Bearding the Cow


(Story 2 in the Building to Last universe)

My bum was freezing. As usual, Bodie had managed to half-inch the bedcovers. He hadn't left me so much as a sheet.

I scooted across the bed and wrapped myself around Bodie's warm body. He was cocooned in rugs like an Egyptian mummy in its burial wrappings. All I could see above the covers was a tangle of short, dark hair. His smell was concentrated Bodie and male musk--not surprising, considering our sexual antics last night. He smelled lovely and his body was beautifully warm; so I snuggled closer and snuffled the smooth skin on the back of his neck, trying to draw his essence deep into my lungs.

"Pong a bit, do I? Or are you coming down with a virus?"

I could feel Bodie's sleepy voice vibrate with amusement.

"Nah," I replied. "Smell bloody marvellous, you do. Good enough to eat."

Bodie chuckled and just managed to turn around to face me, though he had to partially unwrap himself to do it. His arms emerged from the covers and twined themselves around my body.

"Morning, sunshine," Bodie breathed. His voice grew louder in surprise as he continued, "Your skin feels like ice!"

"Morning, lover," I replied. "Somebody nicked all the covers last night." I tried to inject a pathetic note in my voice.

Bodie pulled the blankets around me and buried his face in my neck. "'M'sorry, Ray," came his chastened reply.

"You daft sod," I said gruffly as I pulled his face up to where I could kiss him. Don't like seeing a contrite Bodie. 'S'unnatural. "Not your fault your blood's so thin. All those years in Africa, I 'spect." My mind made an obvious connection. "Is that why you wear those polo-necks and three layers of clothes?"

Bodie relaxed in my arms and his sleepy eyes blinked as he replied, "Partially. 'M also naturally modest."

"Don't like revealing your masculine charms, then?" I said with a grin.

"Only to a properly appreciative audience," Bodie replied with a smirk that was softened by the love and the teasing humour in his beautiful indigo eyes.

"I'm very appreciative," I murmured as I lowered my eyelids so that I could peer up at Bodie through my lashes. Know just how much that turns him on, don't I?

He gasped a bit and his pupils dilated. Bodie was so busy looking at me that I don't think he noticed that I was peeling the bedclothes off his shoulders and pushing them down toward his waist. At least, he didn't notice until a cool draft of morning air sent shivers and goose-bumps chasing each other across his pale skin. He grabbed the covers out of my hands and disappeared beneath them.

With a grin, I burrowed beneath the bed rugs in search of my partner. It wasn't easy, as he had a near-stranglehold on them. It turned into an impromptu wrestle with both of us applying holds that were downright illegal, not to mention extremely obscene. It all worked to my advantage as Bodie had to release his hold on the covers in order to lay lewd hands upon me. By the time he realized what he had done, it was too late--he was flat on his back on the mattress with me stretched out on top of him. 'Course, Bodie could have thrown me off if he'd wanted. C15 training and refresher courses under Macklin, Towser and Company have given us knowledge of all the best ways to fight dirty and win. Since he allowed me to straddle his supine body, I knew he wanted me there.

We were both relaxed, and I was practically giggling. Bodie knows I'm ticklish about the ribs. To stop his knowing hands from making continual forays toward my vulnerable bits, I had to grab his wrists and stretch his arms above his head. That left me lying on top of Bodie, staring down into his smirk of satisfaction.

"Going to ravish me, are you?" he asked, amusement adding a lilt to the voice.

"Nah," I replied lugubriously. I let go his wrists, relaxed totally, and tucked my head beneath his chin. "You've worn me out, you have." It felt good lying there breathing Bodie's odour and feeling his hands cup my arse in his favourite grip.

"Poor little flower," Bodie practically crooned, but I could hear repressed laughter in his voice.

"Little flower!" I echoed with mock indignation as I raised my head so I could frown directly into his mirthful blue eyes.

"Poor little golliwog?" Bodie offered.

"I may be poor--with a C15 salary, I can't be much else--but a bit less of the little, if you please. 'M only a couple inches shorter than you. Five-ten's a respectable height. And flower doesn't really apply. Never could see where you got the golliwog bit, either," I grumbled.

Bodie took an obvious sniff. "You're right. Flower is definitely not the word."

"You offended by my manly odour?" I asked.

"Our manly odour," Bodie corrected. "This room and this bed positively reek of sex."

"We were a bit active last night," I agreed as I settled back down on Bodie's torso.

"Active?! We were like two cats in heat!" Bodie exclaimed.

"Mmm," I agreed. "'S'been that way ever since we stopped pratting around and got down to it. Beginning to think we're sex-mad. Worries me a bit. What's Cowley going to think--his crack team having a feel-up in the restroom?"

"You ever know a honeymoon couple that wasn't sex-obsessed?" Bodie asked as he continued to fondle my bum. "We'll do fine once we get back to work. I promise I won't grope you in the halls of CI5 and I trust you'll keep your greedy little hands to yourself until we're decently alone."

"You keep me this knackered and I'll have no trouble keeping my hands off your body."

