27 December 2016 @ 02:22 pm
Title: Icicle Magic
Author: [livejournal.com profile] matturemuser
Beta: My beautiful FB friend JV. Thanks love xxx
Pairing: Belldom
Prompt: Fireplace, Blanket, Frozen Pond
Prompter:[livejournal.com profile] mjartrod - Wishing you a very Merry Christmas/Happy Holiday/Brilliant Day! I hope you enjoy your gift. xxx
Rating: R/15
Warnings: Mentions of domestic violence, epic cuteness, sadness (tissues may be required), lots of words! (8K+)
Summary: Some places are magical and draw all the significant moments of your life.
Disclaimer: Matt not mine, Dom not mine. No offence ever intended - just playing with my dolls
Author's Note: 2016 has almost drawn to a close and I'm sure I'm not the only person cheering its departure. Despite the crap that the year has hurled our way, I need to express gratitude for a couple of bloody wonderful things that have snuck in. Firstly, I got to meet / catch up with so many wonderful Muse fans and fellow writers as I travelled through Europe. That was extremely special for me and I can't wait for my next trip to meet even more lovely people from this community. Secondly, I am having some wins with my writing outside of Museslash and hope to be able to finish my first novel soon. 2017 sounds like a good year to be published, doesn't it? If you're interested in following progress in that regard, please ask for my author page details.

But for now, enjoy the Christmas story...



His mum says he’s too compassionate for his own good. Always rocking up with strays that ‘followed him home’. Cute bundles of fluff and energy that you simply can’t say no to. The Howard household had accumulated quite the menagerie in a very short time and now boasted several birds, a couple of cats, a brand-new kitten and, of course, Icicle. Icicle had been daringly rescued by Dom after falling through the ice of the nearby pond, which hadn’t quite frozen over, early in the season. In a show of eternal gratitude, Icicle never left Dom’s side and could usually be found on his heels, walking the snowy path to deliver advertising catalogues crammed with Christmas specials to letterboxes along his street. Dom always went out of his way to keep them on the opposite side of the road to the pond whenever they passed, just to ensure that Icicle was not reminded of the trauma. Icicle was, in fact, quite oblivious to the pond, and only had eyes for her beloved master.

On Christmas Eve, Dom was running a little late, and chose to follow the path that ran through the woodland and past the pond. When Icicle began to whine, Dom kicked himself, immediately regretting his decision to take the shortcut. He went to pick her up to reassure her that she was safe, but she tugged hard on the lead as he bent and he lost balance, letting it slip from his hand. She took off, now yapping excitedly, a brown blur against the snow. Dom did his best to quickly scoop up the pile of post-Christmas sales brochures that had tumbled from his delivery satchel and started to follow the trail of dog prints that led around the pond.

As he rounded a clump of thick brush, he could make out the sound of someone sobbing. Footprints in the snow, coming from the opposite direction to Dom’s approach, appeared next to Icicle’s paw prints. He rounded the bushes warily, unsure of what he would find. There, sitting at the edge of the pond, huddled into a forlorn ball, was the frame of a small, dark-haired boy. Icicle was resting her head on the boy’s knees, which were drawn up close to his body. His head rested on his knees too, and Icicle was trying to lick his face to get his attention.

Dom set down his satchel and approached the pair slowly.

“Are you okay?” he called softly.

The boy looked up suddenly, startled by Dom’s voice. That was when Dom saw the blood. Above a pair of sky blue eyes that were currently filled with tears, a nasty cut dripped red streaks down the side of the boy’s face. Dom’s immediate reaction was to look around for an adult to assist, but they were alone. It was up to him to do something about this boy whose sad eyes looked at Dom as though unsure whether to count him as a friend or a threat.

Icicle nuzzled her nose into the palm of the boy, catching his attention. Dom noticed that he was shaking. His clothes were certainly not warm enough for this weather. Baggy jeans. No jacket. No beanie or scarf.

“My name’s Dom. This is Icicle. I think she likes you,” Dom took a step towards to boy, not wanting to alarm him. “What’s your name?”

The boy sniffled, pretty eyes now locked back on Dom.

“Matthew,” he shuddered out.

“You’re bleeding, Matthew,” said Dom, taking a step before bending down beside the boy, “What happened to you?”

Matthew flinched away from Dom’s hand when he stretched it towards the injury, then shivered violently. Icicle put her paw on Matthew’s knee and stretched her nose towards his face. Matthew looked into her big, brown eyes and calmed a little, taking a deep breath.

“Some big kids started followin’ me an’ calling me names. I tried to walk away like Mum says, but they followed me an’ pushed me an’ I got knocked over an’ I hit my head. They just laughed ‘n’ ripped off my jacket an’ my hat an’ my scarf.”

Dom had moved closer during this outpouring and caught this tiny boy, Matthew, in a hug when he burst into fresh tears. He was absolutely freezing. Fingers clutched desperately at the front of Dom’s jacket as he buried his face into Dom’s neck and sobbed. Icicle pushed herself up against Matthew’s side and nuzzled him, whining in sympathy.

Dom looked around again while cradling the sobbing Matthew in his arms. His house wasn’t far and Matthew needed to get warm. Dom’s mum would be home from work soon and would be able to help find Matthew’s family.

