Part Eighteen: Looking Forward
Notes: This is the next part of a spin-off story of a series I posted on Literotica (titled Bonded, as Carizabeth) and the subject matter is m/m sci fi. This particular chapter is rated R for Raunchy. Don’t read if you dislike the subject matter and so on and so forth. Do read if you like sexy science fiction with handsome men or, y’know, if someone’s holding a gun to your head. I totally support your act of self-preservation.
“So, what’s on the menu?” Garrett asked curiously as they headed for Jonah’s apartment.
“What’s always on the menu on special nights,” Jonah said with a smile. “Mac and cheese.”
“Daddy makes the best,” Cody promised Garrett as he swung between them, using their arms like ropes. “It’s sooo good. Even better than Gran’s.”
“Who’s Gran?” Garrett asked before the grimace on Jonah’s face tipped him off that it was a bad subject to pursue.
“My Gran,” Cody said simply, looking at Garrett like he was supposed to know what that was. “Daddy’s mom.”
“Oh.” Short for Grandmother, naturally. Garrett had thought it was just a name. He’d certainly never been encouraged to call his grandmother anything other than Grandmother Caractacus, which when he was a child had been an enormous mouthful. “And this stuff is your favorite?” he asked, trying to ease past the uncomfortable moment.
“Yes,” Cody affirmed, and went on to describe how melty and cheesy and wonderful it was. Garrett kept his head down, listened politely and occasionally checked to see if Jonah still looked like he’d swallowed something distasteful. His expression got lighter the further they went, and by the time they had reached Jonah and Cody’s apartment he looked pretty much normal again.
Jonah and Cody’s apartment was larger than Garrett’s, with a second bedroom and bathroom and an actual space to sit down to eat that wasn’t countertop or living room. It was still a drab mélange of tan and beige and blue, but it was brightened in spots by color drawings, almost certainly all done by Cody. Mostly they featured Space Rangers.
Cody ran off to grab some of his toys while Jonah got busy in the kitchen. “So domestic,” Garrett teased him from across the counter, enjoying watching Jonah move in the small space.
“When needs must,” Jonah replied. “Usually we order somethin’ up from the mess, but I like to keep my hand in. Never know when you’ll be stuck cooking for yourself.” He glanced over at Garrett. “Do you cook?”
“Only if cooking means cutting things into bite-sized pieces,” he shrugged. “Honestly, it’s not a skill I’ve ever taken the time to master. I’ve generally always had access to a staffed kitchen, and as seduction techniques go I think cooking looks far better on you than it does on me.”
Jonah blushed slightly, barely enough for Garrett to notice, but then he was watching the man like a hawk. “Staffed kitchens, huh? I figured you were well off when I first saw your ship. That’s a nice cruiser for one person to have.”
“I liked it when I saw it. If you’re going to spend weeks on end in space you might as well be comfortable.”
“I hear that. I’ve never really gotten used to how small most ships feel to me. The Neptune’s the first one I’ve been on since I stopped drifting that doesn’t make me a little claustrophobic.” Jonah got out a casserole dish and started putting things together.
“How many family groups were there in your ship?”
Jonah hesitated, then gave a slight shrug, as if convincing himself that it didn’t really mean anything to talk about it. “Five, including ours. We were more n’a hundred all told. The central ship was my family’s, though.”
“How long did you stay with them?”
“Practically all my life.”
Garrett thought over everything he knew about Jonah and his son for a moment. Jonah wasn’t the type to run from something he thought was a good situation, and he certainly wouldn’t have taken Cody away from a supportive extended family if there hadn’t been extenuating circumstances. There was the health factor to take in, but Garrett really couldn’t see a place like Pandora being gentler on Cody’s immune system. Something or someone had forced Jonah to give up the life he’d always known in exchange for this. Judging by the tense set of Jonah’s shoulders, however, now wasn’t the time to push.
Garrett was saved from finding a graceful segue into a new topic by the reappearance of Cody, who had an arm full of Space Rangers and their accessories. He dropped them all in the middle of the living room rug and sat down. “You wanna play?” he asked Garrett.
