"I wasn't sure if I was reading things right," Jack said quietly afterwards, sounding not insecure, but not as poised as usual. Then again, his pants were open. Neither of them had quite made it to the recovery stage.
"I wasn't sure I was reading myself right. But I was. You were." Vaughn's hands rested on Jack's hip, his shoulder. It felt amazing to let them rest there.
"I'm glad." He looked around the kitchen, a bit lost, heavy breathing leveling out to a sigh. "This...wasn't how I imagined the first time."
"You imagined it?" He smiled, then did a double-take. "Wait, *first* time?" His smile got wider.
Jack stared at him, perplexed, even astonished. "You thought I would--"
"Well, I wasn't sure--"
"I know, I'm sorry--"
"No, I--rushed. It could have looked like--" He stopped, caught up in his thoughts, a guilty air hanging over him.
"I don't think I could have waited. It was perfect."
Faint appreciation touched Jack's eyes, as if he were so used to criticism that any generosity was a gift. Vaughn didn't think that had anything to do with sex. "You're very understanding."
"Or incredibly easy."
"Trust me, you're not easy."
"There's a whole pot-kettle thing there I'm not touching."
"That's true. I'm not easy either." Jack gazed right into him, close and personal, saying a lot of things with his eyes. His thumb rested against Vaughn's jaw as if it had found a home.
"I kind of like that," Vaughn admitted with a crooked smile.
"I kind of like *that*. I mean, that came out wrong."
But Jack wore a smile now, genuinely pleased. His eyes were crinkling. Vaughn couldn't remember if he'd ever seen that before. Then his smile eased away and he said, "This is getting sticky."
"I know." Vaughn winced. "Sydney knew I was seeing someone before I did."
Jack blinked into a bemused frown. "I meant this," he said, gentle. "Us. It's messy."
"I know," Vaughn agreed again, and then it dawned on him what Jack was saying, and he looked down at himself. "Oh." His face heated. "Right. This is--yeah." And he began to laugh at himself, at the two of them standing there in the kitchen with their pants hanging open, arms still loosely wrapped around each other. The way his arm and wrist bones fit the angles of Jack's shoulder and side--the incredible feeling that gave him wasn't wearing off.
"You have a bedroom, I hope."
"I do." For some reason he blushed again. "It has, like, a bed." A goofy grin hit him; he was getting punchy.
"That's...admirable." What might have come out as sarcasm any time before now had been reborn as teasing, complete with a little eyebrow raise and fond, soft eyes and a smile. It made Vaughn dizzy, as if he'd been spun around. Could he kiss Jack again, he wondered. Before the bedroom?
He did, uncertainly, and Jack responded at once, gently but with an intense hunger that Vaughn recognized, as if a thousand fierce looks were being refocused into the kiss. He was already starting to get hard again, and Jack was touching him.
Vaughn drew his mouth away; it felt like pulling against a magnetic force. He could barely keep his eyes open. "We should..."
With slight mutual sheepishness they tucked themselves in--Vaughn couldn't help stroking himself a few times as he did. He let his belt hang loose. They went to the bedroom and he grabbed a towel from the bath and brought it out to find Jack with his shoes and shirt off. In Vaughn's bedroom. By the bed. It made his mouth go dry with anticipation. They were going to have sex. In his bed, on his sheets. He reached down and gripped his dick to curb its urgency, gasping just a little. Jack watched him from across the room and visibly breathed as if he were controlling himself.
"This is weird," Vaughn said as they got naked and horizontal. "But a good weird," he added in reassurance.
Jack touched him with skimming fingers without saying anything, but he didn't need to say anything for Vaughn to hear him. He made himself lie back and take whatever Jack wanted to give. Needed to give, maybe. He was intensely focused, palm sliding down Vaughn's chest and belly, over a thigh and up again around his hip and ribs. It was a rush to feel the rub of gun calluses across his skin, and the ridge of a scar that Vaughn knew came from a bad knife cut because he'd been there.
