Strike Back fic: I’ll Carry You (Michael/Damien) 1/1

Title: I’ll Carry You

Author: Jamie Lynn Miller

Pairing: Michael Stonebridge/Damien Scott

Rating: NC-17

Word Count: 5,740

Spoilers: Season 4

Disclaimer: I don’t own them, more’s the pity. Just borrowing!

Notes: My first Strike Back fic! This is an AU-ish version of episodes 4×07 and 4×08. I always thought the prison episode screamed for a missing scene and I always wanted it to be Michael showing up at Damien’s hotel room instead of Major Nina Pirogova.

Summary: Forced to have sex at gunpoint in Black Bear prison, Michael and Damien’s relationship is forever changed.

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I’ll Carry You

By Jamie Lynn Miller

Michael’s dying…

Michael’s dying…

Michael’s dying…

The two words repeated themselves in an endless loop inside American Sergeant Damien Scott’s brain as he lay on his bunk in his cell inside Black Bear prison. The phone that had delivered the fateful words was a lead weight against his side where it was tucked into the waistband of his red inmate uniform.

Damien stared unseeingly up at the bottom of Michael’s bunk. This…this wasn’t right. Men like he and Michael, they went out with a bullet to the head or a knife across the throat. Quick. Not a slow, agonizing death by neurotoxin from a biological weapon. It was hard to comprehend that a simple cut on Michael’s arm had become his death sentence.

Damien heard Michael cough again and his own chest tightened up, as if he were the one beginning to suffocate. Suffocate with the knowledge of too many things left unsaid, of too many things he refused to admit to himself. Things about Michael. Until now. Until it was too late. Four years of watching each other’s back, of saving each other’s lives. Four years of being closer to any man than he’d ever been…and he was going to lose him. Before they ever had a chance.

Damien took a deep breath. No, there was still hope. There was an anti-toxin and Section 20 had it. But it would be a race against the clock. If Michael wasn’t given the injection in forty-eight hours it would be too late. They had just two days for Section 20 to locate and free Erik Andersson’s friends and for he and Michael to find and extricate Andersson himself and the NATO hard drive from Black Bear. Piece of cake, right? No difficult than any other mission they’d ever had. Except this time the stakes were literally life and death. Michael’s. And Damien damn well wasn’t going to let his friend die in some godforsaken Russian prison.

“Mikey?”

As long as they came up with a plan. As long as nothing went wrong…

And then the cell door slammed open.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

I’m dying…

I’m dying…

I’m dying…

The two words chased themselves around in British Sergeant Michael Stonebridge’s head until he was dizzy. Or maybe that was just the poison coursing through his veins.

He lay in his bunk above Damien’s, staring sightlessly up at the cracked and stained ceiling of their cell, trying to come to terms with his prognosis. Deep down he knew it wasn’t just stress causing his symptoms. He’d just refused to believe anything else. Until now.

He’d told Damien he was done after this mission. He was taking his million dollar share of the diamonds and getting out. For a moment he’d thought he’d had a chance at a future. Who the hell was he kidding? Men like he and Damien, they didn’t get a future. They got a bullet to the head or a knife across the throat.

Michael looked down at his half-paralyzed left arm, curled up against his chest, his hand frozen in a clenched fist, and sighed. But instead it was his fate to waste away until the paralysis spread to his legs and finally to his lungs, suffocating him. Fucking James Leatherby. He’d give anything to put another bullet in that bastard for inflicting this death sentence on him.

Two days. That’s all he had left. He turned his head to the side, glancing down to where Damien lay below him. That wasn’t nearly enough time to say all the things he wanted to say. But really, what would be the point now? Why confess how his feelings toward Damien had changed? How he felt, what he wanted? With the life they lived he should’ve done it long ago. It was too late now. He’d missed his chance. And he ached inside for what could’ve been.

Oh, he knew was Damien was thinking. That they were going to come up with a plan and escape Black Bear. That there was still hope Section 20 would get the anti-toxin to him in time. But Michael knew better. Soon he wouldn’t be able to walk. And despite Damien’s earlier words, he knew his partner would try and carry him. Because he was beyond loyal. And he’d do everything he could to not let Michael die here. But it was going to happen. Michael would soon be useless to the mission and Damien would have no choice but to continue. Because he was a soldier. And he had his orders. Michael’s single life was unimportant compared to the thousands Damien could save by getting Andersson and the hard drive out. And until Michael took his last breath he’d do all he could to see that Damien succeeded.