Bodie rolled us over until I lay on my back and he leaned above me. Worry etched on his face as he asked, "Do you hurt anywhere, sweetheart? We were a bit energetic last night..."

I looped my arms around his neck and pulled his head down so that I could kiss his pensive mouth. "I'm fine, love. Bit tired, but that's only to be expected. We've been at it like rutting stags and I'm not as young as I used to be."

Bodie regained his smirk. "Tuckered you out, have I?"

"Yeah," I said, just as he kissed me.

When we finally came up for air, I felt a tingly warmth in my middle. If I hadn't been completely tired out, I'd've been hard again.

Bodie was still looking smug, but I noticed that his genitals were still lax against my thigh. He couldn't raise a twitch of desire, either.

"I'll have to remember this," Bodie said.

I raised one eyebrow in silent enquiry.

"Since I can't keep you barefoot and preggers, I'll just have to wear you out each night," Bodie replied. "Keep you so exhausted, you won't be able to look at anyone else."

Despite his bantering tone, I detected a note of real insecurity in my lover's voice. I reached up to cup the side of Bodie's face. When he looked at me, I told him, "Don't want to look at anyone else. Don't love anyone else."

Bodie was a bit bright about the eyes as he leaned in to kiss me again. When we'd finished, I used one finger to trace his pouting mouth as I told him, "That works both ways. If you try and keep me exhausted, you won't have the time or energy to be looking at anyone else, either."

Bodie grinned as he agreed, "Insatiable, you are. I can see I have my life's work cut out for me." Then, he turned serious. "I love you, Raymond Doyle. I won't be looking at anyone else."

"I know, Bodie-love," I replied. We both settled down for a cuddle and a drowse.

I had almost drifted back to sleep in the security of my lover's arms when the alarum buzzed, signalling the start of another day; the day we had to explain our new lifestyle to George Cowley.

I showered, shaved and dressed while Bodie checked out-of-doors for Raven, the wandering tomcat who used Bodie's flat as a bed-and- breakfast. When I came into the kitchen, I found Bodie crouched on the floor, scratching behind Raven's furry ears as the cat rapidly devoured some unidentifiable substance marketed as pet food at the local Tesco. Bodie was dressed only in a short towelling robe, so his position bared more than a little of his muscular thighs. I couldn't resist a quick grope as I knelt behind him and kissed the tip of one ear. Bodie almost landed on his nose in surprise at the twin assaults on his modesty, but I steadied him just in time.

"It's your turn, love," I said as I helped my indignant partner to his feet. "I'll take care of breakfast."

Diverted by my promise to cater to his tum, Bodie obediently departed to bathe and dress for the day. By the time he returned, I had the morning meal on the table. Orange juice, muesli with strawberries--to keep us healthy and regular--and cinnamon raisin toast--because Bodie loves it. His face lit up with pleasure as he entered the kitchen and caught sight of the breakfast table. I collected a toothpaste- flavoured kiss before we tucked into the meal.

As we ate, Bodie and I swapped parts of the morning paper. Cowley's lads were expected to keep posted on current events. I was part-way through an article concerning a high-ranking Soviet officer's defection to the West when Bodie brought up the subject we had both been avoiding for the last few days.

"You worried about telling the Cow about us?" he asked.

"A bit," I admitted. "You?"

Bodie grimaced. "I'm not looking forward to it."

George Cowley was one of the few people whom Bodie gave a damn about and I was worried about his reaction to our relationship, more for Bodie's sake than mine. But we had to tell him about us. Homosexuality may no longer be against the law, but it's still grounds for dismissal or blackmail in security situations.

We hadn't discussed how we were going to tell Cowley about us since we had originally decided that it was necessary. We should have talked it over last night. Instead, we'd indulged in an orgy of sex, trying to exhaust our bodies and divert our minds.

"How are we going to tell him?" I asked.

"Thought we'd try the direct approach," Bodie said briskly, trying to cover his nervousness.

I almost smiled; it was so typical of my partner.

"Beard the lion in his den?" I said. "Or should that be 'Beard the Cow'?"

Bodie snorted. "God, what an image. But, yeah," he agreed. "Thought we'd do it as soon as we get to HQ."

"You want to see him yourself or should we do it together?" There were certain attractions in the idea of leaving it all to Bodie, him being the Cow's blue-eyed boy and all--not that you'd ever get Bodie to admit it. Felt a bit mean at the thought of having him face it all on his own. Just as well, considering Bodie's reply.

"Thought we'd do it together." He looked a bit sheepish as he added," Safety in numbers and all that."

I tried to put my love and reassurance into a smile as I reached out to hold his hand. "Together, then," I said.

Bodie held my hand in a painful grip. He wouldn't look at me.

"Might try and soften the Old Man up first," I suggested.

Bodie's head snapped up, his eyes puzzled.

"There's that bottle of 20-year-old single malt scotch in the drinks cupboard," I explained.

Bodie started to snigger. "D'you really think a single malt'd influence him?" he hiccupped.

