Gil Grissom was dissatisfied with everything; his work, his private life, such as it was. Everything.
He couldn’t pick one thing that had made him this way; it was an accumulation of events, his age maybe; all the things that had happened to him over the years gradually squeezing the life out of him.
He’d had a long and secret liaison with Sara, a member of his team. He’d even proposed marriage, but he was increasingly at a loss with her bizarre depressive state, and if he had difficulty sharing, she made him seem gregarious. She had become disillusioned with the work and left, leaving him with a letter. They’d kept in touch, but she wanted everything from him and didn’t appear to want to give anything up for him.
But she came back. For Warrick.
Warrick’s murder. Warrick, who’d sailed so close to the wind in the months before his death, but had suddenly rediscovered his life just hours before the end. For him to die at the hand of someone they all knew; to die in his arms. Made it all so futile. It made him, Gil Grissom, question his whole life dealing with sudden death as a puzzle, when death suddenly became personal.
Sara had been a comfort in those very dark days, if only because he could touch her and have warm living human contact when his last contact had been with Warrick’s bloody carcass. But she’d gone again and, once again, had asked him to go with her, give up everything and go with her. He couldn’t do it; he felt he had to give a little comfort, such as it was, to his team. Some continuity.
He didn’t know if the team appreciated it or not, he’d been far too removed from them for too long to really know what they really wanted. And, since he didn’t even know what he wanted, it seemed pointless trying to second guess what others wanted. They didn’t appear to need him anyway.
He didn’t do atmospheres but he was pretty certain that the team had withdrawn from him when they’d found out about him and Sara. He shouldn’t have done it, he knew that, he was her supervisor, but it had been Sara’s choice to keep it under wraps. Now he was trying to think why she wanted the secrecy, he couldn’t remember, exactly.
His most pressing problem was what to do next. Stay. Leave. Do nothing. That was the most likely scenario; he did that most times in his life, nothing. Mostly it had worked, he supposed.
But now everything was wrong, his life, his work…not that they were separate things. He had no specific ‘life’ outside work. Everything was connected to work; even Sara.
But now he thought that he had to do something. Something; before it was too late. He was wallowing in the same sort of depression that Sara had, and he couldn’t cope with her then any more than he could cope with himself now. He felt he’d invented the word indecisive; how inadequate he felt, when he could lead major crime investigations to successful conclusions, but couldn’t conduct his own life with any direction or decisiveness.
Even his office, a sanctuary he’d loved for many years, meant nothing to him anymore. He was depressed; perhaps he should do what he’d told Sara to do, consult a professional, take some anti-depressants.
The very thought of telling, of speaking to a stranger about his life appalled him and actually made him feel physically sick. It was no wonder Sara had balked at the idea, he wasn’t prepared to go down that route either.
He’d taken a sabbatical to decide what to do about Sara and him. When he’d returned he’d proposed to Sara, thinking they had as good a stab at happiness as anyone else. If he believed in it enough then it would happen. If Natalie Davies hadn’t intervened maybe they would have eventually married. Probably. Possibly.
That’s what he’d do…apply for a sabbatical again. Recharge his batteries, think about it all and decide what to do. Gil Grissom chuckled, grimly, as he remembered a very old joke…‘he used to be indecisive, now he was in two minds’. That was him.
Catherine would take the team on despite her faults, and she had a fair few, she was good at supervising, as long as she didn’t allow herself to get carried away with crackpot ideas. Reverse forensics, what the hell was that anyway?
There were so many times in the last years that he’d referred to Warrick as ‘his rock’, and it had been true, Warrick was calm and sensible, but had an inherent disposition to addictive behaviour. In the end it had caused his death, he just couldn’t leave some things alone. No matter that he was right, in the end he’d died to prove it and dead men didn’t win prizes for being right.
There was Greg, who was like an eager puppy, so willing and desperate to be loved. Gil knew that Greg had an outstanding brain and he was good in the field, but he’d never be great like he’d been in the lab. But he supposed that Greg was the nearest to a son that Gil would ever have…except he didn’t feel fatherly towards him at all. Indulgent for his impishness. Admiration for his intelligence. No, Greg would not really be a son of his, perhaps a favourite nephew.
And Nick? Whenever Gil thought about Nick he almost cringed at his own behaviour; he tried not to think about it too much and had, for a couple of years now, tried to behave better towards Nick.
He’d treated Nick badly over the years and both men knew it, and yet Nick took it all and never complained to anyone. At least he didn’t think he had, because Nick was stoical. He got on with the job; always tried to improve and he never made the same mistake twice. He had a kind heart and an ideal disposition for the job. Gil had never even heard him speak about his abduction. And Gil couldn’t speak to him about it.
So Gil was positive that Nick had never complained about him because otherwise he would have been fired for bullying, of that much he was sure.
As Gil thought this, he sighed. He needed to get away.
Getting the sabbatical wasn’t as easy as last time. They were still one guy down on the team, even with Greg’s improvement in the field and his promotion to CSI 3, Riley was still in need of close supervision. She reminded him of Sara, somehow, there was something not quite right with her, but he was damned if he was going to get involved, supervisor or not.
Ecklie was adamant that he could not be spared for any length of time. So Gil resigned and Ecklie immediately capitulated. Gil knew it amounted to blackmail.
Gil wanted twelve months away, Ecklie offered three, they compromised on six months, and Gil’s assurance that he would return. Gil hadn’t given one thought about what he might do, for the first time in his entire adult life he had time off and no specific plans. Perhaps that was a good thing; perhaps it gave him some breathing space - to do nothing.
And so, he did nothing of any consequence at all for three weeks. He tidied his house and garage; threw out a lot of clutter, even old clothes and bedding and towels went to Goodwill. He sold his old Mercedes, gathering dust for years in his garage. He didn’t get the best price, but times were hard for a lot of people.
After three weeks he’d seen no one from the lab. He really hadn’t been expecting anyone to drop by, but he had no calls either. He wasn’t really surprised, since his leave of absence had been dropped on them at a shift’s notice, but it confirmed what he’d thought…that he’d become so far removed from them that he was of no consequence to any of them.
He tried not to be hurt but he knew in his heart of hearts that he was. He also knew he had no one to blame but himself. At a loss as to his next move, he did something he would never normally consider; he booked a vacation…a proper vacation. He would be hard pressed to remember when he’d last done something as impetuous. He booked a flight to Athens. His return flight was left open.
He was going to travel light and intended to go exactly where his feet carried him. He didn’t pre-book any hotels or rooms and he purchased two books to start his journey, ‘The Rough Guide to Greece’, and a Greek phrase book. He told a neighbour who said she’d housesit, cancelled subscriptions and utilities but left enough money for his bills to be paid. He also made sure he had access to his funds.
And then he left.
End of Part One
Athens was hot and crowded, somewhat like Las Vegas, but the ambience defied description. This wasn’t artificially created, it was real. He found a room in a small hotel in a backstreet, no air conditioning, but clean. They washed his clothing each day for a little extra. By day he explored and by night he sat in street cafes and watched the world and the people go by.
One evening, nearly a week after arriving he was eating dinner in a crowded café when a middle aged couple asked if they could share his table. He agreed and they spent a pleasant evening making small talk. Gil found that it came easier on this vacation than ever before, he wasn’t known and didn’t have to live up to any expectations. He was very gradually relaxing.
The couple were on vacation from England and since their children had grown up and fled the coop, they spent weeks each summer island hopping; buying a ticket for a ferry to an island, staying for a few days and then moving on, going wherever they fancied, no worries, no pressure.
As Gil listened to their tales of their little adventures he knew that it was exactly what he wanted to do and as they parted, Gil had already decided that it was his next step in his journey. He made an early start the next morning and caught the bus to the port of Piraeus and looked at the ferry schedule and consulted his ‘Rough Guide’.
His next stop would be Tenos. He chose to sit on the upper deck of the ferry and just relaxed and enjoyed the sun and the wind on his face. He felt more alive and exhilarated than he had for years. Suddenly he heard excited shouting and he felt compelled to follow everyone else to the ship’s rail. There below, in the perfect turquoise blue sea, a school of dolphins swam alongside the ferry, diving and playing for their audience. Gil found himself laughing out loud at their sheer exuberance. When the ferry and the dolphins parted company, Gil remained at the ship’s rail.
He could not remember when he’d laughed so much and so happily. He simply could not remember. He tried to tell himself that his tears were of happiness.
On Tenos he took the offer of rooms from a woman on the quayside. She walked him to her house and said that she would give him breakfast and for few Euros more he could eat his evening meal with her family. In her broken English she explained that both her sons were trying to speak better English, so they could practice on him. He readily agreed.
He ate so much he thought he might burst and the boys spoke nearly as good English as he did. He wandered down to the small harbour after dinner for a drink in a taverna.
He chose one where he could sit outside, listening to local men discussing a subject that caused raised voices, anger and laughter in the space of each minute. They made the bars in Vegas appear almost sedate.
He sipped his beer and watched the twinkling lights of the fishing boats out at sea. The moon and stars were as clear as he’d ever seen them.
A young man came into the bar and Gil frowned, he thought he knew him and for a few moments tried to think where he’d seen him before. When realisation hit him, he chuckled to himself; this young man was the double of Nick Stokes. He could well be his brother.
Gil's eyes followed him as he spoke to the men he knew in the bar and ordered a beer. He was well-known and well-liked given everyone’s reaction to him. He was Greek.
Still chuckling to himself Gil resumed his fishing boat watch when he suddenly found himself being addressed.
“Hey, you’re American and all these nosey piss artists want to know who you are and what you’re doing here?”
Gil was taken aback, the young man, although he’d thought he was Greek, was more likely Australian, given his accent.
“Well, yes, I am American, Gil Grissom from Nevada, and I’m here on vacation just travelling around doing…nothing.”
He proffered his hand and the Australian took it and introduced himself.
“Nikolaos Papadopoulos, but you can call me Nik. I’m visiting all the rellies here in Greece but I’m from Melbourne, Australia.”
“I…I…I…” Gil was totally unable to speak and just held onto the hand of Nik Papadopoulos
“Are you alright, mate? You look like you got slapped by a roo’s tail.”
“Yes. Oh, yes. No. Sorry.” Gil took a huge breath and started again. “When you walked in I was struck by how much you look like someone from back home, you could be brothers, and then your name, Nikolaos…well the guy you look like, I mean, really look like, is also called Nick.”
“You’re joking me? Really?”
All the patrons in the bar were watching this exchange and Nik turned around and obviously told them what Gil had just said, they talked and nodded and discussed this piece of information like it was a crucial piece of evidence. Gil stared at them as they pontificated over the information.
“Don’t mind them, mate, they’re just happy to have something other than politics and politicians to discuss.”
“I don’t mind, I really don’t.”
“So this Nick, he a mate of yours?”
“Friend. Well, he’s actually one of my team back at work.”
“What work do you do, Gil?” Nik had pulled a chair out and joined Gil at his table.
“Forensics. I work for the Police, examining crime scenes?”
“Is that right and this Nick, he does that too?”
“Yes, why?” Gil sensed something change with the young Australian.
“Well, I can tell you that this coincidence thing is getting to be weird, because I’m a cop in Melbourne, a detective”
“That’s very odd.”
Gil realised that the patrons had gone quiet obviously picking up on the extra information that Nik now had. Nik laughed as he turned back and told them of the new developments and once again they chose to discuss at length the odd coincidences of the Australian Greek boy and the man from America.
It was nearly two in the morning when Gil staggered back to his rooms, trying desperately, in his slightly drunken manner, to be quiet. He didn’t succeed.
The next morning he was up for breakfast, but had to wear his sunglasses while he ate breakfast in the courtyard. The boys giggled and the mother smiled at Gil. “Did you have a good time with Nikos?
“Nikos? How do you…?”
“Everything, we know. No secrets. My neighbour, cousin of Nikos comes to tell me you and he drank at George’s. Big friends, you going to fish today.”
Gil laughed. “Yes, I am, I’m meeting Nik at ten in the harbour. He’s going to show me how to fish, but George says he knows less than me.”
“George is right. George knows everything. He is cousin of my husband.”
“Is everyone related?”
“Very small island.” She laughed.
At ten, Gil was waiting for Nik. He had bottled water, bread and cheese and fruit. He’d remembered to bring his sunhat, high protection sun oil and his camera.
At ten past ten Nik ambled up looking in a similar state to Gil. “I should have said eleven; God, is it brighter today or is that me?”
“Oh, I think it’s definitely brighter, I thought that.” And they both chuckled.
“Here’s the boat. A sweet little Sheila.”
“Sheila. That her name?”
“No girls are Sheila’s and boys are Bruce…don’t ask, it’s an Aussie thing. No, this little beaut is called, ‘Persephone’.” He looked at the tiny boat with the fancy name and then at Gil. They both burst out laughing.
“Shhh, we’ll offend Uncle Stavros, it’s his pride and joy, and he’s only let me take her out in honour of you being an American.”
“He likes me?”
“No, American football.”
“Right.” Both Gil and Nik were having serious problems containing their mirth.
Nik unwrapped the rope from the capstan and nodded to Gil to get in. He was unsteady, and the boat rocked quite considerably, but he managed to get in and sit on one of the benches. Nik threw the rope into the boat and clambered in after it; he sat at the back of the boat by the outboard, but used an oar, stored in the boat, to push the boat away from the quay and around the other little boats all set in a row.
In a matter of two minutes, Nik fired up the little outboard motor and they chugged off into the very blue Aegean sea. The boat rocked gently on the tide-less sea and Gil made himself comfortable and watched the harbour disappear as they rounded the headland. Gil felt an exhilaration that he was certain he had never experienced before.
He was, very suddenly, a man at peace.
End of Part Two
Their fishing trip was memorable for at least one thing – they didn’t catch one fish.
“I thought you were going to teach me the traditional way to fish?”
“Easy on the sarcasm; it’s been years since I did this.”
“You think you could do better?”
“I couldn’t do any worse.”
“Right. Look let’s find a beach and have some tucker.”
“Tucker’s food, mate.”
They found a beach and ran the boat ashore, it had no anchor. They ate their lunch lazing on the beach, and then they dozed in the shade of a cliff as the sea gently lapped at the shore.
Gil was as content as he’d ever felt and the thought of ever going back to Las Vegas made him slightly nauseous, although, he conceded, that could have been the drink from the night before.
When they chugged back into the harbour from their fruitless fishing excursion, the men agreed to meet up later and have a meal at a fish taverna owned (naturally) by one of Nik’s cousins.
They were dry and tingling from the sun and wind and the sea spray. For the first time in so long Gil actually felt happy to be alive and to be enjoying himself. He wondered where it was along the way that he’d forgotten how to have fun, to relax. Maybe, he decided, he hadn’t forgotten…he’d never learned.
Fun and relaxing that’s what it all was; he latched onto Nik, well, Nik kept asking him and then telling him what they were going to do that day or that evening. They explored the island, they met what seemed like hundreds of Nik’s ‘rellies’, and Gil learned new Greek and Australian words and phrases every day. Following Greek conversations was just not an option though, the sheer speed of Greek delivery staggered Gil.
On the fifth day, Nik suggested going out in the boat again. This time to go to an isolated beach only accessible via the sea; they could take a picnic and swim and relax all day and catch the rays.
So armed with substantial amounts of food and water and a few beers in a cool box they set off. They took over an hour to get to the beach and it was truly glorious - soft caramel coloured sand framed by the turquoise sea and sheer cliffs and shade that moved around the cliff as the sun moved in the sky.
When they’d sorted everything out and laid out towels Nik started undressing as did Gil, but Gil had swimming trunks under his shorts. Nik had nothing. He made no attempt to put on any trunks and, as far as Gil could see, hadn’t brought any anyway.
“Leaving your jewels wrapped up then?”
“It never occurred to me that I wouldn’t need trunks.” Although Gil didn’t take them off.
“Don’t want your donger getting sunbaked, yer wowser!”
“This Australian is nearly as bad as Greek. I can get ‘donger’ and ‘sunbaked’ but why on earth am I a ‘wowser’?”
“Prude, mate, keeping it all hidden.”
“Right.” Gil, not wanting to appear to be prudish, pushed his trunks down and stepped out of them. Not exactly comfortable, he hoped he was behaving as if he was totally, cool.
“We can go skinny dipping. Nothing better than letting ‘em all hang out as long as yer don’t get stung by something nasty. I don’t think there’s anything fatal in these waters.”
“Don’t tell me you don’t know what skinny dipping is…”
“…oh, I know what it is; it’s just not something I've done for…I don’t know, fifty years?”
“God, you are a wowser.”
“Sure you are.”
“Whatever you say.”
They lay side by side and gathered their breath after the exertion of preparing to sunbathe. Gil suddenly realised that he should plaster his donger, and his balls, with sun cream, or his jewels could be seriously compromised. He chuckled.
“Sun cream…on my donger.” He leaned over to his back pack and retrieved the bottle and poured a copious amount into this hand. He applied it to his penis and scrotum and then thought that the whole area needed to be plastered, so poured more cream and set about the task. He was aware that Nik was watching and smirking.
“What? I don’t want to get burned and, as I said, these bits haven’t seen the light of day for fifty years or more.”
“It’s okay, it’s just you’re paying serious attention to the task in hand. You don’t actually relax much, do you?”
“No, I don’t, not normally, but I have these last few days.”
“Yeah. Let the stuff soak in a bit and then we’ll have a swim; it looks real inviting and it’ll be warm too, although it might get colder further out. You okay swimming?”
“Yeah, fine. Well, I used to be, I haven’t had a swim in years. I used to live by the sea in California; moved away twenty years ago.”
“Like riding a bike, you won’t have forgotten.”
“You can do lifesaving?”
“That’s very reassuring.”
“Come on, last one in’s a dickhead.” He dashed off into the sea running through the shallow water until it was deep enough to dive and then he stroked out with a powerful crawl.
Gil followed behind, sedately, already reconciled to being a ‘dickhead’. He chuckled again; a lot of the ‘strine’ slang was fairly obvious, and he certainly knew what a dickhead was.
The water was warm and the sand was soft beneath his feet. Hundreds of tiny little fish were instantly swimming around his feet and he watched them, fascinated by their movement, as if they were one mass. Nik and him couldn’t even catch one fish between them the other day and here were hundreds of them still blissfully unaware of the human predator.
Nik was quite a way out already, and Gil thought he’d better take the plunge and hope that he could still swim. He dived into the water and he, too, easily fell into the rhythm of the crawl. It was like riding a bike. The water became much colder and a deeper blue as he swam away from the shore. He steadied himself and started the breast stroke, always his favourite stroke and one for which he had considerable stamina. Although when he had that stamina he’d been a lot younger, and a lot fitter.
Nik was treading water ahead of him, and Gil swam alongside and he rested too, looking back at the shore and their belongings already quite a distance away.
“You remembered then?”
“It’s a good job I did; it didn’t look as if you were anyway near enough to save me from drowning.”
“You whinge like a Pommie.”
“I take it that’s not a compliment?”
“No way. Cooled down enough to sunbathe?”
As one, they then used a lazy breast stroke action to propel them to the shore. As Gil emerged from the water the cold had made his penis shrink. He turned to Nik to make a comment and noticed immediately (it would have been impossible to miss) that Nik had an erection, well, at very least, half of one. Since Nik was looking downwards, Gil didn’t think he’d seen him look, so he looked ahead and tried not to think of anything.
They were shaking their bodies to rid them of the excess water and Gil picked up a towel to wipe his face and dry out his ears. He wasn’t sure he should have put his ears under water, but hadn’t thought about it until this moment.
Nik shook himself like a dog might, and Gil knew that his erection was now fully fledged, there was nothing half-hearted about it. Gil swallowed. Was this embarrassing? Gil didn’t know; he wasn’t embarrassed, at least he didn’t think he was.
“You want a little action then, Gil?”
“Action?” What did he mean; Gil’s breath hitched slightly.
“Oh, come on, man on man, just something to pass the time of day under the sun.”
“I’m not gay.”
“Oh. Oh. Oh, well, I’m really sorry. I thought you… Well you talk about this Nick all the time, I thought you were. My gaydar must be getting weak away from the…you know, the scene back home.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to give you that impression.”
“Not your fault, I mean you didn’t do anything, I just thought you were, because of this other Nick. You do love him, don’t you?”
“Love him? No…no…I don’t…..”
“You sound dead sure of that; not.”
“I don’t, I mean, I don’t…think I do…I’m not gay.”
“Doesn’t stop you from loving someone, Gil. Hell, it doesn’t stop you from having a bit of slap and tickle, but if you’re not up for it…”
“I’ve never done it.”
“So what are you saying here, you wanna give it a go, or absolutely not?”
“Errr…neither; let me think about this.”
“Okay, we’ve got all day.” Nik laid back on his towel, his erection faded a little but still hard enough to be lying up along his stomach.
End of Part Three
Gil lay back too. He’d been having fun and relaxing, and now all the walls had come tumbling down. Nik was apparently gay, or bi-sexual, or even straight but not averse to a little ‘slap and tickle’. No, he was gay, he’d said he had gaydar and that Gil had pinged it. Well he hadn’t said that exactly, he’d said that Gil talking about Nick, Nick Stokes, had pinged it and that he’d thought that Gil was in love with Nick Stokes. How ridiculous was that?
He wasn’t in love with Nick, was he? No, it wasn’t possible. Why would he be in love with Nick? He wasn’t gay, but then why did he talk about Nick all the time? As he thought these thoughts Gil knew that most of his conversations about back home had centred on Nick.
“What’s that noise?” Nik sat up and laughed at Gil. “I reckon it’s your bloody brain cranking up a few gears; needs oiling, mate.”
“I’m thinking; you’ve given me enough food for thought.”
“Well, try this for size.”
Without waiting a moment, he bent over Gil and kissed him on the lips. Gil was taken aback; it wasn’t unpleasant, in fact it was very chaste. Nik pulled back and smiled at Gil and Gil was struck immediately just how like Nick Stokes he really was. Without a pause Gil put his arm around Nik’s neck and pulled him down to him and they kissed.
And kissed. For a few minutes. When Nik’s tongue pushed its way into Gil’s mouth and explored, it didn’t meet any resistance.
When he pulled back up for air, laughing, Nik glanced down at Gil’s erection which now was just as proud as his own.
“It didn’t take you long to catch on then?”
“Apparently not. Am I gay, do you think?”
“No idea, mate. I bet you’re not entirely straight though, because a straight guy would have clobbered me.”
“You are gay?”
“Yes, sir; that’s why I took this leave of absence you know, for three months, to get over a break-up; been with a guy for eight years and he up and left, got himself a younger model and I’m only fucking thirty three for Chrissakes.”
“Do your Greek…rellies know?”
“About the gay - that would be a ‘no’. Well I think it is, I've never told them and although Mom and Dad are just about okay with it, they’re not exactly paid-up members of the fan club. So Gilberto, you wanna try a little male on male action, nothing involving the freckle, so don’t panic.”
“What in God’s name is ‘the freckle’?”
“The freckle. Right. What do you propose doing, or what are we…”
“Let’s play it by ear. You don’t like, you stop me…okay?”
“I’m okay with that.”
“For a straight guy you’re being very accommodating, you’re not going to pull a fast one are you?”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Get me all lathered up and then scream ‘abuse’?”
“No, I’m not.”
“Bloody hell, I’ve gone all nervous now.”
Gil put his arm around Nik’s neck and pulled him down again. They kissed softly and this time Gil's tongue went in search of its counterpart. They gently wrapped their tongues around each other’s. Gil was thinking a little as he enjoyed his first proper kiss with a man. Enjoyed. That was the key, this was enjoyable. He wasn’t worried about clashing their teeth together or pushing too far or not far enough, he was just enjoying it.
Nik pulled away and smiled down at Gil. “I think you’ve got the hang of it.”
“Kissing’s kissing isn’t it?”
“Yeah, what about this?” And he latched his mouth on Gil’s right nipple, tugging and teething and licking and in moments Gil was squirming under him. This assault was far greater than any other he’d encountered from a woman…women tended to be fairly gentle, with him anyway. This was not gentle. It wasn’t painful. It was firm and it was arousing…his last thought, as he bucked up towards Nik.
He pulled Nik’s head up from the nipple and brought their mouths together into a punishing kiss, hard and demanding and Nik bucked his hips against Gil’s side and Gil felt the heat and hardness of another man’s erection for the first time. Was he worried? Was he panicked? Was he hell!
Receiving encouragement, Nik moved almost on top of Gil and began pushing his hard-on against Gil’s stomach. Gil started matching his thrusts and Nik pulled back from him to grasp Gil's erection.
Gil gasped. The strength and size of the hand was like his own when he jerked off, but it wasn’t his own hand. It was another man’s hand…and it was great.
Gil took the opportunity to attack Nik’s neck and Nik moved to let him, murmuring as Gil licked and nipped around his ear, his neck and his jaw, ending back on his lips. Nik pulled back from Gil.
“You’ve caught on quick.”
“It’s not any different, is it really, it’s just that you’re…we’re both men.”
“Yeah. I’m gonna come really fast, you wanna do that, and then later we can do it again.”
“Later? I’m twenty years older than you.”
“You’ll be okay, wait and see.” He smiled and pushing his body up grasped both penises together, causing Gil to buck his ass off the ground.
“Be careful not…to get…sand…hurt….”
“Too bloody true. I've got no lubricant; where’s your sun cream?” He leaned over Gil to get at his back pack to retrieve the cream and let go of the penises. Gil was immediately bucking up for him to hold his hard-on. He wanted this. Fast, like Nik had said.
Awkward as it was, Nik flicked the bottle open and squirted cream onto Gil’s hand, and then guided the hand, quite willingly, to their erections, so that Gil could feel them together.
He did so and rubbed the cream around them; this was an enlightening experience. With women he could only imagine what they felt, but now he knew what Nik would be feeling, he had terms of reference for this.
“Yeah.’ Breathless and whispered, it was all Gil could manage.
Nik put his hand over Gil’s and together the hands followed that time honoured tradition, pumping, twisting and tugging at their hard-ons.
Nik was kissing Gil again, and pushing his tongue nearly down Gil's throat; it wasn’t unpleasant, it was an all-consuming sensation for Gil, as if Nik wanted to be as close as he physically could be to Gil. This was causing an overload of his senses. When Nik had finished with his mouth and tongue, and maybe even his tonsils, he transferred his attention and his mouth back to Gil’s nipples and nipped and sucked at them until they felt swollen, but Gil couldn’t feel much else than the hardness and desperation to pump and expel from his penis. The feeling was indescribable; hard and throbbing and as hot as he’d ever felt it; just too much to even take in, the desperation to pump.
He was right on the verge and repositioning his fist even tighter and faster around both penises with Nik’s hand also in the equation, he knew that the journey had begun.
Gil bucked wildly into their joined hands as Nik did the same. Nik was repeating the word ‘yes’ over and over in increasing intensity until he was virtually shouting it; Gil was less vocal but equally intense but strained out an ‘arghhh’ as his ejaculation overtook him and streams of semen flew out of his penis and over their hands and their stomachs. Not one second later, Nik’s fluid did the same, taking almost the same trajectory.
Nik almost fell on top of Gil as he gasped for breath, the heat of the semen joining the heat and sweat of their bodies. Gil could hardly breathe with Nik on top of him, but had neither the breath nor the energy to tell him to move or to shove him out of the way.
Luckily for him, just as the lack of oxygen was causing him to see stars, Nik rolled off him and onto his back alongside Gil.
“Not bad…” He gasped. “…for a beginner and you didn’t clobber me or stop me.”
“Not bad at all. What have I been missing?”
“Some great sex.”
“You could be right.”
“Right; last one in the sea’s a wuss.” He jumped up with renewed energy and ran into the sea making a great deal of splashing water. “Come on; rinse the jizz off before it dries in the heat.”
“Are you polluting the beautiful sea?”
“You think a couple of ounces of jizz is going to hurt when you have tankers spilling millions of gallons of crude? Don’t tell me you don’t take a slash in the water.”
“Piss? Well, I haven’t done for many years, I can assure you.”
“You will before the day’s out, because if you do it on the beach it’ll stink.”
“So get that substantial ass in the water.”
“Are you calling me fat?”
“Yeah, you could do with losing a couple of stones.”
“I’ve just…had sex with you and you’re calling me fat. What’s a stone, sixteen pounds?”
“Fourteen. Well perhaps only twenty pounds then. But it actually suits you, but you should think of your health.”
“So I’m fat and in poor shape, anything else?”
“Nah, that’ll do for now.” He splashed Gil as he made his way into the water and so Gil retaliated. They had a fight with the water and fell exhausted into the shallow water to catch their breath.
“I really like you, Gil.”
“I really like you, Nik.”
“I’m not in love with you or anything, this is just, you know, convenient.”
“So, fat, unfit, a convenient fuck. Anything else?”
“Well we ain’t fucked…yet.”
“Don’t panic, I wouldn’t expect a holiday romance to put out for me.”
“Thank God for that. I think that may be a step too far, at the moment.”
“Gil, I’m going to Skiathos the day after tomorrow, more rellies, on my Dad’s side this time. Do you want to come with?”
End of Part Four
Gil didn’t have to think about the invitation for long. “I’d like to, if it’s not too much for you to take a fat old man with you.”
“Now I never said you were old.”
“No, you didn’t. How old was your partner?”
“Thirty four. The guy he went off with is twenty six. Been knocking him off for six months, I’m a fucking detective and never suspected a thing. I came home one day and he was waiting for me, all packed up. That was it. You know, I never once cheated, not once, and when he’d gone all our so-called friends came out of the woodwork and told me some pretty sordid tales.
