Title: The Book of Keel
Series: Yes - Billet Doux
Author: Alyse (alyse@CI5Ops.co.uk)
Archive: CI5 Operational Control
Category: The New Professionals -
Spoilers/Warnings: No spoilers. No
warnings. Sex (surprise, surprise)
Summary: What can I say? It's plotless
and an erotic vignette, as all of these are. Sam finally reveals a fantasy.
Feedback: Yes please, to alyse@CI5Ops.co.uk.
Constructive criticism welcome, flames will be used to melt chocolate, and we
all know what I'll do with that :)
Disclaimers: They belong to Brain
Clements and David Wickes Productions. They don't belong to me - if they did
we all know what they'd be doing. I don't make any money from this. I have nothing
but my own warped imagination and therefore I'm not worth suing. :)
Notes: Many thanks to my excellent
beta Lou, for the eagle eyed spotting of typos. Inspired, in part, by 'The Pillow
Book'. Not a great film, but a nekkid Ewan is to die for.
There are more notes in the final
part of this, mainly because I didn't want to give too much away too soon. If
you're the kind of person that rushes to the end of a book, you might want to
read them, but since there are no warnings but there are some plot spoilers
contained within, I would suggest you wait.
The Book of Keel
After a long and difficult day, or
rather several days, it was late when Chris finally got to his partner's flat.
Sam had left him finishing off the paperwork, having completed his portion and
for once not bailing his partner out of doing his own, claiming that there was
something he had to do and rather mysteriously adding that Chris wouldn't regret
it. The slight smirk on his partner's face, combined with the light in his eyes,
had Chris biting back on his automatic complaint that rose at the mere thought
of anything approaching paperwork. Instead, rather to his surprise, he found
himself nodding, if not agreeably at least without any obvious irritation, and
Sam was out of the door almost before he realised what was happening. All he
could do was mutter to himself that whatever Sam was up to it had better be
The second that he walked through
the door he knew that it was.
Sam had definitely been busy; the
room had been transformed. Normally Sam preferred clean, crisp lines in his
living environment, modern and minimalist, but those lines had been softened
into something almost unearthly by the multitude of soft candles placed strategically
around, providing the only illumination. It should have been clichéd
and yet it wasn't. It was just romantic.
He peered at the number on the door.
Yes, definitely his partner's flat. Besides, his key had worked so this must
be Sam's place. It was just...
A soft sound flowed from the elegant
speakers in the corner of the room. He vaguely recognised it as one of the arias
he'd bought Sam for his birthday. And talking of his partner, he realised that
Sam was standing in the doorway to the bedroom, a glass of red wine clasped
loosely in one hand, wearing a pair of faded denims and nothing else. His hair
was slightly tousled and damp, his grey-green eyes languorous and his whole
attitude relaxed. It appeared that it wasn't only his partner's flat that had
undergone a transformation.
He returned his partner's gaze, his
lips curling up slightly in amusement. "Had the decorators in?" he teased.
Sam gave a brief snort of laughter,
his eyes never leaving his lover's face. He padded over on silent feet to where
Chris was standing, and placed a gentle kiss on the American's lips before answering.
He tasted of the wine he was drinking, and yet underlying it was the distinct
and delectable taste of Sam.
"Not quite," he replied softly. "Like
Chris didn't know if he was imagining
it but there seemed to be a trace of something in his partner's voice that he
couldn't quite identify, something sounding close to concern or perhaps nervousness,
which wasn't like Sam at all. "It's different," he answered with what he hoped
was a reassuring smile. "Why do I get the feeling you have something special
Sam's smile deepened, now holding
the same mysterious quality that had so intrigued the American back at the office.
"Wait and see," he said, and then he gave Chris a look from under his lowered
lashes that had the ex-Navy SEAL's temperature rising. "I got you a present,"
"Oh?" asked Chris intelligently,
wondering what on earth his partner could have bought him that was putting that
light in his eye. "Can I have it now?"
Sam chuckled again, the warmth of
affection shining in his remarkable eyes. He moved gracefully over to the sofa,
picking up a parcel that Chris had missed in the dim lighting and handing it
to his partner.
"Here," he said softly. "Why don't
you go and take a shower and then open it."
Chris raised his eyebrow quizzically,
wondering what on earth his normally reserved partner was up to. Sam didn't
give him any hints, merely raising his glass to his lips again, watching Chris
over the top of it, amusement clear in his gaze.
Chris watched his throat move as
he took a long swallow, a sudden spike of arousal coursing through him as the
image of sucking at that long, elegant neck rose unbidden in his mind. He could
almost hear the moan that the act would drive out of Sam, knowing from past
experience how responsive his partner was to a love bite placed just right.
He didn't know whether once again
Sam was reading his mind, but the amusement in his lover's eyes deepened and
the Englishman chuckled lightly. "Shower," he insisted, pushing gently at Chris'
shoulder to both turn him and get him moving in the direction of the bathroom.
Chris pouted at him over his shoulder, but for once the action left his lover
unmoved. Deciding that not only was discretion the better part of valour, something
he would never admit to thinking to his partner, but that he would never find
out what Sam was up to unless he played ball, Chris reluctantly got moving,
not wanting to be separated from his lover any longer than necessary. Not tonight
when Sam had that light in his eyes.
A shower proved to have been a good
idea on Sam's part, loosening muscles he hadn't even realised were tense from
the last couple of hours crouched over a keyboard and easing some of the familiar
tension coming from a case that didn't go the way they wanted. For some reason,
however, he always found paperwork more stressful than actually getting shot
at, maybe because paperwork didn't produce the adrenaline rush that got him
through their more dangerous and difficult assignments.
