Autumn Sun


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I've often wondered what it is about the midday sun that can turn an autumn afternoon into a moment of golden perfection. Amidst the slow decay that will eventually lead to cold winter, the sun dances and gilds the leaves and grass with light and warmth. It's deceptive, that warmth, as it heats up the grass and dirt, filling the air with the rich smell of autumn. As soon as the sun starts to set, even in the moments when the light first turns to deep orange and red, the wind seems colder and cuts through the thin clothing you wore to work outside. But it's the sun's rays I feel now, the late October sun that warms my back as I stand on the porch, nursing a sprained ankle and watching my lover out in the yard.

Ben's working outside, taking care of the leaves after mowing the lawn. I told him not to go through the trouble; it could wait a few more weeks until my ankle heals. I usually do the yard work on the weekends and not have Ben do anything more than keep me company. It bothers his allergies, much more than when I mow the lawn and he only has to put up with the pollen in the air. I told him not to do it, and said he was being young and stubborn. He simply pointed to my sprained ankle, the one I shouldn't be walking on, and called me old and stubborn. My Benjamin, the sunlight glinting off his red-gold hair as he rakes the leaves into one large pile, is as infuriating as he is beautiful sometimes. He's paused twice already to sneeze the irritation out of his nose, refusing each time to come sit with me on the porch and take a break. Oh, he'll finish the job, and the yard will look perfect, despite his itchy nose and watery eyes.

He's right, though, about me being old and stubborn. I should be off the ankle, probably should be in bed resting, but I want to watch my Ben if he insists on working outside. I find myself growing younger each day I spend with him; just watching him move imparts a vitality to my spirit that I haven't felt in years. The twenty-five years that separate us - the same amount of time he's been alive - mean nothing to me at moments like this. I can feel his youth, his vigor, and the love I know he has for me. It must be love, or else he wouldn't be standing there, sniffling into the sleeve of his shirt and pointedly ignoring the fine cloud of dust and pollen that surrounds him. When he puts his arm down, his brow is creased in concentration and he takes the rake up again, sneezing off to the side three times before starting his task anew.

And I'm right about Ben being young and stubborn. I knew it the first day I talked to him, seven years ago, when he stood in my office determined to get an A in the writing class I taught that term. He let me teach him how to write, but not without questioning my advice. Or without utterly charming me, and making me stop and tell myself repeatedly that handsome young men do not date their former English professors. I thought I would never see the boy again after the term ended and my office hours were no longer graced by his elusive smile and blue-grey eyes. That is, until a few years later, when a handsome Ph.D. candidate stood in front of my desk demanding help on an article he was writing. In a few short months Ben had an article in a British history journal and I, after a succession of empty relationships with both men and women, had finally found the love of my life. Thank god he felt the same way, my bright boy.

"Quinton, really."

I look up, and realize I've obviously committed some crime, as Ben's standing next to me, a look of censure on his face. He glances down to my bare feet, sniffling quietly every few seconds.

"It's not summer anymore. And," he stops, takes a sharp breath, and turns away without finishing the sentence, "ehh! Keshhun! KehhHISHH!! Ehhhshh!!"

"Bless you." Leaning against the porch rail, I reach over and draw one finger over his cheek. The sun's warmed his pale skin to a faint pinkness. "And what, dear?"

He opens his mouth as if to reply, but only gasps slightly. The tip of his tongue flicks over the edge of his teeth and disappears as he presses it to the roof of his mouth. Another sneeze lingers and makes his breath come in pants. Soft, hot puffs of air that I can feel on my neck, he's standing close enough to me, and looks delicious with that look of small surrender on his face.

"Huh… Uhh… EhhHISHH! Hihishh! AhhhShoosh! ohh…" Ben shakes his head and clears his throat, that crease of frustration on his brow again.

"Bless you."

"Thanks." A trace of congestion is creeping into his voice, and he's sniffing again. He'll be doing that all day, and probably tomorrow, too. He has no idea how cute it is. "AND, Quinn, you should be taking it easy. The doctor said that ankle won't get any better if you insist on walking."

"Yes, dear. I know." Stroking his arm gently, I shift my weight to my good leg. His whole body looks warm, and as much as I wish I didn't feel this way, I want to press him close to me. "Your allergies are bad today?"