"Nah," I said gloomily. Then, I let my face brighten as I continued, "But it might divert his attention a bit."

Bodie stood and pulled me up into a bear hug. Was nice feeling him sniggering into my neck, so I just stood there with my arms around him until he finished.

"Right nutter, you are," Bodie said affectionately. And then, he kissed me. It was worth being laughed at if I managed to get him to relax a bit and I could tell he wasn't feeling quite so gloomy about our interview with Alpha One.

Despite his laughing at my idea, I noticed that Bodie took the scotch with us when we left for HQ. And he scrounged an old plaid ribbon from the back of a drawer full of odds-and-ends and tied it around the neck of the bottle.

We were both quiet as we drove to HQ. After Bodie parked the silver Capri in the car park, we both sat for a moment--(probably trying to get up our nerve)--before he locked up the motor and we started for Cowley's office.

As usual, the lift was on the third floor, so we took the stairs. Probably would have taken them, anyway; we were both that nervous.

Betty was at her desk. She puts in more time than anyone in CI5, except Cowley.

I hung back a bit, so it was Bodie who asked her, "Is Mr. Cowley busy, luv? Four-five and I need to speak with him."

Betty used the intercom to ask the Cow if he wished to see us, then told us to go right in.

I was still holding back a bit. Didn't want to let Bodie down, but I was feeling very tentative about the whole situation.

Bodie put on a pale ghost of his usual smirk and swept into the Cow's office, holding the 20-year-old scotch behind his back. When he reached the desk where our George sat, Bodie produced the bottle with an extravagant flourish and set it down on the desk in front of Cowley.

"Congratulations are in order, sir," Bodie said brashly. "Four-five and I have decided to settle down together in domestic bliss."

I'd managed to get the door shut before Bodie's flip announcement escaped into the corridors of CI5. It was bad enough having to face Cowley without also having to run the gauntlet of Betty and anyone else who might have been loitering in the near vicinity. Subtlety is definitely not my lover's strong suit.

Cowley seemed to freeze for half-a-second. His hand went up to remove his glasses, a manoeuvre he often uses to give himself an extra moment to collect his thoughts. Then, his arctic blue eyes focused sharply, first on Bodie, then myself. Bodie snapped to a parade rest position under the frosty glare.

"If this is your usual run of humour, you can take yourselves off. I've no time for it," Cowley's voice rapped out.

I moved up toward the desk and stood where I could touch Bodie's shoulder with my own. "It's not a joke, sir," I said. "Bodie may not have put it in the best way, but we've made a commitment to one another. We intend to live together. We thought you should know."

Cowley studied us for a few moments, his right hand idly setting his glasses to swaying by one bow. Finally, he spoke. "I take it that this...commitment...includes a sexual relationship?"

"Yes, sir," Bodie answered, still standing before the Cow's desk in the attitude of a soldier awaiting a reprimand from his superior officer. He focused his eyes on Cowley's and said, "We discovered that we were in love with one another."

Cowley addressed himself solely to Bodie. "Have you thought this out? Are you sure? You've neither of you evidenced a bisexual orientation before."

"Yes, sir," Bodie repeated, and I could see the sure serenity on his face even if Cowley couldn't. "We're sure, sir."

Cowley was silent a moment longer as his eyes searched Bodie's face. "Outside, Bodie," he ordered. "I want to speak to 4.5."

"But, sir!" Bodie protested, his body expressing surprise and unease.

"That's an order, 3.7! Now!" Cowley stood up and glared at my partner.

I saw how Bodie was torn between obeying his master's voice and protecting his lover's arse. I took pity on him.

"Do as he says, mate." I took his arm and turned Bodie toward the door. "I'll be fine, " I murmured as I practically pushed my partner out of the office. "Wait for me in the rest room." I closed the door and turned back to Cowley, who had not resumed his chair. His face had the blank look of weathered stone.

Cowley ignored me as he keyed the intercom. "Betty," he barked, "bring me 4.5's personnel file."

The few moments it took for Betty to retrieve my file were among the longest of my life. The Cow used them to resume his chair and to continue with his paperwork. I was left standing, the better to contemplate my sins.

A discreet knock announced Betty's arrival with my file. She handed it to the Cow, who told her, "That's all for now. Make sure 3.7 behaves himself. If he doesn't, 6.2's in the rest room. Have him handle any problems."

After Betty left, Cowley began to go through my records. A few minutes later, he closed the manila cover and looked at me for the first time since he'd ordered my lover out of his office.

"Is this one of your experiments, Doyle? If so, I won't have it!"

"You won't have it?!" My regrettable temper went nova.

Cowley's voice cut right into whatever I might have said. "I'll not have you break up my best team on a whim!"

I was amazed at how much Cowley's comment hurt. "It's not a whim," I said tightly.

"No?" Cowley enquired. "How long do you expect your relationship with 3.7 to last? A week? A month? I believe your longest liaison to date lasted eight months. Your usual affair is over within a week or two. What happens to Bodie when you tire of your experiment and go back to chasing pretty skirts? Who'll pick up the pieces then? Do you really think you can bed and abandon your partner, then continue to work as a team?"

