24. Touch

Finch awoke slowly, taking in first the pale daylight seeping in through a crack in the curtains, and by it the unfamiliar furniture of the hotel room. He noted with wonder that his neck did not hurt, and that his hip was not clenched in tension, either. Paired with his strange surroundings, he wondered if he were still dreaming, or (possibly) dead. But he did not believe in a literal Heaven, and even if he did, he would not have imagined it to look like this. Deciding that the situation called for a thorough evaluation, he inhaled deeply and prepared to get up; however, he was hesitant to move for fear that the pain, his constant and most unwelcome companion for over a year, might return in full force and drag him out of this state of blissful comfort.

The mystery was solved for him when, sensing his slight movement, Reese shifted behind him and snuggled closer. Finch’s eyes flew open as he realized that there was an arm under him as well as over him, enfolding him in a gentle embrace. The events of the past few days flitted through his mind as the supercomputer of his brain sorted through the pertinent facts to present to him a digested conclusion: he was now intimately, sexually involved with John Reese, the man he had hired to assist him in his quest for justice. The man who had been so much more unpredictable, efficient, compassionate, and (most astonishingly) likeable than he had calculated him to be, had turned out to also be inexplicably attracted to him – him: Mr. Finch, Harold, the man with the crippled body and the haunted conscience, who had not considered love something he could attain in his lifetime, let alone physical intimacy. That mystery, Finch thought, would elude him forever.

Knowing that it was Reese at his back, Finch allowed himself to lapse into lassitude, relaxing against the warm contact of the other man’s chest. There was a solid object poking against Finch’s thighs, and he acknowledged that his own male organ was begging for some attention, but he put it off. Not just yet, he thought, not wanting to disturb Reese’s repose. Of course he was honest enough to admit that he did not want to spoil his own enjoyment, either. He was perfectly comfortable, physically, and even at peace emotionally in a way that he had never thought possible – at least, not since the incident that had changed his life forever. And it was all thanks to the man sleeping beside him, he knew. Sure, Finch had been the one to hire him, to begin this mission or crusade, but Reese had made it all possible. Reese had made it work.

Thank you.

The words could hardly begin to express the gratitude he felt, but he would tell Reese when he woke up. The same words had caught him off-guard, that day at the diner, when spoken so earnestly by Reese; he should not have needed Reese to explain himself – not really – and he was shrewd enough to realize that it wasn’t just appreciation for a job that Reese had wanted to convey. It did not take a genius to read between the lines and know that Reese was trying to thank him for the purpose and meaning he now had to live. However, in much the same way, Reese had given his life purpose and meaning as well. More than that: he had given him friendship, love, and joy. All those elusive things that not even his considerable wealth could buy, but without which even his drive for atonement could not have kept him alive for long.

Now, with Reese as his true partner, he felt renewed… reborn. And like a new-born life – fragile, yet ignorant of its own mortality – Finch felt invincible.


Reese woke up from a dream that made him smile – even as his consciousness lost its grip on the memory, he knew it had something to do with Finch and balloon animals. The smile on his lips did not dissipate with the memory, though, especially since he found his arms wrapped around the object of his affections, the unmistakable peak of hair clearly visible against the lighter backdrop of the window. Pressing a kiss to the back of Finch’s head, Reese pulled his body even closer, reveling in the warmth.

“Good morning, John,” came Finch’s soft voice.

“Good morning, Harold. I could get used to this.”

“So could I…”

They lay in quiet companionship for a while as Reese recounted their activities of the previous night. Suddenly his hand moved down to Finch’s privates (still exposed, since they had both fallen asleep naked under the covers) and caressed the hard shaft with tenderness and penitence.

“I’m so sorry, Harold! I fell asleep, and didn’t even check to see…”

“That’s all right, John – I was quite as satisfied as you were.”

Technically, it might have been untrue, but Finch had been driven to the heights of ecstasy so often in the past two days that he honestly had not needed another climax to fulfill his desires.

“Well… just to make it up to you,” Reese said, easing his other hand out from under Finch’s waist, “I’ll let you choose how you want me to… take care of this.”

Finch’s heart leapt into his throat when Reese tugged playfully on his convenient handle, but out of anticipation, not concern, as evidenced by its growing larger in the other man’s fingers.

“Ah… how do you mean?”

“Would you prefer multiple choice?” Reese grinned. “I can give you a hand job, or a blowjob with the works, or let you fuck me like the horny little bunny I know you are.”

Finch blinked several times. “Oh… Oh, my… I have n—no idea…” he stammered. However, he knew with certainty that he had never been referred to as a “horny little bunny” before.

“Anything you want, Harold. If you want to do something kinky, that’s fine by me, too.”

“‘Kinky’?” Finch echoed. “I’m not even sure what the word means…”

“Kinky would be… having me stuff Mr. Bubble Bunny up your butt while you whip my ass with a wet towel until I pass out. Or tying me to the headboard and making me recite all the guns I’ve ever used, in order of caliber, while you fuck me and leave bite marks all over my back. Or sticking your toes up my ass while I try to swallow your enormous cock down my throat. Or any combination thereof.”

Finch turned his entire torso, lying on his back so he could look up into Reese’s face, and removed the pillows from under his head.

