The bunkhouse was cold as the sun rose, cresting over the gentle hills outside. Sundance groaned and rolled over, eyes shut tight as he tried desperately to cling to sleep as long as he could. He collided with something solid as he rolled. He reached out and roughly shoved whatever it was he'd rolled into. It grumbled in response.
"You always sleep too close," Sundance complained through a yawn.
"And you always find the coldest damn bunkhouses for us to hide out in. Some of us have old bones, kid, and they don't appreciate the cold. Or sleeping on the floor," Butch countered as he adjusted the jacket he had folded up beneath his head.
Sundance sighed. "I'm sorry there weren't other, more luxurious empty bunkhouses for us to hide out in. I'll try to remember your old bones the next time we're fleeing the scene of a train robbery." He cracked one eye open and stared at the back of Butch's head. His hair was getting longer than he liked it, the barber would be his first stop when they got back into town. Sundance reached out and smoothed down a few unruly curls. "You're not even that old you know."
"Tell that to my bones," Butch chuckled wryly. He sat up a bit and dragged his folded-up jacket turned pillow farther away from Sundance. He flopped down again, more space between him and the blonde, and tried to fall asleep once more. A slight shiver ran through his body and he hunched his shoulders up, trying to find warmth any way he could.
Sundance shook his head and grinned as he scooted himself closer to Butch. "If you're that cold you could have just said so." He pressed his chest flush with Butch's back and threw his arm around his waist, letting his hand settle on the center of the older man's stomach. "Not like I'd ever make you suffer," he whispered in Butch's ear.
"You make me suffer nearly every damn day, kid," Butch laughed.
"Not on purpose." It was silent for a beat. "Okay, mostly not on purpose," Sundance conceded.
"Mostly not on purpose. You're somethin' else."
Sundance couldn't see Butch's face but he could hear the tired yet contented smile in his voice. He laid his head back down on his bundled-up jacket and smiled. Butch's hand came up and rested over his and Sundance let his eyes drift closed again. A stray curl tickled Sundance's face and he chuckled. "Hey, Butch?" he asked sleepily. Butch simply hummed in response. "What's the first thing you're gonna do when we get back to town?"
"Get a haircut I reckon," Butch replied softly.
Sundance chuckled, his breath ghosting over the back of Butch's neck.
"What about you?" Butch asked through a yawn.
"I don't know. Probably take you and Etta out to a fancy dinner some place," Sundance answered, delirious grin on his face.
"You're a real softie, kid," Butch teased.
"That's me. A quick draw, a sure shot, and a soft heart," Sundance replied slyly.
Butch shook his head. "We got a hard ride ahead of us today, let's get some more sleep." He patted Sundance's hand where it still rested gently against his stomach.
Sundance smiled and let himself drift off.
Butch laughed loudly and steered the bicycle to the left a bit, trying to slow its downhill journey. The last thing he wanted was for Etta to fall off the handlebars. The sun hung high in the clear blue sky and the trees bloomed around them as they pedaled around Etta's property leisurely. They had grown bored, cooped up inside on such a pleasant afternoon, and decided to take the bicycle out for spin. Sundance had chuckled and politely declined, insisting that if he wanted to break his neck he'd do it robbing a train thank you very much.
Butch had suggested the two of them take a little break between jobs, after the last one had ended a little more dramatically than he'd wanted. He and Sundance had spent the two weeks since limping around Etta's place, counting money and blaming one another for the various bumps and bruises they'd gotten on their last job. It wasn't until that afternoon that Butch had finally gotten fed up reading the paper and spied the bicycle through the open window.
Etta laughed wildly as they bumped their way over a few small hills and Butch wrapped one of his arms around her middle to ensure she didn't take a tumble off the bicycle's handlebars. "This sure beats staying inside reading the paper," she called loudly as they rode past the house.
"Takes a brave soul to enjoy such a fine afternoon I guess," Butch taunted loudly as the rode around in circles in front of the porch.
A few seconds later the screen door clattered open and Sundance stood on the porch, squinting through the bright sun into the yard. "I know what you two are trying to do," he said lazily as he watched Butch and Etta take another circle around the yard. The pair shot him matching innocent looks. "I'm not getting on that damn thing," Sundance laughed in disbelief.
"Oh come on, Sundance, don't be such a stick in the mud!" Etta let out a chirp of delighted laughter as she hopped off the handlebars and ran across the yard. She flung her arms around Sundance's neck and grinned wide at him. "You know, if I start having more fun with Butch than you I might be tempted to forget all about you and take up with him instead."
