"Look. I told you I'm booked." The curly haired youth pushed away the groping hand of the older, larger, slightly inebriated man.

"Ah...come on, sweet. Give us a tumble. Make it worth your while...." His voice faded again as he made a grab for the shorter, slighter man's crotch.

The rent boy stepped slightly back and to the side, giving the thick headed brute a shove as he did so. The moves looked casual, almost gentle, but the erstwhile client slammed into the wall and slid to the ground, winded.

The hooker commented as he looked down in disdain at the dazed man, "You ain't got enough money to tempt me, mate. Shove off." He turned and walked quickly away, his hips swaying as he moved, teasing with what wasn't on offer.

The auburn haired man sighed his frustration as he strode down the street. 'Well at least it's almost over,' he thought to himself. Three bloody long weeks working undercover as a prostitute with his coworkers in the drug squad and recruits from a couple of other divisions acting as clients. This wasn't the first creep from the neighborhood that he'd had to discourage with the excuse that he had appointments. This also wasn't the first one unwilling to take no for an answer but Ray Doyle was quite capable of handling them. Being a martial arts expert did have its advantages.

This cruddy assignment was his boss' payback. Chief Inspector Crenick had been more or less neutral when Doyle had testified against two of their own, Montgomery and Preston, but when Ray had agreed to interview with CI5 he'd hit the roof. Crenick had argued with him till they'd both said some things that they probably didn't mean but Ray wouldn't be dissuaded. He was tired of fighting the criminals with his hands tied behind his back, and even more tired of not being able to tell the good guys from the bad. He hadn't had many close friends during his time in the Met but he sure as hell wasn't used to the cold shoulder he was getting because he'd agreed to testify against a couple of crooked cops. The other cop that had testified had confided to Ray that he was thinking of leaving the force soon. Doyle hadn't been surprised at the admission but that had been the final straw for him, so when CI5 had called he'd said yes he was interested.

The initial interview had gone smoothly enough. He'd liked George Cowley and felt he was a dedicated honest man who would back his people up and he'd seemed to understand the betrayal Ray had felt for being regarded as a traitor for testifying. Cowley hadn't held either the initial testimony or his feelings of disillusionment against him. Having passed the first hurdle the vetting process had been initiated and all the long dead rumors about Ray's old roommate had surfaced again.

'Why couldn't all that bi-sexual shit just die? No one had the least bit of proof,' he groused to himself. But between CI5 and the gay rumors Chief Inspector Crenick wasn't likely to forgive him or CI5, for that matter, anytime soon. Thus this shit job as a prossie. He'd called Ray one of his best officers and pleaded with him to stay. Doyle had been surprised at Crenick's praise, he wasn't one to get overly effusive, but he hadn't let it change his mind. He was sick of being treated as the criminal--the one who had done something wrong.

Once accepted by CI5 Ray would have resigned and told Crenick to stuff it but he knew that the assignment had merit and that he was the best for the job. He looked young and harmless and that would mean less trouble blending in. Most of the other berks he worked with in drugs looked hard and experienced, they'd quickly be noticed and watched. It had also been one of his grasses that had provided the tip--that made it his responsibility, as well.

Three weeks just watching and listening in this area had enabled him to spot at least half a dozen small time dealers and a couple of their suppliers and he'd gotten a few good leads on the bigger fish and all that was only secondary to the main point. Only another week to go...but he was damn fed up. There was a big deal going down at the end of the week and Ray should have a front row seat. That was the whole point, anybody showing up in the area during the last couple of weeks before the deal would be sure to be watched but Doyle had been hanging out long enough to be regarded as part of the scenery, so while the main distributors might give him a second look--he was a good looking SOB after all--they wouldn't give him that all important third glance that might cause everything to blow up.

Sighing he thought that Crenick really was a bastard. He'd chosen him, Doyle knew, not only because of the CI5 gig but also because of his rumored bi-sexuality. The Chief Inspector didn't like poofs and when the CI5 security check had dredged up all the old rumors Crenick figured he'd get his last digs in at Doyle.

'Well rumors are all they've got and it doesn't seem to matter to the Ice Man Cowley anyway,' Doyle concluded. He wondered if CI5 really had to stir up the pot the way they did. No one had ever come out and asked him his sexual preferences--gay, bi, or straight. None of the forms even mentioned it. Course he guessed that made sense...after all who was going to admit to being gay or bi? Even in this day and age that would likely get you tossed off the list of consideration for any job you might apply for, at least in classified government service. And previously it would have likely made you ineligible for any job and even subject to arrest, so he guessed it was logical not to bother with a question whose obvious answer had to be no.

'So maybe CI5 was merely looking for discretion?' At least that was the conclusion that Doyle had come to. Rather than ask outright and force someone to lie they just dug to see if they could find anything. If they got any hard and fast evidence then you weren't discrete enough and if they didn't they figured that you'd be careful. 'Or hell maybe if they found hard evidence they'd just come out and ask and see how you replied or maybe they really didn't give a damn. Who knew?'

He didn't have an answer. All he knew for sure was that the rumors hadn't kept him from being accepted for the CI5 training. The only people, other than himself, who could confirm those rumors had died five years ago in a car crash. So that when the subject of the rumors had arisen in a follow up interview Doyle had simply stone walled telling the cold eyed head of CI5 that yeah he knew 'bout the rumors and that he guessed they were natural these days when two blokes shared a one bedroom flat to save expenses, especially if one of them was in art school. Then he'd distracted the old SOB by telling him how Hugh and his fiancé, Sally, and Ray had used to laugh at the rumors. Every word he'd said had been the literal truth but if the trial of his fellow policemen had taught him anything it had taught him not to offer information.

Doyle had never come out and denied those rumors, so he hadn't lied, but he hadn't been sure whether or not Cowley had twigged to the evasion. Or even if he cared, if he had. Ray hoped not. He really didn't want to relive those six months of twosomes with Hugh and threesomes with Hugh and Sally. They'd been so conservative on the outside and quite wild on the inside.

That had been Ray's one and only foray into the world of sex between men...and he'd liked it...oh yeah he'd liked it quite a bit but when he'd decided to chuck art school and join the police he knew that he'd have to give it up. Saying good bye to Sally hadn't been too hard but Hugh had been tough, he'd managed it and was glad that he'd joined the police. It had seemed a fair exchange since Hugh had been going to marry Sally in a month's time anyway. They'd wanted the threeway to continue but Doyle knew he didn't want to handle it. He'd found he didn't like sharing, at least not in a serious relationship, so he'd said goodbye to that side of himself and left it behind with little regret--or so he'd thought.

But when the CI5 investigation had brought the rumors back to life and Crenick had heard.... Well he just seemed to think that that added insult to injury, so he'd set Ray up as a prostitute and lined up a bunch of cops to act as clients. Thus the flat in seedy area of town that was soon to be the rendezvous point for a new drug alliance between a major new out of country supplier and a major in country distributor. And DC Doyle was to have a front row seat. Arrests weren't to be made, just all the major parties identified and followed. The busts would come much later after all the details of the operation had been ferreted out and their contacts identified.

Ray arrived back at his flat but rather than going in sat down on the front stoop and watched the neighborhood. Ten pm and he was done for the day at least. He sure hoped that drunk berk wouldn't head this way. There were a couple of big raids going down in other parts of town so his clientele was busy at the 'office', thus he could turn in early. Trouble was it was too damn hot and stuffy in the flat and it felt oppressive with a rain storm on the way. So he sat and watched the neighborhood. In the long run it would be good cover for everyone to be used to him out watching when the action heated up.

His eye was captured by a tall dark haired man chatting up a couple of girls. 'Nice arse,' he thought to himself and allowed his mind to wander to what he'd like to do to that arse. He knew he shouldn't, he'd kept that part of himself buried for a long time but this job was starting to get to him. Starting his mind to thinking in ways he knew he shouldn't. But was it this job? He hadn't had any problems until four days ago--then Andrew Bond had moved in across the street and Ray guessed that was the problem. This man he found very disturbing...exciting...attractive...? He wasn't sure which feeling dominated but there was no question about it he couldn't keep his mind off his new neighbor.

