Soul Alone I: Together
Written by Justine

Frank Pembleton stared at the front of the large brick building he had called home for over six years. The Baltimore Police Department and Tim Bayliss. He smiled. It had sure been one hell of a ride.

Taking a deep breath, he walked inside and entered emotional overload. He was back in the squad room. The smell of stale coffee permeated the thick air. Smoke filtered in and out of his nostrils giving Frank a nicotine craving he hadn’t felt in years. He started the long trek upstairs, hesitating briefly when he reached the door handle. /Stupid…stupid/ Inhaling deeply, he opened the door, picking up on bits and pieces of conversation as he moved from one world to the next. Arguments here…jokes there. Nothing could beat the camaraderie of cops nearing the end of a long week of blood and death.

He searched the room for any signs of Bayliss. It had been a long time and Frank wasn’t the type of guy who kept in touch. Since Bayliss was that type of guy, it surprised Frank that he did just the opposite. No phone calls after the preliminary three-month absence – no letters for over a year. Definitely not characteristic Tim behavior, very hinky indeed. He thought briefly that maybe he didn’t know Bayliss as well as he thought but brushed that idea away quickly. It weakened him to admit the friendship and love he had for the man. They were closer to each other than Frank would ever admit to anyone but God. He knew how sensitive Tim could be, and how vulnerable. If the camaraderie between cops showcased them at their best, then the bigotry of the way they treated Bayliss certainly epitomized the worst. Tim needed him. He swallowed hard and tried to ignore his implicating thoughts. /That's not the only reason you're here Frank. Just admit it right now and get it over with. / He shuddered. They needed each other.

"As I live and breathe. The black sheep returns to the flock."

Frank sighed. Munch had spotted him. Now it was only a matter of time before everyone knew he was here. "Just for a visit, thank God."

"You missed us." Munch sat on the edge of his desk.


"Not even a little bit?"

"Clean out your ears John. NOT ONE BIT." Frank smiled. "I didn’t look back."

"I’m hurt."

"You’ll get over it." He searched again. "Where’s Bayliss?"

Munch studied Frank carefully. Ah…so this is why you’re here, he thought. Coming to the defense of the man who died for you. "Tim’s fine Frank."

"That wasn’t my question."

"But that is why you decided to bless us with your presence, right?" Munch picked up his coffee cup and sipped thoughtfully. "He doesn’t need you…now." He added the last word as an afterthought. Wallow in it for a while Frank.

Frank smiled dryly. "Funny, I don’t remember soliciting your opinion."

"All the best things in life are free." Munch stood. "Bayliss is out with Lewis. He’s primary on a bad one. There’s been some threats."

"Against Bayliss?"

"Yeah. You know the drill. I’m gonna kill you. Bang. Bang. Get out of my face." He shrugged. "The bad guys never think they deserve the attention we give them. They’re shy that way."

"Look, I’m going to wait for Bayliss at his desk." Frank turned. "If you don't mind?"

Munch shrugged. "You know where the coffee is." He sipped his last drop and left Frank alone with his thoughts.


Lewis watched Tim Bayliss soundlessly. He was surprised to realize that more and more he’d meant what he’d said on the rooftop following the Moss shooting. Bayliss was one hell of good cop. He wondered briefly why he was surprised and smiled. Seven years flashed back in the blink of an eye. Bayliss, young and wet behind the ears, starting a new job in a hostile environment with a water cooler for a desk. Bayliss being forced to work with Frank Pembleton when no else was willing to suffer. Bayliss picking up the phone -- and the anguish on the Adena Watson murder case. Bayliss screwing around with all the women Lewis found fascinating. Bayliss bleeding to death in Frank’s arms. He shuddered. Definitely a chapter in the history of the Baltimore PD they could all live without.

"Earth to Lewis."

He suddenly realized that Tim was trying to communicate. "I’m listening."

"For a moment there, you looked like you were somewhere else, or something."

"Yeah life is just so fascinating."

Tim frowned. "Yeah, well, not so much anymore for Mr. Edgars." He gestured back towards the alley.

Lewis shrugged. "You gotta be blind not to see the connection." He paused. "This guy’s out for blood. Preferably mine and yours." He considered. "Yours more than mine Timmy."

Lewis smirked as Tim shook his head and maneuvered back into the alley. Mr. Allan Edgars was killed as a warning and both he and Bayliss knew it. He followed the stench to their latest victim.

Tim examined the scene uneasily. Something just wasn’t right. He cringed. / What an understatement. You’re standing less than three feet away from a man not much older than you are whose life was ended in another act of senseless violence. What could be more wrong than that ?/ The feeling that their murderer was playing games wouldn't leave him? Three victims, men in their early thirties to late forties, killed in the same grotesque manner. Raped, eviscerated, and strangled – in that order – it was the most disgusting string of murders Tim had ever seen.

"You okay?" Lewis spoke softly.

Tim jumped. He had been so caught up in the murder scene he hadn't heard the other detective approach. "Huh? Oh, yeah, fine." He knelt next to the body, careful to avoid the swirling pools of blood, and moved the head gently. Tim turned to the uniforms. "Get something to cover him up, okay?" There was something about the man lying nude that made him feel vulnerable. He tried not to think about why but Lewis picked up on it immediately.

"We all feel that way man. It's that Biblical Garden of Eden stuff." He smiled. "Yo Adam put on a damn fig leave before someone sees all your parts. It's normal."

"Oh…right." Tim looked up at the sky. What the hell was wrong with his concentration? Thunder sounded in the distance and he frowned. Baltimore was about to take another spring shower.

"You seem surprised." Lewis searched Tim's face. "Or maybe it's just indifference?"

"Neither. I just didn’t' know you were so religious."

"Catholics don't have a patent on modesty."

"I'm not Catholic." Tim stood and removed his gloves.

"Neither am I."

Bayliss allowed one final look at the dead man. "The naked body is nothing to be ashamed of Lewis."

Lewis snickered as a pot bellied uniform passed. "Well, not some people's anyway." It started to sprinkle. "You about finished here Timmy?"

Bayliss nodded slowly and dismissed the scene. "Get this guy out of here."


Frank heard Bayliss before he saw him.

He and Lewis were arguing strongly as they walked into the department.

"That's nuts. Barlow isn't gonna risk everything again. Not when he thinks he's off the hook. Prison issues would mess with his Armani fix."

