by Lisa

I didn't hear you leave.
I wonder how am I still here.
I don't want to move a thing.
It might change my memory.

I don't want to call my friends.
They might wake me from this dream.
And I can't leave this bed.
Risk forgetting all that's been

Oh I am what I am. I'll do what I want.
But I can't hide.
And I won't go. I won't sleep.
And I can't breathe,
until you're resting here with me.
And I won't leave. I can't hide.
I cannot be,
until you're resting here with me.

~Dido - "Here with Me"

* * *

Ray Mukada sat alone in his office. A forgotten cigarette smoldered in an ashtray on the corner of his desk. The burning tobacco cast a surreal fog around him.

He had lost control.

He wasn't able to pinpoint the exact moment it had happened. Hell, he was lucky if he could remember what day it was. All the feelings he had covered up, forsaken, buried, for all those years, had been shaken from their slumber by Chris Keller. But Ray could have survived that. It had been one time. He could have bottled the roiling emotions and sensations deep within himself. Locked them away in the sacred vault of his vocation. But he had not done that. He had not ignored them.

He'd had sex with Ryan O'Reily.

And not only once. They were lovers. Had been since that day Ryan had come to him to ask for help with Cyril.

No. Not lovers. There was no love involved in their - relationship. He wished to God that there was some way to convince himself that it was more than physical. More than just biological wants and needs being fulfilled, satisfied. But it wasn't.

They were fucking. And there it was.

A shiver passed through Ray, just like one did every time his mind wrapped around the word - fucking. He was fucking the tall, lanky Irishman. And he liked it.

A lot.

He was using his job, his position as Chaplain, as a front for their encounters and the guilt was slowly consuming him. But he couldn't stop. The carnal hunger that had been unleashed wrapped him snugly within a blanket of warm passion. He had never felt anything like it. He couldn't let the sensation go - kept going back for more. Craved it like air or food or water. Like an addict and his drug.

But there was a price to pay. And what a large price it was.

He felt his soul bleed a little more each time they were together - his faith dissipating with every cloud of spent breath. It seeped from his pours with each bead of sweat that dripped from his sated body and splashed onto the skin of Ryan O'Reily.

Ray picked up the remnant of his cigarette and brought it to his pursed lips. He took a deep drag and stubbed the filter into the ashtray. He released the smoke in a slow breath, savoring the soothing nicotine for as long as he possibly could. He glanced up at the clock on the wall and stood. He picked up his bible and exited the office, pulling the door closed behind him.

It was time for him to go to Em City. Time for him to see Ryan.

* * *

Miguel Alvarez had been free.

He had slept in boxes on the streets and eaten out of other people's garbage cans to survive. But it had been fuckin sweet. To be out there. Outside.

But now he wasn't. He was back in Oz.

He had been caught and dragged, kicking and screaming, back to the prison. He had no idea how he had been found. Figured someone had seen his fuckin face on the news and ratted him out.

"Yeah...this bum that's been eating leftovers out of my trash looks just like that guy on the news. Come get him."

So here he was. Back in the shithole. But that was okay. At least he'd have a bed, and a shower, and food. And he'd somehow convinced Glynn to let him return to Em City rather than putting him back into solitary. Miguel had come clean and spilled about Bevilaqua raping his daughter. So he assumed this was some sort of gift.

Gift? Hah!

He was escorted through the entrance of the cellblock and shown to his pod. Chris Keller was waiting for him, a grin covering his chiseled face.

"Welcome back, hermano!" Keller approached him and clasped him on the shoulder.

Miguel pushed passed him and entered the small, plexiglass room. "Fuck you, man."

Keller's grin only broadened at the brush off. His eyes caught sight of someone entering Ryan O'Reily's pod. He watched as the priest, bible clutched tightly against his hip, glanced cautiously around before pulling the door shut behind him. His stomach turned at the sight of the man.

He despised Ray Mukada. Ever since the priest had refused to absolve him, Keller had been waiting. Waiting for the perfect opportunity to pay him back for that mistake. And it looked like today was going to be that day. The smile turned bitter as it spread along Keller's face and settled behind his ice blue eyes.

Keller's thoughts turned back to his new podmate. Miguel Alvarez. Mukada had always forgiven Alvarez, no matter how much he fucked up. Keller felt the resentment building within him. Not only for the priest, but for the inmate as well. What made Alvarez so fucking special that *he* was absolved? Or O'Reily for that matter.

Not only would this be the perfect revenge on the priest, but he'd fucking get Alvarez *and* O'Reily in the process.

Keller's lips twitched and he fought to keep the smirk from growing even larger. Instead, he banished the smile from his mouth and turned back to face Alvarez. He wanted to make sure he saw the Latino's reaction when he received this little tidbit of news. To chisel the memory of Miguel's fucking face into his brain.

Chris Keller recognized that had Alvarez known him better - like Beecher did - he would have smelled the idea simmering in Keller's brain before he even opened his mouth. But Alvarez did not know Keller, so it would be that much sweeter.

"So, Alvarez. Didya hear?" He stoked one hand thoughtfully along his partially-bearded chin. "O'Reily's gotten himself a prag?"

"How would I know that? I just fuckin got back, man." He dropped his shit onto the top bunk, barely registering what Keller had just said. "What I want to know *hermano* is how the *fuck* I got stuck in the same pod as you?"

When Miguel's question went unanswered, his eyes shifted over to his new podmate. The seriousness reflected in Keller's blue eyes startled him. "Keller? What the fuck is up wit' you?"

"I'm tellin ya. Our local 'I'm no fag' het-boy's been humpin and pumpin like a horny fuckin rabbit."

"You shittin me?"

"Nope. Happened right after you escaped."

Miguel ran his fingers through his short, spiky hair and shook his head in disbelief. "Nah man. I don't believe that shit. O'Reily? He ain't into that. Never has been."

"Well, it sure looks like he's changed his mind. Check it out." Keller nodded his head toward the quad.

Miguel pushed himself away from the bunk and slid up next to Keller. His eyes followed the line of Keller's gaze and locked on the O'Reily pod. What he saw was Ryan sitting on Cyril's bunk, his body obstructing the view of the man seated next to him. Miguel's eyes narrowed as he craned his neck in an attempt to see around the Irishman. Shadows cloaked the man's face, concealing his identity.

The only thing Miguel saw clearly was a pair of legs encased in stiff black material. A small flicker of silent recognition skimmed through Miguel's mind, but he quickly dismissed it. *That's fucking impossible.*

Miguel squeezed his eyelids closer together, trying in vain to somehow penetrate the darkness that surrounded the unknown man - the man that *couldn't* be Ray Mukada, could it? He saw nothing. Nada.

"Fuck!" Miguel struck the glass with the bottom of his fist in frustration. He shouldered Keller out of his way, left the pod and walked quickly across the common area toward O'Reily's pod.

