Illya Kuryakin sat at the bar in the Russian Café, fingering the rim of his glass and wondering why he was here to once again bid farewell to his former partner. In his mind he was certain it was the wisest course of action. The safest course. The only course.
They had just successfully completed an assignment after a fifteen year separation. It had been exhilarating, but perhaps they were too old for this, he thought as he brought his drink to his lips.
Fifteen years. It was a long time to go without keeping in touch; but in a city the size of New York City, perfectly understandable. Considering their former profession, it had been the only option. Each had gone their own way, he to successfully found Vanya’s, a world renowned fashion house. Napoleon Solo to start his own computer company. Illya shook his head. Computers, who would have thought. It made him wonder about all the times Solo had finagled him into doing the research for their assignments, insinuating that Illya’s computer skills were better.
It would seem that ‘those times were over’ as Illya had once mentioned, and while he’d taken care of Janus, something he didn’t want to think about, it hadn’t salved his wounded pride. The assignment was just a one time deal as far as Illya was concerned. He had a business to run. A highly successful and lucrative business.
Neither man had managed to find time during this affair to discuss their reasons for leaving U.N.C.L.E. There were still a lot of unanswered questions. What had Napoleon been up to all these years?
Fifteen years earlier, after having put Sepheran away and virtually wiping out Thrush, Napoleon Solo had decided he’d had enough, or so he said. It had been at a time when retirement from the field was his only option. He could have moved up into the policy section, yet he had decided not to. Why had he opted to leave U.N.C.L.E. and more or less vanish? Illya sat there, not wanting to think about his own reasons for leaving the world of espionage behind. He’d sworn he would never go back to U.N.C.L.E, but all it had taken was “I need you, Illya” from Napoleon and suddenly he was back in the game, he thought in disgust as he drained the last of his drink and poured another.
The one thing he’d missed over the years was the camaraderie the two had shared. During the last few years of their partnership before Napoleon’s departure, the two former agents had often ended up working the same case from different angles. This mission had been no different. Except for a few cryptic messages over their communicators, the two had not really had a chance to sit down and talk.
Illya sensed Napoleon’s return before he actually saw him. Spying him from the corner of his eye, Illya called out to the bartender in Russian.
As the American slid into his seat, Illya asked. “Did you say goodbye to Andrea for me?”
“What do you think I’ve been doing for the last five minutes?” Napoleon responded as the bartender surreptitiously slid a glass in front of him.
Illya’s “I appreciate it” was almost lost as Napoleon reached for the bottle, sneaking a peek at the label.
Illya’s curiosity got the better of him and as he watched Solo pour himself a drink from the bottle he asked, “By the way what did happen with Sepheran?”
“He disappeared,” Napoleon reported as he picked up his glass and sniffed his drink. “But I’m certain Sir John will be hearing from our Thrush again.”
“And the ransom?” Illya persisted. He watched in fascination as Napoleon sniffed at his drink yet again, still not taking a sip.
“Converted back to cash and returned to the banks.”
“Pity. Three hundred and fifty million in jewels would be nice to hold in your hand...just for a moment.” Illya couldn’t resist the tone of naked greed that crept into his voice as he imagined the possibility.
Napoleon made a face after finally taking a small sip of his drink and cautiously asked, “Did you settle your account with Janus?”
Illya looked down at his drink.
“I settled it,” he responded curtly, not wanting to go into detail.
Napoleon must have sensed his reluctance because he quickly changed the subject. “How about young Pennington-Smythe?”
“His performance out of town was very good.” Illya smiled in remembrance, then he paused for just a second before venturing, doing his best to sound casual. “Enjoying the computer business?’
Napoleon seemed uncomfortable, drumming his fingers on the countertop. “Hmmm,” he said, distracted. “Oh yes. Great.” It struck Illya that his friend didn’t really mean it. “Truly fascinating,” Napoleon continued, fingering the rim of his glass. “However I’m finding it increasingly more difficult to have a meaningful relationship with a machine.”
The two chuckled and Illya wandered if it was it possible that Napoleon had missed their partnership as much as he had.
“You enjoying the frock business?” Napoleon threw out, almost as an afterthought.
