‘Well, if you’d just let me make the damn soufflé myself,’ Illya said snarkily. Napoleon had been complaining about the way their evening had gone since they got back into the house, and Illya had had enough of it. He had been perfectly happy with their arrangement – he would do the cooking and Napoleon would do the cleaning. But somehow he had ended up doing most of the cleaning, and Napoleon hadn’t even made the bed.
‘You always have to go running off after some woman,’ Illya continued, ‘and if you’d just brought me my eggs and let me cook we would have had a quiet evening at home, instead of wrestling hysterical women and attending provincial little neighbourhood dispute meetings just because you can’t keep it in your trousers.’
‘You know, you get really bitchy sometimes, Illya,’ Napoleon said, regarding him with his hands on his hips. ‘A proper little cat.’
Illya’s eyebrows arched. ‘Oh, I’m bitchy, am I? Really, Napoleon? I’m the bitchy one?’
‘You do a fine line in passive aggressive, too. Shouldn’t a man of science be more direct?’
‘Shouldn’t a philosophy graduate be more enlightened?’
‘I don’t much like your tone of voice when you say that. You’ve never thought philosophy was a real academic discipline, have you? You with your PhD from Cambridge. You set yourself above us mere mortals.’
Illya scoffed. ‘Well, Napoleon, I think a PhD in Quantum Mechanics from Cambridge is somewhat higher on the scale than a philosophy degree from – where was it from? One of your country’s modern universities, wasn’t it?’
‘It was from Yale,’ Napoleon said tartly.
‘Exactly. It must be funny living in a country that has no real history. But I suppose that explains why it doesn’t even offer good degrees – oomph.’ The sound was forced from Illya’s mouth as Napoleon launched at him, cannoning his head straight into Illya’s stomach. He fell back onto the bed, gasping.
‘You little shit,’ Napoleon said, coming over him. He planted his knees either side of Illya’s hips and wildly grabbed his hair in both hands, lifting his head up towards him and bending towards his mouth.
‘Is that how you talk to your women?’ Illya asked, breaking away from the kiss that Napoleon was pressing on him.
‘In case you haven’t noticed, Illya, you’re no woman, despite the baby blue eyes and the silky blond hair.’
And he shoved him harder down onto the bed and ground his lips against Illya’s again and his tongue forced itself into his mouth and touched Illya’s tongue and teeth, and Illya lost himself in the flood of sensation and the taste of Napoleon’s mouth. Napoleon was bigger and heavier than him, using all his weight. His fingers were tangling and scraping through his hair, pulling at it painfully. Although Illya could have flipped him he didn’t want to, he really didn’t want to, so he let Napoleon press him into the bed and then bit his lower lip halfway through another violent kiss.
‘Fuck,’ Napoleon said.
‘Eloquent, aren’t you?’ Illya snarked. ‘Did you learn oration at Yale?’
Napoleon’s hands were at Illya’s throat, tugging loose the knot of his tie, fumbling at his buttons, and then he lost patience and just ripped, and buttons popped and ricocheted across the room.
‘That was my best shirt,’ Illya said, and Napoleon snapped, ‘For god’s sake, Illya, all your shirts are the same. Every damn one.’
His holster strap was tight against his bare stomach, and Napoleon put his hands on the buckle, pushing his fingers under the strap, digging in to Illya’s soft skin.
‘What kind of tight ass makes weaponry give him a bespoke fucking holster and alter every single one of his shirts so his damn gun doesn’t flap when he runs?’ Napoleon asked him, pulling the strap so tight as he undid it that Illya winced. He wrestled the holster off and tossed it across the room.
‘It bangs into my hip! Would you rather I was distracted when I’m saving you from your usual incompetency?’
‘I shouldn’t imagine there’d be a difference in your inaccuracy,’ Napoleon snapped back. He tugged Illya’s fly open and shoved his hand roughly down into the mess of rough hair and grabbed at the soft bundle of flesh in there, and Illya gasped and arched his back, and Napoleon took the opportunity to wrench the trousers and underpants off him so that he was lying in just his open shirt.
‘God,’ Napoleon said. ‘God...’
And he threw off his jacket as Illya lay on the bed panting, and then he came down over Illya again and his cock was hard under his clothes against Illya’s thigh. Illya grabbed at him and realised that while he was almost naked, Napoleon was most frustratingly fully clothed, and he began to thrust his fingers into the knot of Napoleon’s tie. Napoleon angrily knocked his hands away and got off him and stripped himself off, balling his clothes up and throwing them hard into the chair by the dressing table.
