The Eyes Have It
Doyle checked his watch and stirred in the left seat of Bodie's favorite motor pool checkout, the silver Capri Ghia. "They'll be closing the betting room soon," he muttered. "Hmph?" Bodie pried open one eye. He sat with his head back against the rest, dosing while Ray kept his eyes glued to the shuttered house at the end of the street. Stakeout was a bloody great bore, but if you had a partner and could take it in turns to doze or read, it was not so bad. He looked at the time, yawning. "There's ten minutes yet, plenty of time."
"But the nearest phone's a quarter of a mile away," Doyle argued, "and we can't move the car... Damn, what's the name of that horse?"
"Short term memory's always the first to go," Bodie grinned. "The paper's in the back."
"It's in the back in a tangle," Doyle muttered, twisting around and kneeling on the seat to rummage in the rear footwell.
Bodie smiled at the sight beside him, the perfect little backside almost presented to him. He patted Doyle's left buttock. "Beautiful little bugger, aren't you?"
"Ravishing," Doyle said drily, "I know." He twisted back, falling back into the seat with the tangled newspaper. "Look at the state of this! By the time I find the right page I'll have to sprint to the phone." Then he looked up at Bodie with a wicked grin. "You sort it out. When you've found it, give me an R/T, I'll be at the phone by that time."
"Oh, find it yourself," Bodie muttered.
The brows drew together over green eyes. "What's the matter?""Nothing's the matter."
"You're grumpy. What did I say?"
"You didn't say anything," Bodie sighed. "And you're wasting time. If the tip you got is so hot, you don't want to miss getting your bet down."
He had a point. Doyle went fifteen rounds with the paper, finally locating the right page and the details -- number seven in the fourth race at Cheltenham, Irish Mist. For the life of him, Doyle could not imagine why Bodie had refused to use the R/T -- such little breaches of procedure had never bothered either of them in the past. He looked at his watch again and yelped. "Bloody hell, five minutes. If there's anyone in the phonebox, we're sunk!"
With that he was out of the car and gone like a greyhound, and Bodie smiled after him; he was like a kid, skinny and agile, full of energy, still largely untamed -- and God forbid that he should ever be tamed. Bodie found it hard to credit that Ray was his elder by almost three years; there were times when he himself felt positively staid by comparison -- but that was Doyle. His dress sense might have improved and a certain veneer of sophistication might have taken hold in the last couple of years, but he was still the same Ray Doyle underneath; Bodie hoped he always would be.
He was back in ten minutes, pink in the cheeks but not panting, eyes glittering with amusement, a story about two kids and a pushbike to tell. If it had been after dark, public place or not, Bodie would have grabbed him and kissed him; but in broad daylight a smile had to say it all. Luckily, they rarely needed words. Ray bundled up the paper, reading bits of news aloud, and when he came to the overseas items he came across a photo of Pele, long retired but still a wonderful player. He was bouncing a soccer ball on his head in the photo.
"Hey, take a look at this," Doyle laughed. "Pele -- ought to be in a circus!" He passed the folded paper over, surprised when Bodie barely glanced at the small photo before putting it down on the dash. "What's got you so grumpy, sunshine?" Last night's lasagna giving you a hard time? I thought you liked my lasagna."
"I like your lasagna, I like your curry, I'll even eat your organic soya thingamajig if you bribe me with enough kisses," Bodie sighed. "And I'm not grouchy. I'm fine, Ray. Good mood and all. I just don't want to look at the paper, okay?"
"Okay," Doyle said cheerfully and yawned. "Christ, this day's been about five hundred years long. We've been parked here so long my backside's gone square."
"Looked nice enough to me," Bodie chuckled. "Nice and round. Like a peach. Kind of juicy dessert item you'd like to sink your teeth into."
Doyle laughed. "You're the pits, did I ever tell you that?"
"Frequently." Bodie wiped the smile from his face with his left palm. "Well, we'll be home in an hour if Jax is on time. Surveillance is enough to make you join the Foreign Legion."
"Sweaty bodies, sand everywhere, sadistic sergeants, flies and mad Arabs on camels?" Ray wrinkled his nose. "No, ta. The car and a cut lunch and a good book and a gossip with you -- s'not so bad." He smiled. "If we had the night shift we could pet a bit too. That beats the Foreign Legion."
And Bodie had to admit that he had a point. There was nothing like wriggling and giggling under a tartan travelling rug in the dead of night, gently demanding hands, wet kisses, sweet release made sweeter still by the spontaneity of the event. Loving Raymond Doyle was easy, so easy that Bodie often wondered how he had hidden his feelings for so long before being allowed to show it. How he hadn't betrayed himself on the brink of sleep with an unguarded word, maybe a kiss, he would never know.
