...The Spoils of War


"Oh, God, Ray. Please don't tease me."

Grinning, Ray Doyle glanced up at his straining lover then gave the throbbing cock one final lick before he stretched out next to a quivering Bodie.

"Like that, do you, luv?"

"Damn you," groaned William Bodie, formerly of CI5 and now head of England's newest and fastest growing security firm. "You are absolutely the most devious sod I have ever known."

"Well, sod is certainly right, but I'm not sure about the devious part."

"Ah, Sunshine, come on. Do me."

The plaintive look of longing etched on the pale face touched Doyle's heart and he reached out gently to touch the cheek of the man he had loved for more than fifteen years, but had taken to his bed less than two months before.

"I love you, Bodie," said the smaller man as he reached in a drawer next to the bed for the almond oil. Gently he lubricated the small, puckered anus offered so invitingly as Bodie drew his knees to his chest. A groan of delight answered his ministrations.

With great care he inserted first one, then two, fingers into the hot, dry channel. Finding the prostate, he rubbed it in slow circles, all the time watching Bodie grow more and more aroused. He loved the finely sculpted penis and wondered if he would ever tire of watching it fill and arch upward in love for him. Finally, when he knew his lover was teetering on the edge, he withdrew and began to prepare his own painfully engorged cock.

Lifting the pale, muscular thighs over his shoulders, Doyle slowly pierced the body of his lover. By this time the younger man was beyond control, tossing his head from side-to-side in ecstasy. A final push and Doyle was buried in the thrashing body; auburn pubic hair mingling with black. Tenderly he grasped the cock thrusting into his belly and in perfect rhythm, began the tempo that would send both men to shattering, rapturous climax.

Bodie came first, his screams splitting the quiet of the Mayfair home he had inherited from George Cowley. Doyle only had time to twine his fingers with Bodie's before he, too, tumbled headlong over the edge and then collapsed, too exhausted to even reach for tissues to save the sheets.

For what seemed an eternity the two satiated men lay entwined, too comfortable and secure to consider moving. Doyle was the first to stir and with a groan lifted himself from the quiescent Bodie. "I need a pee, luv, and I think a shower while I'm at it." The only response he got was a moan as Bodie burrowed deeper into the pillows.

Smiling, Doyle reached out and stroked his lover's short, dark hair. A quick kiss for the graying temple and a flick of the duvet to cover the exhausted man, and then he headed for the elegant bathroom.

"Sunshine," a sleepy voice called, "I forgot to tell you. The solicitor found a letter addressed to you among George's effects. I left it downstairs on my desk."

"Okay. Now get some rest."

The only answer was a gentle snort as Bodie sank into oblivion.

The shower was running hot water over lax muscles before Doyle thought about the letter and George Cowley.

When had it started, his love for his partner and his hatred for the man, then Controller of CI5, who had taken Bodie away from a much younger Ray Doyle? God, they had been a pair of tearaways in the halcyon days of the 1970's.

He had watched Cowley seduce his partner but, by the time Doyle admitted he, too, was in love with the dark-haired ex-merc, it was too late. For fifteen years he had worked with Bodie, protecting his back and biding his time. He had drifted in and out of relationships, male and female alike, no one lasting longer than a few months. He accepted the fact that he was merely marking time. Then six months ago Cowley had been killed in a shootout with terrorists and Ray Doyle had succeeded him as Controller of CI5. Four months after that Bodie had turned to Doyle for the love he finally recognized had always existed between them. His reasons for staying with Cowley were never discussed. Ray never asked and Bodie never volunteered. Both men were content to bury the past with the dead man and turn their attention toward the future.

Grief and expediency had driven Bodie from the ranks of CI5. The story of the longtime lovers had come out, although somehow it had been kept from the press, and Bodie had been all too aware of the looks and snide comments that echoed through the corridors of power. To be fair, none of the stories initiated from the ranks of CI5. It was almost as though the entire organization closed ranks to protect its own, one dead and one emotionally wrecked.

In the end, the turmoil of having to face a CI5 which had been so much a part of his dead lover, forced Bodie to make a decision about his future. He submitted his resignation one month after Cowley's funeral. He had used a very handsome inheritance from Cowley, plus his contacts, to establish a high-priced security service that after only three months was already being hailed as one of the finest in England, if not Europe.

Bodie, with Doyle's suggestions, had staffed his agency with talented people not just from CI5, but from all of the security services including BOSS, MI5, MI6 and the SAS. There were plenty of good ex-agents available, men and women no longer young. If they were unable to take the rigors of working the streets, they were still just as smart and shrewd. They were the team to make a first class security operation. Susan Fischer and Charles Anson had retired from CI5 and each were now Operations Directors.

