This is part three of the "Ballpark" series, where the boys finally get down to business, as it were. It's a sequel to "Batting 1000." See warnings below. As always, this is for neon blue.

Archive: Hexwood, Serge ... anywhere else, please let me know.

Rating: Would that be R or X in the Canadian system? NC-17 for all you folks south of the 49th parallel. And the rest of the world is going to have to figure it out from there. But what it means is, if you're too young to read this legally ... go away and fight to get the laws changed 'cause censorship sucks.

Warnings: guys doing it with guys, candles, fondly contemptuous references to cheap motels and small American towns, lamb as dinner (yum yum), lots of naughty words, gratuitous rudeness about Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian fundamentalists and homophobes of all stripes, Dief, more naughty thoughts, Fraser bribing caterers' assistants, some linguistic history (and yes, "fuck" really was the Anglo-Saxon word for sexual intercourse, more than a thousand years ago), yet more baseball references and some stuff about romance. And, oh yeah, *explicit* sex between two beautiful men. If any of those bug you, go play some place else.

Frustration warning: this story contains what may be the longest sex scene in DS slash history. I tried to get 'em to go at it a bit faster, honest I did, but the little buggers wanted to do it their own way. Tyrants!

Safe-sex warning: no condoms in this story, but that doesn't mean *you* shouldn't be using them in RL. Maybe the boys will have a conversation about this, if I decide to write a sequel. Or maybe I'll just decide that this is some sort of AU. Qui sait? Besides, it's fiction ...

Virtual chocolate Mounties to the first person to catch the Dorothy Sayers reference (the one in the story, not the one in these comments). And virtual chocolate bilbies to the first person to find the Aussie-ism.

Got anything to say about this? Well, ya know, "My ear is open like a hungry shark/ To catch the tunings of a voice divine." Not that this is exactly Keats, but you know what I mean. Where's the ear? Try


Out of the Ballpark

by Jaime Arundel


In the end, we decided to light out for Chicago soon's Frase had wolfed back his sandwich an' we'd both hit the showers. I took mine while he was washing down his danish with mouthfuls of lukewarm tea. Wouldn't have minded at all if we'd both climbed in the shower together, but Fraser didn't suggest it and I was afraid to. The one good thing was that neither of us wanted to hang around Smalltown USA any longer than we had to.

So, we eventually check ourselves outta the No-tell Motel an' stuff everything into the car. 'Everything' pretty well consists of Fraser's dress uniform and shaving kit, my knapsack, the damn poncho. An' Dief, o' course. He stretches his wolfy self out across the back seat, head propped up on the door handle, lookin' like he's expecting room service. He's still workin' on the guilt thing, though Fraser's a bit too distracted for it to run as smooth as I reckon Dief'ld like. An' then we're out there on the open road with a nice breeze comin' in the windows, which is good, 'cause I haven't had any too much sleep, an' Frase, he's had even less.

After everything that's happened between us, I'm expectin' that we'll use the trip back to Chicago to have a little talk, sort out some of the stuff hangin' between us. Most of all, I wanna know for sure what he's expectin'. I mean, I understood what he meant by "not now and not here," even if my libido didn't entirely agree with the sentiment. But, okay, this is not now and it's not here: not a motel room, not Willison, sure, I get that. But, so, that leaves a question, don't it? I mean, what time is gonna be "now" an' what place is gonna be "here"?

Is he thinkin' we'll go straight back to my place and that'll be here and now. But, nah, he can't be, 'cause I heard what he said on the phone before we left. He's gotta report back to the consulate when he gets in, which I guess means Mr. RCMP Bigwig's safely been and gone, and fill out some form or other. Sounded like he was gettin' chewed out, though all I could hear on his side of the conversation was "yes sir" and "no sir" and "of course, sir." Not that Frase gettin' himself mauled by the Ice Queen's like news or anything.

So, I put Willison a handful of miles behind us and we're cruisin' along in all that leafy green countryside an' it suddenly occurs to me that it's awful quiet in this car. I've been so wrapped up in my own thoughts, I haven't even noticed that Fraser's not talkin'. Not that he's incapable of bein' silent or anythin', but he usually manages to keep up some sorta conversation.

I turn my head, expectin' to see him starin' out at the fields an' the cows an' stuff, an' I'm already startin' to say "hey, Frase ..." when I realize he's flat out again. Fast asleep, twisted 'round towards me as much as the seat belt will allow, head back. His mouth's a little open an' he's breathing through it, quiet and even.

I look at him as much as I can while keepin' one eye on the road. Don't wanna kill us now, fer chrissake. His face is all kinda smoothed out and slack. I know in books they always talk about someone who's asleep lookin' like a little kid, but he don't. He looks like what he is: a tired, beautiful man, fast asleep.

Seein' someone else asleep's a funny thing. I mean, it can go two ways. Mostly ya jus'wanna grab somethin' and toss it at the guy, so's you can laugh at him when he wakes up with a start. But sometimes, not often, seein' someone else asleep makes you ... makes you go like all sort of tender and, I dunno, protective or somethin'. I mean, right now I think I'ld kill anyone who tried to wake Frase up.

I give a quick look over my shoulder at Dief. He's sittin' bolt upright starin' out the front windscreen from between the two seatbacks. I put a finger to my mouth an' go 'ssshhh' at him, figurin' if he really does read lips he oughtta be able to figure that one out. He gives me this flat stare, all full o' wolfy arrogance, but he don't make any noise an' I turn my attention back to the road.

After a while, I put a tape in, switch the speakers over to the driver's side, an' turn on some music real soft. One of us gotta stay awake an' I guess it's gonna be me.


My alarm clock wakes me, makin' like a fuckin' banshee two feet from my ear. I slap it off an' am about to turn over and grab a few more zzz's when I realize that it's gettin' dark out, not light. It's evening, not morning, an' my mind clears real quick when I remember why I've got the damn alarm set in the first place. Fraser's due here in what ... jus' over an hour.

I still don't feel like I've had anywhere near enough sleep, but somehow it don't seem to matter right now. Matter of fact, I just leap outta bed an' start runnin' around the apartment. Fraser's coming over here for dinner and ... well, I don't exactly know what else, it weren't like we had a chance to talk about it, since I had to shake him awake when I pulled the car up outside the consulate. But I'm sure hopin' that what else includes some more kissin' ... and maybe some other stuff. Like hauling his lovely butt into my bedroom and ravishin' it.

