Wet - by Sara's Girl

AN – I have no excuses for this, other than that I was listening to 'Umbrella' by Rihanna, and the idea of a rain-soaked Greg Sanders appealed to me immensely, what can I say.

Preslash, sexual tension, smut...pretty much covers it. Reviews are genuinely loved. This is a repost from WMTDB.


Greg stared at the uniformed officer, disbelief written across his face. He had already forced himself to accept the fact that he was having a pig of a day, but this was just the absolute limit.

"So, what you're telling me is, the primary crime scene is not, in fact, here, but in a hole filled with sand, three miles away?"

He was exhausted and he knew his frustration showed through in his voice, but he was past caring. He had already woken up late, been given the third degree by Grissom, spilled his coffee on his favourite shirt and slammed his hand in the passenger door of the Denali as he got into it. He did not want to think about the reason he had slept so poorly, because it was embarrassing, not to mention pathetic. And thinking about his recurring dream about Nick was a very bad idea at work. A very, very bad idea when Nick was standing next to him, looking heartbreakingly perfect in tight trousers and a sky-blue shirt, with an indulgent grin on his face. Greg narrowed his eyes. He had no idea why Nick could possibly be so amused by the news that they had to walk three miles, with their kits, before they could even start on processing the scene.

"It's not a hole filled with sand, G, it's a bunker. A golf course? You know, that game rich people play with little balls." Nick murmured, not looking at him.

"I know that." Greg was indignant, but could not quite suppress a juvenile snigger at the thought of little balls. "My point is, we have to walk all that…oh, never mind."

He sighed, turned away from the officer and looked out over the expanse of manicured grass with resentful eyes. "Isn't there some sort of…golf-course-friendly transportation we can…? No?"

The uniform merely laughed shortly. "If you mean a golf buggy, then no. Owner's refusing to co-operate, and at this moment we can't do a thing about it. You'll just have to start walking."

Greg closed his eyes briefly and swallowed the stream of curses that was threatening to escape his tightly clenched lips. No need to sound so pleased about it, man, he thought to himself, really there isn't. He hated walking at the best of times, but today, he just did not need it.

He heard Nick, ever practical, ask the uniform for the precise location of the body, and the best route to it. Heard, too, the apology in his tone and the soft laughter of the officer in response. Knew that Nick was apologising for him, as an embarrassed parent might do when shown up in public by a misbehaving child. Greg gripped the handle of his kit tighter in an effort to keep his mouth shut. He could not decide if it made him angry or disappointed that Nick behaved that way around him, as if he was the adult and Greg was the child. Of course, it frustrated him that, as a colleague and fellow CSI, Nick obviously did not view him as an equal, but it went deeper than that. Greg had nursed a painfully huge crush on his older colleague almost since the day they met. Over the years, despite his better efforts, lust had deepened into a longing that made being around Nick excruciating and irresistible all at once.

Not that Greg would ever tell him, because all things considered, he preferred his facial features in their current configuration. He often played out scenarios in his head, in which he told Nick that actually, he wanted him, badly. All of them involved violence and/or humiliation at the hands of his very straight, very Texan, very strong co-worker. On reflection, Greg quite liked his recurring dream, because in it, Nick wanted him too, and was certainly not shy about showing it. As he stood there with his back to both men, images from the dream crept into his consciousness and Greg felt his face heat uncontrollably.

Not now, he admonished himself, shaking his head sharply as though with enough effort, he might be able to dislodge the thought completely. Just in time, too, as Nick's hand landed on his shoulder, spreading an unwelcome heat through his body. He suppressed a shudder but did not move out from under the touch, instead, turned around. Nick quickly dropped his hand and Greg felt the break in contact like a loss. He smiled, in spite of himself, at the sight of the other man standing there, looking strangely alluring, leaning on a huge, green and white striped golf umbrella. Greg stared at it, bemused.

"Umbrella," he remarked. Smooth, Greg, very smooth.

Nick followed his gaze and lifted the offending object a few inches off the floor, waving it around experimentally. Greg grinned, his indignance momentarily forgotten.

"Officer Parkes said we'd need this. Apparently it's going to rain."

Greg smirked. "Don't be ridiculous. It never rains in Vegas. Plus, it's the middle of summer."

Nick said nothing, just smiled and started walking. Greg watched him for a moment or two, observing his long strides and the way he was using the oversized umbrella to pick his way across the grass.

