set the last page of the file aside and stretched, arching his back,
feeling the gratifying pop-pop-pop of cracking vertebrae zip down
his spine. He looked at the clock; 2:37. Geez, they’d been here
for hours, combing through the boxes of papers they’d seized
right before Wilford Smith started pouring lighter fluid on the pile.
Five minutes later-- hell, five seconds later-- and Journeyman
Industries would have gone up in a big ball of fire, papers, converted
warehouse office space, and all. With it would have gone the evidence
that was finally going to nail Mark Vincent, who’d been making
himself a total pain in everyone’s asses for way too many years.
Welsh had practically trembled when they’d come to him
about the warrant, and Vecchio… Vecchio wanted this collar bad.
The bust had been sweet, they’d caught everyone they were looking
for, and the evidence…
evidence was there. It had to be there, because Smith had been
trying to destroy it. Quid pro quo, as Fraser might say. Only, they
hadn’t quite found it yet. They would, though. It was only a
matter of time.
sitting next to him on the couch, was working his way solidly through
his second box. His suit jacket hung neatly on a padded hanger in
Ray’s closet, but the pants and shirt were hopelessly crumpled,
the discarded tie a dull gleam of scarlet across the back of the couch.
was on the floor, braced against the wall. He’d refused a more
comfortable seat, claiming that the hardness of the floor would help
him focus; he wasn’t in uniform, tonight, but in worn jeans
and flannel. His Stetson rested on the counter, next to the basket
that held mail and car keys. As Ray watched, he saw Fraser nod off,
then wrench himself back from sleep, his head snapping up in what
Ray knew from experience was a very uncomfortable way. Ray sighed.
He and Vecchio had been given the day off in preparation for the stakeout
that evening, but Fraser had gotten up at his usual ungodly hour and
worked a full day at the Consulate before changing into civvies and
meeting them at the station.
nudged Vecchio with an elbow, and jerked his head at Fraser. Vecchio
grinned a bit ruefully, shaking his head, and laid down the file he
was looking through.
Benny,” he said softly, crossing the room to where Fraser sat
and crouching beside him. “Why don’t you take a little
break? Go catch some z’s. It’s late.” He nodded
at the bedroom. “There’s plenty of room.”
shook his head, squeezing his eyes shut the way he did when he was
hoping things would be clearer when he opened them. “No, it’s
fine, Ray, I’ll just—”
Ray broke in, “I just sat here and watched you nod off three
times in five minutes. You’ve been awake nearly twenty-four
hours. Get some rest.”
looked stubborn, much to nobody’s surprise. “I’m
fine, Ray, there’s no need to give up your bed—”
ain’t in it or nothing, Fraser, it’s not like you’re
putting us out.”
I don’t think it’s necessary—” Fraser interrupted
himself with a huge yawn, then looked mortified. “Ah. Perhaps
it might behoove me to return to the Consulate, after all. I do have
to be on duty in a few hours.”
Fraser had to be tired; he wasn’t even getting snippy about
Welsh interfering with the Queen’s paperwork. “In that
case, I suppose…”
offered a hand, bracing him to his feet. “You sure you won’t
take the bed, Benny?”
shook his head, reaching for his hat. “Really, Ray, I couldn’t
possibly.” He looked around. “Where’s Dief?”
Ray said, pushing his glasses more firmly onto his nose. “Three
He crossed into the bedroom, and emerged a few minutes later with
a grumpy wolf at his heels. “We’ll just be going, then,”
lemme grab my keys,” Vecchio said.
perfectly capable of walking, Ray, there’s no need to—”
need, Fraser. You are not walking across town, alone, at three
AM. And also, we’re out of doughnuts.”
yeah,” Vecchio said. “We’ll save you one. Now c’mon.”
He paused at the door, looking back at Ray. “You want anything
covered, cream-filled,” Ray said. “Thanks.”
