I hate it when I get this way. When I get so bored that my skin practically itches for excitement. Two weeks of desk work and I'm ready to climb the walls and no amount of working out, no amount of sex, nothing seems to take the edge off. It's almost like when you have to sneeze, but can't, when you're denied that last-second trigger that allows completion. I remember my psychology professor telling me sneezing is a lot like sex. She was right. It is and I need to sneeze so badly that my eyes water at the thought.
I don't know how Illya does it. He's nearly as close to the cut-off point for field work as I am, yet the thought of being restricted to a desk doesn't seem to affect him as it does me. He just shrugs his shoulders and sallies forth. The mere idea of a desk-bound life makes me crazy. He tells me I need a hobby. I have one; he just doesn't know it. I watched the parade of faces before me, all offering and all interested until they see the dead look in my eyes and then they move off, looking for a safer harbor for the night. They can't give me what I want, what I crave. They can't give me Illya.
So instead, I nursed my drink and let my mind wander and wonder. I wonder what he's doing right now? It's about ten p.m., so he's probably in bed, reading some boring scientific tome, glasses perched on the end of his nose, maybe a glass of vodka close at hand. I smile as I think of those hands, so deadly, so strong, yet at the same time, so incredibly gentle. They could crush a man's throat or crack a safe. Play the notes on a half dozen instruments or pull a trigger. They were capable, skilled hands. And in the small dark hours of the night, I imagine what those hands would be like against my skin, stroking and caressing me. What those fingers would feel like inside... that's when I realize if I squeeze my glass any harder, it will shatter.
It was time to move, to get out of here before I made a mistake and left with someone. It was still early, so I made up my mind just to wander by Illya's place. We had tomorrow and the day after off, pending a lack of trouble from THRUSH. How I prayed for trouble from THRUSH. The only thing worse right now than a day behind the desk was a couple of days with nothing to do. Illya merely said that he was busy and no amount of cajoling, bullying, and, in the end, pleading wrung any additional information out of him. He's funny that way, although I can't remember many THRUSH laughing about it.
But it didn't keep me from suddenly finding myself outside his door, his key in my hand. I came to a split second decision. I would let myself in. If he was asleep, I'd sneak out and he'd never know I was there. I am a spy, after all. If he was still up, I'd make something up, some pathetic excuse about a report or a mission. I'd lie like a dog and he'd know it. He'd yell about his privacy being violated and we'd end up drinking and talking. Not exactly how I wanted my evening to end, but the best I could hope for knowing my partner as I do.
I worked the locks easily and slipped into the near darkness of the entry hall. From the living room came the faint glow of a lamp, turned low. Standing there, waiting for my eyes to adjust to the lack of light, I heard them. At first I wasn't sure and then realized the sound was of two people in the throes of love making. Low guttural sounds, moans and soft cries and, to my shame, I went hard almost immediately. The thought of my partner with someone was insanely attractive to me. I'd seen Illya with women, watched how he played their bodies, just as he'd watched me. It was what partners did. Sometimes we'd even share a woman, if she'd have it. And always I loved to lie back at some point to watch my partner in action. Now I crept forward, mindful of that one board that squeaked in the hall—Illya referred to it as his early-warning system—and I peeked in through the narrow slit of the bedroom door.
You see, that's where I got it wrong, because it wasn't Illya and a woman... well, it was, but there was someone else, another man. I remembered Illya always agreeing to share rather amicably. Amicably for him, that is. I'd have to push and prod him, but he'd eventually agree and always participated enthusiastically. Now I knew why. He liked crowds. And there were indications around the room that this had been going on for a couple of hours.
He was driving into the woman so hard, he lifted her off the bed each time, but it was nothing compared to the rogering the man was giving him. It was so enthusiastic, so forceful that at first I thought Illya was being attacked. The man had one hand tangled in Illya's hair, pulling his head back until his only view was of the ceiling. The woman's fingers were clutching and digging into Illya's skin with each stroke, her cries fueling him even more, which in turn, encouraged on the other man.
I could tell they were very close. Hell, I was very close and I was just a not-so-innocent bystander. Then the woman groaned and arched into Illya. Lucky lady, she was obviously climaxing and the man was right behind her, figuratively speaking, and it was finally more than Illya could bear and, with a soundless scream, he started to shake. The woman reached up and grabbed his nipples, squeezing them and the man dropped to bite down onto a well-muscled shoulder. Illya thrashed in their grip, then sobbed and, as one, they collapsed onto the bed, a mass of entwined arms and legs. That was when I realized I'd joined them, my climax a warmth seeping through my shorts. I was glad I was wearing a dark suit tonight. The violence of a moment ago calmed as the man began to tenderly caress and stroke Illya, speaking soft words. Illya turned into one of those touches and that's when he saw me.
I froze and then I was gone, quickly heading back the way I came—poor choice of words there- and reached the door. I'd almost gotten the last lock undone when a hand landed palm first in the middle of the door. For a moment, I confess I lacked the courage to look at him—my partner, for whom I would die, for whom I would live—and I was afraid to meet his eyes.
