Fandom : The Bill
Pairing : Ashton/Gilmore
Rating : NC17
Archive : Britslash, anyone else please ask.
Feedback : Gratefully received at
Spoilers : Possible for future episodes
of The Bill
Disclaimer : Don't own the characters and not making a penny off
Ashton gripped the carrier bag more firmly and tried to work up the
to get out of the car. Sergeant Gilmore had been discharged from
two days ago and was due back at work in two more days if his health
continued to improve. He'd lost a lot of blood when a couple of
had decided that coppers were perfect targets for their extra
knives. The cut on his ankle hadn't looked that serious until it
pouring blood. Klein had stopped the bleeding with pressure until the
ambulance had arrived whilst Young and Ashton had managed to arrest
pair. Now here he was, bringing gifts to a man he knew fancied him
and who he had tried his best to hurt. He did like Gilmore. Alright,
honest he did more than like Gilmore, he wanted to get into the man's
more than anything else, despite the fact he was still sexually
with Kerry Young. Gilmore fascinated him in a way that Kerry didn't.
could drown in those dark eyes and he already knew just how kissably
his lips were. Perhaps that was all this attraction was. If he had sex
with Gilmore, his curiosity would be satisfied and he would be OK. He
go back to Kerry with a light heart and never have to wonder what he
He'd never, ever thought he might be gay, but when he'd met Gilmore
been conscious of a frisson between them, a feeling of always wanting
other man's approval. For a while he'd put it down to the fact Gilmore
his superior officer but deep down he knew it was more than that.
Especially after he'd been called to a 'domestic' and found Craig and
now ex-boyfriend arguing. He'd really been uncomfortable when Gilmore
tried to thank him for his discretion on the domestic incident. Or was
more uncomfortable because he didn't want Gilmore grateful, he
needy. Needy for him, to be specific. Then when he had got him like
he'd run straight into the arms of Kerry Young. Maybe he just
what he wanted at all. After the unpleasant way he'd treated
wouldn't be surprised if the man kicked him off his doorstep. As
intention to seduce him, well, he wasn't making any promises about
relationships. He just wanted to satisfy his curiosity and,
an end to his fascination with the older man. Ashton had done some
research, mainly via the internet, and knew anal sex was likely to
first few times, especially if the dominant partner was
Craig Gilmore was sexually experienced and Ashton knew, in some
way, that Craig would never intentionally hurt him. One part of his
berated him for his callous use of Craig's attachment, whilst
felt justified in using him like that. They would both get what
wanted. Hell! Gilmore might not want to go near him again after the
time. It wasn't as if he was likely to be the best lay Gilmore had
Luke checked the contents of his jacket pocket for the umpteenth
small tube of expensive, flavoured lubricant and half a dozen
durex tumbled around his questing fingers. He tried to reason with
conscience by thinking all he was attempting to do was find out
wanted to know and then walk away to get on with the rest of his
his curiosity satisfied. What was wrong with that?
Taking a deep breath Luke got out of the car and walked across to
Gilmore's house. He knocked and waited, until Gilmore had opened the door.
"Hi Craig. I was just passing and thought I'd drop in and see how
To say Gilmore looked surprised would be an understatement,
the light of some of their previous conversations.
"That was kind of you, Luke. I'm fine," Gilmore replied, sounding
uncertain. He waited curiously.
"That's good. Yeah, umm that's good. Umm. I brought you this as
Ashton mumbled, pressing the carrier bag covered bottle at him.
"Oh! That was nice of you. Thank you."
Gilmore took the bag off and saw a very decent bottle of red wine.
nice. Thank you very much!" he replied, quite flattered.
"I don't really know much about wines. The lady in the shop helped
pick it out," Ashton replied, honestly.
Gilmore smiled. He really had gone to some trouble to get him a
"Do you like drinking wine?" Gilmore asked.
"Well, yeah, sometimes."
"Come in then. You can help me drink it."
A huge smile graced Ashton's face as he followed Gilmore's limping
into the house.
Graig didn't bother switching on the main light, just made do with
from the cooker hood while he opened the bottle, took out two nice
glasses from a cupboard in his kitchen and filled them with the
Luke was hovering behind him uncertainly. He passed a glass across
Luke and took a sniff then a sip from his own glass. The flavour
wonderful as the bouquet had promised.
"Is it OK?" Luke asked anxiously.
"It's very nice Luke, thank you," Gilmore replied sincerely
younger man over the top of his glass.
Even in the fairly dim light he could see Ashton was very nervous
agitated, that much was obvious. He wondered what was really behind
gift and the visit. After Luke had kissed him in his office then
he had been trying to make a fool out of him, they hadn't exactly
the closest of relationships. He leaned back against the sink,
of the strain from his ankle, while he watched Luke's eyes wander
the small kitchen.
"Do you want to go through?" Craig suggested. His ankle was aching
wanted to sit down in comfort.
"Pardon?" Luke stammered.
"Do you want to go through to the lounge and sit down?" Craig
slowly and helpfully. The long silence was becoming uncomfortable.
least the telly was on in the other room and that would alleviate
the tense quietude until he could either find out what Luke really
he could encourage him to leave.
Craig levered himself away from the sink but misjudged how much his
was prepared to take. It let him down suddenly and he fell against
kitchen table. Wine slopped out of his glass across the wood as he
to right himself. A pair of strong arms steadied him, getting him
"Must be stronger than I thought," Craig said, laughing then saw
Ashton was standing. He took a step backwards and came up against
of the sink. Ashton followed his every move. Suddenly Craig was
little trapped. Luke's brown eyes looked huge in the dim light and
were less than a few inches away from his own he had perfect
his dilated pupils too. Luke stroked the side of Craig's face
feeling the slight stubble under his palm. He moved in, intending
Gilmore but Gilmore turned his head away so Luke ended up kissing
instead of his lips.
"Luke! What the hell do you think you're doing?" Gilmore asked
Ashton was kissing his cheek and moving down to his neck, pushing
of his grey shirt out of the way. A distinctive clink as Ashton set
wineglass down on the draining board warned Gilmore that he meant
Then he leant in close, pressing his body hard against Craig,
relieving Craig of his glass. Craig's eyes widened as he felt the
press against his own groin.
"I want you," Luke murmured diving in to kiss him again. This time
was so surprised he didn't read his intention. Ashton kissed him
all the fervour at his command. Despite his reservations, for a few
Craig responded, happily sucking on the wet, demanding invader in
A soft moan escaped from Ashton. Craig pushed the younger man back
held him angrily against the kitchen table.
"What is this, Luke? Some new way to make a fool out of me?"
"Well what are you playing at? You've already made it crystal clear
were taking the mick last time your tried this trick. So what is it
time? See if you can make the queer believe you twice in a row?"
"No! It's not like that, I swear."
"You swear? Does Kerry know you’re here? Perhaps I should just ring
"We're not together any more," Luke burst out, wondering at the
where the ready lie had come from. As far as Kerry was concerned
very much together.
"When did this happen?" Gilmore asked suspiciously.
"A couple of days ago. We decided to be just friends."
"You decided to just be friends with the heroine of Wells Road? The
whom you announced to Inspector Gold you were in love with?"
Said like that, it didn't seem very likely. He'd sung Kerry's
the rooftops when she'd brought the incident in Wells Road to a
conclusion, despite his interference.
"Well?" Craig asked.
"What do you want me to say? She doesn't want a steady
Luke mentally winced at the lie. Kerry was all for a steady
So you've been without for a couple of days and you thought you'd
other side of the fence. See what you might be missing."
Luke flinched. That was too near the truth.
"Well, I'm not interested in bedding Kerry Young's leftovers and I
think you are really interested in me. I think you'd better take
and leave," Gilmore continued.
