Mac stood outside the door to Studio B. And that’s it—all he did—stood there like a spanner. Attempting to get a handle on whatever the hell was thrilling through his veins. Anticipation? That would’ve been bad enough, but this was worse—much more dangerous—than that. Mac clamped down on that thought, too…far too late. As it had been all along, from the off.
About the best Mac could do was school his expression into some sort of neutrality…not least when there was no telling how many people he might encounter in there. One being the most lethal landmine to navigate, of course…and still Mac was couldnae quell the urge to surge forth with fuck all care for consequence.
F’chrissakes…Pissed off with his own prevaricating, Mac turned the handle. Then realised he didnae have the foggiest notion whether striding straight in was on a par with walking into a darkroom mid-processing. Pillock. Pushing the door open a crack, Mac stuck his head in the gap…only to find himself blinded by the breath-snatching beam that lit up Joe’s face, and the whole goddamn world with it.
Meanwhile, on planet earth, Joe had merely glanced up from his seat and smiled at Mac; fingers poised on the strings of the semi-acoustic guitar in his lap, half-wearing a pair of headphones.
“Hiya. Y’can come in…”
“Y’sure? I don’t want to intrude.” Mac found himself mumbling. Ludicrously, when he already had.
“I’m sure. Did you get on alright with Adam?” Joe’s airy tone belied the twinkle of mischief in those eyes. Would Mac ever become… ‘immune’ was too preposterous a notion to ponder. Was it possible to become so accustomed to them that Joe couldnae use them as weapons of mass destruction?
Mac assured him that they’d reached an understanding in a voice so tight, it sounded more menacing than he’d intended. There was bugger all he could do about that; his larynx was a minor cog in the chain of body parts wound far too tight for comfort.
“Oh okay…” Having clearly lost interest in that subject, sans blood thirsty finale, Joe’s butterfly brain fluttered back to the imminent arrival of his bandmates. “D’you think we should whip through the set list, before I break the bad news? Or, get that out of the way first?”
“Bad news?” His guts gurgled ominously, despite the fact Joe had mooted that choice in much the way he might ask Mac to express a preference for blue or red in a game of Battleships. Battleships? He’d lost his bloody marbles.
Joe’s vague mention of three, or four, new songs for the lads to learn seemed rather like the trail of smoke left lingering in someone’s wake when they’d walked past with a cigarette in the street. His thoughts had patently flitted off elsewhere. Precisely where, soon became all-too obvious.
“Won’t be a mo…I need the loo.”
“Fuck no.” Mac shoved the door shut with his arse before advancing on Joe, face set in what might best be described as a bulldog chewing a wasp expression, fists clenched reflexively. Pointless, when knocking Joe out to delay what he was dead-set on doing sure as shit wouldnae result in a fully functioning Joe when his bandmates walked in.
Although…that did, in fact, seem preferable to shrugs of weary resignation. Best case scenario on the scale of annoyance that could attain contempt when they turned up to find Joe stoned, insensible. About ten minutes after being promised an improbably firing-on-all-cylinders Joe.
Other than hand the miscreant an empty receptacle, there was fuck all else Mac could do, other than accompany him.
An announcement that—far from reaping the strop Mac expected—was met with an ominous gleam of triumph? For the first time since the monster announced he was off to the loo…Mac couldnae help but suspect he’d just been played like a bloody fiddle.
A bitter truth that, to his utmost self disgust, didnae give rise to a flare of comforting fury. In fact it didnae give rise to fuck all, when it was too late for that. Mac had been rigid since he crossed the threshold. Possibly on Saturday.
Right Fitzgerald…you asked for it. In not so many words, but Mac would have to be as blind as he was belated, if he hadnae cottoned onto just what distraction Joe craved. Suffice to say, dissuading him from shooting up would have been a breeze in comparison. All of Mac would have been on board with that particular plan.
