Ray Duncan scrubbed a hand through his shoulder length salt and pepper curls, grabbing a clamp from his tripod and securing the unruly mass into a ponytail at the base of his neck.
"All right. Everyone relax. Take ten," he called out wearily as he stepped away from the Hassleblad, motioning for his assistant to stand guard on the gear during break and accepting a cup of coffee from her as they passed.
"Thanks, love. Bloody mess, isn't it?" he commented rhetorically.
Taking a swig of the coffee, Duncan reached into the silky pocket of his designer label shirt for a cigarette before remembering he had quit a month before. He was not a man used to being denied, even if it was his own doing, and he cursed roundly, digging into his photo bag for a piece of gum and miraculously securing a stick of Wrigley's spearmint.
He unwrapped the gum and tossed the paper wrapper carelessly in the general direction of the waste bin where it joined a myriad of refuse collected in three hours of work--crunched up coffee and tea cups, candy wrappers and empty Kodak 120 film packets.
This photo shoot was not working at all. Why he had agreed to the charity shoot was beyond him, and his notoriously fragile patience was being pushed to the limits.
Since his meteoric rise to notoriety as one of Europe's top fashion photographers, Duncan was used to professionals--he could relate to their temperament and they to his. They understood craft and artistry, pacing and rhythm. This unit of green SAS men before him was anything but professional--at least when it came to modeling. He cursed whoever had come up with the idea of a pin-up calendar of Britain's elite forces--some retired Brigadier's do-gooder wife--and he vowed to tell his agent that Ray Duncan was out of the charity business as of the end of this project.
Still that didn't solve the difficulties at hand--he had agreed to the shoot and he would not renege on that word. The problem was, this outfit of SAS men had the grace of a herd of elephants and moved like mannequins--put them in full metal jacket and tell them to get in position to shoot out a sniper and they would be fine; tell them to drape their barely clad bodies casually over the set props and they were lost.
And they utterly lacked sex appeal--at least from Ray's perspective--a woman viewing the scene might feel differently, but there was not a man among them who Ray would take to his bed, even for a casual dalliance. Considering Duncan's track record with both female and male models, that was saying something.
Lost in thought about how to salvage this shoot, Ray propped himself against his work table--a picture of lazy inelegance, hips canted, feet crossed at the ankles--and surveyed the little group before him, now at ease and enjoying their tea and biscuits with slurpy pleasure. They had put robes on over their skivvies and appeared decidedly more comfortable than moments before.
One man stood to the side, still in uniform, and Ray observed him carefully. Tall, well muscled, with dark hair and a serious face, this man exuded power and strength with a quietness that reminded Duncan of a calm before a storm. This was a man that Ray's camera would love--he was all about surface tension and surface tension equaled sex appeal.
Stepping over to his assistant, Duncan leaned close and nodded his head in the direction of the uniformed man.
"Who's the lovely lad standing guard, Ruth?"
"Some sergeant--child-minder, I'd guess. Bodie, I think. He's here to make sure his lads behave."
"Bodie.... Let me have a peek behind that lens, love."
Ray peered through the viewfinder, adjusting the camera slightly to find his quarry. The subject in question was propped against one of the support pillars for the loft workroom. He was fully kitted-out in fatigues, right down to the military issue boots and standard-issue sidearm. Duncan studied him--thick muscled thighs, flat stomach, pouty mouth, incredible eyelashes. He felt his groin tighten and knew he had hit upon something here; there might just be a chance to save this whole mess.
He turned back to his assistant, his expression animated. "Round up Larry and tell him I need to see him. And tell everyone we're breaking for lunch. Forty minutes should do it. Get me a...."
"San Pellegrino and cucumber and cream cheese sarnie," Ruth finished for him. "Yes, boss. And have Tom reload the film boxes and tell Terry to bring the lights down to a dull roar and...."
Duncan pressed a kiss to her forehead and headed off in the direction of SAS Sergeant Bodie.
Ruth rolled her eyes. In three years of working together she had been gopher, confessor, seamstress, mediator and who knows what else. Duncan was a genius behind the camera, a considerate lover the few times they'd tried it, and a fair and decent boss--he was also one hell of bloody good sweet talker. If anyone could salvage this disaster, it would be Ray. Pity the poor sergeant, though, thought Ruth as she removed the Blad from the tripod and called the staff together. Like as not, poor Bodie wouldn't know what hit him. And if he happened by chance to be bisexual or gay, then God help him, because when Ray opened the valve, sex appeal poured from him like water from a tap and even the sated begged for a drink.
