He didn't get very far before Cait moved to block his way. He could feel Jarod standing behind him, but didn't look. The only place he looked was at the floor. It would hurt too much to see the pity or even worse, the disgust.
"Don't presume to know what I feel, Richie Ryan," Cait said, angry at whoever it was that had rejected him before for sharing his tragedy.
"I don't understand," Richie glanced briefly at her, before looking at the floor again.
"No, because you're not the Empath in our little group. So don't presume to know what I feel. I am not disgusted by you. I don't know how you got it into your head that what those bastards did was your fault because it's not. You didn't do anything to provoke or warrant abuse like that. It wasn't your fault. Just like it wasn't Jarod's fault that the Center kidnapped him." She locked eyes with Jarod for a moment, seeing the shocked recognition of an emotion he'd never acknowledged before. "We are not going to reject you, Richie. You don't disgust us and any pity I feel is for the child you were that had to live through such a nightmare. What I feel for the man in front of me is love and admiration."
"Actually I was thinking more along the lines of awe," Jarod said, moving closer behind him so he could wrap his arms around him.
"Awe? That's a good one," Richie sniffled, brushing at the tears on his cheeks.
"I'm serious. I'm awed by you. We both know that my life growing up in the Center wasn't any where near normal, but except for a very short period of time I was never really abused. I never suffered through what you did. There are days when I feel like the demons that haunt me are too much to bear and I want to curl into a ball and close out the world. If I had gone through what you have I probably would close out the world. But you awe me. I'm awed by the fact that you are still willing to love and be loved. You are one of the most decent and caring people I know. I love you."
"I love you both too," he whispered, tears closing his throat.
Cait wrapped her arms around them, holding tightly for a long moment. Sensing Richie's emotional crisis had passed, she pulled back a little bit. "Why didn't you say anything when I told you to jump him?"
"Because I wanted to jump him," he said sheepishly. "Hell, I still want to."
"You want to jump on me?" Jarod asked, puzzled by the odd phrasing.
Richie turned to face him, smiling gently. "I want to make love with you, Jarod. I want you so badly it's a physical ache sometimes."
"And you wonder why I'm in awe of you," Jarod grinned. Pulling Cait into another three way hug, he said, "Now what this about sending Richie in to seduce me without you?"
"Well, I...just...it's, that is, I thought it would be easier if you two settled things between you first."
"You thought wrong." Jarod kissed her gently. "This is something we need to do together. Methos was right. What affects one of us affects all of us."
Richie stiffened peering over Jarod's shoulder. He relaxed slightly seeing the empty loft, "Where'd Mac and Methos go?"
Cait spotted the note on the table first. Reading it she smiled, then started to laugh when she got to the bottom. Taking the note from her, Richie read it and grinned. Mac had written: Didn't want to intrude. We'll meet you at Joe's at six. If you use the bed please change the sheets. Mac. Underneath in Methos' nearly illegible scrawl was - You better not use that bed, Caitlin.
"I suppose we could use the floor," Jarod said with a shrug. "What?"
She shook her head doubling over with laughter. With a grin Richie pushed her onto the couch making her laugh even harder.
"I don't understand."
"It's not that Methos doesn't want us using the bed. He doesn't want Cait having sex."
"But...I don't understand."
He looked so confused Richie's heart turned into mush. Hugging and kissing him, he said, "Methos is being an overprotective dad."
"He's not my dad," Cait glared from the couch.
"I didn't say he was, love. Just that he's acting like one."
"Well, he can just stop," she said, getting up. Wriggling her way between them, she made sure to rub her bottom against Jarod's groin, making him moan. Smiling she kissed Richie, opening her mouth when she felt his tongue brush against her lips. She sucked gently on his probing tongue, caressing it with her own, making him shudder. Jarod began kissing and nibbling her neck while he wrapped one arm around her waist, pressing her against him, his free hand coming up to fondle her breast.
