Author's website: http://www.slashcity.org/~rushlight
Disclaimer: This is a piece of non-profit fan fiction and is not meant to infringe on the copyright of the original copyright holders.
Author's Notes: Thanks once again go to Beth for beta-reading, and also to Jeannie Marie for posting the Halloween fic challenge. And last but certainly not least, a heartfelt thank you goes to Ashinae for providing the screen caps that served as inspiration for Benny's costume. ;)
Ray adjusted the collar of his coat as he jogged up the stairs toward Fraser's apartment, absently humming a snatch of the last song he'd heard on the car's radio as he went. The bare bulb of the light on the landing flickered as he stepped under it, and he bit back a snort of laughter at the thought that at least the decrepit old building was trying to get into the spirit of the season.
Actually, he had to admit that the place didn't look half as bad as it had when Benny'd first moved in. The hallway had been swept out recently, and the walls were freshly painted. That had to be Benny's influence, he decided, smirking as he sidestepped an asymmetrically carved jack-o'-lantern sitting guard outside one of the neighbor's doors.
Just as quickly, his smile faded. He'd tried to convince Fraser on more than one occasion to move to a more affluent part of town, someplace where he wouldn't have to worry about him being accosted by random muggers in the middle of the night. Even if the neighbors here did seem to be on the up-and-up, this wasn't the type of place that anyone should live in if they didn't absolutely have to.
The problem had become especially troublesome ever since he and Benny had started sleeping together. Now that Ray had occasion to spend the night here more often than not (but not too often -- there were only so many all-night stakeouts he could explain away to his family, after all), he couldn't help wishing that his lover lived somewhere where he wouldn't have to worry about his car being stolen or vandalized whenever he was visiting.
Stifling his thoughts, he knocked sharply on Fraser's door, looking around reflexively as he did so. A harried-looking woman passed by from the direction of the elevator, holding onto a near-overflowing brown bag full of apples with both arms. She nodded a greeting at him in passing, and Ray smiled at her, feeling vaguely self-conscious.
He'd gone for cliche this year in his choice of costume, no matter how much Benny whined about how vampires were a dime a dozen on All Hallow's Eve. The main benefit of the "costume" was that it was comfortable and relatively easy to maintain -- casual dark clothes with a long black coat thrown on over top for effect, hair brushed back (such as it was) to give his face a lean look and emphasize the darkness of his green eyes. A touch of cosmetic powder to give his skin the necessary pallor, and voila! Instant denizen of the night.
If it hadn't been for Benny's insistence, he wouldn't have bothered dressing up at all. The thought gave him a vague feeling of disgruntlement as he waited for Benny to answer the door. What the hell was he doing in there, anyway? Ray was just raising his hand to knock again when the door opened.
The instant he saw Benny's costume, all other considerations fled from his mind.
"Good evening, Ray." Fraser's smile was genuine as he ushered Ray in through the door. Light flashed briefly on the faux diamond stud he was affixing to his left ear. "And a Happy Halloween to you. I'm just about ready to go."
Ray stared unabashedly as he stepped inside, shutting the door carefully behind him. Fraser was dressed in tight black jeans and a black T-shirt, which emphasized his impressive physique in a way that the usual serge and black jodhpurs did not. His hair was spiked up with what could only be a rather determined brand of hair gel, accentuating the stark beauty of his face. It made his eyes look huge, and dark, and ... and he was wearing eyeliner. Eyeliner, and lip gloss, and something to bring out the color in his cheeks. And ... glitter. There was the faintest hint of glitter clinging to his clothes.
Hot damn. Benny'd gone glam.
Fraser's smile quirked slightly. "Something wrong, Ray?"
Ray blinked, coming back to himself abruptly. "Uh ... no." He grinned. "What the hell are you supposed to be, Benny?" The words were admiring.
"Ah." Having finally affixed the earring to his satisfaction, Fraser reached for the leather jacket draped over the kitchen table and shrugged into it. "It's my understanding that this was a popular look for young men in your country about a decade ago. It was my intention to capture the spirit of an American cultural motif." He glanced up, looking suddenly uncertain. "Have I succeeded?"
It took Ray a moment to realize that he'd been asked a question. He couldn't take his eyes away from the sight of Benny in lipstick and leather. And those eyes. Unexpectedly, it didn't make him look feminine at all, and Ray couldn't help thinking of the last time he'd seen Benny in make-up, wearing eyeliner and earrings and sitting half-undressed in the back seat of his car, reading aloud about "cries of ecstasy" and "unquenchable fire".
