(or: Doyle has rambling thoughts about sex)

I'm thinking about last night, which I seem to have been doing a lot this morning. Men are supposed to think about sex all the time, of course. A dozen times an hour or something. Or a minute. A lot, anyway.

So I'm normal, which is reassuring but here Bodie goes again. I'm starting to think I look as if I've got a 'thinking about sex' sign on my forehead.


"No, Bodie," I say. "No, no, no. No juicy details. Piss off."

Bodie smirks, as he does. All twinkling eyes and knowing winks. He's hardly going to piss off physically because we're lying low on a particularly unpleasant bit of countryside trying not to be spotted, but he'll get the message.

No, he doesn't. He raises one eyebrow, which in Bodie-language means he thinks he's going to try and get it out of me anyway.

I don't feel like swapping impressions of last night. I don't mind a bit of bragging or discussing sex in more general terms, but I don't feel like going into details about who I've just slept with.

"C'mon Doyle. I mean she looked like a... well -"

"Looks can be deceptive," I snap. "And every bird you pick up doesn't exactly look like Miss Universe either."

He recoils a bit, doing 'hurt'.

It was a bit below the belt that, probably, because his taste in women can be a bit... let's say... eclectic.What's more it's rather late to stop the flow now, or at least for my brain to get the upper hand over my mouth because I can't resist hammering the point home a bit more.

"I mean did I ask you how your night went with the finishing school queen? Eh? Did I?"

Maybe jabbing him in the chest as I say it is going a bit far, because his expression closes a fraction more.

"Touchy," he comments, glancing over to me. "And no. But I'd have told you."

I glower, as I do. Learned that from Bodie. Then relent a bit.

"Yeah, bet you would. So go on then. How was it for you?" I intone, also thawing a bit although that sounds like "Bodie and me basking in the afterglow."

"Let's say it was... educational," he says airily. "They've moved - over by the left now and one's got a rifle."

Can't think of any suitable comment to that one as I'm fairly occupied making sure my head's not going to be blown off in the immediate future.

Blimey, though. If she taught Bodie something she probably had a highly fertile imagination and a lot of staying power. Or if you believe what he says.

Trouble is, I do. Believe it, that is, but I still don't want to offer details about last night.

He's still looking expectant. Damn.

If I refuse, will it sound like some sort of performance anxiety as in 'is he better than me'? No, that's daft. He knows I happen to like sex. A lot, just the same as he does. He's just bloody nosy.

If I say something like 'I don't want to discuss it', he might start thinking I'm getting all screwed up about the sex, love and fidelity stuff, which isn't true either. Well, not at the moment anyway.

We've thrashed that one out plenty. He thinks I'm too bloody complicated and I think he's incapable of taking anything seriously - or rather I did think that until the Marikka stuff.

He's right about the complicated though, I suppose.

Then a vision of one extremely detailed (not to mention complicated) bit of last night flits into my mind. Oh yes, nice. Word association, this. Complicated = complicated positions = Kama Sutra-type stuff...

Terrific. Somebody is trying to blow my head off. Probably time to postpone this little line of thought to a more opportune moment. Useful in a way because it spares me having to say anything else to Bodie, but I was enjoying that.

We move into position. Position, of course, meaning a tactical place from which to shoot at people rather than anything from the Kama Sutra... shit I am still thinking about sex.

Concentrating now.

Ugh. Can't think of anything less sexy than wriggling on my stomach through wet grass, cursing Cowley, watching Bodie, watching the three figures.

Time to be brilliant... God's gift to queen and country, that's me. And Bodie as well, I admit generously.

Got 'em. All of 'em and barely a shot fired. Silly buggers - no balls either if they give up that easily.

The balls issue brings me back to sex. Surprise surprise.

I'm still reflecting on that stuff about a dozen times an hour. Surely it can't have been a dozen times a day (not enough?) or a minute (too much?). Can't remember.

Statistics being statistics, though, and me being complicated, I think a bit more and decide it's obviously not a case of thinking about sex at regular five-minute (or five-second or two-hour) intervals, but a sort of random average over a day or week or month or something.

So logically, there are bound to be days with lots of thoughts and others with fewer. This is simply one of the 'more' sort of moments.


