Sunday, August 10, 2014

Split Infinitive

Split Infinitive

*Story contains M/M relations and explicit sexual situations*

*Author’s Note: Yes, I realise that editing isn’t done at an assistant’s level. I also realise that in today’s day and age one would not need to be present in someone else’s home to perform it. For the sake of the story, assume from the comments made by Devon’s aunt that he is being set up.*

“It will never work,” Devon said, staring at the small blond making himself comfortable at the desk that had appeared in Devon’s home office as though puffed into existence by pure magic.

“Oh, come on!” his aunt hissed quietly. “You’re never going to get through this last submittal if you don’t have someone helping out with all the little stuff.” She grabbed Devon’s arm and yanked him away from the office doorway. “Besides,” she said, digging through her purse for God knew what. “It’s not forever. It’s just for now.” His aunt retrieved an enormous pair of sunglasses from her handbag.

“You’re not just going to leave him here with me!”

The woman sighed heavily. “Of course I am. Honestly, Dev. Did you think I was going to sit and babysit the two of you?” She pushed him in the direction of the office. “Go. Deal with it.”

Devon’s hands flew up to his chest, fluttered, and then descended again. “But... but...”

“I know, I know,” his aunt said, pressing the glasses onto her face. “Another human! How will you ever manage?” She flipped the purse over her shoulder and twiddled fingertips in the air. “Be brave.”

Devon followed her up the stairs to the main level. “Oh, mock me, now,” he said, his tone wounded. “You know I don’t do well with strangers!”

“Enough.” His aunt held her hand in the air and Devon knew, even with her eyes hidden, that her glare would be intense. “Listen, you have to get that submission done. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. And you can’t accomplish that if you’re trying to do everything on your own. Let him answer the phone, open the mail, for Christ’s sake Dev, I don’t care if you have him just run down to the corner-store for you. As long as you are writing. Give him a chance. He’s very good at what he does. Besides, you’ve become a hermit ever since whatever-the-hell-his-name-was left, and it’s starting to become a bit of a bore.”

Devon’s aunt lifted her finger to jab his chest. “Hell, who knows? You just might surprise yourself and find out that you actually do have the ability to get along with another being.”

Devon’s aunt turned, put a hand on the doorknob and blew him a quick kiss. “Good luck. I love you. Now go write.”

Devon leaned out the doorway. “You lair! You hate me!”

Still walking, his aunt lifted her hand and waved.

Devon gritted his teeth and slammed the door.


Devon spent far too much time upstairs in his kitchen, quietly contemplating the concept of someone else in his office. As much as he hated to admit it, his aunt was right. Since Jason had left, he had become a bit of a shut-in. Sure, he still got groceries, filled his car with gas, and stopped at the bank like everyone else in the world. However, he also rushed like a madman to get home and usually ended up with a pounding headache by the time he did. He wasn’t afraid of people, he was just wary of them. He didn’t dislike the company of others, he just preferred his own.

After all, if a guy you’d known for eight years – that you’d slept with, laughed with, that you’d loved – could hurt someone as callously as Jason had... Well, who the hell knew what a stranger could do.

He gave up on hiding once he’d made more coffee, eaten toast, re-sorted Visa receipts, and swept the kitchen. There was just, quite literally, nothing else he could do to delay any further. And his aunt would simply shoot him dead if he didn’t get work done.

Devon crept down the stairs to the basement office with the silent grace of someone tip-toeing through sleeping lions. The den and the barroom were still quiet and dark, the only illumination from the two fish tanks and the only sound the gentle bubble of the pumps. He poked his head around the corner that branched to the right and led the way to his office. Overhead lighting shone from between the slats of the folding door, while quiet tapping led credibility to the belief that the new assistant… Allen, yes, Allen, was typing.

Interested, Devon slunk until he hovered in front of the entrance, peeking through the boundary that partitioned work from life. Allen sat at the desk, poised almost awkwardly in a chair that didn’t quite fit the space, right hand switching from keyboard to mouse, mouse to keyboard, eyes targeted on the monitor in front of him.

Lines of words scrolled past the careful scrutiny, and Devon felt that moment of panic that he always did when someone else was reading his work. It took everything in his power not to rush the desk, knock Allen’s fingers away from the keys, and topple the monitor to the floor. For the nine-millionth time in Devon’s life it crossed his mind, that it was a wonder a story actually made it beyond the ‘send’ button.

