It was becoming dark, and Doyle scratched another mark into the makeshift calendar he'd constructed on the wall of the cell. "Hey," he said to Bodie, "didn't think I'd ever be doing this. Sort of like Jimmy Cagney or Bogart or something in one of those old films . . . " No response. He hadn't really expected one, of course, but he still had hope. Bodie had reacted badly to their captivity, at first pacing the small cell like some large cat in a too small cage. Now, after a month, he spent most of the time lying on his small cot, staring at the wall. They talked less and less.

"Ray?" The sound of Bodie's voice was strange to him. "How long have we been here?"

"Thirty three days. It's April now."

"Is it?"


"It's tough waiting like this."

"Bodie, listen, the longer we wait, the better our chance of getting out alive. The Cow's probably got half of CI5 out looking for us."

"That is if they haven't given up hope by now."

"He won't give up til he finds out what's happened to us, you know that," He scratched idly, wondering if he'd ever feel really clean again. He was starting to get used to having small guests with him at all times.

"That's not going to help that poor sod Manville, is it?"

Ray remembered the day, almost two weeks before, when their captors had marched Manville out of the cell next to theirs and hanged him in the courtyard -- the only open place they could see from their cell. The body had been left on the gibbet for almost a week. "I'm scared too, Bodie." he said softly. "I don't want to die." There was no response. "Y'know what we haven't done in a long time?" he asked, trying to lighten the mood. No response. "We haven't made love in a long time, Bodie." Still nothing.

Ray crossed his arms behind his head and stared into the shadows on the ceiling, watching them deepen as the little light that filtered into the cell faded away. "I was thinking that there's something I've always wanted to do to you that I've never had the nerve to ask for . . . a guilty fantasy, you might say." It was too dark in the cell to see Bodie clearly, but the outline of his body on the cot was tense and withdrawn. "You know I always get off on how strong you are . . . you do know that?"

"Yeah, I know." The tone was flat, emotionless.

"Anyway, what I really want most is to see you helpless with me -- y'know, tied up, maybe."

There was an odd sound from Bodie's side of the cell, as if he'd hauled out and dusted off his long disused laugh. It was a musty, creaky sound. "Always knew you wanted to wear black leather in bed, Doyle."

"Not that bad. What I'd do is get you a little tipsy first -- not very drunk, just well oiled -- then I'd get you to lie down on the bed with promises of guilty pleasures, and when I had you there, I'd tie you to the bedposts with silk scarves."

"What colour?"

"Blue, like your eyes."

"You're such a romantic, Doyle."

"You want to hear the rest of this or not?" He didn't wait for a reply. "And when I had you tied down . . . "

"Am I naked?"


"Am I naked? You ought to know these things, Ray, they're important."

"No . . . no, you're not. I'd unbutton your shirt slowly, very, very slowly, one button. . . "

"I'm wearing a polo."

"Bodie!" There was a snort of laughter from Bodie's cot. "Okay, I'd take me knife and slit the arms very slowly, warning you not to move lest it slip and do some damage. Then I'd do the same for the front of the sweater -- very slow, looking in your eyes the whole time."



"You just cut me."

"Bastard. I can do this in my own head if you're not going to cooperate. So, anyway, I take the knife and flick it under the buttons of your trousers. . . and don't you dare say it's a zip, cause this is my fantasy . . . one by one, flipping them off onto the floor. Then I slit open both legs . . . of the trousers, Bodie. You're not wearing underwear. You knew I was going to seduce you, so you decided not to wear it tonight."

"Sexy bastard, I am."

"So now you're naked and tied to the bed. It's a room with a fireplace, so all the light is coming from there."

"How bout a few candles? I quite like it by candlelight."

"I didn't know that. You never said anything."

"Yeah, well, you look good naked in candlelight."

"Do I?" Doyle asked, surprised at the strangely romantic admission. It seemed terribly out of character for his partner.

"You turn all golden by candlelight -- even your eyes. Pretty. Anyway, go on."

"Oh, yeah," he breathed. "So there are some candles in the room, and everything is very quiet except for the sound of the fire crackling and our breathing."

"Which is getting very heavy."

"Very. First, I kiss you. You have a lovely mouth, Bodie. It's very soft and sweet and pliant. You're good to kiss."

"You're a good kisser."

"Then I get you to open your mouth for me and run my tongue around inside it. You don't want to cooperate at first, because you don't like being tied down, but you can't help getting turned on cause I'm a great kisser."

"I said good, I didn't say great . . . "

"And you kiss back, very free with the tongue and trying to follow me when I pull away, but you can't because you can't sit up." There was a tiny sigh from Bodie that made Ray smile in the dark. "Then I kiss your throat, licking the little hollow above your chest and the outlines of the collarbone, and then I move down to your nipples . . . " Ray was starting to get aroused, and wondering why he'd begun this. Still, he could hardly stop now. Bodie probably wouldn't let him stop. "They're so small and nice, Bodie, and I love to suck them into my mouth and feel them get hard against my tongue. I'd run my fingers very lightly down the insides of your arms because I know that makes you crazy. I'd do it until you begged me to stop and then I'd keep on doing it because I want to see you completely helpless and in my power just for once."

The darkness in the cell was so complete that he could no longer see the outline of his lover's body. "I don't want to talk about it, Bodie. I want to do it. I miss having you in my arms." There was a long silence. "Why'd we ever stop? We should have been doing it every day we've been here . . . twice a day. Damn them to hell, Bodie; we have each other, why are we letting them keep us apart?" There was a sound of movement, and then a weight, warm and welcome, settled beside him with infinite care.

"You okay?"

