Somewhere There's Heaven


Ted "Fat Boy" Bradley was used to playing the big man. Ex wing three quarter, he was over six and half feet, built to match, with a paunch of truly noble proportions cultivated over a lifetime of Masonic lunches and 'business trips' to expensive--and sunny--locations.

He had been the mayor of Eastland four times, was now it's Member of Parliament, prospective Conservative candidate at the next European election and boasted a finger in every local and regional pie. He dined regularly with the Lord Lieutenant and called Alan Cade "Al". Cade detested him with his entire heart and soul.

Cade stared at his reflection gloomily and straightened his bow tie. He went downstairs, locked up carefully and got into his car. This was an un-official function and rated neither uniform nor a chauffeur courtesy of the force. And we who are about to be bored to death, salute you. He grinned at himself and drove off.

The dinner party was an irritant that Cade could well have done without. It was also the eighth night running that he'd had an evening function to attend--he was getting so tired of salmon mousse and little vegetable baskets he could scream. He wanted nothing more this Friday night than to go home, take the phone off the hook and eat cardboard pizza until he felt sick, then go to bed.

But Fat Boy's invitation was pressing--and several other county figures were going to be there, important people. Cade was no longer quite the newest broom in the cupboard but it would take a while still for people to get to know him. A drinks reception and dinner party with a distinguished guest list was ideal. And Cade was too much the politician to let his inherent dislike of Fat Boy and his crew get in the way of making useful contacts.

He made good time on the road and reached the Bradley mansion--a monument to the alliance of unlimited wealth and unlimited bad taste--promptly for his invitation at 8.00pm. Bradley and his third wife, a ridiculously over-made-up 'fashion consultant' greeted him.

"Ah, good to see you Al, you haven't met the little woman have you--Michelle my love this is Alan Cade our new Chief Constable." Michelle gave a meaningless smile that showed off some expensive bridgework and shook hands mechanically. The 'little woman' stood two inches taller than Cade--even setting aside her hair, which had a lot do with it.

He mumbled the usual platitudes and accepted a very dry sherry from a circulating waiter. There were several people he knew already there in the large, overly furnished room and he mingled dutifully, listening more than he talked and keeping one casual eye on the time. Two and a half hours, maximum, and he would be on his way home, away from this stifling room and these stifling people, to his own loftily isolated house.

Fat Boy was heading towards him again and Cade, timing it to perfection, managed to turn away without making it look too obvious an evasion tactic. So careful was he not to look at Fat Boy that he hardly looked where he was going and bumped into a man, stood quietly by the gilt and ormolu mantelpiece and knocked his arm. Drinks spilled; both men recovered and gave automatic apologies.

The other man smiled politely and said: "It's a bit of a squeeze isn't it? I gather Fat Boy likes to entertain on a grand scale."

Cade looked him over leisurely and felt a faint sense of recognition--even familiarity. But the feeling slipped away and Cade realised, no, this was a stranger to him and, he suspected, to the country. His tan and faint accent suggested California--and he was quite certainly the most handsome and attractive man Cade had ever seen outside of the cinema.

Dark wavy hair, mink shot with a little silver, his face was almost too classically handsome and only saved from prettiness by a crooked eyebrow that added a certain diabolical charm. His mouth was sculptured, a little sulky with a pouting underlip. But it was his eyes that made the breath catch in Cade's throat--they were the blue of a magpie's back, framed by long straight lashes and with a piercing laser quality that was oddly out of place in this overfurnished room among these oh so civilised people.

Maybe only an inch taller than Cade, he was more sturdily built. Laughter lines placed him into his forties but he was trim and fit looking, carrying himself with the arrogance of excellent health. He works out, Cade judged, plays tennis perhaps and swims and he watches what he eats but not to the point of obsession.

It bothered Cade that he hadn't noticed this stunning specimen before; such self-effacement out of place here. Someone who looks so good and dresses so well was not a natural wallflower. Yet here he was, stood in the corner like a lamp-stand and watching the crowd with faint indifference. He was looking at Alan Cade with the same expression. Cade was not used to making so little impact on people.

The stranger had spoken of Bradley as Fat Boy--this suggested a certain familiarity with their host; Bradley was not shy about his nickname but it certainly wasn't common knowledge. A business contact, Cade decided at last: rich but not so rich he didn't need to work; successful but not so successful he could afford to ignore social gatherings like this.

"My name's Phillips," the man said, withstanding Cade's scrutiny with equanimity and held out his hand. "Drew Phillips."

"How do you do," Cade recalled himself and realised he had been staring. They shook hands. "I'm--"

"No, I know who you are Mr Cade. You were on a local news report the other night. Jet lag kept me awake so I was watching every channel to pass the time. Known Ted long?" but before Cade could reply, they were cornered by Fat Boy himself.

"Ah Al, getting to know our transatlantic friend? Good, splendid. Andrew got over about a day ago now, didn't you chum? Mysterious wheelings and dealings as ever. We're going in to dinner now--shall we?" and he led the way into the dining room, even more monstrously vulgar than the drawing room.

Cade was sat next to Coun. Mrs Harcourt at dinner, a short, thin and spare woman whose hair, skin and eyes all seem the same washed out grey colour. She was a stern advocate of hanging, birching, more police on the beat and the rest of the reactionary shibboleths and Cade suffered her stridency with smiling patience. The American--Andrew was it?--was sat opposite and once or twice caught Cade's eye and gave swift, sympathetic glances. Phillips was sat between two women Cade knew; they'd married well as a career move and nothing more. The American barely spoke to either woman and to Cade's careful eye, he looked tired and bored.

Cade felt the attraction as he ate his way through the first course of salmon mousse (again). The American was startlingly handsome; film star quality looks and dazzling blue eyes. Just a business man Fat Boy had said, wheeling and dealing. On the shady side of the hill, Cade guessed shrewdly, knowing Fat Boy's level of business contact. Yet the stranger didn't carry himself like your common or garden business man.

This stranger was almost too silent, too still. He obviously had that uncanny ability to become invisible even in a crowded room; a trick Cade had never managed and one he envied in the few people he had met who could do it. Stella Rimmington, he remembered suddenly, had it down cold.

