One Summer Night


If only there was even a breath of air!

He thumped himself restlessly over in the bed, checking the abrupt movement as he belatedly recalled his already silent companion, and settled onto his back with an angry restraint that did little to ease his tense frustration as his gaze encountered the large bed's other occupant.

Peacefully asleep, face buried deeply in the pillow so that the nose and mouth were pushed into a less than appealing distortion, Bodie looked as though it would take the Last Trump to wake him.

Lucky bugger, Doyle moaned in silent resentment; unable to reacall when he had last felt so bloody knackered, the monstrous injustice of his inability to sleep when opportunity had so tardily been offered struck him all the more forcibly.

He sighed, heavily, silently calling down curses on the heads of Middle Eastern political hotshots who decided to hold secret and lengthy talks in a damn great mausoleum of a place, miles from anywhere, in the middle of a heat wave. Wouldn't be so bad if you could get away for an hour or two, find a pub with a halfway decent-looking barmaid... over a week now since they'd had so much as a glimpse of anything in a skirt that wasn't olive-skinned and unswervingly masculine...

You could hardly blame Anson for wistfully regaling them all with an account of the heavy date he'd had planned for this evening-- and the subsequent conversation had been all too predictable, with everyone present trying to cap each other's tales of past conquests. Course, it was equally predictable who'd come out top in that exercise. Even if you only believed a quarter of the stories Bodie told they were still pretty hair-raising. Doyle, who knew him well, believed about half of them.

Tonight he'd really surpassed himself with that wholly improbable tale of a full-scale orgy--the only trouble was he'd got most of them thoroughly turned on, and from the gleam in his eye, he'd been perfectly aware of what he was doing as well, bastard that he was.

Doyle moved again, and again stopped himself. He ought to get a grip on his errant thoughts and turn his mind elsewhere before his always too willing body got even further out of control; he was half afraid he was already too late. Vague erotic images tantalised him, sending little waves of excitement down him to centre in his groin.

Damn! Might have been better if he hadn't turned onto his back. He could just imagine Bodie's reaction to waking up and finding him lying here half hard and wholly frustrated. Never hear the last of that, would he.

About to move, he froze as Bodie grunted, turned abruptly onto his back and subsided again, lids fluttering wildly.

Was the crafty bugger awake all the time?

Doyle stared at him, panicked, not wanting to move in case Bodie decided to surface, whether by design or not. Seconds ticked by.

At last Doyle let himself sag into relief, a small trickle of fresh sweat running down behind his ear to be soaked up in his already damp pillow. He felt hotter than ever, blast it, and more wideawake. He closed his lids firmly, wooing sleep--only to find that, etched on their inner surfaces a vivid picture of Bodie and the three girls he'd claimed to have laid on the same night came to tantalise him.

They'd all swallowed it, hook, line and sinker, hanging open- mouthed on every dreamy word he'd uttered... until the other bloke had been mentioned.

Even Doyle had been unsure whether this was one of Bodie's more successful put-ons or not until he'd casually revealed the presence of the other man. Tempted to voice a protest, he'd loyally closed his mouth and looked knowingly at those who tried to gauge from his expression whether or not his partner was telling the truth.

It was left to Anson to voice the general disbelief.

Bodie had looked at him, deeply hurt.

"Two blokes--three girls--what else could we do?" he'd asked plaintively. "Wouldn't've been fair any other way, would it! I mean, I wasn't going to let him have the pleasure of two birds while I had only one, and we couldn't abandon one of 'em. Besides--" he'd grinned reminiscently, "--we'd only got one room and one bed booked. Bloody good thing it was king-sized!"

Eyeing the vast thing they were occupying now, Doyle tried to visualise five bodies entwined on it. Have to stay pretty close but it could just be done.

Oh, for god's sake, Doyle, go to sleep!

He closed his eyes again.

Seconds later he was aware of light travelling across his face.

Oh christ, that was all he needed--bloody full moon just coming into view at one corner of the huge window. Be flamin' hours before it would no longer be shining straight onto the bed and driving him crazy. Too fuckin' hot to close the heavy velvet curtains and shut it out that way. They'd suffocate if he did; too little air in there already in spite of the wide-open panes.

