Title: Runaway Best Man
Author: Bj Jones
Disclaimer: I think we all know I don't own them and the reasons why. They are owned by various executives, producers, writers and studios that have more lawyers than I want to mess with. I'm not making any money just borrowing them for a bit and promise to return them.
Summary: Speed's heart is broken when Eric decides to get married; can Horatio heal him?
Author's Note: I got this idea from Runaway Bride – by Dixie Chicks. It started off cute and fluffy with Eric and Speed… then just took a right turn and decided that a) Horatio couldn't be left out and b) the more angst the better.
Challenge: 40 Baisers Horatio Caine/Timothy Speedle/Eric Delko
Prompt: #25 - Worthwhile
Word Count: 13567
"I'm getting married."
With those three words Timothy Speedle's world crashed around him. He looked at his best friend with a shocked expression. "Excuse me?"
Eric smiled brightly, "I'm getting married."
"I didn't know you were dating someone long term," Alexx got up and hugged the young Cuban Russian.
"We've know each other since we were kids," he shrugged. "Lost touch with her after high school. We recently met up and just clicked."
Speed plastered a smile on his face, "So the lab's playboy goes down." Speed shook his head. "Think of all the heartbroken women you're leaving behind."
Eric gave a small glare Speed's way, "So then you wouldn't mind?"
"No," Speed groaned. "Don't you have brothers or something?"
Eric laughed. "Come on, buddy. I need you as my best man."
He had no idea how he was going to stand there and watch the man he loved marry someone else. "Does this mean I have to throw you a bachelor party?"
"And wear a tux," Eric grinned.
"Not helping your cause there," Speed grimaced.
"Please, I don't want to do this without you," Eric asked sincerely.
Speed felt his heart shatter. "Fine, I'll be your best man."
"Damn," Calleigh shook her head. "You're getting married."
"I know," Eric laughed.
"Congrats, Eric," Horatio's stood at the break room door. "Sorry to intrude, but…"
"Miami never closes?" Speed stood up and headed for the door. He needed to get a way from a grinning Eric.
"Unfortunately, Speed you head out with Alexx," Horatio instructed. "Calleigh do you have that report for me?"
"I do," she got up and headed for the door.
"Eric," Horatio looked over at the young man. "Can you pull back the evidence to the Williams' case, seems his attorney is going for the contaminated evidence approach."
Eric rolled his eyes, "Right on it."
"How are you doing?" Alexx asked looking up at Speed.
Speed snapped a few pictures of the victim's purse. "What do you mean?" he asked, knowing that she wouldn’t be fooled for a second.
"Tim," Alexx's eyebrow rose.
"It sucks okay," Speed lowered the camera and looked at her. "What's worse it's my own fault."
"Timmy…" She felt his pain.
"I never said anything," Speed pulled the camera up. "I never told him."
"What are you going to do?" Alexx asked quietly.
"I don't know," he answered honestly.
The next day he had made his decision. The future Mrs. Delko had come by the lab to meet his co-workers and friends. Speed gave her a small smile and talked a bit with her and came to the painful conclusion she was good for Eric. She held her own against his teasing, she was beautiful, and had a good heart to go with it, can't go wrong with a wife as a pediatrician. To top it off she really loved Eric.
A couple of weeks later, Speed had his bags packed and was ready to head out to Vegas. Once he had made his decision he had contacted Warrick about a possible job out in Vegas. The next day Grissom had called and offered him a position. He had no idea that his skills and reputation were that high. Before he left the lab he laid his letter of resignation, badge, and gun on H's desk while he was in a meeting.
He had gone down to the morgue to say goodbye to Alexx. She held him tight demanding she contact him when he got settled. He held her close, kissed her cheek, and promised he would call. After all, she was mom.
He had his bags packed and by the door. He would fly out and get settled, then come back for the final move overseeing what would be shipped to Vegas. He checked the clock, he should be heading out to the airport in an hour.
He was startled slightly at the knock at his door. He hoped it was Alexx; he didn't want to explain the packed bags, for that matter house, to Calleigh or Eric. He opened the door and froze.
