Victor closed his laptop, then leaned back on the couch, threading his fingers through his hair and staring at the ceiling, considering the wisdom of what he had just done. Tomorrow at six o'clock he was going to meet CJ. Shit, he didn't even know if that was the other man's real name or not. Of course, CJ had never asked his real name either so they were even in that regard.
As he studied the white paint above him, Vic contemplated what he did know about the other man, trying to understand why he liked him and, more importantly, was attracted to him. People could be anyone or anything they chose to on the 'net, that was one of the things Mac told him back when they started this whole thing. There were predators out there, like Kirkdon, people who said whatever you wanted to hear just so they could get what they wanted.
Wondering if he was being naive or just plain stupid, Vic slumped forward, resting one elbow on his thighs, continuing to card his other hand through his hair. No. He wasn't that bad a judge of character, he couldn't be. Maybe he had no way yet of knowing if the other man had described himself accurately, but by tomorrow evening that would be resolved. At this point, Vic didn't care if CJ was short, with red hair and blue eyes or tall, with brown hair and eyes like he'd described himself. He wanted to talk to the guy. In person. Wanted to be able to look at him when they spoke, not at the damn computer screen.
The material of his sweatpants where the laptop had rested was warm and Victor idly rubbed his hand over the spot, letting his fingers trail over the inside of his thigh. Even though the dance had been all in his mind, it had still aroused him and the kiss...
With a soft groan, Vic leaned back once again, closing his eyes and replaying the moment, his palm sliding upward to brush against the growing bulge under the navy cotton. The touch was light enough that it could have been the press of CJ's legs against his as they moved together. Giving himself more fully to the fantasy, Victor arched upward into his palm, his other hand locked around the back of his neck as he envisioned the dance turning slower and more sensual, rocking his body against that of his partner.
His fingers slid beneath the soft fabric, stroking his erection, experimenting with different touches, trying to guess what CJ's hands would feel like on his bare skin. Vic rolled his hips in a slow counterpart to his explorations, arching his shaft harder into his palm, then relaxing as if in surrender. From the flared head, already damp with pre-cum to the lightly furred balls, he mapped his cock, exploring the hot, velvety skin as if touching it for the first time.
Need coiled deep within the ex-cop, and he emitted a hoarse gasp, his short fingernails digging into the skin at the nape of his neck as he closed his fist over his straining erection. Keeping his strokes long and slow for now, Vic bucked upward off the couch, begging with barely audible whimpers for his imaginary lover to let him come.
"Fuck yes, there, god... " The words spilled from Victor's lips without thought and his whole body spasmed, his hand tightening almost painfully on his engorged cock as he came, groaning CJ's name as liquid heat splattered his abdomen, soaking his sweats and the tee shirt he wore.
Unable to move, Vic sat sprawled out on the couch, still stroking himself lightly, until his breathing evened out and the thundering of his pulse slowed to something closer to normal. Grimacing slightly at the now cool dampness that coated his stomach, Victor skinned off his shirt and wiped himself down before heaving himself to his feet, heading for a hot shower and his bed.
Tomorrow couldn't come soon enough.
Subject: Quick question
That Starbucks can get pretty busy, how am I going to know who you are? I don't want to miss you by mistake.
PS - Did you manage to get any sleep last night?
Subject: Re: Quick Question
You think I'd let you miss me? I'd quiz everyone in the damn place until I found you . Seriously, I'll have on black pants, a gray shirt and, if all else fails, listen for the call for the triple shot almond cappuccino, doubt anyone else is insane enough to drink that.
And if you want the truth, no I didn't get any sleep last night. Between thinking about today and what went on last night, I think that's a given - but I promise not to fall asleep on you.
Subject: Re: Quick question
If you do fall asleep on me, I'll roll you over and poke you in the side to wake you up.
God I can't believe I said that. You're a bad influence on me, did you know that? I'm not normally so relaxed with people.
I'll be the one with the jeans, green shirt and black leather jacket drinking black coffee Looks like you're the high maintenance one when it comes to drinks anyway, guess we'll see about the rest.
Subject: Re: Quick Question
I should be offended, but instead I'll just ask you this:
Just what would you poke me with after you rolled me over?
And I've been known to be a bad influence, it's one of my better qualities, so I'm looking forward to getting you to relax even more. It sounds like you have enough stress in your life.
