Bj Jones (bjjones) wrote in 40baisers,
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Prompt: #25 - Worthwhile 2/2 (CSI:M - Horatio/Speed/Eric)

Runaway Best Man Part 1



~ Next morning ~

Eric reached out over the bed, startled when he felt cold sheets he sat up and looked around. "Speed?" He pulled on his pants and wandered out of the bedroom.

He tossed his cell phone on the couch, after leaving a message on Speed's phone. He jumped slightly when the door opened. He smiled expecting to see Speed, but was shocked to see Horatio walk into the room. Horatio paused at the doorway looking at Eric. "Eric?"

"H," Eric greeted back. "Is Speed with you?"

"No," Horatio hung up the bag he had in his hands in the closet. "He's supposed to be here, getting ready for your wedding."

"Yeah, well about that." Eric sighed, slumping into the couch. "It's been called off."

Horatio suddenly got a bad feeling. "Eric?"

Eric looked up with a sad smile on his face, "We realized that we were getting married for the wrong reasons."

Horatio looked at Eric's rumbled clothes. He closed his eyes not wanting to know, "What are you doing in Speed's room?"

"I…" Eric leaned forward head in his hands. "I had to know…" Then Speed's voice echoed in his mind. 'I'm with someone.' He stood up and looked at Horatio. "You're the one he's with."

"What the hell have you done?" Horatio growled.

"Told him the truth," Eric held his ground.

"Where is he?" Horatio demanded, holding his anger in check.

"I don't know," Eric answered honestly. "I woke up and he was gone."

"Shit," Horatio turned and headed out the door. Horatio glared, at the elevator willing it to move faster.

Eric grabbed his shirt, ran down the hall catching up to Horatio. "H?"

The elevator door opened. Horatio grabbed Eric and slammed him into the car. "He's mine. You threw him away when you decided to get married. Just because you've changed your mind, doesn't give you the right to lay claim."

"Don't you think that’s Speed's decision?" Eric swallowed, a bit frightened by Horatio's actions, but determined not to give up Speed.

"He's confused, Eric," Horatio let him go. "He's loved you for so long. Now that he's moved on, you suddenly show up and want him."

Eric leaned against the elevator wall. "You love him."

"More than life," Horatio answered. "And he also loves me."

"So we both love him and he loves both of us." Eric looked at Horatio. "Now what?"

"First, we have to find him," Horatio slipped on his glasses as he stepped out of the elevator. "And for your sake you better hope he's at the apartment."

~ Speed's Apartment ~

Horatio slammed the Hummer into park. Quickly turning off the engine he got out of the vehicle and up the stairs to the apartment. Unlocking the door he stepped inside, Eric a few steps behind him. "Speed?"

Horatio looked around the small apartment then headed back towards the bedroom. "Speed?" He stopped in the doorway. The room was in shambles, clothes on the bed and floor as if someone was in a hurry.

"Horatio…" Eric called out.

Horatio walked back down the hallway towards him. Eric handed him a piece of paper. He saw Speed's gun and badge on the breakfast bar.

'Horatio, I'm sorry. I don't know what else to do, but to leave. I don't want to hurt either of you, yet I know I am. Face it, you're both better off without me in your lives, complicating them even more. Tell Eric… tell him the truth. I love him. I love you. And I'm sorry. Speed'

Eric slumped against the breakfast bar, "Now what?"

"We find our runaway best man," Horatio pulled out his phone. "Hey… I need a favor." He paced the small living room, memories of the two of them filling his mind. "I need you to search for any tickets purchased with the name Timothy Speedle." He looked over to see Eric looking around the apartment. "What?" He grabbed a pen and paper wrote some things down nodding. "Thanks." He hung up the phone.

"What did you find out?" Eric asked.

"He caught a three am flight out of Miami International on Air France to Paris," Horatio ran a hand through his hair.

"So let's go," Eric moved towards the door.

"Eric," Eric turned and looked at him. "What exactly do you plan on doing?"

"Get Speed home," Eric answered.

"And what about your family, friends, fiancée?" Horatio pointed out.

"I already explained the fiancée part," Eric countered. "I told my family the wedding was off before I went to see Speed. It would be best if I didn't see them for a while."

"And when we find Speed?" Horatio asked. "I'm not giving him up."

Eric leaned up against the door, "I don't know. I mean…I love him, H, I do. I know you love him and he loves you I can see it in the photos." He pointed to the small set of photos on the fridge. "I… I want him, but I don't want to hurt him or make him choose." He paused, a shocked expression on his face. "Can't we both love him?"

"What are you suggesting?" Horatio eyes narrowed.

"Love him," Eric whispered. "Both of us. He deserves it."

"You realize what you're suggesting?" Horatio clarified. "It's not you and him and him and me. It’s the three of us."

Eric moved away from the door and kissed Horatio. He pulled back and looked at him, "I won't lie and say I love you. But being with you won't be a hardship."

Horatio looked into the expressive brown eyes, so different from Speed's and so full of emotion. He pulled Eric into his arms kissing him deeply. Eric's mouth opened up pulling Horatio's tongue inside, sliding his own across it. Horatio pulled back, "It will be hell to convince him."