"Horatio," Speed was a bit surprised to see him. "I thought you were in meetings till late this evening."
"I can see that," Horatio stepped into the house, his eyes taking in the boxes. "You were just going to sneak out of town."
Speed closed the door, turning towards Horatio. "You wouldn't understand."
"Try me," Horatio tilted his head slightly hands on his hips. "I was surprised as hell when I got a call from Gil Grissom. He was calling to thank me for letting you come earlier than anticipated."
Speed cringed, "I'm sorry."
"Why Tim? Why are you leaving?" Horatio's voice dropped. "What is driving you away from your home?"
"Personal," Speed glanced up at the clock. "I got to go H…"
"How long have you been in love with him?" Horatio asked, his eyes boring into Speed's.
Speed closed his eyes head dropping. "Does it matter?"
"Speed," Horatio stepped forward.
"I can't stay here," Speed looked up then shrugged and looked back down. "It hurts too much. I have no one to blame but myself, I just never…Does, it really matter? I mean, I'm leaving yes, but my heart is staying here."
"But your taking mine with you," Horatio decided it was time to be honest.
Speed looked up shocked, "H?"
Horatio cupped Speed's cheek in his hand, "Stay. Don't leave me."
Speed stared in shock; he could feel the tears at the corner of his eyes. Blinking he stepped back, "God, we're a fine pair."
Horatio smiled and responded, "Yes, we are."
"You want me, despite the fact I love someone else?" Speed questioned.
"Give me a chance," Horatio pleaded. "Let me try and win your heart."
Speed shook his head, "I should go. This can't…"
Horatio moved quickly. He pulled Speed into his arms taking his lips in a bruising kiss. Speed's hand clutched at his suit coat, holding on as his mouth was devoured. Opening up, he moaned as the kiss deepened. Pulling back for air, he looked into Horatio's eyes. He saw it there, all the love and emotion Horatio had for him. This was a turning point. He could turn and walk out the door, start a new life and try and forget Eric. Or he could stay here and let Horatio help him forget.
"Are you sure?" Speed asked eyes pleading. "What if I can't love you back? I don't want to hurt you."
Horatio wiped the tear that had slipped down Speed's cheek. "Give us a chance, that's all I'm asking."
Speed wrapped his arms around Horatio's neck and buried his face into his shoulder. Horatio held onto him tightly. Speed pulled back slightly, not fully leaving Horatio's arms. "I need to call Grissom…"
"Oh, let me," Horatio grabbed his phone, dialed Grissom's number. "Grissom, its Horatio… Fine now, thank you. I'm just calling to inform you that I'm keeping my trace expert…I gave him a better incentive to stay." Horatio clicked the phone shut. "Now let's get you unpacked."
Speed eyed his packed living room, "God, I hate moving."
"Good thing you're not," Horatio slipped his arms around Speed, pulling him back into his arms. "We'll just take one day at a time."
Speed settled into Horatio's arms. It felt good to be held, but at the same time he felt guilty. He pulled back stepping away from Horatio. He cringed at the flash of hurt in Horatio's eyes. "H. God, I'm already screwing this up."
"No," Horatio sighed running a hand through his hair. "I meant it Speed, let me win you over. Court you."
Speed smirked, "Court me? As in flowers, dates, and trying to get to first base?"
Horatio laughed, "How about dinner and a game?"
Speed gave him a small smile, "Sounds good." He looked around the room at the multitude of boxes, "How are you at organizing books?"
Horatio looked at the pile of boxes, "These are all books?"
"No," Speed shook his head. "This just miscellaneous stuff, you know kitchen, bathroom, office, stuff like that. The books are in the office."
Horatio slipped off his jacket. "Should I take kitchen or living room?"
"Living room," Speed grabbed his bags and headed for the back bedroom. "I like my kitchen a certain way, no offense, but I just can't have someone else in my kitchen."
Horatio took a deep breath, releasing all the tension in his body. He was only an hour away from losing Speed. If Grissom had not called he wouldn't have know about Speed leaving until it was too late. Horatio closed his eyes and thanked God that he had this one chance. Now all he had to do was win his heart.
Alexx looked a bit shocked to see Speed walk up to the crime scene, "Speedy?"
