Written for the 2013 Dreamspinner Press Sexy Six Anniversary Celebration. Featuring the men of my short story BRUSH WITH DESIRE. 1083 words and available at the Dreampinner Press Blog.
Breakfast in Bed
© Chrissy Munder
Brian screwed the lid down on the thermal carafe and placed it onto the tray next to the coffee cups before he scrutinized his presentation. Not bad. Fresh sliced mango, cheddar slices, and a hunk of that to die for coffeecake Dale had brought home from the new bakery near his work. Yum! Brian fussed at the arrangement; adjusting the silverware on the napkin until everything lined up just so, and flattening a crease out of the ribbon tied around the small bud vase. Practically perfect, if he did say so himself. All he needed was …
“Ouch! Dammit, Dwayne!” Brian’s dark hair, still crimped after being released from his braid and shorter now than he was used to, swung about his shoulders as he twisted. He reached down to remove the claws firmly embedded in the ass of his plaid sleep pants. “Let go.”
Green eyes glowered at him in disagreement as the large tabby lowered onto the kitchen floor. Brian rubbed at his sore butt cheek and glared right back. “Daddy already gave you your nibby, this is Dale’s anniversary surprise.”
Brian surveyed the fruits of his morning labor as the cat stalked away in obvious disgust. He wanted today to be special, and while breakfast in bed might seem a bit cliché, sometimes you just had to go with the classics. Now, where was he before Dwayne so rudely interrupted? Unable to recapture his runaway thoughts, Brian shrugged. He picked up the tray and grunted as he centered the weight. Thank goodness for the time he spent waiting tables, some things you never forget.
He kicked the dismembered remnants of a fake mouse out of the way and headed for the stairs. The sweeping rise of oak had become Dwayne’s favorite haunt since they moved in with Dale. The feline spent hours perfecting his Death-From-Above leap onto his unsuspecting prey, and Brian had learned to stay alert. Unsurprised to find Dwayne crouched halfway up; Brian shot the cat a quick glance as he passed. “Don’t even think about trying to trip me.”
Busted, Dwayne lashed his tail and thundered past him to the landing. Brian trailed behind, watching his step and arriving at the top in time to see the furry menace disappear into the bedroom. He grinned at the grunt that soon followed. The exclamation a sure sign Dwayne had leapt onto the bed, and thus Dale. Honestly, there was nothing like having an eighteen-pound cat sit on you to wake you. But better your chest than your nuts. Brian winced in remembered pain and for the sake of his morning plans, hoped that Dwayne missed that part of Dale’s anatomy.
Apparently the tabby had a smidge of consideration. When Brian entered the room Dale was sitting up against the headboard, a purring Dwayne spilled over his lap. “He loves you more than me now.” Brian remarked as he set the tray on the nightstand and leaned over to give his husband a good morning kiss.
This close Brian could smell the appealing fragrance of home; a combination of Dale’s cologne, sunshine, and clean laundry. Okay, maybe it was Dale and Dwayne’s natural aromas mingled together, but either way the blend was one of his favorite things. Next to mornings in bed with Dale, and kissing, of course.
Oooh, that’s right, kissing, Brian snapped back to the moment. The brush of lips started innocent enough, but the quick nip of Dale’s teeth into his bottom lip, a gentle chastisement at Brian’s distraction sent a zing straight to Brian’s toes. God, he loved this man. Instead of getting upset when something shiny hijacked Brian’s thoughts, Dale looked for a way to recapture his attention.
“Dwayne appreciates my recognition of his superior nature.” Dale settled back against the headboard and the soft cotton sheet slipped past his waist, exposing his lightly furred chest. Both he and Dwayne regarded Brian with the same smug expression. “Don’t you, Dwayne?”
Brian shivered as Dale smoothed his hand down the tabby’s back. Those hands had been one of the first things he had noticed about Dale; the elegant grace of his fingers, the firm palm, and the surprisingly delicate wrists leading up to his solid forearms. You’d think he might be used to how good-looking his husband was by now.
“So what’s all this?” Dale gestured to the tray.
“A little Happy Anniversary breakfast.” Excitement had Brian almost bouncing on his bare toes.
“But our wedding was in October.” Forsaking Dwayne, Dale scratched his stomach; his forehead creased in thought.
“You don’t remember?” Brian’s shoulders slumped as his enthusiasm deflated.
What do you think?” Dale ran his finger along the sagging waist of Brian’s sleep pants. Blue eyes drooped with sensuous intent as he reached for Brian’s hand.
Little prickles of sensation skittered across Brian’s belly in the wake of the caress, and his heart rate increased as Dale’s fingers tightened on his wrist. “You are so bad,” he breathed.
“Hmmm,” Dale mused as he brushed his lips against Brian’s palm. “Give me a chance. I can be better.”
Brian leaned closer with liquid grace, instinctively drawn by the subtle command in Dale’s grip. “Really?”
“Look under the pillow,” Dale whispered into Brian’s ear, his gentle exhalations teasing the sensitive flesh.
Ignoring Dwayne’s disgruntled meow; Brian clambered onto the bed and reached for his present. The familiar grain of real wood slid into his hand. The cool polished surface accented by the white silk bow tied onto the handle. “You did remember.” Tears prickled at the corners of Brian’s eyes, and he smiled mistily at the very same hairbrush from their first encounter.
“As if I would forget.”
Dwayne yawned his agreement with Dale. His fangs flashed for an instant before he rolled over onto his side and off of Dale’s lap. Brian happily scooted into the space. He presented his back to Dale and folded his legs into a cross-legged position.
Dale combed his fingers through the soft waves of Brian’s hair, and Brian sighed. Little bolts of lightening danced over his spine as Dale let the tension pull at Brian’s scalp. “I’m still not used to this new length.”
“It’s more practical for work.” Brian licked his lips, expectation curling low in his belly. “And easier to care for.”
“I suppose.” Dale smoothed the strands together, twisting them into a single rope he wrapped around his fist as he inched closer. “You left it just long enough. Lucky me.”
Brian inhaled; a deep sucking breath of air as Dale pressed up against his back. “Lucky me,” he repeated, enjoying as always Dale’s easy slide into loving control. Sometimes he didn’t know what he had done to deserve his life.
“I love you,” Dale murmured into his neck. “Now, pass me the hairbrush. I’m in the mood for some reminiscing.”
“But what about breakfast?” Brian’s voice quivered, unable to hide his excitement even as he teased Dale.
“Just give me the brush, Brian, and I promise to make it hurt.”
Seriously, Brian thought as he scrambled to hand Dale the hairbrush. Best anniversary, EVER.
* * *
Congratulations to Dreamspinner Press for six wonderfully sexy years! I’m very pleased to join the celebration with this brief look into the lives of Brian, Dale, and Dwayne. Three of my favorite characters from my short story, BRUSH WITH DESIRE.