The Exultation Floods Me
Written 3 February 2005
This work is not to be reproduced in any way or archived
anywhere without the express written permission of the author.
Written for doll - 1787 words.
"You make me fucking crazy," Ray mutters as he jostles past me. I open my mouth to protest, then shut it when he turns and points at me. "Donít. Just donít, Fraser." He glares and stomps up the steps to our cabin, kicking the snow off his boots before going inside.
I look down at Diefenbaker. He looks up at me and then rolls his eyes and follows after Ray.
What did I do this time? Living with Ray is certainly a study in the perplexities of the universe. Sighing, I head into our cabin, after Ray.
"What is your fucking problem?" Ray asks as he all but slams the teakettle down onto the stove.
Dief echoes Rayís sentiments and then climbs onto the couch, curling into a
ball, looking pointedly at the television. I ignore him.
"I donít have one," I tell him, striving to keep my voice even and my tone light. "She asked if you were available. To my knowledge, you are." Ray glares at me again and I shrug. "Well? Are you attached? I find it hard to believe I would miss something as important as that."
My partner points at me once again. "Fraser, for an ex-detective, you
sure are clueless."
"Heís right, son." I glance over and see my father sitting in Rayís chair. Wonderful. As if I didnít have enough to deal with, with Ray and Diefenbaker.
I try again. "Ray, I certainly didnít mean to offend you."
He stares at me for a moment, then looks away. His shoulders slump and he sighs. "Fraser, you didnít offend me. I thought Ė itís my fault, okay? Itís my fault for what I thought."
"What did you think?" I turn, and begin to remove my parka.
"I thought you loved me. I thought, you know, that we were together. Me, you, Dief, a family."
I blink, stare at the hooks by the door where my parka is hanging next to his and my mouth is instantly dry. Finally, after what seems an eternity, I turn and look at him. "You thought what?"
He makes a weird gesture with his hands. "You and me, you know? Sexless,
butÖ still together."
"But Ray Ė"
"Yeah, okay, punch me in the head, Fraser. I guess Iím stupid." He turns back and grabs our mugs off the rack where they hang. In silence, I watch him prepare our drinks.
I think about what heís said and unable to stop myself, I ask, "Arenít
He looks back over his shoulder at me and grins then. "Nah. Not really."
"Not really?" I echo.
"Well, I love you, so I guess not."
I stare at him, his words penetrating my thick skull. My father rolls his
eyes and says, "The only abnormality is the incapacity to love, son. Anais
Nin said that."
"What would you have me do?" I retort.
Ray stands before me and hands me my mug. "Whatever you think is best, Ben. Just think about it, okay?"
My father is gone when I glance over at the table and Ray takes that to mean we should sit down. He plops down in his chair and I follow suit, sitting across from him.
No more is said of it that night.
But as I lay in my bed, listening to Rayís restless night time noises in his bed across the hall, I think about Victoria.
For a very long time after her, I could still feel the bitterness of Victoriaís kisses, of her touch.
I never thought that I would get over her. My first and last thoughts of the day were of her. Every day, I wondered where she was, where she had been Ė if she ever thought of me.
Finally, though, my thoughts turned away from her. It wasnít an overnight thing, no. It was slow and sure. Eventually, I would go days Ė weeks, even Ė without thinking of her. In a way, it was a relief and in another, it hurt.
Did the fact that I didnít think about her mean that I was incapable of love? Did it mean that I was undeserving? Those thoughts tormented me. Finally, I came to realise that it wasnít love that I shared with her. It was obsession. And finally, finally I was glad that she was no longer in my life. I didnít bear her ill will, or anything as dramatic as that. I was just glad it was over and that she no longer haunted my life, my dreams, my thoughts. I could go on with my life. I could fall in love again. I could start a family if I so desired.
I listen to Rayís tossing and turning and think about me and him and love and family until I fall asleep.
Itís snowing when I wake. Staring out the window, watching the snow fall, I
hear Diefenbaker slip out through the dog flap into the backyard, and I hear Rayís
small snores. He is finally deeply enough asleep to get some rest.
Silently, I slip out of bed and quickly dress. Itís a bit nippy in here in the mornings, but itíll warm up soon enough. Heading into the kitchen, I set up the percolator for coffee as Dief comes back in, covered in snowflakes.
