[image of James West]

Turning the Tables

by Taliesin

[image of Artemus Gordon]

James sauntered into Artie's lab while he was in the middle of an experiment and waited with long-suffering patience until Artie put down the test tube he was observing and turned to face him.

"Let's go out on the town tonight, Artie," Jim suggested, once he had his friend's undivided attention.

Artemus leaned back in his chair, crossing his arms over his chest, and gazed speculatively at his partner. Jim wore dark pants and a square cut black jacket, his white shirt open at the neck. It was not suitable attire for the sort of night on the town that involved dining, dancing and the theatre. Or the company of so-called 'polite society.'

"All right," Artie nodded decisively. He turned off the gas on the burner, and stood. "Just give me a minute to go change."

Eschewing the brilliant satins and brocades hanging at the ready in his closet, Artie pulled on a plain dark suit similar to Jim's. He grabbed his hat and joined West in the parlor. The night was warm, so they left their cloaks in the car, striding out side by side into the freight yard.

Though the walk to their destination was lengthy, neither man suggested riding. It wouldn't do to risk the theft of their horses. Just as it wouldn't have done to dress as elaborately as was their habit. The parts of New Orleans to which they were headed could be dangerous for the unwary. Though Jim and Artie were well able to take care of themselves, there was no point in deliberately attracting the larcenous attention of a footpad or other scroungy character.

Before long, they had passed through the silent business district, into the more sordid areas of town where "business" went on all hours. Jim led the way with his calm powerful stride, clearly having a particular destination in mind. Artemus followed amiably, having no particular preferences. He wondered vaguely which of the houses of ill-repute, as they were so unimaginatively called in the newspapers, Jim had chosen for their "night on the town." He didn't ask, however, as James was in one of his silent moods.

It rankled, a little, to have to pay for it. Though the subject had never been openly discussed during his tender years, Artie's upbringing clearly indicated that a gentlemen should never buy favors. However, neither should one trifle with a young lady's attentions. Jim and Artie traveled too much to make the right sorts of attachments. They never stayed in one place long enough to properly court the ladies. Or even, for that matter, find out which women were prepared to accept the sort of courting which ended in a bedchamber, rather than at the altar. As Artemus was no more ready than Jim to marry and settle down, he willingly accompanied his friend on these occasional jaunts.

As they wended their way down familiar streets, Artemus began speculating on their destination. He was already smiling in anticipation by the time Jim paused before the nondescript door to a particular favorite. This parlor house was classier than most, catering to a more discreet clientele. Jim met Artie's undisguised approval with a cocky wink before opening an unmarked door and ushering his friend in.

The antechamber was a masterpiece of dark velvet, and the uninitiated could be forgiven for momentarily believing he'd entered one of the higher class restaurants, such was the hushed atmosphere of elegance. The tall man dressed like a ma”tre'd only cemented the impression, the excellent tailoring of his suit all but hiding the unmistakable build of hired muscle.

Jim spoke quietly to the man for a moment, punctuating the conversation with the exchange of money. One of the advantages of the "refined" approach: paying at the door negated the crudity of haggling over price at a crucial moment. By no account did it hide the fact that this was most certainly a brothel, though one in which the girls practiced more genteel manners than their counterparts, but it was easier to pretend you weren't paying for the company of the ladies, if you were inclined to that level of self-deception.

Seeing the quantity of money which exchanged hands, Artie knew Jim had paid for him as well. However, when he raised an eyebrow at his friend, Jim only smiled and put an arm around his shoulders, steering him through the door to the inner sanctum.

The illusion of refined elegance continued here. The ground floor was partitioned into three rooms calculated to appeal to all the masculine tastes. A restaurant, with subdued lighting and excellent fare; a barroom, stocked with the best in fine liquor; and a gambling parlor, with green baize tables, poker and roulette. Everything was free but the betting. The noise level was low, subdued by the elegant surroundings, the near quiet adding its own touch to the appearance of refinement. Beautiful women strolled languidly and seductively throughout, pausing to flirt coquettishly with the men.

The customers, Artie reminded himself, leading the way to the bar. It didn't do to forget why they were there or, for that matter, why the women were. On the job, illusions were Artie's stock in trade; he didn't care to permit them entrance into his private life.

He ordered two brandies and lifted his in a silent toast to Jim before taking a sip of the excellent vintage. Jim nodded back, sampling his own drink as he turned to lean against the bar and survey the room. He had that devilish glint in his eye which Artemus recognized from long experience. It usually meant trouble, one way or another.

