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A Cabin in the Mountains With You

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Tad felt his lover's warm breath on his neck and opened his eyes. He smiled and rolled over onto his back, then wriggled into a comfortable position on his side, pondering how he came to be in this crazy, wonderful mess.

*****




"Okay, so I just walk up, turn and walk back?" Tad asked, peering from behind the set.

"Exactly, it's not rocket science, Tad," Stephen muttered, busy fiddling with the video camera's tripod.

Tad stayed hidden by the set, "Stephen, can I ask why the camera crew aren't here? Surely they're the ones who should be filming?"

Stephen snapped his head up, "Sure you can ask. Do you really want to parade around practically naked before a bunch of sweaty guys? Just relax and come out when you're ready. Okay? As in, NOW!"

Tad was a little preoccupied by the mention of the sweaty guys, but shook the image from his mind and walked out slowly. The swimsuit fit snugly on his body as he walked across the set.

"This okay, Stephen?" he asked nervously, turning slightly before moving closer.

"Be quiet!" Stephen seemed to have difficulty breathing as he stared at the camera's small monitor before finally ordering, "Get changed into the next one."

Tad went behind the set and slipped out of the suit and into another, equally tight fitting swimsuit.
As he walked back out onto the set, Tad noticed that the tripod was wobbling, which was odd since Stephen didn't seem to be touching it. A small earthquake, maybe?
Stephen started to bend over slightly, still staring and almost growling.

At each costume change, Tad found he was enjoying himself, adding little dance steps and smooth flourishes to each turn. Stephen's guttural cries of approval made Tad happy. Whenever the boss was happy, there was less chance of a tantrum and random workers being chewed out.

Back at the table, Tad pondered the last swimsuit in puzzlement, holding it against each nipple in turn. "Stephen, is this part of the kit? It looks like a red and yellow kippah with strings."

Stephen rolled his eyes, growling, "That's an Aussie surf lifesaver outfit. You wear it on your head so people can see you in the water."

Tad held it up and sighed, so much for Stephen's good mood. Nevertheless, he donned the red budgie smugglers and strode out, drawling with a voice that sounded like a strangled cockatoo, "G'day cobber! Throw another prawn on the barbie!"

Stephen's slow, tolerant smile was Tad's cherished reward.


Bobby bit his lip as he gazed at Tad from his vantage point behind the seating tier. He smiled as Tad began to get into the fashion show, adding his moves for Stephen. He sighed again, knowing that he didn't stand a fair chance with Tad. Not as long as Stephen was around, that is.

He returned his full attention to Tad and his amazing body. Fully clothed, he looked so unprepossessing, it didn't help that his usual fashion choices were distinctly geeky, the white socks he tended to favour did absolutely nothing to help, either.

Bobby gasped a little as Tad stripped off a swimsuit, only now realising that the backstage mirror gave him, and Stephen a perfect view of Tad's naked body. Bobby flicked his gaze over to Stephen, who was nodding his approval.
"The sneaky bastard," Bobby could only breathe in amazement.


After Stephen left with his precious video, Bobby went over to Tad, placing a bag of waffles and two coffees on the table.

"Hi Tad," he smiled shyly, "Good show."

Tad smiled back, brushing down his pants and zipping up, "You were watching? I was a little nervous at the start, but then I started having fun with it. The Colbert Report Splashtastic Summer Swimsuit Edition's gonna be great. Stephen wants me, you and Killer to model all the suits." Tad paused, frowning, "I'm not sure why he didn't get us all together to do the rehearsal, though. Of course, Killer's going to need a slightly larger size."

Bobby shrugged weakly and hugged Tad, "Bless you, Tad. You're such a trooper."

Tad took a bite from his waffle and smiled, "I do my best. You know, with the show dark next week, we should hang out together. We barely get to see each other, what with Stephen running us ragged."

Bobby grinned, "I'd love that. We could go to the zoo, or the movies."

"Or a quiet night with the TV and take-out," Tad tentatively offered.

Bobby's smile grew even more, "Yeah, I'd really like that."


They watched each other in silence for a moment. Tad could feel his heart pounding as he debated if he should take the chance. He was pleasantly surprised to find Bobby had taken that chance for him, and was tenderly kissing him, hands moving over Tad's shirtless body. Tad leaned into the kiss and suddenly pushed Bobby onto the table, pouncing on top of him, devouring him.

Bobby was dimly aware that the coffee on which he'd spent his last five bucks until pay-day, was now spilling onto the floor. Fuck it, he could steal some food from the staff break room. He could live on Tad's kisses until then.


