Bernstein certainly knew how to throw a party. Bronski leant out of the window to watch as two bikini clad girls, shrieking with laughter, pushed a fully dressed guy into the pool below. A few metres away, a real live rock band was playing, probably the biggest name in the Hamburg music scene. Even Bronski had heard of them. Too big to do party gigs, except Bernstein was a friend of theirs, apparently. Bernstein had a lot of friends. It came in useful.
“I still can’t believe your Mum and Dad just took off to Vienna for the weekend so you could use their place for a party.”
Bernstein took a long swig from the champagne bottle he was holding. “It’s just a matter of picking the right time to ask. Dad was so surprised and relieved at my being promoted at last, he didn’t even lock the wine cellar," he said, grinning.
Bronski wasn't fooled by his careless attitude. “You can hardly blame him for having doubts about you," he pointed out. "Look how gung ho you were when you first started.”
Bernstein was looking hurt. Great. “Bernstein—”
“I haven’t changed, Wolfi. You have.”
Bronski opened his mouth to argue. Bernstein stared at him, his eyebrows raised. Bronski shut his mouth and thought about what Bernstein had said. Before Bernstein had come along Bronski had been a good cop, methodical, efficient, by-the-book. Bernstein had shaken things up. Bernstein was irreverent. Bernstein was determined. Bernstein broke the rules. Bernstein was, occasionally, inspired. And he’d taught Bronski to loosen up. They complemented each other.
As a team they were unstoppable.
Bronski tipped his head in acknowledgement. “Rather say, we’ve changed each other. I like to think I’ve had a good influence on you.”
Bernstein smiled wickedly. “And I’ve had a bad influence on you,” he leered.
Bronski rolled his eyes and sighed. Trust Bernstein to ruin a serious moment with flirting. He didn’t even do it consciously. He flirted with everyone. His good looks and charm made people fall over themselves to please him: parking enforcement officers, waiters, suspects. Even Renz, once Bernstein had finally gotten bored with the practical jokes and the teasing. Bronski glanced down at the buffet table. Renz was still hovering there, looking uncomfortable. Bronski was surprised Renz had turned up – he suspected the man had a bit of hero worship going on nowadays. He’d named his favourite cactus ‘Guido’. No one was supposed to know that; Miss Keil had heard him whispering to it one day and told Bronski.
“Seriously though, Wolfgang, without you I probably would have gotten thrown out of the Crime Squad, or killed.”
Bronski smirked. “True.”
Bernstein raised his bottle in a toast. “Instead, I’m an Inspector!”
Bronski clinked it with his beer bottle. “Congratulations.”
“We’re equals, now.”
“I wouldn’t say that,” Bronski said teasingly.
He blinked when Bernstein shifted closer. There was a sudden drum crescendo from the ground below ending with a flourish and then the sounds of conversation floating up, splashing sounds and laughter, but the background noise seemed oddly distant. Bernstein’s face was inches from his, Bernstein was staring at him as though he were the most interesting thing in the world, and Bronski suddenly realised that Bernstein often looked at him like that, only it had never been so up close and personal, never been…unavoidable. Bronski had never given it much thought before. Bernstein was always intense, Bernstein always flirted, Bernstein cared about him because they were partners.
“I never thanked you,” Bernstein murmured. His eyes dropped to Bronski’s mouth for a long, obvious moment.
“No need,” Bronski murmured back. His mouth was dry, his pulse was beating erratically and he should be taking a step back right now, because it wasn’t like Bernstein was being subtle here, Bernstein was never subtle, and Bronski had no idea where this was coming from, why Bernstein had suddenly decided that now was a good time to come on to his partner after two years of innuendo and flirting and then chatting up every attractive woman who stood still long enough. But whatever the reason, if Bronski didn’t force himself to move, right now—
Bernstein kissed him. Bernstein was good at kissing. Bernstein was a fucking expert at kissing. Bernstein’s lips and tongue should be added to the list of weapons Bernstein was not allowed to use because Bronski had no memory opening his mouth to Bernstein’s tongue, no memory of Bernstein’s arms sliding around his waist but somehow Bernstein’s body was pressed against his, Bernstein had not stopped kissing him, they were both hot for it, Bernstein was shifting against him, his hands on Bronski’s ass, pulling him in, aligning their erections and Bronski couldn’t bring himself to turn this down, to turn Bernstein down. It’d been two years. Two years of ignoring Bernstein’s hot glances, of forcing his body not to react to Bernstein’s casual touches, his unconcerned nudity, forcing himself to smile whenever Bernstein had a new love interest when Bronski knew the girl wouldn’t last a month before Bernstein moved on to someone new.
