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Lavender Elixir

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You can open up to me
Show me what's inside
Mother nature made us to intertwine
Lavender elixir so
Full of pheromones
Gimme one taste and you're gone

- Flower, Johnny Stimson

 

“Ugly-looking thing, isn’t it?” Mallory glanced down with distaste at the potted plant Goodfellow was holding.

The sergeant nodded as he followed him into the inspector’s office. “Can’t argue with that, sir. I do a bit of gardening in my spare time, but I can’t say I’ve ever seen a plant quite like it before. The flower stalks remind me a bit of… Well, you know.”

“Yes, some foreign species, no doubt. You wouldn't catch a British plant looking so…" Mallory grimaced, "...risqué.

"You could be right there, sir”, Goodfellow agreed, tilting the pot as he examined the tight purple buds. “I can't imagine many ladies around here would want it in their gardens."

"Quite.” The inspector shuddered. “Well, if it is some sort of drug, it’s not one we had in Durham, I can tell you that.”

"That chap seemed very sure it was dangerous." Goodfellow eyed it doubtfully. "Might be worth looking through the records of local narcotics cases to see if there's anything similar."

The inspector sighed irritably at the thought. “I suppose you may as well dig them out if there’s nothing better to do.”

“Will do, sir. Oh, where do you want me to put this?” the sergeant lifted the plant pot. “I could keep it on the front desk for now if you like?”

Mallory shook his head. “Better not leave it lying around for anyone passing to see. If it is some kind of drug, we don’t want the whole of Kembleford to know it’s here.”

“Good point, sir. Probably best to keep it out of sight of the public, especially with it looking the way it does. We wouldn’t want to offend anyone.”

Mallory waved his free hand vaguely as he hung up his coat and hat. “Stick it on a shelf in here, and then go and dig out those case files. And fetch me a cup of tea while you're at it; I’m parched."

He sat down at his desk with a weary sigh as the sergeant left. However minor the callout had been, it still needed to be written up for the record. One of the more tedious parts of police work, but at least he'd have plenty of time to put his feet up afterwards. Kembleford’s murder rate might be exceptionally high, but he doubted the place had ever had much trouble with drugs.

~*~*~*~

The afternoon drifted lazily by with no new cases coming in. Having exhausted both the local and national newspapers for the day, Mallory gave in and made a start on the old files, just to stave off boredom.

He was feeling increasingly off, for some reason. Restless and distracted, and struggling to focus on even the simple task he had set himself. He fidgeted in his chair, then froze. Swallowed. Looked down and then quickly back up.

Well, that had never happened at work before.

He threw a suspicious glare at the mysterious plant, sitting innocently amongst the trays by the frosted windows through the rest of the station. Then a movement beyond it caught his attention, and he felt a stab of panic as the uniformed officer outside knocked on his door.

“Yes?” he called out, bracing himself as the door opened.

He suppressed a sigh of relief when it was Goodfellow who opened the door, despite the wave of heat that washed over his skin.

“Sorry to disturb you, sir, but I’ve been having a look through the files, and-” The sergeant broke off, his forehead creasing slightly. “Are you all right there, sir? You’re looking a bit flushed.”

“I’m perfectly fine, Sergeant”, Mallory snapped.

“Well, if you’re sure, sir.” Goodfellow glanced around at the plant and frowned. “That’s odd; looks like a lot of pollen floating around that thing.” He dragged a hand through the specks, sending them scattering further into the room. "Funny, I didn't think the flowers were that far open when we brought it back here."

Mallory rolled his eyes. “Did you knock on my door for a reason, or were you just bored and decided to drop by for a chat about horticulture?”

“Oh, that’s right. I’ve brought you the notes from the Summerbell Farm case.” Goodfellow held up a manilla file. “The owners were operating an opium den in a supposedly disused barn. Caused a big scandal when it was uncovered. To be honest, it was only found because there was a row over profits and someone ended up being murdered.”

"Well, don't just tell me everything; hand it over!" Mallory snatched the file from him with a glare. "If you've got time to stand around blathering, go and fetch me some more tea!”

“Righty-o, sir.”

The inspector glanced up out of the corner of his eye, to catch Goodfellow’s suppressed sigh and the slight slump of his shoulders. A familiar guilty voice whispered at the edge of his mind, asking him, not for the first time, why he always ended up picking on the man. It was like a compulsion. Goodfellow was his friend, and yet… He couldn’t help wondering where the limits of the sergeant's patience lay, and what would happen if he found them.

He shook his head, banishing the thought back to the back of his mind once more, and opened up the case file before him. Just as Goodfellow had described, it detailed a typically unconventional murder and the discovery of an opium den hidden within a dilapidated barn. Just when he’d thought Kembleford couldn’t get any weirder.

~*~*~*~

When Goodfellow returned with the tea a few minutes later, the inspector managed a gruff “Thank you, Sergeant.” He took a sip from the mug and then put it down, shifting uncomfortably in his chair.

Goodfellow frowned. “Are you sure you’re all right, sir? You don’t seem quite yourself, if you don’t mind my saying.”

Mallory ran a finger around the inside of his collar, grimacing. “It’s too hot in here this afternoon. I feel like someone’s hidden a furnace under the desk.”

“Would you like me to open the window, sir?”

“If you would.” Mallory loosened his tie, squinting at the sergeant as he crossed the room to the external window. The man had always been unreasonably tall and broad-shouldered, but had he always looked so damn good in that uniform? Mallory had the abrupt and wholly inexplicable desire to run his hands over it and feel how closely it fit him. He squeezed his hands into fists and shoved them down at his sides, pushing down the feeling.

“There you go, sir.” Goodfellow slid open the sash window, letting a soothing current of air waft into the room. “It is rather warm in here, isn’t it? I was fine on the front desk, but I suppose the sun must be shining through this way.” He ran a hand across his brow, wiping away beads of sweat as he turned back to face the inspector. “Will that be all, sir?”

“Yes, thank you, Sergeant.” Mallory shifted again in his seat, suddenly very eager for him to leave. The mild discomfort he’d felt earlier was rapidly growing into a serious problem, and he was terrified the man would notice. Goodfellow might not be the most observant of officers, but he had an uncanny way of reading what the inspector was feeling beneath his irascible mask.

