|Primary Characters:||Jack Frost, Terry Reid|
|Description:||The cops are trying to drown their sorrows. Reid needs a distraction. But why is Frost reacting the way he is?|
It was always the same. If you found the missing child dead, the sense of elation that usually accompanied a successfully closed case failed to appear. This time, they had caught the perptrator, but in the end, that hadn’t given them any satisfaction. The man had killed himself, and his innocent hostage, rather than being taken alive, and sent to jail, where men of his kind often found themselves wishing they were dead.
DI Jack Frost and his closest associates, DS George Toolan and DS Terry Reid sadly eyed each other over their glasses. In Terry Reid’s case, the glass contained orange juice. The other two were nursing a pint of beer. But the after work drink at the King’s Men didn’t taste the way it usually did. It had a bitter taste of defeat.
A twelve-year-old boy and a 35-year-old woman had both died, and there had been nothing the police had been able to do about it. At times like that George Toolan invariably questioned his decision to remain on the force. His old friend Max Gilman had offered him a position as security consultant and though the job paid slightly less than a DS’ did, at least it normally didn’t involve dead women and children.
Jack Frost was normally inclined to stoically accept the ups and downs of his job. After all, a man who was used to being yelled at by superiors and the legal profession in general, had to develop a thick skin early on, just as he had to possess a stomach like an old piece of sacking to endure the cafeteria food. And Jack Frost had survived being shot and nearly killed. He had buried his wife and he’d seen dozens of innocent people die, just like these two had today.
However, there was something about this case that got under his skin. He had had the opportunity of getting to know the charming young woman who had ended up the killer’s hostage. The young lady, who was the dead boy’s teacher, had struck Jack as a thoroughly nice and pretty young woman, and one who took her job seriously just like a police officer had to.
Terry Reid took the case even harder. The boy had been a pupil at his own children’s school and he had been personally acquainted with the parents after PTA meetings and other events at their children’s school. And this boy had been known to everyone who had spent any time in or around the school. He’d been a talented and unusually friendly child. It was exactly because of his friendly disposition that he had ended up befriending the man who had later abducted, sexually molested and killed him.
When the boy had gone missing, Reid had taken the case personally, and he had allowed himself to hope that the child would be found still alive. The disappointment when they found the body had hit him harder than either one of his colleagues. So tonight, he was eyeing his friends’ glasses of beer avidly, trying to find an excuse to make an exception ‘just this once’, and ask the barmaid to give him one of the same, instead of the orange juice he had barely touched.
He’d fallen off the wagon before, and when he came to his senses, there was a feeling of self loathing that made him want to start right over again. Of course he knew that. But tonight, he was willing to pay the price. Or almost. He knew that his friend Jack Frost would be keeing an eye on him, and if necessary, would be prepared to give him a piece of his mind. Usually, that did the trick.
Tonight, however, Frost wasn’t quite as attentive as usual. Reid struggled with the craving, and so far, he was barely hanging on. He looked around the room to find a diversion. Toolan and Frost weren’t very talkative, and neither was he. What was there to talk about, except for the one thing that was on everybody’s mind?
Two parents had lost their only child and a young man had lost his wife. For what? Because the authorities didn’t make sure perverts like their dead perpetrator were safely locked up where they couldn’t get their hands on innocent children.
Fortunately, he did find a diversion. Sheila Dingle, a local woman who frequented bars to make new male acquaintances, walked in, her hair newly permed, and her mouth thickly smeared with lipstick. She was in her late forties, with a good figure and good legs. If you liked her type, she was attractive enough, as long as you didn’t look for fidelity or intelligent conversation. Reid knew that Sheila was particularly fond of policemen and he didn’t think it would be too difficult to attract her attention.
So he forced down his objections, and caught Sheila’s eye. He smiled at her, and sure enough, she smiled back and began to walk in his direction, swinging her hips just a little too much. She wasn’t Reid’s type and lately he hadn’t been interested in any women. The drinking problem and later his problematic divorce had cured him of any sentimentality he had about women. As far as he was concerned, they were an unnecessary complication.
But here Sheila was, squeezing herself onto the seat, forcing Toolan and Frost to move over. Reid could see his colleagues’ eybrows shoot up in astonishment at his action. They had never seen him pick up a woman before. Not on his nights out with the lads. Toolan and Frost exchanged looks, but continued drinking in silence.
Sheila’s laughter was just a bit too loud and it grated on Reid’s nerves, but he forced himself to laugh along with her, and to offer her a drink. She contented herself with a beer. Reid had been half hoping she’d order something stronger, but he knew it was just as well that she didn’t.