Tim seemed exasperated. "You got it wrong. It's not the ideal that's crazy. It's the man Lewis." He held a long finger in front of the other man's face. "Read my lips: So-See-O-Path."

For once Lewis didn’t argue. They both wanted to close this case very badly.

Theodore Barlow was a member of one of Boston's oldest families and as such thought he was above the law. Rich, good-looking and dangerous, he was Bayliss and Lewis's number one suspect in the murder of the three men but not in the rapes. Semen samples taken from the victims didn't match conclusively. He was working with someone, Tim was sure of it. They'd had him in the box twice already but Barlow never gave an inch. Add that to the fact that his father had a lot of pull downtown and you had one very screwed up political quagmire. Gee had already told them to tread carefully and he knew that Barnfather was probably shitting in his britches, but Tim hated political pandering of any sort and was slowly getting very pissed off. If only they could get some concrete proof on this wacko he'd feel better but it didn't seem to be there. He rubbed his eyes and walked toward the coffee. What the hell was he missing?

Frank stared. Tim didn't even glance once in his direction. He even had the nerve to walk right past him on his way to a hot cup of coffee. / Which I made thank you very much / Tim gathered some notes, sipped his coffee, placed it on his desk and started to leave the department. Halfway out the door he stopped in his tracks and turned back dumbfounded. Frank smiled. Some things in life never changed.

"You look like you've seen a ghost Tim." Frank remained where he was. The next move was up to his friend.

"Almost." Tim watched as Frank held out his hand. So this is what it's come to, he thought miserably, polite greetings and hurt feelings. He accepted the handshake. "Frank."

"A bigger frown and I'd think maybe you weren't happy to see me."

Tim shrugged. "I'm just surprised."

"Why'd you come back to the slums Frank?" Lewis interrupted, smiling broadly. "New York not doing it for you?"

"Whatever the reason was, he didn't miss us." Munch offered from across the room.

Frank saw Tim smart at that remark and felt a twinge of guilt.

"How about lunch." Frank was slowly becoming uncomfortable. "I know it's a little late but I'm buying."

Bayliss groaned inwardly. / A little late. The second understatement of the day./ "Yeah, well, I'm working Frank." He moved toward the exit again.

"Maybe another time," Frank attempted. He hated the wounded expression on his friend's face. He hated even more that he'd put it there.

"That depends on how long you're gonna be around I guess." Tim turned to face him. "I mean, wouldn’t' you say so, Frank? He smiled sadly and walked out of the department.

For a moment not even Munch said a word. Then the clatter started. Pats on the shoulder, welcome-back hugs, it seemed everybody was happy to see him. Everybody Frank amended, except the only person that mattered. He was determined to not let Tim have the last word. It simply wasn't in his nature.


Frank caught up to his former partner opening the door of a familiar white Chevy Cavalier.

"Playing hard to get isn't your style Tim." Frank sat in the passenger seat and closed the door.

Tim took a deep breath and lay his head on the top of the vehicle. This was just perfect. Partnered with Lewis on a case that was going nowhere, no sex in over a year, job aggravation beyond all comprehension and now, Frank appearing to complete the current chapter of his miserable life. Did he have any idea what seeing him means to me, Tim wondered? How much it's killing me not to be able to touch him? Tim shrugged. Probably not, Frank was far from being the sentimental type. He got in the car.

"Are you calling me easy?" Tim started the engine and pulled away with a flourish.

"I'm not calling you anything."

"That's not what I heard Frank." Tim checked the mirror before turning.

"You think I called you easy?" Frank laughed.

"If I'm not hard to get, I'm easy."

"You never understand what I'm saying." Frank turned to look out the window. The familiar Fells Point scenery silenced everything but his thoughts.

"Okay…forget it." Tim willed his mood to change. "When did you get here?"

"This morning." He paused. "So, what was that all about back there?" Frank gestured over his shoulder.

"Mary and the kids okay?"

"Fine." Frank took a deep breath. "Well?"

Tim didn't answer for a moment but when he spoke the pain in his voice was palpable. "What do you expect from me Frank? You leave me without so much as a promise of a visit, and I'm still thinkin' you'll change your mind. But you don't…and I'm alone. End of story." He paused to catch his breath. "It was just so sudden." He slammed on the break nearly running through a red light. "Dammit! Doesn't anyone know how to drive?"

Jesus, Tim, I didn't think I hurt you that bad, Frank thought, or did I? "I had a life Tim."

"Yeah, I know. I was a part of it once, remember?" Tim pulled the car to the curb. "Look, I'm glad to see you." Frank didn't look convinced. "Really. It's just that you caught me at a bad time."

"You're trying to be calm because you know I'm right -- as usual-- but it's not working." He paused. "I can tell you're pissed."

"Oh. You can tell that?" Tim replied.

"I've known you long enough." Frank watched Tim carefully.

"And you think I'm pissed."

"Your mouth is hanging open. It's a dead give away."

"My mouth?" He shook his head. "Right Frank, I hear you." Tim yawned.

"You look tired." For the first time Frank noticed that he DID look tired. Dark circles stood out against Tim's pale cheeks. He definitely needed a good nights sleep.

"I'm fine. It's just been a long day. I've had a lot of long days lately." He started the car. "Look, I really don't have time for lunch but you can accompany me to the ME's if you want."

Frank laughed. "Just like old times."

Tim didn't speak as he digested Frank's words. Not quite, he thought. Not quite.

Frank considered the other man silently. He'd lost more weight but Frank wasn't that concerned about it. Tim had been thin when he'd seen him last, lying in a hospital bed, still unsteady on his feet. Every day he was alive was a miracle and Frank never stopped thanking God for his intervention. He examined Tim's profile; rounded nose in the air, lips out. He looked good…very good. Frank glanced away. There wasn't any use really. The way Frank remembered Tim most of all was pale and frightened, lying in a pool of blood on a hospital gurney, moaning incoherently and caught in the grip of a seizure. He had helped undress his partner, had told Tim he was going to be okay but still Frank could not let go of the guilt that consumed him. Tim was more than a partner, he was a friend. Your best friend, he reminded himself. / One you want very badly / Your only friend in the world, and you nearly got him killed. The part of the story where he abandoned Tim when he needed him most, Frank chose to ignore for the moment.


