Note: Though we've set our story in Ireland because it was the right background for these men as we've developed them in later stories, we are no experts on the situation there, and we apologize in advance for any errors we may have made. We certainly in no way mean to depreciate what the people in Northern Ireland live with or to advocate terrorism in any form.

The Luck of the Irish

Angyl & Orithain

February 2002

April 1988

It had been a long day--a long year actually if he was willing to think about it, which he most decidedly was not--and the last thing Devlin Rourke needed was to feel the light fingers of a pickpocket trying to relieve him of his wallet. He was tired enough that he actually considered letting the kid get away with it, but he just couldn't let it go. Sighing, his hand clamped down on a wrist, and he looked coldly down... and down farther. It really was a kid.

Wide, startled, sea-green eyes stared up at him for a moment as the kid, who looked to be about thirteen, tried to get free, then started cursing fit to make a sailor blush when he couldn't break Devlin's grip.

Looking at him, Dev knew he should turn the kid in to the police, but he was so young he couldn't make himself do it. But what the hell was he going to do with him? He couldn't just let him go; as an officer of the law, undercover though he was, it wasn't a viable option.

"Where's yer family live, boyo?" he asked, sighing. So much for going home and enjoying a good stout.

"Go bugger off," Quinn snarled before hauling back and letting his foot connect soundly with the not so drunken man's shinbone. Using the big man's startlement at the sudden pain, the much too old for his age thirteen-year-old slithered and shifted and slipped from his would-be mark's grasp like a greased eel, running as fast as his not so long legs would carry him.

Cursing as violently as the youngster had, Devlin took off after him, his much longer legs eating up the distance between them. Despite the boy's creditable attempts to evade him, Devlin managed to catch hold of the slippery little bugger, and he picked him up, tossing him over his shoulder. One arm clamped over the kid's legs to keep him from kicking, and when he tried to bite, Dev simply bounced him on his shoulder, distracting the boy with his stomach's distress.

"Yer choice, boyo. Home or the coppers?"

"Go t'the hell God made for all ye IRA bastards!" Quinn tried to snarl, even though it came out more as a yelp. "I'd like to see t'likes of ye walkin' into the constabulary t'turn me in. Ye'd be the one arrested, and well ye know it. Now ye'd best be lettin' me go afore I start screamin' how ye was tryin t'do disgustin' things ta me!" Saying that, young Quinn O'Malley filled his lungs to their capacity to start screaming at the top of his lungs.

Devlin again bounced him on his shoulder, knocking the air out of him, and he thought fast. The men he'd just left in the pub wouldn't hesitate to shoot the lad if they thought him a danger, and he certainly couldn't take the boy to the constabulary, as he'd so rightly pointed out. This was rich. Here he was, a member of MI6, and he couldn't walk into a police station because everyone, his family included, thought him a member of the IRA.

Quickly deciding that his only option was to take the boy home with him, action instantly followed on thought. Fortunately nearby, he had the kid inside his apartment and the door locked before the youngster caught his breath again.

Realizing that the boy would make a break for it the instant he let go of him, Devlin carried him into the bedroom, intending to take the belt off his robe to tie his hands.

Quinn's eyes grew wide, and a tiny whimper made its way from his throat. "Jaysus, Mary, and Joseph. Y'really do fancy boys then?!" All of a sudden the youth began to struggle for all his worth, trying to get away.

"All right, all right, y'win. I'll tell ya where I live ... jest don't be doin' anything t'me. I'm not that kind of a lad!"

"Ye're not... Jesus! I should be washin' yer mouth out wi' soap! Ye're a child!" Disgusted, offended and appalled that the boy would believe that he... Devlin couldn't even make himself think it. He set the boy on his feet and stepped back. "Get out," he said wearily, turning away and going back to the living room to get a drink.

Quinn glanced nervously from the man to the door and back, then began edging his way to the way out. However, his curiosity, as always, got the better of him, and he paused for a second. "How... how did ya know I was liftin' yer wallet? No one's ever been able ta feel me do it afore. They teach ya to feel pick pockets as well as make bombs?" he asked quietly, not trying to be insulting but feeling some of the old bitterness rise up when he least expected it.

Seeing the stiffening of the older man's back, the just-teen edged closer to the door. "I'm sorry. Me aunties all say me mouth runs ahead where my brain's afraid t'go. I'll just be gettin' out of yer hair now. Won't be sayin' a word. Won't even be recognizin' ye on the street, I promise!"

"Ye should pick yer targets better, boyo. Most would have killed ye, thinkin' ye t'be a damned English spy," Devlin suggested, neatly avoiding the question of how he'd caught the kid. He could hardly say, "Well, ye see, British Intelligence taught me to do it better than ye can yet, but ye're pretty damn good for yer age. Want a few tips?" He snorted softly into his whiskey, almost wishing he could. It sounded like the boy had lost some of his own to IRA bombs, like Devlin himself. However he doubted the lad's had been lost while setting the bloody things.

"It's not like anyone would miss me really," Quinn admitted quietly. "I'm just another mouth t'feed at an already over-full table, an' I'm not even really theirs. They do all right by me, just like the rest of them did, but I just keep gettin' m'self into trouble. It's why I couldn't be lettin' ya take me home. I'd just be packed up and shipped off to another set of relatives and this time probably in the country. Belfast may not be much t'look at, but it's a city at least, and I can always hope I'll find a way out of here," the titian-haired youth admitted with sad honesty. He was very well aware that those that loved him best had left him all alone a very long time ago, and until he was old enough to fend for himself, he'd continue to be a burden on those who didn't really want him. That was just the way of things.

"Guess I'd best be goin' now. Thank ye fer not... turning me in." In truth he'd been about to say something a little more crude, but he honestly didn't think that this man was the type of pervert he'd accused him of being. Not really.

Not quite sure why he was doing this, unwilling to admit to himself just how lonely he was, Devlin offered, "If ye want something to eat first, there's plenty in the kitchen. I never could get the knack of cookin' for one. Help yerself." He didn't look up from his rapt contemplation of the amber liquid in his glass, not wanting to see the first person who'd been in his home in months leave. Even his family didn't come by, nor did he visit them often, not since Timmy'd died. He wasn't quite sure who was blaming who, but he wasn't comfortable since they were still staunch supporters of the IRA and he was working to bring them down. What a mess for a good Irish lad to find himself in.

"I..." Quinn couldn't say yes but didn't want to say no. He could hear something in the other man's voice, a something that he heard in his own private thoughts far too often... loneliness and the need to not be alone anymore. "Y'can cook? I thought it was the women that were s'posed to cook while the men went out and made the money and such. At least that's what me uncles always yell at me aunties when they get high on themselves and such."

Well, it wasn't a no, and it was as close as he could get to being a yes without sounding too needy and desperate.

Devlin snorted, then choked and coughed when the whiskey went down the wrong way. When he could breathe again, he laughed wryly. "Sounds like yer uncles need t'realize it's the eighties. Me mam made sure all o' us boys could cook when we were still in short pants, and I'm grateful ta her every day. We're not like the damned Yanks with TV dinners and whatall if we can't do for ourselves, ye know."

He stood up, very graceful for such a big man, and headed for the kitchen. "I'm goin' ta heat up some beef stew." He left it to the boy whether he stayed. "And my name is Devlin, no' any o' those interesting things ye were for callin' me earlier, boyo."

"Well, ye are a big bugger, there's no gettin' around that," Quinn smiled shyly, tagging along after the older man, still a little on the skittish side but warming up to Devlin and, more importantly, the idea of a hot, home-cooked meal.

"And me uncles ain't exactly wi' the times. Me da an' mum were both the youngest of their families, and there were a whole lot of brothers and sisters on each side. Stayed with most of 'em at one time or another since me parents were killed when them bast... when a car bomb went off next t'where they were walkin'," Quinn amended, trying very hard to be polite to the man about to give him a meal. A man who was very obviously IRA.

Standing just inside the kitchen, Quinn watched Devlin move around the kitchen with an economical familiarity, heating the stew and setting out two bowls and some fresh sliced bread. His stomach growled appreciatively at the smells, and he ducked his head, embarrassed. "Haven't been home for a while. Me uncle threatened t'take the strap t'me for getting picked up by the constabulary in th' riot last week. I was just tryin' t'get out of it, and a'course I had to fight m'way out. Never meant to bean a policeman on the head wi'that bottle. Oh and m'name is... well, m'friends call me Quinn."

"Pleased t'meet ye, Quinn," Devlin said, starting to offer him a hand, then realizing that it held a dripping spoon. Smiling sheepishly, he laid it down and held his hand out for a brief shake.

Going back to what the boy had said, he asked, "Ye don't stay with anyone in particular?" He couldn't imagine that. Even at his lowest point when he'd been at outs with his family and now when his beliefs were diametrically opposed to theirs, he was still confident of their love for him and his for them. "Jeez, I should take ye home ta me mam. She'd have ye settled in right quick," he laughed. "Of course, ye'd be stuck wi' a pack of crazy Catholics for family."

