Title: Don't Call Us...

Series: Yes - Billet Doux

Author: Alyse (alyse@CI5Ops.co.uk)

Archive: CI5 Operational Control (http://www.CI5Ops.co.uk), Britslash

Category: The New Professionals - Curtis/Keel.

Rating: NC17.

Spoilers/Warnings: No spoilers. No warnings. Sex (surprise, surprise)

Summary: Two words... telephone sex.

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.


Don't Call Us...

By Alyse
Bored, bored, bored, bored, bored.

Chris Keel sighed heavily, letting the so called 'security expert's' droned words wash over him. Theory, he had to admit, had never been a particular interest of his. Oh, he could grasp it well enough and even put it effectively into practice, but it was the practice he excelled at. Besides, the man in front of him, regularly adjusting his glasses and erm-ing and ah-ing as he stared down at the sheaf of notes in his hand and spectacularly failing to make eye contact with any of the agents scattered around the lecture hall, could bore in the Olympics and probably win gold at it.

No, he wasn't supposed to enjoy this. This was punishment - or at least Malone's definition of punishment. It was typical of his boss' deviousness that he would reward his agent's apparent inability to work amicably with other organisations with this - an interagency course on co-operation in the field of anti-terrorism. And then, Malone being Malone and not counting on Keel being able to work out the reasons behind his decision himself, had driven the message home with several pointed remarks about how he expected Keel to "comport himself in a way that conveys the professionalism I expect of a CI5 agent, Mr Keel. In short, I do not expect to hear any more reports of brawling with operatives from any other agencies. Do I make myself clear?"

Crystal.

Chris sighed again, wondering if Malone had known that the various attendees at this conference would, for once, put aside their interdepartmental bickering and be united in the face of a common foe. Not terrorism as Malone had probably hoped, but sheer, unadulterated boredom.

Another sigh as he shifted uncomfortably on the hard plastic seat and tried to concentrate on the drone, to no avail. Glancing around his fellow sufferers he noted that he wasn't alone in his discomfort. Various expressions were pasted on various faces, ranging from mere apathy to stultifying boredom all the way through to one guy who was actually leaning back in his seat fast asleep. Chris stifled a grin and turned automatically to his right to comment to his partner.

But Sam wasn't there.

Sam, while never exactly Malone's golden boy - usually, it had to be said because he was dragged in defending his hotheaded partner and lover - had, for once, escaped the wrath of Malone and consequently not been subjected to the same fate. That might have been due to the fact that when Malone arrived on the scene Sam had been trying, unsuccessfully, to pull Chris off the idiot from Special Branch instead of holding the asshole down the way Chris thought he should have been. It was more likely however, Chris reflected rather cynically, that Malone had needed an agent who spoke fluent Russian for an upcoming bodyguard assignment and Sam fit the bill perfectly.

And so it was Chris who was shuffled off to Washington with a flea in his ear and partnerless while Sam was left babysitting. At the time he'd actually thought that he'd had the better end of the bargain. He wondered if idiocy was a genetic Keel trait.

Sam had obviously been of the same mind, making some morose comments while seeing him off at the airport about only Chris being given a freebie jaunt as punishment and warning his partner not to enjoy himself too much. There'd been a slight hint of jealousy in his voice and somehow Chris didn't think that had anything to do with the thought of what he was missing at the conference.

Seeing as they were in a public place he hadn't even been able to reassure Sam with a kiss to ease his lover's unusual attack of insecurity. Instead, he'd had to limit himself to a smile complete with dimples and surreptitious grope on the way to the check-in desk.

That had only been two days ago and already he found he missed Sam. Missed him desperately, during the day for his sharp wit and sly observations, which may have actually made this living hell bearable, but also at night for... well, not for his wit. Sam would even have made international anti-terrorism initiatives interesting. If he'd been down there, casually leaning against the podium in one of his well-tailored suits and classily coloured shirts, or even better in his tight jeans and grey marl sweater, reading out those notes in his dulcet tones, every eye in the place would have been riveted on him, Chris was sure of it. Sam could read the phone book out loud and make it interesting, the way that voice seemed to almost caress words, rolling them around his mouth before letting them slip, honeyed from his lips. Listening to him talk sometimes, waiting for that trace of an accent to slip through and add a touch of roughness he found intensely attractive, Chris would find himself growing hard.

