HE WAS going to be sick. Sebastian’s fingers gripped the arm rests of the narrow seat in white-knuckled tension, gritting his teeth as the tiny plane lurched again, causing his stomach to roll.
Beside him, Angel peered eagerly out of the window, grinning widely, without a care in the world, it seemed. His lover glanced over at him and gave him a sympathetic smile.
“I didn’t know you didn’t like flying, Bastian.”
Sebastian scowled, swallowing hard against the nausea as once more the plane bucked and dropped a bit. “I like flying just- just fine. First class. Warmed towels and champagne. I like that flying. This? Is not flying. This is attempted suicide.”
Angel laughed, patting his hand. “It’ll be fine. This was your idea, anyway.”
Sebastian couldn’t deny it and decided later he’d have a talk with his brat about the proper time and place to point out that Sebastian was responsible for his own nausea. So he’d thought taking Angel on a skiing vacation to Quebec for the Christmas holidays sounded like a brilliant plan. He hadn’t planned on being trapped in a flying tin can for a good portion of the trip.
What kind of five-star resort didn’t have access to a major airport, anyway?
Angel peered out the window at the stunning vista below. He’d been skiing before, he loved it, but not like this. He couldn’t wait until they were on the ground so he could explore everything. The moodiness he usually experienced with the holidays had vanished the moment Sebastian had asked him to come. A week of sexual escapades and outdoor activities made an excellent diversion.
He glanced over at his lover and immediately forgot about the view. Sebastian was white lipped, clutching the seat as the plane dipped and shuddered. Angel slid closer to him and curled his arm through Sebastian’s. “Just think of it like a roller coaster.”
“Roller coasters are connected to something. There’s nothing between us and the ground but several thousand feet of air and maybe some birds.”
Angel’s lips twitched, but he refrained from smiling. He’d never seen Sebastian anything other than calm and collected. It was kinda sweet. “We’re almost there,” he soothed. “We should be making the final descent soon.” Then he laughed teasingly. “Besides, since you made me leave half my things behind it’s not like the plane is overloaded.”
Sebastian snorted. “If you’d had your way, we’d have never gotten off the ground.” How one person, one not very large person at that, could “need” so much crap, he would never understand. Hell, as far as he was concerned, Angel ought to have brought a ski suit, condoms and lube. Ski suit optional.
He’d suggested as much when Angel had asked about bringing extra luggage and his lover’s response had been a horrified glare and a brief lecture about how Angel looking good made Sebastian look good and how could either of them do that without the proper accoutrements? Sebastian had shrugged and insisted he already looked good. His arm was still sore; Angel had a heck of a left hook.
Much to his relief, the small plane began to descend, thankfully not at breakneck speed with flames shooting out the back, and by the time they’d landed on the small runway behind an even smaller single-building airport, Sebastian had never been so glad to be on solid ground. They’d be finding an alternate route home; that was all there was to it.
“I’m so damned excited.” Angel was out of the cabin in a flash, turning around in a circle to look all around him. The airport was tiny, like something he would’ve pictured out of Alaska, but the people seemed friendly as they came forward with smiles to gather their gear. “How long will it take us to get to the resort?”
It was late in the afternoon, so probably no skiing today. Which was a shame because Angel had splurged and bought a brand new ski jacket and pants in a gorgeous red, though there would be time enough tomorrow to hit the slopes. But it was still early enough to explore the resort, and he couldn’t wait.
Sebastian took his hand and led him out toward the cabs and hotel shuttles. “Not long at all. Come on, Angel, before you bounce yourself all the way to the resort.”
“You’re the best.” Angel grinned and dropped a kiss onto Sebastian’s lips before sliding into the cab. The last thing he’d been expecting was Sebastian’s invitation to join him. They’d been together for months now, yeah, but it was casual, comfortable. Even though Angel still experienced the same vulnerability every time Sebastian bound him, he was coming to understand that the feeling was a part of it and he’d always have it.
As Sebastian climbed into the cab beside his lover, Angel proceeded to grill the cab driver about the area and all the things to do. Sebastian leaned back and smiled, observing.
Angel charmed him, every time, no matter what; there was a boundless energy and light in the young man that drew Sebastian to him. He’d seen it the first day they’d met and he was always glad to see that whatever games they played, whatever scenes they created, that light never faded, the seemingly endless joy Angel had. Sebastian didn’t quite understand that joy, but oh he craved it, lived vicariously through his lover and in some ways was even learning to embrace it within himself.
Not that he’d ever say anything like that to Angel. He was sure even the hint of Angel having anything Sebastian might need would send the young man running for the hills. Having what Sebastian wanted was one thing; Angel was always thrilled with that and strove to be exactly what he thought Sebastian wanted. Need, however, was a very different animal, and Sebastian knew his lover well enough to know that Angel wanted nothing to do with anything that might hint at permanence or a future.
Sebastian himself wasn’t sure he wanted that either, though he suspected it might be too late for choices anyway. That was what this trip was for. He needed to figure out what a future for them might look like; he needed to be sure before he even broached the subject with Angel. He had no intention of frightening off the best thing to ever happen to him on a guess.
It took a marked effort for Angel to stay still. Sebastian had been trying to teach him patience, and Angel thought he was slowly making headway by practicing the same mental exercises he did on a photo shoot, but he could not contain the shout of glee when he saw the village.
