous explosion nearly wipe out half of a tower block. “You miss me?”
Jamie wondered how honest he should be. He did miss Tyler, missed everything about him and everything that he’d half promised. He even missed his ridiculous inability to cook or even keep food in his fridge. He was also terrified of letting Tyler understand exactly how far his feelings went.
The door opened and Jordie shuffled through, hand over his eyes. “Is it safe?”
“It’s safe,” Jamie told him. “That’s Jordie home,” he said down the phone to Tyler. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Bruce being hugged by small children. “And that’s the end of the movie. Get some rest, yeah?”
“Yeah. You too.” Tyler made a stupid kissy noise down the phone. Jamie wished he wasn’t tempted to reply in kind. They hung up and Jamie swung his feet to the floor, scrubbing his hand through his hair. His phone was hot in his hand.
Jordie grabbed a bottle of water and came back to sprawl in the armchair. “So it sounds like that’s going well.” He was entirely too serious.
“We’re just…” Jamie leaned back and looked up at the ceiling. “I don’t know what we are.”
“Going to bed, because we’ve got a run in the morning and it’s hot as balls out there.” Jordie heaved himself up, the water bottle dangling half full from his fingers. “You and Tyler… You know I’m cool with whatever.”
“Don’t break yourself expressing feelings.” Jamie heaved himself off the couch, wandering around, flicking off lights. “Anyway, it’ll never be anything serious.”
Perhaps Jordie muttered something derogatory in Jamie’s direction, but he muffled it by shutting his bedroom door as loudly as he could and then heading to the bathroom. He ignored all of Jordie’s well-meaning advice and focused on trying to recall the feeling of warmth and rightness that he felt the longer he spent on the phone to Tyler. It came with a rush of arousal, now, something that he’d managed to force down and ignore earlier.
Jamie was tempted to turn the shower to cold, to try and train his body out of whatever effect it was that Tyler seemed to have on him. In the end, he left it pleasantly warm and muffled his moans with his fist, wishing it was Tyler’s dick instead.
Jamie deliberately left his phone charging the next morning, stealing Jordie’s iPod as he hit the track. Jordie’s taste tended towards Classic Rock more than Jamie’s but it was perfect for keeping his mind on his pace and off whatever was going in his love life. His sex life. With Tyler. The problem was that Jamie usually used his runs to sift through anything that was bothering him. He could space out and think through defense errors and shoot out strategies, plan out conversations for media interviews. Even think about what meals he was going to have.
This meant that no matter how much he tried to focus on anything else, Tyler’s offer seemed to be the only thing on his mind. He even tried increasing the volume until he felt like his ears were bleeding but all that did was block out the distractions from outside. Jamie was almost burning up wondering who else Tyler had been spreading his generosity with. How many of his bros he’d jerked off, sucked off, let fuck him. Sick, ugly jealousy spurred Jamie through the end of his run, through sprints, through weights. Jordie shot him concerned looks but Jamie ignored them as he grabbed a skipping rope for his cool down.
Jordie had left the shower by the time Jamie stumbled into it, aching and not in the good way. He knew he’d overworked himself, pushed too hard. He was tempted to punch the tiles beside the showerhead but settled for slapping his hand against them and trying to push through the wall.
Jordie was waiting in the car, running the air con. “So what’s brought on beast mode? I thought all was well?”
“Tyler… Tyler offered to help me out. As bros.” Jamie watched the lack of pedestrians on the sidewalk instead on meeting Jordie’s eyes. “It kinda got me thinking about how many other bros he has.”
“Dude, I can’t really take your mood swings.” Jordie finally pulled out of the lot. “You’re high as balls one minute and then it’s like a black cloud has sucked all that out the next.” Jordie glanced over as he waited at an intersection. “You look shitty as well.”
“I didn’t sleep.” Jamie shifted to ease the ache in his legs. “I haven’t really slept since Tyler went off to that stupid camp.”
“He’s off at this camp, which is full of guys he knows, and he spends the night on the phone with you rather than drinking? I’ve got that right?” Jordie tapped his fingers on the steering wheel. “He say how he’s sleeping?”
“Because if he’s just as screwed up as you, you gotta think he’s not interested in other bros, as you so succinctly put it. Come on, can you remember the last time Tyler passed up a night out?” Jordie swung into their parking structure and parked, making no move to get out other than loosening his seatbelt. Jordie opened his mouth, as if to say something else, before snapping it shut. “I’m starving. Food time.”
Jamie followed him into the elevator, along the hallway, into the kitchen without really seeing much of anything. Jordie had definitely succeeded in making him think about the whole situation in a new light.
And Jamie knew he had one more thing to do. “Thanks, you know.”
“For what?” Jordie’s mouth was half full of sandwich and it came out a bit muffled.
“For listening to me whine. And being, like, decent about all this.” Jamie shrugged but he knew Jordie got it from the way he grinned, wide and huge, before taking another gross bite of his lunch. Jamie decided a nap was in order.
Leaving his phone wasn’t an option the next day. He’d picked it up and cleared out his emails to find a series of ever more desperate texts from Tyler, complaining about being ignored then moving on to moaning about co-dependency before shifting to being worried he’d insulted Jamie.
Jamie couldn’t resist texting back a white lie about forgetting his phone.
Then Tyler called. “Hey, I’m in LA. Just wanted to let you know.”
Jamie bit back a line about not being Tyler’s keeper. There had been discussions when the trade went through about Jamie keeping an eye on Tyler that were only half joking. Jamie had ignored most of it. He didn’t need ordering to look after Tyler – that had become just one of the things he did as Captain and, then, as a friend. And Tyler didn’t need looking after – he was a grown man, a superstar if you asked Jamie. Tyler was a hell of a lot sadder and wiser after everything that had gone down in Boston.
“Glad you got there safe. What’s the weather like?” It was an old joke, but one that always made Tyler laugh. They headed up north enough on road trips that the constant weather in Dallas – except when it got humid as fuck in the summer – was a pleasure rather than the shitty misery that a lot of their league colleagues had to put up with. Dallas certainly wasn’t Edmonton, that was for sure.
Tyler giggled happily and Jamie heard him shifting about on a bed until he could picture Tyler sprawled out comfortably. “It’s good. Make sure you don’t forget your phone tomorrow.”
“Yeah, why? I’m training, you know.” Jamie was mostly teasing as he wandered around, switching off lights and closing doors.
Tyler took in a deep breath. “And I’m pretending to be a fashion model tomorrow.”
They’d joked about photoshoots – Tyler did enough of them and Jamie was forced into them more and more. He’d done one just after they’d been kicked out of the playoffs, before heading back to BC. But Tyler was the one who seemed to get into it, posing for his sponsors and for magazines and Jamie was kinda glad because it meant he could focus on the hockey side and Tyler could do the media. He knew the team had agreed that Tyler could represent them at the Media meat-market next month rather than making Jamie do it.
“You been practicing that Blue Steel?” Jamie finally closed his bedroom door and sat down on his bed. If he lay down, he would be tempted to let his hands and mind stray.
“You bet.” Tyler let out a groan. “You don’t think it’s, like, being all egotistical or whatever?”
“Of course it is,” Jamie shot back. “You know you’re fucking hot. So why not? It’s not like you’ve got anything to be ashamed of.”
“I don’t know if that was being supportive or not,” Tyler teased. “You going to enjoy the pictures, babe?”
“You’re going to send me them while I’m training, aren’t you?” Jamie realized what an evil genius Tyler could be. “I’m going to be trying to bench when I’m fighting off a boner.” Jamie wondered at his own brazenness. He couldn’t usually do this kind of dirty talk, not even in the locker room where it was basically expected.
