Alliance legally owns these characters. I am just borrowing them for a little while, and I intend no harm or offense by writing this story; and no profit will be made.
This story takes place immediately following "The Duel".
Ray stepped a little harder on the gas pedal of the Riv, eager to leave the scrap yard behind them. He pulled onto the paved road and glanced over at Ben. "So, Benny, are you hungry?"
Ben looked over at him. "I suppose we should eat."
Ray frowned slightly. "Yeah, we should. I don't feel like doing the restaurant thing, though. I'll take you back to the house and make some dinner. With the whole family gone we'll have all the privacy we want."
"That sounds good, Ray, but I don't want you to go to any trouble."
"What trouble?" Ray grinned. "There's so many foil-wrapped packages of food in the freezer we could eat for a month. I'll just heat one of them up."
"All right then," Ben smiled.
The car came to a stop at a red light and Ben covered one of Ray's hands with his own; giving it a firm squeeze. Ray looked over at Benny and gave him a small smile, then turned his attention back to driving as the traffic signal turned green.
They drove the rest of the way to the Vecchio home in silence, each man occupied with his own thoughts.
When they reached the house, Diefenbaker trotted up onto the porch and lay down to take a nap. His two packmates were acting oddly, even for humans, and he wanted to leave them alone for a little while.
Ben and Ray went into the house and hung up their jackets and Ray turned to Benny and started to say something, then stopped and scowled.
"Give me that goddamned thing," Ray said. He untied the cloth that had been used as a gag from around Ben's neck and wadded it up in his fists.
Taking it into the kitchen, Ray stuffed it into the trashcan under the sink. He then turned the taps on and rolled up the sleeves of his shirt, preparing to wash his hands.
Suddenly Ben gasped and stepped up to Ray, taking his arm in a gentle grasp. "Ray, your arm!"
Ray looked down and noticed the cut on his arm, crusted over with dried blood. "It's just a little cut, Benny. Don't worry about it."
"I cut it on a wire in the car, when-"
"When you were trying to help me," Ben said quietly.
"Benny, it's not your fault."
Ben didn't answer. He removed the first-aid kit from the cupboard above the sink and a small dishtowel from the drawer.
Soaking the towel in warm water, Ben gently washed the blood from the cut, then applied disinfectant. Finally he wrapped a gauze bandage around the wound and taped it into place.
"See Benny," Ray smiled, flexing his arm. "Good as new."
Ben just turned away and started putting items back in the first-aid kit. His hands were shaking, though, and he dropped the roll of tape; which rolled across the counter and onto the floor.
"Hey Benny," Ray said, stepping closer and resting a hand on Ben's shoulder, "it's all right. Everything is all right."
Ben turned to look at him, his face full of anguish. "Ray..." He said in a choked whisper.
He was shaking visibly now, and Ray tightened his grip on Ben's shoulder. "Why don't we go sit down?"
Ben continued to look at him helplessly.
"Come on," Ray said softly.
Ben took one step and then his knees buckled. Ray grabbed him and eased them both to the floor, pulling his lover into a tight embrace. "It's all right Benny," Ray repeated.
"Ray..." Ben whispered again in that weak, shaky voice.
Ray was scared. He didn't know what to do in this situation. It had been easier before, when Benny had been in physical danger. Ray knew what to do in those situations. He knew how to handle things, how to handle himself. But he wasn't at all sure that he knew how to help a Benny who was suddenly overwhelmed by and lost in his own emotions.
He just held onto Benny, rocking him gently and talking to him quietly, as he did to his nieces and nephews when they were hurt or upset.
Ben's shaking gradually slowed and stopped, and he sat quietly in Ray's arms. "I'm sorry Ray," he whispered after a few minutes.
"For God's sake Benny! A psychopath drugged you, kidnapped you, and tried to squash you like a bug. You're allowed to get upset, all right?"
Ben gave a small, shaky laugh. He placed his hand gently on the side of Ray's face. "Oh Ray, I was so afraid," he said. His voice was still quiet, but it was much stronger than it had been a little while before.
"It's all right, Benny. You're entitled."
"No Ray," Ben answered, shaking his head. "I wasn't afraid for myself. Well, not mainly. I was more afraid for you."
"Me?" Ray asked in surprise.
"Yes. I knew you were going to come after me; that whatever Carver had done, you were going to figure it out. But I almost hoped that you wouldn't."
"Why on earth would you think that?!"
"Because, Ray. I knew that Carver really wanted to get to you. And I couldn't stand the thought that you would be hurt- or worse- because of me."
Ray was looking at him incredulously. "Because of you? My God, Benny! The only reason you were tied up in that car in the first place is because Carver wanted me.
"Besides, don't you know? Nothing could hurt me more than having something happen to you. Losing you would be the worst thing that could ever happen to me."
"God, Benny. I was so afraid that I wouldn't find you, that I wouldn't get to you in time."
"Ray, you need to stop being so rough on yourself. You were smart enough to figure out Carver's game, you were able to figure out all his clues. Even he knew that."
"Do you know what he sent me?" Ray squeezed his eyes shut and drew a shaky breath at the memory.
Ben shook his head.
