Carter's Fortress

Well here we go, Book Five.

Holy demanding fans batman. Don't lynch me its here its here.

I know I know ten days...don't kill me... been working hard on a new project, stay tuned to the Sci-fi/Fant section in the next few weeks for something I am cooking up.

Play went really well...don't ask about the ticket clerk... I took one for the team, though it wasn't a bad looking one at that... Ahem... anyway.. here is this weeks selection of text.

WARNING: sexual content Yadda yadda... you view this underage and Police goons will execute you in the streets yadda yadda ...

anyone remember when it used to be 'freedom of speach?' meh ahh well

Submitted for your approval.

As usual Comments or questions direct to Feed back is welcome.


Of all the properties which belong to honorable men, not one is so highly prized as that of character.

Henry Clay


Chapter Eleven

The dining room was dark and quiet at three in the morning. The kitchen staff had long since turned in for the night, but they left it open for Will to work. He sat, the only light source coming from the screen of his laptop as he tapped away, putting the finishing touches on Robert's speech for the final day of the Nunavut tour.

He was glad that he had scheduled some time off for November; it gave him something to look forward to. The last time he had taken a vacation was... never; he'd never taken a vacation the entirety of his career. Now that was a sobering thought at two in the morning a thousand-odd miles from his home.

He stroked his chin, feeling the coarseness of his five o'clock shadow as he stared out of the tall windows at the snowstorm that had been raging for hours now. They'd been there for four days, Robert seeing firsthand the Inuit culture and meeting with various First Nations representatives trying to get a grasp of the issues they were facing. He shared Will's opinion on the situation, both men vowing to find the funding the RCMP needed to protect people. It was a small gesture, but Will was fast learning in government you had to pick the battles you could win.

He saved the speech, emailing the document to Robert and cc-ing a copy to Alicia back in Ottawa; he liked to ensure there was always a record of the minister's speeches on file. The second lesson Will had learned was always know what was said and when it was said; you never knew when some one would try to twist those words.

"There you are," Marc said from the doorway; he grinned lopsidedly as he tucked a cigarette behind his ear and walked into the darkened dining room.

"I wanted to get some work done, and didn't want to disturb you," Will replied, as he sat back from the computer rubbing his sleepy eyes. He'd been working awhile.

"I was getting cold upstairs," Marc said suggestively. "Want to come and snuggle?"

Will laughed, "You know, that's the best offer I've had all day."

"I hope that's the only offer you've had today," Marc replied with a look of mock indignation.

"Well, there was the waitress earlier," Will gestured with his coffee mug to the kitchen. "She seemed to like my accent."

"I like it more," Marc said approaching the table. He knelt down behind Will's chair and leaned his chin on Will's shoulder, just enjoying the closeness of their moment.

"I'll be glad to go home," Will said tiredly. "Been a long few days..."

Marc nodded, "You're still worried?"

Will shrugged, "A little, but there is no use dwelling on it." He turned in his chair to kiss Marc's forehead, "There are more important things in my life than work."

"Ha!" Marc laughed. "You love your job."

"Nope," Will said with a smile touching his lips. "I like work, I love you."

"Prove it," Marc dared.

"I thought I did last night...twice if I recall." Will said folding his arms.

Marc flushed at the memory, "Yeah..." he shook the goofy smile off of his face, " you don't get off that easily. I expect romance, roses... maybe a balcony."

"Might be hard in Nunavut," Will said thoughtfully. "The nearest rose is on the mainland, not to mention the fact that I haven't seen a balcony anywhere in the city."

"You could get creative," Marc said with a firm nod.

"How come I have to be the romantic one?" Will said, thinking about it a moment. "We're both guys, shouldn't I get romanticized once in a while?"

Marc's jaw dropped open, "But I do romance you, remember the dinner I cooked you..."

Will remembered that all too well. Marc in the kitchen in his boxer shorts, trying to put out a flaming bowl of salad by beating it with a spatula, the fire alarm screaming for attention as loud rock music pounded out of the stereo.

"As I remember you burnt salad," Will pointed out.

"That wasn't my fault," Marc protested. "How was I supposed to know Italian dressing was flammable?"

"The fact that it has an olive oil base..." Will paused. "Ok, I've never asked...but how the hell did it catch fire in the first place?"

"Well," Marc said turning a shade of red, "I made the salad first and was working on mashed potatoes..."

"I remember those." Will shuddered; it was the first time he had ever seen anyone attempt to mash raw potatoes.

