Call it Love
Ray Doyle ran across the uneven floor of the disused warehouse, his footfalls echoing in the emptiness. Reaching the object of his agonised shout he dropped roughly to his knees at the side of his fallen partner. A bright trickle of blood oozed garishly from Bodie's temple; a testament to the bullet that had grazed the agent's fair skin.
"Thank god," Ray whispered hoarsely as he saw that the wound was not serious. What was worrying him was his partner's total lack of movement. The bigger man had obviously taken a heavy fallen as the ricochet hit him and then must have knocked his head as he made contact with the unforgiving concrete floor.
Rising quickly, Doyle checked that Bodie had indeed managed to stop the man they were chasing. His body in a heap against a nearby wall, the terrorist lay dead, a neat wound placed just below his heart. Nodding grimly Ray immediately thought no more about him as he made his way back to his unconscious friend.
"Bodie? Mate? Can you hear me, sunshine?" Ray called softly. He checked that Bodie's airway was clear and then gathered the injured man to his chest, cradling him gently in his arms.
When he received no response Doyle's hold on the muscular body tightened. "Bodie? Come on mate, open your eyes for me. Let's see those Bodie-blues." His tone was beginning to become more desperate and without thinking he began to rock the inert form held closely in his embrace. "Come on, Bodie. This is me, now do it! Open your bloody eyes."
As if unable to disobey Doyle's order, Bodie's eyes fluttered open briefly.
"Ray?" the weak response was all that Bodie managed before slipping back into unconsciousness. It was enough. With a sigh of relief Doyle smoothed a few stray strands of hair from his partner's brow as he continued to rock them both.
"I'm here, sunshine, I'm right here."
It was obvious to any casual observer that all was not well in the hospital room.
Doyle was trying to give a verbal report of the day's successful operation to Cowley whilst listening with one ear to Bodie who's emotionless voice could be heard quite clearly in the background.
"No doc, I am not staying in for observation," came the cool, steady voice pitched in a low, somewhat menacing tone. "I can recuperate just as well at home."
"But Mr Bodie, you've suffered a nasty knock to the head and it really is advisable-"
Before the harassed medic could finish his explanation his unwilling patient rose from the bed and interrupted him. "Thanks for your help doc but I'm gonna be off now."
Heaving an exasperated sigh Cowley broke off the conversation with Doyle and turned to view the altercation taking place by the bed.
"3-7!" he barked roughly.
"Sir?" came the immediate respectful query.
"Have you suddenly acquired medical qualifications that I am unaware of? Or perhaps your training now also includes a specialism in neurology?"
Succeeding in looking only slightly abashed Bodie answered his irascible boss in an even tone, "No sir."
Hiding a fond smile Cowley continued to berate his unruly agent. "Then I suggest that you follow the doctor's advice and remain here for the advised forty eight hour observation period."
At this point the doctor in question seemed to have had quite enough of one William Andrew Philip Bodie and interjected hopefully, "Of course, if there was someone who could stay with him for the next couple of days and keep an eye on things……?" The prospect of keeping the surly CI5 operative any longer than absolutely necessary was obviously not very appealing to the medical man.
Three pairs of eyes turned simultaneously to stare at Doyle who was doing his utmost to look inconspicuous near to the door.
"What? Me?" was his strained question, a scowl marring his features.
"Come on, Ray," Bodie asked with only the merest hint of pleading, "be a mate."
Seeing Cowley's barely hidden smile of amusement Doyle sighed heavily and squared his shoulders in a theatrical manner. Only Bodie could get away with this, he thought. Speaking aloud he responded with a gruff, "Oh all right Sleeping Beauty, but you'd better not expect me to be runnin' round after you all the while!"
At Bodie's grin of obvious delight Doyle bit back a smile and held the door open with a clearly manufactured sigh, "Come on then, 'aven't got all bleeding day you know!"
As the two agents left the room their eyes widened gleefully at their boss' final comment.
"Good work lads, you can both take the next two days off while Master Bodie recuperates."
Cowley didn't hear Bodie's delighted whisper as they headed towards the exit, "Running all the way, sir!"
After stopping briefly for Ray to pick up a change of clothes and some groceries the two men were soon comfortably ensconced in Bodie's flat.
The short ride from the hospital and the walk up the stairs had obviously been more of a strain on Bodie than he was letting on but Doyle could see the tightness around his partner's drawn lips and the pallor of his already ashen skin.
"All right mate, where's those pills the doc gave you?" he said in a voice that brooked no argument.
"They're in my jacket pocket," Bodie answered with only a small sigh of defeat, "I must admit….my head is aching a bit."
"Well, it's not surprising," Doyle muttered, "you taking that bullet to the temple and then that knock on the back of that thick head of yours. What are these anyway, painkillers?" He passed the brown, glass bottle to the younger man.
"Yeah," agreed Bodie, "only mild ones though. They don't want to knock me out too much in case I don't wake up again, I s'pose."
