Let It Snow

by Hashinaka Choko (橋中蝶子)

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/144663.html)

The jukebox came on suddenly, and Emery saw heads turn to it all over the bar. The faces looked thoughtful, confused, but not annoyed, so he continued to dry the glass in his hand and didn’t move toward the control panel.

It was a smallish crowd tonight — the regulars gathered at the bar, drinking beer and watching back and forth between the two games he had on the TVs, the Islanders game on the left and the LSU game on the right. There were a few people in the booths, one couple at a table, and four more people playing a game of pool.

The door opened with a bang, letting in a swirl of freezing air and provoking cries of protest from all around the bar. The figure who had come in wrestled against the wind until he had it closed again, stomping over to the bar with melting snow dripping from the end of his long scarf, his boots leaving small puddles in their wake.

“Hey,” Emery said, setting his glass aside. “Nasty out, isn’t it?”

“Miserable,” the man said, pulling off his gloves, his trench coat, his hat, his scarf. The wet things made a pile next to his bar stool that would probably be sopping wet and leave a puddle by the time Emery was off shift, but he couldn’t bring himself to tell the man to pick them up. He looked like a drowned rat.

“Get you something?”

“Brandy, please. Something halfway decent and don’t think about reaching for the Hennessy.”

“Hennessy isn’t that bad,” Emery said, but he was already pulling the Courvoisier down from the top shelf.

“There’s nothing wrong with Hennessy if I wanted to be drinking flavorless alcohol.”

Emery’s hands went through the busy motion of flipping the cognac glass down from its rack, laying it down on the bar sideways and filling it to the rim before tipping it back up and sliding it over to his customer. “It’s a bit smoky, not exactly flavorless.”

“A decent brandy shouldn’t burn,” the man said, taking the snifter in his hand and swirling the contents around in the glass. Suddenly, several things clicked together in Emery’s head – he was wearing a cashmere sweater, designer glasses and what was probably a very expensive watch. The trench coat that now lay balled on the floor had looked like something he had seen in the fall collection this year. He hadn’t even considered or looked at what they had to offer before ordering, only told Emery what he didn’t want to drink.

This man was far too well-off to be sitting in Emery’s bar during a snowstorm sipping on a liquor that was at best sixty dollars a bottle.

“What brings you out here in the middle of this kind of weather?”

“I was on my way home, actually,” the man said. “I thought I would probably make it back before the sky opened up on me but I was mistaken. I was also mistaken to think I could continue driving in it without a plow on the front of my car.”

“Oh man, did you get stuck?”

“In the parking lot of that charming half-Subway, half-head shop a block down the road. I was trying to find somewhere with a phone. This happened to be the closest.”

“You don’t have a cell?”

The man did have a cell – the newest model Blackberry, of course – but Emery could see the red ‘no service’ light blinking as soon as he pulled it out of his pocket. “So you see, at this point I’m more interested in enjoying myself where it’s warm than calling for a tow and going back outside.”

“Well we aren’t going to object to having you. I’m Emery,” he said, extending his hand.

“Connor.” His handshake was firm, but not intimidating, his palm cold but dry, insulated from the wet by the pair of leather gloves (real, no doubt) sitting on the bar next to Connor’s brandy. “Are you a student?”

“Full-time,” Emery answered. “I’m a Theatrical Design and Technology major.”

“That’s a mouthful. What exactly does that degree do for you?”

“I do backstage work in the theater. I have a carpentry focus — so I design and build sets.”

“And is there a lot of future in that line of work?” Connor asked, finally taking a sip of his brandy. His eyes slid closed and some of the tension went out of his shoulders. Emery found himself discreetly observing the man while Connor couldn’t see him watching. His dark hair was dusted lightly with gray at the temples but didn’t appear to be thinning. His full mouth was framed by a close-cropped beard with more gray than black in it — Emery placed him somewhere in his forties. Or maybe not, he decided, as Connor opened his eyes to look at him again, plainly waiting for the answer to his question. Those eyes were a startling green with no lines around them at all.