Cade was more than intrigued by this stranger, that much he admitted to himself. And at one time he would have done something about it. But those days were long gone. As Chief Constable, he was Ceaser's Wife--above suspicion. He accepted this with a good grace; the fleeting desires he felt for a good looking woman (or man) were no match for the achievement and pride he felt in his new position as head of the force. He'd gone as far as even he had ever dreamed of doing. A passing fancy for a blue eyed Yank was not about to disturb him. He brought his mind back to Mrs Harcourt and listened with impeccable manners to her right wing rantings.

Coffee was served in the drawing room; little groups mixed and mingled over the cups, liqueurs and mints. A few cigars were handed round. Cade refused everything but coffee.

Cade realised the American was by his side--he moved with cat like efficiency Cade noted and then found himself on the receiving end of a devilish grin. "That was very well done Chief Constable." Cade looked his confusion. "Mrs Harcourt--she had me scared to death. You handled her superbly. Ever thought of running for office?"

"You were eavesdropping," Cade accused mock seriously, more drawn to this man than he should have been.

"Aw, I could never resist watching a master at work." Phillips drank down his brandy--for some reason, Cade's eyes were fastening on the exposed throat of the other man, watching the almost voluptuous swallows.

"I just wish that one of the hostesses at these dinners would have the sense to serve pizza or something," Phillips said mournfully.

Cade spluttered into his coffee cup. "I was thinking the same thing not three hours ago. Dainty little dinner dishes are all very well but--"

"Yeah, they're not what built the Empire," the other finished. "Well," he continued, taking a look at his watch, "I think I've done my duty and can now leave without causing grave offence. Although I wonder, is it possible to offend someone who lives in a house like this?"

"Fat Boy's skin is quite thick, I've found," Cade said dryly; he wasn't about to be stupid enough to agree with that statement. This Phillips and Fat Boy may be closer than he suspected. And he'd made it a rule of his long ago; no personal opinions. Ever.

"It was good to talk with you," Phillips said and held out his hand again. He must be American, Cade thought, recalling his initial judgment; shaking hands all the time and using expressions like that? He must be.

"Nice to meet you," Cade replied, properly polite. Then as their hands parted, he found himself saying: "I have my car, can I drop you somewhere?"

There was an infinitesimal pause and the amazing dark blue eyes narrowed--in speculation?

"I'm staying at the Harley Grange, if you're sure it's no trouble?"

"Quite sure," Cade said and Drew's eyes narrowed again. There was an undercurrent there, Cade sensed. The offer of a lift was just that--nothing had been risked, nothing exposed. Yet Phillips did not strike him as the sort of man who accepted casual favours. What now Alan, he asked himself. But there was no answer to that. Or perhaps there was.

In the car, they barely spoke. Cade pulled up to the Harley Grange efficiently. It was a converted Queen Anne manor house, about fifteen miles along the main Eastlands Road, quiet and ruthlessly expensive.

"Do let me offer you a nightcap, it's the least I can do," Phillips said, courtesy and something else warming his face. Cade knew he would refuse--but somehow the cozy warmth of the Harley Grange lounge welcomed them in. A bewhiskered porter took their order and left them alone in the superbly furnished lounge area, off to the left of reception.

"You're American Ted said?" Cade struggled to make conversation and wished, quite fervently, that he'd not accepted this oh so casual invitation.

"No, but I have worked there. I'm as English as you are."

"And what is it you do?" Cade asked.

The blue eyes twinkled: "Aren't you going to read me my rights officer?"

"Sorry, is that what it sounded like?"

"Hmm hmm," Phillips nodded and turned to sign the service slip and dismiss the porter. "Have a drink instead, we can save the third degree for--another time," and Cade knew that Drew had been going to say 'later'. Would there be a later?

"But to answer your question, I met Ted when he started up a consortium with some pals of his to buy a stake in EuroTunnel. I funded part of it. Satisfied?" and the blue eyes darkened, faint innuendo tinting the last word enough not to be mistaken but not enough to give offence--well, he's certainly not shy, Cade acknowledged. And he has not answered my question at all.

"Idle curiosity," Cade murmured. He sipped his coffee and analysed his feelings--a combination of surprise at himself and undeniable attraction to this stranger. Phillips was handsome enough to turn any head, with a worldly wise and slyly humoured style that was--interesting.

"I can't believe you aren't a native American," Cade said at last.

Phillips raised an eyebrow. "Most people do mistake me for one. I guess the Marks & Spencer socks should have given you a clue Sherlock."

"Yes, they should," Cade laughed. "But you do talk like an American, and it's more than just the accent."

Phillips grimaced at the implied slur, but had to agree. "I guess I do--I'm sorry, I'll start again. I suppose I do tend to use the idiom. It's the universal language of the travelling business man isn't it? And I lived there at one time. I have a flat in London now and it says English on my passport, but I'm hardly ever in one place long these days--working too hard I suppose." He leaned back in his chair and undid his jacket--an innocent enough gesture, if viewed innocently. Cade mocked his own dry mouthed reaction--has it been that long?

"Are you here on business now?" Cade asked, settling himself more comfortably. Phillips noted the ease in posture and smiled slightly.

"Business mostly, though some pleasure--I hope. I fly out tomorrow, Brussels then points south." Phillips looked at Cade calmly; after all the double talk and careful groundwork, the offer was there in his eyes.

Cade finished his coffee and played with the idea for a while, enjoying the anticipation of an act he knew he would not perform. For a few lovely moments, he allowed himself to pretend...but facts were facts and Alan Cade prided himself on facing them squarely. It was a pity, no, more than that, it was a downright shame. Phillips was an attractive man--civilised and urbane. He leaves tomorrow, a stranger I need never see again--why not?

But there were a million reasons why not and Cade knew every one of them, too well. "I hope you have a successful trip," Cade said, putting down his cup; both the words and the gesture were a refusal. As if on cue, the grandfather clock that graced reception chimed midnight; the sweet toned bells could be clearly heard in the deserted lounge.

"I'm about to turn into a pumpkin," Cade tried to make a joke of it and Phillips smiled in response, a trifle coolly; accepting the change in tone, reverting to mere surface pleasantries.

"Then you'd better collect your glass slippers and go," Phillips stated easily and Cade felt just a little bit piqued that Phillips was making no objection to his departure, no more overt declaration of interest.

The two men stood, Cade aware again of the other's good looks. Fool, he raged inwardly, do something, let him know you were interested, flattered...let him know it's just the job makes you hesitate. Not him. Though why he should mind he didn't know--a careful pass had been carefully brushed off and that was it.