The keyboard went silent, and Devon jumped out of the way of the opening folds and caught bright blue eyes. “Hi, there!” Small white teeth flashed from behind a smile that could only be described as quirky. Allen stuck out his hand. “I was wondering when you were coming back down. Good! Now we can get started. Before we get into it though, I just wanted to say--”

“Don’t.” Devon held up his hand, policeman style, and cut Allen off. “Don’t even bother. I don’t want to hear how you’re my biggest fan or how thrilled you are that you’re here. No, I will not sign your books. No, I will not read your work. You’re here because my aunt seems to believe I need help. I do not want to be your friend, and I do not want to hear you gush about what I do.”

Allen kept his hand extended but lifted an amused eyebrow up a very pale forehead. “Oh,” he smiled. “No worries about that, Mr. Briggs. Nothing personal, but I wouldn’t read this kind of fiction to save my life. To be honest, I don’t even think I’ve ever held one of your books.” Allen’s voice remained pleasant but his smile crept that much closer to smirk. “What I was going to say, was that I’ve had a chance to review some of the recent work that was submitted, and I think we can streamline the process if I start doing some editorial service beforehand, while you’re still working. If we can eliminate some of the send-back, then we just might be able to get to the virtual finish line on a timelier basis.”

Devon’s eyes flipped from Allen’s extended hand, up to his expression, to his raised eyebrow, back down to hand. “Uh...”

“Yes,” Allen nodded. “That’s another thing. Have you considered any grammar refresher courses or maybe some online review? It seems to be one of your strongest issues.”

A flush began to rise in Devon’s cheeks. “Grammar?”

“Mm hmm, you know... gerunds, participles, infinitives, dangling modifiers? Grade six? Grade seven? Any of that ringing a bell?” Allen’s eyes flashed with what Devon was more than certain was outright amusement, and Devon had to resist the urge to knock Allen's lights out.

“And you do what again?” Devon asked.

Allen softened his expression into an innocent look. “Oh, me? Nothing special.” He swept his free arm towards the computer. “Not that I need to. You don’t need a degree to master simple English.” Allen wiggled the still offered fingers of his aloft right hand. “However, right now, I am your assistant. So, Mr. Briggs, if you’ll do me the favour of accepting my handshake, I’ll just dismiss myself and get back to the job I’m being paid to perform.”

Devon huffed – almost uncontrollably. Smart-ass, self-righteous, posturing little know-it-all! He should just pick the little whelp up and throw it out on one ear, is what he should do. He should call up his aunt and tell her that if she wanted to send over assistance, she could have done a wee bit better of a job in not finding such an arrogant snot. Better yet, he should just make a call to the publisher, directly. Let them know that if they wanted the damn submission, they could call his damn aunt and insist on propriety.

Instead, Devon reached out and tentatively shook Allen’s hand.

Watching Allen return to the desk from the corner of his eye, Devon crept over to his own seat. He set his coffee down with a gentle hand and turned his monitor away, ever so slightly. He popped up a search engine and typed a couple of letters before stopping, backspacing, and typing again.

With a quick swivel, Allen turned to face him, startling Devon so much he knocked his chair into the desk. Coffee sloshed over the rim of his mug and darkened the wooden surface.

“G-E-R-U-N-D,” Allen said, flashing another smile.

“I was not...” Devon’s hand stole over to his keyboard and backspaced away the G and the E from the search bar. “... even... looking that up. I was researching.” He tugged the monitor at a sharper angle and glared at Allen. “Get back to work and mind your business.”


She tossed her head, the mane of auburn tresses rolling over creamy, white shoulders, and glared at the General. “You, sir,” she said, tongue sharp and eyes on fire, “are a cad.”

The General strode forward, flinging his hat from his head as he stepped, his own eyes just as intense, his jaw set. “And you, miss,” he hissed, grabbing her bare shoulders and shaking softly, “are nothing but a tease.”

A startled gasp flew from between her lips... 


Every nerve in Devon’s spine tightened. Mid-word he stopped, fingers poised above the keyboard. He glowered at his assistant's back. Tight, firm shoulders worked diligently below a short-sleeved cotton button-up. Baby blue, to match Allen's eyes, no doubt.

For five days they’d worked practically side by side, barely speaking. When they did talk, it was Allen approaching about some edit or another, and Devon would sit and listen, wave him away, and tell him to fix it, if it was wrong. After all, Devon could care less about whether the word should be 'through' or 'throughout'. Or if the sentence should start with the verb, the noun, or the goddamn participle or the who’s-it-what-ever-your-ma-called-it.

Allen would patiently stand and wait for Devon’s approval before he’d walk back to his desk to make the changes. “Aren’t you proud of your work?” Allen had asked on day two. “Don’t you want to know what I’m saying and why? These are you words, Boss. That should matter to you.”

And Devon had huffed, told Allen he was being an idiot, and gone back to typing. Of course, Devon had also spent the entire day and the one following stewing. Because... why didn’t it matter?

