* * *
Check Mate--a Gambling Men Ficlet
They walked, shoulder to shoulder, down the streets of San Francisco, both of them imposing and crisp enough that none of the myriad bodies on the sidewalk separated them--or even imposed on their conversation.
The wind off the bay blew fiercely, but they were both wearing thick wool coats, and their stride was so confident nobody would even dream of getting in their way.
Or, well, nobody would dream of getting in Jace's way. Quent was a little more flexible--more like a fox and less like a shark, right down to his still neatly kept goatee, which made his face triangular and vulpine. But Quent didn't mind not scaring people--he'd never felt the need to make people tremble as he passed.
Jace on the other hand relished it. Quent knew--in the past five years he'd caught his husband practicing his menacing look in the mirror more than once.
When Jase was in a crappy, bear of a mood, Quent could take him back down from DefCon 1 to DefCon 5 by making his eyebrows do that quirking thing that Jace used to terrify people into submission. It was a mighty power, and Quent only used it for the greater good, because he knew if he did it too much, Jase would simply practice another look.
Like right now, when he was trying to intimidate Quent into telling him something he knew better to ask.
"A video game," he said, voice laden with irritation. "Please tell me it's a video game console. That would be acceptable."
"I hate the things," Quent said before smiling gently at an elderly woman and dodging aside to let her pass. Yeah, doing the "captains of the city" thing felt good from a confidence standpoint, but she'd been using a walker and Quent wasn't that much of a bastard. Jace wasn't really either, but he was bad at paying attention to other people, and odds were good he just hadn't seen her.
"Really?" Jace wrinkled his nose. "How did I not know that?"
Quent let out a sharp laugh. "You hate the things, so you've never noticed we didn't have any."
"Hunh." Jace brooded. "Is there anything else I've deprived you of?"
"Yes. Living in the closet, boredom, and terminal loneliness. Are we done with this conversation?"
Jace's hand rose up to his short, dark-blond hair, and stopped. Thirteen years together--seven as friends, five as lovers--and as far as Quent knew, it was his only tic. He used to keep his hair cut stubble-close, and he'd had the habit of rubbing his cupped hand over his scalp. He'd grown his hair back four years ago, after their first year together, but that habit of palming his scalp-trim still plagued him when he was thinking. Except if he did it now, he'd mess up his closely cut, blow-dried, product enhanced hair.
"No. I still don't know what the big package is!" Oh, yes. Jason Spade, stock broker, prodigy, money-maker extraordinaire and scary man in the big dark coat had reached his breaking point and now sounded like a spoiled child.
Quent cackled. "And that's why we wait until Christmas!"
"It's in two days! I don't see the point!"
Oh man. "You still don't know what to get me, do you?"
Jace's growl of outrage was pure frustration. "Every year! Every goddamned year! It drives me banana shit! How do you manage the perfect present, special ordered in fucking November, and I'm racking my brains and end up buying you slippers and robes and shit!"
Quent's laugh rang across the Embarcadero. Yes! He paused at a corner and leaned in to kiss Jace's cheek before they continued their stride to work. "Jase, once a year I have you off balance and wondering what's going to happen next. You have me like that all the time. Fair's fair, poker player, and you know it!"
He caught Jace's scowl as they both entered the lobby of their building, and returned it with his sweetest smile. Suck on that Mr. Captain of the City. Quent wasn't going to tell Jace what his Christmas present was and that was that.
* * *
Jace went shopping at lunch, which Quent suspected he might, but he came back looking... odd. He was smiling, but his smile was a tight rictus over his cheeks, and his gait was... off. Strange. Elsie noticed right away.
"It's a stick or a butt plug," she said wisely over strong coffee. She'd laid off the tanning booths in recent years, but she was still stick thin and gaudily outrageous, and her hair was still platinum blonde. She and her mister had managed to get all four of their sons through college, and Quentin didn't think she was enjoying life any less now that her husband was retired and she was heading that way too. He and Jace had provided an awesome retirement plan, so he was hoping they'd RV all over the country and send them postcards.
But not of Jace with a stick up his ass.
"What in the hell?" Quent asked. "No, seriously-- maybe he's constipated."
She looked at him pityingly. "Quentin, darling. You've only been together for five years--you're too young to be this jaded."