He ushered Dief and Fraser out ahead of him and locked the door. “Half
an hour, forty-five minutes,” he said. “Anything comes
up, I’ll call.”
grinned. “Don’t wreck the Riv,” he said cheerfully.
you, Stanley,” said Vecchio, grinning, and shut the door firmly
sank back into the files, the rhythm of the work absorbing him. Two
more folders, and a glance at the clock showed him that Vecchio would
be back soon, bearing chocolate. The room was pretty much trashed,
full of boxes, papers, folders in unwieldy stacks, crumpled napkins,
old bagel ends, dirty cups with the bitter cold dregs of a succession
of pots of coffee. Ray yawned, then got up. He felt the need for fresh
opened the window a few inches, letting a gust of cool night wind
into the room. He washed out the coffee pot, and filled it again,
filling the reservoir with filtered water with a snort at Vecchio’s
coffee snobbery. What kind of cop was that picky about coffee? He’d
lay bets that this was one of those Armando things Vecchio’d
never managed to shake. Happily, this one didn’t seem likely
to cause nightmares, so Ray was willing to let it go.
turned on the radio, keeping the volume low in deference to his neighbors.
He needed to move a little, wake up. He wandered the apartment, humming
along absently with the radio. It was some kind of 80s nostalgia show,
just finishing the final chorus of “Hungry Like the Wolf.”
Heh. Hungry for doughnuts, maybe, if Dief was the wolf they meant.
He let a little slink enter his steps, started scooping up trash and
cramming it in an empty grocery bag. Coffee cups went in the sink.
Piles were straightened. The brewing coffee smelled great, and Ray
admitted to himself that possibly Vecchio had the right idea.
song changed, a crescendo of guitars, and Ray chuckled in recognition.
The Divinyls. You had to admire anyone with the guts to write a song
called “I Touch Myself,” let alone to make it so damn
catchy. It was great for dancing, too, with an easy four-four beat.
He slid into the next measure, dancing the trash over to the can,
letting himself have fun with it.
don’t want, anybody else,” he sang, under
his breath. “When I think a-bout you I touch myself.”
He rolled his neck, twisted at the waist, shaking out the lethargy
of a long night of painstaking work. The chorus came again, and he
sang louder, his movements larger, freer, adding a few shimmies,
a turn, a twist of the hips.
He was getting over the tiredness hump, getting his second
wind; he was punchy as hell, laughing, by this point, as much as he
sang. He shut his eyes, tipped his head back, and abandoned himself
to the music, feeling the easy swing of the song in his feet, in his
hips, in his hands. After sitting still so long, it felt almost erotically
good to dance, to move, nothing there but the smell of coffee,
the draft from the window tickling his skin, and the sounds; his own
voice singing, breathless with laughter, and that damn stupid catchy
song that he knew, just knew, would be in his head all week,
now. Vecchio’d kill himself laughing if he caught Ray humming
sang songs like this at karaoke bars when they were way too drunk
to realize how dumb they looked. But sometimes, Ray thought, punctuating
the beat with a thrust and a glide, looking dumb was worth
it. He let his movements build to a crescendo, barely able, now, to
get the words out through his laughter: “I touch myself! I honestly
do!” It was the last part that made it so funny, as though someone
was arguing the point. The chords faded, and he wound to a stop, laughing
and breathless, exhilarated, even a little turned on. He opened his
eyes as the slow piano introduction of the next song drained his momentum,
and immediately shut them again. Vecchio was leaning against the door.
felt heat wash over his face. “How long’ve you been standing
opened his eyes enough to see Vecchio’s smirk. “Long enough.”
mockery would begin any minute now, he thought, but when Vecchio dropped
the doughnut box with a smack, when he walked—no, prowled
across the floor to where Ray stood, there was arousal fighting with
the amusement in his eyes. Fighting and winning.