In all honesty, Devon liked what Allen was doing with his words. He liked the fact that the publisher was seeing polished work for a change and that his aunt had been off his back. It was a welcome relief, actually.


Devon gritted his teeth and stopped typing again. It was times like this, though, that had Devon contemplating murder. He flashed another scathing look at Allen as the chair underneath the man once again let out its squeal of disapproval when Allen stood.

Allen looked over. “Sorry, Boss,” he said. “I didn’t pick out the furniture.”

Devon thinned his lips in what could have been perceived as a smile – if Allen had been blind and completely without concept of body language. Two minutes. Devon needed two quiet minutes to get the rest of the scene out of his head and into his computer before his brain exploded. “You know,” Devon said with forced politeness. “I could really use a coffee.”

Allen walked over to the closet doors that hid Devon’s collection of sundries. He nodded. “You should totally get one then. You deserve a break.”

Devon frowned, fingers still hovering, twitching over the keys. “Well, I kind of thought that you might go get it for me.”

The sound of pens being scattered within the confines of the closet forced Devon’s jaw that much tighter. Allen glanced around the door and shrugged. “Not the first time you’ve been wrong.” He hefted a bolt of paper and dropped it on to his desk. “Probably won’t be the last either.”

The exhale that worked itself out of Devon’s lungs had him imagining great scaled beasts with tangible heartburn. “You are supposed to be my assistant!” he growled.

Allen dropped into his chair (SKREE) and turned to face Devon (SKREEEE). A slightly more intense throbbing began to pound in Devon’s right temple. “Look, Boss,” Allen said. “I am your assistant. I’m not your coffee-boy. Do yourself a favour – take a ten-minute break, go get some caffeine, and pop a Tylenol or two. You might be surprised how much easier it will be to imagine Miss Jennifer swooning dramatically into General Scott’s sinewy arms with a refreshed mind.”

Devon sent Allen an evil sneer. “You know what? You are neither helpful or clever.”

“Nor,” Allen corrected. "I am neither helpful nor clever."

“Ha!” Devon said, standing with a flourish and grabbing his coffee cup. “Nice to see you can admit it!” He strode towards the office door and turned back with his chin up. “And I knew that, by the way.”

“Un hunh,” Allen replied. “Whatever you say, Boss.”


“Why are you here?” Devon asked, staring in disbelief at the young man who had startled him. “It’s Saturday!”

Allen lifted a key on a small red coil before dropping it back on his desk. “Your aunt gave me a key.”

“Wait – what?!” Devon stalked over and snatched the key off the desk. “How did you know I didn’t have company or something?”

Without looking up, Allen reached for the key and extracted it from Devon’s fist. “We have work to do. We’re on a deadline. I don’t care if you choose not to work today, but I will. And if you really think I care that you might be tangled around some dude’s legs, panting his name and moaning for him not to stop, you’d be wrong.” Allen winked. “I’d just go jerk off and get back to work.”

A hot flush began to creep up Devon’s neck. “Uh...”

Allen turned back to the monitor. “Coffee?” he said, teasingly. “Why, I would lovesome! Thank you!”


”I know you want to watch me,” the General said...

Wait... what the hell?! With a huff, Devon found his mouse, then highlighted and deleted the last four paragraphs. His brain refused to focus on the task at hand and kept drifting back to Allen. Kept picturing the man furiously stroking cock while locked inside a bathroom, listening to the lurid sounds of sex. And that was just fucking ridiculous, Devon had decided. With a capital R. Bolded. And italicized. With single quotations around it.

“Okay,” Devon said finally, pushing the mouse away and his chair back. “It’s four-o'clock. It’s Saturday. Go home. Or go clubbing. Or whatever you do when you’re not here. We’ve done enough.”

Allen shot Devon a confused look. “I’m good. Still working here. What’s wrong with you?”

Devon had a hard time pulling his eyes away from the tight t-shirt over Allen’s chest. He’d never seen Allen in weekend wear before and it was... well, fucking distracting, that’s what it was. It showed off his slimmer, leaner body as if the man wasn’t wearing clothing at all. And the denim...

“Nothing’s wrong,” Devon answered. “I’m just more that sure that you’ve got better things to do and finer people to see. You don’t need to be hanging out in this tomb on a Saturday afternoon. The work will be here Monday.”

Allen shrugged. “I really don’t have any plans. I’m not a club kind of guy.” Allen’s eyes suddenly lit up. “You’re trying to get rid of me!” he grinned. “You’ve got a date!”