In deference to Jim's continued silence, Artie restrained himself from his usual chatter and concentrated on savoring the brandy. He didn't cast his eyes around the room for a suitable young lady. If he read Jim's mood right, the younger man was inclined to lead. Which meant he'd be on the lookout for two, and Artemus -- who, while open to Jim's suggestion, hadn't felt the need so keenly as to seek this out on his own -- would accept his partner's choice.

He watched Jim out of the corner of his eye as he drank. Jim leaned back casually against the bar, absently swirling his brandy around the snifter in between sips, chameleon eyes skipping alertly around the room, missing nothing. Those eyes always picked up something of the color of his suit, whether sapphire or emerald; this black washed them oddly colorless. For a moment, Artemus amused himself by trying to see James as a stranger would and was mildly astonished to find himself suddenly breathless.

"Ah!" Jim exclaimed softly in triumph. "Come along, Artie." He plucked Artie by the sleeve, and led him quickly across the room. His trajectory and pace suggested they were trying to cut someone off and Artie wasn't at all surprised when they met up with two young women just coming out of the dining room.

Jim stopped before them, Artie half a step behind. On closer viewing, Artemus had no doubt what had drawn Jim's attention. Both were marvels of china doll perfection, with golden hair and blue eyes, equally lively, equally lovely. Perfectly identical in every respect.

"Good evening, ladies." Jim smiled urbanely, removing his hat. Artemus immediately followed suit, almost dropping his. "This is Artie, and I'm Jim."

"Miranda," one offered, attaching herself to Artie's arm. He vowed to keep her there, or he'd never be able to tell her apart from her sister.

"Melinda," the other dimpled up at Jim. "We're twins."

"I never would have guessed," Jim teased with a straight face. Both girls giggled, and Artie decided that perhaps he was getting just a little old for this. Maybe there was something to be said for settling down after all.

In a few brief minutes, they were headed up the wide sweeping staircase. Artemus was, as usual, in awe of Jim's influence over the fair sex -- he wasn't entirely sure how Jim had done it, but he'd taken them from introductions to the bedroom without allowing the transition to become at all crude. Not that girls like these would have balked at men who came straight to the point -- it was, after all, their job -- but Jim's smooth direction kept things on a more friendly footing than the usual business transaction.

However, when Miranda and Melinda led them to a single door along the elegant upstairs hallway, both men balked.

"We're sisters, honey," Melinda cooed, wrapping her arms around Jim's neck, "we share everything."

"Including rooms?" Artie protested, almost stumbling through the doorway as Miranda led him in with a firm grip on his collar.

"Of course." Miranda pushed him down in a comfortably padded armchair and draped herself over his lap, making escape impossible without dumping her on her delicate behind.

Jim blindly felt behind him for the door and swung it firmly closed without breaking from Melinda's kiss. He didn't seem too overly concerned, but then James had always been utterly unembarrassable about some things. Miranda forcibly turned Artie's head away from his view of Jim and laid a kiss on his lips which chased his partner from his mind, along with everything else.

Miranda was very talented, and soon ensnared Artemus in kisses and caresses. She squirmed delightfully in his lap, deliberately provoking a reaction he'd have sworn impossible under the circumstances. She capped her performance by sliding slowly from the chair, leaving his clothes open and his body achingly erect. A soft moan escaped him when she took him into her mouth with no-nonsense skill.

Artie's head rolled back against the chair as waves of pleasure spilled through him. Mind hazy with arousal, he opened his eyes and was shocked by the sight of Jim and Melinda sprawled across the bed. He'd almost forgotten.

Though he knew he should turn away, Artie found his eyes drawn to the action on the bed. As usual, James had gotten straight to the point. Melinda was in her shift, her petticoats pushed up around her waist; Jim hadn't gotten around to removing his shirt, and his pants clung tenaciously around his knees. For all that, he was clearly showing her a good time. She clung to his shoulders with her delicate hands, and the single glimpse Artie had of her face showed him an expression suffused with pleasure.

He couldn't see Jim's face. He wanted to take the two steps to the bed and turn Jim's face to him, but his limbs were weak with arousal. He laid his head against the chair and watched Jim through heavy-lidded eyes, letting the pleasure of Miranda's talented mouth course unchecked through him. His gaze fell on Jim's bare buttocks, muscles clenching and shifting as he thrust rhythmically into the girl. Round and well-formed, always showing to such good effect in the tight pants, and even more perfect like this. Artemus wondered suddenly how it would feel to push between them and slide into James West.

