Cuddle Stories:  C  

Includes:        Caffeine Cuddle

                        Car Cuddle

                        Couch Cuddle

                        Cuddle on the High Seas

                        A Cure for the Common Cuddle

Caffeine Cuddle

Only reflexes honed by years of being a big city cop saved Steve Sloan from a collision. 

The tall detective had taken one step into the Malibu home he shared with his currently absent father when a sense of movement coming from the left warned him.  Pulling back, Steve watched from the safety of the doorway as a rapidly moving blur that looked suspiciously like his lover sped by.

Steve watched while Jesse flitted from corner to corner of his father's living room, the young doctor humming tunelessly as he swiped at furniture and knickknacks alike with a soft cloth.  Their jobs had kept the two men very busy over the last couple of days, and while Steve's natural inclination was to stride over and pull Jesse into his arms for a long overdue embrace, he held off. Temporarily, anyway.  A few more minutes of anticipation wouldn't hurt, besides, he loved to watch his lover move. Jesse was a little self-conscious and tended to clumsiness when he knew he was being observed, but alone like this, he was poetry in motion.  Even while he was doing something mundane like... housework?

"Jess, what are you doing?"  Steve asked as he finally entered the room.

Jesse looked up from the books he was rearranging on their shelf and smiled a greeting.  "Oh, hi, Steve.  I'm dusting.  Your dad's due back tomorrow and this place was starting to look untidy."

The detective was confused.  He knew full well that his father was due back the next day and was looking forward to his return.  Not only did he miss his dad, but Mark Sloan's absence was one reason he'd seen so little of his lover - Jesse had been kept busy covering for the older doctor at the hospital where they both were physicians.  But, even if he was looking forward to having his paternal roommate back, Steve still hadn't felt moved to start cleaning the house.  "Dusting?"

"Yeah, dusting," Jesse replied, coming over and kissing the taller blond before beginning his task again.  "You know... little airborne particulates settle onto your furniture and belongings and you have to wipe them off occasionally to keep it from building up.  Although, here at the beach, we get a lot of sand tracked in. I better vacuum too."

"I know what 'dusting' means, Jess," Steve explained, keeping an uncertain hold on his patience. "I'm just wondering why you're doing it.  The housekeeper comes in day after tomorrow.  It's not like this place is a pig sty."

"I know, I know," Jesse responded, moving from one built-in book shelf to the other, having to stand on a step-stool to reach the upper shelves.  "I was just thinking, when I got home from the hospital, how clean everything there is.  And it wasn't here.  I mean, you couldn't write your name in the dust yet, but you know how it is.  You get used to the sterile environment of the hospital and anything less just won't do.  Mark's been away at the conference at the Mayo Clinic too.  They're world famous – I bet their facility is spotless.  Wouldn't want him to come home and be unhappy at how his house looks.  So, when my shift was over, I came over here to wait for you just like we agreed and I decided to pass the time by spiffying the place up a little."

Steve approached his busy lover and got a good look at the young man.  Not only had Jesse been covering his rounds and Mark's too,  he'd been on call for nearly two weeks straight.  Although naturally energetic, even Jesse had his limits and the strain was starting to show.  Steve did some quick mental figuring and winced.  Jesse had probably been up for two days straight. Frankly, the detective couldn't imagine how the younger man was still on his feet, let alone doing a Martha Stewart routine. 

Reaching his shorter mate, Steve gently took Jesse's chin in hand.  Pulling his lover's face towards him, the younger man's reddened eyes gave the detective a clue as to what was fueling this sudden housekeeping storm.

"Jess, how much coffee have you had this afternoon?"

Jesse fidgeted but didn't pull his head from Steve's gentle grasp. "Three."

The older man looked skeptical.  "Three?  You got this jittery from three cups of coffee?"

As close as they were, Steve could see his lover's eyes widen in comprehension.  "Cups?  You meant how many cups did I have?"

"Yeah, I meant cups," Steve clarified, eyes narrowing in suspicion.  "What did you think I meant?"

The doctored blushed.  "Pots."

Steve closed his eyes in frustration.  If Jesse'd had three pots of coffee in just that afternoon, there was no telling what he'd been subsisting on for the last several days.  Probably coffee and candy bars from Community General's vending machines.  No wonder that the young man was rushing around like crazy.  Even when he finally got a break from his hospital work, his body was too wired from caffeine to let him rest.