“I kinda fell apart and was on the sick for a couple of weeks and then pulled myself back together and went back to work. Anyway, we have the option to apply for unpaid leave every three years, so I asked for four months and got it…hence the trip to see the land of my ancestors.
“And here you were waiting to be converted. You’re the first guy since Ali. Alistair. He’s an architect. I kept him for two years while he got his business up and running and I have nothing to show for it except a unit that’s too expensive for me to run on my own. I don’t know whether to sell or see if I can get a paying guest, you know, a young rookie or something.”
“A unit, is that a house?”
“An apartment. It’s bonzer, that’s ‘great’, near the beach.”
“If you sell it, will he want some of the proceeds?”
“Apparently not, he must have felt some guilt ‘cause he’s signed it over to me. But if I did sell it, he might come back and see if he can get something out of it. I’ve just…lost my trust, you know?”
“So this Sara then, are you upset about her?”
“No. Dented pride, I think, more than anything. I asked her to marry me, and I can’t sit here next to you and tell you why. If I loved her, really loved her, don’t you think I would have been bereft at her leaving me? Like you were for Alistair? I wasn’t; in retrospect I was relieved. I might well have married her and stuck it out just because that’s what you do, so really it’s a good thing she left.”
“Do you still see her?”
“No. She’s doing scientific work on a project in Costa Rica.”
“What about this Nick, my twin?” He laughed.
“I’ve treated him badly for years. He’s very good at what he does, but you’d think he was in need of remedial training the way I treated him. I can see that now. I think I need to apologise to him.”
“Will you tell him?”
“That you’ve got the hots for him.”
“I haven’t got the hots for him.”
“I beg to differ. You’re supposed to be straight and talk about this guy all the time, hardly mentioning that your fiancée walked out on you. You’ve never done the dirty with a guy before, but I look like this Nick…and I’m called Nik, and you’re over me like a rash…a queer rash, that is, mate. You get my drift?”
“I think you’ve made a major leap of interpretation.”
Gil looked away, suddenly aware that Nik, this Nik sitting in the water next to him, may well have hit the nail on the head and he, Dr Gil Grissom, famous for his deductive powers, had totally missed the point for what, a dozen years?
“Let’s get something to eat and drink. Sex is a great appetiser.”
“Yeah. Got to watch my figure, though.”
“Hit a nerve there, have I?”
“Maybe you have. Maybe I've been a fool for years and years, and sitting here, naked as the day I was born, talking to a comparative stranger I’m realising that I’ve been a fucking idiot. It’s a sobering thought.”
“Yeah. Come on, let’s have a tinnie.”
“A tube, a four x, a beer, man. God, don’t you speak English in America?”
“Not this kind of English. Besides which, the beer is in bottles.”
“Ooooh, aren’t we rattled now.”
“No. I’m not at all rattled, Nik. Actually, I think you might have done me a massive favour.”
“That’s good, man, that’s bonzer.” He grinned…just like Nick, Gil thought.
The men ate a hearty lunch and drank two beers each. They lay on their towels at the bottom of the cliff for a little shade and dozed in the heat. Nik reached over and held Gil’s hand and Gil squeezed his fingers. As he fell asleep he realised that he felt more intimate with Nik lying naked on a Greek beach than he’d ever felt with Sara, with anyone before.
When they awoke they went out to swim again. Just doing a few lazy stokes to stay afloat.
“Ready for round two, Gil?”
“Don’t know.” He was breathless after his exertion, but even as he said it he felt a surge of blood to his cock. He smirked at Nik, who laughed, having understood immediately, what had just happened to Gil.
Nik struck out with a fast crawl back towards the beach. Gil followed sedately, using the breast stroke.
On the beach Nik introduced Gil to the masculine art of fellatio. Now, Gil was no stranger to a blow job, and had often pleaded with Sara to use her mouth on him since he was liked the feel of a tongue; she had grudgingly obliged, occasionally. But this…this was in a different league. Altogether.
Nik’s mouth was hot and wet; he used his tongue and his teeth and lips to nibble at the skin. He was a man, blowing a man, so understood what a man liked and was obviously well versed in the art.
The sensations that Gil was experiencing caused him to call out to God to help him cope.
Nik stopped to laugh. “I don’t think he would actually approve of this.”
“Shut up and get on with it. I’m going to come very quickly, should I pull out?”
“I guess you’re clean, so I’ll probably swallow. You going do the honours for me?”
“It would be unfair not to…I don’t know about swallowing though.”
“You can spit.”
“Will you stop talking and get on with it. It’s fucking bonzer.”
Nik couldn’t do anything for a little while as he laughed at Gil's extremely poor imitation of an Australian accent.
But then he continued working his way around the rock solid cock. He held Gil’s cock tightly in his hand and then he licked the head and tried to push his tongue into the slit; he chewed the head, not that gently, but Gil couldn’t have cared less, as he gasped for breath. Then he licked the shaft and teethed along the underside and moved back to the head and chewed and pulled at the tight foreskin and pushed his tongue under the skin and then as Gil’s knees began to give way and he had to reposition his feet to steady himself, Nik swallowed him. Gil bucked into the mouth, the hottest mouth he’d ever known in his life.
Nik was sucking and blowing with ferocious force and Gil was groaning. He could feel Nik’s tongue swirling around his cock. He was trying, desperately to hold off his orgasm, but the experience of it all, the heat, the wetness, it was almost too much to bear. His cock was throbbing and it was fit to burst, the pressure almost unbearable.
And then Nik swallowed some more and the tip of Gil's cock was sucked down into Nik’s throat and Nik was humming, he was fucking humming around the hard flesh and Gil was coming. Unexpectedly; taking him by surprise as he sent spurt after spurt down Nik’s throat. He didn’t know what was hotter, the throat, his cock, his balls, his belly or the sun on his head.
He howled as he climaxed and knew that he would have to sink down onto his knees, if not his back. He was spent, fully, completely, more so that he’d ever been in his life.
Gil started to crumble and Nik let his cock go. Gil sank down to his knees and he was seeing stars and gasping for breath.
“Please get your breath; I’m dying here, man, God, to feel a hot mouth again. Come on.”
“H...hardly breathe here, you’ve done…that. Be a minute…hold on.” Gil sat back from his knees, onto the towel he’d been standing on. “I won’t be able to stand and do it.” He reached over and grabbed a bottle of water and took a long drink from it, little dribbles running down his chin.
“That’ll be my jizz in a minute. I take it you liked that?”
“That was just about, no, it was the very best blowjob I've ever had - thank you very much, Nik.”
“You’re welcome. Ready?” He swung his hard-on into Gil's line of vision.
“As I’ll ever be. Never done this before, so bear with me.”
“Can’t go wrong. Do to me what you like being done to you, that usually works.”
“I’ll try but you’ll have to excuse my lack of experience. This is the first time in my fifty two years that I've ever had another man’s cock in my mouth.”
No sooner had he finished speaking than he did the deed. Engulfing as much of Nik’s erection into his mouth and licking. He pulled back. “God, Nik, it’s really salty from the sea.”
“Quit whingeing and suck it up.” And he unceremoniously stuffed his cock back into Gil’s mouth.
So Gil did what he thought Nik would like, just as Nik had done to him a few minutes ago. The licking, the chewing, the sucking and a few pumps and twists with his hand to go with it all; he didn’t think he could suck the penis in as far as Nik had done, but nevertheless he really tried and judging by the sounds Nik was making, he wasn’t totally unsuccessful.
Nik was getting more vocal again and shouted out, “Jeez, Gil, I’m coming.”
No sooner had Nik said it, he was doing it; Gil’s mouth was flooded with ejaculate, over and over again. He thought he would gag just from the amount that was being pumped into his mouth, but he swallowed, automatically, and he didn’t drop down dead, so swallowed all of it as it streamed into his mouth and he was pleasantly surprised; it was salty and viscous but not in the least obnoxious. He licked the drips off the end of a now almost flaccid penis as Nik pulled out.
“Man, look at you swallowing first time and cleaning up afterwards and, if I’m not mistaken, Gilberto, you have yourself another little boner.”
Gil looked down at himself and gave himself a tug. “Nothing there; what he really wants is a tinnie and some sleep.”
“He’s got a good brain on him, little Gilberto.”
Nik flopped down beside Gil and then reached for the cool box and took out two beers and handed one to Gil. They popped them open and drank the still cool beers straight down,.
Gil reached for his sun cream and applied some to various parts and then lay down.
“Wake me up before you go.”
“Will do; I won’t leave you, I promise.”
And they slept again.
End of Part Five
The next day they just lazed around the town and met up with all of Nik’s relatives as he said his goodbyes to them. That night there was a huge party at Stavros’ fish taverna and it seemed to Gil that all these Greek islanders were his family too; he felt happy and relaxed and, he had to admit, more than little drunk. There was no way his system could keep pace with these party-goers.
When they left on the early ferry for Skiathos, after only three hours sleep, Gil felt every one of his years and more. He wasn’t absolutely certain that he would hold on to the contents of his stomach. But he settled in a seat on the top open deck and immediately fell asleep. There he remained, alternately dozing and drinking terrible coffee from the on-board shop, until the ferry berthed at Skiathos.
He was annoyed to have missed the journey northwards, and some spectacular views and many more dolphins as they sailed from the Cyclades to the Sporades islands, but his hangover took precedence. He was more than a little pissed at Nik too, who’d drunk at least twice as much and had as little sleep as him, but still seemed disgustingly chipper!
Another round of rellies greeted Nik. This time, Gil, Nik’s, ‘best friend from America’ was invited to join them and stay at the villa of his Uncle Dimitris. They were taken to the other end of the island from Skiathos town, only a matter of about eight miles, from one end of the island to the other, but in a top of the range Mercedes. These were the wealthy rellies.
The villa was magnificent, overlooking the bay of Koukounaries. It was truly breath-taking and Gil was speechless. Of course, that could have been because of the lack of brain and mouth coordination. He made a secret promise to himself, there and then, to lay off the drink. He could do without it, at least for a few days.
They were shown to separate, but adjoining, rooms in the villa overlooking the plush green hillside. They shared the same balcony and when Gil opened his windows and shutters to look out, he found Nik already on the balcony. He grinned at Gil and nodded from his balcony door to Gil’s.
“Oh, God, not under your Uncle’s roof?”
“Sure. A bit of excitement; you need a little excitement in your life and I need a little diversion. This’ll do nicely.”
“Nik, what on earth have I let myself in for?”
“A bloody bonzer time, Gil, my mate.”
“I’ll tell you now that I’ll not be able to get an erection due to the stress you’ll put me under, and I’ll fail to pleasure you as well.”
“No. I don’t know what’s got into me.”
“You’re a cock teaser, Gilberto, a regular little cock teaser.”
“Hey, who are you calling ‘little’?”
“Not you, okay?”
“So, shall we get towels and go to the beach?”
“As long as it’s not secluded enough for you to seduce me. I need to sleep.”
“Jeez Gil, you slept for hours on the ferry. But it’s a public beach, but don’t bother with your cozzie, ‘cause it a nuddy beach. And don’t crack a fat either.”
“So it’s a nudist beach and I don’t need my shorts. But what in fuck’s name is to ‘crack a fat’…fart?”
“Nope, a hard-on, a boner…”
“…give me strength.”
“You’ll get your strength up sleeping and then tonight a big party at Cousin Elizabeth’s house.”
“Yep, bonzer ain’t it?”
“Don’t sound so enthusiastic.”
“I’m sorry, that’s mean of me when I've been invited into your Uncle’s home…but I’ve had one more party already than I've had in maybe ten years.”
“No worries I was only giving you a gobful.”
“Thank God for that.”
Nik moved to where Gil was standing and aligning his body with Gil’s, he kissed him on the back of the neck.
“Later.” He growled in to Gil’s ear and the hairs on the back of Gil’s neck stood to attention. And then there was his penis…
They spent nearly three weeks based at the villa, but caught the ferry out to Skopelos and stayed with yet more relatives for a few days, and then on to Alonissos. Unbelievably, there were no relatives on this island but a very dear friend of Nik’s father lived there and they spent time with Aristos and reminisced about the old days.
Nik’s father, also Nikolaos, and Uncle Dimitris and Aristos had all gone to Australia as young men. To make their fortune. All three of them had done well; Dimitris had returned to Skiathos and built up a little business empire, with his fingers and family in many different pies. Aristos had returned because of poor health and had wanted to die ‘at home’, only he hadn’t. He’d been back for eleven years and seemed hale and hearty, living a good life back on the island. Nik’s father had decided to stay in Australia. All three men had married Greek girls though, even out in Australia.
To Gil, who was an only child with only one uncle, his mother’s brother, and two cousins, the sheer numbers of the Papadopoulos family was almost overpowering, and yet all of them, without exception, accepted him as a friend of Nik’s. If they suspected more, then they didn’t say.
When Nik was exhausted with his rellies and they with him, he decided to move on and have a proper holiday with Gil. He explained about Mykonos. An island that had made its tourism name by being gay friendly. An island where no one cared if you held your lover’s hand even if that lover was the same sex.
Nik explained that he’d never experienced that sort of freedom at any time, he was always very careful about how he conducted himself in public. Especially as a cop, he needed to be, and so he was, discreet.
So the thought of being openly gay and not caring about who might see appealed to him.
Gil, on the other hand, wasn’t so sure.
He’d only known about ‘the gay’, as Nick called it for a matter of a few weeks, and he was a private man anyway. No one knew about him and Sara for a long time…well over a year, and they wouldn’t have known then if she hadn’t been kidnapped.
So as they said their good byes to the myriad relatives, it was with some trepidation that Gil clambered aboard the small Olympic Airlines island hopper. They would have taken the ferry, but Uncle Dimitris had purchased the airline tickets for them.
The plane didn’t fly at a great altitude; it was propeller driven – so there were some great views to see out of the small windows.
Once through customs at Mykonos airport, they picked up a taxi and asked the driver to take them to some good rooms; taxi drivers always knew the best places…usually their own.
Gil had no intention of discussing his return to Las Vegas with Nik, so it came as a surprise when at dinner that night, in a little taverna in a tiny whitewashed alley, Nik broached the subject himself.
“Gilberto, what are you going to do when you go home?”
“I have to go back to work, but I don’t know if I’ll stay in the lab or look for something else…”
“…no, not about work, about Nick, my doppelganger?”
End of Part Six
Nick laughed. “Yes, ‘oh, Nick’. What are you going to do?”
“Well…what do you mean?”
“Now don’t be obtuse, Gilberto, you know very well what I mean. You need to tell him. You need to spell it out for him, and if you’re lucky you could find yourself a Nikolaos doppelganger all of your own. If he tells you to ‘fuck off’, at least you’ll know the lie of the land. But doing nothing is not an option and yet why do I feel that is exactly what you planned on doing…sweet FA.”
“Sweet fuck all, Gil. You want to forget about all this, don’t you, but let me tell you, you won't forget and it’ll keep gnawing away at you. Tell him Gil. Get it over and done with as soon as you get back. Please?”
“You ask so nicely.” Gil was being sarcastic, but Nik chose to ignore it.
“Yeah. I can’t believe you’re so…naïve, Gil, you’re nearly twenty years older than me and I’m so much more street-wise, and I don’t mean just ‘gay wise’. You may be an intellectual and a regular brain box, but your life skills suck.”
“There you go. So you know what you’ve got to do; you have a chance here. Okay, it might be a slim chance, but you’ve got to grab the bull by the horns before it tosses you a bum deal.”
“Right. I know I do. It’s easy for you to say it though, isn’t it, when it’s me that’s got to do it. And you’re right, I would rather suffer the, suffer…the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, than confront a problem in my private life.”
“Bloody Hamlet got stabbed with a poisoned blade, and every bugger died. This isn’t a tragedy, Gil, not yet.”
“How come you’re being all serious and sensible? I've not seen this side of you before.”
“Because I like you, Gil, and want you to be happy. I know that, whatever you say to the contrary, you want this Nick. The only way to resolve the dilemma is to tell him and find out if he wants you back. If you don’t do that, you’ll just drift around being pathetic and wondering if you’re destined to be unfulfilled and unhappy; and let’s be brutal here shall we…you’re not getting any younger and it’s about time you tried. If he says ‘no’ then at least you’ll know and it’ll be all over…but at least you will know, and you can try to move on.”
“Well thank you Dr Papadopoulos, I’m the one that usually gives the lectures.”
“Am I wrong? Am I?”
Gil hesitated and thought for a few moments, but he couldn’t deny it. “No, you’re not.”
“So will you do me a favour?”
“Should I be suspicious? Should I say ‘no’?”
“It’s up to you.”
“Go on then, what favour?”
“Make me a promise that you’ll speak to Nick as soon as you get back to Las Vegas. Do it, get it over and done with. Promise me, because I know you’re the kind of bloke who won’t break a promise.”
“I won’t break a promise, but I don’t know if I can promise you.”
“God, Gilberto, how old are you?”
“I know, I know, but it’s just not that easy, I…”
“…it is that easy; just promise me you’ll do it, you can work out what to say when you’re flying back, and then do it, as soon as you get home.”
Gil knew that this Nik was right, he’d go on thinking after Nick Stokes and his life would be as empty as it had been before he left. This was a chance. It wouldn’t kill him; it might embarrass him, but he’d live.
“There, that wasn’t so bad was it?”
“You have no idea.”
“Shall we give the club a miss and have an early night; what d’you say?”
That night, lying in the crisp white cotton sheets of the Pension, Nik and Gil made love for the first time. They’d had plenty of sexual encounters, over the weeks, although there had been no penetration. There still wasn’t any penetration, but there was a tenderness and loving that they hadn’t shared before, and Gil understood what Nik had been saying.
He could love Nik, but Nick Stokes stood between them and always would.
As Gil lay in Nik’s arms he felt warm and secure; perhaps this Nik was the answer. But even as he lay there he knew that he wasn’t. He was saddened by the revelation, but he understood what he must do for his own sake and for Nik Papadopoulos. He would keep his promise and confront…no…ask…no, tell Nick; he would tell him how he felt. First and foremost he would apologise for all those times he’d made him look foolish and for all those times he appeared not to give a damn about him, his cases, or the shit that had been thrown at him. He owed it to both Nik and Nick to do this.
As he fell asleep he actually felt a little easier. He’d made a decision and he would stick with it.
Nik recovered his fun the next day and they hired a boat and went around the coastline trying to find a secluded beach; no such luck, it appeared that every gay couple on Mykonos, and then some, had had the same idea, only hours earlier. Nik wouldn’t intrude on anyone else’s private beach, so they ended up on a public beach. It wasn’t so bad; there was a beach bar and ice cold beer and umbrellas to shade them from the fierce sun. The temperature had risen a lot in the last few days and what had been wonderfully hot days were now turning into scorching days. The only let up was the wind, apparently most Greek islands benefited from this warm wind. The meltemi.
Gil was also attacked by the humidity. The Nevada desert heat was dry with very little humidity and he rarely broke into a sweat but here he was sweating up a storm.
“Quit whingeing, it’s good for you to sweat the impurities out.”
“I’ll have you know that I have no impurities, I’m as clean as the driven snow.”
“Likely tale. What about all the drink you’ve poured down your throat?”
“I’m not denying that…I’m sweating it out like a man, you’re just whingeing like a pommie.”
“A pommie, that’s an Englishman?”
“A Brit anyway.”
“I’m going to do it, Nik; you know, talk to Nick Stokes.”
“Change the subject why don’t ya?”
“Sorry, but I made that promise and I just wanted you to know I’ll keep it.”
“Bonzer. Want to throw some more impurities down your neck?”
That night Nik did take a reluctant Gil to a night club. ‘Fizz’.
It was loud and packed, but thankfully air conditioned. Men buzzed around Nik like bees around honey. But, and Gil was staggered, there were men who were hitting on him, too. Nik seemed quite free and easy and was dancing and…smooching…Gil thought that described the sort of making out they were doing on the dance floor.
When a man slipped his arm around Gil from the back and whispered a few words in his ear, he thought he might actually faint.
“Sorry?” He was flustered and hadn’t understood what the man had said to him.
“Ah, you are American.” The man said in a very heavy, Gil guessed, French accent.
“I am French, but spent many years in New Orleans. Are you here alone?”
“No, I’m not.”
“Oh, then I’m sorry.” He smiled the most seductive of smiles at Gil and left him. Gil didn’t know what to feel; the man was maybe forty five years old and very good looking and Gil was taken aback at being approached by a man.
“Hey, Gilberto, looked like he was having a crack at you; why’d he leave.”
“I told him I was here with you.”
“Oh, right, even though I’ve been neglecting you. You’re a funny man, queers like to party and this is harmless fun; you could have danced with him and snogged him too.”
“Thank you for your permission, but I prefer my men one at a time.”
Nik looked at Gil and then burst out laughing and couldn’t stop, Gil was trying hard not to join in but it was infectious and soon the pair of them were helpless with laughter.
They left the club about three in the morning and the party was still in full swing, but both men were tired since they’d had a heavy day sunbaking and drinking tinnies.
As they left the club, the Frenchman was by the door. “You’re leaving early; I hope you have enjoyed my club. Please visit again. Here, have some passes.” He handed them four free passes for the club.
“That’s good of you, mate, thanks.”
“An Australian, with an American…let me guess, a holiday romance.”
“Yeah, sort of…we met on Tenos and have been travelling a bit. So how long have you had this club?”
“Three years. Will you come back?”
“Yes, mate, we will. I’m Nik, this is Gil.” Nik offered his hand which the man took.
“Henri Thierry.” He took Gil's hand and held it very firmly for longer than he should have and smiled at Gil until Gil squirmed.
“Pleased to meet you, Henri.”
“I am very pleased to meet you…Gil.” Gil swallowed, this was a huge come-on and he knew it.
“Well he’s pleased to meet you, Henri, but he’s with me, at least until next week, and then you can have him.”
“Really, then I look forward to that; boys.” He smiled very knowingly and left them.
“Did you just rent me out to that guy?” Gil didn’t know whether to laugh or hit Nik for trading him off to the French guy.
“Keep your dick in your pants; I’m doing you a favour. I leave next Monday and that guy wants you, an older guy, experienced. It will do you good to see what the gay scene is like. He’ll look after you alright, he can’t wait to get into your pants and he’s obviously an influential guy. Don’t dismiss him out of hand. Have a little fun.”
“I don’t think I want to have any more fun, you’re enough for me here and I…well I might have Nick when I get back home.”
“Wait and see, I bet he wants you Gilberto, and talking of want I think I do too, come let’s have a quickie down here.” And he tried to drag Gil around the back of the club.
“No. No. There’s no way, Nik. No way.”
“Completely and utterly. Wait until we get back to our room.”
“Okay, just this once.”
They had sex, they had fun. Gil was as tanned as he’d ever been, at least since he was a child. He felt good and happy and then it was Monday.
End of Part Seven
Nik was flying out on the ten-thirty island hopper to Athens. He then had a five hour wait at Athens before catching his flight home. In all probability this would be the last time the two men would meet. Neither man was under any illusion that what they had was anything more than a holiday romance, a fling…
Nik had made Gil promise to stay at the Pension and not come to the airport with him. They’d exchanged e-mail addresses and promised to ‘keep in touch’; Nik had demanded to know how Gil got on with the other ‘Nick’. Gil promised to keep him in the loop.
When the taxi arrived, they were sharing a hug, in their room. Gil could see that Nik was trying desperately not to cry. Neither man wanted to put any emotions on display.
“It’s been great, Gil.”
“It’s been great.”
“What have you got to do?”
“Tell Nick, I know, stop nagging. Thank you for everything, Nik. I mean that, I feel as if I’ve actually moved on with my life for the first time in twenty five, thirty years. I hope you find the man of your dreams.”
“You and me, both.”
“You and me, both.”
“Bye, Nik. Thank you.”
And he was gone, just like that. Gil, doing as he was told, remained in their room. He sat down on the bed and took several deep breaths, but that didn’t stop the tears he’d never shed for a lost love ever before in his life, from rolling down his face. He let out a sob and fell back onto the bed and curled up into a ball. And wept.
He must have fallen asleep again because the next thing he knew there was a gentle knocking at the door. The cleaner wanted to clean his room. He let her in and wandered outside; he leaned on a wall and looked across to the bluest sea he’d ever seen.
He hadn’t ‘loved’ Nik, he was sure, because that huge elephant in the corner of every room had gotten in their way. The elephant’s name was Nick Stokes; Gil wasn’t even sure he loved Nick Stokes either, but he needed to find out. And Nik was a good guy, but they weren’t really that compatible, a holiday romance Henri had called it and he was very probably, right. But nevertheless Nik had been responsible for awakening a side of Gil that Gil hadn’t even suspected existed. A latent homosexuality? Who’d have guessed, not Gil, that was for sure, and yet once it’d been pointed out it had seemed the most obvious thing in the world.
Nik Papadopoulos had awakened Gil, as if he’d been sleepwalking for most of his adult life. Now that he was fully awake, maybe, just maybe, if he was really lucky, Nick Stokes would keep him from falling back into that lethargy. The trouble was…Gil had never believed in luck.
He would spend one more week on Mykonos and then catch the ferry back to Piraeus and once in Athens, arrange his flight home. There was no real rush, he still had months of leave left, but it was over. He needed to get back and get on with his life. He hoped it would be a new life, a different and happier life.
That evening he wandered down into Mykonos town and looked for a taverna to have an evening meal. He wanted to go somewhere that he hadn’t been with Nik; he didn’t want to remember things they’d done together. He stopped when he saw some prints in a shop window and went in to take a closer look. Moments later he felt a tap on his shoulder.
“I saw you walking alone and followed you in here. Your young Australian boy, he’s gone home?”
“Nik? Yes, he has.”
“Would you do me the great honour of having dinner with me? I would be very happy to entertain you, to take your mind off your departed friend.”
“That’s very kind of you, but to be honest I think I would like to spend some time on my own.”
“I was not being kind, Gil, I was being selfish. But I do understand that you wish to mourn your lost…friendship. Perhaps I could make it a little less painful for you. I know an excellent kitchen, you will enjoy the food, I know it.”
“Really…I don’t think…”
“…there is no need to think, just a little conversation and excellent food and drink, what more do you need to keep you occupied?”
“I…I…we…” Gil was truly floundering; he’d never been so blatantly seduced in his life, he was blushing like a pubescent boy, despite his age.
“There is no need to explain; please come with me.” Henri turned and left the shop and Gil, amazed at himself, quite dutifully followed him.
“It is a little walk, but it is a wonderful evening, is it not?”
“It is, but I've found that most evenings are beautiful. It hasn’t rained or even been cloudy since I arrived in Greece.” Gil was talking about the weather, the fucking weather. He was incredulous.
“I must call home and tell them we have a guest for dinner.” He made a call on his cell phone speaking in French.
They walked slowly along narrow streets and it became less and less like a tourist area and more and more like a local area. They came into a small but beautiful square, a church dominating one side with trees and a small fountain in the middle. Houses made up the other three sides, villa type houses, shaded by plane trees and shrouded in bougainvillea.
Henri opened a heavy wooden door to one of the villas and gestured for Gil to enter before him. Gil walked into a marble floored hall, dominated with a huge ornate staircase and doors to other rooms.
“Please, follow me.”
Henri walked past the staircase to the back of the hall and threw open two more wooden doors…into a courtyard, bedecked with flowers and plants and small trees. A small but very ornate fountain gurgled away in the centre and a wooden table and chairs nestled in the light of the remaining evening. Candle lamps had already been lit to illuminate the courtyard.
Gil had to smirk; this was about the most romantic place he’d ever seen. If Henri really did wish to seduce him, he couldn’t have started off any better.
“You are smiling, Gil, you like the surroundings.”
“Yes, they are very…beautiful.”
“I am pleased that you should find my little piece of heaven to be beautiful. My sister, Marion, lives with me as my housekeeper and cook. She will not meet you, she has many difficulties in her life but I hope that she finds peace here with me, caring for me. I can assure you that her meal will delight you. She enjoys nothing better than pleasing people with her culinary skills.”
“Then I will be delighted to eat her food.” Gil was taken aback at his response, for a moment he believed he’d been not only seduced but hypnotised by this smooth operator.
“An aperitif, Gil? I enjoy a gin and tonic before my meal, but please, tell me what you would like,
“Actually a gin and tonic sounds just fine…very refreshing.”
“Indeed.” Henri went to a discreet bar behind the table and a few minutes later a drink materialised. “I have taken the liberty, Gil, of preparing the drink. I hope the mix is to your liking. Santé!”
“Santé.” Gil sipped his drink. “It’s perfect, but that’s what I expected.”
“I am pleased. I have selected a Rose wine for our meal; I hope you don’t mind a light wine to accompany our meal. I find that Roses are having a renaissance.”
“I wouldn’t know; I’m afraid I’m not much of a connoisseur, I tend to like what I like.”
“And that is good, not pretentious; pretending you like something because it has a ‘label’, a reputation. I am a Frenchman and drinking Rose may qualify me for a walk to the guillotine.”
“The very worst. Ah, I think dinner is about to begin, we have a cosmopolitan menu that I hope you will enjoy.” A young Greek man arrived with the first dishes.
“I have absolutely no doubt that I will.”
The meal began with fried feta cheese parcels with choux pastry; they melted in Gil's mouth and were accompanied, as ever with a salad.
The main course was lamb, so tender it fell from the bone without the use of a knife. It had been cooked in a wine sauce and all manner of delights accosted Gil’s taste buds, tomatoes, mushrooms, vegetables and the delicate flavour of herbs. The dish was served with rice and fresh vegetables.