He gasped as his climax hit him with unexpected force.

Artemus reclined on his bed back at the train, trying to read. It wasn't easy. He was unusually jumpy and kept having to suppress the impulse to pace around his room. Instead of calming his desires, their little jaunt had left him feeling aroused and anxious. Damn Jim and his ideas anyway.

Artie conscientiously took back that last thought, as he'd done several times in the last couple of hours. It wasn't Jim's fault that Artemus had found watching him so arousing. Problem was, he didn't quite know whose fault it was.

"Artie?" Jim's voice was full of annoyed amusement. He stood in the doorway in his shirtsleeves, arms crossed over his chest, one shoulder leaning against the frame.

"Yes, what?" Artie managed, hoping he didn't sound as startled as he felt.

"I said your name three times. Something wrong?"

"No, of course not," Artie denied hurriedly. "I was just reading. Fascinating book," he added, hoping Jim wouldn't ask what it was about, because he hadn't a clue.

"Of course." The amusement in Jim's eyes deepened. Clearly, he didn't believe a word. He pushed off the doorframe and wandered into the room. "I was concerned. You've been... distracted ever since we left--"

"Yes, well..." Artemus interrupted quickly, then cast about for some excuse. He was mortified when he couldn't come up with a thing to say.

"I thought maybe," Jim sat on the edge of Artie's bed, "you didn't enjoy our... excursion."

Jim's hip was almost touching Artie's, and he forced himself not to squirm away. He wished Jim would move away before his reaction became too obvious. While Artie tried desperately to think of something suitable to say, Jim plucked the nearly forgotten book out of Artie's hands and flipped absently through it.

"Maybe I was wrong," he mused quietly. "Maybe you enjoyed yourself more than you expected."

"The girl..." Artie floundered for a name.

"Miranda," Jim supplied gently. Artemus glared at him.

"She was very good."

"Yes, I noticed. Most of them finish off with their hands." He was teasing, and not gently.

Artemus blushed hotly. "I... surprised her."

"I know. I heard her coughing."

Artie was studying his hands as if he'd never seen them before, sure he'd never been so embarrassed in his life. It was unfair that the discomfort of the conversation did nothing to cool his unfortunate response to Jim's nearness.

Suddenly, Jim leaned close. "What were you thinking about?" His voice was soft, suggestive.

"Nothing," Artie countered hurriedly. "I told you; she was good."

Jim drew back, something like disappointment in his eyes. He spoke in his usual light tone. "Girl like that doesn't get taken by surprise easily." He tossed the book on Artie's night table. "If you finished before she was ready, it wasn't anything she did." Without warning, his eyes captured Artie's. "I know you were looking at me."

"No, I--"

"What were you thinking about?" Jim repeated, with the air of a man expecting a prompt response.

Embarrassment and frustration entwined in Artie's gut to birth a new union: anger. He grabbed Jim's shirt, sitting up as he pulled him down roughly. "This," he hissed before pressing his lips hard against Jim's.

Artemus wasn't certain which was more surprising: that he was kissing Jim, or that Jim was kissing him back.

Startled, he released Jim suddenly, flopping back on the bed. Jim laughed, and hauled Artie up by his collar, cornering him into another kiss, as rough and perfect as the first. Artemus wrapped his arms around Jim's torso and pulled the smaller man across him, rolling James down to the bed and lying on top of him. Finally, he had to break the kiss to gulp in air. Jim recovered first and pulled him back down, simultaneously rolling them back across the bed.

Jim's weight pressed upon Artemus, and the vague embarrassment he still clung to vanished without a trace as the evidence of Jim's desire pushed against his belly. Jim held Artie's head still between his hands as he plundered his mouth, offering no quarter. Artemus responded in kind, wrapping his arms around Jim's ribs and heaving sideways. Jim wiggled out of his grasp and pushed him back down, quelling the bid for control. For the moment. Artemus let him clamber back on top and reclaim his mouth.

It was rough and affectionate. A meeting of strengths. No fear of harming his bedmate. Nothing but desire to be found in his partner's hard embrace. They rolled back and forth on the bed, fighting for, winning, and losing the battle for control. In the matter of pleasure, they both won.

Artemus rolled Jim onto his back again and pinned his arms to the bed over his head. Panting, he reared up to stare down at his partner. Jim's eyes burned sapphire blue in his flushed face as he grinned victoriously at Artie. Jim wrapped one leg around Artie and pushed the other knee between his legs, pressing his thigh up firmly against Artie's groin. Artemus threw his head back with a groan, thrusting his hips hard against Jim. He vaguely heard Jim's breath catch as his own erection was stroked by Artie's driving rhythm.