He let the hot water wash all of
that away - the heat and humidity of the office, the frustration of cases where
the good guys didn't always win, the tension of dealing with supposed allies
who in fact spent their time jockeying for some tenuous position, all of it.
Until, at last, when he stepped out of the shower all that was left was one
pleasantly tired and slightly randy CI5 agent.
Skin still tingling from the power
of the water, he towelled himself off, his gaze fixed on the parcel sitting
innocuously next to the washbasin. He'd been very good, not tearing it open
as soon as he'd had the opportunity although it had been tempting. For some
reason Sam wanted to take this slow and he was content to play along if it made
his lover happy. Besides, Sam had said shower and then open it. Of course,
he'd now taken said shower...
He was very good about not ripping
the paper off too, opening it as carefully as Sam had opened his birthday present,
not entirely sure that Sam wouldn't have returned the favour and given him a
present in the same vein even though somehow he couldn't quite visualise it;
Sam shopping for a sex toy.
He hadn't. Instead, the famous Curtis
taste had reared its head again, and the present he'd been given was stylish,
tasteful and undeniably expensive. The cool silk flowed through his fingers
as he shook the garment out, soft and supple to the touch and making his skin
tingle some more.
It was a kimono style dressing gown,
reaching to his knees in a deep blue so rich that purple highlights shone in
it as he held it up to the light. Slipping it on, he shivered as the cool silk
slid against his now overheated skin, as gentle as a butterfly's touch, and
caught sight of his reflection in the bathroom mirror. Even through the steam
misting the surface he could see how the colour brought out the blue in his
eyes. Oh yes, his partner had exquisite taste. In a lot of things.
He fastened the tie around his waist,
knotting it loosely, before running his fingers through his hair, spiking it
up into its normal style. One last, quick glance to see that he was presentable
and then he moved to rejoin his partner in the living room. He stopped in the
doorway, frozen by the vision in front of him.
The free standing cheval mirror had
been moved from Sam's bedroom and now stood in the very centre of the room,
the subtle flames of the candles caught and reflected from its surface, a hundred
shimmering points of light filling the whole room with a soft glow. Remembering
the last time that mirror had featured in their love life, he couldn't suppress
the shiver of arousal that ran through his body, leaving his knees weak in its
Sam had also changed, the faded denims
replaced by far more elegant silk pyjama bottoms from the very pair that Chris
had bought him the previous Christmas, mainly, it had to be said, so he could
take them off Sam again. He may not have quite the same exquisite taste as his
partner but he'd chosen well with those, the dark mossy green complementing
his partner's dark colouring and making his eyes appear very green in the dim
light. And even though he'd changed out of his jeans, he still looked relaxed
lounging on the sofa, and sexily tousled in a way that had Chris' fingers itching
to get him out of those pants again. His eyes hadn't lost their mysterious gleam
Sam didn't say anything, just holding
out a glass of clear liquid to Chris. When Chris raised his eyes, Sam explained
Japanese rice wine. Now what on earth
was his partner up to? He took the proffered glass, his eyes surveying the room
searching for hints of his lover's plan, since Sam wasn't giving anything away.
They settled on a collection of items placed carefully in the centre of the
room. He'd been so caught up in the erotic memories evoked by the mirror when
he'd first come out of the bathroom that he'd missed them the first time around.
With a cautious look at Sam to make sure he wasn't messing up his partner's
plans he moved towards them, kneeling down on the floor to get a better look.
Sam still said nothing, letting him
examine the objects in front of him in peace. A couple of soft and fine brushes,
delicate wisps for bristles, a small, leather bound book and a bowl of dark
liquid. Placing the glass of sake carefully on the floor, he picked up the book
and once again glanced at Sam, checking that he wasn't overstepping any marks.
Once again, Sam seemed content to let him explore, watching him with those intense
silver-green eyes, the very focus in them increasing Chris' level of arousal.
The book fell easily open to his
hands, the leather supple with use. The pages were a rich, thick cream, soft
under his fingertips. It wasn't a printed book, but handwritten, and written
In what looked like Japanese.
It made sense, he thought, going
with the kimonos, the sake and the rest but it left him none the wiser as to
what his partner had planned. Once again, he met Sam's mysterious eyes, his
Taking pity on him, Sam rose gracefully
to his feet, the soft silk whispering around him as he moved. He stalked towards
Chris on virtually silent feet, gently removing the book from Chris' grasp and
pressing his mouth firmly against his lover's. The tip of his tongue brushed
very lightly over Chris' lips, darting back again as Chris opened up with a
sigh, teasing him before withdrawing. When he pulled back, there was mischief
mingled with the heat in his gaze.
"Do you remember," he asked softly,
"how you keep asking me if there's some fantasy of mine I want to act out?"
His eyes dropped from Chris' to watch
his hand as it trailed lightly down from Chris' cheek to trace the line of his
throat. "Something I wanted to do because you felt that you were taking advantage?"
It was all Chris could do not to
demand that Sam take advantage of him right there and then, the heat in Sam's
eyes as they darted up to his face again echoed in the heat curling through
his body at Sam's feather light touch.
Sam's voice was husky with desire
and Chris sighed, the breath escaping him in a rush as Sam's hand ghosted down
over the skin of his chest, the fingertips outlining the fall of Chris' robe.
"Yes," he breathed. "I remember."
"Good." It was a soft exhalation,
Sam's breath whispering over the now sensitised skin stretched taut over expectant
muscles as Chris tried to anticipate where the next touch would come. "May I?"
He gathered his scattered wits together,
lost in the ebb and flow of pleasure from these simple caresses. "Whatever you
want." A submission and a plea all rolled into one.