Great to be such an intellectual genius, innit?

But, I think as we dust the grass off our knees and whip the handcuffs out, surely people never think about sex that often? How do they get anything done? Writing reports or shooting at people, for instance?

No, of course it's not that often. I've only thought about it three times (OK roughly, not been counting) in the last... five minutes. Oh.

Bodie's grinning now. The cat that swallowed the cream look. Bet he looks like that after (or even during) shagging.

Four thoughts.

I wonder, actually, if Bodie - having done everything, everywhere, and with everybody - is probably an over-achiever in bed as well? Does it seem- well - like a voyeur to start wondering exactly what he did and how often he did it to that woman with big tits and too much lipstick (and might have had a posh accent but was definitely not Miss Universe)?

It's not the first time I've thought of how he'd... well... do it, that's the trouble, and in lurid detail.

(Five, I suppose)

Yes, Raymond Doyle. It probably does seem like voyeurism, so stop it. Not a good tack this one and it also stinks of performance anxiety stuff again.

He can't read my thoughts, at least, but I can't help wondering if he can really hold it as long as he says?

Six. Or just the fifth sort of sliding effortlessly into more in-depth reflection on the same thing?

Well, if there's one thing I appreciate about my partner (again not in the Kama Sutra way but must find a better word than 'partner' for people you're currently screwing), it's the fact that he doesn't embroider on the truth even if it sounds like it. Doesn't need to, from what I've gathered because the reality of his past is pretty bloody amazing in itself.

So if he says he can perform / has performed sexual athletics hanging from a chandelier, with three women at once, or in an igloo in the arctic, I suppose my mind would just drift off to impure thoughts and take it as gospel (unless he did the 'I'm kidding' smirk).

Oh, the 'three women' thing has just floated rather more insistently into mind and is very...

Must stop this.

Bodie's giving me one of his Knowing Looks as we hustle the guys back to the car as well. Thank God I don't blush.

He grins at me as he radios in and tells Cowley we've just performed a miracle and is told to get his backside back and write a miraculous damn report, then.

Dammit, Bodie. Do you wonder how I do it? We share most things, but haven't exactly been into ... well, technical details.

"So she educated you, did she?" I murmur to try and at least get the threesome idea out of my head.

"Definitely," Bodie says smoothly, not offering any more details.

Almost feel I need to brag about how many times we did it last night now, just to provoke more comment, but Bodie's lost in his own thoughts now (a dirty great chandelier, no doubt).

I'll think about Lorita, then. Stupid name, but hell I didn't screw her because I wondered how 'Ray and Lorita Doyle' would sound.

She was good, definitely, I decide. Wasn't she? Well I'd tell Bodie she was even if she'd been bloody useless. Male pride and all that.

Would I, though? Not sure. Truth is important with my 'other half of the working relationship'. Dammit there's a simpler way to sort out this terminology business. 'Partner' means Bodie. And 'latest lay'' is the person I'm currently screwing. Lorita the Latest Lay. Lovely. What's the word when you have lots of words starting with the same letter?

Not oxymorons. Not onamatopoeia. Ermmm.... Not asking Bodie he'd damn well know.

Alliteration. Right, that's one thing sorted out. Two non-sexual thoughts there (grammar and partner-relationship. Very good.)

It's a fair way back to HQ from here. Will think about important issues other than sex. Lost count of where I'd got to now anyway.

Nope, it's not working - here it comes again.

I said Lorita was good, and we had fun, but what exactly is 'good sex'?

Oh excellent. Combining sexual thoughts and philosophical ones at that with technicalities of language. Does that mean 'half a sex thought'?

So good is what? Long, urgent, meaningful? Gentle, sensual, sheer bloody lust?

Ann did 'meaningful'. Got sick of all that part of it, if I'm honest. I think - hope - I'm a meaningful person in general but I don't like planning sex as if it were some sort of literary launch campaign.

Wonder if Bodie's into 'deep discussions during foreplay'?

No, we're not going there. His seduction routine is bound to be smooth - hell I've seen him at it. All sultry, suggestive charm. He even told me I needed to work on that.

