The Other Game:
A Post-Game Wrap-up
Sequel to A Different Game
They brought Cowley early in the morning, only a few minutes before dawn. After producing two or three sickly yellow clouds to the east, dawn gave up and let the fog and the rain have control of the day. A few drops of rain fell on Cowley's sparse ginger-colored hair as the attendant unfolded the wheelchair and helped Cowley into it. The black car drove away, and the attendant, who was CI5 agent John Murphy, maneuvered the chair in the side door and into the house.
"Morning, sir, Murph. Breakfast?" Doyle was standing by the stove, spoon in hand.
"Yes, thank you," Cowley said. Murphy pushed the chair over to the table and brought his boss a cup of strong hot tea before he fetched coffee for himself.
"This will get the taste of hospital food out of your mouth," Doyle promised. There was the sound of the lift, and a moment later, Bodie came into the room, leaning on a cane. He sat down in his chair, hooking the cane over the arm.
Murphy got a good look at the cane and promptly inhaled his coffee up his nose. He manfully managed to prevent spraying all present, and then said, laughing, "Oh, very nice!"
"Present from Doyle," Bodie said seriously. "The doctor said I needed a cane for a bit."
"Wherever did he find it?" Murphy asked, taking another look at the cane. The brown wood curved up in a normal fashion, but it definitely ended with the head of a penis, upon which the fingers would rest when the cane was being used.
"He won't tell me," Bodie said.
Doyle, who had enlisted the help of Andrews, their resident jack-of-all-trades, in the purchase of the item, only smiled as he brought over the platter of eggs and bacon. "Doctor told him to leave sex alone for at least three months. Told him to give this a rub if it gets to be too much!"
Bodie cast an amused glance Doyle's way. That was not what exactly what Doyle had said. He'd told Bodie to give it a rub and pretend it was Doyle's. When they were alone, Bodie would sometimes milk the head suggestively, eyes on Doyle, and Doyle would laugh or wink, or, sometimes, leave the room quickly. No sex for months, their doctor had said.
Andrews came in just in time to take the bread from Doyle. "You know you are not to be carrying anything heavy," he scolded, taking the jam pot as well.
"Anything under five pounds allowed! Bread can't be THAT heavy," Doyle pointed out as he took his own place.
"Dishes get heavier when it's time to wash up," Bodie said. "It's amazing."
"It's not that they get heavier, but that I have to bring my shoulder forward to reach them properly. Would you pass the...thank you." Conversation faltered as they all gave the breakfast the attention it deserved. By nine, the table was cleared, Murphy had taken Cowley up to his room via the lift, Andrews was doing the dishes and Bodie and Doyle were getting the long room ready for the physical therapist, setting up some new parallel bars. In a few days, she would begin on Cowley as well. Doyle got a funny look on his face when he thought about it. Mrs. Jones was relentlessly energetic. Would Cowley meet his match?
Murphy came down as Mrs. Jones was going out the door.
"He's asleep. Show me this room I'm supposed to have." He was yawning, obviously in need of it.
Doyle led the way to the small room which opened up off the long room, just opposite the table and chairs which were the first items in the room. It was a small room, windowless, with two narrow beds and a small table between them. A wardrobe, bureau with a mirror, and a chair completed the room's furnishings. Two brown suitcases were set in front of the wardrobe. One was Murphy's, and had arrived two days before him. The other belonged to Ed Haswell, who would be along that afternoon.
Murphy made no comment about the room, which was too utilitarian to be described as nice. The sheets were clean and the beds new, and that was what attracted Murphy at the moment. He'd been up since midnight. Unfortunately, he wasn't scheduled to become intimately acquainted with the bed until Haswell showed up.
"Not much longer," Doyle said, reading his mind. "Could make yourself useful and come help me get the meal ready."
"Oh, thank you!" Murphy breathed sarcastically, but he went along with Doyle as the other man went back to the kitchen. He did not help, but checked out the cupboards and the refrigerator.
"Give it up. If there were any stray goodies around, Bodie would have had them long ago," Doyle told him. "There were chocolate bikkies in the jar this morning, but he may have them gone by now."
Murphy found the jar and peered inside. "There's a few left," he said, and helped himself.
"Good thing Andrews is going to the shops this afternoon, isn't it?" Doyle said dryly, and went to put the chicken in the oven.
Murphy went to roam the house, Bodie showed up to take his place in the kitchen, where he found a sugar bun Murphy had missed. He paused to whisper something naughty about sugar buns in Doyle's ear before he left again.
