With thanks to my beta reader Roa1

Craig and Richard – The Early Days

Chapter one

Richard sat in the chair concentrating hard on cracking the code Tremayne had given him that morning. It had taken some time but he was beginning to feel he was getting a handle on it at last. When Tremayne had called him into the office he'd felt a little aggrieved, he and Craig were supposed to be having a couple of days off and they'd made plans to meet Sharron for lunch and go to a film together after. They had so little free time that every moment was precious and this was one of those occasions when Richard resented being at the beck and call of his job. He'd continued to feel that way right up until he'd got the samples of the code home and he'd started to work on it. His love of the mental challenge of deciphering had asserted itself immediately and it wasn't long before he was totally absorbed in the task.

When Craig had turned up at his door to collect him Richard had said that he was going to be too busy working to meet Sharron and that Craig should go on alone. His friend had laughed and teased him a little about liking to be 'curled up with a good code.' Then announced that he wanted to watch 'the genius at work' and he was staying, if only to make sure Richard remembered to eat. When he'd been told that he couldn't stay because he'd be a distraction, Craig's response had been,

"Don't worry I'll be a good little boy."

And Richard had laughed and given in. They'd sat together in companionable silence while Richard worked on the code and Craig read the paper he'd bought on the way over. Once he'd finished reading he stood up, announced he was hungry and had gone out to buy some lunch for them both.

After lunch Craig sat watching his friend and thinking about how content just being with Richard made him feel. The remnants of the food that they'd shared were on the table in front of him and he knew that, if Richard hadn't been so engrossed in his work, it would be bothering him. His friend was exceptionally tidy and always liked to clear away as soon as they had finished. Sometimes it worried Craig a little about how fanatical Richard could be about keeping things in order but most of the time he found it endearing. In deference to his friend's feelings he picked up the debris and went into the kitchen where he proceeded to wash up. He was just putting the last cup onto the drainer when he felt Richard's arms snake around his waist; he jumped involuntarily, making his friend laugh.

"Got you!" Richard said.

"I take it you're finished then?" asked Craig.

"Just this minute."

"Great, let's celebrate," suggested Craig, as he turned around in his friend's arms so he could embrace him. He bent his head forward and began to kiss his lover on the lips.

Richard started to respond then pulled back reluctantly.

"Steady," he said, "I need to get this code over to Tremayne."

"Can't you phone it in?" asked Craig, still holding him in his arms.

"Don't be ridiculous, it's far too complicated."

Craig started to kiss Richard's neck.

"I want you," he whispered into his friend's ear, then abruptly let him go and stood back.

"I'm sorry," he said. "It's just so frustrating sometimes. Have you any idea how adorable you look when you're concentrating? I've been sitting watching you all morning and I was just longing to touch you, hold you, make love with you and I knew I had to let you work. I love watching you but, my God, it's as frustrating as hell sometimes," he finished, with a rueful grin.

"I know," said Richard quietly. "I'll be as quick as I can."

He gathered his things together and went out of the door.

"I'll be waiting," Craig called after him.

He helped himself to a drink from Richard's extensive collection of alcoholic beverages and sat down to wait for his friend to return.

He looked around the flat and, not for the first time, marvelled at how clean and tidy everything was. It was amazing, given Richard's liking for order, that he'd managed to be so convincing when he'd had to disguise himself as a tramp. Craig smiled as he remembered seeing Richard for the first time in that particular disguise. His friend had been wearing old, torn clothes, he'd gone two days without shaving, and he was filthy. His fingernails had been particularly disgusting. Craig had been surprised by how relaxed Richard had seemed; a minor miracle given that he was always so fastidious. It had probably helped that, in order to remain in character, he'd needed to consume some exceptionally strong alcohol. Richard hadn't managed to shrug off his normal personality completely though and Craig remembered laughing along with him when his friend had confessed to wiping the rim of the bottle of alcohol he'd shared with a fellow tramp before putting it to his lips.

He thought about all the things he loved about Richard.