“It’s wonderful. I make a great deal of money,” Illya answered, his eyes going upward, his response less then totally honest. “But there are a few…weird people in it. At least when someone is shooting at you, you know where you are,” he finished ruefully, taking a gulp of his drink.
Someone had turned up the sound up on the TV behind the bar, catching their attention. “There is still no further word on the disappearance of Air Force One carrying the Secretary of State to the Paris oil conference. We will interrupt this program with an update.” Both men were listening attentively when a two-tone beep of a communicator sounded as the announcer continued. “We will now return you to your regular program.”
Napoleon glanced around before pulling the noisy communicator from his inside pocket and activating it. “Open Channel D.”
“Mr. Solo?” Sir John’s voice sounded hesitant over the speaker.
“Yes, Sir John.”
“Is Mr. Kuryakin still with you?”
Napoleon looked questioningly at Illya, who gave a confirming nod. “He is.”
“I was wondering if the two of you are doing anything for the next few days.”
Illya, who had every intention of refusing, found himself shrugging along with his partner instead.
Two weeks later found Illya Kuryakin, dressed in khaki battle fatigues, standing on tarmac in remote
Illya had better things he could be doing. Like preparing his new fall line. It was time he returned home. He turned away, heading for the taxi standing nearby no more then ten steps away. He was surprised to find a hand on his arm, holding him back as he moved to step into the cab.
“Where do you think you’re going?” Napoleon asked.
“Home. You don’t need me,” Illya stated flatly. He jutted out his chin in Kowalski’s direction. “You have him.”
Napoleon’s hand was still firm on Illya’s arm, he nervously glanced back to where everyone stood. “Have him…? Not need you? That’s ridiculous. Who was it that got us the information we needed? ” Napoleon rubbed his forehead with his free hand. “Look, we need to talk, but not here.” He patted Illya’s arm. “Wait for me. I’ll only be a moment.”
Illya stood in the doorway of the waiting taxi and watched as Napoleon walked back to Kowalski and spoke to him. Kowalski looked his way, shrugged then gave a curt nod before turning back to the many reporters who were congratulating him on the success of the mission. Illya slipped into the taxi as Napoleon strolled back and climbed in after him.
As the cab took off, Illya gazed out the side window before turning to address his former partner. “There is nothing to talk about, Napoleon.”
“Not now. When we reach the hotel,” Napoleon responded tersely. The two lapsed into silence as their ride continued.
Illya entered his room, found his empty suitcase and tossed it on the bed, wondering why he had even bothered to unpack. He opened it and angrily started throwing his clothing inside.
“Did you ever wonder why I left U.N.C.L.E.?” Napoleon asked calmly.
Illya glanced over to where Napoleon was leaning nonchalantly against the door jamb, and then he went to the dresser to pull clothing from it. He continued to irritably toss items into his suitcase. “If I remember correctly, you gave me some cock and bull story of the job being too much,” he answered with some resentment, before heading toward the bathroom to gather his shaving kit.
“And you didn’t believe me for a minute, did you? Didn’t you wonder why during our last year as partners, we spent more time working assignments apart then together?” Napoleon’s voice called after him.
Illya paused as he gathered up his toothbrush and toothpaste and put them in his shaving kit along with the sample shampoo and lotion. Of course he had wandered why, he thought as he returned and tossed his kit into his bag. “I was too busy being shot at. Besides I assumed that was the way you wanted it.” Illya slammed the lid down on his suitcase and locked it, unaware of the sadness that lurked in Napoleon’s eyes.
“No,” Napoleon voiced quietly. “It was the way Waverly wanted it.”
“Waverly? Why?” Illya looked at him in astonishment. Napoleon was looking pensive, rubbing his forehead and unable to meet Illya’s eyes.
“Because Waverly felt I was getting too dependent on you,” Napoleon finally confessed.
Illya sat down heavily on the bed next to his suitcase. He shook his head in disbelief. “That’s ridiculous,” he scoffed.
“No…no it wasn’t,” Napoleon said weakly. “I was – did depend on you too much…more then I should have.” He was pacing the small room, rubbing his hands over his face. He stopped and faced the astonished Russian. “Not only that but he somehow got the idea we were more than friends.” He was taken aback as Illya fell back across the bed laughing hysterically. “It’s not funny,” Napoleon scowled, sending gales of laughter through his partner once again.