Jim arched and struggled under Artemus, rocking his partner with his wild battle. He'd have broken the hold if he weren't fighting more for completion than freedom. He did get one hand free. He wrapped his hand around the back of Artie's head and pulled him down, kissing him roughly. Their teeth clashed electrically. Jim's leg tightened around Artie, pulling him in against Jim's thigh harder and harder as Artie pressed his hip against Jim's answering hardness. Artie would have cried out if Jim's mouth had released his, and he grew lightheaded from Jim's muffled moans. It was over in a matter of moments.

When the madness released him, Artemus collapsed against Jim, his hands falling lax to the mattress. Jim's leg slid loosely down Artie's, leaving his foot still wrapped over Artie's ankle. Artie panted against Jim's collarbone until he started to get his breath back and realized Jim's breathing still heaved laboriously against his covering body. Not finding the energy to roll off, he pushed himself sideways a little, taking most of his weight off Jim's ribcage.

They lay in a tangled heap as reality slowly reformed itself about them, and Artemus realized he was lying fully dressed across his likewise clad partner, uncomfortably sticky under his clothing. He began to laugh.

"Next time," he managed after he found his breath once again, "will you at least let me get undressed first?" He froze as he realized what he'd said.

Then Jim's fingers brushed lightly through his hair to settle warmly on the back of his neck. He squeezed Artie affectionately between one arm and his embracing leg. "Sure."

Artemus twitched as something tickled his ear. Drawn up out of a sound sleep by the recurring annoyance, he surfaced slowly to a gray pre-dawn, muzzily aware of being warm and comfortable, bare limbs entwined with smooth warm flesh. He yawned sleepily, then jerked sharply awake as his mind followed through to the natural, if unbelievable, conclusion.

His ear tickled again and he twisted to rub it against the pillow. Jim's brilliant green gaze twinkled back at him. Blinking quickly, Artemus tried to shake himself awake, and ignore how completely Jim's eyes had changed color from earlier. Earlier.

"Damn," he breathed, just before Jim pushed him flat on his back and landed on top of him. He emerged breathlessly from being thoroughly kissed and gently pushed Jim off him. "Give me a little warning, won't you?"

"All I promised was that I'd let you take your clothes off first." Jim grinned mischievously and drew a finger from Artie's neck all the way down to his knee, demonstrating the obvious conclusion. "And, since you're already undressed..."

Before Artemus could reply, he was being kissed again, morning stubble scraping his chin. He quickly decided that nothing he could say was as important as enjoying this, and set about returning the kiss wholeheartedly. Priorities were priorities, after all.

Jim threw back the covers and pushed Artie's shoulders to the mattress as he deepened the kiss. His hands were rough -- callused, Artie knew, from wielding guns and reins, scarred from countless fistfights. Artie lifted his hands to Jim's shoulders. Not to grab him, turn the tables. That would come later. He ran his fingers over the heavy muscles at the top of Jim's shoulders, traced over the scar on the right biceps, the two crossed faintly just under the left collarbone, and the deep gouges of sharp teeth near the elbow. Artie ran his hands down Jim's arms, skimming over the distinctive bulge of muscle in the biceps and forearms, enjoying that unambiguous assurance of power.

As his tongue fenced with Jim's, Artemus returned his hands to his partner's shoulders and started down again, this time passing over the corded muscles of his back. Rough here too, with the horizontal overlapping scars left by the whip; if he bothered to try, he knew he could count all twenty by touch. He dropped his left hand to find, just at the limit of his reach, the slick raised scar on the outside of Jim's calf, just under his knee. Then he returned both hands to the small of Jim's back and traced the sleek sweep of muscle down to the top of his sweetly curved buttocks.

Jim chose that moment to release Artie's mouth. While Artie was drawing in much needed air, Jim licked a shivery path along his jaw from his chin back to his ear.

"If you're finished with your survey...?" His voice was soft, but the deep timbre vibrated directly into Artie's ear, and he twitched instinctively away.

"I was just..."

Jim kissed him again and pulled his arms up over his head while he was otherwise occupied, pinning them there with one strong hand. He shifted half onto his side, leaving one leg thrown across Artie's thighs, and stroked his free hand proprietarily over Artie's exposed body. His fingers swept lightly over the scar creasing Artie's left thigh, investigated the half-overlapping puckered scars in the hollow of his left collarbone, and paused to trace the blue-green dragon tattooed around his right biceps and forearm. Releasing Artie's hands, he ran his palm from shoulder to wrist, molding the hard muscles, and raised Artie's right hand to his mouth. His tongue flicked over the rough tip of each finger, and the callused webbing between thumb and forefinger. Jim ended by pressing a kiss to the center of Artie's palm.

