"Tag, You're It, Part 8"
By:  Melissa and Cathy

As the hours passed, Tag became increasingly angry with both John and Roland Carter.  John should have enough common courtesy to at least call him and let him know he was all right.  And there weren't enough words in the English language to describe how Tag felt about Roland.

When the phone finally rang, Tag immediately snatched it up, praying that it was John.


"Tag, it's me.  Are you alone?"

"Your father isn't here if that's what you mean."  Tag hoped John wasn't thinking that he had replaced him so quickly.

"Good.  I can't risk coming back to the hotel.  Can you meet me somewhere?"

"Of course.  Where?"

John gave him an address and Tag committed it to memory.  "Once there, walk toward the river.  You'll come to a park.  Go to the mermaid fountain and I'll find you there."

"I'll leave now.  Are you okay?"

"No.  But, I will be once you're with me.  I love you, Tag."

"I love you, too.  Bye."


The line went dead and Tag hung up the receiver.  Then he grabbed his jacket and left the room.  He found the back staircase and went to the street level of the hotel, quickly finding a cab and hoping that he had avoided Roland Carter and his assistant.  He gave the driver the address, then eased back into the seat, wondering what he and John would do about the situation.

Tag waited by the fountain, wondering if John would show, scared that he had been followed by Roland or that assistant of his.  Just as he had convinced himself that John would not show up, he saw him walking toward him.  His heart sang out for joy as they walked toward each other and embraced under the Parisian moonlight.

"All this intrigue...don't you think you're carrying this French Resistance role play a little far?" Tag smiled.  "But seriously, are you okay?"

John nodded.  "I'm fine.  I'm sorry I just ran off like that.  It's just...he makes me feel like a six-year-old kid, scared to death.  Only this time, I wasn't really worried for me -- I was frightened for you instead."

"Your father doesn't scare me, John."

"He should.  He scares me sometimes."  John whispered.

Tag pulled him even closer, silently cursing Roland Carter.  No son should ever feel that way about his own father, he thought.

"Look, it takes a lot for a Taglieri to give up.  We don't go down easy, John.  Remember that.  Especially now that you're also a Taglieri."

That got a small smile from John, but it was still a smile tinged with sadness.  "And you're also now a Carter, don't forget.  We don't give up so easily, either.  I just think if I don't go home with him, then he'll try to destroy you, Tag."

"Let him try.  I have tenure, so my job at the hospital is safe.  I have my own money and house.  I have good friends and a family that loves me.  There's nothing he can do to hurt me.  Nothing except take you away from me."

"He's got a lot of money, Tag.  And he knows a lot of powerful people.  There's a lot he can do, believe me."

"John, do you love me?"


"Do you believe that I love you?"

"Of course.  But, I don't see what..." Tag cut him off.

"Then nothing your father does or says will matter.  We are together and we will stay together.  Our flight to Chicago leaves tomorrow evening and I intend for the two of us to be on it together.  Will you come back to our hotel with me and help make our last night in Paris one to remember?"

John saw the sincerity in Tag's eyes and he knew there was no way he could even think about leaving Paris without him.  He nodded.  "C'mon, husband.  Let's get back.  We may have all night and part of tomorrow, but there's a lot I want to do to you and we'll need every minute we can get."

Tag slowly kissed John on the lips.  "I like the sound of that.  I like it a lot.  Let's see if we can't find a cab.  Do you think we could convince the driver to speed if we offer him extra money?"

John laughed and his laughter lifted Tag's spirits even higher.  "I think we can bribe one to speed.  Let's get going.  I don't want to waste any time at all."

Tag directed the taxi driver to stop a few blocks away from the hotel, then he led John in through the back way.

"Now who's carrying this French Resistance thing too far?" John jokingly asked.

"I'm not taking any chances.  I want to get you back in our room so I can make love to you all night long and I sure as Hell don't want any interruptions from your father or that goon he has working for him."

"Randall is not a goon.  He's a pretty good guy."

