It turns out I couldn't stop writing The Losers fic, not with Óscar Jaenada and Chris Evans being so incendiary together, but of course I couldn't quite get my act together and just finish the damn story either. Anyway, I powered through the last of the draft last night and then the always-stellar musesfool did a sharp and incisive beta on it, and here we are. The title is once again from Prince, and the story picks up right where Let Me Show You, Baby, I'm a Talented Boy left off.
"You've Got the Butterflies All Tied Up"
So, it sounded like a lie, but it was the truth, swear to Diana of Themyscira, that Jake wasn't going commando by choice. It was the context that made it seem like a lie – the context being that Cougar was draped over his lap and was kissing him like he wanted their first kiss to be like that last kiss in The Princess Bride, the one that left all the other kisses in history in the dust. Cougar had always had a damn fine work ethic. Kudos to Cougar.
Jake had a dim memory of saying something that he hoped was clever – that he hoped had been coherent, frankly – before kissing Cougar again, gathering him close and letting himself tip backwards toward the bed.
Cougar caught him.
Cougar caught him, and kept him mostly upright, still kissing him, and Jake could feel himself panting into Cougar's wet mouth while his abs burned from holding the angle for so long. His head hung heavy in Cougar's hands when they finally broke apart, and Cougar flexed back to lay his lips along a suddenly sensitive tendon in Jake's neck.
Cougar's chest kept moving, rippling almost, and Jake finally realized that it was because his own gasps were shifting Cougar, who was plastered up against him like Saran Wrap. "Cougar," he said, pulling back enough to try to look him full in the face, which wasn't gonna work, dummy, not without his glasses. He could just make out the honeyed brown of Cougar's eyes, the soft shadows of his eyelashes clustered thickly around them.
"Yes," Cougar said, wedging a hand between them so that his palm lay on Jake's racing heart and streaking a kiss along the length of Jake's jaw, and then – holy mixed signals, Batman! – got off his lap.
Jake grabbed his glasses in time to see Cougar cross the room, grab his big-ass ballistic baby, and walk out the door, which meant it was just Jake on the bed with his dick hard as a rock and his balls positively straining and no underpants to keep things in check.
What the shit was that?
Goddammit, he might as well get his laundry done – that was the real reason his boys were going freestyle, all Michael Phelps – while he tried to piece together Cougar's new, evil plan.
What exactly did Cougar stand to gain from giving him an epic case of blue balls? He basically looked like Braveheart down there just from Cougar touching him with intent and then breezing out the door with his true love.
His heart still hammering double-time, he managed to get his hands working enough to put together his laundry bag, pull on socks and shoes, and head out the door. He could see a jeep going by and recognized Cougar in the passenger seat by the way he sat and pulled his hair back into a low knot before clapping his hat on his head. It probably was about that time for Cougar to requalify on his SR-25, but that didn't mean it was cool for him to just slip away without a word. Jake would have liked to wish him luck. Preferably with his dick.
Actually, no, that wouldn't have worked, because Jake was planning to take his sweet time with Cougar's sweet-assed self, and even incidental clockwatching – to get Cougar to his requalification test on time – was definitely not in the cards.
The rhythmic churning of the washers was slow and deliberate, and the cloudy scent of detergent was drenching the humid air, and Jake just sat there, thinking of Cougar's shirtsleeves rolled up so his brown forearms caught the sun. Those weren't just butterflies in his stomach at the thought of Cougar winding those arms around him with silent affection – they were full-on fire-breathing dragonflies, and they swooped and dive-bombed his gut as if Cougar were there, humming against his skin.
Jake was folding freshly laundered t-shirts in every color of the rainbow as best he could – Jules had worked at the Gap in high school but she hadn't been able to teach him their secret ninja folding skills in a way that ever stuck – when Cougar came back from his test, a glow of triumph lighting him up. Jake had long known that he had a competence kink; for his money, there was nothing sexier than watching someone do something with expertise, even more so when that someone was Cougs. Cougar could knock the iridescence off a fly's ass from across the length of a football field, perched on top of one of the goalposts on a windy day.