He was growing hard now just thinking about it, which wasn't making this hard, plastic seat any more comfortable.

He bit back on a groan, switching his attention to the clock hanging on the wall behind the speaker's head, mentally willing it onwards so that this torture would end.

Eighteen fifteen - only two minutes since the last time he'd looked. God, was this guy ever going to shut up? He'd been going on for over an hour and a half already and Chris' bladder was starting to protest, a result of too many coffees drunk today to try and stay awake. Judging by the sheaf of notes the lecturer still had clutched in his hand it looked like he hadn't even entered the home stretch. At least Sisyphus had only had to roll a goddamned rock endlessly up a hill and not actually have to listen to said rock expounding on its world view. Right now having his liver ripped out by malevolent harpies sounded like a viable alternative. Actually, it sounded a lot like the last CI5 Christmas party.

He groaned and slumped back with an audible thump against the chair. That earned him a sympathetic snicker from his nearest neighbour.

It didn't stop drone boy though.

Eighteen sixteen.

Okay, if this guy didn't stop by eighteen thirty he was staging a mini-revolt all of his own before his bladder exploded.

At eighteen nineteen the fates finally smiled at him when it suddenly dawned on their erstwhile torturer that the sounds he could hear were not, in fact, the low hum of astounded appreciation for his eloquence but the sound of snoring echoed from more than one location in the hall.

He called a coffee break.

Chris' first stop was the bathroom, using his CI5 trained speed to make sure that he beat the rush. It helped that he didn't have to wake up first. That guy was still snoring, oblivious to their temporary reprieve. Before he could finally relax, however, and relieve the pressure on his bladder he had to wait for his unruly erection, fuelled by images of his lover, to subside. Thoughts of Malone did the trick nicely. At least the old bastard was useful for something.

After arming himself with another cup of strong coffee, he found himself a quiet corner to hide away in and pulled out his mobile phone. He really needed to hear Sam's voice to stay sane.

"Three-seven."

Ah. This was even more of a relief than the belated bathroom break.

"What are you wearing?"

There was a slight pause before Sam's voice came back, sounding amused. "Hello, Chris."

"I'm bored," he stated without preamble.

"So I gathered."

"If this goes on any longer I'm going to shoot someone."

A low chuckle rewarded his somewhat plaintive statement and then Sam commented lightly, "I really wouldn't advise it. Think of all the forms you'll have to fill out. That would be even more boring."

"I doubt it," he said morosely before hearing Sam break off to explain to someone that, yes, it was Chris and no, he wasn't enjoying the course; he was bored.

"Backup," his lover explained, coming back on the line. "And she says to tell you that it could be worse. You could be here."

"Ha ha. Where are you anyway?"

"Embassy do," Sam replied succinctly. "Lots of overdressed prats poncing around while Backup and I try to look decorative and baby-sit. Which reminds me. I'd better go and rescue her from his 'Russian' hands."

Chris groaned at the pun, saying, "I'm not quite bored enough to find that joke funny, Sam."

Sam chuckled lightly. "Gotta go, Chris. What time do you finish?"

"Hour... maybe two."

"Okay, I'll call in a couple of hours then, talk properly."

The promise sent a warm glow through him. Hearing Sam's voice only reminded him of how desperately he missed the other man.

"Okay... wait!" A sudden thought struck him. "You never did answer my question."

"What question?"

"What are you wearing?"

A low throaty chuckle warned him of the answer in advance.

"Tuxedo," his partner replied almost sultrily. "I'll talk to you later."

With that, his tormenting lover hung up on him, leaving Chris holding the dead phone up to his ear, his mouth hanging open and visions of Sam in his black, well cut, stylish tuxedo dancing through his head.

Oh Christ. If he'd found those chairs uncomfortable before this break it was going to be torture now. Still, he thought cheering up immensely as his natural optimism kicked in, it was something to get him through the remainder of this interminable lecture until they could finally finish for the day.

*****

Freedom, Chris reflected almost gleefully some time later, was definitely something he took far too much for granted. He supposed you didn't miss it until you were locked in a sterile amphitheatre with other miscreants being subjected to something that surely had to be outlawed under the 'cruel and unusual punishment' clause in the American constitution. But now they were free, sanity mostly intact although he was convinced that the female FBI representative had started to twitch by the end.

He tried not to think of tomorrow's trials and tribulations and concentrated on something considerably more pleasant instead.

