Bodie bit his lip and tried to resist the gasp straining to escape his throat. He turned his head away from his captor and sucked in a deep breath. This wasn't how today was supposed to end.
"Got any plans for tonight?"
"Nah, I'm knackered." Bodie stretched and struggled not to yawn, too many days and nights of twelve-hour shifts on the most boring obbo duty they'd ever been assigned had caught up with him at last. "Thought I'd make an early night of it."
"Big kid like you and you don't have plans for your birthday?" Doyle snorted. "I don't believe it."
"Christ," Bodie said, sitting up straight in the car. "I forgot."
And he had. He'd never paid much attention to his birthday. Doyle was the one who cared about birthdays and Christmas and all. To Bodie, they were only dates on the calendar, to be tolerated or ignored as the mood took him.
"Can't forget your birthday." Doyle leaned over, laid a hand on his shoulder. "Tell you what. I'll take you out for dinner. Maybe a nice wine bar for afters."
"If Cowley doesn't keep us all night on this miserable stakeout."
"Nah, he'd never do that. Even he's not that mean. And anyway, Lucas and McCabe are meant to be relieving us at six."
"I don't know," Bodie said, a wriggle of disquiet squirming in his gut.
"C'mon," Doyle said, removing the hand from Bodie's shoulder and elbowing him sharply in the ribs. "It'll be fun."
"Well..." Bodie drew the single syllable out, trying to work out why he thought this was a very bad idea indeed.
"Tell you what. We'll play a game. See who can pull faster. Settle the question once and for all."
Bodie knew what Doyle was doing, playing to his competitive side, his vanity. He looked over at his partner, and saw an expression of amusement, challenge and something else deeply buried and somehow irresistible.
"All right, then," Bodie agreed, even as his better sense was screaming at him to turn Doyle down, to get an order of something deeply unhealthy from the chippy 'round the corner and sleep for a decent ten hours. "If you will insist on being humiliated." Bodie batted his eyelashes in his best camp style.
"Oh, I do insist," Doyle said with a grin that did absolutely nothing to ease the anxiety erupting in Bodie's middle.
"Tell me." The voice was rough and demanding and scraped his nerves raw.
"No," Bodie said through gritted teeth.
The hands gripping his wrists tightened painfully as his arms were pulled further above his head.
"You'll tell me sooner or later." His would-be conqueror spoke softly in his ear, so close that Bodie could feel the kiss of hot breath on his skin.
"No bloody way."
"Any bloody way I like, mate."
And that was exactly what Bodie was afraid of.
Dinner was better than he'd feared.
Doyle picked him up and drove them to an Italian place he knew from his time in the Met. The menu went far beyond the usual spag bol and lasagna, and the wine list was stunning.
Plans for a small meal became starters and mains, one bottle of wine turned into two, and afters at a wine bar transformed into tiramisu, brandy, and espresso at the restaurant.
The contest for who could pull fastest never got off the ground. Bodie told himself it was because there was no likely talent in the place--a few middle-aged women out for a night on the town with their equally middle-aged husbands, a teenaged girl in the company of her parents and younger brother--but in truth he wasn't interested. The man sitting across from him held all his attention.
Doyle was at his charming best that night, keeping the conversation flowing effortlessly, producing within Bodie a warm glow that he'd never before associated with his birthday. Early experience had taught him that birthdays were for broken promises and forgotten pledges. But here he was, enjoying himself, finding ways to drag out the evening even as he noticed the other customers leaving and the waiters piling chairs on tables.
"C'mon," Doyle reached across and jostled his elbow on the table. "Let's get going. Marcello'll bar me from the place if we hold up his staff any more."
"All right," Bodie agreed with a decided lack of enthusiasm that Doyle must have noticed.
"Tell you what. Come back to my place. I've got a bottle of single malt in that'd make Cowley cry to see it. You won't even have to go home. You've got enough clothes at my flat for the morning."
"I don't know, Doyle." The scotch was a lure, but Bodie wasn't sure he could stay awake long enough to drink it.
"I'll let you have the bed." Doyle smiled, a decidedly wolfish expression. "You being the birthday boy and all. I'll take the sofa."