Bodie watched the goings-on before him with a mixture of unfeigned distain and curious interest. Duncan had first requested that the men strip down to their regulation skivvies and that done, he had positioned the lads among the props, artfully draping this one across sand bags and that one over the bonnet of a jeep. Another of the lads was asked to straddle a grenade launcher, but unfortunately he looked like he was riding a pony, not posing for a pin-up.
The idea was right--even Bodie could tell that--but the execution wasn't working. The lads were all worried about their dangly bits and short and curlies hanging out of their pants, and despite the warm lights, electric music and Duncan's patient directions, they couldn't seem to get the hang of what was called for.
Bodie leaned against a support pillar and wondered for the thousandth time how his CO had managed to be conned into agreeing to this--or perhaps it had simply been orders from above--your unit will participate. The whole thing was absurd. These were fighting men, not models, and certainly not pin-ups.
Still it was interesting to watch the activity. Over a dozen people supported Duncan, setting and adjusting lighting, applying make-up, handing him coffee.
They were on break now, after three hours and apparently little success. Duncan was huddled up with his assistant, peering through the camera and giving instruction--or so it seemed from the woman's nodding head.
How much did that shirt cost Duncan was wearing, Bodie wondered idly. Maybe a thousand pounds? Pocket change for this lot. The green silky material moved with the photographer, molding to his lean muscled body, teasing his nipples. Bodie raised his eyebrows--he had been on women for a while now, but he wouldn't mind this man in his bed. Duncan's jeans were obscenely tight and it was clear he had little but a jock strap beneath them, accentuating his assets in a way that seemed as calculated as it did natural. But even as lovely as Ray's arse might be, it was oddly enough Duncan's hair that set Bodie off. He could imagine himself on top of this man, holding Ray's hands down over his head, his cock buried to the hilt in the photographer's bum and his face buried in the man's hair, screaming his release.
"Steady..." Bodie said softly, to no one but himself, shifting his position to cover the start of a healthy erection. "Cool down."
Duncan was coming this way now.
The man moved like a walking wet dream. Bodie felt a flush start up his neck and he willed it away, closing his eyes and inhaling short deep breaths. By the time the photographer had reached him, Bodie was cool once again--everything under control.
Ray stuck out his hand. "Ray Duncan. I don't think we had a chance to meet at the start."
"So I take it you're minder for this lot."
"So it would seem."
"Well if you've been watching you know things aren't going very well."
"Well I could offer a suggestion...."
Duncan nodded. "Go ahead."
"These men are used to taking orders, tell them what to do instead of letting them prance about on their own and you'll get better results."
"I had another idea," Ray said, intentionally offhand.
"How about if you show them by example?"
Bodie was incredulous. "You're asking me to get out there and model? Pull the other one mate. My orders are to mind this lot, not prance about half naked."
Duncan moved closer, deliberating invading Bodie's personal space, his voice low and husky, redolent with sex. "Actually, what I'd like is to take you to bed and make you scream my name as your cock pumps into my arse, but I'd need a longer lunch break for that."
Bodie inhaled sharply, but managed to hold his own. Duncan's sexuality was incredible, but Bodie was still in control of himself. "Maybe if we're still around at teatime."
Duncan laughed, loud and hearty, and for a moment there was silence in the room as twenty some pairs of eyes looked over in Ray's direction.
"Are you always this cool?" he asked Bodie when the chatter had resumed its previous level. "Because I can tell you, mate, my knees are weak and my blood is racing just being this close to you. I'd pay you a thousand pounds out of my own pocket just to see you half naked before the camera."
"Would you now?" Bodie raised an eyebrow. "Well now that almost gets me interested, but I have orders, you know--mind the lads and keep them out of trouble. Can't go against orders."
"Five thousand pounds."
"Is that for the fuck or the photo shoot?"
"I don't think you're anyone's whore."
Bodie pressed his lips together. Five thousand pounds would get him out of debt, might even be enough to start up his own security business, get him out of the service. "Tell you what, make it ten thousand and give me a blow job and you've got a deal."