Eric smiled, which turned quickly to a frown, "We'll have to find him first."

"We need to pack some bags. I'll drop you off at your place." Horatio moved towards the door. "Meet me at the airport in two hours. I'll get us a flight to Paris."

"Is this a normal response for him?" Eric asked.

"Yes," Horatio sighed. "It's ingrained. He ran when he lost Andrew, and then he ran when you announced your marriage plans," Horatio slipped on his glasses. "I caught him literally with only an hour to spare."

"Thank you," Eric breathed. His mind remembering Alexx's shocked expression at seeing Speed and the mention of mysterious plans.

"I did it for me," Horatio moved towards the Hummer.

~ Air France ~

"Pardon," Speed startled at the soft touch on his hand. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to startle you." Speed looked over at his neighbor. She was an older woman, probably mid fifties. Her dark hair going slightly grey cut short and styled nicely. Her hazel eyes were a soft golden brown and full of joy and life.

"It's okay," Speed gave her a slight smile. "I'm just a bit tired."

"Well, I wasn't going to say anything," she grinned.

Speed sighed, "Can I help you?"

"I was wondering do you speak or read French?" She smiled at him.

"Actually, I do," Speed nodded. "Is there something I can help you with?"

She clapped her hands in joy, "Yes, actually." She pulled a bag from under the seat in front of her. "I've been wanting to go on this trip for years. It's like a life long dream. My husband and I had wanted to go for our honeymoon, but financially we couldn't afford it then. Add the kids, college, and now two grandkids, we never got a chance." She pulled a notebook out and held it up as she went through it. "Charles, my husband," She sighed. "He died last year, cancer." She started through the book again. "I decided that I was going to go, no matter what. So I booked it." She turned towards Speed. "Problem the directions to the hotel are in French." She held up the printed piece of paper. "I can get by speaking just a little, but this…" She looked at the paper again then looked up horrified. "I'm so sorry, I'm Clara." She held out her hand.

"Tim, my friends call me Speed," he shook it.

"Let me guess," She eyed him. "You have a bike?"

"Yes, ma'am, I do." Speed tried to be patient.

"So obvious, reminds me of my second oldest boy," Clara handed him the paper. "Can you explain in English where I'm supposed to go?"

Speed took the directions and looked them over. "You're staying at the George V Hotel?"

"Yes," Clara's smile faded. "Is it a good place?"

Speed eyebrows rose, "You do realize it's the Four Seasons? Believe me it's a good hotel."

"Good, good, so how do I get there?" Clara questioned.

Speed read through the notes. "It would best to take a taxi or shuttle. Just tell them where you're going and it shouldn't be too much trouble."

"Thank you," Clara put the paper back into the notebook and shoved it into her bag. "What brings you to Paris?"

"Needed to get away," Speed shrugged.

Clara turned and looked at him. "Have you been to France before?"

"About ten years ago," he answered quietly.

"No one with you?" She asked curiously.

"No, no one." Speed's voice dropped.

"I'm sorry," she shifted in her seat. "I didn't mean to pry."

Speed frowned, "I… it's just that."

"You lost someone?" Clara laid a hand on his.

"I did ten years ago," he closed his eyes. "This time I … I ran."

"Why?" She pulled her bag up and grabbed a tissue and handed it to him.

"It was a no win situation." Speed took the tissue annoyed that he had tears in his eyes. "No matter what I decided someone would get hurt."

"So you left," Clara finished, Speed nodded. "What happens when you have to go home?"

"I don't know," Speed shrugged, desperately trying to keep the tears at bay. "I … "

"Tim," Clara cupped his cheek and made sure he was looking at her. "Love is precious. You only get it for a short time. When you have it, grab hold of it and don’t ever let go."

"I couldn't choose," he whispered. "I would end up hurting one of them and I couldn't do that."

She smiled sadly, "Running never solved anything."

"It's ingrained," he leaned his head back.

"This is what we're going to do," she patted his arm.

"We?" Speed asked.

"Yes, we… you can't just go to the city of Love and mope." Clara pulled out her guidebook. "Since you speak French, and I don't, you can show me around, while I mother you and convince you to go home to your men."

Speed's mouth dropped, "By any chance are you related to Alexx Woods?"

Clara looked over at him, "No, why?"

"It was scary how much you sounded like her," Speed eyed her with a bit of fear in his eyes.

"Sounds like a smart woman." She flipped through the book. "I want to see the Palace of Versailles, tour the art museums, eat pastries and drink coffee."

"Wait? Men?" Clara was full of surprises.

She rolled her eyes, "My dear, four kids, one happily married with a new baby, a second just had his commitment ceremony with his lover, third raising a three year old on her own, and the fourth in college. I know the wording when I hear it." She smiled up at him. "Now you get some rest, we've got lots to do when we get to Paris. Besides I want to hear all about these two men of yours."

~ Miami International Airport ~

Eric dropped his bag next to Horatio's, then dropped himself into the seat. Horatio looked over at him, paused, reached out and cupped his chin. "What happened?"

