Exigency by Zoe Takashi & Louise Wu

Authors: Zoe Takashi & Louise Wu,  Email Us
Website: http://slashfactory.com/
Series: Exigency. Previous part: Yield2.

Exigency: Yield
(ek-'si-gen-see)
noun: urgent requirements, exacting want or pressing needs.

Starring:
Zoe Takashi as Alex Krycek.
Louise Wu as Walter S. Skinner.


Part 3


Silver Springs, MD
Saturday, 11 June 1994
10:15 A.M.

I phone Baker's cell. He gave me lots of details, but it adds up to the same thing. No solid leads.

There's nothing I can do in D.C., so I book a Monday flight to Kansas City.

I phone Alex's house and get an answering machine. "I'm flying to Kansas City on Monday. I'll call you from there." When I switch off the phone, I catch myself feeling disappointed.

**

Washington D.C.
1:37 P.M.

The only sounds in the ops room are the muted tones of two or three separate conversations. Mallory and I are entering the new victim profile, when Jennifer Gough erupts into the room. There's an expression of barely leashed excitement on her face, and she has a piece of paper clutched in her hand.

Normally a restrained and dignified woman, it's startling to hear her yell out to the entire room, "It's her shoe and we've got a partial!"

The entire room is eerily silent for a heartbeat, then suddenly, six questions are fired at once. Section Chief Baker reigns in the pandemonium and asks the most important question. "Is the partial enough for an ID?"

Gough nods. "If... when we catch him. Latents is running the print but they don't believe they have enough for an electronic match... assuming he's even been printed."

That is a disappointment. It's helpful to have some evidence against the guy should we actually find him, but it feels like another dead lead.

Eventually, the topic of the type of shoe comes up. And why a 26-year-old would wear old-lady shoes. Something fires in the back of my brain as Gough explains that the vic had a severe problem with collapsed arches and had custom orthotics that only fit in certain types of shoes.

In the course of a normal investigation this would be a non-issue, just one more thing to add to the evidence pile. But with this case, it's something.

The work seems to go on for an eternity. Toward evening, I'm working with Mallory again, determining what information on the new victim needs to be added to our database. I stare at pages of records until the words blur together.

At almost the same time, Mallory and I decide to give it up. In the parking garage, while running his fingers abstractedly through his near-black hair, he asks me, "You coming in tomorrow?"

I have Spender's little errand to deal with, but I know the entire team is expected to work. "Yeah. Probably around lunch time."

He nods and saunters off.

I stop to pick up some dinner on the way home... at a Thai place near my apartment. I can't eat Thai these days without thinking of the first time Walter came to my place. My wholesale distraction with one Walter Skinner needs to be brought under some kind of control.

Keys in one hand, dinner in the other, I kick the door closed. As I set the take-out on the dining room table, I notice the message light on the answering machine.

"I'm flying to Kansas City on Monday. I'll call you from there." I stare at the machine for several moments, then replay the terse message. My car keys bounce off the wall after I pitch them across the room in a fit of frustration. Fuck controlling the situation... I want to see him again. I want to watch the water run off his naked body in my shower, want to see him sleeping in my bed.

God, I'm losing my mind.


Falls Church, VA
Sunday, 12 June 1994
5:45 A.M.

I slip my knife into its sheath and secure it to my belt. Per orders, I leave my guns and ID in the apartment, heading out to meet my contact for Spender's weekend errand.

The address turns out to be a bar in D.C. The neighborhood is nothing but a deserted strip of bars, nightclubs and restaurants, all of which are closed. I park my car a couple blocks away and walk to the bar.

As I approach, the door is opened by a squirrelly looking little guy who peers around nervously, but doesn't bother to ask my name. He escorts me to a room in the back, then disappears. The room is occupied by two men, one seated behind a desk, the other slouched in a chair.

The man behind the desk rises as I enter. He is perhaps the largest person I have ever encountered. Easily 6'9", rich dark brown skin and no hair... completely bald. Hard to guess his age, but I would estimate he passed 40 several years back. Massive muscles ripple under his black T-shirt as he moves. Please don't ever let me get on this man's bad side.

He extends his hand to me. "Good morning, Alex." When I'm close enough to shake his hand, I feel the heat radiating off him as if he were a solar device. There's a very delicate silver hoop threaded through his left earlobe that I find to be oddly incongruous with his appearance.

"You Morgan?"

He nods.

I release his hand and sit in the unoccupied chair.

He gestures to the other occupant. "This is Jimmy. He's running the job this morning. You're along to verify that the errand is completed, then report to your people." Jimmy doesn't extend his hand and neither do I. He barely grunts in my direction. There's a greasy feel about him, and it's not just his slick, dark hair or his too-shiny pale, sallow skin. He looks bored and disinterested with the whole thing.

I turn my attention back to Morgan. "I take it you don't work for our organization?"

"Nah, kid. I'm an independent business man. You understand?"

"Yeah."

Morgan watches me for a second, then gives a tiny nod, before rising to open a case sitting on a table in the back of the room. "Take your pick, kid."

I don't particularly care for the 'kid' thing, but decide to ignore it.

Joining him at the table, I peer into the case and select a 9 mm with a silencer.

The case snaps shut. He stands close enough that I have to crane my neck back to look at him. Okay, maybe he's an even seven feet.

"I don't expect you'll have to use it," he rumbles.

I remain where I'm standing, not stepping back even if he is taking over my space and I'm getting a crick in my neck. "Okay. Give me the details and let's get this finished."

Morgan moves back to his desk and pulls out an envelope. He extracts a photo. "One target. This is your man..."

Fifteen minutes later, Jimmy and I head out in his car.

Jimmy assures me he has thoroughly checked out the place and there's no security, no one around and the guy never leaves his house before 10:00 A.M. I insist on going in masked. Jimmy rolls his eyes, tossing his mask in the backseat. Whatever.

The house is painfully easy to break into, and the guy is still asleep. We should be out in under two minutes. But, to my consternation, Jimmy gags and ties the guy. The mark struggles and kicks, but Jimmy easily overpowers him.

I stand in the doorway, most of my attention focused on listening for any unusual sounds, and wondering why Jimmy didn't just pop the guy. Then Jimmy starts working him over. After the first few hits, I hiss, "What the fuck are you doing?"

He looks up at me, eyes glittering and cheeks flushed. "Just havin' a little fun with him first." He sinks his fist into the guy's gut, grinning as the man tries to roll up into a ball. There's suddenly a very noticeable, and growing, bulge in Jimmy's jeans.

Oh fuck. "Are you insane?"

His eyes flash angrily. "Shut up, kid. You're just here to watch, so mind your own fucking business."

What little patience I have dries up in an instant. I pull out my gun and wait for Jimmy to turn his attention back to the guy on the bed. Then I move behind him and bring the butt down on his head. He crumples to the floor.

One quick bullet, and our mark is dispatched. I haul Jimmy over my shoulder and move to the back door of the house. The street looks clear but I keep my mask on. I could really care less if anyone sees the moron slung over my shoulder, but we need to get out of here quickly.

I wrestle Jimmy into the backseat and retrieve the keys from his pocket. When I'm sure we're clear of the scene, I pull off my mask.

A few minutes later, I park in an empty restaurant lot a few blocks from the bar. I toss the keys in the backseat and lock the doors. Leaving Jimmy-the-moron to sleep it off.

I walk back to the bar and tap on the locked door. A few moments pass before Morgan's impressive bulk fills the doorway. "Where's Jimmy?"

"Taking a nap." I cannot keep the irritation out of my voice.

He opens his mouth, then closes it, standing back to let me in. It's probably stupid of me to be in a room alone with the Incredible Hulk after what I just did, but I'm pissed off.

"Care to explain, kid?"