“None of those sound appealing to me, John, with perhaps the exception of hearing you list all of the weapons you’ve ever used – although that would be more for its informative value than… any sexual gratification,” he clarified. “Besides, what about you? What do you want?”

“I just want to touch you, Harold,” Reese murmured, fervently. “I want to touch you and hold you and feel every throb of your cock as you come all over me! I want to hear you panting my name as you come, like I’m the only one in the whole world that matters to you…”

“You are, John,” Finch told him, reaching up to smooth his graying hair. “You are the only person in the whole world that matters to me…”

Reese froze, startled at the depth of truth with which Finch had said it. His eyes were even now regarding him with a frank, open expression that he had rarely seen, mesmerizing him with their candor – with their love. For a long moment, he was at a complete loss what to do.

“Kiss me, John,” Finch demanded, all inhibitions and pride melting away – forgotten already – like snow in the warm spring sun. “Kiss me like I’m the only one in the whole world that matters to you…”

As Reese complied, both their mouths open and ravenously devouring each other, he realized how he ought to handle their excited male members. Lowering himself over Finch, he ground his hips over the smaller man’s, making their sensitive shafts rub together with a delicious friction.

“Harold… Mmm… I love you,” he gasped, groping Finch’s sides while still supporting his own weight, careful not to strain Finch’s injuries. “I love you so much…!”

All doubts and thoughts cast aside, Finch responded in like kind, his arms pulling Reese down until their chests and stomachs were touching. The slow, rocking motion that Reese initiated made it feel like they were having sex with their entire bodies, not just their obvious sex organs, and Finch was glad to feel the sweat rising to the surface of Reese’s skin. His hands traveled up and down Reese’s slender back, exploring the muscles and sinews there, and when they had to break off the kiss in order to breathe, he panted Reese’s name as he had been requested.

“John… Oh, John! Touch me, John… Touch every part of me… Oh, John… John!

Reese’s movements had grown more urgent with each cry that left Finch’s mouth, and he managed to reach between their two bodies to wrap his fingers around both organs. Finch mimicked him, grasping with one hand as well, so that they shared the task of stroking their members. Reese came first, shuddering with a deep, throaty “UUUNNGGHHHHH!” which reverberated in Finch’s chest. Finch followed soon after, trembling uncontrollably as he released his fluids in satisfying spurts, Reese’s name drawn out in a sigh upon his lips: “Johhhhhnnn!

Reese clasped Finch’s body as he settled down against him, kissing his chest and neck. Remembering his lover’s physical limitations, though, he picked himself off of Finch with an effort and looked down inquiringly into his half-closed eyes.

“Are you all right? I didn’t hurt you, did I?”

“I’m… much better than all right, John,” Finch answered, to Reese’s relief. “Considerably better than all right, in fact… I can’t remember the last time I’ve felt so… whole. Maybe never…”

“Funny… I feel the same way, Harold,” Reese whispered before bending down to kiss Finch again – this time tenderly, savoring the softness of his lips as they quirked into a lopsided but happy smile.


They stopped by the diner for breakfast (eggs benedict for Finch, pancakes and sausages for Reese) before heading to the library, where Finch’s computer system had been keeping tabs on their next target, Carl Banks, who was currently masquerading as Carl Vogler the technology stock advisor. Thankfully, there were no new numbers from the Machine, even though this time Finch had set his computer to record them if they were sent.

“Carl has outstanding warrants for his arrest in both New Jersey and Massachusetts,” Finch explained, skimming the dossier he had compiled on the man. “He left his prints behind, too, so it shouldn’t be hard to get a conviction – the police simply haven’t been able to catch him.”

“Well, that would be our area of expertise,” Reese stated as he emerged from the room adjacent to their office, having deposited his pilot’s case in an out-of-the-way corner. “Do you know where he is?”

“His primary cell phone was deactivated yesterday, about an hour after you started sweeping the Russwoods’ home. He might have had alarms triggered by the cameras and devices being dismantled, but it’s more likely that he had them on a monitoring system that notified him of activity. In any case, we should assume that he will be able to recognize you, and may even be expecting you.”

“Then I’ll just have to approach him with extreme caution, won’t I?” Reese said calmly. “Assuming that you still have some idea where I can find him, of course.”

“Of course. He activated another cell phone – a burn phone, as they say – only a few minutes after shutting down the previous one, using his Herschel credit card. The FBI hasn’t caught on to the fact that Carl Herschel is another of his aliases, it seems… probably because he hasn’t committed any federal crimes under this name, and they haven’t bothered to run facial recognition on him through their entire database. Here’s where he stayed last night,” Finch pointed out on the map on the screen, “and these are the stores and restaurants where two or more of his aliases have visited. I’ll print out the hot-spots for you so you can reconnoiter them and find places to observe him from before he arrives. I’ll keep you updated as to his movements, too, so he doesn’t catch you unawares.”

“You do think of everything, don’t you, Finch?” Reese smiled.

“I try, Mr. Reese,” he replied blandly, already back in his professional mode. His impassive mask wavered for a moment, however, when Reese leaned over to kiss his forehead.

“Stay in touch,” he said as he walked down the hallway.

“Reese,” Finch called out, then hesitated when he turned around. “Do be careful,” he finally said.

“I will, Harold,” Reese promised. “Don’t worry.”


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