It's a modest apartment containing nothing of great value, not that it matters. Neal can't stop looking at Jones' hands—strong, capable, one curled casually around his beer glass, one resting loosely on his thigh—and he can feel the guy's fascination in return. The two of them have hooked up a dozen times in cyber, on the ever popular adults-only Freakbook, guiding each other's caresses, remote-controlling each other's toys, but even with HiDef avatars, it wasn't like this: multi-textured, the air thick with the rustle of clothes and the prickle of anticipation. Silicon doesn't have fingers, and Neal's teledil suit smells of plastic no matter how often he has it cleaned and faintly metallic from the lube. They don't need suits for this. No remote controlled devices tonight. This is the old-fashioned way, and Neal is a connoisseur. It's not just Kate who loves the classics.
Arousal quickens Neal's breath, and he forces himself to slow down, to project calm. Make small talk, at least for a few minutes.
Because, of course, cyber does have its advantages: there's a set of scripts, rote expectations and it's easy to ALT out if it gets out of hand. This solid, meatspace meeting is risky, and not just because of the sex. Neal's taking a gamble Agent Jones doesn't know who he really is. That he won't arrest Neal.
In theory he can't know. Neal only found Jones by digging, using Mozzie's black market hacks. The other agents on Neal's case are in committed relationships and rarely play on Freakbook; Neal knows this from his research. But Jones goes cyber two, three times a week, and lately it's always been with Neal. It was Jones who suggested they meet in person, throwing out the proposal casually. Neal surprised himself by agreeing.
The danger heats Neal's blood even further, makes him want to bare himself and take everything he can, stealing sensations like artworks. He sips his domestic beer, suppresses a grimace at the taste and favors Jones with a slow, audacious smile. "Want to play cops and robbers?"
Jones rolls his eyes just a little, and his lips twitch with amusement. He puts down his glass and says, softly, "Come here, Caffrey."
And Neal turns hot and cold, because he's using an alias. Jones should be calling him Nick, there was nothing to connect the two. But Jones does know, and there are no handcuffs. He knows, and his gaze is still an invitation. And then their mouths are touching, their mouths are touching, their real, grasping hands are tugging at each other's clothes, and everything blurs.