PRIVATE PASSIONS:  MAN IN THE MIRROR (stars Benny & Mikey from Paper Hearts & Paper Roses)

 Mikey moved cautiously, silently, down the hallway using every trick in the book to not give himself away. Benny’s hearing wasn’t the best after a couple of years of standing behind a machine gun, and he hated being snuck up on. He’d be pissed if he caught Mikey spying, but, damn it, Benny had been so weird for days. Going to bed early, sleeping in a t-shirt and long pants when Mikey knew damn well that Benny preferred just boxers. Even the boxers were a concession to his sharing a house with a five-year-old girl. “Naked just gives you easier access, Mikey. Why play coy? We all know what we’re here for.”

Except apparently, they weren’t here for that anymore. They hadn’t had sex for a week. An entire week of careless touches and heated kisses that stopped as soon as Mikey tried to get his hands under Benny’s clothes, get his hands on all that warm, golden skin.

Sure, Benny had given him that blow job in the kitchen a couple of days ago, and it had been amazing. His husband’s mouth more than lived up to the promise of his plush lips. But Mikey wanted some real together time. Skin to skin, body to body, and hours in bed with nothing to do but screw around and fight over who was going to get out of bed and get the food this time. He’d convinced his sister Vanessa to pick Jasmine up and keep her overnight and most of Saturday. They had the house to themselves tonight and tomorrow. Mikey was not going to waste that on chores.

He hung back as Benny walked into the bathroom. Perfect, that would work. There was no escape from there. Mikey knew his husband’s routine. Benny would turn the water on and let it heat up while he undressed. He would slide slowly under the water, brace himself against the sting, and then as it hit his shoulders, he would relax with a deep sigh.

Mikey’s plan was to ambush him in the shower, trapping him in the confined space until he talked. He could almost feel Benny’s wet soapy skin under his hands. Water pounded against the wall, echoing in the narrow hallway.

Cupping himself absently through his sweatpants as he pictured Benny in the shower, Mikey counted to ten, then walked into the bathroom. As soon as he crossed the threshold, he stopped dead.

Benny stood stark naked in front of the full-length mirror on the far wall, pinching the soft flesh about his hips and scowling like a woman in a Special K commercial. The simultaneous sight of both the front and the back of Benny’s naked body got Mikey so hard, so fast, he got dizzy. A strangled groan pushed out of his throat as he clutched the doorway for support.

Benny’s head flew up at the sound, his gorgeous brown eyes flying open wide with surprise and embarrassment. Steam from the shower filled the room, turning his golden skin slick and warm.

Mikey had taken all a man could take.

Briefly wondering why they’d never fucked in front of the mirror before, Benny crossed the distance between them in three steps. He wrapped his arms around Benny’s shoulders, trapping his arms and pulling him tightly against his body.

“Mikey,” Benny gasped.

“So fucking gorgeous,” Mikey growled, pressing his mouth onto the curve between Benny’s neck and shoulder and biting. His hands slid down over the canvas of skin in front of him. The contrast of Mikey’s dark brown skin against Benny’s pale gold was as beautiful as ever.

Benny shuddered at the touch of Mikey’s mouth and the feel of his dreadlocks brushing against his shoulders. He thrust his ass back against Mikey’s hips. Then, incredibly, Mikey felt Benny trying to pull away.

Mikey’s hands tightened around Benny’s chest and hips, fingers digging into the same soft flesh Benny had been grasping. God, Mikey loved the give of Benny’s muscles under his fingers.

“Don’t. Please,” Benny said. He dropped his hand over Mikey’s, stilling his exploration.

Benny’s muscles tensed under Mikey’s hands; he was poised to break away. Mikey kissed him again. “Please stop running away from me.”

Benny let his head roll back onto Mikey’s shoulder, and he squeezed Mikey’s hand. “I’m not running away from you, babe. It’s just…”

Mikey couldn’t care about whatever Benny had to say. Their reflection in the mirror was all he could focus on: Benny naked and held tight against Mikey’s larger, taller, and fully-clothed body. Benny was slender and strong, muscles rounding his shoulders, arms, and thighs.

