“Don’t make him wait too long!” someone called over as Ethan stepped out of the shuttle bus.
Ethan grinned. “Don’t worry, my hus—Max knows that good things come to those who wait.”
Maxmillian, who was already out of the shuttle and walking ahead with Ethan’s parents, glanced back at Ethan with an unreadable look. Ethan hoped it meant good things were in store for him. Odds were better than Vegas odds, at least. Tonight was their wedding night.
It felt like it had been the longest day in history up to that point, not that Ethan was complaining. He’d enjoyed every minute of it. But a long party was a long party and he was looking forward to its exciting conclusion. But first, he had to take care of business.
While the secluded location of the wedding was the reason for its appeal, he and Max hadn’t been about to allow any of their friends and family to drive to or from the venue while possibly inebriated or tired. In addition to renting out a floor of rooms for their guests at the nicest hotel in the nearest town, Max and Ethan had hired two shuttles to transport everyone safely back and forth. Now, at the end of the night, the last group of guests had safely arrived at the hotel.
Ethan waved in the direction of the second shuttle to acknowledge the comment to him. He couldn’t see who had shouted it and it didn’t really matter. He didn’t mind the ensuing laughter, either. He could take some friendly ribbing. It meant his marriage to Max was wholly accepted, not that that had been in doubt. Tonight had been about love, for everyone in attendance.
Once inside the hotel, he was trapped for a little while longer. He hung out in the lobby, chatting with friends. His parents had already retired to their rooms, escorted there by Max. The thought of Max taking care of his parents made Ethan feel warm and fuzzy inside. All the champagne he’d drank tonight probably contributed to that, too. Then again, Ethan was so high on happiness he could have drunk only water all night and would have felt just as good.
A hand clapped him on the shoulder. “Ethan, what are you doing?”
It was Larry, rosy cheeked and clearly tipsy. He hadn’t held back at tonight’s open bar. He leered at Ethan rather alarmingly and Ethan hoped he never saw the look on his former boss’s face again.
“It’s your wedding night,” Larry slurred, blowing fumes in Ethan’s face that watered his eyes. “You shouldn’t be here, for cryin’ out loud. Go to your man!”
“I will, I will,” Ethan assured him, laughing.
“The man’s waiting on you, Ethan! Don’t make a man wait on his wedding night! It’s bad luck or something.”
“Def’nitely bad luck,” Bob chimed in, looking worse than Larry. He swayed where he stood.
“How about a deal,” Ethan told them. “I’ll get you guys to your rooms and then I’ll head straight to mine. Deal?”
“Max’ll be there?” Larry asked, eying him with suspicion.
Ethan poked a tongue into his own cheek. “I certainly hope so.”
His friends looked at each other, but Ethan doubted much communicating was going on between them. Bob’s eyelids drooped so low he was practically asleep on his feet.
“That means yes,” Ethan answered for them. He took hold of each man by the upper arm. “Let’s go. Your beds are going to feel awesome, trust me.”
Using skills rivalling a sheepherder’s, Ethan managed to get each man to his room. It wasn’t pretty and it definitely wasn’t quiet, but he safely saw Larry and Bob into their beds with a cup of water on the nightstand for them as well as the trashcan pulled up beside their beds in case of emergencies.
With a smile of relief and amusement, he at last headed for his own room. His step carried a bounce once he reminded himself that he wasn’t joining Max simply to sleep. Oh, no. Every night spent with Max was wonderful, of course, but tonight should be just a little bit more special.
“Just a touch,” Ethan murmured to himself eagerly.
Heart pounding with anticipation—had Max set up something kinky for them? Had he snuck in a bunch of naughty toys? Dozens of roses? —Ethan let himself into their hotel room.
One lamp beside the bed was lit, its amber glow illuminating a very naked Max, lying on the sheets.
“Should I feel insulted that you didn’t hurry to join me?” Max drawled. He reclined on his side with his head propped on one hand and a knee raised beside him. “Or was this your attempt to make me yearn for you more than I already do?”
Ethan gaped. “I wasn’t smart enough to plan for that, but I like hearing it.” He absently tossed the hotel key somewhere and began removing his tuxedo jacket. “God, you look gorgeous. I can’t wait—”
Ethan skidded to a halt on the carpet. “Why?”
