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"Half an hour. Every night. You're trying to kill me."

"As it happens, I'm trying to do the opposite." Rick closed the door behind them and set his keys on the side table. "You know what the cardiologist said--"

"Yeah, yeah. And what the physiotherapist said, and what you said, and what Harry the goddamn deli-guy said."

Rick reflected that at least he still rated above Harry the deli-guy. With Milo, that was never something he counted on. "Why don't you hit the shower, big guy? I'll fix dinner."

Milo stalked out of the room. "If it's tofu and more rabbit-food, I'd sooner go without."

***

Rick prepared the dreaded rabbit-food and grilled thin slices of chicken breast to top it off. It wasn't the dinner Milo would have chosen, but it had the advantage of being equally good cold.

If Rick had his way, by the time they got around to eating, Milo would be in a better frame of mind, and he'd have worked up an appetite. Not to mention doubling his exercise ration for the evening.

As he heard the water cease in the shower, he set the plates aside and stripped off his apron. He padded slowly down the hall.

Milo hadn't closed the bedroom door. He was seated on the edge of the bed, damp towel lying beside him, staring lachrymosely in the mirror.

Rick went to his side. "Like what you see? Because I do."

It was true. Milo, as always, was carrying too many pounds, but he was a big man, and stripped down he looked bulky rather than fat. A thick pelt of hair covered his chest, trickling down his stomach and thickening again at his groin. Rick breathed in, tasting musk and Dial soap and a hint of this morning's Old Spice.

"Don't fuck with me, Rick. Y'know there's nothing to like." Milo's angry words brought Rick sharply back to himself. "I'm fat, I'm old, an' I'm no kind of guy for you."

Rick stepped in close. "For a detective, you sure can't see what's under your nose. I love you--everything about you--except the cardiologist's warning and that's why I'm making sure you eat right and exercise right."

"Exercise is for sadists."

"Don't you mean masochists?"

"No." Milo gave Rick a dirty look, but the pinched, angry look had disappeared from around his eyes. "Sadists. For sure you're the only one enjoying it around here."

"Oh yeah?" Rick smirked. "Funny you should say that. I had some exercise in mind for right now, but something tells me you're gonna enjoy that..."

"Hey! I thought you were fixing dinner!"

"I did. And right after we burn some calories, we'll eat."

"Tofu?"

"Chicken salad."

Milo sighed. "You sure know how to sweet talk a guy, Silverman. Dessert?"

Rick laughed and pushed Milo back on the bed. "I'm planning on having that first."

Milo pulled Rick on top of him, deftly undoing his shirt. "You are, huh? Well, let's negotiate a little. Chocolate?"

Rick kissed Milo hard then swiftly bent and mouthed his nipple, biting in a way he knew reduced his lover to pulp. "Cream."

Milo's groan was one of defeated pleasure. "You're a bastard."

"But you love me."

"You know I do."