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Only the Trees Will Whisper in the Dark

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They lie there on soft blankets, the first time they trek up into the mountains, staring at the stars, each placed in the firmament by a loving hand. Pike's hand closes over Henry's as they trace the constellations one by one.

In the darkness, Pike talks, telling legends of the stars, of how Zeus set Callisto the bear in the heavens, remorseful at last. Pike talks more easily when there is no light, Henry has found, words spilling out of him at night that he has stored up during the day. Henry has learned patience, to listen with his eyes as well as his ears. If coming home to Montana has taught him anything, it's that you work with Nature, not against it.

Pike tells of Orion as Henry starts to undress him, lifting unresisting limbs to ease the way. He only stutters to a stop when Henry straddles him, flat palms smoothing over the planes of Pike's body. There is only low firelight, but Henry has touch to see by and bends to press his lips over Pike's heart. Pike says nothing, simply takes Henry's head in his great, gentle hands and brings their mouths together in a kiss that tastes of sharp pine and clear skies.

Henry cannot help but feel small in Pike's hands, and the reverence and tenderness of Pike's touch sometimes makes him burst with frustration, want to snap that he is not a child, nor a china doll to be handled with such care, but he knows to keep his mouth shut. Perhaps he is worthy of such worship after all. His therapist would be proud.

Mostly they go slow and carefully, Pike is a big man everywhere that it counts, after all; they've learned to negotiate their way around that. It has been at times painfully awkward, awkwardly painful and desperately hot.

Henry uses both hands on Pike, now, watching his eyes close and mouth move in wordless silence. He's been used to the pushy, anonymous gay guys of New York, with their endless demands and litany of groans and grunts of affirmation. Pike never makes a sound. At first, Henry used to obsessively check in to see if everything was good, what if I touch you here?, do you like that?, is this working for you? Pike would only ever nod or move Henry's hand. Henry learned to stop pushing; who knew better than he did how it felt when words were trapped under layers of history?

Pike pushes his hips up and splays one hand across Henry's back and, recognizing the signal, Henry lets go and rolls onto his back. Pike kneels, pushing Henry's legs apart, licking in long stripes along the inside crease of his thighs. The warm-cool combination of Pike's tongue with the night air makes Henry shiver and ache.

"Please," he says.

Pike withdraws, settling over Henry, straddling his thighs, careful not to let Henry take any of his weight. Henry, impatient, takes Pike and guides him between his legs, closing them tight around him. Pike lets out a breath and bends down, body contorted to take Henry's mouth. Henry tilts his head backwards to help but they can hold it only a second or two before Pike has to move. Pike's hair brushes against Henry's cheek as he rises up.

It's slow, so slow as Pike begins to thrust, the friction of his belly and the tangle of his pubic hair tantalizingly close but not enough against Henry's erection. Henry bucks up, grabs Pike's buttocks and pulls down, but Pike isn't to be rushed. He is the mountains and the stars and the trees in the forest. He has his own time.

Pike's thrusts deepen and with each one he slides and angles his hips so he rubs along the length of Henry's prick. His own pushes again and again into the cavity between Henry's legs, stroking Henry's balls and grazing the sensitive skin. Henry can feel it everywhere, from the powerful pulse of his groin to the faint buzz in his fingertips. He's alive in a way he doesn't remember ever being before.

Pike speeds up, from molasses to syrup, and Henry knows he is close. He reaches a hand between them to take himself in hand.

"I love you." The words fade into empty air, a secret between them and the stars. Henry's hand lies fallow, the shock pulling his orgasm from him as Pike's body wrenches with shudders above him.

They lie together, later, Henry twining Pike's hair around his fingers, watching his chest rise and fall and listening to his warm voice tell tales of the stars. It is home here.