Sundance rolled his eyes and looked past Etta at Butch where he was still circling around in the yard. "Trust me, he's not always this agreeable."
"That's around you, kid. You're not nearly as sweet as Etta," Butch retorted as he brought the bicycle to a halt. "And you're not as fun either."
Etta laughed and tugged Sundance's hat back on his head, exposing more of his face to the warm sunshine of the afternoon. "We do have so much fun together, Butch," she drawled. She raised her eyebrows at Sundance and laughed.
Sundance pulled Etta's arms from around his neck and pecked her on the cheek as he walked past her. "Fine, the two of you want me on this damn bicycle so bad --" he hopped up on the handlebars where Etta had sat not long ago and held out his hands, "I'm on the bicycle."
Butch shot Etta a sly smile and immediately put the bicycle in motion. Sundance's hands flew down to the handlebars at once to steady himself and he let out a a surprised shout. Butch pedaled faster and the two took off, down the lane, dust kicking up behind them.
"Hang on," Butch called as they approached a spot on the path he knew was rather bumpy.
Sundance's knuckles went white as he gripped the handlebars tightly. "How in the world does anyone think this is fun?" he called nervously as they bumped their way along the dirt path.
"Oh, come on, if you lighten up a little you might just have a some fun every once in a while!"
Sundance grumbled something unkind and winced as they listed a bit to the right and Butch quickly corrected the bicycle. "How am I ever supposed to have fun if you kill me on this damn thing?"
Butch slowed the bicycle down and patted Sundance's hip. "You worry too much," he said with an easy smile. Sundance looked back at him and glared. "Just relax," Butch reassured as he sped up once more.
By the time they made it to the barn down the lane Sundance had begrudgingly relaxed and was actually smiling as they rode by the barn animals. The wind tussled his hair, the sun warmed his face, and he laughed as some ducks ruffled their feathers as they rode by. "This isn't the worst way to spend an afternoon. I guess," he laughed as they coasted by a group of horses.
"I knew you'd come around," Butch chuckled.
Sundance looked back and gave Butch a sly smile, eyes playful and inviting in the warm afternoon sun. "You know me, a real stick in the mud."
Butch found himself momentarily distracted by Sundance's wild grin and lost track of exactly where they were going. They weren't going very fast when they hit the small haystack, but there was enough of an impact to send both of them tumbling off the bicycle. Sundance yelped loudly. Hay flew through the air around them and the ducks and horses all voiced their displeasure at the ruckus. Butch sat up first and scrubbed his hand down his face.
Sundance popped up out of the haystack next to Butch and glared. "I told you I was going to break my neck on that damn thing." He tossed a handful of hay in Butch's face before rolling over onto his back and letting out a deep sigh.
"You seem well enough to complain, so I wouldn't worry," Butch chuckled as he tossed hay back at Sundance. "You just like to bitch." He laughed and tossed more hay Sundance's direction.
Sundance picked a few pieces of hay out of his hair and scowled. "I should have kept reading the paper."
Butch leaned over and placed his hands on either side of Sundance's torso. He smiled warmly as he stared down at the younger man beneath him. "You know," he said slowly as he studied Sundance's face, "I think you secretly like goofing off."
Sundance hardly breathed as he stared up into Butch's eyes. "You just keep thinkin', Butch," he said absentmindedly.
Butch leaned down farther near Sundance's ear. "I will," he whispered with a smile.
Sundance swallowed thickly. "What are we doing?" he asked, clenching his fists by his sides to keep himself from grasping Butch's waist.
"Goofing off," Butch laughed, breath warm against the side of Sundance's face.
A horse whinnied loudly, startled by a low-flying blue jay, and Butch sat up immediately. He took a few deep, steadying breaths as he stared down at Sundance where he still lounged in the hay. They both started laughing, unable to look away from one another. A gentle breeze coasted down the lane and mussed Sundance's hair and Butch knew if he didn't get up then he never would. He leaned forward and hauled himself out of the hay.
"Give you a lift back?" Butch asked with a sly grin as he held his hand out.
Sundance took Butch's proffered hand and allowed himself to be hoisted out of the hay. "Try not to hit anymore haystacks on the way back."
"No promises," Butch teased as he picked the bicycle back up and got on. He patted the handlebars and smiled.
Sundance strolled over and maneuvered himself onto the handlebars once more. "Go slow," he said seriously.
"Anything for you, dear," Butch soothed as he began to pedal.
