Chapter 14

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They reached Patrol headquarters a few moments later and Stewart made a conscious effort to put all thoughts of Robin Lang out of his head.

The Lieutenant was ushered straight in to see Captain Martinez while Banner went into another room to be interviewed by one of his officers. Stewart spent an hour going over the events of that evening and then another hour with an identification expert, trying to build as accurate a picture of the assailants as he could. He was surprised at what extra details the expert could draw forth from his memory. He had forgotten that the man on top of Max had more injuries on his left hand than his right. That suggested he might be left handed.

The process of questioning and answering actually helped Stewart settle down, come to terms with the events of the last week, put things in perspective. He felt like he was finally back in control of his life. In the other room, Banner was simply asked to describe what he had done and what he had observed that night in the Sahara. No one asked him any questions about his relationship with Alan Stewart or his sexuality.

As he hadn't actually seen either of the assailants, he was out long before Stewart but he sat in the corridor, waiting for him to finish. He took a moment to send a message to Captain Almeida, telling him what was happening, and checking on the shuttle's departure time.

Eventually the Lieutenant emerged, looking more at ease than Banner had seen him for some time. He smiled. "Thanks for waiting, Michael. How long have we got until the shuttle leaves?"

Banner checked his wristcom. "About twenty minutes."

"Oh. I was hoping we'd have time for a coffee somewhere but‒ not to worry."

They strode off, Stewart glancing down at his companion.

Lieutenant Stewart wished with all his heart that the message from Max had come five minutes later. He wanted to be free to put his arms around Banner and kiss him, right there on the street, then take him somewhere private and see how far Banner would let him go. He wouldn't push – well, not much ‒ just tease him and make suggestions, very improper suggestions. He wanted some warmth and some fun to wash away the bitterness of the last few days.

Hmm, perhaps given Banner's last sexual encounter he would let Michael take the lead, just lie back and invite him to do whatever he wanted to him. His too vivid imagination jumped ahead to what might happen, arousal flooding through his body in a hot torrent. God, he had to get a grip on himself. They would be the docking bay in only a few minutes ...

"Are you okay?" Banner's slightly anxious voice broke into his thoughts. "You were breathing rather hard there for a moment."

Stewart couldn't resist. "I was thinking about you," he explained in a low voice. "Thinking about how I would like to kiss you, just in that soft hollow under your jaw, then on your lips, slowly pushing my tongue all the way inside, tasting you. Then maybe I could move down to lick your nipples, first the left one, then the right. I'd open your shirt all the way‒"

"Alan!" Banner interrupted, pulling them both to a halt. He looked around wildly to see if they had been overheard.

They were both breathing unevenly. Banner stared at him in disbelief. "I can't believe you just did that! In public!"

"What? I didn't do anything," protested the other man, feigning innocence. "But I really, really want to. If you'll let me. I know I said I wouldn't touch you unless you gave me permission, and I mean it, but I didn't say I wouldn't try and seduce you!"

Banner swallowed.

"Come on, we can't stay here all day," Stewart smiled, hugely satisfied by the look on Banner's face. He wanted him, too. It wasn't all one-sided.

They started walking again. "Now where was I? Oh yes, opening your shirt and licking my way down‒"

Banner punched him hard in the side, his lips twitching.

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