And then Cougs went to his knees to stow his case under his bed, the kneepads on his BDUs cradling his joints, and Jake's mouth watered. It wasn't that he wanted to be crass, and he wasn't exactly forgetting that every one of the Losers, including himself, had the same pants, but Cougar on his knees and ready to stay that way for hours was one of the oldest fantasies in his spank bank, a move that reliably turned him into liquid.
He wasn't gonna kid himself; Cougar definitely had moves he'd never even dreamed up, and probably had figured out how to do them with his hat still on. Still, that idle thought about kneepads had been making him happy for years, and he couldn't let go of it now unless Cougar wanted to show him just how far short fantasy fell of reality.
Jake shook out a particularly stubborn shirt – his thick yellow one that said "Perfectly Cromulent" in caps – and waited to see what Cougs would do next.
The answer was: walk over to him, click his teeth in disapproval, and start refolding the lumpy little pile of poorly folded shirts. Jake watched but couldn't see what Cougar was doing that was so different from what he did, so he gave up and tried to draw Cougs nearer with a finger in the belt loop closest to him. Cougs smiled and let his hips be tugged, but his boots stayed firmly planted, and Jake had no defenses against the fucking gorgeous laugh lines that carved into Cougar's face. He was so far gone, to be obsessing over wrinkles in a dude's face, and he ducked to get his face under the brim of Cougar's hat to draw his mouth down Cougar's cheek.
Cougar's thumb brushed against his hand and it was embarrassingly Pavlovian, how such a simple touch felt so arousing that it affected his respiration; blood rushed to his head and he couldn't quite make out the quiet word that Cougar breathed out.
He wanted the world to stop and give them time with each other. Failing that – Cougs could probably explain the physics that made it impossible, if only Jake understood Spanish – he wanted Clay not to be a door-slamming horse's ass who broke beautiful moments like that was his sole purpose on God's green earth.
Without a murmur or more than one searing look, Cougar slipped out of the room to head off whatever trouble Clay was carting around, and Jake hit upon a plan to get what he wanted, and hopefully what Cougs wanted too. He was gonna be awesome and woo the shit out of Cougar.
Okay, so it was a little vague, and the best way to be awesome would be to imitate Cougs, but he sensed that wouldn't do much for the man himself. Still, having a plan was probably half the battle right there.
Operation Woo was off to a rousing start.
"Jay," Pooch said, "you wanna set up a chat for me before you run off to do whatever squirrely things you're doin' today?"
"Not if you phrase it like that," Jake said sweetly, which got Cougar to laugh a little as he shifted his weight from one foot to the other in front of the stove. Cougar's bacon was always perfectly crispy and never charred, and Cougs claimed – silently, through very eloquent eye-rollings – that it was simply a matter of paying attention to the task at hand rather than allowing oneself to be distracted by random shiny things.
"O Master of All Things Electronic and/or Battery-Operated," Pooch said, maintaining a pretty admirable deadpan while Jake went off on the offered tangent and thought about battery-operated devices that Cougar might enjoy, "might I humbly beg the favor of a vidchat with my wife?"
"On?" Jake prompted while he considered whether Cougar would want to use said devices on him or hand the reins over to Jake. Either way was fine with him. Roque was coming back to the table with four mugs of coffee in his big hands, and, alerted by the smell of wonderful caffeine, Jake cleared a space for them on the table.
"On your favorite of all your laptops, the holy of holies," Pooch intoned, like he'd never gotten attached to a piece of machinery. Jake had built her with his own two hands, and Natasha'd never let him down.
"Fine, but she's sensitive. You have to treat her just right." He was gonna ignore the way Pooch hid a smile and nudged Roque, and he definitely wasn't trying to translate whatever Portuguese insult Roque articulated for Cougar's benefit; all he was paying attention to was Cougar's silence, shutting that shit down and not even laughing. The butterflies swirled insistently – that was his man sticking up for him.