My tenuous hold on my temper snaps. "I could ask you the same fucking question." His eyebrows shoot up. "I'm surprised you've managed to hold onto your business if that's the kind of help you employ."

"What the fuck are you talking about? Jimmy is a professional and-"

"Bullshit!" He takes a menacing step toward me. "That was anything but professional. But I don't take orders from you. My primary instruction was to not risk being caught, and your boy was being stupid." In reality, I just have no patience with joy killers. The last place I want to be is in a room with a guy getting a hard-on because he gets to blow someone's brains out.

Morgan gets in my face and hisses, "Why don't you tell me what happened this morning and I'll decide who was being stupid."

Again refusing to back down, I tersely explain the morning's events, up to leaving Jimmy in the parking lot. Morgan looks perturbed and backs away, sitting heavily on a barstool.

"Guess I owe you one."

That was not what I expected. "What?"

"I'm not in the business of employing thrill seekers, kid."

"Morgan, my name is not 'kid.'" He grins at me. I sigh. "Am I going to have a problem with Jimmy?"

He looks serious and shakes his head. "No. I'll take care of him. Come on. Let's finish up our business." I follow him to the back room.

Morgan takes the gun. Even though I've been wearing gloves all morning, he carefully wipes it down. "So, this one was used for the job?"

I nod.

"Okay. I'll take care of it."

I turn toward the door to leave. At his voice, I turn back. "You ever need a job, you've got one."

"That does not seem likely, but thanks."

Morgan steps closer to me. "Well, I meant it. I owe you one, so you call when you're ready to cash in that marker." He doesn't owe me a damned thing but I nod anyway. I really wish he'd stay out of my space.

Suddenly, his arms are around me, pulling me hard against his chest as his mouth descends on mine. I'm shocked into not reacting. My head is forced back until my neck feels like it's going to snap. His tongue presses past my lips.

He has me so effectively pinned, my struggling barely comes off as a twitch. I fight a wave of panic and try to be rational. I'm weighing the virtues of biting or kicking, against him breaking me in half, when his hand wanders to my ass and squeezes hard. I feel like I'm about to suffocate when he finally releases my mouth. I strain backward, gasping for air.

Morgan tightens his hold and murmurs in my ear, "Any chance I can interest you in something else?"

Be calm, Alex. "No. Unless that 'something' is letting go of me." Calm, calm, calm. Only chance is to talk my way out of this because I have no chance of winning a fight against this guy.

He sighs. "You sure?" The hand on my ass begins a rhythmic squeezing.

"Uh, quite."

His huge paw pats my butt, then he releases me. I resist the urge to heave a sigh of relief, and take a couple steps backward.

He grins at me. "Well, kid, the offer still stands."

"Which?"

He leers at me. "Either."


Washington, D.C.
Tuesday, 14 June 1994
2:18 P.M.

I turn back toward the desk and grab the new victim profile, flipping through it and murmuring under my breath, "Strange..."

Mallory glances at me. "What?"

I shrug. "I don't know... just seems strange that Amer- uh, so many people have podiatrists these days."

"Huh? Our vics?"

"Yeah. All of them. Different ones, of course. But, I just never realized how common it was. Dentist and M.D. I can get, but foot doctor?"

Mallory seems thoughtful. He looks even younger when he's concentrating. It occurs to me that he's rather attractive. Wonder why I never noticed before? "I don't think it's all that common. You say they all have different podiatrists?"

"Yeah. First and fourth vic had the same one, but it was written off as coincidental." I look at him for a second. "What are you thinking, Mallory?"

He chews the inside of his cheek for a second, then reaches for a folder. "Probably nothing... Before we got the call about the sixth vic, we were looking through medical records for information to enter in the database." He finds the page he's seeking and reaches for another folder.

"Yeah, I remember. What are you looking for?"

"I remember seeing one address pop up more than once, and when you mentioned the podiatrist..." He finds the page again and reaches for a third folder. "Check those folders and find the billing address for the podiatry offices."

I find the address for the current vic, then scan through another folder. It's the same. Mallory is looking through the fourth folder as I rattle off the address. He looks up with a stunned expression on his face. "Holy shit. They're all the same."

"What?" I almost expected it, but it still seems unbelievable. I peer at the four pages he has marked. We're both frozen for a few seconds, then simultaneously jump into action. Between the six doctors with the same billing address, there are only two phone numbers. I call one, Mallory calls the other.

Five minutes later, we're staring at each other. I wonder if I look as stunned and horrified as Mallory does. The connection has been under our noses the entire time. A podiatry clinic. A clinic with multiple doctors and every victim was a patient at the clinic. One of the phone numbers was a reception line, the other was accounting.

Mallory calls Unit Manager Kym over. "What's up?" Mallory looks at me for a second, and I gesture for him to continue. He starts handing the folders to Kym, pointing to the address on each one. After a moment there's a rush of breath and our austere Unit Manager suddenly exclaims, "Well, fuck me."

No, thank you. I'm saving myself for our Assistant Director. I squelch the urge to laugh at the absurd and entirely wrong thought.

Baker is at my elbow, glancing between me, Mallory and a startled-looking Kym. "Care to explain?"

It's my turn to reply. "Yeah. His luck has finally run out."

Baker's expression turns from confused to disbelieving to hopeful.

**

Kansas City, MO
9:45 P.M.

After only two days in Kansas City, it seems clear that even the SAC's fingers have been in the drug money. With the exception of a very appalled Mormon agent, I'm going to have to replace the entire team. Which means I'm going to be here longer than I'd like.

Back at my hotel room, I order a late dinner from room service, then phone Alex. I'm sitting on the bed, a couple of pillows stacked behind me.

Alex answers on the fifth ring, sounding breathless. "Yeah."

"It's Walt."

He's nearly panting and takes a couple deep breaths. "Hi. Uh, how's Kansas City?"

I imagine a sweaty Alex in his bike shorts and ignore his question. "Been riding?"

"No. I, uh, just knocked over one of my bookcases."

It's another one of those Alex in the Twilight Zone moments. "How does that make you out of breath?"

"The pointless struggle to keep it from actually falling." He sounds faintly amused at himself.

"Dare I ask what you were doing that led to wrestling with your bookcase?"

"I sort of hit it while moving furniture," he replies, a tinge of embarrassment in his tone.

"Uh-huh." I can smile as much as I want about his foibles. He can't see me. "Uh, Alex, I called for personal reasons, but I have to congratulate you and Mallory for making the podiatry connection. Nice work." Somehow this feels completely different from praising another of my agents.

"Thanks, but it was really Mallory's deal. I'm just glad we finally have a lead."

"I spoke with Mallory, Alex. You did good work." I want to add, 'I'm proud of you,' but, for some reason, I don't.

There's a pause before Alex replies, "Umm... thanks, Walter." I can imagine the uncomfortable look on his face.

"The Kansas City field office is a mess, so I'm going to be here for at least a week."

Alex gives a faint groan. I feel exactly the same way. I didn't want to talk about work. What did I want to talk about? I just want to hear his voice. "I, uh, really enjoyed the night we spent together." And I don't say, 'I wish you were here.' I'd trade the Marriott for the Valley Forge in a heartbeat.

"Yeah, Walter... I don't sleep well with people, but wi-" he suddenly stops, takes a breath and continues, "but I did. Shit, that didn't make sense. I... want you to come back."

There it is again... feelings. Totally inappropriate and inconvenient. I catch myself before I sigh into the phone. "Yeah," I reply inanely. I don't say how badly I want to touch him and to see the hungry look in his eyes when I do. "So-"

I'm grateful when he cuts me off. "Am I going to see you when you get back?"

"Definitely, Alex. I..." Why is this so damned difficult? "That's what I want... to see you again."

"Okay." He seems content with that, almost... relieved?

Fuck. He must be wondering if I'll change my mind about our affair. What a joke. As if I could if I wanted to.

