Reid knew trouble when it walked in. But instead of doing something, anything, he just sat and gaped at his new client, unable to close his mouth and almost salivating at the sight before him. He knew a lot about that man. He had read the files. Not all, because interestingly some were under disclosure. Everything in fact dating back more than four years, except for a few from the man’s time as a trainee. He knew that Louis Faber worked as a profiler. That he was said to be a difficult and troublesome colleague, an impulsive and unpredictable character with a certain tendency to bend the rules, which in the end had brought him here, into Reid’s office. The files did not say, though, that he was smoking hot, tall, fit, with a stubble beard shading his chiseled chin and muscles rippling below the thin long sleeve he was wearing.
Reid suppressed a groan at the deep voice of the man, the rumbling filling his stomach and stirring something in his pants. He cleared his voice, praying to god the other man could not hear the tightness in it and stepped around his desk, glad all of a sudden he did not need to worry about a possible tenting of his front.
"Right here, Mister Faber. Sorry for being silent on you, I was occupied with… another case. I’m holding out my hand to shake with you.”
The other man huffed and Reid was near certain that he rolled his eyes under the dark glasses he was wearing. There was a scar on the right side of his face, running over his nose down towards his chin to vanish among the stubble. Interestingly it did not lessen the beauty of his features one tiny bit. There were one or two more scars near his left eye, traces of the fine white lines disappearing under the dark glass.
Louis did not grab Reid’s offered hand, instead he turned his head around slightly without moving his feet, apparently trying to scan the room, holding the white cane close to his chest all the while.
“Where’s the couch?” Louis asked, clearly annoyed now.
The files said that Louis had been injured on duty four years ago. The details to what had happened were disclosed to Reid but he knew that Louis had sustained permanent injuries and was legally blind as a result. It was probably also the reason why he had changed positions within the criminal investigation department, from inspector to profiler.
Reid swallowed. “Six feet straight ahead, ten feet to your left, angled 45 degrees to you, facing the windows. Uh…” He bit on his lips. Louis had some degree of light perception, as Reid knew, but was it enough to locate the windows?
Louis snorted and marched forward, following the directions, his cane sweeping the floor in a small arc in front of his feet. “Bravo! You've done your duty reading through my medical records,” he spat in Reid's general direction. As he walked, he leaned imperceptibly to the left when he brought forward his almost completely stiff right knee and stepped through quickly as if holding his body's weight on that side was painful. Another permanent injury from the same event that had caused the blindness, Reid remembered from his readings.
“The background of every client is important to me,” Reid said, more defensively than he wanted because his eyes were trained on the other’s ass at that and damn him! That was the most perfect shape he had ever seen. Reid forced himself to look away, not a second too late. “Shit, stop!”
Louis froze mid-step, hissing through his teeth as more weight than intended landed on his right leg and shifted to turn back to Reid, his hands white-knuckled around the cane. “What the fuck?”
“There is…” Reid cursed inwardly, swallowed again and hurried towards Louis, closing up with the blind man. “There is a step down. Two feet away.”
Louis angled himself towards Reid, his head turning to the left and right as if he was tuning in on his outline in front of the bright windows. The cane’s black handle landed with dead precision in the middle of Reid’s chest. “Don’t. Do. That. Ever. Again.” the other man ground out, visibly seething.
Reid made a few steps back. “Sorry,” he mumbled in apology and even lifted his hands in a soothing gesture that was lost on the other, his cheeks blushing. What had he done wrong?
Louis turned back towards the windows. He tentatively moved the cane further, away from his body, until the tip stopped right at the edge that led down into the session room. “I’m very much capable of navigating steps myself, thank you,” Louis snapped in Reid’s direction as he continued walking. He tested the steepness of the step with his cane before moving his right leg down first, more carefully than most people would, following quickly with his left. Then he proceeded limping in the same direction until the cane hit another object. The couch. Louis bent down somewhat and stretched his left hand until the back of it bumped into the soft back of the couch, his fingers trailing along the edge to the corner and down the armrest before he made three uneven steps around it and let himself down in the seat, his right leg sticking out from him in an odd angle.
“Are you still there?”
Reid could have sworn he heard a teasing in the gruff voice. “Y-yeah, sorry again,” he said, and hurried over to sit down at the other end of the long couch, turning towards his client.
After a few tense minutes of silence Louis shuffled his feet, his fingers gripping and releasing the folded up cane that was lying next to him on the couch. He was still wearing his gray jacket. “So… what now?”
“Now you are here,” Reid said, starting to feel more comfortable. This was his field of expertise. He was good at what he was doing. It was always harder with another one from the same métier, a profiler at that, but he knew he was the best. His only concern was that it seemed impossible to ignore the fact that Louis looked forbidden hot sitting on the couch, feigning a relaxed posture with a slouch into the cushions and his left arm draped over the armrest, scowling in the sexiest of all ways. How could anyone facing this creature stay professional?
“I’m only here because I'm forced to,” Louis stated, almost pouting.
Reid hid a chuckle. He knew that part by heart. No one liked to admit they went to the shrink out of their own decision. “I’m aware of that. As I was informed, our sessions are part of the conditions for you to stay on duty until investigations on a complaint are closed.”
