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Tenderness
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marsabi
Title: Tenderness: A Metro Date Fix
Author: Marsabi
Warning: none
Summary: Written for my bingo wild card. Alone on the farm, Luke needs help with a horse. This is set right after the terrible Metro date--it needed a fix! I hope I did it some justice. On a side note, I know zippo about horses, and all mistakes there are mine. Thanks to aljc100, my wonderful bingo partner, for reading my early (and very bad) draft, and rhiannonhero for reading a later one.
Rating: NC-17



The mare’s coat was dark with sweat. Something was wrong. Luke had been around horses enough to know that much, so he called and left the vet another voicemail. His Grandma Emma and Dad had gone to visit his Aunt Meg, leaving him in charge of the farm, and he’d never imagined that Tessa would go into labor so early. Luke tried to calm her down, whispering softly. The mare’s ears bent forward as though she was listening to every word, so he kept on talking, his voice cracking.

“Easy, girl,” Luke soothed. “I know it’s coming too fast, but you’ll be fine.”

He needed to help her. But what could he do? Luke had witnessed a few births on the farm, but he’d never really dealt with a mare in trouble before. What he really needed was a vet, but he’d already placed that call to no avail. He remembered his dad telling a story about calling on Dr. Hughes to help with a mare years ago. “A doctor’s a doctor,” he’d said. And Luke really needed a doctor.

Debating with himself, Luke took out his cell phone and stared at it for a few moments. This was a bad idea. Their date had been a disaster, and they hadn’t talked since. He shouldn’t. Really. Seriously. No .

Tessa whinnied softly. Her hooves clomped in the dirt, and her eyes rolled, filled with an all too human expression.

Seeing the misery on her face, Luke knew he had no choice. He pressed call.

***

“Hey,” Reid called, opening the barn door. “I’m here.”

“Hey.“ Luke rushed over, stopping with his face just inches from Reid’s. “Thanks so much for coming. It’s really...”Luke hesitated. “Nice of you.”

Reid grunted. “Yeah, you sound grateful.”

Their eyes met, and Luke felt a stab of lust, and he looked quickly away. He didn’t want to think about how Reid only had to walk into the room and his entire body reacted.

“Nothing to say?” Reid asked, but he didn’t wait for Luke to answer. “Here.” He thrust a bag at him.

“What’s this?”

“Al’s claims it’s a cheeseburger, although I have my doubts their meat actually comes from a cow. Rat, maybe.“

“You brought me dinner?”

“Your text made it clear you haven’t left the barn in hours, so…” Reid pushed past him. “It’s not a big deal. I still owe you for that chili.”

Luke thought about the piles of stocked up food in his Grandma Emma’s refrigerator and quickly hid his grin, taking a few quick bites of the burger. Actually, he was surprised to find he was really hungry. Before he knew it, he’d finished the whole thing.

As they walked a few steps closer to the mare’s stall, Luke snuck a look at Reid’s impassive face. It had been thoughtful of him to bring Luke some food. That was the confusing part about Reid. Just when Luke thought the whole thing was hopeless, and everybody else was right about him, Reid would do something unexpected.

Drawing in a deep breath, Luke tried again. “Thanks for the food. It was good. Thanks for agreeing to look at Tessa, too.”

“You don’t have to thank me.”

“Okay, sure , sorry. Never mind, ” Luke said, and then winced, jamming his hands into his pockets. Why had he apologized? Hadn’t he lectured himself enough all week about that? What happened on their date was not all his fault. Even knowing that, Luke had picked up the phone to make up with Reid a thousand times, ready to tell Reid again that he was sorry for mentioning Noah, but then he’d remember how the date had ended:

You were the one who wanted to take it slow. You got your wish.

Remembering Reid’s last words, Luke clamped his lips together. No, he wouldn’t apologize for Reid acting like an ass.

“Well, about Tessa,” Luke said, deciding to keep his focus where it belonged. “I think she’s going to give birth at any time, but I don’t know for sure. She wasn’t due for two full weeks.”

“I’m no Dr. Doolittle, but I’ll try and help,” Reid replied, shrugging out of his leather jacket and rolling up his sleeves.

Luke swallowed hard, staring determinedly at the mare and not at Reid.