Intending to turn his back on the brightness by rolling over to face Bodie, he found himself instead frozen into immobility, gazing raptly at the sprawled, naked figure as it lay comfortably asleep in the path of the slowly-moving moonlight, the bright bar emphasising the always intriguing contrasts of dark and light presented by his partner's unclad body. Very fair-skinned, Bodie, slow to tan, tending rather to redden and fade: his body-hair though was black and, where it existed in more than the lightest dusting, luxurious, leading the eye to dwell on its presence and the heavy, impressive sex that hung from within it. His interest in other blokes' genitals normally minimal, Doyle had often found his eye drawn to Bodie's sex, if only for the vivid contrast the lush, black growth offered to the light-skinned background; now, unable to sleep and in a mood to indulge in a little erotic fantasy, Doyle sat up, careful to move slowly and without rocking the mattress and waking Rip Van Winkle there from his much-needed beauty sleep.

He and Bodie and three girls, eh! That was a thought to conjure with. Looking at Bodie lying there on his back, decadence personified, it was easy enough to picture two girls bent over him, mouths and hands busily at work--the third girl concentrating her attention on him, of course.

Doyle ran his hand down his own arm, raising a following wake of goosebumps. Hell of a turn on this, just imagining Bodie getting his oats while he sat here and watched and got a little for himself. His palms circled his own nipples and he shivered pleasurably.

Christ, yeah! Just imagine watching a girl going down on Bodie, taking that impressive prick into her mouth to swallow it down until the red lips met the thatch of black hair.

Doyle gulped, trailing his fingertips lightly down his chest and over his belly, aroused almost unbearably now. He did not touch his erection, jutting between his thighs, demanding notice--his, or...

Dared he?

What if Bodie woke and saw him sitting here pulling his pud like some teenage kid? More than likely, that, particularly if Doyle got at all carried away and started going at it with real enthusiasm. Not that there was any other way to do it! Doyle had never been half- hearted about sex--wasn't sure he could be if he tried.

No! Madness even to think about it.

About to lie down, his hand had gone to clasp himself in a warm, promising grip before conscious decision had been made. Just hold it, that's all, he told himself. No need to go crazy and start...

He took the hand away again, laying both palms on his knees and holding tightly, fingers gripping so hard the sensation was near pain.

Bloody idiot--getting so darned het up like this. Deserve it, he would, if Bodie woke up and caught him, deserve all he'd get, whouldn't he! His mouth widened in a self-mocking smile.

Strewth--carry on like this and he'd start to believe he wanted Bodie to wake up.

With the utmost care, he laid himself back down, head turned Bodie's way, obsessively watching the bright whiteness slide further down the strong, smooth line of his chest, highlighting one neat nipple.

Nice that, Doyle approved--never liked monstrosities on anyone, male or female--but then everything about Bodie was neat from his severely trimmed hair to his exquisitely manicured toenails. In fact, Bodie was a good-looking bloke altogether; Doyle had long thought so. He propped himself up on one elbow.

Yeah, quite see why the birds go for you, sunshine. All power and leashed-in aggression, that was Bodie; even lying there like that, flat on his back and defenceless, he retained the look of challenge. Course, when you knew him well and knew how the aura of menace could change to a cuddly-toy softness within the space of a heartbeat--nah, it didn't really alter anything, did it. Just made him even more special, knowing how he let you behind the barriers, see more of the real Bodie than anyone else ever did, ever had either, for all Doyle knew to the contrary.

Cuddly-soft--yeah, bet he was. Bet that skin was like satin, so taut- stretched over the high arch of his ribcage, hollowing beneath the breastbone to the softness of his belly. Wonder what he was like to touch--good, most probably. Doyle recalled an occasion when one of Bodie's birds, by some miracle, had got his shirt open and out of his trousers and was diving in there with her hands, making little cooing noises, with he eyes all glazed and her mouth half open. Good night that had been--and if only he'd known Bodie might be that broadminded maybe he and whatever bird it was he'd been with needn't've left for the privacy of his bedroom. Be good to have seen Bodie lose even more of his inhibitions, wouldn't it!

Doyle gulped frantically at the thought, muscles taut with the effort he was making to lie still. Christ, but he'd go crazy in a minute if he didn't do something about this, get down to the bathroom where he could deal with the problem in decent solitude.

Oh god, couldn't do that, not with Lucas out there prowling around on watch. One look at Doyle creeping out of his room with his prick at attention and poking optimistically at his dressing-gown and he'd never hear the last of it.

Could drape a towel over his arm maybe, have a bath--cold one might be just what he needed.

