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Eames was checking his phone in one of those brief 4am moments of half-wakefulness when he saw the text message from Arthur. He expected that it was either a job offer (possible) or a rant about the general incompetence of one of their mutual colleagues (more likely). What he did not expect was a naked photo.

So much for getting back to sleep.

If you’d asked Eames what sort of naked photo Arthur would take if he were to take a naked photo, Eames would have laughed in your face. If you’d pressed the matter, Eames would have guessed one of two things: either some sort of high-production-value boudoir shot, Arthur reclining on a satin backdrop viewed through a vaseline-smudged lens; or an anonymous, filthy close-up of his cock. (Then Eames would have adjusted his trousers and excused himself.)

Either of two extremes, in other words. What he wouldn’t have guessed was that it would be so… normal. Not that receiving a naked selfie from Arthur was normal, but the photo itself looked like any of a million pictures posted on Grindr. Arthur was standing in front of a mirror in what appeared to be a bathroom, turned slightly to the side. The hand closer to the mirror was coyly covering his cock, and the other hand was holding up the phone, angling it so that all but the bottom of his chin was out of frame. It could almost be anyone — if not for the Paul Smith cell phone case in Arthur’s graceful hand, both of which Eames would recognize anywhere.

He studied the picture more closely, admiring the litheness of Arthur’s torso, the shadow caressing the slight concavity formed by the muscle at the side of Arthur’s arse, the barely-visible dimple at the base of his spine. He tried to trace the ample curve of Arthur’s arse with a finger, but the photo moved with his touch. He wanted to reach into his phone and pull away the hand covering Arthur’s groin; would he be soft or hard? How big? Would Arthur let him touch?

Presumably he would, because you didn’t send naked pictures to people whom you didn’t want to touch said nakedness, right? At least, not without an accompanying explanation, like “would this be an appropriate body type for your forgery for the McNally job?” or “does this mole look suspicious to you?” Arthur had never shown any signs of being interested in Eames, always responding to Eames’s light flirtations with an eyeroll and a request to get back to business, but apparently he’d just been playing his cards close to his chest.

The only remaining question, then, was how Eames should respond. What was the proper etiquette in this sort of situation? Text back a compliment? Or maybe an appropriate emoji? (Was there an emoji for “furiously wanking”?)

Ultimately, Eames decided that responding in kind would be the best course of action. He turned on his bedside lamp and tossed the duvet out of the way, then spent a few minutes experimenting with selfie mode to find the most flattering angle. He wound up lying on his back with one hand behind his head, the other outstretched with the phone. (This position showed off his upper body musculature without looking like he was trying to show off his upper body musculature.) He framed the photo to stretch from below his navel — including the beginnings of a suggestive trail of hair — up to his nose, because he knew better than to cut his mouth out of the frame. He sucked in his stomach slightly, snapped a picture, and, after inspecting it to make sure it was sufficiently hot, sent it off.

It took less than a minute for Arthur to respond.


From: Eames <5:15am>

[image attached]


From: Darling <5:15am>

What the fuck, Eames??


Eames was starting to type out what he’d thought was an unnecessary elaboration that the photo was of him, when two more messages arrived in quick succession.


From: Darling <5:16am>


From: Darling <5:16am>



Eames felt an unfamiliar pang of disappointment.


From: Eames <5:17am>

who were u sending it to then?


From: Darling <5:18am>

Not that it’s any of your business, but my friend Louis.


From: Eames <5:18am>



From: Darling <5:19am>

Fine, fuck buddy, whatever.

From: Darling <5:20am>

If you hadn’t put your number in my phone under “Loverboy” this wouldn’t have happened.


Eames made a face at his phone.


From: Eames <5:21am>

i’m sorry to have inconvenienced u

From: Eames <5:21am>

we can forget this ever happened

From: Eames <5:22am>

see u on a job soon or something


Eames was about to return his phone to his nightstand and resign himself to shame-wanking when the text notification chimed again.


From: Darling <5:23am>


From: Darling <5:23am>

You started this and you’re not going to finish it?


Eames’s flagging hard-on perked back up at that.


From: Eames <5:24am>

technically u started it

From: Eames <5:25am>

but i wasn’t aware that finishing it was an option


From: Darling <5:26am>

And I wasn’t aware that you had so many tattoos.


From: Eames <5:26am>

like what u see?


From: Darling <5:27am>

You know I do. What about you?


From: Eames <5:28am>

very much. would u like me to tell you what i would do with that glorious arse of yours?

From: Eames <5:28am>

first i would run my hands across it, then my tongue


From: Darling <5:28am>

Wait, Eames.


Thankfully, Eames had only a moment to worry that he’d once again horribly misread the situation before his phone rang.


“I’d rather hear you say it,” Arthur said. He sounded out of breath. Eames trailed a hand down his stomach toward his cock.

“Do you like my voice?”

“Of course I like your voice. Your voice is unfair.

“What’s unfair, darling, is how tight your trousers are and how often you forego pants.”

“They’re not that tight.”

“Next time we work together I’m getting you hard while you’re wearing them. That would be a sight.”

Arthur exhaled loudly across the line. “Fuck, Eames.”

“Are you touching yourself? And imagining that it’s my mouth?”

“Well, now I am.”

“I’m very good with my mouth, Arthur. Much better than your hand.”

Arthur cursed again. “I’m not great at dirty talk,” he added apologetically. “That’s why I usually stick with photos.”

“Mm, that’s perfectly fine. Just let me hear you.”

And Arthur did. Eames detailed the many ideas that Arthur’s photo had inspired, and Arthur’s intermittent profanities as well as the sounds of labored breathing and skin slicking against skin spurred Eames to be even dirtier and more graphic. Arthur came with a groan that made Eames wish he could have seen Arthur’s face; the image of him, flushed and sweaty and blissed out, pushed Eames over the edge.

For a few minutes afterward they didn’t speak, only the sounds of their gradually slowing breaths traveling over the line. Then Arthur made an annoyed sound.

“Shit, I never got back to Louis.”

“Fuck Louis,” Eames declared. “Or, rather, don’t fuck Louis.”

“Okay,” Arthur said. “I’m in Bogotá, by the way.”

“Bully for you,” Eames said, already searching for a flight. “Enjoy the coffee. Try not to get murdered.”

“I just e-mailed you a ticket. Go to sleep, Mr. Eames.”

And he did.