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Surveillance – Ch. 21

Reese appeared relaxed, perhaps even dozing in the passenger’s seat, but Finch knew he was vigilant as ever, noting each street they turned down, and somewhere inside himself, Finch felt regret at losing a piece of his privacy, but it was nothing compared to his elation at having Reese back. Losing him had been the end of everything.

Finch slowed, signaled, and turned down into the underground parking garage of the apartment building. He flashed his permit to the guard, who raised the gate and allowed him through. He could feel a change in Reese, the tall man shifting in his seat, an air gathering about him like a storm brewing, his body filled with the potential energy of a panther about to spring, and Finch felt his own body respond in anticipation, his heart beating faster, his mouth suddenly dry.

He parked the car and headed for the elevator, Reese at his side, so close their arms kept touching. Normally, Finch shied away from such casual contact, but he found himself intoxicated by the palpable need that radiated from Reese, as though he required those small touches to sustain himself. He could just imagine what Reese was going to do once they were alone, and he found himself both nervous and excited.

They stepped into the elevator, Reese putting a respectable distance between them as Finch fumbled with his keys, his hand shaking as he searched for the elevator key. Finally, he managed to insert the small piece of metal into the slot and unlock the button for the thirty-fifth floor. He pressed it and the elevator doors slid quietly closed.

“Does this elevator also have security cameras?” Reese asked, his voice low.

Finch swallowed hard and reached for the panel, using his thumb and forefinger to press and hold the buttons for the thirteenth and seventeenth floors. With his other hand, he hit the ninth, twenty-sixth, and first floor buttons. “Not now,” he said, stepping back.

“Clever,” Reese said with a chuckle and Finch shivered, pressing himself back against the wall as Reese moved toward him. Large, strong hands found his waist, sliding around to his back as Reese pressed against him, more gentle and restrained than Finch had expected. Reese kissed him, soft and slow, almost hesitant as his lips parted and his tongue delved into Finch’s mouth. After a moment, he drew back, both of them out of breath.

“Have you figured things out?” he asked.

Finch frowned. “I beg your pardon?”

“Your feelings,” Reese explained. “You said you needed to figure things out, that’s why you left. Have you?”

“Oh,” Finch said. “Yes, I have. There’s nothing like losing someone to clarify things.” He took a shaking breath and moistened his lips, the memory of Reese’s kiss still lingering. “I am still a really private person and I don’t know if that will ever change. I always have been. But when you were gone, I realized how much a part of my life you had become. A dozen times a day, I found myself wishing I could tell you something, just small stuff, comments and observations. Sometimes, it was like I could hear you in my ear. Once, I-” He had to stop and clear his throat. “Once, I even caught myself talking to you. That was the night that I walked away from the library. I thought that was my place of refuge, my sanctuary, but without you it was empty.”

“I’m sorry,” Reese said, bowing his head and resting his forehead against Finch’s, his eyes closing. “I guess you were right to keep your distance.”

“No,” Finch said, reaching up to cup Reese’s cheek, his stubble rough against Finch’s palm. “I was being safe and logical, but if we distance ourselves too much, if we lose touch with our humanity, we run the risk of forgetting why we do the job.” The elevator began to slow and he took a bracing breath. “I didn’t say this earlier because I didn’t want you to think that I felt obligated to reciprocate, but I love you, too, and I am a better man for it.”

Reese didn’t say anything, he just smiled and stole Finch’s breath away with another deep, slow kiss. Too soon, the elevator came to a stop and the doors slid open. Finch groaned and pulled away from Reese. “The camera reactivates thirty seconds after the doors open,” he explained.

Reese chuckled. “Has anyone ever told you how brilliant you are?”

“A few times,” Finch said dryly as he stepped into the alcove between the elevator and his front door. He was the only one with an elevator key, but he still liked the extra security of a good, solid front door.

“Has anyone ever told you how dead sexy that is?” Reese asked, stepping up behind him as he unlocked the deadbolt, Reese’s breath warm on his neck.

Finch paused to consider his question, then shook his head. “Not to my recollection, no.”

“Shame on them,” Reese whispered, his lips brushing against the shell of Finch’s ear and making him shiver.

Finch opened the door and stepped through, turning on the light as he moved aside and allowed Reese into his apartment. It was owned by one of his shadow companies, of course, under the pretense of a guest residence for important foreign clients and investors, and was a place he rarely visited.

“Nice place, Finch,” Reese said, his gaze sweeping the vast, open rooms and the sprawling view of Manhattan. He gestured to the floor-to-ceiling windows. “So much for privacy.”

“They’re tinted,” Finch said, “like a two-way mirror. We can see out, but no one can see in.”

Reese smirked at him, a knowing, teasing smile.

Finch unbuttoned his suit jacket and shrugged out of it as he headed for the kitchen. “Can I get you some refreshment?” he asked, draping his jacket over the back of the sofa and loosening his tie as he tried to remember what was stocked in the apartment. “I have several nice wines, an old bottle of scotch, maybe a cold beer or two…”

“I’m fine, thank you,” Reese said, making a slow circuit of the living room, dining room, and kitchen areas before leaning his forearms on the marble countertop of the island that separated the two of them. “I wouldn’t mind a tour, though,” he said, his voice soft and husky.