Tyler seemed to be having a problem catching his breath for a moment, because his voice was scratchy and low when he spoke again. “Fuck, Jamie. I want to be back home with you so bad right now.”
The words sent an intense burst of heat down Jamie’s spine and before he knew it, he was lying back on his bed, using the hand not holding his phone to play with the waistband of his ratty boxers. They were already being pushed up by his rapidly hardening cock.
“Yeah?” Jamie knew he sounded all kind of turned on and he didn’t care. The weird fluttery sensation that he’d come to associate with Tyler and sex was back, full force. “What do you think we’d be doing?” It was a little less smooth than he’d hoped but from the full throated groan Tyler let out, Jamie thought he’d managed to convey his meaning exactly.
“Are you – Can we?” Tyler’s voice held a note of pleading now. “Are you hard?”
“Yeah.” Jamie gave up on teasing and shoved his boxers down and out of the way, tugging his shirt up until his cock rested against his bare belly.
“I thought I was broken,” Tyler said, nonsensically. Jamie could swear that he could hear the wet sound of Tyler jerking on the other end of the phone and he swapped his phone to his left hand to copy him. “I couldn’t-“ Tyler let out a pornographic moan. It echoed strangely and Jamie realized Tyler had him on speaker.
Jamie wrapped his hand around his dick, not teasing or playing. He pulled himself off efficiently and quickly, a little hard and rough, listening to Tyler fall apart on the other end of the phone.
“I can hear you,” he told Tyler. “You sound so good.” He knew he wouldn’t last long and, from the way Tyler’s breath seemed to be coming harder and faster, Jamie thought he wasn’t far behind. “You’re so good for me.”
Tyler let out a strangled shout and Jamie focused on tipping himself over the edge, his teeth biting into his lower lip as he rubbed his thumb over the head of his cock and listened to Tyler breath before everything whited out as he came.
Tyler was still on the other end of the phone as Jamie wiped his hand on his belly. He’d need to shower again but it was worth it to hear Tyler groan satisfied, nearly purring.
“Fuck, that was good.” Tyler sounded half asleep. “You good?”
“Yeah.” Jamie barked out a laugh. “That was my first experience of phone sex,” he admitted.
“That wasn’t… Well, I guess it was.” Tyler’s voice sounded clearer. He’d obviously grabbed the phone closer to him or rolled onto his side. “I should have told you what I was doing.”
“You weren’t jerking it?” Jamie wriggled out of his boxers but didn’t manage any more before slumping back on the pillows and listening to Tyler again.
“Yeah. But then I got creative. I’ve got lube and this big, big bed – “ Tyler drifted off suggestively as Jamie groaned. There was no way he was getting hard again but he kinda wished he could. “I got up to two fingers before I came.”
Jamie couldn’t speak for a moment. He wished he had been the one pushing into Tyler, opening him up. He had to swallow the thickness in his throat before he spoke again. “You didn’t fuck up your wrist, right?”
Tyler just laughed at him some more, high on his orgasm and life and everything from what Jamie could tell. “I thought my dick was broken, you know. This really fucking hot girl was all grinding up on me when I went out with the guys after camp – where I was totally awesome – and there was nothing.”
Jamie bit his lip again, trying to regain his equilibrium. He wasn’t quite sure how much to say. He wanted to tell Tyler that he’d been doing very little but thinking of Tyler and Tyler alone for longer than he was probably comfortable admitting. He was reminded of the last girl he’d picked up. They’d hung out and then Jamie had gone down on her – something he’d always enjoyed. His dick, however, didn’t so much as show interest in proceedings until he’d laid back and remembered Tyler’s grin, the way he’d muscled his way into the booth beside Jamie and made all kinds of comments about ‘liney bonding’.
“Uh, me too.” It was as close as Jamie was going to get to confessing his feelings though. It would be better all round if he made whatever they were doing into something merely physical, just about getting off. “I’m fucking gross so I’m gonna shower. Catch you later.”
Tyler hung up in the middle of an enormous yawn. Jamie lay there, just for a moment, trying to get his wits back together. Bros helping each other out. He could totally do that. He’d had practice tucking all these unwanted feelings away anyway. Why stop now?
Jamie took his phone with him to training the next day, losing himself in his familiar playlists as he worked out, ignoring the notifications until he took a water break. Jordie was still lifting as Jamie flicked open his email. There were three emails from Tyler and Jamie made himself read everything else before he opened them.
There were attachments on all three, photographs. Actually, from what Jamie could work out when he took a second look after glancing around to see no one was watching him, they were photographs of photographs, a snap of a computer screen displaying Tyler in various stages of undress.
They were all classy – black and white. If they had been color, they would have looked downright pornographic. He guessed the black and white made it art. The first photo was innocent enough, Tyler in a t-shirt, sleeveless to show off his tats, his arms. He was grinning. Jamie checked that no one was around as he opened the next one. They had Tyler in his helmet and, yup, that was it. The picture stopped short of showing his entire ass but it went far enough down that Jamie could tell Tyler wasn’t wearing anything else. He grabbed for his water before opening the last one. Tyler was in skates and gloves, holding a stick as he sprawled, legs wide, on a chair. One of the gloves rested over the, uh, vital bits.
The subject line just said, “Too much?”
Jordie wandered over as Jamie guiltily snuck another peek. It wasn’t like he didn’t see Tyler in various states of undress over the course of the season. But it was the direct, shameless look that Tyler was giving the camera, was giving Jamie through the camera, or so it felt. Jamie felt like he’d finished a bag skate, shaking all over, his legs hollow and aching.
“You okay?” Jordie held out a bottle of Gatorade which Jamie took eagerly, downing it, to avoid answering.
“I’m cool.” Jamie pushed himself up off the floor, tucking his phone into the holder strapped to his arm again. “Going to finish this.”
Jordie nodded, scrubbing at his newly luxurious beard with a gross looking towel. Jamie was so caught up in thinking about the photographs, thinking what he could say in response to Tyler’s emails, that he almost missed the speculative look Jordie threw him in the mirrors.
Tyler probably wouldn’t take kindly to Jamie telling him that he wanted to take all the photographs where Tyler showed a lot of skin and keep them for himself. It was hard enough to talk his dick out of reacting to his imagination taking Tyler out of the photo studio and replacing him in Jamie’s bedroom or, even, in a mysteriously deserted locker room where he was getting a private show.
There were papers from his realtor when Jamie got back to the apartment and Jamie spent the time focusing on them, rather than locking himself away to work out what the hell to tell Tyler. He’d sent a brief “Looking good!” reply earlier but he felt it didn’t quite express everything he meant it to. Tyler looked insane – muscled and tattooed - and like something out of Jamie’s personal porn stash.
Jodie snagged his phone. “I’m ordering take out.”
Jamie thought nothing of it until he heard a low whistle. Jordie was patently not ordering take out. “Tyler’s photo shoot seems like it went well.” Jordie handed the phone back, eyes narrowing slightly. “You sent him anything from yours?”
“What?” Jamie locked his phone and stuck it into the fruit bowl. “I didn’t do anything like that.”
Jordie looked relieved. “Good. That’s good to hear. One potential adult film star on the team is enough.”
“Do they approve of the beard?” Jamie scrawled his signature on the paper while Jordie coughed and sputtered, trying to come up with a response.
Jamie was lying on his bed again when Tyler called. “Hey, did you like them?”
“They’re cool. You look, um, hot.” Jamie squirmed a little, not quite believing he was actually saying that out loud. “I liked them,” he ended, lamely.
Tyler’s chuckle was low, warm and just a little dirty. “We decided that some of them needed cropping. I just sent you the unexpurgated ones.”
