The two men were on opposite sides of the crowded, smoke-filled room, both with attractive girls in tow. The slighter of the two was with a small, pert blonde, the stockier, heavier man with a taller, luscious brunette.
But attractive as their respective girlfriends were, and lively as the party that was going on around them, the two men seemed to be finding it hard to concentrate on anything except each other. Every time they tried to concentrate their attention elsewhere their eyes inevitably met again, and they smiled at each other, as if they were sharing a very special secret known only to them.
It was a CI5 party, and CI5 parties had a reputation for being good ones, but neither of them would have chosen to be present if it hadn't been for Cowley's wrathful insistence that they at least show willing and put in a 'polite appearance', at these gatherings, where a great deal of back-slapping went on, as well as a lot of self- congratulation of whatever happened to be the current success story in CI5 ranks.
But, due to the special secret Bodie and Doyle had been sharing for the past month or so, keeping up the image of being blatant womanisers, as was inevitable at this kind of party, no longer appealed to them, and they no longer enjoyed the set pattern of 'normal' behaviour that was expected of them when they mixed with their CI5 colleagues either.
Not that they would have dared to disobey Cowley's 'request'. Far better to suffer in silence. And in fact their behaviour since they'd arrived and each picked out the girl of their choice for the night, had been exemplary...except for the small problem of not being able to take their eyes off each other...
By nature more restless and impatient, Doyle was inevitably the first to move, whispering something suitably conciliatory in his girl's ear before he left her and sauntered casually over to the bar area, where he perched elegantly on an unsubstantial bar stool, and proceeded to order himself a drink.
Bodie, pretending not to notice the subdued sensuality of Doyle's sauntering journey to the bar, which he knew had been designed for his appreciation alone, waited only a few seconds before he pecked the brunette on the cheek, flashed her his most dazzling, apologetic smile and made his own inadequate excuses, before he joined Doyle, his arm brushing Doyle's shoulder as he perched precariously on the stool next to his, allowing his knee to make fleeting contact with Doyle's thigh as he hoisted himself onto the tiny stool. To anyone watching the physical contact would have looked completely negligent and accidental. Only they knew that it wasn't.
"Well?" Bodie invited by way of greeting, looking down at the bar top rather than at Doyle, afraid of giving too much away if he looked at him directly at such close range.
"Can't take much more of this," Doyle said vehemently under his breath, "Bodie, I swear I'll die if I don't get to touch you...very soon..."
He stopped speaking abruptly, for a very young, very pretty barmaid was standing in front of them, waiting for Bodie's order.
Preoccupied with Doyle, his mind momentarily blank, Bodie flashed the girl an automatic, appreciative smile identical to the one he'd given the brunette, while he played for time.
"Scotch and soda, love...with ice..." he decided after a lengthy pause, positively beaming at her, as if daring her to guess the reason for his undoubted happiness.
Somewhat overwhelmed by the chiselled, handsome, blue-eyed face smiling at her in such a provocative way, the girl flushed and retreated to get his drink.
Doyle pointedly ignored the girl's discomfiture. It was nothing new. Doyle was well used by now to Bodie's automatic effect on the majority of the female sex.
"Whatsername not havin' one then?" he asked caustically, with a cursory nod in the direction of the brunette.
Bodie sighed expansively. "Doesn't want one mate. Says I've already given her too much to drink so I can have me wicked way with her later on. Maintains she doesn't trust me. If she only knew..."
His drink had arrived, but the little barmaid, still overwhelmed by Bodie's presence didn't appear to be up to asking for payment.
Bodie fished his wallet out of his inside jacket pocket. "Want another?" he asked Doyle. Doyle shook his head.
"Have one yourself," he invited generously, as he drew out a crisp five pound note and handed it over. The barmaid flushed again, mumbled her thanks, and withdrew to the safety of the till, Bodie seemingly oblivious to her problems.
He took a long gulp of his drink, enjoying the sound of clinking ice cubes.
"Do you think the girls'd kick up a fuss if we left?" Doyle whispered desperately.
Bodie swivelled round on his stool and turned his benevolent gaze on the throng of partygoers behind them. "Doubt it. Murph's already chattin' up my bird,"he said with a total lack of concern.
"Cheeky sod," Doyle chuckled, "yeah, he's always been a fast worker has Murph." He drained his glass, put it down on the bar top. "What's she like?"
Bodie shrugged. "The usual. Nothin' special."
"Great looker," Doyle prompted.
Bodie shrugged again and offered no comment. "Yours is pretty," he confided instead, "nice little face. Where does she work?"
It was Doyle's turn to shrug. "Don't ask me. Timbuctu for all I know."
The little barmaid had returned with Bodie's change and a drink for herself which looked suspiciously like a treble vodka and tonic. Bodie gave her a hard, searching look before he pocketed the remnants of his five pound note, reminding himself it wasn't always wise to go off appearances. But he quickly decided her eyes were too clear and soft and innocent for such machinations and flashed her another Bodie-special for good measure, making her blush a third time in total confusion.
Hardly aware of it, and struck by a sudden, brilliant idea which made him smile even more benevolently, he swivelled round again, gazing over a sea of heads. Not finding the one he was looking for, his smile broadened even further. He nudged Doyle, asked, "Where's blondie gone?"
Doyle swivelled round and looked too. "Vanished," he said flatly, "maybe she's had enough and gone home."