Louis nodded, teeth flashing for a second and folded his arms. “Precisely.” He almost seemed proud of having made it to a complaint. He tilted his head a little when more silence followed. “So... I don’t know what you want from me now.”
“I want to talk to you.”
Louis shrugged and leaned back some more, his face turned up to the ceiling. He looked almost convincingly bored if not for the fact that he could not possibly see anything up there. “About what?”
Reid watched his client. “About whatever you want. For example... why you became a policemen.”
He knew it had been the right question when Louis tensed imperceptibly, his head snapping around. He did not face Reid directly, instead was a few inches off to the left. “Why I-… What? You can ask me anything but you choose to ask this? Why?”
Reid waited before he spoke, the silence always his strongest ally. “Would you like to change position with me?” His voice had gained in volume and sharpness. He closely observed Louis who had frozen on the couch, his left hand resting claw-like next to him. “Would you like to be the one asking the questions maybe?”
The skin in Louis's face colored red with anger, he balled his hands to fists and inhaled. “I don’t fucking-“
“Oh spare me that,” Reid said, the harshness in his voice cutting the other's off. “Yes, I have heard about the famous outbursts of Louis Faber. Poke him and he explodes, ha! Don’t think I have not been informed about that. And, oh, I can so relate! Sometimes I have this rage within me… and I just cannot control it. When I yell at my clients everyone thinks that I am faking it, to get a reaction, when in reality I am not! I can get really, really angry sometimes. Like FUCKING ANGRY!”
Reid had shouted the last part. Louis had clamped his mouth shut but other than that had remained completely still, no muscle twitching.
“That ringing a bell, Mister Faber?”
Louis sunk back against the couch, his chin trembling with the force with which he was pressing his teeth together. “You… you... fuck! Fuck you!” He fumbled for his cane and shot up from the couch, swaying before he found his bearings and had stormed across the room before he had unfolded the cane properly. As a result he nearly fell over the step in the middle of the room. He stumbled to a halt and swore under his breath as he felt it with his cane, impatiently, and climbed over it. He limped as fast as his right leg allowed to the opposite wall, tapped along the length until he found the door and was through before Reid could say a word. A few seconds of silence followed before the door was thrown open again, and Louis’s head appeared in the gap.
“Scratch the session next week,” he spat into the empty space in front of him, and pulled the door shut again with a bang.
Reid sighed and kept sitting on the couch for a short while, shaking his head. Then he got up, went over to sit at his desk and opened his calendar on the computer. He marked the appointment for Louis Faber in the next week red, extended it by one hour and set a reminder. This would be interesting weeks. And long, long hours trying not to think about how those full lips would feel on his.
“You cannot make me talk.”
“Believe me, I don’t intend to.”
Rain was falling outside. When the wind turned the drops splashed loudly against the window front, a noise like gunfire. Every time it happened Louis’s fingers tightened around the cane that lay folded next to him. Other than that he did not move. He had stormed inside, ten minutes late, dripping wet, and made a beeline to the couch without even asking if Reid was there, nor saying hello or offering an excuse for his tardiness. Reid had watched how he had stopped right at the step, shuffled to the edge and maneuvered his right leg down first again, before continuing limping across the room until the cane bumped into the couch. Now he sat in the same corner as last time, water dripping from his jacket onto the couch, darkening the material as it soaked through. When Reid had sat down Louis had only nodded curtly to acknowledge his presence.
“I will never force you.”
Louis sighed and shook his head. “Well, in that case… I guess we are stuck here for the time being.” He patted the couch next to him, hummed and shook some water out of his wet hair, trying to comb it back over his head.
Reid had to tell himself to look away. Gosh, he had felt dizzy the moment Louis had entered, looking like a drowned and grumpy cat, with his tousled hair falling over his dark glasses and dampness rising from his jacket. The man was irresistible.
Louis bobbed his left leg, drumming a beat on his knee. He finally relented with a soft huff. “Anything of interest in this room?”
Reid shrugged and took a look around, although he knew the outline by heart since the office was part of his own house. “The couch. Bookshelves along the walls right and left to you. Glass front, as you know. It’s large… bright. I mean very open.”
Louis snickered, pushed off the couch and unfolded his cane. The parts snapped together and he tapped it against the floor once to make sure it was all aligned. He limped forward until he reached the windows, the fingers of his left hand leaving smudges on the glass as he put his hand against it. “What’s outside?”
“My garden. Grass and trees.”
Louis sighed. “How very descriptive. God forbid to think about a garden without grass and trees.” He tapped his way along the glass front. “But I want to believe for once that you are right and that there is simply not much out there besides that. Your garden is as boring as your character. I mean, it fits, at least.” Louis turned left when he reached the corner of the room. “What’s that?”
Reid turned around to him. Oh right. “My drum set.”
A mad grin lit up Louis’s gloomy features. “Excellent. Drums. They are good for people with anger issues and bottled up emotions and such, aren’t they, doc?”
Louis turned his head slightly and frowned.
“My name is Reid Cunningham.”