Luke quickly took Gilmore's hand and pressed to his groin.
"Does that feel like I'm not interested?" he asked softly, noticing
first time how out of breath they both sounded.
The heat from the other man's palm penetrated his trousers and felt
wonderful. Unconsciously Luke pushed his erection harder against
"Oh Craig!" he muttered, his eyes flickering closed as that
started to rub him through his denims.
He leaned in again tracing a pathway of butterfly kisses along
up to his jaw, whilst his hands were very busy undoing the buttons
shirt. He pushed the material aside to reveal a lightly furred
Licking and kissing across the surface until he encountered a
swirled his tongued around the nub, and sucked, raising the flesh
then he bit down sharply, immediately soothing it again with his
tongue. His busy hands moved to the buttons of Craig's jeans,
work of the task and pushing down jeans and underwear in one,
not to crush his cock. He wrapped his fist around the engorging
gently masturbating him. The thought that this was the first time
ever touched another man's erection crossed his mind. Luke opened
taking in the sight in front of him. Craig's eyes were closed, his
stretched and chest heaving. The patch of dark hair between his
faded to an arrow line of hair down his belly to his groin to
thicken into a
normal pelt, like any other man. His cock held loosely in Luke's
burning hot and hard. A dusky rose velvet rod stretched over steel.
momentarily let go of his prize. He quickly shrugged out of his
then his polo shirt, lastly unbuttoning and pushing down his jeans
briefs and kicking them off, along with his shoes. He reached out
for Craig, dropping to his knees to worship. A faint tang of sweat
his nose, along with a fruity scent of soap. He nuzzled the heated
and rubbed his cheek along its length. Tentatively he put his lips
end and kissed him there, moving his foreskin back and taking a
swipe at the
drop of precum forming. Salty and at last a taste of the man
Wanting to identify the taste Luke took him into his mouth, sucking
wanting more of the elusive flavour. A cry from above reached his
before he was hauled to his feet and then pushed back across the
table. Desperate lips fastened on to his, kissing him with ardour
strength. Fingers pinched and rolled his nipples making him arch
into the rough touch. Greedily he sucked on the tongue which thrust
his mouth. Then the wonderful mouth left his and was attaching
itself to one
of his reddened sensitive nipples. Craig suckled at him hard, his
body moving rthymically, trapping both their erections between
Blindly Luke thrust up against both sets of stimulation, the sweat
up on his skin allowing him to slide against Craig. Craig moved
applied his expert attention to his other nipple, taking Luke to a
plane of pleasure. Craig could feel himself climbing higher and
at the same time wanting to slow down and prolong this as much as
Craig kissed him again hard then abruptly moved down his body to
cock. The sudden wet warmth was almost too much for Luke. His hips
table top as Craig suckled as strongly on his throbbing cock as he
his nipples. Luke yelled inarticulately, his body writhing in
"Craig! Oh god Craig! Craig! I'm going to come, I'm going to come."
Craig sucked him hard again, his head bobbing as he efficiently
to the bring of orgasm and kept him there, pressing against a spot
perinium to delay him coming. Luke almost screamed. With his heart
thundering against his ribs and his brain on fire Luke wasn't sure
going to survive this king of blowjobs he was getting. He couldn't
speak, he could only moan his appreciation as Craig stopped him
when he was on the verge. A hand wiped away the sweat pouring down
as a husky voice whispered in his ear.
"Do you want to come?"
He nodded breathlessly.
"Do you want to come in my hand or my mouth?"
Luke groaned. He expected him to speak?
"Luke, sit up a bit," the insidious voice whispered.
Beyond questioning anything Luke hauled his upper body up and
leaned back on
his elbows, taking in the amazing sight of Craig's wonderfully
moving smoothly down over the head of his cock, his dark brown eyes
in apparent ecstasy. That was all it took to send him over the
heard himself crying out as his orgasm reduced him to a quivering,
mass. A little later he opened his eyes, his breathing beginning to
to normal, to find Craig leaning over him, observing him, almost
He smiled up at him and put a hand to the back of his neck, lazily
him nearer so he could kiss him. Craig tasted a little different
somehow familiar then he realised he was tasting himself in the
mouth. He moaned, surprised at how erotic he found that thought.
pulled back to look at him.
"You let me come in your mouth," Luke said dreamily.
Craig nodded. "You seemed to enjoy it," he remarked, dryly.
Luke traced the shaped of his swollen lips with the tips of his
"That was amazing!" he said reverently before going back to kissing
A hardness digging into his thigh and the movement of Craig's hand
another idea to mind. He reached down to stop Craig touching
"Luke!" Craig snapped, pushed beyond endurance.
"Fuck me!" he demanded.
"Fuck me, come inside me."
"Because I'm not going to last long enough!"
Luke struggled up, pushing Craig back against the cold metal of the
He flinched as it touched the flesh of his back. Luke was on his
front of him, licking him from root to crown, blowing a stream of
along the wet trail. Stretching his lips he took in as much as he
holding Craig's hips in place, sucking hard enough to hollow his
Craig rested his hands on Luke's shoulders watching the younger
head moving above his groin. He was obviously inexperienced at
but what he lacked in technique he more than made up for in
display alone was instrumental in bringing him to his own climax.
to pull Luke away but he wouldn't be moved. From far away he
himself spasm and almost sob his pleasure.
Craig came back to something approaching normality to find he was
tightly and a warm head was resting against his shoulder. Both of
still shaking a little. When he felt movement Luke looked up into
his face and smiled. He looked rumpled, sweaty, red faced and well fucked.
he looked wonderful to Craig. He smiled back as Luke tried to move
impossibly closer to him. A twitch against his leg caught his
"I don't believe you!" he whispered incredulously.
"Your fault," Luke murmured against his lips.
"How so?" Craig asked when he finished kissing him.
"You looked fantastic when you came. I wanted you again."
Craig smiled as he said.
"Well, you’re going to have to wait. I'm not in my twenties, I take
a bit longer."
Luke smiled as he nuzzled his neck.
"Will you come inside me this time?"
"I thought I just did," Craig replied, his eyes closed not really
about what he'd just been asked, then the penny dropped and his
"Are you sure?"
Luke looked into his eyes and nodded.
"You've never done this before, are you certain you know what
He nodded again and swallowed hard.
"Well first of all, we're going to do this in bed! My ankle isn't
stand another knee trembler."
Luke laughed out loud.
"You take the wine up. It's first door on your right at the top of
stairs. I'll be there in a minute," Craig said briskly
They pulled on their underwear and jeans. While Luke padded off
with both glasses and the bottle, Craig went to lock up and switch
television off. He checked the front door, switched off the lights
lounge and went back through to the kitchen to check the back door.
noticed Luke's jacket and shirt on the floor and picked them up. As
so something fell out of his jacket pocket onto the kitchen floor.
bent to pick up the familiar little packet. Guiltily looking around
through the jacket pockets pulling out the lube and the rest of the
Luke had arrived here very prepared for sex by the look of this
lot. Thoughtfully Craig turned off the light and made his way
Luke had made himself at home and was lying in his bed, sipping at
Craig checked at the threshold. The bedside light shone softly on
skin. He looked absurdly young and so very desirable.
"Craig, what's wrong?" Luke asked, seeing the expression on his
"I picked up your jacket and something fell out of the pocket." He
the wrapped condom into Luke's hand. "You came here intending to
Luke dropped his eyes and nodded.
"I don't understand you. You could have had sex with me ages ago.
you kissed me in my office, but you ran to Kerry Young's bed
why are you here now? Because you split up?"
"No, not because we split up. Back then, when I…when I kissed you.
frightened to admit it, even to myself."