"That's not fair!" I said hotly. "I wasn't serious about those relationships."

"You were serious enough about Ann Holly," Cowley countered. "Serious enough to ask her to marry you. How long did that relationship last, Doyle? And how soon afterwards did you start pursuing other young women?"

I almost couldn't believe that the Cow had said that. He, better than anyone except Bodie, knew why Ann had left me and how I'd reacted. But then, our George doesn't always fight fair.

"Ann was a mistake," I said. "This isn't." I felt like I was talking through a shroud of grey fog.

"Is it curiosity, Doyle?" Cowley demanded. "Experimenting with homosexuality? I'd've thought you'd got that out of your system during your art school days."

"What are you talking about?" I asked, honestly confused by the new line he was taking.

Cowley opened my file. "Jeremy Landers, Terrence Rider," he named two of my fellow students at the art school.

"What about them?"

"Both of them known homosexuals. Both of them living in your rooming house, going to the same classes, moving in the same group as you."

"Jer and Terry are gay?" I repeated in disbelief.

"You didn't know?" Cowley asked sharply.

"No," I replied before I shook myself out of my reverie and looked directly into Cowley's pale-blue eyes. "Bodie is the only man I've ever been with. It isn't curiosity. It's not an experiment. We've been partners for five years. In some ways, I know Bodie better than I know myself. I love him, but I can see his faults. Bodie loves me, too. God knows why. And he's certainly aware of my faults. We're both walking into this with our eyes wide open. We know that it's not going to be easy, that there'll be problems. But we're going to work at it. If it were legal, we'd get married. We couldn't be more committed to this relationship if we had the license to prove it. We'd never've started this if we weren't. Our partnership...our too important to risk for anything less."

I could see I'd given Cowley a lot to think about. He absentmindedly waved an arm in my direction and irritably commanded me to, "Sit down, mon." His pale eyes scrutinized me as I found a chair.

"A homosexual involvement is no easy relationship, even in these times," Cowley stated almost conversationally. "It may no longer be illegal, but homosexuality is often grounds for dismissal from governmental positions, the military or the police--mainly due to the potential for blackmail."

"Do you intend to make us redundant?" I asked, appalled at the prospect of my life changing drastically in yet another way.

"I'd be a fool to cast off one of my best teams," Cowley said impatiently. "Just make sure that your relationship doesn't affect your work."

"Only for the better," I assured him. My spirits were on the rise. It appeared as if the Cow had accepted our change in status. We weren't going to be starting our new life together by going on the dole.

"All of this will be added to your records," Cowley said. "That way, there will be no chance of blackmail. If you are approached by foreign operatives, criminals or agents of other departments, tell them nothing. Contact me immediately. Knowing those who are involved in that sort of coercion can be useful to CI5."

"Yes, sir," I replied. Leave it to the Cow to turn a newly-gay relationship into another tool against corruption.

"And, Doyle...?"

"Yes, sir?" I seemed to have picked up Bodie's habit of 'sir-ing' the Cow every other sentence.

"If you change your mind and Bodie ends up hurt, I'll have your ballocks," the controller said coldly. "No one breaks up a CI5 team except me!"

I'd known that Bodie was Cowley's blue-eyed boy, but I hadn't realized how much the old sod really cared for my partner.

"It's not a mistake," I told him. "I love him. It's not like either of us suddenly fell in lust with a total stranger; this relationship has been building for a long time. The partnership and the friendship came first. Sex is just the icing on the cake."

"I hope you're right about that," Cowley replied. "I wish you luck, even if you are causing me no end of trouble." Cowley put his reading glasses back on his nose.

One of my eyebrows rose in speculation about the kind of trouble we were causing Alpha One--and Cowley replied to my unspoken question.

"I'm going to have to revise the non-fraternization clause. As a result, I expect that HQ will be treated to a Grand Mating Dance. You aren't the only agents who have been eyeing one another."

Even though I attempted to keep my face neutral, I must not have been very successful. Cowley scowled and motioned me out of his office.

"Get on with you," he said. "And send your partner in to see me."

Bodie was pacing restlessly across one end of the rest room. I could tell that it was only his respect for Cowley that had kept him there. Murphy was sprawled in an armchair in the other half of the room, watching my partner with sleep-heavy eyes.

I ignored Murphy and walked over to my lover. His worried blue eyes checked me for damage. I gripped his shoulder in an attempt to reassure him. "'S'all right, Bodie. We had a nice chat. Now, Cowley'd like to see you."

Bodie gave me a jerky nod and left to face the Cow. I strolled over to a chair near a suddenly-revived Murphy.

"What was that about?" the brown-haired agent asked. "Cowley catch you fiddling the expenses again?"

"Nah," I said as I slouched down in the armchair. "I'm too good to get caught at that."

"Good looks and modest with it," Murphy said with affectionate mockery.

