A Kiss Is Worth a Thousand Words

The guitar-heavy music blasting from the ceiling-mounted speakers drowned out the excited chatter in the bar below, the heavy doof doof of the bass vibrating through the wooden floor. A mass of twenty-somethings gyrated to the jarring melody of Guns N' Roses', 'Welcome to the Jungle', the public orgy of erotic foreplay raising the temperature of the room, the heat thickening the air with a mixture of sweat and cheap perfume. It was a powerful, heady aroma, an artificial pheromone fueling their inner sexual desires, and to the casual observer, it was apparent sex was foremost on everyone's mind.

Booker leaned against the bar, a bemused smile curling the corners of his lips, the glass of Jacks in his hand temporarily forgotten. His focus was not on the crowd jostling in front of him, but on the slim, lithe body standing to his left. With his eyes closed and his lower lip pushed into an enticing pout, Tom Hanson's hips swayed rhythmically to the beat of the music, and for Booker, the sight was far more stimulating than the wanton display of sexual exhibitionism playing out on the dance floor. Lost inside his own private world, Tom was unaware of the sexual energy rippling from his body in seductive waves, and it was this naiveté that revved Booker's motor. The young officer did not seem to realize just how attractive he was, and that level of humility made him all the more beautiful. He was a vision of perfection, and Booker had spent many a lonely night jerking off with images of Tom swirling in his mind. But unfortunately, his graphic sexual fantasies were as close as he was going to get to the real thing. Tom was straight, and he needed to accept he would never experience the erotic pleasure of Hanson-flavored semen flowing over his tongue. It was a disappointing realization, but it wasn't his first, and it probably wouldn't be his last. As Mick Jagger so rightly pointed out, "You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need", and he had to be content with that fact.

With a regretful sigh, he turned away and raised his glass. But before the intoxicating flavor of the whiskey touched his lips, Tom stumbled sideways, knocking the tumbler against his teeth and spilling an ample amount of the amber liquid over his chin.

"Oopsh, shorry," Tom apologized, a goofy grin breaking across his face. "I kinda loshst my balansh."

Wiping the back of his hand over his mouth, Booker smiled back, his dark eyes sparkling with merriment. "Looks like the birthday boy's having fun."

Tom lurched unsteadily on his feet, one eye narrowing as he peered drunkenly at the crowd. "Yeah, ish been… Where'sh Doug?"

Booker pointed toward the throng of people on the dance floor. "He's getting his groove on with Judy."

"Oh," Tom mumbled before grabbing hold of Booker's wrist, his warm, alcohol-tinted breath tickling the dark-haired officer's face. "Whatta 'bout Harry? Ish Harry okay?"

"Harry's fine," Booker reassured, and placing a stabilizing arm around Tom's narrow waist, he only just managed to prevent him from toppling over. "But I think you've had enough. How 'bout I drive you home?"

Tom's lower lip pushed into a sulky pout before immediately relaxing into a grateful smile. "Okay."

With a wave of his hand, Booker caught Doug's attention and pointing at Tom, he motioned toward the door. Penhall deciphered the charade, and giving a thumbs up, he continued dancing.

Sensing Tom was on the verge of collapse, Booker tightened his hold around the younger man's waist. "C'mon, Hanson," he chuckled. "Let's get you home before you fall down."

"M'okay," Tom mumbled, his body leaning heavily against Booker's muscular frame. "I jush need shome fresh air."

Maneuvering through the busy bar was a feat in itself, but the two young officers eventually stumbled out the exit and into the quiet alleyway that ran along the side of the club. The heavy metal door swung closed with a bang, muffling the music and returning their sense of hearing. As if on cue, light, misty rain fell from the night sky, quickly dampening their hair and shoulders, and with his arm wrapped protectively around Tom's waist, Booker navigated the empty back streets. Within a couple of minutes, they were standing next to his Cadillac, and after settling Tom comfortably in the passenger seat, Booker slipped in behind the wheel. It was then an unsettling thought suddenly occurred to him and turning his head, he studied Hanson's pale face. "You're not gonna barf are you?"

Tom's eyes fluttered closed, and his head shook slowly from side to side. "Nuh-uh," he reassured drunkenly. "I jush wanna go to shleep."