Even Brian Macklin had been seduced out of retirement to take over the training facilities. They were no longer the hard driven, dangerous sessions he had headed up for CI5. Bodie's people used their brains, not their brawn. Macklin had set up more of a gymnasium, but it fitted the needs of International Security, LTD. and Macklin had confessed, in an unguarded moment, that he was happy to be out of the business of games and pain.

Yes, Bodie was happy again. His grief over the death of Cowley was assuaged with the excitement and physical demands of setting up his new venture. It also made Doyle's planned campaign of seduction easier as it removed Bodie from the eyes of CI5 and the Home Office.

Looking back on the night two months before, Ray smiled as he remembered. As he soaped his lean torso, he recalled the night a few days before St. Paddy's Day when the two men had met for dinner. Bodie had been excited and flying high during the hurried phone conversation setting the meeting. The prior ten weeks had been chaotic for them both. Between the efforts of both men to come to grips with their new lives and responsibilities, they had seen each other infrequently after New Years.

It had been a cold, wet day and had turned into a near freezing evening. Ray was chilled when he arrived early at his club to make a final check that the arrangements were according to his detailed specifications. The small private room, the roaring fire, the wonderful claret and the superlative roast beef were all that the head of CI5 could have asked for. All it needed now was Bodie.

"Mr. Bodie, Sir," said the butler as the ex-agent strode confidently into the room and headed for the fire to warm his hands.

"Glad you could make it, Mate. God, spring is late coming this year," said Doyle as he handed a scotch to his former partner and joined him before the fire.

"Oh, I don't know. I don't think the weather gets any worse from year-to-year. I suspect the real culprit is our memory of it."

Looking to make sure Bodie wasn't pulling his leg, Doyle snorted in derision. "Are you saying we're getting old?" he asked as he sank to the couch and stretched his long, lean legs toward the fire.

"Nah," smirked Bodie as he joined him on the couch. "How can I get old. After all, I'm perfect."

Snorting derisively, Doyle turned to inspect Bodie, looking for signs of grief or discontent. After several seconds he said, "You look more relaxed than when I last saw you. Are things going well at the agency?"

"Well, let's just say they're getting more and more under control each day. We've only been opened a little over a month and already we have had three major cases of industrial espionage. Yesterday we received an inquiry from British Airways about reviewing their security arrangements worldwide. That in itself could take all of the resources of the agency for the next year. So, yes, I suppose you could say things were coming together. I don't suppose you have any really good lads or lasses you were planning to make redundant in the next few weeks, have you?"

Doyle only snorted and looked bemusedly at the younger man.

"Oh well, such is the life of the poor, harried businessman."

"You are neither poor, nor harried. At least not the way we were when we were on the streets. Tell me truthfully, Mate, do you ever miss it?"

"Oh, sometimes, I suppose. We did it for so long and it was so much a part of who and what we were, that yes, sometimes I do miss it. I don't miss the rotten hours and the missed meals and the cold stakeouts, though."

"And George?''

For a moment Bodie was quiet, his eyes locked onto the flame and his thoughts far away. After a little while he stirred himself and serious blue eyes met equally serious green ones.

"Yeh, I miss George. But it's funny, after his death I didn't think I could go on; wasn't even sure if I wanted to. But what with deciding to leave the old mob and start up on my own, I haven't had time to miss him. Oh, the loneliness is still there and at times I turn around to share something with him, but it's healing."

"I suspect it's because we lived with the fact of possible death for so long that when it finally came, it had lost its power to destroy."

"I wonder. I suspect our Kate would have a few choice words if she were still our resident shrink. By the way, have you heard what she's doing these days?"

"Not recently. The last I heard she was lecturing in America. At Harvard, I think."

And so the evening had gone. Soft reminiscences about old friends and times past. As the evening wore on the barriers began to slowly crumble and Doyle recognized that a turning point was approaching in their relationship.

The waiter had cleared the remains of the trifle and Doyle had returned to the couch, stretching out toward the fire. Bodie had stopped by the small drinks table to pick up a bottle of brandy and two snifters before joining his friend.

"Tell me, Ray, why didn't you ever marry?" asked Bodie as he filled their snifters with Remy Martin Napoleon.

"Oh, I don't know. Never found anyone I wanted to spend my life with, I guess."

"Are you sure that was the only reason?" Bodie asked quietly.

For a long time Doyle looked at the fire, lost in thought. This was it, he realized, the moment of truth. And, now that it had arrived, Ray Doyle was unsure of himself. He took a large sip of his brandy and glanced at Bodie.

The younger man was also staring into the dying embers. At that moment Bodie seemed closer to him than ever before.

Finally Ray sat his glass down and slipped to the floor to wrap his arms around Bodie's knees. "How long have you known?"

"That you loved me? Oh, about fifteen years. That I love you? About two months."

"Why didn't you ever say anything."