*****




Tad rubbed his eyes in the early morning sunlight. He adjusted his backpack and squinted down the road before rummaging in his bag's side pocket for his sunglasses.

The street was quiet and deserted this early as Tad tapped his feet absent-mindedly. He sighed as Stephen's gas-guzzler finally turned the corner and rolled to a stop before him.

"Hop in, Tad!" Stephen growled, pausing to take a swig from the large flask he had.

Tad smiled, "Good morning, Stephen," as he opened the passenger door and clambered in, squirming round to put his back on the back seat. He had barely settled into his seat and was tugging at the seat belt, when Stephen took off at a startlingly fast pace.
"Ugh, can I get my seat belt on first, Stephen?" Tad squeaked in alarm, "I don't want us getting pulled over by the police!"

Stephen flicked an annoyed look over and slowed down a fraction as Tad clicked the belt home.
"I hope you aren't going to be whining like this the whole trip up, " Stephen warned, taking another large gulp of his coffee.

Tad swallowed back another squeal of protest and settled for a simple shake of the head.
Stephen finally nodded and looked back at the road, much to Tad's relief.

Although traffic was fairly light, Stephen took great delight at tail-gating taxi cabs and the few commuter cars on the road, suddenly changing lanes and cutting them off just as the traffic lights changed. Tad could only sigh and try and practice his yoga breathing exercises as Stephen barrelled along.

As the cityscape gave way to a suburban highway, Stephen leaned over and started fiddling with the iPod, Tad yelped and leant forward, "Let me do that, Stephen! You concentrate on the road."

"Pick something decent, though," Stephen scolded, turning back to the driving.

"Uh, it's your iPod, it's got your choice of music on it," Tad laughed nervously, selecting a folder titled DRIVING MUSIC.

Stephen's own voice filled the car, and Tad could only shrug, I Am America (And So Can You!) could only be considered driving music in Stephen's own world.

He settled back and looked out the passenger window, smiling slightly as Stephen replied to various points in the audio-book, agreeing with, and encouraging himself.

Despite the dose of Stephen's call and response choir, Tad found himself lulled into a reverie and gazed sleepily out the window at the passing scenery. The mountains were coming into view and the air smelled fresh and inviting after the closeness of NYC's polluted air. It was turning out to be a beautiful day, Tad smiled to himself.


All too soon, Stephen turned into a parking lot of a small shopping strip and pulled up outside a café.
"Coffee," Stephen muttered, getting out of the car.

Tad yawned and stretched, following him inside, detouring to the bathroom.

"Triple mint deluxe, with chocolate and cinnamon, a Death by Chocolate muffin, and a slice of fudge cake. Oh, and a small, black coffee," Stephen rapped out his order to the young woman behind the counter, peeling off a large note from his wallet.

"Do you have a smaller note, sir? I don't think we can break that," the cashier politely asked, eyes wide in disbelief.

Stephen nodded and riffled through his wallet again, handing over a twenty, flashing a winning smile at the woman.

Tad returned in time to have Stephen point at the tray for him to carry over to their table. Tad cheerfully picked up the tray, not minding the small coffee since there was the fudge to go with it.

Tad's smile abruptly dropped as Stephen took both plates and placed them next to his ridiculous-a-cino, "Oh. I thought the..." Tad trailed off as Stephen looked at him over his glasses, an eyebrow raised. "Thank you for the coffee, Stephen," Tad smiled meekly.

What sounded like a You're welcome, came from the fudge-laden mouth of Stephen.

Tad counted out some change and returned to the counter, heart silently breaking as the last fudge slice went onto the plate of the customer in front of him. He pondered and decided that a giant cookie was calling to him.

Satisfied, Tad returned to the table and sat down as Stephen practically mainlined his cappuccino. Tad sipped at his coffee and managed to coordinate getting to the last bite of his cookie with the last sip of coffee, then sat back, content to watch the activity in the park opposite the café. He remembered how he loved to play in the park as a young boy, the trees and grass an oasis in the city jungle. He frowned at his somewhat mangled metaphor and inwardly shrugged. He knew what he meant and that was the main thing.

Stephen's voice pulled him back, "Since you're not doing anything, you might as well go over to the general store and get some supplies." He fished out some more notes, "I expect change back. Get enough for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Oh, and snacks. Plenty of coffee, too."

Tad got up and took the money, nodding as Stephen picked up his coffee cup and started making love to it again.