“Lead the way…”
“Stu…?” Joe called to the bloke standing at a mixing desk in a sectioned-off part of the studio. “We’re just having five before the lads arrive…” he explained, rising to his feet before settling the guitar on his vacated seat.
“‘Kay…” Stu nodded, raising a hand to second the fact he’d heard.
“C’mon Mac…” Joe was at the door in three strides, tugging it open to peer out, as if to check the coast was clear in a chronic crime caper. One in which Badass McCafferty, the meanest mo-fo in the business, found himself scuttling about in a most unbecoming manner, in search of an empty loo. Or, a broom cupboard, if Jeopardy Joe had already toured enough cisterns to last a lifetime.
Mac sauntered out after him, in an effort to scupper the ‘scuttling’ part of that, at least. Excellent, McCafferty. Way to establish that you’re a cool as fuck badass to the bone. The coast was indeed clear; Adam had sequestered the lads to fill them in on the latest developments in the life and (very approximate) times of Joe Fitzgerald.
The upshot of this meant that Mac found himself bundled into a unisex bathroom; similar in size to the average downstairs loo in a suburban semi. Joe tugged the door shut with a definitive click and slid the lock into place before turning to lean against it.
“I thought you needed the loo..” Mac noted.
“I do…” Eyes wide, head tilted to his right, cherry pout ripe for the taking. “…but that would be a tad tricky.”
“Joe…? Which need did you intend on sating? The truth.” Mac demanded, ensnaring inkwell eyes to ensure they couldnae spill a lie. Mac was strung too tight for bullshit.
The rug was promptly snatched from under his feet with a flair so audacious he really should have expected no less. It was, quite literally, breathtaking. Joe scrunched his eyes shut, robbing him blind. A few seconds of quicksilver fluidity later…he’d whisked his T-shirt over his head, popped the button of his trousers and tugged them over skinny hips, leaving Joe stark, and Mac staring, naked. Aside from the puddle of fabric at Joe’s feet and the shoes he toed off before extracting endless legs to dispense with his socks.
This left Mac standing, stranded in a confined space with a ridiculous array of porcelain wherever he turned. He sure as hell did not. Fuck. How did he ever get so fortunate? Mac had never done a damn thing to be worthy of Joe. Quite the contrary…
“Strip search. Thought I’d save you the trouble. Check ’em if you want to…” Joe smirked, poking the discarded clobber with a toe.
“Pointless.” Mac shrugged. “You wouldnae have offered them up if there was oot t’find.”
“Yes, I would. That’s exactly what I’d do…” Yes. Mac realised…it was. Calling his bluff…which made confessing that fact…a double bluff. Or not. He didnae give a fuck. Either, left Joe in the buff. It would be downright insulting not to afford that due appreciation.
“You know damn well that doesnae matter a toss in your scheme of things. You also know just how thorough that search would need to be…” Mac reached out to flick the toilet seat shut. That bitumen gaze, ablaze with lust, agleam with anticipation. Enthralled. Enthralling.
A snatched off breath later, Mac was plastered to an extravagance of skin, fingers tangled in tufty hair crushing Joe’s lips to his own. The moment their mouths melded Mac was cut adrift, clutching liquid flame, fuelling the insatiable need to take Joe apart, strip him back to bone and put him back together. Whole. Which was fucking ludicrous. All of it. As was the fervor to taste, touch, take, give. Slake. Mac felt demented with it, a fact as dangerous as it was devastating. A need so subterranean it had never seen the light of day—or dark of night—he’d be long dead, if it had. Desire dulled sharpness. Distracted. Fuck…but he needed him. Needed this. Nothing had ever felt this…necessary in Mac’s godforsaken life. Snatching his head back, he tore himself free to drag in a jagged breath.
“Turn around and place your palms on the seat, legs astride.” Ground out as an order, in a voice so guttural it didnae sound like his own. “You’re gonnae to have to slum it, I’m afraid. No rubber gloves, sorry. ” Mac shrugged, tugging his cuffs to his elbows with a sharp flick of each wrist; as if he was about to perform surgery, or do the bloody washing up. Yet, Joe did exactly as instructed, without a word, those eyes aglitter with God knows what. If they got any wider the damn things would devour him.
