It wasn't difficult to continue the lie about who Jeff really was and what his profession was. Mackenzie took his lover's confession very seriously. It showed a level of trust in him and Mac might be a lot of things, but he wasn't going to be the reason Jeff's cover was blown. It was easy to let it fall off his tongue he's an art historian at Isabella Gardner. Oh yeah, it was a damned rotten accident, fucking terrible Eastern European drivers. He didn't even need to read the books, it was logical to think that they were watched, that HE was watched. HIS job was to help Jeff keep his cover up--though he knew that in their little cocoon of him and Jeff and Rory the Cat, there was no need for a 'cover'. Yes, he was a spy. But there was a look in his eyes that was impossible to be acted or faked, at least that's what he felt.

I fucking love you so much.

He had his face buried in his shoulder, trying to will the medicine to work faster. It had been an ordinary Monday; tones of e-mails, tons of reports to read and grants to make decisions on, meetings upon meetings to attend. It was the life of an administrator and even though he loved the Aquarium and the people and animals there, the pull to leave and go into the field full time or teach got stronger and stronger each year. He'd already given his prime to NEAQ--he wanted something for himself. But lying here next to 'his dude', the only thing he wanted to think about was the tingling in his arm going away and that metallic, tinny taste in his mouth to get gone.

He'd jumped on the chance to get out of town for the long weekend, to head to the Cape. Really, it was off season and many of the things that Mac loved to do would be closed down or on limited hours, but there were more than enough museums in the area that they could visit and he could watch Jeff geek out on varied things because he really was a historian and Mac had always found his passion about his job attractive. They could also walk and have conversations that people could overhear and not understand at all to their shared linguistic skills. It was nice to have to turn part of his brain off because even though his Portuguese was fluent he had to concentrate not to lose his train of thought or to keep up with Jeff. It was a different environment, one where he thought they could both relax. Actually talk. Come to terms with things that had been hinted at here and there. The explorer putting his subject in a different test environment to see what else he could learn.

I fucking love you so much.

The words had hit him hard when Jeff had said them first. He knew that his own annoying double-blink reaction was obvious. Wasn't it too soon to feel something like that? When were they ever anything but conventional, the pair of them? They'd been dancing around this for so long, wasn't it possible that 'I love you' was the logical next step after them getting everything else out of the way after informal date after informal date? After Mackenzie all but moving in to care for Jeff after his broken ribs? After the confession to end all confessions? Was it really so unrealistic that 'the three words' would come out of one of their mouths sooner rather than later because there was already so much between them? did he really care? Part of him did, part of him was screaming 'too soon, too soon' and already looking to pull back but the majority of him--his heart--told him that their time was finite. Whether it was his own brain of Jeff's profession--one of them was going to have to live without the other and dammit didn't they both deserve to have something for themselves? Didn't they both earn that right for once in their fucking lives?

Eu te amo, luzdosol. Muito fodidamente.

Tuesday was going to bring the news if Jeff was cleared for active duty again. If that was the case, they had plans to make, plans past him finally meeting Mackenzie's insanely large family and Mackenzie meeting Jeff's aunt, a fairly big step for both of them. He would have to learn to be patient, he would have to learn to trust in his partner's skill in the field to come home in one piece. He would check in on the cat because damn him if the orange ball of fur hadn't wormed his way into Mac's heart as much as his owner. He almost hated to wake him up so early in the morning to watch the sunrise their last morning down the Cape but he wanted it and he needed it. It hadn't been a spectacular one as he'd wanted but honestly--it didn't matter. It was light washing into the room in soft, grey waves and landing on lashes that were impossibly too long and delicate for such a rugged, handsome face. A jawline scattered with dark whiskers from the night's growth, that dimple in his chin that was both ridiculous and utterly fascinating.

You pray. I plan.

Christmas was coming, and he didn't even know if Jeff would be home for it. Would it even matter? If he could get away with being where Jeff was, he'd do it. Selfish, yes, but Mac suspected that there hadn't been a lot of people willing to be selfish for the other man. Something about him being hard to love? Well, that was a bold-faced lie. Mackenzie burrowed back down against Jeff, nose buried in the curve where neck met shoulder again. They had a few more hours before they had to drive back to Boston. He was going to take advantage of every second of it. After all, they were both on borrowed time in some respects. Why not enjoy it together?

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