“As you wish, doc.” Louis tapped his cane against the different parts of the drums, with unnecessary force, causing quite some noise. He shuffled around it, located the chair with his stick, his left hand feeling forward, bumping into solid parts of the drum kit. His fingers ran along the toms until they found the drumsticks. “Cool.” He collapsed his white cane, stored it in the pocket of his jeans and carefully let himself down on the small chair, sticks in his hands. “You don’t mind, doc, do you?” Without waiting for an answer he began thrashing on everything within his reach and it became evident quickly that he had no idea how to play. He hit the drums, hi-hat and cymbals by sheer luck, and all other parts of the drum kit and air in between.
Reid closed his eyes. He was aware that he was paid a lot. But sometimes he did not think he was paid nearly enough.
“If I had known that you have an interest in drums I would have brought a pair of them to the session. Next time, maybe?” Reid had walked up from behind and grabbed Louis’s hands, holding them still to prevent the other from causing any serious damage.
“Ah… I think I have a real talent, but no, thank you,” Louis sneered and opened his fingers, the drumsticks clattering on the floor. Reid let go of his hands right away and stepped back a little.
“Aww,” Louis mocked, stuffing his hands in his pockets. “I liked your hands there. They are very soft.”
Reid tried not to think of the rough knuckles under his palms and, gosh, Louis's back almost pressing against his front... “The current investigation…”
Louis was still sitting behind the drums, his face turned away from Reid. “A man got killed. Shot in the chest, fell in the pool and drowned. The daughter found him.”
“As I am informed. The daughter-“
“Is maybe a witness. Even a suspect. The man wanted to leave the family.”
“The family is under my care. I’d like to ask you to be sensible with the daughter. She is more fragile than she seems.”
Louis chuckled and turned his head to the left, showing Reid his profile. “Why don’t we just do our jobs, for once, Mister Cunningham? You do yours, I do mine. Agreed?”
Reid went back to sit on the sofa. “The meds you take… are they prescribed for a specific purpose?”
Louis’s hands flew out of his jacket’s pockets, balling to fists at his side. “I don’t know what you mean.”
“I know as well as you that I have no right to search you. And I won’t even try. I could not care less if you destroyed your life abusing drugs. I think about the other lives you might destroy in the meantime.”
Reid kept sitting on the couch for a very long time after Louis had limped from the room.
“My wife and daughter got killed by a car bomb right in front of my eyes. That was the last thing I saw.”
Reid flinched in his corner of the couch and could only hope that Louis had not noticed. To tell from the tilt of the other’s head however and the twitch in the corner of his lips, he had.
“Yep. What sage wisdom do you have to offer me on that?”
Reid rubbed his eyes with the heels of his hands. Today they had managed a near normal therapy session. Louis had come in, greeted him in his gruff way and went directly to the couch as always. He had seemed more closed-off but also calmer than before and Reid had wondered what had happened at work today. They had managed to talk about his relationship to his colleagues and had been talking a bit about his work routines when he had dropped the bomb.
Reid exhaled, forcing himself to relax his hands that were clenched into the cushioning. “Traumatic experiences need to be processed to initiate a healing process. Failure of such can lead to very complex psychological disorders.”
Reid sighed, smoothing down his notepad where he had already filled several pages on his client. “The insomnia you mentioned: for how long have you suffered from it? Do you combine the drugs and alcohol on bad nights or on all nights?”
Louis tapped the folded cane against his left knee, nodding his head as if in thoughts. “Gosh, you are an even bigger ass than I thought.”
“Didn’t I tell you to be careful?!”
Reid had stepped into Louis’s path right after the blind man had entered for today's session, preventing him from running off to the couch right away.
Louis drew the stick closer to himself again, away from where it had stopped directly at Reid’s right shoe. He turned halfway to Reid and grinned at him, the scar across the right side of his face stretching with it. “Faking anger, huh?”
Reid had to restrain himself not to grab Louis by his collar and shake him. “Fuck… Do you call that being sensitive?!”
“Oh, you are talking about the girl, right?”
“Yeah, fucking right. Do all your suspects end up trying to kill themselves?”
Louis made a dismissive gesture with his left hand and slid past him, cane held loosely in front of him. “She wasn’t really trying to off herself. She was angry and she is a teenager. Teenagers do things like that.”
Reid squeezed the fists that were hanging at his sides. “Your daughter would have been a teenager by now, if she were still alive.”
He did not miss the additional stumble in Louis’s already uneven steps.
Reid waited until his own racing pulse had calmed down and Louis had quit fidgeting on the couch before officially beginning today’s session. He should not have lost it the way he had.
“The complaint was filed by your colleague. Care to tell me how it came to that?”
Louis was slouching into the cushions again, his face turned to the ceiling. Reid could see the two fine scars, leading down from his left eye and that Louis had his eyes closed. “Mmmh…” The blind man faked waking up. “You were saying?”
“I can think of more pressing issues that I would like to discuss with you instead if you don’t want to-”
“Oh, come off it,” Louis sat up straighter, made sure his glasses were adjusted and leaned forward on his left knee. His right leg was stretched from him, only bent slightly in the knee. “Okay, so… well, there is this idiot in my group. A bigger idiot even than you, and that says something.”
The rest of the session went as planned.