He heads over to his bowl and gets a long drink. Grabbing a towel, I dry him off from the melting snow and then turn on the television for him. He settles down and watches his early morning cartoons, waiting for Ray to join him for their morning TV routine Ė cartoons, then the news, then games shows.
I glance up at the clock and begin making biscuits.
Diefenbaker asks for bacon and I nod, taking a sip of coffee as I put the biscuits in the oven.
Opening the refrigerator, I take out Diefís bacon. He has taken a liking to microwave bacon, so itís simple and easy to make it for him. "Do you think Ray will want eggs this morning?" I ask him. Dief dithers at that, so I decide to go ahead and scramble eggs with cheese. Ray always likes that.
Finally breakfast is ready, and I ask Dief to go wake Ray while I set the table. Iím done, of course, before Ray comes to the table.
I sit at the table and look out the window at the falling snow, thinking about he and I and love and the things lovers do for each other, and I realise that we already do all those things Ė things that I had taken for granted. Now that Ray has mentioned his love for me, I find Iím unable to get it out of my mind. I know that I will never again look at him the same.
And this morning, as Ray stumbles out of his bedroom, wishing me a good morning in his sleep roughened voice, as he sits across from me like he has for three years now, as I take in his flat hair and sleepy eyes, itís no hardship to admit what heís known all along. "I do love you, Ray."
"Yeah? Greatness. Pass the jelly."
"Well, Ray, itís technically jam," I say and he just grins and points at me with his knife.
"Whatever. Give it over. I gotta fix the wolfís breakfast."
As I hand him his strawberry jam and watch him butter Diefenbakerís biscuit, I realise that Ray is right Ė that we are a family. An odd one to be sure, but we are indeed a family.
I glance up from my crossword when Ray stands up and Diefenbaker jumps off the couch. "Weíre gonna go for a walk over to the library, Fraser. You wanna go with us?"
I consider for a moment, then nod. "I believe so, yes." He nods and stretches. Then heís standing by me, his hand on my shoulder. I look up at him and he grins at me, drops a kiss to my cheek before sauntering off to get our parkas.
Diefenbaker cavorts in the snow like a puppy while Ray throws snowballs, trying to get Dief to fetch them. I laugh at their antics and Ray smiles at me. "Itís a good life, isnít it, Fraser?"
"Yes, it is." I look at him then, his eyes sparkling and his cheeks reddened from the cold and before I think twice, I lean over and kiss him. He gapes at me then grins again and kisses me back.
Before long, he has me pushed against the wall of the library, and when we part, I glance around. Thank God. Everyone else seems to be elsewhere this afternoon.
"Fuck the library," Ray says, grabbing my arm. "Címon Dief." We hurry home as if we have suddenly become unable to stop what weíre heading towards, what weíve been heading towards ever since we met.
There is no more time for introspection as Rayís mouth is on mine again the second weíre in the door. Our parkas fall to the floor and I push Ray against our front door and lick his throat. "Oh fuck yeah," he moans, so I do it again as I press my hips against his. He grips me tight and gives me as good as I give him. Weíre kissing and pressing against each other and then he trembles in my arms and gasps, "Gonna come in my pants, Fraser."
"Yes," I encourage him, humping against him. Our tongues slide together and his fingers are digging into my back when I feel my impending orgasm. As I come, I lick the corner of his mouth, feeling self-satisfaction as he groans, his head thumping back against the door as he orgasms. I put that look on his faceÖ I made him look like this. I close my eyes and lean against him.
"You donít do anything by halves, do you?" He sounds amused and I
look at him. A smile creeps over my face and I shrug. He laughs delightedly and
hugs me tight. As I stand there, my arms around him, he whispers, "I love
"And I you."
"About time you realised it."
I nod Ė heís right, after all. As we go get cleaned up, I remember Emily Dickinson. ĎI confess that I love him, I rejoice that I love him, I thank the maker of Heaven and Earth that gave him to me. The exultation floods me.í
She was right too Ė the exultation floods me as I watch him undress before me, before he reaches over and turns on the shower, looking back at me with, "You gonna join me?"
I donít have to be asked twice.