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The Promise of You (edited 1st chapter, 2/? and 3/?)

by lalioz

Edwin McCain's "Promise of you"

The promise of you, it sleeps in the air the air that I breathe, and I know that its true don't have to convince myself to believe. what secrets sleep in the heart of a man so much love wasted, slips right through my hands see it in the eyes of the lonely as they make their weary way shimmer in the eyes of the longing.


The Promise of You

summer of 1943.....

Somewhere in a distance a train screamed through the night just as a young woman fell into the black waters of the river Stour. Seconds later she came up gasping for breath, grabbing hold of some rope dangling from a wooden pole of the pier. Her eyes widened in terror as her killer draw nearer, slowly leaning over; his glowed hand keeping her under; his hard stare the last thing she saw.

They found her in the morning; her body cold and still among the waterlilies; loose strands of her black hair caressing her pale lips.

.......three years later.........

"Mr Poirot!" a dainty southern belle rushed through the lobby of the Regent hotel, keeping her golden silk straw hat from falling with her hand, light muslin of her pink dress playing around her anckles.

"My dear Miss Bellinger!" a short man in an expensive linen suite and a dandy looking hat quirked his painstakingly silly mustache in a warm smile."It's so nice to see you."

"Oh, it's Clutier now." She smiled, kissing him on the cheek. Flicking her fingers happily she showed him her wedding ring. "Mrs Jeremiah Clutier." Her smile was radient, her head cocked flirtingly. "And this is my Jeremiah..." she said as a tall bearded young man joined them. "Mr Poirot, this is Reverend Jeremiah Clutier..." she snaked her hand through the young man's, gazing into his eyes dreamily, "...my husband. Darling , this is wonderful Mr Poirot who came to my rescue in Calais."

"Congratulations my dear ." Hercule Poirot touched the rim of his hat with a gloved hand. "Monsieur."

"Pleasure to meet you, Mr Poirot." Rev. Clutier extended his hand in greeting. "I've heard so much about you."

Poirot gave one of his little smiles at that.

"Uhm-hm." A tall birdlike man standing patiently behind Poirot during all this tried to get their attention; obviously successful for Poirot, looking a tad embarrassed burst in a flury of exclamations both in French and in English. "Oh, mon dieu, my manners, pardon mon amie. Je suis tres impoli. Madam Clutier, Monsieur..." he turned to the young obviously amused couple . "This is my friend and associate Captain Hastings. Hastings. Reverend and Mrs Clutier."

"How do you do?"

"How do you do?" "Would you join us for tea?" Young Mrs Clutier offered.

"Mais oui, absolutemant."


The Regent had one of the best tea houses on the coast. Their chocolate eclairs were Poirot's passion. Along with the strawbery tarts. And raspberry cake, as Miss Lemon so often noticed. Mr Poirot did not find that particularly amusing. Needless to say, Cpt. Hastings did. Waddling between the tables in his jolly company Hercule Poirot noticed the two well dressed ladies, obviously American, pretty and pretty loud.

"Let me talk to him, I could at least..." The older one started.

"No, Peter Marie, it's useless, he will never leave me alone..." The younger one interrupted her, desperation thick in her voice.

Falling silent they both sat there, sipping tea and staring through the window blankly.

"Is that...?" Shirley leaned in, whispering, "Oh, my...it is..." She glanced at the two American ladies over her cup of tea surreptitiously. "It's Gloria Nathan."

"Pardon?" Poirot quirked his eyebrows at her.

"Gloria Nathan, that famous American singer." She said putting down her cup. "Oh,my God..... Gloria Nathan." Turning to her husband she said keeping her voice low. "Remember, we saw her in Paris."

Cpt. Hastings joined in, leaning over to her,conspiratorially . "She's married to that famous surgeon, what's his name?"

Shirley threw him a smile and a name. "Preston Nathan."

"Yes, Preston Nathan..." he reached for the teapot, "...and what a voice." He sighed closing his eyes dreamily, pausing with a teapot in mid air. "She sings like an angel."

"Uhm-hum, Hastings?" Poirot interupted , looking straight at him, holding out his cup. "Tea." He eyed the teapot in dismay.

"Oh, uh,yes, tea."


two months later

"Hastings, that American singer you've been telling me about...." Hercule Poirot sat behind his desk going through the morning newspapers.