Whenever he’d been tempted to respond to Bernstein’s flirting, or to turn a casual hug into something more, tempted to experience for himself the expert love-making skills Bernstein boasted of, the thought of the inevitable moment when Bernstein lost interest, of watching Bernstein smile with intent at the next pretty woman that passed by - that thought had always stopped him cold. He had more pride than that, damn it.
But Bronski was finding it hard to remember all the reasons why he shouldn’t be letting Bernstein seduce him. Bernstein’s hands had found skin, fingers sliding along the dip in Bronski’s spine, stroking the spot that sent arousal shivering through his veins and fuck, how did Bernstein even know that about him; Bernstein’s other hand sliding into his underwear, cupping his bare ass, fingers slipping into the space between his cheeks. Bronski gasped and buried his hot face in Bernstein’s neck as the thought of what Bernstein could do with those fingers made his cock harden even more, made his skin tingle, made him want to shift his legs; open right up for Bernstein.
“Really?” Bernstein murmured, sounding intrigued. His fingers stroked between Bronski’s cheeks with deliberate intent.
“Fuck off,” Bronski muttered.
“Oh, Wolfi, Wolfi,” crooned Bernstein, and Bronski couldn’t tell if Bernstein was serious or taking the piss, but the thought that he might be amused by Bronski’s reaction was humiliating enough that he was able to muster the self-control to break away, Bernstein’s hand getting caught in his waistband for a second.
“Bronski, what the hell?”
Bronski stared at Bernstein. Bernstein was all wounded-puppy look, his eyes soft and deceptively sleepy looking, standing with his hands open questioningly, his arousal displayed unashamedly against his beige pants.
“Nothing,” Bronski’s hands itched to touch Bernstein again, to pull him back in. He swung around and clutched the window sill instead, staring down at the people milling below. At Renz, who was staring up at them, his mouth open, the hors d’oeurves he was clutching in each hand forgotten.
Bronski closed his eyes for a moment in frustration. “Just great,” he snapped.
He could sense Bernstein standing at his shoulder even before his hand tentatively settled on Bronski’s shoulder. “Wolfgang, what is it?” he asked, sounding anxious.
“This isn’t a good idea,” he said, and wasn’t that the understatement of the year?
He wasn’t going to have this conversation with Renz staring at them, even if the man couldn’t hear what they were saying. Bronski turned abruptly and went back into the sitting room that was bigger than his family’s apartment.
Bernstein followed him, of course. “Bronski, talk to me.”
“It just isn’t. We’re partners. That’s more important than a casual fuck.”
“Naturally,” Bernstein said, sounding bewildered.
“You think that’s what this is?”
“What else am I to think?”
“That I love you.”
“I’ve been telling you for two years.”
“You were joking around.”
“Did I sound like I was joking around?” Bernstein asked, a note of frustration in his voice. “Ever?”
Did he? Bernstein had a habit of throwing the words around so casually that Bronski had just assumed he wasn’t serious. Or rather, that he’d just meant it in a brotherly way. What else was he supposed to think? Who went around regularly declaring their love for their partner with apparently no expectation that it would be returned, or that the person they claimed to be in love with even realised that they meant that kind of love?
Bernstein was looking at him earnestly. Bronski wanted to believe him, but Bernstein was such a flake. “Why all the women, then?”
“I was supposed to be celibate? How was I to know I stood a chance? The only person you ever looked at twice was Lene, and when she dumped you—”
“It was mutual!”