It was as if a floodgate had been opened. Their hands moved at a frantic pace, needing to touch, to caress each other. Somehow they managed to get to the bed while pulling off their clothes without tripping. Falling onto the bed they came together fast and hard. They lay on their sides, hands and lips roaming all over each other. Cait moaned at the feel of both their erections pressed against her. Richie's hand slipped between her legs to stroke her most intimate spot. She arched forward against him, whimpering low in her throat. Reaching behind her, she grasped Jarod's thickness, stroking and squeezing him in time to the rhythm of Richie's skillful fingers.
The pleasure built in Cait, swirling around her, filling her up as the emotions of the two men beside her overwhelmed her barriers. She was a writhing mass of passion and desire. Richie's lips covered hers, nibbling passionately on them. Kissing his way along her jaw line, along the curve of her neck to her shoulder, Richie raised his head to press his lips to Jarod's. They pressed Cait between them, giving in to the passion that raged between them until they were panting heavily.
Jarod whimpered into her shoulder; she could feel his aching desire and the underlying uncertainty of not knowing what to do to ease that ache. Richie rolled away for a brief moment to grab the tube of lube he knew Mac kept in the night table drawer. Squeezing a generous amount onto his fingers, Richie coated the insides and back of her thighs.
"What are you doing?" Jarod asked. He'd led such a sheltered life and so much of this was new to him. Richie just smiled at him. The smile grew even wider at the soft gasp as he wrapped his hand around Jarod's cock. Coaxing him forward, Richie helped him slip between Cait's thighs. Cait and Jarod moaned in unison. The lube allowed him to slide smoothly between her legs, but with just enough friction to increase their pleasure.
"Richie," Cait whimpered, almost incoherent. "Need...please, I...oh god, please."
He knew what she asked. Their lips met again, his tongue thrusting into her warm mouth as he brought his hardness to her entrance. In one hard thrust he entered her. They all gasped as something inside them was awakened and reached for each other, linking them. Something primeval overtook them and they began to move in the ancient ritual of mating. They ceased to be three separate beings, instead becoming one. Their emotions and thoughts became one.
As they surged towards completion the heavens surrounded them, moving at a whirlwind pace until everything exploded in one electrifying instant. For a brief instant the world ceased to exist and then they could breathe again.
Several minutes passed as Jarod struggled to regain control of his breathing. He knew he had far less experience than either Richie or Cait, but he suspected it had been just as intense for them as it had been for him. At least he hoped it had been. Propping himself up on an elbow, he looked down at Richie and Cait, sighing in contentment. Gently he reached over Cait to brush his fingertips across Richie's cheek. There was a light tingling in his fingers at the touch. He started to pull away but Richie's hand came up to grasp his, holding him where he was. Light blue eyes blinked open to peer at him a moment before a soft smile spread across wonderfully expressive lips.
Turning his head slightly, Richie kissed those fingers, watching warm brown eyes turn almost black with desire. Then Cait stirred between them. Without opening her eyes, she said, "Gods, you two are insatiable."
The two men in question chuckled. Jarod bent his head to kiss her neck as Richie said, "Yeah, but you like us this way."
"You know me too well."
"Never too well," Richie said.
"There is always something more to learn," Jarod finished for him and they grinned at each other.
"Great. I'm in love with philosophers."
Noticing the time on the clock, Jarod said, "I think we'd better get going. It's almost a quarter after five."
"Who gets the shower first?" Cait asked, finally opening her eyes. They stared at each other for a long moment. Richie made the first move, rolling over and swinging his feet to the floor. In a mad dash they raced each other to the bathroom. In the end Richie won with his small head start. Not that any of them cared since they just piled in together.
Amid a lot of laughing, giggling and the occasional moan they managed to get themselves clean. Dressing went much quicker, mostly because they didn't have much to choose from. Richie had some clothes from his apartment, but Cait and Jarod didn't have that option. All of Cait's clothes were in her trailer at the Faire grounds and Jarod just didn't have many clothes. Mac had remedied the situation earlier in the week by taking them shopping.
When they were dressed it became obvious they had similar tastes. They wore matching black jeans and tan work boots. Their leather jackets reached mid-thigh, perfect for concealing a sword, although Cait and Jarod's were black while Richie's was a battered tan color. Their short sleeve shirts were a bright jewel tone. Cait wore forest green; Richie royal blue, and Jarod burgundy.
