So Glad It Was Me
by O Yardley
A companion piece to A Hopeless Case
By half past nine I could see he'd had enough; his eyes kept closing and then his head would droop just so far before it jerked back up, and he'd frown a bit portentously as though he'd just thought of something to solve the world's problems. Knowing what a pig-headed bastard he can be sometimes I gave the rest of them a wink and said, "Soon be closing time mate. Let's get on our way, shall we?"
I knew he must be feeling bad when he didn't make a fuss, just got up and followed me out without a word. I was half afraid he'd fall down; if it had been anyone else, I'd probably have put an arm round them but I was beginning to get paranoid about touching Bodie. I shoved him in the passenger seat and fastened his belt for him then went round and got in my side. He didn't say anything for a while and then made some complaint about his new watch.
Typical Bodie, he'd taken that awfully well but he always is an awful kid about presents and I knew it had to have been a let down. I knew I was going to feel mean anyhow, but his face had been so trusting when he took the parcel that I almost wanted to snatch it away from him again. I sometimes wonder about that family he never talks about: I reckon he was starved for any sort of love when he was young. When I first knew him I was fool enough to take him at face value and he irritated the hell out of me with his big talk - been-everywhere, seen-it-all Bodie, world-weary ex-mercenary, ex-soldier...to hear him talk you'd think the British police force went round wrapped in cotton-wool! I don't know when it first dawned on me that he was, well not all talk perhaps, but a lot less self-sufficient than he'd like you to think. Anyway, it made me soften up a bit and start treating him like a human being. The barriers finally went down one time the pair of us nearly got ourselves killed through no fault of our own. I don't think I'd ever felt so scared or so helpless as I did that particular time and after the panic was over he just looked at me and muttered, "There go my nice clean under pants," and I wanted to laugh, cry and belt him one all at the same time.
It took him a minute or two to come up with a reason that satisfied him for our having left the pub early. Bodie's a big boy and he likes to be sure you know it. I knew very well he thought I fancied Grete - well, I'd expended some considerable time and energy in making him think precisely that - so when he suggested I was going back to her I just laughed and didn't need to say anything. I wasn't sorry about that, it was getting increasingly difficult to lie to him about my interest in women. When we arrived, he was asleep and it seemed almost a pity to wake him. I opened his door and let him make his own way out of the car; I thought I might make things worse by trying to help.
He stood and gazed at his front door as though it was unfamiliar and I was beginning to think he'd dropped off again when he said in a funny voice, "Stupid nurse has put my key in my right trouser pocket."
He winced when I put my hand in and I wondered just how extensive the bruising was and extracted the bunch as carefully as I could, watching to see if I was causing him any pain, but he just stared back like a codfish, not admitting I'd hurt him.
I followed him inside, watched him make for the kitchen and guessed he wanted to take some more of the painkillers the doctor had given him. I fished them out of my pocket where I'd put them for safe-keeping after the dozy idiot had left them on the shelf in the bog at the pub. Just as well I'd gone in there after him - I thought he'd gone for a pee and went in case he had a problem with his zip. Nothing more embarrassing than having to come back with an open fly! He took the tablets and dumped the glass down again rather heavily. It was definitely bedtime and I told him so.
Of course he made a fuss so I asked him politely how the hell he thought he was going to manage to undress. I could see written all over him that he had intended to sleep in his clothes, regardless of how awful he'd feel in the morning, but liking your independence is one thing, being stubborn just for the sake of it is plain stupid. Bodie's never that.
He put on a nauseating, little boy look and told me he was dying for a pee. If he thought I was going to curl back in horror or rush about offering to help he was disappointed. He'd have to be a lot more convincing than that if he really wanted sympathy.
