Many thanks to T Verano for beta reading.
Blair didn't know what to expect the following morning but Jim actually cooking the promised pancakes, in a pair of faded blue PJs, the top unbuttoned, the sleeves rolled up, wasn't it.
He sat at the table and watched Jim who cooked in an unhurried, efficient sort of way. His own contribution had been to put juice into glasses and set the table; the kitchen wasn't really big enough for two when one of them didn't know where anything was and the other seemed intent on avoiding any physical contact, including a meeting of eyes.
Outside, the sky was gray, an unrelenting rain falling with a persistence they were both used to. Cascade was well-named. Cascade was wet.
The coffee finished dripping through a machine Blair had blinked at in sleepy confusion and left to Jim to handle. He stood to get mugs -- those he could see, hanging on hooks under a cabinet -- and watched Jim do a deft sidestep while flipping a pancake.
"Wow. When I try that I lose my nerve halfway through and they end up decorating the floor."
Jim smiled. "Yeah. It's all about showing it who's boss. It helps I worked in a diner one summer, earning money for a motorbike."
"Yeah?" Blair smiled back, feeling encouraged. Conversation and anecdotes. This was good. "What did you get?"
Jim's smile didn't dim, it just… went away. "I didn't. Summer ended, I started to look for one, and my dad took the money out of my room and banked it. Said it was for college."
"Oh. Well…" Blair searched for something to say. "College is important, and it's not cheap…"
"He could afford it three times over," Jim said flatly. "And the money had been there since I was a kid in a trust fund my grandfather set up. He just didn't want me to have the bike."
"They're dangerous, I guess…"
"Why are you defending him?"
"I don't know." Blair put the mugs down on the counter and filled them. Coffee. If he drank enough, this morning and the night before might start to make sense. "Maybe because I don't like to think of him having no other reason but being a control freak?"
"That describes him well enough." Jim sent the pancake flying high again and caught it in the pan with a flop and a sizzle before it was added to the two keeping warm on a plate. "Sit down, Chief. This stack's yours."
By the time Jim sat down with a stack of pancakes of his own, Blair was full, his mouth sticky with syrup and his fingers buttery. He sipped at his second cup of coffee and watched Jim eat, his eyes sandy with sleep.
"Don't you like them?" Jim asked, gesturing at Blair's far from empty plate. "Too burned? Too dry?"
"No, they were great," Blair assured him. He patted his stomach. "I'm just not used to being awake this early. Seven thirty in the morning? I'd forgotten it even existed."
"Yeah. Sorry I had to wake you." Jim looked uncomfortable even though Blair had kept his tone light. "Like I said; I've got to be at work by nine."
"And you don't want to leave a total stranger roaming around your place." Blair took a chance and patted Jim's hand. The flinch he got could have been because of the stickiness of his fingers, but he didn't think so. Fuck. To infinity. "I get it," he finished.
"It's not that --" Jim began. He paused. "It's a little because of that. But not much; I trust you, Blair. You're not the kind to wander off with the silverware I don't own."
"No, I'm not. And I wouldn't poke through your stuff, I swear, but I can see why you'd feel uncomfortable."
"I just wanted to cook for you." Jim slathered butter on his last piece of pancake, stared at it, and shoved his plate away. "I promised I would and the only way to do that was to kick you out of bed." He smiled, a sunrise grin. "Hated to do it. You looked cute all snuggled up and snoring."
Blair didn't even try to defend himself from the snoring accusation. He had bigger fish to catch, gut, and fry. "Jim, call me cute again and we're going to fight. I mean it." He took a gulp of coffee. "Unless we already did when I was asleep and I missed it?"
"You're acting weird for someone who sent me to sleep wiped out from coming so hard it hurt."
Jim met his matter of fact phrasing with what looked like relief. "I'm suffering from nerves, to be honest. Didn't realize it showed."
"You're kidding me."
"No." Jim finished his juice, the swallow drawing Blair's gaze to Jim's throat, pale skin, unmarked, all the kisses Blair had given it invisible, lost. "Don't do the morning after deal all that often. Anyone stays the night and they're usually out the door as soon as they've dressed. Sometimes before I'm awake."
