It started out as a one time thing. The stress of the job wore them both down. It happened in the storage closet after Connor yelled at a nurse, Jeff took him out of the room and into the closet. The younger man told Connor to vent or he wasn't leaving. Instead of venting Connor furiously kissed Jeff so hard his lips felt bruised when Connor pulled away. Connor told Jeff to leave if he didn't want to go further. Jeff locked the door and removed his lab coat and shirt. Connor took that as a go ahead and Jeff was once again kissed by his colleague. He didn't regret it and neither did Connor.

The second time started when Jeff lost a patient; his first. When Jeff didn't show up for his shift Connor went to his apartment. They yelled and argued until Jeff found himself bent over the arm of his couch with his pants down. Connor had then pounded into him until he was no longer angry. After that they came to each other whenever their job got to them. Neither of them spoken of the arrangement.

A year went by when things between them had slowly changed. What started out as an occasional thing became casual. Where it was "love 'em and leave 'em", turned into overnight stays and early mornings. Still neither spoke of it.

That was until someone forced them to.

Jeff knew that some time over the year his feelings for Connor changed. He started looking forward to going to Connor's place or having the other man at his. He caught on to the change when he got angry when Connor would cancel or leave before he woke up. If Jeff wanted to admit it, he would say he was falling for his colleague, his male colleague.

Connor hated the change, yet he couldn't bring himself to stop. There was something about Jeff that attracted him. Something that helped him turn a blind eye to the fact that he was sleeping with a man. Connor had panicked and berated himself when he got home after their first time, and it had been Connor's first time with a man. Though the memory of how tight, hot, and responsive Jeff was eased his panic a little. That memory is what urged him on to seek Jeff out every time he needed some hard and furious sex. A large part of him regretted using Jeff like that, but it wasn't enough to make him stop. Not even when Jeff had become a side thing when he dated Robyn for a short time. He left Robyn because he was unable to end things with Jeff.

Connor Rhodes was forced to name what he was feeling, and Jeff Clarke would be surprised by how that confession is given.

(*v*)

"Hey, Jeff, do want to grab a late dinner with me?" Natalie asked with a smile.

"He can't. Jeff promised to help me re-tile my kitchen." Connor answered tightly. He glared when Natalie placed a hand on Jeff's arm.

"So dinner tomorrow? I know we're both off rotation."

"Jeff is busy all weekend, Natalie." Connor snapped.

"Mind your own business, Connor." Natalie snapped back.

"It's my business when you're trying to ruin my plans. Jeff promised to help me this weekend. Besides you were the one who turned him down over a dead husband. No one wants to be second pick." Connor spoke lowly but no less mencing.

Before Natalie could say anything back, Jeff turned to the woman.

"I'm sorry, Nat, I can't. Connor is right I did promise to help him this weekend. I'm also sorry for his behavior."

Natalie huffed. "Fine. Whatever. You don't need to apologize for him."

"Yeah I do." Jeff whispered as she walked away. "Follow me. Now." He ordered Connor and walked off.

Connor followed Jeff who led him to an empty office. Both would be in trouble for leaving the area during their shift. At this point Connor didn't care, he was still angry at Natalie.

Once the door was locked and the blinds were drawn, Jeff rounded on Connor. "What the hell is your problem? You would have been in trouble if anyone heard you."

"I have no problem." Connor spoke dismissing the question.

Jeff let out a hollow laugh. "Sure you don't. If there is no problem then I'm going out there and tell Natalie that I'm free for dinner." He moved to the door only to be stopped by Connor's grip on his bicep.

"Don't you dare." Connor growled lowly.

"And why not, Connor?"

Connor released Jeff's arm. "Just leave it alone."

"Fine!" Jeff yelled losing his patience. "I'll leave it alone. I'll leave you alone as well." He glared at the other man before quickly unlocking the door and leaving.

Connor watched Jeff leave, he wanted to go after him but couldn't make himself move. He stood there until Halstead yelled for him. For the rest of the day Connor didn't see Jeff. He felt disappointed that they didn't get patient together.

Jeff avoided Conner as much as he could. He was angry at how Connor reacted towards Natalie and then refused to tell him why. Jeff was going to turn Natalie down, he was just trying to find the nicest way to do so. Connor's attitude towards the woman pissed him off, he didn't act that way when Connor was dating Robyn and still came to him. Maybe a few days apart will do them some good.