After another few rounds, Toolan excused himself and got up to leave.
“My wife will be waiting. You understand.”
“Yes, yes. Run home to the missis. See you tomorrow, George.”
“Thank you, Jack.”
Toolan eyed Reid uncertainly, but decided that since his younger colleague had his arm around the newcomer, he couldn’t expect a reply to his goodnight. All the same, he nodded politely and walked away. Toolan had never quite understood Frost’s appreciation of the younger man. Disciplinary problems. Drink. That sort of officer was no good, in Toolan’s opinion, but he knew better than to argue with Frost.
“You’re a police officer? Fancy that. I’ve always been partial to a man in uniform. Even if he isn’t wearing it.”
This struck Sheila as a most amusing remark, and she laughed heartily for far longer than strictly necessary. She was a woman who believed in deriving all the pleasure she could from any situation. If she wasn’t mistaken, the man she was pressing herself against was several years younger than she was. Young and eager. Just the way she liked them, but all too often she ended up with a man like the fat old one across the table.
The man was staring at her rather disapprovingly, and Sheila shook herself to better display her bosom. If he didn’t like that, he deserved to sit like that, all by himself. Ugly too. Not that her new friend was exactly handsome, but to Sheila looks didn’t matter. She had other criteria to go by. Vigour and stamina appeared high on her list.
“Yes indeed. Policemen, military men – anyone in a uniform is nice. You look like a military man, yourself. What’s your name anyway?”
“Reid. Terry Reid.”
“Alright, Terry. Were you in the army?”
“As a matter of fact, I was.”
“Fancy that. Did you see any – action?”
At this word, Sheila’s body was shaken by laughter so violently, Reid thought she’d never stop.
“I was in the Falklands War.”
“Oh, my. A war veteran. I’ve never.”
This apparently, seemed to be all the incentive she needed, to consider herself closely acquainted enough with a man to move closer still and more or less getting on his lap. Reid first impulse was to give up and excuse himself, but he knew that the craving for a drink would only get worse as the evening progressed, so he braced himself and managed to lift Sheila onto his lap.
Her figure was full enough and when he was younger, he probably would have found her irresistible. He remembered nights when he and his army friends had picked up women even less palatable than this one and never complained about it afterwards. Quite the opposite. Back then quantity, rather than quality had been the rule.
He was focusing fully on his companion and failed to notice that Frost was beginning to take an interest. His first impression of Sheila as a cheap slag still held. In fact, his opinion of her kept dropping. Everything from her cheap dress, to her cheap perfume and her fake middle class accent jarred.
Frost found himself taking an instant dislike to the woman. His friend Reid, who was a decorated war hero, shouldn’t degrade himself like this. Frost was stunned to realize that he was getting furious. This was a disgrace. How could any police officer of any rank lower himself to that? A PC, now that would be different. But a DS like Reid? Never.
Frost ordered another pint, but somehow it didn’t taste the same. He nibbled on some crisps, but didn’t feel enthusiastic about it. At this time of night, he ought to be hungry. Normally, he’d devour some sausages and chips or bacon and eggs, if he didn’t simply settle for a sandwich or two.
Tonight, he didn’t have any appetite. And he realized that his hunger had diminished after seeing Reid making such a spectacle of himself. If the man had been on the verge of ordering a drink, Frost wouldn’t have hesitated to interfere. He knew what to say to make Reid see sense. But this? What was there to say? If a man had decided this was what he wanted, how could anyone talk him out of it?
Abruptly, Frost pushed back his chair and got up, leaving his glass half full. He could continue drinking at home. There was no one to talk to here anyway. Ernest Trigg had left some half hour ago, and Frost didn’t see anyone he wanted to talk to anyway.
He grunted a word of goodbye and brushed past Reid and the woman without looking at them.
For some reason, the shameless display had made him hopping mad. On his way home, he passed another pub and decided to try again. This one too was one that off duty policemen liked to go to. He might run into someone else he knew. But there was no one he knew and though he ordered sausage and chips, he left his plate virtually untouched.
That child had looked so small and helpless. Frost, like every other officer on the case had seen his photograph. It had been pinned up on the board in front of them, as they went through the case each day. When they found him, his neck had been covered with fingermarks, and the face had been disfigured beyond recognition. It was enough to turn any man’s stomach.
