A/N: My first Yuma-fic, so I'm still not completely used to writing about those characters yet. Might be a tad too fluffy for those of you who think that Ben has no feelings whatsoever for Charlie. I might write something more angsty and more serious some day, but right now I had to indulge my inner fangirl (and hopefully yours, too ;)). Unfortunately the story hasn't been beta read; if you find any typos, errors etc. please tell me.
Blessed with Sin
Charlie was leaning against the bar, staring at the empty whiskey glass in front of him. It was late in the afternoon and still scalding hot, even inside the buildings. The gang had dispersed after a particularly successful raid two days ago; they planned to meet up again in a week. Ben and Charlie had decided to spend a few days in town and get some real rest - or rather Ben had decided and Charlie had, of course, followed him.
Charlie looked up and glimpsed at his boss, who was standing at his side, obviously lost in his thoughts. It was easy to imagine what he was thinking about, at least for someone who knew Ben Wade. There was no pretty green-eyed girl in the bar, but there had been one on the previous day, and Charlie knew that Ben had spent the night with her. He had no doubt that she would be back tonight, or that Ben would find a replacement for her. It was what he usually did when they were in town.
"I'll be takin' the horses to the blacksmith, boss," Charlie said suddenly and straightened up. It wasn't even a pretext - their horses really needed new shoes - but he was actually quite happy to get away. If it were up to him he wouldn't ever leave Ben's side, but he didn't like to be around when his boss was seducing some woman. He felt … out of place, ignored, like an old toy cast aside by a child. He ran a hand through his strawberry blond hair and replaced his hat, hesitating for a second when Ben didn't react.
"I'll see ya in the morning, I guess," he added and turned to leave, but Ben's voice, quiet and calm, made him stop.
"No. Come back when you're finished."
Ben looked up, and feeling those dark-blue, almost hypnotising eyes on him brought a smile to Charlie's thin lips. He was slightly confused, but he was certainly not going to question his good luck now.
Ben watched Charlie leave, his eyes fixed for a moment on the perfect rear and legs under the tight leather. He tore his gaze away and sipped on his whiskey, his brow furrowed. He normally used the occasion of being in town to have a woman with him. It wasn't that he preferred them to his second-in-command, it was just that Ben valued a little change every once in a while, and Charlie was always with him, always available.
But while Ben had enjoyed the last night in a woman's soft arms, he didn't feel like repeating the experience tonight. Women never gave him the intense sexual pleasure he found in a man's arms, but something more … aesthetical. He liked looking at women, drawing them, touching them, but he always felt as if something was missing. No one could offer him what he found with Charlie - raw, almost violent passion and at the same time the trust and intimacy of long lasting companionship. Not to mention that it would be nice to have Charlie in a bed again instead of doing him on a bedroll in the middle of nowhere.
Ben grinned slightly at this thought and emptied his glass, putting it on the counter before he went to his room. He hoped that Charlie wouldn't be away for too long - he had no desire to spend half of the evening waiting.
Charlie knocked on the wooden door, which was opened only seconds later. He quickly stepped into the room and let Ben close and lock the door. Charlie had come in through the back entrance of the hotel - nobody needed to know that he was staying in Ben's room.
He cast his boss a confused glance, still wondering why Ben had asked him here instead of spending the night with that green-eyed girl. It might be business, but Charlie knew Ben well enough to recognise the relaxed expression in the older man's eyes - he was looking forward to an untroubled, entertaining night, not to serious conversations.
"Anything I can do for you, boss?" Charlie asked, still hesitating when Ben remained silent. He simply chuckled and returned to the leather chair he had been sitting on. The curtains were already closed, leaving the room only dimly lit by a small lamp.
Ben took his time to make himself comfortable, running a hand through his brown hair. His eyes found Charlie's again, and an impish smile sneaked onto his lips. Not the false honey smile Ben charmed everyone with, but an honest expression that few people had ever seen on the face of this notorious liar, and no one saw it as often as his second-in-command.
Ben smirked at Charlie, who was still standing close to the door. He loved to unsettle the younger man, loved the anticipating gleam in Charlie's hard, glassy eyes, the confusion mixed with eagerness to do whatever he was asked to do.
"Yes, indeed," Ben said, his voice playfully serious. He made a little pause, eyes fixed on Charlie. "Strip."
