Read What You Do to Me (A Breathe Epilogue) Online
Authors: Sloan Parker
Tags: #LGBT Contemporary
WHAT YOU DO TO ME
What You Do to Me (A
Copyright © April 2013 by Sloan Parker
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Editor: Antonia Pearce
Cover Artist: Fiona Jayde
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To Jay and Lincoln’s fans. This one’s for you.
Many thanks to Loose Id and Antonia for helping me share more of Jay and Lincoln’s story with readers. A special thanks to Rosie, Constance, and Jayne for giving me your thoughts on this one and for your continued, invaluable support. It means more than I can say.
Jay glanced up from the open book lying on the kitchen table before him and checked the time on the clock above the stove. Two a.m. He really needed to get some sleep. Tomorrow was set to be a busy day.
Just one more section, and then he’d put the book away.
The next exam for his History of World War II class was in a week, and he didn’t want to ruin his A average. If he could keep it up for the rest of the term, he might be able to get more financial assistance next time around. As it stood now, he and Lincoln were working their asses off to pay for his tuition, their rent, and their lingering hospital bills.
Not that Jay wanted it any other way.
They were building a new life for themselves. Together.
He returned to his reading. The next section was titled
D-day: Letters Home
. The first page included a photocopy of a handwritten letter by a young paratrooper from the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division. The letter to his fiancée was dated June 5, 1944, the day before the Invasion of Normandy.
He told her nothing of the war, where he was located, or for what he was most likely preparing. Instead he wrote about what he wanted their future together to be like. He described buying a home in the rural farmlands of Wisconsin, spending their nights together on a porch swing watching the sun set over the sea of rolling hay fields, dancing under a blanket of stars, growing old together.
Alongside the letter was a colorized portrait of the man in his paratrooper uniform. He had a full head of red hair, trimmed short, a wide smile, and one crooked front tooth. He looked innocent and barely sixteen.
Below the letter was a notation that read
Private Arthur Roberts died on June 6, 1944 during Operation Neptune at the Invasion of Normandy. He was killed in midair during the paratroopers’ descent into France, having never seen Wisconsin or his fiancée again.
Sadness for the young man who hadn’t had a chance to live the life he’d hoped for overcame Jay. He set the book down and removed his glasses, the sadness turning to relief at how very lucky he was in his own life. Not many people got the kind of second chance he’d been given.
He went to the kitchen sink and filled a glass with water. The ancient pipes behind the walls rattled. He switched off the faucet before the clanking woke Lincoln. Their new place was in serious need of work—even more than Jay’s old house.
He sipped the water as his thoughts returned to the young paratrooper and the unfulfilled promise of those nights with his fiancée, the Wisconsin house and farm and fields and…
A porch swing.
Jay stared out the window above the sink into the darkness behind the house. That was what he’d suggest for the place once they’d taken care of the basics. A swing overlooking the fenced-in backyard where they could sit alone under the night sky. He’d point out the stars and share what he knew of the Iroquois legends related to the origins of the constellations and see if Lincoln knew the same ones.
God, Jay had never been this romantic in his life. Maybe with the passing of time came a sentimentality that the kid he’d been a few years ago could never comprehend, or maybe it was something else. Maybe whatever time he’d get to spend with Lincoln would always be special—because they’d been so close to not having any more time at all.
An arm came around his waist, and a hand settled over his stomach. A warm, solid body pressed against his back.
“You smell good.” Lincoln’s voice was low, and the heated air from his breath blew across Jay’s neck, sending a shiver throughout Jay’s body. He’d never get tired of this man’s touch.
Jay tilted his head back. “You feel good.”
Lincoln let out a little hum in response and kissed the side of Jay’s neck. “You’re studying too hard. Come to bed.”
Jay leaned into Lincoln’s bare chest, grateful he hadn’t slipped on his own shirt before heading into the kitchen to read because he’d also never tire of feeling the press of their bare bodies. He reached around behind him and held Lincoln in return—even more grateful Lincoln hadn’t put on anything more than a pair of briefs. If only Jay weren’t wearing the jeans.
“Did the light wake you?”
Lincoln brushed his lips over Jay’s neck again and ran a hand up his arm. “No, the cold bed beside me did.” He paused his touch at the tattoo on Jay’s upper arm—the outline of the feather and the two wolves running side by side within. He ran the pad of his thumb over the tattoo, gave a stroke to one wolf, then the other, and caressed Jay’s neck with his lips at the same time. Ever since Jay had shown Lincoln the tattoo that symbolized the future he wanted for them, Lincoln had been obsessed with touching and kissing and licking Jay’s skin over that tattoo.