"And Sheila's still with Murph," Bodie mused, "looks like they're gettin' on like a house on fire."
He gave Doyle a long, cool, speculative glance, pleased when Doyle at last seemed to get the message.
"We could leave," Doyle whispered under his breath, his thigh making subtle contact with Bodie, the burning heat of it sending a shock of excitement down his spine. "Done our duty, haven't we? No need to stay any longer."
"Yeah, we could leave..." Bodie said slowly, verbalising the idea which was looking more brilliant to him every second, "but then on the other hand...we could take a look at the very large gardens we noticed when we arrived. Acres and acres of it, Ray, remember? A person could get lost out there, specially on a hot night like this."
Doyle smiled a lopsided, chip-toothed grin at him. "Never took you for a romantic," he chided lovingly, "what's got into you? Full moon tonight, is it?"
"'Tis, as a matter of fact," Bodie said softly, and then with more intensity, "Say yes, Ray. I fancy it somethin' rotten..."
"Yeah, so do I now I come to think of it," Doyle readily agreed, sliding off the uncomfortable bar stool. "Do we leave separately or together?" glancing at the open french windows that led to the gardens, a quiver of excitement in his voice now, a hard lump of anticipatory longing at his throat.
"Together," Bodie ordered, "if I leave you here, blondie could come back and grab you again."
"No chance," Doyle assured him with great conviction...
It was good to hear the raucous chatter and the din of loud music slowly fade and die as they moved ever deeper into the gardens, treading soundlessly on the springy carpet of grass under their feet.
As soon as they were outside the velvety heat of the midsummer night air hit them too, enveloping them in its richness, filling their senses with the scents of rose and honeysuckle from the garden.
"This way," Doyle whispered urgently, like a child with a guilty secret, as he took Bodie's hand in his and led him down the sloping lawns to the left, veering away from the house, "some bushes down here. S'more private."
"Eyes like a cat," Bodie complimented him softly, "come here a minute," suddenly swinging Doyle round into his arms and giving him a swift, open-mouthed kiss. Doyle gasped at the unexpectedness of the caress and pressed himself against Bodie, loving the hardness between Bodie's legs against his own.
"Still too close to the house," he panted, when Bodie released him.
"Coward," Bodie taunted, running a lingering fingertip down Doyle's cheek, then suddenly hugging him again, simply because his feelings for him at that moment were so intense he couldn't bear not to hug him again. "Need you..." he whispered huskily, his mouth resting on the tender, sweet-smelling skin of Doyle's neck.
"That's why we're out here in the first place," Doyle whispered back, "because we couldn't wait for each other till we got home, right?"
"Right," Bodie agreed.
"So let go of me and let's find the best secluded spot," Doyle chided.
They padded silently even deeper into the gardens, so far from the house now the sounds of the party had died away completely and they could only hear the gentle swishing of heavy branches overhead, and their own uneven, excited breathing.
Content as ever to give way to Doyle and allow his wilful partner to make the decisions, in this area of their relationship at least, Bodie trod happily by Doyle's side, loving the small, hot fingers curled round his own, waiting patiently and indulgently for Doyle to discover what he considered to be the right spot for their tryst.
"Here," Doyle said at last, stopping in midstride and taking a look round to make sure.
They were in a small, leafy arbour, shielded on all sides by thick bushes of honeysuckle and mimosa, the combined scents overpoweringly heady and sweet, drugging the senses.
Amused by the look of concentration on Doyle's face as he carefully checked out the small, eight or nine foot expanse of lawn inside the arbour, making absolutely sure this was where he wanted them to be, Bodie smiled as he awaited Doyle's decision.
"Yeah, here," Doyle nodded at last, reaching for Bodie and pulling him down beside him on the dry, spiky grass, "you'll feel okay here too?"
"Feel okay anywhere with you," Bodie admitted into a tangled mass of curls as he stretched out beside Doyle and pulled him into his arms.
"No, don't do anythin'...not yet..." Doyle said as Bodie's hands automatically started to run up and down his body, caressing him, "wanna lie like this with you for a while," his arms circling possessively round Bodie's back, pulling him closer, and twining his legs round him, "tuck your head under my chin..." and as Bodie obeyed, "that's right ... like that ... nice ..." rubbing his cheek over Bodie's fine, silky hair.
Bodie was used to allowing Doyle to give this kind of order in the early stages of their lovemaking, and truly didn't mind it ... loved lying in stilled contentment with Ray like this, for he gained as much pleasure from the quiet holding times as he did from their lovemaking. The joy that was to be had from merely holding Ray in his arms, and stroking and petting and kissing him was as dear to Bodie as anything else they might do together.
And Doyle, revelling in the pleasure of being allowed to hold Bodie for a change, without argument, instead of being held by him, as was usually the case if Bodie had anything to do with it, had his own reasons to be perfectly content too.
Not that Doyle hadn't got used to Bodie's habitual protectiveness and his automatic physical dominance whenever they made love. He knew for some reason it still wasn't easy for Bodie to take any kind of 'submissive' role with him, even in these quiet times. And it had even excited him at first to have a lover whose physical and emotional strength equalled his own, for Bodie's almost overpowering masculinity had always been exciting to Doyle.
