Fraser felt the distance between them, possibly the same distance that had caused Ray to strike out at him on the shore of the lake, but now translated here into a frustrated grind between them on Ray's bed. The way Ray sometimes paused with a low groan and pushed at him, sweating and beautiful, limned in the golden afternoon light, when all should be easy and tender and sensual and loving and yet was not. Was somehow aching and edged with something almost ruthless in its hunger.
Ray rolled him in a sudden move, unexpected, and Fraser gasped up at him, frowning with confusion. But Ray shook his head with an almost bitter twist to his kiss-reddened lips and bent to nibble again at Fraser's nipple. It was sensitive at this point, and he twitched, aroused almost past bearing, and tried to rub himself against Ray's hairy thigh.
But Ray shifted, trapping Fraser's legs with one shin and continuing to suck and nibble.
Fraser panted softly.
Ray gave him another kiss and then pulled back, tension creasing his forehead as if he understood no more than Fraser did why this wasn't working right; it didn't seem to be about leading, or following, and neither of them seemed to know what this distance was or how to bridge it. And Fraser wasn't sure what to do about that, because of the two of them, Ray had always been better equipped to understand these kinds of matters. Emotional matters.
If they required a map of the migratory path of the North American whooping crane, on the other hand—
Perhaps the problem was this was the first time they actually had time to think, the first two encounters having been exceedingly hasty, fiery, and all too brief. There'd hardly been time to free themselves of the strictures of their jeans, let alone any leisure time to think.
Ray bit down a little too hard, and Fraser squirmed in protest.
"Okay, that's it." Ray pulled away, his face dark with a flush, and Fraser clutched at his shoulder.
"Wait, what? Ray—"
"Look, I don't know where you are, but it's not here, Fraser—"
"I'm right here!"
"Yeah?" Ray rested his hand on Fraser's thigh right next to his penis, which was, sad to say, now only partially erect. "Guy could get a complex," Ray said roughly, "seeing as we've only been doing this for a week, and I know it's not what you're used to, and, hey! Me, neither, but I thought we had something good going—"
"God, Ray." Fraser sat up and put one hand on Ray's reddened cheek, turning his face so their eyes could meet. It took a moment, but Ray, ever demonstrating his bravery, obliged him. "It's not—"
"So help me, Fraser, if you say, 'It's not you, Ray,' I will kick you in the nuts."
"That would require an improbable amount of flexibility on your part."
"Oh, I'm all kinds of flexible." But a smile was starting in the corner of Ray's mouth.
Fraser leaned in and kissed the burgeoning smile, licking at it until Ray sighed into his mouth. "Ray, you must know it's not a matter of the shine having worn off or something ridiculous like that. There's something—we're not—it's as if we're at cross-purposes."
Ray tilted his head and then pulled Fraser back down to the bed. They lay there, shoulder to shoulder, and Ray said, "So, what's your purpose? Because mine was, pretty much, to have sex."
"What, you had something different in mind?"
"Well, that covers a great many possibilities. What kind of sexual intercourse?"
Ray shifted, his shoulder rubbing Fraser's. "Hell, I don't know. I just wanted to get you off!" Then, more contritely, "I mean, make you feel good, you know? I want to make you feel good."
"And I you, Ray."
After a quiet snort, Ray said, "Except I don't know how, and you sure the hell aren't giving me any cues. You're like a block of wood here. No offense," he said hastily when Fraser went tense, "I know you're kind of into the quiet thing. It's not a problem—Stella was quiet, too. God!" Ray smacked himself on the forehead. "I'm really putting my foot in it."
Fraser was careful not to agree.
"But you have to admit the parallelism is the same. Because the last time I had to figure out what someone wanted was back in 1979, and back then she just told me, because we were both just figuring it out for the first time together." Ray cocked his head, and his voice went gentle. "Kinda like now, right? We're both starting all over here. Because I don't guess you had to figure anything out with that robber chick. I bet she just took whatever she needed from you."
It was terrifyingly close to the truth, but Fraser didn't want to think about that. "What do you need me to do?" he asked instead.
Ray rolled onto his side and put his hand on Fraser's shoulder as if he were just waiting for Fraser to ask. "You gotta tell me when it's working for you, okay? When I'm doing something right."
Fraser felt heat blossoming in his abdomen, and swallowed as he felt it rise up through his chest. The moment it hit his face Ray's mouth was on his, kissing him, and Ray was murmuring, "Hey, it's okay, that's cool, that's, you know, what I'm asking you for, right? And I'll do the the same thing, I promise. I'll—look—"
Ray pulled Fraser to face him, then took Fraser's hand and dragged it down to his erection, wrapping Fraser's fingers around him. Fraser trembled feeling the taut, silken skin once again in his hand, flexing within his grip.