Goodfellow nodded and left, closing the door behind him. As soon as he was gone, Mallory put his elbows on the desk and sank his head in his hands, groaning. His mind was consumed with the sergeant. The way his bright blue eyes crinkled at the corners. The creases around his mouth when he smiled. The hint of ginger that still lingered in his greying hair. The way he could break down a door without breaking a sweat.

It’s wasn’t as if he’d never noticed before, but that had been a low-level attraction, an admiration he could easily push down and cover up with barbed remarks. A secret appreciation of the man's presence and a small bloom of warmth when he smiled. But now… Now, he wanted to run his hands all over Goodfellow’s face until it was as familiar to his fingertips as it was to his eyes. He wanted those arms to wrap around him and hold him, safe and protected in their embrace.

He wanted, so badly he thought it might drive him insane.

Almost unconsciously, he moved a hand to palm himself through his trousers, slipping an inch or two lower in his seat to spread his legs wider. He closed his eyes, pushing upwards into his hand, seeking more pressure, more friction, until the shrill jangle of the telephone out on the front desk cut through his haze of pleasure. All at once, the awareness of what he was doing caught up with him. So this was what he had been reduced to: sitting in the inspector’s office, in the inspector’s chair, longing for his sergeant to come back through and stroke him to completion.

Gritting his teeth, he forced his hand away and sat back up, wincing as the new position squeezed his sensitive cock. He couldn’t let himself give in. He’d never be able to explain it to his wife if he went home in stained trousers, never mind the private humiliation of knowing what he had done.

Taking slow, deep breaths in through his nose, he sought to restore some semblance of self-control. A gentle summer breeze billowed the net curtains at the window, sending specks of light dancing. Pollen hung in the air like glittering dust motes, filling the office with a sweet aroma that reminded him of honeysuckle. They were thickest in the air around the plant, but they seemed to have dispersed throughout the whole room, and he wondered again if they were affecting him in some way.

Perhaps the damn thing was more potent than he’d given it credit for.

~*~*~*~

By the time six o’clock rolled around, any question over the source of the problem had long since become irrelevant compared to the extent of it. He was fully hard, straining to keep his hips from bucking off the seat as he watched the long hand of the clock tick onto and then past the hour. Sooner or later, someone was bound to notice he hadn’t left his office, and then what? If he stood up, he’d never live it down, and there was no way he could make it home without being spotted.

Sure enough, at seven minutes past the hour, there was a light knock on the door. Goodfellow opened it, smiling as he stepped into the office.

“Still busy, sir?” he asked cheerfully. “Only, it’s past going home time. Is there anything I can give you a hand with?

Heat danced under Mallory's skin, and his cock gave a sharp jolt of interest. He could feel it straining against the fabric of his boxers, and a wholly embarrassing whimper escaped him as it twitched within the too-tight confines of his suit trousers.

“Sir?” Goodfellow’s forehead creased in concern, and Mallory felt his skin flush even redder.

“I think that damn plant might be some sort of drug after all”, he croaked. His cock stirred again, and another whimper tore itself from his throat before he could stop it.

The sergeant’s eyes widened at the sound, and to the inspector’s mortification, he saw a glimmer of understanding dawn in the man’s eyes.

Goodfellow took a step forward into the office, softly closing the door behind him. Mallory swallowed reflexively, his tongue darting out to moisten his lips, and the sergeant’s eyes tracked the motion with unexpected hunger. He, too, was looking increasingly flushed, his eyes fixed on Mallory.

For a moment, the two men stared at each other. Then the sergeant said quietly, “Sir, I hope you know that if there’s anything you need, I’d be more than happy to help in any way I can.”

Mallory grimaced. "This isn't exactly in your job description, Sergeant. I suggest you leave now, go home, and we'll never mention it again."

Goodfellow shook his head. “That may be so, but I’m not saying this as your sergeant, I’m saying it as your friend. Please, Gerry, will you let me help you?”

The inspector swallowed. “You don’t know what you’re offering.”

“I think I do, sir.” Goodfellow held his gaze. “What you need is…” He hesitated, then made an unmistakable gesture with his hand.”

Mallory suppressed a groan that was half-aroused, half-horrified at seeing the sergeant do that. Even so, the offer was too tempting to refuse. “Very well”, he agreed, his voice hoarse. “I’d appreciate the help.”

The sergeant gave a nod, then turned and disappeared back through the door out of the office. The inspector’s heart sank, the hope of a moment earlier replaced by a sick dread and disappointment. What was the man going to do? Report him? Or just leave him there to suffer alone? He could hear the murmur of voices outside, and through the frosted glass of the inner windows, he could see the Goodfellow speaking to the duty sergeant at the front desk.

He took a deep breath, closing his eyes and hiding his face in his hands as he waited for the axe to fall. What the hell was he going to do now? He wouldn’t be able to stand without exposing the unfortunate distortion of his trousers, never mind trying to argue against whatever was being said.

A few moments later, he heard the door open. He risked a look between his fingers in time to see Goodfellow close the door softly and then turn to smile at him.

“I’ve sent Sergeant Bullock off on a wild goose chase to the other side of the village. Told him we’d got some business to get on with in here, so not to worry about leaving the place unattended. That should give us the place to ourselves for at least an hour.”

Mallory slumped in his chair with a sigh of relief, the anxious tension leaving him in a rush. He should have known. Trusty Goodfellow, as loyal as ever, even in the face of whatever the hell was happening here.

~*~*~*~

They would still have to be careful, that much was clear. There was no way to entirely obscure the internal windows, but they piled books and files in front of them and hoped the frosted glass would do the rest. At least now, there would be no one on desk duty who might glance through and notice too much skin on display.

The outer window was closed, and the curtains drawn across to hide them from anyone passing by. Mallory locked the office door, then watched as Goodfellow heaved the nearest filing cabinet across to block it. The inspector’s heart rate increased, adrenaline spiking as the reality of the situation sank in. He could feel himself hardening further just from the knowledge, the anticipation of what they were about to do. It was dangerous, outrageous, illegal, and he didn’t think he’d ever wanted anything more.

He leaned back against the desk, closing his eyes as he tried to put his racing thoughts in order. When he opened them, he found the sergeant standing before him.