The buzzer sounded. Andrews called out that he would answer it, and went upstairs. Cowley must be awake. Doyle checked the chicken, turned down the heat and headed for the lift. If Cowley wanted to work for awhile, either Bodie or Doyle would have to get the files from the safe, and return them again when he was done.
His guess was right. Cowley was in his wheelchair, his heavily braced leg resting on a low stool, beside the table. The other leg was merely wrapped. Andrews had provided the stool, Doyle noted. It had last been seen in Andrew's own room. Doyle went for the files, a smile on his lips.
"An hour until the meal, sir," Doyle said before he left the man alone. Not alone. Andrews was straightening the bed. However, by the time the lift had taken Doyle down to the bottom floor again, Andrews was down there as well, putting the casserole in the oven.
Bodie was the one who put Mr. Cowley's work away and brought him down to the table. Their boss was looking grey, and he did not eat well. Immediately after the meal, he went up again, and this time he did not ask for his papers, but went to sleep. As soon as Haswell arrived, Murphy hit the sheets as well. Haswell, an intense young man with blond hair and the build of a wrestler, prowled the house like a caged cat. Later, Bodie and Doyle rested for awhile in their room, as they usually did each afternoon, tucked against one another, hands laced together.
It was a very quiet day. Murphy woke up in time for the evening meal, letting Haswell get some sleep. Cowley sat with them all after the meal, watching the television with an impatience which showed the others he was not used to spending an evening in front of the box. By mutual agreement, it was an early night for everyone.
Cowley could not sleep. Too much sleep during the day woke him up after midnight. He heard Haswell's measured step outside his door. As soon as the man was gone, Cowley pulled himself upright and reached up to turn on the lamp.
There was a newspaper by the side of the bed. He didn't want it, but he picked it up for a few minutes anyway. The dark of the night held no terrors for him; he had long ago come to terms with it, and even welcomed it. The best thinking could be done when the night sealed out the worries and noises of the day.
The sound at the door, when it came, was not totally unexpected. George Cowley had been anticipating it, in the back of his mind, for several months now. The door opened, and the thin form of Arthur Andrews slipped in, carefully, quietly locking the door behind him. He had a bedpan in one hand. Cowley raised one eyebrow, as he set aside the paper.
Andrews said, "Do you need this?"
Cowley said dryly, "No."
"You might," Andrews said, putting it down by the door.
Cowley was not interested in bedpans, although he saw the cleverness of it. It was a good explanation for the locked door, if his men came to inquire. No doubt his agents would be as reluctant to observe such a procedure as he would be to have it observed.
Andrews advanced into the room. Cowley studied him. Andrews was not wearing his glasses, and without them, the quite ordinary face changed. His brown eyes looked bigger, his face paler. He was, like Cowley himself, just on the wrong side of good looking. Grey hair which had once been brown, trimmed short, was not as thin as Cowley's. It was clean, Cowley noticed. All of Andrews had a freshly scrubbed look.
His own toilet had been a flannel and a washbasin of warm soapy water. This would be the standard for almost a month. A fastidious man, he found it annoying and inadequate. A four minute shower once a day had been his way for over twenty years.
Andrews stopped beside the bed. Their eyes met, as they had once before. They had never spoken of what had passed between them. It had been a moment of knowledge, shared and put aside--but not discarded. Not forgotten.
Cowley was not ready for this. He hated that he faced it with his leg in a splint. There were dangers. Yet it was those dangers which attracted him as well. He felt alive. The excitement, the fear, the possibilities, set hot blood running in veins which had carried ice water for too many years.
It was seeing Annie again, he thought. That had been the start of it. He had put Annie behind him, and her return had stirred up memories, and...needs. Annie had been a mistake the first time around, and a bigger one the second time. He had spent much time thinking about it, as he healed that time. Healed physically, anyway. Why Annie? Why any of the few women who had made an impression on him? He thought of his strict upbringing, of religion, of what was expected of him. Of the notions he had discarded early because, true or not, they were not acceptable to the fabric of what he had to be.
It. The change in him, the faint vision of a light which had always been in the distance and was now much closer. If it had started with Annie, it had risen to the peak one evening when he had stopped by to see Bodie and Bodie's house, and the door was opened by this man, this Andrews, who had looked him right in the eye, and seen something no one else had ever seen. Andrews had politely invited him in, said nothing at all about the electrical energy which was thick in the air between them.
Cowley had come again to the house, as circumstances required, and known again, each time, had experienced the sparkling cold current in his spine when this drab, plain man looked at him. Known it, and done nothing, as Andrews had done nothing. Waiting. Knowing that even if there was never anything else, this would always wait between them.