"Irate older brother," Eric winced at the contact. "Not happy I hurt his little sister."

"Ouch," Horatio dropped his hand. "Looks painful."

"Well," Eric smirked. "He's got a matching one. Angela walloped him for hitting me."

"What happened?" Horatio asked curiously.

"I was just leaving when Angela pulled up," Eric explained. "She wanted to know how things were going. She was the one that had sent me to Speed."

"Why?" Horatio questioned. "Why would she send you to Speed?"

"Because she was the one who realized I was in love with him and he returned the feelings," Eric looked down. "She said it was in his eyes when they met. She saw the love he had for me; she also said she saw him bury it. When we talked, she told me not to let the opportunity go by."

"Sounds like a good woman," Horatio said.

"She is," Eric agreed. "One day she'll make a fine wife and mother."

"Just not yours," Horatio grinned. "So then her brother showed up?"

Eric snorted, "And let me have it, yelled about dishonoring the family name…blah blah."

"Eric…"

"It's okay my dad about gave me the same speech," Eric shrugged. "Angela just let him have it saying she called off the wedding, and that it wasn't any of his damn business." Eric grinned at Horatio. "I really do love her…just not in that way."

"Sounds like a good friend," Horatio caressed the bruised cheek.

"She is," Eric leaned into the caress. "And she told me to tell you to take care of us or else." Eric looked down blushing.

Horatio laughed, "I got the same speech from Alexx."

"You told Alexx?" Eric asked shocked.

"She showed up at my door as I was packing, demanding to know where the groom and best man was," Horatio explained. "You don't lie to Alexx and besides she knows Speed's feelings; I think better than he does."

"And?" Eric asked concerned. "I mean … Speed is her baby and I…"

Horatio laid a finger on Eric's mouth, "She told me to take care of the two of you, gave me a kiss on the cheek, told me to bring her boy home so she can smack him. Oh yeah, and pick up some coffee and chocolate while I'm at it."

"Flight 1342 to Paris now ready to board. We will be seating our first class passengers first."

Horatio grabbed his bag and stood up, "Let's go."

"First class?" Eric followed him eyes wide. "But… that had to set you back."

"Someone owed me," Horatio smiled. "Besides technically it's your honeymoon."

Eric blushed as everyone turned and looked at him. He ducked his head and followed Horatio down the gangplank, muttering about Lieutenants who think they're funny. Though he had to admit a laughing Horatio was a sight to behold.

~ Paris ~

"It's beautiful," Clara grinned over at Speed.

"It's the airport," Speed eyed her.

She smacked him; "I was talking about the mural on the wall."

"It's colorful," Speed agreed.

"Hotel, dinner, and a walk along the river," She dragged Speed out of the airport.

"You're assuming I don't have hotel arrangements," Speed commented as he put her luggage into the taxi. She looked at him hands on her hips. "Which would mean that you were right."

The ride to the hotel was quiet except for the occasional oohs and ahs from Clara as they drove. Speed unloaded the taxi, paid the guy and carried the luggage into the hotel. Part of him had no idea why he hadn't just walked away. He set the luggage down and slumped into one of the chairs. He was tired, beyond tired. He hadn't slept since he walked out of the hotel room. He laid his head back and closed his eyes, only to jerk up when the image of Horatio looking hurt and disappointed popped into his mind.

He sighed and rubbed his now two-day-old beard. "Let's go, our room is ready."

"Our room?" Speed looked up at Clara. "Actually it would probably be…"

"Don't even finish that sentence," she glared down at him her hands back on her hips.

Speed wisely shut his mouth, stood up, grabbed the luggage, and followed her to the elevator. He paused at the doorway of the hotel room. It was lovely. "This is a suite." Speed pointed out.

"Yes," she smiled at him. "It is. I upgraded. Figure I can keep an eye on you."

"Afraid I'll take off?" Speed set the luggage down.

"Actually, yes," Clara answered honestly.

Speed moved towards the windows. "I would have been gone by now."

"I figured as much," she picked up her bag and carried into the bedroom. "The couch folds out. It's probably not…"

"Its fine," Speed said, without turning around. "Better than a park bench or whatever I would have come up with."

"I'm going to freshen up, you get some rest." She closed the bedroom door.

Speed stared out of the window. He wondered what happened after he left. Did Eric get married anyway? Did Horatio hate him? He grabbed his bag and pulled out his cell phone. He opened it, turning it on. It beeped at him telling him he had messages.

Sitting down on the couch he stared at the phone. His hands shook as he hit the button to access his voicemail. He paused he had twelve messages.

'Speed just to let you know I'll be at the hotel around nine. I hope you're getting a good rest. Love you,' Speed sobbed as he pulled the phone away and shut it off.

He felt warm caring hands pull him into an embrace. "It's okay, let it out." Speed held on and cried. He hadn't let go since that time at Alexx's when he had first started working at the lab. He had never mourned Andrew and one day it just hit him. Alexx held him while he cried, rocking him just like Clara was doing now.

