~*~ What happened before ~*~
“Good, okay…. something I didn’t do then. What didn’t I do?”
Fraser’s mouth felt suddenly dry. Ray was more perceptive than he had given him credit for… or Ray knew him better than he had expected. There was no running away now… maybe he didn’t need words after all. If this was his one chance he would take it. He was a Mountie, he could do this.
Before he could back down, Fraser closed the distance between them, and pressed his lips to Ray’s.
Ray’s lips were warm and pliant under his own as Ray’s faint stubble rubbed gently against his skin. That warm scent again… this hint of sandalwood… together with something darker… and something inside of Fraser felt electrified. He reached out with his hand and for one, just one stolen moment in time, Fraser gloried in the soft bristle of Ray’s hair against his palm as he cradled Ray’s head. Ray had to forgive him for taking this.
The moment before a soft needy whimper would’ve broken from his lips, Fraser pulled reluctantly away. His cheeks were burning and his heart had never beaten this fast.
Slowly, Ray opened his eyes. Fraser hadn’t even noticed that Ray had closed them.
“Was that some kind of Canadian apology I don’t know of?” Ray asked quietly. His voice was slightly scratchy.
Hurt, expected but biting and sharp nonetheless, tore at Fraser’s heart. He shook his head. He had been wrong. Ray didn’t understand, not nearly. “No, I—I better go…” Fraser murmured and tried to stand up.
Ray’s hand pushed him back against the couch as Ray’s knees hit the couch to the left and to the right of Fraser’s hips – successfully preventing any form of escape.
“God, you drove me nuts these last weeks. I never would’ve guessed… you scared me half to death…” Fraser still wasn’t completely processing what was happening when Ray’s fingers closed around his nape and Ray kissed him again. The spots where Ray’s fingers were touching his neck were burning, and Ray’s fingers were rubbing circles into the skin ever so softly; Ray’s thumb was smoothing over the soft skin behind his ear, and the whimper he had held back earlier escaped Fraser’s lips after all.
Slowly, Ray pulled away. “I thought for sure one of these days I was going to be too late to save you. Trust me I would’ve hunted your ass to the ends of the earth, Mountie or not. When it comes to tenacity Mounties have nothing on Chicago, better believe it.”
Fraser willed his brain to catch up. Ray…kissed him… scared… saving him… Fraser tried to get the facts into the right order.
“Ray,” and it hurt pointing it out, “friends worry and are concerned. This is a natural reaction. I’m afraid my…” Fraser smoothed a knuckle over his eyebrow. It was better to get this over quickly, like pulling off a band-aid. “…my own motives aren’t exactly, ah, friendly.”
Ray grinned. His fingers were still touching Fraser’s neck, teasing the over-sensitized skin there… had his skin always been sensitive there, Fraser wondered. Two of Ray’s fingers were dipping tantalizingly under the collar of the serge and Fraser’s eyes fell closed for half a second before he managed to focus on the conversation again.
“Yeah, Frase, I had friends before. I know how to be buddies,” Ray’s voice was soft and his eyes were steady as he looked at Fraser. “But buddies don’t wanna do this,” Ray explained and pressed his lips again to Fraser’s. Ray’s thumb was stroking down, from Fraser’s ear down his throat, and back up again. It left a fiery trail that Fraser felt moving further south even though Ray’s dexterous fingers had already moved on to a new playground. His thumb stroked along Fraser’s jaw while his other hand moved up, along the nape, and into Fraser’s hair.
Rational thought climbed into the backseat and buckled up in three sets of chains, surrounded by a survival kit and provisions that would enable her to stay there for the unforeseeable future as passion elbowed its way to the front.
Fraser clutched at Ray’s shirt, pulling the agile body closer against his own, and Ray’s mouth opened under his, slick silky heat in stark contrast to Ray’s sinewy body underneath his hands and the prickle of stubble against his jaw. Fraser drew Ray’s tongue into his mouth and marveled at the strength with which Ray overpowered all of his senses. He could smell smoke – a sharp reminder of the earlier fire, the leather of Ray’s holster was still clinging to his t-shirt, similar and different than Fraser’s Sam Browne, and Ray’s very own warm spicy scent with that touch of ink made it all but impossible to notice anything else besides Ray. Fraser took another frantic breath through his nose… arousal… Fraser felt light-headed all of a sudden. He could smell Ray’s arousal—
With a barely suppressed moan, Fraser’s hand traveled lower, hooking underneath Ray’s lithe body right where his thigh met his ass and Fraser’s other hand steadied Ray at the hip and then he pushed. He needed closer, he needed Ray’s body pressed against his, he wanted to feel the weight of Ray’s body underneath his own. They slid along the couch cushions until Ray landed on his back, stretched out on the couch with Fraser on top of him.
