Even Closer Quarters


Doyle had enjoyed himself, much to his surprise. After work socialising with Cowley, on the rare occasions it happened, wasn't usually a barrel of laughs, but this time Cowley's good humoured mood in the office earlier in the day had held up. He'd even started chipping in and paying for a round now and then too, which had been equally unexpected. He'd seen to it that Bodie and Doyle got the first four rounds in of course, while he was still ranting on about the damage to his bloody car window, but after that he'd started paying his share. . . and it was pure malt all round each time, which couldn't be bad.

Yeah, it had turned out to be a good night, even though Doyle hadn't seen any girls in The Red Lion who were halfway decent . . .

Cowley had even started to get a bit merry towards the end . . . well they must have put away at least seven or eight generous scotches by that time . . . and it tickled Doyle no end to see him like that.

Biggest laugh of all though was Bodie in his present predicament. Poor sod could hardly manage to hold a glass, let alone drink from it, with both hands bandaged like that.

He'd started out with one injured hand and ended up with two . . . Only partly funny though. Doyle knew it had to be painful. Crushed knuckles were no joke.

And Bodie's hold on his glass had been so precarious at times Doyle had often been on the point of taking it off him and wanting to hold it to his lips so he could at least get a decent drink . . . it would have stopped him worrying that Bodie was gonna drop the glass at any minute anyway.

He wouldn't do that in front of Cowley though, Later, when they were alone - then he'd tease Bodie about his hands, but not while Cowley was still there. That would have been carrying things too far. Bodie had so obviously been keeping up appearances in front of Cowley . . . hiding the pain as best he could . . . pretending he wasn't handicapped at all. Anything to get Cowley to put him back on active duty that bit quicker.

Doyle was proud of him . . . well, he could tell from the way Bodie sat so ramrod straight in his seat all evening, and concentrated so hard on the conversation that he must have been in agony.

They'd finally had a reprieve about ten o'clock. Security had radioed in to Cowley, needing him back at the office for some reason or other, and the old man had had to leave . . . very unwillingly Doyle thought. Yeah, well even Cowley was entitled to some relaxation, wasn't he?

Cowley's parting words to Bodie had been a succinct repetition of his doom laden warning earlier in the day . . . "Two more weeks, Bodie . . . " and that had amused Doyle all over again. . .

But he wasn't really sorry to see Cowley go. At the best of times and even with Cowley in an amenable, off duty mood, he could only take so much of the man's company. And he welcomed the chance to have Bodie to himself. What with one thing and another Bodie had been holed up in that house and they'd still been frantically trying to find him, Doyle had been so worried he hadn't known what to do with himself . . . he'd missed Bodie like hell too . . .

They were still sitting at the bar, where they'd been all evening, and almost as soon as Cowley had disappeared through the door, Bodie put down his glass on the bar top and flexed his hands painfully, grimacing. Doyle, although concerned, was both pleased and proud that Bodie didn't feel the need to keep up the pretence with him . . .

"Bloody lunatic," Doyle accused softly, "dunno why you bothered putting on an act for him in the first place. You're not fooling him you know. He's not gonna put you back on duty any sooner than he said."

A thin sheen of sweat had broken out above Bodie's upper lip and Doyle had the irrational and tender urge to soothe it away, even to put his arms round Bodie and hold him, in the forlorn hope that by doing so he might manage to take some of the pain away.

"Do me a favour, Doyle?" Bodie said hoarsely, in obvious discomfort, "one - shut up, and two, fish those painkillers the doctor gave me out of my pocket."

Doyle rummaged dutifully in Bodie's pocket till his hand found the small bottle. "Not good to take one of these when you've been drinking," he ventured.

"No alternative," Bodie said even more hoarsely, "hurts like hell."

Worried by the very fact Bodie should admit to being in pain, Doyle unscrewed the cap of the bottle and shook a pill out into the palm of his hand.

Bodie shook his head. "Make it two."

"Come on, Bodie," Doyle protested, "What're you trying to do? Knock yourself out or something?"

"That might not be a bad idea," was Bodie's only answer.