“I feel nothing.” Louis said. He was lying on the couch, his hands folded over the cane on his chest. He had pulled his right leg on the cushioning after shifting around uneasy for the first few minutes into today’s session. The lines of pain had softened as he had bolstered the leg and Reid had encouraged Louis to lie down completely. He had managed to hide his surprise when his client had actually followed his advice.
Reid made a note on his clipboard and hummed noncommittally.
“I mean, there must be something, right? They suspected the wrong guy for days while the killer got away because of me. Should I not feel something? Anger? Rage? Sadness? Disappointment? But no… fucking nothing.”
“That why you threatened your colleague with a gun?”
Louis did not miss a beat. “It wasn’t loaded. And she knows how to handle me.”
“You like her?” Reid tapped the pen against the clipboard.
“Hm… you seem very interested in that.” Louis turned his head toward him, gaze going over Reid’s head.
Reid fought against the urge to clear his voice, his face flushing hot. Not for the first time he praised the fact that his client could not see. “Establishing a clear picture of your relationship to your colleagues, your allies and antagonists is goal of all this, remember?”
Louis waved a hand in the air. “Yeah, sure, whatever.”
Reid watched as Louis felt the outline of the drums, his large hands flexing around the rim.
“So… uh… usually one takes the drum between the knees.”
“You mean normal people would. The cripple does not?” Louis’s sneer had no sharpness to it.
“You do whatever you like.”
Louis scooted closer to the edge of the couch's seating and pulled the drum in between his legs, his right being jostled in the process. He winced, adjusted it with a tuck at the fabric around his knee and started tapping his fingertips on the edge of the drum in a rapid, nervous rhythm.
“There are two basic ways to achieve sound. Flat hand in the middle, or near the rim. The same with two fingers.” Reid demonstrated, the sounds full and practiced.
Louis tried copying, but the angle of his hands was wrong. He lifted his eyebrows behind his glasses, listening to the flat sound ebbing away quickly.
“So eager to touch me, doc, huh?” Louis teased, but stilled his hands.
“If you feel uncomfortable with it, we'll find another way.”
“Ah, shut it. You can do with me whatever you like. I'm all yours, sweetie.”
Reid rolled his eyes, fully aware it was lost on the other and shifted to sit closer to his client. He put his hands on the two rough and surprisingly warm ones, turning them a little. “Like this.” Louis stiffened but after a split second he turned his head away a fraction, exhaling slowly, and the muscles in his arms and hands softened. Reid gently moved his hands through the motions, making sure he tapped them down on the drum for Louis's orientation. After a few minutes they had established a rhythm, with Reid's hands on Louis's barely giving directions anymore. Reid could feel the muscles flexing in Louis’s hands and when he closed his eyes he could smell the fresh masculine scent of the other.
“I guess I've got it,” Louis said, his voice neutral for once.
Reid jerked back, realizing how close they were and feeling slightly out of breath. He retreated to sit behind his drum, trying not to listen to Louis's small, victorious chuckle. He could not chase the thought away that this guy knew just exactly what went on in his pants. “Uh... right, very good. Um... how about we trade rhythms? I start with one, you copy, we play for a while, you add another rhythm, I copy, and so on?”
“Sounds like kindergarten. But yeah... give it to me, baby.”
”Does it always take you forever to open the door?”
“It's fucking two a.m. in the freaking morning, Faber!”
“You did not sleep.”
“How do you-” Damn.
The blind man chuckled, fiddling with the cane that he was holding to his chest.
Reid exhaled, trying to keep his cool. “This is not the main entrance. It's only for clients. My private rooms are on the other side of the house.”
“Well, how would I know?”
Reid sighed and pulled his dressing gown tighter around himself. “Go back home, Faber. Sleep. Try at least.”
Reid moved to close the door again. “I don't have time for this.”
Louis shifted, his body tilting to one side and back as he changed positions, his lips twitching slightly as he temporarily put pressure on his right leg. “I need your help.”
“Come back during official office hours.”
“It's about the case. The girl vanished. We think the murderer is among the family members and there is no one who knows the family better than you. We need to find the killer before he finds her.”
Reid sighed again. Shit. “Coffee?”
Reid listened to Louis's steps behind him, the arrhythmic tapping of his feet and the occasional click of his cane. He had just entered his private quarters when he heard a loud bang and a short scream behind himself. “Faber?” He hurried back around the corner to see Louis doubled over, leaning halfway against the wall, face twisted in pain and clutching his right knee. His cane was lying on the floor.
“Fucking stop staring. Where's my cane?”
Reid picked up the white stick and pressed the handle into Louis's outstretched right hand. The man was breathing through clenched teeth, his posture tense, his shoulders fallen forward protectively. “How many fucking steps do you have in your fucking house?”
Steps? Oh... “I'm sorry, I didn't... Didn't you tell me you can do steps?”
“Fuck you,” Louis spat, tapping his cane forward until it bumped against the ledge to the other part of the house, only half a step high. Reid had walked over it without even thinking about it. “I did not pay attention. Who builds a house with hundreds of steps in all kinds of ridiculous locations, anyway?”