stopped bare inches away, so close that Ray could smell him,
still somehow a spicy, expensive smell, even under the layering of
coffee, butane, and gunpowder. The night air clung to his clothes,
a layer of coolness tickling at Ray’s flushed skin. He felt
his heartbeat quicken, and shut his eyes again, fighting to keep his
body from just giving up and swaying into Vecchio like one of Frannie’s
single fingertip traced over Ray’s hairline, sweeping away the
beading of sweat there. He let out a lungful of air, the relief of
the touch far greater than it should have been, and leaned into Vecchio’s
hand as it swept over his face, skimmed his closed eyelids, brushed
over his mouth, then finally settled on his cheek, cupping it, moving
a little, scrubbing the palm with Ray’s stubble.
something else, Kowalski,” Vecchio murmured. He started to walk,
leading Ray with the hand that he’d let slip from Ray’s
cheek to the back of his neck; it was almost a dance. Ray felt his
skin ripple with awareness of Vecchio, of his nearness and the way
his layer of cool air had been replaced with radiant heat that Ray
felt sharp through his t-shirt and dull through his jeans. He followed
Vecchio’s lead, letting Vecchio move him until he felt the soft
bump of the bed on the backs of his calves. It wasn’t made;
good thing after all that Fraser hadn’t wanted to stay.
grinned at Vecchio. “What, not the couch this time?”
hands on either side of his neck, thumbs stroking in the grooves of
his smile. “There’s evidence on the couch.”
laughed, a little. “Yeah. Wouldn’t want to have to redo
The word was a flutter of breath on his lips, and then Vecchio was
kissing him, soft and probing, mapping the roof of his mouth, the
underside of his tongue, and the tenderness of his kiss held Ray more
surely than the strong, lean hands that cupped his face.
reached out blindly, grabbing handfuls of Vecchio’s shirt then
smoothing out the crumples, kneading at Vecchio’s chest like
a cat. When the kiss broke, Vecchio moved down, pulling Ray’s
t-shirt aside to nip and suck on the point of his collarbone. Ray
moaned at the feel of it, and at the brush of Vecchio’s shorn
hair on the sensitive underside of his jaw. He realized that Vecchio
had pulled his shirt untucked and opened his jeans, hands working
at Ray’s waist while his lips drifted over Ray’s shoulder,
sucking and nibbling. Ray could feel his skin heating under Vecchio’s
mouth. The resulting hickey, Ray knew, would rest squarely under the
strap of his holster, where he’d feel it every time the leather
pulled away, panting, and rubbed the wet mark on Ray’s skin,
making him arch and shudder. Ray swayed, his legs bound by the jeans
and underwear that Vecchio had managed to shove down to mid-thigh.
He let himself flop backwards, ending up on his back across the bed
with his lower legs hanging off the side. Vecchio stripped him of
his pants with one long pull, then parted Ray’s knees and stepped
leaned over, bracing himself on hands placed on either side of Ray’s
shoulders. Pissed off and turned on looked a lot alike on Vecchio;
his eyes narrowed, his body tightened, his breathing got shallow and
fast. The main difference was in the mouth. It got thin and clenched
when Vecchio was angry; now it was soft, wet, open enough to show
a gleam of teeth. Ray watched him like a mesmerized bird, his heart
leaned closer still, making Ray’s skin prickle and jump as a
fold of his suit pants brushed the tender bare skin on the inside
of one thigh. His breath was hot on Ray’s face, cold where it
evaporated the sweat at Ray’s hairline. The duality made Ray
ran his hands up Vecchio’s arms, then wrapped his hands around
the back of his neck and reached up for a kiss, pulling Vecchio down
to meet him halfway. He arched into the kiss, straining for contact,
but Vecchio had the leverage and was able to keep Ray from getting
any but fleeting brushes with his body. Ray flopped back down to the
bed, scowling at him. “You suck,” he said, fervently.
smirked, and Ray groaned, realizing what he’d said. “Sometimes,
Kowalski,” Vecchio remarked, “you make it too easy.”