“Let me help you”, Goodfellow said again, meeting his eyes. This time, it wasn’t a question.

Mallory swallowed. “Tell me this won’t change things.”

Goodfellow gave him a wry smile. “I can’t promise you that, sir. But I can tell you I’m very fond of you – maybe more than I should be, if I’m honest – and whatever happens this evening won’t change that.”

Mallory looked quickly away. “Let’s get one thing clear”, he said gruffly. “Whatever happens in here tonight, happens between Gerry and Daniel. No ‘Inspector’ or ‘Sergeant’, otherwise I’ll feel like I’m taking advantage of you.

“Very well, sir. I mean, right you are, Gerry. For the record, though, I promise I want this just as much as you do.”

Mallory took a shaky breath. “Good to know”, he said, his eyes still fixed on a crack in the paintwork. “Think of me as your friend, not your boss. We’re off the clock now, even if we are stuck in here for the time being.”

“Righty-o.” Goodfellow reached out towards him, hesitated, then traced tentative fingers lightly over Mallory’s shoulder. “In that case, if you’re interested, there are a few things I've been wanting to do for a while."

Mallory swallowed, his mouth suddenly dry. “Go ahead.”

The sergeant took a deep breath and stepped forward into Mallory's space, his eyes locked with the inspector's. Then, carefully, he cupped Mallory's cheek with a calloused hand and leaned forward to brush their lips together. It was the chastest of kisses, gentle and hesitant, but nevertheless, it sent tingles spreading through the inspector's body. To his annoyance, though, Goodfellow pulled back, looking down at him with concern.

"What have you stopped for?" Mallory grumbled. "I'm not made of glass, you know; you can put a bit more strength into it.”

“Are you really sure about this? Only, I don’t want to go too far and then find you change your mind.”

Mallory huffed with exasperation. “Of course I’m ruddy sure! Take my clothes off, tie me up, bugger me over the desk if you want to, but get a move on! We haven’t got all night!”

Goodfellow’s eyes widened. “Well, in that case…” He bit his lip, cupping the inspector’s cheek again and stroking the pad of his thumb gently over his moustache before leaning in to kiss him again.

Mallory parted his lips in invitation, his hands moving of their own volition to grasp at the sergeant’s jacket, twisting the stiff fabric. For the first few seconds, their movements were more desperate than skilful, but as they found their rhythm, the kisses deepened into something with more tenderness than Mallory would have believed possible from mere pollen-induced lust.

He wasn’t used to being kissed by someone so tall or so forceful. Frankly, it had been years since he’d been kissed with anything like the level of passion his sergeant was employing. It was dizzying, and his legs would probably have given way if not for his grip on the man’s uniform. When they finally pulled back to breathe, they stared at each other, flushed and panting, through a haze of embarrassment and desire. Mallory had the vague notion he must look a mess, but he’d never cared less about it in his life.

“So, how are we going to do this?” he asked, his voice embarrassingly hoarse.

“We should probably start by getting you out of this, sir”, Goodfellow suggested, his hands skating lightly over the fabric of Mallory’s waistcoat. “You look like you’re overheating, and I must admit, I’m keen to see what you look like without your shirt on.”

Mallory swallowed, struggling to form a coherent response through a surge of arousal. “Less of the ‘sir’, Dan”, he managed at last. “Please don’t make this any weirder than it has to be.”

"Right you are, Gerry." Goodfellow was already making quick, efficient work of the inspector's waistcoat buttons, attending to the task with his usual cheerful enthusiasm. He seemed as calm as ever, despite the redness of his face and the hardening line of his cock in his uniform trousers. It was infuriating, and hot, and Mallory couldn't decide if he hated it or loved the man even more for being so absurdly nice about this.

Glaring, he reached up and began unbuttoning the sergeant’s uniform jacket, his trembling fingers fumbling awkwardly with the metal. He was more than capable of being grumpy and turned on, thank you very much, and he wasn’t about to waste time analysing which emotion was stronger.

Goodfellow took a step forward, and Mallory found himself crowded back against his own desk, the edge of the wooden surface pressing against the backs of his legs. He made a startled noise, and the next thing he knew, strong arms had lifted him up and deposited him on the surface.

If he weren’t already hard, that would’ve done the job. He felt surrounded by Goodfellow, at his mercy, caressed and kissed and enveloped in his arms at last.

The sergeant must have finished unbuttoning his waistcoat, because the next thing he knew, it was pushed from his shoulders to pool around his hands. He tossed it aside to lie wherever it fell, not bothering to give it a second thought as Goodfellow’s lips kissed their way down his jaw to his throat, the man’s hands working quickly to undo his tie and the buttons of his shirt.

It was undeniably pleasant, feeling the warm mouth and hint of stubble make their way down his neck, licking and nipping. He vaguely hoped the man wasn’t leaving awkward marks he’d have to somehow explain to his wife, and yet… the thought of being marked in that way sent a fresh wave of arousal coursing through him.

The braces were slipped from his shoulders, and then his hips bucked involuntarily as he felt the sergeant’s hand brush his cock through the layers of fabric enclosing it.

“Hold still a moment, Gerry”, Goodfellow murmured, his breath warm against Mallory’s ear. “Let me get these out of the way, and then I can see to you properly.”

Mallory shivered but held obediently still as deft fingers unfastened his trousers and slid them to the floor, his shoes and socks going the same way. His boxers followed, and for a moment he felt vulnerable, fully exposed before his friend. Then Goodfellow’s lips were on his, and he forgot his shame.

The sergeant’s hands, and lips, and tongue soothed the burning longing beneath his skin, but that brought into greater clarity the fact that it wasn’t enough. He started to wonder how to ask for more, but the thought cut off abruptly as broad fingers wrapped around him and began to stroke, slowly and carefully, up and down his shaft. He bucked up into the touch, a mortifyingly desperate whine wrenching itself from his throat. After being hard for so long, it was hardly surprising he was already leaking steadily. Goodfellow made the most of that, capturing the fluid and spreading it downwards to ease his rhythmic movements.

Mallory breathed deeply as the sergeant’s tongue traced the line of his collarbone, then upwards to press an open-mouthed kiss just beneath his ear. He tilted his head to one side to allow better access, floating in a hazy realm of pure sensation.

