Exigency by Zoe Takashi & Louise Wu

Authors: Zoe Takashi & Louise Wu,  Email Us
Website: http://slashfactory.com/
Series: Exigency. Previous part: Yield4.

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 5


Silver Springs, MD
Thursday, 7 July 1994
8:35 P.M.

Alex has not been far from my thoughts during the past week, but I didn't call. For a few days I deluded myself into thinking I'd be able to end it. It really has gone too far. But I miss him.

Instead of making plans with Alex, I made a date with Sharon for Saturday night. I have to face up to what's happening between us. I make reservations at Chez Mitani, one of her favorites. After I hang up the phone, I feel like I'm just going through the motions. Acting as if I am in a loving relationship with Sharon... but it feels empty.

A couple of hours later, I'm at the gym, dressing after my shower. Picking up my cell phone, I check for messages.

"Walter, it's Alex. Stitches out today and everything is fine. I wond- uh, never mind. I guess I'll call when everything is back to normal." His voice is slightly terse through the entire message, but it sounds like he changed his mind about the call halfway through.

Replaying the message lets me hear his gravelly voice again. As I'm standing in the locker room, it stirs a memory that makes my cock hard. And there's a smile on my face.

Then I realize he must be wondering why I haven't called... he sounded uncomfortable on the phone. I start punching in his number... thinking to reassure him... but I won't be able to see him for a few more days. Maybe it's better that I don't call. I hit the END button.

Damn. This feels so awkward. Awkward with Sharon. Awkward with Alex. I am so fucked up. I have to wonder why either of them want anything to do with me.


Chez Mitani
Georgetown
Saturday, 9 July 1994
7:43 P.M.

I escort Sharon into the restaurant. We're fifteen minutes early, so the Japanese host asks us very politely to wait in the bar. After ordering a Scotch for myself and a white wine for Sharon, we sit at a small table.

Sharon tries to smile. "It's been a long time since you've taken me out on a Saturday night, Walter."

"I'm sorry." As soon as the words come out of my mouth, I'm tired of apologizing. What's the point? If I could change things, make them better, I would, but I don't know how.

"Is there a special occasion?"

"No, I just..." What? Wanted to examine the remains of our relationship? I don't complete the thought and, to my great relief, she doesn't ask.

After a lengthy silence, I say, "You look beautiful tonight, Sharon." She does... carefully and tastefully made up, black silk dress, silver blue scarf that makes her eyes shine.

"Thank you," she replies with an almost shy smile.

Fuck, she probably thinks I'm trying to seduce her. That's not what I want. Not at all. Even if Alex weren't in my life. I realize for the first time how dead this marriage is. I still love her, though. It's hard to reconcile the intense feelings of closeness with my complete inability to connect with her the way she needs.

Her voice intrudes on my musings. "... I want to paint again. Would you help me clear out the den and set up the supplies?"

"Of course. I'll make you a new easel if you like... or frames, whatever you need."

"Tomorrow?"

"Sure. I can do it in the morning."

Her hand rests on mine, fingers intertwining gently. "Thanks." It feels right and wrong. I know how much her painting means to her... always a sign her emotional state is good when she wants to paint. On the other hand, I can't stop myself from imagining Alex's hand on mine.

There's a murmur and a giggle from two young women at the table next to us, looking flirtatiously toward the doorway just as Sharon says, "Walter, isn't that one of your agents?"

I glance over to see Alex just as he clears his face of an expression somewhere between shock and horror.

Damn, he looks good in all black. My cock knows he's here and has expectations I can't fulfill. Not tonight anyway.

"Yeah," I reply noncommittally.

"Why don't you ask him to join us for a drink?"

"He's probably meeting someone... getting chummy with the boss isn't everyone's idea of a good time."

She puts her hand on my forearm. "Oh, nonsense, Walter." Before I can object, she's waving him over.

Fuck.

Alex's eyes meet mine, as we exchange pained glances. I give an almost imperceptible nod and watch his expression shift to one of practiced politeness. As he walks toward us, I try to see him from her eyes. Handsome. Graceful. Damned young for an agent.

My voice is stiff as I introduce them. "Sharon, this is Agent Krycek. Agent, my wife, Sharon Skinner." And I'm the miserable bastard who's cheating both of you.

Alex extends a hand, murmuring, "Pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Skinner."

Sharon grasps the top of his hand and squeezes, turning the business formality into a gesture of friendship. She offers a warm smile, obviously taken with my lover. "We met at the house one day... you were wearing your cycling gear."

A nervous smile appears on Alex's face. "Yes, ma'am. It's nice to see you again."

At that moment a diminutive Japanese waitress appears at Alex's side, asking in heavily accented English if he would like a drink.

Sharon gestures for Alex to take a seat. "Please join us."

Oh, Christ, Shar. Was that really necessary?

I've spent enough time with Alex to see that he's uncomfortable, but outwardly, his smile is pleasant and he nods. He turns to the waitress and addresses her in Japanese. She looks surprised and a brief conversation ensues.

After a moment, Alex looks back at us and asks, "Do either of you need another drink?"

I shake my head, although it's tempting. I never thought to find myself at the same table with Alex and my wife. But an entire bottle of Scotch wouldn't solve this problem.

Sharon says, "No. I'll wait until dinner, thank you."

Alex finishes ordering and the conversation concludes with the waitress giggling, blushing and tapping him on the arm, before disappearing behind the bar. Watching her gush all over him is nauseating.

"So you speak Japanese, Agent Krycek?" Sharon inquires.

He looks relieved to be on a neutral topic. "Yes, ma'am. It's not my favorite language but it comes in handy sometimes." He grins. "Don't tell my boss, but I kept it off my Bureau application because I don't translate Japanese very well."

Now her hand finds his arm and I find myself oddly jealous that she is touching him. "Please call me Sharon. The Bureau insists on formalities but I'm not your boss." Her eyes flick to me, as if it's my fault she's routinely addressed as ma'am.

Alex's pleasant expression looks frozen, but he responds, "Certainly, Sharon. Please call me Alex."

The easy intimacy between the two of them makes me want to break something. I release my grip on the tumbler of Scotch before I do.

She squeezes his arm reassuringly. "Are you the agent who was injured apprehending the Rose Killer?"

**

"Yes." My smile feels fixed. Of course she'd ask about the injury. I managed to charm a black sling out of the rehab nurse, but it's still quite obvious.

"I'm glad to see you're on the mend. Of course, I'm grateful that man was finally caught, but I'm sorry you were injured." I don't think I've ever met anyone this sincere. I wonder if it's a front.

"Thank you, Sharon. We're just glad he's off the street." This is the most singularly uncomfortable moment of my entire life. How did I wind up here?

Sharon pats my arm again before withdrawing her hand. She's really a lovely woman. And obviously intelligent. It makes me want to grind my teeth.

She laces her fingers with Walter's and flashes me a blinding smile. I wonder if she would find anything amiss in me removing her hand. Literally.

"Are you meeting friends tonight?"

Oh, shit. Mallory and Lawrence were supposed to be here ten minutes ago. Only that could make this situation worse.

A glass appears on the table in front of me and, before I even have a chance to react, Walter passes a ten dollar bill to Fumiko. "Keep the change." Nice tip for a glass of 7-Up.

"Thank you, sir," she replies, giving a half bow before scurrying away.

"Thank you, sir," I echo.

He nods. I can see the tension in his jaw. Surely Sharon must see it, too. I wonder what she thinks.

Turning back to his wife, I belatedly answer her question, "A couple of agents were taking me out to dinner but they are apparently running a bit late." Don't ask any questions. But those lessons in polite conversation remind me I have to say something. "Are you celebrating something?" Okay, wrong question, because I really don't want to know the answer.

Sharon shrugs. "No, I think Walter is just trying to redeem himself for all those late nights at the office." And in my bed, I think viciously.

My eyes flick to Walter and I can see we're thinking the same thing. Except there's a tinge of remorse in his eyes. I can only hope he hasn't seen the... hmm... I guess it's... jealousy. Oh, shit. I have got to get out of here. I grab the 7-Up and take a drink.

Sharon's hand appears on my arm again, "Are you okay?"

"Pardon?"

"You suddenly look white as a sheet. Are you feeling all right?" Her voice is laced with concern.

No, I just realized I'm feeling jealous of my lover's wife.

In an uncharacteristic maneuver, I fall back on the injury. "Yeah, I'm fine. Just tired all of a sudden. I think I'll try to intercept Mallory and Lawrence and then go home."

Her expression is sympathetic. "Do you need a ride home?"

I rise. "No. I'll be fine, but thanks. Enjoy your dinner."

"Okay. Take care, Alex. I hope we see you again."

Not on your life. "That would be nice. It was a pleasure to see you again, Sharon. Goodnight, sir." I nod to Walter.

"Agent," he acknowledges in a gruff tone.

On my way to the door, I wonder about their marriage. Sharon Skinner is one of the nicest people I've ever met. Everything about them looks, well, perfect. I've steadfastly refused to think about his marriage because it hasn't been a concern. At least, not one of my concerns.

Before I can reach the door, Fumiko assures me that my table will be ready in a few minutes. The last thing I want to do is eat dinner with Mallory and Lawrence a few tables away from the happily married couple. I'd rather go out with one of Morgan's minions on a joy killing spree.

For the second time tonight, I tell someone I am not feeling well. I have never before been inclined to discuss the state of my health, but at this point, it's just a nit in an extremely objectionable situation.

I make it out just in time to bump into Mallory and Lawrence on the sidewalk. Even though I'm actually feeling fine, I still want to go home, but I know the guys will just go in and have dinner. I feel like I owe it to Walter to give him his privacy. I'm becoming certifiably insane.

I rarely drink, and I can count on one hand the number of times in my life when I've been inebriated. But drinking heavily seems like a good idea tonight. It's relatively easy to persuade them to go to a bar instead of having dinner.

I had thought Walter avoided me the last week because he was tired of working around my injuries, but I now wonder if he and his wife are reconciling whatever went wrong in their relationship.

At the bar, I eschew vodka in favor of something more anesthetic. As the bartender lines up the shots of Patron Silver, I have to wonder what Walter gets out of the fucked-up confusion that is our relationship, versus what he has with the perfect Mrs. Skinner.

**

We're seated at our table for at least twenty minutes before I calm down. Running into Alex like that was not what I needed tonight. If I wanted to sort out my feelings about the two of them, I was given a perfect opportunity. A perfectly awful opportunity.

Sharon adores him. He is charming in a social setting. So damned young. I feel like a goddamned cradle robber.

Everything about them is either similar or totally different. They're both intelligent and beautiful. Sharon is warm and outgoing. Alex keeps his feelings close, more like me.

"The wine is too sweet. I should have listened to your advice."

"Huh?" It takes my mind a moment to tune in. "Oh, I'm sorry." My apologies are reflex now. I recommended the other wine.

She gestures to her glass. "It's too sweet... like you said."

I summon the waiter, so she can make another selection.

"You're a million miles away, Walter. Did Alex make you think of work?"

"No. I'm sorry." I sip my water. "So what are you going to paint? Oils?"

Midway through a discussion of oil-based pastels, it becomes clear to me. There's no way to fix this marriage. It's become a friendship. And I might have to leave her to make the friendship work.

We get home a couple of hours later. I kiss her on the forehead.

"Thank you for dinner, Walter."

"My pleasure."

Then she goes to her bedroom. And I go to the garage, thinking to retrieve her easel, but my hand is on my cell phone before I reach the bottom of the stairs.

I get his machine. "Alex, it's Walt. I'm sorry about tonight. I want to see you." Pausing on the line, the words won't come... "I, uh, I'll call again."


Silver Springs, MD
Sunday, 10 July 1994
1:47 P.M.

Sunday afternoon when I call, he answers. "Yeah?"

"It's Walt."

There's a long pause before he replies, "Sorry about dropping in on you last night." The words drag a little and his voice is huskier than usual. Reminds me of a hangover, but I know Alex doesn't drink.