‘Get the fuck back on that bed,’ Napoleon said, because Illya was starting to sit up, and when Illya stayed upright Napoleon pushed him down with a hand hard in the middle of his chest, and then started to lay kisses all over his golden torso, his teeth grazing and nipping as he moved, his hands hard and relentless over Illya’s flanks and then moving down again to brush between his legs where Illya was hardening fast.
‘That’s it,’ Napoleon said as Illya moaned aloud and pushed against his fist. ‘Yeah, that’s it.’
And he knelt between Illya’s thighs and grabbed a bottle of liniment from the nightstand and unscrewed the cap. Illya reached out a hand and tightened it around Napoleon’s cock, and Napoleon threw his head back and ground out a sound of desire. Then he swiped Illya’s hand away and started to lave the liniment over his own cock, making small sounds of gratification. His fingers glistened with the liniment, pale around the darkness of his stiff cock. The sight made Illya wild. He wanted that, all of it. He wanted it in him so badly, in his ass, in his mouth, he didn’t care, but he wanted to be around that hot thing.
Napoleon roughly nudged Illya’s thighs further apart and put a hand under each knee and pushed it upwards. He slung Illya’s calves over his shoulders and took hold of his hips in firm hands, and he positioned his cock in between Illya’s spread cheeks, and pushed into the tight hole between.
Illya gasped and almost jerked backwards at the speed and force of Napoleon’s entry, but Napoleon grabbed his wrists and held them hard, pressing them down onto the bed. Illya resisted for a moment and then lay still, feeling the thickness of Napoleon filling him. The sensation made him dizzy, burning a little but mostly sending shivers of pleasure through him, and he wanted Napoleon to move inside him, he so wanted him to move. Napoleon pressed once on his wrists, then let go, and folded his fingers around Illya’s hard, yearning cock instead. Illya groaned aloud and moved his hips, and that made Napoleon’s cock move deeper inside him, and the twin stimulation set him alight.
‘Oh god, oh god,’ he groaned, and Napoleon withdrew and pushed in hard again, and said in a self satisfied voice, ‘Seems to me you weren’t calling me a deity earlier in the evening.’
‘Well, you’ve got to be good at something, and you’ve certainly had enough practice,’ Illya spat, and then gasped out aloud as Napoleon entered him again, sweeping over his prostate and filling him with such dizzy pleasure that he could hardly form words. He dug his fingernails into the sheets, feeling the hardness of Napoleon’s hand around his cock, feeling the relentless plunge inside him over and over again as Napoleon fucked him without mercy. He kept his eyes wide open, watching Napoleon’s face, his parted lips, his abstracted expression. He wasn’t watching Illya, but staring into mid-distance, intent on his own pleasure, his hands holding Illya’s thighs hard against his chest. The muscles of his abdomen rippled each time he thrust into Illya’s body, and he gasped with the effort, sweat beading on his face. He moved harder and faster, harder and faster, until Illya could almost not bear the sensation inside him and the beating of Napoleon’s hips against his behind.
Then Napoleon was bellowing out his climax and Illya’s cock jerked and jetted his seed over Napoleon’s hand, and Napoleon collapsed over his body, panting. Illya lay with his legs splayed either side of Napoleon’s hips and the heaviness of Napoleon’s body over him and Napoleon’s breath hot on his neck. He felt as if fireworks had exploded in his mind.
‘Well, Betsy will be safe in her bed tonight, at least,’ he commented at last.
‘You really are a little shit, Illya,’ Napoleon gasped, his torso pressed hard over Illya’s and it was slick and hot with sweat.
‘Don’t use all the hot water in the shower,’ Illya said as Napoleon got stiffly off him and turned towards the bathroom.
‘If you want to be stingy about it then why don’t you take it first?’ Napoleon tossed over his shoulder.
‘Don’t be ridiculous, Napoleon,’ Illya spat.
‘Well, in that case, why don’t we just double up?’
Illya watched those taut buttocks and the long dimple of Napoleon’s spine, and the decision to follow his partner to the shower didn’t take long to make at all. He was still prickling with anger, but he would be damned if he’d pass on something that looked like that. He shoved Napoleon back against the wall of the shower cubicle as hot water rained down around them and kissed him furiously. God, he felt good. God, he was hard and muscled and wet and so good under his hands. He felt furious at Napoleon for being so bloody perfect and sleeping around with all those women and then being so perfect that Illya could never turn him away.
Afterwards they both slumped into the double bed and lay there rather stiffly, not knowing what to say.
‘Will you turn out that light?’ Illya groused. ‘It’s like trying to go to sleep under an interrogation lamp.’
