"No, no, all women," Antony tells Andreas over the phone as he comes through the door, having checked in with Logan downstairs after making a quick run to the office. "Thursday night when they get in, late Friday night and all Saturday and Sunday. I won't be there Sunday night but most of the guys are flying out Monday morning so they'll expect to be entertained." He kicks off his boots, hangs his jacket in the closet, nodding and smiling to Stephen as his husband comes around the corner. "I don't have a clue. A variety I guess, and obviously discreet."
Stephen raises his brows at the one-sided conversation, 'Women?' he mouths as he curves his hand into a 'C' to ask if Antony wants coffee.
Antony nods, mouthing back a 'thank you' as he follows Stephen into the kitchen. "Nah. That's good. Top two floors, two meeting rooms, everyone's got their own suite. We'll need food at breakfast and lunch but I'll be taking them out for dinners and my guys'll provide security in and out of the hotel." He doesn't even bother trying to explain the first part Stephen heard until he says goodbye to Andreas and hangs up with a sigh of relief, flashing his husband another smile. "There we go. All set."
"Wine, women and what?" Stephen teases, picking two mugs out of the cupboard. "Will you behave hmm?"
"I will most definitely behave," Antony says, playfully crossing his heart as he takes a seat at the island. "The women are for everyone but me and Marcus."
"Do you not still get that itch? For a woman's body?" Stephen poses the question without looking at Antony, too busy pressing buttons on their coffee machine.
"Occasionally," Antony admits. "But I don't feel the need to actually scratch it."
"Do you have a type?" Stephen carries both mugs to the island and takes a seat opposite Antony.
"Thanks. Not the way I do with men," Antony says, shaking his head. "But I like them curvy."
"Huh," Stephen makes a vaguely surprised noise at that. "So you like curvy women, and what in men? Never tried a twink or two?"
Antony coughs, almost choking on his coffee. "You always tease me about my blue-eyed blonds," he points out. "But preferences aside, before I met you, I fucked a lot of people, both men and women. And yes, twinks and boyish-looking women. Just because I like curves in women doesn't mean it's the only thing I went for. Mostly it's the person, a certain something that catches my eye or ear. I like strength in people and that has nothing to do with size or shape or submissiveness."
"Hey, the only people I've met that I know you've fucked are Ian and that..." Stephen's lips curl a little, "that boy that works for you... the one we met at the club."
"I didn't technically fuck him," Antony says, taking another sip of coffee. "But yes, I had sex with him. He was legal, he was kinky, he was bold in a way I liked and there wasn't a reason not to," he adds with a shrug. "But there's Joe. Manganiello. I told you I fucked him. And I told you about Katheryn. Although she fits into the blonde, blue-eyed thing." He gives a small laugh. "Why are we talking about this anyway?"
Stephen offers his own shrug, while he draws around the rim of his own mug with his forefinger. "I don't know, my brain's been working overtime the last few days. I'm starting to notice a pattern, something kicks off a train of thought, my brain goes insane for a little while with 'what if's' and 'what about?' and then it stops, and I kinda let it all settle in the back of my mind. It's tiring for sure, but I think it's about me working through some of the aftermath." Aftermath of what he doesn't need to state, obviously.
Antony nods. "So is this something you've been thinking about? Or did my call with Andreas kick it off?"
"Oh, no, it's been ticking away for a day or two," Stephen picks up his coffee and takes a drink. "Don't worry, I didn't really think you'd be availing yourself of the female company on offer."
"No, I won't be," Antony confirms. "I won't pretend I don't run into people I'm attracted to - both male and female - but I have you and I don't miss my old life at all."
"Even though our sex life is hardly what it was?" Stephen is finding the uncomfortable questions easier to ask now, a sign, he hopes, that he is gaining more self-confidence. "I mean, we used to fuck every day we were together, often more than once... and now... well," he tails off. These days it's maybe every two or three days, depending on how he's feeling.
"Let me ask you something," Antony says, leaning forward. "Do you hope we'll get back to having sex more often?"
"Yes," Stephen responds before he can think, and when he does, his brows draw down in a frown. "Of course."