"OK, Ok," Doyle conceded, "but in that case, you're going home mate, right now. Not having you pass out on me in here. You're too bloody heavy to carry for a start."

"Come on, Ray, give," Bodie complained irritably, holding out an impatient bandaged hand for the pills.

Doyle passed them over and replaced the bottle in Bodie's pocket, then stood up, watching Bodie swallow the pills.

"Right sunshine," he said briskly, "on your feet, come on, before they start to work."

Bodie pulled a face but didn't protest, which proved more than anything else how lousy he was feeling.

He swayed a little on his feet when he stood up too, and Doyle put a steadying hand under his elbow, but removed it when Bodie gave him a suitably withering look.

Bodie didn't speak much on the drive to his flat, but from the way he was slouched in the seat next to him Doyle guessed he was half asleep already.

When he pulled up outside the flat he watched for a minute as one bandaged hand fumbled unsuccessfully with the door handle, hearing Bodie curse under his breath at his own helplessness. Then he seemed to admit defeat, and gave up trying to open the door on his own, but he didn't say anything . . . just sat staring ahead through the windscreen.

Used to this kind of ridiculously proud independence from Bodie, Doyle leaned over, sighing, and opened the door for him without comment either.

But as Bodie got out he wound down the window and called, "Oi . . . aren't you forgetting something?"

Bodie turned back questioningly, genuinely puzzled.

Doyle gave him his most convincing tongue in cheek look. "How the hell d'you reckon you're gonna get yourself undressed and into bed without any help, then?" he asked, "or have you already got the lovely Julia waiting inside to tend to your every need?"

Bodie had obviously not given that a thought. He sighed in exasperation, then asked grudgingly, "you offering or something?" with what Doyle considered to be very poor grace. He decided to let it pass though. He knew what it was like to feel lousy too.

"Yeah, if you like," he said cheerfully, bounding out of the car. He didn't mind at all in fact. This situation offered a perfect opportunity to start getting his own back for all the times Bodie had had a go at him when he'd been less than fit, but as they went inside, and he glanced at Bodie's woebegone expression, he changed his mind. Tonight wasn't the time to do it . . .

But that was OK too. The idea of looking after Bodie . . . properly, even appealed to him. It was something his stubborn partner allowed him to do all too little. Doyle had often privately thought Bodie could do with a lot more looking after than he allowed himself . . . and maybe tonight'd be a good time to start.

"How are the hands?" he asked sympathetically, as he opened the door to the flat.

"Better," Bodie said noncommittally, as he walked inside and flopped down on the sofa, "pills're working." But he put a hand to his forehead and closed his eyes, resting his head on the back of the sofa, "making me lightheaded though."

"That's because you took'em on top of the booze," Doyle pointed out reasonably enough.

"Yeah, could be," Bodie said wearily, without protest, still with his eyes closed.

"So what d'you wanna do?" Doyle asked, suddenly concerned at how pale Bodie was looking, "go straight to bed or sit and talk for a while? It's early yet."

Bodie opened his eyes and looked at him. "Yeah, stay up for a while yet," he said, "never sleep with these damned things anyway." He gestured the bandaged hands in Doyle's direction.

"Still hurting?"

"A bit." In Bodie's book of course, that meant a lot. He'd never have admitted his hands were hurting at all if they weren't killing him.

He watched as Bodie moved one hand to his collar, fiddling impotently with his tie. Heard him draw in his breath in obvious pain and finally give up the attempt to undo his tie, and move the hand back to his lap.

Crazy, proud, stubborn idiot, Doyle thought graphically, why doesn't he just ask, for God's sake? Why's it so hard for him to admit he might need anything from anyone?

He sat down next to him, grabbed ahold of him none too gently, loosening the tie for him. He undid Bodie's collar too, opening the top two buttons of his shirt. If Bodie objected to being taken in hand, well . . . .it was just too bad . . .

"Thanks," Bodie mumbled, without looking at him.

Doyle shook his head at him in exasperation. "Wanna take your jacket off too?" he asked with a hint of indulgence in his tone, and more gently than he'd intended, considering how irritated he was with Bodie right now.