"It wasn't your fault, Alex. It was just... unfortunate." I'm not sure what to say to him about Sharon. He shouldn't have to hear about her. He shouldn't have had to see her. What can I say?

"Mm hmm. I didn't get your message until this morning."

This conversation doesn't feel right. Something is bothering Alex... it's not difficult to guess what. "Late night?"

"Yeah. I dragged Mallory and Lawrence somewhere else."

"Thank you. I appreciate that." It feels like we ought to talk about what happened, but I really don't want to. There's nothing I can say or do to make it not have happened. I'm a married man. He knew that already... I just don't want it to hurt him. If it's going to hurt, it should be me. Not him. Not Sharon.

Alex makes another vague affirmative noise. There's an uncomfortable pause before he asks, "Do you still want to get together again?"

I hasten to reply, "Yes." Last night gave him second thoughts, although it had the opposite result for me. "I still want to see you, if..." The awkwardness of this conversation is starting to wear on me. "... if that's what you want?"

Without a pause, Alex replies, "When?" It's the first hint of enthusiasm I've heard in his somewhat sluggish voice.

A tentative smile forms on my face. "Tuesday after work?"

He groans and says, "Anytime is fine, but I meet the division shrink Tuesday morning."

I nod sympathetically. "She's extremely touchy feely, but I suspect you'll survive the encounter. I'll bring dinner. Do you like seafood?"

"Sure. Mild whitefish, lobster, crab... no shrimp."

"Okay. I'll call you Tuesday with a specific time."

"Just show up when you're ready, Walter. I'm not going anywhere."

"If you like..." There's something more to be said, but I don't know how. "Um, Alex. I... I would have rather been out with you last night." So he doesn't have to respond to that, I quickly add, "I'll see you on Tuesday, then?"

"Uh, yeah... yes, Tuesday. I... yes, I'll see you Tuesday." He sounds surprised, which I don't understand, because it must be painfully obvious how much Sharon and I are struggling.


Washington, D.C.
Monday, 11 July 1994
4:17 P.M.

I'm going to kill Agent Mulder.

The Director gave me a case for Mulder. Suspicious that, but at least I finally got him off wiretaps. But the case is not to his satisfaction. Mulder told me so in front of my entire budget committee meeting.

Obviously, the man has problems with authority. It's like trying to manage a 12-year-old. Maybe someday he'll figure out that 'Dad' is on his side. Or maybe not.

**

Washington, D.C.
Tuesday, 12 July 1994
9:10 A.M.

I arrive the requisite ten minutes late for my meeting with the division head shrinker.

The assistant invites me to sit down and disappears into the doctor's office. I really don't want to do this.

A tall lithe woman appears. She's in her mid-thirties, dressed immaculately in a designer suit. She's wearing a tie, with yellow cartoon birds on it. Extending a hand, she says, "Agent Krycek, I'm Mary Anne Reed."

I grasp her hand, noticing that her grip is quite firm.

She gestures toward her office and I follow. The chairs are all upholstered with worn black leather. "Have a seat, Agent."

I sit reluctantly in one of the chairs, and she takes a seat across from me. Gesturing to her tie, I ask, "Is that from a cartoon? It looks kind of familiar."

Her demeanor is very professional, but she suppresses a grin. "It's Tweety Bird. Did you grow up on the moon?"

Apparently my 'classes' in American culture were not quite complete. "Close. In a house without television." My patented cover for anything I don't get.

"Where did you grow up?" And Dr. Reed makes an appearance.

"Davenport, Iowa." I know I have to answer this woman's questions... she gets to decide if I return to work, but I refuse to get chatty.

She gazes at me pensively. "Tell me about your childhood."

I shrug and force myself to look relaxed. "Perfectly normal and bland. My mother worked for a pharmaceutical company. My father was her lab assistant."

"Was? Are they deceased?"

"Yes."

"Are you close to any other members of your family?"

"Both of my parents were only children, and so am I."

Her eyebrow twitches and I know I haven't given the answer she wants to hear. "I see. Tell me about your injury."

I start to reply but don't know which injury she's referring to. "Which one?"

Looking mildly peeved, she replies, "Tell me about the assault."

I bristle slightly at the word 'assault,' but calmly reply, "Ian Roberts, at the time our prime suspect for the Rose Killer murders, tackled me down a flight of stairs in the parking structure of his apartment building."

"And the injuries you received?"

"A concussion, head laceration resulting in 17 stitches, approximately three-inch abdominal stab wound resulting in 15 stitches, and a dislocated shoulder."

When Dr. Reed's eyes narrow, I know she's going in for the kill. "I understand he stabbed you with your own knife. How do you feel about that?" This is Walter's idea of touchy feely?

"I can honestly say I'm not very happy about it."

"Do you blame yourself?"

"For what?"

She shakes her head. "For the fact that an office worker took away your knife and used it on you."

"Of course."

"Tell me about that."

"Doctor, are you at all familiar with Ian Roberts?"

"I've read a summary of the case."

"Then you know he's about one step up from being a complete idiot. He's certainly not the super-intelligent, wily criminal we were expecting. And he should not have been able to get the upper hand... with any agent."

"Agent Krycek, you're very good at offering me facts, but I'm here to assess your emotional fitness. If it takes dozens of meetings with you to extract the information, you will not be able to return to work for a long time. Do you understand?"

I visualize telling this woman the real truth... about my family, my life before the FBI and why I'm in the FBI. My lips twitch and I fight the urge to smile. It might be worth it, just to see her expression. But, sadly, Spender would put my ass in a sling. "Yes."

"How do you feel about your abilities as an agent, in light of what happened?"

I really don't know what she's driving at. "What?"

"The next time you're in a violent incident, do you have faith in your ability to do your job effectively?"

"Well, yes." Why wouldn't I? The only problem in this situation was that I wound up in the hospital and Ian Roberts was still alive. And relatively unharmed.

The doctor sighs heavily. "Are you angry with Roberts?"

No wonder Americans are so fucked up. Their mental health professionals are deranged. "No. Why would I be?"

Her face shows a well practiced blank expression but her blinking gives away her astonishment. "He put you in the hospital, in an embarrassing manner."

"Doctor, what was embarrassing was losing control of a relatively benign situation and having my favorite knife showcased in a serial killer trial. Why would I be angry with Roberts?"

"Tell me about your knife."

I blink. "What?"

"You said it was your favorite knife. Why?"

"It was a gift... a long time ago. Sentimental value."

"Who gave it to you?"

I can barely keep from gagging as I reply, "A sort of surrogate uncle."

"Someone who meant a great deal to you?"

No. Someone I actively despise. "Um, yes."

"Is he still in your life? Someone you can turn to for support?"

Please kill me. "No. Not really."

"Who do you have in your life? Did you have friends or someone to check in on you when you got out of the hospital?"

"Some of the other agents on the team checked in occasionally. I moved here right before the academy."

"So you don't have any friends outside of work?"

Better be careful how I answer this question. "Not the kind of friends who bring me soup when I'm sick." I barely manage to keep my tone from being completely sarcastic.

Her eyebrow twitches again. "Do you have a girlfriend or girlfriends?"

Now my lips cannot keep from curving into a smile. "I don't know, doctor. How much of this is confidential?"

"The details in your file are all confidential. Only a general assessment is submitted to your superiors."

"Then no, doctor, I don't have a girlfriend or girlfriends."

"Why the concern about confidentiality if you're not seeing anyone?" I have a feeling she's already considering the obvious answer.

I smile. "I didn't say I wasn't seeing anyone, doctor."

"Are you seeing a man, Agent Krycek?"

"Yes, doctor, I am."

"Is he someone you can count on in a crisis?"

This line of questioning just went from amusing to annoying. "No." I have to answer her questions as if I were talking about Nick. My relationship with Walter doesn't exist inside this building. I actually suspect I could count on Walter in a crisis, despite his marriage. The real concern is that I might want to.

She frowns slightly, then reaches across and pats my forearm. "There are many more homosexuals in the Bureau than people like to think. I won't put that in your file."

Thanks for the tidbit, doc. "Uh, thanks."

"Are you eating regularly?"

Definitely deranged. "I suppose. I eat when I get hungry."

"What did you have for breakfast?"

"Orange juice and a granola bar with peanut butter."

"And dinner last night?"

The woman is insane. Is she a psychiatrist or a dietician? "Leftover Chinese takeout from lunch."

She refers to a file. "Do you still have Percocet from the original prescription?"

Finally, a question I understand. "Yes."

"When was the last time you had an alcoholic drink?"

"Saturday night."

"How many did you have?"

"I don't believe I was counting. Enough that I had to take a taxi home."

"Did you take the Percocet that day?"

"No."

She nods, apparently satisfied with that answer. After jotting a few notes, she continues, "How do you feel in the morning when you get up?"

"Sore, a little stiff, and usually hungry." Maybe I should tell her about my morning Walter-erection. No... too much information.

"Are you eager to get back to work?"

I actually contemplate that for a minute. "I want to return to work, yes."

"Have there been any changes in your appetite or sleep patterns since the assault?"

"Yes. My appetite is decreased because I'm not doing anything."

"Are you sleeping more?"

"At first. Not now."

"Any changes in your libido?"

I grin. "Unfortunately, no."

"Have you thought about harming yourself in any way?"

I'm startled. Americans must be really strange. "God, why?"

She ignores my question. "If Ian Roberts were here, what would you want to say to him?"

I hate theoretical questions. "I try to only work with reality, doctor."

"Oh, come on, Agent. Use a little imagination. I know it took some to capture Roberts."

"Honestly, I have nothing to say to Roberts. He's the luckiest son of a bitch to walk the face of the earth. He should have been caught after the first killing."

"Has anything troubled you since your injury that you'd like to talk about?"

Yeah, my lover won't have sex with me and he's thinking about reconciling with his wife. "No."

She passes me a business card. "You can call me if anything comes up. I'm here to help and believe me, I've heard it all, so please call if you need to talk."

Trust me, doc, there is no way you've heard it all. "Thank you, Dr. Reed. Am I clear to return to work when the medical doctors are finished with me?"

"I'd like to see you one more time, next week. Please make an appointment with my admin." She extends her hand. "Thank you, Agent Krycek." After shaking my hand, she pats my upper arm.

I would rather chew glass than meet with her again, but I say, "Okay. But I'm sure our next visit will be nicer if you would call me Alex. I really don't like the 'Agent Krycek' thing."

"Okay, Alex. That will be all for today."

By next week, I have to figure out how to convince her that I'm sane.

After making the appointment, I head home, contemplating Walter's upcoming visit. His last comment from the phone call still echoes through my head, 'I would have rather been out with you last night.'

I'm not sure what it meant, but I cannot deny that I liked it. I would rather he had been with me, too.

Walter and Sharon presented the picture of the perfect happy couple. I wonder what it all means?

7:17 P.M.

I am on my 900th anal retentive task of the day--contemplating how to rearrange the magazines so I can fit more books--when there's a knock at the door.

Opening it, I find Walter holding bags full of food. If history repeats, enough to feed six people. I have food for two days after one of his visits. The take-out places nearby are probably starting to resent this relationship.

I relieve him of one of the bags and follow him into the dining area. We dump everything on the table, then he wraps an arm around my waist, pulling me into his embrace. His lips brush across mine and he groans into my mouth, before pulling back to meet my eyes. "I had an intense day and I need a shower. Would you join me?"

Walter wet and naked. This doesn't take advanced decision making skills. I smile at him. "Of course. Gladly." We stow the food in the fridge, then he leads the way down the hall, unfastening his tie. In the bathroom, he stops to kiss me again, as my hands reach to unbutton his shirt.

I surrender to the invasion of his tongue while continuing to wrestle with his clothing. After a few seconds, my brain is short circuiting and I can barely manage to open his shirt. I stroke his chest, fingers tracing the contours of his muscles. As he lessens the intensity of the kiss, I murmur against his lips, "This is much better."