Mikey should want to talk, should want to discuss the important reasons why Benny wouldn’t sleep with him. But he couldn’t stop running his hands all over Benny’s steam-slick skin. He slid both hands up to pinch Benny’s nipples. Benny sucked in a deep breath, and let it out on a moan.

“God, Benny. You feel so good. Look so good.” Mikey licked the steam and sweat off Benny’s shoulder. “Taste so good.” Grabbing Benny by the hips, he tugged him tightly against his hips. Benny pressed back, seeking for more friction. “I really want to fuck you now. God, Benny. Please, I need you so much.”

Benny lifted his head to find Mikey’s eyes in the mirror. Even to himself, Mikey looked little wild-eyed and desperate. Mikey was almost never so blunt, so crude but he was dying from frustration. Benny’s cheeks were flushed, eyes glazed, and chest heaved.  

Without taking his eyes off of the two them in the mirror, Mikey grabbed Benny’s arms and pulled them up, wrapping them around his own neck. “Hold on to me and keep them there,” he murmured against Benny’s ear. “Okay?”

Taking Benny’s deep groan as permission, Mikey dragged his nails lightly down over the sensitive skin of Benny’s inner arms, reaching as far as he could. His fingers trailed red lines down Benny’s chest, his stomach, his inner thighs, and then circled to the outside and back up again. Though Benny’s cock begged for attention, Mikey ignored it, fingers trailing through the nest of the dark curls above it.

Benny’s chest rose and fell under Mikey’s hands. “Fuck, Mikey. You really want this?” Benny licked his lips, back arching.

Mikey could barely process the words coming out of Benny’s mouth, but that almost sounded like a serious question. Which was ridiculous. Besides the fact that Mikey was head over heels in love with his idiot husband, could Benny not see himself? Anybody with eyes would want to make love to Benny.

But, no. Mikey could see the uncertainty in Benny’s expression. He might not know what was causing the insecurity, but he knew how to fix it. “Yeah, I want this.” He  wrapped Benny’s hands from around his neck, and turning them from the full-length mirror, guided Benny forward until he wrapped his hands around the edge of the sink. “Right now, I’m trying to figure out if I want to fuck you against this sink, blow you in the shower, or drag you into the
bedroom, tie you to the bed, and keep you there for the next two days.” Mikey shocked himself with the things coming out of his mouth. The things Benny did to him.

Benny’s mouth moved silently as he watched Mikey slide his sweatpants and briefs to the floor. Stepping out of his pants and kicking them away, he thanked the universe that he’d been stalking Benny barefoot. He stepped up, pressing his erection against the crack of Benny’s ass, reaching around to grab Benny’s dick at the same time. “Your thoughts?” Mikey asked.

“Um, shit. Yes?” Benny answered, rocking slowly back and forth between Mikey’s hand and his naked body.

Mikey chuckled, mouth pressing against the back of Benny’s neck. “Good answer.”

Benny rolled his head to his the side, to let Mikey have better access. “God, Mikey, when did you start talking dirty?”

“You’re a bad influence.” Mikey took Benny up on his non-verbal offer and nipped his way up and down the long line of his neck.

“That’s what your, ah, fuck,” Benny moaned as Mikey sucked a bruise into his skin. “That’s what your mother always said.”

Keeping one hand on Benny’s dick, Mikey leaned away from Benny’s back. Reaching up, he pulled his t-shirt off with the other hand. When the material cleared his head, he saw Benny staring at his reflection, tongue darting out to lick his lips. Then Benny’s eyes dropped, and Mikey felt him inhale. He would have sworn Benny was sucking in his gut.

Was that the issue? Was Benny worried about his body? Mikey rolled his eyes internally, but, really, who was he to judge Benny’s insecurities? Between the two of them, they had enough issues to choke a team of psychiatrists. Mikey would show Benny he loved every inch of him if he had to have sex with him all weekend to prove it. Mikey was a giver like that.

He leaned forward over Benny, nipping and biting his way across Benny’s shoulders, tracing every inch of skin with his tongue. He couldn’t stop rocking against Benny’s ass. Slippery with sweat and the precome dripping from his cock, he shook with the need to bury himself in Benny’s hot body.

