“Do you think Bundy will agree to the interview?” asked Holden.
He’d posed the same question half a dozen times and wasn’t expecting an answer. He tried to make it into a puzzle, something to be solved, like a convoluted maze through the incomprehensible mind of a monster. In truth, it would probably come down to the whims of a bored prisoner.
They’d opted to drive back to Jacksonville after their all too brief visit to Florida State Prison in Raiford. The airport was in Jacksonville, and they had a flight back to D.C. in the morning. The motels were also nicer in Jacksonville, but only incrementally so.
"Who knows?” Bill regarded him over the top of his Sports Illustrated. “Maybe if he thinks he has something to gain by it.”
Holden shrugged, picking at the nubby bedspread. “I think we made him angry.”
“You,” countered Bill. “You made him angry.” He slapped the magazine shut and tossed it onto the nightstand. “You pissed him off, just like Wendy warned you not to do.”
“I don’t think it was me, so much as – ”
“It was all you. Guy like that? He’s volatile. I mean, look at his final spree, here in Florida. completely out of control.”
Holden sat up straighter, leaning towards Bill with a thoughtful frown. “Before those last days, though … I know we’re still working out the categories, but he was totally about power and control.”
“And lust,” Bill added.
“Sure. But what happened to him in Florida? He’d been so smart up until then. Careful. Organized.”
“You know what I think? I think he wanted to get caught.”
“Maybe,” said Holden doubtfully.
“Look, to answer your original question, I seriously doubt we’ll get that interview. He only wants to string us along, to fuck with us. To fuck with the FBI.”
“I don’t know. I may have charmed him a little.”
Bill rolled onto his side and propped his head on his hand, watching Holden across the three-foot space that separated their beds. “Fuck Bundy,” he said easily. “Why are we talking about that asshole? As you well know, you’re not remotely his type. Too old. Wrong gender.” He smiled suggestively. “You are, however, very much my type.”
“Yeah?” Holden fought the pleased – and relieved – smile that tugged at his lips. He’d somehow managed to piss Bill off on the flight down here, and then made things worse during their too brief visit with Bundy, pushing too hard and too fast. It would seem he was finally forgiven. Lucky for him, Bill Tench was a forgiving kind of guy.
“Yeah.” Bill patted the mattress next to him. “C’mere.”
With that c’mere, that simple summons, his voice had descended into the darkly honied rasp that never failed to light up Holden’s nerve endings. For perhaps half a second, Holden considered denying him, of putting an end to “this thing,” which is how Bill always referred to it.
“This thing,” implied something temporary, something insubstantial, which he supposed was fair. Bill was still married, still had a kid that needed his dad. “This thing” was just another feature of their road trips, like their expense accounts, their per diem checks, their meals at the local Howard Johnson, the meticulous mileage records they kept, the endless packing and unpacking.
“This thing” had started after Holden’s solo trip to Vacaville, when he’d needed Bill’s solidity and his understanding and his surprisingly deep well of kindness to erase the contamination of Ed Kemper’s touch and help him patch himself back together. Now, seven months on, Holden had regained his equilibrium. He told himself that he no longer needed Bill’s touch, his steadiness, and his rough commands.
Maybe that was true. But God help him, he craved all of it.
“C’mere.” Slightly more insistent this time. Bill’s eyebrow arched and he wore a faint smile that said he knew Holden, knew what he was thinking, knew that he wouldn’t refuse, that he wanted this just as much as Bill did. More than Bill did.
And, really, what was the point of pretending otherwise? Holden slid off the bed and stood.
“Take off your clothes,” Bill ordered.
Holden didn’t even try to hide the full body shiver that rippled through him. He’d loved it when Debbie had bossed him around, but Bill took it to a whole new level. His fingers trembled slightly as he unbuttoned his shirt, slid it off his shoulders and tossed it on top of the dresser. His undershirt came off next, and then he fumbled with his belt buckle, unzipped and pushed slacks and shorts down his hips and legs and kicked them away.
He stood before Bill, naked and vulnerable, already half hard. The air conditioning unit hummed and rattled in the window and then quieted back down.