“Mikey?”

Michael smiled at the nickname that only Damien was allowed to get away with calling him. He settled back against his pillow. So here it comes, the “grand plan”…

And then the cell door slammed open.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

The banging of the metal bars on the cement had Michael and Damien sitting upright in the span of a heartbeat, immediately on alert. The noise had startled Pushkin, too, the old man jerking up from his bunk across the room at the same time. Michael had nearly forgotten the Russian man was in the cell with them, Pushkin keeping his word to be “deaf and blind” to whatever transpired between Michael and Damien.

A large figure entered the cell, flanked by two gun-wielding guards, drawing Michael’s attention.

“Governor Ilyin.” Damien acknowledged the corrupt prison warden with a sneer. “To what do we owe the pleasure?”

“Oh, the pleasure will be all mine, dear boy,” the fat man replied with a lecherous grin that made the hair on the back of Michael’s neck stand up. He waved at the guards, indicating Michael and Damien. “Take them.”

The guards were on them in seconds, pulling them off their bunks. Michael’s feet hit the floor and he stumbled as his vision wavered once again. Damien was there, shouldering aside the guard, pressing up against Michael. Damien received a rifle butt to the gut for his action and doubled over, coughing. “Oi!” Michael yelled angrily at the guard.

Ilyin seemed pleased at Damien’s efforts to run interference for Michael, nodding his head and smiling. It made Michael’s skin crawl.

“Bring them,” Ilyin ordered, striding out of the cell, the guards pushing Michael and Damien in front of them at gun point.

They were marched down several hallways and down a set of stairs to the basement of the prison, the two soldiers shooting each other looks of confusion and apprehension, the more isolated their location became. The procession finally stopped at a closed metal door, which Ilyin opened with a key. He said something in Russian to one of the guards and the man handed over his sidearm to Ilyin. The warden stepped inside the room, then the guards pushed both Michael and Damien in after him, and closed the door behind them.

Michael’s special forces training kicked in and he assessed the room in a matter of seconds. It was small and semi-dark, with only a single window across from where he was standing. It smelled dank and musty. He could hear water dripping somewhere. The cement room was bare except for a wooden chair and an old mattress lying on the floor in front of it.

Michael turned his head to shoot Damien a look of unease, to find his partner already staring back at him with the same expression.

“What the fuck’s going on, Ilyin?” Damien growled.

“That’s it precisely, my boy – fucking,” Ilyin smirked. He moved into the shadows for a moment and when he stepped back into the light he was holding a tripod with a video camera attached.

All at once the situation became crystal clear.

“Oh hell no!” Damien exploded, taking a step toward Ilyin.

Michael’s right arm shot out, across Damien’s chest, halting his movement as Ilyin raised the gun. “Scott,” he warned, and Damien stopped, his face a mask of anger.

Damien’s eyes narrowed, his jaw clenched tight. There was a question in his eyes as he barely tipped his head toward the warden. Once again, Michael knew what his partner was thinking. Could the two of them take down Ilyin? Absolutely. And the two guards outside as well. But then what? They still had no idea how to get to Andersson. They needed a plan for retrieval and escape. As much as Michael wanted to see Ilyin lying dead on the floor, now was not the right time.

Michael gave an almost imperceptible shake of his head and Damien blew out a breath, giving a nod in return, and they both turned to look back at Ilyin.

Ilyin chuckled. “See, this is why I chose you. Your instinctive need to protect one another. It’s hard with random inmates to threaten one man with death if the other doesn’t care.”

“What do you want from us?” Michael asked, even though he knew the answer.

Ilyin gestured at the mattress. “For you to put on a show! I have associates in the government who have certain…tastes. And I have plenty of men here willing to accommodate them.”

“Willing?” Damien said incredulously.

Ilyin pointed the gun at Damien’s head. “It’s amazing how cooperative men can be when you threaten to put a bullet in their brain.”

“You’re a sick fuck, Ilyin,” Michael spat.

The warden laughed. “Yes, but a rich one! And a video of two foreigners will fetch me an even bigger price.” Then his face hardened. “Now get on with it. Or I’ll shoot you both where you stand.”