"Hey, man, wait for me!"

Greg scrambled to follow, frustration rising once more; the sharp metal corners of his kit banging against his thigh as he ran to catch up with Nick. It had better not rain, he thought darkly, slowing down to a brisk walk alongside his co-worker. Or else.

Clearly, it was not Greg's day. He should have known that god, or the universe, or whatever other karmic force was running the show had not quite finished screwing with him, but he had, despite everything, still retained a shred of optimism. It was barely ten minutes since they had set out from the parking lot of the course when he felt the first drops. He had slowed his pace, just enough so that he was walking behind Nick. Torturing himself, staring straight at that magnificent ass as he made his way across the rolling terrain. The first one landed on his bare forearm and he ignored it. The second and third he felt on the back of his neck, sliding down below his collar and making him shiver involuntarily. The fourth hit him on the nose and rolled slowly off the end onto the front of his shirt. After that, it was as though someone had ripped a hole in the sky. It was raining, after all. Of course it was. In Nevada. In the middle of a heatwave. Beautiful.

Greg cursed softly and ineffectually raised his free hand over his head, trying to keep his hair dry. He stole another glance at Nick, who was still walking on ahead as if he hadn't even noticed the downpour. Fine. If Nick was going to just carry on, so was he. He could be stoic, uncompromising, just get on with it. He would show Nick he wasn't just some wussy city boy afraid of a little rain. He certainly was not going to complain again, at least, not out loud. Greg gritted his teeth and carried on putting one foot in front of the other, consoling himself with the fact that the slight upward incline now meant that Nick's pants were bunching and tightening around his ass with every step, and it was a view Greg appreciated.

The rain was coming faster now, big, fat, heavy drops that seemed to explode when they hit the ground, spreading out across the grass and turning it slick with mud. Greg felt his foot sliding from under him just before it was too late. He was not wearing the most practical shoes, but then he had not anticipated taking on a mudslide in them, so that was not his fault. He compensated for the slide by leaning into it and throwing his arms out, almost dropping his kit and wobbling alarmingly, but staying upright, just.


Greg was unaware the sound had escaped his lips as he was trying not to fall over on his ass in the mud, at least until Nick stopped walking and turned around. Regarded him with interest, a smile tugging at the corners of his perfect mouth. Greg met his amused dark brown eyes and scowled. Staying perfectly still, he dropped his arms to his side once more. He felt his heart rate increase as he stared back at Nick. Nick, wet. This was new. He had seen, and imagined, Nick in many states before. Dirty, sweaty, breathless…he had filed them all away in the compartment in his brain that he only accessed when he was alone. In theory. But Nick wet… a new one. And it was a revelation.

The rain fell in slow, agonising droplets from the ends of Nick's slightly-too-long hair, turned almost black by the water, fell into his eyes and rolled down his face, some falling to the floor and some leaking into his mouth. Greg wanted to lick the raindrops from those lips, just to see what they tasted like mixed with Nick. Aware that he was staring but unable to stop himself, his eyes travelled downwards to where Nick's light blue shirt was fast becoming translucent and clinging to him like a wet second skin. The cold water was obviously affecting Nick more than he was letting on, because his nipples were hardened and clearly visible beneath the wet fabric. Greg felt his breath catch at the sight, white-hot need shooting straight to his groin, his mouth falling open, allowing raindrops to collect on his tongue.

Nick cleared his throat, pointedly, and Greg blinked. Swallowing hard, grateful for the cold water trickling down his throat, soothing the sudden dryness brought on by staring at Nick. Staring, with what was probably painfully obvious lust in his eyes. Crap. He remained frozen to the spot, afraid to move in case he lost his balance. Not just because of the mud-slick underfoot but because of the way Nick was looking at him. There was something besides amusement in his eyes now, something that Greg could not place. It was almost like…no. Greg looked down at his shoes and dragged his breathing under control, concentrating on the cool water trickling down the back of his neck, and trying not to think about ripping the buttons from that soaked shirt and wrapping his warm mouth around those cold, hard nipples. He gulped, looked up again. The mysterious expression had left Nick's face and he was smiling innocently. Greg fought back a scowl and raised his eyebrows questioningly.

Nick placed his kit on the ground carefully and unfurled the umbrella, pushing it open with a soft click and holding it over his head.

"Wanna get under this?"

