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“There is no bloody way you’ve never done that before.”

Dom falls back into his pillows, mouth parted and parched. His muscles slowly being to slacken, body warm and trembling with aftershocks. He hasn’t felt this good in ages.

From somewhere between his thighs Lofty hums, pressing a smiling kiss to Dom’s skin.

For all his soft-spoken gentleness, his boundless kindness, and his slightly clutsy nature, Lofty has proven to be a confident, playful and passionate partner. There is no “gay virgin syndrome” for Lofty and Dom learned that right from their very first kiss.

Not the flinched from kiss in the lounge or even their first proper kiss in the uppermost bedroom of that countryside estate, the sounds of Ollie and Zosia’s wedding dinner still going on below, which for all its gorgeous, slow heat and tongue had felt unsure and hesitant.

But their first proper kiss, coming months after Freddie was long gone. Several weeks after Lofty had returned to Keller. A proper length of time that Dom had been clean from the steroids.

They’d spent the night at Alby’s with the normal crew, but by the end of the evening, it was just the two of them. Tucked in close together at the corner of the bar, knees nearly touching, hands becoming friendlier as the alcohol content in their blood grew.

Lofty had offered him a lift home, which had lead to Lofty walking him to his door, which had lead to Dom being backed against his door, one of Lofty’s forearms resting near his head for balance, the other making it’s way into his rear trouser pocket. They’d made out under the fluorescent lights of his flat hallway, fist-fulls of curls in both his hands.

“Beard,” Lofty had said, eyes following in the wake of his fingers as they trailed delicately across his jaw. “I look forward to getting used to that.”

Dom who had been rendered breathless, could only laugh softly.

“Night, Dom. See you tomorrow,” He’d said, spinning on his heel and strolling away with a grin on his face like some Hollywood leading man.

They’d taken it slowly after that. Giving themselves plenty of time to transition from mates to boyfriends. Dom had explained, even though he probably hadn’t needed to, that with both Isaac and Freddie, things had been sex first, relationship second and that had obviously not ended very well for either.

So tonight is the first time anything has gone past some very intense groping on Dom’s couch. A subtle offer on Dom’s part to take things to the bedroom had not been turned down.

Lofty flops down next to Dom now with a similarly self-satisfied smile on his face. Lips flushed from their work, a stray curl clinging to his damp brow. Essie was totally right, Dom thinks has he brushes that hair away with his fingertips. He’s at least a 7. Probably higher. I’ve never gone higher that a 7, what the fuck…

“So that was alright, then?”

Dom shakes himself from his own thoughts and tries not to roll his eyes too hard. “I’m not even going to answer that question because it is evident just how ‘alright’ it was.”

Lofty smiles, big enough so the lines around his eyes engage and he rolls towards Dom kissing him. Dom can taste himself on Lofty’s tongue and he grabs the back of Lofty’s neck, pulling him in even deeper when Lofty tries to pull away. He needs so much more of that mix of Lofty’s spit and his own spunk.

Lofty’s dark eyes are blow nearly black when that kiss ends.

“And you, first timer?” Dom asks, in his most sultry voice though he suddenly feels unsure. He trails his fingers down the hollow of Lofty’s throat, between his pecs, over his stomach and side. His palm cups the swell of Lofty’s arse and his long legs shift, bringing them closer, aligning their bodies. Dom’s cock is sated and soft, but he can feel the jut of Lofty’s hardness and he rolls into it, instinctively. “You seemed quite ready to...take all that that entailed.”

They haven’t talked much about Lofty’s previous relationships, about how he identifies himself. But there had been one cloudy afternoon, spent in sweatpants and thick socks, cuddled on the couch when Lofty had opened up.

He told Dom the full story of Alice and Lenny. How he met her in the wake of his departure from Holby, a era of his life that he rarely thinks about, let alone talks about. He knew he was punching well above his weight with her but he was in a place where that kind of attention was impossible to ignore. But then met her brother and felt something new, something equally rich, and recognized something within himself that he’d always suspected.