Blair took a last, unwanted bite of butter-drenched pancake to make Jim feel better and then edged his plate away. "They're missing some kick-ass pancakes, man."
"I don't recall ever offering them any."
"Hey, a compliment for me!" Blair raised his eyebrows. "It was, right?"
"I seduced you with batter? If you want to take that as a compliment, go right ahead."
Blair kicked Jim's shin under the table and pasted his best, who me? look on his face when Jim's eyes narrowed.
"How's your ass?"
Okay, good revenge. Blair flushed but answered him. "Feels fine. You didn't really hurt me, you know."
"I know." Jim scrubbed at his fingers and chin with a piece of the paper towel they were using for napkins. "Didn't need to, did I?"
Blair stopped himself from squirming in his seat as he was assaulted by vivid memories. It had hurt last night. By the end, when the leather had been falling against his skin with the same relentless pattering of the rain, it had hurt. And if Jim had stopped, and asked if he should continue, Blair would have begged him to, but Jim hadn't stopped and Jim hadn't asked and Blair hadn't begged. Not aloud, anyway. "I guess not."
"So what do you have planned for today?"
Jim's abrupt change of topic left Blair floundering. "Well, I don't have a car because I came in with you. I might take advantage of getting up early and hit the books. There are some I reserved waiting for me at the library downtown, the one on Franklin, and I could get some work done." He glanced over at the rain-spattered windows. "If you're going that way, I'd appreciate a ride, but if not, I'll walk or get a bus."
"I'll take you anywhere you like that lets me get to work by nine." Jim tilted his head. "Want to meet me for lunch? The library's about four blocks away from the agency; we could meet up at Zigzag without getting too wet if it's still raining."
Blair hoped he didn't look as conflicted as he felt. "Uh, Jim, that place is, well, it's…"
"If the word 'league' is about to pass your lips, you'll --"
"Eat lunch standing?" Blair gave Jim a wry smile. "I think I've figured out that as threats go, that one's an empty one. And, no, I don't think it's that. It's just over-priced, over-rated, and I'd be under-dressed."
"Have you ever actually eaten there?" Jim leaned back in his chair. "Because Roberto would prove you wrong on everything but the first one. Though, if you were with me, we'd get the special rate and I think you'll find it's more reasonable than you think. Besides, you'd be my guest."
"Wait." Blair shook his head. "This is the same place that told the mayor he'd have to wait in line? The one people make reservations for weeks, months in advance? The one --"
"Yeah." Jim waved a dismissive hand. "It's all for show. I eat there a couple of times a week; you can get in if Roberto likes you and he likes me." He pursed his lips. "Are you worried he knows what I do? Concerned he'll think you're a client? Gay? A new employee?"
Blair snorted. "Right. Like anyone would pay to have sex with me. No, none of those. It's just not somewhere I'd feel comfortable -- and you can't tell me the clothes I was wearing last night would get me past the door."
"If you're with me, you could walk in there naked and get served." Jim chuckled. "Okay, maybe not naked, and maybe not for dinner, but at lunchtime he's not going to care." He folded the paper towel in half with more care than the action warranted. "He knows who I am. What I do. He's a friend." He shrugged. "And I bring him a lot of business. We take clients there."
"I still wouldn't feel --" Blair studied Jim's face, impassive now. "I'm sorry. You asked me out, didn't you? And I wasn't very gracious about saying --"
"'Fuck you, I'd sooner go to Wonderburger'?" Jim said lightly. "No, you weren't, but I'm not going to hold it against you." He picked at the paper towel, small shreds of it fluttering to the table. "So no lunch."
"I didn't say that!" Blair protested. "I'd love to have lunch with you."
Jim's gaze met his, a cautious look clouding his blue eyes before he nodded. "Fine. You pick a place."
"I, ah, when I'm working at the library, I just grab a sandwich from the cafeteria in the basement," Blair confessed. He tried, and failed, to fit Jim into the plastic and clatter of the Book Nook café and gave in. "If you'll let me borrow a tie, I'll meet you at Zigzag."