* * *

Ryan O'Reily knew he was being stared at. He could feel the deep brown eyes boring into the back of his head like two white-hot lasers. He knew whose eyes they were before he even turned his head and met Miguel's glare. His eyes fixed on the other man's as a small smirk crossed his lips.

"Uh, Ray?" He did not break contact with Miguel as he spoke. "I think we're about to have some company."

He leaned back on the firm mattress, propping himself up with his elbows, leaving Ray completely exposed to Miguel's line of sight.

"Looks like the prodigal son has returned to hell." His smirk broadened as he nodded in the other inmate's direction.

Ray dropped his eyes away from Ryan's and they met Miguel's. His heart, swelling with joy at the sight of the inmate, climbed into his throat. The priest jumped to his feet and took a step forward.

Ryan slid to his feet behind the smaller man and placed one of his hands on Ray's shoulder, halting him in his tracks. His fingers lightly grasped the soft material of the holy man's sweatshirt.

Ray did not turn back toward Ryan. His eyes were focused on Miguel Alvarez. Ray watched as he came to a complete stop a few feet away from Ryan's pod - rage, surprise, disbelief and despair all rolling in tandem across his pretty features. Pain radiated out from the deep brown ovals, burning Ray to the core. He wanted to pull his eyes away, break their stare, but he couldn't. Couldn't bear to disconnect from the man he had longed for - at least until recently - before and after his escape. He tried to force his heart out of his throat with a rough swallow, but the muscles constricted tightly, choking off his air.

*This isn't happening.*

After a moment, Ray exhaled and the world began moving again.

He began to step forward, but felt pressure on his shoulder. Ryan was holding him back. Ray grasped Ryan's fingers gently and peeled them cautiously away from his shoulder. He shifted position and faced the inmate. Brown and green eyes met as he bent closer. Ray placed his warm hand on Ryan's forearm.

"Ryan, please. I have to go. I have to talk to Mig..."

Ryan grabbed the priest's hand and jerked it away from his arm. He snapped his head to the side, nodding sharply in the direction of the quad.

"Go then."

Ray backed away from the taller man slowly and turned to leave the pod.

"Big fuckin surprise." Ryan's voice was just above a whisper.

Ray stopped, his hand gripping the handle, and looked back over his shoulder. "Ryan. You don't under..."

"No I understand perfectly." He pointed at the inmate standing between the two pods. "Now that the precious *Miguel* is back, nothing..." He paused, his green eyes blazing with anger and jealousy. "*No one* else matters."

Ray sighed deeply and turned back into the pod. He attempted to step forward, his eyes begging for understanding, but Ryan's arm shot out, his palm connecting with the priest's chest.

"Fuck you Mukada you phony cocksucker!" He turned his head and spit on the floor. "Get the fuck out of my pod." Ryan pushed the priest away and climbed up into his bunk.

Surprise colored Ray's face. He stared at Ryan for a moment. Ray wasn't sure how to react to this jealous outburst so he did the only thing he could. He left. He gripped the handle and pushed the door forward. Ryan's sharp voice pierced the air as he exited.

"Go on! Be Alvarez's little fuckin bitch again!"

* * *

Miguel watched as Ray approached him. His posture became more and more defensive the closer the priest got. His eyes burned into Ray's with the intensity of an erupting volcano. He didn't move. He stood firmly planted to the floor, arms crossed over his chest and waited for Ray Mukada to come to him.

"Miguel." He smiled at the taller man, eyes shining brightly, relief coating his words sweetly. Ray reached out to Miguel, only to have his hand roughly blocked away. The smile dropped from Ray's face and a look of confusion replaced it.

Miguel's eyes shifted over Ray's shoulder and back again. He glared down at the smaller man, his features painted red with rage. When he spoke, his voice was little more than a hiss. The words fell from his lips, cold and biting, but singed with sadness and hurt.

"Don't you fuckin touch me, Padre."

"Miguel, what..."

"No." His eyes sliced through Ray like shards of glass. He bent down closer to the priest and whispered harshly into his ear. "You're *his* fuckin *prag*."

His voice caught on the final word, but he coughed it away and continued.

"You and me...we got nothin more to say to each other." He glanced back over Mukada's shoulder at O'Reily's gloating face, turned his back on both men and walked away.

Ray watched as Miguel's back faded from sight. He felt as if he'd been slapped in the face. Miguel's words wrapped like a noose around his heart and squeezed tightly. Blood pumped through his veins and white pain throbbed in waves under the surface of his skin. Hot tears sprung to his eyes, but he was somehow able to stop them, allowing only one salty drop to glide down his flushed cheek.

He could feel the questioning stares being sent in his direction by the few inmates who had actually witnessed the abrupt scene. He refused to meet most of their gazes - but there was one he couldn't ignore. He looked over his shoulder and met Ryan O'Reily's eyes. The heat seeping from the Irishman's stare penetrated his body.

Ray held Ryan's eyes in his own. As he saw the other man's face harden, fear slid along the priest's spine. The sensitivity he'd once seen, once felt, disappeared. Bile rose in Ray's throat as he watched the pain of rejection that had covered Ryan's face only moments before, fade. In its place was a tight mask of smugness. This was the Ryan O'Reily of Em City. The master manipulator - taking pleasure in the discomfort of others.

The priest finally had to turn away when he saw the sarcastic smile that threatened to spread across O'Reily's mouth, and he began to walk out.

Right past Chris Keller.

Keller was propped up against the outer wall of his cell. His hands were threaded together and pressed against the glass above his head. The intense blue eyes shot through Ray like a jolt of electricity. A shudder of awareness shook the priest, eliciting a seductive grin from Keller.

Ray's pulse roared to life in reaction to the slight curve of the inmate's lips. He was rooted to the ground, powerless, as Keller's slippery gaze slithered down his body, pausing momentarily at his groin. The heat from the stare boiled under Ray's skin and forced him into an even deeper state of arousal. His growing erection pressed roughly against the zipper of his restrictive pants. Keller's grin widened across the expanse of his face and he lifted his eyes back to Ray's. He pursed his lips together and blew the flustered priest a kiss.

It was more than Ray could take. He gripped his bible close to his chest and rushed out of Em City.

* * *

Welcome the fuck back to Oz, Miguel.

He was lying on his bunk staring at the ceiling. Just as he had been for almost every hour of every day since he was brought back.

Nothing ever changed in this place. Eat, sleep, shit. Eat, sleep, shit.

Well, okay. *Some* things had changed.

El Cid was dead - he had to remember to thank Rebadow for that one again. Shame he missed it. Adebisi, Stanislovski...both dead. Keller and Beecher were over...*again* - and thank you so fucking much for that, Beecher, since I'm stuck bunking with the cocksucker now! McManus was back in charge of this shithole. O'Reily was fucking that skank-in-the-form-of-a-hack Howell.

But that wasn't all - or more to the point *who* - Ryan O'Reily had been doing.

He was also *fucking* Father Ray Mukada.