"I--it was--er, thank you for the drink Andrew," Cade managed, feeling ill at ease now and uncertain how to take his leave--he was struggling to match the other's aplomb.

"Drew, please, just Drew. I prefer it. And it was purely my pleasure--Al," he grinned, showing even white teeth. "No I'm sorry, I couldn't resist. I could see how you felt when Fat Boy called you that. So, it was purely my pleasure--Chief?" It was said with teasing irony--but was Cade being over-sensitive to detect, still, a trace of hostility in Drew's voice? An hostility that Cade knew was justified.

"Sometimes it's Chief, sometimes it's Alan," Cade said, feeling an obscure obligation to the other man--he owed him something at least. Drew had been honest and approachable--it wasn't his fault that Cade had dithered like a maiden aunt at an orgy.

"I'm sorry it was the Chief tonight," Drew said.

"It must be," Cade stated, adding carefully: "Policemen are never really off duty." Now the moment had passed he regretted his refusal keenly.

"Ah, I see. Yes. Of course. It's unfortunate," and Drew reached out and placed his hand on Cade's shoulder; a friendly gesture, the kind of thing Fat Boy did when he tried to interest you in his scams, the kind of touching even the most macho men would indulge in--yet it was as if Cade had touched an unearthed wire; a hot, quick quiver of electricity bolted through his body, sweat beaded his upper lip and he could feel--something--crawl from his stomach to curl, warm and heavy, lower down.

Cade licked suddenly dry lips and searched for something to say. There was nothing. Drew released him, looking a little stunned.

"I'm probably going to get myself punched in the head or even arrested, but if I asked you to take me home with you, would you say yes?" Drew asked looking Cade straight in the eye.

"Ask," Cade said, still feeling shocked by his reaction to such a simple touch, still shocked at how this moment of goodbye had turned around, out of control so fast, slipping away from him.

"Will you take me home with you?" Phillips eyes were almost smoky now, lazy lidded. He's got the most gorgeous pout, Cade realised, bee stung lips with that sulky little droop at the corners. Before he could rationalise it, Cade had leaned forward--a brief brush of the lips across the other's cheek. Madness, to do that here, touch another man like that here, in public. He marvelled at himself, raging inwardly, furious--and his lips still tingled with the touch and he wondered how long it would take to get home, to where he could do it again. And again.

They drove away, the winding country roads bare of traffic at this time of the morning. It was a dry, cool night, starless. Cade lowered the windows, needing the rush of the wind. Drew didn't speak; after a few minutes, he reached out his right hand and rested it, quite gently, on Cade's left shoulder.

The house showed a light in a downstairs and an upstairs window. Drew looked at these signs of habitation. "It was crass of me not to ask if you lived alone," he said ruefully.

"I do. These are to deter the more enterprising burglar." Drew laughed at that; a new sound to Cade and one he liked.

Cade locked the car, opened his front door and disabled then re-set the alarm. He led the way into the living room and switched on the gas coal-effect fire. It was a good imitation of the real thing; you could even make toast before it if you wanted. Cade shrugged out of his dinner jacket and loosened his tie before pouring himself a gin and tonic.

"I knew you were a gin man," Drew said and nodded his acceptance as Cade held out the bottle inquiringly. "Yes please, lots of tonic." Drew came to stand by his side at the drinks cabinet and took the glass from Cade's hand, careful to let their fingers touch. The spark was there again, not as intense as before, but warmer, more intimate. Cade licked his lips and drank, never taking his eyes from the other's face, mysterious and more handsome than ever in the lamp and firelight.

"You do that very nicely," Drew murmured softly, coming closer, "you're a very sexy drinker. You're a very sexy man period. Sorry. Full stop," with that devilish smile. They were so close now, they breathed the same air.

"I don't know anything about you," Cade said, a token protest.

"What do you want to know?" Drew smiled--at such close quarters it was quite paralysing. He took Cade's glass and set both drinks down.

Contrary, Cade felt scared by this, common sense coming to his rescue and he retreated. "I'm sorry, this is all a big mistake, it's quite out of the question..." his protests were stopped short; Drew simply followed and took hold of him efficiently and thoroughly, kissing him hard on the lips, smothering any other denials that Cade may have had.

Cade froze, not shocked exactly but certainly very surprised at Drew's initiative. The kiss was skillful and shockingly arousing, Drew moulded his lips with firm pressure, his tongue licking delicately over the sensitive inner skin of Cade's mouth. Cade's small gasp was lost in Drew's open, hungry mouth and all thoughts of common sense and protest were lost with it.

Cade felt himself melt against the other, surprised as always by the strength of a man's embrace, remembering how sweet it was to meet power with power, equals. Drew's arms came around him, held him closer, kneading the tension from his shoulders. Cade groaned at the firmness of the touch and wrapped his own arms around Drew's waist, slipping his hands under the material of the jacket, feeling the heat of Drew's skin through the smooth, crisp linen of his shirt.

A manly, musky smell filled Cade's nostrils and he breathed in deeply, his own lips still pushing and pouting against Drew's masterful kisses. Soap and hot skin; the smell of a man. Cade's eyes drifted open and closed again in dazed passion, as Drew kissed him, again and again, each kiss seemingly deeper than before. Their tongues twined together, a tender dual for supremacy, licking and sucking. Drew made a soft, deeply throaty sound and pulled away slightly, teasing Cade to advance, enticing Cade's tongue to explore his mouth, to take the lead and he opened easily before Cade's touch, his hands lost in the lushness of Cade's hair, cradling the back of his head in a rich and tender embrace.

Reluctant, they slipping from each others' mouths, Drew still pressing soft little kisses all around Cade's now swollen, passion-pouted lips.

"Was all that a big mistake Alan?" he whispered, the hot rush of his words across Cade' cheek. Cade caught his breath, aware of Drew calling him by his name--it sounded nice the way he said it. Cade was too breathless to speak and Drew kissed his cheek fondly and pulled away to look deep in Cade's eyes. "I understand, it's all right. I'm not from the newspapers or anything like that," and there was a world of amusement behind his words. "It's been a long time for you hasn't it, since you last had a man?"

"Yes," Cade admitted, not ashamed of that fact. "I don't know why you--why tonight," he added and smiled back into Drew's face, "I guess you were just irresistible."