He could be right as well. And as for Ann it's been long enough now to look at it all a bit more - a bit more what? Crudely? Honestly?

It was as though Ann was two people, really. She probably didn't like the fact she enjoyed sex (and probably only thought about it once a day or something), so it always took far too bloody long before cutting to the action. I was highly tempted to say 'let's shag' or something similar on more than one occasion, and if I had I'm sure she'd have looked all sort of sadly resigned and superior.

Getting into the mood is great - there I can't argue with the books or even Bodie - but hell after a lecture on how penetration was primeval (did she think I was a fucking ape?) I used to get pretty well into the 'lust' bit. All the intellectual stuff usually just turned me on even more in the end, and I expect she found my impatience rather distasteful.

Once we actually got down to business, she was dynamite. No other word for it. The way she...

No, not going to think about Ann, I decide and sigh out loud. Bodie looks at me sideways and arches one eyebrow again casually.

Nothing doing, Bodie, I vow to myself.

Not going to ask Bodie any more questions or answer any. I was thinking about Lorita, wasn't I? . Right. Must be up to about twenty thoughts by now.

We've established she was good. Well, she was good in that she was willing and didn't overdo the subtlety. I still think I'm not quite as indiscriminate as Bodie with his 'under 50' stuff. (Or was it 40? Well, warm and willing anyway) but Lorita was definitely beddable and probably under 30, even if she wasn't Miss Universe.

Actually, as far as the 'subtle' is concerned, she wasn't subtle at all. Sucking my fingers in the bar was... not subtle.What's the opposite of subtle? Unsubtle? Hmmm. Obviously another half point to the English language thoughts there.

Basically, the Lovely Lorita made me wish I didn't have those particular jeans on even before we left the pub.

That wink as she shimmied out of the door wasn't exactly without significance either. Bodie, of course, turned and winked at me.

The 'Lorita who suddenly happened to lose the dress and find herself in wispy bra and panties' at my place was fairly conclusive too, I suppose. Maybe she thought I was an underwear freak or something.

What makes men into underwear freaks? Or makes them develop some sort of fetish for... I dunno. Shoes or underarm hair (ugh) or - perish the thought - cross-dressing?

But back to the underwear. Black and lacy. Do women only wear that when they're fully intending to show it off, or just for the hell of it?

Hmmm. Are fetishes and underwear and what happened when that came off just one single sex thought or three?

Lost count again completely now not to mention lost the bloody plot. Thoughts are all over the place.

Bodie's humming as he drives. Probably having a few of his own dozen thoughts on the subject (it has to be per minute, I'm starting to be convinced) as well.

Wonder if she - Felicity or something, that's right - had underarm hair? French women do. Maybe Africans too. Maybe he's into that sort of thing?

And why is women's underarm hair a no-no but men aren't supposed to shave there?

Athletes shave their legs, of course... didn't that swimmer do his chest as well?

No, this is not a sexual thought and I'm still drifting wildly and all over the place. Got to keep the averages up now I've started, though. Where was I? Ah yes. Lorita's exit from the bathroom.

She's got nice legs, I'll give her that. A little short on the tits department, but that's hardly a crime. I don't mind flat-chested as much as I mind hairy. Although in an ideal world I do like them a little bigger.

Bodie's gone from humming to singing now, looking very pleased with himself. I wonder what she was like, she of the snooty accent. Reminded me a bit of Ann really, and Bodie didn't like Ann... and no, this isn't the right time to ask about that either. He didn't say so, I just knew.

I'm not going to ask Bodie anything else for the time being. Getting to the interesting bit with Lorita now anyway so no more digressing onto hair and stuff.

OK, so she wasn't particularly well endowed, but randy she certainly was. Oh yes. No deep and meaningful - she came straight out and asked me to fuck her. For some reason I found that a bit off-putting, on an aesthetic level. Women are supposed to say 'make love to me, darling' aren't they?

Well, she wanted a fuck and she got one. Or rather two, not counting the blow job. Fucking, technically, means 'ejaculation during penetration' doesn't it, so maybe that one doesn't count? Well whatever. Sod terminology. I still came three times between about eleven last night and half seven this morning. And she seemed to manage a whole lot more than that.

