Indulgence ©

By Jack Llawayllynn

Chapter 7: Fissure

Matt left Estaban's apartment saying that he would catch a cab home but he spent half the night wandering the streets, lost in thought. Hi sexual world was expanding, his experience growing, but still his mind shied from the implications. He still saw himself more or less like he always had. He could not equate this new person with himself, this man who lusted after and availed himself of other men. Matt thought of Trish, of the long relationship that they had shared, the relationship that had gone nowhere. Once he had thought he was in love with Trish, he had even considered proposing to her, inviting her into his life to be wife to him, to bear him sons. Now though children were the furthest thing from his mind. Trish seemed a distant and pleasant memory. He did not grieve the loss of the relationship, did not miss her presence. Was it that he had turned cold, lost himself somehow in Sin's influence, or was it that he was just exploring, no longer needing the stabilizing influence of a girlfriend? Matt wasn't sure and the answers were not easily found.

In the wee hours of the morning Matt found himself near Miss Sylvia's and staggered onto her stoop exhausted and mentally drained. He knocked loudly, knowing she would be in her bed. Miss Sylvia's face appeared in her window. She seemed to be trying to make out his features. "It's me, Matt," he called and she disappeared only to reappear in the doorway dressed in an old flannel gown with a cloth cap on her head.

"It's three in the morning," Miss Sylvia said a little grumpily.

"I'm sorry," Matt muttered as he stepped through the door.

"You should be," Miss Sylvia said sternly. "I'm very disappointed in you Matt."

"What? Why?"

"You've dug yourself in deeper, haven't you? What about your friend Mike? How do you think he'll feel about you seeing someone else?"

Matt stood in the hallway with his mouth open.

"Stop catching flies. Go sit in the kitchen." Miss Sylvia waved a pale hand kitchen-ward. Numbly he traversed the dark hall and passed into the kitchen, flipping the light on as he went. One of the kittens blinked up at him from the table and yawned, giving Matt an astonishing view of its little razor teeth. It stretched, exposing claws, and Matt gathered it from the table as he took a seat.

"You take that one home with you," Miss Sylvia said when she reappeared.

"No. I can't have a pet right now. I have too much going on in my life."

"Yes, you're running circles around yourself. So," she said as she sank into a chair across from him, "who is this new person?"

"Estaban. How'd you know?"

"Your aura, of course."

"Ah, of course," Matt absently stroked the kitten, feeling the deep rumble of its purr through its ribs.

"Your friend Mike is very sick. You should go check on him," Miss Sylvia's voice was stern.

"What do you mean sick? Has he been by here?" Matt asked, concerned.

"No, he hasn't been by. I had a dream about him."

Matt sighed. He was getting a bit sick of Miss Sylvia's dreams and visions. The last person he wanted to see at the moment was Sin.

"I'll go check on him tomorrow," Matt said.

"No. You go tonight. Now, I've already phoned a cab." Miss Sylvia rose and went to a cabinet, pulling forth a brown paper bag. "Take this with you. There's some vitamins, some herbs and a menthol rub. There's some tea too but don't you drink none, it's only for Michael. Make sure Michael uses them. And get rid of Estaban."

Matt's mouth worked wordlessly. Finally he shook his head to clear it. "What the hell do you mean get rid of Estaban?"

"He's not for you. Michael is the one you should focus on. He needs you right now. Go to him." Miss Sylvia shoved the brown paper bag into Matt's hands.

"Whoa! Hold on a minute! Who are you to tell me who to see and what to do?" Matt stood, angry and glowering.

"I'm someone who cares. Now get!" Miss Sylvia pointed toward the door.

Matt grumbled under his breath as he stalked out. Just as he stepped onto the stoop a cab pulled up and Matt glanced back over his shoulder to see Miss Sylvia right behind him. "You're nothing but a witch!" he snapped.

"Finally figured that out did you?" she asked grinning and waving.