Maybe he just went gray early, Emery thought absently. “Well, in theater everyone’s always worth more than they get paid,” he said, “but technicians, especially designers, get more work than actors do. Whenever anyone says there’s no money in theater they’re usually talking about the acting side.”

“Do you not act at all?”

“Me? No,” Emery said with a laugh. “Every time I try to go out on a stage I start to shake, and then I feel like I’m going to throw up. I tried to get over it for a while but,” he shrugged, “I like building more than I like acting anyway.”

Connor took a breath to say something else, but whatever he had been about to say was lost as a hand came to rest on top of Emery’s head, fingers pushing through his hair and ruffling it until the strands he had carefully tucked behind his ears fell into his face. Emery yelped and pulled away – the hand was ice cold.

“Back!” Nina announced cheerfully, pulling off her gloves and outerwear and kicking them into a pile next to Emery’s.

“You seriously went out and smoked in this weather?” Emery asked, disbelieving.

“Went out? No. Stood right inside the back door with it open just a crack and blew my smoke out of it? Sure did.” Nina grinned, combing her bright orange hair out with her fingers, her jewelry jingling insanely. Emery couldn’t figure out how she could do anything with that many bracelets and rings on her hands, but Nina enjoyed making noise when she moved. She enjoyed it so much that she never stopped talking. “And now, I do believe I will have one of your famous winter pick-me-ups.”

“Go make it yourself if you want one so bad, and make me one too while you’re at it,” Emery retorted. “Just remember not to scorch the butter to the bottom of the pan this time. Makes it taste awful.”

“You’re a lazy bitch,” Nina accused, pulling the Captain and Dissarono and heading into the back.

“You’re the one who wanted the booze!” Emery called after her. She shook one of the bottles at him like she would have given him the finger if her hands weren’t full and he shook his head. He turned back to Connor to find the man watching him with a small, amused smile. His smile made his eyes look very green — a thought that Emery squashed as soon as he realized he was having it. “Sorry,” he said. “That’s Nina. She’s with the tech department too, we take shifts together because we live on the same floor.”

“Are either of you actually old enough to be drinking whatever it is that she’s making?” Connor asked, the smile saying that he didn’t particularly care whether or not they were.

“Oh yes, I’m twenty-one, sir,” Emery said with a perfectly straight face.

Connor’s smile turned into a half-smirk and Emery’s stomach did a funny little flutter, which he also ignored. Sure, Connor was gorgeous and charming – but that probably meant he was straight and married. “Well, you’re a much better liar than most people I’ve met, but that is still a lie.”

“Well, Nina’s twenty-one anyway. And I am in another month and a half, but…” he grinned. “I’m in college.”

“I do remember that much about college. The fact that you aren’t stumbling drunk back there means that you have a good deal more restraint than I did when I was your age. If I had been sitting all night in a bar, I probably would have sampled everything at least twice.”

“Are you kidding? Most of the stuff we sell is disgusting,” Emery said, pulling a face. “Like the nastiness over here.” He reached out and rattled a couple of the bottles on what he affectionately called the gas rack, and what Nina liked to call distilled hangover in a bottle. Off-brand, cheap liquor that was only good for making Long Islands or giving to stupid college students.

“A college student with taste in liquor,” Connor said, lifting his brandy in a toast. “What a rarity.”

“Nina says I’m an alcohol snob,” Emery said. “But I don’t like to feel like my taste buds are trying to retreat down my throat every time I take a sip of whatever I’m drinking.”

Connor laughed and Emery stopped trying to pretend to himself that he wouldn’t be flirting with this man with all his might if he were anywhere but here. He had a great laugh, soft and full of light amusement at the world. Why couldn’t I have met him at the local gay bar or something, instead of at fucking work?

“What do you do, then?” Emery asked.

“I’m a professor,” Connor said. “At NYU.”