"Oh, c'mon, Steve," Jesse reacted to the older man's nonverbal chastisement, pulling from Steve's hold and going back to his previous activity.  "I'm a big boy, I know how to take care of myself.  With Mark out and all those extra patients from that airplane accident last night, there was no time for anything else.  I know what I'm doing.  And for that matter, if I want to spend my time off dusting, I will."

Steve opened his mouth to say that, with the housekeeper in their employ, it was unnecessary, but decided at the last minute to keep quiet.  Jesse was wired at the moment, but Steve knew from past experiences that the younger man's body would crash soon.  And when it did, there was no doubt that Jesse would crash hard.  In his current mood, however, the doctor wouldn't take too well to being nagged and would push him further away if he wasn't careful.  So, if Steve wanted to be available to Jesse to help ease the caffeine let-down when it came, he had to play his cards just right....

"I know, Jess, I'm sorry," The bigger man apologized, deliberately allowing his shoulders to slump.  To complete the affect, he rubbed at his temple with his fingers.  "It's just been a bitch of a day.  I didn't mean to take it out on you.  You're a doctor, I know you know how to take care of yourself."                     

Jesse responded as his lover expected, with compassion.  "Hey, you all right?"  The doctor's voice was full of concern as he dropped the dust cloth and went to Steve's side.

The older man almost confessed when he felt Jesse's hand touch his arm in concern, especially when he looked down into blue eyes full of trust and worry.  But, his deception was for Jesse's own good and, even if it made him feel guilty, he stayed with it.  "I had to tell a woman that her husband died in that airplane accident that kept you guys at Community General so busy.  The couple would have been married fifty years next month."

"Oh," Jesse breathed.  As a doctor, he'd had experience breaking news like that to the loved ones of the deceased and knew how hard it could be.  "That stinks.  Is she going to be okay?"

"She... got a little bit emotional," the detective hedged. 

Strictly speaking, he was telling the truth, Mr. Saunders had died in the crash and it had been Steve's duty today to confirm that fact with his widow.  What he wasn't admitting to Jesse was that the two had been headed for divorce and apparently Mr. Saunders had been something of a bastard.  Not only was Mrs. Saunders was not upset to hear of her husband's demise, she was all but dancing a jig to discover that now their assets wouldn't be split up. As a human being, he found that sort of reaction disgusting, but a veteran cop like Steve had developed calluses.  He'd learned long ago that it took all types to populate the world.

Jesse took his lover's silence as emotional trauma.  "I'm sorry, Steve. I know how hard dealing with that kind of scene can be.  Is there anything I can do?  You look zonked, maybe you should lay down for a while."

Steve all but crowed in triumph, but managed to look needy.  "Would you come with me?  I always rest better when you're in my arms." The bigger man's admission not only got him a kiss on the cheek, but Jesse also took him by the hand and led him to the bedroom. 

The exact spot Steve had wanted his lover all along. 

Jesse made Steve sit on the end of the bed while the doctor knelt and took his shoes off for him.  Then, toeing off his own sneakers, the smaller man crawled up onto the bed after him.  Soon, the two men were curled up on the mattress together, Steve's larger body protectively spooned up behind Jesse's smaller form. 

"Better?"  Jesse asked.

Steve reached around his lover, resting one big hand on the other man's stomach.  "Much," the detective said, beginning to rub slow circles on his mate's tummy. 

"Good, now try to relax."

Steve stifled a snort of laughter, wanting to make a comment about the pot calling the kettle black, but wisely remained silent.  Instead, the detective kept up his caresses, deliberately making them comforting instead of arousing.  Sure enough, in only a couple of minutes, he felt his lover's caffeine wound-up body yield to exhaustion.  Nuzzling behind Jesse's ear, he settled himself to follow the younger man into slumber.

There would be time for a more strenuous reunion later.  For now, he was content to hold his lover in his arms, knowing it was what they both needed.

~the end~

Car Cuddle

"Tell me again why we're doing this?"  Steve Sloan took his eyes off the road just long enough to look at his lover with an expression that was half exasperation and half fondness.

"Because," Jesse explained cheerfully, the tangle of road maps he'd become wrapped in not cooperating with his attempts to fold them back up, "we both had a week off and no special plans and I've heard San Francisco 's beautiful in the summer." 

The detective turned his attention back to his driving.  "Why by car?  Why not just hop on a plane?"

"Steve!"  Jesse looked up from his labyrinth of paper, his blond hair tousled from the struggle to, wrest some sort of control over the stubborn maps.  "Where's the romance in that? How can you resist the lure of the open road?  Sunshine... blue sky... moseying on down the highway... just the two of us and the radio..."