Quent pursed his mouth dubiously. Jace's digestion was... finicky. Forget fruit for breakfast or change when he had his coffee, and they'd all be dealing with the grizzly bear boss until his intestines got sorted. "But... at work?"
Elsie cackled. "Remember when you two had wild banging sex for half-an hour in the copy room?"
Quent felt heat wash up his throat. Their other employees had moved on or moved up since then, and they had a whole new rotation of stockbrokers and secretaries in the still growing firm. Elsie was the only one there who remembered that--but he had the feeling that she'd told everybody else.
And then he thought about it. "Yeah," he said. "That was... well..."
"A while ago. Quick--go bend over in there now. I could use something to tell the hubs!"
Quent glared at her, but... well, greeting his husband with a passionate kiss wasn't beyond the realm of possibility, was it?
"Tell your hubs nothing," Quent warned. "But I'm going to go see what's doing."
Originally, they'd both had separate offices, but three years ago they'd gotten a remodel, putting both their desks in the same room, just like they'd been at college when they could bounce idea off each other. Jace had joked that if they were any more in each other's pockets, they'd walk down the street with Jace behind Quent, his cock lodged solidly in Quent's ass.
Quent hadn't laughed, because A. The visual had bothered him-- he couldn't figure out if he'd have his pants down to his ankles or if he'd have to cut a hole in all of his slacks, and B. He liked how close they were. Even their poker buddies liked how close they were. Every year Mitch had the big Christmas party where he invited all the guys and their families, but Jace and Quent had the big New Years Eve poker game, where it was just the guys, and any money they had leftover from Christmas.
But, not once, had they ever abused the locking door of their office, not in the last three years.
Quent walked in and very deliberately locked the door behind him. When he turned around, Jace was typing furiously on something at his desk, that desperate tension still in his jaw.
Quent walked behind his desk chair and cupped the back of his head and bent down, waiting until Jace turned to kiss him, hot, wet, and open mouthed.
Jace lunged out of the chair and knocked Quent on his back, savaging his mouth with a snarl that left Quent breathless. Quent moaned and licked at the inside of Jace's mouth, shoving his hands under Jace's waistband to have access to his washboard stomach and taut chest, to bathe his skin un Jace's boiling heat.
Jace moaned, seemingly undone by a simple cares, and Quent chased his advantage, pinching his nipples tight and hard, just like Jace liked it. Jace buried his face in the hollow of Quent's shoulder and growled, and his hands went straight to Quent's pants.
Before Quent quite knew what happened, Jace had swung his body around and shoved Quent's pants around his ankles. Jace's hand was fished over Quent's cock and his mouth was working the head, hard and fast, while Quent's brain tried to process going from zero to a zillion in the space of a kiss.
It didn't work. There was no processing that, so Quent just fumbled with Jace's belt and tried to strip him while working upside down. Jace was making screaming in frustration noises over Quent's cock by the time the pants were shoved down around Jace's shapely backside, and Quent had his mouth wrapped around the engorged, purple and dripping head of Jace's dick.
Oh God... their arousal was furious and delicious, and Quent kneaded Jace's backside with his fingers, trying to pull that cock further down his throat. And further. And...
What was that?
Jace made one of those out of control muffled noises, and Quent almost came.
There was a plug in Jason Spade's ass.
"Oh God," he groaned, Jase's cock slapping him in the face as he spoke. "You want to--"
"Fuck me!" Jase moaned, flopping to the side in a needy pile. "God, Quent... I thought I could wait until we got home but--"
Quent scrambled to his knees and rolled Jace over, just looking at it. Big and pink, it stretched Jace wide--probably uncomfortably so.
"Oh Lord," Quent breathed, tonguing the skin around it, tasting silicon and lubricant and Jace's sweat. "You bastard." He pulled the plug halfway out and released it back in. "I said I liked you off balance once a year and--" He did it again.
Jace kicked his pants off, then pulled up to his hands and knees, ass in the air, and bit his hand, probably to stave off the scream. "Yesssss..." He half-sobbed into the carpet. "I did, and it backfired because I need you so fucking bad!"
Quent had been known to top in their relationship--enjoyed it on occasion. But in five years, he could never remember Jace being quite so desperate.
Quent flicked the thing again to watch him squirm.
"Please, Quent!" Jace begged. "I'm sorry! I'll never try to outdo you at Christmas again."