"So that's it, huh?"

"Almost." Griscom smiled. "Detectives…" He looked at Frank pointedly. "Or should I say Detective? Mr. Edgars died the same way as the other two gentlemen with one exception."

"You gonna share that with us?"

Griscom cringed. Bayliss sure was in a bad mood. He wondered if Pembleton's presence had anything to do with his demeanor. "Of course." He paused. "The semen was missing."

"What?" Frank and Tim said in unison.

"No semen." Noting the confused expressions, he continued. "Whoever raped this man didn't come. Didn't finish. Didn't shoot his…"

"We get it!" Tim shouted. "Why?"

"I am a genius at anatomy boys, but when it comes to sexual dysfunction I'm happy to say I have no experience…in that area… whatsoever." He smiled. "Edgars probably just didn't do it for him. Either that or this time our rapist slash killer decided to wear a condom." He paused. "Gentlemen, my job here is finished. Yours is just begun."

Tim nodded and turned to Frank. "Another dead end."

Frank looked at the body. Edgars was a tall, attractive man in his mid-thirties with brown hair. It was eerie somehow, the way he resembled his old partner. "Don't you think he looks like you?"

Tim glanced at the body and considered. "No."

"I'm glad someone said it." Griscom grinned. "My thoughts exactly the entire time I was cutting."

Tim left without looking back.


The silence in the car was deafening.

Tim hadn't said a word since they left the ME's office and it was starting to drive Frank mad. There was no denying that Mr. Edgars looked a lot like Tim. He sighed. Maybe he was seeing things that just weren't there. Regardless, it was becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the feelings he had for his partner. He couldn't honestly say they had come out of nowhere, but it was difficult to pinpoint the exact moment he realized that he desperately wanted to screw his best friend.

He remembered peering through a dilapidated old house and watching Tim shave a tired old man who he later found out was named George Bayliss. Frank learned more about his partner in that single minute than some people discover in a lifetime. Tim had such a capacity to love and forgive. It was then his feelings for Tim started to change into something more than friendship. He wanted to explore every facet of this truely remarkable man.

"You really think Edgars and me look alike?"

"Huh?" Frank collected his thoughts. "I do."

Tim cringed. It all made sense. The reason the nude body made him so nervous back at the scene was its resemblance to a person he knew very well. He shuddered.

Suddenly Tim knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the reason there was no semen present at the rape was that Barlow had done this one…and he had been very careful. The semen inside the other two victims was unmatchable to Barlow although other trace evidence pointed to his involvement. But why rape this man and not the others? Unless the other victims had been raped by two different men and Barlow had covered his tracks both times. Still, the reasoning remained that this man was only assaulted by one individual since it didn't make sense for the prior rapist to use a condom on Edgars and not the others. He sighed. It was starting to make his head spin.

"Wanna run it by me?" Frank asked quietly.

"Why not. It'll give me some practice for Lewis."

When Bayliss was finished Frank let out a deep breath.

Tim swallowed. "Tell me about it."

"You've thought it all through but you've neglected one important element."

"I did." Tim sighed.

"Yes, you did." Frank started to hesitate but continued. "The guy who was in all probability raped only by Barlow, is the guy who resembles you."

Tim didn't answer, the look on his face said enough. Frank didn't push.


"I'm telling you, he wants you bad Timmy." Lewis was dead serious.

"This is crazy. The guy hates my guts." Tim sat at his desk looking haggard and not giving a damn.

"Rape is not a crime of love," Frank added.

Tim spoke slowly. "I know that Frank, okay?"

Of course you do, Frank added silently. "I mis-spoke."

"Forget it."

Tim sighed. This case was getting weirder by the minute. "I want to bring him in again."

Lewis frowned. "No way no how is Gee gonna allow it. Papa Barlow's breathing down the commissioner's neck the way it is. Seems he's the only sap that thinks his wacko son is sane."

Frank looked at his watch. Could it possibly be six o'clock already? "What you need Tim is a little sleep. Things will look clearer in the morning."

Tim nodded absently. Frank was right. He was exhausted and besides, there was nothing more he could do for now. Except…. "Soon. I want to look over these statements first. There's got to be something more."

"Don't second guess yourself Tim. We'll get him," Lewis added.

"How many more men will he kill first?"

Frank frowned. "Anyone else hungry?"

Lewis caught on. "As it so happens I'm free."

"You want to have dinner?" Frank looked skeptical.

"You're a guest in our fair city. I can't let you dine alone." Lewis smiled. "It's the least I can do, seeing as you're paying and all."

"Tim?" Frank's glance was almost pleading and Tim smiled genuinely for the first time that day.

"I guess I have to eat." He stood up and grabbed his coat. "Did you know I'm a vegetarian now?"

"Oh joy."

"It's true." Tim paused. "I feel better."

"You look like hell."

"It's good for me Frank."


The evening went better than any of them would have guessed. Shoptalk took a back seat to a steady conversation dotted with jokes and tales of past exploits and old times. The beer helped a lot. By the time midnight rolled around, Lewis was starting to get antsy.

"That's a night for me." He stood. "Thanks for the company but I gotta be up at the crack of dawn."

"Good-night." Tim smiled.

Lewis nodded to Frank and left.

"He always drinks and eats the most and never leaves a tip." Frank scowled.

"Where are you staying?" Tim yawned.

"I thought I could stay with you."

Tim trembled slightly halting himself in mid-yawn. "I don't think you've ever been in my apartment Frank."

"For god's sake of course I have."

"No, I'm pretty clear on this. You've never visited."

"Why do you always have to go picking things apart?"

Tim scowled. "All I'm saying is you've never visited."

"Well, better late than never." He gathered his things. "Let's go."

With a deep sigh, Tim stood to exit the restaurant.


Tim stood in the shower and let the scalding water caress every sore muscle in his body. He smoothed wet hair out of his eyes and luxuriated in the soothing pelt of the jet-spray upon his back. Reaching for a bar of soap, Tim lathered first his chest than his stomach, inhaling the crisp scent of cleanliness. He sighed as his hands moved down between his thighs, slicking his semi-hard penis with a lather of soapy bubbles. Slowly he started to stroke, up and down, his hand tight upon his thickening shaft.

"Uh…uh." He sucked in his bottom lip and bit back a groan, careful to hide his vocalizations from the sleeping man on his couch.

