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Even Better Is The Real Thing

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“Don’t act surprised.”

“But I am,” Raylan said. “Dare I say that I am genuinely shocked.”

Tim snorted and reached for Raylan’s belt buckle. “Only because you don’t pay attention.”

“I pay immaculate attention. I get paid to pay attention.”

“My point exactly. You don’t pay attention unless you’re getting paid. Or unless it’s a blonde with nice tits.”

“How would you know?” Raylan’s breath stuttered. “You don’t like girls.”

“Yeah,” Tim said, curling his fingers around overheated denim, “but the thing is, you dick, I like you.”

Raylan made a low, greedy sound that Tim wanted to swallow. “You like my dick.”

“I don’t know. I ain’t seen it yet.”

“I know,” Raylan said. There was granite in his voice, and soft leather. “I know how much you’re gonna like it when I shove it in your mouth.”

“What makes you think you’re getting a blow job, cowboy? Maybe you’re the one who should be on your knees.”

Raylan’s nails dug into Tim’s shoulders. “Don’t have to be either/or. You ever heard of reciprocity?”

“What I hear,” Tim said, squeezing just this side of too mean, “is a man who thinks he’s in a position to bargain when what he really wants to do is beg.”

“Jesus,” Raylan hissed, “quit teasing and touch me already.”

“No. Take all this shit off and show me what you want me to touch.”

He shoved and Raylan stepped back willing, wide-eyed, and miracle of miracles: he did what he’d been told.

There was no art to it, Raylan stripping, no show of seduction. They were way past that part, anyway. There was no need. There was just this: the thickness between them, the heavy hot sink in the air, the way that Raylan moved like a house on fire, tearing away cotton and denim and snakeskin until his body was bare, unfolded before Tim in the cheap, yellowed light.

“How’s that?” Raylan’s voice was a rasp. “You better able to make your appraisal?”

He was a revelation naked. Long everywhere, and lovely. And he knew it, too, knew exactly what he was doing when he looked Tim straight in the eye and gave his dick a good, greedy stroke.

Tim wanted to offer something snappy. That’s what the man deserved. He’d been an asshole all day--all the way down to Harlan and in it and all the fucking way back--and even though he was the one who’d suggested they get a drink, after, he hadn’t ponied up for his half of the tab.

“Shit. I’m good for it,” he’d said, peering down at his empty wallet and then back at Tim’s face. “Must’ve left it on top of the dresser upstairs. Follow me up and I’ll give it to you, huh?”

He’d been in Raylan’s hobbit hole before; it was in equal parts jumbled and spartan, liked he remembered. But something was different. The way Raylan was looking at him, maybe. The way his fingers had pressed the bills into Tim’s palm and stayed.

“May I ask you something that might offend you?”

“You can ask.”

Dark eyes tipped to his. “Can I kiss you, Tim?”

The answer was no. The answer was: what the hell are you thinking, you presumptuous asshole? The answer was:

“Yes,” Tim said. “You can.”

“Oh,” Raylan said. He’d knocked Tim back against the door and stepped into him, grinned at him, bent down and just breathed at him. “Probably my favorite word in the English language, right there. Yes.”

Then they’d been kissing, stupid and sideways to savage, and Tim had said it again with Raylan’s tongue in his mouth, Raylan had echoed it, grinning: Yes. Yes.

He hadn’t wanted to do this since the moment he’d met Raylan. Not by a long shot. It had taken time, and the steady if uneven accumulation of trust. He knew Raylan was pretty; watched every suspect, fugitive, and Crowder they’d ever talk to come to the pleasant realization of the same. But for Tim, hot on its own was rarely enough.

He’d tried the hookup thing, once he’d gotten back. Been terrified of it in the service, after Mark, but once he was cut loose, it got a little easier. It hadn’t taken long, though, to find that sucking the dick of some guy he’d just met didn’t wind him up right. It felt disconnected. Also, furtive and weird. It wasn’t his thing.