The older man couldn't help but respond to his lover's enthusiasm. "Having you all to myself for a few hours instead of being cooped up with strangers on an airplane?  Yeah, I can see the benefits to that."

"Now you've got the spirit," Jesse encouraged him. We're two gay men living in California , San Francisco 's like Mecca .  We've just got to go visit and pay our respects.  Besides, I've never been to Frisco before."

Steve took a hand off the wheel and reached over to pat the young doctor's knee.  "Sometimes I forget that you weren't born in California , Jess.  You just adapted so thoroughly, and so quickly.  But let me give you one word of advice: don't call it Frisco. The natives don't like that."

"Okay," Jesse agreed easily, not really caring what he called the city as long as the two of them were going. With a look of disgust, he gave up on the maps, wadded them up into a ball, and threw the whole mess into the back seat.  Grinning at his mate, he declared, "Getting there is going to be half the fun."

The other man smiled at him fondly.  "You didn't take many road trips when you were a kid, did you, Jess?"

The smaller man got a wistful look on his face.  "No," he said softly.  "My dad traveled a lot, so when he got time off, he didn't want to go anywhere.  I didn't even get outside Illinois until I graduated from medical school."

Steve could have kicked himself for his thoughtless remark, hating the sad expression in Jesse's blue eyes.  "Well, let me tell you, since you're an only child, you wouldn't have gotten the full car trip experience anyway."

"What do you mean?"

The detective chuckled.  "What I mean is that you should thank your lucky stars that you didn't have to share the back seat with your younger sister while your father, who happens to be a great doctor but a lousy navigator, got lost on the way to visit the Grand Canyon ."

Good cheer restored, Jesse smiled.  "That bad, huh?"

Steve pretended to shudder.  "You have no idea. No one could see it, but there was a border line that divided the back seat.  It didn't matter if it was invisible, we'd each know if the other crossed over into our territory and we'd scream bloody murder.  And we were both convinced that the other one had more room and we'd fight about that too. It'd get so bad that even my dad's patience would run out.  He'd turn around and say 'You kids knock that off.  If I have to pull this car over and come back there, there's going to be trouble.'"

"Mark,"  Jesse laughed in disbelief, "actually said that?  I thought that people only said that line in the movies."

The older man held up one hand as a pledge of his honesty.  "Honest to God.  Happened at least one time each trip."

"So, did he ever really do it?"  The doctor asked.  "Pull the car over and make you behave?"

"Nah," Steve replied.  "He was always muttering something about 'gotta make time, gotta make time.'"

When Jesse looked at him skeptically, Steve shrugged and explained, "Back then, Dad wasn't quite so laid back.  Besides, there were more two lane highways in those days.  If you pulled over for any reason, sure enough the RV creeping along at 15 mph below the posted speed limit would get in front of you... usually just as you entered a no passing zone."

Jesse sighed.  "With those kind of memories, no wonder you hesitated when I suggested we drive to San Francisco .  You should have said something."

His lover was silent while he thought about it for a moment, but then Steve Sloan shook his head. "No, I'm not being fair.  There were a lot of good memories on those trips too.  Like napping curled up together like puppies - when we forgot about the invisible line, that is.  Or playing the license plate game.  Or stopping at every A&W we saw for root beer."  Steve resolutely refrained from mentioning the memorable time his sister Carol got car sick from reading comic books in a moving vehicle and threw up her root beer over her older brother.  A road trip rookie like Jesse didn't need to hear details like that.  "So, now that we've established that we're going to have fun getting to San Francisco , what do you have planned for us after we arrive?"

Jesse fished out his guide book.  "There's lots to do. We can take a bus over the Golden Gate bridge and then walk back across it.  Hey, we can even walk by the Presidio and all the way down to Fisherman's Wharf.  Cool."

"We could visit Alcatraz ," Steve suggested.

His companion rolled his eyes.  "I'll make you a deal, Steve," Jesse said.  "I won't drag you to any medicine-related stuff and you don't drag me anywhere police-related like a prison. Even an abandoned one.  This is a vacation and I have no intention of turning it into a working holiday. I love your dad, but he finds a body every time he turns around and that's a habit I'd really rather not get into.... oh, man."

Steve turned to Jesse, easily detecting the note of distress that had crept into the younger man's voice.  Having just been reminded of the unpleasant consequences of car sickness, he became worried at the pained expression on the doctor's face.  "Jess, you okay?"

"Yeah," the other man admitted, "but why'd you let me drink so much coffee at breakfast?"

The detective looked at his mate in amused relief.  "You mean, you need a bathroom?"