“Matthew,” he spoke into the dark hair of the boy who was still pressed against his chest, “can you walk? My house is close. I can find you a plaster for your head.” He seriously doubted that a single plaster would be sufficient for Matthew’s wound, which was currently bleeding all over Dom’s jacket, but he knew that the boy needed help and couldn’t stay out here in the cold without protection. Dom was relieved when Matthew nodded against him, and he quickly stood to help support the smaller boy. “That’s it. Lean on me.”

Dom shouldered his satchel and wrapped his other arm around Matthew’s waist. Matthew swayed as they set off, leaving Dom concerned that the head injury might be worse than he thought. He really hoped his mum wouldn’t be long. Matthew cuddled against him, teeth chattering and clearly feeling the bite of the cutting wind. Together they stumbled through the snow: one small blond boy trying to support a smaller brunet, while a little brown pup danced in concerned circles around them.

On reaching his house, Dom let them in and took Matthew straight to the fireplace. He settled his new friend on the rug in front of the hearth and quickly got a fire going, just the way his mum had taught him. This was the first year that she had decided to trust him with fire-lighting duties and he was extremely proud that he’d mastered the skill, particularly now, when it was urgently needed.

“Are you okay there, Matthew?” he looked over at the shivering boy, who nodded his head shyly. “I’ll just get this going properly then I’ll find a blanket and a plaster.” A dragging sound made them both look up, only to see Icicle backing into the room with Dom’s bedding caught firmly between her teeth. A rather miffed looking tabby trailed along behind them, having been disturbed from his nap on Dom’s bed. Dom laughed and jumped up. “Looks like Icicle has taken care of the blanket for me.”

Dom gave Icicle a pat on the head and took the blankets from her. He arranged them around Matthew until the smaller boy was entirely swaddled in warm fabric with only his face peeking out. His mum was going to kill him for getting blood on the blankets, but he figured this was a worthy cause. The cat, one of Dom’s adopted strays called Claude, gave Matthew a perfunctory sniff, then skulked away to find somewhere warm and soft to resume his sleep.

Once satisfied that Matthew was warmer, Dom excused himself to hunt down some medical supplies from the bathroom. His mother, Karyn, was a nurse who always maintained a well-stocked First Aid kit which had come in very handy for patching up the stray animals that Dom had ‘rescued’. This was the first time Dom had used it to tend to the medical needs of a human. He hoped his choices of wound cleansers and dressings were suitable for Matthew’s injury. If they weren’t, his mother would be home soon to fix his errors.

Back in the living room, where the fire was gradually taking the chill off the air and Icicle was snuggling into Matthew’s blanket heap, he found Matthew sitting forlornly, staring at the flames. His blue eyes flicked up to Dom as he settled in front of Matthew with his medical supplies.

“Hi. I’m back. Are you feeling warmer?” he asked softly.

“Yes, thank you,” Dom was pleased to hear Matthew’s timid reply without a hint of chattering teeth.

Beside Matthew, Icicle wagged her tail as though she was also pleased that Matthew felt better.

“I’ll need to clean your cut. It might hurt a little bit,” Dom warned Matthew as he edged closer with a sterile swab in his hand.

Matthew looked at him with big, blue eyes that made Dom wish there was some way of fixing Matthew’s head that would not involve inflicting more pain on him.

“I’ll be brave, Dom.”

Matthew physically steeled himself in preparation for the sting. Sensing the tension, Icicle snuffled her nose beneath the blankets, somehow managing to locate Matthew’s hand which tangled into her fur. The smaller boy flinched a little at the first dab of the swab, and Dom flashed a concerned glance at Matthew. The determined nod that he received encouraged Dom to continue and he had the wound cleaned up in no time. With Icicle supplying comfort and a little distraction, Dom applied the dressing to Matthew’s injury. When it was complete, Dom inspected his work, then, without thinking, planted a kiss on top of the dressing, just as his mother would do for his own injuries.

When he realised what he had done, he looked down into Matthew’s shocked eyes. His face flushed with embarrassment. What would his brand-new friend make of this? Yet, despite the shock, Matthew maintained his gaze and surprised Dom with a grateful smile.

Dom smiled back, thinking of a way to make this less awkward.

“I don’t know if I do Magical Mummy Kisses right, but it can’t hurt, right?”

This coaxed a proper smile out of Matthew.

“Thank you, Dom.”

Icicle wagged her tail while following their exchange, then she darted out of the room, returning a moment later with the soft toy that she had adopted from Dom’s collection in his bedroom. She pushed it against Matthew’s hand until he took it from her, smiling.

As Matthew fingered the soft fur of the toy leopard gift, Dom cleaned up the medical supplies.

“I haven’t seen you here before,” Dom said, “Are you here for the Christmas break?”

Matthew looked up at Dom, “We’ve just moved here. I start school soon.”

Dom smiled at this good news, then frowned, “Well, I’m sorry you got to meet some of the worst people who live here.”

Matthew smiled shyly, “Yeah, but now I think I’ve just met the best.”

Dom blushed and gazed down at Icicle, “I hope we’re in the same class.” Beneath Matthew’s stroking hand, Icicle squirmed about until she was on her back. Matthew immediately started to scratch her belly with long, pale fingers. “Hey!” Dom exclaimed, “You traitor! Usually she only lets me scratch her belly. She growls at everyone else.”