So, I figure if we're goin' to get anyplace in the ravishin' sweepstakes, I better clean the place up. Maybe it's only that Stella got me trained early, seein' as how she wouldn't never get in the mood if the place was any kind of a mess. Maybe Frase won't care, one way or another. He's a neat freak about some things, like the sacred uniform, an' not about others. He's got some sorta system that I ain't got figured out, some way of prioritizing when neat counts an' when it don't. Somethin' to do with survival up in those Northwest Areas, knowin' him.

Anyway, I'm thinkin' all these thoughts an' runnin' round like a madman, 'cause I ain't takin' a chance on blowin' this one. It's been perfect so far an' I'm plannin' on it stayin' that way. I mean I know I should be worrying 'bout how much I suck at relationships an' angsting about what a fuck-up my marriage to Stella was. But I'm not. An' while it surprises the hell outta me, I'm damn sure not goin' to start worrying 'bout not worryin'.

I get everything lookin' pretty respectable. Clean sheets on the bed. Floors swept, vacuumed, washed, as needed. Put away the dishes from the dish drainer. Clear away the mess of bills an' such like from the coffee table. Put a duster over whatever needs it. Hell, I even get the squirty stuff out an' buff up the mirror in the bathroom. Spick an' span, that's me. An' to be fair, I ain't never really been a slob. I like things clean; it's just that I don't mind a little clutter.

I'm down to the little stuff, tuckin' my cds back into the rack, when someone knocks on the door. I look at my watch, but Frase ain't due for another fifteen minutes. Probably some phone company salesman or Jehovah's Witless or somethin'.

Grumbling, I open the door an' something white an'furry pushes past me into the apartment. My mouth's hanging open.

It is Frase. An' he's wearin' a suit. I mean a real suit, not that beacon he calls a uniform. I know for sure I ain't never seen him in a suit before, 'specially nothin' like this. He looks magnificent. Dark grey pants, matchin' jacket with one o' them standy-uppy little collars. An a collarless white shirt with a zillion pleats down the front.

I manage to get my mouth shut an' move outta his way, so he can follow Dief into the apartment. It's only then that I notice the two people standing behind him in the hallway.

"You're early," I say, feelin' stupid for not bein' able to think of anythin' to say that ain't obvious. Or obscene. An' I can't say obscene in front of strangers. Who the hell are they, anyway?

"I hope you don't mind, Ray, but, assuming that neither of us is is likely to want to eat out, I took the liberty of arranging dinner."


"Yes, Ray. Dinner."

I'm thinkin' that maybe I'm losin' my mind, but he's already got these two white-clad honchos at work. Before I know it, they've colonised my table, my kitchen counters, an' my oven and they're on their way out the door again, both o' them smilin' happily at Fraser an' accepting tips from him, not even commentin' on the fact that it's Canadian money he's givin' them. I'm a detective. I can figure out that these are folks he knows and who know him. But ...?

"I can assure you that the food will be excellent, Ray," he says. He walks over to the table which now sports a pristine white table cloth, napkins, a small bunch of some kinda flowers I don't recognize in a little vase, candlesticks ... an' not quite makin' the grade here, my own plates an' cutlery. Fraser picks up a box of matches off the counter, lights the candles, an' turns back to me.

He's laughing at me. I can see that. Well, I guess I look pretty laughable, gawpin' at him like a stunned mullet. I shake my head and, just like that, he strolls over to me an' gives me a kiss. Nothin' fancy or anything', just a nice firm promising kind of kiss. A kiss almost exactly like the kiss he gave me last night, when I put him to bed. Was it really less than 24 hours ago? I mean, it feels like we've been at this for ages, like I've lived a whole lifetime since then. A lifetime since I whacked a baseball outta the ball park an' got myself kissed by Benton Fraser, RCMP.

"What is this?" I say weakly.

"Dinner, Ray." He's laughing openly now, damn him, an' I can feel myself startin' to grin too. It feels familiar, it feels good, an' I suddenly remember leanin' on the rail of the Bounty with him, just a couple months ago, back when we decided we were gonna stay partners after all. We didn't say too much back then, but we each knew what we meant and it was like we was grinnin' 'cause, after all, we were back where we'd always been. Partners.

Fraser pulls me roughly into a hug an' I can actually feel him still laughing. He's real pleased with himself, pleased as Punch that he's taken me so completely by surprise. Damn, but the hug feels good. He's strong and I like this, like how big and solid he is in my arms. Finally Fraser releases me. "We should eat," he says.

"Where did this all come from?" I ask, following obediently as he heads back to the table. He actually holds my chair for me, which makes me feel pretty weird.

"Ah, these are the caterers we use for consulate functions," he says. "I ... uh ... called in a small favour that they owed me."

He brings a tureen of soup over from my kitchen counter, puts it down in front of me, then seats himself.

"*You* called in a favour? You're havin' me on."

Damn, the soup is good. I sip at it carefully, not wantin' to spill. I kinda wish I'd gotten dressed up, like Frase is. I mean, I got on clean jeans, my best black ones, and my one an' only silk shirt, a present from my mum. I got some nice clothes too, hadda have 'cause Stella was always tryin' to dress me up to suit her own standards, like I'm supposed to be some sorta style pig or somethin'. Fact is, the more Stella pushed, the more I went th'other way.

"Not at all, Ray." He smiles at me. He's eatin' real neat, which is actually a big surprise, 'cause I only ever ate with him in diners before an', frankly, he's as much of a slob around food as I am. Guess he's got manners when he wants them. Kinda like me.

He's right, the food is excellent. I take a bite of my rack of lamb an' peer at him through the haze of candlelight.

"This is pretty ... uh ... pretty romantic, Frase." I hesitate a bit, not quite sure how to say what I want to say. After all, the trouble he's gone to to set this up, it's a pretty damn good sign that we're playin' the same game. That he means this just as much as I do. I just don't quite know how to ask ... or even if I should, when my guts tellin' me I don't really need to.

"Well, Ray," he says, "I hope that I have not based my conclusions on faulty premises, but I very much hope that our liaison will be as much romantic as it is sexual."

