Gratefully dedicated to Ashinae, for refreshing my memories about one of my most favourite scenes in the entire series. Honourable mention to Cat, who is such a nice person.
Ray gets to see his Benny by starlight.
Valentine Snippet #2
Benny by Starlight
Benton Fraser tried to contain his excitement as he buttoned up the cream shirt carefully chosen for the evening. It was Valentine's Day, and it sure promised to be very exciting. Ray had planned a surprise evening, and it had made the Canadian flighty about it for the whole week.
When Ray dropped Benny at the Consulate, early in the morning, the cop had already warned him not to wait for the usual ride at the end of the day. Ray had told he would pick him up later in his apartment, and had also said he did not have to dress up. Then Ray had given Benny a single red rose and gently touched his cheek. The street was full of people, too bad they could not kiss. Benny felt his heart aching from loving this man as the Riv mingled in the Chicago heavy traffic.
Benny had found a card in his desk when he went inside his office. It was a beautiful card filled with little cupids apparently suffering from insomnia shooting arrows at a big red heart. It read, "You know it is love when you can't fall asleep at night because reality is better than your dreams". Benny had a hard time keeping his composure when Constable Turnbull came inside his office because Inspector Thatcher was bellowing for him. It was just his shame that Valentine's Day was a day before a national Canadian date. The Consulate was full of work.
At last, after a painful session with Inspector Thatcher, Benny was functional again. His morning was filled with professional arrangements, and his mind was out of Ray until a messenger came in with a box and a card. The box contained delicate chocolates, and the card was a short note. "Sorry, can't make it to lunch. Ray".
At first Benny had thought that skipping his usual lunch date with Ray would be productive in some way. Sure he had enough work at the Consulate to keep him busy. Unfortunately, though, it only seemed to make his hunger for Ray grow even stronger. He could hardly wait to get out of work!
The day passed agonisingly slowly despite Benny's numerous tasks. Inspector Thatcher's foul mood had only contributed to his anxiety. He had endured it stoically and had gone home as quickly as humanly possible.
So, as he got himself dressed, getting ready to wait for Ray, he was having a major case of hectic butterflies in his stomach. Diefenbaker cocked his head and puffed noisily.
"No, I am sorry. This celebration does not include wolves."
"Now that is unfair, Diefenbaker. I have hardly abandoned you since Ray and I started dating."
"Well, I happen to know that even though Ray did not say specifically that you were not to go, your presence this time is not welcomed. Besides, if you keep this up, I don't think you will be regarded as pack mate anymore."
The wolf put his head between his paws, defeated. Being cast out of a pack was not a threat any wolf, deaf or otherwise, had the luxury to take lightly.
"Now that's more like it. Don't worry, Dief. I don't think I will be gone for long, because tomorrow is a special day for Canada, and I have to be at the Consulate early."
He squatted beside the wolf. "You know I am deeply sorry that Maggie is away and that you have no one to spend your Valentine's Day. I am. I hope you still can have a good holiday, Dief."
A small woof. A familiar honk downstairs. A frantic butterfly ballet in his stomach.
"I hope I am not early, Benny."
"You are right on time, Ray." Benny hoped he did not sound too nervous. "So, do I look all right? You did not say where we were going, but..."
Ray smiled, and it was as if a light was turned on inside the Riv. "You look just great, Benny. Ready?"
"Well, I am not." Benny turned his head, puzzled and was surprised by full lips chasing his in a heart-felt kiss. Then Ray sighed and smiled again. "*Now* I am ready to go."
Benny blushed and the Riv sped away in the Chicago night.
* * *
It did not take long for the skilled Mountie to recognise the surroundings. He did not think there were restaurants at that part of town. He wondered what Ray's surprise might be.
A few minutes later, it was as if they were out of town completely. Ray had taken the Riv to the neighbouring park, and stopped at the most familiar spot of the area. The cop killed the car's engine, then turned to Benny before he Mountie could even open his mouth.
He went at the back and got something big out of the trunk, something Benny could not get to see in the dark surroundings. When he turned around and opened Benny's door, the Canadian's face lit in a smile as he got out of the car. "Roses, Ray?"
Ray had that heart-melting twinkle in the green eyes and that patent "I-know-a-secret-you-don't" smile, the one that made Benny feel all warm and fuzzy. "This is a Valentine's tradition, Benny." He handed the bouquet to his Benny and purred, "And I am a traditional Italian guy."
"Oh, Ray. Thank you so much." Benny looked at the beautiful bouquet, so smartly arranged. It was the first time anyone ever gave him flowers. Maybe it was a good thing that it was so dark in the park, for Benny was blushing furiously, and there was a chance he could not control the happy tears in his eyes.
Ray gently put the flowers on the Riv's hood and captured Benny's perfect lips. Benny eagerly responded to the kiss, and they spent long minutes kissing in the park. The full Moon peeked out from under the blanket of clouds to watch all couples in love on this Valentine's over the Earth.
"Do you recognise this place, Benny?"
"Of course, Ray. This is the exact place where I pulled you out of the lake when you were locked in the trunk of a Maverick."
Ray smiled and caressed Benny's cheek, cold from the chilly air. "Yes. What you did that night plagued me for a long time."