For a moment, Quent entertained dragging his pants up and forcing him to walk home like this, cock hard in his boxers, ass stretched beyond comfort. But he was begging, and Jason Spade never begged. And Quent was so hard his cock was purple.
Nope-- having Jason Spade begging, just once, to be dominated, and wriggling apology on the carpet-- that was pretty much Quent's Christmas present for the next ten years, because it was never going to happen again.
With a firm tug--and no mercy at all, Quent pulled the plug out and dropped it carefully on Jace's underwear.
And then nothing in the world could have kept him from plunging hard and fast into Jace's ass, which gripped him sweetly like the home his cock had never known.
He snapped his hips forward just to hear Jace howl, and after that, the sex, the sensation, the skin-searing pleasure--that was a blur. He didn't thrust so much as batter, hammering into his lover without rhyme or rhythm, just desperate, desperate to feel Jace contract around him.
"Quent," Jace pleaded. "My cock!"
Oh man--Quent had been so intent on Jace's body he hadn't actually understood the scene. "Touch it," he ordered, because that's where Jace had been going with this. The one thing that Quentin never got--domination-- was the thing that Jace was trying to give him.
Jace sucked at submission.
"Stroke it!" Quent urged. "And come, dammit, come!"
On God-- they were shouting sex words at each other on the floor of their office. If Elsie wanted the entire crop of new employees to know they were banging each other, she got her wish, but it didn't matter. Quent needed Jace to come so Jace could go back to being the one in charge.
He cried out in climax, ass rippling around Quent's cock, and Quent's entire body convulsed in the relief of orgasm. Jace collapsed on the floor, sweating, with Quent on top of him.
For a few moments, the only sound in the office was the sound of both their phones ringing insistently. Neither of them answered.
"God," Jason groaned after a moment. "That was a bad idea."
"No," Quent said, kissing his neck. "That was a great idea. That was just the worst timing ever."
Jace hid his head with his arms. "I... I don't usually... fuck."
Quent laughed, grateful that the days when this would have hurt Jason irreparably were gone. At the beginning, his heart had been so very guarded, but now, Quent was inside the fortress. He got to see this, because Jace let him in."Yes, Jace. We usually do fuck. Just not here."
"I don't usually--"
"Submit." Quent whispered it in his ear like a naughty word. "Yeah. I know. It was a rush." He groaned and pulled out, grabbing Kleenex from the top of Jace's desk to clean them both off. "But... you know..." Suddenly he grimaced, missing Jace in charge. "Maybe once a year, right?"
"Yeah." Jace reached back behind him and gestured imperiously for the Kleenex. "Give me those. Let's get cleaned up and unlock the door."
"Yes boss," Quent said, smiling hopefully, but it was no good. Jace was still avoiding his eyes.
They cleaned up, five years of being lovers not easing the embarrassment as much as it should. Finally, Jace was put together down to the last cufflink and smooth of his tie, and the offending item was wrapped in tissue and buried in Quent's briefcase.
They both sat at their desks and tried to catch up the messages that had hit when they'd been fucking each other silly on the carpet, and for an hour, they didn't have a chance to look up so m much as say anything to each other.
And then, finally, blessed silence.
Quent looked up and caught Jace's eye and winked hopefully. "Elsie didn't say anything."
"Thank God," Jace growled.
"Uh, everybody seems to be keeping it to themselves."
Jace didn't look at him. "I'm much relieved."
"Uh, it's a giant chess table with carved stone pieces."
That got Jace's attention. "What?"
"Your Christmas present. You know. I got..." Quest's face heated. "I sort of got mine early, so, I thought, you know, I'd tell you what yours was."
Jace's face went slack with affection. He only looked at Quent that way. "Chess? Really?"
Quent nodded. "Yeah. Well, we seem to have mastered the poker thing. I thought we'd move to something else. I mean, you know, just between us."
The corners of Jace's mouth quirked up. "So... what we just did?"
"I have no idea," Quent said, flailing for the metaphor. "Wait! Wait!" He grinned. "I just took my king. Check mate!"
Jace smiled at him, the warmth and ease back between them that Quent relied on to get him through each day, every day. "Tonight, maybe a rematch."
"Can't deal chess, Quent. I think you need to set up the board."
Quent's evil chuckle echoed through their office. "Or, you know... put the pieces in place."
Jace's grin was feral and wicked, all teeth.
Quent's shark was ready for another bite.