His hands work on his belt. "Better than what?" Quickly, his pants fall to the floor, his cock plainly visible through the white cotton of his briefs.

I slide my hands into his underwear, pushing them past his hips after carefully freeing his cock. I run my fingertips along his erection. My left arm isn't working as well as the right, and there are occasional twinges of pain, but it seems completely inconsequential. "Better than chasing you around the apartment." There's laughter in my voice.

Hand at my chin, Walter tilts my face up so he can look at me. He's got a big grin on his face. "Now that I'm not so worried about hurting you, I'd be happy to chase your sexy ass." He reaches down and cups said ass through my jeans.

Despite the humor, the reality of his desire suddenly hits me. And it's overwhelming. Only when his expression changes do I realize my expression went blank. I can see him starting to formulate a question. I wrap a hand around the back of his neck and pull his mouth to mine. I rub myself against him like an animal in heat.

Deft fingers find my fly and he unbuttons it. He shifts the jeans down my hips, struggling to get them over my ass without letting go of me. Giving up, he starts working on the buttons of my shirt. His lips make a path up the side of my face and into my hair. I feel his heart pounding rapidly as I run a hand up his chest.

Losing patience with the slow disrobing, I grab the edges of my shirt and pop the last few buttons, shrugging it off my shoulders. My jeans are now around my ankles so I kick them away. I wrap an arm around Walter's waist, letting my hand wander down to cup his too-sexy ass. Nibbling at his collarbone, I ask, "You sure you want to shower first?"

"Uh-huh," he murmurs breathlessly, stepping out of the clothes pooled at his feet. His cock is fully hard. He tosses his shirt into the pile on the floor and opens the shower door. As he steps inside, he extends a hand to me.

It takes me a few moments to get the water temperature right, because I'm distracted by his hands and mouth. We step under the water and continue kissing. As we grapple with each other's slick bodies under the shower spray, I remember the last shower. It was the most aggressive I've been with him--wanting to imprint myself on his memory, to have him think of me every time he takes a shower. But then... I got on my knees and got high on getting him off, on giving him pleasure.

As his tongue explores my mouth, I know with complete certainty that I want it again. Want to give myself to him--want him to take his pleasure from me.

Walter rubs up against me as he never has before, laughing gently into my ear. He seems freer somehow, more abandoned to the pleasure. I don't know where this came from, but I like it... a lot. I respond in kind, completely out of control, my mouth frantically working along his neck, collarbone and shoulder.

His low growl echoes off the walls. Fingers trail down my spine and slip between my ass cheeks, roughly teasing my anus. I gasp and arch against his body, my knees going weak. The warm water glides down my body, finding an outlet between my buttocks.

Walter murmurs, "You know I really meant to get clean, but somehow it doesn't seem pressing any more."

I take deep breaths, trying to get myself together. It's been so long since I have felt those exquisite sensations coming from my ass. I think I could come just from him fingering my asshole.

"Yeah," I whisper breathlessly. I push his hands away, trying to get my brain to function. "I... let me, Walter." I stroke his chest, my fingertips teasing across his nipples. "Just let me..."

Oblivious to my words, Walter's frantic hands wander down my belly. One encircles my cock, the other cups my balls.

Groaning, I thrust into his hand. His touch is sheer bliss and I'm close to coming. But, I want...

I grasp his wrists and pull his hands away, whimpering at the loss of sensation. I slip to my knees, breathing hard, his cock a few inches from my lips. Placing my hands on his hips, I look up at him. Meeting his gaze, I remain still, not doing anything until he acknowledges what I'm asking for.

Looking down at me pensively, his eyes seem to darken, and the corners of his lips turn up. He holds the moment for what seems like an eternity, apparently enjoying the sight of me on my knees, waiting for his command. When he finally opens his mouth, the words die in his throat. "Su..." Looking momentarily amused and chagrined, he clears his throat. "Suck me."

Keeping eye contact, I move my head forward until my lips are almost touching his cock. I let my tongue slip out and circle the tip slowly. I watch his eyes as he watches me lick the head of his dick. His eyelids become heavy and he looks stoned. Teasing the slit, I gather the pre-cum on the tip of my tongue, then draw it back into my mouth, tasting him. My tongue slips out again, once more circling the head, savoring the texture of his skin, while I watch his reaction.

Then I grip his hips firmly and take him down my throat.

Walter sways a bit, reaching for my good shoulder for support. "Fuck, Alex," he manages to whisper. His hips thrust toward my face.

I relax, keeping pressure on the underside of his dick, but letting him set the pace. Letting him take what he wants. I am unbearably hard.

When he pulls back, I glance up again and find him watching me intently. He pushes back into my throat. I wonder what he's thinking about the sight of his cock thrusting in and out of my mouth. Just the mental picture makes my dick throb.

His fingers caress my scalp as they seek something to hold onto. He gets a good grip on my hair, managing to avoid where the stitches were, and fucks my face. The desperate sounds of his breathing tell me he's about to come. My fingers caress his balls as I increase the pressure of my tongue.

My hair is yanked suddenly as his body shudders and he ejaculates into my mouth. He gasps out what might have been an attempt at a word, but it's unintelligible. Hips still moving, he gradually slows down and pulls out.

Walter leans against the wall of the shower, looking like he lacks the strength to keep his body erect. After a moment, he reaches ineffectually in my direction.

I let my hand find his, and our fingers lace together. I lean my head against his hip and the fingers of his free hand play with my hair. The rational side of me tells me to get off my knees and finish the shower, but I need to clear my head. Something odd happened. It was like... being owned. And I don't want to think about it. I need a few minutes to get my mind to go somewhere else.

"Thank you, Alex," he says solemnly.

'You're welcome' seems wholly inadequate, so I say nothing. Pulling my hand away from his, I reach for the soap. I'm mindlessly caressing his legs with my soapy hands, trying to distract myself, when I realize the effect touching him is having on me. It makes my already rampant erection torturous.

With a dazed smile, he moans, "Mmm," obviously enjoying my attentions.

I start getting into touching him... stroking his skin, feeling the definition of his muscles. My left hand cannot do much, so I work with my right, slowly massaging my way up his legs. When I get to his hips, I reach around to knead the firm muscles of his ass while my lips and tongue play along his lower abdomen.

His eyelids are still half closed, but he calmly allows me to do whatever I want, just relaxing and letting it happen. It's unlike our previous encounters... makes me wonder what changed.

After applying more soap to my hands, I stroke his balls and caress the length of his cock. Then my hand is back on his ass, sliding between the muscular cheeks and massaging gently around his anus.

His hips thrust slowly, responding to my teasing touch.

When I cannot reach anything else, I pull back and mindlessly gesture for him to turn around. It belatedly occurs to me that I should say something, but he gets it and turns, leaning against the wall.

Grabbing the soap, I stand and start on his back, running my hands in long strokes over the expanse of flesh. Next his arms, while my lips tease the back of his neck.

"Fuck, Alex, you're turning me into a senseless blob."

"Mm hm." I indicate for him to turn around again and sigh with pleasure as my hands glide over his broad chest. My cock is still painfully hard, but the demand is distant... muted by my desire to touch him. I want him so badly... The depth of the need scares me.

Walter's expression is a dreamy smile. His fingertips find the side of my face, just brushing my cheek. The tenderness of the gesture unnerves me, but my face turns toward his hand, rubbing against his fingers. I break the touch by sliding my right hand up the side of his face to his head. I cannot lift my left arm that far, so I give him a one-handed head massage.

He grabs my cock and squeezes gently. "We have to do something about this, Alex."

My breath comes out as a hiss and I grip his shoulder. The sensation of his hand on my over-sensitive cock makes my legs wobbly.

**

I arrived at Alex's very keyed up from a difficult day, but he took care of that problem. Very effectively. As my mind clears away the post-orgasmic haze, I am surprised to find myself still standing. Pulling him close to me, I murmur, "I think I'm clean... among other things. Let's take this to the bedroom, Alex."

Our last sexual encounter was fraught with difficulty, so I'm eager to show him a good time.

We step out of the shower. Before I can get my hands on a towel, he has one ready and begins drying me. He stands behind me, dries my head, then passes the towel across my shoulders. As it travels down my back, I feel his lips and tongue at the nape of my neck.

Alex indulges me relentlessly... likes to wait on me. And I can't bring myself to object. Too selfish. And, if I am honest with myself, I can admit I need his attention, his devotion. It feels like a transfusion of something very alive and essential. I crave him. And his unexpected and intensely pleasurable ministrations.

His mouth follows the path of the towel until I feel the nip of his teeth on my right ass cheek, and I realize he must be on his knees again.

I suspect he doesn't even recognize how submissive he becomes with me. But it's so intensely real and beautiful. It peeks out from under his carefully constructed façade and offers an extraordinary view of what's inside him.

Alex reaches around, slowly drying the front of my legs, while his mouth continues to tease the flesh of my ass. He dries my groin and his hand encircles my cock, stroking several times before he moves to my balls, cupping and rolling them. As unlikely as it seems, my cock twitches in response and begins to become erect.

Suddenly, the towel is on the floor and I feel my ass cheeks pulled apart. His tongue flicks across my anus. My palms slam against the wall over the towel rack to keep myself upright. I have to remind myself that my body is flesh and blood. Substantial. Because it feels like I'm about to float away into nonexistence.

On the other hand, my cock is quite substantial... rapidly filling out. I shiver under his tongue, from the tingly wet feel of him licking my ass.

I want to fuck him.

The rasp of his tongue across the sensitive flesh ceases as he begins to press it into me. He works his tongue into my ass, his hands trembling against my ass cheeks. The breathless sounds he makes tell me how much this turns him on.

With great reluctance, I shift my body out of his grasp. His fingers tighten on my butt, and he groans a protest. Turning around, I stroke his hair. "I want to fuck you."

Alex's breathing is rapid and his eyes glitter. He looks at me for a moment, then slowly rises to his feet.

My mind calculates positions again, but I keep it to myself this time. "Stay here." In the bedroom, I retrieve a pillow, a bottle of lube and a condom. I toss the pillow over the hard surface of the countertop next to the sink. Watching his deep green eyes as I roll on the condom, I see a now-familiar hungry look. I've always attributed that to his sexual needs but, for the first time, it occurs to me that it's me he wants.

He steps closer, one hand fondling my balls as his mouth plays with my earlobe. With a last lingering caress across my chest, he turns to the counter and bends over. Balancing on his good arm, he situates his legs far apart and pushes his hips back.

I stop breathing. Watching him bend over and spread his legs for me, because he wants me to fuck him... It turns me on so badly my balls ache.

My mind flashes on the first time in my garage. A horny boy wanting to get fucked... a married man trying to rediscover his lost sexuality... we both used each other that day. But now, it's about Walter wanting Alex, and vice versa.

Regulating my breathing, I stand behind him, so my thighs are touching the backs of his. He pushes toward me, rubbing his body against mine. I can see us in the mirror, but his head is down, so I cannot see his face.

My hands glide down his lean back, tracing the lines of his muscles, the bumps of his spine. He arches into the touch. I massage his neck and his right shoulder, giving his left only a gentle caress.

He sighs with pleasure but his body movements are restless and impatient. Poor boy wants to get fucked, but I don't want to rush. I slide the fingers of one hand into his hair, massaging the side of his head. His shoulders and upper body relax as his head drops. My other hand moves downward, stroking his flank, hip and upper thigh. Reaching between his legs, I cup his heavy balls, squeezing just hard enough to get his attention.

A hiss of breath turns into a gasp as his hips jerk in response. Then he moans and presses himself against my hand, asking for more.

Oh, he likes that.

I get a firm grip on his balls and close my fingers around them, alternating light pressure with a more intense squeeze. He groans and, taking his weight off his arm, flattens his torso on the counter. A choked whimper accompanies the next squeeze.

