Disclaimer: I don't own the G Boys, I just borrow them from time to time and return them a whole lot happier ne? :) I do however own Shane, Paul, Colin, Mickey, Benny, Toby, Fayah and any other unfamiliar characters that crop up. I also own the plot if you can call it that.

Rating: NC 17

Warnings: Sap, angst, OC, Lemon, Lime, abuse, violence, language.

Pairings: 1x2x1, 3x4x3, 5xS, OC x OC and maybe some more... check each part to be sure ;)

Status: Work in progress.

Beta:Yami_tai... *huggles*

Author: ShenLong

Authors notes: *sigh* Well here I am again caving into pressure. I know it has taken a while to get to this and for that I apologize but I could not come up with a plot I deemed worthy enough.... until now. This is yet another sequel... this time to United Hearts. I did promise I would write the wedding for you all and I intend to do that. For those that haven't read United or Lost Souls I recommend that you do, otherwise this sequel will not make much sense. All of your favorite characters are back and up to as much mischief as possible.

This is set fourteen months after the end of United and all the children are older now. The Gundam Pilots are all 20yrs, Shane and Fayah are 16, Paul is 15, Colin is 14, Mickey is 12, Benny is 10 1/2 and not forgetting that little rascal Toby who is 10.

Thank you to all those who supported me through the writing of United, I hope you enjoy this just as much.

"Eternal Flame"

April 2003 ShenLong

Chapter 1

"Not long ta go now then, Paul." Shane shifted his back pack and took a hold of Fayah's hand.

"I just wish it was all over and done with," Paul responded with a sigh. "I don't think I will ever want ta get married if this is all the fuss and crap yer gotta go through."

"Awww... Yer sayin' that now, Paul, but one day yer will change yer mind," Fayah teased as she squeezed Shane's hand.

"No thanks!" Paul continued to walk beside his friends, mind in thought of the approaching wedding of his adopted parents.

"Well at least yer ain't getting dragged along on the honeymoon Paul," Shane said trying to keep his face straight but his brown eyes betrayed him, filling with laughter.

Paul passed the back of his hand over his eyes feigning a swoon. "Thank heavens fer that. I don't think I could handle it. The mere thought of Wufei doing anythin' remotely connected ta sex or romance is enough ta make my stomach knot."

"'Fraid yer might learn somefin new?" giggled Fayah.

"He's scared that Wufei might ask him fer some advice," snickered Shane.

"Yeah, well, I would prolly be able ta give him some too," Paul dead panned.

Shane and Fayah burst into hysterical laughter, the mere thought of the solemn Chinese man asking Paul for advice on his sex life to say the least, extremely funny.

Fayah wiped the tears from her eyes and tried desperately to stop her giggles. "Yer never know Paul, he might just be able ta give yer a few pointers."

Shane collapsed into a heap against the wall of the building they were walking next to. His legs refused to walk anymore, all energy having been diverted to his lungs, desperate to draw in oxygen as he tried to stop his laughter - and failing.

Eventually the three were able to stop laughing long enough to regain their senses and start walking again.

"So, yer got much left ta organize now?"

Paul shook his head. "Nah. All the main shit is done. Jus' checkin' the final arrangements and the rehearsal ta go."

"I bet Sally's dress is gonna look devine..." Fayah's face took on a dreamy look.

Paul rolled his eyes. "Ohhh, pleaseee."

Shane released Fayah's hand from his and placed his arm around her waist, hugging her close. He whispered in her ear."Not as good as yer would look in one Fayah." He nuzzled her neck.

"Come on guys, gimme a break will yer. I gets enough of this mushy stuff at 'ome without yer two as well." Paul spoke with a grin though. Secretly he was pleased that Shane had found Fayah. The girl was a sweetheart and not to mention good looking as well and was totally devoted to Shane.

"Yer just jealous, man," replied Shane a he planted a kiss to Fayah's lips.

