Nicholas shoved his keys into the ignition of his old Fiesta and revved the engine. The car was bursting with Christmas and smelled of spiced apple, pine needles and cinnamon. It was his favorite time of year. He adored the rituals and traditions, the sense of community and all the tastes and flavors that went with celebrating the birth of Christ.
Pulling out into the busy high street traffic, he waved his thank-you at an elderly gentleman who’d let him join the queue. The man touched the peak of his tweed cap and nodded with a smile. It was the kind of gesture Nicholas was used to when wearing his vicar’s white collar.
Today it was teamed with a thick black sweater and corduroy pants. The weather had shifted from unseasonably warm with puddles littering the road and bees still hunting for nectar to a stiff east wind that sliced through the town of Mindle. Leaves skittered down the street, pedestrians turned up their collars and ducked their heads, and the silver and blue sign above the fancy new deli, Brandon’s, swung on its hinges.
“Blast it,” Nicholas muttered. He’d meant to call in at Brandon’s Deli. The word in the pews was that the pork pies with cranberry jelly topping were the best. Zach loved pork pies and he loved cranberry jelly. He always covered his Christmas dinner with it then slathered more on the turkey sandwiches in the evening.
Nicholas peered into the window as his car crawled past Brandon’s. A refrigerated display cabinet showcased tasty treats, and a queue had formed out of the door. The new guy in town, Brandon Walker, was certainly making a splash with his Christmas goodies. Customers were flocking to stock up.
Yes, he’d have to make another trip into Mindle, perhaps tomorrow if he went for a shorter morning run then got the church decorated in time. Which he should be able to. Nicholas was luckier here than in his last parish. In Mindle, several of the older ladies in his congregation had charged themselves with creating floral decorations. Each Easter and Christmas they went into full floristry mode, creating displays Kew Gardens would be proud of. And Nicholas certainly was proud and grateful.
The traffic moved, the crossroad lights spending a generous length of time on green.
Soon Nicholas was passing the school, empty now the kids had headed home for the day, and the medical center. A few spots of rain peppered his windscreen and he flicked on his wipers, berating himself for not bringing a coat on his shopping trip.
Where the church was tall with a pointed spire, Mindle Rectory was squat with a thatched roof and sleepy-eyed windows, and butted the churchyard, with a tall stone wall separating Nicholas’ and Zach’s washing line, vegetable garden, orchard and al fresco table from ancient headstones and tombs.
Nicholas drove through the gate, the tires crunching on the gravel driveway, and pulled up at the front door. A thatched porch protected it from the weather while two lollipop-shaped bay trees on either side shivered in the breeze.
When he turned the engine off, the red front door was pulled open.
Zach stood there, his white T-shirt hugging his wide chest and his jeans sitting low on his hips. His black hair, freshly cut that afternoon, was tight against his head and he wore red slippers, a present from last Christmas.
Nicholas smiled. His husband of five years was so damn handsome he still had to pinch himself. He was so lucky—he’d found not just a person but a place where he could be himself and not have to sacrifice his very deep belief in God.
Oh, there had been more than a few raised eyebrows and some negative comments when they’d arrived four years ago, but Mindle had proven to be an open-minded community. After several years with no parish vicar, they’d been more than happy to welcome both Nicholas and Zach. Nicholas was sure that Zach having joined the medical center as a new general practitioner was a definite advantage. The community had gained with their arrival, and Nicholas and Zach had found their place.
“How did you get on?” Zach asked, striding from the house.
Nicholas stepped out of the car. “Pretty well. I got the wine, new candles for the altar, some lights in the sale for the tree that goes beside the font, and a huge box of oranges for the Christingle.”
“You did good.” Zach touched his lips to Nicholas’. “I’ll help you unload.”
“You’ll get a chill.” Nicholas rested his palm on Zach’s arm. His dark skin had goosebumps and his nipples pressed on his T-shirt.
“It will only take a minute with two of us. Pop the boot open.”
Zach grabbed a wooden crate of oranges. “I made us a curry for tonight.”