Goodfellow took his time, the steady rhythm of his hand never ceasing as he explored every inch of Mallory's torso, finding and kissing every freckle, every mole, every scar the inspector had accumulated over the course of his life so far. Driving him higher and higher, until all at once, his climax surged through him in a white-hot blast.

Goodfellow worked him through it, mouth still on his neck, slowing his strokes until at last it was over. Mallory slumped forward against him, forehead resting in the crook of his neck. As his brain gradually rebooted, he became aware of the sergeant’s soft voice murmuring praise and reassurance in his ear, and to his alarm, another spike of lust jolted through his spent cock in response.

The fabric of Goodfellow's uniform trousers was coarse against his bare legs, and through it, he could feel the press of the sergeant's cock straining against the fabric.

“Let me help you with this”, he mumbled, reaching to run a hand along the line of it.

Goodfellow gasped sharply at the touch, looking down at him wide-eyed. “There’s no need for that”, he managed to say. “I’m not going to make you do anything you don’t want to.”

Mallory ran the tip of his tongue over his lips, relishing the way the sergeant’s eyes followed it. “Maybe I want to”, he grumbled. “Did you think of that?”

Goodfellow blinked at him, swallowing hard. “Well, in that case, I wouldn’t want to disappoint you. What is it you’re wanting to do?”

Mallory glanced past him at the leather-padded chair, a tantalising idea taking shape in his mind. “Maybe you should sit down”, he suggested. “You’re an experienced sergeant; I'm sure you're more than capable of taking charge for a while."

Goodfellow’s eyes widened as he half turned to look at the chair. He took a step backwards, to rest his fingertips on the back. “I’ve always wondered what it would feel like to be the one giving orders to you”, he admitted, his face creasing into a smile. “Are you sure you won’t mind me sitting here?”

Mallory swallowed and nodded. “Softer on the backside than the other one”, he said, aiming for a light tone but failing utterly. “Besides, if we’re this side of the desk, we’ll be less visible if anyone wanders by outside.”

That, and the fact even the thought of the sergeant sitting in his chair in these circumstances made him almost giddy with arousal. But he wasn't about to confess that part aloud.

Goodfellow held his breath as he sat down in the inspector’s chair, running his hands over the smooth wooden arms. He caught Mallory’s eye, and the inspector shivered, sinking to his knees.

The floor was hard, but his discarded trousers lay nearby, so he pulled them over and folded them loosely into a makeshift kneeling pad. Goodfellow had slipped off his braces and was tugging his own trousers down to pool around his ankles. When he saw what the inspector was doing, he kicked them off his feet so they could be added to the pile. Mallory glanced up to thank him, but the words died in his throat as he took in the view.

The sergeant was leaning back in the chair, his skin flushed and damp. His blue shirt hung open and his regulation tie was draped loosely over his shoulders. Sweat darkened his white cotton vest, and Mallory was captivated watching the laboured rise and fall of his chest beneath it. Then his gaze slid downwards to the tented front of Goodfellow’s briefs, and he swallowed hard.

Goodfellow looked down at him, his brow furrowing in concern at Mallory’s hesitance. “You don’t have to do this”, he reminded him gently. "I can always see to things myself if you’re not comfortable with it.”

“Don’t start that." Mallory's voice was low and quiet. "You helped me, and I want to return the favour. Think of it as an apology for yelling at you earlier.”

“Well, if you’re sure" Goodfellow's shoulders relaxed, and a slow smile spread over his face. "Let's see you put that mouth of yours to better use.”

“It’s not like I haven’t thought about it before”, Mallory confessed. He dragged his gaze away to Goodfellow's thighs and ran his hands lightly over them, his fingers tingling slightly from the texture of the soft hair. Impulsively, he leaned down and nuzzled his cheek against it.

There was a sharp intake of breath from Goodfellow above. “Hold still a moment while I get rid of these”, the sergeant instructed, hooking his thumbs in the top of his briefs.

Obediently, the inspector pulled back, not bothering to hide the way he stared as Goodfellow shifted in the seat, pushing himself up just enough to slip the underwear down his thighs and free his cock.

Broad hands came to rest on Mallory’s shoulders as he wrapped a hand around the sergeant’s cock and gave it an experimental lick. Satisfied, he tentatively slid his lips over the tip, allowing his hand to do most of the work as he got used to the unfamiliar sensation.

Cautiously, he began exploring the contours with his tongue, moving lower as he acclimatised to the taste and thickness of it in his mouth. He could feel Goodfellow trembling with the effort of keeping still, and he reached out his free hand to caress one of the sergeant’s thighs, kneading the soft flesh in rhythm with his other movements.

There was something both heady and soothing about it. The act of kneeling before his sergeant, dedicating himself to pleasuring the man, seemed to unlock something in him he’d never known he was missing. No stresses, no frustrations, only rhythm and sensations he could let himself get lost in.

“Please…” The sergeant’s voice, quiet and broken-sounding, interrupted the blissful haze in his mind, and he pulled off, frowning up at the man. Goodfellow’s expression was pained, and his hands gripped the arms of the chair so tightly his knuckles were white.

“Is something wrong?”

“I don’t think I can hold still any longer. I know you said you don’t mind if I’m a bit rough, but I don’t want to hurt you.”

“Don’t make such a fuss. A bit of pain never hurt anyone.” Mallory bent to resume his efforts, but Goodfellow placed a palm against the side of his head, holding him in place.

“No, Gerry.” The sergeant shook his head. “Maybe we can try something like that another time, but we should wait and discuss it when we’re both thinking more clearly.” His voice was firm, but affection danced in his eyes. “There is something else I’d like to try, though, if you wouldn’t mind giving it a go?”

“Oh?”

“Do you remember what you said earlier about buggering you over the desk?" The sergeant was blushing brightly, quite a sight with so much of his skin on display.

Mallory nodded, his voice deserting him.

“Well, I don’t think we’ll be able to do that. Not unless you’ve got some kind of lubricant stashed away in one of the drawers.”

“Then why the hell did you bring it up?!” Mallory yelled, the frustration exploding out of him. Then he froze, his eyes wide, before turning in unison with Goodfellow to look over at the windows through to the rest of the station.

As one, they took a relieved breath. There was no sound, no movement, no one beyond the glass to have heard them.

