SLASH BACKSLASH 3.0 CONTEST

Title: Falling On Ice

Author: CherBella

Pairing: Sam/Seth

Rating: M, very AU

Disclaimer, and appropriate Warnings: Slash/boylovin' lemon; I own nothing Twilight

Word Count: 9,995

Please see all entries at

http:/www . fanfiction . net/community/Slash_Backslash_3_0/74941/14/0/1/

Sam scrawled his name on the check-in sheet at the ice rink's office and then took a good look around. He was still early by about fifteen minutes, but that was perfect by him; just enough time to get his skates on and be ready so that he wouldn't waste any of his allotted hour on the ice.

He already had his practice clothes on so he didn't bother with the locker room, just carried his equipment bag down to a row of seats and immediately started getting his skates out.

His eye was drawn to the ice though, and the skates never made it to his feet, staying grasped in his hands and balanced on the seat next to him.

There was one lone figure out on the ice, a young male figure skater, skating to a beautiful but complex piece of music. He was lean and lanky and his body easily twisted and moved to the notes of the music. His long, delicate arms bent and swayed like the limbs of a tree blowing gently in the wind.

Sam realized he was holding his breath as he watched this beautiful creature skim and float over the ice with ease and gracefulness. Playing hockey since he was a boy and being around ice rinks for most of his life, of course he was aware of the sport of figure skating and having to share the ice with figure skaters. Pretty little girls in ruffled, sparkly dresses, and yes, boy figure skaters too—usually in something almost as ruffled and sparkly as their female counterparts. He just usually never paid them much attention, too focused on his own love of hockey.

The boy on the ice now was in practice wear, so there were no ruffles or sparkles, but he certainly didn't blend into the drab white ice or the gray painted-boards surrounding the rink. He wore black tights and some kind of oversized blue and purple-striped long sleeved T-shirt. His hands were covered with black fingerless gloves.

Suddenly the skater's body came to an abrupt stop on the ice, arms frozen in mid-air in front of him. He was looking directly at Sam, with an intense look on his face. Despite the distance between them, Sam could feel the boy's eyes burning into him, and Sam was powerless to look away.

He only stood motionless on the ice, staring at Sam, for a split second before the music changed to a more spirited, frenzied tempo and he was off again, whirling and jumping and spinning around. His moves were now much more cutting and precise, powerful explosions to match the beats and crescendos of the new music.

Sam exhaled and shook his head, berating himself for his reaction just now. For thinking that he and the boy were having a "moment," that the boy was looking at him. The kid was just acting out part of his routine. He chuckled as his phone beeped multiple times.

Pulling it out of his pocket he smiled at the messages he had from friends and family back home—his best friend Emily, his mom and even from Billy, one of the elders of the tribe and a mentor/substitute father figure of sorts to him ever since his father had died when he was young. They were all wishing him well with his first day of classes.

It had been almost ten years since Sam had last been in a classroom, a young hotshot hockey player at the University of Michigan on athletic scholarship. An unheard-of opportunity for a boy like him, from the place he was from. Sam was a native of the Quileute Indian tribe of upstate Washington, and he had lived all of his childhood on a reservation. A very close-knit tribal community and also a very poor one. He'd grown up, raised by a single mother in a small ramshackle house with the bare necessities. Oh his mom did the best she could, and he always had food and clothes and shelter. But their life was hard, no question.

When Sam was ten he made friends with one of the local townie boys in Forks, Mike Newton. Mike played on a peewee hockey team up in Port Angeles every Saturday morning and one weekend Mike invited Sam to tag along to one of the practices. Sam took to the ice like a duck to water and fell in love with the sport of hockey. The coach noted Sam's natural ability and gave him a place on the team.

Sam's begging and pleading, along with a talk from the coach, convinced Sam's mother to continue to let him play. Of course there was no extra money for such things and Port Angeles was a difficult trip to make twice a week. But they got some help from Billy and other members of the tribe pitched in as well, whether it was money for equipment or rides to Port Angeles.

In the end it all paid off—senior year he received the scholarship to play hockey at the University of Michigan. The first in his family to go to college and one of only a handful of kids from his tribe to ever even go to college.

By his junior year he was being scouted so heavily, he decided to forego his senior year and go play in the NHL. He'd even gotten lucky enough to be drafted by the Vancouver Canucks so he wasn't far from home. His mother, however, was not happy with his decision to give up a free education when he was so close to getting his degree. But Sam wanted to take care of her and do all he could to pay back the tribe and those who had helped the two of them all these years. He promised her that he would go back and finish up his degree.

And now, although many years later, he was making good on that promise. He'd decided to use the off-season this summer to go back to school. He could have gone back to U of M to finish up his degree there, but Sam was still fairly popular in the Michigan area, too often getting recognized wherever he went. He got enough of that during the season, and during the off-season Sam just wanted some breathing room, wanted to be able to relax a little and be himself. So he'd chosen to come to Boston College for the summer, because they had one of the best programs in the country for the degree he was studying for, sports medicine/physical therapy.

What the rest of the world, (especially the hockey world) didn't know, was that Sam was gay. His mom and Emily and Billy knew, and a few other close friends, but to the general public and even to most of his teammates Sam wasn't out. He wasn't ashamed at all of who he was or what he did. But being a professional athlete he knew it was in the best interest of everyone involved, including the team and the fans, if no one found out.

And Sam was okay with that. His sexuality was just that—his sexuality. It wasn't his life. He wasn't looking for mushy gushy love or a long-term relationship. As long as he could manage to hook up once in a while when he wanted to, he was happy. So far he'd managed to be discreet enough in the types of guys he picked up—usually in other cities, on the road, where he wasn't as well known—that things were good. He'd managed to carve out a life where he could do the only thing he loved—playing hockey—and still be himself.