"I know what you were doing." Jim rolled onto his back, taking Artie with him, and guided Artie's head down to his chest.

Artemus threw his arm over Jim's chest, curled one leg over Jim's, and listened to the oddly slow heartbeat under his ear. He was shaken by what Jim had done. Artemus had simply been investigating the very strong, very male body he'd found in his arms. What Jim had done felt strangely like a benediction.

"You aren't going to tell me, are you?" Jim asked after a while, his voice rumbling up through his chest.

"What?" Artie didn't lift his head; it was fascinating to hear Jim's voice normally through one ear, and through the sounding board of his chest with the other.

"What you were thinking about when you nearly choked Miranda."

Now Artie lifted his head. "Didn't we already have this conversation?"

"You never answered the question satisfactorily." Jim's lips were curved ever so slightly upward, and amusement shaded his eyes with a touch of blue.

"And here I thought we were both satisfied."

In answer, Jim rolled to push his hardening cock against Artie's hip.

Artemus half-faked a dismayed groan. "James, my boy, I'm not nearly as young as you are."

"You're not half in your grave either." Jim rolled him over and settled on his chest again. He seemed to appreciate the strong curve of Artie's ribs. Certainly, he spent long enough tracing them with his fingers while he drove Artemus mad by worrying at his nipples with teeth and tongue.

His limits reached, Artemus proved he could have gotten out of the earlier hold by heaving Jim off his chest. He pinned Jim's shoulders to the mattress with both hands, and threw one leg across him. Jim crowed in triumph when he felt Artie's hard erection poke his hip.

"There's life in you yet."

"Amazing what you can do when properly motivated." Artemus lowered his head to lick the strong column of Jim's throat. Though he lifted his chin to expose more of his neck to Artie's ministrations, Jim still managed to speak clearly.

"So what motivated you to choke Miranda?"

"Jim..." Artie left off with a sigh.

"I saw you give her some money before we left. Feeling guilty?"

"We've had this discussion." Artie rolled over on his back and draped one arm over his eyes. The mattress shifted as Jim moved, and Artie didn't have to see him to know he was propped up on one elbow, regarding him with the fire of curiosity in his eyes. "I already told you what I was thinking about."

"Kissing me?"

"Yes, damn it! You really know how to kill the mood," Artie accused to cover his embarrassment.

"I don't believe you."

"What?" Artie shoved himself up on one elbow. "Didn't that wrestling match we had earlier convince you of anything?"

Jim's fingers absently traced the hollow above Artie's collarbone. "I don't believe that the thought of kissing me would really have come as all that much of a surprise. Or have made you come so hard you choked that poor girl." He grinned unrepentantly. "You're nothing if not courteous, even when you pay for it."

"Courteous!?" Artemus growled. "I'll show you courteous." He pulled Jim over on top, hauling his partner up against him by thigh and shoulder. Part of him was still marveling at the pleasure to be found in the use of unrestrained strength, even as he kissed Jim with single-minded intensity. They were both breathless when he finally broke off the kiss.

"Well?" Jim panted.

Artie sighed. "You're right. Kissing you wasn't entirely a new thought."

"So what was?" Jim nuzzled against Artie's ear, lowering his voice to a whisper. "What made you come so hard it took you ten minutes to remember how to fasten your pants?" His warm breath tickled Artie's ear, making him shiver.

"You're exaggerating."


"This." Driven to recklessness, Artemus moved his hand up to cup the firm curve of one perfect buttock. His fingers curled naturally into the crevice to brush lightly over the entrance to Jim's body. "That." Jim made a soft sound, and shuddered in his arms. Artie dropped his voice to a soft rumble. "I was thinking of how perfect your body is, and how much I wanted to bury myself inside you."

Jim panted heavily, his breath gusting over Artie's damp chest. He pushed himself up to hands and knees, straddling Artie, to stare down at him with eyes gone darkest blue with desire.

"You think you're up to it?"


Jim bared his teeth in a predatory grin. "If you came that hard just thinking about it, do you think you can handle the real thing?"

Artemus gaped up at Jim. Before he could gather his wits about him, Jim took advantage of his bewilderment to initiate another hot, wet, open-mouthed kiss. By the time he was released, Artie had recovered slightly from his surprise, and begun shaking in earnest. With desire.