“C’mere, baby,” Bill whispered, moving over to make room for him on the narrow bed. He still wore his slacks, his tank-style undershirt, and his black socks.
Holden lay on his side facing Bill, who ran one big hand down the side of his neck, his shoulder, his side, to his ass, which he cupped, squeezing and releasing, again and again, while Holden hid his face against his hot neck. He rolled Holden onto his back and hovered over him, propped up with an arm on either side of him, staring down at his mouth and his pale chest.
“You’re really something,” Bill murmured with a hint of amused wonder in his voice. “You know that?”
Holden didn’t know that, but he believed Bill, because Bill had turned out to be right about nearly everything.
“Say my name,” whispered Bill.
“Special Agent in Charge Tench,” Holden whispered back with a cheeky grin.
Bill nodded, smiling back. “That’s right. I am in charge. Never forget it.”
Like Holden could.
Bill lowered his head and found Holden’s mouth with his own. Holden had learned early on that Bill enjoyed kissing more than anyone he had ever known. His mouth, which so often appeared hard and uncompromising, softened when he pressed it to Holden’s. His wet, warm tongue filled Holden’s mouth, licking delicately one moment, and then fucking athletically in and out the next. Holden wrapped his arms around Bill’s neck and held on, letting him lead, letting him plunder and take whatever he wanted.
Bill’s hard cock tented his slacks and poked against Holden’s ribs. Holden tried to push up, to rub himself against the bulge, but Bill pinned him to the bed with knee and hip and arms. After another long slow, leisurely exploration of Holden’s mouth, he raised his head and gazed down at him, his blue eyes dark and deceptively sleepy looking.
“Can you guess what I want?” he husked.
Whatever Holden guessed it would likely be wrong. It didn’t matter anyway. Anything Bill wanted was exactly what he’d give to him. They both knew that. He shook his head.
“I want you to suck me.” He said it with the same inflection he might have used to say, I want you to turn left here, or, pass me the salt.
For some reason, this detachment turned Holden on even more. He swallowed convulsively, staring up into Bill’s hot gaze. “You need to let me up first.”
For a few moments, it seemed as if Bill had no intention of releasing him. Then he lifted off and rolled onto his back, folding one arm behind his head.
“Okay, then,” Holden muttered, biting his lip. He straddled Bills legs and attacked his belt buckle, focusing on his own shaking hands. If he dared meet Bill’s eyes, he’d be undone by the knowing, amused look he knew he’d find there.
One of Bill’s kinks, he’d discovered, was to remain mostly clothed while Holden was naked, which is why once he had his belt unfastened and his zipper undone, he shifted his clothing just enough to free Bill’s massive, erect cock. Holden’s sphincter spasmed at the sight of it, remembering the overwhelming feel of it stuffed inside of him. Long, thick, veiny and flushed purple red, it was an impressive sight. Holden took a moment simply to hold it in one fist and admire it.
Holden shimmied down Bill’s thick thighs, settling in and making himself comfortable. He lapped at Bill’s damp slit, tasting salt, and then sucked the head into his mouth and applied gentle suction. Large hands threaded through his hair, cradling his skull.
“That’s it,” Bill praised breathlessly. “So good.”
The simple words warmed Holden’s entire insides. He fed more of Bill’s cock into his mouth, only stopping when it bumped against the back of his throat. Bill made an inarticulate noise, hands tightening on Holden’s head, and his hips gave a quick, seemingly involuntary jerk upwards. Holden gagged, but stayed where he was. Last time they’d done this, he’d promised himself that the next time he’d take Bill all the way down.
He breathed in through his nose, relaxed his throat, and swallowed until his nose nudged the wiry nest of hair in Bill’s crotch, and his eyes began to water. He lifted his head for a quick breath, and then dropped back down, dragging his tongue along the underside, and repeated the motion again and again while he cupped Bill’s balls.
Bill began to mutter and curse incoherently. Holden could feel his thighs and hips begin to tense. Then, before Holden had a chance to steal another breath, Bill grasped the back of his head and shoved him down at the same time he thrust upwards. As he fucked Holden’s mouth with something approaching violence, Holden’s lungs screamed for air. He grew lightheaded, dimly wondering if Bill meant to face fuck him until he passed out.