"Quinn, I'm not, I - I, hih, Hii-HihYISHH! IhhShoo! I'll be all right."

"Benjamin, god bless you!"

"Ahh! AhhSHOO!" Ben doesn't open his eyes, but waves his hand at the blessing and prepares to sneeze again. I can tell -- I've seen him it happen to him so many times already -- he's in the middle of an allergy attack. "hehhKISHH! heht! hehhETCHH!!shoo… IshhShahh! Ehh-hihshhoo!"

"Come on, baby, walk me inside, you need to get away from all this pollen." 

I don't know if it's the slender curve of his back, or the way the v-neck of his t-shirt gaps every time he inhales, but even the slightest movement he makes sets up tingling warmth inside me. Ben looks at me as I slip my hand down to his wrist and then over his hip, leaning my weight slightly on him. He's smaller than I am, and a good six inches shorter, but stronger than I'll ever be. For he doesn't possess such weakness like I have for him, and the slight guilt I feel for loving the weakness I see in him at times like this. I'd do anything to keep him from suffering, but god, the heat that coils inside me when something makes him sneeze. He's sensitive, beautiful, desirable, and all the other things he is to me always, but enhanced by inexplicable raw desire.

"I'm fine, really, it's just, jus-huh - just, hehKISSihh! Tishhooh!" Mumbling around the presneeze breaths, he stops and presses the palm of his hand to his nose and stifles the last few, small sneezes. "HuhhTCH! ehhh!K'chuh! ChhSH!"


"Sorry, thanks. Just a few sneezes, I forgot how much the grass tickles my nose."

"Ben, you know it doesn't bother me."

"I know." Sniffing, he rests his head on my shoulder, then presses warm lips to my neck with a kiss. "Let's get you off that ankle, then you can fuss over my allergies all you want."

"That's sounds a bit like bribery, Benji."

He sniffles again at my use of the nickname, and rubs his nose against the shoulder of my shirt. "I don't know. I could do with some being fussed over."

"Oh, really?" Through the thin cotton of my shirt I can feel the heat of his breath as he nuzzles closer to me. I kiss the top of his head and breathe in my lover's scent, murmuring as Ben sighs softly. "Like this?"

"Mmm… that's nice."

"Worth mowing the lawn for?"

Ben nods slowly, then itches his nose against me. He pulls away slightly, but only enough to cough quietly and hold onto a wavering breath. When he inhales, it's shallowly and through his mouth; his nostrils twitch - just barely - but in such a way that it looks like he needs to sneeze badly. A split second before he actually does, he turns back to me and muffles the sneezes in the front of my shirt. "Ummpff!chuhh… HehhChifff!! ChhShhh, huh, Chshh!Ch'shuhh…"

He shudders against me, and god, it's like when I make love to him, but less intense, and somehow, softer. A strange conflict has entered my feelings, where the overpowering urge to take that slim body and ravage it is mitigated by the plainer desire to touch and comfort my lover. To just be close to him, filling up my senses with him, and thereby finding sweet release. But no matter what, I want him, I want him so much. He sneezes once again, more strongly and I can feel the slight dampness on my chest. Stroking my fingers though his hair, I wait for Ben to look up. When he does, it's with teary eyes and a contrite expression.

"Sorry, again, Quinn, I just really needed to sneeze, and, oh, that felt so good." The apology has disappeared from Ben's face, and he sniffles between words as he speaks. Quiet, titillating sniffles that crinkle his nose when he inhales.



"I want to be close to you. Let's go inside."

"Yes," he breathes the word, and laughs lightly after rubbing his nose against the back of his wrist.

We walk slowly back into the house, my ankle more sore now that I've spent an hour or so standing, and Ben can tell, but says nothing. The look in his eyes is enough to tell me he's upset by the grimace of pain that crosses my face every so often. He'd probably scold me more if he weren't so intent on keeping his nose in check until we reach the bedroom. Every so often he pinches his nostrils shut, holding in a sneeze, that only results in his hair tumbling over his forehead and the congestion in his sinuses worsening. 

But it's endearing nonetheless, to see the tiny shiver convulse his body and soon enough Ben's not the only one trying to keep himself in check. By the time he eases me onto the bed and give me another anxious look, I can feel the flush of arousal spreading through my limbs. Reaching up, I brush my thumb over his lower lip and bring Ben closer to me for a kiss.