He could still taste their kiss, the way Reid used his tongue, teasing, sucking. How Reid’s hand had firmly held the side of his face, and how Reid hadn’t given a damn about PDA. Luke had been floating on air afterwards, and when he’d asked Reid out to Metro, he had visions of Reid holding his hand at dinner, or maybe even kissing him again over dessert. Noah had always kissed him with a touch of reluctance. Until Reid’s kiss at the hospital, Luke had never known how intoxicating it could be to have somebody be so unselfconscious about wanting him.

“What happened to her regular vet?” Reid asked.

“Yeah, I don’t know. I keep on trying her vet, but he’s on another emergency.”

“And you couldn’t have contacted another one?”

“He’s the only vet in Oakdale.”

“You could have tried blackmailing one from another town. I’m sure you haven’t forgotten how.”

“Very funny.”

Reid’s lips twitched, a spark of amusement flickered in his eyes, and Luke couldn’t resist reaching out and clasping his shoulder. Reid stiffened at the touch, and turned abruptly towards Tessa’s stall. “I’ll take a look,” he said.

Luke nodded, his heart falling a little as his hand dropped. He really hated this. It had been over a week now since their date at Metro, and Reid still seemed angry with him. Luke sighed. Maybe Ali had been right. If Reid couldn’t let him even mention Noah’s name, maybe Reid just wasn’t the right guy for him. His gut tightened, and he followed Reid with heavy steps.

Luke was relieved to see that Tessa was still standing, although her tail swooshed back and forth, and Luke could sense her nervousness. Tessa nosed at Reid’s shoulder, and he held his hand out with his palm upturned.

“Careful. She may bite,” Luke warned.

“So does my roommate.”

“What? Katie bit you? I didn’t know you two had that kind of relationship.”

Reid flashed a quick smile. “No, it was Jacob. Kid’s got his first real tooth and is chomping down on everything.”

“Aw, Jacob has a tooth? That’s fantastic! Did Katie take a picture? Did she put it up on Facebook yet?” He took out his phone and quickly accessed his friends’ page.

“I wouldn’t know. I don’t bother with social media.”

Luke ignored Reid’s grumpy tone. He was too busy staring at the latest picture from Katie. Reid was holding an open-mouthed Jacob in his arms. Jacob was drooling and the small tooth was proudly on display. Reid was smiling down at him, offering Jacob a small teddy bear to play with.

“There’s never anything relevant on Facebook,” Reid added. “It’s all a distraction from people accomplishing real work.”

“I suppose you’re right,” Luke said, glancing down at the picture another time, a smile crossing his face. “It’s a big waste of time.”

“Exactly.”

Reid was still stroking Tessa with his fingertips as he spoke, and she responded by stretching out her long neck for more of his touch.

He really didn’t want to believe Ali. Or his mom. Or Noah. They didn’t know Reid, not like Luke did.

“You’re so gentle,” Luke murmured. Reid did a good job of hiding that. Except for Katie and Jacob, there was nobody else in Oakdale who would believe that. “Tessa really seems to trust you.”

“Animals can sense authority.” Reid took out his stethoscope, listening to the mare’s heart.

“Yeah, I guess.“

Luke watched as Reid carefully examined Tessa’s flank. He pressed down slightly on Tessa’s abdomen, but Luke noticed he was also stroking her belly.

“Can you feel her baby moving?” Luke asked.

“A little.” Reid turned and opened his medical bag. “But I don’t like Tessa’s heartbeat. We’d better get this done and fast.”

“We?”

Reid nodded curtly.“I need you.”

“Okay,” Luke said. He felt his throat tighten with emotion, knowing he was making too much of it, but feeling pleased at Reid’s words. “Just tell me what to do.”


Before long, they’d wrapped Tessa’s tail and made sure the barn had fresh, dry hay for her to lie on. Tessa’s nostrils flared, her muscled chest gleaming as she pushed. But as hard as she struggled, the foal wasn’t coming down.

“What's happening?” Luke could hear the fear in his own voice and tried to control it.

“I’m not sure.“ Drops of sweat covered Reid’s forehead. “Let me try to manipulate her from inside.” Reid slid his arm deep into the birth canal, repositioning the foal. Watching him, Luke’s teeth sank down on his lip. He admired Reid’s total concentration. Luke already knew that Reid was a brilliant doctor, as if Reid would let him forget that, but he’d never really gotten to witness Reid at work. His eyes were focused on Tessa like nothing else existed.