"Don't let Bodie hear you calling me good-looking. He's the jealous type," I replied, finding it easier than I'd thought it would be to fall back into the locker-room banter of the CI5 rest room.

Murphy snorted, closed his eyes and was soon fast asleep.

I closed my eyes for a short kip, as well. Bodie was in good hands. I didn't expect the Cow to give him the grilling he'd given me. Besides, I badly needed the rest.

It was a good thing I'd got what kip I could, as Bodie returned from Cowley's office with a slightly bemused expression and a new assignment. We were to tail a man with suspected connections to an IRA bomber.

We were on the hop for the next ten hours. One of us tailed the suspect on foot, while the other followed, well back, in a dark-coloured Cortina we'd checked out from the motor-pool. It was a fairly routine assignment, the only dicey moment coming when Vahey unexpectedly doubled back and almost bumped into Bodie. Fortunately, my partner kept his wits about him and casually entered a small bookstall. It must've looked normal to our quarry, because he didn't give Bodie a second glance.

Finally, Jax and Whitney--(a man new to the Squad)--relieved us. After we exchanged the Cortina for my silver Capri, we made a quick stop at an Indian restaurant and bought takeaway curry.

Raven was lurking in the pocket-handkerchief garden across the road from our flat, but he came running when he heard us drive up. I still haven't figured out how he can tell our motor from all the others on the street. I fed him while Bodie dished up our nosh. The two of us took our plates out to the settee. After supper, we had tea and Bodie watched the news as I lay on the settee with my head in his lap and my mug balanced on my chest. It was nice just being quiet together. It felt even better when Bodie began to finger-comb my hair.

"Ray?" he said quietly.

"Mmm?" I murmured. I was getting sleepy, lulled by the soothing strokes across my scalp.

"What did Cowley say to you?" Bodie asked diffidently.

My brain made one of those sudden, wild connections and I almost pissed myself laughing. I would have spilled my tea if Bodie hadn't taken it out of my hands and set it on the end table.

Finally, the laughing fit reduced itself to vulgar sniggers in the vicinity of Bodie's navel. My lover's hands held me in a loose grip as I rode out the last of my near-hysteria. When I finally looked up into his face, his puzzled expression nearly set me of f again.

"Spend all that time telling one another dirty stories and singing rugby songs?" Bodie asked indulgently.

"Nah," I smiled sunnily. "Spent it acting out a Victorian melodrama, we did."

"Oh?" Bodie said in non-comprehension.

"Yeah," I replied. "Cowley played the part of the Victorian Papa and I acted the role of the Vile Seducer of his only child." I was finally seeing the funny side of this morning's interview.

"What are you nattering on about?" my partner demanded.

"Cowley asked what my intentions were," I grinned. "Acted as if he expected me to make you preggers, then throw you and the illegitimate off-offspring out into the snow."

"That, I'd like to see," Bodie snorted. I could tell he didn't believe a word of it.

"Yeah," I grinned again. Then, I sobered. "But he really was coming on the heavy. Felt like I was being vetted by some bird's father."

Bodie sniggered. I scowled at him.

"S'not funny," I said plaintively. "Was like I was being weighed up and found wanting. He practically asked me if I could keep you in the manner to which you've been accustomed."

"Should hope we can do better than that, now we're pulling in two salaries," Bodie replied, only semi-seriously.

"Think Cowley's decided you're the son he's never had," I said.

Bodie snorted. "More like the son he never wanted."

"I'm serious," I said indignantly. "He almost accused me of trifling with your affections."

"Never thought of the Cow as a father figure," Bodie grinned. "But you can trifle with my affections all you like," he almost whispered in my ear. Then, his voice grew louder as he finished, "Just as long as you come across."

"Sex-mad, you are," I said reprovingly and sniffed loudly.

"Good thing," Bodie replied. "Couldn't keep up with a randy animal like you, if I weren't."

"Randy?" I echoed in disbelief. "Who's calling who what?" I brushed my cheek against the suspicious bulge in the front of Bodie's trousers.

"The pot calling the kettle black?" Bodie offered as his hand explored my own budding erection.

I sighed dolefully. "Can't get away with anything, can I?"

Bodie pulled me into his arms. "I dunno," he murmured. "Given the right incentive, I can be persuaded to let you get away with a lot." Then his lips began to nibble mine.

Was a lovely kiss, full of affection and love. It soon heated up.

I arched my body like a shameless tomcat, rubbing against Bodie's warm body. His eyes were bright with affection and a growing need that matched my own. He lay back in the corner of the settee and pulled me partially on top of his body.

"Fast sex on the settee?" he asked. His voice was too breathless to properly express the mockery he was attempting.

I brushed my hips against his groin and gave him a predatory grin as I replied, "Unless you can think of something more interesting?"

Bodie pulled my head down and we began a slow, open-mouthed exploration. I began to fumble at Bodie's belt. He tried to reach mine. All we did was get in each other's way.

My lover gave up on removing my clothes. Instead, Bodie wrapped his arms around me and tried to roll me over on the settee.

