Fraser turned around and looked at Ray with widened eyes. He looked desperate and Ray gripped his arm tighter, trying to reassure him in some way.
“Fraser,” he whispered again.
Fraser clenched his jaw in response.
“Are you—” Ray started to say but Fraser was already shaking his head.
“I can’t Ray!” Fraser said urgently.
“Okay,” Ray agreed panicky. “Okay, fine. It’s alright Fraser,” Ray babbled. He felt as if he had been saying that a lot lately.
Fraser took a shuddering breath.
“You have no idea, Ray… absolutely no idea,” Fraser turned his whole body towards Ray and pulled him closer.
Ray stumbled against Fraser’s warm chest, clinging to his shirt to keep up with the momentum.
“Fraser what—” Ray whispered.
“I can’t Ray,” Fraser murmured before his warm fingers touched Ray’s cheekbones to stroke over the warm skin.
Ray flushed under the caress. Fraser’s calloused fingers moved to his ears, learning their form before softly stroking the skin behind them. Ray’s eyes fluttered closed.
Fraser’s thumbs massaged along Ray’s nape and Ray opened his mouth on a soundless moan.
Suddenly Ray gasped and his eyes flew open. Fraser’s warm lips were pressed against his and Ray couldn’t keep the enthusiastic groan in. He closed his eyes again in mindless bliss when Fraser slid his tongue in and Ray’s tongue sneaked out carefully to meet him.
Fraser pressed closer, his fingers cradling Ray’s face and his tongue went even deeper, trying to taste every inch of Ray and Ray was all too happy to grant him access to every spot he wanted to explore.
Fraser’s lips were surprisingly soft and Ray bit softly at the lower lip when Fraser suddenly broke the kiss with a small whimper and rested his forehead against Ray’s with closed eyes.
Ray groaned in frustration.
“Fraser!” he complained in an agonized tone.
“Ray, I—” he took a deep breath, “I heard something,” Fraser whispered breathlessly – obviously trying to get the control over his emotions back.
Ray tried to focus on Fraser’s face; he looked dead serious so Ray tried to clear his own head.
“What do you mean ‘you heard something’?” Ray asked incredulously.
“Footsteps, outside,” Fraser elaborated.
For a moment there Ray was inclined to believe that Fraser was just imagining stuff to have an excuse.
Fraser cocked his head before he nodded again. Ray let his head hang, their attacker had the worst timing ever.
Ray reached to his holster and pulled out his gun. He nodded at Fraser and moved into position next to the window. Fraser crouched behind the door and Ray tried very hard to regain his composure.
Defending himself wasn’t the first thing on his mind when he sported an erection that could drill through steel.
“Fraser,” Ray said quietly, “why is that guy even after you?”
“Ah, didn’t you read the file, Ray?” Fraser asked with a customary rub of the eyebrow. Ray rolled his eyes.
“No, I figured you could fill me in later, being stuck at a cabin for days on end and all that.”
Fraser’s tongue sneaked out to wet his lips.
“It’s not important right now.”
“Not important? Fraser?!” Ray exclaimed incredulous. “I’m standing here with my gun drawn! I’d say that counts as important so spill, what did you do this time?”
Fraser pulled at his collar.
“I’m afraid you won’t like this, Ray.”
“Try me, Fraser.” Ray said with an expectant expression.
“It’s, well, it’s about curling.”
“What, you broke his curling trophy or what?” Ray asked exasperated. He was about to risk his life over a curling incident… God, he could only hope he wouldn’t die because of it.
The embarrassment… he would never live it down – then again, if he died because of it he wasn’t there to endure it anyway.
Ray Kowalski, detective 1st class, died in a shootout caused by the result of a Canadian curling match – that was more than depressing, that was pathetic.
So he thought it would be better to get this straight right from the start.
“Fraser, I am not going to risk my neck for curling!”
“Technically, you would be risking it for me.”
“Oh,” Ray paused for a moment, “that’s alright then,” he shrugged.
“And it wasn’t about a trophy either. Paul McKinnley helped the Long Bay Curling Club Team to win the ‘Stanley Cup’ – also called the ‘Golden Broom’ – but I happened to discover that he paid someone off to throw the game and—”
“You just happened to discover that, huh?” Ray asked as sarcastic as he could.
“Well, yes, I wasn’t suspicious at the beginning, I went there as a spectator. However, over the course of the game I felt that McKinnley had let countless opportunities slip through his fingers to land a—”
“Fraser, spare me the details. So you busted the guy and then what?”
“McKinnley got sentenced for bribery, conspiracy and manipulating a national competition. Since the evidence was striking and enough people were willingly testifying against him he was sentenced to—”
“Okay, okay, so he spent some quality time in jail and now he’s out again or what?”
“Yes, he was released 4 days ago and he had sworn revenge from the day the sentence was passed.”
Ray nodded. He could deal with this… but – just for the record – he still would have preferred it to risk his life for something not related to curling.
Someone rounded the corner of their cabin and Ray squinted through the thin curtains… wait a moment… wasn’t this McKinnley blond?
The guy coming towards the door hard dark hair and maybe McKinnley had started dyeing his hair since he was released but the dark haired man didn’t look as if he was hell-bent on revenge.
“Fraser, I don’t think it’s our guy,” Ray whispered.
Ray’s suspicions were confirmed a moment later when the man knocked on the door. Fraser nodded at Ray and moved to open the door; Ray remained next to the window with his gun drawn.
