Volume 2 of the Something in the Water series arrives Tuesday, January 30!

The Fundamental Difference Between You and Me

The Fundamental Difference Between You and Me

 

Luke sighs with satisfaction and slams his suitcase shut. Everything just barely fits, but he’s managed to cram the essentials into his suitcase. He glances about, but Mason’s suitcase is still suspiciously empty. He frowns.

He listens for a moment, then heads down the hall. Artificial gunfire resounds through the condo. He pokes his head into the living room and glares at Mason. Mason is oblivious to this, as his gaze is firmly glued to the television. His hand motions seem almost robotic as he clicks at various buttons.
Luke rolls his eyes. “Mason,” he growls.

“Mm.”
“What are you doing?”
“Playing.”
“What?”
“Call of Duty.”
“Have you packed yet?”
“No.”
Luke isn’t surprised by this. “You know we’re leaving at five tomorrow, right?”
“Uh-huhn.”
“It’s eleven now.”
“Yeah.”
“Maybe you’d like to … oh, I dunno, pack?”
“In a minute.”
Luke rolls his eyes again, then stalks back to the bedroom. He knows Mason is addicted to video games, and he knows Mason probably loves that damned machine more than he loves him (Luke is equally attached to his DS, although Mason makes fun of him forever, because it doesn’t have “real” games). He just thought that maybe, maybe, maybe the fact that they’re leaving at five in the morning for California, for a whole fucking month, would get Mason to … detach.
It doesn’t, and that irks Luke beyond belief. Especially considering he let Mason pick where they were going, and he let Mason pick when (the IHA schedule really narrows that down, but whatever), and he let Mason choose how long, and which flights they’d be taking, and fuck it, it’s their trip and Mason is making love to his fucking Xbox.
Luke isn’t an overly romantic guy (Mason is, surprisingly, the sap, which Luke finds hilarious), but he would have thought a romantic holiday would be a good reason to put the controller down for a while.
Apparently it’s not.
Luke grumbles a bit, but decides that he’s going to bed, since they have to get up at stupid o’clock, and he didn’t really want to have sex anyway, because that would mean he’d have to shower at quarter to stupid in the morning and it’s tiring to have sex and he knows he’s going to be jet-lagged tomorrow and maybe getting loving in a hotel room in California. So it’s all good really.
… Luke is a really bad liar, and he’s never denied it.
Mason finally turns off the stupid machine and comes to bed at quarter after twelve—and no, Luke hasn’t been lying awake, waiting for him, that’s for stupid people—and practically falls on top of Luke, kissing his cheek and trying to cuddle, because he’s an enormous sap and touchy-feely at the best of times.
“You haven’t packed yet,” Luke says.
“I’ll do it in the morning,” Mason replies, then turns over, seeing that Luke has decided he’s not putting out.
Luke really, really hates how easily Mason gives up on him sometimes.
*
Stupid o’clock comes far too early, and Luke pushes at Mason and Mason pushes at Luke, because they somehow became entangled while they slept. They both tumble out of bed and stumble around stupidly in the morning light, yawning, stretching, and generally acting otherwise mentally incapacitated.
There’s a reason Luke calls it stupid o’clock.
They dress in silence. Luke finishes brushing his teeth, then tosses the last of his toiletries in his bag. He looks expectantly at Mason, who still hasn’t put anything in his suitcase. “Well?” he says.
“What?”
“You said you’d pack in the morning.”
“And I will.”
He nips out of the room and Luke frowns.
He returns a moment later, carrying the Xbox triumphantly. He sets it gingerly in his suitcase, tucking all the wires in, and placing the controller on the side.
Luke can’t help the way his jaw goes slack. Mason glances up at him. “What?”
“What are you doing?”
“Packing.”
Luke shakes himself out of his stupor. “Oh no,” he says. “No. You are not bringing that with you. It stays here.”
“Why?”
Because.” Luke really doesn’t think he needs to explain all the reasons why Mason shouldn’t bring his Xbox with him on their romantic vacation.