"And I suppose you know you're pretty irresistible yourself?" Drew teased in turn. "And don't worry honey, it's been a while for me too but I always come dressed for the party."

It took Cade a few moments to understand--and he was glad the other had mentioned protection so matter of factly. The humour had defused the tension between them; Cade felt more comfortable with himself--and Drew.

They resumed their drinks and sat close, side by side, upon the sofa. Drew's hand rested upon Cade's thigh, a gesture of casual ownership that was both arrogant and arousing. It seemed perfectly natural for Cade's arm to be around Drew's shoulder.

"You haven't been here long have you?" Drew said, looking around. "I can still smell paint."

"No, about three months. It took a while to find the right sort of house when I first came to Eastland."

"Are you happy--being so important and well known?"

Cade was surprised at the question and more by the tone. Drew had sounded as if being well known was but one step better than being terminally ill. "Yes, I am. I'm good at my job and--being honest, I enjoy the power."

"There are different kinds of power," Drew said, his eyes becoming distant and dreamy in the instant. It was but a moment, then the brilliant blue eyes were as shining and softly seductive as before.

"I'm a very private person, I couldn't bear such exposure."

"Too many risks, being known?"

"Maybe. But no risks tonight eh? I promise you. No strings either. I'll be gone before I even crease the sheets--that is, if we are ever going to bed?" Shamelessly, Drew began to unbutton his shirt. For some reason Cade had been rather repelled by his last remarks but the wanton warmth of Drew's face now could have only one response.

"Let me hasten to assure you--" and he got up from the sofa and tugged Drew after him, up the stairs. The master bedroom was large, airy and coolly furnished; the bed a huge brass contraption covered by snowy white linen. It was a surprisingly masculine room with a pleasant faint smell of cologne. There was a small but exquisite Lear original landscape watercolour above the bed.

"You have excellent--and expensive--tastes my dear Chief," Drew said, taking in this treasure.

"It pleases me," Cade said; again something in the other's tone struck a faint, disagreeable chord. Drew was undressing with exemplary efficiency, folding his clothes neatly but not fussily. He was trim indeed, Cade acknowledged and tanned all over. Everywhere.

"Isn't this a little one sided?" Drew asked, stood in unabashed naked splendour by the side of the pristine bed. Cade laughed a little breathlessly--it was such a long time since he'd felt this much desire for anyone it was taking him by surprise. He began to remove his clothes, aware of Drew's unblinking gaze the whole time. He felt warmed by such intensity--it seemed the desire he felt was reciprocated.

"You really are very lovely Alan," Drew said as Cade stood beside him at last. "Like a mature but still rather appealingly kittenish lion," Drew's voice was bathed in chuckles and Cade smiled widely in return at the improbable simile.

"A kittenish lion? Well, that's very flattering--I think." Cade moved closer, taking a little of the other's initiative as his example. Their skins touched all down one side. "If we're into unusual likenesses, you remind me of a panther. Sleek and dark and stunning."

Drew's arms were about Cade's waist now, holding him just so. "Mmm, I like the sound of that. Let me see just how stunning I can be," he lowered his head and Cade's eyes drifted closed. He pouted slightly, ready for the kiss he was sure would follow. But Drew had other ideas; with a sudden, hot wet touch, his mouth swabbed around Cade's nipple, bringing it to instant hardness.

"Drew," Cade's voice was agonised, shocked. Drew just mumbled something incoherent before his mouth again captured the rosy nub, sucking hard. Cade's hands came to rest in Drew's hair, encouraging the sweet suckling. "Oh, that is quite, quite stunning," he said, throatily. Drew laughed, a low rumble that vibrated all through Cade's body.

Cade's other nipple was being worshipped now, the silky wet touch of Drew's tongue swabbing around each erect little nub in turn. With gentle care, Cade felt himself being pushed back, manoeuvred to lie across the bed, the substantial weight of Drew falling across him. The pressure was sweet, the bulk of another man pressing him down into the mattress so different, so excitingly different from a woman's slighter burden.

"Nice?" Drew whispered and Cade's hands tightened in his hair in response. "Tell me, show me what you want, what you like. I'll do anything," and Drew nuzzled into Cade's neck, licking the pulse with pointed tongue. "Hands or mouth?" he murmured and the wet warmth of his breath was a gust of pleasure into Cade's ear.

Cade twisted a little, frighteningly aroused and ready to feel anything, do anything just so Drew would keep doing what he was doing. "Anything," Cade groaned, "Anything but don't stop now," and he arched, catlike, against the other's chest, holding Drew firmly in place on top of him, glorying in the weight and warmth of the covering.

"I won't stop," and Drew's eyes were as bright as the sky, blazing down on Cade in the dimly lit room, "silly boy, as if I could," and he bent and kissed Cade again, a deep luscious kiss.

Cade responded, holding Drew tighter, bringing their bodies closer and closer. His cock was warm and full of pulsing life now, his erection growing slowly and certainly. When this fullness felt the first, tentative brush of Drew's penis, Cade cried out softly, wordlessly. The touch was agonisingly sweet.

"Aw honey, you are so lovely," Drew whispered brokenly, bringing their aching erections to lie side by side, pressed between their bellies. "So warm and lovely all over," he said, rocking his hips slightly, the tiny movements enough to bring another blaze of arousal between them, cocks hardening to full erection, full need.

Cade's hands stroked up and down Drew's smooth back, down to the lovely firm buttocks, cupping their fullness and squeezing as the muscles beneath Drew's skin bunched and flexed, rubbing harder and harder each time. His fingers dipped and skimmed the buttock cleft and at the touch, Drew froze, pulling back and away just a little. His eyes were dazzling, sombre brilliant blue looking down at the breathless and blatant sprawl of Cade beneath him.

"Hold that thought," he said low and wicked and was gone for just a moment, then returned. He ripped open the little foil packet and with amazingly steady hands, smoothed the pre-lubed rubber over Cade's pulsing erection. Cade watched him, more aroused than he would have believed possible at such a prosaic, yet wanton action. Drew stroked the protection onto his full length, eventually cupping Cade's bollocks as they nestled, full hot and snugly tight beneath his cock.

"I know I said I'd do anything," Drew said it only a little breathlessly, "but would you mind very much if I asked for something instead," and Cade shook his head at once, a little afraid of what Drew would want from him, more afraid of what he might not want.

