Claims To The Contrary
by Shrift

Sol smiled when Seth walked in the door, and he kept smiling until his eyes focused on the piece of tin on Seth's chest. Seth didn't say anything, just ducked his head and waited for it. Sol was the only person who could make him feel like a boy who had done something wrong; he knew things without Seth saying a word, or maybe Seth just liked to think so because he wasn't overly fond of talking.

"It's late," Sol said. "You going to stand there all night?"

"It didn't enter into my plans for the day," Seth said.

Sol looked up from where he was locking the door, his eyebrows high. "You had plans?"

Seth felt a laugh tickle his belly. "Things might have gone a bit more smoothly if I had."

"You worried me there for a spell," Sol said. "Hate to think you meant to do most of what you accomplished today." He put down the keys and picked up the lamp, and went up the stairs. Apparently they were forgoing the storeroom cot this night, and his aching body was grateful of it.

Seth followed him up. Their boots rang loud on the steps. "Anyways."

Sol put down the lamp and undressed, the light making the angles of his body misshapen for a moment before they became familiar again. "How's your hand?"

Seth flexed the extremity in question. Skin was red and swollen across his knuckles, and it pained him some as he worked at his buttons. "Bones seem to be whole."

"That's good news." Sol pushed Seth's clumsy hands aside and unbuttoned his waistcoat, loosened his tie. He stepped back then and watched as Seth took off his belt and gun, and folded over his jacket so the badge wasn't winking at him. Seth sat on the bed to get at his boots; the bed creaked and rustled as Sol climbed onto the other side finally and slid under the covers. When he was down to his union suit, Seth put out the lamp and got in next to him.

"So you and Mrs. Garret?" Sol asked, his voice sly.

"Hm," Seth said. He was glad of the dark, because he suspected his complexion was flushed.

"Wasn't sure you knew what to do."

At that, and tired as he was, Seth rolled and trapped Sol underneath his body. "Now, now -- you *know* I know what to do, unless you got some complaints I ain't heard while you were busy moaning and groaning."

He didn't need light to see Sol's grin. "Women got different parts, Seth. That's all I meant."

"Sure you did," Seth said.

Truth of it was, Seth didn't have much experience with women. He was always keen to be busy, but females were a different kind of work altogether, a kind Seth didn't wholly understand. Sol, now, he was the charmer. He could talk his way into a woman's bed for good, but mostly he got them to lift their skirts instead. Never dallied with one for long, either, although that was a subject to which Sol never seemed to pay much concern.

Lot of things didn't concern Sol like they should have, including Seth's temper.

"We both got ours today," Sol said. "You sure you're up for another tumble?"

"If it'll shut you up," Seth told him. His eyes were growing accustomed to the dark. He could see the wild spill of Sol's hair on the pillowcase beneath his head.

Sol looked as though he was thinking it over. "Past experience suggests that's unlikely."

Nothing to do for it but laugh, so Seth did, and then kissed the smiling fool underneath him. Sol seemed agreeable to that, and kissed him back. In spite of his claims to the contrary, Sol didn't keep talking, just let out this quiet little noise in his throat that always made Seth feel like he was shaking inside. Seth put his hands in Sol's hair and kissed him again, kissed his jaw and his throat, while Sol's fingers slipped open the buttons of his union suit. Sol got his own buttons after, and then they were touching chest to crotch, skin warm and so much smoother than the rough cloth of the sheets.

Sol took him in hand, squeezed his cock just how he liked, and Seth kissed him hard and deep in thanks. They rubbed against each other slow and easy, sharing breath. Seth slid his hand between them and rested it on Sol's belly, feeling him quiver beneath his palm. When he lingered too long, Sol bumped up his hips and bit Seth's lower lip, his sleepy eyes telling Seth to damn well hurry it up. Seth didn't have a difficulty with obliging. Sol came with his face pressing against Seth's shoulder and Seth's hand on his cock.

A moment later, Sol blinked his eyes open and smiled, his face flushed. "That was right nice of you, Mr. Bullock."

"Shut up and return the favor," Seth said, groaning when Sol's fingers stroked his cock, his touch light and nothing but a tease. "You'll be the death of me."

"Oh, I doubt that," Sol said, and tightened his grip.

Seth closed his eyes and felt his body hum as Sol went to work. His fingers were clever and knowing, and Seth wanted it more than just about anything. Sol kissed his neck, his moustache a familiar tickle on his skin. Seth grunted, and Sol slid his other hand inside Seth's union suit, scratching at his lower back and then squeezing his ass. Seth chuckled at that, and then a moment later, Sol's mouth and fingers took him over the edge.

Afterward they shifted onto their sides and fixed the covers, their heads sharing a pillow. Sol wiped his hand clean and yawned, his jaw popping.

Being with Sol was the easiest thing he'd ever done, nothing awkward about it now, just something comfortable that Seth needed like breath in his lungs and food in his belly. He kept talking about bringing his family from Michigan, Martha and the boy. He intended to soon as it was safe, soon as he built a home for them. But he'd known Sol longer than he'd known just about anybody.

"Never give you up," Seth said. "Not for anything."

"You might," Sol said. He brushed his hand over Seth's hair.

"Nope," Seth said. It was something he'd stand firm on, should his wife ever see to demand it.

Sol patted his head again. "Some day."

Seth raised his head from the pillow. "You trying to be rid of me?"

"You'd know if I was," Sol said.

Seth couldn't stop the smile, so he hid it in Sol's shoulder. "You'd put a price on me and set me next to the chamber pots."

"Best be on good behavior, then," Sol said.


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