'Liaison'... From anyone else, especially any other guy, I'd have figured that 'liaison' means he's planning on casual. But I know damn well that it don't mean that to Frase. After all, it's his friggin' job, being a 'liaison,' an' I know he don't take it casual. Not at all. Nothing he's said is doin' anything to damp down that feelin' I've had all day, that ah-fuck-I-hit-a-goddamn-homer-right-outta-the-ballpark feeling. So I give him my very best smart-ass grin and say, "Hey, I put clean sheets on the bed."

Oh yeah. This is right, this is perfect. He looks at me a long time, steady and serious, like he's weighing up my words and my grin and my body language, and then he nods. Just that, one nod. Like I said, perfect.


Sittin' on the couch with a coffee, Frase warm an' solid against my side and thigh, I sigh an rub my nice full tummy. Really good meal. Really good company. I like this, but there're other things I'm thinkin' I might like even more.

"That was great, Frase," I say. "Greatness. You gonna do it again some time?"

He takes a sip of his tea. "I doubt it, Ray."

That's good, too. I mean this has been greatness, like I said, but I don't wanna do this sort o' stuff all the time. I wanna be able to come home an' just be my own slobby self. Drink a beer, order in some Chinese, or throw a chop under the broiler. Simple an' easy, so's I can relax after a hard day chasin' whatever the city feels like throwin' up at me.

That was another thing with Stella. She said she wanted romance, wanted the romantic stuff. But, she didn't want it all the time, even though she thought she did. Wanted it less'n me, really, I think. I mean, she was real serious about her career an' nothing was set to make her grumpy quicker than me trying to romance her when she had a big case comin' up. Thing is, we couldn't tak about it and neither of us could seem to get into the rhythm of when the other one wanted romantic an' when it was time to set down an' pay the bills or do the laundry or jus' keep the hell outta each other's way.

So I nod at Frase. "Special," I say. "This has been special."

He smiles in agreement and sets his tea down. "Other things could be ... ah ... special, too, Ray," he says. He's looking up at me through his eyelashes an' he almost manages to look ... sultry. No other word for it. Sultry. God, I wouldn't have thought he had it in him.

Hidden depths, my Mountie. I wonder what else he's kept hidden.

I set my own coffee down as well and do my damndest to look sultry back at him, though I think maybe it jus' looks goofy. "What other kind of special do ya have in mind, Frase?" I ask.

"Oh, all sorts of things," he says. He's still smilin', just a little quirk of the lips, but his eyes are clear and glitterin' an' I can almost see the 'special' thoughts percolatin' through that quick brain of his. At the same time, he's lookin', for the first time tonight, jus' a tiny bit shy. Or maybe just a little bit unsure of himself. Somehow that reassures me.

Well, I'm not stupid either. After all, I put on my best black jeans with the zipper, not the very cool ones with the buttonfly front that takes about half an hour to get undone. I straighten my spine, square my shoulders and meet his eyes. "Here?" I ask. "Now?"

"Here," Fraser confirms. "Now."


O' course, 'here' and 'now' means, respectively, 'in your bedroom, Ray' and 'just let me explain to Dief that we're spending the night here, Ray.' So I bustle around gettin' the wolf some fresh water an' a bowlful o' kibbles from the bag I keep in the broom closet. Not that I reckon he's gonna eat them, seein' he's full o' leftovers. Made short work of crunchin' up those lamb bones.

I hear Frase talkin' all profound-like to Dief, like he's takin' this explainin' thing seriously. Which of course he is; Frase always takes explaining things to Dief seriously. Hell, I've even found myself doin' it a few times.

"No," I hear him say. "You cannot sleep in with us." And then there's a pause an' he says, "Well, you'll have to ask Ray that."

"Ask me what, Frase?"

"Dief would prefer to be in with us, but I seem to have persuaded him that it is not ... um ... a good idea. Under the circumstances. However, it seems as if there is a baseball game on the television which he would like to watch."

I shake my head. Knowin' Dief, there really is a game on an' he really does wanna watch it. But I wanna get a move on here, so I jus' grab up the remote, switch on ESPN, which sure enough is showin' a game ... Blue Jays an' Cincinnati it looks like ... an' turn the commentary down low.

"There," Fraser says. "Are you happy now? Well, good. And don't wake us in the morning, please."


Dief taken care of, we stop just inside my bedroom door an' kiss, really kiss, for the first time tonight. It's just like it was this mornin', in that tacky motel room. Frase kisses strong an' hard, usin' his tongue like he was born to do this. His biceps are hard under my hands an' I wonder how I feel to him. It should be feelin' unfamiliar, like nothin' I've ever done before, but it don't. It feels like something I've done a million times, even though I really haven't ever done it before.

I mean I've hardly even thought about it, at least not until I met Frase. Sure, I seen guys I thought was hot. An' I even kinda liked some o' the stuff I seen in the showers at the gym. But I ain't never done this before, 'cause it ain't the kinda thing you do in my neighbourhood if you don't want to get your head bashed in. An' besides, there was always Stella.

All this passes through my head pretty quick, 'cause I can't really afford to give it much attention, not when I'm in the middle of a liplock with my favourite Mountie.

After we draw back from the kiss, I walk round to my side of the bed. I take off my clothes slow an' steady, watchin' him watching me from across the room. I bend over to slide my boxers down an' step outta them and when I straighten back up, he's still watchin'. He's not smilin' anymore, but his eyes are full of laughter. He seems to have overcome his shyness or whatever. Hell, maybe I was just imaginin' it, 'cause he sure seems sure of himself right now.

Right now, though, I'm feelin' a bit shy an' awkward myself, what with his eyes on me an' me naked as the day I was born. I turn back the covers an' slide in between my nice clean sheets.

"You gonna stand there all night?"

He shakes his head and starts to take his clothes off. The jacket goes over the back of a chair. He looks good in just his shirt an' trousers. The pants aren't as tight as his jeans and, oddly, they do a better job of showing off just what nice shape he's in. All them pleats in his shirt flare nicely from his neat waistline to a pair of real broad shoulders. He sees me watchin' him an' folds his arms across his chest before runnin' his hands down from his shoulders, across his pecs, an' all the way down to that nice narrow waist, before comin' to rest finally on the waistband of his suit pants. He unbuttons the pants an' eases the zipper down real slow, watchin' me the whole time. He looks cool as a cucumber, which ain't fair 'cause I'm feeling 'bout as hot as the Sunday roast, but his eyes have gone real dark.

