“Ethan!” Ethan looked up to see Jensen running at him. He opened his arms and caught the man as he wrapped his arms around Ethan’s waist. “I’m so glad you’re here.” Jensen took a step back and looked up at Ethan. “I’ve missed you.”
“Jensen.” Ethan rolled his eyes. “We talk all the time and you and Josh were just out for a visit.”
“But still, you’ve never come here before and I couldn’t be happier.” Jensen grabbed his arm and headed toward the baggage claim. “Josh wanted to be here when you arrived but he got held up at work.”
“That’s cool. I don’t need a parade in my honor,” Ethan teased as they joined the rest of the people by the carousel waiting for their luggage.
“That’s my Ethan. Always too modest.” Jensen nudged him in the arm.
Ethan didn’t say anything. He saw his bag and bent over to grab it before it made a second round on the machine. With his laptop case strapped over his shoulder and Jensen rolling his suitcase out of the building, they made their way to the parking lot. Once safely in the car, Jensen asked the million dollar question.
“How are you really, Ethan?”
The sun shined down, warming his face through the window. He scrubbed a hand over his face, trying to school his expression. “I’m getting by,” he answered honestly. Because that was what he’d been doing for the past five years, taking one day at a time. The good with the bad.
“That’s not an answer, Ethan.” Jensen turned sad eyes toward him.
Ethan looked at the smaller man and couldn’t believe they had become such good friends. After everything he’d done to Jensen and Josh, and they still wanted to be his friend. Not just a friend, but Ethan’s best friends.
“I know it’s not, but it’s all I’ve got.” Ethan rested his head back against the headrest. Behind his eyelids he could still see Jay’s face and hear his words to move on, but he just couldn’t. Not yet anyway.
“Don’t get me wrong, Ethan. I’m sure if something were to happen to Josh, I’d be a basket case, too. Oh my gosh! I can’t believe I just said that.” Jensen’s face flushed a deep crimson, causing his red hair to look like flames on top of his head. “I’m so sorry, Ethan.”
“Jensen.” Ethan chuckled. “Man, it’s okay. I did go a little crazy there for a while and some days I still feel that way. Granted I don’t feel like putting people in cages, but there are days I just want to give up.” Ethan ran a hand over his chest. His heart ached as if someone stabbed a knife through it. It was the pain he lived with every day since Jay’s death.
The car slowed down and Jensen pulled off onto the shoulder of the road. He turned in his seat to face Ethan.
“I’m not going to lie and say the way we met is normal, but even after all that crap, you are one of the most important people to me. You were hurting then and still are. You had to deal with the loss of the man you were in love with and were going to marry. No one can blame you for losing your shit and checking out on reality, but don’t you ever say you want to give up.” Tears filled Jensen’s eyes and he swiped a hand over his cheeks. “You can’t do that to us.”
“Jensen, I didn’t mean it like that.” Ethan leaned over and gave Jensen a hug. “All I’m saying is I’m so tired. I’m tired of being sad. I’m tired of being mad, and most of all I’m tired of being alone. Jay was the love of my life and a love like that can’t be replaced.”
“That’s the thing, Ethan.” Jensen grabbed his hand. “No one is asking you to replace Jay. We just want you to be open to letting someone else in. It won’t be the same love, but it might be something to help ease the pain. You can’t keep punishing yourself because you lived and Jay didn’t.”
“I’m not punishing myself.” Ethan sat back in his seat and stared out the window. Cars passed by without a care in the world.
“Then what do you call this?” Jensen tugged on Ethan’s earlobe until he turned to look at him. “I didn’t know Jay but I’d have to imagine he wouldn’t want this life for you.”
“Have you been talking to my mother again?” Ethan narrowed his eyes at Jensen.
“Maybe just a little bit.” Jensen held his thumb and pointer finger about a half inch apart. “She’s just worried about you, and so am I. I mean, hell, I was the man you drugged and stuck in a cage for a half a day. I’ve seen you at your absolute worst and I still see the good and potential in you. You have so much to give, Ethan. Don’t let yourself just fade away into nothingness. The world would be a lonely place without you.”
Ethan’s eyes burned as he stared over at Jensen. He’d struck the lottery when he met him and Josh.
“Do you always have to bring up the cage thing?” Ethan asked, trying to lighten the mood.
“Well you did put me in a tiny-ass dog cage.” Jensen smiled as he pulled the car back onto the road. “I don’t think I’ll ever let you live that one down.” He winked at Ethan.