Wrapping his arms around Jim's waist, Artie rolling him easily to his back and followed him over. Jim obligingly spread his legs, and Artie settled between them, lightly pressing their hard erections together to the accompaniment of a pleasured hiss from his partner, before leaning in for another kiss.

He didn't insult Jim by asking if he was sure.

Artie's hips began an instinctive rocking as their tongues dueled in the dark warmth between their lips. Jim rolled and pitched under him, his strangled moans swallowed by Artie's mouth, as his tender flesh was smoothly stroked by Artie's thrusting cock. Artemus felt the hard hands searching for purchase on his back, but ignored them, not permitting Jim to roll them over. The brief moment of surrender had given him the upper hand and he meant to keep it.

As wildly exciting as Artemus found the sexual battle of strengths, he couldn't allow it to continue. He was in no doubt that he could badly hurt Jim if he wasn't careful.

When the shaking of Jim's body led him to believe the end was near, Artie released Jim's mouth and licked a salty path down the corded muscles of his neck to capture a crinkled nipple. Jim groaned, arching up into Artie's mouth. He didn't struggle when Artemus slid partway off him to continue the oral investigation.

Their first encounter hadn't precisely been conducive to exploration, and even once they'd removed their clothes, there had been nothing more pressing on the agenda than a few hours' sleep. Now, however...

The dark hair scattered over Jim's chest was soft and springy to the touch; it ruffled charmingly when Artemus blew on it. Equally charming, to Artie's way of thinking, was the deep groan the soft current of air elicited. He licked erratically down the warm bronze skin, tracing the well-defined musculature, and dipping his tongue into Jim's navel. A strong hand wrapped around the back of his neck, firmly directing his wandering attention to where it was most desired. Grinning affectionately, Artemus offered the proud, if somewhat desperate, flesh a single curious lick before pulling free of Jim's hands and crawling back up his body to steal another kiss.

Jim's disappointed groan only cemented Artie's desire to investigate the region in greater detail at a later date. However, the erratic rhythm of Jim's breathing suggested now was not an appropriate time. Not if he wanted to take Jim up on his offer.

It was hard to think with Jim's tongue burrowing wetly behind his teeth, and the strong young body thrusting impatiently against his own. Artemus was finally able to wrest a single thought from the confusion of his mind, and squirm out of Jim's arms. He crawled to the side of the bed and reached for the night table drawer, and the jar of lotion he kept there for those nights he indulged in the solitary vice. It should prove just as useful for more companionable vices.

Jar in hand, he had just begun to turn around when strong arms snaked around his waist, and warm skin blanketed his back. Jim's hands swooped unerringly down his chest to stroke firmly over his swollen cock. Frozen in place, kneeling dangerously near the edge of the bed, Artie grabbed desperately for the bedframe with one hand and tightened his grip on the jar with the other, so as not to drop it. Jim wrapped his hand around Artie's erection and stroked it lazily. Artemus instinctively spread his legs wider, an opening Jim instantly took advantage of. He pushed his knees in between Artie's, keeping him off balance, so that only his white-knuckled grip on the headboard and Jim's strong arm around his chest kept him upright.

"Perhaps we ought to try this the other way around," Jim murmured in his ear. He leaned backwards a little, bringing Artie's weight more fully against his chest, and dropped his free hand to cup Artie's balls, rolling them slowly between his fingers as he languidly stroked Artie's cock with the other.

"Jim?" Artie managed between pants.

Jim released his cock and reached for the jar in Artie's hand, removing the top with a quick flick of the wrist. He dipped his fingers in the lotion and slid them slickly up and down Artie's cock, drawing forth a strangled moan.

"Do you have any idea what you looked like?" Jim's voice was deep, almost painfully close to Artie's ear, rumbling through his chest, and making Artie shake with the vibrations. "Kneeling on the bed, reaching for that drawer?" His fingers traveled to the jar again and this time, on their return, slid under Artie's balls to tease the flinching entrance to his body. "You looked like a man begging to be mated," the last a whisper.

Artie moaned deep in his throat. The previously unimagined burst in upon him, scattering all other thoughts. If the idea of fucking Jim swept away all previous fantasies, the thought of having Jim slide into him shattered him completely.

"Ah, God!"

"Like it?" Jim whispered, his fingers probing deeper. One slid into Artie's body, a second not far behind.