I'd told him he was an idiot earlier, when he insisted on putting that damned leather jacket on, but he was pumped full of some dope from the hospital at the time and feeling full of self-confidence. Now I could see it had gone and he was looking decidedly apprehensive as we went to work. In the end he just stood still and let me ease the jacket and shirt off him without moving at all if he could help it. They'd had to cut the shirt sleeve to get it over the plaster on his wrist luckily, but even with me taking it as slowly as I reasonably could he was swallowing hard when I'd finished and I could see his body shaking. There was a white area round his mouth too and it hurt me to see him looking so vulnerable and lost. I wanted to wrap him up and keep him safe but of course I couldn't, so I contented myself with just touching the side of his mouth. I knew he was too sleepy to remember much in the morning. When I found him looking at me, I commented on his bruises to distract him. They were pretty spectacular now; he must have hit that door one hell of a thump for all he said about it being just his own clumsiness.
He tried to act unconcerned but he made his shoulder twinge and I was furious with him for hurting when I couldn't comfort him the way I wanted, so I grabbed at his trousers and got them undone and half off before he noticed. He went all virginal over his underwear - as though I hadn't seen him in the nude plenty of times - so I sat back and let him struggle with them just to teach him a lesson and then wished I hadn't. There've been plenty of times I've spent quietly watching him dress or undress when he's thought I was deep in a book or the telly - then it was fun, a surreptitious peek to feed my private fantasies, but watching him hurt was no fun at all. And he was hurting, whatever he says.
I got the fright of my life when he nearly fell over and I grabbed for him, hanging on tight and wondering if perhaps he hadn't been right about being plain, bloody clumsy. I held on far too long, ashamed of myself for being conscious down every inch of me that I was holding a naked and very defenseless Bodie and that if I was thoroughly unscrupulous I could breathe a little life into some of those deep, dark fantasies.
I slammed down on that thought, ignored his facetious comments and asked whether he wanted that pee or not.
Would you believe it, he actually thought he was going to have a shower! In his condition and with his wrist in plaster! Tempted to ram his toothbrush somewhere that would make him think, I loaded it for him and put his toothpaste away - something he always does with meticulous neatness. It must be his army-training - it certainly isn't natural inclination.
The pain-killers had clearly started to work at last because he was being deliberately annoying while he washed, splashing me and apologising far too nicely, and making me wash bits of him he said he couldn't get at. I wanted to hit him or hug him and of course did neither, just what I was asked, which took the wind out of his sails a bit for a while. I'd've dusted him with ashes of violets talc if he'd had any handy!
His eyelids were drooping again when he was ready at last and I turned the duvet down for him. It made me hurt all over to watch him lower himself down onto that bed and I had to turn away and start tidying up or I'd've been down there trying to cuddle him or something equally nauseating. I'd no intention of leaving him alone: I often turned down the offer of a bed at his place for my own very private reasons connected with these lascivious thoughts I will keep having about him, but tonight wasn't like that. Tonight he really needed me, not that I could sleep comfortably on that over-stuffed little object he calls a sofa, but there was plenty of floor if necessary - and I had every intention of staying.
He often looks sort of let down when I decide to go home after dropping him off, as though I've spoilt the party by refusing to play, but I thought he'd expect me to stay tonight. Not a bit of it. After a while he opened an eye and asked me crossly what I was doing. Since I was taking off my shirt at the time I thought it was fairly obvious and said so and got some more smart-alec talk, but I wasn't going to give in over this and eventually he grunted and shut his eyes as if to ask me to shut up.
I went and had a shower, wondering if I ought to make it a cold one, and then went back in to look at him. He wasn't quite asleep and he smiled at me with his eyes still shut. I didn't care then, I just got in beside him. I'd've walked down Whitehall stark naked for that look.
What with all the drugs and being shaken up more than he'll ever admit, he was asleep before I was. I was much too conscious of his nakedness only inches away - and of that bloody shoulder. If he hadn't got that bloody shoulder, I'd've said to hell with it and plucked up the courage to seduce him; but if he hadn't got that bloody shoulder, I wouldn't have been there. I wished like hell that one or the other of us sometimes wore pyjamas but we never did and we both know it. If I suddenly produced a pair, he'd laugh his fat head off, probably accuse me of getting rheumaticky with age. He likes to make a thing out of my being older than he is, and how could I tell him that I wanted some sort of shield between us even if it was only a bit of stretch cotton? I dropped off eventually, but it was only after I'd talked to myself very severely and thought a lot of very, very pure thoughts.