He'd forgotten about how good Frank's hearing was.

"You okay Tim?"

Tim didn't hear the question and moaned louder this time, caught in the pull of orgasm.

Frank reached for the door and entered the bathroom. Through the curtain he could see Tim, naked and wet, erection evident in the shadowy shower stall. He licked his lips and felt a familiar surge through his loins. Damn. Why couldn't he simply act on his feelings and make love to the one man in the world he wanted more than life? If only it were that simple. As much as Frank desired him, a one-night stand would offer more hurt than comfort. He simply didn’t have the right to shake up Tim's life again. The object of his desire moaned and fell back against the wall, his breathing heavy. "I knew you were happy to see me Tim," Frank whispered softly.

This would probably be his only chance to let Tim know how he felt. Frank had a sinking feeling that if he didn’t act now, he never would at all, thereby losing his chance with Tim forever. Frank made his decision and left without closing the door.


He waited for Tim to exit the bathroom and crawl into bed. The fresh smell of his newly showered friend preceded him throughout the house. Good Lord Tim, if you only knew what I was thinking about all day, he thought. Taking a deep breath Frank stood and walked toward where Tim was laying and sat on top of the covers, placing his hand on top of Tim's blanketed thigh.

"What's the matter?"

"Nothing at all."

Tim considered. "Frank?"

Frank pulled the covers aside and glided his body next to Bayliss. "Why do you always have to question everything?" He carefully unbuttoned his nightshirt with growing anticipation. So far Tim voiced no complaints to his hastily planned seduction. Frank leaned over and kissed him hard on the mouth but Tim did not respond. He tried again with the same results.

"Maybe I made a mistake Tim." He frowned and started to pull away but Tim's expression drew him back.

"So that's it, huh?" Tim sat up on the bed. "You come back into my life after nearly a year without a word, and I'm supposed to... what? Welcome you back with open arms…into my bed?"

"Forget about it, okay?" Frank's head was spinning. What the hell had he been thinking coming on to Tim that way? It must have been the beer at dinner.

"Is that your plan?" Tim folded his arms across his chest in his best attempt to keep Frank at bay. "That we fuck each other and then it'll be okay between us huh? God Frank. You never do anything small."

Frank bristled. He goofed. "Tim, I honestly thought you wanted this."

"That was never in question." Tim smiled lightly, smoothing his fingers across the outline of Frank's full lips. He couldn’t remember the number of nights he had lain awake dreaming of this very moment, but now that he was living it, the dream suddenly seemed unreal. He definitely wanted Frank, but why did Frank all of a sudden want him? He looked at the large brown eyes questioningly.

"I don't want to lose your friendship Frank." Tim looked away for a moment. "I need you too much."

"You'll never lose me Tim." Frank stared at him confused.

"No?" Tim turned quickly. "Didn't I lose you once already?" He shuddered. "I thought we were close and we were Frank. Maybe we were too close. I told you bad things. Things I've never spoken before out loud, never discussed except in nightmares."


"Let me finish for once, okay Frank?" Frank nodded and he continued. "I depended on you. I guess that was my first mistake. It was stupid. I got used to us instead of me." He paused. "I could have lived like that forever."

"We were great together."

"Yeah, we sure were." Frank noticed tears in his eyes as he continued. "You liked me Frank. I know you did. Maybe not at first, but I grew on you."

"Gee didn't give me a choice." He grinned and tried to change the subject. The waters were getting a bit too rough. "I still hate your ties though."

Tim ignored the comment. "When I made mistakes you didn't rail me for them. I could be a goof around you Frank." He smiled softly. "I felt so much…I still do. But you kept me grounded. I've never had stability in my life before. My Uncle George, my father…each of them destroyed me just a little bit but you Frank, you put me back together."

Frank closed his eyes briefly, moved by his partner's words. "I can't take all the credit for that Tim."

"Maybe not, but I grew more confident with you Frank, more in control. Then suddenly you were gone. I lost it for a while."

"Tim, I'm sorry."

Tim laughed. "Of course I'll forgive you. Our relationship was always like that. The worst thing I could ever think of was you being angry with me. God, it used to scare me to death. The thought that I'd make one wrong move, one more stupid error, and that would be the excuse you'd need… to tell Gee… you didn't want to partner with me anymore."

"You broke with me first Tim. Remember?"

Tim nodded. "After I told you about my uncle. I hated you knowing Frank. I disgusted myself at the time. The thought that you might feel the same way…." His words trailed off.

"You never disgusted me Tim."

He smiled sadly. "I know that now. But at the time I was in another place. A bad place."

"I know." Frank considered. Where in the world was this going? For the first time since the evening began, he had the vague premonition that maybe Tim was going to refuse him. That thought saddened him in a way he never thought possible.

Tim closed his eyes as Frank gently stroked his arm. "Are we really gonna do this?"

"Just kiss me Bayliss."

Tim nodded and lay back on the bed, Frank's body over his a warm but wild shroud. He closed his eyes as the kiss claimed him. Frank shoved his tongue inside Tim's mouth, forcing him to open wide. Lips smashed together seamlessly as they moaned into each other's mouths, neither willing to break the moment both had dreamt of for so long.

For a while they existed as a grappling of arms and legs, entwined together, eager hands caressing and exploring each other's bodies. Finally Frank pulled away and sat up on the bed as Tim tried unsuccessfully to catch his breath.

He gestured to Tim's clothes. "I suppose you want me to do that for you?"

His partner blushed lightly and Frank's desire increased ten-fold as Tim removed his shirt and pants, staring at Frank with a shy expression on his face. "Okay?"

"Much better." The moonlight accentuated the ivory hue of Tim's skin, making it glow like the flame of a candle. Frank knew he had never seen a more beautiful man in his life. "Are you okay with this?"

Tim smiled. "If you are Frank."

"This isn't just about me Tim. My feelings for you run deeper than I thought." He frowned. "They're part of why I left."

Tim shook his head. "I didn't know."

"I couldn't live with myself if I hurt you again." He grabbed Tim's slim hand and squeezed, running his thumb across the top. "The last time I did this, I thought you were going to die." Frank paused to look at his soon to be lover. "I was sure it was all my fault."

"You didn't shoot me."

"I froze. That's almost the same thing."