Ilyin moved toward the video camera and turned it on, then sat his large body in the chair, all the while keeping the gun on his prisoners.

Michael and Damien stood looking at one another for a long moment. They’d faced terrorists, gun battles, bombs, jumping off buildings together and every other danger imaginable side-by-side without blinking an eye. But this situation had them rooted to the spot, frozen with uncertainty. And for the first time, looking into Damien’s eyes, Michael had no idea what his partner was thinking, wondered if his heart was pounding as hard as his was. Who was going to make the first move?

“Get on with it!” Ilyin shouted.

That spurred Damien into motion and he made to go toward Ilyin. Michael stopped him once again with a hand on his chest. “Don’t, mate,” he said quietly. “Let’s do this and plot the best way to kill that bastard later.”

“Copy that,” Damien replied forcefully.

Michael flexed his fingers on Damien’s chest. “So…I know you’ve done this kind of thing before. Why don’t you lead?” he winked, trying to lighten the situation as best he could, get Damien’s mind on him and not Ilyin.

Damien’s eyes widened. “How—“ he started but cut himself off as Michael suddenly gasped as a sharp spike of pain shot through his body and he started to double over.

“Shit! Mikey…”

Michael felt Damien’s hands on him, lowering him down to sit on the mattress. When his vision cleared he saw the concerned face of his partner looking back at him.

“It’s okay…I’m okay,” Michael breathed, and Damien nodded though Michael knew he wasn’t convinced.

Damien put his hands on the bottom of Michael’s red inmate shirt, started pushing it up. “Let me…I’ve got this…I’ve got you…” he uncharacteristically rambled, not quite meeting Michael’s eyes.

Michael let Damien undress him, then laid back and watched as Damien removed his own clothing, taking care to keep the cell phone hidden. Michael’s fingers ached to trace across the tattoos scattered over his partner’s naked body. Despite the situation, being forced into sex, Michael felt himself start to respond, his cock giving a gentle throb as Damien lowered himself down. He settled himself between Michael’s bent legs, his expression a wild mix of emotions.

Michael placed his right hand on the side of Damien’s face and gave a rueful chuckle. Damien’s brows drew together in question.

“It’s just that…us in a Russian prison, at gunpoint, with me dying…this is not how I pictured this finally happening.”

Damien’s eyebrows shot up in surprise. “Michael…” he breathed.

“I want this…I want you…” Michael finally confessed, his throat tight.

“Jesus Christ…” Damien swore, looking bewildered, but pleased, as a slow smile spread across his face. He squeezed Michael’s hand. “This won’t be the only time, I swear. We’re getting out of here, both of us, and we’ll do this the way it’s supposed to be. The right way. I’ll show you…”

Michael tried to hide his sadness behind a smile as Damien’s face wavered and blurred, death taunting him. “Copy that,” he replied thickly.

Damien released his hand and shot a look at Ilyin. “Condom?”

Ilyin just laughed. “My customers don’t pay for what they can’t see, if you get my meaning. They want a show.” He reached into his suit jacket and withdrew a small jar, which he threw to Damien. “You’re lucky you’re even getting this.”

Damien caught the jar one-handed. Petroleum jelly.

“Asshole,” Damien swore, looking back at Michael, who was well aware of Damien’s sexual history. “I’m clean, Mikey, I swear,” he said.

“I know you are. It’s okay…do it.”

Damien nodded and coated several of his fingers in the jelly. He shifted slightly off Michael’s body and his right hand disappeared between Michael’s legs. A moment later Michael sucked in a quick breath as a cool finger circled against his entrance, pressing against the small ring of muscle.

“I won’t hurt you, Michael…I promise,” Damien vowed.

Michael curled his fingers around Damien’s left bicep, squeezed gently. “I know you won’t. I always trust my partner.”

True to his word, Damien stretched Michael’s body as easily as he could. One finger, two, then finally three. The feeling was utterly foreign to Michael and at first it burned but soon gave way to pleasure as Damien opened him further, pushed his fingers in deeper.

“Christ, Mikey, you’re so tight…”

“More, Damien, please…”

“Wait, wait…”

Michael felt Damien’s fingers change angle slightly, crooking just a bit…and then he was seeing stars as Damien pushed against the gland deep inside him.