"Yeah," he said quickly, wanting to calm the dawning anxiety he saw in his lover's eyes. He reached out to touch Benny's chest lightly, feeling the warmth of it slide under his fingers. "You look ... you look good." Frannie wasn't going to know what to do with herself when she saw him; the thought made him chuckle lightly.
Fraser's eyes softened at that, and Ray was suddenly very much aware of the heat of him, the presence of him. His breath caught briefly as Fraser leaned in to kiss him lightly on the lips. He smelled sweet, like apples or ... or strawberries. Maybe it was the lip gloss. "I'm pleased that you think so." Fraser's eyes flickered down, taking in Ray's choice of clothing. "And you're supposed to be...?"
Ray felt a twinge of irritation. "I'm a vampire, Benny. You know, an undead stalker of the night?"
"I see." Fraser sounded amused, damn him. He met Ray's gaze again and smiled slightly. The expression did interesting things to Ray's libido. "I suppose we should be going."
Ray couldn't tear his gaze away from those impossibly huge eyes. "What do you say we forget about the damned office party and have our own celebration right here?" He grinned, only half-joking, and slid his fingers down Fraser's chest again, feeling the warmth of it seep into him. The brightness of the kitchen light made Fraser's jacket seem even blacker than it already was, and the leather looked butter-soft, making Ray's palms itch with the desire to reach out and touch it.
Fraser's eyes snapped in tolerant amusement. "The party's being held at your house, Ray. I think they'd notice if you failed to show up."
Ray collected himself with an effort, dropping his hand to his side. Fraser was right, damn it. "Yeah, I know, and I never would have agreed to that if you hadn't talked me into it," he said, without even trying to hide his irritation.
Fraser's smile was rueful as he turned toward the door. "I'm sure we'll have a grand time, Ray."
Yeah, right. An evening on the creepiest night of the year spent with the guys from work, who were probably flying high on sheer enthusiasm because they'd been lucky enough not to draw night shift tonight. And Benny dressed up like a hundred-dollar hooker. Damn it all to hell.
Ray let his breath out in a harsh sigh; he could be good, if he put his mind to it.
Dief brushed past Ray's legs as they made their way downstairs. The half-wolf seemed almost excited, as if he understood that this was a special night. The street around them was quiet as they stepped outside. The air was crisp but surprisingly mild for this time of year, and Ray spared a thought to be thankful for Indian summers as he fished the keys out of his pocket and moved toward the door of his car. Fortunately, the car appeared to be relatively intact.
"You got to watch out tonight, Benny," he said as he slid into the car, reaching across to unlock Fraser's door. Fraser let Dief slip in ahead of him and then climbed in beside Ray with a soft whispering of leather.
"Why is that, Ray?" Fraser asked, settling himself comfortably as Ray started the car. "Contrary to popular belief, there actually seems to be a slight decrease in the number of crimes committed on this night of the year."
"That's not what I mean." Ray had to work to suppress his grin. Teasing Fraser was just too damned much fun sometimes. "It's Halloween. Don't you know what that means?"
Fraser looked pensive. "If you're referring to the common cultural myth, then yes. This is the eve before All Hallow's Day, which is believed to be a night when the souls of the dead--"
"Spare me the history lesson, Benny. My point is, strange things happen on Halloween sometimes. Inexplicable things."
"Really, Ray." Fraser's voice was tinged with equal parts amusement and exasperation.
Ray cast a pseudo-surprised glance at him as he drove. "What? You don't believe in ghosts?"
"Well, no, I didn't say that." Fraser smoothed a thumbnail across his right eyebrow as he turned to look out the side window, looking vaguely uncomfortable. "I do believe there are circumstances when those who have passed beyond this world might ... take it on themselves to return, on occasion." He coughed lightly. "I just don't believe they would rely on a formal holiday declared in their honor to do so."
Well, wasn't Fraser just full of surprises tonight. Ray smirked but otherwise chose to let the matter rest.
They spent the rest of the drive in a companionable silence, broken only by the occasional impatient whine from Dief in the back seat, urging him to hurry. Ray ignored him, sneaking glances at Fraser out of the corner of his eye as he drove. He still couldn't get over the sight of that spiky hair, and the oddly beautiful face that he caught glimpses of whenever they passed underneath a streetlight. Usually, there was just something about Benny that made Ray feel like he was debauching a virgin, no matter how many times they had sex together. But tonight Benny looked ... wicked. Wild. The thought made Ray's pulse beat faster, and he had to remind himself firmly that they had places to be tonight.