"That I fancied my male sergeant. I've never looked at another
that before. I didn't know what to think. So I went for what I
woman," he paused in his impassioned outburst before asking
quietly. "Do you
want me to go?"
"Do you want to go?"
"That's alright then," Craig said with a smile and a kiss. "Don't
of being what you are Luke," he said, quickly stripping off his
sliding under the duvet with him.
Luke immediately went into his arms. Craig wrapped him in a warm,
"How old were you when you knew you were gay?"
"About fourteen, I suppose."
"You figured it out a bit quicker than me!" Luke said ruefully.
"You're not gay, Luke."
"What?" Luke asked, raising his head to look into his eyes. "We've
sex on your kitchen table and now I'm in bed with you, what do you
if not gay?"
"You're bisexual. You fancy women as well," he said gently,
"Haven't you ever looked at a woman?"
"Not like that. I like women, just not sexually."
Luke considered the reply for a moment, before planting a lingering
Craig's chest. He rolled onto his back, pulling Craig over him like
blanket. The hot weight felt very right somehow, as if this is what
been missing all his life. His lips fastened onto Craig's, kissing,
and licking gently, slowly building the passion.
After a few minutes Craig turned them on their sides, his hands
slow and thorough exploration of his new lover's body. He stroked
back, soothingly, each time moving nearer to his peachy bum. He
taut globes, filling his hands with smooth flesh, driving Luke into
of vicious, nipping kisses. Craig pulled Luke's thigh across his
stroking along the back of his thigh and onto his buttock from the
direction. Immediately he felt a shiver go through him, leaving him
where before he'd been pleasantly relaxed. Craig, realising he had
nervous virgin on his hands, moved his stroking to the muscles
shoulders finding he was almost hunched with tension here too. It
his mind to leave full intercourse for another time but when he
to look into Luke's eyes, all he saw was a glazed look of lust
"How do you want me?" Luke asked hoarsely.
'Anyway I can have you,' a voice in Craig's mind answered.
"Luke, this isn't a good idea. You're so tense this is going to
hurt and I
don't want to hurt you."
Luke's eyes lost a lot of their glaze.
"You don't really want me, do you?"
"Of course I do. But it's going to hurt."
"I want this. I want to feel you inside me."
Craig sighed and leant his head against Luke's forehead before he
"Turn over then."
Luke turned onto his stomach, then pulled a pillow under his face
on. Craig threw the duvet back and rummaged in the drawer of the
table. Luke lifted his head up. Three or four dildos rattled about
drawer, sharing space with wrapped packets of condoms, tubes and
bottles. He took out two of the bottles and placed them next to the
Luke had brought with him. Luke put his head back down and closed
mentally preparing himself for penetration. He heard the top of a
being unscrewed then Craig straddled his thighs. He got a shock
stream of cool liquid dribbled across his shoulders and down his
he felt a warm hand spreading the liquid evenly.
"What are you doing?"
"What does it feel like I'm doing?" Craig asked, his Welsh accent
He put his weight behind massaging along Luke's tense shoulders and
back. Luke groaned as the knots were loosed until his muscles felt
"Oh that's good!"
Craig didn't say a word, concentrating on his task. He replenished
and moved lower down, digging into the small of his back, hips and
A thin stream of oil trickled into the cleft and then down over his
tickling him. He laughed quietly.
"That feels odd," Luke said.
Craig ran his index finger along the back of his scrotum tracing
the path of
the oil in reverse. He let his fingertip linger over the puckered
moved away. Luke didn't even twitch. A calculating look entered
eyes as he bent over and applied the tip of his tongue to the rosy
entering the channel behind. A strangled gasp sounded from the body
underneath him as Luke's upper body rose from the bed in utter
pleasure. Craig leisurely continued his progress, pointing his
thrusting delicately inside, then going back to long swipes with
the flat of
"'Bet no-one told you about that!" he said silkily a few minutes
Luke, gasping like a stranded boneless fish, could only shake his
Gently Craig worked the tip of a finger inside, patiently working
back and forth until he could work a second one in beside the
Cautiously he pushed in deeper, watching for any sign of pain. A
crossed Luke's face but that was all. As he withdrew, he curled his
to brush along the lump of Luke's prostrate gland. He was rewarded
another sharp gasp of unexpected pleasure.
"Ahh, do that again!" Luke demanded.
Craig smiled, well satisfied, as he worked more lube in and added
finger, making sure he kept hitting the pleasure button inside.
litany of his name grew in volume Craig judged his bedmate was more
ready for the next step. Carefully he rolled on a condom then lay
the side of Luke, pulling the other man onto his side so he was
back. He pushed Luke's top leg forward, fitting his own leg
behind. Deftly he guided his cock into his prepared hole, pushing
slowly, the muscles opening and then gripping him like a tight, hot
They both groaned at the sensation. Craig had to stop a minute
lost it completely and began thrusting hard. He held Luke's hip so
couldn't move either.
"You OK?" he whispered.
Luke nodded, way beyond speech.
Craig withdrew and then pushed further in, then pulled back again,
going deeper and deeper until Luke had all of him. He stopped to
some measure of his control trying to think of anything but being
embedded in the beautiful body in front of him. Carefully he
body, changing the angle so his cockhead would hit the right spot
Experimentally he gave a short thrust. Luke didn't make a sound.
moved around a little more and did it again, then again. The fourth
was greeted with a cry. Bingo! Craig carried on hitting that little
the cries becoming more breathless and the litany of "Oh God, oh
changing to 'Don't stop, don't stop, oh please don't stop." Luke's
nearly sobbing out each phrase and his hips pushing back hard to
thrusting from behind which made Craig's self-possession very
indeed. Reaching around he took hold of Luke's cock, pulling back
foreskin, swirling his thumb across the slit and then roughly
pumping him in
time with his pistoning hips. Luke's hand wrapped around his,
the pressure until with a long drawn out yell he came, spilling his
over their joined hands. The intense grip of his internal muscles
Craig unmercifully and tearing a mind numbing orgasm from him
They lay panting in the same position for a few minutes until Craig
slightly, his softened organ slipping from Luke's body. He took the
condom off and dropped it over the side of the bed and went back to
Luke's totally sated body against his.
"You alright?" he whispered.
Making a supreme effort Luke turned in his arms, resting his head
the hollow of his shoulder and moulding the rest of his body to
side, pushing a thigh between his thighs.
"More than alright," he whispered.
Craig held him close, his heart full of gratitude to whichever
granted this wish. They lay together like that for a long time,
speaking, until the sweat had dried on their bodies and they were
cold. Craig shifted around and pulled the duvet around them both.
snuggled in again to his side, his breathing gradually evening out
Luke woke first throwing back the duvet feeling contented and
mellow but far
too hot. Then he remembered whose bed he was in. Turning his head
he looked at the sleeping face on the pillow beside him. Craig's
neat hair was sticking up in all directions, dark stubble
face added to the rough, tough appearance but Luke knew better.
expected Craig to know what he was doing with regard to gay sex but
hadn't expected the tenderness, respect and consideration he'd been
He'd assumed male sex would be a little rough and perhaps lacking
niceties but he was wrong, at least here. He felt cherished,
….loved? The realisation hit him like a bolt from the blue. He
sex last night, Craig Gilmore had made love to him and he'd enjoyed
second. Astonished he lay down again as close to the other man as
a rather alien emotion filling his heart. It would be so easy to
fall in love with this man.
Several hours later the sound of a shower woke Luke for the second
was alone in the bed only the indentation on the pillow showing
another head had been. He turned onto his back and stretched
Not even a slight tinge of pain in his lower back and thighs could
feeling of satisfaction. The shower stopped. A few minutes later
emerged freshly shaven and a little damp, rubbing his hair on a
gash across his ankle looked red, the skin held together with steri-strips.