Then again, maybe not, if the way Cougs's traitorous shoulders were shaking as he kept his face studiously tilted down toward the bacon was any indication. Jake got up to investigate and maybe incidentally score thirds of piggy goodness; Cougar played dirty, disarming him with dancing eyes and a little murmur of "cariño," like he knew that Jake had spent days Googling Spanish terms of endearment, had tested them all out with shower water drowning out his halting mumbles, and had picked that one as his favorite.
Jake wasn't sure if Cougs was up for outing the fact that they'd swapped spit, so instead of kissing Cougar senseless he tugged on one of the dark curls snaking its way toward Cougs's bronze shoulders. Cougar let out a quiet little gasp and tipped his head back, and Jake was next door to throwing in the towel and humping his leg when Pooch – was the man taking cock-blocking lessons from Clay? – piped up again.
"Yo, Jay, Jolene's got herself a new laptop, is that gonna be a problem?"
Jake sighed and dropped his mouth down to Cougar's bared shoulder, taking advantage of the fact that the whole team knew it would take an electrified fence to get him to acknowledge – let alone respect – Cougs's personal space, and all Pooch and Roque could see was that he was standing unnecessarily close to the frying meat.
"Nope," he said, turning back around and finding his plate loaded with three more strips of bacon; Cougs did love him. "Just got to set your chats with the new IP address." And also set the new IP address as the default for where all the stored vids of Pooch's chats would be sent if something happened to them all; Natasha had all sorts of triggers and would get the job done. "You wanna do it now?"
Pooch gestured at his nice, hot breakfast, but Roque said, "Do it now before Clay comes back and says we're hauling ass to East Bumfuck."
"Good point," Jake acknowledged. His own errand would get exponentially more difficult once he didn't have access to the pharmacy on base.
The sun was bright enough that it took his eyes more than a minute to adjust when he stepped back inside bearing his gifts, and the high-pitched squeal he heard caught him off-guard. "Uncle Jake!" he heard and he faced the direction it came from while his vision cleared. Cougs was lounging on his own bed, scrunching his toes and vidchatting with Junebug. The smell of a Sharpie was thick in the air, and when he got closer he could see that Cougs's left hand was decorated with ink.
Jake wished he could build a time machine just so he could go back and congratulate his past self on coding the vidchat app to save all of the videos, because he definitely wasn't gonna pretend ignorance was bliss when it came to knowing what Cougs and the Bug had to say to each other – he was going to buckle down and do some serious research. Spying. Whatever. All was fair in love and war, and Jake was gonna savor every bit of Cougs he could get his hands on.
Jake stepped closer, waving at Juniebelle and deciding it would be unbecoming to pout that she drew words out of Cougar more easily than he ever did. Junie was wide-eyed, concentrating on what Cougs was saying. Cougar just made his inked hand dance in front of the camera and said, "Gluglú."
"Nope!" she said triumphantly. "A turkey" – she held up a cutout of her own hand, drawn on to look absolutely nothing like a turkey, but points for effort – "says 'gobble gobble.'"
"My turkey says 'gluglú,' niña." Junebug was giggling and stuffing her face with cut-up bits of apple. "My turkey is stubborn like your uncle."
"Uncle Coo!" June protested, and at least someone was trying to defend the honor of the Jensens.
Stop the presses – Jake couldn't believe he hadn't thought of it before, but there was no time like the present for some highly necessary renaming. Operation Woo got kicked up a notch, and the only fitting name for its new glory was Operation Woo Coo.
"I know a turkey who's supposed to be asleep in her bed already," Jules said, walking into the camera's view. "And who should have finished her apple an hour ago. Hey, Jake."
"Hey, Jules. How much of that vile slander did you hear?"
"None at all," Jules said, dropping Cougar a seriously flirtatious wink. "The man speaks the truth." She scooped Junie up and accepted the last bite of apple, pressed against her lips with pudgy fingers. "Naptime, sweetheart."