But for the dessert, Marion excelled herself with a concoction of meringue and cream and raspberries, covered in a hot raspberry coulis. Gil wasn’t absolutely sure he’d not died and gone to heaven especially when Henri told him what the dish was called Heisse Liebe.
“I thought you would like such a dessert.”
“I don’t know; it just came to me.”
They had spent the meal between eating and sipping their wine talking amiably about their work, their life, all small talk that Gil would have denied that he was capable of undertaking; such bonhomie was so totally out of character that he was slightly stunned at his own behaviour.
The meal finished with a very fine French brandy and scalding hot black coffee, and although Gil knew he wasn’t as drunk as he had been in recent weeks, he wasn't sober.
He sat back in his chair and gazed at the night sky through the trees.
“That was a truly magnificent feast, I would like to thank your sister for her cooking skills, if you would tell her from me - I don’t think I've ever had a finer meal.”
“I will tell her, you will make her very happy indeed.”
“I think I must go now. I have enjoyed your hospitality enormously, Henri, not just the food, but your company and the ambience.” Gil thought he may well be much drunker than he’d originally thought.
“Of course. If you don’t mind, I will walk with you to the town; it is time for my business to begin.”
“That would be good; I may need a guide to find my way.”
“The alleyways are very confusing, it took me many months to memorise the path to my home.”
Henri accompanied Gil to the junction, where he would go to his club and Gil would go to his Pension. Gil held out his hand and Henri looked at it and smiled and grasped Gil by the shoulders and gently kissed each cheek and then pressed his lips so gently to Gil’s lips that Gil was hardly aware of them.
“Until tomorrow? I will meet you for lunch at George’s, on the beach, you know it?”
“At two o’clock. Until then.” And he was gone, leaving Gil watching his retreating back. Holy shit, if he hadn’t been strung along like a virgin. What had Nik called him…vanilla? That was him, alright. ‘Vanilla’, and there was a word for Henri too…Lothario.
Gil walked up the path to his Pension and fumbled for his key. He got ready for bed and looked at the bed and the absence of Nik in it. What would Nik think of tonight’s escapade? ‘Bonzer’, that’s what he’d think. He settled on the bed and pulled the one sheet up onto his shoulders. He was asleep before he thought another thought.
End of Part Eight
The next day he sauntered as slowly as he could down to George’s taverna on the beach; he didn’t want to be seen as being eager. He’d spent time in the shower that morning wondering if he was being disloyal to Nik and Nick by being so smitten with the Frenchman. And yet hadn’t Nik told him to ‘have a little fun’ with the man?
He arrived at two fifteen and as casually as he could muster, since his innards were doing somersaults, he made his way to a table right at the end of the wooded bar, where Henri was sitting watching the activities on the beach.
“Gil. I am so pleased you came. You worried me when you were late; I thought you would be a punctual man.”
With just those few words, Gil felt ashamed, he was normally a punctual man and Henri had known that about him and yet here he was attempting some sort of ‘coy’ behaviour.
“You’re right, I’m sorry; my bad manners after your wonderful hospitality.”
“Please don’t worry, it is nothing.” A waiter hovered beside the table. “What would you like to drink, Gil, I have this wonderful fruit cocktail and would you believe it, it has no alcohol in it at all. I like to pretend at lunchtime, or I find myself drinking too much.”
“Sounds perfect.” The waiter left as quietly as he’d arrived with their order. Gil settled in the chair beside Henri, looking out on the beach and the sea.
“I enjoyed last evening with you very much, Gil, and my sister was ecstatic that you enjoyed the food that she prepared.”
“Not just ‘enjoyed’, it was a great meal and she has a real gift.”
“She has, she worked in the best restaurants in Paris for many years but unfortunately she had some…problems. Now she prefers to remain anonymous. It is her choice.”
“Then I feel privileged to have eaten the food she prepared.”
“I will tell her this, she will enjoy the praise.”
They sat in silence for a few minutes, Gil’s drink was delivered and he sipped at it, a concoction of many fruits, he guessed, but not overly sweet. It was refreshing.
“Would you care to dine with me again this evening?”
“I feel that I’d be imposing on your hospitality.”
“Oh no, you would not. Gil, most of the men…boys, that come to this island hold no interest for me. But you…a man in his prime, with intelligent and interesting conversation is such a rarity that I am…overjoyed…to offer you my hospitality, as much as Marion is to cook for you.”
“Then I cannot refuse, thank you.”
“Thank you. Tonight I will not go to the club.”
Gil, looking out to sea, raised his eyebrows at that statement, he might be new to the gay game, but he knew when he was being set up. He wasn’t, actually, upset by the proposition.
“Could I ask you a personal question?”
“You may ask.”
Gil knew that he might not answer. “It’s just, I’m just surprised that you are alone, Henri, you seem as if you should be with someone.” Gil thought he was digging himself a hole here, but he was very surprised by Henri’s response.
“I was with a man for seventeen years, Jean-Phillipe; we ran a restaurant and bar in New Orleans for many years. I loved him a great deal and we stayed together, but how do you Americans say, ‘he couldn’t keep it in his pants’. He loved me and not them and so we stayed together. He was HIV positive, even when I met him, and he developed Aids; I nursed him until he died, and then came here to lick my wounds. Marion, too, had her problems at the same time, so it seemed like a good idea to do something entirely different. So I, we, did.”
“I’m very sorry for your loss.”
“I missed not only him, but all the problems we had, all the arguments and all the nursing I had to do, it consumed my life and when it was over I was left with a void. Marion…well…” Henri looked around, leaned forward and lowered his voice. “…Marion killed her lover for being unfaithful; she spent eight years in jail and came out a broken woman. She cannot face people anymore, she spent eight years never once being alone and now she cannot bear to be with anyone. I know that you will be discreet about this information.”
Gil was stunned at the revelation regarding Marion. He hadn’t given it that much thought, he just assumed she’d had some mental health problems. But when Nik had seen Henri, he’d seen a man with knowledge and power. In truth, he was no more than Gil, leaving behind turmoil and looking for peace. He wondered if Henri did want to sleep with him or just have someone to talk to, to enjoy the company of a man...and not a ‘boy’.
They spent a couple of hours in the taverna just chatting, drinking the fruit drinks and eating a toasted sandwich each – a guilty pleasure for Henri, he would not dare to tell Marion that he had done such a terrible thing.
At four o’clock, Henri decided that he had an excellent idea for the evening, he had a small yacht, they could take it out to sea…not too far, but far enough from the lights of the island to star gaze and Marion could prepare a picnic for them Henri said he always enjoyed picnics under the stars.
“I bet you do.” Gil retorted and Henri laughed and patted his hand.
So at seven, on the dot, the two men boarded the small yacht - if Gil had been expecting anything bigger he hid his surprise, it had a galley and a combined eating and sleeping area and a head.
Henri loaded what seemed like boxes and boxes of food and drink, but he said it was just because they were insulated that they looked as if they held a lot of food, although, Marion did take into account that they might be shipwrecked for days on end.
Gil laughed but Henri shrugged. Gil looked suddenly serious and then Henri laughed.
It was a great deal more comfortable than the sweet little Persephone, and Gil remembered fondly the excursions he and Nik had taken in the little boat. Henri set sail, or started the engine, and they made a fairly sedate exit from the harbour out into the sea and growing darkness. The boat was lit with low powered lights that gave off an eerie glow, but, Gil concluded, they were very atmospheric.
The warm wind still blew across the sea and when the lights of Mykonos town had faded into the distance, Henri stopped the motor and dropped anchor. The boat rocked gently on the swell and the quietness of their surroundings made both men take a few minutes to absorb the peacefulness of it all.
There was just enough space on deck for two padded deck chairs and a table. Henri insisted on preparing the table for eating, as instructed by Marion. So Gil sat back and sipped a glass of white wine.
And what a feast Henri laid out on the small table. A little of about everything in the whole world as far as Gil could see. All cold dishes, there were savoury pastries, pates, cheeses, salad, cold smoked fishes, freshly baked bread, lathered in garlic butter, that was still warm, wrapped in its foil. There were dips; of course there was tzatziki and taramosalata, but others, too. Henri warned Gil to leave enough room for the sweets.
“I see what you mean about being out at sea for days, there’s enough here to last that long.”
“Marion would never think of just putting a piece of bread and some cheese and fruit in a hamper…she has to go, how do you say, ‘the extra mile.”
“I can see. It won’t go to waste, will it?”
“Oh no, we will have it for breakfast, n’est pas?”
Gil laughed. “Very probably, and the leftovers for several meals after that.”
“Yes, we can share.”
“May I kiss you now, Gil?”
“If the way to man’s heart is through his stomach, shouldn’t I be kissing Marion?”
“You tease me. It is awkward on this boat, maybe not such a good idea after all.”
“Are you saying I’m the first you’ve brought aboard?” Gil was sceptical.
“This boat, yes.”
Henri stood and moved the table from between them and then turned his chair around so that he was alongside Gil but facing in the opposite direction.
“A little invention and here we are.”
Henri took Gil’s right hand in his left and rubbed the back of the hand. “I have wanted to touch you so badly since that first night in the club, you are the first man to...arouse me so…for a long time. He released Gil's hand and slipped his hand behind Gil's neck and gently pulled Gil towards him. When their lips met their eyes closed and as they leaned forwards towards each other, they shared their first proper kiss.
Henri took charge, assaulting Gil’s lips with tugs using his teeth and licking along the lips to soothe them before plunging his tongue into Gil's mouth. Gil used his tongue to run up and down the invading tongue and tasted the wine that Henri had so recently been sipping. They pulled away from each other to catch their breath.
“I want you, Gil. Do you want me?”
“I think so, yes. But I’m not experienced in these…in this…I must tell you that Nik was my first lover, male lover.”
Henri drew back, clearly surprised. “I had no idea. I am sorry, it you do not wish to continue, please say.”
“I do Henri, I do; but I am what Nik called, ‘vanilla’, so please don’t expect too much.”
“It would be my pleasure to continue, Gil, are you sure?”
“Absolutely, Henri, absolutely.” To prove his point he pulled Henri back into a kiss and made sure he was in no doubt.
When they parted again, Henri laughed. “I am going to enjoy you, Gil…Gil. Come, we must make up the bed; there is no room up here and I’m old enough to appreciate a little comfort.”
“I’m with you, but we have to put the food away, we don’t want Marion’s food to go to waste.”
“Oh…how dare you be so practical?” He laughed, and they set about putting the food back into the containers. When it was all packed away, they carried it down into the cabin. The bed was pulled out where the dining table and bench seats were. Henri put the food in cupboards and went back up on deck to tidy up and ensure the lamps were extinguished, but the boats lights were left on.
“I must be getting old, Gil; I should have just ravished you and damned the food to hell…it would have fed the fishes.”
“And if we do get stranded, what would we eat?”
“Each other, as I intend that we should do so now.”
“Ah oui, mon ami. I think we’ll have to undress ourselves in this confined space. Mon Dieu, this is sexy is it not?”
“’Not’ I think is the right answer…and why are you suddenly using French?”
“Moi? Oh, Gil, I am embarrassed, this is not how this should be, it should be smooth and sexy and not on a tiny rocking boat.”
“Please don’t be embarrassed, Henri. Isn’t this perfect, just us and the Aegean, the stars, okay we can’t see them…we can look out of the window…porthole.”
Gil started laughing and so did Henri. Collapsing on the little bed, both men laughed until tears flowed.
“I thought you were the smooth operator and I was the vanilla guy.”
“It is supposed to be that way. I think I am doing French men the world over a disservice. We do have a certain reputation to uphold.”
“I’m sure you do. I’m going to try undressing now, okay?”
“Spoken like a man used to being in charge.”
“Yes, now come on, get ready yourself or I will be seriously worried about your reputation as a…lover.” Gil suddenly realised the position he was in, about to sleep with…well the euphemism didn’t really apply, he was about to have a sexual encounter with only his second ever man.
End of Part Nine
Henri could see that Gil was overthinking. “What do you think of now?”
“This. Me. How my life has changed in a matter of weeks.”
“It is entirely for the better. Men are so much better than women, not so much trouble at all.”
“No, not really, but it sounds good, does it not?”
“Yes, I suppose it does.”
“Gil, let me make love to you? S’il te plait?”
“Oui, je le voudrais.”
“…no, no, don’t get too excited that’s about all the French I know.”
“I am excited, you excite me.”
Gil blushed; he actually blushed. They had both undressed to their boxer shorts. Henri took Gil's face in his hands and kissed him, tenderly. Gil leaned into Henri and fully returned the kiss. They were being gentle with each other, and yet Gil marvelled at the firmness of the kiss; the way Henri, and Nik for that matter, were so firm with their lips, as if they had a real purpose to fulfil.
Henri broke their kiss and gently pulled Gil onto the bed, until they were lying side by side. And then he assaulted Gil's mouth once more. Gil thought about the men in his new life. Nik’s kisses were firm, but wet and sloppy and consuming, and now Henri’s kisses were firm and dry and totally different, but still consuming…except that here he was kissing Henri and thinking about Nik and wondering if he’d ever get to kiss Nick…
“Is everything to your liking, Gil? You seem distracted.” Henri had pulled away from him and was looking at him in the dimly lit cabin.
“I’m sorry Henri, I was momentarily distracted; you’re only the second man I've ever kissed and I was musing on that fact.” A little white lie.
“I must be losing my touch, no one should be distracted by anything other than my kisses; I am worried.” Henri did look quite hurt.
“I’m sorry Henri; it’s no reflection at all on your kisses. Here.” Gil pulled Henri back towards him and kissed him as tenderly as he could. He really didn’t consider himself to be a ‘kisser’; he couldn’t remember any woman complimenting him on his kissing techniques. Certainly Sara never had. He was thinking again instead of concentrating, so he blanked out everything but the feel of Henri’s lips on his own, and lay back and enjoyed it, pulling Henri almost on top of him.
Henri was murmuring as he kissed Gil, once more nipping and sucking at his lips. His tongue found its way into Gil's mouth and Gil used his own tongue to duel with the interloper, even pushing his tongue into Henri’s mouth.
Gil felt relaxed and comfortable with Henri, maybe not as excited as he’d been with Nik, but this was a different experience. Henri pulled back to look at Gil and smiled and then attacked his neck, kissing, nipping and licking around from ear to ear and tickling Gil’s skin with the tip of his tongue.
Gil chuckled and pushed Henri away from him just a little, so he could reciprocate along Henri’s neck and then he moved down to Henri’s nipples, sucking and pulling at first one and then the other using his teeth to tease and his tongue to soothe. Henri was still murmuring, in French, Gil surmised.
There was no doubt that Gil was extremely aroused by Henri and his rock-hard cock was testament to that. His mouth was nipping along Henri’s jaw and along his windpipe and then up to claim Henri’s lips once more. And then down to Henri’s nipples and Henri quickly followed suit licking and sucking at Gil's nipples.
But both men had firmly stayed about their waists until Henri suddenly grabbed his cock and almost savagely twisted and pumped it several times. Gil couldn’t help but groan out loud at the pain…no, the pleasure, no, the pain, he couldn’t quite decide but his cock was in no doubt. It loved the attention.
Gil thought that Henri would use his mouth then and proceed to ‘blow him’, as Nik so eloquently used to say. But no, Henri had other things on his mind. His head and mouth moved below the cock and kissed and nipped almost savagely at the skin on Gil’s inner thighs, and once again Gil's brain had difficulty deciphering the signals…was it painful or was it pleasurable. He really couldn’t decide either way, but one thing he was absolutely sure of - he didn’t want Henri to stop.
And Henri didn’t stop; Gil was almost senseless now and was lying back on the little bed trying to decide whether he really liked this or not. Not, of course, that he wanted Henri to stop, he was sure of that and his cock was utterly convinced, but it was so new; so different. Nik had never been this persuasive…or invasive…
Henri took each of Gil's balls in his mouth and pulled and sucked at each of them in turn, Gil’s backside left the bed and he groaned out, “Henri, for God’s sake do something with my cock!”
“Let him wait, it will make him more grateful.” Henri replied, his French accent so much more noticeable.
Henri moved now to lie between Gil's legs and bent down once more to target not the cock, no, he had to wait, this time it was his perineum, behind his balls. The sensitive skin was licked and wet and then nibbled a little. Henri moved back and grabbed both Gil's legs and held them up and apart and once more dived down to his prize.
Now Nik had kept this area out of bounds as a sort of unwritten rule. Gil’s brain was not firing on all its pistons since so much blood had been diverted to his thrumming cock, beating out its own tune to Gil's heartbeat. But he was aware of the proximity of Henri’s mouth to his…
“S’not bad, eh, Gil?” Henri pulled back to look up at Gil, who’s eyes were screwed up and who’s breath was coming in huge gasps.
“No. No.” Was all Gil could manage.
“You want me to stop?”
“I thought not.”
All Henri had done was lick Gil’s anus. A long lick that tickled and incensed the bundle of nerves around the tight sphincter muscle. Henri bent over Gil again and tried the same action and once more elicited almost the same reaction from Gil. He licked and then pushed the tip of his tongue through the muscle.
Gil gasped again, but this time his opened his eyes and he knew he didn’t want this. He wasn’t ready. Maybe some time; but not here and not now…and not Henri.
“Please Henri, stop.”
“Of course. But what is it? You do not like? I am clean…I have no infection.”
“I never thought you were anything but…I do like, it’s not that, it’s too soon for me. Please, I’m sorry.” Gil just wasn’t ready to be penetrated. Nik had never tried and said he wouldn’t and Gil just didn’t feel that he should let Henri…despite what they were doing and he wouldn’t deny that it was very pleasurable, but he just wasn’t ready…he didn’t feel ready. For that.
He was suddenly aware that Henri was speaking. “I’m sorry, Henri; way to kill the mood.”
“I would not, for a moment, do something with which you are not happy, Gil. Here, let us lie a little and talk, shall we?” Henri lay down alongside Gil and put his hand behind Gil's shoulders to move him towards him. Gil rolled over onto his side and looked at Henri in the lamp light.
“I am so very sorry for ruining a good thing, Henri, please forgive me.”
“Of course I forgive you…but there is nothing to forgive anyway. You cannot do something that will make you feel bad, Gil, if it is not right for you, then it is not right for me.”
“I have a lot of…issues…I think that’s the word everyone uses nowadays. Apart from anything else, I never realised that I’m gay, or at least bi-sexual. Less than a year ago I was ready to marry a woman and I know, I knew then, that I didn’t really love her, but…”
“You got carried away. I think maybe you just wanted to be with someone, because your life was empty and society still dictates that a man should be with a woman.”
“Yes. But, I never dreamed that I was gay or… Never. But it took all of one minute for Nik to seduce me and not much longer for him to realise that I’m actually in love with a man; a man back home.”
“Ahhh. That does explain a great deal, mon amour.”
“Well I’d like you to explain it to me, Henri, because for the life of me I don’t understand it.”
“The French philosopher, Pascal, said, ‘Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connait point’; you understand?”
“No, sorry, I don’t.”
“The heart has its reasons which the mind knows nothing of.”
“Oh yes, I see. Actually, it’s ridiculous, but it’s right. I knew nothing at all about me, and yet when it was pointed out by a young man I hardly knew, everything fell into place. How could I have been so blind, so stupid?”
“You are a man and men make mistakes. We all do - it is the nature of man. We should try and learn by our mistakes, but still we make them, often the same mistakes over and over again. But at least, Gil, you have now discovered your mistake, you try to right it, no?”
“I will. I promised Nik that I would and I will keep that promise. I think I am an honourable man; I hope that I am, it’s all I have left. I was blind to this part of me, but now that I know, I will try my very best to right the wrongs I have done. To one person, particularly.”
“To this woman in your life?”
“No, actually she left me, she couldn’t understand my indecision and I couldn’t explain it, not that we talked about it much. I’m not a ‘talker’.”
“You are doing well enough now.”
“Yes, yes, I am, and I’m so sorry, I shouldn’t be worrying you with my sad life.”
“It is not a sad life if you have realised your mistake, it will not be sad if you can change your life. I feel very honoured that you can share this with me; it makes me feel as if I can be your friend. I am sad that you will not be more than a friend because I believe we could be, I don’t know, much more than friends?”
“In another life, if this spectre of my mistake, my intolerable behaviour, was not looming in my vision all the time. I must try to right the wrong, Henri; it’s something I must do.”
“I understand. It makes me want you more, do you understand that?”
“You’re a sucker for a hard luck story?” Gil chuckled against Henri’s shoulder. “Sorry.”
“It is true, you are, how do you say, ‘on the money’. I spent all those years with Jean-Phillipe, I loved him and he constantly belittled me, he constantly flaunted his lovers in my face, he constantly made me feel worthless, and when he was dying I held him and he said I was a fool, a fool for loving him, for putting up with him, and a fool for nursing him on his death bed. I still love him and I cannot explain why.” Henri’s voice cracked as he spoke of his lost love.
“We don’t seem to be able to choose very wisely, you and me. But perhaps one day you will find the man who will love you and not hurt you and I might find a love I have wanted for so long.”
“This man you love, he is gay?”
“Not that I’m aware of.”
“But then neither was I until a few weeks ago.”
“Oh. If this man does not return your love, Gil, would you come back?”
“I don’t know. I would like to say, ‘yes, I will’, but I don’t know.”
“Thank you for your honesty, you could have said ‘yes’ and I would have waited.”
“Henri, I thought you were so sophisticated and a role model for gay…I don’t know…chic, and here you are, just the same bundle of insecurities as me and the rest of us.” Gil kissed Henri gently, on the cheek.
“I know it; I know it.” He chuckled and hugged Gil tighter to him. “But at least I hid it well, you thought I was sophisticated, you said?”
“Yes I did, you are, actually.”
“Thank you, I like that you thought that I was.”
Gil was aware of the gentle rocking motion of the boat and was being lulled to sleep, comfortable in the arms…not of his lover…but his friend.
End of Part Ten
The next thing Gil knew he was startled awake by a loud crashing above his head and the squawks of birds. Sea gulls.
Henri woke too. “Those bastards, they get everywhere, you would think they could be a little quieter, it is still so early.” It was well before six in the morning and still dark.
“The early bird catches the worm.”
“There are no worms out here; they’re chasing the fishing boats as they return to port. Bastards.”
“You’re not keen on them or early mornings, I take it?”
“I rarely go to bed before five o’clock.”
“Of course, the club, I forgot.”
“I need to take a piss.”
“A piece? A piece of what…oh, a piss.”
“Ha, you take the piss out of my accent, you should pay for that.”
“You still want to…”
“I would never say no to you, Geeeel.” Henri exaggerated the pronunciation of his name.
“Ah, you are a horrible man and I must take a peeess!”
Henri clambered unsteadily from the bed and held onto the fittings as he made his way to the head. Of course, as soon as Gil heard the copious urination of the other man he knew that he, too, must take a ‘peeess’, and made his own unsteady way to wait in line to use the head.
Henri finished with a satisfying sigh and then used a piece of toilet paper to wipe the end of his penis. Gil raised his eyebrows, he’d heard of this, but never witnessed a guy ‘wiping’ before. Henri flushed and used the little sink to wash his hands, the motor whirring as it heated the water for him. It might be a small yacht but it was well equipped. When the cubicle was vacated, Gil followed suit. And just to test out the procedure he too, wiped! He chuckled at his ‘new man’ behaviour.
Back in the cabin Henri lay on the bed again, rubbing his not inconsiderable erection. Smiling at Gil, he patted the bed beside him. Gil crawled up the bed to him, his own erection awakening at the prospect of some action.
He almost threw himself down beside Henri and the boat protested at the movement.
“If ever I want to seduce a man again, I can tell you, Gil, that I will never bring him aboard this confounded boat!”
“Henri, where’s your sense of adventure, we‘ve had a good time, okay, I chickened out last night, but we talked and that was good, for me anyway.”
“And for me…I said things to you that I’ve never said out loud before and after you had fallen asleep I spent time thinking about my revelations…to share them was good and I hope now that I can, how do you say, lay the ghost to rest.”
“I hope so, Henri, so it has been good. Come on, let’s get physical.”
“A very good idea.” He pulled Gil onto him to resume the kissing that came to such an abrupt end the night before.
Gil was enjoying this, being on top gave him more control and he thought that, perhaps, he was going to be a top…well, given the chance. Their kisses resumed with the intensity of the night before and both men fully explored each other’s body, well at least as far as their belly buttons.
But their erections were forcing the issue about what they would do next and suddenly Henri prised Gil away from him and looked him straight in the eye.
“Mon Cherie, could I ask you something and if you say non, it will not matter, I promise. I can understand that you do not wish for me to…fuck you, but would you care to fuck me?”
“Well I didn’t see that coming…you know I've never done it? I don’t know how.”
“But I will show you and then if you are lucky enough to win your ‘prize’, then you will know how to pleasure him.”
“I suppose there’s no harm in trying, it never crossed my mind that I could do it, I've no idea why not.”
“Then kiss some more and think about it.”
But as Gil kissed he knew he didn’t really want to fuck Henri any more than he’d wanted Henri to fuck him the night before. He was chicken, he knew that, but he just felt it was far too soon for such a step. He knew; at least he’d read of the pleasure…and the pain and he knew that it was not the right time for him to…what? Be initiated? He felt stupid for turning down Henri whom he thought would probably be an excellent teacher but that was how he felt and he couldn’t change his feelings…even if he was gay.
He thought about Nick and his promise to Nik. Who knew what would happen? He hoped he could develop a friendship, at the very least, with Nick, but then if Nick dismissed him out of hand, then perhaps he could come back to the islands…perhaps; but he knew he wouldn’t.
He was a hypocrite, he knew that, but since he’d been the same for years he wasn't going to change overnight. He’d been with Nik for a few weeks and now he was lying in bed with Henri; he wasn’t a blushing virgin. But he wasn’t ready to have one of the most intimate of all homosexual sex. Because he wasn’t intimate with this man with whom he was lying…
“You are doing all that thinking again and it is a ‘non’ is it not?”
“It is. I’m really sorry, bu….” Gil was silenced by Henri putting his fingers to Gil’s mouth.
“No time for regrets, you must do what you think is right for you.” Henri leaned onto Gil and continued kissing him with all his might.
Their flagging erections almost immediately hardened. Both men had spent some time sexually aroused without relief and both men decided simultaneously that this was going to lead to the pleasure they denied themselves the night before...if not exactly what Henri had hoped for, at least some relief.
Henri reached under his pillow and produced a tube of lube, held up with a triumphant grin. Gil chuckled and shook his head as Henri squeezed a copious amount into his palm of his right hand. Without preamble his put the palm on Gil’s hard cock - making Gil squirm with the coldness of the lubrication. He thoroughly oiled Gil’s cock and with the residue on his hand, did the same to his own cock. It was very apparent that both tumultuous cocks appreciated the attention.
Henri then grasped them both together in his right hand and, finding the right angle began to rub them together and then started pumping them, the lube was making them slick and the friction was making them hot. Henri smiled and raised his eyebrows at Gil. Gil smiled back, with some difficulty given the pleasure he was now experiencing.
Gil pulled Henri towards him and devoured his mouth once more, but couldn’t keep up the kissing for the need to gasp and take in air as he was rapidly approaching his orgasm. Henri was not stopping his relentless pumping action, he was getting faster and his fist was getting tighter and Gil’s cock, his balls, the deep pit of his stomach and his ass and hell, even his lower back were all heating up like liquid fire as he knew, irrevocably, that his ejaculation had started.
He bucked up even further into Henri and the boiling fluid scorched his innards as it made its way to the outside world. The first stream exploded out of his cock and onto his stomach and Henri’s hand. Almost immediately, Henri too, joined the fray. He pumped furiously for a few more strokes as they both gasped breath in and out of their lungs and pumped ejaculate out of their penises.
Gil’s balls had contracted almost into his chest cavity, or so it seemed, they were so tight, but as the spasms ended they started to relax and fall slack once more between his legs. Henri released his death grip and fell to the side of Gil.
“Not bad at all, young man.”
“Young…I’m older than you.” Gil gasped.
“This is true, but I am the more experienced, n’est pas?”
“I think that’s a given.”
“Now, Gil, the sun is almost up and this infernal sex is fucking messy, but my idea is to dive into the sea and wash it off. Do you swim?”
“Yes. And if you don’t mind me saying, that’s a bloody good idea.” Gil mimicked Nik’s vernacular.
“I have the good ideas all the time, Gil.”
“Come on, last one in’s a sissy!”
“You spent too much time with your young Australian beauty.”
“No worries mate.”
The men had disentangled themselves and with semen dripping and drying on their bodies they made unsteady progress up onto deck. There was a ladder already in situ for getting back onto the boat, so Henri held his nose and jumped, feet first, into the sea.
Gil followed suit and joined the Frenchman in the freezing water. What had looked inviting and refreshing was, in reality, fucking cold. Both men screamed as they came up for air.
“Swim, mon ami, it will warm you.” And with that, Henri set out with a fast crawl and Gil followed suit.
After a hundred or so yards both men were warmed by their exertion, and Gil, once more, revelled at the gloriously free feeling of skinny dipping. He trod water and wiped his chest and stomach making sure the semen was washed away. He watched as Henri came to a stop and then did a lazy back crawl towards him.
“It is good. A good reason to live on a Greek island.”
“I am always right, Gil. You should come live here with me. There are many bugs and the internet to keep you occupied during the day and I could keep you occupied at all other times. You should stay.”
“Henri, it is tempting, don’t think it isn’t, but I have to do this…thing, I have to do it, at least to put right the wrongs I have done for many years.”
“This young man will steal you away from me.”
