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Mistakes We Knew We Were Making

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Nate Fick is twenty-four, plenty old enough to be past the age when his dick should be making his decisions for him. He’s worked at the Masthead for six years, and with Camp LeJeune close enough he can hit it with a rock if he just tries real hard, he damn well knows better than to make anything more than casual conversation with any of the Marines that often patronize the otherwise sleepy, small-town bar.

He learned that lesson as a starry-eyed, perpetually horny teenager, but it took a string of good-looking hard-bodies with crew cuts to make it stick. When stick it did, he never went back, even after he moved up to bartender and spent almost every night serving drinks to clean-cut leathernecks, watching many of them go from taciturn and subtle to flirty and obvious. He’s had more than enough four-beer military queers to last him a lifetime, but somehow Brad Colbert makes himself an exception to every rule Nate lives by.

*

July is a miserable month in Jacksonville, North Carolina. It’s so fucking hot, and muggy, and there are so many Marines coming out of summer training, eager to bust loose from stringent rules and training ordinances, and every single swarm that shows up at the Masthead is loud, over-confident, and hell-bent on drunk and disorderly.

It’s when they hit on Nate the most. Nate fucking hates July.

The bar isn’t too busy yet this particular Thursday—Thirsty Thursday, $2 domestic drafts, so at least he won’t have to mix as many cocktails—when a group of guys comes in that doesn’t look or sound any different. Nate mostly ignores them until he’s forced not to; it’s his SOP.

“Yo listen up, fuckers!” Nate glances to the end of the bar, where a smallish guy is addressing the others from a raised height, probably by standing on the bottom rung of a barstool. “Round Robin drinks. And if a single one of you assholes orders a more expensive beverage when it’s my dime I will spit in it, piss in it, and jizz in it. Although I know that’s probably not a deterrent for you, Brad.”

“Fuck you, Person.”

Nate pays a little more attention, half expecting the inflammatory remarks to degenerate into a fight, until he sees the guy who spoke—must be Brad—with a calm expression and a serene little half-smile. No fight, then. Satisfied, Nate almost turns away.

Almost.

Nate’s seen a lot of Marines, a lot, and none of them are cowering, flabby wallflowers. They’re serious men, chiseled and forceful, but this guy, holy shit, he’s like a fucking Nordic god or something. He’s got the same haircut, the same focus, intensity and physique as almost every other Marine Nate’s ever laid eyes on, but he’s cut from a different cloth. Tall, and lean with it, long lines of perfect skin only slightly darkened by the sun. Brad catches him looking, and gives Nate a small smile that uses his whole mouth and reveals straight, white teeth and Nate can’t look at that mouth anymore so he looks up; blue eyes of course and oh god Nate is in trouble. He’s in so much trouble.

*

Every single one of the guys in Brad’s group comes up to place a drink order and talk to him over the course of the night. There are nine of them, but Nate only remembers a few names to go with all the clean-shaven faces. Ray is the smallish guy with the big mouth, who is equal-opportunity with his obscenities and lewd comments. Nate can’t help but laugh at most of it, though, especially when Ray throws his arm around one of the guy’s shoulders and exclaims, “Poke, if you’re right I will fucking suck your dick! Lick the head, fondle the balls, and swallow the prize, man.”

Rudy is built like an underwear model, gorgeous and stacked, movie star good looks, and very polite. He’s nice, with an easy smile, mentions his wife three times in their short conversation, and is by far the biggest tipper. The rest of the names he remembers are nicknames like Poke—a dark-skinned guy wearing glasses; Pappy—a pale white guy with a mustache who looks like he’d fit in just fine anyplace in North Carolina; and Doc, who’s very unassuming and ordinary. Nate keeps the sharpest eye on him; it’s always the quiet ones.

Nate begins to wonder, after the fifth Marine stands his round, if they’re playing some kind of “Get to Know the Bartender” game. It takes a few minutes to put together drinks for their whole party, so they’re all asking him questions, making small talk, which is fine. But Nate realizes none of them has asked him the same question, like strangers normally would. He’s answered a million versions of “You live around here?” and other mindless, pointless intrusions over the years, but not tonight, not for these guys.

He shrugs it off, not too concerned; for all he knows they’re playing some Jarhead brand of Bartender Bingo. He’s getting busier as the ladies are starting to pile in the bar—and Nate uses the term “ladies” loosely, because these are the women who chase Marines, who frequent the bar only when the Marines do and lure them home or even just into the bathrooms, only to repeat the process with a whole new crowd after the last one’s disappeared.