"Can I let you borrow a shirt, too?" Jim said hopefully.
Blair kicked him again. "No. My shirt is fine. What's wrong with my shirt?"
"It's plaid." Jim stood and then began to clear the table. "Do you want me to go into more detail than that?"
"I don't really care what I wear."
"I noticed. I suppose I should be grateful for that." Jim swept the butter dish from under Blair's outstretched hand. "Wearing something that showed off your assets would have worked wonders for your sex life, you know."
"So you're glad my clothes sense sucked before we met, but now I'm dating you I need a makeover?" Blair shook his head. "You got me sleeping with men after ten minutes with you, Jim. Leave it at that."
"Man," Jim corrected. He paused, his fingers hooked inside Blair's juice glass. "Just me. Right?"
Blair nodded slowly and watched Jim's expression clear. "Just you."
"If that changes, tell me," Jim said, casually enough to erase a question from Blair's mind that had never really formed.
"Sure." Blair stood. "Hey, can I grab a shower before I get dressed in my rags?"
Jim stacked their plates in the sink. "Help yourself." He glanced back. "Not sure if the hot water will hold out for two showers; mind some company?"
"Is this a ploy to see me wet and naked?"
"I really have to pee."
"I think I could stand to miss that part." Jim gestured at the table. "I'll finish up here and join you, okay?"
"Okay." Blair felt his face warm with embarrassment. Oh, way to go, Blair. So seductive. So much savoir-fucking-faire.
He'd used the bathroom the night before but the gleam of white tiles and a sink astonishingly free of toothpaste streaks hadn't made much of an impression. He'd been too busy muttering "Oh, my God," in an awed whisper when he'd seen his back and his ass in the mirror. It looked normal today, maybe slightly pink, with one faint bruise on his hip that he'd done himself, bumping into a table at home.
Nothing to show for the previous night, beyond a headful of memories.
And, as he stepped into the bathtub and under a powerful, stinging spray of water, a cock already hardening when he thought about Jim getting into the tub behind him, naked, solid. They wouldn't be able to play games; no time, no toys, but he didn't think Jim would pass up the chance to do something now the awkwardness had gone.
The something he hadn't done when they'd woken. Blair had expected him to; he'd known Jim was hard, and he sure as hell was, but Jim had eased away from him after one brief kiss that had landed around Blair's ear. Blair had been left in a bed that they'd remade at two in the morning and that still smelled of sex and Jim.
His hand dropped to his cock, an automatic caress that felt better than usual. His skin tingled as the hot water teased a faint echo of each stroke from it, from shoulders to thighs. His nipples, dark, a little swollen, were aching, not for a soothing touch, but a pinch he wasn't going to give them. He didn't want to do it himself; he wanted Jim.
His head dipped down as his hand tightened, a whimper parting his lips. He'd wanted harder and Jim had given it to him toward the end but he'd had to wait. Jim had worked him over, talking to him, touching him, trailing the ends of the flogger over him in long, slow sweeps between sets of ten strokes. Blair remembered turning his head to the side when he was on his stomach and feeling the leather across his mouth. He'd licked at a single strand, caught it between his teeth; hung on until Jim, after silently waiting, had freed it, with a consoling brush of his thumb over Blair's lip.
The next set had felt different; not all that more painful, although his skin was tender and hot, but easier to bear. The last of his self-consciousness had left him; he didn't try to hold back the sounds he was making and he stopped tugging at his bonds, accepting that they were there.
Trusting them. Trusting Jim, who'd given a sigh Blair could barely hear over his own ragged breathing, and dealt out ten sharply sizzling strokes that did all they needed to.
He felt a gust of cooler air and heard the door close.
"Did I say you could start without me?"
Blair leaned back against Jim's chest and let his hands fall to the side. "Take over, man. Knock yourself out."
He felt Jim bite down on his shoulder and closed his eyes. He'd reached the point where he craved something visible on his skin, a mark he could run his fingers over, proof of being wanted. "God, I love it when you do that."
"What? Bite you?"