It seemed that every light in his house was on when he pulled into the front drive. There were about a half dozen cars parked along the street, and he checked a sigh as he wondered again what had ever possessed him to let Fraser talk him into hosting the annual office Halloween party here. It wasn't like he didn't spend enough time with these people during the day that he needed to start spending his free time with them, too.
There were several knots of children moving along the sides of the street as he and Fraser climbed out of the car, dressed in a colorful array of ghoulishly cute disguises. The neighbor's yard had a homemade scarecrow sitting guard beside the driveway, dressed casually in patched and faded denims and a loose flannel shirt. Across the street, there was a shrill squeal -- half-terrified, half-thrilled -- followed by a chorus of giddy, childish laughter.
Fraser gave Ray a look of subdued happiness as they made their way up the steps toward the front door, and it was almost enough to erase Ray's lingering irritation completely. Because Fraser liked this sort of thing, didn't he? Fraser was a seasonal kind of guy, and he loved holidays especially. And yeah, that was probably the reason Ray'd given in to him in the first place. There wasn't much he wouldn't do to make his favorite Mountie happy.
Dief pushed ahead of him eagerly when he opened the front door, and Ray was greeted by the pungent scent of baked apples and cinnamon, so strong it almost physically pushed him back outside. Breathing in appreciatively, he followed Dief inside, shedding his coat as he went.
"Raymondo!" Ray smiled as he was swept up inside a huge, enveloping hug, and he kissed his mother back firmly on the cheek. Her cheeks were flushed, hair damply curling across her forehead, and he guessed that she'd just come from working in the kitchen.
"Hi, Ma." Anything else he might have said was cut off as Huey appeared in front of him, dressed sharply in a blue pin-striped suit and two-toned shoes, looking like nothing so much as a classic 50's gangster.
"Look at you," Huey said, taking in Ray's attire with a well-practiced, evaluative sweep of his eyes, as if he were appraising a suspect. He grinned. "What are you supposed to be -- a banker?"
"I'm a vampire," Ray told him firmly, trying to be annoyed, but then Huey's attention was shifting away from him and onto Fraser. Ray watched, amused, as Huey did a visible double take, and had to almost literally pick his jaw up off the floor.
Ray took the opportunity to slip away, leaving Benny to explain about American cultural motifs on his own. All attention in the room seemed to zero in on Fraser, and the small crowd gathering around him was "ooh-ing" and "ah-ing" appreciatively. Poor Benny. Ray chuckled softly as he snatched a cup of heated cider off the tray in the middle of the coffee table and took a drink, savoring the spicy sweetness as it slid down his throat.
The family room was decorated profusely in honor of the season. A cornucopia filled to overflowing with waxed fruit and autumn vegetables sat on top of the mantle, surrounded by a clustering of autumn flowers and leaves. It seemed that every table surface available was covered with some manner of knick-knack, and the ceiling was hung with pumpkin-cutout streamers that Maria's kids had made at school. Candles flickered alluringly in the corner of the room, adding to the seasonal ambiance.
Ray took it all in with an appraising eye, wondering why none of it seemed to be bothering him this year. He wasn't usually a festive kind of guy, but for some reason, this year it all seemed to be ... strangely un-irritating. Elaine was here, dressed as a hobo, and Welsh was, inexplicably, dressed up as Santa Claus. Turnbull had come at Fraser's invitation, but Elaine informed him that he'd opted to go trick-or-treating with Maria and the kids. Dief had settled happily onto the folded blankets that were set aside for him in the corner, chewing contentedly on the thick stew bone that someone had given him. Francesca was showing an alarming amount of cleavage in her slinky black cat costume, but even that seemed normal, in a frighteningly familiar way.
Fraser cast him a pleading look from across the room, and Ray snorted lightly into his cider. Stifling his grin, he determined to go in and rescue him from his sister. Francesca was all but hanging off of him, gazing up at him with admiring eyes while she chattered about her adoration for 80's punk bands, and while Ray could understand Fraser's allure whole-heartedly, there was such a thing as decorum, after all.
Picking up a second cup of cider, he carried it over to Fraser and handed it to him, stepping discreetly into his personal space and meeting Francesca's gaze in quiet warning. She smirked lightly at his possessiveness, her eyes glinting knowingly, but backed off without raising too much of a fuss. Fraser took the cider from him gratefully.