“Take a shower. You smell like your drunk friends.” Max smiled, but there was something subtly off about it. As though he were hiding something. “I’ve prepared for you.” He motioned at the length of his own long, lean and very naked body. “I would appreciate a return of courtesy.”
Ethan’s mouth went dry. He loved the way Max looked, loved how sleek and powerful he was. His body was athletic and fit, and undeniably elegant. “I’ll do anything you want, Max. You know that.”
“Then you know what to do.”
With an anxious huff, Ethan spun around and dashed into the bathroom.
He took a shower in record time and hurt himself slightly while stretching himself too quickly, but Max’s mood had intrigued him. Ethan’s skin still beaded moisture when he emerged from the bathroom, naked.
“Finally,” Max said, but there was a glint of mischief in his eyes as he laid back on the bed. He held Ethan’s eyes as he curled his hand around his shaft and leisurely stroked it.
“Looks like I could have taken my time,” Ethan said, his confidence returning in the face of Max’s visible desire. He was turned on, too, but at least he wasn’t lying slutty-like on the bed. Not yet.
“I would have turned the lights off and gone to sleep if you had,” Max murmured. He let his eyelids lower, so only dark slivers peered out at Ethan. The sultry look brought a delicious shiver to Ethan’s skin. Had Max drunk more at the party than Ethan noticed? Or was this simply the look of a happy, newly married man?
“I don’t think you could have gone to sleep, Max.” Ethan stood at the end of the bed and ran his hands up the inside of Max’s muscular calves, fingertips tangling in dark hairs. “You look like you’re a little too worked up for that.”
Max smirked. “Am I?”
Ethan smirked back, emboldened by the champagne in his own veins. “Yeah. I think you are. I think I could work you up even more.”
“I believe you could, too. That’s why I wish to bottom tonight.”
Max arched an eyebrow. “A problem, Ethan?”
“N-No, but…you’ve never wanted to do it before.”
“Tonight is a special evening.”
Some of Ethan’s shock melted. “It is,” he said softly. He looked at Max—his husband—with new eyes. “I had no idea this would interest you. Have you wanted this before now?”
Max smiled slightly. “Relax, Ethan. I have always received what I desired from our sex life.” He pulled a leg out of Ethan’s grasp and lifted his knee toward his chest, revealing the curve of his ass cheeks and the faint shimmer between them. “I thought about you while I was preparing myself. After all that we’ve been through, we have not yet shared this. I’ve given you everything of myself except this. So I’d like to rectify that.”
“You don’t owe me, this,” Ethan told him. “This isn’t an obligation. I’ve enjoyed everything we’ve ever done together.”
“I understand.” Max hesitated. “If this doesn’t interest you…”
“I didn’t say that.” Ethan laughed at his own haste to interrupt him. “I just—you caught me by surprise. But you’ve made a good point.” He studied Max with new consideration. “We’ve shared everything and we try everything. But we haven’t done this. I’ve never seen you this way and you’ve never seen me differently. Maybe it would be nice if we did. Just this once.” He smiled a little shyly. “I do have my preference, though.”
Max was amused. “Rest assured, I share your preference.”
Relieved that their regular dynamic wasn’t about to change despite what happened now, Ethan was able to relax. And in relaxing, he was able to give in to his curiosity about this switch of their roles. “Can I test how well you did?” he asked as he stared at the tempting glisten of lube on Max’s skin.
“Be my guest.”
Ethan licked his lips in anticipation. He placed one knee on the bed and leaned forward as he slid his palm up the underside of Max’s leg. It was smoothly muscled and the color of light caramel. Ethan considered dragging his tongue up the path his hand was taking but decided he didn’t have the patience for that. Once he reached the junction of Max’s legs, he curled his fingers between Max’s cheeks and stroked the silkiness of lube on his skin. He carefully pushed one finger up and was thrilled by how easily it slid into the soft suction of Max’s body.
Ethan looked up to watch his husband’s face as he gently pumped into him with his finger, testing the stretch. Max gazed back steadily, with unnerving intensity for being the one being penetrated. It was the same look he wore when their positions were reversed and it was Ethan taking the fingers. When Max looked at him this way, Ethan felt a little weak, a little excited, and a whole lot helpless. He loved it. He craved it.
