Even more fun had been watching him up on stage during the concert, looking lost and stiff as a plank but still singing like a nightingale. How was that even possible without being able to tap into the inner reservoir of passion? Made Ray's head spin thinking about it.
Ray had indulged himself in a little fantasy of a Benton Fraser who really wanted to be up there, maybe dressed in a black leather jacket with an electric guitar or a bass. Maybe swivelling his hips like a young Elvis Presley... and then he'd given himself a mental shake. Nice dream, Ray, but Fraser would never let go like that in public. Probably not even if private, Ray had thought sadly, but how I would love to find out for sure.
After the band had hit the road, they had gone to the after-concert party. He'd drunk a little too much and Fraser had driven him home. And once there, he'd insisted on opening the bottle of white wine he kept in the back of the fridge. Fraser had been known to drink wine occasionally and Ray was really insistent.
An hour later, and Fraser was still working on his first glass, and now he was making sounds like he'd like to go home - or back to the cold sterile office at the consulate that he called home at any rate. And Ray really didn't want to be alone.
"It's to do with passion you know," Ray said suddenly, putting his thoughts into words that seemed out of context in the silence of the room.
"I beg your pardon?" Fraser asked, taking another tiny sip from his glass of wine.
"Dancing. It's about passion. Not sex mind you. Just about finding an outlet for the passion in your soul. Letting it all come out... letting it flow from you."
"That's... very poetic, Ray. But I always believed it was about rhythm."
Ray ignored Fraser's attempts at covering his half empty glass with his hand, and topped him up.
"Nah, nah. Well... okay, yeah, there's a certain amount of that. You have to listen to the beat and you have to move with it. But you also have to feel it right down to your toes. Come on. I'll show you."
He got slowly to his feet and found a suitable CD. It was a lively mixture of Show Tunes and dance music. Smiling a little at the choice, he pushed the coffee table out of the way and stood in front of Fraser.
"Get up," he commanded softly. "I'm convinced that beneath that shiny red uniform, beats the heart and soul of a dancer."
"I don't think so Ray," Fraser replied sceptically.
But Ray was not about to take no for an answer. He reached down and tugged Fraser to his feet. "All right. Now the first thing you gotta do is learn to listen to the music. Let the music in."
Fraser stood at parade rest, looking very uncomfortable indeed. "It won't do any good, Ray, I simply cannot dance."
"God, you're standing all wrong," Ray fussed, taking another swig from his beer and replacing it on the coffee table. "Here, put your hands on my shoulders." When Fraser didn't immediately comply, Ray grabbed him by the wrists, and placed Fraser's hands firmly on his shoulders.
"Don't make me kick you in the head. Now... close your eyes."
Thankfully, Fraser had begun to realise that arguing was probably pointless. With a deep sigh, he did as he was bid.
"Good, good. Now we're getting somewhere. Okay, This is called a Salsa. Right foot forward."
Fraser took a step forward as Ray took one step back.
"That's it. Rock back on your left..."
Ray mirrored the action in reverse. "...and forward on the right. Great! Let's do that again."
Frazer cracked open an eye and glared balefully at his partner. "But Ray..."
"Shut up, were making progress. Now we need to do that all again, but going backwards. So, step back on your right, rock back on your left and back on your right."
Fraser took another deep breath and let his hands drop to his sides. "Thank you kindly, Ray. I'll try to remember what you taught me. Rock back on the right. Makes perfect sense actually."
Ray's hand shot out and imprisoned Fraser's wrist before he could make his escape. "Oh, no you don't. We need to keep practicing this. You ain't anywhere near ready to be let loose on a dance floor."
An hour later, Ray was half crippled by the amount of times Fraser had stomped on his toes, but he was sure he could see an improvement. Or perhaps that was just yet another bottle of beer talking.
Finding a CD full of Scottish Dance music, he exclaimed, "Gay Gordons!"
Fraser looked around the room in confusion. "Gay who?" he asked, cracking his stiff back, and looking longingly at the couch. Ray ignored the subtle hint. He was on a mission.
"Everyone can do the Gay Gordons.." The CD began playing with an ear-piercing screech of bagpipes and Ray jogged over to throw one arm over Fraser's shoulders. "..gimme your hand, here, that's it. Hold the other one like that. Now it's forward for four then turn, reverse the steps for four, and then repeat, got it?"
Before Fraser could say that no, he really, really didn't get it, Ray was off and twirling him madly around the room making oddly bitten-off "aaaiiiii" noises.
