Read Graham Ran Over A Reindeer Online
Authors: Sterling Rivers
Rudy’s eyes dropped to their linked hands, his cheeks plumping. “No complaints. If things go the way I want them to, we will have all the time in the world to get to know each other.”
The conversation turned lighter as they waited for their dinner to arrive. Rudy seemed interested in Graham’s travels through Canada and the lower forty-eight. Graham couldn’t help it. He talked endlessly about all the things he’d seen and the people he’d met.
“Still, I missed this place every day,” Graham said. He took a deep breath then added, “Especially you. You kind of just reappeared out of nowhere after being gone so long. I had planned to make my move a long time ago, but I got a job I couldn’t refuse.”
“Yeah,” Rudy muttered looking out the window. “It was hard staying away from you. Actually, that was why I had to leave.”
The question of why Rudy had left all those years ago nagged at Graham, but he didn’t want to thrust their conversation back into dark territory. He pushed it away figuring Rudy would tell him in time. For now, he savored the man’s presence and the fact they had gotten this far. Dinner arrived a moment later, the scent of fresh fish making his stomach growl. They traded smiles as they ate and Rudy snatched a morsel of food from Graham’s plate. The wine began to flow, Graham taking full advantage of the alcohol and by the time dessert came around he had a good little buzz going on.
The waitress set a plate of double chocolate cheesecake in the center of the table then left. With a secretive smirk, Rudy cut off a piece with his fork and held it up for Graham. Excitement flashed through Graham’s body and he leaned in to accept the offering. The moment the rich cake hit his tongue he moaned softly. He kept his eyes trained on Rudy, letting the man know exactly what he was thinking. Rudy scooped up some more of the cheesecake and Graham obliged, their eyes linked. It got really hot really fast and Graham wiggled in his seat. He would say they had been courting each other for the last ten years, so it wasn’t a surprise knowing where this was all heading.
Taking his fork, Graham dug into the dessert and held it up. Rudy chuckled darkly and didn’t hesitate. Graham’s eyes dropped to the man’s moist lips—he’d fantasized about kissing Rudy more times than he could remember and it was about to become reality. He fixated on the way Rudy licked the chocolate from his bottom lip and Graham gave it all he had to not pounce the man.
“Do you want to get out of here?” Rudy asked, his voice hardly more than a whisper. “I mean, I don’t want to be pushy but I’m going to explode.”
“Yeah, we should save the mess for my bed, shouldn’t we?” Graham said as he motioned to the waitress.
It took them ten minutes to finally get out of the door, Rudy insisting that he pay. They finally settled to split the bill and Graham wrapped an arm around Rudy’s shoulders as they headed back to the truck. The ride over to Graham’s apartment was filled with naughty smirks and lewd glances. On some level, Graham couldn’t believe this was finally happening. Lying in bed at night, he played scenarios in his mind of them getting together and what it would be like. From the scent of Rudy’s skin to the way he languorously unbuttoned his flannel, every little detail was burned into Graham’s mind.
Rudy parked his truck in the back and Graham made right for him, boxing the man in next to his vehicle. Rudy didn’t seem surprised, his lips quirking up and his eyes hooding over. Pressing his body against Rudy’s, Graham didn’t kiss him. Instead, he buried his face in the crook of the man’s neck—he smelled like fresh snow and thick pine. The warmth of Rudy’s skin penetrated Graham, the heat soaking deep to his bones. He could be in the middle of a blizzard and still be sweating. Long fingers glided through Graham’s hair, the motion sending a chill down his body and straight to his cock.
Shivering, Graham pulled away. He took Rudy’s hand and linked their fingers then urged him toward his apartment. Graham’s hands shook as he forced the key into the hole, his ticker pounding so loud he could hear his own heartbeat. He managed to get a hold of himself and pushed the door open. When they were inside, Graham silently cursed himself for not having the foresight to do a little cleaning.
“Do you want anything to drink?” Graham asked.
