Four Days in August


(Or: Snapshots from Two Gay Rats on Honeymoon)

Banner by Agent Xpndble for summer_of_78

Written for the summer_of_78 livejournal fic exchange to KWS's request.

"Bloody hell!" Bodie said. "This is worse than German cinema."

When Doyle didn't respond, Bodie punched the pillow beside him and settled back to watch the ceiling fade from deep charcoal to a steely, industrial grey. It was almost dawn, he told himself. His lot would improve soon. Why, in only thirty minutes, there'd be enough light seeping through the curtains for him to count all two hundred and eighty six of the bedspread's embroidered primroses. Again.

Bodie relaxed his fists with conscious effort and pressed his hands flat against the bed. In the process, his fingers brushed one of the roses. He plucked at it. Why wait? He could start now and count them in Braille. He hadn't tried that yet.



He moved his hand to find the next and stopped. That bit of stem there felt like one of the smaller scars over Doyle's heart. Sod that. If he was going to go groping about in the dark with that battered and scruffy chest on his mind, he'd rather touch the real thing, thank you very much.

So, he'd kill time until dawn, and roughly four hours after that their shift would end. And then, maybe--just possibly--Cowley would come to his senses, declare this obbo a lost cause, and let them start their holiday early.


Then pigs would sprout wings. Chickens would start popping their eggs out with two bangers and a slice of marmaladed toast, and Raymond Doyle--CI5's very own breakfast oracle--would serve them up on a plate without a single dire pronouncement. Or, if that was too much to hope for, Bodie would settle for a decent pillow instead.

He prodded the beribboned monstrosity once more, then flung it to the floor, and sighed loudly.

Doyle ignored him. He'd been doing a lot of that this shift, though Bodie was certain he wasn't being any more annoying than he usually was on a stakeout that had dragged on for far too long.

Bodie rolled over and peered at the dark, hunched form of his partner. Doyle was perched at the window, watching their target, the home of Mr Charles Waltham, accountant, suspected terrorist fund-raiser, and--Bodie was convinced--the dullest man in the English-speaking world. Seven days ago, Waltham had simply been the dullest bloke in London, but a lot could not happen in a week. He was now Bodie's favourite for the world title.

He tried again.

"Torture, Ray, that's what this is. Cruel and unusual torture. I've half a mind to--"

"Trust you to brag about it," Doyle muttered.


Bodie hid his triumph behind a distracted yawn. "Hmm?" he said. "What's that?"

"You've half a mind all right, but only you would brag about it."

"That's my exquisite manners," Bodie said. "Not that I'd expect a rag mop like yourself to notice, but a gentleman doesn't go about giving people complexes. And that's what I'd be doing, if I let it be known that I was butch, beautiful--"

Doyle made a rude noise.

"--and bloody brilliant, as well."

"Better pinch yourself, Bodie. You're still dreaming."

"Hardly. I don't know about you, but my dreams are never this dull."

"Not ever?"

"Not the ones with you in 'em. Those are lots of things, but not--" Doyle chuckled one of his particularly dirty laughs, and Bodie closed his eyes to savour it. "--dull."

"Rag mops give you a thrill then, do they?"

"They might."

"Hmm." Doyle paused, and then added, like an afterthought, "Try to get some kip anyway."

"I told you, I can't. I'm too bored."

"Have you tried closing your eyes?"

Bodie opened his eyes just to make a face at Doyle's back. "Oh, now that, that's brilliant. 'Close my eyes'--why didn't I think of that?"

"Half a mind," Doyle reminded him.

"Oh, ta. When I ring the UN to report this, I'll put in a few words about you as well."

"Yeah, that'll teach me." Doyle sniggered. "Shan't interfere with your inalienable right to whinge on after that, shall I?"

Bodie propped his head on his hands. "I wish you'd interfere with something else."

"How 'bout counting sheep?"

"You want to try it on with sheep?" Bodie poured shocked outrage into his voice. "I thought--"

Something flew at his head, but he caught it just before impact. It was the top to their thermos.

"Count them, you maniac! Whatever else you want to do with 'em is your business."

"Thermos lids?" Bodie asked, then dove off the bed to avoid more missiles--only to bang his elbow on the way down. "Ow!"

He cradled it. Christ, why did minor dings smart so damn much?

"Stupid place to put a table," he grumped.

"I know," Doyle said. "What were they thinking? Putting a bedside table beside the bed like that?"

Bodie grabbed the pillow he'd thrown earlier and chucked it at him.

Doyle laughed. "You know that full moon tonight?"


"It's brought out the nutter in you."

"That's not what I wanted in me," Bodie grumbled.


"No. I was hoping that it would make you even hairier, that you'd turn into a wild, rampaging beast--can't remember the last time you were like that. Been at least a month, hasn't it? You're overdue to pin me to the mattress and pound me straight through to the floor."

And then, maybe Bodie would just conk out and not wake up until the after the bloody op was over.



"You're on the floor now."

"Am I?" Bodie sprawled out. "Well... I've made it easier for you, haven't I?

"Tch. It's got to be the moon," Doyle muttered.

"Want to ravage me?"

"Not on the job."

"There's nothing like a quick, post-coital nap to bring one back to peak working-efficiency."

"When were you ever quick?"


"Not on the job, Bodie."

Bodie laughed. "I thought complaining was your job!"

Doyle's silence was an eloquent reply.

Bodie smiled and scratched himself. It was all for the best—he wasn't certain he could get it up. Even his cock felt listless, though he felt better than he had ten minutes ago. And what if he could? A place like this was hardly ideal. It would be just his luck to get some lace-encrusted knick-knack stuck somewhere private. And how would Cowley react to that?

That's something else we'll have to indent for, ma'am. One lace gewgaw. Bodie here's a lusty lad.

Not bloody likely.

He stretched and shifted, trying to find a comfortable position. It was no use. He rolled into a crouch, and then knelt while he considered his options.

It was light enough now to see the curl in Doyle's hair and the line of his back framed by his holster's straps. Doyle's shoulders seemed tenser than they ought to be. Something was weighing on him, something he'd kept out of his voice. Something he'd kept from Bodie...

"It doesn't help that you've been so quiet tonight," he said.

"Nice." Doyle's voice was sharp. "Ask for me at the chemist's, do you? Ray Doyle: The Natural Sedative. Chat him up for a regular dose or take him to bed for extra relief."

The sarky bastard could take anything the wrong way--would take it that way, on purpose.

"Yeah," Bodie said. "Queer, isn't it? How I love the sound of your voice even when I want to snap your bloody neck?"

Muscle memory made his hands twitch, and his mind painted Doyle's face on the last body he'd done that to. He scrubbed his hands on his thighs.

"Want to do that now?" Doyle asked. His voice was as mild and even as the ticking of a clock--or a time bomb.

Bodie eyed him warily.

"It'll never happen."

Doyle turned from the window for the first time in hours. For a moment which felt much longer than it could have possibly been, he looked at Bodie. Then he returned his attention to the house across the street.

"I had a call from my aunt yesterday," Doyle told him.

His aunt. So they weren't going to talk about what was really on his mind. Well, Bodie knew when to play along. "She's not still trying to talk you into that wedding?" Bodie heaved himself up to sit on the bed. "Thought you told her no."

For some reason, Doyle's aunt had got it into her head that Doyle's presence would bestow some last-minute maturity upon her soon-to-be-married son. She didn't know him very well.

"It was a distraught call. There isn't going to be a wedding."

"Terry's in gaol."

"Oh, come on, Bodie. He's not that bad."

"The girl finally got her period, and there's no need to rush down the aisle?"

"It was never like that!"

"But knowing Terrence--"

"Knowing him," Doyle said, "there's a girl up the duff somewhere."

"She found out."

"Our boy--"

"'Ours'? I don't want him."

"--was very indiscreet, and they say a woman always knows."