"Hey Alexx," he smiled at her. "There was a change in plans."
She smiled brightly, "I'm glad."
"Plans?" Eric walked up to the two. "You had plans and didn't inform me?"
"This is coming from the guy who sprung a marriage on us?" Speed smiled at Alexx.
Alexx eyed Speed. She had every intention of figuring out what changed Speed's mind. She glanced down at the victim. "You were too young for this."
"Alexx," Horatio looked down at the young woman. "What do you have?"
"Broken neck," She looked up and noticed he was looking beyond them. She followed his line of sight. She grinned, so it wasn't a what that changed Speed's mind, but a who. "There are some markings around her neck, I'll have to get her into the lab to get a closer look."
"Page me," Horatio nodded.
"Thank you," Alexx stated simply.
"For?" Horatio asked curiously.
"For convincing him to stay," Alexx glanced towards Speed. "Take good care of him."
Horatio nodded, he should have known nothing got past Alexx. "I plan on it."
"When you said you read a lot," Horatio looked at the spare bedroom full of bookshelves overflowing with books. It had taken them a few days, okay over a week, but they finally got everything unpacked and put away. "You weren't kidding."
"No," Speed grinned. "I wasn't."
"So, ready to go?" Horatio asked. Tonight was their first official date and like he promised he was taking Speed to dinner and a game.
Speed nodded. "Where are we eating?"
"I thought we could stop off at Tommy's or we can eat at the park?" Horatio suggested as they headed down the hallway.
"Can I get Cracker Jacks?" Speed asked.
Horatio stopped to look at him, "Anything you want." Horatio's heart began beating faster at the smile Speed graced him with.
"So is this a metaphor or just random?" Speed eyed the first base from his seat then back at Horatio.
Horatio just gave him a cocky smile, "I have season tickets and these are my two seats."
Speed paused as he snacked on his Cracker Jacks. "You have season tickets?"
Horatio nodded, "I like to relax while watching the game."
"I didn't know that, I mean…you seem so dedicated." Speed stammered. "I just didn't see you having activities outside the lab." He blushed.
"It's okay," Horatio grinned at him. "Only a few people know about my baseball habit."
"Thank you," Speed smiled, "For bringing me here."
"I want to spend time with you Speed," Horatio looked at him. "Get to know you. So besides books, what else do you do outside work?"
Speed laughed, "Go to bookstores." Horatio rolled his eyes. "I've been going to chef school."
Horatio paused, "Really?"
"Yeah," Speed blushed. "I remember cooking with my dad; they are some of my fondest memories. I was tired of staying home and doing nothing so I signed up."
"How does that work?" Horatio asked.
"I have a variety of classes in different styles of cooking," Speed explained. "Right now I'm learning Thai." Speed glanced up at the game. "Are we winning?"
Horatio checked the score, "No."
"Maybe I can cook for you," Speed hesitated.
"I would love that," Horatio couldn't keep the smile off his face. He didn't even care that they lost six to one.
Speed walked into work with a small smile on his face. He had never been courted before and Horatio was making it clear he wanted him. Him – Timothy Speedle, all around cynical asshole. A man who loves someone else. His smile vanished. His emotions were conflicting. He'd loved Eric since they met. At first it was lust. Who wouldn't want Eric? Over time he really got to know him and fell for him. He never told hi;, he didn't want to ruin their friendship. Eric was straight, Catholic, Russian, and Cuban. No chance for Speed. Deep down he knew the day would come when Eric would find a nice Catholic girl and settle down, but he hadn't thought it would hurt so much.
He enjoyed being with Horatio. The kiss was toe curling. Then why did he feel guilty? He wasn't cheating; Eric wasn't his to cheat on.
"That sigh sounds like the weight of the world's problems are on your shoulders," Alexx rubbed Speed's back.
"No, just mine," Speed looked over at her.
"Want to talk?" Alexx smiled at him.
"Am I being fair to Horatio?" Speed asked.
"Are you?" Alexx responded back. "Are you giving him a true chance?"
Speed looked up at Horatio's office then back at Alexx. "I don't know. I mean I want this to work, but why do I feel guilty?"