"Benny, you saved my life. Not for the first, not for the last time. I began to realise how much you meant to me. I think I began to fall in love with you."
The Canadian's cheeks were rosy, and the reason was not only the chilly air. "If it makes you feel better, Ray, I confess. That night plagued me, too. I kept recalling it. I did not even think. When I realised you were in the lake, inside that car, I acted on instinct. I didn't know then, but I was already in love with you. All I knew at that moment was that I could not live without you."
"Oh, caro." Ray caressed his cheek again and brushed his lips against Benny's. "I remember Frannie around, and there was a smell of food that I thought came from the foul water. Later, Frannie told me she had brought a picnic basket."
Embarrassed, Benny nodded and looked down. "Yes, Ray, your sister wanted to bring... dinner for our... uh, stakeout."
Ray translated, "She was hitting on you, Benny. As usual. But that is not the point." He lifted a finger. "The point is, what would have happened if Frannie was not here? I mean, what would have happened with Frannie out of the picture?"
Benny shrugged, then said, "I still would have dived to pull you out, Ray."
"Or course, Benny. But take Frannie out of the scene, what would be left? There would be you, me, the Riv, the same moonlight and a picnic basket, with champagne, scargot, shrimps, and carpaccio." Ray's face lit up that beautiful smile of his. "I figured I owed you that, Benny, and I thought we could have it today, on Valentine's Day. Would you like it?"
Benny's heart was racing. "Oh, Ray. I would love it."
The Italian raced back to the trunk and produced a huge basket. "Here, Benny."
It took them a few minutes to lay a veritable feast on the hood of the Riv: a chequered towel, a dozen of tiny bowls with different delicacies, candlesticks, a bottle of sparkling grape juice sans alcohol and chocolate with strawberries. The roses were displayed over the windshield, cascading behind them, composing the romantic scenario.
Sitting on the hood of the Riv, Benny watched as the moon and the distant lights from the city danced in Ray's eyes, making them look golden. When Ray lit small red candles to illuminate their meal, the Canadian felt his breath caught in the whirlpool of emotions playing in his heart. It was so romantic that Benny thought he would never recover from so many deep feelings. Only his Ray would go this far to make this for him.
"Benny?" He came back to the reality, and Ray was looking at him. "Are you all right?"
"Never been better, Ray." He smiled. "I love you."
"I love you, too, Benny." Ray tucked in the red scarf around his neck, and Benny noticed he had put on an extra coat. "Grab a seat, let's eat."
The two men sat carefully on the hood of the Riv, Benny very much aware what the car meant to his Ray. The fact that the vehicle was serving as a meal table for them was a measure of the importance of Ray's gesture, and Benny did not miss it.
The food was delicious, and Ray paid close attention as Benny took a small shrimp between his fingers and dipped it into rosé sauce before bringing it to his mouth. He was so sexy doing these little things by the moonlight, the way darkness and light played around his features. Ray shivered a bit from the cold, and made it a point not to let Benny notice his discomfort. This was way too romantic to get spoiled by subzero temperatures, and he wanted to enjoy his Benny by starlight. The way the dark hair suddenly was sprinkled with moonlight was worth the risk of death by hypothermia.
Of course, one could fool the Mountie for long.
"Ray, you are shivering."
"No, I got another coat on. I am good." *Besides, I am getting hot just from watching you. Hot, hot, and hotter.*
"Would you rather go inside the car?"
"It's OK, Benny. I know you like the cold weather."
"I don't want to be responsible if you catch a cold, Ray."
Ray's eyes twinkled. "Hmmm. I say, we can have, uh, dessert inside. Is that good for you?"
Benny knew very well what that sparkle in Ray's eyes meant, and he felt a flow of blood going straight to the groin. "That is more than good for me, Ray."
That is the right moment, thought Benny. "Here, Ray". He handed out a small wrapped package produced from the insides of his leather jacket. "I hope you like it."
"Oh,Benny. A gift for me?" Ray smiled as he unwrapped the package, his face lit up like a little boy's. Benny found it endearing. However, his blue eyes danced nervously when Ray unveiled the gift. His heart raced with anxiety.
"Wow, Benny." Ray held his breath as his hands roamed around the leather wallet. "Benny, this is so smooth. Where did you find it?"
"I had some deerskin sent me from home with a sewing kit. Then I did it myself."
Ray's green eyes widened and turned from the object to his lover's face. "You made this, Benny? With your hands?"
The Canadian blushed. "Yes, Ray. I made it for you."
There was a major meltdown approaching Ray's heart as he took in the meaning of the gesture. "Oh, Benny. I love you so much."
"I love you, Ray."
They kissed again. Benny tasted like shrimp and juice. Always delicious, thought Ray, smiling inside. Then a different hunger began.
It was not long till they finished the meal and tucked all utensils in the big basket. The colours of the night danced around them. Both men proceeded to the interior of the Riv, where a different dance of bodies was performed.
It was adolescent, yet not wild. It was more a tender craziness of love. Making love inside a car was not usual around people with more than 30 years of age. But those two were different. The Gods knew it.
The Moon silently witnessed the display of affection of the lovers and smiled. Those two were becoming increasingly special to the Pale Goddess.
On to the last snippet - The February 15th gift.
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