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Strains of jazz music could be heard from the center stage and a mixed crowd of people; young and old, Indian, African American, Caucasian and Asian were seated on the metal rows of benches surrounding the stage. The reflection of the lights from the Pier and stage tinged the black-brown water with spots of yellow and white. Tour, cruise, and water patrol boats were docked on the pier and a few boats could be seen floating down the waterway. Behind the metal benches the crowd could browse through the famous Navy Pier with its multitude of shops, kiosks and eateries. The Pier had been in use since the early 1900ís and was used for military purposes during both World Wars. In the late 1980ís it was renovated and reopened in the early 1990ís as a major attraction in the Chicago area. There was an outdoor stage, a Beer Garden, several museums, including a Childrenís museum, a pedestrian promenade, and both indoor and outdoor vendors of food and a variety of shops. Native Chicagoans as well as tourists frequently found themselves at this popular locale on Saturdays in the summer, anticipating the evening fireworks display. They entertained themselves with music, food and shopping as well as enjoyed the giant Ferris Wheel that was situated along the Pier.
Saturday afternoon found Mac and Methos at the Pier after a busy week in Chicago, having attended several antique auctions for MacLeodís burgeoning business and searching a multitude of bookstores to placate Methosí interest in books. They dined at Charlieís Ale House, sampling several of the 68 types of beer that the pub served and then stopped at Barbaraís bookstore and The Oriental Arts Center to look at the items for sale. After browsing several more shops, they walked toward the music at the outdoor stage, enjoying the freedom the heavy crowds afforded them to talk without couching their conversation in innuendo. They enjoyed each otherís company and were glad that they had overcome their difficulties, each relishing their long term relationship without fear of reprisal from the other.
"I still donít understand why that particular sword was so all important MacLeod. I mean you paid a bloody fortune for it and itís dinged and knicked."
Smiling enigmatically, Mac continued to walk as he tried to explain. "I didnít buy it for the craftsmanship. I told you it was a sentimental purchase."
"A sentimental purchase?" Methos stopped walking and looked at his lover to see if he was pulling his leg.
"Youíre a sucker, MacLeod. A real Sucker. Didnít anyone ever explain to you that sentimentality is a wasted emotion." Methos gave Mac one of his patented Ďyou are hopelessí looks and continued to walk toward the music.
"Methos, you donít understand. This used to be my friend, Jothanís sword. I recognized it and wanted it back." Mac explained in a quiet, nostalgic tone.
Realizing that he would never understand Mac and his nostalgia, Methos attempted to change the subject. "So you have a buyer for the other pieces you bought this week? I particularly liked the Shaker chair and the 17th century sword."
"I have a few buyers in mind for most of the pieces. I usually keep a mental list of my clientís tastes and when I go on a trip; I make purchases with certain customers in mind. Sometimes a piece just strikes me and I buy it."
Methos stopped at a kiosk selling beer mugs and admired several, contemplating the price and trying to decide if he truly wanted to carry another package.
"I like that one." Mac said as he pointed to a simple German beer stein. It brings back fond memories."
Blushing, Mac remembered a fond weekend involving Fitz, beer, and a lot of drunken groping, as took out his wallet to pay the vendor.
"No, Mac. I stopped. I buy." Methos stated firmly as he looked at his companion. "I donít need you to buy things for me, now put away that wallet. You arenít the only one who buys things they like. I buy what I like too." Smiling and winking at Mac, showing he wasnít mad at him, he paid the gentleman who carefully wrapped the mug in newspaper and placed it in a bag.
The lights of the city glowed in the background and a whistle from a ship could be heard coming from farther down the Pier. The crowds were taking seats in anticipation of the fireworks, even though it would be at least an hour before the show would begin. Methos eyed a beer vendor and led Mac toward it.
Not understanding Macís motivation for trying to purchase the beer stein for him, he questioned him. "Now what was that all about, Mac?"
"Huh?" Mac looked at Methos, confusion written on his knitted brow.
"Since when do you offer to buy me things, especially since I didnít even try to wheedle it out of you?"
"I just felt like it."