Sam.

Images of his partner, both in tuxedo and out of it, were the only thing that had kept him going during the last session and he was beginning to understand why this conference had been declared an arms free zone. Despite what he'd said to Sam he wouldn't have been able to shoot people even if he wanted to.

He still, however, had his unarmed combat skills to fall back on in an emergency.

Neatly making his excuses, claiming a combination of jet lag and conference fatigue, he avoided the semi-obligatory dinner, which would probably be as boring as the rest of the day, and settled on room service pizza and the mini-bar.

And, of course, a phone call from Sam.

Sam. Just the thought of his lover made him ache for the man's presence again, the loneliness for his lover only partially assuaged by hearing the man's voice hours earlier. He wasn't quite sure when Sam had become such a fundamental part of his life but somehow the Englishman was now as essential to him as breathing.

He missed Sam. And he was missing Sam in a tuxedo. Life just wasn't fair. Sam in a tuxedo was one of the highlights of his life, one he was seldom allowed to indulge in and this time he was almost four thousand miles away.

He still had the memories of the last time, though. And his imagination. He had a very active imagination, and at the moment he was exercising it fully.

He closed his eyes, summoning Sam's image with ease, picturing Sam's face, the way his lover's dark hair fell over his forehead. Only now, he knew, it would be slicked back away from Sam's face, neat and presentable, making Sam look like an affluent businessman rather than a rough and tumble CI5 agent. The eyes, however, would give the game away, even when pretending to be someone else. They were always crystal clear, focused and measuring, observing everything that went on around him almost clinically. Except when he looked at Chris. Then the wary note would disappear and Sam's gaze would soften slightly, his eyes taking on a light green tone, redolent of affection and more, until the heat built up between them and turned them silver.

He could picture that too, see it clearly in his mind's eye. It was a look he was intimately familiar with and one he could conjure up with no effort. With the image of Sam's face clear in his consciousness, he let his imagination drift to the rest of his lover's form, building up a picture in his mind of the Englishman's broad shoulders, the way they tapered down to a narrow and trim waist. Long legs. Firm thighs...

Bring, bring.

The phone startled him out of his reverie and he guiltily removed the hand that had been slowly rubbing at his crotch. Lost in his daydreaming he hadn't even consciously moved it there. His face flushed as he answered the phone, the lingering embarrassment exaggerating the trademark slight lisp in his tone as he answered.

"So what are you wearing?"

He chuckled and settled back comfortably on the bed, his free hand coming to rest on his chest as he cradled the phone to his ear.

"Hello, Sam."

"Hello, love. Disturbing you?"

He flushed again at the memory of what he'd been doing, what he'd been about to do, glad that Sam wasn't there to see him and tease him about his propensity to colour. "No," he croaked out, coughing slightly on the word. "Where are you?"

"Home," replied his lover succinctly. "Just got here."

"Long night."

"Yes. So, have you shot anyone yet?"

He laughed again, Sam's cheerful pragmatism lifting his mood. "No. Proud of my restraint?"

"Always," Sam answered him warmly. "And I'm sure that Malone will be grateful for it too. How did you manage it?"

"Thought of the paperwork, like you said."

There was a brief, amused chuckle followed by a slight pause, and then Sam's voice came back, low and rich. "What else have you been thinking about?"

"You." The word came easily, slipping past his unguarded lips and he didn't regret it for an instant.

There was another throaty chuckle, and he could almost picture the amused indulgence on Sam's face as he made the sound. And could see the heat in his lover's eyes, a heat that even came through in that brief laugh.

"Thinking of me how?"

"Thinking of you in that tuxedo..." He trailed off, the image of Sam dressed all in black once again tantalising him. "Thinking about how you look dressed like that."

There was no amusement in Sam's voice this time, just dark, chocolate need. "And?"

He tensed, not with fear but with something close to anticipation, roused by the tone in Sam's voice. "And yes, I'm hard."

Honesty. In all things.

"So..." Sam drew the word out, letting it fall from his lips honeyed and full of promise. "Were you doing anything about that?"

He glanced down his supine body, his gaze coming to rest on the bulge in his trousers that had made its presence known once more, awakened by the sound of his lover. "Not exactly," he admitted, a little more reluctantly this time.

"Were you planning to?"

Once again, his confined cock twitched and he bit back on a sigh. "Maybe later."

"What's wrong with now?"

