In the spacious, carefully-appointed kitchen, a young, pretty blond-haired woman busied herself with preparations for the evening ahead.
My brother and a couple of the other senior officers will be along soon, she called out through the open door behind her. Then the rest of the guests are due at around nine. Will you fetch up some more wine from the cellar? She ran a silver spoon through the salad, admiring the contrast of the dark, peppery rocket leaves and the fierce red of the tomato slices. Then she eked out a few more drops of dressing, the spicy tang of it flaring her delicate nostrils. Heero, did you hear me?
There was a creak from the lounge as if someone was getting up from the sumptuous leather sofa. A couple of strong, confident steps crossed the hallway outside.
She smiled. Thanks, dear, she called back over her shoulder. Theres such a wide variety of guests coming tonight I expect many of them to have sophisticated tastes. Try the far rack first, and start with the 83. I think we should use the best, as everyone seems to think its a special occasion. There was no-one in the kitchen to see her but she still blushed very fetchingly. The pale pink of her cheeks matched the subtle weave of her designer jacket and skirt. They keep asking about us setting a date for the wedding. They say its frustrating for friends and family, not being able to schedule their summer invitations around it. Someone suggested early in September, but I managed to divert their attention to other matters. Was I right, do you think?
Outside in the hallway, there was a creak as the hatch to the cellar was lifted up, then the rattle and dull thud of the makeshift stepladder dropping to the basement floor beneath.
The young woman smiled gently and began humming perfectly pitched, elegantly in tune - the chorus to a Burt Bacharach love song.
Down in the cellar the light was dim and the air chilled, despite the fact that its well-scrubbed walls bore no comparison to the gloomy, neglected basements that might have been encountered during an active military career. The handsome, dark-haired young man searched along the rows of stacked fine wine bottles, moving towards the far end of the room. His blue eyes glinted like fireflies and the only sounds were the careful tread of his boots and his soft, even breath.
There was a distant call from above, from the direction of the kitchen, but he couldnt make out any words. It was as if it came from another world; the hatchway back up to the house was a window of clean, warm sky set above the dark, cold stone beneath his feet.
A sudden quiver of movement from the far depths of the room caught his eye; his keen hearing identified an alien sound. He paused, and his hands clenched into loose but ready fists.
Heero? The voice was only a whisper, but it was unmistakably male. It came from the very furthest corner down between the racks. The movement became more pronounced and a shadow detached itself from the darkness there, slowly forming into the athletic shape of a tall, slim man. He wore loose, comfortable clothing that didnt seem in keeping with the semi-formal theme of the evening ahead: he had a long braid of hair down his back. When he smiled, his teeth glinted white in the dimness.
The dark-haired man watched the newcomer approach without any sign of surprise or nervousness. In fact his body seemed to straighten up and his own smile broadened in response.
Youre meant to be arriving at nine, Duo, he murmured. Up above, he thought he could hear the muted clatter of crockery being unstacked.
The man with the braid shrugged. Call me the advance reconnaissance, he replied, his voice quiet but clear. Thought you might want some extra party favours.
Not interested, Heero countered.
Duo laughed, very softly. Who said I meant the party upstairs ?
Heeros eyes widened. He stood very still as Duo approached to barely a foot away and then eased down on to his knees before him. His strong fingers were busy and deft at Heeros waist, peeling open the zip of the expensively tailored pants. It rasped: a harsh sound in the quiet atmosphere of the cellar.
Sophisticated tastes murmured Heero, almost to himself. He sucked in a breath: his smile looked a little painful.
Duo ran his fingertip down the trail of soft, dark hairs on Heeros belly and in under the waistband of his silk boxers.
Dressed for the occasion, eh?
Heeros stomach muscles tightened and he growled warningly. His cock swelled with swift, damp eagerness, tenting the thin fabric. Keep your mouth shut
Duo hissed back, his hot breath stirring the curled hairs around the base of Heeros arousal. Shut it for me.
His hand snaked around Heeros hip, tugging the standing body closer. Heero gripped the thick dark hair at the nape of Duos neck and pulled the other mans head forward into his groin. Duo opened his thick, generous lips and Heeros cock sank in between them. Both men gasped, disturbing the cool air around them. Heero readjusted his foothold on the stone paving of the floor; Duo licked greedily at the flared crown of the dick in his mouth.
There was the vibration of footsteps above, padding aimlessly across the kitchen then back again.
Heeros fingers tightened in Duos hair and his own head fell back. Duo smiled, teasing his teeth along the thick shaft that throbbed against his palate. He began to suck.
The ambassadors wife called earlier, but I said I wasnt really considering any trousseau at the moment, at least not until we had some firmer idea of date. Her dressmaker will have to make herself available another time. I reminded her it would be social death to be dressed inappropriately for the season, and then she was content to let the subject drop.
