“That’s the last of them.”
Alani Blaecleah turned to see her husband setting another green rubber tub down on the hardwood floor of the living room. She chuckled softly when Da grunted and rubbed his lower back with his hands as he stood.
“You’ll live, old man.”
“Not if I keep lugging your holiday boxes around.”
Miffed, Ma planted her hands on her hips and sent her husband her best don’t make fun of me glare. “Now, you know it wouldn’t be Christmas without all my decorations, Donnell Blaecleah.”
“Woman, I’ve been married to you for almost forty years. You could make Christmas happen with a shoebox and a ball of twine, and have.” Da waved his hands toward the stack of tubs that held all of the Christmas decorations Ma had collected over the years. “You don’t need all this fancy stuff to make a holiday.”
Ma smiled despite Da’s flustering. “They hold our memories.” She reached into the small box in front of her and pulled out a folded piece of faded paper. Ma set it on the table and smoothed it open with care. There was a lace doily that lay snuggled inside. “You gave me this on our first Christmas together,” she said as she held the small piece of lace lovingly in her hands.
It was one of her most prized possessions.
“I remember.” Da’s soft chuckle was as warm and light as summer’s breeze. “We had nothing that year, barely a roof over our heads or potatoes in the root cellar.”
“And yet you found a way to buy this for me.” Ma still remembered how blessed she had felt when Da gave her the small piece of white lace interwoven with intricate purple flowers. “Lachlan was still in diapers and Neason was just a couple of weeks old. We put every spare penny into making their Christmas special and yet you made mine even better.”
Ma felt tears prickle her eyes when weathered but strong hands settled on her shoulders, giving her a gentle squeeze. The warm body of the man that had stood by her side for so many years pressed gently into her back.
“It’s just an old piece of cloth, woman.” There was a suspicious sheen in Da’s pale-green eyes as he turned Ma and wiped his thumbs over her cheeks right under her eyelashes. “Didn’t cost me more than a couple of hours chopping wood for old man Walker.”
“That man had two sons that could have chopped wood for him.” Ma pointed a finger at Da, not in an angry manner, but just to make her point. Her Donnell had a soft spot whether he wanted to admit it or not. “He didn’t need you to do it.”
“No, maybe not.” Da’s smile was a beautiful as a sunrise. His eyes twinkled and were so full of love and affection that Ma felt like she could drown in them. “But he also had a wife. He knew exactly why I needed to earn a little extra money.”
When Donnell looked at her like that, Ma felt like her husband’s universe. He had been looking at her like that for nearly forty years. It had been the main deciding factor in her giving up a life of luxury back in Ireland and coming to the new world with barely a penny to their name.
“No one looks at me the way you do, Donnell Blaecleah.” Ma’s voice hitched, emotion tightening her throat. “No one has ever looked at me the way you do.”
Da let out a bark of rich laughter, a joyous sound that Ma had grown to adore over the years. “I fought the whole of Ireland to have you, Alani, me love. I would be very upset if someone else thought they could take you away from me.”
Ma closed her eyes as she leaned her head back against Da’s solid chest, savoring the moment for what it was—a slice of time when everything in her world was perfect. Her soul mate held her in his arms, her sons were happy with their own partners, and the next generation was alive and well and adored by everyone.
A shiver of awareness slid through Ma when Da’s fingers threaded through her graying hair. She was grateful that Da was one of those men that was not afraid to show his affections. She, as well as all of their sons, knew that Da loved them, in word and in deed.
“Do you miss Ireland, Alani?” The words were whispered almost as if Da was afraid of the answer although he had asked the same question a hundred times over the years. Ma always gave the same answer.
Maybe this time, she should tell him the honest truth.
“I miss my ma, Donnell. I always do around this time of year. Christmas was her favorite holiday. I miss watching her decorate the house, the smells that filled every room, the food, the sense of something bigger than us that seemed to take a hold of everyone.”
Ma leaned her head back so that she could look up into the pale-green eyes she had fallen for as a young girl of barely nineteen. “What I don’t miss is the way my father tried to run my life, to dictate my every move, right down to who I was to marry. I don’t miss feeling like I was a disappointment because I failed at something my father believed I should have mastered just because of the family I was born into. I don’t miss feeling like anything I did was never good enough or that everyone in my family felt they were better than everyone else because we had money and a family name that went back centuries.”