Emery would have been supremely embarrassed if anything he thought just then actually came out of his mouth. Yeah, I’ll bet you are. Hi, professor, feel like making about half my fantasies come true?

What he really said was, “What subject?”

“I have my doctorate in literature in translation,” he said. “I teach Ancient Literature and Chaucer.”

Oh hi, you’re totally the sophisticated academic type. “So do you speak any other languages?”

“Only the dead ones,” he said with a chuckle. “Latin, the ancient dialect of Greek that most of the Homeric epics are written in, some old Gaulish and Gaelic.”

Nina came back from the kitchen with two mugs and pushed one of them into Emery’s hand. “A little bit of mama’s magic to warm up your tummy,” she said, patting him on the head. She had to reach up to do so, and Emery swatted her hand aside with a laugh. “Glad your shift’s almost over?”

“Are you kidding me? Have you seen the weather out there? It’s like fucking Siberia out there. It’s going to be so hard to get a cab to come out here and pick me up.” Emery took a long sip of the drink — one of his own specialties, one he called a Winter Warm-me-up that sat just right in his stomach. “And there’s going to be like three feet of snow on the ground tomorrow, do you know how much of a pain in the ass it’s going to be to go to class?”

“I would think class would be canceled, with the weather this bad,” Connor said.

“Don’t jinx it!” Nina yelped, and spat over her shoulder into the sink.

“You’re such a guy,” Emery said and then froze with the mug halfway to his mouth as he realized that Nina was going to continue that conversation the way she always did and Connor was sitting right there–

“Shut up, you’re such a priss,” Nina said, swatting him on the ass for good measure before she walked farther down the bar to talk to the regulars. Emery buried his face in his mug behind the blond hair flopping in his face and hoped he wasn’t turning bright red.

“No need to be embarrassed,” Connor said, and Emery risked a glance at him. “Having friends to pretend to hate with a terrible passion is part of the fun in life.”

“Nina’s a crazy person,” Emery muttered into his mug. “I don’t know how she hasn’t gotten fired yet.”

Connor raised his eyebrow. “For?”

Emery started listing them off on the fingers of his free hand. “Drinking the booze, smoking inside the bar half the time, annoying and harassing her coworkers, misusing half the horizontal surfaces in here with her girlfriend who is way too good at helping her close before she should be closing…” He heard Connor begin to laugh again and stopped, taking a drink out of his mug to cover the fact that he was now turning red for a totally different reason.

“She must be good at her job,” he said. “Or at the very least, the customers must enjoy staring down her cleavage.”

Emery snorted. “It’s not like they’re going to get anything out of it, Nina wouldn’t go near anyone but Ty. Those two are crazy about each other.”

“And you?” Connor asked, and Emery eyed him cautiously. Connor’s expression wasn’t the polite blankness of someone making small talk or the light curiosity of someone wanting to know more about a recent acquaintance. His smile had gone all smirky again and his stupidly green eyes promised all kinds of interesting directions that this conversation could take.

“My love life is nonexistent at the present,” Emery said. He didn’t add the second half of that statement this time, the one he always gave Nina when she pressed him about getting a boyfriend. I kind of like it that way didn’t seem to apply given the circumstances.

“You’re a handsome young man, I’m sure you could find plenty of girls willing–”

“Sure could, if I was inclined that way in the least, which I’m not,” Emery said in a rush, throwing it out there like a challenge.

“Well, that does limit the options,” Connor acknowledged with the pensive, knowing tone of someone who had the same problem. Emery’s throat went dry. He leaned sideways against the bar, lessening the distance between the two of them – not enough that any of the other customers would get the hint, but Connor was a smart guy, from what Emery could tell of him. “But as I said.” Connor’s voice dropped low, and Emery’s stomach did a flip that he didn’t even try to contain this time, “You are a handsome young man.”

“You’re not bad on the eyes yourself,” Emery said, trying for the same low tone and probably failing miserably. “There’s no ring on that hand, is there?” He nodded to Connor’s left hand, and Connor looked absurdly pleased as he raised it to show no wedding ring sitting there — and more importantly, no tan line where one should be.