Jesse blushed, "Yeah."

Steve's lips quivered with the effort not to smile.  "I thought I told you to go before we left."

The younger man smacked him on the shoulder.  "That's not funny, smartass."

The rumble sounding in Steve's chest as he tried to suppress his laughter said otherwise, but he didn't belabor the point.  "Okay.  I saw a billboard for a McDonalds a ways back, there should be one coming up in about 20 miles or so.  Can you wait that long?"

Jesse squirmed in his seat, both from embarrassment and physical discomfort.  "But can't you just,you know, pull over for a minute so I can take care of it?"

"I am not," Steve said firmly, "taking the chance of a state trooper citing us for public urination.  They don't particularly like city cops and would just love to learn they nailed one for whizzing.  Besides, I can't believe a doctor would suggest something so unsanitary."

"What about a gas station?  Won't there be one of those coming up before a McDonalds"

Steve smiled.  "Listen and learn, babe.  McDonalds isn't only known for golden arches, it's also known for its golden bathrooms."

"What do you mean?"

"Think about it, Jess.  A gas station on a interstate highway relies on through traffic for its customers, people who aren't likely to come back one way or another.  Clean bathrooms aren't a priority.  A fast food place, though, relies more on the locals... who would potentially be put off by a mess in the john. Trust me, unless you're really hurting, you'd want a McDonalds over a gas station any day.  Can you wait that long?"


Jesse's voice hadn't sounded convinced and Steve reached one arm out to the younger man, inviting him closer.  "C'mere, babe.  I'll distract you and we'll be there before you know it."

The doctor had undone his seatbelt and started to slide over when something occurred to him.  "Hey, I thought you said no sex while you were driving?"

The night before, Jesse hadn't known whether to be entertained or offended when Steve had lectured him about the hazards of fooling around while someone was behind the wheel.  The cop had made it clear that there were to be no blow or hand jobs while the car was in motion.  Jesse had been in complete agreement with that pronouncement.  Call him narcissistic, but when he had Steve's cock in his hand or mouth, he wanted the older man to be completely focused on him and not the road.

"Who said anything about sex?" Steve countered.  "I was just talking about snuggling, babe."

"Oh," Jesse acknowledged.  "That's okay then."

Steve almost purred in contentment as he felt the warmth of his lover's body press along his side. Draping an arm across Jesse's shoulders, he pulled the doctor even closer, both of them sighing as the smaller man rested his head on Steve's shoulder.

An open road in front of him... a blue sky above... his lover tucked up against him, right where he belonged....

Jesse was right.  Getting to San Francisco was going to be half the fun.

~the end~

Couch Cuddle

"Jesse, I'm bored."

The young man in question glanced up from his own reading over to the other side of the large couch he currently shared with his lover.  Steve Sloan had tossed aside the magazine he's been perusing and was looking at Jesse, a woebegone expression on his face.  Still distracted by the article he'd been focused on, the young doctor bent his head back to his own journal.  "I had a feeling you'd get through that Sports Illustrated way too fast. Why don't you try TV?  Maybe there's a game on."

Steve sighed in disappointment.  Normally, he was understanding of how very seriously Jesse took his work as a doctor, proud of his lover's dedication to the healing profession.  Steve had a similar commitment to his own work and, also having been raised in a family headed up by a physician, was prepared for the amount of time that Jesse's responsibilities as Doctor Travis would take away from their relationship.  His own obligations as a big city detective ate away at their time too, after all, and he couldn't really blame Jess when duties pulled him away.

Most of the time, Steve was understanding.  Other times, like now, he found he craved more attention.  No doubt, if he phrased it that way, Jesse would drop the medical journal he was studying and apologize profusely for neglecting his lover.  Although that tactic would work, it wouldn't really be fair to his lover, who really was devoted to their relationship.  Besides, he wanted an amorous Jesse, not a contrite one.

Not to mention that it would be a lot more fun to tease Jesse into losing interest in the magazine rather than guilting him into it.

Steve obediently picked up the television remote and surfed until he found a football game to his liking.  Then, the tall detective settle back into the sofa's soft cushions, arranging a blanket loosely over his legs. With the volume of the television set so that the sounds of the game were a soothing background drone and his eyes half closed in concentration, a casual observer would have thought the older man was totally immersed in what he was watching. 