Bodie nodded at him, sitting there looking so pathetically lost and helpless Doyle couldn't have had a go at him if his life had depended on it.

Bodie's fingers were already fumbling at the jacket buttons, but Doyle pushed them out of the way and completed the task himself, helping Bodie to shrug himself out of the jacket. It looked expensive as usual . . . good material . . . so, contrary to his natural way with his own clothes, Doyle didn't just fling it down in a heap, but folded it carefully and laid it neatly over the arm of the sofa. Bodie'd probably have killed him if he'd creased it anyway.

When he looked up Bodie was smiling at what he'd done. "Ah ha, you see, you're learning, aren't you, sunshine?" he said, more like his usual self, "good stuff that, you know," indicating the jacket.

"Yeah, I can tell," Doyle agreed, with the usual ironic edge to his voice he used in this kind of discussion. God, Bodie and his damned clothes . . . "Well, I didn't want you to clock me one for spoiling it, did I?" he added more impishly.

Bodie chuckled. "Would have done too . . . "

"You all right now then?" Doyle asked, with the air of an exasperated mother with a wayward child, "need anything else doing?" He looked down at Bodie's highly polished, soft leather shoes, "how about those?"

"Go on then, you've twisted my arm," Bodie said, a bit too smugly in Doyle's opinion, as he held one foot up in readiness.

"Hey, make the best of this while you can," Doyle warned, sinking to his knees on the floor by his side, "not your bloody servant, you know."

"Thought you'd refuse anyway," Bodie said sweetly, "always complaining about my sweaty feet. Ah, that's better . . . " wriggling his toes as Doyle pulled his left shoe off.

"Yeah, well, I'm prepared to make allowances for once," Doyle retaliated, pulling the other shoe off, "but don't make a habit of it." Bodie's feet didn't smell that bad actually, but it was a longstanding joke between them and Doyle wasn't gonna give the game away after all this time.

"God, the old man was incredible tonight, wasn't he?" Bodie commented, chuckling to himself as Doyle settled back by his side on the sofa.

Bodie had always been able to take more of Cowley then he could, Doyle realised. . . in fact he sometimes suspected Bodie cared for Cowley quite a lot . . . though he couldn't understand why. Not that he disliked Cowley . . . but he didn't care for the wily old sod or want his approval as Bodie seemed to . . .

"Yeah, he was more of a laugh than he usually is," he agreed grudgingly.

"Oh come on, Ray," Bodie protested, "he was bloody hilarious . . . completely pissed."

Doyle saw the funny side of that and laughed too. "Yeah, he was, wasn't he?" he said, "Christ, all those golfing stories . . . dunno where he gets 'em from. Not that I believe a word of 'em anyway."

"Yeah, but he's all right, is Cowley," Bodie observed pensively.

"Yeah, he's OK," Doyle nodded. "Anyway," he looked Bodie up and down with obvious and exaggerated appreciation, taking in the silk shirt and tie and the well cut trousers, "you certainly pulled out all the stops for him. Don't think he deserves quite that much effort myself."

"Well, I've gotta look my best for him, haven't I?" Bodie camped . . . very convincingly.

"God, you and this bloody mimicry of yours . . . you'll be telling me next you fancy him . . . "

And at Bodie's deeply offended, mortified expression, "Yeah, well, I know you, Bodie. You were hoping a bit of talent might show, weren't you? So you thought you'd look your best just in case . . . I mean with those hands you must have reckoned you'd be in with a chance of bringing out all the maternal instincts in any fanciable bird you saw . . ."

"How can you say that, darling, when you know it was all for you," Bodie camped, yet again . . .

"Give it a rest, will you?" Doyle said, laughing helplessly, "that's enough."

"Nah . . . to tell you the truth," Bodie admitted, back to normal again, "I'm so bloody cheesed off about these," indicating his hands, "I thought I'd cheer myself up and get dressed up a bit."

"Very nice too," Doyle said sincerely, deciding Bodie did need cheering up at the moment. It wasn't like him to let anything get him down so much. "It was worth the effort," he added for good measure, determined to make Bodie feel better, "there wasn't a bird in the place could keep her eyes off you . . . not to mention the fellas," he added evilly, as an afterthought.

