Taking his turn to spend quality time with Anthony, A.J introduced the young sub to the sensual possibilities of food and listened while he opened up a bit more about his fears and concerns. Following a brave admission by the young man, the pair helped each other achieve orgasm and an exhausted Anthony was tucked into bed between Jethro and A.J. to get a few hours of well deserved rest.
And now, the conclusion to our story...
EARLY THE FOLLOWING MORNING:
Yawning and stretching, Tony pushed slightly into the body behind him and felt an arm slowly glide forward over his chest to hold him close. Dragging himself up to a mostly conscious state, the younger man grinned, tilted his head down to kiss the hand caressing his throat and mumbled a greeting.
"Morning." A.J. whispered in deference to the other men who hadn't stirred yet. "I didn't feel you twitch once all night."
"Mmm... I know. I never sleep that sound. The four of you totally wore me out."
Jethro's hand slid over and patted his cheek.
"You're in trouble now I know how to get rid of all that extra energy..."
"Yeah, but you can't use this method at work." Tony countered with a grin and a brief kiss dropped on his dom's mouth.
"You really think this is all I've got in my bag of tricks?" Gibbs murmured quietly, looking deeply into Tony's eyes.
"God, I hope not."
"You're happy so far, then."
Tony frowned mildly and touched Jethro's face in return.
"I'm on cloud 12 and a half. Don't you know that? Have I been acting like something was wrong? If I have, just tell me how and I'll fix my attitude, I swear..."
"Shhh. That's not it." Gibbs reassured him, sliding a hand down to cover his mouth "Your attitude is perfect, Tony. You'd know in a second if it wasn't." he chuckled, rubbing the back of Tony's head to emphasize his point. "I just wanted to be sure you're alright... to hear you say it."
"Wow. So... you aren't always sure about all this... about taking me into your confidence and showing me what I am?"
"No... not always. You're not some ordinary novice, damn it... not just somebody I'm training, knowing they'll move on when they find the dom they're meant to be with. I love you and I'm never letting you go, Tony."
"Good thing, since I wasn't planning on leaving you anytime soon. I don't need to go looking, Jethro. I've already found my 'meant to be'. I don't question that..."
"Baby, stop. Just stop, okay? I'm not questioning anything about us. I'm tryin' to go slow and get it right. Once in a while... I'm gonna need to confirm we're still on the same page."
"Forever." Tony told him softly, kissing his lover a second time.
"Wait on that. It's not like I don't want it to be true... just wait. There're things you haven't learned or seen... places I haven't taken you yet. When you see, when you know... then we can say forever."
Tony sighed, rolled his eyes slightly and relented, accepting that this mother hen tendency was simply part and parcel of his dom's instinctive need to protect his sub.
"Okay, fine, I surrender. I feel too good this morning to start a huge fight... especially with a caffeine addict who hasn't had his first dose yet."
Gibbs mock growled and turned his stroking of Tony's hair into a gentle noougie. Sneaking up, aware that the others hadn't realized they were awake yet, Clay and Harm pounced and an enthusiastic tickle fight ensued. Several minutes later, Jethro emerged the winner, leaving everyone else panting and laughing. The former marine smirked down at the two stretched out on the floor beside the bed.
"Never challenge a Marine."
"Brings a... whole new meaning... to hand to hand combat." Harm responded, slowly sitting up. "Which two get the shower first?"
"It's big enough for two people?" Tony asked, his eyes widening. Jethro swung his legs over the edge and rose to his feet, holding out his hand. Tony accepted the invitation and followed suit.
"Okay if we take the first run, A.J?"
"Yeah, no problem. We can wait."
"Thanks." Gibbs acknowledged, turning and pulling his sub off toward the other side of the room, heading for a door just to the left of the dressing area. As they stood under the steam and rushing water, Gibbs stilled Tony's hands when he reached for one of the large bottles mounted on the tiled wall.
"Nothing. I just... I have to do this."
"Whatever you need, love. Go ahead."
Smiling, Gibbs moved behind Tony and kissed his neck, then pumped a generous amount of shampoo into his hand and began to work it through his lover's dark locks.
"Talk to me. Tell me about last night."
"Incredible, scary... and for a few minutes, really embarrassing. Watching the three of you do that..."
"You started it." the other man countered lightly as he conditioned Tony's hair. "One look at you and Harm... and there was no hope of the rest of us staying focused on each other. The blindfold, those scarves tied around your wrists... watching Harm tease and heat you up got me higher and made me happier than bourbon ever could. Didn't hurt Clay and A.J. any either. After a while we just couldn't help it..."