“Pfft,” Devon hissed, playfully. “Not even close. There ain’t nobody knocking on my door anytime soon. I plan on sitting on that couch, in front of that big screen, and popping in a movie or three.”

“There won’t be anyone knocking, is what you meant to say.” Allen smirked. “Not only did you give yourself a double negative there, effectively throwing the entire meaning of the phrase into question, you annihilated vocabulary to do it. What movie?”

Devon levelled his gaze to Allen’s with a deep frown. “I will kill you if you do that again. And I don’t know, yet. I have a craving for physical violence. Maybe I’ll watch 'Boondock Saints' for the nine-hundredth time.”

“Don’t kill the messenger,” Allen said. “Hunt down your primary teachers and slap them all for not insisting that you learn basic English. And oh, my God! I love that movie! Norman Reedus!” Allen pretended to swoon in his chair. “That man is so damn hot!”

A small smile sprouted on Devon’s face. “Really? I always had a thing for the pretty blond myself.”

Allen bit back a grin. “Man, I haven’t seen that movie in at least a decade,” Allen said wistfully.

“Stay and watch,” Devon said, and just about died when he realised the words had come out of his mouth. “Just, I mean, you don’t have to, you said, and then, but...”

“I’d like that.” Allen nodded. “We could order pizza.”

Devon chewed his lip for a second. It was just a movie. And pizza. That was harmless. No one could give Devon hell for buying the man a meal and letting him watch a movie he’d already said he wanted to see. “I have beer too. If you’re so inclined.”

Allen slapped the armrests on his chair and stood. “I am so inclined. How did you know?” He smiled down at Devon. “Pizza, beer, and entertainment. Who needs a bar, right?”


“That was a blast!” Allen said, standing in the kitchen with the final swallow of his beer sloshing around in his bottle. “I’ve never seen that last one, what was it called again?”

Devon chuckled and tossed the half eaten pizza into the fridge, box and all. Boondocks had led to 'Fight Club', which had led to a surprising turn into a comedy.

“'The Other Guys,'” Devon answered. “Funny shit, no?”

“Abso-fucking-lutely!” Allen agreed, draining his beer and setting the bottle on the counter.

Devon lifted an eyebrow. “I don’t think that was proper grammar, Allen. My assistant would mock the hell out of you if he heard you talking like that.”

“Oh, ya?” Allen laughed. “He sounds like an asshole.”

“Nah, he’s actually a pretty cool guy,” Devon said, smiling.

A hush fell over the kitchen, and Devon began to pick at the label on his beer. “You going to be all right to drive?” Devon asked, looking up, and found Allen surprisingly close, and his face suddenly caught by Allen’s hands.

Without a word of warning, Allen pulled Devon forward, tilted his head and touched his lips against Devon’s. Silence reigned while Allen tasted Devon’s mouth. Gone was the incessant clicking of the clock, the chatter from the toads in the back yard, and the bubbling from the fish tanks on the lower level. For just one brief second, the only sound that existed was Devon’s blood pounding in his own ears, and the wet slick of a curious tongue.

A soft breath, a flutter of eyelash, and Allen was pulling away and dropping his hands. “Thanks, Dev. See you Monday.”

Devon stood, stunned, while footsteps made their way across the kitchen towards the alcove that would take Allen out the back door. “And it’s, 'Are you going to be all right to drive?' Stop dropping your auxiliary verbs.”

Devon could not decide whether to throw the bottle at him, or rush to the door and call him back.


Devon wasn’t going to lie to himself. He had expected Allen to at least mention the kiss. Okay, if he was being truly honest, he’d actually agonized over how he would respond when it happened. Yet, there Allen sat, not breathing a single word about the stolen moment.

And it was pissing Devon right the hell off.

Maybe, he’d tried to reason with himself as the morning had progressed, maybe Allen was just one of those people that kissed? Or maybe that was standard protocol from wherever Allen was born? Like… on Mars.

Or maybe, just maybe, Allen had an undiagnosed allergy to grain products and the pizza and the beer had done a total number on him, and Allen had woken, as though from a drug-induced coma, with no recollection of the events of the previous night whatsoever.

Of course, there was that little part in Devon’s mind – the one that like to beat his self-confidence until it was bloodied – which kept speaking up and reminding Devon that, maybe, Allen just hadn’t fucking liked it.

Which was a good thing, reason pointed out.

Which was an awful thing, Devon's libido argued right back.

“What’s wrong with you?” Allen said, just about to pick up the ringing phone.

“Nothing!” Devon growled. “Are you planning on answering that or just letting it go until I snap?”

Allen rolled his eyes, picked up the phone, and turned away.


Three days. They had three days left, and dear sweet Jennifer had yet to proclaim her undying love because General Scott was being a dick of monstrous proportions.