The only problem was that Doyle sometimes longed so much to have things the other way round, so he could be dominant in their lovemaking, and persuade Bodie to show a little more vulnerability -- not out of any sense of power, or desire for Bodie to give way to him, but only as a means of completing their love and making sure Bodie knew beyond any doubt that he was loved in every possible way...
But it seemed that was something Bodie, as yet, wasn't prepared to allow...
"S'good, feelin' so right with you," Doyle whispered in the darkness, "seein' you with a girl I mean and knowin' it's me you want and not her."
"Should think so too," Bodie murmured, snuggling closer, "told you often enough. Gotta get rid of all that insecurity, haven't I?"
Doyle smiled and hugged him harder.
"Never realised that was why you were always such a bolshy little sod," Bodie went on conversationally, "I dunno, Ray, all that defensiveness. So different underneath ..." with a soft, nuzzling kiss to Doyle's Adam's apple.
"You feel the same with me?" Doyle asked, looking down at the dark, silky head on his shoulder, "sure of me and all that?"
"Yeah," Bodie sighed, stretching against him, "never thought I would, but I do."
Doyle didn't know whether to believe that or not. "Sure enough for anythin'?" he probed, carefully ... sure enough to want me to make love to you too, he wanted to add, and didn't ...
Bodie lifted his head and looked up at him, his eyes glittering in mock suspicion in the moonlight. "Sure enough for what? What're you up to, Doyle?"
"Nothin'," Doyle hedged in wide-eyed innocence, losing his nerve, not feeling the time was right to voice any more of his worries. "You gonna kiss me or what?" he taunted instead, "doesn't normally take you this long ..."
"It was you ... you didn't want to ... 'let's lie here,' you said, 'not doin' anythin' ' ..." Bodie started to protest, before he realised he was being teased, and captured Doyle's laughing mouth in a rich, thorough kiss, their tongues meeting and duelling together in languid, easy familiarity.
"You taste of Scotch," Bodie accused when the kiss was over.
"That's only to be expected," Doyle explained huskily "considerin' that's what I was drinkin' at the bar. Anyway, so do you for that matter." He nibbled expertly at Bodie's soft, parted lips. "Don't taste of Scotch here though. This is all pure Bodie. Like honey ... so sweet ..." waiting to hear Bodie's reaction to the compliment for he knew this kind of love talk still sometimes embarrassed him. He wouldn't have carried on doing it if he hadn't been sure Bodie secretly enjoyed it too, but getting him to admit to it was another matter.
"And you taste like rich, red wine," Bodie said suddenly, as he licked delicately at Doyle's lips too, taking Doyle by surprise with the unexpected confidence, "... very fruity ..." Strong firm hands took hold of Doyle. "Come 'ere ... let's get all those clothes off, specially this ..." as he undid Doyle's tie, bought specially for the occasion, with almost ruthless thoroughness, "don't like it when I can't see all that gorgeous hair on your chest ..."
The easy adoption of the 'dominant' role -- what Doyle privately called Bodie's 'caveman tactics' was both predictable and expected.
Not protesting, Doyle sat up, slipped his jacket off and unbuttoned his shirt, pulling it free of his trousers, shivering as Bodie kissed the top of each shoulder with moist, burning hot lips, as he helped him to slide his arms out of it.
Doyle kicked his shoes off and peeled his socks off too. "We are completely private here, aren't we?" he checked, his hand pausing at his trouser zip.
"Completely," Bodie confirmed breathlessly, one hand already circling encouragingly over the bulge at Doyle's groin through the trousers.
"That's all right then," Doyle said cheerfully, sliding the zip down and wriggling trousers and briefs down his legs for Bodie to pull off, and then lying flat on his back on the grass, wriggling pleasurably, enjoying the feel of the soft, spiky tufts of it pressing into his fevered skin.
"Feels great," he confided, aware that Bodie was looking at him intently and excitedly in the darkness, and enjoying his performance.
Aware of something else that Bodie enjoyed too, Doyle deliberately allowed his hand to slide sensually down the front of his body and fleetingly fondle his semi-erect cock before he sat up, and completed the little erotic pageant he had begun for Bodie's benefit, by putting his arms round Bodie's neck and leaning close to whisper, "Feels best on my cock. Havin' all this warm, velvety night air on it. Turnin' me on ..."
"Yeah, I can see that, can't I, you randy little devil," Bodie chuckled, half embarrassed by Doyle's wantonness, and very aware of the insistently upward curving shaft of Doyle's shadowy sex in the moonlight, stroking a lingering fingertip along it, before he gave a little sigh of pleasure at the beauty of it, and lowered his head to kiss the moist head.
He pushed Doyle back to lie flat on the grass as he settled down to suck in earnest, his hands pressing down hard on Doyle's hipbones, holding him still.
Doyle wasn't surprised Bodie was following the all too familiar pattern of their love-making so soon, for this was what normally happened as soon as he'd undressed -- Bodie simply took hold of him, never allowing any question or argument about it, and proceeded to pleasure him, as he was doing now. And often with such a ferocious determination and concentration he hardly seemed to care if Doyle caressed him in return. It was as if the whole process for Bodie was bound up in only giving pleasure, and not taking it too -- as if his own pleasure was superfluous to him.
Doyle had often seen it as a deliberate negation of Bodie's own needs, as if Bodie might not even consider himself worthy of being loved, and it had always troubled him, for he knew it had to indicate that there was something seriously amiss for Bodie in this area of their relationship.