Turned out he could enjoy it even under different circumstances.
“You’re ready for me,” Ethan said in wonder as he worked two fingers into him with ease.
“I am highly competent,” Max said, deadpan.
Ethan stifled his laughter. “I shouldn’t have expected anything less, should I?”
Ethan shivered a little at the deep timbre of his voice. There was a lot wound up in why he liked to bottom for Max. A lot of it was due to the physical sensations he got from the act—prostate stimulation drove him wild and Max was a highly skilled lover. But most of Ethan’s pleasure was derived from the fact that it was Max making love to him. His dominant personality lit up Ethan’s brain like no one else could, and prompted endorphins to flow through him in a sugar high. Max’s power was so considerable he could exert it even while lying on his back. Ethan was already aching and he hadn’t even touched himself yet.
Growing desperate, he withdrew his fingers. “Do you have the lube?”
Max pulled the tube from beneath the pillow he was lying on and tossed it to him. He said nothing as he watched Ethan slick up his cock, but he did spread his legs wider, making room for Ethan between them.
“I can’t believe this is happening,” Ethan whispered as he shuffled up between Max’s legs.
“Kiss me first,” Max ordered.
Ethan was happy to. Their lips pressed together gently. It reminded him of kissing Max by the pond after they’d been declared husbands to each other. Despite what they were about to do, the kiss wasn’t sexual. It was loving. Max’s tongue was soft in his mouth and his fingers curved along the back of Ethan’s head soothingly.
“Relax,” Max murmured against his lips.
“You’re going to be good for me.”
Warmth spread through Ethan’s body. “Yes, Max.” He could do this. He would be good at it.
When he leaned back, he felt better about the situation. He offered Max a crooked smile. “Ready?”
“Do it, Ethan.” Max gripped the ends of the pillow beneath his head. “Impress me.”
With his heart pounding, Ethan carefully pushed in. The squeeze and heat of Max’s body pulled a groan from Ethan’s throat and he was pleased to see Max tip his head back and part his lips as though overcome by sensation, too. Ethan began to move, slowly at first, making sure Max was ready for it. Soon, Max lifted his legs and wrapped them around the back of Ethan’s thighs, locking him in place.
“Move,” Max told him. His gaze was powerful. It bore into Ethan with the faint hint of threat.
Ethan braced his hands on the mattress beneath Max’s raised elbows and began to thrust with a little more force.
Ethan’s lips parted as he obeyed. The friction around his cock was delicious. A tingle was already building in his groin, tightening his balls. When he was with Max, he only ever came with Max’s cock up his ass. This would be a different experience. As good as it felt already, Ethan wasn’t concerned that he wouldn’t be able to cum.
He settled into a good rhythm, savoring the pull of Max’s body each time he withdrew and the thick squeeze as he pushed back in. He moaned softly. Yes, he wouldn’t have a problem cumming at all…
“You didn’t refer to me as your husband.”
Ethan’s hips stuttered. “What?”
Max dragged the heel of one foot up the back of Ethan’s thigh. “This evening. You corrected yourself and called me Max. Why?”
Ethan resumed his previous rhythm, maybe thrusting a little bit harder, but Max’s penetrating expression didn’t alter.
“It’s your name, I—I thought it would be easier.”
“In what way?” Max dug his heel into Ethan’s butt cheek.
“For my friends. They made a huge step but, I don’t know—”
Max clenched and Ethan’s breath caught. He reflexively snapped his hips forward.
“Is it more important to protect their sensibilities from the truth than to honor my role as your husband?”
Ethan was having difficulty concentrating on what he was saying. Max kept clenching every so often, squeezing vice-like around his dick, and each time Ethan’s brain went haywire.
“Ethan, answer me.”
“No. Of course not. That’s not—” Ethan took a deep breath and closed his eyes. He answered after he opened them again. “Maybe there was a small part of me that still feared upsetting them.”
Max’s expression softened. “At your own wedding?”
Ethan rolled his hips. “I know. It’s stupid of me.”