"Morning," he greeted Luke, with a half smile.
"Morning," Luke smiled at him holding out his hand.
Craig limped over and sat on the side of the bed taking his hand as
up to kiss him softly.
"Come back to bed," Luke whispered in between long slow kisses.
"Not a good idea, at least for you."
An eon later Luke asked,
"You're due on parade in an hour."
"Mmmph," was the only reply, Luke being far too preoccupied taking
of Craig's talented lips, before the meaning filtered in to his
"What? An hour?"
Craig nodded, grinning at him.
He got out of the way as Luke tried to extract himself from the
folds of the
duvet at top speed. He set off towards the bathroom at a run then
remembered his manners.
"Can I use the ….?"
"Fresh towels are in the airing cupboard."
Then he was back on his knees taking a last few passionate kisses.
"Go!" Craig ordered. "I'll make you some tea and toast,"
"Thanks," Luke said, making no attempt to move or to stop bestowing
"Move!" Craig said, getting out of the way of the lovely
"In a minute," Luke replied, his mind certainly not on work.
"Now," he replied sternly, swatting him on the behind to get him
out of the
bedroom and into the bathroom. Luke went, grinning all over his
he caught Craig tracking his progress into the other room with
Twenty minutes later, freshly showered and fed Luke was preparing
Craig showed him to the door. Before opening the door Luke turned
and looked up at him almost shyly.
"Erm, I was wondering…"
"Wondering what?" Craig prompted.
"Can I see you again?" he got out finally.
"You see me every day at work" Craig reminded him.
"I meant socially."
"Socially as in bed or socially as in a drink or dinner somewhere?"
Craig laughed seeing the earnest expression on Luke's face.
"I think I'd be most disappointed if I didn't see you again –
is," Craig replied, seriously.
Luke's smile almost split his face in two.
"OK. Tonight. Come round after your shift and I'll make us some
Luke answered enthusiastically with his lips against Craig's.
Craig fought him off and pushed him out of the front door and off
That was the beginning of almost seven weeks of a mad passionate
Luke couldn't seem to keep his hands off Craig, even at Sun Hill
nights out of seven found him in Craig's bed. They made love as
physically possible. A couple of times Luke couldn't wait to get
far as the lounge but took him against the wall in the hallway each
keeping up a filthy, low voiced litany in his ear as he buried
the hilt in his lover's body. Luke had a most inventive, obscene
he was in the grip of passion. Craig listened, fascinated, on these
occasions, as Luke described in graphic detail what he'd been
and imagining doing with Craig when they got home.
Sometimes they would make love on the sofa or on the rug in front
fire in the lounge, afterwards, pulling a blanket over themselves
sleep until morning.
Craig's bed usually ended up as a playground for Luke. He was
trying out the few 'toys' Craig kept in the bedside table. It was
new and novel for him after his previous heterosexual lifestyle and
was all too happy to initiate his new lover into the mysteries of
The fact they usually ended up laughing as much as making love
to matter to either man. Laughing or loving they were very
From his initial suspicion of Luke's motives, very, very gradually
began to relax into the relationship. If Luke had been completely
professional at work, Craig, again, would have become suspicious
but as he
wasn't and more than a few times Luke had taken a hell of a chance
both by kissing him in his office. That, oddly enough, helped to
naturally reticent and suspicious nature. However Craig decided his
face must be slipping when Inspector Gold mentioned that he was
lot happier and was his new man the reason? He fudged over his
little, curiously unwilling to let Gina know the name of his new
that she had ever been anything less than discrete with his
"Is it someone here, in the nick?" she asked, seemingly able to see
When he didn't answer immediately she patted his arm and said,
"I'm only teasing! Good luck to you both. I'm pleased you've found
you're happy with."
"Thank you Ma'am," he replied dutifully though he was smiling.
She patted his arm again before going back to her own office
could depend on Craig not to let his personal life interfere with
professional life, his discretion was legendary. She was extremely
though as to the identity of his new boyfriend. As far as she knew
were no other openly gay officers at Sun Hill.
Tuesday morning, after refs Craig was returning to his office when
into a tearful Kerry Young.
"Kerry?" he questioned.
"Sorry Sarge," she sniffed.
"Nothing Sarge," she replied, her face crumpling a little more.
"Come on," he ordered, ushering her into his office and closing the
"Now what is it?" he asked kindly.
After a few seconds she burst into noisy tears, saying rather
"I don't know what to do!"
He put his arms around her, offering comfort. After a few minutes
back and wiped her face with her hands. He offered her tissues from
on his desk and waited.
"Is this something to do with why you were on sick leave this
"I went to see the doctor."
“Is it serious?” he asked, genuinely concerned.
"I'm pregnant," she blurted out.
"We haven't really been going out that long either. I don't even
Luke likes children."
Gilmore's heart and stomach seemed to change places whilst a
cold seeped into his limbs. As if from a far distance he heard his
"Ashton. PC Ashton."
"You're still seeing PC Ashton?"
"We've only been going out for about five months. We've talked
getting married but about not about starting a family so soon."
Gilmore studied his shoes in silence for a time before he asked,
"I take it you haven't seen Luke yet, this morning?"
"No. He went off to stay with a couple of friends last night. He's
back on duty yet."
"No. No, of course he isn't," Gilmore agreed knowing full well he'd
Luke Ashton, sated and content, in his own bed after making love
before arriving for his duty shift.
"What am I going to do, Sarge?"
Gilmore gave a mirthless laugh as he took a deep breath and said
difficult sentence of his life,
"I think you've already done that Kerry. First things first, you
let Ashton know he's going to be a father."
Craig folded his arms, curling his hands into fists then thrusting
his armpits so hard his nails broke the skin on the palms of his
pain helped to centre him.
"When he gets in you can use my office to tell him. You won't be
"Oh thanks Sarge!"
To Gilmore's surprise he suddenly found himself with an arm full of
grateful, blonde WPC.
"Steady on Kerry," he said, attempting a light tone. "You keep up
and people will think I've gone straight!"
She giggled into his chest. Briefly he hugged her then set her
"Get on now and don't worry. Luke will do the right thing, I'm
She smiled, a little teary eyed and left, totally unaware she had
Craig Gilmore's world down about his ears with her confidences.
Craig remained standing in his office with his arms folded for
quite a while
after Kerry had left. He was thinking furiously. He should have
Luke and Kerry weren't acting constrained around each other. And
bells should really have rung all the times he'd walked in on them
laugh and a joke during ref breaks. But he hadn't seen it or hadn't
to see it, he admitted to himself. He had so wanted a relationship
Luke he'd chosen to blind himself to all the signs that Luke was
sleeping with Kerry Young. Luke had been lying to them both.
A cold wash of anger swept through him, stunning him with its
Ashton had made his bed and now he, Craig Gilmore, was going to
sure he lay in it.
Luke was a little surprised when Gilmore, totally unsmiling,
presence in his office, immediately after parade. He was more than
obey though, it meant he might get to snatch a few warming kisses
got on with his shift. He threw open the door to the Sergeant's
smiling broadly. His smile faltered when he saw a watery-eyed Kerry
in front of the desk.
“Kerry? Where’s Craig?”
“He’s letting me use his office, I’ve got something to tell you.”
As soon as he possibly could Luke went to see Craig but he was
nowhere to be
found. Eventually he was told Gilmore had signed off straight after
shift had ended. Luke’s heart sank. After the startling revelations
Kerry, Craig obviously knew he’d been lying to him for the last
months and was now was avoiding him.
