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Rain sheeted down in the streetlights, pounding on the roof of the car as Finch instructed his driver to pull over and draw up alongside of the miserable figure hurrying down the empty street, his shoulders hunched and his dark hair plastered to his skull. Finch rolled down the back window, stinging drops of rain gusting in and spattering his glasses.

“Need a ride, Mr. Reese?” he called.

Reese stopped, a genuine look of surprise on his somber face, and then he glanced warily up and down the street before stepping over to the car. “Evening, Finch,” Reese said, his gaze still sweeping the dark, wet facades of the nearby buildings. “Do you really want to risk someone seeing us together? People might talk.”

“The windows are tinted; no one is going to see us,” Finch said dryly, pulling a handkerchief out of his pocket and drying the lenses of his glasses. He gave a slight nod to the other side of the car as he put them back on and started to roll his window back up. “Just get in.” Through the darkened glass, he watched Reese linger beside the vehicle for a moment before making up his mind and striding around behind the car. He climbed into the back, casting a darting glance at Finch as he sank into the heated leather seats.

“This is going to ruin your upholstery,” Reese said, running a hand back through his sopping hair, fat drops splashing onto the leather.

“It’s a rental,” Finch said, catching the driver’s eye in the rear-view mirror and motioning for him move on. “Where can I drop you off?” Reese gave the address of a hotel a dozen blocks away, the seventh one Reese had stayed in since they had started working together. That was good. It was hazardous to become too comfortable with a place, or too familiar to the people there. Finch himself was little more than a ghost in his own home, hardly ever there and rarely seen when he was.

“Take the long way,” Finch instructed the driver, turning stiffly to Reese as he started raising the privacy screen. “Running into you has saved me a call – we have business to discuss.” He waited until the screen was firmly in place, then reached up and loosened his tie. That small act seemed to take Reese by surprise.

“Is there another number?” he asked, his voice soft and low, and Finch had to wonder if the man had any idea of the indecent thoughts that voice inspired.

“No,” Finch said. “That was for his benefit. What I wish to talk to you about is much more…personal in nature.”

“I see,” Reese said, shifting ever so slightly forward in his seat, like a leopard about to spring. His gaze darted toward the car door and Finch preemptively reached over to the control panel and pressed the button to lock the doors. That shifted Reese’s attention back to him, where he wanted it.

“I think you know what I want, Mr. Reese,” Finch said, “and I’m sure you can imagine my displeasure if I don’t get it.”

Reese leaned back in his seat, deliberately casual and about as relaxed as a coiled viper. “Something tells me you’re a man who doesn’t hear No very often.” They sat regarding each other for several long moments, Reese’s index finger gliding back and forth along his lower lip. “Well?” he asked finally.

“On your knees,” Finch said, shifting his feet and pointing to the floor between them. “And take off your jacket,” he added as Reese moved to obey. With his wet shirt plastered to his strong, broad chest, Reese knelt before Finch. His heart pounding, Finch sat forward, running his hands back through Reese’s hair, gathering a handful at the nape of his neck and forcing his head back, exposing that smooth, tanned throat. Reese swallowed hard, his Adam’s apple bobbing up and down.

Finch leaned close, his breath raising goose bumps along Reese neck, and brushed his lips along Reese’s jaw, the wet skin chilled. Sliding his hands down to Reese’s chest, Finch began unbuttoning his shirt.

“Oh, just rip it open,” Reese murmured, placing his hands on Finch’s knees, his fingertips creeping toward Finch’s inner thighs.

“It’s a perfectly good shirt,” Finch replied, his gaze darting up to meet Reese’s eyes. “I already feel ridiculous enough as it is.”

“Oh, but I like this side of you,” Reese said with a smirk. “I think we need to find you a black leather bodysuit and a whip.”

“Don’t you dare,” Finch said, trying to smother a laugh. Reese closed the distance between them and Finch groaned as they kissed, Reese’s large, chilled hands pulling at his clothes, sliding up under his shirt, grasping and caressing, his touch filled with need and desire and sweet, gentle passion.

The intercom crackled to life, the driver’s voice tinny through the speakers. “We’re here, sir.”

Reese groaned, wrapping his arms around Finch’s body and drawing him close. “Come up to my room, please. Just this once.”

“I can’t,” Finch said, running his fingers back through Reese’s hair again. God, he loved doing that. But the rules were there for their own protection. They couldn’t be seen together. Finch drew a steadying breath and reached over, pressing the intercom button. “This is going to take longer than anticipated,” he said, combing his fingertips through the distinguished silver at Reese’s temple. “Go ahead and drive around for a bit more…maybe out to Brooklyn and back.”

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