Ray considered--it had a started as a joke, but now there was something far more serious behind the bids and counter-offers. Still, ten thousand would clean out his bank account and put him at the mercy of his next job. He wasn't sure he wanted to risk that, or if he could--especially with his staff depending on him for their pay chits as well.
"Tell you what," he said finally. "I'll make you a deal--you pose for me and if you can keep from getting an erection, I pay you five thousand."
"And if I fail?"
"Then nothing--we're even--I have my shoot and you get fame and fortune as the newest pin-up lad for the SAS."
"How will you know who wins?"
Duncan laughed. "Oh, I'll know. So is it a deal?"
Bodie trained his gaze on Duncan's crotch. "Five thousand and a blow job."
"I'm no one's whore either."
"Take it or leave it."
"I could call your CO and insist I need your help."
"You could--but he's on holiday, the bloody coward, so that would delay this whole project by a week at best."
"I could turn you in for bribery."
"You could--except I would insist this was a business deal. My orders don't require it. So?"
Ray's tongue tipped in and out of his mouth, worrying the edge of a chipped tooth that Bodie hadn't noticed before. "One more thing and then I agree," said Ray finally.
"And that is?"
"You lose and you give me a blow job."
Bodie nodded slowly. "All right," he agreed, "but I have one change, too."
"And that is?"
"You lose and instead of the blow job, I get to fuck you--fantasy fuck, my choice."
"No violence," Ray responded quickly.
"No violence," Bodie agreed. "So it's deal?"
"It's a deal, yes. But you will have to sign a standard release form--for the photography, so I can use the shots. My assistant, Ruth, will give you the forms and tell you what else you need to do."
Bodie nodded. "There is one thing though--I've been in training all week--am a bit bruised up."
Duncan's eyes lit and he nodded. "Perfect."
As the photographer walked off, a slow grin spread over Bodie's face, lightening his dark features, nearly removing the mask that was there. He nodded slowly. It was a no-lose scenario--either way he'd have Ray writhing before this day was out--and with a little bit of self-control, he'd be five thousand pounds richer as well.
Ray leaned back in his chair and took a swig of the San Pellegrino to down the last bite of his cucumber sarnie. Lunch had actually relaxed the unit and the lads were teasing around now with some of his staff. That was always a good sign. He didn't know why he hadn't thought of food in the first place--the great equalizer and calmer. Still, he was grateful something was working.
After a discussion and instructions from Ray, Ruth had taken Bodie off to sign paperwork, get dressed--or undressed as this case might be--and handle what little make-up would be required. The bruises stayed, Duncan had ordered emphatically--as did the military boots and the side arm, though the latter Bodie would hold it in hand, rather than keeping it the belt.
Ray ordered the set rearranged--the jeep was moved to the back and the mock bunker was reset in a semi-circle in front of it. A sleeping bag and pack sat in front of that.
They were due to start up again in five minutes, and so finishing the last bit of his water, Ray stood, brushed his hands on his thighs, and headed to the set where he began to arrange the now far more relaxed group of men. It hadn't hurt that a bit of brandy was made available to spice up their tea; the men were shedding their robes as if they appeared daily before a camera in their skivvies.
There were ten men total. Ray put four in the jeep--two sitting in the front seats and two standing, leaning against the roll bar in the back. Four other men were set up lying flat on their bellies behind the sandbag bunker wall, rifles in hand extended over the wall. The final two men were positioned one to either side of the sleeping bag and pack--one cleaning his weapon, the other with an ammo belt slung across his chest. Of course, all were posed so muscles were defined and thighs and calves taut and long--that display was the whole point of the shoot.
It looked surprisingly good, even when Ray stepped back to check the view from the camera. Now all that remained was to add the centerpiece. One good shot would make the whole calendar and he could fill from there--there was a lot riding on Bodie working out exactly as Ray planned.
As Bodie emerged from the dressing room, Ray busied himself with his light meter, allowing the SAS man to make his own way across to the set, not even sparing a glance when Bodie shed his robe--though aware of both Bodie's piercing glare and the shocked gasps from the other men as the robe hit the floor.
Bodie stood defiantly before the set, gun in hand, gaze murderous, livid bruises coloring his chest, wearing nothing else except his regulation boots and a decidedly non-regulation pouch. Larry had worked magic on Bodie's own skivvies, turning the camouflage fabric into a show-off tight pouch that fit Bodie better than a glove.