“That’s it, that’s it,” Damien smiled as Michael gasped in pleasure, his cock growing, hardening at the stimulation.

Then the pressure was gone, Damien’s fingers disappearing from his body. Before Michael could mourn their loss they were replaced by the blunt head of Damien’s erect cock.

Michael loathed showing any kind of reaction in front of Ilyin, but he was helpless to stop his cry as Damien breached his body and pushed inside him for the first time. The pressure was intense, he felt so full…

“Damien…” he gasped, locking gazes with the man above him.

“I’ve got you, I’ve got you…” his partner reassured him as he started to move.

Damien tried to set up a slow rhythm, but things were too emotional, too raw, too open for this first time to last long. Michael raised up his legs and wrapped them around Damien’s waist, tipping his hips up for even deeper penetration. He forced his half-paralyzed left arm up and rested it against Damien’s side. If this was to be the only time they were together, Michael was finally going to touch that intricate tattoo.

All too soon, Michael felt Damien’s cock find his prostate, pushing against it over and over and a heartbeat later Michael felt his climax begin deep inside. He groaned and arched his head back, his cock throbbing where it was trapped between their bodies.

“God, Damien…now…”

“Michael…oh, Christ…”

Damien pushed inside him hard, once, twice more, then swiftly withdrew. They barely had time to wrap their hands around each other’s cocks before they were both climaxing, never once breaking eye contact as they painted Michael’s chest with twin streams of their release.

Finally spent, Damien cupped the side of Michael’s face, looking at him with an expression of tenderness Michael had never seen from the hardened soldier.

“Michael,” Damien whispered, dropping his head toward Michael, his eyes closing.

Michael tilted his head up, his eyes falling closed as well…

“Well done! Well done, boys!” Ilyin’s laughter and clapping were the equivalent of a bucket of ice water being dumped on Michael and Damien.

They sprang apart and Damien jumped to his feet. “I’m going to kill you, Ilyin. I swear to God I’m going to kill you.”

His answer was more laughter. “Get dressed. We’re through. For now. I have a feeling the two of you are going to prove most popular with my clients,” Ilyin smirked.

Damien glared daggers at the warden and crouched down next to the mattress. He snagged his discarded boxers and used them to clean off Michael’s chest, then tossed them aside. He dressed quickly in his uniform then helped Michael when his arm wouldn’t cooperate. Ilyin called for the guards and Michael and Damien were unceremoniously marched back to their cell while Ilyin headed to his office, his prize video tape in hand.

The closer they got to their cell the worse Michael felt. His vision had been going in and out and he’d started coughing again. He stumbled on the last stair leading up to their floor and would’ve fallen completely if not for Damien. He wrapped his arms around Michael and held him upright until the dizziness passed.

“I lied,” Damien whispered in his ear. “I’ll carry you, Michael.”

Michael gave him a weary smile. “I know you’ll try.”

“I’ve got an idea. We need to talk to Pushkin.” Intense blue eyes pinned him to the spot. “We’re getting out of here, Michael. Both of us.”

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Two Days Later

Damien Scott sat in a car outside the hospital, looking up at a certain window on the third floor, replaying the events of the last twenty-four hours in his head.

Finding Michael strung up in that laboratory, locked in that room, no more than an hour from death…Christ, that had been close. Too damn close. He didn’t think he’d get the syringe with the anti-toxin in Michael’s hands fast enough. But he did and Michael was alive and recovering. Or so he’d been told. He hadn’t yet gone in to see his partner.

Damien watched as his boss, Colonel Philip Locke, walked out of the hospital, got into his car and drove away. And still Damien sat, as the evening grew darker. An hour later the light in Michael’s room went off. It took another thirty minutes for Damien to get out of the car.

Coward, he berated himself. Waiting until he’s asleep so you don’t have to talk to him. Just what the hell was he supposed to say? ‘Glad you’re alive, buddy. That was some great sex we had, eh? Ready to get back on the hunt for Al-Zuhari?’ That just wasn’t a conversation he was ready to have right now. He had no idea where he stood with Michael, after what went on in Black Bear. Were they going to pretend it never happened? Sweep it under the rug and just get on with the mission? Damien felt off balance for the first time in his life, had no idea how to approach this situation. He and Michael were a team, a well-oiled machine and if there was an elephant in the room standing between them…they couldn’t function like that.