“I never married,” Connor said. “I came very close once, but a good friend talked me out of it.”

Emery felt strange for a minute, remembering how much older than him Connor must be. But seriously, nobody in their forties was as completely devastatingly handsome as Connor, unless they were Johnny Depp or something. Connor had to be like… thirty-something. Emery could live with that. “What happened?”

“He got me exceedingly drunk two weeks before the rehearsal dinner and demonstrated all the reasons why I shouldn’t be marrying a woman,” Connor answered matter-of-factly. “I broke off the engagement, had a crisis of identity for a couple months and then carried on with my life.”

“Wow,” Emery said. “And I thought it was bad when I came out. At least my parents were the only ones that flipped their shit — I bet she wasn’t too happy.”

“If by ‘not too happy’ you mean ‘threw her engagement ring at my head,’ then no, she wasn’t too happy.” The smile Connor gave him this time was different — it said that he found the whole situation wickedly funny. It was the ‘wicked’ part that made Emery’s southern bits perk up in definite interest, like they hadn’t been vaguely interested the moment Connor stopped looking like a defrosting hypothermia victim and started looking like a classy, smooth, gorgeous guy.

“So you live alone?” Emery asked, and then bit the side of his tongue. He didn’t mean that the way it sounded.

“Yes,” Connor said, and Emery swallowed. He set his mug down on the counter and picked up the bar rag, wiping up some of the drips Connor had gotten on the counter. “Do you live in the dorms?”

“Yeah. I have a roommate. He’s great, though, we’ve lived together for a year and a half.”

“What’s this here?” Connor asked, changing tracks so abruptly that when his fingers closed around Emery’s wrist to turn it over gently, the shock went right up his arm and down his spine. He looked up through his hair at Connor, who glanced at him before setting down his glass and oh Christ dragging his finger over the tattoo there.

“It’s a Celtic trinity knot,” he said, staring. “For my mom.”

“I like it,” Connor said, and the look in his eyes said more.

“Emery!”

Emery jerked back and turned like something had stung him, to see Nina leaning against their side of the bar, sitting on the cooler. “Yeah?”

“Your shift is over.”

He turned his head the other way just as fast to spot the clock on the wall and grinned. “Thanks!”

“You’re going home?” Connor asked, and Emery froze in the act of putting on his jacket.

“I’m going to try.”

Connor watched him for a minute, and then said, “I’m calling Triple A to plow me out. I could… give you a lift home.”

Emery slowly pulled his coat on, considering. “I don’t normally make a habit of going home with my customers,” he said, trying to keep his tone neutral. This was a little quick, no matter how soft his hands were.

“You’re not the type,” Connor said, and he sounded one-hundred percent serious. He took another sip of his brandy and waited, his elbows settled on the bar.

“I wouldn’t mind a ride,” Emery said, refusing to blush at the double entendre. If Connor caught it, fine, it was true.

Connor smiled like he had caught it, the same wicked smile as earlier, and Emery had a sudden irrational hope that the AAA truck would get there right then, which was ridiculous since Connor hadn’t even called them yet.

His hands flew through the motions of closing out his drawer, counting out his tips, gathering his coat and scarf and hat and mittens – but once he had carried them around to the other side of the bar, he hesitated. The regulars were nice enough guys, but he wasn’t exactly out at work. He didn’t have Nina’s in-your-face confidence, the kind that said she didn’t care what anyone thought of her.

He had barely stopped for a moment before Connor, without a word or a glance at the other end of the bar, picked up his brandy and his things and moved to one of the booths by the window, tilting his head at the other side of it in a clear invitation. Emery was so desperately grateful that he flung himself into the booth before remembering that he had left his drink behind the bar.

By the time he sat back down again, Connor was watching the snow fall out the window pensively. “So, how’d you end up working at NYU?” Emery asked, figuring it was a good enough question.