Mason shuts the suitcase, zips it shut.
“Aren’t you bringing clothes?” Luke asks, blinking.
Mason waves. “I have clothes there.”
Luke frowns a bit. Well, okay. But. “You need to pack more than your Xbox. And you’re not bringing it.”
Mason sighs. “Luke, we’re going to California for a month. I have the cottage there. We’ll go shopping. Why bring all … that … stuff.”
Luke can feel his face fall even more. “I thought we were going on vacation. I thought we were staying in a hotel. You could have told me.”
Mason just stares at him for a moment with an expression that clearly says “You’re an idiot.” “Luke,” he says slowly, “I live in California.”
“I know,” Luke grumbles. “I just thought … it’s supposed to be a vacation, right?”
“It is a vacation. How is going to the cottage not a vacation? Seriously, I don’t get you sometimes.”
Luke rolls his eyes. “I don’t get you either, so we can leave it at that. But I thought we were basically going to be taking off for however long and just … not doing anything, basking in each other.” He almost gags on the words.
“That sounds like something you’d hate. Not like you at all.”
Luke thinks about that for a moment. “There’s a lot of sex,” he explains.
“Oh?” Mason asks, perking up a bit. “I could be down with that then.”
“Of course you would be. Never mind, we need to be at the airport in half-an-hour. Take that thing out of your bag, you’re not bringing it.”
“Luke, why you are so upset about this? Look, I packed the extra controller, you can play too.”
“Maaaason.” Luke knows he’s whining, but he really wants Mason to pay attention to him, not the television. “This is supposed to be about us, not you, me, and your stupid gaming addiction.”
“It is not an addiction.”
“Oh yeah? Then stop playing.”
“I can stop.”
“Okay. Then leave it here.”
“Okay.”
Luke’s kind of amazed that worked. “Now pack some goddamn clothes or something.”
“Fine, fine.”
Far too easy, Luke thinks.
*
It was, in fact, far too easy, for, as Luke finds out, Mason didn’t really need to bring the Xbox with him. After a rough six-hour flight, and a nightmarish drive through the California wilderness to the cottage, the last thing Luke really wants to find is an Xbox sitting innocuously on the living room floor.
“Fuck,” he spits.
“Too tired,” Mason mutters, rubbing at his eyes. He strips as he makes his way down the hall, and Luke follows him, picking up his discarded clothes.
“You know,” Luke says, then just drops the clothes in a heap on the floor and crawls into bed. He’s exhausted.
The sheets have the scent of stale laundry hanging around them, and they’re a little too crisp.
“You know,” Luke yawns, “if you turn that Xbox on, I’m going to fucking castrate you.”
Mason’s only reply is a snore.
*
Luke is pretty sure he is the stupidest man on the face of the earth by Day Three, and that’s saying something, because Luke normally thinks highly of his intellect.
He thinks he’s stupid for believing that Mason would leave his Xbox behind, he thinks he’s stupid for not realizing that Mason lives in California and he’s addicted to gaming, so of course he’d have a console at his cottage, he thinks he’s stupid for thinking that Mason would put the controller down long enough to maybe, y’know, fuck.
Luke isn’t bitter, not at all. Especially not since he’s lying in bed at eleven o’clock, in the dark, by himself, waiting for Mason to come to bed.
It’s been three fucking days and they haven’t fucked. Not once. Not even a handjob in the shower. It’s starting to drive Luke up the wall.
Mason apparently hasn’t clued in yet that something is bugging Luke, because he seems wistfully oblivious to his partner’s rage.
This is partly Luke’s own fault. He knows Mason is dense. He knows that if he’s mad, he should just punch Mason or something. Mason needs that kind of obvious.
Mason rolls in to bed at half-past twelve, drapes himself over Luke and tries to cuddle. Luke rolls right over, then off the bed, taking the covers with him. Mason seems confused by this, especially when Luke proceeds to walk out of the room.
“Luke? Where are you going?”
“To sleep on the couch.”