The head of CI5 had chosen this house to recuperate in, knowing it was the choice which was safest for CI5, for him, but knowing as well there was a danger here to everything he was, everything he had once planned. Danger, but something more as well.
The danger who stood now by his bed, looking down at him.
Andrews was wearing pajamas, plain old things of flannel. Cowley was wearing pajama tops, for he had long ago given up sleeping nude in his cold bed, and would have been wearing bottoms as well but for the brace on his leg. The boxer shorts he was wearing were white with blue piping along the edges. Andrews was looking at the shorts speculatively. Then he looked away, looked at George Cowley's tired lined face, with the burning, glowing eyes. Pale eyes, usually hiding so much but now revealing too much.
Andrews sat on the edge of the bed, straightened the blanket, and then lowered his head. Cowley opened his mouth to it, asking for no quarter just because it was his first time, giving back what he was given. As kisses go, it was satisfactory. Cowley lifted an arm, pulling Andrews down to him again, taking what was offered. He was the type of man who could dominate even flat on his back with a splinted leg proclaiming weakness to the world. Andrews accepted the hot mouth, his hand holding Cowley's head steady as he took in the invading tongue.
It began. Cowley made no complaint as the buttons on this pajama top were undone, one by one. The cloth was spread open. Andrews touched. Scars, old and not so old. The brown points of nipples that had not been touched by fingers for more than a dozen years. Ribs, thin. Belly, flat. He was in fair shape for a man of his age and disabilities. Cowley knew it. He had no pride in his body, but no shame for it either. He waited.
Andrews drew a line from sternum to waistband and looked a question at Cowley. Now? Will you protest now?
Cowley, as best he could, raised up an inch, and Andrews took the cloth down until leg splints stopped it. Cock and balls, in ginger hair as sparse as that on top of Cowley's head. Andrews touched. The balls twitched, the penis rolled. A palm caught it, applied the right pressure, and the hips lifted up. They were pressed down again with the weight of Andrew's body, which held him in place, one arm across a knee, careful of the splints, and one across the abdomen. His mouth came down.
Mindful of the nearness of his agents, of ears which never really slept, Cowley only mouthed the words which came to his tongue, but he watched the head which bobbed in his service with avid intensity. One hand came to cradle the back of that head, to go up and down with the rhythm, to make known the urgency of need which was growing under those ministrations. Cowley's breath came in soft puffs, and he drew up his good leg to further brace them. It took a long time to raise a true hardness, for the traces of the drugs, and the pain, inhibited reaction. Andrews was quite skilled, and persistent.
When Cowley was on the brink of explosion, Andrews stopped, and paused to kiss Cowley on the lips again. It was more intimate now, knowing where those lips had just been.
And then Andrews bent close over his new lover and whispered, "You will fuck me, hard and deep. Won't you?" He swung his leg over the still body, straddling him, aligning them with one sure hand so that he only had to sit back to impale himself on Cowley's tense flesh. Andrews had prepared himself well, he was slick inside, and although Cowley had to grunt softly as the weight of the man came down on him, there was no difficulty. When they were together, with Andrews sunk down as far as he could go, and Cowley thrust in as deeply, Andrews repeated himself. "Won't you?"
"Yes," Cowley breathed. "I will." He snapped his hips as best he could under the weight, finding another fraction of an inch to own.
Andrews nodded. Quite gently, he pushed down on his own balls, pressing them into that spot where the pubic hair begins, rubbing them against Cowley for a moment before his hand drifted to his cock and he pumped the faltering arrow to a new hardness while slowly lifting up. When Cowley's cock was caught only by the head, he contracted his muscles, then relaxed and came down again.
Up, and then down, he found the rhythm, and he milked the cock inside him until Cowley grimaced and grabbed for Andrews' hips, to pull him down hard as he thrust up and let the heat of his desire stream up into the darkness. Each pulse caused a contraction of his own anus. He thought of himself impaled and sweat broke out on his forehead. Andrews leaned forward, stretching until he could run his tongue along the line of the temple. He parted them with a moist sound, scooting up the sprawled body until he had his knees in Cowley's armpits, and his penis arched before Cowley's narrowing eyes.
Cowley opened his mouth. Andrews silently changed his position, slipping his cock into that open mouth, fucking it as it closed around him. When he was ready, he pulled back, out of the mouth as his orgasm began, the spurts of his whiteness making a line down Cowley's body, chest, to belly, and with the last stringing pulses beading Cowley's pubic hair. Cowley smiled.