“Of course it is. You can’t be serious,” Illya choked. He paused to wipe the tears from his eyes, his anger dissipating. He noted the serious expression on the other man’s face. “But you are, aren’t you,” Illya said softly. Then more strongly. “I never thought of you in that way and I’m fairly certain you did not think of me that way either.”
Napoleon tilted his head, first to one side then another as if reluctant to respond. “Not before then.”
“What!” Illya sat up, astonishment widening his eyes as he took that admittance in. “Was it something I said or did?”
“No,” Napoleon assured him. “It’s just that Waverly always thought you were a little queer.”
“Queer?” Illya’s voice squeaked. “You mean as in…gay? I always thought he meant I was a little strange.”
“That too.” Napoleon couldn’t help but smile before proceeding more seriously. “You were right. I never considered us…and then once he mentioned it I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I started obsessing and it was affecting my performance. That’s why I left.”
“Performance? Job or sexual?” Illya’s eyes glinted with amusement.
“Both,” Napoleon admitted reluctantly. “Working with you was increasingly difficult. In retrospect I see that I should have stayed, then whatever happened in Yugoslavia might never have occurred.”
“No. If what you say is true…about Waverly, then nothing would have changed. If you are feeling guilty, there is no reason,” Illya hastened to reassure his old friend. Then on consideration he felt constrained to ask, “Is that why you are working with Kowalski?”
“Not at all. That’s a matter of self-preservation. Yours,” Napoleon answered frankly. “I’d hate to have to inform Sir John of Kowalski’s demise, should he tick you off.”
“Perish the thought. You’ve ticked me off many a time and I never tried to kill you. Well, almost never.” Illya couldn’t help but remember the time he’d been programmed to kill Solo and had almost succeeded. “You have given me much to think about.” He picked up his suitcase and headed toward the door. Opening it, he paused to ask, “I will see you back in New York, yes?”
The American stood there, his expression wistful. “We’re still friends?”
How could Napoleon doubt it? Would he have entered into this venture if they were not?
“Yes. Still friends,” Illya assured him as he walked out the room.
Several weeks later in the main workroom at Vanya’s the sound was deafening, but Illya was use to it. Models in various stages of dress swirled around him. His assistant ran to and fro. The makeup person chased after someone, trying to finish the job of alteration. His shirtsleeves rolled up, Illya grabbed a dress off the rack, looked at it, frowned and shook his head. This one wouldn’t do, he thought as he tossed it aside and grabbed yet another.
Someone tapped him on the shoulder. “Ah, Illya?”
He smiled as he recognized the familiar voice. “Napoleon!” Pleasure welled through him. “So glad you could make it.”
Napoleon looked uncomfortable, his eyes covered to avoid the half-dressed females that moved around the two men. Napoleon was not nearly the sex maniac most people thought him. “You, ah, wanted to see me?”
Illya looked around at the pandemonium going on around them, seeing it with new eyes. He’d never really paid much attention to it before.
“Come,” he insisted, leading his old friend away. The two men wove their way through the crowd, until the sounds receded and passed through an outer office to reach Illya’s inner sanctum. “Hold all calls,” Illya ordered his secretary. “I do not wish to be disturbed.”
Illya watched in amusement as Napoleon took in the contrast between his inner sanctum and the outer office. The outer office looked like an office, with its large desk and comfortable chairs. Illya’s inner office was more his work space. A large drafting table lined one wall, with several large sheets of paper showing his latest designs scattered across it. Hanging on the wall above it were various fabric swatches, hanging here and there. Along another wall underneath a hideous picture was a credenza, fine crystal and various bottles on it.
“So what was it you wanted to see me about?” Napoleon asked, after he had finished his appraisal.
Illya’s mouth went dry, now that he had Napoleon here; he wasn’t sure how to broach the subject. “Why don’t we have something to drink first,” he suggested, moving nervously toward the credenza.
Napoleon stood there waiting, overdressed in his three piece suit and tie a sharp contrast to Illya with his white shirt, open at the neck, and his sleeves rolled up to the elbow. Several weeks had passed since their last encounter following their returning of Air Force One. They had talked over the phone several times since then, but with their busy schedules neither had time to actually get together.
Illya handed Napoleon his drink and walked past him, his back to his former partner. “I’ve been thinking a lot about what we discussed in
“Yes, and I think I would like to try it.”