“Hey, man, I’m a sensitive guy. I’m all about letting a hot guy rescue me,” Holden said with a smile that had Ethan laughing out loud.
“I can tell you ooze sensitivity.” Ethan picked up his glass and took another drink, his eyes searching over Holden’s. Holden kept his smile easy and his eyes from roaming up and down Ethan’s body in a predatory way.
“I’m not sure about sensitivity, but I can ooze other things.” Holden lowered his voice and licked his tongue over his lips. He might be laying it on thick but he couldn’t control it. The wolf inside him wanted to come out to play with the hot guy sitting across from him. He sniffed the air and Ethan’s cologne caused his nostrils to flare, taking in more of the enticing aroma.
Ethan cocked an eyebrow at him. He then lifted his glass and finished his drink in one swallow. “I say we see what exactly that is. Don’t you think?”
Before Holden could respond, Ethan tossed a twenty on the table and headed for the door. Holden looked toward Ethan’s retreating back, then over to his friends. They were hooting and hollering it up in the far corner by the pool tables and Holden knew they’d never miss him. He jumped off his chair and rushed after Ethan.
He pushed open the door and was met by a cool breeze. Holden stepped out and saw Ethan walking to the back of the parking lot. The overhead lights were dim but Holden didn’t need much to see. Ethan walked silently toward a large pickup truck that look slightly familiar to Holden, but he couldn’t imagine why, and now wasn’t the time to comment on the familiarity of a person’s truck.
“So, Holden, do you do this a lot?” Ethan asked as he leaned back against the side panel of the truck.
“Do what?” He walked up to Ethan and stopped when only a few inches separated them.
“Follow strangers out into the parking lot, hoping to seduce them.”
“Oh yeah.” Holden braced a hand on either side of Ethan’s shoulders, caging him in. “Here I thought you were seducing me.”
“Maybe it’s a little bit of seducing on both our parts,” Ethan whispered, and tipped his head up, lightly brushing his lips over Holden’s.
“Maybe.” Holden eased closer pressing his chest into Ethan’s. “But either way, it doesn’t really matter now, does it?” Ethan slowly shook his head and Holden let his eyes gaze into Ethan’s dark ones for a brief moment before he dipped his head forward to capture his lips.
Ethan’s arms wound around Holden’s neck, pulling him closer as his tongue demanded entrance into his mouth. Holden wrapped his arms around Ethan’s waist and brought their hips together. He gasped for breath at the feel of Ethan’s hard, pulsing rod aligned with his own. As he sucked in air, Ethan took advantage of the opening and licked and nipped at his mouth.
After the initial shock wore off, Holden pushed his tongue out to play with Ethan’s. Hands roamed freely and Holden let his hands skirt their way under Ethan’s shirt. Warm skin sent a sizzle over his fingertips and Holden moved his hands upward to play across the light dusting of hair on Ethan’s chest.
Ethan yanked Holden closer, grinding his cock into Holden’s. The heat pulsating through the material was electric and Holden didn’t think he could get close enough. His hands fell to grip Ethan’s ass, trying to control the hard movements of the other man’s hips. If he didn’t gather his wits about him and quick, he’d come in his pants and this would be over before it truly began.
“Fuck,” Holden growled. “I want to taste you.” He fell to his knees and made quick work of Ethan’s button and zipper.
Once he had the material peeled back, Holden reached in and wrapped his fingers around the soft steely rod and pulled it out. A single drop of pre-cum beaded up at the tip and Holden looked up into Ethan’s dark eyes as he licked it away.
“Oh yeah.” Ethan spread his legs apart as best as he could with them around his knees. “Suck it, Holden. I need it.”
Holden licked and sucked his way from the tip back to the base. The strong manly scent fueled his hunger even further. Holden sucked in one then the other ball hanging loosely between Ethan’s thighs. He hummed as he licked and massaged the small orbs. Letting them slip from his mouth, Holden made a wet trail back up to Ethan’s tip, then held his gaze as he swallowed him all the way down his throat. Ethan’s head fell back on his shoulders as Holden tried to suck his very soul from his body.
“You taste so fucking good.” Holden licked his tongue around the crown, letting his tongue play in the slit at the very tip. “I’ll never get enough of you.” The steady beat of Ethan’s pulse vibrated over his tongue as Holden teased him toward his orgasm. The thick vein that ran on the underside jerked as Ethan got closer to release.
Holden dropped one hand to undo his jeans and freed his cock. The strong taste of Ethan in his mouth and the sounds the man made had Holden nearing the end of his own control.