Rudy responded by wrapping his arms around Graham’s hips and pulling him close. Graham sucked his breath in as their arousals met through their pants.
“At the risk of sounding really cheesy, I’m only thirsty for one thing,” Rudy whispered against Graham’s jaw.
A chuckle rumbled in Graham’s throat. “I’m a cheese kind of guy, didn’t I tell you?”
Rudy made a very animalistic sound as he sought out Graham’s lips.
Kissing seemed like such a simple act. Rudy had done it lots of times with all varieties of men but this was different. It was Graham, not some random hookup and Rudy’s animal instinct reared. He felt the urge to rut like a mindless beast surge and he nearly lost himself to the lust.
This is Graham,
he chanted in his mind. The man was his
, that single person that stoked his Elementir nature and drove it insane so that he could hardly think. It was amazing to feel so deeply, but that passion was liable to ruin the moment. As much as he hated it, Rudy took a step back. Graham’s expression was shattering, his throat shifting hard as if he wanted to protest but was afraid to do so.
“It’s not you, Graham,” Rudy said and balled his fists to keep from reaching for the man. “It’s just, you’re the one and I have to be careful with you. My animal instinct wants you like it’s never wanted anything before and I don’t want to lose control and hurt you.”
Nodding, Graham smiled softly. Rudy was sure he was disappointed. “I understand. I hadn’t meant to take this so far this quickly.”
“It feels like we’ve been cock-blocked for years.” Rudy laughed mirthlessly as he dragged his hand through his hair. “I still want to do this, but it’s as if I’ve been chasing something for so long and tracking its scent for miles. With every step I grow more desperate and hungry to finally capture it and now that I’ve got it, I’m ravenous.”
“Wow, that’s some good cheese,” Graham said then sighed. “Actually, that’s pretty deep. Yeah, I’m just going to shut up now.”
Rudy was glad for the release of tension and Graham seemed to be taking everything well. Rudy took a step forward and ran his hand down Graham’s arm. “What I really need to say is, I want to go all the way with you, but too much of a good thing too fast will unbalance me and I won’t put you in that position.”
Graham arched a brow, his expression reflecting all curiosity. “I’d be happy with a make out session.”
Rudy licked his lips, certain Graham would taste better than that cheesecake. Glancing at the couch, Rudy said, “Let’s start with that.”
Clearly on board with the plan, Graham’s face lit up. The moment the man’s hand took Rudy’s, he knew his entire world was about to be rocked off its axis. Graham led him over to the couch, his grip firm as if you were afraid Rudy might get away.
Graham lowered his body onto the sofa and patted the cushion next to him. “No pressure.”
Rudy didn’t hesitate and plopped his ass on the couch. It was strange but they’d been in close proximity before many times, usually while doing homework or playing, but everything had changed. Graham offered him a reassuring smile and relaxed back against the cushions.
“I’ll just hang back here and you do whatever you want to do to me.” His smile was a little hopeful and a hell of a lot playful.
Excitement coursed through Rudy and he scooted closer. He spread his arm across the back rest, his thumb making contact at the back of Graham’s neck. The man seemed unfazed, his attention completely on Rudy. Keeping a close eye on the instinct running through him, he moved even closer until the only thing that separated them were their clothes. Graham’s lashes lowered and his pupils dilated. Taking that last step, Rudy straddled the man, drawing out a faint gasp from him.
Wrapping his arms around Graham, Rudy inquired, “Is this okay?”
The man seemed content, his lips playing up in the corners. “No complaints here.”
Rudy tried to fight his smile, but he ultimately gave in and relaxed against the man. Graham’s palms ran up and down his back, his gorgeous eyes fixed on Rudy. Graham skimmed his thumb across Rudy’s cheek and Rudy pushed away his nerves. Pressing his lips against Graham’s, he focused on the warm and smooth skin against his own. A flood of arousal hit Rudy and he dared to slip in a little tongue. Graham made a little sound of approval and parted his lips further. Seizing the opportunity, Rudy took complete control of the kiss, sweeping his tongue against the man’s own. The kiss quickly grew heated, their hands running all over their bodies, and their erections pressed against one another.