Butch's horse kicked up dust in the silvery moonlight as he frantically urged the animal forward. Sundance leaned heavily against his back, arms clutched around his middle, blood still seeping from his left forearm. Butch could feel the warm, sticky liquid soaking into his own shirt where Sundance's arms rested around his waist and he urged the horse to go faster. He caught sight of a lone cabin on a hillside not far off in the distance and sighed in relief.
"Hang on, kid, just hang on," Butch all but pleaded to Sundance as he steered them toward the cabin. The place remained dark as the approached and Butch hoped that it was empty. He eased himself off his horse carefully as they came to a stop in front of the cabin and then slowly helped Sundance down. Butch slung his arm around the blonde's waist and guided them to the cabin door.
"I'm not gonna die you know, you can quit fussin'," Sundance drawled as Butch pushed open the front door slowly. They were greeted by a dark and empty space. The previous occupants had left in a rush if the left-behind furnishings were anything to go off of. The pair stumbled through dark space, knocking into things as they went. All of a sudden, Sundance found himself being lowered into a chair. "I'll be fine just --" he couldn't finish the sentence as he turned his head too quickly looking for Butch and became violently dizzy.
"Stay put, I'm going to go get the pack off the horse."
Sundance barely had time to blink before Butch was back, a single lit match between his fingers and his pack slung over his shoulder. There was a dark stain in the middle of his shirt and Sundance decided it was best not to focus on it.
Butch spied some candles on the table in the center of the small space and scrambled to get them lit. The faint light revealed more candles strewn about the place and he was off, like a man possessed, to get the place all lit up. Sundance closed his eyes, unable to watch Butch dart about the tiny cabin without feeling like he'd throw up.
"You'll be all right. You just lost some blood is all. We'll get you all fixed up though." Butch was certainly aiming for a reassuring tone, but Sundance could hear the anxiety in his voice. Butch blew the match out and dumped the pack on the table. He rummaged through it, pulling out a few items quickly. A small bottle of whiskey, what looked to be a sewing needle and some thread, a bandanna, and a pouch of some sort were soon arranged in a line on the table.
The candles tossed long shadows up the walls as Butch lowered himself down into a chair across from Sundance. Sundance watched, eyes half closed, as Butch's shadow undulated on the back wall. "I'm going to be fine," he reassured quietly. "I probably just need some sleep."
Butch reached over gently and grabbed Sundance's arm to inspect the wound. He'd been a little too close when the dynamite had blown and the safe door had done a real number to his forearm. It didn't appear to be broken, but the door had definitely cut him up pretty bad. His shirt was already torn and Butch grabbed the fabric and tore it the rest of the way off Sundance's arm. "This is going to need stitches," Butch said grimly as he stared down at the deep gash on Sundance's arm.
"Then we'll have Etta stitch it up when we get back!" Sundance exclaimed impatiently, like it was the most obvious solution in the world.
"You can't ride anymore tonight, kid, you've lost too much blood. And we got a long way to go to get back to Etta anyhow. I'm going to have to do it myself."
"Do you even know how to sew?"
"I know how to sew."
"How do you know how to sew?"
"Would you quit squirming?"
"You know how to sew people back up?"
"Well, we'll find out if you ever quit talking."
Butch grabbed the bottle of whiskey and eyed it carefully. "I thought I had more," he groused as he opened the bottle. Sundance pointed behind Butch at a counter, his hand wavering as it hung in the air. A bottle of whiskey sat, gathering dust, just below a window.
"Thank god whoever left here left in a hurry," Butch muttered as he got up and snatched the whiskey off the counter. He took a swig to steady his nerves and then passed the bottle to Sundance. He took his seat again as he watched the blonde take a long pull off the bottle.
Butch gingerly grabbed Sundance's arm and placed it on the table. He took the bottle of whiskey he'd had in his pack and poured about half the contents out over the gash in Sundance's arm.
"Jesus, you could've warned me!" Sundance hissed as he took another swig off the bottle he'd neglected to pass back to Butch.
"And miss an opportunity to hear you complain? Never," Butch teased as he patted the wound dry with the bandanna from his pack.
"You know, I could be complaining a lot more seeing as how it was you who set the dynamite that blew the door off the safe that gouged my arm all to hell," Sundance retorted.
Butch exhaled loudly and snatched the needle and thread off the table. "I told you I was sorry when it happened. I wouldn't do something like this to you on purpose, you know that."