Releasing his hair, I apply both hands to his firm, round ass. One teasing finger slides into his crack and brushes across his anus. He gasps and his shoulders tremble. His legs slip a little further apart even as the muscles in his lower back flex, pushing his ass up.

He's given me so much pleasure. Eager to return the favor, I bend down, holding the globes of his ass open, and swipe my tongue across his anus. I've never done it before. The crinkly skin amuses my tongue.

There's a choked sound from him and the flesh under my hands trembles. "Jesus, Walter... I, uh... fuck."

My nose lodged in his crack, I smile into his ass and work my tongue feverishly against the sensitive opening. I'm completely happy in the moment, enjoying the pitiful sounds he's making. Taking a breather, I ask, "It feels damned good, doesn't it?"

He gasps out, "Fuck... Walter... yes!"

After dragging my tongue across one more time, I kiss a path up his tailbone. I pop the cap on the lube and warm it in my fingers before I push one into him. He's a bit tighter than usual, so I take my time, fucking him on a single finger, before I push two inside. I coax his rectum open, exploring the hot inner surfaces with my fingers.

Alex groans and hisses, "Yes." I can see him fighting the urge to move by the tension vibrating in his muscles. "Walter, please... fuck me." His voice is husky and uneven.

It's oddly satisfying just doing him with my fingers. I can feel Alex's body relax in waves, as he adjusts to the intrusion. When I push a third finger into him, he takes a startled breath and a shudder passes through his body. With a deep breath, he relaxes again, then becomes boneless, just lying on the counter, opening up for me.

And suddenly I need to be inside him. What was I thinking drawing this out?

Withdrawing hastily, I squirt lube onto my cock and push the head of it through his sphincter. There's a muted sound of pleasure from him. I pause, reminding myself to breathe, before burying myself deep inside him.

He stays still, but his rapid breathing, gasps and moans betray his arousal. Then he starts working his ass muscles around my cock. Squeezing and releasing.

Alex is hot and tight inside. Seeing his body laid out for me, impaled on my cock, taking whatever I give... it's so intense. In the mirror, I see a very aroused older man taking what Alex has offered so passionately. As I start to thrust inside him, my awareness dims and I am lost in the simple, animal act of fucking.

There are sounds in the room... grunting, labored breathing. His? Mine?

Although I am fucking him slowly, I feel the telltale trembling in his legs indicating he's close to coming. I grab a handful of hair and lift his head. "Look at yourself," I mutter breathlessly.

His eyes are unfocused but bright with passion and surrender. Mouth open, lips wet, cheeks flushed. It's the first time I've clearly seen the submission show on his face. In this moment, he has completely yielded to me.

"See how beautiful you are?"

Alex struggles to focus on the image in the mirror, but then his gaze flicks to me and he moans. His eyes trace the image in the mirror, whimpering when he reaches the point where he sees me taking his ass.

Releasing his hair, I lower my hand to his cock. The satiny, hard-but-soft feel of it makes me moan. I love touching this boy. The man in the mirror is telling the boy who he belongs to... words I could never say, but the expression of those feelings through the physical act is incredibly arousing.

He gasps, pushing hard into my hand and clamping his internal muscles on my cock. "Walter..." His voice sounds like half plea, half warning. Head still held up awkwardly, his green eyes meet mine through the mirror. This time I am positive he's asking me for permission to come. That it is mine to grant or deny.

Picking up the pace, I fuck him harder. My eyes flick to the sight of my cock forcing its way into his ass.

I feel subtle shifts in his body and he opens himself up more, arching up and pushing back against me, meeting every thrust. He continues to watch me in the mirror, his breathing choppy and labored. "Walter... please."

The edge of need in his raspy voice pierces me and seems to vibrate in my body. Only a few seconds away from coming myself, I stroke his cock, rubbing my thumb on the tender underside. As I open my mouth to tell him to come, I begin to orgasm and my lips won't work. The word I scream out sounds incomprehensible to my own ears. Losing control of my hips, I'm almost helpless as I continue to pound into him.

Blinking, I collapse on his back, dimly aware that my hand is still on his erection, but unable to issue the command to my fingers to stroke him. I see Alex staring in the mirror transfixed. His eyes are wide and his lower lip is caught between his teeth. His ass is tightening and relaxing subtly, milking my cock.

I emit a long, low groan. My sexy lover has still not come. He pushes himself up, still watching me in the mirror. I step back just enough to pull out of him. He gasps and shudders. I drop the condom in the trash can as he begins to turn toward me, murmuring breathlessly, "That was the most amazing thing I've ever..." He cuts himself off on a whimper as his hard, dripping cock comes into contact with my body. His eyes widen with shock and his arm clamps around my shoulder. "Walter, I... oh fuck..."

Alex grinds his cock against me, head thrown back, he moans out my name as his body jerks uncontrollably in my arms. I can't hold back my delighted laughter as I hold him tightly with one arm at his waist. As his body stills, he disintegrates, face in the curve of my neck. I nuzzle his hair with my nose, still chuckling softly.

The boneless lump in my arms mutters, "Bastard."

Fifteen minutes later, after cleaning up again, two exhausted and contented men are in the dining area eating lobster and fish chowder.

Alex, as usual, doesn't seem to notice he's undressed. He is happily sucking pieces of buttered lobster off his fingers while sitting naked at the dining room table. I opted to put on my pants.

He sucks the butter off a piece of lobster, dips it in the butter again, then continues sucking on it. "I'm glad you came over, Walter."

"Yeah, me, too," I reply enthusiastically, albeit stupidly. Reaching across the table with my napkin, I wipe the butter off his lower lip. He raises his eyebrows, then sucks another butter covered piece into his mouth, smearing butter over his lower lip again.

Alex stands and leans over me. "There's a better way to get rid of it," he murmurs just before his lips close over mine.

He's so right. If I hadn't just fucked myself into oblivion I would have realized. My tongue laps at his lips and we share a buttery kiss.

When we return to the food, I ask something I've been wondering about. "Are you gay, Alex? Or bisexual?"

He looks briefly surprised. "My sexuality seems to be coming up a lot today." He grins. "Uh, no pun intended." After considering for a moment, he replies, "Gay, I guess. I've had sex with women, but I usually prefer men." He shrugs. "I haven't really thought about it."

"Who else has been asking about your sexuality?"

He takes a drink of tea and smiles. The kind of smile that does not bode well. "Dr. Touchy Feely."

"Oh." I scoop up the last of my fish chowder before continuing, "I have almost 300 agents in the division and I think three of them have gone to the psychiatrist voluntarily. She go easy on you?"

Alex nearly chokes on his tea, then starts to laugh. "No. I infinitely prefer your brand of 'touchy feely,' thank you."

As if to emphasize the point, he rises and stands next to me. I turn to face him and he straddles my lap, reaching to the table for a piece of lobster. He holds it up to me and I take the bite from his fingers. He licks his fingertips suggestively, then leans down to nibble the side of my neck.

Wrapping my arm around his shoulder, I pull him close and enjoy the tingling sensation left by his teeth.

Alex moves his head to lavish attention on the other side of my neck. Suddenly, he stills and mutters, "Oh shit." He pulls back, frowning.

"What?"

"I... In the shower, I must have... Shit. Walter, there's a mark on your neck."

"Really?" I feed him a piece of lobster, running my buttery finger along his lower lip.

"Really." He sucks the butter-covered finger into his mouth, cleaning it with his tongue.

An hour and a half later, I'm home getting ready for bed. Brushing my teeth in front of the mirror, I remember what happened earlier. It's enough to make my poor overused cock twitch. And then I notice the mark... a bean-shaped, red chafe on the side of my neck. It'll be easily concealed under my shirt collar. But it makes me smile.


Washington, D.C.
Thursday, 14 July 1994
11:02 A.M.

Mulder's unwanted case turned out to be the weirdest of my career. There just aren't any Bureau protocols for dealing with non-human homicide suspects. I suppose if it were a bear or something, we'd relocate it to a more appropriate habitat. But what do you do with a 150 pound fluke-worm-man? It's well beyond my imagination.

This is exactly why we need the X-Files. And agents like Mulder and Scully to investigate them.

Wonder what the Director would do to me if I reopened the X-Files unilaterally... Probably put me on wiretap duty. Permanently.

There's a report on my desk I've been avoiding all morning. It feels like an invasion of his privacy but, in my official capacity, I have to read it. I'll be asked about it by Mathis and possibly the Director.

--
Preliminary Incident Report on Agent Alex Krycek
July 12, 1994
Dr. Mary Anne Reed

After one interview with Agent Alex Krycek, I noted the following:

Agent Krycek exhibits classic symptoms of dissociative disorder. He demonstrates inappropriate affect with regard to the attack of Ian Roberts on June 27th of this year, denying having any feeling about, or effect from the incident.

Additionally, he has no support structure. His parents died when he was in his late teens and he has no other living relatives. No close friends and no current significant other. Agent Krycek was blasé about his lack of family, which I found to be consistent with the underlying diagnosis of dissociative disorder.

Usually, dissociation of this degree is related to severe abuse during early childhood, or war-time military service, but Agent Krycek has not been in the military and denies an abusive upbringing. He exhibits no other symptoms of abuse. It's possible, in this case, that the dissociation is related to the death of his parents at age 18, his only living family.

I do not find any emotional trauma caused by the assault. Nor did I find anything not previously mentioned in his existing psychological profile.

In general, a dissociative disorder of this nature would preclude return to active duty, but I find nothing changed from Agent Krycek's original psychological profile, prepared by Dr. Moreno at the time of his entrance into the academy. Since Dr. Moreno judged him fit for duty, and is the best authority on this subject, I see no reason to disagree. I recommend that Agent Krycek be allowed to return to his position as soon as he obtains a written release from his medical doctor, contingent on the results of our second meeting.

Mary Ann Reed, Ph.D.
--

His x-rays back up her suspicions about child abuse. It pains me to consider that possibility. I won't invade his privacy by inquiring. It's none of my business. Still, it hurts to think about anyone harming him.

It also pushes my buttons. Surely he's not giving himself to me the way he does to act out anything from his past? I can't begin to answer questions like that. If I weren't his superior, I wouldn't have any of this information.

I force away the nagging doubts. Our relationship, even our rough sex, feels like it's affectionate and caring, not anything else. I guess that's all that matters.

My own psych profile probably doesn't read any better. If the shrinks got their way all the time, a bunch of Sunday school teachers would be manning the Bureau.

**

Falls Church, VA
Friday, 15 July 1994
7:43 P.M.

A sharp rap at the door drags my attention away from my book. I drop the pen and look at the clock, startled to find I've been translating for nearly four hours. That must be Walter. I feel a little pump of adrenaline hit my system and push the pile of papers and books to the middle of the sofa. He said he would be able to stay the whole night. Who would have thought I could ever feel so enthusiastic about that?

I open the door to find a very cross looking Walter Skinner, holding a paper bag and two covered aluminum trays. From the smell, it's Italian tonight.

"Hi." Taking the bag, I gesture for him to enter. He's still in work clothes, tie askew and top two buttons undone. And he looks cranky, eyes squinting as if he has a headache. Wonder what happened today?

"I'm sorry I'm late," he says in a gruff voice, preceding me into the dining area.

I decide to let him alone to work out his mood. In the kitchen, I find the bag contains tea and a bottle of J&B. My eyebrows aim for my hairline. Okay. I guess Walter likes Scotch when he's upset.

It takes a minute to find a glass, which I fill half full and take to the table. He's laying out the food, a pan of lasagna, garlic bread and salad. Taking the glass from my hands, he nods at me. "Thanks."

"Mm hm. Here, give me your coat." He shrugs out of it and I take his tie, too.

After he takes his place at the table, he massages the ridge of his brow and looks up at me. His foot twitches against the table leg.

I look at him for a second but say nothing. He is obviously in a bad mood. What to do? Since conversation is not my forte, I'll try something a little more tactile. I step behind his chair and tip his head back until it's resting against my stomach, then massage his scalp and forehead.