Not for the first time, Ray felt a twinge of jealousy that Francesca could show her affections so visibly, without caring that anyone would condemn her for it. Francesca was well-aware of his relationship with Fraser -- he'd discovered the futility of attempting to keep secrets from her early in his life -- but she was the only one who did. It irritated him that knowing Benny was taken didn't seem to noticeably inhibit her public displays of affection. She had to know it wasn't going to get her anywhere, so why do it at all? He supposed she could be doing what she could to give them "cover", although secretly he was convinced she did it solely to annoy him.
Huey and Gardino were in the corner now, reading ... spells? ... from an old book that they'd dug up from somewhere. Welsh was chiding them good-naturedly about it, looking markedly out of place in his bright red suit, and the hilarity of the image was not wasted on Ray at all. He wished he had a camera handy, and he debated whether he should risk running upstairs to get one.
Ma came out of the kitchen then bearing a huge platter of freshly made cookies, and even Dief abandoned his bone in the corner to converge on the table. There was good-natured tussling as they all fought for their favorites, and then Ray found himself sitting at the corner of the couch listening to Elaine tell him about her classes at the Academy, nibbling at the edges of a chocolate chip cookie.
Ray kept waiting for the moment when he would decide he'd had enough, and he couldn't take it anymore. But it kept not happening, and he slowly relaxed into the quiet, familial atmosphere of the gathering with a feeling of incredulity, wondering if this was what Fraser'd meant when he said it would do them good to get everyone together outside of work for a change. Even listening to Elaine talk about how excited she was about becoming a cop had a certain charm to it this evening, and Ray wondered guiltily when the last time was that he'd truly talked to her outside of asking her for favors and thanking her curtly for the things she did for him at the station.
His gaze shifted to look at Fraser then, only to find that Fraser's eyes were already on him. Those eyes looked huge with the eyeliner painted around them, and Ray swallowed hard when he saw the emotion burning there. Dear God, how could anyone in the room miss the signals that Benny was putting out right now? He looked like a stranger, liked some exotic and mysterious beauty that Ray had just met and felt an immediate, irresistible attraction to, and the thought excited him almost more than he could bear.
His skin was itching now even when he wasn't looking at Fraser, feeling that dark gaze on him, knowing it would be there to meet him whenever he raised his head. He did his best to ignore it, recognizing the hunger he saw there but knowing full well that this wasn't the time, wasn't the place. And damn if he wasn't jealous of Francesca all over again, even if she didn't seem to be in the room at all right now. Because he wanted the freedom she had, the freedom to touch, to look, to want, no matter what anyone else might think.
Finally, it was just too much for him to take anymore. He looked up and met Fraser's gaze boldly, not caring for the moment who saw them, trying to communicate what he wanted with his eyes. Fraser's eyes widened, softly pleading, and Ray gritted his teeth and shifted to accommodate his growing erection, and let his eyes say yes.
Fraser nodded at him, barely perceptibly, and then turned back to his conversation with Welsh. Ray excused himself from Elaine and set his cider down on a coaster on the coffee table, hoping like mad that no one had noticed the silent by-play between them. Fortunately, it looked as if no one had.
He slipped out into the hallway as casually as he could. Once he was out of sight, he blotted his damp palms on his shirt nervously, looking around. Where could they go? Where, where, where? His heart was pounding. At the far end of the hall, he could hear movement in the kitchen, clattering plates, the low murmur of conversation. Not that way. His gaze fell on the shadowed staircase leading up toward the second floor, and he smiled tightly.
Fraser appeared as a soft shadow behind him, breathing softly against his ear. Ray shivered and glanced back at him briefly, then moved toward the stairs. Fraser followed without a word, silent as a ghost behind him.
"This is a terrible idea," Ray whispered, shutting the door of his bedroom behind them and locking it firmly.
"Yes, it is," Fraser agreed, just as softly. But his hands were smoothing across Ray's hips now, pulling him forward, moving with the same self-assuredness that had been able to seduce Ray from across a room, and then he was leaning in to capture Ray's mouth in a kiss.
God, this was what he'd been missing, what he'd been wanting ever since he first saw Benny at the start of the evening. Ray grabbed hold of Fraser's jacket with both hands and just held on as Fraser's tongue attacked him, hot and heavy in his mouth. And the leather was as soft as it looked, and it was warm under his hands, crinkling softly as he squeezed it, feeling the residual ache in his groin explode into full arousal so fast it left him dizzy.