"What was there to say? I cared for you; you were my friend and my partner. But I loved George and a part of me always will. That is something you will have to accept if we're going to have a future."

Ray was quiet, digesting what Bodie had said. "Are you sure you love me, that you're not just looking for what you shared with George?" Privately he doubted he could ever accept, but for Bodie's sake, he would never pry.

Smiling, Bodie reached down and cupped Ray's strong, ageless face between large hands. Slowly the thumb on Bodie's left hand moved back and forth over his broken cheekbone. Unashamedly he realized that tears were threatening to escape past his shining seagreen eyes.

"I could never confuse you with George. No, Ray, I do love you. I guess I always have a little. The only thing I know for sure is that I want us to have a future together."

Faced with Bodie's declaration, Ray could only do one thing. He giggled. "God, here you hand me my wildest dreams on a platter and I'm too pissed to do anything about it. Why couldn't you have made your vows of love and devotion about three hours ago when I could have done something? As it is, I'll be lucky to make it home."

"Don't worry, Sunshine, I'll see you make it and as far as doing something, that's okay. I just wanted you to know. The rest can wait."

"It will bloody well have to wait," said Ray as he tried to get to his feet. "Help me up, luv. God, I didn't expect the evening to turn out like this. I had it all planned out, including a hell of a good seduction."

"It looks like it worked," grinned Bodie as he pulled a boneless Ray Doyle to a more or less vertical position. "We'll just have to wait a bit for the grand climax, so to speak."

Straightening up, Doyle carefully stepped back to look owlishly at the man who at that moment was the sum total of his universe. "I do love you, Bodie."

"I know. But come on. I need to get you home and into bed or you won't be in any shape to face the boys and girls in the morning."

"T's all right. Murph's got early duty in the morning." Ray giggled, "I told them I had a meeting and would be in late. Planning ahead, I was."

"Come on, then, you latter day Machiavelli, it's bedtime," chuckled the President of International Securities, Ltd. as he helped a very inebriated Controller of CI5 out of the private club and into a waiting taxi.

Such was the decorum of the few members who remained at the club at that late hour that no one said a thing in passing as Bodie helped an almost unconscious Ray Doyle into the waiting taxi.

"Thirty-five Blackburne's Mews, Mayfair," said Bodie, giving his own address. He wasn't sure what the morning would bring, only deemed it important that it be shared.

"Right, Guv. Your mate's had a bit too many nips."

"That's right. He is my mate." And with those four words the future of the two was sealed.

Doyle remembered those days as he toweled himself in front of the large gilt mirror. The days had flown by and they were good days as the two men slowly discovered new sides to one another that they had never known. Work for both was exciting, if very demanding, and they found that after the first rush of unfulfilled lust, they settled into a routine that, while not the wild sexual escapades of their youth, was more satisfying than either could have ever imagined.

The future was finally secure for both men, or at least as secure as it could be for men whose business was often violent. The ex-merc had inherited a small fortune from Cowley, both in cash, securities and the ten-room home in Blackburne's Mews. Cowley had paid his debt in full to Bodie for the fifteen years of their relationship and Doyle was finally able to think of Cowley with something other than intense hatred. That reminded him of the letter waiting for him downstairs.

Wrapping himself in a luxurious silk robe, he glanced into the large master suite and verified that Bodie was still dead to the world. Smiling slightly, Doyle headed downstairs for a Remy Martin Napoleon. He was curious about the contents of Cowley's letter. He supposed it was some maudlin plea to take care of Bodie or some such. Well, that was one final order from Cowley he would obey, if the only one. CI5 was his now, and he would remake it in his image, not that of the late George Cowley.

Pausing at the door, the relaxed man enjoyed the casual, masculine elegance of the room. His glance took in the rich mahogany panelling, the plush Persian rugs, the antique brass and leather furnishings--it all spoke of comfort and ease. A fire blazed in the fireplace because even though it was May, a chill still permeated London. Crossing to the bar, Doyle poured the fine old brandy and paused for a while studying the fire and reflecting on nothing so much as his general contentment with his life.

He had achieved the goals he had barely dreamed seventeen years before when he had come to CI5 a young, idealistic London copper. Now he was one of the most powerful men in the government. He owned a beautiful home in Kensington and, with Kevin Murphy as his Assistant Controller, he was in the process of making his mark on the organization he now headed.

Above all, though, there was Bodie. The love, which grew stronger every day, had begun to turn back the pain and anguish that had been part of his every waking moment for fifteen long years. Only the partnership, deeper than even friendship, had keep him in CI5, that plus the knowledge that ultimately Bodie would be his. Damn George Cowley anyway.