I tried to cooperate. Unfortunately, one of us wiggled or pushed at just the wrong moment and Bodie ended up flat on his arse on the carpet. His look of shocked surprise set me off. Couldn't help it--I had hysterics. Even the sight of a glowering Bodie reaching for me with intent to do GBH couldn't make me stop. Knew it was all a put-on, you see. Bodie wouldn't thump me unless I really deserved it. Was just camouflage for his real intentions. Instead of going for my throat, the evil-minded sod went for my ribs. He knows how ticklish I am.

Have you ever heard a tough CI5 agent giggle? When Bodie has finished with me, I was limp as a used tissue.

Bodie was a bit knackered as well. I'd tried hard to protect my virtue --and it's not easy manhandling my ten-and-a-half-stone body. He lay panting on the floor by my head as I lay hiccupping on the settee.

At last, I managed to calm down and Bodie got his second wind. He stood up and reached down to help lever me off the tweed cushions.

"Let's go to bed, Ray," he whispered in my ear as I stood within his arms.

I agreed heartily, and it almost turned into a footrace up the stairs. I still think Bodie let me win because he likes to watch my bum.

In the bedroom, we separated briefly so that we could strip ourselves. It was much faster than trying to fumble with each other's clothes. Sometimes, I like to take it slow, strip Bodie bare and put on a bit of a show removing my own clothes. Tonight, though, I needed it too much and so did Bodie. I could tell he was hot for it when he left his clothes in a muddle on the floor. He usually folds everything neatly and stows it away. Before we started living together, I even had visions of Bodie pressing his pants and flannel vest. Now, I know better--he has someone else do it.

Bodie finished before I did. He lay in the centre of the bed with his arms behind his head and watched me as I finished removing my pants.

I crawled into the bed beside my lover. As we met in the middle of the mattress, our arms went round each other and our legs became intimately entwined.

Bodie sighed softly and said, "Now, where were we?"

I grinned at him. "Seems to me, you were flat on your arse on the floor. D'you want to resume where we left off?" I gave his sturdy frame a bit of a nudge toward the edge of the bed.

Bodie grabbed me and wrapped himself around my body like a bloody amorous octopus. He used his weight to turn me on my back. "Before that," he replied with a grin.

"Seems to me, our positions were reversed," I said. "Seems to me that I was on top."

"Can't give you too much of an advantage," Bodie smirked. He easily rode out my squirming attempt to turn the tables on him. I could feel him turning on, goaded by the press and rub of our bodies.

Was beginning to turn myself on. I turned my squirms into an erotic thrust and glide. My arms reached up to bring Bodie's head down to where I could reach his lips.

Bodie licked the corners of my mouth. I opened my lips to my lover's tongue and we kissed so deeply that I almost turned inside out. My body trembled. My cock engorged with blood. I parted my knees and coaxed Bodie until his legs dropped between my thighs. That brought his groin closer to mine. I moved my hips in an involuntary undulation that pressed my rampant prick against Bodie's stomach and groin.

Bodie pressed me deeper into the mattress as he arched his back and thrust his hips down against mine. As his mouth left my lips, all I could do was pant for breath. I felt my lover's hands worm themselves beneath my body to take up their favourite grip. Clutching my bum for better leverage, Bodie pulled my hips up off the mattress.

I was out of control, caught up in the sensations of body pressing body. When Bodie released me and rolled off me and on to his side, I cried out in frustration.

Bodie gently stroked my chest until I spiralled down from my near orgasm. "Ray?" he murmured.

"Yeah?" I grunted as I cracked my eyes open to look into his hesitant blues.

"Ray," he said breathlessly, "I want you. Please?" he nearly begged. Strong hands rolled me onto my side, facing him, and one of his fingers slowly stroked down the crack in my arse to graze the tight bud of muscle guarding my anus. With the one gesture, Bodie made it perfectly clear exactly how he wanted me.

I was scared. I suppose that all virgins are, the first time. Not that I was lily-pure. Bodie and I had been lovers for almost two weeks and we'd tried a lot of things during that time. But we'd never tried this. At least...we hadn't tried it yet. Didn't know if I was ready for it. Didn't know if I'd I ever be ready for it.

That was a lie. I'd had dark fantasies of being possessed by my dark lover. Every time he touched that ring of muscle, I nearly went up in flames. I knew that I'd eventually want to try it. Just didn't know if I could let him have me that way tonight.

Fear, lust and adrenaline were making me dizzy. Heard myself telling him, "Yes...! Bodie! Love me!" I was almost incoherent. Whether or not I was I ready, it was going to happen.

Don't know what I expected. What Bodie did was continue his exploration of my body. He licked and kissed his way down my chest and stomach to my groin. I was turned onto my back and my legs were parted. Bodie bent my knees and spread my thighs wide so that my genitals were completely exposed.

I always did have a bit of the exhibitionist in me. Being put on display that way turned me on something chronic. Part of it was because it was Bodie--best friend, partner, lover, other half--touching me. Controlling me. That was the other part. I'd never been with someone who was larger, stronger than I was. Made me feel almost fragile... almost scared. That turned me on more than ever. Made me feel almost shocked at my own reactions.

