Between the Bars Pt. 05


"The press."

Daniel lifted an eyebrow and everyone looked at me and waited for me to complete my thought.

"You need help getting access to Wyman. A reporter could do that, be your contact point so you won't be spotted if anyone is watching him. A reporter could break the story in a live Internet feed, so that your video will be safely on their secure network as soon as you get it and nobody can alter it or take it away. The proof of your innocence is incontrovertible once we secure the video files... with that, we buy the chance to access the rest of the evidence."

"We?" Daniel questioned, but the corner of his mouth was tugging in a smile. "When did this become we?"

"Did I say we? I meant you," I answered sweetly.

"Uh-huh. We'll discuss that part later. That's a good idea, Rylan, but the problem is, you can't just show up at the Tribune office with a crazy story and expect a reporter to believe you without question. They're even more cynical than cops, hell, they're likely to call the cops on me themselves."

"You forget, I went to Northwestern." I smiled. Yeah, my moment of inspiration was turning out to be brilliant. "I have a good friend up in Chicago who works for the Sun-Times. I haven't talked to her in awhile, but we'll be able to trust her. I know she'll help us."

"Do you have her number?" Daniel asked immediately. I knew he was impressed with my idea and the warmth of his approval felt very pleasant. To be able to help, it was all I really wanted. To help him and keep him safe, to be someone he could trust, his port in the storm where he'd been lost and alone for so long.

"Not on hand, but I can get it."

On the Sun-Times website, there was a phone directory for the offices of the different departments within the paper. I didn't know what department Kat was working in nowadays, but after I talked to a friendly lady in the City pages, I was soon connected to Kat's voice mail at the Editorial desk. Dammit. If only I had her cell number. In addition to leaving her a message, I also e-mailed her from the portal on the website. When I hung up, I shrugged at Daniel who was waiting with thinly veiled impatience, a crack in his calm.

"I sure hope she checks her messages."

"You did everything you could. All we can do now is wait."

So we waited. Outside the windows, darkness deepened the shadows on the snow from gray to indigo. Paul watched TV in the den, the kids played their X-Box on the television next to the fireplace and Charlotte moved around the house doing various chores and whatever else she did. Daniel and I drifted restlessly from one thing to the next until we finally ended up standing at the window, looking out at the full moon shining down on the dark snowy fields, breaking and refracting so the silvery light sparkled like countless tiny diamonds. We'd both been feeling suffocated, caged and crowded, in a house filled with people, waiting, with nothing productive to do and nowhere to get away from it; there was so much on his shoulders right now and yet his eyes still lit up when he gazed at the moonlight on the snow. I leaned closer to him so that our shoulders touched and he smiled at me. I wanted to kiss him so much, but I couldn't. Not with everyone around us. I didn't even care about the cold and the dark; I wanted nothing more than to be back at the farmhouse with him, just the two of us, for what could very well be our last night together.

Love you, scared for you, don't want you hurt. Can't say any of those things so just press the sensitive skin of my upper arm through my clothes into his warmth, and try not to imagine the worst.

The phone rang. Finally. After we'd just decided she wasn't going to call, it finally rang. We both jumped and stood there tense. Charlotte answered it and brought it to me. "It's for you, Rylan."

"Rylan Kennedy, what the hell is going on? I just saw you on the news!"

I smiled at the voice on the phone. "Hi Kat. It's been awhile but you still sound the same."

We talked for a long time as I told the story for the second time today. It did sound preposterous in some places; I wouldn't have believed it either if someone had walked up to me and started telling it to me out of the blue. But Kat knew me, and she knew I wouldn't lie, or be taken in by a wild story. We sort of became friends by proximity when Kat was dating my old roommate, Amelia. She was always at our apartment and at first we didn't have much to do with each other, just saw each other as a necessary evil, but somewhere along the line we started talking when Kat would call Amelia, and the next thing we knew we were friends, long after Amelia was out of the picture. Kat was the only one of my friends who knew what it was like to be gay in an Irish Catholic family and so we got each other.

"She wants to help us," I told Paul and Charlotte, who were waiting in the den when I finally hung up. Daniel had been listening the whole time Kat and I talked, and I'd consulted with him as we made plans for tomorrow, so he already knew that she was ready to do whatever we needed. I knew this story would be too good for her to pass up. She wanted to help a friend, of course, but a good exclusive like this might even land her a front page piece, or even her own column. The danger was worth it to her.