Butch sounded scared and remorseful and Sundance experienced a wave of guilt for trying to make him feel bad in that moment. It wasn't Butch's fault the dynamite blew faster than they had expected it to. Sundance cocked his head to the side and stared at Butch. "Hey," he whispered, trying to get his attention. "Hey, I know you wouldn't. No one else would put me on the back of their horse and ride me to safety so they could stitch me up, either."
"Etta might," Butch laughed as he carefully threaded the needle, holding it close to the candles so he could see what he was doing. "If she was in a good mood and you were really nice to her."
"Etta would do the smart thing and leave my ass where I fell so she could take up with you and go bicycling around the country." Sundance laughed softly and took another drink of whiskey.
Butch shook his head and chuckled. "She'd be bored with me in a weekend." He looked up and met Sundance's gaze and smiled softly at him. "This is going to hurt somethin' rotten," he said mournfully as he leaned over and patted Sundance's hand.
Sundance took a large gulp of whiskey and nodded once, face blank.
Butch took a deep, steadying breath and made the first stitch. Sundance hissed in pain and took another drink. Butch winced and focused back on the grim task at hand. He tried to stitch as evenly as he could, but there were significant differences between mending one of his shirts and sewing up his best friend. He glanced up when he was about halfway done and found Sundance's eyes clenched shut, his breathing shallow. He tried to stitch as fast as he could.
It seemed like years had passed since Butch had pierced the first stitch through Sundance's flesh and he was thankful when he was finally tying the thread off and setting the bloodied needle back on the table. He cut the thread with the small knife in his pocket and finally allowed himself to breathe. Carefully, he took Sundance's hand in his own and squeezed gently. Sundance's eyes opened slowly and he focused lazily on Butch. The older man let out a sigh of relief when Sundance squeezed his hand back.
"I never want to have to do that again," Butch exhaled.
"I never want to you to have to do that again either," Sundance slurred, slouching down in his chair.
Butch opened the pouch he'd removed from his pack earlier and pulled out what appeared to be leaves. Sundance gave him a confused look as he dumped some of the leaves into his palm and poured a few drops of whiskey on them. "It's a poultice of sorts," he reassured as he applied some of the concoction to Sundance's freshly stitched wound.
Sundance chuckled and watched as Butch carefully wrapped the bandanna around his arm and tied it in place with the discarded sleeve of his shirt. "A poultice?" he asked, brows raised.
"What? It's like a balm. It'll help --"
"I know what a poultice is."
"Then what's the problem?"
"I just didn't think you'd know about em'. Or, you know, carry a whole medical kit in your pack."
"Better safe than sorry, kid. Not like we have very usual careers. And this is hardly a whole medical kit."
"More medical supplies that I got in my pack," Sundance mused through a languid smile.
"Then it's a good thing we brought my horse here and had my pack, isn't it?" Butch poured some whiskey over the needle before he bundled everything up and returned it all to his pack. He pried the whiskey bottle from Sundance's grasp and took a swig for himself before he closed the bottle back up and placed it on the table. "Let's get some sleep, kid. Been a long day."
Butch stood slowly and then extended a hand to Sundance. He took it immediately and was hauled out of his chair. Butch slid his arm around Sundance's waist and they meandered their way through the small cabin to the basic bed wedged into a corner. Butch carefully lowered Sundance down onto the bed and started to move away from the bedside.
Sundance reached out immediately and grabbed Butch's hand. "You ain't just gonna leave me now, are you? In this condition?"
Butch smiled and squeezed Sundance's hand. "I thought I was supposed to quit fussin' cause you weren't going to die."
"Well now I might. I mean, you put a poultice on my arm after all," Sundance laughed.
"I was just going to blow out some of the candles," Butch reassured quietly.
Sundance smiled and let his hand slip from Butch's. He watched as Butch carefully made his way through the cabin and blew out most of the candles. The older man took a single candle from the table and placed it inside the small fireplace near the foot of the bed before he carefully climbed over Sundance and eased himself between the blonde and the cold stone wall.
Sundance relaxed at once as Butch reached over his torso, his hand settling gently in the center of Sundance's chest. "Are you sure you want to sleep against the wall? Won't it be too cold for you old bones?" Sundance asked sleepily.
"I'll tough it out. Just for tonight." Butch patted Sundance's chest gently and hummed. "Wouldn't want you to die or nothin'."
Sundance smiled and focused on the warm, comforting weight of the man behind him as he fell asleep.
The lamps were low in the rather opulent suite Sundance had been calling home for the last week. He, Butch and Etta had been enjoying their little journey so far, the thought of new adventures in far-off Bolivia buoying everyone's moods. They'd booked passage for part of their trek to South America on a luxury cruise liner and it was, so far, the most fun the three had had on their exodus from the United States.