Luke had also been hugely surprised that Craig hadn’t told Kerry
boyfriend had been sleeping with him more often than her for the
of months. Careful questioning had elicited that far from being
to Kerry, Craig had been helpful and kind, which confused Luke. He
imagine why he’d been nice to someone, who was, for all intents and
purposes, his rival.
In desperation Luke tried ringing Craig’s house but there was no
soon as possible after his shift, he made excuses to Kerry and sped
to Gilmore’s house, trying to let himself in with his key but his
suddenly didn’t fit the lock. The lounge light was on behind the
curtains but there was no answer to his pounding on the door or his
to be let in. Determined to speak to Craig he kept hammering on the
Curtains in the windows of houses on either side of Craig's house
then a door opened just before the door under his hands
“What?” Gilmore asked harshly.
“Craig, let me explain.”
“Explain what? Why you’ve lied and cheated on Kerry and myself for
months? Get out of my sight Luke,” he snarled, going to shut the
Luke put his foot in the way to stop him.
“Get away from this door before I break your legs,” Gilmore ordered
“You won’t hurt me,” Luke said confidently.
He was therefore extremely surprised to find himself suddenly
sitting on the
floor with a split lip. Dazed he shook his head, trying to clear
buzzing in his ears. Gilmore glared at him, his fists still
before turning away. Luke surged to his feet before the door shut.
“Craig please. If I’ve ever meant anything to you, just let me talk
for a few minutes.”
The door didn’t shut completely but neither did it open fully for a
time, then Craig threw it open.
“You’ve got five minutes,” he growled once Luke was standing
the hallway. He folded his arms making his body language as
Luke took a deep breath.
“I can never apologise enough for what I’ve done….”
“….I never meant for this to happen.”
“You just thought we could all go on in a happy ignorant threesome
and a day?”
“No. I…I…. I don’t know what I thought. When I first came here I
meant it to be a one off. But afterwards I didn’t want it to stop.
I fell in love with you.”
Gilmore looked down at him, a look of complete disbelief on his
“You fell in love? Do you even know the meaning of the word?”
Luke had the grace to look away, totally ashamed.
“All I want to say is I am so, so sorry I hurt you. I’m sorry you
the way you did as well.”
Craig remained silent, fighting to hold back his tears.
“You didn’t tell Kerry, did you?” Luke asked.
"It wasn't for your benefit!" Craig snapped. "Anyway why should I
“She’s been lied to as well as me. You’ve managed to get her
She was upset enough this morning I wasn’t going to add to it.”
Both were silent.
“Have you decided what to do about the child?” Craig asked, at
child and Kerry were innocents in this, as far as he was concerned.
was the lying bastard.
“Kerry wants to keep it.”
Luke swallowed hard before saying,
“I asked her to marry me.”
Craig nodded once and reached for the new lock and began to open
Luke placed his hand over the top of his and pushed it shut again.
his hands on each side of Craig’s face, tilting him so he could
“I'm sorry Craig. I am so sorry,” he said, his voice breaking.
Quickly he pulled Craig’s face towards him and kissed him
Luke's kisses tasted of salt, blood, sadness and guilt but Craig
get enough until he broke off the embrace, holding Luke away from
looking down on the tear and bloodstained face, almost unaware of
tears escaping. Luke reached up to brush the salty liquid away.
were back in each other's arms kissing as though their lives
depended on it.
Luke pulled him into the lounge, shedding their clothes on the way.
Before he knew it Craig was on his back on the rug with Luke
Luke moved slowly trying to prolong the act as long as possible and
did he close his eyes, engraving the sight in his memory and in his
but desperation and heartache made poor allies for staying power.
soon he felt himself coming, Craig, a faction of a second behind
him. For a
time they lay together, Luke holding Craig tightly against his
Finally Craig broke the silence.
“You’d better go.”
Luke tightened his hold for a second until Craig struggled free.
“Don’t come back here, Luke. I don’t want to see you again,” he
without looking at him. Craig turned over, curled on his side
Silently Luke got up, collected his clothes and dressed. He covered
with a blanket then poured two large whiskies from the bottle on
table, drank one and left the other on the floor in front of Craig,
didn’t acknowledge the gesture. Neither did he acknowledge Luke
useless front door key from his key ring and laying it down beside
bottle before he walked out of the house for the last time.
The news of Kerry and Luke’s engagement and forthcoming wedding
the station like wildfire. The lesser news of Gilmore’s requested
was much less publicised.
Gina Gold was both concerned and annoyed to receive Craig's request
transfer out of Sun Hill the day after Ashton and Young announced
engagement. She sat for a long time thinking about how to handle
problem. She wasn't sure if Ashton and Young's engagement had
do with his transfer request or not. But she was certain she didn't
lose Gilmore, he was an excellent officer. Finally she decided to
talk him out of it using the friendly approach. They'd been
buddies for a while, usually following it up with a curry if it was
night. She waited, not saying anything about his request until the
before he was due to have two days leave. She breezed into his
"Craig! You busy tonight after work?"
"Er, no Ma'am," he replied getting to his feet.
"Forget the ma'am. Fancy going for a curry? It's a while since
we've had a
drink, a meal and a chat."
He was silent for a beat, knowing he wasn't going to get out of
himself to Inspector Gold. He decided to get the pain over with as
"Right. Meet you in 'The Grapes'," she said, leaving his office and
waiting for a reply.
He nodded to himself and sat down again trying to concentrate on
Gina arrived at 'The Grapes' with a group of WPC's who were going
to the pub
to start an early celebration of Kerry's engagement. She listened
an ear to the wedding chatter whilst looking around for Gilmore. He
the end of the bar morosely regarding two glasses of scotch.
"One of those for me?" she asked.
He indicated the untouched glass.
"Thanks Craig," she said, picking it up and touching his glass with
before taking a healthy swallow of the rich peaty liquid. "Ahh, I
"Long day?" he asked, forcing himself to be at least a little
A loud burst of raucous laughter from the engagement crowd made
nearby impossible. Gina turned to look at them then turned back to
surprising a look of deep sadness in his eyes until he dropped his
look at his drink instead. Quickly she turned to see who he had
looking at, her copper's instinct not letting her down. Ashton! PC
had turned away quickly, his face suspiciously red, when he'd seen
Gold looking his way. Gina wasn't stupid enough to think Luke was
at her, certainly not in light of Craig's reaction. She put two and
together very quickly but kept her suspicions to herself.
"Shall we finish these and move on?" she asked above the noise.
Craig nodded, knocking his drink back and waiting for Gina. She
followed suit and then followed Craig out of the pub.
"Who are the bridesmaids?" a young voice asked as Gina walked
crowd from Sun Hill.
"Haven't really decided anything like that," Kerry answered.
"Ask Gilmore, he'd look lovely in a dress!" another voice answered.
"Leave him alone!" Kerry replied, sharply. "Gilmore's alright," she
surprising her audience as well as Gina.
By the look of Craig's stance outside in the street at least some
conversation had filtered out to him.
"Your champion is fighting for you inside," she said lightly.
He looked uncomprehendingly at her.
"Kerry. She's telling the rest of them to lay off attempting to
into a bridesmaid."
He snorted softly in a half laugh.
"Think the lunch box and the hairy chest might ruin the line of the
he muttered sarcastically.
"Dunno sweetie, bridal pink might be just your colour!" she replied
camp voice, taking his arm and heading off towards the brightly lit
of 'The Goat and Compass' a couple of hundred yards down the road.
Craig was a lot happier in the new venue and started to come around
little, chatting and laughing at some of Gina's more scurrilous
After a while she looked at her watch and said,
"Come on, time for one more and then lets get some food. I booked
"Booked a table? We usually just fall into the first place we get
"I fancied trying out 'Shimla Pinks' on Dufford Road. Heard some
reports about the food there and we need to book for that one."
