Title: "Your Eyes"
Author/pseudonym: xof
Fandom: Queer As Folk
Pairing: SJ/VT 

Rating: NC-17 (Oh baby . . .)
Status: New/Complete
Archive: Yes. Please.
Feedback: xof@rose.net 
Website: http://thesleepydragon.com/nesting/main.html 

Series/Sequel: No.

Disclaimers: I don’t own these characters. I presume that Channel 4 and Russell D. do.

Notes: This story is a reward fic for Saumi’s "Always and Forever." Saumi’s request for a jeep shag story. 

I loved the idea, especially after I found just the right place in QAF One to start it. The only criteria was that they not do the deed in the vehicle . . . oh well. I can work with that. In my story, the funeral was set for afternoon. You’ll see why. Oh, and I’m not sure if Bernie came along for the funeral trip with Hazel and Alex but let’s just say he did.

Summary: What if Stuart never made that u-turn on the way to Phil’s funeral?

Warnings: Spoilers for the first half of the first series. Was that specific enough? This is a total first-time AU fic. Sorry to all those fans that just loved Cameron. He’s been written outta Vince’s life before he even showed up in canon. And since I’m American to boot, please forgive any mistakes on my part when it comes to grammar. Feedback is more than welcomed (pleeeeeaaaaaaaaassssseeee). 

"Your Eyes"

By Xof

(June 25, 2000)

"This is all your fault, Vince." The words echoed through the cab of Stuart’s jeep as he shot daggers at his flustered friend with his eyes.

Vince released a strained sigh. "What good is it to snap my head off now?"

"Oh, I don’t know. Could be because we’re sitting on the side of the road in the middle of fucking nowhere due to your brilliant map reading technique." Stuart jerked open the door and left out the vehicle, slamming it shut in anger.

Vince watched him pacing outside as Stuart cursed heatedly. Feeling that lead weight that he always got in his gut when he fell victim to the whiplash of Stuart’s sarcasm, Vince reached up to take off his seat belt. He shrugged out of his jacket, took off his tie and un-buttoned his collar. Leaning his head back, he tried not to think about missing Phil’s service. According to his watch, the show had already started some thirty minutes back.

He was supposed to have delivered the eulogy that Phil had requested for his wake. Even now he felt the crumple of the folded pages in his pocket. What kind of bloke actually requests that the words to "D.I.S.C.O." be read at his death? A total sod, to be sure. And why Vince? It’s not like they were ever close. Just at club drinking and that’s all. Still it showed how few people Phil had that he felt qualified for the dreaded honor. Luckily Hazel was Vince’s designated backup. She even knew the words by heart. Phil had even put that in writing, too. Sad bastard.

Vince did feel guilty though. But it wasn’t all his fault, dammit. What kinda twat leaves Manchester with his mobile on low battery and with only a half tank of petrol? Stuart Jones, that’s who. So yeah he’d gotten them turned round, but it wasn’t just his bag that they were now stranded. ‘Course it helped his argument that he’d conveniently forgotten that Hazel had nabbed his own mobile yesterday in case she broke down on the trip. He was going with Stuart, so why would he need it . . . right?

Shaking his head at the irony, Vince checked his watch again. Nightfall would be soon. There was no telling how off course they’d traveled. All he knew was that they hadn’t seen one house or person for the last ten miles or more of their trek. Brilliant. Alone with Stuart in the damn jeep for the night. Absolutely fucking marvelous. 

Vince stepped out of the jeep. At least the weather looked good. Cool breeze and all that. He walked around to lean against the front. Still watching Stuart trying to mutter off some of his high energy, Vince smiled and shook his head. His friend looked like a panther set to strike out at the least little movement. Not a bad image that . . . being pounced on by Stuart. He closed his eyes as his body responded to the eroticism of the picture. Biting his lip, Vince tried to balance the feeling against the equal and ever present sadness that such a thing would never happen between them. Blimey . . . ‘never’ was getting to be his most hated word.

"Vince! I’m talking here. Are you listening to me?"

The sharp words broke Vince from his thoughts as he jerked up right to face the anger in Stuart’s eyes. "Yeah. I’m here."

"Well of course you’re bloody-well here, you twat. Where else would you be in all this green?" Waving his hands at the acre upon acre of grass and green hills, Stuart continued exasperatedly. "What are we gonna do now?"