Although the comment had been made in jest, Paul couldn't help the stab of pain that lanced through him. It was true. He was jealous. All around him the love flowed, everyone seemed to have someone... everyone except him; oh and Toby and Benny, but they didn't count seeing as how they were only youngsters. With the approaching wedding, the fact that Paul was still partner-less was brought home even more forcefully. Wufei was soon to marry Sally, Duo had Heero, Quatre had Trowa and Shane had Fayah. In one way Mickey and Colin had each other too as did Toby and Benny, and him?.... He had no one.

Well technically that wasn't correct, he had all his friends and adoptive family, but Paul yearned to find that special someone too, just like Shane had with Fayah. Paul didn't care whether they were male or female, he liked both and had made numerous friends of both sexes since his arrival on the Earth, but that was the problem. They were just friends. He had yet to find that special someone that would send his knees weak and fireworks exploding in his head.

"Earth ta Paul... Earth ta Paul...." Shane waved his hand in front of Paul's blank face. He tapped his friend on the head. "Hey. Anyone home in there?"

Paul gave a snort. "Cut it out Shane," he gruffed.

"You okay there Paul?" Shane looked at his friend, concern obvious in his eyes.

"Yeah, I'm fine. Just get sick of all the lovey dovey stuff going on," he lied.

"Well, we had better get going so I'll call yer later okay?"

Paul realized they had come to the crossroads that signified their parting. Fayah and Shane would go to the left while he continued straight ahead. "Okay, Shane. I should be home unless I get dragged off by the dragon." Paul attempted to lighten the mood a little.

"See yer later then." Shane clapped his friend lightly on the shoulder.

"Be good," smiled Fayah as she ran her hand down Paul's cheek.

"Not much chance of being anythin' else," muttered Paul.

Fayah and Shane turned left and headed down the street, arms entwined around each other. Paul watched them go for a moment before turning back to his own journey home.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Trowa studied the list of facts and figures before him and frowned. He looked at the computer screen and scrolled down a little. Glancing back at the sheet he compared it with the data on the screen. Something didn't quite add up. He sighed and stretched back in his chair, joints popping as he eased the kinks from his weary body. He had been going over these reports for the past three hours and was tired, his eyes hurt and he could feel the beginnings of a headache starting.

He picked up the sheet once more and taking the highlighter pen, swiped a line over the figures he was debating. Turning back to the computer screen he began the task of sifting through the figures displayed to locate the problem.

Another hour had passed, his coffee had gone cold and he was still no closer to finding out what the problem was. He stood and picked up his cup, turning, he left the office and went down the hall to the small lunch room. He emptied out the contents of the cup and rinsed it in the sink, placing it on the side he picked up the kettle and filled it before setting it down and switching it on. He fetched another cup from the cupboard and placed it next to his own. Coffee granules and a spoon of sugar followed, one into each cup while milk waited patiently at the side. The kettle began to gurgle as it warmed up to its task and the tall man leant against the counter top while he waited for it to sing. A hand swiped through the fall of cinnamon hair revealing two, deep emerald eyes before it flopped back into place, obscuring one orb again. The kettle began its song and Trowa switched it off. Milk joined its brothers in the cups and the spoon swirled idly within, mixing the components together. A clatter of the metal in the sink signified the end of work for the spoon and two slender hands picked up the cups and left the room.

Trowa strode past his own office and further along to the large double doors at the end of the hallway. Balancing the cups he knocked softly before opening the door and proceeding inside.

The blonde head turned as the knock sounded and the large swivel chair followed the lead. Quatre smiled as he saw Trowa approaching with two cups of coffee. With a few more words to the person on the other end of the vid phone, Quatre severed the call and leaned back in his chair. "Hey," he said quietly.

"Hey yourself," came the soft reply.

"Mmmmm... Thanks. You must be a mind reader." Quatre smiled as he took the offered coffee and sipped at the strong liquid.

"I thought you could probably do with a cup." Trowa sat down in the plush chair opposite his partner and boss and proceeded to sip at his own cup.

Quatre continued to cradle the cup in his hands as he watched his lover from over the rim. Trowa was usually quiet... but not this quiet. Quatre could sense something troubling his partner and so he waited patiently for Trowa to tell him what was wrong.

Trowa stared at the brown fluid as his mind continued to chase itself.