"Hmmmm..." Cpt. Hastings sat in his armchair, ruffling throug his.

"Remember that time we met lovely Mrs Clutier in Brighton..." He smiled fondly at the memory.

"Oh, yes..." Cpt.Hastings raised his head to look at him, "Gloria Nathan. What about her?"

"Here says her husband was found dead yesterday at their London mansion."

"You don't say..." Cpt. Hastings got up from his armchair to join him at the desk, peering over his shoulder at the papers.

"Apparently he hanged himself." Poirot kept reading.

"Dreadful thing, old chump, dreadful thing." Cpt. Hastings sighed. "Poor girl."

"Yes, mon amie, poor girl." Poirot sighed going back to his newspapers.

Couple of minutes later Miss Lemon entered the room hurriedly. "Mr Poirot, Captain...Your taxi is here. You should get going, you'll be late." Miss Lemon handed him his hat, gloves and his cane, Hastings trotting along after them, donning his sports jacket in a hury and grabbing his hat from the rack.

"See you soon, Miss Lemon." He yelled getting into the elevator. "Give my regards to your sister." Minutes later he was standing on a curb with his and Poirot's heavy bags in his hands, Poirot giving directions to the cabbie in his sing-song voice. "Victoria Station please."


"All aboard!" The strong voice mixed with the scream of the siren, London mist giving the experience almost an eerie overtone.Autmn in London.

Sitting in his compartment, Hastings chatting up a lovely young lady, Poirot noticed the two tall, dark and handsome American soldiers standing in the hallway, and discussing something, rather animated, their voices raising occassionally.

"The press would have a field day..." said the taller one. "Trust me. " he grabbed his friend by the nape of his neck, shaking him a little, his eyes searching his.

"Ok." Said his friend.


"I said Ok, geez K-boy, you're pain in the ass sometimes, ya know ."

The taller one gave a dazling smile at that. "C'mon." He drawled throwing a hand over his friend's shoulder. "I need a drink."

Poirot watched the little scene, his little grey cells working overtime.


Emerald Hall was a lovely Victorian building surrounded with majestic oaks. Heavy iron-wrought gates opened quietly, welcoming the black 1937 Phantom III to the grounds. The gamekeeper nodded his head in greeting, raining his dogs in. Sun shone from the bright September sky, and Victoria Beecher's auburn hair gleamed in the sunshine in lovely contrast with the silver gray and green of the ivy hugging the limestone walls of the manor.

"My dear Mr Poirot!" She greeted them with a smile. "Harrison will be so pleased to see you."

"My dear Lady Beecher." Hercule Poirot smiled his most pleasant smile at her. His smile grew even wider as he noticed the tall grey haired man coming down the front steps to meet them.

"Darling, look who's finally here." Lady Beecher smiled to her husband.

"My dear Hercule, how long has it been?" Harrison Beecher shook his friend's hand earnestly.

"Oh, " Poirot smiled,his mustache twitched.

"Let me see...ten years...Is it my darling?" Harrison said turning to his wife.

"Well, my, I believe it is. " Victoria smiled wounding her arm through her husband's. "Last time you were here was.....well just before our Toby got married."

"Oh, mais oui, how's young Tobias?" Poirot asked.

"I'm afraid not so young anymore Monsieur Poirot." came the answer as a tall blonde in a dark grey sweater, jodhspurs, and high riding boots joined them.

"Oh, my dear young man, how are you?" Poirot extended his hand to him. "And who is this lovely young lady?" He continued noticing the blonde little girl hiding behind her father.

"This is Holly, my daughter." Toby's blue eyes glinted with pride and love. "Holly, say hallo to MrPoirot."

"How do you do?" She whispered shyly, accepting MrPoirot's hand in greeting but keeping close to her father's side.

"Au chante, madmoiselle." Poirot said with a smile and a curteous bow of his head.


"What a charming family." Cpt Hastings said, standing by the window of the lovely and comfortable guest room. "They seem so happy."

"Mon ami..." Poirot paused by the door connecting their rooms. "What is it that Tolstoy said about families?"

"You mean...." Hastings turned from the window giving him a sad worried look.

"I'm afraid so." Poirot nodded waddling along to finish unpacking; a task he would trust to no one. "Guenevieve, young Toby's wife, she was found dead, three years ago."