“Of course,” Finch said. “Where are my manners? This way.” He could sense Reese’s eagerness, his impatience, feelings he shared, and it was with as much masochism as sadism that he led Reese through the apartment, into the den, the office, the gym, and the library.

“Do you own the entire thirty-fifth floor?” Reese asked, arching an eyebrow at him.

“More or less,” Finch said, heading for the next room.

“So which is it – more, or less?”

“More,” Finch admitted. “I own the building. But that’s hardly relevant,” he added as Reese started to laugh. “If you’ll follow me, I believe this may be what you’ve been waiting for.” They stepped into the large master bedroom, the queen-sized bed the centerpiece of the ash and rosewood bedroom set, the silver accents gleaming in the afternoon light.

“I thought you said you didn’t have ulterior motives for bringing me here,” Reese said.

“I said you needed to rest, Mr. Reese,” Finch said. “I only have the one bed, and it didn’t seem very hospitable of me to put you on the sofa.”

“That’s so kind of you, Mr. Finch,” Reese said, moving toward him. Finch braced himself for Reese’s assault, and was surprised when Reese stepped past him. “If it’s not an imposition, I could really do with a shower,” Reese said, walking toward one of two closed doors. “I’ve had nothing but sponge baths for the last five weeks.”

“Wait, that’s not the bathroom,” Finch said, but too late. Reese opened the door and stepped inside, turning on the light a moment later. Finch felt the color rise into his face at the resulting silence.

“Holy shit, Finch,” Reese said finally, his voice muffled from inside the closet. “I’ve stayed in hotel rooms that were smaller than this.”

“Mr. Reese, would you please come out of there?” Finch said, taking a step toward the door.

Reese emerged, looking honestly shocked. “How many ties do you have?”

“I don’t exactly know,” he said shortly, closing the door and pointing to the other one. “The bathroom is through there.”

“Oh, dear,” Reese said, a predatory gleam in his eye. “Did I hit a nerve? Are we feeling insecure about our tie obsession?”

“It’s not-” Finch began, but stopped himself, refusing to rise to Reese’s bait. “Do you need help finding the shower, Mr. Reese?” he asked.

“If the bathroom is as big as your closet, I just might,” Reese said with a broad grin.

Finch just sighed and shook his head. Chuckling, Reese stepped over to him, delivering another soft kiss to his lips, Reese’s fingers curling around his tie and Finch resisted for only a moment when Reese began backing toward the bathroom door. They stopped in the doorway to kick off their shoes, Finch’s tie fluttering to the floor a moment later. As Reese divested him of his waistcoat, Finch fumbled for the light switch, bathing the pale blue room in bright, clear light, Reese’s lips leaving a trail of hot, searing kisses down the side of Finch’s neck. Finch groaned, his eyes sliding closed as his hands found the front of Reese’s shirt, making short work of the tiny buttons. Pressing his palms to Reese’s firm, smooth chest, he savored the feel of the silky skin-

Finch drew back, lowering his gaze to Reese’s chest, to the new, pink scars rough against his fingertips. Reese fell still, watching him. Very softly, Finch traced each of the injuries – the bullet hole, the surgical incision to remove the fractured slug, and farther back on his side, the incision for the chest tube – his own healed wounds aching in sympathy.

“Are you all right?” Finch asked. Reese had almost died, an experience they shared, and one that Finch had struggled with long after the physical scars faded.

Reese hesitated. “I don’t know,” he finally said. “When I was leaving the hospital, Carter saw me and she drew her weapon and pointed it at me, and…and I felt afraid. I’ve never been afraid of guns, Finch. So no, I don’t imagine that I am all right, but I’m going to do whatever it takes to get past this. I won’t let it stop me from doing my job.”

“That’s not why I was asking,” Finch said.

“I know,” Reese said, an almost scary intensity in his dark blue eyes, “but you need to know that, and if- when something happens to me, I need you to promise that you won’t give up again. Find someone else. Our work is too important.”

“I tried to find someone else,” Finch said. “I went through my old list, but there were reasons why those men were distant second choices to you. They had the skills, but they didn’t have the need or the passion or the moral compass that you do. Half of them were on drugs or in jail or needed psychiatric help.” He swallowed hard. “Walking away was the hardest thing I had ever done, but it was easier than replacing you.”

“Then that is something we need to do,” Reese said. “I’ll help you find a replacement.” Finch opened his mouth to argue, but Reese didn’t give him a chance to speak. “We need to be realistic and practical,” he said. “You know what I’m saying makes sense.”

He was right. “But that doesn’t mean I have to like it,” Finch said.

“This is just in case,” Reese said. “I don’t plan on letting myself get killed any time soon, and certainly not before I get the chance to make love to you. Again. Now-” He flashed a broad smile that made Finch’s breath catch in his throat. “How about that shower? I just got out of the hospital; I may need some help washing my back.”

The thought of Reese in the shower, his skin slick with soap and water, gave little doubt as to what would happen if Finch joined him. Ignoring his growing arousal, Finch licked dry lips and glanced nervously around the room, his gaze falling upon a better idea. “Are you sure you feel up to something that strenuous?” Finch asked. “Perhaps a nice hot, relaxing bath would be better.”

