Title: Western Lovers: Cowboys and Biologists <23/33>
Beta the patient and talented charlieisagirl
Rating: NC-17 for the series, and for this chapter.
Summary: David is a hard, jaded warrior, Orlando is a biologist tracking Big Cats on the Double L.
Feedback: Feedback is my writers crack, which is not to be confused at all with plumbers crack.
Disclaimer: Not at all true in reality. These men whilst adorable and perfectly happy to slash themselves, their actual relationship is something that they only know. This story is adapted from a series of books that I adored when I was younger written by Elizabeth Lowell.
Word Count: 4069
Previous Story: Can be found here
Previous Ordaisy chapter: As suggested by mystery_ink can be found here
Previous Chapters: Chapter 1| Chapter 2 | Chapter 3| Chapter 4| Chapter 5| Chapter 6| Chapter 7| Chapter 8| Chapter 9| Chapter 10| Chapter 11| Chapter 12| Chapter 13| Chapter 14| Chapter 15| Chapter 16| Chapter 17| Chapter 18| Chapter 19| Chapter 20| Chapter 21| Chapter 22
Posted to: fellowshippers, monaboyd and ordaisy
Header Art: Courtesy of the incredibly talented loki_girl.
Author’s Notes: Courtesy of my net connection fritzing out every few minutes I'm posting early just in case I lose my connection completely. We're on the home run now folks. Special thanks to dylan_dufresne.
Dom sat in the rocking chair in the corner of the nursery, Lennox cradled against his chest. Holding the bottle of formula to his mouth Dom watched him sucking on the nipple, quickly demolishing his lunch. The tiny boy in his arms had no clue the turmoil that was making his daddy’s heart beat faster, all he knew was that he was safe and loved, held tightly in the warm loving arms of one of his fathers. Watching Lennox drink his formula, Dom struggled to rein in the emotions that were see sawing through him. Lifting one long hand to brush an errant tear from his cheek, Dom was startled to see Billy standing in the doorway, his face tear ravaged, his arms squeezed tightly around his chest.
As Dom opened his mouth to speak, but Billy lifted a hand gesturing for Dom to be quiet and not disturb the baby in his arms. He smiled briefly and stood leaning against the doorframe watching as Dom lifted their son against his shoulder and rubbed his back gently. Seeing the tenuous hope in Billy’s eyes, Dom was reluctant to break his gaze. Holding Lennox against him, he stood slowly, lowering his eyes to the baby’s face, ensuring the movement didn’t wake him. When he lifted his gaze again, Billy was gone. Releasing the breath he hadn’t realized his was holding Dom carefully deposited Lennox into his crib and tucked the blankets around him tightly.
Leaving the nursery wearily, Dom walked through the house intent on relieving the headache that was building behind his eyes. Lifting his gaze from his feet as he walked through the bedroom, he stopped dead in his tracks. Billy sat stiffly on the edge of the bed, his face pale as he watched and waited.
Dom took a deep breath, his heart breaking as he looked into Billy’s sad and broken eyes. Walking into the room, his hands trembled as he thought about what it was taking Billy to sit on the bed, waiting for him. Billy’s fists were clenched so tightly against his thighs, knuckles white. His beautiful mouth pressed into a tight line as he waited for the rejection he obviously thought was coming. In that moment, when he realized that Billy was waiting for Dom to confirm his own opinions of himself, Dom vowed that Billy wouldn’t leave their room without knowing exactly how Dom felt about him.
Moving quickly towards Billy, Dom dropped slowly to his knees in front of Billy. Looking up into Billy’s face, Dom lifted one hand to press his fingers against Billy’s lips as he started to speak. Leaning into Billy, Dom replaced his fingertips with a soft, gentle kiss, then moved back to sit back on his feet in front of Billy, watching him closely. Lifting both hands, Dom lifted one of Billy’s tightly clenched fists in both hands and carefully unclenched his tense fingers. Bending forward and pressing a kiss to Billy’s hand, he placed it back on his thigh and turned his attention to Billy’s other hand.
“Dommeh?” Billy murmured.
“Ssh,” Dom whispered, pressing his fingers against Billy’s lips again. “You don’t need to explain anything to me Bills. Let me show you how much I love you, how much we need you.”
Leaning down, Dom pulled Billy’s boots from his feet and slipped the thick socks off as well. Lifting one foot, Dom’s long fingers gently massaged Billy’s foot. Fingers brushing against the soft flesh, he lifted Billy’s foot and pressed his lips to the top of it. Repeating his actions with the other foot, Dom straightened and shuffled forward on his knees, until he was between Billy’s thighs.
Dom’s hands slid slowly up and down Billy’s arms, caressing his firmly muscled biceps slowly. Pressing his lips against the hollow at the base of Billy’s throat, he started to unbutton Billy’s shirt. Unable to stop the slight tremor in his own fingers as he slipped each button free, his gaze moving up to catch Billy’s, as he pushed the shirt slowly from Billy’s shoulders.