“I’ll stay,” Allen said when five-o’clock had come and gone and six was well on its way.

“No point,” Devon replied. “You can’t do anything until I do, and I’m nowhere near done.”

Allen lifted his finger, opened his mouth to speak, and then closed it. “Never mind. Listen, you keep going. I’ll go upstairs, throw something together for us to eat, and we’ll just keep banging away at it. You said yourself that all you had to do was tie everything up.”

Devon flashed him a look of annoyance that quickly dissolved into one of despair. “I’m not going to make it.”

Allen smiled. “Yes, you are. Now,” he pointed at the monitor, “find yourself some rope, man. And get tying!”

“Don’t you mean typing?” Devon grumbled.

“No, I meant tying,” Allen sighed. “The rope reference? And tying everything up? It was a pun. I was being clever.”

“Oh,” Devon drew the syllable out, exaggerating. “My mistake.” He grinned at his screen. “I didn’t know you had it in you.”


Devon had been typing furiously when Allen had covertly slid the omelette in front of him and had returned to the desk. A pleased mumble reached Devon’s perked ears when the file-sharing program lit Allen’s screen. They sat together, one typing with the intensity of summer hailstorms, the other reading, clicking, and highlighting. Seven became eight, eight became nine, and Devon couldn’t believe his eyes when he looked to the bottom right of the monitor and saw it was ten after eleven.

“Allen!” he sighed, “Look at the time!”

Allen rolled his neck, stretched his shoulders, and turned to look at Devon. “I see that. How are you doing over there?”

Devon grinned, lifted his fingers to the keyboard and said, typing in tandem to speech, “The…” Allen’s eyes widened along with Devon’s smile. “…End!”


“Yes!” Devon laughed.

“No!” Allen repeated, turning back to the computer and scrolling to the end of the document. “Holy shit!” He smacked the desk with an open palm. “We need to celebrate!”

Devon was still chuckling. “We’re not done yet!”

Allen pointed at the synched words on his screen. “That,” he tapped the glass, “is iconic! Momentous! It’s fucking awesome is what it is! Those last two words are…”

“Your get out of jail free card?” Devon offered.

Allen frowned. “Why would you say that?”

“Oh, come on!” Devon scoffed. “Tell me you haven’t hated doing this! There’s a beer in it for you if you manage to say it with a straight face!”

“Boss.” Allen tilted his head. “You’re an idiot.” His expression grew serious. “It’s been an honour and a pleasure to work with you.”

Devon snorted. “Ya, sure. No doubt.”

“No, I mean it! I had fun. You’re not as hard to work with as everybody says you are. You’re funny, your writing isn’t nearly as bad as I make it out to be, and I actually do enjoy what I’m doing.” He rolled his chair closer to Devon’s and stuck out his hand. “I’ll miss you.”

Devon slowly reached out and clasped Allen’s offered palm. “Well, you either hit your head when I wasn’t looking or are in the throes of some kind of seizure due to lack of sleep. But okay, I guess you’re not so bad, either. For a pretentious college boy.” They shook hands. “And I have to admit, my aunt was right. You really are pretty good at what you do.”

Devon tried to pull his hand back, but Allen didn’t release it. “And you, sir, have pretty good taste in movies,” Allen said with a smile.

That’s when Devon realised his chair was moving. Allen tugged him closer, the wheels of the desk chair rolling effortlessly over the carpet. “You’re a pretty good kisser, too.”

“Wait!” Devon mumbled, eyes wide. “Don’t… whatever you’re doing, just don’t.” He set his feet firmly on the floor and stopped the chair. “We work together. It’s… well, a bad idea, is what it is. Besides, last time you pulled something like that you didn’t talk to me for days!”

Allen rose, still grasping Devon’s hand and instead of trying to fight the halt, he simply stepped over and straddled Devon’s lap.

“Jesus,” Devon whispered.

“Nah, just Allen is sufficient,” Allen teased. “And we don’t work together. Not anymore. Your aunt hired me to help until the novel was done. It’s done, remember? I read the words. It said ‘The End’.”

“Besides,” Allen continued, and Devon watched the man’s tongue peek out and wet his lips. “I’ve been wanting to do this again since our movie night.”

“I-I don’t,” Devon floundered. “Wait… what?”

Allen slid both hands up Devon’s chest, circled them behind Devon’s neck, and threaded his fingers into the back of Devon’s hair. “And the only reason I didn’t talk to you after I kissed you last time is because you got all nervous and pissy about it.”