He musta toed his shoes off, 'cause the pants slide down nice an' easy. It's a tease, 'cause his shirt is long enough to cover up everythin' I'm waiting to see. Now he hitches it up at the sides, lookin' at me with a small wicked smile that tells me he knows what I'm wantin' an' he's deliberately makin' me wait for it. What was it I thought about teachin' the man to strip, when I did this for him last night? Okay, there's no boogie music an' he isn't wavin' those white boxers o' his over his head. But it's the sexiest damn striptease I ever seen.

Finally he straightens up, lookin' kinda like he's got a short short dress on, the kinda cotton shift them hippie girls useta like, way back when I was just a kid. At the same time, there's nothin', not one little thing, feminine about it. He's all guy an' I'm startin' to breathe hard just watchin' him undress. I guess there's somethin' about Fraser undressing or undressing Fraser that really gets to me.

He unbuttons the shirt one slow button at a time, startin' at the top. Naturally, the damn thing's got a lotta buttons. An' it ain't fallin' open quick enough to please me. He's got it halfway unbuttoned before I even get a peek at those small flat nipples, let alone anythin' else. I could get outta bed, I guess, and kinda help the process along some, but there's just somethin' about the way Fraser's strippin' for me that keeps me pinned to the mattress. It's sorta like he's givin' me this to make up for the fact that he was too outta it last night to appreciate me doin' it for him.

He's got the buttons undone all the way down to his belly-button now. Oh Christ, where the hell did he get himself a shirt with so many fuckin' buttons? It's almost as bad as that goddamn uniform tunic. An' I *know* how hard that thing is to take off, given it took me about half an hour to get my skinny ass outta Turnbull's that time.

I'm salivating just lookin' at the picture Fraser makes, standin' there, naked save for that damn shirt. He's playin' with the next button, not quite undoin' it, just runnin' his fingers round and round it. It's real hard to tear my eyes away from those hands ... I'm just now figurin' out that I love Fraser's hands: they're big and strong and capable and I can imagine just how good they'll feel when he gets them onto me. Or into me.

Shit, I hadn't even realized I'd been thinkin' about that. I swallow hard and he smiles. Just like that, not a big smile but it's one hell of a satisfied one. He looks like the cat that swallowed the canary an' I can practically see the yellow feathers hangin' out the corner of his mouth. Oh fuck, the bastard knows exactly what he's doing to me an' all I can do is sweat and try not to pant. It's all I can do to wait for him and not start jerkin' off under the friggin' sheet. But I still like this, like the way he's teasin' me, like the way he's strippin' for me, so I exercise more self-control than I ever knew I had an' just lie there, feelin' the sweat breakin' out on my body an' the sheet startin' to cling to me.

Fraser undoes the next button an' gives a little shrug, which makes the two halves of his shirt front slide across that broad chest of his. I can see his belly-button, kinda framed between his hands. Then a stretch of pale flat abdomen followed by the slight swell of his pecs. The shirt slides down his shoulders a little more an' now I can see his nipples, the aureoles like small bronze disks on that creamy chest. Like I said before, he's got no more chest hair than a woman might have an' right now that seems to me like it's just perfect. Don' want no hair gettin' in the way of the view.

His hands start to fiddle with the next button an' I groan. Loudly. So loud it startles both of us; hell, I hadn't noticed how quiet things have gotten in here. All I can hear is my own breathin' an' the faint murmur of the baseball game from outside the bedroom door.

Fraser's eyes track down my body, which I figure is pretty clearly outlined, given how the damn sheet's clingin' to it. I can't hardly hide the fact that I've got a hard-on that I could use for karate demonstrations, but my hands are twitchin' from the effort of tryin' not to do something completely futile an' embarassing, like cover my dick with them. It's not like he don't know, I tell myself, and I manage to keep 'em where they are, even if they are now makin' fists in the cotton sheet.

"Enough, Ray?" His voice sounds serious, but I can still see that little quirk at the sides of his mouth. Oh he's pleased with himself. Way too fuckin' pleased with himself. But right now I don't give a damn. I just want him in my goddamn bed. Now!

"Yeah, Frase." I swallow hard, lick my dry lips. Seems strange that your lips can be dry while your mouth's so fulla spit you're havin' to swallow every ten seconds. "This is great. You're great! But you think we could kinda move things along here?"

He stops smiling and regards me quite seriously for a moment. "You know what they say, Ray?"

Jeezus! Just get in the bed already, willya? But I bite my tongue an' manage to answer dutifully, "No, whadda they say, Frase?"

Now his tongue peeks out an' slicks along his lower lip. I groan again, even louder this time, but this time he keeps right on lookin' at me.

"I think you should call me 'Ben," he says, which makes me blink, 'cause I wasn't exactly on that page of the script, you know what I mean. I try to say 'sure, I can do that,' but he's already goin' on: "And what they say, Ray, is that everything comes to him who waits."

"Yeah well, I've waited, Frase ... uh ... Ben."

"So you have."

An' he gives me this big grin, yanks that beautiful shirt right over his head, drops it on the floor, an' walks briskly over to the empty side of the bed. Turns out *his* dick's just as hard as mine an' I can't take my eyes off the way it sways with each step, just bouncin' a little over those full round balls. I know how that feels, but I ain't never seen no-one else's do that before.

His dick's just like the rest of him, big and hard and ... red. If I wasn't so turned on, that thought would make me snicker. But I can't stop concentratin' on what's right there in front of my eyes. He's the most beautiful thing on two legs: I reckon seein' him like that would have even the Jesus-freak's comin' in their pants. I suddenly realize I've got my hand wrapped like kudzu round my own prick an' pull it away real fast. Nothin', but nothin' would get me to take this fast instead of slow. This is our first time an' it's gonna be ... perfect. Gonna hit another homer, right here, right in my own damn bed.

He rips the sheet right down to the bottom of the bed and drops down onto the mattress next to me. I can feel how hot he is an' it almost takes my mind off how exposed I feel. Damn, it's times like this I wish I wasn't so fuckin' skinny. I try, I really do, but I can't keep it on even when I remember to eat regular.