"You felt like it. I see. Usually I have to wheedle you or guilt you into buying me something. Did I miss something here?"
"No. I like buying you gifts. It makes me feel good." Mac replied as he eyed his companion, looking at the long lean body beside him. He was impressed, not for the first time, with the strength hidden behind those loose clothes his friend chose to wear.
Tired of the discussion, he eyed the Ferris wheel and decided that would serve as a good distraction from Methosí concern for his actions. "Letís ride the Ferris wheel. It will be fun!"
"Why not? I like Ferris wheels. You can see the lake from the top."
"They are in the sky, MacLeod. They are very high in the sky. There is nothing between you and the ground except this little metal cage. I like my body intact and in one piece. Thank you very much. The answer is no."
"Iíll make it worth your while." Mac teased as he graced Methos with a Cheshire Cat smile.
Looking at the mischievous smile on his friend, Methos wondered what he was up to. "I said no."
"Iíll let you have that sword I bought last week. You know the one you were admiring." Mac replied, his voice even, trying not to convey his ulterior motive.
"Yep, the sword. You will be perfectly safe. I promise."
"Okay. Just this once and I still think you owe me one." Inwardly proud of how he managed to have Mac give him the sword after a week of coveting the ancient blade.
The Ferris wheel cages were large enough for six people and Methosí relief that he would at least have fellow sufferers placated him for a time. Once they bought their tickets, the two friends stood in line, watching the crowds and talking as Methos unhappily waited their turn to ride the giant Wheel.
"I never knew you were afraid of heights." Mac teased his friend.
"Iím not afraid. I just donít like to subject myself to open high spaces. Now letís change the subject, shall we? What time is our flight tomorrow?"
"10:00 a.m.- Why?"
"MacLeod. You may be a bloody boy-scout, but somewhere along the line you must have picked up a badge for torture." Methos said, trying to come across with the perfect mixture of sarcasm and seriousness. "Iím five thousand years old and I no longer need to get any where in a hurry, unless of course an Immortal is after my head. I like to take my time, sleep late, enjoy a leisurely breakfast, and then catch a late afternoon flight."
"Iíll have you know Iíve never tortured anyone in my life." He replied, very indignant that his friend remotely felt that way.
Smiling Methos looked at Mac and laughed. "You are so easy to goad." They moved forward in line and Methos saw that it would be their turn after the next couple loaded their gondola. Not wanting to let Mac see his discomfort, he waved Mac forward toward the ticket taker. †"It appears that it is our turn for the torture chamber."
They boarded the Ferris wheel and as a result of the size and number of their packages, were allowed to occupy the gondola by themselves. The wheel made its way up and around several circuits, but eventually they men found themselves on the top of the ride looking out over the city.
"Now that wasnít that bad. I bet you really did enjoy it?" Mac smiled as he eyed Methos for his reaction.
"Look at the sights of Chicago. The lights. The buildings. Itís beautiful. Just like you."
Methos glanced out at the city, acknowledging to himself that yes it was a really beautiful scene. Then Macís words hit him. ĎJust like you.í
"How quaint." He smiled a shaky grin. " I didnít know that you were sentimental about me too." He stated, goading his partner.
"You know I love you. Why is it so hard for you to accept that?"
Flustered at the tenderness in Macís voice, he eyed Mac with wary eyes. "I know. Itís just hard to believe that anyone, least of all a genuine boy -scout, would love me. Iím 5,000 years old and have lived a life with one goal in mind. Keep. My. Head. Donít involve yourself with anyone who might jeopardize your goal. And now Mac, I find myself in love with you and I throw away this credo that has kept me going for 5,000 years. It is hard for me to make that leap sometimes. Iím sorry."
"I think you are beautiful and Ö." Mac got up from his side of the gondola and crawled over to Methosí side, pulling the ancient man down to the center of the cage where he kissed him.