The men were becoming breathless from treading water and talking and Gil took the initiative and made towards their boat with his powerful breast stroke. Henri watched him go, knowing he was swimming away from him, and whatever life he could offer. He always fell for the inappropriate men. It was his destinee…
End of Part Eleven
Gil was set to leave Mykonos on Monday, leaving them with just four days together. Henri tried to lift his depressive mood, and certainly didn’t let Gil see it, but he felt as if the only chance he’d had, since the death of his partner, of a really good relationship was slipping through his fingers.
He decided that he should give Gil the best four days of his life if he could and hope that if Gil was disappointed with his young man, then he would return to Mykonos and his side. He was an old romantic; he was a romantic fool he knew that.
Henri invited Gil to stay in his villa for the last few days and Gil accepted. Henri was endlessly entertaining with his stories of life growing up in France and his years living in New Orleans, relating the good times he had with Jean-Phillipe and forgetting the bad times.
They made love in Henri’s opulent bedroom and ate feasts in his dining room; Gil caught fleeting glimpses of Marian, scurrying out of his way, though Henri told him that she loved having an ‘extra mouth to feed’.
They spent Gil’s last day aboard the little yacht, at Gil's request, sailing out into the sea so that Gil could enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the sea…notwithstanding the sea gulls.
They ate yet another feast prepared by Marian and then Henri gave Gil a blow job ‘to remember’. Gil assured him that he would remember not only the blow job but every single minute of their short time together.
Monday morning arrived and the taxi awaited Gil; he’d decided to fly to Athens instead of taking the ferry to Piraeus. He had imposed the same rule on Henri that Nik had on him. No airport. Their goodbyes would be said in private. Gil remembered back to (only) the previous Monday when he’d shed copious tears after Nik’s departure.
He was the one leaving now and he was sure he wouldn’t shed a tear for Henri, although he had enjoyed his company enormously, he knew that Henri was not the kind of man with whom he would form a long time liaison. A friend; what did Nik call him…a ‘fuck buddy’, but not a lover in the true sense of the word; he did not love Henri and he knew that his fussy ways and gourmet eating would soon bore him. He felt treacherous for thinking such things, but it was true. It was best that they part now, short and sweet…happy memories for both men.
So as they hugged for the last time, Henri was morose but not tearful. He handed Gil a package of Marian’s food…for his journey and then a small box packaged tastefully.
“You must not open this until you are in your hotel in Athens. Promise me!”
“I promise Henri, but I have nothing for you…”
“…no, you have given me a little happiness, for which I am eternally grateful. Je t’aime, mon ami. Au revoir.”
“Henri.” They hugged and Gil felt Henri’s lips on his neck and he instinctively moved into the kiss. He smiled to himself; he was so obviously a gay man.
Gil pulled away and gave Henri a quick peck on the lips and turned and left. He didn’t look back, but felt incredibly churlish at his behaviour…but he wanted to be single minded now…Nick Stokes was where his sights were set.
The flight was uneventful and he booked into a small hotel close to the airport, extremely noisy but cheap and clean. After booking in, he phoned his neighbour in Las Vegas, Carole, and told her he’d be home on Wednesday or Thursday. She seemed pleased to speak to him and assured him there had been no catastrophes while he’d been away...his home was still standing. He’d guessed as much since she had his cell number but had never used it.
He then went to the airport to sort out his ticket - he’d thought that would be easier than trying a ticket office or on-line and he’d been right. He managed to secure a flight to Gatwick with an onward flight to Las Vegas on Wednesday morning. It would be a very long day, but he’d be home before Thursday.
He caught a bus into the city centre and finding a familiar little taverna ordered the first meal he’d eaten alone for many weeks.
As he savoured the simple meal of stuffed tomatoes and peppers with his obligatory Greek salad, he thought back to his adventures with Nik and Henri and chuckled to himself at the way his life had been turned upside down. All he had to do now was the little task of seducing Nick Stokes. That thought wiped the smile of his face. But he remained philosophical, the chances that Nick was gay were minimal, he’d never seen any sort of gay behaviour…and then he had to laugh out loud. It earned him a few looks but he shrugged and sipped his beer.
He was a seasoned ‘gay’ man of a matter of weeks. He’d have defended his heterosexual status without a thought until that day on the beach with his other Nik.
He wandered the crowded streets looking at stalls and suddenly remembered that he had Henri’s gift to open. He had deliberately left it when he’d unpacked and then forgotten it, but now he was wondering if he should buy any presents for his colleagues and that thought had him staring unseeingly into a shop window. He had not thought of any of them, except Nick, for weeks. They had faded into the background and he supposed it was the same for them. Would they manage a passing interest in his ‘new’ life? Probably not.
He had sown his own seeds of distrust and it was only fair he should reap the consequences of his selfish acts.
He thought of Sara. He was emotionally incapable of dealing with her emotional turmoil, but in truth he hadn’t tried and more importantly he hadn’t wanted to try. What a bastard he was, to have strung her along and had even contemplated marrying her; what an unmitigated disaster that would have been. And yet…if she hadn’t left him, he would have done it, he knew it, suddenly aware of his reflection in the shop window.
And Warrick? Could he have provided more support for the doomed man? Should he have been more assertive and made him tow the line, rather than half-heartedly telling him to back off. He actually doubted that; although Warrick had the video saying how supportive Gil had been to him…how fatherly…if he’d really believed that, he would have surely been capable of following Gil’s instructions to calm down, to lie low, but he hadn’t, and then it was too late.
He looked at the white haired man he’d become in the last weeks, he’d lost weight, despite Marion’s food, and was tanned and healthy. He was also a hypocrite. If he did nothing else, he would apologise to Nick, write to Sara and apologise to her too, and he suspected he would be resigning. He could find a job somewhere. Maybe lecturing. By the sea, he’d like to live by the sea again.
A crowd jostled him and brought him back to the present. He’d go to his hotel and see what Henri had given him. He hailed a taxi, an extravagance, but he was in no mood now for a slow bus.
In his room he showered and made himself a cup of tea, then sat with a damp towel around him and looked at the gift, beautifully wrapped and with a small card in Henri’s writing…he supposed…he wasn’t sure since he’d never seen Henri’s writing.
‘Gil. For just a few days you made me a very happy man. Au revoir mon ami. Henri.’
He held the card for a few moments and smiled at his memories of the Frenchman. He then tore the paper off the package and revealed a red leather box. A watch. An Omega.
A beautiful gold watch, slim and tasteful…much like Henri. Gil smiled as he felt the watch and slipped it on his wrist. It was a perfect fit and lay on his wrist without being ostentatious. He left it on, threw the towel over the arm of a chair and slipped into bed.
Gil lay awake hoping that his earlier thoughts about his colleagues weren’t as bleak as he believed, but if they were, then he was the only one to blame. If he accepted that and made them aware then maybe, just maybe, he could move on.
But first Nick Stokes. He smiled to himself as he thought of the young man. And fell asleep.
A few hours later he jolted awake as a jet roared overhead, but it wasn't the jet that had caused him to wake. It was Nick Stokes talking into a tape recorder saying he was sorry to disappoint him. Gil had read his lips and yet he had never, not once, since that fucking diabolical ordeal, told Nick that he was not a disappointment. His excuse was that Nick wouldn’t want to know he’d seen him say the words, but that was pathetic because Nick knew they’d recovered the tape anyway.
What kind of man was he to behave like that?
The next day Gil had a small breakfast and took a bus in the opposite direction to Athens and found a small village to wonder around. The food in the tavernas was good and the views of the sea and the mountains spectacular. He felt at peace more so than he had the day before because he realised he would get a chance to make some small amends to those people he had mistreated.
His last night in Greece was spent in the city having a last look at the wonderful sights and listening to the sounds. He didn’t buy one thing. He returned to his hotel, packed, showered and slept, and at least he didn’t dream of Nick.
The next morning everything went like clockwork and barely three hours after boarding the plane he was in Gatwick awaiting his onward flight. He’d gained two hours on his day. The flight to Las Vegas would take about ten hours and the time difference was seven hours behind…so Gil’s Wednesday would be a very long day. The transfer time was only an hour and a half so at least he wouldn’t have to hang the airport for too long.
End of Part Twelve
Las Vegas mid-afternoon. Sweltering hot and dry. Gil had almost forgotten, after the humidity of the Greek islands, that he lived in a desert.
He had as little luggage returning as he had leaving and was waiting in line for a taxi fifty-five minutes after landing. A record for a transatlantic flight but as an American national he’d been fast tracked.
Barely an hour later he was home, a ‘welcome home’ card on his table from his neighbour’s young daughter. He smiled at the crayoning and words. ‘Jenna’. Had he forgotten her name or had he never known it anyway?
He bustled about and unpacked and put some laundry to wash. He put on his coffee and groaned at the amount of mail that awaited him but after opening about a dozen he realised most of it would be junk. He attacked it as quickly as he could, he didn’t want to have it hanging around. Apart from financial statements and the junk mail, there was nothing of any personal nature. There was nobody to contact him or miss him. Well within an hour he’d completed his task. And his washing was done. He folded the clothes and then stood in the middle of his laundry room.
In one hour he’d completely assumed and resumed his previous life.
Had he learned nothing at all?
He walked back into his living room and looked around. This was the sum total of his life before he left. But now he was determined that it would not be the same again.
He looked at his new watch; it was just after five o’clock. He would check his e-mails, shower and eat something Carole had left in his fridge.
And then he would go visit Nick Stokes.
He did exactly as he planned and was happy when his truck started on the second turn of the key. He reversed onto his road and then pushed the gear into drive and stopped…he had no idea where Nick Stokes lived.
He screwed his eyes shut and tried to visualise his address…he’d seen it written down. It was Belvedere Drive, he was sure it was, although he had no idea what number. He would drive over and look for Nick’s truck, hoping that he had the same one and that he was actually in…it was seven in the evening. He might have gone out, he might be on a rest day, he might…he had no idea…but he had to do this, he’d promised Nik. He’d also promised himself that he would do this as soon as he arrived back in Vegas. He’d been back for four hours.
The traffic was heavy and Gil had almost forgotten the tedium of driving in the packed thoroughfares, too much traffic for too few roads. He arrived at the street and slowed down as he looked around and as luck would have it - he was getting lucky, was that a good omen - Nick’s truck was parked by a neat little house. Gil parked up on the road and took several deep breaths, he was suddenly thirsty, his throat as dry as sand and he was tired. He’s hardly slept on the flight home.
He had to do this. He hauled his now very weary body from the truck and locked it; he walked up the driveway to the front door and rang the bell.
He hoped Nick wouldn’t be in bed, he would hate to get him up. People who worked nightshifts had odd sleep patterns and he had no idea when Nick slept. It could be as soon as he got in from work, or it could be later, or…or… Gil's mind was babbling.
He suddenly lost his courage and was about to turn around and leave without using the bell again when the door swung open.
“Gris? Grissom? What are you doing here? God, man, your hair’s turned white!” Nick stared at him and then chuckled.
“I like to think of it as sun bleached.” Gil was amazed that he was able to speak, let alone give a reasonable reply.
“Sun bleached? What happened to that ridiculous…sorry, but it was…sunhat you wore all the time to stop getting…sun bleached?”
“I forgot to take it with me. Did you really think it was ridiculous?”
“Yes…well, no…yes, actually.”
“Nick, do you think I could come in?”
“Oh God, sorry Gris…please come in; where are my manners, Mom would kill me.”
“I suppose it’s the shock of me just turning up on your doorstep?”
Nick held open the door and stood back to let Grissom enter his home. Gil Grissom had never walked over his threshold before. He walked in and the stopped to look around. He looked shocked.
“Nick, this is wonderful, what a…great room.”
“Errr…thanks. Just threw it together, you know?”
“No, this room hasn’t been thrown together it’s been carefully assembled; it’s…beautiful.”
“Thanks. It’s nothing really.” Nick was squirming under the unfamiliar praise.
Gil begged to differ but didn’t say anything else as he looked around the room and feasted on the ambience - that’s what it was - a wonderful calming ambience.
The floor was wooden, and the walls were painted, orange, no, not orange. It wasn’t garish enough to be orange and yet not dark enough to be terracotta. There were two large leather couches facing each other, and they were a dark rich terracotta colour and scattered with cushions of various hues from cream to brown…a rich chocolate brown. On the floor between the couches was a rug, again with the cream and browns but also muted greens too and all around the room, were lamps on coffee tables and bookcases, a computer desk, all chosen to co–ordinate with everything else and at the window was a blind that was like shimmering copper, not quite see-through, but not quite opaque.
This was one of the most beautiful rooms Gil had ever been in and in the few moments he’d looked around the room it seemed the only thing out of place was a high tech TV mounted on a wall, the couches, he presumed, could be moved slightly to give anyone sitting on them an excellent view.
“Nick this room is outstanding. Did you do it yourself?”
Gil could have kicked himself because Nick was instantly defensive.
“Yes, I did. Why, don’t you think I’m capable?”
“Sorry, Nick, of course I think you’re capable, I meant did you do the decorating and the floor and everything yourself?”
“Oh, yeah I did, sort of a hobby, you know, take my mind off work.”
“If I remember correctly, aren’t you a carpenter? Didn’t you carve toys for your young nieces and nephews?”
“Yes, I did; I do.” Nick was staggered that Grissom would remember such a fact about him. “Do you want a drink, or anything, coffee, beer?”
“A beer would be good, thanks.”
“Sit down, make yourself at home.” Nick’s manners returned.
“Thank you, I will.”
Gil made himself comfortable in the corner of one of the couches, it was very comfortable, the type to lie down on, stretch out and watch TV, or read a book. He settled back and Nick bought a beer and a glass, but the ‘new’ Grissom refused the glass and took a swig from the bottle. Nick raised his eyebrows at the spectacle. This man seemed an almost different man to the one who’d left the lab some months before.
Regardless of what anyone had said, Nick hadn’t expected to see Grissom come back and he knew the others didn’t either. Perhaps he wouldn’t be coming back and that’s why he was here; he was still amazed that Gil Grissom was in is living room, sitting on his couch drinking his beer. Nick settled himself with his beer on the couch opposite.
“So, man, what are you doing here? You’re not a regular visitor of mine, are you?”
“That’s an understatement; I've never visited you.”
“And, I want to try and explain why…”
“…you don’t have to explain anything…”
“…but I do. I would like to ask you a favour, Nick.”
“You can ask.”
End of Part Thirteen
“I have something I want to tell you, and I think it will be quite difficult for me…no, that’s a lie…it will be very difficult for me to tell you and for you to listen. Could I ask you to hear me out? Not to interrupt?”
“This is weird, man, you know, you turning up like this.”
“I know it is but I must tell you something; I need to tell you something.” Gil was almost begging but at the same time, very determined.
“I suppose you’re here now; if it’s that important that you needed to visit me for the very first time, then go ahead.” Gil was well aware of the dig Nick was making.
“Thank you. This is as bad for me to say as it will be for you to hear, so thank you.
“I’ve been to Greece, or more specifically, a couple or more Greek islands. I’ve had a truly wonderful time, but more than that I've had a huge change in my life.” He hesitated a little before continuing…it seemed like a life time ago rather than a matter of weeks.
“I was in this little taverna having a drink one night when a young man came in; I was instantly struck at how like you he was, he certainly could have been your brother. I thought he was Greek but it turned out he was Australian with hoards of Greek rellies…relatives.
“We got chatting and we got on really well, he’s a cop, lives in Melbourne, so we had points of reference. His name was Nikolaos, or Nik, and we got to know each other…” He paused again thinking about that understatement. “He invited me out on his uncle’s boat and we sailed, or more accurately, chugged, along the coast until we found a secluded beach to sunbathe and eat and swim. On that beach, he made a pass at me…”
“…oh, my God…what did…?”
“…please, you promised, let me finish.”
“…please?” Nick nodded and was clearly much more interested in the story now.
“I was shocked. But maybe not as shocked as I should have been given the circumstances. After a few minutes talking about it, we kissed…” Nick’s eyes nearly popped out of his head.
“And then, Nick, we….errr…we, well, had sex on the beach.”
Nick couldn’t have spoken at this point, even if he wanted to.
“The most interesting thing about all of this is what Nik said about thinking I was…gay. He said he thought I was because most of my conversation centred on a man I knew and he thought the way I spoke about him and what I said was an indication that I was gay.”
“Yyyes.” Nick knew what was coming next and was in shock.
“I had no idea I was doing it, but Nick, my entire conversation about my work here, in Vegas, centred on you. I didn’t realise, I didn’t know. So, with Nik helping me I began to question me and how I’d arrived at that point.
“It’s a horrible feeling when you realise that for years you’ve been behaving badly; no, that’s not adequate, appallingly, towards someone. But to even realise you’ve…I’d been doing it to you Nick. I am ashamed, Nick. I want to apologise and I want to put it right.”
Gil could see the utter shock on Nick’s face, so decided he’d better press ahead before Nick either hit him or threw him out, or both.
“The reason I did it, I believe, Nick, is that for all these years I’ve been a sort of latent homosexual, or bisexual, man, I had no idea, really no idea, but I think I was subconsciously attracted to you. I didn’t know. I promise, I didn’t know. But because some part of me thought it was somehow wrong, I pushed you away, I tried my very best to distance myself from you and berate you, it was, of course, all your fault…that’s what my subconscious mind was telling me…I think.
“It took this Australian man on a Greek island to bring me to my senses. Nik and I were together for some weeks before he had to leave and then I had another, liaison, fling. With a Frenchman.”
“Why are you telling me this Gris, what is it you want from me?”
“I…I…” For the first time Gil started to falter. “I want to make amends, Nick. I would like to be your friend.”
“You think I’m gay?”
“I never thought I’d be that lucky.” Gil shook his head and even smiled a little ironically. “I feel I have wronged you for years…I would like to offer my friendship.”
Nick looked across at him with incredulity, and suddenly jumped up of the couch, pacing and waving his beer around.
“You’ve treated me like something nasty you trod in…all the time…and now you come waltzing in here, bold as brass, saying, ‘oh sorry, Nick, I didn’t mean to, it’s because I wanted to fuck you’, and what, you expect me to say, ‘oh Grissom, that’s great, let’s do it’?”
“NO! It’s not like that…”
“…too fucking true it ain’t like that. Grissom, what do you really want from me? Forgiveness? I forgive you, okay?” Nick was furious and Gil had certainly never seen him so angry.
“No. No. I mean, yes, I do want your forgiveness, but I know I can’t expect it just like that after all this time; you’ve got to give me a chance to make it up to you…”
“…oh, I have, have I? You’ve got a nerve, ‘got to give you a chance’? When did you EVER give me a chance, eh, Grissom? When?”
“Cat got your tongue? I’ll give you a clue…NEVER, that’s when.”
“I’m sorry, truly sorry. I realise now that it’s too little, too late. I’m sorry Nick, I…I don’t know what else to say. I’ll leave, that’s probably the best thing.”
“Yes, is it.”
“Yes, well, Nick, I am sorry. I never realised and certainly never meant to hurt you so badly.”
“No, I don’t suppose you did. At least you said it wasn’t deliberate.”
“No, I promise, never deliberate. Ecklie’s expecting me back at work, but I’ll resign immediately so I don’t have to go back to the lab. Bye.” Gil turned towards Nick’s front door, defeated, his shoulders drooping from the sheer weight of his guilt.
“Hold on; resigning? I thought you were leaving here, my house, not the lab.”
“I don’t think my position is tenable. I have no right to be your supervisor.”
“I didn’t say that. Did I say that?”
“Not in so many words but it’s obvious that my behaviour has affected you deeply and for me to return to the position I used to…abuse you…is not an option.”
“Look, I was, I am, angry at some of your put downs, but I’m not saying they did me any harm…in the long run anyway. It made me more determined and more independent and a…and a better CSI. I wouldn’t like you to leave the lab because of me, Gris, Grissom.”
“Oh fuck, Nick, there you go again, being a nice guy, willing to forgive. I don’t think I’m worth it.”
“Don’t make it a matter of self-worth, I’ve had enough of that shit to last me a life time. If anything, Grissom, you’ve made me a stronger person, but I’m not excusing; I’ve spent a lot of hours discussing you with my therapist.” Nick saw Gil’s eyebrows shoot up at that statement.
Gil knew Nick had had therapy after the abduction but had no idea he had formed part of that scenario, and yet even as he thought that, he knew that his behaviour towards Nick would have been cause enough for the young man to be in therapy, let alone the abduction.
“Yeah, I bet you didn’t know that I still see the guy. See…you never had any interest in me did you?”
“Nick, it would appear to be exactly the opposite. I was so interested in you that without knowing I pushed you away and kept pushing because I couldn’t face up to how I really felt about you. Oh God, I promise you that I didn’t know and now, looking back, I am appalled. I think I’d better go because I think you really should not forgive me, Nick, I don’t deserve it.”
He turned once more and headed for the front door.
“I am gay, you know.”
Gil stopped in his tracks, had he heard correctly? He turned once more to face Nick, his mouth dropping open as he looked at Nick. Nick is gay.
“But don’t get any ideas that you’ve been my fantasy, Grissom, because you haven’t. I've had my fill of overbearing father type figures who think they know it all and treat me like shit.”
Gil stared at Nick. He’s gay. After all this, his wildest dream that Nick would be gay was actually true, but he’d fucked it all up, day after day for year after year and now he’d lost Nick before he’d even come close to finding him.
“I’m sorry, Nick, so sorry.”
“Now, would that be for me or you, Grissom? My guess is you; empathy was never your strong point, was it.” Nick sounded bitter.
“No.” Gil felt so very tired and drained.
“What about Sara? Does she know you’ve changed sides?”
“No, I haven’t been in touch for months…since Warrick…”
Gil looked up at Nick, and he knew what Nick was thinking. All the times Gil had chosen Warrick over Nick, but, in the end, it was Warrick who’d screwed up.
“I’m going. I’m sorry.”
“Don’t…leave the lab, Grissom, not yet anyway.”
“Okay.” Gil left the house and closed the door behind him. His last sight of Nick was of him leaning on the kitchen door jamb, beer bottle still in his hand. His face completely neutral…not giving anything away.
End of Part Fourteen
By the time Gil was home he was bone weary and had gone over the conversation a hundred times. He laughed, a bitter laugh, at the irony of it all.
He went to bed. He was too tired and too angry at himself to do anything else.
The next morning he phoned Ecklie and agreed to go back to work a week from Monday - which was actually nine weeks earlier than he’d originally agreed - so Ecklie was pleased.
He was going to the mall to do some shopping, he needed food and actually some clothes since his weight loss made his old work clothes obsolete. He decided to check his mails just before leaving...and smiled when he saw the name on a new mail he’d received:
He opened the mail.
‘g’day gilberto! i guess u shud b home by now so thort id throw u a line. how was henry, i hope u got 2 do the dirty with him but he wasnt as good as me, nah, no way mate. so whats happening? have u told ur american nickie? im settling back in work and its not as bad as i thort it wud b. met a couple of new guys at a party, but playing the field, not going to make the same mistake 2ice! LOVE from ur greek god N xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx’
Gil smiled. Nik had lifted his spirits. He replied straightaway.
‘G’day right back at ya!
I got home yesterday.
Yes, I did have a short fling with Henri. He was totally different from you so I cannot compare you, but I did prefer you. After all I was completely ‘vanilla’ until you took me under your wing and you will always be my first lover! I will remain eternally grateful to you for that.
I’ve just arranged to go back to work a week from Monday and am dreading it with a sinking feeling already settled in the pit of my belly.
I have spoken to Nick. I did as you instructed and went to see him last night. It was the most awful time I have ever spent. I apologised and he barely accepted my apologies after all the ‘shit’ (his word) I’ve given him over the years.
But the irony is that he is gay and has no feelings for me whatsoever, given my treatment of him I can hardly blame him; it’s just such a ridiculous position for me to be in after all these years, realising that I love him (I do, seeing him only confirmed that). I was going to resign immediately and not go back to the lab but he said I must go back, and I will, but not for long.
Perhaps I could go back to Henri, since he begged me to stay with him on Mykonos!
It was great to hear from you. Please stay in touch
Gil (Gilberto) x’
Gil pressed ‘send’, sighed, shut down and went to the mall.
He didn’t check his mails until later that same night.
‘gil. wot? hes gay and ur giving up? ur gay now and thats not our way! he obviously wants u 2 woo him and so thats what u MUST do. he didnt want u 2 leave work so he OBVIOUSLY WANTS U for god’s sake gil pull ur finger out and get real. N. xxxxxxxxxxxxxx (ur gay adviser)’
Gil sat and read this through a few times and then mailed back.
What do you mean…I've never ‘wooed’ anyone in my entire life and I wouldn’t know where to start. Do you really think he wants me to, really? I don’t know. What shall I do?
He waited and waited but there was no reply. He watched TV, but got bored, he listened to some music but it irritated him, he picked up a back issue of his forensic journal, but couldn’t even interest himself in that.
His phone rang and he nearly jumped out of his skin, he hadn’t heard it ring for months, even before he left.
“Catherine, it’s good to hear your voice, how are you?”
“I’m well now thank you. To be honest I never expected you to return, Ecklie’s just told me.”
Gil, with his old hat on, picked up immediately on ‘I’m well now’. “What do you mean, ‘well now’?”
“Oh, of course, you won’t have heard but just after you left I had appendicitis and then an infection, I was off work for weeks. Nicky acted supervisor and made a big impression, I can tell you.”
“Oh, so you’re okay now then?” He picked up on the veiled, ‘I bet you’re surprised, but Nicky did well’, when really he wasn’t in the least surprised. If truth were told, Nick would probably make a better supervisor than all of them put together.
“Yeah, fine; so you’re coming back.” It wasn't a question and it wasn’t said with any enthusiasm either. He would be going back and taking away her authority in one strike and not for the first time; she had to be pissed.
“A week on Monday, yes.”
“Are you staying?”
Trust Catherine to get straight to the point. “I don’t know, Catherine, I really don’t know one way or the other, just yet.” It would depend on Nick and what Nik had to say on the matter.
“As decisive as ever. Have you heard from Sara? Where’ve you been anyway?”
“You know me, procrastination is my middle name, and ‘no’, I haven’t seen or heard from Sara, I didn’t expect to, to be honest, she’s settled in her new life.”
“That’s where I expected you’d go, to Sara...in Costa Rica?”
“No, I mean yes, it’s Costa Rica but I've been to Greece, wondering around the Greek islands.”
“Really? Now that’s not what I expected.”
“Nor me, but it was one of those spur of the moment things and I've had a good…no, I’ve had a great time.”
“A great time? That doesn’t sound like you.”
He laughed. “No, I’d be the first to agree with you, but think I can say with some authority that it was a life altering experience for me.”
“Okay, okay, I have got the right number haven’t I, you are Gil Grissom aren’t you?”
“Yes, it’s me; a new me though, Catherine.” He might as well start as he meant to go on, and he was momentarily distracted when his computer signalled a new incoming message. He’d missed what Catherine had said to him.
“Sorry Catherine, I was momentarily distracted, what did you say?”
“I said, it’ll be interesting to have you back then, are you a new and improved model?”
“I’m a new model, most certainly, but you’ll have to judge whether or not I’m an improved model.”
“Right. Look, we usually all go out for breakfast together on Saturday mornings after Friday shifts - a new tradition - do you want to come along, let us all get together before you come back?”
‘A new tradition’, translated into a post Gil Grissom era. He was not missed and he was not expected back, so maybe he would be better off not going back; he’d wondered back to his computer and saw that his new mail was from ‘ozziegreek’.
“I’d like that Catherine. This Saturday?”
“Yeah, come to the lab…
“…no, I’d rather not, not yet.”
“Oh, okay, well we’ll be at whichever hotel has the best buffet, I’ll let you know tomorrow, is that okay?”
“Actually, a change of plan, can we leave it until a week Saturday and then I will come into the lab?”
“Please yourself. I’ll see you a week on Saturday?”
“Yes, that’d be good, thank you for calling and I’m pleased you’ve recovered your health.”
“Thanks, see you.” And she was gone.
This new improved Gil Grissom model knew very well that she was not looking forward to his return and he would be seen as an interloper. Ecklie had told him that Ray Langston had decided to join the lab and had been with the ‘graveyard’ for a few weeks following on from his basic training. A least he’d be pleased to see him…Gil hoped he would, anyway. But if he returned and stayed, the graveyard would be one staff member over compliment.
He was distracted now because Nik had responded to his panicked mail.
End of Part Fifteen
‘gilberto! do not panic i will advise u. 1st things 1st. signal ur intentions v.clearly and stake a claim. he will reject u not just once but loads of times. personally id wait til hed rejected me about 25 times b4 u can b sure hes really rejecting u.
1.send flowers big fancy expensive flowers if hes gay hell love them
2.send a plant something fancy and expensive orchids should do it
3.send presents need not be expensive but should be sexy or funny
5.expensive works as well
4.make sure he knows u think hes sex on legs
basic rules get on with it and give me updates. N xxxxxxxxxxxxxx’
Gil read it and reread it. Twenty five times? He couldn’t be serious?
Twenty five times - are you serious?
Not five minutes later he had a reply.
‘trust me. N xxxxxxxxxxxxxx’
Nik had been right about most things so Gil typed his short response and sent it to Australia.
The next morning, Gil was up and out early, he’d made a few plans before bed and had reviewed and refined them over breakfast.
He knew there was an excellent but very expensive florist in Wynn’s luxurious hotel and resort. He was prepared to spend a lot of money in trying out Nik’s crazy plan…he had nothing to lose and he’d saved a lot of money on his holiday because of Nik’s generous rellies and Henri’s hospitality.