"I like it, God, just like this, just this tight down low, and pulling up hard—" Ray's beautiful mouth went slack as Fraser repeated the movement, and then again, and Fraser smiled when Ray moaned softly. "Yeah, that's it, and then over the top, over the head with your palm—"
Just hearing Ray's sex-roughened voice saying such things was arousing Fraser once again. He did as Ray asked, speeding up the tempo when Ray urged him, and bent to lay kisses on Ray's mouth. Ray's tongue came out to play with his until it seemed he could only moan, and then Fraser pressed himself closer along Ray's body and quickened his hand even more until Ray's thighs tightened and he throbbed wetly within Fraser's hand.
It was beautiful, and what Fraser had been hoping for—to give Ray pleasure here, in his bed, and to see him laid bare.
Maybe he understood a little better now why they'd been at cross-purposes before, if Fraser had been determined to have this, yet hadn't known how to give it himself.
He soothed Ray with slow strokes of his hand, then released him. Ray opened his eyes, a wide smile growing on his face.
"See? That was real good." He arched his back in a stretch, then slid his fingers through the semen spotting the creamy skin of his torso, painting his fingers through it.
Fraser shivered at the raw carnality of the sight.
"Yeah?" Ray said, eying him. "You like that?"
Fraser made himself nod, and was rewarded by the sight of Ray lazily trailing his sticky fingers up over his own nipples and brushing them back and forth, back and forth, until the bronze disks stiffened into points. Fraser found himself licking his lower lip.
"You wanna taste?"
Fraser nodded again and bent his head to lap at the offered nipple, the sharp taste of Ray's semen salty on his tongue. He heard Ray moaning above him, and remembering how Ray had nibbled at him earlier, Fraser set the edges of his sharp teeth on the pointed flesh and bit lightly, then a little harder, until Ray uttered a heart-felt, "God, yeah!" He felt Ray's hands sinking into his hair to hold him there, and Fraser played some more until finally his neck started to ache, and he lifted his head.
Ray's eyes were staring down at him, pupils dilated with pleasure. He tugged on Fraser's hair, pulling him up for another kiss.
Somehow, Fraser ended up sprawled with his cheek resting on his arm so he could keep kissing Ray, kissing him over and over, because this had now become his favorite thing, the way Ray's tongue played against his, so freely invading Fraser's mouth, Ray's lips closing to suck at Fraser's tongue. Fraser imagined, for a moment, Ray's lips closing around his cock, and shuddered hard.
Ray pulled back and said, "What?"
Fraser looked at him speechlessly.
"No, see—we got it figured out, Fraser, and you gotta stick with it. Tell me."
But he couldn't—couldn't ask for that, certainly not in words—and he balked, staring helplessly at Ray's beautiful mouth.
Ray smiled at him ruefully, then shook his head. "Do me a favor and lie back."
Fraser rolled to his back and waited, a little apprehensive. He could feel the heat of the late afternoon sun touching the tops of his feet through the crack in the shade, and he shifted a little to avoid it. Beside him, he saw Ray wiping his chest and stomach with the edge of the sheet, his forehead creased in a slight frown—his detective frown. Then Ray turned toward him.
"Okay, you ever play a game called hot and cold? You know—you hide something, and then I try to find it, and you tell me when I'm getting warmer or I'm getting colder?"
"Yes, Ray." Fraser's voice cracked strangely, and he cleared his throat. "Although in the Territories, much of the time everything tended to be colder."
"Oh, ha-ha. Funny man." Ray flopped beside him onto one elbow, his other hand coming to land on Fraser's hip. Fraser could feel every individual callous of Ray's fingertips against the thin skin there, and his cock twitched.
"W-warm," Fraser croaked.
Ray smiled, his cheek creasing. "Yeah, I already know where those goods are, thanks. What I'm going for here is something a little more sophisticated." He lifted his hand and rubbed one knuckle over Fraser's nipple.
Fraser closed his eyes. After a moment, when nothing further happened, he opened them to find Ray looking at him expectantly.
"Warm?" Fraser said.
Ray gave him a quick smile and then leaned over and licked the path his finger had taken, a slow, heavy lick that drew goose pimples up Fraser's arm and pulled his nipple to a peak.
And then Ray sucked.
Ray's teeth closed over him, and Fraser gritted his teeth. He opened his eyes to Ray's frown.