"Don't have anything against Catholics," the thirteen-year-old replied. "Don't have anything particularly for Protestants either. Don't really understand religion really. I mean it's all the same sorta belief when ye come right down t'it, an' 'ere a bunch o'people are goin' around blowin' other people te bits, and they say they're doin' it for God. Seems te me that it's the last thing God would want us te do since the Bible says He made us all in His image. But that's just what I think, and it tends t'get me in hot water when I tell anyone that.

"I just wish they didn't've killed me mum and da while they were fightin' their silly wars is all, and that way I'd still have a family of me very own and one that really did love me instead of just feeling beholden to take care of me is all. But it's all I know really, so there's no sense wishin' for something I can't have or can even remember havin'. Was only four when they died, so I can't even remember 'em real good anymore.

"This is good. ye're mam is a good cook for sure if this what she taught ye to do," Quinn grinned around a mouthful of food.

Devlin blinked a few times before deciding that yes, the teenager now inhaling the stew like a starving wolf really had been discussing religious and political philosophy moments before. "She's a much better cook than I am," he finally replied. "Everyone tells me I'm too heavy-handed wi' the spices. But that's the way I like it," he shrugged, getting up and refilling Quinn's bowl.

"As for the rest, well, I happen to agree wi' ye, but as ye say, it's no' a popular sentiment. And since I have to live here..." he trailed off, shrugging again.

Quinn grinned at the older man and tucked into the second bowl. "I like spicy. It's quite good!" he admitted. "Far better than those horrid, greasy fish and chips I had last night t'eat. Never did like fish much t'begin with but cold and smothered in grease?" Quinn shuddered in horror. "Guess it is a good thing I'm not Catholic after all - couldn't abide eatin' fish every Friday. An' without any of the batter that makes it bearable, no less."

Finishing off the second bowl, Quinn smiled up at the older man. "That was really, really grand, and I thank ye ever so much. I'm actually very sorry I tried to pick yer pocket. Well, I am and I'm not. Ye're a very nice man. Nicer than most would have been, all things considered." Standing, Quinn realized he felt rather reluctant to leave. It felt nice being here. It felt comfortable and like... a home should feel.

Hardly able to believe the words coming out of his mouth, Devlin heard himself say, "Well, ye're welcome te come back if ye'd like, Quinn. I seem t'always make too much, and it's a shame te waste it." He felt an odd reluctance to see the last of the youth, and maybe he might manage to keep him alive a little longer if he watched out for him.

"I... I'd like that, I would," Quinn admitted with a shy smile. "Now I'd best get afore they close up the pub. The owner's a friend of me uncle's, an' he lets me sleep in the back room when me auntie kicks me out of the house fer gettin' inta trouble. But I've got t'be back afore he closes down fer the night an' locks the doors coz he don't open 'em again till mornin' comes round."

Realizing what time it was, Dev frowned. No matter how used to it he was, this was no hour for a youngster to be roaming the streets alone. "I've only the one bed, but ye're more than welcome t'the sofa if ye've a mind t'stay. I can probably even manage some bacon and eggs in the morning," he offered, wondering what on Earth was possessing him.

"And I'll be tryin' me hand at spaghetti tomorrow night, if ye're feelin' brave. I'm sure ye can let yerself in if I'm no' here," he added wryly, reaching into a closet for a spare pillow and blankets.

"Aye, no doubt about that," Quinn grinned. "Many a person says I've the light touch of an angel when it comes t'locks... but I shouldn't be admittin' t'that, now should I?" the young man continued a little shamefaced. "And I do thank ye for the offer - if ye're sure I won't be too much trouble for ye. I mean, I could go..."

"Ahh, set yerself down, boyo. I'm not wanting ta be readin' about ye in the morrow's paper. 'Twould be a fine thing to send a boy yer age out into the streets at this hour o' the night. Ye'll sleep here... assumin' ye don't still think me some kind o' pedophile!" The way Dev said it made it clear how the accusation had stung, but his smile showed his forgiveness.

"I never really t'ought that ye were fancy fer me... honest!" Quinn replied with a deep blush. "'Tis just that, well, ye know, that ye tied me up and such an'... I been told stuff an'..." the young boy stammered, embarrassed.

"I'm thinking we should be leaving this subject behind," Dev interrupted firmly. "'Tis a most unholy hour o' the night, and we could both use some rest. Sleep well, boyo, and we'll see if I can manage not to poison ye again tomorrow." He spread the blankets on the sofa and went to his bedroom with a last smile.

"'m not a boyo!" Quinn muttered stubbornly but slipped his shoes off and slipped beneath the covers with a smile. 'Twas nice, it was, t'have someone actually be wantin' him to stay the night instead of feelin' beholden to look after him.

"Stopped bein' a boy when me ma and da died. Had t'grow up right quick after that, moving from pillar to post as I did coz no one wanted me," the young almost-teen said matter-of-factly. "But... I missed this somethin' terrible, someone' t'care fer just me alone," he mused drowsily as he snuggled under the covers, eyes closing as fatigue and a full belly took their toll. "Even' if y'are a huge bloody bastard at that."

Laughing softly, Devlin gently closed the door to his room and finally headed to bed himself, bemused by the turn of the night's events.

October 1988

A few months after a certain light-fingered lad had tried to pick his pocket, Devlin looked around his flat and smiled. Who would have thought that he'd end up first befriending the lad, then protecting him from his grasping uncle, then actually adopting the young demon to keep him safe? Despite the changes young Quinn had made in his life, he couldn't find it in himself to mind. His only regret was having to lie to the lad about who and what he was, but he refused to endanger his boyo with the knowledge of his affiliation with British Intelligence.

He glanced over at the youth. "Well, boyo, what do ye think of our new quarters? I'm thinkin' that we'll be cozy here."

Quinn looked around in shy wonder. After all those years living with people who hadn't really wanted him and had only taken him out of family obligation, he once more had a home of his very own. And someone who wanted him. Really wanted him. It still seemed like a dream to the youth but one he never wanted to wake from.

However, if anyone had told him a year ago that he'd be living with an IRA cell member, him a proper Protestant lad, he'd have spit in their face then beat them to a bloody pulp. Even his relatives who'd been so eager to have him gone had actually had to think twice on leavin' him to a Catholic and a dangerous-lookin' one at that.

But Devlin Rourke had been the gentlest, kindest, most wonderful man he'd ever known, and finally when Quinn had broken it down to all the parts, what Dev did for his livelihood didn't matter a whit to Quinn. What did matter was that Dev truly seemed to want him just for himself and not for what Quinn could do for him, be for him or whatnot.

Devlin hadn't even known about the small but helpful trust fund that went with the young man, something that had made him oh so appealing to all of Quinn's relatives as they used the money to care for Quinn so they'd never had to spend a cent on the lad. When Dev had been told, he'd firmly said that that money was for Quinn and would be used for his education when he was old enough to go away to school.

He was adopting Quinn as his own, and by God, he was man enough to take care of his new 'son' where others were too damned cruel and miserly to show the boy the love he deserved and to take care of him like he needed.

When Quinn had heard that, he'd burst into tears, something that still caused him no end of embarrassment. After all he wasn't in short pants anymore, and tears were fer babies. But Devlin had said the most wonderful thing in the whole world, and Quinn knew at that exact moment that he'd love this man forever. Just for the grand size of his heart.

Shaking off his musings, Quinn looked up at the still waiting Devlin. "It's as grand as a castle, Dev, honest. Thank ye." Hugging the large man's waist shyly, burying his face in Dev's chest for a moment, Quinn twisted away just as quickly, his quicksilver mood shifting to laughter as he bounded towards the bedrooms. "So which one is t'be mine?"

"The smaller one!" Dev yelled emphatically. If he didn't watch out, the boyo would have the master bedroom claimed as thoroughly as he'd taken over Devlin's life. Dev hadn't even had time for a lover since Quinn had exploded into his life, which was one of his few regrets. Ah well, the boyo was worth a few sacrifices, and soon he'd be old enough that Dev wouldn't feel odd going off with a fancy woman or man for a night or two.

"'Tis fine by me since they're both of a size," Quinn retorted, sticking his head around the corner and blowing a raspberry at the older man. "'Sides, the smaller one is closer to the loo and has a fire escape right outside the window," the teen continued with a wicked grin.

"Did I mention I'll be nailin' that window shut?" Devlin replied dryly, wondering just what he'd gotten himself into. "Ye're goin' ta give me grey hairs, boyo."

"The blazes ye are!!! Ye want me to suffocate in th'summers? I think not!" Quinn growled. "As fer the grey hairs - I think ye'd look right handsome like that... bugger!" Gasping, Quinn ducked back behind the wall outcropping and scurried into his new room. Did he really just say he thought that Devlin was handsome?