Benny’s arms trembled, fingers squeaking against the slippery porcelain. Steam filled the room. “We’re…we’re wasting water,” Benny stuttered, groaning as Mikey stroked his cock from root to tip.

It took all of Mikey’s willpower not to rub against Benny until he came, spilling over his back and down his thighs. “You’re right.” Pulling Benny upright, he spun Benny around and plastering their mouths together, walked him backward the two steps to the shower.

The water was almost too hot, just the way Benny liked it. Each breath pulled the sultry air into Mikey’s lungs until he was dizzy with it. He put his back to the spray, letting it cascade down his back and chest, wide shoulders blocking the water from Benny’s face. Let his hair get wet; this was more important.

Benny’s hands landed tentatively on Mikey’s chest. “Jesus, Mikey. I swear you’re getting bigger.” Benny’s fingers followed the water flowing down Mikey’s body. He traced the muscles in Mikey’s chest, down his stomach to taut abs and the deep cuts of his hipbones. “You’re fucking perfect.” His laugh tried for casual but didn’t quite reach it. “I swear, I can’t keep up.”

Okay. Mikey had to nip this in the bud. “You never have to.  Your body has been driving me insane since you were sixteen years old.” He pushed Benny’s hand down to his dick. “Feel?”

Dark eyes boring in Mikey’s, Benny dragged his hand up and down the hard length until Mikey’s knees threatened to fold under him.He grabbed onto Benny’s shoulder, shuddering on the brink of orgasm. “Stop, stop. Please.”

“Sixteen, huh?” Benny smirked. “Perv.”

“Shut up.” Mikey reached for the shampoo and flipped them around so that the water cascaded over Benny’s shoulders. “Tilt your head back,” he ordered, pouring the shampoo into his palm.

The water spilled over Benny’s face, beading in his dark eyelashes and falling over his plush lips. Mikey’s breath caught as the beauty of Benny’s face hit him for the thousandth time. Love made people beautiful, Mikey knew. He’d looked into Benny’s face for years before he’d realized he loved his best friend. Even back in high school, he had been struck by the beauty he’d seen there. At twenty-six, the almost feminine prettiness was settling into some firmer. There were lines around Benny’s eyes from the things he’d seen, the things he’d lived through.

Mikey reached around Benny, bending down to take him in a deep kiss as he rubbed the shampoo into a lather in his silk hair. Benny clung to Mikey’s arms, taking everything Mikey gave.

Silently, Mikey scrubbed his fingers through Benny’s hair, scratching against his scalp, until Benny closed his eyes and sighed. Mikey rinsed the shampoo out, wishing the demons were so easily washed away. He positioned the shower head, so the water beat down on Benny’s shoulders, waterfalling over this chest. “Stay there.”

Rubbing the soap between his palms to get a thick lather, he spread his hands wide and gentle on Benny’s chest. He cleaned Benny’s neck, shoulder blades, chest, kissing each spot as he went. He caressed each arm, massaging Benny’s palms, fingers, and the webbing between them. He kissed each fingertip. Reaching Benny’s chest, he sucked each nipple into hard points, tasting soap and the shower water.

By the time he knelt in front of Benny, hands rubbing circles into his stomach, tremors ran through Benny’s body. His stomach rose and fell against Mikey’s fingertip, all soft skin over hard muscles with the most inviting bit of give. Irresistible. Mikey bit into the flesh with a groan.

Benny whimpered, and Mikey looked up to see him, eyes closed, head tilted back, arms spread against opposite walls to hold himself upright. A drop of fluid pearls at the tip on his hard cock, running down the length of it to be washed away by the shower spray.

“Oh, fuck, Benny.” Mikey couldn’t wait any longer, or he would explode. Licking a long stripe up the underside of Benny’s cock, he closed his lips over the head, digging his fingers into Benny’s ass as he pulled him deep into his mouth.

“Jesus, fuck, fuck,” Benny panted. One hand flew to the back of Mikey’s head, holding him in place. The other clamped over Mikey’s shoulder as he thrust hard and fast into Mikey’s mouth, all finesse and gentleness gone.