"Right.  And that explains why you ran away from him."

"I didn't run away from him.  I was running to Barbara."

Tag opened the door to the stairwell.  "So that's where you went?"

"Yeah.  She talked some sense into me."  John reached out and grabbed Tag's arm, stopping him on the step.  "I'm still scared for you, Tag, but I'm willing to fight Dad for you."

Tag smiled and caressed John's cheek.  "I'll be fighting every inch of the way with you, John.  Now, let's see how fast we can get to that room.  I don't think the establishment would like it too much if we made love on the back stairs."

John glanced up the stairwell.  Their room was on the fourth floor and his ribs were still hurting from his earlier run and stair climbing.

"Can't we take the elevator?"

"Sure.  But, not from the lobby.  They might be there."

John nodded.  He was sure he could handle one flight of stairs.  They went to the next floor and got into the elevator there.  In no time at all, they were back in their suite. 

Tag was still in the process of locking the door when John began to undress him, his need obviously urgent.  Tag turned around and hungrily kissed him while his own hands made short work of removing John's clothing.  They never made it to the bedroom.  Afterward, Tag propped himself up on one elbow and looked down at John, thinking about how good he looked against the background of the oriental carpet.

"You know, I was thinking that tonight would be a good time to try out some of the things I bought today."  He couldn't keep from grinning as he saw John's eyes widen with delight.

"And just what did you buy today?"

"Come get into the bathtub with me and I'll show you."  Tag got up, then held out his hand for John.  John grabbed his hand and Tag pulled him to his feet, then they went into the huge bathroom.  So far, they had not made use of the whirlpool bathtub, but Tag was determined to remedy that oversight tonight.

"Sit there.  I'll be right back."  Tag pushed John down to the edge of the tub, then headed back into the bedroom.  John couldn't keep from grinning as he heard Tag rustling around in the many shopping bags he had accumulated during the day.  Now, John found himself wishing he would have gone into some of the stores with Tag, maybe then he'd have some idea as to what he had purchased.

Tag returned, his arms full of artfully wrapped packages.  "I know this is probably going to strike you as strange, but I think you'll love this."

"I promise to love any idea you come up with," John grinned.

Tag ran a hand lazily down John's arm, "Oh, I'm sure plenty will be 'coming up' tonight.  Why don't you get the water going while I unwrap this stuff?"

"Sure."  John couldn't quite reach the spigot from where he was sitting, so he stood and moved over to reach the handles easily.

Tag paused as he was unwrapping the first package.  His attention was fully focused on the image before his eyes - John bent over and presenting him with an opportunity that he just couldn't pass up.  After placing the package in the sink, he quietly stepped up behind John, then ran his hands down his hips and under his firm buttocks.

"Hey," John began to straighten, but Tag kept his hands in place.

"Sorry, but I just couldn't resist temptation."

"It's all right.  You just surprised me, that's all." 

Tag loosened his grip long enough for John to turn around, then he pulled him close, cupping his buttocks in his hands and holding John tight against his body.

"Does this mean you're done unwrapping the packages?" John asked, a gleam in his eyes.

"Not by a long shot.  But, it will take a while for the tub to fill, so we have plenty of time.  Stand right there."

John watched as Tag finished unwrapping the first package, then returned to him with a bottle of oil in his hand.  "I picked this up in a bath shop.  Do you like the scent?"

Tag removed the stopper from the bottle and held it toward John's nose.  John took a deep sniff, then nodded.  The scent was pleasant, somehow reminiscent of strawberries and not cloying.  Definitely not a perfume.

Tag smiled.  "Good."  He poured oil into his hand, then began to rub it into John's skin with firm and determined motions that left no doubt in John's mind about how this was going to end.

Tag quietly applied the oil all over John's body, ending with a liberal application to his penis and balls.  He had knelt down in order to reach them more easily and now he had a half-cocked grin as he looked up into John's eyes.

"Did I mention that this is a flavored oil?"

"No," John chuckled, "You didn't.  Although I'm not surprised to hear that it is."