Doyle looked up sharply but didn't say anything at the flippant remark. He fetched a glass of water from the kitchen and handed it to Bodie who swallowed a couple of the small, white tablets before easing himself gratefully back into the comfort of the sofa.
"So mate," Bodie asked, "what do we want to do with our two days of freedom then?"
"That depends on you, doesn't it, sunshine," Ray replied. "I mean you're not exactly ready for dinner, dancing and birds are you mate?"
Sighing, Bodie let his head loll back against the edge of the sofa, "No, not right now, Ray. Maybe later, eh?" he finished with a patented Bodie smirk.
A few minutes later the ex-para was stretched out on the sofa and had fallen into a light doze. Ray quietly made himself a cup of tea and returned to the lounge. He settled into a deep armchair and as he drank his gaze fell upon his slumbering partner.
Idly, without realising it, he began to think back to the events of the day. There was something nagging him, something about his own reaction to Bodie's injury. He tried to think back to the moment when he'd seen Bodie fall. At that point he hadn't known whether the terrorist's bullet had found its mark or not. All he'd heard was the shot and then he'd seen his partner crumple and fall boneless to the floor. Thinking carefully Ray realised that at that point his perception of the world had seemed to slow down. He couldn't remember now exactly how he'd managed to cover the distance between himself and his partner or what he'd shouted. All he could think about were images of Bodie lying there - not just concussed but dead - his head wound gushing scarlet rivers as Bodie's life drained away before his eyes. What would his life be like without his partner? Could he even contemplate it? No more laughing, fighting, guarding each other's backs? No more silly jokes, tasteless remarks, companionship?
Ray took a grateful sip of tea and swallowed, blinking in frustration at the wetness blurring his vision. Why was he thinking like this and where was this train of thought taking him? He knew that he cared about his partner. Hell, in this job you had to - you relied on your partner for your very life. But were he and Bodie more than just partners and friends? They certainly spent a lot of their free time together - out chatting up birds or double dating. 'Course sometimes they just did stuff on their own like watching the match on the telly or having a quiet pint at the local; winding down after a hard day. But was there something more to it? Was it deeper than just a comfortable friendship? Did it go beyond the bounds of 'good mates'? Doyle shook his head at the questions crowding in on his mind.
Finishing his tea Ray looked across to where Bodie was still dozing. It was obvious that what had started as a fairly restful sleep now seemed to be disturbed and filled with dreams. Bodie's eyelids were flickering and his head was moving jerkily from side to side. As Ray watched Bodie began to emit quiet, low moans as if protesting or fighting against something. As Ray approached, sitting on the sofa in readiness to wake Bodie from his fitful dream, the younger agent's eyes flew open in a seeming panic and he sat bolt upright.
"Ray?" his voice was hesitant with a hint of fear and his normally clear blue eyes seemed cloudy and unfocused.
"Right here, sunshine, right here," Ray said as he smiled at his best friend and patted his arm reassuringly. Then his smile broadened as he realised his unconscious repetition of the reassurances that he had made to Bodie earlier in the warehouse. It was true, he thought, he would always be there for this man.
Sliding a comforting arm around his partner's broad shoulders he repeated quietly, "Don't worry, Bodie. I'll always be right here."
Sitting beside his partner in companionable silence Ray Doyle had one of those moments of blinding clarity that only seem to happen in books. It was all so obvious really, he thought. What an idiot he'd been. It was so simple and the bloody thing had been staring him in the face all along. It wasn't just that Bodie was his mate, it wasn't just that he was the best partner a bloke could ask for. Bodie was more than that. What he felt for Bodie did go beyond friendship. In that moment Ray realised his feelings for what they truly were. Love. He loved Bodie. Well if you thought about it rationally, what else could you call it? Here was someone that you wanted to spend all of your time with, someone that you'd lay your life on the line for and who you knew would do the same for you. What else could you call it but love?
Strangely enough this thought did not disturb Doyle. He had never been attracted to men before and was most determinedly heterosexual. However, discovering that he was in love with a man seemed of no relevance, in fact he thought, I'm not in love with a man - I'm in love with Bodie. In Doyle's mind this piece of convoluted logic made perfect sense. He wasn't in love with Bodie because he was a man; he was in love with him because he was Bodie.
Content with this revelation but totally unprepared for how to take action upon his discovery, Doyle did the next best thing. He sat with a wide grin plastered across his face and gave his partner's shoulders a quick squeeze. Everything would sort itself out for the best, he was sure.
The man in his embrace flinched sharply and it was this that finally forced Doyle from his happy reverie. Turning slightly to look at his partner, Ray noticed that Bodie seemed tense, the initial relief that he had displayed upon waking from his dream now seemed to have turned to wariness. Ray could see something in Bodie's eyes, something that was hard to define but that was almost like fear. What could that be about, he thought? What could Bodie be afraid of?
