Open Door

by Kass

Thanks to Sihaya, as always, for the beta-read. And to Justine, just because.
The boys are theirs, the words are mine. This is news?

I'm halfway to Kristi's when I realize I forgot the whiskey. It's a single malt you can't get anymore. Feed her two scotch-and-sodas and she starts mourning the Glen Mhor she'll never drink again. Anyway, I found some, and I'm bringing it to surprise her tonight.

Except that it's sitting on my dresser, and I'm fifteen minutes out of Cascade.

Fuck. So I turn around and head back home. Better to arrive late with gift in hand than to arrive empty-handed on time.

I'm almost up the second flight of stairs when I hear Sandburg moan.

That stops me in my tracks, and a flush of jealousy runs up my spine. God damn it, I've only been out of the house half an hour and he's got somebody over?

I know it's not fair to ask a grown man to take his girlfriends elsewhere, but it's what I ask. He thinks it's because of the senses, that there's some kind of lingering reek or something. Truth is, it's because I hate thinking of him with somebody else. If it can't be me...

I walk the rest of the way up slowly, wanting and yet not-wanting to hear what's inside. As I get to the door I stop, listening hard. He's breathing long, slow breaths and his heart is pretty quick, but there's only one heartbeat.

Relief is like a glass of water on a hot day. There's nobody with him. He's just jacking off.

Fine, okay, I don't wanna interrupt the guy, I'll just wait until he's done and then make some noise coming to the door. I sit on the top step and wait.

But I can't seem to keep from listening.

He's making little sounds, whimpers almost. If I strain I can hear fingers on cloth. What's he doing: touching his dick, teasing his nipples? Jesus, I'm hard as a rock.

Buttons pop open, jeans slide down. Then the scrape of moving furniture - what the fuck is he doing in there? Against my better judgement I move to the edge of the door, narrow my sight through the hairline crack between door and frame.

Jesus God. He's lying on the couch, one leg up on the coffee table which is pushed askew, the other leg on the top of the sofa. Jeans and briefs in a pile on the floor. Stroking his dick nice and slow.

His nipples are tight points against the white of his t-shirt. I imagine he was pinching them, before. I like that mental image.

He stops his idle caressing, reaches for something I can't see, then makes a motion like he's pouring. I smell sandalwood. Oh, God, massage oil on his fingers. The scent is curling into me, I can almost taste it.

Now his cock is slick and he's thrusting up into his hand.

"Oh. Oh, yeah." He's talking to himself and I'm about to spontaneously combust. His eyes are closed. What's he picturing?

"So good, just like that..."

And now his hand snakes around his thigh and I have to clutch myself hard to keep from coming. I can't see his hand, but from the angle of his arm - he's - oh, God, he's fingering his asshole, he's pushing a greased finger inside.

My own ass clenches involuntarily, imagining that sweet invasion.

He groans, long and low, and I bite my lip. The National Guard could come running up these stairs and I'm not sure I'd budge from this doorway.

"Oh *yeah*, oh *yeah*," he's sighing in time with the movements of his fingers. I'm rubbing myself through my pants, imagining that the friction of the cloth on my swollen dick is his hand.

He's using both hands now: one sliding a finger in and out of his ass, the other jerking quick, hard thrusts over his cock.

"Please fuck me," he pants, and it's all I can do not to break down the goddamned door and comply. What little of me is left rational knows, though, that he's not really talking to me: I stay put. On the verge of coming in my shorts, but at least I'm outside the door.

His whole body is moving, up to meet one hand, down to impale himself on the other. His thumb comes up to stroke over the tip of his dick and he gasps once, twice, renewing his motion.

As he comes he moans a name.


I almost fall over, backwards, down the stairs. My brain's half-melted from the combination of the stunning display I just spied on and the astonishing new knowledge that evidently this thing isn't as one-sided as I thought.

And then my cellphone rings in my pocket, startling the fuck out of me. I fumble with my jacket, whip it out, slam the "off" button probably too hard, then freeze. Did Sandburg hear it?

I'm listening hard through the door again, which is why my ears hurt when our phone rings inside. Sandburg sits up, looking fantastically debauched with his cock loose beneath the hem of his shirt, and reaches for the phone.



The voice on the other end is tinny but I recognize it fast. Shit. It's Kristi.


"Have you seen Jim?"

I hear Sandburg run one hand over his hair. "He left at least half an hour ago. Maybe more. Oughtta be there by now."

She sighs, and the theatricality of it annoys me. "Okay. I just tried his cell but he didn't answer. I guess he'll be here soon. Thanks, hon."

"No problem."

As they hang up the phone, I'm running down the stairs. As I climb into the truck, I'm dialing Kristi's number; I drive around the block before hitting 'send,' just to be safe, to make sure Sandburg doesn't see me.