Water poured down his body over Mikey’s face, and he could barely breathe. It felt perfect. Mikey pushed Benny further down his throat and swallowed.

Benny grunted, fingernails digging into Mikey’s skin. The slight pain was the only thing keeping Mikey from coming just from the feel of Benny’s cock filling his mouth. He pulled off, gasping for air, but kept his hands locked on Benny’s hips.

Letting him take one deep breath, Benny grabbed Mikey’s dripping hair and yanked him back down on his cock, pumping fast and hard into his mouth.

There was the Benny Mikey had been looking for, there was the fire he’d desperately missed. He gripped his cock hard, staving off orgasm.

Benny groaned, sighed, and came long and hard, pulsing down Mikey’s throat, dripping out the sides of Mikey’s mouth.

Mikey pushed himself up from the floor, hands dragging up Benny’s body the whole time. He turned his face to the rapidly cooling spray. “Better?” he asked Benny with a wet smile.

Benny smiled back, eyes hooded, body slack, and reached for Mikey.

Mikey twisted away. “Uh uh. I’ve got plans. Plans we need to be dry for.” He shut off the water.

They grabbed the biggest towels they could find. Drying off took a long time in between kisses and caresses. Naked, Benny pushed Mikey down onto the lid of the toilet seat and straddled his lap.  He wrapped a towel around Mikey’s hair, squeezing the water out as best he could while Mikey licked and nipped at his throat and collarbones. “You’re not helping,” he laughed, arching into the sharp bites.

Mikey grabbed Benny’s ass and stood up. With a squawk, Benny dropped the towel and clung to Mikey with his arms and legs. “Don’t drop me! I’m breakable!”

Mikey carried him across the hall into their bedroom and dropped him lightly on the bed. He crawled up over the foot, forcing Benny down and back as he did. The dim room held the faint scent of the incense Benny liked and a slight chill from the cold winter air that slipped through the old windows and heavy dark curtains.

Reaching the pillows, Mikey rolled onto his side. “God I’ve missed this.” He pulled Benny tighter against him, reveling in the feel of naked skin after a week of t-shirt and sweatpants. The clean sheets felt crisp and cool against Mikey’s bare skin, but not nearly as good as Benny’s body.

Benny wrapped an arm around Mikey’s neck, his other arm wedged beneath the pillow. There was always an extra arm somewhere when they lay face to face like this. “I’m sorry I’ve been so weird. It wasn’t about you, you know.”

Mikey slid his hand down Benny’s side, over his hipbone and into the space between them. Even after everything, Benny sucked in his stomach just a bit. “But it is about me,” Mikey said. “It’s about how you think I would judge you. How you see yourself through what you imagine are my eyes. Do you really think I could look at your body and see anything but perfection?”

Benny snorted. “C’mon, Mikey. I know what I look like. I got the face, I know. But you…” He ran his hands over Mikey’s biceps, squeezing the rock-hard muscle; trailed his fingers down the speedbumps of Mikey’s abdomen. He shook his head. “Damn.”

Mikey grabbed his hand. He was still hard as nails; his erection hadn’t flagged since he left the shower. How could it with a naked Benny in his bed? Mikey pushed Benny’s hand down further until his fingers dragged through the curls around the base of his cock. When Benny trailed his fingers lightly up his hard cock, Mikey shuddered.

“Fuck,” he sighed. “Feels so good. How could you -? God.”

Benny stroked harder, and Mikey pressed into him, trapping his hand between them. Mikey had to get this out before he fucked Benny so hard they both forget how to speak. Which was going to happen very soon. “Benny, god.” He thrust against Benny, caught in the pleasure of it.

Benny tangled his fingers in Mikey’s hair and tugged hard.

Mikey’s mouth fell open on a silent groan. He tried one more time to speak. “I, I look like this because, because I can. I got the genetics for it.” Breathing against Benny’s mouth, too far gone for anything as coordinated as a kiss, Mikey grabbed Benny’s hip. He rolled them over until Benny was underneath him.

