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Lice Shampoo and Hand Lotion

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Frank Abagnale Jr. gazed sullenly out the car window and past the FBI agent in the seat next to him. No less than seven had been sent to retrieve him from the French prison system. He must have quite the reputation back in the States. But somehow, that knowledge didn’t give him the sense of satisfaction it would have before.

Frank’s career in check fraud had begun when he was only sixteen years old, a runaway from divorcing parents. He’d conned millions from the government before the threat of capture had forced him to flee the country. His enterprise had continued throughout Europe, until one very stubborn agent had tracked him down.

Frank’s gaze flicked to the drivers seat, where said agent was cursing under his breath at the car in front of theirs. Carl Hanratty had convinced Frank to give himself up, told him that the French police would kill him if he didn’t go with the American agent first. As it was, the French had taken him right afterwards, and he’d almost died of pneumonia in their prison. It was a testament to Hanratty’s determination that he’d wrestled with the legal system for a month rather than just letting Frank rot in the French prison. The man must really hate him.

Not that Frank could blame him, though. The young man sighed and turned his gaze back out the window. It was a beautiful December day, crisp and bright, and the ground was covered by inches of snow. He thought about how he had embarrassed Hanratty when they’d first met, slipping through his fingers by claiming to be a Secret Service agent after the same forger. He knew the other man’s boss had been very displeased by that. It had happened again in Miami, when he’d flown out of the country though an airport filled with police and FBI. He’d done more than enough to give Carl a personal vendetta against him.

And yet, somehow, he was glad Carl had chased him all this distance. There had never been anyone who was willing to go so far for Frank. His mother had divorced his father and gotten remarried, without ever trying to contact her son. His father had pinned all of his hopes on Frank, expecting his son to recoup all of the money he’d lost to the IRS. He’d never actually cared about what Frank wanted. Then again, what Frank wanted was and had always been his father’s approval, and he’d risked life in prison or death at the hands of a foreign government to do what his father wanted of him.

It was nice to finally relax and let go of those expectations. There was nothing more he could do now, in FBI custody, to gain his father’s favor. He was glad it was over, and grateful, too, to the agent who had captured him. A strange sentiment for a criminal, but that was how he felt. He was finally free of obligations and expectations, even if he could only be so by having every other freedom taken away.

Yes, Frank was grateful to Carl Hanratty for catching him at last. The man didn’t realize what he was saving Frank from, but he’d saved him all the same.


Frank went into the tiny hotel room first, followed by Hanratty and two other agents. He sat on the bed and looked around, not for a means of escape, but just out of curiosity. One of the agents seemed to take it the wrong way, though, and closed the blinds on the windows, shutting out the sunlight. Frank, who was appreciative of even secondhand sunlight after being in a dank, dark prison for a month, sulked despondently.

He heard Hanratty talking to the other agent, but didn’t pay much attention to what they were saying. The second agent left. Frank continued to survey the room.

There was only one bed, queen-sized, but there was a couch. He wondered if it folded out. He wondered it all three agents plus him were meant to stay in this one room, but then decided he didn’t mind if they were, because he’d probably be better off even sleeping on the carpet than he had been sleeping on the cold, damp stone floor of the prison.

The agent he didn’t know that had stayed behind seemed to remember something, and told Frank to get off the bed. He didn’t want lice getting in the sheets. Frank lay down on the floor, but the man objected to this as well, and Frank was sent into the bathroom. He closed the door behind him and spread a towel out on the floor to lie on. He’d probably be yelled at about that too, if the agent saw.

He closed his eyes and tried to imagine that the electrical light shining through his eyelids was actually sun. He didn’t know how much sun he’d be getting in the American prison he was surely going to. He missed it a lot.

Frank’s mind wandered back to Agent Hanratty, who was probably guarding the bathroom door to prevent any breakouts. Unlike Frank’s father, who had only been present in Frank’s life when pressuring him about making money, and his mother, who hadn’t been present at all, Hanratty had always been there. On Christmas, when Frank couldn’t call either of his parents, he could call Carl. There was something incredibly comforting about knowing the man was always there, whatever his reason for it. Rather than being upset that Hanratty had gone to such lengths to catch him, Frank rejoiced in the knowledge. No one had ever done so much on his behalf.

Still, Frank had no illusions as to how the agent felt about him. He hadn’t chased Frank down because he was dedicated to him, hadn’t gotten him out of prison because he cared foe him. No, he had done all of that because, after all Frank had put him through, there was no way he’d let the man escape, or let others take credit for his capture. Frank knew that. All the same, Carl’s actions made him feel loved.

