"You know, it doesn't really look that bad out there."
To Jay's eyes, it looked worse. He wondered what Nick was seeing. He was a weatherman, after all. Wasn't he supposed to be smarter than this?
"No, actually, it looks pretty bad. We're lucky we've got this nice cabin and we're not stuck out there in the middle of it."
"Because we'd get a little wet?" Nick scoffed and stepped away from the window. "You're the mountain man. You're supposed to be made of stronger stuff than that. I'll bet I could even drive home in this, no problems."
"I'm sure you're an excellent driver." Jay didn't like the way Nick's eyes kept darting to the door. He obviously was not thinking clearly. "But you're going to need a four-wheel drive and a road to get off this mountain. You have neither of those things."
"Four-wheel drives are for pansies. Pansies and twats." He grabbed the doorknob and yanked it open. A gust of wind knocked over his wineglass near the hearth. "I'm neither one nor the other, ergo I shall be perfectly safe."
On his final declaration, Nick marched out into the storm, not bothering to shut the door behind him.
He may not have been a pansy or a twat, but Jay was beginning to suspect he was a fool. He hesitated for a second, a part of him expecting Nick to spin on his heel and come back as soon as the cold rain rolled down his neck. But Nick just kept marching forward, like he didn't even feel it. When he got caught in the rushing river that used to be the road, however, he would definitely feel it.
Jay knew he didn't have a choice. He didn't even bother with his boots. He rushed out the open door, chasing after Nick.
It was hard to make out details in the darkness. The driving rain kept blinding him, forcing Jay to wipe continually at his eyes. Only the fact that he knew this mountain better than a lover kept his feet steady. He raced forward, focused on Nick's slight form. The man's shirt was plastered to his back, his trousers molded over his tight ass, but not even that seemed enough to deter him. He barely hesitated when he broke free of the faint illumination spilling through the open front door.
He only stopped when Jay grabbed his arm and yanked him to a halt.
"What're you doing?" Nick struggled against his grip, but he was no match for Jay's strength. "If you're worried about my car, we'll just take yours. You've got a truck, right?"
"Why are you in such a hurry?" Jay resisted the urge to shake the other man. "Where do you think you need to go?"
The determination in his face faded, and his gaze flickered past him to the cabin. "I can't stay there. It was supposed to be for me and Austin. I look at it, and I think of him telling me he hasn't loved me in months."
Nick looked like a drowned cat. He was already shivering, and the rain on his face could have been tears for as miserable as his eyes were. Jay sought his mind for anything comforting to say, but the fact was, he didn't know Nick. He didn't know Austin. All he knew was that he was half-naked, standing in the rain, holding a man who needed something besides wine and words.
"Come back inside with me. Please."
"I can't." He shook his head to emphasize his point. "Are you sure your truck won't make it? I'll pay you. Whatever you want. Name your price."
"Nick, I can't..."
Nick lifted his lashes and Jay realized he had never seen anybody look so ... bereft. As though Jay had just condemned him with nothing more than a thoughtless word or a casual gesture. He yanked Nick forward against his naked chest and waited for Nick to pull away. But he didn't. He just blinked the water out of his eyes and stared at Jay expectantly. Like he expected Jay to seriously name a price to risk his neck and his truck to get down the road.
Jay moved without further thought, pressing his lips against Nick's. His mouth was cold and warm, sweet and bitter. He cupped the back of Nick's head, holding him in place as he moved his lips.