Ma drew in a quick breath so that she could continue before Da said anything. “The Blaecleah name is an old and proud one, just as old and proud as my maiden name. But I’d much rather be a Blaecleah than the name I was born with.”
The beginnings of a small smile curved up one corner of Ma’s lips as she smoothed her hands down Da’s chest.
Billy’s high-pitched laughter filled Rourke’s ears as he carried the man into the bedroom and dropped him unceremoniously in the middle of the bed. Billy bounced a few times then came to a stop with his head almost hanging off the bottom of the bed.
Rourke groaned at the sight of Billy’s swan-like neck arched up as his head tilted back along the edge of the mattress. Feeling suddenly achy and needy, he reached down and opened his jeans, pulling his hard cock out.
“Suck my dick, baby.”
Rourke gasped when Billy leaned up and deep throated him without a word of protest. He caressed Billy’s jaw as the gorgeous man licked and sucked the head, running his tongue along the large vein that snaked the length of Rourke’s hard erection.
Rourke moaned, wiggling his hips until his jeans slid down his legs, pooling at his ankles. He spread his knees further apart for Billy’s assault. His eyes nearly rolled into his head as Billy ran his tongue over the head, slurping up the pre-cum that dripped down the side before swallowing him. He almost stumbled backward, caught off guard by his mate’s ability to even do something like that.
Billy pulled back and licked and sucked with genuine delight, making the sexiest kitten noises imaginable. When Billy looked up at him from under his thick, dark lashes, all Rourke was able to do was stare down at him. The need in Billy’s eyes was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.
“That’s it, baby. Suck it.” Rourke’s hands slid through Billy’s shoulder-length black hair and curled, holding on as he shuddered and savored every second of what his mate was doing to his cock. “God…so good.”
Billy opened wider, taking the girth down his throat. Gagging, he pulled back. Rourke knew he was well endowed and that his lover would have trouble taking all of him in. He always did, but Billy was always so eager.
“Take only what you can, baby.”
Rourke wanted to fill Billy’s mouth with his seed, emptying his balls down his throat. He pushed in and out in short bursts, not wanting his mate to choke again. Rourke moaned as Billy concaved his cheeks, pulling Rourke further in, creating a tight vacuum.
Rourke shuddered as Billy suppressed his gag reflex and pushed forward until the head of his cock hit the back of Billy’s throat. Relaxing his muscles, Billy took him down further.
Rourke grabbed Billy’s head, holding it steady as his hips bucked. Billy took it. His mate massaged Rourke’s prick with his tongue, and his lips stretched as he began to bob his head. Rourke was too close with the way his lover was sucking him.
“Shit!” Rourke shouted when Billy began to hum around his dick. The vibrations were felt all the way to his toes. Billy pulled back, sucking on the head, his tongue working magic around the entire width, circling the bundle of nerves.
Rourke led Billy’s hand to his nuts. He groaned when Billy rolled them around and lightly squeezed them. He toyed with Rourke’s perineum, his finger sliding back and forth. Rourke’s thigh muscles quivered, his legs threatening to give out as his balls drew so tight to his body that they actually hurt.
“Gonna…come, baby.” Rourke panted.
Billy murmured Rourke’s name around his cock, sending Rourke into a wild craze. He began to fuck Billy’s mouth in earnest, feeling the head of his prick sliding down his lover’s throat over and over again.
“Shit, baby, coming.” Rourke threw his head back, shouting Billy’s name as he came down his throat, ropes of hot seed spurting continuously. His damn head was throbbing as he settled back into his body and stared down at the only man that had the power to take him to heaven and back.
“Are you going to come for me, baby?” Rourke asked as he watched Billy push his pants down his legs. Billy grabbed his own cock, pumping his hand and pulling at his balls.
Rourke leaned forward, resting on his hand as he hovered over Billy’s body. He licked the finger of his other hand and slid it down between Billy’s ass cheeks and into his tight little hole.