"You'll never." Doyle could wrap him around his little finger and they both knew it. No matter where they slept, Doyle always seemed to get the better of it.
"Cross my heart."
"I don't believe it." Bodie looked at his partner with suspicion. "I know: your mattress has gone."
"No it bloody hasn't. Just thought I'd be nice."
"You know your problem? No trust."
"Comes with being your partner. I've learned my lesson."
"Ouch," Doyle said, clutching his chest. "You wound me."
"Prat," Bodie said flatly.
"Probably. But that doesn't answer my question. Are you coming back to my place?"
"Suppose I'll have no peace if I don't."
"That's the spirit," Doyle said with a grin.
Bodie shook his head, suddenly convinced he was making the worst mistake in a life that included more than one man's share of right cock-ups.
He stared at his captor's eyes, seeing them glitter with hunger and curiosity, and wondered why he'd let things go so far.
He swallowed hard, and noticed the eyes above him flick down to his throat before returning to his face. And then the man smiled, an expression of complete control that made Bodie cold and hot at once, made his heart beat faster and a sheen of sweat break out on his skin.
"Tell me," the voice said, the sound scraping his nerves like rough velvet.
He could avoid it no longer. Bodie licked his lips and made his decision. And then he took a breath to speak.
They took a cab to Doyle's, two bottles of wine and the brandy beyond even their capacity to drive safely and neither of them wanting to risk Cowley's wrath if they were done by a plod for drunk driving.
Doyle was as good as his word with the scotch. He had a bottle of Macallan that must have set him back a packet: twenty-five years old and smooth as silk going down.
They sprawled on the sofa, their sock feet on Doyle's battered coffee table, and talked utter crap about footy and guns and whether Cowley would ever sign this month's expense chits and whether Doyle would ever have the bottle to ask for a pay rise.
Bodie felt himself mellow, felt the exhaustion he'd been fighting all evening begin to catch up with him fully. He only realized his eyes were closed when he felt Doyle kick his foot.
"Oi, Sleeping Beauty. You ready for a kip?"
"Suppose I must be." Bodie dragged a hand across his face. "Can't keep my eyes open."
"Right, off you go." Doyle gave him a shove. "Bedroom's yours."
"You're really going to let me have it?"
"I really am."
"Without a fight?"
"Listen, mate, if you don't shut up, I'll take it back."
"No," Bodie said quickly. "Just wanted to make sure." He stood and headed to the bedroom.
"G'night," Bodie said, then walked down the hall, feeling as if he were missing something very important.
He stripped off his clothes as quickly as he could with fingers made clumsy from drink and exhaustion and slipped under the covers. The sheets were cool to the touch and he shivered, pulling them up to his nose and hoping they'd soon warm up.
He'd nearly dropped off to sleep when he felt the bed dip down beside him. With reflexes born of too many years making his living with a gun in his hand, his eyes shot open and he reached for a pistol that was under the pillow in his own flat.
"Only me," a voice said beside him. Doyle's voice. Bodie struggled to focus and saw his partner. Doyle was still wearing his shirt, but it was unbuttoned, exposing his chest to the night air.
"Doyle," Bodie said, fighting to clear the cobwebs from his mind. "What the fuck are you doing?"
"Couldn't sleep," Doyle said with a shrug.
"So you thought you'd wake me up. Ta very much."
"It's only fair."
"How do you reckon that?"
"You’re the reason I couldn't bloody sleep, aren't you?"
"What?" Bodie blinked rapidly, feeling very much out of his depth, with the waters threatening to close over his head at any moment. "You don't half talk crap, Doyle."
"Makes two of us," Doyle said.
"I don't know what you mean," Bodie tried for righteous indignation and fell far short without quite knowing why.
"How about this?" With the economy of movement that marked all his actions, Doyle straddled him and grabbed his wrists, pulling them above his head so swiftly that Bodie didn't fight it. Bodie's mind refused to believe what was happening, that Doyle would do this. But even as his mind struggled to deny, his body betrayed him. He could feel his nipples harden at the pull of the sheet across them, feel his cock fill with blood at the sensation of Doyle's weight on him.
