Some people meet their perfect match in school, at the market or on a date. There are any number of perfectly respectable ways of meeting the person you will spend the rest of your life with.

Me I found mine in a grassy glade, naked and sporting a pair of sharp horns! It certainly wasn't what I had expected, even when the horns disappeared and he got dressed. Still, he turned out to be exactly what I needed.

I live an odd type of life. It's lonely, full of hurry up and wait, death and destruction, boredom and pain. The life of a civil servant is not a happy lot...not when you are with security. Actually I am a CI5 field agent, something more than a copper, but less than James Bond.

For purposes of identification, I'm Ray Doyle, age 33, single, live in various flats belonging to CI5. I am regularly employed by the same, and rarely permitted to stay with my date through an entire evening.

You see villains like to work at night, same time I like to go on dates. That way we both can work under cover so to speak. Now stop groaning. It wasn't that bad. Still, it gives me the rep of being an unreliable date. Fortunately I have always been able to draw the birds. But now they aren't enough and I guess I want to be understood, not simply tolerated and humored. The ladies I date aren't CI5, those are few and all taken, and what I want isn't possible.

Fact is, the only person that I ever felt comfortable with, could be myself with, is my partner, Bodie. He's a smug bastard, handsome and suave, has more lady friends than anyone could believe and is as different from me as it is possible to be. Chalk and cheese. Oil and water. Bodie and Doyle. Best friend I've got. Lets me moan and complain, then jollies me out of the sulks and sets me up with the most willing ladies I've ever met.

Now, I want you to understand, most men would be satisfied with all this. Bodie seemed to be; but me, I'm known to be difficult. We are called CI5's best team, the bisto kids, etc. The hardest men there are. Oh, Bodie's tough, an ex-merc and SAS man has got to be tough, hard.

Me, I've got one hell of a tough facade, needed to have one on drugs squad and walkin' a beat in London's East End. Still, it's just a facade for me.

Funny, how Bodie had fooled me all these years. Partners for six years and I never knew his needs were anything like mine. Course Bodie isn't given to moaning bout his problems like me. But, his barriers were just as thick but fell just as fast once he understood. It helped that we trust each other with our lives, what with the job being what it is. Trusting each other with love was just a little more frightening. Besides, Bodie looks a treat in horns. Sets off the point on his head, they do. He's kinky for pointed ears too.

In case you were curious, the reason this all came to pass was due to our boss, George Cowley. Indirectly. Actually he went to school with one Sir Chelsey Wickes, late of the Home Office. An extremely wealthy individual, but slightly eccentric, which is allowed in the upper classes if you are rich. If you are are simply considered crackers and shut up somewhere.

Now, Sir Chelsey was having a spot of unpleasantness down at his country home (something the size of Buckingham Palace, according to rumor) and requested aid and assistance from his old school chum, Georgie. (I'll give you two guesses who ole Georgie stuck with the duty.) I mean, was it my fault that Bodie was my partner? I didn't put the nudist magazine in Cowley's briefcase! (He'll never be able to prove that it was my suggestion.) Besides, it was just a harmless suggestion. How was I to know that Bodie would...Okay, so maybe I did suspect something. It was funny though. I mean, you wouldn't expect the prime minister to be familiar with that particular magazine, now would you? She turned right to the good stuff, skipped right over the centerfold.

Still, I can't say I was sad to get away from the wrath of Cowley for awhile. Bodie grumbled and growled from the passenger seat where I had banished him, as it was my car. We were under orders to stay away from London until 'father' called or Wickes threw us out. As for me, I was happy. Always liked Kent myself. Lovely countryside. I opened the window and breathed the fresh air and ignored the grouch in the other seat. He complained about the lack of amenities, amusements (read: girls), and the lack of bloody civilization. Typical Bodie.

We wandered through the hills of rural England until we came to a small hand printed sign stating, 'Wickes Estate, 2 kilometers.' Bodie took exception to this until we rounded a corner and beheld...a castle. An honest to God castle, complete with a bloody moat, for Christ's sake.

