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As soon as the guys in the matching gray suits stepped off the elevator, Chris pushed Vin against the rear wall of the roomy, air-conditioned car.

"I can't believe you're here," he said for about the tenth time and kissed Vin hard on the mouth. He had wanted to do that since he first spied Vin outside the conference room at the Sheraton. He almost didn't believe it was Vin, except that he would know his lover anywhere.

Vin kissed him back, his garment bag and his other small bag sliding from his shoulder. He wrapped his arms around Chris's narrow waist. "Thought I could live without ya for a week," he said when they took a break from their hello. Shrugging, he concluded matter of factly, "Thought wrong."

"Must have cost a fortune, flying to New York on such short notice," Chris said and leaned in for a quick peck.

"Not too bad. Buck's got a lady friend at a travel agency. She hooked me up," Vin said.

Chris laughed. "Where doesn't Buck have a lady friend?" he asked rhetorically. He kissed Vin again. And repeated himself. "I can't believe you're here. I can't wait to make love to you."

Vin glanced at the digital display on the wall. "Only a couple of more floors," he said. He brushed the back of his hand over Chris's groin, just to show he shared his lover's impatience.

Their mouths were sealed together, their tongues twisting around each other and their hips grinding together when the lights went out.

It was the sudden stoppage of motion that got their attention, though.

"What the fuck?" Chris said.

Vin opened his eyes and clutched Chris's upper arms. "Chris, who turned off the lights?" he asked in a troubled voice.

"Ah, it's probably nothing. Lights'll be back on in a minute and we'll be moving," Chris said calmly.

"Just the same, call the building supervisor, okay?" Vin said.

Chris nodded then quickly realized Vin wouldn't see it. "Okay," he said. He crossed the pitch black space and felt his way along the elevator doors to the phone. "That's weird. Phone's dead."

"Uh-oh, something must really be wrong," Vin said.

"Not necessarily--"

Vin cut him off. "No, listen," he whispered.

Chris heard the faint sound of people shouting. He made out help more than once. He moved back to Vin and took his hands. "It's all right, Vin," he said.

"We ain't the only ones stuck. Something's up," Vin said and started to panic. Except that Chris was with him, this was his worst nightmare -- being stuck in a confined space in total darkness.

"The building must have blown a fuse somewhere. They'll throw the switch and we'll be in my room in no time," Chris said seriously, trying to resume their kiss. He couldn't imagine the problem was any bigger than that.

Vin turned away. "A fuse that took out all the elevators?" he asked, his tone revealing his skepticism.

"Yeah. That, or a blackout. I really doubt it's a blackout. New York had one fifteen, twenty years ago. They fixed it so it would never happen again," Chris said with authority.

"We'll see, Mr. Know It All," Vin mumbled. Everything had been going perfectly up until this point. He'd flown stand-by, First Class thanks to Buck's friend. He'd gotten a cab right away and had arrived at the hotel just as Chris's seminar was wrapping up for the day. Whenever things were going too well Vin got suspicious. Weird glitches like this snag were why.

Chris seemed to read his mind. "This isn't happening to screw up your surprise, Vin. We're gonna be out of here in a few minutes and screwing like rabbits before you can say Jack Sprat," Chris said.

Vin was about to protest when he felt Chris's warm breath on his face. Not a bad idea, really, to distract himself and so he let Chris kiss him.

The distraction only went so far. "Try the phone again," he whispered. "Please?"

Chris did. "Still nothing," he said. He pulled his cellphone out of his pocket, slapping his forehead for not thinking of it sooner.

Vin saw the small lights moving in the darkness. "Anything?"

"No, no signal," Chris said. "Let's just sit and relax. Nothing we can do, anyway."

He crossed back to Vin's side and they settled on the floor of the elevator. He held Vin's hand and tried to think of something to say to keep Vin's mind off their circumstances.

"That your new cellphone, the one you bought with Buck and JD?" Vin asked.

Chris chuckled. "Yeah, got my new suped up--" he paused, realizing where Vin was going with the question. "My new cell phone with the am/fm radio built in."

It took a couple of minutes to find a station. When they heard the news, Vin's hand clamped down on Chris's knee.

"The whole Northeast?" Vin asked with alarm. "How the hell they gonna fix that any time soon?"

Chris refused to give up the fight. "Don't know. But they'll get us out of here, one way or another."