A week had passed and Miguel was still pissed as hell about it. The thought of the two of them left a bad taste on his tongue. The problem was, he couldn't really figure out why he was so upset. What the fuck did he care? If O'Reily wanted a piece of the padre's ass, let him have it. And if Mukada wanted to give it up to the lanky mick, more fuckin power to him.

*Then why can't you let it fade, chico?*

Miguel rolled over onto his stomach and gazed out of his pod. He watched as Ryan O'Reily played cards with Keller and Hill. He had not spoken to the inmate since that day. The day he had seen them, Ray and Ryan, in Ryan's pod. Miguel had seen the way the priest's face had jumped to life when he'd seen him standing there and then fell when the Irishman stopped Ray from leaving the pod.


Everyone in Em City could sense the tension, could *feel* the guilt radiating from Mukada as he turned back to confront Ryan. And everyone had heard O'Reily's voice when the priest left the cell.

// Go on! Be Alvarez's little fuckin bitch again! //

And he had come. Ray had chosen Miguel, and was shunned.

Miguel's heart was broken, but pride prevented him from showing that. He covered it with anger, hate, rage - emotions he was more comfortable with. He felt betrayed by the priest - as if Ray Mukada hadn't fuckin cared that he'd been gone for - shit - months. Didn't even notice that his little 'project' was missing. Outta sight outta mind huh, Padre? He had jumped into the fuckin arms of the first person that would have him.

Ryan fuckin O'Reily.

Whenever Miguel saw O'Reily's face or heard his voice, it felt as if a shank was being driven straight through his chest. He hated himself for feeling this way - so weak. He now spent most of his time avoiding both the inmate and the priest like the plague. Figured it was better to do that, than to live every single fucking day with the pain that invaded his heart each time he realized that, at least for a moment, Ray had chosen Ryan over him.

* * *

Ryan was always completely aware of his surroundings. He knew exactly who was watching him at all times - and today was no different. He raised his eyes and met Miguel's. Their gazes held for only a matter of seconds before Miguel turned away and laid his head down on his arms.

Ryan was furious. He'd had just about enough of this cat and mouse game that Alvarez had been playing all fucking week. He threw his cards down onto the table and stood. His chair fell to the ground with a loud bang that echoed through the quad. Chris Keller reached out and grabbed his arm.

"Whoa, man. Where you goin? We're playin a game here."

Ryan shook off Keller's hand and bent down over the larger man.

"Fuck you, Keller." He pointed across the quad at Alvarez. "I'm getting a little tired of all this bullshit!" Ryan stomped across the common area and yanked open the door to the pod.

"Alvarez?" He waited, but Miguel didn't move. He made no indication that he had actually heard O'Reily's voice. Ryan stepped into the pod. The door slipped shut with a soft hiss behind him. "Alvarez - what the fuck? I'm talking to you."

Miguel turned his head to face the other man. He propped his chin up on the palm of his hand.

"So fuckin talk."

"I don't know what exactly you think I did to Mukada - but you need to remember that it wasn't just me man. He came to me, I went to him." He paused, pride shimmering in his eyes. His tone became harsh and mocking. "I needed something, *he* needed something. And we got that from each other. I'm sorry if you can't take that for what it is, but that's your fucking problem - not mine."

"Oh, okay. I get it now." Miguel's eyes hardened. "Let me make sure I get this right. Cause, ya know, I wouldn't want to be wrong or anything. So, okay, you needed to fuck, and decided to fuck a priest. Is that it?"

O'Reily opened his mouth to speak, but Miguel cut him off quickly with a sharp flick of his hand. His lips curled into a sneer when he spoke.

"So, when you made this decision - Ryan - did you actually fuckin *think* about what you were doing? Or did you just want to get off?" He pushed himself away from the mattress and slid down from his bunk. "Was it better cause he was a priest? I mean, did you, ya know, get harder cause you knew what he was? Tell me, man. I really wanna know." Sarcasm radiated from Miguel's body as he stared down the other inmate. He leaned back against the metal bed and crossed his arms over his chest.

Ryan closed the distance between them with two large steps. He grabbed the front of Miguel's t-shirt and pulled him closer.

"Ya know what Alvarez?" His voice was low and acidic. "I did like it. It was the best fucking head I've ever had. And he fucking loved it, man. Practically begged me for my cock." He smirked as Miguel's eyes betrayed his feelings and filled with jealousy, rather than anger. "Awww, poor Miguel. Are you upset that *Ray* was too busy sucking me off to think about you? That I got something from the padre that you never could?"

Alvarez's body tensed and he tried to pull away from O'Reily, but the other inmate had a tight grip on his shirt and the more he struggled, the harder O'Reily held on. But Ryan did not have control of his mouth.

"And what exactly did you get from him that I couldn't, man? Sex?" Miguel steeled himself against the pain churning inside him brought on by Ryan's admission. "You finally decide to get a prag in here, and you picked Mukada because...why? Because he was *pure*? Because he'd never been fucked before? Because I couldn't?" He shrugged when the other inmate said nothing. "Hey man, ya know, if you need to tell yourself that so you can fuckin sleep at night, go right ahead."

"Alvarez." Ryan paused to get his fury under control. "Think whatever the fuck you want, but before you start throwing that shit my way - you need to have a little chat with your roomie." Ryan jerked his thumb in Keller's direction. He pressed his lips closer to Miguel's ear. "See, cause contrary to popular belief, I wasn't the one who de-flowered the good padre."

Ryan shoved the stunned inmate away from him and left the cell.

* * *

Keller had watched the whole scene between O'Reily and Alvarez with growing anxiety. There was no way O'Reily would keep his mouth shut about the day he'd caught Keller, dick in hand, leaving the chaplain's office - especially if it would get Ryan out of the mess he was in with Alvarez. When O'Reily stormed out of Alvarez's pod, Keller stood and reached out to grab his arm as he passed by.

"O'Reily? What the fuck is going on?"

Ryan jerked his arm from the other inmate's grip and kept walking through the quad.

Keller's eyes followed the enraged inmate as he retreated into his own pod. O'Reily yanked the door closed behind him, and Keller watched him take a few seconds to compose himself. When the Irishman turned back to face Keller, his face was covered with a very controlled - very smug - patented O'Reily mask. Keller had seen this look many, many times over the few years they'd spent together in Oz, and it made him very nervous. Panic crept into his blue eyes, but he quickly forced it down.

O'Reily's eyes passed from Keller, to Alvarez, and back to Keller. His lips pulled into a grin as he caught sight of the quick flicker of fear that passed over Chris Keller's eyes.