“Oh, look, Bastian! It’s like something out of a book. It’s so beautiful.” Some of the roofs were a bright red and blue, standing out against the snow-covered mountains. It had a very Old World feel, with the cobblestone sidewalks, wooden signs hanging outside the shops, and green wreaths strung with little white lights and red bows.
“I told you you’d like it.” Sebastian pointed over Angel’s shoulder to an outdoor fireplace in a square. “Sometimes they have hot chocolate there.”
Angel grinned and turned his head, giving Sebastian a kiss and a little nip on his lower lip. “Are you going to take me shopping?”
“What could you possibly need that you don’t already have?”
Angel rolled his eyes. “Loads, I have a mental list. Besides, that’s not the point.”
“I’m almost afraid to ask, but what’s the point?”
Angel laughed at Sebastian’s dry tone. “Spoiling me. I am very spoil-worthy.”
Sebastian laughed, gesturing to the idyllic town around them as the cabbie headed up the mountain to the hotel that presided over the village like some medieval fairytale castle. “This isn’t spoiling you?”
Angel grinned widely, snuggling close against his side. “It absolutely is.”
“Besides, I could take you shopping or I could show you the main reason I chose this resort.”
As he’d expected, Angel perked up, eyes curious and eager. “And what reason is that?”
Sebastian trailed a single fingertip down the young man’s smooth, golden cheek. “The hot mineral springs. Which, by the way, we have a private one reserved for our entire stay.” He had visions of Angel and he, snow falling, the spring steaming hot and the sex even hotter.
Angel shivered inside and immediately forgot about skiing, shopping, or anything else that required clothes. “Sounds like a wet dream,” he murmured and leaned in for a more lingering kiss. “Get me there within an hour and I’ll be your slave boy.”
Sebastian’s eyes gleamed a blue to rival the clear winter sky outside. He made Angel hot and weak inside. “Is that your way of saying you’ll do anything I want?”
Angel laughed wickedly and turned his head to nip Sebastian’s fingertip. “I’m all yours, Bastian.” It may make him nervous sometimes, but the last things on his mind now were nerves. All he could think of was the promise of pleasure stretching out for hours before them. He didn’t even try asking Sebastian what he had planned. He’d learned it didn’t matter: in the end, it was all fun.
Sebastian’s finger trailed lower, gaze dropping to the sleek, slim arch of Angel’s throat. “You’re already all mine, Angel.” He looked back up and smiled. “I do like the idea of an obedient slave boy, though. Does this mean I don’t get to cajole you, imp?”
Angel rolled his eyes with a laugh. “I know how much you like it, so if you’d rather a reluctant slave boy….”
They’d played that more than once, actually, and Sebastian grinned. “For a change, obedient might be nice. You’re on.” He leaned in and nipped Angel’s sulky lower lip. “Even though I do so adore seducing you into submission, beautiful.”
The sulk faded immediately and Sebastian smiled. Underneath all that bravado and confidence, their relationship—and especially submitting—was the one area where Angel felt unsure. Sebastian did his best to reassure him as much as humanly possible.
“I’m sure you’ll get plenty of opportunity for that as well. We do have a whole week ahead of us.” The holidays would fly by for once. Angel laid his head on Sebastian’s shoulder, watching the scenery as they climbed the mountain. The hotel drew another murmur of pleasure from him. “Beautiful.”
Sebastian laughed. “I do like to surround myself with beautiful things.” He slid out of the taxi and summoned a bellhop as Angel bounded out.
That was the truth. From Sebastian’s loft, to his studio and all the expensive equipment it held, his lover had only the best. Angel slanted a glance at him through his lashes and refrained from the pithy comment that came to his lips. He’d give Sebastian the best.
At least for now, until they both moved on their separate ways. He knew though, that he’d never forget this man and the things he’d taught him.
“You’re too quiet. That’s just not natural, Angel.”
“Just trying to keep you on your toes, gorgeous.” Angel laughed.
Sebastian placed a hand on Angel’s back, ushering him into the hotel lobby. He took a quick kiss from his smiling lips. “Wait here while I go check us in.” Angel nodded and Sebastian left him and the bellboy with their luggage. A few minutes later he had their room keys and returned, taking his lover’s hand. “Come with me.”
Angel followed just behind him, the young man scanning the lobby and hotel shop as they passed, a wide smile wreathing his face. “It’s so beautiful, Bastian.” Angel beamed at him and gave him a kiss on the cheek as they stepped into the elevator. “Have I thanked you yet for inviting me?”
Sebastian chuckled. “You have, but feel free to do so again.”
“Wait till we get to our room, gorgeous, and I will,” Angel murmured, his voice soft and seductive.
The presence of the bellboy in the elevator with them kept Angel from surrendering to his instincts and giving Sebastian a preview of what was to come. He did have some sense of decorum… sometimes.
Which immediately deserted him the moment they stepped into their room. Angel’s eyes widened on a gasp of delight and he pushed by the bellboy to check out each and every luxury the suite offered. He bounded into the bedroom and landed on the oversized four-poster bed, and then immediately hopped up, unable to stay still.
“Oh my God, Bastian will you look at these closets?” Angel was impressed that they would hold all of the clothes he had managed to bring. Perfect, he’d been worried about them being crammed into his suitcase for the week. They had also been provided with matching robes.
Sebastian leaned against the doorway with a chuckle. “Don’t ever change, Angel.”
Angel launched himself at his lover, wrapped his arms around Sebastian’s neck, and heat rushed through him as he kissed Sebastian. He pulled back slowly, capturing Sebastian’s lower lip as he did. “I don’t plan on it.”