He was still smiling, and for some reason this infuriated Greg. He remained silent, afraid that if he opened his mouth he would say something he regretted. He wasn't sure if it would be 'fuck off' or 'damn, you look good wet' but he was fairly sure neither was particularly advisable. After all, they were completely alone out there – no witnesses. No one to save him.

"Greg? Are you listening to me? Get under here, man, you're getting soaked!"

He sounded exasperated now, and Greg immediately felt himself retreat into that all familiar role of the petulant child. Nick just seemed to bring it out in him, and it was all he could do not to stamp his foot. A good decision, since any sudden movement now would most likely end with him on his backside in the mud.

"No." He hung grimly onto his kit and tried to ignore the water running into his eyes.

There was no way. Absolutely no way he was getting a single step closer to Nick looking like he did now. It was bad enough from ten feet away, his body was already responding in the basest way to his wet colleague; he was painfully hard and rational thought was slipping away with every minute that passed. Getting close enough to stand under that umbrella with him? Asking for trouble. Greg suspected that if he was close enough to touch, his fingers would betray him and slide through that dripping hair, over and under drenched cotton to stroke cool, damp skin. He was safer here, and nothing Nick said was going to move him from the spot.

"Greg, what is the matter with you?"

"Nothing. I'm staying here."

"You're getting wet…"

"I'm already wet, genius."

His voice was dripping with sarcasm and disdain, and he hated it, but he felt vulnerable and defensive. He started defiantly at Nick through the saturated hair that stuck to his forehead and was now partially obscuring his vision. Wondered again, fleetingly, what he had possibly done to deserve today. Some karmic force had obviously decided to give his ass a thorough kicking and Greg wished he knew why.

His musings were cut off somewhat abruptly when he realised that Nick was moving towards him. Somewhat unsteadily, his free arm thrown out in an attempt to balance, a look of absolute determination and concentration fixed on his face as he closed the distance between him and Greg. Alarmed, Greg instinctively took a step backwards, too late feeling his foot slide backwards under him. Too late to recover himself, the world started to tilt and he closed his eyes against the inevitable, waiting for the dull thud and wet slurp that would come from the impact of his body hitting the waterlogged ground. To his confusion, it never came. A large, surprisingly warm hand shot out and grabbed his firmly, pulling him upright with a strength that wrenched his arm painfully at the shoulder.

Greg's eyes flew open. Still somewhat surprised to be standing upright, and even more surprised to be standing inches away from Nick, pulled under the shelter of the umbrella that he was somehow still holding. And he was still holding onto Greg's hand. Greg looked down dumbly at their joined hands, not wanting to meet Nick's eyes. The proximity was too much, as he had known it would be, and his heart was pounding so loud he thought Nick must be able to hear it. His fingers were firmly wrapped around Greg's and the skin contact felt incredible, but still Greg wished he would let go before he did something stupid like pulling Nick's hand up to his mouth and tasting warm, wet fingers with cold, wet lips. His tongue snaked out of his mouth and licked the moisture away.

Let go, let go, let go of me, he chanted silently, clinging to his last shred of self control. Exhaling with relief when Nick finally released his hand. Inhaled sharply again when he leaned over and carefully, slowly, prised the fingers of Greg's other hand from around his kit handle, took it gently from him and set it on the ground. Greg watched him, feeling lost for words.

"I think we'd better stay here for a few minutes," Nick was saying, his voice low and soft, and closer than before. "Might just be a shower. Don't want any casualties."

Greg's eyes were fixed on the floor, not daring to look up, because he knew now that Nick was looking at him and he was so close, easily close enough to reach out and touch. Close enough to kiss. Too close, in fact. Panic was spreading through his body at the same rate as the raw desire brought on by the closeness of the other man. A strange new tension he had not noticed before filled the small space between them, and Greg thought he might stop breathing. He was so obvious, he knew it, his face was flushed, and at this proximity he didn't think even Nick could miss the unmistakeable bulge in his jeans, jeans that were suddenly very constricting.

Nick mumbled something, and Greg knew then, that he had officially gone insane with it. Because what it sounded like, was 'You look good wet.' And there was no way Nick had said that. Now the voices in his own head were messing with him, and it was just cruel. Not wanting to ask Nick to repeat what he had actually said, Greg was aware that he had not said a word for some time, and that was not like him. Suddenly a flow of nervous babble rose up into his throat to fill the space, like it always did. Say something, say anything, that was his policy.