“But… damn it, Allen… the only reason I got pissy is because you weren’t talking to me!” Devon meant to reach for Allen’s waist and nudge the man off his lap. So why his fingers ended up lingering over slim hipbones, holding Allen in place, instead, he had no idea. “And, we’re not done. You still have editing to do. The submission isn’t due for another three,” he glanced at the clock, “two days.”

“Oh, no.” Allen smirked. “Whatever will we do to pass the time?”

Devon closed his eyes, tried to cling to the voice of reason telling him to make Allen stop. “Allen, get off of me. I think you’ve got the wrong interpretation of the word ‘celebrate’. I also think you’re overreacting to what is obviously lack of food and too much stress. I think…”

“Boss,” Allen sighed, cutting him off mid-sentence. “Anybody ever tell you that you think entirely too much?” And then Devon was groaning into the press of a kiss that was even nicer than he remembered it being. A reasonable person, Devon had time to muse, would be insisting that Allen remove himself and behave professionally. A reasonable person might even have been offended by such a bold move.

Apparently, Devon sighed, forcing his mouth away, reason had failed him. “Oh, God, Allen. I’m sorry. But I can’t let you do this.” His hands fell to his sides.

“Let me?” Allen asked, amused. “Nobody ‘lets’ me do anything. I do what I want.”

Allen found Devon's lips again, and, as Allen began to pull shirttails from Devon’s pants, Devon was more than sure he was about to have a full-blown heart attack. But Allen didn’t give him a moment to breathe, their lips never made it far enough away from one another to continue conversation.

Not that it mattered – the slow grind on Devon’s lap deadened whatever thought tried to surface, and one by one plastic buttons gave way to bare skin.

“Allen?” Devon asked, turning his head. Allen made a small sound in question as he tried to chase Devon’s lips. “Book’s done, right?” Another sound, more to the affirmative. “So everything’s finished for now, right?” Allen didn’t bother to offer a reply. He found Devon’s throat and began to work at the skin with tongue and teeth.

“Allen?” Devon prodded.

Frustrated, Allen sighed heavily and pulled back. “What?!”

“You’re fired.”

A slow grin dawned over Allen’s face. His hands dropped from Devon’s shoulders to drag along Devon's bare torso. Fingers found the fastening of Devon's pants. “Thank, fuck!” Allen said and, with a quick pull, released Devon’s button.

“Just don’t blame me,” Devon said, breathlessly, “if you feel bad about this tomorrow.”

“Hey, Boss?” Allen asked, reaching into the front of Devon’s open pants. “Why don’t you just shut the hell up and do this?”

Devon gasped. “Not. Your. Boss. Anymore.”

Allen shook his head and reclaimed lips, snaking his tongue into Devon’s mouth. For a long moment the only sound in the room was the exchange of spit and the soft squeak of Devon’s chair underneath their grinding bodies. When Allen pulled back, Devon’s lips followed the movement with a sigh of disapproval.

“Do you want to touch me too, Boss?” Allen whispered.

And though Devon’s mind stumbled at the question, his hands did not. His fingers worked with the practised ease of a surgeon opening skin. “Stop calling me that,” Devon grumbled, cool hands finding hard heat.

Allen’s breath caught. “No.”

Shifting weight, Devon rolled the chair back and stood, sliding Allen from lap to desk. He removed fabric from hips, lips wandering over neck and jaw, while Allen worked at shirt fastenings. “Boss...”

Devon growled, yanked Allen’s ass to the very edge of the desk and flashed him a look of fierce wrath. “I told you to stop calling me that!”

Allen grinned, “Yeah, well I said...” Allen’s expression brightened as Devon began to slide to his knees. “Oh, fuck...”

“Really?” Devon tilted his head. “I don’t recall you saying that.” He leaned forward, wetting his lips.

“Oh, fuck,” Allen repeated.

“You already said that,” Devon advised, and in a slow, practised movement, slid over the length of Allen’s cock, and dragged suction tip to curls.

“Oh...” Allen began, but the words dropped off to a mumbled garble that Devon was certain could not be found amongst the pages of Merriam-Webster.

Imagined angels began to tug at Devon’s right ear. “What are you doing?” they asked. “What will people say?”

And, in response, non-existent devils reached from Devon’s left side to jab them away. “No, way,” they cackled. “No way will we let you stop making him sound like that.”

Devon had to agree with the figments of his evil side. Allen had never sounded quite so good. Through half-lidded eyes his former assistant watched Devon move mouth over cock and hand on shaft, all the while offering whispered expletives as grateful eulogy.

With a soft pop Devon released Allen’s cock and stood, twisting the keyboard towards him. “What the fuck...” Allen frowned.

“One sec.” Devon grinned. “I just thought of a really fucking good line!”

