Countdown: December 14
Adam Kane was the world’s premiere scientist, probably the most gifted one to come along in several generations. He had developed vaccines and treatments that had saved millions of lives, not to mention that he inspired and educated a number of other scientists that followed in his footsteps. Most importantly, although the general public didn’t know it, Adam stood between them and Genomex, preventing Eckhart and his ilk from making the world a very unpleasant place.
At the moment, though, Adam Kane was acting as a pack mule and enjoying every minute of it.
His lovers had descended on Adam in his lab, laughing and insisting that he join them in a Christmas shopping jaunt. Adam didn’t have a chance, although he didn’t resist all that much. He had no defense against the hope in Jesse’s eyes or the mischievous twinkle in Brennan’s.
They hit the mall with a vengeance, just an anonymous trio of men lost in the crowd. As anonymous as they could be, anyway, given how attractive the two younger men were. Adam couldn’t help but notice the way his lovers made heads turn. The blond and the brunette were a matched set, yin and yang, and complemented each other perfectly. Adam still didn’t know how he managed to end up, not just with one, but with both men. Frankly, he’d given up trying to figure it out and contented himself with simply being very, very grateful that things had worked out the way they had.
The leather store was their first stop. Although Jesse teased that Brennan was unable to go by one without going in, Adam observed that the youngest of their trio was just as mesmerized with the buttery feel of fine leather as Brennan was. In particular, Jesse seemed taken with a leather coat dyed a magnificent shade of dark blue. Brennan’s eyes met Adam’s and Adam made a quick jerk of his chin. Brennan grinned as he got the message and immediately drew Jesse over to the other side of the store, ostensibly looking at something intended as a gift for Emma. Adam had a quick, whispered talk with the sales clerk and by the time the younger men were done, the arrangements had been made. The jacket couldn’t be delivered to Sanctuary, of course, but would be sent to one of their safe houses and would find its way from there in plenty of time for Christmas.
The bookstore was the next stop. Oddly enough, Brennan was reluctant to enter and had to be pulled in by Jesse. It was most unusual considering Brennan’s fascination with books and poetry. It was only after observing closely that Adam figured it out. Brennan’s fingers would linger lovingly over a book and he would get a dreamy look on his face, only to straighten after a few moments and move away quickly. It was at times like those that Adam remembered that Brennan came from a background were books were far down on the priority list, there were too many other needs and not enough money. Adam’s lips thinned. He’d tried to tell Brennan, repeatedly, that money wasn’t an issue, but Brennan’s pride got in the way. Adam took to following him around the store, making special note of anything that really seemed to catch Brennan’s eye. He noticed Jesse doing the same thing and the two men shared a grin behind Brennan’s back as they realized they were both determined to indulge Brennan’s passion.
After that, they shopped in a flurry of stores, too many for Adam to keep up with. They got a sweater for Jesse’s mom and a bottle of perfume for Emma. A lot of time was spent in the toy store, where a whole bevy of toys were purchased, most of them intended either for charity or the safe houses. That had been the best stop yet, as Adam watched indulgently as his lovers tried out the various items, although both of them stopped short of playing with the dolls. If Adam had his way, the Rock’Em Sock’Em Robots would end up under their tree, a joint gift for Brennan and Jesse.
“Okay, I could use a pick me up,” Brennan said. “Let’s get something to drink.”
“That might be wise,” Adam said, trying not to sound too grateful. He was no slouch in the physical department, but keeping up with two athletic young men was no mean feat.
“I could go for some hot chocolate,” Jesse added.
Brennan smirked. “Hot chocolate? What are you, seven?”
“It’s the season,” Jesse responded primly. “And remember, you have to be nice. You don’t want to get on Santa’s naughty list.”
“Oh, I’m nice enough when I’m nice,” Brennan’s leer was lethal. “But when I’m naughty, I’m oh so much better.”
Adam closed his eyes, willing a certain part of his body to stay down. Grabbing Brennan and humping him in the middle of the coffee shop was a very bad idea and not just because of Santa's list. Adam was satisfied with how he was able to bring himself under control. Being a little older, after all, did have some advantages. That smugness lasted right up until the time Jesse sat down across from him and started sipping at his hot chocolate.
“Mmmmm. . . .” Jesse murmured, licking off the froth from his upper lip. His voice was deep with sensual satisfaction. “That is so gooood.”