"But look who 'they' is."


"Birds," Bodie explained. "Birds say women always know."


"Sounds like a conspiracy, doesn't it?"

"Sounds like you're due a chat with our Kate."

"She's probably the bird who started it," Bodie said. "But why call you?"

"Dr Ross?"

"Crikey! Can't you follow a conversation and watch grass grow at the same time?" Bodie stood up. "Come on, old son. If it's so distracting, have a lie down. I'll take a turn."

"Get your own chair," Doyle said. "I'm not moving."

Bodie frowned at him.

"No," Doyle said. "That bed gives me an itch."

They'd pinched Doyle's chair from the dining room. The only other one was a pink-brocade rocking chair with an alarming tendency to tip unexpectedly. Bodie had no real desire to take his turn, so he sat on the floor next to Doyle and wedged his back against the wall.

"So? Why did Aunty call you?"

"Well... I have more time to be a proper role-model now, haven't I?"

"Don't know why you'd bother, that boy's hardly worthy of the fine Doyle name."

"He's not a Doyle."

"Oy!" Bodie scanned the room. "You hear that?"

Doyle cocked his head. "No. What did you--?"

"All the Doyles in Derby just breathed a huge sigh of relief."

Bodie jumped as the toe of Doyle's boot came dangerously close to his delicate bits.

"Oh, that?" Doyle asked. "Didn't you know? It happens every time they discover another reason to be glad they're not Liverpudlians."

Bodie grinned at him.

"Well? What did she want?"

"To complain, far as I could tell."

"Ah, now, she's a Doyle."

"Shut up, Bodie."

Bodie chuckled.

"The groom's family doesn't pay for much," Doyle explained. "And she's going to get most of it back, but she's bitter about the honeymoon. Terry's bird wanted the beach, so he talked his mum into hiring this self-catered love nest--"

Bodie laughed out loud. "What's that? Bog with a lock on the door and a pile of dirty magazines?" "Yeah. They could have stayed at your place, saved a bundle."

They shared a grin together.

"She's well rid of him," Bodie said.

"You’ve never met her."

"I haven't met either of 'em. That doesn't change things, though. It's her honeymoon, and she's supposed to spend it cooking for him?"

"And doing his washing, I expect."

"Christ, there's little enough romance in life."

Doyle stared at him.

"What?" Bodie said.

"Nothing. Anyroad, cottage at the shore, over the holiday..."

"Your aunt paid a hefty deposit and can't get it back at such late notice."


"She should take it out of Terry's hide."

"Wouldn't get more than two quid for it. But I was thinking..."

From the way Doyle paused, this must be what he'd been working on all night.

"We'll probably never have a honeymoon," Doyle said.

Bodie's heart tripped.

"You... have to propose to me first, petal." He laughed. Doyle was too kind--no, too absorbed--to take notice of its feebleness.

"I mean," Doyle said, "it's been this long, so I doubt I'll ever get 'round to being married now. And you..."

Don't want what I can't have.

"I'm married to me job," Bodie said.

"Right." Doyle shifted, suddenly sitting taller and straighter. "So we should have one. Take Terry's, just because we can."

Bodie didn't say anything. He couldn't say anything.

"You didn't make any pressing plans for our time off."

"If we get it." If Cowley was interested enough in Waltham, he'd cancel their holiday. All this would be a moot point.

"We'll get it," Doyle said confidently.

"I don't know."

"Well... if you're not interested--" "No, I'm interested. I'm..."

"Come on, you and me in Hampshire. Plenty to do--whatever we want--and a nice big bed at night."

Bodie swallowed.

"It'll be dear," Doyle continued, "but not too bad. I'll give my aunt the money for the cottage. You can buy the food, and we'll share the petrol?"

A honeymoon...

"Why not?" Bodie said.

Doyle grinned. "Yeah, why not?"

Doyle reached for Bodie's hand, and it was dawn.

Twenty four hours later, Doyle was in one of the innermost circles of hell.

Technically, they were still in the flat overlooking the Waltham residence, but the transformation that could be wrought with even the most pedestrian instruments of torture was amazing. In this case, the implement in question was the small transistor radio that Lucas and McCabe had left on the bedside table. It had been bad enough when Bodie had fiddled with the dial every time it was his turn away from the window. But it had become infinitely worse when he'd fallen asleep with it tuned in to a pop music station. And while Doyle wasn't worried about turning as gay as a cageful of rats, he was pretty sure that Cowley would have his ID for shooting either the radio or his partner.

I'm sorry, Sir, but they were playing "Every Breath You Take" again was unlikely to pacify the old man.

A good partner would let Bodie sleep. He needed it; prolonged inactivity like this threw his system into turmoil. Doyle suffered through Kajagoogoo and Spandau Ballet, and then sighed gratefully when they broke for a series of adverts. He imagined how Bodie could make this up to him. Bodie, as he'd been yesterday, sitting at his feet--

No. Doyle would make him kneel.

While Phil Collins sang about love being a game of give and take, he pictured Bodie licking his lips and waiting for Doyle to undo his flies.

Doyle would take his time. He'd watch the excitement grow in Bodie's eyes until it danced through both of them, a wild, throbbing thing. Then he'd lock his hands in that silky hair and thrust into that hot mouth, and Bodie, his tough man, the bloke who no one would expect to take it, would eat him up and swallow him whole.

Doyle's cock surged, and he cursed himself.

Not on the job. He knew better.

On the radio, a woman began to sing. Out on the wily and windy moors, we'd roll and fall in green--

Right, Bodie had slept enough.


You had a temper like my jealousy-- "Bodie, switch it off."

Too hot, too greedy--

Bodie groaned.

"Come on, Bodie, switch that noise off."

How could you leave me, when I needed to possess you?

Bodie muttered something incomprehensible, and then seemed to listen for a moment.

I hated you. I loved you, too.

"Hey, that's that bird," he said.

"Switch it--"

"That, uh, bird-in-the-bush bird--"

"Kate Bush," Doyle told him.

"Yeah, her."

The radio clicked off, the bed creaked, and Doyle listened to Bodie yawn.

"Where's your sense of nostalgia, Ray? Your sentimental spirit? 'Noise'? That was a flashback to the summer of '78."

How did Bodie do that? What sort of training enabled a man to go from a dead sleep to daft prattle in under sixty seconds?

"Just think of it," Bodie continued, "the golden days, back before I ever laid a hand on you."

Years from now, would Bodie admit that he'd never been a mercenary in Africa? Would he tell Doyle all about being an emcee from some tacky dance hall who'd needed a good story to impress his SAS pals?

Bodie misread his silence.

"Aww, mate, I swear. My eyes adored you, though I never--"

Doyle snorted.

"Forget your hankie?" Bodie asked.

Doyle shot him a speaking glance.

"All right," Bodie conceded. "I may have laid a hand on you, but--"

"'A hand'?"

"Or two. Just once or twice, mind."

"Well... as long as you admit it," Doyle said.

Bodie joined him at the window and stood with one arm propped against the wall.

"Okay, okay. My hands were all over you, but it was before--well before--I got my hands on your best bits." "Summer of '78?" Doyle said.

"That's right."

"Five years ago."

Bodie pat his shoulder. "Keep doing tricky sums like that, son, and you too can enjoy a rewarding career in chartered accountancy."

"I only wish it were so, but I'm under doctor's orders--"

Bodie's grip tightened on his shoulder.

"It's me ticker, you see, it can't take the excitement."

"Of arithmetic?" Bodie said. He sounded strained.

Doyle glanced up. He looked it, too, the poor git. Doyle shifted the binoculars from his left hand to his right, then raised his hand and rested it on top of Bodie's. He didn't like to be reminded of the damage to Doyle's heart.

Bodie squeezed his shoulder, and then let his grip ease.

"Maths," Doyle said. "Sets me all aflutter, it does."

