“All right, all right, you can come visit. . . but only if you promise to behave.” Anything for a quiet life. “I swear though, if I find one suspect report out of place—”

“That was once.” Joe could hear the pout in Ed's voice.

“Once that I know about,” he grumped in reply. Joe was a junior something in the DAs office and he's learned a little more than he should have from his visit to the precinct.

“I won't touch, or look, at any of your files.”

“Or
intimidate Annie into showing you the files?” That's what had happened
last time, and Ed's defence was that he hadn’t actually ‘touched' the
case reports on the Weiner case, merely looked at them.

“Jeez, would I—”

“Yes, you would.”

“And
I didn’t intimidate her; I just asked her how her grandkids were.”

Joe
switched the phone from one hand to the other, stretching out the ache
in his neck—a strong reminder of last night. It had been a rough
evening, even for a cop with his experience. He'd never been tied up
before, held prisoner, unable to move. In normal situations he had the
upper hand and the gun. This time though, with his sidearm useless and
feet away on his desk in his bedroom, he had been vulnerable.

“Joe?
Are you okay? You don’t sound okay. Shit, you sound exhausted. Maybe
you shouldn’t be on duty—” Concern flooded down the line, and Joe
straightened in his chair. It would only worry Ed more if he listed the
aches and pains in his thirty-seven year old body. Ed was already
freaking out over the material burns on Joe's wrists, he didn’t need to
know about the ache in his back from where Joe had twisted muscles
trying to loosen his bonds.

“I'm fine, Ed, stop asking stupid
questions and get your preppy ass over here in time to buy me lunch.”
There was a pause, and Joe began to wonder if perhaps his lover was
going to press the situation. He was probably going to ask more
questions about whether Joe was sore or hurt or any of the other
concerned shit he spouted. He was a man, he could damn well handle being
restrained–Joe Everson was not some pansy ass girl.

He knew in
his head that he should make allowances for the younger man's
questions—Ed was new to this whole relationship thing and he'd said he
loved Joe only a few nights before. Not just post orgasm but post
breakfast as well—Joe believed he actually meant it. Thing is Joe didn’t
need to be handled with kid gloves, love didn’t mean Ed got to go all
concerned wife on his ass.

“I'm leaving now.” Ed's voice was firm
and insistent, and then he ended the call. Joe dropped the phone to the
desk before pushing back in the chair. He was damned if he was going to
let Ed—strong demanding young Ed—see him as anything less than
one hundred percent fine. Age had never been an issue in any
relationship he had had before, but with Ed the age gap was just so damn
obvious. Joe was ten years older. Which meant he was ten years less
able to heal overnight, from anything more than a normal evening spent
in front of the TV with beer and chips. That was all.

He pushed
paper from one pile to another, shuffling priorities in his head,
wasting time until his lover arrived. He heard him before he saw him;
Ed's voice deep and his laugh loud as he flirted with Annie, making her
giggle like a school girl.

Without saying a word he crossed to
the small kitchen and then flicked on the kettle. Grabbing two mugs off
of the shelf he waited for the water to boil, awareness skittering down
his spine as Ed stopped behind him and stood close in his personal
space.

“Hey.” Ed's voice was quieter than it had been with Annie.
Soft, insistent and oh so fucking sexy. Joe's libido approved of his
lover's tone and the smell of him—the citrus of shower gel, the woody
scent of his cologne—his dick pressing hard against his police issue
pants. Ed's hands slid from shoulder to hip, finally moving to cross and
link around Joe level with his stomach.

He leaned back, allowing Ed to take his weight, enjoying the warmth of the embrace.

“I
promise not to ask you again, but tell me you are okay,” Ed
half-whispered, and Joe stiffened in Ed's hold. He catalogued the aches
in his body, the twist in his wrists, the base of his spine sore, his
ass tight, his thighs flexing with the ache of misuse. Should he tell Ed
the truth? That sometimes after nights like last night Joe would be
tired and sore? Should he be honest and admit how he felt, or should he
keep it to himself? He didn’t want to expose the fragility of his age to
his considerably younger lover, didn’t want to give Ed an excuse to
throw him over for someone younger. He twisted in Ed's arms to face him.
Then tilting his head he collected a deep and sensuous hello kiss.

“I'm
fine,” he said again finally, pressing his fingers into Ed's thick dark
hair and drawing him down again for another kiss. “One concession
though…” his voice trailed off, and Ed looked at him thoughtfully.

“Anything.”

“Next
time, three hours maximum on the kinky stuff on a work night and can we please invest in
proper silk ties or something softer, cos dude, those freakin' bathrobe
belts hurt.”

THE END