Sam finished reading his messages and started shoving his phone back in his pocket. As he looked up he found the rink to be silent. The male figure skater was gone, disappeared into thin air.

~ * S & S * ~

For the next couple of weeks Sam found himself arriving earlier and earlier to the ice rink. At first he'd tried to make different excuses to himself—he woke up early and couldn't go back to sleep, or he needed extra time to get his skates sharpened at the pro shop.

But in reality there was only one reason he went so early—to watch the young skater who had the ice time before him. He was fascinated by the boy and his obvious love (and talent) for his sport. He was rarely ever frustrated or in a bad mood, he loved being on the ice and was always smiling and laughing with his coach.

Then one day, Sam skated over to the boards to exit the ice and suddenly found himself face-to-face with the boy he'd been watching for the past couple of weeks. He was leaning on the boards, both arms outstretched and hands braced on the wooden rail.

"Well, hello, Mr. Hockey Man."

Sam chuckled slightly, a little taken aback at seeing the boy up close that he'd been watching from afar for so long. He had beautiful, honey-colored skin and jet-black hair that was just long enough to flop into his deep, chocolate-brown eyes. Sam wondered why he was still here in the rink.

"Mr. Hockey Man?" Sam asked quizzically.

"Well I don't know your name, so I just call you Mr. Hockey Man." The young boy's right eyebrow arched in a cocky look at Sam.

"Name's Sam. Sam Uley." Sam held out his hand in polite greeting.

Sam was rewarded with the brightest of smiles from the boy before him. "Ah-ha! He does have a name! Sam…ummm, much better." The boy reached out and grasped Sam's in a surprisingly firm grip. "I'm Seth Clearwater."

Seth's large eyes locked on Sam's and there was a heat and a tingle from where their hands were touching that Sam didn't quite know what to do with, his normal confidence and collected manner shaken a bit. Something about Seth's name buzzed in the back of his mind, like he'd heard it before.

When he saw a slow, sexy smirk start to cross Seth's face, Sam realized he was still gripping the boy's hand. He drew his hand away quickly and stood there awkwardly for a few seconds.

"So…." Sam gestured toward the ice. "Do you have another practice scheduled?"

Seth's smirk got larger. "On no, I stayed to watch you. I was curious about my personal audience of one who's been at my practices the past couple of weeks. Turn a bout's only fair that I get to see you do your thing, Hockey Man."

Sam actually felt himself blushing a little. Of course, he had to know that he would be caught watching the boy's—Seth's—practices, especially being the only one in the stands.

"Ah yeah, I'm sorry about that. If it bothers you, I'll stop."

Seth waved his hand dismissively and rolled his eyes. "Pfft, please. It doesn't bother me. Actually it's good to have spectators, makes me work harder." He looked at Sam intently, a gleam in his eye.

A pause stretched between them, the air surrounding them filled with some kind of electricity as Sam found himself caught in Seth's warm but heated gaze.

Seth broke the moment first, standing up straighter and clapping his hands together in front of him. "Well, as much as I've enjoyed watching you, I had to skip my usual after-practice cappuccino to do it. And if I don't get some caffeine soon, I will be one cranky boy. Do you have anywhere you to be next?"

Sam raised his eyebrows in surprise. "No…."

"Good! You can join me then! I hate sitting in the coffee shop all by my lonesome."

Sam was both startled and charmed by Seth's forwardness. He found himself agreeing.

In the locker room, he hurried through a quick shower, his thoughts of Seth swirling around in his head. He kept seeing Seth's smirks and his smiles and the mischievous twinkle in his eyes. The boy…captivated him in a way that mystified him. Sam could only assume that Seth was also gay, his flamboyant gestures giving him away. Sam wasn't bothered at all by those types of gay men; they just weren't his preference.

He realized he was dawdling too long in the shower, so he shook off his thoughts and made himself concentrate on finishing up. They were only going for coffee anyway, it wasn't like it was a date or anything.

When Sam came out of the locker room, hair still damp, he couldn't miss the look Seth gave him. It was quick, but Seth's big brown eyes traveled down Sam's entire body and back up again, smiling softly when he met Sam's gaze.

"You clean up pretty good, Hockey Man. Ready to get outta here?"

Sam swallowed and hesitated only a minute before answering.

"Ready," He said, trying to sound confident, though there was still a slight waver to his voice most wouldn't have noticed. Seth certainly didn't.

Sam was by nature a pretty quiet guy, uncomfortable when it came to making conversation and he hated feeling obligated to talk about inane things just to keep the awkward silent spaces from taking over. This was just another reason Sam didn't date. Why he favored the kind of encounters where conversation was not the high priority of the moment, and what conversation there was, well, consisted mainly of curse words and barely intelligible epithets spoken in between the grunts and moans.

So he was a little unsure of this coffee date with Seth and having to spend so much one-on-one time with him. Although, again, it wasn't a date, as he kept telling himself.

Seth's favorite coffee shop was just a few blocks down the street from the ice rink. Turned out he didn't need to worry about making conversation because Seth chattered enough for both of them. He found out that Seth was actually twenty-one and had been skating since he was five and training seriously for most of his young life. This year, being an Olympic year, was especially important for him. Although he wasn't ranked as a favorite to be on the team, Seth was determined to work hard and show everyone that he could make it to the Olympics.

And Sam also found out why the name Clearwater sounded familiar. Unbelievably, Seth was also a Quileute, from the same tribe as Sam. Seth's father had died when he was just a baby and Seth's mom had moved them off the reservation and to Chicago in order to find work to support he and his sister. A young boy himself at the time, Sam was barely aware of the Clearwaters although he did remember hearing the elders mention the name once or twice.