"Then I'm good," Antony says. "We have sex a couple times a week, we touch often, we're not lacking intimacy," which is the part that really got to him early on, "and we both think we'll get back to fucking more often. We got married because we're in this for the long-run. A couple months, whatever, that's nothing compared to the rest of our lives."
Stephen doesn't respond, he sets his mug back down and resumes drawing around the rim, the silence drawing out. Then he offers, rather more hesitantly than he'd like, "Will you share a bath with me tonight? Let's get some takeout, crack out a really good bottle of scotch?" He glances up. "A home date night?"
A slow smile curves Antony's lips and he nods. "I'd like that," he says. "Although I need to text Logan and let him know whether you want him this weekend? Marcus will be with me, Christos is working on the house. He can stay in the guest room, accompany you anywhere you want to go, he'll be standing in for Christos anyways once I go back to work."
"I thought that was a given," Stephen blinks, pulling back a little. "You didn't think to leave me on my own did you?" And there it is, the panic that still sits so close to the surface, no matter how much he tries to pretend otherwise.
"I thought I'd better make sure that having Logan with you was what you wanted," Antony says slowly, carefully. Navigating the minefield. "You haven't been very happy with me when I've made any decisions without your input lately so I didn't want to take it for granted. If you don't want him up here, he'll be downstairs, but I thought you might want the company and sleep better if he's here."
"No, no, I need him here, in here, with me," Stephen folds his hands together to hide how they've started shaking at the unpleasant adrenaline dump. "And... I can contact you right? At any time? While you're away?"
Antony nods. "Anytime," he says firmly. "My phone'll be on 'do not disturb' for everyone except you, Marcus and Logan. You can call me anytime, day or night," he repeats, quickly texting Logan about the weekend and staying with Stephen. The reply's immediate, Antony having already set things up with the proviso that Stephen sign off. "And we're all set. Logan'll come in when I leave and Kevin'll replace him downstairs."
"And if I need you?" Stephen slides his hands from the counter top to his lap, out of sight.
"If you need me, I will come home," Antony says, slipping off the stool and moving around the island to wrap his arms around Stephen. "And if it's really too much, you can come and stay with me. I need to do this but you can be there with me." Which would be hugely unorthodox, but he really doesn't give a shit.
Stephen doesn't relax into the embrace, he's concentrating on his breathing, counting out slowly on the inhale and exhale. When he feels the panic recede just a little he shakes his head. "No, no I need to get used to it again. And if I have Logan here, and..." he turns his face to Antony's. "You promise you'll come home if I need you?" he asks once more, his tone pleading for reassurance, for the ability to trust absolutely in his man once more.
"I swear," Antony says solemnly, meeting Stephen's gaze straight on. "If you need me, I will drop everything and come straight home."
Stephen holds that gaze for a long moment before he nods, then he drops his head a little and leans into Antony finally accepting the comfort on offer.
Antony holds Stephen close, feeling the tension in his body ease, his breathing return to normal. "What do you want for dinner? Chinese, pizza or something else entirely?"
"Chinese," Stephen's reply is muffled against Antony's chest. "I want all the noodles, all the egg rolls, fuck calories..."
Antony smiles. "You want me to call now?"
Stephen nods. "Yeah, I'll go dig out some pj bottoms for us both, with elastic waists," he smiles, pulling away to look up at his husband. "Thank you."
"You're welcome but I'm only doing what I should be doing," Antony points out. "Taking care of you." And trying to put right what he fucked up in the first place. "I love you."
Stephen's still hearing those words a lot more than he's saying them, however, right now it seems natural to return them. "I love you too."
God that feels good. Antony smiles and kisses Stephen. "You get the pjs, I'll get the Chinese," he murmurs, stealing one more kiss before he lets his husband go.
Stephen tops up Antony's glass with another couple of fingers of scotch and sets the bottle in a safe space before he sinks back into the water. Their huge tub is full of water, bubbles, and contentment. The bathroom is low lit with candles and perched within reach is a plate with the last of the egg rolls from dinner.
"I used to hate baths before I met you," Antony says with a smile, amused.
"Huh! Really? Why?" Stephen moves his foot to rub it along Antony's thigh.
