“Desmond’s up,” Rebecca announced, although he was still reclined and rubbing at his eyes when she spoke. When he did finally sit up, she flashed him a smile before turning back to her screen, fingers tapping away rapidly. He knew better than to pursue a conversation after a look like that so instead, he got to his feet slowly and stretched.
As usual, he’d lost track of how many hours he’d been in the Animus but judging by how his body felt, he would have guessed four or five. The sudden need to move around, to work muscles that were spending more and more time in repose, gripped him and he headed for the exit, catching Lucy’s gaze as he passed her desk. She also only had time for a brief smile and a reminder to take his headset, before returning her attention to her computer. Desmond glanced at the empty stool beside the remaining desk before picking up the headset and heading up the stairs.
Shaun hadn’t said a word to him about what happened in the warehouse; in fact, he acted like nothing had happened at all. Admittedly, the very next day had them fleeing the hideout because of Abstergo’s arrival, but they’d been in the villa for two weeks and not so much as a knowing glance had passed between them. Desmond found it a little unsettling, considering he’d thought there was something there, something to pursue. Certainly that last look Shaun had given him had hinted at some sort of continuation.
But privacy was impossible here so there had been no chance to confront Shaun on the issue and now it was beginning to eat away at Desmond. Granted, the whole thing had started with a fistfight, but Desmond was not going to deny that the blowjob had been incredible and he had wanted—and still wanted—more. The fact that their little tussle had awoken certain memories of his ancestors’ was also not helping.
He’d only hallucinated one tryst so far; a glimpse of a ghostly Ezio pinning his beloved painter to a wall as their bodies moved in a familiar rhythm had convinced him not to wander through the decrepit villa house anymore. But there were also the dreams. In them, the memory of Shaun’s mouth on his, of the blood that had seeped into their kiss, drew Altair from his slumber deep within Desmond’s mind. The warehouse would dissolve, revealing a dimly lit room in Jerusalem with scents and sights he knew painfully well for never having lived during that time. Altair and Malik were not always gentle with each other and that restless urge to grab, to take, haunted Desmond in his waking hours.
All of this combined left him with a sour stomach and blue balls. The idea that their fumbling in the warehouse could mean nothing to Shaun—thus the reason for his distant attitude—was a bitter pill to swallow. On the other hand, Desmond was getting used to disappointment: he’d run from his life as an Assassin only to have it catch up with him; despite some casual flirting, Lucy was clearly more interested in finding the Apple than him; and now whatever flame he thought he’d kindled with Shaun was apparently a dud.
The cool night air was a refreshing change from the stuffy, dust-heavy atmosphere in the Sanctuary. Desmond took a deep breath as he stepped outside, unable to help the smile that stole across his face. Despite his worries, coming outside always made him feel more alive, even if it had been weeks since he’d felt the sun on his face. A quick run across the town’s rooftops was just what he needed to clear his mind.
As he came around the front of the crumbling house, he was surprised to find Shaun standing by the stairs leading down to the town, bent over with his forearms resting on the baluster. He looked pensive in profile and Desmond reflexively switched to his other sight, noting with relief that Shaun still glowed blue. It was a sharp contrast to the red trail of footprints that went past him and down the stairs. Since that first night he’d found the path marked in crimson visible only to him, Desmond had been uncertain whether it was as meaningless as the ghosts he occasionally saw, or if there was trouble lurking within the group. For now it seemed it was safe to relax back into his normal vision.
Shaun glanced up as he approached, straightening and adjusting his glasses before slipping his hands into his pockets. The floodlights from the villa and the light from the town cast strange shadows across his face, making his expression hard to read.
“Going for a stroll?” he asked as Desmond hesitated on the top step.
“Yeah.” When the man said nothing more, Desmond started down the stairs, but he was only three steps down when Shaun's voice made him pause.
“Feeling up for a challenge?”
Desmond turned to look behind him. Shaun’s tone was mild and while it was still hard to judge with the odd lighting, Desmond almost thought he saw the hint of a smirk on his face.
“Sure, I’m game,” he replied, trying to sound casual despite the tiny part of himself that was now holding its breath in anticipation. Shaun came down the stairs until he stood level with Desmond again.