Mallory lowered his voice to an angry whisper. “What did you mention the ruddy thing for if you’re not going to do it?” he hissed.

Goodfellow shook his head with a sigh. “If you’ll let me finish, Gerry, I was going to say there’s something else we could try instead. I don’t suppose it’ll be quite the same, but if you’re willing, I’ve always fancied giving it a go.”

Carefully, he pushed himself up out of the chair and stretched his legs, a little shakily, to tower over the inspector. “Come up here”, he instructed, extending a hand.

Mallory’s eyes flickered between his face, his hand, and the slick red length of his cock, before settling back on the hand. Reluctantly, he took it, letting himself be pulled awkwardly to his feet. Despite the padding of the coats, his knees had still stiffened up, and the sergeant’s arms moved to steady him as he eased himself fully upright.

“That’s the way”, Goodfellow murmured, as the inspector leaned against the desk for support, trying to catch his breath. “Now, do me a favour and sit tight there a moment. I don’t know if it’s the plant or your tongue that’s got me so worked up, but I need to get my shirt off, or else it’ll be drenched with sweat by the time we’ve finished.”

Mallory settled himself more comfortably, leaning back with a slow smile. “As long as you let me watch.”

Goodfellow huffed a laugh, his face creasing into a grin. “I think I can allow that”, he agreed.

He unwrapped his tie from around his neck and laid it aside at one end of the desk. Then he put on an impressively slow display of removing his shirt, flexing each arm in turn to slip free of the fabric. He loosely folded it, just to draw out the suspense, before draping it over the back of the chair. Stretching up, he pulled his sweat-damp vest over his head, then winked at Mallory when he caught him staring at the newly-revealed expanse of freckled skin.

Mallory reddened and huffed, trying to regain some composure as his sergeant folded the cotton vest and turned to lay it over his shirt on the chair back. But as Goodfellow turned and revealed his naked back, the inspector’s breath caught in his throat. To the left of Goodfellow’s spine was a livid scar. It would have been shocking if Mallory hadn’t known the cause. As it was, his heart dropped, weighed down by a surge of sick guilt at the sight.

He stared, mesmerised by the rough pink line. This man would have died to save you, his mind reminded him. He hated it, hated that it had happened and that he'd let it happen. He shouldn't have been so careless. Careless and stupid and rash, just like they'd always told him he was in Durham. Bastards, the lot of them, but they’d been right about that.

Before he was aware of it, his fingers were running gently over the healed skin, tracing the smooth texture.

“Gerry?” Goodfellow’s voice, achingly gentle, woke him from his trance.

Mallory opened his mouth to speak, then closed it again. He took a deep breath, steeling himself before admitting, “I don’t know if I could’ve lived with myself if you’d died.”

Goodfellow’s expression softened into one Mallory tried not to think of as adoring. “I always tell people you’re not as heartless as you liked to pretend”, he said, with a smile. “Come here.”

He cupped Mallory’s face between broad, weathered palms and brushed their lips together, just once, before opening his mouth and turning the inspector’s world upside-down all over again.

When they finally broke the kiss to breathe, Mallory felt the sergeant’s cock twitch against his skin, leaving a smear of fluid in its wake. He looked down, his tongue unconsciously wetting his lips as he did so. Goodfellow shivered at the sight, turning a couple of shades pinker from head to toe.

“So, what did you want us to do?” The inspector’s voice was husky with arousal.

Goodfellow’s eyes wandered downwards, from Mallory’s chest to his half-hard cock, onwards to his legs. “Well, if the height difference doesn’t make things too awkward, I was thinking I’d enjoy giving your thighs some attention.”

“That sounds good”, Mallory croaked, his throat tightening at the thought. He swallowed hard, suppressing a shiver as his cock gave an interested twitch.

A smile bloomed on the sergeant’s face, and Mallory leaned back against the desk, waiting for instructions. Goodfellow was looking at him appraisingly, a slight frown on his face as he seemed to consider something. It should have been unnerving, but the look in his eyes gave Mallory a thrill of anticipation, wondering what his sergeant was planning.

Still, he wasn’t about to admit to being too eager. “What are you waiting for?” he grumbled.

The sergeant shook his head. "I'm thinking how best to go about things, that's all. There's something I'd like to do for you once I'm done, but you're not exactly a patient man, and I don't want you finishing yourself off before I'm ready. I'm wondering if maybe I should get the cuffs out to make sure your hands don't go where they shouldn't.

Mallory’s eyes widened, his mouth suddenly very dry. He swallowed hard, feeling warmth spread over his exposed skin.

The sergeant drew a deep breath and released it with a soft huff, almost a chuckle. “Oh, you like that idea, do you?"

Mallory scowled. “Don’t go getting full of yourself.”

Goodfellow raised his eyebrows, unruffled. “With respect, Gerry, I think you’re forgetting who’s in charge here.”

A spark of daring flared in Mallory’s chest. “What are you going to do, arrest me?” he challenged, a smile twisting one corner of his lips and lifting his moustache. To his delight, Goodfellow took the cue.

“I might just do that”, he agreed. Moving to pick up his discarded jacket, he retrieved his handcuffs and held them up, catching Mallory’s eye with a questioning look. The inspector nodded, his eyes shining.

“Very well. Gerald Mallory, I’m arresting you for being an impatient bastard and too pig-headed to admit when you’re wrong. You're not obliged to say anything, but if you behave yourself, I give you a reward you when I’ve finished.”

He twisted Mallory’s hands behind his back with practised ease and clipped the handcuffs into place, the metal cold and unyielding against the inspector’s flushed skin. Then there was a pause as he stood back and surveyed him. “It no good, Gerry”, he said at last. “I’ll have to fetch a couple of books for you to stand on.”

“Are you ruddy joking?” Mallory spluttered.

Goodfellow gave his shoulder a reassuring squeeze. “Now listen”, he said soothingly, “Personally, I think you're the perfect height, no matter what anyone else says, but for this one thing, I'm gonna need you raised up a bit higher. I’m not as young as I used to be, and it’ll be easier on my knees, so please, will you do this for me?”

Mallory closed his eyes, swallowing down the lump threatening to form in his throat. “I’ll do whatever you need”, he mumbled.

“Good man.”