"We're going to meet her at her apartment tomorrow and she's going to contact Wyman for us and arrange a meeting."

Paul nodded thoughtfully. "That's good. I've been thinking, Daniel. Rylan's vehicle has been identified so the cops are going to be on the lookout for it." He and Charlotte exchanged looks. "We want you to take our car in the morning."

"We couldn't..."

Paul cut off Daniel's protest. "The way I see it, you don't have a choice. Rylan's truck is locked in the barn, but maybe you'll be well on your way when they find it. You need to get out of here in the morning as soon as you can and I've got the Subaru all gassed up and ready to go. It won't be long before the police come to the farmhouse looking for you, and then they'll come here."

"Fuck," Daniel cursed, while my heart started to thump in my chest. It was all becoming real now. "I left my gun at the farm."

"The snowmobile has a headlight." Paul got up from his recliner. "Come on. I'll take you over there right now so you can leave early in the morning."

"Go," I told Daniel when he looked over at me. The kids had gone into their rooms so I brushed a kiss over his lips as he and Paul went to get their cold weather gear on. When they had gone, I sat down next to Charlotte and took a deep breath. She wrapped her arms around me comfortingly.

"Don't be scared, Squirrel Bait."

"I can't help it," I admitted. I buried my face in the sweet-smelling strawberry blonde hair draped over her shoulder. "For him, not for myself. They'll kill him if they can. These people are totally ruthless." What we saw in Birmingham proved that.

"He won't let that happen." Charlotte patted my back. "Daniel knows what he's doing, baby. He's gonna take care of you."

"I know."

"Leave early in the morning, while it's still dark. Don't use the interstate. Don't stop anywhere unless you absolutely have to. Take Highway 16 out to 51 and don't drive fast, but don't drive too slow either, it's suspicious."

I nodded, pulling away. "We'll be careful."

"I know you will. You take care of Daniel, too. He needs you." She smiled at me. "Maybe he doesn't know it yet, but he needs you. Now go down and get some rest. I'll send him down when they get back. Try not to worry too much, Ry. I know it'll all work out."

I did what she said, but the fear dogged me. There was a lot at stake here. I couldn't lie; I didn't give a damn about Daniel's investigation. It could all go to hell for all I cared. It was Daniel's cause, his mission, but there was no way I was letting him sacrifice his life for it. He was going to live whether he liked it or not.


Chapter 25

"No. It's not safe."

"I'm not letting you go alone."

Daniel stared down at me, and then he sat down on the side of the bed and faced me. I'd waited until he came back from the farmhouse with Paul and I was naked and waiting for him in bed before I told him that whatever happened in Chicago, I was going with him. That I wasn't leaving him.

"I don't want to argue with you." He tried to look directly into my face, but his eyes kept sliding down my chest to where the blankets were bunched around my hips, exposing my belly button and the edge of my pubic hair when I deliberately shifted.

"Then don't." He didn't know yet that it was pointless to argue with me anyway, but he would learn soon enough. I grinned at him to take away the edge of my words and I wiggled a bit to let the covers ride down even more so I could show him that my dick was getting hard just from his walking into the room. "It must've been cold out there on that snowmobile, all dark and icy with the snow blowing in your face," I said sympathetically.

"Yeah. Very cold." He nodded while staring at my crotch.

I reached up and ran my hand over his smooth scalp. The soft blonde stubble was as silky as kitten fur under my touch. He shuddered, drawing in a breath. I grinned because I knew exactly what it did to him, and it excited me knowing my touch could make him shiver. I drew his head closer and brushed my lips over his hairline, then the outer edge of his ear, cold to my lips. He bit his lip when I murmured softly, stroking the soft curve of his neck. Before I met him, I never knew just how sexy an exposed neck could be. So much male beauty there in the fluid muscles across the shoulders, that graceful arch of the spine into the base of the head.

"Then maybe you need to get some of those clothes off and get under the covers where it's warm."

I lifted the edge of the covers to invite him in. His eyes never left my naked skin while he stood up and hastily pulled his clothes off, kicking them aside impatiently. The impending argument was totally forgotten, of course. I forgot it myself the second his body slid next to mine and I pulled the covers up and enveloped us both in the warmth.