“It’s a bit of a funny story,” Connor said, and Emery realized that he couldn’t even place where the man was from by his accent — or lack of one. He spoke in the kind of cultured tones he heard on public radio and television, the indeterminate everywhere-accent that had to be practiced. “After the engagement — well, after it fell apart – I was a little lost. I was twenty-one, just out of college for the first time, had thought I had the whole world ahead of me and then suddenly everything was new.”

“I can believe that,” Emery said. “So, what, you went back to school?”

“I attended on my father’s G.I. bill,” Connor explained. “As long as I stayed in school, it was paid for. I suppose I loved academia so much that I never left — after I graduated, I started looking around for places to work. I’ve been with the university for the last seven years.”

Emery felt weird again, and then figured that the best way to stop feeling weird would be to come right out and ask it. “Um, how old are you anyway?”

Connor smiled like he knew exactly what Emery was thinking. “I’m thirty-three.”

Oh Jesus, he’s thirteen years older than me, how weird is that? Emery sat shifting in his seat in the booth, confused. He liked Connor, liked his maturity and the way he was soft-spoken and not demanding, liked his crazy-green eyes. But…

“It bothers you,” Connor said, running his finger along the rim of his brandy glass.

“No – I mean, I wouldn’t say bother,” Emery stammered. “It’s just… I mean… it’s kind of a little weird, you know?”

“I do know,” Connor said. He would have said more but Nina sat a new glass of brandy down in front of him with a clink and then shoved Emery over so she could sit next to him.

“Hi, Emery probably told you my name is Nina. What he didn’t tell you is that I’m like his obnoxiously protective older sister.”

“Nina you crazy bitch–” Emery started to say, but Nina just grabbed his jacket and put it over his head. Then she extended her hand for Connor to shake.

“Connor,” he said. “My car is snowed into the parking lot up the road.”

“Tough luck. Do you make a habit of trying to seduce cute young bartenders, or is Emery here the first?” Nina asked, ignoring how Emery squawked in protest, trying to struggle out from under the jacket she had pinned on his head.

“I don’t make it a habit, no,” Connor said, sounding more amused than upset at the situation. Emery decided that Connor’s amused voice was probably one of his favorite things ever. “Although I wouldn’t think you would have to protect his virtue or anything ridiculous like that.”

“You talk like my English professor,” Nina said.

“I am an English professor.”

“You’re cute at least,” Nina said, “But I’ll have to get a little more than ‘cute’ out of you before I feel good about sending Emery home with you. Yes, I knew about that, I’m not an idiot.”

“Nina!” Emery said, pulling his jacket off, his face red. “Go back over to the bar and do your job. Your real job, not the one that demands you embarrass the crap out of me all the time.”

“No, I understand,” Connor said. “Don’t worry, it’ll take more than a determined older sister to chase me off,” he said, slanting a smile Emery’s way. The way he made it seem like Emery was the only person in the world he was smiling at made Emery feel warm from his gut up to his throat. “You’re protective, that’s good. You’re also obnoxious about it, which isn’t good.”

“I can afford to be obnoxious,” Nina said. “The world isn’t a nice place.” Her friendly, teasing tone had started to shift into something a little more pressing.

“It’s not,” Connor agreed. “If you want my assurances I’m not an ax murderer, you have them. But I’m not sure how good those assurances could be since I would be making them even if I was an ax murderer.”

Nina’s lips pressed together, and she started to look annoyed – Emery glanced over at her in some amount of shock. Nina did not get upset with people. She was the most laid-back person Emery knew and she was the best at letting things roll off her back. “You’re going to give me your home phone number,” she said. “And Emery’s going to call me from it the minute he hits the door.”

“All right,” Connor said, overriding Emery’s indignant protest. “Get me something to write on and I’ll give it to you now. And might I borrow the bar’s phone?”

Nina got up to go back over to the bar and Emery let his head fall onto the table with a thud. “She’s going to make my life absolutely miserable,” he said.