“Big word there, Segs.” Jamie settled back against his pillows, feeling himself relax a little. “Thanks for doing that.”
“Were you at the gym?” Tyler teased. “Did you get a boner on the treadmill?”
“On the bike,” Jamie admitted. “Almost. You are a fucking terror.” He could almost hear Tyler preening on the other side of the phone call. “When’re you back home?”
“Early tomorrow. Want to get back to the house, get shit sorted before the season kicks in. Got meetings.” Tyler let out a soft sound, the sort of noise he tended to let out after a satisfying massage or a good stretch. “Want to see you.”
“Yeah?” Jamie felt himself smile, wide and eager. “Me too.” He felt like a complete dork but he guessed he just had to own it. “You can help me move.”
“Move? You’re moving?” Tyler’s voice lost its sleepy, relaxed note.
“Yeah. Papers went through today.” Jamie let himself grin. “Making it easy for you to come over for breakfast again.”
“You went for the one in my neighborhood, right?” Tyler said, and Jamie could hear rustling on the other side of the phone. It sounded like Tyler was getting into bed. “Because that will be awesome.”
“Yeah.” Jamie wondered if they were going to jerk off again, breathing into the phone towards each other but then Tyler yawned, huge and exhausted. “You need a ride from the airport?”
“I’m going to grab a cab. You’ll be working out.” Tyler yawned again. “I’m going to join you guys Wednesday.”
“Dinner, tomorrow.” Jamie didn’t make it a question. Tyler agreed, sleepily, through a yawn. Jamie tried to pretend he wasn’t looking forward to seeing him again.
Jordie ducked out of food, claiming he had to go see a man about a dog, which was Jordie code for either a date or meeting up with some of his other friends and that Jamie was definitely not invited to. Jamie shrugged it off. He was nervous, yeah, but he felt quite hopeful that Tyler was in the mood to take all their talking and half promises and put it into action. Jamie showered extra carefully after his work out, even taking the time to shave.
“Looking good, Chubbs,” Tyler said, letting himself in and looking Jamie up and down. It had only been a few days – a week at most – since they’d seen each other (since they’d kissed) but Tyler’s eyes seemed to have a new heat behind them. The strange fluttery feeling that Jamie had come to associate with Tyler resurrected itself, doubled almost. He moved almost before he was conscious of it, opening his arms to draw Tyler into a hug. It could have been casual, could have consisted of a couple of thumps to the back with a fist and then Jamie would go grab them both beers and then that would be that. But Jamie found it hard to let Tyler go. He smelled of something great, something that made Jamie run his nose along Tyler’s ear, trying to work it out.
“Fuck,” Tyler let out, just like the first time, and a shudder followed the word, working its way up the length of Tyler’s body. Jamie pulled back, trying to leave space between them, but Tyler used the space to dart up and place a kiss on Jamie’s mouth. It was brief and dry and entirely unsatisfying. Jamie knew he could do better. He tilted his head and leaned forward, slanting his mouth over Tyler’s, feeling the scratch of his beard. This time it was Jamie who shuddered as the kiss turned dirty, mouths wide and tongues fucking in and out of each other’s mouth.
“I gotta –“ Tyler groaned as he pulled back, hands darting to Jamie’s waistband. Jamie knew he looked ridiculous, dick tenting out the thin material of his basketball shorts, despite the added confinement of his underwear. It made him feel a bit better to see that Tyler’s dick was just as hard. He double checked it, pressing a hand to Tyler’s crotch, curving his hand around the hard length. Tyler let out a gratifying yelp. “Gonna blow you.”
Jamie just about lost it then and there. Instead he hauled his shirt over his head, pulled at Tyler until he threw off his own, and finally helped Tyler shove his shorts down, not even caring that they caught at mid-thigh. Tyler sank to his knees, as graceful as he was on the ice, and didn’t even tease. He sucked the head of Jamie’s cock into his mouth, his hand working the rest, and Jamie was suddenly glad of the wall at his back. He flattened his hands against it, holding himself up, as Tyler opened his mouth further, sucking more of Jamie in, humming happily as Jamie’s hips jerked involuntarily and he thrust, just a little, even deeper in.
It was when Tyler dropped his left hand to his pants and worked them open that Jamie kind of got how into this Tyler was. It made meeting his hooded eyes as he slid down on Jamie’s dick even hotter. Jamie was breathing harshly, his chest heaving as Tyler took him impossibly deeper, hollowing his cheeks and sucking, in an impressive show of coordination.
“Gonna come,” Jamie gasped out, a bit embarrassed that he was so close the edge already. Tyler merely hummed though, quickening his hand and pulling back to flick the top of his tongue across the head of Jamie’s cock, dipping into the slit. That caused Jamie to seize up, bend almost in half, and spill, half in Tyler’s mouth and half across his chin, his lips, his cheek. Jamie’s come glistened on Tyler’s skin as Jamie slid down the wall and gathered Tyler close to him, kissing him thoroughly.
Tyler let out a soft whine as Jamie pulled away, settling back against the wall, his legs spread in a wide v. “Your turn,” Jamie told him, arranging Tyler until his back was pressed against Jamie’s chest and Jamie could hook his head over Tyler’s shoulder, look down the length of his body as he wrapped his hand around the length of Tyler’s dick. It was a little too dry, a little too harsh, for what Jamie wanted to do, so he lifted it off, letting Tyler grab it and bring it to his mouth, licking across the palm. Jamie giggled, caught up in the ridiculousness of it all, and grinned as he twisted to check Jamie’s expression.
Their eyes caught, and it went from ridiculous and stupid to burning hot urgency. Tyler kissed him, mouth still wet and stained with Jamie’s come as Jamie jerked him without pause. There was no time for teasing, nothing but the need to have Tyler come, for Jamie to be the one to make him come, left between them. He held Tyler close with a hand on his belly, thumb stroking the cut of Tyler’s abs as he bit at Tyler’s shoulder, his ear, mouthed at his cheek.
Tyler was quiet, years of jerking off in billets and shared hotel rooms making him limit himself to bitten off gasps and soft groans which Jamie swallowed with uncoordinated kisses, sharing breath with Tyler more than anything as Tyler’s hips hitched upwards. He seemed to go tight all over as he came, abs straining under Jamie’s hand. He ground out a word, something that sounded like Jamie’s name, as he spilled over Jamie’s hand.
They lay in the entranceway, mostly undressed and panting, until the cooler air flowing from under the door prompted Jamie to struggle upwards, trying not to touch anything with the hand covered in Tyler’s come. He was tempted to stick it in his mouth, lick it clean. Tyler looked up at him from his sated sprawl on the rug until Jamie tried to tug his shorts back into place one-handed.
“Just kick them off, man,” Tyler suggested, using Jamie to pull himself to his feet. He helped Jamie untangle his boxers and pull them up though, before fastening his own pants up again. He made no attempt to do anything other than retrieve their shirts, though, not even trying to put his on again. He gathered up Jamie’s shorts as well, following Jamie through to the kitchen. “So, what’s for food?”
It was almost like normal when Jordie came home, opening the door very loudly and yelling out that he was back before he came through into the living room. Tyler hung his head over the back of the sofa and raised a fist for Jordie to bump as he came in.
Jamie minutely turned the sound down on the baseball game he and Tyler had settled on. “Thought you weren’t going to be back.”
“Brendan hooked up.” Jordie glanced over the back of the sofa and then relaxed, his beard making the obvious unclenching of his jaw even more apparent. Jamie looked between him and Tyler to try and work out what the hell Jordie was looking at. Tyler and he were in the usual spaces, legs sprawled wide. Tyler’s ankle was crossed over Jamie’s, which was nice, but was nothing really all that new. Jamie checked – his shirt didn’t have come from round two staining it.