It didn't take long for him to reach a point where he was twisting a hand into the sheets, another into a pillow, twisting up with his hips, baring his throat. Jack trailed a hand up his dick, then cupped the head in his palm and rubbed until Vaughn made a wordless sound, thrusting for more. Jack's thumb slid under the head and took him right to the edge. Vaughn's body flushed all over, burning down from blood-red ears and up the length of his cock. He writhed greedily, neck arching even more, shoulder blades driving back into the bed, hips driving up off it to meet Jack's touch. He heard himself begging in words as rhythmic as his body's movements.
Jack's hand left him.
"Oh my god, I have to kill you now," Vaughn choked out. It was a small miracle he could breathe any sound into the words.
"That would be premature." Jack leaned down and kissed him, then moved over to lay the lengths of their bodies together. He kept most of his weight off, but it wouldn't have mattered if he'd just flattened himself there. Vaughn didn't care about breathing. He ground his hips upward against Jack, breath hitching toward sobs, and came after several perfect thrusts.
When his shattered brain coalesced again he was lying on his side next to Jack, face to face. "Wow," he muttered, stunned. He reached out and laid a hand on Jack's hip. Jack looked happy at the inarticulate praise. After another minute or so, Vaughn managed to get out, "Have you done this before?"
"With men?" Jack asked. "No."
"You're just...really good at this. I mean, *really* good."
With his head on the pillow, Jack smiled, looking incredibly human. "I'm glad I haven't lost my touch."
Self-satisfaction underlined the remark, which Vaughn didn't mind at all, but it held an admission too. It had been a while, Jack was saying. That was a criminal waste of talent, but then it had been a long time for Vaughn too. He let his gaze slide down Jack's body. He was half-hard.
"You didn't come?"
"I'm not young anymore." He sounded not at all worried about this fact, which was a relief. Vaughn wasn't sure he'd know how to deal with midlife performance anxiety.
"Can I make you come again?" He smiled.
"If you like."
"If I *like*?" The man was crazy. He pushed Jack onto his back and straddled him with renewed energy. "I've got a lot of things I want to try out."
Jack looked interested, and interest made him look years younger. He shuddered in pleasure when Vaughn worked over his body, more urgent and energetic in his movements than than Vaughn had expected, wilder. The closer he got, the more he restrained himself. It made Vaughn go to even greater lengths, until he finally drew a short, sharp cry from Jack and got a mouthful of spunk. That was new and different, and he floundered for a moment. It was manageable though, with some swallowing and a towel. He could get used to it, he thought optimistically. He was pretty pleased with himself.
They slept well. Jack was a cuddler, but not in the way Vaughn was used to with women. He closed in with animal snugness--arm slung around Vaughn's hip, a thigh wedged in tight between his legs, nose nudging the back of his head. The position unequivocally communicated: I will kill anyone who comes near you. It was difficult to get used to at first; he'd imagined Jack giving him his personal space, the two of them tucking themselves in neatly, separate but together. And he'd gotten used to sleeping alone. But at some point as he was drifting off the puzzle pieces of their two bodies clicked into familiarity and he didn't want to pull away.
For breakfast, Jack accepted only toast and coffee, then left. He had to return home and change. In the light of day, he seemed his ordinary self, and Vaughn thought he might brush up against some sharp edges with this new rawness between them, but it didn't happen. No hurt came, no emotional abrasions. Jack even kissed him before he left, cupping his face as if this were no big deal. It took Vaughn's breath away as he tried to process it, and then the door was closing behind Jack, leaving him alone to get ready for work.
Alone, he dressed and wondered what it was going to be like at the office. He had no idea what to expect, but if it stayed like this, maybe it could work out. He knotted his tie and looked at himself in the mirror and identified himself: a man who'd slept with another man. He didn't look any different, he thought, but he was. The top layers of himself were the same, but he felt reshaped by the night. Every moment of pleasure, all the breaths he'd taken, the smell of Jack's soap and faint cologne, three orgasms and rush after rush of giddy astonishment at doing what he'd never done before and wanting someone different from anyone he'd wanted before, someone who had hard hands and tense muscles and strength enough to hold him down.
Still staring at himself in the mirror, he straightened his tie and smoothed his jacket and critically touched his hair, and wondered if he was a vain man, and if vanity was kind of gay. Then he tried to feel gay, so he could understand what it was like, but it wasn't very clear. And then he tried to feel ungay, to see if it was different, and then he just felt confused and irritated with himself, so he left for work.