Beyond HEA: Creative Incentives
Caution: this story is not meant to stand alone. The Beyond Happily Ever After stories are vignettes and outtakes showing the O'Kanes in their daily lives, in between the adventures and often after their happy endings. These stories were written exclusively for readers and fans of the series, and will probably not make very much sense to anyone not familiar with the characters.
Length: 2,122 words
Characters: Cruz, Ace and Rachel
Timeline: Set after Beyond Surrender.
Creative Incentives: July 2017 Patreon Reward Story. This story is a short vignette voted on by our Patreon supporters. In it, Cruz figures out some creative ways to convince Ace to keep up with the physical therapy that is restoring his strength after his injuries in Beyond Surrender. It's short, it's filthy, and it's a lot of fun.
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Convincing Ace to keep up with his physical therapy was beginning to take a prodigious level of creativity.
In the earliest days after his injury, Cruz never needed to prod him. Rachel’s growing belly and the discovery that not one but two babies were on their way had spurred Ace to arrive promptly in the workout room every day, determined to regain the strength and mobility necessary to protect his growing family.
But peace was an insidious thing. Eight months of relative quiet had eased Ace’s concerns. He could hold his children, make love to his lovers, and wield paintbrushes and needles with the same skill he’d always enjoyed. As far as Ace was concerned, that was enough. Getting him out of their giant bed—especially when it meant leaving behind a sleepy-eyed Rachel—grew more challenging every day.
Fortunately, Cruz loved the impossible man too much to let him lose the ground he’d regained. And he was learning to be very creative.
“You’re a tyrant, you know,” Ace grumbled as he started his second set of elbow extensions.
“I know.” Cruz watched Ace for signs of strain, but the shift to heavier weights was going well. “Remember, three sets of eight.”
“I know how to count to eight,” Ace huffed.
So cranky. Cruz fought a smile—Ace would not appreciate it right now—and put a hand on his lover’s abdominal muscles. “Remember to keep your abs tight.”
Ace paused with the weight extended above his head and glared at him. “Do you want me to drop this on your head?”
“If it will get you to stop whining.”
“I’m. Not. Whining.”
Time to shift tactics. Cruz stepped behind him without moving his hand. Ace had let his hair grow longer, and the soft strands tickled Cruz’s cheek as he leaned closer to his ear. “Four.”
Cruz slid his hand up, over Ace’s chest, up his arm, all the way to where his fingers curled around the weight he still held aloft over his head. Gently, he guided Ace to bend his arm back until his elbow was at a ninety degree angle. “That was four. Now do five.”
Obediently, Ace extended his arm. Cruz smiled—safely, because Ace couldn’t see him. “Five. Do you know why I’m making you do this?”
Ace heaved an aggrieved sigh. “Because apparently you’re a sadist after all?”
No, Cruz would never savor the application of pain the way Ace did. But Ace’s unthinking obedience—that stirred all the darkest places inside him. Rachel’s submission to both of them was bright and sweet and precious, always wrapped in an eagerness that humbled him. But Ace had melted more slowly under Cruz’s hands.
Or maybe it had just taken Cruz longer to learn how to manage him.
Cruz counted until Ace reached eight, then lifted the weight from his lover’s hand and skated his fingers over Ace’s arm. “Your triceps,” Cruz murmured, tracing the muscles Ace had been exercising. “They stabilize your shoulder, help you move your arm. What do you think lets you swing a flogger?”
“I don’t even swing a flogger with that arm,” Ace argued, though there was a definite hoarseness to his voice that let Cruz know he was winning. But Ace kept arguing. He never stopped arguing, even while he was obeying. “Also, swinging is only part of it. Accuracy is in the wrist. If you want to get technical about it—”
Cruz caught Ace’s chin in a firm grip and turned his head so he could stare him in the eyes. “Keep talking, and I’ll cancel the babysitter.”
Ace’s brown eyes widened—and began to gleam. “Babysitter?”
“Uh-huh. Noelle and Jas wanted a turn with the twins.” Cruz released Ace’s face and placed the weight into his opposite hand. “Rachel’s getting them dressed and packed up right now. If you weren’t dragging your feet, you might be done with these exercises already. She could join us in the shower…”
Ace groaned and lifted his arm above his head. “You’re an evil bastard.”
That, Cruz reflected, was true. Because he had barely gotten started. “She’ll already be done showering when we get back, at this rate. All naked and wet…because I told her not to get dressed. I told her to wait for you.”
“One,” Ace growled, completing his first rep.
So he liked that. Cruz sank into it, the words coming easily. Shame at just how easily was a distant memory—his lovers enjoyed the deepest depths of his depravity. “It’s been too long since we took our time with her, hasn’t it? Since we took her all the way up. She needs you to hurt her, Ace.”
“Do you want to know what I promised her?”
Cruz chuckled and adjusted Ace’s arm so his posture was precise. “That’s not a number.”
“Good boy.” Cruz waited for him to do his fourth rep before asking innocently, “So do you want to know?”
“Yes, you asshole. I want to know.”
“I told her we’d kiss her first. Take our time. Take turns until she’s soft and melting—you know how she gets when it’s starting to hit her. When she’s so hot that when you put on those jeweled nipple clamps you got her, she just squirms and whimpers.”
“Six,” Ace said desperately.
“Five,” Cruz corrected. “You like how those clamps hurt her just right. She’d be wet enough to fuck by then, but I’d set her on the edge of the bed. Because it wouldn’t be her turn yet.”
“Then I’d tell you to get on your knees and open my belt. You’d make some smart comments, but you wouldn’t be able to talk with my cock in your throat.”
“Jesus fucking Christ, man.”
The words were beginning to stir Cruz’s body, but he exerted rigid control over himself and corrected Ace’s form again. “Concentrate.”
