Christmas on the Painted Desert
Somewhere out in the vast darkness of the open desert, a coyote howled under the full moon, its mate adding a howl in counterpoint; their combined harmonics blending together to create one song among many as the pack answered back with long howls of their own.
Beside him, Doc stared out into the desert; the last few years of living in the city back east having faded the hard-won wilderness skills he had no choice but to learn while riding with Billy the Kid.
After a moment of staring out into the night beyond their camp, Doc relaxed and Chavez returned his attention to the tiny spit in front of him. The thin strip of wood held two small rabbits and they would have nothing to eat if he let them burn. Keeping his concern on their dinner kept the other man from seeing his smile. Doc had no idea how beautiful he looked, blond hair and pale skin haloed by the orange flames that danced between them, shirt open at the throat...
"I'll protect you from the evil creatures of the night, Doc." Chavez chuckled as he looked up from the rabbit sizzling on the spit, the flames shining in his eyes as he looked across the fire to his mate sitting on the other side.
"You had better," Josiah chuckled back. "A blanket sleeping two is much better at keeping warm than sleeping alone. Which you would be doing, were I to be gobbled up by a hungry coyote."
Unable to hide the desire that welled up in him at the thought of 'gobbling' up the pale skin that called to him, Chavez pinned Doc with that gaze. "Coyotes are not the only hungry predators to hunt the desert at night, Doc," Chavez told him seriously. "And some of those are much closer than you think."
Licking his lips at the heat that suddenly flared between them, Doc walked around the fire until he sat practically at Chavez' feet. "Would it surprise you if I said that I was counting on that fact?"
"No." Claiming those upturned lips in a kiss, Chavez forgot about the fire, the spit and their dinner sizzling less than a foot away and concentrated on the soft flesh beneath him, pouring all of the desire, the love and frustration he had into that contact. It had been a long few days since Billy and the rest of his 'gang' had left them any privacy at all and he was determined they would take advantage of the day and a half they had until Billy's return.
Pulling away with a gasp, Doc stuttered out 'rabbit' and Chavez reluctantly abandoned this one hunt for another. Dinner. Doc would need his strength.
Smirking at the picture of debauched innocence his mate now wore, blond hair mussed, lips swollen, blue eyes glazed, the half-breed stared resolutely into the fire and tried not to think about kissing Doc again; about tasting and claiming every inch of that pale skin until Doc writhed and begged sweet mercy under him. Not to think about the way his arms would clutch and cling to him as his body drew Chavez down into the depths of oblivion even as his spirit broke free to soar, carried away on the wings of the desert wind, Doc flying beside him...
Doc cast his own eyes toward the fire and rested his head against his thigh in companionable silence. While he may not look, Chavez lost against the desire to run his fingers through the silky strands, and he smiled, the other hand reaching to turn the spit.
On this Eve of the White Man's Christmas, with bright stars filling the desert sky above him, dinner from his arrows to fill his belly and the love of his mate to fill his heart, all was finally right with his world.