Tag nodded.  "I suppose that I should test it out to make sure, right?"

John nodded.  "Most definitely.  I think a taste test is in order."

"As you wish."  Tag slipped his mouth over John, letting the full flavors of John and the oil linger upon his tongue for a few moments before he began to mount a full assault upon John's senses.  An audible moan escaped John's throat and Tag was glad that he was able to distract John from his worries about his family.  There was no way that he was going to allow Roland Carter to come between them or to make John as miserable as he was making Barbara.

John could think of nothing except the man in front of him and what Tag was doing to his body and senses.  He could never get enough of Tag, no matter what it was that Tag was doing.  If someone asked him which act he enjoyed the most, he would be at a loss to make a decision.  A little while ago, he would have said that having Tag in him was the best thing he knew.  Right now he would have to answer that having Tag give him a blow job was the best.  In a few more minutes, he knew his answer would change.  Then he quit thinking and allowed the sensual feelings take over his being.  His passion was building quickly and he anticipated the moment when he would come.  The cool air of the room bombarded his now wet penis and with a strangled cry he realized that release was not going to happen.

Tag chuckled at John's frown and got to his feet.  "Not yet, John.  You will come, but not quite yet.  Get into the tub."

As John got into the bathtub, Tag unwrapped some more packages.  Sea salt was sprinkled into the water and onto John, then Tag lined up his toys on the side of the tub before he stepped into the tub with John.  The water was not yet high enough to enable them to turn on the whirlpool, but it was high enough for playing.

Tag maneuvered their bodies until he was sitting behind John and he pulled John back against his chest.

"I think I got some of that sea salt on you."  Tag said as he immersed one of the plush washcloths into the water.

"I think you're right.  So, what are you going to do about it?"

"I suppose that the nice thing would be for me to wash it off of you."

"That sounds right to me."

Tag grinned.  "I was hoping you would agree."  He lifted the washcloth out of the water and held it above John's body, letting the water stream off of the cloth and onto John's skin.  He moved it back and forth wetting the cloth often as he slowly rinsed away the sea soap.  Every now and then he would let go of the wash cloth and run his hands over John's body in an effort to determine if all of the salt was dissolved.  Finally, he was satisfied that John's skin was clean.  At least clean of the sea salts.

Tag reached for a bar of French milled soap and he sensuously rubbed it over John's chest and down his body, then he scrubbed him with his hands.  Once again, he used the washcloth for a slow rinsing, not that it mattered that much anymore.  The level of the water was high enough to take care of most of the soapsuds.

"Turn off the water," Tag told him and he watched as John leaned over to do just that.  Before John could settle back between Tag's legs though, Tag stopped him with his hands.

"I need to wash your back."  Tag adjusted his legs until they were directly under John, then he slowly pulled John backwards, neatly impaling him on his rock hard penis.  "Mmm," Tag moaned.  "This is the perfect position for back washing."

"I think you're right about that," John replied as he settled into place.  He could be content to remain just like this for the rest of the night, but he knew that Tag had other plans for them both.  The soap felt silky as Tag rubbed it over his back and Tag's hands were gentle as they massaged the soap into his skin.  So far, there was no indication that anything else was going to happen though, which wasn't like Tag.  John frowned, but his worry over Tag's motives was soon chased away by the rush of pleasure he felt as Tag's hands began to firmly stroke John's penis.

"I've heard stories of women who bathe in semen.  They say it makes the skin extra smooth," Tag huskily said.

"In this bath water, how could we tell?"

"I don't know, but I'm willing to give it the old college try, aren't you?"

"Oh, yes," John moaned as he felt his orgasm build.  He was willing to do his best to fill the tub with something other than water.

Tag continued to massage his back, then he leaned forward, eliciting a moan from John when he moved.

"You know, it might feel even better if you moved.  I'm a little trapped here.  This porcelain doesn't have the same give that the mattress has."

"I was thinking of staying like this all night."