"I am assuming you have a very good reason for being here, Napoleon, especially since I made it more than adequately clear earlier this evening I had plans for tonight." His voice was soft, but I suspected it was out of respect for his guests, not for me. I could hear the tension running through the words.
"I was just passing by and saw your light on. I thought we could... talk."
"I see." I finally gathered my forces and looked at him. Surprisingly enough, he wasn't angry, well, he was, but not as angry as I expected. He was wearing a robe that was loosely knotted around his waist. The top gapped with every breath he took and I could see the still red half moon indentations the woman's nails had left in his aureoles. "Why are you here, Napoleon?"
The truth seemed unavoidable, but I am a gifted liar. "As God as my witness, I have no idea. Call it a sixth sense, but I thought you were in danger. When you didn't answer..." He didn't need to know I didn't knock. "I got concerned and let myself in. I thought at first they were attacking you."
"And when it became apparent they were not?" I looked away, ashamed, feeling a bit like a minister caught coming out of a girlie show as he continued. "You decided to stay for the floor show?"
"Yes," I whispered. I was ready for his fury, his sarcasm, and his hatred for my violating something he guarded most highly of all, his privacy. What I wasn't ready for was his response.
"Why don't you make us some coffee while I say good bye to my friends?"
I knew my way around Illya's kitchen just as he knew his way around mine. Like mine, there wasn't much to his. We tended to eat at head quarters or out. On the rare nights we dined in together, it was usually take out. New York City is good that way—it was made for bachelors. Still, we didn't always eat out and there was the usual assortment of non-perishables, plus whatever we stocked while we were home. We tended to shop 'just in time' buying what was needed for that day, as we were often gone at a moment's notice and food goes bad very quickly. There were some take-out containers in the refrigerator, along with milk and juice. The freezer held some ice, neat white packages of meat and three bottles of vodka. I pulled a partially empty bottle out and poured myself a generous measure which I drank while I waited for the coffee to perk. Liquid courage, my father used to call it.
I kept out of their sight as much as was possible, but in an apartment that small I could still hear everything. From my vantage point, I watched them walk to the door, both nattily attired, as if they'd been out to the theater for the night.
"Est votre ami bien?" (Is your friend all right?), the man wanted to know. French, why didn't that surprise me?
"Je ne suis pas sr. Merci pour comprendre." (I'm not sure. Thank you for understanding).
"Pas du tout, Illya." (Not at all). The woman kissed him and I could see Illya's jaw move as he reciprocated. "Peut-tre il aimerait nous joindre quelque temps." (Perhaps he'd like to join us some time.) That garnered a smile from my partner.
"Perhaps, but not tonight." He helped her on with her coat and turned his attention to the man. That kiss was no less passionate than the one shared with the woman and I instantly felt a surge of jealousy coursing through me. How dare anyone kiss my partner like that? Especially when I couldn't?
Illya pulled away, a bit reluctantly, as if he was hesitant to end it. "I'll give you a call tomorrow."
"Pas trop tt, mon amour." (Not too early, my love). The woman patted his cheek and waited as the door was opened for her.
"Faites attention, Simone. Aller facile sur lui; il n'est pas l'homme qu'il tait une fois." (Take care, Simone. Go easy on him; he's not the man he once was). That garnered Illya another kiss from the man, which he accepted readily, even though he knew I could see everything
"Vous devriez savoir, mon petit tigre." (You should know, my little tiger). The man suddenly looked in my direction. "Happy hunting."
And they were gone, as I desperately wished to be. And I wanted to be here. I'd never been as torn as I was in that moment. Instead I poured coffee, added cream and sugar to mine, and left Illya's black. I never knew what he wanted when it came to his coffee, and apparently, other aspects of his life as well.
We sat in the tiny living room and sipped our coffee in silence for a moment. Then Illya stood and started to pace and talk.
"They are friends of mine from the Sorbonne. Max and I were roommates and then Simone came along. We fought over her, bitterly, and it almost cost us our friendship. Then we realized we were united in a common goal; I loved Simone as I did Max and Max loved Simone as he did me. What came next seemed only natural. We've had a good laugh over that many times in the years since."
"I'm sorry I interrupted."
"The evening was pretty much at a close when you did. As I said, Max is not the man he was, nor am I. And Simone had had as much as she could handle, no matter how she protests otherwise. All you robbed us of was a night's sleep together." He turned back and approached me again. "Which still doesn't answer the question, why are you here?"
"I told you."
"Don't give me that bull shit, Napoleon. I've been with you far too long to not be able to see through your fairytales." Hmm, interesting choice of words, but Illya had a point. He did know me, just not as well as he thought. "So, once again, why are you here? And the truth this time please." He sat down, a bit carefully, next to me, but he kept his eyes front and center. Just as well; if he'd looked at me, I wouldn't have been able to bear it.
"I wanted to see you."
"We spent all day together, Napoleon."