"Dear Lord." Cpt. Hastings gasped.

"They say she killed herself." Poirot paused placing his shaving kit carefully on the dresser.

"Tragic." Hastings shook his head.

"Yes, mon ami, most tragic."


The Promise of You 2/? by lalioz

"He didn't have a bite to eat. Again. " Mrs. Killarney, the Beechers' cook, huffed putting the dishes from the breakfast away and going over to the sink.

"Leave the lad alone, Mary." Mr. Killarney grumbled getting up from his chair by a window, and lighting his pipe. Letting out a gusty sigh, and a puff of smoke, he mumbled more to himself than to his wife. "I don't like the look of those clouds, Mary. It may rain yet." Knotting his eyebrows he added. "Someone ought to tell Vern to bring the dinghy on shore."

"You tell him yourself." Mrs. Killarney huffed exasperated rolling up her sleeves and submerging her reddened hands into the hot water to start with the dishes.

He threw her a peeved look, but just as he was about to venture a snarky retort the doors opened with a slam and Dorcas entered the kitchen.

"I swear to God, Mrs. Killarney, if that man says another word to me I...I..." She slumped down in a chair throwing her arms in the air, huffing in defeatist realization." I don't know what'll I do!"

"Here luv, have a nice cup of tea." shaking her head Mrs. Killarney dried her hands to place a cup of fine Darjeeling in front of her, rich aroma permeating the air." There."

"Thank you, Mrs. Killarney." Dorcas sighed, taking a handkerchief out of her dress pocket to wipe her nose. Pouring some milk into her tea she sniffed. "I'm a good girl Mrs. Killarney. A good girl!"

"I know lass, I know." Mrs. Killarney sighed turning back to the sink, throwing a look and a sigh at her husband. "Now drink your tea, dear. Milady, wants you in the morning room."

"Yes, Mrs. Killarney." Dorcas sighed taking a sip.

Mr. Killarney looked out the window at the cloudy grey sky shaking his head. "It's going to rain, Mary. I'm telling you. It is going to rain by nightfall."


"Roses look lovely, my dear." Harrison Beecher smiled fondly to his wife.

"Thank you." Victoria smiled offering her cheek for a kiss." How was your walk?"

"Wonderful. Saba had a great run." Harrison sat down on a sofa, and ruffled the rich hair of the golden retriever in question. Reaching for a fumidor, he frowned. "It looks like it's going to rain, though." He leaned back into the soft cushions lighting his cigar. "Ring for tea, dear, would you?"

Pulling at the service bell Victoria sat next to her husband.

" Our Mr. Poirot is not up yet?"

"Country air does do wonders."

Harrison chuckled idly going through his newspapers.

With a knock on a door and a curtsee Dorcas entered the morning room. "You rang, Milady? Milord."

"Yes. Tea Dorcas, please. Thank you."

"Yes, Milady."


"Yes, Milady?"

"Is Mr. Poirot up yet?"

"Yes, Milady. He wanted his breakfast in his room."

"That would be all, Dorcas ,thank you."

"Milady. Milorde." With a nod, and a curtsee Dorcas opened the door. "Oh, master Toby. "She squealed running into Tobias, and smiled nervously, coyly, looking down at her feet. You scared me.

"I'm sorry, Dorcas." Toby gave her a smile, his blue eyes and his mere presence sending shivers down her spine. She felt herself blushing, as she hurried down the hallway, the rich timbre of his voice filling her ears as she heard him speak to his parents.

"Mother, this came with the morning post for you." Toby handed her a letter and slumped down into an armchair, absentmindedly gazing through the window.

"It's from Katherine." Victoria said opening the letter and starting to read it. "She's coming tomorrow with the 10.56. Darling you have to tell Robson to have the car ready by 10. You know there is full half hour drive to the station. I don't want her to have to wait." She said, her eyes flying across Katherine's fastidiously perfect handwriting. "You know how she gets."

Toby gave a wry smile at that.

"Apparently," Victoria continued, "she's bringing a friend along." She sighed. "That's Katherine for you."

Toby closed his eyes with an exasperated sigh. "The more the merrier, hey, Saba, old girl?" Harrison smiled fondly petting Saba's golden head oblivious of Toby's annoyed look.