Finally, Bill eased off. Holden jerked his head up, gulping down oxygen. Bill slipped his hands into Holden’s armpits and flipped him easily onto his back, ending the move with his knees straddling Holden. His cock was still rock hard and blood-dark. Keeping his gaze locked with Holden’s, he stroked himself off, requiring only a few brisk tugs until he was shooting all over Holden’s face and heaving chest.
“Yeah,” rasped Bill. “Just look at you.” He leaned in for a kiss, pressing himself against Holden and trapping his aching erection between them. Moving languidly, he rubbed off against Holden, bringing him right to the edge, but not giving him quite enough to send him over.
“Bill,” Holden whined. “Please.”
“Let me come. I’m so close.”
“Do you deserve to come?”
“Yes, I think so. Why not?” His brow wrinkled. “Didn’t I make it good for you?” The thought that he’d failed Bill somehow brought him dangerously close to panic, which made no sense.
“You were the best,” Bill soothed. “You were perfect.”
He rolled off Holden, gathered him into his arms, and took his cock in his huge hand. He tortured him for a while, keeping his movements slow and soft, using his thumb to tease his most sensitive spots. Finally, when he had Holden begging nonstop for release, he jacked him hard and fast, grinning wolfishly.
“I could watch you like this all day.” He slowed again, letting Holden catch his breath, and then sped up, biting down on Holden’s shoulder as he sent him flying over the edge.
By the time Holden’s breathing had returned to normal, Bill was snoring next to him. He rose silently and went to the bathroom to shower. When he returned, drying off with one of the cheap hotel towels, he stood for a few minutes watching Bill sleep, debating with himself over which bed to climb into.
Finally, regretfully, he turned to his own bed and pulled back the covers.
“Hey,” said Bill from behind him, voice rough with sleep, “what’re you doing?”
“Going to bed.” He grinned lopsidedly. “Early flight.”
“Nah. Not there.” Bill peeled back half of his covers and patted the mattress in invitation. “C’mere.”
Holden knew this wasn’t a good idea. He wanted it too much. Bill was probably only being pragmatic, preferring him accessible so he could sleep-fuck him in a couple of hours. The closeness meant more to Holden, because, evidently, he was an idiot. He lived for these moments, even though they would never evolve into anything more.
Still, unwilling to deny himself, he settled next to Bill, backing his ass up to Bill’s groin, and let out a soft, satisfied sigh when Bill’s thick, heavy arm fell across his middle and tugged him closer. This felt so nice, so comfortable and natural. He spoke before he could stop himself.
“Maybe we should reschedule our flight.”
He felt Bill’s chest lift and fall against his back in a deep sigh. “Why?”
“I want to take another run at Bundy. I really think I can crack him.”
Bill was silent for nearly a full minute. Holden had decided that he must have fallen asleep, when he spoke again.
“He won’t talk to you.”
“You don’t know that.”
Another chest-expanding sigh. Bill’s arms tightened, and his lips brushed the side of Holden’s neck, just beneath his ear. “I don’t want that guy anywhere near you.”
Holden tried to turn his head to get a better look at Bill’s face, but the angle was wrong. “You said it yourself. I’m not his type.”
“That’s irrelevant. This whole thing feels like a trap. He wants publicity, and we’re not going to give him that.”
Seven months ago – before Vacaville – Holden might have remained obstinate, arguing his position into the ground just to prove some obscure point. Now, he forced himself to relax, to take a deep breath, hold it, and expel it slowly.
“Okay,” he said. “Okay. But.” He bit his lip, debating whether or not to ask the question.
“But what?” asked Bill. That familiar edge of annoyance had crept into his voice.
Making up his mind, Holden allowed the words to spill out in a breathless rush. “But maybe we should stick around here for another day just the same.”
A deathly pause. “And what would be the purpose of that?”
Holden turned in Bill’s arms, pressed his entire length against him, and licked his neck delicately, up and up to the shell of his ear. “We can have a day. One whole day of just – ” lick, lick “ -- this.” Thrusting his knee between Bill’s legs, he humped suggestively.