Silently, Andrews cleaned Cowley with the towel he himself had put in a drawer here last week, and when he was done, he folded the towel carefully and put it in the drawer again, ready to be taken away with the other laundry when he came for it the next day. He dressed as quietly, his eyes on Cowley, and then he fastened Cowley up as well, buttoning each button with precise care. Last of all, he rested his hands on Cowley's lax genitals for a moment and then pulled up the shorts.
Andrews sat down on the edge of the bed, looking down, his face showing nothing, and then the corners of his lips turned up. "When," he asked softly, "do you retire?"
"Five years," Cowley said. "If they've fixed my knee."
Andrews nodded. "When you retire, I'll leave here and work for you."
"Will you?" Cowley asked acerbically.
"No one will be surprised. A man like you, with a batman."
Perhaps not. Cowley considered. His eyes moved around the room. Andrews nodded.
"Maybe we'll live here."
"I think not."
"Got plans for this place, have you?" Andrews asked. "Make a nice place for agents to recover from their injuries. More personal attention than an institution. Equipment is all here. Pay would be enough to keep the place going, even if the lads were mustered out."
Cowley smiled. "You're clever. More than you look."
"An acquired talent."
Cowley acknowledged that with an approving flick of his eye. "I'll find out first if they wish to become a surveillance team. Listening in the vans may not suit them, but they'd do well, and I'd not lose their skills."
"So many plans," Andrews smiled. "Plan A, and plan B. Is there a C?"
"Of course." Cowley grimaced as he shifted his weight. Their antics had done his leg no favors, but he did not regret his actions.
"I have a few plans myself," Andrews said, and lightly touched Cowley's hand with his own.
"You'll not have many opportunities to put them into effect. I have too much invested in CI5, in service, to be out on my ear at my age."
"I can be quite...careful." Andrews leaned forward, "or not so careful--when you feel a bit better. How hard do you like it...George?"
"Arthur, isn't it?" Cowley said, although he knew the other man's given name quite well. Andrews gave a short nod. "Hard enough, then, Arthur, and when I am feeling better...perhaps your own definition of hard will undergo a slight...change."
The smile which came to Andrews' face was both lively and salacious. "I shall...hold you to that, sir."
Cowley did not reply to that. Instead, he asked, "Why...me? You must know I have never chosen this...activity before. Yet from the first, I knew what you wished, and how much you wished it."
"From the first," Andrews smiled. "When I was a young lad, I like my men...big. I liked the power, you see. Nothing like having a big man down and begging you for it. But strength isn't real power, I learned that. There's no pleasure bedding with the stupid. I found a professor I stayed with for two years, but he was developing a taste for the whips and I was not, and I left. I knew when I saw you, what true power was. I wanted it. Wanted you."
A smile bent Cowley's lips. "You wanted me for my mind?" he asked, amused.
"Oh, and a few other things as well!" Andrews grinned. He went and picked up the bedpan. "Are you sure you don't need this?"
Cowley sighed. Andrews brought it over, and Cowley watched as Andrews' steady fingers pointed him properly. He made his contribution silently, watching Andrews handle the cock as if it were not his at all. Andrews tucked it all away properly, and then, to Cowley's surprise, Andrews slipped his own penis out and added his own yellow stream to the pan before he went and emptied it in the connecting bathroom. He washed it out and left it on a towel to dry before he came back out.
"Good night, then," Andrews said.
"Good night," answered Cowley. He found a comfortable position, adjusted his pillow, and then, carefully, he tested his leg, trying to sense, if he could, any improvement in it. The doctors had said the fragments were all out and the area repaired, that while he would still probably limp, the pain would be gone. He wondered how soon he would have the use of it. His was a disciplined mind. He did not think of what had just occurred. That would keep him awake and his body was relaxed now, ready for sleep. He would not waste that, he knew all too well how difficult sleep could be to court. He let sleep take him, but just before he drifted off, he thought of Bodie's cane. Cowley would have one of his own to use soon, and it would be plain and serviceable, weighted, perhaps, so that it could be used as a weapon. He thought of his hand, on the curve of the cane, and on Andrews' warm human thickness, and the images blended into one as he fell asleep.
Murphy came up the stairs quietly, listening to the dark house, pausing outside Cowley's door. He heard the regular, soft breathing and moved on to check the back garden from the window of the box room at the rear of the house. Nothing. Nothing happening at all tonight, thank God. Everybody asleep except him. He yawned and went on with his circuit of the house.
-- THE END --
Originally published in Lovers 2, Chained-to-the-Typewriter Press, 1992