Something To Live For






Written April 2002

This work is not to be reproduced in any way or archived anywhere without the express written permission of the author.


Mental wounds not healing, life’s a bitter shame.
Ozzy Osbourne “Crazy Train”



Y’know, I’m just sick of it.

Tired of it.

Alone, lonely, what’s the difference?


There ain’t any from where I’m sitting.


I’m standing there, watching one of those 20/20 things on suicide as I make dinner, and they’re interviewing all these people who tried to kill themselves but didn’t succeed for whatever reason, and I kinda grin because I know what they’re saying.

I’m this close to trying again.

First time I tried, I was sixteen. I took pills. Got my stomach pumped, years of seeing a shrink, got to listen to my mom twitter about being worried about me – don’t get me wrong, I love my parents. But there’s something wrong with me. Something inside me ain’t right.

No matter what, I’ve been empty all my life. Never knew why. Still don’t know.


Don’t think I ever will.




Even though it’s only seven o’clock, I’m in bed.


It’s dark in my bedroom, dark and quiet, and I just lay there in the centre of my bed and think, just letting my mind drift. I think about Fraser, and Diefenbaker, and you know, even though I love my parents, the only reason why I’m staying for another day of hell on earth is because of Fraser and Dief.

Man, I love that wolf. He’s my buddy.

And Fraser? Yeah. Yeah, I love him too. Not that he’d ever look at me like anything like I wanna be looked at. I mean, he’s way outta my league. Way way way outta my league. He’s good and kind, and smart, and me, I’m just… me.


But anyway, even though he doesn’t know it, I love him. And maybe someday, he’ll go back to Canada, him and Dief, and I can just give up. Give in. Say goodbye.


The phone rings and I jerk a little, cursing under my breath in surprise. Rolling over, I snatch it up. ”Yeah.”


“Ray? Is this a bad time?” Fraser asks, sounding… strained.


I scratch my head. “No. Um, for what?”


“I thought perhaps… if you didn’t mind, that is, Dief and I could come over. There’s been a bit of an accident at the Consulate and –“

”What happened?”


“A water main burst,” Fraser says, sounding aggravated. “If you didn’t mind, I’d like to sleep over. I’m off tomorrow, so I thought we’d spend the day together, if you’d like.”

”Oh.” Startled, I don’t say anything else for a moment.


When he speaks again, he sounds strange, uncomfortable. “I can call Ray Vecchio, it’s –“

Sharply, I answer without thinking. ”No!” I lower my voice, knowing well my antagonism towards the ‘real’ Ray messes with my head sometimes. Fraser’s mine… not his. “You and Dief are always welcome here. You know that.” I wonder about the tone of his voice.

”All right, Ray. We’ll be along shortly.”

”You need a ride?” I ask, sitting up in bed, wondering if I should ask him what’s wrong.

”No. Yes. Please.”


That’s enough to get me worried. He’s usually not indecisive. “Hey. Something wrong? You sound kind of… off.”


He hesitates then, “I don’t want to intrude Ray. If you’re busy, I wouldn’t want to bother you.“

”I’m not busy! You never bother me, Fraser. I’ll be there soon,” I say quickly before he can change his mind about coming over and hang up the phone.


I’m off tomorrow, and was planning on just lying in bed, but hey, it’s greatness to have Fraser and Dief over. Makes me get up, move around. Live.


Thirty Minutes Later


I pull up outside the Consulate and look at Fraser and Dief standing there looking like something the cat dragged in. Despite that, despite feeling sorry for them, I feel happy when I see them. I’m really glad he called me first instead of Vecchio.


When Dief jumps in the back seat, he gives me a lick and I grin, reaching back and touching his face. “Hey, buddy.” I feel another small glow of happiness when Dief licks me again.

Fraser sits next to me and looks extremely tired.

”You okay, Fraser?”

”Just very tired, Ray.” He rubs his face.


I know how that is, I think. I kind of smile at him and he smiles back, giving me another little bit of happiness, and then we head back to my place in silence.




“You wanna sleep with me or on the couch?” I ask. Sometimes we share, sometimes we don’t.

”With you, Ray,” Fraser says. “I’ll get a shower and then I’ll be right in.”