"Not to change the subject, Walter, but..." there's a pause, "did I tell you how much I like your voice? Just the sound of it... hearing you talk?" As he says it, his voice drops slightly in pitch, to the tone he uses for seduction. I can feel it in my groin.

"Dammit, Alex. I mean, thank you." Fuck. "I just don't want to get too turned on here. You do that to me."

Alex laughs faintly. "Yeah, well, you should see me not concentrating on my work whenever I hear you talking in the hall."

I'm delighted that he's suffering, too. "Is this some sort of communicable disease, Alex? I'm not a teenager, but I'm acting like one."

"You are? How so?"

I've been married for fifteen years and I never cheated on my wife until now. Until you, dammit. But I don't want him to know that. It's not his responsibility. "When we're together, the need for sex is so strong... and even over the phone, you make my dick hard."

"Well then, by all means, keep acting like a teenager." He uses the sex voice again, the same voice he used on Thursday night. 'I could come just thinking about the feel of your cock in my ass.' Ah, Christ. Now he's doing it on purpose. But my cock responds anyway.

I groan into the phone, lowering my head and slapping my palm against my forehead. Alex, you son of a bitch.

Alex laughs outright. "You're not going to get much sympathy, Walter. I started getting hard as soon as I answered the phone, but I'll try to behave... just this once." He sighs heavily into the phone. "So, tell me if the rumors about the Kansas City office are true."

I hardly hear the question, as my mind is trying to eradicate the picture of Alex's erection. Fuck. "Kansas City?" I inquire, as if I've never heard of the place. "Oh, yeah. Fuck that, Alex. I didn't call you to... Well, it's simple really. I miss you. I want to see you when I get back."

"I hate milk."

Okay. Back to the Twilight Zone. "What?"

"I get that you don't want to talk about work, and sex seems to be off the menu, but I don't want to hang up. So, I'm telling you something you didn't know. I hate milk. Oh, and coffee."

The truly scary thing is that Alex's mind is beginning to make sense to me. I offer, "Olives. I hate olives. Truly nasty."

"Ugh. I can get behind that. Extra curricular activities... I know you like to work and work out but what else?"

"I, uh, make things from wood. That's what I was doing when you came to my house... well, no, I wasn't actually making things. Just puttering, and organizing."

"Really? You mean like furniture?"

"Yes. I made a jewelry box for..." Shit. "Mostly furniture."

"I'm duly impressed. Hmm..." He sounds a little stiff. "I can't see us reading poetry or making furniture, so what else do you like to do?"

Oh. Us. Together. "I suppose I could dust off my bicycle..." For some reason this makes me uneasy. I want to ride with him, but it feels wrong. I'm fucking the man, but riding bikes together is wrong? I'm already cheating on my wife. It makes no sense.

"Well, if you ever want to, I can help with the dusting part. You know, Walter, you have more hobbies than I do."

"That's grim, Alex. We both work too much." There's a knock at the door. "Hold on a sec."

"Okay."

Dinner. I tip the waiter and return to the phone while he wheels in the cart.

"I'm back. Room service." I watch as the waiter departs. "I'm not going to be home this weekend, but maybe next weekend... I could bring the bike. It might need a little maintenance."

"Yeah. I have everything here, so bring it over."

Sadly, I'm forced to consider how I'd explain it if someone saw us together. It might pass for innocent--the two of us riding bikes, but the pheromones seem to fly off us. "I'll borrow the station wagon and we can take the bikes to Virginia Beach?"

"Sounds good. I've never ridden there."

"I'll call you when I get back."

"Good. Umm... eat your dinner, Walter. And come back well rested." Oh, shit. He's reverting to the sultry voice again. "You know, despite the benign turn of our conversation, you've still managed to drive me nuts." That voice is out in full force now. "So, while you eat dinner, picture me jerking off, thinking of the sound of your voice and the feel of your cock in my mouth."

I swallow hard, unable to breathe for a moment. "Damn! All right... You picture my hands at the back of your head as I fuck your face. Good night, Alex."

"Ah, fuck." It practically comes out as a moan. "Good night, Walter."

I switch off the phone, staring into space. What the fuck is happening to me? I'm married. I've got twenty years on Alex. I'm his A.D. I should know better. I do know better. But all I seem to do is struggle against doing what I know is the right thing.

Even now, I should get up, eat my meal and review the reports of the Kansas City office's major cases. Instead I unzip my fly.

My hand strokes my cock. Eyes closed, I see his face. Those clear green eyes burning with intensity. His lips as he sucks me off in the shower. His tongue on the underside of my cock. His firm, round ass. The way it feels to put my dick inside him. A quick, rough jerk-off session and I still come explosively. As I wipe the semen off my cock and fingers, I have to wonder if I'm addicted to him.

Cleaning up in the bathroom, I muse about another meal gone waiting because of Alex. It's a lot better than my usual excuse.

**

Washington, D.C.
Thursday, 16 June 1994
11:48 A.M.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has turned the Metro Podiatry Clinic upside down. We've been interviewing their staff--some repeatedly--and pulling their patient files apart. Not to mention tearing through their business records. The clinic isn't allowed to be open unless agents are present.

Even though it's only been a day and a half since we stumbled onto this lead, it feels like we've been here forever, working out of this medical clinic. We're starting to scare the patients away.

There's still a small group pursuing the possibility of finding another lead, but most of the investigative team is trying to figure out how the victims were selected through this clinic. And why.

With the volume of statements to verify and alibis to check, we're tapping the D.C. police department for assistance. In a pattern that has become too familiar, so far we have nothing. But the team seems to have more energy, believing the solution to this case lies here. Now we just need to find that solution before we have an eighth victim.

Gough walks into the small accounting office I've occupied, much to the consternation of its usual occupant. "Krycek, we've pulled everything we can find about clinic business with the last three victims. Let's take it back to the office and get the relevant data into the computer."

I haul away the mountain of papers, for once relieved to be on computer duty because it gets me out of this tiny office.

When I arrive, Mallory is already in the war room, dark head too close to the computer screen, working on the first four victims.

Dropping the stack on the desk, I ask, "Where are we?"

Frowning, he looks up. "I'm not making much headway with the computer because there's not a place to enter some of this information."

I sit next to him. "Hmm... show me the problem and we'll add whatever we need to the database."

"Agent Krycek." That's a voice I didn't particularly want to hear. I look up to find Mathis standing in front of me. The man has no lips.

"Yes, sir?" I glance at the clock. To my surprise, I've been focused on the files for over three hours.

Mathis hands me an envelope of stiff, cream-colored paper with my name written in curly letters. What the hell is this? He has several more envelopes in his hand. I flash him a questioning look.

"Senator Bingham is having a fundraising party for his next campaign. He's invited all the agents who worked on the kidnapping. Since you've been invited, you're expected to attend. Black tie, next Friday at 8:00."

I start to ask a question, but Mathis spots Section Chief Baker entering the ops room and crosses to him. I stare at the thing in my hand, wishing it would go away.

I glance up in time to see Baker rolling his eyes and accepting the small stack of invitations. One of Baker's other teams helped out with the Bingham case and I guess they're being victimized as well.

After Mathis leaves, I hold up the invitation and scowl at Baker. "Uh, why?"

Baker looks disgusted but shrugs. "Got to be some kind of PR thing. Don't be surprised if we all have to pose for a picture when we arrive." He turns away muttering, "Well, the guys will be pleased."

Shit. I wonder if I can figure a way out of this.


Falls Church, VA
Monday, 20 June 1994
11:12 P.M.

After shutting the front door to my apartment, I lean back feeling completely exhausted. Working the podiatry lead is sucking up unbelievable amounts of time. I barely managed to leave the office for long enough to pick up my tux for that stupid party this Friday.