"You sad bastard."

Doyle lowered his hand, and rubbed his cheek against Bodie's hand instead.

"Ouch," Bodie said, even as he stroked Doyle's jaw in return. "I take that back, you're a bloody cheese-grater."

"Sour grapes," Doyle scoffed. "Thought you were the reason my heart's always racing, didn't you?"

"I know it."

In silence, they watched the milk float rattle by. The milkman was the same person he'd been all week.

"So," Doyle said. "The summer of '78."

"Are we back to that?"

"You hadn't got your hands on my best bits?"

"That's right--"

"And my bum isn't one of the best bits?"

"Ah, now--"

"If they'd ever had a reason to dust my bum back then, your prints would have been all over it!"

"Nah." Bodie dropped to a squat and tried to tuck his hand between Doyle's arse and the chair. "Can't get prints off of denim, can they?"

"Oy!" Doyle squirmed in his seat. "Hands off the best bits, we're working."

Bodie slapped his flank.

"Oh, you've got a great arse, Ray, no doubt about it. Gives a whole new meaning to people saying they can't wait to see the back of you, but you keep your best bits tucked in the other side of your pants."

Doyle caught Bodie's wrist before he could grab what he was reaching for.

"I don't need a demonstration, I can find them my--" There was movement outside. "Hey, look." He tugged at Bodie's hand and pointed. "Early, aren't they?"

While Bodie untangled himself and got into a better position, Doyle peered through the binoculars.

Waltham's wife, Penelope, always followed him out to the doorstep and kissed him before he left to catch his bus. But they were forty minutes ahead of schedule, and she was dressed for going out instead of her usual modest house dress.

"There's Penny," Bodie said.

Doyle gave him the binoculars and called this in on the R/T. Out at the mouth of the cul-de-sac, Benny would be waiting to tail Waltham to work, but he wouldn't be expecting him now.

"Christ!" Bodie said.


Bodie passed the binoculars to him. "Look at her," he said. His voice was rough.

Mrs Waltham was a tall, pleasingly-plump woman in her mid-forties. If she'd been single and ten years younger, Doyle wouldn't have been able to resist trying to pull her. He wasn't a fool, though. He understood his attraction to her. Hell, even Bodie understood it. With fair skin and wavy black hair, she resembled his partner.

On the second day of this assignment, Bodie had confided to him that Penny Waltham looked like what he imagined his mother might have, had she lived so long. He had a soft spot for her. And right now, she looked drawn as tight as the head of drum. Her lips barely brushed Waltham's cheek, but her hand was tightly wrapped around his lapel and trembling.

"They say a woman always knows," Bodie said.

"It's going to happen today."

Bodie radioed Benny. "Heads up, he's on his way."

Penelope watched her husband until he turned the corner, and then disappeared into the house without shutting the door.


"Yeah, I know." Bodie was pulling on his jacket.

"Is she scared because he's been acting oddly--?"

"Or is she in on it?"

"None of our information implicates her," Doyle said. "Maybe they've been fighting."

"Wish we had bugs on more than just their phones."

"Where do you suppose she's planning to go?"

"Don't know, but Benny can't tail both of them." Bodie grabbed his R/T. "Call it in for me?"

They expected the transaction to take place at the house or very close by it. Bodie didn't need to--

Penelope locked the door behind her and headed up the street. Doyle stood and craned his neck to watch Bodie's entrance onto the street.

He thumbed the R/T on. "4.5 to Alpha--"

Cowley's voice immediately crackled back at him.

"Ah, 4.5, I was just about to give you the good news. This operation has been successfully concluded."


Bodie had just gone around the corner and out of Doyle's sight.

"Waltham has no ties with our terrorists. His superior has been arrested."

Then what...

"Are you certain, Sir?"

"Of course, I'm--"

Bodie's voice broke through.

"3.7. 4.5, call an ambulance!"

God, Bodie!

When Doyle found Bodie, he was kneeling on the kerb, pressing his jacket to Penelope Waltham's femoral artery, and whispering, "Hold on, Penny. Hold on, damn you."

Bodie gave him a partial plate number and described a late model brown saloon. Between dealing with ambulance men and the Met, poring over early transcripts from the wiretap on Waltham's office and reports from the other half of the surveillance team, it was hours before everything was unravelled and they were cleared for their holiday.

Waltham had inadvertently led them on a merry chase, and they'd wasted countless hours on simple police business, but his wife had a chance of recovery because Bodie had been on the scene seconds after she'd been hit by the car. Waltham would have a long time to regret his bad timing. Hiring someone to kill your wife while CI5 was monitoring suspicious activity at your place of employment was quite unfortunate.

When their reports were finished, Bodie looked awful. Doyle wanted to take him out for a drink and then bring him home to bed. Bodie begged off.

Doyle shook his head. The last thing he wanted was for Bodie to be alone in his own flat tonight.

"Come on, mate, I've never seen a man who looked more in need of a holiday than you do."

"It's not just a holiday, is it? It's something special."

"For God's sake, Bodie--"

"Isn't it?" Of course it was. Doyle knew better than to use a word like "honeymoon" lightly with Bodie. He agreed to let Bodie run whatever secret errands he wished, as long as they got an early start on their holiday in the morning.

The door buzzer woke him late that evening. Doyle pressed the release, welcomed Bodie into his arms, and dragged him off to bed without delay--except for a kiss and brief pause to pour a large Scotch. They shared the glass as best they could while wrapped in each other's arms and fell asleep before the empty tumbler rolled off the mattress and onto the floor.

When Bodie cracked his eyes open the next morning, his vision was filled with Doyle smirking like a prat. He crawled over Bodie and planted himself squarely on top of his thighs. It should have been criminal, the way the naff bastard warmed his heart. But Bodie just smiled sleepily up at him and swatted at the fingers that were tickling his belly.

"Here," Doyle said as he pushed the hem of Bodie's shirt up another inch. "You never did get properly undressed last night."

"You'll have to take it up with my--oy!" He convulsed as Doyle dipped a finger into his navel. "Fresh, aren't you?" he said once he had a hand protecting his ticklish spots.

It should have been impossible, but Doyle's smirk grew even broader, and he started in on Bodie's flies.

"Tsk. And these trousers," Doyle said, "they're terribly wrinkled."

Bodie wasn't quite in the mood for this yet. He still felt gritty and bone-tired, but it was good to watch Doyle when he was obviously feeling silly and randy. And those long fingers trailing over his cotton-covered cock weren't at all unpleasant...

He reached out, snagged Doyle's hips, and tugged him closer. Doyle's arse wriggled delightfully as he settled his weight over Bodie's cock.

He slipped his fingers under the elastic waistband of Doyle's pyjama bottoms. "I'll be firing my valet," Bodie told him.

"That's, uh--" Doyle bucked against him. "--rather harsh, isn't it? For his first offence? Couldn't you just, uh, take him firmly in hand?"

That's exactly what Bodie did. It was a great deal of fun, and had the added advantage of leaving Doyle too shagged out to fight for the first turn at the shower.

He took his time in the shower. It had been nearly thirty six hours since his last one, which was entirely too long, especially for summer. He adjusted the showerhead and let the spray work on the muscles in his back while he petted his cock. He didn't want to come, though. He had a whole dirty weekend for that.

Weekend? No, he had an entire week alone with Doyle. He felt a rush of excitement at that and tried to suppress it. He wouldn't read too much into Doyle calling it a honeymoon. But they hadn't gone off for more than a weekend together since they began screwing around with each other--at least not without having birds along as well. Just for that, it was something special.

Bodie's bags were in the car. So, after his shower, he padded back into the bedroom to find whatever clothes he'd last left in Doyle's cupboard.

He threw his damp towel at Doyle. "Here, you messy bugger."

Doyle opened one eye to glare at him, but then sat up to watch him dress.