Earlier that morning, Steve and Jesse had taken a long walk by the beach, coming back to the house only when an unexpected rain shower drove them in.  The two had wet feet and so had taken off socks and shoes before curling up on the couch.  The blanket was to ward off the chill brought about by the damp weather.  Rather than snuggling together, the men sat facing one another with their feet meeting in the middle and the blanket stretched over both of them.  This was so that they could each take advantage of a nearby lamp, needing the light to read by in the dismal light of a rainy day.

Seemingly involved in the game, Steve slowly stretched, one foot inching up the inside of his lover's denim-covered thigh.  Still absorbed in his reading, Jesse didn't comment, just shifted his body to accommodate the other man's change in position.  Without Jesse really knowing how it got there, Steve's adventurous foot ended up in the doctor's lap, the agile toes curling up against the doctor's groin and beginning to massage the smaller man's crotch.

Despite the importance of the medical information he was reading, Jesse slowly became aware that he was flushed and becoming aroused.  Normally, that didn't happen when he was reading about new techniques to flush out a patient's colon. Looking up, he saw that Steve's face was turned towards the television set, the detective concentrating on what appeared to be a college football game. His lover's foot, however, was firmly trenched in Jesse's groin, doing a sinuous dance against the cloth that cover his rapidly hardening cock.

"Ummm... Steve?"

"Yeah, babe,"  The older man looked over from the game.  "Do you need something?"

Jesse considered his mate, unsure if Steve was teasing him or if he really was unaware of the new home his foot had found.  When Steve continued to look at him blankly, the doctor caved.  "Your foot. "

"Oh," The detective seemed startled to realize where his toes were buried.  Sheepishly, Steve started to draw back.  "Sorry about that, babe.  I guess my feet are still cold from getting wet." 

The younger man's first inclination was to believe his lover, but something in Steve's expression struck him as a bit too innocent.  "That's okay," Jesse said.  "You know, if you're watching the game, you don't really need your own lamp.  You want to snuggle?"

"Absolutely," Steve said, grinning.  "C'mere."  Opening his arms, the bigger man invited his lover close.

He didn't need ask Jesse twice.  The doctor gladly scooted over to the other side of the couch, bringing his magazine with him and squirming until he was nestled between Steve's long legs, his back resting against the detective's chest.  "Sharing body heat should warm you up in no time."

Steve bent down to nuzzle his lover's hair.  "Hmmm... better already."

Jesse hadn't been born yesterday and could easily hear the smug undertone to his lover's voice.  Well, the magazine article was important... but not all that important.  If distraction was the name of the game, two could play.  The young doctor balanced so that he was holding his medical journal with one hand, which conveniently left the other free to trace delicate patterns on one of the legs cradling him close.  Seemingly idly, Jesse trailed his fingers up and down Steve's thigh in ever widening circles, loving the way his mate's powerful muscles quivered under the light caresses.

Above and behind him, Steve smiled. He let the doctor pet him for several minutes, then twined his legs with Jesse's, rubbing his bare feet along his lover's.  The skin on skin contact aroused the bigger man further and, unconsciously, he lifted his pelvis slightly, his hardening cock brushing up against his mate's tantalizingly close ass.  Jesse, clutching his magazine firmly in one hand, instinctively ground himself back against the heat that two pair of jeans, his and Steve's, couldn't quite mask.

Steve groaned and buried his hands under Jesse's butt cheeks, teasing at the crack between the firm mounds.  Reaching down to nip at the nearest ear, he whispered a comment.  "You've been reading the same page for five minutes."

Jesse gasped at the sensation of Steve's breath tickling the back of his neck.  "You don't even know what teams are playing in that game you're supposedly watching." 

The doctor gasped as the warm breath on his neck turned into a playful bite.

"What do you say," Steve managed to suggest, having difficulty getting words out past his own arousal, "that since we're neither one being productive here, that we move this into the bedroom?"

"I dunno, Steve," Jesse teased.  "I really do have to get this article read, you know."  When his lover growled at him, the doctor laughed.  "I suppose I can study it later."

"Do that," Steve said as he got up from the sofa.  Then, taking no chances, he pulled Jesse up by one hand, bending down at just the right moment to hoist the smaller man over his shoulder.

"Hey!"  The impact of Jesse's protest was lessened by the fact that his voice was choked with laughter.

As his lover carried him towards the bedroom, Jesse briefly thought back to Steve's comment, the one that had started this whole thing.  Someday, the doctor reflected, he'd have to teach the detective the difference between "bored" and "horny."

Someday... but not today.

~the end~


Cuddle on the High Seas

Captain Jesse Travis squinted into the Mediterranean sun.  It was a beautiful day on the high seas, with sunlight sparkling on the crystal blue water, a soft breeze ruffling the strands of blond hair that had escaped from the tied binding at the base of his neck.