"I know that, Illya, I was there." But you never see me, I thought sadly. All day, saving each other's lives and you never see me, not once.
Because I love you, because I want you , because I want to be the one kissing you, fucking you, making you scream, I nearly blurted out. "No reason, I just did. Haven't you ever once acted on impulse?"
"Not as a rule, no." He drank the rest of his coffee. "In my home land, to act impulsively frequently leads to not-so-pleasant consequences." He handed me his cup, a clear indication that as part of my penance I was relegated to the fetch-and-carry role this evening. I didn't mind, it gave me something to do, an excuse to increase the distance between us before I did something stupid, like try to kiss him. Still, I'd watched his tongue flick out to meet Max's, lying to myself about how much I wanted it... and I got more coffee, this time bringing the pot with me.
"So you just wanted to see me... to talk to me."
"Well, you have seen me, so talk, Napoleon, and I will listen." He sprawled back against the cushions and the robe gaped. I tried not to stare, but he just looked so comfortable within his own skin. Perhaps it was his Russian stoicism that permitted him to take advantage of each situation as it came and go with it. In spite of the confidence I exude, it's more of an effort for me.
So I started talking, random thoughts, and he lay there, sipping his coffee, the fingers of one hand entwined in his hair, rubbing his head like he was fighting a headache or something. Or something... That's when I noticed a slight shift in his posture, it becoming, if possible, more inviting, more approachable... more seductive.
His eyes were half shut as he watched me, a near feral look on his face, and that was the moment I realized he was playing me. He knew why I was there, he'd known all along, and he was just waiting for me to catch up with the rest of the pack.
I wanted to be angry, but instead I was grateful. Just as he acquiesced to me so easily on any other number of things, he was letting me know he was there for me if I wanted him. And, oh, God, want him I did.
I think I surprised him a little when I suddenly surged forward and kissed him, but he overcame that instantly, opening his mouth to me. I didn't know what taste was him and which was the others, but I didn't care. It didn't matter to me that he'd already been with two people this evening, probably done or had things done to him, things that I usually only dream about. What mattered was I was here now and about to stake my own claim.
I dropped my mouth to his neck and bit, sucking hard. He hissed, but arched into it. The mark I left was blood red and I liked the look of it enough to replicate it on the other side. Then his fingers were in my hair, pulling me away, letting me know that was enough. He dragged me back up to his mouth and we spent a few minutes just exchanging saliva.
His robe was open and my hands roamed, tracing muscles I knew well. I'd often held that body under the worst of circumstances, but never like this, never like now, never under the best of circumstances.
I dropped my hand to his groin and explored, feeling eager flesh rise up to greet me. He was rock hard, velvet smooth and oozing. Without conscious thought I bent down, took him into my mouth and was engulfed in a whirlwind of smells and sensations. So many times, I'd done this with others, dreaming of what it would be like to have him in my mouth as opposed to the dick of some nameless stranger. This was much better than all my day dreams and the strange little noises Illya made were unlike anything I'd ever heard from him, so needy, so wanting. It was like the finest wine or the most potent drug. I couldn't stop and I couldn't get enough. I tongued, I sucked and I licked until Illya's hands were in my hair, fingers digging painfully into my scalp.
With a cry, he thrust just once and froze. I know they say the average man ejaculates only about a tablespoon of semen when he comes and I knew Illya had come at least once, probably twice already that evening, but he was certainly... giving. All those sperm, eager for a nice egg to fertilize and all they were going to get was my stomach acid; it somehow just didn't seem fair. And that's when I realized I'd come as well and hadn't even really noticed it. Things had been sticky and wet down there already, but now it felt good and reassuring in an odd way. Guess they were right, it is better to give than receive.
"You've done that before." Illya's voice was tired, his accent stronger now, as if he didn't have the energy to expend keeping it hidden.
"A time or two, yes, I have, but never with such pleasing results." I wasn't quite through with his dick yet, though it was softening. "How long have you known?"
"I suspected almost immediately and had it confirmed the first time we shared a playmate. I can't believe how long it took you to act upon all my signals."
I moved from between his thighs up his body, pausing to leave one more bruise to mark my passage. He sighed and his arms tightened around me. "Now a bit of reciprocity is in order, I think," he murmured into my mouth when I finally got up there.
"I think, if it's all the same to you, I'd rather wait until you've had a good night's sleep. You seem rather sated at the moment."
"And you doubt my fortitude?"
"Not for a moment, partner of mine, but I'd prefer you at your best. Besides, two climaxes a night are pretty much my limit without a breather in between."
"One just now and one from the... ah, doorway."
"You must be ready to get out of those clothes then."
"And into a nice warm bed."
"Are you propositioning me, Mr. Kuryakin?"
"If you're accepting, Mr. Solo."
"I am." I climbed off him and offered him a hand up, pulling him into a hug that had seemed a hundred years in the making. Then I sneezed.
"God bless you," Illya murmured automatically into an ear.
"Oh, He has, my friend. Believe me, He has."