Graham broke away, his eyes closed. Lazily, he murmured, “Really horny right now. Don’t know if I can help myself.”
Rudy rested his forehead against Graham’s and sighed. He was sure this was a lovely dream. He’d wanted Graham for so long, his need manifested only in his subconscious wanderings. Now that the man was in his arms and wanted what he did, Rudy cursed his instinct.
they needed to take this slow. But that didn’t mean they couldn’t enjoy a little mutual pleasure.
Biting his lip, Rudy stepped away and stood over Graham who watched him with interest. He popped the buttons to his flannel one at a time, then slowly parted the cloth, his lips pulled up into a teasing grin. He slipped his shirt off his shoulders and discarded it to the side. His white undershirt was next, and he teasingly drew it over his head, doing his best to look sexy. Confidence slammed into Rudy and he popped the button of his jeans. Throwing the man a heated look, he pulled the zipper down slowly and parted the lapels to reveal the naked skin underneath.
Graham arced a curious brow.
Chuckling, Rudy explained, “We try to wear as little clothes as possible because it gets in the way of shifting. I lost count of how many boxers I’ve shredded so far. It’s probably in the dozens, maybe a hundred. When I change, I get so caught up in the excitement I sometimes forget I’m clothed.”
“For some reason, I don’t entirely believe that,” Graham said.
A flush heated Rudy’s cheeks and he shrugged. Slipping his thumb in his waistband, he slowly pushed his pants down his legs where they pooled around his ankles. His cock jutted out of his hips as if it were desperate to get closer to Graham. He took himself in his hand and squeezed, the first contact making him gasp. He knew he wasn’t going to last very long, not with Graham watching him like he were a delicious morsel.
“Here I am naked in front of you and you’re completely dressed. That doesn’t seem fair, does it?” Rudy teased, as he gripped his balls.
The man returned his grin, and undid the buttons to his shirt. His muscular torso was revealed to Rudy in an instant and he noted all that stick shift maneuvering had done the man well. Graham had the best shoulders Rudy had ever seen. He could just imagine holding onto them as he thrust himself deep inside the man. Graham’s pants quickly followed, his cock bobbing as he situated himself against the couch. Completely naked to each other, their eyes locked. Graham’s gripped his arousal.
Rudy dared to come a little closer, his legs connecting with Graham’s. All that soft, downy fuzz felt wonderful against his skin. The man’s eyes dropped down to watch Rudy play with himself, his lips parting in labored breath. Rudy stroked himself slow and deep in an effort to further arouse Graham, the head of his dick popping in and out of his fist. A soft growl vibrating in Graham’s throat. Rudy wasn’t sure what prompted him to straddle the man but as soon as he was in Graham’s lap, his lover gripped Rudy’s ass with a strong hand. They continued to stroke themselves, their eyes meeting and their knuckles grazing each other.
With his free hand, Graham wrapped his fingers around the back of Rudy’s neck, and pulled him into a deep and thorough kiss. Their mouths occupied, the orgasm surged and Rudy moaned into Graham’s kiss. He made a sound of approval and his body burned under Rudy as if he was sitting on an ember. He could safely say this was the most erotic moment of his life—no amount of mindless fucking or sloppy sucking could compare to this moment between them.
Focusing on Graham’s vitals and body language, Rudy recognized the man was getting close so he sped up his strokes to match Graham’s progress.
“Jesus,” the man cursed. His body stiffened, his muscles going tight and the scent of sex saturated the air. Rudy inhaled deeply, his own orgasm racing at blinding speeds toward the finishing line. They came in unison, covering each other in spunk, their gasps and groans of pleasure filling the room.
It was absolutely beautiful.
The sound of Rudy’s truck pulling into the driveway caught Graham’s attention and he smiled so widely he was sure his face would crack. It only been a little more than twenty-four hours since their date and every minute away from each other was excruciating.