Thinking of the tux reminds me to quit dragging it on the floor and go hang it in the closet. The temptation to climb into bed fully dressed is strong, but I haven't eaten since noon. So I resolutely move back to the kitchen, to find the light on my answering machine blinking.

I immediately think of Walter. The last message on my machine was from him, before he left for Kansas City. It also reminds me that it's been more than a week since I checked my voicemail.

I press the play button and the warm tones of his voice fill the room. "Alex, it's Walt. It looks like I'll be returning to D.C. on Wednesday, so why don't we go riding on Sunday? If you get in before midnight, call me at my hotel."

Thoughts of eating are forgotten as I reach for the phone. While dialing the numbers, my mind drifts to our conversation last week. 'Difficult' is the word that comes to mind.

I find random conversation to be extremely difficult under the best of circumstances, but it's even harder with Walter because I have this insane desire to actually try to communicate with him. I've never really had to master the skills of filtering what I say because I usually say nothing.

I call his hotel and am quickly connected to his room. The rich quality of his voice leaves a feeling of warmth in my stomach as we talk about his impending return. I'm too tired for any attempt at real conversation, and he can hear it in my voice. We only speak for a few minutes, agreeing to meet on Sunday, but I feel more relaxed than I have in several days. I do like to hear him talk.

After hanging up, I think again of my voicemail. It's not like me to leave it for so long. I drag myself out of the house and to the nearest payphone.

I have two messages. The first is from Vlad, dated three days ago.

"S... uh, Alex, it's Vladimir. He broke his leg this week and I, uh, had to take some extra money. Umm... hope it's okay."

I roll my eyes. All the money in that account is for Vlad to use in any way he wants, but he always feels he has to explain if he takes any more than usual. I manage to almost completely suppress the unexpected tight feeling in my chest at the news that Aleksei was hurt.

Vlad didn't ask for any return call so I delete the message. The next message is from yesterday and the voice gives me pause.

"Hey, Alex. It's Damien. Look, I'm going to be in Virginia this weekend. Thought I could drive up to D.C. and see you for dinner or something... have a couple things to tell you. Give me a call and let me know."

I have to replay the message to get the phone number. When I left Houston, I only reluctantly gave Damien my voicemail number. He's never used it and I didn't expect to hear from him. Curious as to what 'things' he has to tell me, I dial his number.

"Hello?"

"Damien, it's Alex."

"Oh, hi." He sounds enthusiastic. "I wondered if I'd hear from you. So, are you available this weekend?"

"What do you want to tell me, Damien?"

"Always so impatient. Let's just get together and I'll fill you in on everything. I know you're busy with your important FBI job, but you can spare a few hours." There's a teasing note to his voice, and he sounds much more forceful than I've ever heard him. Damien was always very shy.

Except in bed. And I don't want to go there. And I don't want to think about why I don't want to go there.

"Yeah... sure." I'm surprised to hear myself accept his invitation. "How about Kabul's at 1:00 on Saturday."

He chuckles. "I can always count on your willingness to make a decision."

What the hell is he talking about? "Uh, yeah."

"Okay." He pauses, then continues, "Hey, Alex?"

"Hmm?"

"I'm looking forward to it."

"Right."

I hang up thinking this was probably not my best idea.

**

Potomac, MD
Friday, 24 June 1994
8:27 P.M.

Friday night, appropriately attired in tux and black tie, I jettison my car to the valet and enter the country club. Alone. Sharon doesn't come with me to these things anymore.

I totally and completely despise these political events. Republican. Democrat. It doesn't matter. Just a bunch of people trying to influence and manipulate others. At least tonight's event doesn't have speeches. The distinctive cadence of a politician trying to rouse a bored audience nauseates me.

I tried to dodge Senator Bingham's invitation, but the A.G. insisted that I go unless we caught the Rose Killer. The Bureau needs the positive exposure, which means me standing around trying not to look irritable. I phoned Baker just before departing, hoping for a last minute reprieve, but thirty agents swarming the podiatry clinic wasn't it.

As I enter the ballroom, off to the right, I spot an especially smarmy ambassador who loves to rant about Middle Eastern terrorism, so I turn left and seek out less obnoxious company.

Senator Bingham's wife, an attractive older woman, rushes over to me, taking my hand and kissing my cheek. "Mr. Skinner, we're so grateful to have our son back. I thank god for you and your men."

Flustered by the kiss and the fawning gratitude, I try to smile back. "The agents did all the work, Mrs. Bingham. I'm happy that we were able to return your son to you."

She kisses my cheek again. God, will someone get this woman off me? "I can't tell you how wonderful everyone has been to us. We're just so grateful. Is there anything we can do to repay you?"

Yeah, stop kissing me. "That's not necessary, ma'am." Somehow I manage to escape without making an ass of myself.

I run into a colonel I met in the VA hospital after my tour in Vietnam. He introduces me to a representative from Pennsylvania. The rep tries to get me to join his fundraising committee. I can't think of a way I'd like less to spend my limited spare time.

Sharon used to attend events like this with me. She's better at the small talk, but she enjoys the hobnobbing even less than I do.

I'm present for 45 minutes before I get asked about the Rose Killer. "We have a promising new lead," I say, as I've said every day for a week now. "No, I'm sorry, I can't share the details. We don't want to tip off the killer."

I bump into the colonel again. He's with several cohorts from the Pentagon. He tells a bawdy joke that's actually funny, but when the conversation continues in that vein, I excuse myself and seek out a drink.

Ten minutes later, I'm near the bar chatting with an attractive woman in her 30's who says she's an actress. She names several films. I've heard of one but didn't see it. Probably famous to anyone who goes to the movies, she seems delighted to talk to someone who's never heard of her. As she tells me about her latest film project, a tall, dark haired man catches my eye. He resembles Alex. When he shifts his body slightly, I see that it is Alex.

Damn, he looks good in a tux. Shoulders squared, legs just slightly apart, he stands casually enough to look completely elegant. Speaking to another man, he gestures with his hand in a move that is somehow graceful and completely masculine at the same time. His eyes light up and he smiles at something humorous. What an utterly beautiful man.

The actress' eyes follow my gaze.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I just saw someone I know."

"He's lovely. Perhaps you can introduce me?"

I smile at her half-heartedly. Perhaps not. I have to wonder if Alex would even be interested. I take another glance at the actress. How could he not? She's got all the right parts.

My eyes flick back to my young lover. He runs a few fingers through the side of his hair. I want to touch him like that. My fingers gliding through his silky hair...

I ask a few polite questions about the woman's upcoming film. When two college-aged men approach us, I take advantage of the exit opportunity, leaving her to her fans.

I cross the room, angling away from Alex, but my eyes are drawn back. He's chatting with Gjersee, who looks excessively gangly and lost in an ill-fitting tux--normally somewhat spiky blond hair tamed for the occasion--and Baker, who looks elegant, though tiny, in his tux. Like the man on the top of a wedding cake. I could join them, but it will be uncomfortable being that close to Alex in a social setting with other Bureau personnel. Anyway, I'm high enough up the chain that conversations always shift when I appear.

Instead, I approach a familiar face from my college days, a labor attorney. He introduces me to his most recent wife.

Twenty minutes later, Alex's dark head catches my eye again. This time he's surrounded by three young women, who I take as rich, country club girls on the prowl. A redhead, standing excessively close to Alex, rests a slender hand on his arm. Alex's opposite hand reaches out and pats her hand, allowing it to remain on his biceps.

I feel a rush of adrenalin, my jaw clenches and all I can think is that I want to tear her hand off him. Fuck! Since when do I have violent thoughts about women? But she's too pretty, and I don't want her touching him.

**

The redhead's hand squeezes my arm. I know she told me her name but I'm drawing a blank. I drop my hand back to my side and try to think of a polite way of getting away from these three. Gjersee's girlfriend left these girls when she came to retrieve him for a moonlit stroll on the patio.