Nah, couldn't do that; plumbing in this place was as old as its hisstory, made a noise like Niagara when you just rinsed your hands under the tap; be popular as hell waking everyone up having a bath in the middle of the bleedin' night.

Doyle grinned; choked the sound off.

He'd have to do something soon, couldn't carry on like this. P'raps if he got out of bed and walked about or something the need and the urgency would go away. Or p'raps it wouldn't.

He cast another agonised look Bodie's way. Oh christ jesus, just look at him lying there, innocent as a sleeping babe, peaceful as a kitten, all unaware of the turmoil and agony going on just six bare inches away, from him. Six flamin' inches. Near enough to reach out and touch if only he dared. Be nice to touch someone, give him a brief illusion of not being so bloody alone as he felt right at this minute.

His hand stroked velvet softness, warm with the rush of blood so close beneath questing fingertips. Bemused, Doyle stared at the spread of his hand on Bodie's ribs, hardly able to take in that the warmth felt against his palm and the sight of his hand lying on Bodie were both part of the same thing. He was shaking.

Get your hand off him, you fool. Get it away and lie down before you wake him up and he asks what the hell you're up to touchin' 'im up in the middle of the night.

Christ, but he feels good, soft'n warm'n caressable. Want more, Bodie, just a little more, just slide by hand over to feel where your ribs stop and belly goes all soft'n sweet--that's right, you stay asleep, breathing nice'n slow.

Heart hammering against his ribs so hard it was nearly painful, Doyle slid his hand over the slowly rising and falling chest, exploring with ever-growing bravado.

Would he wake up if--?

If he didn't risk it ha'd kick himself for the rest of his life.

Doyle's middle finger hovered, uncertain, then reached for its objective with thistledown lightness.

Softer even than the surrounding akin, the tiny nipple pleaded his staying. He circled it luxuriously, wistfully, almost dreamily, never after knowing just when it was the first noticed it was hardening, peaking under his whisper-soft enticement.

Trust Bodie! Ready for action of any kind even while he was fast asleep. Doyle stifled a near-hysterical giggle.

Confident all of a sudden, sure he could be innocently lying down feigning sleep if Bodie did surface, he moved his hand across to the other tiny nub, circling that and bringing it erect as well.

Suppressing another nervous giggle Doyle stared at the silent, sleeping face, so serene and somehow superior there on the pillow.

Got him erect here, haven't you, he thought pensively, wonder if you can do it anywhere else while he's still flat out. After all, he reasoned, calm in a yet-unrecognised euphoria, if he wakes up all hot'n ready, he can hardly start being rude because you're in the same interesting condition, can he!

Edging closer, he commenced his self-appointed task.

Beautiful skin, soft, warm, finegrained, laid thin over prominent hipbones--Doyle learned their shape with delicate precision, moved on to the top of a corded thigh.

Hairier here, soft still though, downy, but like a baby's scalp. No, not a bit like that, too much muscle--p'raps on his forearm, his free hand reached out. Oh yeah, here it was exquisite, could stroke him for ever if it wasn't for the superior attraction of that heavy, sleeping sex, nestled in heedless comfort across the top of his thigh.

Merely a flicker of a finger at first, scared nearly out of his mind but uncaring, he slid along the limpness. So supremely soft, like nothing else Doyle could think of. Like his own and yet not. Two fingertips this time, then three. God, but he was delicious to fondle this way. Eyes half-slitted, Doyle continued to stroke and beseech, daring at last to take the unknowing organ up, cradling it in the palm of his hand.

The first tiny throb startled him so greatly he almost jumped out of his sweating skin.

Shaking, he stared down at his hand with its precious burden. Had he really felt that or was it just--christ, no! Not imagination.

Recovering a little equanimity, he concentrated, all his attention given to his task, almost forgetful there was another person involved in this heady pleasuring.

Must touch his balls, he decided hazily. Like that, won't he. Just push that leg, there, like that. Now he could reach, gently, hold him in the palm of his hand, weighing him raptly.

Hair so wiry here, curling around his fingers like some creeping plant's tendrils; holding him. So thick, so unbelievably thick.

Another pulsing throb, drawing him back to his prime objective.

He folded his hand around the growing hardness, noting with a throb of his own how large it would be when fully aroused. He gripped it carefully, applying just the right pressure, just the way he liked it himself.