Reese arched an eyebrow and looked over his shoulder, his grin widening at the sight of the big Jacuzzi tub in the corner of the room. “Oh, Finch, you delightful man,” he murmured, limping over and turning on the faucet. While the tub filled, they finished undressing each other, Reese running his hands over Finch’s bare skin with undisguised adoration and hunger. When the tub was full, Finch turned on the jets and they climbed in, both of them groaning as the heat and surging water closed around their bodies. Finch sat between Reese’s legs, leaning back against the taller man, those strong arms wrapping around him. Finch closed his eyes and sighed, relaxing within his lover’s safe and protective embrace.

“How’s your neck feel?” Reese asked after a while and Finch reluctantly forced his eyes open, his glasses fogged over with steam. He’d almost fallen asleep.

“About the same as usual,” Finch replied, “and if you’re worried about causing me discomfort, you should know that we’ve already had this discussion. I hurt, but I don’t want that to stop you.”

“I see,” Reese said. “And did it? The first time, I mean. Did it hurt you?”

“Any pain it caused me was more than worth it,” Finch said, “and honestly, it wasn’t bad. No worse than sitting at a desk for a few hours, but infinitely more rewarding.”

“I’m glad,” Reese said, leaning down and kissing Finch’s neck behind his ear. His hands began to wander, gliding over slippery skin, and Finch shivered as Reese stroked down his stomach, fingertips ghosting along Finch’s hard cock.

“Careful there, Mr. Reese,” Finch warned, his voice low and raspy. “You don’t remember, but I’m not as young as you think I am. Maybe we should take this to the bedroom.”

“You read my mind, Finch,” Reese all but purred, but he couldn’t seem to keep his hands to himself as they climbed out of the tub and dried off. They were still damp when Reese finally had enough stalling. He took the towel out of Finch’s hands, letting it fall to the floor as he pulled Finch up against him, both of them groaning as their bodies pressed together, warm and soft and hard in all the right places. As they made their way into the bedroom, Finch reluctantly drew back.

“Did you bring protection?” he asked.

Reese stared at him, nonplussed, and Finch had to fight to keep from laughing. “Right, because my first thought after recovering from amnesia and escaping from the police was to buy condoms. Are you worried about catching something from me?”

“No” Finch said levelly. “I went over your medical records before I approached you, and after you were shot trying to prevent Judge Gates’ son from being kidnapped, I sent a blood sample to a lab for a wide range of tests. You’re clean, as am I, however, I just abhor the mess of unprotected sex.”

The expression on Reese face was priceless as he drew a great breath and sighed. “Where’s the nearest drug store?” he asked, turning to go back into the bathroom for his clothes.

“Well, hang on a minute,” Finch said, smirking as he made his way over to the bedside table and opened the drawer. He pulled out an unopened three-pack of condoms and a tube of water-based lubricant with the safety seal still intact. “It looks like we’re in luck,” he said, opening the box and taking out one of the small foil packets.

“Dare I ask?” Reese said, arching an eyebrow as he crossed the room.

“It’s not a crime to be prepared, Mr. Reese,” Finch said, glancing at the tube to make sure it didn’t have an expiration date. “I seem to remember someone pulling an obscenely large rifle out of the trunk of a car not too many months ago, and you didn’t hear me questioning your integrity.”

Touché, Finch,” Reese said with a laugh, reaching out to take the condom from him.

Finch pulled it back out of his grasp. “My house,” he said, studying Reese’s reaction, “my condom, my turn.” He was prepared for an argument, but Reese just stared back at him for a moment, then a slow smile graced those wonderfully expressive lips and he turned, spreading himself across the bed, lying upon his stomach on the comforter in a pose of wanton abandon, his legs spread and his cheek pillowed on his bent arms, a look of dark, smoldering need in his intense blue eyes.

For several moments, Finch just stood there, admiring the view, then he turned and hobbled back into the bathroom. “I’ll be right back,” he said, tearing open the foil packet with his teeth. His hands shook as he put it on, his heart beating hard and fast. It had been such a long time. Could he even do this? In theory, his body should be able to bear the strain, the positions, the repetitive motions, but theory and practice were two different things. It would have been so much easier, safer, to lie there and let Reese do all the heavy lifting, so to speak, but he needed to prove that he could, that he was an equal partner in the relationship, not to Reese, of course, but to himself.

Taking one of the smaller towels off the shelf, he returned to the bedroom and tossed it to Reese. “No wet spots on the linens, please,” he said. Reese obediently shook it out and tucked it beneath him, his breathing growing fast as Finch found a position that wasn’t too uncomfortable, sitting at Reese’s hip. He reached out, laying a light hand upon the back of Reese’s thigh, eliciting a shiver as he caressed the soft skin, his hand drifting up over Reese’s posterior, to the small of his back and down again. It felt so good just to touch him, to make such a personal, physical connection with another human being.

Reese lay quietly, not seeming to mind Finch’s dawdling, but when Finch finally peeled off the safety plastic and opened the tube of lubricant, Reese let slip an indecent moan and raised his ass in the air, letting his impatience be known. Finch squeezed a dollop of lube out onto his fingertips and smeared it across Reese’s opening. As Finch eased a finger into him, he heard Reese’s breath catch, his body tensing.