"Oh yeah, and who is it now who needs to give it a rest?" Bodie challenged.

"No, but seriously," Doyle went on, more earnestly, turning to face him, "why all the gay jokes anyway? It's you who starts 'em you know . . . I only go along for the ride." And he was amazed to see Bodie flush faintly at what he'd said.

He recovered his composure soon enough though. He shrugged and said, "I dunno Ray. I just do it. Means I feel at ease with you, I suppose. Wouldn't do it with anyone else . . . get my teeth kicked in if I did. They'd take it the wrong way . . . you don't."

"Yeah, suppose so," Doyle said softly, for want of something . . . anything to say . . . deliberately giving Bodie time to recover, but puzzled he should have been so disturbed by his comment in the first place. "Tell you something though," he went on, "you'll probably strangle me . . . but I wanna say it anyway."

Bodie was looking at him with a very wary expression on his face, obviously wondering what was coming next.

"The hands . . . all that business, you know," Doyle said, uncharacteristically awkward all at once, "well, what I mean is, I like having the chance to look after you for a change. Makes me feel good. So, what I wanna know is," more challengingly, "are you gonna let me do that . . . or are you gonna fight me on it like you usually do?"

Bodie took his time replying, but finally he said, "wouldn't dream of it, sunshine. Like it from you anyway . . . just takes a bit of getting used to, that's all . . . " His voice was very soft, and apparently very serious.

Doyle realised that was quite an admission coming from Bodie. It made his heart beat a little faster, and filled his so full of strange, new, inexplicable feelings for this crazy, mixed-up partner of his, that, without thinking, he leaned forward and gave Bodie a quick kiss on the lips.

Bodie's reaction was almost funny. Caught completely unawares he backed off . . . very noticeably, flushed bright pink, then laughed nervously and said, "What the hell are you playing at, Ray?" in an awkward, jokey kind of way.

"Nothing," Doyle said, unperturbed, secretly amazed by what he'd just done, but not bothered by it somehow, "just doing what comes naturally." He smiled cheekily. "Well, you said yourself you'd made a special effort with your appearance tonight . . . and you just looked . . . " he shrugged . .. " . . . so . . . cute . . . you deserved a kiss . . . "

"Oh, I see . . . cute, eh?" Bodie said, going along with the mood now, "I could get offended at that, you know, curly top . . . and don't start turning into a mother hen, or I'll disown you."

"Nah, you wouldn't do that," Doyle retaliated, very sure of himself, settling closer to Bodie on the sofa, shoulder and thigh pressed up against his warmly, "besides, you're not getting rid of me so easily. I'm sticking to you like glue, mate."

He was finding it very pleasant to be so relaxed with Bodie . . . So relaxed he felt he could say almost anything to him right now . . . so relaxed he was completely unperturbed about the fact that he'd just kissed Bodie . . . Why not, for God's sake? Bodie was very precious to him. . . and he couldn't remember ever feeling so much at home with anyone . . . Well, that was his excuse, and he was sticking to it. . .

"Threat or promise?" Bodie was asking, looking across at him, eyes heavy-lidded with mock disdain.

"Either or both," Doyle said casually, "whichever you prefer."

He'd also decided Bodie was very obviously asking for trouble tonight. For a start no one had any right to go round looking like he did right now. Those dark eyes were shining so much, and those wide, soft, ever so slightly pouting lips matched Bodie's look of mock disdain so well . . .

Doyle suspected it was quite possible he was in the throes of a complete mental breakdown . . . might even get his jaw smashed in for what he was going to do . . . he only knew he was going to do it, and to hell with the consequences . . .

So he leaned over and kissed the irresistible lips again . . .

Well, they'd tasted so good the first time, hadn't they? And it was Bodie's own fault for looking so gorgeous . . .

If anything, they tasted even better the second time around. Doyle had never considered that a man's lips could taste as good as a woman's - better in fact, because there was no lipstick there to disguise the true flavour.

He was pleased to see that Bodie didn't look half as surprised this time either. He seemed to be taking it remarkably well in fact, even if the long lashed eyes did widen a fraction . . .