It was at the door of the dojo that they realized they had a transportation problem. Richie only had a motorcycle and none of them thought it would be a good idea to take the bus. So, it was back inside to call a cab. Fifteen minutes later at ten after six they walked into Joe's. It was still early in the evening, but already the club was starting to fill up in anticipation of the evenings live entertainment. Joe grinned at them from the bar.
"So the kids finally decided to show up. The old folks have been here over an hour," he gestured towards the table where Mac and Methos were sitting.
The trio returned the grin. Richie laughed and said, "You know me, Joe. I'd be late for..."
"Your own funeral. I know, kid. Listen up, you two," he said, attempting a serious tone. "You have allied yourselves with Richie Ryan the perpetually late. It's up to you to get him places on time. Help him turn over a new leaf."
"I resent that."
"No you don't," Jarod said, looping an arm over Richie's shoulder.
"Well, I can pretend," Richie grinned. He glanced over at Mac and Methos, who were watching them with interest. "So, what are the old folks drinking?"
"Mac's got uisegebeghe and Adam has his usual."
"Beer," all four said in unison and broke into laughter.
"So what will you have?" Joe asked, once the mirth passed.
"I'll try what Mac's having."
"Sorry, kid," Joe shook his head. "Unless you're planning on pouring yourself into a cab I wouldn't suggest it. That stuff would knock an elephant off its feet. Hell, even I don't drink that fire water. I only keep it around for Mac. How about a beer instead? I'll even give you one from out of Adam's private stash."
"God, no. Not that imported European crap. Just give me a pint of whatever's on tap."
"And you two?"
"You wouldn't happen to have some mead stashed away back there, now would you? Honey mead, in particular." Cait asked hopefully.
"Honey mead? I can't remember the last time anyone asked for that, but amazingly enough I do have a bottle. I don't know how good it is. It was mixed in by accident with a shipment of Mac's uisegebeghe. I'll be right back."
Once Joe was gone Jarod asked, "What's the difference between beer and honey mead and the stuff Mac is drinking?"
Richie and Cait stared at him.
"You've never had beer?" Richie asked.
"Have you ever had any alcohol?" Cait wanted to know.
"No. I was never told about it in the Centre and I was never really curious when I got out."
"Now that I think about it all I've ever seen you drink is juice."
"We're just going to have to change that," Richie said, as Joe returned from the back.
"Change what?" He asked.
"Jarod's never had alcohol before," Richie told him.
"Never even tried it?"
Jarod shrugged his shoulders.
"Well that's got to change if you're planning on hanging around with these folks. Tell you what, first pint is on the house. After that it goes on your tab. Speaking of tabs, yours is getting up there, kid. Planning on coming over and doing the books anytime soon?"
"I'll be by this week sometime to work on them."
"Good. Here's the mead. I don't know how good it is."
Taking the bottle, Cait read the label and grinned. "Oh this is the good stuff. My friend, Arg, was able to get a bottle of this once. Boy, did we party that night."
"Arg?" Richie asked.
"Clan Chief Evan Argyle. He runs the Dancing Dagger Tavern at the RPFN."
"RPFN?" Joe asked.
"Renaissance Pleasure Faire North. It's in Northern California." Cait explained. Leaning over the counter she grabbed the corkscrew. Once it was open she sniffed appreciatively at the opening. "Oh yeah, this is the good stuff. Glass, please?"
Joe smiled placing pints in front of Richie and Jarod. "What kind of glass do you want?"
"A rocks glass is fine."
"Here you go."
"Thanks." She started to walk away with the bottle and glass, but stopped at Joe's ahem. "Yes?"
"One glass at a time. That stuff's not cheap."
Handing it back to Joe, she glared at Richie, "What are you laughing at?"
"Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Come one, Jarod. Let's go join the old folks."
"Brat," she muttered, following behind them. Grinning evilly, she tested the mental bond between them. She'd noticed almost right after they rescued her that she'd had a bond with Richie and Jarod that was present all the time. Even when she was shielding she still felt them to a certain extent. After the events of that afternoon the bond had almost doubled in strength. Time to experiment she thought.
