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Thirty-Six Dollars and Twenty-Nine cents Worth of Bliss

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For once it's not Kono's fault, though of course the blame for the entire debacle could be laid squarely at her door, preferably in a bag and on fire. And when Danny finds out he's probably not going to blame her. He might even send her flowers, if Steve gives credit where credit is due. But he might not. Danny might be happier not knowing that Kono and then Kono and Kamekona took Steve to three lingerie stores, including that one out by the airport.

Danny only asked about it once, but it stuck in Steve's mind like a splinter that won't work its way out. After they came home from Copa night at The Gay Paris Danny was drunk and loose limbed from being bent over the arm of the couch, the kitchen island, and nailed up against the wall of the shower, which also made him loose tongued and sleepy. He said, "Didja mean it? About the black lace panties?" And then he fell asleep with the sheets twisted about his right leg. Steve untwisted him, because he knows Danny hates waking up with sheet marks on his skin and he got two big glasses of water, leaving one on Danny's bed side table along with two Advil. Steve drank his while standing at the open window in their bedroom and staring at moonlight floating on the blue-black ocean's surface. Could he do black lace panties? Steve knew he could physically put them on, but he wasn't sure he could carry them off with the necessary gravitas. Maybe gravitas was the wrong word.

So here he is. In a fitting room. At The Pleasure Emporium on Dillingham at two in the afternoon in nothing but a black lace thong.

"Are you coming out? Or are we coming in?" Kono is tapping her foot.

"If you set one foot in here I will not let you try the XM29 that Styles loaned me to test." Steve doesn't care if Kono, or even Kamekona sees him in the all together, but no one is going to see him in this ass floss. It bunches in front and how do women even wear lace? It itches and pokes.

He shimmies out of the thong and calls, "Next."

"How am I going to know what to suggest if I can't see how things fit you?" Kono shoves an arm through the curtain and hands Steve a pair of green lace bikinis.

"Black. They to be black panties." Steve stares down at the bikinis. They're not much better than the thong. He holds them up and shoves them back out at Kono without even taking them off the hanger.

"I know. Black. You've told me a million times. But they don't have those in black right now. They'd have to order them if you want them. And stop calling them THAT word. You know I hate that word."

"Panties?" Steve grins at himself. He's as bad as Danny.

Kono huffs.

Steve continues, "I don't want those. Is there something with a little more, er with more coverage?"

He hears whispering and then Kamekona's beefy arm darts through the curtain with a pair of black lace shorts. And because Kamekona always smells like garlicky shrimp Steve is hungry. He pulls on the shorts and they fit. They don't make his hips look weird. Great. Now they can go have lunch.

"I think these--" Steve starts to say, but Kono whips open the curtain. At least she and Kamekona are at least blocking the doorway so that no one else in the store can see him.

They're eyeing him critically like he's a table they might like to buy, scanning him from top to bottom and then stepping back and looking again. Kamekona makes a turn around motion with his finger.

"Seriously?" Steve says.

"Brah. The back is the most important part. If it doesn't do justice to your glutenus maximus what's the point?"

Steve rolls his eyes and turns around. He's standing contraposto and his ass muscles clench up as if they know they're being assessed.

"Cash or credit?"

Steve whirls around and the girl who was at the register, a woman in a leopard print mumu, and a man holding a red merry widow are all smiling at him. Kono and Kamekona are still there, but they've let a crowd elbow their way in. No one says anything for a full minute and then the woman in the mumu says, "I'll take a pair of those."

Steve could blush and tear the curtain closed, but he steels himself not to. He cocks his hip and snaps the waist band at his right hip and says, "Cash." He turns around, bends over, and then hands the salesgirl forty dollars from his wallet. "Keep the change."

She looks at the twenties like she's never seen money before. The woman in the mumu is fanning herself with a large bra and the man with the merry widow seems to have decided he's suddenly bicurious.

Steve smirks and closes the curtain slowly, amused when everyone tilts to the side to keep him in view as he disappears. He has a new respect for strippers. Acting confidently sultry for a crowd of strangers is harder than he expected. He very carefully avoids looking at his reflection while changing. He knows he's appealing. He's known it since he was fourteen years old and he shot up six inches and lost his baby fat. But it's never sat well with him. People are too interested in the pretty wrapper and they don't care what's inside. Except for a few close friends and ex's and Danny. Danny would love him even if his body was mangled or his face was terribly scarred by acid. Steve zips his pants and shrugs himself back into his t-shirt and button down. He really hopes Danny was serious about this and not just drunk and half asleep. But for Danny Steve is willing to make a fool of himself.