Pale skin, dark hair, blue eyes you could get lost in, and a well muscled body made quite an attractive package. And the arse on the man...heaven help him! The guy intrigued him and he'd gotten so that he watched him whenever he could and not just because it was part of the job. They'd bumped into each other Andy's first day in the neighborhood as he was moving his stuff into the bedsitter across the street. Seemed a nice enough and friendly bloke, chatted up just 'bout everybody he met. Doyle laughed at the memory. Andy didn't have much stuff, being a gypsy carpenter he had to move too much to make accumulating stuff worthwhile. But it had taken him all day to move in 'cause he'd been so busy getting acquainted with the entire neighborhood.

'Big talker is our Andy,' Doyle smiled at the thought.

It had been later that first night or actually early the next morning when Ray had come out to sit on his front step after his last 'client' had departed that Andy had really begun to intrigue him. He'd been out, as well, and had come over and they'd talked.

First about the neighborhood. They'd found a shared biting wit about some of the old busy bodies and scalawag kids. Then he'd sort of relaxed and forgot for awhile that he was playing a role. That had been stupid and could have gotten him killed in other circumstances but he'd felt so comfortable with his new neighbor that he hadn't thought about it till he realized after Andy had quoted Samuel Beckett, a modern playwright, and the philosopher Kant that there was more to the man than at first appeared. Thinking back over the conversation he became aware that there had been at least two other literary references or quotes and a good bit of general world political knowledge, as well, that didn't fit in with the itinerant carpenter guise. And guise he had decided it was, but what he was hiding Ray had no idea.

Ray wondered what Andy thought of him and if he fit in somehow with the drug deal that was soon to be going down but it didn't make sense because Kant and Beckett didn't go with being in the drug trade either. Anyway, all the main players had already been identified and Andy Bond wasn't one of them. 'Still might not hurt to have him checked out.' He sure hoped that Andy wasn't involved, Ray was realizing that he'd have a hard time with it if he had to arrest him. He liked the guy and when towards the end of their early morning chat Andy had let him know subtly that he knew what profession he was in and that he wasn't going to let it make a difference to him--well Ray had been touched and even felt guilty to be deceiving the man.

'Berk,' he scolded himself, 'Known the guy less than a week and you're feeling guilty 'bout not telling him you're a cop. Mate, you really are losing it.'

At about that time the object of his meditations looked up and noticed him. He chatted a bit longer with the two birds but soon excused himself and came to join Ray on the front steps of the flats.

"You finished early?" the dark man inquired.

Ray shrugged, "One of my regulars couldn't make it, wife's birthday and I didn't bother to schedule someone else."

"So how much you make per customer?" The dark haired man settled in beside him, apparently ready for a long chat. Andy was curious about everything it seemed.

Andy seemed unusually nervous and wouldn't meet his eye, Doyle wondered what was wrong. Still he answered the question, glad that he knew the going rates at least. "Depends on what I do and how long it takes, but somewhere between ten and one hundred pounds."

Andy looked puzzled and curious. "What does the client get for ten...and how 'bout a hundred quid?"

Ray felt uncomfortable discussing the subject with his neighbor but if he'd really been a hooker he knew that he wouldn't, so he tried to be casual about the subject. "For ten you get a quick blow job and for a hundred you...get a night of my time and get to have me fuck you or you fuck me." He'd tried to be coarse and discourage Andy but had shaken himself pretty bad when he realized mid way through his recital that he'd made the answer personal by using 'you' rather than saying 'the client' or even the more coarse 'trick'. His desires were affecting his mouth and he couldn't afford that.

Before he'd had a chance to recover from that strike to his equilibrium, Andy's next words knocked him clean on his arse.

"Well I just got a pay check from my last job and my new job comes through in a few days so what say you let me spend a bit on you. Can I get a couple of hours for forty quid?"

Doyle was floored. Not by the proposition so much as by the fact that he was considering taking Andy up on the offer. He could always say it was in the line of duty. One- Andy didn't fit so it wouldn't hurt to learn a bit more about him, two- he'd already told him that he was free, three- if he was checking the neighborhood out for the drug deal if he turned him down they might get suspicious and then four weeks work would go up in smoke, and finally- he could get his fingerprints on a glass with no trouble up in his apartment. Trouble was that Ray knew beneath all those excuses was the one truth he didn't want to face. He might only have known this man for three or four days but he wanted him like he hadn't wanted anybody in a long time. Andy had a charm and power about him that he found irresistible.

He looked up into the blue eyes and saw a fire burning that seared him to the bone. Breathless he nodded yes and prayed that he wasn't throwing his new career over for a one night stand that would come back to haunt him.

Saying nothing he stood and led Andrew Bond back to his room.

They quietly entered Doyle's room. Andy smiled gently and took out forty quid placing it on top of a chest of drawers. "Not planning on leaving in a hurry but in case I have to I want to make sure and live up to my end of the bargain."

The man was charm itself and there was something about the matter of fact way that he handled the transaction that Doyle found disarming. He couldn't put his finger on it but Andy was treating him differently from the way most punters seemed to treat their clients. Hell he was treating him nicer than most of the cops that had come from other stations to help his cover. Some of them treated him like dirt or a poof and they knew that he was undercover. 'Probably more of Crenick's big mouth and revenge. Or maybe the anger was for testifying against fellow coppers?' Ray didn't know--all he knew was that Andy, who had less cause, treated him better than most of his mates.

The dark haired man turned and opened his arms and Ray went quickly into them, raising his face slightly to kiss the taller man. The kiss was quite a revelation for Doyle. Their lips met and he seemed to flame all over his body. It centered in his groin but the fire burned all the way down to his finger tips. They moved together trying to get closer. Andy's hands cupped his butt and pulled him tight.

Ray was shocked to find his own hands grasping the other man's arse tightly as well. The strength of their grip almost too painful to endure. Breaking off the kiss shocked green eyes looked up into overwhelmed and dazed blue ones.

Andy was the first to recover his voice. "Damn, Sunshine, you're something else. Had thought your rates were expensive, after that kiss I'd say you're selling yourself way too cheap."

Smiling up at those blue eyes Ray felt unaccountably happy at the compliment. He thought he'd tease the other man just a bit, "Want to make sure you get your money's worth. Friends get special treatment. Would you like a drink? Don't have much of a selection but I got some scotch and some beer, up to you."

They kissed again briefly, both wanted this encounter to last so they backed off and Andy replied, "Take a beer. Thanks."

Doyle had been hoping he'd select a scotch, easier to make sure he got a decent set of prints off of a glass but he pulled out a beer, popped the top and poured it into a glass.

"Getting fancy on me, no need for a glass," the taller man had commented.

"No problem." Doyle replied and decided to distract him from the glass. He moved over to the dark haired man and kissed his lips, tasting the drink in his mouth. "Here let me help you get your shirt undone."

'Yeah right, Doyle, you're really doing this to distract him and get his prints. Try telling yourself another one.' His rational mind was thoroughly disgusted with his behavior but it was quickly being locked up in a closet and the key firmly secured by his cock. He hadn't wanted anyone this badly since Hugh and he was quickly coming to the conclusion that he hadn't wanted his old lover near as much as he wanted the man he was now with. In four nights of sitting and talking Andy had become special to Ray Doyle. Just how special was coming as quite a surprise. Ray knew that he was thinking with the wrong head but at the moment he didn't give a damn.

He slowly undid the buttons of Andy's shirt and began to kiss his way down his chest. It became a game to them. Andy pretended that he wasn't having any effect and Doyle nipped and kissed the skin of his chest that each new button revealed. His client was very good at pretending and might even have fooled Ray if he hadn't had a close up view of the bulge in Bond's pants. Smiling to himself he continued to suck on Andy's left nipple as he steered him backwards towards the bed.

The bed hit Andy in the back of his legs and they collapsed out from under him, he was suddenly sitting down looking a bit stunned and very aroused. Ray might have taken more time to appreciate his partner's befuddlement if it wasn't for his own feelings of arousal that were making it impossible to think straight. He knelt on the floor in front of Bond and reached up to put his arms around his neck. He grimaced as the pain in his shoulder reminded him of a pulled muscle he'd gotten earlier in the day helping a neighbor move some furniture. He pulled back a little and gently rotated his shoulder while trying to massage the ache with his other hand. It didn't work the pull was right in the center where he couldn't reach.

"Wha's matter?" Bond questioned.

"Pulled muscle from moving Ole Lady Carstair's couch. Damn thing must have been built for the Jolly Green Giant." Remembering his role suddenly Doyle tried to get back into character and moved back towards Andy.

