Andy had plans for his fifth wedding anniversary with Thomas. They would have dinner together. There would be sex in the living room on the sheepskin rug. Then they would to go bed and have more sex before falling asleep in each other’s arms. Their previous anniversaries hadn’t been special but by God, this one would be.
Unfortunately, fate had other plans for Andy and Thomas. Dinner was abandoned when Thomas came home injured. Their quick trip to get him treatment turned in a desperate struggle to survive when Black attacked the city. The only thing Andy had to cling to was his determination to get Thomas to medical care no matter what it took.
Anniversary is an exciting romantic adventure set in the Debts to Recover verse.
Andy hummed as he finished the final touches for the evening. The curtains were firmly closed, giving their roomy condo a quiet intimate feel. It also made the room significantly warmer than normal which was a good idea. Even though they were still in the last stages of summer’s heat the condo’s air conditioning system was efficient enough that it was normally cold inside. Hopefully, if Thomas agreed, they would spend the rest of the night naked together. Warmer would be better for that.
He’d pushed the couch back against the west wall in the living room area and their armchairs up against the opposite wall by the sound system that was currently playing quiet classical music. That left a huge expanse of space open for his plans. The big fluffy sheepskin rug made a lovely base to work from. Their coffee table now held three whips, two floggers and all four of their canes.
Now all he had to do was get their dinner out of the oven and they could have a properly romantic anniversary night. After four years of nothing much special happening Andy thought that taking charge of the night’s activities might be okay. Hopefully.
Thomas was certainly the Dom in their relationship but he’d said over and over that he appreciated it when Andy took charge of the details on things like this. It was still a bit… nervous-making to do this though. Andy much preferred to have someone else giving the orders. Outlines of orders would be enough but he didn’t have even that much tonight. Just a hope for something special on their anniversary and a prayer that Thomas would appreciate it.
“God, I hope he doesn’t get mad,” Andy groaned. “I just… want it to be special.”
He shook his head as he checked on their roast chicken. It looked very close to done. The rolls were just about perfect too. He’d already gotten the corn cooked and buttered. A quick zap in the microwave and that would be steaming. The apple pie was perfect and already waiting in the fridge. Thomas’ favorite French vanilla ice cream sat in the freezer, too. Andy was ready for anything tonight. Probably.
“Home…” Thomas called from the front door.
“Hey!” Andy called back, shutting the oven and hurrying around the fridge only to stop dead in his tracks. “What happened?”
Thomas winced. His bottom lip was split and a huge bruise covered his left cheek. His glasses looked bent, just slightly, or at least Thomas wasn’t wearing them squarely on his head. His jacket had mud on it, too, something that Andy hadn’t ever seen. Horrifyingly, Andy could see footprints on his jacket.
“There was… a problem,” Thomas sighed. “Give me hand? My ribs are killing me.”
“Did you get beaten up?” Andy asked as he knelt and untied Thomas’ shoes.
“No, there was this girl at the station at Fourth and Vine. She was getting harassed really badly,” Thomas said. He leaned one hand on Andy’s shoulder, putting enough weight that Andy had to stiffen his back not to sag under it. “The police weren’t doing anything so I did. I got punched, knocked down briefly, and the cops tried to blame her and then me for it. They arrested the idiots after I gave them my business card.”
“This is why you need to stop taking public transportation and get a car,” Andy huffed. “You work for Master Boles. He’d probably recommend a good armored car dealer. I know that you could get a credit for one and we have a parking space available. It came with the condo.”
Thomas smiled ever so faintly but he shook his head no. That was a battle that Andy wasn’t going to win no matter what so he let it go. Along with his elaborate plans for the evening. So much for all his ideas of dinner and then a beating and making love on the sheepskin rug.
When Andy smiled ruefully Thomas frowned and cupped his cheek.
“What’s wrong?” Thomas asked.
“Well, I sort of set up a special evening for our anniversary but I don’t think you’re going to be up for the ideas I had,” Andy admitted. “I do have roast chicken, corn, rolls and a very nice apple pie for dinner.”