"He sent me a hearse. A little toy hearse with a Mountie figure inside."
"Oh God, Ray..."
Ray tightened his arms around Benny, resting his cheek against the top of Benny's head. "And I just froze. Every other threat he made he carried out. And I was so afraid that he... I kept trying to think calmly; to figure things out, but all I could think was that he had you.
"That sick fuck had you, Benny. And..."
"Sssh," Ben said, running a hand lightly over Ray's back. "You did figure it out. And you saved my life. Yet again."
"Sssh," Ben repeated. The two men sat on the floor of the kitchen for awhile, holding each other and trying to let go of the feelings of fear and helplessness that were still lingering from the afternoon.
Finally Ray gave Benny a quick hug and a kiss on the cheek and stood up. "Come on Benny," he said, pulling Ben to his feet as well. "I'll make dinner."
Ben shook his head. "No."
Ray looked at him in surprise. "No? Benny, we need to eat. You need-"
"I need you, Ray," Ben interrupted. He wrapped his arms around Ray's waist and kissed him. "I need you."
He kissed Ray again, and this time Ray was kissing him back, and there was something desperate and urgent and needy about the kiss.
Ray broke the kiss and took both of Benny's hands into his. "Come on, love," he whispered hoarsely; and led Ben up the stairs and into his bedroom.
They were no sooner through the door then Ben was pulling Ray into another hungry, passionate kiss, his hands fumbling with Ray's clothing.
Ray was just as eager to get Fraser out of his clothes, and in record time the men were standing naked in front of each other, surrounded by crumpled discarded clothing.
Ray pulled away, and Benny moaned. "Ray?"
"It's all right," Ray smiled. He led Ben over to the bed and ripped back the covers with one hand.
Ben dropped onto the bed, pulling Ray down on top of him and into another kiss.
Ray broke the kiss and pulled away slightly. "Benny," he gasped. "Benny..."
"Ray," Ben said desperately. "No, Ray." He reached up and cupped Ray's face in his hand, trying to draw him into another kiss.
"Benny, Benny." Ray pulled Ben's hand away from his face and placed a kiss in the palm. "Sssh, it's all right, baby. I'm here. It's okay love. We're okay."
He smiled down at Ben and stroked his face. "Just slow down, baby. We've got time. We've got all the time in the world."
Ben blinked a couple of times, then swallowed and nodded, smiling up at Ray. He reached over and fumbled open the drawer of the nightstand and pulled out the tube of lubrication. He held it out to Ray with a wordless plea.
Ray gave Benny a trembling smile, then quickly twisted the cap off the tube and applied a generous amount of the lube to his already-hard cock.
Benny smiled up at him, but Ray could see that his lover was shaking again. "Benny..."
"Please, Ray. Please." Ben whispered.
"All right, sweetheart." He knelt over Benny and Ben lifted his legs up and wrapped them around Ray's waist.
Ray moved into place and entered his lover, and it seemed to calm Benny. His shaking stopped and he drew a deep breath. "Ray," he whispered, a small smile on his face.
Ray began thrusting into Benny again and again, building in pace and force. His small gasps and moans mingled with the sounds of Ben's harsh, uneven breathing.
Suddenly Ben cried out, the sound very loud in the quiet bedroom in the quiet house; and Ray felt the warmth of Ben's seed against his skin. With a final cry of his own, Ray came.
He tried to keep himself braced above Benny, but his arms were trembling almost unbearably. Ben reached up and gently pulled him down on top of him. "That's better," Benny whispered with a small smile.
They lay quietly together for a while, their arms and legs still wrapped around each other; until Ray finally, reluctantly, pulled out of Benny and moved to lie next to him with his head on Ben's shoulder.
Benny began running his fingertips in slow circles over the back of Ray's neck, and Ray shivered. "I love when you do that, Benny."
"I know," Ben said with a smile.
Ray smiled back at him. "Feeling better now?"
"Oh yes," Ben nodded and gave Ray a soft kiss on the lips.
They lay in quiet thought for a few minutes, until Ben broke the silence. "Ray, do you think Carver knew about us? I mean, about our relationship?"
"I don't know, Benny. Maybe. He knew everything else." A sudden large grin split Ray's face. "I guess it all depends on how long he had that bug in the Riv."
Ben's eyes widened and he blushed vividly, and Ray laughed. "Who cares if he knew?"
"But he wouldn't hesitate to tell anyone. He'd tell everyone, Ray."
"So?" Ray shrugged. "Almost everyone knows already anyway, Benny. It's pretty much an open secret."
"I suppose so."
"I wonder if he has pictures," Ray said thoughtfully.
"Maybe I could get him to send me copies if he does. You know, for a scrapbook."
"You're a very sick man, Ray Vecchio."
Ray laughed, then grabbed Benny and rolled over so that Benny was lying against his chest. "You know Benny, Carver never should have messed with the two of us. That's where he made his fatal mistake.
"The two of us together are unbeatable, he should have realized that."
"We do make an excellent team," Ben agreed.
Ray smiled at Benny, the soft, loving smile he saved for their moments alone. "The best team, Benny."
He drew Benny into another kiss, and a calm silence fell over the house.
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