"I'll have to send Mary to the butcher's. "Victoria started thinking aloud, going over all the details that had to be taken care of.

Neither her son nor her husband actually listened to her. Harrison enjoyed his cigar. Toby seemed lost in his own thoughts. Dorcas returned carrying a trey. Placing it carefully down on a coffee table she asked. "Shall I pour, Milady?"

"No, thank you Dorcas. I'll do it. That would be all."

"Yes, Milady." Dorcas said adding in a small voice, not really looking at Toby. "There's a call for master Toby."

Toby lifted his his blue eyes to her. "Who is it, Dorcas?"

"Doctor Caddell's office,sir." She said feeling the unmistakable heat of a blush coming to her face.

Toby jumped to his feet, startling everyone in the room with the sudden movement.

"Toby? Is everything all right?" Came his mother's worried query.

"Everything is fine, mother." Toby huffed heading for the door. "Thank you, Dorcas. I better get that."

"Toby...."His mother started in a worried tone of voice.

"I said everything is all right, mother." Toby cut her off nervously, hurrying out of the room.


Hercule Poirot was never much of a morning person. To be perfectly honest he loathed mornings, and mornings in the country were particularly tedious. He huffed in dismay at the hearty English breakfast that assaulted his every sensory organ as the young maid handed a tray to him. He mumbled his thanks.

"Shall I open up the curtains, sir?"

"No, thank you..." he lifted his eyebrows questioningly at her.

"It's Dorcas, sir."

"Thank you, Dorcas. That would be all."

With a smile and a nod she was gone.

Getting up from his bed he trotted into the bathroom.

An hour later, his perfectly groomed and well-dressed figure came down the stairs and into the main hall just in time to catch the last sentences of Toby's telephone conversation. He didn't mean to pray on privacy of others- it was just that he couldn't help himself.

"I'll be there.........No, tell him I'll be there....In an hour. .........All right. Thank you.....I mean it. Bye."

Putting the receiver down Toby turned and noticed Poirot standing at the bottom of the stairs, and looking back at him obviously having overheard his conversation, but seemed utterly unabashed with having been caught.

"Mr. Poirot, good morning." Toby greeted him politely feeling his own face flushing with a tinge of pink. "I'm off to Clare. Medical appointment. "He cleared his throat. "If you need a lift..." his voice trailed off.

"Good morning to you too, mon ami. That is awfully kind of you, but where is Capt. Hastings?"

"Still asleep, I'm afraid." Toby chuckled, seeming somewhat relaxed. "I think father's Porto was just too much for him."

"Ah,oui..."Poirot mulled that over. "Poor Hastings...Ah, very well, it's you and me then, mon ami. Lead on!"

"I'll tell Robson to get the car ready. You could join my parents in the morning room for tea while you wait." Toby said starting down the hallway towards the servants' quarters.

"Ah, mais oui." Poirot smiled. "Tea."


"Mary said he didn't touch his breakfast." Victoria threw a worried look at her husband.

"Leave the boy alone, Vi." Harrison huffed. "Stop fussing."

Victoria rolled her eyes with a frustrated sigh. "Why does he need to see Dr. Caddell?"

"Maybe his leg is acting up again." Harrison said immediately regretting his words.

"He didn't say anything." Victoria sighed, the look in her eyes intense with worry.

"Oh, Hercule!" She smiled, distracted for a moment noticing Hercule Poirot in the doorway. "Come on in. Would you care for some tea? It is fresh. Dorcas just brought it in."

"Ahh..."Poirot smiled, his mustache twitching, "That would be lovely, my dear Lady Beecher!"


"Thank you, Robson."Toby nodded his thanks to the chauffeur as the man handed him the keys of a dark silver Phantom.

"Sir, I'm sure your parents would prefer if I drove...I..." Robson started.

"Thank you, Robson." Toby interrupted him impatiently. "Mr. Poirot, shall we? "He called out as he noticed Poirot who was coming down the front steps. He didn't notice the dark look Robson threw him- the look that didn't go unnoticed by Hercule Poirot, however.

Climbing into the car he watched as the young Beecher started the engine and eased the Phantom out of the courtyard his thoughts obviously miles away.

"Your man, Robson...he has been in your service long?"