Time and again he'd been made painfully aware that there were only certain caresses Bodie would accept from him too, and without actually saying it in so many words, Bodie had also made it plainly evident that the idea of Doyle making love to him ... properly ... was out of the question.
At first, Doyle had accepted it without too much anxiety, knowing that underneath the bravado Bodie was really very shy, and assuming things would automatically work themselves out as they got more used to being lovers, and Bodie learned to trust him ... completely. But the days had turned to weeks and nothing had changed. And tonight, Doyle was suddenly not prepared to leave things as they were any longer. Determined to finally get to the root of the problem, he twisted away from Bodie's still busily working mouth, pushing Bodie's heavy weight off him.
"Come on, you're not even undressed yet," he chided, "take your clothes off..." pleased when Bodie offered no protest, but merely lay, balanced on his hands, looking down at him for a moment, before he sat up and took off his jacket.
Doyle's hands were already at Bodie's trousers. "Let's see if you like all this warm velvety air on your cock too," he whispered sexily, "bet you will ... s'great ..."
Knowing how physically selfconscious Bodie was, though he also knew Bodie would rather die than admit to it, Doyle offered no comment on the beauty of the well-muscled body that was being revealed to him as Bodie undressed, and each layer of restrictive clothing was peeled off with trembling, urgent fingers.
It would only have embarrassed Bodie if he'd said anything, for past experience had taught Doyle that this was another 'no go' area, and that Bodie would clam up on him and become almost awkwardly embarrassed as soon as the subject was mentioned, as if he'd convinced himself Doyle had to be lying to him, and the compliments couldn't possibly be true.
Quite why Bodie felt himself to be so unattractive was a mystery to Doyle, but knowing it, and yet feeling powerless to do anything about it, tugged at his heartstrings in an unbearably painful way.
Why, watching Bodie undress right now was enough to make Doyle go into verbal rhapsodies about the smooth flawlessness of his pale skin over all that hard, perfectly developed muscle ... and each tiny, pink, delicious-tasting nipple .. and the strong, square shape of his shoulders ... and the breathless dip of perfectly formed collarbones ... and the exquisite inward curve of his back ... not to mention the beauty of the rich twin mounds Doyle so loved to feel in his hands, and the power of the strong-muscled thighs around his own whenever they made love ...
As for what Doyle considered to be the most important part of Bodie's anatomy... His hands reached for Bodie's shoulders and slid sensually all the way down his chest and stomach to his groin, rubbing gently over the mound there, as he unzipped Bodie's trousers for him and worked his hand inside to the hot, hard, darkly-furred heat he loved so much, his other hand working the trousers down Bodie's legs at the same time, to lie in a discarded, crumpled heap on the grass. He pushed Bodie onto his back and spread his legs, aware of the slight, instantly quelled resistance from Bodie before he acquiesced, and of Bodie's dark, watchful eyes on him all the time. Doyle rested his hands on top of corded, lightly-downed ticklish thighs, so he could balance himself, and nuzzle his mouth and cheek through the satin scent and feel of Bodie's straining sex -- kissing, licking, nuzzling, worshipping it, his tongue flicking out to tease and dampen the already moist head of the cock and the thick curling dark hair surrounding it that he so loved to play with, for he often spent a ridiculous amount of time merely kissing Bodie there and twirling the dark silky curls around his fingers.
It was his major obsession as far as Bodie was concerned, and he knew it had its roots in the first time they'd made love. He'd never forgotten seeing Bodie's beautiful cock for the first time, rising from its dark protectiveness, or the shock and sheer sensuality of realising that although his partner's body might be practically hairless everywhere else, he more than made up for it here.
That first wonderful time had had its drawbacks too though, for Doyle remembered it had turned him on so much he'd come much too soon, even before they'd begun to touch and explore each other properly. He'd been convinced ever since that he'd spoiled it for both of them that first time due to his lack of control, in spite of Bodie's protestations to the contrary. And even now, though he was more used to it, the sheer sexiness of the thick bush of hair could take his breath away when he undressed Bodie.
Bodie had been told of course and, for some reason, didn't find this admission from Doyle as embarrassing as he did mention of his other physical attributes. He seemed to find it all hugely amusing in fact, and teased Doyle endlessly about it...
"In my favourite spot again," Doyle said, still nuzzling, confident and relaxed about loving Bodie in this particular way, for it was obviously something Bodie revelled in. It was only when Doyle sought to explore other areas of the stocky body that Bodie's inhibitions showed themselves. "You smell all rich and tangy ..." Doyle complimented him, "mmm, lift up a bit for me ..." Bodie obediently lifting his hips and circling them against Doyle, so Doyle could nuzzle at him even more closely.
Loving Bodie's sighs of pleasure as he caressed him, Doyle suddenly felt as if he could carry on doing this all night. It was so good to have Bodie pliant and unresisting under his hands, and to know he was bringing him pleasure. He felt all powerful, as if he had it within him to control both their responses, delaying the moment of climax again and again, till they were drowning in pleasure ... But, knowing his own limitations, if not Bodie's, he drew back when the long, thickened shaft was erect and quivering in his mouth, just as Bodie whispered roughly, "Come up here, will you, for God's sake. Can't get at you."