He doesn't exactly relax, but his breathing slows down. "Thank you, Alex."

Some strange impulse prompts me to drop a kiss on his head before I step away. This is getting weird. "Are you ready to eat?"

He nods, reaching for the pan of lasagna, and I suggest, "Let's eat in the living room."

Walter looks faintly annoyed, but he shrugs. And manages to splatter red sauce on his pants. His eyes flicker closed for a moment, before he spoons the entree onto his plate. Adding salad and a wedge of garlic bread, he grabs a napkin and carries everything into the living room.

I wouldn't dream of letting it show, but I'm somewhat amused by his peevishness. I'm certainly curious about what's bothering him, but it does not seem like he's in the right frame of mind to discuss it yet.

He forgot his Scotch. I follow him with it and hand it to him just as he begins to rise--presumably to retrieve it. He mumbles, "Thanks," and sits down again.

After preparing my food, I join him. Setting down my plate, I grab the pile of books and papers and move them to the floor. Before sitting, I squat to remove Walter's shoes and socks.

Several minutes pass in silence before I ask, "What happened?"

Walter frowns at his plate. "The expressway was a parking lot. A hooker's car stalled and half the men in D.C. stopped to help."

I look over at him disbelievingly. I keep my voice soft and reply, "Any chance you'll tell me what's actually bothering you?"

Walter takes a big bite of garlic bread and chews it carefully before replying, "I spent half the afternoon dealing with legal and the Office of Personnel Management..." He trails off and eats his lasagna. "One of my direct reports had an affair with a subordinate." With a pained expression on his face, he attacks his salad.

I immediately envision myself having an affair with Mathis. And the idea is so absurd I barely manage to contain my laughter. I bite my lips, struggling for calm. Well, at least I know what's bothering him.

When I'm convinced I'm not going to laugh outright, I carefully reply, "If legal was involved, there must have been some kind of charge. Was either party sexually harassed?"

He gives me a puzzled look. "The complainant has a fairly good case." Shrugging, he adds, "I've seen worse."

"Who was harassed, the subordinate or the manager?"

Now he looks baffled. "The subordinate, of course," he replies a bit testily.

I look at him speculatively. "Why 'of course?'"

"The manager's always at fault, Alex."

"Really? Couldn't an employee blackmail a manager into having sex? Wouldn't that be the technical definition of sexual harassment?"

Blinking, he replies, "It's theoretically possible, but 90 percent of the sexual harassment cases at the Bureau involve a manager pressuring a subordinate for sex, or a consensual sexual liaison, which after the fact is purported to be the reason for a hiring, firing or promotion decision."

"Okay. Ninety percent of the cases? 'Cases' implies something reported, so it seems that a subordinate is more likely to report sexual harassment than a manager, so it's possible the numbers might be skewed. In any case, if unwanted sexual overtures, of any kind, create a hostile work environment, and that's the definition of sexual harassment, it's safe to say managers are harassed as frequently as their subordinates. Wouldn't you say?"

"I suppose we have subordinates trying to seduce their managers somewhere, but any manager worth his salt could resolve the problem. Making a formal complaint would be advertising your own incompetence." A curious expression settles on his face. "Is there some special reason you're asking these questions, Alex?"

I shrug noncommittally. "I just think it illustrates the adage that nothing is ever what it appears to be." I smile at him and continue, "But thanks for letting me know you aren't planning to file sexual harassment charges against me."

Shaking his head, he gapes at me in astonishment. "Tell me you're not really concerned about that."

"Of course not. Although it crossed my mind once or twice, before the encounter in your garage, that I was walking a fine line."

"You took some very big risks," he says in his A.D. tone. "Risks you shouldn't have taken. But at this point, if any attention were drawn to our relationship, I'd be on the unemployment line and you'd get extra visits with Dr. Reed."

I'm fighting laughter again but manage to calmly reply, "The risks were well worth it, Walter. As for Dr. Reed... well, that's certainly incentive to make sure attention is not drawn to our relationship. Besides, I work for Mathis and I have no plans to seduce him."

In spite of my joke, his face darkens. "Dammit, Alex, it doesn't make any difference how far apart we are on the org chart... Don't you get it? I'm a fucking hypocrite. I spent half the afternoon with this manager, telling him what a fool he was for having an affair with a subordinate. It was my fucking job to have that conversation."

I toss my fork on my plate. "Yeah, I get it, Walter. I didn't ever not get it. I knew what was bothering you, but the only thing I can say is there's nothing similar between the two situations." I stand and grab my plate, walking around to the other side of the coffee table. "There are very few things I can say I really enjoy." I kick the pile of papers on the floor. "I like bike riding and I like..." Don't go there. I take a breath. "And I don't want this fucked up because one of your section chiefs can't separate work from his personal life."

I go into the kitchen, entirely fed up with this conversation. Tossing the plate in the sink, I brace my hands on the counter and try to decide what's next.

After a couple minutes, I sense his presence behind me. "I don't mean to take it out on you, Alex. Between my job and my marriage, I'm not exactly living a life of moral perfection. And I guess I had my face rubbed in it today, but I..." His hand appears on my right shoulder. "I don't regret what has happened... between us."

My fingertips dig into the countertop. Even though I feel instant relief at his words, I don't turn around. Sighing heavily, I reply, "I didn't think you were taking it out on me, Walter. It just sounded... sounded like you might end this because of today." That was wholly the wrong thing to say. I have barely admitted to myself how much I want this, I certainly should not be telling him.

"I can't, Alex," he says in a low, flat voice. He steps closer. I feel his warm breath on the back of my neck. A rough cheek brushes against mine.

**

Alex doesn't give a damn about my moral failures. He accepts me as the flawed man I am and doesn't judge. I'll never be that easy on myself, but his acceptance means so much to me.

Reaching back, his hand finds my hip and pulls me close against his body. With a sigh, his head falls back to rest on my shoulder. His hand lazily caresses my hip.

I wrap both arms around his waist and try to hold him closer. Words pass through my mind... different ways to express what I feel, but I'm still wary of showing him too much.

The truth is in my touch. I don't come here just for the sex, although he may never let me prove it to him. As I have many times, I try to move slowly, so we can have time together that isn't fucking.

He remains still in my arms, one hand continuing the lazy caress along my hip and upper thigh.

Eventually, he says, "You're still tense, Walter. Come on." He steps away from me and I assume Alex's solution to tension will be sex. So I'm surprised when he has me sit at the dining room table as he clears the food away. A few minutes later, he gets out a Go board. He hands me a bag of white pieces.

I suppress my astonishment.

After retrieving my Scotch and his tea from the living room, he sits across from me. Lining up the black pieces, he says, "I'm going to kick your ass."

Raising an eyebrow, I give him a smug look and start placing my pieces.

We're pretty evenly matched. After two hours of intense play and criticizing each other's moves, it seems likely we could keep the game going all night with neither clearly ahead. It's a good friendly game... neither of us demonstrates a need to win.

Out of the blue, Alex says, "I'll tell you what. If you win, you get to fuck me."

I don't fully grasp his intention until I see him starting to lose. Very quickly. It looks like one of us has a need to lose. I give him a wry grin and keep playing as if it's still a real game.

When the board is practically covered with white pieces, Alex graciously concedes defeat. I'm picking up the game pieces when Alex's arms come around me and he unbuttons my shirt. His breath is warm near my ear. "Chocolate?"

"Sure."

My shirt and Alex disappear. I settle on the sofa and wait for him. Damn, but it's good to be doing nothing in good company on a Friday night.

A chocolate bar with red and black paper wrapping appears in front of my face. I take it and turn my head to find a naked Alex standing behind me. He sits on the floor and gives me the once over. "God, you look good." Resting his arm on my thigh, he absently plays with my chest hair.

I tear open the package and break off a small chunk of chocolate. When it nudges his lips, he opens his mouth, capturing both the chocolate and my fingers. He sucks them inside, licking them clean before releasing them. Then his eyes close and he sighs with pleasure as he savors the taste.

Taking a piece for myself, I allow it to melt on my tongue as he taught me. "More?"

"Mm hmm," he replies languidly.

Bending down, so our lips meet, I pass him the piece I just put in my mouth. We spend a good deal more time than is strictly necessary for the transfer of food, tongues exploring his mouth and then my own.

Alex groans when I pull away. Shifting his position, he leans forward and his mouth plays along my abdomen while his thumb rasps repeatedly over my nipple.

I pull his mouth up to mine and murmur against his lips, "Let's get ready for bed." He nods and our tongues tangle in his mouth. I break the kiss. "I need to get my bag first. Where's my shirt?"

Alex looks a little dazed but rises and retrieves it from the bedroom. Slipping on my shoes, I head to the car to get my overnight kit.

When I return, Alex is leaning against the arm of the sofa, waiting for me.

"I'm going to take a quick shower."

He nods and gestures vaguely to the bathroom, murmuring, "I'll get you a towel."

I shower quickly, stepping out to find Alex rinsing his toothbrush. "Shower?"

He nods and moves toward me. Catching him around the waist, I pull him to me for a minty kiss. When I release him, he steps into the shower, turning up the hot until steam fills the bathroom.

When he joins me in the bedroom ten minutes later, his back is fuchsia, having been parboiled by his extreme shower. I open up the bed and slide over to the side I know he doesn't sleep in.

Alex gets in on his side and I extend my arms. He blinks at me twice, then slides over, resting his head on my shoulder and draping his arm across my waist. It feels so perfect the way our bodies fit together.

"Thank you for tonight, Alex."

He looks up at me, his brow creased with confusion. "I haven't done anything yet."

Suddenly, my mind flashes to the psych report... Is this dissociative behavior? Can he really not understand what tonight was about? For him, was it just marking time until we could fuck?

With a sad smile, I ruffle his hair.

His fingers drum absently on my chest and I can almost hear him thinking, trying to make sense of something. After a few minutes, he quietly murmurs, "You're welcome."

I chuckle softly and get serious about the head massage. Avoiding the back of his head, where he was injured, I thoroughly rub my fingertips across his scalp. His hair feels soft on my fingers.

All the tension in Alex's body evaporates and he moans faintly. After a few moments, he mumbles, "You're turning me into a brainless blob."

"Okay. I can live with it." I continue my ministrations, tugging lightly on his hair and massaging, enjoying the little helpless sounds he makes.

Just as he lapses into gentle snores, I remember that I won the game, so I get to fuck him. There's always tomorrow.

Saturday, 16 July 1994

When I awaken in the dark room, the bed is empty. The bright dial of Alex's alarm clock reads 3:42. His side of the bed is cold. Hmm... I rise and go hunting for my elusive lover.

The light in the hallway reveals the silhouette of his form in the living room, seated on the couch, head in his hands. Not wanting to startle him, I don't approach. "Are you okay, Alex?"

As soon as he looks up, I enter the living room.

"Yeah. Fine." His voice is toneless. "Sorry... I did not mean to fall asleep."

Sitting next to him, I place a hand on his thigh. "It's okay. It was nice."

I can barely make out his expression but he looks confused. "I... uh, okay." His tone suggests he thinks I might not be dealing from a full deck.

Kissing the side of his face, I whisper, "Come back to bed?"

No response for a second, then he nods and rises to his feet.

7:15 A.M.

I next wake to the mattress shifting and something heavy pressing on my chest. Alex's lips play with my earlobe, as he murmurs, "Come on, Walter. Shower's ready."

Bleary-eyed, I stumble out of bed. I'm standing under the too hot spray before I realize there is no pressing reason to have gotten out of bed. Then I feel Alex's mouth close over my cock. I decide this is a good thing after all. I grope for the safety bar to prevent myself from landing on my ass. "Morning."

Alex releases my cock, mumbling something that could pass for 'good morning' before sucking one of my balls into his mouth. He repeatedly switches between both testicles, rolling them with his tongue until I'm gasping for air, now fully hard.

When he takes me down his throat again, his fingers slip between my ass cheeks, massaging around my anus.