Graham thought then stilled.
Yeah, he shouldn’t be surprised. He could admit to himself that he’d been in love with Rudy since realizing he liked boys.
Rudy cut the engine and stepped out, his face bright. Dressed in a worn pair of jeans and his signature flannel jacket, he had come prepared to get some work done but he looked spectacular nonetheless. Graham was sure he’d find Rudy gorgeous in a hospital gown.
The kids squeaked in excitement as they rushed welcome Rudy. He happily obliged, lifting the girl up and spinning her in the air. Watching Rudy interacting with his nieces dug up things he only thought about on the coldest and loneliest of nights. An ache fluttered against his heart but he pushed it away and focused on the joyous scene before him. Rudy reached into his pocket and pulled out a matching set of toys carved out of wood. The girls accepted them and raced back to Graham to show off their gifts.
“Did you come over to help us build a snowman, Rudy?” Ashley asked.
Knowing Rudy was liable to be swept up in the kids’ excitement, Graham cut in, “Rudy is here to help us put up the lights, remember? Unless you think Santa can find our house without them?”
The girls parted their lips out and shook their heads in unison.
Never being one to resist those puppy dog faces, Graham said, “Once we get the lights up we will help you build Frosty. Why don’t you guys look around and see if you can find some good snow.”
The kids rushed off and Graham turned his attention to Rudy who was smiling something secretive. “I missed you. Sorry if that sounds clingy, but it is the truth.”
Taking a quick look around to make sure no one was paying attention, Graham fisted his hand in Rudy’s jacket and pulled him into his lips. Rudy sighed against him and opened for him. Graham was determined to remain on task and put everything he had into pulling away. He motioned toward the equipment he had laid out and tossed a pair of work gloves at Rudy.
The guy’s face creased as he smiled and he slipped them on. “I’m glad everything is okay.”
Frowning, Graham froze. “Should it not be?”
Rudy shrugged and looked at him meekly. “I was afraid something might have changed. Or I moved too quickly.”
Considering Rudy’s words for a moment, he supposed Rudy wasn’t convinced that his heritage was not an issue for Graham. He hated that the man was so worried about something he couldn’t change, but didn’t know how to sooth him. “Rudy, I very much enjoyed what happened last night. I have absolutely no regrets and would like for that to happen again. I also want to have dinner again sometime, and maybe we can actually get to that movie.”
His cheeks coloring, Rudy chuckled. “I’d like that. And I’m glad. But will you promise me one thing? If ever I make you uncomfortable or you feel that you can’t accept who I am, will you please tell me? I don’t want either of us to be hurt.”
“I promise,” Graham said. He supposed that was a fair bargain, but he couldn’t see himself ever letting Rudy go now that he had him.
“Good. Now let’s get these lights up. They are already weeks overdue.”
They worked easily together, Graham steadying the ladder and keeping the line untangled while Rudy tapped into his shifter balance and snapped the lights into the clips lining the gutter. Graham couldn’t help stealing a few glances at the man’s ass that was cupped perfectly by his jeans. They finished quickly and Rudy hopped off the top of the ladder, his booted feet sinking deep into the snow.
Arching a playful brow, Graham leaned in and whispered, “I’d love to see that agility come out in bed.”
A bark of laughter cut through the air and Rudy covered his mouth as he tried to control himself. His eyes hooded, a wicked gleam entering his eyes. “You just might get your wish, Graham.”
Slowly, they drifted toward each other like magnets. Graham wanted to sink into all that warmth, his eyes dropping down to Rudy’s lips. The man was a great kisser, and—the joyous screams of the girls cut through the moment and Graham stepped away. “We better start on the snowman.”
Rudy nodded. With the four of them, Frosty was quickly set up, the girls squeaking with delight as Rudy jammed a carrot into the head. Wrapping an old scarf around the thing’s neck, Graham smiled until his cheeks hurt. He’d enjoyed sharing winter fun with his nieces, but Rudy made this moment even more special.