Doyle still hadn't got a clue why he was behaving so outrageously. Perhaps simply because Bodie did look so gorgeous tonight . . . or because the injured hands made him more vulnerable somehow . . . Well, Bodie couldn't fight him off very well for a start, with those, could he? Or perhaps it was because he'd been so worried about Bodie when he'd been missing, and was so relieved to have him back again. It had certainly made him realise just how much Bodie meant to him . . . and there was something about having Bodie injured and needing him somehow. As if a completely whole and healthy Bodie'd be too much to handle but like this, with this hands out of commission, he wasn't . . .

It was only a bit of fun anyway, wasn't it? Just carrying the gay jokes one stage further . . . not dangerous . . . wasn't gonna lead anywhere. And it wasn't as if either of them was gay . . . Nah, just a bit of affectionate fun to let Bodie know how much he meant to him. . .

Until, Bodie kissed him back, that was . . . properly . . . and Doyle felt the shock waves down to his toes in one gorgeous mass of tingling pleasure as Bodie's mouth met his.

Bodie obviously meant business too. A full, open- mouthed kiss no less . . .

That'll teach me to fool around with him, Doyle thought desperately, as the incredibly hot, moist lips continued to move over his, one bandaged hand (the left one, which was less seriously injured) holding the back of his head firmly in place . . .

Obviously the pills had worked too, and Bodie wasn't in any noticeable pain anymore. Well, he couldn't have been, could he, Doyle reasoned, if that hand could hold his head so steady and not let him get away.

He knew there were little pleasure noises coming from deep in his throat as the kiss continued, but he couldn't help it. He always did it anyway . . . some of his girlfriends had even complained about it . . . sworn it put them off. But Bodie wasn't complaining, and he seemed to be making strange little inarticulate noises himself, so Doyle reckoned they were all right on that score.

And as for the way Bodie kissed . . . God, Doyle'd never know anything like it. No wonder the women flocked round him like they did. Probably passed the word around among themselves. Talk about thorough. . . it was a bit like drowning, Doyle supposed. All he knew was that he could hardly breathe, but he didn't mind one bit . . .

By the time he broke free he reckoned the kiss must have lasted all of two minutes, and they were both breathless. Doyle ran his tongue experimentally over his swollen, tender lips, loving the feel of them, looked up into dark blue, glittering, impossibly tender eyes and swallowed hard.

"That'll teach you," Bodie said shakily, almost as if he'd read Doyle's mind. His face was deadly serious.

"Yeah, it will, won't it?" Doyle said, stunned.

They sat there, looking at each other for quite a while, without saying anything else, merely trying to breathe normally again.

Finally Doyle said, "Wanna try it again? See if we can improve on it?"

Well, in for penny, in for a pound. The damage had been done now, so why not enjoy it? He was beginning to think he'd die if he couldn't get to kiss Bodie again anyway . . . seemed the more you had of that gorgeous mouth, the more you wanted . . . a sort of cumulative effect . . .

He watched Bodie's face crease into an infectious, knowing grin at his words, as the last of the tension between them vanished.

"Wouldn't have thought that was possible, would you, sunshine?" Bodie asked softly, and oh so sexily.

Doyle's smile widened in assent, and he imperceptibly shook his head. "No, maybe not. But let's try it again anyway, just for the hell of it . . . and because it was so bloody fantastic . . . "

This time round it was better still . . . well, it left Doyle feeling more than a little turned on anyway, but a quick look at the relevant part of Bodie's anatomy assured him the same thing had happened to him too, so he didn't feel too worried about it. But the very fact that Bodie was aroused, for him too, was amazing . . . filling Doyle with a forcible and very pleasant shocked longing as he realised just how much he wanted Bodie . . . There was such a sweet, aching, yearning feeling in the pit of his stomach . . . and it was delicious . . .

All from a couple of kisses? And from another man too? But then again, he supposed if the kiss was good enough it could do that to you, no matter what the sex of the other participant . . . but still . . .