"Well, I ran out of counter space and so I stuck the bowl out of the way." Marc shrugged, "I didn't know the stove was on."

"Ahh, plastic bowls and hot elements are a bad combination." Will smiled, "But it was the thought that counted."

"Which is why you cook," Marc said. "But if you want romance..." he glanced about and got a grin on his face, "meet me in the parking lot in twenty minutes."

"Do I even want to know what you are planning at two in the morning in the middle of bug fuck nowhere?"

Marc grinned and darted off.


Will felt the snow coming down and caking in his hair as he stood out in the cold, hands in his pockets, waiting for Marc. The tips of his ears were getting cold and a little numb, and Will wondered if he should have brought a toque out with him to keep his head warm.

Marc tapped him on the shoulder and with a little bounce on the balls of his feet beckoned for Will to follow him. Curious as to what the younger guy was up to, Will followed him to the back of the lot, staring at the large yellow tracked snowplow with Iqaliut municipality on the side of it.

"What the heck is that?" Will asked, as Marc clambered up to open the cab door.

Marc stopped and held onto a hand bar on the side of the bright yellow cab, "It's a snow groomer."

"A what?" Will asked skeptically as he stared at the contraption that looked like a cross between a tank and a Tonka truck.

"It's used for making skidoo trails, get in," Marc insisted, already aboard and slamming the door shut.

Will scratched his head, shrugged and got into the other side of the strange vehicle, adjusting himself in the uncomfortable high-backed bucket seat to look at Marc. "Are we supposed to be in this thing?"

"Nope," Marc replied, pulling a couple of tea candles out of his pocket and arranging them on the large dash console. "But we're tucked back behind the hotel and no one's gonna see us unless they come right up to this baby..." he patted the dash tenderly.

"Uh oh," Will said nervously. "Why do I have images of being thrown in jail for this?"

"Chill," Marc said as he lit the last candle with his Zippo, clicking it shut and clambering over the seat back into the rear crew cabin. He leaned forward again, "You coming?"

Will sighed and struggled over the seat and collapsed into the roomy rear cabin looking at Marc who tugged off his hat and tossed it on the floor, "I got us a romantic dinner." He wrestled with the pocket of his coat and pulled out a couple of vending machine bags of chips and a chocolate bar. "And something bubbly..." he pulled out a can of coke.

Will chuckled as he pulled off his gloves and tossed them down with Marc's hat, "You know, this has to be about the strangest impromptu date I have ever been on."

"You know me, strange is sort of expected." Marc grinned and leaned in to kiss Will lightly, his lips brushing against Will's as he lingered there a moment.

Will returned the kiss and smiled at Marc, "Thanks for coming on this trip with me, you've kept me sane."

Marc gave a proud grin, "Thanks, someone has to." He held up a bag of chips, "Cheesy poof?"

Will laughed. "Thanks," he said, helping himself to the corn snack and adjusting to take off the outer shell of his jacket so he was sitting in just the polar fleece, Marc adjusting so he was sitting cross-legged across from him.

Will paused. "What?" he asked, looking confused at Marc's expectant look.

"Keep going," Marc urged.

"Here?" Will blinked and looked about nervously.

"No one can see." Marc said grinning as he reached down to unbutton his coat. Letting it hang open, he unbuttoned the top button of his cargos.

"I can't." Will blushed again, his eyes darting first to the exposed part of Marc's abdomen with the tantalizing hint of hair that passed for Marc's treasure trail, and then the large front windows facing the hotel.

Marc slid the zipper further down, pulling the flaps open to show off his Joe Boxers. "I want to see you."

"I..." Will stopped as Marc reached his nimble fingers and undid Will's slacks, tugging them open and pulling Will's shorts down a little to wrestle him free of them.

He grinned up at Will, "Public exposure." He reached into his own shorts and pulled himself out as well, "Now we're both guilty."

"You're crazy," Will said, shaking his head in amusement.

"Yep;" Marc replied, "but you need crazy, otherwise your life would be boring." He extended the bag again, "Cheesy poof?"

Will laughed, "Only you would think of eating when we're..." his voice dropped, "exposed in public."

"Most excitement this city's ever seen, I bet," Marc said, scooting up the back seat to press up against Will, his hand still slightly cold from the outside air.

Will shivered a little, both at the sensation as well as Marc's cold hands, "We're going to get caught..."

"Relax." Marc kissed him, "You're so uptight, just enjoy it."

Will returned the kiss, feeling his own hands exploring up under Marc's sweatshirt. "You're nuts," he repeated again as he found Marc was as excited as he was.

