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Zane turned the sign to close in the door as the last customer left with a bag of new classics. He smiled, turning off the light in the window and watched Jiminy jump from his perch and rush to the stairs in the back of the store.

Zane headed for the drawer, ready to make the count for the night and when he was finished he reached beneath the counter for the envelope he’d been hiding.

He’d been saving for this for the last few years. After all the bills were taken care of, the inventory was up to date and the mortgage, he would set some of the extra income to the side for safe keeping. It wasn’t that they were hurting for money, Zane just wanted to do this on his own without dabbing into their joint income. He wanted to do this for Ty. From one husband to another.

“Dinner will be ready in 30!” Ty called from the top of the stairs. Zane smiled. He pocketed the envelope and leaned on the banister.

“I’m going to do a bank drop, I’ll be back in 10!” He called and Cricket raced down the steps to rub at his long legs.

“Grab gummy bears, I’m out,” Ty poked his head out with a grin and Zane chuckled nodding at him.

“Sure thing, doll. Anything else?” He asked, cocking his head.

Ty hummed, before smiling warmly, “Get that tingly lube CVS ha-”

“No, call me if you need me,” He said, turning his back on Ty.

“Love you!” Ty called after him just as the front door snicked behind him.

The air was crisp and cold, but no longer did the temperatures make him miserable, they rather sparked memories of a creaking USS Constellation, soft music, and Ty.

The bank was just about to close when he slipped through the doors and he painlessly put funds into the bookstore’s account as well as his and Ty’s, and his separate one for what he’d been saving for.

“Getting cold out there,” The teller smiled at him.

“Yeah,” He smiled warmly, bidding goodbye.

He stopped quickly at the convenience store for the gummy bears before heading home.

“Don’t eat that, Zane is going to take your toys away again,” He heard as he slipped in the back. He laughed, climbing the stairs soundlessly and finding Ty in the kitchen.

“I come baring bears,” Zane announced and Ty looked over his shoulder with a wide grin.

“Lube?” Ty asked.

“We have some.”

“But the tingly-”

“Yes, I got the lube,” Zane laughed, dropping the bag on the table and sidling up behind Ty.

“I’m using the recipe Ryan gave us the other week,” Ty told him, stirring the red sauce. Zane sighed happily, pressing his lips to Ty’s neck while he rubbed circles over Ty’s belly.

“I love you,” Zane told him softly and Ty chuckled glancing at him over his shoulder with a cocked eyebrow.

“What’s not to love, I cook and I’m gorgeous,” Ty teased, bumping back into Zane. Zane smiled, holding him closer and squeezing him.

“And so humble too,” Zane told him, amused.

“And talented,” Ty added.

“Whatever you say, Meow Mix,” Zane laughed, pulling away to grab plates from the cupboard. “I’m closing the bookstore for the weekend,” He tossed over his shoulder, setting the table. He heard the stirring pause before continuing.

“Why?” Ty laughed.

“Are you really asking right now?” Zane asked, faking offense and Ty raised a brow at him.

“Of course I know why, I’m just confused as to why the whole weekend,” Ty said.

“I’ve made plans this year for us,” Zane shrugged.

“Okay,” Ty blinked at him. Zane stared back without flinching. “Care to explain?” He asked when Zane made no move to tell him anything.

“No,” Zane laughed, bending down to pick up Cricket who had been rubbing at his ankles.

“Don’t hide behind the children, coward,” Ty hissed.

“It’s a surprise!” Zane argued, turning away with the cat.

“I hate surprises!” Ty called after him. “Dammit, Garrett! I’m making you dinner, tell me!”

“You’ll see tomorrow!” Zane shouted back from the bedroom.

“Fucking surprises,” Ty growled, turning back to the red sauce.

***

They were on the road by morning. Zane had packed Ty a bag, Ty had checked and repacked that bag and Zane had forced Ty to leave the children with Clancy.

“I can’t believe you made me abandon them,” Ty muttered from the passenger seat.

“They’ll be fine. You’ll see them in two days,” Zane sighed.

“You don’t just leave your children, Zane. That’s bad parenting,” Ty shot at him.

“Sorry, dear,” Zane drawled. Ty raised a brow in accusation and Zane chuckled, reaching over to lace their fingers. “Try to sleep. We have a few hours.”

“Hours? Zane!” Ty argued and Zane kept smiling, turning on the radio.

As Zane had promised, they turned down a small town’s back road a few hours later. Ty woke when the pavement turned to gravel and he squinted into the trees as they drove.

“Where are we?” Ty asked tiredly, rubbing at his eyes.

“Chesapeake Bay,” Zane said, glancing over with a smile.