The dark haired man gently kissed his mouth, stood up and pulled him up as well. "Come on, mate. Get your clothes off and lay face down on the bed."

Doyle took a hard swallow, he wasn't quite ready for this yet.

Seeing the quickly smothered look of panic on the other man's face Bond went on to explain. "Don't worry, Sunshine, I'm not in that big of a hurry, I'm just going to give you a massage."

"You don't have to do that. It'll be fine in a minute."

"Hey it's my dollar and if I want to spend some of it rubbing that gorgeous back and arse that's my lookout. So strip and lay flat."

He thought about arguing--actually that Andy would be nice like that was affecting him deeply. Ray removed everything but his y-fronts and lay face down on the bed. Nervous that maybe the other man had something else in mind and wondering what he'd gotten himself into as the other man straddled him and sat down on his upper thighs. It was at this point that he noticed that Andy had taken the opportunity to strip all his clothes off and was now naked but instead of making any more advances he began to rub and stroke Ray's back.

The other man's hands attacked his aching back with vigor, the strokes hard and deep and exactly what Ray needed to release the pain and tension in his back. It was heaven and as Andy found the center of the pain he moaned in ecstasy at the release the massaging hands was bringing him. He felt Andy's hands gentle a little as he leaned up and whispered in Doyle's ear, "That the spot?"

"Oh yeah! God, this is heaven. I should be paying you."

Andy's breath brushed his ear as he chuckled and whispered, "You will, love. You will."

Doyle felt a shiver run down his spine and it wasn't mainly of fear. If just a back rub could turn him on this much he didn't want to think about what a couple of hours with Andy was going to do to him. 'Someone's getting fucked tonight.' He thought to himself and realized that his earlier fear had turned to excitement and anticipation. Then he thought of something and stiffened up. The man above him was quick to note the change.

"What's wrong, Rich?" He used the name Ray had given him.

'Damn I didn't plan for this contingency. 'Course didn't think I'd need it, did I?' Ray finally answered, "I'm out of lube. Was going to get some tomorrow morning."

Neither man questioned the assumption that they were going to want some and Andy was quick to come up with an answer. "Well I noticed some motor oil under the sink but I think the olive oil I saw in your kitchen would work better and smell nicer, too. Not very professional of you, sweetheart, running out of the proper supplies of your trade."

That needled Doyle but he couldn't very well tell him that he didn't have any bloody lube because no one usually got screwed here, so he improvised. "Ran out earlier in the day and didn't know that I was going to need some. Now did I? Figured I could pick some up in the morning."

"Weren't feeling in the mood to be ambitious? Were we? Not going to pick up a little on the side?" Andy kidded the man beneath him as his hands continued their magic now working on his lower back.

Andy was getting up Doyle's nose. If there was one thing Ray always prided himself on it was being the best at whatever he undertook and anybody needling his professional pride was a sore spot. Never mind the fact that he wasn't really a prostitute and he'd never intended to fuck anybody in the bed sitter he was living in.

He lost a bit of his temper and snapped a reply. "My clients are all by referral now and I don't do the streets!"

Hearing the irritation in his companion's voice Andy chuckled and replied, "Easy, Sunshine, didn't mean to cast aspersions on your professionalism. I'm honored that you made an exception for me." But he couldn't resist a bit of the needle and continued, "So tell me is the attitude part of the package."

Doyle tried to remain angry but he couldn't. Especially when those magic hands had just moved down to his butt. He relaxed and smiled, "Sorry, but you really did catch me off guard and no I'm not normally this stroppy."

"Kind of figured that. Nice of you to relax around me."

'Going to get myself killed if I can't do undercover work better than this,' Doyle sighed to himself. Andy was right. For some unfathomable reason Doyle had trouble maintaining the prostitute act while he was with him. The man got under his skin like no other and it scared him and the fact that he was planning on having Bond fuck him, he knew, went beyond rhyme and reason but he was too far gone now.

It was funny that before tonight Ray had never considered his back and arse to be very sensitive or erotic but Andy's slow and painstaking massage had aroused him so that he was achingly hard. If his 'client' didn't accelerate things soon--Ray knew damn well that he would. Olive oil would work just fine for him.

Some of his thoughts must have shown on his face because Andy chose to needle him in another direction.

"So you 'bout to tell me that time is money and to get on with it?" Andy questioned.

"Fuck the time. Don't give a damn about it. I'm about to tell you to get the damn olive oil off the shelf and fuck me through the mattress cause I'm about to explode."

Ray could have bitten off his tongue for saying that. Hookers shouldn't give orders nor get turned on by a client like that and seeing as he had had at least four visitors that day he should have already gotten his rocks off. Trouble was that while Rich Durbin, prostitute, would have gotten off at least once that day and on a regular basis--Ray Doyle, undercover copper, hadn't had sex in nigh on six weeks and his balls were tied up in knots.

"Don't give yourself to just anyone, do you, Sunshine?" Bond observed as the tip of his finger gently explored Doyle's anus. At Ray's nod of agreement he continued, "Always knew I was something special, nice of you to notice. A man of discernment, you are."

Andy's voice was cool but there was a bit of teasing amusement and a certain wistfulness. At least Ray thought that there was. It was hard to tell, he might just be projecting his own burning interest in the man.

A soft chuckle escaped the man laying face down on the bed. He replied softly with a teasing glint in his eye as he looked back over his shoulder. "S'mazing you can get that ego of yours through the door, mate."

Bond grinned in appreciation at the dig as his finger slid past the tight ring of muscle and into Doyle's ass. Ray arched back and moaned loudly at the pleasure. It had been so long and it felt so good, especially if there was something about your partner, and there was definitely something about Andy. The finger was withdrawn and Ray felt bereft. Another moan, this time indicating disappointment escaped from between his lips.

"Easy. Just going to get the oil. Can't wait much longer myself to have that arse of yours."

Andy returned quickly and began to slowly prepare Doyle. First one slick finger then two were inserted and moved spreading the improvised lube around. The dark haired man then removed his fingers and applied the oil to his erect cock.

Looking back over his shoulder to watch, Ray chuckled. Bond looked up questioningly.

"Smells a bit like we're the main course at a Greek restaurant." Doyle explained.

Andy stopped cold. Then he began to snicker and suddenly broke into delighted laughter. He replied, "You would pick Greek--wouldn't you, Sunshine?"

Shooting him an evil grin and wink, Ray snickered back, "Seemed appropriate somehow."

Their eyes met and passion sparked between them but neither could collect themselves for a few minutes--too busy laughing. Finally Andy moved between Ray's spread legs, pulled him up to a kneeling position and lay down on top of him. He resumed kissing his back and neck then moved to nibble his ear.

"Ready, love?"

Ray only nodded. 'Ready.' He felt a trickle of fear...not that Andy would knowingly hurt him but he was expecting the arse of a prostitute that would be used to this. What he was going to get was as near to a virgin as didn't matter, his last encounter being some five years ago. 'It's all too damn risky but it's also too late to stop now.' Doyle knew the chance he was taking and wondered at his own insanity. 'What the hell's gotten into me?' He smirked at the thought. He knew what the hell was about to get into him. He took a deep calming breath.

Pain shot through him as Andy began to push in. Biting his lip to keep from crying out and giving his inexperience away some of his reaction must have slipped through. Bond stopped only part way in and waited for Ray to adjust.

"Awful tight, Rich. You okay?"

"Fine. Take it a bit slow though. It's been awhile for me." At Andy's startled look Ray thought quickly and not too badly he figured considering that he had a cock up his ass for distraction. "Lost my last client that preferred it this way several months ago so I'm out of practice." Wasn't the best explanation but it'd have to do.

"Take it you prefer being on top in the normal course of business?" Andy seemed to be searching for an explanation for Ray's tightness.

"Yeah, normally." Ray was quick to agree. The discomfort making talking difficult.

Andy pushed in a bit further and all coherent thought fled Ray's head as his prostate was suddenly stimulated. His ensuing groan was definitely one of pleasure.

Bond lay still on top of him for what seemed to Ray's mind like a long time, his body appreciated the time to adjust.

"You're damn tight, my love. Okay if I move?"

A nod was all that answered Andy's inquiry. He took his time and was incredibly gentle with Ray. In fact, so slow and gentle that Ray began to get impatient and push back hard.

Ray heard Andy start to speak and knew that he was going to tease him again about being in a hurry. 'We'll just see who's in a hurry,' he thought to himself and squeezed with his muscles.