“Game’s just about over,” Tyler offered, settling into place, warm against Jamie’s side, hand loose around his beer.
“I’m good.” Jordie wandered away, grabbing water and firmly closing his bedroom door.
Tyler slid even closer, nearly plastering himself to Jamie’s side. “So, how thin are your walls?”
Jamie let himself fall into the kiss, let Tyler crawl into his lap, beer bottle clanking against the table as he settled himself into place. Neither of them cared about the end of the game anyway.
“You’ve got a whole house to yourself,” Jamie pointed out, as Tyler entangled himself, sliding backwards and impatiently pulling Jamie to his feet.
“Next time,” Tyler whined, walking backwards towards Jamie’s bedroom. “I need you to fuck me now.”
Jamie heard Jordie’s door close again, a soft click, before Tyler plastered himself against Jamie’s front again and he had to bite at the smooth skin under Tyler’s neck. He should be more worried about whatever was on his brother’s mind but the feel of Tyler under his hands, all smooth skin and muscle, was intoxicating. The walls of the apartment weren’t extremely thick but Jamie gave up caring about anything but the soft hitches of breath his mouth was forcing from Tyler’s.
“I can do that,” he said, pulling back enough to kick the door shut behind him, guide them to his bed and to pull his shirt over his head. Tyler landed with his legs spread wide, his interest in proceedings obvious with his cock pushing at his zipper. He sighed in relief as he stripped, wriggling out of all his clothing and, finally, laying himself out all for Jamie.
Jamie bent his head to strip the rest of his clothing off, hoping that his feelings weren’t showing on his face. He could maintain a healthy detachment, he thought. He could repeat the words ‘just bros’ over and over again to himself. He could manage to keep his jealousy under control. He just needed a moment to control himself.
When he looked up, Tyler was biting his lip. Then he grinned, wide, from ear to ear. “Where do you keep your lube, then?”
Jamie laughed at his eagerness and so did Tyler, a wild, genuine giggle. It made Jamie stretch over him, kiss him, and then lose all sense of time and place as their naked bodies pressed against each other. All that skin was just his for the tasting, to touch, to mark. Tyler seemed equally enthralled, words trailing off into nonsense, into groans.
It was the brush of their cocks against each other that seemed to focus all that urgency again. Jamie leaned over to retrieve the lube from his nightstand, dropping a condom beside Tyler’s hip, before kneeling up between Tyler’s legs and slicking up his fingers. Tyler’s eyes were hooded and dark and Jamie watched them as he pressed forward, teasing for the first time. In fact, Jamie found himself oddly nervous. It wasn’t like he’d never done this before and it wasn’t like Tyler didn’t want it – the way his eyes were beginning to narrow suggested that he was about to tell Jamie off for going too slow – but it seemed bigger than the way he’d jerked Tyler off in the hallway and sucked him off in the kitchen while they were waiting for the pasta to cook.
Jamie dropped his eyes to where his fingers pressed into Tyler, suddenly aware of how much his eyes might be revealing again. The visual of his fingertip breaching Tyler was enough to short-circuit his brain again, anyway. Tyler was tight and hot and Jamie almost absently bent closer to see better. He pressed a soft kiss to Tyler’s thigh and found he didn’t want to stop, brushing kisses over all the skin he could reach, working closer to where his finger was shortly joined by another.
Tyler had pretty much given up on doing anything beyond holding his hips up and patting his hand roughly in the direction of Jamie’s hair. “More,” he ground out, managing to get a fistful. “You gotta gimme more.”
“Yeah,” Jamie said, twisting his fingers. The firework feeling seemed concentrated into a single line of fire through his chest, wired to his dick. If Tyler was feeling anything similar, it might explain why he was acting so desperate, so needy. Jamie would be lying if it wasn’t an enormous turn on.
He knew he should suggest Tyler flip over, should maybe get them in a more comfortable position. He couldn’t bring himself to do that, not this time. Jamie slicked up his cock and guided it into Tyler, glancing between where Tyler was opening up so fucking beautifully for him and the look of sheer bliss, the intense focus on Jamie in his eyes. He hooked Tyler’s knees over his hips and waited until Tyler kicked at him with a heel, a nod giving Jamie all the permission he needed to start moving. He kept it slow at first, rocking shallow thrusts. But then Tyler got his hand around his cock and ordered Jamie to, “Just go for it, man.”
Jamie kissed him, missing half of Tyler’s mouth with the way he fell forward. It wasn’t enough for him to break rhythm, although Tyler breathed a laugh before he realigned their mouths, fucking his tongue into Jamie’s mouth for a moment before he lost rhythm, his head falling back on a moan. Jamie grinned, realizing that he must’ve managed to hit Tyler’s sweet spot.
Time seemed to vanish – in fact, pretty much everything that wasn’t Tyler vanished. It was the smooth, firm texture of his skin, the hot, tight clench of his body, even the smell of his growing arousal, something sweat and salt that should never be attractive but that Jamie found more appealing than any cologne. Tyler came first, spilling over his belly, biting at Jamie’s shoulder to muffle his moans. Jamie fell over moments later, trying to keep it together enough to kiss Tyler through it.
Jamie withdrew carefully, stumbled to his bathroom on unsteady legs, and brought back a warm washcloth. Tyler’s eyes were half-shuttered, but through tiredness, through satiation, rather than through arousal. It was still a good look on him. Jamie was gentle as he swiped at the come, the lube, the mess he’d made of Tyler. He should probably try and get them into the shower, but that low, possessive feeling in his belly suggested that Tyler smelled of him. Jamie wanted Tyler to keep the marks of what they’d done on his body for as long as possible, rather than washing it off instantly.
“Hey, you want anything?” Jamie asked as he moved around, closing blinds and switching off lights.
“Should I go back to –“ An enormous yawn. “The sofa?” Tyler finished.
“Nah,” Jamie said. “That would freak out Jordie even more.”
Tyler started to laugh but it was interrupted by another yawn. “You got cold feet?”
“Guess you’ll find out,” Jamie told him, sliding between the sheets. He made Tyler shout when he pressed up close, nudging his toes against Tyler’s. He wondered, idly what the opposite of cold feet, the other meaning could be. Definite interest? No going back. Jamie brushed a soft kiss over the bare skin of Tyler’s shoulder, dipping his tongue out to taste. Tyler’s breathing had already slowed into sleep. The air con was on low enough that they had nothing more than a blanket, really. The bed still felt blistering hot though, until he slung an arm over Tyler’s midriff, holding him close. Then the bed cooled to pleasant and felt more comfortable than it had been in ages.
Jamie closed his eyes but every other one of his senses seemed to be amplified. Every breath was music and every brush of skin was like silk. It was cheesy as get out, but Jamie almost liked this better than the way he’d felt fucking Tyler. He took a moment to repeat his mantra to himself, to remind himself that Tyler and he were just bros, that this didn’t mean everything to him. But, as Jamie fell asleep, he found it harder to believe.
Tyler was still there in the morning, blinking in an annoyed way at Jamie’s alarm. He rolled closer to Jamie, gross morning breath and all, and smacked a kiss on Jamie’s forehead.
“Fuck me, your bed is amazing.” Tyler grinned as Jamie leaned over him to slap the alarm to silent. “The sex wasn’t bad either.”
“Wasn’t bad? What?” Jamie was only half awake. He was mainly just glad Tyler was still in his bed and he wanted to stay there and it was warm and comfortable.
“Never mind, babe.” Tyler pressed another kiss to Jamie’s hair and slid out of the bed, evading Jamie’s fumbling grab. “I’ll shower first.”