"Oh really?  And what will we do when the water gets cold?"

"Pull the plug and add more water, what else can we do?"

"You're just trying to get in your revenge because I didn't let you come, aren't you?"

John turned his head and grinned back at Tag.  "It took you long enough to figure that out."

Tag's response was to pull his knees up, making John's body change positions.

"God!  Do that again," John gasped.

Tag grinned as he complied.  The movements were creating waves in the large tub, but Tag really didn't care about getting water on the floor.  In this game of one-upmanship, he intended to be the winner, no matter what it took.

John had other ideas though and he reached out for the side of the tub to pull himself off of Tag.  Not that Tag was having any of that.  He wrapped his arms around John's waist and pulled him back down.  The intense feeling of pleasure that swept through his body at that action made John dizzy.  It took him a few moments to gather his wits about him and when he did, he reached out and turned on the whirlpool, sending jets of water into the tub.  He knew that Tag would be assailed by the water.  What he wasn't counting on was the fact that his position on Tag's lap made his groin a perfect target for the side nozzles.  He jerked upright as his hardness was assaulted by the water and Tag took advantage of his new position to thrust upward into him.  The room echoed with their moans and cries of pleasure as Tag held John in place until the both of them reached their orgasms.  Then he released his hold on John, laughing as he collapsed against him, sending a wave of water over the side of the tub.

"That was great," he said, and Tag could hear the smile in his voice.

Tag couldn't keep from grinning as he caressed John's shoulder.  "It was, wasn't it?  And I haven't even gotten to the toys yet."

John eyed the toys on the rim of the tub.  "It's a good thing our flight is tomorrow night."

Tag nuzzled his neck.  "A very good thing indeed."

It was barely dawn, but John was fully awake.  He knew he should still be asleep, he and Tag had been awake long into the wee hours of the morning, loving and holding each other until they had finally succumbed to exhaustion.  And barely two hours later John was awake and warm within the circle of Tag's arms.  He knew why he had awoken; he just couldn't turn his brain off.  For some reason, he couldn't let go of the fear that his father would pursue any and all means to bring harm to Tag.  He was still scared for Tag, that much had not changed overnight.  He knew Tag felt confident and had no fear of what Roland Carter could and would do.  John knew all too well just what lengths his father would go to in order to push Tag out of his life.  He believed Tag when he told him that he loved him and wouldn't leave him.  He loved Tag, too.  But, he couldn't get it out of his mind that other people had claimed to love him as well, and yet they had no difficulty leaving him the minute Roland waved a check under their noses.

Tag was about to say something to John when he heard him sigh and felt him snuggle back against his body.  Dear Lord, he felt so perfect there, Tag thought.  But, his appreciation of that fact was tempered by John's sadness.  Tag knew that John was still thinking about his father and the threats he had made and he wished like Hell that there was something he could do to chase those worries away.  He grinned as he remembered how John had not been allowed time to think last night about anything besides pleasure.  However, he also knew that no matter how appealing the idea seemed to him, he couldn't spend every waking hour making love to John.  Just maybe this morning.

Tag lightly ran a finger down John's side and to his hip, then itdipped down, his finger following the curve of John's smooth buttock until it found sanctuary in his tight warmth.  John moaned and moved until he was fully on his stomach with his legs spread for Tag.  Tag nuzzled John's neck as John reached out to the bedside table for the lubrication.  Silently, Tag took the bottle from him and he prepared them both for early morning loving.

Afterward, Tag held John close, feeling some relief that his husband had fallen back to sleep.  He gently kissed the top of John's head, then closed his eyes and fell back to sleep as well.

Hours later, John and Tag checked out of the hotel.  There was no sign of Roland or Randall in the lobby and the two men shared a sigh of relief at that discovery.  Tag was about to ask for the doorman to hail a taxi when he saw Barbara and Janie walking his way.  The ladies had come to take them to the airport.  Not so much out of niceties, but mainly because Barbara wanted to make sure that John was all right.  By the time she dropped them off for their flight, she was satisfied that all was fine with Tag and her brother.  She and Janie said their good byes once again, then drove home.

