B&R 14: Fallout
by Dee Gilles
Disclaimer: For entertainment only
Monday morning. Benton Fraser was floating on air as he walked into the two-seven behind his partner in all things, Ray Vecchio. Ben always felt good on Monday mornings, always approached the new week with a sense of renewal and vigor, but this Monday followed the most perfect weekend of his life.
Ray had spent the entire weekend with him, from Friday night until Sunday night. Neither one of them had had to work, and had no particular obligations. Friday after work, they met up in Chinatown for dinner at their friend Mr. Lee's. The place had bounced back well, after Charlie Wong had been sent to the federal pen, and they had to wait fifteen minutes to be seated. Of course, their dinner was on the house. Mr. Lee would not have dreamed of taking their money after all that they had done for him and his son. After dinner, they made an early night of it and went back to Benny's.
Ray had cupped Ben's uniformed right ass-cheek in his right hand as soon as they were out of the car. The dark, wooded driveway assured them of complete privacy from the street. Ben led Ray around to the back porch, and hurriedly fished for his key and unlocked the door as Ray squeezed and rubbed his ass and kissed the back of his neck and behind his ears. Once inside, Ray embraced Benny from behind, then unzipped and pushed his pants down past his hips. Ray pushed him into the bedroom. Ben moaned and bent over when Ray dropped to his knees and laved each cheek, pulling his pants down to his ankles.
Saturday afternoon and several orgasms later, Ray took Ben to a chamber music concert at Ravinia and afterwards, to the Russian Tea Room. Ray put on a great show of disliking the music, but Ben knew that he enjoyed it. Ben had glanced at Ray several times during the performance and saw that he was engrossed. Benny took Ray's hand in the dark, and Ray squeezed. The evening had been balmy and breezy, and they strolled by the water through Grant Park, occasionally lacing their fingers together when they had a moment to themselves.
Sunday after mass with Mother, Ray surprised him by dropping her off at home first and returning to the apartment with him. The bolt of pleasure that shot through Ben had sheared him like lightening, which took him by even greater surprise. He had gotten used to the feeling of dismay he felt every Sunday morning after Ray and Mother dropped him off, and he returned to this quiet apartment that was devoid of Ray.
But yesterday had been wonderful, full of nothing but pleasure. Ray had stripped him naked as soon as the door shut behind them, and had lubed them up while Ben briefly thought that they shouldn't be doing this right after church, like maybe they should at least wait until noon or something. Or was that liquor? Oh dear, he thought before any semblance of reasonable thought evaporated from his head as Ray took him, right there on the living room floor. Ben held on to the arm of the couch for dear life as Ray began to thrust like a piston into his body.
He took him again, on his back on the kitchen table, Ben's calves draped over Ray's shoulders. Ben spouted like a fountain; the chandelier above him coalescing into colors as he forcefully came, gritting his teeth.
Later that night, Ray took him once more, sweet Jesus, Ben in a shoulder stand and facing the wall, knees braced against the wall. Ray thrust downwards into Ben's tight, slickened channel, holding Ben's ankles, in quite the display of agility and athleticism.
Ray finally and reluctantly left for home at midnight. Ben walked Ray to his car, and the two of them kissed for several minutes in the safety of the quiet darkness, as though they would not see each other again for weeks.
Ray had returned at six o'clock this morning. He had kept Ben on the verge of orgasm for nearly an hour as he alternated between sucking him off and stroking, keeping a tight grip on the base of his penis to keep him from ejaculating. On Ben's third blissful near-seizure, Ray finally released his hold, sending spasmodic convulsions through Ben's entire body. His back arched off the bed, toes and fingers curled, and he wailed in ecstasy as he unloaded into Ray's hot and wet mouth.
It was good that Mr. Hanrahan, next door, was hard of hearing. Otherwise, Ben feared he would have awakened his elderly neighbor with his noisy pleasure. After Ben recovered, he was happy to return the favor to Ray. Shortly after, Ray exploded in Ben's mouth, tightly gripping a handful of Ben's hair, holding Ben's head still as he thrust into it.
Ray was late for work. Again.
"Vecchio!" Lieutenant Welsh growled as soon as Ray came through the doorway a few paces ahead of Ben. He hobbled out of the canteen with a cup of hot black coffee in his hand, careful of his broken foot.
"I know, I know. Sorry, Lieu," Ray began. Ray had been reprimanded three days ago for excessive tardiness.
"Save it. I need to see you in my office. Now."
Welsh caught sight of Ben Fraser. "Or better yet, you." He pointed one meaty finger in Ben's direction.