The castle was a modern reproduction of a 15th century stronghold as our host later told us. The one glaring example of 20th century wizardry was the fence completely surrounding the house and main grounds. There was also a modern gate house and two guards who waved very up-to-date guns at us until our ID's were verified by the main house.

Sir Chelsey met us at the door, looking very much the cultured English lord. He wasn't such a bad old bird actually, a little fussy perhaps, but polite and only marginally condescending. Even when Bodie called a priceless Serves' vase a flower pot. Somehow I got the feeling that he liked Bodie right off, but didn't quite approve of me.

We got the shilling tour and I got the evil eye. Bodie took to stepping between us, shielding me. I have to take steps sometimes when Bodie gets protective, he does it instinctively. I stepped hard on his instep and he limped and cast mournful looks my way for a good while. But he did stop the nonsense. For some reason, the interplay between us pleased ole Chelsey cause he stopped the weird looks and was friendlier towards me afterwards.

After a scrumptious dinner Bodie thoroughly enjoyed (he can be such a pig sometimes), we did a thorough reconnaissance of the castle with Sir Chelsey hot on our tails. Afterwards, he seemed satisfied and let us get on with the job alone. We spread sleeping bags in the entry hall (big as my flat) and thoroughly exasperated him with our determination to sleep on the floor instead of the nice comfortable beds on the second floor.

"Thought we'd save our visitors the trip up the stairs," was all Bodie said.

It was enough. Sir Chelsey retired, temporarily defeated, to bed and we closed down.

In some ways it was a replay of the night before President Parsali arrived and the hit men struck, but this night I had no ill foreboding, and except for the fact that we started out lying across from each other and ended up curled up in each other's arms, my nose in Bodie's neck, it was a peaceful night. We separated in the morning to check out the grounds, having made no mention of how we had woken up. God knows, I knew my mind, had for months. I knew that I loved him, knew that it could go either way. As for Bodie, who knew what that crazy bastard thought. I surely didn't and I was supposed to be the closest person to him. Sure.

After I stumbled on the hole in the fence, I called Bodie and we spent the better part of the morning repairing and reconnecting the alarm system. When we got back to the castle (somehow calling it a house wasn't posslble for me), it was lunch time, and Bodie once again proved that his hollow leg was alive and well. I think Chelsey was truly fascinated by Bodie's capacity, for he kept pushing plates toward him until even Bodie had to cry enough. Then Sir Chelsey came into his own. He took us to this large room where there were lots of chairs and a very large table covered with graphs and oddly shaped dice. He referred to the game as Dungeons and Dragons or D and D and offered to teach us. Now Cowley had told us to keep the old man sweet but this was a bit much. I'm afraid I was a bit of a bust about it all; got on the first level and declined to be reincarnated but Bodie dived into the game with great glee and reached 3 levels in 25 minutes, trashing creatures called Orcs with enthusiasm. I left the children with the growing piles of Orc bodies and wandered down the hallway toward several doors that I had not been able to open last evening when we had checked over the building. Several were still locked but one on the end turned out to be an art gallery of some sort and I settled in with the masters happily enough. Reaching the end of the row I saw another door which opened on yet another gallery, but this one was filled with pictures depicting flights of fantasy. Great forests with gnomes and dwarfs and centaurs and ghouls were placed next to pictures of light and gold with water and delicate creatures of mythology, such as Unicorns and pegais and elves and horned men with crowns of golden light. It was a room brimming with wonder.

Trying to keep my feet on the ground, I tried to be just a visitor looking on rather than a participant but a particular picture kept drawing my attention. There was a waterfall and a pool where an elf swam and a horned man sat on shadowed rocks on guard for his friend. It drew me like nothing had for a long time. I backed away abruptly and ran right into Bodie who caught me and grinned into my startled eyes. He finally letting me go, patted my head, pulled the mop gently and went to look at my picture. We spent almost another half an hour in that room, but duty called. As we left Bodie ran a gentle finger over my ear and said softly, "Pity they aren't pointed. It would suit you, Ray."

"Yeah, well, the horned fella reminded me of you, sunshine," I retorted smartly. Then I poked a finger at his forehead and he reached up and caught my hand firmly.