Alternating between deep throating me, and sucking and nibbling around the head, Alex has me close to coming within minutes. When he senses it, he releases me and licks the length of my erection until the impending orgasm subsides.

The small part of my brain that is fully awake thinks to object, but the words don't form.

His hand leaves my ass and I hear a clicking noise. A few seconds later, a lubricated finger penetrates my ass. The moment his finger finds my prostate, he takes me down his throat again.

Suddenly, I am wide awake and completely convinced this is the perfect way to spend my Saturday morning. The loud groans in the bathroom seem to be coming from my throat. My hips begin to move, as Alex sucks my cock into oblivion. I cry out nonsense syllables as my orgasm is leeched out of me by his talented mouth.

I find myself clinging to the safety bar with both hands, as my brain melts away again.

When I can think clearly, I discover Alex kneeling behind me, nuzzling the cheeks of my ass while he massages the backs of my legs.

Soapy hands replace his lips on my butt, then glide between the cheeks to stroke my anus. After several tingly moments, his hands move between my legs, fondling my balls and stroking my cock. After his extensive fondling, I groan when I feel myself start to harden again.

When I'm half hard, he rises, moving his hands up my abdomen, rubbing and massaging his way up my chest. While he kneads my pecs and caresses my nipples, his face is pressed against my spine, trailing nips and kisses across my back.

This is really a huge improvement over my normal morning shower.

Alex rubs my arms and shoulders, then finishes with a languid head rub. Finally, his arms close around me, and he presses his lips against the back of my neck.

I rotate clumsily in his arms, so I can get that mouth where I want it. As I kiss him, my hand wanders between our bodies and teases the shaft of his morning erection.

He groans and thrusts into my hand. Rubbing his body against mine, he mumbles against my mouth, "Good morning, Walter."

"Yes, it is good," I reply in an uncharacteristically cheerful morning mood. Then I reach for the soap and lather up my hands. I'm less committed to thoroughness than Alex was and more focused on touching his body for my own enjoyment, but he probably still gets clean in the process.

Washing the front of him consists of getting lather between us and sliding our bodies across each other. He moans and bites his lip at the sensation, gripping both of my arms for support.

"Your turn, Alex? I can give a competent blowjob, although I'm not quite in your league... or would you rather get fucked?" I've reached the point where it hardly surprises me that I'm erect again.

He turns a glassy-eyed stare on me and whispers, "Fuck me, Walter."

I kiss his forehead. "If you like..."

**

My brain is so clouded with lust, I'm barely aware of what's happening until I'm on the bed and feeling trapped. I'm lying on my right side and have used my left shoulder about as much as I'm going to be able to today. And with Walter's body pressed tightly behind mine, I am effectively unable to move.

I whimper faintly... Having him hold me and fuck me at the same time makes me feel too vulnerable. But his arm around my waist and his cock resting between my ass cheeks feel... too right. I gasp at the sensation of his lips and teeth playing at the back of my neck. Okay, this isn't so bad. Then I notice the mirror.

Walter has us lying at the foot of the bed, facing the mirror. This mirror thing is out of control. I think to object, but then he's pulling my top leg toward my chest and his hand is slipping between my ass cheeks. I forget what I was going to protest.

He teases the skin around my anus. "I enjoyed rimming you the other night, Alex."

Moaning, I wriggle against his hand. "God, Walter, I nearly came when I felt your tongue." My voice sounds faint and breathless. That wasn't the only shocking thing on Tuesday night. Watching Walter lose control and come with such abandon was one of the most incredible things I've ever seen. I guess there is something to be said for mirrors after all.

Hand withdrawn, a popping sound behind me must be the lube. Then a cool, moist finger probes at my opening. He penetrates me just a little, his pace making it agonizingly clear he's not in any hurry.

I press my hips back, trying to get more of his finger inside me.

"I've never done that before." It takes me a moment to process his words... he's never rimmed anyone. Not wanting to think about what this could mean, I file it under the same heading as the rest of this relationship--not significant. Some part of my brain screams 'delusion' but I ignore it.

Without thinking about it, I clamp my hand on his arm, twisting until I can see his face. Murmuring, "Thank you," I kiss him lightly. When I realize what I'm doing, I turn around, astonished at thanking Walter for doing something I have demanded from dozens of other men.

Walter's lips find my shoulder, giving it light kisses. His finger pushes deeper inside me, brushing incredibly slowly across my prostate. The sensation is like a fire racing up my spine. Those pathetic whimpering sounds cannot possibly be coming from me.

Now his finger is barely moving at all... just a tiny rough twitchy motion right on my prostate. My body feels liquid with pleasure. I realize if I pull my leg closer to my chest, the mirror allows me to see his hand between the cheeks of my ass.

His low husky voice continues in my ear, "Your asshole quivered under my tongue and your entire body writhed."

Beyond speech, I gasp and press against him. I wondered Tuesday--and it's still a mystery--how he managed to turn rimming me into an act of my surrender. His finger on my prostate makes the answer elusive and... unimportant.

Even his words are languid. "It turns me on so much... watching the muscles in your ass clench." He eases the finger out very slowly.

At the loss, I whimper a barely audible, "No." In the mirror, his lips form a hint of a smile at my distress.

"I can't stop thinking about those muscles contracting when I'm deep inside you..." The volume trails off, revealing the extent of his own arousal. I love the rough powerful sound of his voice, but every word seems to amplify his control over me.

Two fingers press into me. I groan at the more acute sensation of penetration. Keeping my leg pulled close to my chest, I watch him in the mirror, somewhat fascinated by the sight of his fingers disappearing between the cheeks of my ass.

"You have gorgeous dimples in your ass. Have you noticed them?"

I really don't spend much time thinking about my own ass. At least, not until I met Walter. I shake my head, almost more of a restless movement than an answer.

He scissors me open, slowly. My brain turns to jelly as I'm absorbed in the feeling of being stretched. Silent for a moment, I hear only the passionate sighs of his breath near my ear. Then, "Are you watching us in the mirror?"

Gasping, I manage to say, "Yes." I cannot possibly miss the image in the mirror. The reality of anyone seeing me this out of control and abandoned is distressing.

Fucking me unhurriedly, he speaks again. "Talk to me, Alex. Tell me what you're thinking."

I almost groan at the impossibility of what he's asking. But I feel compelled to respond with as much honesty as I can tolerate. "Thinking... how much I l-love having you inside me. About how good it feels when my ass stretches to take you."

A low animal sound comes from behind me... a Walter growl.

"And how your t-" I break off gasping as his fingers brush my prostate. I manage to stutteringly continue, "Your touch feels... so good... makes it impossible to... think."

Moaning, I move restlessly, feeling too exposed.

Brushing the side of his face against mine, he tries to soothe me. He removes his fingers. His teeth lodge in the side of my neck, biting me hard enough to hurt. Every rational thought tells me to get away from those teeth placing Walter's mark on my body. But instinct takes over and I'm tilting my head, giving him easier access and pressing into the painful bite. To my own ears, my whimper sounds like surrender.

And then his cock is at my entrance. "Tell me you want it," he prompts.

It's more than want. I gasp out, "Please, Walter... fuck me. I need it."

Walter groans, and I realize the hand holding his cock is shaking. He shoves it into me in one smooth motion. I cry out, my body trembling. Something more than pleasure assaults my senses. Ecstasy.

His body shifts to curl in closer behind me. I feel his heart pounding. Being held so tightly to his chest makes me feel completely possessed and protected, and utterly terrified. My fingers dig into his arm.

When he begins to fuck me, it's faster and harder than I expected. He tightens the arm around my waist and pounds into my body.

I need this. I need his forcefulness to take me out of myself, to help me lose sight of a reality I don't want. Leg still pulled to my chest, I let my body relax, accepting what he's giving me. Letting his cock--thrusting hard into my ass--obliterate my horror at waking up to find I'd simply fallen asleep in his arms, and erase my discomfort about showing him too much of myself.

The fuck has a rough texture, the nerves in my rectum screaming a twisted combination of pleasure and distress. I realize that, once again, I'm going to come cock untouched. And I don't care.

My eyes flick to the mirror and I catch him watching me. His face is contorted with agonized pleasure. His hips set up a relentless rhythm, driving his cock into the center of me. When his hand reaches for my cock, it's too late.

I thrash against him and the intensity of my orgasm makes it impossible to breathe. Nearly unbearable sensation rips through my ass, stemming from the hard invasion of his cock deep inside me.

When I can once again process the input from my senses, I realize Walter's hips are still, his cock just starting to soften in my ass.

His arms are around me. Our bodies lie together in a sprawl of boneless limbs. I feel his heartbeat slowing and his warm breath against the back of my neck.

My eyes flick over the mirror image of two sated, sweaty men. I've never noticed before how hot we look together.

My fingertips absently trace patterns on the palm of his hand.

"Shower?" he asks weakly.

"Didn't we do that already?"

"Mm hmm."


Washington, D.C.
Tuesday, 19 July 1994
10:52 A.M.

I leave Dr. Reed's office and head for my old desk in Mathis' unit. This visit was about as thrilling as the last, but I am approved to return to work. She asked me to consider seeing her voluntarily.

I told her I would think about it.

I think not.

It takes a long time to arrive at my desk. I'm stopped by what feels like every agent I've ever worked with. Most ask benign questions or offer enthusiasm at my return. A few make jokes about my knife or being taken out by an accountant. I paste a neutral smile on my face for all of it. For the first time, I wonder, what now? Coming back to work feels strangely like starting over. I was only on loan to Baker's team and, for some reason, I've been assigned back to Mathis even though the casework on the Rose Killer won't be completed for months.

There's a note on my desk to report to Mathis' office as soon as I arrive. Sighing, I head down the hall in search of one of my least favorite people.

He greets me effusively, obviously still high about nabbing the Rose Killer and 'saving' me. It makes me want to gag. Eventually, he gets around to telling me that I will be backing up the senior agents with whatever they need until I'm well... Nothing that will overtax me.

I resist the urge to thank him by wringing his neck.

As I'm wrapping up to leave for the day, Nate Gjersee appears at my desk. "Hey, Alex. Welcome back."

Leaning back in my chair, I reply, "Hi, Nate. How have things been?" He's obviously been spending time in the sun... much tanner, and his hair seems even blonder.

He shrugs. "Nothing as exciting as what you've been dealing with. I'm on a task force setting up a sting for an international criminal--possibly terrorist--who will be in the U.S. next week. Hey listen, my girlfriend took a liking to you that night at the Bingham party. She's determined to rectify your 'unhappy state of bachelorhood.' She has a friend she wants you to meet. You available to come over sometime for dinner?"

Oh, lord. I evasively reply, "Thanks, Nate. But I'm not up to a blind date right now."

He nods sympathetically. "Well, when you're feeling better."

I tamp down the urge to tell him that's not what I meant. Then I catch him looking at my neck... at the bite Walter gave me. Most of the mark is covered by my shirt collar, but some bruising is visible. It has to look like a hickey.

Awareness of the mark makes my dick hard. I sit up in the chair and scoot closer to my desk. Fortunately, Gjersee doesn't say anything and I act as if I didn't notice his glance.

He starts to turn away, then abruptly wheels back around. "Oh, hey, I almost forgot. I heard you speak a lot of languages."

I nod.

He grins. "I don't suppose one of those languages is Russian?"

I nearly choke. Anytime Russia comes up, I sniff for a setup. Keeping my expression blank, I cautiously reply, "Yes."

He looks enthusiastic. "Is your Russian good enough for translation work?"

My suspicion fades. Gjersee's looking for a favor. "Yeah, my Russian is excellent."

"Great! Listen, two of our three translators are out with the flu and we have a major backlog of tape to transcribe. I, uh, know you're at loose ends for a few days. Any chance you can help us?"

It actually sounds good. I would like to hear someone speaking my native tongue again, even if it's dull surveillance transcription. "Sure. You gonna clear it with Mathis?"