"Me, sir?" Ben Fraser asked with considerable surprise.
"Yeah, you, Constable."
Ray began to follow.
"Just you, Constable. Vecchio, I'll deal with you next."
Ben and Ray exchanged looks of surprise.
As Welsh escorted him to his office, Fraser got a knot in the pit of his stomach. Welsh seated himself, and cleared his throat. He avoided Fraser's curious gaze. Nervous, Fraser thought. Ray's in trouble... again.
"Ah, Fraser, I have to ask you a very sensitive question...and there's no easy way to ask it, so I'm just going to be real blunt here. The last couple of days, there's been a lot a talk about your and Ray's... relationship...the nature of it."
"There's talk that you two are...lovers...having a sexual relationship. And I need to know if that's true or not."
"Sir, I don't understand the relevancy of the question. Whatever kind of relationship Ray and I may have is our own private business."
"Well, yes and no. You see, bureau policy forbids any...couple... or family member to work in the same division. Now, we know these things happen, and we ask that our people fully disclose when they begin a relationship with one of their peers, so that one person can be re-assigned."
"But sir, technically, Ray and I don't work in the same division. We don't even work for the same employer. We don't even work for the same country."
"But functionally, Constable, you do, and you know that as well as I. So, is it true?"
"Sir, what brought all this on? Ray and I have been working together for years now, without so much as--
"I'm the one asking the questions here, son. Is it true?"
Fraser sat for nearly a full minute in silence, before bowing his head, and then raising his chin again, defiantly. "Yes, sir," he said, puncturing the tension-filled silence. "Yes, it's true."
Welsh sighed with resignation. "Then, Fraser...I think its best that you not work with Ray on any more cases."
"Leftenant, I didn't mean to get Ray into any kind of trouble. I didn't realize...maybe neither did he--
"Ray was married to a cop, Fraser, started dating her when she worked here. Believe me, Ray knows the drill."
"Sir! This isn't fair! We've done nothing wrong. We work well together, and I don't see why Ray should be punished for this....why I should be punished for this!"
Welsh had never seen the cool Ben Fraser so agitated. He held up a soothing hand. "No one's getting punished here. Look. I can't order you to do anything. As you pointed out, you don't work for me. But for Ray's sake, for the sake of his career, I think you need to keep a low profile at least for the time being. You two have caused quite the scandal around here, I'm afraid."
Ben was at a loss for words. "Sir, may I ask how you came about this information?"
"That's not important, but I will say I heard it from several sources, including someone very close to Ray."
"I didn't say that."
"How does Francesca know?"
"You didn't hear me say that she did."
"It was Francesca, alright."
Welsh rose. "You'll have to excuse me. I need to talk to my detective. Please see yourself out without disclosing the nature of this conversation, please."
Fraser silently nodded and rose, feeling numb.
"Oh, and Constable?"
Fraser turned expectantly.
"Off the record? I'm happy for the both of you. I think you're good for each other."
Fraser looked surprised.
"I really mean that."
"Thank you, sir." Fraser quietly slipped out past Welsh as the Lieutenant silently gestured for Ray to join him in his office.
Ray anxiously looked from Ben to the Lieutenant, and back, gauging. Ben tried to keep his face still, but even so, Ray, attuned to Ben as he was, picked up on Ben's emotions. A look of dread crossed his face, and Ben watched his Adam's apple bob. He opened his mouth, wanting to say...something...anything, to warn or to comfort, staring into Ray's concerned green eyes.
"Detective, in here, please." Lieutenant Welsh's solemn voice reminded Ben he was to say nothing. Ray's face went quietly alarmed and he followed Welsh without another a word.
Ben was suddenly aware of Jack Huey staring, as was Detective Dewey. The men quickly turned their gazes, looking at the floor, the ceiling, anywhere but at Fraser.
From behind her desk, Francesca stared, her face a mixture of remorse and triumph. There was certainly no doubt about where the leak had come from.
He was at once angry and regretful. He was angry at Ray for wanting to keep their affair a secret; he was angry at himself for not being more vocal about his objections to this policy, and he was angry at Francesca for betraying her own brother. They should have told Francesca, like he wanted to. Ben wanted to tell everyone he knew that he was in love with a wonderful man, but Ray made him swear to not breathe a word to anyone.
Pity and compassion abated his anger towards her somewhat. He and Ray had hurt Francesca. But this still did not warrant Francesca's betrayal. She may have done irreparable damage's to Ray's career and there no excuse for that. Without thinking, he had crossed the room, staring intently at her. He hadn't even realized it until he saw her draw back from him, fearfully.