Matthew smiled up at Dom with those pretty eyes of his, “Really? She’s such a sweet pup.”

“Yeah,” Dom agreed, not taking his eyes from Matthew, “I think she really likes you.”

Matthew blushed, a pink stain flooding his pale cheeks.

“Well,” he followed the movements of his fingers on Icicle’s belly, “I really like her, too.” He finished this statement with a look that landed on Dom’s face.

For a moment, they looked at each other shyly, their new friendship taking root.

“Dominic? You home?” a tall blonde woman bustled into the room, taking in the scene of a very happy pup, a collection of blankets and medical supplies and of a pair of boys on the fireplace rug.

“Mum!” Dom jumped, “This is Matthew. He got bullied and hurt by some big kids near the park so I brought him home to fix him.”

Dom’s mum regarded her son fondly, then made her way to their unexpected visitor to check Dom’s First Aid efforts.

“Hello, Matthew,” she said gently to the small boy, peeling back the dressing to inspect the injury, “Luckily Dom’s had lots of practice patching up all the strays that he rescues around here. It looks good.” Then she pinned Dom with a stern stare. “Dominic, we can’t keep this one.” A smile softened her teasing words, and both boys giggled.

“Aw, but Mum,” he faux-whined.

“It’s nice to meet you, Matthew. You are most welcome at our house,” she shook Matthew’s pale hand.

“Thank you, um, Mrs… um… Dom’s Mum,” Matthew belatedly realised that he didn’t know his saviour’s last name.

“Mrs Howard, love. But I don’t mind if you call me Karyn. Anyway, let’s get you home. Your mum will be worried about you.”

Only Dom heard Matthew whisper, “I doubt it.”


***

Icicle raced ahead, following the tracks in the snow that led to the edge of the pond. They were Matt’s, without a doubt, the distinctive pattern of the shoes a giveaway. Though why Matt was at the pond instead of at church with his family for Christmas Eve, Dom had no idea. After all, despite being the most un-Christian man that Dom had ever had the misfortune to meet, Matt’s dad was dogmatic in his observance of church protocol. How that reconciled with regularly getting drunk and beating up the woman and child you profess to love was anyone’s guess. Dom couldn’t count the number of times that Matt had turned up at his place after trying to defend his mother from the latest assault, only to have received his own set of injuries. Dom and his mother had nursed Matt through many, many bruises, cuts and a fractured arm during the years that they’d known him. Dom had seen Matt in tears on his knees in front of his battered mother, begging her to leave her husband. But she had always shaken her head and kept herself hidden away in the house until the bruises faded and the injuries healed.

Dom had become Matt’s rock, often just holding him while he cried. More recently, though, Matt had stopped crying. Now he was silent, angry, frustrated. But he still let Dom hold him as they gazed out over the pond, Matt’s escape from the ongoing trauma. Their friendship ran deep, built on the knowledge that Dom was the only person, other than Dom’s mum, privy to Matt’s family life. This friendship was reinforced by the way Dom and Karyn confidentially guarded that knowledge despite desperately wanting to report the bastard to the authorities. Dom’s dearest wish was that Matt could move in with his mother and him. His mum had even suggested as such, but Matt was determined to stay to protect his own mother. Tiny Matt, who was still as delicate a creature as when Dom had first found him bruised and bloodied on the bank of the pond. At least no further assaults had come via the town thugs, largely due to Dom’s passionate protection of Matt. His friend had enough to deal with at home, so Dom made sure no harm came to him from any other direction. He just wished he could make this stop.

Dom had assumed that Matt was in church with his family, a safe place for him to be while Dom was unable to be there. Dom, himself, had just finished work at the supermarket and was heading home to spend a quiet evening with his mum watching Carols by Candlelight on the television. It had been Icicle’s excited bark that had alerted him to the footprints. She had met him as he walked towards his house, as she did every evening when his mum let her out to greet him. It was the only time she was not walked on her lead and she loved the freedom.

Dom’s heart leapt into his mouth when he saw spatters of blood alongside the dual trail of human and dog prints. Icicle’s whining now reached his ears and he did his best to speed up in the sucking snow. He rounded the bushes and gasped. Matt was crumped on the ground, his face bloodied, his lip split, twin streams of red pouring from his nose. He lay awkwardly, cradling an arm, and whimpering in pain.

“Matt! God, Matt! What’s he done this time? Jesus!” Dom swept down to examine his friend.

“Do-” Matt tried to speak, but with his lip so damaged he couldn’t manage.

“Fucking hell,” Dom fretted. He didn’t even know whether he should move Matt. “Oh god! Your mum! Is she okay?”

Matt began to sob.

“No’ tha’,” he choked out.

“Shhh, don’t talk. Can you walk if I help you?” Dom waited for a weak nod before helping Matt to his feet, wrapping his arms around his friend’s thin body. He was shivering violently.

Once standing, Dom realised that Matt was also limping quite severely and supporting him was a challenge. They struggled through the thick snow to Dom’s house. Icicle bounded on ahead, barking urgently so that even before they reached the stairs, Karyn came racing outside to help him. Dom rarely saw his mum rattled; her nurse’s training usually kicked in to prevent any visible reaction. But this time, her eyes widened and her lip quivered before flattening into an angry line.

“Ambulance,” she said flatly, brooking no argument. They had been here before but Matt had always convinced her to back down. This time, however, he nodded meekly.

