Monday, 24 December 2018

I Used to Sit by My Fireplace and Dream About You (A 'When Love Flue In' Epilogue)

I'm taking part in the Rainbow Advent Calendar again this year. Check out the masterlist here. There are some wonderful stories.

Thank you to Alex Jane for arranging this again this year. Sorting out this many authors must be like herding cats.

A link to a downloadable version of this story is at the bottom of the page.

I Used to Sit by My Fireplace and Dream About You

Long, jean-clad legs stretched out on the colourful rug in front of the fireplace. Dominic smirked and his gaze followed them up to slim hips and the strip of pale flesh that always seemed to escape the confines of the denim.
He shifted in his chair. Then adjusted himself through his jeans to ease the pressure on his already filling cock. The bare wall above the fireplace caught his attention—the ornate mirror that had hung there for years had been removed several days earlier and had left a ghostly impression on the wallpaper—and he dragged his gaze away from the body whose head and shoulders disappeared up his chimney flue.
He cast a look around the room, empty save for the chair he was sitting on, the rug on the carpet, and a bag of sweep’s tools, and sighed. Something heavy wedged in his chest at the knowledge that this was the last time a real fire would be lit in this house for the foreseeable future. Come the second of January, a damn wood-burning stove was being installed. The new owners had insisted.
A cough echoed out from the flue, snapping Dominic’s attention back to where it should be. While he’d been distracted, the sweep had pulled his knees under him and his arse was stuck enticingly in the air.
“Are we getting on with this?” The acoustics of the chimney warped and distorted his voice. “This flue is as clean as it’s ever been. And I can’t spend forever with my head up the chimney. I’ve got another job to get to, guv’nr.” He punctuated his remark with a wiggle of his arse.
Dominic snorted but his amusement wasn’t enough to stop his blood shooting down to his dick. He gripped the arm of the chair, steadying himself before attempting to stand. Any movement now might see him drop the floor and have to drag himself across the rug on his hands and knees.
The body shifted and twisted until Reagan’s face appeared, glancing over his shoulder with a concerned expression. “Are you okay? We don’t have to do this if you don’t want to. Sometimes fantasies only work when they’re just that, you know?”
“Like your little fantasy of the rugby team wanking over you in the shower?” Dominic forced his voice to sound stern even though the thought had him feeling aroused and possessive at the same time. He pushed himself to his feet and took a step closer, his gaze fixed on Reagan.
“They’re wanking over you actually. I’m just watching.” Reagan must have seen something in Dominic’s gaze. Resolve possibly. His eyes widened and a flush of colour scorched the skin at the base of his throat before disappearing into the dark scruff of his stubble.
Another step. Dominic reached for the button of his jeans. Reagan grinned and then ducked back into the fireplace.
“’ere, guv’nr. Pass us me rod, would ya?” His boyfriend appeared to be channelling his inner Dick Van Dyke for this performance.
“I’ll give you a rod.” His words had a gruff quality as Dominic attempted to force them past the catch in his throat. Reagan gave his arse another wiggle. “Brat,” Dominic mumbled, then added more loudly, “Probably not the rod you’re expecting though.”
“I’m expecting something thick and meaty with a slight kink to the left.” Reagan’s voice barely held back his note of laughter.
Dominic grinned then slowly unzipped, the catch of each metal tooth loud in the almost empty room. He took the final step to bring him up behind Reagan and dropped to his knees in the space between Reagan’s open legs.
