- chapter 3 -

I tell him that and I'm back there, 13 years ago, standing in the shadows near the bike.

"Come out here so I can see you!" I didn't think he would but he did. I don't think he had a single clue of what would happen. I did. When I kissed him he was so stunned he didn't resist and I parted his lips with my tongue, invading him. I heard him chuckle against me, grabbing my shirt to pull me closer. Pushing him away, I took a look around. The bike could wait.

"You dragged me inside the garage." Toby speaks in a low voice, deep in his memories. "I fell on… what was it? It was so dark!"

"A mattress. It was a mattress. We fell on it. You wanted to tear off my clothes because you couldn't wait."

He laughs. "Oh. So that's what you call a lack of decency?"

I laugh too.

I pushed him away. "Hey, man, I don't wanna go home naked, right?" I stripped myself, then you and fell on his waiting body.

"You were already hard, remember? Fuck! You'd never fucked a man before, not even kissed one, and you were hard."

"You were so hot, Keller. I wanted to feel you, feel your skin and the muscles under it, dig my fingers in it and rub my dick against yours."

"That's what you did, Beecher ."

We sucked, licked, bit, stroke, every single part of bare skin we could reach and when I took his cock in my mouth he hid his face in his hands and moaned softly. He was very quiet during sex, at the time. Well, he still is. He came like that and I swallowed him all, licking him clean. He was shivering.

"More? Do you want more? Tell me?"

"Yes, I can remember you asked me that, and I said yes. I felt so good, I was so far gone… You asked me where the bathroom was. You remember the music, don't you? We could hear the others upstairs, laughing, dancing."

"They didn't notice me when I entered the bathroom. There was no lube, I don't think Fred had any use for it. But I found condoms, and I grabbed a bottle of suntan lotion. You know, I thought maybe when I go back downstairs, you'd be gone."

I get up, cross the room, push away the files and sit in front of him on the desk, my feet on each side of his thighs, trapping him.

"Tell me, Toby. Tell me what I did next."

He leans back and closes his eyes. "You caressed me for a while then you spread my legs with your knees and prepared me. I didn't know what you were doing. Then…"

I slid down off the desk, lean against him, speaking against his ear. "Then I fucked you with my fingers and you were so tight… I really believed I couldn't do it. You took three of my fingers and I kept watching you, your eyes were open and you looked so defenceless…" I kiss him on the lips softly, feel his breathing speed up. "How was it when I entered you?" I ask and he sighs. "It hurt like hell, but I didn't dare scream because of the people upstairs."

"I love it when you shut up and let me fuck you."

"That's what I always do, Keller," he says and continues, throws his arms around my neck and drags me to him, "then the pain was gone but I still felt uncomfortable. You stopped moving. When you thrust inside me, I lost my bearings and just let go. I could see your body dancing above me, and your sweat was falling on my face. I didn't want it to stop and it went on an on… For hours it seemed."

"Well, thanks. I'd say minutes, though. Then I left and stole the bike."

"Yes. Who's a shameless bastard?" I laugh and press my hand against his groin.

We watch each other for a while with a knowing smile. We both know this is the real story, but it's not the one we tell about when we're asked. He's good at lying and he explains that we met five days before in a bar where he was having a drink after work and that we only… flirted that day. In his story, I drove to Fred's party to see him again, and we had already spent three nights together. And I don't steal the bike. The lie kept the FBI, the prison and probably the chair at bay, because nobody could never prove anything else, and Fred testified that Tobias Beecher, the man he knew at the time, was a shy guy who would never ever have fucked a man in the basement of his house on their first encounter. Toby holds my life in his hands, that's what makes me such a control freak –I am one, anyway. I don't want him to believe, not today, not tomorrow, not ever, that he can use it against me, to… let's say… Fuck someone else? Two murders won't ever been elucidated because of that but why should I give a fuck about the men? They were full of shit anyway, asking for much worse than what I'd ever done –far worse than what I'd put Toby through the night before. I feel no remorse. I feel no pain. I don't know what Toby does or doesn't believe, he never really asked, but he sure doesn't hate my guts for that, never did. The only thing he was afraid of at the time was that the cops would take me away from him. That's why he said we were already together, fucking like rabbits, those dreadful nights.

