As the soggy underwear left Inspector Hathaway's hand and landed in the bin, Robbie Lewis felt his brain short circuit.
Hathaway was wearing no pants...
His heart stuttered.
James was underwearless...
His stomach flippped
His James's cock was loose, just there, behind that zip. It would be soft, silky, nestling in pubic hair, between those strong, rowers thighs.
Lewis's mouth was dry. Was he blushing? He tried to bring his thoughts back to the here and now. Tried to stop thinking about reaching for James' fly. To take that softness in his hand, to feel it harden in his grip, to hear James breath stutter, to lean forwards to press his mouth againt his friends, to smother that breath with his own, to taste.....
He wrenched his mind away from his fantasy in time to see Lizzie gulp, and James give a little cough of embarrassment. Then the moment was gone as Inspector Hathaway took control of the situation and outlined their next course of action.
In a heart beat the world snapped back into place and they all carried on as normal. Doing their jobs, working the case.
But the idea had been planted in Robbies brain. Again.
It was all Laura's fault. No that wasn't fair. Nothing was Laura's fault. It was all his. He just hadn't realised until Laura had sat him down and calmly and carefully explained to him why their relationship wasn't really working.
"You are in love with our James." she had said and Robbie had laughed.
Laura hadn't been cross, just disappointed and a little sad.
They had given it a good go, she had said. We have known each other too long. Its too comfortable, there is no excitement, no thrill... and... you are in love with our James.
Until she dropped the James bombshell Robbie had known she was right about everything she said.
He was almost outraged at the idea.
"You must be mad if you think that." he had argued.
He's me mate, he had said. We have been through alot togther. Of course I love him. As a friend. I'm not IN love with him. He's male. I was happily married. To a woman. I have never looked at a man like that. James? What are you thinking woman?
Laura had just looked at him sadly and kissed him on the cheek.
"Just think about it." she had said quietly as she had given him a last hug before pulling away to turn in for the night.
"The spare bed is made up" was the last thing she had said on the subject.
And think about it Robbie had.
He had moved back to his flat with James help. They had resumed their pints after work, their evenings on Robbies sofa with a takeaway and beer and very, very slowly he had realised that Laura had been right.
He did love James with everything he was. The more he came to realise it the more resigned he came to knowing that what he had with James was going to have to be enough.
"Just tell him" Laura had said months later as they had been drinking coffee in her office.
I want you to be happy, she had said. I think you will be surprised. You haven't seen the way he looks at you. He is so much happier since we split up. Please believe me Robbie.
And she had been right before. Maybe she was right now. But Robbie couldn't risk it. He didnt want to lose what he had.
It would just have to be enough.