“Yes, it didn’t take long at the barbers. No queue. I guess everyone has had their hair cut ready for the big day.”
“Ah, that’s good then.” Nicholas carefully lifted the bag of thick church candles. They were heavy. “I fancy a curry.”
Zach laughed as he strode to the door. “And I fancy you.”
Nicholas smiled and followed him. Now they’d done their jobs for the day, they had a quiet evening with nothing planned except being together. They’d eat, pour wine, light the fire, then…
Nicholas’ cock tingled as he stepped into cottage. Just the thought, the anticipation of Zach touching him, of being naked against him, had Nicholas rising to the occasion.
But that couldn’t happen yet. Soon. But not yet.
He set down the candles then rushed back to the car. The rain was heavier now, big penny-sized spots that tapped on his head and shoulders.
When he clasped the wine box, a loud clap of thunder smacked through the sky.
“Oh fuck.” Zach looked upward. “We’re in for a good one.”
“Let’s hope so.” Nicholas raised his eyebrows. “I like a good one.” He chuckled.
Zach’s gaze caught his. “You look as if butter wouldn’t melt, Reverend, but you’re always ready for it.”
“Of course. I’m married to you. Who wouldn’t always be ready for it?”
Zach kissed him again, a longer, more passion-infused press of his lips.
In that moment the rain was forgotten, as were Christmas preparations. All that existed was their need for each other and the safe cocoon they’d created for themselves. No one else was allowed in. Like a walled garden with a secret door, their love and passion was a place just for them.
Zach pulled back, laughing. “We’ll catch a cold. Come on.”
The front of the house lit up in a series of flashes. So did an old oak to the right.
“Lightning! It’s getting close. Go, quick.” Nicholas closed the car boot and followed Zach into the house. Once there, he slammed the door with his heel and wiped his now damp brow on the back of his arm. He breathed deeply. “It smells really good. Is it jalfrezi?”
“Of course. Your favorite.” Zach stripped off his wet T-shirt. His abs were a row of sleek bricks and a tempting trail of short black hair led from his navel to his jeans.
Nicholas swallowed. His heart rate picked up and a familiar tug of longing went through his groin.
“What?” Zach said, hooking his top over the newel and placing his hands on his hips. “The shirt is really wet.”
“I’m not complaining.” Nicholas put the bag of candles onto the flagstone floor. “I’ll never complain about seeing you taking your clothes off. In fact, you should do it more often.”
“With you around, I do it often enough.” Zach’s eyes sparkled and he bit on his bottom lip, his teeth pressing into the plump flesh in a way that always shot neat lust into Nicholas’ veins.
Nicholas turned and slid the bolt on the door. It connected with a satisfying clunk. He didn’t expect any parishioners to call round during a storm, but even so, he had no intention of letting anyone walk in and witness what he was about to do to his husband.
“You look hungry,” Zach said, dipping his gaze to Nicholas’ groin.
Nicholas’ cock swelled some more. “You know I am, and much as I love curry, I love you more…” He paused and swiped his tongue over his lips. “And I love your mouth, your cock, your sexy ass.”
Zach chuckled and popped the top button on his jeans. “When you speak like that…wearing that…” He nodded at Nicholas’ collar. “It makes me so fucking horny.”
“Oh yeah.” Nicholas stepped up to him. “You like a man of the cloth talking filthy?” He twitched his eyebrows.
“I guess so.” Zach kissed his cheek, then ran his lips over Nicholas’ slightly stubbled jaw line to his neck. The gentle caress dipped to the collar. “Does that make me sinful?” he murmured. “Kinky, maybe?”
“It makes you human.” Nicholas clutched Zach’s shoulders and closed his eyes. He inhaled deeply, taking in Zach’s fresh cologne. The smell was like coming home, every aroma he’d ever enjoyed wrapped up into one beautiful, sexy, open-water scent. “You’re a man who knows what he wants. One of the things I’ve always loved about you.”
“Mmm, and I love you.” Zach kissed back up to Nicholas’ cheek and ran his hands down his body to cup his ass. “Talk to me. Tell me more.”