"Okay, my treat today," Seth said as they walked in the door of the shop. His eyes lit up and he clapped his hands together again. Seth apparently got very excited about his coffee. "What do you want?" He looked at Sam expectedly.

Sam blinked his eyes in confusion. "Um, coffee."

Seth rolled his eyes. "Duh, but what kind? Latte? Mocha? Espresso? Americano? Iced? Half-caf, extra shot…."

Sam grinned. He'd never gone for any of that fancy stuff. "Just coffee—black."

Seth's mouth dropped open a moment then shut. "O-kay." He turned to head to the front counter, then swiveled around again. "Just…black?"

"Just black."

Seth raised his eyebrows in disbelief, but turned and this time continued on to the counter. Sam watched him as he sat down at a table. His smile slowly faded. Seth seemed to be a good kid, but Sam needed to remember he was just that—a kid. And one of his own. Back on the res, Sam was accustomed to being the mentor, the older brother to all of the younger boys. Even though they weren't on the res now, and Seth hadn't really grown up in the community, Sam still felt that sense of protectiveness over the boy. It was his duty, and Sam always felt honored and proud to fill that role for the boys. But this time…why did Sam feel a twinge of disappointment at the thought of being only a friend to Seth?

There was loud laughter from the female barista as she and Seth conversed easily back and forth, obviously they knew each other well. Somehow he could tell Seth was the type who was easily comfortable with everyone he came in contact with.

And then Seth was back at the table carrying a mug of black coffee for him and a large whipped, frothy drink, obviously for himself.

Sam smirked. "I thought you were getting coffee?"

Seth got the cutest, indignant look on his face. "I did, thank you very much! An extra-large triple mocha skim with an extra shot of espresso." Sam just shook his head as he took a sip of his own plain coffee. Seth took a long drag from his drink, his lips wrapping around the straw and sucking heartily. Sam's entire body heated up right down to his groin and he had to glance away, looking down at the floor and taking a deep breath to get himself back under control. He was both surprised and upset at his physical reaction to Seth. He couldn't…no, it just wasn't right.

"So, Hockey Man, your turn. Spill it."

"Spill…?"

"I've been horribly rude, monopolizing the conversation. I still know virtually nothing about you other than you name is Sam, we apparently come from the same tribe and you take your coffee…" Seth paused and wriggled his nose disgustedly, "…black."

Sam smiled, and started talking. He told Seth his whole life story. He told a lot of stories about what it had been like to grow up on the reservation (since Seth had missed that experience), and then how he had come to play hockey and go on to college and the pros.

Seth let out a low whistle. "Dang, so you're a real hockey player, professional and everything! And you're going back to school. Impressive, Hockey Man." Seth smiled at Sam, the look on his face showing how honestly impressed he was.

"So that has to be tough though, being a gay hockey player. Do your team mates give you any grief over it?"

Sam spit and sputtered and choked on the coffee he had just started to swallow. He turned his face to the side and coughed until he thought he might cough up his own lung. When he finally could breathe again he turned back to see Seth looking at him with worry.

Seth reached across the table and grasped Sam's arm. "Ohmigod are you okay? Do you need some water?"

Sam could feel the boy's touch scorching his arm, pinpricks of electrical current zapping his skin. He jerked his hand away.

"No," he croaked, clearing his throat one more time. "I'm fine." A few moments of awkward silence passed as he tried to figure out a response to Seth's previous question. "How…did you know I'm gay?" No one had ever been able to pick up just from appearances that Sam was gay, and if they had, they'd certainly never called him on it.

Seth's eyes widened a little and he started to laugh but stifled it quickly after he saw the serious shock on Sam's face. Instead he tilted his head and smiled sadly. "Honey, no man has ever sat in the stands and willingly watched me skate unless they were required to because of their job in figure skating, or unless they're…well, gay. Especially a big burly hockey player like you."

When Sam still didn't say anything, Seth began to really regret his words. Seth knew most people considered him "flamboyant." Straight guys were rarely so willing to hang around him, so he figured Sam had to be gay. But clearly the guy wasn't comfortable talking about it.

Seth held his hands up in a sign of peace and surrender. "Look," he said softly. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said anything. My big mouth has always gotten me in trouble. I just assumed…I mean, not many straight guys would have said yes to coffee with me."

Seth's face now held a bit of sadness and Sam felt bad for his silence. He didn't like what Seth was implying by that last statement, and crazily enough it made Sam almost wish he could say he was straight. That last thought made Sam start chuckling.

"Yes, Seth I'm gay, I'm just not 'out' for obvious reasons like my chosen career. You threw me, that's all. I've just never had anyone guess it like that."

A big smile lit up Seth's face. "Well, if it makes you feel any better, you are about the straightest looking gay guy I've ever seen!"

Sam threw his head back and laughed full out. Since he seemed at ease again, Seth decided to be brave and risk one more question, trying to keep any sound of hope out of his voice.

"So, gay but not out…any boyfriend pining for you somewhere?"

Sam's eyebrows raised and he snorted. "Ah, no. I've never really done 'relationships.' Can't imagine anyone would agree to put up with the 'not out' part of me anyway. Makes it too difficult, too messy."

"Well, that's just sad!" Seth once again spoke before thinking, and feared he'd ticked Sam off again. Instead Sam just smiled.

"It's not that bad, I'm cool with it."

"But surely you want to meet 'someone special' eventually?"