Well strewth but he was, and yet men weren't supposed ta notice other men bein' attractive and all that, were they? Damned if this wasn't a fine kettle of fish to be stirrin' up when all he wanted t'do was move into his new room, set it to rights and find out what other lads lived in the area, maybe even make a mate or two.

Shaking his head in bemusement at the teen's volatile moods, Devlin left him to it and went to start preparing their first meal in their new home.

August 1989

It was hard to believe it had been over a year since Devlin had adopted him. For Quinn it had been the best year of his life. He'd finally had a home and someone who loved him. So why the blazes was Devlin sending him away then?!?!?

"I won't bloody-well do it! Goin' to school with a bunch of poncey Limeys? Not gonna happen. They're pathetic little pussy-lickers one and all, and I'd be able to wipe the floor with 'em in m'sleep. And ye want me to live there? When yer Catholic hell freezes over, Devlin Rourke!" Quinn bellowed as he slammed into his room and promptly bolted for the window, shimmying up the fire escape to his favorite hiding spot on the roof.

The same roof where just weeks before Quinn had made the most important discovery of his young life. He was in love with Devlin. Really in love with him. The way his ma had loved his da. Guess that made him a poof, but he didn't really care. How could he when Devlin Rourke was the most handsome, wonderful, perfect person in the whole world fer him. And now he was bein' sent away. The bloody great bastard!

"Quinn! Damn it all, would ye stand still and listen to me!" Frustrated, Devlin stormed into the room after the teenager in time to see him disappear up the fire escape. Cursing him and all his ancestors, the older man crawled out the window as well, following his brat.

Arriving on the room, he glared at the sullen teen, body firmly planted between Quinn and the ladder, making sure he would stay put long enough for Dev to explain. "Now shut yer mouth and listen t'me, ye terror! 'Tis thinkin' o' ye, I am, wantin' ye t'get a decent education and get someplace safe. Do ye think I want t'be worryin' every day that some Catholic decided ye'd be better dead or some Protestant decided that ye shouldn't be livin' with a Catholic like meself and killed ye for that?!

"Damnit, Quinn, I need ye to be safe." From me especially. Some father figure I am, lusting after a young boy like yerself. Jesus, I'm as bad as ye accused me of being that first night, but I'll not be having ye know that. Ye're the one good thing in my life.

Quinn finally managed to look up at the man who'd been everything to him for this past year, longer than that if he counted the time leading up to the adoption. Tears streamed silently down his cheeks when he at last found his voice, small and quivering as it was. "Y'don't want me anymore, do ye, Dev?" he whispered broken-heartedly. "Ye're throwin' me away too."

Unable to resist that miserable whisper, Dev instantly had the young man wrapped tightly in his arms. "Don't ever think that, boyo. I love ye, Quinn. I'm tryin' t'do what's best for ye, not what I want. I'm goin' t'miss ye every day that ye're away, but I'll not be havin' ye turn into an unlettered barbarian!"

"I know me letters, ye great oaf. Ye just want me t'turn into one of those poncey scholarly types who'll earn great loads of cash in a horrible desk job so I can take care of ye in yer doddering years," Quinn sniffed, his hand batting softly at the bigger man's chest.

"I'll still be havin' a home to come back to in the summers, then?" Quinn continued, lifting watery eyes to stare at the face of the man he loved so much it hurt.

"I don't wanna leave ye, Dev. Truly I don't. Who'll look after ye when I'm gone?"

"Of course ye have a home, ye bloody great fool! And I'll thank ye ta remember that I was takin' care o' meself for some years before I ever met ye!" Dev retorted, still hugging the teen.

"Doesn't mean ye were doin' the job right, ye know. How many pairs of pink knickers and socks did ye have b'fore I moved in, hrmm?" Quinn pointed out, poking fun at the older man's woeful lack of understanding of how to separate colors from whites when doing the wash. "An' true ye' may have known how t'cook but clean? Ye had dust bunnies that were bigger than me!"

Hugging Devlin back as hard as he could, Quinn tried desperately to be brave and be a man about all of this. He could do it. If it made it easier for Devlin to sleep at night, not having to worry about him, then he could do this. However, he had to say it before he lost the nerve, even if Dev took it the wrong way. "I love ye, Devlin Rourke. T'heaven and back, I do."

June 1993

Devlin sat in his room, head in his hands, and groaned. He was going to die; he just knew it. He was going to explode from sheer frustration. His charming and too-beautiful-for-his-own-good ward had only been home from school for a week, and Dev was already going mad. The boyo innocently pranced around the flat in tight clothes, briefs in the morning, a skimpy little towel after his shower, and Dev, bloody great pervert that he was, could think of nothing but jumping the lad.

He glared down at his erection. "And ye, ye can just forget it," he grumbled, standing up and thinking cold thoughts until he could step out of his room without embarrassing himself. This was going to be a long day.

March 1994

"I'm ready t'pull me hair out, Mick!" Quinn groused, taking another swallow of beer from the bottle as they sat on the roof of Quinn's building and watched the sun set over Belfast.

"I prance around him lookin' like a ten-pence tart, shaking me arse and flauntin' everythin' I've got, and this bloke still refuses t'notice I'm alive! I mean the only thing left that I kin think of doin' is lying buck naked on his bed and spreadin' me cheeks," Quinn finished off, crudely, too frustrated to try and curb his language around his cousin.

Mick had been great; he'd been shocked at first, had thought that Quinn had been around those English too long or had suffered a blow to the head, but when Quinn had assured him that this was how he wanted to be, the younger man had been surprisingly fair-minded, taking it all in stride.

Since then, Quinn had used his cousin as a sounding board for his frustrations when it came to Dev. Not that Dev's name was ever mentioned, but he'd usually been at least polite and somewhat circumspect about the language he used to describe things he wanted that Mick couldn't even think of without shuddering.

But not tonight. Tonight was the final straw with Dev fairly bolting out of the apartment at the crack of dawn to avoid him and still not coming home despite his promise to be there for the fabulous dinner Quinn had spent hours preparing. At least Mick had enjoyed it.

And to top it all off, the bloody bastard had called sayin' there was t'be an all night meetin' of his cell and t'not expect him home until tomorrow. Quinn was about ready to throw in the towel and accept that Devlin would never see him as more than the boy he'd rescued from the street.

"What am I doin' wrong, Mick? Am I so unattractive and undesirable that he doesn't want me? I swear, I'm goin' t'die a virgin, I am!"

Mick flushed and stuttered at first. How was he to judge his cousin's attractiveness? He was his cousin and a man, for heaven's sake! Still, this was Quinn, his best friend, so he'd try. "Well, ye look all right ta me, cousin, but what do I know?" he shrugged. "Mebbe ye should just tell the man."

"Tell him?" Quinn squeaked. He'd always had images of flaunting himself until Dev snapped and just took him, thereby saving him from that silly prattle of talking. "Cor, I'm not a girl, y'know. Tell him? Not friggin' likely. I might get m'self shot for the effort. Especially if he doesn't... well, like me, y'know?"

"Well, then, I don't know what else ye can do. If he's no' getting' the hints, and y'won't tell him, I don't see many other choices," Michael said reasonably. "Mebbe ye should give up on him and look for someone else."

"I wish I could, Mick. It's just that... fuck but I feel like I've loved him for forever an' a day. I wish y'could know what I mean. It's like wakin' up from a dream t'discover reality is better," Quinn sighed. "He's everything t'me, Mick, absolutely everything. I think I'm gonna love him 'til I die," the young man finished morosely, swallowing his last gulp of beer.

"I think I really am goin' t'die a virgin, coz I don't want anyone but him, bloody great bastard!"

Mick's eyes widened when he heard the familiar epithet, and he dropped his fortunately empty beer bottle in shock. "Y-ye're in love with Devlin?!?"

Quinn groaned and buried his face in his arms, which were curled around his knees now. "Since I was fifteen years old, Mick. Since I was fifteen fuckin' years old," the eighteen-year-old moaned in abject misery. "Now tell me how I'm s'posed t'just tell me 'da' that I want him for me one and only lover?"

"Ye... he..." Mick shook his head and grabbed another beer, needing it desperately just then. "Ye sure can pick 'em, cousin!"

"Aye, can't I just," Quinn agreed morosely. "Pass me another Guinness, Mick. I'm all for getting shite-faced t'night."

Moving almost on autopilot, Devlin Rourke headed for his apartment, desperate to get there, yet afraid of what he might find. His contact had called him that morning for an emergency meet, and when he got there, he was told that someone had accessed his files. The only conclusion was that his cell of the IRA either now knew or was about to find out that far from being a loyal member, Devlin was a spy for British Intelligence.