“Try to relax,” Finch said softly, suddenly wondering if Reese had ever done this before. “Take deep breaths. I won’t hurt you.”

“I know,” Reese said, his voice a smoky whisper. “It’s just…you’re only the second- well, the third man that I’ve let do this. I’m a little out of practice.”

“Third, hmm?” Finch said, moving slowly, carefully, and judiciously adding more lubricant. “Am I correct in assuming that Jade was one of them?”

“That’s right,” Reese said, a hint of amusement in his tone.

“And the other?”

“My proctologist,” Reese said with a chuckle, “so I suppose that doesn’t count.”

“Not unless he also bought you breakfast,” Finch said dryly. He fell silent, turning his focus to finding and stimulating Reese’s prostate, testing his reaction with a light, easy touch. Reese groaned, his body shaking as he pushed back against Finch, his toes curling as his legs shifted restlessly. “How does that feel, Mr. Reese?” Finch asked, his lips quirking in a small smirk as Reese panted and moaned, making incoherent noises. There was something intensely satisfying about seeing the strong, controlled man come completely undone at his hand.

Finch added a second finger and Reese tensed again, but only for a moment. Finch stretched him gently, scissoring his fingers to loosen that ring of muscle.

“Please…please, Finch- Harold…please…” Reese whispered, his voice hoarse and ragged.

Finch smiled to himself. Unlike Reese, he had no preference which name was used, since neither was his given name and he answered to both. Finch withdrew, squeezed another dollop of lubricant onto his fingers, and slowly worked three digits in and out of Reese’s tight, trembling body. When he was sure Reese was relaxed enough, he stroked his prostate for another moment, making him pant and shake.

“Are you ready?” Finch asked.

“Oh, God, Finch – Please…I want you- I need you inside me.”

Pulling out, Finch wiped his slippery fingers on the towel beneath Reese before climbing onto the bed and kneeling between Reese’s legs. The scarred muscle in his hip burned dully as he stretched out over Reese, bracing one hand on the bed at Reese’s side and using the other to guide himself to Reese’s entrance. Not used to bearing so much weight, a tremor ran up his arm, sending a sharp pain through his neck and he stopped, drawing short breaths as he waited for it to pass.

“Finch? Is everything all right?”

“More or less,” Finch replied, and before he had to admit that it was less, he said, “This might be easier if you lie flat.”

Reese lowered his ass, reaching back and sliding one hand beneath himself to adjust his erection. “Better?”

Finch didn’t reply, except to brace himself on his forearm instead, which took care of the trembling. Letting his body mold against the man beneath him, Finch leaned down and kissed Reese’s shoulders and neck as he shifted his hips, pressing against Reese’s opening. He felt Reese’s breath catch, his muscles tensing, and Finch stopped, waiting patiently until Reese relaxed and allowed him inside.

Pressing his lips to the crook of Reese’s neck, Finch groaned softly as he slid deep, his cock so unbelievably hard within that tight, hot flesh. His chest pressed against Reese’s broad, strong back, Finch slid his arms beneath the taller man, holding him close. “This isn’t too much weight on your chest, is it?” Finch asked. He had been shot there just five weeks ago.

“There’s a bit of an ache,” Reese admitted, for which Finch was glad. He wouldn’t have believed him if Reese had said everything was fine. Reese shifted his arm to the side, letting it take some of the weight so his chest wasn’t pressed so hard against the bed. “That’s better.”

“Are you sure? Because I could-”

“No, you stay where you are,” Reese said. “You feel so good.”

“So do you,” Finch murmured, kissing Reese’s shoulder again as he began to rock his hips, barely pulling out before pressing back in, as deep as he could get, reveling in the closeness, the intimacy, and the delicious noises that Reese made beneath him. Finch would have liked to make love to Reese all afternoon and into the evening hours, but he was only human, at the mercy of the thoughts, emotions, and sensations that overwhelmed his cool, rational control, driving him to thrust faster, harder, his harsh, ragged breath falling upon the side of Reese’s neck.

“Oh…Oh, Harold,” Reese gasped suddenly, a long, shuddering moan escaping him as his body suddenly tensed, his hips bucking, and Finch saw stars as Reese tightened around him. After longer than Finch thought possible, Reese went limp beneath him, his panting broken only by the occasional shiver and whimper.

Finch hesitated. “Do you want me to stop now?” he asked.

“Don’t you dare,” Reese told him, “and I better hear you come.”

“I’m hardly a screamer, Mr. Reese,” Finch said dryly.

“John,” Reese corrected.

Finch smiled. “Yes, John.” He kissed Reese’s shoulder again and whispered, “My John.”

Beneath him, Reese drew a shuddering breath and sighed. “Say that again.”

“My John…” Finch shifted, drawing his knees farther beneath him for better leverage. It made the scar tissue at his hip ache, but it was a small price to pay for the intense climax that soon thundered through him. He stiffened, burying himself to the hilt within Reese as a strangled and somewhat unexpected cry escaped his lips. Dazed and spent, Finch collapsed on top of Reese, trembling inside as he fought to catch his breath. “My John,” he said again, his arms tightening around Reese’s torso.