"Sorry..." Toby flashed him a wry smile. "Robson.....yes. His father was our chauffeur before him. He died in October 1940.....just before James enlisted. He was a good man." He smiled glancing at Poirot- a smile that seemed to suggest that, unfortunately, he did not think so highly of the son. "James was wounded at Tobruk. Almost didn't make it." Toby fell silent, his eyes glazed over, his strong reliable hands squeezing the steering wheel.

"Your parents are worried." Poirot said, keeping his voice soft. "You visiting Dr.Caddell got them worried."

"They worry too much. Mother is like that." A rueful smile curved Toby's lips. "She just worries too much." He glanced at Poirot shrugging his shoulders. "I'm fine. It's just a routine check up." Forcing a smile he glanced at Poirot once again. "So, how do you find our little corner of England?"

Returning the smile, knowing very well what the young man was doing Poirot decided to play along. "Tres charmant, mon ami. Very charming indeed."


The Promise of You 3/?

"Mr. Poirot, is it?" A lovely young lady from behind the counter at the post office smiled at him expectantly.

"Oui...mademoiselle?" He smiled back, somewhat perplexed.

"Deidre....Mrs.Deidre Lewis."

"Have we met?" He started.

"Oh, no, no, no,"she smiled, "we haven't met. I just...I have heard so much about you, monsieur. I am so pleased to finally meet you. What can I do for you?"

Poirot placed his hat and his walking cane on the counter proceeding to taking his gloves off with fastidious precision. "Postcards, my dear Mrs. Lewis. I'm in dire need of some postcards."


"When were you planning to tell me?" Toby stormed into Dr. Caddell's office fire burning in his cornflower blue eyes as he growled at a tall dark haired man leaning maddeningly nonchalant against the wall, his arms crossed over his chest.


"Stay out of this, Francis!" Toby lashed at Dr. Francis Caddell not even looking at him standing by the window, his eyes darting nervously from Tobias to the other man.

"I'll leave you two alone." Francis sighed. "You obviously need to talk."

"Thanks." Toby muttered.

Closing the door Francis heard the other man's low voice. "Tobe..."

"Don't you Tobe me, Chris!.......I..." Toby closed his eyes gasping for a calming breath. "Ryan told me you two are leaving in a fortnight...." his voice broke. "Two weeks, Chris! Two fucking weeks!" he carded his shaking hands through his hair. His eyes searched the shimmering blue ones gazing back at him from across the room. "When were you going to tell me? When were you going to spring that one on me, huh, Keller?"

Christopher Keller tilted his head to a side looking at his railed up lover with interest, well aware his lazy smile infuriated Beecher even more.

He played it cool, struggling to keep his deep guarded fear that this thing between the two of them was not...love unearthed.

"Fuck, Beech, it's not like you asked me to stay." He drawled.

Toby threw him a hard unbelieving look. "I didn't even know you were leaving, you fuck!" he yelled. In two steps he was standing in front of him, starring deep into his eyes. "You want me to beg, Keller? Is that what you want?" he whispered brokenly. "If that's what you want from me... I'll beg, Chris, I'll go down on my knees...." his voice trailed off as he slid down to his knees, his cornflower blue eyes gazing up at Chris, his hands clutching at Chris's thighs. Burying his face into Chris' crotch he whimpered.

"Toby, don't..." he felt Chris touch his shoulders, his strong hands grabbing the nape of his neck trying to force him up to his feet.

"Don't leave me, Chris....oh, God, please don't leave me." He muttered refusing to get up, even to look up in fear he won't see anything in those beautiful blue depths.

"Tobe. " Chris slid to his knees. "Look at me." He pleaded. "Look at me, baby." And when Toby finally...finally lifted his eyes to meet his he whispered solemnly, "I love you." the truth of it shining brightly in the darkest blue of his eyes. A funny little sound, somewhere between a whimper and a laugh escaped Toby's mouth. Grabbing Chris's shoulders desperately, one hand sliding up to cradle Chris's head Toby dove in for a kiss. Opening his mouth to Toby's hungry, insisting tongue Chris slid his arms around Toby's waist crushing him in a tight embrace, something deep inside of him, something fiercely needy crying out for Toby. "God, baby, I love you."

"I love you, Chris." Toby whimpered against Chris' lips, pulling back a little ways to look him in the eye, smiling gently. "So, you are staying?"