It was better when he knew the person he was touching; when he liked them, when he knew the guy was into him, as Tim. Sad and simple, but true. And semi-tragic, frankly, because he had no interest in being easy to get to know. Never had.

There was a reason he’d had exactly one relationship in a decade.

But then there was Raylan, my life is an open book that I’m gonna force you to read in the workplace Raylan, who ambled in and took Tim’s desk and made everybody fall in love with him without so much as lifting his hat. Not Tim, though. No way. Not him.

Because he saw more of Raylan than most people. How could you not when you spent hours upon hours with the man in a car driving back and forth to a place that Raylan made abundantly clear he had worked 20 years to forget?

There wasn’t a single moment when the pieces in Tim’s head had locked together, where the heavens had parted over eastern Kentucky or some shit and made him understand that Raylan Givens was somebody he liked. No, one day, he’d looked over at the driver’s side and wanted in that very particular way and no amount of reason or code of professional conduct would make him shake loose of that. Which was fine. It wasn’t the first time he’d gone unrequited.

Except he wasn’t, apparently, if the circumstances of the evening were to be believed. It was goddamn astonishing. Shit.

“You always drip that much?” Tim was sitting at the edge of Raylan’s bed. He was desperate to touch, so he did not. “Fuck, Raylan, look how wet you are.”

“Gonna get a lot wetter you keep looking at me like that. And that won’t be fun for anybody.”

“Except you.”

Raylan gave himself a stroke. “Mmm, except me.”

“Do that again.”

“Do what, son?”

Their eyes met. Raylan’s were heavy, their hazel gone nearly black, but there was a light there, too, a kind of sweetness, that made something in Tim’s chest flutter.

God yes, he thought. It’s so much better this way.

He smiled and let Raylan see it. Leaned back on his hands. “Go on. Stroke your dick for me.”

Raylan’s hand moved before his mouth could. He didn’t want to do it; he could get off with his right hand any time. He wanted to push inside of Tim’s mouth, to fuck that sardonic tongue until every last ounce of cool in Tim’s general person was smashed and all he could do was tip his head back all greedy and gorgeous and swallow Raylan’s come.

Also, he was real fond of the idea of Tim fucking him. Of having that no-bullshit boy on top of him, holding him down with calloused fingers and making him see the goddamn stars. Yeah, that was a notion he and his fist might have visited in this very room, once or twice.

He’d thought about it, sure. But he’d never entertained the notion that Tim, too, might want to take things in that particular direction. Not seriously entertained it, anyway.

For one thing, the kid--he wasn’t a kid, damn it, but if Raylan was honest, he kinda liked thinking of him that way--had seen way too much of Raylan’s personal bullshit over the past six months. Whatever sexy mystery Raylan liked to think he could carry with strangers, Tim was not buying. Hell, even if they’d met outside of the office, Raylan figured, Tim would’ve seen straight through him; the kid was that sharp, behind the I don’t give a shit gaze.

Also, for all the time they’d spent together trapped in various motor vehicles, Raylan had not clocked from Tim’s direction so much as a gaze, much less the kind of lingering, pointed look that usually heralded an interesting turn in the conversational direction at the right time and right place. And Tim had even seen him in various states of undress on more than one occasion and still--nothing, much to Raylan’s disappointment. Not a twitch. No heated glance.

So he’d become content to consign such thoughts of Tim to fantasy, and what pleasant ones they were, especially at 3 am when he woke up out of sorts and horny and jacked off to bright-light visions of Tim’s cock in his mouth, of Tim clawing at Raylan’s hair as he pulled out with a yell and shot all over Raylan’s face.

He always slept especially good after that one.

But today--what’d changed today? What’d made him ply the kid with a line so obvious it was neon? What’d made Tim bob along behind him up the stairs and stand still when Raylan had leapt out on a limb and asked him that question?

What in the actual fuck had made Tim say yes?

Did it matter?