“Try what?” Napoleon was truly puzzled.
Illya turned back to face his friend. “You know. Our having sex together.”
“What!” Napoleon’s mouth dropped opened in surprise. Not his most attractive look.
“You know, we could be…what do you Americans call it…fuck buddies? That is the term, yes?”
“Illya!” Napoleon said, shocked. “Why?”
How could Illya explain it? The loneliness he felt, even surrounded as he was by employees and associates. Ever since Napoleon had brought the subject up, it had somehow festered in his mind. Somehow after hearing Waverly's mistaken belief of their relationship, Illya realized that as he got older he longed for someone to care for, to hold, to touch…to get off with. So far no one he had met had fit the bill, he was forever alone. Unable to put these thoughts into words, Illya merely shrugged.
“But…but you have all these beautiful women you work with,” Napoleon reasoned, flustered, “You’re surrounded with half-naked women on a daily basis. Most of who would be more than willing I’m sure, to take you to their bed.”
Illya began to grow irritated. Sure, if you looked at it that way, he had lots of opportunities and not only with women. After all there were a lot of weird people in the industry and he’d had his share of offers. But the morning afters were what worried him. What would happen if he did take action on his desires and it didn’t work out? He felt sure that with Napoleon there would not be that problem. With Napoleon he could write it off as a bad experiment if it didn’t work out and go on. With one of his models or associates, there would be bitterness and jealousy.
“Illya?” Napoleon called out, bringing his attention back.
“You are right of course, but for some reason they do not ‘turn me on’,” Illya said, realizing it was true.
“And I do?” Napoleon sounded intrigued.
“Oddly enough, yes. I would not have believed it before our talk,” Illya mused. “I’ve felt for quite awhile that something was missing in my life. I didn’t know what until now,” he admitted. “Sometimes I find the garment business to be more stressful then being a spy.”
Napoleon drained his drink in one swallow. Stress was something he could relate to. When he’d been in the field he had used sex as a great stress reliever. He wasn’t really adverse to having sex with Illya, after all those thoughts were what had led to his leaving U.N.C.L.E. in the first place, but that was fifteen years ago. They’d been younger then. “You really think that at this stage of our lives we could…”
The telephone rang just then and Illya snatched it up, snapping, “I thought I told you I was not to be disturbed?” He paused listening. “Very well, I will see him for a few minutes.” He slammed the receiver down and turned apologetically to Napoleon. “This will just take a minute.”
Napoleon watched as Illya went to the door and let a young man in. The young man, a clipboard in his hand, was standing close to his blond friend. Too close in Napoleon’s opinion. He appeared to be in his early twenties, with dark hair and dark eyes that were looking worshipfully at his old friend. Illya, as usually, seemed oblivious to the young man as he flipped through the papers on the clipboard, marking here and there. A flash of jealousy hit Napoleon as Illya handed the clipboard back, flashed his rare smile and pushed the boy from the room.
“Where were we?” Illya turned back as if nothing untoward had happened. “Ah yes.” He moved toward the credenza and pulled on the picture over it to reveal a safe. “I have been doing some research.” He opened it, pulling out a bundle wrapped in plain brown paper and dumped out a stack of videos over his workspace.
Napoleon set his drink down and rifled through the videos. “Porn videos!” he said, shocked. “Where did you get these?” he asked as he looked at the photos on the covers. Photo’s of men having sex with each other.
“Actually, from your company,” Illya replied with amusement.
Napoleon dropped the video he held in his hand, his eyes wide with shock. “What!”
“See,” Illya said pulling a slip of paper from under the videos and handing it to his old friend. “You did not know?”
Napoleon grabbed the paper and studied it. It was an invoice, the logo of his computer company. Reeling with shock he looked at the name on the invoice. “Buddington Smith?”
“Well you did not expect me to use my name did you?” Illya responded reasonably. “I have a catalog if you would care to look.”
“Yes. Yes, I think I might,” Napoleon said, holding in his temper. His company supplied a lot of software, but to the best of his knowledge porn videos were not one of them. He would definitely have to investigate this.
“This one I found of particular interest,” Illya said wickedly as he pulled one from the stack.