"Bunch of reasons," Antony says, resisting the urge to shift into that touch. "They seemed useless. A waste of time. I couldn't shut my brain down long enough to just sit and soak."
"I always liked them, they've always been a good way to ease my body after a tough day on set, to give myself a moment to stop and let the day wash away," Stephen leans over to pick up an egg roll and takes a bite. "I like them even better now."
"Because of this huge tub?" Antony asks.
"Partly that," Stephen grins, licking grease from his lips, "but mostly for the hot as fuck man I share it with on occasion."
"Is that so?" Antony says, grinning back, his cock giving a slow deliberate jerk at the sight of Stephen's tongue swiping across his mouth.
"Uh huh," Stephen nods, taking another bite and slowly chewing, his gaze fixed on Antony. He winks as he swallows and discards the remaining roll. "Do you think I might persuade that hot as fuck man to suck my cock later hmmm?"
"You might..." Antony's grin widens.
"Only might?" Stephen pouts, his lower lip sliding out. "Shame, because I was hoping to eat his ass in return." He knows how much Antony likes that, an intimacy they don't share as regularly as they might.
Antony laughs. "Remember the first time I sucked you off in here?"
Stephen's face scrunches up. "Remind me..."
"We'd just come back from Fiji. It was your first time here. I made you butter chicken and we took a nice long bath together. It was the first time this tub had been used since I moved in here. Later that same night, I fisted you for the first time..."
"Fuuuuuck," Stephen drawls out the word as he slides down in the water a little. "You cooked and I was surprised at that and then... yeah, fuck yeah, that was hot..." he closes his eyes for a moment in memory. "Our chemistry was so intense then."
"And it's not now?" Antony asks, mostly teasing.
Slowly opening his eyes Stephen thinks on that. "It's different now. It was different before, it's less frenetic, less consuming. It's easier, more comfortable... don't you think?"
Antony nods. "So easier and comfortable is good?" he asks, wondering how things would look now if the kidnapping hadn't happened. But he knows they would have had to deal with the same issues they're dealing with now at some point regardless.
"It is for me. I get to take a mental step back and make better decisions for myself, not clouded by the sexual intensity, the submissive need to please above all else." Stephen shrugs. "That doesn't sound sexy or romantic, put like that, but it's more honest, authentic."
Antony nods again, but this time it's more genuine, more because he really does get it. "Not having to hide'll make things easier too, won't it?"
"Yes, of course, it will," Stephen pushes up to sit, he reaches out to take his husband's glass from him and takes a healthy drink before settling back in the water.
Antony's still busy thinking over what Stephen's said, his mind churning, wondering why the words comfortable and easier sit weirdly with him. Maybe it's because Stephen still steals his breath away when he walks in a room. Or because Antony would jump him in a fucking second if they had to spend any time apart. Intensity. Passion. They don't seem to go with comfortable and easy but then he remembers what Stephen said before that. That he likes baths even better now, and in this tub, because of the hot as fuck man he shares it with. And he realizes it's all just semantics. They've still got chemistry - hot as hell chemistry - it's just not as overwhelming for Stephen as it once was and that's a good thing.
"Tony?" Stephen leans in again, his husband has gone quiet, clearly giving something he's said a great deal of thought. "Tony?" he nudges Antony with his foot.
"Yeah?" Antony straightens a little, roused from his reverie. "Sorry. I was just thinking."
"Clearly." Tilting his head a little he asks, "About what? Something I said?"
Antony nods. "Just the different way we define things," he says. "I don't think anyone's ever described anything to do with me as comfortable or easy, but I know that's not a bad thing, not where you're coming from. It just takes a bit for me to wrap my brain around it."
Offering Antony his glass back, Stephen takes a breath and blows it out slowly as he thinks on that. "Do you know what 'comfortable and easy' means for me in this context? It means I get to speak my mind without fear of being punished. It means being able to initiate intimacy with you outside of a dynamic and not worry I read it wrong. It means I can say no without guilt. It means I get to meet you as an equal, see you as an equal... before I was taken I still had the fucking toxic baggage Cam left me with, all the 'boy should be this', 'boy should not do that' ...now... after what happened, it's like a fucking reboot. It is easier for me now. It is so much more comfortable because I've managed to ditch all that shit."