Strolling around filling up his basket with supplies, Tad noticed the fishing lures and smiled at the gnarly old man behind the counter.

"Hello, we're headed up to Lake N-," Tad stopped himself from saying the name and winced, stuttering before continuing, "uh, uh, the lake near Broke Bear Mountain National Park. What's the fishing like up there?"

The old man chewed a little, before answering, making Tad cringe at the casually pronounced racist epithet. The man blithely continued, "Yeah, it's getting to be good this time of year, what with the increased flow from the damn. I'd recommend some of these lures, they're the best. Just thread your worm through and you'll be beating off the little fuckers!"

Tad smiled politely, "I've never actually fished before. I did win a goldfish at the funfair when I was a kid, though."

The old man chuckled, "It's as easy as pie, son."

"Pie, that reminds me," Tad laughed and stepped back to a fridge, taking out an apple pie for Stephen.


Back at the café, Stephen leisurely finished off his coffee and walked over to see how Tad was getting on with the shopping. Tad grinned in triumph, turning as Stephen walked up. "I baited a hook, Stephen. First time perfect!"

"Ew, a worm!" Stephen flinched back shuddering, "There's food here and you're throwing worms about? Anyway, where's the rest of the supplies?"

Tad lifted up the basket, "This is enough for the weekend."

"The week, Tad. We're up here the whole week," Stephen frowned, continuing, "Get five of everything, just to be safe. Don't forget the bathroom tissue!" He scowled at the jar of International Roast, took it out and replaced it with a more expensive brand. Tad didn't recognise the name, hoping and praying that it wasn't the one filtered through the sphincter of a civet cat.

As Stephen hustled Tad along the aisle, piling up the basket, Tad protested, "I swear you only said the weekend, Stephen. I have pets. I need to call and let the sitter know I'll be away for longer!"

Stephen nodded, "Okay, okay. Once we've got the stuff all stowed into the trunk, you can call them."

Tad managed to pull a shirt and a pack of underwear from a shelf, hoping they were the right size as he was nudged towards the cash register. Stephen took the money back from Tad, paying the bored teenage check-out boy as Tad packed the groceries into boxes.

Outside, Tad sorted out the boxes, moving Stephen's bags, then went to fetch his phone from his bag. He stepped back and forth, hand up in the air before groaning in defeat. "I can't get a signal up here, Stephen," trying not to sound pathetic, and failing.

Stephen blankly stared back and pointed to the payphone outside the store.


Tad sighed and fished about for some change, and dialled home. Leaning close into the meagre shelter of the booth, he kept his voice low as he talked.
Stephen yawned and decided to grab his travel mug for a refill.

As Stephen walked out of earshot, Tad relaxed and spoke normally, "Bobby, yeah hi. Sorry about that. I'm sorry to do this to you, but Stephen says we're up here the whole week."

Bobby's voice drifted down the line, "Aw man, we were going to have some time to ourselves."

Tad sighed, "I know, but we'll still have next Saturday and Sunday."

"Are you sure? Stephen might even decide he wants to come back Monday morning. You know how he drives," the worry was evident in Bobby's voice.

"Yeah, like a maniac. Look, it won't be so bad. The time will fly by, then we can have fun. Together. Without Stephen bothering us."

"Famous last words," came a snort from Bobby, then his voice softened, "Okay, I'll be right here missing you, and hugging your dogs to bits. Oh, and if you can't be safe, be careful, okay?"

"Don't worry, I have supplies. See you soon, Bobby. Love you."

As Tad hung up, Stephen got in the passenger seat and closed his eyes, "You're driving the rest of the way, Tad. Now this is a very expensive car, but I trust you not to do any damage to it. Okay?"

Tad bit his lip, "Sure. I'll just get my glasses, plus you'll have to direct the way."

As Tad looked in his bag for his glasses, Stephen played with the sat-nav system, "It's programmed in, wake me when we get there." With that he took a swig of coffee, screwed the lid on his mug, and settled back to sleep.

Tad put the glasses on, blinked, pulled them off then polished them. Sliding them back on, Tad looked around at the still fuzzy world. He closed one eye, then tried the other. The right seemed fine, but the left was a blur. He snapped open the glasses case and groaned as he saw Bobby's name. "Shit," he muttered, cursing how he and Bobby shared a taste in simple black frames.