Napoleon was beyond being shocked by now or so he thought. The picture on the video bore a striking resemblance to himself. His jaw tightened with anger.
“Napoleon?” Illya’s hand was on his arm, his eyes worried. “I did not mean to make you angry.”
Napoleon patted Illya’s hand, finding that he enjoyed the contact and wanted more. “It’s not you I’m angry at,” he assured him, with a sigh. “Are you sure? About our having sex?”
Illya smiled uncertainly. “Not really. Have you got anything better to do?”
Napoleon gazed fondly at the Russian, an unusual thought coming into his mind. “Mr. Waverly was right. You are queer…strange,” he teased.
Illya shrugged. “I prefer to think of myself as a pragmatist.”
“We wouldn’t have even considered this fifteen years ago. Why should we now?” Napoleon asked thoughtfully.
“Because I want to.” Illya replied as if that said it all.
Illya passed the Alexandria Park Hotel plaque and continued to the door. Napoleon’s call had caught him at meeting with a prospective client.
“Can I help you, sir?” The deep voice brought him up short. His eyes traveled up the broad body to the doorman’s dark face.
“I’m here to see Mr. Solo,” Illya said politely.
Dark eyes looked him up and down. The doorman turned to the phone on the wall and dialed. He nodded and hung up. With great courtesy he opened the door and bowed. “Elevator to the penthouse is on your left.”
He rested his hand on the elevator wall and looked down at the floor as it slowly inched upward to the penthouse. He wasn’t sure what to expect once he got there.
The door slid open and he looked up to find Napoleon standing inside his doorway.
“Welcome,” Napoleon said with a smile, then he turned and led the way inside.
This was the first time in years that he’d stepped into what had once been Napoleon’s Aunt Amy’s apartment. The changes were subtle, Amy had very good taste. The only thing he recognized from Napoleon’s previous home was the global bar in the corner. A relic from the sixties.
Illya didn’t have a chance to linger as he was led into a formal dining area. The dining table was set with china, crystal, and lit candles. Napoleon moved to the iced champagne bucket and popped the cork. Flowing liquid poured over the sides as Napoleon poured the bubbly into two elegant crystal flutes.
“I see you didn’t make many changes,” Illya commented as he took one of the glasses.
“Why change perfection,” Napoleon stated as he raised his glass in salute. “To the good old days.”
Illya did likewise. “To better days to come.”
Napoleon’s set his glass down and pulled out one of the chairs, waving Illya to sit.
Illya glared back, making it clear he would not be treated like a woman. He deliberately moved to the only other chair with a place setting. He snapped his napkin and placed it across his lap. “You do know that you don’t have to feed me.”
Napoleon raised an eyebrow. “You never turned down a meal in the old days.”
Illya couldn’t disagree. A half-smile crossed his face as he attacked the food on his plate. The meal was excellent and he had every intention of enjoying it.
Halfway through the meal Illya asked, “So what happened about the video’s?”
“I settled it,” Napoleon responded shortly. He didn’t want to talk about finding the person, someone whom he trusted and had held a responsible position in his company. He’d been floored when he did the responsible thing and fired the man, only to be threatened with a lawsuit.
“You are only doing this because I’m gay and you’re not!”
That had shocked Napoleon, up until that time he never would have believed it. The man had a wife and kids. It had taken him a few minutes to gather himself together. “Whether you are or not is none of my business. What is my business IS this company and the unethical use you made of it. It is for that and that alone that I’m forced to let you go. Did you think I wouldn’t find out?”
The man visibly shrunk after that. Napoleon wasn’t cruel; he gave him a month’s severance, two weeks' vacation pay and a reference.
Illya began to fidget; maybe this wasn’t a good idea. Napoleon’s eyes were hard in a way that Illya had only seen on the job. He wiped his mouth on his napkin and rose from his chair. “Perhaps I should leave.”
“No!” Napoleon leaped from his chair. “Please don’t go. I’m sorry; it just wasn’t a very pleasant experience.” He shook his head trying to rid himself of the memory.
Illya looked at him leery.
“Besides, you can’t leave now, there is chocolate for desert,” Napoleon cajoled. He must have done a good enough job, because Illya returned to his chair.
Napoleon disappeared and returned with a crystal goblet which he set before Illya. A goblet of chocolate mousse.