He dodged Ray’s halfhearted thwap, pulling himself upright with
a single movement. He stood for a moment with his hands on his hips,
eyes gleaming as his gaze swept over Ray, who was suddenly aware that
he was lying face-up on the bed, legs splayed, wearing nothing but
his socks and a ratty old CPD t-shirt.
in contrast, was still fully clothed. Hell, his cuffs were
still fastened. But his shirt was wrinkled and skewed from Ray's hands,
and the clear outline of his cock was ruining the drape of his slacks.
grinned. "Hey, Vecchio," he said. "Take your pants
off and stay awhile."
Stanley,” Vecchio said, pulling his belt off. The end of it,
freed from Vecchio’s last belt loop, fell against Ray’s
thigh; he cried out as the impact of the leather sent a jolt of sensation
to his cock. Vecchio dropped the end he was holding, letting it curl
over Ray’s leg and tickle the inside of his calf. The leather
was warm and supple from being worn. Ray moaned.
Vecchio shot him an amused glance, but didn’t stop undressing. Even the zippers on Vecchio’s pants seemed expensive, Ray thought, quieter or something. He propped himself up on his elbows so he could see better.
shook the wrinkles out of his slacks and hung them over the trouser
press at the foot of the bed. He peeled off his underwear and tossed
them into the hamper, then crossed over to the dresser and undid his
right cuff, opening the velvet box his cufflinks had come in.
fell back onto the bed with a groan. “Fuck that,”
he muttered, reaching down to grasp his aching cock. He stroked himself
a few times, the calluses on his hand catching on delicate skin. He
hummed in pleasure, bracing his feet on the floor to arch into his
fist. So good, damn that felt good. If you wanted something
done right, after all…
impatient, Stanley?” Silky soft voice, iron grip on his wrist,
pulling his hand away from his stuttering hips. “You know, just
last week Benny was telling me this Inuit story about a polar bear
who didn’t want to wait until winter to hibernate…”
briefly considered kneeing Vecchio in the crotch. It would almost
be worth losing his chance for nookie to see the smirk fall off his
contented himself with an evil glare, feeling vaguely that it would
be more effective if he could summon the energy to sit up to deliver
grabbed his other hand and moved both up above Ray’s head. With
his arms outstretched, he felt strangely more naked than he had when
they were at his sides. Vecchio pressed his wrists down into the bed,
a silent order, and Ray felt goosebumps rising on the sensitive skin
beneath his arms and down his flanks.
never leaving his, Vecchio knelt between his knees. He pulled Ray
forward until his ass was at the edge of the bed. Ray felt Vecchio’s
shirt sleeves in tantalizing brushes on his inner thighs, and pressed
his legs against him, loving the way the muscles in Vecchio’s
arms moved. Vecchio leaned in, close, so close.
were thinking of me.” His breath came in excruciating little
gusts as he spoke, the head of Ray’s cock like a microphone
near his mouth, his arms heavily across Ray’s hips, holding
him down. Ray couldn’t hold back a little whine of breath.
curling smile, slow lick up the underside of Ray’s cock and
across the head. “Touch yourself. Your nipples.”
started to pull at the hem of his t-shirt, but Vecchio caught his
wrist. “No. Leave it on.”
groaned, but obeyed, rubbing at his nipples through the shirt, feeling
them tighten beneath his fingers. Vecchio made an approving noise,
and licked back down his cock, tracing a vein with his tongue. He
left a wet trail that flashed hot and then tightened with chill as
the air hit it, and Ray bucked beneath his arms, pinching at his nipples
through the worn cotton. Vecchio had a wide, strong tongue, a tongue
that was even now painting streaks of feeling over and around his
balls. So good, fuck, Vecchio’s mouth was so good, big
Italian mouth really good for this, and, fuck, he was babbling, he
was saying it out loud. Vecchio straightened up and smirked at him,
shifted his posture, moved around, and bent again, lower this time,
oh God, sucking and licking a searing trail downwards, his
shorn hair brushing Ray’s shaft as he moved.
stopped just short of his goal, and licked around it in delicate circles.