Adam shifted in his chair. His own discomfort was leavened a little by the fact that Brennan was doing the same thing.
Jesse noticed their need and chuckled. “Still think hot chocolate is for kids?”
Brennan, wisely, didn’t say anything.
After a quick break, their shopping resumed and Adam was glad that he’d had some caffeine to fortify him. They looked at electronic stores and music stores, visited chocolate shops and gourmet shops. Finally, they ended up at some sort of lingerie boutique.
“You look tired, Adam, why don’t you wait on the bench,” Jesse suggested, all blue eyes and concern.
“Yeah, that way we don’t have to haul all the bags in with us.” Brennan added.
Adam knew when he was being played, but went along with it. “All right. I could use a few moments to call Emma and make sure everything’s all right.” The telepath was minding the store, so to speak. Adam had every confidence in her abilities, but thought it prudent to check in.
“Okay, we won’t be long,” Jesse said brightly as Brennan yanked him towards the store.
Trying not to smile at their obvious ploy, Adam did make the call, but his mind was only half on his conversation with Emma. The other half of his mind was on the shop’s display and he couldn’t help but notice that it featured items for men as well as women. A small, greedy part of Adam hoped that his lovers were buying something for him. That didn’t mean something for Adam himself to wear, though. He hoped that they bought skimpy outfits for them to wear, totally for his pleasure.
Jesse and Brennan came out a few minutes later, a sleek black bag accompanying them. Adam grinned and hoped his expression didn’t look too predatory.
“I must say, your boys certainly are attractive young men,” a voice said.
Startled, Adam turned around. A woman had sat on the other end of the bench, obviously resting herself the way Adam was.
“Excuse me?” He said, confused.
“I’ve noticed the three of you in a couple of shops today,” she explained, her bright red lipstick in contrast with her graying hair. “Your sons are quite the dashing pair. You must be very proud.”
Adam was wishing that Jesse could help him sink right through the floor. He was older than Brennan and Jesse; the age difference was something he was all too familiar with. The last thing Adam needed was to be reminded of it by some stranger at a shopping mall.
“Oh, he’s not our father,” Brennan’s voice had a false brightness to it and Adam groaned. He had a feeling he was going to feel a lot more embarrassed in a moment. “He’s our daddy.”
Brennan’s long fingers cupped Adam’s chin and lifted his face. Adam didn’t protest as the other man kissed him long and deeply.
“Come on, Bren, you promised you’d share,” Jesse’s voice had an unusual poutiness to it.
Before Adam could really register what was happening, Brennan had released his lips and Adam found himself with a lap full of mutant. Jesse draped his arms around Adam’s neck and kissed him soundly.
“It takes two of us to keep up with him,” Jesse turned to say to the woman.
Adam almost felt sorry for her. The woman got up with a “Well, I never” and flounced away in a huff.
“I just bet she never,” Brennan murmured. “Maybe if she did once in a while, she wouldn’t be such a stick in the mud.”
Jesse slid off Adam’s lap. “Come on, let’s go home.”
At first, Adam let himself be drawn away, but then he stopped. “Wait a minute.” He kissed Brennan fiercely and then Jesse more gently. “I hope you know I’m not embarrassed about our relationship.”
“Of course you’re not,” Brennan replied, smacking his lips in appreciation. “There’s nothing to be embarrassed about.”
“And you’re not old enough to be our father, either,” Jesse added. “Not unless you started at a really young age. The biddy just needs glasses is all.”
“So we should stay and keep shopping,” Adam stated firmly.
Jesse and Brennan exchanged a look and started laughing.
“I told you,” Jesse grinned as he held out his hand. “Pay up.”
Brennan gave an exaggerated sigh and dug out his wallet.
“What?” Adam asked, confused.
“I bet Brennan that we’d be ready to leave before you were,” Jesse crowed, obviously delighted to have gotten the better of the older mutant for a change.
“You were?” Adam questioned. “Ready to go home, that is?”
“Oh, yeah.” Brennan purred. “Shopping’s fine and everything, but going home and making sure we get on the naughty list is a whole lot more fun.”
And it was. In fact, the three of them were so naughty once they returned home that Santa would probably have to scratch them off his list permanently.
But that's another story.
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