“Yours,” Reese murmured, “for always.”

It was a shame they couldn’t have remained as they were for always, but too soon Finch felt the familiar protestations of his body returning, the dull ache in his hip becoming a sharp, hot pain, and he reluctantly climbed off Reese, lowering himself gingerly to the bed and rolling onto his back, the air suddenly cold without the warmth of Reese’s body.

After a moment, Reese sat up, a contented smile on his face as he pulled the towel out from under himself and proceeded to clean them up. Finch watched, projecting a cool and calm demeanor, but underneath, his stomach was tied in knots. Unlike the first time, he didn’t have the luxury of his own tangled emotions to distract him from the looming question of What now?

Before Finch’s hurried escape from the hotel room, Reese had said something about them having lunch, with the implication that they would remain together afterward and most likely engage in another bout of mutually pleasurable sexual activity. While Finch wasn’t opposed to such a plan, it seemed rather…base and shallow. However, he wasn’t sure he could handle deep and meaningful conversation. His long-ingrained need for privacy balked at the thought of freely sharing personal information, even with the man he loved.

Love. Finch felt suddenly short of breath and he gasped, trembling inside as Reese slid up beside him, his movements cautious as he draped an arm over Finch’s chest. “Are you okay?” Reese asked. “You’re shaking.”

Finch let out a self-deprecating laugh that had an alarming hint of hysteria in it. “I’m fine, Mr. Reese. I just…Have you ever experienced a moment where you realized something you thought you already knew? Where you say something, and you absolutely mean what you say, but it isn’t until later that you really understand the meaning of what you said? Does that even make sense or am I just babbling?” he asked, removing his glasses and rubbing a hand wearily over his face.

“It makes perfect sense,” Reese said, relaxing against him and tilting his head to rest against Finch’s, a gesture Finch found unexpectedly sweet. After a moment, Reese drew a deep breath. “So, what do you think about going back to the library in the morning?”

“Do you really think you’re up to that?” Finch asked, a small frown creasing his brow. “You were shot.”

“I’ve been shot before,” Reese replied.

Not in the head, Finch thought, but it seemed cruel to say it out loud. And unnecessary. “You may be an exceptional individual, Mr. Reese, but you are not superhuman. I am haunted by the numbers more than you could ever know, but sometimes logic must dictate our actions so that we may do the greatest good. Sending you out in a compromised condition is asking for failure, or worse. You can’t help anyone if you’re dead.”

“Are you sure it’s logic that’s driving that argument, Finch?” Reese asked quietly.

Finch shifted so he could look over at Reese. “What do you mean?”

“I mean, are you going to be able to send me out there into dangerous situations where I could be hurt or killed? Because if you can’t, we need to have a long talk about which part of this relationship we want to keep.”

“Ah,” Finch said, settling himself back against the warmth of Reese’s body. It had been difficult enough to condone bringing in a partner, someone who would be facing the brunt of the danger, and Finch had assuaged his guilt by choosing the best, a man who could handle any situation and – perhaps as importantly – a man in need of redemption who would accept the danger as part of his penance, but now that partner was no longer a stranger. He was someone Finch didn’t want to lose.

But many of the numbers were people whom somebody didn’t want to lose, too. Could he really place more value on any one life? Could he play God? He took a slow breath and let it out again. He wanted to. He wanted to be selfish and tell Reese that he couldn’t do it anymore, but they both needed this job too much. It was a burden, a responsibility, a penance, and a gift. All those numbers, all those people, the innocent people who had no other hope – he could not allow them to be deleted at midnight like so much irrelevant data.

“Will you be more careful?” Finch asked finally. It was the only thing he could ask of Reese.

“I’ll try,” Reese said. “I don’t want to lose you, either. You’ve given me more than a purpose, you’ve given me a reason to live.”

“Then we can return to work,” Finch said, “but not tomorrow. Tomorrow you’ll start rehabilitating that arm and leg. I’ll make arrangements for you to see Dr. Tillman and we’ll have those tests done that she wanted. I want to know that you’re in peak condition – or at least moderate-to-good condition – before I send you back out there.”

“All right, Harold, you win,” Reese said with a theatrical sigh, then he sat up. “Where’s your phone?”

“In my jacket pocket,” Finch said, hoping Reese wasn’t planning on ordering pizza. Not that there was anything to eat in the apartment otherwise, but it meant that one of them would have to get dressed and go down to the lobby to pick it up and pay, and if they were going to go that far, they might as well just go out to a nice restaurant. “Why?”

“As long as we’re erring on the side of caution,” Reese said, a hint of a smirk in his voice, “I thought I’d call Megan and ask if she thinks I’m healthy enough to make love to you.”

Finch regarded him for a moment before deciding that he was probably joking. “It wasn’t enough that you outed me to everyone in the office, now you need to share my personal life with the good doctor, too?”

Reese chuckled and gave him a sheepish look. “Sorry about that. But I think they handled it well, don’t you?”

“What were they supposed to do, stone us?”

Reese just shrugged.

“Well,” Finch continued, “at least I won’t have to fend off any more drunken advances at the company Christmas party.” He watched Reese struggle with how to express his disbelief without being insulting.