His superiors had wanted to send him straight out of the country, but Dev had thrown an icy fit and put his foot down. He was going nowhere without his teenage ward Quinn. The argument had gone back and forth for hours, but finally his well-known intransigence had won the day, and they agreed to give him long enough to get back to his apartment and get the young man, but not a minute longer. Of course, if Quinn wasn't home, Devlin had no intention of leaving till he found him, but hopefully that wouldn't be an issue. Even more devoutly to be hoped was the desperate prayer that he wouldn't find Quinn at home, already a victim of IRA retaliation. If that were to be the case, Devlin Rourke would not be leaving Ireland; rather, he would exact a bloody vengeance.

He hesitated at the door for a long moment, then told himself to quit being a bloody fool. Whatever he would find inside would not change by him dillydallying on the doorstep. With a quick prayer to the Holy Mother, he unlocked the door and stepped inside, softly calling Quinn's name.

When the teenager appeared, Dev briefly sagged with relief but recovered before Quinn could voice the worried question clear in his expression. "Hurry up and pack anything portable that ye absolutely need t'have. We have about five minutes. We won't be comin' back."

"Dev, what are y'blathering about?" Quinn retorted, rolling his eyes at his so-called father's dramatics. "Ye know damn well Molly's gettin' married next week, and I'm t'report t'me first day at the computer company ye got me a job at," the youth said, exasperated. "If this is some sorta lame excuse t'get me t'go back to England, well, ye can kiss my arse. I ain't leavin' again, and ye'd best get used to that idea - Daddy!"

"Quinn, listen t'me very carefully. We don't have time for this. The IRA is goin' to be comin' through that door in a very short time, and they're goin' ta kill anyone who's still here. Take what ye need and move," he barked, suiting action to words as he grabbed some pictures of the two of them and his family, a favorite book that had been the last thing his brother'd given him before his death, and a gun.

He looked around almost sadly, remembering happy times here with Quinn, but he wanted to live to have other times. They needed to leave. Now.

"Devlin, what the blasted hell are ye talking about? You are IRA, man. Remember how I spent months debating if a good Protestant lad like me should let someone like ye adopt me?" Actually Quinn hadn't debated it at all. Devlin was what he wanted, and he wasn't about to let anyone, even family, stop him from getting that.

Something, however, prompted Quinn to grab a backpack from the closet and grab the important keepsakes: his parents' wedding bands, his teddy bear from his granna, the family photo album and his father's pocket watch. His favorite, faded, brown leather jacket was thrown on, and a second gun was retrieved. Dev had made sure he'd known how to use it properly after giving it him on his sixteenth birthday. "Dev, this is insane. They wouldn't kill one of their own. Not unless he turned... traitor," the young man gasped. "Devlin? Jesus, Mary and Joseph, what have y'done?"

Dev paused in his own frantic snatching after mementos, and he turned to face the younger man. "I haven't really been in the IRA since before I met ye," he admitted quietly. "I work for MI6.

"I'm sorry I couldn't tell ye before now, but it was safer for ye no' t'know."

"You..." Quinn stared at the older man askance before his expression shuttered and grew hard. "So in other words, the last six years of m'life have been a lie. Well, isn't that jest lovely." Slinging the pack on his back, Quinn checked the clip in his gun and shoved a few extras into his pockets, hunching himself forward protectively as he did so. It shouldn't have hurt this much, knowing that he'd been lied to like that, but somehow it hurt worse than being told his ma and da were dead.

"Don't touch me," he hissed as Dev moved to rest a hand on his shoulder. "I may love ye more than me own life, Devlin Rourke, but right now I don't know ye, you damned stupid shite of a man. If we get out of this alive, you and I are to have words... if I can stomach to talk to ye by then."

Moving economically, the younger man strode into the kitchen, blew out the pilot light on the stove, and then strode out. "Best be makin' sure we can get out the front door before I light the match."

At first dismayed by Quinn's reaction, which was everything he'd dreaded, Devlin's thought processes suddenly caught up with the rest of what Quinn had said. Love. Quinn had said he loved him. And it didn't sound like he meant as a son to a father. Shocked back into motion, he chased after the young man.

As he stepped outside, a motion on a nearby rooftop caught his eye. Yelling, "No!" he hurled himself at Quinn, knocking him to the ground and covering him with his own body. A sharp pain in his shoulder made him grunt.

"What the devil are you about, ye daft man!" Quinn snarled, putting his hand on Dev's shoulder to push him off only to feel it come away warm and wet. Staring at it in disbelief, his mind could barely register the color, let alone what it signified. Red. His hand was now red. "Nooo," he moaned, an animal sound of pain ripped from his throat. "Devlin, NO!!!!"

Touching the older man's face, frantically searching for a sign that the older man was still alive, he barely heard the sound of other bullets thudding into the brickwork surrounding him or the sharp retort of another gun too close for comfort.

It was only when a hand rested on his shoulder that he reacted. Grabbing the hand, he twisted and heard a sickening pop of bones breaking. "Fucking hell, lad! I'm here t'get ye and Dev out," the man above him gasped, cradling his now broken hand. "Damn sod had to go get himself shot, and then ye had to break m'hand. Fine kettle this is. Now get yer sorry arse up. I'll be takin' Devlin and you'll be covering both our backs since my gun hand is now a little on the lame side. Move, Quinn O'Malley, or yer man really will be dead!"

The next few hours passed in a blur. He remembered lighting a match and watching the apartment burst apart at the seams. In the chaos and screams the men sent after Devlin had no choice but to fade into the woodwork or be blamed for this. It was just what the trio needed to escape, and Quinn, shaking and trembling, managed to stay strong until they'd made it to the sailboat that would be used to ferry both him and Dev over to England.

From there they'd be taken to a safe house, Devlin would be debriefed, and they'd both be given new identities and whisked far away from Ireland's green hills. But for now the teen could only sink onto the floor next to the bunk where an unconscious and now patched up Devlin lay asleep, curl up into a ball and weep silently into his hands at how close he'd come to losing the only person in the world who truly meant family to him.

The first words Dev spoke when he regained consciousness were a demand to see Quinn, and when the nurse silently pointed to the huddled shape dozing beside the bed, he nearly fainted in relief. Once the nursing sister left, he turned to look at the young man, his eyes lovingly tracing the fine features and short titian hair, feeling as if this would be the last time he'd ever see him. Regardless of what Quinn had said in the heat of the moment, he couldn't imagine that the younger man would be willing to go with him.

Now that Devlin had been forced to confront the truth he'd been hiding from himself for years, he wondered wryly when it would occur to Quinn that he'd been right that first night they met to accuse Dev of the vile things he had. Devlin did want a child; he'd wanted Quinn for years now, been in love with him for longer than he cared to contemplate.

"Jesus, boyo," he whispered, "this is a fine mess we're in. Here ye are, a beautiful boy on the brink of everything, and me a dirty old man lusting after what he shouldn't. But, blessed Virgin, I do love ye, laddie. And I'm sorry." He let his hand fall back to the covers, not having touched Quinn, and his eyes closed again.

Quinn's hand shot out and snagged Dev's, twining his fingers with the older man's. "Ye're not a dirty old man, and if y'ever call yerself that again, Devlin Rourke, I'll be kicking yer arse around the block. Ye're the man that I've loved since I was fifteen years old, and I'll be damned if I let ye think it's a sin t'love someone who loves ye right back. I'm eighteen years old, damn yer eyes, and old enough to know just what and who I want."

That said, Quinn opened eyes made even more green due to the watery shimmer still clinging to them. "Say it again," the younger man demanded quietly. "Say you love me again, please?" The last came out needier than he'd wanted, making him sound more like a little boy than the man full grown he boasted to be.

Not waiting for an answer, Quinn crawled up onto the bed and curled into Devlin's huge, warm body, careful not to jostle his wound but wanting, desperately needing to be held by the older man, to hear Dev's beating heart and feel his breath feathering against Quinn's hair. "Don't ever be scaring me like that again, ye hear me?" Quinn choked, curling tighter into the embrace. "I'd as soon die as ever lose you, Devlin Rourke. Don't ye ever try t'leave me again, or I'll be following after ye no matter where ye go - even if it is to yer glory."

Slowly, Devlin's arms tightened around the young man, and he lowered his head to rest a cheek against the bright head nestled on his shoulder. "I love ye, Quinn O'Malley. God help me, I've loved ye for years. And I'm sorry I didn't tell ye the whole truth before, sorry ye're having to give up yer whole life t'be safe, but I can't change that. They know that the best way to hurt me is through ye.

"If they took ye," he said almost faintly, "I'd do anything, betray anyone ta get ye back.

"I know ye won't be wantin' to come with me ta wherever they're after sendin' me," he continued, still not believing Quinn's protestations of love, "but please, let us keep you safe. I need t'know ye're safe, boyo."

"Didn't ye hear a blasted word I said, Devlin?" Quinn yelled in the other man's face. "Ye're not leaving me again. Ye're not gettin' rid of me either. After months of prancing around like a tart, wearing next to no clothes and wiggling my arse t'get yer attention, I've finally got ye, and I'll be damned if I'll be letting ye slip through my fingers. Ye've got six years t'make up for, ye bloody lying bastard. I'm figuring the next sixty ought to be payment enough for that."