An ingrained skepticism made Booker wary, and he issued the inebriated officer a stern warning. "Yeah, well, if you do, you're the one who's gonna clean it up. Got it?"

Without opening his eyes, Tom expelled a heavy breath and relaxed back against the seat. "Got it."

Satisfied with Tom's answer, Booker turned the key in the ignition and drove carefully from the parking lot. He knew he was probably over the legal limit, but his arrogance often made him reckless, and ignoring his gut instinct, he merged the Caddy into the light flow of traffic. Hanson's apartment was only three blocks away, and he figured he could drop the officer off and make it home without raising any suspicion. Then, he would fall into bed and relieve the sexual tension that had been steadily growing throughout the night. Being in close contact with Tom was both a blessing and a curse, but he wouldn't have it any other way. He equated the thrill pulsating through his veins with that of a heroin addict's morning fix; an explosion of pure pleasure, a sensual rush of love setting his nerves on fire. But beneath the thrill, there bloomed a blissful, psychological calm, a deep, insightful awareness that they were meant to be together, if only in a platonic sense. Tom was the yang to his yin, they complemented each other's strengths and compensated for each other's weaknesses. Together, they were a contradiction, but in a strange way, that's what had drawn him to Tom in the first place. The young officer was his alter-ego; guarded and unpretentious, with a hint of shyness lying behind his dark, playful eyes. It was what would have made them the perfect couple, but as Booker's grandma used to say, "If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride." Therefore, until he found the courage to take a risk and lay his cards on the table, making love to Hanson would forever remain an unattainable dream.

Pulling the Cadillac up in front of Tom's apartment building, Booker switched off the ignition and turned to face his passenger. Strands of damp hair curtained Tom's dark, unfocused eyes, his disheveled appearance adding to the illusion of adolescent vulnerability. The dozens of tiny raindrops peppering his flawless skin shimmered in the light reflecting through the Caddy's windshield, the soft glow illuminating his perfect features. In Booker's eyes, Tom looked good enough to eat, and the dark-haired officer longed to sweep his tongue over the warm, succulent flesh of his colleague's chiseled cheeks; to absorb his sweetness and devour the salty tang of sweat masked beneath the opaque beads. He wanted to sample the full Hanson buffet, complete with dessert, and what better time than now? Alcohol had lowered both their inhibitions, leaving him ready and willing, and Tom possibly open to persuasion. He didn't view it as taking advantage of his friend's inebriated state, it was more along the lines of not so subtly putting it out there that he was interested, and maybe, just maybe, the object of his affection would reciprocate the love burning within his heart. After all, there was no way of knowing unless he tried.

"Um, sho I guesh I'll shee you t'morrow," Tom slurred, his unfocused gaze squinting at Booker's left ear. "Thanksh for drivin' me home."

An amused smile tilted Booker's lips. Tom really was adorable when he was three sheets to the wind, and unable to control his urges any longer, he leaned forward until their faces were mere inches apart. "Happy birthday, Tommy," he whispered, and closing his eyes, he brushed his lips over his friend's full, enticing pout.

Tom stiffened slightly, but the warmth of Booker's mouth soon sent a current of arousal surging through his body, and an excited moan bubbled in the back of his throat. Parting his lips, he met the tender kiss with eager acceptance, and his moan deepened as Booker's tongue brushed lightly over his teeth before entering his mouth. Heat flared in both their groins and simultaneously, their tongues began a sensuous tango of exploration; tasting, caressing, absorbing the masculine flavors of whiskey and cigarettes. Suspended in a bubble of erotic pleasure, their emotions spilled forth in an unrestrained passion of lust and need. Moisture rose from their damp clothing, fogging the windows, and their hearts soon fell into rhythm with the pitter-patter of raindrops on the windshield; the heavy thumping creating a soothing metronome of steady beats, the hypnotic tempo adding to the surrealism of the kiss. Trapped in a moment in time, it was like a scene from a movie, but instead of a crashing, musical crescendo, all they could hear was the cadence of their own hammering hearts.

The sudden realization of what was happening brought Tom back to earth with a mind-shattering jolt, and he jerked away, a shy, nervous smile tilting the corners of his tingling lips. "Um, thanksh."

Tickled by the reaction, Booker's dark eyes shone with amusement. "You're welcome."