"Nice show," Doyle said. "But leave that last button undone."

Bodie buttoned his shirt all of the way up, then leered theatrically at Doyle, and slowly unfastened the top button. Doyle catcalled appreciatively.

Bodie bowed. "For my encore," he said, "I shall be cleaning out your 'fridge. So if you have your heart set on any particular leftovers--"

"Did you leave me any hot water?"

"A bit."

Doyle wiped at his belly with the towel, and then stood up. "Have whatever you fancy, but avoid the curry. It's gone off."


Doyle grinned.

After a moment, Bodie chased him into the bathroom.

"And if I hadn't left you any water?"

Doyle laughed. "It's probably not that dodgy. You'd have survived!"

"You cheeky devil." Bodie smacked his arse as he hopped into the shower.

Doyle continued to laugh, and Bodie grinned before leaving to forage for breakfast.

Together, they prepared Doyle's flat for a week's vacancy.

Before they were quite done, Bodie left to fetch the car. He said that he'd had to park it halfway down the street. Doyle shooed him out, promising that he'd be down in a few minutes. He did one last check. His plants were watered. The windows were secure. He hadn't forgotten his toothbrush. He had his gun and ID, though he shouldn't need them.

He grabbed the last two bags that Bodie hadn't taken, set the locks, and hurried downstairs and out of the building--where he promptly dropped his bags and stared.

"Bodie?" His voice nearly cracked. "What's this?"

"Well, it's a car, isn't it?"

A car? Hardly.

Doyle brushed past him and stroked the curve of its bonnet. This wasn't a car, this was a midnight-blue Jaguar E-type convertible—a later model than his Jag had been, but still a classic.

"Yeah, well," Doyle said, remembering another day entirely. "I suppose that's what it is, yeah."

Doyle traced the line of chrome circling one headlight, and then looked up at his partner. Bodie's expression was a mixture of smug git and excited three-year-old. Sometimes, it was hard to believe he was out of short trousers, let alone that he had years of military service under his belt.

Doyle smoothed his hand over the bonnet again as he watched Bodie. "You said you were going to fetch the car, so this must be one."

"Eh." Bodie made a show out of a simple shrug. "Decided to save my own the wear-and-tear, didn't I? Went 'round to the local pensioners' home and nicked this from somebody's gran."

"And when will the bobbies be showing up to interrupt our holiday?"

"Ah, give me credit, Ray." Bodie picked up Doyle's bags and brought them to the boot. "I'm a better criminal than that."

"Funny, that's not how I remember it. Seems to me you're rather clumsy at B&E."

"Didn't have to break into the car park, did I?"

"Ah," Doyle said. "Lucky it wasn't in a garage, then. You'd have been caught at it, beaten with a handbag."

"Har, har."

Doyle smiled at him.

"It would never happen that way," Bodie said. "I haven't got a silver tongue for nothing. I'd talk my way out of it."

"Silver, eh?"

Doyle glanced at the open boot and then back towards his flat.

"What?" Bodie said.

"Think I forgot something."

"Well, go on then. We've miles to go before we sleep."

"Come with me."

Bodie gave him a funny look. Doyle shut the boot for him and made sure they bumped hips while he was at it.

"Come inside, just for a moment."

Bodie shook his head, but followed him through the gate and into the block of flats. In the stairwell, Doyle quickly looked round, then shoved Bodie against the door and kissed him hard and fast.

"Romantic bastard," he growled and licked Bodie's bottom lip.


Doyle kissed him again just to wipe the grin off his face, and then eased away.

"All right, give 'em here."


"The keys, Bodie." Doyle patted at Bodie's hip pockets. "I know a bribe when I see one. You got me that beauty outside so you wouldn't have to drive in the holiday traffic." "That's very wound--"

The rest of Bodie's words were swallowed as Doyle slid his hand into Bodie's trouser pocket and wiggled his fingers. Bodie's heavy breaths tickled his ear, so Doyle rubbed it against Bodie's cheek. Bodie's hands flexed on his hips.

"The keys," Bodie said after a long moment. "They're in my jacket pocket."

"I know that," Doyle whispered. He wouldn't have been much of a copper if he couldn't figure that out. He dug his fingers in further, letting them touch that lovely cock they hadn't had enough of this morning.

"Ray," Bodie panted.

"All right," he said soothingly. "All right, we can't stay here forever."

He withdrew his fingers, and Bodie pressed the keys into his hand. He let Bodie open the door and followed him out.

"You're wearing your gun," he observed in a tone low enough that only Bodie would hear.

Bodie stopped in his tracks. "You just frisked me!"

"No, I--"

"Oh, no, admit it. You just frisked me." Bodie started to laugh like a loon. "Christ! Is that how they teach coppers to do it?" he got out between gasps. "Where do I sign up?"

Doyle tackled the balmy git and half-dragged, half-shoved him to the car.

Doyle was feeling mellow when they pulled up to the gatehouse at the entrance to the old estate where their "love nest" was located. The drive hadn't been half bad. Bodie had kept his hands off of the radio tuner, seemingly content to pat Doyle's thigh occasionally when he wasn't working his way through a packet of Jaffa Cakes. The chocolate had been warm, and out of the corner of his eye, Doyle had seen some truly inspiring tongue action.

The Jaguar had exceeded his greatest expectations. It had none of the little performance quirks that his had had, proving that it was true what they said about the early E-types being a touch lemony. And while they were an hour later than he'd thought they'd be, the traffic hadn't been nearly as awful as it could have been.

Signing in and getting their key might be a bit awkward, but between the two of them there was no one in Hampshire they couldn't charm the socks--if not the pants--off of.

He clapped his hand on Bodie's knee and gave it a little shake. "Come on, Handsome, time to stretch your legs a little."

Bodie jerked his chin towards the gatehouse. "Hide in plain sight?" he said.

Doyle pulled the key from the ignition and opened his door.

"That's best, isn't it? I'm not going to hide a great lad like you in my pocket all week."

"Not in those jeans," Bodie agreed.

Inside, there was a girl watching an old television behind a counter, a rack full of maps and pamphlets, a small blue parakeet in an ornate cage, and more doilies than there'd been in both of Doyle's grandparents' houses put together. The girl's eyes went directly from the telly to Bodie, but she didn't move.

"Hallo," Doyle said. "I'm Ray Doyle. My aunt rang, told you were coming?"

She glanced at him briefly, then went right back to staring at Bodie.

"Hello?" Doyle said. "My aunt did ring you? A Mrs Carter from Derby?"

"Oh, not me," the girl said. She stood and walked over to plant her elbows on the counter. "Maybe my mum?"

Her gaze dropped, and Doyle bristled. She couldn't be more than fifteen and here she was checking out Bodie's crotch? Bodie stepped closer to the counter. That was good, block her view.

"Is your mum in then, love?" Bodie asked.

"She's just gone to put the kettle on."

"Is that the guest register?" Doyle tugged the book out from under her elbows. "I'll just start filling it in, shall I?"

"Mum!" the girl hollered.

"Don't yell, Jane," a woman's voice admonished. "How many times must I tell you? It's unseemly."

Jane rolled her eyes and smiled at Bodie.

"There's two gentlemen, Mum!" she called in a more moderate voice, before hollering again. "'s that seemly enough?"

Jane's mother might not approve of yelling, but she could broadcast an exasperated sigh quite clearly. "I'll be there in a tick."

Bodie leaned over the counter to nick a pen. "Here," he said, brandishing it and batting his lashes at Doyle. "Let me do it, won't you? I'd hate for you to strain your wrist."

Doyle smiled at him. It was their standard bit of double-think, play the poof so outrageously that the people who needed to be fooled were. They couldn't possibly be what they acted like, could they? They were aided in this by the fact that they'd played this game long before they'd had anything to hide simply because it was fun--and it didn't hurt that his partner was a total nutter.