Perpetual teenager that he was, Richie's hormones were always raging. She just built on them, swamping him with desire. What she didn't expect was to see both Richie and Jarod tense and flush. Realizing she'd been broadcasting to both of them, she tried to stop the flow of emotions. She wasn't sure which one of them caught on to what she'd done, but suddenly she was overwhelmed by the same emotions she'd been feeding them.
Sitting down at the table, they mumbled greetings to Mac and Methos. They studied the trio sitting across from them silently. There was a light sheen of sweat on Richie's forehead and his gaze was fixed on a spot somewhere above Mac's head. Cait couldn't bring herself to meet Methos' eyes as she swirled the honey colored liquid around in her glass. Jarod appeared to find the condensation on the side of his pint fascinating, but his fingers shook as they traced patterns over the glass. Methos was the first to speak, his tone amused.
"You decided to push the bond and were surprised when they pushed back. Did you really expect it to be one way, Caittie?"
She shifted uncomfortably in her seat; "I don't know what I thought. They're not Empaths; I didn't think they'd even notice the bond."
"You shouldn't make too many assumptions about something you don't understand," Methos said, his gaze flickering to Mac for a brief instant. "These types of bonds don't just occur out of thin air. There is always something there to provide a spark."
He sipped from his bottle of imported English Ale letting them digest what he'd just said. Joe came up to the table then, noticing all the serious faces. Well, everyone was serious but Methos. He was looking around with a knowing smirk. But Joe didn't count him since it was rare the man was truly serious unless his hide was on the line.
"That's it. New Rule," he said. "No serious thoughts while at Joe's. Just good booze, fine women, or men as the case may be, and smooth jazz. Leave everything else at the door."
As he planned it helped lighten things up and soon everyone was laughing. Conversation wandered over several pleasant topics after resting briefly on whether or not the trio had settled things between them. While Mac and Cait debated some of the finer points of swordplay, Richie and Methos coached Jarod through his first taste of beer. Richie was amused by his reaction while Methos was a little disgruntled.
"Ugh," Jarod grimaced, wiping the back of his hand across his mouth. "You actually like the taste of that?"
"Well, beer is something of an acquired taste," Richie shrugged.
"You mean American beer," Methos said, waving over Melanie, the waitress. "A glass of water please. A good beer or ale or lager should be rich and smooth. Not that there aren't good beers with bit of bite to them. American beers I have found are much more suited for stripping the varnish from one's furniture, rather than consumption."
"There is nothing wrong with American beer. I wouldn't feed my dog that European import crap, assuming I had one," Richie retorted.
"That is because you have no taste or class. You are little better than a barbarian."
"Oh that's good. This from the guy who predates the Bronze Age."
Mac patted Jarod's arm reassuringly when he started to look concerned;
"Don't worry, they have the same argument all the time."
"Do not," they responded at the same time and grinned.
"They also respond the same way every time I point it out."
Everyone laughed and conversation resumed. The blues band Joe had hired for the evening began their first set. After the first song Cait rose from her chair, "I feel like dancing. Who's coming?"
"I'm game," Richie rose from his seat. They looked at Jarod.
"I...I don't know how."
They each grabbed one of his hands, pulling him from his chair, as Cait said, "It's time you learned."
Dragging him onto the dance floor, Richie and Cait proceeded to teach him how to dance. Jarod quickly caught on to the idea that it involved a lot of rubbing up against his two beloveds. Although there were times when one of them would back away to dance alone to the sensual rhythm of the music.
Mac and Methos watched fondly from the table. They were reminded of times they had danced the same dance of seduction and passion, only it was usually after Joe had closed the doors to the public and the music was provided by the stereo system. Gazing at the beautiful man next to him, Mac once again thanked whatever twist of fate had brought them together. He was content. His clan was safe and protected. Everything was as it should be.
"I think it's time," Methos said, breaking into his thoughts.
"Time for what?"
Methos looked meaningfully at the trio dancing, raising an eyebrow at his lover's confused look. "You know what I'm talking about, Duncan. As much as I hate the idea of Caittie moving in with two men I know there's nothing I can do about it. We have to let them leave the nest some time and they're going to want to leave soon."