Red is stepping closer, batting her lashes. Resisting the urge to sigh, I murmur something pleasant, glancing around. My eyes make it halfway around the room when my gaze clashes with the turbulent brown eyes of my lover. I give a start of surprise at his presence here... and the realization that I've never thought of anyone as a lover before.

He's staring at me intently but his face is suddenly cold and impassive. I have to wonder what crawled under his skin. But, god, he looks good. The tux fits him too well to be a rental, clearly showing his physique. I feel myself getting hard. The redhead leans against me, purring something flirtatious. I look away from Walter, my brain spinning a way to get out of this. I smile and try to pull away a bit, glancing up in time to see Walter leaving the ballroom.

Damn, damn, damn.

"I'm sorry, Misty." Thank god I remembered her name. "But I need to grab one of the other agents for a quick conversation." She mutters something, to which I reply, "Yes, I'd love to see you sometime... how about if I catch up with you a little later?"

A rapid assessment of the room tells me no one is paying any serious attention to me. I quickly slip out of the ballroom. The only things in the direction Walter went are some bathrooms and the exit. I'm hoping he opted for the bathroom. But he did look pretty annoyed. I wonder what's bothering him. He was almost stalking when he left the room.

I arrive at the bathrooms to find no one in the vicinity. There's a set much closer to the ballroom. And the rest of the club is closed for the party.

There's an alcove near the bathroom door with a few sofas, chairs and a couple of house phones. It has the virtue of being fairly secluded and you can easily hear anyone approach across the tiled floor.

I hover in the doorway, not sure what to do. He may not even be in the bathroom. What's bugging him? I wonder briefly if he might have been jealous, then dismiss the idea.

I hear muffled footsteps and the jangle of keys. I quickly step into the alcove to see who walks past. The sound of the door opening and closing is followed by slow footsteps. Walter steps into view, and I notice his keys are in his hand.

He can't see me, but as soon as I see him, my cock throbs and thoughts of talking vanish. Reaching out, I grab his arm, feeling the soft black material under my fingers, and yank him hard into the alcove.

Before he even focuses on my face, his fist is headed for it. Then he freezes, frowning at me, and withdraws the fist.

Now that he knows who has hold of him, I push his back against the wall. He looks startled. While I have the element of surprise, I plaster my body against his, letting him feel my hard-on. I kiss him hard and fast, licking at his lower lip, then pull away.

I pitch my voice low so no one could possibly hear. "Most of this place is closed for the party... meet me somewhere. I want to talk to you."

He shakes his head, his face rigid with tension. "Not now. Not here. I'm in a bad mood, Alex."

Now I really want to know what's going on. "Yes, now. Yes, here. Otherwise, I'll just follow you, and we can argue about it in front of the valet if you like."

"Fuck, Alex! What do you want to talk about?"

"The mood you're in for starters. And there's something you need to do. You really want to talk about this right here?" I could stop acting like a dickhead and try to find out what's bothering him, but I get the feeling if I play nice here, he's going to leave.

He takes a deep, frustration-coping breath. "Forget my mood. What do I need to do? Just tell me. We can talk here, right?"

I listen to the sounds from the club for a second, then press my weight into him, rubbing his crotch with my hip. I slide my arms around his waist and suck his earlobe into my mouth. "You need to fuck me... soon. And sure, we can do it here. Or you could tell me what's bothering you."

I can see him weaken. He's cranky, but he still wants me. "You sure you want to know what's bothering me?"

"The first time I see you after two weeks and you have this thunderous expression on your face. Yes, I want to know what's bothering you." And then I want to make you feel good... but I don't tell him that. At least, not yet.

Walter looks at me, his face as irritable as I've ever seen it, and his mouth opens, but he stops himself. He shakes his head. "Fuck it. Never mind." And he wraps his arms around my back. His warm lips brush across my temple and head for my lips. A hand finds the back of my head and he holds my face to his as he assaults my mouth.

I suddenly have the sense that I have done something to upset him, but I really cannot fathom what that might be. Half of me wants to understand what happened, but the other half--the part that's had a hard-on for him for two weeks--just wants to keep his tongue in my mouth. Groaning faintly, I melt against him. One hand slides under his jacket and the other finds his ass.

He groans into my mouth and suddenly his fingers are stroking my cock through my dress pants. His lips are on my face again, then on my ear. "Golf course." His kisses detour to my hair. "Meet me in five minutes by the pro shop." He slips a hand down to my ass and presses our groins together. At this rate we're going to both come in our pants long before we ever make it to the golf course.

I realize the prudence of the move but it feels nearly impossible to pull away. Breathing hard, I step back, briefly running my hand along his chest. He tugs my body back against his chest for another kiss before he lets me go. Even then a hand trails down my side. I nod to acknowledge his demand, then step out of the alcove.

I manage to control my breathing and return to the ballroom. My intention is to exit through the patio, which is the opposite direction from the golf course, and walk around the building. As I near the door, it occurs to me that I don't have lube with me. And I'm fairly certain Walter doesn't. Shit!

There's always a condom in my wallet, but I don't routinely carry lubricant on my person... something I should possibly reconsider. It crosses my mind to try to do without but, Christ, it's been two weeks... I just don't think so.

Never having dealt with a situation like this before, I'm at a loss. Having to work out the details of how to get fucked is almost enough to temper my enthusiasm. But thinking about how masculine and powerful Walter looked in his tuxedo--and I still occasionally wonder why that turns me on--I find myself changing direction and moving to the food tables. And Walter looked sexy, too. Such the alpha male archetype, and I respond to it, feeling the need to metaphorically expose my throat to him. Okay, literally expose as well. God, I need therapy.

I survey the offering at the food table. There has to be something here.

Okay, no way am I getting fucked with mayonnaise. Just when I think I'm going to lose my mind over this dilemma, I see the answer. I pick up some napkins and slip them into my pocket. As I pass the end of the table, I grab a couple pats of butter and tuck them into the palm of my hand.

When I'm close to the patio doors, I see the redhead looking around. Crap. I barely make it outside before she sees me. There's one couple out here, locked in each other's arms and taking no notice of me. I slip over the patio railing and move into the shadows to walk around the building.

God, that seemed to take forever, but it's probably only been a couple of minutes. Feeling this frantic warps my view of reality.

I arrive at the pro shop. The golf course is dark except in the environs of the shop. I don't see Walter anywhere. I lean against the wall and shut my eyes, trying to get myself under control.

A figure appears in the shadows. I recognize his size and gait. He's moving rapidly toward me. But just as he nears the lighted area in back of the pro shop, he slows to a stop. Twenty feet away he pauses, capturing me in an intense gaze, filled with pain, desire and awe.

No one has ever looked at me that way.

It creates a warm feeling in my stomach and makes my longing unbearable. And it forcibly shows me how far this has gone beyond what either of us expected... perhaps even wanted.

He swallows hard and walks toward me slowly, at a measured pace, eyes fixed on mine. At two feet away, he speaks, almost a whisper, "You look incredibly beautiful tonight."

His voice has the usual effect on my dick, making it throb insistently. But his words make my stomach flip over. No one thinks of me the way he does. It's unnerving... and I don't want to acknowledge how much I like it. Passing a hand through my hair, I try to maintain some composure.

"Thank you, Walter." I realize I sound hesitant. Accepting compliments graciously is almost an unknown for me, but I feel like I need to try. "I hadn't noticed anyone's appearance... until I saw you in the ballroom." I drink in the sight of him. "God, you look sexy. I..." can't believe I'm going to say this, "missed you."

We're close but not touching. Somehow it just builds the heat between our bodies. He reaches out with two fingers and gently strokes my cheek. Then those intense eyes break away. He scans the landscape around us, eyes pausing when he sees what he wants. His arm wraps around my waist and he guides me forward.