Frank decided he must be a masochist, or else have a pretty twisted sense of what love was.

There was a knock on the door, and it was pushed ajar before Frank could stand to open it. Perhaps they thought he would try to escape through a vent, or something.

He rose as Carl entered, not looking as though he were suspicious of Frank, but merely concerned. Frank decided that must have been wishful thinking, because a moment later Carl’s face wore an expression of annoyance and mild curiosity that it often did when he looked at Frank.

“Got you some stuff,” Carl said dispassionately, holding out a plastic shopping bag. Frank, who hadn’t noticed the bag before, took it from the outstretched hand, feeling a tingle as their fingers brushed. The bag contained a large bottle of lice shampoo, a razor and shaving cream, and two bars of soap. Evidently someone thought the one provided by the hotel was not enough for the job.

“Thanks,” Frank said honestly. He was stunned by the gesture. Even if it was just because they didn’t want lice to get into everything, it still expressed a touching amount of concern for him.

“Get yourself cleaned up. There’s a set of new clothes out here when you’re done.” Frank nodded, and Carl left him to it.

Frank had not thought about a bath or shower until then. He hadn’t had access to one since he’d ended up in the French prison, and rarely before that. He’d been at a low point in his career when Carl found him.

Now he was overjoyed by the thought. Hot water pouring over his tired body… nothing could have appealed more at that moment. Frank tore off his clothes and threw them into a corner, jumping under the showerhead before the water heated up and not really caring that it was cold. Seconds later it was heated to the point that it nearly burned him. It felt heavenly, soothing his aching muscles and driving away the cold he’d thought would never fully seep from his bones.

How long he stood under the hot rain, Frank didn’t know, but finally a tingling sensation in his scalp reminded him that he really, really wanted to use that lice shampoo. Frank reluctantly turned the water off, and reached from the shower for the bottle lying on the bathroom floor. He worked the liquid into a thick lather in his too-long hair, and rubbed the bar of soap all over his body. Just as much as the hot water, the thought of being clean again was wonderful. After rinsing off, he washed his hair and body again for good measure, and finally left the cooling spray of water.

A towel wrapped around his waist, Frank wiped steam from the mirror so that he could see what he was doing when he shaved. He’d never liked wearing a beard; thought it made him look too scruffy. He was glad to get rid of it.

As he focused on his reflection in the mirror, Frank wondered where these items had come from. The agent who’d left must have gotten them. Had Carl told him to do that? Frank hadn’t been listening, but surely only Carl, who was in charge of this little mission, could authorize one of the agents to leave the hotel. And even if they would have thought of lice shampoo on their own, Frank doubted than anyone but Carl would have thought to buy a razor, or a new set of clothes.

It was strange, not what he’d come to expect from Hanratty. He’d thought that the older man hated him, and that all of this concern was in his own imagination. Maybe that wasn’t true, at least not entirely. The thought made a warm feeling grow in Frank’s chest that had nothing to do with the hot shower he’d just stepped out of. Since his parents’ divorce, he’d never felt so loved.

Frank stepped from the bathroom in the towel, and looked around for the clothes Hanratty had promised him. They were lying on the bed, and he went over. Not the quality he’d gotten used to, but not nearly as bad as what he’d worn in prison.

“Frank, you want a haircut too?” Carl asked, and he looked over at the other man. Carl held up a pair of scissors.

“Sure,” Frank replied, and settled into the chair of a small mirrored desk. He didn’t bother with the clothes yet; he didn’t want to get bits of hair in them.

“How much?” Carl asked.

“You can leave it long; just even out the ends.” Frank stared into the mirror as Carl combed his wet hair and carefully trimmed the edges. He did so with such a look of concentration that it was truly comical, and Frank had trouble holding in his laughter.

“How’s that?” Carl asked after what was probably the longest haircut of Frank’s life. Frank leaned forward toward the mirror and considered telling Carl to take more off, just to annoy him, but decided he’d rather not be stuck sitting there for another half an hour.

“It’s fine,” he said brightly, standing up. Carl reached out and brushed the cut hairs from Frank’s bare shoulders.

“Good,” he said.

Frank, smiling inwardly, went back to the set of clothes. He slipped them on and lay down on the bed, stretching out and making himself comfortable. “Where are the other two,” he asked Carl.