"Oh, honey," Alexx rubbed his back reassuringly. "You have to let go of Eric."
"I know that," Speed stepped away. "It's just not that easy. I just can't turn off my feelings."
Alexx pulled him into a hug, "Let Horatio love you."
"I am," Speed took comfort in mom's arms. "But how do I stop loving Eric?"
She just held him soothing him. "I don't know baby."
Horatio looked at the small spread on the table, "It smells wonderful."
Speed sat down across from him, "Hopefully it turned out alright. I tried a new recipe, wasn't sure how much spice to add."
Horatio took a bite. He swallowed looked up at Speed. "This is excellent."
A smile broke out, "You like?"
"Tell me you won't leave the lab for a job as a chef?" Horatio asked. Speed laughed. "I'm serious."
"I have a reason to stay now," Speed answered honestly.
The two talked throughout dinner, learning new things about each other. They sat with coffee and desert in the living room just talking. Horatio grinned when he heard the soft waltz playing in the background. He stood up from his chair and held out his hand.
"Dance with me?" Horatio asked.
Speed blinked at him. "Dance? Me?"
"I'll lead," Horatio motioned with his hand.
Speed set his coffee down, "When you court you go all out."
"You're worth it," Horatio took Speed's hand and pulled him into his arms. He positioned Speed's hand on his arm and took the other and began leading him in a simple waltz. "You're going to need to know this anyways."
Speed paused ending up stepping on Horatio's foot. "Sorry, why?" He asked.
"The best man is supposed to dance with the maid of honor." Horatio explained.
Speed groaned his head falling on Horatio's shoulder. "I don't dance."
"Really?" Horatio moved him across the room.
Speed chuckled, "Only with you."
Horatio paused and looked at him. "Can I kiss you?"
Speed looked into soft blue eyes, "Yes."
Horatio cupped Speed's face and kissed him gently, just a slow exploration of lips. Speed's arms snaked around Horatio's waist pulling him closer opening his mouth in invitation. Horatio deepened the kiss his tongue sweeping into the hot cavern dueling with Speed's tongue.
He pulled back panting slightly. "I should go." Speed opened his mouth to protest. Horatio placed a finger or his swollen lips. "You are not ready and you know it."
Speed nodded he walked Horatio to the door. "I was going to go book hunting Saturday…want to come?"
"Love to." He kissed Speed quickly then turned and left the apartment.
~ Two Months before the wedding ~
"When I get back from the tux fitting we can go to the game," Speed stated, as he got ready to leave. He paused, the phone up to his ear a smile on his face. "No offense to your team or anything, but they suck."
'Yeah, well, the point of going is to just go. Besides, I let you get Cracker Jacks,' Horatio answered.
"Yes, you do." Speed chuckled. "I'll call you later."
'Are you going to be okay?' Horatio asked concerned.
Speed stopped his head down, "Yes, I'll be fine."
'I love you,' Horatio's voice full of emotion.
Speed hesitated, "I know."
'I won't push you, know that,' Horatio informed him.
"Thank you," Speed closed his eyes. "I'll see you tonight."
'Take care,' he said before hanging up.
~ Tux Shop ~
"I hate you," Speed growled fiddling with the tie.
Eric laughed, "Looks good on you. Especially with the scruffy look, makes you look like a rugged James Bond."
Speed snorted, "So how are the plans going?"
"Going," Eric shrugged. "I just show up where I'm supposed to. By the way…"
"Shave for the wedding?" Speed smirked at Eric. "I got five lectures already from Alexx, Calleigh, your mother, your future wife, and Horatio."
Eric laughed, "Just passing the message along."
"Mr. Speedle, you're finished, you can change," The attendant smiled at him.
"Oh, Thank God," He quickly took off to change. Hanging up the tux on the peg his mind drifted to Horatio. He smiled, thinking back over the few months. He hadn't pressured him; just let Speed set the pace.
"One would think you were the groom," The attendant smirked.
Speed jerked, "What?"
"The sappy look on your face," she grinned. "It says you're in love." She took the tux and walked away.