Illya licked his lips. Even after all their years apart Napoleon still remembered his weaknesses. He looked up. Napoleon was leaning back in his chair, trying to hide a small smile with one hand.
“Aren’t you going to have some?” Illya asked as he brought a spoonful to his lip.
“No, I don’t think so. I have to watch my girlish figure.” Napoleon grinned.
Illya raised an eyebrow and swallowed a spoonful of mousse, then for good measure he stuck his tongue out and slowly licked seductively around the spoon. He smiled inwardly as he heard Napoleon suck in a deep breath.
“Why did you agree to this?” Illya asked waving his spoon around.
Napoleon leaned forward and looked down at the tabletop, almost as if embarrassed. “It’s not that I’ve done without, you know. I can’t count the number of times I’ve slept with a woman. It’s just that at night…when I get home? There’s nobody here.”
Illya nodded. He knew exactly how Napoleon felt.
“It’s hard to explain…the loneliness. Then there’s the fact that I’ve never been with a man before.” Napoleon’s eyes slip upward to watch Illya’s reaction.
“And you think I have?” Illya voiced his indignation.
“No, no,” Napoleon hurriedly tried to placate him. “But you have to admit with being in the fashion industry you’ve had more chances…”
“That’s it!” Illya flung down his napkin. “I didn’t come here to be insulted.”
“Sit down.” Napoleon took in a deep breath. “It’s just I’m new to this and I thought we’d take it slow.”
“By slow do you mean dinner and dancing?”
“Dinner – yes. Dancing - no. I thought maybe…a little cuddling?”
The two men stared at each other incredulously, then burst out laughing.
By the time the meal ended, however, Illya had given up on anything at all happening. He got up from the table with the intention of helping clear it. He wasn’t expecting two hands to grip his upper arms and every so gently turn him so that he was face to face with Napoleon. One of Napoleon’s arms moved to cradle Illya’s neck while the other wrapped around him embracing him firmly. At first the kiss was just two lips pressed together, but Illya soon warmed up to it. His eyes closed as he wrapping his arms around Napoleon’s neck and melted into the kiss all the while opening his mouth so Napoleon’s tongue could do some exploring.
He began to feel lightheaded, then he heard Napoleon speak softly. “I’ve missed you.”
The walls he’d erected around his heart came crashing down. This was no longer about getting off or staving off the loneliness that he’d felt for years.
The next thing Illya knew, he was being maneuvered into the living room and his jacket was sent flying towards one of the chairs. His necktie followed suit and the buttons on his shirt were undone one by one. He knew that Napoleon was a passionate man, his one fear was that Napoleon would follow his past experience and give him a wonderful night before moving on to someone else.
Napoleon was looking at him, that smile that had always infuriated him on his face. The smile that said ‘Trust me; I know what I’m doing’. Illya’s pride flared. He wanted to be the aggressor.
He grabbed Napoleon by the lapel, closed his eyes, and pulled Napoleon to him. He wasn’t exactly sure what would happen next, but he was going to give it one hell of a try. Their lips came together roughly, but Napoleon pulled away slightly, gentling it, for which Illya was truly grateful. Napoleon had his hands on his butt and they were grinding away to a primitive rhythm.
Suddenly Illya saw stars, and the next thing he knew, Napoleon let him slide down upon the sofa and then back away. He appeared to be looking pensively down at his expensively made trousers.
“I appear to have made a mess.” His brown eyes crinkled with amusement and he seemed to be holding back a smile. “So have you.” There was that grin.
Illya could feel the stickiness in his trousers. Just the thought of what they’d done started him chortling and soon Napoleon slipped down next to Illya and was laughing hysterically too. Soon they both had tears running down their faces. Neither Illya nor Napoleon could remember when they’d laughed this hard.
Napoleon got up first, still chuckling, and took Illya by the hand. “We’d best clean up.”
The bathroom was big enough for two. It consisted of soaker tub, huge shower, separate water closet, full length mirror as well as the usual sink. The dark woods giving it a masculine feel. Illya quickly stripped off his clothing while Napoleon started the shower water and got them clean towels and robes.
Napoleon’s jaw dropped along with the towels. It had been over fifteen years, but Illya’s physique wasn’t that much different from what Napoleon remembered. A few more pounds…maybe? But those abdominal muscles? “How do you keep in such good shape?”