So he ordered a huge bouquet of flowers to be delivered to the lab just before Nick’s shift started that night. He’d written a note for Nick and asked the assistant to address the envelope so his writing wouldn’t be seen. He’d even bought some fancy high quality cream coloured paper and envelopes for his task.
He’d practised what he was going to put in the note while having a coffee and then wrote it out believing that short and sweet was the order of the day. In truth, when he’d completed the note and sealed the envelope he felt ridiculously happy. Happier than he’d been in a long, long time and all because of Nick Stokes; he hoped Nik’s plan would work.
The bouquet he’d ordered was of all cream flowers, thinking that they would blend in with the colours of Nick’s living room and then he chose an orchid of the most delicate apricot colour, sure that it, too, would match Nick’s room. He needed a note for that. He had decided to send a gift to Nick, at work, every other night for a week or so, so he had time to compose another note. He enlisted the help of the assistant who seemed more than happy to be his accomplice.
He left the florist boutique nearly four hundred bucks lighter but he was a man with a purpose.
At shift that night, Judy the receptionist delivered the bouquet to Nick as they sat waiting for assignments.
“Nick, these have just been delivered for you.” Judy was hardly to be seen, hidden almost entirely by the biggest bouquet that Nick had ever seen.
“Me? You sure?”
“The note attached says quite clearly, ‘CSI Nick Stokes, Private and Confidential’.”
“Wow, it does Nick, so who do you know who’d send you flowers…I don’t recognise the writing, but that means nothing, the perp could have got someone else to write it.” Greg was giving Nick the benefit of his wisdom.
“Open it then.” Riley was impatient.
“Nicky, please, we want to know.” Catherine was almost dying of curiosity; she reckoned a bouquet like that would have cost at least a couple of hundred dollars.
“Tough. Haven’t we got work to do?” Nick really had no idea who’d sent him the flowers but he was not prepared to open his note in front of his fellow CSIs. He was not an idiot.
He held onto the envelope and got his assignment…with Riley. Before he met up with her at her truck, he made his way to the rest room and locked himself in a stall and opened the note.
I intend to show you just how sorry I am, and I truly hope to eventually gain your forgiveness, and your friendship.
Nick could hardly believe his eyes and re-read the short note about ten times in succession. Gil Grissom was sending him flowers? He was absolutely blindsided by the gesture. He slipped the note back into the envelope and then put the envelope in the inside pocket of his vest. This was one time he didn’t trust anyone or anywhere to keep his secret. He left the stall, took a piss and then washed his hands. He would have flatly denied that he was smiling to himself as he went about his tasks.
Gil had spent a couple of hours looking for gifts for Nick and had found three, two small things that he liked and a bigger, more expensive gift, that he thought Nick would like.
The orchid would be delivered on Sunday night and the first gift on Tuesday.
On Sunday Judy delivered the orchid in its sturdy plastic case together with its attached note. Same handwriting, same paper, but a blush from Nick.
He had been teased continually on Friday night but had remained cheerfully tight lipped. It would all start again now.
He took off the note and pocketed it while they all admired the orchid.
“It’s a beautiful specimen, Nick, that shade is just so delicate.” Ray was very taken with the loveliness of the flower.
“It’s apricot.” Catherine guessed correctly.
“It’s expensive.” Riley also guessed correctly.
“It’s a mystery.” Greg surmised.
“It’s time to go to work.” Nick was not giving up his secret anytime soon.
Once again Nick locked himself away to read his note.
I thought this could only add to the beauty you’ve created in your home.
Nick didn’t want to be impressed but he was; he’d made no attempt to contact Grissom after he’d visited his home or after the flowers had been delivered and he wouldn’t, even now; he’d wait and see what happened next.
Gil didn’t think Nick would contact him but he mailed Nik to tell him what he’d done and received the thumbs up for his choices, although it was Nik himself who’d told him what to do.
On Tuesday, Judy delivered a small box wrapped in blue and gold paper and tied with matching ribbons, and with the customary note attached. The rest of the shift was annoyed that Nick wouldn’t open his gift in front of them and Nick, even though he was itching to find out what he’d been given, would be damned if he’d open it up for them to take the piss out of him.
So, he went to the locker room and sat alone, keeping an eye on the door, and opened the box. It was a book of poetry…Cowboy Poetry. Nick just held the book and felt the weight of it and then opened the cover. There was an inscription.
‘Nick, for you. Gil’
Nick opened his note.
I hope you don’t mind a little sentimental present. It was so good to work with you on that case.
Nick felt his eyes tearing up but quickly pulled back from the threatened tears by taking a few deep breaths and straightening up. He put his note in his vest and put the book in his locker
Catherine called him to her office.
“Hey, Nicky. You okay?”
“Yeah, great, why?” As if he didn’t know.
“I was just wondering if you were being distracted by the…gifts, you’re getting.”
“No, why, do you think my work is suffering?”
“Of course not, no, nothing like that, it’s just a bit unusual…do you know who’s sending you the gifts?”
“Oh. And you’re okay with it?”
“Yeah.” He was okay with it, but he wasn’t about to tell Gil Grissom that, and certainly not Catherine Willows. He was determined to see just how far Gil would go.
“Well, nothing then. I’ll see you later.”
“Yeah, okay, see you.” It was a small psychological victory for Nick, they both knew that.
Since the shift had cottoned on to the fact that the three gifts had been delivered every other day, they were all waiting around the table on Thursday night.
By the time the assignments had been handed out, Nick was without a gift and was feeling very put out, since he, too, had been fully expecting something.
“It’s all over then?” Greg wanted to know.
“It was very short lived; she hasn’t got much staying power.” Riley observed.
“I think you’re being a little harsh there, Riley.” Ray was not prepared for Nick to be disappointed.
“Come on; let’s get the show on the road.” Catherine was secretly pleased; she wouldn’t admit it to anyone, but she was green-eyed with jealousy and dying of curiosity.
Nick remained silent and hoped he wasn’t showing the disappointment he was feeling.
“Sorry I’m late, but I was stuck on the phone.” Judy placed a bigger box wrapped in the same paper, into Nick’s hands.
Nick just couldn’t help it – his face broke into a broad grin. He turned back to his colleagues and lifted the box for them to see it clearly. He didn’t need to say anything. After assignments he took off to the locker room, but this time, Greg and Riley were in hot pursuit.
In the locker room, realising his privacy could not be guaranteed, Nick stowed his unopened gift in his locker and made a speedy move for a stall in the restroom to avoid Greg.
Maybe I hope I could get to share some of these with you.
Share what? Since Nick hadn’t opened his gift he didn’t know what it was Grissom wanted to share. He thought about it for a few moments and decided it could be candy.
When he got home, a long time later, and finally opened the box away from prying eyes, he found he was right it was a box of assorted Ghirardelli chocolates. He immediately opened them up to taste a chocolate mint. It was heaven, a vice he rarely allowed himself to indulge, but would he be prepared to share them with Gil?
He then ate a second chocolate and wondered just when Grissom had become Gil.
As Friday night became Saturday morning Gil phoned Catherine and found out that they’d be eating at Caesars, since Greg had coupons. Gil said he’d meet them at the buffet and once again avoided visiting the lab.
When they all tumbled into the buffet, Gil was waiting at a booth. Riley noticed him first and waved at him before pointing him out to the others. Catherine had not told them he’d be there.
End of Part Sixteen
Nick nearly tripped up as he saw Gil; Greg and Ray made their way over to him.
“You knew he’d be here?” Nick asked Catherine.
“Yes, although I half expected him not to turn up, you know how he is? Jesus, his hair’s gone white.”
“Come on then.”
Greg and Ray were making Gil feel very welcome, Riley was friendly. Nick held back and Catherine was clearly not her normal cheery self. She only had two shifts left as the graveyard supervisor and she believed she did a better job than Gil Grissom. Though she would have been surprised to know that neither Greg nor Riley thought she did, Ray didn’t know and Nick thought he did better than both Catherine and Gil.
“Gil, welcome back.” Catherine didn’t sound particularly welcoming to those who knew her well.
“Thank you, Catherine. How are you guys?”
“They’re all good; aren’t you?” Catherine answered for all of them. “Hey, what’s with the hair, when did that go white?”
“I never really noticed until it’d gone white…I think it could be sun bleached.” Gil said this and looked directly at Nick. “I forgot to take my favourite sunhat with me to Greece.”
“Good job, they’d have probably deported you.” Nick spoke up and Catherine looked at him, she’d never heard him back-chat Gil.
“Was it really that bad?”
“Yes.” Both Nick and Greg replied and Gil laughed.
“Good job I forgot it then. I know you said Greg has coupons but I’d like to treat you all to breakfast, if you’ll let me?”
“No complaints from me.” It seemed Riley was always short of cash.
Catherine smiled at Gil, but it was a fixed smile that didn’t reach her eyes.
“Okay then, let’s get going.” Gil slid out of the booth and went to stand in the line; Nick came up behind him.
“Nick. You okay?”
“Yeah. Good. Yes.”
“He’s more than good, he has a secret admirer who’s been sending him gifts every other night since last…Friday, and he’s due another one tonight.” Greg brought Gil up to speed.
“Is that so? Nick, do you know who it is?”
“Right.” And then Gil turned his attention to getting his breakfast. They ordered juice and coffee for their table and all ate heartily, that is except Nick, who picked at his food.
“Not hungry, Nick?” Greg noticed these things.
“Not as much as I thought I was…I think I had too much to eat earlier.”
“He’s probably pining for his secret admirer.” Riley thought she knew why his appetite had diminished. “Though I think he knows who it is.”
“Oh, he does, he just told Grissom.”
“He told Grissom who it is?” Catherine raised her voice at the prospect of being left out of the loop.
“No…he told Grissom he knew who it was, but not the name or anything.” Catherine relaxed…she knew that much, if nothing else.
“I would appreciate you not talking about me as if I’m not here, God, you’re like old ladies talking over the fence at the latest gossip.”
“You tell them, Nick; it’s none of their business.” Gil thought he should provide some back-up for Nick. But wished he hadn’t when Nick’s look at him very nearly bordered on evil. Gil put his head down and concentrated on his food. But his food, too, had suddenly lost its attraction.
The talk then turned to Ray and how he was settling in and the cases they’d all had and Nick’s spectacular success with a triple murder when he’d been Acting Supervisor. Nick was self-deprecating and ensured that the team were praised for their work. Gil noticed that Catherine was a little less enthusiastic about this subject.
Gil picked up the tab for their breakfasts and with the ice broken he didn’t feel too bad about going back into work the following Monday night. His earlier worry about usurping Catherine was forgotten, he wasn’t sure the team liked her supervisory skills any more than his, perhaps the right man for the job was Nick. Not perhaps. He knew he would be the right man for the job.
At the start of the next shift Greg went up to Judy before he went for his assignments to see if Nick’s latest gift had been delivered so that he could examine it a little more closely. It had been delivered and Nick himself had retrieved it a few minutes earlier.
“The old dog!” Greg laughed at being beaten at his own game.
Nick had taken his boxed package to an evidence room and in peace and quiet opened the package to reveal a beautifully carved wooden box with a little clasp. He opened it and gasped; lying on a bed of dark green velvet was the most intricately carved figure of a laughing Buddha, maybe only two inches high but so beautiful and almost luminescent. He guessed it was jade. He studied it for a few moments, enjoying its beauty. He then carefully closed the box and opened his envelope.
Buddha says: ‘Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.’
Nick smiled and sighed and realised how calm he felt. But he’d better concentrate on work or Catherine would be chasing his ass. He chuckled to himself and made his way, via his locker, to the briefing room.
“Here he is, minus his gift. You beat me to it, oh, sly one!”
“I choose to think of myself as being one step ahead, you're the one being sly...they're my gifts after all.”
“You got me there, fair and square. You do know who's sending them don't you? Any chance of a clue?”
Nick laughed. “No chance!”
“Assignments anyone? You know – work?” This subject was fast testing Catherine's patience, not least because of the sheer romance of the gestures; romance that was sadly lacking in her own life.
Gil spent most of Saturday, after breakfast, searching for more presents. He was feeling quite smug...Nick had not returned one or indicated that Gil was to stop sending them, so he would keep up the bombardment for at least another week to see how it went. But. There was a but. Nick could be using this as payback and still tell him to fuck off. He wouldn't blame him for doing that, but he would be bitterly disappointed.
Gil was also regularly updating Nik with both the gifts he was buying, and the lack of response, which Nik saw as a very positive outcome. He also gave Gil some pointers as to what further gifts he could buy for Nick...gifts that Nik would love to have...and, 'yes, gilberto, that was a hint 4 all the help im giving u!' Gil resolved to send some gift to Nik…he’d get his address. Although he chose not to take Nik’s advice about which gifts to buy…he was happy with his own choice and hoped Nick was too.
The next gift was due on Monday night and that was Gil's first night back in the fray.
Gil arrived with several hours to spare before shift; he wanted to get the feel of the lab again, without Catherine breathing fire and brimstone down his neck. He couldn't really blame her, but he had expected a bit more, given their long friendship, but then he remembered how he'd behaved towards her, with the secrecy over Sara, the inability to share his grief over Warrick and then up and leaving like he did. Catherine had obviously not expected him to return.
His office had been used by others and Gil's own belongings had been put into boxes and stored in the corner. He spent some time going through them and putting his belongings back where they'd come from, but he couldn't muster much enthusiasm and actually threw away a number of things he'd previously deemed irreplaceable – but that was before his 'sabbatical'.
Nick's next gift was delivered before shift began and he'd hoped to be there when Nick got it so he could see his reaction, but Ray came in early and paid a social call on Gil. Talking to Ray about his work was the first time Gil had mustered up anything like enthusiasm for many months, but Ray's obvious enjoyment lit a little fire in Gil's belly that he'd not felt for a long time.
Doc Robbins also visited and was as happy for Gil's return as he was for his new friendship with Ray. Gil felt heartened by Al's pleasure at his return and so when Catherine arrived to hand over the reins he was more relaxed and charitable than he had been an hour beforehand.
His demeanour paid dividends with Catherine who managed to thaw a little, especially when he shared a plan he intended to take to Ecklie.
It was soon time to take the accumulated assignments to the team and Gil asked Catherine to, do the honours. She seemed pleased that Gil wasn't just moving her aside, and walked ahead of him to the briefing room.
They were all there. The old timers and the newbies.
“Welcome back, Gris.” Greg was first with his enthusiastic greeting, duly noted by Catherine.
“Yeah, good to have you back Grissom.” Riley was next.
“I bet this is awkward for both of you.” The diplomatic Dr Langston.
“I think we can cope, eh, Catherine?”
“Of course we can, we're above all that, Ray.” No one was particularly convinced by her pronouncement. “Have you had your gift, Nicky?” She was trying to move out of the spotlight.
“Of course he has, a huge box this time, I think he's taken it out to his truck, it wouldn't fit in his locker.” Greg brought them all up to date.
“Have you opened it? We didn't find out what you had on Saturday, she must be loaded to be able to afford all these gifts for you...what's she like, Nick?” Riley was prying and Nick actually blushed at her words, he knew that Gil would now know that although he'd admitted to Gil that he was gay, that was more than he’d shared with any of his work colleagues.
“My guess is that Nick will tell when he's good and ready and not before; he may not be good and ready for some time. That right, Nick?” Gil asked,
“You got it.”
“Grissom, we were relying on you.” Greg whined, but good naturedly. “Nick, is there any chance this side of Thanksgiving that you'll be ‘good and ready'?”
“Assignments.” Catherine had still had her fill and was as curious as the others, but wanted to show Gil that she had some authority.
End of Part Seventeen
Luckily, it was a quiet shift and Gil and Catherine retreated back to his office to play catch up. Gil intended to see Ecklie the following morning before he left for the day. Although Ecklie had been promoted to Under Sherriff he'd still been left with his old job in charge of the CSI labs. A little more money and twice as much work.
However, not an hour had passed when he arrived at the door of Gil's office to find the two of them battling with some thick files.
“Didn't take you long to get back into the swing then, Gil?”
“I hate to say it. Conrad, but it's like I've never been away.”
“I bet; you look well though...dropped some weight and what's with the hair, did you dye it before?”
“No.” Gil laughed; it had attracted a lot of attention, his white hair. He would use his stock answer. “It's sun bleached, I forgot to take my sun hat with me, you know, the ridiculous one!”
“That's an admission. Catherine, do you think you could give us some privacy, please?”
“Sure.” She rolled her eyes at Gil and left, closing the glass door behind her.
Conrad Ecklie settled in the chair in front of Gil's desk. He came straight to the point.
“The graveyard shift will be one over compliment with your return. I want to make some changes...”
“…I had some changes in mind, too...”
“...you're not leaving are you? You promised before you went away, that you'd stay at least until the year was out.”
“It's not my intention to leave, unless I disagree with the changes you have in mind, that is.”
“Hear me out...” Conrad Ecklie then sketched out what he had in mind for the lab and for a couple of the staff on the graveyard shift. None of his 'plans' had been ratified, so he swore Gil to secrecy and said it could be days or even weeks before he could be certain his plans would be accepted, and the money made available.
“I appreciate you keeping me in the loop and, to be honest, I think it's a very good idea; in the meantime I have a favour to ask – I promised Catherine I would ask you - but the idea was mine so please don't accuse her of being pushy. But would it be possible to keep her on as a co-supervisor with me, until your plan is adopted anyway, then it wouldn't make any difference. It would even be a sweetener for her. In view of what might happen.”
“You've got some balls asking for a favour, Gil Grissom, but like you say, it may be in my interest to do it...give me a few days, I'll see what I can do.”
“Thank you, I would appreciate it and it would help me a great deal.”
“We'll see.” And he was gone.
Catherine came back.
“What did he want?”
“To welcome me back.”
“Did you mention...”
“…yes, and he said he will give it some serious thought.” This was a white lie and had tripped very easily off his tongue; he was indeed a new model.
He had originally intended to say that he'd take a pay cut, but if Ecklie's ambitious plan worked it would be a better deal altogether. He then changed the subject in his head completely and wondered if Nick liked his new gift.
Gil had spent ages looking for this gift and was particularly happy with it; he’d really loved the little jade Buddha, too.
In a couple of hours Gil was back up to speed and the shift had gradually wondered back to the lab. Just before Nick was about to go out to another crime scene, Gil called him into the office and closed the door.
“That’s ominous. What have I done wrong this time?”
“Nothing Nick, and you know it. How're you doing?”
“You mean, 'how do I like the gifts'?”
“I might.” Gil smiled at Nick and was astounded to be rewarded with his own smile from Nick. Maybe not a megawatt smile Nick was capable of, but nevertheless a warm smile that encompassed his eyes.
“As a matter of fact...I do like them. The Buddha was really beautiful and the...”
Just then Catherine burst into the office. “A major shooting incident up in Henderson...everyone's needed. Nick, your four-one-seven will have to wait. You coming, Gil?”
“Yeah, nothing like a major incident to get the juices flowing; Nick I'll come with you…that okay?”
“Yeah, meet me at my truck.”
They met earlier than that in the restroom, both emptying their tanks before the haul up to the scene; neither spoke, but Gil felt at ease with Nick. As they walked towards the truck, Riley came dashing up behind them.
“You got room for me? My truck started misfiring on the way back, gotta have it looked at.”
“You sit up front, Riley; I'll take the back seat.” An annoyed Gil caught a glimpse of Nick's mischievous smile as he loaded his gear. It made him smile in return.
As Riley loaded her gear she caught sight of the box. “Hey that's the latest present...will I get to see it?”
“Nope.” Said Nick.
“No.” Said Gil at the same time and he earned himself a curious look from Riley. “I'm basing my assumption on the evidence in the briefing room...Nick isn't about to show anyone his gifts.”
“That's dead right. Come on, let’s get this show on the road; see if I can race down Catherine and Greg.” At Gil's surprised look he continued. “We have a major competition going to see who can drive the fastest...”
“...no we don't, he's kidding.”
“Thank goodness for that, I like a nice sedate pace at my age.” All three laughed as they hauled themselves into their respective seats.
Gil sat in the back listening to Nick and Riley discuss an ongoing case. Nick was patient and explained everything clearly to Riley who plainly held Nick in high esteem, the way she hung onto every word he said. He then paid a little more attention, did she actually like Nick...did she have a crush? He watched as she spoke and they interacted; he was pretty certain she was not competition, there wasn't any attraction that he could see (could he really see), just friendship.
He also thought that Nick liked his new gift, although he'd said he thought the little Buddha was really beautiful. That was gratifying; that his choice was appreciated.
They were soon at the scene and unloading their kit. Riley made off towards the houses where two families had apparently been involved in a shootout. Nick and Gil walked towards Catherine and Jim Brass.
“By the way, I saved you some chocolates. Hey, Jim, see who the cat's dragged in!”
“Jim, good to see you.”
“Gil; missed you. You changed your appearance...you avoiding someone?”
“The usual suspects, the Sheriff, Ecklie. Where do you want me, Catherine?”
“Take the house over there with Nicky, Vartann's over there he'll bring you up to speed.”
“Got it.” As they walked away, Nick muttered. “I wish she wouldn't call me 'Nicky', God, it makes me sound like an adolescent.”
“Then tell her.”
“I already did...you know I think she does it on purpose to make me appear juvenile; she's done it more since she came back from sick leave.”
“Establishing her authority over you after your success as a supervisor.”
“Yeah, exactly that. Hey, Lou, what've we got?”
Gil felt a rush of excitement; Nick had shared some confidential information about how he felt about Catherine. Now he knew the old Nick would never do anything as indiscreet as that...so maybe Nick did trust him and would be his friend after all. He worked with a renewed vigour for the rest of the shift.
They all spent the shift, and then some, cataloguing the tragedy of two families who couldn't get on and ended killing most of each other. Six dead, three critically wounded and four walking wounded. Two babies and three young children, alone, were unscathed. It turned out they were old gang rivals trying to move on but had accidentally found themselves living alongside each other.
Gil was absolutely pole axed by the time he got home, he hadn't done any arduous work in months. He drank a juice and then two glasses of water and went to bed.
At his home Nick tried on his hat. A fine suede leather Stetson with a plaited head band, in a shiny chocolate brown colour that matched Nick's eyes. It fitted perfectly, despite Gil's worried note.
I thought you'd look good in this. I hope it fits - please let me know if it doesn't and maybe we could go together to get one that does. I would like to see you wearing it, sometime, if you'd let me.
It was the most personal of all the notes that Gil had written; a hope of something more. There was no doubt at all in Nick's mind that Gil Grissom was a changed man...he was gay, for a start. That had to be an improvement, in Nick's humble opinion.
End of Part Eighteen
The next night there were, unusually, only a few minor crimes to attend to and most of their time was spent sifting and sorting through the evidence from the night before - who did fire the first shot?
Gil and Nick were alone, briefly, in the evidence locker. “It fits.” Nick spoke almost as an afterthought to the evidence he was examining.
Momentarily confused, Gil frowned but then latched onto the cryptic aside. “A good guess on my part, then?”
“Seems that way.” Nick smiled, at the evidence he was holding, but Gil was certain it was for him, or the gift, or both. Once more he spent the rest of the shift in a light, happy mood. It didn't go unnoticed.
“You certainly have come back a changed man, Gil.” Catherine had been hoping he wouldn't come back at all from his leave of absence, and when she'd learned he would be back...that he wouldn't stay; now she was just downright confused by a man she'd thought she'd known well.
“Catherine, I cannot begin to tell you how much I have changed...but maybe sometime soon, I will, we'll see.” He chuckled to himself, which even further confused Catherine.
The next shift was gift time again and a small box was delivered, wrapped in its customary blue paper and accompanied by a note. The envelopes now had Nick's name typed on a label and attached. Gil couldn't believe he hadn't thought to do that earlier, but he was still jet lagged for a few days following his return and he blamed that.
Greg and Riley still remained the most vocal about what the gifts were and who sent them, as regularly as clockwork, to Nick. Nick remained silent but secretly very happy with the arrangement. Although it did cross his mind that Gil couldn't keep it up indefinitely, he'd still let him stew a little longer. He had dropped a couple of hints though...the saved chocolates and about the hat fitting.
In fact the latest note reflected the 'hints'. Gil had sent a small alarm clock encased in brushed stainless steel. It was discreet and functional, but also tasteful and clearly expensive. The accompanying note said:
I'm counting down the minutes and hours until I'm allowed to savour the chocolates and maybe see you wearing your new hat!
It was the first note finished with a kiss. Gil was getting brave or over-confident. Nick thought about it and decided that Gil was getting brave; if he'd been over-confident he'd have made a move.
If Nick only knew how long Gil had agonised about whether or not to put a kiss after the message he would probably have laughed out loud at his indecision. At least four sheets of notepaper were despatched to the trash can before he castigated himself and sealed the envelope, but then spent the time until the note and gift were delivered in a state of nervous twitching. Though he was still able to laugh at his own adolescent behaviour.
While Gil tried to attack his already growing pile of paperwork, Ecklie paid him another visit.
“Gil, you settled back in?”
“Yes, better that I thought I would.”
“I've given some thought to Catherine’s position and I will leave her on her present money and maybe ask her to help you out and assign you to do a bit of training here and there.”
“I can live with that.”
“Well I should know for certain about that tomorrow, so I'll let you both know then. Okay?”
“Yes, and thanks again, I appreciate it and believe me, so will Catherine.”
“I hope it will help smooth the path.”
“It should.” Before Gil could say anything else, Conrad had gone.
Not two minutes later Catherine was in front of his desk. “Has he said anything?”
“He's coming back tomorrow night and we'll know then.”
“He's taking his time, he's not in favour of it is he?”
“He didn't indicate either way, but he does seem a little more...mellow…than he has been of late.”
“He hasn't had you riling him has he?” She tried smiling but it came out more as a grimace.
He smiled back; although he was taken aback at her open hostility. He'd never thought she was that mad at him; he'd obviously underestimated her wrath. Was it the job? Sara? He’d taken away her supervisor's role twice now, and she'd never figured out about Sara.
Catherine had gone and he sat back and thought about Nick. Nick in his bed. He sat up straight, suddenly surprised by a hard-on throbbing in his pants...his work pants...at work. Not good. He picked up a file and read the autopsy results and looked at the photographs. Not pleasant and his hard-on subsided, only to come back when he concentrated on checking its status. Impudent prick.
Gil concentrated on his work and was soon engrossed in the files he needed to clear; he had to make a concerted effort to keep on top of this work otherwise Catherine would be complaining. Especially if she did, indeed, inherit it yet again. Gil spent a few minutes wondering if Ecklie's ambitious plan would actually happen.
And once more his mind wondered onto Nick and the gifts. He had three more lined up to be delivered and then once more his pants were strained by the hard-on. It was nearly time for a break, he considered whether he dare use the restroom stalls to jerk off; probably not the best idea he'd ever had, so he'd have to put up and shut up.
When Nick's next gift was due it was his rest day and so Gil decided to test the waters by not sending a gift to his home but to wait until the following night and then return to his usual pattern.
It was early evening when there was a knock at Gil's front door. He'd been about to get ready for work. He checked the spy hole and the sight, even skewered by the lens, caused him to catch his breath.
He opened the door and gasped.
Gil couldn't speak at all, at the wondrous spectacle before him. Nick. Nick, dressed as a cowboy. Wearing the hat. Dressed as a cowboy and wearing the hat bought for him by Gil.
He had on blue jeans, a blue checked shirt, a worn and wrinkled brown leather waistcoat and scuffed old boots. A blue patterned bandana around his neck completed the look. The hat was pulled low over his eyes, but they still shone out with amusement at Gil's predicament.
He must have looked a sight; mouth hanging open, eyebrows almost at his hair line and his eyes round as they stared at Nick.
“You like the sight then?”
“Mmmm....” That was the extent of Gil's conversation but he did manage to nod his head quite vigorously.
Nick laughed, and pushed his way into Gil's house, past the dumbstruck man himself.
Gil turned around as Nick brushed past him and Nick pushed the front door closed and then turned around and faced Gil, still laughing. But he suddenly looked serious, and grabbed a handful of Gil's old tee shirt, pulled the man towards him and kissed him.
A hot hard kiss, he pushed his tongue into Gil's mouth swirling it around the open and compliant mouth, but a mouth not returning the kiss. He pushed Gil's body against the wall and pressed his own body up against Gil's, toe to mouth they were aligned although with the heels on Nick's boots, he was slightly taller.
He pulled back a little and the kiss became less of an assault and more passionate. At that moment Gil regained his senses and put both hands around Nick’s waist, pulling him closer and moved his head sideways a little to move into the kiss and then Nick...pulled away.
“Now I just wanted to show you what the hat looked like...and give you a little taster of what might well come your way...providing, of course, you keep up the...good work...” And as quickly as he'd arrived Nick was gone, pulling the front door shut behind him.
Gil stood there for a few moments. The taste...the feel of Nick still on his lips. He put his right forefinger up to his lips and felt them. Felt the lingering touch of Nick’s lips on his lips.
He gasped as he suddenly became aware of a much more pressing problem. In his own blue jeans, his erection was so hard, it hurt, and he felt the need to come immediately. As in now; right now.
He reached down and unzipped his jeans to relieve some of the pressure and pulled his hard penis from the confines of his boxers. He was rock hard and leaking and just the action of pulling it from his underwear meant that he was about to come...he grabbed at the erection and pumped twice as he started to ejaculate; long strings of fluid escaped him, in an arc across his shiny wooden floor. The force of his balls pushing upwards made his knees weaken and he leaned back against the wall to steady himself and he locked his knees in an effort to remain standing. His breath was coming in short gasps and behind his eyes he could see stars flashing...and Nick, in the hat, standing on his doorstep.