*That's right cocksucker.* He thought, his lips curling into an even tighter sneer as he watched Miguel Alvarez shove open the door to his pod and rush into the common area. *You can clean up this fucking mess yourself.*

Chris Keller turned his head just a moment too late. He didn't even have time to prepare himself for the impact. Miguel Alvarez tackled him from behind, knocking him to the ground. When he hit the floor, all the air in his lungs burst from his mouth in a loud whoosh. For a second, Keller thought that Alvarez was just going to lay there with him pinned to the floor - but Keller knew better. He was almost thankful when Alvarez grabbed him by the shirt and flipped him over onto his back. With Alvarez's weight on top of him, his chest pressed to the unyielding floor, he had been unable to fill his lungs. Once he was on his back with Alvarez straddling his hips, Keller was able to gulp down the much-needed air and relieve the burning behind his ribs. But it was only a momentary reprieve.

Alvarez's fist connected squarely with his jaw. Keller heard the bones in his chin crack and tasted the coppery blood as it poured into his mouth from the large split in his lip. The blows kept raining down on him and Keller almost decided to just lay there and take it. Let Alvarez have his hissy fit - get it out and over with. The hacks'd pull them apart before long anyway, and Alvarez would be the one thrown into the hole for fighting.

But he couldn't do it. The fighter within him couldn't let it go.

Keller caught sight of Alvarez's next punch and stopped it easily by catching it within his own hand. He shoved the smaller inmate backward, knocking Alvarez off balance. Keller sat upright and balled his other hand into a large fist. It made contact with Miguel Alvarez's cheek as he was falling to the ground. The loud pop from the strike echoed through Em City.

Keller scrambled out from beneath Alvarez and jumped to his feet. He reached down and grabbed the other man's shirt and jerked him to his feet. Keller was preparing another punch when the CO's arrived. They pulled the two apart and dragged them out of Em City.

A trust betrayed, a rusty blade.
Standin' on the edge.
I walked a line, paid my fine.
Hope I know the ledge.

Actual facts, unnatural acts.
Sins, they take their toll.
The angel and the jinn and the beast within.
The fight to take control.

Lord, have mercy on my soul.

~Everlast - "Mercy on my Soul"

Hill: Mother Nature. She decides when it rains, when it snows. She destroys one species and creates a new one. Some of us - humans that is - think that she makes mistakes sometimes. We go through our lives deciding what's natural and what's not. But really, who the fuck are we to decide that? In the cosmic reality of life, what power do we have over anything in nature? What right do we have?

I saw this thing once - some nature show. It was all about these frogs that could spontaneously change sex...switch from male to female in order to procreate. That's pretty fucked up, but man, that's nature. She don't care. She just does what she does because she wants to. Or because she *likes* to.

So while we, as humans, may think it's unnatural or wrong...that doesn't necessarily mean that it is. Sometimes it's 100% nature. And shit - Mother Nature? She's "it" baby. When she calls, we listen. And if we don't? Hell, look at what happened to the dinosaurs.

* * *

The priest did not recognize the man he had become.

Eyes that had once been vibrant and cheerful were now red from lack of sleep and filled with sorrow. The face that had been welcoming and open was drawn and pale. His hands shook, his gait was slow and unsteady. He felt as if he were moving through some sort of desolate limbo - his own personal hell.

*Self-created hell.* He kept reminding himself.

He had broken his vows. Twice. Or more to the point, with two people. Chris Keller had been the first. Ryan O'Reily the second. And because of his stupidity, his weaknesses, he had lost the one person in the world that he had wanted, needed, to be in his life.

Miguel Alvarez hated him.

The guilt from his sexual awakening paled in comparison to the pain he felt every time his mind grappled with the fact that he had lost Miguel - probably for good this time. It was slowly eating away at the priest - pushing him through a downward spiral into depression. He wasn't eating, wasn't really sleeping either. And even on those rare moments when slumber did pull him into its arms, nightmares rocked his subconscious. Visions of the day Miguel had come back, thoughts of what might have or should have been, only served to deepen his despair. He'd wake, unrefreshed, his pillow soaked with the sweat and tears he had shed in the dark hours of the night.

But for Ray, dreams were the only contact he had with Miguel.

He hadn't seen the inmate since that day in Em City. Three weeks had gone by and they hadn't even shared a passing glance. And it wasn't as if they never had opportunities to see each other...Ray was in Em City at least once a day. But he knew Miguel was avoiding him. Ray had sent word that he wanted to speak with him numerous times, but the requests went unanswered and ignored. And as the days dragged on, the priest began to hear the rumors pouring out of Em City.

That Miguel was having problems with O'Reily and Keller - not to mention the fact that O'Reily and Keller were having problems with each other. That both Miguel and Keller had taken trips to the hole for fighting.

The latest was that Tim McManus had moved Miguel out of his pod and away from Keller because of the continuous friction between the two.

The issue of "that fucked up threesome" came up at every staff meeting - and today was no different. If things in Em City didn't calm down, and soon, Miguel would be returned to solitary and the other two would be transferred to Gen Pop.

*And it's all because of me.*

"Ray?" Tim's voice broke him from his haze.

"Yes?" The word slipped from his mouth softly.

"You're friends with Alvarez. I want you to try and talk to him. He seems to be sort of the catalyst in this whole thing. See if you can settle him down."

"Things are different now Tim." Ray sighed loudly and shook his head. "He won't talk to me."

"Yeah, well, he doesn't have a choice." Tim paused and flipped through his binder. He double checked his schedule and turned his eyes to the priest. "And neither do you. I have him scheduled for a visit today at 3:00."

* * *

Ray paced within his office. He waited and waited while a clump of dread grew inside of him. It swelled steadily as the hands on the clock approached 3:00.

His hands were sweaty, his mouth dry. His legs shook beneath him so roughly that he finally had to sit on the edge of his desk or risk falling on his face. He took a few deep breaths in an attempt to calm down. He was actually beginning to feel a little better - more steady - when a knock on the door startled him. His breath caught and he had to remind himself to exhale.

"Come in."

The door opened and Miguel Alvarez entered. He was followed closely by Sean Murphy, who was actually half pushing the inmate through the doorway. Miguel's eyes were focused at his feet. He would not make eye contact with either of the other men.

"Miguel, please have a seat." The priest motioned to one of the chairs in front of his desk.

When Miguel refused to budge, the CO shoved him into the chair.

"Officer, please leave us alone." Ray walked over to the door and placed his hand on the knob.

"Uh, Father? I really don't think that's a good idea."

"Please." It was not a request, but a soft, stern command.

Murphy's leery eyes panned from Miguel Alvarez to Ray Mukada and back again. He shrugged and turned to leave the office.

"I'll be right out here if you need me." He gave Miguel an uneasy glance before he exited, but the inmate's eyes were trained on the ground so the gesture was pointless.

"Everything will be fine." Ray said under his breath, almost as if trying to convince himself that it was actually the truth.

He pushed the door closed and ran his fingers over the lock. It turned in his grasp and caught with a soft click. Ray knew that being confined in the small room with Miguel probably wasn't the best idea given the situation, but he didn't want them to be disturbed.

He walked over to the desk and resumed his perch on its corner. Miguel now had his eyes in his lap. He was picking at his fingers - a habit that Ray was very familiar with and that secretly drove him crazy.

