The Stars are Brightly Shining
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by Nessa L. Warin
Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Romance
Description: Corbin wants to make a good impression on his lover's family, so when Neil docks the Wanderer at the space station Noel Prime on the Christmas tree planet of Navidia, they set out together to find the perfect tree. On their quest, they relive the enchantment of their first times, and on their journey to Neil's childhood home, they realize that magic is sometimes in the surprises and that if their love is true, the Wanderer is always home.
eBook Publisher: Dreamspinner Press/Dreamspinner Press, 2011 2011
eBookwise Release Date: January 2012
1 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [76 KB]
Reading time: 48-68 min.
Corbin hurried through the spaceport Noel Prime, his head ducked and his eyes firmly fixed on the pathway ahead of him. Usually at this time of year, he would meander through, taking as much time as he could to enjoy the spectacular Christmas decorations hanging in every door and window and attached to every wall, but not right now. Today, he was running late. A last-minute customer had kept him at work longer than he'd anticipated, and that, combined with Neal arriving earlier than scheduled, meant that if Corbin didn't hurry, he wouldn't get to watch the Wanderer dock.
"Sorry," he murmured, skirting by a group of people gawking up at the sky. They were tourists, here to buy one of the Christmas trees Navidia was famous for, and Corbin wondered what planet they were from. Noel Prime, even with all of its Christmas decorations, wasn't much different from most of the other spaceports in the human-inhabited planets known as the Gaian Alliance. The real magic of Navidia was in the trees.
As soon as he was clear of the crowd, Corbin picked up his pace, hurrying along the back passageways that few people were aware of, and emerging on the platform he'd been seeking. He arrived just in time to see a large, sleek ship slow in her approach. It was a familiar sight, though one he'd been missing for the past five weeks, and he couldn't help the grin that blossomed on his face as he stepped up to the railing that marked the edge of the safe area. Even from here, Corbin could feel the searing heat from the ship's thrusters, but he didn't let that stop him from curling his fingers around the top rail and leaning forward, his gaze fixed anxiously on the hatch.
It felt like an eternity before the thrusters died, leaving the ship sitting silent on the large metal platform near the upper level of Noel Prime, and even longer for the familiar click of the hatch opening to reach Corbin's ears. The moment it hissed upward, revealing the inside of the Wanderer and the tall dark-haired man standing there, Corbin vaulted the rail and dashed across the empty platform that separated him from the ship.
Neal met him halfway. "The gate too far for you?" he asked, his tone teasing and his brown eyes twinkling as he let them rake over Corbin's body. Corbin looked good, his short blond hair disheveled from his run through Noel Prime and his dressy work shirt open just enough at the neck to reveal the dip of his collarbone. It was a welcome sight after nearly five weeks apart, and Neal licked his lips appreciatively as he took it in.
"Tonight it was," Corbin said, closing the last few feet between them with swift steps. He didn't hesitate before slipping his arms around Neal's neck and pulling him down into a brief kiss that was full of promise. "I missed you."
"Yeah," Neal agreed, wrapping his arms around Corbin's waist and pulling him closer. "I missed you too."
The moment felt more intimate than it was. In the shadow of the Wanderer, it was easy to forget the thousands of people walking and waiting nearby, but a clang on the next landing pad over reminded both Corbin and Neal that they weren't alone.
Corbin reluctantly slid his hands over Neal's shoulders and rested them against his chest. Neal didn't loosen his grip, so Corbin leaned back, trusting that Neal wouldn't let him fall. "We should head back."
Neal flicked his gaze toward the source of the noise and nodded. "We should. We can pick this up at home," he added, his lips curling up into a grin.
"Right." Corbin couldn't resist leaning up and kissing Neal one more time before he stepped back out of Neal's arms. "Do you need anything?"
"Just my bag. I dropped off everything else." Neal stepped back and grabbed his duffle from where he'd left it just inside the Wanderer's hatch. "I am officially all yours for the next two standard weeks," he added as he held his hand out to his partner.
Corbin grinned as he took it, and a thrill ran through him when he thought about what they could do with the time. It was unusually long--they normally had a few days, at most--and though they planned to celebrate Christmas with both their families, there was going to be plenty of time when it was just the two of them, and they were both looking forward to it.
* * * *
The sun was barely peeking through the crack in the curtain the next morning when Neal rolled over, wrapped himself around Corbin, and gently pressed his lips to the underside of Corbin's jaw. "Morning," he said when Corbin finally stirred, blinking sleepily at him.
"No it's not," Corbin protested, letting his eyes close again. "Morning doesn't start until at least ten on vacation. It's barely seven. Go back to sleep."