(*v*)

Connor was angry. There was no other way to describe how he felt. For three days Jeff ignored him every time he tired to talk to him. It also didn't help matters that Natalie somehow sensed the tension between the two and took to hanging on Jeff every chance she got. If Connor wasn't a professional he would have smacked the bitch in front of everyone.

The surgeon's breaking point was two days later when Natalie tried to kiss Jeff. Connor stormed over, pushed the infurating woman away and claimed Jeff's lips in a bruising kiss. He wanted everyone to know that Jeff is off limits and his, no one else can have him. Connor deepened their kiss when Jeff opened his mouth and buried his fingers into Connor's hair. He moaned, dominating Jeff's mouth and pulling him closer until there was no space between their bodies. One hand drifted under the waistband of Jeff's scrub pants and boxers, where Connor let his fingers tease the top curve of his favorite ass, occasionally letting a finger slip between the cheeks. Jeff had just whimpered when they heard a stern voice.

"Excuse me!" The two of them pulled apart to look at their boss. "What do you two think you are doing? This is a hospital not your bedroom. Get back to work or I'll write you up. Dr. Manning, that means you too. And one last thing, the first out of three of you who starts something will be suspended. I don't want any drama in my hospital. Now move!" Goodwin glared at them.

With a quick kiss to Jeff's swollen lips Connor walked off to check on his patients. Jeff stood at the nurses' station in a daze. He couldn't believe that Connor kissed him and felt him up in front of their co-workers. He then remembered what caused the reaction, part of him was pleased to see the jealousy, but the other part was annoyed by it. An act of jealousy didn't exactly tell him how Connor felt. Connor could have done that to stop Natalie because the surgeon didn't like her.

"What the hell was that?" Natalie demanded angrily. She was pissed at Connor and at Jeff for liking it. "Has he done that before?"

"That's none of you business, Natalie." Jeff snapped at the woman. For the past week she has been annoying and he wanted to tell her off several times.

"It is my business since you and I are suppose to be together. Connor has no right to do what he just did." She hissed as she glared at Jeff.

Jeff stood straighter, glaring back at the annoying woman. "Connor has every right seeing as we've been together for a year. You lost your chance when you chose a dead husband over me. Find someone else, Natalie, because I'm not leaving Connor."

Jeff turned and walked away. He didn't look back nor did he see the other doctors and nurses glare, sneer, or scowl at Natalie. The young doctor went about his day ignoring everyone unless it was about a patient. Before clocking out he overheard April tell another nurse that Natalie has been suspended for a month. Apparently after pissing Jeff off she went to yell at Connor and landed herself in trouble for slapping him in front of a patient. Jeff didn't feel sorry for her at all. He went home before Connor could find him.

A few hours later the sound of the door opening and closing woke Jeff from his doze on the couch. Opening his eyes and turning his head he sleepily watched Connor walk towards him. The other man looked as tired as he felt.

"Its called knocking." Jeff spoke turning to lay on his side.

"I didn't want to wake you." Connor replied in a whisper. He stripped down to his boxers then he switched spots with Jeff, letting the younger man lay on top of him.

Jeff shifted to get comfortable before placing his head on Connor's chest. He used his finger to draw circles around the hair covered dusky nipple. Jeff loved Connor's chest hair, especially when it rubbed against his body during sex. A purr left his throat as Connor's fingers combed through his hair and down his bare back, then repeated the process after deft fingers became a flat palm as they rubbed the curve of his ass cheek.

"Connor, why are you here?" Jeff whispered not looking at his lover.

"I missed you. Baby, I'm sorry for how I acted. Its just I got scared when our relationship changed. I didn't know what to do so I dated Robyn, but I couldn't bring myself to leave you. It was only when I tried to sleep with her for the first time that I realized how much I loved you and wanted only you. Things with Natalie should have been handled better, but I was scared of losing you because I knew you had feelings for her."

Jeff turned his head, resting his chin on the chest under him. "Silly man," he teased, "you should have realized that I was in love with you every time I let you in when you were dating Robyn. I can't let you go, Connor, it hurts too much to be without you."

"Shh, baby. I know and I promise to never leave you."

"Good." Jeff raised up and placed a soft kiss on Connor's lips. "This is where you belong."

Connor returned the kiss with a grin. "Forever."

~Fin~