But for some reason, Frost was also having a hard time forgetting Reid and that woman. That too, turned his stomach. He’d seen that particular woman throwing herself at any man who would have her, night after night, for nearly four years. For all he knew, she’d been at it for even longer than that, but that was how long he himself had been going to the pub. Who knew what infections she carried?
Normally, Frost wasn’t a man to look at women. The dead young teacher had been an exception. Women like the one Reid was making a fool of himself with certainly never attracted his attention. So why was he having a hard time forgetting the unsightly scene? He couldn’t let the thought go. Reid shouldn’t be doing this. It wasn’t right. Sickening was the word.
Fortunately, he had a bottle of scotch hidden away in a cupboard for an occasion like this one. As soon as he got inside his door, he unearthed the bottle and found a glass on the kitchen counter. He’d drunk orange juice out of it that morning, but it wouldn’t spoil the taste. The taste wasn’t why he was drinking anyway.
The contents of the bottle diminished and Frost began to feel slightly better. Still, he couldn’t help wondering where his friend Reid was now. Still at the pub? Or in bed with that slag? That thought wouldn’t leave him alone. He caught himself imagining exactly how they would be doing it. Reid on top, naturally. The woman making exaggerated noises, perhaps screaming. Her sagging skin and slack mouth as she gave herself up to the sordid passion.
A sound from his door made Frost break free from his morbid brooding. That was a knock, wasn’t it? Who could it be at this time of night? He wasn’t expecting anyone and if a new case needed his attention, he knew the officer on duty would ring him.
When Frost got up to leave, Reid began to have second thoughts. Was it really worth it, following this woman home and spending the night? It would take him out of harm’s way, as far as the alcohol was concerned and he thought he knew her type well enough to guess she’d be well stocked up on condoms so he wouldn’t run the risk of infection.
But did he really want this? Her mouth felt slack beneath his and up close, she didn’t smell quite as pleasantly as her cheap cologne hinted at. Also, the way she was rubbing up against him had the exact opposite effect of the one she wanted to achieve. Now she brought her beer smelling breath close to his ear and whispered something, no doubt meant to be arousing.
“Want to come over to my place, love? A man like you shouldn’t have to spend the night alone. How about a little slap and tickle?”
That was it. He’d had quite enough of this cheap slag. She could find herself a bit of slap and tickle with someone else. He knew now, beyond a shadow of a doubt that he would never be able to perform to her satisfaction. Her body didn’t excite him and he had hardly ever felt less aroused.
“I’ve been working for 18 hours straight. It’s time for me to go home and get some rest. Here. Buy yourself another drink, Sheila. I’ll see you some other night, yeah?”
“If you’re afraid you won’t be quite up to my expectations, don’t worry. I know a little trick or two that will have you feeling sprightly like a twenty-year-old.”
Again, she brought her mouth close to his ear, this time outlining exactly what little trick she intended to increase his enthusiasm with. The thought of those lips closing on him was the final straw. Without worrying about his manners, Reid pushed Sheila away and got up.
Not looking back, he continued walking until he reached the door, opened it and closed it behind him. His car was where he’d left it, more or less intact. This neighbourhood had a number of car thieves, but he didn’t think they’d have the nerve to steal a police officer’s car from right outside one of the pubs most frequented by coppers.
He sank down in the driver’s seat, but he didn’t turn the key in the ignition. Frost’s reaction to his companion surprised Reid. His older friend didn’t strike him as either sensitive or overly prim. Frost might not be interested in women, but he never let them bother him either. There was something in his reaction that puzzled Reid. He had appeared to be angry. Furious even.
Why was he taking the little incident so personally? True, Sheila was hardly the most appetizing woman in the world, but why should it bother Frost? Reid frowned in concentration. The craving for alchol had receded slightly in the wake of his nausea connected to Sheila and her behaviour.
Shaking his head, Reid decided to get going. There was no point in staying. His colleagues would have left most of them, and whoever was still there would be too young. He wouldn’t know any of them. If he returned to his place, he’d be staring at the walls all night. There was a good chance he’d sneak out again later to buy a bottle of whatever he could get his hands on.
Perhaps he should pay old Frost a visit? If he knew his friend correctly, he would be up drinking until all hours after a case like this. And there were times when it could be as useful as a professional debriefing to simpy sit and talk with a colleague and friend. Why didn’t they do that instead of resorting to other means to make themselves forget the day’s fiasco?
Tomorrow the media would have a field day, tearing the police force apart. They had not only failed to prevent the murder of a child, but they had also failed to save the hostage’s life, and to bring the killer to justice. This was exactly the sort of thing those hyenas loved to do.