“Sure,” Garrett said, leaving the counter and settling onto the floor.
“Okay. Here.” He handed Garrett a doll shaped like the red Space Ranger. “You can be Nala. She’s cool, see, she comes with Kiko.” He pointed at the monkey clinging to the doll’s shoulder. “And I’ll be Marco. We can make them fight if you want.”
“I thought Marco and Nala liked each other,” Garrett said.
“They don’t have to,” Cody assured him. “And they have the best super moves.”
“The best what?”
Cody rolled his eyes. “Super moves. I’ll show you.” He turned the green Space Ranger onto his face on the floor and opened a panel in his back. “Right now they’re set to be soft, but when you turn the batteries on you can change it and make them hard. Then they move and talk and you can make them do their tricks.” The doll’s floppy legs stiffened, and when Cody put him back on his feet he brought his heels together and saluted with his laser pistol.
“Ready for action, sir!”
“Do the lightning kick!” Cody told the doll, which immediately leapt into a front flip and came down hard on one leg, driving its little heel into the carpet. “That’s my favorite,” Cody said gleefully.
“What can Nala do?”
Cody took Garrett through the list of Nala’s flashy fighting moves. After twenty minutes of training they had a battle royale, with Cody shouting for lightning kicks and Garrett countering with monkey torpedoes. They both sat well away from the action. It would be incredibly embarrassing to be knocked out by a toy, no matter how badass it was.
Dinner was ready pretty fast, and after convincing a reluctant Cody that the toys weren’t going anywhere, they all sat down to eat. There was Jonah’s lauded mac and cheese, a helping of almond greens that Garrett knew came from the mess, and mineral water for the adults. Cody had milk.
The food was heavier than what he usually ate, but Garrett had to confess that Jonah’s signature dish was actually very good. “What else can you make?”
“I do a mean omelet.”
“And pancakes too,” Cody said. “You should stay until tomorrow so you can have breakfast.”
Garrett stayed silent and raised one eyebrow in Jonah’s direction.
“Not this time, bucko. We’ve got an early morning.”
“Next time?” Cody begged.
“We’ll see,” was all Jonah would say.
Garrett hated those words. Prevarication was all well and good when it was a part of the seduction, but there was no need for it here. Jonah knew Garrett was interested, he knew that he wanted it himself, and he knew that his son had no problem with seeing the two of them together. Jonah was either being deliberately cruel to himself or to Garrett, and Garrett had the feeling that good, honest, self-loathing masochism was much more Jonah’s style.
They finished dinner in near silence, with Cody yawning by the end of it. After Cody said goodnight to Garrett, Jonah took him to get ready for bed, leaving their guest to put the dishes into the autoclave. Garrett listened to it whirr for a moment, strategizing in his head. When Jonah reappeared, a slightly sheepish expression on his face, Garrett was ready for him.
“I know I’m not staying the night,” he said bluntly, taking Jonah by the hand and leading him around the island that separated the kitchen from the rest of the room. Standing behind that, only their torsos and heads were visible from the hallway leading to the bedrooms. “I know you can’t leave. I know we’re not going to do anything in your room, but I’ll be damned if I go another night without having something of you.” Garrett pressed Jonah’s back against his refrigerator and leaned in, nipping delicately along his jaw. Throat muscles worked silently beneath his lips, and Garrett smiled to himself.
“Tell me to stop and I will,” he said in a whisper. “I’ll go home and I’ll strip off my clothes and I’ll lie back on my bed and touch myself. I’ll stroke my cock and think about you, and wish that your body was on top of mine, and your mouth was swallowing my moans, and your hands were touching me and stretching me and getting me so hard and so ready for you that when you finally fucked me I came without even touching myself.”
“Garrett,” Jonah murmured against his temple, linking his hands behind Garrett’s back and pulling him close enough to put delicious pressure against both of their groins. Garrett smirked and ground in a little bit, eliciting a wordless gasp from the other man.