"Fair enough. If we want to make Dufford Road for nine we'd better
"My shout, you on scotch?"
He inclined his head, silently saying did she need to ask. She
went to the bar. Craig leaned back in his seat and stretched his
ease the kinks out. He had been very tense for the last couple of
which had resulted in a headache by the end of his shift. He closed
eyes the better to work his neck and shoulder muscles loose.
"I do a good line in massage," a male voice said close by.
Startled Craig opened his eyes suddenly, looking at the blonde man
"You look a little tense," he explained, his eyes twinkling with a
Gina chose that moment to return to their table with a glass of
The unknown man looked at Gina and then at Craig trying to work out
just made a big mistake. By the startled looks on both men's faces
correctly deduced she'd interrupted something. Deciding to ignore
the time being she slid Craig's scotch across with instructions to
The man on the next table had peeled a beer mat and was rapidly
it whilst they finished their drinks. As they stood, preparing to
the restaurant, he slid the mat into Craig's hand. Craig glanced
catching the name 'Phil' and a telephone number. He silently
mat and moved off, holding the door open for Gina. The man was
watching him. Imperceptibly Craig inclined his head then followed
outside into the night.
'Shimla Pinks' was really undeserving of the appellation 'curry
was a very classy establishment. The service was excellent and the
even better. Craig had been lulled by the alcohol he'd drunk
well as by the wine they were enjoying with their meal so Gina's
question of the night caught him by surprise.
"How long have you been seeing Luke Ashton?"
He spluttered a bit with the mouthful of muragh methi he'd just
rather than swallowing.
"Well one thing's for sure, you weren't sleeping with Kerry Young!"
After a space of a few seconds he even laughed.
"That's why you love me!"
"When did you work that one out?"
"Just before we left 'The Grapes'. You and Ashton had been sharing
Craig put down his fork, his appetite suddenly deserting him.
Silently Inspector Gold watched him before saying,
"Sorry Craig, didn't intend you to stop eating."
He shook his head. "I must look like an absolute idiot to you."
"Not at all! I can't imagine you stormed into Ashton's love life
very good reason. What concerns me is that through his or your
going to lose a damned good officer."
Craig put down his napkin at this. After a long pause which Craig
gazing into the remains of his curry, as if it held all the answers
finally began to speak.
"I was the idiot. I should have known better. The Luke Ashtons of
world don't suddenly desperately want to be bedded by their
without a bloody good reason."
Gina's eyebrows flicked, but she kept her thoughts to herself.
"Go on," she invited.
"When I got my ankle cut up he turned up at my house after I got
hospital with a bottle of good wine as a get well present. Said
up with Kerry and I was so desperate to get him I believed him."
He laughed depreciatingly. "If some scrote had come to me pleading
tale I wouldn't have believed him for an instant, even if he'd
sworn on a
stack of bibles. But I believed Luke. How sad is that?"
"Not sad. You trusted him and he let you down. We all get let down
point. We wouldn't be human if we didn't. He obviously didn't give
reason to doubt him."
"He was in my bed so often the days he wasn't there I was grateful
Gina laughed loudly, holding her hand in front of her mouth to stop
him with her food.
"It's not funny! He made me realise, amongst other things, I'm
"God help me then!"
Suddenly Craig put his hands in front of his face, then dragged
them down to
rest his chin on his clenched fists.
"Please don't deny my transfer. I'm not sure I can stay sane with
Hill going insane with wedding plans."
"Sorry Gina. I'm don't how much of the 'happy couple' I can take."
"Do you have a problem with Kerry Young?"
"No. Poor woman has been stuck with a baby she hadn't planned on.
Luke is doing right by her."
"At the same time doing wrong by you."
"Wrong by us both. I've seen it a few times before, they think they
everything with a wife and a couple of kids then suddenly it isn't
Luke's afraid to admit openly that he's bi."
"I've seen it as well. Kerry isn't going to have the happiest of
"And she's done nothing to deserve that. She fell in love with the
Gina reached across and squeezed his hand.
"Just like you did. You have a lot in common."
"Please don't tell her just how much in common!"
"What do you think I am?"
"A bloody good friend."
"That won't ever change."
Without relinquishing her hand he looked into her eyes and said,
"You know sometimes I really do wish I was straight."
"Craig Gilmore, you are an old romantic."
"Much good it does me."
"It will. One day. Anyway can you imagine it? We're both so married
the job the wedding would look like Police Special!"
Craig laughed, well aware he'd had far too much to drink. One of
dangers of having a female Inspector who could drink you under the
"Well can I request you order me a lot of strong, hot coffee now
case I really do propose to you."
"Lots of coffee coming up!" she replied quickly, knowing how much
hurting and how much he was trying to hide it from her. In her not
humble opinion Craig Gilmore was one of the Metropolitan Police's
The next morning was an exercise in self restraint. Gina offered
him a pint
of water, a cup of industrial strength coffee and two painkillers
before she left for an appointment with her sister.
"If you want..," she swallowed hard, "..food, help yourself from
Craig groaned in sympathy.
"You know where the bathroom is."
He nodded slightly not wanting to disturb his aching head and
"Feel free to stay as long as you want, you lucky git!" she said as
closed the door.
Craig couldn't even summon a slight smile from his position under a
blanket on her settee. Malevolently eyeing the bottle of red they'd
finished off the evening with, he made a promise to his liver to
give it a
rest for at least the rest of the week. He decided he'd better not
practise of getting his Inspector to help him heal a broken heart.
wasn't sure if the rest of his major internal organs could take the
Craig watched, hidden at the back of venue, as Luke Ashton married
Young. He didn’t attend the celebrations afterwards. He’d already
goodbyes to those he cared to. He hadn't joined in with the joint
given to the couple by their colleagues either. Instead he’d given
silver photo frame as a private wedding present a few days before
ceremony. She had been spending quite a while trying to persuade
come to the reception, unaware of what she was asking. He had
time, politely but very firmly. Knowing how difficult it was to
mind once it was made up she had finally decided to leave the
Their son was born four and a half months later after an
delivery. Luke was overwhelmed when he held him. For the first time
knew what it felt like to love unconditionally.
“He’s perfect!” Luke said overawed.
“Wonder if we’ll think that in a few months time when he’s keeping
all night?” Kerry quipped smiling, looking lovingly at her baby
her husband's arms.
After a short silence she asked,
“Luke do you mind if we change his name?”
“I thought we’d agreed on Joseph, after your Dad," Luke replied,
take his eyes off his son.
“As his first name, yes. I meant change his middle name.”
“Depends what you want to change it to.”
“I was thinking about Craig.”
For a second Luke froze, then asked carefully.
“I really like the name and it was my cousin’s name.”
“Don’t think I’ve met him.”
“You wouldn’t have, he was killed in a hit and run about ten years
“Well what do you think?”
“If you want to call him Craig, I’m OK with that,” Luke replied,
over to kiss his wife. Daringly he added, laughing,
“I thought for a minute you wanted to call him after Craig
To his surprise she blushed slightly.
“Well, he was very kind to me when I didn’t know what to do!” she
defensively. After a short silence she continued,
“I spend ages trying to talk him into coming to the reception, but
wouldn’t, even though he gave us a very nice present. I was pleased
him at the wedding though.”
“Present? He was at our wedding?”
“Didn’t you see him? He was right at the back.”
“I thought he hadn’t turned up!”
“He only stayed for the ceremony then he went, said he was on late
his new nick.”
“Oh!” Luke replied weakly. Luckily he was saved from thinking any
by his son who chose that moment to exercise his lungs.