When Bodie brushed his cheek against my rigid cock, it nearly finished me. A warm, rough tongue lapped at my balls and I almost convulsed at the exquisite sensations when Bodie took my prick into his warm, wet mouth. At first he sucked gently at the swollen head. Then his lips began to swallow me a scant millimetre at a time. The suction increased. The pressure... the heat... the incredible sensations... all combined to send me higher than I'd ever been before. Then, a hard, lubricated finger began to rim the anal muscle, relaxing it. Slowly, it slipped inside and pushed inward toward my centre.

I think I screamed. Later, my throat had the sore, scratchy feeling you get after abusing your voice.

I know that I came. My body melted, contracted, became one overstimulated nerve, vibrating with sensation.

Perhaps I fainted, I'm not really sure. When my body finally recovered enough to communicate something other than the incredibly erotic experience of pouring myself down my lover' throat, the first thing I felt was Bodie cradling me in his arms. He was cuddling me. I could feel his hard rod pressing against my hip, but he was ignoring it to take care of me.

I wanted to make Bodie feel at least half as good as he'd just made me feel. But all my muscles seemed to have been replaced by limp spaghetti. I did manage to open my eyes. Bodie's face was so close that I couldn't resist licking the corner of his mouth.

"That was fantastic," I whispered. "But I thought you wanted to take me?"

"I do," Bodie groaned.

"I won't be much help," I admitted ruefully. "You've worn me out."

"That's the idea," Bodie said as he rolled me onto my stomach. My legs were parted and I could feel a slippery finger gently dilate my anus. "Wanted you relaxed the first time," he continued as a second finger joined the first in relaxing my muscles. "The book said this was a good way to do it."

I wondered briefly what book he was talking about. The sensation of yet a third finger being added to the other two knocked any other thought clean out of my head.

I gasped. It was bloody incredible. I felt stretched. Didn't hurt. In fact, it felt good. Too good. When Bodie found my prostate and began to stroke it, I almost screamed again.

"Am I hurting you?" Bodie asked anxiously.

"No," I panted. "Don't stop...feels so good..."

I could hear him chuckle as I tried to thrust my hips backwards. I needed to increase the sensations.

Bodie planted a butterfly kiss in the small of my back. Then, he began a slow oral exploration as his fingers continued the inner caress.

The fingers stroked against my prostate a second time. I moaned like a rutting tomcat and thrust backwards again. Bodie's free arm burrowed under my hips to help draw me up to my knees. His hands discovered something that shocked the both of us--my cock was hard again.

Bodie chuckled and murmured, "Randy little animal." He kissed my ear.

I started to turn my head over my shoulder. Wanted to kiss him. But I froze in shock at the sensation of Bodie slowly impaling me upon his rampant cock.

His fingers had stretched me; his cock stretched me further still. My muscles rebelled. The anal ring started to contract.

Bodie froze and I could feel him panting against my back. He moaned sharply. "Am I hurting you?" he asked again. "If I am...I'll pull out."

"No," I said. I reached back around and clamped one hand on his hip. "Don't. Just give me a moment." I concentrated on relaxing; a yoga breathing exercise helped.

Bodie also helped. He cupped my balls in one hand and began to massage them.

My cock, which had wilted slightly during my bout of near-cramps, began to come to life under Bodie's expert manipulations. My internal muscles relaxed a bit at a time. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, Bodie's cock sank deeper into my arse, helped by the slippery lubricant.

Bodie was holding back, afraid of causing me pain. His twice asking if he was hurting me told me that he believed our first attempt at sodomy would be a dismal failure.

I wanted this to be a success. If it weren't, I might not be able to convince Bodie to make a second try. Fear and inexperience would not be allowed to spoil it.

Besides, I was feeling bloody marvellous. My internal muscles had adjusted to Bodie's bulk and the sensations were incredible. My lover's cock was a hot and slippery rod deep within my guts. It stretched me with its bulk and branded me with its blood heat. I spread my legs as far apart as they would go and arched my hips as I slowly pushed backwards.

Bodie groaned and buried his face against my back. It was wet with sweat and I felt his body being wracked with fine tremors.

The slippery cock buried itself in my body. I felt it brush against my prostrate as it slowly filled me. Pleasure curled tightly in my guts. I threw my head back and yelled.

Bodie froze again. Within me, his cock began to detumesce.

I panted, "Do that again, lover. "S'wonderful!" I twisted my hips slightly and tightened, then loosened, my internal muscles in a caress around Bodie's cock.

Bodie moaned in pleasure. I could feel his prick harden and lengthen within me. His hips arched forward as he initiated a series of gliding thrusts and withdrawals. My body urged me to meet and match his thrusts. We were awkward at first, but we soon picked up each other's rhythms.

Sounds clinical.

It wasn't.