Speed stood there stunned, he had been thinking about Horatio. Actually, now that he thought about it, he hadn't thought of Eric in a while. He looked out into the main room at Eric. His heart didn't hurt as it had once before. He leaned against the wall, tears in his eyes. He needed to get home. Home to Horatio.
Speed walked out of the changing booths. "Eric, I'm out of here."
"I thought we were going to lunch?" Eric turned and looked at him.
"Got plans," Speed waved and headed out. "Sorry."
He started up his bike and sped out of the parking lot. It took him thirty minutes to get to Horatio's. He parked the bike and ran up the walkway. Horatio stood at the front door a confused expression on his face.
Speed pulled him into his arms and kissed him hard and passionately. His hands slipped into the red hair, holding him in place as he devoured his mouth. Horatio moaned and opened up for the assault, his own hands finding their way under Speed's shirt.
Horatio pulled back, "Speed?"
"I love you," Speed looked him in the eyes. "I want to be with you."
Horatio looked him in the eyes and saw love shining back. He pulled Speed into the house, slamming the door shut. His mouth latched onto Speed's in seconds. He wasn't sure how, but they managed to get up the stairs and into Horatio's bedroom. Horatio pulled off Speed's shirt his mouth going for the erect nipples, tasting them and then nipping them slightly. Speed arched into the touch, moaning deep in his throat.
By the time they hit the bed they were naked, hard, and panting. Horatio pushed Speed onto the bed then laid his body on top of him. They groaned at the skin on skin contact. Speed spread his legs letting Horatio settle between them. Speed rested his lips next to Horatio's ear, "I want you in me."
"How long has it been?" Horatio lifted up on his elbows.
Speed closed his eyes, then opened them. "Since Andrew."
"That's over ten years ago," Horatio lifted up a bit more.
Speed wrapped his legs around Horatio causing their cocks to rub together. Speed moaned, his head thrown back in pleasure, "Please Horatio."
"We'll take this slow," Horatio reached for the lube in the drawer, as he grabbed the condom Speed's hand held his.
"I'm clean," Speed whispered. "I want to feel you."
Horatio kissed him slow and long. His lips began a path down Speed's neck, onto his chest, paying special attention to each nipple, moved down, dipping his tongue into the navel. Speed's legs spread wider as Horatio began kissing the inside of his thighs. Speed moaned and squirmed in pleasure under Horatio's touch. He tensed slightly at Horatio's probe at his entrance, but quickly opened up to him.
"Damn it, H," Speed cried out in frustration. Horatio had been playing his body like a finely tuned instrument. He was hard, leaking, frustrated, and wanted to cum with Horatio inside of him.
"I won't hurt you," Horatio slid three fingers inside stretching him.
"You won't, please I need you, now." Speed whimpered.
Horatio lifted Speed's legs onto his shoulders. He looked into Speed's dark passion filled eyes and slid into him, slowly. Speed tried to thrust forward but Horatio held him still. When he was sheathed all the way in, he looked down at Speed. "I love you," Horatio kissed him softly.
"I love you, too." Speed shifted slightly. "Please Horatio."
Horatio set a slow easy pace. Sliding in and out, caressing Speed's prostate, tearing delicious noises from Speed. As their climaxes built, Horatio sped up thrusting in harder and deeper each time. Speed met each thrust, urging Horatio faster. Horatio reached between them and stroked Speed's hard cock, matching his thrusts. Speed groaned as Horatio's thumb caressed the head, he stilled, tightened, and came all over Horatio's hand. Feeling Speed's muscles clench around him sent him over the edge; buried deep inside him, he spilled his seed.
Horatio eased out of his lover, checking for damage before getting up to get a washcloth. He cleaned them up tossed the towel into the hamper then climbed into bed. Speed curled into his arms a smile on his face.
"What brought this on? Not that I'm not happy with the results." Horatio caressed Speed's back.
"I had just finished with the fitting, when the attendant came up and said the way I look I should have been the groom. She said I looked like I was in love." Speed sat up and looked at Horatio. "I was thinking about you. I glanced over at Eric, it didn't hurt as much. I wanted to come home and be with you. I wanted to be in your arms. I wanted to wake up in the morning and see you. I love you Horatio Caine."