Ray could not help but lick his lips at the sight of the tight buttocks, hard chest and thick muscled thighs. He also could not help but notice the straining flicker of anger that danced like dangerous fire in Bodie's eyes. This man was too gorgeous for a damned charity calendar, such a waste. Still, if he had his way, Ray would have a taste of that alabaster skin and angry whip of a tongue.
His groin tightened at that thought, but Ray ignored it, instead positioning Bodie with consummate professionalism, seating him on the sleeping bag at the front of the set, one leg bent at the knee, one folded beneath him, the gun held loosely in his hands at chest level, directing the eye downward to a spectacular view of Bodie's pouched privates.
Duncan checked the camera and then returned to the set, moving the gun to Bodie's right hand and pushing the soldier's shoulders back so he reclined at a slight angle, his left hand behind him in support.
"Drop your head back just a little," Ray requested as he headed back to the Blad and poked his head beneath the black cloth at its back. "No, forward--you had it right. Perfect."
His crew had been busily making sure everything else was set, soft boxes adjusted, make-up covering shiny spots, so they were nearly set to go. One more adjustment. One Ray would make himself.
He stepped forward to the set again and crouching before Bodie, he untied and loosed the laces on the soldier's boots, slipping his fingers inside the leather to separate the opening. One boot done, he stopped and reviewed his handiwork. Not quite right. Tugging the boot completely off, he stripped Bodie's sock and replaced the boot, leaving it untied. He repeated the action with the other boot--undressing and redressing his subject--leaving no doubt as to who was in control.
Bodie said nothing and from his expression it was impossible to tell what thoughts were going through his head.
Ray stepped back a final time--now they were ready.
Duncan worked the room the way a politician works a fund-raiser or a whore works a client. The music was on again and it was grinding and seductive. He barked out orders to the soldiers like an experienced drill sergeant, shifting, moving, adjusting, as the shutter snapped and film was consumed.
Bodie watched mesmerized from his front row vantage point--having been told unequivocally that whatever happened, he was not to move. It was hard to tell who was hotter, the man behind the camera or the man in its sights.
Ray switched from the Blad to a Nikon F half way through the shoot, burning 35 mm film as he moved in and out, capturing close-ups and candids, hips gyrating to the music as the flow of the shoot moved into him.
Bodie realized that his bet had been a loser from the start--he'd been had by this siren of a man who squatted and pranced and posed with as much élan as his models, maybe more. The erection was inevitable and within the confines of the pouch, it was uncomfortable as well. The discomfort flickered on Bodie's face and despite orders, he shifted trying to get purchase on a more comfortable position for his increasingly bulky genitalia. He had just finished squirming when Ray's voice sang out over the music one last time.
"That's it--we're finished. It's a wrap. Good work everyone. I think we have something really special this time."
Bodie resisted the urge to reach between his legs and either publicly masturbate or aggressively adjust himself. Instead, he unfolded his legs, leaned back on both hands and stretched--and Ray Duncan took one more shot.
The address was definitely upscale, as were the doorman and the gilt in the lobby. Bodie gave his name to the lift operator and without a question was taken up to the penthouse suite where the door opened on red velvet and black silk on floor and walls respectively.
Bodie was out of uniform--this was private business--so he had opted for black corduroys and a black turtleneck jumper with a black sports coat on top. He looked like he was made for the suite.
Ray was on the phone and he gestured for Bodie to help himself to the bar while he finished up his call.
Bodie found a nice single malt scotch and poured two fingers worth, though he just sipped at it. Victory or no, he intended to enjoy this evening and that wouldn't happen if he was drunk.
"Thanks for waiting," said Duncan, unsuccessfully masking a frown. Whatever had come from that call had not been happy news surmised Bodie.
Duncan downed two fingers of scotch and poured himself another two, gasping a moment as the fire hit his throat. "Yeah, fine. I thought we might have dinner."
"Foreplay and everything...all right, dinner would be fine."
"It's the least I can do to make up for your five thousand pound loss today."
Bodie shrugged. "It was a fair bet, fairly made and taken. Granted I don't toss away five thousand quid every day--never have done before--but I didn't have it when the day started, now did I? So what's the harm?"
Ray gestured toward to menu next to the bar. "Order what you want--no meat for me please, but anything else will do fine and get a bottle of champagne--I need a shower and to get out of these clothes. I sweat like a pig during shoots and between developing the negatives and seeing the first proofs, I haven't had time to change. I'm enough of a controller to want to do everything myself--especially with this shoot."