There was a soft pat, and then the hand left his shoulder. Seconds later, a low pile of books from one of his shelves was placed on the floor beside him. He nudged them into position with a foot and climbed onto them, mentally cursing his lack of height for at least the thousandth time.

Slick hands nudged his thighs carefully apart, and he held his breath at the feeling of wetness being spread over the sensitive skin. A moment later, the now-familiar thickness of Goodfellow’s cock pushed into the space between them. Mallory pressed his legs together, feeling a bloom of satisfaction at the sergeant’s rumbled moan. Broad hands came to rest on his hips, holding him firmly in place.

Goodfellow leaned over, pinning the inspector to the desk with his body as he whispered close to his ear. “Cry out if you need me to stop. Otherwise, I want you to keep your mouth shut. Show me how good you can be when you’re behaving yourself for me.”

The inspector swallowed and nodded silently, bracing himself as the man began to move. Experimentally, he tried pushing back, but Goodfellow’s grip was too strong, holding him in place like a struggling criminal. It was intoxicating being on the receiving end of that for once; his wrists encircled by the metal handcuffs, the wood of the desk against his bare torso, and his sergeant in control. Determined as he had been to forget their roles for the evening, this total relinquishment of command kindled a flame of its own beneath his skin. After tonight, he would always know what the sergeant was capable of doing to him if he chose.

He was hard again now, but there was nothing he could do about it. His hands were trapped behind him, and he couldn’t move to rut against the desk for friction. Instead, he had only the tantalising brush of Goodfellow’s cock against the underside of his balls. He wanted to cry out at the feeling, but then Goodfellow might stop, and he'd be damned if he would let that happen. Instead, he bit down on his lower lip, stifling the urge.

The pace didn’t stay slow for long, Mallory’s mouth having already taken Goodfellow halfway to completion. The inspector braced himself as the sergeant’s rhythm became faster and more erratic, his heart rate increasing as he eagerly awaited the moment he knew was approaching.

A surge of warmth and wetness, accompanied by a desperate cry, told him the sergeant had finally reached his climax. Mallory basked in the feeling of having been claimed, and of knowing the man he cared for so much had just come for him.

Goodfellow leaned forward, his body covering Mallory’s as he buried his head in the inspector’s shoulder and pressed an open-mouthed kiss there. He stayed there for a long moment, his breathing deep and ragged against Mallory’s skin as it began to stabilise. Then he was gone, and there was a slight creak of the chair behind them as he slumped wearily into it. The inspector stayed in place, trying to be patient as he waited to find out what the sergeant planned to do next.

After a few moments, there was a shift in the air behind him as Goodfellow stood up. The handcuffs were unlocked and carefully removed, and Mallory pulled his arms around to his front, pushing himself up off the desk.

Goodfellow touched his shoulder lightly, turning him around before taking his wrists and massaging away the lingering feel of the metal. “You did a great job, there”, he assured him. “That felt amazing.”

Mallory nodded, trying not to let his expression betray the warm sense of pride he felt at the praise. “You said something about a reward?” he prompted gruffly.

“I did.” Goodfellow let go of the inspector’s hands, his expression suddenly nervous. “Do you trust me?”

Mallory frowned up at him. “Bit ruddy late for me to decide I don’t. What we’ve been doing isn’t exactly legal.”

“I know that.” Goodfellow smiled wryly. “It’s just, there’s this thing I can do…” He held up his hand, waggling the fingers in an almost comical way.

Mallory stared at them, baffled. “Spit it out, Dan”, he grumbled, “We don’t have time for guessing games.”

Goodfellow looked down at him sternly. “Now then, Gerry, if you keep on like that, I might change my mind. Are you gonna behave yourself?”

Mallory turned several shades redder. “Yes, sir”, he mumbled, then clamped his mouth shut, his eyes wide with shock at his own slip.

There was an amused glint in Goodfellow’s eyes, but to Mallory’s relief, he let it slide. “The thing is”, he continued instead, “I’ve got this knack for… well, think of it as like an internal massage. I’d only use a finger or two, so it wouldn’t need as much lubrication as… well, you know.”

Mallory leaned heavily against the desk, his mind reeling with a tantalising array of mental images. “That sounds worth a try”, he croaked.

Goodfellow grinned. “In that case, you bend over the desk like before, and I’ll see about getting you ready.

Mallory did as he was told. It was fast becoming a habit, and he didn’t want to think about what that might mean for their professional lives. Goodfellow settled on the floor behind him, caressing his hands lightly over the inspector’s thighs and upwards to his buttocks, kneading them gently before pulling them apart.

Mallory’s legs almost gave way when he felt the sergeant’s tongue lick over his hole, returning an instant later to spread more wetness there. He shook, his hands clenching as he fought to stay upright against the warm, insistent press, over and over, until Goodfellow deemed it enough. Then two fingers replaced the tongue, slowly circling, massaging the remaining tension away.

Of course the man’s fingers were as damnably thick as the rest of him. Mallory’s breath caught when he felt one slip past the rim. It was… different. Not bad, but different, and he had a brief internal crisis over how it felt to have his sergeant inside him. Then it was gone and he missed it immediately, a whine wrenching itself from his throat before he could stop himself.

Goodfellow chuckled, murmuring some inane endearment that nonetheless made the inspector’s chest ache. A moment later, the finger pushed back inside, and Mallory relaxed.

The sergeant’s touch was remarkably gentle, almost delicate, working gradually deeper as he sought the bundle of Mallory’s prostate. Still, the inspector cried out when he found it, even the soft caress feeling startlingly intimate.

Goodfellow paused at the sound, pulling out and leaning over to catch his eye. “Are you all right there, Gerry?”

Mallory squeezed his eyes shut but nodded. "I'm fine", he mumbled. "Keep going."

“Are you sure?”

“Damn it, man, get on with it!” He could feel his face redden, burning with embarrassment at having to ask. “Don’t you dare stop now!”

He felt the soft huff of Goodfellow’s laugh against his skin. “Careful there, Gerry, you know you’re not supposed to be giving me orders.” His tone was half-amused, half-stern.

The inspector scowled, flushing even hotter, but he didn’t argue. He was too eager for things to continue.