Tom fumbled with his seatbelt, and once free, he opened the door. "Shee you t'morrow," he muttered, and climbing out of the car, he managed only two steps before pitching forward onto the grassy verge.

"Fuck!" Booker exclaimed, and scrambling out of the car, he ran to Tom's side. "Hanson, are you okay?"

Rolling onto his back, Tom grinned up at Booker. "I think 'm a li'l drunk."

"No shit, Sherlock," Booker laughed as he lifted the young officer to his feet. "Maybe I should help you inside."

"Yeah, okay," Tom replied through a yawn.

After propping Tom against the car, Booker closed and locked the doors. He smiled when he saw Hanson's chin drooping against his chest, and placing an arm around his waist, he steered him into the apartment building. Ignoring the stairs, he pressed the elevator button, his foot tapping impatiently as he watched the numbers count slowly down. When the doors pinged open, he maneuvered Tom inside and pressed the button for the second floor. The ride was over in moments, and stepping out into the dimly lit hallway, he looked up and down the long corridor before nudging Tom. "Which way?"

"Huh?" Tom mumbled sleepily.

"Never mind," Booker chuckled, and reaching into Tom's pocket, he pulled out his key. "Apartment two-twenty-two, right?"

"Mm," Tom confirmed, without bothering to query how the dark-haired officer knew where he lived.

Taking a gamble, Booker turned left. He was having trouble keeping Tom on his feet, and he too was starting to feel the numbing effects of the alcohol flowing through his system. Once he had Tom settled, he planned to go home and relive the titillating thrill of their kiss, committing it to memory so he could use it as a stimulus during the long nights he spent alone with only his hand for company.

When they finally reached Tom's apartment, he unlocked the door and helped his friend inside. "Here we are, home sweet home."

Tom lurched drunkenly across the dark living room and disappeared through an open door at the back of the apartment. Worried the young officer might be disoriented, Booker found the light switch and flicked it on. After closing the door, he followed Tom's path and walked into what he soon discovered was the young officer's bedroom.

Soft moonlight shone in through the curtainless window, illuminating Tom's body passed out face down on the bed. He was naked from the waist up, having managed to pull off his t-shirt before he collapsed. It was a position Booker had found himself in on more than one occasion, and he knew if Tom were to have a decent night's sleep, he would be better off not wearing his boots and jeans. It didn't cross his mind that he might be overstepping the boundaries of their friendship for the second time in one night, he was more focused on making Tom comfortable. With a groan, he squatted down on the floor and carefully unlaced Tom's scuffed boots. After fighting to remove them, he peeled off his socks and threw them to the floor. Rising to his feet, he climbed onto the bed and gently rolled Tom over. He paused for a moment, soaking in the mesmerizing sight, and as his gaze roved over the young officer's face, his expression softened. With eyes closed and his breath expelling through his lips in a rhythmic pfft, Tom was the picture of tranquility, and an explosion of love quickened Booker's pulse. Being careful not to wake the sleeping officer, he popped the button of his jeans and gingerly pulled down the zipper. His hands shook violently, and ignoring the throbbing in his groin, he slowly removed the worn denim. The weight of the material dragged down Tom's boxers, revealing a tantalizing tuft of dark pubic hair above the waistband, and Booker unconsciously licked his lips before casting an eye over the young officer's face. But Hanson remained asleep, blissfully unaware of his state of undress. However, for Booker, the sight was his erotic fantasy come true and afraid he might be enticed to take things too far, he quickly climbed from the bed. After a quick search, he spied a blanket laying on top of the closet, and pulling it down, he draped it over Tom's lower body.

With the alluring, naked flesh now covered, he exhaled a weary sigh as an unexpected wave of fatigue hit him hard. His apartment now seemed a million miles away, and gazing down at the bed, he longed to crawl under the covers and go to sleep. The pull was so strong, he didn't allow himself time to think through his decision, and kicking off his boots, he quickly removed his jeans and shirt. He hesitated for a fraction of a second before crawling onto the mattress and lying down next to Tom. A sudden nervous energy made him jittery, and it took several long minutes for his heart rate to settle. But eventually, his breathing slowed, and with memories of Tom's kiss tingling his lips, he finally fell into a deep, dream-filled sleep.

To be continued…