Sam's hand slipped underneath the
soft silk, moving down to stroke lightly over the fluttering muscles of his
abdomen. "I saw a movie once," he began, his words still a whisper against Chris'
skin. "The plot doesn't matter. I'm not sure that there was one to be frank."
His hand moved down to the tie of Chris' robe, pulling on it steadily. "But
the lead female was a writer. Japanese. And to get her book published..." The
tie loosened and fell free and Sam's hand continued on its journey. "She covered
her lover's body with her words and sent him to the publisher."
"Uh huh." Words were failing him
as Sam's warm and slightly calloused fingertips reached the dark and crisp whorls
of hair above his thickening member. He swayed slightly, trying to prolong the
touch only to be disappointed as Sam's hand began its return journey, this time
along his side, underneath the silk.
Sam's intense and focused eyes continued
to watch him closely as he stroked along Chris' pelvic bone to his waist and
then began to trail upwards. "It doesn't matter what words she wrote," he whispered.
"What's important is not what it says but the act of writing itself. The act
of painting another with words. Feeling the brush gliding over skin, watching
as the ideas take shape on a perfect canvas..."
He was trembling slightly under Sam's
touch and Sam had to feel it, still staring straight into Chris' eyes, devouring
him, owning him. "And you are the most perfect canvas I can think of, Chris."
His hand reached Chris' shoulder,
moving under the fabric and he brought the other hand up to mimic it on Chris'
other side. "May I?" he asked again.
"Yes." Another soft exhalation, and
finally the silk was drifting down his arms, leaving him naked to Sam's gaze
as it dropped to the floor.
Sam stepped back slightly and took
his time surveying his prize, something that didn't bother Chris at all. There
was nothing in Sam's gaze to make him feel uncomfortable; intense concentration
but not a hint of a leer. There was too much genuine emotion singing between
them for that. Too much love and respect.
Sam sighed, a soft, ragged sound
and Chris watched, enthralled as his lover's pupils dilated. A sheer sign of
arousal per Sex Ed 101. He resisted the urge to smirk, deciding that would only
spoil the mood that Sam was striving for. Instead, he stood there, loose limbed,
waiting for whatever Sam's pleasure was, admitting to himself that, if nothing
else, the idea was intriguing.
Sam dragged his eyes back up to Chris'
face, his eyes sparkling silver-green. "Beautiful," he breathed, the word bringing
a slight flush to Chris' pale skin. He could feel the heat rising to the surface.
He said nothing, not returning the compliment although in his opinion the description
could be equally applied to the Englishman and that wasn't just a bias on his
part. He was well aware of the admiring looks his lover got sometimes but, to
his immense joy, Sam was his.
And he was Sam's. And now Sam was
going to mark that on him. Even though it wasn't permanent, the thought still
sent an erotic frisson through him.
Sam seemed to have looked his fill,
moving closer to Chris once again, his hand grazing lightly over Chris' skin,
trailing goose pimples in its wake. He gently turned Chris so that the American
was looking straight in the mirror and moved to stand behind him, meeting his
Chris gave a little unsteady nod,
his knees trembling. A myriad of images were fighting for attention in his head;
flashes of what had happened before in front of this very mirror, each memory
increasing his arousal. Sam had barely touched him yet and he ached for it,
for the feeling of Sam's hands firm against his flesh.
Another feather light touch traced
the line of his spine, and he swayed into it, balancing lightly on the balls
of his feet, his eyes hooded. Sam crouched down behind him, reaching for the
small wooden bowl, his movements as graceful as always. The dark liquid was
ink, he knew now, or something close to it if not quite as long lasting. And
as he watched in the mirror, Sam picked up one of the fine brushes and began
to swirl it around in the bowl, meeting Chris' eyes once more, his expression
serious although his silver flecked eyes were still shining with mingled arousal
The ink was cool against the overheated
skin of his back. It was a strange sensation, feeling the brush trace symbols
onto his flesh that he wouldn't recognise even if he could see them. Each brushstroke
was light and slow, Sam obviously taking a great deal of care, and he let himself
drift, lost in the sensation.
A flash of warmth air against his
skin dragged him gasping out of his reverie. Meeting Sam's eyes in his reflection
again, he watched as the Englishman once again leant forward and blew lightly
against his skin, drying the ink. Both the sight and feel of it sent tendrils
of heat straight to his groin, causing his already swollen member to twitch
almost painfully. And then Sam began again, another mark against his skin, a
devastatingly attractive crease furrowing his brow as he concentrated on the
task in hand. Once again his partner's intense concentration was focused on
him and solely him. It made him feel incredibly special; loved, protected, wanted.
It made him feel incredibly turned
A huff of heated breath against his
skin drove another gasp out of him. He caught Sam's amused gaze in the reflection,
and twisted his own mouth wryly. There was no doubt that his partner was enjoying
this and on more than one level. He watched with narrowed eyes as Sam continued
to mark him, painting smooth and crisp lines down his back and over his ass,
onto his legs. It tickled a little when Sam was writing on his buttocks, tickled
and aroused in equal measures. And then finally Sam was rising to his feet and
turning him around.