“Baby,” Ty smiled warmly, leaning his turned head on his seat.

“We’re almost there,” Zane chuckled low as they crawled through the trees and sparse housing. As they drove through the break, the bay came into view and Ty smiled softly, scooting over on the bench seat of Zane’s truck and leaned his head on his shoulder, the afternoon sun warming them both in a golden blue glow.

“Came here when I was a kid. Always wanted to come back,” Ty said softly, taking Zane’s hand and squeezing.

“I’ve heard good things,” Zane nodded, finally taking a last turn into a private drive and coming up on a wide span of tree littered property with a small but quaint little white house right on the water.

“Zane,” Ty gasped softly, glancing over at him. The water was frozen near the shore, but the blue was endless, the sun bright and strong.

“Happy anniversary, doll,” Zane smiled, parking in the gravel drive. Ty smiled wide, turning in the seat and tackling Zane against the door. They kissed in the warmth of the cab, Ty not quite able to climb into his lap, but for now, this was enough. At least until he got him inside.

“I love you,” Ty kissed over his face. “So much,” He smiled, pulling away and Zane ran his thumb over Ty’s cheek before tugging at his ear.

“Let’s get the cooler inside and then we can test the beds in this place,” Zane suggested and Ty was out before Zane could unbuckle his seatbelt.

“That . . . was so not subtle at all.” Ty told him grabbing things out of the car with a wide grin. He carried them over to the front door then glanced back at his husband.

“You wanna unlock the door maybe?” He asked with his arms full.

Zane gave him a once over, setting everything he was carrying down and sliding the key into the lock. It opened with a twist. Before Ty could walk in Zane moved closer and in a moment hefted him up, sweeping Ty off his feet.

“What the hell!?” Ty demanded dropping his bag to the ground so he could hold on to Zane’s shoulder.

“Tradition.” Zane told him carrying him in over the threshold and into the house, then kissing him slowly before letting him down.

“You know that’s a newlyweds thing for a new house right?” Ty asked looking a little smitten none the less.

“We’re close enough.” Zane said going back out to grab their things and close the door. They quickly unloaded the essentials, filling the fridge with food for later.

“I have no idea where or when you had time to come up with all of this but thank you.” Ty told him tossing an empty plastic bag out as they put away the last of their things.

Zane smiled. “Here and there. It’s been an idea for awhile now.” He admitted.

When he caught Ty’s glance he felt heat bloom in his cheeks. “What?”

“Nothing.” Ty said too innocently, sauntering over. “It’s just that my husband brought me up to a cabin on the bay for our anniversary.” He paused and move closer until his lips were just brushing the shell of Zane’s ear. “And I really want to take him to bed and thank him for it.”

“So what’s stopping you?” Zane gasped body curling in towards Ty’s. He felt Ty grab him by the loops of his jeans and tug him towards the door.

The afternoon sun was bathing the bedroom in a warm glow despite the cold outside the windows. Zane loved Ty in this lighting. The easy brightness brought out the play of colors in his eyes and the glow of his tanned skin. Wordlessly, Zane pressed him into the mattress and kissed him softly.

“Baby,” Ty murmured to him, his lips moving against Zane’s and Zane met his eyes as he moved down Ty’s neck and chest, tugging at his shirt as he went.

Ty’s breath was heavy as he watched Zane. It’d been years, but he never tired of seeing Zane crawl down his body with those dark, heavy eyes before taking Ty into his mouth.

“I want-” Ty requested, motioning for Zane to crawl over him so Ty could pleasure Zane with his mouth as he did the same, but Zane smiled softly and shook his head.

“Just you right now,” Zane whispered, unzipping Ty quickly and tugging his jeans over his hips and down to his thighs before licking a long stripe up the underside of Ty’s hardening cock.

“Fuck,” Ty’s head fell back on the bed, his hands tightening in the bedding and his hips rising to meet Zane’s tongue.

Zane licked first, not taking Ty completely until Ty’s hips were moving at their own accord. Zane smiled against his hip before planting his palms over Ty’s stomach and wrapped his lips around the head of Ty’s cock. He swirled his tongue for a moment, earning himself a moan before suckling carefully and that soft moan turned to a loud groan.

“Please, I need-” Ty started, his hands going to Zane’s growing curls. Zane took him deeper.

Zane hummed around him, easing himself into it and loving the weight of Ty on his tongue. He bobbed, allowing the tip of Ty’s length to massage the back of his throat. Ty’s moans were breathless and heavy and his fingers were lost in Zane’s hair, no longer paying mind to how hard he was pulling.