They were done for the day at three, after starting at 6:45, aching from the inactivity, and Doyle ran a hot bath as Bodie poured two very large gin and tonics, collected the packet of butter shortbreads and the box of Black Magic and followed him into the bathroom. Not for the first time, he applauded their decision to tear out the old fashioned bath and put in a wide, deep tub. There was room in it for two, and Bodie acknowledged that the Japanese were by no means incorrect... Baths were for sharing.
The water was chest-high to Ray and went up as Bodie sank into the tub. Doyle had his paperback in one hand and his brimming glass in the other, and his eyes were on the chocolates. "Is there an orange cream left?"
"There might be." Bodie rummaged, found one, teased off the wrapper and held it out. Ray leaned forward, mouth opening in search of it, but Bodie withdrew his hand. "Kiss me first, while I can taste you instead of Mr. Cadbury's idea of sweetness."
The request brought a smile to Doyle's lips and he leaned forward further, greeting Bodie's tongue with a curling lick of his own tongue. Bodie made a meal of him until he laughed, breaking it.
"Do I get my chocky now?"
"You've earned it," Bodie nodded seriously. "Open wide, here comes the choo-choo." He slipped the orange cream into Doyle's mouth and watched him savor it, adding a little gin as he leaned back, rubbing his shoulders against the side of the tub. The green eyes smiled at him, then went drowsily back to the paperback, and Bodie frowned. It was Clive Cussler's MAYDAY, a book he had been wanting to read himself for ages, but...
The water cooled as they drank the gin, disposed of the biscuits and dark chocolates, and reluctantly Doyle pulled the plug and hopped to his feet, the better part of him glowing pink. He stretched luxuriously, well aware that he was beautiful and flaunting it -- but twice as aware of Bodie's beauty, and so escaping the trap of vanity. Bodie ran true to form, catching him in a vast white towel and wrapping him like a Christmas present; from there to making love was a short journey, and a pleasant one.
"I want that report before you go," Cowley said, preoccupied with the complexities of his own work and on his way back to the computer center.
Bodie rolled his eyes. "It's already ten to five!"
"And I've got two files to wade through," Doyle agreed, sighing. "Look, you write the bloody report while I do the files and..."
"I'll be in Scotland before ye," Bodie sang with a grin.
Doyle threw a biro at him. "Write!"
For a moment Bodie considered the pen and then put it down. "You're better at reports than I am, pet. If I do it, it'll come back with red correction all over it and '7/10' at the bottom. You write it."
"I've been writing our reports for months," Doyle groused, "and I've got the files to do."
"Please?" Bodie asked plaintively.
When he spoke in that tone, there was no refusing him. Doyle chuckled. "You know your trouble? You're bone idle."
"Shamelessly," Bodie agreed. "You'll do the report?"
"I'll do the report." Ray shook his head over the little-boy-pleased expression his capitulation brought about. "You want the files?"
"That's your old data, wouldn't make sense to me."
"All right," Ray said, surrendering totally, "hand 'em over and go'n find us a cup of cha. But it's going to be late when I've waded through this lot -- and I'm NOT getting stuck in the kitchen when we get home."
"So I'll take you out," Bodie offered on his way in search of tea.
"Last of the big spenders?" Ray demanded, smiling. "Bodie...what's the matter? Something wrong? Lately, half the time I ask you to do something for me, you say no."
Bodie gave him a sultry look from beneath heavy lids. "I don't recall saying 'no' to you in a very, very long time, Raymond. No matter what you yelled for, no matter what the time was."
"Not that," Ray muttered, exasperated and blushing rosily. "But -- like the other day in the car. I asked you to read Murphy's report back to me because I had my hands full, or the time I wanted to back Irish Mist... Or the time I wanted that number out of the phone book. I mean, I never ask you to help me if I don't need it, do I? Well, not usually." He watched Bodie's blue eyes darken and sighed. "Hey, look, it doesn't matter. Forget it. I'll just do my own knitting, there won't be a problem."
And he did stop asking for help, and that more than anything else hurt Bodie, because he not only stopped asking for the kind of help Bodie was reluctant to try to give, he wouldn't ask for anything. Not when a box weighed thirty kilos, not when he was juggling with groceries, not when the bike was misfiring or he couldn't find his keys or couldn't remember a socket size. Doyle had always mixed self-sufficiency with a carefree dependence Bodie found rewarding, and when the thousand-and-one meaningless little favours were taken away, quite unexpectedly, it stung.