He stared straight into Sam's heated
gaze; no longer softened by the reflecting power of the flat, mirrored glass
behind him it was heat and light and so many things. Sam's mouth descended on
his, hard and demanding for an instant, and he submitted with abandon, letting
Sam's tongue plunder his mouth, own his body as he owned his soul. Sam's hands
gripped his shoulders firmly as the Englishman explored his mouth, and he longed
to be wrapped in Sam's arms, pressing himself as close to Sam as he could, his
hands fisting into the fabric of Sam's pyjama bottoms, until he came to his
senses enough to realise that Sam wasn't going to risk smudging him. Not yet,
Finally Sam let go of him with another
ragged sigh and stepped back, his eyes almost black with desire. Chris swayed
again, his mouth feeling wonderfully swollen. He could taste Sam with each inhaled
breath and licked his kiss stung lips, watching, entranced, the effect the gesture
had on his lover. Sam swallowed heavily, his eyes falling automatically to Chris'
mouth before he dragged his gaze back up to meet Chris'. For a second Chris
honestly believed that Sam was going to grab him again and damn the consequences
and then Sam seemed to give himself a mental shake. He could see the calm control
descending again as Sam eased back into his normal persona. Only his eyes gave
him away. They stayed intense, glittering with need as he reached down for the
bowl that he'd placed safely on the floor.
Sam's hand was perfectly steady as
once more he dipped his brush into the bowl of ebony liquid, scraping the excess
off against the side before letting the tip glide over Chris' skin. Chris watched,
fascinated, as the shapes began to blossom on his chest and down over his abdomen.
Sam's head was bowed in concentration, watching the brush skitter over his lover's
body and consulting the leather bound book frequently. He avoided the tingling
flesh around Chris' tight nipples and skirted his groin entirely, moving down
the front of Chris' legs.
He switched his attention between
watching Sam and watching the brush's gliding path, once again immersing himself
in sheer sensation. The ticklishness had passed and now all that he felt was
heat, each stroke of the brush sending shudders through him, cranking up his
arousal level touch by touch until it was all he could do to remain upright.
Watching Sam did nothing to dampen
it either. His partner's hands skated over his skin, holding him steady and
preceding each brush stroke with the glide of fingertips, smoothing down the
light dusting of golden hairs with an almost reverent touch. He seemed to be
taking as much pleasure from the simple act of touching Chris as the more exotic
and erotic act of painting him. And Chris took pleasure from watching him. Watching
Sam tease and torment him. Watching Sam touch and caress him. Watching Sam watching
Finally Sam reached his ankles and
painted the last of his words, resting the brush carefully back in the bowl,
closing the book and peering up at him. Chris reached out and traced one gentle
finger over Sam's face, starting from the corner of his eyebrow and finishing
with a caress across Sam's lips, feeling his lover's breath over his fingertips,
the only hint he had before Sam sucked his finger into his mouth, swirling his
tongue around it.
It sent a bolt of lightning straight
to his groin.
He gasped and stared down, heavy-lidded,
at his seductive partner, catching the tail end of a smirk crossing Sam's face.
His own lips curled up in a reluctant smile, and then Sam was rising up on his
knees, his hands coming to rest lightly on Chris' hips, being careful not to
smudge him. He leant forward and nuzzled gently at the curling hair surrounding
Chris' arousal and driving another wordless gasp out of the American. The gasp
turned to a low moan as Sam's tongue laved his erection from root to tip, swirling
around the head and dipping into the slit. He placed his hands on Sam's shoulders,
his fingers digging into Sam's flesh as he struggled to remain standing in the
face of such pleasure.
Sam took his time, slowly bringing
him to the peak with flicks and sucks before pulling back and gentling him back
down, his thumbs caressing Chris' hipbones. Chris let out a ragged sigh as the
need to come eased slightly, leaving him still highly aroused but not desperate.
When Sam felt that he had himself under control, the Englishman rose gracefully
to his feet and pulled Chris in for a gentle kiss, sharing the taste of his
pre-cum with him, salty and tangy and contrasting wonderfully with the smooth
taste of Sam. It was a taste he couldn't get enough of and he whimpered in protest
when Sam finally pulled back.
His lover smiled at his disappointment
but didn't give in, instead turning Chris so that the American could see his
reflection in the mirror. Even Chris, not a particularly vain person, had to
admit that it was a stunning image. The black of the ink stood out clearly against
the pale alabaster of his skin, dark and mysterious and erotic. He caught Sam's
eyes reflected in the mirror again, and held them, intense and serious, before
turning around and looking straight into those eyes for real.
This time Sam didn't resist as Chris
pulled him into his arms, letting his body mould against every part of the American's
and opening his mouth to Chris' probing tongue. Chris took advantage of it,
mapping every inch of his lover's mouth, delighting in the familiarity even
though the unusual submissiveness of Sam in this was wonderfully new. He didn't
need to feel the hardness pressed against his to know that Sam was aroused;
he could taste it in Sam's unique flavour, musky and sweet.
He pulled back, panting slightly
and staring into shining green eyes. Glancing possessively up and down Sam's
lean and fit form, he realised that for all of Sam's care he hadn't been quite
dry and here and there Sam's skin showed black marks, perfect reversals of the
words adorning his own body. He liked it. It somehow marked Sam as his as much
as he was marked as Sam's. He reached out and traced one of the words, his touch
a caress against Sam's skin. His lover sighed softly, watching Chris' hand as
it moved down his flank towards the top of his pyjama bottoms, which were hanging
low on his hips. Chris watched him carefully and, seeing no sign of reluctance,
gently eased them down over his lover's hipbones and now prominent erection
before stepping back again to peruse Sam's body at his leisure.
Beautiful, even with the smudges
of ink here and there. Beautiful and all Chris'.
He let out a soft sigh of his own
before asking, still softly, "What now?"
Sam's somnolent eyes met his as his
partner licked suddenly dry lips. "Bedroom."
Any disappointment at not making
love in front of the mirror again evaporated as soon as he set foot in Sam's
bedroom. His lover had been busy in here too. Candles filled every available
surface here too, guttering and warming the room and ebony sheets had replaced
Sam's normal stylish and yet practical duvet. Satin by the look and feel of
He looked quizzically at Sam and
was rewarded with a wry twist of the lips. "Black ink," was all Sam said.
