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  • Writer's pictureBrigham Vaughn


Updated: Dec 23, 2023

Snowy background with evergreen branches and blue and gold lights. Red text saying "celebrate Brigham Vaughn's 10 Year Publishing Anniversary with The 12 Days of Christmas. Day 10: Noah & Simon - Snowy Cabin

To celebrate my 10 year publishing anniversary I'll be posting one short story per day here on my blog from December 13-24th.

Every day will feature a different couple and the stories will vary in length. They'll range from sweet to a little bit spicy and hopefully will leave you with a smile on your face and a warm feeling of holiday cheer in your heart.

Thank you for ten wonderful years!



DAY: 10

CHARACTERS: Noah Boucher & Simon Lawrence

PROMPTS: Snowy Cabin + Firelight

NOTES: Set roughly one year after Bending the Rules ends


Simon settled on his side, head propped on his arm, still panting lightly as he looked Noah over. He lay on his back, bare skin glistening in the firelight.

God, he took Simon’s breath away sometimes. He’d been retired from hockey for a year and a half, but no one had told his body that.

Every toned dip and hollow of his toned abdomen was illuminated by the warm light of the fire that made his hair glow red-gold.

Simon’s husband was a beautiful man.

As always, Simon’s fingers itched to reach for his camera to preserve the moment. But he’d taken so many photos of Noah over the years and this moment felt too private, too perfect to let anything intrude.

Even Simon’s love of photography.

“I can see the way you’re looking at me. I can’t get it up again this soon, Simon,” Noah said with a groan, flinging his arm up to rest it over his eyes. “I love you, but I am spent. If you can get hard, you can fuck me, but …”

Simon laughed, scooting closer to press a kiss to Noah’s chest. “It’s okay. I don’t think I can get it up again either. Not for a while anyway.”

It certainly wasn’t for lack of desire in either of them. More that they’d already exhausted themselves. Despite all of Noah’s obligations this weekend, they’d found ample time to connect.

On every surface of this gorgeous little cabin in Colorado.

If Simon was a betting man, he’d put his money on them finding a few new places before they left in two days.

“What was that look for then?” Noah teased, curving an arm around Simon and drawing him closer. “Eyeing me through your mental lens?”

He liked to tease Simon that if he could have a camera implanted in his head, he’d do it. Noah wasn’t wrong.

“Mmm, something like that,” Simon said with a laugh. He trailed his fingers across the dip of Noah’s stomach, the soft hairs there tickling his fingertips. “Thinking about how great this trip has been.”

“It has been, eh?”

Simon nodded and settled his head on Noah’s shoulder. “I love you,” he said quietly. “Thank you for …”

He couldn’t quite finish the thought.

“For what, Simon?” Noah gently placed his fingertips under Simon’s chin and tilted his head so they looked each other in the eye.

“For not letting your obligations get in the way of our relationship.”

Noah frowned. “I could say the same thing to you.”

Simon shrugged. “As much as I love the gallery, as much as I want to be there to support Leah in the business, it isn’t the same. You’re a public figure. The first out NHL player. You have a duty to the queer hockey community to—to be available when they need you.”

“And that’s why you started coming on these trips with me.”

Simon nodded, staring past Noah’s ear at the crackling flames. “I know. It’s just … I wonder if I’ve been selfish.”

“Selfish?” Noah scoffed. “Simon, if anything you haven’t been selfish enough.”

“I suppose.”

“No, look at me.”

Simon lifted his gaze.

“You matter to me. Our relationship matters. What we were doing wasn’t balanced enough before.”

“I know,” Simon said. And he really did.

Their relationship had begun under less than ideal circumstances. Noah had been recovering from a knee injury and on the brink of returning to the NHL to make a final push to win the Stanley Cup as Toronto’s starting goaltender.

The Fisher Cats had come out triumphant and Noah had retired a hero, but it hadn’t been an easy road for either of them, or their budding relationship.

The building that housed Simon’s not-yet-open art gallery in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, had been undergoing renovations and had kept him far from Noah in Toronto.

