He's out there. I can feel him; almost hear his breathing, almost hear the slide of skin against metal. I can almost feel the weight of his feet on the wooden floor, the heat of his body leaning against the wall.
I can smell him. He's scared.
I don't move. There's no need. In another moment my partner will be positioned at the door now behind him. All I've got to do is keep him still, keep him focused on me; worried about what it is I'm going to do. Three seconds at most. I lean against the wall a bit, let the heat and ever so slight noise of my presence keep his attention. Let him worry. Let him be aiming his weapon at me...
The door eases open and Doyle stands there, out of sight, gun up by his ear, one foot just past the doorframe. He's ready. I'm ready. I nod, and Doyle moves forward.
I feel him jump, he starts to turn. I step out from behind the corner and point my gun at his chest. "He said freeze."
Now he's jumping back towards me, so confused he doesn't know which of us to shoot first. We both walk forward, guns pointing at him so the bullets would make a nice cross right in his left lung. I see him swallow, wondering if he could try and talk his way out or distract us long enough to do something stupid.
And then Doyle is only two feet away and I'm less than that and he decides maybe surrender is the better part of valour. I keep my gun trained on him while Doyle takes his -- a baby gun it is, Colt Mustang, wouldn't put a pea through a marshmellow, but that's not to say in the wrong spot it wouldn't kill someone. You can kill a man with a BB if you shoot him in the ear, or the eye, or one of two spots on the skull. Heck, shoot him with a BB in the femoral and let 'em bleed to death.
Doyle hands me the peashooter and turns the guy against the wall, hauling out the cuffs he jokes about carrying. I don't know if he's discovered I got 'em engraved. They say 'oh who is that young sinner'.
When Ray gets him headed off for the car he looks at me. I start to ask what he's got planned for an encore when he smiles -- the way he does when he thinks I've done something adorable. I hate it when he smiles at me like that in public -- not just for what it means I've done. I roll my eyes at him and tuck the Mustang away in a pocket. Might exchange it for the Eagle Murph keeps locked in his boot.
Ray keeps smiling at me; I don't think he realises it. So I have to ask him. "What is it this time?"
"Eh?" He actually looks startled.
I glare at him, letting him know I'm indulging him only because I like him -- and because he cooks. "What is it?"
Then he grins, and laughs a bit. Not at all sounding embarrassed, oh no. "Saw you through the window while you were keepin' Cap'n Hook here occupied." I don't say it. Know what's coming. "Looked ever so sweet."
I wait for a bit, but he's leaving it at that this time. Maybe because we've got an audience. I don't ever try to talk him out of this delusion he has. I'm not adorable. Stunning, beautiful, striking, sure. Not adorable. Haven't been since I was four, but can you convince him of that? I ignore him; he does the same for me.
As we head back to headquarters I pinch his thigh ever so decorously. He's driving. Almost hits the lorry beside us, too. Wonder if he's going to make me cook tonight?
"Bodie... come on!"
He's always impatient for me. I try to go at it slowly, it's much better that way. You can enjoy it more if you only have to feel one thing at a time. But he wants it all, right now. Usually I end up obliging him. This time I try again to take it slowly.
Every time I start out trying.
He grabs me and pulls me down on top of him. I let him kiss me -- who wouldn't? The way he pulls your tongue into his mouth like he's going to keep it forever, and then he starts rolling it like a piece of candy. I have to push myself against him, feel his skin against my body, heat pressed against heat, cool touch of my hands on his arms. He loves it when my hands are cold -- something about the contrast, I don't know. He tried explaining it to me once. It's enough for me to know -- he likes me to touch him with cold hands when we make love. I like touching him so I suppose we're ok.
Right now I've got to touch him everywhere, so I wrap my ankles around his calves, pushing them together, closer to my body. I press my face into his, letting the pillow take up the slack so I don't suffocate him -- yet. I let him pull me in, closer, urging me on to do more, touch more, say more. I want to go slowly so I can feel it, too.
When he stops for air I pull my head back and look at him. He smiles.
I don't say anything and I don't touch him.
"Bodie, please," and he wriggles, knowing how it drives me wild when I've got him pinned like this. "Talk to me."
"Wait." I kiss him on the collarbone, right next to a spot he loves having nibbled. He groans and wriggles again, hoping to move that spot into my mouth so I push myself back up. I watch him, wondering where I should go next. I want to taste him, all of him, leaving a single kiss on every bare inch of him. I want to start someplace he'll enjoy, and end up in the middle -- don't want him wriggling away before I finish, either.
I lean over and kiss his cheek. I feel his stomach quiver and his eyes are bright when I look. I start to bend down to kiss him again, one inch to the left of where I'd begun when he smiles. And he laughs.
All I can do is stare at him -- for all we enjoy ourselves in bed we've never been the giggling type. I figure he's just amused so I wait for him. I have no idea what's amused him, but he's nice to watch when he is.
"Oh, god, Bodie, I'm sorry..."