Mason thinks about that for a moment, then says, “It’s not that comfortable.”
“I don’t care.”
Mason doesn’t say anything more, and Luke really wants to kick him in the teeth. Jackass.
*
The only time Mason puts the controller down is when they go shopping the next morning because, surprise, there’s no food in the house.
Luke is happy that Mason isn’t glued to the television, and it seems like something normal people do, and Luke kind of likes it a bit.
And he feels like they’re completely normal when all they seem to have at the end of the shopping experience is crap food and alcohol, and Luke enjoys that he gets to be immature enough to stand on the end of the cart and look down at all the crap they tossed into it, while Mason is trying to be all mature and grown-up, and then he decides to be an idiot too, and shoves the cart down one of the aisles with all his might, then jumps on it.
Unfortunately, their horsing around usually ends badly, and it does in this case, because shopping carts are not meant to withstand four hundred and twenty pounds of idiocy, and the cart wobbles, then tips over and they—and their shopping—go sprawling all over the grocery store floor.
A few old ladies glare at them, and Mason just grins and laughs, and Luke rights the cart and hopes they didn’t break the chips too, too much.
“We should shop late at night,” Luke says.
“We’re too dangerous for daytime shopping,” Mason agrees, then gets distracted by something on the shelf and adds that to their pile of crap.
Mason handles everything at the check-out, and then they head home again.
They get home and the first thing Mason does is turn on the damned Xbox. Luke really doesn’t want to be annoyed, but he doesn’t see why he should have to put the shopping away, or why he should make dinner.
Or why Mason should like spending time with the Xbox more than he likes spending time with Luke.
So, being the mature individual he is, he throws a can at Mason and beans him in the back of the head with it. Dents the can too. Damn.
“Ow, what the fuck!”
“Help me, you lazy ass.”
“You’re capable!”
“That’s not the point! You’re gonna eat the food too, so get out here and help put it away, jackass.”
“I bought the food. You want to eat it, you can put it away.”
“Fuck you, I’m not your wife.”
“Yes, you are.”
“Then you’re my wife.”
“I’m the man.”
“Pfffffft, yeah, okay. I’ll remember that next time you call me, crying, ‘cause—”
He narrowly dodges the can as it comes sailing back in to the kitchen. It bounces off one of the cupboard doors, then drops to the floor.
“I do not cry.”
“You do so! Ya big wuss—”
Instead of putting the food away, they proceed to have a wrestling match, which ends with Luke twisting his ankle and kicking Mason in the face simultaneously.
“Ow, ow, ow, fuck.” He rolls about on the ground, clutching at his foot.
“Fuck,” Mason echoes, rubbing at his cheek and spitting blood on the floor. Luke is just really glad it’s tile, not carpet.
They glance at each other. “Truce?” Luke says slowly.
“Truce,” Mason grumbles.
“Come put the groceries away.”
“Asshole, that hurt.”
“Awww, poor baby. Did I hurt you? Want me to kiss it better?”
Luke gets shoved into the door frame and nearly falls over. “Douche,” he mutters.
*
They crack open the alcohol—beer and vodka—and Mason actually ropes Luke in to playing a couple of rounds on the Xbox.
Mason is hanging upside-down off the couch, with his feet over the back of the sofa, when Luke says, “Mason.”
“What?”
“I wanna fuck.”
“That’s nice,” Mason says and continues button-mashing.
Luke gives him a shove. “C’mon, you ass, you can’t tell me you don’t want to get laid.”
“Not when you aren’t even a little sexy about it.”
“Ugh, what do you want? Ravish me?” He shoves his foot in Mason’s face. Mason shoves him off the sofa.
“No, I just want a little … less. Blunt. You know.”
“I’m not a girl, Mason.”
“I know.”
“You’re asking me to do girly things again.”
“How is that girly?!”
“You’re asking me to play coy! I don’t do that, I’m a guy. Doing that’s a bunch of bullshit. I wanna get laid, so hurry up and let’s fuck.”
Mason groans. “I give up, Luke!”