His decision made, Reid felt better. He’d go over to Frost’s place and keep him company.
There was still a light on in Frost’s house, so Reid knew his friend would still be up. He knocked on the door and waited. No reply. Again. Now he could hear slow, heavy footsteps approaching. The door swung open. So it hadn’t been locked. Well, Frost knew what he was doing. There was a blast of whisky breath that assaulted Reid’s nostrils and he was overcome with a strong craving for the whisky. Perhaps coming here hadn’t been such a good idea after all.
“Terry? Anything the matter?”
“No. Nothing’s the matter. I just thought we could talk.”
Frost looked at his younger colleague as if searching for a hidden meaning in his words. Not finding any, he merely shrugged and stepped aside to let Reid in.
Once inside, Reid saw straight away that the bottle was empty. That was, after all, a relief. The question was, how full had it been when Frost started on it? Judging by his friend’s deliberate movements and the unfocused look in his eyes, Reid would have said that at least half the bottle had been consumed in one sitting. Even for a man with Frost’s body mass, that was excessive. On the other hand, Reid had heard that Frost was a man who could hold his liquour.
There was something else, something that puzzled Reid a bit. Frost was normally a quiet man, and relatively even tempered, as long as nothing got him started. Now there had been nothing to indicate anything that might have made Frost angry. Yet he seemed to be. Why?
“I thought you’d be with your new friend.”
“Sheila? I had enough. She’s not really my type.”
Reid had a sudden insight. Sheila might have been a rather unattractive sort of woman, but right now, he couldn’t have named any woman he’d be more interested in. Or any type of woman. He must have gone off women, after the divorce. Better that way anyway. A man like Frost had peace of mind in a way that someone married or involved with women ever could be.
Frost muttered a reply that Reid couldn’t quite decipher.
“I said, it ‘s a disgrace.”
“About the case? I know.”
So it was the case that had made Frost so upset? That was hardly surprising. Everyone was. There was nothing so disheartening as a case where there were no winners. No victory. Just victims and a dead perpetrator that could never be brought to justice.
“Not the bloody case. That woman. A decorated war hero like you degrading himself that way. It’s a bloody disgrace. That’s what it is.”
Reid stared at Frost in consternation. What had brought this on? In the time they’d known each other, he had never known Frost to react this way. He liked Frost more than most of the men he’d served with. At least as well as anyone still alive. No one believed in him as Frost did. That more than anything had helped him get back on his feet again after his drinking problem and the divorce.
He knew how many times Frost had fought to have him on his team when everyone else fought not to have to work with him. There was no one he trusted and respected more on the force. He had thought he knew Frost as well as any man, even Toolan or Trigg. Not sure of what to say, Reid hesitated.
“Well. You know. Beggars can’t be choosers.”
“You can’t be serious. I wouldn’t have thought a man of your age would get such an itch.”
Where was this coming from? He’d heard Frost talk this way about perpretators. Mostly young disorderly drug users, punters and pimps. But about another police officer? This case must have hit Frost harder than he’d imagined.
“I don’t see why it matters to you. I’m a big boy. I can look after myself.”
“And that’s how you do it? By consorting with a woman like that? A bloody disgrace, I say.”
“Yes, I heard you. Jack, what’s really wrong?”
“I told you what’s wrong. A man like you, allowing himself to be led around by the privates.”
This really was a bit much. If it had been anyone other than Frost, Reid’s temper would have ignited. But this was his friend.
“As you can see, I lost interest in her. In fact, not that it’s any of your business, I’ve had enough of women. It’s just not the same anymore. My divorce – everything else. It’s just not worth it.”
By now, it seemed to Reid that Frost was probably a bit more drunk than he had first appeared. Perhaps it would be best to help him upstairs and get him to bed.
“Come on, Jack. You’ve had enough. Time for bed. Can you manage on your own?”
But it was immediately clear that Frost was having trouble getting out of the worn old armchair and though he’d calmed down somewhat after Reid’s little speech, he still appeared out of sorts.
“Right. Here we go.”
Reid grabbed his friend’s arms and pulled him onto his feet. The jacket was wrinkled and stained, and smelled of tobacco. There was even a big stain on Frost’s pants which looked a lot like brown sauce. Reid shook his head. Even at the best of times, Frost wasn’t the tidiest of men.
Not letting his friend’s disheveled state bother him, Reid began to tow him upstairs. Frost wasn’t at all cooperative and he felt like a heavy deadweight in Reid’s arms, but this only made him more determined to get his friend into bed.