A moment later, the sergeant resumed his careful massage, adding a second finger not long after and working them with the same gentle rhythm. Mallory wondered where on earth he’d learned to do it. It hardly seemed the sort of thing they would teach at evening classes. If they did, he wanted a place on that course immediately.

He felt warm, soft, loved; his body and mind suffused with gently thrumming pleasure. It still seemed too much to believe that Goodfellow might share his feelings, but the sergeant was taking care of him, devoting himself to giving Mallory everything he needed, and Mallory clung to that while he could.

He was scarcely aware of the feeling growing, like the incoming tide rising a little further with each wave, until he was surrounded, submerged in it. There was a rushing in his ears, and he shivered as his skin felt hot and cold all at once, the tide of pleasure spreading throughout his whole body, every muscle tensing, then relaxing as he slowly resurfaced.

His arms gave way, and he lay slumped across the desk, too utterly spent and exhausted to move even though his legs were on the verge of giving out. He stayed that way, his mind utterly blank, until strong arms wrapped around him and pulled him into Goodfellow’s lap.

For a few minutes, they held onto each other, as the fire in their skin faded to embers and their pollen-fuelled lust subsided. The soaring feeling of elation Mallory had felt drained all too quickly away, leaving nothing but emptiness and the growing dread that he was about to lose his best friend. Memories churned in his mind; of arms lifting him up, lips kissing every inch of his skin; the floor hard beneath his knees and a taste he’d never known in his mouth; surrendering control to a man he trusted with his life, who had shown him what heaven could feel like.

He was horrified. He was mortified. He knew he would do it again in a heartbeat if he could.

He blinked rapidly, trying to hold back the tears prickling in his eyes, and retreated into his mind to try to rebuild his defences. Silence filled the room, disturbed only by the soft, rhythmic sound of their breathing, while anxiety hung over them with an almost palpable weight. Still, Mallory clung to the man beside him, unable to bring himself to let go.

Letting go would mean facing the reality he might never get to hold him again.

It was Goodfellow who finally broke the silence. He probably deserved another medal for that. “Are you all right there, Gerry?” The confidence had deserted his voice, and when the inspector risked a look, he saw the sergeant’s forehead creased with worry.

“Fine.” Mallory’s voice came out cracked and small, a vivid reminder of what he had been doing not so long ago. He cleared his throat and tried again, a little louder. “I’m fine.” It was still the least convincing lie of his life.

“Tell me what’s wrong.” Goodfellow spoke quietly, but his voice carried a note of command that Mallory couldn’t have disobeyed now if he’d wanted to.

He took a deep breath and sighed heavily, rubbing his forehead. “I’m wondering what the hell came over me. Us. None of that was exactly regular behaviour. How could a ruddy plant make us do any of that?”

Goodfellow glanced appraisingly over at the plant, still sitting over by the far wall. “If you ask me, it’s some kind of aphrodisiac”, he said. “Makes you want to… you know.”

Mallory scowled. “I’d noticed that much, thank you”, he grumbled. “I don’t suppose we can chalk up any of what happened to drug-induced hallucinations?”

The sergeant shook his head, pink spreading up his neck and over his face once more. "I know for a fact I was in my right mind, and I'd like to think you were too, even if we did things we normally wouldn't have."

“In that case, the only effect it had was to make me…” Mallory hesitated, his face contorting through a sequence of different expressions. “...desperate.”

“I’d say so, Gerry. I think we’re both gonna have to admit we only did things we already wanted to. All the pollen did was give us the push we needed to actually do them.”

“Speak for yourself. I’d never even thought about half the things you did.” Mallory looked away, a wry smile twitching at his lips. “Although I suspect I’ll be thinking of them rather a lot from now on.”

Goodfellow sighed. “I did get a bit carried away there. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be.” The inspector cleared his throat. “I didn’t say I regretted any of it, only that I wouldn’t have been quite so creative.”

He risked a fleeting glance at Goodfellow, just long enough to see the sergeant’s face break into a relieved smile. It was enough to melt away the last shreds of doubt he’d been holding onto. The sergeant had clearly wanted it just as much as him, and that knowledge pooled in his chest like molten sunshine.

Goodfellow turned his head, taking in the mess of discarded clothes and damp patches scattered over the office floor. “I suppose we should get dressed and cleaned up before Sergeant Bullock gets back”, he said, his voice tired. “I don’t fancy having to explain this to him.”

“Leave the clean up to me”, Mallory told him gruffly, standing up at last. He hesitated, then added, “You should go home to your wife.” There was a sick ache in his chest at the thought, but it had to be said.

Goodfellow shook his head as he began gathering his clothes together. “Margaret won’t mind. We have an arrangement of sorts, and she knows how I feel about you.”

Mallory froze. “What the hell does that mean?” he asked, gobsmacked for not the first time that evening.

The sergeant shrugged, pulling on his socks. “Well, we’re neither of us the jealous kind, and she and I have always known we like both men and women. After you’d been here a while, she said she could see from a mile off I adored you, and if you were ever willing, she’d be fine with me making a go of it. To be honest, she feels the same about Mrs Mallory.”

“She… what?!” Mallory gaped at him, struggling to process this whole new set of revelations being thrust upon him.

Goodfellow gave him a wry smile. "I never actually thought you could feel the same way. If I had, I might have said something sooner, although I'm not sure how that would've gone down."

Mallory looked away, not wanting to contemplate how he might have reacted if the sergeant had made a pass at him under normal circumstances. “Right. Well. You can tell Mrs Goodfellow that if she ever wants to try her luck with my wife, she’s welcome to. To be honest, she can hardly do a worse job there than me.”

As he retrieved his underwear, his eyes fell on the plant, looking as deceptively harmless as it had when they’d first taken it into custody. The purple flowers had retreated back into buds, and there wasn’t a speck of pollen to be seen.

“What are we going to do with that thing?” he asked, nodding in its direction.

Goodfellow followed his gaze. "I'll bring some weedkiller in tomorrow; that should see to it. That's unless you want to hang onto it?"

Mallory shuddered. “I’m all for killing the ruddy thing, but I’m not about to leave it in the office overnight. I want to be able to work in here tomorrow.”

“That makes sense to me.” Goodfellow frowned. “I’m not sure where else we can put it, though. We don’t want it spreading pollen all through the station and putting the whole of Kembleford Constabulary out of action.”