"You in a hur...?" Cut off in mid syllable Andy reacted, "Oh god, Sunshine...sonofabitch...aahhhh!" His voice broke and Bond groaned as he came, pumping and squeezing Ray's cock harder and faster. Doyle felt his own release overtake him and he shouted.

They collapsed together onto the bed and neither moved for a long time. Andy finally got up the energy to roll off to Ray's side but rather than get up he merely pulled Doyle closer and they both fell into an exhausted sleep.

Ray awoke several hours later to a gentle kiss, teeth nibbling his ear and a soft voice whispering. "Got to go, Rich. Wouldn't want to make any of your usuals jealous if it got out that you let me spend the night." Bond paused for another gentle erotic kiss. "What time you get done tonight?"

Mind fuzzy from deep sleep Ray answered without thinking, "Last one should leave between eleven thirty and midnight. Bosses hate to pay too much overtime...."

The dark haired man looked puzzled by the answer but he must have attributed it to Doyle's sleepy state because he didn't press for an explanation. "Shall I see you 'bout twelve then?" It was half statement, half question.

"Yeah sounds great to me." Doyle rolled onto his back looking the other man over. Andy had put on his slacks but was still shoeless and shirtless. He smiled at the man and thought how much he liked that compact muscular torso and the things it could do. Ray reached up and pulled Andy down for one last kiss. That was all he'd intended anyway but it didn't take long for him to have his hands in Andy's pants and Andy's hands on his cock bringing each other quickly off.

"Damn. You're going to keep me worn out, aren't you?" Andy pulled away and stood up. He wiped himself with a towel, then pulled his polo shirt on over his head and refastened his trousers. Turning at the door he winked and his words held promise, "Tonight it's your turn, Sunshine." The door closed and Ray heard his steps echo down the stairs. Ray smiled in anticipation.

The clock by the bed read five and the sky was beginning to lighten. Ray decided that he could use some more sleep and as he rolled over to head back that way he thought to himself, 'Well you've definitely fallen in lust, Raymond my boy, definitely in lust. Got to watch yourself giving too much away....' His mind drifted back into sated sleep before he could complete the thought.

Five Nights Later

The man on the bottom groaned loudly as release hit him for the second time in half an hour. 'Damn. Didn't know I could get it off that fast.' Ray thought to himself. Neither man moved for several minutes. Finally Andy rolled off on to his back in exhaustion.

"No fair, Sunshine, you're one up on me." His face held a smug grin as he looked over at his lover and it was obvious to Ray that Andy was pleased with his ability to bring his bed mate off twice in so short a time.

Ray thought about resenting Bond's smug arrogance but decided, 'What the hell the man had talent and I'm not about to knock it.' The last five nights since they had become lovers had been incredible. He'd never enjoyed anyone's company as much nor been so aroused.

Each night within minutes of his last client leaving Andy would show up and they'd talk a bit but both were too hot to wait very long. Their second night together had been just as incredible as the first one. And Andy had kept his promise and let Ray have him. It had been a wonderful sensation but Bond's tightness had made Doyle even more curious. 'Looked like Andy wasn't used to that way of doing things either.' As a result of that encounter Ray was caught between curiosity, guilt and lust. He wanted to know more about Bond, Andy kept his past very vague. Because he was lying to him about his profession Ray was feeling guilty about the deceit of his lover and as for the lust--he had to call it lust, although he was beginning to suspect that a lot more of his emotions were involved than merely desire--Doyle knew that he spent way too much time thinking about his new lover.

Not to mention all the time spent with him. They'd managed to spend several daylight hours hanging out together each day, as well. Mostly around the neighborhood but they'd gone to lunch together a couple of times, dinner once and Ray had even talked him into a photography exhibit at a downtown museum.

That had been a high point for Ray because Andy seemed to understand light and shadows and the inner secrets the photographer was trying to reveal. They'd had quite a heated discussion about a couple of the pictures and what the artist was communicating. Finding someone who was not only interested, but seemed to understand as well, was a real treat for the artist that PC Doyle had buried when he'd put on the uniform. It was nice to discover that that part of himself was not gone but only hidden deep within. That Andy seemed able to bring that part of himself to the fore was a blessing to Ray. He'd thought about it a lot and realized that he and Andy were able to talk on that level because Bond had a deeply buried artistic streak himself. But rather than images his companion was in love with the printed word. He quoted everything from playwrights to poets and was widely read. They complimented each other and for the first time in a long time Ray felt that he had found a friend and an equal.

It was a good feeling but considering the operation he was in the middle of it made him nervous because he had no idea what Andy would do when he learned the truth about Ray's job. Several comments made over the last week had Doyle realizing that Bond had little love for coppers, seemed to feel that a lot of them were either on the take or liked bullying people too much. From what little Bond had let slip about his past--previous encounters with policemen when he was a kid had not been salutatory. Ray could only hope that in a few months when all the arrests had been made Andy would forgive him both his deceit and his profession. CI5 might not be the police but it was close enough as would make little difference. Ray hoped that the news that his lover wasn't a prostitute would out weigh the anger Bond felt at being lied to and his dislike of the police.

After their first night together Ray had debated telling Andy not to come over. He hadn't been able to bring himself to and the dark haired man had shown up at his door within minutes of his partner's departure. That had made Doyle nervous. He hadn't worked with this partner too long but it had been long enough for the guy to twig that something was up with Ray. He'd claimed boredom with the job but he wasn't sure he'd fooled Tom. The guy might be an ass but he wasn't stupid and apparently Ray was looking all together too distracted and happy.

The implications of that made him decidedly uptight but not enough to send Andy packing. He even contemplated trying to maintain a relationship with Andrew Bond after this undercover assignment was over but knew that it would have to wait till the training in CI5 was done. He'd do his best to keep in touch and then maybe....

Provided of course that Andy was as open and honest as he seemed. The finger prints had come back as not a known felon but that just meant that he'd never been arrested. It didn't mean he wasn't involved in the upcoming drug deal. There was no evidence that he was except for the fact that he just didn't add up. There was a lot more to Andrew than he allowed most to see.

They spent the nights making love, laughing and talking about anything, everything and when it came down to it, nothing. Thinking back Ray realized that he still knew little of Andy's history or even what he did during the days when they weren't together and Andy headed off to set up some work. He did however seem to have plenty of money. Ray had the two hundred pounds in an envelope that Bond had paid for the five nights of his time. He planned to give it back to him in a few weeks when the operation was done. That fact frustrated Ray. He was going to have to disappear in two days leaving little more than a note that he'd contact his lover in a month when his business was done. Even for Andy he couldn't risk blowing this job and tomorrow was only the start. Tomorrow the tricks that showed up would all be carrying in expensive surveillance equipment and his last trick of the night would stay and help him monitor and photograph all the participating parties. His presence in the neighborhood and his willingness to help the old people with chores and moving had not only won him friends but also allowed him access to lots of flats and offices...particularly the ones surrounding the store where the final negotiations of the new drug alliance would take place. He had the place bugged so that they could listen in and they would also use a directional mike to pick up any action nearby. Doyle and his partner's job would be to photograph all the participants as they entered, a third man was to bug the cars. He'd been pretending to be a homeless drunk for that last few weeks so his staggering around the street wouldn't arouse too much suspicion. When all was said and done tomorrow night they hoped to follow both the suppliers and distributors and watch them for a few weeks and take down their contacts as well. It was a major operation and very hush hush...in fact less than half a dozen people knew the full extent of it. Ray being one of them since it had been his tip and mostly his idea. If it worked the drug supply on the street should be drastically diminished for some time to come.

'And here I am wondering how to tell my lover I can't see him tomorrow and afraid to tell him the truth because he might be involved. Bloody mess you got yourself into, mate.' Ray thought as Andy stirred beside him.

"So what's up, mate? You've been distracted all night?" Andy quizzed.

"Wasn't distracted the whole time--now was I?" Doyle teased.

"No you know how to pay attention to the important stuff." Andy leaned in and kissed his friend.

"You've been a bit distracted yourself?" Ray queried.

"Got a friend coming in might not be able to see you tomorrow night." Andy explained. "Going to miss you." He nipped Ray on the neck and then moved his mouth down to nibble on one of Ray's nipples.