"Going to tell me what's wrong or do I have to torture you to get it out of you?" Quatre teased.

Trowa looked up and smiled. "Now that depends on what sort of torture you have in mind."

"Ohh I'm sure I can think up some insanely wicked ways to loosen that tongue of yours."

"Of that I have no doubt," came the soft reply.

"So, what is it that has you so deep in thought?"

"I'm not really sure if it is a problem or not," came the cryptic response.

"Oh?"

Trowa lowered his cup. "It's these invoices..."

Quatre put his cup on the desk and stood up. He walked around and leant up against the polished wood, arms folded across his chest, legs crossed at the ankles. "Elaborate."

"I'm just checking the incoming invoices against the work done and the out going invoices. There seems to be a small discrepancy in there."

"What with?"

"Computer chips."

"Oh?"

"Seems we had a few come in, but there are ten missing from the outgoing."

"That kind of thing sometimes happens, Trowa. The chips are probably still here in the lab. Sometimes they don't all get finished reprograming in time or there might be a problem with them. It happens."

"I know that." Trowa shook his head. "I can't seem to find them on the waste records or even trace them to the lab if that's where they still are."

"Have you spoken to Jones about it?"

"Not yet. I wanted to double check the paperwork first before going to him."

Quatre leaned forward and stole a quick kiss. "You worry too much my love. I'm sure there is a simple explanation for the missing chips. Most likely someone forgot to note them down when they were sent to whatever department it was they were supposed to go to."

"I suppose so." Trowa placed his own cup on the desk and wrapped his arms around the blonde's waist, pulling him to his lap. "So, how has your day been so far?" Trowa began to nibble along the creamy throat.

Quatre tilted his head to expose more of his skin to the pleasure. "Ohh... you know. So, so. Just the usual wheeling and dealing. Mmmm you have about fifty years to not stop doing that."

Trowa placed a series of feather kisses to the flushed skin. "Care to go out for dinner tonight?"

"I'd love to but we can't."

"Oh? Why not?"

"We have the wedding rehearsal tonight."

Trowa stopped for a moment and pulled away. "Oh. I forgot about that."

Quatre chuckled. "And you're supposed to be my assistant and remind me of my engagements."

"Sorry."

"I'll let you apologize properly to me later."

"You can count on it."

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Paul entered the apartment where he lived with Sally and Wufei. All was quiet. He dropped his bag on the couch and went to the kitchen to fix himself a sandwich. Returning with the food in hand he plonked down at the table and fetched his books from the bag to spread over the table's surface and obscure it from view. He rummaged around for his pencils and then with sandwich in his mouth he opened his text book to the required page and began to read as he scribbled down notes.

Two hours later he had finished his homework and was sitting in front of the television channel surfing. He knew Wufei would not approve as he flicked from one channel to another searching for something decent to watch. All that seemed to be on focused on relationships of some shape form or matter. All the movies were romantic ones, the science channels seemed to be devoted to the study of the mating habits and rituals of the various species and even the cooking show dealt with making that special anniversary dinner for your partner. He couldn't even escape it with the cartoons! There was that love sick skunk, Peppy le Pew, chasing shamelessly after that cat.

Paul growled and tossed the remote to the side. Everyone... everyone except him seemed to have someone with which to share their life and to say it was beginning to get him down was an understatement. He was becoming royally pissed off! He sighed and heaved himself up. Maybe a shower would settle his black mood a little.

Wufei and Sally arrived home while Paul was in the shower. Wufei paused at the bathroom door on his way through to his room to change. He knocked lightly. "Paul. We are home."

"Okay," came the slightly muffled reply.

"I have to go and pay the final payment on the cars, would you care to come with me?"

"Sure."

"I will be leaving in half an hour."

"Okay, Wufei. I'll be ready."

Wufei continued to his room where he began to change from his Preventer uniform into a pair of dark trousers and light blue shirt.

Paul turned the faucet off and stepped out. He grabbed a towel and began to dry himself off. He wrapped the towel securely around his waist and exited the bathroom. Closing the door to his room he wandered to the closet and took out a pair of jeans, tossing them to the bed before locating a shirt. Removing a pair of boxers from his underwear draw he let the towel slip from his hips . He couldn't help but notice his reflection in the full length mirror on the back of his closet door.