Shrugging his shoulders Chris growled. "Oh, I guess."

Toby grabbed the back of his neck, shaking him a little. "You, fucker."

Chris chuckled at that. "Yes, Toby, I am staying." He said in a solemn tone of voice, his eyes glinting roguishly though.

"Damn right you are." Toby huffed pressing his lips firm against Chris's.


Leaving the post office, gloving his hands and stopping to check surreptitiously his reflection in a shop window, Poirot noticed a tall American officer leaving Dr.Caddell's office across the street.

It was one of the Americans from the train, he realized- the taller one, the one that fit that tall dark and handsome clich to the teeth; the ladies certainly thought so. Poirot smiled at the rapt gazes that followed the young man as he hurried down the street.

"Well, somebody's certainly going to miss that one." Deidre Lewis drawled leaning against a door jamb wit her arms folded across her chest. "The Americans." She jerked her chin pointing to the dark haired captain. "Airmen, members of the 8th, station 174. They are leaving in about a fortnight." She felt obliged to explain. "There be no dry eye in the county, let me tell you. Girls sure love those boys. "

"Ah..." was all Poirot said, smiling politely at her, feeling at a loss for words.

"Well, don't let me keep you!" she returned the smile, shooing him off as if he were a petulant child.

Funny woman. Poirot thought to himself. Very funny woman indeed.


On their drive back to Emerald Hall Toby was silent, pensive, his jaw clenched, lower lip just a bit pouty, his eyes riveted on the road ahead.

"I take everything is all right with your leg?" Poirot asked pulling him out of his reverie.

"Sorry?" the young man glanced over at him.

"Your visit to Dr. Caddell....everything went well?" Poirot asked again, his interest peeked at the little tinge of pink that colored Toby's pale neck and cheeks.

"Yeah, everything's fine." Toby said throwing him a rueful smile. "Just fine."

Porot smiled back politely, unconvinced. " Dr.Caddell treats army personnel?" He looked at Toby noticing how the young man's shoulders automatically stiffened.

"Yes." Toby kept his eyes on the road. "I guess he does."

They drew on in silence.


11th January 1944

".....She says- oh baby put it there, and I think I better do what she's asking before she changes her mind."

"Alvarez! Shut the fuck up!" first lieutenant Sean Murphy barked at the tail gunman leveling the rest of the crew with a cold stare, the lot of them huddled in the shadow of their B-17 in full gear and with Rich, Elsworth and Kelly, the newbies, drinking at every word that left Alvarez's foul mouth.

Before he could tell him where to stick it Alvarez tensed noticing the officers heading their way. "'Tention!" He barked freezing in a salute.

"As you were." Capt. Tim McManus touched his forehead in a fluid move honed by years of service. He started, clearing his voice." Doolittle cancelled the mission due to weather conditions. You should get some rest. Notify the men."

"Sir..." Murphy started, his voice low worried"the lead units are already on their way.... ."

"I know, Sean!" McManus snapped impatiently." God have mercy on their souls." He muttered under his breath.


17th January 1944

"Fuck the flacks. We lost 60 B-17s." Chris squeezed through gritted teeth. Squinting his eyes against the winter sun streaming through the window he took a long drag of his cigarette. Exhaling he leaned against the wall in front of his hospital room. "Fuck if I know how Hanlon managed to land that baby." Turning to O'Riley he asked. "'Guerra going to make it?"

"Dunno." O'Riley frowned. "Shit, the fucker better pull through, he owes me 20 bucks." He exhaled a puff of smoke eyeing a pretty little nurse passing by.

"You know she's a nun?" Keller whispered leaning in.

"Fuck she is!" O'Riley turned to take a better look. "Ya shitting me, right."

"Nope. " Keller grinned. "The bride of Christ, ball and chain, the works."



25th January 1944

He entered the darkened hall, heavy cigarette smoke biting his eyes and stinging his throat, making him run his hands nervously surreptitiously down his thighs. Quitting smoking in the middle of the war was certainly not the smartest idea he ever had. Noticing Stanislawski at the table in the middle of the room he started over there stopping at the bar to grab a pint. As he reached the table the Pole was in the middle of the poker game with two Americans and some local chap he knew he had to have remembered by now but simply couldn't be bothered. The Americans were interesting, though. They flew Mustangs. Enough said. He noticed the wings, the stripes, the Purple Heart the taller one was wearing. He noticed the dark blue eyes looking back at him, making him waver and look away. He noticed the shit eating grin as he found his balls and glanced back.