Ray arched up against him as Fraser deepened the kiss, searching for more of Ray’s unique taste, of that barely contained strength— arousal… Ray was aroused… but… this wasn’t following any scenario Fraser had thought possible… because Ray was interested in women only, he wasn’t—he couldn’t be—
Rational thought snapped with her fingers and the chains disappeared. In the blink of an eye, she was back in control— however poor that control was.
“Ray, I’m a man,” Fraser all but blurted.
Ray frowned at the sudden loss of contact. Suddenly, Ray’s eyes widened and he reached out to give Fraser’s shoulder a shove.
“Damn! And you didn’t care to tell me?”
Fraser stared at him. Certainly Ray had noticed that bef—
Ray rolled his eyes before he started to chuckle. “Jeez… believe it or not I had noticed.” Ray’s eyes crinkled with laughter. “Me? I’m the kinda guy who’ll try anything once,” Ray winked at him. “So can we please get back to trying this some more?” Ray gave Fraser’s lanyard a tug.
“But—you said the same thing about seafood,” Fraser said slowly. “Two days before the Tucci case, we were having dinner, and I remarked that I hadn’t known you liked seafood and then you replied that ‘you’d try anything once’.”
Ray’s smile turned wry. “No, see, I was telling you while we were having seafood that I’d try anything once.”
Fraser tried to come to terms with the implications behind that statement, but Ray was obviously done with talking. Ray reached up and traced a playful line with his thumb along Fraser’s lower lip.
“C’mere…” Ray murmured, pulling Fraser down. And this time, Fraser banned rational thought away from himself and threw away the key.
The wool of his serge was becoming too warm far too quickly and Ray made the most beautiful desperate moans as his jeans-clad groin moved in a graceful arc to press against Fraser.
“Could we—I’d like to—” Fraser had trouble forming sentences faced with Ray’s aroused state.
Ray was panting heavily and he closed his eyes for a second before he nodded. “Yeah… bedroom… good idea.”
They stumbled into the bedroom and Fraser set to the aggravating task of getting out of the uniform. He bent down to unlace the boots which was made difficult by the fact that he couldn’t take his eyes off Ray and the way he toed off his boots and socks before he shimmied out of his jeans. Fraser almost strangled himself with the lanyard in his haste to remove the serge.
But Fraser had barely time to pull the Henley over his head before Ray was completely naked and then he couldn’t wait anymore. He reached for Ray and pulled him to the bed with him. Ray was warm in his arms and Fraser leaned back against the headboard, settling Ray in his lap.
He wanted to switch on all the lights to see every bit of Ray instead of watching him in the light that spilled in from the hallway. He wanted to spread Ray out on the bed and taste every inch of him. He wanted to be utterly quiet so that he would hear every sound Ray made.
But when Ray kissed him again with this complete abandon that seemed the only way Ray knew how to do things – whole-heartedly, giving all of himself, going on instinct – and his erection brushed against Fraser’s undershirt, all thoughts of taking his time, of making both of them wait, of drawing this out, fled right out of the window.
He needed to touch Ray now and he couldn’t deny him anything. So when Ray moaned into his ear again, his hot breath tickling Fraser’s skin, it was all Fraser could do not to fall apart.
His hand closed around Ray’s erection and Ray’s startled gasp sent a shiver through Fraser. Ray pulled his face away to gasp for air and Fraser found himself staring at his partner with undisguised want. Ray’s slack-jawed face and his slightly parted lips were the most indecent things Fraser had ever dared to witness. The hitch of Ray’s hips was driving Fraser to distraction. He wanted to taste Ray, and to make him beg, but he couldn’t tear his eyes away.
Ray was demanding, forcefully pushing into the circle of Fraser’s fist, his hands digging into Fraser’s shoulders, holding on. He was moaning with his eyes half-closed.
“Frase… god… so good… yes—ah—please don’t stop…”
And Fraser could only quietly shake his head, no, he wouldn’t stop, he couldn’t; panting for air as arousal made it hard to breathe.
