Tuesday Tickle: Love Underground

Oh, man, I suck at picking titles. Honestly, could I not have come up with something better than that? Apparently not, because that one’s been hanging around for about a year.

Sigh.

On the other hand, the story isn’t bad. It’s kind of cute. Poor Henry. He does love his boyfriend. But he has–issues.

This is also an example of me writing in first person, something I very rarely do, because I don’t think I do as good a job with it as I do with third. And, it’s the first thing I’ve ever actually sold, if you want to call it that. Technically, it’s a donation, to the fundraising anthology the Erotica writers who hang out at the Absolute Write forum put together. AW is a huge site and must cost a ton to keep going. This is our way of giving back.

It’s currently scheduled for release on December 1st. Don’t worry, I’ll be jumping up and down and waving flags and setting off sirens when the day happens.

“Watch your head, Henry!”

“Why—ow!” I rubbed my head underneath the bright yellow hard hat that Jaime had made me put on. Who takes a bookworm spelunking on their birthday? Apparently, my boyfriend. I glared at him.

“Come on, relax. You’ll love it, once we get there.” Jaime grinned at me, that charming ‘let’s go get into trouble’ grin that had first seduced me away from my desk, then bit-by-bit had carved its way into my heart.

I sighed and followed him further into the cave. The light from our headlamps splashed about us, giving us glimpses of the damp gray rock curving overhead. The ceiling was getting lower and lower.

“Uh, Jaime….”

He turned and I was blown away again by how much I wanted him. Almost three years, now, and it had never changed. It was just like that first day, when he had walked into the Admissions Office of the small community college where I worked, and it was all I could do not to lunge across my desk and tackle him to the floor. I still got that feeling, sometimes, when he walked in the door of our house, whistling cheerfully. Some days, he didn’t make it much further than the entryway.

“C’mon, Henry, it doesn’t get much lower. You’ll be fine.”

Yeah, right. I’m claustrophobic—not terribly so, but enough that I was very aware of the tons of rock hanging over my head, just waiting for the perfect time to fall down and bury me. Jaime doesn’t notice things like that. He’s your typical outdoorsman, with hair sun-bleached from hiking and weekend home improvement projects and eyes just a bit too dark to be hazel. His body was lean and muscled from wrestling car engines and other heavy automotive parts into places they didn’t want to go. Me, I’m your typical nerd. No glasses–thank God–since the surgery, but my hair is a brown that is just brown and my eyes are a blue that is just blue. I’m not as tall as Jaime, or as muscled. He likes hiking and exploring; my idea of a well-spent afternoon is my comfy chair on the porch with a good book.

I hadn’t expected it to last long at all, when we first started dating. Funny thing, though–our differences are less different than our similarities. We’re both early birds who like leisurely breakfasts. He likes to do laundry, especially if he can put it out on a clothesline. Me, I hate laundry—damn stuff never ends. But, dishes—I can get into doing dishes. We both like a tidy house. And, since I bought him those headphones, I can read in peace with my head in his lap while he saves the known world from the digital enemies of the future.

We get along. So, for him, because he was so excited about this little excursion, I was tempting fate and Mother Nature by invading the grand old dame’s insides. She is so going to get me—I might as well paint a target on my back right now and get it over with.

“You know I’m only doing this because you asked me, right?” I reached forward to take the hand he held out to me. The feel of his calluses against my own less work worn hands made me catch my breath a moment. Suddenly, I was willing to do just about anything to have this whole thing over, so we could go home and I could feel those calluses slide over other portions of my anatomy. God, how I loved his hands.

“You’re doing great! It’s not far now.” He helped me across the slick stones, holding me up when my feet slipped in the damp and wrapping an arm around my waist. Once, my feet went out completely from underneath me and I fell. My hero, Jaime caught me just in time to keep me from becoming a–not so–virgin sacrifice to the gods of the earth.

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