“They’ll have another room for the night. It’s just you and me here.” Carl was trying to pick up the damp locks from the floor, and not having a very easy time of it.

“That sounds threatening,” Frank replied happily, receiving a glare from Carl.

“You sleep on the couch,” the agent said pointedly, coming to stand over the young man lounging on the bed. Frank laughed and burrowed himself under the covers.

“Get out of there!” Carl tried to pull the covers off, but Frank held on to them, remaining hidden. He laughed out loud for the first time in a long time. It had been so long since he’d felt this happy. Living up to his father’s expectations and running from the FBI had become a burden so constant he hadn’t even realized it was there, and now it was finally lifted. He’d never felt so free.

Frank seized Carl’s arm and pulled the other man onto the bed with him. They wrestled for a moment, Frank giggling breathlessly, until Carl finally pinned him to the bed. Frank tossed his head to clear the long hair from his face, grinning. He heard a soft chuckle above him and realized that Carl, too, was smiling. Acting entirely on impulse, Frank reached up to place his hands on the sides of Carl’s face, pulled him down to Frank’s level, and kissed him softly on the lips.

Fortunately, Carl didn’t pull back. If he had, Frank though he probably would have fled and locked himself in the bathroom for the night. Instead, the older man gently nuzzled his lips against Frank’s, before carefully disengaging his mouth. He didn’t move back, though, but continued to gaze into Frank’s eyes, their breaths mingling in the scant inches of space between them.

What he saw in those eyes took Frank’s breath away. He’d always though that Carl didn’t care about him, that it was just a one-sided infatuation. Maybe he’d needed to believe that, in order to protect himself. But now he saw that he couldn’t have been more wrong. In Carl’s eyes he could see passion, concern, affection, and –it made his stomach twist in a way that had never happened with women- lust. Frank drew in a slow, deep breath, suddenly feeling giddy.

Carl leaned down to kiss him again, and Frank didn’t bother thinking but went along with it. He opened his mouth to admit the soft, wet tongue, and moaned softly as it rubbed against his. They broke apart with a smacking sound, inhaled, and kissed again. Frank could feel himself growing hard, and an answering hardness ground against his thigh. He didn’t wonder why this was happening, or what the result would be. There was no time for that now, and no need. He would worry about it when the time came.

Carl pulled back and Frank took advantage of the momentary pause to catch his breath. Carl, however, had no such intentions. His lips moved over Frank’s chin, down his jaw line to his neck, where he nibbled and sucked at the pulse point, seemingly intent upon leaving a bruise. Frank shivered, raising his arms to wrap around Carl’s shoulders as the sensation coaxed soft moans from his throat.

Carl’s hands were busily working at the buttons of Frank’s shirt, but with their bodies pressed so close, it was difficult to undo them. Frank heard Carl’s muffled cursing against his neck, and laughed. He pushed the other man back slowly as he sat up, and began undoing the buttons himself. Carl’s intense eyes were locked on him, watching as every button was undone and a new patch of skin revealed. Frank caught his eye and smiled coyly, teasingly.

“Why don’t you take off yours too,” he suggested with a little smile. Carl hurriedly complied, tearing a few of the buttons off in his haste, and Frank was glad he hadn’t let Carl do that to his one and only shirt.

As soon as Frank’s nimble fingers popped the last button, Carl was on top of him again, pushing the fabric from his shoulders. His fingers skimmed over the exposed skin of Frank’s chest, and he shivered. He’d been with plenty of women in his career, but none of them had touched him like that. It felt wonderful. All his life, Frank had clung to what control he had, but now it felt so, so good to let go, and let someone else lead for a change.

Carl’s lips were on his again, kissing passionately, roughly, so that their teeth clashed together, and Frank’s lips were scraped between them. The fingers of one hand were tangled in Frank’s long hair, while the others circled one of his nipples, teasing it into a hard nub.

Frank shrugged his shirt the rest of the way off, freeing his arms, and immediately grabbed onto Carl. His fingers pulled at short hair and scratched at tender skin as he squirmed beneath Carl’s touches. The other man kissed his neck again, licking at the spot where there would surely be a bruise later, and then moved down to his chest, over his collar bone, down his pectoral muscles, to his nipple. He licked it gently, then bit down, and Frank cried out.