The young woman chatted whilst arranging some flowers in a set of matching crystal vases in the lounge. She knew she had a far more creative talent for this than any of the staff; she also found it pleasantly restful, to create the proper ambience in a room. The lilies smelled particularly exotic. Shed already placed the wine glasses and water jugs on the linen-clothed table and was waiting for the sweet pastries to finish warming in the oven. Their buttery smell wafted along the hallway from the kitchen.
Can you still hear me down there, Heero? she called. The general sent his apologies for tonight, but the major asked if he might make a small speech in his stead. It was more of an order than a request, of course, but I hoped you wouldnt mind.
There was the slightest sound in the distance, like a squeak, from down in the cellar. The young woman knew there were no mice in the house. Nothing marred the show home perfection of it, and never had. She bit back a small sigh, not sure of its source.
I hope everyone enjoys themselves, she mused aloud. This was her diplomatic way of asking whether theyd know how to behave with decorum. That event you attended last month with Duo Maxwell I heard some tales of his behaviour that were a little unsettling. Every time you and he are out together there are many such tales. He can be so boisterous, of course so noisy.
She looked down at a couple of cut flower stems she still held in her hand. Wufei explained to me how you have all adapted in different ways to civilian life, and its not a matter for nervousness or disdain. Hes very wise, Heero very tolerant. Oh, and did I tell you? He said hed arrive early tonight, to help me to help us be ready on time. Though he refuses to waste his time trying to control my brothers exuberance. I think weve all abandoned hope of that over the years. She bit her lip. I wasnt sure this party was the right thing, really, from the very beginning. It seems that there are some expectations of tonight and of us. And I know that many of your colleagues are used to more lively gatherings.
She sighed again, but thoughtfully. Especially Duo, she added, but more for her own benefit than anything else.
Outside in the hallway, the hatch door to the cellar creaked gently on its worn prop. Something had probably knocked against the stepladder down below.
The young woman was trying to remember the last verse to the love song; her smooth brow was marred by a frown of concentration.
Down in the cellar, Duo lay face down over a stacked pile of crates. Hed been flung down there with impatience and a distinct lack of care for his comfort, but hed made no cry of protest. Now his fingers gripped the rough wooden lid of the top crate as if desperate to provide some anchor; the bottles inside rattled against their moorings as his body jerked back and forth. His jeans and briefs were in a crumpled pile around his left ankle, and his shirt was pushed up under his armpits. His knees were bent forward and knocked against the crates; his pale skin was exposed from his shoulder blades down to his calves, ghostly in the dim light.
Heero knelt on the floor behind him, his face on a level with Duos ass. His hands gripped the muscular buttocks; strands of his hair stuck to his forehead with sweat. He thrust Duos hips forward against the crates, then tugged them back, again and again in a relentless rhythm. Each time the other mans ass nudged up against his face his tongue flickered out and slavered at the puckered hole between the cheeks. He licked; he swiped saliva against it and inside it; he stabbed at the entrance, the strong muscle of his tongue forcing a hot, wet invasion into Duos hole.
Duos mouth opened in the shape of a groan, though little sound emerged. He struggled to hold himself both still and quiet. Killing me here he gasped, hoarsely.
Be quiet, muttered Heero. His words were muffled and his tongue still worked the overly sensitive nerves around Duos balls. You can be too damned noisy.
And you can be too damned smug, Duo hissed back. He released his right hand from its grip and let it drop down to where his swollen cock was pressed painfully between his groin and the crate. A nerve twitched under the taut flesh of his buttocks; a thread of pre-cum clung stickily to his thigh, shining silver in contrast to the dark wood. He wrapped his palm protectively around his dick and began to pump himself, following the rhythm of Heeros hungry rimming.
Heero sat back on his heels and used his thumbs to peel the skin apart around Duos entrance. He slid his index finger in, slowly and firmly. Duo winced at the breach but his ass muscles flexed with need. Heero watched the muscles tighten back around his finger as he twisted it in further. Duo thrust himself backwards, impaling it up to the next knuckle.
Time? he whispered back into the semi darkness.
Heero knew the answer didnt depend on his gold plated watch. Plenty, he hissed back. Upstairs, the sound of footsteps had temporarily ceased but there was no sound of traffic outside the house or visitors at the door.
Duo smiled in triumph, though the man crouched by his ass couldnt see it. He bent his head back down against the crate, braced his feet even further apart and tightened his hand around his aching cock.
More, he grunted. Now!
The young woman glanced at her watch, the diamond studded face winking the seconds at her. Shed had many days to prepare for this event but suddenly she felt a spike of panic. She had been taught to control such feelings all her life, though the lessons were no longer considered necessary. But there was no-one now in her adult life to talk her through such perturbing times.