I nod and go into the bedroom and change the sheets. It always feels good to have Fraser here, in my bed… he holds me at night, and I don’t feel alone, at least for a little while.


I put the flannel ones on because he says they remind him of snow.


God, I’ve got it bad.


I laugh a little, wad up the dirty sheets and stuff them into the laundry basket at the foot of the bed.


Don’t have to worry about what Fraser’ll wear tomorrow, he’s got clothes here, has had for a while. I kind of wonder if he has clothes at Ray Vecchio’s house. My mind drifts off on that tangent while I make fun of myself for being jealous.

Sometimes I wonder what happened between Fraser and Vecchio. Things were strained between them for a while, but they got back on track – or seemed to, anyway. Once Fraser said that some things can never be undone, and I wonder if he was talking about Vecchio. I mean, I know it was a bad shock to Fraser when Vecchio just up and disappeared.


“We’ll do laundry tomorrow,” Fraser says, towelling his hair dry as he stands in the doorway of the bedroom.

”Sure, whatever.” I shrug and start to strip, pushing the thoughts of Vecchio and Fraser out of my mind.

Fraser drapes his towel on the doorknob and we slide into bed, both of us nude.


I know I should feel weird about sleeping naked with another man, but for christssakes, this is Fraser. My best friend. The one I love. So no, it doesn’t make me uncomfortable. Just kind of fills me with this longing and ache, but it’s really nothing different than what I usually feel on a day to day basis.


Stella would say this is just another example of how fucked up I am, how ‘not normal’ I am. Like I don’t know I’m not normal? Right. I can hear her now… “You think all straight men sleep nude with their partners, Ray?” Yeah, well, Stell… maybe I’m not straight, you ever think of that?


When Fraser turns off the lamp and settles in on his side of the bed, it interrupts the internal argument I’m having with Stella-Who-Is-Not-Really-Here. I smile and roll to my side, my back to Fraser.


Then I lie there and think about the things Stella used to say to me about my depression, my fucked-up-ness.


She used to be amazed that I could be a cop. Well, hell. Why? It’s not like I’m an idiot. And sometimes I forget to be sad and tired. Like, since I’ve known Fraser for instance. I am pretty happy now. I know I’ve been down lately. It comes and it goes. It’s part of life. Part of who I am. If only Stella had realised that…




”If…” Fraser trails off, clears his throat and I feel him turning towards me, his eyes boring into the back of my skull. “If you felt… if you wanted to talk to me, you would, wouldn’t you?”


“Sure,” I say quietly, turning to face him. “Why?”

”You’ve just seemed so quiet lately.”


“Just kind of down, Fraser,” I say with a shrug. “No big deal.”

”Ray,” Fraser says, sounding sort of cautious, “we’ve known each other for a few years, correct?”

”Yeah?” I hold my breath when Fraser scoots closer to me. I can smell the shampoo, the soap on his skin.


“I’ve noticed that you’ve been ‘down’ quite a bit, especially lately. Is… I mean, are… are you all right?”

I laugh a little and put my hand on his bicep. “Yeah, Fraser. I mean, as all right as I’m gonna be.”

Fraser slides his arm around me and holds me close, our skin touching, warming me in and out. ”Would you tell me about it?”


“Sure, if you wanna know.” I’m kind of stunned, here. Other than my mum, no one’s ever asked me to tell them stuff.

”I want to know,” Fraser says firmly.


So I tell him. I tell him everything – even about how empty and alone I am and how I want to die. When I finish, he just lays there, silent, and I close my eyes, so tired. I’m almost asleep when I hear him whisper, “Let me give you something to live for, Ray.”

My eyes fly open. ”Huh? Something to live for? What?”

”Me. Diefenbaker. We love you, you know.”

I shrug and twist in his arms to stare up at the ceiling. He’s just saying that.


“Ray, Ray…” his voice sounds… he sounds like – Jesus. “I do. Just because I never told you before doesn’t mean the feelings aren’t there. Do you honestly think I could lie here in your bed, holding you in my arms, keeping you safe, if I didn’t love you?”