They had somehow successfully convinced all of the other passengers that Butch was a 'wealth manager' from out west, Sundance his apprentice nephew, and Etta the nephew's comely young fiancée. It had been a wonderful week of fine dining, expensive drinks and hobnobbing with some very wealthy Americans. They had all booked their own suites, to keep up appearances as well-to-do citizens, but every night the trio gathered in someone's suite to laugh about the extravagance of it all.
That night had been a bit hectic though, and Sundance found himself in his room alone at the end of the night. There had been a formal dance that evening and he and Etta had donned their very best outfits and danced through the night. Etta had declined an invitation to his room that night after they'd finished their last dance, reassuring him he hadn't done anything wrong, her feet just hurt and she'd had too much champagne. Sundance had bid her good night with a sweet kiss and a warm smile and headed to his own suite.
More than once that night Sundance had caught Butch watching him and Etta dance from his seat at their dining table, handsome and refined in his own suit, and wondered why he didn't simply cut in and dance a while with Etta. Perhaps he couldn't dance. Sundance laughed as he loosened his bow tie, imagining Butch stumbling about a dance floor and stepping on Etta's feet. He would have paid to see it.
He was dropping his cufflinks into a crystal dish on top of the dresser when there was a soft knock on his door. He smiled to himself and glanced in the mirror, smoothing out his hair. Perhaps Etta's feet didn't hurt so bad after all. Sundance opened the door just enough to peek out into the hall and was a bit surprised to find Butch outside his room.
"Still awake?" Butch asked, arching his eyebrows as he brought a bottle of champagne out from behind his back.
Sundance smiled and opened the door wider to let Butch inside. Butch stumbled a bit as he entered the room and Sundance quietly closed the door. "How much of that stuff have you had tonight?" he asked, nodding toward the unopened bottle in Butch's hand.
"A healthy amount," Butch drawled, a crooked grin on his face.
Sundance plucked the bottle from Butch's grasp and set it on top of the dresser. "Maybe we'll save that one for tomorrow then."
"You're no fun," Butch laughed. He leaned against one of bed's large posts and crossed his arms.
"And you're no fun hungover. I'm only saving you from misery tomorrow." Sundance removed his suit jacket and draped it over the footboard of the large bed. He took a few small steps and stood in front of Butch, placing his hands on his shoulders. "Sit down," he laughed as he herded Butch over to a chair in the corner.
Butch plopped down easily and sighed. Sundance poured him a glass of water from the pitcher on the nightstand and handed it over. Butch gulped it down eagerly and smiled up at Sundance. Silently, he handed the glass back to Sundance and leaned back in the chair, closing his eyes. Sundance gave him a rueful smile and continued getting ready for bed. He'd just gotten his white dress shirt all the way unbuttoned when Butch chuckled over in the corner, eyes still closed.
"You know, we've probably stolen money from every person we've had dinner with here." Butch laughed as he loosened his bow tie and dropped it on the floor.
Sundance doubled over with laughter, his hair falling into his face. When he stood up again his face was flush and his eyes playful. He tossed his shirt on the bed and ran a hand through his hair. He glanced over to the chair in the corner and found Butch watching him. "Why didn't you dance with Etta tonight? I saw you watching her earlier. She would have happily swapped me for you for a few dances." His voice was low and unsure as he watched the older man lounge in the plush chair.
"Who said I was just watching Etta?" Butch asked, his head cocked to the side as he studied Sundance.
Sundance's flush deepened and he cleared his throat. "And here I thought you probably just couldn't dance," he chuckled quietly as he ran a hand through his hair.
Butch rose from the chair, made his way across the room, and came to a stop in front of Sundance. "I can manage if I have to." He wrapped one arm around Sundance's waist, took one of the blonde's hands in his own and smiled as he stepped closer.
Sundance held his breath and let Butch lead them around in little circles. He looked up after their third turn around the room and met Butch's gaze. The older man's eyes were soft as he tightened his grip around Sundance's waist and pulled him closer. Sundance rested his head against Butch's shoulder and shut his eyes as he snaked his free arm around Butch's waist. Their circles became smaller and smaller and before long they were simply swaying back and forth in each other's arms.
"What are we doing?" Sundance mumbled against Butch's shoulder.
"Dancing," Butch chuckled.
"Is that what you'd call this?"
Butch slowed to a stop and squeezed Sundance's hand. The blonde looked up and stared into his eyes. "I should let you get to bed," Butch whispered.