“Come on. Give me the rod. I’m desperate for it.” There was a laugh there that Reagan couldn’t quite stifle, but it stuttered in his throat in a most satisfying way when Dominic leant over his back, nestling his aching cock against the curve of Reagan’s arse.
He reached around and groped for the button of Reagan’s jeans, flicking it open with shaking fingers. Thankfully, Reagan had left off the belt he usually wore to hold his jeans up. Not that he needed it so much these days. Dominic shoved his free hand down past the waistband of Reagan’s jeans and palmed one of Reagan’s cheeks. Training with the rugby club they’d joined had done wonders for Reagan’s glutes. No matter how often he complained about them, Reagan couldn’t deny the power of squats.
Fighting the material of jeans and boxers took longer than Dominic would have hoped, but finally he leant back to admire the view as Reagan’s pale flesh was revealed. Something glistened in the weak winter sun streaming through the window. He rubbed his thumb against the rim of Reagan’s hole. It slipped inside easily. The bastard had been lying there wiggling his arse, and the whole time he’d been lubed, ready for Dominic to just slide inside. He took a steadying breath and tried to keep his voice level. “Eager.”
“Always.” Reagan wiggled. “Come on.”
Dominic tried to push his jeans and boxer briefs down one handed, reluctant to relinquish the connection between them. “Give me a minute.”
“Leave ‘em on. The master of the ‘ouse ain’t got time or the decency to drop his kecks.”
Reagan had introduced Dominic to a lot over the last year. They’d done their fair share of hot and frantic coupling with trousers barely down their thighs, as well as slow lazy morning sex and a couple of memorable all-nighters. “But, the zip?”
“Mark me! Make me yours.”
Dominic didn’t know if Reagan was still in character, but the very idea made his head spin. He fumbled with the flap in his boxer briefs and released his dick. He eased his thumb out of Reagan’s hole, tugging slightly on the rim. Reagan keened. Dominic pushed his thumb back in.
Dominic grinned, slipped his thumb out again and lined himself up. He edged in slowly, relishing the tight heat that gripped his dick. He bottomed far more often than Reagan, enjoying giving up control especially after a taxing day lawyering, as Reagan called it.
He bottomed out, settled his hips briefly against Reagan’s arse, then pulled back until only his head was held in that vice-like grip. Reagan whimpered, and Dominic slammed back in. Twice. Three times. Urged on by the moans echoing up the chimney. He paused, admiring the pink scuff raised by the abrasion of denim and zip. He changed his grip on Reagan’s hips until he could swipe his thumbs over the damaged flesh. Was rewarded by a hiss and Reagan pressing back into him.
“Reagan.” Dominic groaned.
“That’s not me name, guv, but you can call me what you like.”
Damn this wasn’t what he wanted. He wanted Reagan moaning his name. Wanted to be able to kiss that patch of skin under Reagan’s ear that made him melt beneath Dominic. Wanted to see the love in his gaze. Fantasies were all well and good, but his reality was infinitely better. Anonymous sex might have been all he thought he was worth, but Reagan had changed all that.
“Come here.” He tugged on Reagan’s hips, encouraging him to back out of the fireplace. Reagan put up no resistance, letting Dominic do with him as he liked. Once he was sure Reagan’s head was clear of the surrounding stonework, Dominic pulled out and flipped him onto his back on the rug. Before Reagan had a chance to protest, Dominic slipped back inside him. He leant over, plastering his body to Reagan’s, relishing the brush of Reagan’s hardness against his stomach. The temptation was there to hammer into Reagan, rubbing off against his stomach until come soaked the space between them. But there was something more important to do first.
Dominic found the patch of skin under Reagan’s ear, pressed a chaste kiss to the spot, and whispered, “I love you.”