Doyle wriggled obediently up to him but, unwilling to break Bodie's unusually quiescent mood, he trailed his hands up over Bodie's stomach and chest as he did so, making Bodie twist and squirm with delight, each muscle quivering under Doyle's exploring fingers, Doyle revelling in the way Bodie's warm, firm hands were running carelessly over his back and shoulders at the same time, sending goosebumps down his spine.
Doyle found a rosebud-hardened nipple on his upward journey too, and settled hot, moist lips on it, nipping and sucking as Bodie's fingers buried themselves tightly in his hair, and he lifted himself to the exquisite lapping and sucking of Doyle's mouth, pressing him closer. Doyle wriggled higher as Bodie's free hand searched familiarly between his buttocks, finding the hot, tight passage, one and then two moistened fingers slipping inside to circle and slide in and out to the same insistent rhythm as Doyle's sucking mouth, making Doyle feel the pleasure waves shooting all the way down his spine and the backs of his legs ... right down to his toes ...
"You're all relaxed tonight ..." Bodie said thickly, his voice rich with desire, "beggin' for it ..." suddenly assuming control and using his greater strength to twist away from Doyle and tangle his fingers harshly in Doyle's hair so he could forcefully lift Doyle's head and kiss him hard.
"Yeah, all the way tonight ..." Doyle promised, once the kiss was over, forcing Bodie to close his eyes as he rubbed his nose over long, satin-dark eyelashes and the babysoft skin on Bodie's upper cheeks, "but not like it's always been before. Not this time. I wanna do it to you ... love you so much. Don't stop me, Bodie like you've always done before. Let it happen, please ..."
Relieved to at last have said the words, for he'd never actually got to the point of verbalising his desire before, it was some seconds before Doyle realised Bodie had frozen against him, muttered, "No, Ray, that's not on and you know it ..." and that was in the process of awkwardly trying to pull away from him. Hurt immediately took over from Doyle's sense of relief, his pain making him want to hurt in return ...
"Christ, but you're a selfish bastard, Bodie," he hit out, from the rising conviction Bodie couldn't truly love him if he could so pointedly refuse him this, without even being prepared to talk about it, "you fuck me senseless every night of the week, and have been doin' for the past month, and then when I finally ask the same kind of belonging from you, you clam up on me and don't wanna know."
Bodie had shrunk away from him and was sitting up, his arms hugging his knees. He was looking down and Doyle couldn't see his face in the darkness. "Every time I've even tried to talk about it," Doyle went on relentlessly, "every time I've let you know how much I need you belonging to me too, I get the same reaction. What the hell am I supposed to think, Bodie? It's like you don't love me at all. Don't you know how much it hurts me?" Nonplussed that Bodie hadn't already retaliated and lashed out at him too, he sensed rather than saw Bodie flinch away from him at the words, and was instantly ashamed of what he'd said. Bodie's love wasn't, and never had been in question ...
His anger gone as suddenly as it had flared, Doyle put out his hand, trying to make amends, touched Bodie's arm lightly, the skin hot and moist to the touch. "For God's sake, talk to me about this, will you Bodie? Please..." And when there was no response. "What is it?" more gently, "is it too much for you to take with a man? Does it seem effeminate, is that it?"
Bodie's hand closed over Doyle's on his arm, crushing his knuckles. "Mustn't think I don't love you," he said brokenly, "love you more than life itself."
Doyle nuzzled his lips over Bodie's cheek. "Shouldn't have said that. Didn't mean it. Know you do."
He heard Bodie take a deep ragged breath, and, with a rush of tenderness, lowered the dark, downbent head to his shoulder, gentling it there, sensing Bodie was on the point of telling him at least part of what was troubling him,and forcing himself to be patient and not inhibit Bodie by saying anything else.
"S'nothin' about you ... nothin' you've done," Bodie said eventually, and from the breathless, unevenness of his voice, Doyle knew he was on the point of tears,
"s'me, not you."
"Tell me," Doyle persevered, "no secrets Bodie. Not between us. Not about something like this."
He felt Bodie half-pull away from him again and determinedly drew him back, not prepared to let him go.
"... things that happened to me years ago ..." Bodie said haltingly, "they had more of an effect on me than I thought at the time."
"When?" Doyle asked, his heart pounding, terrified now at what Bodie might have to tell him, "how many years ago?"
"When I was overseas," Bodie said, so softly Doyle could hardly hear him. "Overseas?" Doyle queried softly, "overseas as a mercenary, you mean?" and felt an imperceptible nod of Bodie's head in answer.
"... not the first man I've been with," Bodie said, a sob catching in his throat as Doyle held him tighter, "... way of life out there. Bloody horrible. But you get used to it. Amazin' how you can get used to anythin' in time ..."
Doyle was too busy at first assimilating the knowledge that Bodie had had other male lovers to understand precisely what it was Bodie was admitting to him. It both hurt and shocked him to realise he wasn't the first, as he'd automatically assumed until now, but the hurt was almost instantly pushed aside and replaced by an impotent, protective rage that anyone should have dared to cause Bodie pain...
"You mean you were forced?" he asked, trying to keep his voice as even as he could for Bodie's sake. "Nah, not forced," Bodie said flatly, with barely a pause, seeming to be able to speak more easily about it now, "it was just the way things worked over there. If you were young you were fresh, easy game. You were initiated, and then you were used. It goes with the job ... it's all based on dominance and pain. Only now I have trouble believing it could ever be anythin' else if I let it happen again, even with you ..."