“What the hell do you want?! Here, hang on a minute, I’m just gonna go put on something more comfortable and light some candles and dump rose petals over the bed?”
Mason sighs. “Luke—”
“I just—I’m really fucking horny, okay? We’re here for the express purpose of fucking each other like—I don’t even know, rabbits or something—and we’ve been here four days and we have. Not. Fucked.”
“Is it really so bad?” Mason muses.
Luke stares at him in horror. “Did your balls shrivel up and die or something? ‘Cause I don’t believe what you just said. Did you hear yourself?”
“No.” Mason cuffs him. “I just think there’s more to a relationship than fucking.”
“But there’s also fucking,” Luke grumbles. “You can’t have a relationship without fucking.”
“Well, you can …”
“I don’t want, and if that’s what I’m in for, I’ll go find some chicks or something—”
“Luke—I just. Okay?”
“No. Not okay.”
Mason grumbles a bit. Luke reaches forward and flips the off switch on the console. He drops the controller and turns around. “If we’re just gonna hang out …”
Mason looks contemplative for a moment or two. “I just … don’t wanna.”
“Why the fuck not?!”
They proceed to get into another wrestling match, but they’re angrier this time, and Luke manages to wrench his ankle again, and this time, Mason notices that Luke has hurt himself. He glares at him.
“You’re a moron,” he says.
“Gee, thanks for sharing that thought.”
Mason makes him sit on the couch with ice on his ankle. They watch a movie, and Mason snuggles like the giant sap he is. Luke is getting more disgruntled by the minute.
When the credits roll, he forces Mason onto his back and straddles him. “We are going to fuck,” he tells him. “You are going to like it.”
Mason tries to buck him off. “Luke.”
“No. We’re doing this.”
“Fiiiiine.”
“Why is it such a goddamned chore?”
Mason doesn’t reply. Instead, he grabs at Luke’s hips, then tugs at his belt, and finally, starts unfastening it. ‘Yes,’ Luke thinks, ‘things are finally going to happen.’
“Luke,” Mason sighs.
“What?”
“I don’t want to.”
He rudely meets the floor. “Why not?” Luke all but whines. His ankle hurts, his head hurts, and he’s not going to get laid. His night—no, his life is ruined.
Mason shrugs, then turns the Xbox back on. Luke throws his hands up in defeat and stalks out of the room, wincing the entire way.
*
By the time a week has gone by and they still haven’t had sex—not even friendly frotting or foreplay or anything really—Luke is breaking the dishes in the kitchen when Mason leaves him to clean up and play with his Xbox.
Luke is not his wife, he is not a woman, and dammit, all he wants is a fuck! Mason is a man, he should understand this! Luke doesn’t do romance.
It’s time to take matters into his own hands, so he shuts the bedroom door, and digs out the lube, and hates that he forgot to bring any toys with him—but who the hell needs toys, he thought, when he’s going on vacation?
He lays on the bed for a while, angry and desolate, pissed that he has to resort to this when Mason is out in the other room.
“Fuck him,” he mutters and squirms out of his shorts. He lubes himself up, then strokes himself to hardness, because he really needs this, distracted as he is. He isn’t into it; he wants Mason, and Mason doesn’t want him. He doesn’t understand what the fuck is going on.
He grits his teeth and squeezes himself, but he doesn’t feel it. “Fuck,” he snaps and strokes himself harder, faster, trying to distract himself, trying to at least get his rocks off.
Ugh. Mason has got him so wound up he can’t even masturbate. Fucking fantastic.
He’s practically bored with it. He slides a finger into himself.
Maybe that’s the problem? Maybe Mason thinks he’s boring? Maybe Mason thinks they just do the same old thing, and he’s tired of it? Luke knows they both get bored easily, and now that he thinks about it, they don’t ever really seem to do anything different—they kind of just fall into bed, fuck, and sleep. It’s routine.
Shit, he’s thinking too hard. He put a second finger in and he didn’t even notice. He’s running on autopilot.
He needs to stop thinking about Mason and start thinking about himself. Mason doesn’t seem to care.