I woke up feeling ghastly. I'd been having a rather spectacular dream about him, only his moans of ecstasy had suddenly turned into groans of agony and I woke up shaking and sweating, my eyes feeling full of grit and tears, only to find the cause of all the trouble lying there looking bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I felt distinctly narked when he made rude remarks about my morning appearance which is certainly no worse than his most of the time and laid it on a bit thick about being frightened to go to sleep in case I'd do some more damage to his already over-abused body. He didn't look very impressed by my solicitude but made some sarky noise at me, so I glared at him with what I hoped was quiet dignity.
He stared back, his eyes studying my face as though he'd never seen it before, peering forward for a closer look or something, and just as I was beginning to squirm with embarrassment suddenly demanded why I'd touched him last night.
I tried frantically to remember if I'd actually done any of the things I'd been wistfully thinking about while he was parading around in his elegant skin, hoping I'd be able to laugh it off if I had gone that crazy.
"Of course I touched you," I said defensively. "I undressed you, you fool."
"No - like this," and he rubbed the side of my mouth softly with his fingertip.
It's ridiculous how a simple touch like that can send shivers over the whole of your body.
I tried to explain and I guess I made a hash of it because he made some joke about my doing it instead of kissing him better.
I answered him back but I wasn't thinking straight and tied myself in knots and he teased me some more, asking when was I going to kiss him and then, just as suddenly, it wasn't a joke any more and I couldn't say a word, just lay there and stared at him dumbly and wished I was dead because he must be able to see everything I wanted written all over my face, but I couldn't look away as I ought, and then he said something so huskily I couldn't catch it and leant even closer and I knew it was going to happen and I wanted it and I was terrified of it and I wanted it and I wanted very hard to be somewhere else. At that moment, if I could have run away I would have, but even lying down I knew my bones had turned to water.
You wouldn't think he could be so gentle but that 'damn you' mouth of his was exquisitely tender as it touched mine and I heard him give a sort of choked sound that could have been a sob - unless it was me that made it and I wouldn't lay bets either way. He stayed leaning up and went on kissing me so long - not forcefully, not even using his tongue, just nibbling me gently in a thoughtful sort of way and letting me do a bit of lip-work of my own - that I was afraid he'd hurt his shoulder and I pulled away.
He looked as shaken as I felt and I wondered what he was thinking and didn't care to ask. Perhaps he'd counted on me moving away since he was unable to move around easily. If so he'd been disappointed. Or had he? My heart was somewhere up near my collar-bones, I think, dancing about like a puppy after falling leaves and I was hoping - oh god, was I ever hoping - that he was finding me as sexy as I'd been finding him for months.
After a while he wanted to know what I was thinking, but I was terrified of giving way after so long and hedged a bit, but Bodie wasn't terrified, not a bit of it. Bodie went straight for it, direct, the way he often does and is always so damned disconcerting.
"I want you to make love to me," he said. Just like that. When you're actually handed the moon you've been crying for, it's rather horrible to find that all of a sudden you just don't know what to do with it. I tried to speak but I couldn't find anything to say.
And then he said wistfully that he didn't feel up to making love to me as he'd like to.
Trust Bodie to find the perfect path, to admit his own vulnerability and turn it into his strength.
How could I refuse him anything when he talked like that?
Still half afraid he wasn't serious, I rolled over, as carefully as I could, terrified of hurting him and breaking all this lovely breathlessness apart: it was like handling a bubble and waiting for it to burst in your face. But when I inched over to him he wriggled to get closer so I put my thigh over his, wanting to explode with a thousand conflicting thoughts and feelings as my knee brushed his prick and found it already hard for me. He tried to turn but he couldn't and I pushed him back down. "Let me do the work," I said firmly and I started to kiss him again. Not a gentle, tentative touching like before; it was time to start on some of those exquisite fantasies of mine now.
I reached for his tongue with mine, urgent to have the taste of him in my mouth, feeling us both pulse excitingly as our eagerness mounted. I could feel him pulling with his left hand, trying to get it free so I let him and he ran it unhesitatingly down my back and onto my arse, pushing at me and moaning for me to love him harder.