"You saw proofs?"
"Yeah, they're good--real good," responded Ray in answer to Bodie's unspoken question, shedding his shirt as he headed for the bedroom and bath. "Mrs. Retired Brigadier should be very pleased. I think her charity is going to make a lot of money from this."
Bodie watched as the lean strong form disappeared into the other room and then picked up the menu and quickly placed their order--steak for him, a frittata for Ray, buttered mushrooms for sides and whipped cream and strawberries for afters--plus the champagne. As he ordered, Bodie totaled the bill in his head--nearly three hundred quid and that without tip. This was a glimpse of a life he had never expected to see, and the start of an evening he intended to enjoy unreservedly.
Ray stripped off the rest of his clothes as he walked from the bedroom into the bath, leaving a trail of thousand pound jeans and designer boots in his wake. He slipped off the jock and tossed it toward the laundry bin, rubbing his cock and balls as he turned the water on in the shower.
Three years. Three long, productive years. Three years of living the high life, hanging out with the in-crowd, doing the party and club scene, fucking indiscriminately, getting paychecks for a single shoot that topped what the average working bugger made in a year. And now it was over.
Three years uncover in one of the biggest sting operations that CI5 had ever been involved with--one so far reaching that MI6 had actually worked in cooperation with CI5. One that had used the time and resources of twelve CI5 agents full time and twice as many from MI6--and those only actively involved agents, many more participated from the outside in support positions.
And now Ray was called off--the case was solved and enough evidence collected to put the moneymen behind bars for life and hopefully put full stop to a money-laundering operation that had made cocaine more profitable than the fashion business could ever hope to be. This victory was due in large part to information Ray had gained in his three-year tenure among the fashion elite, as well as the cooperative efforts of MI6 and CID. It was a sting with a capital "S."
Ray soaped off mechanically, wondering if it would be as difficult to adjust to being plain old Ray Doyle, CI5 agent 4.5, as it had been to being Ray Duncan, darling of the fashion industry, photographer extraordinaire. He suspected this transition would be just as taxing as the first, and he also knew he would miss some of the friends he had made in the business, though his entire staff was coming back with him to whatever departments they had come out of. Ruth would take over her old job as Cowley's driver and Ray himself would likely be paired off, maybe with Murphy, who was a good man, but with whom Ray had never been able to find that special chemistry that made up the best teams.
Sloughing off the soap and water, Doyle grabbed a towel and quickly dried off. He had one more night and it was one he fully intended to enjoy. Bodie's murderous expression at the photo shoot seemed to be replaced by a more circumspect perspective tonight--it wouldn't last once Bodie saw the revealing and incredibly sexy photos that had resulted from the shoot, including one that Ray intended to keep just for himself, knowing it had been meant for him alone--Bodie's last little stretching maneuver. Little did the soldier know that Ray had made a beeline for his office, put his hand down his pants and shot off at the first touch. Doyle hadn't done that since he was a randy lad.
Now Ray's cock was hardening again and he decided to forgo clothes for a toweling robe and nothing beneath it. The expensive gear was not his to keep anyway, so he might as well present himself to Bodie as near to real as he could.
Massaging his erection a minute just to enjoy the feel of it, Ray tightened the belt on the robe and headed back into the bath where he ran a quick electric razor over his jaw and cheeks and a comb through his curls--they would go too--Cowley would give him some slack, but the shoulder length mass would not pass muster.
Clean and coiffed, Ray walked back into the lounge. A tray with covered dishes sat on the dining table and Bodie was just signing for the meal. Living in a first class hotel had its privileges.
Bodie watched Ray as they ate--something was different about the man. Oh, the sexual energy was still there, it had kept Bodie at half-mast all evening, but this was not the electric man Bodie had seen at the shoot earlier that day.
They talked companionably of inconsequential things--football, films, the kind of training required of the SAS, the differences between using the 120 Blad and the 35 mm Nikon--finished half the champagne and eschewed the berries and cream.
Doyle picked up the bottle of champagne and unceremoniously drank from it. "Let's go to bed and fuck."
"The deal was for a blow job," Bodie reminded him, carefully blotting his mouth.
"I'd rather be fucked tonight."
"You're in a rare temper."
"As if you would know. I'm in my usual temper, most would say. And I would like your cock up my arse so far that your balls are dancing with mine."
