When the Time Is Now
Bodie sat stiffly on Doyle's comfortable, tan and brown plaid sofa, watching his partner pace back and forth like a big caged tiger: all long legs, wild cinnamon curls and big green eyes. The restlessness in Doyle was worrisome. Working off tension was one thing, but Ray rarely kept it up at such a fever pitch for as long as he had today. Ray had been in a bad mood for days, and nothing Bodie had said or done brought him out of it. He wasn't exactly sure what it was -- just that Ray had worked himself into a state over something.
"Sunshine?" Bodie said quietly, unable to stand the pacing any more. "What's wrong?"
"Got something to tell you," Ray responded. "And I don't know how to say it." He came to stand in front of Bodie, but he was too tense to stay still; after a moment he started to move again, from foot to foot this time.
"You're not going to like it."
"I gathered that."
Bodie was really worried. Standing, he put both hands on Doyle's shoulders and gripped them, hoping to stop the nervous movement. "Just say it. It's best that way."
Ray took a deep breath. "Claire and I are getting married."
"No!" exploded Bodie. Turning abruptly away, he stalked to the window, fighting for control. This was worse than he could have imagined. He'd known Doyle and Claire were close, but hadn't realised they had become this close. They hadn't even been seeing each other that long but, unfortunately, Ray had a habit of falling quickly for a certain type of woman. Claire reminded Bodie of another red-head Doyle had thought he'd wanted to marry. The very thought of Ann Holly made Bodie shudder.
"No," Bodie whispered, not realising he'd spoken again out loud.
"Yes, we are." Doyle's voice held so much conviction that Bodie wondered if he wasn't trying to convince himself as well as Bodie.
"Well, congratulations," Bodie taunted, turning back towards Ray, unable to control the hurt and anger in his voice.
"Oh, Bodie," Ray whispered. "Thought you would be glad for me."
"No, you didn't," Bodie accused, shaking his head, "or you wouldn't have been so nervy about telling me." Bodie's heart was breaking, betrayal cutting deep and wide, leaving him bleeding profusely and struggling to survive it.
"Won't you be happy for me?" Ray begged softly, big, green eyes beseeching Bodie to understand something he knew Bodie never could.
"I think you are trying to be happy any way you can -- but you're going about it in the wrong way."
"Bodie please," Doyle moaned. "I need this."
"What? What do you need?" Bodie demanded.
"I need a home and someone to come to at the end of the day. Someone to care whether or not I live or die."
"I care," Bodie pointed out quietly, trying to say he loved Doyle without the words -- but Ray was too upset to notice.
"It's not the same."
Oh yes it is! Bodie's mind shouted, but instead he said, "You are not in love with Claire."
"I like, and respect her."
"It won't be enough."
"It has to be."
"You'll be divorced inside of three years."
"Bodie, how can you know that?"
"Because you don't love her. The job will get to her sooner or later. It always does."
"Well, I'm resigning from CI5."
"God, Ray, don't do that!" Bodie pleaded, certain that Doyle was making a horrible mistake.
"I'm sorry, Bodie. I want a real life."
"What will you do?"
"Don't know yet. Something less dangerous. I want to live."
"You love the job. You need it."
"No, I hate it," Ray declared, then conceded, "-- and I love it too." With an air of defeat Doyle sat heavily down on the sofa.
"How can you leave?" Bodie didn't add me, but it hung in the air.
"I have to," Ray whimpered. "Haven't ever been able to get this far with anyone, except Ann, and time's gettin' on. This is my last shot at the life I want to have." His green eyes continued to plead with Bodie to understand. "Bodie please try and understand. I need more than I'm getting. I want to have a home."
"I do understand." Only too well. Tears stung his eyes and he blinked them away, not believing that Doyle could be so blind.
"Do you? I know it seems drastic." Leaning forward on the sofa, Doyle continued in a tortured voice, tears standing out brightly in his eyes. "But who will love me when I'm old? Who will touch me with the tenderness I crave? God-almighty, Bodie I am sick to death of loveless fucking, it's starting to wear on my soul!"
Bodie met his gaze without fail, "I will love you, sunshine, if you let me," he whispered, tapping his chest over his heart.
Doyle sat back with a jerk, his whole body going stiff.
Bodie could tell it wasn't the answer he'd been expecting. Doyle looked closely at Bodie to see if he'd been trying to make a joke of his pain, but he should have known better -- Bodie would never tease him like that. There was too much at stake here for that.