Oh god. Now his cock was fairly screaming for attention, aroused by Sam's suggestion and he let his hand drift lightly down his chest, stopping at his waist, the thumb tucked into the waistband of his jeans as he listened to Sam's words.

"Where are you?"

He finally found his tongue and answered his partner, his own voice now hoarse with need. "Hotel room."

"Tell me."

He was helpless to resist the siren song in that voice and opened suddenly heavy eyelids to stare around his nondescript room. "Pretty standard. Not bad. Nice décor. Bed." He choked on the last word.

"Big bed?"

"Big enough. Too big." And currently empty.

"Are you there on it now?"

"Yes." He hissed the word out, his knuckles white with the need to move downwards, cup his aching flesh but somehow he sensed that this game they were playing wasn't over yet and he wanted to draw it out and see how far his lover would go. He was beginning to realise that Sam was just full of surprises. If nothing else, the tattoo should have shown him that.

"Lying down?" Sam's voice was low and seductive, a tone he'd seldom heard, or perhaps it was just more apparent now that his voice was the only part of Sam he could have.

"Yes."

"What are you wearing?"

There was no teasing in Sam's voice this time, and although the question should have been tacky, clichéd, somehow when delivered in Sam's voice, this time it merely sent a surge of heat through him. "Tell me," his lover tempted him.

"Jeans," he got past suddenly dry lips, his eyes shutting so that everything was blocked out except the sound of Sam's voice and the sensations that voice was engendering in him. "White sweater."

"The cream one?" Sam interrupted gently, his own voice taking on a slightly breathless quality.

"Yes," he admitted, hearing the hitch in Sam's breath at that. He'd almost forgot how much Sam loved that sweater. "What about you? Still in your tuxedo?"

"Pretty much," Sam's voice came back, sounding as though Sam was in the room with him instead of nearly four thousand miles away. With his eyes tightly closed, he could almost imagine that he was, almost feel Sam's breath on his cheek as his lover whispered in his ear. "My tie's undone and I've unloosened my top button."

A sudden surge of heat washed through him, as an image of a perfectly formed and slightly tousled Sam appeared in his mind's eye, just begging to be kissed, touched, fucked. He stifled a moan, only to let it out when Sam made his next admission.

"I'm standing in front of the mirror in my bedroom."

"Oh Christ."

He was lost, at the mercy of those dulcet tones playing him like a well-tuned instrument. And Sam knew exactly which chords reverberated through him.

"What should I do, Chris? Should I get undressed?" The words wrapped around what little conscious will he had left, stroking and caressing his mind even as he longed to touch his own body.

"Yes." The word came out almost strangled, a harsh demand born of need. "Jacket, Sam. Take it off."

"As you wish."

Oh god, there should be a law against a Submissive Sam, at least against one separated from him by this distance. He wanted nothing more than Sam there with him so that his own hands could strip Sam's garments from him, his own fingers skate lightly and not so lightly over Sam's skin, so that he could possess and own the man the way he wanted to sometimes, the way he was coming to realise that Sam wanted sometimes too.

"What are you doing, Chris?"

This time there was a note of iron in Sam's voice, a complete contrast to the almost passive tone of his last comment. It had him pausing in the act of ripping his jeans open, and answering waspishly, "Trying to get my goddamned hands down my pants."

To give Sam credit, he didn't laugh. Instead that hint of iron remained as Sam said, "No."

He gaped, unable or unwilling to grasp what his lover had said. Any blow to his ego, however, was soothed by Sam's next words.

"I want you to slide your hand under your top instead. Slowly, Chris. I want you to move it over your stomach, up over your chest, touch your nipple. I want you to imagine it's me that's doing it."

He did. He kept his eyes firmly closed, and let his hand trail slowly and lightly upwards, mimicking the way that Sam touched him rather than the heavier touch he preferred when he was alone. For some reason, that kept him focused, enabling him to issue semi-coherent instructions to Sam.

"Take your shirt off... slowly."

He heard Sam's sharp intake of breath at the dominance evident in his own voice and gloried in the response he'd invoked. Even as his own hand trailed over his body, circling his nipple with a feather light touch, he imagined his hands moving over Sam, undoing Sam's crisp white shirt, one button at a time, an image made even more vivid by Sam's slow, measured counting of each button undone.

"One... two..."