Doyle took a deep breath and tried to cover his reaction. He was glad that he didn't have to worry about Andy tomorrow but worried that Andy's sudden business meant that he was involved in the drug deal going down.

"It's 'kay. Got a regular whose wife's out of town and he's buying himself a treat. Said he might want to spend the night." At Andy's quickly concealed look of hurt and jealousy Ray stretched back in the bed and continued nonchalantly, "Don't think I'll let him though. Not a bad bloke but don't really like having tricks stay the night."

It looked like Andy was fighting not to say anything but in the end he lost. "What 'bout me, Sunshine?" His lover had spent every night and was leaving later and later each morning.

"You know you're special, love, but I'll have to let him stay pretty late. Got to keep the customer satisfied--you know? Good for business--that is."

Bond seemed satisfied with his response but then asked, "Ever think about getting out of it? The business, that is."

Now was the time to tell him the truth, Ray knew, but he also knew for the sake of the job that he couldn't risk it. "Yeah. I think about it. Might do it, too. I've got a good bit saved up but I'm not sure what I want to do. Can't see meself at a regular nine to fiver or doing manual. Not that there's anything against that--mind you." Doyle didn't want Bond to feel that Ray thought less of him because he was a carpenter.

Bond looked a little skeptical so Doyle explained.

"Oh hell. If you want to know the truth of it I couldn't do what you do. Or be a plumber or electrician or any of that. I'm a right bloody balls up when it comes to that sort of thing. Last time I tried to hang a picture I ended up with a great gaping hole in the wall and a thumb so black and blue it looked like I'd slammed it in a car door. Which was what I told everyone cause I was too embarrassed to admit that I couldn't hammer in a damned nail." Ray flounced back against the pillows and finished in a huff. He didn't elaborate on the fact that the injured thumb had more to do with watching a certain bird's arse than any innate clumsiness on his part.

Andy started laughing. "S'lright, love. You make good use of the gifts god gave you." He cast an appreciative eye over Ray's well muscled body.

"Yeah, well now you know...." Ray couldn't hide the hurt in his voice. His supposed incompetence with tools had been a sore spot. His father had wanted him to become a plumber and had worked hard at getting him an apprenticeship. Two months in and a major flood later they'd all decided to give it up as a no go. Art school had not pleased his father. It was only much later and after some success as a mechanic that Doyle had come to realize that lack of interest had more to do with his failure than lack of aptitude.

Strong arms pulled him in close. "That's alright, love. We'll think of something for you to do besides selling yourself." Andy's tone was tense and serious.

Knowing he shouldn't push Ray did anyway. "So you asking me to think about giving it up for you?"

The man sitting beside him wouldn't meet his gaze and was suddenly nervous like an animal cornered looking for a way out. His eyes darted around the room and Ray thought that he would get up and leave. Instead after a few minutes he relaxed and seemed to come to a decision. His arms again tightened around Ray and finally he spoke.

"Yeah. I'm asking you to think about it. With my work I can't really make long term commitments but for your own sake...and as long as I'm working here...." His voice faded off. It was obvious to Ray that he was thinking about commitment and it scared him.

'Well commitment scares me too, love, but with you it might just be worth it. God knows how the new job would take to me shacking up with a bloke. Won't be able to fool Cowley that this was to save money though.'

Ray decided to clarify things a bit. "Don't think I could be the kept type. Got to pay my own way and I don't mean exchanges in kind."

"Know that--don't I? How about art school? There are jobs for good photographers and commercial artists. Might not get rich but could earn a decent living."

"Don't know that I'm good enough."

"Hey I saw those pictures you've been taking around the neighborhood. Really nice those. That pic of old Mrs. Willis was brilliant. Liked the shading and the composition...gave her depth, you did, and a hell of a lot more character than the old bat normally has. Actually made her look like she had a brain in that head."

Ray smiled, warmed by the compliment. He'd thought that a hobby of photography, especially if he concentrated on harmless subjects, would let him get away with sneaking in of few less than innocuous pictures of the site and preparations. Tomorrow night the camera would be loaded with special high speed film and the city maintenance crew had already replaced the bulbs on several streetlights outside the entrance to the meet with a special ones that provided a bit of extra light, not too much didn't want them getting suspicious but still every bit helps. Here was hoping nothing went wrong.

"If you think I'm so good why won't you let me take your picture?"

"Don't want to break your camera with exposure to my good looks. It wouldn't want to do any more pics of all those wrinkles once it got a look at me."

Ray chuckled. Andy could talk the most nonsense of anyone he'd met. He felt a strong wave of affection followed by a surge of arousal. He slid down in the bed and pulled Andy down on top of him.

"Well we've both done each other, lover, but I seem to remember that I'm one up on you for getting off. Can't have that now can we?"

"Definitely not. Got to get my money's worth," was Andy's final comment before his lips met Ray's.

"Almost done, Ray. Last car's getting ready to pull out now."

Doyle nodded at his partner's comment as he snapped another picture of a departing guest. The meeting had started at seven and he and another 'trick' had gotten pictures of everyone arriving. The cop had left at a little till eight carrying a few dozen rolls of film and audio tapes in his brief case. That way if the picture taking was spotted the police would have the film. His next client had shown up forty-five minutes later with the news that the films and tapes had arrived safely. They'd spent the next couple of hours listening to the negotiations between distributors and suppliers and wondering a bit what was going on. Now that a deal was set they were snapping the departing guests. Hopefully between both sets of film they'd have good enough shots to identify everyone at the meeting.

The distributors were normal but the suppliers were a bit strange. Doyle couldn't put his finger on it but they seemed harder somehow yet less experienced with the drug trafficking conventions. They'd obviously been into some heavy stuff. They knew how to handle smuggling, weapons and even bombs from the sound of things, yet they didn't seem to know the basics of how drugs were manufactured or sold on the streets. Pretty thick bunch if you asked Doyle. As the suppliers they would bring the drugs into the country and deliver to the distributors the rest was up to them. The big sticking point was that the supplying group wanted a fixed price for what they brought into the country and couldn't seem to understand that the price varied with the going street rate. The distributors of course wanted to negotiate the rate with each new shipment based on market fluctuations.

"God, these university boys." He'd commented to his partner, "Market fluctuations, my arse."

"It's business, my boy, business. Hanlen is trying to get his son into Oxford before he comes back to join the family trade."

"Can see that in fifteen or twenty years time. Oxford would just love the press. 'Noted underworld figure and Oxford graduate Mark Hanlen was just convicted of racketeering and pimping.'" Ray's voice had assumed a upper crust accent before he snorted in disgust. "So do ya think he'll get him in?"

"Probably. He's got enough boot to endow something or other. Tight as money is universities don't look too closely at a large contributor."

They continued watching out the window and listening to the surveillance tape. It looked like the deal was about set.

"So how long you going to hang around here after tonight?"

"Don't know. A day, maybe two."

"You don't think your absence will arouse suspicion?"

"Nah this locale was a one and only for the meet. They leased the store front for three months on spec, supposedly, and the lease runs out in a couple of weeks. Once they all leave tonight I doubt they'll give this area a second thought. At least not until the balloon goes up and they try to figure out where they got sussed out, by then it'll be too late." Doyle snapped a half dozen more pictures as the last car left.

"Hey look what's doing there?" Tom pointed to an alley down the street.

Ray zoomed and focused the camera and drew in his breath. Andy Bond was in an alley down from the meet and it appeared that he had attracted some undesirable attention. Three of the suppliers muscle had apparently come back secretly and they were slowly moving in on an unsuspecting Andy.

"Shit." Doyle swore. "Tom, you get this stuff back to the Super. I'm going to check on what's doing there."

"Shouldn't go in on your own. I'll go with you to back you up."

"Those films are more important than me. You get them back to the station now. No arguments. I'll see if I can find out what's doing there. No time to argue, move." Ray pulled on a black leather jacket and dark cap to cover the shine of his hair. Practically shoving Tom out the door and down the stairs. Not for the first time wishing that he was armed. He had a knife but it wasn't much good against guns and he knew from the conversation in the meeting that the opposition all carried handguns.