“I cared deeply for them both. Still do,” he’d said, looking wistful and sad. “They were both just as important to me. It was just different.”

“Well, there’s a perfect definition of bisexuality, if I’ve ever heard one.”

A small look of surprise had registered on Lofty’s face, as if he’d spent too much time sorting out how he felt to bother putting a label on it. But he’d seemed to accept Dom’s assessment, leaning back to kiss Dom from over his shoulder and going back to watching the telly.

“You surprised that I swallowed?” Lofty asks. Dom blushes, both at the memory and at the lascivious words slipping so easily from Lofty’s lips, ghosted against the line of Dom’s neck. “It’s not like I have zero experience with, blow jobs, Dom. I did know the end was coming...so to speak.”

Dom snorts at his lame double entendre, and slaps him playfully on the backside.

“Giving and receiving are entirely different things though, love.”

“Well, I may…” He trails off, the vowel sound linger on too long a hint of embarrassment creeps in.

“What?” Dom asks, smiling as Lofty’s groans. “That you what?”

Lofty covers his face with the edge of the duvy then snaps the blanket away. With a deep, bolstering breath he says quickly, “I may have watched some videos online. Once you and I started, you know,” he gestures between them, indicating their naked state.

Dom’s brows shoot up. Lofty goes bright red.

“And I may have talked to a gay mate down in Australia who gave me advice on...techniques.”

“You did research before having sex with me?” Dom asks, baffled.

“Well, I didn’t want to mess it up!”

Dom presses his lips together, covering his face with both hands but there is nothing for it. He can’t hold back the massive guffaw that comes bursting out.

“No, come on,” Lofty complains as Dom dissolves into complete hysterics. “Don’t make me feel any more ridiculous than I already do. Don’t laugh,” Lofty says, but he’s already laughing too. Good natured and warm. Eventually, Lofty shuts him off with another kiss.

“That’s just so...You, isn’t it?” Dom says. “I don’t really know why I’m surprised.”

“I just wanted to be ready,” he says, his eyes and voice suddenly sincere. “I wanted to be ready when you were ready.”

It’s ridiculously endearing and thoughtful and everything that Lofty is to everyone. But especially to Dom. Always to Dom. Even from those earliest days when they meant nothing to each other, Lofty has always been there - with support, kindness, an ear to bend. Dom has no idea how he’s gotten so lucky.

He rolls towards Lofty, slotting his body against his. Lofty is fit and lean, but still soft enough in all the right places and already being close to him like this feels right and familiar. Like a piece of clothing that fits so perfectly it feels like you’ve owned it forever and wonder what you could have possibly done without it.

“Well, good news.” He cradles Lofty’s jaw in his hand, eyes locked and open, and whispers, “I’m ready now.”

The only indication that Lofty understands Dom’s meaning is a sudden up-tick in the speed of his breathing. He doesn’t break their gaze as he asks, “You’re sure?”

“Very,” Dom says, nipping at his jaw. “Top drawer. Your side.”

Lofty doesn’t need to be told twice. He has that drawer open and the necessary equipment extracted in mere moments. The box of condoms and bottle of lube are both new, having been purchased only the day before. Lofty takes note.

“I wanted to be ready too,” Dom says. They share a look of bashful exhilaration.

“Apply liberally, Nurse Chiltern,” Dom says, pointing to the lube. “The other, I assume you know what to do with.”

As Lofty settles on his knees between Dom’s outstretched legs, he rests back, fluffing the pillows below him so he can enjoy the view. Lofty sets to work with a determined intensity, eyes hardly blinking, breath heavy and slow. Dom nudges him with his foot, sending him a warm and tender smile when he looks up at him. Letting Lofty know how much he wants him. Reminding him to enjoy it.

The lube is cool to the touch but that first slip of Lofty’s finger inside is warm.

Lofty falls forward, a look of wonder on his face as he continues to ply and pry the innermost places of Dom’s body. “Fuck,” Lofty curses, as one digit becomes two and Dom’s body begins to react. “You’re so beautiful,” he breathes.