Did she need such a person, anyway?
Heero? she called. She paused in the doorway of the lounge, smoothing her hair reflexively. Maybe when tonight is over we might talk for a while about things. She pursed her lips, displeased with such imprecision. Ive wanted to discuss some issues with you for a while now, but we just have so little private time together. It never seems the right occasion. She started to wander back up the corridor towards the kitchen and the smell of the pastries. Despite their rare and exotic fillings, the aroma from their cooking teased her memory with thoughts of her childhood and simpler, relaxed times.
She passed the open hatchway to the cellar and glanced towards it. Down below, she heard the distant chink of a glass bottle and a sudden, heavy breath. Then everything fell silent again.
Just a few bottles, she called. No need for excess. She didnt know why that word brought the vision of Duo Maxwell into mind again. But then perhaps, if she were honest, she did.
She reached to a portrait on the wall and straightened its frame. Weve known each other for a long time, Heero, havent we? Weve been good friends, too. Her voice was louder than in normal conversation but she faced away from the hatch. Her expression was pensive maybe a little sad. Youre such an attractive man and people have always seen us as a very suitable couple. And youve been the perfect gentleman about my reluctance to take it further. She paused again and her hand brushed slowly against her mouth as if recalling a touch. It isnt everything, is it, consummation? Again there were no watchers, but she flushed heavily, regardless. My brother has made some fairly crude comments to both of us, I know. Ive been quite sharp with him. Just because he beds everything with a pulse - though preferably in uniform it doesnt mean that everyone else defines their relationship in such a way.
Something creaked down in the basement, but too quietly for her to tell if it was a cry or the scrape of a crate along the floor.
Wufei is flying in tonight especially to attend the party, you know, she continued, her words speeding up as if she were embarrassed by what might have seemed a non sequitur. Hes an attractive man, too, Heero, dont you think? Hes been a wonderful companion to me, when youve been unable to make many of my formal engagements. He has strong, passionate ideas about men and women; he says that commitment should follow a proper balance of respect and desire. A small smile teased at her lips and her gaze slipped inwards to her secret thoughts rather than the luxurious rooms around her. A rather old fashioned way of expressing oneself, I said but the principles remain true. Her hand brushed now at her hip; her eyes opened a little more widely, her features softening. He is a very attractive man, though I dont suppose you appraise your male friends in quite the same way.
By now, her words were only a thoughtful murmur. Or then again, perhaps you do
Again, the vision of Duo Maxwell came unbidden into her mind.
Duo was now upright, facing the cellar wall, pressed against it and panting hotly into the crook of his arm. No coherent words, just sounds - and sounds of need and agonised delight and exhortation. His knees bumped against cold stone; he was thrust against the brickwork, his flesh slippery and shivering, both hot and cold.
He was completely naked, the jeans kicked to one side, the shirt shrugged off swiftly and eagerly. There was a thin trail of sweat running down between his shoulder blades. Each time his body arched against the wall, his foot jerked sideways and knocked against a loose wine bottle, propped against the rack. It would tilt then right itself, rattling precariously on its smooth glass base.
Heero was gathered in closely behind him, his hands around Duos waist and his mouth at the braided mans neck. Hed discarded his shirt too, and his pants hung open loosely, unbelted, creased around his thighs. His hips moved in short, sharp thrusts, matching the shuddering movement of Duos body.
At a particularly strong thrust, his head dropped back and Duos matched it, their throats bared together and Heeros chest tight against Duos arched back. They moved like a single beast, even their breathing in tandem. It was obvious that they were fucking, even without the evidence of the stifled grunt of pleasure, the grimaces of desire on their faces.
So fucking good, groaned Duo.
Hush, hissed Heero, breathlessly. His fingers gripped into Duos flesh and he buried his face in the thick braid, gasping his lust. This is enough no need for excess
Duo laughed raggedly, biting off the sound into a low, guttural moan as Heero bent his knees and thrust back up at a deeper angle. Never met a more uhnn attractive man than you, Heero
It was Heeros turn to laugh, though more softly. But Im not the one she wants, Duo. Shes searching for The words began to dry in his throat, the climax uncurling deep in his groin and spiralling its heat up through his veins. shes searching for another, he gasped aloud, and then his mouth stretched open in a wide, wordless cry.
Fuck me, hissed Duo, urgently, almost angrily. This is what we both want. Harder, Heero fill me up, goddammit! I never wanted a perfect gentleman I only ever wanted you, any way I could get you. He lurched back, the other mans keening cry nothing but a whimper in his ear. Duo felt the sudden clenching of Heeros body; the tightening of every muscle; the hitched breath in his chest. Then Heeros hips slammed against him, again and again, deeper and harder, and he felt him coming up inside his ass.