Artie writhed, torn between the unfamiliar invasion and Jim's renewed grip on his throbbing cock. He cried out suddenly, something inside sending a burst of unexpected pleasure through him, deciding the issue once and for all. He slumped back against Jim, letting the younger man take his full weight, both excited and frightened by the hard press of Jim's cock against his buttocks. Jim's thighs pushed Artie's knees farther apart, opening him more fully to the deliberate invasion.

"Beautiful," Jim murmured, his lips brushing Artie's shoulder. "Mine." He applied his teeth, nipping hard.

Artie jumped, torn out of his sensual haze, and turned in a flash, bearing Jim down under him. He couldn't restrain a soft moan at the sudden withdrawal of Jim's invading fingers, but the feel of that hot, hard body against his dulled the loss. Utilizing his full strength, Artie fought for control; Jim fought back with equal strength, and they rolled across the bed, first one then the other briefly master of the game.

Wrestling only heightened the excitement, sweat-slicked skin sliding easily, cocks meeting, brushing, rubbing against a muscled thigh, tight stomach, mating cock. Finally, breathlessly, they fought to a standstill, with Artie on top this time, stretched out over Jim, hands pressing his wrists to the bed over his head.

"Changed your mind?" Artie asked sweetly, knowing he couldn't hold Jim if Jim didn't want to be held.

"Maybe. Maybe not." Jim's smile was feral. But he didn't move when Artie released him and stretched an arm over him to retrieve the jar of lotion which had been overturned in the struggle, but thankfully not spilled much.

"Curious, then." Artie dipped his fingers in the ointment and turned to Jim. He scooted between the obligingly splayed legs and crooked one knee over his thigh. Jim twisted and hissed when Artie's slick fingers pressed into him.

"Um," Jim made a noise deep in his throat and arched his back. "Yes." His legs spread wider, offering easier access.

Artie lifted Jim's hips with one strong hand, never pausing in his exploration, and shoved a pillow under him. Piercing blue eyes blazed up at him, daring him to do it, daring him not to. Artie hooked an elbow in the crook of Jim's knee and pushed his legs back, kneeling closer. He removed his fingers from the tight heat of Jim's body, swept them briefly over his still slick erection, then pressed the head to the small aperture. Jim cried out, quivering, his back arching like a drawn bow, as Artie's grip on his hips tightened and he thrust into the most beautiful man he'd ever seen.

He stopped only once he was deeply seated, and waited, holding his breath. Jim tossed his head against the sheet, panting heavily. He stirred restlessly, moaning softly when the movement shifted Artie's shaft inside him. Finally, his eyes met Artie's and he smiled, a smile which was little more than the baring of his teeth.

"Move," he ordered, bringing his legs down to spread them wide around Artie, feet planted flat on the bed. He lifted himself to meet the first thrust, and Artie was lost.

He pulled out and pushed home, pausing briefly at the end of each movement. Out, pause, in, pause. Building a rhythm which grew faster on each stroke. Jim's body accepted him with ease, closing tightly around him when he was buried deep, and seeming to drag at him as he pulled out.

Intoxicated, Artie looked down, master of all he surveyed. Jim lay spread out before him, bronzed skin gleaming with sweat, torso rocking in a sinuous dance, swaying to meet each thrust. His cock stood proudly up from his groin, the flared head weeping with denied pleasure. Artie slid a hand between them to cup Jim's tender balls, lifting them gently aside so he could see the place where his cock disappeared inside Jim's body.

"Jesus, Jim," he breathed, entranced. He released Jim's balls with a caress and moved to take the man's heavy erection in hand.

"No." Jim pushed Artie's hand aside. "Don't touch."

"What?" Artie gasped.

"That's for later." He looked up at Artemus through heavy-lidded eyes. "That's for you."

Artie froze, thrust full length inside Jim, his hands tight on Jim's hips, every muscle quivering as he fought not to come. He could see Jim's eyes laughing at him, at his near loss of control brought about by mere words. But such words! After a minute, he fought the overwhelming arousal down and smiled back at Jim.

"In that case, I'd better not keep you waiting."

He rocked his hips gently, drawing a gasp from Jim. Artie lifted Jim's knees onto his shoulders and bent over him, pushing his thighs back against his chest, until he could press kisses across Jim's face. Jim grunted as the position drove Artie deeper into him. He turned his head to meet Artie's kiss, thrusting strongly with his tongue, taking control of the kiss even as Artie took control of his body.