Sam shrugged his shoulders. "Eh, maybe. Maybe after I'm done playing. I really don't think too far into the future." Sam wasn't sure how they'd ended up on this line of discussion and decided it was time to change the subject. Which was incredibly easy with Seth, all it took was a couple of questions about finding the best pizza in the area and Seth was chattering away again, giving Sam the lowdown on the best places to shop and to eat, and even promising to take him on a tour of the Boston area sometime.

That night Sam was trying to memorize an anatomy chart for one of his physical therapy classes but his mind kept wandering to Seth and their conversations earlier. To Seth's smile and the expressive way he moved and talked. To those deep brown eyes that would bore right into him. To how it felt when Seth's hand was on his arm. The memories went straight to his cock and Sam grimaced. He had to stop this. He wanted to be able to be friends with Seth and it was so wrong to be thinking of him—the kid—this way. Sam was the adult, he should know better. He would have to rein in his impulses. Especially because he though he had a couple inklings from things Seth said, that maybe Seth was interested in him. Then again Sam had never really spent a lot of time with a gay guy like Seth, who was so expressive and "touchy-feely." Hell, Seth had practically hugged the barista and she was just getting his coffee. Maybe Sam was just misinterpreting Seth's friendliness. He certainly didn't understand his fascination with him; Sam usually didn't go for the little twinks.

The next time Sam had ice time, he debated not going early but was afraid it would be too noticeable to Seth and he didn't want to make the boy think he was avoiding him. But everything was fine. When Seth was done skating he gave Sam a wave and stopped to chitchat a few minutes and then left to let Sam have his ice time.

This became the new routine for the two men. About once a week, Seth would hang around til Sam was done and they would go for coffee. One Saturday Seth did take him around to see some of the sights of Boston. A couple nights they went out to dinner, because Seth wanted to take Sam to his favorite restaurants.

Sam enjoyed hanging out with Seth; it was…"easy." Being "closeted" Sam realized he didn't really have any gay friends and had certainly never hung out with someone as…gregarious as Seth. It was new for him but he liked Seth. And he had managed to tamp down his attraction to Seth, at least most of the time.

~ * S & S * ~

One day on their way to the coffee shop they got into a spirited debate about their respective sports, Seth proclaiming that hockey needed no skating skill at all and Sam proclaiming (mostly just to piss Seth off) that figure skating was nothing but dancing on the ice by yourself. There was no cunning or thought process needed, and no need to watch out for nine other men about to run you over.

The next time Sam was at the rink, he decided to have a little fun with Seth. As Seth was skating off the ice he was waiting by the boards for him. Seth could tell immediately that Sam had something up his sleeve, he looked like the cat that swallowed the canary. And then he noticed Sam was holding two hockey sticks instead of one. Seth stopped in place and tilted his head in a wary look at Sam.

"What's up Hockey Man, spill it!" Seth didn't even bother with a hello, just folded his arms in front of him and waited.

Sam grinned even bigger. "I decided after our debate the other day you needed to get a taste of a real sport!"

Seth rolled his eyes. "Seriously? All right, fine," he huffed. "Bring it on." He motioned with his hand for Sam to give him the hockey stick as if he was in a hurry to prove his point to Sam.

He protested when Sam even made him switch to hockey skates, but he put them on. Sam set up a temporary goal area on the ice, and started explaining the object of the game to Seth. Of course it wasn't the same with only two people, but they could play a little one-on-one. Seth had a little trouble getting used to holding the hockey stick and gliding it properly across the ice, but he picked it up pretty quickly. The skates were a little different; they were actually easier to skate on than figure skates.

Soon the two were teasing and taunting each other down the ice. Sam, of course, made about six goals for every one of Seth's but the young boy did manage a couple goals. Although, he also figured Sam was probably taking it easy on him. Deciding to have a little fun, Seth purposely lost control of the puck at one point, "accidentally" swooshing it across the ice toward the boards. Sam naturally went after it, and Seth sped up, ramming into Sam at full speed, pushing him hard up against the boards.

Sam had his back to Seth at the time and turned quickly in surprise…to find himself chest to chest with the younger boy, looking down into those mischievous deep brown eyes. Breathless, Sam found his brain had trouble finding words.

"Seth…what the …?"

"Body check! Ah ha, got you! That's what you do in hockey, right? And then you big guys get all mad and get in a fight!" Seth had stepped away and held two curled fists up in front of him, as if ready to take Sam on.

Sam's body instantly felt cold after Seth had moved away from him, their bodies no longer touching. A twitch in his stomach from the loss surprised him, but he pushed it away, not wanting to dwell on what it meant. And then Seth put his fists up and he looked so ridiculous, Sam couldn't help but burst out laughing.

"Um, yeah, that's not quite how it works. But if you think you can take me on…."

Seth's left eyebrow rose up and his eyes glittered as a smirk crept over his face. And then as fast as lightning he grabbed his stick, swiped at the puck that lay forgotten at Sam's feet, and took off. He flew easily to the fake goal and slammed it through the goal markers. Immediately he threw his hands up with a shout of victory.

Sam's eyes narrowed as he let out a low growl. "Cheater!" he yelled out as he took off toward Seth.

~ * S & S * ~

Two days later, Sam had just laced up his skates and was standing by the boards waiting for his turn on the ice as Seth skated up to him.

"Put the hockey stick down, Hockey Man! And take off those…skates" Seth gestured dismissively towards Sam's feet.

"What?" Sam couldn't figure out if Seth was just teasing with him or was seriously ordering him to take off his hockey skates.

"Take off those brute-like hockey skates and put on those real skates over there." Seth pointed to a pair of rental figure skates sitting on a chair. "You made me try hockey, now I'm going to make you figure skate!" He winked at Sam. Sam just shrugged his shoulders. Yeah, figure skates were a little different than hockey skates but they both accomplished the same thing—to get across the ice. This would be a piece of cake.