“Tell me you’re joking,” Allen deadpanned.

Devon shook his head. “Not so much. But keep my place. This will just take a second.” He leaned over the keyboard – and was literally granted no more than the one second grace he’d requested.

Plastic clattered across the desk as both keyboard and mouse were flicked away from Devon’s hands. “Boss...” Allen said, voice low, “Don’t make me hurt you.” Arms circled Devon’s waist, pulled him away from the desk.

“Oh, I see,” Devon mocked. “Now it’s ‘fuck the writing’?”

“No,” Allen purred into Devon’s ear, sliding a tongue out to taste. “Now it’s ‘fuck me’. It’s all about priorities. And right now,” he turned Devon to face him, “I’m it.” He pointed at the chair. “So you have two seconds to sit back down in that chair and show me where I can find some lube and latex, or I swear to all that’s holy that I will use my belt to secure you there.”

A slow grin crept over Devon’s face. He moved away from the desk and sat down hard. Then he leaned to the right and pulled open the drawer of his desk. “Lube,” he said. “And latex. At your disposal, sir.”

Allen lifted an eyebrow. “You keep your lube in your desk?”

Devon rolled his eyes. “Dude! Where in the hell do you jerk off?”

“The shower?” Allen said, as if it were the most obvious answer in the world.

Devon pointed at his monitor. “The Internet?”

Allen eyed him. “Fair enough. But the condoms?”

“Seriously,” Devon scoffed. “Hello? This is my office? I don’t want to make a mess!”

An exaggerated shiver worked through Allen’s body. “You’re fucking creepy, you know that?”

“And you’re losing your hard-on,” Devon pointed out. “So are we calling this a bust, or are you done pontificating?”

Allen reached for one of the little squares and the bottle and lifted himself off the desk. “Fine.” He nodded. “I’ll let it go.” He handed Devon the condom and stepped over Devon’s lap. “But only because I’m mildly impressed with the vocab selection.”

“Ha!” Devon exclaimed, tearing the packet open and removing the circle. “There is no such word as 'vocab'!”

“Creative license,” Allen shrugged, watching Devon unroll the condom.

Devon chuckled. “You totally cannot call creative license! I’m the writer, remember? You’re just the assistant.”

Allen tsk’d and reached for his own cock, giving it a slow, twisting slide. “You wish! I write better than you do any day.”

With a growl Devon yanked Allen closer. “Fuck you.”

A low moan rumbled from Allen’s mouth, halted with a breathy laugh. “What? In this century? Seems kind of unlikely...” Then his free hand was grabbing for Devon’s shoulder and his words were catching in his throat as Devon pulled him down and began to push inside him without pause or compromise. “Oh, un... Dev! Ah, fuck!”

“Better,” Devon grunted. “Like those words much… better.”

Devon couldn’t help but watch every expression that flashed across Allen’s face – the grimace, the gritted teeth, the furrowed brow. “Jesus, Allen, you’re fucking gorgeous, you know that?”

It only took the slightest nudge of nose against jaw to get Allen to raise his eyes. And when he did, Devon claimed his mouth. Devon didn’t try to move Allen’s hips, nor coax Allen to provide friction either. Devon just rested inside, lost in the sensation of warmth intensified by heartbeat, of trembling and clinging.

“Dev, g-going to move,” Allen said breathlessly. “’Kay?”

Okay? Devon’s mind flailed. Nothing had ever sounded more okay in his life. Nothing had ever sounded more fucking perfect. He answered with a moan, Allen chuckled softly, and all that wonderful sensation began to shift; began to drag while Devon struggled to keep a rein on his sudden urge to slam Allen mercilessly.

Allen's head dropped back, eyelids fluttering closed, and Devon took the offering without hesitation. His mouth found skin, teeth nipping at straining tendons, breaking away only long enough to suckle and darken flesh. Constricting movement slowly gave way to awe-inspiring facilitation, as Allen’s body accustomed itself to Devon’s. With the allowance came more depth, better slide, and the most important advantage of all, responsiveness.

“Unn-n-need,” Allen stuttered. “Ah, fuck… need, unh…”

Devon lifted his mouth away from the feast of Allen’s neck and collarbone. “You know, Allen,” Devon’s voice was smooth, and far more in control than he actually felt. “For someone who goes off about words, you are fascinatingly tongue-tied.” He watched Allen attempt to locate a foothold on speech, fail, and he let go of Allen’s hips to grab for the man’s stiff cock instead. “Is this what you’re trying to tell me?”

Allen’s grip on skin and hair tightened. “Yes, fuck, yes!”