It was a beautiful day all right… but no day was a beautiful day to die.

The young navel officer experienced the bitter taste of defeat.  His ship, the HMSS Azure, had been dispatched from London , the queen herself giving him his orders to hunt down and eliminate the Sea Wolf.  The notorious pirate had become of the scourge of the waterways, interfering with commerce and terrorizing legitimate maritime merchants. Jesse had been proud to be the one trusted to bring him down.

Unfortunately, quite the opposite had happened.  His vessel had located the Sea Wolf's inappropriately named Hammer of Justice easily enough and a heated battle had been pitched.  Although young for command, Jesse had been thoroughly trained... not that it did him any good.  The Sea Wolf was a master strategist and noted leader of men.  Jesse's inexperienced sailors were no match for the ruthless pirates and neither was his ship, an older craft that could not out maneuver the sleek Hammer.  Through no fault of his own, Jesse had been vanquished and, with him, his crew.

The young captain was held easily by his buccaneer captors, watching futilely while his men were divested of their weapons and held at sword point.  He himself had been stripped of his coat of rank, left wearing only the tight fitting white pants, vest, and linen shirt that went underneath it.  He was surprised that the pirates weren't slaughtering the beaten sailors, but he supposed that they were only waiting to make the hapless prisoners walk the gangplank later on.  Feeding the unlucky men to the sharks was just the type of cowardly act that such brigands would stoop to.

Yells and catcalls split the air as the pirates ridiculed the cowed captives.  A cloak of silence fell, however, as a tall, blond form entered their ranks, the crowd of ruffians parting in front of him as if he were Moses splitting the Red Sea.

The Sea Wolf himself.

Jesse gulped and then forced a defiant look on his face as the pirate captain approached. It was difficult to maintain that look as the other man got nearer and the captured officer was forced to look up... and up...

The Sea Wolf was a large brute of a man.  A head taller than Jesse, he was broad shouldered and his skin was tan from constant exposure to the sun.  Hair bleached nearly as blond as Jesse's, the naval captain couldn't help but notice how well the corsair filled out his black leather pants, the skintight material clearly revealing the muscular thighs even as it caressed the taut, firm buttocks.  The pirate's black silk shirt was open to the waist, revealing an expanse of golden chest dusted with blond hair... and an earring in his right nipple.

"Well, well, well, what do we have here?"  The Sea Wolf asked as he arrived at the spot where Jesse was being held.  "Hasn't the queen sent us a pretty prize?"

The crowd of pirates yelled their appreciation and Jesse blushed deeply.  "I'm an officer of the royal navy...."

The Sea Wolf braced one leg on an overturned crate, leaning in close to young Travis and smiling wickedly. "And my captive," the pirate interrupted. "Which should be concerning you a bit more right at the moment."  The large blond turned to his first mate, a dark skinned, slender form that Jesse was shocked to realize belonged to a woman.  "Dispose of the Azure in the usual manner, Manda."

The woman nodded briefly, then gestured to Jesse.  "And what about this one?  Send a ransom notice?"

Jesse answered before the Sea Wolf could.  "I'm the younger son of a younger son, no one would pay."  The captain firmed his chin, resolved to be honorable to the end.  "I would plead for you spare my men but I know better than to beg for mercy from a common criminal like you.  I wish to share my men's fate."

The Sea Wolf looked amused by his captive's defiance.  "Your crew's fate is to be stripped of all but the most basic supplies and to have their sails slashed.  They'll be sent back to merry old England with their tails inbetween their legs, but I don't kill a man simply for doing his job."  The pirate smiled at Jesse's look of surprise.  "You, however, are another  story all together."  The outlaw grinned.  "Killing such a beautiful creature would be a travesty."  He looked the young officer up and down.  "No, I have another use for you, pet."

Before Jesse could protest, the Sea Wolf had taken the end of the leather strap that bound his hands in front of him.  The pirates hooted their approval as their captain led his prize off, much to the young man's embarrassment.  Jesse had seen the desire in the older man's eyes and despite a brief moment of responding attraction, he made a last ditch attempt to escape as he was forced over the plank connecting the two ships. It would better, he thought, to drown in the sea than be ravished by a pirate.

"Oh, no, you don't," the Sea Wolf laughed, easily catching the slight young man around the waist as he attempted to leap into the water.  "You're not escaping your fate that way."