"It's not supposed to rain in the desert, you know, that's why I came here. To Vegas. I don't like the rain, and, you know, where's a better place to stay dry than Nevada? That's what I figured…'cause, y'know, it's like what they say about the desert missing the rain – when you miss something a lot…you're like the desert…because it doesn't rain in the desert…you don't need to miss something if you have it, do you? So – "

Greg gulped. That wasn't Nick's hand on his shoulder. No. He continued.

"…so, yeah…there's something wrong, if it's raining, maybe it's the government, Hodges is always talking about those conspiracies, weather experiments and stuff, do you think that…?"

The words dried up as Greg felt something akin to electricity crackle down his back. He was being touched. That was Nick's hand on the back of his neck, Nick's thumb rubbing small circles under his collar. Straight Nick, who could probably kill Greg with one hand tied behind his back if he so wanted, was touching him with an aching tenderness and promise that took his breath away. Greg had never been so confused and turned on in his entire life. Shivering, and not against the cold, he lifted his eyes to meet Nick's. Eyes that were darker than usual, and burned with an intensity that made Greg gasp.

"You look good wet," he said again.

There was no mistaking it this time. No mistaking the low, urgent tone, the slight deepening of the accent Greg loved, the fixed, steady eye contact, and the insistent fingers that were now threading through his wet hair, drawing him closer. Greg's mind was racing, trying desperately to make sense of this new development, feeling suddenly and uncomfortably as though his entire world had been turned on its head. Thinking was becoming more difficult though, as he felt himself being pulled forwards until there was barely an inch separating his lips from Nick's. They were breathing the same air now, he thought absently, a shallow, sharp breath taking in mint and coffee. Nick's breath was warm against his lips and the hand on the back of his head urged him gently forward. He hesitated, overwhelmed by sensation, desire flooding his senses and incapacitating him.

Sensing he was holding back, Nick backed off hurriedly, dropping his hand and stepping away from Greg. At the loss of contact, Greg's stomach wrenched violently and the swirling sensation inside his head ceased abruptly. The world snapped back into sharp focus and he was breathing hard as he stared back at Nick, who was clutching the umbrella over them as though his life depended on it, his face white.

"Fuck, Greg…I'm sorry. I thought…oh, god. I thought you were staring at me, and I – I'm sorry." He hung his head and stared at Greg's mud-slicked shoes. "Can you just forget I said anything?"

Greg watched him, stunned. He had never seen Nick like this before, he was always so calm and collected, hardly anything rattled him. He never expected something as insignificant as being rejected by Greg Sanders would reduce him to this. Oh, fuck, what? Greg's brain finally caught up with the rest of him when he finally got the idea that he was seconds away from missing out on everything he had ever wanted. Standing right there, soaked through to the skin, looking more humiliated than Greg thought possible. His own reaction surprised him. He laughed. Nick's head shot up, hurt evident in his eyes, and Greg moved quickly now. Reaching out to slide both hands up Nick's firm, damp back, over rain-soaked shirt and over warm, damp skin, into his dripping hair, letting it squelch between his fingers and revelling in the sensation.

His laughter died on his lips when he saw the questioning blaze in Nick's eyes and answered it with his own. Leaned in, trembling, and pressed a light kiss to the corner of Nick's mouth, gratified to see it lift and crinkle in response.

"I was staring," he whispered, shivering once more as he felt Nick's free hand tentatively run up his back. "You look good wet, too."

Not waiting to hear Nick's response, Greg pulled Nick's head to his and kissed him, hard. At first, a desperate clash of lips, Greg pushing against him fiercely, needing the contact after so long being denied it. Nick stood there motionless for a fraction of a second, before responding in kind, dragging nails up Greg's back and pulling him against his chest, deepening the kiss. His lips were cold, and Greg tasted the raindrops on his skin as he sucked Nick's lower lip into his mouth. They tasted sweet and cold, and mixed with the inside of Nick's mouth, as Greg darted his tongue between slightly open lips, maybe the best thing he had ever tasted.