Of course. Silly him. Even in seductive
mood Sam would be thinking ahead, not that he had any complaints about it. His
partner had a definite aptitude for planning.
He stepped closer to his lover, once
again pressing their torsos together and wrapping his arms around the Englishman,
pulling Sam's ass to grind their neglected erections together. No point in going
for subtlety now.
Sam let out a sound somewhere between
a sigh and a moan, and opened dazed eyes to stare at him. "What now?" Chris
asked again, lowering his head to mouth at the join where Sam's neck met his
Sam's head rolled back instinctively
as his lover sought for the words he needed to answer. "Want... you..." was
all he managed, letting out a harsh gasp as the sucking pressure brought blood
rushing to the surface of his skin, marking him in a much more elemental and
primitive way as Chris' than the elegant way he had marked Chris. "Want you...
Somehow Chris had thought that this
whole seduction scene would end up with Sam on top but he didn't let his surprise
show. Instead, still sucking lightly on Sam's neck although not hard enough
to bruise this time, he let one hand trail down the centre of Sam's chest to
his abdomen, feeling the muscles twitch underneath his touch before he grasped
Sam's erection firmly. The Englishman let out a gasp and thrust into his grip
once or twice, Sam's hands coming up to grab at his shoulders with desperate
He released Sam's cock with one last
flick of his thumbnail over the end and turned the pair of them so that the
back of Sam's knees rested against the edge of the bed and then pushed lightly
so that Sam sat down. His partner took the hint and shuffled backwards, his
remarkable eyes never dropping from Chris. He clambered up onto the bed with
Sam, moving to straddle him, his hands never ceasing as they roamed over Sam's
torso, driving gasps and whimpers out of the Englishman.
Eventually his own arousal wouldn't
be ignored anymore and he scrabbled in the bedside drawer for condoms and lubricant.
When he moved his hand to Sam's hip, intending to roll his lover over Sam stopped
him, his expression intense.
"No," he said. "I want to see you."
Chris gave a little internal shrug
but nodded. It made sense that after painting him like this Sam would want to
see him. He didn't have any objection; he loved watching Sam's face while they
made love, one of the few times that Sam relaxed enough to let his guard down.
A sight to be savoured.
He coated his fingers with lubricant,
tracing his thumb over the perineum and circling around the entrance to Sam's
body, watching his partner's response carefully, judging how long to draw out
his teasing. Sam's eyes met his calmly, that green sheen of arousal to them
and he flicked a finger over the puckered opening, watching as his partner's
eyelids drifted shut and Sam absorbed the sensation. He eased the tip of his
finger into the tight heat and savoured the ragged moan that the act drove out
of Sam. His lover's torso was gleaming with droplets of sweat as Chris continued
to torment him, one finger easing into two and then three, readying him for
He reached for the packet of condoms,
only for Sam to stop him again, his eyes candid. "You don't have to if you don't
He let out a long ragged breath of
his own, recognising the gift for what it was. "I won't then." Instead, he slicked
his bare erection with lubricant and placed one of Sam's legs around his waist,
pushing the other up towards his lover's chest to make his entry easier.
There was something so intimate about
sinking slowly into Sam's heat without the barrier of latex between them. It
shouldn't have made a difference and yet it did, and watching Sam's face closely
as he slid home he knew that Sam felt the same. Bliss. Sam's eyes rolled back
in his head for a moment and then his hands came up to cup Chris' face, pulling
him down for a deep kiss.
He started to move when Sam's hands
moved down to grab his hips. "Slowly," he breathed. "Slowly, love. Please."
Love. He sighed and leant in to kiss
his lover again, slowing his thrusts as requested, Sam's unbelievably hot and
tight flesh gripping him as though made for him. Sam's hands skimmed over his
body, tracing out the patterns painted on his flesh, over his back, down his
chest, along his thighs, those long and elegant fingers stroking and arousing
him to almost unbearable heights.
He put his weight on his hands, staring
down into Sam's face and watching as his lover's eyes dilated, becoming almost
black with pleasure. He angled his thrusts, making sure that each movement pushed
against that magic gland deep within Sam's body, luxuriating in each gasp and
moan his lover made. Slowly.
Sam opened his eyes again, staring
back at him for a moment before letting his eyes trace the same path as his
hands had. And then his partner caught hold of his head again, pulling him down
so that their tongues could duel, Sam's tongue thrusting into his mouth even
as he thrust into Sam's body.
The pleasure was coursing through
his veins, doubling, trebling with each slow, smooth stroke. Sam's hands moved
from his hair, down his back to come to rest on his buttocks, pulling him hard
against his lover's body. He took the hint and increased the tempo, swallowing
the moan Sam let loose as his lover arched against him. Every inch of his skin
felt like it was singing with sensation, Sam's fingers leaving trails of fire
in their wake as they moved ceaselessly over his body. He could feel that familiar
tension building in his spine, tightening in the pit of his stomach and knew
he wouldn't last much longer. Sam's body was tense against his, his lover gasping
almost continuously now, his fingers digging hard into Chris' ass. He held back
for as long as he could, determined that Sam would come before he did. To guarantee
it, he lowered his head and lapped at the bruise now adorning Sam's throat before
sucking at it gently, knowing that the mingled pain/pleasure sensation would
drive his partner over the edge.
Sam let out a long, liquid moan as
his body arched against Chris', his arms and legs tightening around him, almost
as if he sought to absorb Chris into his very being. The moan turned to a harsh
cry as Chris continued to pound into him, still licking at his neck, and then
he came, a flood of wet heat between them. The fluid contractions of Sam's body
around his cock, buried in its tight, hot sheath, set off the flutterings in
his own belly. He thrust in hard, once, twice, three times and then cursed under
his breath as his own climax overwhelmed him, sending him careening into bliss,
emptying himself into Sam's receptive body.
