For nine years Doyle has kept his feelings for his partner to himself. He finally reveals them to Bodie, but immediately throw Bodie out of his flat. It is down to Doyle's elderly neighbour to help Bodie get back inside his partner's home and tell his partner just how he feels.
A first time story.
Written: June 2005. Word count: 5,441.
"Fancy a bite to eat and a pint after work?"
"Love to, sunshine. But not tonight. I've got a date."
Ray, who had experienced a rush of pleasure when Bodie spoke the first three words, felt like a balloon must feel when it is popped. "Oh," he managed, glancing down at the report he was meant to be writing. "Bit sudden that, isn't it? I thought Jennifer was away until Wednesday." He glanced up through his over-long fringe, letting the curls shield his eyes from his partner's knowing gaze.
"Didn't say it was with Jennifer, did I?" Bodie rubbed his hands and leant back in his chair, tipping it onto its back feet.
"Who then?" Ray managed, playing the game by the complex rules that neither of them had ever actually defined, but both understood. He didn't give a damn who the girl was, but if he didn't ask, then Bodie would wonder why.
Bodie gave him an odd look before shrugging and saying dismissively, "Oh, no-one you know. Just some bird I met this morning when I popped to the corner shop for a pint of milk."
"Just some bird?" Ray echoed, his mouth sprinting into action before his brain could stop it. "Just some bird? Is that all she is? Some bird? Doesn't she even have a name?"
The blue eyes that had been sparkling with mirth just second earlier, narrowed and became darker. For a fleeting second Bodie looked if not angry, then at least cross. As quickly as it had arrived, the look fled, leaving puzzlement in its place. When Bodie spoke again, his tone matched his look, with just a hint of defence thrown in. "Course I know her name, it's Charlotte. What do you think I am?"
Suddenly Ray had had enough. He was bone weary, his head throbbed with the kind of pain he always experienced when under attack, his pulse was racing and his throat was dry. With a quick movement he stood up, pushing the chair back so hard it screeched across the floor and ricocheted off the wall, the noise echoed around the small room. "Sometimes I bloody well wonder, mate. Sometimes I wonder," Ray spat, turning on his heel and striding out of the room. He paused only long enough to snag his jacket from the back of the chair, ignoring the sound of cloth ripping as he yanked it too hard from where it was pressed against the wall. The door slammed behind him, echoing through the oddly deserted corridors of CI5's Headquarters.
Bodie sat mouth open, staring at the door that appeared to still be swaying on its hinges. "Bleedin' hell," he muttered. "What's got into him?" It was true that Ray was more inclined to have to care about the women he bedded, whereas for Bodie they were just . . . He pushed that thought away before it could formulate fully.
Yet despite Ray's often ‘I'm convincing myself that I care about her' attitude, he had always fallen willingly into the partner's banter and teasing. Never before had he behaved like a . . . For a moment Bodie couldn't think of a description, at least not a complimentary one.
‘Sanctimonious prig', came to mind. Bodie pushed that thought away, as ‘newly wed', raced into second place.
Bodie had seen it before. Anson had been like that for a few months after he'd married. Before that he had given both Bodie and Ray a run for their money when it came to bird-chasing. Then suddenly, he had a ring on his finger and it was as though he'd been a virgin groom. Tutting and casting long glances at his fellow agents when they larked around and boasted about their conquests. He was forever going on about ‘my wife' and ‘my Linda', and ‘the wonders of marriage'. Less than a year later ‘my Linda' had left him for a doctor, and Anson was back to playing the field and rubbishing marriage. But for those few months he had been like any addict who had given up their addiction and then looked down on those who were still hooked. Keller had been like that when he gave up smoking, a right bastard to be around. Of course Keller was a right bastard anyway, but that wasn't the point.
Putting his feet up on the desk, Bodie pondered the electric golly's behaviour. His partner had turned forty less than a month ago, could it be that he was finally thinking about settling down and getting married? Bodie could hardly credit it, after all, his partner wasn't dating anyone, not seriously - at least not that Bodie knew of. But what if . . .
Suddenly the room grew colder and Bodie shivered, the ‘someone walked over my grave', cliché feeling horribly real. "Shit!" he swore loudly, before pushing himself to his feet and striding out of the office. He'd go round and sort this out for once and for all. His curses grew louder and baser when he remembered, less than a minute later, that they'd come to work that morning in the gold Capri. The gold Capri that his errant partner had no doubt drive off in - alone - less than half an hour previously.
