The village was tucked away in a fold of the French Alps, and it had an air of 'Brigadoon' about it, as if time had passed it by. Very little evidence of modern society was readily visible, and Sean fell immediately in love. He was more of the mountain type, while Elijah was drawn to the sea. They joked that ultimately they would have to settle somewhere with both, and argued over the relative merits of Hawaii and New Zealand as their future home.
They came upon it hiking from the camping ground where they'd parked the small blue caravan the night before. Their mountaineering was more desultory than serious; neither of them was experienced and they lacked the equipment necessary. But it was sufficient to stretch their legs, breathe the crisp, clean mountain air and gawk at Mont Blanc, white-capped and proud even in summer.
"We have to do the cable car ride when we get to Chamonix," Elijah said.
"I'm not too good with heights," Sean confessed. "I'd rather look up than down."
"I'll hold your hand, I promise."
"You can hold it now if you like."
Smiling, Elijah did.
They made the rounds of the village stores, buying baguettes, wafer-thin slices of ham, cheese, melons, pastries, and the all-important bottle of wine. The inhabitants spoke little to no English, leaving Sean, the better linguist of the two of them, to communicate as best he could. His German was decent, but his French and Italian were only passable. Some French natives could be dismissive, even mocking, of an American's amateurish attempts at speaking their language, but if it looked like happening, Sean simply utilized his secret weapon: Elijah. Not the most dour of Frenchmen or women was able to resist those beguiling blue eyes and that infectious smile, however halting his French.
On this occasion, however, it wasn't necessary to bring out the big gun. The shopkeepers seemed genuinely delighted by the foreigners in their midst, and one old man in the patisserie, after telling Sean and Elijah a rambling story, half in French, half in halting English, about the American soldiers who had liberated the village at the end of the war, proudly produced a faded American flag with 48 stars for them to admire.
Carrying their picnic lunch and Elijah's guitar, they left the village and climbed until they were breathless and the houses below resembled pieces from a Monopoly set. Then they turned off the narrow hiking trail and wandered across an Alpine meadow dotted with wildflowers until they found the perfect spot to spread out their blanket, settle down and eat their lunch.
Afterward, Sean gathered gentians, oxslips, violets and buttercups to braid into flower chains while Elijah took out his guitar and began softly to play, his fingers drifting over the strings in a composition of his own. When Sean was done, they crowned each other with mock ceremony, and then lay down side by side to watch the clouds drift by.
They pointed out the ones that looked like recognizable shapes, starting out tamely enough with birds and beasts, but soon enough venturing into more risqué territory. The languid sensation engendered by the wine they'd drunk and the warm sun beating down on their bodies transmuted into something more urgent, the thrum of desire that was never far from the surface.
The self Sean had discovered in the intimate confines of a small blue caravan no longer feared to take what it wanted, what it knew, in defiance of all he'd been raised to believe, was right and natural.
Shifting, he moved over Elijah, kissed him strongly as his hands moved, too, with equal assurance, but only enough to bare what needed to be bared. Elijah gave him a quizzical look when he broke off the kiss and reached for his knapsack where the lube was stored.
"You once told me that fucking fully clothed can be brilliant," Sean said huskily. His gaze went to Elijah's cock, straining out from the opening of his unzipped jeans and dripping pre-come onto his yellow tee shirt. "I want to find out for myself."
"It'll work better if I'm on my belly," replied Elijah, his pupils expanding so that his eyes appeared almost black, and turned over, but he braced himself on his forearms and craned his neck around so he could watch Sean avidly as he lubed his cock and then straddle Elijah's thighs. He peeled down Elijah's jeans and shorts just enough to give him access to what he wanted, and without hesitation he pushed inside the tight opening that yielded readily, welcoming him home.
The experience of fucking Elijah clothed was strange but unexpectedly intense, for every sensation centered on that one spot where their bodies were joined. Without other pleasure points accessible to stimulate and arouse, Sean felt more powerfully than ever before the perfect rightness of possessing another man - no, not just any man, but Elijah, now keening low in his throat, his hands fisted in the blanket, twisting the wool almost desperately as Sean rocked against him, over and over in relentless, swift strokes. Climax came to them simultaneously, a sunburst of brilliant light exploding inside them. In the aftermath Sean blindly sought one of Elijah's hands; with a sob he brought it to his lips and kissed it out of humility and the gratitude in his soul. He owed Elijah everything.
"Hey," Elijah said, feeling the wet warmth of tears on the back of his hand. He rolled over and cradled the now-shaking Sean in his arms. "Hey, it's okay. You're okay." He stroked Sean's hair and held him close as he wept. He didn't ask why. He knew. This wasn't the first time that their lovemaking had taken Sean this way. Sean had been through hell and back again, living a lie, trying to deny his true self. For a guy like him, naturally inclined to be open and giving, with eyes translucent as the Aegean waters in which they'd swum, the psychic toll had been immense. Throwing off the shackles of duty and conformity had come at a cost, for in doing so he had shut the door on his relationship with his father and other members of his family.
And yet, Elijah knew that more than anything else, Sean's tears came from joy and relief. That he had given Sean that gift, the freedom to love another man without fear or prejudice, even in the out-of-doors on a sunny day, left him humbled and yet exalted.
"Sorry," Sean said when he'd finally got his emotions under control again. "I keep going to pieces on you."
Tenderly, Elijah kissed away the tears from his cheeks, and said solemnly, "As long as I'm the one you trust to put you together again, you can go to pieces as often as you like."
"Forever and always," Sean replied, and hiccoughed like a child. That made them both laugh, and Elijah said, as he zipped up his jeans, "So, was it what you expected, fucking with our clothes on?"
"Even better," Sean replied. "But next time I'm going to pay extra special attention to all the places I missed."
"They, and I, thank you," Elijah said, grinning, and knew that it wouldn't be long. Because in this vagabond lifestyle they led, there was always plenty of time to kick back, watch the clouds drift by, and especially to make love.