Left speechless, something that seemed to happen far too often during his association with this particular young man, Dev gaped at Quinn. Slowly, the reality was beginning to sink in, and he started to smile. "Sixty years, is it then? Well, I'll be needin' ta know what I'm getting', don't ye think?"

He grew serious again for a moment. "I've been imaginin' kissin' ye for years, boyo. I think I'd like ta compare the fantasies with reality."

"Well then, stop yer yammering and kiss me already, ya stupid shite," Quinn groused, hands already moving up to wrap in the older man's hair and tug Devlin downwards so that he could gently trace his soon to be lover's lips with his tongue.

"I've been wantin' this since I was fifteen years old. I think it's fair t'say ye've made me wait long enough, don't ye?" the younger man continued with a shy smile. "I don't want to be jerkin' off to m'fantasies of what you'd be like in me any more, Devlin. I want the reality of lovin' ye and being in love with ye. You know I've never been one to believe in fairy tales. Teach me the reality of lovin' ye just like ye've taught me so much else in m'life. Please?"

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, he's a virgin!

He opened his mouth, to say he knew not what, then realized that the time for words was past. He lowered his head, his lips hovering just above Quinn's, his breath warming them, then he lightly brushed his mouth against the younger man, once, and again. "Open for me," he whispered an instant before his tongue softly flicked over the tender surface, tracing the join and seeking entrance.

With a whimpered moan, Quinn did as he was bade, opening and meshing his lips to Dev's. So much better than the others, the young man thought dreamily as his tongue dueled lazily with Devlin's while the older man explored his mouth thoroughly. This is what I've been waiting for, who I've been waiting for. Now I'll feel a man inside me at last, my man, my Devlin.

Carding his fingers through Dev's hair, pushing himself further against the hard body next to him, Quinn ground his now hard cock into the older man's stomach desperately. He wanted, Lord above, how he wanted. Breaking off the kiss, he gasped, his body screaming for oxygen even as it screamed for Devlin. "More. Jaysus God, Dev, I'll die without you; give me more!"

Dev laughed softly. "Demanding even in this, are ye?" He stroked a hand through his soon-to-be lover's hair. "It's not how I'd prefer it for yer first time, boyo, but ye're goin' t'have ta be doin' most o' the work. This time. For now, I'm thinkin' we're both wearin' far too many clothes, and ye might be wantin' t'bolt the bloody door." His hands continued to explore Quinn's body, tracing the naked chest beneath the leather jacket and curving over the taut buttocks.

"Well, if ye stop pawin' me long enough for me to do those things then," Quinn replied in mock exasperation, kissing Dev hard and hot, mashing their lips together and slipping his tongue inside to taste again what was now his before wrenching away, panting. Shakier on his feet than he'd ever care to admit to, the younger man staggered to the door and slid the bolt home, turning the key lock in the process.

"Just in case yer bloody MI6 friends decide not t'take a bolted door for an answer," he grinned, licking his lips and staring at the older man through hooded eyes. Finding his rhythm again, Quinn stalked forward, all cat-like and hungry, slinking across the room as the jacket was eased off his shoulder. Elegant, tapered fingers traced their way down a nearly hairless chest, playing with his own nipples, toying with the navel ring and dipping into the indentation before drifting lower yet, down to the fastenings of his low riding jeans.

"D'ye know how long I've dreamed of this moment, m'lover?" he purred as he came to stand beside the bed, looking down at Dev's beloved face. "For as long as I understood what sex was. What love was. Oh, I played around a bit - after all there's not much t'do in those bloody boarding school dormitories after the lights go out. Even kissed a girl or two but I always stopped before... I knew I was yers, Devlin Rourke, and I would have waited forever fer ye t'realize it too.

"Did I ever tell ye I got m'self a graduation present before I came back home?" the quicksilver mind added, changing topics at a rapid pace. "'Twas one of the reasons m'clothes weren't quite so tight as I'm used t'wearing for ye. It rather hurt for a while. Would ye like t'see just what I rewarded m'self with?"

Not waiting for an answer, Quinn quickly shucked off his jeans, revealing nothing but skin beneath and then straddled Devlin's chest so that Quinn's pulsing erection and the tattoo that marked the join of hip to groin was on prominent display. "So, d'ye like my present to m'self?" the young slut purred, licking his lips in anticipation of a reaction.

Blue eyes widened and fixed on the tattoo, and one hand rose, a finger lightly tracing the stylized DR no one could help but see when Quinn was naked. "Ye marked yerself wi' my initials," he breathed, a thumb now rubbing lightly over the area.

A tightened grip urged Quinn upward within reach, then Dev's tongue lapped at the mark of his ownership, over and over, tasting his lover, then finally moving over a bit so Devlin could mouth the younger man's sac. "God, ye taste even better than I imagined," he rasped, slowly beginning to work his way up the rigid shaft.

He paused to peer up at the moaning teen. "We need some lube, boyo. I'll not be hurtin' ye."

Quinn looked down dazedly, whimpering at the cessation of pleasure. "Don't stop, Dev, please don't stop," he pleaded mindlessly, his fingers holding onto the head rail for dear life as he tried not to thrust himself down his lover's throat.

It took some time for the words to register, but when they did, Quinn glanced frantically around for something, anything that could be used to lubricate Dev's erection so that it would slide easily into his desperate and begging body. Scrabbling off the older man, he shot into the bathroom situated just to the side of the bedroom and yanked drawers open, not really seeing until at last a thin tube of lubricant registered on his consciousness.

Coming back into the bedroom, Quinn stood in the doorway, mouth open for long moments as he watched Dev stroke himself, eyes closed and head tilted back. It was beautiful. He had to taste. Without knowing how he got there, the younger man found himself kneeling on the floor next to the bed, his tongue lapping off the salty drops of precum that dribbled continuously from the slit of his lover's cock.

Groaning harshly, Devlin's hips rose involuntarily when he felt Quinn's tongue on him. The fingers of one hand combed restlessly through the red-blond silk of his hair while the older man babbled praise and pleas. Finally, he tugged Quinn away.

"Stop, boyo, or I won't last long enough ta get inside ye. And I want t'come inside ye, take ye and make us both know that this is real."

He took the forgotten tube of lubricant from Quinn's nerveless hand, squeezing some out into the palm of one hand, then slowly coating the fingers of the other hand with it. "Come up here, love, and let me get ye ready," he said huskily, hot blue eyes fixed on the younger man.

Crawling up onto the bed, Quinn once more straddled his lover, bending to share Dev's taste with the older man, lapping at his mouth and suckling on his tongue. Feeling the slick slide of fingers between his cheeks, Quinn moaned and thrust his hips backwards, wanting to feel his lover sink inside of him - any part of Devlin he could get at this point.

Feeling one finger penetrate, Quinn's eyes closed and a moan escaped, low and thready, as he inched back more, loving the full feeling within him. "More, please, Dev, give me more, give me you!"

"Soon, boyo, soon," Dev promised, adding a second finger and moaning himself as he imagined that tight heat around him. "I love ye, Quinn O'Malley." He slowly worked his fingers in his lover, oiling and stretching him, and nearly came himself from watching Quinn ride his hand.

He withdrew his fingers, then smiled heatedly. "Up t'ye now, boyo. Take me inside ye."

Groaning with need, Quinn reached back and wrapped a hand around his lover's erection, holding it steady as he positioned himself over Devlin. Sinking down onto the raging erection with a moan, the young man's eyes drifted shut at the feeling of fullness and the slight pain of a first claiming.

"In me," he gasped quietly, head falling back on his shoulders and hands coming to brace against Devlin's thighs. "Glory, ye're in me, Devlin; ye're really inside me!"

"I noticed," Dev managed in a creditably calm tone. "Now perhaps ye might see yer way clear t'movin'?" he suggested. His hands stroked Quinn's hips soothingly, then one moved forward to curl around the younger man's still hard cock and slowly pump it. "Ride me, m'love."

Moaning, Quinn flexed muscles honed by years of gymnastics, sports and martial arts, raising and lowering himself on the shaft embedded within him. Squeezing and releasing his muscles, his body arched back into a bow, head hanging back even further, neck stretched out and Adam's apple bobbing, the younger man began to do as his lover bade him, he began to ride.

Shifting and flexing, rippling around Dev as he did so, Quinn felt the older man slip deeper inside him with each thrust. A long, low keening wail was the only sound he made as he raised and lowered himself on Devlin's thick erection, words no longer possible.

Devlin groaned, babbling words of love and pleasure that he wasn't even aware of, stroking his lover at the same time as Quinn rode him. The pleasure was overwhelming, and he could still hardly believe this was Quinn in his bed. For years he'd been the next thing to celibate, only now realizing it was as much because he wanted Quinn only as for reasons of security.