“Really?” Reese said finally and Finch smirked to himself.

“Yes, hard to believe anyone in their right mind would be interested in this old, four-eyed geek, isn’t it?” he asked, unable to resist taking a shot at Reese. Before Reese could form a rebuttal, Finch said, “Any other day of the year, they were the nicest three women you could ever meet, but get a couple glasses of spiked eggnog or hot buttered rum into them and they turned into jackals, singling out the weakest members of the herd. I suppose the tactic was to lessen the chance for rejection by choosing the most pathetic, most desperate men in the office-”

“Or maybe they realized that you’re a good man, Harold,” Reese said. “One does not have to know that you moonlight as a vigilante superhero to see that.” He flashed a warm, sincere smile. “So why did you go, if you hated the party that much?”

“It was expected,” Finch said. “I was trying to blend in, to not draw attention. And…” He hesitated, surprised by the urge to share a piece of his past, and a personal one, at that. “And for many years, there was someone there that I wanted to see.” He waited for Reese to ask, to pry, to begin the interrogation, but the younger man just sat there, and Finch felt muscles that he hadn’t even realized he’d been tensing start to relax.

“We met in college,” Finch said. “I was an undergraduate, he was a freshman. A shared interest in books and computer technology, which was still in its infancy back then, led to an unexpected friendship, though I must confess that the feelings ran much deeper for me. After I got my degree, I allowed myself to lose touch with him, but when I decided to start up my software company, I discovered that I loathed the thought of losing my privacy, my anonymity. I needed a partner, someone who could be the face of the company and handle all the public relations nonsense, leaving me free to work. I looked him up and was chagrined to discover that my feelings for him had not changed, but I could think of no one else capable and trustworthy enough to protect my privacy.

“It got easier – and more difficult – as the years went by and the company grew. We were both so busy, we rarely saw each other, except at the company Christmas party.”

“Did you ever tell him how you felt?” Reese asked, his voice soft.

Finch nodded. “It took twenty-five years and half a bottle of Scotch, but yes, I did. It was after some awards banquet. He stopped by the office where I was working and talked me into having a drink to celebrate. One drink turned into a few, and I finally confessed. I suppose I always assumed he knew how I felt and chose to ignore it, but he swore he had no idea. I think it was as much the Scotch as curiosity that made him kiss me, and I came that close to letting him have me on top of my desk, but even as drunk as I was, I knew it would have been a mistake. I put him in a taxi and sent him home. I was afraid things would become strained between us, but he called me the next afternoon and asked if we could have dinner together. The rest, as they say, is history.”

“When did he die?” Reese asked after a moment and Finch felt his shell reflexively snap shut, guarding himself against a perceived threat. It was an effort to convince himself that this wasn’t an attack.

“A couple of years ago,” he said and there must have been something in his tone because Reese immediately backed off.

“I’m sorry,” he said and climbed off the bed. He paused, groaning as he stretched his arms over his head, and Finch’s gaze traced the long, clean line of his naked body. “I’m going to go get a glass of water,” Reese said. “Do you want anything?”

“No, thank you,” Finch said, arching an eyebrow as Reese headed for the door. “There’s a bathrobe hanging on the back of the bathroom door.”

Reese glanced back, his mouth pulled into a crooked grin. “I thought you said the windows were tinted.”

“Yes, they are…” He trailed off as Reese walked out, stark naked. Finch rolled his eyes and slowly sat up, resting his hands on his thighs as he carefully rocked his head from side to side, from front to back, as far as the injury would allow, to stretch his scarred muscles. He was just finishing when Reese returned, a glass of water in his hand.

“Neck hurt?” he asked, crossing the room with the casual confidence of a man who had grown up in a nudist colony.

“Taking preventative measures,” Finch said as Reese set the glass down beside the pack of condoms.

“Here, let me help,” Reese said, climbing onto the bed.

“Mr. Reese-” Finch protested as Reese slid into position behind him.

“Harold,” Reese countered, placing his hands firmly on Finch’s shoulders, “I know that you’re a strong and independent man, and that you can deal with your pain all on your own, but just because you can doesn’t mean you have to. Letting me care about you doesn’t make you weak.”

“You’ve used that line before,” Finch said, his breath hitching as Reese began to massage around his tight and wounded muscles.

“It’s a good line,” Reese said, “and it’s true. And besides, you have to keep in mind what sort of a man I am. I want to protect people, and that includes you, whether it’s from hitmen, assassins, and mob-bosses, or from the pain in your own body.”

“You can’t make it stop,” Finch said quietly, surrendering with a sigh to the tender ministrations of those big, strong hands.

“I know,” Reese said, “but I can help.”

His eyes sliding closed, Finch groaned, his breathing falling into a slow and easy rhythm as Reese worked his shoulders and neck, drawing the pain and tension to the surface and siphoning it away, leaving his skin warm and his body relaxed. After about ten minutes, he sighed and opened his eyes.

“That feels amazing, John,” he said. “Now I need to find something that I can do for you in return.” Hands shifted down to the middle of his back and Finch felt Reese’s warm breath against his ear.

“You already did,” Reese murmured.