"Yeah. I'll get the SAC to talk to him this afternoon."

Nate leaves after telling me where to report in the morning. As soon as he's gone, I find my fingers touching the side of my neck.


Washington, D.C.
Wednesday, 20 July 1994
1:36 P.M.

At first, translating the surveillance tapes was interesting. Now, it's just boring.

Wrapping up another tape, I pass the transcription to the senior agent. After the first two tapes, he stopped checking my work, commenting that it was some of the best Russian translation he'd seen. Then he condescendingly added, "A little more practice and you could join my team." I fought the urge to laugh.

I take a quick breather and come back to find the room empty. I don't have any more tapes in my stack, so I grab one off the other agent's desk. As soon as the tape starts to roll, I hear a voice I never expected to hear again. A voice that can only belong to Yuri Smetanin.

It takes a few minutes to realize Yuri is betraying Arntzen into the hands of the FBI. I was not intended to hear this information. It occurs to me that Arntzen is the target of this entire investigation. I quickly remove the tape and place it back on the other agent's desk.

Shit.

Even though I don't know why Yuri is doing this, I don't like it.

Standing in the hall of the second floor of the J. Edgar Hoover building, everything suddenly seems surreal. How in the world did I wind up here?

Without even thinking about my motives, I carefully plan how to handle the situation. Leaving, I make a quick run to the bank, then come back to work to finish translating.

One the way home, I stop at a payphone near a deserted gas station. Feeding a lot of change into the slot, I dial a number I committed to memory years ago. I keep an eye on the hands of my watch. This has to be fast.

After three rings, Arntzen answers. In Russian, I tersely say, "Need to talk on a secure line."

"This is-"

I cut him off. "It's not."

"Twenty minutes." He rattles off a phone number and I scribble it on the back of my hand.

Back in my car, I randomly pick a direction and drive for 20 minutes.

Another pay phone, more change, a new phone number. I hope Arntzen is correct about this line being secure.

The call is answered on the first ring. "What do you want?"

"Comrade, do you know who this is?"

There's silence for a moment, then he cautiously replies, "Yes. Where have you been?"

"Doesn't matter." I carefully choose my words. "You are going to the States next week?"

"And you would know that, how?" His voice is now suspicious.

"It's a setup. Yuri has given information to the American authorities. Consider alternatives."

There's a rush of breath as he exhales suddenly. "Why would I believe you?"

"You should not trust anyone. Especially me. But consider that caution is always the wiser choice."

He gives a short laugh at hearing his own words quoted back to him. "Anything you need--anything--you have only to ask."

I hang up, get into my car and go home.

**

Washington, D.C.
Friday, 22 July 1994
7:03 A.M.

I've been thinking about the last time at Alex's place. When I turned off the alarm this morning, I didn't get up. Instead, I jacked off replaying Saturday morning's fuck. I love fucking him side by side, holding him in my arms. The rest of my life is coarse, ugly and meaningless compared to my time with Alex.

I'm still thinking about him when I unlock the door to my office. I reach for my daily schedule, like I do every morning, but then push it away. Instead, I open my desk drawer and remove a small envelope. And pull out the gold ring.

The inscription reads, 'Love forever, Sharon.'

Hers says, 'All my love, Walter.'

I never meant it to be a lie.

If I could make our relationship right, I would. But I've tried and each attempt just makes the failure more painful. The guilt deeper.

Surely it's not my responsibility to be a martyr to my marriage? I can't believe Sharon would want that.

She does love me. It astonishes me. Can she really forgive all my failures? Would she forgive my affair with Alex, too?

I've been trying not to face the changes happening inside me. The truth I've been hiding from myself... I need to leave Sharon. For my own survival. Maybe for hers, too.

It has nothing to do with Alex and everything to do with Alex. My heart beats faster. My cock gets hard twice in an hour. Some days I leave work eager to be somewhere. At the gym, I work out harder. I want him to like what he sees. Nothing turns me on like seeing his lust for me. I want to like what I see in the mirror. I'm a sexual being. My body is more than a tool to subdue criminals and push pencils... it's a source of pleasure. And it hasn't felt like that in a long time.

All I have to do is tell Sharon. So hard to do... I don't want to disappoint her again. That look in her eyes... I've seen it way too many times and it's always my fault.

I'm so sorry, Sharon.

My eyes are stinging... Kissing the ring, I put it back in the envelope. I do love her, but I'm not prepared to destroy myself to maintain something that isn't working for her either.

All I have to do is tell her.

I'll rent an apartment, so I can move out right away. The house will be paid off in another five years. I can easily cover the mortgage and rent. If Sharon wants alimony, I'll pay that, too. Not that she'd ask for it.

Maybe I'll get a place in Georgetown. I like the noisy streets. An easy drive to work. An easy drive to Alex's place. He could come to my place. I'd enjoy that... waking up with Alex in my bed. Do normal things... read the paper, fix stuff, make dinner for him.

A double buzz from Kimberly shakes me out of my musings. The signal means my next meeting is here.

I open the door and look into the lined face of Mr. Smith. Suddenly, my mouth tastes bad.

"Good morning, Skinner," he says in a voice that always seems inappropriately pleasant.

After grunting some sort of neutral greeting, I retrieve a box of mints from my desk and pop one into my mouth.

**

7:42 A.M.

I arrive to find an odd mixture of upset and listlessness among Nate's team.

Before starting translation, I pull him aside. "What's going on?"

He sighs. "Thanks for all your help, Alex. But this case is de-prioritized. All the translation will be done eventually, but it's not critical any longer."

"Why not?"

He glances around to make sure no one is listening. Leaning down slightly, he whispers, "I shouldn't say this but, in truth, our case is dead. Doesn't look like the target is leaving Russia and our contacts tell us he's practically vanished. What no one wants to admit, is that it looks like we had a leak. Our informant was found floating face down near the docks in St. Petersburg last night."

That's the answer I was hoping for. "Well, if you need anything, Nate." I let the rest of the sentiment remain unsaid and watch Gjersee get back to work.

Walking slowly back to my desk, I feel intense satisfaction knowing Yuri is dead.

**

7:20 P.M.

Kimberly picked up a sandwich for me, as she often does when I work late. I actually eat most of it while working on a disciplinary action form. The first one I've done in over a month that doesn't have Mulder's name on it.

My cell rings. I hope it's not the Director. I haven't finished the budget yet. Plus I'm on his shit list right now and he's probably looking for something odious to lob into my corner. "Skinner."

"You work too much." Alex's voice, pitched at its sultry range, makes me groan into the phone.

"Hi."

"Isn't there something you'd rather be doing?"

Suddenly, the burden of my paperwork seems pointless and non-essential. "Many things. Most of them involving you."

He gives a husky laugh and replies, "I called to find out when you'd like to do some of those things again."

"Soon... very soon." I visualize my plans for the next few days and lament out loud. "My weekend's a little out of control, though. Something I promised to do..."

"Hmm... I was thinking more along the lines of keeping you occupied for the rest of this evening."

My mouth opens automatically to defer pleasure for duty, but the words don't come. "What did you have in mind and where?"

"Poetry and wine tasting?" I don't think I've ever heard Alex's voice sound mischievous.

"Let me see... poetry and wine tasting with you vs. trying to cut $2.3 million out of next year's budget. It's a tough choice."

"I have to compete with budget cuts? I guess I need to add some incentive. How about my mouth and ass at your beck and call for the next few hours?"

"Hmm... that's slightly more incentive than the poetry and wine, but either would be a vast improvement over my current plans."

"So, you're available for an evening of debauchery?"

"Yes..."

"My place or something, ah, closer?"

My mood is dampened by the thought that flashes through my mind. I'd like to take him someplace nice for dinner. But I know too damned many people. Our accidental encounter at Chez Mitani proves it. It happens to me all the time. I might be the one to lose my job, but it wouldn't be easy on his career either.

"Walter?"

"Oh, sorry. Your place, I guess. Forty-five minutes?"

"Mm... I'll see you then."

I take the stack of work I'd set aside for tonight and shove it into the top drawer of my desk. It's been quite a few years since I last left work behind in favor of spontaneous fun. Maybe I'm not so old and serious after all.

On the drive to Alex's place, I stop and pick up an assortment of cheeses and fruit. In case he hasn't eaten. In case we need to replenish our energy reserves.

My cock has been hard since the phone call... 'How about my mouth and ass at your beck and call...' Groaning audibly, my fingers reach out to tap on the door.

A few seconds later it opens, but I don't see Alex. Stepping inside, I notice the apartment is dim but I spot him--naked--with his hand on the doorknob. He shuts the door then gives me a push, bringing my back up against the door.

Before I can fully process what's happening, the food is removed from my hands, Alex is on his knees, my cock is in his hand and then down his throat.

My breath hitches and somehow I manage to moan weakly without any oxygen in my lungs. I'm lost. Slumped against the door, my hand reaches ineffectually... finding his ear before I can locate the back of his head.

I feel his moan reverberate through my cock, then he applies more pressure on the underside. He sucks hard at the head, tongues the slit, then quickly takes me down again.

I push forward, hand held firmly in his hair, and begin to thrust at my own increased pace. Alex's soft lips glide across my shaft and I'm gone. Some kind of sound is coming out of me, but my entire world is his hot mouth and the bursting of my cock inside his throat.

His hand clenches in the flesh of my hip as I feel the constriction of him convulsively swallowing around the head of my dick. When my brain is clear again, I'm slumped against the door with Alex licking my cock.

Stroking the side of his face, I begin to laugh.

He leans back and looks up at me. Even in the dimness I can see the color of his eyes, as if they are backlit. "My blowjobs don't usually elicit mirth." His voice is soft and his hands gently stroke my legs.

I touch his face, then cup the back of his head. "Your blowjobs make 42-year-old men come like teenagers."

Alex gives a faint laugh. "I like it when you behave like a teenager." I'm beginning to like it myself. There's a pause, then he continues, "But I do like tasting you." The wistful note is his voice tells me he didn't quite get enough.

I did come in what seemed like 60 seconds. After opening my mouth to apologize, I realize how ludicrous it is. He's the one who pounced on me... And he's way too good at what he does.

Suppressing a smile, my fingers move up into his hair, massaging his scalp. There's a groan of pleasure and his head drops forward to rest against me.

Squatting down next to him, I continue the head rub and kiss him. He's so familiar to me now... the taste and scent of him, the way he kisses me, first tasting and exploring, then yielding... giving his mouth to me. I break the kiss, muttering, "Ah, fuck."

I release his hair and pull him to my chest.

His arms come around me and he kisses the side of my neck. "Hi Walter... glad you could come over." He's breathless and his voice is faintly amused.

The tiny nubs of his nipples are standing erect. I brush my thumb across one and then the other. There's a hiss and he twitches against me. I grin at him as my hand moves further down. I tease the shaft of his hard-on with my fingertips. He gasps and thrusts against my hand, encouraging me to touch him.

Releasing his cock, I close my fist gently around his balls. "Stand up."

Alex blinks at me as if not understanding my words, then slowly rises. My hand still gripping his nuts, I stand at the same time. My pants fall to the floor.

With a squeeze, I let go of his balls. "Take off my clothes."

His eyes burn with lust as he reaches to push my jacket off my shoulders. My tie is quickly removed, then his fingers move to the neck of my shirt. He pauses and, with a faint smile, leans forward and closes his mouth around the button at my throat. Using his lips, teeth and tongue he works down my chest, popping open the buttons.

Kneeling, he removes the rest of my clothes, draping them over the arm of a chair.

"Get the lube."

Scooting across the floor, he retrieves it from the cabinet under the coffee table, holding the bottle out to me.

I shake my head, trying to look stern.

He looks faintly puzzled. "Tell me what to do for you, Walter." His voice is rough with desire.

I meet his eyes--which look like green flame--and extend my hand.

He applies a generous amount of lube on my fingers, then leans back, sitting on his heels.

"Spread your legs."

Alex stares at me intently for several seconds, then pulls his knees apart.