Damien paused outside Michael’s hospital room, listening to make sure all was quiet before he slowly pushed open the door and entered. He moved silently over to the bed where his partner lay on his back, eyes closed, sleeping. Damien released a relieved breath, finally able to see for himself that Michael was okay. There was enough light from the hallway for Damien to see that Michael was no longer pale and sweaty, that his color had returned. His breathing was regular and deep, not struggling to draw air into his lungs. And his left arm wasn’t frozen across his chest, now lying easily along his side, his hand open, palm up, fingers relaxed. There were electrodes attached to his chest, monitoring his heartbeat, and an IV in his arm, delivering much needed fluids.

Damien smiled slightly and nodded his head. Good to have you back, buddy.

He turned and crept from the room, unaware that a pair of tired eyes watched him go.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Forty-five minutes later Damien was sitting on the edge of his bed in his hotel room, glass of whiskey in one hand, cell phone in the other contemplating making a long overdue call when there was a knock at his door. Senses immediately on alert, he dropped the phone and warily approached the door. He put the glass of whiskey down on the side table and snatched up his handgun from it.

“Who is it?” he called out.

“It’s me,” answered a very familiar British voice.

“What the…?” Damien placed his gun on the side table and opened the door. “Michael! What the fuck are you doing here?” He took Michael by the upper arm and moved him into the room, having him sit on the bed. “They let you out of the hospital?” Damien asked.

“I let myself out of the hospital,” Michael answered. “And I wouldn’t have had to if you’d just talked to me instead of standing there at the foot of my bed, staring at me.”

Damien’s eyes widened. “How did—“

“Special forces, mate,” Michael replied with a grin. “You can’t sneak up on me.”

Damien shook his head and reached for Michael’s arm again. “Come on, I’m taking you back.”

But Michael moved his arm away. “I’m fine, really. There’s nothing more the doctors are doing for me. They pumped me full of more anti-toxin and it did it’s job. See?” He lifted his left arm, more slowly than usual but it was still movement, and flexed his fingers. “I’m back to normal.”

Damien chuckled. “You’ll never be normal, buddy.”

“Fuck you,” Michael grinned, then froze at his choice of words.

Damien glanced away, looking uncomfortable. Michael stood and put a hand on Damien’s arm. “We need to talk.”

Damien backed away. “I don’t – I mean…” He blew out a breath. “This time you take the lead. I’ll deal with this however you want to. If you want it to just go away, forget it happened, I will. If you don’t –“

“I don’t,” Michael interjected, and Damien felt his heart thump hard against his chest.

“You saved my life,” Michael continued. “You gave me a second chance and I’m not going to waste it. I’ve already wasted too much time. Should’ve told you how I felt a long time ago.” He paused. “I’m sorry for the way it happened, but I’m not sorry it did. Are you?”

Damien’s head was spinning with Michael’s words, agreeing with all of them. He was sorry that it took a sick bastard like Ilyin to force the two of them to confront their feelings for one another but glad that it did. Michael was right – too much wasted time. Either of them could die tomorrow. They needed to make the most of whatever time they had in this dangerous life they led. Didn’t they deserve whatever happiness they could find before it all ended in a hail of bullets?

Damien swallowed deeply. “No. No, I’m not,” he answered. Then he cocked his head to the side. “Actually, I am sorry about one thing.” He stepped up close to Michael, rested his hands on Michael’s hips. “Sorry that I didn’t get to do this…” Then his eyes slid closed just as his lips touched Michael’s for the first time.

Michael’s lips were warm and soft, and Damien sighed at this first taste of his partner. He tentatively brushed his tongue along Michael’s bottom lip, asking for entrance. He felt Michael’s arms wrap around him, pulling him even closer as he opened his mouth. Damien felt Michael groan as their tongues touched and did slow, sensuous battle with each other. Damien had kissed several men in his life, but it had never been better than this. Because this time…it truly meant something.

Michael tilted his head, deepening the kiss, his fingers flexing against Damien’s back. Damien wrapped one arm around Michael’s back, the other hand dropping down to cup his ass, pulling him flush up against Damien’s groin. This time it was Damien’s turn to groan as he felt the evidence of Michael’s arousal pressing against his own.