"Gerroff," Bodie said, bucking in a futile effort to throw Doyle off him.
In response, Doyle leaned forward. Doyle's tongue played against his lips before entering his mouth.
Doyle tasted of tomatoes and wine, of scotch and coffee. His tongue was curiously cool, but his breath was hot in Bodie's mouth. Bodie tried to ignore the feelings flooding his nerves, but they were too insistent, too inescapable. He opened his mouth more to Doyle's advances, sighing as Doyle nipped his lower lip before pressing in with his tongue. Bodie strained against Doyle, lifting his hips up in an effort to increase the contact between them, but Doyle wouldn't release control. He tightened his legs around Bodie's thighs and re-asserted his hold on his wrists. Then breaking his contact with Bodie's mouth, he spoke.
"Tell me that you want me."
"No," Bodie whispered roughly, needing to reject the strength of his response.
Doyle looked down at him, his eyes narrowed, his chest heaving. He held Bodie's gaze for a long minute, then leaned down. Bodie felt Doyle's tongue lick his neck, felt his teeth nip at his shoulder. He threw his head back and strained against Doyle's hold, his cock lengthening and hardening with the effort. Doyle ground his hips against Bodie's one last time, then pulled back and looked at him. His eyes were black, the pupils gone wide with lust, and Bodie fancied there was a flush at the base of his throat. Bodie felt his own skin warm at exactly the same spot.
"Tell me," Doyle said. Then waited.
"Yeah," Bodie said, taking in another deep breath before continuing. "I want you." When he wasn't turned into a pillar of salt, Bodie found the strength to go on. "Probably always have." Another deep breath. "You're a rotten sexy bugger, aren't you?"
Doyle hovered over him, his lips parted, the pulse thrumming visibly in his throat. And then he did the one thing Bodie had never envisioned, the few times he'd had the nerve to fantasize about what this moment might be like.
He threw back his head and laughed, a dirty chuckle that sent a thrill down Bodie's spine and right to his balls.
"You laughing at me, you bastard?" Bodie said, more humour than anger in his words.
"What if I am?" Doyle said, not backing down but releasing his hold on Bodie's wrists just a little, just enough.
Bodie didn't respond with words. Instead, he rose up, forcing Doyle to let go at last, twisting so he was the one on top and Doyle was underneath him. Doyle's shirt fell off his shoulders, trapping his arms at his side. His unbuttoned trousers rode down slim hips. Bodie made short work of the trousers, leaving the shirt binding Doyle's arms, and took Doyle's mouth with his own. This time, Doyle's tongue was as hot as his breath, as hot as the places their skin met. With no sheet between them, Bodie could feel his bollocks against Doyle's thigh, could feel the glide of their cocks meeting.
He thrust down, gasping as Doyle returned the pressure. He concentrated on every sensation—the crinkle of Doyle's chest hair, the heat of the breath in his mouth, the tightening of his balls as he approached the cusp. Taking Doyle's lip in his teeth he held his breath, hovering on the edge, wanting and not wanting to fall over. But the fall was inevitable and it happened, leaving Bodie panting and drained.
As if Bodie's climax was what he needed, Doyle now raced to cross the finish line himself, thrashing under Bodie until Bodie felt him come, their semen mingling on their bellies.
When his breathing had finally returned to normal, Bodie rolled off Doyle and helped him off with the shirt. Doyle used it to wipe them clean then threw it in a corner of the room.
"Messy bugger," Bodie said.
"You should talk," Doyle said, wrapping his released arms around Bodie. Bodie returned the embrace and entwined his legs with Doyle's, pulling his partner even closer. He touched his lips to Doyle's with a gentleness they'd neither of them been able to manage before, then whispered in his ear.
"Best birthday present I ever had."
"Too bloody right," Doyle said and returned the kiss before burying his face in Bodie's shoulder and drifting off to sleep.
Bodie lay awake for a few minutes more, taking comfort in the warmth of the man in his arms. It wasn't the way Bodie had thought his day would end. But it was a damned sight better than he could have imagined.
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