He isn't sure how to deploy the panties once he has them at home, hidden under a tray of hollow point bullets he's not supposed to have. He's not sure if they'll turn out to be a WMD or a dud grenade, but it amuses him to keep them with his other ammunition.

Days turn into weeks, but Steve is nothing if not stealthy and patient. He chooses to strike at the right moment for optimum impact. They've had a long week and they've barely slept, and not even at the same times. Danny is wound tighter than an eight day clock. He's slumped in one of the Adirondack chairs on the beach holding a half empty beer and peeling the label into mushy strips.

"Come on inside." Steve drops a hand on Danny's shoulder.

"In a minute."

"If you come now I'll give you a rub down." And that's not code for anything. He means an actual rubdown with lavender scented almond oil.

Danny sighs, but gets up and strolls inside. "Did you heat the oil?"

"Yeah. Go get undressed and lie down. I'll be there in a minute." He watches Danny climb wearily up the stairs and when he hears the bed springs creak and knows Danny is lying down he whips off his clothes in the kitchen and takes the panties out of the utensil drawer where he hid them because Danny came home earlier than he expected. He nearly had a myocardial infarction when Danny went for the bottle opener. Steve snatched away the beer and knocked the cap off against the edge of the counter. Danny looked at him and took the beer outside. He's very particular about the counters and the kitchen.

Steve wiggles into the panties and wonders if he should have freshened up his deodorant. Well, it's too late now. He grabs the warmed massage oil and heads upstairs, hoping this goes well. If not Danny will probably have a good laugh and some much needed catharsis.

Danny's head is turned away from him and Steve moves to the bed, afraid Danny's fallen asleep, but when he puts one knee up onto the mattress Danny says, "Took you long enough."

Steve just smiles and straddles Danny. He works the oil into Danny's shoulders and down to the small of his back. If Danny feels the scratchy lace against his ass-he hasn't said anything, which makes Steve pretty sure he hasn't noticed. Steve can't stop smiling--waiting for Danny's surprise to register.

There's a huge knot inside Danny's right shoulder blade and Steve manipulates Danny's arm to get at those muscles by placing Danny's arm on the small of his own back. When the knot loosens Steve oh so casually brushes his crotch against Danny's finger tips. Danny makes a face and then his finger tips graze over Steve's crotch and thigh as if he can't quite believe was he's feeling.

"Steven?"

"Yes, Daniel?"

"Are you wearing lace?" Danny swallows hard and closes his eyes fingers still trailing along the fabric.

"Yes."

"Black lace?"

"Yes."

"Please tell me they aren't Kono's."

Steve grins. "No, Danny. These have never been worn by anyone else." Steve doesn't think this is the time to mention that Kono, Kamekona, a salesgirl and two customers have seen him in these.

Danny doesn't open his eyes and doesn't say anything and Steve worries that he's gravely miscalculated. He's about to offer to change out of them when Danny says, "Will you model them for me?"

"Of course." Steve climbs off the bed and stands a few feet from Danny. "Open your eyes."

Danny leans up on his forearms and slowly opens his eyes. The look he levels Steve with is smoldering, scorching, blistering. Steve kicks his weight onto one leg and waits a moment before slowly turning around. Danny makes a noise Steve has never heard him make before. It's not quite a grunt, nor a growl, nor a moan--it's something in between.

Steve turns around and says, "Now what?"

"How did you know?" Danny finally tears his eyes away from Steve's package and looks him in the eye.

"You told me." Steve saunters forward. "That night. Just before you passed out."

"I..." Danny swallows hard again and words have failed him. Steve would not be able to wipe the grin off his face if he tried. He's never actually been able to render Danny speechless before. The panties are doing something to Steve though--they've made him slow down. He's teasing Danny by going at a lazy pace and Danny seems to like it. A lot. He's unconsciously grinding his hips into the bed every few seconds. When Steve finally closes the meager distance to the foot of the bed Danny sits up. He's obviously received a present he never thought he'd get and he doesn't quite know what to do with the reality of it. Steve stays beautifully still and waits even though he can feel Danny's breath through the lace and he really wants to pounce on him, knock him on his back and go at it Hell for leather. He waits. It feels like an eon passes before Danny reaches out one hand and lets it hover an inch from Steve, not touching. Steve holds back a groan and thrust. He wants Danny to have full control in this and that's something Steve has never been able to approach before. It must be the panties. They're magical.

Danny trails a finger, his index, down the side seam almost reverently. He glances up at Steve and there's something else in his eyes besides heat and want. Steve knows what it is, but they've never said those words to each other. And Danny doesn't say them now. He hooks his index finger inside the edge of the waistband and traces along the edges, down Steve's other hip and across his thighs. Danny leans slowly forward and nips at Steve's erection. Steve has been hard since he took the oil out of the microwave. He presses his lips together, but a little moan escapes him.