Bodie sat nervously next to Ray on the sofa. What had happened? He knew that he'd fallen asleep and that he'd been dreaming. It had been the same dream as always; anytime that either of them were threatened Bodie always got the same recurring nightmare. In it he was living That Day over and over again. The day that he had found Ray lying on the floor of his flat, blood seeping from the open wounds in his chest. And Bodie felt like he was drowning in an overwhelming sense of uselessness and impotence, unable to do anything but pray that his partner was going to live.
He couldn't really see life without Ray Doyle, it seemed like he'd loved him forever. Had he given some of this away during his fitful sleep? Ray seemed okay; in fact Ray seemed really happy. He was sitting next to Bodie with a matey arm still curled around his shoulder. Bodie relaxed a little. Surely if he had given anything away during his dream then Ray wouldn't be sitting here like this. Most likely Bodie would be spark out on the floor from a swift right hook to the jaw. If he knew one thing about Ray Doyle it was that his temper was quick and there was no way he would welcome any feelings that were deeper than friendship from his male best mate. Oh no, Ray Doyle was straight, of that Bodie was certain and he wouldn't take too kindly to finding out that his partner and best friend had fallen in love with him.
It was love, Bodie had known it for years. It'd crept up on him really. Oh yeah he'd been attracted to Ray when they first met but Bodie had never really been into men in a big way. His experience was little more than some mutual wanking and the occasional blowjob to help relieve the pressure during his time in Africa. He'd never sought men out to share his bed and he'd certainly never expected to fall in love with one. Not that it was love to start with of course. They were both new to CI5 when they'd been partnered together and things hadn't always been easy between them in those first few months. Tensions were generated as two men from very different backgrounds and experiences were forced into a virtual twenty four hour working relationship. Gradually however, he came to respect and then like his sometimes fiery partner. Slowly, perhaps without him even realising it, that like had developed into something much stronger. Love.
Bodie knew that this emotion had no future and would never be reciprocated but he couldn't help himself. You couldn't really govern who you gave your heart to, could you, he thought with a sardonic grin. So Bodie kept up the matey facade that masked his true feelings and meant that he would never have to risk losing Ray. If he couldn't have Ray as he wanted him - as a lover, then he would have him in whatever way was offered - as his best friend.
Spending time with Ray was the best thing that Bodie knew. That's why he always encouraged as many double dates as he could; as painful as it was to see Ray romancing some piece of skirt at least he was sharing time with his friend. Not that there was any shortage of female company in the Bodie camp, mind you. He'd always loved women and it was still nice going to bed with birds but Bodie did feel a little guilty. He was only using them, trying to scratch an itch that just wouldn't go away. He knew why, of course. It was an itch for which there was only one cure. Unfortunately that cure was five foot ten, slim, with green eyes, hair like an auburn waterfall and definitely male and unavailable.
Relaxing a little now that he realised he hadn't given the game away, Bodie let his shoulder muscles unbunch and felt the tension drain from his body. Making sure that his normal unreadable mask was firmly in place he turned to his mate and raised a cheeky eyebrow.
"What's all this then mate? You missing your girl and fancy a cuddle?"
Bodie always resorted to this kind of joking around as it was the safest way of trying to express some of his feelings towards his partner. Although the jokes echoed his deepest wishes he knew that he could get away with this, he and Ray had always camped it up around each other. They acted up for the other agents, earning themselves a nickname from the Cow himself. The Bisto Kids that's what their boss called them.
Ray gave Bodie a sharp look but then grinned back at him, picking up on the joke, "You should be so lucky, sweetheart. My tastes run a bit higher," he muttered looking down his nose with an aristocratic air. Unfortunately the effect was ruined by a large sniff that had both men roaring with laughter.
"Ow," Bodie complained when he had recovered his breath. "The doc should have warned me."
"What's up, sunshine? Head still hurtin'?"
"Yeah but -"
"Only when I laugh!" Both men chorused together before dissolving into another fit of guffaws.
When their laughter had once again subsided Ray leant forward slightly and brushed his knuckles across Bodie's cheek in a surprisingly intimate gesture. "Anyway, now that the bogeyman seems to have been chased away, fancy a cuppa?"
Startled, Bodie looked into his partner's warmth filled eyes. "Ta mate, that'd be nice," he finally managed to say.
As Ray moved into the kitchen Bodie let out a long, low sigh and released the breath that he'd been unaware that he was holding.
The evening passed by pleasantly enough. Bodie was still feeling a little bit groggy but managed a good showing with the meal, even tucking away a second portion of the spaghetti bolognaise that Ray had whipped up.
It was strange though, Bodie thought, as the evening progressed. It was he who had perfected 'Ray Watching'; the technique of drinking in the image of his partner without him ever realising it. Tonight instead he had an uncomfortable feeling of a kind of reverse deja vu. This time it was Ray who was watching him. Every time Bodie looked up he found those deep green eyes focused on him. Even when he turned away he could feel their gaze like a shaft of heat against his skin. So what was going on? Ray didn't appear to be angry or annoyed with him, the opposite in fact, he was definitely in a good mood. So what else? Bodie winced as his head began to throb. After the activities of the day, now was not the time to try and unravel a possible Doyle-conundrum, he decided.