I hope to spend many more Christmases with him.
“You guys have been out here for hours,” Sue called from the door. “Come on inside and warm up for a bit. You don’t want to get sick do you?”
The girls made a disappointed sound, but Graham guided them toward the house.
“I’m just going to hang out here,” Rudy announced.
Frowning, Graham asked, “Are you sure? You’re not cold?”
“We don’t get cold easily. I’m fine, really. You go enjoy that hot chocolate I smell.”
“You can smell it from here?” he asked incredulously.
Tapping his nose, Rudy grinned. “Heightened senses.”
Graham looked at the door then back to Rudy, not completely buying his excuse for wanting to stay outside. Pegging him with a close eye, Graham noticed the man looked a little uncomfortable. “Why do I feel like you’re not being completely honest with me?”
Rudy’s shoulders slumped and he looked away for a moment. “I’m sorry, Graham. You’re right. It’s just that the last time I shifted was the night I hit you… and I don’t do well with confined spaces when I’m twitchy. You be with your family, and I’ll let off some stress and we can meet up later.”
Damn, but it didn’t occur to Graham that Rudy would need to change in order to retain some sort of balance—he realized in this moment he was in way over his head and knew absolutely nothing about the world he had been thrust into. But he wanted to know. “I have a better idea. Why don’t you give me fifteen minutes and I’ll come with you?”
Gaping, Rudy’s mouth worked silently for a long second. “You… you would really want to?”
Graham shrugged. “I would have to eventually, right? Unless, you’re not ready for me to get that close?”
“No! I mean, yes—I would like for you to know me like that,” he said, his voice cracking with every word. He took a deep breath, then slowly let it out. “Okay, I’ll wait. Here. I’ll be here when you’re… done.”
Graham offered him a tender smile and retreated into the house. When he was safe inside, he wondered if he was ready to see Rudy’s other half in action. Swallowing hard, he tried to focus on his sister talking to him, but he didn’t hear much of what she said.
Where do those antlers come from? Where does that fur go?
Questions swirled in his mind like wind-whipped snowflakes.
People go on dates to get to know each other,
he reminded himself. How was this any different? Rudy had a very peculiar wardrobe, so what? Graham was crazy about the man and he wasn’t going to let a little thing like turning into an animal ruin their relationship. As soon as he could, he escaped. Relief hit him when he found Rudy sitting on the bed of his truck, running his thumb over a wood-carved toy.
“I thought you might have left,” Graham admitted.
“No way,” Rudy scoffed. “I want you to know me, Graham. All of me and that includes my other body. I’m just afraid it will scare you to see me change.”
“You forget that I already have,” he reasoned.
Blowing out a big breath, Rudy nodded. “I know, but still.”
Graham surrounded Rudy and guided him into a cherishing kiss. “We’ve been friends forever. I’ve kind of been in love with you since fourteen… I feel as if we know each other really well. Nothing you could do would scare me. It might be weird at first, but that will pass.”
Bumping his head against Graham, Rudy smiled shyly. “Say that again.”
“The part about being in love with you all these years? Yeah, okay. I’m in love with you,” he said proudly.
Rudy closed his eyes as if he were savoring a beautiful piece of music. “Okay, Graham.”
With that, Rudy hopped off the bed of his truck and tightened Graham’s coat. He then slipped out of his gloves and handed them to Graham who doubled up. Weaving his bare fingers in Graham’s, Rudy led him toward the tree line.
Is this really happening?
As soon as they passed into the forest, trepidation tumbled in his stomach.
“Please don’t be afraid of me, Graham,” Rudy said.
“You can read me that easily?”
“Yeah. It makes me sad.”
“I’m not afraid of you… just of the unknown. I’m fine really. Do you remember how nervous we were last night? It’s the same way now. I have no doubt it will pass.”
That seem to put Rudy at ease and he smiled then released Graham. He came to stand against a thick pine and loosened his jacket. He hung it over a branch and Graham watched the man peeled the rest of his clothes off. He didn’t know if shape-changers ran at higher temperatures or it was just a caribou thing, but he couldn’t imagine Rudy was very comfortable standing barefoot and bare-assed naked in a foot of snow. He was all smiles, though.