Finch drew a sharp breath, his back arching, pressing him more firmly against Reese’s hands, as Reese kissed the side of his neck. “You’re insatiable,” Finch groaned, though he wasn’t really complaining. Reese shifted closer, his arms wrapping around Finch, and Finch let himself be pulled back against Reese’s chest. Finch gasped, a startled cry escaping him as Reese pressed his open mouth to the crook of Finch’s neck, teeth scraping across skin as Reese bit and sucked at his flesh. “Mr. Reese, you’re damaging my capillaries.”

Reese raised his head. “If by that you mean I’m giving you a big hickey, then yes, I am. Don’t worry, I’ll keep them under your clothes.”

“Them?” He shuddered as Reese nipped across the back of his neck before settling over his pulse, kissing and sucking in a most arousing fashion. Reese moaned into his neck, making him shiver, those big hands moving down Finch’s body to grasp his hardening cock.

“And I’m the insatiable one?” Reese teased, his calloused fingers moving lightly over Finch’s sensitive flesh, making him squirm. “I have good news, Finch,” he whispered, his lips brushing the shell of Finch’s ear. “When I was out getting a glass of water, I called Dr. Tillman, and while she said I should have called her before I let you give me the greatest orgasm of my life, she thinks I can survive making love to you. She also said it might be a good idea for us to stay in bed as much as possible for the rest of the day.”

“While I don’t doubt you capable of such brazen and unabashed audacity,” Finch said, struggling to keep his voice even, “you weren’t gone long enough to make such a call.” He took a shuddering breath. “So how do you want me?”

“However is most comfortable,” Reese said, reaching over to the nightstand and grabbing one of the two remaining condoms out of the pack. “You know your limitations better than I do, so I’ll trust your judgment, but if something hurts, I want you to tell me. I know you’re used to hiding your pain, to bearing it alone, but you’re not alone anymore.” His strong arms encircled Finch once more, but there was something different about this embrace, something tender, a touch meant for giving and seeking comfort, companionship, love.

Finch reached up, finding one of Reese’s hands and squeezing it. “You’re not alone, either.” Reese drew a shuddering breath, his grip tightening, and Finch had to swallow down a sudden lump in his throat. It was a new experience, this intense emotion that resonated within him to the very marrow of his bones. In another time and place, he might have taken a few minutes or an afternoon to dissect and analyze the feeling, to quantify and categorize and file it away for future reference, but just then it was enough to simply let it dwell within him.

After a moment, Reese kissed his shoulder again and pulled away. While he put on the condom, Finch fussed with the pillows and debated sexual positions. Each had pros and cons, but in the end, there was only one choice. He lay back on the bed, handing Reese the lube as he climbed onto the bed between Finch’s legs.

“Missionary?” Reese asked, arching an eyebrow.

“I want to see your face,” Finch explained, earning a warm smile from Reese. He hesitated. “I’m going to need a little help with the leg, though. I have a good range of motion, as you may have noticed when you threw me to the floor in the long-term evidence lockup.”

Reese winced. “Sorry about that.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Finch said, but he couldn’t resist adding, “That was a picnic compared to when you slammed me against the doorjamb in that hotel room.”

“I was hungover,” Reese said in his defense, his eyes sparkling with the smile his lips resisted, “and you had just scared the hell out of me.”

“Desperate times, Mr. Reese,” Finch said with a ghost of a smile. “Now, about my leg. The muscles in my hip and thigh were damaged. The scar tissue is stiff and aches, but the real pain comes when I try to use the muscles themselves, so this shouldn’t be too uncomfortable if you raise my leg for me.” He found it easier to talk about if he viewed it at arm’s length, as though he were speaking about an old, broken-down machine, but he still waited with a growing sense of dread for Reese’s reaction. He didn’t want pity.

Reese placed a hand on Finch’s ankle, the other sliding beneath his knee, and the look in his eyes had nothing to do with pity as he slowly lifted Finch’s leg. “How does that feel?” he asked, dragging his knuckles down the back of Finch’s thigh.

“It’s fine,” Finch said, his breath catching as Reese leaned down and pressed a soft kiss to the inside of his knee, his lips warm and breath tickling the delicate skin. Finch gasped as Reese’s lips parted, his teeth and tongue abusing the pale flesh, sucking until he left a dark mark. He drew back, looking quite pleased with his handiwork as he ran a finger over the tingling bruise.

Shifting his body, Reese placed Finch’s foot against his chest to free up his hands and Finch drew his other leg up as Reese emptied the tube of lubricant onto his fingers. “Looks like we’re going to need to go shopping,” Reese said, tossing the empty container onto the nightstand as he began preparing Finch, gently working slippery fingers in and out of his body.

“We’ll find a drug store when we go out to dinner,” Finch said, his eyes closing as he concentrated on staying relaxed.

“I thought we’d order in,” Reese said, his fingertips finding and teasing Finch’s prostate.

“Absolutely not,” Finch replied, rubbing his hand back and forth across his stomach, resisting the urge to stroke himself as Reese filled him with a deep and resounding ache. “I know a little place…a few blocks away…They have the best fresh oysters in the city,” he panted, arching his back as Reese rubbed relentlessly against that bundle of nerves.