Settling on the sofa the two men watched the television although there wasn't much on. They sniggered their way through some lame comedy programme though they got more laughs from taking the mickey out of it than from the show itself. Then there was a documentary about the Serengeti. Bodie drifted off to sleep part of the way through it and only woke as the ten o'clock news was finishing.
As the newsreader wished them a pleasant evening Ray stood up and turned off the television. Standing with his arms above his head he then stretched slowly giving a jaw-cracking yawn. Bodie watched him from under half closed lids as the tight tee shirt stretched across Ray's chest. Silently he wished that it would pull free of the waistband of those skin tight jeans - just a little to display the well defined abs that Bodie knew were there.
Oh yes, Bodie knew a lot about Ray Doyle's body. He had studied it often enough when sparring in the gym or taking showers after a workout. He knew what it looked like and what it smelt like. In fact he even knew what parts of it felt like from the wrestling sessions they engaged in. But he didn't know what it felt like to caress and hold and he didn't know what it tasted like. Those were things that he was never going to find out no matter how fervently he wished.
Sighing to himself Bodie tilted his head up fully and was startled to find Ray's gaze on him yet again. The older man's eyes shone deeply and hints of gold seemed to dance amongst the green fire.
"All done in mate?" Bodie asked a little uncertainly, needing to break the suddenly oppressive silence.
"Yeah, 'ad about enough now. Mind, you've been asleep half the evening," Ray replied with a smile. "Come on, sunshine. Time for us good little boys to be in bed."
"What?" Bodie almost squeaked in his distress and looked uncomfortable.
"Well," Ray explained in a much too patient voice with only the briefest hint of mockery, "the doc said that you 'ad to 'ave forty eight hours of observation, didn't he? Now I can't do that from my place, can I mate? It's this or the hospital."
Seeing the sense in Doyle's argument and glad to be at home, Bodie stood up. "Okay, I'll find you some pillows and a couple of blankets then to make up the sofa."
Ray looked surprised. "What? Me sleep on that lumpy thing? You've got to be kiddin'!" Warming to his theme he continued. "What's the matter with your bed, anyway? It's big enough for an army as it is……or for an orgy. Is that it? You planning on 'aving an orgy without inviting me?"
Laughing at his partner's look of shock Doyle pushed Bodie towards the door, "Come on, you can use the bathroom first."
Bodie realised that he wasn't going to win this argument and in all fairness they had shared a bed in the past on ops or when one of them was too drunk to drive home. He couldn't really say no but Doyle was in a strange mood tonight; the constant watching, the broad smile every time Bodie met his gaze. It made the younger man feel uneasy, as if Ray knew something that he didn't. It was difficult enough keeping his feelings about his partner to himself without sharing a bed with the object of his desire. He would not only have to keep his emotions in check but also his body - a much more difficult task in the confined space of a double bed. Squaring his shoulders and moving to meet his fate like the disciplined ex-soldier that he was, Bodie went into the bathroom to complete his nightly routine.
A few minutes later Bodie stepped into the bedroom to see Ray sitting on the edge of the bed untying and removing his trainers. These were his new ones, Bodie noticed absently; their whiteness was still relatively grime-free.
"All finished in there then?" Ray asked with a cheery grin. "Right, me next. Oh, you won't mind me sharing your toothbrush will you?"
With a throaty chuckle Ray was gone before a dazed Bodie could even think up a suitable rejoinder.
Moving to the far side of the bed Bodie stood hesitantly. He normally slept in the raw but was unsure whether to risk it with Doyle there. However it'd never bothered him in the past and if he suddenly decided to become bashful and keep his briefs on Ray was sure to know that something was up. Bodie smiled at his unintentional play on words; sleeping next to his sexy partner something was bound to come up! But if the gorgeous little sod suspected that anything was wrong then he'd hound the life out of him until he knew what was the matter. A dog with a bloody bone, that was his Ray.
Sighing heavily, Bodie slipped beneath the covers with the grim thought that he'd just have to make sure that he was careful and that his naked body didn't give him away.
After finishing in the bathroom Ray went to double check the security locks before entering the bedroom, which was illuminated by a single bedside lamp. Its glow threw the room into a tapestry of shadow and from his position by the door he could see that Bodie was already in bed, lying with his back towards him. Moving quietly he quickly stripped off the remainder of his clothes and turning off the lamp he slid under the covers next to his partner.
Doyle couldn't help the sense of expectancy that seemed to flood through him as he settled next to the still figure. He'd spent all night becoming used to this somewhat strange idea that he actually loved Bodie. Was in love with Bodie. He'd watched his partner carefully trying to see if there were any signs that his feelings might be reciprocated. He knew that Bodie cared for him; that was obvious from the way that he treated him. The ex-soldier could be a very distant man and did not make friends easily. Oh yes, he got on with other members of the squad but he didn't allow them to become close. There were only two people, to Doyle's knowledge, that had been allowed under Bodie's defences; the Cow and himself.