One big hand comes over and lands on my hip, hot an' heavy. His eyes meet mine an' just like last night the blue-grey part's almost disappeared. But it ain't tiredness this time that's dilatin' his pupils, it's arousal.

"Are you all right, Ray?" he asks. An' I know right then that if I said 'changed my mind, Frase, can't do this,' he'd stop instantly, put his clothes back on an' do his damndest to figure out how to go back to just being friends with me. Guy's an idiot sometimes, but a noble and trustworthy idiot. It's been a long, long time since I been with someone I knew I could trust totally. Since back when Stella an' me was just kids in love, before we grew up an' became different people from who we thought we was gonna become.

"Yeah, I'm fine, Frase ... Ben." I put my hand over his an' feel how well we match. Both of us got big hands, even if mine are more slender than his. "I just ... this is kind of ... different, you know?"

"I suppose it is, Ray," he says, politely, but the look he gives me ain't polite at all. "And now, if you don't mind ... do you think we could move things along here?"

Bastard. Quotin' me back to myself. But a lovable bastard. An' my bastard, looks like.

"How you wanna do this?" I ask. 'Cause me, I haven't got a fuckin' clue how this is supposed to work. Though I figure a bit of kissing, 'cause I know we can do that real good, an' some neckin' ... an' then I guess we get down to business. Whatever exactly that means. I mean, it ain't exactly like I don't *know* what it means. I mean, I'm a cop, I worked vice, I know what guys do with each other. Hell, I even done some of it with Stella. But I don't know much about bein' on the other end, as it were.

An' I'm wonderin' exactly what Frase ... Ben ... knows, 'cause his hand is rubbing little soft circles on my thigh an' his eyes are steady on mine an' he's not exactly lookin' nervous or virginal. I always figured maybe there was something goin' on behind that innocent act an' it looks like I was right.

He angles his head a little and brings his face down to mine. Our lips meet an' his tongue sneaks right out an' starts lickin' around my lips an'pushin' in just far enough to flick over the tip of my own tongue. When I start to push back at him, he latches right on an' starts sucking, strong an' rhythmic. We do that for a bit an' then he pulls back and looks into my eyes again.

"Why don't we just do whatever feels good, Ray?"

Somehow his hand has snuck up to my shoulder an' I didn't even notice at the time. Nor did I notice that my own hand's gone around his body an' is rubbin' at the small of his back.

"You done this before, haven't you?" Well, duh, I didn't exactly mean to blurt it out like some sort of accusation. I mean, the guy's almost forty an' he had this thing with that Metcalf bitch, so he obviously ain't no virgin. But I didn't expect this ... this ... Mountie-like thingy he's doin', like he knows exactly where it's at an' how to get there.

"Well no, Ray. I believe you would have noticed if we had done this before."

I try to figure if he's teasin' me or not, but he's got his head down an' his tongue's tracin' this long slow line down my neck. I give my head a quick shake, just to clear the cobwebs, ya know, an' it don't even interrupt him for a second. Mountie concentrating's a sight you gotta see, 'specially when it's my bod he's concentratin' on.

"Not us, Ben," I finally manage. "You. You done this before ... with a guy, I mean."

The tongue trail keeps on going, climbing over my clavicle and headin' due south. It takes a second, but he stops long enough to say, "Yes Ray, I have." An' then he dips straight down an' latches onto my nipple an' the next thing I know I got both hands in his hair an' I'm puffin' like a fuckin' steam engine.

Nobody, I mean nobody, ever done that to me before. Hell, I never even played with 'em myself before. Always thought nipples was a girl thing, something to do with havin' proper boobs. It's such a strange intense feeling that for a moment I'm not sure if it's pain or pleasure, just that it's really ... *there*. After a while the strangeness fades an' there's nothin' left there but the pleasure an' he's doin' this stuff with his tongue an' teeth, suckin' and lickin' an' like nibblin' an' stuff, an' it seems like it's all hardwired straight to my dick.

He switches back an' forth for a while, makin' sure both of 'em get the same attention. I'm back to moanin' an' I have this scary suspicion that I been writhin' around too, which is sorta embarrasin' when all we're doing is makin' out.

Now that wet tongue's decided on some sorta detour. I try not to groan, 'cause I really want it back where it was. I got this nipple thing down now an' I could use some more of that. But then somethin' wet lands in my bellybutton an' I take a look an' see that he's headed straight downwards an' all of a sudden I can't breathe at all for thinkin' bout what straight downwards might lead that tongue to.

An' just as it looks like he's on exactly the same wavelength I am an' he's gonna get down to some serious lickin' an' suckin' just where I want it the most, my mouth opens an' I say, "You done it with Vecchio?"

That gets his attention all right an' his tongue goes firmly back in his mouth as he sits straight up. I'm thinking 'bout biting mine off. I mean, Jeeze, whatta stupid thing to say. 'Cause I ain't even jealous of Vecchio, ya know. Frase ... Ben wouldn't be doin' this at all if he didn't mean it. Not the dinner, not the striptease, an' definitely not the sex. I dunno what I was thinkin' ... guess the problem is that I was just floatin' on that lovely rush of endorphins an' not thinkin' at all, so my mouth just said whatever popped into my head.

Fraser's just lookin' at me, not sayin' nothing, though his hands are still touchin' me, still moving against my skin. His eyes are watchin' me like he's tryin' to burrow right through my eyeballs an' up into my head. I blink a couple o' times and he looks down for a second. When he looks up, he's got this little smile. "I think you would know that too, wouldn't you, Detective Vecchio?" His voice is mild an' he's obviously teasin' me again, but I get the feelin' he's serious too.

Somehow that makes me start to feel kinda stubborn. I mean, this is not a great time for this discussion, but I still wanna know... "C'mon Frase, ya know what I mean."

"Ray, Ray, Ray ..." He shakes his head at me. He's not lookin' directly at me, just sorta watchin' his own fingers fool around in my pubic hair. He's not touchin' anything real sensitive, but it's still pretty sexy. "If I had, do you think I would be here with you now?"

No, I don't. I know he wouldn't, I really do. I don't even really know why I asked the stupid question. So I jus' shake my head.

"If you really wish me to, I can tell you about my previous ... ah ... relationships," he says. He doesn't really sound embarassed, just ... distracted.