Ray’s back was slightly sweat-soaked and the heady mix of clean sweat and arousal made Fraser’s mouth go dry. He licked his lips; he needed time to lick every inch of Ray’s body, he hoped he would get the chance to catalogue every one of his moans, and he never wanted to miss out on seeing Ray’s face in the height of passion.
“Fraser!” Ray cried out and Fraser flicked his thumb over the head of Ray’s cock as Ray came with a shudder that wracked his whole body.
“Jesus…” Ray shivered. “…God…” Ray took a calming breath before he took in Fraser’s face, the flushed cheeks and the mussed hair, arousal so very obvious in every inch of skin.
“You’re breathing kinda hard there, buddy,” Ray murmured a little breathlessly, but his grin was all Cheshire Cat. “I think I might be able to help you with that.”
Helplessly, Fraser had to release his grip on Ray as Ray reached for Fraser’s undershirt and pulled it over his head. Teasingly, Ray pulled down the zipper on the jodhpurs and Fraser couldn’t keep the relieved moan in. Ray reached inside of Fraser’s boxers and when his hand closed around Fraser’s heated erection, Fraser’s hips snapped up of their own volition.
“Spread your legs,” Ray murmured silkily. With a pounding heart, Fraser obeyed. Ray looked up at him with a predatory smile before he bent down to map Fraser’s cock with his lips.
To see Ray’s mouth on his erection was almost too much to bear, but when Ray pulled the foreskin back, licked once around the head, and then swallowed him down, Fraser had to bury his hands in Ray’s hair or lose it.
Ray released his prize for a moment. “Uncut, huh…” Ray grinned. “More responsive that way…” Ray murmured and his moist breath puffed against the wet skin of Fraser’s cock, lips brushing it as Ray spoke, and Fraser’s needy whimper that ended with a shiver in Fraser’s thighs was more than enough to prove Ray right.
Ray sucked him down again, hand curled tightly around the base and Ray’s other hand closed gently around Fraser’s testicles. Fraser couldn’t stop the moans from spilling over his lips, nonsensical articulations of want and need, but Ray apparently didn’t need any words to understand him.
Ray’s tongue was pressed tightly against the vein on the underside and when Fraser felt a hint of teeth he couldn’t hold on any longer.
He would’ve been embarrassed by the animalistic growl that seemed to come directly from his chest, but he couldn’t care because he was coming, right inside of Ray’s hot mouth and he could feel Ray swallow convulsively around him and—“Ray…” The tenderness in Fraser’s voice was heart-breaking.
Ray released him softly and wiped a hand over his shiny lips. Immediately, Fraser had a grip on the back of Ray’s neck to pull him close. Eagerly, Ray’s lips parted underneath his own as Fraser pressed Ray closer, feeling Ray’s naked skin against his own.
He could taste himself on Ray’s tongue and the level of intimacy almost undid him.
“I didn’t know you had experience,” Fraser murmured into the corner of Ray’s mouth, apologizing for his earlier assumption that Ray was a novice when it came to male lovers.
“That’s ‘cause I don’t,” Ray answered, sleepily rubbing his head against Fraser’s shoulder.
Fraser’s thumb flicked over his eyebrow before he could stop it. “I beg your pardon?”
Ray’s chuckle was interrupted by a sudden yawn. “Frase, this isn’t rocket science. I figured it’s not a skill chicks get born with and Stella did a pretty good job of it when she was 16. The way I see it, I even got the advantage that I know how it feels. See? Easy.” Another yawn ended Ray’s explanation.
Fraser was dumbfounded. So… natural… Ray simply took everything so… natural… so in stride.
Ray stretched; it was obvious that Ray wanted to go to sleep now. Which was only fair; it had been a very long day. What was the protocol now? Did one make excuses to leave? Fraser didn’t want to leave. Never again. Could one ask to stay? Or would that be imprudent?
“Hey—there’s a spare toothbrush in the bathroom. Right side of the mirror cabinet. Just grab a towel from the stack by the shower, ‘kay?” Ray told him while he reached for his alarm clock. “Tell me again: at what ungodly time of night do you have to open the frikkin’ Consulate?”
“Ah, at 8 o’ clock,” Fraser answered perplexed.
“Greatness. Oh, you need a hanger for your uniform, right?” Ray scratched his head, looking around for inspiration. “You go do your thing in the bathroom, I’ll hunt for one.”