Vince didn’t answer. Instead, he walked round the jeep to the back and dug out the blanket he’d put there ages ago. It helped to have something soft to sit on when he had to wait on Stuart at the end of a night on Canal Street. But truly, Vince had made sure to keep the blanket close as a precaution in case he ever needed to wrap Stuart up to keep him warm. Bad trips can be a bitch. And unfortunately, Stuart had had a few.

Laying out the blanket on the grass a little distance from the jeep, Vince sat down. He unbuttoned his sleeves before rolling them up and then reached down to untie his shoes. He knew that not answering his friend was annoying Stuart to distraction, but he needed these few minutes of silence. After getting comfortable, Vince drew his legs up and hugged his knees. Looking at Stuart, he answered. "We don’t know how far off we are from a town. I didn’t see any houses around as we drove, so I’m thinking that means we either have one of two options. We can either walk for an undetermined number of miles looking for help, in dress shoes mind. Lovely for the feet I’m sure but I’m not into playing martyr at so young an age. Or we can wait to see if anyone comes along. Since it’s almost nightfall and we won’t have any light to see by in an hour or so, what option do you think is best?"

Stuart stood looking down at his friend as Vince laid back on the blanket set against the tall blades of grass that swayed in the light breeze. He bit gently at his bottom lip before smiling in acquiescence. Moving to join Vince, he kicked off his own shoes. Crouching beside his friend’s outstretched legs, Stuart pulled them up until Vince’s feet rested on the ground - knees bent up to the sky. At Vince’s questioning gaze, he pulled the blanket back so that his feet rested against the coolness of the grass. "Let it never be said that I don’t play to vanity. Even when it comes to my feet, right Vince?" Laughing together, Stuart moved over to rest beside him in a like manner. 

The minutes passed as Vince enjoyed lying quietly with his friend, loving the feel of the setting sun as it played over his face and the feel of the grass between his toes. The calmness that settled allowed him a moment of reflection devoid of the constant distractions of a busy city all around. "Stuart. Why did you want to come today?" Turning his head to look at Stuart’s profile, Vince questioned. "I mean, it’s not like you even liked Phil. You only ever argued. So why take off from work? I’d have tagged on with Hazel."

"I d’know. I guess cause he makes three."

"Three what?"

"Third bloke I’ve shagged that’s died. Not a bad number considering."

Vince jerked up to sit at Stuart’s side. "You and Phil? When the fuck did that happen?"

Stuart considered the fierce expression on Vince’s face. His friend’s surprise didn’t phase him, but the almost primal light in the man’s eyes did make him wonder. "Awhile back when I was going after that bloke . . . hmm, Winston. Election night. Group of us together kissing and groping until everyone joined in. Phil threw himself on me, snogging like a rabbit. Told him to sod off, but got distracted with Winston and before I knew it . . . Thumper Phil had shot his load all over me."

Vince shook his head. "Phil never said a word. I thought you hated each other." He looked out over the expanse of the fields that surrounded them, rapidly getting lost in thought. He couldn’t believe it. All those times, all those damn times that Phil had brought up the possibility of Vince ever copping off with Stuart and the fucker had already had him. 

Stuart watched Vince as he seemed to curl into himself in silence. His friend leaned in to hug his knees as he stared off into the distance. Stuart turned onto his side to look at him. Maybe Phil’s death was more important to Vince than he’d thought. "Vince. You okay? I mean, I know you were supposed to be in the funeral and all." When Vince didn’t respond, Stuart moved in closer. "Phil was a good guy, I guess. A tad on the sad side, half lard. But he could appreciate a laugh." Still Vince didn’t respond. Moving still closer, Stuart reached over and touched Vince’s shoulder. "Vince? Come on now. Say something."

Later Vince would never know what gave him the fire to move, but one minute he was drawing up further into his own miserable state and the next he released a low growl and pounced. Literally. He jerked around and threw Stuart back onto the blanket. Pressing his friend’s body down with the full weight of his own, Vince shook him roughly as if the very motion would impress all his own hidden frustration and resentment. Grabbing Stuart’s flailing hands, he pressed them down above his friend’s head. Looking into Stuart’s eyes, he saw the surprise and anger and confusion that skirted through the depths of that gaze. 

"Vince! What the fuck is with you?"

Keeping Stuart’s hands above their heads with one hand, Vince moved the other to stop his questions. "Just shut your mouth, Stuart." Leaning up so that he could taken in all of Stuart’s upper torso, Vince closed his eyes briefly against the his own sense of need at Stuart’s closeness. Keeping his eyes closed as he started to speak, Vince traced his fingers over the soft curves of Stuart’s lips. "All those times, all those fucking times Phil asked about me and you . . . and he’d already touched you." Opening his eyes as he felt the lips moving against his fingertips, Vince asked quietly, "Did he get to taste you too?" 