Matt yanked the taxi door open and crawled inside. He didn't look back as it pulled away from the curb so he didn't see Miss Sylvia cackling on the stoop.

* * * *

Matt pounded on Sin's door wondering why the hell he had obeyed Miss Sylvia and come here. Surely Sin would be asleep and would be pissed off when Matt woke him. Not only that but Matt was having some twinges of conscience. Here he was on Sin's doorstep still smelling of Estaban's cologne, the feel of Estaban still clinging to his flesh. Matt sighed and shook his head. He shouldn't be here. He bent down to place the bag on the floor in front of Sin's door when suddenly the door flew open and Matt came face to face with the dark muzzle of a large pistol.

"Shit!" Matt gasped as he jerked back, lost his balance and sprawled out into the hall on his butt.

"Matt? What the hell are you doing? I looked through the peephole but when I didn't see anyone there I thought someone was fucking with me." Sin lowered the gun, holding it down by his side. Matt gaped up at him. Sin looked terrible. His hair hung in long tangles around his face and his eyes were shadowed and haggard. He stood in the doorway in a pair of cut-off jeans and nothing else, a light sweat glistening over his entire body.

"Miss Sylvia told me to bring that stuff to you," Matt said, waving a hand toward the bag as he climbed to his feet. Sin glanced down at it then began to cough, loud wracking coughs that seemed to leave him weak. Matt scooped the bag from the floor, took Sin's elbow and turned him back into the apartment.

"What's in it?" Sin asked, his voice hoarse, his breathing wheezy.

"Herbs and shit." Matt led Sin to the sofa. "Sit."

Sin sank down and laid he pistol on a side table. "How'd she know I was sick?"

"You know her, she said she dreamed it. Sit there and I'll fix you some tea." Matt took the bag into the kitchen and put some water on to boil before rummaging around in the sack. He pulled out a tin of menthol rub and set it aside. Next came two large bottles of vitamins. The tea he knew would be there was at the bottom in a metal tin, a home mixture of leaves that Matt knew Miss Sylvia would have dried and mixed herself. Miss Sylvia had included a cup and saucer, wisely deducing that Sin would not own any himself. Matt mixed the leaves in the hot water and took the cup to Sin.

"I feel like shit," Sin announced as Matt sat down beside him and handed him the cup.

"You look like it too. How long have you been sick?"

"I started sneezing Monday night. I made it to work through Wednesday but by Thursday I was so sick I couldn't make myself get out of bed. I think I'm doing a little better now." Sin coughed again, nearly spilling his tea.

"Been to the doctor yet?"

"No, I was hoping it would pass on its own."

"Not likely, not with that cough. I wouldn't be surprised if you have pneumonia. You shouldn't have gone out last weekend with your hair wet." Matt took the now empty cup from Sin's hand and took it to the kitchen. Coming back he laid a hand on Sin's forehead. He was burning hot. "Been taking anything for that fever?"

"I had some aspirin but I'm out now." Sin leaned back but was overcome with coughing that doubled him forward again.

"Jesus Sin, you're sick. I'm going down to the store on the corner and getting you some aspirin." Matt rose but Sin caught his arm.

"You'll pay ten times what it's worth there," he complained.

"So? You need it now, so it's worth it." Matt pulled free and left. When he returned from the store Sin was still on the couch, curled almost into a fetal position.

"You should have called me Thursday." Matt got Sin a glass of water and handed him two aspirin.

"I didn't want to. If I'd of called you would have come over." Sin sat up sleepily and took the aspirin but he looked ready to fall out into the floor.

"You didn't want me to come over? Why?" Matt pushed Sin back against the cushions again.

"I didn't want you to catch it."

"How sweet," Matt said dryly. "When's the last time you had a shower?"

"Two days ago," Sin admitted.

"Go take one. You'll feel better for it, especially after the aspirins kick in. I'll stay here and sleep on the couch. Call me if you need me."