Jim chuckled and nipped at Blair's earlobe. "Good to know."
"I mean it," Blair insisted. "It just…"
"I know." Jim nuzzled and licked his way down Blair's neck and threw in a bite every inch or so. "So where do you want biting, Blair?"
Blair turned, moving so that the spray hit Jim's chest, glittering on the broad, flat planes of muscle and trickling down the flat stomach to the dark tangle of hair. He glanced down at his own chest and let his fingers hover above his right nipple, flexing restlessly. "Here. Both of them. God, they feel like they're burning."
"Biting won't help with that."
"I don't fucking care." Blair pushed his soaked hair back and leaned against the tile. "Please, Jim. Need --"
"What?" It didn't sound like a test or a tease. "What do you need?" Sounded kind of anxious, actually.
"Your mouth, Jim, God. On me." Which was so hard to say face to face, with the tile cold against his back, and the taste of maple syrup in his mouth.
Jim leaned in and put his hands flat on the wall, bracing himself so that when his mouth found Blair's that was the only point of contact between them. Obedient to an order he hadn't been given, Blair kept his hands by his sides when he wanted to fill them with the heat of Jim's skin, curl them around muscled arms, the point of elbows, the jut of hips and cock. Jim's body was known to his eyes but far from familiar and he wanted to glut himself on it with greedy, possessive glances and kisses.
"Stay still," Jim whispered and dragged his hands down the wall. He bent over and then flicked his tongue over Blair's nipple, a quick caress, the warm wetness lost in the spill of water from the shower as Jim's shoulders deflected it, sent it coursing over Blair's chest.
The dig of his teeth as they mimicked the clamp was enough to wipe out the hours of sleep and take Blair back to the place he'd been in after the final stroke had landed. He rocked his hips forward and got a little friction on the head of his cock courtesy of Jim's thigh.
Not enough, and now Jim's teeth were worrying the bruised skin around Blair's other nipple, the soft laps of his tongue a counterpoint to the sharpness of his teeth.
Blair moaned, his fingers scrabbling at the tile, going up on his toes trying to get more, more of the biting, more of the sucking, more of the pain.
He got a final swirl of the tip of Jim's tongue and then Jim went to his knees in a graceful slide that even viewed through Blair's lust-blurred eyes looked slick and practiced.
That didn't stop him enjoying what Jim's mouth did on the way down but it took the edge off his arousal. He'd come to terms with what Jim did but the shower seemed on the crowded side for a moment.
Then Jim's lips formed a perfect seal and his cheeks hollowed and nothing existed for Blair that didn't have its origin in Jim; his fingers wound through Blair's, pinning them against the shower wall; his mouth pulling and tugging and sucking, and his hair, wet and sleek, rubbing against Blair's skin. Blair stared down as Jim angled his head, perfect angle, perfect, and ran his tongue from root to tip, as erotic a visual as Blair had ever seen, Jim's face flushed, his eyes half-closed, his nostrils flared.
Blair got one hand free and stroked Jim's head with an unsteady hand. "Jim -- not like that. Just you. Show me how you do it, okay?"
Jim's gaze met his, puzzled, even hurt, and it killed him that he could put that look in Jim's eyes, but he loved that he could even more.
He continued stroking Jim's hair in an agony of doubt. Fuck. Best blow job he'd ever had, all the fuss he'd made, and then he said that, was he crazy? Had to be crazy. He worked his other hand out of a suddenly loose grip and cupped Jim's face, dropping his other hand to his cock.
With as gentle a pressure as he could, he guided Jim's mouth back, and rubbed the head of his cock against closed lips. "Please, Jim, please, I want you to, I do."
A shudder ran through Jim and he turned his head away, a kiss pressed into Blair's palm, Jim's mouth lingering there. Blair felt a jolt of need, sweet and dizzying. He slid two fingers into Jim's mouth on impulse and gasped as Jim sucked on them, his tongue furled around them.
"Oh, man, that feels good."