Bodie did not enjoy explaining why he needed to check a car out of the pool, because his partner had suddenly ‘remembered' an important appointment.
"Oh, hell! Oh, hell! Oh, hell!" Ray muttered as he paced up and down his sitting room, dragging his hand repeatedly through his already tangled curls. "You stupid idiot," he added, finally sinking down onto the sofa and letting his head fall into his hands. For a second he let his mind ponder on the irony of the fact that the angrier, more upset or irritated he became, the milder his curses were.
He snagged the tumbler he'd half filled with whisky - the cheap stuff. There was no good drinking the pure malt, not tonight when he knew he wouldn't taste it, and intended to drink enough to sink him into oblivion. He gulped down a mouthful, not even wincing as the cheap liquor burnt the back of his throat.
He had really done it this time. He'd, if not given himself away, then at the very least behaved so like a prat, that Bodie was bound to be suspicious. But it was getting so hard to watch Bodie wining, dining and bedding woman after woman after woman, not to mention the odd bloke he fucked for variety. "Oh, Bodie," he wailed. "Why won't you fuck me?" He realised just how childish he sounded, and forced the child away with another deep swallow of the fiery liquid.
Empty glass in hand, Ray rose to his feet and crossed the room to refill it. This time he brought the bottle back with him. As he sank back into the depths of the sofa, trying to ignore the twanging of springs as he landed, he forced himself to face what he had just said. The truth was he didn't want Bodie to merely fuck him; he wanted Bodie to make love to him. He wanted Bodie to be in love with him, just as he, Raymond Charles Doyle, was in love with his tall, dark and beautiful partner, one William Andrew Philip Bodie.
Love? He glanced around warily, half expecting the room to start mocking him, as he dared to even think the unmentionable. Bodie didn't believe in love. He ridiculed the very sentiment, derided those who mentioned it, and hated being around those who felt - or believed they felt -it. If Bodie suspected even for a second that Ray was in love with him, he'd be off to see George Cowley and demand a new partner so swiftly that Ray would get hit by the door as Bodie dashed through it.
Ray had fought the emotions valiantly but futilely for nine years now, and he knew that he could battle for little longer. When he had just fancied Bodie, it had been hard enough knowing that his partner was screwing other men and remaining oblivious to his best friend's feelings. However, when lust and fancy had turned into love, a love that had grown deeper and more powerful each day, the pain had begun to cut into him so deeply that Ray swore he could feel
the blood seeping from his veins into his body cavities, and believed he could see the scars at night. Now he had little strength left; barely any of his body was free from the wounds, and the loss of life sustaining liquid was so great that Ray feared he might one night go to sleep and not wake up.
Ray Doyle always had had a vivid imagination, which was one of the reasons he had flirted with a career as an artist before the reality of a life pandering to the whims of fate had opened his eyes and sent the young man into the Met. "I love you, Bodie," he whispered, again glancing around to see if he would be laughed at. "What am I going to do?"
The short-long-short blare of his buzzer caused the still half full tumbler to fall from his fingers as he stared in sheer panic at the door. Only one person rang in such a presumptuous, coded manner. The one person he both longed and feared to see. "Bodie?" he whispered, as the cipher was repeated. He vaguely noticed that his fingers were wet and sticky, and that the sour smell of the cheap Scotch was permeating into his nostrils and weaving its odious scent around the suddenly claustrophobic room.
"Come on, Doyle. I know you're in there. Open this bloody door." Bodie's patience had clearly reached breaking point, as he blasted the short-long-short three times in lightening-quick succession, and hammered on the door with his fist.
"Oh, hell," Ray swore, glancing around him, looking for a way out. There wasn't one. Before he could do anything else, he heard the rattling of the lock. The patience had snapped; Bodie was using his key. Remembering that he had set both sets of locks, the alarm and put the chain on, gave Ray a few seconds reprise.
With the speed that would have impressed any hundred metre runner, Ray sprinted from the room, into the bathroom where he yanked the shower head down, turned it on, not even bothering to wait for it to warm up, and ducked his head under it.
Seconds later, shirt undone and hanging loose from his jeans, a towel in his hand, boots and socks healed off, Ray came to a skidding halt by the front door. "Hang on, hang on," he called, as the door hit the chain and bounced back. "Bleedin' hell," he muttered, pushing the door closed far enough to enable him to remove the chain. "Keep your hair on, mate." He opened the door with a flourish and offered his partner a half grin. "Impatient bastard," he said. "Well don't just stand there. Now that you're woken up half the block, you might as well come in." He kept on babbling partly to fill up the uncomfortable silence.