"If I were a Satyr and you were an elf, mate, you'd be in for a lot of trouble," he returned darkly, with an evil grin. Then he winked and walked out of the room.

"I should be so lucky," I said softly, rubbing my captive wrist against my cheek absently, trying to retain the feel of Bodie's hand. Then I swallowed hard and followed, speechless. Bodie was full of surprises sometimes.

Wickes was delighted with his protege's prowess with D and D and after Bodie mentioned the painting in the smaller gallery he favored me with some approval also. Dinner was a battle between Bodie's worst black humour and Chelsey's puns.

I spent the entire meal in hysterics. I suspect Bodie enjoyed that as much as the silliness. He says I don't smile or laugh enough. So that night I made up for lost time. It was that sort of evening.

Naturally that night the reason we were here in the first place was revealed. Six dark clad figures breached the fence at the repaired point, triggered the secondary silent alarm and made for the castle. We were asleep and I had wriggled into Bodie's arms for the second time ( I woke up just as I moved so I know it was me doing the traveling, not Bodie) when the buzzer went off. When Bodie sat up, I was already on my feet and half in my jeans. Then we went outside. Things got a bit rowdy but there were only 6 of them and there wasn't an ounce of science between 'em. All in all, it was a good bit of exercise. Sir Chelsey was properly impressed and insisted we use the beds now that the problem was solved. It was just as well. I was getting pretty fast at scooting across a floor encased in a sleeping bag and I wasn't sure if I was ready to face the consequences of my secret desires and nighttime actions. Was I prepared to risk the partnership to chance my hand? It was a good question. One that I had no fast answer for.

Next morning Bodie thumped on my door early and herded me down to feed him. We found Sir Chelsey dressed in a suit, seated in the breakfast room with a traveling bag next to his chair. Bodie attempted to eat everything in sight and I tried to pump Sir Chelsey about what was going on. He smiled and informed us that Cowley has decreed we stay on until Thursday and that he had to leave in 10 minutes for something he called a solstice meet. That bothered me for some unremembered reason but Bodie shrugged it off and demanded to know what we were supposed to do for 24 hours by ourselves. He looked confused when I choaked on my orange juice. Wickes just looked amused. Then he leaned forward and said something so odd I remember to this day exactly the way he phrased it.

"Gentlemen, I would like you to use these 24 hours to understand yourselves and your deepest needs. There are pathways within this house that can lead you to that which you most desire. I wish you both the best of luck. And happiness."

Then he got up, grasped his bag and left the room. I jumped up and went after him; something in that last speech had struck a warning chord within me. I saw him leaving via the front door. By then Bodie had joined me and we checked all the outside doors. None of them would open. Nor the windows. Nor would any of the glass break. I tried the telephones, but found they were dead. I must admit to having chills run up my back at this point, but Bodie seemed to be taking his captivity fairly well.

"He wouldn't have wished us the best of luck and happiness if he had planned to kill us or lock us away for good, Doyle. For some reason I think we'll be free in 24 hours, just as he said. So what's say we suspend disbelief for 24 hours and enjoy ourselves." He looked at me questioningly and I nodded. What else could I do. I certainly had no bright ideas for the time being.

We began to return to the breakfast room, but I spotted a door ajar that formerly had been firmly locked and Bodie couldn't resist. We peeked in and saw...a jungle! The room was hot and humid and Bodie claimed it felt like Angola. He disappeared into the undergrowth and I lost him immediately. The greenery was depressing and I quickly stepped out into the cool hallway.

I soon found another door and stepped into yet another world. This one had a light gravity and friendly, furry animals that hummed and sang a light song. The next room was as dank and dark as any cellar and I ventured no further than the doorway. Then I returned to the head of the hallway to look for Bodie. I checked several different places and then opened a door into a place I knew.

It was the scene from the painting of the elf and the satyr. The waterfall was lively yet serene and the pool inviting, but there was no Bodie or any elf or satyr. There was only me and the waterfall. Somehow it wasn't enough. I returned to the hallway and continued to search, but couldn't find Bodie and the waterfall continued to call me. Finally I returned to the room and walked over and crouched near the rocks by the bank. There I saw footprints. Bodie? I called and wandered around but saw and heard no one. Returning to the bank, I sat and eyed the cool water. It was very hot; my clothes were getting sticky.