Fraser stumbled into the bathroom. He stared at the mirror while he was brushing his teeth. The man in the mirror had problems deciding whether he wanted to smile or frown. Apparently, Fraser didn’t have to ask to stay. Maybe this was only a friendly service, though? Did one act of sexual intimacy make a relationship? …well, it did in Fraser’s book, but Americans were horribly familiar when it came to human interaction. He would just have to wait and see.
When he came back, his uniform was hanging at the back of the door. Ray came up to him and pulled him in a gentle embrace that ended with a hot kiss to Fraser’s throat.
“Get comfortable, I’ll be back in a second.”
Ray vanished into the hallway. A moment later, Fraser heard water running in the bathroom. When Ray came back, he was wearing a sheepish expression on his face. “I’m afraid we pissed the wolf off; he’s sulking in the kitchen. Guess that means we have to stop for donuts on the way to work.”
Warmth washed through Fraser, reaching into every corner. Once Ray had climbed into bed, Fraser slung his arms around him to pull him close. He hoped Ray didn’t have any objections to displays of affection after sexual activities. But Ray simply relaxed into his arms and burrowed a little further into Fraser’s body. “Sorry, wet spot,” Ray mumbled sleepily.
Fraser simply tightened his grip.
Fraser woke feeling disoriented and confused. First of all, this wasn’t his cot. Secondly, he wasn’t at the Consulate. And, well, mostly he wasn’t alone. The instant Fraser realized that there was another naked body next to his, reality caught up with him.
Wide-eyed, he watched Ray sleep. Fraser could only guess what time it was; Ray’s bedroom window wasn’t facing east, not the way his own office did. Everything was more or less bathed in a low golden light, the first rays of sunlight, but that could mean anything – from about the time they would have to get up to at least an hour prior to that.
Fraser once read that the first and last hour of sunlight was called the magic hour, called that way for its warm hue. Looking at Ray, Fraser thought that he felt what this meant even though he wasn’t sure if he really understood it.
Without meaning to, he reached out, allowing his hands to trace the contours of Ray’s body. Ray gave a content little sigh.
Impulsively, Fraser pulled Ray closer. He almost held his breath at his own daring.
Fraser didn’t know how it started. All he knew was that he could feel every inch of Ray’s warm body pressed against his own and then Ray—rubbed—against him, probably still half-asleep, and Fraser had found out that some body parts of Ray were obviously already very much awake—and then both of them were rubbing against each other and Ray was gasping in his ear and then suddenly they were both fully awake and Ray was hoarsely whispering his name and Fraser’s grip on Ray’s hip was in all probability leaving bruises, but this was so good that he just couldn’t stop.
The scent of sex permeated Fraser’s olfactory senses, his fingers slipped on Ray’s sweaty skin, and all that he could hear were their combined moans. And then Ray pressed still closer to him, kissing him deeply, moaning against his lips, and Fraser felt wetness splatter his skin. He continued to move, pushing harder, and Ray urged him on, biting at his throat and licking the sweat from his shoulder, and Fraser lost control, spilling between their already slick bodies. Ray didn’t seem to mind; he slung an arm around Fraser’s neck and pulled him close.
“I figured you weren’t the guy for a one-night-stand, but thanks for clearing it up,” Ray panted into his neck.
Fraser was confused. Why should he have been interested in a one-night-stand? Had he said something that made Ray wonder about Fraser’s intentions? Because he didn’t think—
“Frase…? This wasn’t a one-time thing… right?” Ray sounded hesitant.
“No,” Fraser answered before he had even thought about it. “God, no,” Fraser replied again once his brain had caught up with Ray’s insecurities. His hand stroked firmly down Ray’s back. “Not if you’ll have me,” he added softly.
“Have you? Fraser, you’re talking to attached-much-Ray-Kowalski. Not even kryptonite would make me let go,” Ray smiled.
“Kryptonite? I’m not sure I underst—” Fraser admitted.
“Yeah, Frase, I’ll have you.”
Ray called dibs on the first shower because, according to some universal law, experimental hair needed extra grooming-time whereas Mountie hair didn’t dare to have a single hair out of place at any given time. Fraser had never heard anything more ridiculous, but for once in his life he didn’t mind having a little wallow in bed. Usually, he felt guilty if he stayed in bed after his alarm had gone off. But today Fraser was… he searched for the right word, burying his face in the pillow that still smelled like Ray. Happy. He was happy.