"Don't look so surprised," Bodie replied, his voice light, trying to lighten the mood with a joke. He sat down next to his partner, very glad that Doyle hadn't decided to leave or hit him yet.
"I am surprised! That you would be interested in me, like that, was not something I'd ever considered."
"Consider it now."
"Have done, actually. A stray thought or two've crossed my mind over the time we've been partners. Always dismissed it as highly unlikely," Doyle admitted, looking down at the carpet, not meeting Bodie's eyes.
"But not unpleasant."
"No, not unpleasant at all. Just...."
Bodie moved closer. "Just what?" he said softly.
"Not likely." Doyle fell silent.
"Didn't think you'd be interested. I always thought you'd be more interested in birds than a skinny, hairy bloke like me."
"Not necessarily," Bodie quipped, smiling. "Something to be said for 'em -- skinny, hairy blokes, I mean."
"Can't imagine what."
"I could think of a few things."
"Then, how come you haven't said anything until now?" Doyle raised his head, meeting Bodie's eyes.
"Wasn't sure you'd care to hear it, still am not, come to that. Was willing to leave things at the status quo, until tonight when you started to talk about marrying Claire and leaving CI5. Had nothing else to lose then, did I?"
Nodding, "Yeah, stupid that."
"What?" Bodie was confused as to what exactly was stupid.
"The idea of marrying Claire."
Breathing a sigh of relief, Bodie said, "Yeah, very stupid that. You'd be divorced within a couple of years."
"So you said, but likely you're right."
"Course I am. She going to be heart-broken when you break the engagement?"
"Well," Doyle paused again, staring at his trainers, "I haven't actually asked her yet."
"You told me before you asked her?"
"Now why was that?"
"I don't know."
"Maybe you expected me to talk you out of it?"
"So -- what now?" Bodie asked, standing, unable to keep still.
"I don't know."
"Do you want to have a relationship?"
"Already have one."
"I mean a sexual one."
"No." Bodie was emphatic. He wasn't going to be a sexual release for Doyle when he was between birds. "I want more than that."
"Good, because if I do this -- and I'm not sure I can yet -- but if I do, it's got to be everything for both of us."
"Death do us part?" Bodie asked, too afraid to take anything for granted.
"That a proposal?" Doyle smiled gently at him.
"I want to accept."
"But I need a bit of time to think this through."
"How do you feel about me?"
"Love you, you know that."
"Yeah. Love you, too." Bodie put his hands on Ray's shoulders and gently pulled him to his feet. "The rest will be easy," he told him, wanting nothing more than to hold him. He reached out to take him into his arms, but Ray backed away.
"Not yet. Give me a second to think."
"I don't know if I can do it."
"What?" Bodie'd lost track of what Doyle was talking about.
"Sex with a man. To get past 40 or more years of sexual conditioning."
"Oh." Having been bisexual his entire life, Bodie had never had to consider what it might be like to be fancying a bloke and not having had some experience with it before. Poor Doyle. "You said you've given it some thought, though?"
"A stray fantasy is different from actually doing it," Doyle pointed out.
"I expect you're right there, sunshine."
"You've got some experience with it, then?"
"You never said." Doyle looked hurt.
Bodie dropped his eyes. "You never asked."
"Would you have told me?"
"Yeah, would have told you anything you wanted to know."
"Tell me now?"
"Was on the Merchant ship and then in Africa."
"Here a time or two, but mostly I stuck to birds. Was easier in the long run."
"Course Cowley knows!" Bodie glowered. What a stupid question! "Be open to blackmail if he didn't, wouldn't I?"
"Don't get upset. Was just checking."
"Would you have told him, if I hadn't?"
"No. But I would have suggested, strongly, that you do it," Ray said, meeting his eyes seriously. "How come you never told me?"
"Told you, you never asked."
"Not good enough, Bodie."
Bodie answered honestly, finally, "Wasn't sure how you'd take it." He'd been terrified Doyle would request a new partner if he'd known -- especially at first, when they hadn't been so close and had spent much of their time in competition with each other.
"Maybe at first, but surely the last few years you've known me well enough to know I'd not care?"
"Yeah -- but like I said, why upset the status quo?"
Doyle nodded. Bodie stepped forward again and held out his arms, though not trying to touch the other man.
Ray gave him a look that was half trepidation and half longing. "Bodie...."
"Come to me sunshine," Bodie whispered quietly. "I won't hurt you. I promise."
Sighing windily, Ray stepped forward and was enfolded in Bodie's arms. As Ray laid his head on his shoulder, Bodie knew that he was home at last and promised himself to keep his love safe.