They waited inside, Matt wrapped in blankets and comfort in front of the Howard’s fire until the ambulance arrived. Icicle had planted herself on his feet on the rug, providing her own brand of comfort. He didn’t speak, but silent tears ran down his cheeks as he stared into the flames. Dom, as always, stayed by Matt’s side, gently rubbing his back. Dom could hear his mum talking to the police on the phone and looked at Matt.

“I’m sorry, Matty. We have to,” he hated betraying Matt’s trust, but this had gone way too far now.

Matt finally made brief eye-contact.

“My faul’,” he mumbled through swollen lips, “Shouldn’a tol’ hi’ I’b gay.” Dom stared at his best friend, who had gone back to staring into the fire, a fresh tear tracking down his bruised cheek. He looked lost, defeated. He took a shuddering breath, “He kicked be ou’.”

Dom’s heart broke. His sweet, gentle friend who only wanted to protect his mum had now had that taken from him. The revelation that Matt was gay came as no surprise to Dom and had no bearing on their friendship. Dom just wanted to engulf Matt in a hug, squeeze him until the pain went away, but he didn’t dare put any pressure on his friend’s body when his injuries were so uncertain. Matt was still nursing the arm which Karyn had placed in a sling. She had surmised that Matt had probably broken his collar bone rather than the arm this time.

Dom looked up at Matt’s battered face and reached for the uninjured hand that was peeping out of the mound of blankets. He held it tentatively, worried that moving any part of Matt would cause him more pain. Matt’s gaze tracked to where Dom had carefully placed his hand beneath Matt’s. Icicle had taken interest in the movement and stood to snuffle her nose into their joined hands. Matt’s fingers wiggled to acknowledge her efforts, then he raised his eyes to Dom's face. Dom had no words of comfort to offer his friend so he very carefully lifted Matt’s hand to his lips and pressed a kiss to his palm. Matt’s damaged face softened into a semblance of a smile. Dom returned it ruefully.

“Magical Mummy Kiss?” Dom offered weakly.

“Better,” Matt breathed, “Much better.”

***

Dom stared out over the pond, gently ruffling Icicle’s fur. He always felt closer to Matt when he stood on the banks watching the light flakes of snow swirling down to rest on the ice. It had been a year since he’d seen his friend. Matt had been released from hospital into the care of his grandmother and disappeared from the town. Dom hadn't heard anything from him since.

His heartbreak still felt as fresh as the day he'd walked into the hospital to find Matt’s bed empty. It was that sterile white sheeting that had made Dom realise just how deeply his feelings ran for Matt. Matt had come out to his family with disastrous consequences. In contrast, Dom had talked things over with his understanding and supportive mum and had come to the gentle realisation that he, too, was attracted to the same gender. Specifically, he was attracted to Matt. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame.

Matt had filled his dreams all year, Dom often waking up yearning for his friend’s touch, longing to see his face and, on many occasions, disappointed to find that the wet dream he’d been enjoying was only that. He deeply regretted that they had not kissed. He’d wanted to kiss Matt in the hospital, but Matt’s lips had been so swollen and damaged, Dom had been afraid of causing him pain. Instead, he had kissed Matt’s uninjured hand every time he had visited and every time he’d left, pleased to see the smile that this brought to Matt’s face. But then, Matt was gone. No word. No forwarding address. No phone number. He’d vanished from the face of the earth.

Dom often wondered what had become of Matt and whether he felt the same way about him, but they had been torn apart before they had a chance to explore that possibility. Matt had already accepted his sexuality back then. Perhaps, in the year that he had been gone from Dom’s life, Matt had met someone and was in a relationship with them. Perhaps he had lost his virginity. Perhaps he’d completely forgotten about a boy named Dom from the town where he used to live.

Icicle looked up at him soulfully, as though she was picking up on his thoughts. She leaned against him and gave him her best doggy smile. Dom scratched her head distractedly, grateful for her company when he was feeling so low. He sighed. He should probably head home and get the fire started so the house would be warm for the night. His mum had accepted a few months of night shift at the hospital to boost their income leading up to Christmas, so he was home by himself. There were frozen meals waiting to be microwaved, but otherwise, an empty house. Maybe a Netflix binge would keep his mind off his loneliness.

Icicle’s ears suddenly pricked up as he was scratching. No doubt she had detected the movement of a desperate squirrel or something and was preparing to bolt after it so he tightened his hand on her lead. Dom was surprised when she began to whine, and then bark and turned to see what had her so excited. There, standing behind him, was a blue-eyed, dark-haired vision.

“Matt?” he whispered.

Icicle made a lunge for her long-lost friend and succeeded in dragging Dom forward a step.

The vision smiled brightly.

“Yeah. Hi Dom,” he bent down to pay attention to the pup going crazy at his feet, “And hello to you too, missy.”

Dom couldn’t take his eyes from the boy in front of him. He’d grown. Not a lot, he was still smaller than Dom, but compared to the tiny boy that Dom had last seen in a hospital bed, it seemed significant. His hair was darker too, dyed black and cut into a much shorter style than Dom remembered. The changes had a rather powerful effect on Dom, whose body decided that it very much liked this more mature and confident Matt.

Matt stood up again, leaving Icicle dancing around his feet, and faced Dom.