"Can't." Neal had already tried. The ambient light had woken him long before the sun had crested the horizon, as even the tiny light of pre-dawn was enough to wake him after five weeks on the Wanderer, where absolute darkness was only held back by the artificial lights of the ship. "It's too bright."
Corbin peeled one eye open and attempted a halfhearted glare. His limbs were heavy and his body tingling with the need to sleep, but Neal was warm against his side, and it was nearly impossible to get mad after so long apart. "I'm upgrading to blackout windows in here," he mumbled instead as he let his eyes close again. "The automatic kind that you never have to remember to turn on."
Neal had been telling Corbin he needed to get the special windows that turned opaque with the push of a button or at a pre-set time since the first night he spent in Corbin's house. "I knew you'd change your mind if I kept waking you up early," he whispered with a grin. It earned him a frown, but Corbin didn't open his eyes.
"You're evil," he muttered finally, "depriving me of sleep like this."
"Oh, yeah. I'm a terrible person," Neal agreed with a roll of his eyes. He kissed Corbin's chest just over his heart and slid down, pulling the covers with him as he slipped between Corbin's legs.
Black silk boxers were in the way of Neal's ultimate goal, but he paused before pulling them down, taking a moment to admire the way Corbin was splayed out on the dark blue sheets, his toned and tanned chest rising and falling with each breath. His blue eyes were still obscured by long lashes that fluttered as Neal eased the boxers past his hips with a gentle tug. When they started to slide easily, Neal pressed a teasing kiss to the trail of freckles that dotted his nose and cheeks continued down his chest. Some mornings, Neal liked to trace the tiny brown dots with his fingers, pausing every so often to kiss one of them, but today he had other plans, more immediate ones that would both wake Corbin up and earn his forgiveness for the early morning wakeup.
He pulled the boxers all the way off Corbin's legs, slipping deep under the covers to the foot of the bed to do so, and squirmed out of his own before sliding back up to curl his fingers around Corbin's hips and lick up the vein on the underside of his cock. Corbin's hips jerked, his eyes snapped open, and Neal grinned. "Thought I'd make it up to you."
"You could let me sleep," Corbin protested, though they both knew his heart wasn't in it.
"I could," Neal agreed, looking coyly up at Corbin. He was so close that Corbin could feel the warm exhale from each word blow across his cock, and his brown eyes were wide with a false innocence that had Corbin's stomach doing flips. He grinned as he leaned in and licked the tip of Corbin's cock. "But this is more fun."
Neal leaned down and took Corbin fully in his mouth, relishing the long-missed flavor of his partner as he licked and sucked, hollowing out his cheeks and using every trick he knew to pleasure Corbin. He grinned as Corbin's hips bucked, tightened his fingers, and relished the salty taste of Corbin's pre-come. He'd missed this during those long nights on the Wanderer. Video messaging didn't give him the taste of Corbin in his mouth, let him see the way Corbin writhed under him or hear the desperate panting noises that only he could entice Corbin to make. "Love you," he whispered, pulling back just enough to let his breath ghost over Corbin's cock again.
It jumped in response, and Corbin whimpered, the fog of sleep leaving his brain only to be replaced by a haze of bliss. Everything slowed as pleasure built deep inside him. The firm grip of Neal's hands sent sparks racing along Corbin's skin, and the wet warmth of his mouth left Corbin incapable of rational thought.
He fumbled and then slid his hands down to tangle them in Neal's chin-length brown hair--perfect for gripping while they did this--and gently tugged. "Come here," he whispered, and Neal complied, climbing up Corbin's body until they were lying chest to chest with Neal looking down at Corbin.
"I love you," Neal said and pressed their lips together.
Corbin opened his mouth, willingly letting Neal's tongue in as he again tangled his fingers in Neal's dark-brown hair. He didn't tug, just held on as their tongues moved together, sliding back and forth between their mouths as they both tried to make up for the weeks they'd been apart.
Every brush of their lips and twist of their tongues was desperate and needy. Neal planted his hands on the bed, bracing himself to get a better angle, and Corbin slid one hand down Neal's back, scratching at his fair skin as Corbin tightened his other hand in Neal's hair. Neal moaned, and Corbin slid his hand down further, pushing his finger into the crack of Neal's ass and brushing it over his hole.
"Fuck!" Neal said, jerking back and pressing against Corbin's finger. "Don't tease."