"There was another guy?" I ask, not even real sure why I need to know this, let alone why I need to know it now.

"Yes, Ray, there was another man."

"Just one?"

He hesitates a second. His fingers are still combin' through my hair down there but I don't think he even knows they're doin' it. "Just one ... significant ... relationship," he replies carefully.

'Significant relationship,' huh? I don't even gotta ask to know that that's what he thinks this is. That's what all that stuff about romantic *and* sexual was about, back before dinner. I'm tossin' up whether or not to ask if there were others that were ... what the hell would it be? Insignificant relationships? That don't sound like Mr. Mountie but, hey, I guess even a teenage future-Mountie-boy's a walkin' hormone, just like the rest of us. Hell, a change in the wind would do it for me back when I was fifteen.

Ben's obviously decided that this conversation is over for now, because he slides up the bed an' starts kissin' me again. I wanna ask him if he was really goin' to give me a blowjob just when my unconscious had its fit of bad timin', but my mouth's kinda busy. An' anyway, I'm not sure I know how to put it in words Mr. Mountie will understand. 'Cause I got this pretty certain feelin' that doin' it's one thing for Frase an' talkin' about it ... well, that's a whole different kettle of clinical terminology and five syllable words.

An' right then an' there he blows all my nice safe precar ... precan ... pre*con* ceived notions of him right out of the water. 'Cause he takes his tongue outta my mouth, plants a small kiss on the tip of my nose, an' says, "Would you like to fuck me, Ray?"

"Fu... Fuck ..." I can't even get my mouth round the words 'fuck' an' 'you' and 'Ben' all at the same time. "I can't believe you said that!" I say, even as my dick starts to feel like it's gonna implode from all the 'oh-yeah-oh-boy-oh-yeah' signals my brain's sendin' its way.

"Ray ..." He's startin' to sound a little impatient finally an' that makes me wonder why I'm botherin' to have this conversation with him in the first place. But then again, bein' here in my bed with him ain't just about gettin' to know Ben in the biblical sense, it's about gettin' to *know* him.

He shakes his head at me, then leans down to give me more little kisses, on the eyelids this time, just to show he don't mean nothin' bad by it. Very mildly, he says, "You know, Ray, it's a perfectly good word, when it's used as a synonym for sexual penetration. It just happens to be derived from Anglo-Saxon, rather than from Latin, roots. I only object to its inappropriate use as a profanity. Sex is too profound and ... wonderful ... to be used as a curse."

That's one hell of a speech for a guy whose hard-on's damn well *dripping* on my thigh. An' I finally decide it's time to just give in an' go with the flow. Keep my eye on the ball, count the seams, an' be one with the whole friggin' universe.

An' besides, the man asked me a question which I really *need* to answer. Like right now, before I come just from thinkin' about it.


"Yes?" For a second he looks puzzled, then his whole face lights up. "Yes? You would like to f..."

I jump in, 'cause hearing him say it is just a bit too weird an' I wanna keep things movin' along here. "Yeah. I would like to. Oh yeah."

I feel the bed dip and sway under us as he swings himself up onto his feet. What the hell? But then I see that he's rummagin' around in the pockets of his pants. What a boy scout!

There's a small bottle of lube in his hand. He gives it a quick shake and tosses it on the bedside table an' drops back down beside me. He's all sweaty an' his hair is lookin' kinda mussed, prob'ly from when I had my hands in it while he was suckin' on my nipples. It looks good, really really good.

He's pressed up all along my side, all hot and damp and *here* and *now*. It's great, greatness. But I can feel some sort of little tremor goin' through him an' I realize for the first time just how much *he* wants this. He really does *want* this. Wants me. Inside him. Fucking him, just like he said.

I never figured we would go this far the first time, but if he wants it ... Well, I'm sure as hell gonna try an' give him what he wants, tonight an' any other time he'll let me.

I start to reach across him for the bottle of lube, but he takes it outta my fingers an' gives me a quick smile an' a little headshake. "Let me," he says. "You watch, so you know what to do next time."

'Next time.' Oh yeah ...

If I thought I was hot before, my temperature flares right up there, like the space shuttle when it hits the atmosphere, when he squeezes that stuff over his fingers an' reaches down between his spread thighs. Things I didn't even know were part of me flame right off ... I'm talking metra ... metor ... like it's a kinda comparison, ya know, not like it's actually happenin' that way, but like it feels like that's what's happenin'. Parts of my ... my psyche. Stuff I kept bottled up inside me. Stuff I pretended was never there. An' it's all gone, just like that. Incinerated. Goooood-bye. An' good riddance.

Ben's got his legs spread wide, his knees bent an' his feet braced flat on the bed. One arm has snaked under his left buttock an' his left hand is holdin' his butt cheeks apart. The right hand's down between his legs, one slick finger just circlin' over an' over that dark little hole. It's so small an' tight an' I swallow hard at the thought of tryin' to get my dick in there. All of a sudden I feel too big an' clumsy. I don't wanna hurt him.

Seems like Ben knows what I'm thinkin', 'cause he says my name all soft like. Just the sound of his voice is enough to pull my eyes round to meet his. He smiles at me, a real genuine smile, full of laughter an' what looks one hell of a lot like love. "Just watch," he says.

I shift around a bit so I can get a better view of what he's doin' down there. Soon as I'm settled, he stops teasin' himself an' sinks his forefinger slow an' steady into his own asshole. He moans, soft an' low. I moan too. Loud. Oh Christ!

"Does that ... does that feel good?"

"Oh yes ..." He pants a little, mouth open, an' works his finger in an' out, sinkin' it in past the second knuckle, then pullin' back out to the first. His butt muscles are workin' in time to his finger, kinda clenchin' and unclenching as he finger-fucks himself. An' his dick's lyin' red an' swollen against his belly, jerkin' a little with the motion of his hips. There's a strand of precum glistenin' between his cockhead an' his stomach that pulls taut every time he flexes his ass. It's sexy as hell an' I can hardly keep from leanin' over him an' just lickin' it right up, except that I don't wanna miss even a second of what he's doin'.

Watchin' him gettin' himself ready for me to fuck him, I realize for the first time that he's cut. That kinda surprises me, 'cause he mentioned one time bein' born in a barn, not in a hospital. With the little bit of my brain that's still functioning, I file it away to ask him about some other time. I'm startin' to really concentrate here myself an' I can kinda feel the universe narrowin' down until there's nothin' in it but him an' me an' what he's doin' to himself for me an' how good I'm gonna try an' make him feel when I get inside him.