The tension in the room was oppressive, the silence deafening. Both men felt it as if it were a thick blanket wrapped tightly around them. They were strangling in each other's presence. The minutes slid by like molasses. Finally Ray cleared his throat and broke the soundless barrier between them.

"Miguel." Ray's voice cracked when he spoke the other man's name. He swallowed the lump in his throat and tried to continue. "Miguel, Tim McManus tells me that you're having some trouble re-adapting to life in Em City. Is this true?"

Miguel shifted in his seat. He crossed his arms over his body and absently stroked his fingers over the tight muscles of his stomach through his shirt. But he said nothing. Gave no answer. The only sound he made was a frustrated sigh.

*Damnit Miguel! I know you heard me!* Ray almost screamed at the Latino as the fury at Miguel's obvious snub seethed within him. But Ray gently pushed it aside. He knew that he had no right to get angry with Miguel. No right at all. He inhaled deeply and continued.

"Miguel, I know you're upset - with me especially - but I'm just trying to help you." Ray's breath caught when the man seated across from him finally raised his head. He recoiled slightly from the anger in Miguel's expression, but he didn't let it deter him from releasing the air from his lungs and speaking. "I don't want to see you end up back in solitary."

"What the fuck do you care, *Father Mukada*? What difference would it make to you if I went back in there? You didn't even fuckin know I was gone, man." Miguel paused and a mask of bitterness slipped down over his face. When he spoke again, his eyes dropped back to the floor and he aimed his words as carefully as he could. "'Sides, you got some new fuckin *hermanos* while I was gone, so you don't need me no more."

Ray actually flinched at his words.

"Miguel, no. That's just not true." His eyes filled with sorrow as he struggled to find the words - any words - to say to his friend that would make this better. For both of them. "While you were gone...shit, Miguel. I don't know what to say - how to explain what happened."

"Ya know what?" Miguel stood and glared down at the priest. "I don't fuckin care. I don't need you to explain nothin. I don't *want* you to explain nothin. It's your fuckin life, Padre. And I told you before, man, we ain't got nothin else to say to each other." Miguel bent over Ray and placed his hands on the desk to either side of his hips. His words were icy as they brushed over Ray's face. "The only reason I'm here - the *only* reason - is cause that cocksucker McManus made me come." He turned quickly before his face betrayed the lies that had just come from his mouth. Miguel pushed away from the desk and walked towards the door.

The fury Ray had been denying quickly swelled to the surface when Miguel turned his back on him. Only this time, he did not stifle it. Ray slid off the desk and positioned himself directly in front of Miguel.


Miguel snickered at the holy man and shoved passed him, pushing the Ray out of his path as if he were nothing more than a feather.

Ray reached out and grabbed Miguel's forearm, stopping him from reaching for the doorknob. He spun the inmate around so they were face to face.

"You are not leaving Miguel. After all I've done for you, I *deserve* a chance to speak my peace." Rage coiled inside Ray as Miguel glowered down at him, but the Asian priest embraced the anger. Instead of allowing it to disintegrate into fear, he used the emotions it stirred within him to press on. "You *owe* me this, Miguel.

As soon as the words were out of his mouth, Ray braced himself for the repercussions he was sure to receive. They had been through situations like this before - each wanting their own way - and Miguel usually reacted violently when he didn't get whatever it was he wanted. He'd never actually hurt the priest in the past, but Ray knew that things were different this time. His eyes flicked quickly to the lock on the door, and then back to Miguel. The fear he had ignored began to whisper through his mind. It tried to convince him to flee, to run, to get away - but he fought it and stood his ground. He steeled his body, his muscles constricting tightly. Ray couldn't control his insides, however, and panic raced through him at a terrifying speed, leaving raised patches of gooseflesh in its wake.

"Padre." Miguel pulled his arm from the priest's grasp. His own hands reached out and grabbed Ray's sweatshirt. Miguel jerked the holy man forward. His voice, a low menacing growl, scorched Ray's ears. "What the *fuck* do you want from me?"

"I want to..."

"What? Do you want to confess to me? Do you want me to forgive you?" He chuckled against the priest's cheek. "Or do you want to tell me how much you liked fucking Keller? How it felt to be on your knees - on your fucking *knees*, man - sucking O'Reily's cock?"

Hot breath stroked his skin every time Miguel exhaled. It assaulted his senses and he felt himself begin to harden. Dizziness threatened to overtake him and Ray's legs began to shake beneath him. His muscles relaxed and he started to collapse.

Miguel felt Ray begin to slip from his grasp. He twisted his strong hands tighter within the priest's clothing and yanked him back up to eye level.

"Go on *Father*. Tell me. I already talked to them - I want to fuckin hear it from *you*." Miguel pulled the priest even closer into him. The hardness between Ray's legs pressed solidly against his thigh and Miguel's lips curled into a sneer. He backed away slightly so he could meet the other man's eyes. His own eyes pulled into a knowing leer. "Oh, I understand. I know what you want."

The inmate pivoted, pulling the priest with him. He backed Ray up until his spine pressed lightly against the wall. Miguel slid his hand behind the Asian's neck and forced their faces closer together. His slick pink tongue darted out from his mouth, coating his lips with saliva.

"Yeah, baby. I *know* what you want."

"No. Miguel. I..." The priest's words were cut short as Miguel's lips crushed down over his mouth.

* * *

Before Ray could react, Miguel pinned him against the wall of the office. All the anger, the jealousy, the fear within him was transmitted through his lips and onto the priest's. He felt Ray struggling against him, and that only made him bear down harder on the smaller man.

*No! Not like this!*

The thought raced through Ray the second Miguel's lips touched his. He pushed at the larger man's shoulders, fighting to escape his embrace, but he was held tight.

*This isn't what I want. It was supposed to be different with you!*

The logical part of his mind fought hard to convince his body to stop reacting to Miguel. To stop the tremors that were passing through him from the nearness of his friend. From the sensations of Miguel's lips and tongue moving over his own. Ray tried in vain to keep his lips sealed tightly against Miguel's prodding tongue, but he was suffocating under the forceful kisses. His lips parted in an attempt to pull air into his strangling body.

When the priest's lips opened, Miguel did not waste the opportunity. He slipped his tongue between the soft folds and into the warmth of Ray's mouth. He heard the priest gasp at the intrusion and Miguel was almost afraid that Ray would bite him, but it was a risk he was willing to take. Miguel pressed roughly against the other man, punishing his lips with hard kisses. He could feel Ray's heart pounding, hear him panting as Miguel slid his tongue through every inch of his mouth.

Miguel knew he'd have to break away from Ray, and soon. Both men were suffocating because of the inmate's relentlessness. But Miguel was scared. Scared that if he let go, if he pulled his lips off Ray's, that the priest would say the one thing he really didn't want to hear - what he was terrified to hear.

That he'd meant nothing to Ray Mukada. That all of the time they'd spent together, all the things Ray had done for him, had been out of duty - not because he *cared*.