He sat up and wiped his face, "I'm sorry…"

"Don't even apologize," Clara patted his knee. "Go wash up, we'll go get something quick to eat."

"Won't be good company," Speed stood up feeling drained.

"At least I'll have company," She smiled at him. "Just a light dinner then we can come back and relax. Then tomorrow," she grinned. "I've got plans."

Speed smiled a true smile, "Thank you."

Clara shooed him, "Go wash up." She watched as Speed grabbed his bag and headed into the bedroom, toward the bathroom. She turned and eyed the phone. Waiting till she heard the shower going, she grabbed it and searched the phonebook. She quickly wrote down the number next to the entry Alexx (mom). She sat the phone back down and tucked the piece of paper into her purse. While Speed rested she was going to make a phone call.

~ Le Meurice ~

Eric dropped his bag next to the bed and collapsed. He had been running on pure adrenaline since, actually he had no idea what time or day it was. He rolled over onto his back then sat up. The room was nice, a large room with a king size bed. Horatio was slumped onto one of the couches his suit winkled, a day's growth beard. He looked tired. Eric sighed, he was the cause of this. He fell back onto the bed.

"Don't even think about it," Horatio stated from the couch.

Eric turned his head. "Think?"

"That this is your fault," Horatio looked at him.

"Isn't it?" Eric sat up.

"You didn't tell Speed to run," Horatio pointed out.

"But I pushed him into running," Eric ran a hand through his hair. "He told me he was with someone, he asked me not to do this and I pushed."

Horatio got up off the couch and moved towards Eric. "And he could have stayed or come to me."

"I…" Eric looked down suddenly tired. "I don't know what to do? Where do we look? I'm not sure what to do when I see him. I'm debating between smacking him or kiss him or fuck him senseless."

"All three," Horatio grinned. He cupped Eric's face. "Things happen for a reason." He kissed him lightly. He knew if they were to convince Speed, he would have to believe they wanted each other. "Let's get cleaned up, get some room service and a hotel directory."

"Do you think he's still in Paris?" Eric leaned into Horatio's touch. He was surprised how easily it was to take comfort from the redhead.

"He's only twelve hours ahead of us," Horatio stepped back and headed for the bathroom. "I've got his credit cards being watched, but so far he hasn't used any of them to check in to a hotel."

"You think he's hiking it?" Eric followed leaning up against the bathroom door watching Horatio.

Horatio slipped off his shirt and turned on the water. He turned to see Eric watching him, lust in his eyes. "I don't know. He could be paying cash. According to his records he did stop by and withdraw a large amount."

"So, call all the hotels?" Eric sighed. "Should we call his cell phone again?"

"Until he answers it or we find him," Horatio looked at Eric, a decision made. "Join me?"

"Is this…" Eric motioned between them.

"Eric, if we are going to have any chance to convince Speed to be in a relationship with both of us. We have to be in one ourselves. He will hesitate if he feels or senses that we aren't there for each other." Horatio held out his hand.

"Are we insane?" Eric asked as he pulled off his shirt. "I went from getting married to flying across the world to convince a man I love to enter a triad?"

Horatio laughed, "We probably are, but in the end…"

Eric took his hand, "It's worth it.

~ Next Morning – Paris ~

Clara grabbed her own cell phone, left a note for Speed and went down-stairs to the small bakery they found the day before. Yesterday they had spent the whole day touring; okay she dragged the boy around making him translate. She could see him gripping the phone all day, like he was debating on calling or listening to the messages. She tried to get him to relax a bit, but the closest she had gotten him to relax was when they were in Tuilleries Gardens and he had sat quietly basking in the sun.

She still hadn't gotten names out of him, but she had got the gest of the tale. Unrequited love suddenly getting married. A secret admirer steps out from the shadows and woos him. Soon he finds himself in love with both men, but realizes his admirer is the one he'll spend his life with. Then the unthinkable happens, the unrequited love shows up and it's not so unrequited. Confusion prevails and he runs not knowing what to do.

Fate intervenes and lands him next to her. Clara dialed the number.

'Woods residence,' a tired voice answered.

Clara looked at her watch and cringed, it was three in the morning in Miami, "I'm so sorry to call you so early. Is this Alexx Woods?"

'Yes,' the voice became more alert. 'May I ask whose calling?'

"You don’t know me, but we have someone in common," Clara explained.

'Speed?' Alexx asked fully awake.

"I found him lost on an airplane," Clara explained.

'Is he okay?' Alexx questioned.

"He's hurting, scared, confused, depressed," Clara admitted. "He's asleep right now."

'Horatio and Eric should be in Paris,' Alexx informed her.

"The elusive names," Clara smiled into the phone.

'Did he tell you what happened?' Alexx sighed.

"Yes, but without the names. Let's see if I get this right; Horatio is the secret admirer and Eric the unrequited groom?"

'Yep,' was the other's response. 'Got a pen and paper?'

Clara dug through her purse puling out her notebook and a pen, "Yeah."

Alexx gave her Horatio's cell number; Clara nodded as she wrote it down. 'Take care of him.'

"Oh, honey I will," Clara grinned. "He so easy to mother."