Realizing he was only postponing the inevitable, he shrugged and glanced at the massive desk. On the hand-tooled leather blotter the stark white envelope seemed strangely out of place. Picking it up, he held it in his hand for a while, then quickly set his brandy down, picked up the opener, slit the envelope deftly and removed several handwritten sheets. Noting the precise, controlled writing, he began to read:

Dear Ray:

No one on earth knows the contents of this letter and I ask that you destroy it after you have finished I am sure you will understand why in a few minutes.

First, let me say, I am dying even as I write this. A specialist friend of mine has secretly diagnosed what I already suspected. Cancer. I have only a year to live at best.

Doyle glanced at the date and realized it had been written only two months before Cowley's death. He returned to the letter.

I know you will not mourn me, and I know the reasons. I feel I owe you an explanation since my actions have directly affected the course of your life.

Long ago I decided that you should succeed me as Controller of CI5. You were a young tiger, full of ideals and compassion. At the same lime you were the coldest, most dangerous man I knew. When you were moved to action no power on earth could deflect you from what you saw as you duty. This is the quality that will make you a good Controller

I recognized two other things shortly after you joined CI5. One, your ideals would probably drive you out of the organization unless I found a way to keep you. The other thing I discovered was the way to keep you...your love for Bodie. Yes, I knew it before you did and decided to use it for my own purpose. I deliberately seduced Bodie and tied him to me because I knew by doing so, I would also tie you, if not to me, then to CI5.

I genuinely cared for Bodie. While I was not a practicing homosexual, I had my share of experiences. I used my knowledge of such things to lure Bodie. It was painfully easy. Bodie was bent and felt he owed me a debt of gratitude for taking him into CI5 in the first place. There had been a spot of bother in Northern Ireland and he been forced to resign from the SAS. He never forgot I had trusted him. The rest was easy and, over the years, I came to love him.

Trembling, Doyle dropped the letter to the desk and blindly reached for the brandy. Numbly, he sank into a leather chair and drained the snifter, his carefully constructed life turned upside down. All of his best intentions to put the past into a neatly sealed compartment shattered and for the first time he had to really face the pain and sense of betrayal he had buried for fifteen years. He had thought himself so smooth and calculatingly in control of his emotions and all of the time, Cowley had known and had manipulated him as easily as a raw recruit. Many minutes passed before his hands stopped shaking enough for him to resume reading.

I know how much you hate me, Ray, but I also had your best interests in mind, as well. Fifteen years ago I don't believe you and Bodie had the maturity to sustain a relationship. Societal pressures were so much stronger in 1975 than in 1989 that I honestly doubt if your love would have survived. Times have changed, though, and you both have come to an age when you know what is truly important in life. You understand love, honor and duty (although with the last two I suspect they are your own standard, rather than mine.) However, they are the foundation of the life you will build together

I have left Bodie financially secure because I realize he will have to leave CI5 upon my death. That is preordained. I only hope he is not hurt too much when our affair becomes known. I have also guaranteed that you will be my successor The fact of your homosexuality, or perhaps bisexuality would be more accurate, will not be a problem. I have seen to this. As long as you do not flaunt your relationship in front of the press there will be no repercussions.

All my life I hated people who used their influence to trade on favors, but faced with my death and the continued existence of CI5, I called in the many debts I have accumulated over the years. I know where a great many bodies are buried and they will remain buried only so long as you are left unimpeded to do your job.

I wish you well, Ray. I realize you hate me more than ever at this moment and I am sorry I had to play God with your and Bodie's lives. However, I would do it all again without a moment's hesitation. CI5 is the only thing that stands between the innocents and the wolves who would ravage our country. You are now my good shepherd and I leave in your care one very precious black sheep.

In death I remain yours faithfully,

G. Cowley

The tears came then. Hot, stinging rivulets that dropped unheeded on the white linen sheets. He was crying for all the wasted years that Cowley's machinations had denied them. The knowledge of how they had been used to further the dead man's ambitious plans for CI5 was galling. It ate into him with a fire that threatened to consume him.

Pacing the room, the still flowing tears glittering in the light thrown out by the fire, Ray Doyle raged at a man and a world that had denied him love. But, as the catharsis began to have its effect, he returned once more and sank into the leather chair. Picking up the letter he buried his face in the sheets as once more the tears came.

"Oh, George, why couldn't you have told me? Why did you have to take Bodie? I would have stayed, really I would." But even through his sobs, Ray Doyle knew that Cowley, as always, had been right.

Sometime later it was a subdued, thoughtful man who watched the letter turn to ashes. The flickering light caught the planes of his face, strangely unlined for all of his 45 years. When the final page succumbed to the flames, a smile crossed his face as he remembered his Greek mythology. The phoenix had risen from the ashes to start a new life. Well, he and Bodie were certainly starting a new life from the ashes that George Cowley had made of their past.

Turning, Doyle stopped to pour two brandies before he climbed to stairs to wake his black sheep.


Originally published in Concupiscence, Manacles Press, 1991

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