“I think you’re unhinged,” I smile over at him. “Honest, Fraser, you don’t have to tell me that. You don’t have to sacrifice your virginal self on the altar of my fucked-up-ness.”


“I’m hardly a virgin, Ray,” he says quietly, his breath hot on my ear. I shiver anyway. “I’ve loved men before. Let me love you.”

”Fraser, I –“ What? What am I gonna say? No? Right. Sure. In what fucking universe? “Okay.”


“Okay?” He sounds breathless and I grin, touching him in the darkness, running my fingers over his face.


“Yeah. Okay. I ain’t… I mean, never with a man, Fraser. And, uh… this isn’t like a pity thing, isn’t it?” Embarrassment fills me and I feel hot and cold by turns. My mouth opens and I babble on. “I don’t want pity. I know I’m not right.”


“Not… right?” Fraser sounds confused then and I sigh.

”Yeah. Not right. Fucked up, a loser, a –“

”Ray, don’t –“

”It’s true, Fraser.” I swallow hard. “Couldn’t even kill myself properly.”


“I’m rather glad you didn’t succeed, Ray.”

His voice is dry and I can’t help it, I laugh. But my laughter dies when he strokes my cheek and I ask carefully, “Why?”

”Why?” He releases me and turns over, flipping on the lamp before rolling back over and pulling me back into his arms. The golden light spills across our bodies and the blue comforter that’s bunched around our waists. He licks his lower lip and says, “Because I love you, Ray.”

I just stare at him. Then I shake my head. “People like you don’t love people like me.”

”People like me? What do you mean?” He looks a little hurt.


I touch his lips and shrug.

”Don’t ignore me, Ray,” Fraser says all snarkily. “What did you mean?”

”Perfect. You’re perfect, and I’m not.”

He shakes his head. “I’m far from perfect.” He sighs and kisses my forehead. Then he kisses my eyes and my nose and then he whispers, “I love you,” as he kisses my mouth.

Hungry, hot, and wet is all I can think as he devours me, as his tongue slides across mine and he rolls over on top of me, holding me down, holding me to him, making this real and good and something not to be afraid of.


His hands cup my face as he kisses me, and my arms wrap around him, holding him tight, hoping and praying this all hasn’t been some weird damn dream.


When he slides down my body and licks across the tip of my dick before swallowing me whole, I shudder and whisper his name as my hands go into his hair, cupping his head. He makes a contented purring noise and begins to give me the blowjob of my life.


When I come in his mouth, I sag bonelessly back onto the bed, wrung out. Still, as he slides back up my body, licking his lips, I know I have to reciprocate somehow… when I slide my hand down his flat stomach, I feel his dick is limp. I stare at him, mortified. He didn’t like it, it was
a pity –

”God, what you do to me, Ray. Let me get a towel,” he says, his voice husky, dropping another kiss to my forehead before he gets out of bed.

I’m fucking petrified, fucking mortified and fucking embarrassed when he comes back to bed. I’m desperate for something, anything to say. “Fraser – I –“

When he puts the towel at the foot of the bed, I just stare. That wasn’t for –

”I made a huge wet spot here by your feet,” Fraser laughs a little, lifting one of my feet to tuck the towel up under it. He crawls back in bed, grabs the comforter off of the floor, and tucks it around us, pulling me close with what sounds like a contented sigh. “What were you saying, Ray?”

I just shake my head. I can’t talk yet. He came from… from giving me a blowjob?


“Mm.” Fraser nuzzles my ear. “Go to sleep, Ray. Tomorrow is another day.” He plants a small kiss on my head and whispers, “The first of many for us.”


I just lie there in his arms and turn everything around and around in my head. He came from just sucking me. Fraser. My partner. My best friend. My… lover? His breathing finally evens out and when I know he’s asleep, I turn my head and look at him.

And I feel that little tiny glow of happiness inside me, and I close my eyes and snuggle closer to him.

Maybe he’s right. Maybe he can give me something to live for.


We’ll see.

A Year Later


Sometimes I look around and I just can't believe
What a stinking horrible motherfuckin' web
I weave around myself
Headstones “Heart of Darkness”



“What do you mean?” Fraser asks, looking shocked.