Ray opened his robe and lightly stoked his erection, leaning back in the chair, eyes closed.
Bodie got up from his chair and came over to Ray's side of the table, holding out his hand. "All right then, let's go."
Doyle pushed the bottle of champagne into Bodie's outstretched hand and levered himself out of the chair, the ties to his robe trailing on the floor as he led the way into the bedroom.
"Pretty fancy," Bodie announced, seeing the satin sheets on the king-sized mattress and selection of booze on the bedroom bar.
Ray dropped the robe onto the floor and sprawled on the bed, leaning against the multitude of pillows as he slogged down more of the champagne. He was stroking his cock in earnest now, fucking himself, his few remaining inhibitions disappearing along with the champagne.
He closed his eyes, bucking his hips, and then gasping as a warm scotch-filled mouth covered his cock, the tongue sliding up and down, lips suckling.
Bodie knelt between Doyle's open thighs, fully dressed, his mouth moving up and down on Ray's erection with practiced motion. The scotch dribbled out of his mouth and down Ray's balls to his arse. Ever so slowly, Bodie pushed his finger into the bud of muscle there and massaged Ray's prostate, his tongue and lips taunting Doyle's cock.
Ray's hips jerked up and down; his fists clenched and opened. Bodie's tongue was soft and hard and demanding on his cock, his fingers were velvet inside him. The champagne buzzed his head and he felt like all his extremities were going to explode as the blood raced through his veins.
He gasped, groaned, started to scream; he was fully into the sensation. His cock pumped out its life fluid into Bodie's mouth, the erection pulsing as Ray's body shook and his hips rolled. It was exquisite--a train he could fell coming for miles and miles that suddenly entered the station, whistle blowing, under a full head of steam. The release was so complete, he was sure he was dead and he was surprised when Bodie nudged him to shift over on the bed and get beneath the sheets.
Bodie was nude now and he climbed beneath the satin and pulled Ray into his arms, appreciating the lean solid mass of the man, stroking Doyle's thighs, sucking his nipples to hard buds, touching him everywhere except that thick mass of curled hair that he longed to twist his fingers through.
Ray was getting hard again, though semi-soft was perhaps more accurate a description. He lay on his side, facing Bodie, and gave no resistance when he was summarily shifted onto his stomach.
Bodie entered him in one hard swift stroke that caused Ray to cry out in surprise, though soon both men were moving together, Bodie's balls slapping against Ray's arse, his cock moving in and out with hard, though not punishing strokes. This was not violence; this was lust and passion, barely under control, though controlled nonetheless.
Unceremoniously, Bodie pulled out of Ray's arse and turned over, lying on his back now against the black satin. His cock stood at attention, pulsing, and Bodie whispered huskily to Ray.
"Sit on me, Ray. Face me. Let me watch you. I want to fuck you and feel like I'm being fucked."
Doyle shifted to hands and knees and lowered himself onto Bodie, sliding fully into him and then rocking back and forth, feeling Bodie's cock against his spine.
"Masturbate, Ray--with me inside you so I can see. Fuck yourself."
Ray leaned back slightly on his heels and took his erection in hand. The stimulation of Bodie's cock against Doyle's prostate had made him fully hard again and he stroked himself while shifting and squirming on top of Bodie.
Bodie's fists and teeth were clenched as he fought not to come, but the sensation and pressure was too great and he felt himself pumping into Ray, his hips lifting and shoving, while he cried out expletives and felt the cold warmth of Doyle's fluid hit his chest.
Doyle eased himself off Bodie and pulled the solider into his arms, ignoring the wet between his arse and on Bodie's chest.
Bodie kissed him then--plundering Ray's lips and then settling into gentle caresses as they both eased toward sleep.
Bodie awoke sometime after three am. Ray was not in the bed, but there was a light showing under the door to the lounge. Pulling on Ray's discarded robe, Bodie padded into the other room and over to where Ray sat nude at the table. The remains of their meal had been pushed aside and Doyle sat before the proofs of the day's shoot with a partially torn-down Browning in one hand, a cleaning cloth in the other. An open container of gun oil sat on the table and some of it had run out and saturated the proofs.
"So are you going to tell me who you really are?" asked Bodie quietly.
Doyle continued to clean and reassemble the gun. "You don't want to know."