Carl’s hands caressed his chest and sides, sending waves of shivers through Frank’s body that he fought to control. His tongue dipped into Frank’s navel, and the younger man jolted, surprised and aroused by the gesture. Carl’s hands moved down, skimming over his belly in a way that almost ticked and gave Frank the insane desire to giggle. Then they came to his belt, which Carl unbuckled.

The man separated himself from Frank and sat back to survey his work. Frank, not wanting to appear too overwhelmed, flashed what was meant to be a cheeky grin. Carl grinned in return, but there was something predatory in his expression that –almost- scared Frank. With one sharp tug, Carl pulled the belt from Frank’s pants in a movement so harsh it brought Frank’s hips off of the bed.

The younger man gasped as his body bounced again, and stared up at the man leaning over him, wondering if he should be afraid. Carl’s left hand rested on his hip just at the line of Frank’s pants, his thumb rubbing circles against the sensitive skin just inside his hipbone. His eyes slowly traveled up Frank’s chest until brown eyes met blue, and their gazes locked. Frank let out a shaky sigh, calming down. There was no way Carl would ever hurt him.

Carl’s eyes flicked down to the clasp of Frank’s pants, and then back up, silently asking permission. Frank nodded gravely, and gripped the sheets beneath him as Carl’s fingers clumsily undid the button and pulled down the zipper.

“You’re trembling,” Carl said, and Frank realized he was right. He laughed breathlessly, because it was awkward.

“I’m nervous,” Frank admitted. Carl’s finger’s caressed the skin just above his pants line, and Frank took a moment to catch his breath and stop the shivers running through his body. He nodded again, and Carl gently tugged the pants off Frank’s hips and down his long legs.

The pants were then tossed away with the shirt and belt, and Frank felt a bit exposed. Carl, it seemed, sensed this, and he moved over Frank again, so that their eyes and lips met. Frank moaned softly, running his fingers over the smooth skin of the other man’s back. Having composed himself, Frank began tugging at Carl’s belt, and the other man took the hint and removed it.

Carl sat up, taking Frank with him this time, and they continued kissing as Frank undid the older man’s pants and tried to pull them down. Carl finally pulled back from Frank and straightened his legs enough that the younger man could remove the pants, which were then tossed on the floor and forgotten.

The pants removed, Carl crossed his legs again, and Frank clambered into his lap. He could feel the other man’s cock through both their boxers, pressing hard and hot against his ass. He ground his hips against it, and was rewarded by Carl’s moan against his neck. Frank laughed, enjoying the feeling of Carl panting into his hair and the knowledge that he could make the other man lose control like that.

Carl pulled back and looked him in the eyes again. They were both sweating slightly and panting heavily, wearing nothing but boxers. Frank allowed himself to be pushed gently but firmly against the bed. Carl’s fingers curled under the waistband of Frank’s briefs, and he pull them off in one swift motion, leaving Frank completely exposed, though no longer embarrassed. The older man removed his own just as quickly, and leaned over Frank to kiss him once more, gently, passionately.

“How does this work?” Frank asked when the kiss broke.

“Roll over,” Carl ordered in response, and Frank obeyed without hesitation. He grabbed the nearest pillow and put it under his chest, below his chin, so he could breathe. Then he felt Carl run a hand over his ass, stroking the delicate skin. Frank shivered.

“On your knees,” Carl told him, and Frank shifted so that his backside was in the air, while his upper body remained on the bed. He couldn’t resist a nervous giggle.

“Bet I look pretty ridiculous, huh?” Frank glanced over his shoulder at Carl, grinning. The other man smiled back.

“Pretty hot,” he countered. Frank relaxed against the pillow, reassured. At least, he was until he heard Carl move away, and felt the bed shift as he got up. Frank sat up, watching the other man disappear into the bathroom and feeling a desperate desire to call out to him. Had Carl changed his mind about this?

The next minute Carl returned, a bottle in his hand. He seized the back of Frank’s neck and kissed him feverishly. “Relax; I’m not going anywhere,” he said, before kissing Frank again, more tenderly. “Lie back.”

Frank did so, trying to calm himself down. He’d been so scared that- all thoughts of fear or uncertainty fled his mind as he felt a slick hand caressing him. Frank shifted, buried his face in the pillow, and moaned loudly. Carl gently pressed a finger against his entrance, and the moan became a whimper.

“Don’t be scared,” Carl said gruffly, voice thick with passion and arousal. Frank didn’t respond; he hadn’t been afraid. Another hand gently rubbed the small of his back, soothing him. At the same time, the finger pushed more firmly, and slid into his body.