“Baby,” Ty moaned, his hips moving more erratic. His breathing was sharper and he curled up, arching over Zane as he came with a shout. His hot cum coated the back of Zane’s throat and Zane pulled off a bit, spreading the mess over Ty’s length, using the flat of his tongue to clean it off while Ty watched him, his sensitive cock jumping from the sight and feeling of it.

“Come here,” Ty shivered, pulling at Zane’s shirt as he rose. His clothes went over the edge of the bed with Ty’s and Zane ended up at pillows, his back against the headboard and his legs spread out before him.

“Ty,” He bit his lip, Ty’s hands spreading over Zane’s thighs before he climbed over his lap, lube in hand.

“Let me take care of you now,” Ty whispered, dropping the lube on Zane’s stomach so he could cradle Zane’s face in his hands and kiss him deeply.

“I love you,” Zane said against his mouth. Ty hummed against his lips and reached for the lube, quickly coating Zane’s throbbing cock.

“I adore you,” Ty told him as he rose on his knees, positioning Zane’s length and sitting back on it. Ty’s spent cock stirred against Zane’s abdomen and Ty stirred his hips, grinding back on Zane and using their bodies to massage his own hardness. Zane moaned into Ty’s ear and Ty smiled, wrapping his arms around Zane’s neck and pressed their bodies flush. There was no space between them as Ty worked Zane, rocking and circling his movements, massaging Zane through his pleasure.

“Please,” Zane gasped, wrapping his arms around Ty and holding him close, pressing his lips to Ty’s to steal open mouthed, messy, desperate kisses.

“Come for me, baby,” Ty hissed to him, scratching his nails down Zane’s neck. Zane groaned, his hips rocking under Ty and his arms tightening in his movements.

Ty felt his second slight orgasm peaking as Zane’s cock massaged his prostate. He bit down on Zane’s shoulder, trying to hold off until he could feel Zane pulse inside of him.

“Ty,” Zane gasped, his muscles clamping down and his mouth searching. Ty kissed him as he came, letting go at the same time and coating their stomachs, smearing over their muscles as they moved together.

~*~

There was a large lounge seat near the windows of their bedroom, it gave them a clear view of the sun setting over the bay, warmth of color bleeding into icy water as twilight floated down after. They had settled there after, too lazy to dress again after they had cleaned one another with a warm cloth. Zane carried Ty over to the seat, laying back with him in his lap, dragging the covers over both of them.

“I have something for you.” Ty said after a long, comfortable and quiet moment.

“You didn’t have to get me anything, doll.” Zane protested sleepily as Ty moved to get up from under their shared cocoon of blankets. He walked over to his bag, searching for something before pulling out a wrapped package.

“Of course I didn’t have to.” He teased lightly before his voice turned softer and more serious as he sat down next to Zane again. “But I really wanted to.”

He handed the parcel to Zane, nodding for him to open it.

Zane sighed happily, sitting up to lean against the arm of the lounge. He spread his fingers over the top before moving them into the seam and carefully removing the paper. Beneath the wrapping was an old leather book. Well, it looked old, but the paint was fresh, gold strokes mixed with burgundy and black over the brown leather. There was a composition of two trojans on the cover. It looked like an old greek kylix with the simple title beneath it.

“The Illiad,” Zane murmured, running his fingers over the artwork. He opened it, seeing the weathered words.

“I had it made for you. It’s a rebind, had the artist custom make the cover,” He pointed to the figures on the cover, forcing Zane to close the book. “You know Achilles?” He asked.

“The hero?” Zane asked. He’d always meant to read The Illiad, it was just something he’d always put off. It was such a commitment with its length.

“Yeah, he had a friend from childhood. A partner. Patroclus was with him for most of his years. He wasn’t a hero, just a prince turned slave. But Achilles loved him. It’s said that they may have been lovers,” Ty explained, leaning his chin to Zane’s shoulder. “When they died, their ashes were mingled in burial, their souls bound in Elysium.”

“I’ve never felt gayer than I am right now,” Zane chuckled, repeating the words Ty had said in the past. Ty snorted, smacking his thigh.

“Gayer than when I was balls deep in your mou-” Zane cut him off by pushing him back against the cushions of the seat.

“You talk too much,” Zane growled playfully, rubbing his slight beard against Ty’s neck, earning him a shout of laughter.

“You should read it to me.” Ty said after his laughter subsided, looking up at Zane with his boyish smile.

“I’d like that,” Zane smiled softly, resting his chin on Ty’s chest.

“Should I give you your present now or later?” Zane hummed and Ty raised a brow, his smile wavering.

“There’s more than just the vacation? What the hell, Garrett?” He chuckled, his stomach kicking a slight flip.