Fuck. "I know we've talked about this before," Antony says, setting the glass on the ledge beside him. "But I still don't think I realized just how much you were operating out of fear or with fear in the back of your mind. I wish I'd known, I mean really known. I would have changed our rules, changed our dynamic... I thought it was something that was going to solve itself, that you were mostly worried about being worth being collared, being someone's boy. I thought time and my loving you, showing you how much you meant to me, would resolve that."
"Don't be so hard on yourself, Tony," Stephen reaches for Antony's hand and links their fingers together. "Even I didn't know how deep that shit ran, not then. And without you, well, I think I would have been doomed to short-term relationships with men who weren't good enough. But you saw something in me, your persistence, your love, the chemistry..."
"I saw you," Antony insists, leaning forward and bringing their hands to his mouth, a kiss pressed to the back of Stephen's. "Because I was bothering to look. Because I wasn't threatened by your strength or your intelligence. You may have been submissive, you may have been my boy, but you were always my equal."
Stephen's eyes fill with tears at that, his smile lopsided as he touches Antony's face with his free hand. "My darling man," he whispers in a choked voice.
Antony turns his head, kissing the inside of Stephen's palm.
"I think it's past time you took me to bed, don't you?" Stephen murmurs, watching Antony. "I'll skip the blowjob in favour of you burying that beautiful cock inside me and marking me as yours once more."
Antony grins. "Sounds good to me but it's a raincheque on the blowjob. I want my mouth on your cock before I leave for the weekend."
Huffing out a soft laugh Stephen nods. "Deal."
Stretching out naked beside Stephen, Antony runs his hand over his husband's body. "You are so fucking beautiful," he murmurs, his achingly hard cock giving emphasis to the words.
"Thank you," Stephen murmurs, grateful that Antony makes sure to tell him that, knowing how much he's struggling with his body image right now. His own hands reach out, drawing Antony closer so he can seek those tender places he knows make his husband even more aroused.
Antony licks into Stephen's mouth, groaning softly at his husband's touch, his cock jerking against Stephen's. "You feel so good," he says, reaching for the lube.
Shifting against the bed sheets, Stephen lets his legs fall open in an invite, his own cock thick and curved up over his belly, a thin string of precum already evident. "Please," he pleads softly, wanting Antony close, inside him.
"You want my fingers or just my cock?" Antony asks, willing to skip the detailed prep if Stephen thinks he can handle it.
"I need some prep," Stephen groans, pulling one leg up and reaching down to cup himself, pulling his balls up tight to expose himself. "C'mon..."
Antony chuckles. "Patience..." he says, slicking his fingers, two rubbed around Stephen's hole then pushed inside him.
"Patience? Really?" Stephen bites back, the words slurred out on a moan. "Have you not seen how fucking hot and hung my husband is?"
"Which is why you should have patience," Antony teases, working Stephen open, his fingers twisted to brush over his husband's prostate.
"Huh?.....Fuck ME!" Stephen whines out the expletive, his cock spitting out a wad of precum.
Antony repeats the movement, his own cock throbbing roughly in sympathy, two fingers becoming three, the muscle stretched, before he finally slicks his erection and moves between Stephen's thighs.
Stephen's hands are on Antony's skin in moments, caressing, kneading, pulling him down and in. "I want to feel you," he demands, "I want to smell you...I want to fucking drown in you."
Antony groans, sinking into Stephen's body, through that still-tight ring of muscle and into that incredible heat. He nods, dropping down for a kiss, licking into Stephen's mouth, swallowing those words and whispering them back. "I've never wanted anyone the way I want you."
"Good," Stephen murmurs as he tilts his hips to make sure Antony is as deep as he can get. "Fuck... I feel so full, so full of you..."
Antony nods. "Fuck, yeah. You've got all of me. Every inch," he breathes, rocking his hips in return, the tight heat making his head swim.
Pulling his legs back, Stephen uses his heels to urge Antony on. "Move," he demands, "Please Tony..."