"Will you fuck me Alan, now, right this minute?" and whatever it was Cade had expected it was not that. "I like to get fucked, I'd forgotten how much until you touched me." Drew's face was close to Cade's now, staring deep into each other's eyes. "I've not been done in a while but I really want you," and another hard swift kiss emphasised Drew's need.

"Yes, yes, if that's what you want," Cade answered feeling full of desire and passion for this lovely, strange brave man, who asked so fearlessly and so openly for what he wanted. Needed.

Drew moved at once, fluidly graceful and sprawled face down upon the wide bed, spreading himself wide. Cade was stunned at the beauty of the man and the gesture and he reached out hungrily, to touch and stroke Drew's back. His muscles were tight with passionate need and he groaned, gently but hungrily as Cade came to rest above him.

Drew was open and seeking the impalement. Cade breathed deeply to centre himself then eased forward, a slow single flex of his hips, pushing on into the hot tight depths of Drew's ass, feeling the grip of Drew's muscles welcoming him deeper. It was incredible, a long tight push into that fierce inner heat. "Oh yes," Cade sighed lushly, pushing in with short, slow strokes, deeper every time.

Drew's hips lifted slightly, offering more access, in counterpoint to Cade's thrusts, then clutching down tight and hard, holding Cade deep inside. "Honey now please, please," Drew gasped, his arms coming to push up off the bed slightly, tilting his hips up to change the angle of penetration, making it steeper, deeper.

Cade could feel orgasm building deep inside his balls, a hot concentration of pleasure into that one lance of flesh buried deeply inside the other man, a heat that rose higher with each thrust, then a glorious second of complete stillness before gush after sweet gush of semen spurted from him, tremors racking his body as he spasmed with the joy of it.

Cade rested a moment, plastered sweatily to Drew's heaving back, then slipped from his body with a wet, slickly satisfied sound.

"Drew, that was..." and there were no words, so he contented himself with a loving nuzzle into Drew's ear, before he rolled to the side, freeing the other man from the burden of his weight.

Drew gave a slow, languid stretch, easing his muscles into movement after the cramped tightness of their earlier embrace. "Honey, I'm with you," Drew said, huskily, as lost for words as the other, looking deeply into Cade's eyes. He moved over to lie on his back, groaning slightly as the movement pressed upon his used arse but still smiling--utterly replete.

Cade had to be make sure and reached for the other man, finding him wet and limp and bloated. Drew wriggled slightly at the touch and brought his own hand down to cover Cade's, cradling it around his sex. "See what you do to me honey? Like lighting up my spine you were, like lighting. The best for a long time," and he leaned forward and kissed Cade's lips, his mouth wide and slack and abandoned. Cade pressed back, kissing the other man, still glowing with the glory of their coupling.

Cade had never had same sex that good before. He wanted to tell the other man so, to be as free with words as Drew, to speak what was in his heart, but Drew was too busy kissing him, too busy gathering him close, too busy cuddling into Cade's sweaty, sex-smelling body. Cade's arms flexed around the other man, pulling him in tight for one last fierce hug, then settled comfortably, he drifted off to sleep, a faint smile still lighting his face.

The sheets had indeed remained remarkably un-creased. Little evidence remained apart from the pleasant ache in Cade's groin, reminder of great sex. There were large nearly dry footprints in the bathroom and a faint layer of talcum powder where Drew had dusted down. There was nothing else.

Cade showered, shaved and got into jeans and sweatshirt, before heading for the kitchen and some tea and toast. On the fridge door, secured by his memo magnet that bore the legend "Do not Forget" was a scrap of paper torn from the back of the telephone directory. In a firm pencil script, Drew had written his name and phone number, prefix 071. No strings Drew had said--he had kept his word.

Drew's ability to get out of a well alarmed and secured house gave Cade something to think about all day. There was more going on here than just another well travelled businessman. In Cade's experience, that sort were always only too eager to tell you all about their business interests. Drew's reticence was--unnerving. And deliciously attractive.

The weekend passed and Cade was occupied by the usual chores. Work was busy and he had a lot on his plate socially as well, but he still found time to ring the 071 number and after listening to the computer generated announcement, left a careful message. Cade couldn't quite make up his mind whether he was relieved or not that Drew hadn't been there.

Two months later, another solitary Friday night and Cade, sat over a tedious report and a small gin, was feeling lonely and out of sorts. The phone rang. Pre-occupied, expecting a recall to his office, he answered briskly: "Cade."

"Hello Alan, it's Drew Phillips. How are you?"

"Drew--what a surprise. I'm well," Cade stared, complete surprise truly being his strongest emotion. Drew's voice sounded very close and intimate, as if he were in the next room. "How are you?"

"Tired, I've just got back from South Africa--don't ask--it was a nightmare. Glad to be back in London, even if it is raining. No check that, especially as it's raining." Drew sounded alert and lively. "I'm sorry I only just got your message--this is my private answering service so it tends to have to wait until I'm actually back in the country."

"That's all right--I thought it would be something like that." Cade answered and then stopped, lost for what to say next.

Drew as always seemed at ease with words. "I just wanted you to know how much I enjoyed our time together. I'm sorry I couldn't stick around, but you know how it is. I'm in London for the next week or so, it would be great if we could meet up. But I won't keep you now, I've got things to do in any case--unpack mostly," Drew laughed; the sound went right down Cade's spine and raised goosebumps. "Think about it honey, no strings," and with that he hung up; poised, in control, brisk and efficient.

If he handles his business dealings as well as his love affairs, he must be a millionaire Cade mused, staring at the receiver in his hand. He replaced the phone carefully. Once more, he found himself wondering; what now Alan?

They arranged to meet in the cocktail bar at Whites Hotel near Hyde Park. Cade had a Special Branch meeting that afternoon at the Yard anyway and had already made tentative plans to stay up in London for the weekend. Drew being in the capital was an added bonus. The meeting was due to end at 4.00pm so he'd left a message with Drew's answering service to meet at 5.00pm.

Cade enjoyed the walk through the park. Full of tourists and shabby as it was, it was still the nearest thing to the freshness of Eastland he could get. A dusty town summer was coming to an end and everything looked a little tired.

The bar was empty save for an elderly couple of well preserved Americans, chatting to the barman. Cade ordered a large gin and tonic and sat in the faded Edwardian splendour of a window booth. The door swung open and Drew strode in; his tan was deeper, his hair shorter and his eyes were bluer than ever. Stunningly dressed in a very dark business suit he fairly crackled with energy.