'I know,' Alexx agreed. 'And he needs it.'

"When I get to Miami we should have lunch," Clara had her write down her number.

'Great keep me informed.' Alexx said her goodbyes and hung up.

~ Louvre ~

Eric sat down next to Horatio, "How the hell are we going to find him?"

Horatio leaned forward his elbows resting on his knees, "I don't know. I tried calling again, but it's turned off."

"Are we sure he has it?" Eric asked frustrated.

"It wasn't in his apartment," Horatio stood up turning toward Eric. "If you were Speed where would you be?"

"Knowing Speed," Eric sighed looking around. "Old bookstores, walking around people watching…"

"He probably got adopted by some old French lady," Horatio added snickering.

Eric laughed right along with him, "Should we put out an ad. Seeking lost American stray, scruffy, but likes to be cuddled."

Horatio smiled brightly, "I've got a list of hotels. Let's start there."

Eric stood up, slipped on his glasses, "That's a long list."

"Then we should get started," Horatio pulled out the map and looked at the first hotel on the list. "Let's go."

~ George V Hotel ~

Speed looked out over the city. Night had fallen, and the lights made the city seem like a new world. He picked up his phone and looked at the display. He had now sixteen unheard messages. He dialed his voicemail and put the phone up to his ear.

'Timothy? Do you know where Eric is? This is his mother. He's got this notion that he's doesn't want to marry Angela. Can you talk to him?' Speed and almost clicked off the phone, but held on and listened to the rest.

'Hey.' He tensed even more at Eric's voice. 'Where are you? I got up and you were gone.'

'Speedy? What's going on? I'm standing here with Calleigh and there's a sign saying the wedding is off. Call me.' Alexx's voice soothed him a bit.

'Tim, where's Eric? What's going on? Call me.' Calleigh sounded worried.

'Speed, baby. I'm not mad, please just call me.' Speed gripped the phone tight hearing Horatio's voice sounding hurt.

'Honey,' Alexx's voice was soft. 'Call Horatio he's worried.'

'Speed man, I… God I screwed up didn't I? Just call please.' Tears began to fall at Eric's sad voice.

'You bastard! How dare you ruin my son's life. I hope you rot in hell!' Speed slid to the ground tears falling at the hateful words from Eric's mother.

'What is going on? Tim? Where are you? Look I don’t know what's going on but Eric and Horatio are really upset and looking for you.' He could hear Calleigh sigh. 'Please at least call me. I promise I wont' tell them where you are if you don’t want me to. I'm worried. Call me.'

'Speed. I know you're in Paris. Please just call me. Running isn't the answer.' Horatio pleaded with him. 'We're coming. Yes, Speed both of us. Call me or even Alexx let us know you're okay.'

'Speedy, baby, you need to come home,' Alexx voice was calm. 'I know you're scared but this isn't the way.'

'Speed, look I'm sorry. I should've listened or maybe I should have held on more securely while we slept.' Eric laughed lightly. 'I'm with Horatio, we're in Paris. Call us. Please honey, look... we love you. Please.' Speed wiped away the tears, head cocked as he listened to Eric.

'I know Eric just called, but God I just wanted to hear your voice in the recording. I'm worried, I'm supposed to take care of you and I failed, I'm sorry for that.' Speed closed his eyes and let his head lean against the wall. 'Just call or come to the Le Meurice that’s where we are at.'

'Timothy Speedle, you will call me. I am your mother! Don't make me come out to Paris!' Speed grinned, he just knew Alexx would do it.

'Mister Speedle, your books are ready for pick up,' Speed laughed in all this emotional drama he would have a message for his book order he had been waiting months for, it was a present for Horatio.

'Hi, Tim, it's Angela. Probably the last one you want to hear from, but I had to call you. I'm sorry… you're probably wondering why, because …because he was yours. Though I don't think he knew it. I saw it you know…that day. I saw it in your eyes how much you loved him. How much pain you were in. I tried to ignore it, do the right thing, get married have kids… you know the normal Catholic girl thing. But, as I stood there that night practicing my vows I realized I would be lying, not just to me, to Eric, but to God and I couldn’t do that…I told him to go to you. I didn't know about Horatio. God, I tried to help and made things worse… Please just call Eric or Horatio - hell if you want call me. Horatio isn't mad, and Eric … Just call please. Bye.'

Speed clicked off the phone and let the tears come. He didn't deserve them, but he wanted them. He needed to think. He left his phone in the hotel and went for a walk to clear his head.

~ Le Meurice ~

There was a knock on the door, both men jumped up and rushed to the door. Wondering hoping that Speed had come to them. They were a bit surprised to see an older woman.

She smiled at them, "Going to invite me in?"

Eric just looked at her, while Horatio grinned. "You adopted him?"

"Yes, I did." She entered the room and moved towards the living room. "He sat next to me on the plane."

Eric closed the door grinning, "Should have gone with the ad in the paper."

"Ma'am?" Horatio looked at her hands on his hips.

"You must be Horatio and that makes you Eric," She held out her hand. "Clara Wilson."