He knew that Bodie respected George Cowley perhaps almost seeing him as a father figure to replace the one that he had lost when very young. But what about his feelings for Ray Doyle? That wasn't just respect was it? They were definitely best mates; of that Ray had no doubt. But did Bodie see it as anything more? Did his feelings run deeper than that? That was the problem. How could he decipher the complex emotions that his partner hid beneath his smooth exterior?
Deciding to leave that train of thought for a while Ray moved on to the other issue that was currently consuming him - sleeping with Bodie.
The prospect of spending the night in the same bed as his friend was strangely exciting but also a little disturbing to Doyle. He'd never really looked at another man's body as the object of desire before. Certainly he'd seen Bodie naked; in the showers after training or getting changed in the locker room. Plus there was one time…a memory that was incredibly sharp in his mind…a memory of seeing Bodie making love.
It was one of the many times that they'd double dated and this time they'd found themselves back at Bodie's flat. Ray and his girlfriend had been on the sofa whilst Bodie and his current flame were in the bedroom. The door had been slightly ajar and glancing across Ray had caught a glimpse of Bodie's naked back as he lay on top of the woman on the bed. It was strange; Ray couldn't remember the name of the girl that he'd been with or Bodie's girl, they were just two more faces in the long procession of women that had fleetingly shared their beds. But he could remember in every tiny detail the way that Bodie had looked that night. The way his skin had seemed to gleam in the half shadows, the way that the muscles of his strong, broad back had moved as Bodie had made love.
On reflection it was obvious why that memory had always stood out so clearly. Doyle must have been attracted to his partner for some time, if only on a subconscious level, but never having experienced anything like it before he just hadn't seen it for what it was.
Ray didn't know what might happen tonight - if anything. But as he lay quietly looking over at that same flawless back that lived so vibrantly in his memory he couldn't help but shudder with a nameless excitement. He'd never imagined himself making love with another man, in fact he still couldn't. All that he could think about was making love with Bodie - not the gender but the person. Somehow that didn't seem wrong or repulsive, the very idea of holding that firm body in his arms and charting it with all of his senses seemed nothing short of heaven. Why should he feel like this? The answer was simple…he was completely in love with the man.
But now his jumbled logic had returned him to the beginning of his deliberations. What did Bodie think about him? Would he ever welcome such a proposal from his partner? Could Bodie ever return his love? It was with this thought that Ray finally drifted to sleep.
Bodie heard Ray checking the locks and making his way into the bedroom. Remaining motionless under the covers, he breathed quietly and shallowly. He heard the lamp click off and felt the mattress dip slightly as Ray got into bed beside him.
Everything that he wanted was tantalisingly close. Reaching out with his senses he tried to catch the scent of Ray; that intoxicating essence of maleness. It was a wonderful aroma that simply said 'Ray Doyle'. It was a mixture of soap, clean sweat and something indefinable and unique that was just 'Ray'. As his body concentrated on the man beside him, Bodie felt a warmth tingling through his groin as his cock began to lengthen and harden.
Sighing deeply he tried to banish all seductive images of Ray from his mind. It was definitely going to be a long night. However, the pills that the doctor had given him finally relaxed his overly wrought body and without realising it Bodie drifted into a deep sleep.
Some unknown amount of time later, Bodie was awakened by the marvellous sensation of a warm, hard body pressed against the length of his back. Still drowsy within his comforting blanket of sleep it took him a few moments to realise exactly who it was in bed beside him.
His heart began to quicken its pace. The other man had obviously gone to sleep and without realising it had gravitated towards the other source of heat in the bed. Unfortunately that heat was Bodie and Ray was now curled tightly around him.
Bodie could feel one muscular arm draped across his chest and a powerful thigh pushing between his legs. The warm fur of Ray's chest tickled enticingly against the skin of Bodie's back, a sensation that his half-hard cock found most stimulating. There was something even more alarming though, something that he'd dreamt of and masturbated over frequently. With a sense of wonder Bodie realised that he could feel the head of Ray's rock hard erection nestling snugly between the cheeks of his arse.
Taking a deep breath Bodie tried to slow his rapidly beating heart. He knew that he had to try and think about this rationally and not be controlled by his genitals. Unfortunately said organs were currently in pleasure overload and not being particularly rational.
So…what next? He was sure of one thing without any shadow of doubt; Ray was going to go mad. In fact, if Bodie knew Ray Doyle, the aggravating little so and so would probably find some way to blame his partner for their embarrassing predicament. Never mind the fact that it was his hot, hard length that was currently nudging along Bodie's crack so perfectly. It really did fit there so well and felt indescribably good.
Bodie groaned inwardly. Ray'd probably kill him if he let them stay in this position until he woke up. He had to do something. The question was, what?