Marc looked down, "Not quite, they're a bit lower. You know, I should give you an anatomy lesson..."

"I thought we were." Will responded as Marc squeezed him a little tighter before he reached down to slip out of his jeans and shorts.

Naked from the waist down he was now sitting squarely across Will's lap. Moving into position he smiled at Will, "I think we should start simple and work our way up to something more... complicated." He gasped as he found the right position, and Will felt himself begin to press against Marc's entrance.

"You know, lubricant usually makes that a little easier..." Will said with bemusement, and he trailed off as Marc winced again, working himself lower onto Will.

"I...know..." Marc breathed tightly, clenching his teeth, "I forgot to bring some..."

"We could stop..." Will tried, his eyes widening in concern as Marc gritted his teeth and sat all the way down.

"Oww," Marc protested with a lick of his lips and a final wince. "Too late, looks like you're stuck."

Will grinned, "Well just take it easy, I don't want you hurting yourself..." He shivered again as Marc squeezed down on him, rising a little and falling again.

They kissed again, Will tracing his lips down over Marc's chin to the nape of his neck, enjoying the velvety smoothness of his skin as the rhythmic rising and falling began to pick up pace and intensity.

It was a surreal moment in the cab of the groomer: by flickering tea candles as the snow fell outside, Marc was giving himself to Will so completely and vulnerably. Will's hands pushed the sweatshirt up as he rested his hands on Marc's hips, easing the pace, concerned for Marc.

Marc sighed contentedly as he arched his head back, allowing Will to kiss his Adam's apple, strangely one place he loved to be kissed. Feeling Will inside him as he fell, only to rise again and feel that unbearable emptiness. There was a completeness about them both when they were this intimate. Will was the only person Marc had ever allowed to do that to him without a condom. A year of dating was enough time to build the trust needed, but still their first time he had been so scared of it. It was an overwhelming feeling to be that intimate with someone, to trust them that much.

But Will was gentle and took it slowly, which added to Marc's amusement when they did it this time. There was something so primal about doing it without lubricant, something raw that was just the two of them trusting each other to not hurt the other.

It was just another way Marc loved... his thought was cut off as Will hit his prostate, and Marc's eyes rolled back into his head as he lost himself to the intensity of the feeling. He could feel Will's hands move to the small of his back to keep the pressure in the right spot.

They built in speed, and in pressure, and he heard Will beginning to take deep breaths as he wrestled for control. Marc loved that sound; when Will lost control of his senses and became one with the feeling it was a small victory for Marc. It was something that gave him complete and utter satisfaction; no one was supposed to be in control all the time. And when you finally gave in and experienced a moment, that was when it was worthwhile.

Will forced his hips up to meet Marc, and clung tightly as they both collapsed back to the seat enjoying the aftereffects of such an intense climax.

Marc gently brushed Will's damp brown hair away from his eyes as he rested his sweaty forehead against Will's. The two just lay there catching their breaths.

"Mmm," Will murmured sleepily as he cradled Marc against him, "I think I enjoyed that."

"Cheesy poof?" Marc offered with a half-serious smile.

Chapter Twelve

Peter was the first one to see him. The young kid who stuck to Will like glue through high school, almost to the point of growing up idolizing Will as a hero, was growing into quite a young man. He was waif-thin, with his bowl-cut blond hair spilling out over a visor cap, and blue eyes almost cartoonishly round. He was innocently tapping away on a game controller and didn't hear him enter the house, but the moment his head turned, he was up on his feet pointing and working his mouth with shock.

"Andrew!" he squeaked, finding words as a moment later he was wrapped in an embrace as the boy squeezed him for all he was worth.

"Hi," Andrew chuckled, shaking his head as he looked down at the squirt, Will's surrogate little brother. "How ya been?"

Peter coughed and flushed red with embarrassment at his show of affection as he released Andrew, shifting from foot to foot uncertainly, "I've been good."

Andrew nodded. "Boyfriend yet?" he asked, taking off his suit jacket and loosening his tie as he flopped into the chair glancing about him at the old house, so many memories in those walls.

Peter blushed again and shook his head, " did you...?"

Andrew blinked, "I thought you were..." He realized quickly that although Peter's sexuality was generally assumed by everyone who knew him, perhaps Peter hadn't come to acknowledge it yet, "I'm sorry."

"No, it's okay," Peter said shyly as he curled into a sitting position on the floor. "I just...I've only told Will."