“I can walk on my own. Let me go. Don’t make a fuss.”
“No, you can’t, Jack. It’s alright. We’ll be upstairs in a moment.”
Despite his friend’s weight and lack of cooperation, Reid was strong enough to get upstairs and into the bedroom without too much trouble. By the bed, he stopped and looked around for a chair to put Frost’s jacket on. He managed to get the jacket off, then the tie, and was about to lower his friend onto the bed, when Frost tried to push him away. He failed and both men ended up on the bed, with Reid more or less on top of Frost.
They were lying face to face, so close they could each feel the other’s breath. Reid couldn’t help being drawn towards the whisky smell and inhaling it wistfully. If the bottle hadn’t been empty – For some reason, Frost held on to him and Reid was having a hard time prying himself loose.
Suddenly the fatigue after working 18 hours straight and the physical exertion of climbing around the empty warehouse where the killer had taken refuge, was beginning to get to him. He slumped down and stopped struggling to get up. Right now, he wanted nothing more than to sleep for ten hours or more. But he could hardly do that here. And suddenly, he became aware of something other than being tired. He came wide awake with surprise.
There was something hard pressing into his thigh. For a second, he jumped to the conclusion that Frost for some reason was carrying a weapon. Then he realized what it was. Frost was having an erection. What a time for that to happen. Now he really ought to get up and leave. But for some reason, he couldn’t explain to himself, he didn’t. Instead, to his utter amazement, he felt his friend’s predicament trigger a similar reaction in himself. And Frost noticed.
For the space of two heartbeats, neither man said or did anything. Reid lay there listening to Frost’s rasping breath, becoming aware of his own heartbeat and pulse picking up. How was this possible? It had been a year or two since he’d had sex with his wife. Maybe six to eight months since he’d even touched himself. And now, he was becoming more aroused by the second lying on top of his old friend and colleague. If the situation hadn’t been so unexpected and embarrassing he might have laughed out loud.
Again, he reasoned with himself. He should get up and go. If they never spoke of this, it would be as if it had never happened. But he didn’t want to go. The realization struck him. He wanted this to happen. Perhaps he’d wanted it for a long time. And it was clear that Frost wanted it too.
Frost’s reasoning was less clear. He just knew that he didn’t want that slag to touch Reid. In fact, he now realized the didn’t want anyone to touch him. He hadn’t been aware of it until now, but his feelings of respect and admiration, that were mixed with protectiveness had turned into something else. Something he hadn’t felt since long before his wife died. He thought perhaps it could be love, if that didn’t seem too absurd. And his arousal showed no sign of diminishing. What was more, Reid was experiencing the same thing. There was no mistaking that hardness.
Feeling that he’d reached the point of no return, Reid slowly began to rub himself against the corresponding hardness in the other man’s pants. Experimentally, he let his hand trail down there. The only reaction he could discern was that Frost’s breath came quicker. It would be up to him, Reid knew.
Frost was too drunk, and perhaps too unwieldy to move about much. He rubbed the hardness and felt the other man’s hips begin to arch slightly. Encouraged by this, he slid off his friend and let his hand begin to undo the belt buckle, then the fly. The fabric of the shorts was much flimsier than the pants and he could feel the hardness growing.
Bolder now, he let his fingers move up to the elastic and soon his hand was closing on his friend. He began to move his hand up and down, finding a rhythm that seemed to be right.
Now Frost’s hands began to grope for Reid’s crotch and finding it, he began to rub to his best ability. Reid decided to help his friend and used his free hand to pull down his own pants. After a moment’s hesitation, he let the shorts go the same way as the pants. Now they were lying so close their crotches touched and this excited them both even more. Reid felt his hips move as if of their own accord.
Bucking and thrusting, he rubbed up against Frost’s crotch. His hand was still doing its work and he could feel his friend reciprocating. But what aroused him the most was feeling another man’s penis touch his own. This was something that he had never experienced before, never even imagined himself doing.
Moving faster, he felt himself approach climax. Another few seconds and he was there. He increased his efforts and before long he was rewarded. A hot fluid sprayed his hand and crotch and he slumped down on top of his friend. They lay like that for what seemed like a long time, then Reid rolled off and lay on his back, while his breathing returned to normal again.
A soft snore alerted him to the fact that Frost had now dozed off, no doubt aided by his release. Reid wondered idly how long it had been for the old man? Three years? Five? One thing was certain. Frost couldn’t have done this before, any more than he himself had.