Then, before he could even register that Bill was moving, he found himself flat on his back with Bill straddling him, pinning his wrists to the mattress next to his ears. There was no tenderness in Bill’s gaze.
“No. This does not rate a day off. This thing? This is merely incidental to the job.”
“De minimis,” Holden breathed. “Gotcha.”
He stared past Bill, up at the water-stained ceiling. “I get it, Bill,” he bit out. “I understand perfectly.” They both breathed harshly for a few seconds, out of sync. “You can let me up now.”
But Bill didn’t. Not right away. After a moment, his expression softened. “Don’t get me wrong. I do enjoy this. It’s great. You’re great, but if we make too much of it, if we get too greedy, we’re going to get caught. And unlike Mr. Theodore Bundy, I do not intend to get caught.”
Holden swallowed and nodded, tried to smile up at Bill, but suspected he was failing miserably. “Sure. I can see that.”
Power and control, he thought. Maybe just a little like Mr. Theodore Bundy after all.
“Consider this – ” Bill rolled his hips, letting Holden feel his newly hard cock. “Consider it one of the perks of the job.”
“Right.” He wondered dimly if Nancy would view it in the same light.
In a silence broken only by their harsh breathing and the occasional rattle of the air conditioner, tension grew and thickened and stretched between them, until finally, inevitably, “I wanna fuck you,” Bill murmured hotly against his neck.
Holden shut his eyes and gave his head a jerky nod. His own acquiescence made him a little sick, but he couldn’t seem to deny that he wanted it too. “I put some lube in the nightstand drawer.”
While Bill carefully opened him up, he lay motionless, ignoring the tightness in his chest, and the stupid, useless feeling of disappointment. When the fingers withdrew and Bill pushed inside of him, he let go of everything, concentrating on the stretch and the burn, the closeness, the filling of the void inside of him. He could feel the faint pulse of Bill’s cock, vibrating through him with a steady thrum, pressed halfway to his own erratically beating heart.
Bill pounded into him for long minutes without speaking, barely making a sound except for the occasional low grunt of exertion. He paused, buried to the hilt, to jerk Holden off, observing him impassively as he shuddered and shot, and came as hard as he ever had.
When Holden subsided, collapsing boneless to the mattress, Bill resumed his labors, pumping into Holden steady and smooth. After a few minutes, he sped up, abandoning control for mindless power. He grew more vocal and visibly excited as he neared his own climax. It seemed to take him forever to get there, and by the time he did, Holden was sore and anxious to have Bill out of him.
They pulled apart to lay side by side on their backs. Holden mapped the water stain on the ceiling with his eyes, and wondered if Bill was seeing the same thing. He doubted it. His gaze seemed far away, perhaps picturing his wife and his son, already feeling regret for this recurring weakness of his.
Holden nearly snorted out loud as he replayed that thought. Weakness? That was a laugh.
“Turn out the light,” said Bill through a yawn.
Nope. No hint of weakness in that order.
Holden figured he should get up and return to his own bed. If he’d been hazy on it before, his place in Bill Tench’s universe had now been firmly delineated. He was a perk of the job, nothing more. But really, he thought, striving for objectivity, the perk was his as well. In fact, he got a better deal out of this on balance, since he didn’t have to contend with the guilt that Bill did. Assuming Bill indulged in such feelings.
Holden stretched his arm toward the lamp and switched off the light. In the dark, it was easier for both of them to realign themselves, to fit themselves together under the covers, scrunch the pillows to their liking, and allow the heavy, satisfied languor of their bodies to ease them into unconsciousness.
As he hovered on the verge of sleep, with Bill’s heavy arm anchoring his middle, he felt warm breath gust against the back of his neck. Bill whispered against his ear, soft and confiding, “If you ever tell anyone about us, if Nancy ever finds out, I’ll fucking gut you.” And then he kissed Holden’s neck and promptly fell asleep.
Momentarily forgetting to breathe, Holden stared sightlessly into the darkness, grateful that he was already lying down. If he’d been on his feet, he might have collapsed every bit as gracelessly as he had at Vacaville.