Kerry chose to put her favourite picture of Joseph Craig into the
photo frame Craig Gilmore had given them for a wedding present,
oblivious of the memories it conjured up for her husband. She did
the frame seemed to pick up and awful lot of fingerprints though,
as if Luke
picked it up a lot.
For a time married life settled Luke down, especially after Joe was
Both he and Kerry were too tired to do much more than work and look
the baby. When Kerry returned to duty she was even more tired in
evenings, whilst mornings were spent in a mad rush getting Joe
ready to go
to the child minders and themselves ready for work. The times they
manage to snatch an hour or two for themselves and made love left
feeling vaguely dissatisfied. Before they were married their sex
been good. His sex life with Craig had been fantastic but to
to Kerry would be unfair, especially now. She was tired nearly all
whereas Craig and he had always plenty of energy to spare for
Most mornings he indulged in some quality time with his right hand
showering, his mind replaying scenes from his time as Craig's
lover. It at
least relieved the frustration but again left him yearning for the
he had enjoyed after he'd made love with Craig. Craig had always
close afterwards. Tears of frustration slid down his face mingling
shower water. Wearily he shut off the water and stood under the
listening to Kerry talking to Joe and hearing him gurgle back at
smiled at the sounds. Kerry had given him a beautiful son and she
good wife he should be more grateful instead of bemoaning his lot.
didn't stop him waking in the middle of the night though, with a
hard-on desperate to feel a solid muscular body under his whilst he
plundered a tight hot channel. Quietly he got out of bed so he
disturb Kerry and crept to the sitting room of their flat once
there he took
care of his problem quickly and quietly. After he'd cleaned himself
lay on the settee thinking. Tracking down Craig Gilmore was out of
question. After the way he'd treated the other man he would be
escape with his life! However, being a copper did have some
For example, he knew where there were a lot of anonymous gay bars
what went in the toilets. Faintly he heard Joe begin to witter. He
and went to soothe the baby and change him before he woke Kerry.
Without being aware of making a conscious decision he told Kerry he
going for a quick drink with some of the lads from Barton Street
the next night. Quickly he headed off, miles away from any of his
haunts. The pub was crowded, dimly lit and very noisy. A lot of
couples were standing against the walls attempting to talk over the
few were kissing openly. Ashton envied their freedom. He bought
drink and looked around. A few of the men checked him out but
approached him until he'd nearly finished his drink.
Luke turned around to see a man about his own age smiling at him in
"Hi," he responded cautiously.
Seemingly accidentally the other man's hand brushed against the
front of his
jeans. He smirked then took Ashton's hand, towing him behind as he
to the back of the pub. Confidently the man pushed open the door to
gents, and smoothly swung them both into a recently vacated
the door behind them. Within seconds the man had his shirt undone,
his jeans and was unwrapping a condom.
"Come on!" he ordered as Ashton stood watching him get ready.
Slightly dazed Ashton started to undo his shirt. He was obviously
too slowly because the other man closed in suddenly and had his
unbuttoned and around his knees in very short order.
"How long you been out?" he asked, roughly pumping Ashton's cock to
erection. "Or are you out?"
Luke didn't answer the question, instead he asked, at little
breathlessly, "What's your name?"
"You've never done this before have you Luke?"
Dave's eyebrows rose a little.
"Wife at home is she?"
"How did you…"
Dave held up Luke's left hand, his wedding ring glinting in the
"Well not-quite-out-Luke do you want to fuck?"
"Got anything with you?"
Belatedly Luke fished in his jeans pocket for a condom. Dave took
it out of
his hand, unwrapped it and then squirted a some lube in the end
rolling it onto Luke.
"What's that for?"
"Nice little trick, feels really good before you come," he said,
masturbating him. The lube inside the condom coated him and made it
like he was inside warm flesh and not wearing any protection. Dave
his reaction and smiled.
"Feels good doesn't it?"
Luke nodded, leaning in for a kiss. Dave evaded his lips.
"Don't kiss on the mouth. Don't want to take anything back to your
Dave kissed along his collar bones and the side of his neck.
"Turn round," he whispered.
Luke turned to face the wall as Dave positioned him as he wanted.
warning two fingers slick with lube penetrated him, roughly
He gasped in surprise and a little pain. He didn't remember it
much when Craig had prepared him. The fingers went and something
larger replaced them. Luke bit his lip to keep from crying out and
consciously to relax to ease the pain as Dave pushed in hard. Not
him chance to adjust to the intrusion Dave began to fuck him either
or uncaring that he was hurting his partner.
"You've got a nice tight arse!" he said, his breath ghosting along
of Ashton's neck. Luke leaned his forehead against the cool tiles,
for this to be over. A couple of minutes later Dave's breathing
then he hung against Luke's back for a few seconds panting.
"Thanks for that Luke," Dave said breezily, cleaning himself up and
the tissue and used condom away. Luke turned around to lean against
wall. Belatedly looking down Dave asked,
"You come yet?"
Luke shook his head, his eyes closed.
"You should have said!"
Closing in he pulled Luke to him. Heat radiated from the other
as he let Luke rest his head against his shoulder a hand in the
his back holding him in place. Patiently he used his hand to bring
off, staring over his shoulder at the tiles, a little bored now.
had finished Dave propped him against the wall and asked,
Luke nodded starting to clean himself up and put his clothing back
Dave watched him until he was ready to leave then he flashed him a
smile, unbolted the door and left, disappearing into the sea of
the pub. Luke followed him out more slowly but kept walking until
outside on the pavement. Then he kept on walking until he got to
nearest tube station.
Kerry was asleep on the settee with the TV on when he arrived home.
didn't wake her. He tiptoed into to look at Joe then went to the
and took a long, hot shower. He felt physically sore and heartsick.
had sex with another man and a more impersonal act it would have
to imagine. The craving for homosexual sex had been satisfied
but his craving for the emotional closeness he associated with it
more acute than ever.
From force of habit Craig checked out his surroundings. The
dim enough to conceal any number of crimes going on in the shadier
a few pairs of men were trekking to and from the toilets or the
yard at the
back of the bar and his sensitive nostrils caught a whiff of
coiling distinctively though the heady atmosphere of hops, malt and
could recognise a pick-up joint when he was in one.
"What the hell are we doing here?" he said to his companion.
"Calm down Craig, it's not as bad as it looks. They keep a good
"Thank heaven for small mercies," Craig muttered sarcastically
other man to the bar.
"I want you to try this one," Steve said to him, handing him a half
glass containing some murky liquid.
"Are you sure it's drinkable?" he asked.
Steve upended his glass and swallowed half of the contents in one
Gingerly Craig sipped the brew. Despite its unprepossessing
tasted very good. Encouraged he took a bigger mouthful.
He nodded, pleasantly surprised.
"How did you find out about this place?" he asked.
"A couple of he nurses at the hospital told me about it," Steve
gay pub serving good real ale just defies the imagination."
Craig grinned. The novelty value was certainly the only reason he
He was turning back to speak to Steve when the profile of one of
younger men at the far end of the bar caught his attention. His
thudded heavily in his chest as the man turned to speak to the
other man at
his side letting him see his full face. Luke Ashton, chatting
"Craig, you alright?" Steve asked.
"What? Yes. Sorry, just thought I recognised someone, that's all."
Steve scanned back across the bar but didn't see anyone he
Instead a heavy hand clapped him on his shoulder as the rest of
arrived. Soon Craig was too preoccupied in catching up with his
spend a lot of time looking for Ashton. He caught sight of him
returning from the gents, adjusting the zip of his trousers, but
have to mean anything. A lot of men tended to do that. By then Craig
saying his goodbyes. It was his turn to cook supper and Phil tended
off late shift as hungry as a hunter. He would not be pleased if
wasn't food on the table the minute he stepped through the door. He
the pub and turned right at the front door. As he drew level with
entrance to the alley which gave access to the yard at the back of
the unmistakable sound of someone being punched reached his ears.