He hitched closer to Bodie, hefted one lean thigh over Bodie's expensively clad legs, bringing Bodie in closer still to his body, arms going round him, hearing Bodie sigh in his ear. The silk shirt felt so . . . incredibly soft underneath his hands, especially with the heat from Bodie's body burning through it.

Doyle took a quick sniff at him and that was very pleasant too, once he got to Bodie's true tangy scent beneath the obligatory aftershave.

He settled Bodie's head under his chin, with Bodie's mouth resting at the base of his throat. Bodie didn't seem to be complaining about being manhandled into the position Doyle wanted him in either . . . in fact he even took the hint and kissed Doyle there, his breath hot and sweet against him. Doyle shivered in response. Well, it was what he'd wanted all along . . . he loved being kissed on his throat and neck. . .

"Wasn't all a joke then, was it?" Doyle asked after a moment, "all the gay stuff?"

"Not entirely," Bodie said with remarkable smoothness in the circumstances. He pushed Doyle's open shirt collar out of the way so he could carry on placing soft kisses on Doyle's neck and the soft hair that showed at the base of his throat.

"God, Bodie . . . " Doyle managed, "what the hell're we doing here?"

"Fooling around?" Bodie suggested, not stopping what he was doing.

"Oh yeah . . . and how . . . " Doyle said shakily.

Bodie's hands were at his shirt, trying unsuccessfully to undo the buttons, and Doyle knew if he was going to put a stop to it all this was the moment to do it. If he let things go any further it'd be too late. . .

But he didn't want to stop. And it seemed from the way Bodie was behaving he didn't either. Doyle didn't even want to think how they were gonna cope with this in the morning . . . he just knew he wasn't gonna put the brakes on. He needed this . . . needed to know just what it'd be like with Bodie . . . to actually get this close to him. The curiousity alone turned him on so much. . .

And he had so much he needed to give to Bodie, so much he wanted to show him . . . No, he wasn't going to stop . . . not now it seemed Bodie could handle it too . . . His heart was pounding at the very thought of being so intimate with Bodie. He wanted to know every part of him . . . to see all those carefully guarded defences finally crumble before his eyes . . . to see Bodie that aroused. . . in a perverse kind of way wanting to prove he had the power to do that to him. . .

Bodie was still having trouble with the shirt buttons, and was muttering something suitably obscene under his breath at his inability to undo them.

When he finally gave up and lifted his head, Doyle saw that he was very frustrated . . . and also, surprisingly, looking rather unsure of himself . . .

"Wouldn't you know it . . . " Bodie said irritably, "I've wanted to do this for a hell of a long time . . . and now I finally have the chance, I can't bloody well get your shirt undone."

"You're kidding . . . " Doyle said, "you've wanted it?"

"Course I've damn well wanted it," Bodie complained, "you flash it around all over the place at the least opportunity . . . what about that cute little ass of yours for a start . . . "

"Never gave it a thought, sunshine," Doyle said with apparent innocence.

"Oh no?" Bodie challenged distrustfully.

"No," Doyle's face was a picture of outraged innocence, and didn't waver by so much as a millimetre.

"OK, I suppose I believe you," Bodie said eventually, after watching Doyle guardedly for a minute or two, "but in case you hadn't realised it, which I doubt, you're irresistible, OK? Especially here . . . "

One finger brushed delicately against the hair at Doyle's throat to illustrated the point.

"But you can't manage the shirt all by yourself, right?" Doyle teased, enjoying himself now.

"Not with these bloody hands I can't, you taunting little bugger," Bodie retaliated, "just you wait, Doyle. I'm gonna get you for this."

"Oh no, you're not," Doyle promised confidently, eyes holding Bodie's as he slowly undid his shirt and shrugged himself out of it.

"About time too," Bodie complained, snuggling against him, hands circling lazily, tracing the dark hairline down to Doyle's stomach.

Doyle enjoyed the pleasurable sensations for a moment or two, then shook Bodie none too gently and said, "Hey, you too . . . "

He turned Bodie effortlessly onto his back again, and, ignoring Bodie's groan of complaint, unknotted his tie, quite determined to have his way, and then undid his shirt, pulling it free of his trousers and sliding it off his shoulders to join his own on the floor.