Napoleon reached out to the switch of the bedside lamp and flicked it into darkness, and Illya sighed. He felt as if an itching had been turned off in his brain. He hadn’t realised he had been holding himself tense, but now every muscle in his body relaxed.
‘Well, that was – strange,’ he said at last.
‘Yeah,’ Napoleon replied from the darkness beside him. ‘Strange. Yeah.’
Illya turned over to face Napoleon in the darkness. ‘How do you feel, Napoleon?’
‘Fine,’ Napoleon said in a rather distracted tone. ‘I mean, more than fine. That was – ’ Then he faltered. ‘Did I hurt you, Illya?’
‘No,’ Illya said. ‘I mean, it was rough, but – good. It was good.’
‘Ah,’ Napoleon said. ‘Yes, it was pretty darn good, wasn’t it?’
‘Yes, it was,’ Illya agreed. Then he pulled the covers a little higher and said sleepily, ‘Good night, Napoleon.’
‘Good night,’ Napoleon said, and the bed shook as he turned over on his side and settled down to sleep. Illya silently shuffled himself closer in the bed, spooning against Napoleon’s broad back, and Napoleon murmured sleepily and reached his hand back to lay it on Illya’s hip. This was a good place to be.
It was light enough in the morning to not need the kitchen lights on. The sun shone straight in through the kitchen window as Illya fried eggs and toasted bread and put cereal and a jug of non-exploding milk on the table. It really was peaceful here, he reflected, when the food wasn’t laden with explosives and he and Napoleon weren’t unaccountably arguing. Napoleon had looked like a cherub in sleep when Illya had woken up, and Illya hadn’t had the heart to disturb him. He was slightly sore from last night, but it had been good, so good. Napoleon had been so good as he drove into him, and he had enjoyed it. God, he had enjoyed it, despite that weird, prickling anger that had driven them both on.
There was something odd in this though. Something reeked of Thrush in this supposedly innocent place.
He heard a noise in the other room, then Napoleon came in through the swing door, still wearing pyjamas, rubbing his eyes.
‘W’time’sit?’ Napoleon asked blearily, and Illya grinned.
‘Almost nine,’ Illya said. He whistled a snatch of a Ukrainian tune and flipped the eggs in the pan. ‘You know, this suburban living isn’t so bad, really.’
He dropped four slices of toast into the toast rack and carried it to the table.
‘Help yourself to cereal, toast, and I have eggs on the stove. Do you want a glass of milk, the American beverage, to wake you up, or shall I make coffee?’
‘Oh, coffee,’ Napoleon said, plumping himself down in a chair at the table. He twisted in his chair to regard Illya, looking him up and down, then said, ‘You know, that’s a nice apron. Goes well with the holster. You look very cute.’
Illya made a face. The apron really was too frilly, but it had been the only one here, so he had put it on to save his shirt and trousers from grease splashes.
‘How do you want your eggs?’ he asked. ‘I do runny or solid.’
‘Whatever’s easiest, honey,’ Napoleon said, then caught himself and grinned, ‘I mean, Illya.’
Illya shrugged easily. ‘You can call me honey if it makes you happy,’ he said. He considered a moment, then said, ‘I quite like it.’
He slipped a couple of eggs onto a plate, dished out his own, then dropped the frying pan into the sink, wondering if washing up counted as part of the cooking or part of the cleaning. As the kettle boiled he poured the water into the coffee pot and brought it to the table. Napoleon was whistling ‘How Do You Like Your Eggs In The Morning?’ and Illya laughingly kissed his cheek before sitting down.
‘So, do we have a plan of action for today?’ Illya asked.
Napoleon forked some egg into his mouth and plucked a slice of toast from the rack. ‘Butter,’ he said. ‘Where’s the butter?’
‘Oh, sorry.’ Illya got up and fetched the butter from the fridge and plunked it onto the table. ‘You know, whatever else needs doing today, the kitchen floor could do with mopping. I think there’s still some milk residue there and it’ll go sour and stink.’
Napoleon reached for the butter. ‘Well, I’ll do that later, and if you make me a list of what you need for dinner I’ll go out and stock up on provisions.’
‘Ah, perfect,’ Illya smiled. He went to fetch a piece of paper and a pen, then plucked his reading glasses from his pocket and sat down to make his list. The tinted glasses dimmed the room, so he got up again and put the light on. ‘I thought I’d try that soufflé again. You will manage to remember the eggs this time?’
‘You’re writing it down on paper, Illya,’ Napoleon said, suddenly terse. ‘How scatterbrained do you think I am?’