Horatio shook her hand, "If you don’t mind…"

"Speed doesn't know I'm here," She explained. "I got Alexx's number out of his phone and she told me where you two were."

Eric looked at Horatio then back to Clara, "Are you by any chance related to her? That is something she would do."

"I doubt it, though I feel a sort of kinship with her, after all we share a common interest." Clara sat down on one of the chairs. "Speed's happiness and well being."

"Which is our goal," Horatio moved and sat down across from her. "How is he?"

"Not good," she answered honestly. "I have to blackmail to get him to eat. He's depressed, miserable, confused. He doesn't know what to do."

"Please tell us where is he?" Eric sat next to Horatio. "We just want to talk …"

"He's with me," Clara smiled. "It was fate that put him next to me. Before I tell you where he is, I have a few questions."

"Sure," Horatio leaned back, liking this woman. Wondering how Speed attracted such strong, motherly women, who would go to hell and back to take care of him. Let alone attack anyone who dare hurt him.

"What are your intentions?" She looked squarely at both men. "If you intend to hurt him in any way, you'll never see him."

'Damn,' Horatio thought, 'I'm not sure who's worse.'

Eric's stammered, then looked at her. "Are you sure you're not related to Alexx?"

Clara smirked slightly. "Positive, though we have lunch plans when I get back to Miami. So what are your intentions?"

"To love him," Eric answered. "Never let him out of our sight."

"Both of you?" her eyebrow rose.

"It will be difficult and take time to adjust but yes, both of us." Horatio leaned forward looking at her directly.

She looked between the two men, leaned back. "We're at the George V Hotel. He's resting, so he should be there when we get back."

Eric sighed in relief, "Thank you."

~ George V Hotel ~

Speed had been walking for hours. He knew he was near the Louvre, but not sure exactly where. He looked up and chuckled dryly the, Pont des Arts – lover's bridge. Fitting in an ironic sort of way.

He walked along the side of it, stopping in the middle and leaning against the old stone looking out towards the river. His head jerked up when he thought he had heard Horatio's voice. He snorted at the odds of finding Eric and Horatio out on a walk. He had a decision to make; subconsciously he knew he had already made it. The Le Meurice wasn't far from here.

"Speed," The voice was soft, caring, and full of emotion.

Speed whipped around and stared in shock. Horatio stood before him. He was rumpled, tired, and in Speed's opinion the best thing he had ever seen. Speed choked back a sob and threw himself into his lover's arms. Not caring about anyone around them. Not caring about his dignity or pride. He just hoped Horatio would take him back.

Horatio tightened his grip around the young man's waist. He felt the sobs wracking the smaller frame. He just held him close, whispering in his ear.

Speed pulled back, tears streamed down his cheeks, "I'm sorry... I'm so sorry."

"Shh…baby," Horatio pulled him back into his arms. "I've got you now. It's okay."

"I… Eric…" Speed sagged against Horatio. "I love you."

"I love you, too." Horatio breathed his lover's scent in. He turned his head to see Eric standing near-by with a sad smile. Horatio motioned with his head, as he held out his hand.
Speed felt the movement and looked up to see Eric walking towards them. He looked up at Horatio, who gave him a small smile and kissed his forehead, "Trust me. Trust us. Trust your heart."

Speed looked between the two men, then at Clara who was wiping away tears of happiness. She shooed at him with a smile. Speed let go of Horatio and fell into Eric's arms. Eric pulled him close. He thought he would never feel this again. Never feel Speed in his arms.

"I'm sorry…" Eric whispered into his hair.

"I… shouldn't have…" Speed just held onto him.

"I love you," Eric kissed his temple.

Speed snuggled closer he could actually feel his heart heal. "I love you, too."

Horatio smiled and pulled both men into his arms. Kissing Eric's temple and the top of Speed's head. "Let's go back to the hotel. I think we have a lot of talking to do."

"I trust you," Speed pulled back and looked at Horatio then Eric. "I'm not sure what's going on, but…"

"Promise you won't leave?" Eric voice cracked. "You really scared me."

"I promise," Speed looked down in shame.

Horatio lifted his head up, "No more apologies." He turned to Clara. "Mrs. Wilson…"

"Clara," she stepped forward. "You two take care of him." She cupped Speed's cheek. "You let them."

Speed leaned forward and kissed her cheek, "I will. I promise I'll take you the Palace of Versailles and translate."

"I'll hold you to it," Clara stepped back and smiled at the three men. "But I don’t want to see you for the next few days." She winked and headed back towards her hotel.

"How do you do it?" Eric asked, his arm around Speed's waist holding him not letting go.

"Do what?" Speed asked, confused.

Horatio snickered, "Let's go." He led the three of them towards the hotel.

"Do what?" Speed demanded.

The two men just laughed.

~ Le Meurice – Morning ~

Speed woke up content and warm. His head was laying on Horatio's shoulder, the familiar heartbeat under his ear. He felt Eric shift slightly as he moved closer to Speed, his arm draped across Speed's waist, landing on Horatio's stomach. Speed shifted a bit, turning to look at Eric. He really wasn't sure what was going on, but right now he had never felt so loved.