Ray was pissed royally now at his partner. Tom didn't like guns and avoided carrying them. Doyle didn't figure he'd last long in the drug squad with that attitude but his reluctance now meant that Ray was going to have to face armed men without being armed himself. Because of the neighborhood and the size of his bedsitter, Ray had been unable to keep a gun in his room. It had been broken into twice in the month he'd been on assignment and there just wasn't any place to hide a weapon. And with the weather as hot as it had been carrying a gun on his person would have been too obvious, as well. But what had Ray so angry was that Tom was supposed to have brought Ray's weapon to him earlier that evening when he came and had conveniently forgotten. If this hadn't been his last assignment with Tom and the squad Doyle was for damn sure that it would be his last case with Tom. 'Too late to worry about it now,' he brooded to himself.

He moved down the street away from where he had seen the men heading for Andy. Had to sneak up behind them or they might kill him before he could get within fifty feet. 'What the hell was Andy doing in that alley?' Doyle's mind was worrying over that question as he allowed his body to move on auto pilot on the course he'd set.

Bond was supposed to be out with a mate about some business or other. Yet the position of the only street entry to the alley meant that he had to have been there all night or have a key to one of the connecting building. A key that he shouldn't have in the normal course of affairs. Otherwise Doyle would have noticed his arrival. So what the hell was he doing? Back up muscle for the distributors? He ruled out that he was working for the suppliers since it was their men that were moving in stealthily to ambush him.

Now out of sight of the street he picked up his pace cut through the apartment building whose back door opened onto the alley. Thanking high heaven for the fact that it was one of the buildings he'd managed to get keys made for while helping an old lady with her furniture. As he opened the back door slowly he heard the sounds of someone being beaten up.

Moving swiftly he took in the scene. Andy was being held by two bruisers and the third was pounding hard into him. From the looks of the muscle Bond had not been caught without a fight. One of them had a bloody nose and another possibly a broken hand and they were taking great pleasure exacting their revenge. Ray didn't take long to think. He'd picked up a three foot pipe on his way over and used it to knock out the nearest man. The second he slammed in the gut with the pipe end. 'Might not be a plumber but there were some things he could do with a pipe.' He chuckled to himself.

Turning swiftly as he realized the third man was drawing his gun he knew a surge of fear. Andy had managed to recover himself enough to knock the gun out of his hand and give Doyle time to finish him off with the pipe. They were unconscious but not dead. Knowing that they might have other friends around Ray grabbed up the gun and put it in his pocket. Reaching out he lifted Andy up from where he was slumped almost unconscious against the wall.

"Come on, Sunshine, they probably have some friends hovering around. Got to get you out of here." He led Andy back the way he had come and heard shouts from the street as the unconscious men were discovered. "Sounds like they've been found. We don't have much of a head start."

Ray headed on as straight a path as possible towards a better part of town hoping that the goons would waste a good bit of their time searching the neighborhood.

"Come on, mate, can't you move any faster?" Doyle didn't understand Andy's problem...that beating should have hurt but he should have recovered enough by now to move. As he paused a minute to grab a breath and get his bearings he noticed that his hand felt damp. Pulling it out and looking at it, he realized that it had blood on it.

"Bloody hell! What happened to you?"

"Was doing alright till one of 'em nicked me with a knife. Didn't go in too far but enough so that I'm bleeding a bit and it hurts like hell. Just let me get my breath a minute and then we can move." He drew in a couple of deep breaths grimacing before continuing. "Some nice moves with that pipe back there, Rich?" The comment held a question.

"When you're in my line of work it's best if you can take care of yourself in a fight." Doyle explained. 'And a more truer statement I've never made.' "Got to get you to a hospital mate."

"No, got to call someone first." Bond panted. "Just get me to a phone." He pushed himself off the wall supporting him and staggered. Ray caught him quickly.

"Come on we've got to keep moving. From the looks of that lot they won't give up looking easily." They pressed on for the next fifteen minutes. Andy was having more and more trouble walking and he was fading in and out of consciousness managing to keep going only by Doyle's arm around his waist and his arm across Ray's shoulders. He had to get Andy help but didn't dare bring him in himself. They might connect him to the drug deal and he didn't want to see his lover go down with the other drug dealers and criminals. Not to mention that if their relationship came out he might find himself without any job at all.

He'd heard the words that one of Bond's attackers had been saying to him as he beat him. It was obvious that they knew Andy and had had dealings with him before and if that was the case then he was up to his neck in trouble. 'One chance. I'll give him one chance to get out.' Ray thought to himself, 'Please take it, love.'

Spying a pawn shop he knew would have a silent alarm and knowing that a police station was only around the corner Ray eased Andy gently down in the door of the building. Shaking him carefully awake he leaned in and kissed him. As he held his lover's head in both his hands he spoke to him intently.

"Listen to me, lover." Andy's dazed eyes met his. "Whatever you're into--get out of it--now! You won't get another warning but take my word for it crime doesn't pay and you'll end up in jail." He looked confused but Doyle thought that Andy understood. "Going to miss you like hell," Ray whispered into his ear as he stole one last kiss and slipped the envelope with the two hundred pounds that Andy had paid for his services into his lover's jacket pocket. "Thanks, luv. Never going to forget you. Stay out of trouble--you hear?"

On those words Ray stepped back from Bond picked up a loose brick he'd retrieved in the alley and threw it hard through the plate glass window. It shattered into a million fragments but Andy sheltered in the doorway wasn't hit by them. He shouted over his shoulder as he started to run, "Tell 'em you were mugged."

He vanished down the street in the opposite direction from which he knew the police were likely to come. Ducking into a doorway he stopped and watched, determined not to leave his friend until he was sure that he was in safe hands.

Less than five minutes later a squad car had arrived and five minutes after that an ambulance. Ray waited until Andy was loaded into the ambulance and taken away then he slipped noiselessly out of the doorway and headed off down the street. Checking his watch he saw that it was well after midnight. He'd planned on moving out tomorrow but on the off chance that one of the goons he'd beat up tonight might hang around the neighborhood and spot him tomorrow he decided to make a quick get away now.

As he walked back to the bedsitter he made plans for the next few days. Debriefing day after tomorrow, a couple of days off and then off to the CI5 training course. He tried not to think about Andrew Bond but found his mind kept straying back to those blue eyes and gentle laugh. He vowed to himself that at the end of that training course he'd go back to Andy's flat and they would talk. That was if he hadn't been busted in the drug raids.

'A CI5 agent couldn't have a male lover...could he?' Doyle wondered finally to himself.

Six Weeks Later

Ray Doyle strode down the halls of CI5. Head held high, a smug smile on his face, unaware of the considerable number of heads that turned as he passed through. He had reason to be proud. Finished first in his class and from some of the things he'd overheard higher than anyone else ever had except the legendary 3.7. He'd tied with him. Pity, he'd have liked to beat his score as well. William Bodie, 3.7, up and comer from the previous class, been in CI5 for six months and had already gone through two partners.

The controller of CI5 had met with Doyle yesterday and informed him that he was to be partnered with Bodie--don't call him William, just Bodie. Ray doubted that the pairing would last...had implied as much to the old man, but Cowley wasn't having any of it.

"Learn to make it work, Doyle," had been the Scotsman's terse reply.

So now he was on his way to meet his new partner. From the slag about, Bodie was a walking ego on legs. 'Have to take the bleeder down a couple of pegs if we're going to work together.'

'Things were damn near perfect,' he kept trying to tell himself. So why did he feel so empty? Except he knew the answer to that, Andrew Bond had disappeared. He'd called the hospital to check on him and been told that no one by that name had been admitted. Then the police station showed no record of what had happened to the wounded man found at the scene of the attempted pawn shop break in. Doyle had snooped as much as he dared not wanting to attract attention but Andy had vanished.

Ray had even gone so far on his last day off before reporting for training to go to the two nearest hospitals that Andy would have been taken to and insisted on seeing every male admitted on the night of his stabbing. There were only five and none were Andy. Towards the end of the day he'd found the ambulance drivers who'd told him which hospital Andy was taken to, so back he'd gone but they claimed to have no record of any such case. Short of a room by room search he had little choice except to leave it at that.

Finishing training two days ago he'd gone back to Andy's flat only to find it cleaned out and someone new in it. No one knew where the gypsy carpenter had gone. Ray had hung around the neighborhood doing a few good deeds and asking some questions. Finally Mrs. Carstairs had given him, if not a lead, some information.

Seems Andy had returned about two weeks after Ray had moved out and quickly packed up his stuff. He'd seemed in a hurry but had taken time out to try and find Rich. He'd done the same thing that Doyle was doing. Asked around and tried to find out if he'd left a forwarding address with anyone. He'd even gone so far, she said, as to search Doyle's bedsitter, nobody having moved into it at the time. She said that the nice young man had seemed upset but had left without telling anyone where he was going.