”It’s over. I don’t – you, me, doneski.”


“But Ray –“

I just walk away from him. My head feels like it’s going to implode. We’d been working a murder case, and finally got the break tonight. Turns out the guy was out of his head and killed his boyfriend. He had a long history of mental ‘problems’, as it was oh-so-delicately put. But he was ‘such a nice man, always joking’. Yeah, well, I know all about smokescreens.


And I’ve been throwing up a major smokescreen lately.


Jesus. I’m gonna be sick just thinking about it.


“Ray, Ray, Ray,” Fraser says, following me into the bathroom. I barely make it to a stall.

Tears roll down my face as I throw up bile, burning my throat, his hands stroking me gently on my back, murmuring, “It’s okay, Ray, it’s okay.”


It’s not okay, it’s not. It hasn’t been okay. We did really fucking good there for a while – I did really fucking good for a while, but lately all I can think about is… goddamn it, I don’t want to say it, but I know I will.

I gasp, “Why didn’t you tell me? Huh? Why?”


“Tell you what?” Fraser’s hand stops square on my back, and I brace myself on the fucking toilet and push myself up, wiping my mouth with the back of my hand. I turn to face him and he really looks confused.

”You leaving me.”

He looks aghast at first but then he gets pissed. “What? Who told you such a lie?”


Part of me suddenly feels really uncertain. “I… uh…”

”Well?” Cold. Jesus. The icicles are dripping off of his words.


“I, uh, saw the letter…” I suddenly don’t know what to say.

”The letter? What letter? Oh.” He reaches over and flushes the toilet. “Let’s go ho – to your apartment.”

I nod, feeling numb. Not home. To my apartment. Well, I have no one to blame but me, I guess. I’m the one who broke up with him.


The loser.


Always the loser.



All my life I've always been so blue
Born to lose
And now I'm losing you.

Elton John & Leonard Cohen “Born To Lose”

Miserable, I stare at the coffee table while he quietly explains that yes, he’s been offered a post in Canada, and he was going to talk to me about it this weekend when we went out of town for our anniversary.


He sits next to me, takes my hands in his, and says quietly, “I love you, Ray.” Dief lays on my feet while we talk.

Dully, I say, “I fucked us away.”

”You were scared. Worried.”

”Thought you were… gonna just be gone someday. Thought I was gonna wake up and you’d be gone.”


“Never, Ray, never.” He pulls me into his arms and squeezes me tight. “I don’t want us to be ‘doneski’, as you say. Do you? Do you really?”

I shake my head no.

”Then trust me. Trust in us.”


“It’s hard. I – try,” I falter, looking at him. “I’m just so tired all the time, Fraser.”


“I know, Ray,” Fraser says gently. “Why don’t you go to bed, and I’ll bring you dinner.”

”I’m sorry. I… I want us,” I mumble as I go into the bedroom.


He stands there and watches me as I undress and climb into bed. Before long, he’s bringing me soup – vegetable – and grilled cheese sandwiches. Dief is keeping me company.


When I finish the food, I give him a small smile. “You’re too good to me, Fraser.” He puts the dishes on the floor, looking thoughtful.

”You know,” he says quietly, taking my hand in his, “you can call me Ben.”

”Yeah.” I’m kind of surprised. Why, I don’t know. He tells me he loves me all the time. What he sees in me I don’t know, I really don’t, but I’m willing to go along with it. I love him. “I guess… I dunno… I’m just not used to hearing your name. Your real name.”

Ben laughs. “Fraser’s my real name too.”

”Smart ass.” I hit him, sort of, on his arm and we start wrestling. Finally, he’s on top of me – big surprise – and I start kissing him.


He pulls away though, and asks, real serious like, “Promise me you won’t leave me?”



“Promise you won’t leave me.”


Something in his eyes makes me realise he’s scared too. Of what, I don’t know. So I ask. When he tells me he’s afraid he’s going to lose me, I just stare at him. He hugs me tight and murmurs, “I know it’s not easy for you, Ray. But promise me something. Promise me that if you feel like… hurting yourself… you’ll call me if I’m working, or you’ll tell me if we’re at home.”