As if to reward Chris's confidence, an announcement came on saying fire trucks were responding to high rise office buildings and hotels to assist in freeing trapped riders. He switched off the radio, afraid that the next announcement would contradict the first or otherwise further distress Vin.

"Told you," Chris said, unintentionally sounding like a little kid.

"I don't see any fireman, do you?" Vin shot back irritably.

They sat quietly for the next couple of minutes. Vin wasn't sure whether it was psychological or not but ever since they'd heard the announcement about the blackout, he'd been finding it harder and harder to breathe.

"Chris," he said quietly, "we're running out of air."

Chris tried to stand up. "Vin, let go of my knee," he said.

"Where ya going?" Vin asked.

"Well, you're gonna give me a boost and I'm gonna move one of them ceiling panels," Chris said.

Vin grabbed the knee he had only just let go of and looked up into the direction of Chris's voice. "You're gonna climb outta the car?" he asked.

"What do I look like, the Incredible Hulk, I can pry elevator doors open with my bare hands?" Chris replied.

"Then what?"

"I'm just gonna slide the panel over so we can get more air," Chris said.

Vin thought on the plan for a minute. The car had already started heating up and he did feel like he was suffocating. "Okay."

Chris put his wing-tipped encased foot in Vin's interlocked hands and reached up high. He knocked one of the ceiling panels up and over. A rush of air filled the elevator car. Fetid and warm but air nonetheless. He dropped down.

"There. Now if only we had some water," he said.

Vin hugged him for a second then pulled away, one hand remaining on Chris's hip. It calmed him to maintain physical contact with his lover. "Remind me to kiss the boys when we get back home," he said.

"Why would you do that?" Chris asked. "Why would I remind you to do that?"

"Because they gave me a care package when they dropped me off the at the airport. That's what this insulated bag is," Vin said.

"They dropped you off at the airport? Shouldn't they have been at work?" Chris wanted to know.

"Relax, boss," Vin said with a chuckle. "Josiah stayed back to mind the fort."

"Oh, great," Chris said with a snort. "One whole agent."

"Besides, looks like we'll owe 'em big for playing hooky. We've got a bottle of water, a roast beef hero, and a bag of M&M's," Vin said.

"What'd you do, eat the airplane food?" Chris asked as they sat down and Vin's hand resumed its hold on his knee. Vin didn't much care for airplane food. Never could get past the smell.

"Nah. Ezra gave me the greatest care item of all. You know that Homer Simpson Pez dispenser he got in the Christmas gag grab bag last year?" Vin asked. "Valium. I slept the whole way."

Chris chuckled. "Always wondered why he carried that thing around. Never offered anyone any either, though that didn't surprise me," he said.

Vin sipped the water then passed the bottle to Chris. "You know, I ain't real hungry. I just wanna get out of here," he said.

"Soon," Chris assured him.

"How do you know? Could be here for days," Vin grumbled. "It's gettin' real hot and stuffy. That opening ain't hardly helping." He stopped himself, aware that he was on the verge of panic -- and driving himself there. The situation was clearly bad but he knew he was making it worse. He just couldn't help himself. He opened his mouth to speak again.

Chris closed the water bottle and took Vin's hand. "How 'bout we take our minds off the heat?" He took off his suit jacket then kneeled between Vin's knees and kissed him. He sucked gently on Vin's lower lip then drifted towards his ear. "Don't need lights to do this," he said in a breathy whisper as he nibbled Vin's earlobe.

"Reckon we don't," Vin said.

Chris peeled Vin's unbuttoned cotton shirt off hiss shoulders and pushed up his T-shirt. He kissed his way across Vin's chest, catching each nipple in turn between his front teeth. Hard licks across the perky, moist buds elicited soft moans from Vin.

"Don't reckon we need any lights for ya to undo my jeans, either," Vin said.

"Nope, we don't," Chris agreed. He freed Vin's cock, barely touching it before taking it into his mouth. It was soft enough to bend down his throat and Chris let it slide right in. Curling his arms around Vin's thighs, he began bobbing his head eagerly.

Chris's mouth was so hot, his throat so smooth Vin almost couldn't stand it. He clenched his fingers in his lover's hair and groaned. "That feels so good, Chris," he murmured. He lost the battle to keep his hips still and started fucking Chris's mouth.

After a few minutes, Chris backed off with an audible gasp.

"Sorry," Vin said.