Tim silenced him with a kiss. "No it's not. You have to know I've never blamed you Frank. I could never blame you." His gaze lingered, almost smoldering in its intensity. "Other than the fact that you blame yourself enough for the both of us, I…" Tim started shaking. If admitting he'd been molested was difficult, than his next words were downright impossible. "I love you."

Frank cupped the side of Tim's face in his hand and stroked the slightly flushing cheekbone. Without his glasses Tim looked like a lost little boy. The last time he had that thought was in the hospital, Tim's supple mouth bound by white medical tape, his short brown hair disheveled. He shuddered. "That means a lot."

For a while both men said nothing, content to sit in the dark, silent room. Tim looked directly at his friend. "I've never done this before Frank. You're my first."

"I would have thought you and Rawls…no?" Tim shook his head. Frank pushed him down to the bed and smiled. "I think I can handle the basics." He pulled Tim into his arms and snuggled against his long, elegant neck. Tim groaned and pushed hard into Frank's chest, his eyes closed tight.

Tim could feel the strength of Frank's arousal throbbing hard along his belly. For a moment he forgot how to breathe and gasped when Frank's penis jammed against him.

"Oh…oh." The feeling was heavenly. The thought that he, Tim Bayliss, could reduce this magnificent man to an unspoken passion was almost unbelievable. He wanted this moment. God how he'd wanted it bad. Tim felt Frank's hands upon him; light feathery touches that ignited his skin and made him tremble hopelessly with need. He spread his legs in invitation, beckoning Frank to touch him there, to take whatever he wanted. His cock jumped at the first caress, Frank's fingers practiced and sure against his heated flesh.

"You're doing fine Tim." Frank watched the man below him shuddering violently. Tim's lips were swollen from all the attention and Frank wondered if there were ever any days he had seen his partner this way; tousled and well used after a good morning fuck. He couldn't remember any particular instances but then again; Tim's love life hadn't been the busiest the last time they were partners.

"God…" Tim felt Frank's lips on his stomach and groaned when the long, wet tongue inserted itself into his belly button thrusting in and out, a prelude fuck to the upcoming event. Frank moaned loudly and started to massage Tim's aching cock. Tim knew he was close to coming but didn't want to end so soon. This was too good to be true. He certainly didn't deserve it. If only Uncle George could see him now he'd--no! Tim desperately tried to block the image of the man out of his mind but it was no use. If George could see him now, he'd probably come in his pants. / If you turned him on as a kid….imagine what he'd want to do to you now / "No." His voice was a whisper.

Frank continued his ministrations. He was aching to be inside Tim but didn't want to rush. One kiss here, another there, his lover on fire beneath him, Frank hadn't been this hard in a very long time. He wondered suddenly what Tim was feeling. / He said he loves me. I think I've always known / Frank took Tim in his hand and marveled at the feel of him. Holding another man's cock was strange. Tim's penis was large and firm, the head already starting to leak fluid. He licked away the moisture, grinning at Tim's shuddery response.

Tim opened his eyes and stared at his lover. Frank surrounded him body and soul. This man was not his uncle. This man cared for him. Wanted him in a way he'd always hoped for but never thought possible. Still, the specter of Uncle George was a hard one to submerge. He shuddered, hoping Frank didn't notice his brief hesitation.

He should have known better.

"Tim?" Frank stopped all movement to observe his lover.

"No…no…no." Tim chanted miserably.

Frank cursed his overeager libido and lack of foresight. He should have known that Tim would have some sexual hang-ups even though he didn't voice them out loud. "We don't have to do this."

"I want to Frank." He smiled sadly. "This happens sometimes. It doesn't last long."

Frank pulled Tim into his arms and stroked his back. His fingers found the pink, jagged scar and paused. Tim loved him. He kissed the top of his head lightly, Tim's hair soft as silk. "Just relax."

Tim inhaled. Frank was holding him, touching him gently and for a while he could feel safe and secure. For the moment everything was right with the world.


Barlow watched the darkened room from his position outside. Soon, he would have his revenge against Tim Bayliss. He turned to look in the backseat. Lewis was unconscious and gagged, sprawled in an unnatural position. He'd been a tough one to submit but Bayliss would be a different story entirely. His old buddy had come at the perfect time.

Barlow smiled and gestured for his driver to start the car. All hell was going to break loose real soon and he just couldn't be happier.


Frank raised Tim's chin and stared into his world-weary hazel eyes. You're beautiful Tim, he thought. And you love me. "Are you okay?"

Tim pulled away and lay down on the mattress, pulling Frank on top of him. "I want you." He trembled. "I want you now."

Frank didn't ask if he was sure. He didn't need to. Tim trusted him enough to know that if he wanted to stop, if he needed to slow down at any point, Frank would agree to everything. He kissed Tim passionately, holding the slender man in a gentle grip. Despite his assurances to the contrary, his lover looked fragile. He spread Tim before him like a banquet, determined to enjoy him fully and in return give Tim more pleasure than he'd ever had in his life.

Frank started at his collarbone, planting wet, sloppy kisses against the pale frame, then moved slowly down to Tim's stiff, flushed nipples. He sucked each one in turn, alternating a quick nibble, until he felt Tim start to respond beneath him. Frank heard the ragged gasps and knew that Tim was equally as aroused as he, only more careful about unleashing his passions.

"God…" Tim moaned incoherently, thrusting his body against Frank's.

"Let go baby." Frank intoned softly. "Just let go."

"I can't…I…oh my god!" Tim nearly screamed when he felt his penis engulfed inside the most intense heat he could ever imagine. Frank drew him in deep and released, over and over. He opened his eyes in time to see his entire length disappear between Frank's large, velvet lips. Tim pushed again, nearly bucking himself off the mattress. It felt so good…so right. Where in the world did Frank learn how to do THAT? He shuddered. Frank was moving up and down his cock using swift, merciless strokes that left him breathless. Tim knew he was near to coming. He wanted to grab Frank's head and force him to make the sensations continue forever but a part of Tim still thought he should feel lucky that Frank wanted him. And that part didn't want to take any chances with what he would or would not allow.