Jesse made the rest of the journey to the pirate captain's private cabin slung over the brawny man's shoulder.  It gave him an unobstructed view of the Sea Wolf's tight buttocks as the other man moved, the leather leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination. Jesse closed his eyes when he found himself mesmerized by the sight.

The Sea Wolf kicked open the door and deposited Jesse on his feet.  The young man immediately scrambled away from his captor, pride hurt by the inelegant way he'd arrived and by the way the man gently laughed at him.  The naval captain's eyes darted around the enclosed space, his crouch slowly easing as he took in how elegant it was.  Plush oriental rugs covered the floors, rich tapestries lined the walls, and the bed....

Jesse tore his eyes away from the large bed.

The Sea Wolf had barred the door.  He couldn't lock the young man in while inside with him, but he could make it more difficult for him to get out.  While his prisoner took in his surroundings, the buccaneer poured them each a glass of port.

"Not quite what you expected?" He asked.

Jesse shook his head in spite of himself.  This wasn't a room put together by a ruffian aping his betters.  This room showed taste and refinement... true appreciation of the trappings that decorated it.  There was more, obviously, to the Sea Wolf than met the eye.

"I suppose the queen told you that I was a pirate and a thief," The Sea Wolf went on.

Jesse squared his jaw, determined to resist the man's considerable charisma.  "And a murderer."

"Did she also tell yoou that I'm her brother... he illegitimate half brother?"  At Jesse's stunned expression, the older man looked at him expectantly.

The naval officer sputtered.  “That would mean that you’re....”

“Yes, I’m Steven Sloan, Her Majesty Caroline’s older sibling.” The Sea Wolf laughed bitterly. “I was born on the wrong side of the sheets and when our father, King Mark, died, I was banished to one of the colonies so that I wouldn't pose a threat to her reign.  At first I was happy enough, but then I realized what horrific conditions the natives were kept in.  Virtual slaves, most of them, with all of the fruits of their labors benefiting the realm while their own families starved."  He shook his head and offered Jesse a glass, setting it aside when the other captain refused with a tense gesture.  "I was raised to serve my country, but it was more than I could take.  We're not pirates as much as we are liberators, taking back the bounty raped away from the colony and returning it to its rightful owners."

"A maritime Robin Hood?" Jesse asked in disbelief.  "You rob from the rich to give to the poor?"  Travis shook his head in disgust. "Next you'll have me believe that you brought me here to convince me to join you."

The Sea Wolf tossed back the rest of his drink and then put the glass on a nearby mahogany table.  "Not hardly."  He smiled widely.  "I brought you here to ravish you."

++++ Jesse ++++

The younger man backed away a step.  "But… you were just trying to convince me your intentions were noble...."

The older man stalked him.  "They are, with regards to the colony.  But you… you were caught fair and square.  Spoils of an unofficial war, if you will."   Jesse had been backed to the wall and could retreat no farther.  The smaller man held his ground while the Sea Wolf pinned him there with a brawny arm on either side of his body.  "Mine to do with as I please…"

++++ JESSE ++++

The pirate bent in and kissed Jesse thoroughly.  When he withdrew, the young man looked at him breathlessly, ripe mouth open and eyes dazed.  "Now, tell me, pet, that you don't want this too."  The pirate rubbed his thigh along the younger man's, brushing up against the hardness the naval officer's tight pants could not begin to hide.  "Your body says something different…."

++++ JESSE!! ++++

Scooping up the lithe young form of his captive, the pirate captain turned to bed, depositing his treasure gently on the satin sheets.

Jesse thought it odd that the bed was shaking so, but perhaps it was just the tremors of his heart, swept away by a passion that he could not explain and was helpless to deny....

++++  JESSE, WAKE UP!! ++++

Dr. Jesse Travis blinked up into the amused eyes of his lover, Detective Steve Sloan, who had just shook him awake.  “What....?”

The young man was on the couch in the Sloan residence, Steve was perched on the edge, looking down at his mate fondly.  “You fall asleep waiting for me, babe?”

Jesse blinked at his surroundings, halfway expecting silk and satin.  “Yeah, I guess so.”  He shifted on the couch, revealing a book tucked under his hip.

Ever observant, Steve picked up the paperback.  “’Whisper I Love You’?” The detective asked.  “Jess, you were reading a romance novel?” 

Sheepishly, Jesse took the thin book from him.  “We found this working on a case, remember?  I was just doing some background research.”

Steve shook his head fondly, then got up and offered a hand to the smaller man. When Jesse took it, he pulled his sleepy lover off the couch and wrapped an arm around his waist. “You looked like you were dreaming when I came in, was it a good one?”