Sam put on the skates and stepped onto the ice. It took him a few strokes across the ice to get adjusted to the different blades. Seth just glided around him, smirking and smiling.

Once Sam began to feel comfortable, he threw a cocky look at Seth and held his arms out to demonstrate he had it under control.

"Um hmm, okay, hot stuff. Not bad. Now try this." Seth stroked backward into a simple turn, picking up speed as he did so. Sam imitated Seth…and promptly tripped and fell flat on his face, to the amusement of course, of Seth. After trying a few other simple moves and tripping and falling more often than not, Sam's mood was not very cheery. Still lying on the ice, taking his time getting up from the last fall, he looked up to see the toe of Seth's skate waggling in front of his face.

"Toe pick!" Seth sang in a sing-songy voice. Sam just glared at him as he lifted himself off the ice.

"We don't need those in hockey," Sam growled a bit defensively. But he did not stop skating. Seth took pity on him and showed him how to get used to the little teeth on the toe-end of his skate, and how to use them to dig into the ice when he needed to. When he was finally getting the hang of some of the moves, Seth then tried to correct his form. He was constantly telling Sam to straighten his back, extend his arms…not only was it a lot to try and remember, but he was having trouble thinking straight anyway. Seth was always hovering just inches from his body and touching him everywhere—tugging on his arm, tipping his chin up, grabbing his hips. Sam's breath hitched a little more every time and he tried to tell himself it was from annoyance at Seth.

And then suddenly Seth was right there, skating right with him, facing him, his hand grasping Sam's trying to bend his fingers into the proper position. Sam got flustered, their knees knocked together and before he knew what was happening, both of them were sprawled on the ice, Seth underneath him, their whole bodies touching, their legs tangled together.

Stunned, Sam just stared down into Seth's face, both of them breathing hard from the fall, neither of them moving for several minutes. As his mind was processing the fall and the position they now found themselves in, he felt his cock starting to react and swell…very quickly.

"You okay?" Seth asked softly. "Sam?"

Seth's voice and the rapid tightening of his pants snapped his attention back to the moment, and he immediately started scrambling off of Seth and to his feet. "I'm fine…fine," he mumbled as he finally righted himself. Then he remembered Seth, his whole two hundred plus pounds had landed right on the boy. He turned to him. "Are you okay, did I hurt you?"

Seth was already sitting upright, one hand on the ice, pushing himself up. He waved his free hand to show he was fine. "Pfft, I'm fine. You don't spend half your life on ice and not fall a few times or twenty or a hundred." He smiled at Sam and once Sam was convinced he was indeed unhurt, Sam skated off quickly to the side of the rink where his hockey skates awaited him. He was done for the day with Seth's figure skating lessons. He was still a little wobbly, and Sam at least could blame his uneven skating on the silly skates, and not the real problem—the one in his pants.

That night, in the shower, Sam's thoughts kept returning to that moment, heat tingles running over his body every time. He could still feel Seth's body under him, and his cock grew so hard it would be painful to ignore. He cursed loudly and finally started stroking himself fast and furiously to take care of the issue quickly. Not that it took much more than a few passes before he was coming hard and crying out loudly, visions of Seth in his mind. He pounded his fist against the wall and leaned his forehead on the slick tiles. It felt sick, this attraction to Seth. It had to stop…he had to stop it somehow.

And yet, nothing changed. Sam couldn't pry himself away from hanging out with Seth. His day was always a little brighter when he knew it was a day he would be seeing Seth. A smile always crossed his face when he saw the boy. And his heart always beat a bit quicker when Seth smiled back at him. There was just something in the way the boy saw things and in the way he interacted with the world. He was just…so full of life and sass. But he also wasn't a pushover either; he didn't take crap from anyone.

~ * S & S * ~

Sam got the opportunity to see yet another side of Seth a few weeks later. He and Seth had just sat down for their weekly coffee date, when Seth perked up with excitement.

"Oh!" Seth exclaimed. "I almost forgot!" He literally bounced in his seat as he dug around in his messenger bag, finally producing a small envelope and pushing it toward Sam. "I'm skating in the Hearts on Ice benefit next week and I got you a ticket. I get a certain number of free tickets for my guests and I saved one for you."

Sam slowly peeked in the envelope. "And you…want me to come?"

"Well duh! Of course I do!"

Sam gulped. "I…don't know if I'm free that night…"

"Oh come on! You have to come! All the times you've watched me practice is great but you need to see me in a real performance, it's completely different. Besides, you never mention any other local friends or going out; you live like a monk. I know you don't have anything else to do that night, so don't even go there, honey!"

Sam's stomach fluttered a little at Seth's choice of words but then quickly let it pass. Seth used such endearments on everyone he knew well, even the barista and the guy who sharpened skates at the pro shop. It didn't mean to him, what it might mean to Sam.

"Besides, if I don't see your butt in that seat, I am stopping the performance and coming to your apartment and dragging you there myself!" Seth calmly took a sip of his coffee but his eyes were trained on Sam. Even though he was being all brash and demanding he still needed the reassurance of Sam's acceptance.

"Well I guess I don't have much of an option then do I?"

Sam was rewarded with one of Seth's brilliant smiles that lit up his whole face.

"Yay! It starts at eight but you really need to get there early, by seven."

"Why…?"

Seth put his hands over Sam's lips. "Don't question me, just be there! Geez!" Seth shook his head in mock frustration as he took another sip of his drink.