"A bad idea," he reiterated, not knowing why he bothered when his body was so obviously the one in control here, instead of his head.
Fraser laughed, a soft expulsion of air against the side of Ray's face as he rubbed their heads together, cat-like. "Yes," he said again, so quietly the words sounded like a purr. "But you looked so good sitting there." And wasn't that a heady rush to Ray's self-esteem, that Fraser would have felt seduced by him, just sitting there on the couch with Elaine and being happy. "And I wanted to touch you. May I touch you, Ray?"
Ray gasped as Fraser's tongue darted out to dampen the hair above his ear, and he clutched at that leather jacket with both hands as if it were a lifeline. Did Fraser honestly expect him to say no?
"Yes," he said, and that was all he had time to say before Fraser attacked him.
Fraser was pressing against him now as he kissed him, hungry, all but devouring him, and Ray took a step back, then another, until his back hit up against the bedroom wall. He moaned softly as Fraser's hand rubbed over the hardened flesh between his legs, stroking him hard through his pants, and his hips bucked forward in shameless entreaty.
"Shh," Fraser cautioned him, and there was a wicked gleam in his eye as he looked up, his face illuminated only by the moonlight that fell in through the window beside them. He looked ... devilish, and beautiful, and Ray couldn't help the low groan that escaped him as Fraser's fingers moved at the waist of his pants, unthreading his belt and reaching for his zipper. Fraser kissed him again, trailing his tongue across Ray's lips, a slick, wet heat that made Ray's heart race as he felt Fraser's hand slip into his pants and close around the rigid length of his erection.
Oh God, yes. It was all Ray could do to stay quiet as Fraser stroked him, leather-clad body leaning hard against him, hot breath panting across his face. Fraser smelled like sex and leather and night in the city, and Ray bit hard on his lower lip as he thrust his hips eagerly into the fingers that gripped him, sliding slickly over his heated length. It felt so good, so damned good, and for a moment he forgot the sheer foolishness of what they were doing, forgot that his family and his coworkers were right downstairs, and could be coming up at any moment to check on them.
Fraser's teeth scraped lightly across his jaw, not quite hard enough to leave a mark, wrenching another soft sound out of him. Ray let his head fall back against the wall, letting Fraser do that to him, and then his heart seemed to leap up into his throat as Fraser gave him one last fleeting kiss before sliding down to his knees in front of him.
Ray's gaze followed him as if he were in a dream. Fraser looked ... ephemeral, kneeling there, as if he weren't entirely real, as if he might truly be nothing more than mist and moonlight and the echoing clamor of Ray's unfettered, covetous imagination. Despite the hair gel, his hair was tousled, black against his pale skin. He looked up at Ray and smiled, a private, wicked smile that looked completely alien on his normally innocent face, and let his tongue dart out to moisten his lower lip.
He looked ... beautiful. An angel come down from heaven for an evening to be tempted by the sins of the flesh.
Ray stared, trembling, as Fraser's fingers curled around the lower part of his bared erection, holding him steady. His heart was knocking inside his ribs, making it difficult to catch his breath, but he couldn't look away as Fraser's eyes fluttered closed, long lashes dusting across his cheeks -- oh God -- and Fraser leaned in to smell him. Damn, that turned him on like nobody's business, being smelled up like that, and he had to lock his knees to keep his balance as Fraser's tongue -- that wicked, wicked tongue -- curled out to taste him.
Wet, slick heat, and he wanted more of that, he so very desperately wanted more of that. He pushed his hips forward in a blatant plea, not caring that he was begging, and Fraser smiled, and took pity on him, and leaned in to swallow him whole.
Fuck. Ray jammed the back of his hand against his mouth to keep his cries inside as Fraser's mouth engulfed him, red-painted lips opening wide around his cock and sucking him in without any further hesitation. Fraser was exceptionally good at drawing things out, at taking it slow, but this was a fucking kamikaze blow job, and Ray clenched his jaws tight against the scream that wanted to explode out of him, knowing with some last tattered shred of sanity that being heard while they were doing this would be a Very Bad Thing.
His other hand scrabbled at the wall behind him as he fought to keep his balance, and he struggled between wanting to squeeze his eyes shut and wanting to watch as Fraser's head moved up and down over him, eyes closed in an expression of pure ecstasy, lashes dark against his cheeks, breathing hard through his nose as he deep-throated him again, and again, and again. Ray wanted to buck into that delicious heat, feeling the slick suction of it shudder through his entire body, but Fraser's hand on his hip held him firm, refusing to let him move.