Luke could see her flesh tearing, opening – and the white sac with the foal tightly curled inside. The feet were out, but the head wasn’t coming, and Tessa’s groans were low and agonized. Silently praying, Luke wanted to look away. The barn stank of sweat and sticky blood.

“Luke, comfort her,” Reid ordered, as Tessa kept on straining. “I’m going to try and move the shoulders down.”

“Oh God,” Luke whispered. “Please.”

“It’s okay.” Reid spared him a glance. “We can do this. I’m going to move the foal inside and you’ll pull gently on the foal’s feet. Alright? Pay attention. We don’t have much time.”

“I am.”

“On my count. One-two-three.”

Luke did as Reid said, following his instructions closely as the two of them worked together. Much to his relief, the shoulders were now clearly visible. Luke began to wipe the foal’s legs with a towel, rubbing off the slick, wet mess left by the sac.

“Come on,” Reid demanded, in a tight, clipped voice as he pulled harder, gritting his teeth. “Come – now.” Almost as though he understood the command, the foal came down in a sudden whoosh and the afterbirth soon followed.

Tessa stood up, immediately breaking the umbilical cord, and Reid managed to quickly stop the bleeding with a few efficient sutures. Tessa was breathing heavily like she’d run a race, but the foal was still.

“Reid?” Luke gave him a worried look.

Reid had gone over to the sink to wash up, but he glanced back at the foal. “Give it a minute. Being born is pretty traumatic.”

Luke followed, washing off his own hands off, imitating the same thorough motions as Reid, scrubbing with soap from his fingertips up to his elbows, and then his face and neck.

“But what if…” Luke couldn’t say it. He shut off the water. “I should have called you earlier. I knew she was in trouble...”

“Stop that,” Reid spoke gruffly, but his eyes were kind. “You did everything right, but sometimes things still go wrong.“

“Maybe, but I still feel--Wait!” Luke broke off, releasing a deep breath that he’d been holding. “Look!”

The foal had risen unsteadily to its feet, and was now nuzzling at Tessa’s body with its tiny, pointed nose.

“He’s suckling!” Luke declared. “Oh my God! It’s beautiful. Do you see him? Do you see!”

“Yeah, it’s something,” Reid agreed, turning, a big smile on his face.

“And you saved them, Reid. You did! Thank you!“ Luke practically jumped up and down on the balls of his feet. “Thank you so much!”

“You just haven’t seen my bill yet-“ Reid started to answer, but Luke didn’t let him finish.

Luke turned to Reid, grabbing him with both hands, and kissed him hard, his mouth seeking, needing. Their tongues met, and Luke pressed his body against Reid’s, putting all he had into the kiss. Energy pulsed through him, and Luke nearly lifted Reid off of his feet. He was so hungry for him, and it felt so right to kiss Reid again. Their mouths fit together so perfectly that Luke made a soft, urgent sound. Reid’s mouth was firm, but his lips were soft and parted, his breath mixing with Luke’s own. He took a lick at Luke’s lower lip and then began to kiss a trail down the side of his neck. The movement was careful and deliberate and Jesus, so sweet. The way Reid was touching him, the unexpected tenderness, held Luke in place. He ached to speed up, and also wanted it to never end.

But Reid abruptly stopped kissing Luke. “What was that? Gratitude or something more?”

“Well, I guess it was gratitude,” Luke said, and then seeing Reid’s body stiffen, his jaw tighten, he quickly tried to add, “but it was also--”

“I should go,” Reid cut him off.

“Go?”

“Yeah, I need some rest. I have early rounds at Memorial tomorrow.”

“So. More work.”

“It’s what I do. You know that.”

“Yeah, you've told me." Luke made a face. "It’s important. It's your job.”

“Right.” Reid started to head out the door.

“Except it’s really not about work, is it,” Luke called after him, glaring at Reid’s retreating back. How dare he walk away? Again? After yet another kiss that had rocked Luke to his core? Luke marched up to him, grabbing Reid’s shoulder and swinging him around to face him, holding him by the shirt in a tight grip. "Because your job is your way of hiding from everything else."