And at seven o'clock on the dot that next week, Sam understood why Seth told him to come early. The show was a benefit to raise money for a local organization that helped kids with handicaps and their families. For a half-hour, before the show officially started, the skaters in the show took a group of the handicapped kids from the organization out on to the ice and skated with them. Those who were confined to wheelchairs were pulled around on special seated stroller-like contraptions. Others who had more mobility had skates on, but held on to walker-like devices. All the kids wore bike helmets and had an able-bodied skater with them at all times. Sam was happy to see all precautions were taken and there was no possible way the kids could get injured. Instead there was nothing but smiles and giggles on all of the young children's faces as they enjoyed a few moments of freedom an joy.

Seth was working with a young boy of maybe seven or eight with Down's syndrome. Both boys were all smiles as they moved slowly across the ice. They chattered to each other and the younger boy laughed and laughed when Seth would carefully spin him around in a circle. A lump formed in Sam's throat as he watched the two. Seth's joy on the ice with the child was genuine. Of course he knew Seth was a great guy, gregarious and open and generous. But watching him play and interact with the young child truly showed what a good and caring heart Seth had. He was proud of the boy—man—Seth was.

As their skating time drew to a close, the kids and their skating partners lined up across the ice, everyone in the stands giving them a standing ovation.

Then after a brief wait, the lights dimmed and the show began. All of the professional and amateur skaters came out and skated a number together. From the loud cheers and applause some of them received, Sam surmised that they must be some of the more esteemed skaters in the sport. Not a follower of figure skating, Sam didn't recognize them, he only had eyes for one skater anyway. He was pleased to see that Seth also received much cheering when he was introduced.

After the group number, the skaters came out and performed their individual numbers. Seth skated twice during the evening. His first number was a popular top forty pop song that he'd never seen Seth perform, even in rehearsal. He was also decked out in a way Sam had never seen him before, all silver and sequins—tight, shiny pants, a sparkly silver-sequined tiny vest with nothing underneath, and a matching silver-sequined cowboy hat. There was even glitter on his face. It was pure over-the-top Seth, a flirty outgoing performance strictly for the crowd's entertainment.

The hat only stayed on for a few bars of the song before Seth flipped it off his head and sent it sailing over to the side of the rink, out of his way. The rest of the song Seth twisted and gyrated along to the music, doing a few tricks but mostly concentrating on the music and the flirtatious moves, which the audience ate up.

Sam was normally turned off by the men in the clubs who dressed like this. But as he sat there watching, his body was anything but turned off. His mouth went dry every time Seth's vest swung open, flashing a bit of bare chest. His dick twitched every time Seth shook his ass in those tight pants.

Sam was trying to get himself under control when thankfully, the song ended. Seth's final pose ended with a wink in Sam's direction. Sam played it off as a fluke and tried to not think it was really meant for him.

The next time Seth came on to the ice was much later in the program. As the music started to play, Sam recognized it as the music Seth had been practicing to every day. When he had tried to describe the story behind the music one day, Sam thought it sounded melodramatic and well, crazy. Some tragic Romeo and Juliet-type story of two lovers tragically in love with each other, a vampire and a human and their constant struggle to be together despite the vampire wanting to devour her.

Sam had seen Seth skate this every day, but as he had promised, it was a completely different experience seeing it performed in full costume, in a darkened rink with the dramatic lighting. Seth's costume was this mostly all black, tight jumpsuit. The top was adorned with some intricate design of glitter and feathers that were blood red—meant to represent drops of blood, Sam finally surmised. But what was really shocking to Sam was the transformation Seth had undergone. His gorgeous honey-colored face and sweet smile was covered in pale white pancake makeup and blood red lipstick. His eyes were heavily outlined in black eyeliner and his hair had been completely gelled and spiked up into this crazy looking mess of the hair of a madman.

Sam felt a pang of disappointment for the loss of the sweet Seth he knew, but it only lasted seconds before he became mesmerized again. Sam was completely drawn in by Seth, by his breathtaking movements, by the accompanying music and how Seth was able to weave it all together into this magical, ethereal, hauntingly tragic experience. Sam was again breathless. Seth was…beautiful.

Before he knew it, the last note had played and the audience erupted into applause and it was over.

Sam didn't even remember the other skaters that came after Seth. He was too jumbled with all of these emotions he was having for Seth and what they meant. And he was also beating himself up for having these feelings when he couldn't be with Seth. It just wasn't right. Seth was so much younger than Sam. And they were friends; he wanted to be like a brother to Seth, even if his feelings were not at all of the brotherly type.

The show ended and the lights came up and people started standing to leave. Sam did as well, relieved that finally he could get out of there. But just as he stood up and turned, his phone beeped with a message. From Seth:

Almost done changing. Come meet me in the locker room! S.

Sam gripped the back of the seat in front of him and took deep breaths. He should just run—leave now and go back to his apartment.

But of course the pull of Seth won out.

Sam didn't go into the locker room but did wait outside of it. If he walked in on Seth in a state of undress, he couldn't be responsible for what he might do.

Minutes passed that felt like hours and Sam almost left twice. Finally the door opened and Seth came out carrying a duffel bag and a garment bag with his costumes. His white makeup was gone, but a little of the eyeliner remained as well as some of the red stain from the lipstick. He smiled brightly when he saw Sam.

"There you are! I was a little worried you hadn't gotten my text when you didn't show up!"

"Decided to wait out here…" Sam mumbled, barely having time to get the words out, before Seth was babbling again as they started down the hallway.

"Did you enjoy the show? What did you think? I was mostly happy with how things turned out, I missed a couple moves in the first program but was able to cover it enough that hopefully no one noticed…Isn't it different seeing it under the lights, I love…." Sam could only keep quiet and nod now and again as Seth continued on until they were out of the building and at the parking lot.

"Sam…Sam?"

Sam realized he'd zoned out on the conversation, mulling over more important issues in his mind.