‘Going by the state of your reports and the fact that yesterday you went out for three items and managed to forget the most important one – ’
That feeling was starting again, that itching, irritating feeling that made him want to slap Napoleon almost every time he opened his mouth. He determinedly didn’t look at Napoleon as he wrote down the other ingredients, then he pushed the list across the table.
‘That’s it ?’ Napoleon asked, glancing at the list. ‘Can’t you go out for that yourself? It’s only a few things, Illya, and you can drive, you know.’
‘Well, you shouldn’t offer if you have no intention of doing it!’ Illya flared up.
‘Well, look, if you expect me to mop the floors and vacuum the carpets and make the damn beds, and do all the shopping as well – Shouldn’t shopping come under the cooking umbrella?’
‘Not if you’re buying cleaning products – which I notice you didn’t manage to forget yesterday. You’re so self-centred, Napoleon!’
Illya pulled his glasses off then got up to switch off the light. He banged it irritably with his hand, and the kitchen was lit only by the sun again. Illya sighed and sat down and rubbed his hands over his face.
‘Sorry, Napoleon,’ he said. He didn’t know where all that anger had come from so suddenly. He pulled an egg onto a slice of toast and spread the yolk over it. ‘Sorry, I didn’t mean to be so cranky. I guess the neighbours are right, aren’t they? We do have a strange problem here.’
Napoleon smiled rather sheepishly. ‘Well, our number one problem is finding Dr Rutter. I thought I might go and snoop about a little, talk to some of the neighbours, see if I can get any clues.’
‘Don’t forget the floor needs mopping,’ Illya said, and Napoleon grunted.
‘I’ll do it later, Illya, I promise. Look, why don’t you stay here and bone up on your soufflé techniques this morning, and I’ll do the first wave of poking about. I reckon our good upstanding American neighbours will take to me better than a diminutive Soviet communist.’
Illya snorted. ‘Well, you are more all-American, Napoleon. Just don’t tell them your name.’
Napoleon made a face, but when he went out later they parted with a discreet kiss before Napoleon opened the door, which was a distinct improvement on snarky comments and outright insults.
It wasn’t, all told, their most auspicious affair ever. Too many innocents had been put at risk and the affair had become almost ridiculous by the end, what with ice lolly grenades and ice cream van chases, and then Dr Rutter persuading them that he was on his death bed and that they should destroy the computer that held his formula. Mr Waverly had hotfooted it all the way to Peaceful Haven to have stern words with them about that, and no doubt there would be stronger words to come when they got back to HQ.
But at least they had one more night in suburbia, and since all of the bulbs had been changed for ones that didn’t cause irritability, it was a much more pleasant place to be.
Against all odds, Illya’s soufflé stayed risen and he presented a very pleasant meal to Napoleon and Betsy, although truth be told he wished it had just been Napoleon there. Betsy was so bright and cheerful and unrelentingly nice , and she obviously had designs on Napoleon, and Napoleon being Napoleon of course he spent the evening flirting with her. That always made Illya rankle. Even though he knew he was the only constant in Napoleon’s love life, he still felt jealous when Napoleon made eyes at other people. He loved being the recipient of Napoleon’s flirting. He basked in it.
But finally they shut the door on Betsy, and she had hardly stepped off the front path before Napoleon took Illya by the jacket lapels and pressed him back against the wall and kissed him hard.
‘God, I thought she’d never leave,’ he murmured, drawing back a little, smiling into Illya’s face, brushing a strand of hair from his forehead. He kissed Illya on the nose, then tilted his head to catch his lips again, nibbling briefly on his full bottom lip, his hand pressing the back of Illya’s neck, his tongue darting out to taste the rich chocolate dessert that lingered in Illya’s mouth.
‘I thought you might be leaving with her,’ Illya admitted, a little breathless from that long, lingering kiss.
Napoleon tossed a glance at the door. ‘Her? When I’ve got you here? Not a chance.’
Illya chuckled. ‘It’s been a weird couple of days,’ he said. ‘Do you think we’ll still have jobs waiting for us when we get back to Manhattan?’
Napoleon kissed him again, a light, chaste press against his lips, but one finger was teasing between the buttons of his shirt and tracing the flesh beneath. ‘Oh, I think so.’
‘Do more of that,’ Illya said, his voice a low rumble.
‘More, huh?’ Napoleon asked, flicking one button out of its hole to make a larger gap. He crouched with his hands on Illya’s sides and darted his tongue through the hole onto his naked skin, and Illya hissed.
‘More,’ Illya managed, although his head was spinning.