Something had caused Doyle to wake. It was still dark outside and within the bedroom there was only a ghostly glow seeping through the curtains from a street lamp nearby. He lay quietly for a few moments wondering what had disturbed his sleep. It was then that he realised the source of the disturbance; it was the man lying next to him. In fact Bodie wasn't just lying next to him, Ray discovered that he had literally wrapped himself around his partner who seemed to be trying to very gently extricate himself from his firm grasp.
Taking a moment Ray feigned sleep for a little while longer while he tried to think. What should he do? This seemed to be the answer to his prayers, this was exactly the kind of position that he wanted to wake up in with his handsome partner. But what about Bodie and what he might want? He hadn't exactly jumped away from Ray; that much was obvious and even now he seemed to be only inching away. It was almost as if didn't want to escape from Ray's hold. Could that be the truth or was it just a case of projecting his own desires, Doyle thought.
Taking a calming breath Ray decided that it was time to take action. He who dares wins, he thought ironically.
As he felt Bodie carefully trying to prise his arm from across his chest Ray flexed his biceps slightly and held on to the almost hairless skin beneath his palm.
"Ray?" Bodie's voice sounded quiet and hesitant in the silence of the room.
"Yeah," Ray replied in an even tone that belied the current chaotic state of his emotions.
"Erm, what's going on?" Bodie questioned, clearly puzzled by his partner's actions.
With a soft sigh Doyle decided that his partner obviously needed a more pointed demonstration of his feelings. Pressing himself even closer to the younger man he moved his head to nuzzle at the smooth, soft curve of Bodie's neck. "'m doin' something that I should've done a long time ago," he whispered. "Is this okay, sunshine?"
Bodie didn't speak for a second, lying rigid in his arms as if rooted to the spot in shock.
Had he ruined it all, Doyle thought. Was this the point where his partner jumped from the bed and ended their friendship forever? He tried to stifle the clawing sense of icy dread that was building in the depths of his stomach. Gathering the last of his courage Ray placed a chaste kiss to Bodie's neck just below the hairline, where soft, fine hairs tickled at his nose and then he waited.
"OhRayIwantyousomuch," Bodie's words tumbled one after another in an explosive rush of breath.
In a flash the younger man had turned and was clasping his partner to his chest, their faces mere inches apart.
"Bodie?" Ray's voice was a mixture of wonder, hope and just a hint of hesitancy.
"Oh god, Ray. Yes. Yes!" Bodie breathed the final words into Ray's mouth as his lips met those of his partner.
The kiss began almost shyly, a meeting of soft, parted lips and a mingling of warm, sweet breath. But soon its intensity increased as Bodie's tongue pushed against Ray's teeth and then began to plunder the lush interior of the older agent's mouth. After an initial moment of shock Ray soon became an equal partner in the arousing activity and his tongue met Bodie's in a duel of passion.
The kiss seemed to be endless, neither of them growing tired of tasting and exploring the other. Eventually practical needs drew them apart as both men sucked in long gasps of much needed air. The break was short however for soon Bodie had moved his questing mouth and was kissing across Ray's broken cheekbone on a journey to one delicate ear. Outlining the shape of the tender whorl with his teeth he then sucked the full lobe into his mouth and bit down gently.
Ray hissed in pleasure and sought to find any part of Bodie that his lips could touch. Finding it difficult to kiss his partner, due to his fascination with an obviously delicious ear lobe, Ray decided to use his hands instead. With a sense of wonder he wrapped his arms around the strong body beside him and traced the well-defined muscles of Bodie's back. His fingers slowly followed the outlines of shoulder blades and backbone before travelling in a southerly direction where his palms met the firmly muscled and tight rear of his partner. Ray smiled at Bodie's gasp as he squeezed the firm globes and then trickled his fingers along the warm, slightly moist cleft.
Bodie was obviously enjoying his actions as the younger man obligingly moved his thighs apart a little and raised one knee to allow Ray greater access.
"Oh Bodie," was all that Doyle could say.
He felt like his senses were being assaulted from all sides. The tactile stimulation that his body was receiving from Bodie's talented mouth and tongue was combined with the delicious sensations that he was feeling as he squeezed and moulded the marvellous arse in his palms. In addition his taste buds seemed to be exploding with the full, sweet flavour of Bodie, it was like he could still taste him on his tongue.
Doyle reeled as he was swamped in the aroma of his partner. It was a strong, clean smell devoid of aftershave just Essence of Pure Bodie. The younger man smelt like the open plains of Africa, an aroma that suggested heat and just a tang of spiciness.
Ray felt like he was drowning as every sense was filled with his partner. Even the sounds around him were Bodie; soft sighs and short gasps rent the air as Ray's tender ministrations met with obvious approval.
With a final lick Bodie released Ray's earlobe and was immediately engulfed in a ferocious kiss as he felt himself tumbled over, a hot, lithe body climbing on top of him and pressing him into the mattress.