"Late bloomer," Andrew said with a dry chuckle as he patted his hands on the chair and glanced about him again. "When'd you come out?"

Peter shrugged, "I've... it's... Will asked me a while ago, I just... well, you know."

"You mean you're not the terror of the night clubs?" Andrew asked wryly. "I can just see you liking Icon."

"It's not my thing," Peter admitted, glancing away embarrassed again.

"You sound like Will," Andrew said still smiling. "Speaking of which, is he about?"

Peter nodded, "They got home last night from Nunavut; Will was complaining he was never gonna get warm."

Andrew nodded and checked his watch; it was closing on eleven am, and as usual the Brody household was still in bed. He smiled, envisioning Will sleeping, his hair messed up as he lay there snoring lightly. It was a flash of a memory, that sense of presence; and for the briefest moment he had stepped back in time to a night in the car, a snowstorm raging outside, Will asleep in his arms.

He had to shake his head when he glanced down at Peter watching him, the twenty-year-old looking at him quizzically. Andrew inclined his head at him, "Will suggested if I was in town to stop by." He glanced at the stairs, suddenly wondering if this was a good idea.

"Cool, want to play?" Peter offered, kicking over the other controller.

"Got Hockey?" Andrew asked with a hopeful smile.

"Naaah, got a shooter though..." Peter grinned. "Lots of violence."

"I think I'll pass," Andrew said holding up his hands.

"Come on," Peter pressed with a grin. "Bet I can take you."


Will was still cold; it was supposed to be plus eleven outside, but he felt the bite of the arctic wind and shivered anyway. He awoke with that ever-present reminder that his senses got when they knew he had overslept; that painful total lack of sleepiness. Instead, there was a craving for coffee, the dark nectar of the gods, that holy fuel upon whose altar Will would gladly sacrifice his first born. Seeing as he was gay and unlikely to ever have a first born, he was okay with that idea.

He got up and out of bed, quickly pulling on a pair of slacks and a heavy cotton shirt wishing he owned sweaters. He saw one of Marc's jackets, a corduroy one Will had bought him last Christmas. He shrugged and grabbed it, wrapping himself up in it as he stumbled his way downstairs.

The coffee craving was growing in intensity; he could almost taste the rich brown liquid that offered his brain the tantalizing clarity it needed in order for Will to function. Lightly sugared and heavy with cream, he felt his mouth watering at the prospect as he entered the living room.

"Morning Peter, Andy," he greeted, wrapping his arms around him tightly as he tried to rub the sleep from his eyes. The coffee maker was only a few feet away and he could make it if he just kept walking forward.

Something was wrong; it niggled at the back of his brain. He wasn't at a point where he could work out what exactly, but he was aware that something was amiss. He paused and stared in puzzlement at the wall trying to think.

"Everything okay?" Andrew asked him.

"Yeah, fine," Will said absently as he shrugged and walked into the kitchen, pulling the can of Folgers out of the freezer where he kept it, performing his morning ritual of measuring and filtering in order to get the perfect pot of coffee. It was an art form; everything had to be precise and he was salivating by the time he pressed the button to allow the coffee maker to do its divine duty.

He fished in the fridge, grabbing a brownie from the pan of them tucked in towards the back. He bit into it as he fished out some bread for toast and grabbed the margarine; returning to the breakfast bar in the middle of the kitchen he began to set it up for some toast.

He swallowed the bite of brownie as he called out, "You guys hungry?"

"I could eat," Andrew replied, as Peter called out a definite `yes' at the same time.

Will shrugged. Again a twinge of something amiss bothered him, but he ignored it as he set about loading the toaster, glancing back towards the pot which bubbled happily towards the first cup completion.

It would be strong, but the fuzz around his mind could use a strong kick to shake loose. He waited a few more seconds and poured himself a mug full. The trusty stainless steel travel mug that had been through so much with him looked cheerfully full and he took a deep draught.

He was standing in the doorway two seconds later blinking at Andrew. "You're here!" he said, knowing full well how stupid that sounded considering he'd seen Andrew, acknowledged him and even offered to make him breakfast.

"You said drop by, and well, it's Saturday morning and I was up early and figured why not." Andrew seemed a little uncomfortable, as if he was wondering if he'd made the right choice, or if he was, instead, just reopening old wounds.

Will's eyes flicked towards the stairs as he considered, thinking about the young man who was still asleep up there, and what his reaction would be. "Uh, hi..." he managed, stuck for something adequate to say at that moment.