Artemus braced himself and pulled out, driving back hard and withdrawing again without pause. He plunged deeper, harder, into the tight grip of Jim's body, his mouth containing and muffling Jim's moans. Jim's hands closed on Artie's shoulders and held tight as his body was plundered by increasingly powerful thrusts. He threw his head back, breaking the kiss, panting hard, and it seemed he would come, would reach completion at the same time Artemus did. However, bucking wildly with the final spasms of pleasure, Artie spent himself with Jim's hard cock thrusting unrelieved against his stomach.

He knelt over Jim, panting dizzily, his climax leaving him lightheaded. Artie moaned when Jim pulled himself off his still sensitive cock, vaguely hearing Jim's own hoarse moan of loss. He was barely aware of Jim slipping out from under him until Jim's hands, rough with calluses, took his hips.

"Jim--" he broke off with a hoarse gasp. Jim thrust into him in one burning stroke, driving the thick wedge of his cock deep into the center of him. "God," he moaned, the small part of his mind still capable of rational thought grateful that Jim had prepared him earlier. Even with the lotion it should have hurt, perhaps, but all he felt was the driving rhythm, the broad sword which impaled him with all the fire of Jim's need.

Hot breath panted against his back as Jim used him for his own pleasure. Artie had had his, and Jim's could wait no longer. There was no gentleness in it, just the forceful thrusts, taking what was needed.

Artie buried his face in the bedclothes and whimpered. The hard length of Jim's cock battered at him, filling him in one instant, emptying him in the next. It seemed Jim couldn't go any deeper, his hips smacking against Artie's buttocks with every hard thrust. Then he shoved Artie's knees farther apart, and the next thrust seemed to go straight to his heart. A pulse of bright-edged pleasure shot through him like a spike of pain, and Artie screamed. Jim tightened his grip on Artie's hips and did it again, and again. Moaning, shaking, Artie pushed himself up on his hands and rocked back against Jim on the next thrust, seeking that shocking pleasure.

Jim made a soft sound like a chuckle. "Like it, Artie?" he whispered breathlessly. One hand released Artie's hip and closed around his erection, still half-hard from taking Jim.

"No." Artie grabbed Jim's wrist. "I can't. Too much."

"Too much for an old man," Jim told him. He wrapped an arm around Artie's chest and hauled him upright, kneeling, straddling Jim's legs, impaled on the thick spear of his cock. "You're no old man." He shook off Artie's hand and wrapped his fist around Artie's cock.

"Jim," Artie moaned. His head lolled back against Jim's shoulder, body caught between pleasures. His ass spasmed around the invading bulk and Jim bucked instinctively. Artemus gasped, his cock hardening fully in Jim's hand.

"That's it, Artie. That's my Artie," Jim crooned low in his ear. His fist tightened on Artie's cock, speeding up the strokes as he bucked up into Artie's body, short powerful thrusts which sparked jolts of pleasure through him. In another minute, Artemus was coming again, groaning and shuddering as his seed bubbled over Jim's hand, his ass clenching around the invader. "Yes!" He shoved Artie down, arms locked around his waist, forehead pressing into Artie's back, as he rutted passionately, thrusting hard into Artie's yielding body. He jerked violently when he came, bucking once, and again, as his body spilled into Artie's.

When it was over, they lay panting in a sated heap, Jim sprawled over Artie's back, his cock throbbing deep inside. Artemus shivered with the force of the tiny aftershocks which still swept through him, relishing the deep pleasure as his body involuntarily tightened and relaxed around Jim's. He moaned in protest when Jim pulled carefully out and rolled off him, leaving him empty.

"Okay?" Jim asked between pants.

"Yeah." Artie wearily turned his face against the bed until he could see Jim, who was lying on his back next to Artie with his eyes closed; Artie's tongue sluggishly wet his lips. "Not sure I like that part."

"Know what you mean," Jim patted him lightly on the hip and let his hand rest there. He was still shivering slightly with pleasure. Artie watched the smile slowly growing on Jim's lips. Finally, he opened his eyes and turned his head toward Artie. His eyes were a sparkling green. "Jesus, Artie. With sex like that, who needs Miranda?"

"Or Melinda."

Jim rolled over suddenly and sprawled half-atop Artie, nuzzling, beard stubble scraping his back. He bit Artie on the shoulder, not gently. "Mine."

"Very well," Artie murmured, already half asleep despite the early hour. "If you insist."

"Oh, I do," Jim whispered in his ear, voice already taking on a dreaming cadence. "I do."

And on that note, with Jim's body heavy on his, his soft breath fanning over the back of his ear, Artie fell asleep, his only thought the fervent hope that Jim didn't snore.


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