“Hey, there! Sorry to bother you,” a cheerful voice exclaimed from the doorway.
“I’m James Conroy,” he extended his hand towards Fraser who reached out with his own hand to shake it.
“Benton Fraser,” he introduced himself and Ray was relieved that Fraser didn’t state his involvement with the RCMP – or with the Chicago PD. No need to advertize it.
“How can we help you?” Fraser asked when Ray showed himself in the doorway.
“Hey, I’m Ray Vecchio.” Ray shook hands with James.
“I’m so glad you guys are here. I’ve been walking for ages. I came across another cabin a mile back but it was deserted. My car broke down back on the main road and I was wondering whether you might have a telephone or a cell I could use.”
“Certainly,” Fraser assured him and went back inside to get Ray’s cell phone.
“Any idea what caused the breakdown?” Ray asked.
“Dunno, I’m not really good with the mechanic stuff,” he shrugged and laughed slightly embarrassed.
“I could take a look, if you’d like?” Ray offered when Fraser returned with the cell phone in hand.
“You would? That would be awesome, man. Thanks!” James smiled over the whole face.
“Pitter-patter, Frase,” Ray grinned.
They went outside to the GTO and James directed them to the part of road where his battered Toyota was parked at the side.
Ray parked behind it and James opened the hood of the car for him. Ray danced around the car pulling at plugs and checking tubes and outlets while murmuring to himself.
“That’s kinda his thing, isn’t it?” James asked amused.
Fraser smiled back. “Yes, you could say that. He’s rather gifted with car repairs.”
Ray checked the oil-level and grumbled. “Okay, so far everything looks fine. Did you notice anything while you were driving? Like a light flickering on and off or something?” Ray wiped his underarm over his forehead, leaving a small streak of black oil on the skin. Fraser tried very hard not to stare too much.
James looked thoughtful. “Now that you mention it… the car radio dashboard lights went on and off for a moment before it went completely dark, that was shortly before the engine stopped.”
Ray sighed. “I guess you have a broken alternator, it’s the thing that keeps your car battery continuously re-juiced and sufficiently supplied with power.”
James didn’t look as if he knew what that meant.
“It means you will need to have it replaced,” Fraser supplied.
“Oh man,” James moaned. “Do I have to call a breakdown service now?”
Ray surveyed the engine again. “I think we could jumpstart the battery for the moment. But it’s only temporary and highly unstable. You won’t get very far. It’s probably best if you drive directly to the next garage to get it fixed. I’ll get the jumper cables.”
“Thank you so much,” James said grateful.
Ray grinned easily. “You’re welcome.”
“By the way, where’s the other one of your group?” James asked.
Ray and Fraser exchanged a puzzled look.
“What do you mean?” Ray’s gut didn’t like this at all.
“Well, when I came into sight of your cabin I saw a car leave from the back. It had parked a bit off but I thought it belonged to your group, no? I tried to make myself known, I had hoped the guy would be able to help me, but either he didn’t notice or he didn’t care,” James shrugged.
“Can you describe the man and his car?” Fraser asked quietly.
“Sure, blond guy, built – like a sportsman or something. He drove a white pick-up, a really old one, though. I take it he doesn’t belong to you guys after all, huh?”
“Nah, he doesn’t but thanks for letting us know.”
Ray and Fraser exchanged another glance before they helped bringing James’ car back to life.
“I’ll let traffic police know where you’re headed in case your car croaks before you get to the next garage,” Ray told James before he could pull away from the curb.
“Thanks again, guys!” He waved and was off.
Ray went back to the driver side of the Goat.
“Could you tell me what the feds are doing instead of protecting us from a broom sweeping madman like they are supposed to?” Ray asked annoyed.
“Ah, Ray I am sure they are doing…” Fraser stopped and pulled at his collar. “Well, I honestly couldn’t say.” Ray grinned at him; not even Fraser was able to find something nice to say about the federal methods.
“I guess we’d better be prepared then.”
Ray threw Fraser’s lips a wistful glance and Fraser blushed ever so slightly.
They got inside the car and Ray fiddled with the controls of the radio while Fraser fastened his seatbelt. The moment the seatbelt clicked shut Ray’s hand shot out to rest against the passenger side window and he crowded Fraser against the door.
Ray’s other hand pressed against Fraser’s chest, pushing him against the seat.
“Wh—” Fraser started to say in a shaky voice when Ray’s lips descended on him.
Ray ravished Fraser’s mouth with every trick he knew. He licked hungrily in Fraser’s mouth, entwining their tongues. There was a barely controlled urgency to Ray’s kiss and Fraser groaned under the assault.
A low moan reverberated on his lips and finally his hands came up to pull Ray’s face closer to him.
A jolt of desire coursed through Ray and he deepened the kiss, Fraser’s silky wet lips moved against his and Ray touched his tongue against Fraser’s crooked tooth; he moaned and pulled away panting.
“Ray…” Fraser whispered amazed.
“Oh God…” Ray gasped with a shuddering breath.
Fraser looked equally unable to form any coherent thought; he licked his lips, eyes still closed and breathing heavily.
“I… we should… yeah,” Ray mumbled. He took a deep breath and resumed his seat. He gripped the steering wheel and tried to control the shaking in his fingers.
When the shaking subsided and his movements were steady again he turned the key in the ignition.
Time to come up with a plan of action.