Leading the way back into the sitting room, still rubbing his soggy curls with the towel, Ray glanced at Bodie and said, "Sorry I took so long. I was in the shower." As soon as the words left his mouth, he regretted them. The sapphire eyes that often sparkled with mirth, or looked at Ray with fond indulgence, became as dark as flint, and the pale face hardened into stone. Bodie's lips became nothing more than a thin line and his body seemed to grow as it filled with tension. He took a step closer to Ray, deliberately accentuating the inch-and-a-half height difference, which given that Ray was shoeless and Bodie in his heeled boots, was now more like three-and-a-half inches. He loomed over Ray and stared down at him, the look one of utter contempt mingling with disbelief.
Ray had done it this time. He'd broken their one cardinal rule; the only one they had in their sometimes turbulent, but always affectionate partnership: they wouldn't lie to one another. Tall stories along the lines of how many times they did it the night before, or at what age they first touched a girl, were one thing, but a lie was nothing short of a heinous crime. With a few words Ray had torn away the layers of trust that formed the foundation of their partnership; a trust that went beyond friendship and working together. A trust they relied upon on a daily basis, without ever having to question or wonder whether it would be there.
"Shit," Ray whispered and lowered his gaze, unable to bear the frozen, unblinking look. He thought frantically. He had to say something. But what? ‘I'm sorry', would be unthinkable, contemptible; it would do more damage. But he still had to try. "Bodie, I -"
"Don't even think about it," Bodie cut in, grinding out the words. They continued to stare at one another, neither of them blinking until Ray felt his eyes begin to fill with water, and saw the same thing happening in his partner's eyes.
Bodie pinched the bridge of his nose and glanced away; his body seemed to sag. "What the hell's going on, Ray?" he demanded softly.
Ray was torn. Another lie could easily spell the end of their partnership. However, so could the truth. It was Catch 22 and he was stuck. "Drink?" he offered, hoping for a moment or two's reprieve.
"If you think I'm drinking that crap, sunshine, you've got another think coming," Bodie said, nodding towards the cheap bottle of whisky that still stood alone and forlorn on the coffee table. For a moment sounding his usual self, he added, "What's up, on another one of your penny pinching binges?"
Ray shrugged and ignored the question. "You know where the decent stuff is. Help yourself, I'll just go and -"
Bodie's hand shot out and stopped him dead. "What you'll do, Raymond my son, is answer my question. Now. And just in case those curls of yours have sapped your memory, I'll repeat it. What. The. Fuck. Is. Going. On." He spaced each word out, snapping them at Ray with the same force as bullets left his gun.
Ray didn't think that now was the time to correct Bodie and tell him that actually he'd asked ‘what the hell's going on'. There was a time and place for pedantry, and this wasn't it.
He felt like a cornered animal, forced onto the defensive - even if he only had himself to blame. So he did what all corned animals do, he lashed out. "You want to know what's wrong with me, do you, Bodie?" he shouted. He took a step closer, tossed back his head, ignoring the wetness than was seeping through his shirt and glowered up at the taller man. "Well I'll tell you what's wrong with me. I made the stupid mistake of falling in love with you, didn't I? Now just get the hell out of my flat, and bugger off to Cowley and tell him that you want a new partner."
In a move that stunned both men, Ray physically manhandled Bodie across the room, along the short corridor and had him outside the door of his flat before he drew another breath. Slamming the door hard, he pushed the bolts into place with shaking hands, before fighting a losing battle with the chain. Finally he realised why he couldn't get it in place; it was because he couldn't see. And the reason he couldn't see, was that blinding tears were pouring from his eyes, burning his cheeks as they slid from his chin onto his chest. Dragging the back of his hand over his eyes, he cleared them long enough to force the chain into its slot, then he let himself slide down the wall on to the ground.
Bodie stood in the hallway staring, open-mouthed at the door. He was as much taken aback by Ray's words, as by the whole throwing out. Ray Doyle was strong, considerably stronger than he looked, but he had never bested Bodie in all their time together. How could he? After all they were both trained CI5 agents, and with Bodie's greater height and weight, the odds would always be on Bodie's side. However, not this time. This time it appeared that rage, fear or whatever had pushed his partner's adrenaline levels beyond the norm, had kicked in, allowing Ray power he had never before had.