Charlie raised his eyebrows for a moment - not that Ben's command itself surprised him, but he hadn't expected him to come to the point so quickly. Still, he didn't hesitate but obeyed immediately. His hat, jacket and belt were lying on the floor in a matter of seconds, but he took his time after that, savouring the predatory look in Ben's blue-green eyes. Charlie had never questioned Ben's superiority and status, but letting Ben lead the game did not mean not playing with his own cards.
And indeed, Ben didn't complain but waited patiently, although his eyes showed clearly that he wasn't half as calm as he pretended to be. Once naked, Charlie slowly walked over to him, stopping just in front of the chair. No shame, no hesitation. Just the way Ben liked him.
A slight shudder ran through his body when Ben softly laid his hands on Charlie's sides, starting to caress him with excruciating slowness. Charlie hardly moved when these rough but tender hands slid over his chest, down to his abdomen and then to his back, gently cupping his backside before they descended further to his thighs.
Ben still stared into Charlie's eyes , pinning him down, holding him in place, letting him know without doubt who was in charge. When Charlie thought he couldn't bear the strain anymore and lifted a hand to touch his still fully-clothed lover, Ben grasped his wrist quickly and held him back.
"Patience, Charlie," he whispered, still smirking. "No one's chasing us, we got all night."
Charlie just sighed and nodded obediently, giving Ben a yearning look while his boss continued to caress him. Ben's right hand suddenly stopped at a scar on Charlie's side - one of many, but one that held a special meaning for both of them.
It came from a Pinkerton's bullet, aimed at Ben during one raid. Ben had been kneeling on the ground, confident that his men had taken care of every single Pink. They hadn't; one of them had just been wounded. Neither Ben himself nor Charlie, as always at his side, would have been fast enough to shoot the Pink before he could pull the trigger. Charlie had stepped between them without even thinking about it, thus intercepting the bullet. It hit fortunately only his side, as it had been aimed at kneeling Ben's head. Charlie had shot the Pink the moment he went down himself, and the last thing he had heard was the bang of the Hand of God when Ben took down the incapable idiot who had shot the Pink without making sure he was dead.
The last doubts Ben might have had about Charlie's loyalty back then had been resolved on that day. Ben himself had taken care of Charlie until he was well again, and he knew from that day on with complete certainty that Charlie wouldn't just carry out his orders, but do even more for him than Ben would ever request.
Thinking back of that day Ben suddenly leaned forward and kissed the scar, the lustful expression in his eyes slowly turning into thoughtfulness.
"Damn Pink almost killed you that day, boss," Charlie remarked, softly putting a hand on Ben's shoulder. He wasn't fended off this time. A small smile ghosted over Ben's lips.
"Damn Pink almost killed you, Charlie," he replied, shaking his head. He should be used to it by now, but sometimes it still surprised him that the only thing Charlie ever thought and cared about was Ben, Ben's reputation, Ben's well-being, Ben's happiness. Sure enough, Charlie just shrugged as if it didn't matter.
"Was only my belly, boss; woulda been your head," he said stubbornly, and Ben didn't bother to argue. It was useless to argue with him about things like this - as if reckless Charlie Prince ever wasted a thought on his own health.
"Come here," Ben whispered and drew Charlie in his lap, wrapping his arms around the lithe body. Charlie snuggled against him and buried his head in Ben's neck, sighing happily. Even the other gang members, who knew how devoted Charlie was to their boss, would have been surprised to see the callous, angry young man so at peace, so affectionate.
"Couldn't do without you, boss … wouldn't want to," Charlie mumbled, his breath warm on Ben's skin.
"I know, Charlie. That's why you're special," Ben replied just as quietly. He laid a hand on Charlie's chin and forced him to look up, lost in those light green eyes - more beautiful than any girl's. Ben would never say it, at least not this explicitly, but he needed Charlie just as much. He had no idea what he would do if he ever lost his second-in-command, his friend, his lover. Ben made a point of not caring about people, of seeing them as tools, entertainments or obstacles - but Charlie was different. Only Charlie could possibly be crazy enough to love him - though Ben sometimes wondered if Charlie loved him because he was crazy or if he had gone crazy because he loved him. Probably a bit of both.
After a few seconds Ben claimed Charlie's lips, kissing him, tenderly and yet strongly and dominantly. Charlie replied with equal lust, but he didn't fight back for dominance, he just gave in. Why should he fight what he wanted most? He moaned softly, and his quick fingers started to unbutton Ben's shirt, desperate to touch finally more skin. Ben let him, but he disengaged from the kiss only seconds later and looked Charlie in the eyes, curtly nodding towards the bed.