Tilting his head, Dom pressed his lips to Billy’s and kissed him gently. His lips touched Billy’s softly, his tongue tracing across his bottom lip slowly before he pulled away.
“Honey,” Billy whispered, his eyes red rimmed and glistening, his tongue flicking out to taste Dom on his lips. “I don’t think….”
Dom pressed his fingers to Billy’s lips again, his thumb brushing across his bottom lip. “This isn’t about making love, this is about us.”
“But…” Billy prodded.
“But nothing, Billy. I love you, I need you. Nothing you have ever done will change that. Nothing. You mean everything to the three little angels in the nursery. I want, no, I need for you to know how much I love you.” I want, no, I need for you to know how much I love you.” Dom rose lithely to his feet, lacing his fingers with Billy’s and pulling him to his feet as well. “We’re going to have a shower, and then we’re going to come back to bed and I’m going to hold you while you get some sleep.” Dom spoke softly as he gently caressed Billy’s stubbly cheek.
“Don’t deserve you.” Billy whispered, his voice thick, tears welling in his eyes.
Dom pulled him tightly against his body, enfolding Billy in his arms. “I don’t want to hear that anymore, my darling Billy, don’t you understand? You’re a man who would do this to himself just to keep his loved ones safe, my God, Bills, if there were more men like you, the world wouldn’t be the way it is now. I love you because of who you are. I love you because you’re such an incredible man. I’m the one that doesn’t deserve you. You’re my strong man, and you always will be.” He smiled shyly. “Just this once let me be the strong one, for you.”
Billy looked into Dom’s watery blue-gray eyes, the corners of his lips turning up slightly with the morsel of hope that flared in his heart at Dom’s words. His throat choked with emotional tears, Billy nodded.
Allowing himself to be towed through the bedroom, Billy stood passively and watched as Dom turned on the shower, pulled his tee shirt over his head, throwing it onto the hamper in the corner before returning to stand in front of Billy. Cupping Billy’s face in both hands, Dom pressed his lips to Billy’s and smiled. For the first time since he stepped into the bedroom today, Billy kissed him back. Pressing his forehead against Billy’s, Dom let his thumbs caress his cheekbones and eyelids before he pulled away. Trailing his fingertips across Billy’s bare chest, Dom unbuckled Billy’s belt and slowly released the buttons of his fly. Slipping his hands inside Billy’s jeans, Dom slipped them off his hips, sinking down to his knees to push the worn denim down Billy’s legs. Billy lifted one leg at a time as he stepped from the denim. Pressing a soft, open-mouthed kiss against Billy’s slightly furry belly, Dom slid his fingers under the waist band of Billy’s boxer briefs; he slid them down his legs.
Rising to his feet, he quickly stripped off his low slung jeans and laced his fingers through Billy’s pulling him slowly after him as he stepped backwards into the shower cubicle. As they stepped under the steaming spray of water, Dom folded his arms around Billy.
“Do you remember the first time we showered together in this house?” he whispered into Billy’s ear. “I thought my heart would burst I loved you so much that night, but now I know I was wrong. Since that first shower, every single day has made me love you a little bit more, because of you my heart had grown to know true, pure love that only you could give me.”
Dom’s fingers stroked through Billy’s hair gently, their bodies pressed together under the jets of water, willing him to realize how much he truly meant to him. Pulling away from Billy slowly, Dom lifted a tube of shower gel and squeezed it onto a wash cloth before turning back to Billy and washing him gently and tenderly. Dropping the washcloth to the floor when he was finished, Dom stood, his chest pressed against Billy’s back, one arm wrapped around his waist, the other reaching for their shampoo. Awkwardly squeezing a small amount into his hand then began to massage it through Billy’s hair.
“I can wash my own hair, Honey,” Billy spoke softly, his head tilted back against Dom’s shoulder.
“I know,” Dom answered quietly.
“You don’t need to do this,” Billy whispered, but he made no move to leave Dom’s tender ministrations.
“Yes, I do,” Dom murmured, “Maybe you wouldn’t feel as badly as you do if I had shown you. Maybe it’s got nothing to do with me at all, but I’ve let you down. You show me in a million ways every day how much you love me, I want to show you.”
“I’m the one that let you down. I’m a killer. I shouldn’t be here.” Billy’s eyes closed as he relaxed against Dom.
“This is your home and your family. You belong here with us. You are the best part of us.” Dom kissed the side of his neck, before he spoke again. “Besides, we’re not talking about that today. This is just you and me today, being in love and being together.”
Billy nodded his head slowly. Dom washed the shampoo from Billy’s head and leaned in and turned the spigots to turn off the water. Stepping out of the shower, he flicked a soft fluffy towel open and gently patted the excess water from Billy’s body before he wrapped the towel around his waist, lifting another towel he carefully toweled Billy’s hair almost dry, then leaned in to press his lips against Billy’s for another kiss, smiling against Billy’s lips as his hands lifted to rest on Dom’s bare hips, pulling them closer together. Regretfully dragging his lips from Billy’s, Dom looked into his face, his thumb tracing Billy’s lower lip.