"Fuck, you are cold." I gasped with shock when his icy hands and feet sought out my heat.

"Warm me up," he growled roughly.

"We need to get your blood pumping." I closed my lips around the outer edge of his ear. It was cold to my lips. I nibbled and felt him shiver. I liked making him shiver. I draped myself over him and wrapped my arms around him until the chill went away. His hard cock jabbed me in the belly right next to mine and I slowly rubbed my hips against his. A little explosion like the pop of a firecracker went off and radiated up through my core. He moaned softly. Fuck. We had to be so quiet in this houseful of people

"That's better," he whispered. His tongue peeped out and I met it with mine. We kissed with just our tongues before I caught the back of his neck and attacked his mouth.

Fuck he tastes sweet. A sheen of sweat breaks out over me. I smother a moan into his mouth, tasting him, clinging to his tongue while he deliberately thrusts it in and withdraws, slowly fucking my mouth.

His hands slide down my back. He gives me a wicked grin as he catches my bottom lip delicately between his front teeth and bites down while at the same time he cups my ass cheeks in his hand and squeezes them. His hands are rough but his teeth are oh so gentle and I squirm and writhe against him, whimpering into his mouth. My cock is so hard and it begins to ache wildly as he manhandles my ass, pulling my cheeks apart, roughly spreading my hole. It tingles as the cool air brushes it.

"Daniel," I breathe. Desperate, pleading. I'll have tiny bruises on my ass but I don't care.

He tugs at me. It takes a second to figure out what he wants but then I get on my hands and knees and crawl up him. He stares up into my eyes. My balls trailing up the smooth skin of his belly and then his chest makes my knees quiver. His skin is damp with sweat between my thighs, firm hands on my ass. I am both afraid and secretly hope he'll bring his hand down across them in a sharp slap but he doesn't and I can't ask.

"Sit on my face."

My breath catches in my throat. I bite my lip, shuddering. I brace my hands against the wall and lean into them. Glimpse of his wicked flashing eyes between my thighs under my balls, then his hands are pulling my ass open and his tongue twirls around my hole and then dances away. He licks and sucks that spot just under my balls until I'm whimpering between my clenched teeth. Can't make a sound. Want his tongue in my ass, his fingers, something, such a tease, that devilish tongue flicking my hole then darting away leaving me empty and aching, knees trembling, cock dripping slowly down onto the sheets. I arch my back, suspended in his torment.

"Fuck, Daniel," I whisper.

He hums into the crack of my ass and the vibration nearly makes me fall over. I buck my hips down and then his tongue slips into my ass. It feels so fucking good. I twist endlessly and then his finger slides inside me. The slight burning shoots a thin streak of pleasure up my spine. Flash of him on his knees with his ass spread for me so wanton and slutty demanding more. The first night we ever fucked. Another finger slips past the tight ring of my ass alongside the first one in a slow twisting motion. I clamp my mouth shut on a cry of both pleasure and frustration because it feels so good but I want his cock now that I can have it after waiting for so long.

He pushes me off him. His face is flushed and mouth red and swollen from tongue-fucking my ass. I can't stop staring at it as he reaches over and grabs a condom and the lube. My hands are trembling too badly to get the package open so he takes it from me and sheathes his cock in the thin, slimy latex. I slick him up with lube until he moans softly and stops me but I don't use it on myself because I want to feel that deep, satisfying burn as he sinks in me to the hilt, stretching me so wide...

"Oh god."

"Shhh." He breathes in the dark and I look down at his face as I straddle his hips on my knees. His cock brushes my balls from beneath and his body is stretched out under me...golden skin, tight flushed nipples, abs rippling and his arms... love his arms, the smooth hard curve of his biceps, that line of corded muscle down his forearms, wrists, then his hand reaching up to grip my left hip. My other hand wraps around the base of his cock to hold it steady so I can slide down on it. His eyes stare into mine clouded with lust.

His cock splits me. I wince at the pinch but the pain shoots out in delicious tingles and radiates into my fingers and toes. He grips my hips and moves fluidly under me, staring into my eyes as I sink down on him. Oh god, his cock. So fucking warm and feels so good filling me. I watch him bite his bottom lip to keep from crying out with pleasure, falling into the moment. Our skin slides together and my thigh muscles tense, taking him deeper. Love you Daniel.