"Can't get enough of you, Bodie," Ray murmured in between kisses.
"I know, I know…same for me. I've wanted you for so long, Ray. I can't believe that this is real."
At this statement Ray paused, his lips hovering above the hollow of Bodie's collarbone where the skin was moist and reddened as a mark of his recent possession.
"Really? You've wanted me?" Ray asked shyly. "How long?"
"Forever, sunshine. Feels like forever." That was all that Bodie had time to say before Ray returned to licking, sucking and kissing a path towards his already hardened nipples.
The feeling was incredible. Bodie had imagined this on so many lonely nights when his bed and his heart ached for Ray but the reality far outweighed the fantasy. Ray was like a whirlwind consuming him a piece at a time. He felt himself overwhelmed by the sensation of his partner's tongue bathing his tender nipples and then taunting him with tiny nips and licks. Ray's warm breath flooded his aroused peaks causing them to harden still further whilst soothing lips applied a balm of kisses.
It was all too much for Bodie. His dreams had been fulfilled and he could remain passive no longer. With a surge of power the bigger man flipped his partner over and reversed their positions. Smothering Ray's surprised shout with a soul sapping kiss Bodie began his own journey of discovery into the territory of his partner's much loved body.
"Bodie?" Ray's question sounded laboured as he obviously fought for breath after their frenetic kiss.
Bodie raised his head from Doyle's furry chest and regarded him with dilated eyes. "Please, Ray. Let me do this? I need to taste you. It's the one thing that I've never been able to do. Please?"
A serious emerald gaze locked with dazzling blue. "It's all right, love. Whatever you need, okay?" Ray whispered.
Bodie swallowed a choked breath at the endearment that fell so easily from those passion-reddened lips. Letting his eyes display his feelings for the moment he bent to his task. With careful and methodical precision Bodie began to chart every inch of the muscular body below him. Using taste and smell, touch, sound and sight he probed, sorted and catalogued every nuance that made up Ray Doyle. He revelled in the musky maleness of an armpit and moaned at the texture of fine hairs peppered around tender areolae. Moving down the bed he made sure that all places save one were thoroughly cherished. Every crease and fold, blemish and scar was investigated and loved until his partner was writhing below him calling out in desperation.
"Please! Oh god, Bodie, please touch me!"
For Bodie had saved the true treasure until last. With a final kiss to the soft flesh of one tender inner thigh he moved to the centre of his lover's need. Using light teasing strokes of his fingers Bodie traced the shape of Ray's taut balls and cradled them in his cupped palm. As Doyle's back arched away from the mattress Bodie lowered his mouth and swallowed Ray's weeping erection to the root.
Doyle's shout echoed around the darkened room and merely spurred Bodie on to suck more powerfully. He was totally lost in the taste and texture of the rock hard shaft between his lips. He had never done this before, not even when other mercs had offered their services he had never reciprocated. Strange how something which had turned him off with other men could now be so stimulating. He had imagined this moment with Ray for years but had never realised how marvellous the feeling could be. Having always been the receiver Bodie had had no idea how amazing giving in this situation could actually be.
Bodie moaned deep in his throat as his mouth came alive with the touch, scent and taste of his lover. He could feel Ray in every pore and it was as though he was consuming a part of his lover by the very act of giving such pleasure. For pleasure it most surely was; Doyle was clenching the sheets in a death grip and taut muscles were bulging at his thighs as his body strained to lift from the mattress. Using both hands on Doyle's hips to hold him down, Bodie redoubled his efforts by tonguing at the hot organ filling his throat. As he began to get used to accommodating the throbbing shaft within his mouth he began to nip and suck at the tip, teasing the weeping slit and savouring the pearly drops of pre-ejaculate flowing so freely.
"Oh my god….oh Bodie," Ray was moaning almost continuously now, his breathing laboured and his voice hoarse. "Oh god….gonna come. Bodie, I'm gonna come!"
Doyle was clawing frantically at Bodie's head as if trying to get away before shooting down his throat but that was exactly what the younger man wanted. He had tried to imagine what this would taste and feel like and now he would finally know.
Clamping down firmly Bodie sucked harder and worked his lips and tongue along Ray's rapidly pulsing cock.
With a final shout of release Doyle exploded into Bodie's mouth as wave after wave of hot, milky fluid poured from his spasming shaft. Bodie swallowed greedily, almost choking on the searing essence as it hit the back of his throat. The taste was wonderful not bitter as he had imagined it might be just a little salty and totally unique.
Bodie smiled as he milked the last drops from Ray's softening cock and let it fall from his mouth. Placing a final kiss on the spent head he moved up to lie on top of his dazed looking partner.
"Ray? Love, are you okay?"
Doyle felt as if the life had been drained from him. He lay weakly on the mattress and finally managed to prise his eyes open to find the smiling face of his lover looking down at him.
"Oh my god. Where did you learn to do that?" he asked groggily.