"Thanks," Sin muttered as he staggered toward the bathroom. In the hallway he stopped and braced himself against the wall. "By the way, what the hell are you doing out and about in the middle of the night?"

"Don't worry about it. It just so happened that I ended up at Miss Sylvia's and she told me you were sick." Matt stretched out on the sofa hoping Sin would drop the subject.

"She's a bit unnerving with her dreams and all. Hell, I've only met her once but I feel like I've known her all my life. Weird isn't it?" Sin pushed away from the wall and staggered on down the hall. Matt stared at the ceiling thinking, "weird is a mild word".

Matt woke up about three hours later, Sin hacking and wheezing down the hall in the bedroom. Matt heaved himself off the couch, stiff and aching and went to check on Sin. He was doubled up in the bed naked, his face red, sweat all over him.

"Damn," Matt muttered and turned back toward the kitchen to make some more of Miss Sylvia's tea for Sin. Sin was barely able to get it down between fits of coughing. He dozed off for a few moments but then began hacking again almost immediately.

"Well," Matt said as he stood looking down at Sin, "it's time we took you to the hospital."

"No!" Sin gasped between coughs. "It'll pass."

"Sorry, I don't think so." Matt went and phoned a cab. Sin protested as Matt pulled a shirt over his head and ordered him to get up and get his pants on. By the time Sin was fully dressed he was coughing too badly to argue any more. Matt put his arm around Sin's waist and helped him out into the hallway, locking the door behind them with Sin's keys. Matt groaned when he remembered the elevator wasn't working. Getting Sin down all those stairs was not going to be fun.

They made it down three flights when Sin insisted he had to rest. Leaning against Matt he gasped for breath and Matt worried that Sin might pass out. All of a sudden Sin stiffened and turned to look at Matt. "You wearing a new cologne?" he asked, his voice suddenly full of suspicion.


"You smell...familiar."

"I should, you've known me for a while now," Matt said as casually as he could.

"Umph," Sin grunted then began coughing again. "I can't make it. Leave me here and let me die."

"Don't go soft on me Sin," Matt said, putting his arm around Sin's waist again and heaving Sin's arm over his shoulder. "You'll make it." But he didn't. Sin suddenly collapsed on the stairs and Matt had to heave him up over his shoulder and carry him to the taxi. The cab driver didn't want to let Matt put him in the car. "He's not drunk," Matt said angrily, "he's sick."

"I don't want no sick man in my cab," the driver said nastily.

"It's not catching," Matt said, not sure if it was or not.

"What's wrong with him then?"

"Epilepsy," Matt lied.

The driver eyed him intently for a moment then finally agreed to drive them to the hospital. At the emergency room entrance Matt dragged Sin out of the car and threw him over his shoulder once more. A nurse caught sight of him and waved him directly into an examination room.

"Is he injured or sick?" the nurse asked as Matt laid Sin down on the bed.

"Sick. He caught a cold and left it untreated. I think he has pneumonia now."

"Have we seen him here before?"

"Oh yeah, many times." Matt gave the nurse Sin's name and address and answered what questions he could. When the doctor finally came in Matt was glad to see that it was Dr. Jamison. "You live here?" he asked her teasingly.

"Feels like it sometimes. Actually I only just got here a little while ago. I'm covering for another doctor," she said as she bent over Sin and thumbed his lids back. "Has he taken any medication lately?"

"Some aspirin about three or four hours ago." Matt watched as the doctor checked Sin's vital signs and listened to his chest. She turned his arms up and checked the inside of his elbows.

"He's not on drugs is he?" she asked.

"Not that I know of, no. Why?"

"He seems to be sedated. I'll have to run some blood work."

"Miss Sylvia sent him some tea," Matt said, more to himself than to her.

"Sylvia Lancaster?" Dr. Jamison asked, looking up at Matt sharply.