"'m still not sure about all of this," Ray said against his shoulder.
"I know. We won't do anything that makes you uncomfortable."
"Okay." Ray raised his head and brought his hand up to Bodie's chin. Tilting his jaw to the proper angle, Doyle raised his mouth the necessary couple of inches to Bodie's in a short sweet kiss. Pleasure exploded through Bodie at the touch of the full lips. He groaned loudly, but kept himself from tightening his arms around Doyle, not wanting to push the other man too hard.
"Mmmm," Doyle said, pulling back to look at Bodie, smile of pleasure on his round face. "That was nice."
"Very. Might do it again, if you wanted."
Doyle took the hint, and kissed him again. The reaction Bodie had the first time was nothing in comparison to this one. Elation swept him. Never having expected to hold Doyle in his arms, let alone kiss him, this was pure bliss. As Ray's inquisitive tongue made a foray into his mouth, he knew if he died at that moment he would consider his life well spent. He wondered with whatever part of his brain was still functioning if one could die from too much pleasure.
"Wow!" Ray said. "It's so sweet."
Bodie chuckled softly. "What were you expecting?"
"Don't know exactly, but I never thought kissing a bloke could be so...nice. Kissing you is better than kissing most of the birds I know."
"That's 'cause we care about each other, there's love between us."
"There is that," Doyle agreed.
"Yeah." Bodie nodded, lowering his mouth to the full, soft lips, again. "Oh yeah."
Pushing softly, giving Ray the right to refuse, he lowered them both to the wide sofa. Wiggling once to get comfortable, Ray stretched out completely on top of Bodie. Bodie's hands found their way onto the perfect, round bum, petting and stroking softly, something he'd dreamed of doing since he'd first met his partner.
"Been waiting years to do this," Bodie told him, giving one ripe globe a small pinch.
"Hey, don't damage it. And you've had your hands on my bum for years."
"But now the intent is different. Was always a matey kind of thing before," Bodie told him solemnly, but he knew his eyes must be twinkling.
"Was it?" The green eyes told him plainly that he knew otherwise.
"No." He couldn't lie to Ray.
"Didn't think so."
"You're not angry?"
"Nah. Didn't realise it then, now did I?"
"I hope not." Keeping one hand on the lovely bum in question, his other slid up to Ray's neck and pulled him down again for another long slow kiss.
Slipping a hand between them, Bodie unbuttoned the soft cotton shirt Ray had on. His fingers found a plump nipple, tugged gently on it. Doyle moaned loudly and arched his back.
"Like that, sweetheart?" Bodie teased.
"Got very sensitive tits."
"In that case," Bodie said, shifting downward and fastening his mouth the tiny peak, sucking and licking until Doyle was squirming and whimpering, helpless under the onslaught.
"Ahhh, God, Bodie, please!"
"What do you want?" Bodie asked, willing to give him the world, anything.
"You, I want you."
"Do you want to fuck me?" Bodie said, giving the nipple one last kiss before looking back up at Doyle
Doyle froze, troubled green eyes pierced his. "I'm not ready to give that back, yet."
"S'okay. I want you to do me."
"Wouldn't say, if I wasn't."
Joy flashed through Bodie -- he'd dreamed of having Doyle and of Doyle having him for years. That it might finally happen was incredible -- but first things first. "Let's go into the bedroom and do this right."
Doyle wiggled again. "Pretty comfortable here."
"Be more so, in bed."
Sighing, Ray stood. "Expect so."
"First time should be special." Bodie stood as well.
"Will be." Doyle leant forward and kissed him.
Taking his hand, Bodie led Ray into the bedroom. A big bed inhabited one entire side of the room. Slowly removing the shirt that was hanging open on Doyle, Bodie bent his head and nuzzled the chest hair. "Have I ever told you how sexy I find hairy-chested men?"
"Never told me you found men sexy at all, so it hasn't come up."
Bodie laughed and placed a hand on Ray's hard cock through his jeans and squeezed lightly. "Oh sunshine, it's up."
Doyle laughed too and the sultry sound skittered down Bodie's spine.
"Berk!" he grunted, thrusting into the hand holding him, obviously wanting more.
Lifting Ray's wrist to his mouth, he kissed, opened-mouthed, the veins and tendons of the strong hand. Licking upward he bit down gently into the crease of the elbow and Ray whimpered. "Never knew I had such sensitive arms." His voice was a bit breathy, as if he'd been running.
"Been waiting a long time for this, I plan to take my time and enjoy you."