Stuart slowly shook his head in the negative as he stared up in awe at the Vince’s display of dominance. The suddenness of his passion was nothing less than breathtaking.

Continuing to trace along the line of Stuart’s lips, Vince spoke his thoughts aloud. "He was the only one. I mean, we didn’t really know each other. Just hung around drinking and now he’s gone. Why choose me to ask? And now I know that behind it all, the teasing and the questions . . . was you. Phil knew. Hell everyone knows, but he was the only one that ever said. The only one to ever ask me why not?" Moving in to place his own lips against the back of his hand with only his fingers between them, Vince whispered, "Yeah, why not? Why not touch you, taste you . . . shag you half blind?"

Feeling his body harden at the huskiness of Vince’s voice and the desire in those oh-so expressive eyes, Stuart murmured Vince’s name into the warmth of the hand against his mouth. He pressed upwards against his friend’s body, moaning as their groins met . . . the answering hard-on in Vince’s pants matching his own. This is crazy but Stuart was past caring. All he knew was that he wanted Vince to keep going.

Vince answered Stuart’s moan by pressing two of his fingers inside the man’s mouth. He watched mesmerized as he played his own fingertips over and into the sensuous oval of Stuart’s lips. He bit back a groan as his fingers pressed against the hot moisture of the man’s tongue. He absorbed the feeling of enthusiasm as Stuart welcomed his touch, playing with him as he licked and sucked at the digits. Vince murmured, "Oh my god," as Stuart teasingly nipped at his fingertips. Drawing his hand back, Vince leaned in till he was a breath away from Stuart’s mouth. "Be sure, Stuart. I’m not just some bloke from Canal Street. And if I fuck you, it won’t be just the once."

Stuart dropped his head back against the blanket. Closing his eyes, he searched for what to say . . . to do. Despite all doubts or insecurities, the truth that Stuart found in his own heart was that this was right. That having Vince in his life was a necessity and that no matter what might occur in the future what he felt now, the desire, need and love coursing through him was more than answer enough. Meeting Vince’s worried gaze, Stuart replied gruffly. "Kiss me, Vince." 

Reaching up, Vince threaded their fingers together on either side of Stuart’s head. The first touch, first taste made both men’s breath quicken. With a groan, Vince captured Stuart’s mouth with his own. They snogged passionately, the play of tongues and taste making each light headed. He felt the press of Stuart’s body as he arched upwards, desperate to bring them closer. Fighting his own need to match Stuart’s rhythm, Vince pulled back abruptly. He had to smile at Stuart’s disappointed groan. "Oh no. I’ve waited nearly forever to shag you." Whispering heatedly into Stuart’s ear, Vince said. "Plan on this taking a long, long time." He laughed lightly as his friend whimpered dramatically. 

Leaning upwards, Stuart licked up the line of Vince’s neck. "Hmm. Vince, more. More now."

Jerking back away from the unbelievable sensation of having Stuart’s tongue against his skin, Vince demanded, "My way." Seeing Stuart’s eyes flash in response to his challenge, Vince set down his desire as a line that would not be breached. "My way or nothing, Stuart. I’m having you, taking you . . . fucking you just like I’ve always wanted and you’re gonna let me. Now say yes. It’s not a question. It’s only yes or it ends." Not against playing dirty pool, Vince brought his legs in so that he forced Stuart’s to open. Resting in the cradle of the man’s thighs, he proceeded to thrust against the hard-on pressing into him.

Stuart felt his own surprising response to Vince’s possession course through his body. Knowing that this was something he fiercely wanted, needed even if he didn’t comprehend the fullness of the experience and how it would pleasantly change his life, Stuart gasped out his answer. "Yes. Vince, yes."

Smiling down at him, Vince sat up on his haunches. He grabbed hold of Stuart’s shirt and all but ripped it over the man’s head. Pressing Stuart back down on the blanket, Vince traced his hands over the smooth line of his collarbone. Fingers trailed lightly, teasingly over the small rise of his chest and the firmness of his tightened nipples. Circling over the nibs, Vince leaned down to take first one and then the other into his mouth. He took in the harsh catch of Stuart’s breathing and the moan that escaped his friend as he sucked and then nibbled at his breast. Vince traced down the line of Stuart’s abdomen as he brushed his fingers down Stuart’s sides. Coming to rest on the waistband of Stuart’s trousers, Vince by-passed the zipper . . . mouthing his cock through the cloth. 