It took him a few minutes to actually regain some coherent brain function. He then realised that Nick had kissed him and intimated that there would be more if he continued to shower him with presents. He could do that. This was a prize worth paying for...worth waiting for.
Nick was his. Nick would be his. Nick could be his. Providing he didn't cock it all up. And he knew he could. He needed to be very, very careful.
When he'd gained sufficient control to move he tucked his not entirely deflated penis back into his boxers, zippered up and retreated to his kitchen to find some cleaning materials to rid his floor of his ejaculate.
He chuckled and hoped there would never be any reason to put the ALS light on his living room floor...he'd use a solution of bleach, which would at least denigrate his sample.
End of Part Nineteen
After cleaning the floor as thoroughly as he could and then sitting down to drink a coffee, he was sufficiently recovered to take a shower and get ready for work. His mood one moment ecstatic at Nick's actions, and the next, despondent at the chances that he would balls it all up. He had no terms of reference for a successful relationship. None. And the very fact that he was thinking relationship scared the crap out of him. He could do so much to make it all fall apart before it even began.
Even more so, now that Ecklie was hell bent on his new plan. The plan had seemed like a good idea to Gil. Now he wasn't at all sure.
He made his way to the bathroom and threw his clothes into the hamper as he waited for the water to heat up. Once under the soothing spray he allowed himself to imagine the sight of Nick once more. In his hat, and nothing else.
He grinned to himself; this gay sex was certainly more exciting to him than straight sex. He was still shocked at his transition, especially when it all seemed so natural to him now.
His hardening cock was testament to his arousal at the thought of Nick. He took hold of himself again and tugged and pumped to full hardness; there was no doubt in his mind that he would need to masturbate again before work. Luckily Nick was on a rest day, because he was pretty sure the mere sight of the young Adonis would induce an erection in his overheated state.
Gil held on tight and pumped up and down with the benefit of some shower gel. He thought of Nick as the hot water cascaded over his shoulders and back. His hard-on liked the attention and he added a few twists, pulling his foreskin hard over the now wet, lubricated and rosy head, rubbing his thumb along and into his slit and shuddering at the sensation.
He remembered Nik’s tongue in the slit and then felt his balls starting to contract up towards his body, wanting to release their load...and so soon after his other orgasm. Gil's fist was furiously pumping his penis, the flesh hot from the blood engorging it and from the friction of his hand.
And then he was coming, spurting on the tiles of his shower as he encouraged the action with less frenetic pumping until every drop was spent. He knew that as he'd started to come he'd murmured 'Nick'. He leaned forward and rested his forehead and the palm of his left hand on the tiles until he'd recovered enough to be able to stand and shower, and for the second time in less than an hour, clean up, although there was a lot less ejaculate this time around.
When he'd stepped from the shower and was towelling himself dry, he realised that his penis – around the head and foreskin - was a little sore; and that caused him to laugh out loud. He was a horny teenager when that had last happened.
At work though he had what Nik had laughingly called, 'a lazy lob', a half-hard cock, nearly all night. It seemed that Dr Gil Grissom was regressing into that horny teenager. But Gil was right about one thing – it was a good thing Nick wasn't at work – otherwise he would have had an full erection all night. Gil hoped he'd have cooled down by the next night.
About an hour into the shift Ecklie arrived. Catherine had gone out to a scene with Riley and Ray, but had said that she would return, if she possibly could, to see if Ecklie had made a decision.
She hadn't returned by the time Ecklie had arrived but he'd made the decision; Catherine could be co-supervisor of graveyard at least until the re-organisation. Gil was under strict instructions not to mention Ecklie's proposals until they'd been accepted.
When Catherine returned some time later she went straight in to see Gil.
“Have you seen Ecklie?”
“He's turned it down, hasn't he?”
“I knew he would.”
“Turn it down.”
“Oh. He hasn't? You mean...?”
“Yes, you are officially the co-supervisor of graveyard, until further notice.”
“Wow; well thanks, Gil, I didn't think you'd pull it off.”
“I obviously have a little more influence than you thought.” Gil could make digs as easily as Catherine, and she had the grace to acknowledge that fact.
“Yes, you do; my bad.”
“What we have to do is draw up a schedule of who does what; I'm pretty fluid about that, you do all the staff and HR reports and all the paperwork and lab work, assign staff and then supervise them at scenes and I can look after my racing cockroaches and read my journals.” Gil's delivery was deadpan and Catherine's face was a picture of shock for a few moments.
“God, Gil, you had me there for a while.”
“You think I'm joking?”
She hesitated, just fractionally, before Gil smiled at her. “I'm serious about the 'fluidity'.”
“Okay, so am I...shall we just see how it develops or do you want some specifics?”
“I think we do need some specifics about which staff we'll supervise, and then following on from that the work should just divide naturally although there'll be some overlap...there's bound to be.”
“Yeah...okay.” Catherine was, in fact, somewhat amazed that Gil had given it some thought. She'd thought that she would be the driving force in respect of deciding who did what. Perhaps Gil wasn't the pushover she was expecting. He had definitely changed and she was under no illusion about that.
Later that shift they made their decisions without any problems. Gil suggested, and Catherine accepted, all of the changes.
The next night another gift was delivered, and Greg noted for them all that the sender was now out of sequence and had known about Nick's day off. Their plot thickened.
But then they had another subject to mull over; the change in the supervisory roles.
Greg and Ray would move to Catherine and Nick and Riley would stay under Grissom. They were still one unit and would continue to work alongside each other, but personnel reports and work files would be sent to their respective supervisors. It seemed that both Grissom and Catherine were keen on 'fluidity'.
Gil was calmer; actually, he thought it was just being with Nick that made him calmer and he was absolutely certain that Nick looked at him…differently.
When Nick was able to check out his gift he found a leather toiletry case full of Clinique 'products' for men. Gil's note to him made Nick laugh.
Please do not think for one moment that I think you need these products. But surely you can use them to maintain your appearance. Your youthful, handsome, appearance – with or without your cowboy hat!
Nick did use a few 'products', mostly to protect his skin from the harsh dry climate...that's what he told himself anyway. However, the leather case was a good one and expensive looking, and very much better than the cheap plastic wash bag he currently used.
As he held his note in his hand he also reminisced about his kiss. That was a spur of the moment thing, he'd really only meant to show up on Gil's doorstep dressed as a cowboy, for some fun. But the sight of an awestruck Gil Grissom had caused his plan to go one step further and if he was honest, he'd really enjoyed the kiss and had to pull away for fear of going further.
He'd been truthful when he'd told Gil that he'd never fantasised about him. He hadn't. Not before; but to know that someone really lusted after you and was making a great effort at seducing you. Well what could a guy do? Suck it up, that's what.
Not long after their shift had started a major fire was reported and all staff were re-directed to it. Gil found himself working alongside Nick and Riley, as per his earlier instructions to the shift, but this was actually accidental.
Riley was a confident investigator and Gil liked her manner, business-like and not given to be emotionally drawn into cases, or so it seemed to him; he'd check that out with Nick, who worked well with her. As he did with everyone else, of course. Mentoring, without being overbearing. Nick was so talented and natural at everything he did, Gil felt a pang of remorse at his abhorrent behaviour towards Nick, all the years Nick had been at the lab Gil had treated him badly.
There were no casualties of this particular fire and it seemed to be an accident, so Catherine and Ray remained at the scene and the others dispersed as they had originally intended.
Gil found himself alongside Nick as they drove back to the lab.
End of Part Twenty
“How's Riley getting on?”
“Good. She's...steadfast, reliable. Not given to emotional attachments. I should talk.”
“What do you mean?”
“Haven't you heard? I thought Ray would have told Catherine and she would have told you...maybe not...maybe I thought Ray would've told you.”
“Tell me what?” Gil was impatient.
“Hayley? Are you going to tell me then?”
“You haven't heard?”
“No. God, Nick this is worse than pulling teeth.”
“Sorry. There was this case...while you were way...it got to me...the poor girl was murdered by her mother; she turned out to be her adoptive mother. It was ALL so preventable and I was...well I was upset and I cried in the locker room and Ray found me. He was good. I was a wreck.”
“I'm sorry Nick...not being here...”
Nick laughed, not a pleasant sound but a bitter, incredulous guffaw. “And how, exactly, would you have helped me? With your sensitive skills in staff management?”
Gil was silent. Nick was right, what would he have done...said, 'it's over'. He had no right to sit here offering false succour.
“You're right, I'm very sorry. It seems my failings continue unabated.”
“No, I'm sorry. You were trying to be friendly and I was uncharitable. You can't help being...”
“You're not useless.” This time Nick laughed properly. “You can't help that you don't know what to do...no one knows everything and let’s face it you do know a lot about a lot of other things.”
“Now you're being generous.”
“No, you're the generous one.”
“I wish I was; I really wish I could say that it was my idea to do all this but it wasn't, it isn't...”
“What?” Nick momentarily lost concentration and the truck veered across the road earning him a loud horn blast from another motorist. He quickly righted the truck but pulled over onto a vacant lot.
“What the fuck do you mean?”
“I didn't mean to just tell you like that, please, Nick, it isn't like that...”
“…what do you mean...tell me?”
“Well, when I got home from your house after I told you about Greece...and all that, I was very angry, with myself, and I e-mailed Nik in Australia. He said I'd given up too easily and that I must woo you with lots of presents and, that if you were gay you'd like that...you see I'm new to the gay...as Nik says, and he was helping me...you do know how useless I am?”
Gil was despondent for carelessly blurting out the truth; he was always going to tell Nick but when the time was right...and now wasn't the right time, evidently. He was right to imagine he'd balls it all up; it had all gone far too smoothly.
“I thought it was all too good to be true; I should have known you couldn't change. Did he tell you what to buy me too?”
“No. He said flowers, a plant to start off with...expensive, but everything else was my idea Nick, honestly.”
“Honestly? Do you actually know what that word means?” Nick sounded defeated. “I should have known better than to think the great Gil Grissom could do something nice for me of his own volition. I'll return the gifts, don't send me any more."
“Please don't, Nick, please.” Gil was reduced to pleading with Nick, how had it all gone so wrong, so quickly?
“No, they were sent under false pretences...all you want to do is get in my pants.”
“NO! That isn't true; I want to be your friend, Nick. I really do want to be your friend.”
“No; you’re my boss, you'll never be my friend, or anything else.”
Gil looked at the stricken face of Nick Stokes, probably mirroring his own for despair, and then he did the only thing he could think off. He released his seat belt, opened the passenger door and jumped out of the truck.
“Tell 'em I quit.” Gil shouted and then slammed the door shut with such force the truck rocked. He looked around to get his bearings and then started walking away from the truck towards his house, although it was some miles away.
Nick watched Gil walk away from the truck with his mouth hanging open. He hadn't expected that. Gil Grissom wasn't one for grand entrances and exits; he never had been. Nick must have watched Gil walk about a hundred yards before he was spurred into action.
He too, jumped out of the truck, locked up, and ran after Grissom.
“Grissom. Stop; stop.” But he paid no attention to Nick, just kept walking.
“Grissom. Stop.” There was no response.
“For Chrissakes, Gil, stop behaving like a spoilt brat.” That was all Nick could think of to say.
Gil stopped though, and looked at Nick. “I was never a spoilt brat, precocious maybe, spoilt never. You said it yourself Nick, I treated you like shit, and I wanted to make amends. I have no skills to enable me to understand what I needed to do, so I accepted some advice, I didn't ask for advice I was just told what I should do.
“Send the gifts to Goodwill; I don't want to see them, or you, ever again; all I've ever done is undermine you and ignore your problems. I thought I could change, but evidently it’s too late for that. You deserve better and I was being ridiculous to imagine I could win your friendship, let alone anything else. I'll send in my resignation by letter. Tell them what you like.”
“Gil, don't do this, don't do something that you’ll regret. I was wrong to say those things to...”
“…no, you weren't, you were right. I acted fraudulently and you caught me out. Ludicrous to think I investigate criminals when I'm the most dishonest person, I know. Nick…just get on with your life.”
“No; if you leave, then so will I.” Nick was only half bluffing.
“You can't do that, not now, with your promotion.”
“It's secret, I'm not supposed to say anything...it's not a foregone conclusion, not yet.”
“Okay...but you've let the cat out of the bag, so come on...”
“No, I can't, I've already broken Ecklie's confidence in telling you.”
It didn't occur to either man that their argument seemed to be over, but Nick suddenly laughed.
“Hey, you're really gay!”
“I know. What do you mean?”
“Man, flouncing out like that...real gay, no doubt about it.”
“Yeah, now come on get back in the truck. That was our first argument.”
“It was? I'm not very good at arguing...never had any terms of reference, my parents didn't...it's hard to argue when you're deaf.”
“Didn't you argue with Sara?”
“No. We just didn't talk. We didn't talk much anyway.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Well, you don't argue very well, I mean running off and giving up the fight before it's begun, man, looks like this other Nik, and me, really have got our work cut out.”
“You're not mad any more?”
“Nah...I wouldn't have sent your gifts back anyway...they're much too good.”
“I did choose them myself. There were things I liked and hoped you would too.”
“Yeah, that's good. So what else did he tell you to do?”
“Not to accept your rejections for at least twenty five times...” Nick whistled his amazement. “...and to make sure you knew that I thought you were, sex on legs.”
“Sex on legs? You think that?”
“Yes...and so much more...”
“There you are...you managed that all by yourself and it was good.”
“Which bit?' Gil was genuinely confused.
“God; the so much more bit. Nik isn't here to tell you to say it, so you can manage on your own.”
“That's good then. Did you mean that kiss...does it still stand?”
“You bet.” They were still standing about two hundred yards from the truck when Gil's cell rang.
“Grissom. Yeah, we stopped...okay, we'll take it.” He ended the call. “Yet another shooting in Henderson...shall we go?”
“You're not quitting?”
“So what's with this promotion?”
“It's not final; Ecklie’s got to get backing and the money for his plan - it's pretty ambitious - but I think he's likely to get both. Look if it doesn't come off and I've told you you'll be disappointed.”
“I suppose so; but it's nice to be considered for a supervisor's position.”
“Nicky, it's more than that.”
“You called me Nicky.”
“I'm sorry I know you don't like it...”
“I like you calling me Nicky; you mean it in a nice way.”
“I do? I do.” He smirked.
“Not a supervisor? What then? This is intriguing.” He laughed.
“Promise me that if it doesn't come off you won't be too disappointed and if it comes off you'll be very surprised when Ecklie tells you?”
“Since his promotion he's still had to do the AD work for the lab. They won't appoint another AD but what he wants is another tier above the supervisors, in overall charge of them and then another person taking charge of ongoing training issues...”
“...that's got to be you.”
“It is; but the other post is what he wants you to do.”
“You're joking me?”
“No, he was sufficiently impressed with you doing that stint of acting supervisor that he thinks you have the clout, both technically and more importantly for him, politically, to do the job.”
“Hold on though, this'll mean a desk bound job.”
“That's what I said; he said that there would be a fair bit of admin duties, but what he wanted was for you and me to work closely together on the big cases, make sure every angle was covered, so you'd still be doing CSI work alongside me. Could you do that?”
“You bet. Got to give it to Ecklie, it sounds like a plan.” He laughed.
“I will be under strict instructions not to speak to the press; that would be your jurisdiction.”
“I can believe that. But what if we are...you know, together?”
Gil perked up and grinned. “You think that's a possibility, then?”
“God, in my wildest dreams, yes.”
“No need to call me, God, just yet.”
“Nick. You won't be too disappointed if it doesn't happen will you?”
“Nah, it's good to know that at least I've been considered good enough to do the job. But, what about the supervisors...if it does come off there'll be some sour grapes. Wow, Catherine will have a fit.”
“One of the reasons for making her a supervisor now.”
“It's likely to come off then?”
“I don't know; honestly.”
“Hey, about you being 'dishonest'; I didn't mean it; it was just an argument, man. I bet we're going to have a few more before we grow old.”
“I like that idea...”
By this time they'd walked back to the truck and Nick was easing it back into the traffic.
“Let's take this a day at a time...eh, Gil?”
“I've thought of you as 'Gil' since you sent me the little Buddha; I loved it by the way.”
“Me too, it's actually one of a pair and I kept the other one, in the hope that they might be together some day.”
“I think you do romantic just fine, you know.”
“You do? I want you, Nick. I want you more than I've ever wanted anything in my life.”
Nick was silent. Gil thought he might have gone too far...again.
“Nick, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to...”
“…don't be; it's good, real good.” Gil realised that Nick was choked up and so he reached over and laid his hand on Nick's leg. A soothing gesture; he thought he was learning fast. Nick laid his hand on top of Gil's - just for a few moments.
End of Part Twenty-one
The next gift arrived in just an envelope. Riley was convinced it was the beginning of the end. Unusually Greg didn’t offer his thoughts on the content of the letter and gave every indication of having lost interest.
It was a letter.
I do have more gifts for you, I promise, but for this gift would you join me for dinner before work on Wednesday? I have booked a table for 7pm at 'Pearl', the Asian grill at the MGM. I have always enjoyed their food and I feel sure you will, if you haven't already.
I know we have to go to work afterwards, but I thought it would give us a chance to talk and for you to give me some more lessons on how to go about all of this.
I could also personally deliver your next gift – not having it delivered to work would give the shift some idle gossip!
I do want you. I hope you can come to want me.
Nick teared up as he read the note. Of course he wanted Gil, how could he not?
But, Gil had made a mistake, or at the very least an oversight that he should have foreseen.
Greg had decided to have what he thought was a little fun; to get to work early and hang around reception to see who delivered the gifts and then interrogate them about the sender.
He was successful in catching the delivery man of the envelope and followed him outside after he'd made his drop.
So who had sent him? And Greg got really lucky. The man said that normally he didn't know who the sender was as the office just sent him out to with the package, but this time there'd been a last minute change, and the sender had visited the office to change the gift intended for tonight, to just the envelope.
And the description of the sender?
‘A man; looked to be in his late forties, early fifties, white wavy hair and a very good tan. Oh, and he was bandy legged, real bandy legged.’
Greg was dumbstruck; he slipped the guy a twenty and went back into the lab to contemplate his new found knowledge. He wasn't particularly happy to know what he now knew, and he would certainly keep it to himself. There was obviously something much bigger going on than he'd imagined. He'd bide his time to investigate further.
He’d keep a look out with Nick and Gil to see if he could see...anything.
On Wednesday evening Gil and Nick had agreed to arrive separately at Pearl, since they had to go straight to work after they'd eaten. They were still casually dressed, but a little more smartly than they normally dressed for work.
Gil was already seated when Nick arrived. He stood as Nick was shown to the table and placed a hand on his arm as a welcoming gesture.
“I've been looking forward to this since I wrote the note.”
“Me too, I have been here before and I love their shrimp dishes.”
“I'd be hard pressed to decide which dish I like best, I've been working my way through the menu. And no, I never came here with Sara, she didn't like the place, I think she used to come with that paramedic...Hank?”
They settled down at their table and started to look through the menu, but Nick was smiling and kept glancing at Gil.
“What? Have I missed something?”
“This is our first date.”
“It is? Yes, I suppose it must be, we should have a drink to our first date...one glass of wine won't hurt. I wonder if they do champagne by the glass.”
Nick continued to smile, almost laugh at Gil.
“What? What's the matter?” Gil was starting to laugh back even though he had no idea why.
“You. If I could have guessed who might be gay at work I would never, never, have considered you. You seem as straight as they come, but then the truck incident the other night keeps making me chuckle at odd times, when I remember.”
“The truck incident. I can tell you Nick Stokes, that it was no bluff, I was as pissed as I could ever remember being...at myself. My sheer incompetence at dealing with intimacy is...is...”
“Dazzling? That seems like a very gay word, so it might very well apply.” He laughed.
“It does, but don't be so hard on yourself, I said some very unkind things, do you know why?”
“Nik...this guy in Australia: jealousy. I'm jealous of the time you had with him. It should have been me.”
Gil was momentarily dumbstruck and then he smiled and took a deep breath. “It undoubtedly should have been you, Nick, except for one inexorable problem. I really didn't have any idea that I was gay. No idea at all. It was very funny, in retrospect, and Nik and I did laugh about it. One minute I'm a straight guy on a beach with a friend and the next minute...and I do mean the very next minute...I'm indulging in mutual masturbation with the guy. That's some speedy conversion, don't you think?
“But it all seemed so right, I can't really explain it; it’s like I've been reading without my reading glasses and I put them on and everything on the page is suddenly clear.
Nick smiled his big smile at Gil and then laughed. “We'd better order.” The waiter was hovering. They did do champagne by the glass so they toasted each other.
“To us, Gil, and the future?”
“That would be good; I'll try not to fuck it all up.” He dropped his voice to whisper the profanity.
“You and me both. So tell me more about it all.”
“There's not much to say. Nik and I got on very well, he termed us a holiday romance; no regrets, no looking back. He was badly hurt by a long standing partner. He wanted to have a little fun.
“Do you know I could be married now? After Sara's kidnap, I proposed to her and we were going to marry. Although, in truth, we made no plans. I think I've spoken more to you tonight, in one go, than I ever did with Sara, we were just so unsuitable and yet I was willing to be with her just to be with...someone. Now that makes it seem as if I was lonely and yet I didn't think I was. In retrospect I was just missing something; that I was a homosexual and that it was actually you who was the one...the one I wanted. Does that make sense?”
“Not much. I don't know how you didn't know about men. I was very sure...as soon as I hit puberty. Of course my family and my Texan life meant that I was firmly undercover...closeted.”
“But you've remained so, even here in Vegas? I never heard a whisper or had any...suspicion...if that's the right word.”
“Old habits die hard. I meant to become more open when I came here, but I couldn't, I was very firmly entrenched in the subterfuge, so I stayed put. But you would be very surprised just how many men...and women, live their lives like that. There is a strong scene of closeted gays; you just need to find out where to go, how to meet up. I've had several long term relationships and many other short...for want of a better word, I've never been into one night stands...and before you ask, I've been very careful and I'm regularly tested.”
“I never gave that a thought, although Nik was always very careful and...does swallowing the first time you fellate someone qualify for careful? Probably not.”
Nick very nearly spluttered the drink he'd just sipped. “No, it wouldn't! The first time?”
“Yes; particularly gay wouldn’t you say?”
“Yes; it took me quite a few goes to swallow.”
“I think, no, I’m sure Nik was clean, and Henri, but I think I'd better get tested hadn't I...it never occurred to me.”
“Yeah, man; I would prefer it.”
“That sounds promising.”
“Let's stop being coy here, Gil. You want me and I want you...we are going to get to do the deed sometime soon.”
“You want me? That's the first time you've said as much.”
“Do you know, I think you are a bit strange, Gil; this has been a forgone conclusion since you visited my house. If you didn't realise it, even after your other Nik said, you are missing something.”
“That's my whole point, Nick! I'm oblivious. I lived with a woman I didn't love and would have married her and stayed with her, more than likely. I wanted you all these years and didn't know until I was on a beach in Greece. Which brings me to the way I've treated you; I think I mistook my feelings for a kind of fatherly love and that in turn irritated me because I didn't want to father you...I wanted to fuck you, but I didn’t know. I think you're perfectly entitled to say I'm strange. In the circumstances I think you're being generous. Nik is all those miles away, on another continent even, and he picked up in an e-mail, the lay of the land.
“I do have one question though. Why did you act so...vanilla, when we had to investigate areas with which you must have been familiar but you pretended not to be?”
“Vanilla! You even have the vocabulary. It's obvious; mostly I was petrified of meeting someone I knew and that I would be exposed. Obviously I never did, because my set were...are, deeply closeted.”
“Will you remain that way?”
“Now that is an interesting question, because I have gradually begun to emerge from the shadows. I've been going to an openly gay club for a couple of months now and have actually met a couple of cops there. I'm getting near forty and I need to make some sort of statement about my life...of course, the big obstacle could be my parents...”
“They don't know?” Gil was astounded.
Nick laughed. “Don't be ridiculous, Texan bible bashing republicans with a gay son? I don't think so. Although to be fair to them, I think they would accept me, as long as no one else knew, and I stayed here.” Nick laughed again, but it was that bitter sound that Gil had heard before very recently.
“I'm sorry. I've thought about my parents too...I'm sure my Mom wouldn't have cared less. My father, I don't know...I only have a child's perspective of him since he died when I was nine. What about work?”
“You've actually helped there because I thought with all the gifts I could just bring it up in conversation that it's a man sending them and that I'm quite happy about that. But...Ecklie, I don't want to queer – excuse the pun – the pitch if this new job is up for grabs. That would be suicidal for both of us...and I'm nothing if not a realist. Do you know that if Catherine knew and then I was offered this job...I don't trust her that much...I'm sorry, I know you're friends, but it's the way it is, especially after my success when she was off sick.”
Gil nodded. “I know what you mean. She has changed...or maybe I have, but we don't have the friendship we once had and it was most probably my fault. My secrecy over Sara. It would have to be the same secrecy with you, then?”
“Yes, it would, can you live with that?”
“Yes. I have done anyway…for a long time.”
Gil lifted his glass with just a little champagne remaining and held it towards to Nick, and smiled. “To us, once more.”
Nick smiled back, an open smile that reached his eyes. They understood each other. They'd actually reached the same page of the book. He lifted his glass and they both finished their champagne.
“I do have one more question. A personal one, is that okay?”
“You said you still see your therapist…is that because of problems with your father and then me?”
“Ah. A bit of a white lie I’m afraid. I did have therapy for about a year after Gordon fucked me over and some of it was about Dad…I don’t recall speaking about you, in derogatory terms anyway… but when I said I still see him…I do…we go to the same gym.”
Gil laughed and Nick grinned and then their food arrived.
They feasted on the tastes and textures of the exotic food. Finding that they shared the same likes and dislikes about the food only seemed to be fitting for their new found status.
When the meal had finished Gil reached into his pocket and presented an envelope to Nick.
“It'll drive them mad not to have a delivery.”
“I know. I hope you feel okay about these, bearing in mind what you've just said.”
Nick opened the envelope and found two tickets for the Elton John 'Red Piano' show at The Forum.
“This show is finishing and I'd hoped to get to see it, but it was sold out.”
“I have contacts.”
“Evidently. Look two guys from work going to a show...is just that...two guys going to a show. We keep a low profile...and we're both used to that; they can speculate but they won't know.”
“It's a deal.”
“Yes, it is.”
“I've found it easier to talk to you tonight than anyone, ever before. I think that must mean something.”
“It means, Dr Grissom, that I'm very good indeed at making witnesses and perps talk.”
“Which am I?”
“I don't know yet...give me time. You know this Nik, are you going to meet up with him sometime?”
“We hadn't planned to, why?”
“I think I'd probably like the guy. We appear to be on the same wavelength.”
“Yes, you share the looks and the name, but that’s no real reason for you to be alike, and yet I think you are.”
“Is he better looking than me?”
“I might be vanilla, but I'm not criminally insane. No, he's not. You are by far the most handsome man I've ever known.”
“Right answer. You catch on quick.”
“I hope so; I've got a lot of catching up to do!”
“You got that right.”
End of Part Twenty-two
If Greg was preparing for a long wait to gather evidence about Gil and Nick, he was wrong. A smiling Nick dressed much smarter than usual came into the locker room.
“Hey G. You’re early.”
“Not by much; traffic was light.”
“Yeah, now you mention it.”
“What’s with the look? All your jeans need washing?”
“Yeah, something like that.” Nick thought that Greg was fishing; he knew something
Greg thought it would be a good idea to go and find Gil Grissom and see how he was dressed. He walked out into the hallway and there was the great man himself, talking to Hodges. Smart. Much smarter than usual, although he had bought himself a whole new wardrobe of clothes for work. But he was wearing a button down shirt, without a tie, and he had never seen Grissom in a light blue shirt at work before. Ever. Actually, that was ever, regardless of work.
Greg was smug because he was positive no one would notice that both men were unusually well dressed and then make a connection between them.
“Hey, Gil, you look good, pale blue and that tan; a good look.”
“Thank you, Catherine. I’ve had to buy new clothes for work…weight loss.” He smiled at her very smugly in Greg’s estimation; and okay, so Greg had miscalculated one half of the puzzle, but would Catherine, or anyone else, remark to Nick about his clothes?
“Nice shirt, Nick, is that silk?”
“Silk? I don’t think so. Synthetic.”
So Riley had noticed about Nick. Greg was feeling hard done by; given that he knew what he knew.
No one appeared to link the two men together, so Greg kept his observations to himself.
Just as they were leaving the briefing room after assignments, Riley suddenly stopped in her tracks and addressed Nick. “Your present, your gift? Where is it?”
“It’s obviously all over.” Catherine hoped.
“I had a special delivery today.”
“Really? What happened?” Riley was eager for details.
“It was a personal delivery…and before you start, that’s all I’m saying. Ray, you coming?
“Certainly Nick. If I do find out anything more I will share, don’t worry, Riley.”
“You won’t find out anything, Ray, because you’re too polite to ask.”
“There is that, yes.” Ray chuckled at Riley’s aggravation. “But maybe Nick will share.”
Ray continued to chuckle and Nick laughed. “Like that’s going to happen.”
Nick did think, in passing, that Greg had been unusually quiet on the subject when he was normally the most vocal. He knew…
Greg had been studying Grissom throughout the exchange. But to no avail, if Grissom was involved, he showed no sign at all.
The next morning Nick called Gil, at home.
“Hey. In bed yet?”
“No, reading a journal and enjoying a beer.”
“That meal was good.”
“I thought so. Nick?”
“Do you think Greg suspects?”
“I’ve no idea. Why should he?”