"Oh, man, that sounds good," Jake said, imagining curling up with Cougar, fingers tangling in sun-warmed hair, drowsily kissing a mouth sweet with fruit.
"Then you take a nap too, Jake," Jules ordered. "Find something to snuggle and then go." So maybe subtlety was not a strong point for either of them. Jules blew them a kiss as she leaned in close to the laptop to end the session.
Cougar's turkeyfied hand found his shirt and tugged so Jake was hanging gracelessly over his shoulder, and Cougar's lips found the warm place where jaw turned into throat, nuzzling shamelessly. "You have me," Cougar said.
"Snuggling, sir," Jake responded, twisting to get his arms around Cougar properly. His hot-as-fuck superior officer was warm and comfortable and readily made space for him to be close. "I live to serve."
Cougs was out somewhere with Roque – those bastards really needed to quit speaking Portuguese with each other, especially when Roque, who was about as direct as one of his knives, kept eyeballing Jake – when Jake finally had a minute free to watch the vid of the chat. Junie had called, looking for him but seeming pretty damn pleased to end up with Cougs instead. Why wouldn't she be – Cougs had knocked himself out to make shadow puppets for all of the different animals while telling her what sounds they made in Spanish, then drawing on his hand to make that ridiculous turkey. Adorable as Juniebelle was, Jake had a hard time keeping his eyes from drifting over to the right side of the split screen, because Cougar looked elated to live up to the Uncle part of Junie's name for him.
He needed to ravish this man as soon as humanly possible.
He was on his third time through the vid – Cougar's face when he imitated a rooster's ki-kiri-ki, smiling as he crowed, was melting Jake's insides – when he heard Roque's voice. Hastily, he clicked the vid closed, pasted an innocent expression on his face, and went to check if Pooch had connected with Jolene, which he'd meant to do earlier. The list of vids showed that he had, and they'd chatted for a good forty minutes.
Jake scrolled through, frowning at some of the IP addresses logged as call recipients. He clicked on one of the items he didn't recognize and up came a chat between Cougar and his sister. She was chattering in Spanish at roughly a hundred miles an hour and the moment she paused for breath Cougs cut in, just as quick and emphatic. They looked like they were having the time of their lives and it was odd and heart-catching to see all of Cougar's expressions translated to a feminine face, rounder and less lined than his, his mannerisms made with delicate hands. Still, Cougs's sister could bellow like a drill sergeant, and Jake nearly upset the laptop from its perch on his knees when she proved it, shouting, "Javi! Rafa! Mari!"
The bedroom door clicked open and there was Cougar, a laugh in his voice as he called something over his shoulder. Jake froze, trying to remember how to look like he wasn't invading Cougar's privacy; dumbass that he was, he hadn't even hit mute, and so the kids' cheerful voices came through Natasha's speakers with crystal clarity.
Cougs's eyebrows went up and Jake felt his whole body get warm with shame. "Sorry! I just didn't know whose address kept showing up, and – and how did you even know how to connect –"
"Querido," Cougs interrupted him and the tension in the room abruptly dissipated with the single word. Kicking off his boots and toeing off his socks, Cougar asked, "Who was the program for?"
Jake dared a quick look up and Cougar's frown seemed to be entirely for the hair-tie he was tugging free that appeared to be catching on every knot in his hair. "Junebug," he said slowly, not really seeing where Cougs was going with this line of questioning.
One final snap of his wrist freed his hair and Cougar pursed his lips, considering. "And you think I cannot master something designed for a four-year-old?"
He only snorted from relief – he would swear to that on his deathbed – but it was enough to get Cougar to laugh at him, the sound mingling with the noise his niece and nephews were still making, all of them clamoring to talk to their uncle. Jake grinned at the sight of them – the boys, who looked like twins themselves, clambering over their mother who rolled her eyes, while the little girl held a pair of glasses in her hand and blinked owlishly up at the camera while her father braided her hair and she continued speaking at the top of her lungs.