"Don't worry, duck," he told Bodie now. "I've very strong wrists."

"But you can never be too careful."

"Oh, all right." Doyle pushed the book his way. "Make sure you spell my name right this time, will you?"

Bodie smiled at Jane and tapped Doyle's hand. "He's half Welsh, you know, they're ever so tricky to do properly."

Jane watched avidly as he wrote. Doyle was unsurprised to see that they were Doyle and Bentley who resided, apparently, at the pub nearest CI5's headquarters.

Jane's mother came out from the back, took in the both of them, and frowned. "I'm sorry, there must be a mistake, our cottages are--"

"No mistake," Doyle said. "I'm Ray Doyle, and this is my colleague, David--"

"Colleague?" she said.

"Yes. My aunt rang you, day before last? Told you we'd be coming?" "Oh, uh... Mrs Carter? All the problems with the wedding, wasn't it?"

"That's right."

"Well, she never said anything about your... colleague."

His aunt only knew that Doyle was bringing a friend along. If she'd assumed his friend was a woman, well... that was exactly what Doyle had meant for her to assume.

"Can you blame her?" Bodie said. "After all the bother she's had, the poor dear's quite distracted. Needs a holiday herself."

"Aye, don't we all? But... I don't think the cottage will suit you. It's a bit cosy... meant for couples, you see?"

"It sounds perfect, doesn't it, Ray?"



"We're secretaries," Doyle said.


"Ooo," Bodie said then, perking up and heading towards the corner as if he'd just noticed the bird cage. "I do like your parrot."

Doyle fought the urge to laugh. He almost choked when Jane's mother promptly repeated, "Parrot?"

"He's a budgie," Jane informed him. "His name's Hector, Hector Budgerigar."

Doyle bit his lip, and Bodie doffed an imaginary hat towards the cage.

"I beg your pardon, Hector," Bodie said. He winked at the girl. "I've never been good at bird identification."

Doyle did choke then, and started to cough. Bodie gave him a handkerchief and rubbed his back while Doyle wiped his eyes.

"Oh, sorry," Doyle told the woman when he could speak again. "Yes, we are--secretaries, that is."

"Personal secretaries," Bodie said.

"For a lady novelist."

"She's getting up in years," Bodie chimed in again. "Can't research new locations first-hand like she used to."

"So we're always on the look-out for romantic hideaways for her to set her next bestseller in."

"Oh, really? I wonder if I've read anything of hers?"

"You must have," Bodie said. "Our Betty's quite prolific."

This broke the ice. She read lots of novels and was eager to learn all she could about their employer. They told her that their contracts forbade them from revealing Betty's pen name, but perhaps she'd read the one about the earl's sister who escaped from an arranged marriage to an evil madman by disguising herself as a cabin boy and shipping out with the twin pirate captains? She hadn't. They spun her more tales while she got them signed-in properly and loaded them with maps, booklets, and recommendations on area attractions. They looked like strong lads, so they mustn't hesitate to borrow pushbikes for a day trip, but they shouldn't go tomorrow because they'd miss the village carnival, and while they were there, they should try the fishmonger's crabs or they'd long regret it.

"Don't leave it till the last day!" she instructed as they left.

Once the gatehouse door closed behind them, they both took deep breaths and sighed in appreciation of the silence. It was time to retire that cover story.

"Oh dear oh lord," Bodie said quietly. Doyle couldn't have put it better himself.

The cottage was at the end of a long private drive and wasn't at all what Bodie had expected. It was a renovated boathouse, but there wasn't a drop of water in sight.

They parked the car on a gravelled spot bordered on two sides by a garden wall that appeared to be solid ivy--except for where it was interrupted by a gate. On the third side was the brick wall of the boathouse. Bodie glanced at Doyle, and Doyle nodded. They got out, and Bodie peered through the ground floor window while Doyle unlocked the gate. It was dark inside, and all he could see was a large lawn mower.

Doyle climbed the exterior stairs to the landing and the flat's entrance. Bodie circled the building. The roof sloped sharply. On the side with the steepest slope, there was a large dormer window flanked by two smaller ones. The other slope had tiny windows that reflected nothing but sky.

There was only one entrance to the ground floor, and it was tightly secured. There was a ridiculous amount of ivy and shrubberies, but as they were on holiday, he'd allow that perhaps the cover they provided was useful. It partially screened the windows, yet as overgrown as it was, none of the greenery was substantial enough to provide alternate access to the upper storey.

He checked the garden, and then went to join Doyle and learn what he thought of the interior.

Doyle was waiting for him with his hip propped against the doorframe and his arms folded across his chest. As Bodie's foot hit the top step, Doyle slipped his sunglasses off and pushed away from the door in one sinuous movement that sent heat through Bodie's veins. Doyle eyed him much as that girl, Jane, had--only with infinitely more knowledge in his gaze. Bodie's cock stirred, and he paused there, letting Doyle look his fill.

He kept still until Doyle wet his lips and then he had to move, had to--

Doyle stopped him with a hand on his chest.

"The bed," Doyle said, making Bodie's breath catch and his cock twitch, "is on the far side of the flat."

Bodie pressed closer to Doyle, forcing him to increase the power of that restraining hand.

"I'm going to fuck you--" Doyle said.

Yes. God, yes. Now.

Bodie pushed even closer, and bent his head to kiss ... the lens of Doyle's sunglasses, because Doyle blocked his lips with the hand that was holding them.

"Tonight, Bodie!"

Bodie plucked the glasses from his fingers and hooked them on the collar of Doyle's tee-shirt. "I'm going to fuck you," Doyle repeated, "on that--"

His thumb brushed a pulse point on Doyle's throat, and he kept it there while he licked Doyle's fingers.

"--bed tonight, if--"

Bodie pressed his hips hard against Doyle's, then twined his tongue around Doyle's index finger and sucked it into his mouth.

"--if... ah, crud..." Doyle groaned.

Bodie smiled around his finger.

"Hurry up and get inside, you bastard." Doyle tugged him through the door.

Bodie kicked the door shut, and they kissed in the kitchen until they were breathless. Bodie slumped against the wall, and Doyle dropped into a chair.

Doyle, gaining his breath first, complained. "You wrecked my masterful scene."

Bodie stared at him.

"You look--" Masterful enough for me, he meant to say, but his voice drew Doyle's gaze straight to his once again. He felt pierced by something as explosive as a gunshot and intimate as a knife to the gut. Somehow, all of Bodie's secrets were there in Doyle's eyes. "Please, Ray?"

Doyle shook his head. "That's for afters."

What a time to be stubborn.

Bodie cupped himself, then traced his length with his thumb and shivered before he quite reached the head of his cock. He licked his lips, and drew his thumbnail over his cock head. Muscles from his fingers to his toes tightened in response. It was delicious, something he could only enjoy with a couple of layers of clothing protecting the sensitive head, and Doyle's eyes had followed every little move of his thumb.

Doyle wasn't the only one who knew secrets. He knew a weakness or two of Doyle's. He shrugged out of his jacket and tossed it to Doyle.

Doyle caught it and held it for a second, before making a face and throwing it onto the counter.

Bodie undid the top button of his trousers, then tugged his shirttails out and slowly unbuttoned his shirt. Once it was hanging open, its tails framing the bulge of his cock, he stroked himself again. And just like that, Doyle was on his knees in front of him.

Bodie reached out to brush one tousled curl from Doyle's temple. Doyle breathed in deeply, and Bodie wondered if he was smelling him.

"Care for an entrée?" Bodie asked.

"I might."

Doyle pressed his open mouth to Bodie's cock and sucked hard on the fabric, soaking it. Bodie arched, and Doyle shifted, opening his mouth wider and letting Bodie feel the flat of his teeth against his cock. God, he could almost, almost--but the rest of his clothes were still in the car.