“You’re real?” Dom breathed, immediately feeling like an idiot. Of course he was real.

Matt smiled broadly, then bit his lower lip, lowering his gaze.

“I missed you,” came the words that Dom had never imagined he would hear. Pretty, blue eyes looked up shyly at Dom through dark lashes, making his breath catch. Despite the warmth of his jacket, goose-bumps flared over his skin.

Matt took a tentative step towards Dom, avoiding Icicle in the process, and looked up at him with such longing that Dom swayed towards him. They reached for each other without thinking, Matt’s arms wrapped around Dom’s neck and Dom’s encircled Matt’s slim body. Dom closed his eyes as Matt burrowed his face into his neck, the sensation of ‘rightness’ overwhelming him. The scent of Matt’s hair filled his nostrils, reminding him of past hugs like this, when Matt used to cling to him. Those hugs were different, though equally as desperate.

“I didn’t think I’d be seeing you again,” he murmured against Matt’s temple. “Are you really back?”

Matt pulled away a little, but kept his arms firmly around Dom’s neck.

“I’m back with Mum. He’s been jailed,” his tone was abrupt and hostile, his eyes hard. But then he looked at Dom, really looked at him, and his gaze softened, “I’m staying. For good.”

Dom smiled, an action that caught Matt’s attention, blue eyes locking onto his mouth. Dom had never been kissed before, but he had no doubt what was going through Matt’s mind as he swiped his tongue over his plump lower lip. Time slowed as Matt cupped the back of Dom’s head and brought a hand to cradle his cheek. And then
his world came to a standstill as Matt pressed his lips to Dom’s. Nothing mattered except the soft, pliant contact between sensitive mouths. A shared sigh marked the acceptance of the special something that had always lingered between them.

It was over too soon, both moving slightly apart with foreheads pressed together.

“Matt…” Dom breathed Matt’s name in awe, having no words to describe how good he was feeling.

Matt’s thumb brushed the corner of his lips.

“I’ve wanted to do that for years,” he murmured.

Dom inhaled sharply, “How long have you known you were, you know…?”

“Gay?” finished Matt, fingers playing in Dom’s hair, “Since I started getting hard whenever you held me.”

Dom flushed, taken aback, “I – I never knew.”

“I didn’t exactly advertise it,” Matt smiled wryly, “and with everything happening at home… I didn’t want to lose you.”

They gazed at each other, Matt trying to read Dom’s reaction, Dom trying to process what Matt was saying. All this time he’d been wondering whether Matt was attracted to him and he’d missed what was in front of his face. Dom caught sight of his friend’s soft lips again, and was suddenly desperate to show Matt how much he meant to him and that Matt was never in danger of losing him.

Infused with sudden confidence and buoyed by the knowledge that Matt wanted him in the same way that Dom wanted Matt, he cupped Matt’s face and pulled him into another kiss. This one was less tentative, both realising that they could give in to their mutual attraction. When Matt’s tongue sought access to Dom’s mouth, he didn’t hesitate in deepening the kiss, despite not having a clue what he was doing. Matt took care of any inexperience on Dom’s part by guiding them into a wet, intimate exchange that began to promise so much more than sweet kisses.

Matt’s hands slipped down his arms and wormed beneath Dom’s. Their multiple layers of warm clothing made it difficult to get physically closer, but it didn’t stop either of them from trying. When they finally parted, rosy cheeked and breathless, Dom’s only thought was that they needed to go somewhere more private.

“Come to mine,” he whispered, urgently.

“Your mum?” Matt replied, with equal fervour.

“Night shift.”

Matt’s smirk made Dom’s insides flutter. He didn’t know what Matt had been up to in their time apart, but his friend had obviously been exploring his sexuality in a way that Dom hadn’t had the opportunity to. Matt’s confident kissing and handling of Dom surprised him as much as it excited him.

“Come on then,” Matt took his hand and started to lead the way, only to trip over an excited Icicle who had been feeling rather neglected throughout their snogging session.

Dom giggled, managing to catch Matt before he fell, his role as Matt’s protector jumping into place without a thought. Matt might be more experienced than him in matters of physical intimacy, but Dom still felt compelled to look after his smaller friend. Matt’s smirk was replaced by a sheepish grimace, but he recovered quickly and linked their fingers as they made their way to Dom’s house.

Dom had intended to light the fire to warm the house up, but the second they got inside the door, Matt pinned him against the wall, seized his mouth in a kiss and began to peel his jacket off. This arrangement suited Dom just fine as he was feeling more than just a little warm with Matt taking such a forceful lead. Deciding to follow suit, Dom tackled the zipper on Matt’s jacket and soon had it sliding off his small frame despite them undertaking the task while joined at the lips.

Shoes were torn off. Scarves carelessly tossed onto the side table. Jackets didn’t quite make it to the coat rack. Matt steered Dom into the living room and dragged him down onto the rug in front of the fireplace. Dom found himself rolled onto his back and straddled by his best friend. All the images that had filled Dom’s wet dreams suddenly swamped him as Matt peeled off his remaining layers of clothes leaving him bare-chested in the chilly air of the house. The sight of Matt shirtless was not new to Dom, having spent many summers with his friend at pools and beaches. But this was a very different scenario. This time, Matt was shirtless for him, inviting Dom to touch his flawless skin and his small, pink nipples which had hardened with the cold.