“Right, well, the rules are fairly simple. You give me thirty seconds to hide myself somewhere in the town and when that’s up, you come find me. No cheating and using Eagle Vision,” he added. Desmond almost protested but Shaun reached out and took his wrist and the feel of those fingers made the words stick on his tongue. They hadn’t touched, not even an accidental brush, since that day in the warehouse and Desmond could still remember how those slender fingers had felt wrapped around him. He swallowed, feeling his pulse quicken at the memory, and then realized Shaun was watching him with that hint of a smile tugging at his lips.
Desmond thought about kissing him again, of exchanging the previous memory—harsh with a metallic, coppery taste—for a new one, but his attention was diverted when Shaun turned his arm so they could both see the face of his watch. The timer was at 00:08:45 with the seconds ticking away.
“Looks like you’ve got about eight minutes,” Shaun said, his thumb brushing the underside of Desmond’s wrist deliberately before he let go. With a mock-salute, he turned and trotted off into Monteriggioni’s streets, quickly disappearing around a corner.
Desmond’s skin tingled where Shaun had held his wrist and he rubbed at it absently, fighting the urge to just bolt after the man. Instead, he stared at his watch impatiently, counting down the seconds until Shaun’s time was up and the chase was on.
He headed straight for the alley he’d seen Shaun duck into but was unsurprised to find it empty; that would have been too easy. He had the presence of mind to turn off his headset as he scrambled up buildings and peered down connecting streets. No sense in giving the girls an earful when he finally found his prey. The urge to switch to his other vision was like an itch at the back of the mind but he tried to ignore it, telling himself he didn’t need the help.
Three minutes later, when he still had found no sign of the man, he was less inclined to believe that.
With less than five minutes remaining of his allotted free time, Desmond’s heart was racing for different reasons than when this hunt had begun. He’d expected to find Shaun easily and earn some sort of prize for it, but now those thoughts of frantic kisses and groping hands were trickling away with each second wasted. He found himself back where he first started, in the alley Shaun had ducked into, and debated his next move. Chewing absentmindedly on his lip, he glanced around once before concentrating.
The world dimmed into dark gray, with the exception of the occasional bright spots from street lights, and then a faint golden trail appeared, extending away from him; with a grin, he hurried after the glow. He only used Eagle Vision to confirm he was on the right track, but when the trail ended abruptly and there was no sign of Shaun, he spun around in a near-panic, thinking he’d squandered his one chance.
“You cheating wanker,” said a familiar voice above him, though there was amusement instead of anger in that tone. Desmond looked up in surprise as Shaun dropped down from the roof he'd been crouched on. Before the assassin could check to see if the golden trail did indeed lead up the wall, Shaun was kissing him and all other thoughts left his head. The other man crowded him into the little corridor that cut through the building and shoved him against the wall, following to take his mouth again. Desmond moaned into it even as he reached for Shaun with greedy fingers.
There was no blood to taste this time, just the hot, slick feel of Shaun’s tongue as it curled around his own, and the hard lines of the body pressing his into the building. One hand went around the historian’s waist to prevent him from escaping, while the other curved around his throat so that Desmond could feel his pulse beating under his thumb, as rapidly as his own. He made a pleased sound as Shaun moved against him, providing friction for both of their trapped erections.
“I suppose you did find me, though,” Shaun murmured against his lips when they paused for a breath. “That deserves some kind of reward.” Desmond nodded eagerly, not trusting his voice, and didn’t resist when Shaun turned him around to face the wall, hands braced by his head. The Brit pressed close again, tugging at Desmond’s hoodie until the nape of his neck was revealed. As teeth scraped against skin, Desmond shivered and pressed back, a thrill running through him when he felt a hard bulge against his ass.
“Yesyesyes,” he hissed as Shaun’s hands slid down his chest to the front of his jeans and that’s when his watch started beeping.
They both froze, staring at the display and the blinking zeros that seemed to mock them. Finally, Shaun grumbled several dire-sounding threats and lifted a hand to silence the watch. Before Desmond could say anything, the other man pulled the headset off Desmond’s ear and switched it back on as he held it to his own.
“Hello? Lucy?” Desmond heard her voice, even if he couldn’t catch what she said, and thought she sounded surprised. “Desmond’s not the only one with cabin fever. I came outside to stretch my legs a bit and ran into him. Since he’s got a babysitter, I figured I’d give him a little longer to run around.”
