by Lara Wilson

He loves Cassie. She's strong and independent and feisty and loving--everything he's always been attracted to in a girl. When she kisses him, he shivers. When she touches him, he quakes. And when she makes love to him, he lets her think she's his first lover.

He can never tell her the truth.

There's something wrong about it, there always has been. The age difference alone makes it illegal. He's his mentor, his teacher, his brother.

Legally now at last his brother.

But neither tries to stop it.

The relationship began at fifteen, at twelve, at six, at always.

Tim thinks it's always been inevitable. The friendship was never just that. There was always something lurking beneath. At six, at twelve, he was too innocent to see it for what it was. Always mature beyond his years, he wasn't mature in that way.

Not yet.

But at fifteen the truth hit him and he spent three months overthinking it, trying to find an logical reason for it and a rational way to avoid it.

Until Dick, that cheesy grin on his face, got him in a headlock, told him to cut it out, and gave him his first kiss that didn't taste of lip gloss and innocence.

He loves Cassie and he wants her and enjoys her, but Dick is his and he is Dick's. They are more than lovers and Tim long ago stopped trying to figure it out or figure a way out of it.

Leaving Cassie with a kiss, Tim heads back to Gotham, knowing he has an hour leeway before Bruce wonders where he is. Halfway across the country he places a call to New York City.

Dick will drop whatever or whomever he's doing and meet him at the Wayne private airfield, and the airplane isn't made for comfort but then the first time they had sex was in the batmobile, so that really doesn't matter.

All that matters is that they'll be together and the secret between them will be renewed once again.


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