Friday, March 23, 2012

Too close to home

A short glimpse into the lives of Harrison Sheldon, aka Harry (Mark from City Falcon's uncle) and his partner, Nikodemos Archangelidis, aka Nick. Enjoy!

Note: adult content

Too close to home

New York City, 1979

The apartment was dark and silent, but Nick's keys were in the clay bowl on the dresser, indicating that he was home. Sleeping, most likely, given the hour. Leaving his boots next to Nick’s loafers in the hallway, Harry tiptoed into the kitchen by the street light falling in through the slits in the blinds. After he'd stowed his gun in the safe under the sink and thrown his hat and tie on the table, he pulled a beer from the fridge and leaned back against the counter as he drank, guzzling down half the bottle in one go.
With a sigh, he closed his eyes and rolled the cold bottle across his forehead, held it there for a moment, his shoulders sagging.  

The light in the hallway clicked on. “Hard day, babe?”

Harry looked up, blinking against  the sudden brightness. Arms crossed, Nick leaned casually in the doorway, a well-shaped, bare-chested silhouette in plaid pajama bottoms, his black curls tousled from sleeping. “I’m sorry, didn’t mean to wake you,” Harry said. Unfolding his arms, Nick pushed off the doorframe and stepped closer. Even after a day like today, his predatory grace still accelerated Harry’s heartbeat; his mouth suddenly dry, he took another swig of beer.

The bottle was taken from his hands and put down on the counter, and a warm, hard body pressed up against him. Harry leaned  into the cradle of those strong arms, secure in the knowledge that they’d be always there to catch him and hold him safely. He pressed his face into the crook of Nick’s neck and breathed his lover in, the musk of sleep and sweat, soap, faint traces of cologne and smoke. Nothing better. Three years and counting, and he couldn’t think of anything better than coming home to this smell, this warmth, this man. He traced the ridges of Nick’s back muscles, dragged his fingertips down the knobby spine, felt the movement mirrored on his own back through his shirt, felt Nick’s lips, nibbling and kissing a damp line from his ear to his collarbone. Harry’s thumbs found the dimples right above the waistband of Nick’s pajamas. He massaged in slow circles, increasing the pressure as he eased his other fingers under the elastic. The tips of his forefingers met and slipped into the hairy damp of Nick’s crack, and Nick’s deep chuckle reverberated through Harry’s chest, turning into a purring moan when Harry stroked deeper. “Mmm. One of those days.”

Harry’s answering grunt was muffled against the skin of Nick’s throat. He moved his mouth downward, suckling a nipple, pinching the other with his left thumb and forefinger while working his right hand inside Nick’s pajamas. He cupped Nick’s balls, rolled them around, just this side of rough, just like he knew Nick liked it best, enjoying the breathy moans and purrs his lips and hands brought forth from his lover. But when Nick’s fingers scrabbled at Harry’s fly, feeling for the cock behind the zipper, Harry jerked his hips away with another grunt, biting down on the nipple in his mouth. He wasn’t hard. It was one of those days.

Nick hissed at the sharp pain, but he’d picked up on the evidence just like Harry'd known he would. “Oh baby,” he said, his husky voice as soft as his hands which stroked Harry’s shoulders now in a downward urge, but ever so gently. “’s all right. ‘s all here. Take. Take what you need.”

A choked noise half sob, half moan broke from Harry’s throat as he dropped to his knees, slid down Nick’s body, his face, his tongue, his hands never losing contact with Nick’s skin, shoving down Nick’s pajamas as he went. Nick grabbed the edge of the kitchen counter with both hands and arched into Harry as his erection sprang free. He gasped when Harry devored him, sucked him deep, swallowed him down. “Yes, oh yes, take…all yours…”

It was fast,  messy and loud. A steady stream of words flowed from Nick’s mouth as he snapped his hips, thrusting violently into Harry’s mouth, his knuckles turning white from his death grip on the kitchen counter. Harry met Nick’s every thrust, slurped and choked, gagging, spit drooling from his chin. He hurt himself but didn’t stop, the need to feel and smell and taste was too strong. He buried his nose deep in Nick’s thatch of hair, fingers digging into Nick’s clenching ass cheeks with pressing urge. Only when black dots danced in front of his eyes did he pull back enough he could breathe again. But he didn’t let Nick out of his mouth, sucked on the thick mushroom head while working the shaft like a piston through his fist. When he tongued the scar under the glans, Nick froze, and Harry bore down,  took Nick’s seed down his throat as Nick’s voice washed over him in helpless moans and cries of pleasure.

Harry slumped back against the kitchen cabinet afterward, coughing and swallowing convulsively, and wiped his watering eyes. His throat was raw, his jaw ached, but this pain was nothing, it drowned out the other pain deep in his chest. It made him feel again. In a graceless crouch, Nick slid down next to him, hissing as the tip of his limply dangling penis touched the cold tiles.

The sound made Harry chuckle despite himself. He turned his head to meet his lover’s heavy-lidded smile, and a rush of tenderness and love pushed warmth through his chest and right down to his groin where his own cock finally came alive.