He pressed himself hard against Bodie, rubbing against him, sighing at the feel of Bodie's smooth skin against his own.

"Mmmmm . . . tickles . . . " Bodie gasped, "Christ, Ray, that's incredible, when you've only ever been used to a woman . . . "

"Oh yeah . . . " Doyle agreed, still rubbing against him, head dropping to Bodie's shoulder, "hey, do you think a lot of men get round to doing this with each other . . . I mean non gays? When they're close like we are, and need to know?"

"How the hell should I know?" Bodie muttered, "God, Ray, what a topic of conversation, now of all times."

"OK, OK, keep your shirt on," Doyle said, then realised Bodie had just lost his shirt and started to giggle . . .

"How're the hands?" he asked after a moment, "think they're up to this . . . I'm not gonna have it all one sided you know . . ."

"I'll think of a way round the problem," Bodie replied confidently from somewhere in the region of Doyle's right nipple, "don't worry, I'm working on it . . . Oh Ray . . . that's gorgeous . . . " as his tongue circled the taut nipple "gotta have more . . . got to . . . "

"Much more," Doyle agreed, lifting Bodie's head and capturing his mouth beneath his own in a hard kiss.

"Not doing too badly here, are we?" Bodie commented, when he could speak.

"No, not bad," Doyle murmured, "considering we're new to it . . . All we've got to do now is work out what to do about those hands of yours."

"Oh, don't worry about that, sunshine . . . I've already worked that out . . . s'easy . . . " Bodie assured him.

"Oh yeah?" Doyle queried suspiciously, "you sound very sure of yourself all at one. How you gonna manage that then? Want my fair share, you know. . . "

"Oh, you'll get it Ray . . . More than your fair share . . . " Bodie promised. He paused, then smiled down at him wickedly, kissed him lightly on the mouth. Doyle was still looking vaguely puzzled, and Bodie was secretly finding it hard to believe he could be so naive. Still, he supposed he should put him out of his misery . . . in any case he needed to let Doyle know how he planned to get round the problem first . . . before he did anything. There was always the chance it was something Doyle wouldn't want.

'Tell you a secret . . . " he whispered in Doyle's ear, putting his plan to work, "know what part of you turns me on more than any other?"

"Oh sure, I know that," Doyle said almost arrogantly, smiling up at him, " . . . the hairy chest, right?"

"Oh no," Bodie said, shaking his head, and smiling cheekily, "see, you're wrong." His hands slid underneath Doyle's body to the small, firm, ass instead, cupping each rounded buttock.

Doyle's eyes widened in surprised amusement. "Oh, that?"

Bodie nodded.

"Oh, so that's why you always let me go upstairs first . . . and then pretend to grab hold of me . . . " Doyle said slowly, remembering a few embarrassing, occasions from the past . . . yeah, it was all starting to make sense now . . .

"Yeah," Bodie agreed. He paused, waited, but nothing happened. In other words, Doyle didn't seem to be taking the bait. "Come on then," he said at last with mock offence, "for God's sake, Ray, you might at least return the compliment. What're you doing here with me like this if nothing about me turns you on?"

"Everything about you turns me on," Doyle said softly, and sincerely.

"Yeah, but if you had to choose one thing," Bodie persevered, exasperated, emphasising each word, "come on, Ray, play fair." He was sure he already knew what the answer would be if he could only get Doyle to say it.

"Oh no, mate . . . you're angling for compliments . . . and I'm not having it," Doyle protested warily.

"Yeah, so I'm angling for compliments," Bodie agreed wearily, "so humour me, will you?"

"All right . . . if you must know," Doyle sighed, admitting defeat . . . God if it was so damned important . . . " . . . that gorgeous, pouting mouth of yours," Doyle said grudgingly . . . then added, "you're a bully, you know that, Bodie?"

"Got it in one," Bodie said triumphantly, "happy now? See . . . . you are gonna get your fair share, aren't you?" as he bent to kiss Doyle again.

"Oh yeah . . . " Doyle smiled, flushing a little as the penny finally dropped, "oh yeah . . . who needs hands anyway . . ."

-- THE END --

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