I quickly stripped and dived deep into the water which was clear right down to the bottom. For some time I frolicked and splashed in the water but the hidden worry about Bodie's absence finally won and I waded over towards the shore. A shadow by the rocks froze me in the water. The shadow was not clearly seen but I thought I saw horns. Then the shadow rose and came closer.

This Bodie belonged to the ancient times and this place. He was a satyr; this Bodie was. Wild and wicked, with dark eyes that beckoned and froze his prey for the capture. He was bedecked only with golden crown and amulet as befitted his rank as a king among men. And from the circle of the crown rose two horns, that curved up from the wide brow. He moved to the water's edge and extended a hand towards me. Something within me wanted to rise up and take his hand, go with him. I fought it and moved away from him, further down the peaceful shore. He only smiled and turned his palm up in a peaceful gesture.

"Ray, come to me," he said huskily. When I shook my head, he grinned and pointed at the water before me. "Look at yourself," he commanded.

I did so and saw not the Ray Doyle I saw in the mirror every morning but some unfamiliar creature with pointed ears that showed clearly through very long curls. I raised up a hand and touched an ear tip gingerly. Oh, they were real enough. I looked up in shock and saw Bodie had entered the water and was waiting for me to notice him. Having my attention he approached slowly and cautiously. One thing I noted was that either he had suddenly gotten taller or I shorter for he was now a good five or so inches taller than I was now.

He reached out a finger and repeated the gesture of the day before of tracing my ear, but this time my reaction was much stronger. It was as if he had touched me at the core of my being. My eyes widened and I swayed towards him almost falling into his arms. He gathered me against his heart and just held me for a time, running his hands up and down my back and into my hair.

My hands seemed to have a mind of their own and encircled his back and ran broad sweeps of their own. One hand wandered up his neck and into his hair which was much longer than Bodie had ever allowed it and delicately determined whether the horns were attached or real. They were real and the gentle fingering seemed to fire my satyr. His eyes flashed and he swept me up in his arms and waded out of the water where I was deposited on a rock and he stood before me in all his wet glory. All contained power and muscle was my Bodie as a satyr, yet I realized that he had not changed bodily as much as I had.

I slid off the rock and stood measuring my height against his. I was definitely slimmer and smaller than this morning. I placed a finger to my ear and then shivered. They were most definitely an erogenous zone, those ear tips were. Bodie was watching me with a question in his eyes. He obviously wanted this to happen between us but I suspected he was watching my reactions closely. Would he end this fantasy if I wanted to back off? And me, what did I want? I reached up and grasped a horn gently and tugged the head down to where I could reach and licked a funny angled eyebrow delicately. Then I wriggled an ear at him. Bodie grinned, grasped the ear tip gently and drew me to him where his tongue gently traced my upper lip before fastening on my mouth, his tongue demanding entrance. A dark wave of desire engulfed me and I vaguely remember grabbing at Bodie's shoulders to anchor myself before my senses went under. Damned if we both weren't as clumsy as any teenager during their first fumble. All sound and fury but not much satisfaction. We simply laid there afterwards, gasping like fish out of water and then Bodie slid off me and collapsed by my side.

"Shit," was his major comment amid the heavy breathing.

I finally sat up and demanded, only half kidding, "Aren't you gonna seduce me again?"

Bodie blinked then retorted, "Why in hell do I do all the bloody work around here?" He sat up with an irritated jerk and glared, looking evil with his horns and hair sticking every which way.

Considering his question, I had to agree. Just because I was the elf and he was the satyr, was no reason to slack off. So I leaned over and lightly licked a dusky nipple. So much for my good intentions. Bodie jumped me again. He weighs a ton.

Recovering my senses I checked with Bodie, who was still communing with nature or something, in any case he was preoccupied. So I lay back against his arm and considered what we had going here.

It was all new to me. I mean I have what could be considered an extensive familiarity with the female form in most configurations and all applicable erogenous zones. Yet now, we were novices in a new game.