Three of the Brad’s guys pair up with girls, grinding together on the dance floor and bringing them back to the table, so that Nate has to fill three more drinks—cocktails, fucking girls—whenever their order comes around again. He gets a few quiet minutes when the backup bartender Rob shows up, so he washes some of the empty, sticky beer mugs and watches Brad’s table. Watches Brad.

Watches him study the redhead on Ray’s lap who’s almost bigger than he is. Watches him ignore all the heavy flirtatious looks and words that come his way. Watches him drink his beer and talk to the guys and smile with half his mouth. Watches him until Brad looks over, catches him again, and Nate has to turn to Rob and grate out, “Break.” And then he makes a run for it.

*

The door gives a loud skreek as Nate pushes himself through it. The alley is thankfully empty—it’s still a little early—and he finds a short stack of milk crates, thumps down and breathes deep, the air fresh and sweet after the oppressive heat of the bar. He’s not surprised to see a tall silhouette at the mouth of the alley only a few minutes later, and when the figure approaches, he stands, feeling too vulnerable to stay seated.

“I hope I’m not interrupting an intentional moment of solitude.”

Nate struggles to keep his face blank, since embarrassment, surprise, and fucking giddiness are all emotions he’d prefer to keep to himself. He’s preoccupied with it. It doesn’t leave a lot of room for speech processing. Which is why he comes out with, “Kinda.”

“Oh.”

And Nate’s a dick. He feels like a dick, and so even though he should be telling this guy, “Sorry, I don’t fuck around with Marines anymore” what he actually says is, “Sorry, long night. I’m Nate.” And he sticks his hand out.

“Brad,” he vaguely hears, while his hand is being completely engulfed, by long fingers and rough calluses and Nate didn’t even know hands could be this sexy.

“I didn’t really intend to intrude,” Brad was saying, “I just wanted to make sure you weren’t leaving. It was almost my turn, and I’ve been looking forward to impressing you with all the knowledge garnered on my current recon mission.”

There’s a lot of bullshit to process in that sentence, so Nate hangs on to the bit that’s bothering him the most. “Your turn?”

“To order.” Brad smiles at him again, both corners of his mouth turning up.

“Oh.” Nate puzzles through more of the bullshit. “Recon mission?”

“Yes. I was learning about you.” Brad smiles some more, his expression turning sultry and now Nate is painfully aware that Brad is flirting with him. “That your name is Nate Fick, and that you almost entered the Marines when you were 18. That you’re 24, and you’ve lived in Onslow County your whole life. That you’re gay. And single.”

Nate’s face pinks uncontrollably and tightens in embarrassment and anger when he realizes Brad is repeating things he’d told the other guys in his group, but Brad just moves in closer and his voice lowers to a hot, gruff timber.

“I learned that you don’t really like Marines, but you’re polite and hide it well. That you want me to fuck you, but you wish you didn’t.” Nate tries to move away, escape, but he’s trapped between a wall of flesh and one of brick, and when he closes his eyes Brad is close enough to share his body heat.

“I know you have a perfect mouth, and it would look so fucking good wrapped around my dick.” Nate whimpers and turns his head away, even as his mouth waters at the thought. “I know it would feel even better. But what I don’t know, is how it tastes. Can I taste you, Nate?”

Nate keens, squeezes his eyes shut tight as Brad breathes against his mouth. “I wish you wouldn’t,” he whispers.

“I know.” And Brad’s close enough Nate can actually feel him smile. He opens his eyes and all he can see is Brad’s pupils, huge and black. “Will you let me anyway?”

He nods, jerkily, and Brad pushes their mouths together fast but light, the tip of his tongue tracing the swell of Nate’s lower lip and fuck it, if Nate’s going to do this, he’s going to do it right.

Brad grunts in surprise when Nate opens his mouth wide and pushes his tongue past Brad’s lips to lick along his palate. Brad closes his lips around Nate’s tongue and sucks, the end of Brad’s tongue slicking along the veiny underside of Nate’s like the best kind of cocksucking tease. Nate can’t contain the groaning sound that makes its way into Brad’s mouth.

Nate gives in to his craving, puts his hands up and around the back of Brad’s head, the short hairs soft and prickling against his palms and fingers as Brad pushes his way into Nate’s mouth. Nate opens wide, lets Brad lick in, taste every part.

He’s dizzy before he can make himself come up for air. He’s gasping for it already when Brad strokes his hand down Nate’s erection, his palm cupped around the shaft and fingertips tucked behind the seam of Nate’s jeans, around his balls. Suddenly Nate understands why he found those long fingers so sexy.

Brad leans back in to his mouth, nipping, licking, sucking at Nate’s lips and tongue.