Cruz swatted his hip. “If you want this to happen, concentrate.”
Clearly he wanted it to happen, because Ace started the next rep. Cruz fought another smile and wove the fantasy around them both. “Rachel would be so jealous, especially when I grabbed your hair and started thrusting. You don’t mind it a little rough, do you?”
“Seven,” Ace snarled.
“I haven’t decided where I’ll come yet,” Cruz whispered hoarsely. “In your mouth. In hers. She’ll be so hungry for it after watching us. She’ll want someone to grab her hair and fuck her mouth so deep she can’t breathe. It could be me. It could be you.”
“Eight.” Ace finished the set and threw the weight aside. Then he whirled and crashed into Cruz.
Ace’s lips found his as gravity took over. Cruz used his own religiously maintained muscles to control their fall, landing on the mats with Ace on top of him, straddling his hips. Ace’s fingers plunged into his hair as the kiss slowed, and Cruz remembered the first time he crossed the space between them to lock lips with the wonderful, infuriating man grinding on top of him.
It seemed impossible that this had ever felt anything but right.
Ace broke their kiss and stared down at Cruz, panting heavily. “I should not reward you for torturing me.”
“Why not?” Cruz slipped his hands through the long strands of Ace’s hair and tightened his fingers into fists. “Rachel rewards you for torturing her all the damn time.”
“Stop being right about everything.”
Cranky words, but Ace was already moving. He slid down, his clever fingers making swift work of Cruz’s belt buckle.
The first touch of Ace’s mouth was hot enough to drive a groan from Cruz’s throat. Ace echoed it, sliding his lips down, down, down. He was good at it, good at knowing how much tongue to use, good at knowing when to suck and when to use his hand. Arousal was already tightening its grip around Cruz when he let his head fall to the side.
And saw Rachel leaning against the doorway, watching them with a soft, secret smile.
The heat sliding through him burst into flame.
Even when Cruz closed his eyes against a fresh wave of sensation ignited by Ace’s tongue dragging up his shaft, Rachel’s gaze remained a tangible warmth—sweet and adoring and loving. He’d learned to love from the two of them, had learned to embrace his own darkness as well as his light. Because the possessiveness that rose from deep inside him wasn’t the dangerous, horrible thing he’d always feared.
It was the best part of him. His protective nature, his strength, his willingness to do what needed to be done to keep the people he loved safe.
Eden had made him a warrior, but Rachel and Ace had given him a mission he could be proud of. A purpose. A family.
Shuddering, Cruz thrust up into the heat of Ace’s mouth, only to snarl in frustration when his lover retreated. Ace’s fingers curled around his cock, stroking up the slickened shaft, and he knew Ace had noticed Rachel when his most wicked laugh drifted through the room. “Hey, angel. Cruz has been telling me about your plans for the morning.”
Her breathing hitched. “We had plans?”
“Cruz, you dirty liar.” Ace stroked his hand up and froze, gripping his shaft tight. “He told me you’d be waiting for me naked so we could do filthy, delicious things to you.”
Cruz forced his gaze open and met Rachel’s eyes. “She’ll get naked if I tell her to. Won’t you, sweetheart?”
Her fingers were already on the top button of her shirt, and she sank her teeth into her lower lip as she pulled it so hard the button popped off and pinged off the floor.
Ace made an approving noise and lowered his head again. Searing heat closed around just the head of Cruz’s cock, and he shuddered and fought for the control not to thrust up and end it too soon. “Faster, Rachel. Close the door and get naked.”
She held his gaze as she reached back and fumbled the door shut, then twisted the lock. “You’re both so beautiful.”
Her voice trembled. Her hands shook as she worked at her clothing, revealing skin one inch at a time. By the time she was naked, she was flushed pink and Cruz was clinging to control by the most fragile of threads as Ace bobbed his head up and down, determined to drag him over the edge.
Cruz sank his hand back into Ace’s hair and pulled tight, slowing his pace—and giving Rachel a visual that had her straining toward them. “Kneel,” he ordered her softly. “And watch.”
She sank to her knees, sweetly obedient, and Cruz shifted his gaze to Ace. “I made up my mind,” he said hoarsely, dragging Ace’s head up until he could meet the man’s hot, hungry eyes. “I’m going to come in your mouth. And if you promise not to bitch about workouts for the rest of the week…”
Ace licked his lips. “Then what?”
The possibilities were endless. A glance around the room revealed plenty of opportunities for improvisation. Bending Rachel over a bench would position her perfectly for Ace to spank her until she squirmed and begged to be fucked. How easy it would be like that—one of them driving deep into her mouth, the other sinking into the heat of her pussy.
Or maybe he’d push Ace down onto the bench. Sprawled on his back, with Rachel and Cruz on either side, taking turns swallowing his cock until he couldn’t take another second of the pleasure.
Or maybe he’d play one of his favorite games—pull Rachel into his lap and hold her in place with three fingers curled deep inside her and the other hand gently wrapped around her neck. He loved feeling both of them that way—Ace’s cock sliding into her throat, and the clench of her body around his fingers as her pleasure at their pleasure twisted with her own helplessness.
Maybe he’d say fuck it and turn Rachel on her knees. Watching Ace grip her hips and sink into her again and again would have Cruz hard again soon—and being inside Ace while he was fucking Rachel was always exquisite.
Too many possibilities to choose, and even considering them was too much for his self-control. “I’ll let you know,” he growled as he dragged Ace’s head down again. Ace let out an encouraging groan, echoed by Rachel’s soft gasp, and Cruz thrust up into the heat of his lover’s mouth and stopped trying to hold back.
He was a goddamn O’Kane. He didn’t have to choose. He’d do every last one of them.