Bodie rolled towards me and snuggled close, thigh to thigh. I trailed a hand down his chest and over the flat belly to the crease in his upper thigh. He made an ummmmm of pleasure and relaxed in my arms.

Complete trust.

You couldn't buy it anywhere and I hadn't realized how sweet the realization could be. I felt his calloused hand wander up my body and touch my cheek, the broken one. He'd always had a pained fascination with that bit of damage. His hand slid up further and fastened in my hair, with the other following. He chuckled and the two hands began to thread gently through the tangled mess, combing with his fingers, curling pieces around his thumb. It was just as if he had put his hand in a deep pile rug and was testing the quality.

"Always wanted to do this, Ray," he admitted sheepishly. "Feels almost silky," his voice deepened, "Sexy," his mouth zeroed on mine, "Fantastic." Bodie was done with speaking, his mouth was engaged in more important pursuits.

I grabbed his hair, desperately needing to breathe, drawing his head back so I could see his face, heavy dark lashes concealing dark blue eyes, quivering as he too sought to recapture his breath. Someday we may learn how to kiss and breathe too. I'd thought once that I had already learned that early lesson but things seem to have changed. No longer was I able to have a part of me in separate control when I made love. Bodie consumed all of me. I could get too fond of this state of affairs. Far too fond. I could love him enough for the both of us. Bodie's gently searching fingers caught my attention as they ran rampant over my stomach, skimming the skin. My prick took definite notice of them and Bodie chuckled happily. I leaned forward and closed his smug mouth.

I used my tongue to probe that sensitive corner of his mouth, right, where it turns up into a natural sneer, and I could feel his arousal blossom. He settled heavily and effectively immobilized me. I recognized one of my own old moves and sent a belated apology to the skies and any lady I had so abused. The only thing I could move was my head and reached his nipple. I coaxed it until it extended into my mouth and caressed and teased until he shifted, wordlessly begging me to treat the other one with equal care. Now my hands were free and I could explore a hipbone, and trace around his stomach and navel. Bodie trembled and moaned, his voice rough.

"I want you, Ray. I need you, now."

"You've got me, love," I whispered urgently.

My god, it must have taken all of 90 seconds for the two of us to come that time. Our reputations were in shreds. Oh, but what a way to go.

Bodie had rolled away from me, lazing in the sun, a huge obscene smirk spread all over his face. At least it gave me the chance to really inspect those damn horns of his. At some time during the recent activities, the jeweled headdress had slipped over one horn and was now dangling over his left ear. He looked a proper Satyr, he did. Dissolute and exhausted. I ran my fingers over the points and found he was as sensitive as I around the ears. I stayed my wandering hands and dragged us both to the shade under the rocks.

Guess I went to sleep myself. Woke up with my nose in Bodie's armpit. Got a noseful of musky essence of Bodie. Christ, I must be goin' daft. Taking up with a great butch creature like Bodie. Was I supposed to develop a limp wrist now? Or was all this gonna disappear into a closet when the front door opened. For that matter, was all this warmth going to turn out to be love or just lust? Bodie's not much good at love, once said he flunked it in school. And then there's me.

I'm not known for my taste in lovers. Actually my taste in women is famous for being bad. Had I subconsciously decided to try something new and different? Nah, can't be. I've got too much to lose if I cock this up. So I sat there and watched Bodie play domestic while my gut ached with tenderness. I found that I could say, if only to myself, that at this moment in time, I loved him. There was as much fear as warmth in that thought.

So I watched silently as Bodie moved between the stove and fridge. Yes, behind the rocks was a complete kitchen. This had to be Bodie's fantasy. He's the only person I know who would include a kitchen in a sex fantasy. Bodie's got certain priorities. The kitchen was completely stocked with our favorite foods. Fantasy is a wonderful thing at times.

Bodie had decided that I needed sustenance before we continued, cause I'm too skinny for all the exercise. S'all right with me. I got to watch Bodie pad around bare-arsed. If I lived through his cookin', I suspected he has more evil designs on my body.

At least I hoped so. If not, I was gonna rape him.

Sides, so far we had been rather, um... conservative in our activities. I mean the missionary position is okay for a while, but not for the entire honeymoon. I was going to have that satyr's arse. And I did mean that literally.