"Uh, I think that's her name. I just call her Miss Sylvia. She lives over on Caper Street."

"That's Miss Lancaster. She probably mixed something with an opium base into the tea to ease his cough. It shouldn't harm him any, might even do him some good, pretty much the same as cough syrup would." Dr. Jamison made some notes on her clipboard. "I'll call her and ask just to be sure."

"You know Miss Sylvia?" Matt asked, surprised.

"Yes. She's not real popular with some of the other doctors. She offers home remedies to the poor. Most are at least harmless, if not downright helpful. I personally don't have a problem with her. I think she's knowledgeable with what she uses and she's careful about who she doctors up. Nice old lady."

Matt nodded dumbly. He had thought that Miss Sylvia didn't get out much, that she didn't have many friends but the way Dr. Jamison made it sound Sylvia seemed to get around quite a bit.

* * * *

Sin slept most of the day. It was nearly four o'clock when he woke. Dr. Jamison was making her last rounds for the day and stopped in just as Sin awoke. "How you feeling?" she asked him.

"Rough," he answered, glancing down at the intravenous needle in his arm.

"Antibiotics and fluids," the doctor said, seeing his confused look. "Matt brought you in early this morning." She nodded in Matt's direction. He sat slumped in a chair looking pretty haggard himself. His clothes were wrinkled and he really needed a shave.

"It's Matt now is it?" Sin said with a grin. "Last time we were here it was still Mr. Darvins."

"Yeah, well, I know him by sight now." Dr. Jamison cocked her head to the side. "I do hope you two stay away after this."

"Hey, this wasn't my fault!" Sin protested.

"True. Alright, I have your blood tests back from the last test you had a few weeks ago. You want Matt to stay or go?"


"Fine. It came back negative for HIV. We did some chest x-rays while you were asleep. It looks like what we have here is a plain old fashioned case of pneumonia. I'd like for you to stay another night but..."

"No," Sin said firmly.

"...but I know you won't," she finished. "Take the antibiotics that I prescribe. Take them all, don't stop just because you feel better. Take some time off work. Rest. I'll give you a note. Drink plenty of liquids. I can write you a prescription for cough syrup but Miss Lancaster's tea will work just as well, whichever you prefer."

"Miss Lancaster?" Sin asked.

"She means Miss Sylvia," Matt said from his chair.

"Oh. I think I'll take the prescription, Doc. That tea was a little strong."

"Alright, but do not, and I mean it Mike, do not take the tea and the medicine together. It could kill you." Dr. Jamison scribbled on Sin's chart then looked back up. "I'll send in a nurse with your release papers. Once they're signed and she removes your IV you can go home."

Thanks Doc." Sin grinned as she shook her head and then left.

"Hand me my shirt Matt," Sin said as he swung his legs out of the bed.

"You'll have to wait until they take the IV out before you put it on." Matt rummaged around for the shirt as he spoke.

"Oh yeah, well hand it to me anyway." Matt handed the shirt over but Sin caught his wrist suddenly and stared at his hand.

"You fucking little shit!" Sin spat out, his voice full of venom.

"What?" Matt asked, confused by this sudden wave of rage. He tried to pull his hand lose but Sin held it firm.

"I thought you smelled strange last night, not your cologne but one I knew. Now I know why. You've been fucking Estaban." Sin finally released Matt's hand and Matt looked down at it. There were four small half-moon shaped scabs across the back of his hand where Estaban's nails had dug in. Matt looked up at Sin sharply. "How do I know?" Sin asked sarcastically and held his own hand up in front of Matt's face. There were several small faded scars, half-moons, that Matt never would have noticed if he didn't know what he was looking for. "Estaban likes to mark his conquests," Sin said darkly. Mat blushed and looked away.

The nurse came bustling in and Matt returned to his chair while the nurse removed the needle from Sin's arm and had him sign the release papers. She gave him the written prescriptions and left. Sin pulled on his shirt and shoes between coughing fits.