"I don't need to hide." Reid scowled.

"Whatever. All I know is you'll go to Memorial, and your work will consume you and that'll be it."

"No, it won't."

"Why not?" Luke asked, but he eased his grip up slightly.

"Because that was before," Reid answered softly.

Luke couldn’t look away from Reid’s steely blue gaze if he wanted to.

"Oh." Luke's hand shook as he released him.

Reid folded his arms at his chest, looking a little disconcerted at his own words, but he stayed where he was, not attempting to leave. “Your turn. Did you only kiss me as a thank you?”

Luke shook his head ruefully. “Do you think I go around kissing all the people in Oakdale who’ve tried to help me? It would be quite a list.”

“Not mine. I would only have one person on it.”

Swallowing hard, Luke wet his lips, sliding his tongue back and forth. He stared at Reid, who was staring at him.

“I'm grateful that you came out here today, that’s true, but is that only reason I kissed you? Come on!" Luke tried to smile, but his mouth wobbled slightly. "I thought you were a genius. You can’t figure it all out?”

“I am a genius,” Reid paused. “It’s the human thing I seem to be less than brilliant at.” Reid’s eyes darted away and then back to Luke. “That’s kind of why I need you around.”

Luke cocked his head. “Is that an apology?”

“Yes.”

“And you’re apologizing specifically for…?” Luke prompted.

Reid opened his mouth slightly, but nothing came out.

“Feel free to complete the sentence, “ Luke teased, but gently, knowing Reid would remember his sarcastic comments at Luke’s expense in Metro. He smiled at Reid, taking the sting out of his words, and took his hand, giving it a squeeze.

Reid smiled back. “Alright. I apologize. I’m sorry for the way our date went. I was distracted by work, and I let a patient, who is being a stubborn fool about his treatment, put me in a lousy mood. I’m sorry I overreacted about Noah, too. Most of all, I’m sorry for not going inside with you. Talk about being an idiot. That was a prize worthy mistake. How’s that?”

“Wow…”Luke blinked. “I really didn’t think you’d say all that.”

Reid shrugged. “I can admit when I’m wrong.”

“I guess so.”

“Since it happens so rarely.”

Luke laughed, still holding onto Reid’s hand, lacing their fingers together. Reid let out a rusty sounding laugh, too.

“Our date did go pretty badly,” Luke said.

“The worst,” Reid confirmed.

“You realize we’ll have to try again?”

“Yeah, I know. Luckily for me, you’re loaded, and can wine and dine me endlessly.”

“Oh, no. Doctor Oliver. I think the next date’s on you.”

“As long as I get a next date.” Reid’s eyes wandered slowly down Luke’s body.

“You will.” Luke reached out with his free hand, touching the side of Reid’s face. He rested his fingers near Reid’s earlobe and caressed it lightly. “I thought maybe you wouldn’t want to try again,” Luke said in a very quiet voice. “That maybe my history with Noah would come between us too much.”

Reid was silent a moment. “I’m sorry that I made you think that. I’m going to act like an ass sometimes, a lot maybe, and we might have other dates that go wrong. But Luke, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to keep on trying with you.”

“Well, in that case…” He beamed at Reid, his heart soaring. “ Don’t rush off. Stay. I’d like it if you come with me into the house? You could shower?” Luke’s could feel the heat crawling up to his cheeks. “And then I can show you around?”

“I always wanted to see the inside of a real farmhouse,” Reid replied firmly, tugging Luke’s hand and leading him out of the barn. Tessa snorted, as if she knew what Luke was up to, and Luke took one last look back at Tessa and her foal. The foal was tottering on its legs, still getting used to the world.

***

Luke raised his arms up and let Reid tug off his T-shirt. Reid was already standing there proudly, with only a towel slung across his hips. His hair was wet and curly from his shower, and Luke could see a few drops of water on Reid’s skin. Luke had quickly showered first, but then he’d put on some fresh clothes, feeling too awkward to remain naked and waiting.

Reid’s gaze dropped to his chest, and Luke could feel a slow flush rise up his body. This was really about to happen. They’d barely started, and Luke already wanted to beg and moan and cry out—the need was so strong, especially when Reid was looking at him like that. Reid stroked his fingertips across Luke’s collarbone and then downwards, hovering at Luke's waist. They stood chest to chest, Luke’s nipples grazing against Reid’s, pressed so close that he could feel Reid’s heartbeat.