He pushes his fingers in deeper. “Uh—ah.” He shuts his eyes. “Right there.”
He gives up on stroking himself and gets on his stomach, rubs his cock against the bedspread and fucks himself on his own hand. He adds a third finger, just for good measure.
“Mm—ah, uh—good.” Mason has told him he makes some really girly noises when he gets fucked, so he bites his lip and tries to hold back. He tries not to think about how he wants something bigger and harder inside of him. Damn, he wishes he’d packed that fucking dildo. Although that might have been embarrassing at airport security.
He grunts into the bedspread and pushes back against his fingers. He curls them, then figures fuck it, if he’s been reduced to this, he’s going the whole nine yards. He pushes his fourth finger in, then wriggles his thumb in as well.
He can’t help the yell he gives when he closes his hand. “Oh, fuck yeah,” he crows as he pulls back, then pushes back in.
“Luke?”
They stare at each other for a moment.
“What are you doing?” Mason asks.
“Get out!” Luke snaps. “For fuck’s sake, can’t a guy get a little privacy around here?! Get the fuck out, go back to your goddamn game!”
Mason slams the door shut. Luke grits his teeth. He’s too annoyed at Mason to bother inviting him in. He doesn’t want Mason right now; Mason didn’t want him five minutes ago, so fuck him, Luke can take care of himself. He doesn’t need Mason. At all.
He’s a little bit surprised, when he’s finished and is laying dazed in his own jizz, that Mason murmurs, “Jesus, Luke, you could have said something.”
Luke wants to punch his stupid face in. He has been asking; Mason has been being obtuse and ignoring him.
“You’re an idiot,” Luke replies.
Mason groans. “Luke, can I—”
“Fuck, yes,” Luke grumbles, and it’s only a matter of seconds, really, before Mason is on top of him, grabbing at him frantically. Luke groans and jerks a bit, because he just came and now he’s hypersensitive—Mason tweaks a nipple and it hurts—so he bats Mason’s hands away. “Stop that,” he grouses. “I just fucking came.”
Mason just gives him this guilty look and Luke glances down at his crotch and nearly groans. “You fucking perv,” he growls, then pulls him the rest of the way out of his pants and goes down on him.
Mason spreads his legs to give him better access and Luke hollows his cheeks, and Mason can’t keep his fucking hands to himself. He pushes a finger into Luke. Hard.
Luke bites him.
“Ow,” they both say, then glare at each other.
“I told you,” Luke huffs, “I just came. Don’t touch me.”
“Sorry,” Mason says. “No teeth.”
“Then don’t touch me.”
“Fine.”
Luke waits a second, then goes back down on him. He just teases and Mason groans, but keeps his fingers curled in the bedspread. “Fucking hell Luke,” he growls. “You can do better.”
Luke just pulls off entirely and Mason falls to the bed, ‘cause he’s a fucking drama queen like that.
“Are you over your orgasm yet?” he asks.
“Maybe,” Luke says. “I dunno.”
Mason sits back up, then pushes Luke down on the bed. He spreads him really wide, pushes his legs back. Luke sees where this is going, so he uses Mason’s shoulders as a rest for his legs, then pushes himself up a bit, so that most of his weight is resting on his shoulders and upper back. “Like this?” he asks.
“Yeah,” Mason says, then pushes into him.
“Okay then,” Luke says. “Hard and fast.”
“Nope,” Mason says, and Luke’s tempted to see if he’s flexible enough to kick him in the side of the head.
“You are, without a doubt, a complete and utter fuckwit. Now do me.”
“I am.”
“Do me like I want you to do me.”
Mason rolls his eyes, and then, with a bit of maneuvering, closes his mouth over Luke’s cock.
Luke’s eyes go wide. “Oh fucking hell yes,” he rasps, and he isn’t sure if he should thrust up into that wonderful wetness, or push back onto Mason’s hardness. He settles for kind of doing both in rapid succession and he tries to ignore that the position looks uncomfortable for Mason, because it feels fantastic and Luke doesn’t want him to stop.