Michael broke the kiss then, pulling back, breathing hard, his eyes wide and darkened with desire.

“You made me a promise in Black Bear,” he reminded Damien. “Are you ready to keep it?”

“I always keep my promises,” Damien replied with a smile, his hands moving to the hem of Michael’s t-shirt, pushing the fabric upwards. “This is the right way. Let me show you…”

Clothes were removed and discarded as the two men moved back toward the bed, like snakes shedding their skin, leaving them naked by the time they tumbled upon the mattress. Damien paused, finally having time to look his fill at Michael’s body. His fingers followed his eyes, tracing across smooth skin, raising gooseflesh in their wake, making Michael shiver, his hands grasping at the bed sheets. He dipped his head down then, his mouth traveling the same path as his fingers had just done – down the long column of Michael’s neck, to his shoulder, his chest, his tongue flicking across a flat nipple, to the well defined abs.

He stopped when his chin bumped against the growing evidence of Michael’s arousal. He looked up then, locked eyes with Michael, who nodded and placed a hand on Damien’s head, encouraging him. Damien needed no more prodding, opening his mouth eagerly and taking Michael inside. Damien felt his cock throb as this first, intimate taste of Michael exploded across his tongue. He felt Michael grow even harder as he started to suck, bobbing his head up and down. Michael started shifting restlessly, his hands now on Damien’s shoulders, flexing, gripping. Damien was eager to bring his partner to climax but then Michael was pushing against his shoulders instead.

“Wait…wait…” Michael panted and Damien pulled off and raised his head. “Not yet,” he smiled. “It’s my turn…”

Then in the blink of an eye, Michael had their positions reversed, straddling Damien’s legs. He pulled Damien’s arms up above his head, had him interlock his fingers.

“Don’t move,” Michael whispered and it was Damien’s turn to shiver at the command. “You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to do this…”

Then he leaned forward and kissed down the length of the tattoo on the inside of Damien’s right arm, the fingers on his right hand tracing over the other tattoo on Damien’s left bicep. Damien sighed and closed his eyes only to open them again when Michael’s mouth and hands moved lower, down his right side.

Michael’s fingers ghosted over the large, intricate tattoo. “I’ve seen this so many times…wanted to reach out and touch it…”

Damien had never considered his tattoos erogenous zones, but Michael was changing that moment by moment as he touched and kissed his way down the length of the inked design. His cock was throbbing by the time Michael had mapped the tattoo with his tongue and fingers.

He reached down and tugged on Michael’s arm, pulling Michael back up to lay completely across his body, blanketing him with his heat. He kissed Michael hard and his partner responded in kind. Damien wrapped one arm around Michael’s back, while his other hand cupped Michael’s ass. Michael’s hips pushed down, pressing their cocks together. Damien groaned into the kiss, his fingers moving, searching, until one was pushing against Michael’s entrance. Michael jerked and broke the kiss, pushing back against Damien’s finger.

“Please…” Michael breathed. “God, Damien, I want it…”

Damien raised his head and kissed Michael again, telegraphing his own need without words as he rolled them over. He leaned away from Michael and reached down on the floor, grabbing his duffel bag. He rooted around in it quickly, producing a tube of lube and a condom from his toiletry bag.

Michael grinned. “You were a boy scout, weren’t you?”

Damien shrugged, smirked. “Be prepared, always my motto.”

Michael took the condom from Damien’s hand. “I think we’re past that. This time…” he dropped the foil packet to the floor and wrapped his hand around Damien’s cock. “…I want to feel you.”

“God, yeah,” Damien growled, his arousal spiking at the thought.

It was easier to prepare Michael this time, but Damien still took his time, drawing out the stretching, the foreplay, until Michael was pressing down hard against his fingers, hands gripping at Damien’s shoulders. He replaced his fingers with this cock, pushing inside Michael slowly, wanting the moment to last as long as possible, feeling Michael’s body wrapping around him like a glove.

Michael’s legs wrapped around Damien’s hips and he set up a steady rhythm, pulling out, pushing back in, just a little harder each time. Damien was mesmerized by Michael’s reactions as they made love. The hardened, jaded soldier was coming undone beneath him, more open and vulnerable than Damien had ever seen him. And he was dizzy, breathless with the knowledge that he was doing this – revealing Michael’s true naked essence. And that Michael was letting him.