He opened his eyes, meeting the eyes of the young man over him, and suddenly worries about age and other differences faded away. This man was his. He suddenly wrenched Quinn's head down to kiss him, needing to claim him utterly. "My boyo," he breathed possessively.

"Yers, all yers," Quinn agreed, bringing one of Dev's hands to rest on his tattoo, the one that let the world know just who he belonged to. "No one else but ye from now on, m'lover. I belong to ye," the young man swore hotly just before opening his mouth wide to receive Devlin's tongue. "Take me."

"If ye can't tell that I am, I must be doin' somethin' wrong," Dev chuckled once he released Quinn's mouth. "Bloody hell, I want ta take ye properly!" he growled suddenly, arching up under the other man to drive harder into him. "Damn those IRA bastards ta hell for makin' that impossible for now. Now ride me hard, Quinn." One hand continued to pump Quinn's cock, and the thumb of the other lightly rubbed over the tattoo marking the younger man as his.

"Oh, I can feel ye just fine, m'lover, and ye're doin' a damn fine job there," Quinn chuckled, squeezing down on the cock buried inside him even as he sped his thrusts up, slamming himself up and down on the older man. "When ye're recovered, m'lover, then ye can take me as hard and as many ways as ye want to. I'm yers t'take whenever ye desire - or whenever ye can catch me," the young man teased on a moan.

"I've been catching ye since the day we met," Dev chuckled, then moaned as the long abstinence and the fact that he finally had the man he loved tipped him over the brink, and he came, gasping Quinn's name.

The hot feeling of his lover pouring inside him, marking him and claiming him in this most primal and tangible of ways as well as the hand wrapped around his cock stroking and teasing was enough to push a teenaged libido over the edge, and with a wailing cry, he too came, covering his stomach and his lover's with his seed. "Devlin!!!!!"

Dev's arms wrapped tightly around his young lover, holding him close to keep himself inside him as long as possible. "Love ye, boyo," he murmured. "I think I've been waitin' for ye ta grow up for a long time. Just didn't expect anything t'happen so soon."

Sighing when he slipped out of Quinn, he urged the teenager to stretch out beside him, nestled against him. "We'll have to start thinking soon... Do ye have any preferences for where we go or what our new names will be?"

"As long as I'm with ye, I don't care where we go, but I'll admit to have always wanted t'see Canada. It seems like a nice place to be. No IRA, no terrorists, a rather peaceful sorta place t'live, unlike Belfast was. An' it's far enough across the ocean that yer former friends wouldn't be comin' t'look for ye. I rather like the fact that I won't have to be lookin' over m'shoulder t'see if ye've got friends comin' to pay their respects."

Quinn shuddered and cuddled closer to his lover, not wanting to think of the events of the last few days. He'd come too close to losing Devlin, and there was no way he'd come that close again. "Yer goin' t'be teachin' me everythin' y'learned from this bloody outfit, understand me? I'll be knowin' how to do all that fancy secret agent stuff so I can protect yer sweet arse from anyone but me."

"I really doubt anyone other than ye would think it sweet," Dev replied dryly. "But yes, I'll teach ye. I'd like ye ta be able t'protect this sweet arse," he said, patting Quinn's. "Now that I've got ye, I'm no' going t'lose ye."

He thought of something and frowned. "I don't think we need ta worry, but if ye see any o' my family, boyo, try not ta let them see ye. They really are IRA sympathizers, and I'd rather no' put their loyalties ta the test."

Not wanting to think about it, he returned to the previous topic. "Canada? That's no' a bad idea. We could do well for ourselves there. I've some money put aside which the service will see that I get that'll do us for a startup."

"An' just how much money are we talkin' about here?" Quinn asked, eyes lighting up with mercenary glee. "Enough to keep me in the style to which I'm accustomed, I hope," the young man teased, wriggling against his mate suggestively. "After all, y'should know more than anyone that I need me creature comforts and me pretty clothes to show off me prettier body."

"An what'dye mean change me name? I've got a perfectly good one already."

Still laughing at the way Quinn's eyes lit up at the idea of money, Dev hugged the young man close. "Sorry, love, but anyone lookin' for me would look for ye first. Ye're rather memorable, after all," he teased gently. "So ta stay hidden we're goin' t'have ta become new people, new names, new birthdays, new everything. It would be best no' ta tell anyone where we're goin', but I know how close ye are ta some of yer cousins. If ye can trust them wi' both our lives, I'll trust yer judgement.

"Maybe I'll become English," he mused.

"Ye. English. Ha!" Quinn snorted. "Yer as Irish as St. Patrick, luv, and there ain't no gettin' around it," the younger man giggled before growing somber. "I set the apartment ablaze, Dev. Chances are they consider me dead, especially knowin' that I let an IRA type adopt me. I wasn't real popular after I agreed t'the adoption but for a handful of relations. They'd be at risk if they knew about me, wouldn't they?" he asked quietly, his hand opening and closing on Dev's chest.

"I wouldn't want to be endangering them, not even the ones that turned their backs on me. They're still me family after all. Maybe it's best if they think me dead. Guess we'll both be startin' over from scratch, but at least I get to start over with ye."

"If ye ever change yer mind, Quinn, I won't hold ye to it." He couldn't bear to think of Quinn staying with him out of duty. He would enjoy whatever time he had with the young man before he realized he could do better than an old man like Devlin.

"Bloody hell, ye're thinkin' again, aren't ye?" Quinn snorted, rolling his eyes in exasperation. "Y'should know better than that by now, Devlin Rourke. When y'start t'think, ye just come up with the damnedest notions. I bet I know exactly what that mind of yers was spittin' out - ye're too old for me; ye're not good enough for me; ye don't really believe I love yer sorry self. Well, let me clarify for ye. As ye put it many a time, I'm eighteen goin' on forty. I knew more of the world than I should have before I met ye - the ugliness, the neglect, the cruelty and the pain of it. Ye were the one t'teach me how to be a kid again, instead of a bein' a punk kid on the verge of either getting' himself killed or getting' himself in with a very, very bad sorta crowd.

"I was well on me way t'being like those bastards that make the IRA what it is, or I was gonna be one of the shites who played both sides against the middle and reaped the rewards of th'chaos, and well ye know it. Y'gave me a proper home and strong arms t'hold me when I cried and a heart big enough t'swallow the world. I knew that even if I never managed t'convince ya to love me as... well, as a man loves a lover, that ye'd always love me 'til me dyin' day. D'ye have any idea of what that felt like, Devlin Rourke? T'have that security, that love and friendship all t'meself? It was a gift from heaven, it was," Quinn swore fervently.

"As fer the rest. I may have only been thirteen when ya found me, but I knew what was what. Did y'ever wonder just how I came to be knowin' about what a man can do to a boy should he be so wantin' to? I was foisted off an uncle who thought I should repay him on me back, so I busted his nose and got sent to t'other side of the family right quick. Jaysus, Mary, and Joseph, Devlin. I knew from the moment y'offered me a bowl of stew that I was safer with ye than I could ever be with that old uncle of mine - or half me so-called friends fer that matter. Ye've been the best thing that ever happened t'me, y'old fart, and fallin' in love with ye was just the icing on a very grand cake. Change me mind, ha! Ye're bloody well stuck with me till the day we both pass over, y'bloody great fool, and ye'd best get in through that thick skull of yers right quick, or I'll be smackin' ye upside the head to remind ye. And damned if I won't make it sting!"

Dev snarled and tightened his grip on Quinn at the idea of some pervert trying to touch him when he'd still been a lad. "Ye should ha' told me sooner, boyo. I'd have killed the sodding bastard!" He looked into the sea-green eyes and slowly smiled wryly.

"I should stop fightin' it now, I suppose," he chuckled wryly. "I'd hate for ye t'hurt yer hand hittin' me."

He grinned suddenly. "Yer birthday, boyo, should be October 30!"

"Hurt me hand, hurt me HAND?! Aye and I might do that seein' as how yer head's harder than a brick shite house, arrogant sod that ye are. An' pretty damned slow on the uptake too if watchin' me prance around in my skivvies didn't clue ye in t'the fact that I was tryin' t'seduce ye. Some great James Bond type ye are, not seein' a tart waitin' for a tumble standing right in front of ye," Quinn shot back.

"An' if we're talkin' about birthdays than yers should be St. Paddy's coz Lord above knows ye not only need the luck of the Irish, but ye've kissed the Blarney Stone so many times ye probably piss bent!"

"That's a foul mouth ye've on ye, Quinn O'Malley. I'm thinkin' I should be stoppin' it up." Suiting action to words, Dev rolled over on top of the younger man, wincing slightly as he jarred his arm but more interested in gaining the upper hand with his volatile lover. His mouth closed over Quinn's, his tongue sweeping between parted lips to claim him hungrily.