They hadn't really talked the night before. By the time they had gotten him back up to their room, Speed had practically collapsed from exhaustion. Horatio stripped him and got him into bed. Speed whimpered when he had pulled away. In the end both men just curled up with him and fell asleep, letting their own exhausted bodies sleep.

Eric opened his eyes and smiled at Speed. "Hey," he whispered.

Speed shifted a bit, settling into Eric's arms, "Hey."

"You still look tired," Eric smoothed back the unruly black hair.

"It's been a long couple of days," Speed buried his face into Eric's shoulder. "What happens now?"

"How about a shower, food, and then we talk?" Horatio kissed the back of Speed's neck.

Speed turned back towards Horatio. "I…"

"Shush…not now." Horatio kissed him softly. He got out of the bed and pulled Speed with him. He pushed the young man towards the bathroom swatting his bare backside. "Go get cleaned up. I'll set some clothes and toiletries in there for you."

"You have my things?" Speed asked as he walked towards the bathroom strutting slightly.

"Clara dropped them off," Horatio shook his head at Speed's strutting.

"I should call her," Speed sighed.

"Shower," Horatio's tone wasn't one to mess with.

"Fine," Speed closed the bathroom door.

"Eric, can you get his stuff and put it in the bathroom?" Horatio asked as he called room service.

"To be honest, H," Eric got out of the bed and pulled on his jeans. "If I go in there I'll be joining him."

Horatio looked over at the Cuban and smiled, "Go join him."

Eric eyed him, "Alone?"

"Get him ready for me, maybe talking is over rated," Horatio turned back to the phone, a slight blush on his face as the room service attendant was snickering.

Eric laughed lightly as he entered the bathroom. He leaned up against the wall and watched Speed. Speed had braced himself against the shower wall letting the hot water cascade over his back. Eric quickly stripped and slipped into the large walk-in shower.

Speed startled when he felt a pair of hands caressing down his back. He didn't recognize the touch so he knew it had to be Eric. He arched up and into Eric's touch, moaning softly. Eric's hands rubbed the tense muscles enjoying the feel of soft skin under his hands. Grinning he cupped Speed's ass and gave both cheeks a squeeze. Speed yelped and turned around, eyeing the grinning Cuban.

Eric turned serious and pulled Speed into his arms, taking his mouth passionately. Speed gripped his arms and opened up under the assault, dueling with Eric's tongue. Eric slowly made a path down his neck, taking in all the noises and responses Speed was making, cataloging them away for future reference.

Speed eyes widened when he saw Eric drop down to his knees. He moaned deep in his throat when Eric took his hard cock into his mouth. One of his hands slipped into the dark locks caressing as Eric licked and sucked on the head. His other hand gripped at the shower wall trying to get a grip. His knees buckled slightly when Eric took him down his throat, a strong pair of arms held him up. He whimpered as his head fell back onto Horatio's shoulder.

Horatio ran his hands up Speed's chest tweaking the nipples. He bent down nibbling on his neck. Speed turned his head and took Horatio's lips in a sensual kiss. Horatio found the soap, carefully breaching Speed's tight hole. Speed pushed back on the digit pulling deeper into his body. "H, please…" Speed moaned as he felt two fingers begin to stretch him.

Speed was lost in sensation. His hard cock was enveloped in Eric's hot mouth, his tongue doing things to him that were turning his body to mush. Horatio's fingers were teasing him, rubbing that one spot inside him. He was sobbing with need, wanting release, but neither man giving it to him.

Speed cried out as Horatio entered him in one full thrust. He was totally at their mercy; Horatio fucked him while Eric was sucking on him like he was a tasty lollipop. He was babbling in what language he didn't know, all he knew he didn't want them to stop. He moaned deep in his throat, coming hard and fast when Eric took him all the way down his throat. He felt Horatio thrust deep inside him, stilling and groaning his name as he came. The only thing holding him up was Eric's strong hands on his hips. The Cuban stood up and pulled the smaller man against him, kissing him deeply. Speed hands began to travel down Eric's chiseled chest and flat stomach, reaching for Eric's member. A strong hand caught his.

"Already taken care of," Eric kissed the fingertips. "Just seeing Horatio taking you had me coming hard."

Speed looked at him, a small blush on his face, "Wow."

"Okay, everyone cleanup and out of the shower the waters getting cold," Horatio leaned over and kissed Eric softly. He gave Speed a quick kiss before pulling him back under the water and washing him down. Speed just let him rinse him off and get him out of the shower. He enjoyed it when Horatio took care of him. He laughed when the two of them towel dried him, he hadn't felt this good in a long time. The three quickly got dressed and headed into the sitting area. Speed sat down on the couch and looked at the two men he loved more than life itself. He would never tell him how dark his thoughts had been; Clara probably saved his life.

Horatio knelt down in front of Speed, taking his hands in his own. "Speed," he kissed the tips of the fingers. "Do you understand what's going on?"