Stuart tried to bite back the cry that built up in his chest as he watched his long-time friend sucking at his groin, but as Vince reached upwards to pull at his nipples and added increased suction to the wet fabric . . . Stuart lost the battle to remain quiet. "Aw shit. Vince!"

Vince moved up, leaving a hand playing at Stuart’s zipper. He whispered, "Say it again."

Trying to think past the warmth of Vince’s touch, Stuart had to ask, "Yeah, okay. Hmm. What’d I say?"

Laughing quietly, Vince replied. "Say my name. I like hearing it on your lips."

Stuart moaned, "Vince. Vince. Oh god, Vince," as his friend opened the pants and released his heated flesh. He held his breath as Vince moved in, letting his hot breath travel over Stuart’s cock . . . without touching him. The sensation continued to tease at him, up his length and over the head but still Vince didn’t do anything. "Vince. I need . . ." His words were cut off by the fierce jerk as Vince pulled Stuart’s trousers down over his hips until they rested obscenely around his thighs.

With the barest flick of his tongue of the tip of Stuart’s hard-on, Vince forced himself to pull back. At Stuart’s groan of frustration, he stood to widen the space between them. Letting his eyes take in the glorious view that was Stuart, Vince told him to stay like that. "Don’t move. I want to look at you." He reached up and started unbuttoning his own shirt, not realizing that the slow pace at which he disrobed created a more than enticing view for Stuart as he listened to the huskiness of Vince’s voice. "Do you like knowing my eyes are on you?"

Stuart lay in a wash of mixed emotions. He watched as Vince’s shirt fell to the ground, as his friend’s hands moved to remove his own pants. His body responded maddeningly to the warmth of Vince’s gaze as it ran up his body and to his face. Stuart knew that Vince’s question held more than this moment in it’s depth. Deciding to match Vince’s courage, he answered from his heart. "I’ve always loved having your eyes on me. I can almost feel the fire reflected in them brushing against my skin like a touch. Your eyes, Vince. God, it’s always there in your eyes."

Vince pushed his clothes aside as his pants hit the ground. Standing naked and aroused in the fading sun, he asked, "What is?" He watched as Stuart closed his eyes before answering, almost as if he couldn’t find the bravery to see the reality while he spoke the words they both knew were true.

"Love. Love and lust mixed together so tightly that one is and will always retain the other." Stuart kept his eyes closed in the moment that followed his admission. Yes he’d known. Had known and cherished that knowledge almost to the point of it over-shadowing his own fear to act on the enticement it had always presented. His own embroiled emotions were thrust aside as he felt Vince kneel over him . . . drawing the trousers the rest of the way down Stuart’s legs, leaving them both bared to the sweetness of the breeze that drifted over and around in the sky. 

Kneeling over Stuart on hands and knees, Vince brushed his lips against his friend’s as he spoke in agreement. "Never could hide that I suppose." He licked lightly over Stuart’s bottom lip, playfully drawing his mouth to open before he kissed him passionately. Kissing Stuart was more than an action or matter of foreplay. No, kissing him was more like stepping into a light from which he’d been shying and denied half his life. Basking in that light was an experience he would always hold dear . . . the feel, the taste, the enthusiasm and skill. Even the sweetness proved more than he could deny. 

Finally drawing back, Vince lowered himself fully on top of Stuart’s body. They both released sounds of pleasure at that first contact of skin passing over and against skin. Their bodies fit so perfectly.

"Stuart. Open your eyes."

Doing as commanded, Stuart smiled. Reaching up to cup Vince’s face in his hands, he kissed him once more. "Oh yeah. There it is. Still there, just for me."

"For us." Vince carded his hands into Stuart’s hair, controlling his head as he took his friend’s mouth with all the passion flowing through his body. They moved together in a quickening pace. Stuart smoothed his hands over the expanse of Vince’s back, coming to clasp his ass. The touch was accompanied by Vince’s murmur of pleasure. He lifted his upper body as he continued to move against Stuart, enjoying the friction of their hard cocks sliding together.

Pulling away again, Vince slid down along the length of Stuart’s body. Coming to a stop over the man’s hard-on, Vince whispered, "I’m going to taste you, Stuart Alan Jones." Vince thrilled to the sounds that escaped Stuart as he ran his tongue along the sides of his cock. So good. So perfect in length, thickness and taste. All he’d imagined and more.