Mac slipped a hand into his jacket and retrieved the lube he’d stashed in its breast pocket before they left the hotel. Being prepared for any eventuality was…expedient.
“Fuck…” Joe grinned over his shoulder. “You’re scary, Mr McCafferty. You know what that looked like you were about to dish out, cos you intended it to,” he smirked.
“Scary, because I’ve proved more about you, than me…?” Mac asked, coating his fingers with slow deliberation.
“Y’do realise that no-one else would presume such a thing?”
“That doesnae make me less right.” Mac rasped as he clasped a lean hip with his left hand and slid a couple of—slick—fingers into Joe’s body. He might be a killer but he wasnae a sadist. He’d never got off on inflicting pain. Proving himself was far more…satisfying. Satisfying Joe? Might well prove the Everest of all peaks. “Is this what you wanted all along..?”
“Yessss…” Joe hissed, pushing back, driving them deeper still. It was all Mac could do to hold off until all of Joe was as ready as the pleas that tumbled from his lips. He could scarce see straight, let alone focus…he could, however, crook his fingers, eliciting a far purer pleasure.
“‘Kay…” Mac bent to press a kiss to the nape of Joe’s neck before trailing his tongue down the far-too proud knots of bone snaking along his back. This while fumbling with his own flies and retrieving the lube he’d tucked into his pocket. Straightening up, Mac yanked his trousers and pants out of the way and slicked up. “The subterfuge really wasn’t necessary…y’only had to ask…” he pointed out, burying himself balls deep with one smooth thrust.
“Aaaah…’twas much more fun…for you…” Joe gasped. “…my way tho’.”
“For me?” Mac grunted, holding steady, against the need gnawing his nuts.
“Hmm… and y’know it, y’scoundrel.” Joe sighed. A sound so serene it was practically obscene. Mac did not dignify this with a response, other than easing back to unleash a snap of spine so fulsome Joe’s tufty head hit the cistern.
“I aim to please…” Mac grinned, pressing a kiss between the sharply jutting wings of Joe’s shoulder blades.
“If your aim was any truer I would’ve popped next door…” the miscreant purred.
“Shurrup and hold on tight…” That was about the last thing Mac could recall uttering with any clarity…the rest was lost to pounding hips and white-knuckle heat, bitten off cries and breath snatching bliss. It wasnae tender and far from pretty. It was exactly what they craved.
“Maaac….I-ah-ahhh..” Joe craned his neck around, those eyes imploring, as if Mac might—could—ever deny him. He bent to capture the lips offered up and curled his hand around Joe’s cock. Only then, did Mac fire-off the final flurry that blitzed his body in a rush so sublime it almost eclipsed the sticky warmth seeping through his fingers.
.“Fuck…” Mac groaned, letting his forehead thunk onto sweat slick skin.
“And how…” came the sultry sigh from the vicinity of the loo seat.
“You’ll be the death o’me Fitzgerald,” Mac grunted.
“Never on purpose. Besides, if you haven’t managed to off y’self yet, I doubt it’s possible. I’ll be a long time dead before you pop y’clogs…”
“Not on my bloody watch, you won’t.” The vehemence of his own voice startled Mac. He hadnae intended—or expected—to unleash such a…snarl of sound. Blowing out a long breath, he clasped Joe’s waist and pushed himself up, keeping his head dipped to conceal his flaming cheeks.
“Mac? What’s wrong..?” Joe straightened up, scuffling his feet closer together before turning to cup Mac’s face and raise it to that dredging gaze.
“Din’t yer dare die on me, Fitzgerald.” Mac’s jaw was clenched so tight he wasnae sure his accent was decipherable.
“Mac…” His name was a cool breeze that stirred the rogue strand of hair falling over Mac’s eye as obsidian scoured his soul. “I never want there to be no…then.”