Premature Capitulation
by Meredith Lynne

It started -- as these things so often do -- with a look.

A frightening look, actually; fear-inspiring, anyway, and definitely not at all safe. To be perfectly honest -- and Duncan MacLeod was nothing if not honest -- it was, well, very arousing.

In a completely platonic sort of way, mind you. Duncan just didn't think of Methos that way, and probably never would. Definitely never would.

After all, it wasn't that intense a look. It wasn't a gender-orientation-changing look.

Of course, after seeing it that first time, it had taken Duncan several days to recall exactly what Amanda looked like, and several days after that to start caring again. Since Amanda rarely looked the same two visits in a row anyway, Duncan called it understandable and tried really hard not to think about it.

The look had said "I want you". It had said it in low, hushed, velvet tones, dark with the kind of promise you only made when you were either dying or so close to orgasm you thought you were.

It also said Methos didn't really give a damn what Duncan thought of it.

And so it had gone. From that first moment, that first look when he'd discovered Adam Pierson to be more of a myth than Methos ever was, Duncan had been curious. Cautious, of course, always that, but also very...intensely...curious.

In a completely platonic sort of way.

Or so he'd thought.

Until now.

Methos was not unaware of the thoughts racing through the Highlander's mind. He was, after all, the one who had put them there.

He'd done it carefully, slowly, over a period of months. He'd done it with the kind of skill and finesse you just don't see outside of five-thousand-year-old Immortals. Oh, yes. He'd done well.

The dark brown eyes trapped by his own were wide with desire. Methos had seen the moment when those eyes had filled with understanding, and no small amount of consternation and fear. Duncan didn'twant to want his newest friend. He wanted to hide behind the banter and the teasing and the frequent bouts of anger that had hounded their relationship from the start. He wanted to be safe.

Well, that was just too damn bad. Methos had had it up to his eyeballs with safe; it was time to get a little dangerous.

And nobody did dangerous like Methos. He'd had five thousand years of practice.

"You don't even want to think about leaving," Methos said softly, taking a step closer.

Duncan swallowed, and Methos' eyes flicked down, mesmerized by the movement of the adam's apple beneath dark skin and the quick, wet sound that accompanied it. He wanted to hear Duncan doing that again and again under slightly different circumstances. And while wearing significantly less clothing. Methos filled his mind with that image and his eyes with the dark heat it engendered in him, then flung the look at his friend like a weapon.

Eyes met and locked, breath coming faster. Methos was beginning to think there wasn't enough air in the world to provide for his suddenly increasing needs.

At the same time, he was beginning not to care.

"No more games," he said roughly, moving in. "No more pretending. It all stops right here."

No one was more surprised than Methos when Duncan flashed him a broad, eager grin.

"Okay," the Highlander said.

And then he began removing his clothes.

Methos ran his tongue over his lips, and tried to find his voice. It didn't work. That part of his anatomy had shut down. In fact, just about every part of his anatomy had shut down, one particular area drawing energy from all others to fuel increasingly urgent demands.

It was becoming more and more apparent that the planner, the survivor, the world's oldest living Immortal, had severely underestimated his prey. Duncan, naked and still before him, was more than...he was...

He was just more.

And Mac knew it. That first grin was a hint, but the smug self-satisfaction that filtered into it immediately thereafter was a dead giveaway. Methos found himself in an unenviable position, torn between the desire to remove that expression by an application of violence and the desire to remove it by an application of his mouth.

Violence would have been more emotionally satisfying, but Methos' heart was about a foot and a half higher than the organ controlling his actions.

And so there was the kiss:

Hands rough on the back of Duncan's neck, pulling him in. Nothing sweet, nothing gentle; lips and tongues and teeth merged and separated, finding new angles, battling for dominance as if this one kiss could settle the fate of their lives, their Game, their world. Breathing was a chore, performed rarely and only out of necessity, touch and taste the only priorities in the crucible of white-hot sensation.

They broke apart, drowning in both desire and fear. Methos had known passion in his life, and he'd known love, and sex, and just about every way one body could pleasure another...but he'd never known anything like this. This was electric, blinding desperation. This was a desire beyond the realm of possibility.