“So are you.” Dom smoothes his hair back away from his face, linking his fingers at the back of his neck to pull him down.

They kiss slow and thick, their pace matching that of the in-and-out of Lofty’s hand.

They are both medical professionals, both fully aware of what that part of the anatomy is capable of. So there are not comments about being “too tight” or “not fiting”. Instead, when Lofty does break away from the kissing long enough to form words it is, “You feel incredible. So much heat.”

Dom’s skin is aflame and his body ready. He lifts his knees to bracket Lofty’s hips, his arms wrapping around the expanse of his back.

“Ben,” he moans, base and low. Lofty groans at the sound of his given name. “Ben, please…”

Lofty lowers his hips, providing the friction Dom so desperately needs. His cock slips easily against the well lubricated cleft of Dom’s arse and Lofty hisses at that beautiful brush of warm skin on skin, at the hint of what could be.

“What I wouldn’t give to take you like this,” Lofty stutters, rolling his hips up and down but not in, his arms trembling with barely held control.

“Monday,” Dom breathes. “Blood work. I’ll do yours if...”

“Deal,” Lofty agrees, as he makes a manic reach for the condom box.

By the time Lofty resettles between Dom’s thighs, his heart is pounding with such anticipation he can feel his pulse pounding in his cock. Lofty hooks his elbow in the crook of Dom’s knee, his lower lip caught in his teeth in concentration. His slide in is paced and full of tenderness.

They lay still for a moment, bodies aligned chest to groin. Dom takes in the feeling of Lofty’s full weight on top of him, the full girth and length inside him. He feels the heat in his face and dampness on his neck from Lofty’s shallow breath.

Dom shifts his hips, just enough to change the angle and the depth.

“My god, Dom.”

Dom does it again. Lofty’s lifts to his forearms so he can join in the motion.

“I won’t last,” he says.

“I don’t care,” Dom replies.

From then on, the physical takes over any sort of higher thought. Their bodies speak and react. Angles and speed. Taking and giving. Using and being used. Lofty doesn’t last long, but plenty long enough for him to find just the spot Dom’s body needs. Pounding the point so that white-hot pressure mounts and ignites Dom’s body mere moments before Lofty finds his climax with a piercing sob.

Eventually, their heart beats slow. Their lungs become less desperate for air. Eventually, Lofty kisses Dom one last time and pulls out. Dom slips off to the bathroom to clean up, coming back into the bedroom a few minutes later to find Lofty still splayed across the bed, exactly how he left him. His eyes are towards the ceiling, a smile playing on his parted lips. It’s a sight Dom could most definitely get used to.

“OK?” Dom asks.

“Brilliant. You?”

“Same.”

They slip under the covers, their skin cooled to the point of goose pimples and they curl towards each other, limbs linking, seeking that comfortable warmth.

“You know,” Lofty says, his head resting on Dom’s chest. “I was worried we’d never get here.”

“What, to the bedroom?”

“No,” he laughs. “Just...together. I thought for sure my ship had sailed when Freddie came along.”

Dom snorts, inelegantly. “Freddie? Nah, he was just a placeholder because I’d completely screwed things up with you.”

“You hadn’t.” Lofty props himself up to look down at Dom. “We are both such idiots.”

“Complete idiots.”

“I’m pretty sure Morven used that exact word once or twice with me.”

“Sascha, too. Seems like everyone around us with two eyes and a heart could tell where we were headed except us.”

Lofty laughs, his dark lashes skimming the top his cheek bones. “Guess we just had to find our way in our own time.”

Dom nods. “When we were ready for this. For us.”

Lofty’s breath catches. “God, I am going to fall to completely in love with you, you do realize that, right?”

The old Dom wouldn’t have been able to handle a confession like that. A year ago, in the wake of Isaac’s horror, those words would have incited panic and discomfort.

But not anymore. Not when they come from Lofty, whom he trusts completely. Not when they have waited so long to get this right.

He smiles up at the man he’s probably already in love with, but that confession can wait too.

“Good.” He kisses him lightly. “Cause I’m ready for that too."