Ray knew he should pull away. He could feel himself being lulled deeper and deeper into the soft seduction of Miguel Alvarez. And he could've just let go - like he did with Ryan and Chris. But Miguel was special, and Ray knew that if this went - further - Miguel would become just another sin. Just one more step past that line. And Ray didn't want that. Didn't want him to be third on that list of mistakes.

Miguel felt Ray begin to wobble beneath him. He slid his free hand behind the priest's back and pulled him in tighter. He pushed his knee between Ray's thighs, parting his legs into a deep 'v'. He stoked the holy man's erection with his leg and was shocked at the solidity of him. A shudder passed through Ray's body and Miguel felt himself quicken from the vibration. A gasp fell from his lips and the suction between the men was finally broken.

"Miguel." Ray's head dropped forward onto Miguel's shoulder. He inhaled deeply and released the air with a sigh. "I can't do this. Not again. Not like this."

*Here it comes.* The thought wrapped around Miguel's heart and squeezed tightly. He dipped his face into Ray's hair and caught the scent of his shampoo. So clean - so pure. Even after all he'd done, Ray still carried the scent of innocence. Miguel snaked his fingers into the soft brown strands and he gently pulled the priest's head back. He leaned in and placed a gentle kiss on Ray's cheekbone.

Ray's pulse settled into a steady beat as Miguel's lips traveled over his chin and down towards his throat. His heart stuttered when his friend's lips paused at the white collar secured tightly around his neck. For a moment, Ray thought it was over. That Miguel would release him from the embrace. But the inmate simply reached up, pulled it from its resting place and dropped it unceremoniously to the ground.

The priest was speechless for a second as he watched the symbol of his vocation slowly fall away. He was startled out of his reverie when he felt cool air brush over his chest.

Miguel had wasted no time. He made quick work of unbuttoning Ray's vestments while the priest was distracted. When he parted the material, he saw the smaller man shiver slightly as a breeze kissed his exposed skin. Miguel leaned forward as Ray refocused.

When Miguel's lips touched his throat this time, electricity pulsed through Ray. He tried to grasp onto what defenses he could still control, but when Miguel's tongue twirled over his Adam's apple, Ray's resolve shattered. His body weakened and he felt the final block fall away. This was what he had wanted all along. What he'd dreamed of night after night when Miguel was missing. What he had held on to through his experiences with Chris Keller and Ryan O'Reily.

Ray *knew* it would be different with Miguel, regardless of how or where it happened.

The priest put his hands on the nape of his friend's neck and pulled him closer. He gathered all his courage, turned his head and softly kissed Miguel's temple.

"Miguel. Before we - I want to tell you something." He paused and pressed a second kiss to the inmate's skin. He whispered against Miguel's hair and tried to get the words out before he lost the nerve to speak. "About what happened while you were gone."

"Shhhhhh, baby." Miguel gently nibbled at Ray's skin before continuing. "Don't tell me nothing, Padre. I'm here now and, ya know, that's all I need, man."

But the priest couldn't be stilled this time.

"No, Miguel. I need to say this. You need to know."

Miguel agreed with a nod against Ray's collarbone. He slipped his hand underneath the open flap of the holy man's shirt and stoked the exposed skin with his fingertips. His lips continued on their path along Ray's neck.

Ray sighed and began to speak.

"It was always you, Miguel." His breath caught slightly when he felt the inmate tense beside him. He slid his hand out of Miguel's hair and ran it down his back in an attempt to soothe him - reassure him. He didn't want Miguel to run away from him, not this time.

Ray had to come clean.

When Miguel didn't pull back, Ray spoke. "I know you're hurt, Miguel. And I know that *I* was the one that hurt you. While you were gone - I was weak. I was so weak. And lost. My only comfort was in thoughts of you."

Ray moved one hand over to Miguel's forearm. He lightly stroked his fingertips over the inmate's skin.

"When they - when I was..." Ray struggled to pull together his thoughts as Miguel's lips brushed against the corner of his mouth. "My body was with them, Miguel. But I'd think of you. I would feel them, but imagine it was you. I wrapped myself in memories of you. Sometimes I missed you so much it hurt. And I'm so sorry I betrayed you."

Miguel couldn't help but smile at the priest's confession and apology. Relief flooded through him as the words met his ears and settled into his mind. He pulled away from Ray's throat and trailed his lips back up to his mouth. Miguel kissed him softly.

*For once, I'm not fucking alone.*

Miguel deepened the kiss, and this time Ray didn't resist him. He sucked the inmate's tongue into his mouth. Ray tasted every inch of Miguel's mouth, savoring each corner, memorizing all his tongue could touch.

Miguel pressed his body tightly against Ray, rubbing his muscled frame along the length of his friend.

*He does care. It wasn't all bullshit.*

Ray broke the kiss with a throaty groan. His fingers found their way back into Miguel's hair and he pulled the other man's head close against his chest. Ray's skin ached for the inmate's touch, and he was rewarded when Miguel's lips found their way around his right nipple.

"Uhhhhhhh, Miguel." The words seeped breathlessly from Ray's lips when he felt sharp teeth nipping at the sensitive nub. "It wasn't like this before." The priest began to mumble, his voice shaking with nervous tension. "With Ryan - ohhhhhh and Keller. They were - not you. Not good. Not anything." He paused to catch his breath. Ray's legs twitched with unreleased pressure as Miguel continued to work his nipple with his tongue. "They used me, Miguel. Because they knew - about you. Somehow. They knew I wanted..."

Miguel pulled his mouth away from Ray's chest and backed away slightly. He looked up to meet the priest's eyes, but they were closed. Miguel's anger simmered just beneath the surface of his face - his lips pursed together tightly in disgust, his eyes shining with barely-restrained hate.

*Fuck! I knew it! I knew they fucked with him! Cocksuckers!*

Miguel filled with the overwhelming need for retribution. For revenge. Fucking Keller and O'Reily. They knew they could get away with that shit with him gone. Mukada had no one to protect him from their games.

*He fuckin does now!*

Ray's drowsy eyelids began to lift open. He didn't want to frighten the priest, so he reigned in his anger, forcing his expression to soften, before Ray could see it reflected in his eyes.

"Padre, don't you worry about them. They don't have you now." He reached forward and brushed his knuckles over his friend's cheek. He placed his hand at the back of the smaller man's head and pulled him forward. "I'm here. I'm back. And you don't have to fuckin think of them again. I'll take care of everything, baby."

*Mine.* The word burned into Miguel's mind.

Those fuckers!

He'd fuckin show them who Ray belonged to. Miguel dipped down to the priest's throat and sucked at the soft skin. He wanted to leave his mark - his brand - on Ray so they would know. So *everyone* would know. A small circle of pink began to form beneath his lips. His mouth curled into a sneer as he suckled harder and harder at the skin - not stopping until he heard a sharp cry of pain from Ray.