Napoleon opened more buttons and slipped his hands under the shirt, easing it out from Illya’s waistband, trailing his fingers round to the back and pushing them down to touch the top of his ass . His lips moved over Illya’s chest, kissing, licking, then he found a nipple and sucked it to a hard peak in his mouth.
‘ Oh, god...’ Illya jerked out. He started to fight his arms out of his sleeves, dropping the shirt in a white pile on the floor as Napoleon worked at his belt and button and zip and pushed his trousers down. ‘Oh god,’ he said again, as Napoleon’s hot mouth sank over his rapidly stiffening cock, sucking it into his mouth, his fingers playing delicately over his balls. He arched his back a little and Napoleon sucked harder, and he felt himself grow inside Napoleon’s mouth until he was filling him.
‘ Please...’ He could hardly form words.
Napoleon’s tongue teased around his cock head, around the exquisitely sensitive rim of the flaring head, into the little slit at the tip. His hands kneaded on Illya’s buttocks and Illya thrust into his mouth, right there by the front door, his shoulders against the wall and his cock, all of it, so deep in Napoleon’s mouth. He was dizzy, he was breathless, the heat and wet of Napoleon’s mouth was so, so good. He tangled his fingers into Napoleon’s hair and pulled him harder onto him, and Napoleon’s fingers jerked on his behind, and Illya thrust and thrust, his breath coming out in little grunts. And then everything coalesced into one blazing white spear of delight, and he was coming and coming into Napoleon’s mouth, coming so hard the strength left his knees and his hands dropped, and he was floating, spinning, gasping out his wordless climax.
Napoleon knelt there a moment, then stood up, grabbing Illya’s head by the hair, pulling him close, kissing him with the taste of Illya’s come still in his mouth.
‘ You, now,’ Napoleon said, and he took Illya’s wrist in an iron grip and led him into the kitchen, where he placed a folded towel over the edge of the table and bent Illya down over it with his hand on the back of his neck, and while Illya lay there, panting, Napoleon got a bottle of cooking oil and poured it liberally onto Illya’s back and it ran and trickled down between his buttocks, and he gasped at the cold. And then Napoleon’s hands were on him, rubbing the oil over his back, into his shoulders, then into his ass , the back of his braced thighs, his muscular calves. And Napoleon was stripping himself off with greasy hands, and Illya lay there, waiting, and then there was a finger, deliciously slick with oil, slipping into the little pucker between his legs, slipping into that exquisitely sensitive cavity, touching him inside, stretching him. Another finger, and another, and Illya gasped out and said, ‘Please, Napoleon. Fuck me. Please.’
So Napoleon took him by the hips and the next thing that entered was his cock, his thick and hot and beautifully hard-soft cock, slipping all the way in, filling him so deeply that Illya cried out. And Napoleon fucked him, coming in softly at first, gently, slowly, teasing, stroking over his prostate, setting off shivers of joy, making little explosions in his loins. And Napoleon was bending over him as he fucked, kissing his neck, kissing his shoulders, taking his spread out arms and sucking a finger at a time into his mouth as he pushed rhythmically into Illya’s behind. And then he clasped his hands around both of Illya’s wrists and he sped up, losing himself, moving faster and harder, faster and harder, until he was coming, jerking over and over deep in Illya’s body, and Illya’s bellow matched Napoleon’s.
‘ God, god, god,’ Napoleon breathed, collapsing over Illya’s back, his breath hot and coming fast, brushing over Illya’s oiled skin. Illya just lay beneath him, panting, feeling the ripples of that second orgasm still running through his body. Oh god, if the builders of this house had ever imagined this… If that ridiculous estate agent had ever imagined this… This was the best thing this kitchen table had ever had on it, the best thing it ever would.
Napoleon slipped out of him, moved off him and Illya stood himself up, stiffly, achingly, sublimely content. He turned to face his lover and looked straight into his eyes. Napoleon’s eyes were brown, dancing, weary but full of sparks. His lips were beautiful, his face was beautiful. Everything about him was beautiful.
‘ I am going to take you upstairs,’ Illya said, ‘and when we’ve both recovered I am going to put you on that bed and I am going to fuck you into next week.’
Napoleon grinned, and opened his arms wide. ‘I don’t even care if we wake every single neighbour we have,’ he said. ‘I just want you, every inch of you.’
He started towards the kitchen door, Illya’s hand tangled in his. He looked back briefly at the table, where the bottle of oil had spilled over and was pooling over the surface. Illya followed his gaze, and grinned. He was glad it was Napoleon who had volunteered to do the cleaning.
‘ Peaceful Haven, where your loving partner can fuck you into next week,’ Napoleon said musingly. ‘I wonder if Mr Barkley would consider putting that into the brochures...’