Desmond had to hand it to Shaun. His voice held just the right amount of weary annoyance, as if the world was constantly dumping unwanted problems on his shoulders and this was just the latest. Desmond let his forehead rest against the cool brick as he waited, trying to ignore the throbbing of his neglected arousal. Shaun was no longer molded against his back but one hand remained on Desmond, pressed against his thigh tantalizingly close to its goal. Desmond struggled to reign in the urge to rock his hips into that touch and silently demand more.
“Well I didn’t say I was enjoying it,” Shaun went on and sighed loudly. “Call it a momentary lapse of sanity, if you will. I just didn’t want you sending out a search party when his time was up. I’ll bring him back before too long.” A pause. “Yes, in one piece.”
He barely seemed to wait for Lucy to finish before switching the headset off and stuffing it in the pocket of Desmond’s hoodie. After giving Desmond’s hip a brief squeeze, he slid his hands back down to the front of Desmond’s jeans, wringing a strained sound of relief from the other man.
“Seems we’re always in a hurry,” he breathed against Desmond’s ear.
“There’s time,” Desmond said quickly, desperate not to put this off again.
“Oh, don’t worry. I hadn’t planned on missing out on this opportunity twice,” Shaun said with a chuckle. He pushed both jeans and boxers past Desmond’s hips, allowing his cock to spring free, and then slender fingers trailed back up his thigh to curl around him. Desmond jumped a little at that first touch—Shaun’s hands were colder than he’d expected—but then he let out a shaky breath as the man began to stroke more surely. It wasn’t quite the heaven his mouth had been, but it was nearly as good, especially after so long a wait.
Fingers pressed against his lips and Desmond allowed them in, sucking and moaning lewdly as Shaun thrust them to the same lazy rhythm he was using on Desmond’s cock. When Shaun finally withdrew them, Desmond knew what would come next but still tensed involuntarily when the wet fingers prodded his entrance.
“You’re going to be sore,” Shaun said, almost apologetically, as he worked the first finger in. His other hand continued to move, providing a welcome distraction as the finger began to push in and out.
“Jesus, Shaun, my fucking balls have been sore for two weeks,” Desmond said breathlessly, looking back over his shoulder. “I can take a little pain if it means we finally get to that ‘main course’ you mentioned.” Heat flashed in Shaun’s eyes as he leaned close to take Desmond’s mouth in a sloppy, sideways kiss, pressing a second finger in as he did so.
“I had no idea you were so eager for more.” How the historian could sound so maddeningly calm and composed was beyond Desmond but the words coaxed a short laugh out of him. He felt himself relaxing as Shaun’s mouth moved down the side of his throat to lick across his pulse.
“Bullshit,” the assassin said. “You waited this long just to torture me, didn’t you?”
“Hmm, maybe,” came the husky response. “Maybe it was payback for nearly breaking my nose.” The invading fingers withdrew so Shaun could spit on them and when they returned, Desmond was grateful to feel them sliding more easily.
“P-payback?” he sputtered as he was slowly stretched open. “You almost split my—aah!” Shaun crooked his fingers and pressed against something within Desmond that made him light up like a forty-foot tall neon sign. He writhed, caught between the hand in front of him and the one behind him as a third finger pressed in. It burned but soon Shaun was nudging that spot again and Desmond was barely aware of the words he growled in response. There was a breathless chuckle against his ear.
“While I appreciate the enthusiasm, I prefer English to Arabic,” Shaun said, bringing Desmond back from the cusp of memories that weren’t his own. He wasn’t sure if he should apologize or retort with something clever but instead found himself incapable of either as Shaun’s hands suddenly worked him with a renewed vigor that hinted at the man’s own impatience for more.
When he abruptly pulled away, Desmond was left panting and slightly dizzy from the sudden loss of sensation. He recognized the sound of a zipper behind him and heard Shaun spit again, no doubt preparing himself. It was so tempting to take himself in hand and finish what Shaun had started but before his need could overwhelm his will, Shaun’s hand returned to his hip, urging him to shuffle back from the wall so he could bend over more. He spread his legs as best he could and then finally Shaun’s cock was prodding at his entrance.