Hypnotised by this gentle eroticism, Doyle continued to lie, elbow- propped by his partner's side, engrossed in his task of bringing him to full arousal and quite unprepared for the sudden, cold finger of sanity that touched his mind, making him abruptly aware of the sheer enormity of what he was doing.

Any second now Bodie was almost certainly going to wake up and when that happened Ray Doyle stood a very good chance of ending up spattered thinly over the three neighbouring counties. A rush of pure panic stilled his softly-working hand, the sensation flooding through him like a cold shower.

Bodie was going to kill him for this and the way Doyle felt right this minute he'd help him do it. Deserve anything he bloody got, he would, treating his best mate this way. Only one thing to do--lie down and lie still right now, start behaving himself like a sane human-being instead of some sex-starved monster who couldn't leave it alone for five minutes at a time.

About to pull away, a nudge at his hand distracted him and he looked down, almost bewildered to discover that although he might be having second thoughts, his partner's body--not being privy to them--was intent on searching out the pleasure that seemed to have been so unkindly withdrawn.

Oh christ, what to do now?

Stop, as every ounce of sense screamed at him, and Bodie could wake up frustrated and embarrassed as hell and it would all be his fault. Carry on, and Bodie would still wake up but aroused and embarrassed as hell and it would still be all his fault.

Torn, not knowing what to do, he paused, eyes squeezed shut in silent misery, only to jump and gasp with fright as a hand closed over his and pressed it down more firmly onto the now fully erect sex, pleading a further caress.

Doyle let out a strangled sound, half protest, half intoxication, and rolled the last few inches until their bodies touched, pressing his own need against the warm flank to ease its aching.

Bodie turned, they squirmed in a frantic silence, struggling to adjust to each other's need as well as their own, finding a position at last with legs intertwined, arms straining to pull even closer, cheek pressed on cheek so their panting breaths mingled as they rushed towards a sweaty and tangled fulfilment.

Spiralling dizzily back down, reluctant to leave the heights where it had all seemed so right, so easy, Doyle waited for the furious demand for explanations for which he had no satisfactory answers, but the gripping arms grew heavy, slackened about him, the rush of excited breath slowing to a deeper rhythm.

The bugger had gone back to sleep--if he had ever been properly awake at all.

Oddly unnerved by that thought, Doyle tried to pull away, beat a hasty and decent retreat to his own side of the bed, only to find himself hopelessly trapped beneath his partner's inert weight.

Intending to lie awake, free himself from the octopus-embrace at the first opportunity, Doyle did not know how swiftly he followed his friend into a deep and blissfully dreamless sleep.

Bloody fantastic dream!

Pity you couldn't have dreams as good as this every night--being softly teased awake by a generous hand that sought your pleasure rather than demanded your attention.

Ah christ, but it was good, fingers of an expert, pressing perfectly, strongly, not as if half afraid he would break. Have to surface in a minute, show some sort of reciprocal interest--hard to wake up though--no, mustn't wake up, lose the dream that way, idiot, lie still, lie still and let it happen--dear god, yes, let it happen--let it...

Stopped? No, can't stop, mustn't stop--please, where are you? Where've you gone? Ah, there, found you, got you. Let me show you, need it--please, go on--go on...

Hot body pressing close, firm and skinny and needing. Mmmm, nice! C'm'ere, Ray Doyle, come close--closer--that's it, that's right. Hug you, feel you hugging me--good, oh god, so bloody good, better than dreaming, better than fucking nearly... better than... best...


Clutchin' at me?

Christalmighty, what the hell've I...

Ray, was that you woke me up? You lying here hanging on to me? Shaking?

No, don't shake--'s OK. 's quite OK, sunshine. Needed it too--been a long time coming but now it's here and it's good and you gimme half a minute and I'll wake up'n tell you all about it, my friend--my lover--yeah, like that, like it--like...


His sense of well-being was so great Bodie knew it must have been a good night long minutes before memory finally engaged, letting him recall just whose was the heavy body adhering all down his right side like some warmly-dampened garment. Joy spread rapidly, a rare feeling--so rare he scarcely recognised it for what it was--that would not let him lie still and wait for Doyle to wake also but made him lean up to look at the sleeping face, his own one huge, beaming smile.

The movement clearly disturbed the sleeper for a small frown appeared, pulling the eyebrows down into a discontented pucker, and the eyelids fluttered briefly as if about to open.

