Lan was acutely conscious of being scrutinized, though it was a discreet observation. Mason's sister, Maeve, bantered with Mason about his clothing, habitually black and incongruously stark in this setting. Lan knew that his own more plain and pale-colored clothing must set him in obvious contrast to Mason's bold, macho dress. The Pattersons were clearly a naturally cheerful and boisterous family, but they were toning it down for Lan's benefit. Mason's mother brought in a tray with tea things and balanced it on the piles of magazines, rather than moving them.
“So, Lan says you're looking at a job at the university. I hope you get it; we'd love to have our boy closer to home.” She looked to her husband, who smiled amicably in reply.
Lan looked up from his inspection of the speckled beige carpet. “I hope it works out that way, too, Mrs. Patterson.”
The children burst back into the house with some confused tale about something the rooster had done. As if it were a post-modern play whose plot he could not entirely discern, Lan watched the family behaving according to their long-accustomed habits. Discreet frowns from Mason stopped them from asking Lan too many questions, and Lan contributed little to the discussion, though he was cautiously polite and co-operative.
When it became dark, they watched the news, then turned off the television. Lan suddenly had trouble keeping his eyes open and actually almost nodded off. He brought his head up with a jerk.
“Mercy, you look worn out,” Mrs. Patterson exclaimed.
“We should turn in,” Mason said with well-disguised reluctance.
“You stay and talk to your folks, Mason,” Lan said, rising. “Just show me where I can put my head down.”
Mason led him upstairs. “The guest room,” he said of the small room under the eaves. “My old room downstairs is full of boxes and things now; you couldn't get in with a crow bar.” He pointed out the bathroom and folded down the blankets.
“Are you sure?” he queried, clearly keen to get back to the conversation about the family's latest breeding lines in Jersey cows.
“Go ahead,” Lan urged. “I'll be fine.”
Once Mason left, Lan put on his old boxers and turned off the light, lying back on the crisply washed linen. By some freak of construction, he could hear every word that was said downstairs, and the family seemed quite unaware of the fact.
“He's nice,” Mrs. Patterson said. “I know you don't need our approval --”
“But that doesn't mean I don't want it …” Mason broke in, a smile in his voice.
“The boy's a bit, well, shy,” Mr. Patterson said gruffly. “What're his folks like?” His tone clearly indicated he was expecting the worst.
“He came up in foster care,” Mason replied.
“Hmmm,” Mr. Patterson said, very much like his son. “Must've been hard.”
“He's a nice boy,” Maeve said.
“He's the same age as you sis, twenty-eight,” Mason said with amusement.
Lan could hear the surprise in the silence that followed; people always thought he was younger than that. With an exasperated sigh, Lan burrowed down under the covers and drifted to sleep.
He woke as Mason slipped in beside him, surprised that Mason's parents were okay with them sharing a bed. Something about the smell of the clean sheets and the warm familiar body relaxed some deep part of him.
“Move over, sleepyhead,” Mason whispered.
“Hmmm,” Lan said drowsily, “make me.”
Mason chuckled as he slipped under the heavy blankets and crawled to straddle Lan.
“Now, you are at my mercy.”
Lan smiled. Mason went to bed blithely naked even in his parents' house. He felt Mason's thighs on either side of his hips, and Mason's massive body crouched over him in the absolute darkness. He ran his hands along those corded thighs, feeling the definition of the muscles. The raw beauty of Mason's body always made his heart thump hard in his chest -- it was like riding a tiger, a feeling of exhilaration and mastery.
“Is that so?” he said as he reached his right hand forward to cup Mason's balls, massaging them gently with his palm.
Still on his back, he wriggled down the bed to take Mason's cock between his lips, using the flat of his tongue to massage its uncircumcised hood. Mason moaned and leaned forward gently, balanced between desire and caution. Lan urged him on, resting his forearms over Mason's thighs and grasping Mason's taut buttocks. Mason's cock slid slowly into Lan's mouth. Mason's whole body quivered as Lan moved his head slowly back and forth, taking in a little more each time. He worked his lips firmly, intent on driving Mason wild.
“Oh, God,” Mason muttered. He pulled back and slid down so they were face-to-face again. “Slow down,” he said, “or it'll all be over pretty quick.”
Lan strained upwards and Mason kissed him firmly, tongue probing. He could feel Mason's erection sliding against his thigh.
“You know, there're only two problems here,” Mason whispered.
“And those would be?” Lan replied with his best impersonation of polite but mild interest.
“Well, one is that we are both about to fall off the bottom of this bed … and the other is that you're still wearing those damn boxers.”
Mason grabbed Lan by the waist and scooted him back up the bed. The blanket slid off onto the floor, but neither of them paid it any heed. Mason grabbed the elastic waist of Lan's shorts and pulled them all the way off.
“Right,” Mason said with satisfaction. “Where were we?”
“How about here?” Lan reached out and pulled Mason forward. He reached up to grip the back of Mason's head, and spread his legs to clasp Mason's hips firmly.
“Oh, yes,” Lan said. “Right there.”
Mason's cock was slick and hard. Lan felt him reach down to guide it forward; then there was that familiar moment of tension. He felt Mason pressing, seeking. A small almost-pain, a balance, and then …
Lan moaned as Mason slid in, just the head of his penis. Mason stopped, poised motionless.
“Mason, if you don't nail me right now, I am going to kill you,” Lan said.