“—you never showed any interest in anyone else. I thought you were pining after her.”
“Good to know!”
“You don’t trust me.”
“Of course I trust you. You’re my partner.”
“But you don’t believe me. That I love you.”
“Bernstein. I believe you believe it.”
Bernstein stared at him for a long moment. Bronski could tell he had genuinely hurt his partner’s feelings, but he wasn’t going to apologise for being honest.
“I have something to show you,” Bernstein said abruptly.
“Now.” Bernstein grabbed his hand.
Bronski allowed Bernstein to drag him out of the room and down the stairs. Carola was farewelling several guests at the front door. The guests all waved cheerfully, apparently not at all disconcerted by the sight of Bernstein holding hands with a guy. Carola smiled warmly at Bronski. Bronski tried not to blush.
Bernstein led him down the hall and through the door that opened into the garage. He switched on the light.
Bronski stared in awe. “The new Ferrari 360 Spider.” He stroked his hand lovingly along the bonnet. “It was only released a few weeks ago.”
“Dad bought it for me as a ‘Congratulations for finishing something for the first time in your life’ gift,” Bernstein said lightly.
Bronski looked up at him. “He said that?”
“Not in so many words.” Bernstein hoisted himself back so that he was seated sideways on the bonnet, his thighs casually parted. Bronski’s whole body flushed with heat at the sight. Bronski had always found the man attractive, but sitting there like that, on the new Ferrari sports car Bronski had been lusting over in the latest issue of Auto Bild, Bronski had never seen anything hotter in his life.
Bernstein leant back on his elbows and propped one foot up on the edge of the car. He let that knee fall open, resting against the windshield; displaying himself. His cock was straining against his pants. He looked at Bronski under his eyelashes. “Wolfi,” he murmured seductively.
Bernstein didn’t have a subtle bone his body. He was shameless. Bronski wasn’t going to fall for it though. Nothing was resolved. “Bernstein,” he started, frustrated, and shook his head.
Bernstein sat up abruptly. His eyes were dark, intense. “It’s yours.”
“The car. It’s yours.”
“To show you just how sincere I am.”
And that was totally like Bernstein. To make such an extravagant gesture on an impulse. Bronski firmly squashed the leap of excitement, the temptation. He would never in his whole life be able to afford a car like this.
“Bernstein, you can’t just give someone a Ferrari to try to convince them you’re being sincere.”
“Not someone. You.”
“And it’s not an impulse.”
“Check the ownership papers. In the glove compartment.”
Bronski stared at him. Bernstein slid off the bonnet and opened the car door. He gestured inside with a flourish.
Disbelievingly, but with his stomach churning with excitement despite himself, Bronski got out the ownership papers.
He couldn’t wrap his head around it. “You were already going to give the car to me? Why?”
“Well, I was planning on us sharing it. Long romantic drives in the country etc.”
“You were planning to seduce me with the car?”
“Hoping to, yes.”
Bernstein was incorrigible.
Bronski put the papers away tidily and shut the door. Bernstein was looking at him hopefully. He placed his hands on the car on either side of Bernstein and leaned in and kissed him hard. Bernstein’s eyes fluttered closed and he melted instantly against Bronski. Bronski leaned in and Bernstein yielded, sliding back against the car. God, that was hot.
“You can fuck me, if you want.”
“Is that what this is for?” Bronski held up the small bottle of lube he’d found in the glove compartment.
Bernstein grinned sheepishly. He shrugged. “As I said, hopeful.”
“You really want me to?”
“You don’t know how?”
Bronski glared. “I mean, shall we go up to your room, or what?”
”Well, I thought you’d want to bend me over the car and fuck me, but if you’d rather—”
Oh god. Arousal roared through him at just the idea of it. It was a fantasy come true. He’d have to be crazy to turn down an offer like that.