“I want to suck you, Nate. Want to really taste you.”

Nate can only think of one appropriate response to that. “Okay.”

“You want me to suck you here, Nate? Dirty my knees in an alley behind the bar? Wouldn’t you rather lie down on a clean bed, so I can suck you and lick you open, fuck you until you scream?”

There’s no appropriate response to that. Nate just looks dumbly at Brad, shocked and blank.

“You don’t want a blowjob in an alley.” Nate shakes his head, even though yeah, he kind of does. “You want me to fuck you in your bed.” And yes, he definitely wants that.

Nate nods. “Yeah,” he says, low and rough. He steps away from Brad, tries to smooth himself back into something resembling presentable for work. Looks up, catches Brad watching him, decides this is for real and throws in the towel. “I get off at three.”

The door skreeks just as loudly when he goes back in.

*

It’s actually closer to 3:30 by the time Nate locks the front door of the Masthead behind himself. He sees Brad immediately, perched in a lean against a shiny black-and-chrome motorcycle, and his heart accelerates, stomach twisting with anxiety and excitement. The rest of his guys were gone even before the bar stopped serving alcohol at 2:00, and Nate found himself wondering if he’d taken his time and dragged his feet closing the bar because he’d been hoping Brad would give up and leave.

Nate makes no attempt at sounding relieved. “I didn’t think you’d actually wait.”

“You think I’m an idiot?”

“What?”

Brad straightens from his slouch against the bike. “I’d have to be pretty fucking stupid, Nate, and stupid is one thing I’m not.” Nate doesn’t say anything, and he watches as Brad’s face blanks. “I see. Well—”

“Mine’s the silver Honda Civic. I don’t live too far, try to keep up.”

*

The drive to Nate’s house only takes twelve minutes, but that’s more than enough time for Nate to waver back and forth between sure he’s fucking up and equally sure he’s due one damn night to fuck a hot guy and not care about the consequences. He’s settled on the latter again in time to pull into his driveway, Brad’s sleek bike right behind him.

He doesn’t bother making any small talk or beating around the bush, just walks right through his door and leaves it open for Brad to push closed behind him. Nate’s on him as soon as he does, making him thump back hard against the thick oak.

Brad is minty and smells sharp and clean, and Nate huffs a laugh at the thought of Brad going back to wherever he’s staying to shower and gargle, like a nervous date. But the way Brad’s hands immediately zero in on Nate’s button and zipper is anything but nervous, and Brad pulls Nate’s jeans down by falling to his knees with his hands around the waist and letting gravity pull the denim down with him.

Nate is mostly hard already before Brad even gets his mouth around him, and all it takes to push him over to painfully hard is the perfect moist heat of Brad’s tongue. Brad licks the underside before sinking the tip of his tongue into the slit. Nate has to lock his knees to keep from falling over onto the blond head bobbing at his waist.

He almost comes, already, when Brad eases forward until Nate’s cock is in his throat, looking up at Nate through pale gold lashes. Nate has to close his eyes and mentally recite baseball statistics for a few seconds before he can put his hands around Brad’s head and ease his dick slowly out of his mouth.

The look on Brad’s face is unhappy, almost petulant, with a confused tilt to his eyebrows. Nate takes a second to step out of his jeans and boxers, kicking off his shoes and stripping off his t-shirt. The displeased expression is gone when he looks back to Brad, replaced by a plain, honest, loose-jawed lust.

Brad is sitting back on his heels, hands slack and open on his thighs. The erection straining against his jeans is so alluring that Nate is tempted to straddle his lap and fuck himself against it until he’s denim-rashed and Brad’s stomach is streaked with his come. Instead he curls a hand around his own erection and strokes once, base to tip, and turns to lead the way into his bedroom.

Nate crawls onto the bed and reaches over to pull out lube and condoms without looking back to see if Brad had followed. Brad rustles behind him, clothing and shoes falling as he undresses. Nate has to roll over to see more of that perfect body revealed as the clothing disappears, and Nate is almost more fascinated by the lack of tan lines—is he walking around naked in the sun?—than he is by the thick girth of cock curving toward the ridged muscle of Brad’s belly.

Brad gets on the bed in a four-legged crawl that mimics Nate’s own minutes before, landing him between Nate’s sprawled thighs. He right away places his long-fingered hands around those thighs, pushing up and up and leaning down, and oh god he’d said he was going to lick Nate open but Nate hadn’t honestly thought he was going to fucking do it.

Brad doesn’t spend long with his face between Nate’s legs; can’t, after all the teasing Nate’s endured between the alley and just inside his front door. Brad’s not going to get to fuck him if Nate comes around his tongue instead, so Brad only spends a few minutes licking at the outside, stabbing in to spread the wet heat of his spit, and tonguing at the sensitive skin on his perineum and balls.