So I took him in my hand, the smooth, beautiful bulk of him, and I loved him and held him and encouraged him until he came and I was coming too, pressed against him and panting hard right into his left ear. I don't think he noticed that. I've a feeling he was even further gone than I was right then.
After that, we just lay there in a sort of hazy silence, hanging on to one another as though we'd grown together like Siamese twins. I still couldn't believe it had happened, I think. I was trying to sort it all out in my mind, the knowledge that I'd just caressed him the way I'd dreamed about, that I was still holding him, still damp and sticky with sweat and semen - his...and mine!
God, I've never felt so happy nor so goddammed scared in my life. Was this a beginning - or had we ruined everything? He answered that too, in one simple sentence.
"Why did we wait so long?" he asked me. I had to tell him then that I'd wanted him for ages. Of course he knew without my telling him that I'd been too bloody cowardly to make the first move. Soft-hearted bugger that he is, I'll swear he had tears in his eyes when he looked at me, all sentimental and beautiful, and then he started to talk to me, to tell me he loved me and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, made me all sorts of promises, and I lapped it all up, lying there with my arms round him and damned nearly crying into the curve of his glorious, strong neck. I believed every word of it. I still do. Well, I feel like that about him so I know just how it is.
When he stopped at last, I was too choked up to say much but I just about managed to kiss him and say I felt the same way, but that wasn't enough for the greedy devil.
I just grinned.
I knew I was being a bit mean but I didn't dare let loose or I might have disgraced myself by bawling all over him I was so happy. Since I reckoned we'd had nearly all the high emotional stuff we could take for a while, I mentioned the state of my bladder which was beginning to make its presence felt. In fact it was getting so bad I was rather afraid to stand upright in case I spilled! I could feel him getting restless after that so I hung about even longer on purpose - never let Bodie get complacent, that's my motto, and eventually he suggested I went to the bathroom before I disgraced myself in his bed. I was a bit indignant at that: after all those promises of commitment and love and sharing and then 'my' bed. It was a bit much so I reminded him sharply of his new obligations.
"Our bed," I said sharply. And all the ungrateful hound did was chuck me out of it with lying suggestions that if I waited on him hand, foot and finger he'd have all the more energy left for making love to me. I knew just how women felt only appreciated for their bodies and their cooking.
God but we were embarrassing at breakfast.
I even embarrassed myself and I don't find that easy. I kept wanting to go over and cuddle him and every time I looked up I'd find him gazing at nothing with the most fatuous grin on his fat face, and I could see my own inane leer reflected in the toaster.
We talked a lot during the two days Cowley had given me off to look after him. I have this sort of feeling that the Cow isn't going to be awfully surprised about this; I'm not a hundred per cent certain I've been totally discreet in the past and I know Bodie's yelled a bit over me when I've been in danger because I've heard the others talk about it. The Cow takes a lot from us he doesn't take from the others.
We tried to look ahead, see what pitfalls there were and there were plenty, but I knew I wouldn't care. I could face anything if I'd got Bodie with me and he felt the same way and said so. It did get easier to say these things after a while, but we were still a bit shame-faced about the way it had bowled us over. As for me, well I'd known the sex would be fantastic, but I hadn't expected the deep, emotional response we both felt and it had rocked me a bit, but I was managing to bear up. Bodie was unbelievable; a wonderful, curious, giggly, sexy guy who'd found someone to love.
I'm so glad it was me, Bodie, so very glad it was me.
The second day he was feeling even better so we went out for a drive, still talking. I sometimes think that when they tuck us in our coffins they'd better put in an intercom because we'll be bound to be still jabbering away. Maybe they'd better just put us in together anyway. Save a lot of trouble. I needed clean clothes by now so I went and got them from my place and collected the pressie I had for him. The others don't know him as well as I do. I knew he'd love the superman joke but equally I knew that, deep down, he'd be disappointed because deep down, Bodie is still just a kid.
You don't play mean jokes on kids. How maudlin can I get? Well, let's just say that so far I haven't really got into my stride!
We waited until we got home for him to thank me properly. He was a lot better that day.
Oh yes, and I found out about those hip-bones, too. I think I'm going to enjoy them.
-- THE END --