Jamie took his time waking up, burying his face into the pillow and creepily sniffing them to see if they smelled of Tyler. He listened to the shower run, to Tyler splashing around and let himself smile. He knew that he shouldn’t get used to this – that Tyler would move back to his own house, would pick up girls and maybe even guys and forget all about the time he and Jamie fit together so perfectly. But the domesticity of Tyler humming along to some song in his head and Jamie just lying in bed listening made his heart thrum a little stronger, his smile a bit wider.
The day the Dallas Magazine article went live, accompanied by quotations from his sister and photos from what Jamie had to guess was his most styled photoshoot to date, Tyler woke him with a blow job. They’d ended up at Tyler’s after training, mainly because Jordie had ordered them to be elsewhere as he wanted a decent night’s sleep.
Jamie had flushed red but Tyler had merely grinned, snapped his gum, and innocently asked Jordie if he was sure he didn’t want to come over for take-out.
Jamie’s phone started blowing up mid-morning, as he watched Tyler attempt to make his coffee maker do something other than make coffee. Something with milk. Something that definitely wasn’t on their diet. He snagged the buzzing menace and gingerly poked at it.
“Shit!” Tyler jumped back as the machine hissed. “Fuck this, there’s got to be a Starbucks nearby.”
“No retraining as a barista?” Jamie was only half paying attention as Tyler scooted around the kitchen island, holding a slightly reddened finger in front of him.
“Kiss it better?” Tyler was ridiculous as he leaned in, offering his hand. Jamie pecked at it obediently regardless. “What’s up?”
“I am one of Dallas’ top ten eligible bachelors.” Jamie hesitated a moment before holding out his phone to let Tyler read the article. Naturally, Tyler immediately scrolled to the photograph.
“Number one with a picture like that!” Tyler’s eyes danced over Jamie in his beaten up t-shirt and boxers. “But I like the view right now.”
“Fuck off. You look better in your pictures.” Jamie pulled his phone closer again. “I’m just glad they didn’t want me shirtless.”
Tyler hooked his hands around Jamie’s neck. “Damn shame, that.” He even affected a heavy Texan accent. He bussed Jamie’s lips, simple and chaste, before breaking into a genuine smile. “I think you deserve it.”
Jamie knew he was blushing but he still brought his hands to Tyler’s waist and held him close. It made his heart turn over, holding Tyler like this. It was almost painful because it was so close to what he wanted, desperately. “Let’s go out for coffee.” He had to take them from the strange domesticity of his kitchen to somewhere where he was more guarded. Being outside would help.
“You buying?” Tyler wasn’t moving away. Instead he pressed himself closer, wrapping his arms around Jamie even tighter and breathing against his ear. “Or we could just stay here and you could bring me breakfast in bed.”
“It’s lunchtime.” Jamie could feel himself willing to be persuaded though. He was weak in the face of a seductive Tyler, especially one who smelled like fresh soap and spicy cologne.
“Yeah, I got breakfast in bed…” Tyler’s eyelashes fanned on his cheeks as he glanced down Jamie’s body. “Lots of protein.”
Jamie groaned, laughed at Tyler’s terrible joke. He even tried to control his dick, but that was a lost cause. It hardened against the thigh Tyler had slid in between his legs. He kissed Tyler again, the swirling nerves in his stomach settling once more as he drew Tyler closer and closer. There was no way they were leaving the house.
Jamie had had girlfriends before but he didn’t remember being this eager, this caught up in them constantly. Sure he jerked off a lot (there had been the time he’d spent the weekend alone in the house when he was sixteen and thought he’d basically broken his dick with the amount of times he’d fucked his own hands. There had been chafing) but the constant need to have Tyler near, to be touching him, almost overwhelmed the need for sex. The sex was about closeness, about bringing pleasure to each other in a way that meant they didn’t need to let go. And Jamie would have blamed his long, Tyler-pining fuelled dry spell for his eagerness if Tyler wasn’t just as into him. Tyler definitely hadn’t been celibate – Jamie had heard of (and witnessed) many of Tyler’s conquests – but he was often the one pressing up against Jamie and dragging him to bed.
Jamie filed it under ‘another thing to suppress and just live in the moment’ and let Tyler drag him back to bed.
Between moving into his new house, before training camp, and the informal skating sessions that were picking up now more of the team was drifting back to Dallas, Jamie was surprised that he had energy for Tyler and his ongoing thing. But Jamie found it almost easy to carve out time for them – sleeping over at Tyler’s because it was near to his house for deliveries and letting the last of the decorators in. They ended up sprawled across Tyler’s enormous sofa, with team bonding disguised as video game sessions. There were even meetings with PR and Front Office to discuss charities and publicity events that needed both of them together or one after the other and it made sense to drive together, to eat meals before and after together, to go back to the same bed together.
Despite all his happiness, Jamie constantly had the word “buddies” running on a loop in his mind, that all this was just because Tyler was horny and kinda lazy. But it was made harder by the sweet hand jobs they exchanged, buried under Tyler’s comforter, kisses almost yawns, late one night. There were no reasons for Jamie to be there. He should have gone back to the apartment he still nominally shared with Jordie to finish packing some more of his stuff or even just to hang out. Tyler and his schedules hadn’t even meshed that closely, with Jamie doing more strength training in the afternoon. But, as if some thread drew him in, Jamie had found himself driving to Tyler’s and walking in, using the key he’d been given, without even really consciously thinking about it.
Tyler was playing around with his phone, sprawled out on his couch, his gear dropped haphazardly in the entranceway. He lifted a hand in greeting then, as Jamie came closer, raised his feet in invitation. Jamie slid under them, digging his fingers into Tyler’s ankles.
“I think I want to get another dog,” Tyler told him, kicking at Jamie when he stopped rubbing at Tyler’s feet.
Jamie redoubled his efforts. “Because you miss Marshall?”
“Because this house is huge, dude.” Tyler waved around. Jamie kinda got what he meant. The couch was big enough for them both to lie out full stretch on and not touch that much and yet it didn’t seem out of place. Similarly, the huge television installed on one wall with the tangle of wires connected to various gaming devices didn’t make his eyes hurt when they played for too long.
“Everything’s bigger in Texas?” Jamie felt a sudden jolt. He could imagine this place filled with dogs and kids and Tyler’s friends and family. He just didn’t really see himself there at all. “You know the team’s going to be over all the time. You could adopt a rookie?”
“You think I’m responsible enough for that?” Tyler played with his phone some more, obviously mulling it over. “Nah, another dog. A friend for Marshall when we’re on roadies.” Jamie felt oddly glad that Tyler wasn’t immediately offering to open his home to someone. They’d probably have to stop fucking, then. Tyler grinned, looking up. “And you’re nearby enough to come walk them with me!”
“What you gonna pay me?” Jamie was teasing but Tyler’s frank, appraising look suggested that their arrangement could be extended. The thought of that, without Tyler knowing exactly how he felt made Jamie pause. He straightened up, sitting stiffly under Tyler’s legs like he was in front of a camera or reporters. “We should probably talk about this.”
“This?” Tyler twisted until he was upright, legs tucked in a neat cross in front of him. “The dog thing?”
“The us thing.” Jamie swallowed, his mouth unaccountable dry for how sweaty his palms had become. “I… It’s my fault.”
“What’s your fault?” Tyler was starting to look suspicious, perhaps even hurt.
“I like you.” Jamie just about had to choke the words out.
Tyler shrugged, although it looked forced. “I like you, too. What’s the problem? I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t like you, dude.”