"I recognized the old bullet wounds immediately, you know," said Bodie, resting his hands on Doyle's bare shoulders. "I'd just like to know you're one of the good guys."
"That's what they tell me."
"So what's with the gun now--do you think I'm a threat?"
Doyle stopped what he was doing and leaned his head back against Bodie's stomach. "No. I don't. And I'm sorry, but I can't tell you more."
Bodie paused and then nodded. "Fair enough. If you're what I think you are, or even close, I probably don't have enough clearance to know anyway."
"No, probably not."
Reaching over Doyle's shoulder, Bodie picked up the proofs. He was surprised--the results were indeed good, even by his amateur eye, even blurred by the gun oil. "So how did you get so good at photography?"
"Part luck, part school training, part the help of someone good in the darkroom who can fix up what I bugger up. I know composition, light, reflection--from art classes. Most of the rest of it is mechanical and working with the right people. And experience." He took the proof back from Bodie. "I won't use these last ones of you, you know."
"So the calendar is real?"
"Oh yeah. It's real. One last triumph for Ray Duncan before he's tragically killed in a private plane crash."
"And then you disappear?"
"For a while, yeah, I disappear. Paint my hair red, whatever."
"So tonight is it then--for Ray Duncan. And for us."
"Well in that case, if you don't mind, I'd rather spend it on your two thousand pound sheets, fucking your balls off."
"Just one thing," asked Bodie as they headed back into the bedroom, "will you get to keep the curls?"
Ray Doyle waited impatiently in Cowley's office, pacing as Cowley finished his phone call.
"Well," Doyle demanded as Cowley hung up the receiver.
"You do realize what favors I have to call in for this," Cowley reminded him sourly. "This is a delicate matter of negotiation, not some prom date I'm arranging. Now sit or leave, but stop that infernal pacing. I will be back in a moment and we will see if we can get this settled."
Doyle slouched into one of the two chairs in front of Cowley's desk, fingers rat-a-tat-tatting on the armrest.
He felt like a bloody shit. The elite forces pin-up calendar had come out and Bodie had been summarily discharged for dishonoring his uniform and the SAS, though how boots qualified as a uniform, Ray wasn't sure. And never mind that Mrs. Retired Brigadier was the toast of the town for her coup in getting the late Ray Duncan's last work and that the calendar was selling like hot cakes and filling the charity coffers at record rates. Bodie was still dismissed. Doyle felt absolutely responsible for the entire mess and once he had heard, he had charged into Cowley's office, demanding justice.
Cowley was less than awed and although he had promised to try to do something, now a week later, Ray couldn't tell that a damn thing had happened. The wheels move slowly, Cowley had insisted, but Ray was persistent and he intended not to leave the controller's office until this was resolved.
The door snicked open and Ray looked up expectantly, his eyes widening at the site of Bodie standing there, Cowley behind him.
"Hello, sunshine. Mr. Cowley here has recruited me. Looks like we're going to be partners."
Bodie stepped into the room and Cowley followed. It had taken more effort than it should have to clear up this mess, but it was done and by God, those two men had better prove themselves the top team he thought they could be.
Bodie was stretched out on top of Ray, his cock lax in Ray's arse, his fingers entwined in Doyle's hands, tightening and loosening, his face buried in Doyle's curls. Fantasy fuck. Fantasy life. Out of the SAS, into something that had a real purpose, in bed with a man who kept his cock hard and his back safe.
He braced himself on his knees. "Just one thing I wanted to ask you, Ray."
"Hmm," replied Doyle sleepily.
"How'd you know I was gay?"
"Ray?" Bodie bit Doyle's ear lobe. "How'd you know I was gay?"
Doyle squeaked and bucked. "Bloody hell. Didn't have to do that to my ear, I heard you the first time. I didn't know you were gay. Took a chance."
Doyle's mouth opened and then closed and then a wicked grin spread across his face. "I had a few fantasies of my own, Bodie. Was worth the risk."
Bodie glanced up at the camouflage pouch hung on the wall of Doyle's bedroom like a trophy. He chuckled and pushed his face back into Doyle's curls, correctly suspecting that this man was far more dangerous and would be far more exciting than any mission the SAS had ever imposed on him--including that of being minder to an incredibly sensual undercover agent masquerading as a world class fashion photographer.
-- THE END –
Originally published in No Holds Barred 23, Kathleen Resch, 2001