Keeping his mouth locked onto Benny’s, he grabbed Benny’s legs behind the knees and yanked them apart until they wrapped around Mikey’s hips. Sitting back on his heels, Mikey tugged Benny towards him, lifting his ass right up against Mikey’s cock, Benny’s legs played around him. Benny was hard again, cock curving up over his body. He loved when Mikey manhandled him, loved Mikey’s strength.

Mikey ran his hands down Benny’s thighs. “Listen to me.”

Benny raised an eyebrow. “It’s kind of hard to pay attention to what you’re saying right now.”

Mikey squeezed his calves. “Do you want me to stop?”

“God no.”

“Then focus for a second.”

Benny rolled his hips up against Mikey, and Mikey’s eyes fluttered shut. He exhaled a deep breath. “I work out, I look like this for me,” Mikey said. “I like feeling like I have some control over at least one thing in my life.”

He stopped, running his hands down Benny’s legs, up his side. Benny was so solid, so real. And always Benny. How can he not know how much Mikey needed him?

“Mikey?” Benny craned his head off the pillow.

Mikey sighed. “It feels like so much has happened to me. Bad things that I couldn’t do anything about. You leaving, Julia dying. Good things, you coming back, Jasmine being born. But I had no control over any of it. And you know how caught up in my one head I can get. And God knows I can’t control you.”

Benny raised his eyebrows. “Would you want to?”

“Not for a second. I like your lunacy. I love it. I need it. But this?” He ran his hands down his own chest and stomach. “This I know is mine. This I can control.”

“Jesus, Mikey.” Benny reached up and pulled Mikey down on top of him, wrapped his arms and legs around him. “I know that feeling. I can’t even trust my own body.”

Mikey wished for the millionth time there was some way he could fix Benny, repair the damage that had been done to his brain and body from his time in the war. Thank God Benny’s heart and soul had come through it, for the most part, unchanged. He still loved with everything in him, nothing held back.

They held onto each other for pure comfort, not sex. They were both damaged in different ways, as were most people they knew.

Benny ran his hands down Mikey’s back, and Mikey pressed his face into the space between Benny’s neck and shoulder. Benny smelled delicious after the shower, warm and musky from the body wash he loved, and Mikey breathed in deeply.  Benny’s hands crept lower and lower, finally smoothing over the curve of Mikey’s ass. Mikey smiled against Benny’s neck and opened his mouth, sucking another bruise into that golden skin. Part of him hoped the marks faded before Jasmine got back, part of him wanted to permanently tattoo them on Benny.

Benny shuddered under him and gripped the back of Mikey’s head, pressing him deeper into his neck.

Mikey’s body was letting him know that it had been waiting a long time for an orgasm and sooner rather than later would be great. He grinded down against Benny, dragging their cocks together.

“God, Mikey,” Benny begged. “Enough with the talking. Fuck me already.”

Mikey rolled off Benny and onto his back. “Ride me. I want to see you.” He needed to see Benny’s face, to see the flush that started on his high cheekbones and spread down his chest as he got closer and closer.

The blush was already starting. Mikey saw a hint of pink on the back of Benny’s neck when he rolled onto his side to reach the lube from the night stand. When he tried to turn over, Mikey held him in place with a hand on his lower back. “Give it,” he said, reaching his other hand over Benny for the lube.

Nudging Benny’s top leg forward with his knee, Mikey slicked up his fingers and sunk one deep into Benny. They both groaned, and Mikey bit the back of Benny’s shoulder. There would be marks all over Benny by the end of the night. Benny brought out this side of Mikey he hadn’t known he had. “You’re beautiful, and you know it.” He used two fingers now,  pumping in and out relentlessly.

Benny grunted, hands gripping the edge of the mattress, and pushed his hips back against Mikey’s hand.

“But you, you use your looks and your charm as a weapon, a distraction. You think you’re fooling people. That if they really knew you, they’d think differently.” He pushed a third finger in.

Benny sprawled forward, almost face down on the mattress, arms reaching for connection. His hand clenched the pillow by his head. “Mikey, God, Mikey. Don’t -”

Mikey thrust in, pressing hard against his prostate, and pulling a wavering moan out of Benny. He leaned over Benny, hand still, feeling Benny pulsing and hot around his fingers. “But I see the real you, Benny,” he whispered into his husband’s ear. “And it’s more beautiful than they will ever know.”