Devon used the same manoeuvre that he’d watched Allen perform on himself earlier. Long, firm strokes, with a twist at the head to further excite the leaking tip. He could not keep himself away from Allen’s mouth for long, though. Seemingly magnetic, Allen’s panting lips drew him back, and once found, they were only released long enough to pull jagged breath, before crashing together again. Tooth met tooth far too often, but Allen didn’t seem to care anymore than Devon did. Tongues danced, two snakes entwining in an otherworldly ballet of ritualistic importance, the meaning lost, but the instinct unstoppable.

And how, Devon asked himself, had he avoided Allen’s presence for this long? Why? What had been thinking? That this would somehow be wrong? That this would be a complication? He’d been so, so mistaken. This was what he’d been missing. This was what he’d needed.

“Ah, fuck,” Allen’s moves were growing erratic, his thighs shaking as his body fought to maintain rhythm, yet focus on gratification. “Dev...”

Devon loved seeing Allen like this – to watch the man’s control crumble, to see the walls come down, to have the curtain of perfection drawn away and find the humble being hiding behind it – nothing could ever feel more empowering. Nothing could ever be so undeniably sexy.

Devon ramped up the speed of his fist and held back a grin as Allen’s expression melted into deeper bliss. “Jesus,” Devon repeated for the umpteenth time. “Allen, goddamn, you look so fucking hot right now!” He paused to slide down in the chair, tweaking the angle of penetration, and was immediately rewarded with a lust-driven cry and a scrabble of fingers at the back of his neck that made his own cock pulse and keen.

“Oh, fuck,” Allen whispered, clinging to the hair at Devon's nape, his eyes half-closed, his mouth half-open. “Don’t stop. Oh, God, please fuck, Devon, don’t stop.” His words were as quick as his breath and spoken just as raggedly. “God, fuck, Devon, fuck! Don’t stop!”

Sweat bloomed on Devon’s forehead as he tried simultaneously to ignore and to ride the ecstatic creep of orgasm. Everything tightened – his balls, his cock, his jaw, his fist.

Allen sucked in a deep breath and held it, his stomach flexing, his spine arching, his eyes glazing over like a mystic in mid-séance, and with a tremble that ran head to toe, Allen came. Allen’s insides hugged Devon's cock, once, again, a third – and Devon could do nothing more than secure Allen’s bottom lip before his own cock followed suit. Rhythmic intensity swelled and receded, forcing Devon’s voice from his throat in a grunt of pure pleasure.

Allen’s face dropped into Devon’s neck, both of them panting, while they rode out the last few spasms and twitches. “Okay?” Devon asked when he was finally sure speech was accomplishable.

Allen’s arms tightened, as though the act of sound was the unspoken demand to let go. Instead, Devon wrapped himself around Allen’s waist, ignoring the cooling liquid growing tacky on his fingers and palm. Spent cum seeped from loosening latex, and Devon had a moment’s thought that he should, in fact, nudge Allen from his lap and clean up – before he simply shut the internal nag down, and chose to ignore it.

It took several long minutes for Allen to lift off Devon’s chest, and, when he did, the chair squealing in protest, he smiled. “So much for not making a mess in the office.”

“Apparently,” Devon grinned back.

“Ugh,” Allen winced, extracting himself delicately, and casting an eye at the clock. “Late.”

Devon mumbled his agreement and watched Allen step away and head towards the bathroom. “You can stay if you want; I’ve got a spare room. Hell, for that matter you can crash on the couch or the futon.”

“Nah,” Allen spoke over the sound of rushing water. “I’ll go. I prefer to sleep in my own bed.”

“Whichever,” Devon said amicably, removing the condom as cautiously as possible. “Just don’t be late in the morning.”

“For what?” Allen asked, meeting Devon at the bathroom door and switching places with him.

Devon frowned, playfully. “For work, of course.”

Allen was pulling on pants when Devon re-entered the office. “Boss, maybe you forgot, but you fired me. Remember?”

“So?” Devon shrugged. “That was then. This is now.”

Allen dug for his shirt but stopped when Devon hugged him from behind. Devon held their bodies together until Allen turned to face him. “So I’m rehired?”

“Hmm,” Devon tapped his chin thoughtfully before reaching out, pulling Allen closer and bringing them together in a long, deep kiss. “There,” he said, finally releasing Allen, smirking as Allen slowly opened his eyes. “Now I’m rehiring you.”

Bare chest was pressed into bare chest, and Allen lifted an amused eyebrow. “You going to fire me again tomorrow, Boss?”

Devon laughed, pushed the half-naked man away and began to dig his mouse and keyboard out of the far corner of his desk where they still lay, abandoned and akimbo. “You can bet on it.”

The End

Copyright © 2011 AF Henley

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