"Geez, listen to me going on and on, and you've barely said two words." Seth chuckled lightly. "What did you think?" Seth had stopped walking and was looking up at Sam, biting his lip with a look that said he was trying not to care what Sam thought, but that he really did.

"You were terrific Seth. You're a very talented and beautiful skater."

Seth stopped biting his lip and instead turned it up into a slow, shy smile that eventually consumed his whole face.

"Yay! I'm really glad you liked it Sam." Suddenly he turned and started hurrying forward, calling to Sam over his shoulder.

"Come on! I'm taking you somewhere special, to celebrate!"

Sam tried to protest but Seth wouldn't hear of it and before he knew it, he was in Seth's car speeding off somewhere.

The place they pulled up in front of was not at all what Sam was expecting. It was a club. A very obviously gay club from the number of affectionate males entering and leaving.

"Seth…."

"Yes, it's a gay club, Sam. You have been to one before haven't you?"

Sam blushed. Of course he had, it was the only way to pick up anonymous one-night stands when he was on the road.

"Of course I have, Seth."

"Well, all right then. You need to have a little fun, Sam. When was the last time you got la- "

"Seth!" Sam's voice carried a strong, firm tone of warning that let Seth know he was venturing into territory that was none of his business.

"Fine, fine, but let's go, before the dance floor gets too crowded."

Sam reluctantly followed Seth into the club, and promptly went up to claim a space at the bar and ordered a beer. He'd warned Seth on the way in, that he never danced at these places. Seth just called him a party pooper and immediately headed into the sea of writhing bodies on the dance floor.

Sam drank one beer, two beers, three beers. He thought about what Seth had started to ask him in the car. It had been way too long since he'd been with someone. And maybe an anonymous pickup would be just the thing to get Seth out of his system. There were tons of hot guys here, dozens that were the exact type of guy he usually took home—or well, back to his hotel room. Tonight, though…none of them appealed to him. He scanned the men in the club endlessly, but his eyes kept finding their way back to one person. He moved as gracefully on the dance floor as he did on the ice. He was wearing this tight v-neck t-shirt that was also a little shorter than it should have been, so it was constantly riding up every time he raised his arms, showing off a delicious strip of skin right above his low-rise jeans. Sam wanted to touch him there, wanted to slip his hands under that shirt…and shit, his cock was swelling, starting to strain against his jeans, as he felt the heat from his groin radiate throughout his body.

Sam was not the only one who wanted Seth that night; he had a harem of men who constantly wanted to dance with him and were trying to cut in. Sam skin prickled every time a new guy approached Seth. When one in particular got rather handsy, he very nearly stalked out to the dance floor and ripped the guy's head off. It was this violent reaction that made Sam take a step back. He had never experienced jealousy of any kind like this, before.

So he drank another beer. And another, until he was starting to feel a bit mellower. Several guys approached him periodically, but of course he wasn't interested. One very persistent guy wouldn't take no for an answer and kept trying to engage him in conversation. He even put his arm around Sam at one point. Sam turned his eyes back to the dance floor to see Seth looking right at him. He wasn't smiling though, his eyes were dull and Sam swore he thought the boy looked crestfallen. Seth looked away when he saw Sam looking at him and tried to look like he was interested in the guy who was dancing next to him.

Another guy came up to Sam, and he started with his rehearsed spiel about not being interested when suddenly Seth was next to him, tugging on his arm and shooting daggers at the other guy. When Seth looked at him, there was a fire in his eye. His hand burned where Seth was holding it. He began to tug Sam toward the dance floor and maybe it was the little bit of booze in his system, or maybe it was that little strip of skin that kept flashing at Sam as Seth maneuvered them through the crowd, but Sam followed without question.

Once Seth had picked a spot, he stopped and let go of Sam's hand. He put his hands on Sam's waist and pressed himself against Sam's body. He started moving with the beat of the music, rubbing against Sam. Sam groaned and then his arms were wrapped around Seth, his hands sliding up and down his back, into Seth's still unruly hair.

God Seth felt so good in his arms. He couldn't believe he was finally touching him, holding him.

It wasn't long before Seth was whispering something about getting out of there. As Sam followed him out into the cool, crisp air, he felt his senses clear a little, enough to open his eyes to the fact of what had just happened…and what was going to happen.

At his apartment he managed to get the door open, but he was hesitant in following Seth inside. As the door closed behind him he imagined how he could let Seth down, how he could explain that he shouldn't have brought him home.

Before he could open his mouth Seth pressed him against the closed door. He ran his hands up and down Sam's chest, and started kissing and licking and nipping at Sam's throat, the highest spot he could reach. Involuntarily Sam's body arched a little more into his touch, the heat from Seth's fingers and lips unbearable. Sam tried to stifle a moan. Jesus, every touch from Seth felt so amazing, he couldn't even imagine what it would be like if there were no clothes in the way. Sam's cock was rock hard and he wasn't sure how much more of this he could take. His mind kept screaming "It's Seth! You've got to stop this, it's Seth!"

From somewhere he heard the word "stop" finally emerge from his mouth.

"Umm-urmm…what?" Seth registered what Sam said and he pulled back a little to look at the older man. His brows furrowed. Both men were panting, the only sound in the quiet room, as Seth stared into Sam's eyes.

"Why?" was the word to come from Seth, in a rough whisper. "What's so wrong with this, Sam?" Seth's hand snaked down to stroke Sam's cock through the denim.

Sam banged his head back against the wall as he let out a loud groan. "Shit, Seth…Oh my God. We…can't…Seth…not right…." His voice was strained and hoarse.

"Why isn't it right? I want you. And you clearly want me." Seth was still whispering, but his hand was now dragging Sam's zipper slowly down. The lessening pressure felt like heaven to his cock.