Paul straightened up and turned to stare at his reflection. What was wrong with him? Why couldn't he get someone to share his life with him? Was it his body? He stood and ran an eye over his nude form. Black silky hair lay in soft folds around his tanned face. Blue eyes stared back at him. The high planes of his cheeks and slight tilt of his nose giving him a scholarly appearance. The slender neck, brushed by the ends of his black locks joined onto shoulders that were beginning to broaden as puberty had taken him. The chest was lightly toned, a credit to the workouts he shared with Wufei and his arms were muscular. Following the line of his ribs a narrow waist appeared above slender hips that no longer stuck out from lack of food. Well muscled legs joined the hips and tapered to small but elegant feet. Paul's eyes drifted to his groin. The dark hair bore testament to his having achieved manhood and while his cock now lay flaccid over the top of his sac he knew he wasn't small in the organ department. Sneak peeks at the other boys in the showers after sports at school had shown him that his own equipment was slightly above the average.

So why then was he still single? Still mulling that thought over in his head he picked up his boxers and slipped them on. Really, he shouldn't be complaining. At least now he had a decent life, a roof over his head, food in his belly and he didn't have to thieve or whore himself to get it. He was finally getting the education he had longed for and had two people that cared deeply about him, which was more than he could say about his natural parents. His father had died a while ago and while Paul was glad to be free of him in one way, in another he still felt sad. His mother he had never known.

Zipping up his jeans and pulling the shirt over his head he took one last look at himself before going to find Wufei.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

"But I cooked last night, Hee-chan," came the whine.

"It won't hurt you to cook two nights in a row, Duo."

"It's not fair!"

"Duo! You know I have to get this report finished and we have the wedding rehearsal to go to as well, I don't have time to cook for us all."

"Still not fair!" Duo poked his tongue out.

Heero sighed. "Okay. I'll cook dinner, then we can go to the rehearsal, but it means I will be doing this report when we get home so don't expect a romp around the bed clothes tonight."

"I'll cook."

Heero couldn't help the laugh.

They exited the car and went inside their home. "We're home guys!" Duo sang out as he took his jacket off and hung it up.

"In the kitchen," came the reply.

Duo wrinkled his nose. "Hey, something smells good." He followed his nose, Heero right behind.

They entered the kitchen to find an amusing sight. Fayah was busy stirring something on the stove while Shane was peeling and chopping up vegetables. Duo burst out laughing.

Heero followed.

It wasn't the fact that Shane was doing such domestic chores... it was the sight of him in a frilly apron doing the domestic chores that caused the mirth.

"It's not funny!"

"Sure it isn't," snickered Duo.

Heero moved to the 'fridge and took out two beers. He passed one to Duo, the smile still playing on his lips.

"So whach'a doin wearing this fer, Shane? I didn't know yer had a kinky streak," Duo teased as he tweaked the apron before taking his beer from Heero.

"Blame Fayah fer it," Shane sulked.

Heero raised an eyebrow in Fayah's direction.

Fayah wiped her hands and turned to her foster parents. "We thought we would cook dinner tonight seeing how yer got the rehearsal and all. Figured that havin' worked all day it would be a nice surprise. Shane offered ta help me out and knowin' how messy he can be at times I thought it best if he wore an apron ta keep himself clean."

"But frills?" giggled Duo. "I didn't even know we had one with frills on it."

"I found it in the linen cupboard," replied Fayah as she turned to take the chopped vegetables from Shane and add them to the pan.

"That's been in there for a while Duo," Heero said with a smirk.

Duo whirled around. "It has?"

"Think back Duo. French maid ring a bell?"

Duo thought for a moment and then went bright red. "Oh yeah. That apron."

It was Shane's turn to snigger. "Really, Duo. Somethin' yer not telling us here?"

"Nothing yer need ta worry about Shane," Duo said in a tone that clearly stated he wasn't going to divulge any more information about that particular episode. "So, what yer cooking Fayah?" Duo strolled over to the stove and peeked over the girl's shoulder at the large pan. His hand snaked out and he went to pinch a morsel from the pan.