Right now, in this moment, it didn’t. Right now, in this moment, what mattered was the way Tim was looking at him, the way his hips were lifting off the bed every time Raylan stroked it. The softness of his mouth, the desire that had snuck its way into the solemn blue of his eyes. The way he was clutching at the bedspread, his fingers curled into printed flowers so he would not, for some goddamn reason, do what they both wanted and reach out and touch.

It was way better than even the best shit Raylan had ever imagined.

“Tim,” he said. Didn’t even flinch when he could hear the desperate there. “Tim, I am gonna fucking come if you don’t tell me to stop. And I don’t wanna do that.”

“What do you want?” Less steady now.

“I want you to put your hands on me. I told you before, I want you to pull on my cock.”

Tim’s hips came up again, hard. “Shit, Raylan.”

“Come on. Don’t make me beg.”

The boy on the bed, his head fell back and he made the dirtiest noise Raylan had heard in ages. “But you would,” Tim panted. “You would beg if I wanted you to, wouldn’t you?”

“Yeah,” Raylan said. He took a chance and edged forward until his knee kissed Tim’s. “I would.”

And then Tim was looking up at him with all the ice melted. There was a flush at the base of his throat that snuck down into his shirt, and his mouth was open, like he was dying for water and Raylan was a long, cool drink.

“Raylan,” he said again, and shit, Raylan thought through the haze of want in his head, he could get used to hearing his name torn like that, tattered paper soaked through with need.

“Tim.” He snagged a hand in Tim’s shirt and nudged him up the bed, tumbled after. “Fuck, you’re gorgeous, boy. I want you so bad.”

Then they were kissing, the kind of kissing that Raylan kenned to: messy and frantic and deep. Tim’s hands were in his hair and tooling down his back and finally, fucking finally, curled around the swell of his ass, pulling him down even as Tim arched to grind against him, and now Raylan was the one making happy sounds, his throat ringing with ‘em as he leaked all over Tim’s jeans, which really, really needed to be on the fucking floor, along with his shirts.

He said so, with some gusto. Tim concurred.

Unwrapped, he was delicious. Gorgeous arms and strong legs and a softness at his middle that Raylan found incredibly fucking endearing. There were tattoos, too, on the boy’s arm and his chest, and that such a thing served to further spike Raylan’s pulse was a matter he thought he’d very much like to explore in detail some day.

But in the moment, he was overwhelmed, even before Tim got his hand around both of their cocks and so the tattoos, for now, could wait.

“You gonna come?” Tim said against his mouth. Their kisses had drifted to hot air and cotton candy. “You gonna empty those big balls all over my dick?”

Raylan clutched at the boy’s ass and rocked greedily into his fist. “Is that what you want? You want me to make a mess of you?”

“Yes.” Tim shuddered, bent his teeth to Raylan’s throat. “Wanna do the same to you.”

“Please. Do it, son.”


Raylan speared his fingers in Tim’s hair. Heat somersaulted in his gut and he wanted, dear sweet fuck, did he want. “Please,” he managed. “Please, baby. Let me feel you come.”

Then they didn’t talk anymore, didn’t have to, because Tim was moaning and Tim was jacking them faster and Tim was burying his face against the sweat on Raylan’s chest and coming with a shout that shook the rafters, his fist stuttering to a halt as his seed soaked his fist and Raylan’s straining dick and when Raylan reached down to take over, Tim’s cock was still twitching, trying its damnedest to come on him some more and shit, it didn’t take much more than that.

“That’s it,” Tim muttered, his hands moving in drunken circles over Raylan’s skin. “That’s it, Raylan. Give it up for me. Come on me, come on now. You fucking come.”

“I am,” Raylan hissed, though he was grinning like a damn fool. “You feel that, my spunk on your dick? That’s you. That’s all for you.”

Tim kissed him again. He was chuckling, which Raylan fucking adored, and he curled into Raylan’s body and tangled the angles of their legs. Raylan liked that, too. Then he lapped at all four corners of Raylan’s smile and lifted Raylan’s sticky fingers to his face.