“No.” Jamie flattened his hands over his thighs to stop them curling into fists. It had been the first thing he’d been taught in media training. Other than don’t swear. “Fuck. I really like you.”
“Like, exclusively?” Tyler seemed to be getting what Jamie was trying to hint at. Of course he would. He knew Jamie almost as well as anyone did. “Like dating?”
Jamie nodded, finally unable to speak around the lump in his throat. He wanted to throw up.
Tyler let out a soft hum, a thinking sound. Jamie slid his eyes sideways, afraid to look, afraid what he might see. But Tyler wasn’t looking grossed out or completely shocked. In fact, he looked almost thoughtful. He looked like he was considering it.
“I should go.” Jamie shot the words out in a rush, standing up and making for the door. He wanted to delay Tyler’s inevitable rejection. He reckoned he’d judged it right because Tyler didn’t do anything other than wave a vague hand in his general direction as he left.
They met at the rink, the next day, for sled hockey. Jamie had been looking forward to it, been fascinated with the idea since the Winter Olympics. Now he wasn’t so sure. His nervousness came full throated in the car as he pulled into the player’s lot. He ducked his head to avoid the fans he could see waving, guilt adding more negativity on top of his nerves.
Tyler lit up when he saw him. There was no other description that fit. His grin threatened to crack his face even more than usual. There were lots of other people about – kids, coaches, even sled hockey players – but Tyler still leaned into him, hugging more than was strictly allowable under the bro code. He still finished it up with a punch to Jamie’s arm.
“Thought you might not show,” Jamie said, trying to keep it light. He also tried to hide how long he’d spent worrying over it as he’d run through his workout.
Tyler nodded, grin fading a little. “Lunch later, right?”
“My treat.” Tyler threw his head back and laughed, free and genuine. Jamie wondered if he’d been suckered into that or if Tyler was just letting out a little bit of relief. Jamie certainly felt relieved at seeing Tyler. “It’ll make up for me crushing you on the ice.”
“You’re on!” Tyler’s competitiveness couldn’t let him ignore that. It also made the crowd around them crow appreciatively.
Jamie knew he and Tyler were slightly giddy out on the ice. He tried to rein it in but knew that the camera attached to both him and Tyler would catch every grin, every tease. In the end, the sense of well-being he got from being near Tyler was enough to nearly overwhelm his natural shyness and reserve.
The PR crew, crisp in neat suits and with weirdly perfect hair, looked pleased, at least, as they hung out at the side of the rink. The sled hockey players were much quicker than Jamie expected and the kids playing just seemed to enjoy falling over as much as anything. All of that faded to a buzz at the edge of his consciousness as Jamie shuffled over the ice, determined to work out how to use the sticks to catch Tyler.
They were only on the ice for an hour, plus a few minutes sliding into position for some photographs and then hanging out to sign a few autographs. It was nicely low key, for all the PR bullshit.
Jamie ended up having to wait for Tyler, letting the air con run in the car while he flicked through his playlists. Tyler was getting last minute instructions for New York, from what he’d overheard. Jamie was a little glad. It let him get his thoughts in order, try to slow his heartbeat down to something resembling normal and stop his palms sweating as much.
Tyler was serious as he slipped into the car, sunglasses firmly in place. “I’m thinking diner?”
“Sounds cool.” Jamie pulled into traffic and turned the radio up. Tyler fucked around with the stations whenever ads came on but Jamie didn’t protest, his mind elsewhere.
“So, I’m going to New York.” Tyler sipped at his water, other arm laid along the back of the booth.
Jamie nodded, trying not to knock his leg against Tyler’s, flicking through the menu. “They said. Thanks, man.”
Tyler replaced the glass on the table, before deliberately meeting Jamie’s eyes and sliding his leg just that bit wider, brushing against Jamie’s. He bit his lip, rolling it between his teeth before letting it pop out. “I’ve been thinking.”
Tyler stopped there. Jamie had to bite down on the urge to retort that it must be a shock but Tyler grinned anyway.
“Yeah, I know. An unusual activity for me.” Tyler laughed. “But-“ The waitress arrived, service smile firmly in place although it slipped a little as they ordered their usual massive portions. “I’m thinking that we should do it.”
Jamie’s brain raced trying to parse Tyler’s meaning. “We’ve already, um…”
“Not just being…bros.” Tyler’s voice dipped as their sodas were dropped off. He waited until the waitress was occupied at another table. “Add in the whole dating and exclusive and shit thing.”
Jamie had to take a sip, trying to find words that were appropriate to the situation. His heart thundered in his ears. “It’d be…nice.”
“Screw you,” Tyler leaned back, his arm along the back of the booth. He looked an instant away from making finger guns. “I’m going to date the fuck out of you.”
Jamie’s phone chimed halfway through his gym session. The eye roll he got from the trainer was enough to let him know he should probably ignore it until he’d completed enough of the reps to satisfy. Jamie liked working – he guessed he had to, with how much time he spent doing it – and there was something rewarding when he could add another weight to the press or do an extra handful of seconds in a plank.
He worked hard to keep his mind on the exercises, knowing that he needed to maintain focus in order to achieve results, or whatever positive mental attitude bullshit the trainer was yelling at him over the sound of his harsh breathing. But every so often, his phone would chime, shake a little, with the acknowledgement that he’d received another text. And Jamie knew exactly who they’d be from.
But he was glad he’d held off and waited.
“Will you rim me when we’re dating?” said the first message. Jamie hunched over, hoping to hide the fact he was getting turned on. “We should go out in San Francisco. So I can kiss you in the street and show off my hot bf.” That one was followed by a winking smiley. After a few more explicit suggestions about what else Tyler would like to do with Jamie, each sending a pulse of heat direct to his cock, Jamie was about to switch his phone off and bury it in the bottom of his gym bag until he was safely back behind locked doors.
His phone chimed one more time as his finger hovered over the off button. This time the message was all in capitals. “HOLY SHIT.”
Jamie was about to reply when another text came through. “JONATHAN TOEWS IS A GENIUS. HE SAYS HI.”
That was enough to have Jamie ignoring the other people in the change rooms and hitting call.
“Fuck me, Jameson.” Tyler was laughing. “I’m supposed to be getting photos taken.”
“You’re the one texting.” Jamie knew he sounded entirely too fond. “What’s all this about Toews?”
“I can’t talk right now.” There was rustling on the other side of the phone and a door banged. Tyler’s voice sounded echoing and strange. “I’m in a stairwell. This feels kinda high school.”
Jamie cast an eye around the changing room, sneakily. No one seemed to be watching him. “Nothing surprising there.”
“So. Toews was doing the nodding thing and then he was all, hey, Benn was my Team Canada bro. Which was cool because you are and also because you’re awesome.” Tyler sounded like he was working himself up to telling Jamie what had happened by talking around the whole situation.
“It’s cool, Ty.” Jamie listened as Tyler obviously jumped up and down a few concrete steps.
“Yeah. Well. Then he goes ‘and how are you coping being away from your soulmate?’ Except he didn’t say that. He said ‘soul-partner’ which is so PC and Canadian and all.” It all came out in a rush and Jamie took a moment to parse Tyler’s meaning. A jolt went through him when he thought about the idea of soulmate.
“Soul-partner? I like it. It’s less…hetero-whatamacallsit.” Jamie cast his mind back over the awareness seminars he’d been to. He knew Tyler had to have taken them too. “But..?”
“I asked Toews ‘what the hell?’ and he said he had some experience in it and was I okay. Which, you know, was nice.” Tyler laughed, self-consciously.
“Are you okay?” Jamie knew that the worry and concern he would normally try to hide was probably entirely evident in his voice.