“That’s what will happen if you tell me to stop,” Garrett told Jonah. “But I’d rather get off right now, however I can, with you. You can have my mouth…” He trailed his lips teasingly down Jonah’s neck and across to his shoulder. “Or my hand.” He stroked Jonah through the fabric of his pants. “Or my ass.” He pulled back and looked into his dazed lover’s eyes. “Although honestly I’d rather wait for a bed or a couch where we can actually get comfortable before doing that one.”
“Gimme your hand,” Jonah muttered after a moment, his voice low and guttural and needy. “And I’ll give you mine.” He fumbled through the fastening to Garrett’s pants and pulled him out, and when that hot, hard hand closed around his length, Garrett had to bite his teeth to keep from groaning.
“You like me takin’ care of you, darlin’?” Jonah asked, taking his turn to tease. “Like my hand on you, touching you like this?”
“Yes,” Garrett whispered. God, it felt so good, so much better than with Steven. That had been all technique with no real emotion. This was very basic technique, but for some reason it charged every nerve in Garrett’s body, made him feel so much so strongly, and so fast. He was dripping wet with precome, and so absorbed by Jonah’s touch that it took two tries to free his lover’s own cock. “Fuck, how do you do this to me? No one does this to me.”
“No one wants you like me,” Jonah told him, and it rang like a confession in Garrett’s ears. “God, I want you. Moment I saw you I wanted you so much, it hurt. There, just like that…fuck, Garrett.” They leaned into each other hard, leaving just enough space for their hands to work as they devoured each other’s mouths. Garrett felt every shiver that worked its way down his lover’s frame, felt them intensify, and he drank in the gasping sigh of completion that Jonah breathed as he came, hard and long, into Garrett’s hand. Garrett came a moment later, and he melted against Jonah’s body and trembled with stifled satisfaction, unable to let loose the cries that hammered at his throat.
They stood in silence for a few minutes, trading slow, gentle kisses before Jonah reached over and grabbed a dishtowel. He tenderly wiped up the come patterning Garrett’s hand and clothes before perfunctorily cleaning himself off. “‘m just goin’ straight to the shower anyway,” he said, his accent thicker than ever.
“I wish I could join you.”
“Me too,” Jonah said, and Garrett could see that he meant it.
“We’ll get there,” Garrett told him seriously.
“I hope we do.” Jonah leaned in and kissed Garrett one more time, then lifted himself off the wall. “I’ll call you tomorrow once I get my new work schedule. Everything’s changin’ now that we’re dirt side.”
“For me too,” Garrett sighed, “but honestly my schedule can only get better.”
“You do look a little worse for wear.”
Garrett punched Jonah lightly on the arm. “Wrong response.”
“But still incredibly sexy and so gorgeous it hurts.”
“Better.” Garrett refastened his clothes and walked over to the door. “Tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow,” Jonah promised. “Sleep well, darlin’.”
“I’ll do my best.” Garrett left the Helms’ apartment, shutting the door behind him. He shivered for a second, adjusting to the chill of the hallway as compared to the warmth he’d just left behind. “Damn it.”
“Journal Record Eighteen, beginning.”
“I hate indecisiveness. I hate gray zones, I hate wishy-washy, here today and gone tomorrow type bullshit from people. I’m a scientist, I like data and facts and hypotheses that can be tested. I’ve never put up with uncertainty for long in my personal life. If someone wants me and I want them, it’s done. If they want me and I don’t want them, also done. I don’t pine for people I can’t have, and when it’s over it’s over. If I’ve screwed up, I have to live with that.
“Jonah is becoming the kind of personal gray zone I’ve tried to avoid my whole life. I don’t need to work this fucking hard to be with someone. Usually all I have to do is ask and someone’s willing to fuck around with me; look at Steven. I don’t have to play these games if I don’t want to, so what makes Jonah-fucking-Helms so special that I’m willing to do it? Is it his kid? I don’t really think so, it’s not like I’ve ever wanted to be a father, so I’m probably not yearning for that role subconsciously. Is it just that he’s Jonah? Is it the two of them put together? I don’t fucking know, but now I’m trading furtive hand jobs and playing phone tag, and I fucking like it. I look forward to it.
“Then again…what else do I have to look forward to?”