“Oh, shit.” A soft echo, a groan that belonged to them both. “Yeah, son. Just like that, now. Lick it up.”

After, Raylan was not inclined to get up. Tim felt good against him, warm and solid. His breathing was deep enough for a bit that Raylan wondered if he’d nodded off. He rubbed gently at the back of the boy’s neck--loose now, wet with sweat and the drag of unfamiliar curls--and kinda hoped that he had. It took real trust to do that, to chase sleep in somebody else’s bed. A different kind than it did just to fuck.

Tim shifted, after a time, beneath the curve of Raylan’s fingers. “Raylan?” he said.


The bed groaned as Tim turned towards him--and put a little distance between them, Raylan noticed. But still, there was a twitch of a smile on his face.

Tim said: “Did you really not know I had a thing for you?”

“A thing?” said Raylan innocently. “You mean, a deep and abiding admiration for my unwavering professional prowess? Well, no, I didn’t.”

“God, you’re an ass.”

“Was that not what you meant?”

“You know it isn’t.”

“Oh.” Raylan patted Tim’s chest and strategically let his hand linger. “You mean the whole you’ve wanted to jump my bones for nigh on ever thing.”

That got him a serious eye roll, true, but also a pretty nice blush. “Ugh. Not forever.”

“No? I thought that’s what you said, before. Now you’re crushing my heart.”

“Yeah?” Tim touched Raylan’s hip. There was a tentativeness that hadn’t been there before, in the heat of battle. “May I remind you that you’re the one who came on to me?”

“I did, didn’t I?”

“You did. And why the fuck would you do that if you weren’t pretty damn sure I’d say yes?”

Raylan thought about that. He spread his hand over the weird swirl of Tim’s tattoo and considered the unlikely but entirely welcome events of the last couple of hours: Tim beside him at the bar, their elbows bumping as they rehashed the events of the day. The helpless kinda way he’d felt when Lindsey come down their end to sass him and Tim had laughed, put his head back and cackled and Raylan had wanted to kiss the boy’s throat so bad that it choked him and every uncollegiate thought he’d ever had about Tim suddenly seemed in that moment both wholly inadequate and within reach.

When he opened his wallet and fed the man a line, well--

“Er,” Raylan said, and now he was the one with heated cheeks. “I wasn’t sure. But I hoped.”

“You hoped.” The incredulity in Tim’s voice made him sound more like himself than he had since Raylan had taken off his pants. “Seriously?”

“You want me to lie and say I could read your fucking mind?”

Tim was staring at him, his mouth halfway to slack. “What the fuck would you have done if I’d said no? Or punched you, or something?”

Something prickled at the back of Raylan’s neck. “Wait,” he said, “are you pissed at me now ‘cause you didn’t?”

“No, but just--” Tim blew out his breath. To Raylan, he looked real young, all of a sudden. “I can’t believe you’d take a chance like that. Christ, Raylan.”

There was more to it than that; Raylan could see it. But Tim didn’t seem inclined to share, and in this moment, Raylan, for once, was not so inclined to push.

He shrugged. “Nobody here but us chickens, Timmy.”

“Yeah, I know, but--”

Raylan shifted, turned his hips on the bed until Tim was spread under him and they were pressed together, skin to skin.

“Now, Deputy Gutterson,” Raylan said, “we can lay here and argue about what a damned fool I am for making presumptions about your proclivities and the general irresistible nature of my person or we can make out in this nice goddamn bed until you and your gorgeous dick are ready to go again. And might I add, before you interject, that my specific suggestion is that you stick your dick down my throat and then lose your shit while wailin’ some version of my name. How’s that strike you?”

Tim’s hands were his answer. They snuck up over the bones of Raylan’s hips and slid down to squeeze hard at his backside. Then he said:

“Fine. But I reserve the right to explain to you at a later date and time of my choosing why you’re a damned fool.”

“Ok, so noted and shit. Can I kiss you now?”

Tim grinned, the low clouds disappearing. “Yes, Raylan,” he said. “Yes, you can.”