"Was it okay?" Bodie sounded uncertain and endearingly shy.
"Okay? Nearly blew the top of me bloody 'ead off, mate," Ray laughed throatily. "You're bloody good at this, love."
Bodie grinned jauntily, "Obviously just natural talent, eh sunshine?"
"Glad to see it's not going to your head," Ray laughed in return.
"Nah, you know me," Bodie smirked, "engagingly modest as always!"
But Ray could see a hint of strain around those midnight blue eyes and belatedly realised that the other man was still rock hard, the tip of his heated flesh nudging against his inner thigh. Looking up seriously at his partner, he asked quietly, eyes seductively wide, "What do you want sweetheart? What can I do for you?"
Bodie gasped at the throaty quality of Doyle's voice as its vibrations travelled through his body before coming to rest in his groin where they caused his already overwrought flesh to jump and twitch wildly. His cock was painfully hard and throbbed in time with his heartbeat. He had almost come as he swallowed his lover's seed; it was only the thought of Ray touching him that allowed him to maintain a last grasp on his control.
"Anything you want to do, Ray," he breathed. "Anything at all. Just touch me, please?"
Doyle rolled him to one side and ran a long finger from the root to the tip of his quivering erection. The younger man hissed as even that featherlight touch caused blinding sensations to rocket through his engorged shaft. His balls were high and firm in his taut sac and he knew that he couldn't last much longer.
Ray was obviously becoming more confident with his explorations as he now grasped the shaft fully and wrapped his damp palm around it. The tumid flesh was slick with fluid leaking from the gaping slit and Ray used this to lubricate the organ as he worked his hand up and down generating just the right amount of friction.
Bodie moaned deeply, it was almost too much to bear. He had never imagined that he could gain so much pleasure from such a simple action. He could feel his balls tightening further and heat began to blossom deep in the pit of his belly.
Doyle watched Bodie's body language, every flicker and contortion of the handsome face reflecting his own pleasure and need. Amazingly Ray felt his cock beginning to harden once more. Just the sight of his lover writhing with sensations that he had created caused his length to fill, becoming hot and heavy again.
He let go of his lover's shaft and smothered the moan of protest by moving to cover Bodie with his body. Ray lay chest to chest with the younger man and pushed his erection so that it lay next to Bodie's throbbing organ.
As hot flesh met hot flesh both men cried out with pleasure. Bodie's eyes were wide open and he was staring at Doyle, his pupils wide with just the merest rim of blue surrounding them.
"Oh god, oh god," Bodie moaned over and over again as Ray began to rhythmically push against his hard cock.
Moving his hips to match the intoxicating rhythm Bodie groaned and hissed as the sensations began to take over. Above him Doyle was staring at him intently his eyes never leaving his face.
They rocked in a timeless eternity, their hearts locked together as surely as their bodies. Each man's arousal seemed to feed the other's, their flesh growing harder and slicker as they rubbed and slid against each other. In wonderment they pressed their lips together as in perfect harmony their engorged cocks began to spit and spurt out the white heat that represented their love.
Above him Ray's body shuddered and spasmed as he completed his orgasm. Bodie followed the rhythm as his own cock shot spurt after spurt of fiery fluid to pool on his chest and stomach.
The air hung heavy with the pungent aroma of sex and their aromatic essences mingled together whilst cooling on fevered skin. Eventually their movements slowed and the two men became still. All that could be heard were the sounds of heavy breathing as each fought to fill his lungs with precious oxygen. Finally when breathing and heart rates had returned to a semblance of normality Ray lifted his head from where it lay nestled securely in the hollow of Bodie's throat. Tilting his head forward the older man gently touched his lips to his partner's stubbled cheek.
Both men seemed over awed by the intensity of their spent passion and for a while neither said anything, content just to hold and be held, kiss and be kissed. Their movements were relaxed and languid, previous exertions having taken a heavy toll. Finally they drifted into an easy half sleep whilst holding each other close.
A little while later raucous sounds of the dawn chorus began to rouse the two lovers entwined beneath the sheets. Ray rolled from Bodie's chest and moved to lie on his side, one long leg crooked over his lover and his head resting on his palm.
Bodie smiled up at him, his face seeming to light up with happiness.
"It happened didn't it Ray? You are here, it is real?"
"I'm here love, I'm here for as long as you need me," came the quiet response filled with emotion.
Looking deeply into forest-green eyes Bodie realised that he had finally got everything that he had ever wanted in his life. He had found the one person with whom he could share everything; his hopes, his fears and most importantly his love. Reaching up and placing a soft, cherishing kiss on Ray's pliant lips he smiled again. "I love you, Ray. I want you forever. Is that okay?"
Ray's mouth followed him as his head sank back to the pillow. The older man increased the pressure of the kiss, the tip of his tongue snaking between Bodie's parted teeth to trace the velvety softness within.
"Oh yes," he smiled, "forever's fine by me 'cus I love you too, sunshine."
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