Frank watched Tim grip the sheets and sucked harder, pulling his stiff penis as far down his throat as possible. This beautiful act was something he could never ask of his lover, never demand he reciprocate, no matter how desirable the action seemed. He simply didn't think Tim could pull this off without imagining the same occasion with his Uncle George. He'd always believed more damage was done then Tim let on. Frank silently cursed the man who had brought his friend so much pain in his early years and still hurt him today. If only Tim would let loose. Despite Frank's best intentions, his lover still would not allow himself to cross the final plateau and let his passions take control. He released Tim's cock and started licking up his entire body. His tongue kissed the ridge of his pelvic bone and the inside of his thighs. Tim shuddered at the damp touch. By the time Frank started to suck his Adam's apple and descend upon his mouth, Tim was moaning very loud. Frank felt very protective suddenly and pulled his lover tight against him, the feel of Tim's hardened nipples upon his chest both a turn-on and a delight.

Tim gasped into his mouth and wrapped his arms around Frank's back. The scent of his nearness was intoxicating. He would give anything for this man, Tim knew. He would die a million times for a night in his arms. He opened his mouth wide to Frank's kiss and started to surrender control. When their cocks rubbed together in a slick caress, he knew resistance was impossible. He and Frank were together. They were making love. Tim sobbed and stroked Frank's chest, separating them briefly.

"Whatever you need…whatever you want…" Frank silenced him with another deep kiss before lying Tim back on the mattress.

Frank pushed the tousled hair away from his lover's face, floored by the urgent desire expressed there. "I want to be inside you."

Tim shuddered at the hunger in Frank's voice, the blatant honesty of his words.

"Yes." He realized suddenly he was afraid. What if it hurt too much and he didn’t' like it? What if he thought of Uncle George? He gripped Frank tight and closed his eyes.

Frank read his thoughts. "If there's anything you don't like. Anything at all, I'll stop immediately, okay?" He kissed Tim on the mouth. "It'll be all right Tim."

Tim smiled nervously. What a fool he was. Lying in bed with Frank, his body enflamed by unrequited lust, and he was having doubts? Frank would never hurt him. And he had waited for this physical intimacy for so long. Tim took a deep breath and released. He nodded. "I know it will Frank," he said, and pulled Frank's open mouth down to his.

Frank kissed with his entire being, his hands flowing steadily over Tim's lean frame. He gripped his lover's ass and melded their bodies together. Tim groaned at the contact, the pressure of cock against cock burning through him like a flame. Frank's mouth was wicked and wild and for that Tim was grateful. He reached for his lover and tightened their embrace.

Frank loved the way Tim squirmed beneath him, his lithe body begging to be explored and pleasured. He kissed Tim's neck and squashed his nipple with his thumb. Marvelous, Frank thought, he wants it bad. Immediately he felt ashamed. It saddened him to think that the beautiful man making love to him was so lonely. Tim encircled his legs around Frank and whimpered. For some reason the sound touched him.

It always amazed Frank that Tim could feel so deeply. At one time he thought it a weakness, a hindrance to being good murder police, but over time that impression was replaced by admiration. Tim's open desire to know the why behind every murder and his compassion for the victim often cloaked anger that bordered on violence. That he could keep it in check was a testament to his strength of character and resolve.

The swift suction of Tim's lips on his arm drew Frank back to the present. He grabbed Tim's face and ran his hand back over the soft hair. "You let it grow out," Frank murmured. "I like it." He buried his face in the damp, shampoo scented locks.

Tim groaned and thrust forward, hungry for Frank's touch, every nerve in his body screaming his need to be completed by the man above him. He'd never had sex with a man before, his responses simply a natural extension of what he felt. Frank kissed him again and Tim captured his tongue to suckle, arms roaming possessively across his former partner's muscular back.

Frank reluctantly pulled away and knelt before Tim. He gazed at his lover, silently asking permission to proceed. Tim's eyes were glazed, his breathing ragged. "Tim?"

Tim blinked his eyes and trembled. So this was it. Frank's cock loomed large and proud in the twilight. He hated to spoil his confidence but it seemed impossible that it would ever fit inside. Tim gripped the sheets but kept his eyes open. He had waited a long time for this and had no intention of missing a single moment.

Frank had to smile. It was obvious that Tim was nervous, and he surely wasn't an expert. They were fumbling around in the dark like a couple of school kids. "You're gonna like this a lot," he promised with one quick kiss to Tim's belly. "And so am I." Frank lifted his lover's legs and lay them flat across his thighs. He slicked one finger and rubbed it slowly around the rim of Tim's puckered anus before dipping quickly inside. Seconds later he added another.

Frank watched Tim gasp and shudder, sucking his bottom lip at the intrusion. It was an exquisite response. He'd always wondered what it would be like to suck that bottom lip, to kiss and nibble at it until Tim's mouth was swollen and moist. He sighed realizing just how much Tim didn't know about his desires. There were some things he simply had been unable to say.

Tim gazed into the face of his lover. It was a face he had come to know and love over the course of six fast years and many long nights. So far there was no pain, just a brief discomfort as Frank moved his fingers apart, stretching him wide. He closed his eyes and rode a wave of pleasure as Frank found and massaged his prostate. "Oh god…"

"Are you ready for me Timmy?" Frank breathed.

Tim nodded and moved against Frank's steadily thrusting fingers, determined to enjoy the experience without any distracting thoughts. It seemed like he'd been waiting his entire life to feel this way. To love someone so much that neither time nor distance could erase the anguish or the need. A week or a year apart didn't matter in the least. Friends and lovers. He'd always hoped it could be this way.

Frank continued to play with him and Tim wanted to yell, "fuck me already". His senses were quickly going into overdrive and he needed completion right now. Needed maybe, but that was not what he wanted. Foreplay with Frank was heaven itself. He could go on indefinitely this way, being fondled and kissed by the most vibrant set of lips ever created. Frank was a very attentive lover.

"That's it Tim…relax." Frank removed his fingers and positioned his cum slicked penis for entry. He pushed in slowly at first, trying to judge Tim's capacity to accept him. Glossy hazel eyes stared at him as if in shock as the head of Frank's cock was swallowed whole by Tim's body. Frank felt himself start to tremble as he steadily worked his pulsing length inside. Tim was writhing beneath him, squirming and sweaty. Frank had never seen him look so beautiful. The tightness of his body gripped him in a vice, opening up to accept every inch with fragile abandon.

When he was fully seated inside, Frank lay forward, delivering all his weight to Tim. For a while he didn't move, allowing his lover to acclimate himself to the throbbing presence. He watched closely for any sign of duress.