“It’s not stupid.” Max released one end of the pillow. He began caressing his own chest. “I thought perhaps you harbored doubts.”
Ethan stared as Max circled a dark nipple with his fingertip, causing the bud to draw into a tight, perky pebble.
Ethan struggled to focus. It was difficult when Max felt so good around him and Ethan badly wanted to make him feel good in return. Gritting his teeth, he lowered himself atop Max until they were chest to chest. Ethan kissed his throat.
“Stop talking, Max.” He licked Max’s pulse. “It’s nonsense, okay? Let me make you feel good.”
Max dragged his fingernails up Ethan’s back. “I do feel good, Ethan. You’re doing an excellent job of pleasing me.”
Ethan groaned and drove his hips harder.
“However, I don’t wish to be your dirty secret,” Max whispered into his ear.
Despite how good everything felt and how hard he was, Ethan slowed down. He rose up onto his elbows and searched Max’s face. “How can you say that? How can you believe it? Even for a second?”
The ferocity vanished. Max’s eyes went soft with a rare uncertainty.
“I want you to be proud of having me as your husband,” he murmured.
“Holy cow, Max, I couldn’t be any prouder to have you as my husband. Are you kidding me? You’re handsome and intelligent and crazy competent—I’ve never met anyone who’s as incredible as you. I hit the jackpot with you.” He shifted so he could cup Max’s cheek. “When I’m with you, I want to tell the world that you’re mine. And now that I’m wearing your ring, I can.” He felt his eyes begin to burn. “It means everything to me that you’re my husband.”
“Ah, my Ethan. So sensitive. Sometimes I forget. You hide yourself so well.”
Ethan looked away.
“No, don’t hide now,” Max chided.
“I’m trying to convince you of the truth,” Ethan said with feeling. “I hate that you thought for one moment that I don’t love having you as my husband.”
Max’s surprise quickly gave way to thoughtfulness. “Ethan…the last thing I want to do is admit that I can be insecure.”
Ethan sighed. “You know I’d never make fun of you for it. Especially not about this.”
“Mmm, but this is the most important thing in my life.” Max’s eyes seemed to glitter in the dim light.
“It is for me, too.” Ethan pressed his face to Max’s neck. The love that filled him was nearly suffocating. “You bring me so much happiness. I love you, Mr. Winter-Poole. I’ll tell every stranger I meet that you’re my husband, if that’s what you want.”
Max caressed his hip. “No. It’s not necessary. Forgive me for doubting. It’s been an emotional night.”
Ethan rose up onto straightened arms. He was still hard inside Max. He rolled his hips to remind him of that, grinning devilishly at the heat that flared in Max’s eyes. “Interested in a distraction?”
“I’m counting on it.” Max’s smile was sharp like a tiger’s. Ethan shivered at the sight of it.
“Can we stop talking now?” Ethan asked. “I really want you.”
“We’ll stop talking about that, but I’m not going to stop talking to you.” Max lowered his voice. “You take great pleasure in my talking to you.”
Ethan fought not to look away. “Maybe.”
“It’s time for you to be a good boy and obey your husband.”
The hairs rose on the back of Ethan’s neck. “Okay,” he said in a small voice.
Max let his arms fall indulgently around his head, as though he were lying on the grass, basking in the sun. Ethan found him utterly beautiful. “Fuck me,” he ordered softly.
Ethan began to move, carefully thrusting inside him.
Max shook his head and tsked. “Surely you can do better than that? Have you learned nothing from my example?”
Determined to blow Max’s mind, Ethan slammed in without warning. Max gasped as he was rocked, his eyes fluttering shut for a moment. Ethan kept it up, aiming for the spot that seemed to turn Max’s flush a deeper red and his cock to drool across his stomach.
“Good,” Max groaned. He turned dark eyes up at Ethan. “I like your cock.”
Ethan grinned. “I like how you feel around my cock.”
“I must be tight. I’m practically a virgin at this point.”
The tingling sensation intensified in Ethan’s lower belly. “Yeah.”
“I must be hot inside, too, hmm?”
Sweat dripped into Ethan’s left eye. He blinked it out. “So hot.”