His left hand's pattin' around on the sheet an' I realize that he's lookin' for some more lube. I grab the bottle, flip the top up, an' hand it to him. He just kinda glops some on, not payin' too much attention to whether or not he's gettin' the sheets all wet. An' I could give a damn, 'cause now he's workin' a second finger in to join the first.

There's somethin' unbelievably fascinatin' about watchin' that finger disappear into his tight little asshole, almost like he's swallowin' it up from the inside. He moans again and tosses his head back. That long tendon in his neck is stretched so taut it looks paler than the rest of him. Damn, it's gotta feel good, what he's doin'. I done this with Stella a couple times, but she never liked it much. Dunno whether that's because she's a chick or because we never done all this stuff he's doin' with his fingers. 'Proper preparation' ... what was that? 'Proper preparation something-or-other performance.' That's what he's doin' now at any rate, gettin' all prepared so's it'll be good for both of us.

Christ, I still can't believe how much he wants this, how turned on he is. Is that because of his fingers up his ass or 'cause I'm watchin' him frig himself with his fingers or 'cause he knows what this is all leadin' up to? Or maybe all three? I get this sudden flash of him masturbatin' this way, all alone in that big empty echoin' box of a building, an' I swear to myself that he won't never need to do that again.

He pushes his fingers in even deeper an' whatever they're doin' in there, it makes him jerk an' kinda whimper. "Oh yeah," he says again. Then my name, long and low.

Slowly he pulls his fingers out an' lies there pantin'. His eyes are half shut an' his hair's so damp it's curlin' over his forehead. Sprawled out like that, still touchin' himself, he looks, like, totally dissolute.

After a moment to catch his breath, he reaches for my hand and rubs some lube over my index finger. It's warm, from friction I guess, and kinda sticky feelin'.

"Put ... put your finger inside me, Ray," he pants.

It feels kinda awkward, 'cause I'm still a bit scared of hurtin' him, but he's loose an' warm an' inside he feels ... it's kinda hard to explain, but sorta smooth an' dark, like chocolate silk or somethin'.

"A little deeper," he whispers, kinda screwin' himself down onto my hand at the same time. "Now feel ... feel the ventral wall ..."

"Huh?" It's amazin' being inside him even like this. If you hadda asked me before, I'd prob'ly have gone 'gross' or somethin'. But it ain't like that at all, it's just hot an' smooth, smoother than the insides of a woman's cunt, which is the only thing I got to compare it with.

"The front ... feel for a ..." I'm movin' my finger around inside him an' he gives that little jerk again. "Aahh. Oh yes." He's writhin' a bit himself now, like he can't quite make himself be still. He licks his lips an' tries again. "Feel that bump, Ray? That's my pr... prostate."

I find that bump for myself this time an' rub over it again an' he almost loses it completely, kinda thrashin' against me an' lookin' at me desperately. His eyes are sorta glazed over, like he can't focus properly any more.

"If you ... if you angle your peni ... your cock ... to rub over it ... aahh ... you ... you'll ..."

"I can do that," I say, 'cause I got the picture. If he thrashes like this every time I hit that little bump with my dick, we ain't gonna last much longer. But who the hell cares? 'Cause it's been some kinda wild ride already. An' not just the physical stuff, though that's great, greatness. It's knowin' he trusts me enough to be so ... so totally open with me, to let me see him like this. 'Cause he looks real vulnerable right now, vulnerable every which way, an' it almost makes me hurt to see him this way.

I move my finger around some more an' he's breathin' real hard, but he ain't tryin' to touch himself or nothin', just lyin' there an' letting me get useta this. I grab the bottle of lube with my other hand, pop the cap with my teeth an' just pour a glop of the stuff over my dick. It's kinda cold, which don't hurt right now, 'cause everything's feelin' pretty overheated. I spread the stuff around, tryin' not to touch my dickhead too much 'cause it's just too damn sensitive.

Finally, I pull my finger out slowly, just the way I watched Ben do it. "Um ... you ready?"

He answers by rollin' over on his belly an' gettin' up on his knees. His shoulders are down on the bed an' his head is pillowed on his folded arms. I wanna tell him to turn back over, so's I can watch his face while I take him, but he's the one who knows what he's doin' here an' I figure he's got his reasons.

I shuffle in between his spread legs an' brace myself with one hand on the small of his back. It's shakin' ... but then he's tremblin' so I guess it's okay. I take a deep breath. I can do this. He wants it, he really does. An' I want so bad to make it good for him.

"Ray..." It's just a whisper now. "Ray, you won't hurt me. Oh god, please, I need ..." He breaks off, starin' back over his shoulder at me. He looks ... wild. Like some creature outta those northern forests of his. Like that grape-an'-sex-god o' the Greeks, Dia-whatsit. Just ... wild.

I wrap my hand around my cock and hold it up between his buttocks, pushin' it against his asshole. His hole's slick from the lube an' tight, like some sorta furled bud that's just waitin' for the right moment to bloom.

He says "please" one more time, all sort of quiet an' needy-sounding, an' that's the last straw. I take another deep breath an' push. There's some resistance at first but I keep pushin', tryin' to keep it slow an' steady. I hurt Stella the first time I done this ... well, not exactly *this* but you know what I mean ... with her, but I was a teenager back then. I concentrate on breathin', just breathin', so's I can control how hard I'm pushin' into him, an' my dick just kinda pops inside an' keeps right on going.

Ah fuck. Christ, but he's tight an' hot and slick with the lube. I sink in all the way on just that one long first shove. An' it's somethin' to see, my dick buried all the way in him an' his ass closin' like a fist around it.

I go in an' out a few times, tryin' to take it nice an' easy, an' he's just lyin' there. His whole body's kinda tremblin' under me. I shift forward a bit, tryin' to find that sweet spot for him. It takes me a coupla tries, but I know right away when I got it. He makes a sound, no words, just pure need, an' pushes his ass back into my groin. My hands are right up by his shoulders an' I'm balanced right above him, just pushin' in an' pullin' out an' tryin' to find that bump for him each time I thrust.