Tad looked helplessly at Stephen's deeply sleeping form. "Okay, I can do this," he said to himself. "Just concentrate with the right eye, listen to the sat-nav and it'll be cool. If Stevie Wonder can do it, so can I!" Tad nodded to himself. "Let's go!"


Driving along the winding highway, Tad had been a little unnerved to hear the sat-nav speak with Stephen's voice, but he got used to it after a little while. He also found he could go at a normal speed as long as he tilted his head to one side. His neck got a little stiff after a while, so he slowly rotated it, thinking of Stone Phillips for some odd reason. "There were no. Survivors," Tad intoned in his best "Stephen" voice, then giggled, flashing a glance at his still sleeping boss.

At last, Stephen's slightly robotic voice commanded him to turn right into a makeshift driveway. Tad exhaled in relief, they'd made it with no major drama. Finally, he could relax.

Tad stopped the car and gently shook Stephen, "We're here. It's gorgeous, Stephen. Thanks for bringing me here."

Stephen stirred and made smacking sounds with his lips, "Good, is the coffee ready yet?"

Tad smiled, "Let's get inside first, then I'll make some."

Stephen got out and stumbled sleepily over to the cabin, unlocked it and went inside.

"Stephen, your bags?" Tad asked, but Stephen was already inside. He shrugged and started to unpack the trunk.


"I could kill for a coffee," Stephen growled, slumping into the armchair.

Tad struggled in with the groceries, pausing to fill the electric kettle and flick it on, "Just give me a sec. How about bringing the bags inside and upstairs?"

Stephen pointed to his feet, "You should have said something before I took my shoes off."

Tad groaned and nodded, "Okay, how about unpacking the groceries, then? Please?"

Stephen sighed like a martyr and rummaged around for the coffee, then pulled another mug of the hook and rinsed it and his travel mug. He opened the huge jar of coffee and paused to inhale the aroma, nearly orgasming as he cooed, "Come to papa!"


Tad trooped in with the bags and trotted upstairs, plonking them next to the bedroom doors, before hurrying down for a welcome coffee.
"Kettle should have boiled by now, Stephen," he called as he went down.

"Nope, still waiting," Stephen replied.

Tad frowned, "Is the kettle broken? The light's supposed to be on." He double-checked the switch, then put his hand near the cold jug, "Nothing. Maybe the element went bung?"

"Oh great, the fridge light isn't working, either," Stephen muttered, pausing his packing of the fridge.

Tad tried the light switch, "Where's the fuse box?"

He got a blank stare from Stephen, and a vague hand wave, "Out back somewhere?"

Tad nodded, "At least it's still daylight and not cold," as he headed out to look for the fuse box.

Opening the cabin, Tad frowned, checking the fuses until he'd found the blown one. He called back, "Stephen, stupid question but do you know where the fuses are?"

Stephen scratched his head, "No frigging idea."

Coming back inside, Tad said, "Try the third drawer down."

Stephen rummaged through the drawer, wondering how it had managed to accumulate so much crap, given how infrequently he came up here. He paused, "What do they look like?"

"Usually it's a set of wires, different thicknesses, wrapped around a piece of cardboard which says fuse wire," Tad tried to keep the sarcasm from his voice.

"Nothing." Stephen replied, oblivious to Tad's tone. He checked the bottom drawer, just in case. "Maybe they're in the bathroom cabinet?"

Tad opened his mouth to say what a ridiculous place to put them, but then this was Stephen he was dealing with here. He simply shook his head and went upstairs, finding himself utterly unshocked at not finding them there.

Coming back downstairs, Tad asked, "Does the stove run on gas?"

Stephen nodded, rummaging in the drawers and taking out a box of matches, "Way ahead of you, buddy."

"Just as long as you don't blow the cabin up, Stephen," Tad laughed nervously, as he watched Stephen light the burner. With a woof, the flame took hold and Stephen placed a pan of water on the stove top.

Five minutes later, they were both settled into the chairs with their coffees, munching on mini cupcakes. Tad caught Stephen's eye and smiled back as Stephen stuffed the whole cupcake into his mouth.


Tad walked into his room and was rewarded by a beautiful view out the window. He slowly walked over to take it all in, dropping his bag onto the bed as he walked by. The bedsprings responded with a groan and one metal leg collapsed. Tad looked down in dismay and prodded the mattress, prompting the other leg to collapse in a chorus of squeaks and a final resounding clang. Tad stared at the sloping bed and muttered, "God-damn it, Stephen!"

He kicked the lumpy mattress again, dislodging a small mouse from the bedding.