And the unaccustomed sight of Fraser in lipstick and eyeliner was unexpectedly erotic, as if he were some rich sheik's harem boy -- and wasn't that a fantasy he could really sink his teeth into? Ray moaned helplessly, pressing his fist harder against his mouth to hold back the sounds he wanted to make, had to make, as Fraser's mouth moved over him. And Benny would make such a lovely harem boy, wouldn't he, with those lashes, that face, those lips, that fucking talented mouth...
When he came, it was pure, subatomic meltdown. Ray howled into his clenched fist, grateful that only a few scattered whimpers seemed to escape audibly, and then he let his head fall bonelessly back against the wall behind him, gasping for breath. One hand groped blindly for Fraser's shoulder, clenching weakly in the soft leather of his jacket.
He could feel subdued tremors moving through Fraser's shoulder as Fraser leaned in to lick him clean, and something stirred in the outer recesses of his pleasure-sated brain as he realized that Benny hadn't come yet. Ray peeled open his eyes, gazing down at him in almost drugged pleasure, and watched as that small, pink tongue moved over him again and again, coaxing the last residual tremors of pleasure out of his body.
Fraser seemed wholly intent on the task at hand, but the tremors were there, unmistakable. It occurred to Ray suddenly that Benny was kneeling there wanting, needing, and the small cat-licks on his groin were beginning to take on a sense of quiet pleading.
The realization hit him with a heady rush of power, of wildness, and Ray was half-tempted to deny him, to keep him balanced on the knife-edge of desire for the rest of the evening, wanting. Wanting him. But in the end, the sight of Benny in such need was too tempting to resist. Ray took a deep breath and dropped to his knees, pushing Fraser onto his back as he groped for the zipper of those sexy damn tight black jeans. Fraser made a low, rumbling sound of approval, of gratitude, and pressed his forearm across his mouth to hold back his cries as Ray leaned in to suck him off, hard and fast and entirely without mercy.
It was over far too quickly, in Ray's opinion, but he knew they were pressing their luck taking as much time as they were. He knelt in between Fraser's splayed thighs, one hand pressed against the floor beside Fraser's hip for balance, as he bent over Fraser's body in what would have been a damned uncomfortable position if he wasn't so completely caught up in the taste and feel of Fraser's cock sliding between his lips.
Fraser's muscles tensed suddenly, and Ray slid his hand to Fraser's hip, holding him down against the floor. Then Fraser was coming hard into his mouth, and Ray swallowed the flood of salty sweetness that exploded across his tongue, listening with vague satisfaction to the strained, eerie cry that Fraser made as his hips pumped mindlessly up against him.
He lay there with his cheek pressed against Fraser's stomach for a long minute, panting heavily and feeling the incredible sensation of Fraser breathing beneath him. Fraser's hand curled over the back of his neck, just holding him, and Ray heard every nuance of what Fraser was trying to tell him without a word being spoken.
After a while, though, they both knew it was time to get moving, and they slowly pushed themselves off the floor. They tucked themselves back into their respective pants, sharing small smiles with each other as they did so. Surprisingly, Fraser's make-up seemed to have survived the experience relatively unscathed. He pulled a small black comb out of his back pocket to comb the tangles out of his hair, and Ray could almost see him visibly retreat again behind the Mountie mask, steeling himself to return downstairs.
The Mountie mask was somewhat less effective, though, with Benny looking like a well-used pleasure boy. The thought made Ray chuckle uncontrollably, hit by the sudden absurdity of what they had just done. Fraser met his gaze and smiled; his eyes were warm, soft, and filled with an unmistakable "I got mine" look. Ray could only imagine what his own eyes looked like.
Ray leaned in to kiss him one last time before he carefully eased the bedroom door open and peeked outside. The hallway was empty, cloaked in silver shadows that seemed all too evocative of the season. Muted laughter floated up at him from downstairs.
He glanced over his shoulder to see if Fraser passed inspection. Fraser's face was still flushed, but it might not be all that visible under the make-up. Still, Ray felt oddly reluctant to go back and join the party. No way could they go back and mingle with everyone until they'd managed to wipe the telltale I-just-had-sex looks off their faces.
Keeping his voice low, he said, "Meet me outside?"
Fraser hesitated, then nodded. The low gleam of amusement in his eyes said he understood Ray's train of thought exactly. Who'd have guessed that Benny would be the type to get off on shit like this? The thought made Ray feel suddenly nervous.
"Don't let anyone see you," he whispered, frowning.