Horatio pulled Speed down and kissed him deeply. "I love you, God I love you so much."
Speed curled into Horatio's arms. "Do we have to leave?"
"No," Horatio held him close.
"Good," Speed's eyes drifted shut, content with his life.
~ Month before the wedding ~
"You look happy," Alexx smiled over the table at him.
"I am," Speed grinned.
"Can I ask you something?" Alexx set her fork down. They were having their monthly brunch. "I don't want you to be upset with me."
"You can never upset me," Speed reached over and took her hand.
"Do you still love Eric?" She squeezed his hand.
Speed sat back his hand slipping out of Alexx's. He looked down at his plate, "Yes." He looked at her. "I love Horatio, Alexx. I do. He's everything to me. So how can I still love Eric?"
"You have a big heart," Alexx assured him. "Have you talked to Horatio about this?"
"Does it matter?" Speed shrugged. "I'm with him. I want to be with him. Eric is getting married in a month."
"Tim," Alexx gave him the mom look.
"I'll tell him," Speed sunk back in his chair appetite gone.
"H?" Speed stepped into the house.
"In the kitchen," Horatio called out.
"You better not be using my pans," Speed half joked.
"I'm not stupid," Horatio grinned as he turned from stove.
"Are you making cookies?" Speed smirked.
"I got in a mood," Horatio blushed.
"Oh this is good," Speed leaned up against the counter. "I learn something new each day."
Horatio leaned over and kissed him, "How was brunch with Alexx?" Horatio looked at Speed's expression. "You two didn’t get into a fight?"
"No," Speed shook his head. "No one fights with Alexx, they never win."
"What's wrong?" Horatio cupped his cheek forcing Speed to look at him.
"I love you," Speed stopped Horatio from interrupting. "I want to spend my life with you. But, I still love Eric." Speed pulled away pacing the small dining room. "How can I love you with everything that I am, yet still have feelings for Eric? I…"
Horatio shut him up by kissing the breath out of him. Speed looked at him a bit dazed. "I know you love Eric. You have a big heart, you've loved three people in your life and I'm privileged to be one of them. I would never expect you to stop loving Eric or Andrew. It's those experiences that brought you to me and made you the man you are."
Speed held him tight, "Thank you."
~ Week of the wedding ~
Horatio knelt down next to the couch, "Speed?" His voice soft.
"Remind me never to do that ever again," Speed groaned and buried his head further into the pillows.
"I take the bachelor party was a success?" Horatio held a glass of water and some aspirins.
"I think so," Speed sat up and took the offered items.
"Do you remember anything?" Horatio teased.
"A mechanical bull was involved," Speed fell back into the couch. "And I think I rode it."
Horatio's eyebrow went up, "I need to find pictures."
"No evidence," Speed grumbled. "We need a new couch."
Horatio paused, "Speed…"
Speed looked up at him, "I just slipped, didn't I?"
Horatio smiled at him, "Move in with me."
Speed gave him a bright smile, "Can we get a new couch? Yours sucks too."
"We can get a new couch," Horatio leaned over and kissed his forehead. "I've got to go in and do some paperwork. You rest."
"I think I'll just die here," Speed moaned and fell back onto the couch.
"Love you," Horatio grabbed his keys and badge.
"Love you too," Speed muttered before falling asleep.
~ Night before the Wedding ~
"I wish you were here," Speed ran a hand through his hair as he looked out the patio door.
'I do too,' Horatio answered. 'I'll be by your room in the morning to help you get dressed.'
"How about undressed?" Speed smirked.
'After the wedding,' Horatio laughed. 'Now be a good best man and get some sleep so you can make sure Eric doesn't faint tomorrow.'
"I love you," Speed closed his eyes a smile on his face as an image of Horatio filled his mind.
'I love you, too.' Horatio's voice was full of emotion. 'How about we go away?'
Speed smiled, "I would like that."
'I'll arrange it. Now get some sleep.' Speed smiled into the phone. Horatio had pulled his I'm the boss and I know what's best tone.
"Goodnight," Speed answered.