"Vince!" Stuart gripped the blanket as he thrust slowly into the warm fire of Vince’s mouth. Shit, the feel of that mouth . . . of this man sucking him in. He reveled in the touch of Vince’s tongue as it played over him, the tightness created by the ring of his lips and knew that it was all he’d need to lose control. "Too close. Vince, too much."

Moving his mouth away to the chorus of Stuart’s cry of frustration, Vince lazily trailed liquid warmth down the inner curves of his thighs. He teased over the taunt skin of Stuart’s balls, down behind them and along the crease where Stuart’s legs met his body. His friend was breathing deeply, gasping with almost every touch of Vince’s tongue . . . only to cry out sharply as that same tongue moved down further to his ass. Vince spread Stuart’s legs to allow him greater access. Gliding across and around the small circle of Stuart’s opening, Vince moaned at the continuous stream of his name as it echoed from his friend’s mouth.

When he knew the time to be right, Vince rose to kneel between the embrace of Stuart’s opened legs. He ran his hands down the line of his own chest and stomach, playing over the length of his own hardened flesh. He was bigger than Stuart, but not by much and he ached to think of finding purchase within the man’s body. He reached to the side and found the small packets of lube and a condom that had been within Stuart’s pockets. Murmuring, "Ever the boy scout," Vince opened the lube and spread it over and into Stuart’s ass. His friend groaned with each stroke into his flesh as he lay back, biting his lips in an effort to relax and welcome in the pleasure that over-road any pain he may have felt.

"Oh fuck. Vince, just do it. I need to feel you." 

Vince leaned down to whisper into Stuart’s mouth, watching his face as he continued to stroke his fingers into his friend’s body. "So tight. Stuart you feel so good like this. How can you be so . . ."

Stuart growled as he felt a burst of sensation overwhelm his mind in a flash as Vince moved to stroke his prostate. Stuart reached up to grab Vince’s head, possessing his mouth as hotly as he could. Once the kiss ended, Stuart whispered, "It’s . . . it’s been awhile for this. Several months back. Just seem to end up on the other side." He choked out a groan as Vince once again brushed over the gland. "Vince, please. You inside me. It’s what I want." His words caused Vince’s eyes to darken while staying bright in the storm of their desire.

Not breaking the contact of their mouths, indeed meeting kiss for kiss all the while, Vince prepared himself for Stuart. Lifting his friend’s legs to his waist, Vince slowly moved into Stuart . . . their joining echoed in the play of Stuart’s tongue as it teased into his mouth in a matching rhythm. Vince cried out as he felt himself encompassed in the body beneath. It was an action so enriching to his heart that each stroke seemed profound. When fully encased, Vince met and held Stuart’s eyes as he continued to take them closer and closer to the edge. Whispering, "Stuart. So perfect," Vince felt the answering pressure of his friend’s arched body and the glide of Stuart’s own cock as it was pressed between their sweat dampened bodies.

Intertwining Stuart’s hand with his own, Vince reached down to stroke him. Stuart groaned loudly as his cock was worked in time to their thrusts. So much and yet not enough. They felt the glide of the wind against their skin, the friction of their joined bodies and heard the cries they made as each raced together to reach the fever’s pitch. And then it came like a lightening strike through both brain, body and soul . . . the culmination of their desire as first Stuart and then Vince clutched their lover’s body fiercely and cried out his name.

Moments passed and still they remained fitted together as their bodies absorbed the full brunt of their shared joining. Stuart kept his legs wrapped tightly around Vince’s hips even as the man came to lie fully against his body, their hands carded in each other’s hair and intertwined still against their bellies. When finally Vince had to move away from Stuart’s body, he moaned at the feeling of emptiness. Lifting his eyes from Vince’s flushed face to look for the first time since they’d begun at the sky, Stuart mentally shook his head at the perfection that shown above them in the night. . . for truly now it was almost nightfall. Shivering slightly as Vince pulled back to remove the condom, Stuart pulled him close once again. He rolled them so that he simultaneously could drape the large blanket over them and could lay over the length of Vince’s warm body. 


"Hmm, yes?"

"Still with me?"

Rubbing his stubbled chin against Vince’s nipple until the other man sucked in a harsh breath, Stuart replied. "Still with you, Vince. That’s never gonna change." 

Vince sighed tiredly. "Okay, but one question."