“Yeah, I guess.” Tyler heaved in a breath. “I just… I can’t really remember what soul-partners and all that are about. Beyond, you know, the shitty films Jordie makes us watch.” Jamie appreciated that Tyler was trying to play it off, make him laugh. He also knew exactly what Tyler was talking about. He reckoned he’d either missed out on or had doodled hockey plays throughout all the health classes that should perhaps have given him the essential information. On the other hand, considering how useless they’d been when he’d actually had sex, perhaps that wouldn’t have helped either. Regardless, the changing room at the gym probably wasn’t the best place for them to continue this conversation.
“You go back to doing what you’re supposed to be doing. I’ll do some research.” Jamie tried to sound decisive, captain-like.
Tyler laughed on the other end of the phone. “When do I ever do what I’m supposed to?”
Jamie delayed by ordering lunch and then phoning his mom and then mindlessly letting the news cycle around. Finally he snagged his iPad and made sure he could see the door. He didn’t want to be interrupted. And he definitely didn’t feel up to explaining anything to Jordie. Not yet.
He clicked out of the first few links very quickly as well.
Finally, he seemed to find a site that wasn’t overly romanticized. Or eroticized. And resignation set in. The symptoms – he couldn’t call them anything else – matched perfectly. Inability to sleep satisfyingly without presence of bonded partner, nausea or unsettled gut, even a suspected lack of sexual performance with anyone other than the bonded other. Jamie had to put the tablet, carefully screen down, on the sofa while he regained some semblance of equilibrium.
It took another set of news headlines and a report on some Congress scandal before Jamie felt able to resume his research. He hesitated, again, before steeling himself and scrolling down to the section on how bonds were formed.
It was only then that Jamie started to feel something approaching hope. He’d always known he and Tyler clicked, but he’d always thought it was mainly due to their chemistry on the ice which had turned into a friendship. He was the only one fucking it up with feelings, or so he’d thought. But the website in front of him was detailing the fact that bonds required a degree of mutual affection and desire, even if it was unstated.
Jordie found him still on the sofa, hours later, the news stories cycling around for the hundredth time.
“Hey.” Jordie had to throw a cushion in Jamie’s direction to get his attention. “Chubbs! Food?”
“I should eat, yeah.” Jamie hauled himself to his feet, groaning from the stiffness of being in one position for too long. He was surprised at how hungry he suddenly felt. He made sure that his tablet was safely neutral before following after Jordie.
Jordie eyeballed him, making Jamie twist a little. “You know. You can tell me what’s going on.”
“You sure you want to know?” Jamie aimed for teasing, the irresistible urge to be a little shit of brother as ingrained as ever. But the heavy sigh that dropped into the end rather spoiled that.
“Sure.” Jordie turned to grab plates. “Just not absolutely everything,” he said, as he handed over Jamie’s food. “I don’t need to know more about Seggy’s dick than I do already.”
Jamie laughed, a little weakly, before heading back to the sofa and throwing the remote in Jordie’s direction.
Tyler got back from New York late at night. Jamie lurked in Arrivals for longer than he wanted to admit, hat tugged down low over his mess of a haircut. It was worth it for the grin Tyler gave him, the one he reserved for being the most open, the happiest.
“Screw you,” Tyler muttered, bending close to Jamie’s ear, hauling his bag behind him. “I can’t fucking well kiss you like I want to right here.” Even so, Tyler brushed the back of his hand against Jamie’s and that bare touch of skin was enough to have his dick making its presence known.
“Where you want to go then?” Jamie pulled his keys loose and swung them in Tyler’s direction.
Tyler bit his lip, shooting Jamie a look from under his lashes. “Home. I mean, mine.”
“No distractions there, right?” Jamie’s car beeped as he opened it. It was only after he’d negotiated them out of the parking lot that Tyler’s hand slid onto his leg, gripping tightly. Jamie’s nerves settled with the touch and he smiled, even as Tyler fucked with the radio.
Tyler hummed along with something loud and annoying. “I should’ve known something was up,” he said, settling back into his seat and tapped his knee with his free hand.
“What?” Jamie focused on getting into the right lane and was only half paying attention.
“You never used to let me change the station.” Tyler’s hand wandered a few inches closer to Jamie’s dick. “Should’ve known that meant you loved me back.”
Jamie had to focus very strongly on the road and on gripping the wheel to not try and pull them into a darkened lot at the side of the road and deal with everything there. Tyler smirked and leaned back, rapping along badly with whatever was on the radio. The road was busy enough that Jamie could distract himself from that whole Segs being Segs and kinda dorky and yet cool at the same time. “So, how was New York?”
Anticipation hung in the air between them as Tyler slung his bag into the hall closet and Jamie closed the door behind them.
“Food?” Tyler seemed unsure about where to move.
“You got anything in your refrigerator?” Jamie teased, coming forward to slide his hand along Tyler’s side, fingertips slipping under the hem of his t-shirt.
Tyler pressed forward, his own hand hooking on Jamie’s waistband. “Something to drink?”
They fell into each other, laughing at Tyler’s self-confessed lack of ability to look after himself. It felt as if all those weird sparkles and stirrings within him concentrated to a certain point, a line of heat all up Jamie’s spine. They moved from standing awkwardly in the hallway to lying full out on the couch before Jamie was even really aware they’d moved. He stopped paying that much attention as Tyler worked his hands under his t-shirt, warm and shivery all at once.
“Hey,” he muttered, breaking free from Tyler’s mouth for a moment. “I’m glad it’s you. You know.”
Tyler’s eyes crinkled as he grinned broadly. “You telling me you’re actually up for the whole Seguin experience?” His hand worked its way around to Jamie’s ass, squeezing and groping it shamelessly.
“Yeah,” Jamie breathed. “Hey.” He focused on Tyler’s face. “I want to tell everyone.”
“And you actually want to speak to people? Shit! That’s how I know it’s serious.” Tyler sounded like he was teasing but his next kiss was deep and powerful and basically said everything they were skirting around. They ended up ordering pizza just as the clock changed over to midnight and having to get dressed to answer the door seemed like a stupid idea.
The alarm in the morning made Jamie groan. Despite the two days of New York and media and flight and everything, Segs had been determined to wring as many orgasms out of Jamie as he could. Jamie had felt obliged, obviously, to return the favor.
Tyler’s groan cut off halfway through as he raised his head from the pillow and blinked at Jamie. Then he prodded Jamie’s side, making him squirm away.
“What?” Jamie tried to be more annoyed, but his irritation was redirected by the sudden, wide grin on Tyler’s face. It was, after all, one of the best things about Tyler. He was aware he was probably grinning back just as stupidly.
“Just checking this wasn’t a dream.” Tyler prodded him again. “And now I’m making you go get coffee.”
“You have coffee?” Jamie teased, as he shuffled into the bathroom. Tyler’s outraged shout followed him.
Jamie was watching the coffee drip when Tyler shuffled up behind him, sliding arms around his waist. “I’ve been thinking.” Jamie bit down on the automatic urge to mock that and nodded. “You should move in here. I know you just bought that house and all. You like it here though?”
The coffee was nearly ready but Jamie needed to be face to face with Tyler for this conversation. “I bought my house so I could stay close to you,” he said, after he managed to turn around within the circle of Tyler’s arms.
Segs’ face was come dumb. Jamie didn’t even know that was a thing but Tyler had suddenly developed all these soft planes to his face that weren’t there before. He was clumsy when he reached for Jamie and Jamie had to grab one of his hands before Tyler poked him in his eye. He still had to kiss him, wet and slow and a whole lot of sloppy.
Tyler smiled into the kiss and Jamie couldn’t help smiling back.
That derailed the coffee for quite a time.