*Whack*

The spoon caught him across the back of the hand.

"Ow!" Duo yelped and withdrew the injured appendage.

"It's not ready yet and there will be no samplin' until it's cooked. It's a chicken stir fry," Fayah said with a mock glare.

"Hee-chan, she hit me," Duo whined. "Tell her off and kiss it better will yer?" Duo gave his lover a coy look from under his bangs.

"Fayah. Next time, smack him harder."

"Thanks a lot buddy," Duo huffed.

Shane giggled and stood, removing the apron and draping it over the back of the chair. "Serves yer right."

"Oh yeah? Yer can't talk, Mr Frills." Duo pouted, pretending to be hurt.

"Now, now children. Let's settle down and stop the squabbling or no one will get any dinner," Fayah said as she watched the banter with amusement.

"Let's go get changed Duo and leave Fayah in peace to finish cooking." Heero went to leave the room, catching Duo's hand in his and pulling him along with him.

"I'm right with yer Heero." Duo gave Shane a wink. "Don't lose the apron buddy, I might need it later," he whispered.

Shane laughed. "I'll keep it safe fer yer Duo."

Fayah turned back to her cooking and Shane began to clean up the mess while Duo followed Heero to their room to get changed.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

"So what's this rehearsal thingy that Quatre and Trowa are going ta tonight?" Colin asked as the four friends walked home together after school.

"I ain't too sure what it all means. I guess it's jus' a practice fer the real thing," said Benny as he scuffed his shoes trying to kick up rocks.

"Sounds pretty borin' if yer ask me," Mickey offered.

"I'm glad we ain't gotta go." Toby swung his bag around just missing Benny's head.

"Hey watch what yer doin' there Tob. Yer nearly knocked my head off."

"No great loss ta society," taunted Toby.

"Yeah?"

"Yeah!"

"Says who?"

"Says me." Toby gave a squeal and took off at a run as Benny dived at him.

"Help me catch 'im guys," yelled Benny.

Mickey looked at Colin and grinned. The pair took off in pursuit. Toby didn't stand a chance against the three older boys. Moments later he found himself sprawled on his back, Mickey and Colin pinning him down while Benny tickled him mercilessly.

"Okay... okay.... I gives up," Toby screamed out between giggles.

"Say yer sorry then," Benny said, poised ready to attack again.

"I'm sorry, 'kay," panted Toby.

"All right, 'pology accepted." Benny stood and Colin and Mickey released their captive.

"So, what's fer dinner then?" asked Benny as they continued their walk back to Colin and Mickey's home.

"Dunno, but it's sure ta be good," said Colin. "Nara's a pretty good cook."

"I'm glad they said we could stays wiv yer guys instead of havin' ta go ta this borin' rehearsal," Toby said as he stopped to pick a flower for Nara.

"I don't thinks I would like ta go either," Mickey said in his soft tone.

The four continued to walk in silence until the small cluster of houses came into view. Mickey and Colin had been adopted by Fahid and Nara, part of Quatre's Manguanac core and lived with them in the cluster of houses on the Winner estate. The four attended the same school in the village fifteen minutes walk away.

"Last one there's a rotten egg!" yelled Colin as he took off at run down the hill.

"Wait fer me!" cried Toby as he ran in pursuit, his little legs doing their best to keep up with the longer ones of his friends.

Mickey slowed and stayed level with Toby so the youngest one wouldn't feel completely out classed and the pair of them ran down the hill to Mickey's home together.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Wufei picked up his keys and went to the kitchen where Sally was getting together the ingredients for their dinner. "I won't be long," he said as he placed a kiss to her cheek.

"Okay. Dinner should be ready by the time you get back."

"What time do we need to be present at the church for the rehearsal?"

"Eight."

"Okay. Paul.... I am leaving." Wufei turned to leave.

"Right here, Wufei. Catch yer later Sally," Paul grinned at his adoptive mother.

"Behave yourself," Sally teased.

"Of course." Paul winked at her and followed Wufei out to the car.