Gradually, Mason picks up his rhythm, so Luke decides he can thrust up, to make Mason’s life a little easier. Better than trying to crane his neck down and fuck Luke all at once.
Luke goes when Mason starts humming. Fucking bastard, Luke thinks, because he’d really like this to go on all night, but he’s still sensitive, and he’s getting sucked off and fucked all at once and his nerve endings don’t know what to do with all that pleasure, other than explode.
So he does. He tries to grab Mason’s hair—ears —face—something, to force him down, but he can’t, and Mason is looking at him, and fuck, that is so fucking hot, and Luke actually sobs a little bit because he feels that. Fucking. Good.
Mason pulls off him, lets his legs down a bit and snowballs him, which Luke normally doesn’t like, but he likes it right now, because all he can think is ‘Mason, Mason, Mason,’ and Mason is laughing at him when they pull apart, because Luke is chanting it too, not just thinking it.
Luke tilts his head up and Mason knows exactly what he wants, kisses him long and slow, and fucks him even harder. Luke groans into the kiss, shudders, wishes he didn’t have a stupid refractory period.
“In or out?” Mason asks, and Luke keens at how rough his voice is, how the sound rubs him all the right ways.
“Come in me, come in me,” Luke pants, clawing at him.
Mason tries to laugh at him, but Luke squeezes and that’s the end of the laughter—and him, actually; his hips stutter and he buries himself deep in Luke, cries out as he comes and Luke yells too.
“Oh,” he says when he remembers to breathe again.
“Mm,” Mason says.
“My legs are cramping,” Luke says.
Mason groans. “You—do you even know what sexy means?”
“No. Now let me down—it hurts.”
“Jesus,” Mason grumbles, but lets him down.
They just lay on the bed for a while, staring at the ceiling.
“Can I rim you now?” Mason asks.
Luke groans. “I dunno if I can take it,” he murmurs. It isn’t often that Mason actually offers, so he doesn’t want to turn him down, but he’s stupid tired now and he came twice.
“Please?”
“Fine,” Luke grumbles and turns over. Then he glances over his shoulder. “It’s not like we have to do this all today.”
“I know,” Mason replies. “I just want to make you squirm.”
Luke turns over onto his stomach, pressing his face down into one of the pillows. He pushes his ass into the air, then shudders when Mason runs his hands up his thighs. “Mm,” he says.
Mason spreads him, then rolls his tongue up Luke’s crack, right up to the base of his tailbone. Luke murmurs into the pillow appreciatively.
“Remember the first time we did this?” Mason asks and Luke shudders as his breath washes over him.
“Yeah,” he breathes. He does remember; he remembers being stupid and inexperienced and Mason being shaky and unsure, and he remembers going absolutely wild underneath him, even if it wasn’t that good.
It’s only gotten better since.
Mason licks him gently, then plies his teeth a little bit. “Yes, please,” Luke mumbles, tripping over his tongue a bit.
Mason bites a little harder. Luke squirms. His breath comes in little pants. Mason is still caressing his thighs, his cheeks, his balls.
Mason licks him some more, then pushes his tongue inside.
“Oh God,” Luke breathes.
            Mason swirls his tongue inside, pushing in and out, and Luke groans into the pillow helplessly. It feels good—really good—but he can’t do much more than this.
            Mason licks him a few more times, then comes up for air. He reaches around Luke as he does so, tugging at the older man’s flagging cock. “You’re all out, huh?”
            Luke sighs heavily.
            “S’okay,” Mason murmurs as he flops back onto the pillows beside him. “I’m pretty done too.”
            Luke relaxes into the bedding, eyeing the alpha warily. “Why didn’t you want to?” he asks at last.
            Mason sighs. “Would you believe I’ve been having some trouble getting it up?”
            Luke frowns into his pillow. “What?”
            “Think you’ve fixed that now, so.”
            Luke stares at him for a moment, then whacks him over the head with one of the pillows. “Idiot,” he mutters.

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