“More about what I’m going to do to you?”
“Yes…that.” Zach’s words were breathy and he squeezed Nicholas’ butt cheeks.
Nicholas set his mouth beside his husband’s ear. “I’m going to strip you naked,” he murmured. “And while the storm rages outside, while the rain lashes on the window, I’m going to bend you over and take your ass. Put my big cock in it, fill you, take you, make you come so hard you’ll be shaking until midnight.”
A tremble went through Zach, his muscles vibrating as if anticipating the toe-curling climax that was in his future. He moaned softly.
“And.” Nicholas smoothed his palms up to the planes of Zach’s shoulders then down to his lower back again. He slipped around his waist and took hold of the zipper on his jeans. “You’re going to love every minute of having my cock inside you. Even though it’s been there a thousand times and will be there a thousand more, you’ll scream at me to give it to you harder, faster, wilder, deeper…more of everything.”
“Fuck yes.” Zach pulled back and stared into Nicholas’ eyes. “I want that. Do that. Do that, quick.”
Nicholas was at full hardness now, his erection pressing painfully against his pants. His breaths were rapid and shallow, his pulse thudding in his ears. They had to get naked. They had to strip off and fuck, connect, be as one. Everything else could wait.
Zach was pulling at Nicholas’ sweater. It came over his head, subjecting him to a moment of darkness.
Another clap of thunder shook the cottage and a flash of lightning streaked in from the landing window to slice over the oak staircase.
Nicholas laughed, an expulsion of pent-up energy. “Wow, that’s loud.”
“Good. It will drown out our cries of pleasure.” Zach’s eyes sparkled with anticipation.
Nicholas whipped off his shirt and collar.
Zach stepped out of his jeans. There were no boxers in the way. Zach often went without, and his thick cock jutted upward, proud and greedy.
Nicholas’ mouth watered. The flared head, with the little black freckle by the slit, was the most beautiful cock he’d ever seen. Not that he’d seen many. That wasn’t his style.
Zach stepped onto the right leg of his jeans and tugged to drag the left one off. He flicked them aside and they landed at an angle over the box of Christingle oranges.
“Fuck yes. Naked, that’s how I want you,” Nicholas muttered, shoving at his own pants but becoming frustrated when they caught on his shoes. He bent and quickly freed them.
When he straightened, Zach had turned to the stairs.
“Catch me if you can,” Zach said.
Nicholas grunted. He lunged for Zach’s waist just as another drumroll of thunder pounded overhead.
Zach yelped and bent forward, clutching the third step.
“Not as fast as you think,” Nicholas said beside his ear, then gave it a nip.
White-hot light pierced the hallway, flickering into every shadowy corner.
Zach squirmed as if trying to escape.
Nicholas knew full well he didn’t want to. He wrapped one hand over his shoulder, reached the other beneath Zach and gripped his cock.
Its heat spread over his palm. Zach was so hard, his flesh silken. And big, too, so damn big. For a moment Nicholas wondered if he should shake up the plan and be the one to bend over, but then Zach moaned, deep and guttural, and Nicholas wanted to drag more moans and groans from him like this, just like this.
“You want to come?” Nicholas asked. “You want that from me?”
“Yes, yes, make me come.”
“I will, right here. Forget the bedroom. It will take too long to get there. We’re doing it on the stairs.”
“No, not Him, not now, remember.” He kissed Zach’s shoulder and at the same time pumped his cock. His own cock was butting up against Zach’s ass cheek, and his balls were tight with longing. “Call me Nicholas.”
“Nic…Nicholas…please.” He shifted his ass from left to right, clearly impatient for the fun to begin. “Please.”
Nicholas smiled at his husband’s begging. He always spoke with such clarity and confidence, but his voice took on a higher-pitched quality when he was desperate for cock.
“It’s here for you.” Nicholas glanced around. He needed some lube. He spotted Zach’s medical bag beside the shoe rack. Quick as a flash, he popped it open and grabbed a tube of KY.