“It can wait,” Zane smiled, rolling off Ty and standing.

“You can’t just mention it and not tell me!” Ty argued.

“You don’t like surprises,” Zane shrugged, walking out into the open living space of the cottage completely naked. Ty followed for multiple reasons.

“Exactly, so tell me now!” Ty growled.

“I’m gonna let you sit on it for a bit,” Zane chuckled, turning to steal a kiss before going to start a fire in the large stone fireplace.

“Pun penalty,” Ty glared.

“I wasn’t even trying!” Zane laughed.

“I’m getting food,” Ty muttered, turning for the kitchen.

A few hours later, they lay over the rug in front of the blazing fire with empty plates sitting off to the side. The windows had gone dark and Ty was laying with his head in Zane’s lap. Zane held The Illiad in his hands, his low drawl echoing the words pressed in ink.

He was so absorbed in the words that Ty’s sudden touch startled him as he ran his fingers lightly over Zane’s jaw, looking up at him.

“What is it?” He asked putting the book down.

“Nothing it’s just. . .” Ty trailed off with a rare shy smile before saying what was on his mind. “Your eyes have a hint of gold in this light. I just thought that was beautiful.” He said then blushed when Zane stared at him moved. “It’s nothing, keep reading.” He insisted.

In lieu of words Zane turned his head to kiss the back of Ty’s hand where it was still resting against his jaw.

“You make me so happy,” Zane whispered in the glow of the fire and Ty smiled softly, sitting up just enough so that he could press his lips to Zane’s. Zane smiled against his mouth, his hand coming up to cradle his head so he didn’t have to strain as much.

“I want to live in this moment forever,” Ty said softly, nuzzling at Zane’s chin, nipping at his jaw.

“We can,” Zane said, catching Ty’s wondering lips. “We are.”

***

They woke in the late morning, Ty’s head buried beneath his pillow and Zane spread over his back, leg nestled between Ty’s and face pressed to his shoulder.

The chill was stinging Zane’s naked back and he shivered, pulling the covers up and wrapping them both up in them as he wrapped around Ty more securely.

“Garrett,” Ty grunted, struggling to turn in his embrace. He was only able to manage settling on his side and he sighed, wrapping both of his arms around Zane and fit their bodies together quite perfectly.

“Sleep,” Zane murmured, sleep still clouding his mind. All he knew was the warm body pressed to his and the soft lips playing over his throat and under his chin.

“Don’t you have anniversary plans to spoil me with?” Ty laughed.

“This is the plan. Sleeping.”

“You’re so romantic,” Ty drawled.

“I really am,” Zane grunted, opening an eye.

“Yeah,” Ty agreed anyway, smiling. He sighed, fitting his head under Zane’s chin.

“I figure we can go fishing whenever we get up. The ice doesn’t reach the end of the dock.

“I’d like that,” Ty smiled against his skin.

“Maybe take a trip into town. There’s some shops you might like. Candy stores, outdoor depot.”

“You had me at candy,” Ty said. He could feel Zane’s responding laugh against his cheek and he smiled.

***

“Oh no way, I haven’t seen these since . . . I must have been twelve or something.” Ty said picking up a little box and shaking it happily right in front of Zane’s face. “Hell that was probably the last time I was up here.”

“What are they?” Zane asked moving his face back a little smiling.

“Rinky Dinks” Ty said then immediately regretted it when it became apparent that Zane was holding back from laughing. “Whatever smart ass pun you just thought of I want you to forget it.”

“I didn’t say anything Doll.” Zane protested still grining.

Ty gave him a suspicious glance but let it go, moving back towards the candy display. By some happy coincidence Mara had mentioned that they had spent summer vacations here and Zane happened to have found a piece of his husband’s happy childhood. He was considering how he was going to give Ty his anniversary gift when Ty’s voice pulled him over to a different aisle.

“Look what I found!” He said pulling a lollipop out of a display. Zane groaned when he saw the name printed above it. “Zaney Cane”

“Ok this pun you can make, no penalty.” Ty told him smirking.

“No thank you.”

“Wait really? Why not?” Ty demanded “It’s perfect.”

“Let’s just say they were popular in Texas when I was a kid and I’ve heard it all before.” Zane said staring at the candy like it had personally insulted him, he had never cared much for peppermint either.

“Pity we could have sold them at the counter of the store.”

Zane snorted a laugh. “Not happening.”

Ty nodded easily already glancing around again, something just past Zane’s shoulder caught his eye and he laughed. “Oh we have to get these for Irish.” Zane followed his gaze and started laughing as well. “Now you just have to find one for Doc and you’re all set for wedding gifts he teased.” Watching as Ty grabbed a vintage looking candy-bar stamped with “Old Nick” in curly white font.