He relaxed into the kiss, letting out the breath he had been holding as a soft moan, his mouth falling open and allowing Nick's tongue access. Greg tightened his hold in Nick's hair as that tongue gently but firmly mapped the inside of his mouth, licking into the sensitive spot inside his lower lip, tracing the roof of his mouth. When Nick's tongue touched his lightly for the first time, Greg felt the heat on the back of his neck, down his thighs and pushing, expanding inside his jeans. Nick's own needy whimper as his tongue met Greg's made his cock jump, and he slid one hand down to grip Nick's ass and pull him flush against his body. Feeling immediately that the other man was as hard as he was made Greg smile dirtily into the kiss and rub against Nick languidly as he caught his lip, now warmed but still slick with their shared saliva, between his teeth.

"Wanna feel you," he whispered into Nick's mouth, moving his hand down, sweeping it around his slim hips and with some effort, sliding it between them, needing to touch. His hand trapped for a moment, as they were now pressed together, touching at every point between shoulder and knee.

"Let me…just…need to touch you. Right now."

His words were muffled as Nick kissed him harder, eliciting sensations that Greg hadn't thought were possible from mere kissing. He pulled away a little, just enough for Greg to grasp and undo his belt with shaking fingers. The heat that was pouring off him was incredible, and Greg had long ago abandoned any sense of self control, unzipping, unbuttoning and sliding his hand inside in almost one rough movement. He slid his palm along the firm outline of Nick's cock, still inside his boxers, increasing the pressure as he heard him hiss and cling to him, felt him pull away from the kiss and drop his head to Greg's shoulder.

Greg jumped, feeling something glance painfully across the side of his head, and he looked up to see metal spokes and green and white shiny fabric swaying dangerously as Nick tried in vain to keep a hold of the umbrella. A hold he was rapidly losing with every stroke of Greg's hand and every hot-breathed whimper against damp skin.

"Would you just put that down?" Greg requested, gently but unable to keep the need from his voice.

Seeing that Nick was lost, he tugged the handle from his grip and tossed it to one side, feeling the rush of cool rain against his heated skin like a welcome relief. Nick's mouth was open against his neck now, hot, desperate, and Greg knew that he needed the touch as much as Greg needed to touch him. Unable to wait a second longer, Greg slipped his hand beneath the straining cotton of Nick's underwear and wrapped it around the hot, silky smooth skin of his achingly hard cock. Felt Nick's groan against his neck and threw his head back against the pleasure/pain surge as he felt teeth clamp down on his skin at the point where his neck met his shoulders. The resultant heat that flooded Greg's body jerking him into action as he started to move his hand, firmly, quickly with sure strokes, not letting up the pace of his grip for a second as he pulled back right to the base and slid all the way to the head, rubbing his thumb over the sensitive spot on the underside of Nick's cock, slipping it around to the slit where he found a warm wetness pooling, as he knew he would, slickening his fingers as he resumed the strong, firm grip that was currently making Nick moan incoherently into Greg's ear, teeth grazing the lobe. His hands, now both free, were gripping Greg's shoulders, as though he was trying to stop himself from falling. Greg kissed his neck slowly, sensuously, trying hard to maintain control long enough to enjoy this, but even as he did he knew he was coming undone.


Hearing his name dragged from Nick's lips in a way that conveyed such desperate need was almost enough to push Greg over the edge, and he had not even been touched. He tipped his head back and closed his eyes against the rain, letting the drops gather along his eyelashes and race down his throat to pool in the hollow at his collarbone.


His eyes snapped open and fixed on Nick immediately, because that sighed, raw, pleading coming from him was the most erotic thing Greg had ever heard. His hand slowed, though he did not stop, continuing to slide and squeeze and grip the seemingly expanding hardness as Nick moved against him, arching into the touch. Greg licked his lips, tasting mint and coffee and raindrops and Nick.

"What do you want? Tell me," he rasped, knowing that whether Nick touched him or not, he would not last much longer. His free hand sliding over wet, cold, cotton-covered nipples, pinching slightly, making Nick gasp and forcing eye contact. Jesus. Skin flushed, eyes soft and liquid, unfocused with lust, mouth hanging open against ragged breaths; the expression of a man who had completely and utterly relinquished his control. Greg held it in his hands now, and he had never felt so powerful, he felt dizzy with it. He rotated his wet palm against the head of Nick's cock and felt him jump. Waited.

"Your mouth, Greg…please. Want your mouth on me," came out in a rush, murmured harshly before Greg realised he was being kissed again, violently, his mouth invaded by Nick's searching tongue. Before he could respond, the kiss was broken and he was being pushed away, a firm, steady pressure applied to his shoulders. He allowed himself to be pushed into position, not caring one bit as his knees made contact with soaked, muddy grass that he could already start to feel seeping through his jeans and onto his skin. The water was running down his back now, beneath his collar, under his shirt. Every inch sticking to him and he did not care.