"Go home Matt," Sin said finally. "Go home and stay the fuck away from me. I don't want to see you or hear from you. Just stay the fuck out of my life."

Matt looked at him stunned. "Why? Because of Estaban? Hell, you've slept with him yourself. It's not as if you own me, not like we have anything between us."

"If that's the way you see it then that's the way it is and I'll not argue. Since there is nothing between us it should be easy for you to keep your distance."

Matt stared at him speechless for a moment. Sin was angry, that much was clear. Matt thought that if Sin weren't so sick he even might have been violent but right now he just looked tired and beaten down. He gave Matt a disgusted sneer and turned away. "Give Estaban my congratulations on his victory," Sin said over his shoulder as he walked away.

* * * *

Matt went home and took a shower. He felt sticky, dirty. He wanted to rage, to get pissed and pitch a fit but he was too tired. The answering machine was blinking so he hit the button to listen to the messages. The first one was a hang-up. The next one though was from Miss Sylvia.

"Matt, it's Sylvia. Your red-headed girlfriend was here a little while ago looking for you. She said she'd been by your apartment several times but couldn't find you. She asked if I knew who your new girlfriend was and where she lived. I told her that you didn't have a new girlfriend but she called me a liar and got really rude so I asked her to leave. I just thought you should know that she's looking for you. Tell Michael to remember to use that menthol rub every night. Let me know if he runs out. Bye bye now."

Matt picked up the phone and dialed Miss Sylvia's number. She answered on the third ring. He explained to her that he had taken Sin to the hospital and apologized for Trish showing up at her house and bothering her.

"Oh, it wasn't really a bother, she's just a rude little thing is all. I think she's finally beginning to realize that you aren't going to call her and ask her to come back to you," Miss Sylvia said, laughing down the phone line.

"Well, actually, I'm thinking about doing just that," Matt said, the idea taking hold in his mind.

"Why? What about that nice young man?"

"Sin...I mean Mike, is hardly a nice young man and besides he doesn't want me around anymore, gave me my walking papers at the hospital."

"It's because of that Estaban, isn't it?" Miss Sylvia asked, her voice distressed.


"I told you he'd cause you trouble! What were you thinking Matthew? Why couldn't you just be happy with Michael?"

Matt shook his head. "Miss Sylvia, you don't know what you're saying. Mike was just..." he stopped. Why was he discussing this with some old woman? He cleared his throat. "I'm tired Miss Sylvia. I'll talk to you later."

"You fix this Matthew," she said sternly.

"Goodbye Miss Sylvia."

"Goodbye Matt."

Matt hung up and went to bed. A knock at the door a few hours later woke him. Expecting it to be Trish he pulled on a pair of shorts and went to the door and opened it without looking through the peephole. "Estaban!" Matt said surprised.

"None other," Estaban smiled, eyeing Matt head to toe. "Can I come in?"

Matt opened the door wider and stepped back so Estaban could enter. Estaban paused, glanced around Matt's apartment then crossed to the sofa and sat down.

"You look lusciously tousled." Estaban's black eyes twinkled.

Matt grunted. "I spent the day at the hospital with Sin."

"Get beat up again did he?"

"No. He's sick. Pneumonia."

"Oh, I hate to hear that."

"Really? For some reason I had the impression that it would please you to know he was sick." Matt threw himself into a chair and glared at Estaban.

"Why would you think that?" Estaban cocked his head to the side, his eyes like a crow's, sharp, piercing, curious.

"You knew he would see this." Matt held up his hand. Estaban nodded. "You did it on purpose. You knew he would see it and know I had been with you."

"So? You said Sin didn't own you."

"Neither do you! I don't like being branded like property," Matt snarled.

"It will heal."

"And possibly scar like Sin's."