"I wasn't sure about the scarves at first, but it was fine. Maybe I couldn't use my hands, but I never really lost control. The choices were always mine, just like you told me."
"So what was the scary part?" Gibbs asked, moving on to a thick soft cloth and the body wash. His touch was efficient and quick, but Tony could sense he was making an effort not to seem like he was rushing just to get through it.
"Mostly? Hoping I wouldn't let you down... and A.J. scared the crap out of me until I got to talk to him. One on one he's gentle and sweet. I tried to be open and honest, like you told me... he seemed to think I did pretty well with that."
"No big surprise there. What'd the two of you do?"
"He fed me. Cinnamon sugar apples, honey, chocolate... Man, I really, *really* wanna try that with you some time. It was *so* damn arousing."
"Mmm-hmm. What else?"
"We talked about that first night at your place and how I almost ran... but I decided to give it a shot and I've never regretted it. Then I started feeding him too... with my fingers. That turned into kissing, which led to touching each other..."
"Which led to a mess. Was it his idea or yours that it be mutual?" Gibbs asked, stroking the cloth down the back of Tony's legs. The young man hesitated and the dom rose out of his crouch and turned his sub around. "Tony?"
"It was my idea. I wanted to feel what all of you did while you were... pleasuring each other. You said whatever I was brave enough to ask for was in bounds last night, so... I took the chance."
"I've been touching myself since I was a teenager, so it was familiar... but at the same time it was completely different. It blew me away to see his face... and know I was able to make him feel good just by doing something so simple. When we both came, I wanted to ask him if I could do it again, but I barely had the energy to talk..."
"I'm so proud of you, Tony. God, you can't know how much..." Jethro murmured as he pulled the young man into a fierce hug.
"I thought maybe you'd be mad... that you wanted to be the first one to show me everything..."
"We'll have lots of firsts, babe, but not if we never get out of the shower. C'mon, let's get done, hmmm?"
Tony nodded and the pair finished quickly, striding back out with towels wrapped around their waists and waving A.J. and Harm in. While they slowly dressed, Tony opened his mouth two or three times, as if he wanted to make a comment or ask a question, but he kept choosing not to. Finally, socks on and shoes in his hand, Gibbs confronted him.
"Whatever it is, Tony, just say it."
"Yeah... I was just... something A.J told me stuck in my head. I wasn't sure how to ask you about it."
"Okay. Go on."
"He said you've been waiting for someone worthy of your formal claim and your mark. What, exactly, does that mean?"
Jethro sighed and grimaced. The moment Tony was referring to was months, perhaps as much as a year away and he'd had no intention of bringing it up until they were both much closer to it actually coming to pass. He made a mental note to yell at his friend the admiral and tried to come up with an easily comprehensible definition for Tony that wouldn't terrify the novice sub.
"When you're ready, I'll take you to a very special place and introduce you to the larger community. I'll announce that I've chosen you as the last sub I'll ever train and the only man I ever want to be with. You'll strip, kneel and accept whatever symbol you and I pick to represent that you're mine and mine alone... and that we belong to each other."
"Like that first night here at the house. Mikhail sort of seemed interested... and you made sure he saw how tight you were holding my hand."
"Exactly. You won't display your symbol in public, only at community functions, here at the House and when we're in session... but you'll wear it all the time. No exceptions."
"And... your formal claim?"
"Tony, let it go. That's enough for right now."
"Please. I need to know."
"I'm gonna strangle A.J... you're not ready to hear this, damn it."
"Jethro, it can't be that bad. Whatever it is I can handle it. Tell me."
Gibbs glared over at the shower room door, wishing his old friend could feel his deepening anger through the wall, then finally turned back to Tony and gave him the truth he'd asked for.
"Once you've taken the symbol and recited your affirmations for the group, I'll strip too... and we'll make love."
Tony paled abruptly.
"Not... not in front of everybody. Right? Not in front of strangers..."
"Yes. That's the way it works."
"But... sir, I... I can barely..."
"Next time I tell you to drop a subject, that you aren't prepared for the information... listen and do what I ask." Gibbs told him sternly.
Tony managed a shaky nod. "Glad we understand each other." He continued more gently. "Finish dressing and wait for me by the elevator. I won't be long, I promise. I just need to leave a message with Clay."
As his dom stalked away to speak to Webb, Tony looked down at the shirt dangling from his hand and thought about the painful and daunting lesson he'd just been taught. When his mind threatened to stray back to what Gibbs had told him about the ceremony, he began to run movie plots through his head instead and focused on buttons, zippers and shoelaces.
END this section.