Did I say I didn't want to feel this way? No, I want to feel this way forever, my heart light and the brush of my lover's body against mine. Were it any but my Benjamin, with the smell of autumn sunlight and fresh-cut grass surrounding him, were it any but the man who stole my heart, it would be mere lust. But, with him, it's the same thing I feel waking up with my arms around him, or taking his hand in mine as we walk together, or kissing him deeply and slowly just because I can. Sometimes I think he knows, when he lets me pet him aimlessly and murmur silly blessings when the sneezes get to him. Or the way he shyly buries his face in my neck, whimpering softly and stifling a fit of ticklish sneezes. Or the way he'll slip one hand between my thighs, stroking gently, and leading me to desperate arousal, and letting me love him. Sometimes I think he knows, and sometimes I think he just knows how to make me happy.

Like the way he kisses me - warm as the sun, spreading light through me like it's golden rays - the way his tongue slides over mine, always tempting me closer to him. Or how he pauses, his mouth already wet and kiss-swollen, to try and get rid of the itchiness in his nose. He sniffles, then presses his nose into his shoulder, while he affectionately strokes my beard and my neck.

"You shouldn't have done the lawn." I have to speak slowly; my attention is fixed on Ben's face as he ineffectually attempts to prevent his allergies from acting up. "You're so allergic, Benji."

A tiny grin, almost embarrassed, curves his lips and Ben knows I've already started to fuss over him. He's not going to get a chance to pester me about the sprained ankle, not until later anyway. "It's not usually this bad. Besides," pausing momentarily between words, he fights to finish his statement and keep his eyes open, "I have, to, eh, heh! t-tuh, to, to, Hehh!Tishhih! Tishhoo! Ahh… to sneeze, HihhISHH… the dust -- KihSHHshoo - and pollen out."

I slide my hands over his arms, down to his waist and stroke his thighs through the worn denim of his jeans. His body trembles at the build-up of each sneeze, tense with anticipation that I feel reflected in the build up of emotions in my own body. Ben creeps nearer to me, snuffling through a runny nose, until he stands between my legs. One of his hands curls around my neck, the other he holds before his face as the sneezing starts again.

"HehhKishhoo!! K'shhhah… Shooo! HuhSHOO! Ehhshhhih!" A series of fast sneezes that leave his eyes watery and nose a delectable pink. The look of confused irritation lingers on his face, and as he rubs his index finger under his nostrils, Ben groans under his breath.

"All right, dear?" I slip my hand back up his side and under his shirt. Gently caressing his rib cage I continue up until I brush my fingertips over his nipple. Ben shivers as I tickle the sensitive skin, the first signs of his own arousal increasing my own.

"Oh, Quinn, I, Uhh! HehCHOO! IhhTishhih!" Desire chases away the momentary look of relief from his face. Leaning forward, Ben presses his lips to mine and kisses me hard. "This is fine? Ehh-Tshh…hih…CH'shoo!" He only turns his head away from me, the half held-in sneezes tightening his stomach as I pet him there. "My sneezing… Should I shower first?" His lips move against mine, words forming with gasped breaths and between kisses.

"No, no don't leave me, just stay." Just stay, I repeat the words over and over to myself, the only plea I've ever made to Ben, and he's never turned me down. Lifting his shirt, I gently kiss his abdomen and rub my beard against the smooth, delicate skin beneath his navel. Oh, and god, he squirms in my arms so sweetly! And he moans, deeply and from the back of his throat, when I unzip his jeans and free his erection.

My hands work as quickly as they can, pushing the jeans down his thighs, lust and love throbbing inside me, the rhythm familiar. Ben struggles out of his t-shirt, still sniffly and with a look on his face that reveals that as soon as he's given two seconds to focus on it, he'll get the sneezes again. I love that look and how it transforms so irrepressibly into the rather soft, yet powerful, sneezes that are typical of my Benjamin. In a few short minutes, he's nude, standing so close to me with a handful of tissues and I'm hard with want.

"You're so beautiful, Benjamin," I whisper and try to pull him into my lap.