"It's still too dangerous. The Centre is definitely still after Jarod; they could still be looking for Cait. And what about other Immortals? What if one of them is challenged?"
"Duncan, I love you, but there are times when you really fail to see the obvious or you choose not to. Jarod has been eluding the Centre for a year and a half. They raised him; he knows how they think, how they react. As for Cait they think she's dead, they're not looking for her. And what about other Immortals? You can't protect them forever. Richie is more than capable of taking care of himself. I know Joe showed you the Watcher's reports from when he disappeared. As for Cait, you've seen her fight. I mean, she beat me. Several times in fact."
"I suppose. It doesn't mean I have to like it."
"Hey, who said I liked it? It's part of life. Deal with it."
"I am. It's going to be quiet in the loft without them around."
"I'm sure we can find some way to fill the silence," he smirked. He rubbed his thumb lightly over Mac's full bottom lip, then replaced the digit with his own lips. He sucked gently on Mac's tongue as it slipped into his mouth.
"Ewww, the old folks are kissing."
Methos sighed as he pulled away and leveled a glare at Cait, who grinned unrepentantly at him. Richie and Jarod stood behind her, grinning as well. "Go home, children. We want to be alone tonight."
"Um, that's a little difficult since we're sleep in your living room," Jarod pointed out.
"I didn't say go to our home. Richie has an apartment. Go there."
"You're kicking us out?" Cait asked.
"No. We're giving you your freedom. Go enjoy it."
"We don't have to stay at the loft anymore?" Richie asked.
"We can go back to our normal lives?" Cait asked.
"What was our normal lives?" Jarod asked.
Methos groaned, his head falling forward to rest against Mac's chest. "I thought you said this was going to be easy?"
Mac smiled down at his lover. "Yes, no, and I don't know. You don't have to stay at the loft anymore but I still want the three of you there once a day for lessons."
"For how long? I have to get back to the Faire. My things are there and I have a job that needs me. I may not get paid much but it helps with the mortgage payments."
"Mortgage payments?" Richie asked, frowning.
"Patrick finally managed to scrape together enough for that land he always wanted, didn't he? I knew he'd do it one day." Methos said.
Cait nodded, "That money you left us gave him enough to make a down payment on about a hundred acres and helped us buy about a dozen horses to start our herd. When I'm not out on the Faire circuit I'm at the ranch training the yearlings and overseeing the breeding program. We're doing pretty good for ourselves. Most of the Faires in the northwest region buy or lease their horses from us."
"It sounds like you do more than well for yourself," Mac said.
"Spoken like a man who's never had to spend hours arguing with the help because they don't believe a woman could possibly know what she's talking about when it comes to the manly art of horse training." Cait shrugged sipping from her glass. "It's a pain, but I love my life. I don't want it to change."
Methos shook his head; "You don't seem to understand that your life has already changed. Once you became Immortal, once you bonded with Jarod and Richie your life was irrevocably altered. Nothing you can say or do is going to change it back to the way it was. Oh, I'm not saying you can't try but it won't work. It never works. To avoid other Immortals you'll have to spend the rest of your life on Holy Ground. Somehow I can't quite see you taking the vows of a nun. As for the bond, do you really want to leave Jarod and Richie behind now that you've found them?"
"No, never," Cait replied instantly, grasping Jarod and Richie's hands in her own. "I would sooner give up my life than leave them behind."
"I hope you remember that when one of you does something incredibly stupid," Methos said with a smirk. Then a little more seriously, "Things aren't going to return to the normality of your former lives, but it will get easier. You will create a new life for yourselves and all will work out. Now go away. I'm tired of being philosophical."
"Yes, o wise one," Cait grinned, rising from her chair. Jarod and Richie stood as well.
"Yes, o wise ancient one," Richie added, earning himself a glare from Methos. Mac just smiled blandly as he massaged the back of his lover's neck.
"We'll see you at the dojo tomorrow at ten. Do try and get some sleep tonight."
"Yes, Clan Chief," Jarod said slyly.
"Out with ye, you insolent brats," Mac smiled to take the sting from his words.
The trio laughed and headed for the door. Their first stop was the dojo to pick up their things and then to Richie's apartment to get to know each other a whole lot better.