At the end of the third track, Fraser broke free and staggered over to the coffee table, downing what was left in his wine glass before panting, "I think... I need... to sit down."
"Sure," Ray grinned manically. "Take five. Canadian Barn Dance next. You gotta know that one right? You being Canadian and all."
Fraser rolled his eyes and poured himself another glass of wine.
"We're going about this all wrong," Ray flopped down on the couch and gulped his beer, pressing the cold bottle to his forehead when it was empty.
"We are?" Beside him, Fraser was breathing hard, his cheeks infused with a nice healthy glow.
"Of course we are." Ray slammed the beer bottle down on the table and half turned round. "I'm tying to help you feel the passion in music by playing Jimmy Shand and Barn Dances? Think about it - All-Fucking-Wrong! We need something sexy."
Fraser's eyebrows shot into his hairline. "Sexy? Ray I hardly think that..."
Ray stripped of his damp t-shirt, used it to mop the sweat out of his eyes and off the back of his neck, and threw it over his shoulder. "Boots off. And socks too, or you'll slip and do us an injury."
Fraser sighed and did as he was told, which both surprised and pleased the hell out of Ray.
He made his selection, a compilation of slow, sexy songs that he'd made up for nights when all he and Stella had wanted was to dance and kiss. He placed it into the CD drawer, put it on pause, cracked his neck and turned to face Fraser who was straightening after placing his boots neatly at the side of the sofa.
"All right-y. Lose the shirt, Fraser. For this you gotta feel comfortable."
Fraser hesitated for a moment then slipped the yellow suspenders from his shoulders, and stripped his shirt off over his head. Under it, he still wore a pristine white undershirt, but Ray knew that he'd definitely be pushing his luck to suggest Fraser take that off too. Besides, he wasn't sure he could trust himself to keep it just 'buddies' if Fraser's naked chest made an appearance.
Nodding with satisfaction, he came round to stand behind Fraser. "Okay, when the music begins, I want you to close your eyes and just listen to it for a few. Clear your mind. Here we go."
Ray picked up the remote and started the music playing. It was a lovely slow number. He stood behind Fraser watching the stiffness of his back; the rigid lines of taut muscles, waiting for the moment when Fraser would finally relax but it didn't come. With a resigned sigh, he stepped closer placing his hands lightly on Fraser's hips.
"Would it hurt you to move a little?" he murmured, close to Fraser's ear, taking a firmer grip and twisting Fraser this way and that.
"Shhhh. Listen to the music," Ray whispered.
In Ray's world there were two types of guys. The ones you could screw and the ones you couldn't. He'd tried really hard to put Fraser into that second category ever since he'd seen the lay of the land. He'd sent signals, which had been flatly ignored, so he'd gotten the message. Frase was straight. Okay. No problem. Just friends then.
He'd managed to keep his distance with the guy, building up the partnership, the friendship, into something worthwhile. But sometimes it hadn't been so easy. Benton Fraser rung all of Ray's bells.
"I... I don't know what to do with my hands," Fraser admitted bleakly, raising them up a little, only to let them drop to his sides again.
Ray pressed himself tight against Fraser's back, using his hips to keep the swaying motion they had established going and captured Fraser's wrists, sliding his fingers lower to entwine with Fraser's.
He knew this was madness. The beer had gone to his head, letting his body make decisions that his brain should have been making. But the smell of fresh sweat, the gentle sound of Fraser's breathing, the slow steady rhythm of his own heartbeat in counterpoint to the beat of the music spurred him onwards.
"You're doing great," he murmured against Fraser's ear. He tried to keep it light, keep it easy, because they had just crossed an invisible line and he didn't want to spook Fraser too much. He still needed some sort of sign that it was okay to go further, despite feeling that any moment now he was going to wake up and find out it was all a dream.
This, he knew. This he was good at. He may have been a lousy husband in every other sense of the word, but he had always been a great lover. He pressed their joined hands tight against Fraser's thighs and let his lips trail gently over the soft skin at the nape of Fraser's neck. He smiled when he heard Fraser's tiny gasp of surprise and the way his breathing became more rapid. But he didn't flinch away. Another turning point.
They stood like that for a while, barely moving, until Ray felt Fraser begin to relax. He could hardly believe that Fraser was letting him do this, but he certainly wasn't about to ask him why. He wasn't about to do anything that could break the spell.
The CD clicked onto another track and Ray let go of Fraser's hands, running his fingers lightly around his waist, and then taking a huge chance, over his stomach. Fraser groaned. His head lolled back against Ray's shoulder and that was it. That tiny moment of surrender was the signal he'd been waiting for.