Tad was almost ready to weep as Stephen bounded upstairs, his footsteps almost shaking the cabin. He almost exploded into the room, joyously asking, "So, what you think? Oh. Um. Oh." Stephen's puppy grin faded.

Tad sighed, "Maybe I should go home." He moved to pick up his bag.

"Nonsense. We can share my bed! It's a double. I would have got a king, but I would have had to knock a wall down to fit it in." Stephen's grin bounced back onto his face as he tapped the wall.

Something in the back of Tad's mind sent a warning, but he pushed the thought away, managed to smile and picked up his bag, following Stephen to his room.

Stephen patted his bed invitingly, then crossed to the tallboys. "Let's see, there should be some room in here somewhere." He crammed some clothes into another drawer and left the empty one open for Tad.
Tad smiled a thank you and slipped his few days worth of clothes inside it, thankful that he'd had a chance to buy some extra things at the general store.


"I'm so glad you could come and put it up for me," Stephen purred as he pressed himself against Tad's back.

"Uh, sure Stephen. Just keep a hold of that bracket, okay?" Tad answered, busy with the screws.

Stephen picked up the screwdriver, "That's quite a hefty tool you've got."

Tad laughed, "Gotta build up the ol' muscles somehow!" He took the screwdriver and tightened the screws in, leaving a little give.

Stephen held the bracket in place and moved a little closer to Tad, smelling his hair, "Is that peach?"

"Mmm, I used body wash by accident. Works the same, anyway. All the same ingredients as shampoo," Tad shrugged, finishing off the screwing. He made to move across, "Uh, Stephen?"

Stephen pulled back a little to let Tad start on the other bracket, then pulled in close again.

"Stephen, is that the hammer pressing into my back?" Tad asked anxiously.
Stephen looked down at his erection, "Sorry, did you need the hammer? I'm not sure why I picked that up..."

Tad smiled, "Well, if there's any banging or screwing to be done, I'm your man!"
Stephen bit back a moan of delight, licked his lips and stared at Tad's neck, tempted to take a nibble at it.

Tad tightened up the screws and bent down to pick up the shelf, leaving Stephen giddy as he stared at Tad's ass, his shirt slightly riding up his back.

"There!" Tad stepped back to admire his handiwork, nodding in approval.

"Perfect," Stephen almost drooled, grinning with delight.

Tad smiled back at his boss, marvelling at how Stephen took such delight in the simplest of things.


Just at the clock passed noon, Tad walked back along the pier feeling rather proud of himself. He saw Stephen approach with his camera and stopped on the shore, proudly holding up the fish he'd just caught.

Stephen whistled at the size of it, and fiddled with the camera, "Okay, stay there. Hold it higher. Okay, a little to the left. Eh, now a step to the right. Stop!"

Tad edged back and forth, squinting in the sunlight. Finally, Stephen seemed satisfied and simply stared at Tad.

"Stephen? Did you take the picture? Can I lower my arm now? Tad pleaded, as Stephen stood there, mouth silently gaping like the fish.

Suddenly, Stephen turned on his heel and ran away, screaming his head off. A sudden chill ran down Tad's back and he slowly turned to face a huge bear, rearing on his hind legs. Tad almost passed out, a small gurgle escaping his lips. Something began to work inside his brain, and he threw the fish at the bear and ran for his life, back to the cabin.

Once at the door, Tad allowed himself a sigh of relief and grabbed the handle. The door wouldn't budge. A fresh wave of panic washed over Tad and he pounded on the door, "Stephen! Open the door!"

Inside, Stephen had shoved his weight against the locked door, his eyes tightly closed and his hands against his ears. He tried not to imagine Tad's gruesome death, torn to shreds by the massive Godless, mindless killing machine. The sudden thud against the door could only mean that the bear wanted second breakfast, unsatisfied by Tad's slender, fat-free frame.

Stephen moaned in response, blocking his ears further to make the monster go away. Even so, Stephen could still hear the creature's devilish roars. Something, possibly guilt, now made Stephen imagine that the bear, having swallowed Tad whole, was now speaking (roaring?) in his voice. Stephen sobbed, mourning for his lost lunch and his beloved building manager.

After a time, it now occurred to Stephen that the bear was no longer pounding at the door. Heart in mouth, Stephen tip-toed to the window, suddenly recoiling and screaming as a dark shadow loomed in front of it.

"Stephen!" Tad cried, tapping at the window.