Estaban shrugged. "Sin only scarred because he let me mark him so many times. I nearly fell into the same trap as my cousin did. Sin has a very powerful personality. We could have become something serious but Sin won't wear chains. He fears commitment. When you start to close in on him he takes off like a beast hunted."

"He has his reasons. In some ways he is a beast hunted." Matt looked away, wondering just how involved Sin had been with Estaban.

Estaban shrugged again. "Maybe. It doesn't matter. So, tell me, what did he say?"

Matt frowned, realizing that Estaban was enjoying this. "He said to congratulate you on your victory."

Estaban threw back his head and laughed. His laughter cut Matt to the quick.

"Fuck you Estaban! You set me up! You used me to strike at Sin."

Estaban shook his head, his laughter dying away. "No. That's not entirely true. Yes, I enjoy getting one up on Sin, taking something from him. I had placed a lot of faith in Sin, had become quite attached to him actually, but my interest in you was not purely to spite him. My interest in you is sincere. I can offer you a lot more than Sin can. He's ragged Matt, he has no smooth edges. A person could cut their self to pieces trying to get close to a man like Sin."

"Who said I wanted to get close to anyone? Hell, I'm just in this for a fuck, a new sexual experience. I don't want to cozy up to a guy. That's what girls are for." Matt's tone was brusque.

Estaban laughed at him. "You dumped your girl, remember? Besides, you have a lot to learn about relationships, just as you have a lot to learn about sex. It's different but not as different as you think. Girls are soft and you want to protect them. Men are hard, you learn to respect them."

"Have you ever been with a girl?" Matt asked, eyeing Estaban curiously.

"Yes," Estaban answered, a little too quickly.

"More than once?" Matt asked, smiling a little now.

"Well, no, but what does that matter?"

"Have you ever been in a relationship with a girl?" Matt pressed.

"No. They're high maintenance."

Matt leaned back in his chair, laughing. "And you call me naïve. Any relationship is high maintenance."

Estaban looked at him askance but didn't answer. They sat quietly after that, staring at one another, each with thoughts churning. Finally Estaban tilted his head. "I want to stay the night."


"Why not?"

"I'm tired."

"Then we'll sleep, nothing more."

"Right," Matt said sarcastically. "You're trouble for me Estaban. We both know it."

"Fine. Give me this night and I won't bother you again." Estaban rose and crossed behind Matt's chair, resting his hands on Matt's shoulders, the strong fingers massaging. "You won't regret it."

Matt started to say no, to send Estaban on his way but the truth was that he didn't want to be alone. He was tired of being alone. He wondered how he had ever been stupid enough to let Trish go. True, he didn't love her anymore, if he ever had, but she was company and she was pleasant and soft and sweet. Still though, he told himself, he had done the right thing in letting her go, it would have been cruel to string her along. Matt sighed under the gentle pressure of Estaban's fingers. "Alright, you can stay."

Estaban followed Matt into the bedroom and stripped down to his skin before climbing into bed. Matt sighed and shook his head as he turned off the lamp. He knew it wouldn't be long before Estaban would reach for him, coax him, caress him. Mat wasn't opposed to sex tonight, he was just bone tired, physically and mentally. He wasn't even sure his body was up to performing.

For his part Estaban was good to his word. He lay still and did not reach for Matt. Matt began to wonder if Estaban had gone to sleep while he lay there awake and getting harder by the moment. Finally he sighed and he heard Estaban chuckle softly beside him. "Can't sleep Matt?" Estaban's voice was teasing.


"Sorry to hear that."

"Liar." Matt rolled over and reached for Estaban, his hands closing on warm flesh. Matt let his hands roam as he found and claimed Estaban's mouth, kissing him fiercely and deeply. Estaban lay languid and supple, letting Matt do as he wished. Matt trailed light bites down Estaban's neck, his hand running over Estaban's ribs. He loved the way the rib cage felt compact, hard, smooth under his palm. He liked the way Estaban felt against his body, the fit of the angles. Sin felt different, longer and broader, imposing almost, but Estaban was small and neat, a package of diminutive masculinity and Matt liked the feeling of looming over Estaban, of towering over him. Matt shifted, dragging Estaban's body so that the smaller man lay directly under him, blanketed by Matt's larger body. Matt propped himself up, his elbows on either side of Estaban's arms and stared down into the darkness, trying to make out the shadow of Estaban's face.

