Part of the SAC-2004
"You planning on coming to Millhaven for Christmas?"
Mister Smith looked up from his lukewarm coffee, glancing first at Kurdy, of whom the question had been asked, then at Jeremiah, who had done the asking.
When Kurdy looked over at him, Smith lifted one shoulder minutely as if to say Ďup to you, maní. Libbyís death still lay heavy on his conscience, and if Kurdy went to Millhaven for Christmas, well, he supposed heíd spend it here at the Mountain or on the road somewhere.
"Depends, Jeremiah," Kurdy replied, deciding to go for blunt honesty. "Iíd love to spend Christmas with you, man; youíre my best friend. But Smith is part of the package, you dig?"
Jeremiah looked from Kurdy to Smith, and nodded. "Yeah, I dig." He then quirked a smile. "So, I just have to get one bed ready for the two of you, right?"
"Unless Kurdy starts to snore," Smith commented. "He does that, his ass is out on the couch."
"Guess again pale face," Kurdy snorted, nudging Smith with his shoulder before finishing the last bite of his breakfast.
Turning to Jeremiah, the black man fought hard to tamp down the shit-eating grin that threatened to take him over. "So, is Markus going to be there too?" he asked as casually as he could. "And if he is, should I requisition a couple of pairs of ear plugs?"
Smith snickered as Jeremiah flushed under his tan and cleared his throat. "Yeah, well, hopefully itíll drown out the sound of you two snoring." He raised his hands and made quotation marks in the air at the last.
"Hey, heís the screamer, not me," Kurdy retorted and then burst out laughing at the pained sound that Jeremiah made. "Hey, just correcting the misinformation," the black man smirked. "Now if I were to describe just what I do to make him scream, that would fall under the too much information category, but I havenít done that, have I?"
Jeremiah looked at Smith as if begging for help, but Smith only grinned. "Heís an inventive man, what can I say, and then thereís that piercing..."
Kurdy smirked and stuck out his tongue, waggling it suggestively, the metal barbell in his tongue winking in the light. "Youíre a piercing slut, Smith, admit it," he teased, ignoring Jeremiah and his retching noises. Reaching over with a gloved hand, Kurdy mentally said to hell with keeping up appearances as he wrapped the hand around the base of Smithís neck and tugged. He was with enigmatic man now, end of story, and he didnít give a flying fuck who knew. Pressing his lips against Smithís, Kurdy ran the piercing along the seam of the other manís mouth, silently asking entry.
Groaning as Smith pulled Kurdy closer, Jeremiah looked away, missing the smirk Smith gave before opening his mouth to Kurdyís probing tongue.
Kurdy responded enthusiastically; after all they were still in their Ďhoneymooní phase, and all Smith had to do was smile at him and he was hard. And he liked sex, lots of it, readily available, the black man admitted to himself. However, he also liked the cuddling afterwards.
Finally breaking off the kiss, he glanced over at Jeremiah and had to laugh. "You feeling all right there, pal? Youíre looking kinda... feverish. You might wanna have someone check you out, say... Markus?"
Jeremiah groaned as he turned to walk away. "Why do I do this to myself?"
Smith straightened up and laughed. "Because youíre a masochist?"
"And that would make Markus, what, a sadist? Do you even want to go down this road?" Kurdy queried his lover. "Thatís just waaaay too much information for me!"
"Christ, just pack up if you want a ride; Iím heading out in two hours."
Smith chuckled as Jeremiah stomped away. "I think you scared him."
"Itíll do him some good. Might help him remember to keep the noise down too," Kurdy smirked as he stood up and grabbed his tray. "Címon, Smith, letís get our gear together. We got Christmas in Millhaven to attend."
"Out of the kitchen!" Smith shouted, waving a spoon at Jeremiah and Markus, who kept taste-testing his cooking. "Not you!" He pointed at Kurdy. "You stay here and help."
Grumbling under his breath, Kurdy shot the two sniggering men a dirty look as they fled the kitchen to avoid Smithís wrath. Just because he happened to be sleeping with Smith didnít mean he was the manís go-fer... or did it?
"You realize I burn water, right? Weíve travelled enough together that you know I suck at this."
"Yeah, but you can hand me things while I do the cooking," Smith grinned. "Starting with a beer."
"Would you like me to drink it and then piss it out for you too?" Kurdy snarled without heat.
"Nah, think I can handle it; you can get me the sugar though - and give me a kiss."
"Damn pushy assed bottom," Kurdy sighed as he headed for the cupboard that held the sugar, snagging a beer on the way past the fridge. "Iím almost as owned as Jeremiah is. Itís a fucked up state of affairs."
"Poor baby, and at least Jeremiah doesnít whine about it as much as you do; Iím thinking of getting you a pacifier for Christmas."
"Try it and die, Smith," Kurdy remarked blandly. "No one will miss you, and I know how to bury a body."
Taking a sip of his own beer, Kurdy lost himself in introspection for a while. "Hey, Smith, did you... wanna have your daughter here for Christmas? Iím sure Jeremiah wouldnít mind, and we could go get her while the morons make sure nothing burns," the black man offered quietly.
Smith shook his head while he stirred the stew. "No, I talked to her before we left, and she wanted to stay with her friends; apparently theyíre less strange than all of us." He grinned at the thought. "But I promised weíd stop by and spend the day with her on the way back."