Nate is gripping the base of his cock and shaking when Brad sits up on his knees and reaches for the supplies that the bed’s movement has sent rolling up against Nate’s flank. Brad’s talkative as he gets himself ready, the sound of his raspy voice sounding out filthy words as hot to Nate as watching him smooth on the condom and slick it with lube.

“Got on my knees for you, Nate, tasted your pretty cock.” Nate makes several attempts to join in Brad’s conversation, but all he can seem to manage are agreeing grunts. “Laid you down on your clean bed, licked you open, just like I said I would. I keep my word, Nate.”

Nate just groans and nods and tries to pull Brad closer as he leans his weight over Nate, condom and lube on and the head of his cock slipping through Nate’s crack, over his hole. Brad grips it and pushes, a heavy exhale warming Nate’s face as he dips in a couple inches, then bottoms out with a grunt of his own and a slap of skin.

“Now I’m going to fuck you until you scream,” he whispers into Nate’s ear, and it almost sounds like a threat, except for the way the girth of his cock is putting steady pressure against Nate’s prostate.

His fingers trail too-light, teasing paths across his balls and dick. Nate wriggles, gets Brad to move by placing his heels on Brad’s shoulders and fucking himself on Brad’s cock, an inch of movement all he can really manage. Brad leans forward and starts fucking Nate in earnest, one hand wide on Nate’s ass and spreading him further open, the other roaming everywhere: dipping salty fingers into Nate’s mouth, smearing Nate’s own spit onto his nipples, sliding through the precome lying sticky on Nate’s belly and cockhead.

Brad pulls out abruptly and bodily forces Nate to flip onto his hands and knees. His shove into Nate is punctuated by the same sound of skin slapping, and his hand returns to the previous position of holding Nate open.

Nate is pulled backwards by a large hand on his chest when Brad falls back to sit on his heels, the hand spreading his ass now helping to lift Nate up, to fuck him up and down on Brad’s cock. Brad pushes him up and forward, and the sudden attack on his prostate has him crying out and clamping down, his own hand a blur on his dick.

“That’s good, s’good, good boy, Nate,” Brad was saying. “Scream, c’mon Nate. Just like I said. Know you will.”

Brad moves his hand from Nate’s chest to roll his balls, pressing them together in the palm of his hand and pushing up, jerking his hips up several times and Nate just can’t withstand this kind of manipulation. Brad is working his body like a goddamn professional.

“Ah—ah fuck. Fuck, Brad, god, oh god—” Nate is so close, so fucking close, then Brad clamps down on him: arms, hands, even his forehead sinks down to press tight against his shoulder, and Nate feels his cock jerking inside. He has a clear, blank moment when he thinks I wish I could have felt that without the condom, before he’s locking down, shaking and twitching around Brad’s cock as he shoots, opaque white spots slicking his chest, his hand, the bed.

They don’t move for a few minutes, sweat cooling and semen drying as their breathing slows down and evens out. Brad pulls out slowly, taking much more care than he did pushing in, and Nate can hear the snap of rubber as he pulls off the condom and ties a knot.

Nate stretches out to lie flat on his belly, Brad still crouched between his thighs. “Shower?” he hears from behind him, soft but not hesitant. Nate jerks his thumb over his shoulder in the direction of the ensuite bathroom. Brad leaves the bed with silence and grace, taking the scent of sex and all his body heat with him.

*

Brad is in the shower just long enough for Nate to be on the edge of true sleep when he eases back onto the bed. He curls in close to Nate, the combined smell of Brad and Nate’s own soap enough to make his dick twitch in pathetic interest.

“Do you want me to stay? Or go?”

Nate raises his head enough to look at the clock, unable to see any more than the first number on the display, which is a 5. He flops his head back down, sighing deeply and cutting his eyes to where Brad is lying quiet and patient.

“Stay,” Nate says. “I kept you up all night, I should at least let you get a couple hours of sleep before you have to get back on that motorcycle.” He closes his eyes and breathes quietly for a moment, drifting closer to Brad’s clean smell and heat. “If you’re lucky, I may even make you coffee in the morning.”

“If you’re lucky,” Brad says with that smile that uses his whole mouth, “I may just wake you up by riding your cock in the morning.”

“Yeah,” Nate laughs, rummages with his feet until he finds enough of the sheet to pull it over both of them. “I should be so lucky.”

*

Nate’s so lucky in the morning that he makes the best pot of coffee of his life.

Brad has two cups before they make it back to bed.