Reid grunted something about finding the architecture of his house very appealing, and inwardly debated offering help to the blind man who still stood tense without moving, most of his weight shifted to his left leg.
“Don't you dare,” Louis growled. “I'm fine.”
“Yes. I see that,” Reid snapped, but started leading the way to the kitchen again. Behind him he heard Louis catching his breath for a few seconds before following him, his cane tapping carefully, his steps slower and more one-sided than before. He grunted when he stepped over the ledge, but other than that gave no obvious sign of pain.
“Chair a few feet to the right,” Reid said when they had reached the large, open kitchen, and busied himself with the coffee machine.
Louis tapped his cane in the direction until it hit the obstacle, his hand reaching for the back of it and feeling the table and seat before he pulled it out and lowered himself in it. A grimace flickered over his face when he stretched his right leg under the table. “Would not mind for a bit of extra in the coffee,” he grumbled, rummaging in his jacket's pockets.
“Come on. I can see you need it, too.”
Reid bit on his lips not to retort to that.
Louis chuckled nevertheless. “Just a sip to warm us up.”
Reid sighed but collected the bottle of rum from one of the upper shelves, pouring a bit in his own coffee mug. Louis grinned when he placed the other mug of steaming coffee in front of him and set the bottle down next to it with a rich clonk on the wooden table. “Ah...” Louis moved his hand carefully over the table until his fingers found the bottle and the mug. He cradled the mug in his left hand, the right tracing the outline of the bottle and unscrewing the cap. He moved the opening under his nose and inhaled. “Jamaican? Barbados?”
“Dominican Republic,” Reid said.
Louis nodded his head in appreciation and poured a healthy portion of rum into his mug, seemingly without paying much attention. He felt for the cap on the table and screwed it back on the bottle.
They sat in silence for some time, until Louis shifted and flinched, finally pulled his hand out of his jacket's pocket and popped a pill in his mouth. “I'm in pain,” he said defensively, his chin lifted as if expecting confrontation. He washed the pill down with coffee and alcohol. “I take these for a reason.”
“I don't doubt it,” Reid said. “I'm more concerned about the frequency and dosage. And that.”
Louis hesitated, then laughed. “Did you just gesture at the blind guy?”
Reid closed his eyes in mortification.
Before he could say anything, Louis fished in his pockets again and slammed a few photographs on the table. “I was told these show the body of the girl's father after we pulled it out of the pool. And these...” He put another package of photographs on the table. “…show another victim, killed eight years ago, hundreds of miles from here. Any ideas?”
Reid sat down at the table and took the crumbled photographs in his hands. “Similar situations,” he said. “That's why they have you on the case.”
Louis nodded. “Precisely. I don't believe this is a serial killer, though. Let me tell you why.”
They sat and talked, the night turning to early morning, the level of rum in the bottle sinking steadily. Reid new that in the case of imminent danger he was obliged to give information about his clients, and he did so, but chose his words carefully, not giving away unnecessary details. Over hours they narrowed down their combined hypothesis to one main suspect, the mother, and finished the bottle of rum.
“Geez, you really think she could do that? I always thought she was a little crazy, but that requires a strong criminal mind.”
Reid spun the empty bottle on the table. “She comes off as highly emotionally unstable, yes, but she is an intelligent woman. Most of her reactions are understandable considering what has happened to her small son. But never underestimate the power of emotions and the cunning of a woman.”
Louis giggled and took another big swig from his cup that had contained no coffee for a long time now. “Then maybe setting a wrong track might be indeed a genius idea.”
“Take the dogs. People trust in animals. They never expect them to lie, because they cannot. They are not human. But they can be deceived just like anyone.”
Louis nodded, swaying a little in his seat. “In that regard they aren't so different from humans.” He pondered a little and turned his now empty cup over, trying to get to the last drops of rum. Then he got to his feet, clinging to the edge of the table. “Well... th-thank you for your time and... the rum.” He tried reaching for Reid across the table but lost balance at that and fell down in his chair again. “Oops.”
Reid felt like nailed to his seat. He had not nearly drunken as much as Louis, but supposedly he had much less training. The room was slowly spinning around him and he blinked to make it stop. “Guess that was a drop too much, huh?”
“Or a cup.”
“Never had rum out of cups before.”
“Not a good idea, I suppose.”
“Yeah, you cannot see the rum. In a cup.”
Louis burst out laughing, his body shaking with giggles. “That's... that's the reason I drink too much. Because... because I cannot see the rum.”
Reid nodded. Could Louis see that? No, he could not. Damn.
Louis yawned and his head fell forward on the table's surface. “I'll call myself a cab.” He did not remove his face from the table, his cheek flat on the surface. His glasses were askew, revealing a flicker of milky green as his eyelids flattered.
Reid watched the other man, chuckling slightly. “Yeah...”
Louis lifted his head off the table, grunted, and adjusted his glasses with clumsy movements. “Have you seen my cane somewhere?”
“In your pocket?”
“Right...” Louis had his phone in his hand, an old model with buttons still. He pressed it to his ear as he pushed the buttons, a metallic voice coming from it. “Motherfucker I'm drunk. Yeah, hello? Hello?”
“Did you dial?”
“I thought I did... Oops, wrong number.”