Stuart smiled against his chest. "I do believe the man who made me feel so amazingly brilliant has the right to a question. Ask away."

Vince bit his lip as he tried to find a way to ask without seeming desperate. Like that would be a new look anyway, he thought ironically. "Was this just a one off for you, Stuart?"

Raising his head, Stuart found that Vince was lying back with his eyes closed . . . a defense against whatever his friend’s answer might be. "Vince. Open your eyes." Once he’d complied, Stuart continued to look his full. Vince’s face held all the ravages of their passion: the slight scrap of Stuart’s beard along his cheeks, the full used look of his mouth and the damp sheen of their excretions. And those eyes . . . they had always been Stuart’s favorite part of Vince’s face. "Yeah, there’s that look again. I can still feel it, more so than ever before." Leaning down to kiss him, Stuart answered his question. "Never just the once, Vince. I’d already agreed to that before you touched me. You’ve had me, and now I want more." Pausing to see that his words had made Vince smile, Stuart confessed, "More than I ever knew I would."

Vince cradled Stuart’s head in his hands as he pulled him into a soft kiss that spoke of his appreciation. One day at a time. He knew it was not an easy course to love this man, but loving him proved reward enough. More than he ever had and more than he’d hoped. Feeling the languidness spreading out over his body in a wave answered by the quiet sprawl of Stuart’s body over his own, Vince whispered, "What about the jeep and getting back?"

"Hmm. Vince. Do us a favor. Close your eyes and drift . . . ." 

Chuckling slightly and loving the feel of Stuart’s wildly mess up hair brushing against his skin, Vince closed his eyes to the sensation of peace. Stuart soon followed.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"Blimey, will you look at that." 

Vince thought he heard Alex’s high-pitched voice, but that couldn’t be . . . not out here. I’m still dreaming, that’s all.

"Lord luv, I think the fresh air has poisoned my mind. I’m seeing things." He heard Hazel’s voice now too. Weird dream. Tightening his arms around Stuart in an attempt to fight off this unreality, he was jerked into wakefulness by the rumble of Stuart’s voice against his chest.

"Hazel, can’t you ever learn the meaning of timing? Jeez, first Barry Sheen and now this."

Opening his eyes to the sight of Hazel, Alex and Bernie standing in the dark at their sides, Vince had to groan. He watched as Stuart rose up slightly to look their way while still retaining Vince’s modesty with the blanket.

Surprise evident in her voice, Hazel asked, "How did? I mean, when . . . uhm. Why are you?"

Deciding to end her awkward stumbling, Vince finally spoke up. "Mum, hold off a minute. First, how’d you find us?"

Hazel managed to restrain her tongue enough to actually answer his question without asking more of her own. "Well, when you two didn’t show for the funeral and I couldn’t get you on Stuart’s mobile, we headed back. Half way to town, some old git on the side of the road waved at us. Alex made Bernie stop so he could blow him a kiss and the bloke started cackling something about getting two kisses in one day. Anyway he pointed out the way you two had turned and here we are. And there you two are . . ."

At the mention of the old man beside the road, Stuart had started laughing loudly as he fell back against Vince’s chest. Vince looked down at him and grinned in return. Stuart leaned up for a kiss, making their present position and turn of relationship more than obvious . . . as if being naked together wrapped in a blanket weren’t obvious enough. 

Alex sighed, "Oh my. It must be the second coming."

Breaking off the kiss with a chuckle, Stuart smiled at him and said, "Not till we get back to mine."

Vince shook his head in wonder at that. "Hazel, do we still have the can of petrol in the trunk?"

Rendered almost speechless . . . well almost, Hazel answered. "Yes."

Stuart said, "Now who’s the Boy Scout?"

Vince laughed, as he had to catch the blanket as it threatened to fall and expose them more. "Stuart, just shut your face. Hazel, leave the can by the jeep and we’ll see you in town."

Alex tisked, "Come on, you lot. We know when we’re being dismissed."

Both Stuart and Vince watched them leave, noticing also that Hazel slipped Vince’s mobile on the driver’s side of the jeep. After they’d gone, Stuart threw back their cover and turned to his lover. He traced his hand down the side of Vince’s face, only the light of the moon reflecting his eyes. "You got somewhere to go?"

Smiling warmly in the night, Vince answered huskily, "Yeah. Now . . . after so long, I think I do." With these words, he pulled Stuart close as a renewal of their contact and continuation of their lives’ journey at each other’s sides.

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