“Turn around,” Bronski growled, and watched, hardly able to believe this was happening as Bernstein spun around immediately. Bronski was rock hard, and if he didn’t fuck Bernstein soon he wouldn’t be responsible for his actions. Bernstein had given him a damn Ferrari. Bernstein loved him. Wanted him. Bernstein had planned for him to fuck him on top of the car. If Bronski hadn’t already loved him before, this would have done it. This was the best moment of his life.
Then Bernstein shoved down his pants, underwear and all, and stepped out of them, and without any hesitation bent over the car.
“Bernstein,” Bronski said, helplessly, because god, look at him.
Bernstein craned his head to look back at him. “Well, what are you waiting for?”
Bronski fumbled his pants open, clumsy with haste, and coated himself with the lube, the lube dripping over his fingers; he had a feeling he was making a bit of a mess, but he couldn’t bring himself to care. He stroked his slick fingers over the crease of Bernstein’s ass. “You want me to—”
“Are you sure?”
”Wolfgang, just fuck me, will you.”
Bronski surged forward, plastering himself over Bernstein’s back, sliding back and forth over Bernstein’s crease until Bernstein was shifting impatiently, making eager noises and then he slid his hand down, lined himself up and pushed in, biting his lip in his effort to take it slowly, to not just selfishly shove in. Bernstein was nearly silent now, he gasped once as Bronski bore down and Bronski stopped immediately, buried his face in Bernstein’s neck. Then Bernstein shifted, spread his legs apart more, and Bronski gathered himself up again and pushed until he was seated flush against Bernstein’s ass.
“Okay?” he asked.
“Fantastic,” Bernstein said, somewhat breathlessly.
For a long moment Bronski just held still, resting his whole weight on Bernstein, savouring the sensation of being buried inside his partner, the cool metal of a brand new Ferrari under his hands.
This was the best moment of his life.
Then Bernstein made a complaining noise and Bronski took the hint and started fucking Bernstein, taking his time, licking the sweat that gathered along Bernstein’s spine, shifting angles to see what sounds Bernstein made. When Bernstein suddenly gasped loudly, his whole body shuddering, Bronski took hold of his hips and fucked him harder, Bernstein’s body tightening around his cock tipping him over the edge and Bronski collapsed, not thinking about anything at all for long minutes.
When he thought he could stand again, he forced himself to stand up and put himself back together.
Bernstein just turned over and sprawled back on his elbows, unconcerned about the fact that he was naked from the waist down. “I knew we’d be great together,” he said, grinning in a satisfied manner.
“I still can’t believe you wanted to give me the car,” Bronski said, shaking his head as he did up his belt buckle. “I can’t accept it.”
“We’ll share it. We’ll have my name put on the papers too.”
Bernstein seemed really set on this. Bronski had a feeling this wasn’t just about the car. For whatever reason, it was important to Bernstein. Bronski shrugged. No one had to know that he was part-owner, after all. “I can live with that.”
Bernstein’s smile lit up his whole face, and Bronski found himself smiling broadly in response. There was a weird fluttery sensation in his chest. He decided not to think about it too closely.
In the meantime, they now had a Ferrari.
“Want to take it for a drive?” Bernstein said, as though reading his thoughts.
Bronski was tempted. “Now? What about your guests?”
“Carola will look after them.”
“Of course, Wolfi.”Bronski opened the car door, his heart beating faster in anticipation. A Ferrari. His to drive.
Bernstein was opening the passenger door.
Bernstein grinned sheepishly. “Oops.” He put his pants on and slid into the seat beside Bronski. Solemnly he handed the key over.
The garage door was taking forever to rise. Impulsively Bronski leant over and kissed Bernstein. Bernstein responded instantly, leaning into him. The kiss went on longer than he’d intended. Eventually, he broke the kiss and his rested his forehead against Bernstein’s. “Thank you,” he murmured.
“You’re welcome,” Bernstein said, sounding a bit breathless. He sat back in his seat. Bronski eased the powerful car out onto the road, heading for the motorway, eager to open her up, see how just fast this beauty could go.
He glanced over as Bernstein suddenly laughed out loud. “What?”
Bernstein grinned at him gleefully. “Micklitz is going to have a fit when he sees this car.”