I shouldn't speak, need to be quiet but I can't stop myself.

"How do I feel?" I whisper. I stare at his eyes, watch them roll back into his head as I slowly begin to ride him, watch him struggle to form words.

"So good," he breathes.

"Tight?" I feel his cock brush the edge of that little spot inside me and I almost can't speak from the waves of pleasure but this feels important.

"Fuck yeah... so tight... Mmm." He lets out a deep growl as I take him all inside me to the hilt. I'm sitting on him and all words and thoughts are gone in the feeling of him pounding inside me, lifting his hips in rhythm to my thrusts. The bed bucks against the wall in light thuds. Shit. I put my hands to the wall and push backward; it quiets a bit. I stare down at him and his red face and his lips so luscious, trying not to make a sound, while our light panting breaths filled the space and I rode his cock so it swiped over my prostate again and again, hitting it and pulling away, hard and fast. The power was unbelievable.

He drew his knees up and I leaned backward and gripped his thighs for support, arching my back, face to the ceiling. Oh fuck, the pleasure was so intense. I groaned deep in my throat. My orgasm unfurled at the base of my spine and his hand came up and pressed against my belly and then I was done. I dropped forward, locking my mouth onto his. I cried out my pleasure into his mouth, muffling the sounds as I shot between us, climaxing silently in hard intense shattering bursts. Rippling around him in waves, felt him tense, felt him grab me hard when he came. Hips stopped moving and I swear I felt him pulsing inside me, going slowly limp with contentment.

"Oh my god, Daniel," I breathed in his ear. He hugged me hard and we started laughing like two giddy teenagers. My heart gave a jump when the dark shadow of tomorrow fell over me and I suddenly grabbed him and held on tight until my stomach stopped flipping.

A steamy shower relaxed us both even more, but when we had gotten back into bed and curled up under the blankets, tangled together, I didn't want to sleep. Not when time felt so short.

The small basement window offered only a faint silver glow in the dark room but it was enough to see his face on the pillow next to mine, turned to face me. His eyes were closed and his breath was soft and even. His thigh was thrown over mine, a comforting weight. The uncertainty of what was going to happen to him was more than I could stand.



"You asleep?"

"Mmmmno." He cleared the sleep from his voice.

"You and Ray... how long were you together?" I asked softly.

"Four years," he answered drowsily. "But we knew each other in high school, so we were never strangers. Like we'd always been a part of each other."

"Really?" I thought of something. "It doesn't bother you to talk about him does it?"

"No, it's okay." He smiled with his eyes closed. "He was four years older than me so he was a senior when I was a freshman. We were on the wrestling team together but he wasn't in my weight class so I never wrestled him... I was just aware of him, watched him, the big hunky Puerto Rican guy who never seemed to notice me."

"Ray was Puerto Rican?" I don't know why that surprised me but it did.

"Yeah. His name was Ramon but nobody got to call him that but his mother." Daniel smiled faintly and opened his eyes, looking up at a point past my head. "He did notice me, though. When I joined Tallahassee Vice after I got out of the Army, he remembered me right away. I didn't know he was gay in high school, but then again, I didn't know I was either. He took me under his wing on the force, helped me, watched my back on the streets and in the office. He made sure I stayed safe out in the clubs too. I cleaned up my act a lot because I couldn't face him with some of the things I was doing. We were such good friends, we were so comfortable with each other, I didn't want to screw up our friendship by bringing sex into it but eventually it just happened. We slept together a few times... then I was staying in with him instead of going out at night... and the next thing we knew we were in love, and then we were moving in together."

I put my arm over him and held him tight. I didn't want him to keep on if it hurt too much, but he seemed calm if a bit sad so I didn't interrupt.

"We didn't keep it a secret on the force, but it's not a widely accepted thing either, so we were discreet about it. I hated not being able to tell the world he was mine, but he always knew the right things to say to keep me from getting bitter. I'd always said I'd never live that happy-hetero suburban life with a husband and a picket fence but I was, and I so happy I didn't care. We agreed on an open relationship but neither of us wanted anyone else. I only wanted Ray."

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