"I'm not." Corbin lifted his head, kissed Neal soundly, and rolled until he was pinning Neal to the bed. His cock was hard, wet with pre-come and spit, and he rubbed it against Neal's hip and moaned at the friction. Neal swallowed the sound and deepened the kiss as Corbin fumbled on the bedside table for lubricant. The moment his fingers closed around the bottle, he made a triumphant sound, pulled back, and sat up so he was resting on his knees between Neal's splayed legs.
Neal watched with amusement as Corbin flipped the lid open, and he picked up the bottle when Corbin tossed it on the bed after slicking one of his fingers. "It's lower than it was when I left," he said, his tone teasing. "You miss me?"
"Fuck yes," Corbin said as he slid one finger into Neal. He'd used the lube on himself while on the video phone with Neal several times over the past five weeks and a few times when he was alone and desperate and missing the sound of Neal's voice. Corbin's work and Neal's stops on planets with days completely opposite Navidia's had meant that they hadn't always been able to talk, and text messages had done little to ease the ache of separation.
"Good." Neal moaned as Corbin twisted his finger, brushing it against his prostate. "Missed you too."
"Not enough, if you're still talking," Corbin replied. Then, without giving Neal a chance to retort, he slid in a second finger and scissored them, leaving Neal moaning and begging for more. He stretched Neal slowly, drawing this out just as Neal had drawn out the blowjob earlier, and taking the time to savor every whimper and moan. Two fingers became three, and then four, and eventually, Corbin pulled back and fumbled for the lube again.
They'd long since passed the need for other protection, a fact Corbin was grateful for every time he slid into Neal like this. There was nothing that compared to feeling this heat and pressure around his bare cock, nothing that pleased him more than watching Neal come undone beneath him. Neal loved it, too, relished the feel of Corbin's come spilling inside him, delighted in the look on Corbin's face just before he fell, boneless, into Neal's arms.
"Hurry," Neal whispered. Usually, he enjoyed watching Corbin prepare himself, but today he wanted more, now, faster, and he didn't have the patience or the desire to wait.
"Patience," Corbin whispered, but when Neal shook his head, protesting, he dropped the bottle, lined himself up, and let Neal hook his legs around his waist. He pushed in with one swift, smooth thrust that made them both gasp, and stopped, waiting for Neal to adjust. As soon as Neal nodded, he moved.
It was hard and fast, with none of the teasing from earlier. Corbin thrust again and again, desperate now that he had Neal tight around him. Neal encouraged him, moaning and pumping his own cock in time with Corbin's thrusts. Neal kept his eyes locked with Corbin's, watching as they got wider and darker, and when Corbin licked his lip and leaned forward, changing his angle slightly, Neal came, calling out Corbin's name as he clenched his fingers in the sheets below.
Corbin followed, throwing his head back as he cried out and collapsed forward on Neal's sweat- and come-slicked chest as soon as he was done. He lay still for a moment, breathing heavily and savoring Neal's scent as he waited for strength to return to his limbs. Eventually, Neal shoved at Corbin, rolling him to the side to ease the pressure on his chest, and grinned when Corbin grumbled and pulled out.
"Was comfortable," he said when they were lying side by side, their legs tangled together and their chests almost touching.
"You're heavy," Neal corrected with a smile that negated any potential sting. "I didn't want you to literally fall asleep on me."
"Tempting, but this works too." Corbin pulled Neal close, nuzzled his neck, and groaned when his phone started beeping. He rolled over and glared at it, but it didn't take the hint, and he sighed. "Sorry."
"Not your fault," Neal said, stretching as Corbin answered the phone. They needed to get up anyway if they were going to pick out their tree today, and the phone call, though unwanted and unexpected, was the perfect excuse to start the slow process of actually getting out of bed.
He was sitting, but not up, when Corbin hung up the phone and flopped back on his pillow with a groan. The conversation had been soft and fast, impossible for Neal to follow without trying to overhear, and it had left Corbin annoyed. Neal laid a hand on Corbin's arm, trying to soothe him, but Corbin jerked his arm away, his irritation simmering. "I have to go in to work."
Neal's heart sank. They were both supposed to be off for the next two standard weeks, but he also knew that Corbin wouldn't turn away the opportunity to help a customer. "Okay. Will you be long?"
Corbin grinned and took Neal's hand. "No. I promise I'll be done by lunch." He sat up and kissed Neal gently. "Thank you."
"You're welcome. Now go." Neal lightly patted Corbin on the shoulder. "Hurry up and get back to me."
Corbin laughed as he climbed out of bed. "You're being awfully understanding about this."
"Yeah, well." Neal shrugged. "That's just you." The first thing Neal had learned about Corbin was how dedicated he was to his job. It was, after all, how they'd met three years earlier.