The caress only served to make the neglected flesh in the center of
the ring ache for contact, until it seemed those few square centimeters
must contain all the nerves in his body, and Ray had long since given
up even trying to keep track of the sex-gibberish falling from
his mouth. Vecchio licked hard across him with a broad, flat stroke,
and Ray’s throat hurt with choking back the sound he tried to
make. He felt his body writhe, feet scrabbling for purchase to try
to shove himself closer to Vecchio, and fuck, Vecchio’s
tongue was fucking huge, inside him, inside strong and good
and wet, and he was going to come any minute, he could feel
it coiling away from Vecchio’s mouth, all he needed was just
a little more, just a little, more, fuck, now... he grabbed
his cock, feeling Vecchio’s hair on the backs of his fingers,
and jerked himself roughly; once, twice, three times, and he came,
his other hand twisting his nipple, Vecchio’s name all but incoherent
in the breathless desperate sound he made.
pulled away, mouth gleaming, stood, and met Ray’s eyes. Ray
swallowed, his mouth dry from panting, and eyed Vecchio’s cock,
flushed and heavy between the tails of the dress shirt he still wore.
Ray licked his lips.
me, Ray,” he said, his voice throaty and hoarse, and heat flared
in Vecchio’s eyes. He slicked his cock with a handful of lube
Ray’d never even noticed him getting, his eyes closing at the
feeling, then leaned forward and braced his other hand on the bed
by Ray’s shoulder. He guided himself to where Ray’s entrance
lay wet and open from his earlier attentions and paused for a long
moment, pushing the head of his cock in a little and then letting
it slip out a few times, teasing them both with the feeling. Ray sighed,
his body still humming from orgasm, and as the breath left his body
Vecchio pushed inside as if to replace it, inexorable slow slide pushing
him open, blazing a trail inside his body, marking and claiming him.
loved it like this, sometimes, what Vecchio could do to him, building
him up and up into an orgasm that left his body humming, then fucking
him sweet and slow, when he wasn’t too muddled with arousal
to savor it. Relaxed by coming and by Vecchio’s tongue, his
body coaxed open in long satin nudges, he seemed to float in a warm
sea of sex and contentment until roused as Vecchio sped his thrusts,
self-control exhausted at last, going faster and harder until his
entire body rippled and jerked as he came, a rush of half-formed words
spilling from him like his semen. Ray thought he was probably speaking
slid out, and Ray felt too open and empty. “Vecchio,”
he said, enjoying the way the name felt to say, the full vowels at
the end filling his mouth like Vecchio’s tongue. “Vecchio.
C’mere.” He curled a leg around Vecchio’s hips,
pulled at his arms, until he collapsed on the bed, half on top of
Ray. Ray chuckled, then pulled and tugged at them until they were
at least marginally in the right spot on the bed. He tugged Vecchio
out of his shirt, rescuing the other cufflink and setting it on the
nightstand, then used a corner of the sheet to wipe them off a bit
before pulling it over them. Vecchio curled into him, one thumb stroking
drowsily over his skin. Ray shook his head.
I was expecting more of a mocking reaction than a jumping-me reaction.”
snorted. “I had a mocking reaction. You’ll hear
it tomorrow after I’ve had coffee.”
rubbed Vecchio’s scalp, loving the tickle of Vecchio’s
hair on his palm. “When we met I didn’t think I was your
type,” he said, abruptly.
“You weren’t,” Vecchio murmured, “but I can
Ray paused. “Just. Sometimes I’m still kinda surprised
you want me.”
sighed. “Whatever, Stanley,” he said. “I don’t
want anybody else.” And Ray chuckled, and yawned, and drifted
into sleep with Vecchio’s head tucked into his shoulder.