Danny stands and all but tosses Steve onto the bed. His face is flushed and he crawls over Steve, his hair flopping in his eyes, and that look still there. He kisses Steve everywhere, devours him, sucks bruises into his flesh where no one else will see them. He's marking Steve as his. Steve fists the sheets in his hands to keep from flipping Danny over, tearing the panties into shreds and getting down to it. And still Danny doesn't speak a word. He's usually very vocal, well, all the time, but especially during sex. He's got a filthy mouth and a filthy imagination and Steve wouldn't have it any other way. But this? This silence is special--it tightens up behind his ribcage and it's only a matter of time before it bursts.

"I have a problem," Danny says. Nipping at the lace with his teeth and running his tongue along the edges of the flowers in the pattern.

"Mmmmm?"

"I don't want to take these off, but I want to take them off."

"Take them off and I'll put them back on anytime."

"Will you..." Danny shakes his head, his hair tickling Steve's hip.

"What? If you can ask me to wear these? You can ask me anything."

"Will you wear them out sometime. Not necessarily to work, but out and don't tell me you're going to. Just tell me once we're out. Whisper it in my ear." Danny has his weight braced on his arms. He looks so nervous, like Steve might kick him out of bed for asking him this pretty tiny favor.

Steve reaches up a hand and cups Danny's cheek. "And then I'll make you wait to go home."

Danny nods and that look in his eyes brighten, or deepens--making them bluer, impossibly blue. "Take them off."

"You don't want to?" Steve is surprised.

"No." Danny sweeps his eyes down Steve's body. "Go slow. I want to watch."

Steve rolls the waist slowly down and Danny's eyes track the fabric as it eases down revealing Steve's skin, imprinted with the pattern of the lace just below the cut of his hips. Once the panties are down at Steve's knees he can't take it anymore and he kicks them off. Danny's mouth quirks up on one side, because he knows Steve is new at this slow burn seduction, but he's still Steve.

Danny runs his tongue over the lace marks on Steve's skin--maybe soothing it, maybe savoring the imprint, maybe both. Steve just manages not to buck his hips into Danny's face, or grab him by the hair and push him dead center. Danny is very good at the slow burn. Steve didn't even know you could have sex this slowly. It's almost painful, but the good kind of pain, the kind you'd do crazy things to feel again.

Steve isn't prepared when Danny licks a stripe up his cock--Danny's pace has been that glacial. He almost comes from that one lick and he knows he's not going to last long. Danny puts his lips to the tip as if he's just dropping a peck on it. He take Steve in as if he wants the motion to take an infinite amount of time, each movement forward is half the length of the previous one. Steve knows that Danny can only take him about half way and he's only a quarter of the way down his shaft. Steve is starting to sweat from restraining himself, holding back and letting Danny torture him so sweetly. He knows without being told that if he cants his hips and rams into Danny's mouth that Danny will stop and insist on starting again. If he does that Steve is pretty sure he will cry.

When Danny is one third of the way down Steve's twitching cock Steve sees stars, bright pops in his vision. It would be a bit embarrassing if he passed out while lying down and getting the world's slowest head. He modulates his breathing. He didn't even realize he was practically hyperventilating because everything has become the small tract of real estate that Danny has enveloped and is applying gentle suction to. Steve is resigned now and he's not sure he could move now if he tried. He has no control over anything and he's grateful that his autonomic nervous system keeps his basic functions going. At least he assumes his heart is still beating, but he can only feel the wet heat that's almost covered half of him, that's almost as far as it's going to go. And then Danny is there. Steve expects Danny to slowly back up, so when Danny swirls his tongue around Steve, one shocking fast circle, it causes Steve to explode or implode or maybe turn inside out and then right side in. It starts behind his ribcage and not from his balls, which is really, really strange and shoots through his entire body, it bursts right through his skin and speeds out into the universe. He doesn't just come, he arrives at a place he's never visited before. It's a place inside him that he didn't even know was there. It's a place he desperately wants to take Danny. He'll get him there even if it takes a lifetime to find the way.

When Steve can find his tongue and move it he say, "Best thirty-six dollars and twenty-nine cents I ever spent."

Danny nods and rolls onto his back. Steve almost dives straight for the prize and then checks himself. He's always up for trying something new. He can't go quite as slow as Danny did, but he does his best. And his best is pretty fucking mind blowing.

When Danny is nearly asleep and tucked into Steve's side he mumbles, "Do they come in hot pink?"

Steve smothers a laugh so as not to wake Danny. He'd been planning to go and purchase a back-up pair anyway.