"So..big. It…hurts." Tim's words were ragged. He shook violently and thrust his body forward in an effort to dislodge the deeply seated intruder. Far from freeing him, his action only served to drive Frank deeper within his body; his impossibly swollen cock imbedded tightly inside. Tim's bottom lip trembled at the instant pain and his heart willed it to cease immediately.

"Calm down Tim. It's okay." Frank was finding it difficult to speak. He didn't think he could leave Tim's body even if he wanted to. The velvet embrace of Tim's ass around his penis was the most intoxicating feeling he'd ever encountered. He knew he would do anything to make the fuck continue. Frank thrust slightly and Tim groaned his eyes closed tight, his fists clenched. Frank frowned. This was not the way he wanted Tim's first time to be. He pulled out slightly and sensed Tim relax. "Okay?"

Tim nodded soundlessly and released his death grip on the bed. One look at Frank's passion-filled face was enough to make Tim want the vibrant pain and budding pleasure to go on indefinitely. A deep lunge to the right left him breathless. Suddenly it didn't feel so bad anymore. In fact, it felt downright wonderful. Frank was inside him, filling his aching body to capacity and that was exactly the way it should be. This night might be the only time between them. Frank was not the kind to make promises. Tim fought back a wave of sadness. He would cross that path later. He bit his lip at the depressing thought and sought out the soft skin of the only person in the world who mattered.

Frank smiled at his partner. That a boy Tim, he thought, you never give up easily. He thrust in, then out, again and again, trying to build a rhythm that Tim could find tolerable. Each deft stroke of his penis throttled Tim's prostate, sending him into a delirium of shakes and shivers. Pale hands reached out to stroke his face and Frank kissed them gently, surprised at the coolness of the trembling man's touch.

"Frank…oh god." Tim groaned and catapulted forward, his frazzled body seeking solace from the rising storm. Frank continued to move within him, pushing his cock as far as Tim could contain. Their lips met briefly in a sweaty kiss. I'm in heaven, Tim thought, wrapping his legs around Frank's waist. This man…this night…it's all I ever wanted.

"Yes Tim…Jesus…yes."

Frank pulled Tim against him, impaling him in his lap with one swift stroke. He held firmly onto the slim waist, pushing his lover down as he rammed his body upwards. Tim groaned at the assault, wanting more, and ground his hips forcefully down, feeling Frank's shudders throughout his entire body.

Tim trembled violently. Frank felt huge within him. A massive, pulsing stick of fire, igniting his senses and throttling his insides to jelly. He moved, a slight gesture, and was rewarded with an explosive stroke to his prostate. It felt so good, that when he regained his senses, Tim did it again. Colors flashed in front of his eyes. He raised himself to the tip of Frank's cock and was lowered briskly by a pair of strong hands. His lover took the initiative, lifting Tim away from his body, and yanking him back down, impaling him once again to the hilt of his passion. Tim knew he should be sore. Iin some secret part of his mind the rawness of his flesh caressed him lovingly, a brutal reminder of the small price of his desire.

Frank jerked Tim's hair back and plundered his mouth, all the while continuing his upward positioning. Tim's responses were amazing. Innocent and bold, he took as much as he gave, sated in a sense of awe and longing. Frank lay Tim gently back across his thighs, careful to keep a tight grip on his partner's hips. With his free hand, Frank stroked the shadowy outline of his throbbing cock clearly visible within Tim's belly. It seemed so large suddenly, and Tim almost unbearably thin. He grasped his lover's hand and rubbed it over the pulsating bulge.

"That's me inside you Tim," Frank murmured.

Tim's eyes went wide with arousal. The sensation of touching Frank's thick cock as it tunneled within him was overpowering. Had anyone else ever experienced sex this way, he wondered? It had never been this good in his entire life. He shuddered and reached for his lover.

Frank drew his body upwards, smothering wet kisses across his neck and shoulders, seeking out the warmth of his partner's mouth. Tim moaned into him, his tongue too exhausted to battle, his lover's plush lips a velvet cushion in the dark. When Frank finally lay him back on the bed and started to stroke his engorged cock, he screamed his lover's name over and over, begging for release. He felt his balls contract and shivered violently. Blackness danced across this vision; the edge was very near. Frank tugged him again and Tim thrust hard into the tight grip and finally came, pouring his seed into the accommodating hand.

Frank noticed Tim's exhausted expression and sleepy eyes with a mixture of wonder and satisfaction. He continued to buck wildly within the slippery entrance, his cock pulsing with a mind of it's own. He pushed faster, then harder, determined to go right through his lover if necessary. Tim grabbed his shoulders and Frank increased his movements, the slick glide in and out of his lover's body free of friction but not desire. He yanked Tim against him, holding his ass firmly impaled upon his cock. Tim met him thrust for thrust, a shuddering, mindless entity. They were joined as one person in a passionate embrace distinguished only by the brilliant shading of brown skin on white. Arms and legs beginning where the other man's ended, gripping and petting, giving and taking.

The gentle strokes and soothing whispers were gone, replaced by aggressive movements and a maddening lust for completion. Frank tore into Tim with abandon, his emotions on fire. Tim moaned his name over and over, "Frankfrankfrank", and clenched weary muscles around his firmly seated cock. The brief movement was enough to put Frank over the edge and he came in a torrent, filling his lover deep inside and falling in a boneless sprawl across Tim's pliant frame.

Neither man said anything for a while, the calm after the storm. Tim stroked Frank's back softly. He could hear the other man's heart beating fast and strong, it's soothing pulse a giving tonic to his saturated nerves.

"Shhh…. It's okay." Tim didn't have the words to describe what he was feeling but he tried anyway. "I never knew it could be like that. I feel…so good…I want…" He felt himself start to shake. "Oh god Frank." Frank rolled away, the suction of his cock leaving Tim's ass loud against the resounding silence. He nearly sobbed at the empty feeling. Tim wanted to grab his lover and force him back inside, to keep him snuggled safely within the warm cocoon of his body. He stared at Frank through passion darkened eyes. "That was unbelievable."

Frank stroked Tim's sticky yet sweaty stomach and kissed him on the lips. "I know." He desperately wished for a cigarette. Tim squeezed his hand and Frank pulled his tired partner across his chest. He knew he really should shower but he didn't want to break the spell of the moment. Relaxing with Tim in the afterglow of some of the best sex of his life was the only thing he needed. When Tim sighed and nuzzled against him the enormity of what they had done struck with all the force of a gale wind.