Greg looked up as he hooked his fingers under Nick's waistband and pulled down trousers and underwear in one tug. The look of intensity with which Nick stared back down into his eyes was overwhelming, and Greg could just about make out the word 'now' whispered into the air. He leaned forward, sliding one hand up around the back of Nick's well muscled thigh, keeping him in place, the other gripping his twitching, dripping cock as Greg took it into his mouth. Swirling his tongue around the head and wrapping his lips firmly around the shaft, the reality of what he was doing creeping in and thrilling him even more. Kneeling in front of Nick Stokes, on a golf course, in the rain, sucking his cock and listening to his moans and sighs, feeling him stiffen and jerk against his tongue. Reaching a hand into Greg's hair, pushing back wet, wavy strands from his forehead and holding him in place.

Close, Greg thought contentedly, so close. Both of them. Nick was thrusting against him now, trying to push further into Greg's warm, wet mouth, the thigh muscle against Greg's steadying hand was trembling with the effort of keeping Nick upright. Greg's own pleasure was close to boiling point just from the sight and sound and taste of the other man, and the aching friction he found against the inside seam of his tight jeans, just rocking slightly in a rhythm to match Nick's own thrusts against his mouth, he knew he wouldn't be long.

As he felt Nick tense and whisper his name through gritted teeth, one hand gripping his shoulder hard enough to bruise, the other not letting go of his hair as he came hard, spilling his hot seed into Greg's mouth, he pulled his hand away from Nick's thigh and rubbed himself frantically, once, twice, through the damp denim and that was enough. His vision flooded with white light and he swallowed hard, tasting Nick before crying out, just once, with relief, bracing himself against Nick's jutting hipbone, one hand splayed across the wet grass. He stared down at the brown liquid mud oozing between his fingers as he tried to regain his breath and his balance.

Feeling decidedly sticky, Greg dragged himself to his feet somewhat unsteadily and leaned against Nick, who was staring at him with slightly glazed eyes and a slow smile curving his lips. Greg wiped his sleeve across his mouth and grinned dazedly, resting his forehead against Nick's and carefully redressing him, fingers moving confidently between them now.

"It's stopped raining," Nick observed, winding a strand of Greg's hair around his finger, his breathing and heart rate slowly returning to normal. Greg looked up, surprised. Indeed, the downpour had stopped almost as suddenly as it had begun, and weak shafts of sunlight were beginning to break through the cloud. He felt a tug of regret at the sight of it, as though the end of the rain meant that this moment was about to be lost forever.

Nick must have noticed the almost-disappointment on his face, as he laughed. It was a warm, rich sound and despite everything that had just passed between them, Greg still felt his stomach contract when he heard it. "I thought you hated the rain, G."

Greg blushed and looked down, focusing on the subtle pinstripe on Nick's damp shirt, suddenly unsure of himself. Nick's hand was lifting his chin, then, forcing him to make eye contact before he spoke.

"I've wanted this for the longest time, do you know that?"

Greg caught his breath but did not say anything; he did not trust his voice not to give too much away. He thought nothing could surprise him more than what had just happened, but he was wrong.

"This isn't the end," Nick continued, pulling him in for another kiss, this one softer, less frantic but with an edge of something that struck Greg deep inside somewhere, leaving him breathless. He nodded slowly, a small smile pulling at his swollen lips.

"Good," he managed, finally, pulling away reluctantly and retrieving his abandoned kit and the mud-smeared umbrella from the ground. "Crime scene?"

Nick laughed again and rested a steady hand on Greg's back as he bent to pick up his own silver case. He raked fingers through dishevelled wet hair and turned to start walking, carefully, avoiding the worst patches of mud. Greg followed him at a short distance, unsteady on his feet, unable to keep the smile of disbelief from his face as he ran his tongue around the inside of his mouth, tasting salt and sweetness and warmth and Nick. If the shitty first half of this day was the karmic balance of this second half, then that was just fine by him. Even if he had to walk another mile in soaking wet clothes, sticky underwear and process a scene without jumping on Nick. He could do that.

Greg tilted his face up into the sun and grinned, tucking the soiled umbrella more firmly under his arm and running, sliding across the grass, to catch up with Nick.