Benny moaned like he was dying like he was watching Mikey die. “Fuck me, Mikey. For the love of God, just stop, stop talking, and fuck me.”

It had been too long, Mikey’s too close now and isn’t going to last long at all. Too impatient to wait the second it would take Benny to climb on him, Mikey pushed Benny onto his stomach and yanked his hips up into the air. Quickly slicking up, he slid deep into Benny in one smooth move. Benny pushed up onto his elbows and fucked back against Mikey as hard as he could.

Mikey pounded into Benny, harder than he wanted to, harder than he probably should. He’d apologize later. His fingers scrambled for purchase on Benny’s thigh, his hips. Finally, Mikey grabbed onto Benny’s shoulders and hauled him even deeper onto his cock. “God, I fucking love you,” he said breathlessly.

Benny dropped down on one elbow and reached underneath himself. Two strokes later he clenched around Mikey, trapping him inside. Mikey couldn’t move if he wanted to. Not that he wanted to. After the vice grip of Benny’s ass relaxes, he flipped Benny onto his back and slid back into him. Benny looked up at him with such love. His eyes so soft and his smile real and honest and just for him. Just for Mikey.

“Hi, baby,” Benny said, and Mikey came with a loud cry.

Mikey collapsed down on top of Benny.

Benny grunted and pushed him off, but not before giving Mikey a quick kiss on the side of the head. Benny reached off the side of the bed for one of the towels.

“Now do you believe me?” Mikey asked. “Everything I love, I see when I look at you.”

Benny clicked on the string of small paper lanterns he had hung over the bed. “So, like permanent beer goggles?” But he was smiling as he turned back to Mikey.

Mikey grabbed the towel and cleaned Benny up. “You’re such an asshole, but I’m ignoring you.”

It was hard sometimes for Mikey to say things out loud, important things. He hadn’t grown up in a family like Benny’s, where nothing, good or bad, was held back. His had been and still was a family of subdued emotion. But he had to say these kinds of things now because Benny needed to hear them. He never wanted to see that look on Benny’s face again. Not because of him.

He flopped onto his back and stared at the ceiling, the multicolored lanterns glowing softly in his vision. “I see you, Benny. All of you. Good, bad, ugly, beautiful. My annoying best friend, the man I married, a second father to Jasmine. I see all the mistakes you’ve made and all the good you’ve done. And sometimes it takes my breath away. Sometimes I hate what you say or do. But I will always love you. And I’ll always want you.”

Benny didn’t say anything.  Mikey felt him breathing next to him, their arms brushing against each other. “Yeah?” he asked, still looking at the ceiling. One hand strayed almost accidentally to his stomach. “All that?”

“Yeah.” Mikey laughed, relieved.

Benny turned and cuddled against Mikey’s side, head on his chest. “You’re a brave man, Michael Washington. You may not know this, but I’m kind of a head case.”

Mikey snorted, and Benny smacked his hand flat on Mikey’s stomach, the sharp slap loud in the quiet room. Benny rubbed the sting away, then his fingers trailed across the dark hair on Mikey’s chest, scratched across the soft nub of a nipple. Mikey squirmed a little, eyes closing. “So when is Vanessa bringing Jasmine back?” Benny asked.

Mikey scratched his fingernails through Benny’s hair. It was already sticking up wildly in all different directions. He bit back a smile and how adorable Benny looked. “Not until tomorrow after dinner.”

Benny pushed up enough to look Mikey in the eye. “Really?”

Mikey nodded, eyes half-lidded. “Really, really.”

Benny crawled over Mikey. “Oh, it’s going to be a good weekend.” Smirking, he reached across for his cell phone.

“What are you doing?”

Benny sat up on Mikey’s thighs, wiggling deliciously, and scrolled his phone. “Calling for delivery. We have to keep your strength up if you’re going to keep throwing me around like that. And you are going to keep throwing me around.”

Mikey could live with that.



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