He's not real loud, but he makes a noise every time I hit it, just like he can't help himself at all. An' he's pushin' back against me an' pullin' away when I do an' it's feelin' just fuckin' perfect.

I try to hold myself in that position an' just keep on movin' like that, but it don't take long before my arms start to shake. I gotta ... I let myself down onto his back, just pressin' my body the whole length of his, an' feelin' how hot an' sweaty he is. I slide my arms under his chest an' hold onto his shoulders. I don't want to crush him with my weight, but it seems that he likes it, 'cause he moans again, even louder. An' now we're full length together an' I'm slidin' around a bit on his back, all the sweat between us makin' things slick an' slippery an' I just lay my head down between his shoulder blades an' concentrate on how good it feels to be inside him, how good my dick feels when he squeezes down on it.

Sweat's drippin' off my face now an' landin' on his back. I run my tongue along his shoulder blade, tastin' his salt an' mine, an' he shudders underneath me. I can smell the both of us, a heady combination of sex an' sweat, my smell an' his all mixed up together. It's enough to make me crazy, but I'm still tryin' to keep things under control, to make this last an' last for the both of us.

I can feel the pressure buildin' up inside me an' I'm thrustin' harder an' deeper 'cause I can't help myself an' my arms are wrapped tight round him like he's my only lifeline to reality. An' he don't seem to mind at all, just keeps on pushin' back at me, in synch with me like we been doin' this for months an' it ain't just our first time together. An' every time I push in harder he makes that same little hurt noise, kinda whimpering, but not like it really hurts. Just like it's so fuckin' good he can't ... can't bear it. I know 'cause that's exactly how I'm feelin'. So much sensation comin' from everywhere an' it's so damn good I can't stand it. I want it to stop right now an' I want it to go on forever.

It's gettin' close now an' I know I'm not goin' to be able to balance on this tightrope of pleasure an' need for very much longer. Somethin' finally clicks in the little bit of my brain that's still runnin' on automatic an' I pull one hand down the length of his body an' feel for his dick, 'cause I want him to come when I do if we can manage that. But no sooner do I get my fingers wrapped around him, just squeezin' a bit an' lettin' my own thrusts drive his cock in an' out of my hands, nice an' easy 'cause he's been droolin' precum for ages now, than I feel his hand on mine, pryin' my fingers away.

"Don't ..." he gasps. "Too much ... distrac ... distraction." He manages to twist his head around to kiss the hand that's still on his shoulder. "Want to ... want to feel *you*."

Ah Christ, I can't stand it. All them deep gut instincts take over an' now I'm just poundin' into him. Coverin' him with my body an' fuckin' him hard an' deep an' fast an' praying that I ain't hurtin' him, because there's no effin' way I can stop doin' this. Gotta fuck him, gotta fuck him ... Ah Jeeze ...

An' he's just as hot for it as I am, just as crazy an' just as frantic. I'm trying not to let go, just to keep on feelin' this, all of this, even if it is flayin' me alive. An' then I hear his voice, low an' shaky, sayin' over an' over, "Ray, fuck me, Ray, fuck me, Ray, oh please oh god oh *fuck me*."

I can hardly lift my head from his back, but his words just tear mine outta me. "Ah yeah," an' it's way too loud, loud enough for all of Chicago to hear. "Oh yeah, Ben, I am fuckin' you. I'm fuckin' you, Ben. I ... oh fuck I love you love you love fucking you oh Jeezus Ben. Ben!" An' that's it, 'cause his internal muscles are tightenin' down on my cock like he's tryin' to hold me inside him for all eternity an' I can feel myself jerkin' an spasmin' and I'm comin' in him an' it feels like forever. It feels ... like hittin' a home run right outta the ballpark an' the team jumpin' up an' down and the crowd cheerin' and the fireworks blastin' and the ball just goin' up and up an' up in that long perfect arc. Just like that. It feels ... perfect.

When I can move again, I realize that he's lyin' flat out under me an' I can feel my whole body lowerin' an' raising as he gasps for breath. It occurs to me that lying on his back squashin' him ain't makin' it any easier for him to breathe. An' then finally it dawns on me that he's gotta be hurtin' since he wouldn't let me jerk him off while I fucked him.

Takes two tries, but I finally peel myself off him an' flop over beside him. I can feel the sweat startin' to cool all along my body where we've been plastered together.

I swallow, tryin' to get some saliva to wet my mouth, which feels dryer than that Arizona desert my folks live in. I tell him to turn over, soundin' like some sorta crow or somethin'. Or maybe a bullfrog.

He just lays there, seemin' totally limp.

"Turn over, Ben," I say, soundin' almost human this time around.

"Why?" he asks.

"C'mon Ben, turn over."

He gives a big sigh. "If you insist, Ray." And he levers himself slowly onto his side like it's takin' every ounce of energy he has to move at all. His eyes are droopin' an' if I ever wanted proof that deep down he's just a normal guy, I got it right here, 'cause he's two seconds from droppin' off to sleep.

"You came ..." I say. Well duh, Ray, state the obvious, why doncha?

"Well yes, Ray," he says, soundin' sleepy but patient. "Repeated stimulation of the prostate gland can be very ... effective."

"I guess," I say. But it occurs to me that all the gay porn I've seen, an' that's a fair bit, given how many vice raids I been on, the guy takin' it up the ass always has his hand wrapped round his dick. "I just thought you needed, like ..." I make a wanking gesture with my hand an' he chuckles.

"That can be nice too, Ray," Ben says. He gives me a little sleepy smile and adds, "But sex is mostly in your head, in any case, and since you were fulfilling one of my favourite fantasies ..."

"You been jerkin' off thinking 'bout me ... us ... doin' that?" I mean, of course he has. I know that. Just somehow I didn't think Mr. Mountie would admit to bein' human enough to need to do stuff like that. He's just full of surprises tonight. Good ones.

"Well yes, Ray." He squirms over towards me an' plants a soft kiss on my lips. "I've been thinking about you for a long time."

"That's good," I say. "That's perfect."

"Perfect," he repeats. Then he yawns, one of them big old yawns just like last night, an' he lays his head down on my shoulder an' closes his eyes.

"Oh yeah," I say, not even needin' to know if he's awake to hear me. "Totally fuckin' outta the ballpark ... perfect."