And that was that. He didn't dare marshall the resources of CI5 to find his lost lover. Especially since his mate might well be up to his ears in no good. His vanishing act from the hospital didn't set well for him being on the straight and narrow. Ray had managed to get updates on the drug surveillance operation and been pleased with what he'd heard. Two more days and they would bring the house down around the ears of both the suppliers and distributors. Market price was going to be up--unfortunately none of them were going to be around to see any profits from the price increase.

Entering the controller's outer office a few minutes early he went over and identified himself to the woman sitting behind the desk.

"Ray Doyle. I have a nine o'clock appointment with Mr. Cowley."

"He's in with 3.7 now. I'll tell him you're here."

Ray sat down to wait.

The walls were thick but the door was old and didn't seal tight, the glass insert in it also let sound through. Doyle heard indistinct murmuring and then a voice he recognized as Cowley's loudly replying.

"I don't give a damn what you'd prefer 3.7 you are going to get a partner. You were damn near killed when those IRA terrorists spotted you and being rescued by a good Samaritan is not something that you can count on."

Another indistinct mumble followed. "I know that some operatives work alone but you aren't going to be one of them. I need your skills on assignments that require backup. The tougher cases. Solo agents go in and mostly gather information, undercover work isn't your speciality. I need you to handle the rough stuff and for that you need a partner."

More words from the quiet man. Cowley loudly replied again. "I've picked the best of the new class out for you. He's top notch and strong where you're weak. Excellent mind and police procedure knowledge. He can outshoot you with a hand gun but you've got him beat--slightly mind--with a rifle. You've got a better handle on the military and weapons and a bit of an edge in hand to hand but not much. If you'll get over that ego of yours I think you two could make a passable team."

The other voice replied...a bit louder this time but the words still not clear. Something about the voice bugged Ray. He glanced at his watch. Nine five. Doyle did not appreciate cooling his heals while bloody 3.7 argued about not wanting him as a partner.

His temper, not always the best, got the better of him and he stood, knocked on the door to the office and at the sharp come in entered. He let his mouth lead.

"Sir, if it's all the same to you I'd prefer not to be forced on to an unwilling partner." Bodie had turned to glare at the interruption and Doyle entered facing where he knew Bodie had been standing. He faced his new partner with a challenge in his eyes and felt like someone had just kicked him in the gut. Andy!

The next words out of his mouth were, "Bloody hell!"

Bodie's mouth which had been gaping open at the sight of Ray Doyle snapped shut and all emotion left his face. He turned back to the controller with a blank expression.

Cowley watched the two men meet and wondered what was going on. Bodie looked perfectly blank--which meant he was hiding something and Doyle looked like he'd been punched in the stomach. He was quick to recover and a blank look settled on his face, as well.

Watching them closely the controller decided that they must have had a run in sometime before. Looked like a big fight from the tension emanating from the men before him. 'Well like it or not they would have to settle their differences and work together.'

"Gentlemen, you have the rest of the day to get acquainted and prepare for the partner training part of the course. You will pass it or you'll spend the next six months of your lives in the file room. Do I make myself clear?" They nodded yes. "Good. Dismissed."

Neither man looked at the other as they left the office. Andy--Bodie--led the way to the stairs. Doyle started to say something but the other man lifted his hand and spoke softly.

"There are hidden cameras and mikes in different locations. At least that's the rumor. Let's get out of here."

Ray nodded his agreement. He'd seen the look on Andy's...face when he'd walked in the door to Cowley's office and knew that he'd been just as stunned as Doyle. 'What the hell are we going to do?' he thought to himself. 'What the hell do I want to do?' It was one thing idly contemplating having a male lover every now and then. It was quite something else having an affair with your partner. 'But can I keep my hands to myself?'

They were outside in the car park Andy--Bodie--indicated a car and pulled out his keys. Before he could unlock it Doyle had leaned against the door and said, "Shit. What a bloody balls up!"

"Sunshine, I'm only going to say this once. We've got to get out of here before we start this conversation. Too many prying eyes at CI5 and it all gets back to the Cow."

Doyle managed a nod and got in the car. Bodie got behind the wheel and pulled out. "Your place or mine?"

"Have to be yours. I'm staying with a friend until my flat assignment comes through sometime today. All my stuff's in storage since I was undercover for my last op before I entered the training course. I put it all in storage and caged a bed with a friend for the couple of nights in between. I'm back there now."

Bodie seemed to be having trouble getting his breath. Ray started to wonder what was wrong when his partner started laughing. "Bloody hell! Undercover indeed! What the fuck where you doing and who the hell were all those punters?"

Since CI5 could easily get access to the case Ray saw no reason not to tell him. "I was working with the drug squad and one of my sources got word that some new importers were shopping for a distributor to market their product. Mostly heroin and coke. The grass knew the area and the approximate date so they dropped me in as a hooker." Ray thought about it and decided that with the way he felt about the man beside him and all that they'd been through he was going to take a chance and be totally honest.

"My Super didn't want me to leave the force and join CI5. He was furious when I ignored his plea to stay. Seems he thinks I'm too good to lose. That was until he found out about the rumors that I was gay." At Bodie's quick look over at Doyle he elaborated. "I'm not. I guess you'd call me bi, although I've only had one other male lover."

Ray went on to tell Bodie about Hugh concluding, "So Hugh was my one and only venture into male sex." Doyle looked away from Bodie as he finished, "At least until my last assignment. I wanted to go in as a struggling photographer but the prostitute idea was Crenick's revenge."

Nodding Bodie asked the question that was upper most in his mind, "And the punters?"

"Couple of superintendents, some DCs, a few beat cops from several divisions. Most didn't know what or why only that they were to show up out of uniform at a certain addy and stay for an hour. The ones in my squad weren't too nice. They were angry with me leaving and my boss made sure that the queer rumor was well circulated."

"So why...?" Bodie's voice faded off.

"Why you?" Ray questioned. The dark haired man nodded. "Cause you asked and I wanted to." Doyle shrugged and turned away to look out the window. They were silent for several minutes and Ray was about to ask some of the questions burning in his mind when Bodie pulled up and motioned that they'd arrived.

"This way, mate." He lead the way into an older Victorian building with high ceilings and lots of wood work. Two flights up he unlocked a door and let Ray enter first. He shut and locked the door and Ray suddenly found himself pulled into strong arms and ruthlessly kissed.

He returned the kisses for several minutes before pulling back. "Can't do this you know."

"I know, luv, but let's just enjoy finding each other alive and in one piece again. Then we'll stop. Okay?" Ray nodded his agreement and they held and kissed each other some more.

Finally it got to the point where they were either going to have it off on the floor in front of the door or they were going to have to separate. By mutual agreement they separated and moved to sit down in the living room.

Looking around Ray thought how similar this apartment was to Bodie's other one in one area it was scrupulously neat. "Neat nick. Must be the army training. Oh...." Doyle paused then asked, "Were you really in the army?"

"All that was true. I was a mercenary and then in the military. What I didn't tell you was that I was in the paras and the SAS."

"Hot shot. Knew you didn't add up."

"Me! What about you? A virgin hooker with no lube."

"Not quite a virgin."

"Damn close enough as makes no difference."

"Well what about you. You didn't exactly feel like you'd had a lot of experience."

"Not since Africa and that was 6--no more like 7 years ago. The Cow asked me about my sexual past as well. Guess they want to know what they are facing with their new agents. He never said whether or not it made a difference."

"So what did you tell him?"

"Only that I'd made due with men out in the bush when no women were available but that I preferred women." At Doyle's cocked eyebrow Bodie replied defensively. "Well it was true. Hadn't had a bloke nor even looked at one that way till two months ago."

"S'what happened?"

"Beats the hell out of me. That first day when we met I had so much fun horsing around with you and you made me laugh and understood my jokes. Well it was a nice feeling. Lot of the berks I've worked with over the years would just look at me like I was crazy. Felt good that--having someone who understood."

"Know what you mean. I appreciated the fact that you didn't hold the fact that I was a prostitute against me but got to know me instead. You know some of the men I'd worked with for three years, hung out with, went bird hunting with--when they heard the gay rumors they didn't even give me a chance to say yea or nay...just treated me like dirt." Doyle's voice got strained and he decided to change the subject. "So what were you doing and why were those men beating you up?"