As John and Tag approached the ticket counter at the airport, Randall approached them.

"Johnny, I need to talk to you."

John sighed.  He had known that Randall would be there.  There was no way that his father would leave Paris without him and not leave his watchdog behind.

Randall saw John's hesitance.  "I only want five minutes of your time.  No more."

"Tag, I'll catch up to you in line."

Tag shook his head. "I'll wait over in the chairs for you."  He took John's suitcase, then went to sit down.  But not before delivering a scathing look in Randall's direction.

"Let's go outside where it's more private."

John followed Randall outside, feeling more than a little wary.  He wouldn't put it past his father to have made some type of arrangements to have him abducted in front of everyone and spirited back to Chicago.

"What do you want Randall?" John tried to position himself so that he could easily reach the door if something happened.

"Johnny, don't get on the plane with that man."

"Yesterday, Dad was anxious for me to get back to Chicago.  Now, you don't want me to go?"

"There are other flights.  You can go back with me in the morning.  Just don't go with Taglieri."

"Why is everyone so opposed to me being happy?"

Randall shook his head.  "This isn't about happiness, Johnny.  It's about your own personal safety.  You don't know what it was like for me to have to call Roland before and tell him to come to Philadelphia because your boyfriend put you in the hospital.  Have you forgotten that I'm the one who found you bleeding and unconscious?  For the love of God, Johnny, don't get into another relationship like that."

"Tag isn't like that, Randall."

"You're in denial, just like before."

John shook his head.  "No.  Tag would never hurt me."

"Then what do you call this?"  Randall reached out and gently pressed on John's ribs.  It was just enough pressure to make John wince and take a step back.

"Tag didn't do that," he protested.

"Yeah.  And that Abbott bastard never hit you either."  Randall looked sad.  "Look, you know that I'm going to be on this flight with you."

"I figured as much."

"I still need to get my ticket.  Are you sure there isn't anything I can say or do that will keep you from going back with that man?"

"I love him, Randall, and he loves me."

Randall stepped forward and gave him a gentle hug.  "Be careful, Johnny."  Then he headed inside.

John slowly followed.  He was mature enough to be able to admit that he had made a bad mistake back when let himself get involved with Daniel Abbott a few years back.  He had truly believed that Daniel loved him and he did love Daniel back.  Daniel had been a first year medical student at Penn, and John had been a senior in the business school there.  They had met in September at one of the bars which surrounded the campus and found themselves instantly attracted to one another, and by Halloween, they had moved in together.  It wasn't until they were living in the same place that Daniel started to get violent.  The first time Daniel had hit him had been when he asked if he could perform intercourse with him.  He had not thought it to be a bad idea - he liked being on the receiving end, but he also liked being the one doing all the work.  But Daniel had been angered by his question and he had quickly lashed out at him, slapping him hard across the mouth and demanding that he never even think about asking again.  After that, Daniel would only hit him when he had been drinking, and then it would be a rough slap across the face if John said something he didn't like.  As the months passed, it seemed as if any little thing would set Daniel off.  John began to suspect that Daniel was either doing drugs or had some sort of mental disorder.  It just was not conceivable to him that a person who claimed to love him would purposely hurt him like that.  It was still a concept that he couldn't grasp.  He hoped he never would.

He smiled at Tag as he retrieved his suitcase, then they went to stand in line.  As luck would have it, Randall was directly in front of them.  The three of them ignored each other until John overheard Randall ask the ticket agent for a one way ticket in the business section.

"Excuse me, make that a First Class ticket," John told the agent.

The confused agent looked from Randall to John, then back to Randall.

"Business class is fine, Johnny," Randall said.

"You know that Dad can afford for you to fly First Class.  Besides, if you're supposed to be keeping an eye on me, then you should be in the same section of the plane."

Randall sighed, knowing John was right on all counts.  "First Class ticket please."

Chapter Nine

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