Yawning, Sam stretched his arms up over the back of the couch and watched the credits roll for another episode of Orange is The New Black. Mentally, he composed a list of everything he had to get done tomorrow – hardware store for a new fixture for the sink, leaves still needed to be raked, plastic put over the windows for winter, groceries. Glancing over at the clock on the wall, he weighed his Saturday to do list with the time – ten p.m. He could watch one more episode. Or two.
Sitting up and gently pulling his feet out from under the geriatric old golden retriever on the end of the couch, Sam grabbed his empty beer bottle and the bowl rattling with popcorn kernels from the coffee table. The dog perked up, tail whapping against the beige couch cushions.
“Stay here Bonesy, I’ll be back in a minute.”
The dog lowered it’s head back to it’s paws but large brown eyes followed Sam across the room.
Passing through the dining room, he leaned over Kevin sitting at the table and kissed the top of his head.
“I’m getting another beer, do you want me to refill the coffee pot?”
Kevin leaned back in his chair and tipped his head expectantly, so Sam planted a kiss on his lips too before shuffling into the kitchen. Kevin tapped his fingers on the table and rifled through stacks of papers spread around his open books.
“Actually, I think I’m going to call it a night. Get me a beer too?”
“Sure. I was just going to watch some more Orange is the New Black. Or do you want to put something else on?”
“I’ll watch it with you.”
Tossing the empty in the blue recycle bin, Sam grabbed two more cold beers from the fridge – pumpkin spiced, man he loved Fall – and headed back through the dining room.
“Just give me a minute, I’ll be in.”
Sam set Kevin’s beer down on a coaster and settled next to Bones, propping his feet up on the coffee table and turning the show back on. Resting his hand on Bones’ head when the dog draped himself over Sam’s lap, he listened to Kevin quietly rustling in the next room over. The episode was about halfway through by the time Kevin padded in to the living room and plopped down next to Sam, picking up his beer and taking a long sip before sighing and relaxing into the crook of Sam’s arm.
Head resting on Sam’s chest as Sam curled an arm over his shoulders, Kevin burrowed against him. Sam rubbed his arm and pulled him in closer. “Any big papers to finish this weekend?”
“When do I not have papers to finish?”
“Hey, you’re almost there, just a semester and a half left.”
“Remind me again why I decided grad school was a good idea.”
“Because you’re smart and you wanted to.”
Kevin groaned and Sam knew if he could see his face he’d be rolling his eyes. The three of them lapsed into quiet, watching the rest of the show. It wasn’t a show Kevin kept up with regularly, but he didn’t keep up with much T.V. at all with his senior year course load. Sam knew how hectic things could get, he had done it himself with veterinary school, and they’d been together long enough that he knew Kevin’s patterns. When he needed space and quiet to focus on a project, when he needed to be reminded that eating and sleeping were necessary things, when he needed to take a step back.
Sam tried to be there for him. With a stable job and a steady life paying the mortgage, Sam had plenty of room to fit around Kevin’s constantly shifting schedule from semester to semester. Dean always bitched that they didn’t come to poker nights enough and Sam was turning in to a hermit, but honestly, he liked calm nights at home.
Sometimes, though, he felt like they spent a lot of time sharing the same space but not really together. It wasn’t an issue of sex, neither of them was interested in that. For Sam, it was about intimacy. He knew he was a clingy person, in all the relationships he’d tried to make work before Kevin, guys would think nothing of pressuring him into sex but then complained that he wanted to cuddle too much. He was a tactile person, touch was reassuring, he needed to feel that kind of connection.
Kevin was, he was a great guy but he lived in his head. He could space out for days focused so intently on a school project. Sam didn’t mean to make demands of him, he knew that sometimes Kevin couldn’t stand to even be touched. But it was supposed to be a two way street right? And even though they’d been together for years, it was still hard for Sam to vocalize his own needs.
“Hey, you ok?”
Sam startled at the gentle nudge of Kevin’s elbow. “Huh, yeah, I’m fine.”
“You’re being fidgety.”
“You sure nothing is on your mind?”
The credits were rolling and Sam couldn’t remember the last half of the episode. He flicked the TV off and shrugged Kevin off to sit up. Kevin seemed like he was in a good mood, not too stressed.
“I uh, we haven’t really ben, you know, intimate for a while. I don’t think we’ve really done anything since you started this semester.”
Kevin folded a leg up on the couch and blinked at him. “Oh. Sorry, it’s been, well you know. Has it really been a few months since we…”
Sam just shrugged, “We don’t have to.”
“Hey, no, you know I like playing too, if I’m in the mood. I like being able to give you that Sam, I like feeling close.”
Sam picked at the curling wet label of his beer and looked at his hands, “You don’t have to do it for me.”
Kevin grabbed his wrist and tugged him up. “Come on, let’s go to bed early.”