They got in and buckled up. Wufei pulled out of the parking area and onto the street heading for the Limo hire place to make the final payment on the wedding cars.

Paul stared out the window at the passing scenery. Dusk had yet to settle but it wasn't far off. He loved to watch the sunsets on Earth. You didn't get anything like that on the colonies. They tried to simulate it as best they could, but all they could manage was a slow dimming of the artificial light source and that was it. Somehow it paled in comparison to watching the sun slowly descend in the sky, the colors changing from bright yellow to burnt orange, fiery reds and then dipping below the horizon to leave a mixture of reds, golds and blues in its wake as the twilight took over and the moon raised her silvery head.

"How was school?" Wufei's question broke the teen's musings.

"Fine. I gots an A on my English assignment."

"Excellent."

"I have a physics assignment which I'm gonna need some help with if yer can spare the time, Wufei."

"It will be my privilege to help you Paul. Show me when we get home and I will see what resources I can locate to assist you with it."

"Thanks, Wufei." A small smile played on Paul's lips. Wufei was always so correct in his manner but underneath lay a heart of gold. Wufei was willing to help anybody that was willing to help themselves. Paul was not lacking in intelligence, he was in fact quite smart, he had just never been given the opportunity to discover his own talents and now he had the chance at a decent education he was determined to give it his best shot and make Wufei and Sally proud of him. It was his way of saying thank you.

Wufei steered the car into a small side road and pulled up out the front of a nondescript looking building. Turning off the engine he unbuckled his seat belt and got out. Paul followed suit.

"Harley Wedding Car Hire" was emblazoned in large, black letters above the large double doors to the building and Paul looked up at the sign in awe. A picture of a limousine had been painted at each end. He hadn't been here with Wufei before, the deposit having been paid while he was at school.

Wufei walked over to a smaller door to the right of the large ones and went inside. Paul followed and looked about the small office in curiosity. A few chairs were lined up against the wall and a coffee table sat in the middle boasting a pile of outdated magazines. The reception desk held a computer, vid phone and large black book and was currently unattended. Wufei rang the small bell and waited.

A tall man came through the swinging doors behind the counter and approached. "Can I help you?"

"Yes. I am Chang Wufei. I have come to pay the balance on the hire fee for the two limousines I have booked for my wedding."

"Ahhh. Mr Chang. Won't be a moment." The man sat in front of the computer and began to type. While he waited for the information to come up on the screen he flipped open the large black book.

Wufei waited patiently, Paul at his side when the swinging doors opened again.

Paul felt his heart skip a beat and his mouth went dry.

The youth stepped through the doors and into the small office area. His eyes took in the Chinese man standing at the counter, but then they traveled to the youth standing next to him and felt his breath catch. His eyes raked over the boy, taking in every detail from the fall of black hair, soft blue eyes, plump lips and well toned body. He smiled.

Paul was momentarily stunned. He noticed the other man's eyes roving over his body and blushed slightly. He hoped he liked what he saw as Paul was certainly appreciating the view of the other one's body. He wore a simple pair of coveralls that had been slipped from the upper torso and secured around his waist leaving his chest bare. And it was a very nice chest, lightly tanned and broad. Lean planes of muscle covered with a light sheen of sweat. A dusting of hair over the upper section and firm, dark nipples.

Paul licked his lips subconsciously. His attention was drawn further over the body that was concealed under the baggy pants of the coverall, but Paul could tell the man was slender. His gaze traveled back up over the broad shoulders, defined chin, red lips and locked with green eyes. Paul blushed again as he realized he had been caught ogling. The long, red brown hair was caught back and secured in a pony tail. Paul swallowed hard and tried to slow his rapidly beating heart.

"Did you want something Leith?" the man at the desk broke the spell.

"Uh? Oh yeah. I need an oil filter for Mary." The voice was deep and rich. Music to Paul's ears.

"Get one from Harry's garage down the road and put it on the account. Here, take this." The older man passed over what looked like an order docket.