Bodie gasped. "Get us... get us out of our trousers, love."

Doyle chuckled, and the only thing better than hearing one of those dirty laughs was feeling it. Bodie strained against him.

Doyle kissed him. "Shh. Hush, Sunshine."

Bodie hadn't even known that he was making a noise.

Doyle nuzzled at the tiny patch of skin bared by the open trouser button. He blew on it, and Bodie's fingers knotted in his hair. Bodie immediately loosened his grip. He certainly didn't want to put Doyle off now, but he needed something. He had to have something in his hands. If they were in bed, he'd be tearing at the sheets. Instead, he closed his eyes and pressed the heels of his hands into the wall.

"Shh," Doyle said again. He lowered Bodie's zip, then settled back and waited.

When Bodie calmed enough to open his eyes and look down at Doyle, he was smiling up at him with a look so tender it hurt.

"Quite a..." Bodie stopped and tried again, reaching for the right tone. "Quite a sight, aren't I?"

"Incredible," Doyle said. He pulled Bodie's pants down along with his trousers and helped him step out of them.

"Leave the shirts on?"

"Yes," Doyle said. He slowly looked him over. "Ooo, I do like your todger."

Bodie took it in hand and offered it at the best angle for Doyle. "He's a beauty," he told Doyle. "His name's John, John--"

"Thomas," Doyle said.

"Oh, you know each other?"

"Yes." Doyle leaned forward and licked him. "We've met."

"Mmm," Bodie said, and let them become better acquainted.

After they'd christened the kitchen, Doyle helped Bodie get cleaned up and properly dressed again.

"Okay," Doyle said, patting Bodie's bum. "Let's bring your bags up so I don't have to be so careful with your trousers next time."

"Oh? Are you going to be masterful again?"

"I could be persuaded."

He'd wanted to make Bodie go through the flat and choose a piece of furniture--other than the bed--for them to use, but trust a honeymooner to barely make it over the threshold. Not that he was complaining. Watching Bodie get wound up like that had been much better than his impromptu plan.

They trundled their belongings up, and Doyle showed Bodie the rest of the flat. The floor plan was very simple--kitchen cum dining room, sitting room, and bedroom with an en-suite bathroom all in a straight line. Bodie had barely glanced at the kitchen before, but now his reaction was much as Doyle had anticipated.

"There are nine chairs in here!"

"Ten," Doyle said, "if you count the window seat."

"What sort of couple needs nine bloody chairs?" Bodie poked his head into the sitting room, looked around, then returned and counted the chairs in the dining room again.

"Do you think it's a challenge, Ray?" he asked in an awed tone. "Are we supposed to consummate our vows on every single one?"

Doyle pulled one of the chairs away from the table and pointed at it. "Are you willing to plant your bare arse on wicker, mate?" Bodie made a face. "Too kinky for me... But over there on the sideboard, that's intriguing."

There was a vase full of peacock feathers on top of the sideboard. "You're too ticklish," Doyle said.

"But you're not."

Doyle ushered him into the sitting room without comment.

The sitting room was unremarkable. It had a couch, several comfy chairs, a window seat long enough to stretch out on, and a nice clear spot with nothing but carpet in front of a small fireplace. Doyle nodded towards the bedroom door.

"Loo's in there. Use it if you need to, but don't get any ideas."

"Where are you going to be?"

"I've got to look at those maps and figure out where the pubs are."

"Well, as long as it's something important."

They quickly settled on the closest pub. It was an easy walk. They entered and by unspoken agreement, Bodie went to the bar while Doyle found a table.

It was crowded. But in the far corner, there were two empty tables and another that was almost empty. A girl sat there alone. He had to pass her table to get to the others, and she turned and watched him with interest.

"Hallo," she said.

Doyle nodded to her and opened his mouth to return the greeting.

"You're from London," she said.

His eyes went straight to Bodie. At the bar with his back to the room, he'd be--but no, Doyle was over-reacting. Bodie didn't turn his back on a crowded room, and Doyle knew that. He studied the girl. She was very slim, and it seemed unlikely that she was dangerous. She certainly wasn't hiding any weapons in her blouse. It was long-sleeved and cut like a man's shirt, but the fabric was fine and nearly translucent. She wasn't concealing a bra under there, either, which made her more eye-catching than she might otherwise have been.

"Nice," he said. "What else do you do? Age? Weight? Birth date?"

"Favourite sexual position?" she added, smiling.

Without thinking, he looked over at Bodie again. There was a long queue, but Bodie seemed to be content just watching Doyle from across the room. Doyle waggled his brows at him, and then looked back at the girl.

"Well?" Doyle asked.

She looked at him blankly.

"What is my favourite sexual position?"

"I was hoping you'd tell me," she said. "I'm not clairvoyant, but I have seen you before. I think you used to live in my neighbourhood?"

"I didn't think I was that memorable," he told her and started to pull out a chair at the next table.

She reached for his arm. "Please, won't you sit here? I'm waiting for someone and they're late, and I'm not getting anything but weird looks."

Doyle hesitated. He wasn't interested, but he didn't want to spend his holiday being rude.

"I saw you at the launderette once," she explained. "I wouldn't remember it, except you almost embarrassed me."

"Washing your knickers, were you?"

"You were talking to the girl at the counter, so I saw you from behind--all curls and tight trousers. I thought you were someone else."

"Now, you've done it," Bodie said, appearing and setting their glasses down on the girl's table. "He's quite proud of his bottom, you shouldn't have told him it wasn't one of a kind."

"Shut up, Bodie."

The girl smiled at Bodie.

"I was going to pinch it," she said. "But then he turned around and wasn't who I thought..."

"You should have pinched it anyhow," Bodie told her. "Is this seat taken?"

"No, please sit down."

Bodie looked to him. Doyle lifted his shoulder slightly, and then dropped it. What could he say? She unnerves me? He'd never hear the end of it.

He sat down and reached for his pint, then noticed Bodie's glass.

"What, lemonade?"

"Vodka," Bodie said, "with a splash of lemonade."

He bent close, and planted his hand on the back of Doyle's chair. "I couldn't face a lager after all that chocolate," he whispered in a tone of voice usually reserved for birds and sweet nothings. Then he settled in his chair, turning it and pushing back, so that while he was turned towards the girl, he was closer to Doyle.

"You should have pinched his bum," Bodie told her again. "It would have done his ego a world of good."

She smiled and gave Doyle a thorough visual inspection.

"His ego looks healthy to me. Very healthy."

"Ta," Doyle said and ended his side of the discussion by setting to work on his pint.

She reminded him of that girl who Van Neikerk had killed. No, admit it. CI5 had killed her when it wasn't clever enough to keep its hands on Van Neikerk. But she didn't look like that other girl. Bodie said something that made her laugh, and Doyle examined her. No, she was nothing like the other one. Maybe it was just her unconventional pick-up lines that brought the other girl to mind and left Doyle feeling out of sorts. Or maybe it was just that she'd unintentionally reminded him that his favourite sexual position--and his favourite sexual partner--was something he could never share with even his closest friends. He frowned into his beer. Or he could simply be brooding because Bodie had so readily begun chatting with her. He wasn't jealous--he was more certain of Bodie's feelings for him than he was of own for Bodie--but he didn't have to like it.

He let them chat while he scanned the room trying to pick the locals out from the tourists, till the landlord gave a shout and Bodie went to fetch their dinner.

"You all right?" she asked quietly.

"Yeah," Doyle said. "Was just giving him a chance, you see. He's very shy around birds."

"Right..." Something in her face said that she knew both of his lies for what they were, but was content to let them be.

"I'm Ray," he said.


She leaned forward to offer her hand, which set her charm bracelet into a miniature flurry of movement and sound. Full of delicate silver leaves, it looked out of place between the wide cuff of her shirt and her severely-trimmed nails. He took her hand.