“She’s right,” Connor said, and when Emery looked up he found that the other man was completely serious. “You shouldn’t be going home with someone you just met — it’s not wise.”

Emery stared. “Are you… did you change your mind?” he said, feeling disappointment start to creep up on him.

“No,” Connor said quietly, reaching out to catch Emery’s hand. Emery swallowed, looking down to see Connor’s thumb brush over his tattoo again. “I’m just telling you not to be hard on her. She’s concerned about you and she’s right to be — I’d have a fairly low opinion of her if she had let you walk out the door with me without saying anything.”

Nina plunked the cordless and a pen and paper down on the table in front of him. “Lucky for you I don’t really care what you think of me,” she said. “Write. Then you can call the tow truck.”

The rest of the night seemed to crawl by. Then there was the good twenty minutes of standing out in the snow with the scraper and the brush, helping Connor clear off his windows as the truck plowed them out. Then it was stop-and-go the whole way home; Emery didn’t drive — he didn’t even have his license — so he had no idea how hard it was to drive in a snowstorm, but from Connor’s firm grip on the steering wheel and the way he cursed softly as he wrenched it around, it wasn’t an easy experience.

Then they pulled into the driveway of a modest-sized little house and Emery started to get nervous all over again, fumbling with the door handle and trying to play off that it was because of his mittens, nervously shutting the front door behind him and looking around for somewhere to put his things while he dripped in the front hallway.

“Just drop them in a pile,” Connor said, apparently reading his mind. “We’ll hang them up later.”

Later, which meant that Connor really intended for him to stay. Emery swallowed. “It’s freezing out there,” he muttered, for lack of anything better to say, struggling to get his coat and his snow boots off all at once.

Connor’s hands on his shoulders — still freezing from being outside — made him pause. “If I’ve made you nervous-”

“Sorry,” Emery said, looking everywhere but at Connor. “I mean, like I said, I don’t usually make a habit of this and I’m not sure-”

Connor’s gentle fingers on his jaw made him stop his babbling. He felt his cheeks get warm and knew he must be blushing at how much of an idiot he must sound. “It’s all right,” Connor said. “If you’d like to take the couch-”

“No–” Emery blurted, and then blushed more. “I mean– no, that’s not it. I’m just — you’re really handsome.” He couldn’t seem to speak straight, he kept tripping over his own tongue like he would if it had been numbed by the cold.

But he was just tongue-tied in the face of another one of Connor’s wickedly amused smiles. “May I kiss you, Emery?” he asked, and Emery thought he was going to die on the spot.

“Yes,” Emery said. “Like I haven’t been wanting to do that since you walked in the door.”

He would have said more, except Connor was actually kissing him, his lips surprisingly warm, his tongue soft but insistent, the scrape of beard over Emery’s jaw making him go weak in the knees. He stepped in closer and settled his hands on Connor’s arms just above the elbow, as one of Connor’s hands slipped around his waist.

Somehow they managed to make it into the bedroom almost without stopping for air. Connor tumbled Emery backward onto the bed and pinned him there – stopping for a moment to pull back, look down at Emery’s face for some kind of reassurance.

Emery hoped his expression had something in it besides the stupid happy ‘I’m-about-to-get-laid’ grin — he was relaxed, in a loose-boned sprawl across Connor’s sheets, and Connor must have seen what he was looking for because he pressed back down, his hand pushing up Emery’s shirt as their lips met again. The scrape of Emery’s beard made him shiver hard, reaching up to the knot in Connor’s tie.

Connor reached for his hands and caught them, pressing them back to the bed. “How long are your shifts?”

“Eight hours,” Emery said automatically. He started to wonder what that had to do with anything but Connor’s teeth on his throat made his brain short-circuit.

“Poor thing,” Connor murmured, his breath skating over Emery’s ear. “You must be exhausted. Let me take care of you.”

“Jesus,” Emery breathed, as Connor rucked up his shirt and began scraping his teeth over the muscles in his stomach and his collarbone and his nipples. “Jesus, I’m going to die. You’re going to kill me.”