“Exercise.” Illya answered impishly. “And you?”
Napoleon’s sigh held a bit of distress. He’d put on a bit of weight, not a lot, but he’d never fit into a forty-two tux again. “I travel a lot.”
Illya helped Napoleon off with his clothing. “Hummm,” he said as he spied Napoleon’s cock. Is it possible that his penis had grown over the intervening years? He blushed remembering that he’d never seen it fully erect before.
Napoleon’s eyes followed his gaze. “Touch me,” he ordered hoarsely.
Illya licked his lips and did just that, shocked when it twitched at the touch of his fingers. Boldly he wrapped his hand around it, feeling it pulse against his palm. Napoleon let out a gasp.
Damn, Illya, if you don’t stop now, we’ll never get cleaned.
He pushed Illya away, not because he wanted to, but they were supposed to be cleaning up.
Surely they could manage this.
Illya pulled away with disappointment, but Napoleon used one finger to pull his chin up so that they were eye to eye. “It’s not that I don’t want it. I want it too much. Why don’t we start fresh, after all we have all night? You where planning to stay the night?”
“I hadn’t really thought about it,” Illya said, though the twinkle in his eye said otherwise.
Napoleon smiled a truly happy smile, one he hadn’t used in years. He decided he didn’t want to rush this phase, so he shut off the shower and opened the faucets to the soaker tub then added some bath oil.
“After you, Alphonse,” Napoleon waved Illya in first. Illya shook his head and slipped into the tub. Napoleon tossed in a couple of wash clothes and slipped in behind him.
Bathing took a sensuous turn, the likes of which Illya had never experienced. The tub was big enough to maneuver in as they explored each other’s body from top to bottom.
The water was cold by the time they felt clean enough to get out. Words were unnecessary when drying off turned into another new experience as their lips caressed skin made soft by the oils.
By mutual consent the two decide to take this slowly, learning as they went along. The large bed made for some interesting experiments, trying positions that men of their age shouldn’t try. They ended up laughing hysterically and feeling young again. As it turned out it was almost dawn when they finally fell asleep.
Napoleon kept his eyes shut and stretched, feeling better than he had any right to considering all the gymnastics they’d participated in during the night. He reached over to pull Illya closer and closed in on…nothing? Then the scent of freshly brewed coffee floated nearer.
“Did you think I had second thoughts?” Illya demanded to know as he set a tray down on the end table. Wearing one of Napoleon’s old robes, that pretty much engulfed him, he bounced on the bed with the grace of a man much younger. “Have you even thought about how much we do not have in common?”
Napoleon reached across him to pick up his grass of coffee. “I thought we might move in together? I’ve just found you again and I’m certainly not going to lose you.”
“And just how had you thought that we would make this work.”
“Let me get this straight you just though we would have some fun?’
“I’m not saying it wasn’t fun. There is just more to this then I want.”
Napoleon pulled up the sheet to cover his naked body and sipped on his coffee. “Do you even know what I want?”
An irritated frown passed across Napoleon’s face. This was something that he had thought a great deal about this since their parting in the Russian Café two years previously. “I want…” Napoleon said slowly, wanting Illya to understand that this wasn’t a whim. “My partner back. Someone to come home to, to share my life with.”
Illya looked doubtful.
“To argue with if need be. I’ve missed US. The sex is just a bonus.”
“Napoleon, I am not the easiest man to get along with.” Illya shook his head and looked away. “My business takes me away…a lot.”
“So does mine.” Napoleon reached out and put a hand on Illya’s knee. “There has got to be a compromise in there somewhere.”
Illya shook his head.
“I’ve been thinking of retiring. Not totally, just pulling back, letting others take up the slack.”
Looking thoughtful Illya nodded. “There is a lot that I could delegate that I’ve been putting off.”
Napoleon cleared his throat. “As much as I like Aunt Amy’s penthouse, it has always been hers. I’ve been actively looking at other properties.”
Illya’s eyes narrowed.
“There are a couple of places I was hoping you’d be willing to look at with me.”
“Are you saying what I think you’re saying?”
“Yeah, Partner Mine. Twenty Years after our partnership went kapoot, I’m asking you to be my partner to have and to hold and live together for rest of our lives.”