”Yeah, sure, Fraser.” I’m confused. Why is he saying these things? I’ve been happy until lately. Really I have. “Ben.”

”Yes, Ray?” He rolls us over, until we’re on our sides, looking at each other.



”Why what? Why did I ask you to do that for me?” He traces my face with his fingers and then murmurs, “I talked to Stella today.”

”Oh.” I scratch my head for a few minutes and then shrug. “Okay. What’d she say?”

”She said you were moody.” Judging by the tone of his voice, he isn’t too happy. “She said she thought it was something you’d get over.”

”Yeah, well. I didn’t.” I frown, angry. “She never fucking understood. Not ever. I tried to tell her how I was when I married her. And she said she understood, she said she’d help me.” Suddenly I’m even more tired than before. “But she didn’t.” My voice drops. “She didn’t.” All the sadness of those days when she left me comes rushing back and I choke.


“I will.” Ben touches my arm, drawing me back to him. I raise my eyes to look at him, and I nod a little. “I will, Ray. I’ll help you.”


I nod, and lean into him, letting my eyes close. I force the words out. “We’ll talk about Canada this weekend.”

”Yes,” Ben’s breath ghosts by my forehead. “Yes.”

”And you’ll help me. You promise.”

”Yes, Ray,” Ben says low and quiet, his voice full of something, something I’ve never heard before but I don’t know what it is, “I promise. I’ll help you.”

Three Days Later

Our Anniversary


I touch him all over, even tickle the bottom of his foot as we make love, kissing and sucking and biting at him. I love touching him, being with him like this, making love with him.


Pretty soon he’s moaning my name over and over and as he leans back against the headboard, I straddle him, sliding down onto his cock.

”Oh God,” I moan as he fills me up. His hands are on my thighs, stroking me, and his eyes – God! His eyes are so full of love and fire that I almost come from looking at him.


“Move, Ray,” he says in a low, husky ‘fuck-me’ voice that always makes me shiver and moan.

”God, Ben…” I pant as I do just that, struggling to make this last, struggling not to come right away, but I know it’s a lost cause. Too much fucking foreplay, but we can’t help it. We’ve never been in a rush to fuck, the touching and kissing turns us on as much as the actual doing it. I used to really fucking worry about it, but he’s come from just kissing me. It’s amazing. Makes me feel… loved. Special.


“Ray, Ray, Ray, Ray,” Ben chants as he jerks, squeezing me tight as he comes.


I just stare at him, looking at the look on his face, feeling my heart pound. Is this love? I mean, is this what forever love feels like? Because let me tell you, I can’t live without him. I wrap my arms around him and just hug him, feeling like an idiot because all these feelings are just overwhelming me.


He whispers, “I love you,” and I nod.

His hands slide up and down my back, soothing me, calming me down.

I move back and look into his eyes. He looks a little worried but when I tell him I love him he smiles and shifts under me. I frown when he slips out of my body and he slides down in the bed, so of course I go with him. He kisses me, his tongue sliding across my lips before he moves down and sucks me down.

God! He loves to suck dick. And I love him sucking mine. It’s over all too soon and when I’m panting and boneless he comes back up and whispers in my ear, “I love the sounds you make when I’m sucking you, Ray. It turns me on so much.”

I laugh and push at him. “Shut up. I just came!”

”So? I’d like you to come again,” he purrs in his sexy voice then laughs and hugs me.


“I love you, Ben.”

He smiles down at me for a long moment and then kisses me. “I love you too.”

We curl up together, holding hands, and he says quietly, “So. Canada.”


Dief jumps up on our bed and I smile, pulling him down next to me. “Hey FurFace.” I try not to worry about what Ben’s saying and pet Dief for a minute to calm down before I say, “Yeah. Canada. You going?”

”Well, Ray, I –“ He stops, then starts again. “I had hoped you would accompany me.”

”You want me to come with you?”

Ben sounds pissed when he says, ”You don’t have to sound so amazed. It’s not as if I’m ashamed of you.”

”Well, I, uh…”

”I know you’re going to want time to think about it,” Ben says. “On to other things, perhaps. Happy Anniversary, Ray.”