"Kristi. Hey."

"Jim!" I can hear her voice warm, which makes me feel like a dick for what I'm about to do. "Where are you, honey?"

"Listen: something's come up. I can't make it this weekend."

"What is it?" She sounds concerned, at least, not pissed off, which is probably lucky for me.

"Can't tell you." I've got the hots for my room-mate, sugar, that's all. Heh. I can just imagine what she'd say.

"Ohh," she says, meaningfully. "Cop stuff. I get it."

I'm a jerk for agreeing with her, but I do it anyway. "Yeah. Sorry. I'll call you Monday, okay?"

"Great," she says, and makes a kissing sound into the receiver. I click the cell phone off.

Okay: that's one problem dealt with. Now all I have to do is figure out what to tell Sandburg.

Coming home with dinner seems like a good plan, so I pick up some burritos and guacamole at the La Fogata take-out window. I check my reflection in the rearview mirror. I look okay, I guess. I got dressed to impress Kristi; with any luck it'll work just as well on Sandburg.

I can't believe I'm thinking this.

When I get home, though, his car's not in the driveway.

What a let-down.

I let myself in, put dinner in the fridge, and take a deep breath. Over the scent of Mexican food that clings to my leather jacket, I can still smell sandalwood. My dick perks up.

I hang up my jacket, wander over to the sofa.

I don't know where the hell Sandburg is, or when he's coming home, so this is a pretty fucking stupid move, but I can't help it: I unbuckle my belt, push my jeans down, climb onto the sofa mimicking the position he was in.

I haven't entirely put Sandburg's little scene out of my mind since I saw it unfold, and just lying here where he was has gotten me hard again. I want to see if I can still smell his come. I stretch my senses out, rationalizing that this means I'll hear his car pull up and I'll be able to be dressed and looking normal by the time he walks in the door.

I can smell massage oil, yeah. And a salty hint of semen. And the different salt of his sweat. I'm rubbing the flat of my hand over my dick, through my underwear, and it's so easy to call his picture to mind.

I'm listening hard, in case he shows up. I'm breathing hard, because the thought of actually doing this *with* him is stunningly hot.

And then BAM! Everything is piercing pain, loud noise and white heat, and I black out.

"Jim." Sandburg's voice is low and gentle. "You with me?"

I try to answer but it comes out as a moan.

"Hey, shh, it's okay." A cool cloth wipes over my forehead. "Don't try to talk yet."

I wrench an eye open and close it immediately. The loft is dark but looking makes my head hurt, and I'm seeing double.

"I'm glad you've returned to the land of the living." The words are wry but I can hear the relief in them. "You've been out a while."

"Time." My voice is a croak.

"About eight-thirty." He seems to anticipate my questions. "I went out to rent a movie and grab some dinner, got home about half an hour ago, and found you curled on the sofa shaking and sweating. Was about fifteen minutes before you calmed down. And hey, now you can hear me, which is a big fucking plus."

I absorb this information and suddenly remember what I was doing when I lost it. I squirm for a second under the blanket I'm wrapped in. Nope. No pants. Briefs, but no pants. It's not like he's never seen me like this before, but it still feels weird.

I manage to open my eyes again and this time they stay open. The shades are closed. There's light, enough for Sandburg to see his way around, but it's muted: just the lamp in his bedroom, the one with the soft paper shade. He's kneeling next to me, holding the wet washrag. When he sees that I'm looking at him his eyes smile, although the rest of his face doesn't change. Then he's standing, looming over me, moving away from the couch.

"I was using my senses," I start lamely, feeling like I should explain, "but I don't know what got me. One minute I was fine, next minute everything hurt and I blacked out."

"Two car pile-up." Sandburg's voice is coming from the kitchen; he returns with a tall glass of water. "Think you can drink some of this?"

Slowly, painfully, I hitch myself to sitting and take the glass. The water feels amazing going down, though: spreading through my body like blood in my veins.

"Hey. Slow down, you're gonna make yourself sick." He takes the glass away and sits next to me, holding it for me.

"Where'd they hit?"

He grins. "Telephone pole. Parking lot."

Jesus: right outside our window. "No wonder. It felt like I was dying."

His smile fades a little. "Yeah, well, finding you curled up and shaking wasn't exactly my idea of a good time, but I'll let it slide. Just don't do it again, huh?"

He's kidding but he's not; I know that. It's a little overwhelming. My throat tightens. "Water."

He hands it over, I finish the glass, it washes the lump from my throat.

"So why aren't you at Kristi's? And what were you trying to sense?"

Fuck. What do I say?

There's a pause while I try to unscramble my brain and come up with a reasonable answer for either of his questions. I decide to stick with the easy one.

"I think we're going to break up."