Nick blinked, his glassy-eyed, fucked-out look giving way to renewed arousal as Harry cupped his head and pulled him close. Their kiss started out gentle but didn’t stay that way long, the residues of Nick’s seed on Harry’s tongue mixing with the lingering taste of sleep in Nick’s mouth until all they both could taste was each other and passion.

Nick pulled back first. “Better?” he asked, stroking Harry’s cheek. With a sigh, Harry leaned into the touch and nodded against Nick’s palm. He kissed it, too. Nick stood and held out his hand. “Come, babe. Let me take care of you.”

Harry grabbed the hand, kissed the knuckles. “You just did, you know.”
“I know.” Nick closed his fingers around Harry’s and gave a light tug. “Come on already.” His cock still glistened with wetness, it rose to new life right in front of Harry’s eyes as Nick stepped carelessly out of his pajama bottoms, leaving them behind. “I need you to fuck me right now, and you’re sure as all hell not doing it with cooking oil again. Move your ass, Sheldon. Lube’s in the bedroom.”


With a hoarse outcry, Nick collapsed above him. Harry grabbed his lover’s hips tighter  and followed him over the edge with two or three last erratic, deep thrusts, silent as usual. He was plenty loud when Nick fucked him, but feeling his seed shoot out while he was buried to the hilt in Nick’s body always silenced him, it felt too intense for sound.

They stayed connected like this for a while longer, Nick’s body a limp, sweaty mass atop Harry as their heartbeats and breaths calmed down. Once his softened cock had slipped out, Harry stroked Nick’s back and ass, circled Nick’s distended hole until the muscle contracted again, his fingertips sliding easily in a mix of lube and his own semen.

Finally, Nick stirred and sat up, their bodies coming apart with a squelch that made them both wince. Nick disappeared into the bathroom, and Harry wiped himself down with his t-shirt, then threw the garment into the vague direction of the hamper. Leaning back against the headboard, he lit a cigarette from the pack on the nightstand and blew smoke rings toward the ceiling while he listened to the soft sounds from the bath.

Nick came back, snuggled close to Harry’s body and held out his hand. Wordlessly, Harry passed him the cigarette and lit a new one for himself. They smoked silently, tipping off  into the ashtray that Harry balanced on his chest, the only sounds in the room the faint sizzle when one of them took a drag and the rustle of Harry’s body hair as Nick stroked lazy circles on his belly and chest.
He only begun to speak after the ashtray was back on the nightstand and Nick had clicked off the nightlamp.
“They beat him to death. Went at him with fists and bottles. One of them must have jumped on his back when he was already down. Jumped on him. With combat boots.”
Nick’s hand stilled. “Oh jeeze, Harry. Where?“
“The tubs on Farrington. Only a few steps from the entrance. He had black hair, Nicky. Long, black curls. Brown suede jacket, jeans, loafers, no socks.” He took a deep, shuddering breath. “When I saw him there lying on the walkway, his face a bloody mess, I thought for a moment it was you.”
 The mattress shifted. In the darkness, Nick moved closer until he lay half on Harry, one thigh across Harry’s crotch, head resting in the hollow under Harry’s shoulder. His weight was a solid, comforting presence that anchored Harry, cradled him in warmth against the chill of the relived panic that forced the words out of him. “It couldn’t be you, of course. I knew that, I did, but still…it’s just, he looked so much like…you know how it is, don’t you, Nicky?”
Nick kissed him then, a soft touch of lips on lips that calmed him. “Sssh. Yes, I do.”

And it was the truth. A former cop himself, Nick knew everything about seeing violent death on a daily basis, about clamping down on the horror in order to be able to function, and about how it was when the pain and fear and cruelty finally hit too close to home.

A football game between the 105th NYPD and the neighbouring Nassau PD 6th precinct had brought them together in the first place, and they'd hit it off with each other on the spot. What had followed were weeks of being best buds as they danced around each other, both interested as hell but none willing the risk of outing himself on a wrong guess. Even becoming roommates after Nick's old apartment had fallen prey to gentrification had changed nothing. Then one night the NYPD raided a gay sauna, and Nick was among the handful of patrons unlucky enough to be caught, not in the act, but literally with his pants down. No questions left after that. Upon his release, Harry had given Nick a ride home that had ended in Nick’s bed.
The incident had lost Nick his job – even though relaxing in a gay sauna wasn’t unlawful in and of itself, being caught at it by other law enforcers wasn’t overly conducive for a police officer’s career, after all. However, he’d had his share of grueling sights, still had the nightmares to prove it, which Harry knew firsthand.  