'Night,' Horatio hung up the phone.
Speed turned off his cell phone, and tossed it onto the desk. The suite was nice. Eric's fiancé's parents went all out. The full wedding party was staying at the hotel each with their own suite. Speed started to unbutton his shirt and head into the bedroom when there was a knock at the door.
He looked through the peephole and stepped back in surprise. He opened the door, "Eric?"
"Hi," Eric walked into the room. He looked agitated and nervous.
"What's wrong?" Speed closed the door and turned towards Eric.
Eric paced a few feet then stopped and looked at Speed, "I need to know something and I need the truth."
"What?" he asked, dread filling his stomach.
"Was there ever a chance for us?" Eric asked.
"What?" Speed swallowed his hand going through his hair. "Eric, you're getting married in twelve hours."
Eric stepped closer, "I need to know. Was there a chance for us?"
"Damn YOU!" Speed moved away from him moving towards the patio doors. Turning back towards Eric tears in his eyes, "Six months, Eric! Six months it took me to get over you. And you stand here the night before you wedding asking if we ever had a chance. Fuck you! Get out." Speed yelled at him.
"Tim," Eric took a deep breath. "I… damn it. I've wanted and loved you for so long. But my own fears and up-bringing stopped me…"
"You're getting married tomorrow," Speed reminded him. "Forget this conversation ever happened and go be with your future bride."
"I can't," Eric looked at him. "The wedding has been called off."
Speed stared at him, "Fuck." He turned away and looked out the patio door. "What do you want Eric?"
"A chance," Eric walked up behind him. "Angela and I had a long talk. We both realized we love each other, but aren't in love with each other. Yeah, we would have a good marriage but over time we would resent each other or always wonder what if."
"I can't give you that chance," Speed didn't turn around.
"Please," Eric laid a hand on Speed shoulder. "She's the one that told me to come here. To try and get the one I do love. She knew. Saw it in your eyes when she met you."
Speed turned and looked up at Eric, "Don't do this to me."
"I have to know," Eric whispered before taking Speed's lips in a soft passionate kiss.
Speed whimpered into the kiss. Tears streaked down his face as he opened up and let Eric in. Eric pulled back caressing Speed's cheek wiping away the tears. Speed's hand clutched at Eric's shirt, his emotions all over the map.
"Tell me?" Eric whispered. "The truth."
"I love you," Speed's voice was harsh and pained. "God help me. I love you."
Eric's lips brushed over Speed's, "I love you." He deepened the kiss tasting Speed. His hands slipped under Speed's shirt caressing soft skin. Speed moaned and arched into the touch.
Thoughts of Horatio went through Speed's head. He pulled back disentangling from Eric. "I can't."
"Speed," Eric panted his eyes dark staring at him.
"I'm with someone," Speed moved away from Eric. "Please, just go."
"I can't," Eric grabbed his arm pulling Speed back. "I will fight for you."
"Don't," Speed muttered.
"You're worth it," Eric whispered into his ear.
"No, I'm not," Speed suddenly felt drained his body, mind and soul weary. He fell back into Eric's arms
Eric held him close taking Speed's weight. He maneuvered them into the bedroom, laying Speed out on the bed. Pulling off Speed's shirt and pants he got him under the covers. Quickly stripping down himself, he crawled in and curled up next to him. Tomorrow would be difficult. Between the cancelled wedding and a jittery Speed he had his work cut out for him, but he knew Speed was worth it.
Speed woke up disoriented. He shifted feeling a warm body behind him. With a smile he turned to face Horatio, wondering how he had got into the room. His smile faded when he saw Eric. Everything came back. He eased out of the bed, grabbing his pants and shirt and left the bedroom. He leaned up against the wall, breathing heavily. He had just betrayed Horatio, the man that loved him with everything that he was. He looked back at the bedroom, he hated the fact that there was a part of him that wanted to go back in there and curl up next to Eric, while the other part of him wanted to run to Horatio and cling to the other man.
He slid down the wall to the floor. He didn't know what to do. He was with Horatio, loved him, wanted him, but now Eric. One of them was going to get hurt. He was going to hurt them. There was really only one option.