"Checking out some IRA terrorists that were setting up a new cell in London. I was trying to find out what for but one of them had run into me before when I was stationed over in Belfast and so they came after me."

"You mean those guys that were beating you up are IRA terrorists." At Bodie's nod of yes Doyle stood up and began to pace. "Fuck! I've got to contact my Super or tomorrow's going to be a blood bath."

"What the hell are you talking about, Rich, I mean, Ray?"

"Those three men that went for you were muscle for the new drug suppliers."

"Shit! So that's where their new source of income is going to come from. They're going to run drugs."

"Yeah and the raids are going down tomorrow night. The cops won't be expecting armed terrorists. There's no way there won't be a blood bath."

"You know where they're at?"

"Not me personally but they're bound to since when I talked to one of my mates at the drug squad he said they were going to bust the suppliers tomorrow night as well as the distributors."

"We've got to talk to Cowley."

"Agreed but what are we going to tell him?"

"Only that we'd had a run in before and when we started comparing notes we realized what was happening. Course I'll have to admit who the good Samaritan that saved my life was."

"Why didn't you?"

"And have the Cow asking why a rent boy would come to my aid. No way, Sunshine."

"He's bound to find I was undercover as a prossie."

"Not necessarily and an undercover cop helping someone out doesn't sound near as dicey to my way of thinking as a hooker coming to my rescue. And speaking of which why wasn't I mentioned in any of the reports? And what was all that about sticking to the straight and narrow? Thought you were telling me to stick to birds."

"Thought you might have had something to do with drug ring. What with you being busy the night of the meet and then with what they were saying to you as they beat you. It was obvious that you'd had run ins before."

"Then why help me out?"

Ray went to stand in front of the window and look out onto the street. "Didn't want to see you hurt. Thought maybe a warning would do, give you a chance to get out of it. Couldn't tell you I was a cop--s'much as I wanted to--couldn't jeopardize the operation but wanted to warn you. I went back looking for you yesterday. Mrs. Carstairs said you'd come looking for me."

Bodie came up behind him and pulled him back into his arms. He began to nibble on the back of Ray's neck. "She's got a big mouth. Missed you and wanted to make sure you were okay...."


"And I wanted to talk you into leaving the business and becoming my lover. When they handed me the money I'd given you--knew it was something special we had. Didn't want to lose it. Hurt like hell to find you'd gone but I couldn't blame you. If any of those bastards had recognized you, you'd have been dead. One of them was hurt pretty bad from what I heard...might even have died. He's not been seen since and there are some rumors." Seeing Ray's look of distress at the possibility Bodie continued, "Don't let it get to you, sunshine."

"But if I hadn't..."

"I'd be dead. They had made their intentions clear they were planning to beat me to death...and they planned that I'd suffer."

Ray turned and took Bodie into his arms. "I'm glad you're alive, mate."

"Yeah, me too. Let's call the Cow."

They were both anxious to report what they knew to their boss but here they were stymied. Cowley was at Whitehall in meetings all morning and his secretary informed them he was tied up in meetings at CI5 all afternoon. Refused to schedule anything before 6 that evening. Bodie hung up angry and frustrated.

"Stupid bureaucrats...."

"Don't let it get to you, love. She let slip that he'd be back in the office by two. We'll just storm the walls." Ray grinned at him. "So what are we going to do in the meantime?"

One hand reached up under Doyle's chin and raised it so that Bodie could kiss him. He pulled back and propositioned, "Let's make love one last time."

"We can't be lovers."

"Know that. That's why I said one last time. Let Andy say goodbye to Rich properly and then we get amnesia for a couple of years, at least. Work out this CI5 and partnership thing. How 'bout it?"

"One last time, Andy."

Bodie stepped back his arms dropping from around Ray. Taking his hand he led him into the bedroom.

Not able to resist a little teasing Ray asked, "Do you live here or only visit?"

"Considering your house keeping you could use a few lessons."

They slowly begin to strip off their clothes each watching the other out of the corners of their eyes. Bodie was naked to the waist and had just begun to unzip his trousers when he stopped and started to laugh. Doyle down to his pants stopped and looked inquiringly at his new partner.

"Might just be ten forty for us, mate. Cause I don't cook."

"Sure you do, luv, just not in the kitchen." Bodie grinned at that comment and Ray finished, "Come on got to be something in your bathroom we can use. We each going to take a turn?"

"That'll take awhile." Ray looked at Bodie for an explanation. "Well I know that I'm not going to be able to hold off if you're on top. You think you can make it if I go first?"

Doyle paused and thought about it before replying, "No way."

"S'there. Going to take awhile."

"So we've got a couple of hours to kill." Ray was searching through the medicine cabinet when he came upon a jar of Vaseline. Grabbing it he shouted, "Perfect. Let's go."

For the next couple of hours Andy and Rich made love and forgot about CI5 or the Met. Dressing slowly they shared one last kiss and Bodie whispered, "See you in about two years." Ray only nodded but it was something to look forward to. They might not get to be lovers again but he'd bet on them ending up as friends.

The two men entered the controllers office and informed Betty that they had to see Mr. Cowley immediately.

"I told you earlier that he's tied up in meetings all afternoon. You'll be lucky if he can see you today at all."

"This can't wait," Bodie informed her.

When she began to look stubborn Doyle raised his voice so that it would carry into the inner office. "This is important. Please tell Cowley that agents 4.5 and 3.7 need to see him."

Bodie picking up on the raised voice idea said, "Come on be a love and...."

Before he could finish the door was thrown open and Cowley stood there glaring at his two agents. He stepped aside and addressed the two men that were leaving. "Sorry about this interruption. Let me take care of this and I'll get right back to you.

He waited till the men had left the outer office before turning back to the two agents. "Bodie, Doyle, my office now and if this is about finding you new partners...."

The men proceeded him in and Bodie took the lead. "No, sir. We've been comparing notes on our latest cases and we think there is something you should be made aware of."

They began to talk and fifteen minutes into the conversation Cowley was on the phone telling Betty to ring up the Metropolitan police and get one Superintendent Parker on the phone for him and to call the deputy ministers that had just left and inform them that something had come up and he wouldn't be able to get back to them for a few days. She was also to cancel all of his appointments for the rest of today and all of tomorrow.

He sat back down at his desk and leaned forward. "Alright, gentlemen, take it from the top. In detail."

"Bodie, Doyle, damn good operation. The Met got their drug sellers and we got our terrorists, with very few lives lost and none of them ours. If the police had gone in not knowing that the terrorists were armed to the teeth...." Cowley paused and shook his head before continuing, "Well that doesn't bear thinking about.

"You two have missed the first days of partner training but from what I saw at the operation site I don't think that that will seriously harm your scores. You work well together. Do I hear any more objections to this pairing?"

He looked the two agents hard in the eyes. "No, Sir." They replied simultaneously.

"Good. Take the rest of the day off and report to the training center first thing in the morning. I'll make sure you suffer no repercussions from missing a couple of days. Dismissed."

Cowley watched them leave and wondered. Two hotshots, two massive egos. He figured it would take months to get past all that male posturing so that they could work together smoothly. Instead it had taken only three or four hours. He'd give his pension to figure out what had changed from the two alpha males ready to fight when they met in his office to the colleagues that returned four hours later. They were hiding something--of that he was sure. Probably went out and beat each other up--'cept there weren't any bruises on their faces. Well whatever it was he wasn't going to knock it. He needed good teams and 4.5 and 3.7 had only been together a couple of days but were operating smoother than some who'd been together a couple of years.

He was beginning to expect big things from these two. Not that he'd tell them that. Their egos were sizable enough already.

"Got your flat assignment?"

"Yeah. Yesterday during all the preparations for the raid housing found me and gave me the key and address."

"So let's go catch some kip, then check out that monster wagon from the car pool and move you in."

"You don't have to do that."

"Know I don't have to, mate. But we're partners now. Got to learn more about each other and moving someone is a great education. Can tell me more of your life history."

"Only if you're going to talk too. Deal?"

"Deal." Bodie motioned for Ray to go ahead of him up the stairs. He watched Ray's ass as he followed behind. 'Only two years...you can make it two years...you can make it...you can make it.... He sighed shifted his trousers and wiped the sweat from his brow. 'It's going to be a long...two...years...!'

-- THE END --

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