This was not what he had planned.

He was readying a protest, a denial, when Duncan's control broke. Methos moaned as the arms came around him again, driving away resistance, the lips at his throat burning away restraint. Duncan's hands were on him, on his clothes, baring his body and then...

And then there were no barriers between them, and there was no chance of escape, and no desire for it either.

There were two couches and a bed, but the floor had the advantage of proximity.

Duncan took Methos' hips in his hands and pushed, moaning from deep in his throat as hot pale skin slid down his body. What had started out as curiosity and a capricious need to satisfy it had grown into something that felt lethal.

He could stop now and live -- but only for as long as it took Methos to get to a sword.

And he didn't want to stop. He didn't want to stop at all. Not now. Not when Methos was touching him like that...not when his heartbeat was roaring in his ears and that familiar mouth was on his cock, tongue dragging over hot skin that was oh, so ready for it. Duncan's hips bucked forward and he cried out, begging for touches he couldn't name, nearly sobbing in relief when Methos gave them again, and again, and again...

...until something tense and driving broke free within him and he came in long, pulsing waves waves that tore away his strength and left only blackness in their wake.

If it had taken five seconds longer for Duncan to recover, Methos might not have waited. He was that close. He wanted very much to believe he wouldn't have used his friend's unconscious body for his own pleasure, but possessed enough self-awareness to be glad he wasn't going to be tested.

Patience might be a virtue, but with the taste of Duncan's release on his lips and the scent of him everywhere, it was also a memory. Methos brought his friend back with his mouth, lips gliding over golden skin, tasting. Duncan's eyes, when they opened, burned again.

"Duncan," Methos said hoarsely, trembling against his lover's body. "I--"


It was that easy.

And it was the couch, after all.

Duncan braced himself against the cushions and arched back, inviting a kiss that left both of them shaken. There was no time for tenderness, no need for restraint as Methos readied them both with quick, knowing hands. Gentle strokes over the puckered opening to Duncan's body coaxed the Highlander back to the fever-pitch of desire from which his lover had not yet been released.

Methos fought for control, and lost.

In one quick stroke, Methos drove into Duncan's body, a shout rising from his throat as their bodies merged. Duncan pushed back, impaling himself, then surged forward, his cock pressing into Methos' waiting hands. It was dark heat, months of pent-up desire and denial surging through them, building pleasure from friction.

And from pleasure, there grew an explosive release that bound them into the frenzied press of sweat-soaked bodies, arms and legs tangling as need became immediate, intense...and then unbearable. Methos cried out again as his body convulsed, muscles refusing any attempt at control as the tight channel clenched around him. Warmth slid across his fingers as Duncan followed him, arching back against him once more before collapsing against the cushions.

With the last of his energy, Methos helped his lover to stretch out and settled into the waiting arms.

And, sated, he slept.

"I don't believe," Methos said quietly, "that I will ever move again."

Duncan's arms closed around Methos' lean body, pulling him closer. Methos felt the smile against his chest, the curve of lips on his skin bringing with it a host of new, delightful memories. They'd awakened twice during the night, making love each time, driving doubts further away with every touch. Methos had murmured a fond farewell to his higher brain functions sometime just after midnight, and missed them not at all. He felt, at the moment, as if he could spend a lifetime happily engaged in pursuits that required almost no mental effort whatsoever.

If he could just rest first. A couple of weeks should do it.

At some point, he knew, they'd have to talk. Probably soon. Duncan wasn't one to let important conversations slip by no matter how attractive the alternative, and Methos had already begun preparing himself. God only knew what backlash might strike once Duncan passed through the afterglow.

Methos wasn't precisely worried -- he had what he wanted. He'd had it last night, he had it now, and he would have it again. Duncan MacLeod was his. And if Duncan MacLeod, in some small way, had taken possession of any part of wasn't necessary to think about it too closely or too often. Worse things could happen, and quite frequently did.

Methos smiled, and leaned his head back against the arm of the couch.

There was nothing like the satisfaction of a job well done.