He collapsed onto his lover's satiated
body and lay there, lost in the feel of Sam's arms around him and his lover's
strong hands moving soothingly up and down his back. Eventually Sam wriggled
a little uncomfortably and he rolled to one side, muttering an incoherent apology.
"S'okay," Sam murmured back, rolling
onto his side to face him, his expression perfectly contented. "I like it."
He smiled back, reaching out with
a gentle finger to trace one of the new smudges on Sam's torso, obviously transferred
during their lovemaking. "What did it say?" he asked once his brain was functioning
Sam's look grew evasive. "They were
just words, Chris. They didn't really mean anything. Just looked good."
His partner was lying although he
couldn't quite understand why. It wasn't just Sam's evasiveness that told him
that; logic did too. If they had just been words, Sam wouldn't have needed to
copy them out of his handwritten book. And Chris was observant enough to have
spotted the similarity between the words written on his body and in the book
- both by Sam obviously.
He let it slide though, limiting
his response to a simple, "Okay," and not missing the relief in his lover's
eyes when he didn't push.
Sam gave Chris' body and his own
smudged one a rueful look. "Better get cleaned up," he said. "And get rid of
this stuff..." He gestured at the candles. "... before the flat burns down."
For once Chris helped him without
complaint, making sure he noted where Sam placed his brush, bowl and, mostly
"You spent some time in the Far East,
The Canadian agent gave him a searching
look. "I did," she confirmed.
"Know anyone who reads Japanese?"
"Apart from me, you mean?"
Chris hesitated for a telling moment.
The American sighed, giving her an
exasperated look. "And Sam. Someone who, maybe, knows something about literature,
or... stuff like that?"
She wondered what the hell he was
up to if he couldn't ask his partner. She hadn't missed the closeness between
the two of them, a deep friendship and she sometimes wondered if it wasn't perhaps
more. On those occasions she gave herself a mental slap and told her imagination,
and her libido, to behave. Just because Sam seemed oblivious to her obvious
flirting didn't mean he was doing the dirty with his partner. His male partner.
She was self-aware enough to realise that she'd find it easier to believe that
Sam wasn't interested in women generally rather than simply not being interested
in her. Less of a blow to the old ego.
Chris was still waiting for an answer,
and she sighed, wracking her brains for someone to help him.
"There is someone," she said slowly.
"A professor at one of the London Colleges. Not literature, really. More cultural
studies, although she does have an interest in poetry through the ages as part
of that. Would that help?"
He brightened. "Yep. Thanks, Backup.
You're an angel. I knew that if anyone had information like that at their fingertips
it would be you."
She snorted. Geek girl strikes again.
"Just one thing, Chris."
"If Sam isn't going to like this,
we never had this conversation. Understood?"
He was the picture of wounded
innocence but he didn't fool her for a second. She knew him too well for that.
She made her expression as hard as she could for a second and he capitulated
with a sigh of his own.
"Fine. Just give me the name and
Doctor Akiko Saito. From the little
he knew about Japanese names, Doctor Saito was female.
She was. She was also about fiftyish,
grey haired and cheerful. Her English was impeccable, overlaid with just a hint
of an American accent, which was a relief because Sam was the linguist. He knew
about six words of Japanese and that was all, and even those he wasn't sure
Backup must have phoned in advance,
warning Doctor Saito of his impending arrival because she greeted him pleasantly,
asked a few polite questions about how 'dear Tina' was keeping and showed him
into her comfortably cluttered room. Books filled the overstuffed shelves and
piled up on the floor and there were a couple of chipped mugs in the corner
by an equally battered kettle. She offered him a cup of coffee, apologising
for having to use powdered milk and then settled down to business.
"I understand from dear Tina that
you would like some advice?"
"I need a translation of something,"
he explained. "And I think it's kind of literature based."
"Oh?" She looked quite thrilled at
the prospect and it didn't take long for her to give him a hint as to why. "Is
this for a case?"
"Not exactly," he was forced to reply,
feeling a bit ashamed at the disappointment that crossed her face. "It might
be nothing at all, but it is confidential nonetheless."
She brightened at that again, looking
almost eager as he handed over the small, leather-bound book. He fought back
another pang of guilty shame. "You can rely on my discretion..." she prodded
as he held onto the book for an instant too long.
He released it with a sigh. "Not
even Tina can know," he insisted and, glancing up from the now open book on
her lap, she gave him a sharp look.
"Agreed," she said, pleasantly enough
before turning her attention back to the neat lines in front of her, pulling
up her glasses that hung from a cord around her neck.
She turned the pages slowly, her
lips moving slightly as she read, and he resisted the urge to wriggle like a
recalcitrant child. Finally she looked up at him with a triumphant gleam in
"Haiku," she said.
"These..." She waved the book at
him and he winced, hearing the pages flutter manically, "...are mainly haiku."
"Japanese poetry, right?"
Doctor Saito gave him a mildly disapproving
look. "Haiku are a particular style of Japanese poetry, Mr Keel. One
that, unlike some of the other forms, hasn't fallen out of fashion."
She sighed, obviously pitying him
his ignorance. "Not all of them are haiku, Mr Keel, there are some other forms
in here too. What is so fascinating about them, however, is that they are all...
well, love poems for want of a better word, although erotic would also suffice
as a description."
He tried hard not to blush. Oh. Seemingly
completely unaware of his discomfort, she continued cheerfully, "Would you like
to know what they say?"