He switched images suddenly, now picturing Sam's own hands doing the unfastening, seeing his lover in front of him, undressing for him and him only, the act reflected in the mirror behind Sam. That image was even more erotic, causing his breath to catch in his throat with a sharp gasp as he emphasised the thought with a sharp tweak to his own erect nipple.

"Four... five..."

Sam's voice was more breathless now, the numbers coming in pants as his partner seemed as aroused by this play-acting as he was. "What are you thinking about?" he demanded suddenly, needing to know what images Sam was holding in his own head to increase his arousal.

"You."

"Tell me."

A soft moan from his lover, and then Sam's voice came back over the line, soft and full of need. "You, lying on the bed with your shirt off and the top button of your jeans unfastened, and one hand is behind your head while the other is moving over your chest. You're waiting for me."

He'd always suspected that his lover had a vivid imagination and this merely confirmed it. And far be it for him to thwart Sam's fantasy. He sat up and pulled his sweater over his head and threw it into the recesses of the room before settling back down again, his hand returning to its ghostly journey over his skin while his eyes drifted shut again.

"Done."

Sam let out a ragged sigh and then said, low and rich, "My shirt's open. Now what?"

"Take it off." Subtlety was not his strong point. "Trousers too."

"Boxers?"

"Everything, Sam. I want you naked in front of that mirror."

Another lust-filled sigh, and he could hear the rustling of clothing over the phone line, his imagination filling in what he couldn't see, letting him visualise Sam stripping the garments from his body. The image only increased his level of arousal, his hand drifting down from circling his nipple to resting lightly on the bulge clearly outlined through his silk boxers. He took it no further though, feeling that to proceed without Sam would be unfair.

"Done," came Sam's voice back, a little stronger this time, as though stripping naked had somehow strengthened his partner's resolve to see this game through to the end.

"Now what?"

"Touch yourself." Sam's instruction was merely breathed into his ear but he couldn't ignore it, the power in it evident despite the soft tone.

"Where?" he asked with bated breath.

Sam drawled the words out, secure in the power he had over his lover, each syllable a caress. "Start in the middle of your chest. Move your hand down... slowly, Chris. Are you moving it?"

"Yes..."

"Imagine it's me who's touching you. Imagine it's my hand you can feel. Can you picture that, Chris?"

"Yes..."

"Close your eyes and I'm there with you, Chris. Can you feel me on the bed next to you? Touching you?"

"Yes..."

Each affirmation was increasingly breathless as his arousal rose to almost unbearable levels. He followed Sam's instructions precisely, lost in the daze the other man's words were creating, not varying it, not even when his cock was screaming for relief. He gave control in this over to his lover, trusting Sam to make this good as Sam always made sex good. For the time being he even, rather selfishly perhaps, ignored Sam's need since Sam seemed so focused on his.

Sam's voice dropped lower, the words painting over Chris' skin like melted chocolate. "I'm going to kiss you, Chris." His lips parted with anticipation, so realistic were Sam's words. "On the neck, and lower. Move my mouth over your body."

He lifted his head, baring his neck to someone four thousand miles away. "Can you feel it, Chris?" He could. He could feel Sam's phantom lips moving over his skin, smell the scent of his partner's hair as that mouth moved lower. Felt the tingling in his tight, pale nipples as that invisible mouth lapped at them while Sam continued to describe what he was doing in his fertile imagination.

Oh god, he was drowning in Sam's words and glorying in that fact, his hand drifting unconsciously to act out the fantasy that Sam's dialogue was unveiling.

"Move your hand lower, Chris. Slide it into your boxers. Touch yourself."

He did, groaning out loud as the feel of his own fingers sent shards of sensation through him, his balls tightening in automatic response to that touch.

"Lightly," came Sam's voice again, a little more raggedly than before, husky, that iron control slipping slightly. "Ease your cock free. Caress it. Run your finger - just your finger, Chris - from your balls to the tip."

He did so, another groan falling from his lips as his hips bucked, the slight pressure from one finger combined with Sam's velvet voice almost enough to take him over the edge.

"Are you wet?"

"Yes," he breathed, his finger sliding into the jewel-like bead of moisture collecting on the tip of his penis, smoothing the pre-come around the head to slick his erection ready for what came next.

"You want me."

"Yes."

"You want my mouth on you."

He groaned again. "Oh Christ, yes, Sam." The words ran into one another, a litany of sheer need. "Now, please, Sam."