At the edge of the golf course, he leads me to the back of a wooden bench, surrounded by several trees. It's darker here. Walter's body is reduced to almost silhouette. His deep brown eyes seem to glow. He presses his body into mine. The shakiness of his breathing suggests he never stopped being turned on. The kiss when it comes is nearly as frantic as before, his tongue urgently seeking out the recesses of my mouth.

My tongue grapples with his to earn entrance into his mouth. I rub my body against his carelessly, hearing only the minute sounds of our kiss. Then I realize that crickets are chirping loudly all around us. And the faint sounds of music, laughter and voices are coming from the party.

He breaks the kiss and gives me a concerned glance. "Condom?" And then, in a dubious tone, he asks, "Lube?"

I take a few panting breaths, trying to understand what he's asking. Oh yeah, the dilemma of the evening. I reach for my wallet and quickly extract the condom. "I always have a condom. But lube..." I pull out one of the butter pats wrapped in gold foil, "was a little more problematic."

There's a glint of light off the white of his teeth as I see him smile for the first time this evening. "Damn, you're good," he mutters, taking the condom and the butter. I'm grateful whatever bothered him has passed.

I reach for the back of his head, pulling his lips to mine for a hard kiss. It's so easy for him to get me close to hyperventilation. I mumble against his mouth, "No... just desperate." As if to prove it, my hand reaches for the waist of his pants.

Instantly, his fingers curl around my wrist, aborting the movement. His smile becomes almost predatory. My breath catches. Why did that look send a wave of heat directly to my groin? "Turn around and put your hands on the back of the bench."

Walter becomes more assertive with each encounter. And instead of his orders raising my hackles, they make my cock impossibly hard. I wonder how far I'm going to let this go? Apparently, quite a bit further. I wonder what it would be like if he became really aggressive.

I turn toward the bench and catch myself moaning faintly as I bend over and brace my hands.

He gropes at my waist, deftly unzipping my fly and easing off my pants, which he lowers carefully to my ankles. A warm hand slips inside my boxer briefs, cupping my balls, then stroking my hard-on. "Mmm," he whispers. My breath comes out as a hiss, and I press into his hand.

Walter tugs off my shorts and allows them to fall to my ankles. Then he shoves my jacket and shirt up under my arms. My bare ass is exposed to the moist night air. Exposed to him. And it makes my cock throb. His hands rub my thighs. The heat of his palms creates a tingling sensation that races up and down my spine.

For being so frantic a few minutes ago, Walter is suddenly very in control... and I'm slowly losing my mind. Not quite sure what I'm doing or why, I find myself separating my legs as much as my tangled pants will allow and angling my torso a little further down.

A soft grunt is his only immediate reaction but, even unable to see him, I'm certain he's responding to me. Neither of us are big talkers, but he's never been this quiet before.

Walter's hands glide to my flanks as he bends his body over mine. I feel the soft wool of his pants on my ass. His lips find the back of my neck. I groan, loving the feel of his body pressed against mine. He gnaws on the tender skin of my neck. I smell the musky scent of him, along with the scent of mown grass.

He pulls away and I whimper an objection. After a moment, damp fingers appear between the cheeks of my ass. He teases my asshole, lightly brushing it. It feels slightly greasy... Butter! Fuck.

It's embarrassing... worse than peach lotion. And it's going to be hard to wash off. And I just don't care. I wiggle against his caressing fingers, desperately wanting to feel them inside me.

The pressure builds on my anus and he grants me my wish, pushing one thick finger inside. He works it into me, then rapidly adds a second. I thrust back onto them until I realize he's stopped moving, just holding his fingers in place for me to fuck myself on.

"Bastard." But it doesn't come out like I planned. It almost sounds like a compliment or a plea for more. Even though I can't see his face, I just know he's laughing at me. Despite his amusement, I cannot stop from moving my body back and forth, impaling myself on his fingers, groaning and gasping my pleasure.

At the moment I hear his low chuckle, he starts fucking me again with his fingers. Quite vigorously going after my prostate. My fingernails bite into the wood of the bench as I writhe on his hand.

I am positive I'm about to climax, cock untouched, when those marvelous fingers are withdrawn. So on the edge, I twitch helplessly waiting for him to touch me again. The sound of a zipper, the rustle of clothing, a sound that must be the tearing of the condom packet... Then his knee nudges my thigh, encouraging me to open my legs even further. I pull them as far apart as I can, feeling the burn in my muscles.

His cock glides down my crack. He pushes the head into me, then thrusts hard, filling me so suddenly I stop breathing. He utters a gasping sound like a man in pain. The shattering pleasure of finally having him inside me obliterates the pain of his sudden penetration. As usual, he pauses for a moment, before beginning to fuck me.

I've become accustomed to not being able to stop the sounds I make when he's fucking me. As his cock begins thrusting in my ass, I give up any pretense of control and let him know with my gasps and groans how much pleasure I'm feeling.

Walter's hips slam against me, forcing his cock as deeply as possible inside me. I feel the weight of his chest on my back and his lips seek out my neck again. This time biting gently.

I clamp down on his cock as he's pushing back in.

A growl from deep in his chest reassures me that he is struggling for control. His fingers dig into my hips as he increases the power behind his thrusts. And the bite at the nape of my neck is no longer gentle.

I gasp out, "Harder." I wonder what I'm asking for. To be bitten harder or fucked harder? I realize it's both.

I feel his groan on the skin of my neck as his teeth seem to sink into my flesh. Somehow he manages to fuck me harder, too. Hard enough to make the wooden bench creak ominously. The only other sounds are the slapping of our colliding bodies and his halting breath.

The hard bite, the harder fucking, make me feel possessed by him. And I still want more. Want to feel him for days. Want every twinge when I move to remind me where my ass belongs. I recognize the insanity in the thought even as my body responds to the brutal fucking and biting.

One of the hands on my hips squeezes painfully tight, as his other hand slides around to my abdomen. He strokes my belly without going anywhere near my cock.

It's suddenly clear to me that I'm going to come just from him fucking me. I almost wish it wouldn't happen because it too clearly demonstrates the control he has over my body. I groan... needing to warn him how close I am.

"Walter..." I barely manage to audibly gasp his name. Oh fuck, my balls are pulled up and there's a tight feeling at the base of my spine. "...going to come. Now!" God, I can't believe this. I'm shaking all over, trying to fight this last surrender. "Oh, fuck..." The sensation explodes through my body as I begin to come. My hips jerk uncontrollably and the muscles in my ass clench so hard it's painful.

I know I'm making noise, but it's lost in Walter's shout. His body begins to shudder. I can feel the contractions of his cock deep inside me, even as I ride out my own orgasm.

My mind seems absent for a time. As I start to become aware again, I realize his arm is around my waist, holding me up. His lips softly kissing the spot he bit. Still holding me, he tugs my shorts up my body, carefully tucking in my cock. My lips quirk in a lazy smile. He knows I dress left.

My hands are stiff, but still braced on the edge of the bench. Where he told me to put them.

I wonder what's next. I knew when we came out here this would be a quick fuck and then back to the party, but I'm reluctant to let go of him. So I remain bent over, trembling and enjoying the feeling of him being close. I wonder how I'm going to walk to my car. It doesn't seem possible for my legs to support me, and I'm most certainly not going back to the party.

"Walter..." I hate it when I start talking without thinking or knowing why. My voice is barely a whisper. I can feel the heated throb of the bite mark he left on my neck.

"Yes?" he replies softly as he pulls my pants up. I don't believe anyone has done that for me in my entire adult life. He fastens my fly and dusts off my butt with a couple of playful swats.

"Are you-"

The round beam of a flashlight catches my peripheral vision. In an instant, Walter's arm tugs me to my feet and props my limp body against the bench. I try to get a closer look at the flashlight, but I realize he's placed his body between me and the light. His right elbow is bent, which leads me to believe his hand is on his gun. I can't believe he just put himself between me and a potential problem.