Frank inhaled deeply, trying to get used to the feeling. It wasn’t painful, just strange, and it wasn’t exactly pleasurable either. The finger slid in and out a few times, enough that Frank got used to be feeling, though he still wasn’t sure if he liked it.

Then another finger began to push inside him. Frank whined in discomfort, squirming away. The finger stopped pushing. “Shh,” Carl murmured, stroking his back gently. “Relax. It won’t hurt as much if you do.”

Frank nodded grimly, and tried to concentrate on relaxing. After what felt like ages, his muscles loosened, and his body went limp against the pillow. “Okay,” he whispered.

The fingers pressed in again. Carl was right: the pain had lessened, though it still throbbed. A few more thrusts, and Frank was considering telling Carl to back off, because it hurt too much for him to enjoy it. Then Carl’s fingers touched something inside of him, and Frank gasped, his cock twitching in pleasure. Nerve endings he’d never known existed were lighting up within his body.

“Do that again,” Frank demanded into the pillow. Carl laughed softly and complied. Frank grunted and pushed back against the fingers. “Don’t stop.”

A third finger joined the other two, but the pain from stretching was eclipsed by the pleasure he felt every time Carl hit that place inside of him. Carl’s free hand slid down Frank’s hip to the front of his body, wrapping around his cock. Frank let out a moan that ended in a squeak, but was enjoying it too much to care.

Frank had never been touched like this by another man. It was so much different from being with a woman. No woman ever touched this boldly, this roughly. No woman ever knew so well what was good; experience on the administrative end could only go so far.

The fingers were scissoring, stretching him, but Frank barely noticed. He was a mess of nerves, consumed with sensations that were steadily driving all coherent thought from his mind. Driven by instinct, he thrust helplessly back and forth between Carl’s hands, whimpering and moaning into the pillow.

Then the hands left him, though he tried to follow when the fingers pulled out. He looked up at Carl desperately, pleading with disjointed words because his hazy mind couldn’t string together a sentence. “Carl… please… don’t stop… please… love me,” he begged.

“Frank,” was all Carl said, but the younger man saw that he was fumbling with a condom wrapper, and understood that he had no intention of stopping. He sat up and took the foil square from Carl with fingers that shook, but managed to get it open on the first try.

Frank rolled it on, reveling in the experience of touching the other man like this. He reached for the bottle Carl had been using –vanilla-scented hand lotion, he’d have laughed if he could spare any breath- and poured a generous amount of the slippery liquid over his fingers. He stroked Carl roughly, loving how the man’s expression changed when he did, but then Carl grabbed his wrists and turned him around. Frank took the hint and lay back in the position he’d been in before, with a twinge of regret that he wouldn’t be able to see Carl’s face as they did this.

Carl placed a hand on the younger man’s quivering thigh, and he whimpered softly. “I’m not going to hurt you,” Carl assured him.

“I know,” Frank replied confidently, as he felt pressure against his already prepared entrance. He groaned as Carl slid into him, not with pain, but with pleasure. Just knowing that it was this man doing this to him –with him- erased any pain Frank might have felt. With every thrust a new wave of sensation rolled over him, consuming him, drowning him. Nothing had ever felt this good. He was glad that it was Carl who was able to take him to such heights.

Carl leaned over Frank’s back and kissed between his shoulder blades. The younger man whimpered as his lover gently nipped at his shoulders. “Yes,” he whispered. “Carl…”

“Frank,” the other man muttered against his skin. The feeling of his lover’s breath over his hypersensitive skin made shivers run through Frank’s body.

Then Carl took the younger man’s hips in his hands, slid all the way out –Frank’s heart pounded with anticipation- and thrust into him again at a different angle. Frank felt his body light up with pleasure, and it took all of his focus to remind his body to breathe.

He wasn’t sure how much longer he could take this. He was young, and there hadn’t been that many women, and they’d always been too impressed by him to laugh if he couldn’t last very long. But Carl was a man, and older, and no doubt more experienced… it didn’t matter! Frank couldn’t think anymore. The exploding nerve endings had fried his brain. It didn’t matter if Carl laughed at him; he just needed release.

Frank reached down to stroke himself, but Carl’s hand batted his away. Frank gripped the pillow and moaned, whimpered, pleaded as Carl stroked him.

“Carl, yes, ah, please, more… don’t stop, oh, yes… Carl, Carl, yeah,” the words tumbled from his mouth in a string of useless babble.