Speed nodded slightly, "The three of us?" Eric sat down next to him slipping his arm around his waist, pulling him close. Speed's head rested on Eric's shoulder. "Why?"

"We love you," Eric kissed the top of his head.

"You shouldn't," Speed closed his eyes, his doubts and insecurities coming back. "I'm nothing but trouble."

"Don't say that," Horatio squeezed his hands. "You're worth more to me than life."

Speed looked at him, "I don't know what to do? I want this," he gestured to both men. "But…what happens if someone finds out? Or if…"

"If what?" Eric asked.

"One of you decides they don't want to deal with it anymore," Speed tried to pull away but both men held on to him. "You can't tell me the two of you are okay with this?"

"We are," Eric began.

"How?" Speed struggled pulling out of their grasps. He turned and looked at Horatio, "You're okay with bring Eric into our relationship? That's what it comes down to. I mean…God, as much as I love you Eric…" Speed choked. "Horatio was there for me. He fought for me, and how do I repay that…" Speed leaned against the wall. "Eric, when you came to me that night I wanted you, I wanted nothing more to crawl back into that bed. At the same time I wanted to run to Horatio. I'm so confused…I don't want to hurt either of you or worse end up completely alone."

Horatio stood up and walked over to him, "I won't lie and tell you I'm in love with Eric and this will all work out perfectly. There will be some adjustments, things we have to work out, but I'm willing to try. He loves you, I love you, and I know you, Speed, your heart screams out to both of us." He pulled Speed into his arms. "Remember that day I told you never to apologize for the fact you loved Eric or that part of you still loved Andrew. You have a big heart, you hide it under that scruffy no care attitude, but its there."

"He's right," Eric walked up, his hand slipping into Speed's hair. "As unbelievable as this sounds, I feel no jealousy towards Horatio. I know he loves you with everything he is, and you love him. Like, I know I love you with everything I am; and you love me. You love us differently, like we love you differently." He looked at Horatio. "I care about H, and I've always valued his friendship. A relationship with him isn't a hardship, besides he's sexy as hell."

Speed chuckled into Horatio's shoulder, he looked up, "That's true."

"Face it, Speed, we aren't giving you up," Horatio leaned forward and kissed him. "We've got a few more days before we have to get back to Miami. Let's take these days and get to know each other."

"I have to take Clara to the Palace of Versailles," Speed wiped the tears away.

"Hell we all owe her," Eric smiled ruffling Speed's hair. "Only you would find someone to mother you on an airplane heading to France."

"I'm cute and adorable," he batted his eyelashes.

"Damn," Eric looked at Horatio. "Does that work?"

Horatio groaned, "Yeah and he knows it."

~ Miami – A week later ~

Speed walked up the steps to the lab a smile on his face. The last few days in Paris had been wonderful; they had really opened up and talked. He knew they were going to run into problems, but for the first time ever, he really felt secure. He had no reason to run. He looked up to see Clara talking with Alexx; then again maybe he did.

"That is just wrong," Speed looked between the two women.

"Speed," Alexx walked down the steps and kissed him on the cheek. "How are things?"

"Good," He eyes Clara. "So you two have met?"

"We've been chatting on the phone for a while," Clara smiled at him, giving him another kiss.

"Is there a sign above my head that says 'Needs Mothering'?" Speed asked, shaking his head.

Alexx rolled her eyes as she fixed his collar, "Don't be silly."

"You're our boy," Clara finished smoothing down his hair.

"I'm doomed," Speed groaned.

"Speedle," Stetler walked up with a sneer. "It's good to see you back after your sudden disappearing act."

"Stetler," Speed narrowed his eyes at him. "Personal business…"

"Excuse me," Clara smiled brightly at Rick. Alexx and Speed just stared at her. "Who are you?"

Speed smirked, "I'm sorry Clara this is Rick Stetler, and he's IAB."

She held out her hand, "I'm Clara Wilson. Did you know my husband Judge Charles Wilson? He was a District Judge before he died last year. My son, bless his soul is following daddy's footsteps and is a District Attorney, Simon Wilson? Have you met him?"

Speed stared at Clara mouth dropped. "Simon, he's your son? Nice guy."

"Thanks," She smiled coldly at Stetler, "And my Samantha, her husband Captain Gregory Thompson, he's in law enforcement also. It runs in the family. Andrea, my youngest girl is moving up the ranks in her law firm, Stanly and Rogers."

Alexx beamed, "My husband works for Stanly and Rogers, what section is she in?"

"Civil suits, specializes in harassment cases," Clara beamed at Speed. "You will have to come over for a Saturday barbeque, bring your friends." She turned back to Stetler. "It was nice meeting you Mr. Stetler, Alexx I'll talk with you later. Bye." Clara walked down the steps to her car. She waved as she got into her car.

Stetler growled and stalked off.

Speed watched Clara drive away, "I think I love her." Alexx smacked him. "Ow! I love you too."

She beamed at him, "Now tell me all about Paris." The two walked arm in arm into the building.

"It was great," Speed sighed. "For the first time in my life Alexx, I'm really happy."

"I can tell, honey," She smiled at him.

~ The End ~

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