He came over at once, his face aglow with genuine delight. "Alan, I haven't kept you waiting have I? What'll you have," and when Cade refused, he got his own drink (bourbon and Malvern Water) and came to sit opposite Cade. He raised his glass in a toast and said again, quieter: "It's grand to see you honey, you look--beautiful," and drank.

They chatted idly; talk about the weather, the latest Test match results, yet another royal scandal. Cade marvelled again at Drew's poise, his easy command of seemingly any situation either public or intimate. As sooth as silk, he thought, a cliche but true in this case.

"Your tan is a little deeper," Cade said at last, "was South Africa really a nightmare?"

"No, not really. I was closing down an operation rather than opening one up and that's always so time consuming and tedious. You know, housekeeping stuff, paying off staff, that sort of thing."

"Closing down a factory, an office?" Cade asked, surprised. Drew hadn't struck him as a receiver or asset stripper.

"Not exactly. The services I provided were no longer required," Drew said but underneath his smile there was something grim and a little unpleasant. Cade had been a policeman too long not to listen to his hunches. He listened to one now.

"What exactly is it you do Drew, tell me," and his face got still and hard; he was the Chief now, not Alan.

Drew didn't answer for a while but sat back in his chair and sipped his drink, looking at Cade with appreciation and deep down lust. Cade held the gaze, refusing to be embarrassed by it.

At last, Drew gave a small nod as if he had come to a decision: "I do lots of things Alan, as I told you. Some of them are--dangerous--you might say. But I can tell you, hand on heart, that not one of them breaks any law in this country. So you can keep the handcuffs. Unless you like to play like that?"

Not smooth, Cade realised a little bitterly, not silky: bloody varnished.

"What? Guns, drugs?" he asked, chilly despite the warm afternoon.

"Not drugs."

"Guns then?"

"It does involve firearms, certainly."

"You're a gun runner?" and Cade's lip curled in contempt at Drew and at himself; to think, for one moment he'd wondered if this man might be--special.

"No Alan, I'm a mercenary. A soldier of fortune." Drew's smile was wide and genuine, but his eyes were cold and even a little angry. "I sell my body if you like, my skill. To fight other peoples wars. And I get paid an awful lot of money for doing it."

Cade let the ideas settle in his mind. Bitterly, he acknowledged that what Drew said was true--he was breaking no law, not in this country at any rate. It was quite legal for a man to hire himself out as a soldier; as legal as it was for a man to hire himself out as a bricklayer or a cook or a....

But a mercenary. A killer? Probably. And one you slept with, one you fucked. God help you, one you expected to fuck again, several times. Tonight.

Drew watched him carefully, tracing the thoughts as they passed in Cade's eyes. "What difference does it make?" he asked at last, gently.

"What difference? You can ask that? You kill people for money and ask what difference it makes?"

"No Alan, that is incorrect," and Drew's face hardened remarkably. His voice was low and clear and steady and quite blazingly angry. "I am not an assassin. I am a soldier. Yes, sometimes the people I fight against die and so in that respect they die because of me." As quickly as it had flared, the anger died, and the varnish was back as smooth and concealing as ever.

"I'm sorry, but I don't see it like that," Cade said, stubbornly. He felt a confused wash of emotions seething through his stomach--and hated himself that the strongest were regret and stifled desire. Despite his protestations, he couldn't say it was contempt for Drew or his profession. Simply regret that now he wouldn't have this gorgeous man ever again.

Drew took another sip from his drink and looked at the dark liquid, swirling it around the glass. Cade noticed his hands; blunt capable manly hands. Professionally manicured. Ringless. Beautiful. He remembered those hands sliding a condom onto his own erect cock. Cade felt his skin prickle with heat, all over.

"I'm sorry too--heh, stoopid of me, huh?" and the accent and idiom were back, making Drew the American stranger again. "It was nice to see you again, even if that's all it was. I dare say you'll want to mention me to your--colleagues--in say, Interpol? Don't worry, they can find me if they want to. They even know my real name I expect." Drew put down his glass and stood up. "It was almost heaven," he said, something Cade didn't understand, then he was gone.

The doors to the bar swung shut, the dusty afternoon mellowed into a muggy, sticky evening. It was going to thunder Cade thought. He bought himself another large gin and responded suitably to the polite conversation of the American couple at the bar. They'd had a great time so far they said, 'just loved' everything. Stratford upon Avon, Oxford, Canterbury, Hampton Court--everything. And it was 'so civilised here' too. Cade agreed and nodded and smiled as they gushed 'and your policemen are just wonderful'.

"Al, just the man," Fat Boy's voice boomed through the vaulted Victorian edifice of the Town Hall, as he sighted Cade emerging from the Mayor's office. Cade stood and waited patiently as Fat Boy shook himself free of his admiring satellites and barrelled down the hallway towards him.

"Al, how's the boy," and not waiting for a reply, Bradley went on, "got a favour to ask as a matter of fact--Drew Phillips. The thing is Al, the cartel needs a bit more petrol money, heh heh heh, and I know for a fact that Phillips is simply rolling in it. You haven't heard from him have you?"

Cade hoped his face didn't reflect what he was feeling at this point. "No," he managed, "I'm sorry no."

"Ah well, worth a try. I've been leaving messages with that damn digital voice exchange thing of his for a couple of weeks now but there's been no response."

"I--" Cade cleared his throat, "I gather Mr Phillips travels a lot, perhaps he's out of the country."

"Yeah, that'll be it. Well, not to worry. You must come over on Sunday Alan, the little woman and I are having our first picnic of the summer, I'll get my girl to call your office," and with a crushing handshake, Fat Boy departed.

Cade went on his way, telling himself he was unperturbed. The last time he'd seen Drew had been a week before the August Bank Holiday. Now here was Fat Boy talking about spring barbecues. It's nearly eight months Alan, let it go. But he couldn't.

He had spoken to Interpol about it; a casual contact of his who wouldn't ask too many questions. Yes, they knew of Drew Phillips and his activities. They knew his service background in the SAS and his real name too incidentally, would Alan want copies of the files? Cade refused.