He felt all the tension flood out of Fraser's body. Their hips were swaying in perfect time to the music now. Ray kissed his way up Fraser's neck, nuzzling behind his ear and drinking in the heady aroma of fresh sweat and arousal. This wasn't about dancing anymore. This was way beyond dancing and they both knew it.
He took the earlobe gently between his teeth and nipped a little, then ran his tongue over the shell of Fraser's ear.
"Oh Lord," Fraser gasped, breaths coming in short uneven pants. Ray wrapped both arms tightly about Fraser's waist and began to sing along to the song,
"...you may think I'm easy, but I won't be a slave to your love..."
He could hear the desperation in Fraser's voice, and knew what he needed to do. Fraser couldn't ask for this, not for any of it. He didn't know how to. But Ray knew how to give it. He mouthed his way back to Fraser's nape, alternating between kissing and gently biting, moving his hands in soothing circles across Fraser's belly.
Then, not giving Fraser a chance to recover from the assault on his senses, he reached for the jodhpur's buttons, loosened them and slipped both hands up under the hem of Fraser's white undershirt. The flesh beneath his palms felt smooth and hot as he roughly shoved the material upwards.
Fraser cried out when Ray's warm hands brushed over his chest, thumbs circling his nipples, bringing them to instant, aching hardness. That desperate sound had Ray's cock trying to escape his jeans under its own steam.
"Oh God!" he moaned, stepping up the rhythm of his hips, pleased when Fraser immediately matched him, grinding back against him with abandon.
"Lift up your arms," he growled, tugging the white shirt up and off when Fraser did as he was bid. He dropped the shirt on the floor then guided Fraser's raised hands onto his head, loving the way Fraser's fingers carded though his hair, tightening and relaxing with each small thrust of their hips.
"God, yes, that's it," he breathed, running his hands down Fraser's arms, across his chest, rolling his nipples between finger and thumb until Fraser was arching blindly into the touch of his hand.
"Jesus, that's it, you're feeling it now. Feeling the passion." Ray whispered, his voice breaking on the words.
He was desperately hard and aching but he held back, knowing that one false move now could have Fraser running for the hills. He slid his hands slowly down Fraser's abdomen, inside the open button fly to find that Fraser was just as hot and hard as he was.
"Oh!" Fraser breathed, body trembling with need. Ray gently pushed the jodhpurs over his hips, letting them fall the rest of the way down and encouraging Fraser to step out of them.
His mind filled with images of himself on his knees, taking Fraser deep into his mouth, of bending Fraser over the back of the couch and licking a wet stripe down his spine, then lower, using his tongue to make Fraser beg for more... but that would have to be saved for another day. Please God, let Fraser want there to be another day.
Fraser's breathing was ragged now and Ray knew that no matter what they did, Fraser wasn't going to last long. His pelvis was already moving powerfully in wide circular arcs, pressing back against Ray's crotch.
He could just reach inside the demure white boxers, take out Fraser's cock and jerk him off in five seconds flat. Fraser would see stars, of that Ray was sure, but that wasn't the way he wanted this to go down. He wanted to see Fraser's eyes when he came. He wanted to kiss him, long and deep and wet.
Keeping as much of his body in contact with Fraser's as he possibly could, Ray slowly slid around to face him, taking Fraser's trembling hands and placing them on his own hips. Another milestone was reached as Fraser immediately slid his hands round to cup Ray's ass, squeezing tightly and pulling him closer with each snap of his hips. Now Fraser was an active participant in their love-making and not a passive bystander.
Another track began, and Ray skilfully danced them backwards towards the open bedroom door. It was no longer a question of 'when?' but more a question of 'where?' and Ray wanted the 'where' to be as comfortable as possible.
He couldn't help touching Fraser's face, tracing the line of his eyebrow, the arch of his cheek, the soft, moist curve of his lower lip. He reached up to brush an errant lock of hair from Fraser's forehead, then pushed his fingers deep into the luxuriant mass of hair, kneading Fraser's scalp.
He couldn't help bending forwards and kissing him either, gently at first, mindful of this new level of intimacy between them.
Quickly though, the kiss caught fire, as Fraser opened to him, touching him wherever his hands could reach. It was almost as if, now that the floodgates had been opened, Fraser couldn't hold back the wave. Panting into Ray's mouth, his fingers bit into Ray's thighs as he ground against him, almost lifting him off the floor in his desperation to get some friction going.