Cougar stepped forward and closed Natasha gently. "You will meet them later. Come with me."
"If I want to live?"
"Better, cariño," Cougs said, tracing Jake's eyebrow with a tender thumb. Jake blindly set Natasha aside – he couldn't have looked away from Cougar if he'd tried – and rose, following him without a thought in his mind beyond a fervent appreciation for the way Cougar moved, for how he touched him, for the promise in his eyes. How was this even his life?
The house was unexpectedly quiet, no sign of any of the others, like a modern-day Roanoke. Jake might have started panicking if he hadn't had one of Cougar's fingertips caught between a couple of his own. It was Cougar's trigger finger, and that kept him calm. Ish. Jake highly doubted that anyone being towed behind an endearment-dropping Cougar was gonna be actually, all-the-way calm.
Uplifted by the view, it took Jake a second to drag his gaze from Cougs's ass and look around. "Wait, why did we stop?"
"We are here," Cougar said, guiding him to sit at the kitchen table before turning to go.
"What am I supposed to be doing?" Jake asked, his leg already starting to bounce uncontrollably. It felt like the butterflies had migrated; he should probably think about naming them, if they were gonna be sticking around.
"Letting me cook," Cougar responded shortly. He set his hat on top of the fridge, tied his hair up high, and washed his hands. Jake felt hypnotized, watching that little bun of curls shake with each swift movement as Cougar chopped and stirred and generally treated the kitchen like it was his personal playground.
"Cougar," he said, but got no answer. "Cougs Cougs Coouugs –" He definitely saw an eyeroll. Well, it wasn't like there was rope tying him to his chair or a barrier between them; if he wanted to watch Cougs cook all up and personal, he could.
"Hi," he said, smearing the word into Cougar's cheek. Cougar looked decidedly unimpressed. Jake remembered Cougs was holding a knife and backed up one tiny step. "Whatcha makin'?"
"Family history," Cougar said, almost musingly, like he was talking to himself instead of his real live audience, "says that Juan Martín sat quietly at the table while Cari cooked."
"Wait," Jake said, rocking back on his heels so he could peer at Cougs's face, tilted down toward the cutting board. "Is this a thing? A, uh, big deal? Like a family tradition?" How had he not noticed that there was a round, dented metal box full of spices in little bowls on the counter, Carlito written on the masking tape stuck to its side?
"Sí." Cougs didn't look up, just kept his knife flashing steadily through vegetables, and Jake abruptly got it. Cougar was all in, for him. Which on the one hand was only fair, because Jake was useless without him, but on the other, it was Cougar, who was the casual badass of Jake's dreams, who had brains for days, and who'd personally rocked the worlds of about half the people Jake even knew. It was Cougar, who'd made him and his sister and his Juniebug laugh.
Jake might have been hyperventilating, just a smidge.
The nape of Cougar's neck had a few clinging curls resting against it, and Jake could see a little hollow just above it. It was a view he'd never seen before, that vulnerable spot, and he knew Cougs, quiet and certain in all things, had bared it deliberately. Jake sucked in a defiant gulp of air and decided that if Cougs thought he was worth busting out the home-ground spices for, he damn well was.
He couldn't remember where he'd left off in planning Operation Woo Coo, but figured it didn't really matter because Cougs had flipped the script anyway. "So Juan Martín was a good boy. And what'd your dad do?" he asked, knowing he had it right when Cougs laughed.
"Danced mamá around the kitchen to the song he was writing for her."
If he was supposed to play to his strengths, that severely limited his options. His high-school guidance counselor had said, repeatedly, that he needed to be more well-rounded. "Well, I can code something for you" – man, he needed a gif of Cougar's dismissive eyeroll, because that shit would come in super handy for most of the requisition forms he had to fill out in order to snag subpar tech – "or I can sing if you want" – Cougs did not need to shudder, what a drama queen – "or I could just do this." He hopped up on the counter, next to the cutting board piled high with shining slices of onions and peppers. He caught Cougs around the waist with his calves and drew him close, bare feet locking together at the ankles just above Cougar's righteous ass. "Hi," he said again, kissing Cougar on the tip of his nose, those sleek eyelids, that smiling mouth.