Long moments later, when both were panting for breath, Dev smiled again. "I'm a good Catholic boy, ye know. I'll be wantin' ta know the name of the man I'm beddin'."

"Good Catholic boy, my sweet arse, not that ye'd be knowin' just how sweet it is," Quinn replied with a laugh, stretching languorously underneath the older man.

"As for me name... Jax. Jaxon Galbraith at yer service," he grinned. "A tease and a tart and a slut for his man, I'm thinkin'. Oh, I'm gonna have fun learnin' how t'be him, I think. He may even let his nameless lover talk him into goin' back t'school - in the same blasted city. No more shippin' me off t'boardin' schools, y'got me?"

"No fear of that!" Dev instantly replied. "Devlin Rourke might wonder what others will think and try ta keep his hands off his gorgeous slut of a young ward, but Kieran O'Dell isn't lettin' his lover out o' his sight. Ye'll be right beside me, sharing me bed and me life," he vowed.

"At least getting' yerself shot had one or two good side effects. If it weren't so hard on me emotions, I'd suggest y'do it more often. It seems to have finally rattled some common sense into ye!"

Dev sighed and shook his head mournfully. "They were right. Spare the rod, and ye do spoil the child."

Quinn/Jax shivered at the thought of Dev... no, Kieran's hand warming his arse for him. There was just something so... wicked about it. And other things danced through his head, other toys that he'd heard of and seen. Floggers and leather strips and riding crops... A tiny mewl of pleasure escaped from his throat as the images danced across his inner eye. Shite but that turned him on!

"B...but ye like me spoiled, Kier; after all a spoiled lover is a willful lover, and willful lovers need a firm hand now and again, don't they?" the younger man whispered, licking his lips and bucking his renewed erection up against his mate.

"I like ye every and any way," Kieran growled in his squirming lover's ear. "But I don't want ta spoil ye too much." He waited for the snarl of denial before continuing, "So this time ye can fuck me, my Jax." He very carefully didn't allow himself to think about a firm hand on the teenager's ass... not yet. That would wait till he was healed.

"Y'want me to... but I mean... glory!" Quinn breathed, his mouth falling open at the thought of being buried inside his lover and making Dev--no dammit all, he was Kieran now, and Quinn had to remember that--and making Kier feel as good as he'd been feeling. "Like I'd say no t'that offer!"

Trailing a finger lightly down Kier's spine to the sweet curve of ass, Jax let his finger continue downwards, tracing the place where he'd soon be buried. "I've never done that either, De...Kieran. But I'd like to. But I don't want to hurt ye, so ye'll have to tell me the best way for me t'take ye."

"Ah, Qui-Jax. Knowing ye, me lover, it'll no' take much teachin'. Just do for me what I did for ye, stretch me wi' yer fingers first and use lots o' lube. For the rest, well, let nature take its course. I'm sure this fine, randy fellow," he laughed, petting Jax's cock, "will know what ta do when he finds an openin'."

Jax buried his face in Kieran's chest. "That. Was. BAD!!!!" he groaned. "Very, very, bad. If that's yer idea of talkin' dirty, I suggest ye get those fine fellows of British Intelligence to give ye a refresher course. That'd get ye shot or smacked; it sure as hell wouldn't get ye into someone's pants! Good thing I'm already in love with ye and a teenager t'boot. I get it up at the drop of a hat and then some," he teased, turning his head to lave a nipple, then worry it softly with his teeth. "Damn but y'taste good, my lover," he purred, resuming lapping at the pebbled flesh.

Jax's other hand reached for the tube of lubricant that he'd thrown to the side of the bed. Finding it, he snapped it open and managed to squirt some in his hand, warming it. The fingers of his other hand dipped into the now flesh-heated slick then proceeded to inveigle their way between Kieran's cheeks, searching out the tiny pucker that would let him in. Finding what he was looking for, the teen began to play, loving the gasps and moans that he could draw out of the older man.

"Well then, boyo, stop teasin' and get it up me," Kieran growled, his back arching to raise his hips off the bed, driving Jax's fingers deeper inside him. "Jesus, Mary and Joseph! I'm thinkin' ye had more lessons than I expected at that fine school o' yers," he gasped. "Love ye, Jax," he moaned, dilated blue eyes fixing on his lover's. "Now fuck me already!"

"Ye sent me off t'get a good education, Kieran; did ye not mean a sex education too?" Jaxon teased, sliding a finger over the older man's prostate and watching him gasp and dance on his fingers with possessive glee. "But ye were the first in me heart and in me body, my lover; no one else but ye has ever been there or ever will again," the younger man vowed.

Sliding his fingers out and rubbing their remaining slipperiness over the surface of his erection, Jax guided himself to Kieran's body with trembling hands, wrapping the older man's legs around his waist, and then slowly pushed inside, gasping at the hot tightness that surrounded him. "Sure an' if I knew it felt like this, I'd have jumped yer ancient bones sooner!" the teen gasped in pleasure.

Kieran raised his head and bit Jax's chin. "Behave, brat. And move!" His legs tightened around the teenager's hips, forcing his lover deeper inside him.

"Make me!" Jax retorted, the childish phrase slipping out before he could stop it.

Eyes narrowing, Kier started to roll them over but subsided with a faint groan. "Hold that thought for a month from now, lover mine," he said, frustration coloring his tone. "The spirit is willin', but the flesh..." He shrugged slightly. "For now, I'm in yer hands, boyo."

"Promises, promises," Jax singsonged, even as his hips began to slide back out then inwards once more. "I'm faster than ye are now, Kieran... whatever yer last name is. Ye'll have ta work damn hard ta catch me!" Another backward slide and a slightly quicker snap forward of his hips. Over and over the dance was repeated until the young man was slamming in and out of his lover, his breath coming in gasps, sweat pouring from his body, eyes glazed over in passion and need.

"Ye're already mine," Kieran growled possessively between gasps of pleasure. "I don't have ta catch ye." A particularly accurate thrust against his prostate made him cry out and convulse with pleasure, his fingers clenching on Jax's hips.

"Glory but ye're beautiful," Jaxon breathed, awed by the man beneath him. "An' ye're really mine too; that's the best part of all, not that the se-sex isn't hot enough t'scorch," he amended with a gasp. "But ye're really mine now, my lover!" A brutal thrust of his hips buried Jax as deeply within Kieran as he could go. Another thrust and a full body shudder went through him as his balls tightened and prepared to release. "Damn, oh Jaysus - Kier, I'm gonna... I need ta ... come!!!"

Kier stared up, his eyes fixed on the expression of agonized pleasure twisting his lover's face, and it was too much for him. His body tightened, the pleasure exploding through him, brought on as much by Jax's pleasure as his own. "Quinn!" he wailed, his body convulsing, coming without any touch on his cock.

"Devlin, me love," the younger man responded with a sigh as he fought not to simply collapse onto his mate's much too cuddlesome body. With a tired whimper, the young man found the strength to withdraw and let Kieran's legs fall back to the bed as he crawled over the older man's supine form and sank down onto the mattress next to him. "Damned bloody inconvenient it was, ye getting yerself shot. I wanted to snuggle with ye, but I can't 'til ye're better!"

"Get yer cute little arse over here," Kieran growled, pulling Jax close on his uninjured side. "I was shot on one side, ye silly fool. Ye can--and will!--cuddle on the other side." He rubbed his cheek against the top of the bright head, smiling contentedly. Suddenly he remembered what they'd each cried out, and he cursed.

"Bloody hell, we're goin' t'have to be working on the names some more."

"Not t'mention me accent. Let's face it, my lover, I sound as Irish as one of them cheesy 'come visit the emerald isle' promotional ads. People will think I fell off the potato cart or that I'm a tried and true Mick," Jax admitted with a chagrined cough. "Will those fancy friends of yers teach me how te protect ye too? I'll not be letting ye get shot again either, y'hear me?!"

"Hopefully it won't come up again, but yes, I'll request that ye get weapons training. It's only reasonable. I'm wantin' ye ta be able ta protect yerself, boyo. I'll not have ye hurt because o' me."

Jax smiled ferally. "Kieran, me love, that's the last thing ye'll be needing ta worry about. I'm not the innocent young lamb ye keep painting me t'be. An' I'm still the best damn thief in Belfast - or Eton as the case may be. A right Robin Hood I was, too!" he chortled in glee.

A groan was his reply, and one arm rose to cover Kieran's eyes. "Oh, my sainted mother! I don't want to know about this, do I?"

Jax had to chuckle. "Ye spent the last how many years of yer life spyin' on the IRA, doin' their dirty business in the name of the Queen, settin' bombs and causin' riots and the like, and ye're havin' a fit at my extracurricular activities?" the young man howled in laughter. "The almighty pot has called me black fer sure, it has!"

"I was working in the service of Queen and country," Kier replied with dignity. "Ye, on the other hand, are simply an uncontrollable imp!" He shook his head, pulling Jax closer. "I'm thinking it's all to the good that I'll be able to keep a closer eye on ye in future."