“I hope not,” Connor said, and Emery thought he really was going to die with that smile thrown his way again. “Nina would kill me.”

“Oh shit Nina,” Emery said. “Connor I have to call her or she’s going to call the police or something equally stupid.”

Connor sat back, looking slightly embarrassed, like he should have thought of that. Then he leaned over Emery — Emery couldn’t resist sitting up and kissing him again while he grabbed the phone. Then it was pressed into Emery’s hands.

He sat up — which didn’t seem to deter Connor at all. The man pulled Emery’s shirt off over his head while he was still trying to dial the bar’s number and then started working on Emery’s belt.

“Smitty’s Bar and Grill, Nina speaking.”

“Hi Nina, I’m alive and Connor’s not an ax murderer–” Emery had to stop speaking all of the sudden, because Connor had given his pants a yank that sent him tumbling onto his back, pulling them off and tossing them aside.

“You’re about to have sex, aren’t you?” Nina said, amused.

“Oh my God Nina do you have to do that–”

“Yes,” Nina said. “Call me in the morning so I can make sure you’re still alive, have fun. Tell Connor I’m sorry I was a bitch.”

“Nina says she’s sorry she was a bitch — what are you– Oh my God where have you been all of my life,” Emery said, as Connor stripped off his socks and began digging his thumbs into Emery’s feet, sore and aching from a night on shift.

“Tell her that I understand,” Connor said.

“I’m just going to hang up and let you do whatever it is that you’re doing,” Nina said, and then she did.

“She is never going to let me live that down,” he said. “I’m going to be made fun of for weeks.

“What a horrible tragedy,” Connor said mildly. He’d moved on to the arches of Emery’s feet and Emery groaned, throwing his arm over his eyes. “I suppose we should stop now.”

“If you do I’m going to kill you,” Emery said, and then blushed. “I mean–”

“You shouldn’t worry about watching yourself around me,” Connor said. He was moving on to the other foot now. “You’re adorable.” He pressed hard against the sore tendon at the arch of Emery’s foot, and then leaned forward, mouthing a stubbly kiss to the inside of Emery’s thigh before he put his fingers under the waistband of Emery’s boxers and pulled them off.

Emery started to sit up, tried to reach for the knot of Connor’s tie again, but all he managed to get was an eyeful of Connor’s mouth opening wide to slide down over the head of his cock, and then lower, and then all of Emery’s thoughts slid away into a puddle of mush as he flopped backward onto the mattress and gave himself up. “Connor, you are amazing,” he said, and then had to laugh because everything about this was amazing, he had a ridiculously handsome professor going down on him with enthusiasm.

Connor’s mouth slid off his cock with an obscenely wet noise that should be embarrassing but really just made Emery harder with how helplessly hot it was. “Reach into the bedside table, would you?” Connor said, and then went right back to what he was doing which was entirely counterproductive to Emery having any kind of motor functions ever again. Somehow he managed to reach over and get the drawer to the bedside table open and inside he found condoms and lube, which took care of one awkward conversation he was hoping he wasn’t going to have to have.

He couldn’t help but watch as Connor sat back momentarily, coating his fingers with the lube and then his mouth came back down on Emery’s cock. Emery was starting to think that he had fallen asleep on the bar and was having one really awesome dream, because he had never met someone who was so totally into sucking his dick — but as Connor’s fingers spread the lube into the crack of his ass, and then one of his long fingers began pressing insistently, that thought shattered into a million pieces because nothing in the world felt like that, even in a dream.

Emery lengthened his breaths, feeling like his chest was heaving. Connor knew just the right way to twist, just the right time to push in another finger where the sharp burn of stretching muscle felt more good than painful. I am never sleeping with a guy my age again they’re all idiots– rambled through Emery’s brain, and then Connor sat up.

“Forgive me, but my jaw’s getting tired,” he said, and then he twisted his fingers again with that wicked grin.