He replayed their final conversation in his head over and over again, rehearsing it every which way. Sometimes, he thought he had been too harsh, should have shrugged, worldly and understanding--'What difference does it make'. Other times he cursed himself for letting the bastard get away with it, for not telling him exactly where he got off. Every single time, he regretted letting Drew go, regretted the loss of something he barely recognised, so scarce had it become in his life.

"Phyllis," he instructed, "if Mr Bradley's office calls with an invitation to a barbecue on Sunday, tell them I'd be delighted."

It was a perfect May afternoon. The ladies were dressed in chiffon and broiderie anglaise, the local business set in expensive casuals. The 'little woman' was stoutly pregnant and Cade paid his congratulations along with everyone else then helped himself to the (surprisingly substantial) grub.

There were no words to describe the loathing Cade felt for himself, for being here only because--maybe--perhaps--who knows--Drew may be there as well. But he wasn't. Even that ability to be invisible wouldn't have fooled Cade. Half the county was there, including Mrs Harcourt heading in his direction he saw sinkingly, but not the one man in all the world he was looking for.

Cade braced himself for Mrs Harcourt but before he could so much as frame a word, a strong hand took his shoulder and swung him around.

"We can't keep meeting like this," and there he was, thinner, older but as beautiful as ever. He was smiling at Alan with easy charm, a smile that still cut to the core.

"I--wasn't expecting you," Cade managed.

"Weren't you? I'm disappointed." He didn't look disappointed, Cade grudged inwardly, he looked wonderful.

"How's business?" Cade said at last and winced at how petty that sounded. Drew's eyes were wide and filled with laughter--he doesn't care how I sound, Cade raged. He just doesn't care.

"Business, as always, is booming. South Africa cools off, Bosnia heats up. The way of the world."

"Bosnia?" Cade couldn't help it and added, "You will be careful won't you, its a war zone for God's sake." He stopped suddenly, aware of what he'd just revealed.

"Yes, it's that all right. Pretty hairy I can tell you, even for hardened troopers like me. Though I promise you honey, I'll be careful. Have I ever made a promise I didn't keep?" And to be honest, Cade had to admit, he never had.

"But have I told you how nice it is to see you?" With mingled amusement and rage, Cade realised Drew was flirting with him, gently but expertly.

"It's nice to be seen," Cade said in response and despite himself, moved to stand just that little bit closer. All he does is smile and I'm out of breath already, Cade mused.

"I'm glad you're glad," Drew said, deliberately exaggerating his accent, camping it up just a little. "No seriously, I am. I'd still like to see you Alan, you must know that."

"I--don't know Drew, I really don't." Cade had secretly expected something like this but now it was happening, his reaction was confusing him.

"You know where to find me, I'll be there until tomorrow morning." Drew said it with a touch of finality and Cade knew that there would be no more casual half-chance meetings after this. Drew was not a man to be taken for granted and not one to keep chasing if the quarry proved elusive or difficult. Before Cade could answer him, Drew had gone, bidding a swift farewell to his host and hostess and disappearing into the barbecue throng like a fish into the water.

"Mr Phillips--could you let him know I'm in the bar? He is expecting me." I hope. Cade didn't allow himself to feel nervous. The lounge of the Harley Grange was as luxurious and deserted as before. Then Drew walked towards him and for once his face was neutral, unsmiling.

"Will you take me home with you Alan," he said it simply and in the face of such stark simplicity, Cade could only nod and lead the way.

"We're caught in some sort of time-warp, don't you think?" Drew said, trying to recover his more usual manner but for the first time it seemed forced.

"Yes," Cade agreed, just to be saying something. They reached the house too soon and it was only as they sat with drinks as they had so long before that Cade found words.

"What's wrong Drew?"

"Nothing, I assure you," Drew said, too formally.

"You're not a natural liar are you? Even after what you've done, what you must have seen?"

"Are you saying I'm lying now?"

Cade just looked at him. "Come on, tell me. Something has happened, something between this afternoon at Bradley's and now, here. Tell me."

"It may be something you're better off not knowing," Drew said warningly. "Something your pals in MI5 may already know."

"I'm never off duty, you know that."

"Then don't ask me again, don't ask me, ok?" Cade was shocked at the violence of the response, more shocking because of the change from Drew's usually urbane, easy going style. It was the first time the varnish had cracked even a little. Cade was not sure he liked what lay underneath it after all.

"Oh honey, don't look so stricken, it doesn't suit you. There's been a bit of a cock up out in Sarajevo, that's all. I'll have to high tail it out there and put the toothpaste back in tube, as per." Drew tried to keep it light, but the undertone was sombre. 'A bit of a cock up' was probably Drew's elusive way of saying massacre.

"Look honey, let's take all the fancy talk for granted can we and just take me to bed and make love to me Alan, please? I need it and believe me I deserve it too." Drew looked almost comically sad as he said this, his pout of outrageous proportions and the varnish very thick and smooth. Cade couldn't help but smile in the face of such provocation; and all the time wondered what this man was like under all the surfaces, who he was, really.

The bedroom was as cool and welcoming as before, the Lear now kept company with a Cottman but this time Drew seemed oblivious to his surroundings and undressed mechanically. Cade discarded garment for garment and they made it to the bed together, Drew stroking Cade's chest hair almost absentmindedly.

"What's this?" Cade asked sharply, noticing a large round white mark at the top of Drew's left leg, about the size and depth of a ten pence piece.

"Eh? Oh that. I played a game of dodge the bullet and lost," Drew said, grimly amused at the other's aghast face.

Cade reached out and touched the scar, stroking the place gently. "Want to kiss it better?" Drew asked huskily, all other moods giving place to desire. Cade smiled at the provocation and lowered his head and kissed the spot with tender care. "That feels better already," Drew said and carded his fingers through Cade's hair, stroking the silkiness.

Cade was happy to stay there, the heated scent of Drew's genitals a warm promise. It was a long time since he had touched another man so intimately and he rubbed his cheeks against the smooth skin where hip met thigh. He could feel the warm bulk of Drew's erection growing under the stimulation and he turned his attention to it eagerly. He kissed the length of it with delicate, butterfly kisses, smiling as Drew muttered at the torturous touch.

The tip rose from the foreskin, dewy and inviting, as succulent as a ripe nectarine. Cade licked this richness and felt Drew's fingers spasm in his hair, clutching him closer then releasing him at once, stroking in apology for such roughness.