Harry relaxed, and Nick gave a contented noise. “There. That’s better. Tell me everything.”
“Maxwell and Fish were first on scene. Jacobs and I were only a minute or so behind, but when we arrived, it was all over. The vic died while we waited for the ambulance. He wasn’t even twenty-one, Nicky. Had a fake ID on him, but I found his real one. Brought the D’s in. Maxwell wasn’t happy.”
Nick snorted. “I bet. Did he make that pest control remark again?” Harry flinched, but before he could answer, Nick pressed a finger to his lips. “Hush. Shouldn't have mentioned it.”
Harry kissed the fingertips before lifting Nick’s hand away. They were silent for a while.
Maxwell, Harry's erstwhile partner, was a man with a mission, and his mission was sweeping the city clean of "perverts, assfuckers and cocksuckers", end quote. A call that hinted at anti-gay violence? Dollars to doughnuts Maxwell was first on scene, making sure things were handled "properly", end second quote. Of course Maxwell had been first in line to volunteer for the infamous sauna raid. Actually, he'd been the one to make sure that each and everyone in Nick's former precinct knew exactly how Nikodemos Archangelidis looked in his birthday suit. Harry was thankful that he had a new partner now. He didn't mind that the latter came with a less than stellar reputation. Do as you would be done by, and Harry preferred to turn a deaf ear to the gossip, preferring to connect his own dots.
“Nobody seen anything, I guess?” Nick eventually asked.
“Not this time.” A note of grim contentment stole into Harry’s voice. “It was Jacobs who nailed one of them. Big dumb brute, pissed as a newt, just stood there with his combat boots and a split lip. There’s going to be hell to pay – it’s manslaughter now, after all. Even Maxwell couldn’t shrug that off.”
“Way to end his first day on the job. So he’s okay, your new partner?” Nick asked.
“It’s too early to say for sure, but I think he’s a good sort. Young, a bit overeager, thinks he’s got something to prove.” Harry winced as he heard his lover inhale. “No, that came out wrong. His former partner was killed on the job, and as far as I can tell, Jacobs thinks it was his fault.”
“Was it?”
“I can’t know. Even so, I’d rather have Jacobs at my back anytime than Maxwell.” Harry felt Nick tense up and silenced him with a kiss. “Please, don’t go there, Nicky. Not today."

But it did him no good. Nick's lips remained as taut as his body, and when he rolled off and settled on his back, Harry sighed, clicked the nightlamp on again and reached for his smokes.They'd had the same argument over and over during the last few months.
Sure as hell, here they went. "You know I can't just leave it alone," Nick said just when Harry took the first drag. "When, Harry? When are you going to do something about it?" 

Having a known queer for a roommate cast a shadow of doubt on Harry, at least in the eyes of those who were so inclined. Which meant about the entire precinct; Maxwell had made sure of that by demanding a new partner once he'd found out about Nick and Harry sharing an apartment half a year ago. But Harry refused to draw consequences of any kind. He wouldn't let Nick move out. He wouldn't ask for transfer. Which drove Nick nuts from worry. Which in turn drove Harry nuts as Nick kept nagging at him to do one or the other already.  

Curiously enough, Nick never asked Harry to quit police work, and Harry loved him all the more for this, because Nick really, really got it. Between his work and Nick, Harry wasn't sure what he'd choose, but Nick didn't even dream of making him. Nick worked in construction these days, which suited him just fine, but he missed being a cop every day. He knew how it was, he just knew.  
"They don't have nothing on me," Harry said. "If I applied for transfer now, it'd only prove them right. I won't let them win."
"So you'd rather end up being right and dead," Nick shot back.
Harry swallowed an angry response with his next mouthful of smoke, coughed, and dropped a bit of ember on his chest. Cursing, he patted at his smoldering body hair, almost overturning the full ashtray in the process, which resulted in another coughing fit since he had no hand free to take the cigarette out of his mouth.
Nick saved the ashtray, plucked the cigarette from Harry's lips, took a drag of his own and stubbed it out. He leaned over Harry to put the asthray back on the nightstand and click the lamp out, but he didn't roll off after that. Harry felt his lover's chest heave in a sigh. A moment later, soft lips covered his.
"Sorry, love," Nick said against Harry's mouth. Harry just nodded and kissed him, tasting smoke, worry and remorse. Wordlessly, he caught Nick in a condoning embrace and closed his eyes.     
He was almost asleep when Nick shifted. "Harry? What about an u-haul job?"
Harry groaned. Nick's stomach muscles jumped in a chuckle.
"No worries, babe. Actually, what I mean is, what if we moved? My firm has been doing a lot of renovation lately, and I could keep my eyes open. A new adress on your file should shut them up. And if you don't tell them I'm moving with you, none needs be the wiser. What do you say?"
As the new idea sank in, Harry swallowed the automatic refusal that had been sitting on his tongue. Slowly, he nodded. "That could work."
"What, no buts?" Nick asked in mock disbelief. Harry pinced his ass, and Nick jerked, only to settle back on top of him with a contented sigh. "So, house-hunting it is. You can write off your weekends in the foreseeable future, just so you know."
"As long as you stop talking about moving out, I'll look at as many houses as you want me to." Harry hugged Nick closer. "Thank you for putting up with me, love.”
 “You’re welcome. Thank you for having me." Nick dropped his head on Harry's shoulder and tangled their legs together.
"I love you, babe."
"Love you, too. Sleep."
And they did.

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