“Have you got…?” Zach started to turn.
“Yes. Under control.” Nicholas was behind him again. He flicked off the lid and coated his cock, then added some to the fingertips of his right hand.
Zach whimpered and hung his head, as if impatience was clawing at his insides and sapping his energy.
“It’s here,” Nicholas said, tugging Zach’s left ass cheek and exposing his hole. “It’s here. Let me in.”
Zach tensed as Nicholas probed into his ass, just one finger on a smooth glide until it was knuckle-deep.
“Oh yes…” Zach said. “More.”
“You’re getting more.” Nicholas added another finger, watching as Zach’s dark ring of muscle took it. “How’s that?” He stroked over the hard nub that was high inside his lover. “Is that it? Have I hit the spot?” He knew full well he had.
“Ah, fuck, yes…good…so good.” Zach hissed in a breath. “But I need your cock. Please.”
“In a minute. Soon.” Though Nicholas wasn’t sure if he’d be able to wait. His erection was becoming painful, his cock throbbing.
“Oh!” Zach dipped his spine and raised his head. He gripped the oatmeal-flecked carpet on the stairs. “I want you so bad. In me.”
“I know you do.” Nicholas smiled, though his cheeks felt stiff with anticipation. “And you’ve got me, I’m yours.” He withdrew his fingers and, in their place, angled his cock. “I’m all yours and so is this.”
Once he’d found purchase, he gripped Zach’s waist in a vise-like hold and paused. Soon he’d get the relief he craved, and the tight clasp of Zach’s ass would be around his dick.
“Nicholas!” Zach wailed. “What are you waiting for? Fuck me. Just fuck me.”
Thunder rattled the very bones of the cottage and lightning seared Nicholas’ retinas. He curled his hips and plunged in, sending his cock on a fast, determined drive to full depth.
He yelled out.
So did Zach.
The thunder ate the sound of their cries.
The split second of relief at being inside Zach was quickly replaced with the need to thrust and grind to orgasm. Already the pressure was all-consuming and the want overwhelming.
Nicholas half pulled out, then slammed in again. He repeated the action over and over, with Zach’s asshole hugging his root like a noose each time he reached full depth.
Flesh slapped on flesh. Rain hammered at the old lead-paned windows. A squall rattled the back door.
“Yes. Yes. Yes.” Zach was shunting back to meet Nicholas’ lunges, his ass smacking onto Nicholas with each connection. “Yes. Yes. Yes.”
“Come,” Nicholas demanded. “Come for me.”
“Ah fuck…” A sheen of sweat glistened on Zach’s shoulders. His strong muscles were taut, every tendon dancing beneath the surface. “I am…I am…”
“Me too.” Nicholas upped the pace. He grunted on each forward plummet. Pre-cum leaked from him and his balls retracted. “I’m coming! I’m coming, Zach. Come with me.” He gave in and released his pleasure. Sinking deep, he flew on ecstasy. Bliss filled every corner of his body and rushed through every artery and vein.
“Ah!” Zach wailed. His ribs expanded as he held his breath, then he collapsed, panting, onto the stairs, his body shaking.
Nicholas went with him, his chest hitting Zach’s back.
Zach was breathing hard, his knuckles white where he gripped the carpet.
“Are you…okay?” Nicholas asked onto his hair.
Nicholas chuckled. “I guess we made our own thunder and lightning.”
“Heck, I saw stars.” Zach paused and dragged in air. “You can fuck me like that again on the stairs…anytime you want.”
“I might just take you up on that.” Nicholas’ cock twitched deep inside Zach and he found the sensitive spot on his nape and kissed him there.
Zach moaned quietly and a final tremble went over his body.
Nicholas basked in his own satisfaction. They were so in tune with each other, in every aspect of life. And their desire, the intensity of their love making—it wasn’t waning as time passed—if anything, it was growing. Their deep knowledge of each other and what pleased them was creating an even stronger bond.
Much as Nicholas was content where he was at this moment in time, he was also excited for the future.
As a couple.