He pitched his voice low, and almost kept the tremor of anger out of his voice. Almost.
"How did you know?" He asked.
She shook her head, speechless.
He reached out and grabbed her wrist, not sure what he intended to do.
Francesca's eyes welled up. From the corner of his eye, Ben saw Jack Huey rise from his desk. "I heard you," Francesca said. "One night, I came by. And I heard you." Tears slid down her cheeks.
"Everything all right here, Fran? You got a problem, Fraser?" Jack Huey's voice was close to Fraser's right ear.
Ben let go of Francesca's arm, shook his head, and withdrew from the station. At a loss for what to do next, his feet automatically turned in the direction of the Canadian Consulate.
A block before Ben reached the Canadian Consulate, he heard the purr of a familiar car, a Buick LaSabre, 1995, pulling up behind him. He turned.
"Get in!" Ray called.
Fraser climbed into the passenger seat next to his lover. "How are you?" he asked.
"Humiliated," Ray said, simply and sincerely.
"I'm sorry, Ray."
"Not your fault, Benny."
Ray sped up through the next light as it turned from yellow to red. He pulled up to the curb a few yards past the doorway of the consulate, and turned off the ignition.
"Ah...Benny, you should know that Welsh has been in touch with the Dragon Lady and let her know what is going on. Ain't this some shit, huh? First, I get banned from your office, and then, you get banned from mine. Why is this my life?" Ray's eyes got a little watery. "How did everybody find out, Benny? Where'd we go wrong?"
Ben knew now was the wrong time to bring up Francesca, while this whole thing was so raw. "I'm not sure, Ray. People pick up on these things. So what's going to happen to you?"
"Officially, nothing. Welsh brought in the Captain and they both talked to me about it. They said nothing about this would go on my record. Technically, they don't have the power to do anything, but if you and I are seen at the station together, they could make it real uncomfortable for me. Not like it ain't already, now. I had to get out of there. Jack made some nasty comment to me, and I wanted to punch him right in the face."
Ray squirmed in this seat, suddenly agitated. "Benny? Why'd you have to go and fess up? I mean, we talked about this before. Went over and over the plan. If anybody got wise to this, we agreed that we were gonna deny it. Do you not remember the plan?"
"Benny, you agreed to this."
"Ray. The leftenant asked me a direct question. I couldn't have just lied to him like that."
"Why do have to always be so godamned honest, Benny?"
"They're all laughing at me right now. Having themselves a good time."
"I'm sorry. Is there anything I can do?"
"Yeah. Can we go home and get back into bed?"
"I'd love to Ray...but I've got to go to work."
"Well, I'm not going back there today."
"I can't Benny. I just can't. I'm too ashamed."
"Ashamed of what, Ray? Of me?"
"You know that's not what I mean, Benny. I love you. You know, Benny, I've said a lot of awful things to some people over the years. And now they have something on me. Now, it's payback time."
Ben wished he knew how to get Ray to not care so much about what other people thought of him. But they had been butting heads on this concept for months now. Ben tried to get Ray to understand that what really mattered was what Ray thought of himself. If Ray could be pleased and satisfied with who and what he was, he could be happy and content for the rest of his life.
"I've got no place to go with this, Benny," Ray said softly. "God, what am I gonna do? What if this gets back to Ma?" With dawning horror, Ray met Ben's eye. "Oh my God. Frannie! I bet it already has."
Ben bit down on his bottom lip, and said nothing.
"Oh, fuck! Fuck me!" Ray visibly wilted, sinking down in his seat.
"Ray! Calm down. Everything's going to be fine."
"No, it's not gonna be fine! Don't tell me everything's gonna be fine!" Ray turned his body toward Ben. "Benny, we should move. Let's get out of the city. What do you think of Idaho?"
"We're not moving, Ray."
In sheer frustration, Ray slammed the steering wheel, wincing in pain. He slid down and back in his seat as far as he could go.
Ben silently watched Ray agonize. They sat in silence for a couple of minutes. When it was finally clear that Ray had no more to say, Ben cleared his throat. "I'd better get going, Ray. What are you going to do?"
"I dunno, Benny. I just need to go somewhere and think."
Ben pulled out his single key from his utility pouch. "Here."
Ray smiled sadly but gratefully. "Thanks."
Ben climbed out of the car. "Benny?"
"You want a ride home?"
"I'd appreciate that, Ray."