”Happy Anniversary, Ben. You really want me to come with you?”

”Of course, Ray. Why wouldn’t I?”

I chance a look at him and he’s just looking at me. I squirm and shrug.

”Tell me?” he asks. He really does want to know.

”Because I’m fucked up. I don’t – I mean, what would I do there?”

”I thought,” Ben says softly, kissing me on my shoulder, “that we could go to counselling together, see if we can get you some help.”

I twist in his arms, alarmed. “Ben? Whattya mean?”

”I mean that I understand your reluctance to go to a psychiatrist here and be put on medication for your depression. The drug tests we’re subjected to as police officers would alert them that there is a problem.“ He sounds so calm… like it doesn’t really matter to him that I’m so messed up in my head that I think about killing myself sometimes. I mean, it matters, but it doesn’t. That probably doesn’t make any sense to anyone but me.

”And… what, you’re gonna support me?” I joke. Dief pokes his nose in my ear and its cold. “Ew! Dief!”

”Yes, Ray.” He kisses me again and I just melt against him. He’s such a fucking good kisser.


When we finally come up for air, I blurt, ”Did you and Vecchio used to do this?”


He just looks at me for a long moment before nodding once.

”Oh.” I can’t help it, I roll away from him, almost squishing Dief. Dief jumps off the bed with an affronted look at me.


“Ray?” He sounds worried.

I gotta answer even though I don’t feel like it. ”What?”


“I’m sorry doesn’t really cover it.”

I nod. ”You’re right.”


“I do love you.”

”But you loved him first.”


He’s silent and I think I’m gonna puke right here. I gotta get outta here. We rented a little place to spend our anniversary weekend at. It’s secluded so I can just go out in the back and be alone without having to deal with anyone staring at me.


An Hour Later


Ben’s arms slide around me and I lean against him, my fingers tangling in Dief’s fur.

”You okay?”

”No. Not really,” I say quietly, watching as Dief runs off to play in the woods around the cabin. I wish we had a place like this to live in, where Dief wouldn’t have to be cooped up in the apartment back in Chicago all the time.

”Ray, I… I don’t love him anymore. He hurt me beyond repair.”


I turn and look at him and say quietly, “I understand that, Ben. I do. But it just makes me second best, like always.” I sigh and rub my face. “All those years Stell and I were together – she screwed around on me a lot towards the end. I can’t… it hurt, Ben. It hurt. Don’t want to lose you. Am I gonna lose you?”

”I’m not going to ‘screw around’ on you with Ray Vecchio, Ray,” Ben says, his voice soft and soothing. “I love you. You’re not going to lose me. Not now, not ever.”

”I know you love me. But this just… it hurts too. I’m sorry.” I take a deep breath. “I guess I just don’t share well.”

“Neither do I, Ray,” Ben says with a small smile. “You don’t think I didn’t want to kill that woman every single time she went out of her way to humiliate and hurt you? At least Ray Vecchio is polite and respectful towards us.”


”Yeah,” he echoes softly. He strokes my face and says, his voice almost too quiet to hear, “I wish I would have never been with anyone but you, Ray. But there have been others – Steve, Ray, Victoria…”

”You got a longer list than me,” I shrug, trying not to let his words inside, trying to block out the hurt.

”What can I do to prove myself to you, Ray? I want you to trust me. I want you to know that I love you. What do you want me to do?”

I shrug.


“Ray, please.”

”I don’t fucking know, okay?” I almost shout, feeling like shit. “I can’t stand Vecchio, all right?”

”Well, I can’t stand Stella.”

My mouth drops open and I blink.


His lips twist and he nods. “That’s my point, Ray. I can’t stand her, I don’t want her around you, and I’m filled with jealousy whenever I see her speaking to you at work.”

I’m floored. Flabbergasted. “Jealous? Over me?”

”Oh, yes,” Ben says with a little laugh. “Very much so.” He pauses and licks his lower lip and says, “I can truthfully tell you that you take me to heights that no one else ever has and that I thought I would die from wanting to love you. When you said yes to me… you gave me the greatest gift I’ve ever received. Nothing in my life could have prepared me for the happiness you give me, Ray.”