"Imagine my mouth on you."

He could. He felt the furnace of Sam's mouth engulf him even as his hand, slick now with his own fluid, slid easily down over his erect cock, slowly fisting it in counterpoint to the words Sam was still weaving around his head.

"I'm taking you in, Chris, loving the way the taste of you explodes on my tongue. Have I told you that? Told you how much I love the taste of you, how I can't get enough of it? How I'd live on it if I could?"

He couldn't answer Sam, too lost in the feelings coursing through him, cast adrift on the waves of pleasure now crashing through his body. Sam didn't seem to care, lost in a world of his own imagining.

"You taste so good, Chris, all clean musk and salty sweat, bitter and sweet at the same time, and I'm taking as much of you in as I can, going down on you as deep as I can even as my hands are fondling your balls."

He was moaning, not caring if that was all Sam could hear, aware on some level of Sam's erratic breathing and the catch in his lover's voice as Sam continued to outline his imaginings. He sandwiched the phone between his shoulder and ear, trapping it there so that he could free up his other hand and move it downwards, sliding it into his underwear to cup his balls the way Sam was describing, rolling them in his palm the way his lover did when Sam went down on him, the way that drove him wild.

"You're close now, aren't you, Chris?"

"Yes," he managed to gasp out, his fingers kneading his tight balls even as his other hand continued a slow, hard stroke up and down his weeping erection. He was so close it was almost painful and yet still he couldn't let go, not until Sam was ready for him to, no matter how much he wanted, needed it.

"I can feel it," continued his lover. "Feel it in the way that your body's tensing, feel it in the way that your taste changes, grows saltier the closer you come. Come for me, Chris. Let me taste you."

He did, climaxing with a harsh cry, dimly hearing an echoing gasp through the phone line as his seed spilled over his hand to coat his abdomen while his heart pounded in his chest and shivers of pleasure coursed through him, washing him away.

He slumped back on the bed, his body sweaty and satisfied, breathing heavily down the phone, his fingers swirling absently through the cooling pool of come on his stomach as he listened to Sam's breathing too. He brought his fingers up to his mouth, and sucked on them, his eyes drifting closed as he tried to imagine that this taste of him was the taste of Sam. He'd tasted himself before but usually in the mouths of others, in Sam's mouth, never directly. It was subtly different from Sam's taste, and on balance he thought he preferred that taste of his lover because it was the taste of Sam.

Sam.

"Did you...?" he asked.

"Yes, I did." And then Sam laughed.

"What?"

"I'm going to have to clean the bloody mirror, aren't I?"

That startled a laugh out of him too, his face settling into his trademark grin while he basked in the moment of closeness between them, despite the geographical distance.

"I'm going to take you in front of that mirror when I get back," he promised.

"I'll hold you to that," came back Sam's amused answer.

"I'm counting on it," he grinned. And then he sighed. "I miss you," he admitted. "It's too far."

"Three thousand, six hundred and seventy four miles. I looked it up."

"Guess you're missing me too?"

"You're getting bigheaded again, Keel."

"Just professional interest, right?"

"Something like that."

"I love you too, Sam."

The bantering tone disappeared from his partner's voice as Sam replied softly, "I know. And I love you." And then the laughter came back as Sam added, "Why else would I be giving you aural sex at almost three a.m.?"

He groaned at the pun. "Rather have oral," he joshed back.

"When you get back," Sam promised.

"Hold you to that," he returned. "Three more days."

"See you in three days, Keel."

He chuckled slightly. "And if you miss me that badly you could always phone."

Sam laughed, a rich, full sound that filled him with a kind of obscure joy, maybe because in spite of the three thousand whatever miles that Sam had quoted that lay between them, he could still make his lover laugh. And come.

Sam yawned, reminding him forcibly that the distance between them also translated into time as well as miles. "Get some sleep, buddy. Sweet dreams."

Sam's voice was drowsy as he answered, "They're always sweet, Chris. They're of you." And then he yawned again, while Chris was basking in the aftermath of that admission, adding a soft, "G'night, love."

"'Night, Sam. Love you. See you in three days."

Three days, he thought, heading off for a shower before retiring himself. He could survive three days, knowing that Sam would be waiting eagerly for him to come back, almost as eager as Chris was to be in the arms of his lover again.

Three days. And if it got too much, there was always the phone.

The End


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