Why do people count things almost obsessively? Like stairs and calories and orgasms and...?

Mmmm. Sod counting as well as terminology. Trouble is, thinking about this part's playing hell with these jeans. Same jeans as last night, actually - those I got out of pretty damn quick once the black lacy stuff came off.

"Ray?" Bodie says conversationally as I start thinking about the first time I slid inside her.

"Yeah?" This is the non-sexual, non-randy partner speaking, I try to tell myself, half-afraid he really is reading my mind. So why am I sort of squeaking?

"Still got that nurse's phone number. The one with lots of friends. Remember?"

I nod. Might as well let him get onto that rather than more details of Lorita. Except my mind's busy remembering my hands on her tits and hers exploring, lower and lower.

"Is that a 'yes''?" He sounds a bit waspish.


Sorry, Bodie, not feeling conversational at this precise moment. I do stop for a second or two, trying to remember what the nurse in question's tits were like (how base) but thinking about it I had a concussion at the time and probably saw four of them anyway.

"Should call her, maybe. Or you seeing the one with the weird name again?"

"Lorita? Dunno," I say honestly, deciding I'd better be a bit more responsive. "And do not ask me if it was good."

"I won't." He smirks again, the bastard.

"Well it was," I say defiantly and throwing good intentions (not to mention postponing the next bit of reliving the Lorita performance) to the winds. "Probably a whole lot better than Felicity."

"Fiona", he snorts. "Tell me more."

"Use your imagination."

That sounds a bit harsh, but I soften it by giving him a wink. It seems to satisfy him for a minute or two anyway. Besides, I'm not going to go into details with a very large, as-yet-unidentified foreign guy sitting handcuffed in the back of the car.

I bet he isn't thinking about sex, poor bastard.

At least Murph and Anson took the other two, having rolled up just in time to witness our brilliance, so it's not quite as crowded in here as it could be, but even.

Oh, stray thought here. Another one for the collection. What's Murphy like in bed? Or Anson? Well, Anson's married so it doesn't count.

Bodie's still quiet and Murphy's sexual performance doesn't particularly fascinate me, so might as well get back to Lorita of the Lacy Lingerie. More alliteration, clever lad. Clocking up thoughts at the speed of light into the bargain.

She enjoyed it, or she gave a damn good imitation of 'woman screaming with passion'. She liked being underneath, and on top, and shit she wasn't scared of saying what she liked. I've had women before who were pretty hot on descriptive stuff but she took the biscuit there.

Do I really have a cock to die for? Ann never said that. She'd tell me the sensations were magnificent or something, afterwards, but she didn't go for ongoing narrative while we were doing it. Or describe my anatomy in loving detail. I was so bloody surprised I don't think I said a word.

Does Bodie talk? Or like being talked to/at? I suppose I don't say much usually. I probably yell when I climax and grunt a bit beforehand. Mind, with Lorita making so much bloody noise I can't be sure about last night.

Must wear looser jeans on days like this. Is that a sexual thought or a technical detail?

Maybe (more philosophy coming up) the ones you talk about aren't the ones that mean anything. I mean I never talked to Bodie much about Ann except that one night, and he never talks about Marikka.

I'm still pondering this unexpectedly more-profound and less-base interlude (which also helps with the jeans situation) when we drop off ape-man and end up waiting in the VIP room until Cowley deigns to see us.

How about Cowley...

Nope. Not worth thinking about at all. Ugh. Bloody hell. Lorita would be a much better bet.

Bodie passes me a mug of tea and must catch the rather self-indulgent expression that's no doubt written all over my face.

"You're having dirty thoughts, my lad."

Too many to count, mate.

"Give it a break, Bodie," I tell him in case the smirk reappears, and while entreating my crotch to call off the latest onslaught. Much more of this and I'll have to rush off to the loo for a wank. "Call the nurses, then. Just not tonight. Need some shuteye."

He raises one eyebrow.

"Oh yes?"

"Yeah, all right, it was a long night."

"Ah." He feigns lack of interest, which works as it always does.

"And she was OK. Good, but wedding bells aren't in the air. Satisfied now?"