Rudy’s skin was flushed from the chill or nerves, Graham wasn’t sure, but it wasn’t hard to miss the shiver that coursed through his body. Graham tensed to scoop his lover in his arms and shield him from the frigid air, but Rudy winced and a ripple went through his body. Course strands of fur began to slide out of his skin and he bowed over, the sound of crunching bone grating on Graham’s ears. He was sure Rudy was in pain, but all he could do was watch in fascination. It was the same as in the animal clinic, only in reverse. Graham would admit that the sight of Rudy’s body stretching, his joints bending in ways they shouldn’t was disturbing, but as the shape of a heavily furred caribou was revealed, that shock dissipated.
Rudy, behind the mask of an animal, shook his head and looked at Graham with very human-like eyes.
Rudy let his systems realign as the haze of shifting cleared. The new weight of his body balanced itself on his bones, and the caribou instinct heightened so that he became acutely aware of his surroundings. As his vision sharpened, the shocked expression of Graham sent a jolt of regret through him—maybe it was too soon. The man’s jaw clamped shut and his muscles suddenly loosened. Tentatively, he took a step forward, his boots crunching in the snow. Graham reached out a shaking hand, and Rudy connected with him, his muzzle running along Graham’s gloved palm.
Graham seemed momentarily lost as if he expected Rudy to be a figment of his imagination. Swallowing hard, he slipped his hand out of his glove, and pressed his palm against Rudy’s forehead in between his antlers. Closing his eyes against Graham’s touch, Rudy let the man explore his new form, fingers running through the longer fur of his head then back down to the short hairs of his muzzle. When the man touched an antler, Rudy couldn’t help shaking away the tickle. The growing antler was ripe with blood vessels and the lightest of touches were uncomfortable.
Laughing, Graham pulled his hand back. “Guess they are sensitive.”
At the sound of his amusement, Rudy relaxed and the nerves floated away. That was the kind of sound he longed for. He couldn’t wait for the time when uncertainty and nerves were left far behind, and all that Graham felt was happiness and curiosity. Pushing his nose into Graham’s hands, Rudy licked at his fingers, savoring the taste of salt. Graham’s freehand stroked Rudy along his back, the man’s fingers sinking deep into his fur. He could fall asleep to those gentle caresses. Rudy snorted in a gesture for Graham to follow and started walking, his wide hooves creating a path for Graham.
Keeping close to Rudy, Graham followed behind, the subtle motions of his body language letting Rudy know everything was okay. The man’s comfortable disposition relaxed Rudy and he rubbed his antlers against the bark of a pine in attempt to sooth the itch. Unfortunately, it did more harm than help, and he stamped his hind legs into the ground, kicking up snow. He wrestled with the tree, needing to sooth the irritation—he’d lost his fair share of antlers in his life and they were a bitch when they grew back in. A pressure against his hind quarters caught his attention and he turned around to confront the source. Graham stood against a tree, his smirk playful as he balled snow in his hands.
Excitement was injected into Rudy’s system and his first thought was to lock his antlers with the man’s—but Graham didn’t have any and Rudy refused to hurt him. Trotting around to Graham, he rose back on his hind legs and thrashed his head, his antlers connecting with the branches. A pile of snow dislodged and covered Graham until he resembled the snowman they’d built.
“I should have known better,” Graham said, then shook his head. He tossed the ball he had been compacting at Rudy, hitting him in the face.
Beyond happy, Rudy moaned and kicked his legs in excitement, then tangled his antlers in branches, sending more snow falling on top of Graham. The man shrieked and tried to get out of the way. They traded blows until they were both covered in snow, Graham’s joyous shouts mingling with Rudy’s snorts and moans of jubilation. They stood facing each other, their chests pumping with labored breath and Graham leaned over to rest his weight on his knees.