He nods, not saying anything. I'm surprised. He doesn't seem curious.

"Aren't you going to ask?"

He spreads his hands in a slightly exaggerated shrug. "Hey, if it's not working, it's not working."

"That's about the size of it." Except for the part where I want to fuck you into tomorrow, pal, but how exactly am I supposed to bring that up?

"Guess I'll be seeing more of you for a while."

"Haven't you seen enough by now?" The retort is automatic.

He grins. "I'm a glutton for punishment, I guess."

My God, do we flirt like this all the time? Now that I know there's more to it than just banter, though - or I *think* I know, anyway - it feels different.



"I got burritos. They're in the fridge."

He raises an eyebrow. "Yeah? Cool. I picked up a sandwich, but it's not enough for two. I'll save it for lunch."

I stretch cautiously, testing my muscles to see if they'll spasm. It's a long time since I've been caught with my senses out like that, but last time it happened I couldn't make a sudden move for hours without muscle cramps.

"You didn't answer my other question."

He's standing, now, at the edge of the couch. I look at up him, hoping my face is innocent.


My voice is calm but the voice in my head is chanting "fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck."

"What were you sensing when the noise nailed you?"

The best defense is a good offense: I stand, holding the blanket around my waist. "Forget it, Chief. I'm gonna shower."

As I close the bathroom door behind me I break out in a sweat. I may not have needed the shower a minute ago, but I need it now. I'm safe, for the moment. But how am I going to get out of this?

Despite my robe, which is thick and fairly warm, the cool dry air of the living room hits me hard. Changes in atmosphere can be painful after a sensory spike like the one I had. Spike, hell - more like a piledriver.

Somehow Sandburg's right there, putting a hand on the back of my shoulderblade, walking me to the couch. Pulling a blanket over my feet. Bringing me a glass of juice that's not ice-cold; he must've poured it ten minutes ago. Because he knows, by now.

"How're you feeling?"

"Like shit."

He nods, unfazed. "How much like shit? You want spaghettio's for dinner, or can I serve you real food?"

"I'm not six, Sandburg."

His face lights up; he seems delighted to have gotten a rise out of me. What kind of freak actually enjoys making me growl? I'm starting to realize it's more than just luck that's kept him here these five years.

"Burritos it is." He's back in the kitchen, taking them out of the fridge. I hear the low rush of the microwave.

For the next ten minutes I just sit, stare at the weave of this blanket, and wonder how I'm going to get myself out of the corner I've just painted myself into. I know him; he's not going to let this drop.

He comes back with plates. The burrito is pleasantly hot, a tinge of jalapeno and chipotle peppers, a lot of good melted cheese. We eat in silence.

And then our plates are clattering into a pile in the sink, he's running water over them, and a wave of cold rushes through my gut because I think I'm going to tell him.

"I was sensing you." The faucet turns off in the middle of the sentence, so the last word comes out louder than I intended.

He comes over to me, wiping his hands on his pants. He sits at the far end of the sofa, not touching me.


Okay, he doesn't sound like he's ready to kill me. Not exactly.

"Trying to sense you," I amend, and suddenly his eyes clear. He nods, even as a wash of color pinks his face.

"Oh. Sorry about that."


"You didn't want me walking in on..."

Suddenly I understand what he thinks he's understood. He thinks I was listening to make sure he didn't catch me in the act. Which I was. But it hasn't occurred to him what else I was sensing for.

God, and here I thought the hard part was over with, but I guess I'm going to have to be more direct.

"Um. Yeah."

I'm looking down, toying with the edge of the blanket now. I have to say something before he changes the subject.

"You ever thought about men?" My voice is lower than usual; the sound surprises me.

He could pretend he doesn't know what I mean, but thank God, he doesn't.

"That's a hell of a question, Jim."

His tone is dry but not distressed, so I look back up. Wait for him to answer.

He shrugs. "Yeah." There's a pause. "You?"

I take a deep breath. "Yeah."

"So..." He gestures aimlessly. "What makes you ask?"

"How do you know if somebody's queer?"

He quirks a smile. "Ask him, I guess."

"That's real fucking helpful." I'm strung tight as a guy-wire and I feel like he's being evasive, which is frustrating the fuck out of me all of a sudden.

"How am I supposed to be helpful? I don't know who's queer!"

"You know if *you* are!"

The words are out of my mouth before I think. The silence that follow them is broken only by our breathing and our two heartbeats, loud and out of sync, although of course I'm the only one who can hear them.

"Are you asking if I'm bi?" His voice, like his expression, is even and betrays nothing. Not for the first time I wish I were dealing with the Sandburg I first met, the expressive one, the one who couldn't hide anything.

I nod.

"Why are we having this conversation now?"