Those sure, strong hands had Jay forgetting about his coursework. He let his weight settle against Lincoln more. He reached up with his other hand and held the back of Lincoln’s neck. “I love it here.” He could stand there at that chipped and stained kitchen sink all night, so long as Linc had a hold of him.
Lincoln laughed—that deep rumble in his chest that he only let out when Jay amused him. “You really need to get your head out of those books. Have you even looked at this place? It’s definitely gonna need work.”
They were renting from an elderly man Lincoln had worked with years ago. The man, who had a gay son living in California, had made a point of telling them he had no problems renting to the two of them. In fact, he’d given them a break on the rent provided they did the repairs themselves, and even offered to let them buy the place as soon as they had the down payment saved up. Which sounded just about perfect to Jay, even with nearly all the kitchen cabinets missing hardware, the living room carpet worn to the stained padding in several places, and the water heater that barely kept the water warm enough for a tepid shower.
None of that mattered, not really. They hadn’t been there long, but it already felt like home. Even with the boxes still stacked in the corner of the kitchen, and more boxes with his books along the back wall of the living room.
A new start. For both of them.
“We’ll get it fixed up.” Jay turned his head and captured Lincoln’s mouth in a kiss. Such a simple touch that still surprised Jay, shocking him with its power and the passion sparking between them. Or maybe he shouldn’t have been surprised. The physical moments had always been intense for them, from that very first moment in the alley behind Sonny’s Tavern.
When they parted, Jay said, “I like that we’re paying for the house together, you know?” That was one of the reasons he’d insisted they sell his old house and use the extra cash for some of the hospital bills, not to put toward their rent or a down payment. He wanted this new place, no matter what it looked like, to belong to the two of them.
“Yeah.” Lincoln kissed Jay’s neck again. “As soon as we get a little cash saved up, we’ll work on the repairs.”
Jay dropped his hand from Lincoln’s head. “We should take the bike back.”
Lincoln let go of him in a rush and stepped away. “No way.”
Jay kept his back to him. “And I shouldn’t be switching to part-time at work.”
That didn’t even get a response. Jay faced him. Lincoln had his arms folded across his chest, his face held in a tight grimace of frustration.
“Don’t.” Jay reached up and ran his fingers over Lincoln’s furrowed brow.
“Don’t what?” Lincoln gripped Jay’s hand and kept a hold of him as he dropped their linked hands to his side. “This is not up for discussion. You cannot take all those classes you signed up for next semester, study, and go to work full-time.”
“Lots of people do it.”
“You’re not. You’ve already put off school long enough. I’m working, and I’ll take care of the bills.” He eased his grip on Jay’s hand and smirked. “We’ll have enough money for this place, food, and lube. What more does a man need?”
Jay laughed. “You’re right.” He leaned into Lincoln. “I’ve got everything I need.”
The next kiss was slow and sweet and full of the promises Jay wanted to share. Yet there was something else he had to say. “You don’t always have to be the one to take care of everyone.” He kissed Lincoln again. First on the lips, then down along his neck to the sensitive spot between neck and shoulder that always drove Lincoln mad. “You gotta let people take care of you sometimes, Linc.”
Lincoln held him by the back of the head and tilted his own head to the side, which encouraged Jay’s explorations as Lincoln said, “You took care of me pretty damn good last night.”
Jay grinned against Lincoln’s skin. “It was a good one?”
“You have no idea. It’s like you’ve been sucking cock all your life.”
Lincoln let out a low rumble. He always liked being reminded that Jay had never been with another man. He gripped Jay by the hips, then swung him around and crowded him against the refrigerator. He planted another deep kiss on his lips, this one more about lust and passion.
Jay wrapped a leg around him and gave himself over to the moment, falling into the sweet sensation of those lips on his, their tongues connecting over and over again, the taut muscles under his fingertips.
Eventually, reluctantly, Jay forced himself to pull back. “When I said you need to let people take care of you, I wasn’t talking about sex.”
“I know.” Lincoln ran a hand down Jay’s bare chest, tenderly tracing the scar left behind after the surgery to remove the bullet.
“It’s ugly, isn’t it?”