Looking up at him with those honey eyes, Cougar said, "El beso es mejor que el baile." Maybe the butterflies in Jake's stomach were bilingual – stupid smartass butterflies – because they settled down when they heard that. "Hi," Cougar said, and kissed him back, kissing until Jake couldn't remember what else his mouth was even for.
"If I do not at least finish cooking," Cougs said between kisses – clever Cougar, who could still form words; his man was a total badass – "I will never hear the end of it."
"Mmmmf," Jake said, which Cougar evidently didn't appreciate for the cool piece of logic that it was, because he only got a few extra little kisses before Cougar was cooking again, humming a little in his throat.
So maybe he shouldn't have eaten his weight in all the eggy, potato-y, chorizo-y goodness Cougs had packed into his tortillas. But it was important that Cougs understood how very much Jake appreciated this meal if it was some kind of symbolic big deal, right, so Jake would deal with feeling like an overstuffed couch for the next several weeks.
"Just leave me here to die," he moaned, fluttering a hand between them. "Look, I'm even going out with a smile on my face."
Cougar didn't even bother putting up a token protest, just stayed leaning back and giving him the heavy-lidded eyes, sweet as a swallow of honey. Jake sat up abruptly, needing a breath. Cougar smiled then, a slow and satisfied smile, and Jake kind of forgot the mechanisms of respiration while the butterflies – who had apparently not gone under in the avalanche of food – started dancing in his stomach again.
"Really? Now?" he asked as Cougar was somehow suddenly in front of him, promising all sorts of delights with his mere presence. "Not when I'm all svelte, but now, when I'm like a talking butterball?"
Cougs frowned at him and dropped the hand he'd been reaching out toward him. Before Jake could protest that loss, Cougs had slid onto his lap.
His body was smarter than he was and remembered being in this position before; his arms shot up to curl around Cougar even before he found his voice to say, "Let's never stop meeting like this."
Cougs laughed at that, and Jake really couldn't have said which one of them kissed the other, only that it still felt like they'd been made for this, made to slot so neatly against one another.
He didn't mean to whine when Cougs got up and shuffled blindly backwards, but he did appreciate the way Cougar prioritized keeping their mouths together as they made their way to their bedroom because goddamn that was the most pressing concern on his list.
The would-be engineer in him even liked the efficiency with which Cougar stopped hypnotizing him with his mouth, pushed their twin beds together, and then started again, maneuvering him so that he sprawled sideways over the doubled surface and wouldn't be in danger of splitting the beds back apart with his weight; that engineer was horny as all hell and relished even more the catenary curve of Cougar's back as he slunk low and feral on his hands and knees toward him.
There was a wildness to Cougar, and Jake, transfixed, reached out a clumsy hand to touch; Cougs softened immediately, dropping his weight on top of him so that they were touching along the lean length of Cougar's body, so close that it didn't matter how much Jake's hand was shaking. Jake breathed him in, that warmth in his hair like he'd just come out of the sun, the spices that clung still to his skin, and was ravenous.
"Cariño," Cougs murmured, hips starting to twitch restively and Jake caught the buzz, wanted to get to the part where Cougar made him his. The look on Cougar's face, though, when Jake pushed him upright made him think that the nestling might have been for Cougs's benefit too. So he pulled Cougs back down, straining zipper be damned, and pushed his fingers into the mess of Cougar's hair and made a thick cloud of it.
Cougar shivered at that, and since his mouth was pressed to Jake's neck, that meant Jake got a nice case of the shakes himself, and they were still fully dressed.