“But – damn. I can’t – I never thought…” I shake my head. “Wow.” I tackle him and we go down in a pile right there on the ground, and I’m kissing him so hard I think I can eat him alive.


He gasps, startled, I guess, but I don’t care. I’m so damn hot for him right now that I can’t see straight.


No one’s ever been jealous over me in my life, no one’s ever said those kind of things to me. Never.


I’m fumbling with his jeans and my sweats, trying to get our dicks out without stopping this kiss. I think I’m licking his tonsils.

He’s gasping my name and I mutter, “Please, Ben, please, want you so fucking bad, want to love you.”

”Yes, yes, yes,” he says as he helps shove my sweats down. I line up our cocks and start rocking against him, and his zipper’s scratching me so I reach down and shove his jeans down a little further and his cock is just dripping wet.


He’s this fucking turned on over me? A skinny ass Pole with a mental hang-up the size of Russia. Me. Benton Fraser loves me. Jesus.

”You fucking love me,” I mutter, and it’s a real epiphany – I mean, yeah, I knew he loved me, but to be jealous over me? To say that I give him happiness? Damn, I’m still stunned.


“I fucking love you, Ray, oh God, I love you,” Ben says, loud, right in my ear while he’s squeezing me, right when he’s coming.


I can’t hold out. My balls are tight and as I rock against him, I look him in the eyes and say, “I love you, and we’re going to Canada.” I feel like I’m exploding as I come… I feel… God, I feel everything. Worry, fear, love, excitement, anticipation… I feel… alive with him.

He shudders under me and I’m kissing his face all over as we lay there in a tangled heap on the ground.


Two Years Later


When things get skewed
And the answer seems to be lost
Again it's time to choose
And it's always you I choose,
Always you I choose...
Teal Thompson “No Better Heaven”



I stare out at the blue sky – it’s nice. Got all these puffy little white clouds in it, and me and Dief’s out walking around, taking a break from fixing peoples vehicles and things. I’m Mister Fix-It around here, and even though I don’t make a lot of cash, I barter for a lot that me and Ben need.

Ben’s gonna be home soon.


We’ve been together three years. “A family, right, Dief?”

Dief barks and I grin at him, pushing my baseball cap back on my head, watching him run.

Been through some heavy duty therapy up here, did a lot of crying, a lot of yelling – a lot of yelling – and a lot of saying I’m sorry. But somehow Ben weathered it all. They’ve changed my meds about six times, but I think – and Ben thinks – they’ve finally got it right.


It seems strange that after forty some odd years that I’m better. I mean, I look back at the man I was and I think, God, how fucked up. But now my days are spent looking forward. Looking forward to lots of things – we’re saving money now so that when we hit year number five we can go on a cruise. We’re going down to visit my folks in two months. Lots of good things.


I can’t wait.

I slip on my glasses and stand there at where the road – if you can call it that – turns to go down to our place, and I wait for Ben to come home to me. Thought I’d miss the cop thing. I don’t. I think I’ve seen enough ugliness in my life. It’s nice not to have the pressure on me that I had.


I do miss working with Ben, but he’s happier here, and hell, I go in with him sometimes, sit around the Detachment. So it’s not all bad. It’s not like we were working together 24-7 back in Chicago anyway. So it’s greatness.


Home. Two men and a dog. Me and Ben and Dief. Never would have thought that’d be who I’d end up with – never thought about loving a man, but I’m glad I do, I’d choose him over anyone else in the entire world.

Dief runs up to me and I crouch down next to him and give him a big hug. “I love you, Dief. Thanks, Buddy.”


My Mountie drives up then in our Jeep, a smile on his face. “Hello, Ray! Hello, Dief!”


“Hey, Ben!” I climb in next to him and give him a big welcome home kiss while Dief gets situated in the back.


As we head home, I think about the man by my side, and the wolf in the back. They’ve both given me something wonderful and I’ll never take it for granted.


“I love you Ben.”

”I love you too, Ray.” His eyes glint and I know he knows what I mean by those words. He knows I mean thanks for saving me. For loving me. For giving a shit. For helping me and not giving up on me, for forever.

For giving me something to live for.

~ end ~

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