His confession seemed to have helped him, for he was lying heavy and limp and relaxed in Doyle's arms now, making no attempt to get away. Overwhelmed by pain, for Bodie's pain was always his too, Doyle felt tears spring to his own eyes. With a sudden, newfound wisdom he hadn't known he possessed, Doyle realised that this was perhaps enough for one night ... that he shouldn't push to know more straightaway, in case Bodie couldn't take it. He knew that in this at least he must show uncharacteristic restraint and patience. It was too much to hope to get to the crux of the pain tonight, for he was well aware of the courage and trust it must have taken for Bodie to have admitted even this much to him. And talking wasn't always the best, or the only way of easing the pain ... there were alternatives ...
Perhaps then, tonight was for other ways of proving to Bodie that this ... stumbling block ... need no longer spoil their relationship ... other ways of proving to Bodie that his fears weren't relevant between them. Suddenly confident of his own ability to reassure Bodie, sure enough of their love to be convinced he could help without causing Bodie's distress, if only Bodie trusted him enough, he whispered, "You've never even let me touch you properly there, you know. Always pushed my hand away. You gonna do that if I put my hand there now?"
There was no discernable response from Bodie, who merely continued to lie cradled in his arms, but encouraged by that alone, Doyle gently lay him down again, positioning them both on their sides, facing each other. He pressed his lips chastely to Bodie's in the gentlest of kisses, then to his nose and cheek and forehead, and finally each eyelid, running his fingers through Bodie's short, fine hair.
"You're beautiful," Doyle whispered, "so beautiful. Only you never let me tell you, and I want to so much. Why Bodie? Is it all tied in with this as well?" Bodie looked at him intently for several long seconds, as if Doyle's pronouncement was something he might only just have realised the truth of himself.
"Probably," he said at last, "you get to hate yourself after a while. Your body anyway, and what it's been used for."
"Oh Bodie ..." Doyle murmured, gathering him in his arms, "don't ... don't say things like that ..."
He slid his hands over the velvet smooth skin of Bodie's shoulders and down over his back to his waist, stroking there.
"Never hurt you," he reassured, his voice breaking, "only ever love you. So tell me if you don't like what I do, okay?" relieved when Bodie offered no resistance, but took another, deep, shuddering breath and nodded again into his shoulder. Doyle allowed his hands to drift downwards, stroking over vulnerable mounds of buttocks, and then very gently ran a fingertip along the hot, dry crack between them. But Bodie's heart was suddenly pounding furiously against his, his breath gusting raggedly in Doyle's ear, and, afraid he was going too far, Doyle stopped and waited, not quite sure what to do, amazed when Bodie suddenly curled one knee up onto his chest, giving him more access and whispered, "S'okay ... go on ..." Doyle withdrew the hand and brought it to his lips, moistening his fingers, the tangy taste of Bodie hot and sweet on them, and then returned the fingers to the crack, circling one finger slowly over the tiny pucker of flesh, knowing Bodie had to be enjoying it when he sighed and gasped in his ear and thrust back to the hand, wanting Doyle to carry on.
The passage was incredibly hot and tight and resisting as Doyle tried to slip the finger inside, so he lifted Bodie's head and kissed him deeply and thoroughly, and immediately felt him relax so he could push the finger home. Bodie moaned softly, whether in anguish or delight, Doyle wasn't sure. "Want me to stop?" he asked anxiously, and was rewarded by a deep, answering kiss from Bodie which took his breath away. He risked circling the finger inside the tight passage in a slow in and out rhythm, and when Bodie moaned again, dared to add a second finger to the first, finding now Bodie was more relaxed it slid easily inside. He could feel Bodie's erection, which had withered and died during the traumatic conversation, throbbing gently against his own, and rubbed himself against it, making Bodie sigh again and whisper his name.
"Mustn't be frightened," Doyle whispered, "not with me ..."
"'M not ..." Bodie whispered back, "didn't know it could feel like this ..." He found Doyle's mouth again, kissing him ferociously, rapturously, Doyle chuckling with delight once he was released from the overpowering strength of the kiss.
"Roll over on your stomach then, if you're still not frightened," Doyle dared to say, "go on, wanna know everything about you. Trust me..." touched when Bodie immediately did as he was told and lay there, awaiting his fate.
He knelt between Bodie's spread thighs, began to kiss and lick all the way down Bodie's back, lingering for a while on each rounded buttock, kissing them and using his teeth to nip at them gently, before he spread Bodie's legs wider and dared to place a soft, burning kiss right at his centre, feeling Bodie buck abruptly upwards to him, and hearing his sharp cry of pleasure at the alien touch.
Doyle kissed him there again, allowing just the tip of his tongue to touch the vulnerable circle of flesh this time, tasting Bodie richly again, and overwhelmed by it, his cock straining erect and painful over his belly at the taste of him on his tongue. At the third darting thrust of Doyle's tongue, Bodie cried out again and Doyle ran a gentle hand down his back, wordlessly soothing him, then used both hands to part his buttocks so his tongue could reach him properly and find his ultra-sensitive centre. Using a fingertip to spread the opening, he lapped in total abandonment, darting his tongue right inside, certain he would come any second from the knowledge that he was caressing Bodie so intimately. Bodie had clambered onto his knees, so he could feel more of the impossibly exquisite pleasure, and Doyle reached to the front of his body to take hold of the damp, rigid cock, stroking in time to the darting sucking of his tongue, Bodie wriggling and squirming against him at the exquisite double stimulation.