He hesitates, holding the Kleenex before his open mouth and quivering nostrils. "Huhh! UhhChmmpff! UhhffChoo! Hehh! Ehh! Heh-EhhKISHHihhh! HihShuhh…" His body bends slightly with each sneeze, Ben's red gold hair flopping into his eyes with the last one. Timidly he looks at me over the tissues, shrugs his hair out of his eyes and starts to blow his nose.

I cannot help myself. I have to touch him. I need to press my body to his, but settle for being able to kiss and nibble whatever I can reach. Brushing my nose against his penis, I inhale the scent of his arousal. If I could pick one moment to live again and again, it would be this one, these few seconds when we're both fully aroused and at the brink of our senses, every taste, touch, smell and sound more acute than any other time. Ben grasps my shoulder, causing me to look up. He's still scrubbing at his nose with a tissue, making tiny sniffling noises. My cock throbs against the confines of my trousers, I'm hard enough to come, if he should touch me there.

"Lie down, Quinn."

His voice is thick and there is heat in his gaze. Ben smiles, pitching away the tissues, and gives me an adorable mock-pout. I want him in my lap, his hot, hard cock pressing into my stomach as I bury myself in him. I pull him close again, but he shakes his head, stops to stifle two enticing sneezes into his shoulder, and turns to me again.

"Your ankle, love," he reminds me and sniffles into my ear as he leans forward to unbutton my shirt, "just lie down and let me take care of the rest."

Oh, my Benjamin, he could ask me for the moon, gilded to look like the sun, and I'd give it to him! His breath, damp against my neck, and the slightly congested words whispered in my ear, are bringing me to the end of my control. Ben undresses me as quickly as he did himself, taking such care not to jar my hurt ankle - care he doesn't need to take, for I don't think I'd feel any pain through the haze of want that I'm experiencing. Nimble fingers trace over my chest, down my stomach and tickle the hair at my groin when I lie back on the cool sheets. My lover gazes down at me, a bar of sunlight slanting over his face and chest. He is beautiful, the light glinting off his blue-grey eyes and the sprinkling of hair on his chest. Desire rushes through me as he presses his body to mine, his mouth swallowing the groan that rises up in my throat.

"God, Ben, please, oh god…" My hips jerk and I try to thrust my body against his, but he's stretched the length of his body against mine, save my right leg, which he carefully avoids. I can feel his heart beating against my chest, it matches the blood pounding in my erection as it strains against his thigh.

Ben kisses me, my mouth, my forehead, my neck, he just kisses me eagerly and presses our bodies closer. Putting my arms around him, I stroke his back, over his spine and down to the base. I draw small circles there, one of his sensitive spots, and wait. In a few moments I feel his cock twitch against me and Ben forces his tongue into my mouth. He's more than eager now. Struggling, whimpering, reaching for satisfaction and trying to please me at the same time, he separates our mouths. Panting, he lifts his body from mine, and there's sudden coolness. Before I can say anything, indeed, if I could say anything, he prepares himself for me.

Then there is hotness between us more intense than before. He lowers himself atop me, impaling himself on my erection, and starts to move. The sunlight falls on him again, over his sweat slick naked body, the tip of his cock, and the pre-cum that glistens at its tip. He comes before I do, head thrown back and rivulets of sweat trailing down his chest. But it's the low, sweet sigh he makes when he comes that finishes me off. Grasping his hips, I thrust up into him, filling him and filling my soul with the feel of his body. He rides me, even as his own orgasm still shudders through him, and I come with a flood of joyful relief.

When I open my eyes, I find Benjamin still asleep, the soft rasp of his breathing in my ear as his head rests on my shoulder. He's congested now, and it's going to take more than a few hours for him to get all the allergens out of his system.

"Poor baby," I mutter and push the hair off his forehead.

"Hmmm?" He blinks his eyes open sleepily and rubs them before kissing my cheek.

"Feel all right?"

"Eyes itch a little." Ben mumbles, closes his eyes and cuddles up to me. "Love you, Quinton."

He's half asleep, his warm, relaxed body snugged close to mine, but I know he means it. There's so much light inside my Benjamin, so much warmth - the kind that doesn't fade with the passing of time or change of seasons. 
The sun has gone down outside, and with it the heat of day has dissipated and made room for the cold autumn night. But my love, he'll keep me warm.

"I love you, too, dear." I murmur and let him sleep.