Striding back up the stairs, the pair stayed as close together as they could, but once they reached the top, Tony hurried ahead into the bedroom. Jethro entered to find Tony on his side of the bed, his back to his dom. Moving to sit beside him, he saw that the younger man held the key in one palm and was staring at it solemnly.
Mmmm. I'm great. Just... thinking." Tony offered quietly.
"Okay. Care to let me in on the process?"
"I changed my mind."
Instead of responding verbally, Tony reached out and retrieved the box with his prize in it, lifting the small lid off and sliding it around to the bottom so that the box fit into it. "Oh."
"When I said it last night, I meant it. I just didn't know you were planning on..."
"Hey, new information means re-evaluating, sometimes."
"It'll be the only key on this ring. Ever."
"Well... maybe a house key could join it. Someday."
"You don't lock your doors." Tony reminded him with a grin.
"Not now. Nothing here I care that much about losing. After the ceremony, though..."
Tony's head snapped up and his eyes gleamed.
"You mean that?"
"With everything I am."
"Jethro... oh my God..."
"That's a yes, then?"
"It is. Absolutely."
"Good." Jethro replied, dropping a brief kiss on Tony's nose. "Go on. Get it on there. I wanna see how it looks."
Slowly, with extreme care, Tony worked the tiny key onto the ring then held the combination up for his dom's appraisal. "Beautiful." He said "Just like its owner."
Tony blushed and looked down and, just that once, Jethro let it go, knowing there would be more than enough time in the weeks and months ahead to guide Tony in correcting negative assumptions and false beliefs about himself. Once the key ring was back in the box and the box replaced on the nightstand, he tugged Tony onto his feet. Turning back the fresh sheets he'd put on the bed after they got up that morning, Jethro waited for Tony to lie down then slid in beside him and resettled the covers. Leaning in he kissed his sub lingeringly and looked deeply into his eyes.
"What do you feel like doing? We can just lay here and talk... we can sleep... we can wear each other out. Whatever you want."
"I don't know... talking sounds good for now. Maybe we can play a little, after. The other morning... when you held my wrists? That was so good..."
"Yeah, it sure was. You're so responsive... so sensitive in so many places. It's going to be an absolute blast discovering every inch of you."
"I get to... don't I? I want to."
"I remember. Made me so high, listening to you at the House... hearing how bad you wanted to touch my body... how all you needed and craved was to be right up next to me... pressed against my skin. You said one kiss... and it'd just be the two of us, nobody else in the world. You said my touch burned sometimes... that I have a certain smile that lets you know I'm proud and that you live to earn it. It was all so incredible. The only thing that scared me that entire night... was when you told me you would've let Clay make love to you if I asked. All I could think was... what if somebody without a conscience had found you before I got up the guts to make an approach? The pain you could've gone through, the mental and physical abuse..."
"Shhh." He soothed, touching Jethro's lips. "Stop, okay? What you talked about in the car will never happen. You got there first and day by day you're proving to me that I deserve all the good stuff. You're my hope, now... the hope I gave up on a long time ago. I'm too smart to walk away when the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter all the time."
Jethro chuckled darkly.
"I'm your dom. It's my job to worry about Amtrak and supernovas and ten foot tall monsters with giant flashlights."
"I get that and I'm so grateful... but when we're alone, safe in your house... you're allowed to stop. Nobody's getting between us, nobody's taking me away from you... and I'm not leaving unless you make me."
"Not a chance in hell."
"Thank God for that. Play now?"
Grasping Tony's wrists again, Jethro lightly pushed them up over his sub's head. "Keep them there and not a word from you until I say so." he ordered with a wicked grin. "Sounds are acceptable... just not speech."
Tony's brow furrowed in confusion, but he nodded slowly. "Thank you."
Shifting under the bedclothes, Jethro stretched out over the younger man, gazing down at him and praying Tony could clearly read everything he was feeling. "I love you. I love every... single... thing... about you." He murmured, punctuating words with kisses that moved down and down until he reached Tony's collarbone. Briefly, he suckled the rounded end where it pressed up against the skin. Tony arched his back and gasped, pushing into Jethro's mouth and drawing a low, pleased chuckle from his tormentor, who was creating a mental list of spots to return to as he went along.
"I love how you don't hide when it feels good... you let me see it all. I soak that up... as if I'm slowly drinking really *good* red wine... and it makes my head spin and warms me all over the exact... same... way." Jethro told him as he kissed and licked from the collarbone down to the narrow crease between Tony's pecs. "Ever since I watched you with Rabb... I've been dying to see this reaction up close... to know it was me who made you that crazy. Don't have any silk on hand... but I think this should work just fine..." he murmured, swirling a tight circle around Tony's left nipple with his agile tongue. The younger man squeaked then tightened his lips and produced a combination hum, whine and heartfelt groan. The strange vocalization drew a chuckle out of the dom. "I love your noises, Anthony. They tell me everything... like how close you are to coming and how bad you need my touch..." Jethro told him lightly, giving the other nipple a bit of attention as well. "And, God, you taste fantastic. Honey Dust will make it even better, though. Gotta find us some... and lots of feathers. I'll spend one whole day and night... finding all your ticklish spots... and using them shamelessly, one by one... to make you come over and over..."
This time Tony's groan was too close to pain for Jethro's comfort and he knew it was time to finish. Shifting down a little, he lined his cock up with his sub's and began pushing against him, slowly at first but with increasing speed and pressure as they both approached orgasm. "Speak to me, Anthony... say anything you're feeling... sing for me if you want to..."
As his release overwhelmed him, Tony sobbed wildly and began to empty the contents of his heart and soul directly into Jethro's ear.
"God, I love you... always have... my hero... teacher... only one that... ever knew me... yours... now and forever, Jethro... only yours... please... please don't leave me... I'll do what you ask, do anything... I'll fall, I swear I will... just don't give up on me... I'll die if you go away..."
Moving back up, Jethro soothed Tony with soft kisses on the brow and cheeks and swiped at his tears with gentle fingers.
"Shhh... it's okay. I'm here... right here, love. Easy... easy."
As Tony began to calm and realized what he'd just done, he blushed furiously, bolted upright and tried to scramble out of bed, but Jethro held him back. "Oh, no. Not gonna happen."
"Shit... let go, sir, please. I never meant... I didn't..."
"I know. Anthony, hold still. Now look at me. Running away from problems isn't how we do things in this house."
"You don't understand..."
"... where those words came from? Of course I do. You grew up believing you couldn't depend on the world for anything. Comfort, stability, strength, motivation... that all had to come from inside you. The idea that you could need somebody so much... it scares you to death. Well you know what? I'm scared too. I've never even considered taking a permanent, lifetime sub. One more person ending up mad and disappointed in me... I couldn't even stand the thought. Now... now I can't remember what life was like when I wasn't connected to you this way. I'm feeling things I forgot I was *able* to, Anthony. Leave? Give up on you? They'll have to knock me out cold and drag me away."
Tony leaned into Jethro's arms, wrapped his arms around his dom's back and breathed out slowly.
"Even unconscious you wouldn't make it easy."
"Got that right."