"Tell me you didn't come here tonight just to gloat," Matt said softly.

"I didn't come here to gloat. I had no way of knowing if you'd even seen Sin today. Actually I never expected you to run straight to Sin after you left me. I thought it would take a few days for you to get up the courage to face him again." Estaban shifted a little so that he could push his erection against Matt's.

"I didn't run straight to Sin. I went to see Miss Sylvia. She told me Sin was sick and sent me over there."

"Who is Miss Sylvia?"

"Never mind. It's a long story." Matt shifted his weight to one elbow and lifted a hand to run it through Estaban's silky hair. Estaban thrust up against him again. "Will he ever talk to me again, do you think?"

"Sin? Who knows? He might, he might not. It depends on how hurt he is. He seemed right taken with you. I'm sure he's feeling deeply betrayed right now. He saw you as his property and his alone." Estaban's fingers slid down Matt's sides and Matt shivered.

"He doesn't own me," Matt said stubbornly.

"Obviously," Estaban drawled, his hips writhing slowly under Matt's. Matt closed his eyes and savored the feeling for a moment. Suddenly his eyes popped back open. "You don't own me either!" Matt stated firmly.

"Not yet," Estaban agreed.

Matt grunted but did not argue. He had no intentions of letting Estaban put any hooks in him but he wasn't going to say as much, not right at the moment anyway.

"Why don't you turn on the light?" Estaban asked quietly.


"Still rather hide in the dark, eh? Well I don't like the dark. At least light a candle for me. Please." Estaban's slick tongue touched Matt's ear as he leaned forward.

"I don't know if I have any," Matt said absently as he lowered his mouth to taste Estaban's lips.

Estaban pulled away. "Why don't you go look?"

"Shit! You aren't going to let it slide are you?"

"If you really want me to I will." Estaban's hand snaked down Matt's thigh.

"Shit," Matt said again and rolled off Estaban. Grumbling under his breath he fumbled his way into the kitchen, refusing to turn on any lights, negotiating solely by the dim light of the street lamps outside the windows. After rummaging through two drawers his fingers finally encountered the small tea lights that Trish had left there. Matt grabbed three and headed back to the bedroom. He located his jeans on the floor, fished his lighter from the pocket and lit the candles, scattering them into three different corners so that their light was not concentrated. He turned to Estaban who still lounged on the bed. "Happy now?"

"Happier." Estaban grinned, the light playing across his face and shadowing his eyes in a mask of darkness. Matt went to him and laid a hand once more across the firm ribs.

"I love the feel of you," Matt said then leaned forward to taste the salt from Estaban's flesh. Estaban arched and Matt worked his way down, feeling no fear or trepidation before taking Estaban's dick into his mouth. Matt teased it with his tongue, took it beyond his teeth to the back of his throat, pulled back, did it again. Estaban sighed, his fingers tracing patterns through Matt's hair. Matt felt his own balls tighten with lust. He took Estaban deeper into his throat, reveling in Estaban's ecstasy. After only a few moments though Estaban asked him to stop.

"What's wrong?" Matt asked, unsure. "Don't you like it?"

"Hell yes I like it," Estaban moaned. "I just like having you buried inside me even better."

"You prefer being buggered to getting head?" Matt asked, astounded.

"Being buggered, huh?" Estaban laughed. "I'll not deny it."

Matt didn't hesitate to reach for Estaban. He certainly preferred fucking to giving head and if Estaban wanted to be fucked, well, Matt damn sure wasn't going to let him down.