“Oysters, hmmm?” Reese murmured. “It looks to me like we don’t need those.”

Finch gasped as the warmth of Reese’s hand surrounded his cock, stroking the shaft in time with the thrusts of his fingers. “Oh, hell, John – You’re going to make me-”

Reese pulled back, withdrawing his fingers and leaving Finch out of breath and empty, his body aching with need. He moaned like a cat in heat as Reese grabbed his leg again, deftly sliding into place and bracing Finch’s heel against the small of his back. One hand gripped Finch’s thigh, the other guiding his cock to Finch’s entrance. Finch took a deep, slow breath as Reese eased inside, stretching him, filling him, and he let it out in one long groan.

“Is this okay?” Reese asked, shifting his hand from his cock to the bed beside Finch’s ribs and leaning over him. In reply, Finch reached up, cupping the back of Reese’s neck and pulling him down for a fevered kiss. Reese made desperate noises into his mouth, his hips rocking as he sank balls-deep into Finch.

Finch slid his hands down to Reese’s broad shoulders, gripping and kneading the muscles as Reese thrust into him, as hard and fast as the first time had been slow and tender. Finch found the change…reassuring. He didn’t want to be treated like glass.

“Is this…okay?” Reese gasped.

“Yes…yes…” Finch whispered, clutching at him. He needed this.

Soon, Reese’s movements grew quick and urgent, his skin flushing, his pupils dilating as he stared down into Finch’s eyes, his face so open and vulnerable. “Harold,” he whispered, stiffening as he came. Finch had never seen anything so beautiful and fascinating, and for a moment, he forgot himself as he watched a thousand micro-expressions parade across Reese’s face. It was like watching a sunset; one of the true wonders of the universe.

Gasping and shuddering, Reese slowed his thrusts, sliding deep and holding himself there until he began to soften. He leaned down, capturing Finch’s lips as he gently lowered Finch’s bad leg back to the bed, the shift in position causing him to slip out. Unsatisfied and aching, Finch groaned as Reese wrapped a hand around his shaft, rubbing his thumb through the thick pre-come that leaked from the slit.

Reese raised his head, licking kiss-swollen lips as he gazed down at Finch. “How’s your pain?” Reese asked, beginning to stroke Finch’s cock.

“What pain?” Finch replied, his fingers digging into Reese’s back as he fought the urge to thrust in time with Reese’s strokes. That would cause him pain, but at the moment, all he felt was intense, frustrating pleasure. “John…John, please…”

“What, Harold?” Reese asked in that soft, maddening whisper of his. “What do you want?”

“You…you know what I want,” Finch said, groaning as Reese pumped him hard and fast for a moment before settling back into a slower, teasing rhythm.

“Tell me,” Reese said, leaning close, his lips hovering over Finch’s. “I want to hear you say it.”

“I want…John, I want-” He flushed. “I want to come. I want you to make me come.”

“I love it when you talk dirty,” Reese purred and Finch cried out as Reese stroked him to an intense and shuddering climax. Dazed and breathless, Finch could only lay there as Reese cleaned him up, wiping away the thick strings of semen on his stomach. He was almost no help as Reese drew the covers back, sliding them out from under him, before climbing back into bed, curling up against him, and pulling the blankets up over them both. As Reese’s strong arms settled around him, Finch drew a deep breath and sighed.

“I wish we could stay right here forever,” he said, finding Reese’s hand under the covers and lacing their fingers together.

“What’s stopping us?”

“Oh, natural bodily functions, for starters,” Finch replied, earning a soft chuckle from Reese. “And I don’t know about you, but all of this unusually strenuous activity has made me rather hungry.”

“Yeah, my lunch was interrupted by an armed gunman,” Reese said, his casual tone making Finch smile. They really were quite a pair. They lay together for several wonderful minutes before Finch reluctantly disengaged his hand from Reese’s and climbed out of bed.

“All right, Mr. Reese, I’m going to go shower and then we can-”

“John,” Reese interrupted, his intense gaze following Finch as he made his way around the bed.

Finch felt a tightness in his chest, a flutter in the pit of his stomach, as he stepped over to John’s side of the bed and leaned down, kissing him softly. As he drew back, he said, “All right, John, if that’s how it’s going to be…” He leaned down, closed his eyes, and whispered his real name into John’s ear.

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  1. What a fantastically great story this is! You did a wonderful job. More please ASAP. Love your view of Reese & Finch. And what is his real name anyway?

    • Thank you so much! I hope to have the next chapter of ‘Be Careful What You Wish For’ ready by tomorrow, and another chapter of ‘Dream a Little Dream of Me’ on Wednesday.
      I couldn’t even begin to guess what his real name is, which is why I didn’t say in the story, lol. I’m starting to think it might actually be Harold.

  2. Anonymous permalink

    love your story!

  3. I love you, I love your stories… and I love them! ❤ Thank you for this fic!

  4. Anonymous permalink

    Wow so good

  5. Cundra permalink

    This fic is really wonderful, you made me laugh, cry… You write so well ! Continue, you have real talent

  6. This was perfect beginning to end, although there were a few chapters there when I was cursing the day I ever decided to read this fic and trying not to cry. BUT IT WAS SO WORTH IT.

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