Salvation has arrived at their motel in Lake Charles, now they're waiting for their manager, Marge, to arrive. While they wait, Ryan and Ben hang out at the pool and talk a bit. See what's going on in this week's episode of In Pieces. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them! Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!
In Pieces #58 (14.3)
Entering the pool area, they found themselves alone, so they chose two lounge chairs next to one another. The pool itself was empty of swimmers. A few plastic pool toys floated on the surface of the inviting water, as if waiting for someone to jump in and play with them. Ryan wondered if that was because it was Sunday, and most travelers had either gone home or not arrived yet.
The late afternoon sun was warm but not overly so. “Mmm, this feels nice,” Ryan said as he stretched out. They sat close enough together that Ben, who sat to Ryan’s right, had laid his hand on Ryan’s thigh in a possessive gesture that he didn’t mind at all, while he texted with his other hand.
“Aiden and Abs said they’d look for us here. Said they wouldn’t be long.” Ben slid his phone into his pocket. “Yeah, it feels very nice. Not too cold and not too hot.” He glanced over at Ryan, his expression apologetic. “I know we haven’t had much time for us since you got here.”
“Well, I wasn’t expecting any when I took the job,” Ryan replied. “But then I didn’t know you were here, either. I mean, I thought it was just another job.”
“And what is it now?” Ben leaned in closer to Ryan.
“My life,” he replied. “The life I thought I lost ten years ago.” He leaned closer to Ben, until their lips met with a soft sigh. They drew apart, smiling.
“You knew I was coming, you knew it was me. Did you expect this?” Ryan asked, wondering where he’d found the nerve to ask something like that. Maybe with age? What were Ben’s expectations when he arranged for Ryan to go on tour with his band? Did he know they would be together? Or did he anticipate they would have a more businesslike relationship?
“I hoped,” Ben admitted. “And I wanted. But expect? No, I wouldn’t say I expected it. I mean, after ten years, I didn’t know if you would… if you felt….” He seemed to be fumbling for words all of a sudden. Ryan couldn’t help but be touched by the vulnerability in his voice.
“For all I knew, you were already with someone. Or married. Or something.” He cast his eyes down so Ryan couldn’t read his expression.
“I haven’t been with anyone in forever.” Ryan tiled Ben’s face up so he could look into his eyes. “No one ever measured up to you. You were the only one I ever wanted.” His face heated as he remembered his few failed relationships, and the disparaging comments he’d received from them.
“Is something wrong?” Ben’s brows were knit, his look concerned.
“No,” Ryan tried to assure him. “The few guys I went out with… tried to have sex with…” He fumbled for words, embarrassed until Ben gave his hand a reassuring squeeze. “I couldn’t get it up for anyone else,” he finally admitted. “Because they weren’t you. I know that probably sounds silly—”
“No, it sounds amazing.” He raised Ryan’s hand up to his lips and kissed it reverently.
“Did you ever—?” Ryan blurted out before he could stop himself. “I’m sorry, forget I said anything.”
He was horrified at himself for asking. Ben was too beautiful not to have had boyfriends. None of that mattered now. He was with Ryan, and that’s what counted, not who came before. Just because he played a priest on stage didn’t mean he had to live like one.
“Shh.” Ben stilled Ryan’s apology by laying two fingers against Ryan’s lips. “You are the only man I’ve ever loved. The only man I’ve ever been with.”
Ryan felt his heart swell at Ben’s words. He’d known Ben was a virgin when they’d made love for the first time, didn’t mean he hadn’t done anything else. Was it selfish of him to be glad Ben hadn’t touched another man?
But before he could say or ask anything else, he became aware they weren’t alone. Aiden and Abby had arrived, and Deacon and Keanu were right behind them.
“Later,” Ben whispered in a voice that turned Ryan hot and cold at the same time.
to be continued
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