I can't wait either, see you in a few hours.
"Something is going on."
Dobrinsky looked up from his briefing reports. The Director was tapping her upper lip with her index finger and her expression was one of bemused interest. "With whom?" he asked. The single arched eyebrow told him everything he needed to know. "Ramsey and Mansfield."
"I can't put my finger on it, but both my boys are in good moods today. Too good considering they aren't getting anywhere on their assignment. I want to know why. Get Nathan to find out just what they have been doing with their time."
"I'm on it." Smirking slightly, Dobrinsky tossed the papers he had been reading back on his desk and went in search of the neurotic researcher.
"Boys, boys, boys," the Director sighed, shaking her head slowly. "If you've been playing when you should have been working you are going to regret it."
Parking in downtown Toronto was never an easy commodity to come by, a fact that was especially true around rush hour. Growling a curse at a rollerblader who darted in front of him as if he owned the road, Victor scanned the side streets for empty spaces. The luminous numbers of the clock on the dash counted down the ever dwindling minutes until six o'clock and every time they changed, he felt his nerves crank up another notch.
At this rate, he was going to have to backtrack and park in one of the public lots and that was going to make him late. That thought made the ex-cop grimace. The last thing he wanted to do was to miss CJ in passing, especially because of a damn parking space.
The afternoon had passed with hellish slowness, with every attempt to work or distract himself ending in miserable failure. He'd spoken to Li Ann, but she seemed distracted by some project the Director had her working on and the conversation had been short. Even Mac hadn't been around, leaving Vic to wonder just what his partner was into now.
The thought that he really couldn't cast stones at the younger man since he certainly wasn't working flitted across Victor's conscience, but he pushed away the regret for the moment. Tomorrow I'll get back to work on the case. It'll be easier then, I won't be so distracted.
Whatever god looked out for secret agent ex-cops must have been smiling, because at that instant a tan mini van pulled out of a spot just in front of him. Vic shouted in triumph, then whipped the truck into the space, parallel parking with a minimum of fuss. A quick check of his hair in the rearview mirror, a deep breath, and he was on the street, locking the door and setting the alarm before starting toward the coffee bar, hoping he didn't look as nervous as he felt.
"You are not going to believe this."
"Tell me anyway."
"It seems that one of them has been talking to someone we think is Kirkdon, it's just not Mansfield."
"Mac has been talking to Kirkdon? Why do I feel that this isn't all you have to tell me?"
"What's interesting is just who Victor has been chatting with."
The Director scanned the printouts that Dobrinsky handed her, her nails drumming a rapid tattoo on the mahogany of her desk. . Her fingers stilled, and the silence that filled the cool air was ominous. "Get them in here. Now."
Victor waited. Habit had him take a seat off to the side of the long thin room where he could see both entrances. He sat, white and green paper cup in hand, ignoring the fragrant steam that drifted from the hot beverage. A quick glance at his watch showed that a whole fifteen seconds had passed since his last look.
There were plenty of people here, just none wearing the right color combination. God if this was a set up I am so screwed. Vic may have hid it well, but between his experience with his fellow narcotics officers and Li Ann's 'postponement' of their engagement, he had lost some of his trust in his judgment when it came to those around him. If CJ didn't show... Victor shook his head, not allowing himself to start in that line of destructive thinking.
Forcing himself not to look at his watch again, Vic lifted his cup to his lips, then almost poured the hot brew all over himself when a pair of hands came down over his eyes, cutting off his vision. "Guess who?"
Jerking the hands from around his head, Vic turned and glared up at his grinning partner. "Mac, what the fuck are you doing here?"
The younger man shrugged, spun an empty chair around and sat straddling it, his elbows leaning on the slatted wooden back. "Didn't know it was against the law for me to drink coffee," he chuckled. "Or was that one of the Director's new dictums that I somehow missed? You know, 'Mac Ramsey is not allowed to consume caffeine anywhere within the province of Ontario on punishment of death'."
"Works for me." Vic looked toward the door, praying that no one would come in while Mac was here, it was a situation that he didn't want to have to explain, not now anyway. "Better get out while you can, or she'll sic Jackie on you."
Mac actually looked nauseous at that suggestion. "Gee thanks, care to bring in a few jackals to gnaw at my bones while you're at it?"