My legs are still wobbly, but I remain standing. Just as my hand reaches automatically for my shoulder holster, Walter speaks. "Good evening, officer." The confident tone in his voice belies our misdeeds. It suddenly dawns on me that he's being protective. Shit, he's going to have to work on these alpha male instincts.

I'm torn between smacking him upside the head and shooting whoever is standing on the other side of his body. Of course, neither seems like a terribly good idea, so I remain still.

As the man he called 'officer' steps into view, I see that he's just some security guard. Walter has probably alerted him to our presence to prevent a careless shooting by a jumpy police department reject. My eyes flick to the ground, wondering nervously what Walter has done with the condom. He has more at stake here, and I really can't believe he's doing this.

The guard eyes us uneasily and opens his mouth to inquire.

Walter speaks again before the baffled man can get a word out. "Just chatting about John's campaign and enjoying the moon," he says casually, in a tone that seems to imply the guard is intruding upon a pair of very important men.

It works. The uniformed employee shrugs. "Sorry if I startled you, sir."

"No problem," Walter offers generously, as the guard retreats. Only after he leaves does Walter's gun arm relax.

"Fuck, Walter..." I barely tamp down the urge to lecture him, as I don't think it would be well received. I smack my palm against my forehead and groan, wondering how much stranger this day can get.

Completely unruffled, he turns to me. "You were saying?"

I was going to say that you were being an overly protective idiot. No, what was I really saying? Oh. "I was asking if you were okay." I mumble, suddenly feeling strange about what just happened. I've never had anyone try to protect me from something and I feel... out of my depth.

Walter shakes his head and gives me a half smile. "Of course, I'm okay." He offers me a gentle kiss on the lips. "Are you okay?"

I've been wondering if he was okay after whatever went wrong earlier this evening. "Yeah, Walter, I'm fine. I was glad to see you tonight." We're still alone and it's dark, so I wrap one arm around his neck and one around his waist. I drop my voice to its seductive tones. "I'm not going back to that wretched party, so kiss me goodnight."

This time, he gives me a serious kiss. There's a lot of feeling in it. Somehow, for some reason, tonight has been very emotional for him. His tongue explores my mouth and I cannot deny that this is getting harder to deal with. I'm not at all clear on what's going on with him. Or with me, for that matter. But I'm beyond denying I'll give him anything he wants.

He starts to break the kiss, and I find myself drawing him back and sucking on his tongue. A few more moments, then we reluctantly pull apart and head back.

As we near the pro shop, he stops at a trashcan and unloads from his pocket a used condom and two butter wrappers. Of course, making me think about where that butter went and how it feels... weird. I am very glad to be going home now.

"Alex, are we still on for cycling Sunday?"

"Yeah, 10:00?"

"I'll be there." A final kiss on the forehead. Parting at the pro shop, he turns to go around the main building. I watch him walk away, thinking about the intensity of every encounter with him. I would have thought it would be exhausting after a while... or just too hard to deal with. but it just makes me want more.

**

In Vietnam, I learned to force myself calm when I am anything but. I never dreamed the technique would become part of my sex life.

I retrieve my car from the valet. Before I even get to the expressway, I already know I'm not going home. I need to clear my head.

Georgetown is hopping. I have to park about two miles away, but I want to walk. I lose the jacket and roll up my sleeves. M street is noisy with students and drunks, but it seems like a good place to be alone.

I people watch for a few minutes. There's an obvious schizophrenic homeless person on one corner. The filthy man, who appears to be in his 50s, keeps repeating the same jerky arm movement over and over again, lips muttering soundlessly. Sometimes I hate my life, but I could have been a lot less fortunate.

I pass a teenager with a giant silver ring embedded in the flap of flesh at the bridge of her nose. Right between her eyes. I have to wonder why.

My own life is filled with questions that need answers. I love Sharon. And I'm taking actions that would hurt her if she knew. Sharon doesn't seem like a wife anymore. She's my closest friend. The only one who understands me... the only one who sees me as anything besides a title or a role. I don't want to cause her any more pain. Haven't I doled out enough grief already?

And Alex is... what is he? An obsession? A midlife crisis? A fucktoy? A lover? Could he ever be a friend? Is that what I'm afraid of?

My jealousy tonight was unconscionable. Reprehensible. I'm cheating on my wife and I want to rip the arm off a girl who flirts with him. He could fuck every man and woman in D.C., and I'd have no justification to be angry.

He looked exquisite tonight, and I wanted him to be mine. But I have no right to be possessive. Were I single, it would still be rude, but under the circumstances it's the height of hypocrisy.

And I blamed him for it. Got testy. Got controlling. Because I wanted him to be mine. I left a substantial bite mark on his neck... On the back of his neck... A message to any potential interlopers... A message I had no right to send.

I need to remain angry with myself... for what happened tonight, but I can't muster more than a hint of the fury I felt earlier. Instead, I feel very satisfied. It's so good to touch him. Good to feel, even though I'm so out of control. He's not a midlife crisis, he's a renaissance. I'm alive and still young enough to enjoy it.

**

Washington D.C.
Saturday, 25 June 1994
7:37 A.M.

I wake earlier than I'd like. I don't have to meet Damien until 1:00, and have nothing else to do with my day.

Except think about Walter coming over tomorrow. It's strange to think of 'doing' something with him. I've never ridden with anyone before, so this should be interesting.

As soon as I begin to move, the soreness hits me. My neck and ass are the worst. I expected my ass to hurt. It had been two weeks since we had sex and his penetration was painful. Just thinking about the pain and pleasure makes me hard.

No, no, no. I need to stop thinking and piss before these ruminations get out of hand. Carefully, I rise and head for the bathroom.

While washing my hands, my sore neck catches my attention. Why does it feel so stiff? Twisting my head, I see the oval-shaped bruise on my nape. It's mostly red and blue with some dark blackish spots--presumably, teeth marks.

I've seen marks from our encounters on my body before, and liked them, but why is this suddenly making my dick so hard? Because this time, it felt like Walter marked my body as his.

It's insane. I don't belong to Walter. Shaking off the thoughts again, I step into the shower.

As the water beats on my neck, I perversely wish he'd done it harder... taken the bite a little further. I think about him breaking the skin, drawing blood, and my cock is so hard it hurts.

With a groan, I wrap my hand around my erection and give myself over to the fantasy.

Walter coming to my apartment, barely getting into the living room before he has me naked and pushes me down on the floor. I imagine him shoving my legs apart, barely taking time to lube his cock before thrusting into my ass. I know the pain and pleasure I would feel and how it would make my cock unbearably hard.

I picture him treating my body like it belongs to him... not asking, just taking what he wants. I can almost feel his teeth sinking into the back of my neck. Biting past the point of tolerable pain, until the skin breaks. I imagine the trickle of blood running across my skin. When I think of him yanking my head back and whispering, "You're mine," I come explosively, groaning a 'yes' to the man in my fantasy.

When I can think clearly again, I dismiss the thoughts as complete lunacy.

I finish my shower, refusing to dwell on it anymore.


Washington D.C.
Kabul's Restaurant
12:58 P.M.

Damien is quite easy to spot at the bar. Distinctive, nearly feminine good looks. But he's cut his hair, which should make him look less androgynous, but actually serves to intensify it.

He looks excited when he sees me and gives me a hug. Not sure how to respond, I awkwardly pat his back. I can't deny I'm still attracted to him but this feels... weird.

Pulling back, he gives me an assessing look. "Still repressed I see."

I'm about to reply, when he laughs and drags me into the restaurant. He's definitely more confident--and assertive--since the last time I saw him.

After we order, I try to get us on track and find out what he wants. "So, why did you want to see me?"