Reid had finally managed to convince his body to get up from the chair. “This is a large house. You can stay here.”
Louis’s head turned into the completely wrong direction. “You serious?”
“Hmm... come on. Bedrooms are upstairs.”
Louis pushed off the table, knuckles white, his cane forgotten in his pocket. “I don't... I don't think that I'll manage stairs with that. Not tonight.” He nodded towards his right leg.
Reid scratched his chin. “Couch it is then,” he said.
Louis tried walking on his own, feeling along the wall, until he crashed into it two times when his right leg slipped. After that he accepted Reid's help. He slung his left arm across Reid's shoulder and Reid put his arm behind Louis's back and used the other to steady himself against the walls since walking straight seemed suddenly very difficult.
Louis had fallen silent, his face turned away from Reid a little. He did not even say a word when Reid announced the step, giving Louis room to move his right leg down first, hands on his waist to be able to catch him should he fall.
“Are you okay?” Reid asked as he brought a blanket from another room and put it in Louis's lap who sat on the couch, cradling his head in his hands.
“Fabulous,” the other snapped.
Reid ignored the rough tone. “Need anything else?”
“Okay... good night.”
“Good night.” Louis's back was stiff and Reid switched off the light and left the room without hesitation. Outside he leaned against the wall and adjusted the growing bulge in his pants, groaning slightly. Fuck. He could still feel the warmth from Louis's body on his right side, his weight on his shoulders and the arrhythmic bump of his hip against the other’s. Although he had wished for it to turn out differently for a second, he was somewhat glad about how things had ended. Reid was convinced that he was no use as a therapist when the relationship to a client became too close and sleeping with a client was definitely way beyond that. He could lose his license, even. Luckily, Louis made it easy to hate him.
In his bedroom, Reid jacked off on his bed, legs spread, and his hand flying up and down his cock messily. He came only seconds later, with a bitten down cry, spilling over his fist, and thinking about the hot guy currently trying to sleep on the couch downstairs.
When Reid woke shortly before noon, late but not too late for his appointments today, Louis was already gone, the blanket flung messily into the corner of the couch.
“They are out, setting the trap.”
“I don’t know how this is my business.”
“I’m waiting for them to find her… and for them to catch the murderer. In this order.”
Reid sighed, squeezed the phone between shoulder and chin, and switched the oven down again. He had just been about to heat up the dish his housekeeper had cooked today.
“I feel fucking helpless, Cunningham.”
“You’ve done your job.”
“Thanks for reminding me that I hate my job. I want to be out there, Cunningham! I know it might be hard for someone like you but can you try and understand that?”
Reid snorted into his phone. “I want a lot of things, Faber.” To eat the delicious lasagna, for example. After last night his appetite had only developed around the beginning of the evening, but it was ravenous to make up for being late.
Louis said nothing more.
Reid sighed. “Where are you?”
“In the bar across headquarters.”
“I’ll be there in twenty. Do they have lasagna?”
The bar was one of those old, dark places that reek of beer and cigarette smoke although smoking indoors had been banned for nearly a decade now. The kind of bar that somehow survives although no one seems to go there. Only a few heads turned when Reid entered. He located Louis at once, sitting alone in one corner on a table, still wearing his gray jacket.
“I ordered steak. That’s the closest thing they have to lasagna,” Louis said when Reid stopped at his table.
Louis turned his head towards him. His dark glasses reflected the dim lights. “Heightened senses,” he said curtly. He was building a house of cards in front of him, his fingers carefully moving up the fragile structure before he placed another card on top.
Reid snorted, unbelieving. “Yeah, yeah, and I'm Spiderman.”
“The waitress wears high-heels,” Louis admitted with a sly grin when Reid sat down in front of him. “And no one else here bothers anyone.”
Reid added another card to the house. “Don’t flatter yourself because I am here. Or because of last night,” he said.
“Hey… My ego is all I have. I won’t let anyone take that from me,” Louis said, but he smiled. “And fingers off my house of cards. Not-blind people epically suck at this.”
“They do?” Reid asked and sneaked another card in.
“Don’t assume I won’t notice, Cunningham.” Louis plugged the card Reid had just placed and put it down again. “Don’t even try.”
The food arrived and indeed, the steak smelled delicious. Reid’s stomach rumbled audibly. Louis had ordered steak for himself as well and removed the house of cards to make space for the plates.
“Anything new?” Reid mixed the pasta with sauce and cut off a piece of the steaming meat.
“Nope, nothing. They won’t inform me unless there are problems. The killer might not even react to the trap until tomorrow.” With his fork Louis located the pasta and meat on his plate, before taking the knife and setting to eat as well. If he could have seen his gaze would have been directed somewhere to the middle of the table, judging by the tilt of his head. Reid found himself marveling at how he made it look so easy, eating without knowing what was where on the plate. He was sure he would have made a mess of himself.
“You know I can feel it when you stare at me?” Louis said and Reid nearly choked on the steak.
“I wasn’t… I wouldn’t…”
Louis laughed and Reid could have kicked himself. Again.
“Thanks for letting me sleep at your place yesterday, by the way.” Louis wiggled his eyebrows above his glasses.
