by Jane Davitt

Jim dips the sponge into clean, warm water and squeezes out the excess before drawing it over a rill of soap bubbles that are catching the light. Under them, the paint of the hood shines clean, glistening and gleaming. Jim's feet are damp from standing in puddles, and his fingers are chilled, but he's too lost in thought to care.

He's not thinking of the truck.

Blair was muddy, shivering, hungry when they got back from their trip. Jim, more resilient, Jim who had avoided slipping and falling into an iced-over patch of rain-sodden ground that had left Blair almost as soaked as a lake would have done, had steered Blair toward the bathroom and made him take the first shower. Had coffee waiting when Blair stumbled out, pink and glowing, his hair wild with knots, had soup reheating and nutty, chewy bread sliced.

And he'd wanted to do more, so much more. Wanted to comb every tangle from Blair's hair--he could see fragments of a leaf wound around some strands even now--wrap him in a blanket and lie on the couch with Blair warm in his arms. They could lie and stare into the fire Jim had kindled, watch flames leap and crackle, smoke drifting as it had done the night before when the stars had hung in the winter sky like shards of crystal.

They could--they could--

God, he wants to spoil Blair sometimes. Fuss over him, coddle him, cherish him. It's an impulse he gets less often than the wistful need to administer a well-deserved kick to Blair's ass, but when it has him in its grip, the yearning to administer some TLC is more seductive than the equally impossible to admit to, but less embarrassing, desire to fuck Blair until he's lying spent and smiling and silent. Breathless.

Seductive--and Jim's so ready to be seduced. Which is why he's here.

He shivers and pictures Blair upstairs, the firelight burnishing his hair, his skin damply fragrant, his robe gaping to reveal skin Jim wants to learn with his fingers and tongue (sight and scent being already taken care of).

Shivers and decides the truck needs waxing. And maybe he'll check the tire pressure, too.

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