Still, Ray said no more about it, as if he had decided that it was of no consequence, and certainly not worth an uncomfortable scene. Tuesday was Bodie's birthday, his 32nd, and when he woke he could feel the gift on top of the quilt between them. Doyle was asleep again, sprawled face down, only a swatch of his hair showing above the blankets, and Bodie tried not to disturb him as he sat up. The parcel was giftwrapped in blue and green striped paper, and it was heavy. He pulled the tape loose at one end and drew the object out.
It was a book, one of the Classic Cars series -- Lagonda, always his great favourite. He smiled, opening it and putting it on the quilt to look at it, balancing it on his knees and straightening his back with a yawn of drowsy delight. Expensive book - typical of Ray. Hang the cost, it's only money. He flipped quickly through the text, admiring the graphics, then put it on the table at the bedside, peeling back the blankets and planted a kiss right in the middle of Doyle's smooth back.
Ray came awake with a start, then rolled over and smiled dreamily. " 'Ullo, love. Many happy returns. You found your pressie, did you?"
"Yeah," Bodie nodded. "It's lovely, thanks... Got a pressie for you, if you want it now."
"Oh? And what's that?" Ray blinked.
"Nothing special, just me." Bodie wriggled over and blanketed Doyle with his weight and body heat, wanting his mouth and getting it. He felt his lover rise, hard against him, aroused in a moment as usual, and they squirmed around, molding themselves together, before Bodie lifted his head. "How d'you want it, sweetheart?"
"It's your birthday," Doyle smiled. "S'up to you."
"All right." Bodie kissed Ray's nose. "Sweet and gentle's what I want. Don't want to get ravished on my birthday, want to make love."
Doyle wound both arms around him tightly. "You're a twit, aren't you? You're loved every day, you know that. Go on then. Whatever you want."
He wanted to kiss and cuddle, and suck and caress for a long time, then just lie on top of his lover, rubbing their aching cocks together until they came so slowly, it seemed to go on forever. Ray melted against him, murmuring affectionate, meaningless words as they dozed off again, sticky and sweaty, and Bodie gathered him close, drifting off to sleep.
When he awoke he was alone and he sat up, rubbing at the crusting of their essences, dried on his chest and belly. More sheets for the washer, he thought with a smile. He could hear Ray in the kitchen; it was just past eight o'clock on their off day and he knew Doyle would bring breakfast back to bed. Tea, toast, boiled eggs, preserves.
Ray had showered and shaved and was clad in old, soft jeans, barefoot, bare-chested, still tousled, damp and happy as he put the tray down on Bodie's thighs, leaning over to kiss him. He had been eating toast already, and Bodie chuckled. "You taste buttery."
"I was starving," Doyle admitted, sitting on the side of the bed. "Did you find the special car?"
"What -- in the book?"
"Yeah, the 1927 Lagonda you were ranting on about last year.""No, I didn't -- I haven't..." Bodie turned his attention swiftly to his tea.
"It's on page eighty-something, I think." Doyle reached for the book and found the place. "Here it is. Bloody nice car, worth a mint, and look at the power. Three hundred horses... Have you read the caption?"
"No," Bodie admitted quietly.
Doyle put the book down beside him and hunted for more toast. "Read it. You can read it aloud, if you like." He assaulted his egg with a spoon.
With a heavy, resigned sigh, Bodie considered the book. It was a gift, and a thoughtful one, and he was -- at long last -- painted into a corner.
"Go on," Ray coaxed, dunking one corner of his toast into the egg.
Again Bodie sighed, and dutifully lifted the book. He held it at arm's length and narrowed his eyes, turned his head a little and held it to the light.
Looking up over his breakfast, Ray blinked. "What the --"
"The 1927 V8 Lagonda sport was a favourite among the European --" Bodie began, but Ray clipped him off.
"Bodie, what's this? This with the squint and the stiff elbows?"
"You want me to read, I've got to see," Bodie said drily. He put the book down with a gloomy expression. "Oh, bugger it. The secret's out... I'm far-sighted, Ray, I always have been, but it didn't matter much till a month or two ago. Then, it got much worse all of a sudden, and it's been hard getting stuff into focus close up. I'm having trouble reading -- the paper, the phone book, this book."
"Reports and files and writing," Doyle added. "So that's why I've been writing all our reports for months!"