It was an orgiastic grappling. We were sticky and sweaty and on heat. Our movements were frantic and almost out of control. It seemed to last forever; it was over much too soon. Bodie cried out softly. His back arched as he thrust his hips forward, driving his organ deep within me. His body froze and his hands tightened on my hips. Deep within me, his cock jerked and spilled Bodie's seed in warm spurts. My channel tightened around his prick in my excitement. I heard Bodie murmur in incoherent pleasure.

Bodie's body went lax against my back, his weight pressing me into the mattress. I squirmed, trying desperately to rub my taut cock against the sheets. Trapped beneath Bodie, I couldn't apply enough pressure for the last few strokes necessary to make me come. I sobbed in frustration and need as I felt Bodie's prick soften and slip from my arse.

Bodie crooned a soft litany of love as he turned me onto my back. I shivered in thwarted need and my cock bobbed above my stomach with each breath I took. Gentle hands framed my hips as a hot mouth engulfed my aching prick. I whimpered and cursed as my hands sought Bodie's head. I used my grip on his hair to help me coordinate my thrust into his mouth. Once. Twice. Three times.

My coming was almost painful. I'd had to wait too long. The contractions continued even after I'd emptied myself into Bodie's mouth. My lover's tongue and lips gentled my erection until it slowly softened and subsided.

I could feel Bodie leave the bed. My eyelids were too heavy to open, so I lay there until he returned. He turned me onto my side and a warm flannel was applied to my sticky bum.

Bodie was very careful with me. Even though my arse was sore, he didn't hurt me. But it did seem as though he was taking an inordinately long time for a simple wipe and dry.

"Find something interesting down there?" I asked sleepily.

"I'm always interested in you, sweetheart," Bodie murmured. "Besides, the book says it's a good idea to check for damage, especially the first time."

I felt my interest revive at the second mention of this mysterious ?book'.

"What book are you talking about, mate?" I asked.

"The Joy of Gay Sex," Bodie replied. I could detect a hint of defensiveness in his voice.

"You have been holding out on me," I said emphatically. "When did you have time to find such a book and why haven't I seen it?"

Bodie moved up the bed and took me into his arms, turning me so that I lay facing him. He kissed the corner of my mouth.

"Sorry, Ray. Just found it today, in that odd little bookstall I had to duck into when Vahey almost ran into me. Was supposed to be a surprise for our two-week anniversary, but I couldn't resist peeking at the pictures, then reading bits of it in the motor this afternoon."

"Likely story," I snorted into Bodie's neck.

I could hear the laugh in Bodie's voice as he said, "Besides, I figured I needed a bit of an edge to keep up with a naturally-talented, sexual athlete such as yourself."

I looked up into Bodie's blue eyes as I indignantly retorted, "Sexual athlete! Feel like a rank beginner. You've been making all the running tonight."

Bodie's face became almost expressionless, a sure sign of the importance of his next words. "Does that bother you, Ray?"

"Nah," I drawled. Then, I gave him a thorough and leisurely kiss before I continued, "Was beautiful. You were marvellous," I added huskily. Then, I made my voice a bit severe. "But the next time, we start even. Can't allow you to get too far ahead of me or I'll never catch up. Tomorrow, you show me the book."

"Anything you say, dear," Bodie replied cheekily.

I kissed him in retaliation. "Was a good idea," I said thoughtfully.

One of his eyebrows rose in silent question.

"The book," I explained. "'Spect there're a lot of things we haven't tried yet. Could be very educational." Bodie grinned and gave me a hug.

We lay there on the bed and cuddled in the afterglow. I couldn't relax quite enough to go to sleep and Bodie seemed determined to out-wait me. Something was niggling in the back of my mind.

Then, I realized that I'd never asked Bodie about his conversation with the Cow. We'd gotten sidetracked. "Bodie?" I said softly.

"Yeah?" he murmured.

"What'd Cowley have to say to you this morning?"

"'Bout the same as he said to you, I imagine," Bodie replied as he snuggled closer. "Only without the overtones of Victorian melodrama. Wanted to make sure we were serious. Didn't want to have to change departmental policy if it was only a one off."

"Yeah," I said. "He mentioned changing the non-fraternization policy. Said something about setting off a Grand Mating Dance and about other agents eyeing each other."

Bodie chuckled. "Wonder who he was talking about?" he said idly.

"Mmm," I answered sleepily, "And whether they're same-sex couples or not."

Bodie's heavy-lidded eyes popped open in surprise. "You mean, there are other teams considering it?"

"Well, there're mostly male agents in CI5. We can't be the only ones with impeccable taste."

"Wonder who?"

I snuggled sleepily and fitted my head under Bodie's chin. "Go to sleep, love. Tomorrow's a work day. Besides, we'll find out soon enough after the Cow posts the new regs."

"Yeah," Bodie agreed. His body squirmed until he found a comfortable position. Then, I felt him cup my arse in the palms of his hands and drop a kiss on the top of my head. The last thing I heard before I fell asleep was my lover whispering, "G'night, love."

-- THE END --

Originally published in Chalk and Cheese 3, Whatever You Do, Don't Press!, 1989

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