It was much larger than his fingers had been but the burn was all the same. Desmond was so focused on not clenching in resistance that he jerked in surprise when Shaun slipped a hand around him to work his flagging erection. The historian was murmuring something, a low, steady stream of words most likely intended to be soothing. Desmond couldn’t concentrate enough to follow exactly what he was saying, but still it had the added effect of keeping him grounded. The English reminded him this was real, not just a hallucination of someone else’s memories.
“Christ, Desmond, you’re so tight,” Shaun gasped once his hips were flush with Desmond’s ass. The assassin shifted, trying to adjust to the feeling of being filled so intimately, and was startled when Shaun groaned and gripped his hips hard enough to bruise. The other man relaxed eventually but it seemed for a moment there, it had taken everything in his power not to lose control. After a few shaky breaths, he began to move.
Desmond’s hands were clenched against the building’s wall for those first few slow rolls of Shaun’s hips and then he forced them open, palms against brick. Shaun thrust more quickly when he felt some of the tension ease from Desmond, keeping the assassin in place with one hand on his hip while the other slid past Desmond's aching cock to cup his balls. Desmond groaned and tried to rock into the sensation, to encourage Shaun to move his hand just a little higher, but instead, Shaun pulled back to grip his other hip and thrust forward sharply.
“Fuck!” Desmond hardly had time for a breath before Shaun did it again, and this time, he hit the spot his fingers had been so fond of before, startling another curse out of Desmond.
“That’s sort of the idea,” the other man drawled, his smirk audible. He shifted one hand to Desmond’s shoulder, bending him forward more and using that position to help drive Desmond further onto his cock. Desmond was pinned in place, barely able to do more than pant and brace himself against Shaun’s onslaught and he loved it. The burn had long given way to sharp spikes of pleasure with each thrust and when Shaun slid a hand around to fist his cock, it was too much. Desmond came with a hoarse shout, his whole body shaking as he spilled onto the cobblestones.
Shaun slowed to a more leisurely pace as he rode out the assassin’s release but once the trembling faded, he resumed his earlier pace. He seemed to be striving for a quick, hard finish and Desmond couldn’t help but whimper as each deep drive continued to send sparks dancing across his vision. Finally, Shaun’s rhythm faltered and he groaned as he found release. He sagged against Desmond’s back, bracing himself with one hand on the wall next to the assassin’s.
They stayed this way for at least a minute or two but eventually, Desmond’s back complained from the hunched-over position. When he shifted tentatively, trying to ease the strain, Shaun seemed to get the hint and withdrew. Desmond stretched his back with a groan then grimaced as the evidence of their frantic coupling trickled down his thigh. He could already tell he was going to be sore, as Shaun had warned, but the thought of pulling his jeans on and sitting in this mess for hours—which was possible, if he went straight back into the Animus—was not a pleasant one. As he stood there, unable to make a decision and feeling a little foolish with his pants around his ankles, he heard Shaun chuckle behind him.
“Hold still,” the man instructed and Desmond craned his head to see him kneeling behind him.
Shaun tapped his calf—like one would a horse’s leg—and a dumbfounded Desmond lifted his foot without question. He had to keep his hands on the wall to stay balanced, but he watched as Shaun pulled off his sneaker and then his sock. He set the shoe down and guided Desmond’s foot back into it, then used the sock to wipe up the wetness along the inside of his thigh.
As the sock slipped higher, dipping between his ass cheeks, Shaun leaned around Desmond and licked at the white trickle at the end of his softening cock. The combined sensations were almost too much for Desmond, both areas still so sensitive, but fortunately, Shaun pulled back with a smirk and tossed the sock aside. Desmond started to protest—he only had a few pair, after all—but cut himself off when Shaun rose, pulling up his boxers and jeans so he wouldn’t have to bend over.
“Thanks,” he said instead, tucking himself back into his pants. It wasn't as nice as a shower, but it was better than the alternative. He felt lips on the back of his neck, pressing over what Desmond suspected was a bite mark, as hands settled firmly on his waist again.
“Next time,” Shaun replied in a low murmur, “no cheating.” The words went straight through Desmond like a spark, and despite how sated he felt, there was still a glimmer of heat that stirred at the hidden promise in those words. He nodded in reply, a broad grin stretching across his lips as he turned to take Shaun's mouth in a thorough kiss. He could agree to those terms, since it meant there would be a “next time”.