"Yeah, I got that. But you're a little slow on the uptake." Ray kissed his nipple apologetically. "So, okay, your nipples are different than mine. Not as tough."
Fraser found himself huffing a laugh, his chest bumping Ray's forehead.
"But you liked the sucking."
"Yes." Sucking. Yes. Fraser looked at Ray's lips and wished—oh, he wished—how did some people find this easy in the slightest? How did Ray just charge forward and—
Raising his hand, Fraser brought it to Ray's mouth and dragged his thumb over that lush, pouty lower lip until Ray's mouth gaped open a little. Then Fraser slowly pushed his index and middle fingers inside.
He saw Ray's eyelids droop, felt his soft tongue stroke like silk over his fingers before Ray's lips closed tight and he sucked.
Fraser's cock jerked hard and he whispered, "Hot."
Ray reached up and dragged Fraser's fingers from his mouth and grinned. He kissed Fraser hard, once, his tongue heavy, plundering Fraser's mouth, before he turned and curled around, his back in an arc, and bent over Fraser's groin.
"Oh, dear God," Fraser whispered. Ray was touching his cock, holding him upright, pushing down his foreskin, and Fraser could feel Ray's hot breath brushing over his crown, and then he felt the first, tentative lap of Ray's tongue on him, exquisite and careful, tentative and soft, a loving gift. Fraser gasped in, had to hold his breath against a sob, and then remembered, in the chaos of sudden pleasure, his promise, and tried to say the words, but all that came out was, "Ray, Ray, soft, so soft, your mouth, God, Ray," and every suckling pull of Ray's mouth on the cap of his cock, every stroke of his strong hand was better than Fraser had dreamed, so he let himself just softly moan his approval until he was too close, too close, and he gently pushed Ray aside and took himself in hand. He rubbed his thumb once over the seam of his foreskin, and climaxed over his own fingers, aware of Ray's warm hand resting just below his, holding him as he shuddered through his orgasm.
Fraser let himself drift then, aware of Ray curling next to him buzzing with smug delight, and he groaned weakly when Ray pushed his fingers into Fraser's hair and kissed him on the corner of his mouth. Fraser flicked his tongue out to taste, wanting to know the combined flavors of himself and Ray, and Ray obliged him by kissing him again more deeply.
"Thanks," Ray said for some reason, and Fraser mustered enough energy to raise an eyebrow at him.
"I'm pretty sure I should be the one thanking you."
"Nah. 'Cause I know that was hard on you—telling me what you need. You're—you're a pretty self-sufficient guy."
Fraser blinked. "You think—Ray, that's not why I have trouble articulating—it's embarrassing."
"Why?" Ray leaned up on one elbow and stared down at him.
"It...it just is!"
"Oh, that's ripe coming from Mr. Logic."
Fraser pushed himself up to sit against the headboard, then yanked the sheet up to clean himself off for good measure, all the while trying to think. A difficult task, considering the current sorry state of his mental faculties.
"Ray, I was raised by my grandparents. Who were, in turn, raised during the Victorian era—"
But Ray was already pointing two fingers at him. "Oh, no. Do not put this on your grandparents, Fraser. They ain't here."
"God, I hope not," Fraser muttered, taking a quick peek around.
"Look," Ray raised his hands, "it doesn't matter why, okay? You did good. And if we're going to figure things out here, you and me? We're going to stumble through this here thing together, that's my point. And the way to do that is by saying something when it isn't working. Because we're not done by a long shot," he said fiercely, "there's things I've been thinking about doing to you, Fraser—you have no idea..."
Ray's eyes traveled over him, and Fraser, by pure force of will, kept himself from yanking the corner of the sheet over himself. Ray seemed to sense the thought anyway, though, because he cracked a purely evil grin. "Yeah, I've been thinking about it lots. Whole entire plans, some involving machinery."
Fraser swallowed hard.
"So if this is going to work, you've got to talk to me. And versa vice-a."
"Yes, Ray." He did, after all, have a few plans of his own. Maybe he would need that map after all. "And thank you."
"For...for what you did...earlier. It was amazing. Just amazing."
"Oh, yeah?" Ray puffed his chest out just a little. "That, my friend, was called a blow job."
"Really. Is that what they call it."
"Uh-huh. For future reference. In case you want to ask for one again someday."
"Well, I'll just have to keep that in mind." Fraser tilted himself sideways until most of his weight was resting against Ray and he could reach Ray's inner thigh. He trailed his fingers up along the tender, almost hairless skin, listening to Ray's breathing change the higher he went.
"You're getting real warm there."
"Uhhh. H-hot. Definitely hot."
"Mmm. Good to know."