Charlie shook his head and whispered breathlessly, "I wouldn't mind you doin' me right here."
Ben chuckled - Charlie could be so wonderfully, youthfully impatient, and the lustful haze in those pale eyes almost made Ben heed the suggestion. But he didn't particularly feel like being violent tonight, as much as he enjoyed it sometimes.
"I ain't got no lube 'right here', Charlie," he replied with a grin that became even wider when he saw Charlie wince.
"Bed might be not so bad an idea," the younger man conceded and got up. He didn't turn around, though, but made one step backwards after another, never taking his eyes off Ben. Still not bothering to get rid of his clothes Ben followed him and pushed him roughly onto the bed. For a moment he just took in the sight of that wiry body sprawled out before him, shivering in anticipation.
"Maybe I should draw you," Ben teased him while he sat down on the edge of the bed. "You'd make a pretty model like that."
"You hate drawing me," Charlie snorted and sat up, putting a hand one Ben's thigh. "You said I'd be movin' all the time."
Ben shrugged, but he didn't reply. It was true that he rarely drew Charlie, and this was the reason he had told him. Charlie, who hadn't liked being his model anyway, had never objected. Ben hadn't told him the true reason, though - he had simply never been satisfied with his drawings of Charlie. He had felt that they were doing him no justice, and realised that he was unable to put the one man he cared about on paper. He knew Charlie so well that he was more than just some beautiful object and model, like an animal or a woman, and the young man on his drawings just never looked like … Charlie. Charlie with his light, beautiful and insane eyes, with that gleeful little smile that only Ben could ever coax out of him … but not draw. Ben had never mentioned this to Charlie, especially as it was true that his second-in-command was apparently incapable of lying still while he was alone in a room with Ben.
His thoughts were interrupted when the hand on his thigh started to move, softly but insistently, while a rough beard and warm lips brushed his throat. Ben hesitated for a moment, wondering if he should tease Charlie a bit more and keep him waiting, but his body demanded otherwise. He kicked off his boots before he pushed Charlie on his back and leant over him, their lips meeting again in an almost forceful clash.
Now that Ben had finally stopped holding him back Charlie undressed him rapidly before he pulled the heavier man again on top of him. Ben was far from tender, his strong hands were bruising Charlie, every touch a clear sign of dominance, of possession. Which didn't mean that Charlie was passive, though. He claimed Ben's lips hungrily whenever Ben broke their kiss, as if he needed this more than to breathe, and his fingers were marking Ben just as clearly. The next wench who got the undeserved luck to share Ben's bed should see that, no matter how well he fucked her, he was already taken.
Despite his own impatience Ben took his time - being the older one could sometimes be rather advantageous. His hand found its way again and again between Charlie's legs, but only grazing, teasing, one lubricated finger softly breaching him and withdrawing the next moment - a second of pleasure replaced by the frustrating feeling of loss. Poor Charlie did his best to prod Ben to go on, his nimble hands and lips were working hard to arouse him more, but Ben was adamant. At some point Charlie even tried to flip him over and take the initiative, but no matter how much he strained his muscles and struggled, Ben just held him down.
"Damn, just get on with it!" Charlie snarled in frustration when Ben leant forward and licked and nibbled on his earlobe. Oh, he enjoyed it, sure, but he wanted so much more …
Ben just chuckled and ran his thumb over Charlie's lower lip. The look of need and lust in those gleaming eyes, the thin, moist lips slightly opened, the feeling of that lank body pressing against him made Ben himself shiver, but he couldn't just let Charlie get away with this insolence.
"Sure, Charlie," Ben purred in his ear while he already lifted Charlie's spread legs. "If you ask nicely, that is."
Charlie gave a strangled sound somewhere between a sob and a moan, digging his fingers into Ben's back.
"Sorry, boss … please," he whispered obediently. Pleading might have seemed completely against proud Charlie Prince's nature, but what would he not do to please Ben?
Ben smiled smugly, deciding that he had made his point sufficiently clear. The self-complacent expression disappeared, however, when he finally entered Charlie swiftly. His whole world boiled down to the mind-blowing sensations that made even Ben Wade lose his composure and self-control.