They finally made it to the rink, only a half hour behind time. Luckily PR wasn’t too pissed and the Dude Perfect guys were still getting the tour. Luckily Jamie didn’t have too many obvious marks to cover up and Tyler wasn’t going shirtless either. The vivid line of bruises over his hips were entirely too revealing.
It ended up being fun, planning out ridiculous trick shots and taking a few goes to make them happen. It reminded Jamie of being a kid, of the games they used to play when practice was almost over, before he’d got all serious about hockey. Tyler’s ease made Jamie even more willing to clown about, just as much as the fact he seemed to be winning whatever stupid contests they took part in. Admittedly he seemed to be winning only because Tyler couldn’t stop giggling.
Then it was home, to Tyler’s, to bed. They had another day of filming but it didn’t stop Jamie from dragging Tyler close and kissing him. “You said something about rimming…?”
Tyler looked really interested. “Yeah. You gonna do it?”
“I’ve never-“ Jamie could feel himself blushing, a hot flush across his cheeks. “Either, um, way.”
The revelation didn’t seem to be putting Tyler off. Instead it seemed to be having the opposite effect. “Fuck. So you’d listen to me tell you what to do, babe? Take instructions good?” Tyler pressed up into a hard kiss. They were both panting by the time they pulled apart.
Tyler stripped on the way to the bedroom, casually discarding shirt and hopping out of socks, as if he was too impatient to wait. Jamie didn’t bother pretending to do anything but follow his example. They were both naked by the time they hit the bed.
It took all of his effort but Jamie pulled away from Tyler’s mouth and kissed his way down the center of Tyler’s chest, trying to avoid getting waylaid by nipples or tattoos or basically anything else that normally distracted him. He focused on his goal, swallowing around the head of Tyler’s cock, rolling his balls in his free hand. Jamie pulled off with a pop. “Roll over, babe.”
Tyler lay there a moment, eyes glazed as he obviously worked out what Jamie was saying. Then he flipped over, twisting around so that Jamie didn’t even have to move from between his legs. Jamie took a moment to run his hands over the back of Tyler’s legs, working up to massaging his ass. Tyler writhed under him, panting already.
“So, I take it you like this?” Jamie let his thumb brush over Tyler’s hole. Tyler let out a noise that was mostly a long drawn out “Yeah” mixed with a hearty dose of a groan. Jamie decided he’d teased enough, leaning forward to lick across Tyler’s asshole. He’d seen it enough in porn to give it a decent try (for all that porn had really, really not prepared him for blow jobs) but the electrified sound Tyler let out made his own cock jump against the sheets. Jamie pulled back to place a smacking kiss on the curve of Tyler’s ass before diving back in again, licking and jabbing his tongue in a point. He managed to work the tip in before Tyler shuddered under him and Jamie pulled back to watch Tyler collapse to the bed, hand splayed out to the side and covered in come.
Jamie decided he couldn’t wait for Tyler to come too. Instead he jerked himself off rough and fast, letting the noises spill out until his come splattered over Tyler’s ass, the slick and wet mess mixing with the mess Jamie had made of Tyler’s hole.
Tyler let out another satisfied groan, waving his hand at Jamie ineffectually as Jamie collapsed beside him, turning his head, eyes closed, until Jamie kissed him, brushing his lips over Tyler’s cheek. Jamie giggled as his heartbeat slowed to a sated pace.
“Made a mess of you, Segs.” Jamie couldn’t find it in himself to say he was sorry. He ran his hand over the mess over Tyler’s ass, rubbing it in. “You look…”
Tyler’s sleepy self-satisfied grin actually took away the need for words. Jamie knocked his forehead against Tyler’s shoulder before heading for the bathroom to grab a washcloth.
They continued sneaking around for the next few days, grabbing kisses in isolated corners, spending way too long messing up the sheets, replacing the sheets, messing up the new ones. The buzz under Jamie’s skin settled, too, to a constant awareness of Tyler, nothing but Tyler.
They couldn’t lock themselves away forever though, choosing to go out and celebrate the end of filming. It was perhaps a mistake.
Jamie couldn’t remember being this drunk for a long time. The room started spinning and he lost track of everything – of Tyler, of Jordie, of his phone. He wondered if he was close to puking when Jordie slammed his beer down in front of where Jamie had temporarily laid his head on the table in a booth.
“I should be mocking you for being a lightweight but I don’t think you’ve let up all night.” Jordie sighed but rubbed the back of Jamie’s neck. “I found your phone. One of the guys was tweeting up a storm.”
Jamie groaned. It was about all he could manage.
“Just as well he didn’t look at your texts.” Jordie’s voice was just loud enough that only Jamie could hear him over the music and noise of the bar. “It’s fucking sickening that you found your soulmate in a teammate, for sure.” Jamie forced his eyes open in panic to look in Jordie’s direction before he saw Jordie breaking into an entirely too sincere and frightening grin. “Couldn’t be happier for you.”
Jamie leaned on him for a moment. Or perhaps longer. He objected when Jordie shoved him upright only to relax when Tyler slid into his space.
“Okay, we’re recording this shit.” Tyler stretched his arm out and snapped a quick shot. Jamie just hoped that the picture didn’t capture how wasted he was. Or, perhaps, how dopily he was probably looking at Tyler.
“Just gonna sort out your little tweet adventure…” Tyler was obviously not entirely sober himself, judging by the tip of his tongue that poked out of the side of him mouth in concentration. “Then cab?”
“Home,” Jamie thought he said, letting his head fall onto Tyler’s shoulder. He kept enough self-awareness around to know that he shouldn’t kiss. It didn’t stop him from muttering, “Love you.”
Tyler let out a soft snort. “Typical, Jameson! Fucking typical.”
Jamie wasn’t sure how they got to the curb, nor how the cab appeared in front of them. It was really important that he let Tyler know how sincere he was all of a sudden. “I mean it!”
“I know,” Tyler said. “I found you, after all.”
“It’s a very tight group.” Tyler has his head down, paying attention and Jamie can’t help watching across to where he was giving his interview. They were riding high on a successful training camp and on the support of all the fans who showed up to see them, at least that’s what everyone should be thinking. Jamie had already dispensed with his interview, trying to remember to keep his umms to a minimum.
Tyler never had any issues with speaking to cameras. Jamie leaned back against the wall and watched him praise up the team, say how much better it was being here this year. Tyler turned his head and caught Jamie watching. There was a flash of a grin across his face.
Then they start on about chemistry. Tyler’s eyes found him.
“Did you miss him?” Jamie tried to drag his eyes away to look at microphones, the cameras around Tyler because he knew what his face would be showing. Tyler was grinning wide and carefree and Jamie knew someone would be able to tell that only hours ago he’d kissed Tyler awake. He didn’t care.
“Two days he was gone!” It was another one of the reporters and Jamie said something similar, something that everyone around them would hear as an enormous joke. For Jamie, he took the head duck, the grin, the quick flash of Tyler’s eyes and the laugh to show that Tyler knew exactly how he was feeling.
Later, after the press had cleared out and they were gathering their gear to head back to the hotel, Tyler bumped up against him again. It was enough to have Jamie pull him around a corner, into a dark alcove.
“I did miss you, man.” Tyler licked his lips before bringing his head up in a deliberately taunting move.
“I know.” And that weird, settled feeling that had been buzzing through Jamie’s bones all day finally found its focus as they kiss, deep and all too quick. “Show you how much when we get home?”
“How about showing me before dinner and then again after?” Tyler’s hip thrust wasn’t subtle.
Jamie brushes his thumb along Tyler’s cheekbone. He was pretty sure that Tyler would be able to feel just how on board with that plan he was.