They were lovers now and everything had changed.

Frank sighed and kissed Tim's forehead lightly. He was already starting to fall asleep, his warm breath cool upon Frank's overheated flesh, pale arm draped possessively across his abdomen. He looked at the clock and shivered. There was a long way to go until morning.


When the soft rays of the morning sun hit the pillow by his head Frank was already awake. Tim lay as he did late last night; his body melded to Frank's in a loose embrace. He smiled and stroked Tim's cheek and was rewarded with a soft breathy moan and a pair of swollen lips snuggling against his shoulder.

Suddenly he was afraid. He had slept with his friend and nothing in the world could ever change that overpowering fact. Frank slowly disengaged Tim's arm from his belly and slid carefully out of bed. He didn't know where he was going, only that he had to get away from Tim as quickly as possible. / No time for a shower. / He picked up his slacks and slid into them, quickly following suit with the rest of his clothes. He looked back at Tim slumbering peacefully in bed. His cheeks were flushed a dusky crimson, his hair tousled and free against the pillow. He walked to the dresser and grabbed his wallet. Next to him, Tim stirred.

"Frank?" His new lover waited expectantly.

"Go back to sleep," Frank didn't know how to respond.

"You okay?"

"I'm a morning person." Frank knew his joke fell flat and he didn't try again. His partner could see right through him.

"Regrets?" Tim's voice was groggy but his eyes were alert.

"To be honest Tim. I'm not sure." Frank sat on the edge of the bed. He knew his words were wounding his friend but anything other than honesty was a mistake. "I don't regret last night. It was beautiful." He shrugged. "But as for us doing it again…." His voice trailed off, an empty echo in the deathly quiet of the room.

Tim nodded.

Frank knew he wasn't being fair. He initiated the contact by crawling into Tim's bed, made passionate love to him for hours and now decided things were moving too fast. / So I'm an asshole. / "Try to understand this is strange for me. We should have taken it slower." He reached and touched Tim's arm.

"It's fine Frank. I'm okay." Tim smiled gently and put on his glasses. His insides churned with a threatening nausea but Tim forced himself to calm down. He had no right to feel so devastated; he had expected nothing less.

"You're okay?" Frank didn't seem convinced.

"You're a great lover but I'll survive." Tim hoped his words didn't sound as transparent as they felt. He pulled the sheet across his body and shivered, already missing Frank's warmth. "You can shower. I promise I won't jump you."

"Stop it Tim!" Frank stood and started pacing. "Just stop it, okay?" He spun around and grabbed Tim's shoulders. "Just say whatever's on your mind."

Tim stared at him quietly for a minute before lowering his eyes. "It hurts."

"Fuck." Frank released his hold and raised Tim's chin. "I'm so sorry. It shouldn't have happened."

Tim pulled away. "Don't say that."

"It's the truth. We weren't ready." Frank stood. "I think I should go. I'll check into a hotel."

Tim shuddered. "Whatever you think is best Frank. But…"


"I just wish you would stay." Tim removed his glasses and rubbed his eyes. His entire body felt used and wonderful. "I still need to be with you."

"Tim. Please."

He shook his head. "No Frank. Try to understand." Tim smiled. "I'll always cherish last night. We were good. You can't deny that." He considered. "No, we were TERRIFIC. We were in sync and wild and… I could go on forever but I won't. I…you have to know what I mean. Don't feel bad. You didn’t' push me into something or anything like that." Tim held out his hand. "I'm a big boy Frank."

"A very big boy," Frank amended.

"I guess I just don't want our night to end yet. It's only 5 o'clock. Stay for a little while longer, hold me, nothing more, and when you get up to go next time I won't make a sound." He looked away. "I'll hear you goin' Frank, that's a given, but I won't make a sound."

Frank silently unbuttoned his shirt and started the slow crawl into bed. In the morning they would be friends and ex-partners, for now they were lovers safe and content in each other's arms.


Tim watched Frank go with a slowly breaking heart. He pushed aside a stray tear and rose for his his morning shower. The clock read 8:30 in the morning, the start of a new day and he was late for work already.

He showered quickly and towel dried his hair. Another cool spring day in Baltimore. He touched his stomach and sighed. Only last night he had touched the very same spot with Frank swollen inside him. Tim suddenly realized he wasn't a virgin anymore. Frank had been the first in his life in so many ways. First partner in homicide, first real friend, the first person he confided in about being molested and now his first male lover. He smiled at the irony and then, as if sensing his loss for the very first time, closed his eyes tight and sat down hard on the bed. He knew Frank had left him again. There would be no hotels for his lover this evening. Frank would not be staying in Baltimore another night.

The sound of the phone interrupted his thoughts. He picked it up, mentally reminding himself not to say, "Bayliss, homicide."

"Hello?" On the other end of the phone Lewis sounded haggard.

"Hey Timmy you gotta meet me. I got a lead on this Barlow thing. Maybe the proof we need."

Tim frowned. "Has there been another murder?" He mentally cursed himself for being late. He'd missed something. "No?" Tim considered. "You got a call at the station from someone then?"

"For gods sake Bayliss stop grilling me. There was no call. This is something I've been working at on my own."

"Whatever it is, I'm the primary Lewis. You should have told me."

"What the hell you blabbering for? I'm telling you now." Lewis sounded agitated and Tim sighed.

"All right. Tell me where you are."

Lewis mumbled an address on the outskirts of the city and Tim agreed to get there as fast as possible.

Before he left his apartment he picked up the phone to call work. He'd been late twice already this month. He had to cover his ass.

"Yeah…Naomi? It's Bayliss. Can you let Gee know I'll be late? I'm working a case with Lewis. Thanks." He hung up and finished dressing. Right now work was the best thing for him.

Tim gazed wistfully at his bed as he closed his apartment door. Images of him and Frank wrapped around and inside each others bodies traveled at a breathtaking pace from head to heart to cock. Tim barely heard the gut wrenching wail that escaped from his soul. He clenched the doorknob to keep from sinking to his knees and breathed in and out slowly, determined not to let the man he loved destroy his life again. "Good-bye Frank." He said softly. "Again."