* * * * *

The kitchen table, which would be packed on the second van along with the last of the bedroom furniture and the chair and rug from the living room, had been laid with a plate of mince pies and a pot of cream, two mugs and a pot of tea. As Reagan wandered barefoot into the room, drying his hair with a towel, Dominic poured the tea.
He hadn’t been able to replicate the soot fall of the previous year. But nowadays he had no need to find an excuse to get Reagan into the shower. And he was free to join Reagan whenever the urge swept over him. His own hair curled damply at his neck, making the collar of his polo shirt wet, proof of the fact that he’d not long stepped out of the shower himself. A shower he’d shared with Reagan. The thought made him smile.
“I love the sheer joy you get from a perfect mug of tea, but I thought we’d packed all of this stuff up yesterday.”
Dominic didn’t bother correcting Reagan’s assumption, since that was true too, just not the real reason for his current smile. “I may have liberated the teapot and mugs. I wanted to recreate our…” Their what? They’d not had a first date until the day after Boxing Day. They’d shagged for the first time on Christmas Day. It wasn’t even the anniversary of this actual event until Christmas Eve, tomorrow.
“Our first shared cup of tea. It’s a lovely thought. First of many, thankfully.” Reagan sighed. “Although you’ve ruined me for teabag tea.” He took a mince pie and bit into it with a soft groan. “You’ve ruined me for a lot of things actually.”
“We can always come back and pick up mince pies.”
“Thirty miles for a mince pie? Your privilege is showing.”
Dominic shrugged. He couldn’t do anything about his upbringing and he worked hard for the money he earned now. “If I can’t spend my money to give you the things you love, then what is the point of it?”
Reagan finished off his mince pie and reached for another. Sex always made him hungry. This was something Dominic had learnt in the last year.
“I wasn’t actually talking about mince pies,” Reagan said, brushing crumbs from his hoodie. “You’ve been the sweetest, most eager, considerate and sharing boyfriend ever. You’ve ruined me for all other men.”
Dominic frowned. He wasn’t always sweet or considerate; sometimes when a case was being a real pig he could be a grumpy, irritable bastard. A chill chased the warmth of his tea. “Are you breaking up with me?” He glanced around the empty kitchen. All his worldly goods and more were boxed and in the back of the removal lorry parked outside. “Because we’ve just bought a house together. Your name is on the mortgage.”
Dominic didn’t realise his hands were shaking until Reagan eased the mug from his grip and laid his own hands on top to still them. He squeezed. “Dominic, look at me.”
Dominic lifted his gaze. Reagan’s eyes held something that looked far too much like regret. Thank God he hadn’t had a mince pie, because there was every chance he was going to be sick. Especially with the first words out of Reagan’s mouth.
“I’m sorry.” Reagan squeezed his fingers. Held tight when Dominic tried to pull away. “That came out all wrong. I love you. So much. And every day I learn something new that makes me love you a little bit more. Like this,” he gestured to the table, “a sentimental side.”
“And when I get in a mood about a case.”
“It’s because you care about your clients.”
That was true. “But I care about you more.”
“It’s not a competition. Your heart, your love, is not a finite resource. You’re caring and brave—”
Dominic scoffed. “I’m not brave. Five years, Reagan. I wasted five years.”
“Shh.” Reagan laid a finger on Dominic’s lips. It was sweet and tangy from the mincemeat. A little sticky too. “You’ve taken me to three of your office events since we’ve been together, including the Christmas dinner with the partners, despite the fact I know you’re worried our relationship will affect your chance of making partner. You defended me to your dad when he tried to belittle my occupation. You’re the best uncle to your sister’s kids.”
Dominic scoffed. “I think Bradley would disagree with you there. He’s talked of nothing else since you let him help clean their chimney. Catherine says he can’t decide if he wants to be a sweep or a lumberjack, having watched you chop wood for several hours last weekend.” Bradley hadn’t been the only one watching closely, either. Dominic had claimed he was there to keep Bradley safe, but he’d take any excuse to watch his boyfriend strip down to a tight Henley, despite the chill, and swing an axe. “I think you might be his favourite.”
“But I’m not really his uncle.” Reagan sighed. “And I’d really like to remedy that.” He let go of Dominic’s hand and stood, his chair scraping over the floor tiles with a sound that made Dominic wince. “Don’t move. Where’s my rod bag?”
“By the front door. Ready to go with us in the car.” Reagan wouldn’t trust his precious rods to a removal company.
He shot from the room, leaving Dominic at the table, confused, alone, and emotionally battered.
Dominic heard muttering and the sound of rods hitting the parquet of the hallway, but he didn’t move. Reagan had asked him to wait at the table and wait he would. He trusted Reagan totally. With his body, with his family, with his heart.
Reagan ran back into the room. He stopped at the table but didn’t sit. “I was going to save this for Christmas Day. But I like the symbolism of another new staring point in the same location as the old one.” He sucked in a breath. Let it out slowly.
Dominic studied Reagan. Another long breath. His checks were flushed and his eyes shone with excitement and maybe just a hint of trepidation. The impression was enhanced by the shaking of his hand as he held out a black velvet box. He flicked it open and revealed a thick platinum band.
Did this mean what Dominic thought?
Everything seemed to be moving through treacle: his thoughts; Reagan, who started to lower himself to his knees. “Dominic Pearson, would you do me the honour…”
“Let me finish… ”
“Of being my husband?”
Dominic reached out, bypassed the box with the ring—that wasn’t the important part—and wrapped a hand around Reagan’s wrist. He tugged him up and pulled him into his lap. The chair creaked ominously. “Ab-so-bloody-lutely.” He pulled Reagan into a kiss.
It was a long, exploratory kiss.
When they finally broke for air, Reagan was panting, his eyes glazed over.
“I understand it’s good luck to have a sweep at your wedding. Know where I can find one?”
Reagan grinned. “Maybe. The luck is multiplied if the bride agrees to kiss the sweep.”
“Him and only him.” Dominic smiled, each beat of his heart solid and steady as he made a solemn vow. “For the rest of his life.”

Want to read about how Dominic and Reagan got together? Check out their story in my Christmas novella, When Love Flue In.

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