He couldn’t enjoy his happiness in peace for long, though. Before the water had even stopped running in the bathroom, Diefenbaker appeared at the bedroom door with a decisively smug grin.
Fraser couldn’t quite keep the groan from escaping.
“I would thank you to keep your gloating to yourself.”
Dief yipped in reply.
Fraser raised his head from the pillow to glare at his lupine friend. “It’s not very polite to tell people that you told them so— and might I remind you that – had I taken your advice – I should’ve tackled Ray and dragged him of to—to mate without wasting any words whatsoever?”
Dief barked and twitched his ears.
“What’s his problem?” Ray asked, coming out of the bathroom and rubbing a towel over his damp hair.
“Ah,” Fraser rubbed his eyebrow. “Dief thinks I should’ve just… grabbed you… and had my wicked way with you without so much as a word of explanation,” Fraser looked sternly at Dief.
Ray nodded slowly. “Yeah, would’ve worked.”
“Ray!” Fraser exclaimed, shocked.
Ray’s grin could be seen beneath the moving towel. Ray peeked through the flaps of fabric. “Hate to tell you, but I’m a sucker for a pretty face, Frase.”
“Oh, so that’s all I am to you then?” Fraser picked up the conversational gambit feeling almost reckless for endorsing this childish banter.
Ray’s grin widened. “Nah… you also got the body to go along with it.”
Fraser threw the pillow at Ray’s retreating back. Ray’s laughter made Fraser feel warm all over.
“Go grab a shower, Benton-Buddy, or we’ll be late.”
Fraser watched resignedly as Diefenbaker pointedly scrunched up his nose at the heavy smell of sex that was still dominating Ray’s bedroom… not to mention that the proof thereof was making Fraser’s stomach itch uncomfortably.
“And whose fault would you say that is?” Fraser called in the direction of the kitchen while he made his way into the bathroom.
“Easy. You’re the one still lying in bed until a minute ago,” Ray’s voice was laughing; Fraser didn’t have to see his face to know that Ray was having a good time.
Ray dropped them off at the Consulate, sneaking a feverishly hot kiss before allowing Fraser to climb out of the car. Ray’s cheeks were slightly flushed as he leaned over the passenger seat to look at Fraser.
“Uh… when do you get off? I could… should I pick you up? We could have dinner at my place? My treat.”
Fraser felt a smile stretching his lips. “I’ll see you at 5 then… thank you, Ray,” Fraser added softly.
Ray shook his head, smiling. “You’re a freak.”
On his way to his office, Fraser noticed a sting in his tongue. Gingerly, he pressed his tongue against his teeth. A paper cut, Fraser thought, surprised. It must’ve happened when he was preparing the daily mail yesterday. With everything that had happened, he apparently hadn’t noticed it before. How very clumsy of him; Fraser tried to keep from touching the cut against his teeth.
Time to prepare for the day ahead. 5 PM couldn’t come fast enough.
I know I have written little else but about Ray lately, but I can’t seem to help myself. It’s only been a few weeks since the first night that we’ve shared and I… I didn’t know I could be this happy. Or that it could be this easy, for that matter. Having a physical relationship with Ray, Fraser blushed at the sheer multitude of images that assaulted him at the thought, is improving our partnership to an up-to-now unknown level of understanding. It is so very easy to read Ray when you know his body. He might try to fool you, to betray an uncertainty, or to protect himself, but his body language always betrays him. If you know what to look for.
Ray doesn’t like to talk about his emotions – and I think I’m not much better at it – but in bed… Ray can’t stop talking. It’s remarkable how honest Ray is when he is lost to arousal.
Fraser’s heart beat faster when he thought about the first time he had made love to Ray. Ray had been so sweet… so hopelessly vulnerable… Fraser shivered at the thought. And Ray had begged him to, whispering hotly in Fraser’s ear that he wanted to feel him inside, that he needed Fraser to… to… to fuck him… Fraser’s mouth went dry at the memory.
He could still feel Ray’s legs gripping him around the waist, the way Ray’s arms had held him close – as if Ray had been afraid to fall apart if he didn’t hold on to him.
Ray had been so tight… so very hot… Fraser had never thought he could feel as if he were sharing the same skin with someone else, yet he’d felt this close to Ray.
The heated whispers… Ray’s hot breath against his skin… mingled with broken moans and barely coherent pleas… Fraser never would’ve found the words to utter, but Ray had no reservations.