Ray was in love with him? He could hardly believe it. No, he couldn't believe it. He daren't believe it. And yet Ray wouldn't lie about such a thing, would he? Especially not after the lie he'd told minutes before. The lie that had shattered Bodie beyond any previous hurt had touched him. And what the hell was all that about ‘going to Cowley and getting a new partner'? Didn't Ray realise that he'd just given Bodie all his birthday and Christmas presents from now until he died - and then some?
He raised his hand to knock on the door, determined to stand there knocking until Ray let him in when he heard a door opening behind him. He turned around, composing his face into a friendly one as he did so. "Evening, Mrs. Jackson," he said. "It's been a nice day today, hasn't it? How's your leg doing?"
Ray's neighbour, who looked on the partners as wayward grandsons, limped slowly out of her flat, leaning heavily on her walking stick. "Good evening, William," she said, staring up at him from her tiny five foot frame. "Have you boys been arguing again?"
Bodie shuffled his feet, feeling like a schoolboy again. The usual irritation he felt whenever anyone dared to use his given name had never surfaced with Mrs. Jackson. Something about her soft peaches-and-cream complexion, the way her pale blue eyes twinkled, and her grey permed hair curled around her cheeks, together with the twin-set and pearls she habitually wore, reminded Bodie of the gran he'd never known. So when she had calmly, over her tea and home made scones, provided throughout the day Bodie had helped Ray move into his current flat, told Bodie that she had no intention of calling him by his surname, and that William was a lovely name, Bodie had acquiesced without a murmur; much to the bemusement of his partner.
Lying to such a lovely lady was not in Bodie's nature. Besides, she may be over eighty, but her hearing was as sharp as someone three-quarters her age, and the walls in the converted block, weren't exactly renowned for keeping noises contained. "Kind of," he said finally, and was fixed to the spot by a stare so like George Cowley's, that he began to wonder whether the Controller of CI5 and Mrs. Jackson, shared a common ancestry.
She tutted. "Oh, William," she chastised. "I sometimes think the two of you aren't too old to be put across my lap. Why don't you just ring the doorbell and tell Raymond that you are sorry."
Bodie sighed. "I would do, Mrs. Jackson," he said. "But I don't think he'll answer the door."
She fixed him with her stare again. Tutted once more and shook her head. "Get out of the way," she instructed. "No, stand over there. That's it. Now I want you to promise me that you'll stop this silly arguing and k . . ." she began to cough. "Just a tickle," she said moments later. "Promise me that you'll sort your problems out and make up."
Bodie stared at her. She couldn't possibly have been about to say ‘kiss and make up', could she? No, of course not. He'd just projected the sound into his hearing, as he wanted it so badly. "We'll be good," he said as the cool, blue eyes watched him.
She nodded, apparently satisfied with his less than clear answer. She hobbled the final few steps to Ray's door and tapped on it gently. "Raymond," she called in her clear voice. "Raymond dear, are you in there?" She waited.
In the shadowed corner Bodie also waited, holding his breath and attempting to merge into the walls. No matter how upset Ray was, no matter how angry or in pain he was, Bodie knew that his partner would not leave his elderly neighbour standing at his door.
Seconds later his belief was confirmed as the sound of a chain being removed and bolts being unhoused, sounded in the hallway. "Hello, Mrs. Jackson," his partner's subdued voice said. "Is everything all right?"
The little lady tilted her head back to look at Ray. Even from his corner, Bodie could see the trace of tears on his partner's pale face. "No, Raymond, everything isn't all right. How can it be when my two favourite boys are arguing? William, come here," Bodie obeyed. He believed that even George Cowley would have leapt to attention if she addressed him with that tone.
As he crossed slowly to the open door, Bodie saw a myriad of emotions race across the ashen face. Panic, a flash of anger, annoyance, fear and finally resignation did battle with one another. "Ray," he said, nodding at his partner.
"Bodie," Ray replied, his tone under full control. The green eyes, usually so open and vocal, where as closed and silent as a Bank on a Sunday, as they met Bodie's own.
