Not Mine. Never will be.
The heat of the flame at the end of the match warmed Booth’s fingers as he held it. The light wavered, flickered when he moved his hand toward the perfect, clean white of the candlewick. The thread seemed to swell and shine as the fire closed in and ignited.
Booth pulled the match away and watched as the virgin light gained strength and the wax coating melted away. A single tear ran down the wick to join the pool that gathered at the base.
The flame of the match ate away at the wood and with a start and a jerk from the pain, Seeley twisted his wrist and extinguished it. His attention remained on the candle he’d lit and the light that grew. Only one among many. Flames contained in tiny glass votives and prayers that rose to heaven on smoke.
He pulled a dollar bill from his front pocket and stuffed it in the box at the side of the rack of candles.
… a prayer for my soul.
Extra candles were carefully stacked at the bottom of the table and Booth took one as he rolled from his knees to the pew behind him. The wax was cold in his palm, slick as it slowly warmed to the temperature of Seeley’s body. He looked down, flames still danced in his eyes, burnt to his retina. He pressed the callused pad of one finger into the white and saw his fingerprint there on the perfect surface, marring it.
So much like skin.
So much like Jack’s skin … last night.
And these thoughts did not belong here. Not in this place. Not with the scents of incense and time, tears and faith surrounding him. But Booth couldn’t stop them.
He couldn’t move his tongue against his teeth inside his mouth without tasting Jack’s lips. He couldn’t shift on the unpadded, unyielding wood of the bench without feeling Jack’s stiff, hot cock in his hand or pressed against his thigh. Booth couldn’t turn his head without the phantom sensation of Jack’s fingers, his mouth, Jack’s feather light kisses on his neck, over the chain and the medal that hung just under Seeley’s collarbone. Reminding him just who he was and where he came from and what the fuck was he doing …with this man … this wasn’t war. This wasn’t the desert. They weren’t about to die and they hadn’t just taken life and it wasn’t as if there weren’t people around that were waiting to be kissed. Waiting to be asked. Wanting to be with them … both of them.
This wasn’t right.
And Seeley knew that he’d do it again. Without a moment’s hesitation.
He rolled the candle in his hand. The solid, formed wax was warm enough now that it molded to his every touch.
They weren’t drunk. They might’ve liked to be, but there was none of the fumbling, grabbing, tearing of material and clothing. There was none of the hasty, bruising, ripping. No bumped noses as they kissed, none of the high-pitched, insane laughter that followed.
They were both awake and alert and the lights were on.
Seeley saw every inch of Jack’s body as he untucked and unzipped and unbuttoned. Shirt over shoulders, jeans down hips and thighs. Socks from ankles and Booth’s long fingers reached everywhere. Over the ripple of ribs and the definition of abdomen. Into the shadows where Jack’s skin was pale white and pink. His fingers stroked though soft, wiry hair. Golden red here, as red as on Jack’s head, on his cheeks, on his chin.
Booth held Jack’s arms above his head on the bed as if he was afraid Hodgins would bolt from the room, when it was his own fear that held Seeley here. That kept him from closing his eyes and putting his clothes back on and pretending that this had never happened. That this was not real … as real as the pounding of his heart in his chest. The salt on his lips. The swelling, aching desire in his groin. The passion that slowly uncoiled at the base of Booth’s spine and sent spidering tendrils of heat through his body.
They didn’t speak. Not a single word exchanged. Not a please or a yes or a name shared in the single bulb light of the lamp beside Seeley’s bed. Terror stole their voices and familiarity kept them from needing to create a conversation.
Booth’s fingers slipped, wet from Jack’s mouth down his chest to behind his balls. The inconsequential hiss of breath through clenched teeth that might have come from either of them, from both of them as Seeley slid and pushed and pressed and teased one, then two fingers into Jack broke against the walls. Suddenly a moan was allowed, a whisper was rewarded, a groan was met with a kiss and Jack turned, was turned. Face down, chest down. Bright blue eyes hidden in material that smelled of Seeley, but the light and depth they contained was still clear in Seeley’s vision.