Like Antony could resist. And he doesn't. Simply pulls back to the tip, almost right out, and drives in, hard and deep, burying himself in Stephen's body. And again.
Moving with each of Antony's thrusts, Stephen meets and matches his husband in need. His hands move, kneading increasingly sweaty skin, pulling Antony close and then pushing him away. Uninhibited with his noises, he keens out each time Antony's cock hits his sweet spot, groaning and pleading for more.
"Oh, fuck," Antony blurts out, pleasure coiling tight at the base of his spine. He fucks Stephen harder, faster, holding nothing back.
His nails scoring Antony's back, Stephen arches up, his head tilted back, throat bared as he drowns in the physicality, the almost violence of the sex. "Yes! Mark me... fuck me..."
Fuck yes. The pain from Stephen's nails goes straight to Antony's cock, shoving him over the edge. He shouts, movements stuttering, emptying himself, hot and thick and heavy, into Stephen's ass.
"Oh god, oh fuck," Stephen's right on the edge, so close, he shoves a hand between them, wrapping it around his own cock to tug at it with rough strokes. Before Antony's even gained a breath Stephen's overwhelmed by his own orgasm.
Seeing Stephen come apart while he's still inside him is almost better than Antony's own climax. It doesn't matter that Stephen needed his hand, it's that he let his guard down enough to have it happen at all which feels like another step in reclaiming their life together, the full intimacy and trust they once shared.
Stephen slides his hand out from between them, still breathless he brings it to his mouth to lick at his own semen, before smearing some over Antony's lips. "So good, so fucking good," he slurs out, whether he means the sex, his orgasm, his own taste, or all three is unclear.
Antony licks the come from his lips, smiling down at Stephen and nodding. "So fucking good," he whispers back, brushing his mouth across Stephen's. "That was incredible."
Shifting a little, Stephen runs his hands along Antony's sides, paying no mind to the fact he's smearing his husband in his ejaculate. "There was never anything wrong with our sex," he smiles, all languid, his eyes half-lidded. "But yes... incredible."
"And you came, with me inside you, without needing permission," Antony points out softly. "That's a good thing, isn't it?"
There's a momentary silence as Stephen takes that in, he blinks, then swallows. "Yeah, yeah it is," he agrees. "I didn't even think, it was so good, and I was so desperate..."
Antony grins, easing out and shifting to one side, Stephen pulled into his arms. "That's fantastic," he says, unable to stop smiling. It's such a small thing and yet...
Chuckling, Stephen tucks himself in close. "Two months ago I'd have been punished for that," he observes wryly.
"Yeah," Antony admits, nodding. "And maybe it shouldn't have been that way. Maybe we should have kept that for actual scenes."
Surprised at Antony's words, Stephen lifts his head and looks at his husband. "What? Really?"
"I don't know." Antony exhales softly. "I keep thinking about how conflicted you were about the whole Master and slave thing and how we ran into trouble that one time early on because you thought it was just us and I should have been more lenient, and maybe I should have been. Maybe you wouldn't have felt like you lost yourself if we'd made things more defined. Had D/s time separated from partner time."
"Will you stop that?" Stephen's frowning now, his good mood fast disappearing. "Stop second guessing what we had. It's in the past. And I honestly believe the majority of what was off was my responsibility. It was my responsibility to communicate better, to be more open with you; because you've proved many times that if I brought legitimate concerns and issues to you, you'd listen and act on them. You are not a mind reader, Antony. It was a communication problem, and it was mostly enabled by me. More importantly, we're moving past that, and that's what I want you to think on, our future, rebuilding our relationship, not shit we can't change."
"Okay," Antony says for the sake of peace more than because he really agrees. He's not just second-guessing things. He's not just thinking about the past. He's also thinking about how they don't fuck up again if they ever get any of that back in the future.
Antony's remarkably swift acquiescence does not fool Stephen, not for a moment, but he does wonder if pushing the issue will simply mean things will dissolve into an argument, which is the very last thing he wants right now. Time and place, and this is neither... he thinks. So, instead of responding in a more provocative manner, he settles back against Antony, his head set on his husband's chest, the covers pulled up and over them.