Charlie whimpered quietly under him - he had hardly been prepared at all, but at least Ben had been generous with the lube, and Charlie couldn't even say that he didn't like the slightly painful stretch. His moans became louder when Ben quickened his pace, and he closed his eyes for a second to let the full force of the assault sink in. Yet he opened them quickly again, eyes fixed on Ben's face, utterly fascinated by the look of fulfilment he saw there. The only moments in which Ben was lover rather than boss, an equal rather than a superior, when Charlie's half-crazy devotion and Ben's more reserved affection became one and the same.
Aroused as he had already been, Charlie came just before Ben, but he kept his legs hooked around him until he heard a stifled groan and felt Ben slide out of him. Just as breathless and drained as Charlie Ben just sank in his arms, his face buried in Charlie's shoulder - a more than strange position for them, but neither of them did mind in that moment, both too satisfied and too drowsy to move, except for the languid stroking of weakened hands on sweaty skin, the last waves of lust slowly ebbing away.
Ben straightened up after a while, softly disengaging from Charlie who was already dozing off. He still grumbled at the loss of contact and warmth, turning around to nuzzle against a pillow to keep at least Ben's scent.
Ben sat up and leant against the piled up pillows, looking down at Charlie, whose breathing was slowing down, but he was still soaked with sweat. He couldn't resist and ran a hand through the fair, curly hair, smiling when Charlie gave an inarticulate little noise that sounded half complaining and half pleased.
Ben rarely fell asleep immediately after sex - he always left the women quite quickly, and with Charlie he often found himself contemplating him and thinking. He had known Charlie for seven years now, had seen him grow up from an insecure, scrawny youth to the deadly, handsome man he was now. But Ben had never understood where Charlie's devotion to him came from. Admiration, gratefulness, loyalty to some extent - all of this would have been surprising coming from a callous outlaw, but still understandable. But Charlie's complete surrender and, as strange as it sounded, his love had unsettled Ben in the beginning.
At first he had suspected a ploy, but this fear had disappeared even long before Charlie intercepted that bullet and saved his life by risking his own. Realising that Charlie was serious, Ben had decided to use him - he had liked the boy to some extent and found him increasingly useful. He had thought that he could simply bind the young man closer to him by pretending that he cared about him, and thus get a perfectly reliable right-hand man.
But somehow, clever, manipulating Ben Wade had set up his own trap when he had allowed Charlie to become closer to him, when he had started to trust him, when he had first slept with him. Ben had got more and more entangled in his own net. Charlie with his cruelty and aggressive attitude, his flat voice, his strangely handsome face had somehow intrigued him; the sex was exactly how he liked it, and Charlie's companionship proved to be the most pleasant he had known in a very long time.
Ben was still not sure if only his perception had changed back then, or if it was just that Charlie had been, at this time, losing the last remains of his insecurity and innocence. Either way, the cold, strong man he became, callous and yet undyingly loyal, had somehow sneaked his way into Ben Wade's rotten heart.
He had tried to deny it for months, tried to convince himself that he was still only pretending to like Charlie in order to preserve his loyalty. But he had realised soon enough that it was all to no avail. He still remembered the look on Charlie's face when he had first allowed him to sleep in his bed instead of having him leave afterwards. That look had made Ben feel alive and happy for the first time in years. Not just the satisfaction of a successful raid or an intelligent ploy, but real happiness. Since then Ben, for all his principles of independence and egoism, had never really regretted what they had.
"Boss?" Charlie's voice was quiet and sleepy, and Ben couldn't help but grin when he looked down at him and saw the almost moony expression in his eyes. "You gonna sit there and brood all night?"
"Would you mind?" Ben asked and stroked Charlie's hair - a gesture that could almost remind of a master petting his dog, but Ben knew that Charlie liked it. Charlie liked pretty much everything that involved Ben touching him, Ben showing him any sign of affection. Didn't keep him from being cheeky, though.
"Yeah. You're sitting on the quilt," Charlie replied with a broad grin. Ben stared at him for a moment before he chuckled and moved over. He took the quilt and tossed it unceremoniously on Charlie, who grumbled in protest and pulled it over himself, turning his back to Ben.
Ben laughed quietly and sat down closer near Charlie, putting one hand on an uncovered shoulder, but he didn't lie down next to him. Hearing the comforting sound of Charlie's breathing and feeling his skin under his hand, Ben returned to his thoughts - quite happy thoughts for once. And he knew that he owed them to Charlie.