Sometimes Bodie sleeps with all the grace of a beached whale. I mean, he was on his stomach with me sprawled all over his side and his hand firmly grasping my prick. I guess he's afraid it might get away from him while he sleeps. Prying Bodie's hand loose was a delicate operation but I emerged intact and dove into the pond. Paddling around, I remembered Bodie's hesitant manner when I patted him on the cheek and suggested we try sodomy.

So I jumped him and got him hotter than London in August, flipped him over and ran my hands over the soft curves. His thighs parted and I ran my hand under to gently toy with his furry balls and tease at his growing cock. I leaned down and nuzzled the crack with my nose and then tongue and suddenly found the very small entrance had widened considerably. Between my tongue and first two fingers, then three, the entrance was ready for me. I almost chickened out but Bodie's now frenzied arching demanded my attention. So I carefully inserted my cock and remembering it was our first time, very slowly and carefully completed our loving. I think we both died for a short while. Even in the water, the memory was making me hot.

My God! The bastard almost gave me heart failure. I thought it was a water snake or something that nudged me in the arse. In the water we don't weigh much at all and it took a good long time to climax. I think Bodie'd been afraid he might hurt me with his heavier weight so now we've gotten over that hurtle. You know, Bodie really enjoyed making it with me. He was having fun. Then Bodie was hungry again. I had to get there before he did. I mean my charm against food poisoning was only good once a day. Besides, it was my turn to cook. Bodie!

After dinner I remembered nibbling on a navel for dessert and searching for white hairs among the dark thicket of groin hair. I woke to an unfamiliar feeling of satisfaction and satiation. It was not something that should have surprised me, I had to admit. I mean, we got enough to satisfy even the most sex starved maniac. Okay, the sex was good, great in fact. We both pride ourselves on techniques, but this was different. The feelings that kept making me want to roll over and purr were caused by the tenderness before and after making love.

Did you know Bodie is almost hairless except for his groin and his toes? They're ticklish. The possibilities are absolutely endless. His eyelashes flutter when he dreams. He cheats when he's playing games too, specially if he's losin'. Now I must admit I wasn't too surprised at that quirk. Good sportsmanship wasn't one of his virtues before now. Still, he had got a few. The one that springs to mind immediately is that he's gentle. My God, he handled me like I was fine crystal, fragile and precious. Thought I might explode.

I saw the clock near the fridge and realized we only had 95 minutes left. Bodie was still asleep. The silly berk had gotten my jeans for a pillow and had 'em wrapped around his head. My God, it would have been obscene if it wasn't so pathetic. I loved him so much then I ached from it and there he was, my jeans around his face and snoring. Seemed to me we could have been suffering from the same ailment. An ailment that could ruin our lives. And reality was due in little more than an hour. I went over, and grabbed a leg of my jeans and tugged. Bodie rolled out of them easily enough but a horn caught on a ragged hem and he had to be gently released. Then he had to say thank you. The next thing I knew we had just about 30 minutes left. It was starting to feel like a countdown. I looked over at Bodie just in time to see his golden finery and horns fade away. His necklace, now aroung my neck, faded away too. I quickly checked, but the ears were still pointed.

Bodie grinned. "Spect I was the first one in here, Sunshine. I was wandering around for a good while before I saw you in the pond."

"So this is the end," I said regretfully. "I could wish..." I began wistfully.

"No, Ray, not for you or me for that matter," Bodie stated calmly as he began to dress. "You I could wander into Wonderland for just so long, but after awhile it begins to pall. Much as I enjoyed 24 hours of almost unadulterated screwing, I like to work with you, too. I get a lot of satisfaction there too. We're doers, Ray, not observers. And here, nice as it is, is not where the action is."

Bodie sat down to put on his shoes and tossed me my stuff. He watched with great enjoyment as I dragged on the crumpled jeans.

"Better than a teddy, those were, mate. Aromatic." he said chuckling.

I resisted the impulse to smell my jeans to see if they did stink. Instead I checked my ears. Still sharp.

"Don't worry about 'em, Ray. They'll be gone far too soon for me," Bodie said softly.