"Can I?" Jake asked, hand at the hem of Cougs's plain black tee, and Cougar slithered out of it like magic. His skin was warm, shifting beneath Jake's hands, and just a little damp; Jake wanted to lick him from top to toe. His eyes caught on Cougar's hand, the veins branched like lightning in a summer storm, and he choked from how much he needed that hand on him. He rolled, then, before he could see if Cougs would be kind or merciless, getting himself on top and pulling off his glasses, shirt, jeans, and underwear. Cougar's jeans felt like seven kinds of hell against his dick, but he couldn't help being reverent when he opened the zipper, tooth by tooth, and peeled Cougs out of jeans and boxer-briefs like they were a second skin.
Cougs looked like there was an inferno raging in his head – even with his fuzzy vision Jake could see Cougar's eyes were blazing – and he'd never been a motormouth around Jake, but there was something different, breathless, about his silence when they were finally naked together. Strong hands pulled him down, and Jake went, his mouth finding Cougar's, softer than ever, soft like it was melting beneath his own.
Jake tore himself away long enough to lick his palm and Cougs undulated beneath him when he reached down, snagged two dicks for the price of one, and stroked them against each other. Cougar dragged his head down the pillow so he was lolling on his crown and his chin was pointing up at the ceiling, all the whipcord muscle of his body taut and seeking release, and Jake was too dazzled by the sight of him, the sound of the soft breaths shaking out of him, to keep up the handjob with any hope of coordination.
But Cougs was all about the teamwork, and he picked up the baton when Jake was faltering, rolling them again so that they were on their sides and his lips were pressed to Jake's back. That touch lit up Jake's skin and that was before he felt Cougar's fingers pressing slick and certain inside him, making room for the thick hardness of his cock. There had never been anything that felt as good as Cougar inside him, the relentless roll of weight and pressure balanced by the gorgeous hand sliding silkily around his dick. There couldn't be anything better than that, and then Cougar pressed words into his skin, the rumble of his voice vibrating through him, and Jake howled into the bed and came like a fire hydrant.
He might have passed out, just a little, because Cougar was drawing that thick length out of him and saying, "Cariño?"
Jake flopped over, feeling boneless and lazy, to smile up into Cougar's eyes. He couldn't quite pull off the move he'd been envisioning – it wasn't like he'd ever had much dignity around Cougs – and had to use his hands to haul his leg up to crook it around Cougar's shoulder. "What aren't you good at?" He wiggled greedily, waiting for Cougs to push back inside him.
Cougar ran a hand up his sternum, against the grain of his chest hair – who knew that would feel so damn delicious – and his eyes stayed sweet even as his smile turned predatory. "Te amo," he said.
"Te amo, Carlito," was all Jake had time to say before Cougs folded him in half and got back to earning his gold stars. All of them. Every gold star in the world.
Pooch eyed Cougar's toes while Clay and Roque carried on one of their interminable debates – it sounded like Pam Grier versus Raquel Welch this time. "Cougs," Pooch said doubtfully, "you aren't actually gonna let him paint your toenails, are you?"
Cougar looked up from his book to give Pooch and then Jake a surprised look – one that Jake could see was entirely feigned, because Cougs was the devil and wanted to watch everybody around him squirm. Pooch shook his head, gave Jake a disappointed look, and went off to throw his weight behind Pam Grier even if Roque didn't need the help.
"You're just lucky I love you despite all the shit you pull," Jake said in an undertone to Cougar.
"Lo se," Cougs acknowledged, giving his toes a little wiggle like the toe-spreaders – which, yes, were glittery and purple, but still better than the alternatives, which had been black and boring – were already alleviating some of his foot pain. His eyes stayed on his book but his chin tipped up, and Jake could recognize a signal when he saw one.
He leaned in, pushed the paperback into Cougs's solid chest, and gave him a kiss. Around them, he could hear the argument switch from pinups to PDAs, and he grinned against Cougar's mouth. Cougar caught his lower lip between his teeth and tugged a little, and just like that, the butterflies started up again.
As always, I'd love to hear what you think.
This same entry also appears on Dreamwidth, at http://innie-darling.dreamwidth.org/453135.html.