"God, I'll come ..." he moaned, "Ray, for God's sake ... never known anythin' like it ..." Doyle caught his breath so he could speak, though when he did, his voice came out only as a breathy, husky whisper.
"Oh no," he managed, "not till I make love to you anyway." He kissed his way down Bodie's back again. "Let me?"
"Won't work ... can't work ..." Bodie protested.
"Yes it can ... and it will ..." Doyle persisted, the head of his cock already nudging at the moistened entrance, "as long as you're not frightened."
He pressed home a little, trembling, his arms and legs weak, as if to reassure Bodie how pleasurable it could be if he would only let it happen, and was rewarded when Bodie said hoarsely, "Feels good ... God, but it feels good ..." as the huge cock slid halfway home, and Doyle rested, panting, trying to stay in control for Bodie's sake, overwhelmed that he was at last being allowed to make love to him.
"Go on ... all the way ..." Bodie's harsh, rasping voice insisted, and Doyle edged deeper, till he was finally buried to the hilt, rich auburn curls tickling Bodie's ass.
Doyle took a deep, calming breath, trying to ignore the uncontrollable throbbing in the head of his cock, and the luxurious feel of the hot, snug passage, squeezing it so tightly, and the unbearable urge to move ... to thrust ... and take his pleasure ... which ultimately would be no pleasure at all unless Bodie shared it.
"Hush..." he soothed, running his hand possessively over Bodie's silky hair and one smooth-skinned shoulder, "that's it love, I'm in you ... all the way. Okay? Want me to pull out?"
"Never..." Bodie sighed, "want you inside me the rest of my life ... so big .. fillin' me ... wonderful..." Doyle pulled back a little and pushed forward again in a first, experimental thrust of delicious pleasure, moaning at the sweet rubbing friction of it on his cock, then thrust again ... a little harder ... and again, finding a rhythm, but still trying to keep control and make it as gentle as he could, which was very hard when all he could hear was Bodie's hoarse, rough voice begging him to fuck him harder ... And when the pleasure finally peaked for Doyle, at the wonderful moment when he knew he was on the point of coming, and he jolted his seed into Bodie's willing body, it was made all the more perfect because Bodie spurted uncontrollably into his hand at the same moment...
They lay in a sticky, entwined, naked bundle of arms and legs, kissing, stroking, cuddling each other still, unable to stop, even though they were exhausted... "Hope you're satisfied. You've corrupted me, you have, you little sod," Bodie accused lovingly, running a heavy hand down a silky-furred thigh, "won't be able to get enough of it now you know. Be beggin' you to fuck me every hour of the day and night ..."
"Nice thought," Doyle murmured sleepily from his cosy resting place on Bodie's chest, after he'd disengaged his mouth from a taut, straining nipple so he could speak. "Okay, any hour of the day or night, as long as you'll still do it to me now and then too."
"Nah," Bodie said disgustedly, "don't wanna do that anymore. That's no fun. Wanna go all doe-like and submissive on you from now on, don't I?"
Doyle laughed just as much as he'd been intended to, the idea of a doe-like, submissive Bodie seeming preposterous.
"Does that mean it was good?" he asked drowsily, happy as Bodie sounded, needing to be absolutely sure he was all right, rubbing his toes affectionately over his. "Means it was the most wonderful thing I've ever known," Bodie whispered with a soft, pursed kiss to the tangled curls on Doyle's forehead. Bodie seemed so relaxed, Doyle was sorely tempted to pursue the subject further again, and get him to open up about it a little more, but he resisted the temptation as selfish. Enough was enough. He was sure he'd conquered the fear and that was sufficient for one night. Bodie would tell him how and why he'd come to be afraid in his own good time ...
"Oh that's all right then," Doyle sighed instead, with a loud yawn, stretching himself languorously along the whole length of Bodie, "Mmm, so good to hold, all strong and soft and hard at the same time ... comfy ..." finding the nipple he'd abandoned earlier on and lazily swirling his tongue over it again.
"You like bein' sucked like this too," he accused knowingly, after a few seconds thorough lapping, "go on, admit it. You always swear it's only me who likes it, but I know. I mean, look at 'em ..." brushing his palm over the other identically straining nipple too, "pushin' up there for all their worth. Can't get enough of it, can they?"
"Just shut up, Doyle and get on with it," Bodie said in mock irritation, looking down at the nipples nevertheless and seeming impressed by what he saw, "I can't be responsible for things certain parts of my body do when you get hold of 'em. Got a mind of their own, haven't they? And if they like you suckin' them, it's their business, not mine. Nothin' to do with me."
"Course not," Doyle agreed, with a deep, throaty chuckle. Bodie suddenly rolled them over, trapping Doyle underneath him, lying heavily on top of him.
"You're all sticky," Doyle said, squirming and rubbing himself against Bodie's limp cock, "lift up a minute ..." sliding his hand down between their bodies to collect precious drops of the silvery liquid that was already drying stickily on Bodie's stomach, and then moving the hand to his mouth and luxuriously lapping up the cream. "Yeah, I was right ... sweet as honey ..." he confirmed as his tongue dipped down in between each finger to collect every drop.
"Shameless," Bodie accused, silencing him with a passionate kiss. "God, just look at us. You'd think we could stay here all night. Gotta move..."