Victor found himself grinning at that. Maybe this wasn't such a bad thing, as long as he could get rid of Mac before CJ arrived. At least the other man was giving him something to think about other then his 'blind date'. "Sure, I'll invite the Cleaners too if you want, might as well make it a party."
"Victor, Victor, Victor," Mac sighed. "That is so not my style." He started to say more, but was interrupted by the counter worker. "There's my drink, I'm outta here. Oh, I think I have a lead on Kirkdon, I'll tell you about it tonight."
"Yeah, okay... " Vic barely noticed when Mac stood and left the table for among the beverages called had been a triple shot almond cappuccino. This was it. The nervous tremor in his belly grew to include his hand and Victor set his drink on the table so as not to spill it, his gaze riveted to the part of the counter where people picked up their coffee.
There was Mac, a woman, an older couple, and another man up there. Vic shifted to the edge of his seat, chewing on the inside of his lower lip, watching as the tall, brown haired man collected his drink and turned, but then walked out of the café without a second glance anywhere around him. That only left...
The skin around his eyes tightening as he winced, Vic looked back to the counter, his expression changing to one of fury as he studied the single person left there. Brown hair, brown eyes, black linen pants, gray raw silk shirt, peering over the top of his sunglasses with the same hopeful puppy dog grin he wore whenever he was trying to get his way or get out of a punishment.
Mac was CJ.
No way. No fucking way.
The ex-thief raised his cup in a tentative toast that had Vic on his feet, stalking out of the building, knowing that if he didn't get out of there, he was going to smear Mac's pretty face all over the floor.
"Neither of them have their phones on."
"Then get our people out there and find them. I want this resolved tonight."
"Victor? Hey, come on!"
Vic's stride didn't falter and in fact lengthened as he tried to put more distance between himself and his partner.
"Listen, Vic, I know what it looks like... " Mac caught up with Vic and grabbed his shoulder, only to find himself with a face-full of the barrel of the older man's gun.
"Shut up, Mac. I do not want to hear another word from you, understand?" The other man nodded slowly, apparently deciding that the fury blazing in Vic's eyes made the threat a genuine one. "You got me. Must be damn proud of yourself too, suckered me in all the way on it."
"Vic, it-" The rest of whatever Mac had to say was lost in a painful grunt as Victor's fist connected with the side of his face, sending the younger man's sunglasses clattering to the ground.
"Shut the fuck up!" Vic wanted nothing more then to repeat the blow, to knock some of the ever-present cockiness from Mac's stance, but he held himself back. "No more, Mac. This was it. Find yourself a new partner; I'm not going to deal with your shit any longer. If the Director has a problem with it, she can just shoot me, would probably hurt less anyway." Giving his former partner a final, withering glare, Vic spun and stalked to his truck, grinding the ignition and tearing out into traffic without a backward glance.
Mac watched the bright red pickup disappear into the dusk and, moving like a man three times his age, stooped to pick up his mangled sunglasses. "It wasn't a game," he murmured, his tone defeated.
BlackWatch: Thought you had to work tonight?
LghtFngrs: Yeah, well I got lucky and switched shifts with a guy I know. So...
LghtFngrs: You still interested in getting together?
BlackWatch: Babe, I thought you'd never ask.
"What did you do, Mac? The Director is on a rampage."
"I fucked up, Li Ann, big time."
"How? All I know is that Dobrinsky is turning the city upside down looking for you and Victor. What is going on?"
"I'll tell you later, okay? Right now I've got to get ready for a date."
"A date? Mac, are you out of your mind?"
"So I've been told. And it's work related, tell the dragonlady that Kirkdon will be in her hands by the end of the evening, no problem."
"Damnit, Mac! What are you talking about? You aren't going after him by yourself! Where's Victor?"
"No idea, doll, and it's probably better that way. Don't worry, I've got it under control. I'm going to meet him... Hang on, that's the door."
"Forget the door! Where are you meeting this man? He's dangerous, you can't do this without backup."
"I'll be fine, he'll be on the Director's desk come morning wrapped up in a big red bow, okay? Can I help you?"
The connection dissolved into a loud burst of static at that, making Li Ann jerk the phone back from her ear. Redialing Mac's number only got her a 'this line is not in service' recording and sent her racing toward Mac's apartment, driving with one hand while she tried in vain to reach Vic, then reported the situation in to the Agency along with a call for reinforcements.