"Wait," Estaban said and reached for his jeans on the floor and produced a packet. "This comes in handy." Matt slicked himself up with the lubricant and caught Estaban around the waist, tossing him face forward on the bed. Estaban chuckled, and then gasped as Matt entered him in one long, smooth, steady plunge. Matt ground his teeth and held still a moment, adjusting. He took a deep breath, groaned as he moved, pulled back, thrust. Estaban wrapped one fist in the blanket, the other around his own cock. Matt stopped, savoring, let his hands run up Estaban's back, his shoulder blades, hooked his fingers over Estaban's shoulders and thrust again. Matt liked the way the light played over Estaban's back, the way the shadows deepened down his spine when Estaban threw his head back, gasping. He liked the way Estaban's dark hair fell straight and cropped at the back of his neck, how, when looking down, he could see himself buried in Estaban's tight little ass. Matt slowly set a rhythm, Estaban met him stroke for stroke, rocking back, his hand working like a cat's paw in the blanket. Matt released Estaban's shoulders, grabbed him by the hips and slammed into him. Estaban stiffened, his body rigid, groaning deep in his throat. Matt pounded into him again and again, then came hard, his groans mingling with Estaban's. Finally his body began to relax and he dropped his head down onto Estaban's back, torso to back, the two of them panting in unison.

"The candles are nice," Matt admitted, his forehead resting on Estaban's spine, his dick still buried between the tight cheeks and softening rapidly. Estaban shifted back and Matt raised his head as Estaban slid back against him, pressing back against Matt's chest until Matt carried them both to the floor, Estaban sitting back on Matt's lap.

"I like them," Estaban agreed. He pulled Matt's arms around his chest and leaned further back into the embrace. He let his head fall back against Matt's shoulder and Matt hugged him closer, kissing his temple. They sat like that for a few minutes before Estaban sighed and rose, making his way to the bathroom. Matt dug out his cigarettes and lit one, thinking that he had Sin to blame for getting him started smoking. For getting him started on other things as well. Thinking of Sin made him scowl. He knew he had no reason to feel guilty. Matt grumbled under his breath and went to fix himself a whiskey. He brought one back for Estaban and found him propped up in the bed smoking one of Matt's cigarettes.

"I hope you don't mind, I'm out." Estaban waved the cigarette toward Matt.

"No, not at all. Drink?" Matt handed Estaban the glass and sat down on the bed beside him, his mouth turned down at he corners as he thought about Sin not wanting to see him anymore.

"Why the frown? Thinking about Sin?" Estaban deduced.


"Fuck him, forget him. That's what you have to do with Sin. I tried to tie him down but he always slips the noose." Estaban shrugged and sipped at his drink.

"Just how involved were you two?"

"A bit. He wasn't too happy with me. He likes a challenge you know, fresh meat. I wasn't either. He'd come around when he couldn't find any strange. One night he came into Chico's already drunk and raving. He thought he'd take his frustrations out on me. I wasn't game for that."

"Sin said you broke his leg in three places."

Estaban chuckled. "He wouldn't say uncle."

"You're joking, right?"

"Hell no. I told him to say uncle when he was ready to admit defeat. He never did say it. He finally got tired of me kicking his ass and pulled a gun on me. Samson whipped out a pistol and shot him in the back before I could stop him. Sin nearly died, the stupid son of a bitch. He should have just said uncle."

Matt gave him a sidelong stare. "Sin's right, you are an evil little man."

Estaban threw back his head and laughed. "That about sums me up."

Matt liked the sound of Estaban' laugh, crisp and refreshing, not cynical and mocking. He liked the smell of Estaban, lying so close, the spiciness of his cologne, something exotic and foreign. He liked the way the flickering candlelight sent ghostly shadows over Estaban's eyes, his neck, his thighs. Matt leaned over and kissed Estaban lingeringly, his passions rising once more. Estaban met his eye and smiled a crooked smile.