Continuing on his quest, Bodie licked and kissed all the bare skin of Ray's arms, neck and chest, leaving his partner gasping and writhing in his arms. Finally he lowered Ray to the bed, and went to work on his jeans and trainers. Released from his confining clothing, Ray sprawled out before him like a giant feast, and Bodie didn't know where to start first. Each part looked good enough to eat. His mouth watered and his heart was pounding in time with the throb of his cock, confined in his now too-tight trousers.
"So beautiful," Bodie whispered reverently, stripping off his own clothes and sliding into bed next to Ray.
"Must be blind," Ray said, turning to take him into his arms. "I'm too skinny and too hairy. Not like you, all smooth, hard muscle."
"Whatever you say sunshine," Bodie told him, smiling. He knew his body was in good shape, but it was plain compared to the exotic creature in his arms. "You're the only one who has to like it."
"I do, Bodie -- really."
"Good." Bodie ran his hands down Doyle's back, stopping to cup the round buttocks with both hands. Pulling Ray on top of him, Bodie cuddled him close, breathing in the heady scent of his skin and hair.
"Smell so good," Bodie murmured, snuffling loudly again.
Doyle chuckled. "You're the one who has to smell me," his words mirroring Bodie's of a moment ago.
Rolling Ray onto his back, Bodie began his reconnaissance of the lovely body again. Pausing briefly on his way down to kiss and lick each nipple in turn, Bodie moved on to the furry stomach. Doyle giggled when he poked his tongue into his belly button, swirling it around a couple of times until Ray pushed him away.
"Don't you have better things to do with your tongue?" Ray asked, his words coming out in a pant. He nearly arched off the bed when Bodie finally took the large, straining cock into his mouth and started to suck. Ray thrashed and mewed beneath him. To Bodie the sounds of a lover's pleasure had always been a tremendous turn-on, and with Doyle it was near ecstasy.
"I'm close, Bodie," Ray gasped, touching Bodie's head lightly.
Lifting his head with regret, Bodie smiled at his mate. "Got anything we can use?"
"Use?" The green eyes were glazed with passion.
"Oh." Ray coloured faintly. "There's Vaseline in the loo."
"Be right back," Bodie said. On unsteady feet he made his way to the bathroom to retrieve the yellow container. Once back, he handed it to Ray. "Use a lot. It's been a while."
Taking the jar, Doyle sat up as Bodie lay down on his stomach. Excitement skittered through Bodie's body. He'd been waiting for this moment for a very, very long time.
Doyle seemed to understand instinctively what was needed. Sticking two fingers into the yellow gel, he applied it liberally. Working his fingers into the channel, he moved them back and forth producing delightful sensations in Bodie. It was heaven, if a bit messy, as the Vaseline seemed to get everywhere.
Bodie couldn't keep silent under the marvellous assault. Finally, Ray removed his fingers. "How do you want this?"
"On my back, so I can watch your face when you sink into me."
Ray helped him onto his back and then positioned his legs on the slim shoulders.
"Been ready for years."
Ray laughed and pressed forward, starting to move into him. The long slow slide of that big cock into him was a delight like no other. He knew, absolutely knew, that he could never feel this kind of bliss with anyone else. Bodie groaned loudly. "Oh it's so sweet, Ray. So sweet."
"Yeah," came the breathless reply.
And then he was moving strongly inside Bodie, pushing deep and pulling hard. Bodie rode out the sensations, enjoying each one as long as he could until orgasm crashed over him in hot, pulsing waves. He cried out, saying Ray's name over and over, a prayer, finally answered, not really aware of anything other than the exquisite sensations.
When he came aware again, Ray was draped across his chest, sweating and panting hard. Lifting off of Bodie, Ray rolled onto his side, pulling Bodie into his arms and holding him tightly. "Was magnificent, love."
Snuggling closer to his lover, "Glad you enjoyed it, sunshine. Do it again soon."
"Any time you like," Ray promised, kissing him again.
Bodie felt a trickle of semen dribble out of his arse and smiled contentedly. He'd likely be sore in the morning, but he didn't care if he limped. It had been more than worth it.
"Guess I'd better get cleaned up and clean you up too," Ray said, starting to shift away.
"Not yet. Let's wait till morning." Bodie held him closer. "Just want to enjoy it now."
"Okay. I'm knackered anyway. Was fine, very fine." Ray yawned hugely.
"It was." Bodie agreed, almost asleep himself. "Night, sunshine."
-- THE END --
Originally published in Motet for New Voices in B and D, Keynote Press, 1996