"Now I am. I've missed you so much." Bodie's mouth touched his so gently that Ray was hardly aware of being kissed. He was gathered into strong arms.

"I've really been frightened, Ray," Bodie confessed. "Ever since they Manville I've wondered when they'd come for us. It wouldn't be so bad, but I don't think we'll be together . . . God!" he breathed.

"What? Bodie, what?"

"I've been thinking about dying, and all I can think of is that you'll not be there any more. It scares me."

"I'll be there. I believe it, even if you don't." The warm body in Ray's arms relaxed slightly.

"You're confident enough to have kinky fantasies, eh?"

"You bet. Don't think you'll get out of this by dying, either. We get back to civilization, and I'll tie you to the first bed I find and ravish you." His hands twined in the soft curls of Bodie's hair. "You know, I sort of like you with long hair."

"I don't."

"I know, but it's very attractive. If we get out alive, I want you to keep it this way for a while. For me, Bodie. Promise."

"Okay, Sunshine, just for you I'll be a black sheep."

"Bodie, don't you have any guilty fantasies? I'd really love to hear em."


"Oh, come on. You have to have one deep, dark secret fantasy." His hand crept up across Bodie's face and found the signs of tension etched into the handsome features. "None." Bodie said, and Ray heard a familiar strain in his partner's voice that told him Bodie was lying.

"C'mon, Bodie. I can always tell when you're fibbing to me. I promise I won't be shocked or anything. I might even agree to it. It might just be murky enough for my libido."

"Not into strange leather scenes," Bodie said, that strange tightness more pronounced. Ray tightened his grip on Bodie.

"Maybe it's just something you thing I'm not into. You'd be surprised at what I could get used to, Bodie." There was a long silence. "Though I can't think of anything we haven't done yet." He stroked his fingers through Bodie's curls. "Please tell me."

"I'd like to be able to tell you how I feel about you." Bodie's voice was low and steady, but still slightly strained. Ray had the feeling that he still hadn't heard the whole story, but he knew that if Bodie was going to tell him the rest he'd do it in his own time.

"I'd like to hear that," Ray whispered. The cell was dark that Ray could read Bodie's face only by touch, like a story in braille. He saw' a dozen different emotions cross the mobile features in a moment.

"I love you very much," Bodie whispered. "Have done for years. I love your body, and if there's such a thing as a soul, I love that too. What I'm most afraid of is the thought that there is an eternity after death that I'll have to spend without you." In the silence that followed, Ray suddenly knew what Bodie's deepest fantasy really was.

"I love you, too, Bodie. You're part of me; you always will be." He rolled Bodie onto his back and draped a leg over Bodie's legs. "That's it, isn't it? What you wanted to hear me say?"

"I wanted you to mean it. That's why I couldn't ask." Ray kissed him and he moaned softly.

"You think I don't mean it?"

"I'll never know, will I?" he said as Ray unbuttoned his shirt and dipped his head to touch his lips to Bodie's chest.

"Bodie . . . I wouldn't have said it," he said between kisses, "Unless I meant it." Bodie's hands cupped his face, searched it, looking for falsehood. "It's too serious. I haven't forgotten that we might die tomorrow. If there is an afterlife, I don't want to go into it with that sort of lie on my conscience. So you see," he said, attempting to lighten the mood fractionally, "It pays to fall for someone who believes in the integrity of the soul. Love me, Bodie."

He was eased out of his filthy, torn clothing by loving hands. Bodie's mouth skimmed his shoulders, chest, stomach, closed around his cock, sucking, sucking . . . He wondered if he wasn't a little too ripe to enjoy properly. He pulled Bodie downward to complete the circle. Bodie was ripe, too, but it wasn't unpleasant; rather it was intoxicating, the rich, strong familiar smell of his lover sharp at the back of his nose, prickly. Bodie pressed Ray's legs up and back until his knees met his chest. "I don't want to hurt you," he said, voice drifting away on the darkness. Doyle was relaxed, accepting. If hurt was a part of this, so be it.

"Don't worry," he said, And Bodie pressed into him, pulling Ray up into his arms. Ray rested his head on Bodie's shoulder as they rocked together, their slow, silent coupling broken only by whispers, secret things that they'd never said before and would probably never have the chance to say again. They melted into each other. Ray didn't remember what happened after . . .

The faint light in his eyes signaled a new day, and Ray turned slightly to find Bodie still with him, asleep, vulnerable as a child. Thirty four days. It seemed impossible that Cowley would still think them alive, would still be searching for living men rather than month old corpses. Bodie stirred slightly. "Whatever happens, Sunshine, we've each had our most secret wishes granted," he whispered into the dark curls.

He held Bodie while the sunlight crept across the threadbare blanket, forcing thought away and letting sensation fill up the void -- the meager warmth of the sun and the greater heat of Bodie, the smell of their lovemaking, the scratch of the blankets and the smoothness of Bodie's flesh against his own. The only sounds were the sounds of their breathing. It was wrong, he realized suddenly. The sound of the morning was different than it had been for the last month. There was no sound, and it was wrong. His heart began to pound so hard that he was afraid it might wake Bodie. Something was going to happen.

He listened intently to the heavy silence for what seemed a very long time, and then the silence was broken by the sound of a door opening -- the one leading out of the cell block, he thought -- and the sound of steps on the flags. There was more than one person walking toward the cell -- two at least, he realized as the steps grew closer. Bodie stirred, his eyes opened, sleepy and confused. "Ray?"

"Sshhh . . . "

A key turned in the lock.

"Bodie, I love you," he blurted just before the cell door swung open.

-- THE END --

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