“No real reason, just a feeling, you know, a gut feeling.”
“Often a good enough reason.”
“Hello? You’re agreeing with a gut feeling? What happened to evidence?”
“Evidence is for work. Feelings are altogether different, and gut feelings, when it’s your gut, should be taken seriously.” Gil thought that that was a good answer. Nick laughed and Gil’s stomach flipped over at the happy sound.
“Nothing.” He wasn’t brave enough to invite Nick to his house.
“Nothing? Gil Grissom has nothing to say? Is that a first?”
“Gil? You want me to come over?”
The line was silent.
“Yes, Nick. I would love for you to come over.”
“’K. Be there in twenty.”
“Okay. Yes.” The line went dead.
Gil sat for a few moments and then had a panic attack. Was his place clean? Nick’s had been immaculate when he’d visited. Did his bathroom need a scrub? Was the living room tidy? Did his bed linen need changing?
He stopped mid-tidying of his journals.
Was that really why Nick was coming over? He took a few deep breaths. Shower. He’d shower. Yes, that’s what he would do. He would shower, when he could move. Gil stood still with several journals in his hands. Nick Stokes was driving over to see him. Now. Now.
He suddenly rediscovered movement and dumped the journals back on the coffee table. He dashed to his bathroom and undressed and dived under freezing water. He took a quick shower. He didn’t want to miss Nick’s arrival. He dried himself and then put clean towels out and found himself a clean boxers, tee and jeans.
Back in the living room, he looked around and the place was actually as good as it got. He checked his fridge, there were enough beers. He smoothed down his damp hair and stopped with his hands resting on his head.
Nick Stokes was driving over to see him.
It might not be for the reason Gil thought. Perhaps Nick had had second thoughts. Gil knew he shouldn’t have told him about the job, broken Ecklie’s confidence; maybe Nick had got cold feet. The job might mean more to him than he’d said and he didn’t want to…want to…queer the pitch.
But Nick had sounded sexy on the phone. Nick always sounded sexy to him though, definitely since his return from Greece. Jesus Christ, there was no fool like an old fool.
There was a knock at the door and Gil stood still…contemplating not answering. It was Nick; could he face him?
End of Part Twenty-three
Gil took a huge intake of breath and made his way to the door and opened up.
“You took your time, I was expecting to be dragged in and accosted…assaulted even.” Nick pushed Gil back against the wall, as he’d done on his last visit. He pushed the door shut and then stood up against Gil but pulled back and frowned.
“What’s wrong? There’s something wrong.”
“You were coming to end it. I was utterly convinced that you wanted to end it.”
“I obviously need to work on my telephone technique. I was going for sexy!”
“You were sexy. Very sexy. You’re always sexy.”
“That’s what I like to hear. Come on, you need to sit down and recover.”
“Sorry. I worked myself up into a funk in a matter of moments.”
“I forgive you. You’re vanilla.” He laughed but Gil didn’t.
They sat on Gil's couch and Nick put an arm around Gil’s shoulders and drew him to him.
“It’s early days, Gil. You don’t know me…only work me. But I’m straightforward. I like to think that I am, anyway. No hidden agenda, no nasty secrets, no reason to lie, or be deceitful. It’s the way I am. Now, I know you kept quiet about Sara, but, apart from that I would think you’re pretty much the same.”
“I like to think that. Nick?”
“Will you kiss me, please, now?”
“Yes. Completely.” Although he thought he must be the stupidest, dumb-assed jackass in the US.
Moments later Nick’s mouth was kissing Gil’s mouth with passion and fervour. Beneath Nick’s lips, Gil was smiling. Gil’s arms circled Nick’s neck and pulled him close as they kissed and licked and duelled with their tongues.
Nick’s one arm remained around Gil's shoulders, but his other hand touched and inflamed Gil, rubbing up his side over his tee and with each rub the tee moved up and exposed Gil's flesh. When Nick’s hand touched Gil’s flesh, he jumped.
Nick grinned and began rubbing the flesh with his finger tips and Gil started gasping and shuddering at the touch. Nick latched onto his mouth again but it wasn’t many moments before Gil pulled back, gasping.
“I can’t breathe, you’re all consuming Nick; I’m drowning in you.”
“Drowning in me? You don’t like it?”
“YES! I do…it’s the best I’ve ever…”
Nick silenced him with another kiss and more fingertips along his side and his ribcage and then fleetingly over one nipple. Gil pushed Nick’s head away from him so he could look at Nick and gasp in some much needed air. But he was smiling…he could have been grimacing given his lack of oxygen, but what the hell.
Nick was panting too, but wanted to kiss again and Gil couldn’t, in all honesty, stop him.
Nick’s hand wondered downwards and was rubbing Gil’s thigh on the outside but with each rub moved around to the inside of the leg and in moments Gil was squirming and wriggling as Nick’s hand rubbed closer and closer to Gil’s crotch. Then it was between his legs and Gil let them they fall open, wantonly, to allow Nick any access he wanted.
Nick pulled away from Gil’s lips and he tucked his head into Gil's neck. Gil could feel Nick’s teeth biting him, and pulling the skin between his teeth. It wasn’t painful, it was physically exhilarating.
And then Nick’s fingers, or, maybe it was his thumb, or both, were pushing at his balls through the fabric of his jeans. Gil was gasping and for a split second thought he might faint, but it was the oxygen deprivation, he seriously needed more intake, but couldn’t, for one moment, contemplate calling a halt to these proceedings…
“You’re not concentrating are you?”
“I am. You are wonderful, Nick. Nicky. I've never felt this way before and we’re only making out of the couch.”
“Only making out? I’m doing my best here!”
Gil chuckled. “I know you are, and it is the best, Nicky. To have you, when I never dreamed I would…I have no words…”
“…seems to me you got plenty to say. Look Gil, quit talking, and let’s got hot and heavy. Okay?”
“Whatever you say. Nick?”
“Gil?” Nick laughed.
“Should we move this to the bedroom? It would be more comfortable…”
“Now that was worth saying. Have you been tested yet?”
“Yes, but I haven’t had the results back.”
“Okay, so we have some boundaries.”
“Don’t be. We can do a lot of stuff and I have condoms.” He wiggled his eyebrows and Gil laughed.
“I love you.” Gil just couldn’t help but blurt it out.
“Do you? You sound certain.” Nick smiled at him.
“I am. I think I've always loved you, but I know I’ve loved you since a beach in Tenos.”
“In the arms of another man, if I’m not mistaken.”
“Sorry. Tactless of me.”
“I’m in a forgiving mood. Come on, let’s christen your bed.”
By the time they’d made it into the bedroom and Gil had pulled his tee off and undone his jeans and was sliding them down his legs as he reached his bedside. Nick had pulled his sweatshirt over his head and he’d unbuckled his own jeans and then pushed his jeans and his shorts down his legs bending over to untie his sneakers and prise them off his feet, followed by his socks.
Gil stood by the bed, suddenly a little bemused at the speed of it all. His hard-on had abated a little, but still stuck out of the fly of his boxers.
Nick stood up straight, completely naked.
“God, Nick. You have a great body.”
“Yeah, I know. Come on.” He threw the comforter back and then flung himself onto the bed and bounced a little. His cock doing a little bouncing of its own.
Gil pushed them down and shook them off. And stood there in all his naked glory. He might not have the body, although at that moment he was very pleased he’d dropped some weight but he had a substantial erection and it was proudly displayed.
“Now get in this bed Gil Grissom and let’s see what you’re made of…and no talking.”
“My lips are sealed…unless you want me to…because I do swallow you know.” He grinned as he kneeled on the bed and then fell forward into the arms of Nick Stokes.
There followed what can only be described as a scientific study of their bodies. Both men intensely curious by nature, they explored every nook and cranny of the other’s body. What they liked, what they didn’t, although, to be fair, neither man found anything they didn’t like.
They stroked each other like they might be cats, they bit and sucked and licked. Nick scratched the skin of Gil's ass. He liked the ass; it was substantial enough for him to hang onto and Gil was very responsive to it being fondled.
But if Nick was fascinated by Gil's ass, Gil instantly fell in love with Nick’s neat, toned cheeks. They fit his hands perfectly and he kneaded the flesh and let his fingers move above Nick’s opening. Nick instinctively spread his legs for more, and Gil pulled back and fumbled for the lube that was somewhere beneath them on the bed. When he found it, he squeezed a little onto his fingers and then went back to the puckered entrance. He chuckled; even Nick’s anus was neat and hairless.
Nick raised his eyebrows at Gil as he began to rub his lubed finger around and then slipped it in a little. Nick gasped and Gil who’d been concentrating on the job in hand looked up at Nick.
Gil had never done this before. But he knew, very well, that if he could find the prostate he would give Nick a great deal of pleasure and more than anything in his world, at that moment, that’s what he wanted to do.
He pressed another finger in and Nick was quite comfortable with the intrusion. He pushed his fingers up further and suddenly felt the protuberance that he thought could well be the prostate. He didn’t need to check if it was or not, because Nick’s ass and all those lovely muscles toned for Gil’s personal use, clenched around his fingers and Nick emitted a sound like a howl, or maybe a growl, but Gil smiled at Nick, almost conspiratorially, and Nick grinned back.
“You…just got…lucky…is all.” Nick gasped out.
“Not at all…I’m a scientist. Lie back and enjoy it.”
Gil, having discovered the prize, made gentle stroking movements and Nick was writhing beneath him.
Nick’s hand came up and stroked Gil's unruly curls – they’d been damp but had dried and were now curling in all directions. Nick was fascinated by them.
“Now would be a good time to practise your swallowing skills.” They’d had erections for the better part of an hour and had unconsciously held back to be able to conduct the intimate search of each other.
“Nervous. Not an expert.”
“Do you think you’ll fall at the last hurdle? You won’t, I’m sure.”
And Gil went down on Nick. He’d already licked and teethed Nick’s penis and now he applied himself with renewed energy to the task. It tasted like nothing he’d tasted before. He only had Nik and Henri for comparative purposes and neither of them had tasted this sweet. Musky and sweet. It was said that semen tasted like what you ate, so Nick probably ate healthily and didn’t drink too much. Good living made the task pleasant.
Gil used his tongue, licking up and down the taut skin, around the rosy head and in the slit, and then under the foreskin. He sucked on first one and then the other ball. They, like everything about Nick fitted in with Gil. In this case his mouth. Nick was made for Gil. Gil knew that now, as he practised his newest skill of fellatio.
He took the head into his mouth and sucked on it quite extravagantly. He couldn’t deep throat yet, but he was determined that was another skill he would learn for Nick’s pleasure. His sucking was creating a vacuum and then he was releasing it and starting again.
Nick’s ass was pulsating on Gil's fingers and Gil, now multitasking, (and feeling very proud of himself) stroked Nick’s prostrate with two fingers and sucked his cock with his mouth. He pulled his other hand from underneath Nick where it had been latched onto an ass cheek and with that hand rolled Nick’s balls around and then caught hold of the bottom of Nick’s erection, squeezing and then pumping in time to his sucking and Nick’s breaths.
Gil listened as Nick made little gasping sounds that accompanied the fingers up his ass, his mouth sucking and his hand pumping.
Perfectly synchronised. This was the first time they’d ever laid hands on each other and they were as one.
Nick suddenly changed his gasping. He lifted his head from the bed and the muscles straining in his neck he rasped out to Gil.
Gil immediately started sucking up and down faster, and for all his internal gloating a few moments ago, his rhythm was lost, but Nick didn’t seem to care. His hips were bucking up and his hands held onto Gil's head.
Gil made a conscious effort to think of Nick’s prostate and pushed his fingers onto it and rubbed as hard as he could.
It had the desired effect. Nick arched his back off the bed and he bucked up into Gil's mouth as stream after stream of fluid filled the mouth and Gil swallowed it and, almost gagging, he realised he’d also swallowed the head of Nick’s penis.
Nick was howling; there was no other word to describe the noise he was making. Not loud, but quite definitely animalistic noises.
Gil's erection had faded while he’d concentrated on bringing Nick off, but now he felt his own aching balls and tight skinned cock, desperate for some relief.
Nick lay back and his body relaxed. Gil’s fingers popped out of him with a plop. He continued to lick Nick clean, because it seemed like the right thing to do.
“I can’t move; so get up here and I’ll suck you off, man.” Nick gave breathless instruction to Gil.
“Not tested, remember?”
“No, Nick. Not until I know.”
Nick looked down at Gil kneeling between his legs. “Put on a condom.”
“No…may I…would you…”
Nick smiled. “What do you want?”
End of Part Twenty-four
“May I masturbate on you?”
“You may.” Nick laughed at Gil’s polite request. “I’d like that.”
“I’ve never done it before, I just want to.”
“So quit talking about it, and do it.” Nick’s voice was thick and Texan and so sexy.
Gil moved in closer to Nick, still kneeling, and Nick wrapped his legs around Gil's waist.
“You wanna talk? Talk me through it!”
“Talk? About it?”
“Yeah. Like phone sex, only you’re here.”
“I don’t know…”
“Oh, I know you can. Tell me what you feel.”
“I feel tight, my…balls and cock, it’ll be quick because I've wanted you for from the moment you walked through the door.”
Gil was pumping his erection with his right hand and fondling his balls with his left hand. Pulling them and rolling them around. He was pumping slowly, but his fist was tight and as he got to the head he twisted his hand and gasped at the friction.
“You’ve gone quiet. Makes a change.”
“Don’t be cruel. I’ve never done this before.”
“Sorry, not. Come on, tell me.”
“I’m so hard and so desperate to come but I don’t want to, not straight away. I want to think about you, with my fingers in you, and your cock in my mouth and the taste of you. Sweet. Coming in my mouth, me swallowing you…and your head just a little. Feeling your hands on my head, your fingers spread out on my scalp.
Unknowingly, Gil was pumping faster and Nick was breathing heavily, watching Gil, and his hand, and his cock.
“Nick, it’s coming. I’m…going…”
And true to his word his semen launched itself from his cock in an arc over Nick’s chest, in three large spurts and then a number of smaller spurts as his knees gave way and he sat back on his haunches. Taking in big breaths and trying to regain control.
“Hey.” Nick called to him and Gil looked up to see Nick fisting his own hard cock again. Fast and furiously and then spurting a small amount of fluid at Gil’s stomach.
“Just leftovers.” He gasped out.
“I've got nothing left.”
“Can I sleep here?”
“Please. Yes. Don’t go.”
Nick disentangled his legs from around Gil and pulled Gil sideways to him so that they were lying side by side.
“Not going to wash off. Too tired.”
“I’m with you.” And Gil pulled up the comforter and slid his arm over Nick’s wet and sticky stomach. He could not have been happier.
Nick snuggled down and put his arm over Gil’s and held onto his hand. Gil lifted his head a little and looked at him. Nick was fast asleep, Gil dropped his head on the pillow and moments later, so was he.
Hours later they were both awoken from sleep by Nick’s cell ringing and vibrating on the floor beside the bed. Nick leaned over the bed to retrieve his jeans and extract the cell from a pocket.
“Yeah?” He drawled, sounding aggravated from being disturbed.
“Hello. Yeah, I was asleep.”
“What have I done?”
“Okay then, see you then…and you’re sure?”
“Bye.” Nick ended the call and turned and grinned at Gil.
“Was that Ecklie?”
“It was; wants to see me before shift tonight. I’m not in trouble and did I act surprised?”
“You were very good. I see now that you’re capable of deception.”
“I’m pleading the fifth. Hey you! Regrets?”
“You can call me, God, now.”
“Okay. You could be a Greek God…Adonis.”
“There you go with the Greek connection again.”
“Sorry. Will you forgive me?”
“Yeah. Did we really go to sleep without cleaning up? That’s gross.”
“It is. But, you know what? I don’t care. Thank you, Nick.”
“It was good; and you were good, man…not as vanilla as you’d have me believe.”
“You made it easy.”
“You calling me easy?”
“I think I am.”
“Well, in that case…”
They were interrupted by Gil’s cell ringing, but from a way off…
“Ecklie. Probably. I’ll leave it and pick it up later, I’m too busy now.”
“I could die for a piss, man, but I think I need to put my morning wood to some use first.”
“I’ve realised just how good you’ve become at decision making.”
Nick didn’t reply he was under the bedding sucking Gil.
“No, Nick, Nicky. You can’t, not yet.”
“I forgot. When do you get the results?”
“Tomorrow. I can drop by and they’ll give them to me.”
“Well more reading the riot act about putting yourself in a position where you had unprotected sex and exposed yourself to God knows what?”
“I see. They didn’t say when they took the blood. Said to pick up the envelope; that was all.”
“Fair enough. Maybe your white hair gave you some gravitas.”
“Go and see what Ecklie wanted, I wanna know.”
“Issuing orders already?”
Gil heaved himself up from the bed and went in search of his cell; a few minutes later he ambled back to find the bed empty, but he could hear Nick having a piss…and he returned as Gil was listening to his message.
Gil nodded and then pressed ‘call’. “Conrad, it’s Gil. I got your message, I’ll be in; does this mean you have the funding?” Gil smiled at Nick. “What about Nick? Yes, yes, well good luck, I hope he accepts. Yeah. Bye.”
“Wow! He’s going to offer me the job?”
“Yes, he is. They accepted his plan in its entirety. He’s feeling very elated about that, he’ll think he has some clout. I suppose he has. They offered him McKeen’s job without interview. Like you and me, really. I wonder how the other supervisors will take it.”
“They’ll have to put up and shut up. We got business to do.”
Gil looked at Nick with something bordering on alarm.
“What? I’ve been thinking about the job. I can do it. And it’s no secret that our team…on grave, are head and shoulders above the others when it comes to work. That’s not right is it? Every victim should be entitled to the best, every time, regardless of the time of day. I see the role as bringing everyone up to speed. You training; me…directing operations. It could work. It could work big time.”
“Yes, it could. Are you going to discipline me, too?”
“Nah…as long as you don’t step out of line.”
Nick grinned at Gil’s horror stricken expression.
“Maybe a cock-ring now and then?”
“Never worn one.”
“Oh, man, you should’ve kept that to yourself! Can I shower here; I’ll have to go home for clean clothes, but...”
“...I was going to suggest that, I’ll cook us a breakfast. That okay? I need to shower first though, before cooking.”
“That’d be good. How big’s your shower?”
“Big enough; come on.”
In the shower Nick insisted on washing Gil's hair. “It’s the curls man, I love the feel of them and your pubic hair is thick and curly too, man, I love it.”
Gil laughed out loud under the water. Was it only three weeks since he’d returned from Greece…from his vacation, his epiphany? And here he was showering with Nick…NICK STOKES!
Nick used a dollop of shower gel to make both penises soapy, wet and hard and then leaned into Gil to jerk them both off together. Gil put his hand on top of Nick’s; he wouldn’t be telling Nick that he’d done this with the other Nik…more than once; he really didn’t need to mention Greece again.
Their orgasms were simultaneous. Even under the hot water of the shower their semen was hot. Gil gasped and fell into Nick. Nick disentangled his hand and hugged Gil close to him. Into his ear Nick growled. “We’re good together, Gris. Gil. We’re good.”
They managed to actually clean themselves off, although space was tight. When they were towelling themselves dry Gil was thinking how natural all of this was. How come he’d never imagined another man in his fantasies? He never had, but had he been a man with fantasies? No, he hadn’t been a fantasy man. When he wasn’t with a woman he’d just masturbated, relief really. And he hadn’t done that very often.
He reckoned he’d had more sex in the last four months than he’d had in the preceding twenty years. Well, ten years.
“Earth to Gil Grissom.”
“Sorry. I was thinking.”
“I could hear. What was so interesting?”
“You looked serious.”
“It was a serious thought. I do not know, cannot imagine, how I never noticed I was gay, or even bi-sexual. This, you, has all come so easily and so…pleasurably to me and I am, in all honesty, surprised…delighted too, but mostly surprised.”
“It surprised me, too. I said before, but then I think I’m just going to enjoy it.”
“While it lasts?”
“I didn’t say that.”
“I was ending your sentence.” Gil also remembered that he had declared his love for Nick earlier, but Nick had not responded.
“Well don’t, because I can do that for myself. Gil, what you’ve said to me and the gifts you’ve sent me in the past couple of weeks, means a lot to me. But we only really know each other as work colleagues, and although we’re now officially lovers, these are early days. You could hate me this time next week.”
Gil nodded. He felt a little ridiculous, standing naked in his bathroom, and even teary, as he knew full well that what Nick had just said was absolutely right.
“Man, don’t be sorry! We ARE having a great time, and I feel optimistic, I really do, but…there’s got to be a but, at least until we really get to know each other.”
Gil nodded again, but this time Nick swept him up into a bear hug. “You are sooo gay; I don’t know how I missed it…except that I wasn’t looking in your direction.” And just then his stomach rumbled very loudly.
“I didn’t miss that. I’m starving; I didn’t eat before I came over here. What’re your breakfasts like?”
“Come on then, get in that kitchen, Grissom.” He followed through with a slap of Gil's ass. “I like that ass a lot, man, you’d better keep it hidden at work.”
“A little difficult, given its size.”
“Hey, don’t knock it, it’s magnificent.”
Gil put on another old tee and his jeans and made his way to the kitchen. Within moments Nick was beside him.
“What can I do?”
“Coming up, I’ll search for the stuff and you get on with the cooking. My stomach thinks my throat’s been cut.”
“Sunny side up. You?”
They worked quietly and efficiently beside each other. Nick had to eat a piece of toast.
“Go easy or you won’t want this banquet I’m slaving over.”
“Don’t bet on that. Hurry up!”
“Get the juice out.”
“Okay. Looks good, smells good.”
Gil put two perfect eggs on to a plate of bacon, sausage patties, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms.
“I haven’t done beans as they make me fart, and bending down at scenes becomes a risky business.”
“Hey, me too!”
“There you have it then, common ground.”
They both laughed around mouthfuls of food and Nick could see Gil's eyes twinkling; he’d never noticed that before; how his eyes made him look happy.
End Part Twenty-five
When they’d slowed down a little, having overcome their hunger, Nick sipped his coffee.
“Did you ever wonder why Ecklie thought I would be the right man for this new job?”
“Because you are the right man for the job?”
“As a matter of fact I think I am, but how would you know that?” Gil sat back in his chair and retrieved his coffee, and wrapped his hands around the mug.
“I know that you’re one of the…the very best at the job.”
“Yeah. But it’s a big leap from CSI to being in charge of them all.”
“Yes, Conrad said it was because of the skills you’d shown when you supervised during Catherine’s sickness. He said you were outstanding.”
“Did he elaborate?”
“Not with anything specific.”
“And you accepted what he said as face value without wanting to review the evidence?”
“I suppose I did, yes.”
“Wow, you really did want to get into my pants.”
“It wasn't that…”
“…just teasing. But you didn’t query why he thought I was the man for the job?”
“No, I didn’t. But, I thought you would be ideal as soon as he told me what he wanted from you…and me.”
“Mmmm. When you were away and Catherine got sick you know I did the supervising? I did some analysis and I made some changes, nothing major. After my stint at supervising I presented my findings to Ecklie. If it had been you I would have just given the report to you, but…you know…with Catherine, I just copied her in. She went ape shit, man. Really ape shit, but in a quiet way, real scary. Greg and Riley took the brunt of it. She couldn’t have a go at me because I’d sent the report to Ecklie, and she’s a bit in…awe, I think, of Ray…”
“…did you criticise Catherine, in this report?”
“No. It was mostly analysis, before and after some changes I made to scene attendance, evidence collection and the processing at the lab. I was able to show that grave is the best team for: crime scene attendance, evidence gathering and processing, and we improved during the weeks I was in charge.”
“The trouble with analysing this kind of data is that all things are not equal. All crimes are different, every murder is different and you cannot compare…”
“…yes, you’re right to a certain extent; I never said it was an exact science. I built in some leeway in the data, but I took crime for crime, victim profile against victim profile to match each shift’s work. I left sufficient time to encompass the oddball cases, the unexpected, so with that factored in I was able to give a good approximation of each team’s work and then make a comparison.
“Man, we were streets ahead. I couldn’t even have manipulated the data to give us such an advantage. But in my short tenure, the changes I’d made, and the consequential improvements seriously pissed off Catherine. Ecklie was shocked, I think, initially, that I’d taken the time to do it. Off the clock, I might add. Sad bastard without a boyfriend…at that time.”
“So Catherine assumed it was her you were usurping, when really it was me?” Gil had listened with pride as Nick had related his tale. His lover had done all this, but then it struck him, that Catherine had only supervised the team for a matter of weeks, so this lay at his door, maybe he was the one who should have been aggrieved.
“No. No, neither of you. Gil, I’ll send you a copy of my report, you’ll see that my conclusion was that we are the best team because of you. Okay, your skills at staff management are a little…I don’t know, lacking. But as a leader in the field, a trainer, you are the very best. Our lab is the best outside Quantico, and that’s down to you leading grave. Grave’s own stats are what keep us at the top. The new job will be for you to bring everyone up to the same standard and for me to manage it…if what you told me is right. I should find out tonight.”
“I see. But why then was Catherine so pissed?”
“Because, as good a CSI as she is, she doesn’t understand the mechanics of data analysis and interpretation and she immediately assumed…as you did, in fact, that it was a personal attack. I wanted to point out that we’re very good, but we could be excellent if we were re-organised. If the strengths of some staff were utilised more efficiently. I said nothing about myself, but I did say that you would be ideal for a training manager for the whole lab. I want the lab to be great and it looks as if I might be being given the chance to manage the change.” Nick sat back and looked at Gil, he was serious.
“You got to give it to Conrad.”
“Because you just gave me the same spiel that he did, and if all of that was in your report then he’s read it and digested it and assumed co-authorship, if not complete ownership.”
“I made suggestions, is all.” Nick grinned.
“Well, Nick, it sounds like you’ve moved up a notch. I’m very proud of you.”
“Proud? Are you? Seriously?”
“Of course I am. What you’ve said, what you’ve done; I might just have to lie back and bask in some reflected glory. After all, I did train you.”
“I gave you a fucking hard time though.”
“You did, but in the end it didn’t do me any actual harm did it...it made me a better CSI. And, I've just slept with you, and something about that was fucking hard too, so you know, things are pretty good, right now.”
Nick slid his hand across the table and Gil caught it and held it.
“I would have to agree. You’d better go, you need clean clothes. You can’t be late.”
“Yeah. I’m seeing him at eight, did he give you a time?”
“No, he just said to go in early.”
“There’s something else.”
“I've been thinking about the gay thing. To tell or not to tell.”
“It’s your decision.”
“Does it bother you?”
“But you’re new to the scene. Don’t you want to keep a low profile?”
“Not particularly. I don’t mind, Nick, I really don’t mind one way or the other.”
“It could have repercussions. If I tell Ecklie that I am…we are…”
Gil smiled. “You want to tell him that we’re a couple?”
“What’s wrong with that?”
“Nothing at all, nothing at all. You think we’re a couple?”
“I don’t know. I hope so. You said we’ve got to take our time.”
“I did, but I was just being, you know, careful.”
“Yeah, well, I needed some get-out. What would have happened if you’d been a dweeb in bed? Or had halitosis, premature ejaculation, small dick, open sores, snored excessively, wet the bed, farted…although the odd one is permissible. See, it’s not a foregone conclusion.”
“I see what you mean. Same for me then, though I must say that I never contemplated anything other than you being perfect!”
“I like to think so. You need to go, you must not be late.
“I know, come on, the dishes.”
“I have a dishwasher, now go.”
“Okay.” Nick swigged the last of his coffee and put down the mug. “I’m gone.”
Nick walked to the front door and Gil followed behind him. Before opening the door Nick turned and slipped his arms around Gil’s neck, and pulled him in for a kiss. It was gentle and sweet and coffee flavoured, Nick pulled away and smiled into Gil's face.
“You know you said the ‘L’ word before we went to bed? Well, I think I’ll be telling you the same before very long; we go together, I can feel it in my bones.”
“In your bones?”
“I've just got to wait until it reaches your heart then?”
“Yeah, won’t be long, I guess it’s nearly there.”
Gil leaned into Nick and kissed him, his hands running up his solid muscled back. He could very easily get used to the feel of Nick...that’s if he hadn’t already succumbed.
He pulled away. “Come and see me, or call me the minute you escape from Conrad. Tell me what happened. Promise?”
Nick nodded. “I always keep my promises to you.” He whispered.
“I know you do.” For some reason, Gil’s eyes filled with tears, remembering the promise he’d made Nick keep when he’d been buried alive. Why hadn’t he realised then just how much he loved Nick? He’d never know the answer to that question, but it was of little importance, not now.
“Go. Now. And I do love you very much.”
“I know you do, I can feel it.” Nick turned, opened the door and left. He closed the door behind him, without looking back.
Gil went to his window and watched Nick board his truck. They waved to each other as he drove off.
End of Part Twenty-six
Gil stood for a few moments watching the truck disappear from sight. He then returned to his kitchen and emptied the last of the coffee pot into his mug and sat at his table, nursing the mug and remembering the last eight hours.
But then his mind turned to the Nick he’d thought about on his vacation in the Greek Islands.
He remembered how he talked to Nik about the cases Nick had been involved with…how Nick had nearly died at the hands of two murderers and the deluded father who buried him alive. How he’d finally stood up to him when he solved a case that Gil had closed five year earlier. It was talking about Nick all the time that had caused Nik to think Gil was gay and in love. It was all the more ridiculous because Gil had no idea he was doing it!
Gil chuckled. Nik had been dead right. Gil remembered that Nik needed an update so he opened up his computer and went to his mail and composed a very brief message to Nik.