“Frank,” the other man breathed from somewhere above him. “Frank, fuck, yes!” His hand tightened around frank’s cock, and he thrust in again and again.

Then the world exploded. The room spun, lights flashed behind his eyes, waves crashed over him, and lightning raged through his veins. White hot pleasure filled his body, rolling and crashing through him as his body went rigid, then limp. Wave after wave filled him, obliterating his senses, but he thought he heard Carl’s voice calling his name.

The waves slowly began to ebb, the pleasure lessened, and the lightning in his blood burned itself out. Frank was left boneless, exhausted, but comfortable and warm, and more sated than he’d ever though it possible to be. He slowly became aware of Carl lying next to him, holding Frank’s limp body against his chest.

He forced himself to breathe again, inhaled, and whispered, “Carl.”

“Frankie,” the other man murmured against his hair. “Go to sleep.” Frank smiled, and decided to go along with that advice.



When Frank woke in the morning, Carl was still asleep, and holding him, but Frank’s bladder was screaming at him, so he extricated himself as carefully and quietly as he could. When he returned, he intended to crawl back into bed, but the light streaming through the window distracted him. Frank went to it and pulled open the blinds, then for good measure opened the window itself. Although the screen still separated him from the outside world, he could feel and smell the crisp air, and see the sunrise.

Frank wondered if he’d ever be able to do any of this again. Looking at the sun, smelling fresh air, fucking Carl. It could be years or decades before he was able to do the first, and as for the last… that would probably never happen again at all. Frank sighed softly, leaning his head against the screen.

“Not thinking of jumping out that window, are you?” Carl’s voice asked from behind him. “We’re on the fourth story.”

“Nah, I…” There was no reason to lie. He’d always been honest with Carl in the past. “I just wanted to see the sun one last time before I go away for good.” Frank returned to the bed, slowly. His ass ached from last night, and probably would for the rest of the week if not the month, but he wouldn’t have had it any other way. At least the ache would tell him it hadn’t all been a dream.

Frank stopped before the bed, watching Carl. He half expected the agent to tell him to go sleep on the couch. This was only a one-night thing, after all.

But Carl held out his arms, and Frank fell into them, grateful for one more moment of fantasy, so he could pretend the reality of his situation wasn’t so. He pressed his back against Carl’s chest and clutched the other man’s arms to him, trying to enjoy every second he had, trying not to let the tears welling in his eyes slip out.

“Hurts?” Carl asked gently.

“Yeah, a lot,” Frank replied, glad to have an excuse if his tears did begin to fall.

“First time with a man?”


“Mine, too.”

“I don’t believe you,” Frank replied, rolling over to look the other man in the face. “How’d you know what to do, then?”

Carl’s response came in the form of a pillow to the face. Frank laughed and hit him back. They both grinned at each other, and the tension between them disappeared.

“I just did whatever seemed right,” Carl shrugged at last. “I wanted to be really careful not to hurt you. I guess I did anyway.” He touched Frank’s lower back delicately, remorse evident on his face.

Frank waved the comment away. “It was the best sex I’ve ever had.”

Carl laughed and kissed him quickly, on the lips, the cheek, the forehead. “Yeah.”

Frank sighed contentedly and cuddled up against Carl, feeling somehow even freer than he had the day before. But there was still something he had to know. “Hey, Carl?” he said slowly. “What happens to us now?”

Carl kissed him gently. “Now, Frank, you go to prison, and I visit you when I can, and life goes on.”

“Will we ever do this again?” Frank wouldn’t look Carl in the eye as he asked; he didn’t want to see the man’s face when he said no.

“Maybe,” Carl murmured. “Maybe not. It all depends on how long your sentence is, and what happens if and when you get out.”

“I understand.” Frank buried his face in the crook of the other man’s neck, fighting tears again. Carl wrapped his arms around Frank and kissed his hair.

“I’ll visit you every chance I can get.”

“Yeah.” It wasn’t the perfect ending, but Frank supposed it was the best he could hope for in his situation. Certainly he’d never before dared to hope that he and Carl would do this, or that he would ever consider continuing any sort of relationship after Frank got out of prison. It was the best he could hope for, and the best he’d ever had. It made his heart swell almost painfully with joy. “I’ll be waiting for you.”

“You won’t have to wait long,” Carl promised, and held Frank tightly to his chest. The younger man sighed, and relaxed into his lover’s arms, trying to enjoy however much time they still had.