He struggled for an answer to that
but he needn't have bothered. She took his silence as consent and almost leapt
out of her chair, bustling to her bookshelves and muttering to herself before
finally pouncing on a volume with a triumphant "Ah ha!"
"What is particularly interesting,"
she explained, her nose buried in her latest find, "is that these poems are
from many eras. For example, this one is by Yosano Akiko, who wrote in the early
part of this century..." She found the page she wanted and began to quote.
"'Following his bath, I gave my handsome
lover my best purple robe to protect him from the cold. He blushed, and was
There was nothing overtly erotic
in what she had just said but he flushed anyway, feeling the blood rising to
his pale skin and giving him away. She gave him a slightly arch look over the
top of her book, but didn't comment. It was just as well. He would rather have
died than admit the images the poem conjured in his mind. He still had the robe,
of course, but he'd never quite look at it in quite the same way again.
"Oh, I like this one," she said,
reaching for yet another volume. "An entirely different era and unless I'm mistaken....
No, I'm not. Ono No Komachi. Mid ninth century...
"'I know it must be this way in the
waking world, but how cruel - even in my dreams we hide from others' eyes.'"
She continued to flick through Sam's
book, sighing happily every now and then. "Whoever collected these together
has an eye for the poignant and the touching. There's a theme running through
them; love, the need for secrecy, longing. Oh!" She stopped and smiled softly.
"This one is one of my favourites. Izumi Shikibu, also ninth century. I don't
need a translation for this one. I wrote it out for my husband when we were
'courting' as the English call it."
She continued to smile dreamily down
at the page and Chris wondered if in twenty years or so he'd get exactly the
same look on his face thinking of this particular poem.
"What does it say?" he prompted.
Another sigh, and she began to speak
softly. "'Even if I now saw you only once, I would long for you through worlds,
The words, and the sentiments behind
it rendered him speechless for a moment. Doctor Saito took advantage of it,
continuing to flick through Sam's small book.
"That's strange." Her words shook
him out of his reverie.
She hesitated. "Well, I don't know
if this will help your case or not, but the last poem is a bit odd..."
"Odd?" he prompted.
"Hmm. Almost as if..." She frowned
and her lips moved again. "It's not a haiku in Japanese, not quite, although
someone has tried to fit the words to the form, not always successfully..."
Once again that look of intense concentration. "If I didn't know better, I'd
say that it was written in English and then translated into Japanese. It misses
most of the nuances of a haiku written in its original Japanese." She glanced
up at him. "The thing about these poems is that they mean so much more in their
original form. Words often have more than one meaning, layer upon layer, and
that's lost when you translate them into English. This one doesn't have those
layers. That's why it stands out compared to the skill with which the others
were written. I mean, it's not bad, it's just not good."
He bristled slightly, already guessing
why it appeared to have been written in English and translated into Japanese.
"What does it say? In English?"
She picked up a pen and pad of paper
and began to scribble, crossing words out frequently, before finishing with
a triumphant flourish.
"Here you are. As far as I can tell,
it says 'I gaze upon your face by dawn's light. My frozen heart, once empty,
Oh god. He sank back in his chair,
once again speechless. Ignoring him, she made a little harrumphing sound in
the back of her throat. "Well, at least it applies the 5, 7, 5 syllable rule
of haiku in English. Even if it doesn't follow any of the other conventions."
The words took time to sink in and
when they did he bristled again. "Thank you, Doctor Saito." It came out colder
than he intended and she raised one eyebrow at him, forcing him to flush again.
His tone was more even as he added, "Your help has been invaluable."
She gave him a little faint smile.
"I hope she's worth it," she said, her smile widening as his face burned. "I'll
take that as a yes then," she added a trifle smugly. "Are you sure there's nothing
else I can do?"
He hesitated and then blurted out,
"I need a word translating." She looked at him encouragingly and he added, "From
English into Japanese."
She nodded and, when he still dithered,
wordlessly handed him the pad and pen. With sudden resolve he scribbled down
the word that had sprung into his mind and watched carefully while she wrote
the Japanese translation underneath it. As an afterthought she wrote out the
last poem again neatly too and handed him the paper.
He thanked her politely, collected
Sam's book and was on the point of leaving when she called after him, "For what
it's worth, Mr Keel? She's a very lucky girl."
He hesitated in the doorway. "No.
I'm the lucky one."
It took him time to decide what he
was going to do, and even then it took another couple of days before he was
able to put his plan into action. He did, however, make sure that he replaced
the book in its little niche before Sam discovered its absence. His partner
was so anally neat he was bound to notice eventually.
He was like a cat on a hot tin roof
until he could come clean and his partner noticed his agitation, which was probably
the only reason that he managed to escape from work before Sam, with Sam dealing
with the last of the paperwork for their most recent case. Sam was a little
fed-up with him and his low attention span, which didn't bode well for his imminent
revelation that he'd been snooping but he couldn't put this off any longer,
not and have to listen to his nagging conscience.
It didn't take him long to get things
ready. It was still early, and the sunlight streamed through the drapes despite
his best efforts to shut it out, so he didn't bother with the candles. Instead,
he changed the linen on the bed back to the black satin sheets, rounded up the
bowl, ink and brushes and then showered, changing into his rich blue robe.
And then he sat back on Sam's couch
and waited, the leather-bound book growing warm in his hands. Finally he drifted
off to sleep, the book falling forgotten on to the floor.
Sam was not in a particularly receptive
mood when he finally got home, being tired and a little grumpy. Neither of them
had had much sleep the night before, too caught up in their latest case, and
it was beginning to tell on his partner. Chris' couple of hours had put him
back on track, however, and he was feeling much chirpier. Too chirpy for Sam,
"Chris, I'm tired. I want to go to
bed. To sleep," he emphasised as Chris opened his mouth to protest that
bed was exactly the place he wanted to be.