Jim's hand knocked Blair's away, cupping his balls and then jacking him with a rough impatience, his mouth still warm and tight around Blair's fingers. The primal urge to move built until Blair gave in, arching his hips into the circle of Jim's fingers, fucking Jim's mouth with his fingers, not caring when they met teeth.
Jim was making noises now, breathy grunts, his own cock hard, emphatic and eager, his free hand clamped on Blair's ass, fingertips digging in. He twisted his head away, mouth spit-wet and open, lips chafed red, and said Blair's name with a clarity that carried over the hiss of water.
Then he dragged Blair down into the tub in a sprawl of legs and arms, his hands shifting to cushion the worst of the impact and Blair put his head back, hooked his leg over the side of the bathtub and let Jim do what the hell he wanted because he'd asked for this and he'd got it and he was going to keep on asking, never stop asking, because this was real.
It had to be real. It hurt, bathtubs being on the unyielding side. He tried to ease into a more comfortable position and then froze, breathing, speaking, thought all closing down, inessential, as Jim put both hands and his mouth to use.
This wasn't careful, this wasn't even close to professional. This was the sort of blow job Blair would have given if there was no one to stop him, enthusiastic and sincere. Jim was licking in places Blair had never expected to get licked, pausing a couple of times to scrabble impatiently at a hair stuck to his tongue and then going back to a futile attempt to get both Blair's balls in his mouth at the same time. His hands roamed Blair's body, fondling it, exploring it, pinching, scratching, caressing while Blair did his best with what he could reach of Jim, pushing through the water-heavy hair to find the hollows behind Jim's ears, the nape of his neck.
When Jim finally swept his hands down to cradle Blair's cock, rubbing his cheek against the length of it, letting the head bump his chin, his nose, grinning and then capturing it gently between his teeth, Blair lost it. "Oh, God, Jim, suck me, begging you here…"
Jim didn't answer but Blair didn't really want him to.
He came in Jim's mouth fifteen seconds later, held down by Jim's hands, enslaved and enraptured by Jim's mouth, howling up into the cooling spray of water and letting it wash over him and take the sound away.
Jim pulled away, his hands on the sides of the bathtub, chest heaving, head down, still hard.
Then he reached out and traced a small circle on Blair's hip bone with a fingertip. Blair made an interrogative grunt and Jim shook his head, his eyes hazy. A moment later, his tongue repeated the circle and then he took a deep breath, exhaled and bit down, sucking hard at the skin until Blair felt the throb of a forming bruise, his spent cock twitching optimistically.
"Oh, fuck, oh, Jim, that's -- ah, that's good, yes --"
He was babbling, squirming, hammering his fist against the tile, but Jim didn't stop until he was ready.
Then he knelt back and brushed his knuckles over the bitten skin, and smiled. "Looks good."
Blair reached up and turned off the shower, flinching from the sudden silence. He looked at the blood-dark skin and nodded a sincere agreement. Whole new world he'd woken into. "Looks great."
Jim got out of the tub and then grabbed a couple of towels. He tossed one at Blair, who caught it and used it to wipe his face dry. Standing up on legs that wobbled wasn't easy but he managed, leaving the slippery sanctuary of the tub and going straight into Jim's waiting hug.
"You're dripping everywhere."
Blair stepped back and toweled his hair vigorously, droplets flying. "Like I care right now."
"Amazing." Blair snuck a peek. "Uh, Jim. You didn't…?"
"No time," Jim said. He flicked Blair with the towel. "Which I'll make you pay for later."
Jim smiled. "However you want me to. Think about it while you're reading. Be creative. Be inventive. And be at the restaurant at twelve, or even I won't be able to get us a good table."
Blair fingered the mark on his hip and watched Jim's eyes darken. "Guess I'm properly dressed now, huh?"
"You could say that," Jim agreed. He cleared his throat. "I'd still like to lend you a --"
"Tie," Blair said firmly. "Just a tie." He chuckled. "And, man, anything of yours wouldn't fit me; think about it; totally different sizes."
Jim's lips twitched in a grin even as Blair began to realize what he'd said. "Thanks for the compliment, but lube works wonders. Now get dressed; I'm already in enough trouble with Simon without being late."
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