Jax snorted derisively. "So says ye," he grinned. "Ye can't be keepin' me under lock and key, ye know... they don't allow love slaves in Canada, an' I've got to earn me keep."

"Maybe I'll just be keepin' ye under me."

The younger man laughed so hard fat tears began to roll down his cheeks. "This from the man who's laid up with a bullet hole in his shoulder and who had to have me do all the work! Oh, that's royal, that is!" he guffawed. "I'll be expecting ye to put yer money on that fine prowess of yers, m'lord!"

Slightly offended, Kieran glared at the younger man. "Or I could just leave ye here an' remove my ancient bones from yer life," he replied with a faint snap of irritation. But despite his words, his hold on Jax never loosened.

Jaxon's eyes narrowed to dangerous slits, and a growl reverberated in his chest. "Don't ye dare threaten me with the likes of that ever again, Devlin Rourke," the younger man snapped, pushing himself away from the older man and off the bed. "I didn't give up my whole life for ye on a whim, and I may tease ye from time t'time, but my love for ye has never nor will it ever waiver, damn yer eyes!"

The tears came out of nowhere, sheening the younger man's gaze. "Damn ye t'hell, ye bloody bastard, I love ye more than me own life, and if this is the way it's t'be then fine, I'll earn my keep on my back for ye coz I'll do anything to be with ye, anything, Devlin Rourke, do ye hear me!" And with that the younger man bolted into the bathroom to try and regain his composure.

Sighing, Kier followed him. "And another thing that we need to work on is yer ability ta think before reactin', love. I'd never leave ye, and ye'd know that if ye thought first. Reactin' on instinct ta words could get us killed, boyo." He turned Jax to face him. "I love ye, ye silly sod. I'd never do that t'ye."

"I was just teasin', an then ye sounded so mad at me, an... I hate it when ye sound like that. I feel thirteen again and afraid I've displeased ye in some way an' that ye're goin' ta change yer mind about wantin' me and send me back," the younger man admitted quietly. "And I know I'd surely die without ye, Devl...Kieran. Ye're me life."

"And ye're mine, Jax. That's why I need ye ta be careful. It'd kill me if I lost ye now." He tilted Jax's head up and kissed him, his arms going around the younger man and holding him close. "I'll be happier when we're safely away," he admitted. "I keep thinkin' they're going ta come burstin' in and tear ye away from me.

"Which is the only way I'd ever lose ye, boyo. I love ye and the only place I'll be sendin' ye is t'our bed."

Ducking his head, red-faced and still not quite in control of his emotions, Jax husked, "An' are ye goin' t'be warmin' my arse and not let me be havin' any tea either, 'daddy'," he laughed, holding his lover closer.

"Ye've never been me da, ye know that right?" he said suddenly, his tone becoming serious. "Ye've been me best friend from the beginning, me love since I was fifteen and the one truly stable and secure place in the world I could call home since me parents were killed, but I've never thought of ye as me da. Ye've always been Devlin."

"An' glad I am ta hear it. I'd hate t'think ye wanted ta bed yer da," Kieran teased. "But who's this Devlin character ye're wanting? I'll thank ye ta remember me name when ye're standing naked in me arms, Jaxon Galbraith."

"As ye wish, Kieran O'Dell," the younger man grinned, smiling shyly before sobering as his hand drifted over a sensitive area of his thigh. "What will I be doin' about this, then, Kier? After all DR doesn't really belong on me body anymore, now that I'm a different man as are ye."

Kieran's hand covered the small tattoo and Jax's hand as well. "We'll find another meaning for it, not that anyone but me will be seein' it. I like seein' me mark on ye," he admitted, a thumb now rubbing lightly over the mark.

An erotic shiver chased up and down the younger man's body, and he moved closer to Kieran, eyes growing soft green with need. "Ye keep that up an ye'll be findin' out just how sensitive I am there," he admitted with a husky moan as his body, impossibly, trembled with the first faint stirrings of arousal all over again.

"And this would be bad how exactly?" Kieran asked somewhat smugly, his thumb still moving. "I think I like knowin' that ye have an on switch and that I'm the only one who knows it.

"I wonder..." Kieran drew him back out to the main room and pushed him down on the bed, stretching out next to him at waist level and stifling a groan as he jostled his injury but intent on trying something. He paused for an instant to look up to meet bemused grey-green eyes. "If ye like me hand, I'm thinkin' ye'll be likin' me mouth again." That said, he settled in to lick the ornate tattoo, tracing every line and whorl with his tongue.

"Faith!" Jax gasped, his eyes rolling back in his head and closing as his fingers scrabbled and clutched at bed sheets. "D...Kieran, ye're goin' ta kill me if ye keep that up. Besides, ye're t'be resting yer wound, remember, daft mon!"

"I am resting it, boyo. See me lyin' here in me bed?" Kieran replied wickedly, now blowing on the dampened flesh and watching the results with hot eyes. "Ye're delightfully responsive, Jax, and I'm thinkin' I'm goin' ta enjoy mapping all yer responses."

"Damn foolish man, will ye... ooooh glory, but that's a naughty thing t'be doin' t'me," Jax sighed and melted into the sheets. It was too damned difficult to stay stern with a man who was licking ye near yer cock. And damned if the silly bit of flesh wasn't respondin' with a mind of its own again.

"Kieran, don't be startin' something ye canna finish," Jax warned throatily, "coz I'd be a mite put out wi'ye if ye left me hangin' so t'speak."

"As if I'd ever be doin' such a thing to me lover," Kieran scoffed, turning his head slightly to rub his short beard lightly against Jax's cock. He grinned when the younger man gasped and jumped, his tongue quickly darting out to sooth the slight burn. "Glory, I'm goin' t'be nothin more than a puddle by the time yer fancy friends break through th'door t'find us," Jax moaned, arching up into the caress, his fingers releasing the bed linens to card through his lover's hair.

"And ye. Ye need t'heal so ye can take me proper like. I wanna be under ye, havin' ye poundin' inta me and me inta the mattress. I wanna be on me hands and knees with ye coverin' me and claimin' me like y'promised to. I need to feel ye do that, to lay claim t'what's been yers from that night in the alley way all those years ago. I was born fer ye, to be yers, Kieran O'Dell. It's what I'm meant t'do. Who I'm meant t'be. I know it in me bones, me soul and in me heart."

"Jesus, boyo, warn a man when ye're goin' ta say things like that!" Kieran gasped, his whole body shuddering under the impact of his young lover's words. He pressed a kiss to the tattoo, then slid his mouth over Jax's rigid shaft, taking half the length at once, humming with pleasure at the salty tang of him.

"Kieran!" Jaxon whimpered happily as he was slowly swallowed to the root. Faith but he'd been blessed with a lover to make all others pale into mere shadows by comparison. This was his man, no doubt of that.

"My man," he repeated softly, letting his eyes fall shut and his body glory in the sensations flowing through him, his first burst of arousal mellowing into a slow burn that had everything come into sharp focus. "Ye're my man and I'm yers alone until the day I die, Kieran O'Dell."

Not being a man to speak with his mouth full, Kier expressed his agreement with a happy hum. Faith but he loved this man, and he adored his responsive body as much as his quicksilver mind and big heart. His head bobbed up and down, seeking to pleasure his lover, his own arousal more mental than physical as the injury, drugs, and previous climaxes took their toll on him.

On and on the waves of pleasure rolled over the younger man. His arousal built gradually, constantly, from the warm fuzzy pleasure that was more love than lust until it was a raging inferno and he was once more clutching the bed sheets and babbling incoherently with need. He'd never felt so desired, so well loved as now.

And then he was coming, one moment riding the crest of his arousal, the next tumbling over the edge of ecstasy as Kieran swallowed him whole, body, soul and heart. The world went grey, and it took long moments for him to pull himself from the four corners of the universe where he'd been flung to find his lover wrapped tightly around him, cradling him in strong arms.

"Oh, but how I love ye, Devlin Rourke, Kieran O'Dell or whoever else ye may be in this lifetime. I love ye devoutly, my own," Jax whispered reverently, a trembling hand brushing against a beard-roughened cheek.

"As I love ye, boyo," Kieran replied equally seriously, holding his lover close. "Ye're mine now, and I'm never lettin' ye go."

"Damn straight yer not," Jax scoffed back, a soft smile belying the tone of his voice. "Like I'd even let ye let me go."

Encrypted Email
============================
TO:   Homefiresburning@uk.net
FROM:   The_Pet_Babysitter@aol.com
SUBJECT:   Relocating a pair of lovebirds

The lovebirds have been successfully relocated to their new home with great success and are happily mating away.

Tapes to follow.

Have lots of ice ready. And fans.

On my way home to enjoy the show.

The Babysitter.

============================

END

  since 02-11-07

 

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