Suddenly overtaken by an unanticipated, overwhelming and most astonishing shyness Bodie was not sure how to greet his partner within this new arrangement of their lives and, needing to put the moment off for just a little while longer, he wriggled away so that the propped-against-his body slithered away to lie sprawled, face down, in sleepy perplexity. The small frown deepened, eyes opening as Doyle lifted his head.

Unable to face him, Bodie pounced, holding him down so he could lift away the heavy mass of curls tumbled about the endearingly slight neck and nuzzle cheerfully upon the nape, finding a curve there that satisfyingly fitted his mouth as though designed by nature for his pleasure. He grazed in throaty happiness, controlling the few resistant squirms by laying his body further over the slighter man; then, intoxicated with the smell and the taste and the feel of him he mouthed his way across the shoulders, around his arms, teasingly darting his tongue to tickle at the juncture of arm and ribcage, revelling in the effect his partner's responsive wriggling was having upon him, and grinding his hips slowly upon the jerking thighs trapped under him.

Hands firmly gripping Doyle's arms he levered himself up to lick tantalisingly down each knob of the long spine, eliciting small, wordless but nonetheless encouraging sounds; releasing the pinioned forearms he used his hands to explore the arching body further, driving them both to a heady arousal.

Boldness growing with desire he did not hesitate as his mouth came to the swell and parting of the neat buttocks, continuing his exultant exploration with singleminded rapture--he was beautiful, there was nowhere he was not utterly desirable and warm and welcoming; he could feast on him for ever.

His hand snaked around, seeking to confirm what his over-excited brain already knew, that Doyle was hard and urgent, as fully aroused as he was himself. Doyle's movements gained momentum, almost bruising Bodie's cheek as he pushed back towards the probing tongue; sounds of harsh breathing and muted bedsprings were loud in the gray dawn but Bodie was oblivious to both, uncaring of anything save the need to bury himself deeply within the body that writhed so insinuatingly against his.

He clambered to his knees, clumsily, aware he was hurting Doyle but too on fire to stop or to be more careful, half fell, half rolled over onto his side, tugging Doyle to him with fingers that shook and slipped on the sweating skin; he gripped harder, pulling to press those next-to-nonexistent buttocks on the yearning ache at the pit of his stomach, reaching down to his own sex to align it with the saliva-moist entrance and slowly, with infinite care, press it home.

Doyle uttered a cry, small but surprisingly loud in the quiet early- morning; hurriedly, Bodie freed his hand to clamp it over the parted mouth, hissing an admonitory 'Ssh!'. He stroked the hot face in loving apology, trailed his nails over the prominent collarbone and into the intriguing thichet of hair, sweat-soaked now and stuck to the skin in heavy, damp whorls which he curled around his fingers and tugged in gentle adoration.

Doyle's hips moved against his, offering encouragement and stimulation in heady abandon, pleading action. Bodie's hand slid further down to grasp at the upwards thrust of Doyle's cock, squeezing and stroking with detailed precision to the rhythm of his steady movement within Doyle, bringing them both to a slow and perfect finish.

Vaguely melancholy that it was over, Bodie wanted never to slip from this warmly-delicious ring of flesh that moulded itself about him, lay quiet to savour the moment in stillness before he would move to claim the first kiss from his new-found and last love.

"Not up?"

An unmistakable, plummy-rich voice right outside their door.

"Oh yes I am!" Bodie uttered the final word on a high squeak of incipient hysteria.

"Then it's high time they were," the voice added in deep disapproval. "We're not here for a rest-cure--I thought I'd made that perfectly clear to all of you right from the start."

The door-knob rattled under an impatient hand, the door swung open.

Bodie was sitting on the floor one side of the bed, crowing, scarlet- faced, laughing so hard he had to struggle to draw breath; across the room his partner was collecting up his towel, scowling more thundreously than Cowley at his irascible worst.

"Come along, the pair of you," Cowley said in open annoyance. "You're due to take over from Lucas and McCabe at 07.00 hours. What the devil are you up to still in bed?"

"Up to no good?" Bodie suggested on a sharply rising note.

Doyle made an exasperated sound, swung one piercing look at his partner's way and pushed wordlessly past Cowley with an expression compounded of fury, anguish and an odd sense of betrayal.

Sobered, Bodie looked up, meeting astonished, slate-blue eyes.

"We'll be there on time," he confirmed evenly and, picking up his own towel he slung it about his waist and followed his partner out.