Dom breathed raggedly as Matt ground down on his groin. As Matt lowered himself over Dom for another kiss, Dom gave in to the temptation to touch, sliding his hands over Matt’s chest and over his shoulders as he moved closer. Dom found himself caught in a dominant kiss, Matt pressing his body flat to Dom’s and causing all sorts of delicious friction inside Dom’s jeans. When he next became aware of his actions, Dom realised that his hands had settled on Matt’s pert bum. Matt was holding Dom firmly in place, an arm around his neck and a hand in his hair, to engage him in a series of hot, wet kisses. Dom was totally overwhelmed and offered no resistance when Matt began to tug his shirt up his stomach.

They both jumped a mile when the phone rang, loud and shrill, over the top of their panting. Dom moaned at the interruption, but knew that his mum would be checking that he was alright. If he didn’t answer, she would send a search party for him.

“Matt,” he mumbled against Matt’s mouth, “I have to get it. Mum…”

Matt leaned back, surprising Dom with his lust-flooded eyes. Did he look like that too?

“Sure. I’ll call my mum, too. Can I stay over?” he asked with unexpected shyness.

Dom couldn’t help the smile that spread across his face.

“Absolutely! Don’t want to let you go now.”

Matt planted one more kiss on his lips, then let him scramble to the phone. His mum was thrilled to hear that Matt was back and was more than happy for him to stay the night. He promised to make up the spare bed for Matt then wished his mum a drama-free shift and said goodnight. Dom felt a little deceitful, but his mum understood he harboured feelings for Matt. And it wasn’t like he was planning to go all the way with Matt, was he? This brought Dom up short.

He glanced across the room to where Matt was talking on his mobile to his mum. Dom couldn’t help but admire his lean torso and pale skin. Matt hadn’t given any indication of where this was going but he had shown no hesitation in removing his shirt first and had initiated the same with Dom.

Feeling a little anxious, Dom made his way to the fireplace and went about building a fire that would quickly warm the living room. Giving Matt a smile, he went to his room and dragged his mattress, complete with two indifferent cats and attached bedding, out to the rug. Icicle, of course, leapt straight onto the comfy nest as though he’d brought it there specifically for her benefit. Cats scattered to avoid her special brand of doggy love. He pushed her off and tried to coax her onto her own little dog bed in front of the fire, but she ignored him completely and went to see if Matt would give her some love.

Dom smiled as Matt automatically bent to pat her while continuing his call. He took the opportunity provided by the phone calls to visit the kitchen and throw a frozen pizza into the oven. With drinks in hand, he returned to the living room and tidied up the bed so they could eat in front of the fire. The activity kept him warm in the chilly room, but he could already feel the fire starting to do its job.

Matt finished on his phone call and stowed his phone in his shirt on the floor. Icicle immediately began sniffing around to see whether he had left something edible for her.

“All good. Mum says hi.”

Dom smiled, pleased that Matt’s mum remembered him.

“Please tell her I said hello later.”

Matt walked over to him, looped his arms around his neck and walked him backwards until he was up against the wall.

“Much later,” he whispered and pressed his lips to Dom’s once more.

“We should probably eat something,” Dom managed to pant out between kisses, although eating was the last thing on his mind as Matt melded his body to Dom’s front.

“Mmmm, yeah,” Matt mumbled a reply then resumed kissing, his hands slipping beneath Dom’s shirt. Dom’s brain short-circuited at the sensation of Matt’s long fingers caressing his bare skin, sliding up his stomach and over his chest. “Can I take this off?” Matt pushed impatiently at the fabric.

Desperate to have skin on skin, Dom allowed Matt to dispose of the fabric barrier. When his face was free of the shirt, he found Matt staring at his body appreciatively. Had Matt been looking at him like this before he left the previous year? Surely Dom would have noticed. Matt put an arm around him and flattened his other palm on Dom’s chest, then trailed his hand down to rest over his nipple. Dom felt like he was on fire, every part of him calling Matt to touch him more, kiss him more and hold him like he’d never let go.

Dom gasped as Matt gently squeezed his nipple between thumb and forefinger. Matt looked up at him intensely. Matt’s eyes had always been arresting, but when he looked at him like that, Dom felt like a puppet just waiting for his master to pull on the strings. Then Matt lowered his head and licked the tight bud that he’d been teasing.

“Oh, my god! Matt!” Dom had never experienced anything like it before and was stunned to find just how sensitive his nipples were to Matt’s flicking tongue.

“Dom,” Matt growled in a voice that reduced Dom’s knees to jelly, “come here.”

He pulled Dom to the mattress and urged him to lay back, sinking into place across Dom’s hips. He wasted no time in capturing Dom’s mouth in another kiss while pressing their bare chests together. Hands roamed naked skin while their tongues slipped together in exploration of hot, wet mouths. Dom’s hands were drawn once more to Matt’s bum, cupping his firm buttocks through his jeans as Matt began to gently thrust against Dom. Hard flesh meeting hard flesh through a fabric barrier brought Dom officially into wet dream territory and his body heated accordingly. He moaned into Matt’s mouth, his body aching for a speedy release.

With Matt busy sucking and licking his neck at that point, Dom was very confused to feel wet licks to his cheek. A concerned whine made him snap his eyes open, to find Icicle hovering over him looking very worried about what was happening.