“Oh yeah,” Jesse purred as Steve led him towards the bedroom.  “There was this pirate and a sweet young officer….”

The older man lifted one eyebrow in skepticism.  “’Sweet young officer’? Isn’t that an oxymoron?”

“You had to be there.” Jesse responded earnestly.

Steve smiled; he had a feeling who the officer represented.  “What about the pirate – was he good looking?”

“Very,” Jesse said firmly.  “He looked like you in leather pants.”

“Really?  Tell me more,” Steve said as the duo disappeared into the bedroom....

Where it proved to be a very interesting bedtime story indeed.

~the end~  

A Cure for the Common Cuddle


"I am going to die." Steve Sloan moaned as he flopped back against his pillow.

"Oh, I think you'll live," his lover cheerfully disagreed with him. "You just feel like you want to die." Dr. Jesse Travis was perched on the edge of the suffering man's bed, looking at the thermometer he'd just removed from Steve's mouth. "You'll probably get worse before you feel any better too."

Steve glared at him. "Did anyone ever tell you that your beddide manner leaved a lot to be dedired?"

"No," Jesse looked up and waggled his eyebrows at the older man. "In fact, I've been told that my bedside manner is pretty darn impressive."

"In your dreamd," Steve grumped, then nodded at the thermometer. "What'd my temp?"


"Dee, I told you I wad running a fever," the detective huffed.

"A low-grade one, but yeah," Jesse agreed. "That sometimes happens with a cold, it's nothing to worry about."

"A cold? I've never been thid dick with judt a cold." Steve would have protested more but then his face screwed up in a grimace. Jesse knew that expression and made a hasty grab for a tissue, thrusting it into Steve's hand before the nasal explosion. "AH-CHEW!" The big man wiped his nose and looked at Jesse as though the whole thing were the younger man's fault. "At leadt that time I really did dneede. It'd worde when they back up, maked my whole fade dwell."

"I know what you mean, sometimes not sneezing is a lot worse than sneezing" the doctor sympathized, but his words were cut off as his lover began to hack.

Jesse patiently handed Steve another tissue, looking almost amused as the older man looked at what he'd coughed up.

"Green?" Steve said, waving the soiled wad in Dr. Travis' face. "Id it duppoded to be green?"

Despite his baby face, the short blond was a doctor and wasn't phased by the sight. He saw much worse on an hourly basis at the hospital. "It's yellowish green and, yeah, that's within normal parameters." He reached out and brushed the limp hair from Steve's forehead. "You've got a cold, tough guy. It's not nearly as bad as being shot, you know."

"Thand for the dympathy, Jedde," The detective brought out his formidable glower again. "My node id red and pealing. My eyed are dripping, my node id dripping, and I judt coughed up a piede of lung. I hope I'm not boring you."

With that, Steve turned over, giving his lover a good look at his back.

Jesse blinked, surprised at Steve's behavior. What the heck was going on with him? Steve was usually downright cavalier about his health; he'd never seen him be such a baby about a little thing as a cold before. In fact, most of the time he thought that Steve was convinced that his name was Steve Stoic and not Steve Sloan.

"Don't wet me keep you from domething important…"


One of the junior doctors on the ER staff, Jesse had been putting a lot of hours in lately. Not only was Steve feeling sick, odds were that he was feeling sick and neglected. No wonder he was pouting. A part of Jesse felt guilty but a small piece of him was secretly glad. He'd never had a lover miss him before, let alone be petulant about it. It was a new experience and one that he found himself enjoying. A muffled sniff came from the bed and Jesse's guilty side reared its lovely head. Obviously, Steve wasn't enjoying it and it was time to make the other man feel better.

Toeing off his shoes, Jesse curled himself around the bigger man. "But I am doing something important."


Jesse snuggled his face into the small of Steve's back. This was a reversal of their usual position, but a lot safer regarding Jesse getting snot in his hair from Steve's runny nose. "Yup. When you're dad told me you were sick, I arranged to take the next couple of days off. Danielle owes me a few shifts and I just told her I had a more important patient to take care of." He struggled to wrap his arms around Steve's prone body and was relieved to feel his lover relax into the embrace. When Steve's hands came down to cover his own and give a little squeeze, he knew that he'd been forgiven. "Just think of me as your own personal hot water bottle."

"Hmmm… feeld good," Steve murmured, already half asleep.

"Go ahead, big guy, take a nap," Jesse whispered, wiggling until he was in a position to kiss the back of Steve's neck, "I'll be here when you wake up."

And he was. With luck, he always would be.

~ the end ~

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