Nodding, Sam plucked Kevin’s empty bottle and turned to head to the kitchen, “I’ll meet you there.”
Tossing the bottles in the recycle bin, Sam took a deep breath and listened to Kevin creaking up the old stairs. He was always nervous, trying to ask for any kind of intimate time whether it was cuddling and kissing, or something a little more physical. Sam didn’t think he’d been too fidgety, but he never really noticed when he started getting wound up. Thinking about it, focusing on the fact that Kevin was upstairs waiting for him, the feeling of tension in his gut was familiar. His skin prickled with anticipation and his heartbeat was quickening.
Huffing another deep breath, Sam jogged upstairs and brushed his teeth before shutting Bones out of the bedroom and finding Kevin sitting on the bed with a book in his lap, shirtless, waiting.
Kevin set the book aside. “Hi.”
“So, um, I’m not really sure…”
“Do you want to kiss?”
Sam nodded, still standing just inside the doorway.
“Do you want a massage?”
Shrugging, Sam took a step closer.
“I feel like a spanking would do us both good tonight.”
Biting his lip, Sam looked up at Kevin and strode over to bed, “Yeah, that one. Definitely.”
“Do you want to be naked?”
“That’s all right with me.”
Stripping quickly out of his t-shirt and jeans, Sam tossed his dirty clothes in the wicker hamper and stood at the edge of the bed. Kevin looked him over and shifted around, sitting up against the wood headboard and stretching his legs out before patting his lap.
“Whenever you’re ready.”
Kneeling on the bed, Sam stretched out to drape over Kevin’s lap. He didn’t move far enough for a spanking, just settled his chest on Kevin’s warm thighs and folded his arms under his chin. Kevin initiated contact with running his fingers lightly through Sam’s hair. Shifting and wriggling to get comfortable, Sam scooted himself up in Kevin’s lap until his side was pressed to Kevin’s belly. Sam could feel his breathing, smooth stomach pressing against him, feel the heat of his body and the ease of his posture as he tangled his fingers in Sam’s hair.
Closing his eyes, face burrowed in the soft navy blue sheets that smelled like lavender laundry soap, Sam felt the tension seep from his shoulders as Kevin tugged lightly on his hair. Trailing his fingers over the curve of an ear and cupping the back of Sam’s neck to scratch his nails gently up through his hair, Kevin groomed him until Sam went lax.
Soft fingertips trailed down his spine, sending a shivering skittering under his skin. Sam focused on his breathing, on the pleasant hum of warm interest in his chest, the shift of muscle under him when Kevin moved just a little. He focused on the feeling of connection between the two of them, Kevin’s hands on the bare skin of his back. They never really talked through stuff like this, they talked before and they talked after, but there was a certain calmness in the quietude that blanketed them.
Kevin’s hands stroked his back and shoulders tenderly, reverently. He moved slowly from tracing muscles with the pads of his fingers to laying his palms on Sam, brushing over wide swaths of his back and squeezing out the lingering knots in his shoulders. He didn’t work over Sam with much force, only with languid repetitions that untangled some of his pent up anxieties.
There was a certain rhythm to it, the way Kevin’s hands moved over him. But there was usually an order, a logic, to anything Kevin did. It was hypnotizing to Sam, practically melting over Kevin’s lap and utterly pliable. The touches barely grazed over his skin but it was almost like they left lingering impressions that layered one over another until a comforting weight had settled on him. Sam didn’t even realize how deeply he had retreated into an almost meditative state until Kevin tapped his hip.
“Do you want me to go further, or are you good?”
Blinking, Sam turned his head to look up at Kevin. He was smiling softly in the pale yellow glow of the bedside lamp, hair tousled and flushed a little pink. Sam felt good, he felt awesome, but he still wanted more. He almost felt too greedy, but Kevin’s hands were still soothing circles against his hips.
“Mm, would you?”
“Move up, then.”
Nodding, Sam pushed up to his hands and knees and crawled a few paces to flop back onto Kevin’s lap with his hips on Kevin’s thighs. Widening his legs to get his knees under him and folding his face back into the crook of his arms, Sam canted his hips up and braced his position. Kevin kept touching him lightly, calmly, running his warm hands down the sides of Sam’s bare thighs and up the curve of his backside. He felt nervous and raw being exposed like this for all of a few seconds before relaxing under Kevin’s touch.
It had taken a while, to be comfortable in his nudity without the pressure of sexual expectation, but Sam reveled in the sensual heat under his skin and welling affection behind his ribs when Kevin touched him like this. With nothing between them, skin to skin, Sam need to feel like he were part of something else, a part of someone else.
“Are you ready?”
Sam breathed out with the first hit, a moderate slap that rang out loud in their bedroom. Kevin spanked him light enough to warm him up with close spaced repetitions but hard enough to sting. He started in the middle and worked out, laying his hand down along the outside and tapping a few sharp swats down the backs of Sam’s thighs. Sam was already utterly yielding and swayed with the momentum, hands clutching the sheets as he gasped and moaned.