The curve of Jack’s spine as he arched his back, the sweet, round, pale half-circle of his ass drew Seeley’s fingers, caught his interest. He left a trail of dry kisses down Jack’s smooth, impressionable skin. Imagined that he could see each separate print left by his mouth in the thin shine of sweat that reflected the glow of the lamp.
His hand moved up one of Jack’s legs, palm barely touching. Skimmed from the hair that curled over Jack’s calf to the moist heat behind his knee, to where the hair thinned and disappeared and the bare flesh was taut over his thigh.
Booth slid both hands between Jack’s legs and pulled them apart. Palms up, just above the sheets. Fingers curled gently, insistently. He lifted Jack from the bed and his thumbs spread the perfect half-globes of his ass.
Seeley closed his eyes for the first time that night, his stubbled chin rubbed the tender back of Jack’s balls and his tongue slipped over skin and into dark, burning hot. He chased each clench and squeeze. He slid past the natural resistance.
Deep, teeth scraped, the tender pressure of his fingers became something different. Something that bruised Jack’s skin as Seeley’s breath sped up and his heart pounded, blood roared and drowned out every sound as it rushed though his head. Red spilled over the denials that surfaced and by the time Jack was pushing back, by the time his whimpers and pleas reached whatever part of Seeley’s mind was still conscious, Booth was already there.
His mouth moved up to Jack’s shoulders as Jack got on his knees. One of Seeley’s hands slid down Jack’s arm to cover his fisted, twisted grip of bedspread. The head of Seeley’s cock pressed where it was still wet and warm from his mouth and Seeley didn’t even have to push forward because Jack demanded.
Shoving, sliding back and in one quick, perfect gasp of fuck … fuck … yes … Seeley was inside and Jack was trembling under him. Strung as tight as a bow, his body clamped around Booth’s cock and there wasn’t enough oxygen in the room. In the world.
One slow push forward that had to have lasted a lifetime and was over before Seeley could pull in another fresh, gulping drink of air. Balls to ass and Jack rose off the mattress. Back to chest, he reached up, leaned his head on Seeley’s shoulder and turned his neck and there was a kiss that seared through delicate balance.
Seeley’s hand moved down the center of Jack’s chest. His fingers danced around the base of Jack’s cock as it stood out from his groin. Pounding hard, blood red and straight and Seeley teased until Jack’s palm slapped down around Seeley’s wrist and Seeley’s hand was put on Jack’s cock.
Jack shuddered. He fell forward and rocked back and they rutted together. Grunting, groaning. Low muffled sounds that men make when they fuck. Skin slapped on skin. Sweat and lube and spit and the flame between them burned bright enough to take the shadows out of Seeley’s mind. It cast light over all of his flaws, all of his wrongs, all of his sins and he took solace in the spill of come over his fingers. He brought them to his mouth and sucked the caramel and swimming pool and sticky, salty fluid.
And even later, after Jack was gone and Seeley sat alone in his living room, wearing nothing but an old pair of sweats, his eyes glittered in the reflection of a single candle that burnt on his coffee table. His lips still swollen from kisses, his body in that calm pool of spent heat and spent sex and spent come, he felt good and clean and he wondered why it didn’t bother him.
This contradiction. This splinter of desire and need and craving passion that had forced it’s way into the solidity of religion and upbringing and family and environment that made Seeley the man he was today. The man he was yesterday. The man he would be tomorrow and forever.
The flame in the votive burned on. One among many and the scent of the candle in his hand rose into every breath Seeley took as he sat in the pew, elbows on his knees. The wax was soft and warm, it gave way to the pressure of his grip and kept an impression of every line in his hand, on his fingers.
The church was silent. Marble saints and stained glass prophets watched over him, spirits of weddings and funerals and christenings and communion and a hundred angels surrounded him. The medal around his neck and the rosary in the front pocket of his pants were weights that Seeley counted on. Reminders of history, his history and his life.
Seeley leaned forward and put the candle back from where he’d taken it.
It wasn’t as perfect now as the others that stood around it. It was a little bent, a little worn around the edges where Booth had pressed his fingers and he smiled. His hand moved in the gesture of the cross and he sent his prayer up with the invisible smoke.
It still belonged. And, so did he.