“Guess it was a little bit less lonely, with me there. Did you wish you could have that more often? Maybe even have more happening? Or did you just think that the cripple would not make it home alone?”
Reid groaned. “Faber! We were drunk! Both of us, when I remember correctly. I would not have made it home if I had not been there already. That’s why I offered you to stay and I would have done that for everyone. It has nothing to do with you being…”
“Disabled, Faber. The word is disabled.”
Louis’s hand groped over the table for his glass and he took a big swig of the beer. “Yeah… thanks for educating me, oh wisest of all psychiatrists. I would be lost without you.”
“Without me your ass would have left the place over there days ago. You know that, don't you?”
Louis furrowed his brows and sighed. “Aren’t you supposed to make people feel better instead of worse?”
Reid ignored him on purpose. “And for the record: no. I did not hope that more would happen. You are not my type, Faber, not at all.” Reid set his beer down with a heavy thud.
Louis grinned triumphantly. “So you are attracted in general… Interesting.”
“My sexual preferences are none of your business.”
Louis clicked his tongue, fingers searching on his plate for remnants of his meal. When he found nothing he wiped his hands on a napkin next to his plate. “Becca? Two more beer for me and my dear friend!” he called in the general direction of the bar.
“I won’t drink more, Faber.”
Louis wiggled his fingers in front of Reid’s face. “Now, don’t be a pussy, Cunningham. Where’s the fun in that? By the way, I’m not interested in you, either. Just to make that clear.”
Sometime during the curse of the night Reid made a resolution to never drink with Louis again.
‘Got him. Girl survived. Mother dead.’
Reid had his own ways to get to more information than Louis’s cryptic text. Apparently the two of them had not been entirely wrong about the mother. She was involved but the murderer had been someone else. No one could have foreseen that or could have saved the woman. At least they had been right with their assumption that it had not been a serial killer.
Reid tried calling Louis but his phone was turned off. He sat down on the couch, looking out into the garden, the morning mist hanging gray and heavy between the trees. Every few minutes he called the same number again.
Louis was standing on the doorstep, angled away from the door somewhat, his white cane drawn close to his body. He shivered visibly, the weather had not cleared up since the morning. When Reid opened the door, Louis’s head swung around. “Reid?”
Louis was there with two lurching steps, hands on Reid’s chest, on his shoulders, pressing his lips onto Reid’s. The cane clattered to the ground and the two of them stumbled backward until they crashed into the wall next to the low cupboard in the hallway, the edge of the frame of the picture hanging on the wall poking into Reid's back.
Louis's kiss was desperate, something close to anger in it and in the hardness of his hands fisted into Reid's shirt. Eventually he pushed away a fraction and inhaled raggedly. His face was turned sideways, his cheeks flushed, as if suddenly self-conscious. He looked slim and unhealthy, the stubble on his chin and cheeks had grown and a faint whiff of alcohol registered in Reid's nose. The last days had taken their toll on the man.
Reid could see his own reflection in the dark glasses that were slightly askew and grabbed Louis by the collar, pulling him in for a second kiss. He groaned into Louis’s mouth when a tongue slipped between his teeth and he could taste the alcohol on his tongue.
They kissed hungrily, without stopping for air, breathing each other’s breath, pulses rapid. Reid's fingers buried into Louis's hair, and he inhaled sharply as Louis’s hands slipped under his shirt. Deft fingers played with his nipples, raked down his abs and fluttered along his waistband. “Fuck… fuck…” he gasped. He nipped at Louis’s neck, his teeth sinking into the soft, salty flesh, and Louis growled into his ear, sending waves of heat to his cock. Reid pulled the other closer, roughly, bumping their hips together and Louis flinched violently.
Reid let go at once, his hands hovering at his sides. “Sorry… sorry, shit. Are you okay?”
Louis had stilled completely, his head tilted forward so that Reid could not see his face and he had his fingernails clenched into Reid’s shoulders, sucking in air through gritted teeth. When he lifted his head slightly his face was a grimace of pain, the scar along the right side contorted, sweat pearling on his forehead. “Not your fault,” he hissed, and shuffled sideways a fraction, moving his right leg out from between them in the process. He felt down for it and adjusted the angle of his knee, letting out a rattling breath as he stood straight again.
Reid observed him, worried and not moving, barely breathing.
Louis frowned. “Where did you go?” he murmured and fumbled for Reid. “Come here.” He found and grabbed Reid’s ass, firmly, and pulled their bodies together, his left leg driving between Reid’s. Reid groaned surprised, his hips bucking up out of their own accord, and Louis pressed his fingers tight into the flexing ass muscles.
“Gosh, tell me you wanted this as much as I did,” Louis grunted into Reid’s ear.
Reid moaned hoarsely as he felt Louis’s stiff cock pressing against his leg through the layers of fabric between them. Cautiously he settled trembling hands on the other’s hips, not pushing in any direction. “Yes, shit. I've… wanted this... all the time,” he gasped.
Louis’s hands felt their way up the side of Reid’s face and he leaned closer, his lips finding Reid's like drawn in by a magnet. His thumbs brushed over Reid's cheekbones and his fingertips ghosted over the clean-shaven chin, making the other shudder. “You know, I've been dreaming about this,” Louis mumbled, his breath hot in Reid’s face. “So incredibly beautiful.” He began rolling his hips against Reid's, the motion slow and halting.