Fraser smirked at him, looking far too at ease with this whole thing. But he nodded seriously as he said, "I promise."
Satisfied, Ray slipped out into the hall and toward the stairs, trusting that Fraser would find a way out back without being seen. He tried to look casual as he stepped into the living room.
"Hey, Ray." Francesca appeared seemingly out of nowhere at his elbow, making him jump slightly. "Where's Fraser? I've been looking everywhere for him. As soon as Maria comes home with the kids, we're going to bob for apples. Lewis is taking bets to see who can hold their breath underwater the longest."
Ray cleared his throat lightly. "I, uh, think he said he was going to go outside for a walk. I'll go see if I can find him." Hoping the sudden heat he felt wasn't visible on his face, he grabbed his coat and slipped out the front door before anyone could think to ask him any more questions.
As he closed the door behind him, he paused for a moment to listen to the sound of voices and laughter inside, feeling strangely warmed by it. Maybe sex with Benny was making him mellow, but suddenly he felt rather glad that he'd chosen to host the office party here at his house this year. There was a strange kind of comfort in it that he felt hard-pressed to explain.
Shaking off his thoughts, he jogged lightly down the front steps and then started walking up the street, pulling his coat tight around him as he went. The night was getting chilly now, and there were only a few scattered groups of trick-or-treaters still making their way from house to house. High above him, a half moon struggled valiantly to come out from behind its thin covering of clouds.
Inevitably, the residual traces of his post-orgasmic euphoria were fading. It occurred to him suddenly that it was stupid -- stupid -- to have pulled a stunt like that with Fraser. They could have been caught so very easily, and it was a miracle that they hadn't been. But there was just something about Fraser that made him want to do stupid things, made him want to cling to each and every moment that they had together as if it might be their last.
It didn't seem fair that they should have to hide how they felt about each other, but that was the world they lived in. Most days, it didn't bother him -- not really -- but there were other times when it just depressed the hell out of him. Francesca knew that he and Fraser were sleeping together, and she covered for them whenever she could, but even that small freedom had a feeling of furtiveness about it. It wasn't something they ever talked about, like it was some kind of deep, dark secret that they couldn't ever allow to see the light of day.
He wondered suddenly what it would be like to walk into the middle of that party and kiss Fraser, hard, right where everyone could see. The thought made Ray shake in sudden longing, but he knew instinctively that it would be a bad idea. He could only imagine the look on his mother's face. And Welsh. God.
He knew for a fact that Fraser didn't share his trepidation. Fraser was perfectly fine with the whole guy/guy thing, and the only reason he agreed to keep their relationship a secret was because Ray had asked him to. Ray knew that Fraser didn't wholly understand his reasons behind the request, but it was enough to know that Fraser would respect it. Fraser was loyal that way. How much of their relationship they revealed, and to whom, was left entirely up to Ray.
After a couple of minutes, Fraser appeared soundlessly out of the shadows and fell into step beside him.
Ray relaxed then, feeling a tension he hadn't even been aware of drain out of him. Fraser's presence always had a calming effect on him. He shifted a half-step closer to Fraser without thinking and breathed in deeply, smelling the lingering scents of dried leaves and wood smoke drifting on the breeze. Neither of them said a word, but Ray felt cheered regardless. He kicked idly at the piles of fallen leaves on the sidewalk as they passed them by.
Again, his thoughts turned toward the unexpected comfort he'd found in the presence of his friends at home that evening. It was unexpected, to say the least, but at the same time, it seemed somehow inevitable. When, exactly, had his coworkers become a part of his extended family? When had he become so comfortable with them that he would invite them into his home?
Inexplicably, his thoughts turned to Fraser and his insistence on living in that rat-trap he called a home. Ray couldn't help but feel a surge of admiration for the loyalty Fraser had toward the people in his neighborhood, even if it did annoy him. He wondered suddenly if the reason Fraser reached out to people so often was because he wanted that feeling of belonging to a community, of being a part of something larger than himself. The thought was sobering.
Fraser was a silent presence beside him, a cutout shadow against the night. His leather jacket was so dark it looked like it was soaking up the light, making the night seem somehow darker where it gathered around him. As if he didn't even truly exist, and he was just a fleeting figment of Ray's imagination. The thought made Ray feel suddenly cold, and he shivered, pushing his hands deeper into his pockets.