He gives me a knowing smile and shakes his head. "Well, I'm moving to Minneapolis in the next couple months."

The point being? "You came to D.C. to tell me you're moving?"

"Well, yes, and to let you know I'm getting married."

I'm surprised but don't know why he thinks I care. "Uh, why?"

Damien shrugs. "She's my best friend and it's convenient. I've accepted a teaching position at the community college. She's taken a job at a local high school."

I don't understand his point and just shake my head in confusion.

He sighs and continues, "I... I get an inheritance after I've been married five years. I wrote the possibility of it off when I came out. She doesn't care that I'm gay... in fact she's gay. She... well, it doesn't really matter. For a lot of reasons it works for both of us. And in five years, we'll both be able to have something we've always wanted."

Feeling perplexed by this whole conversation, I turn my attention back to my lunch. Damien asks questions about my work, then the conversation meanders over several topics.

As we're leaving the restaurant, I feel compelled to ask, "Damien, you could have told me this stuff on the phone. Why did you want to see me?"

"I think I was hoping for a last fling, Alex. I've changed a lot over the last year. Sex with you was always incredible but I wondered what it would be like to have sex with you and not be your fucktoy. I wasn't expecting you to be taken."

I was trying to coming up with a response to the 'fucktoy' remark but the last throws me. "Pardon?"

He gives me a sad smile. "Whoever he is, he's good for you."

Feeling suspicious, I ask, "Who are you talking about?"

"Come on, Alex. Don't play dumb. Whoever you're seeing, that's who."

"How do you know about him?"

"Jesus, Alex, don't be so paranoid. I'm not spying on you. You're just... different. I assume it has something to do with whoever you're seeing."

"Different?"

Smiling, Damien replies, "Yeah. Different. More relaxed. Easier to talk to. Kinder, even." At something in my expression, Damien adds, "I'm not trying to insult you, Alex."

I find myself staring at him. What is he talking about?

After a minute of silence, Damien says, "I also want you to be able to find me in case you ever need anything. I doubt you'll take me up on it, but I'll be there if you ever need me."

I nod mutely, not trusting myself to say anything rational. Why would he think Walter had any effect on the way I act?

Damien looks like he wants to say something, but he shakes his head and gets in his car.

He rolls down the window and leans his head out. "The mark on the back of your neck rivals anything you ever gave me, Alex. I... hope he makes you happy."

As Damien leaves, my fingers find the back of my neck, and I wonder what the hell that was all about.

**

Silver Springs, MD
Sunday, 26 June 1994
8:42 A.M.

I'm up early, in my garage, clearing a path to my bicycle. It's a decent road bike, but I hope we don't have to spend the entire day repairing it. I haven't used it in years. When Sharon and I first moved to Silver Springs, I used to explore the neighborhood on my bike.

It'll be fun to ride with Alex. I imagine us working up a sweat, finding a hidden spot near the beach to neck, stopping for seafood. A nice change from our frenzied fuck fests.

I'm wiping cobwebs off the frame, when the intercom comes on. "Walter, there's a call from the Bureau. Agent Kym." This could be good news... or bad.

I dash up the stairs and grab the phone in the kitchen. "Skinner."

"Sir, it's Agent Kym." The bleak tone of his voice tells me everything. "We've got another Rose body."

"Damn. Give me the summary."

"On the bank of the Potomac, near Indian Queens. An African American male. Maybe 50 years old. No ID yet."

"Any obvious foot problems?"

"Fungal toenails."

"Damn. That podiatry clinic has to be the connection, but we're still picking up bodies."

"I know, sir," he replies with a sigh of despair. The pressure on the young agent is tremendous. I don't have to make it any worse than it already is.

"Agent Kym, you know what to do. I won't lecture you. Is there anything I can do to help?"

"No, sir. I'm at the site. Baker's on his way. We'll follow up with the clinic as soon as we have an ID."

"I know you guys have what it takes to solve this case."

"Thank you for your confidence, sir."

I hang up, frustrated and wishing there were something I could do. As always. And then I remember my date. I dial the number from memory.

"Yeah." His voice is unusually terse. He's already heard.

"Alex, it's Walt. I guess your date today is with a corpse on the river?"

"Fucking rotten turn of events. I wish we could figure this thing out." I can almost see the look of frustration on his face. There are lots of small noises in the background and the distinct sound of a clip being snapped out, then back in.

"I know you have to go. I look forward to a rain check on the cycling."

"Thanks, Walter. New bodies lead to a lot of work but..." he pauses for a moment, "I hope I see you soon."

"Later in the week. I'll find a way." Speaking quickly because I know he has to run, I add, "Don't give up, we're going to solve this case."

"Okay. Thanks for calling, Walter."

**

Washington, D.C.
9:12 A.M.

The morning is chilly, and I have to battle a crowd and the press to get to the police lines. I wonder who tipped off the press.

I step next to Unit Manager Kym as he's giving some instructions to a police detective. After a moment he turns to me. "Krycek, you're on the forensic team."

"What? Wouldn't it be-"

He cuts me off. "I know. We need you working the clinic lead with the rest of the team. But the forensic team requested you since you've worked the last two bodies. I did tell them they can only have you for three hours, tops. Then I need you to catch up with Mallory."

I move off to join the forensic guys.

**

Silver Springs, MD
Monday, 27 June 1994
1:47 A.M.

I'm jolted awake by the telephone. It's too damned close to the bed. My ears are ringing.

"Skinner."

"Sir, it's Baker. We've made a connection... all the patients have had billing problems."

"Billing problems?"

"Yeah. We're on the phones now, reviewing billing procedures and creating a list of people involved in the process."

"Anything else?"

"No, sir."

"You need anything?"

"No, sir."

"Proceed then. Give the guys some encouragement."

"Yes, sir."

I lie awake for twenty minutes wondering what billing problems could possibly have to do with serial killings.

**

Washington, D.C.
7:15 A.M.

Our first decent suspect sends Kym into an early morning dash to obtain a search warrant. And Section Chief Baker scrambling to find enough agents after an all-nighter. I barely manage to suppress my groan when Mathis volunteers to help. Then we're off to Capitol Heights. Nine of us converge on the small apartment building.

Baker is present, but Kym gives the orders. "Krycek, Mathis, you two check out the garage. Gough, you take the back. Lawrence, you stay here and watch the front."

Given more time, I might grumble about being stuck with Mathis. We split up at the driveway.

I check the stairwell. It's clear. I turn, reaching for the radio to notify Mathis, when a body slams into me, taking me down the stairs. The garage is a blur. I feel a sharp pain in my shoulder as I hit something while falling, and then we land on the concrete floor.

My head cracks against the concrete and everything goes out of focus. I'm vaguely aware of struggling to breathe around the weight that landed on my body. Everything seems to move in slow motion. Trying to make my body function, I push at the person on top of me, but moving my left shoulder is agony.

There's a sudden sharp pain in my abdomen. I instinctively try to move away from it, kicking out with my legs and knocking at the body with my right arm.

The weight on me is suddenly gone. I struggle to sit up and get my vision to focus. There's a gunshot and the first thing I see clearly is Mathis standing at the top of the stairs with his gun in his hand. Is he trying to shoot me?

Mathis runs down the stairs and past me. I track his movement but my vision blurs briefly. When I can next focus, he's about fifteen feet away, cuffing a man with a bleeding shoulder.

I try to get up.

"Krycek?" I look up to see Agent Kym, and he kneels beside me, supporting my right shoulder. "Come on, don't move." What the fuck is he talking about?

** End Part 3 **


An empty inbox makes us pout. Drop us a line!

Zoe Takashi & Louise Wu,  Email Us

Next part in series

For more information about method slash writing, or to see our other stories:
http://slashfactory.com/


Back to LZL Home Back to Exigency Page