The youth took the docket and looked again at Paul. He wanted to get to know this enticing creature a little more, judging by the way he had been checking him out there was a good chance the youth might be interested. He looked quickly at the computer screen and the black book. Clearing his throat he looked at Paul. "It seems the business your father has here might take a little time. Would you like to come with me to get this oil filter while they talk business?"

Wufei looked up sharply and then turned to Paul. Paul's eyes opened wide. This gorgeous creature had just invited him to go with him? Paul looked at Wufei. "Would it be all right if I went? It's a bit borin' just standing here waitin'."

"Where are you going?" Wufei asked.

"Just down the road a couple of blocks to Harry's garage. I need to get an oil filter for Mary. Mary is the big limo," he added. "It should only take us about ten minutes."

Wufei contemplated the thought for a moment and then looked at Paul. "Okay. You may go but be careful. Be back here in ten minutes."

"I will. Thanks, Wufei." Paul smiled.

The youth whom Paul had gathered was called Leith, turned to address him. "I'll meet you out the front."

"Okay." Paul turned and went back out the small door and waited by the large ones for Leith to appear. He didn't have to wait long.

Leith stepped through the small gap between the double doors, his coveralls still tied around his waist. He extended his hand and Paul shook it, enjoying the momentary tingle that went up his arm with the contact. "I'm Leith."

"Paul. I'm pleased ta meet yer Leith."

They began to walk. "So, what brings you to the hire place? Your dad getting married or a sister or something?"

"He's not my father. More of a foster father. He's the one gettin' married," Paul spoke, finding it hard to keep his voice steady. Being this close to the man he could smell his scent, a mixture of sweat, grease, oil and a touch of cologne. It made Paul weak at the knees.

"When's the wedding?" Leith asked politely. He sneaked a glance at the boy.

"A week on Saturday."

"Taking your girlfriend?"

Paul snorted. "Don't 'ave one."

Leith tried again. "Boyfriend then?"

Paul looked up as they walked. "I don't 'ave anyone at the moment," he replied softly. "But if I did...."

Leith decided to go for broke. "So that means you like guys then?"

Paul blushed again. "Yeah, I like guys."

Leith smiled. At least he knew he might stand a chance now. They arrived at Harry's garage and Paul waited outside while Leith went in to get the part he needed for the limousine. Leith soon reappeared and they headed back to the hire place.

The silence stretched on as they walked. Paul uncomfortable with his own lack of verbal skills and Leith desperately trying to find a subtle way of asking the boy out on a date. The double doors were approaching and Leith decided it was now or never.

"Paul?" he said quietly as they paused outside the doors.

Paul looked up. "Yeah?"

Leith fiddled with the small box he carried and lowered his eyes. "Would you like to go catch a movie sometime... you know like, together?"

Paul blinked. "Yer askin' me out, Leith? Like on a date?"

"Yeah, I guess so. Sorry, I'm not that good at this." Leith raised his eyes to stare into Paul's blue ones.

"I'd like that Leith, but I'd 'ave ta ask first."

"No problem. Give me your phone number and I'll call you to set it up."

Paul reached into his pocket and withdrew a piece of paper. Leith passed him a pencil stub and Paul quickly scribbled down his phone number. Passing the pencil and the paper back their fingers touched and Paul felt as if he had been hit by 240 volts.

They stared at each other for a moment. "You're stunning," said Leith as he reached his hand to graze his knuckles against Paul's cheek.

Paul blushed and felt his skin grow hot and tingle where Leith had touched him. His eyes slid shut for a moment and then opened as he heard the sounds of the other door opening and Wufei's voice on the air. "Call me and we'll arrange the date," Paul said softly and went to turn to meet Wufei.

Leith caught his arm and reached forward. "I'll call tonight around seven," he whispered in Paul's ear and then brushed a kiss to Paul's cheek before disappearing inside the garage doors.

Paul stood still, his body unable to move for a moment. The touch of those lips against his cheek igniting a fire inside him and awakening the desire to be loved and wanted just as everyone else was.

"Paul!"

Paul shook his head and brought himself from his musings. "Coming, Wufei." He went to the car and climbed in, his mind still on Leith and the phone call he was to get.

~ oOo ~

tbc...