"I'm going to miss you," Antony murmurs, kissing the top of Stephen's head. "I know it's only three nights but I'm spoiled, I like sleeping with you."
"Yeah, same," Stephen replies, rubbing his cheek a little against Antony's skin. "Bed's too big otherwise."
"Just don't get any ideas about Logan," Antony teases, unable to resist.
"Huh? Oh god no. One man is enough drama for me, thank you," Stephen grumbles back.
"Drama?" Antony playfully huffs out a breath. "You make it sound like I'm work."
The only reply to be made to that is to tilt his head up, brows raised as if to suggest 'well duh!'.
"Don't tempt me to spank your ass anyway," Antony murmurs, eyes crinkling.
Fuck. Despite the amazing sex, Stephen's dick flexes, and it's obvious to them both, especially given it's currently tucked against the outside of Antony's thigh where Stephen is sprawled over him. Stephen drops his gaze, then turns his face until his nose and forehead are pressed against his husband's chest.
It's such a fragile moment and Antony doesn't dare ruin it with words. Instead he simply slides his hand down Stephen's back to his ass and lets it lay there.
There's a lump in Stephen's throat, the silence between them seems heavy, weighted with all that could go wrong. He takes in a breath and then nods, just once.
Christ. Antony closes his eyes for a moment, Stephen's skin so fucking warm and smooth under his palm. He rubs over his ass, once, twice and then slaps it. Neither too lightly nor too hard.
It's a decent blow, Antony's not gone for the soft, easier option. Stephen grunts, his eyes closed, his body rocking up a little, it feels good, really good. Opening his mouth he whispers, "Again."
Antony bites back a groan, his cock throbbing despite its softening, and does it again, his hand connecting with Stephen's ass with the same force as the first time.
"Again." Now it sounds like a demand, because, fuck... Stephen's breath is hot and damp against Antony's skin, and he shifts up Antony's body just a fraction, his cock dragging against his husband's thigh.
Fuck. Another throb, his cock determined to fill, to hell with refractory periods, and Antony slaps Stephen's ass again. And again. The blows even, measured, exactly the same strength.
Swallowing hard, Stephen slides his hands over Antony's body, his fingers closing over muscle and bone to ground himself. "Talk to me," he groans, his hips moving now in a thrusting motion. The skin on his ass is heating, the glow warming something deep inside, something that's lain cold and dormant for weeks.
Antony's not at all certain what he should say. It's a fucking minefield with almost no free ground. "You're so fucking hot," he growls, defaulting to the simplest path as he slaps Stephen's ass. "Rutting against me."
"Oh fuck," Stephen groans even louder at that, his cock fully hard now, smearing Antony's skin. "Don't stop..." he pleads, he can feel Antony's semen seeping from his asshole, can feel how turned on his husband is. "It feels good, so good."
"I'm not gonna stop," Antony promises, slapping a little harder. "I'm gonna keep spanking you until you come your fucking brains out."
"Oh... oh fuck..." the words have just as much effect on Stephen as Antony's hands do, his movements have become more frantic now as he writhes and presses against Antony. "Please... please..." Although Stephen has no real idea what he's begging for because he's utterly lost in something he thought he'd never have again.
And still harder, the sound of skin upon skin echoing through the room, Antony's own cock aching so fucking much it hurts. "Do it," he urges. "Come on me. Fucking paint my skin with it."
Moments later Stephen shudders, semen smearing against Antony, his nails scoring his husband's skin once more as he cries into Antony's neck.
"That's it. Good," Antony murmurs, his cock jerking sharply, smearing precome over his belly, his skin slick with their fluids.
boy the unspoken word echoes in Stephen's pleasure drunk brain, still unsure he wants to hear it again. Slumping against Antony he keeps his eyes closed, letting the tension seep out of his body.
"I love you," Antony murmurs, tightening his hold on Stephen and kissing his hair, fucking thrilled they managed even this. Plus earlier. Yeah, fucking thrilled is right.
"Love you too," Stephen's words are barely audible, slurred with both pleasure and sleepiness. Wrapped up in Antony's arms, his body replete he lets himself slide into sleep, too tired to give much thought to what just occurred.