“You’re nearly too much for me to take,” Max said, watching him with intense eyes. “You’re powerful.” He tipped back his head and trailed his fingertips down his own arched throat. “I’d beg you for mercy, but I don’t know if you’d show me any…”
Ethan’s lips were dry from panting. He lashed his tongue across them and adjusted his thrusts, going shallow. It helped bring him back from the edge he’d been creeping toward.
“Faster,” Max ordered while his eyes were closed.
Ethan complied, his heart pounding in sync with the snap of his hips against Max’s ass. The quicker pace ramped up the pleasure along his cock. He caught himself speeding up, straining for the friction that would carry him to the peak.
“Now slow down,” Max murmured.
Ethan caught his breath, then let it out explosively as he slowed to a more sedate pace. But his hips jerked involuntarily, driving him in hard. Max’s eyes snapped open.
“I said slow.”
“Sorry,” Ethan gasped. He clutched the sheets and tried not to show how difficult he found it to maintain the excruciating pace.
Max’s feet were against his butt again, teasing along his crease with his big toes. Such a little touch, yet it made Ethan hyperaware of his ass. Habit had him arching slightly to increase the pressure against it.
“You prefer to bottom, don’t you, Ethan?”
Ethan shook his head and straightened his posture. “I like this.”
“I know you do, but it’s not your preference. Tell me why.”
“I prefer it when you’re in charge.” It turned him on to talk about it and he couldn’t afford to lose any more control, so Ethan fixed his attention on the safe zone of Max’s throat.
“Do you like deferring to your master?”
Heat rushed across Ethan’s skin. “Yeah.”
Max’s expression hardened. Ethan nearly came.
“I mean—yes, sir,” he blurted.
Ethan’s shoulders climbed toward his ears. “Max…”
“For the record, I prefer fucking you,” Max said. “Fucking you hard, fucking you softly, fucking you slowly, just…fucking you. Over and over, Ethan. My cock in your ass, so deep. So hard.” He licked his lips. “I love making you feel it.”
Ethan shuddered as his cock seemed to swell to double its size. “Please.”
Fingers coasted up his forearms, tracing the flexed muscles there. “Please what? You want me to fuck you?”
Ethan hung his head. “Yes…”
“But you’re already fucking me, Ethan”
“I know, I just—” Ethan couldn’t articulate what he needed. He wouldn’t pull out; Max’s body felt too good clasped around him. But he wanted more, wanted that special feeling he only got when Max held him down and made him take it.
“I can make you take it this way, too.”
He blushed when he realized he’d said his last thoughts out loud.
Max only smirked. “It’s fine, Ethan. No shame here. It turns me on knowing what you like.”
“Please…can I go faster? I need—”
“No. Keep it slow. Be gentle.”
It was the last thing Ethan wanted to do. His blood was on fire. His cock was harder than steel and he needed friction around it. He groaned. “Max…”
His husband—his master—smiled sweetly at him. “What’s the matter?”
Ethan looked at him pleadingly. “I need more.”
Max pretended to think. “If I give you more, Ethan, I can’t allow you to stop. I’ll need you to keep going because I’ll have developed a taste for it, then.”
“I can give it to you,” Ethan gritted out. Sweat rolled down his spine. “I have the stamina.”
Max licked his lips again, taunting Ethan with a kiss he wasn’t allowed. “Alright, then. This is your one chance.” He arched his throat, looking sinful and seductive. “Fuck me, Ethan. Give it to me fast and hard and don’t you dare let up.”
Groaning with relief, Ethan shifted his weight to spread his knees wider. He held Max’s gaze as he began thrusting forcefully, making the bed shake. Max groaned and braced his palms against the headboard, biceps flexing. Their bodies came together in hard slaps. Max’s cock bounced on his abdomen in a pool of precum.
“You’re gonna make me cum just with your cock,” Max whispered, his eyes blazing.
“Yes,” Ethan hissed, intensifying his efforts. He felt crazed. A part of him worried that he was hurting Max, but the other man reached up and clawed at Ethan’s chest.
“Harder, Ethan. Give it to me. Make me feel it for days. Come on, Ethan. Harder.”
Ethan’s thighs began to burn. His lungs heaved. But nothing compared to the fiery ache in his cock.