"Yeah." Bodie toyed with his egg half heartedly. "The worst thing about it is, you go blurry when we're nose to nose. I can kiss you or I can see you, and I can't do both. And--" He broke off as Ray chuckled richly.
"Sunshine, you need reading glasses," Doyle said smiling.
"Brilliant," Bodie said gloomily. "Horrifying, isn't it?"
And Doyle chuckled again. "Don't be a clot. Millions of people wear glasses. I've got a pair myself, use 'em when my eyes are tired."
"But I'm not millions of people," Bodie said stubbornly. "I'm me, suave and cool and immune to things like this."
Now Ray hooted in mirth. "The man of steel! Bodie, who cares about reading glasses? Bet you'll look cute in them anyway."
Bodie smiled wryly at last. "You look cute in yours, but... You mean gollies do make passes at mercs who wear glasses?"
"You want me to make a pass at you while you're decked out in your cucumber frames?" Ray batted his eyelashes wickedly.
"Oh, Ray," Bodie groaned. "I knew you'd rib the life out of me."
"So you made a martyr out of yourself." Doyle shook his head. "Oh, Bodie. What's a joke or two? I'll ring up and make an appointment, maybe they can fit you in tomorrow, or in a couple of days. Next time -- tell me when you've got one of these daft little problems. Don't let me worry myself into an ulcer -- what do you think I'm here for?"
"You're here to be the brains of this partnership," Bodie said wryly. "Call it ego, I suppose. I just didn't want you to think old age is catching up with me. Can't use contacts, never could. My eyes are too dry, y'see."
"Eyesight and age haven't got much to do with each other," Doyle said scornfully. "My sister's worn specs since she was fourteen, Mum's worn 'em all her life and Aunt Jean's over seventy and has never worn them. Eat your breckie, love, I'll go and ring up."
"Right," Bodie nodded. "Then come back to bed." He looked up, catching Ray's heavy lidded look. "You can read to me," he grinned, tapping the cover of his new book.
The gold Capri pulled in at the curb and Doyle turned off the motor as Bodie opened the passenger door. "Won't be a tick," he said, and was gone, jogging up the three steps to the optometrist's door. Ray smiled after him, as relieved as he was amused.
For a while the reluctance to help in little things had worried him, and he had put that reluctance to the test in many a subtle way, making demands of Bodie that had gone unrecognized but which had served their purpose... Once, he had had Bodie bring him off twice before he would spread his legs and offer relief in return. Bodie had suffered willingly, taking as much delight in sucking the life's essences from him as in plundering Ray's body. Once, he had woken Bodie not long before dawn and asked him to play again; though Bodie had already exhausted himself earlier, the word 'no' was not in his vocabulary and he had kissed and petted, barely half awake, and turned over, burying his face in the warm pillow and offering up his surrender with a sigh of content. So Doyle stopped worrying, because if Bodie had been getting bored with him, or dissatisfied, he would have told his lover when enough was enough and made demands of his own, if only for peace and quiet.
The memory of the last time Bodie had passed such a 'test' brought a rosy glow to Doyle's cheeks and he smile dreamily at the dashboard, knowing how much he owed Bodie for the trials he had put him through. He was lost in thought when Bodie returned, and not surprised to find himself aroused by such thinking.
The door slammed and Ray fired the engine, heading fast for home. "You got 'em?"
"I got 'em," Bodie said.
"So put 'em on," doyle coaxed. "I want to see 'em."
"At home," Bodie said stubbornly.
"At home," Bodie growled. "Don't want you to laugh so hard you crash the bloody car, do I?"
When the front door was shut behind them, Doyle waited expectantly, hanging his sports jacket over the back of chair and rolling up his shirt sleeves. Bodie took a red case out his inside pocket, opened it and took from it a pair of light lenses in gold frames. He glowered at them for a moment, then sighed heavily and slid them onto his nose.
"All right, go ahead and laugh, Ray."
But Doyle was not laughing. He smiled a little, but gently. "Make you look brainy," he said. "Academic. Thoughtful, less aggressive... As a matter of fact, they do suit you. Or you suit them."
Bodie's brows went up toward his fringe. "You're not just saying that?"
"No, I mean it," Doyle assured him, stepping up close. "Do they work?"
"Let's find out." Bodie leaned forward, nose to nose, and grinned. "Hey, whaddaya know, you're in focus, my lad... I can see every eyelash. Hmm, and every whisker -- you need a shave. But I'm going to kiss you anyway." His eyes stayed open as he licked Doyle's lips, the tips of their tongues caressing before their lips met and he pulled Ray against him, felt Ray yield at the first touch, as if he was ready to stop asking and asking, as he had lately, and give in return. A thrill lanced through Bodie at the notion, and when the kiss broke he said against Doyle's ear, "I want to play now. Take your clothes off, love."