Ray's cock pulsed painfully inside the constricting denim of his jeans but he ignored the incessant throb. He'd managed to back Fraser right up to the foot of the bed and he had very specific plans as to how to proceed from here. Sliding his hands down over Fraser's heaving, sweat-soaked chest, he ran his fingers under the waistband of the boxers.
"Sit down," he whispered, and when Fraser staggered back, knees buckling at the feel of Ray's finger navigating the crack of his ass, Ray tugged the boxers down to Fraser's knees before he could sit on them.
Ray fell to his own knees, shouldering between Fraser's legs as he removed completely the only garment Fraser had still been wearing, leaving him gloriously naked and sprawled wantonly on the end of the bed, propped up on his elbows so that he could see what Ray was doing. He couldn't help burying his face in the warm curls at Fraser's groin, and savouring the delicious male aroma.
He felt Fraser's body arch, felt the scrabble of fingers in his hair and heard the sharp intake of breath. "Oh, dear God, Ray... p..please..." Fraser's hips rolled against his face and he couldn't keep it under control any longer. With a choked cry, he took Fraser's leaking cock in his hand and ran his tongue the entire length of it, from base to tip. One small taste then he swallowed Fraser's cock as deeply as he could, abandoning any pretence at finesse and going right for implosion.
"OOOOh!" Fraser fully collapsed back onto the bed, his arms falling limply to his side and he surrendered himself completely to Ray. He kept up a steady chorus of moans and cries of pleasure as Ray quickly and expertly brought him to the brink again and again, only to pull back at the last moment to kiss, bite or nibble at Fraser's inner thigh or belly.
By the third or fourth time, Fraser was drenched in sweat and babbling incoherently. "...Ray.. Ray... Ray... please, don't stop.... don't stop..."
Then with a frustrated growl, Fraser sat up, grabbed Ray by the ears and began desperately fucking his mouth, driven to the point where he no longer cared about anything other than getting off.
That loss of control in someone normally so tightly restrained turned Ray on so much that he almost came in his pants. He let his throat muscles slacken, because this was all part of the process of making Fraser give it up. Now Fraser was letting the passion inside boil to the surface and overflow. Now he was really dancing.
A strangled gasp heralded Fraser's impending orgasm, and Ray hummed around the powerfully pulsing cock, drinking him down, watching as Fraser slammed his head back on the bed three times as he came, punctuating each impact with the words. "God," "Ray," and YES!"
While Fraser was still riding the crest, Ray reached shakily for his fly and released some of the pressure on his erection. Fraser's head rolled lazily on the bed, his hands, which moments before had been buried deep and clenched tight in Ray's hair, hung limply by his side and he wore a dopey grin on his face. If it weren't for the very insistent throb in his groin, Ray might have taken a moment to feel the pride welling up inside him.
"Frase?" he croaked. "You okay?"
"Ohyeah," Fraser slurred, clumsily patting Ray's head. "Ver'kay thankyoukindly."
Ray grinned and clambered up onto the bed beside him. "Well good. I'm glad you enjoyed the lesson." He couldn't take his eyes off Fraser's flushed face and sparking eyes. Wow, he'd done that. He'd put that look on Fraser's face. Greatness!
Fraser seemed to be regaining brain cells along with his vocabulary. "Had I know that dancing could be such a... pleasurable experience, I would have tried it sooner."
"Well, anytime you wanna learn some new steps, maybe try something with a few more moves, something a little more... complicated, then I'm your man."
"Why, thank you kindly, Ray. I shall certainly bear that in mind," Fraser replied happily.
Bear that in mind? What did that mean, bear it in mind? Like there were other options here? "What, you're thinking of dancing with someone else?"
"Oh, indeed not. In actual fact, I doubt the outcome would have been so spectacular with any partner other than yourself, Ray."
Ray thought out that for a moment. "That was a compliment right?"
"I believe so, yes."
Ray felt himself relax. It was a weird conversation to be having, but with Fraser, weren't they all? Still, there was one double entendre left in Ray's arsenal.
"So, you think you might feel ready to lead?" He glanced down meaningfully at his open fly and winked.
"It um, it didn't look too complicated," Fraser replied, licking his lips in a way that made Ray want bend him over the nearest flat surface.
Instead, he lay back on the bed, hands behind his head and closed his eyes. "Knock yourself out, buddy."
Fraser couldn't dance.
But it had nothing to do with lack of passion. That he'd always had, locked away deep inside the vault of his soul. No one had found the key to unlock that vault yet, but Ray was determined to be the one to do so.
And even if he couldn't find the key, it didn't matter - there wasn't a lock on this planet that Ray Kowalski couldn't pick.