Reid whined helplessly, the heat in his groin bordering on painful, his rock hard cock aching in the confinement of his pants. He bit on his lips and rutted against Louis’s leg, desperately yearning for more friction. His hand slid down, over Louis’s right thigh and was just about to move further inside when his fingers got caught at something.
Louis’s body went stiff. “Don’t bother with that,” he growled, grabbed Reid’s hand and placed it higher on his hip again, away from the hard straps around his right leg.
“I’m not bothered,” Reid said, breathless, turning the words around on purpose, but left his hands where Louis wanted them.
Louis held Reid’s hip still and carefully shifted, his eyebrows drawn together as if in concentration, and Reid gasped when both of their cocks knocked together, the feeling of them rubbing against each other with the fabric in between almost driving him insane. He made a soft begging sound, his fingers flexing into the fabric of Louis's shirt and his groin pressing flush against Louis’s. Louis sneaked one hand between them, fitting his palm over Reid’s length in his pants, and Reid sucked in breath as just the right pressure relieved a little of the pain.
“God, I wish I could see you fall apart like this…” Louis murmured quietly into his ear, his thumb tracing circles on Reid's clothed erection and his fingers lightly pressing against the fabric from the underside and at that, completely taken by surprise, Reid came, rocking up into Louis’s hand, a gasp stuttering in his throat. He spurted between them with his face contorted in bliss and his eyes screwed shut against the blackness creeping in from the sides. Reid moaned brokenly into Louis’s neck as wetness slowly spread in his pants and slumped against the other as his legs grew weak, his head falling forward completely.
“Did you… did you just…?” Louis sounded choked.
“Y-yes. Sorry.” Reid felt embarrassment heat his cheeks.
“No…” Louis’s hands fumbled for Reid’s face, turned it towards him and leaned their foreheads against each other. "Don’t. That was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever witnessed.”
Reid chuckled, ridiculously relieved and buried his face into Louis's shoulder again, inhaling the musky scent of the other. He could smell his own come and could tell that Louis smelled it, too, the other's heart hammering against his own and his breath puffing out above him, quickly, aroused.
Louis let out a guttural groan and his fingers gently raked through Reid’s sweaty hair. “Where’s that giant bedroom of yours?” he whispered into his ear.
“Upstairs, still,” Reid mumbled into his shoulder.
Louis’s knuckles shivered down over one of Reid’s cheeks. “Oh, we are going to have much fun,” he mumbled hoarsely. "Going to make you feel so good.”
Reid shuddered and leaned some more into Louis’s touch, groaning at the words, dizzy from them alone.
“Lead the way?”
Louis held on to Reid’s elbow lightly as the psychiatrist led them to the stairs, still slightly wobbly in his knees. Louis's hand wordlessly switched to grab Reid’s shoulder as they stopped at the foot of the stairs, the other hand searching briefly for the banister until he found it. He stepped up with his left leg first, pushing himself up with one hand on the banister and the other placed firmly on Reid’s shoulder, and turned his upper body to the left to pull his stiff right leg up as well.
They took the stairs step by step, without talking and entered Reid’s bedroom with their hands clasped. Louis drew closer to Reid as they moved through the door, breathing heavy now both from desire and the exertion of having climbed the stairs.
“Bed’s right here,” Reid mumbled, leading Louis’s hand to rest on the mattress.
The blind man turned, causing Reid with a quick push against his chest to fall down on the bed and climbed over him, cautiously lifting his right leg up as well.
“Do you have any experience?” he asked.
“I have,” Reid said, his voice constricted, breathing accelerating already as he stared up at the man hovering over him.
“With a blind man?” Louis removed his glasses while speaking, his eyes open but unseeing. The left one seemed a normal green, and when he blinked the scars connected over it. Reid realized with a jolt that it could not be real, probably was a prosthetic. The right one was milky, not focused on anything.
Reid swallowed. “No.”
“Then don’t say you have.” And he moved his hand down Reid’s torso until his fingers bumped into the waistband of Reid's pants, and deftly unbuttoned them.
“Can you squeeze me in this afternoon?”
“Uh… you notice that you are not my client anymore?” Reid sat aside notes he had taken for another case.
“You failed as my therapist anyway.”
“I believe I did not.”
“Suit yourself. I still wanted a new one.”
Reid hid a grin, indulging himself in thoughts of the night a few days ago. He had had to refer Louis to a colleague, as a consequence of what had happened between them, but he felt no regrets. “Did you only seek to insult me or is there an additional purpose to your call, Louis?”
Reid could hear the hesitation, a long inhale.
“I thought you might like to hear why I became a policemen.” Louis's voice had lost the joking undertone.
Reid’s heart jumped and he forced himself to sound normal. “Yes, I... I might.”
“I’m right in front of your house.”
“Why did I know that?”
Louis laughed shortly, the sound crackling over the phone. “Please? As a friend, not as your client.”
“I’m right at the door.”
There was a second of silence. “I knew you were.”