Ben knew what time it was without having to look at his watch. It was 17:15. He had been standing on the sidewalk now for twelve minutes, anxiously looking down the street in the direction that he expected Ray's car to appear. It was not unlike Ray to be fifteen or even twenty minutes late. Ben wished that Ray made more of an effort to be more punctual. He removed his cell phone from his utility pouch. Then, put it away again. He'd wait five more minutes before calling.
The door behind Fraser was thrust open, startling him. "Ah, Constable Fraser!" The always-sunny Turnbull said. "I see you haven't left yet," the young man said unnecessarily.
"That's right, Turnbull. I'm still here," Ben replied.
"Share a walk to the El?" Turnbull lived on the same line as Ben, just a couple of more stops down.
"No, thanks. Ray's picking me up."
"Ah. Alright then. See you in the morning, Constable!"
"Good evening, Constable," Ben replied.
Ben hit his speed dial number 1 at precisely 17:20. Ray's phone rang three times and went into voice mail. "Ray, it's me....Just wondering if I should wait or if I should proceed home without you. It's twenty past." He hung up and peered down the street again. Ben had not anticipated getting Ray's voice mail. Now he wasn't sure what to do. If he left and Ray finally showed up, there'd by hell to pay.
Once before, a few weeks ago, Ben had started home after growing tired of waiting for Ray to show up. Ten minutes into his walk, Ray pulled up next to him and honked angrily. "Geez," he had said. "I said I was coming. You couldn't wait? Don't ever to do that again, Benny. It's like you think you can't depend on me, or something." Ray had driven him home in silence and had been sulky the rest of the evening.
Ben sat on the front stoop of the building, prepared to wait a while. They had a lot to talk about tonight, he and Ray. He had tried to keep his mind off of this morning's events while going about his duties today, so that he was not distracted. But now that the day was done, Ben was free to dwell on things.
Ben didn't mind at all that people knew that he was in a relationship with a man. It was just a matter of fact to him, like saying his serge was red, or he was a Canadian citizen. Ben Fraser loved a man, and that was only that. Ben had in fact benefited from his relationship with Ray in an unexpected way. Ever since she had caught them making out in the back hall coat closet one day after Ray had followed him in after lunch, Thatcher had ceased making any advances toward him. Although she did take every opportunity to take pot shots at Ray. There was no love lost between those two, that much was certain. Ben wished they would just try to be civil towards one another. But Ray had explained with great amusement one day that he and Inspector Thatcher were like two chicks fighting over the same man. They were always going to be catty towards one another. Ben smiled slightly at the thought of Ray and Meg literally hissing at one another, backs arching.
"What's so funny, Constable?" Meg said at his shoulder, and Ben startled slightly.
He had been gathering so much wool that he failed to hear the Inspector exit the front door. "Oh. Nothing, sir. Just thinking."
"Shall I leave the door unlocked for you...or...."
Ben smiled. "Ray should be here any moment, sir. He's just running a little late."
"Is everything alright, Fraser? I mean, is it going to be? I'm sorry about what happened at the station, this morning. You know...Ray is welcome here anytime he likes. I owe you both an apology. I was wrong for banning him from the consulate. You two work really well together, Fraser. You've done an awful lot of people a lot of good, the two of you."
Fraser flushed. "Thank you...ma'am."
"Meg's fine off duty...Ben."
"Thank you kindly...Meg."
Meg moved to the curb and hailed a cab. "You want to split a cab with me? I'm actually going to Little Italy to meet a gentleman friend of mine for dinner."
"Ah. Which establishment, might I ask?"
"Giordano's. Have you been there?"
"Many, many times. That's near Ray's house. It's one of our favorite places. Ask to be seated in Mario's section, if he's on tonight. His service is impeccable."
A yellow vehicle smoothly sailed to the curb. "I'll do just that, Ben." She smiled genuinely. "Have a good evening."
"You too, sir. Meg."
And she was gone, leaving Ben alone on the sidewalk. It was 17:46. Something was wrong. Ray was never this late.
He called Ray's cell phone again, and again it went into voicemail. "Ray, it's me. Where are you? I'm going home. I'm going to take the El to the medical center and walk from there. Please meet me at home when you get this message. I'll get some dinner started. I'm going to go by the market and pick up pork chops. " Ben was reluctant to hang up, even though it was only Ray's cell. "Looking forward to seeing you tonight. I hope your day went well...I love you, Ray. See you soon." He suddenly had a powerful craving to see Ray. It was painful and urgent, like an addict in need of a fix. He needed to smell Ray's cologne, to bury his nose in the crook of Ray's neck, and to be held by him.
Benton Fraser turned in the direction of home, toward St. John's Street in Little Italy, headed due south.
End B&R 14: Fallout by Dee Gilles
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