If anyone had suggested this might happen, with any man, even two weeks ago, Reid would have told whoever it was to mind his or her own business. He would have laughed if he hadn’t been in a bad enough mood to snap. But he would never in a million years have guessed he’d be capable of this sort of thing. And the strangest thing of all was that he didn’t regret it. Not for a moment. This sexual encounter had been more rewarding than anything in the last ten years or so.
He intended to get dressed and go. He would only rest for a few more minutes. Before he knew it, he was fast asleep. To his relief, the sun shining in through the window woke him up first. What they had shared last night was still too new, too unfamiliar for him to dare to face his friend.
When Frost sobered up – and Reid didn’t envy his friend the hangover – how would he feel about what they’d just done? Would he regret it? Curse his friend for taking advantage of his weakness? Had they destroyed their friendship over this unexpected flaring of lust? As soon as the thought occurred to Reid, he felt a sharp pain shoot through him. No. He didn’t want to lose his friend. Frost was the only one who really believed in him. The only one who really saw him for who he was.
He knew far too well what the other officers thought about him. Even the tactful and politeToolan disapproved of him. As for everyone else – It was no use deluding himself. He was considered a liability and was only kept on because it looked bad to fire a decorated war hero. As if that medal really counted for anything anymore. He’d fought in a war that was forgotten by the younger generation and disregarded by most of the older generation.
Without Frost, he’d be on his own again. His wife didn’t miss him. She was only too happy to see the last of him. In his worst moments he felt sure that even his children were relieved to be rid of a father who might turn into an embarrassment or frighten them with his behaviour at a moment’s notice, when the craving for alcohol took hold of him. No one else wanted him.
And looking back over last night, Reid knew that this hadn’t merely been a bit of drunk horseplay between two men who hadn’t any in far too long. He loved Frost. Ugly mug and all.
He looked around for his clothes and hurriedly put them on. With any luck, he’d be back home before Frost woke up. Still, he hesitated. He turned and looked down on what he expected to be his friend’s sleeping form. Instead, he was startled to find that his friend’s eyes were open and staring at him, intently.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
“Are you ashamed of what we did? Do you regret it?”
He stared at his friend. In all the time he’d known him, he had never heard him sound so – intense.
“Then were are you going?”
“You mean – you want me to stay?”
“Of course I do. Otherwise last night wouldn’t mean anything.”
Reid was amazed. If anything, he would have imagined Frost’s approach to this unexpected incident would have been silence. He sat down on the side of the bed, looking down on the man he now knew he loved. A smile was beginning to form on his lips.
“Alright. What did you have in mind?”
Frost’s hand shot out and grabbed Reid’s wrist. He felt out of his depth and confused, but he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he wanted Reid to stay. That was why he’d felt so out of sorts last night. He’d been jealous. Reid was still young. He might not be the handsomest copper around, but women still fancied him. Why should he want to stay with an old geezer like himself?
Reid thought he could read the answer to his question in the other man’s eyes, so he stretched out next to him. They might be late for work, but so what? There was so much to learn.
“Have you done this sort of thing before?”
“No. Not with another bloke.”
“That’s what I meant.”
“What about you?”
“Never. I didn’t even know I could feel this way.”
“Me neither. But it makes sense. When I told you that I’d gone off women, it was true. I just didn’t know it meant I’d be falling for a man.”
“You’ve never been with a man before?”
“No. You’re the first.”
“So are you. The first one for me.”
“You know what, Jack? I’m glad. If this had to happen, I’m glad it’s you. There’s no one else I could imagine doing it with. No one I could feel this way about. I love you, Jack.”
Frost stared at Reid as if he was seeing him for the first time. His friend – no, lover – had just told him he loved him. That was more than he’d dared to hope for. And he felt proud that Reid hadn’t experienced this with anyone else. He had waited for him.
“I love you too, Terry. Listen to me. What an old fool I am.”
“In that case, so am I. Let’s be fools together then. More fun that way.”
His smile widened and he moved closer. They might not be hot young studs anymore, and last night’s event might not repeat itself for a while, but they could still be together. It was far better than being alone. For the first time in years, Reid didn’t feel any cravings at all. Alcohol was the furthest thing from his mind.
If his wife could see him now, she might laugh. She’d told him that she didn’t think anyone would be fool enough to love him again. He’d love to tell she was wrong, but on second thought, he might lose the children if he did. Or his career, if any of his colleagues learned about their new relationship. But he couldn’t worry about that now. He wasn’t alone anymore and that was all that mattered.