Christmas Countdown: December 6
“We’re going to die.”
Seeley Booth grinned. He’d expected that kind of reaction from his lover and Zach Addy hadn’t disappointed. Not that the prediction had been that much of a stretch; a man not willing to drive a car because of safety issues would hardly be thrilled with the notion of sledding.
“We’re not gonna die, Zach,” Booth encouraged the younger man. He put a hand on Zach’s back and gently guided him up the slope. “It’s just a bunny hill, see?”
“Why is it called that, anyway?” Zach complained. “Oryctolagus cuniculus don’t sled. Or ski, either.” He stopped, a thoughtful expression on his face. “Although, with their lower center of gravity, they might prove quite adept at it.”
“No,” Booth said firmly, grabbing Zach’s elbow and propelling him along. “You are not doing any bunny experiments, not with sledding, skiing, figure skating or even curling. Not with any kind of winter sport.”
“But. . . .”
“No,” Booth repeated. He’d finally gotten over being intimidated by Zach’s intelligence, at least enough to put the breaks on some of Zach’s wilder ideas for experiments.
Besides, they’d reached the top of the hill. Zach was no doubt trying to delay the inevitable trip back down. Booth yanked the sled from where it had been dragging along behind them. It was a classic-style toboggan, easily big enough for two grown men.
“You know, when my family invited us to spend Christmas in Michigan,” Zach pointed out petulantly, “they probably didn’t intend for you to try to kill me.”
The DC area didn’t get a lot of snow, so when the Addys had invited Zach and Booth to Michigan for the holiday, Seeley had been excited. His son’s mother had taken some convincing, but eventually she had agreed to allow Parker to go along. Booth didn’t know what he enjoyed more, watching Parker build his first snowman and snow fort or observing Zach with his family.
The Addys weren’t so much a family as they were an army. There were a blue million of them and each one of them was as loud and boisterous as Zach was quiet. Parker loved it, but Booth found the atmosphere took some getting used to. With Parker safely in bed and a multitude of babysitters available to watch him, Booth had cajoled Zach into taking a nighttime sledding excursion with him. Just the two of them.
“We’re not gonna die, Zach,” Booth repeated patiently. He sat down in the back of the toboggan and patted the space in front of him. “We’re going to slide down the hill, nice and easy. It’ll be fun, trust me.”
“Do you even know how many factors are involved?” Zach complained even as he climbed aboard. “There’s the topography of the hill, the density and depth of the snowpack, not to mention weather conditions.” He looked down with trepidation at the toboggan. “And I’m not entirely certain of the structural integrity of this wooden assembly.”
Booth wrapped an arm around Zach’s waist. “You forgot a factor.”
“I did?” Zach squirmed in his seat to look back at Seeley, forehead creased in confusion.
“Yup, you forgot to factor in that you’re with me,” Booth told him smugly. “I’m not going to let anything happen to you.”
Zach smiled shyly. “I know. You always take care of me.”
Booth kissed him soundly. “And don’t you forget it. Now turn around, unless you want to go down backwards.”
Zach gulped, but obediently faced forward. Keeping one arm around the younger man, Booth pushed them off and the toboggan began to slide. Zach made an undignified sound and pressed back into Seeley’s arms.
For a bunny hill, they gained a decent amount of speed. Maybe it was just the crisp winter air that made it seem faster. There were no dangerous obstacles to speak of, but when they reached the bottom, an unleashed dog darted out in front of them and Seeley had to twist the sled in order to keep them from running the poor animal down.
The two men went tumbling, but the sled had already lost momentum and the snow was soft. They ended up in a tangle, with Zach pinned face-up underneath Booth. That particular situation was more than okay with Seeley. He looked down at Zach and saw that the younger man’s normal pale face red from the wind and that he had a slightly dazed look in his eyes.
“Hey, Zach,” Booth gently said. “You dead?”
Zach grinned, a rare expression from the normally solemn young man. “No.”
“Told you,” Booth commented, not at all bashful about rubbing it in about being right. He stole a quick kiss and got up, offering his lover a hand. “Now, come on, we’ve got another hill to try.”
“You want to do that again?” Zach squeaked.
Booth had expected that reaction from his lover. Anticipated it, really. Seeley Booth was a sneaky bastard. Knowing full well that the sledding involved no true danger for Zach, Booth could thoroughly enjoy the coaxing, comforting, and reassuring processes. Especially the reassuring process, since involved pressing Zach’s lithe young body close to him on the tight confines of a toboggan.
“We’re not gonna die,” Booth stated with an anticipatory grin. “Trust me.”
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