"What's this?" Bodie asked, and set their food down with a thump. "Making agreements without me, are you?"

"Yeah," Doyle said. "She was promising me she'd be gentle with you."

"Bastard. For that, I'm taking all of your chips."

All of Doyle's chips were already on Bodie's plate.

"Er..." Nancy looked confused.

Doyle plucked a chip from Bodie's horde.

"Don't believe a word he's said," Bodie told her as he sat down. "He knows I like it rough." He winked at her.

"Christ," she said, fanning herself. "It's getting warm in here."

Bodie grinned, and a sharp voice said, "Nancy?"

"Short, blonde, and curvy" was the description Nancy had given of her friend. That was more or less true, Bodie thought, although "short, blonde, pregnant and cranky" would have been more to the point. She had looked at them like they were something pale and squidgy that had just crawled out from under a rock. Bodie supposed she would have looked at any man that way, given this summer's heat wave and how very pregnant she was. Nancy had quickly made her apologies and left with her.

"Think she was one of Terry's birds?" he asked Doyle.

Doyle didn't answer. His mood seemed almost as bad as Nancy's friend's. Bodie wished he knew why it had changed so dramatically.

Doyle helped himself to another chip from Bodie's plate. The chip got halfway to his lips before he frowned. "He likes it rough," he muttered, and jabbed the chip in Bodie's direction. "I can't take you anywhere, can I?"

Bodie watched the chip disappear between Doyle's teeth and remembered how they'd felt earlier, so carefully pressed against his cock. He bumped his foot against Doyle's and wished the pub was dark enough that they could sit thigh to thigh.

He settled for pushing his plate closer to Doyle, and saying, "That's not quite right, is it?"

Doyle looked surprised. Ah, it must have been a rhetorical grumble, then.

"What's not?" Doyle asked.

"You can take me anywhere." Bodie waited and watched Doyle's eyes as his meaning sank in. "You can." And Bodie could almost smell the heat rising off of Doyle. He leaned forward. "Only it's not legal... not in public."

He held Doyle's gaze for a moment, then leaned back and shrugged to break the spell.

"Bloody hell," Doyle said and shoved both of their plates away. "This was a bad idea."

Something cold knotted itself around Bodie's gut and squeezed, until Doyle caught his eye again.

"Don't just sit there, hurry up and eat."

"I can't," Bodie said.

Sexy or not, Doyle was still a cranky sod. His eyes flashed. "Why not?" he snapped.

Bodie glanced down at his dinner, then back at Doyle. "All the blood's rushed away from my stomach?"

Doyle laughed. "Finally, a diet for you!" He tugged on Bodie's hand. "Let's go, then. I don't feel like sharing you any more."

Any more tonight, Bodie wondered, or just any more?

They still had to walk back to the cottage, and Bodie wanted a dark alley.

He wanted Doyle's lips. He wanted to put his fingers in Doyle's mouth and watch how cocky that always made him.

He wanted to watch Doyle's eyes light up in challenge. What went through his head then? Come on, you bastard, stick something bigger in me? Or was the light in his eyes because he knew all of Bodie's secrets? Knew that every time he slipped into Doyle, he ached for the gesture to be returned ten-fold? A thousand?

Whatever the reason, Bodie wanted it.

He'd get his fingers slick in Doyle's mouth, and then watch Doyle's eyes lose focus when his trousers were yanked down and those fingers dipped into his arse. Doyle's cock would jump and jut even harder against Bodie's thigh, and his hands would clench and grip Bodie's biceps so tightly there'd be marks to admire the next day--and Bodie had never thought bruising easily was a good thing until he'd had regular mementos of Doyle's need for him scattered secretly in amongst all of the other marks the job left on him.

He'd press close and let Doyle feel the bricks at his back. He'd pin him there and listen to him gasp--


Bodie jumped. "Come on, it's this way. Or has the blood rushed out of your feet as well?"

Christ, it was just sunset now, and there wasn't a dark alley to be had.

"Come on, Handsome, one foot in front of the other."

"Next time," Bodie said, "we're taking the car."

"Not for a mile, we aren't."


"Come on. 'Miles to go' and all that." Doyle paused and chuckled so lewdly that shivers ran down Bodie's spine. "Miles to go and a big, butch lad to do."

"That a promise?"

"It is if you get moving."

"Going to nail me to that bed?"

"I might," Doyle said. "Unless you fancy the wicker?"

Bodie got moving.

The next morning, a sound startled Doyle awake, but in the half-second rush to full alertness, he lost track of it. He'd recognized it, he was sure, but for the life of him, he couldn't say what he'd heard. He lay tense, his heart tripping from adrenaline, and listened. All he could hear was Bodie's steady breathing. He matched his breaths to Bodie's and let that lull him, certain that Bodie wouldn't have slept through danger. Whatever it had been, it was nothing.

He closed his eyes, and a raucous squabbling pierced the silence. Doyle jumped, as well as one could jump with Bodie spread over him like a lead blanket, and his bladder chose that moment to make some urgent demands of its own. Christ. Two birds fighting over a bit of garbage or something, and any plans for a nice lie-in were shot to hell. He sighed and pushed at Bodie. Then he pushed a bit more, and wriggled, and somehow managed to make it out of bed, most of the sheets coming with him. He kicked himself free from the tangle clinging to his left ankle, and headed for the loo.

He relieved himself, and then stood, idly scratching and remembering when Bodie had first started sharing his bed.

Doyle had been just out of hospital, and Bodie had been a wreck--scared to touch Doyle, for fear of hurting him, yet seemingly unable not to touch him. He'd lain there on the far side of the bed, bleeding off nervous tension worse than a cat in a room full of rocking chairs, and making it absolutely impossible for Doyle to sleep. Doyle had had to take over, to manhandle Bodie just to get some kip.

He'd haul him to the middle of the bed, poke and prod until he was a comfortable cushion for Doyle to rest against, and then pray that he hadn't strained his stitches too much by lugging a great weight like Bodie about. As Doyle had recovered and gained more energy, and become a little more observant, he couldn't help but notice Bodie's physical reaction to being manhandled by him. He'd noticed and taken advantage--and look where that had got him.

Nowadays, he almost had to resort to GBH to get out of bed. Sleeping with Bodie was like sleeping with a Kevlar octopus. He didn't know how his birds put up with it, but then... well, he suspected that Bodie wasn't as bad with them. He wasn't unconsciously shielding all of his bed partners from harm. The stupid bastard, he'd better not think that Doyle would let him take a bullet in his place.

Doyle stretched, yawned, and dug through his kit for the toothpaste. It wasn't worth thinking about their sleeping arrangements, he told himself as he brushed his teeth. The truth was simple, he'd always had a knack for sleeping in less-than-comfortable spots, and sleeping crushed under Bodie was better than sleeping without him. At that, he bent over the basin and spat. If anyone could hear his thoughts, they'd tell him he was in love.

He didn't want to be in love. If you could fall in love, you could fall out of it. Look at Waltham. Married for twenty five years, and then he just wakes up one morning and decides to kill his wife? No, thank you. If he and Bodie managed to live that long, he wanted something better for the two of them.

He headed for the kitchen. The copper-and-enamel clock on the wall proclaimed that it was just past seven. He inspected the cooker, and then poked through the sacks of groceries that Bodie had dumped on the counter. There were plain biscuits, chocolate biscuits, and the packet of Jaffa Cakes with only one cake left. Doyle ate it while sorting through two oranges, a bag of crisps, and a large wedge of cheddar. The second bag held a loaf of bread, a pot of strawberry jam, a tin of tea, another orange, and a fairly good bottle of champagne. Why had he ever thought Bodie and self-catering would be a workable combination?

He put the champagne in the fridge, and discovered a bottle of milk and a jar of instant coffee. Did someone think "freeze-dried" meant "keep cold"? He set the milk and coffee out, and filled the kettle. He coaxed the cooker into lighting and went to shave.