Mallory shuddered. “You’re right there. I’d rather not find out which of our constables fancy each other. Besides, you don’t know what it was like, being stuck in a room with it for hours. The damn thing nearly drove me insane.”

“I suppose it’s lucky it was me who came in.”

Mallory glanced at him and then quickly away. “Yes." He cleared his throat. “Not that I’d have done any of those things with anyone else, you understand.”

Goodfellow’s face broke into one of those smiles that tied Mallory’s stomach in knots. “Good to know. Here, you can wipe yourself off with this if you like. Get cleaned up a bit so we can put some clothes on before Sergeant Bullock gets back.”

“Hmm?” Mallory turned to look at him, then at the piece of cloth in his hands. He turned several shades redder when he realised it was the sergeant’s vest.

“Not much else to clean off with in the office”, Goodfellow explained apologetically. “I’ll go and fetch some things from the cleaning cupboard for the furniture and floor. And some water from the kitchen while I'm at it. I could do with a drink, and I expect you need one too.” He slipped his tie around his neck and knotted it swiftly, before shrugging into his jacket.

“I don’t want you to leave me.” The words were out of Mallory’s mouth before he had time to censor them.

Goodfellow slid an arm around him and leaned down to press a soft, lingering kiss to his temple. “I’m not going far, and I'll be back in a moment. Taking care of you is what I do, and I don’t plan on stopping.”

“You’re going to kill me one day”, Mallory grumbled against the stiff fabric of his uniform. “Cause of death: Daniel Goodfellow being too damn nice.”

The sergeant chuckled, low and full of affection. “You do talk some codswallop”, he murmured. He pressed another kiss to Mallory’s forehead, just to make sure he wouldn’t take offence at the words, then headed to the door.

The inspector watched, putting on his tie with distracted fingers as he kept his eyes on his sergeant. Carefully, Goodfellow manoeuvred the shelves away from the door and unlocked it, then picked up the plant pot and headed out into the corridor.

He had only been gone for a minute or two when there was a sound from the station entrance, and the blurred figure of Sergeant Bullock appeared through one of the internal windows. The inspector turned his back, buttoning his waistcoat with trembling hands. They had made it. Just.

He sat down on the edge of his chair, pulling on his socks and shoes, and watched as Goodfellow emerged from the depths of the station. Through the frosted glass, he could see the sergeants talking, their voices too muffled for him to make out what was said. It was a relief when Goodfellow stepped back into the office, his hands full.

“I’ve brought you some water and a couple of garibaldis”, he said. “Thought you could probably use them after everything. I would’ve put the kettle on, only I didn’t think tea was a good idea this late in the day.”

Mallory took the proffered mug and biscuits without meeting his eyes. “You’re a good friend, Dan”, he admitted gruffly.

Goodfellow tilted his head, a smile quirking at the edge of his lips. “I was rather hoping I was more than that now, after what we’ve done.”

"Fine, you're a great friend", Mallory mumbled. “The best one I’ve ever had.”

"Glad to hear it, Gerry. I'm very fond of you too!" Goodfellow squeezed his shoulder affectionately before setting to work cleaning up the mess they had made. "I told Sergeant Bullock we'd finished what we'd been doing and we'd be leaving soon. He's nipped to the kitchen to brew himself some tea before we go."

Mallory nodded, only half-listening. The biscuits and water were helping with more than just his hunger and thirst, grounding him in this new reality where everything he had suppressed for so long was out in the open. Where Goodfellow had seen him stripped naked, both physically and metaphorically, and was still here, devotedly taking care of him.

By the time he had finished eating, the office was back to normal, clean and tidy enough for the cleaner to see tomorrow without suspecting what had happened in there.

“I suppose we should get going”, Goodfellow said, looking around.

“Yes.” The inspector took a deep breath and stood up, moving to the coat stand. “I don’t know about you, but I need a bath and a good meal.”

“I’m with you there.” Goodfellow agreed, putting on his hat. “If we do this again, we should organise it better. Plan things out properly in advance.”

Mallory cleared his throat, fixing his gaze on the door. “That would be good. We should find somewhere better than the office, too.”

“That’s true. I want us to be able to take our time, if you know what I mean. Somewhere comfortable, without having to worry about interruptions.”

“Yes.” Mallory swallowed hard. “There will be a next time, then?”

“As long as you want one. I know I do.” The sergeant inclined his head. “Now, would you like me to walk you home?”

Mallory froze, halfway through shrugging into his coat. “Don’t be ridiculous”, he spluttered, “I’m not some blushing maiden who needs to be escorted!”

Goodfellow grinned, reaching out to brush the back of a finger lightly against his cheek. “You look like you’re blushing to me!”

“Well, whose fault is that?!” Mallory jammed his hat furiously onto his head and tugged the brim into position, his face flaming.

Unperturbed, Goodfellow lowered his hands to fold the inspector's coat collar down. Smoothing his hands along the lapels, he gave a gentle tug, leading him into a corner out of sight of the windows.

“What is it now?” Mallory blustered, scowling as he tried to ignore the way his heart hammered in his chest at the sergeant holding him close once more.

“I just wanted to give you this before we go.” Goodfellow leaned down to press a chaste but lingering kiss to the inspector’s lips.

When he pulled away, he looked down with a lopsided smile at Mallory’s stunned blush. “Goodnight, Gerry. See you tomorrow.”

Mallory shook himself to clear his daze. “Yes. Yes, you will”, he agreed gruffly. “Goodnight, Dan. And thank you, for…" He trailed off.

“For lending a hand?”

“Yes. Quite. I appreciate it.” A thought occurred to him, and he grabbed Goodfellow’s arm before he could turn the door handle. “You’d better-” He broke off, swallowed, and tried again. “I hope you’re still going to follow orders at work.” He couldn’t quite meet the sergeant’s eyes.

Goodfellow gave him a knowing smile. “Don’t worry, I know Inspector Mallory is the boss at work, even if Gerry’s the one who does as he’s told when we’re in private.”

Mallory released a shaky sigh of relief. “Glad to hear it”, he mumbled, hunkering deeper into his coat in an effort to hide the redness of his face.

As Goodfellow opened the door, he turned and winked at the inspector. Then he was gone, leaving a flustered Mallory to compose himself before following.