"It's okay Sam, just relax… let go for once…and just…feel." Seth's voice was so soothing. He started rubbing Sam's cock again, through his boxers. The next thing he knew, Seth was slinking down, on his knees and yanking down Sam's jeans and underwear. Sam's cock bounced free, straining hard and thick and purple against his own stomach. The cool air felt soothing but only for a moment, as suddenly the slick, wet inferno of Seth's mouth enveloped him. Sam cried out, and Seth licked and sucked and bobbed up and down.

Sam banged his head against the door again as he bucked his hips into Seth's mouth. "Oh God, Seth…Jesus Christ, Fuck!" He gripped Seth's hair tightly, so tightly he hoped he wasn't hurting the young man. He jerked his hips once more and then let loose another stream of curses as he shot into Seth's mouth, coming and coming and coming, harder than he ever had before. He whimpered when he was finally done, his chest heaving from the exertion. Seth was still licking and cleaning him up, before he finally let Sam go and sat back on his heels, just staring into Sam's eyes with want and need and desire. They stayed that way for a few minutes until finally Sam did it.

He let go.

His restraint snapped. He didn't care that Seth was different than other guys he'd been with, he didn't care that Seth was younger or if it was right, or how it would look.

He pulled Seth up by his arms roughly and slammed him against the wall. He crushed his lips to Seth's, forcing them open and exploring and tasting him greedily. The mix of himself still in Seth's mouth mixed with Seth's own flavor was intoxicating.

Seth was writhing and clutching at Sam. Sam's arms wrapped around him and his hands traveled down to grasp Seth's ass and grind against him. Seth's hard length pressed against Sam's thigh, while Sam's erection roared back to life.

Sam broke away briefly, to breathe, pressing his forehead against Seth. "Sweet God, Seth, I've wanted this for so long…."

"Then shut up, Sam and stop talking." Seth's mouth latched onto his again, and they were moving and touching again. Seth wrapped his legs around Sam and he carried him to the bedroom, Seth trying very unsuccessfully to remove clothing as they went. When they finally reached the bed, buttons flew and fabric ripped as they finally got down to skin on skin. Sam was nibbling and kissing and sucking everything he could touch, drowning in the erotic sounds Seth was making. Seth was skinnier than most men he'd been with, but his skin was smooth and velvety. And being an athlete he was strong and flexible, his legs wrapping around Sam and squeezing his ass. Sam was rubbing their cocks together, the small drops of pre-come mixing together to provide just enough slickness.

"Oh Sam! Feels so good. Oh God.…please, please fuck me, now!"

Sam was in no position to protest, about ready to explode again himself. The first time Sam could understand coming so quickly, since it had been so long. But this time, he couldn't believe how hard he was, how close to the edge he was already, again. The heat of Seth's body under him, around him was like a drug he needed to bury himself in.

Sam quickly dug out some lube and a condom from the drawer next to his bed. He knew he needed to slow down a little, get himself under control until Seth was ready, he didn't want to hurt him…but, oh God, he wanted this so badly. Sam started slowly, pressing a lubed finger into Seth, listening to his pants and moans to see how he was doing. Seth was wriggling again. "More Sam, oh please hurry!" Sam added a second finger, hitting Seth's prostate that time, and Seth cried out loudly. Sam quickly added a third finger and it wasn't long before Seth was protesting.

"Enough, enough Sam! Oh please, God, just…I need you now!"

Sam growled, rolling the condom on himself as quick as he could, adding more lube. He started to enter Seth, and God, he tried going slow but Seth pushed his hips forward, taking Sam all the way inside. He gasped and paused, amazed at the heat and the tightness squeezing his dick. Seth's whimpers brought him back and he pulled back out almost all the way and then slammed back in, Seth's cries urging him on. He snapped his hips back again and again, hitting Seth's prostate and going as deep as he could. Seth was moaning in pleasure. He started reaching for his own hard, red cock. Sam, both hands holding Seth's legs, could only watch in ecstasy as Seth quickly stroked himself to release.

"Sam! Oh…Oh fuck, ahhh . . ." ropes of beautiful white cum painted Seth's chest and the sight broke Sam. He jerked forcefully one more time into Seth and came hard into the condom, crying out Seth's name over and over, until he was done.

~ * S &S * ~

Sam groggily opened his eyes the next morning, feeling the heat of a warm body next to him. He flipped over to see Seth curled up next to him, the sheet covering only the lower half of his body. Still asleep, Seth looked even younger and more vulnerable. And for the first time since he'd met Seth, that didn't scare him. He didn't worry that Seth was too young, or why he was even attracted to Seth or what people might think if they saw them together. The only thing, the only person he gave a damn about, was Seth.

As his eyes surveyed Seth's body he saw a few bruises here and there, some unintentional, some completely intentional, as Sam had hungrily marked the body of his lover. Last night had been raw and primal and had been building up in both of them for weeks. As Sam brushed his fingers lightly over one of the marks, Seth began to stir. He looked up at Sam, sleepily, his hair all a mess, and smiled the sweetest smile.

"urmm …Good morning, Hockey Man."

"Good morning, Seth." Sam traced his jaw with his fingertips, tilting Seth's face up for a gentle kiss.

Of course, neither of them could stop at a kiss. More kisses followed, then hands started to wander. Sam found himself wanting to take their time this morning, go slow. He wanted to be gentle and reverent with Seth, to show him, especially after last night, how much he truly adored him.

Sam had never wanted to fuck anyone more than once, had never wanted to be with anyone as much as he wanted to be with Seth. This was going to be a new experience for him. Last night had changed everything and Sam knew he was never going to be the same again.