He's talking again.

"I remember what you said before you left," he tells me, "you said, 'you like it, you do.' It was true."

Aw, isn't he nice when he smiles at me like that. Yes, I can leave everything behind me when he's like that.

"I went to see a shrink later, because I couldn't put all this out of my mind."

"Oh, yeah? You never told me about that, Toby!" I growl menacingly.

"No. No, it's not something I'm very comfortable with."

I wait but he says nothing more.

"What did he say?"

"He said I shouldn't shy away from what we'd done. That I'd cheated on my wife, done something quite… extreme, and that denial is never the best way to wisdom. That sort of things."

I burst in laughter. "No kidding! And how much did this… revelation cost you?"

"Don't laugh. I was mad at the man. I could've been to a priest, I think. I would've gotten the same for free. That's why I came to the garage later. To see you. See what it really meant. I think I saw clearly enough."

I nod. I made him see, yes, in my boss' office, what an addiction sex could become and how fast. I didn't really mean it at the time, didn't mean to have him hooked like that, trailing after me, but it was fun.

I sigh, sit back on the desk. "Harry wants to leave."

Toby sighs. "Here we go again!"

"Don't worry, I was quite clear about it. He worked fine today, anyway. He's a talented guy. He'll be able to take my place at the garage soon, you know."

Clear blue eyes rest on me, thoughtful. "Looks like you're proud of him, Keller!"

"Yeah, I am. He's great. Smart… Beautiful… I feel a bit like a father to him." I nearly feel shy: I never said it out loud.

"You *are* a father to him. The real one. I'm just… I just… I mean nothing to him." I hear –what? Bitterness? In Toby's voice, so I lean forward, pat his arm.

"We both are his fathers. He loves you. It's just a crisis he's going through."

"If you're proud of him, then I'm happy."

I nod knowingly. "And about Holly?"

"She'll be leaving for Vassar in September," Toby's face lightens up. I guess I know who he's genuinely proud of.

"She'll be a fine lawyer. And living together again, alone, will be just great." I smile at him, "so you can yell out loud instead of biting me."

He watches the dark welt on my arms and gives me a wicked smile. "You deserved it. I don't yell, anyway." And I nod. I deserved it.

Another silence, a good one. There's something I want to say to him, something I'm not very comfortable with.

" Beecher I know I don't make your life very happy." I say in the end. "I don't… take you out much, we don't travel, you don't have a lot of friends anymore, you don't see your family much… And all this shit with Gary . I know it's because of me." I sigh. "I'm sorry for that."

He shakes his head, smiles again, gives me a bright look. "Don't be. I wouldn't want another life. I don't need friends, I don't need my family, I've got you and the kids. And for Gary … He's been fine with Gen's parents and he's 24 now, so he's old enough to know what he wants. He'll do great, I'm sure about that."

I hope so. I hope Gary will stop acting like a prick with his father. I don't like Gary . Don't like the way he took Toby down, don't like the way he looks at me when we meet –twice a year or so. If he wasn't Toby's son, I would've punched his arrogant face long ago. He's lucky. I think he knows it. Knows that if he'd hurt his father too bad, I'd hurt him just as bad.

"Whatever, Beech." I jump off his desk. "I want to take you out tonight. We'll go dancing in a seedy bar and we'll fuck in the backroom. I wanna dance with you and hold you tight."

He watches me, raises an amused eyebrow. "A seedy bar? Do you know any?"

I laugh. "I remember some of those places, I think." I stand up. "So just put some shoes on and we'll go."

He looks happy. Yes, I think we made it.


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