I have to smile at him. "What for? Let me know when you're done, all right? So I can get back to what I was doing." I smile at him -- almost ready to laugh myself at whatever it is that's turned him on.
He tries to take a breath so he can talk, and manages a word in two. "Oh god... you just... it's so... you look just like... oh Bodie, it's just so... I can't believe it..."
"I look like what?" This didn't sound necessarily amusing.
"That face! You were making that face!" He was breathing better now. "Just like when we're working, and you concentrate so hard you forget where you are. Oh god, that gape! Never expected to see it in my bed!"
Oh. I shove away from him and sit on my heels at the end of the bed. He's still laughing, gone back to it instead of trying to say more. Has his head flopped in the middle of the pillow, entire body shaking, one hand grabbing at the quilt and the other pressed against his eyes. I don't know what to say. Sorry? Glad you're amused?
He starts to calm down and I still haven't decided. "Oh, Bodie, I'm sorry... was just so perfect, you know?"
No, I don't. I look over on the floor and find my slacks; my pants should be right under 'em. Be a drastic step, that. I've never left a lover in bed...
"Bodie?" He sits up fast and scoots closer to me. "Bodie, I didn't mean it like... I was just... it was funny."
"Thanks a lot." He wasn't helping himself any.
He sighs and tries to take a hold of my arm. "Bodie, you know I like that look... I know you find it exasperating, but I think it is adorable. Was pleased, you'd get so wrapped up in sex that you'd... you know..."
"No, I don't know." I say it soft, calm, so he can take it either way -- have I calmed down or am I angry? I can't tell, either.
He looks at me, and moves his hands to rest on mine -- he's noticed I haven't tried to make it easier for him to hold me. "I'm sorry." I can't see anymore laughter anywhere in him.
I wait a bit, to make sure he knows how serious I am. I can see him trying to think of what else he should say. I look away from him, then back right in his eyes. "I don't like it when you tease me, Ray. Not about that. About... how I look."
"I won't, then. Not anymore."
The tone of his voice tells me everything I need to know. He's not only sorry, but he's upset. Like it hurts him when I hurt. I'm still not used to that, but I can recognise it now. "All right." I let him know all is forgiven.
He smiles, slowly, hesitantly, and his fingers run over my wrist. "Make love with me?"
I remember what the other thing was. It's a stupid thing, but it hurt, and I want to tell him so he won't say it again. I can't look at him this time, so I stare at the far edge of the mattress. "You said 'your bed'."
I hear his intake of breath. Then he has my arm in his grasp, pulling me over to face him. He doesn't say anything until I look up at him. "I'm sorry -- habit, I guess. I've never lived with anyone, Bodie. Not like this. Not... what's mine is yours and yours is mine."
I can barely say it but I have to. "It's been two months."
"Yes, it has." He kisses me. "And I love you. I am absolutely thrilled to be living with you. But I can't do anything but apologise for a slip of the tongue. I don't think of it as my bed anymore, Bodie. I can't say why I said it. Please don't hold it against me. I love you, you know that."
I hate it when he says that. Like if I ever admit I know it, he'll stop saying it. But we've argued about that before, will again, and it really doesn't matter. I look away again, briefly, long enough to say it. "I know. I just... want to say you'd said it. That I'd heard it."
"All right." He puts his hands on either side of my face and pulls me up so I can't not look at him. "Are we forgiven, then?"
He's almost ready to grin at me, because he knows as well as I do that I have. But I can't let on that I know that he knows. I give a disdainful sniff. "Dunno. Depends."
"On what?" He says it seriously, but I suspect he knows better.
"On whether you're going to make love to me properly."
"Properly?" His eyebrows have disappeared under his hair. "I should keep one foot on the floor, should I?"
"No," I glare at him, but it's purely academic. He grins at me, and settles down as if waiting for instructions. "Properly means slowly -- so I can appreciate what I'm doing... what's being done to me."
"What would you like done?" He scoots forward, and he's smiling -- all crafty, like he's got some devious, seductive plan in mind. I love it when he's devious in bed... or out of it.
"You can only use three fingers."
"To...?" It's obvious what he thinks I mean. I do, but not only that.
"Anything. Everything. Whatever you do, you can only use three fingers." I crawl over to the unoccupied side of the -- our, bed and lie down on my back. I put my hands behind my head, settling in and getting ready. "And you have to take at least thirty minutes and touch every part of my body."
He just looks at me for a bit. Then he scoots around, sitting beside me, and gives a little bow. "Whatever sahib desires."
Yeah, that's more like it. And whatever Doyle tries to tell you, I did not start screaming for more until twenty-eight minutes had passed.
-- THE END --
Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrists?
And what has he been after that they groan and shake their fists?
And wherefore is he wearing such a conscience-striken air?
Oh they're taking him to prison for the colour of his hair.
'Tis a shame to human nature, such a head of hair as his;
In the good old time 'twas hanging for the colour that it is;
Though hanging isn't bad enough and flaying would be fair
For the nameless and abominable colour of his hair.
--from AE Housman's Fragment of a Greek Tragedy