“Come to bed with me?” he whispered, their mouths so close together that his breath feathered across Billy’s lips.
Nodding, Billy watched as Dom impatiently rubbed the water from his own body, then dropped the towel, his fingers moving to the knot on Billy’s towel pulling it free, the towel dropping to pool around Billy’s feet.
Lacing his fingers through Billy's again, he was reassured by the tight grip of Billy's hand as they walked through to their bed. Flicking the sheets back with a practiced hand, Dom ushered Billy between their sheets, crawling in behind him and pulling the bedclothes back over them, wrapping his arms around Billy, Dom looped a leg over Billy's and pressed his lips to his hair.
"Sleep Bills, let me hold you, take my strength tonight." Dom spoke against Billy's neck.
Turning in Dom's arms, Billy nodded, snuggling into his embrace, Billy pressed a soft kiss against Dom's chest as he slowly drifted off to sleep.
Standing in the corner of his room, David stared sightlessly out of the window as Orlando silently stood behind him, holding David for as long as he would let him. Orlando had tilted his head slightly so he could watch David out of the corner of his eye. The strain of the last few weeks was beginning to show on David's face.
Reaching a decision, Orlando pressed a gentle kiss against the side of David's neck, his hand sliding across David's shirt covered belly until he reached the heavy silver belt buckle at David's waist, slowly unfastening it.
"Orli?" David's voice questioned softly, one strong hand closing over Orlando's as he slid the belt from the denim loops that held it.
"It's alright, David, I don't expect anything to happen. I just want you to be comfortable." Orlando assured David softly.
"I can't….we can't….not anymore," David murmured, leaning his head back against Orlando and rubbed soothingly against Orlando's curls.
"We don't have to do anything David," Orlando said, turning his head until his lips were brushing against David's hair as he spoke. "I just want to hold you."
"I don't want you to," David shook his head. "I don't want you Orlando. I can't afford to. You're already too close."
"Why?" Orlando asked, "Because I care enough to be here for you? Or because you're frightened of what I make you feel, David?"
“Because I can’t do this….I won’t watch it destroy you. I can’t watch you wither away like that. I will not do that to you.” David pressed his forehead into Orlando’s curls and closed his eyes.
“Do what to me David?” Orlando frowned, his hand lifting to brush against the ginger stubble on his cheek. “Loving me can’t hurt me.”
“It can, it always does. Loving me will kill you Orli. I won’t let that happen.” He turned in Orlando’s arms and cupped Orlando’s face in his hands. “I can save you and I will. I won’t let you love me.”
“You don’t get a say in who I love,” Orlando explained slowly.
“Love killed my mother. it’s killing my brother. I watched it slowly eat my mother’s heart and soul. I won’t watch that happen to you,” David replied.
“Love is saving Billy, Dom will keep him whole, trust me, you’ll see.” Orlando murmured, pressing his forehead against David’s.
“I can’t do that again Orli. We wont’ do this.” David watched his thumb stroke Orlando’s bottom lip as he spoke.
“You think love is painful and destroys,” Orlando whispered. “But I know the truth, Love is beautiful and pure and nurturing. Love makes every day more worthwhile.” As he spoke, his fingers slipped the buttons of David’s shirt open and pushed it off his shoulders. “Good and pure love makes your heart beat faster, it can mean the difference between survival and giving up hope. I will make you understand that love is the most important thing you can ever have.” Orlando whispered as his fingers made short work of David’s button fly.
David closed his hand over Orlando’s. “We’re not doing this again Orlando. It’s the only way.” David stated.
“I told you, David,” Orlando sighed softly, his hands moving to comb through David’s hair as he spoke against David’s face. “Nothing is going to happen. I love you. I can see you’re hurting, and it breaks my heart. I just want to hold you and comfort you and take away your pain. Is that so wrong?”
“I’m sorry,” David murmured, his thumb brushing Orlando’s cheekbone.
“Don’t be sorry. Don’t ever be sorry about telling me how you feel.” Orlando pressed two fingers to David’s lips before he leaned in and pressed a chaste kiss against David’s cheek. Turning away from David, he pulled his tee shirt over his head and slipped his jeans down his legs, then crawled into David’s bed. Settling himself comfortably against the headboard, Orlando smiled shyly and opened his arms to his lover.
“Let me take away your pain, David, even if it’s just for now.” Orlando asked softly.
For long moments, David stood watching Orlando in his bed, his eyes closed slowly and he drew a deep breath before he slid under the sheet that Orlando held up, aligning his body against Orlando’s, his arms around Orli’s waist, his head nestled against Orlando’s smooth, golden chest. One hand lifting to toy with the silky russet ringlets behind Orlando’s ear, his eyes drifting slowly closed as the satiny locks wrapped around his fingers.