There were lots of contradictions in his personality. He could seem very camp at times, especially the way he ran and the delicate way he held a drink. Other times he'd look very manly, on a motorbike for example or sneaking around on missions. Craig loved both these sides of Richard. The apparent campness made him laugh, especially as he knew just how tough his friend could be, and the manly look was just plain sexy. Craig was amazed that it had taken him so long to recognize that fact especially as nowadays he sometimes found it hard to concentrate on the mission in hand when Richard looked like that. He shifted a little in his chair as he found himself getting aroused just thinking about it.

Because of what had happened in Tibet they had a natural advantage over most people in that they found it easy to tune into one another's thoughts. It made sex between them especially good because they could gauge each other's feelings so well and they could pick up on what would give the other the most pleasure. It wasn't just about sex though; he and Richard shared much more than a feeling of mutual lust. They had a bond between them, a deep affection and love for one another, consolidated by their shared experiences. Craig had recognized that long before he'd realised he was also sexually attracted to his friend. The fact that they'd saved one another from certain death many times also added to their closeness.

The time when he'd been about to throw himself off a high building after being given powerful drugs was etched in Craig's memory. He'd been on the verge of jumping when he'd felt strong hands grab his arm. He'd started to shrug them off, turning as he did, and seen it was Richard holding him. His friend had pulled him back from the edge and taken him to safety. He sometimes wondered if, had it been anyone else but Richard, he would have jumped anyway. Would even Sharron, who shared their mental link, have been able to deflect him from his purpose – he wasn't sure, he only knew that he was glad it had been Richard who had reached out to him that day.

He thought about the occasion when he had battled to remove a collar full of explosives from around Richard's neck. As he remembered that time Craig trembled slightly. It had been such an emotional experience for them both. Richard had sat there, scared to death, relying totally on his friend to set him free. Craig had been terrified that he'd make a wrong decision and blow Richard's head off. To make it all the more difficult he could feel how frightened his friend was and how much he hated the feeling of helplessness he was experiencing. The relief when he'd finally released him had been overwhelming. He remembered hurling the collar across the room then trying to find something else to think about so that he wouldn't break down.

Craig forced his mind away from that memory and on to more pleasant things. He started to think about the times, after they'd become a couple, when Richard would deliberately tease him. Craig's mind would be filled with what they needed to do to wrap up a mission and he'd look across at his friend, who would give him a look full of meaning before lowering his head to suck on a straw or put the arm of his glasses into his mouth, all the while fixing him with a stare. Craig would be mesmerised, unable to tear his eyes away; then he'd have to make a superhuman effort to get his mind back on the mission. He understood why Richard did it though. Every time it happened Craig was never able to stop himself from leaping on him as soon as they were alone and Richard loved it that he could make him lose his self-control so completely.

Early in their relationship Richard had gone through a phase of trying to get him aroused every time they were out in public and Craig had taken to carrying a newspaper around to put over his lap so it wouldn't be obvious to all and sundry how excited he was. On occasion Richard would still play the game, especially if Craig was empty handed so he couldn't hide the physical effect his lover had on him. He particularly liked to torment him in restaurants. They'd be sitting chatting over a meal then Richard would suck his fork for a little longer than necessary and suddenly Craig's trousers would be too tight. On one memorable occasion, when they'd chosen to eat in the restaurant one street away from Richard's flat, he'd been so turned on by what his friend was doing that he'd got up in the middle of the meal, thrown all the cash from his wallet onto the table to pay for the food and propelled Richard out of the restaurant, along the street to his flat, and straight into bed. That had been an afternoon to remember.

His mind was still on these very pleasant thoughts when he sensed Richard close by, got up, and looked out of the window. He was just in time to see his friend on his way into the building. Two minutes later Richard walked through the door and into Craig's waiting arms.

"All done?' asked Craig.

"All done," Richard confirmed. "Now how about that celebration?"

The story can end here. However, there is another chapter that you can read if you click on the drop down box either at the top right or bottom right of the page and select 'chapter 2'. Please note that chapter 2 is 'M' rated and contains descriptions of m/m sex so proceed with caution.