And Love's Worn Circuit Re-Begun


Story #1 in the Emma universe


It was pretty much what he'd expected -- tougher than the training to be a copper, that was for bloody certain, but he'd been prepared for that. He was in good shape too, better than he'd needed to be on the police force, but here he was woefully inadequate to the tasks they set him. The tougher you were, the tougher they were. He hurt all over and he knew the next day would be worse. Still, he was making a decent showing. Only a couple of the recruits had done better than he.

One of them was a surprise to Doyle -- a large, dark hulking character -- Liverpool Irish Doyle decided, though the accent was way off. Name of Bodie. Big, and a little slow both on his feet and in the brains department was Doyle's assessment. He'd watched Bodie for much of the afternoon, though, and was surprised to have to admit that for such a large man, Bodie was fast and remarkably agile. There was no way of assessing the man's physique as he was rigged out in combat fatigues, covered from toes almost to his ears. It was fairly sure that there was an impressive amount of muscle under the khakis. Of course, Doyle told himself, there was probably a large amount of muscle between the ears too. He couldn't help but wonder how Bodie had been chosen for such an elite group. Maybe he'd been chosen for enforcer duties; 'da-boss-don-like-yer-face' stuff.

"Doyle!" He snapped to attention as Barry Martin motioned him over to the centre of the compound. "Feel up to a little mano-a-mano, Doyle?" Out of the corner of his eye, Doyle saw George Cowley watching from the perimeter of the compound.


"Oh, don't be so formal, we're all mates here, isn't that right . . . Bodie?"

"Some matey-er than others . . . sir," Bodie responded.

"Right. You and Doyle. Oh, and Doyle . . ."


"He's a pushover." Martin walked over to Cowley's side and began to confer quietly with the head of CI5.

"Oh yeh, a pussycat," Bodie agreed. "Come and get me, lad." Doyle sidestepped neatly as a large hand swung out towards his hair. "Boy's fast." Bodie was smiling at him -- a sort of placid, dim expression, his eyes blank. Doyle found himself wondering if the man was defective. He neatly avoided a few more clumsy attacks, then, tiring of the game, he moved in, intending to put this one down neatly and quickly.

He found himself face down in the dirt, tight arm twisted up behind him just on the edge of agony. Suckered by one of the oldest acts in the world!

"I can think," said a soft, dangerous voice close to his ear, "of about a dozen things I could do to this pretty ass of yours."

"Bastard!" Doyle sputtered, more embarrassed than he'd ever been in his life.

"Sticks and stone, you gorgeous little golliwog. I may just take a bite out of you." The more Doyle struggled the more firmly he was held.


"That's unfriendly. Y'know I'm not as dumb as you seem to think. You've been watching me."

"Hoi, Bodie, let him up, lad," Martin ordered. "Try again." The pressure lifted off of him and his arm was released. Ray scrambled to his feet, avoiding the eyes of Cowley and Martin.

"C'mon beautiful and show me what you can do," Bodie urged. There was little conventional way for Doyle to take him down easily, so Doyle opted for a surprise attack. He circled, feinting first to the right and then to the left looking for a weak spot. Bodie's arrogance was getting to him. "Having a bad day, darlin'?"

"Doyle, an angry fighter is a useless fighter," Martin reminded him. He clamped down on the anger and tried to concentrate it on bringing Bodie down.

"Are you as dumb as you look, Bodie," he asked sweetly, trying to unnerve his opponent, but Bodie only smiled at him.

"Dunno, how dumb do I look?" Doyle struck out at Bodie's head, and as the larger man lifted his guard to ward off the blow, Doyle delivered a hard, airborne kick to Bodie's midsection that brought him to his knees, gasping for breath. "Didn't expect that," he admitted breathlessly. "I must be as dumb as I look."

Martin slapped Doyle on the back. "Good lad. You're the only one to take him down so far. Bodie, you got careless. You deserve the bruise you're going to have." Bodie laughed and extended his arm to Doyle for a hand up.