"Yeah, but in a minute," Doyle said, holding him still above him, not letting him go.
Bodie's face in the darkness was unreadable, merely a series of dark planes and hollows, though his eyes were glittering darkly at him. "What is it?" Bodie asked softly.
"Nothin'... only ... I didn't force you, did I?" Doyle asked, unable to stay silent on this one point, much as he knew how much Bodie hated what he called 'postmortems', "it seemed the right thing to do ... couldn't be sure ... didn't make you do anythin' you really didn't feel good about, did I?"
"Oh Ray," Bodie said helplessly, "you couldn't do that. This was love, remember?"
"Oh yeah, so it was," Doyle said impishly, his relief clearly evident.
"Come on ..." Bodie released him and scrambled to his feet, pulling Doyle up after him and giving him a light, cheeky slap on the rump. "The number of times I wanted to do that before I finally got you in bed," he confided, hugging Doyle.
"Yeah, but you did it anyway," Doyle accused, recalling at least one occasion when those wandering hands had found their target.
"Wasn't bare then though, was it?" Bodie taunted, "and now it is, and it's all mine too," with proud ownership, running his hands over it.
"And this is mine," Doyle said softly, repeating the caress on Bodie, "after tonight, all mine. Does it hurt?" indulgently, with a nuzzling kiss to Bodie's neck, "tell me. I wanna know."
"Yeah, it hurts like hell if you want the truth," Bodie admitted in all seriousness, "I'm all sore inside."
"Sorry ... I'll kiss it better when we get home ..." Doyle went on just as indulgently, but not sounding in the least bit sorry about it. "Doesn't hurt too much, does it?" He added though, more seriously.
"Stop fishin' for compliments, Doyle, Bodie accused, "you know I love it. Reminds me where you've been, doesn't it? It's a fantastic burnin' feelin' inside ... burnin' all the way through me." He leaned closer, nibbled on Doyle's ear, making him shiver, whispered into it, "your cock was so big and hard when you put it in me ... couldn't believe it ..."
Doyle smiled to himself, well pleased. It seemed being made love to might have loosened Bodie's tongue, and a few of his remaining inhibitions too...
"That's what it's like when you're in me too," he whispered back confidentially, "feels like I'll burst. S'wonderful."
"Yeah, but you don't hurt," Bodie pointed out, "at least you say you don't."
"Not anymore I don't," Doyle countered, "which isn't surprisin' considerin' the amount of practice we get and the number of times you've done it to me ..."
He suddenly shivered, goosebumps coming up on his bare arms. "Cold..."
"Let's get dressed then, " Bodie said with another kiss, "Time we were goin' anyway. It's gotta be the middle of the night."
Doyle, busy collecting his discarded trousers and stepping into them, said, "Hey, have you thought about that?" He glanced at his watch. "It's after three.
Everyone might have gone home." Bodie, in the process of zipping up his trousers, hrugged and smiled a cheeky grin at him. "That's okay," he said, "I can think of worse things. We can stay here in our special place, can't we? Spend the night ..." coming over to Doyle, his trousers decently fastened, but still barechested, to steal another kiss, further evidence of his lessening selfconsciousness, for it was Bodie's normal practice to scramble back into his clothes and get himself all covered up again as soon as he could after they'd made love if they weren't spending the night in bed together.
"Another nice thought," Doyle agreed, pressing and rubbing his own bare chest against Bodie, making him catch his breath.
"Tickles..." Bodie confided, "God, Ray, can't stop loving you ... can't ... not tonight ... come here ..." kissing him again and then bending his head to take several soft kisses from each of Doyle's neat, brown nipples. "Love all this hair ticklin' my mouth ..." Bodie whispered between kisses, "feel fantastic, so happy ... as if there's nothin' I couldn't do tonight ..."
The moist, caressing mouth and the wonderfully loving words were making Doyle instantly harden and throb again. He decided it was well past time for them to leave. "Come on, you sex-mad lunatic," he teased, giving Bodie a gentle push away from him, "you tryin' to get me goin' again or somethin'?"
"Somethin' like that," Bodie agreed silkily, but did as he was told and let go of Doyle, going back to his half-finished dressing.
"Wouldn't mind spendin' the night here to be honest," Doyle said, looking round their refuge, as he pulled his jacket on, "it's a special place for us now, isn't it?"
"Very special," Bodie agreed as they made their way back across the garden arm in arm.
"Well, we did what Cowley told us to do," Doyle said, "we put in an appearance. Can't complain about that, can he?" "Course he can, and he will," Bodie maintained, automatically parting from
Doyle as the still raucous din of the party reached their ears again, and they found, much to their disappointment that most of the guests were still there, and the party still in full swing. Doyle sighed heavily as they stepped back inside. "We'll have to come again," he said, reading Bodie's mind.
"Yeah, course we will," Bodie smiled a special, secret smile at him, his eyes sparkling, looking happier than Doyle ever remembered seeing him.
"And," Bodie went on in a low whisper, "I know exactly what we're gonna do when we get there too, and it's not what we did tonight either. Bit one-sided that was.
Think we'll have it the other way round next time."
"Right, you're on," Doyle promised as they rejoined the party throng, "wholives here anyway? Anyone we know? We'd better introduce ourselves so we make sure of gettin' another invite ..."
-- THE END --