Sundance's mouth went dry as Butch stepped back and released his hand. He swiped the bottle of champagne off the dresser and headed for the door. "Sweet dreams," Butch whispered, winking as he ducked out of the room.
The rain fell heavily, bouncing off the lush leaves of the Bolivian jungle flora and splattering loudly on the brick courtyard in the center of the little town they'd stumbled upon. They'd lucked out and found a hotel of sorts with a room available. Sundance sat in the large, open window of the second-story room they'd rented and stared out through the rain, watching the compact courtyard clear out as the rain became more intense. He laughed to himself as he watched a woman trying to convince her children it was time to come inside, rain dousing the little family.
At last, as the rain poured, Sundance spotted who he'd been looking for. Butch jogged through the courtyard, soaked to the bone, jacket pulled up over his head in vain. Sundance leaned back against the window frame and smiled. It wasn't long before Butch threw the door to their little room open and darted inside.
"It's really pouring out there!" Butch peeled his soaked jacket off and flung it down onto the floor, the garment landing with a wet 'thunk' on the hardwood. He tried to remove his boots next, still standing in the small entryway, and slipped, nearly falling on his backside.
"Sit down, would you?" Sundance chuckled as he watched Butch struggle with his soaked clothing. Butch crossed the room and plopped down next to Sundance in the large window. He threw his foot up on his knee and began tugging at his boot once more.
"Oh, Jesus," Sundance laughed as he reached over and helped Butch pry the boot off his foot. "Here, come on, I'll get the other one." Sundance patted Butch's other leg and the older man held it up, let him yank off the other soaked boot.
They laughed as Sundance tossed the boot down on the floor and wiped his hands on his pants. Butch leaned back against the window frame and sighed. "I found the bank," he said as he watched the rain pour down onto the courtyard. "There were a lot of women in there. Would be an easier job if Etta was still here."
"Lots of things would be easier if Etta was still here," Sundance sighed.
Butch reached up and began unbuttoning his shirt, discarding it quickly onto the floor next to his boots. "She's always been smarter than us, she knew it was a good time to close up shop. We're stupid, we're gonna do this for the rest of our lives." He tugged his undershirt out from the waistband of his pants and leaned back again, staring out the window at the furious rain.
Sundance shot him a wry grin. "Well, if I knew how to do anything else I'd suggest a career change but... You're right, we're stupid," he chuckled.
Butch shrugged and smiled lazily, listening as the rain slowed a bit. "At least we get to be stupid together."
Sundance's eyebrows shot up and a bark of laughter escaped from his throat. "Two days ago you were going to leave me in the jungle!"
"Two days ago you were being stupider than I was," Butch retorted.
Sundance laughed again and shook his head. "Impossible."
"Better watch it, I could toss you out this window just like that." Butch snapped his fingers.
"You wouldn't dare," Sundance murmured as he leaned across the window into Butch's space, "'Cause I'd haul your ass out after me." He laughed as he grasped the white straps of the undershirt that rested on Butch's firm shoulders.
Butch laughed, reached over and grabbed the lapels of Sundance's jacket. "We can go together then."
They laughed loudly for a while, clutching at once another in the window. After a while the laughter died down, the sound of the rain colliding with the world outside overtaking it, and neither man moved to let go of the other. They studied each other carefully, breaths coming in shallow bursts. Butch was the first to move, leaning in closer to Sundance. He smiled warmly as Sundance inhaled sharply.
"There's no one else on earth I'd rather have drag me out a window," Butch whispered as he leaned in even farther and finally pressed his lips to Sundance's.
Sundance froze briefly before his lips parted and he allowed Butch to deepen the kiss. He released the straps of Butch's undershirt and wrapped his arms around his shoulders, pulling him closer. Butch let go of the lapels of Sundance's jacket and wrapped his arms around his waist. They stayed that way, wrapped up in one another, for what seemed like an eternity and a second all at once.
Butch pulled away first and leaned back, breathing heavily. He grinned at Sundance as the younger man stroked a few unruly curls at the nape of his neck with his thumb. "So now that we aren't going to throw each other out the window, how should we spend our evening?"
Sundance laughed and leaned his forehead against Butch's. "We could get you out of the rest of those wet clothes."
Butch pressed a gentle kiss to Sundance's lips and hummed. "I think that'd be a good place to start."
Sundance scrambled out of the window and hauled Butch up after him by his belt. "You just keep thinkin', Butch," he laughed as he leaned in for another kiss and backed them toward the bed, "I'll do everything else."