"C'mon, it's the least you can do." Doyle hauled him up and Bodie almost fell into his arms. "You're beautiful when you're angry."

"God!" Doyle spat, pushing the man away. "I didn't expect to work with a nance."

"It could be a new experience. Don't worry though, I won't try to force my attentions on you." He leaned closer to Doyle. "You'll ask for it."

Later as they showered, Doyle couldn't resist peeking at Bodie who was showering several places down. Muscles on his muscles he thought with grudging admiration. Doyle's own body was slim and wiry with a whipcord strength, and Bodie's build was the sort that had always turned Doyle on. For all his show of indignation, Bodie had gotten him going that afternoon in ways he'd thought he'd forgotten. Not since Frank . . . He washed himself idly, lost in thought.

He realized with a start that most of the others had gone. He looked around to find only Bodie still under the spray, head thrown back, lathering himself sensuously. He was slick with soap and running water, and Ray thought that it had been a long time since he'd seen anything that beautiful. He should have been made of marble not flesh, Ray decided. A pair of dark blue eyes locked with his own and Ray found himself returning Bodie's smile without thinking.

"Scrub my back and I'll scrub yours," Bodie offered, holding out a cake of soap. He had a smooth and hairless chest with perfectly defined pecs, and he was wearing his foreskin rucked back, exposing the head, his cock arched over heavy testicles. Ray walked forward, mesmerized by the smile, the body and the messages his body was giving him. "Truce?" Bodie asked as Ray took the soap from him. Startled, Ray dropped the cake of soap. They stood for a moment, looking down at the bar, then at each other. Then Bodie began to laugh and Doyle joined him, and the spell was broken.

The pairing assignments came through a week later. Doyle and . . . Bodie! Doyle groaned inwardly when he heard the name of his partner. Truce or not, Bodie got up his nose. And, though Doyle was not inclined to admit it, Bodie got him going in a big way. Since that afternoon in the showers, Bodie had backed off of the sexual teasing, for which Doyle was grateful, but he often felt those blue eyes on him during training sessions. He wondered if anyone else had noticed, but it seemed that each of the others was too concerned with his or her own image to worry about any of the others.

Bodie sought him out in the common room after the teams were announced.

"Nothing unexpected," he observed, rinsing a mug out over the sink. Tea?"

"Yeh, thanks. You expected to be teamed with me?" Bodie plunked two mugs full of tea down on the table.

"Milk? Sugar?" He whitened his own tea and sat opposite his new partner. "Yes, I did. I wanted it. I knew we'd be good together." Doyle felt himself flush and was about to protest, but Bodie held up a hand to silence him. "I didn't mean like that, mate. We'll be a good team. The best."

"Think so?" Doyle asked with a touch of cynicism.

"I know so. We're complementary personalities."

"What d'you know about that, Bodie?"

"I've read a bit of psychology in my time, lad."

"Oh, you can read! Well, that's a plus. Listen, if we are going to be partners, don't call me lad. I've seen your records -- you're three years younger than I am."

"Two, but why quibble about that? There are some experiences that age a man . . ." Doyle snorted at the world-weary facade. "Man of the world, eh, Doyle? Been as far as Ipswich, 'ave you?"

"Oh, sod off, Bodie. I suppose you're going to tell me that it's a man's life in the paras, eh?" Doyle was beginning to enjoy himself.

"Well, not to brag, but yes, it's tough . . . and we don't have those pretty blue unis to brighten up our days."

Doyle was all sweet sympathy. "I bet blue is your colour too."

"It suits me . . . but then it's hard to mar perfection."

"Then I'd stop wearing khaki if I was you, mate."

"Oh, but the birds love it," Bodie said expansively. Something in Ray quivered.

"Oh . . . women too?" he asked. Bodie grinned salaciously.