"Guess Iíd better hit Millhavenís stores for presents for a little girl then. Actually..." Kurdy thought back to the collection of glass figurines that had belonged to Elizabeth and was now his, that had been packed away with a great deal of care.
The swan heíd always keep; it had been the thing that had made it possible for him to woo and win his Elizabeth. But now that he was involved with Smithóand he couldnít foresee the relationship ending anytime soon except by the death of one or both of themóKurdy didnít really need the tiny pieces of carved glass anymore.
Besides, Elizabeth wouldnít want them kept wrapped in a box; sheíd want someone to admire them, and who better than a little girlósomeone who was the hope of their future? Kurdy suddenly remembered a crystal butterfly in the collection that would be perfect for a little girl just emerging from her own cocoon.
"Do you think sheíd mind it being a few days late, or maybe we could swing by the mountain before heading over there? I think I know what I want to give her, but I donít have it with me."
"Never heard of driving twelve hours out of the way for a gift, but sure, if you want to, we can; hope you donít mind most of Christmas day on the road."
"If it brings a smile to your daughterís face, Iíd say it would be worth it, but Iíll just drag you to a shop here in Millhaven and give her the other present the next time we go to visit."
Coming up behind Smith, Kurdy wrapped his hands around the smaller manís waist and nuzzled his scruffy chin against Smithís neck before kissing it. "Iím just glad I get to spend a real Christmas with you. Itís been a very, very long time."
There was a loud thump from the other room, then a seductive chuckle. "Might be a bit noisy though."
"Ya think?" Kurdy laughed, kissing Smith one last time before heading to the kitchen door. "Hey you horn dogs, take it upstairs or keep it down! Some of us are trying to get into the holiday spirit and cook yíall a Christmas dinner, so stop trying to eat sausage; weíve got a turkey in the oven!"
Letting the door swing shut behind him, Kurdy turned and winked at Smith. "Which one do you think will kill me first, my best friend or our fearless leader?" he chuckled as he began to peel the potatoes to go with the dinner.
Pushing away from the table, Kurdy groaned in bliss. "Smith, that was the best Christmas dinner Iíve ever had. Youíve outdone yourself!" he complimented his lover. Looking towards Jeremiah and Markus, the black man grinned. "We cooked; you two have KP duty. Enjoy!"
Listening to the groans that came in answer to that comment, Smith laughed as he stood and stretched. "And to make sure you donít beg for help, weíre going for a walk."
"Oh, and, guys? KP doesnít include sex on any kitchen surface, in the kitchen, in the dining room or on the dining room table, so donít even think about it. Have fun!" Kurdy sniggered, waggling his fingers as he joined Smith at the door, grabbing his winter jacket and tugging on his boots.
Waiting only long enough for Smith to do the same, Kurdy grabbed his hand and dragged him out the door, breathing a sigh of relief as it shut behind him. "Alone at last," he murmured, hauling Smith into his arms and kissing him hungrily. "I was getting seriously frustrated there."
Smith looked up at him and chuckled. "Kurdy, you get frustrated if the wind blows wrong."
"Are you complaining?" the black man asked mildly, an eyebrow quirking in disbelief at Smithís comment. "It seems to me that you benefit as much as I do when I get like that. In fact, Jeremiah told me the other day that theyíd finished restoring the storage shed behind the house. Itís soundproofed, insulated and itís got a little place in the rafters to hide people from prying eyes in case Jeremiah ever needs a safe house for someone.
"I think we need to go check it out. Jeremiah says itís supposed to be soundproof, but... we really should verify it before we have to use it in a real situation, donít you think?"
"Hmm, and I was angling for a nice quiet walk to the edge of town and some star-gazing, but if you want to go with the hot and horny over the romantic, oh well."
"Who says we canít do both?" Kurdy grinned, taking Smithís hand in his and tugging the other man down the steps. "Romance first and then horniness to warm us up after we freeze our asses off, cuddling under the stars."
Bringing Smithís hand up to his lips, Kurdy kissed the palm, showing uncharacteristic gentleness to the man he had chosen as his partner and his lover. "Iím probably tempting fate here, butÖthis is the happiest Iíve been inÖ since the Big Death. Oh, I was happy with Elizabeth, but we were still trying to figure things out between us, and then she was dead, and I wasnít a nice person to be around for a while.
"I hated Jeremiah then; I blamed him for her death. But I got over it, and he has too, about Libby, even though he might not have come right out and said so to you. I guess falling in love again helped the both of us deal with it. Never thought it would go down like this, falling for another guyófor either of us. Jeremiah and MarkusÖ well, thatís about as far out there as you and me, butÖ you make me happy, Smith. Thank you for that."
Smith stroked his fingers along Kurdyís cheek, feeling the coarse facial hair under his palm. "Glad to help, and thank you for believing in me, Kurdy; not many do."
"Itís easy," Kurdy admitted. "Now. But Iíve trusted you from the beginning, and youíve never led me astray. Youíve given me back my faith in something bigger than even the Big Death. Youíve given me hope."
"Everyone needs something to believe in; I found that out the hard way," Smith murmured. "Iím just glad I could do the same to you."
"That you did," Kurdy smiled, wrapping an arm around Smithís shoulders and tucking him in closer to his body. From inside the house came a crash and a bellow, causing both men to start then snicker. "Itíd say that was our cue to get the hell out of here. Címon, lover, letís go take a walk in our winter wonderland."
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