He now stood before me, fully dressed. But still as beautiful as when he was naked and horned. I must have tried to smile cause he traced my lips with a shaky forefinger. I turned away abruptly and grabbed my shirt and boots. The jeans were too large, as were the shirt and boots, but they were all I had. I finished dressing, looking like I had gotten my big brother's clothes instead of mine. The ones upstairs in my knapsack would be as useless until I returned to normal. And if these damn ears didn't vanish soon I'd have to worry about more than my size. A hand settled on my shoulder, and Bodie turned me towards him. He was unusually somber and an uncomfortable ache gripped my gut. Here was the decision about our fantasy I had secretly been dreading. Bodie raised a finger and traced my ears with a feather down touch then suddenly his eyes went black and he dragged me into a tight embrace.

"They're back." he said harshly as I realized that we were once again the same height. It was one of the reasons for my boots. I could feel the deep trembling in Bodie and realization struck. Bodie had expected of me what I had expected to hear from him. I snorted and began to sooth and pat the broad area of back available to me. Bodie shuddered and buried his head in my shoulder.

"I'm glad you're bigger, Ray," he whispered.

My evil sense of humor surfaced and I snickered. "Always was Bodie, always was." I raised my chin and rubbed it against the cropped head. "Certainly big enough to take anything you could dish out. What say we clean up this place and call 'Father'. Then we can hit my place for dinner."

The mention of food caught his attention and Bodie raised up his head and eyed me warily.

"Steak, Bodie, red meat. Gives you lots of energy and stamina," I continued wickedly.

His eyes sharpened. "Since when have you ever worried about my stamina, mate. Have I ever flagged doing anything with you?" he demanded huffily.

"Since I lost my ears, Bodie. You'll have to find a new way to light my fire now they're gone," I replied cheerfully and pulled out of his arms with a farewell kiss to his nose. I went around the pool and found the door. I opened it and looked down the hallway. The front door was open and I could see the sun shining through it. I shook my head in admiration and walked over and out the door. Standing on the bottom step, I heard Bodie come down beside me.

"What about Cowley and CI5?' Bodie asked almost absently.

"He started it all, Bodie. Let no man sunder what the Cow has wrought," I misquoted dreadfully. "He'll simply have to suffer the consequences."

Bodie blinked and grinned. "If not there are plenty of other jobs on offer."

"Yeah," I agreed cheerfully, "might even be some that we could do."

Bodie patted my arse in agreement and leaped into the driver's seat of MY car, refusing to yield right of ownership, despite some imaginative threats of mine. So I sulkily thudded into the left side seat and propped my foot directly into Bodie's lap. Within five miles he had my boot off and was rubbing my instep. I began to feel him up with my toes. He is very ticklish in the silliest places. The left testicle? That was his claim anyway. I finally moved the foot before he ran us up a tree, much to his vocal disappointment. So to distract him I read the note I had found tucked in my knapsack.

Dear Bodie and Doyle,

Hope you found what you were looking for. Come back anytime. The front door will now open to either of your prints. As will some of the other doors. Remember, a fantasy in memory can be relived as often as is desired. In all aspects. Take care.


Bodie laughed with glee. "The ears will return," he chortled and patted me on the knee. "That is enough to make me want to visit the country on my next leave for sure," he announced. "I really liked that glade."

"Yeah," I agreed without argument. I had other fish to fry. "What other rooms did you find?"

Bodie shrugged. "Just the jungle one and it got borin'. Most jungles are either that or deadly. I can do without either."

He shot me a suspicious glance, obviously wondering where this line of questions was takin' us. It also meant that I had that evil gleam in my eye that he knew meant that I was up to no good. He was partially correct. If the three rooms that I had visited were any indication, there were plenty of new and different environments to try out. Oh, I could just visualize the fuss Bodie would make in that low gravity moon room. And while I sat happily plotting away our next leave together, Bodie undoubtedly plotting dinner and after dinner dessert drove us home. I might have to learn to actually play D and D. Guess we all have to make some sacrifices to be happy.

-- THE END --

Originally published in In the Public Interest, Sunshine Press, 1985

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