Thomas blinked several times very rapidly. He straightened up and then went to stare into the living room. Andy sighed as he carefully set Thomas’ shoes on their little shoe rack. All that work and it just wasn’t going to happen.
“Wow,” Thomas murmured as Andy moved to stand behind him. “Now I wish I’d just handed the card to the police before getting involved.”
“It could be worse,” Andy said. “I was thinking about putting in the vibrating butt plug around lunch so that I’d be ready for you when you got home.”
“That would be worse,” Thomas laughed so ruefully that Andy couldn’t help but grin. “We really need to take that vacation I’ve been threatening. Get out of town. Go to one of those armored, all-inclusive resorts where we can just play and not have to worry about anything.”
Andy ducked his head to hide his grin at that thought. They’d talked about it endlessly since they got together. He didn’t really think it would happen. While Andy’s work was relatively simple, mostly just filing and data entry, Thomas was fairly highly placed in Master Boles’ business. It was expected that he be on hand whenever there were problems and given Black’s unending attacks, there always seemed to be problems.
“It would be nice,” Andy said with a quick glance towards the oven timer. Still a minute and a half left to go. “Maybe somewhere warm.”
Thomas chuckled. He pulled Andy into his arms for a long hug that wasn’t half long enough but that might have been Andy’s fault. The way Thomas winced for the feeling of Andy’s arms wrapped around his ribcage made Andy feel too bad to cling to him.
“Go pull the chicken,” Thomas whispered against Andy’s lips. “We can still have dinner. Maybe afterwards we can play a little bit. Lightly.”
“Liar,” Andy whispered with a grin. “I felt that wince.”
“Damn it,” Thomas groaned. “Fine. No play time.”
He laughed quietly despite the groan and obvious disappointment in his eyes. Andy laughed as well. There would be another chance, another time. He got the chicken out of the oven, smiling that the thermometer confirmed that it was perfectly done. The corn heated back up perfectly and the rolls had just the right amount of crispiness. It was a simple dinner, a fairly light one all things considered, but it should still be good.
Thomas carved the chicken. His fingers shook a little afterwards which made Andy frown at him. The carving motion shouldn’t have hurt that much. Instead of immediately eating, Andy glowered at Thomas.
“What?” Thomas asked entirely too innocently.
“Let me see those ribs,” Andy demanded.
“I’m fine,” Thomas protested. He went red as Andy continued to glower. “Andy. I’m fine.”
“If we wrap them up I’ll be fine,” Thomas said in his ‘giving orders now’ voice.
“Ribs!” Andy insisted. “Don’t you try and order me around outside of sex, Thomas Loomis. I am your husband and I am not letting you risk your life and health because you feel bad about having gotten beaten up by a bunch of punks. Take that shirt and jacket off or so help me I’m getting the scissors and cutting them off!”
Thomas’ mouth worked a couple of times but nothing came out. He sighed, looking at their steaming dinner with enough hunger that Andy almost relented. But if he really did have broken ribs or worse, internal bleeding, eating would be a terrible idea.
When Andy crossed his arms over his chest Thomas sighed. He grumbled as he stomped into their spacious bedroom with it’s not going to be used tonight padded cross and definitely not going to be used for anything but sleep king size bed.
Andy had to help Thomas take his jacket off. Thomas went white at putting his arms back for Andy to slip the jacket down his arms. He was so slow unbuttoning the shirt that Andy took over only to freeze when he saw the damage.
Thomas’ ribs were covered with bruises. Not just bruises but boot prints that were so distinct that Andy could see the individual tread patterns of three different boots. In one spot along Thomas’ ribs he could even make out the exact curve of the boot’s heel and the size.
“We are going to the hospital right now,” Andy said. His voice came out surprisingly level and calm given that his stomach was churning and his fingers were shaking. Tears had welled up making it hard to see the buttons that Andy now redid.
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