Bodie pushed his way through the tangle of shrubs, dusty in the dry summer's heat--if he didn't find Doyle soon he'd give up on the sulky little bastard.

OK, so maybe he shouldn't have laughed like that this morning, half hysterical from the narrowness of their escape, but christ, if Cowley had been just a couple of minutes earlier he'd have walked right in and caught them, for Bodie was guiltily certain he would not have been capable of noticing anything just then--and in the act didn't begin to say the half of it.

Just the memory of that involuntary, terrified scramble out of and away from Doyle was enough to bring him out in a muck sweat and his consequent less-than-graceful descent from bed to floor had been all that was needed to complete his disintegration.

Sitting there, shaking like a leaf and unable to control either face, voice or tongue, he'd done his very best to behave naturally; god alone knew what he'd come out with to make Doyle look at him that way and afterwards spend the whole of the morning either replying to his partner's tentative overtures with monosyllabic curtness or else ignoring him altogether. It can't have been that bad, for god's sake, or Cowley wouldn't have been treating them both so normally.

In the end, fed up and not a little hurt, Bodie had withdrawn into a dignified silence and Doyle had gone out of his way to avoid him, seemingly relieved to be left alone.

Couldn't go on like that though; Bodie had already been on the receiving end of one of Cowley's penetrating glares and it wouldn't be long before their boss, not generally renowned for reticence, would be in there--no hope he'd simply be content to stand by and watch with a worried frown until they'd got their act together.

Somehow, Bodie could not see himself opening his heart to Cowley over this, whatever he might have bene prepared to do in the past.

Oh shit, not down here either, so where the hell was the little sod!

Wring his bloody neck when I find him, he promised himself savagely, turning a corner and seeing ahead of him a long, narrow walk lined with lime-trees, too overgrown to permit a clear view down its length. Sighing, Bodie started off along it.

Ought to go in, Doyle told himself, leaning back against the low iron fence, both elbows propped on its top rung. Bodie'd be doing his nut trying to find him, probably set the whole place by the ears asking if they'd seen him, and with everyone so flamin' security conscious he'd have 'em all in an uproar, dashing around like fleas on heat.

He'd go in a minute, find his partner and try to look as though nothing had happened--after all, what had! Nothing much, just seduction and rape... any CI5 agent ought to be able to take both in his stride; it obviously wasn't bothering Bodie any, but then that young man had never had much of a conscience to begin with.

OK, so he was guilty as well, too bloody aware of it--scared out of his skull when he'd woken to feel Bodie moving away from him, abrupt reassurance flooding as the hot mouth had latched on to his neck with such determination. But then Bodie had held him down, refused to let him move or turn, denied him any sight of his face and Doyle had had no way to judge whether his caresses were for pleasure or revenge, and security had fled again leaving only a fiery arousal that would not release him so long as the incredible, exciting stimulation continued.

Responded just like an animal, didn't you, Doyle thought dully. Not just letting him do what he wanted but bloody encouraging him.

And then, in that terrifying moment of almost-discovery, Bodie had laughed.

Body on fire with shame, Doyle couldn't get out of there fast enough, almost knocking Cowley over in the doorway in his hurry to get by.

And Bodie, damn him, acting so outwardly casual every time they encountered each other during the morning, and all the while covertly staring at him with that sly, knowing look in his eye that had made Doyle want to smash his fist into the handsome, off-hand face; destroy its arrogant complacency.

His head drooped, chin dropping to his chest in painful recollection.

All his own bloody fault--couldn't blame Bodie for getting his own back, could he, not after what he'd started last night.

Still didn't know why he'd done it either.

On come on, Doyle, at least be honest with yourself--admit you've been fancyin' him for bloody months now, even if it took this morning to let you see it at last. Wouldn't have responded like that if you hadn't been wanting Bodie to fuck you rigid, would you!

He felt hollow; drained by a sense of loss for something he'd never had, never would have.

Trust you to fuck it up, Ray Doyle, letting your balls do the thinking as usual. Never could get your love life straightened out in the ordinary way, have to complicate things, don't you.

Christ, what a fool, what a blind, stupid idiot he was.

Have to move soon, go in and face his partner; they'd got tonight to get through. Nowhere he could go to get away from him, not here, not with Cowley breathing fire and brimstone down their necks if they put so much as a toe out of line.

He pulled himself away from the fence, straightening his spine with a touch of bravado.