Although Noah’s future plans included retiring to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the distance between them at the time had been tough. And distance and hockey had already stolen their chance to be together once.

Eventually, Simon’s stress over the gallery opening had led to him being hospitalized with anxiety-related chest pains. They’d both been relieved when the gallery was finally up and running. And even happier when Noah was finally settled into Simon’s apartment above the gallery.

The past two years had been wonderful in so many ways.

They’d gotten engaged. Then married. Simon and Leah’s gallery had flourished.  Noah’s post-retirement dream of owning a restaurant with his brother-in-law had become a reality.

Noah loved his work coaching a group of the very youngest local hockey players.

But all of those wonderful things had become increasingly difficult in the past year.

Too many people wanted Noah’s time.

There were interviews and media panels. Requests for public appearances. He was asked to consult on policies and new initiatives. It was important work and Noah was good at all of it.

But it seemed to become a self-perpetuating thing where one appearance led to half a dozen more until it snowballed out of control.

Simon’s work for the gallery had him traveling semi-regularly too and after a few months of newly-married life where Simon and Noah passed like ships in the night, they’d both realized something needed to change.

It had been a good discussion, one promising good growth for their relationship. They found balance.

The compromise they’d landed on was a solid one. Noah had cut down on work that took him away from home and as often as Simon was able, he traveled with him.

He and Leah had hired some new people at the gallery and Simon had shifted his focus to searching for new artistic talent. He worked in meetings with artists around Noah’s appearance schedule and even though they spent a lot of time on the road, they made it work.

They could do their own thing during the day, but they always returned to the hotel room together at night.

This weekend was one such trip.

Noah had been invited to take part in a charity hockey game in Colorado. It was an incredible outdoor event and Noah’s playing never failed to blow Simon away.

The entire event had been LGBTQ+ focused and had raised over fifty thousand dollars for various organizations and initiatives Noah supported.

A few former NHL players and players from various levels of hockey had participated, but Noah was, by far, the most well-known.

Now, Simon gazed proudly at his husband lying next to him.

“You have no idea how many people stopped me to tell me what a difference you’ve made in the sport,” he said aloud.

Noah nodded. “I heard the same.”

“I mean, I know it’s true,” Simon admitted. “I’ve been hearing that since we got together. Hell, I’ve known that since you came out. But it really hit me this weekend. The number of people who you’ve impacted is staggering. How can I ask you to do less.”

Noah shifted, turning onto his side until they were face to face. Despite the nearby fire, the loss of contact with Noah’s body made Simon shiver and Noah reached for a nearby blanket, throwing it over them.

When they’d settled, Noah cupped his cheek. “Simon, you’re not asking me. I’m offering. I have been trying for months and it’s working. I’m home more. We spend more time together.

But I still take part in the events that are the highest priority for me.”

“But you could do more,” Simon insisted.

“Sure. But at what cost? No life with you?”

Simon shrugged, feeling a little helpless. He desperately wanted more time with Noah, but now that he’d seen what an impact Noah continued to make … well, it felt a little selfish.

“Of course, I want a life with you,” Simon answered, grabbing Noah’s hand and kissing his wedding band. “I want this marriage. I want children with you someday. But—”

“Simon.” Noah’s voice was low and steady. “The best thing I can do for queer kids, for queer people is show them what’s possible. And yeah, that’s my hockey career. My other work. But so much of it is also about our relationship. Showing them what a loving, committed relationship looks like.”

Simon took a moment to digest that. “True. And this weekend has been wonderful. Don’t get me wrong. I just … I don’t want to hold you back.”

“Hey. You’re not.” Noah’s gaze was intent. “You’ve done nothing but support me. But this is what I want too, Simon. If people want a relationship where they never see their partner, then they should do what makes them happy. But I spent too many nights without you. And that doesn’t make me happy. If we’re going to have kids, I want to be there for them. And for you.

This is a partnership and I want to put in my half of the work, not expect you to shoulder it all alone.”