The petite Mrs. Jackson sighed. "Now then, William, Raymond," she turned from one to the other. "Are you going to go in there and talk to one another like the grown-ups you are meant to be, and sort your problem out? Or do I have to come in with you and officiate?" She would too; Bodie had no doubt about that. For a mad moment he imagined her sitting there between them, whilst he explained to Ray that rather than buggering off now that he knew his partner was in love with him, he intended to stay around for the next hundred or so years. "Well?" she demanded, her tone once more like the Scottish Controller who ruled their days, and often their nights.
"Yes, Mrs. Jackson," Bodie murmured. Seconds later his partner repeated the words.
"Good," she said firmly. "In that case you can both come and have tea with me on Saturday. I'll expect you at 3:00 sharp. Now I'll say goodnight." She gave them both her soft smile and moved, leaning heavily on her dark-wood walking stick.
"Goodnight, Mrs. Jackson," the partners echoed in unison. Bodie decided that it was a good omen.
They stood there and waited until she reached her door, where she turned round and stared meaningfully at them. Her look was clear: I'm going to stand here until the pair of you go inside. Not wishing to make her stand any longer, the partners smiled, nodded and entered Ray's flat.
The partners stood facing one another, but not making eye contact. The space between them was more than triple their usual amount. It seemed to Ray to be a gulf that neither man could cross. He cleared his throat. "Fancy that drink now?" he asked, wondering if his voice sounded as odd to Bodie as it did to him.
"Interesting choice of words, sunshine. Freud'd have a field day with that," Bodie said, his voice neutral. His eyes gave nothing away, but then they rarely did.
"Huh?" Ray said, his brain still not working at its usual speed. He hastily pressed rewind. "Oh," he managed faintly. Then, "Well, do you?" he demanded defiantly.
Bodie took a step across the void dividing them. Ray forced himself to remain where he was. When Ray didn't move, Bodie took another step; then a third, until he was close enough for Ray to smell the remains of his partners' tangy aftershave, and see the faint stubble that teased the ivory chin. "There's something I fancy more," he said softly, slowly lifting a hand and brushing a curl from Ray's cheek.
Ray momentarily forgot how to breathe. Various scenarios raced through his mind, all of them ending up with him flat on his back. How he got there varied - but being the secure-in-his-insecurity-pessimist that Ray Doyle was, the most common picture was Bodie thumping him.
Calling on every bit of his courage, the bravery that allowed him to stare down a cocked gun and act nonchalant, Ray said, "Oh, yeh, what's that then?"
"This," murmured Bodie, lowering his head and finding Ray's lips with his own.
Ray had fantasised many times about being with Bodie, but somehow it never involved kissing. His fantasises always seemed to feature dark rooms, sweaty bodies, silence apart from the odd grunt or two and quick face to back fucking - because that's what men did together, right? Or at least that the kind of gay sex Bodie would have. Ray had lived long enough to know that although the gay world had its seedy side, but what world didn't? It also had it lovers, its long term partners, its ‘married' couples. It had love; not just sex.
However, Ray had also been a copper and CI5 agent for long enough to know not to waste chances when they are presented, but to grab them with both hands and hold on. So he did. He leant into the kiss, opening his mouth and inviting Bodie's tongue in. He also let himself sink further into his partner's embrace, pushing his body against the more sturdy one, feeling the clear signs of Bodie's arousal against his thigh. He moaned under the kiss and moved his hips slightly, causing Bodie to echo his moan.
Finally when the top team remembered that top team they might be, but even they needed oxygen to survive, their lips parted, and realism hit Ray like a bucket of ice water. He froze within the firm, warm embrace and forced himself to look up into Bodie's eyes. To his surprise, they were like dark onyx velvet with only a hint of cerulean blue surrounding the darker softness.
Bodie's face was relaxed, it looked almost dreamy, his smile was soft; Ray had never seen it so gentle. He looked as though he was . . . Ray pushed the thought from his mind. "Bodie?" he made the name a question.
"Yes, love," Bodie replied, trailing the fingers of one hand up Ray's arm, along his shoulder and into his curls, playing with them, teasing them. "Always loved these," he said; awe touched his voice.
It was too much for Ray. This couldn't be his partner. His William Andrew Philip Bodie. The bastard was teasing him; or was he? He had to know. "What the fuck was that, Bodie?" he demanded suddenly, trying to wrench himself from the bigger man's grip.
Bodie just smiled and held Ray firmly. "That, Professor was what we call ‘a kiss'. Should have
thought you'd have learnt all about those behind the bike sheds. No, wait, it was the dance hall, wasn't it?" he chuckled and continued to play with Ray's curls.