Play his cards right and he could get more of the same tonight; maybe even get to lay Bodie if he didn't cock this up by getting too intense about it--give him something good to remember instead of the crashing sense of betrayal and loss.

He closed his eyes, concentrating on calmness, getting himself under control.

"--been looking for you everywhere."

The voice at his shoulder startled him so much he nearly fell over, clutched at the nearest object for support.


He was pulled into a hard embrace and melted into it without pause or hesitation.

"Good thing it is, sunshine. Can't be a lot of fellas around here who'd be as pleased as I am to be greeted like this."

Softly teasing, typical Bodie-warm--Doyle sagged against him, all his plans and good intentions scattered heedlessly in his longing to explain, to apologise, to plead Bodie's forgiveness...

"God, Bodie, I'm sorry. Don't know what the hell came over me, doing that to you. Dunno why you didn't just thump me and have done with it."

He knew he was babbling, half incoherent, but he couldn't get the words out quite fast enough to satisfy his need to have Bodie forgive him.

"Thump you?" Bodie sounded astonished. "Whatever for?"


Bemused, Doyle didn't know how to answer or even what Bodie was saying. Pulling himself together he looked up, meeting Bodie's eye bravely, but glad of the shaded light beneath the limes now it was beginning to get dark.

"Why should I want to thump you?" Bodie said.

He meant it too, Doyle thought, incredulous and thrown off balance yet once more today.

"What I did," he said, less than explicitly. "Last night," he added in ashamed complement.

"What--you mean waking me up the way you did?" Bodie stared, wide-eyed in the twilight. "Christ, Ray, surely not even you can be dim enough to think I objected to what was going on! Nicest way I know to wake up, that is."

"But--" Not knowing what to say to this startling announcement Doyle floundered unhappily. "But--but I thought--I mean, this morning, you seemed--you must've been furious with me or you wouldn't've--" He faltered into silence, unwilling to put the ugliness into words and give it form.

"Wouldn't've what?" Bodie prompted him. "Ray, what the hell did I do to make you think I was angry? I know I shouldn't've laughed, if that's what you mean, but I couldn't help it. I mean, christ!--if Cowley had got there just a little bit earlier he'd've--well, you know--walked in on us. Dunno 'bout you, sunshine, but I don't intend putting on shows for Cowley's benefit. I just got--I dunno-- bit hysterical, I think, wondering what he'd've done. Was it what I said to him? 'cause if so, I'm sorry. Thing is, I dunno what I did say, something stupid as usual, I expect. Didn't start thinking coherently till well after breakfast!"

"You mean," Doyle said, staring fixedly at him and temporarily ignoring all this last speech, leaving it aside until he had time to assimilate it properly and concentrating for the moment on the important issue, "you mean you didn't mind me getting you going like that last night?"

"Loved it," Bodie replied with gratifying immediacy, "woke up thinking I was dreaming about you and then found it was real."

"Dreaming--about me?"

Bodie's eyes slid away from his. "Think this has been on the cards for a long time, don't you?"

"What--you mean us--the two of us?"

"Yeah." Bodie risked a flickering glance at him. "I've often thought that--it'd be good, but the time never seemed right before. Does now, don't you think?"

"You wanted this?" Doyle was still incredulous. "Well, I'll be bug--" He broke off, grinning and hot-faced. Not the most felicitous phrase under the circumstances.

Bodie nodded, a gleeful gleam lighting his whole face. "Just as often as I get encouragement," he agreed. "How about you?"

But just as Doyle opened his mouth to make a forceful response a somewhat elephantine crashing about not far away warned them that their quiet chat was about to be disturbed.

"Might've know it was Anson," Bodie said dryly. "Cowley ought to send you off to play cowboys and Indians with Macklin, that'd teach you to walk more quietly through the undergrowth."

"What's up?" Doyle enquired. "Don't tell me Cowley wants us on duty again. I thought they were all safely under Mac's beady eyes by now."

"Nothing's up." Anson loftily ignored Bodie's jibe. "Just wanted a quiet stroll out here in the cool, that's all. 's nice down here, innit. This must be that lime walk they were all on about."

"I s'pose it must be," Doyle agreed solemnly. He yawned. "I dunno about you two but I'm ready for bed. This is the first night we've been free to get our heads down before about 1.30 and I intend to take full advantage of it."

"Too damn right, mate." Bodie rather belatedly covered his mouth. "What the hell d'you wanna start me off yawning for?" he complained indignantly, falling in behind the other two.