"And that would be two pairs gentleman, queens over jacks." He heard Stanislawski purr as he parted the rest with their money. "Read them and weep."

Grinning wide the blue eyed American leaned across the table. "Not so fast boyo." He growled his eyes glinting blue steel. Grabbing Stanislawski by the hand in a wise-like grip he jerked his head. "O'Riley." Reaching for him the other American rolled up Stanislawski's sleeve revealing a hidden card. And that's when the shit hit the fan.

Tightly coiled and ready to pounce, overstressed, overtired and sleep deprived airmen jumped to the opportunity to release the tension. The opportunity to cool down in a jail presented itself with the swift arrival of the MPs.


Sitting in a cell with ten other airmen Toby rested his elbows against his knees and buried his face into his hands hissing as his fingers grazed over the cut on his forehead.

"I lost my Purple Heart." He heard the American say. "I just received it today." He huffed leaning back against the wall, his eyes closed. They were the only ones still awake, the rest scattered on the floor, sleeping tossing and turning, snoring and all.

"What did you get it for?" Toby asked looking at him, finding it so hard not to.

The guy shrugged his shoulders. "The flacks." He pointed to his side. "Hurt like hell. The nurses were fine, though." He winked, and a grin he shot him was positively lecherous

Shaking his head Toby gave a little huff at that.

"It's Chris, by the way." The American offered his hand and a friendly smile. "Chris Keller."

Feeling a funny little shiver crawling down his spine Toby took the proffered hand returning that easy smile. "Tobias Beecher." He said his throat dry all of a sudden. Letting go of Chris's hand, but keeping his eyes fixed on him, Toby leaned back against the wall.

"Chris..."he smiled at the taste of the man's name," where are you from?" "New York." Chris grinned. "Brooklyn." He stretched his long legs in front of him, crossing them at the ankles. "Ryan and I," he jerked his chin in a direction of one of the sleeping men, " we go way back. Grew up in the same street."

Toby smiled looking at him with great interest. "What do you think of England?" He asked mentally slapping himself for the inanity that slipped of his mouth.

Chris shrugged his shoulders, smiling not seeming to mind, though. "It's raining all the time. What's to think?"

"Now, that's what you'd call a prejudice." Toby grinned leaning close, their shoulders touching.

"Noooo," Chris dropped his voice conspiratorially, his breath caressing Toby's cheek"that's what you'd call a fact." He winked sending shivers down Toby's spine.

Feeling his heart jump and desperately needing to put some distance between them Toby leaned back against the wall. Carding his left hand through his close cropped hair and gazing up at the ceiling rather than into those mesmerizing blues he sighed. "What do you think, how long are they going to keep us here?"

He heard Chris's flat "Dunno." And as he looked at the other man he found him leaning back against the wall with his head thrown, his hands folded across his chest and with his eyes closed-distant, shutting him off completely.

Confused, Toby kept his eyes on Chris for a long while, but eventually gave up as Chris turned his back to him to try and catch some sleep.


The moment he saw him he wanted to fuck him. Those eyes beckoned to his soul and that body...God that body made his cock twitch. The guy was funny and snarky, and had a mean left hook. Chris ran his fingers absentmindedly over the shiner forming on the side of his face. Oh, God, and that smile...that low husky timbre that went straight to his cock every time he heard it. His mellifluous voce sent shivers down his spine as they talked, and he couldn't take his eyes off of him. Oh,yeah, damn right he wanted to fuck him. And then he saw the ring. Gold caught the light as Toby carded his hand through his hair and in that moment Chris felt his heart sink. Toby was married. Not that he had any scruples, but Toby might, and that sure put the damper on the things. Disappointment washing over him he closed his eyes and turned his back to Toby resolved not to care.


notes: 1)for the obvious reasons Stanislavski is now Stanislawski, and he is from Poland 2)I don't know what's the proper procedure but I think that the man receiving the Purple Heart would wear it the day he received it 3)I hope I didn't make any stupid mistakes, if ya notice any feel free to tell me, please( English is not my mother tongue)

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