Still Ray wasn't convinced; he didn't dare allow himself to be. "But why?" Bodie just smiled at him. "Why did you kiss me? Why, Bodie? Why? Is it some bleedin' game you're playing? Or . . ."
Bodie answered the question with another kiss. This one even gentler than the first, his embrace even more loving and secure. When they once more broke for air, he murmured in Ray's ear; the warm breath caused Ray to shiver, and his already hard erection became even firmer. "Or, sunshine. Very much or." His tongue flicked out and began to tease Ray's earlobe, before working its way inside the shell. Ray could barely think straight. His ears were his biggest turn on, and his partner knew that.
"Bodie," he said, or rather whimpered, and cringed at the sound of his own voice. "Please."
"Please what, my love," Bodie said, before returning to Ray's ear, this time nibbling the sensitive organ with the tips of his teeth.
Ray bit down his groan and dug deep inside himself, deeper than he had ever gone before. He reached every ounce of his strength and courage, the kind he had rarely had to call on, even when out on the job. "Just tell me why, Bodie," he managed, pulling his head away from the questing mouth.
Bodie sighed and chuckled again, the sound was warm and damp; this time Ray couldn't stop his shudder. "Always knew you were the romantic at heart. Okay, how about this for a reason: I love you, Raymond Doyle. Now, can we stop the third degree and go and try out that nice, big bed of yours."
Now that was his Bodie, from romance to lust in one breath. It was almost enough. And had it been a year ago, maybe even less, Ray would have wilted and given in, and they'd now be in his bed, naked. But it wasn't a year ago; it was now. "You love me?" he asked.
Again Bodie sighed. This time he moved his mouth from Ray's ear and pushed his partner back just far enough to make eye contact with him. "God, you really are a terrier, Doyle. Yes, I love you. Have done for some time now."
"But . . . But . . . But . . ." Ray managed. "But . . ."
"Why didn't I say?"
"Didn't know how to, did I. Knew that you wanted me, I could tell by that look you gave me sometimes. But I didn't know if that was all it was, just want. Lust. Sex. A quick fuck or two. Knew that if I had you once, that'd be it. I couldn't give you up easily or willingly."
"But all those birds and blokes."
Bodie shrugged. "The blokes were simply there to scratch an itch when a bird wasn't enough. The birds, well. . . I'm not going to lie and say ‘they were all just substitutes for you', because they weren't. I enjoy sex, sunshine, as you well know. They were fun, I had a good time, but that's all they were. You asked me this morning about Jennifer. Well, the fun had gone; she was starting to make ‘future plans' noises. Got a postcard from her this morning. It wasn't the usual ‘wish you were here', it was the ‘WISH you were here' kind. Knew then that I'd have to dump her. I won't do that, Ray. Do many things, but I'll never lead a bird on like that. Bleedin' hell, listen to me, anyone would think I was a gentleman."
And that was Bodie too. Taking refuge in sudden humour when the conversation turned too deep and serious. However, the next second had Ray surprised again. "Only ever wanted to make ‘future plans' with one person: you. Want you, Ray. Need you. Love you. Always will."
Ray sniffed and Bodie rolled his eyes. "And we're meant to be Cowley's top team," Ray said, blinking quickly. "Right pair of prats we are. Couldn't see what was under our noses."
Bodie grinned and tweaked another curl. "Well I won't tell if you don't," he said.
Ray grimaced. "We'll have to, you know," he said. "I told you once that he knows exactly whose bed we get out of."
"And what side," Bodie said with resignation in his tone. "Yeh, reckon you're right, my son. We'll have to tell him." Then he narrowed his eyes, gripped Ray's shoulders tightly and said, "Does this mean they'll be something to tell him?"
"Oh, yes, Bodie my love. Oh, yes," Ray said, fluttering his eyelashes and sinking back into Bodie's embrace. "But I reckon," he said, once more gasping for air, "that we can cut out all the details. After all, he's always telling us that ‘brevity and succinctness' is the key to our reports. That ‘the key facts are all that are needed, laddie'." He made a more than passable attempt at emanating the Scot's accent.
"Idiot," Bodie said fondly, cuffing Ray's ear more gently than a mother brushes her baby's hair. "Come on then, let's go and start the beginning of that report now." Ray raised an eyebrow. "The whose bed part," Bodie said and moved towards the said room tugging his partner along with him.
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