Home is when the heart is.
Dr. William McGregor never intended his homemade time machine to strand him and his lifelong crush in the distant future. But building a life there with Tony is everything Will ever wanted. When rescue comes, they must decide if it’s a Christmas miracle, or the end of their private paradise.
© Copyright 2011 Ally Blue
In the first couple of days, Will discovered the hard way which of the local fruits were safe to eat and which ones caused copious, painful vomiting. Tony gathered enough grass from the meadow beyond the forest to make Will a halfway decent bed, then used his pocketknife to fashion a crude cup from a fallen branch and brought Will water from the spring. When Will got too weak to sit up, Tony lifted him like a child and held the cup to his lips so he could sip from it.
Will figured he would’ve died of dehydration if it weren’t for Tony’s tireless, patient care. So when Tony said out of the blue one day during Will’s recovery, “We need meat. I want to start hunting,” Will didn’t mention Tony’s lack of experience killing animals with things that weren’t rifles. He simply nodded, smiled, and turned his knowledge of physics toward creating a weapon that would allow Tony to bring home whatever passed for bacon in this new world.
Which was how they ended up having spit-roasted flying iguana for Christmas dinner. Or, rather, Solstice dinner. They’d both lost count of the days during Will’s illness, but Will was able to figure out the day of the Winter Solstice by the movement of the stars.
The meat was more tender and juicy than one might expect, and tasted surprisingly good. Will actually moaned out loud at the burst of rich flavor across his tongue. “Oh, my God. That is the most amazing thing I’ve ever put in my mouth.”
Something unfamiliar blazed dark and hot behind Tony’s eyes for a split second before the evil grin Will really should’ve expected turned his expression teasing. “Yeah? If only all your ex-boyfriends knew their meat’s second rate to a flying lizard.”
“Oh, that’s very mature.” Will threw a pebble at Tony’s head. It bounced off the thick hair, which had grown noticeably in the three weeks or so they’d been here. “I will forgive your juvenile sense of humor, since you provided us with this delicious meal.” He tore off another chunk of meat with his teeth. “Wonderful job, by the way,” he said with his mouth full. “You have deadly aim.”
Tony beamed, obviously pleased. He tossed away the wing bone he’d stripped clean and went for one of the little creature’s legs. “Thanks. Gotta say, I never used a slingshot before, but hell, that thing you made’s wicked. Don’t think I could miss if I tried.”
“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe if you tried really hard.”
Tony laughed, the unrestrained, childlike laughter that Will had adored forever. Will stared at Tony’s face, soft and happy and looking ten years younger in the firelight, and a rush of desire hit him like a sledgehammer in the gut. Before he realized what he was doing, Will dropped the rib he’d been holding and rose onto his knees.
He stopped himself before he could turn the fevered images in his head into action. God, what had he been thinking? They had to live here for the rest of their lives. He couldn’t drive Tony away.
A tiny, strangled sound was the only warning he got before something heavy tackled him to the ground. Shocked and winded, he peered up at the dark blur above him and opened his mouth to ask what the hell was happening, and to demand to know what the blur had done with Tony. Then warm lips descended on his, an insistent tongue pressed inside his mouth, and oh God he understood.
Okay, no, he didn’t understand. Not really, not when he’d never seen a single hint of this coming his way in more than thirty years. But he wasn’t about to question it. Closing his eyes, he opened his mouth wide for Tony’s tongue and wound arms and legs around the man he’d wanted before he’d even understood what that meant.