“Should I draw the shades? Turn off the light?” Luke whispered, pulling back.

“Hell no,” Reid’s hand played with Luke’s chest hair, grabbing it between his index finger and his thumb, and then giving it a hard yank. “I want to see you. Every inch.”

“Noah never liked the lights on-“ Luke mumbled, and then covered his hands to his eyes. “Oh my God, I didn’t mean to say-I don’t even know why I just mentioned him. I’m so sorry—“

“Shh,” Reid stopped him, putting a finger to Luke’s mouth. “I meant what I said earlier. I was the one who was wrong.“ Reid gave him a stern look. “You apologize too damn often. It’s about time someone else said they were sorry.”

Luke shook his head, unable to say all that was in his heart right then. He grabbed Reid in a hard, quick hug. He could hear Reid’s startled sound, but hugged him anyway, squeezing Reid for all he was worth. Luke felt Reid’s arms tighten around him right back, and they just stood there, swaying slightly, hugging each other. Luke took sharp breath, inhaling Reid’s scent, his face buried at Reid’s neck. When he finally pulled away, Luke couldn’t stop touching Reid. He cradled his face and then let his hands trace the shape of Reid’s strong jaw line.

“Thanks,” Luke said huskily.

“Welcome.” Reid smiled almost shyly at him. “And I want you to be able to talk to me about Noah or anything else. Although, maybe not right now. I’d rather not hear about him the next few hours,” Reid waggled his eyebrows up and down. “Because I plan to keep you busy.“

“I promise,” Luke grinned foolishly at him.

Reid’s own smile faded, and Luke felt like an electric shock had touched his body with just that one look. His cock jumped. He moved his hands further down Reid’s body.

“Reid?” Luke asked, not even sure what he was really asking for. But Reid moved, taking charge. He kissed his way down to the smooth, bare skin of Luke’s stomach, dropping to his knees. “You-don’t have to,” Luke stammered out, as Reid pulled off Luke’s jeans and underwear.

It was something else that Noah had never wanted to do; no matter how many times Luke had hinted or pleaded for it.

Reid merely looked up, smirking. He cupped Luke’s balls, rolling them slightly, making Luke gasp. Luke’s cock pulsed, a few drops of seed at his tip, that Reid licked, his tongue gliding from Luke’s slit down his shaft. Panting, Luke felt Reid’s mouth teasing him with his lips, his tongue, his teeth. Luke's mouth parted, his hips rocked forward, as Reid's tongue kept moving slowly up and down his length, tasting his skin, suckling his balls, moving deliberately, carefully. He tangled his hand in Reid’s hair, grabbing at it, forcing Reid’s head even closer. Reid didn’t seem to mind; he kneaded one hand at Luke’s ass, and then took a deep suck, until Luke’s cock was at the back of Reid’s throat. With dazed eyes, Luke looked down at Reid between his legs, seeing his mouth moving, cheeks hollowed, his eyes closed. Luke trembled, “Oh God, Reid. Reid!” His orgasm rolled through his body, he came hard, and Reid swallowed, making low deep sounds as he held Luke to him.

His legs were so shaky he nearly collapsed, and Reid held him up, stroking the front of his thighs, murmuring soothingly. He stared down into Reid’s eyes, so gentle, and he looked at Reid’s beautiful smiling lips, glistening with Luke’s cum.

“Reid-Reid-Reid,” Luke said, his words coming out like a soft chant. Luke felt like everything was new, more alive. That he had discovered what happiness was all over again. Or maybe… he’d never truly known it before--

Reid led him to the bed, planting kisses all over his body, lingering over every part of his skin, and Luke hooked his legs high above Reid’s shoulders, ready for it, confident, his toes curling, his body arching up, welcoming this happiness that could light up the night.

--This happiness that could last forever.



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Loved this piece, marsabi! Such an interesting premise... and you fixed the date debacle, too!

Yay for sexy times :-D xx


Edited at 2013-09-30 11:05 pm (UTC)

Thanks so much! *Happy Twirl*

It is a thrill for me to see you're reading my entries and enjoying them!

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