“I’m going to cum,” he choked out. His hips slammed in erratically as the pleasure began to crest.
“Don’t. You. Dare.”
The ferocity on Max’s face scared Ethan as much as it turned him on. He felt his balls clench tight. Maybe he came, just a little. But he was still rock-hard inside Max and he was burning.
“Max,” he begged. “I can’t—I can’t—”
“Keep going,” Max ordered. He clasped a hand behind Ethan’s neck and dragged him down to his mouth. “Keep going,” he whispered against Ethan’s lips before he swiped his tongue across them. “Come on, Mr. Winter-Poole. Show your husband what you can do.”
The whimper tore out of him before he could stop it. Ethan crushed his mouth to Max’s to stop him from saying anything else that would drive him crazier. Already it was too much. His entire body was shaking like it would fly apart. A sharp pinch to his right nipple forced him to cry out, breaking their kiss.
“Come on, Ethan,” Max breathed hotly against his lips. “Call me sir or call me Daddy.”
“No,” he whispered as his balls suddenly swelled.
“Come on, little boy.”
The endearment curled around Ethan’s cock. He thrust raggedly, filling Max with his desperation. “Max—please. Stop teasing.”
“But I like teasing you,” Max whispered. He dragged his fingers across Ethan’s nape. “Come on, little boy. Say it. You know you want to.” He groaned and kissed Ethan again. “I want to hear you say it. It makes me hot…”
It was the plea that broke Ethan, and maybe he wanted to be broken if he were being honest with himself. “Husband!” he gasped. He pressed his forehead to Max’s and whimpered, “Husband.”
Max wrapped his legs around Ethan’s hips, clutching him in so tightly he could barely move. “Again!”
“Husband,” Ethan moaned, giving in to it. He peppered Max’s face as the older man began shuddering with release. “You’re my husband.”
Max’s climax was loud and messy. Wetness spilled between them, sticking Ethan’s belly to his. The slippery feel of it and the breathy groans Max released as he came down were agonizing for Ethan.
“Please!” he begged. He was unable to move thanks to the death grip Max’s legs had around his hips.
Max hummed with his eyes closed. “Does it hurt?”
Ethan thought he would cry soon if he didn’t get relief. “Max…”
“Cum for your husband,” Max breathed with a tired smile. He loosened his legs. “It’s alright now.”
Ethan clutched Max’s shoulders and pulled back before slamming forward. He came so hard that he stopped breathing for several seconds. It felt like a tidal wave gushed out of his cock. The black spots that swam around his eyes reminded him that his lungs were empty and he gulped in a huge breath while he filled Max endlessly. He felt like he’d never stop.
He did, though. Eventually. Dizzy, he collapsed atop Max. He could make only vague noises of pleasure as hands caressed his back.
“Ethan, I think you should top more often.”
He groaned. “No. No way. You nearly killed me.”
Max’s deep laughter tickled Ethan’s ear. “You nearly killed me, too, but it was worth it.” He carded his fingers through Ethan’s hair. “Consider me impressed.”
Finding some strength, Ethan pushed up onto his elbows. “I’m glad I made a good showing, but don’t get your hopes up, Max. Your days of being lazy in bed are over. Topping is too much work.”
“A pity, but understandable. You possess enthusiasm, but you lack a certain je ne sais quoi.” Max’s smile showed he was pleased with himself. “A wedding night is rarely short. I’ll sort us both out and restore order to the universe before sunrise.”
Ethan shivered with anticipation. “I’m looking forward to your ‘sorting.’” He lay back down, resting his head on Max’s chest. “But until then, let’s just rest.”
A hand cupped the back of his head. “Our first night together as husbands.” Max kissed his hair. “I have never been happier.”
Though they’d officially been married in Las Vegas and consummated their union that night, tonight felt different. Ethan was aware of his friends and family nearby, giving weight to the ceremonial aspect of the night. Maybe he was old fashioned, but he was satisfied that he was a true Winter-Poole now.
Ethan lifted his hand to look down at the shining ring on his finger. “Thank you for marrying me, Max.”
A darker hand wearing a matching ring clasped his own. “Thank you for becoming my husband.”