"Hi," Andrew said, his blue eyes flickering with amusement at Will's disorientation.

"Coffee," Will decided aloud, turning and walking back into the kitchen, fishing about in the fridge in the vain hope he had Baileys tucked away somewhere. Much to his dismay they were out.

"Are you ok with me being here?" Andrew said from the doorway to the kitchen, standing with his arms crossed and looking at Will as he rooted through the fridge.

Will came up holding a carton of cream, "Yeah, it's okay, don't worry about it..." He tried to sound convincing but knew it sounded forced.

Andrew nodded, "I should go, then..."

"Dude!" Brody commented, waltzing into the kitchen in just a pair of Joe Boxers and stealing Will's coffee cup from his hands. "Good to see ya." He extended his hand and Andrew shook it.

"Brody," Andrew nodded in return. "Still up to the usual?"

"Sketch-tastic good fun," Brody grinned, as he waited until Will had buttered a slice of toast before stealing that as well and heading back towards the living room intent on booting a certain blond kid off of his TV so he could watch it.

Will noticed, as he had the night they had sat down to dinner in Toronto, there was a tension in the air. The memory of the pain that existed between the two men, a ghost of the past that seemed so forceful in making its presence known. He looked up at Andrew's smiling face and saw that ghost in his eyes; regret was a powerful thing and yet Andrew seemed to hold it well in check.

"Well, this is awkward," Andrew confessed. "I should get going.." he turned and almost walked into the sleepy young man with a cigarette sticking out of his mouth wandering into the kitchen.

Will's heart stopped.

Marc blinked at the strange obstacle blocking his way, and he shrugged out a grunt as he sidestepped around Andrew and wandered into the kitchen, affectionately wrapping his arms around Will and resting his head against Will's back. "Morning," he murmured still half asleep.

Will sighed, "Andrew, this is Marc, Marc this is Andrew."

Marc leaned around Will and nodded, his battered yellow ball cap moving up and down in a single gesture that was a greeting, acknowledgement and a handshake all in one.

Andrew nodded in return; he suddenly felt even more uncomfortable. What he had with Will was in the past and it belonged there; to dredge up that past only opened himself up to getting hurt again.

He didn't allow any of his thoughts to show on his face. He smiled as he made to leave again. "Your toast is ready," Will said, stopping Andrew as he slid a plate of toast across the breakfast island to him.

Andrew paused and looked at Will; Will's own eyes were firm. He was not about to let Andrew walk away, and he conveyed with that look a simple understanding that he knew how painful this had to be for Andrew.

"Do you want jam?" Will continued, reaching for the fridge.

"Always," Andrew said taking a seat at the bar. "It's the stuff that makes peanut butter good."

Will screwed up his nose, "Yeah, you know that's disgusting, right?"

"You have no appreciation for fine North American cuisine," Andrew shot back with a smile.

Marc disengaged himself from the embrace to take a step back, "Finally someone on my side--I've been trying to convince this guy to try it for ages." He grinned, "Though I did catch him making a potato chip sandwich once."

Andrew cocked his head, "Sounds... nasty."

"My granddad used to make them," Will protested as he set the peanut butter on the counter and fished for a knife. "They're great, but you have to be in the right mood for them..."

"You sure you're not pregnant?" Brody commented, walking into the kitchen to refill his mug of coffee.

Marc turned beet red, and Andrew went very quiet, looking away. Will for his part gestured threateningly with a butter knife, "Watch it, you; I know where you sleep."

"Alls I was sayin'," Brody said, holding up his mug defensively, "was that I thought you had to be pregnant to eat weird shit. When I've seen your cooking, it's all weird shit."

Marc laughed, and even Andrew chuckled as lil'Peter wandered into the kitchen to see what all the laughing was. Seeing Will and Brody squaring off, he climbed onto a stool and sat back to watch the fun.

"At least I don't smother everything in spices to hide the fact that I burnt it," Will retorted.

"That's because you Brits boil everything." He motioned to Will and turned to his audience, "I once came home to find this guy boiling chicken."

"I like it boiled," Will said firmly.

"That's just nasty," Brody shivered. "It comes out gray and you just know the water he dumps down the sink tastes better than the meat left behind."

"Hey!" Will protested. "That's unfair; nobody complained about it before!"

"Yeah, we were too afraid of you and your undead chicken," Brody said.

"Zombie chicken!" Peter began to laugh as he fell off his chair.

"All right, all of you," Will said firmly. "Enough picking on the Brit and get out of my kitchen before I feed you to the zombie chicken."