Mac licked his tongue over the ancient lips, savoring the slightly sour taste left over from the beer he had drunk earlier in the evening. He pushed at the lips, exploring the moist cavern of his companion and Methos returned the kiss. Macís hands caressed Methosí chest, drawing circles over the entire expanse of material that covered it. Wanting to feel his lover, he yanked the shirt over Methosí head and threw it in a corner of the cage. His hands found the sensitive nipples, playing with them until they were sharp nubs. Taking his lips away from Methos' savory mouth, he kissed and licked down the oldest Immortalís chest until he found the tantalizing nub, placing it in his mouth to suck its tender flesh. He swirled his tongue, taking special care to catch the peak in each swipe. Drawing in his lips, he sucked the precious nipple as he continued to lave it with quick swipes of his electric tongue. Methos, his mind not entirely coherent, moaned as Mac ministered to his eager body, forgetting his dislike of open spaces and heights.
Mac continued his kisses, licks and love bites down the Ancientís chest as his hands explored the lean and strong body beneath them. As Methosí moans demonstrated his enjoyment of the activities, Mac continued his journey to the old manís belt buckle and pants. After unbuckling the belt and unzipping the zipper Mac reached for Methos' thick cock and released it from its denim prison. Mac kissed his way down to the curly hairs of Methosí groin. Nudging the area with his nose, he inhaled the musky aroma, sighing at his contentment. Sticking his tongue out, he licked Methosí balls and then engulfed each one, twirling his tongue around its sensitive skin. Releasing one ball, he replaced it with the other one, repeating the same lavish treatment. Methos moaned, his enjoyment of Mac's attentions evident. He stroked Mac's hair and looked at his belovedís face with eyes filled with love as the younger Immortal continued his ministrations. Mac continued his tongue bath of Methos' sack for a time and then kissed and licked his way back up to Methos' beer tinged mouth. Kissing the ancient man was one of his favorite activities, even if nothing more occurred, but when he kissed his lover during lovemaking the joy and pleasure it brought him was unmatched. As his tongue explored the tongue, teeth and cheeks of his lover as if it was their first time together and this was unknown territory. Methos pulled Mac closer to him, gently biting his lip with little love nips, causing Mac to groan into his lover's mouth as he pulled Methos flat in the center of the gondola. Their motions rocked the metal cage, but Methos was oblivious to the swaying as his mind was filled with lust and love for his partner. Mac lay on top of Methos, his jeans rubbing the tender flesh of his exposed lover. He caressed Methos' sides and chest as his mouth left Methos' and it returned to its journey down the ancient's chest. Between licks of his tongue and tiny nips of the tender flesh, he repeated his earlier statement. "I love you. I love you."
As he reached the dark curls of his lover's groin, he moved his tongue up to the waiting shaft, placing long licks up the entire length of the turgid flesh. He licked the tip, sticking his tongue into the sensitive slit and then repeated the entire dance again. The young Immortal placed his hand on the sensitive balls and massaged and squeezed them to add to the pleasurable experience. Soon he stroked his hand up the thick cock as his tongue swirled the head. Methos' hands increased the speed of their caress on Macís head and shoulders, signaling his heightened arousal. Mac continued his stroking, but raised his head to look into Methos' eyes where the look of pure love he saw in them made his heart soar and he quickly returned to his task so that he could bring his lover to completion. Mac placed his lips on the hard length, continuing to lavish it with swirls of his tongue and licking the sensitive tip as his hands pumped the pulsating flesh, quickly bringing his lover to release, swallowing the tangy fluid and licking the stray drips from Methos' groin. Smiling, he inched up toward Methosí mouth, kissing him with a renewed fervor.
"Yes, I do love you, Old Man. Now I suggest you put yourself back together as I feel us moving again."
"MacLeod you are impossible! You will pay for this." Methos smiled in a sheepish grin. "What am I to do with you?"
"Aye. I hope I will (pay). I have some ideas, if you need some help." Mac returned the smile, licking a stray drop of come from his lips.
As the gondola neared the ground, the two men returned to their respective seats, attempting to appear as unruffled as the other patrons. As their cage stopped on the platform, they grabbed their packages and continued their walk down the Pier.
"Mac, if you everÖ."
"Hey, but it got your mind off the heights didnít it?"
Sighing, he realized temporary defeat and eyed his lover, "Iíll remember that the next time you are afraid."
The end? †
"Gravity is not responsible for people falling in love." †--Mark Twain
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