"I love 'em. Tall, short, thin, fat, beautiful or ugly, I love 'em. They have such fascinating things hidden under all those ruffles."

Despite himself, Ray had to grin too. Bodie's enthusiasm for the opposite sex was endearing. "Yeah," he admitted. "I know what you mean."

They fell silent for a few minutes, contemplating their teacups.

"Fancy a bit of hunting?" Bodie asked suddenly.

"Killing little animals? No thanks!"

"No, no I meant the birds, y'know, after work, local pub, pretty barmaid who has a friend . . . " He rubbed his hands together and winked at Ray. "Nudge, nudge," he said. Ray chuckled into his tea.

"I wouldn't mind."

"The unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible . . . isn't that the quote?"

"Not entirely apt."

"No," Bodie agreed, "not entirely."

Ray collected his gear and met Bodie in the hallway after work. As they were on their way out they passed Cowley and they chorused: "Goodnight, sir." Cowley smiled and nodded. He looked pleased, Ray thought.


Ray was gloriously drunk. He lay between the wall and the two entwined bodies on the king-size bed that dominated the tiny bed-sit, and watched Bodie make love to . . . Ray couldn't remember if her name was Linda or Susan . . . LindaSusan. He also couldn't remember how many times she'd managed to coax one or the other of them back into condition. Considering how much they'd had to drink, he suspected that her talents were nothing less than miraculous. He was, he knew, just about past it by now, and Bodie was beginning to flag, although he was making a good showing. Ray couldn't help but admire the large, hard-muscled body on top of LindaSusan. It occurred to him again how beautiful Bodie was, and he had to curb the desire to reach out and stroke the man.

After Bodie was finished, he rolled off LindaSusan, and they snuggled up on either side of her. Bodie grinned at Ray across her breasts, ruffled Ray's curls and promptly fell asleep.


It was quite possibly the best day of Ray Doyle's life. After months of dreary, easy assignments, Cowley had finally given them something big. Finally, Ray thought, he was going to let all that time and money he'd invested in their training show. They had drawn a shipment of heroin which profits, it turned out, would have financed the political career of a popular opposition candidate.

He and Bodie were working alongside a more experienced team, and didn't expect to see much action, though they were both hyped to an almost unbearable pitch. But when the case broke, Ray found himself in the middle of a small war. And then magic happened -- he and Bodie worked as one, they moved and even thought as one during the critical minutes, and the exhilaration of a job well-done was secondary to the knowledge that they were well and truly a team at last, the kind of team that Cowley had meant them to be.

Afterwards they went to a pub near Ray's flat and lifted a few to celebrate. Ray could feel that Bodie was as edgy and nervous as the favourite on Derby day -- the excitement had been too great, too good to let go. Ray was feeling wound up as well, and he fidgeted over his second pint while the barmaid flirted with Bodie, wondering if his partner would be willing to share tonight. It was strange, but he didn't want to leave Bodie just yet.

"Pretty," he said to Bodie as the girl moved away to serve the other customers.



Just as he was about to drink, Bodie leaned close and whispered: "Come to bed with me, Ray," and without thinking, Doyle said: "No!" then caught hold of Bodie's arm. "Yes," he said.

Nothing had prepared him for being on the receiving end of Bodie's desire. It was overwhelming and a little frightening to be at the mercy of so much power, but Bodie was surprisingly gentle with him at first, as if testing the limits that Ray would place on their coupling. No limits Ray decided, letting Bodie set the pace. It had been so long since he'd been with a man that he felt almost virginal.

"You are beautiful," Bodie told him as he stroked Ray as he would a large cat. "I wanted to tell you that the day I met you." The admiration felt good, and Ray rewarded him with an intense, hungry kiss.

As hot as they were, they couldn't last long. All it took was a little frottage and they went off like roman candles. Bodie laughed about it afterwards. "Our reputations are at stake, old son," he said, kissing Ray's face softly.