He pulled back to take a look at what he'd done. A large, perfectly formed circle of reddish-purple tainted the priest's perfect skin. The bruise was just above the line of Ray's collar. Miguel's smile swelled across his face, almost to the point of gloating.

*Shit. I ain't done that since I was 15 fuckin years old an' I still got it!*

He watched as Ray gently stroked his fingers over the swollen area. He stifled a laugh that threatened to spill from his mouth and reached out to his friend. He pulled Ray's hand away from his neck and let it drop to the side. Miguel slid his hands beneath the parted halves of Ray's shirt.

"Yeaaaaaa." He hummed against Ray's cheek. "I'll show you how it's supposed to be."

He pushed the piece of clothing off the priest's shoulders and it dropped to the floor. Miguel bent at his waist and flicked his tongue out, trailing it over the smooth, newly exposed skin and up to the priest's ear.

"You did for me, now I do for you. And, Padre? Don't ever think about *them* again."

Miguel backed away from Ray and pulled his own t-shirt over his head. His skin puckered slightly in the cool air as he dropped the shirt to the side. He turned his gaze back to the priest. Miguel's eyes panned down the length of the smaller man, his upward glance pausing at the obvious growth between Ray's legs. He stoked his fingertips over the tight, perfectly formed muscles just above the waistband of his pants as a smile grew on his lips. Miguel reached out and caught Ray's erection lightly in his grip.

"Esto para mi?"

Ray jumped at the shock of Miguel's touch, his eyes popping wide open. His skin buzzed with electricity when the inmate began squeezing the sensitive area within his warm, tight fist. Ray heard himself groan in response. His eyes slipped shut and he nodded.

"Mine." Miguel actually vocalized the word this time, enjoying the way it felt when the single syllable reached his own ears. When Ray moaned again, Miguel's smile broadened until it reached his eyes. He leaned over and pressed his lips to Ray's throat as his hand tightened around the priest's clothed shaft. He could feel the heated power building inside him. He squeezed and released Ray, relishing in the shivers his ministrations were eliciting from the smaller man.

His hand moved from Ray's cock to the waistband of the holy man's pants. He popped the button free with his thumb and forefinger. Miguel slid the digit south, pushing the zipper down and parting the stiff black cloth in one fluid motion.

"Yeaaaaa." Miguel growled softly into Ray's ear. "Mine, baby."

Miguel wrapped his hands in the priest's pants and jerked them down past his hips. He released them and they dropped to the floor, surrounding Ray's feet in a pool of inky black cloth. He stoked his palm over the bulge captured beneath the stark white of the other man's briefs and smirked when he saw it twitch under his touch. He slid Ray's underwear down and they joined the pants on the floor. Miguel was impressed with the size of Ray's cock. It was no where near as large as the inmate's, but the padre could hold his own. He slowly lowered himself to the ground, stopping every inch or so to plant a moist kiss on Ray's skin. When he was on his knees in front of the priest, he reached out and guided Ray's erection into his callused hand.

When Miguel's fingers wrapped around him - skin on skin - Ray shuddered. A shock wave of electricity passed through him. Ryan had touched him. Chris had touched him. But he'd never felt anything like this before. A soft cry fell from his lips as Miguel began to slowly slide his hand along Ray's length.

The skin covering Ray's cock was softer than Miguel had expected - smoother. It felt like solid silk. He ran his hand over and under it, testing every curve. It was very different from his own, but still similar in many ways. As he studied it, tiny flecks of doubt invaded his mind.

*Think about it hermano. Do you really want to do this? You ain't no fuckin prag, man.*

He glanced up at the priest's face. The only word he could think of to describe what Ray's face reflected was rapture. Rapture in the hands of Miguel Alvarez.

Pride ripped through the inmate.

*He wants it. He fucking wants it from ME. Not O'Reily or Keller. ME! An' he's gonna fuckin get it!*

Miguel leaned forward and took Ray into his mouth. It was the first time he'd ever done this - but he'd *had* enough blow jobs that he knew exactly what to do. He ballooned his cheeks out and took Ray completely into his throat. He gagged slightly - whether it was from the actual cock in his mouth or in his mind, he wasn't sure. Miguel backed away and swallowed the lump that had risen in his throat. He flicked his tongue over the head of Ray's cock and got his first taste of *man*. It wasn't as awful as he'd imagined, but it also wasn't something he wanted to acquire a taste for either.

*I owe him this. I OWE him.*

He slipped his mouth back down onto Ray. The priest sucked air into his lungs with a loud hiss and Miguel flooded with satisfaction.

"Oh GODDDD!" The words spilled from Ray's lips when he felt the warmth of Miguel's mouth envelope him the second time.

He almost fainted, but he tapped his head lightly against the wall behind him once or twice and the dizziness passed. He'd been touched before - by Ryan, by Chris - and of course by his own hand. But this, being inside of someone else - being inside Miguel - was the most amazing sensation he'd ever experienced.

Ray let everything else fade away and allowed the cocoon of passion to surround him. His mind sharply focused on Miguel. He burned each and every action into his brain. Memorized every taste bud that covered the other man's tongue, the slickness of his saliva, the sharpness of his teeth compared to the softness of his lips. Ray unconsciously began to thrust in and out of Miguel's mouth. Slowly at first, but as the pressure began to build within him, he pumped faster and harder. His body took complete control.

When he felt Ray begin to lose control, Miguel slid his hands around him and dug his fingers into the priest's ass to slow him down. He could feel the vibrations pulsing through the other man's cock and Miguel knew he wouldn't last much longer. He sucked Ray deep into his mouth and ran his tongue up and down the bottom of the shaft.

Ray clutched at the cold, solid wall behind him in an attempt to steady himself. Warmth swirled inside him. The heat ebbed and flowed in rhythm with the strokes from Miguel's tongue. He felt the tremors building at the base of his spine. He tried to grab hold of the sensation, control it. He wanted this moment to last, but he couldn't. His penis began to pulse and he gave in to it. Ray gasped and grunted, trying to pull air into his body. Every muscle in his body tensed as he erupted into Miguel's mouth. The priest bit into his bottom lip to keep from screaming out the inmate's name. His legs buckled with the release and had it not been for Miguel's strong hands cupping his ass, Ray would've fallen to the ground. His body twitched as semen drained from the tip of his penis.

Thin streams of come sprayed into Miguel's mouth. He waited until the priest's cock stopped throbbing, then gently slid Ray's cock out from between his lips. Miguel swallowed every drop of his friend's seed - the salty liquid flowed down his throat, leaving behind a silky coat.

Miguel sat back on his heels, his hands dropping away from Ray, and wiped the back of his fist across his mouth. His lips and throat were swollen and achy. His tongue felt thick - numb. He clicked it against the roof of his mouth and it stuck slightly. It was almost as if he had just eaten peanut butter. Sticky, salty peanut butter. His saliva felt like paste. He crossed his arms over his chest and ran his fingers over the hard contours of his inked bicep.