"Hey!" he shouted, looking into the darkness.
Scuffling feet and a grunt of pain answered him, then, shortly
the sound of a shuffling walk. A man walked into the circle of
from the street light. He was hunched over a little, holding his
stream of dark liquid running from his nose and staining his shirt.
"Thanks," he grunted.
"I'll call it in," Craig replied, taking out his mobile phone, not
the least surprise at the identity of the victim.
"Luke, you look like you've been mugged."
"Craig please don't call it in. He only got a tenner off me."
"And gave you a few punches. Has he broken your ribs?"
"Don't think so," Luke replied, leaning against the wall. The door
pub opened three men exiting and walking away into the night,
Craig put his hand under Luke's elbow and helped him to stand
put an arm around him to steady him and began walking.
"Where are we going?" Luke asked.
"My place. You need cleaning up before you go home. Does Kerry know
He shook his head, carefully.
"I said I was going out for drink with a couple of the lads."
Craig didn't reply, he didn't need it spelling out for him. It was
Luke had picked up a man. Unfortunately the wrong man. Instead of
gotten a beating and the last of his money taken.
Five minutes walking brought them onto a main road where Craig
a taxi. They got in and Craig gave his address. Grateful for the
heat of the other man, Luke stayed as close as he could. He was
when Craig draped an arm across his shoulders pulling him even
sighed. For the first time in eighteen months he felt content. He
almost asleep when the taxi pulled to a halt. Craig helped him out
taxi and into the house. He took him straight through to the
assembled his first aid requirements. Gently Craig doctored his
bruises and insisted on checking his ribs which were turning a
"Do you want to let Kerry know where you are?"
Luke shook his head.
"No need. She's visiting her mother with Joe."
"Our son," he smiled, then winced as the movement pulled his cut
Craig nodded then asked,
"Are you on duty tomorrow?"
"Not until afternoon."
"Right. I can lend you some money for a taxi if you want to go
home, or you
can sleep in the spare room."
"That's good of you Craig. I'd like to stay."
The timer on the cooker pinged. Craig busied himself taking a pot
the oven and a tray of foiled wrapped potatoes.
"Are you hungry?" he asked.
Craig took the lid off the cooking pot letting a rich aroma of
beef stew escape. He stirred the mixture and tasted it, adding some
"Smells good," Luke said.
"It'll take about another twenty minutes. Do you want to get
while I put some sheets on the bed?"
"Yes please," Luke said, grateful for the offer.
He stood up carefully. Craig returned the food to the oven and then
preceded Luke up the stairs. Luke recognised a couple of pictures
on the walls from Craig's previous house. Craig switched on the
light, rummaged in a cupboard for a couple of towels and said,
"I'll find you something to wear."
Luke was under a scalding hot shower when he sensed the bathroom
"There's a pair of sweatpants and a T-shirt here for you," Craig
"Thanks Craig," Luke replied.
"I'll get the blood out of your shirt," he continued, not waiting
The little conversation they had wasn't anything out of the
ordinary but at
least the tension between them was reducing slowly.
Moving like an old man Luke dried himself and dressed in the
clothing. He recognised the T-shirt, it was an old one of his. He
have left it at Craig's last place. He shuffled along the landing,
in the first room. It held a double bed, a wardrobe and a chest of
and was obviously Craig's bedroom. The room at the end of the
landing had a
bedside light switched on, making it seem inviting. The duvet on
bed had been turned down. He put his jeans across the foot of the
retraced his steps. Downstairs he heard the sound of the front door
shutting and a male voice saying cheerily,
"That smells nice, I'm starving!"
"You're always starving," Craig replied to the other man.
From the top of the stairs Luke could see down to the small hallway
A blonde haired man had his arms wrapped around Craig and they were
gently and just as obviously enjoying it. A peculiar pain shot
as he watched them.
"Mmm. Had a good day?" Craig was asking.
"Not bad. You?"
The mans hands were roaming freely over Craig's body, coming to
rest on the
curve of his buttocks. Craig broke off the kiss and laughed.
"I thought you were hungry."
"Oh I am. I'm always hungry for you!" he replied lasciviously.
Craig leaned in and whispered something to him.
"What? Staying here?" Phil asked, his voice raised.
Luke must have made a slight noise which alerted the man to his
the top of the stairs. Craig immediately dropped his arms and
"Luke, this is Phil Cooper. Phil, Luke Ashton. I used to work with
"Hi Luke," Phil said, trying his best to appear pleased to see him.
"Luke got mugged this evening. Will you take a look at him?" Craig
"Yeah, sure," Phil replied. "Come on through to the kitchen," he
kindly to Luke.
Luke looked questioningly at Craig as he descended the stairs.
"Phil's a doctor at St Gemma's A&E department," he explained.
"Oh, a doctor."
Phil checked him over quickly.
"I'd get to your GP when you can. One of those ribs might be
can arrange for an X-ray, but the rest of you looks OK."
"Thanks Phil," Luke said, pulling down his T-shirt.
Craig dished up supper whilst Luke and Phil chatted about
The stew was very tasty and filling but Luke's appetite had almost
him. He knew he had no right to be jealous of Phil. He was quite
a good man and he seemed to care for Craig a lot, but that didn't
feeling like telling him to keep his hands off Craig. Craig noticed
eating very little.
"Luke if you want to go to bed just go. Don't feel you have to sit
"Thanks I think I will turn in. I'm a bit sore."
"Do you want any painkillers," Phil offered, immediately.
"No, it's alright thanks."
Did the man have to be so nice? He thought to himself as he made
He lay awake for a little while listening to Phil and Craig still
the kitchen, then their voices moved to the lounge area. Eventually
dozed off only to be wakened a couple of hours later by the gentle
Craig and Phil making love. He lay listening to them until the soft
drifted into silence. It almost felt like he was being punished for
unthinking cruelty to Craig. This must have been how Craig had felt
those times Luke had pushed his relationship with Kerry in his
face. Now it
was his turn. He'd finally realised what he'd lost when he'd chosen
over Craig only to find Craig had picked himself up and moved on
life, leaving Luke behind as part of his past. Cold tears ran over
and down his face into the pillow. He sniffed, wiping his face with
hand. What a mess he had made of things. Quietly the bedroom door
"Luke, are you alright?" Craig whispered from the doorway.
Luke hesitated before saying,
"No, not really."
"Are you in pain? Shall I wake Phil?" he asked coming into the
"No, don't wake Phil," Luke replied sitting up in bed carefully so
jar his aching ribs.
Craig sat on the side of the bed.
"What's the matter?"
"Why didn't you tell me I'd was making a mistake marrying Kerry?"
"Oh Luke!" Craig sighed. "I can't live your life for you."
Luke fumbled in the darkness for Craig's hand and held it tightly.
"I've really missed you," he said softly. "Can you ever forgive me
way I treated you?"
Craig returned the pressure and said quietly.
"I forgave you a long time ago."
"You're a far better man than I am, Craig."
"Not really," Craig replied.
"I'm not sure I would have been able to forgive you, if things had
"I think you would have. You always forgive the ones you love,
Hesitantly Luke reached out in the darkness to touch Craig's face
entirely by touch found his lips and leaned forward to gently kiss
Luke wrapped his arms around the other man, taking comfort from his
heat and scent. He couldn't believe he'd been such an idiot as to
away the gift of love he'd been given by this man.
"I love you," Luke breathed softly.
Craig carefully tightened his hold on Luke, but didn't reply.
Keep a very firm grip on reality, so you can strangle it
at any time.
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