Ty gave him a look like it was the best idea ever. “Is there such a thing as a “Kelly bar?” He asked.

“No idea darlin’.” Zane said as Ty took off looking for one, a true definition of a kid in a candy store.

“We’re coming back for the Zaney Cane.” He called from somewhere closer to the front of the shop. Zane briefly considered shoving the whole box behind something else before sighing and walking back to the front. The little valentine's day candy display caught his eye and he stopped in front of it. Whatever it was about Ty that made him turn into a total romantic sap, he wasn’t going to question it, not when it felt this good. He passed by the old fashioned candies and kept walking, a little idea already forming for another occasion.

They scoured the sidewalk shops, collecting small nothings here and there to fill their home. Now that they had found something that resembled normal, they wanted to fill their lives with memories.

“We should go hiking sometime,” Ty said, eyeing the climbing gear at the outdoor outlet and Zane lifted a brow.

“And have a repeat of-”

“Shut up,” Ty sighed, turning away from him and Zane chuckled, sliding his arms around Ty from behind.

“Should we get dinner and get back to the cottage?” He asked suggestively.

“Or we could just get back to the cottage,” Ty purred, fingering the under armor he’d been looking at.

“Or that,” Zane laughed softly. “You want to make anymore stops?”

“Hmmm,” Ty hummed, turning in Zane’s arms and sliding his hands up his chest to grip his neck. “I’d just really like to get you to myself.”

“I think that can be arranged,” Zane smiled, leaning down to kiss Ty softly.

They walked back to the truck just as the snow began to fall. Zane watched Ty walk, their hands locked. Sometimes Ty would do something to steal Zane’s breath. Moments like these when Ty paid no mind to those around him. His face was tilted to the sky, letting the flakes caress his face. The wind blew his growing hair from his forehead and he turned his head slightly to lift his eyes to Zane with such a soft easy smile, Zane couldn’t help but tug him to a stop and press against him for another kiss. Life being out and married was something Zane couldn’t have ever imagined being this fulfilling.

“I love you,” Zane whispered against his lips and Ty smiled, pulling away to nuzzle Zane’s cheek.

“We have an audience,” Ty whispered. Zane glanced to where Ty was looking at a few groups of people that were looking. Some somber, some disapproving. Zane stopped caring a long time ago.

“Good,” Zane said, turning back to Ty and pressing his lips to his more firmly before pulling away with a smack to the ass.

“Jesus,” Ty snorted and let Zane lead him back down the sidewalk.

“They wish they were this happy,” Zane grunted and Ty chuckled, sliding his arm around Zane’s waist.

***

“Thank you for this, Zane. I didn’t know I needed this,” Ty said, closing his eyes as he buried deeper into the bed and Zane’s arms. “We should do this again sometime. Rent another little house like this for a week in the summer or something.”

“We don’t have to,” Zane murmured softly, warmth spreading through his chest and he smiled. Ty answered him with silence for a moment before lifting his head to look at him.

“What do you mean?” He asked and Zane breathed, running his hands up Ty’s arms.

“This is your present,” Zane nodded. “It’s ours.”

“The house?” Ty blurted loudly. He sat up fast and his eyebrows were practically at his hairline. “You bought the house?” He practically screeched. Zane felt nervous for a moment, his stomach giving a flip.

“We’re getting older. We have the bookstore, the cats. I wanted to get us something to escape to. Somewhere we can go to when the bookstore and the backdoor dealing got to be too much. Somewhere we can bring the guys for summer weekends and Nick and Kelly can take trips from Boston and park The Fiddler at the end of the dock,” Zane ducked his head. “I’ve been saving-”

“Jesus, Zane,” Ty gasped. He was shaking his head but his shock slowly morphed into an astonished smile. “I can’t believe-” He stopped at a loss. Zane sat up with him, curling around him and pressing his forehead to his husband’s.

“You’ve filled my life with so much happiness. You’ve given me purpose and family. You gave me the bookstore as a symbol of a life without a gun or threat. A future. And now it’s my turn. I want us to have this as another part of our future. A branch of safety and escape and maybe even somewhere we could retire to,” Zane told him. He smiled, pressing his nose to Ty’s cheek. “I love you, Beaumont.”

“God, this is so much better than my stupid book gift. Gonna have to up my game next year,” Ty laughed.

“I don’t need anything,” Zane laughed. “I have everything I need right here and in that old building on Ann Street.”

“I love you,” Ty sighed, closing his eyes. “Now if we could just sell those Zaney Canes on the counter-”

“No.”