Any way I can, he groaned. Fuck! His anal muscles spasmed and his cock jumped in his hand, spitting its own seed out, fierce and thick and hot. Heero moaned behind him, clutching him, the two of them holding each other and demanding total surrender for that moment of shared satisfaction.
The wine bottle at Duos feet tumbled gently down on to its side, rocking back and forth, chinking against the stone floor.
The young woman opened the front door of the house after insistent knocking to find a small group of soldiers in dress uniform led by her strikingly handsome, charismatic and only slightly drunk brother. His long, white-blond hair was perfectly groomed; his uniform was moulded to his tall, muscular frame with the combination of military smartness and style that so very few men could carry off; and his arm was hovering possessively around the waist of one of the younger, more nervous officers. A bright gleam in his blue eyes alerted her to his unusual excitement.
But when he smiled his slow, easy smile at her she smiled back. It was a comfort to know that some things were the same he was still there for her. So were expecting the big announcement tonight, he said, cheerfully but carefully. Just what everyones been waiting for, right?
Hed said such things before but this was the first time that shed seen the sympathy and confusion in his eyes, though she suspected it had always been there. Many things were becoming clearer to her recently.
Behind him, a car drew up and Wufei Chang stepped out. He was elegant in his evening suit with an understated style that was the complement to her brothers. His eyes met hers over Zechs shoulder.
Relena. Wufei bowed very slightly to her. A momentous evening, I believe. He also smiled, but a little like Zechs response - it was a sad, sweet gesture.
Surprising them all, Relena stepped forward out of the house, drawing the door half closed behind her. Will you drive me, Wufei? she asked, quite calmly. Id like to go into town and maybe have a quiet, private drink somewhere.
What-? Her brother looked bemused. Relena, what about the party?
She took a deep breath. I have left messages for the staff to deliver, to say that its cancelled. I dont really wish to be here this evening after all Id like to find something different instead. She looked pointedly at Wufei, hoping that he understood, and she saw that he did. His expression was both astonished and pleased.
Zechs gaze darted between her and Wufei, his eyes narrowing. He understood, too, raising an eyebrow at her words. And what about Heero Yuy?
Relena held up a hand to beg a few moments alone, then stepped back into the hallway. She walked along to the open hatchway to the cellar and listened for a few seconds. The air down in the basement eddied with the movement of human bodies; she could smell sweat and what she suspected was the tang of past sexual activity, mixed in with the musty scent of wood that had been stained with spilled wine.
Then she carefully let down the hatch. It fell with a thud, cutting off the echo of a deep, breathless moan. It could still be opened from below, but for the moment she thought she might leave the basement some privacy.
She turned back to leave the house.
She was smiling quite happily.
Duo looked up from the cellar floor where he lay sprawled over Heeros body and saw the window of light vanish. The hatch had shut with a creak of complaint and now the only sound was their heavy breathing and the whisper of some displaced dust. The darkness became more cloying, though their sight adjusted swiftly.
Well, well, well, he murmured.
Heero peered up past him and his body tensed slightly. But Duos hands, pulling off his pants and Duos mouth, licking a trail down his belly, were very distracting.
Heero shook his head. A strand of Duos hair was caught between his lips and he spat it out carefully.
So it wasnt because of that incident last month when we nearly got caught in the generals car? Duo still kept his voice low, but the laughter was bubbling underneath it.
Heero frowned, then arched back as Duos tongue licked slowly and surely from his balls up to the purple, swollen head of his cock. He spread his legs apart, pulling his knees up towards his chest. The stone floor was cool on his naked back, and Duos body was hot between his thighs.
Duo lifted his head, his eyes bright and wild, with the shine of pre-cum on his upper lip. So how long has she known? he murmured.
A long time, Heero replied, softly. He sighed as Duo dipped his head back down to nuzzle beneath his sac, his tongue licking both mischievously and leisurely. We can go back upstairs if you want. There are comfortable rooms
And pastries, sighed Duo.
Yes, agreed Heero. We could drink fine wine and eat some of the food and not need to hide in basements anymore.
Duo wriggled, kneeling up between Heeros outstretched thighs, his firm hands spreading them even further apart. For a moment he looked down at Heeros cock, aroused again, bobbing against his belly with heavy heat and creating an exaggerated shadow on his dusky skin. Duo admired the puckered hole, barely visible in the darkness except by merit of his saliva, lubricating it. He licked his lips.
In a minute, he whispered. Lets stay here for a while longer, OK? He held his awakening cock in his palm, guiding it towards Heeros entrance. The saliva made a soft sucking noise as he nudged the head in. Heero moaned and his eyes half closed.
Duo bent at the waist, his head close to Heeros ear and he hissed to him as he slid carefully in, out, then in again, rocking Heeros body on the floor.
After all, its been kind of exciting down here, dont you think?