"Me? Satisfied? I am insatiable he says smoothly. "Or that's what Fiona said."

Well it's not what Lorita said. She was the insatiable one. I did my best, although being told exactly where she wanted my fingers at about half past bloody five this morning wasn't my favourite moment.

Mind, once her own fingers had started doing interesting things, I did manage to oblige. Fingers and then the whole works, from behind as she demanded. She climaxed, flipped over and finished me off with her mouth, but even then pulled my hand back expecting more.

This is a very vivid and most effective sexual thought. Must count double.

Oh shit. Bodie's actually staring at me now. Down, boy.

Must drink tea. Act nonchalant. I'm not having him think I get a hard-on thinking about him being bloody insatiable, dammit....

Oooh, brilliant idea here.

"Must say," I tell him, aiming for 'casual', "I go for quality rather than quantity."

That sets him off nicely. His eyes sparkle.

"And you can't have both?"

Ouch. Bloody Bodie. Didn't think of that one.


Bastard's rendered me speechless. And he's chuckling into his mug.

"Don't worry, Doyle," he says calmly. "Practice makes perfect."

Can't think of a good comeback to that one either. Right, well if he's aiming at one-upmanship I'll... I'll...

What will I do?

Good question, that. Now - this second - would be a great moment for Cowley to come in.

He doesn't.

The only thing to do is diffuse the situation, probably, without climbing down or starting to squabble about Fiona and her bloody educational prowess. We'd probably only get into weird conversations like the imaginative use of courgettes (Bodie started that one, I remember it clearly).

Bodie's supposed to be the expert at 'diffusing' things when I get in a strop - or at least that's what he says. Basically, I need a cold shower and something to take my mind off bloody sex rather than carry this on much longer.

Let's change the subject. Or rather divert it.

"Can you remember how many thoughts about sex normal people have in a day?" I ask him. "It was a lot, I remember that. Something like twelve times a minute, right?"

"Define 'normal''", he says. "Can't say I heard of that one though. Can't be reading the same books as you, sunshine. And that often? Randy little sod - you been counting? "

"No," I lie. "Course not. But don't tell me you never think about it."

"Now and then." Bodie chuckles and plugs the kettle back in then screws up his face a bit, thinking (or probably counting).


"Still prefer doing it than thinking about it," he adds, eventually. "So why no juicy details?"

Is he ever going to leave that alone?

"Because that's... well.... Christ, Bodie. Because. Sex - well the details anyway - are... "

"Fun," he says. "But not my business. OK, drop it. Sorry."

Simple as that. He's backing down, or rather taking me off the hook at least. Another good 'partner' thing.

He grins - the twinkly one he does when he's looking for forgiveness.

"So about the nurses?"

"You're on. And about the report?"

"Report? Oh hell yes." Bodie's face drops and then brightens again. "Never mind. We can keep thinking about sex to spice it up a bit. Twelve times an hour?"

"If not a minute," I tell him solemnly. "Did she have big tits? The friend?"

Bodie thinks for a minute, obviously not sure.

"Can't remember, to be honest, but I do remember mine was..."

"Under fifty, warm, and..."


I grin, starting to push him out of the door and see Cowley limping down the corridor with a 'why aren't you doing something useful' look on his face. He does that.

"Just off to do the report, sir," I tell him. "We were just..."

"Thinking." Bodie finishes it for me.

"Thinking?" Cowley snaps sarcastically. "So try 'doing' for a while. Leave the thinking to me at least until that report's on my desk."

Bodie offers him one of his most disarming smiles.

"We were actually discussing something extremely important, sir. Not to mention fascinating."

This gets Cowley's attention, and I groan inwardly. Surely he's not going to ...

Yes, he is and does.

Cowley frowns, then does irritated. Then starts to grin, which is much more of a rarity.

"You should keep abreast (I swear he uses - and emphasises - that word on purpose) with your reading, both of you. The latest reports suggest it's even more than that. Every three seconds on average. Now away with you."

"Three seconds?" Bodie raises one eyebrow and stares at me and then at Cowley. Then beams as he produces what I have to admit is a perfect wrap-up line.

"So comforting to know I'm one of the normal ones, then."

-- THE END --

January 2002

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