He wasn't sure why this was bothering him so much tonight. Except that he was tired of hiding, tired of pretending that neither one of them were truly what they were. He felt like he was wearing a costume 365 days out of the year, and only now did he recognize the sheer lunacy of it. What was the point, anyway? It seemed crazy, but sometimes, sitting around with his family, or with the guys from work, he felt as if he and Fraser were nothing but their masks, nothing but the veneer of quiet civility they wore when they were in public together -- Nothing but friends here, no, sir -- and that if anyone were to rip away the masks they wore, they'd find that there was nothing, absolutely nothing, underneath.
And that thought was just too much for him to take. Ray stopped abruptly in the thick shadows that pooled between two streetlamps, alone in the cul-de-sac at the end of the street. Fraser stumbled to a halt beside him, startled by his sudden halt. He was barely visible in the darkness, a vague suggestion of warmth, of dimension, and Ray caught a flash of those wicked blue eyes as he turned toward him, raising an eyebrow inquisitively.
It seemed sometimes that Fraser had totally bewitched him, had cast a spell and taken him in thrall. The thought was strangely un-upsetting, and Ray chided himself inwardly, feeling vaguely amused by the ease with which Fraser had moved in and taken control of his heart. Since when had he been such a sucker for a pretty face, anyway? But even as he thought the words, he knew that it was more than that. It had always been more than that, ever since the first moment they met. From the very first moment he'd laid eyes on Fraser, Fraser had had things to teach him.
And it was Halloween, wasn't it? All Hallow's Eve, the one night of the year when anything was possible, when inexplicable things could happen, no matter how bizarre. Ray was gripped by a sudden sense of consequence as he stared at Fraser, memorizing him, as he wondered just how long it would be before they had this kind of time together again. He was so tired of hiding, so tired of taking their moments as they came, so very, very tired of pretending that what they had was less than what it was.
"Ray?" Fraser said, softly questioning.
Ray blinked. "Kiss me," he said, barely audible. His breath fogged lightly in the air between them.
He could see the exact moment when understanding dawned in Fraser's eyes, and Fraser got it. The sudden light that surged in Fraser's eyes then was nearly blinding, and it warmed Ray straight down to his soul. Fraser leaned in toward him obediently, and Ray's eyes closed, feeling Fraser's lips press warm and soft and slightly sweet-flavored, still, against his own.
He made a soft sound as Fraser's tongue flickered into his mouth, a fleeting touch of warmth, of promise, there and then gone, and then back again, teasing him with the suggestion of its presence as it slowly eroded away at the edges of his mind. Ray's hands stole up to clench tight over Fraser's shoulders, holding him in place, refusing to let him go, refusing to let this moment end. Heat roared through him as if he were burning alive from within; he felt so very wicked, so wild, as he gave in to Fraser's kiss, not caring who might see them, not caring who might discover how he felt about this man.
When he opened his eyes again, Fraser was smiling at him.
Ray returned the smile tentatively, not feeling cold at all anymore. His heart was pounding madly, but it was a comforting, freeing rhythm. "C'mon, Benny," he said after a moment, and it was as if an enormous weight had been lifted off his shoulders. "Let's go home."
Fraser was still smiling as they turned back toward the house. Ray reached for his hand and twined their fingers together, holding on to him tightly as they walked. Fraser's fingers felt strong around his, warm, and he shivered at the sensation of Fraser's thumb as it stroked lightly across the back of his hand.
They walked the rest of the way in silence. The night seemed to have gone completely silent and still around them by the time they returned home.
The steps creaked softly as they made their way up to the front door. Fraser reflexively moved to pull their hands apart, putting up the accustomed distance between them, but Ray tightened his fingers around him, refusing to let him go.
Fraser turned to look at him with an expression of mild surprise. There was a look in his eyes that Ray had never seen before. "Are you sure, Ray?" he asked quietly.
Ray nodded. "I'm sick of hiding, Benny," he said. Truth was, he was scared as hell, but he knew that he couldn't go on living the way they had been. If nothing else, tonight had shown him that. This was his family inside, after all; if they couldn't accept him as he truly was, then who could?
Fraser's gaze softened, and he lifted Ray's hand to his lips, kissing the back of it lightly. "I love you, Ray," he said, lips murmuring against his skin.
And suddenly, irrevocably, Ray knew that whatever happened once they walked inside this door, it wouldn't matter as long as he had the love of this man beside him. Voice tightening, he said, "I love you, too, Benny."
Then he took a deep breath, and tightened his hand around Fraser's, and followed him inside.
End Black Magic by Rushlight: email@example.com
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