"Disgrace," Doyle agreed. "Think we should try again?"

"I think I'm up to it," Bodie said and Ray giggled weakly.

"So I see." He wriggled down to groin-level and fastened his mouth over Bodie's cock.

"You've been practicing," Bodie observed with a quaver in his voice. "Oh, bring yourself up here. I can't reach."

Ray shifted around on the mattress and Bodie's mouth closed over him making a circle of warm, wet sensation. Lazy and slow at first, the pace picked up as they approached a second climax. Doyle could feel Bodie tensing, his balls drawing up tight against his body. Bodie's mouth lifted off of him and Ray sucked harder, tearing small cries from his partner. Bodie's fingers dug into the flesh of Ray's thighs, he surged upwards, ejaculated with an animal cry and fell back.

For a moment he was silent, then he nuzzled Ray's groin and began to suck again, rolling Doyle onto his back and resting his head on Ray's belly. Ray twined his fingers in the short, silky hair and drifted on the incredible sensations Bodie was producing in him. He seemed to slide over into orgasm -- warm, rippling pleasure. He felt Bodie's ridiculous eyelashes brush his skin.

"You've been practicing too," Ray said, stroking Bodie's neck and shoulders.

"Makes perfect, eh, sunshine?"

"Mmmm. Give us a kiss, beautiful." Bodie complied with a sweet kiss that touched something deep inside of Doyle. He caught himself thinking of Frank again. Very unfair, he decided, and very dangerous. "I'm hungry. You hungry?" By way of reply Bodie nipped his neck.

They were easier with each other, Doyle realised as they shared supper. The conversation was personal, not general as it had been for so long. Doyle was surprised by some of the things that Bodie told him about his past . . . not that he was inclined to believe everything that Bodie said. He liked this man. That was not to say Bodie didn't still irritate him.

"'M gonna go. I hate having to get up and go home first thing in the morning," Bodie decided. He stretched, scratched himself and looked for all the world like a big cat.

"You could stay until the afternoon," Ray suggested, not anxious to lose either the companionship of his partner or the possibility of a repeat performance. He had to admit, if only to himself, that he'd enjoyed himself more thoroughly that evening than he had in many years. Bodie was good -- and he knew it.

"Fancy a bit more?" he asked with a knowing grin. He pulled Ray into his arms and kissed his throat. "You smell wonderful. I'll stay if you promise not to shower until after I leave."

"Done," Ray said, trying to control the quaver in his voice. He was getting turned on all over again.


With a mixture of regret and relief, Ray finally admitted to himself that it was likely that he and Bodie had been a one-off. They hadn't slept together since the first time, though their relationship was better than ever. Cowley had been right to team them and Bodie had been right when he predicted they'd be the best. They already had that reputation. They also had the reputation of being inseparable, of spending all their free time together -- sharing their meals as they were that night, their spare time, even their women. It occurred to Ray that the other members of CI5 probably thought that they were lovers.

It was too hard -- caring like that about anyone. Every time Bodie was in danger he felt as if he was on the edge instead. Not good. Still, he reflected, it didn't seem likely that he would be able to stop caring . . . not altogether. Time heals, he thought as he watched Bodie chat up a pretty girl at the table next to theirs. The touch of Bodie's hand didn't make him shiver any longer . . . didn't send him flying. It was sort of sad, really.

Bodie turned his irresistible smile on Doyle. "Fancy a troy?"

"You didn't! Oh, Bodie . . ." He laughed despite himself as the girl joined them at their table.

You say that it is much you took as yours
All I possess . . . but this is nothing yet!
You came to be the sharer of my hours,
Your pleading is precarious as command.
Your shelter I must be where you are periled,
The blow encounter that was meant for you,
For every flaw you have, I am the voucher,
The burdens you discarded as too grave,
I must sustain them all -- and all the tears
You ought to weep and that you never weep.

-Stefan George

-- THE END --

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