Martin tipped his head back, shielding his eyes as he squinted up the steel beam to focus on the seat swaying gently above him. Ever since his lover suggested they check out the carnival he'd had a nagging feeling he should say no. What business did two grown men have at this celebration of all things childish, anyway?
Another frisson of unease worked its way up his spine when he caught sight of Stephen's face. He looked like he'd set eyes on the Holy Grail. “Please tell me you're not serious?”
"Just one ride.” Stephen knew his boyfriend's patience was limited at best. He was surprised he'd been able to coax him to the fairgrounds in the first place.
"You do know these things aren't safe.” Martin's grumbled protest was half-hearted. At least his lover hadn't tried to get him on the roller-coaster. He didn't need to add nausea to his list of complaints. “Fine, one ride, then we're leaving.”
"But, we haven't even eaten yet.” Stephen's face crumpled. “I wanted to go through the funhouse, and I need to win you a stuffed animal.”
"You need to do no such thing,” Martin protested. “I'm not a fourteen year old girl. Let's just get on the damn ride.” He couldn't help but smile at the way his partner grabbed his hand to tug him into the line, bouncing excitedly from foot to foot as they waited for their turn to board.
The safety bar snapped in place with an almost ominous click and then they were moving, jerking up and back with a lurch that had his stomach leaping.
"Isn't this great?”
"Depends on your definition of great.” The words were faint, and Stephen was surprised to see sweat beading his usually oh so in control boyfriend's brow.
"You're really scared.” Stephen's grin stretched from ear to ear. “I never though I'd see you worried about anything. Who'd have thought a silly carnival ride would get you so hot and bothered.”
"I'm not bothered,” Martin muttered. “I'm just alert.” His eyes remained firmly riveted on the ground dropping away under his feet at an alarming rate, wondering if, perhaps, the roller coaster might have been a better choice.
Strong fingers grasped his chin, tipping his gaze away from the tiny figures rushing to and fro to rest on Stephen's peaceful smile. “There are advantages to being up here, you know.” The husky whisper sent a puff of warmth against his lips moments before they were covered by his lover's soft, slightly chapped, pair.
Martin gratefully melted into the kiss, wrapping his arms around broad shoulders and surrendering himself to the sensation. When they finally slowed to a stop after three circuits he shoved a handful of bills at the startled attendant. “We want to keep riding.”
At some point he realized they'd stopped, but it wasn't enough to pull him out of the erotic haze he'd fallen into. After a few more minutes, or maybe hours, he pulled back to peer down at the controls. “He must have gone on break and left us up here.”
"I wouldn't worry about it,” Stephen whispered. “We did want privacy. It's hours before closing, he'll be back soon to let us down.”
"But what if . . .”
Martin heard it first, an insistent hiss he couldn't quite place. The tangy whiff of ozone that followed had the small hairs rising on the back of his neck. Colored light danced along the steel as he pulled his lover back into their kiss.
"So passionate,” Stephen husked.
"I want to spend the rest of my life kissing you.”
"You're sweet when you exaggerate.”
"I wish.” The words nearly died in Martin's throat, and he quickly sealed their lips together. The electricity coiling lazily in the air coalesced into one jagged stitch of brilliant white that momentarily connected the couple to the heavens.
The seat continued to swing gently long after the steam had dissipated and the confused attendant brought it back down to find it empty.