“Oh my God you do not have to apologize come here.” Emery reached up and dragged Connor forward by his tie, kissing him in this kind of sloppy mash of lips and teeth that was less a kiss and more of an attack, and then he started attacking Connor’s clothes.

The tie came off and got thrown in a corner. The shirt was unbuttoned down the front with much swearing and stopping to push himself back onto Connor’s fingers — three now, and Jesus Christ was he ever good with those. He couldn’t get Connor’s shirt off without asking him to stop and that was not happening at all, so he just shoved it down over Connor’s elbows and started on his belt.

Watching Connor’s face as he finally got the man’s pants open and pushed them down off his hips, wrapping his hand around the dick he had freed, was enough to make Emery’s cock ache like it was going to fall off. It fit well in his hand, smooth with a slight curve that had Emery imagining all kinds of awesome possibilities – and then he remembered the condoms he had tossed onto the bed and went for one of them.

“Impatient?” Connor asked with a sharp smile. How he could keep that air of cool collection around him while Emery was rolling a condom onto him and his fingers were still doing obscene things, Emery didn’t know, but Christ was it hot.

“You’re killing me,” Emery said.

Connor laughed. I’m going to die, Emery thought, and that was the moment Connor chose to take his fingers out and pick up the lube again, slicking it over his cock with an easy motion of his wrist and Jesus, could Emery find something about him that wasn’t sexy so he didn’t think he was going to explode every five seconds?

Then Connor put his hands under Emery’s thighs and hitched him closer, leaning forward to line himself up. “Take a breath,” he said. “Ready?”

Emery nodded frantically, the deep breath he had taken exploding out of his lungs in a loud, helpless groan as Connor pushed in, withdrawing almost immediately before pushing in a little further – short strokes meant to get him used to the stretch. He sucked in another breath through his nose, forcing himself to relax, and then the resistance just melted away and Connor was seated all the way inside him.

The soft swear that fell out of Connor’s mouth made him grin, pushing his hips down to grind himself onto Connor’s cock — and that made the man swear again. “Oh my God you’re not James Bond,” Emery said with a stupid grin, and Connor just laughed — laughed and leaned over and kissed him, and then started fucking him into the mattress.

“Emery–” Connor panted. “Emery, my God you feel amazing,” he said, and his head dropped into the crook of Emery’s neck, his breath panting over the skin. Emery pushed his hand through Connor’s hair, the other one dragging down the skin of his back to grab his ass, pulling him in deeper. Every thrust had Connor’s skin rubbing over Emery’s cock, which might have been enough except that Emery was totally past the point where that would be enough.

He tried to hold out — tried to wait until he thought Connor was about to get off too — but then Connor started chewing on his collarbone and that was so awesome that Emery had to push his hand between them and grab his cock, and he only had to tug twice before he came all over them.

Connor mumbled something incoherent against his skin, and kissed Emery again. Emery knotted his fingers in the sheets, trying to hold on – that was so much extra stimulation that he wasn’t even sure he could stand it — and then Connor thrust so hard he actually scooted them back a little on the bed before going still.

They were both quiet except for their heaving breaths for a couple moments, and then Connor pulled out carefully, running his hand down Emery’s side and over his hip. He stripped off the condom and sat up with a groan — Emery shamelessly watched his ass as he went to the bathroom to get rid of it.

When he came back to bed, he kicked the covers around until he had them both covered, pulling Emery close so that his head was tucked under Connor’s chin. “I should call the info line and see if I have class tomorrow,” Emery said, but he mumbled so much that it was clear he had no energy to do it with.

“It’ll be canceled,” Connor said. “Go to sleep. I’ll make breakfast and then I’ll drive you back to campus.”

“Where have you been all of my life,” Emery repeated with a laugh, closing his eyes. Connor’s chest vibrated with his ridiculous chuckle and Emery felt the blankets being pulled up higher and tucked under his chin. From the sound of it, the snow was still falling.

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