Mission accomplished in its entirety.
I owe you a tinny! Thanks mate!
He pressed send and then sat back and thought some more about Nick. The interesting thing about Gil's recollections was that when he pictured Nick, it was always one particular vision that he had. Gil had always carried this vision around in his head, like he might a photograph in his wallet.
Nick crying after Amy Hendler had held a gun to his head.
Gil had wanted to hold Nick that day. He looked so frightened and alone, but Gil had walked out with Amy Hendler and a few minutes later a composed Nick had followed him out and neither man had spoken of it since.
But it was that young, helpless man, who seemed little more than a boy, that was the focus for Gil for all these years and yet the reality was so far removed from that young Nick that he could almost be a different man altogether now that he knew him.
That was it.
The Nick Stokes who’d elicited all the feelings from Gil in the last months had long since gone. To be replaced by the new version, the man, mature, confident, knowledgeable. A match for him. A man on his own level.
Telling Nick that he loved him had not been planned or even thought of; it had taken him years to say the words to Sara and then he’d felt unsure and ultimately guilty for saying them…not feeling that he actually meant the words. But he was sure now. Sure that he loved the man, the man that that young Nick had become.
As he thought these thoughts, Gil had a warm feeling overcome him and he felt light and happy. He felt that he was in love for the first time in his life. He looked at the time on his computer and decided he’d better stop daydreaming and get ready for work.
He loaded the dishwasher and then headed for the shower and half way there realised he’d already taken a shower…but then decided on a quick freshen up and a shave.
He still managed to get to work early and there was no sign of Nick or Ecklie. He sat in his office and fidgeted and then pulled a file from his pile and tried concentrating on it; he failed.
About fifteen minutes later when he‘d been to the break room and made a fresh pot of coffee Nick met him in the corridor.
“How did it go?” Gil whispered.
“Great. Can’t stay here, Conrad’s right behind me coming to see you.”
“Okay. Good. There’s fresh coffee in the break room.”
“Thanks. Speak later.”
Gil went back to his office and had barely sat down again before Ecklie came in and closed the door behind him.
“How did it go, Conrad?”
“Very well. Yes. He accepted, of course.” Ecklie paused and the added. “Stokes could go far you know…he’s got good political sense and people skills. A good combination.”
“He’s an all-rounder.”
“Yes, he is. I’m surprised you think so highly of him…you always seemed to favour Brown…Warrick, and of course, Sara. How is she by the way?”
“Sara? No idea. We broke up after Warrick.”
“Oh, I didn’t know.”
“But you’re right about Nick. I did favour the others and I’m ashamed of myself for doing it. I’ve had some long talks with Nick since I got back…told him, apologised. You know what he said?”
“That my behaviour had made him a better CSI.”
“Ha! There you are he’s a politician. He can obviously put a positive spin on just about everything.”
Gil laughed. “You’re right. So what about the position you have in mind for me?”
“The training role. I’ve spoken to Nick about it and we’ve got to double up on work while we get down and plan how we’re going to do it and introduce it. A damage limitation exercise for anyone that will be disgruntled about Nick leap frogging them to the job.”
“I think you’ll find that there will be minimal problems. One thing about Nick is that he is universally liked. I doubt if they’ll begrudge him the job.
“I hope you’re right. Catherine?”
“She will be awkward but I hope she will be wise enough to see that she couldn’t do the job…any more that I could. Neither of us have the political skills.”
“True. We’ll see. I’m making the announcement next week. But I want you to get together with Nick…he’s already brimming with ideas about set-up and procedures…you’d be wise to listen to him…”
“…I will.” Gil was trying not to smile too broadly.
“I’m going to give you both the same status in the organisation. I hope to God you don’t fall out and start any infighting…”
“…I don’t think either of us are the kind of person to do that. We will have…frank discussions…I’m sure, but we will work as a team for the lab. That’s the purpose of it all isn’t it? Getting the most out of the staff and equipment we have by consolidating training and equalising the staff across the board. Making the best use of our resources to ensure that all victims, and even the criminals, have the same excellent level of service…whomever deals with the case.”
Ecklie’s mouth was hanging open very slightly. Even Gil was impressed with himself. He’d obviously remembered the spiel from some management seminar he must have attended together with what Ecklie and Nick had already told him.
“That’s it exactly.” Ecklie agreed. Gil smiled, quite beautifully, across his desk and then picked up his coffee mug to hide the smirk that was threatening to break out.
When Ecklie had gone…home he said he been at the lab for sixteen hours…Nick almost ran into Gil's office, closed the door and sat down opposite him. He looked quite solemn and Gil frowned but then Nick jumped up from the chair and did a little victory jig and then sat down and resumed his solemn pose.
Gil was laughing. “Happy?”
“Moderately.” He grinned. “He talked money and, man, am I going to get a pay rise! Yours won’t be so much because you earn more than me anyway…but you should still be able to afford my gifts…”
“…not indefinitely. Do I need to do any more anyway…I have after all captured first prize?”
“Whoa…don’t even think of letting up just yet!” He laughed but then became serious. “I’m…we’re…going to have to come up with a working plan in four weeks…it’ll mean we’ll be working a lot of hours off the clock.”
“I know. I cannot tell you, Nicky, how much more energised about work I’ve become in the last week…”
“…apart from quitting that one time?”
“Besides that…it’s a new challenge with a new life ahead of me and I’m going to enjoy it. We need to set out, together initially, what’s got to be done and assign ourselves tasks to complete separately and then come back together to review and revise.”
“Yeah.” Nick looked as surprised as Ecklie had done.
“Just because I don’t use management speak, doesn’t mean I don’t know how to use it…though I must tell you that between Ecklie and you I think I’ve used up about ten years’ worth and it’s unlikely you’ll hear it again…unless I have to use it as a ploy to calm Catherine.”
“Catherine. I think, realistically, that Benson on swing and Catherine will be the most difficult to deal with when the plan is revealed.”
“I agree. Although Catherine does have a tendency to go ballistic and then be as right as rain the next day.”
“Yeah, well that might be your assessment but she’s been different altogether since you left and she took over…she never expected you back…but…”
“Neither did I.”
“Include me in that.”
“Good job you did, I’d have never have known what I was missing.”
“Which brings me to what are we going to do about us…in relation to work?”
“To be honest, I don’t know. I think I am too old to be still stuck in the closet and yet…coming out, now? Realistically it could be seen as if we’ve colluded over the new jobs.”
“I agree. Let’s leave it for now and review it on a regular basis.”
“I thought you were done with management speak?” Nick chuckled.
“I can slip one in occasionally…”
“…that’s what I thought…”
And they both knew he wasn’t talking about work.
End of Part Twenty-seven
There had been no gifts for Nick for over a week and Riley was almost despondent. Nick didn’t speak about it and appeared to be quite happy, so she was sure that she…whomever she was, was still in contact with Nick. Greg was playing it very quietly and Nick still had the feeling that he knew something. He was waiting for an opportunity to speak to him but figured that the longer he left it the twitchier Greg would become and the more likely he would be then to spill the beans.
At the shift before the announcement there was a gift and it threw them all…including Nick, who didn’t even need to act surprised.
The box was quite small and rattled because Judy had discovered that it did and deliberately rattled it when she gave it to Nick, together with the customary cream envelope. Catherine was pissed because she’d been sure it was all over.
After assignments Nick made his dash to a stall in the restroom and opened the small gift…it was in a little cardboard box and when he opened it he grinned. It was a set of keys…he opened the note.
I thought this would be easier than you having to disturb me when I’m watching a game!
If I’m not there the code is 051627.
All my love
P.S. This is the last gift at work, for now!
Nick laughed when he read it because just the day before Nick had arrived at Gil’s house and while Gil was preoccupied at the front door with Nick the Cubs made a home run. And Gil had said he was stopping sending the gifts since Nick wouldn’t be with the shift for much longer.
Their relationship, for that was what both men called it now…although Gil couldn’t say the word without chuckling…was in full swing. They were just so comfortable with each other. Everything they did together seemed to just fall into place, naturally.
The sex was, especially for Gil, phenomenal, though he’d noticed that he needed more sleep but it was good sleep; he slept like he had on his vacation and he awoke relaxed and refreshed. His HIV/STD test results came back negative and although he didn’t have a lecture about safe sex there was a booklet included in the envelope.
Their work together to set up the new working practises was outstanding. They both had so many ideas as to how they could move the lab forward; they incorporated, in their updates to Ecklie, working models that they were convinced would work.
Ecklie was more than pleased and although they both knew that he was taking the major credit for what was happening they didn’t care because they would be the ones to get it up and running. And more importantly, keep it running. They were confident that it could be done although they did factor in resistance to change from staff. They both knew who would be their main protagonists.
And it was exactly as they predicted. Benson complained that he’d been overlooked. Ecklie managed him by showing his shift’s statistics…and pointing out the failures; Ecklie pointed out that he was lucky not to have been demoted so it was a case of put up and shut up, or leave. He chose to stay.
Catherine was a completely different kettle of fish. No ranting and raving at Ecklie, or even Gil or Nick, but her demeanour spoke volumes and her tight-lipped look scared most of the staff sufficiently that they gave her a wide berth.
Nick thought he was right about one thing; it was better for Gil and him to stay firmly in the closet with the door closed than let Catherine know what was going on. Gil agreed with his assessment.
It was Gil who tackled her, but only under pressure from Nick, who said he was the best man for the job. Gil disagreed but caved immediately when Nick threatened to call a halt to the sex…
“If every time I disagree with you, you’re going to pull the sex card I stand no chance do I?”
“I think this might be unfair or sexual discrimination…”
“…it is, isn’t it?”
“I think so.”
“So are you going to speak to Catherine?”
“What option have I got?”
“Jerking off in the shower…alone? On the plus side you won’t have to wash the bedding so much.”
“There is that. I need to weigh up the pros and cons.”
Gil made a quick mental list.
There were two pros: cleaner bedding and not having to face Catherine.
There was only one con: no sex with Nick.
“I now have to apply weighting to them; is one very serious con, worth one fairly serious pro and one of no consequence?”
“It’s up to you to decide.”
“I don’t think there’s really much of a decision to make is there?”
“I don’t think so.”
“So will you go down on me again, please?” Gil didn’t really like begging but Nick had been about to swallow him whole and had then pulled back to ask him to speak to Catherine.
“Sure.” He dived down on Gil's now flagging erection and in moments it had recovered as Nick swallowed him…Gil’s ass came clean off the bed.
After assignments Gil asked Catherine to come to his office. She arrived nearly an hour later and Gil knew she was trying to rattle him. He didn’t do rattled anymore…he was calm and relaxed.
As she came through the door he spoke immediately. “Catherine, thanks for coming, close the door would you, please?”
She tried her best to bang it shut but it never worked because the glass doors had small gas cylinders in their hinges to prevent them being banged shut and shattered. She knew this and it aggravated her even more. She stood in front of his desk.
He looked up at her and smiled. “Sit down, Catherine, and tell me what’s wrong.”
She didn’t sit down but leaned over his desk pointing her finger at him. “I thought you were my friend and you pull a stunt like this with little Nicky blue eyes.”
“I believe he had brown eyes. I did nothing. Ecklie approached me with his idea…”
“…it was Nick’s idea.”
“I know that now but Ecklie presented it to me as his idea, I’d not seen Nick’s report at that stage…or even knew it existed.”
“Nick deliberately went behind my back with that report.”
“I’m sorry. I was lead to believe he’d copied you into it.”
“Oh, he did at the same time as he sent it to Ecklie…I thought we had protocols here and that he should have sent it to me, his line manager, to forward to Ecklie.”
“And would you have sent it on?”
“What are you trying to insinuate?” She was shouting now. Gil remained perfectly calm and composed and wished that Nick was there to see him.
“Nothing. Nothing at all. However, I was under the impression that Nick was the Acting Supervisor when he completed and sent in the report…so…his line manager was Ecklie at that time.” He smiled at her.
She had nothing to say and actually threw herself into the seat she’d been offered.
“So what is really wrong?”
“Oh…nothing. Everything. I waited all these years to get a supervisory position and Nick’s just leap frogged over me to become a manager and you’ve come back…”
“You’re going to be the graveyard supervisor…”
“…with Nick and you looking over my shoulder all the time.”
“Catherine, have you actually read Nick’s report?”
“Then surely you can see that couched in very diplomatic terms he was saying that Graveyard, your shift, was head and shoulders above the other shifts and he was able to prove it with like for like statistics. The model he suggested is based on how we achieved the better results.”
“I saw that. But it doesn’t change the fact that Nick’s been promoted over me.”
“He has, I cannot deny that. But he saw an opportunity and took it…he didn’t know that Ecklie and the rest of them would seize on it and put in to practise. It never occurred to me to do what he did and yet I know I have had most of the ideas he’s put forward over the years. Have you?”
“Yes: some of them.”
“Neither if us took the opportunity…or the time and trouble to put it in writing did we?”
“But you will benefit from it…same as Nick.”
“I will be a trainer and mentor. You know as well as Nick that those roles have always been my particular favourites. Surely shift supervisor is what you wanted? I wouldn’t ever want Nick’s new role…now tell me, seriously, would you?”
Catherine was silent for a few moments. “No. No, I wouldn’t.”
“Then haven’t we all got what we want?”
“Okay, you got me.” And just like that she caved and for all Gil’s calm demeanour his hands were clammy from sweat and his heart was thumping in his chest.
“It was never my intention to ‘get you’, but to point out the positives in all of this. And, who is it, Catherine, who has my…and Nick’s, ear?”
She smiled and looked her normal self. “Me.”
“When the hell did you ever get to be the politically savvy guy? Did you have some kind of treatment in Greece?”
“I had a life changing experience and I aim to make the most of it.” But Gil and Nick had decided not to share that with Catherine…just yet.
End of Part Twenty-eight
Catherine had sent Nick out to a four nineteen, with Greg. It was the first time they’d worked as a twosome for several weeks since Nick was most often paired with Ray or Riley.
“So…you caught a lucky break?”
“I did. It was as much as a surprise to me as anyone else, I can tell you, but I wasn’t going to turn it down.”
“No way. That’s if you live long enough. Catherine’s been giving you murderous looks.”
“I’ve been having pains I reckon she has a doll and is using red-hot needles.”
“Really?” Greg sounded as if he believed Nick.
“No! I was joking.”
“You had me…” Greg sounded as if he was nervous and Nick knew it was time to pounce.
“You know, don’t you?”
“Know?” Greg swallowed and out of the corner of his eye Nick could see he was more than a little jittery.
“Yeah. I followed a delivery man out of the lab and slipped him a twenty and he rolled over, although he wouldn’t normally have seen the sender he just happened to…”
“Whatever. Nick, I’m not bothered, really, whatever floats your boat and if you and Grissom…great; but when the announcement was made I got real nervous.”
“Yeah, I know. I’ve been closeted for years and, apparently, Gil's been lusting after me for years…I turned him down…and that’s when the gifts started.”
“What do you think?”
“I can see it…but you put that report in when Gil was away and I remember us all talking about him when he’d left…you thought, we all thought, he would never come back.”
“I can tell you, man, I was shocked. He came to my house the day he returned…”
“…that’s when you turned him down?”
“Yeah. No wonder he didn’t marry Sara.”
“Who knew? I didn’t.”
“He must have done. Slow down, that’s the turning.” And Nick manoeuvred his truck into the track leading to the farm. He reckoned he’d been here before.
It was nearly eight hours later when Nick started their drive back to the lab.
“I’ve been thinking…”
“…that’s pretty dangerous territory.”
“Ha. Ha. So not funny. These gifts that Grissom’s been sending you.”
“What about them?”
“What did he get you?”
Nick laughed. “You think I’m going to tell you?”
“Go on Nick. I won’t say a thing.”
“You’d better not, G. This is top secret stuff…at least for the next few months until everything settles down.”
“I know. You can trust me.”
“I know I can.”
“So…what was in that big box?”
“Wow…a good gift for a Texan. Oh, no, hold on. That’s too much information, I don’t like where my mind’s going with that.” He looked stricken. Nick laughed…and laughed. He was still chuckling when they arrived at the LVPD parking lot.
They unloaded the truck and made their way to the evidence room to sort through their evidence and send it on its way to the various departments. They’d just started the task when Catherine came to the door.
“Nick, could I see you for a moment, please?” Both men immediately noticed the change in her tone and demeanour.
“Sure.” He went out into the corridor and she stopped him with a hand to his chest.
“I want to apologise for my behaviour. I’ve been a bit stupid and I didn’t mean to be. You, and Gil, can count on my full support.” She reached up and hugged him.
Nick returned the hug and over her shoulder he could see Greg looking at them and he grinned at him. And made a mental note to reward Gil for whatever it was he’d done.
When he finished work Nick drove over to Gil's house…he’d been doing it ever since their first sex. He knocked on the door but then opened it with the key; he found Gil on his couch nursing a drink that looked like liquor.
“Whatever you did, it worked!” He grinned as he threw himself into the couch beside Gil causing Gil to have to steady his glass to stop it spilling. “What’re you drinking? Cold tea?”
Gil raised his eyebrows and tried to take the high ground but it was impossible with a grinning Nick just inches away from him.
“Brandy. To steady my nerves. I have no idea how I did it but I talked her ‘round, kept my cool and she saw the error of her ways. I don’t think she’ll be openly hostile again…but it is Catherine.”
“She apologised and hugged me…in front of a witness. I think Greggo went home with a headache, his brain was overloaded. He does knows about us…bribed a delivery guy…but he will keep the secret.” Nick took the glass from Gil and took a sip and then pulled a face. “I’ll get a beer.”
When he came out of the kitchen holding the beer bottle he leaned on the door frame and took a swig and looked across at Gil, clearly thinking about something before he spoke.
“I know you’re a brand new gay guy…but do you want to do anal?”
Gil smirked. “I thought you’d never ask.” He got up from the couch and finished his drink in one gulp grimacing as it burned his gullet. “I don’t know the protocols…that was a word Catherine used…I didn’t know if you did it, or whether I should ask or what…Henri, in Mykonos, wanted to, but I turned him down, I wasn’t ready…or he wasn’t the right person.”
“What about your other Nik?”
“It was never going to be about the freckle…he made that clear at the outset.”
“It’s Australian slang, Strine it’s called, and a freckle is the anus. He used some weird expressions…I don’t know if he was deliberately having me on or if he really talked like that.”
“Do you miss him?”
“We had a good time and we were good friends…fuck buddies. But, no, I don’t miss him, I have you…”
“That was the right answer. I usually top. I do bottom…”
“…I don’t know if I can do either, yet. Although I have done some research on the subject in the last week.
“You want to have a go? Got lube? Loads of lube? Condoms?”
“I have all the supplies. In fact I embarrassed myself at the pharmacy.” He smiled a little sheepishly.
“I just spent a lot of time reading all the descriptions on the available lubricating lotions and then the different type of condoms and I became aware of giggling and two girls…they only looked about twelve but they were working there and they had obviously been watching a very dirty old man spend an inordinate amount of time looking at personal products.”
Nick was doing a fair impression of a giggling girl at Gil's obvious discomfort. “So, what did you do, ask them which ones they preferred?”
“No! I left and went to another pharmacy and bought what I wanted there.”
“Poor babe.” He hugged Gil to him. “Maybe, when we find out if you like it…we can go bareback…but we’ll still need lube.” At the very mention of the word, ‘bareback’, Gil felt his cock twitch. Nick felt it too. “You’re an old horn dog, Gil Grissom.”
Gil pulled back and grinned. “You think so?”
“I know so. Now come on get in the shower…we’ll go separately or we’ll be tempted to spoil the fun.”
“It’s for the greater good.” Nick squeezed his ass cheeks. “Now git.”
“Going, going, gone.” Gil pulled away and made a quick getaway in the direction of his stairs. Nick grinned to himself. He was going to enjoy himself this…he checked his watch…morning.
End of Part Twenty-nine
Twenty minutes later they were lying in bed on their backs staring at the ceiling. Gil had asked for any last minute instructions and after Nick had calmed down from his laughing fit he said he’d think about it and that’s what he was doing. Silently.
Gil was growing impatient; as was his cock and Nick’s too, he could see. “Have you thought?” He asked.
“Just thinking it through.” He spoke innocently enough but his face was anything but innocent.
“It’ll probably hurt until you come and then it won’t and you’ll be past caring. Okay?”
“It’s taken you five minutes to think that through?”
“I like to be thorough and I know you do too.” Nick smirked.
“In your own time then, Nick, I’ll have a snooze while I’m waiting.” He turned onto his side facing away from Nick and punched his pillow into submission as he prepared to sleep.
“Petulant, Dr Grissom?”
“No, just resting up.” He smiled as Nick turned and spooned behind him, his hard-on nestling in the crack of Gil's ass.
Nick ran his hand up Gil's outer thigh and down again and Gil’s knees pulled themselves up into an almost foetal position. Gil couldn’t believe the involuntary response of just a hand running up and down his thigh…but then, it was Nick’s hand.
“Are you okay to go?” Nick whispered in his ear making the hairs on his neck stand up.
Gil uncurled his body and turned onto his back. “I’m ready.”
Nick leaned in and kissed him his tongue dived straight into his mouth and was running around his mouth at will…over his teeth and up on the roof of his mouth…that tickled and he squirmed a little but Nick was relentless. When he pulled away Gil gasped a lung full of air but Nick didn’t stop the assault and moved to his neck and ears and along his clavicle and back. Gil was being overpowered and he was helpless to stop it…not that he wanted to for one nanosecond. But he wanted to kiss Nick the way he was being kissed and stroked but he couldn’t escape from Nick’s dominant display. Gil was squirming and smiling in equal measure.
As Nick made his way down Gil’s body Gil was able to touch and stroke Nick a little more, marvelling at the smooth skin with the underlying hardness of his toned body. Gil had never felt anything quite like it. It felt as if his fingertips had become sexually and electrically charged with the feelings and they were transmitting those feelings all over his body.
Hi cock was leaking by the time Nick had arrived with his face on his groin. All Nick did was lick the end and then left it and Gil strained to see what he was going to do. Nick pushed his legs open and dived down, ignoring the one eyed snake desperately seeking attention, and going for Gil balls.
He rolled them around a little with his fingers and then captured one ball and then the other with his mouth. Sucking and pulling and tonguing them. He pulled away and sat back on his haunches.
“They are the hairiest balls I’ve ever encountered and I’ve never seen such curly pubes.” He chuckled.
“You think I should shave them?” Gil asked the strangulated question; he was really not in a position to enter into any coherent conversation.
“Nooo…I like them. I’m going to call you Curly, I’ve decided, and when I do I’m not referring to your white curls on top but these grey ones below…I wonder if they’ll go white…I could call you Snowy then.” He was grinning.
“And I could call you cockteaser…come on…I’m dying here.”
“I’m having a rest…this is heavy work after a long shift.” But as soon as he finished speaking he went down again and this time he lifted Gil's legs up and wider and licked at Gil's perineum with the tip of his tongue and then stroked his tongue over Gil's anus.
“Arghhh…” Gil sounded as if it had hurt and Nick pulled back.
“Oh God! You’ve stopped to ask me…don’t stop. Don’t…” Gil was breathing heavily and felt the need to pump his own cock a little to ease the pressure and pump himself to orgasm. Nick batted his hand away.
“No touching. You cannot come before I get in there or it will too sensitive. Grin and bear it…Curly.”
Gil was almost…but not quite, despondent. He was desperate to come, desperate to have Nick inside him, desperate for him to stop and desperate for him not to stop. He groaned.
“Stop being so dramatic; anyone would think you were queer. Oh, I forgot, you are.” He laughed and went down again and started the process once more but this time he breached Gil with his tongue causing Gil’s loudest groan so far. Gil heard Nick chuckle from his position on his knees, buried deep between his legs.
But then Nick dropped Gil's legs and pulled back. “Okay. The time has come…excuse the pun.” He chuckled and Gil wondered if he wasn’t treating this all a bit flippantly. “Best for your first time is on your knees with your ass in my face. That lovely ass.”
“Right. Finally.” Gil gasped out as he rolled over and assumed the instructed position.
“Huh. Cheek.” And Nick gave Gil’s right cheek a resounding slap with his open hand.
“Ahhh. Gil tried to shout out but it was a pretty feeble effort.
“I’ll kiss it better.” Nick bent over the ass cheek he’d just slapped and chewed and sucked at the spot unto Gil was squirming…again.
“Are you…are you…hickey…ass…” Was as much as Gil could get out.
“Man, I can’t put one on your neck now can I?”
“Mmmm…” Gil thought that was probably right but his brain was seriously befuddled. And actually the sting of the slap was not hurting at all. No, it wasn’t pain he felt it was a tingling that was being transmitted to his cock and he groaned.
“I’d better get this over with or you’ll be losing your load too soon.” Gil could hear movement behind him but he mind was just so unfocussed he couldn’t actually understand what was going on but he jumped when a cold dollop of lube was spread on his ass.
And then he felt something pushed into his ass and he couldn’t quite feel what it was but it was by no means hurting or unpleasant and it was moving around and he was feeling…good. Then something else went in and suddenly it was tighter and not quite so good. But it was moving around and Gil could feel it and all of a sudden he realised it was Nick’s fingers and he was okay with that so he relaxed.
“Good man.” Nick murmured to his back. “Push back on them and keep relaxed…I’m looking for…” He stopped because he’d found what he was looking for and Gil jerked quite violently.
“Whoa…I found it.”
“I’ve come.” Gil’s voice sounded as if he had a very bad strep throat.
“I don’t think you have…just lost a bit with the pressure on you prostate.” While he was talking a third finger was added and to Gil it felt…not so good…was all he could come up with. He thought he was moaning but then he wasn’t so sure it was him but then it wasn’t Nick so it must be him…
“Okay, my brave new gay guy…here goes. Breathe with it and try to relax, getting tense will make it worse and try and hold this thought, ‘It will get better.” Gil heard Nick and nodded and then heard him take a big breath and release it slowly.
It felt as if he was being pulled apart. And it hurt…but it was manageable, he thought…it was funny his mind was clearing and he then realised that his once very hard, desperate to ejaculate cock, was flaccid. Blood had returned to his brain…inconveniently at the most painful juncture. And he was sweating up a storm…he’d been hot and sweaty but now it was running off his face onto his pillow and he could feel it on his back. His fingers were clenched in the edges of the pillowcase. It was hurting more and more and he was about to call out when Nick spoke first…his assured tone of minutes ago gone and he sounded as desperate as Gil felt.
“God, Gil, you’re tight but I’m home; that’s as far as I can get…jeez you feel good…man…good. Going to draw out and start a bit of thrusting…relax, there’s loads of lube and when I can find your pleasure dome…you’ll forget this bit…” Nick leaned right over Gil and whispered, quite hoarsely. “You did great so far…just hold on…”
“I’ve lost my erection…” Gil mumbled from his pillow.
He felt Nick chuckle…it was an all over body chuckle inside and out of him. “It’ll be back…I promise. You hear? I promise.” Gil nodded and he really tried to relax even as he was sure was Nick ripping him apart.
Nick pulled nearly all the way out and the momentary relief caused Gil to sigh but before it was finished with Nick pushed back in and Gil was rapidly reaching a point when he was going to have to stop Nick and then…
…on a down stroke Nick caught his prostate and a flash of electricity went to his balls, his cock and his spine in that order; his limbs were tingling and his flaccid cock was filling; his brain was shutting down and the pain was being overwhelmed with pleasure and he relaxed and he heard Nick mumble.
“Yeah, babe, yeah.”
Gil pushed his ass up to meet Nick as he stroked him and although he didn’t hit the spot every time when he did it was the very best sensation Gil had ever had…even with the underlying pain. All he could think of was, Nick promised and he was right…he was right.
He was also aware that Nick was losing his rhythm and that he was going to come and the speed was hurting but then he was hitting his prostate over and over in quick succession and Gil was sure his balls were going to be strangulated they were so tight and nearly in his ass anyway…and Nick was coming with his sighs and heavy breaths to which Gil was quickly becoming accustomed.
As he was finally spent Nick leaned over Gil’s back and the combined heat of the two men was phenomenal…but Gil needed to come…he needed… He tried to speak but only grunts came out because Nick was squashing him but somehow Nick knew and reached underneath Gil and grasped his cock. He tugged at it once, just once…and Gil was coming so hard he knew he was squeezing Nick’s erection which was still hard in his ass…and it felt wonderful. He felt wonderful.
Nick lay on Gil’s back and croaked. “Did I tell you yet that I love you?”
“I know you do.” Gil's pillow muffled voice sounded happy to both of their ears.
Nick pulled out of they rolled onto their backs alongside each other. Gil stretched out his limbs. He didn’t think he would be able to make any more movement for some time.
They lay there panting; Gil bathed in sweat and ejaculate and he had a very strange sensation in his ass. He couldn’t quite decide if it was good or bad. His heart was pounding in his chest and his ass was kind of pounding too…he was suddenly aware that the bed was shaking slightly and he moved his head around to face Nick.
Nick was sweating and panting too but he was also chuckling and that’s why the bed was shaking. He looked at Gil as he’d turned his head and started laughing out loud.
Gil, still gasping for a lung full of air, didn’t know whether to be offended or not. “Why?” Was all he could muster from his foggy brain.
“Man! The freckle…”
When they’d partially recovered from their joint laughing fit Gil Grissom lay there for a few moments and realised that he was satisfied with everything; his work, his private life. Everything had fallen, finally, into place. He looked over at the now sleeping form of his new lover and smiled and he thought he must find and re-read Homer’s Odyssey; it had been years since he’d last read it. He’d started his own journey a few short months ago and the best was yet to come…