"Aww honey, if you knew what that does to me," Drew whispered and Cade raised his head to look at the other man's face, stripped bare by need and starkly handsome.

Willingly, Cade bent again to his task, taking the whole of the cockhead into his mouth this time, careful to shield his teeth and swirling a mouthful of saliva around the delicate skin. With agonising slowness he took more and more of the cock into his mouth, swallowing reflexively and sucking every so slightly.

"You're killing me," Drew groaned, anguished, but Cade paid no attention, keeping it slow and very very sweet until at last, his nose nestled in the thick curls of Drew's pubis and he released his sucking long enough to breath in the scent of the man.

The heavy bulk of the cock felt strange in his mouth and he savoured the taste and texture carefully, surprised at the heat and the definite pulsing of the great vein against his tongue. He sucked a little harder, rubbing his tongue--side to side to side under the hard flesh inside him. At each gentle lash of his tongue, Drew gave a catchy little groan, now rocking his hips in the blinding need for release.

"Honey please, I'm nearly there," and with wonderful control, Drew's cradling hands pushed his head away. Knowing this was inevitable even as he mourned the loss of the cock in his mouth, Cade moved back and brought his hands up to cup the fullness of the erection, to hold it in a tight fist and pump, once, twice, a firm grip around the heat and bulk. The living thing in his hand quivered, harder and straighter than before then with a tiny cry, Drew burst into cum, shooting out of him in violent little spurts of joy, the hot white semen streaking Drew's belly and Cade's cheek.

Cade looked in awe at the thing he had done, the release and pleasure he had brought to this man; and he wished that he could have taken the salty fluid inside himself.

Drew gathered Cade into his arms and kissed his lips, a delicate gesture of tribute. "Honey, you will never know how much I needed that," and kissed him again.

Cade looked at him, sprawled and relaxed in his bed and realised where all this was taking him.

Drew's burdens had been banished by Cade's careful loving; replete and satisfied, he gave a low sexy growl. "Mmm, lovely as that was, I'm now feeling full of generosity to my fellow man," and Cade was hauled up to lie, flat on his back with Drew leaning over him, "and rather keen to keep my side of the bargain at last." Drew smiled down at him and Cade, dazzled, reached out to touch Drew's cheek gently. "Well honey, remember? Anything you want, I promised. Anything. Tell me," and the smile dimmed a little under the growing desire.

Cade gazed and gazed at the other man's beauty and wondered what Drew saw when he looked at him.

"Tell me," Drew repeated huskily.

"Your hands," Cade said, helplessly, "your beautiful strong hands," and gave a soft, wordless cry as Drew touched him, sure and confident touches, demanding and caring. It was slow, yet over too soon, a gentle and unhurried climax that eased from Cade's body in soft easy gushes. Still sticky with the cum, Drew's hands continued to stroke and pet him sweetly, as languid and warming as a sun bath.

Cade slept, deeply satisfied, his back cradled firmly against Drew's chest and Drew relaxed, eyes closed but wide awake and far from rested.

Cade was secretly a little surprised that Drew was there the following morning. He was the urbane and witty American now; showered, dressed and tucking into a stack of toast, watching the talking animals on childrens' Saturday morning TV and even chuckling sometimes at their antics. Cade felt the oddness of this stranger in his house, not quite lover not quite friend.

The oddness grew as the morning passed; Cade pottered about doing chores. Drew didn't make insincere offers of help, he just got on with it and proved a dab-hand at the washing up. On no grounds at all, Cade began to get irritated and Drew, sensing this, began to prowl around; he's going to leave any minute, Cade said to himself, I just know it.

"Drew, we have to talk," Cade said, wincing at the soap-opera quality of that statement.

"What about honey," Drew answered rather shortly, "what is there to talk about?"

"You--me. Us. If there is an 'us'."

"Honey, I like you a lot; you're funny and clever and very very lovely to look at. And damn sexy, if you didn't know. But there is no 'us', you know there isn't." Drew sounded serious and considerate.

"Are we lovers, friends, what?" Cade demanded, surprising himself by the depth of his need to know.

"If we do meet again, why then we'll smile, if not this parting was well made." Drew said, seemingly addressing the ceiling.

"What does that mean, if anything?" Cade asked angrily, half recognising the quote, knowing it was something from Shakespeare and feeling a little insulted that Drew was falling back on such tactics.

"I guess--I suppose it's the Soldiers' Farewell honey, for want of anything better."

"Farewell?" Cade repeated the work blankly.

"Say 'au revoir' then, if it makes you feel better. If you want to see me again, I'd like that. But I can't promise anything. And lovely as you are, I don't want to." Cade supposed he should be grateful to be spared the lies but this truth was so harsh it was brutal.

"Oh, I'd never tie you down Drew," Cade said it and knew his voice sounded bitter.

"This hurts your vanity more than your heart, trust me on it. I should be back from Sarajevo in about three weeks. If you don't want to see me, don't call."

"Simple as that?"

"It can be, if we let it."

"No strings eh?"

"I can't afford strings in my job. Nor can you, I'd have said. There'll be no red-eyed widow left grieving for me honey. I've seen too much of it."

"You're just a coward, afraid of taking the risks of caring," Cade scorned, disappointed in the man.

"Ah, would that were true. I would move heaven and earth to be with the person I really love but that just isn't possible for me."

"I'm not that person," and it wasn't quite a question.

"There is--was--someone. Once. He was a lot like you actually, in many ways. Even looks. But it was a different world then, and God knows, I was different too. This is how I am now."

"I want what you are."

"You don't know me Alan, not really."

"I feel as if I do, as if I've known you--before." It sounded stupid, yet Cade surprised himself because as soon as he'd said it, he knew it was true.

"A different time, a different place? Who's to say. Anything's possible. Look, call me if you want to. But there will never be more than this, believe it Alan." Drew sounded determined and no one, looking at him, could doubt his sincerity. And I can't even say he led me on, the thought slid into Cade's mind like ice.

"Heh, no hard feelings," Drew said and they shook hands.

"Of course not. Take care Andrew," and he was proud of how calm he sounded, as if he were bidding goodbye to a chance acquaintance, which in a way he was.

"Maybe I'll see you again..." and for the first time, Drew trailed off, uncertain.

"You never know," Cade said glitteringly, "anything's possible."

-- THE END --

July 1994
Originally published in No Holds Barred 10, Kathleen Resch, October 1995

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