*Shit! What the fuck did I just do?* The question swirled inside Miguel's mind as he brought his breathing back under control.

Ray, on the other hand, was still panting, his body continued to shake with release. His sated penis, coated with Miguel's saliva, began to soften. He opened his eyes and slid his gaze down to his friend.

"Miguel." Ray waited until the other man raised his eyes. His lips curled into a soft smile. "Miguel, that was...I don't know how to describe what I'm feeling. How it felt. Shit, Miguel. I've never felt anything like that."

Miguel said nothing as he pushed himself to his feet and stood before Ray. He simply nodded at the priest. His erect cock pushed harshly against the material of his pants. Miguel shifted from one foot to the other, attempting to bring some comfort, some relief to his aching groin. His fingers moved from his waist down to his crotch and he ran them lightly over the bulge he found waiting for him.

Ray watched as Miguel's fingers danced over his own clothed penis. The priest reached out toward him and began to loosen the inmate's pants. Ray smiled at his friend and slid his hand behind the material. He wrapped his fingers around Miguel's shaft and gave it a gentle but tight stroke.

Miguel grabbed the priest's wrist, halting his movement.


"Miguel, you didn't...I mean...let me..." Ray lifted his chin and met Miguel's eyes again. Confusion clouded over his eyes as he searched the larger man's face for some sign, *any* sign to explain what was happening. He gently squeezed Miguel within his fist again, but the inmate tensed and yanked Ray's hand out of his pants.

"I said no, Padre." Miguel tossed the priest's hand to the side. He bent down and picked up his shirt. He began to slide it over one arm, but stopped when he felt Ray's hands on his chest.

"Miguel, what is it? Did I do something wrong? I don't understand. I want to do this for you."

Miguel shoved Ray away, his eyes darkening with anger.

"Is that what you told them?" He hissed at Ray as he shoved his second arm into the sleeve and yanked his shirt down over his torso. His lips curled into a snarl and he pushed the startled priest against the wall, pinning his shoulders on the hard surface. "Is that what you said to Keller and O'Reily when they came to you for confession? That you wanted to do it for them?"

Ray's eyes widened in shock as fear climbed along his spine. He shook his head in disbelief.

"What? No. Please, Miguel. I told you, it was always you. *Only* you."

The priest struggled against Miguel. He made an attempt to wrap his arms around the larger man, but Miguel shoved Ray's arms away and pinned them against his sides. His fingers dug into the soft flesh of the other man's wrists.

"I don't fuckin believe you. I don't fuckin believe a word you say. Cause you know what, *Ray*?" Miguel's snarl grew when he saw the priest flinch at the use of his name. "If you fuckin wanted me - only me - you would've waited for me. Shit. You prolly used this same fuckin sweet talk double jive on both of them. Get 'em all jizzed up with nice words and promises so that you could fuckin get off. This..."

He grabbed Ray's now flaccid cock in his fist.

"Don't show me nothin. It don't prove nothin to me. This..."

He squeezed Ray tightly within his hand, eliciting a sharp cry from the smaller man.

"Ain't mine. An' I don't want no one's fuckin seconds."

Miguel shoved away from Ray and began pacing.

Ray bent down, hurriedly pulled his pants back up over his hips and fastened them. He grabbed his shirt and slid it over his arms. He watched Miguel closely as he stalked back and forth within the small room. He waited for the next outburst, a second attack he was sure would come.

"I can't fuckin believe I pragged out to O'Reily's prag. What the fuck does that make me, huh?"

The inmate spun back towards Ray.

"Fuck! I can't fuckin believe this shit! You're a priest - a fuckin *priest*, man. You ain't even supposed to be doing this shit. So what does that make you, huh?" Miguel grabbed Ray by the throat and shoved him up the wall. His eyes blazed with hatred. "I'll *tell* you what it makes you. A fuckin liar. That's what you are, man. A Goddamn, motherfuckin liar! Shit! You promised God that you'd never fuck anyone. Never!" His fingers tightened around the priest's neck. "Do you even fuckin remember that? You're supposed to do his work, man. So you made that promise, and look at you now. You *fucked* Keller. You *fucked* O'Reily. And now me. You broke your promise to God. And, shit. If you could do that, I mean, lie to God..."

He released Ray and the priest dropped back to the ground. He turned his eyes away from the other man and pulled his anger down into a more controlled boil. When he spoke, his voice was low and biting.

"Why should I believe that you didn't lie to me, too? How do I know you haven't been lyin to me this whole time? From day fuckin one. How the fuck can I ever trust you again?" He met the priest's eyes one final time.


"Fuck you, Father Mukada."

Miguel spun on his heels and stormed away from Ray. He reached the door to the office and yanked on the knob. The door banged against the frame, locked. He glared back over his shoulder at the priest, disengaged the lock, and jerked the door open. It slammed against the wall, the glass from the small window shattering into pieces with a loud crash. Miguel rushed out of the office without looking back.

* * *

Ray could do nothing but watch his friend fade away.

Sadness squeezed his heart as his eyes filled with hot tears. This time, he let them fall. The salty liquid spilled down over his cheeks and down his neck. He pulled the halves of his shirt together and buttoned it closed. He lifted his hand to his face and wiped the back of his fist across his soaked eyes. His fingers dropped to his throat and he gently stoked the tips over the mark Miguel had left.

A choked cry echoed through the small room as Ray slid down the wall and his body crumpled to the floor. Every feeling he had within him evaporated. All of the hopes and dreams he'd had - about, for, with Miguel - died with each tear that fell. He felt empty - hollow.

"What have I done?" He whispered to the empty room surrounding him. He lifted his eyes and turned them to the small altar sitting across the room from him. They settled on the crucifix nailed to the wall above the that altar. Ray blindly reached to the side and his hand closed over the discarded white collar. He rose to his feet and crossed the small space of his office. He dropped to his knees, closed his eyes, and did the only thing he could - the only thing he knew.

"Forgive me my sins, O Lord, forgive me my sins. The sins of my youth, the sins of my age, the sins of my soul, the sins of my body."

He paused for a moment, letting the sound of his voice speaking the words of the prayer wrap around him - comfort him.

"My idle sins, my serious voluntary sins, the sins I know, the sins I have concealed so long, and which are now hidden from my memory. I am truly sorry for every sin, mortal and venial. For all the sins of my childhood up to the present hour. I know my sins have wounded Thy tender Heart, O my Savior, let me be freed from the bonds of evil through the most bitter Passion of my Redeemer. O my Jesus, forget and forgive what I have been. Amen."

Ray opened his eyes and stood. He raised his hands to his throat and began to thread the stiff white material through his collar. When it was firmly in place, he rubbed his knuckles over his eyes and turned away from the altar. He crossed the floor to his desk and pulled a pack of cigarettes out from one of the drawers. He lit the end and inhaled deeply.

"Miguel." The inmate's name slipped from Ray's lips one final time.