I sit on the floor next to him, back supported by the couch. Friction warms the lube as I brush my fingers across one another. Alex's eyes avidly watch those fingers and he stops breathing. Then he takes a gasping breath and his tongue flicks out to stroke his lower lip.

"Kneel over my lap."

He drops to his hands and knees over my thighs. The sight of his tight ass cheeks, hard cock and balls dangling, sucks the air out of my lungs, but I succeed in muffling a groan. I touch a wet finger to his anus. He hisses and pushes back with his hips.

Easing the finger inside him, I make slow spiral motions, before drawing it out again. He moans and tries to follow with his body. Then I push in two, fucking him gently on them, enjoying the sight of his ass twitching around my hand.

Body trembling, he gasps, "God, Walter... please..."

"Please what, Alex?" With my other hand, I reach up under him and tease the head of his cock. He jerks at the touch.

"Not... not so slow," he chokingly replies. "Please... harder."

Ignoring his sweet plea, I whisper, "Spread your knees."

He whimpers faintly and shifts his knees apart until one touches the couch.

I get a head rush from his exquisite compliance... He'll do whatever I tell him to. Reminding myself to breathe, I curl my hand around his erection. Then I extract my fingers from his rectum and penetrate him again with three.

He grunts and tenses, body resisting the more intense penetration. Then with a sound like a choked sob, his head drops down in surrender, asshole relaxing and accepting my fingers deeper into his body.

I groan as my free hand brushes roughly down the shaft of his leaking cock. I fuck him slowly, loving the slick, tight feel of his rectum as it closes around my fingers. I mumble, "Don't come," and my voice is so raw I have to clear my throat. "Not yet."

He takes a shuddering breath and whimpers, "Please." His body shakes as he pushes back to meet the thrust of my fingers.

"Not yet," I reply, silently laughing at myself for telling him not to come too soon. Increasing the velocity of my fucking, I aim for his prostate. I want him to explode with blinding pleasure like I do with him. I need him to feel as much as I do.

Alex gives a moan of frustration and I see the struggle as he fights his orgasm. The muscles of his back flex, glistening with sweat. He writhes as if he can't decide whether to seek my fingers or flee from them.

Then he stops fighting and drops down onto his forearms, fingers fisting in the carpet. His body is tense and quivering but it's clear he'll do whatever I want, let me draw this out for as long as I desire. "Walter, please... I need... I... please let me come."

"Not yet." I am such a bastard, but it's impossible not to enjoy what I'm doing to him. I close my grip around his cock and rub the head of it with my thumb. He gasps and his whole body shakes with his need. It's so sensitive. I can imagine what it feels like. Imagine his desperation. I know how badly he needs it.

Of course there's nothing to stop him from coming... except my demand that he not. Does he want to please me? Or just enjoy being controlled?

I fuck him harder. I want to take him right to the edge. If I misjudge, neither of us will be able to prevent his orgasm.

Shifting my hand so I'm jacking him off again, I fuck him faster, fingers seeking his tiny prostate. I'm starting to feel that I won't last somehow...

Gasping, he jerks away from the hand around his cock, consequently pushing hard against my penetrating fingers. "Walter... god, don't... can't stop..."

I'm as wound up as he is... breathing fast and shallow. Concentrating, I take a few deep breaths before I utter the word he's longing to hear. "Come."

Alex throws his head back and freezes for a fraction of a second. Then with a harsh guttural cry, he orgasms violently--body thrashing, ass spasming around my fingers. It feels almost like it's happening in my own body. The vibrations and heat of him are all around me... I'm in him and under him and part of it.

When the convulsions of pleasure subside, his breath comes in ragged gasps as he collapses over my legs, trapping my hand between his body and my thigh. My own respiration is slowing. Leaning over his splayed form, I huddle closer to bring our bodies into as much contact as possible.

When he stirs, I ease my fingers out of his ass and extract my semen-sticky hand from underneath him.

I see him struggling to move and, after a bit of trying, he manages to get to his knees. Crawling forward, he gropes blindly in the cabinet and extracts a small towel. Returning to me, he hands over the towel and I see his face for the first time. He looks completely dazed. Kneeling next to my legs, he relaxes against me and his lips find mine.

When he pulls away, he murmurs, "Glad you didn't keep working on the budget?"

Offering him only a wry grin, I ruffle his hair in my fingers and tug him onto my lap.

His fingertips lazily roam my chest and his expression becomes a little pensive. "I hope I didn't interrupt anything important." The tentativeness in his voice grabs my attention. "I just... wanted to see you."

His unexpected words create a warm sensation deep inside me. It's so unlike him to make a point of sharing a feeling... he must really mean it.

As I open my mouth to respond, I realize I'm hesitant to say the words. "There's no place I'd rather be, Alex."

He looks at me intently for a moment, then his fingers stroke the side of my face. Almost too quietly to hear, he whispers, "...happy you're here." And his mouth finds mine again.

**

Falls Church, VA
Saturday, 23 July 1994
11:55 A.M.

My bike ride was significantly shorter than I had planned. I felt fatigued after only thirty minutes and gave up after an hour.

I pause at my mailbox, shoulder aching dully, sweating much more than the activity warranted. My mail is normally very ordinary, but today it contains a hand-addressed envelope. Perhaps the only interesting piece of mail I have ever received.

Tucking the mail under my arm, I carry the bike upstairs.

Inside the apartment, I lean against the door, thinking of last night. I was much too impatient to wait until we could get to the bed. The room still smells faintly of sex... and of him. I'm instantly hard.

I was uncertain about calling him, but I'm becoming accustomed to seeing him regularly. I catch myself smiling. Very glad I called.

When I set the mail on the dining room table, I recall the strange letter. I open it and find a terse note.

--
Alex, Meet me at our diner. Monday, 7:30 P.M. -M.
--

Must be Morgan. But our diner? I shred the note and toss it in the trash. I wonder what he wants. And I wonder how he got my address.


Falls Church, VA
Sunday, 24 July 1994
3:34 P.M.

The knock at the door is unexpected, so I grab my gun before moving to answer it. A glance through the peephole reveals one of Spender's goons. I groan. I am summoned.

Opening the door, I tersely say, "I'll be out in five minutes."

The goon nods and heads back to the stairs.

Leaving my Bureau-issue SIG Sauer, I put on my shoulder holster and grab my Glock from a locked case in the closet. I reach for my leather jacket on the way out the door.

The smell of smoke is, as always, pervasive in the back of the car.

"Hello, Alex."

My only reply is a vague grunt. The car pulls out of the parking lot, and I refuse to ask where we're going, since I have no doubt he won't answer.

A thick file lands in my lap. "Your new assignment."

I cast him an inquisitive look. "I'm leaving the Bureau?"

His return glance is condescending. "After all the time and effort we've put into you?"

I guess that's a no. Turning my attention to the file, I open it to find a dossier on... "Fox Mulder? You cannot be serious."

"Deadly serious, Alex."

I look back at him. "Why?"

"Mr. Mulder may be a key player in some of our plans, but he's out of control. Every attempt to bring him into line has met with failure. That's where you come in."

"How so?"

"We need someone to monitor Mr. Mulder. Help us find his weaknesses... a way to control him."

I gape at him. "How?"

"You will be working with him in the near future. Within the next week, you will be notified of a case assignment. It's important you get him to trust you. The key to his trust is his beliefs... his crusade, if you will."

"You want me to talk up alien and UFO babble and pretend to believe it?" This is beyond even my acting abilities.

He just looks at me for a minute. "And one other thing." I have a feeling of dread. "Regardless of the various aspects of this assignment, a key objective is to always keep Mr. Mulder safe."

I'm speechless for a minute, then blurt out, "You want me to babysit?"

His non-response is a malicious smile. He actually spends several long minutes offering advice on getting under Mulder's defenses. He briefs me on Dr. Dana Scully, their first attempt to control Mulder. Part of my brain files the information away, the rest of me tunes out. This is un-fucking-believable.

Before he drops me off somewhere miles from my place, he hands me a cell phone. "I'll need to be able to reach you at all times."

Just what I always wanted.


Falls Church, VA
Monday, 25 July 1994
7:28 P.M.

I find Morgan sitting at the same table as our last visit to this diner, nursing a cup of coffee. I slide into the booth across from him.

He gives me a suggestive look. "You're looking good, kid."

I keep my tone mild. "Stop flirting and tell me why you needed to see me."

Morgan grins. "I like you, Alex. You're direct. Don't meet many people I like in my line of work."

No doubt. I nod to acknowledge the compliment but say nothing.

He chuckles. "Okay, kid. Down to business. Thought you might be interested in a little piece of intel about your employer."

It's not even possible that he's referring to the FBI, so I assume he's talking about Spender. "Always. What's the information?"

"I was offered a contract recently, one I accepted. It concerns you."

"Hit or surveillance?"

His deep belly laugh reverberates through the diner, drawing the attention of the few patrons. "See, I knew I liked you, kid. Here I might have a hit on you and you don't even blink. Surveillance."

Fuck. "Specific duration or indefinite?"

"Two weeks."

"I assume you have a suggestion."

"Well, it doesn't seem conducive to our future working relationship to be spying on you, now does it?"

"No, it does not." Morgan is already clear on the fact that I am not joining his organization, so he must be referring to the future contracts I agreed to. Or he still thinks he's getting me into bed.

He continues, "I can't very well turn it down as that could affect my future business, and you would still wind up with someone watching you. So, what's a businessman to do?"

"From a purely financial perspective, you should offer to let the third party buy out the contract."

"I like your style, kid."

"How much?"

He names a fairly reasonable price and I nod. A piece of paper with a series of numbers is passed. I tuck it into my pocket and reply, "You'll have it tomorrow."

"You don't exactly drive a hard bargain."

I shrug. "It's worth it. I like my privacy."

"Well, I tell you what, for this price, we'll be keeping an eye out and let you know if it looks like there are any other players in your game."

Acknowledging the offer with a nod, I thank Morgan and leave.

On the way home, all I can think is, I hope this surveillance thing is new in response to the upcoming assignment. I think I would have noticed if anyone had been hanging around the apartment or following me, but it's never safe to assume. Regardless of Morgan's offer, it's best if I don't see Walter for a while, until I can make sure we're not being watched.


Washington, D.C.
Tuesday, 26 July 1994
8:04 A.M.

I'm surprised by a call informing me that I have a visitor in the lobby.

An unremarkable looking kid in his late teens hands me an envelope and takes off before I can ask any questions.

Back at my desk, I find an already-filled-out 302 with supporting documentation to investigate the death of one Dr. Saul Grissom. Death of unknown cause after reporting a fire in his apartment. Fucking lovely.

The only thing unofficial in the envelope is a note to present the 302 to Mathis for approval. I leave early for my 9:00 meeting with the thin-lipped Fogelberg fan.

**

8:39 A.M.

Mulder brought me a newspaper clipping and a 911 tape related to a suspicious death in New York City.

"The article makes no mention of the fire," he prompts.

"Yes, Agent Mulder, I can read." My brain sifts the data, trying to find Mulder's angle on this one.

"Grissom's company had a number of government contracts, which would place this investigation within the Bureau's jurisdiction."

Don't bullshit me, Mulder. "But that's not why you want the assignment."

"I think that the circumstances surrounding Grissom's death warrant a closer look. I called NYPD but they won't even talk to me unless you get the Attorney General to sign off on it."

In other words, you already tried to investigate the case without my authority. "Where'd you get the tape? Presumably, someone has led you to believe there is more here than is being reported."

"My source," he says, his voice breaking, "the only one I've ever trusted, is dead."

I want to help. A fabulous brain is being wasted on wiretaps. But the Director and his pal Smith seem to want Mulder humbled. What exactly can I get away with here? "I'll look into this further and, uh, let you know." You have to do your dirty work, too, Mulder. "In the meantime, you have 24 hours of wiretap tape that need to be transcribed."

** End Part 5 **


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