There's a hint of amusement in his eyes, which stuns me with a sudden and intense hope that maybe this conversation is going to turn out okay.

"Damned if I know?"

This gets a chuckle from him, and I smile back. I hear his heart rate increase slightly, which makes my smile more solid, more real. "Because I've been too chicken to ask?"

He considers this a moment, then nods. "Okay. That explains why we haven't had it *before* now. But it doesn't explain why you're asking."

Cagey bastard. He wants me to put my cards out on the table.

Then again, if he were going to tell me to go fuck myself, he probably would've done it already.

"I'm asking now for the same reason I should've asked the week you moved in."

He's grinning now, like he can't help himself, and I'm struck again by how attractive he is. He shifts his weight, effectively learning a few inches closer. "Which is?"

Which one of us is the cat, and which one the mouse? I contemplate possible answers: I want you to move upstairs with me? I want to fuck you into next week?

Nothing I can think of to say quite conveys everything I mean, so I just reach for the back of his neck. Which is all it takes; the next second I'm on top of him and his tongue's in my mouth.

And then I'm sucking at his neck, feeling almost high from the sensation of stubble under my lips and tongue. He groans and pushes back at me, pushing me away, and for a split second I almost panic before I realize he's just adjusting our position on the couch: he slides under me a little, lying back, and then pulls me back to where I was.

His hands are moving over my arms and back, his skin is heating under my touch, and he's hard as a rock against my stomach. All I want is to rub my entire body against his until we both explode.

I take his earlobe between my teeth, gently, and he sighs.

"You know, we've got two perfectly good beds in this house, Chief."

He shudders, eyes slipping shut; it seems to take effort to reopen them. "'kay. Get off me."

I do, and he stands up, and for a second we just stand there. His shirt's half-untucked, and when he licks his lips I want to devour him. Right here. Except I just suggested we move.

So I start up the stairs, and next thing I know we're running up as fast as we both can, and he tackles me onto the bed and we're a tangle of limbs, kissing long and hard, grinding together everywhere we can reach.

My robe opens and I can feel him all over me, which is amazing. But my skin's a little tender from the sensory thing, and his jeans prickle. I pull back and reach for the fly. One button, two, three, they all pop open and I yank the jeans down and off. He's lying back, his dick a beautiful thick line in his briefs.

Now when we start kissing again I can rub against bare skin, which I like a lot. His shirt is soft against my chest, his legs warm next to mine. I reach to unbutton the shirt, wanting to try pinching those nipples the way I imagine he was doing earlier, when he surprises me by reaching for my cock, rubbing the palm of his hand down in long, slow strokes. Suddenly unfastening those buttons is harder than it ought to be. Breathing, actually, too. His hand's reaching back, cupping my balls. Somehow I'm half on my back now, he's lying next to me with one leg thrown over mine, thrusting gently against my hip while his hand explores.

Then his hand tightens and the strokes get harder: his hand on my dick, his dick against my thigh. He places an open-mouthed kiss on my nipple and that's what pushes me over the edge: his fingers pressing the base of my cock, his tongue hot and raspy on skin which suddenly flares sensitive in an exquisite almost-pain as I come, hard.

About half a second later he does, too, dragging his dick against me and then freezing, the rest of his body still as his dick throbs. It's enough to almost make mine stir again.


For a few minutes we just lie there. My body is buzzing with a quiet pleasure I'd pretty much forgotten existed. Was I this happy the first time I made love with Carolyn? I can't even remember. I know we didn't start with recriminations, but mostly it's our ending that's stuck with me.

After a while he moves out of my arms, wriggles out of his briefs and his shirt, uses the shirt to clean himself up a little. I shrug the robe away and, when he's done, take his shirt to do the same thing.


The shit-eating grin sort of spoils his attempt to look indignant.

"Your shirt's already dirty," I point out, scrambling a little to pull the covers out from under myself and lying back on crisp sheets.

There's a moment's pause.

"You're welcome to stay up here," I say, finally.

He half-nods and slides between the sheets with me. We curl into an S together. God, I like that.

I'm waiting for him to dim my euphoria by making me explain, but he isn't saying anything, just placing small kisses on my arms where they're wrapped around him.

Finally I can't stand it.

"What're you thinking?"

"We should do that again."

I press my hips against his ass. "Well, the spirit is willing..."

He laughs. "I didn't mean right now. I meant...I dunno...again."

"Like tomorrow."

I can hear the smile in his tone. "Tomorrow'd be good. Day after that, even."

"Lemme check my datebook, but I think I'm free."

That gets me a gentle bite to my forearm. "Damn straight," he says, affably.

As I drift towards dozing, I'm thinking about how long we waited before we let this happen. Could it have happened anytime? Any day in the last five years?

I guess it doesn't really matter. All that matters is that we noticed the open door.

The End