“Icy, baby. Go lay down! Please! Ohhhh!” he tried to get her out of his face even as his body was pushed towards the edge by Matt’s thrusting and grinding.

Without faltering in his rhythm, Matt looked up to see what was wrong and grinned.

“It’s okay, Icy. He’s not in pain,” then, with smouldering blue eyes, he looked down into Dom’s wide pupils and murmured, “he’s just going to come. Right. Now.”

Dom cried out with release, Matt moaned as his own body erupted, Icicle barked excitedly at all the excitement and the oven timer rang in sharp counterpoint to create an unexpectedly noisy climax. Icicle tried to squirm her way in between them, barking and whining in confusion. Matt softly chanted Dom’s name as he rode out his orgasm. Dom did his best to remember how to breathe as his body came down from a high such as he’d never experienced.

He dropped his head back, submitting himself to Icicle’s frantic licking and sighed in contentment. The oven timer continued to buzz, determined to break the mood. When Matt finally looked up at Dom, he was wearing the most satisfied, relaxed smile that Dom had even seen on his friend. Icicle greeted Matt with a sloppy kiss which he tolerated with a screwed-up face. Dom weakly pushed her away with a giggle. The giggle became louder when Matt joined in. Within seconds, they were laying side by side on the mattress with fingers linked and laughing like a pair of toddlers.

Turning his head to gaze at the blue-eyed boy who had stolen his heart, Dom smiled. A sweet, dimpled grin flashed back at him. Stolen his heart? No. It was gladly given.

Dom adjusted his damp jeans a little self-consciously, and jerked his head towards the kitchen.

“Pizza?” he asked, rolling onto his side to face Matt.

Matt reached out to touch his cheek before he could move. He leaned up and pecked Dom’s lips.

“I’d love some.”

Dom knew he wasn’t talking about pizza.

***
Dom stared morosely at the shadows stretching across the ice on the pond, though the only thing he was seeing was the image inside his head. The image that had been haunting him for the past two months and had thrown his life into chaos and depression.

He’d heard the voice of the man at the checkout that night.

“I don’t suppose you know where I could find Matt Bellamy?” he’d asked.

Dom’s ears had perked up. Who was this person asking for his Matt? He peeked around the edge of the aisle where he’d been restocking shelves prior to closing. There was a bloke, early twenties, fit, tall, blond with an arse to die for, facing the counter. Amy obliviously told him the name of the café where Matt was working and that he was probably about to finish up for the night. The blond had thanked her and turned to leave with his bottle of Coke, giving Dom a good look at his face. Unsurprisingly, it had matched the rest of the package. The man was gorgeous. But who was he and what did he want with Matt?

He had quickly checked the time. Amy and Ethan, the manager’s son, had been responsible for closing the shop, meaning that Dom had been free to escape and follow the man to find out what was going on. He had quickly finished up and rushed out of the building. Matt’s workplace wasn’t far and they usually met up after they both finished. That night had been an exception, as Matt had said that he had a commitment with his mum leading up to Christmas.

As Dom had arrived at the corner opposite the café, he’d seen Matt leave the building. The blond man must have been waiting in his car, as he had appeared suddenly and approached Matt. Matt had obviously recognised him. He’d given a smile of recognition and had started to speak to the man. Smiling and speaking had been cut short, though, when the man took Matt into his arms and kissed him thoroughly. Dom had felt sick to his stomach as he watched Matt’s hands appear on the man’s upper arms. He couldn’t pull himself away as the man walked Matt backwards to press him against the wall in the darkened space towards the rear of the café.

That had been enough for Dom. His boyfriend of ten months had been betraying him and he was the stupid idiot who hadn’t known.

He glanced down at Icicle, who had been glued to his side since he’d come home in tears that night. Things had really gone to shit from there.

He’d fired off an angry text to Matt, asking how his tall blond ‘commitment’ had gone with his mum. He’d deleted every one of Matt’s replies and removed his number from his phone. He’d refused to answer when Matt had called and ignored him when he’d pounded on the door to Dom’s house. He’d mastered all manner of evasion techniques to ensure that Matt never cornered him at work or anywhere else. Every letter that had been left for Dom had been discarded, or, more recently, burned in the fire.

Destroyed. Like his trust.

He’d given Matt everything: his trust, his virginity, his love. Yes, he’d told Matt that he’d loved him. It hadn’t mattered that Matt hadn’t said the words in return. Dom had thought that he felt the same anyway. Until that night. Then he’d understood why Matt had never made that commitment.

Dom’s mum was worried about him. He was losing weight. He’d lost interest in everything. It was only evening walks like this with Icicle that took him from the house when he wasn’t required at work. He ran his fingers through her fur. She was starting to get a bit grey now, and she walked a lot slower, but she still liked to have a play in the snow during their walks. He had taken her lead off as he sat by the pond. These days she rarely took off after stray squirrels, so he wasn’t concerned. As such, he was surprised when she cocked her head and wandered off to investigate something that caught her attention. He didn’t get up. She wouldn’t go far and he could always follow her tracks.

“Icy, come on, back here,” he called half-heartedly.