Kevin kept up his pace until Sam’s backside was a warm dull ache, heat sunk under skin into the muscle, thighs trembling and stomach clenched tight as he held still. Running one hand up and down the curve of his spine, Kevin swatted him with a bouncier hit using four fingers closed next to each other. It was more of a tap, sparking the flush and stinging over sensitive skin. When Sam had calmed down again, breathing deep and shuddering, Kevin picked up with full handed palm spanks, laying in to him rough and rocking him forward.
Squirming, Sam let his knees give out, laying his full weight over Kevin’s lap and rolling his hips up to press into the blows with uncoordinated needy little shoves. Kevin moved around from his hips to above his knees, one hand kept on his back at all times anchoring and holding him, his other hand slapping fast and hard until Sam could feel the tight coil of unease kept tamped down starting to loosen.
He always carried it with him, a tangled up ball of worries and guilts and doubts. He dealt with it the best he could, with meditation and gardening. But he always had this little heavy ball in his belly rattling around and sometimes it was too much on his own.
It was hard to understand. Even harder to communicate. But Kevin took care of him, eased his worry with gentle yet firm hands and stripped away all his layers. He was vulnerable and raw like this, reduced from thought and analysis to sensation and reaction. Sam didn’t fully comprehend why moments like this were ones that he could genuinely let himself feel and experience, but when he felt his eyes start to well with tears as the ache turned in to pain, all the coiled up emotions unraveled.
Maybe he felt like the pain gave him a reason to cry – and he tried not to think of how many times he was told that men don’t cry, that it’s weak, that it’s pathetic – but Kevin kept hitting his tender backside until every crack rippled through his body and Sam heaved with a great wracking sob.
As soon as he really lost it, dissolved into a puddle of jumbled up emotions and wet tears, Kevin’s hands went back to stroking gently over his hot tingling skin.
“It’s ok Sam, you’re safe.”
Hunched over Kevin’s lap, rubbing his face into the sheets and shaking with too many things he couldn’t pick apart, Sam let himself feel it. He nudged himself back to clutch at Kevin’s thigh, fingers pushing through his hair again, and breathed through the last of it.
Quiet. The jingle of Bones tags outside the door. Kevin’s stomach pushing against his side, breathing. Steady. Small hands soothing on his back. The fuzzy flannel of Kevin’s pajama pants against his chest. Sore. He felt hollowed of that tight little ball of worry and filled instead with something lighter, sweeter.
Pushing up off Kevin’s lap, Sam curled by his side. Kevin brushed the damp hair from his forehead and Sam snuffled, “I’m good.”
“I’ll get you a glass of water.”
As soon as the door was open, Bones trotted in to curl up on the rug at the foot of the bed. In a blink, Kevin was gone and back, nudging Sam up to drink his water.
Rising on shaky legs, Sam set the water on the nightstand and searched through his dresser for a soft pair of pajama pants. Slipping them on, he flipped back the covers and settled back into bed with Kevin. He pulled a few tissues from the box on his night stand, swiping his cheeks and blowing his nose before tossing them across the room in the waste basket.
“That’s good. I’m sorry if I’ve been a little distant Sam.”
“It’s all right.”
“It’s not really, even if I’m busy, I care about you, I just lose track of things that aren’t on my schedule sometimes.”
“Hey, I get it. Kevin, it’s fine, we’re good.”
Rolling onto his side, Sam looped an arm around Kevin’s waist and pressed a kiss to his belly before Kevin slid down into bed with him. Facing each other, knees bumped together, hands settled on waists, Sam ducked his head forward for a kiss. Kevin slid a hand up to cup his jaw, pressing their lips together and breathing lightly. Sam followed Kevin’s lead, letting him turn the kiss from a chaste touch to a slowly deepening connection.
Curling his fingers against Kevin’s skin, Sam closed his eyes and kissed by feel, easy and unhurried. After indulgent minutes of intimate touch stretching warm and loosening a fluttering in his chest, Kevin pulled back with a spattering of pecks to his cheeks and nose until Sam laughed and rolled over.
Flipping off the light, Sam pushed his way under Kevin’s arm to rest his head on bare skin. They usually slept in pajamas, but sometimes not wearing shirts was nice. Sam could lose himself in the steady rise and fall of his chest, the warmth of his body, the strong rhythm of his heart. Curling an arm over Kevin’s belly and slinging one long leg over both of Kevin’s thighs, Sam was glad Kevin never complained that he could be pretty smothering when he cuddled.
Instead, Kevin tightened a strong arm around his shoulders and kissed the top of his head. “I love you Sam.”
Smiling and squeezing Kevin’s hip, Sam pressed even closer. “Love you too.”