Bodie would probably want to sleep half the morning away and then head for Bournemouth and the regatta. Or, more likely, Bodie would want to sleep half the morning away and then spend the rest of the day in bed. Come tea time, he'd moan about missing the regatta, get up long enough to change the sheets, and then drag Doyle back to bed.

Doyle could think of worse ways to spend a Saturday, but he hadn't driven a hundred miles to miss the scenery. He'd make Bodie some breakfast, then sweet talk him into borrowing those bicycles and checking out the New Forest, and--Doyle, you bloody idiot!

Scratch that plan. He should have thought of it before fucking Bodie so thoroughly last night. Well... there was still the Motor Museum or that motorcycle one, Bodie wouldn't say no to that.

He finished shaving and returned the razor to his kit, then blinked at seeing his razor already tucked inside. He must have nicked Bodie's. He shrugged, then smiled and put it in his kit anyway. Let Bodie get a little scruffy, maybe that would keep the birds away.

He made toast, slathered Bodie's with jam, and licked off the blob of strawberry that ended up on his thumb. He set the table, fixed their coffee, then strode into the bedroom to wake up Sleeping Beauty--and grab some trousers so he could actually sit down on those chairs.

As soon as he stepped into the room, his intentions for the day flew out the window. Sunlight was flooding the room through the thin curtains. It glinted off the brass bed frame, puddled in the white linen sheets, washed over Bodie's naked back, and--


Bodie had moved and lost the modest shield of that last bit of linen. Doyle may have been screwing him off and on for three years—and lately, more on than off--but he'd never seen so much of Bodie so well lit.

He stepped closer, and--Christ, the man should come with a health warning. Forget about the cholesterol clogging up Bodie's heart, he'd outlive any randy bastard who saw him like this.

Bodie's right leg was bent, giving Doyle a lovely view of his arse and the back of his balls tucked so safely between his legs and yet so exposed. Doyle's gut flashed with fire, and he cupped his own balls and tugged gently. Women were supposed to be the delicate and vulnerable ones, but they could never be quite this exposed, could never arouse quite this need to take and claim, and lose himself in his lover.

He wanted to pour himself over Bodie and feel every inch of that skin. He wanted to plunge himself into him and be surrounded by those muscles. He wanted--

He bit his lip and stroked himself once, twice, before crossing to the bedside table and the lubricant they'd left there last night. Bodie didn't stir. You wouldn't think anyone could sleep through being stared at like that.

Doyle returned to the foot of the bed. He slicked himself up, keeping his strokes slow and even, fighting the urgency he felt. He tossed the bottle of lubricant onto the bed by Bodie's hip.

Protect? Or plunder?

Or, God, just keep this up? Let himself go?

He could almost see it. His come would look perfect pooling in the small of Bodie's back. Afterward, he'd kneel between Bodie's legs and wake him by licking it off. Doyle knew that taste, the combination of Bodie's skin and his own essence, but would it be different? Would it taste different lapped up off of Bodie's back than it did when sucked from Bodie's fingers?

His hand tightened on his cock.

He wanted that, but Bodie would be disappointed. Oh, he'd like the thought of Doyle indulging in some strange kink, unable to help himself in the face of Bodie's beautiful self. But he'd pout over a missed opportunity to watch Doyle toss off.

To watch...


That girl yesterday had asked him his favourite sexual position, and what had he done? Checked to make sure that Bodie was still watching him. That's what he wanted, Bodie watching him.

For Bodie to always watch him.

He squeezed his cock and tried to think. That mirror over the fireplace, if he could get it off the wall...

It was secured with a wire and two simple hooks, and came down easily. He carefully carried it into the bedroom. It wasn't too heavy, but its ornate frame was pointy and surprisingly sharp. He looped the wire over the bed's headboard, tested it, and further adjusted its tilt by jamming his pillow under it.

Okay, the scene was set, and Doyle knew what he wanted. But he'd had a head start. Now it was time to see how quickly he could get his fine piece of machinery revved up and roaring.


He knelt on the bed.

"Bodie," he said again. Bodie's muscles tightened ever so slightly, and Doyle gave him a heartbeat to remember where he was and who was with him, before putting his hand on Bodie's thigh. Bodie tensed, and the movement rubbed Doyle's thumb over the curve of Bodie's arse, right where the heavily-muscled thigh ended and the plush swell of his backside began. Bodie went so still at that, he didn't seem to be breathing.

"Come on, Handsome," Doyle said. "Wake up, but don't move."


"Yeah?" Doyle bent over him.

"We're alone?" "Yes."

Bodie relaxed. "Why can't I move, Ray? Is there a tarantula in the bed?"

Doyle laughed. "Is that a complaint about me hairy legs?"

He climbed on top of Bodie and straddled him, using his own legs to force Bodie's closer together. Bodie started to roll over, and Doyle pinned him down.

"No, I need you just like that."

Bodie turned his head, trying to see him. "What's this? Are you coming over all masterful again?"

"Look to your right, Bodie."

Bodie did, and completely stopped his wriggling.

"You see it, Bodie?"

"Yeah," Bodie whispered roughly.

"You see us?"

Bodie nodded, and in the mirror, Doyle could see him licking his lips.

"You know what you need to do?"

Bodie's eyes were huge and dark as he stared into the mirror. Doyle thrust hard against him.

"You know what you need to do?" he repeated.

Bodie swallowed. "No."

"You need to be perfectly still. All you're allowed to do is watch me indulge myself." Doyle rolled his hips. "Oh, and Bodie?"

Bodie groaned, "Yeah?"

"You have to watch. If you stop looking at that mirror, if you stop watching us, I'll stop."


"Got it, Bodie? I'll stop. I'll go into the bog and lock the door, and get myself off where you can't see."

That left Bodie speechless, and now that Doyle had his complete attention, he could begin. He moved so that he was between Bodie's legs instead of straddling them, and slid his hands up Bodie's thighs. When he reached the top, he cupped Bodie's cheeks, and then used his thumbs to spread them open.

He bent low, and then asked, "Are you watching?"

Bodie gasped.

"Ah, you must be."

He let his breath tease Bodie's flesh and watched, fascinated, as Bodie strained towards him. It was such a small movement, only a few millimetres, but it spoke so eloquently of longing and control. It was beautiful. Bodie was so beautiful with him like this.

Doyle had to kiss him. He pressed his tongue to that little stretch of skin between Bodie's arsehole and his balls.

Bodie's moan filled the room, and Doyle agreed with its sentiment whole-heartedly. This was perfect, but he needed more. He laved at his balls, cupped them, kissed them, then pulled Bodie's hips up enough that he could get under him and squeeze his cock as he pressed his tongue inside.

Bodie roared.

That's it, love, Doyle thought, unwilling to pull his mouth away long enough to encourage him out loud. That's it. And he worked him hard in his hand, and when his tongue was no longer enough, he rested his cheek on Bodie's arse and watched his reaction in the mirror as he pressed a finger in and stroked his prostate.

Bodie's control was good to the end. There was only a single second as he came that his eyes shut, and then he opened them and stared at Doyle, meeting his eyes directly in the glass.

Doyle surged up and wrapped his come-covered hand around his own cock and gripped hard. He didn't--he couldn't--he had to be with Bodie.

He struggled up the bed, and Bodie broke the rules, rolling, and pulling Doyle into his arms. Doyle caught at him, kissing him fiercely, even as Bodie's hand joined Doyle's on his cock, and he came, gasping into the kiss.

Bodie held Doyle and smiled as he watched him lick their come off his fingers. The silly bastard obviously loved him like crazy.

Good, that's how it should be. And speaking of how things should be...

"Hey," Bodie said. "What did you make me for brekkie?"

-- THE END --

July 2006

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