Perhaps he was waiting for an argument, but he did not get one. Eyes feverishly bright, Doyle did as he was asked. Bodie was sure he was hiding humour, but it was affectionate humour, and he stripped right there in the lounge room without dispute, right to the skin, clothes discarded in an untidy heap. He was aroused -- and had been on the way home. Bodie had not let that escape his notice. Ray's thin, nimble hands set about the task of undressing him too, and he propelled the wanton toward the bedroom, giving him a push onto the bed. Ray knelt there, waiting...
To be told what to do, and how, as if no request was too much, as if he was ready to return all the favors he had demanded and been given lately. The look in those green eyes was hot, but gently repentant, and Bodie felt himself melt, not even wanting to exact the kind of mischievous revenge he had had in mind anymore. He sat down on the bedside and caught Doyle's face between his hands, caressing the battered cheekbone.
"What d'you want, Bodie?" Ray asked huskily.
"Anything at all," Bodie smiled.
"So tell me."
"Oh... kiss me everywhere till I scream for mercy." He flopped down, and it wasn't until Ray was kneeling astride him, licking his nose, that he realized he still had the glasses on. He chuckled, taking them off, and at once Doyle became a blur of colour. "Would you mind, just this once, if I saw who was making love to me? I mean, would it cramp your style? It must look a bit ridiculous, being in the raw complete with cucumber frames."
"Nah, it doesn't bother me," Ray smiled, sliding the gold back into place. "What's a couple of bits of glass between lovers? And as to the cucumbers among us, there's only this one I'm going to make a fuss about."
Bodie caught his breath at the caress. Doyle faithfully followed instructions, kissing and sucking until he pleaded for a moment's respite, and then desisted, panting . Bodie sat up weakly, getting his own breath back, seeing the flush in Ray's cheeks and the throbbing of the dark, hard shaft against his belly. Doyle lay sprawled on his side, still waiting, and Bodie could not resist any longer.
"Turn over, love," he asked softly, and Doyle shivered, taking to his hands and knees. Bodie kissed the soft, white contours beneath his fingers, muttering at how odd it was to be able to see every pore, every hair, every fold of that ivory skin -- two pieces of glass and the whole world was a different place.
It felt the same, though, hot and tight, muscles grabbing around him as Ray gave him everything he wanted and more, accepting him without a moment's resistance. Doyle collapsed under him as they came at last, and Bodie pressed him into the mattress, nuzzling his hair and kissing his neck and ears.
"Turn over again, pet," he asked, getting up to allow it. "I want to see your face now. See your face, while I kiss you."
Tousled, flushed and drowsy, Ray was beautiful beyond description, he thought, broken cheekbone, chipped tooth and all, as if his 'flaws' were assets too. Doyle caught Bodie's dark head, kissing him extravagantly then, laughing, he breathed on the lenses and fogged them up. Bodie only laughed, took them off and sat up, able to see his lover well enough at arm's length. "Wicked of you, Raymond." Polishing the lenses clean, he replaced them.
"Only joking," Doyle yawned. "Hey, I'm sorry, Bodie, for making you work so bloody hard in bed before... I thought you were getting fed up with me, you see, so I kept pushing you, trying to find out what it took to make you say, 'take you hands off me and go away, Doyle.'"
Bodie blinked. "Christ, is that what it's been all about? I thought you were on some new ginseng or vitamin E pill -- you're a randy little sod at the worst of times, but lately there's been no stopping you -- you've put a couple of decades on me. And -- you thought I was getting tired of being with you when you kept asking for help and I'd beg off? Damn. So you stopped asking, which made me feel like hell -- and all because I need a bit of help seeing in close up! Reading glasses."
He chuckled. "Reading? S'not what they're best for, is it? Kissing glasses. Does that sound too stupid? 'Cause it really irritates me when I can see you or kiss you, and it's ruddy marvelous when I can do both." He gazed along the length of Doyle's lean body, sticky and sheened with perspiration as it was, and bent to lick his nipples, watching them contract just by his nose. "Hey, look at these cute little fellas going all hard for me. It's bloody kinky, being able to see like this. Oh, Ray, don't laugh!"
But Doyle laughed till he cried, and in the end, Bodie just ignored him and loved him again, in living colour -- and in focus.
-- THE END --