Finally getting the door of their allotted bedroom closed against the rest of the world, Doyle was forced to lean on it, gazing at his suddenly breathless partner who had stopped just inside and was blocking his way.

"C'm'ere," Bodie said softly. "I've been wanting to do this all day."

Odd to see Bodie's face coming close like that, odd and rather breathtaking; his mouth was parted, eager.

Last chance for sanity, Doyle thought deliriously, happily abandoning himself to madness and Bodie.

"First kiss," Bodie whispered, investing the words with an enchanting solemnity. "Think we'll get better at it?"

Doyle could not quite regain his usual poise. "Better not try standing up if we do," he said, aware of a certain weakness about his knees.

"Thought we were holding each other up," Bodie nodded, eyes alight; his hands went to Doyle's shirt buttons, opening each one carefully. "Shall we adjourn somewhere safer?" He quirked an eyebrow hopefully at the huge bed. "Short of someone trying to blow this lot up we should be safe from interruptions this time of night."

"Uh-huh!" Doyle agreed, somewhat incoherently, unable to think straight through the sensations of being shakily but determinedly undressed by his usually ebullient partner. He made no move to help him, merely shifted cooperatively as Bodie tugged his shirt free of his waistband and slid it off his shoulders, kissing each one lingeringly as he did so; he tossed the shirt carelessly towards the nearest chair and then knelt to deal with his belt.

Doyle looked down at the bent head and persuaded his weakened muscles to move so that he could caress the neat cap of hair with fingers that would shake. Opening the buckle and the catch beneath it seemed to take Bodie a surprisingly long time but it was done at last and the zip drawn downwards; Bodie's lips nuzzled at his belly, making him gasp and reach to grasp the broad shoulders for support.

"Have me--over--'f you do that," he mumbled over the sudden racing of his heart.

"I'll catch you," Bodie promised, husky-voiced.

He slid Doyle's trousers down, hooking his thumbs in the band of his pants to remove them at the same time, easing them gently over the growing bulge at his crotch.

"Mmmm, that looks good. For me?" he asked, eyes glinting upwards wickedly.

"All for you," Doyle agreed, adding, "and I am going to fall over," as Bodie's tongue came out to lick over him with the delicate precision of a washing cat. He gave a hoarse cry as the arrogantly thrusting mouth closed submissively over him.

"Noisy little bugger," Bodie said affectionately into his ear. "Come on, let's get on the bed."

"Huh?" Doyle was still on cloud nine; he began to move, obedient to Bodie's wish. One attempted stride later he was falling, legs trapped in the trousers that still clung around his knees, landing with a thud on a less-than-enchanted, knocked-over Bodie.

"Clumsy devil!" Bodie groaned, rolling over to rub ruefully at his still trousered backside.

"Let it alone!"

Doyle dived for the hand and held it. "I'll kiss it better for you," he offered.

Bodie was not arguing.

Some undetermined time later Doyle raised his head from its pillow on Bodie's thigh. "What was that you said about getting into bed?"

"Well, it sounded like a good idea at the time," Bodie mumbled, "only something else came up." He chuckled filthily. "We'll do it in a minute, OK?"

But it was all of five minutes later before Doyle could move sufficiently to release his legs, still encased from the knees down in his trousers and pants which were caught up, seemingly inextricably, with his shoes.

Free at last he looked over at Bodie, still lying in total abandon on the floor, trousers lowered to powerful thighs, opened shirt tucked unceremoniously beneath his armpits.

"Like that," Doyle said breathlessly. "All the best bits on show."

Bodie's mouth twitched into a smile but he said nothing.

"Come on, exhibitionist," Doyle crawled over to him, "strip off and get into bed."

"Is that an order or an invitation?" A lazy, sensual whisper.


"Oh well, in that case--"

Bodie sat up, made to undo his shoe laces, paused suddenly. "You never did tell me why you were annoyed with me."


Irritated at Bodie's stopping, Doyle took over undoing the laces for him.

"Oh--that!" He shrugged dismissively. "Just a misunderstanding. 's not important."

Bodie put a hand out to take his chin and turn his face towards him.

"You sure?" His eyes searched Doyle's face keenly.

"I'm sure," Doyle said serenely. "Absolutely sure."

Evidently satisfied with what he saw Bodie took his hand away.

"That's OK then."

"Yeah," Doyle agreed. "Very OK."

And everything was.

-- THE END --

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