"Fine," soothed Chris. "Go, take
a shower, I'll make you some tea but then there's something I want to do."
"Please, Sam?" He put on his best
pleading puppy dog expression and watched Sam fold, sighing.
"Fine," his lover sighed. "But I
want some sleep. And no cracks about pacing myself, okay?"
He smirked. "Okay. Promise."
True to his word, he made Sam some
tea - Chinese, green leaf tea. Not only did Sam like it but it was also about
the only type of tea he could stomach himself. He took it through to the bedroom,
setting it carefully on the bedside table and lay back on the bed to wait.
It didn't take Sam long to join him,
clad only in a pair of loose grey sweatpants and still towelling his hair dry
with one hand. His other was holding his little book, and he gave Chris an enquiring
look before his eyes settled on the accoutrements clustered around the cheval
mirror. His lips quirked upwards.
"Guess I don't need to ask why you
had this," he said. "And I appreciate the gesture, love, but I'm not joking
when I said that I'm a little too tired. Maybe tomorrow, eh?"
Chris shook his head. "It won't take
long, Sam," he said persuasively, cutting off Sam's wry look and inevitable
put down by adding, "We don't need to make love, and I promise that it won't
take long. I just need to do this before I lose my nerve. Please?"
The last words were a soft plea,
and Sam frowned, suddenly concerned. "Okay, Chris. Whatever you need. You know
Chris treated to him to a beaming
smile, all dimples and genuine emotion and watched as Sam echoed it, probably
without even being aware of it. "Why don't you take those pants off?" he asked
softly, ignoring Sam's amused snort at the suggestion.
Sam gave him a long searching look
and then complied, loosening the tie and letting the soft cotton fabric fall
down over his hips and bunch around his ankles before kicking them away.
"Beautiful," Chris whispered, ignoring
his partner's sudden flush. He stroked his hand gently along Sam's flank, unable
to resist touching him. He placed one hand on Sam's shoulder and turned his
partner around so that Sam was staring straight into the mirror. "Trust me?"
It was on the tip of his tongue to
ask if Sam forgave him too, but Sam would have no idea what Chris was asking
forgiveness for. Not yet anyway. Instead he smoothed one hand soothingly down
Sam's back and over his partner's taut buttocks. And then he reached down and
picked up the piece of paper Saito had gifted him with and the fine brush.
He took his time in carefully transcribing
the symbols onto the small of Sam's back, not as familiar with Japanese script
as his partner and not wanting to make any mistakes. When he d finished he took
a deep breath and stepped back, butterflies circling in his stomach. He picked
up Sam's shaving mirror and held it up so that it reflected the image of Sam's
back straight into the free standing glass in front of them.
Sam let out his breath in a ragged
"How did you know?" he asked finally.
Chris took another deep breath. "The
book - it's poetry, right?" A wordless nod from his partner. "I got some of
it translated." There was a long silence while Sam digested this. His partner
didn't look annoyed, but when Sam got that mask like look on his face it was
difficult to tell exactly what he was thinking. "Forgive me?"
The soft sound gave him courage to
continue. "Why didn't you just tell me what it said?"
Sam hesitated and then, still not
looking at Chris but staring at the reflected words in the mirror, finally answered,
"I thought you would think it was silly."
"Silly?" He couldn't believe it.
"Sam, you write how much you love me all over my body. How could I think that
"You don't think it's silly?" His
lover's mask slipped slightly, showing a brief glimpse of uncertainty, embarrassment
and perhaps a little fear.
"No, I don't," he replied emphatically.
"I don't at all. I think it's wonderful. I could never... Sam, I could never
do anything that wonderful for you."
Sam finally looked at him, bringing
his hand up to cup Chris' face. "You have no idea, do you?" he breathed, his
thumb stroking over Chris' cheek. "You really have no idea just what you've
done for me."
Chris swallowed, a lump forming in
his throat. "I think I have some idea, Sam. That last poem. You wrote that,
didn't you? For me?"
Sam hesitated again and then nodded.
"No one has ever done that for me
before. Ever." That got a little smile from Sam and he returned it with a beaming
one of his own. "Will you translate some of the other ones for me? When you've
had some sleep I mean."
"When we've had some sleep, I want
to make love to you."
His lover's eyes were green and intent
and he grinned again. "After that?"
"Yes, Chris, after that."
I love Japanese haiku, the idea that
you can sum one image up in a few concisely chosen words and some of the images
they evoke are wonderful. When you combine that with the images of a nekkid
Ewan in 'The Pillow Book' the images become even more wonderful. Replace Ewan
with Chris... Well, let's just say I'm sure you get the picture :)
The poems used here are as credited
in the text, although I should say that the translation of Yosano Akiko's work
is by Sam Hamill and Keiko Matsui Gibson (River of Stars: Selected Poems of
Yosano Akiko) and those of Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu by Jane Hirshfield
and Mariko Aratani (The Ink Dark Moon). The naming convention used for these
poets is Japanese (family name first followed by given name) although, since
Doctor Saito is anglicised to some extent I've followed the anglicised version
for her name (her given name is Akiko) since I think that is more realistic
in the context of the story.
Sam's haiku was written by yours
truly, for what it's worth.
The translation of Chris' word is
courtesy of Jim Breen's online Japanese/English dictionary because that one
also lets you use graphics as Japanese words (http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/wwwjdic.html).
I chose the closest translation according to my understanding but I could be
wrong. It could be a legal term for all I know :)
And finally, I wrote this listening
to Enya's Paint the Sky with Stars CD.
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