“Fraser…god… never thought you’d go for…ah…. more… please—yeah… skinny detectives… with—with experimental hair—god…”
Fraser had helplessly clutched Ray tighter, pushed harder into Ray, only to be rewarded by a grateful moan from Ray and a soul-searching kiss that had Fraser panting for air when Ray let him go.
“Wanted you… moment I saw you… but I—I was….Fraser—don’t stop—don’t stop—ah… was so messed up and damaged and you… oh god… you said you didn’t know if you could…. yes—god—do that again—”
Afterwards, Fraser had held Ray tight, trying to make up for everything he couldn’t put into words. Ray had always been the braver of the two when it came to honesty.
And then Fraser suddenly had the right words, had known them all along.
“I love you,” he murmured into Ray’s hair and he heard Ray’s breath hitch and felt Ray’s heartbeat accelerate underneath his hand before Ray pulled him in for a kiss, making Fraser lose the words altogether.
A knock on the door startled Fraser out of his thoughts. “Ah, come in,” Fraser said, trying to get his thoughts back on track.
Ray’s head appeared in the doorway.
“Hey there,” Ray smiled. The smile widened as Ray took in Fraser’s slightly flushed face. “Did I interrupt something?”
“No, I was… just thinking,” Fraser’s pulse jumped a little erratically. Thinking about Ray and sex when the man was standing right in front of him was terribly distracting. Fraser closed his notebook in front of him and Ray came over to take a look.
“You were writing again?” Ray asked with a nod in the direction of the little leather book.
“Yes, I can’t seem to stop myself,” Fraser explained with a slightly rueful smile.
“It’s almost full,” Ray remarked with raised eyebrows, as if the realization startled him. Fair enough, Fraser thought. It had astonished himself as well that he should’ve filled it up quite so quickly in just a few months. Only a couple of pages more and he would have to get a new one.
“I’m afraid I had a lot on my mind about which to write.”
“Oh, trust me, I know,” Ray said in a voice that sounded as if Ray indeed understood about the need to find an outlet for one’s thoughts.
Ray looked thoughtful for a moment. His fingertips danced over the warm leather of the book.
“What do you think happens to the characters when a book comes to an end?”
“I believe the story ends,” Fraser said.
Ray looked at him sharply. “You really think so?”
Fraser wasn’t sure if he understood Ray’s question correctly. “What other possibility is there?” Fraser asked, frowning at his notebook.
Ray grinned. It was that easy, devil-may-care smile that always stopped Fraser’s heartbeat for a second before his heart managed to resume its regular pattern. “They’re finally free, of course. The characters can do what they like, there’s no author to control them and to spy on them anymore. The story goes on, even as the book runs out of pages to read. It’s just that no one knows how the story is gonna end.”
Fraser looked with surprise at Ray.
“That’s—that’s very poetic, Ray.”
Ray shrugged. “That’s my thing; on the inside I’m a poet, on the outside it’s shake, bad guys, shake,” Ray accompanied his explanation with a little boxing move.
Fraser smiled. “So I see. Is that what brought you here? Moral support with making some ‘bad guys shake’ as you phrased it?”
“Got it in one. You up for that?”
“Lead the way.”
That night, Ray cooked for them, laughing throughout dinner about Fraser’s surprise at his cooking skills. “Stella was busy studying for her bar so I did the cooking during our first years and I found that I liked it…” Ray shrugged a little awkwardly. “I mean, sure, I don’t cook so often these days. Not worth the trouble for just one skinny guy.”
Fraser’s heart went out to this generous and loving man who knew loneliness as intimately as Fraser himself did.
After dinner, Fraser took Ray to bed. Tasting every inch of skin he exposed and making love to Ray as slowly as he could stand.
There was so much he wanted to share with Ray, things he wanted to experience together with him… sometimes Fraser was afraid that their time was limited and that the times where he could just reach out and touch Ray were already numbered. He chided himself; such fears were irrational. Insecurities like that were human enough, but they made him hold Ray a little tighter once in a while; they made him reach for Ray a little quicker now and again.
Maybe Ray’s fears were similar to his own. Because Ray gave himself whole-heartedly. When they were naked Ray let go of all inhibitions, and Fraser wondered if this was Ray’s version of making the most of this.
They weren’t after all as different as Fraser had initially thought. Only on the surface. Underneath they were both afraid to trust their own happiness.