He couldn’t hear any excited barking, so he figured she hadn’t found a squirrel, but thought he should investigate anyway. He stood up, ready to follow her, only to find her rounding the bushes behind him. She trotted up to him, looking expectant, and sat down squarely in front of him. That’s when he noticed something tied to her collar. With trembling fingers, he reached for a little roll of paper that had been tied on with red ribbon. Even without opening it, he knew who it was from. What surprised Dom, was that Matt hadn’t approached him directly if he knew he was here.

It was for that reason alone that Dom decided to read the note.

Dom, I love you. With all my heart. Please, PLEASE hear me out. Yours always, Matt

Dom cursed himself as he felt tears well in his eyes. He didn’t want to hear what Matt had to say. The hurt was still too intense. But…

Movement from the corner of his eye caught his attention and he looked up to see Matt crawling around the bushes in the snow on hands and knees. His hair had returned to its natural rich brown over the year, but Dom could see that he, too, had lost weight. Matt really couldn’t afford to lose weight. Dom inwardly rolled his eyes. That protective streak that he’d always had towards this boy had never gone away. Matt approached warily, finally looking up at Dom with sad, blue eyes that broke Dom’s heart without a word being spoken. He remained on his knees but sat back on his haunches.

“Please,” he begged, softly, “I can’t go on like this. I need you. I need your love. Please, let me explain.”

The tears that had been threatening finally spilled down Dom’s cheeks. He extended a hand to Matt who took it eagerly and threw himself into Dom’s arms. His small body felt so good, so right. Dom held Matt’s head and pulled him closer.

“Come back to mine. You’re soaked,” blue eyes looked up at him hopefully, “We need to talk, Matt.”

With hands tentatively linked, they followed Icicle back to Dom’s house where the smoke from the fire was already curling skyward.

***

Dom had been crouching in front of the stone, with its fresh mound of soil, by the pond for so long that he’d lost feeling in his legs. Tears had frozen on his cheeks and snowflakes had gathered in his hair. The soil was gradually being covered in a layer of soft snow. He was cold but he didn’t care. He ran his hand tenderly over the stone, brushing the flakes away as though that would delay the inevitable.

“I’ll miss you,” he whispered.

Footsteps crunched up behind him. A blanket was wrapped around his shoulders. He was urged to stand and pulled into a tight hug by the man that he loved. More tears fell. Tears for a friend who had been through so many of his life’s ups and downs and who had stood by him with love and loyalty.

Thankfully, a few years before, she had also opened his eyes to the love and loyalty from another friend who had been with him just as long. Her trust in Matt had encouraged Dom to listen and realise that Matt had never been unfaithful. Those few moments that he had witnessed outside the café had not given him the complete picture of an ex-boyfriend who hadn’t wanted to let go. It hadn’t shown him Matt struggling and pushing the blond man away. He had missed the angry exchange and Matt’s rejection of the blond. He certainly hadn’t heard Matt professing his love for a boy called Dominic who had owned his heart for years.

So, Dom was extremely grateful for his little dog who had saved their relationship, and even though he had to bid farewell to his beautiful Icy, Dom knew that he had Matt to catch him and hold him steady until he was ready to move forward.

***

It had been a year since Dom had lost her. He’d missed her terribly at first, but Matt had been his rock and had provided love, support and distraction until he was left only with the happy memories. To commemorate her passing, he’d brought a little collection of Christmas ornaments out to lay about the stone that marked her resting place.

Matt said he would join him there to share in the remembrance, so he settled in to wait for him, gazing out at the pond. The pond where Dom had found Icy. The pond where he’d found Matt. Several times in fact. This place was just a little magical really. He looked up at the light snow covering on the trees and felt a few flakes catch on his lashes. He smiled, feeling at peace.

Light crunching in the snow marked Matt’s arrival but he continued to look out at the pond, smiling in contentment. An arm wrapped a blanket around him, then held him tight, warm, familiar and reassuring. A kiss was placed between his shoulder blades.

“Hello my beautiful snow angel,” came Matt’s soft voice at his ear.

Dom smiled, leaning his head against Matt’s. That was when he felt an odd wriggling behind him. A whimper had him spinning on the spot. There, nestled in the arms of his best friend and lover, was a tiny ball of white fluff with a black button nose and big brown eyes.

“Merry Christmas, Dom,” Matt held the puppy towards him tentatively, “I – I hope this is okay.”

Dom looked up into Matt’s uncertain eyes and tried to stop tears from welling up, because he wanted to reassure Matt that this was more than okay. He wrapped his hands around the warm, little body and drew it close to his chest. As soon as he had the puppy tucked into the blanket, he wrapped a hand around Matt’s neck and pulled him in for a kiss. Matt sighed into it, a puff of air from his nose warm against Dom’s cheek.

“What’s her name?” Dom finally asked, leaning his forehead against Matt’s.

Matt smiled, shaking his head.

“That’s totally up to you. I hope you like the collar I chose,” he nodded towards the squirming pup.

Dom automatically looked down at the collar in question. There, nestled in amongst soft white fur, hanging from a chain collar, was the warm glow of a gold ring.

Dom looked up in time to see Matt fall to one knee. Dom was nodding and crying tears of happiness before his lover even spoke a word.

Merry Christmas, from Icicle
 
 
Current Music: Nothing But Thieves - Excuse Me
Current Mood: content
 
 
( Read comments )
Post a comment in response:
From:
Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
User
Account name:
Password:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
Subject:
HTML doesn't work in the subject.

Message:

 
Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.