"It's okay," Chris said and tugged Vin's jeans down off his hips. That made it easier to fondle his balls while he licked and teased his throbbing cock. Slowly, he inched a finger between Vin's ass cheeks and tickled the sensitive skin there. He pushed the tip of his index finger in just as he mouthed Vin's cock again.

"Damn, Chris!" Vin cried out.

Chris swallowed Vin's release then pulled back. He wished he could see his lover's eyes as he soothed him by stroking his quivering thighs.

A ragged voice cut the darkness. "Fuck me, cowboy."

Chris kissed Vin, opening his mouth wide to let him plunder and taste. "What if the firemen show up? Really want to give them an eyeful?" he asked finally.

"This is New York City, Chris. Anything goes. Besides, there's a blackout, remember? It'll still be pretty dark when the doors open," Vin explained.

"There'll be enough daylight to see my lily white ass," Chris said.

Vin heard the smile in Chris's voice. He was feeling more serious, though. "Came all this way 'cause I couldn't wait to see ya, be with ya. Not good enough to think about ya and touch myself. We started this, let's finish it. Need to feel ya, cowboy. Now," Vin said.

Chris rested his forehead on Vin's chest. How lucky was he to have Vin, he wondered? More than a friend and more than a lover, even. A balm for his burned out soul, a crooked lock for his broken key. He nodded intently.

Vin had been rubbing his back. He stopped. "Check the zippered outer compartment of my bag," he whispered.

Chris found the tube, telltale even in the dark. He stood and pulled Vin up, their lips meeting in a tender caress.

They moved to the side of the elevator where there was a safety bar. Vin bent slightly at the waist and gripped. Chris held his hip with one hand and fingered his hole.

Not knowing how much time they had, Chris pushed in after slightly less prep time than usual. Vin did not appear to mind, pushing back against him with a deep groan.

They moved together in well-practiced harmony. Chris kept the teasing to a minimum, fucking Vin as gently as he could with long, loving strokes. He sped up when he felt his balls tighten and his toes curl in his shoes. His movements halted when he came, his back arching stiffly as he moaned and spilled his seed deep inside his lover's hot channel.

Shaking, Chris pumped his hips a few times before withdrawing. Vin turned in his arms and kissed him.

"Welcome to the Big Apple," Chris said.

"Happy to be here," Vin said softly.

It wasn't more than twenty minutes later that they heard someone banging on the doors. They had been kissing mildly, weary from their encounter and their situation. But the banging brought them both to their feet in the blink of an eye.

They banged back, calling out to their would-be rescuers.

Within minutes the doors parted. Their feet were about chest level with the men from the NYFD. Vin jumped down immediately. Chris grabbed Vin's bags and followed right behind him. They shook hands with the firemen, who were friendly enough but didn't have much time for pleasantries. Plenty of other buildings with other elevator banks.

Chris and Vin walked down the stairs, across the lobby, and out onto hot, humid Seventh Avenue. There were people and vehicles everywhere yet it was relatively quiet. Mostly people talking, laughing. Several cars and trucks were sitting in the avenue with the ignition turned off, their drivers sitting on the hoods or bumpers and chatting.

A man handed each Chris and Vin a beer. "Drink up. Nobody's going anywhere," he said cheerfully.

Before taking a sip, Vin inhaled as deeply as he could. He'd barely let out the breath when Chris hugged him and kissed him with wet, chilly lips.

"Chris," he said under his breath.

"Come on, this is New York City. Anything goes, right?" Chris said with a grin.

Before I say, The End, let me say this. Vin and Chris didn't get to make love again that night. Since Chris's hotel room had two large beds, they graciously offered one to a Seattle couple with two small children who were unable to get back to the relatives they were staying with in Westchester.

The next day looked brighter. The Bureau actually continued with their seminar, since power had been restored to that particular part of Manhattan. However, the pumps in the hotel were malfunctioning so Chris couldn't shower. Not wanting to offend his fellow agents, he stayed in his room and made hot, sweaty, passionate love with Vin. And the a/c was working!

They finally got to shower around dinnertime and made it a slow, sexy one. They ate at a trendy restaurant Vin didn't much enjoy, talked on the phone with the boys, and went to bed early. After a long good night, they marveled at how accurate Buck's guess at how they'd passed the time in the elevator had been.

Buck's friend changed their flight to Sunday just to be safe. The hotel put them up without charge.

Vin slept all the way back to Denver and he didn't even need a Valium. Just held Chris's hand and thought about the finer points of his experience with The Blackout of 2003.

NOW, it's THE END ;-)
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