Stephen shuddered and whimpered, surely this was Tad's ghost come to haunt him! He scrambled under the table, cowering and gibbering.
Tad pulled at the window and clambered inside, scrambled over the sink and slid onto a heap on the floor, panting and wild-eyed.

Eventually, Tad wheezed, "God-damn it, I could have been killed!"

Stephen slowly put his head out from under the table, "Tad? You. You're not dead?"

"NO!" Tad yelled back, bitter and still panicky, "But I nearly was!"



Late in the afternoon, after a sandwich based lunch, Tad had calmed down and analysed the unrefrigerated food situation. He decided that the chicken would be the first to be sacrificed. The cabin soon smelled delicious and the result was as good as it smelled. Finding himself as stuffed as the roast chicken was, Stephen retired to the sofa and sprawled on it. He fidgeted and squirmed, finally announcing, "Ugh, we should have driven back to that store and got those fuse thingys after all. No TV, no music."

"You have your iPod, and you can read one of my books," Tad suggested.

"Good idea, the music, not the book," Stephen set up his iPod to the mini-speakers and cranked out some tunes.

“How about a board game?” Tad pointed to the pile of boxes under the side table.
Stephen shrugged, “Sure. I'm gonna win, though.”

“Maybe,” Tad smiled back.

Tad wasn't too surprised to find the Monopoly board was customised for Stephen, though he was a little annoyed at hitting Community Chest and having to pay Stephen ten dollars for winning a beauty contest.

Stephen's response was to tap the board and state, “Those are the rules. You want to forfeit the game?”

The game carried on in peace until Stephen completed a circuit and picked up his pay.
“Stephen, you took too much!” Tad protested.

Stephen sighed and held up his little car token, “This is a luxury vehicle, Tad. It's expensive to run.”

Tad stared, “So logically, you should pay luxury tax on it!”

Stephen stared at the table, wondering how far across the room Tad's hotels would go if he tipped up the board.

“Don't. You. Dare.” Tad declared, seemingly having acquired psychic powers.

“I was just wondering what properties I hadn't accumulated yet!” Stephen squeaked, defensively. “Besides you're walking your dog off the leash!”

It took another few trips around the board for Tad to acquire both Colbert Place and Colbert Walk. Stephen moaned every time he went past them, finally cracking when he landed on a fully loaded Colbert Walk.
Tad brushed stray hotels from his hair and nodded at Stephen. “Happy now?”

Stephen looked around at the money slowly fluttering down, then smiled, “Sure.”

He got up and lay down on the couch, cheerfully humming along to his music.


Tad smiled at how happy Stephen was and picked up a book, tilting his head to read by the lamp-light.

"What the hell's wrong with your neck?" Stephen demanded.

"Uh, I got my glasses mixed up with someone else's," Tad shrugged. "The right lens is a match, but the left makes me feel like my eye is bleeding. Maybe I should put an eye-patch over it?"

Stephen snorted with laughter, "Glasses and an eye patch, you'd look ridiculous!" He scowled and picked up the glasses case, "This is Bobby's pair. How d'you end up with his glasses?"

Tad shrunk back from Stephen's challenging glare, "Must have been at the studio. At lunch or something."

Stephen shook his head and dismissed his suspicions, "All right, come here and I'll read out loud. That way we can both enjoy the book."

"Really?" Tad was astonished, but came to sit on the sofa where Stephen was patting the seat.

Stephen took the book and looked at the title, "What's this about, gladiators or something? "

"Well, there's gladiators in it. It's short stories about Roman times," Tad answered.

Stephen shrugged and pulled Tad closer to him, “Sounds pretty gay,” then started to read. Tad was about to protest about the closeness, but then decided that the snuggling felt rather good. He smiled and settled in next to Stephen and listened to this rare event, his head on Stephen's shoulder.


A few hours later, sliding into Stephen's comfortable bed, Tad felt the day close in on him. He was ready to sleep well and deeply, free from the world's worries. The bed bounced and shifted as Stephen slipped in beside him.

"Oh, this is good. Nice to have some shared body heat for when it gets cold," Stephen purred and snuggled up closer to Tad.

Tad felt Stephen's hot breath in the back of his neck, and his hand stray close to the skin on the small of his back. "Stephen?"

"Mmmm?"

"Oh, nothing." Tad rolled over onto his back, smiled, then turned over to face Stephen, moving up in the bed slightly so that Stephen's hand was hovering ever so close to his crotch. "Have a good night, Stephen."

Stephen smiled back, "I intend to, Tad."

The End.