“I know that,” Simon assured him. “And that’s what I want too.”

They’d planned to have kids already, but it had been put on hold because of how busy they both were.

Simon let out a quiet sigh. “You’re right. I know you are.”

“That’s what I like to hear,” Noah said.

Chuckling, Simon pulled him closer, kissing him.

“In fact,” Noah said as he twined their legs together. “I think it’s about time we finalize those surrogacy plans we discussed.”


Leah, Simon’s business partner, and Margot, Noah’s sister, had both volunteered.

“Yes,” Noah said simply. “I want a family with you, Simon. And I want to be home with my family.”

“I want that too.”

“Then when we get home in a few days, let's get started. Maybe by this time next year we won’t be spending the week before Christmas in a cabin in Colorado. Maybe we’ll be welcoming a new baby into the world. Hanging a stocking with their name on it above our fireplace.”

“That’ll mean less sex on rugs in front of fireplaces like this one.” Simon’s tone was dry.

“It will,” Noah agreed. “So let’s make the best of it this year.”

A big grin lit up Noah’s handsome face and his bright blue eyes twinkled. And Simon fell in love with him all over again.

“I like the sound of that,” Simon told him.

“So I am going to get that giant jacuzzi filling. We’re going to soak in that tub for a while. We’ll have a bite to eat.” Noah sat up, the blanket falling away. “And by then, I’ll have rested long enough that I can get it up again.”

“Yeah?” Simon grinned, tiling his head to look at him.

“Oh yeah.” Noah’s heated gaze trailed across his body and he followed the look with his fingertips, skimming them across Simon’s hip and down his thigh. “And then I’m going to eat you out and fuck you until you come all over my cock.”

Simon shivered. As romantic as Noah could be at times, he also had a filthy mouth. And he always delivered on what he promised.

“I like the sound of that.”

“Mmm.” Noah let out a low, rumbling noise as he looked Simon over. “I noticed a vanity and mirror in the bathroom that reminds me a little of that time on the train.”

Simon’s smile widened. “Oh really?”

“Yeah. Maybe that’s what I’ll do then. Fuck you standing up in front of the mirror where I can see every gorgeous inch of you.”

Simon let out a breathless sound and nodded. Maybe it wasn’t going to take him as long as he thought to get hard again. “Yeah, okay,” he managed. “Twist my arm.”

Noah grinned, brushing a lock of his red hair out of his eyes. “Well, what are we waiting for?”

Noah stood and held out a hand. Simon took it, allowing Noah to draw him to his feet. But rather than the dirty kiss he’d expected, Noah pulled him into a tight embrace, tucking his mouth against Simon’s ear.

“Whatever we do, I want it to be together,” Noah whispered.

And Simon tightened his grip on Noah because that was what he wanted too. He wanted Noah to have everything. To do everything he’d ever dreamed of. Help as many people as possible. And he wanted to be there right beside him while he did it. Because Noah was right that their relationship had to come first.

“I want that too,” he whispered thickly.

Noah turned his head slightly, capturing Simon’s mouth, and they sealed that promise with a kiss.  


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8 bình luận

23 thg 12, 2023

Just wonderful. Thank you very much.

Brigham Vaughn
Brigham Vaughn
23 thg 12, 2023
Phản hồi lại

You're welcome! 💕


23 thg 12, 2023

I love them so much!!

Brigham Vaughn
Brigham Vaughn
23 thg 12, 2023
Phản hồi lại

Aww thank you! I do too! 💚


Helen Smith
Helen Smith
22 thg 12, 2023

Sweet feelings and a filthy mouth ... what could be better? 😁

Brigham Vaughn
Brigham Vaughn
23 thg 12, 2023
Phản hồi lại

Exactly! 😉


22 thg 12, 2023

These two was the first hockey book I read from you, they have a special place for me.

Brigham Vaughn
Brigham Vaughn
23 thg 12, 2023
Phản hồi lại

Aww I love that so much! ❤️

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