His throat threatened to close up with emotion as Michael looked up at him, his eyes wide and dilated with overwhelming pleasure, holding nothing back. And that was Damien’s undoing. His climax rushed up at him from deep inside and he gasped at the intense sensation.

“Michael…I need…” he ground out, his eyes squeezing shut, trying to hold back as long as he could.

Michael nodded, panting. “Do it…want to feel you…”

“Come with me, come with me…” Damien encouraged, pushing in hard, right against Michael’s prostate, as he felt himself let go, his orgasm coursing through him like lightening.

Michael’s legs tightened around him, holding him in place as he filled his partner with hot, wet heat. He cried out as Michael’s body spasmed around his cock, watched in erotic fascination as Michael climaxed as well, his cock ejaculating thick streams of semen across his stomach and chest.

“Damien!” Michael gasped, holding tight to Damien’s arms as he came.

Damien bent down and captured Michael’s mouth, kissing him hard through both their orgasms. The need for air finally drew them apart and they moved back slightly. Michael’s eyes were glassy, his face flushed, smiling up at him, happier than Damien had ever seen him.

Damien had never been in love. All the women, and men, he’d had in his life – nothing had ever felt like this. He guessed that was a sign. That he’d know it when it was right.

Damien swallowed hard, his heart pounding in his chest. “Michael…I…I think…I’m…” he trailed off, unable to get the words out.

Michael smiled and nodded. As always, his partner knew what he was thinking. Michael put his hand on the side of Damien’s face, his voice quiet. “Copy that.”

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Tired, sated, and cleaned up, the two men lay naked together under the sheets on their sides, facing one another. Damien could see that Michael was just about to fall asleep, but there was something nagging at him that he needed an answer to.

“Mikey?”

“Hmmm?”

“Back in Black Bear…how did you know I’d been with a guy before? It’s only been women since we met.”

Michael opened his eyes and laughed. “Seriously, mate? You are the most sexual creature I’ve ever known. There was no way on earth you hadn’t slept with a man.”

It was Damien’s turn to laugh. “Sexual creature? Oooh, I like that!”

Michael rolled his eyes. “Why am I not surprised?” He started to yawn and was reaching up to cover his mouth when Damien stopped his motion.

Suddenly serious, Damien reached out and skimmed a finger over the faint line on Michael’s arm, all that remained of the fateful cut that nearly took his life.

“Too close, Mikey. Too damn close,” Damien murmured.

Michael rolled Damien onto his back and pushed down the sheet. He looked down at Damien’s right leg and put his hand over a small, puckered scar on his thigh. “So was this,” he said.

“Three days after we met you saved my life by digging a knife in my leg to get that bullet out before it sliced open my femoral artery,” Damien recalled.

“We seem destined to die young, don’t we?” Michael said. “Locke told me in the hospital that guys like us, we don’t make good old men.”

Damien huffed out a breath. “He’s probably right.”

“Yeah, well…I want to try. With you. I want out, Damien. The diamonds…it’s our opportunity. Could be the only one we ever get. We should know by now not to waste a second chance.”

Damien tried to picture a future with Michael, living in the suburbs, a 9-to-5 job, a dog…the concept was so utterly foreign to him that he simply couldn’t visualize it. All he’d known his entire adult life was being a soldier. Death and destruction. Following orders.

He looked at Michael’s expectant face, saw the hope and promise in his eyes. He might not be able to picture it, but Michael could. And he always trusted his partner. It was time they started following their own path. Side-by-side, as always.

He laid his hand on the side of Michael’s face. “Yeah, Mikey. I’m with you. We finish this mission and we’re done. It’s gonna be a rough ride til the end of this one, though.”

Michael’s smile was blinding. “Then we’d best make the most of tonight.” He rose up and straddled Damien’s hips. “What were you saying about riding?” he smirked.

Damien’s laugh burst out of him. “Oh, Mikey…we’ll make a sexual creature out of you, too.”

The sudden, sharp sound of twin cell phones ringing shattered the mood. Michael and Damien instantly sobered, soldiers once again, and duty called.

Michael looked deep into Damien’s eyes. “Let’s do this.” …and get out

Damien nodded. “Copy that.” …I’m with you

Partners. They always knew what the other was thinking.

THE END

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