"I am not gay."

Horatio told himself this over and over that morning, on the way to work, and sitting in his office; yet he still couldn't convince himself that he didn't enjoy holding Ryan in his arms last night.

"Why?" He asked himself, staring at a case file. All it was to him was a piece of paper with a jumble of words printed on it. It wasn't what he was focusing on. It wasn't what he was seeing. Visions of last night played in front of his eyes.

He ran his fingers through his hair. He was filled with stress. He just needed to breathe and calm down. He needed to sort through everything.

"Where do I start?" He thought, a lost and helpless look etched on his face.

He closed his eyes and decided on the beginning.

Ding-dong

Horatio walked towards his door, puzzled that someone would be visiting at 9 o'clock at night. He pulled it open, and there stood Ryan Wolfe, a case file under his arm.

"Hey Horatio…sorry for coming over so late."

"Hello Mr. Wolfe. What do you need?" Horatio asked.

"I, um…I'm working on this case…and I was a…a bit confused. I was hoping you could help…me." Ryan replied, looking a little embarrassed for asking for help.

"Well, come on in and I'll take a look."

"Thanks Horatio." Ryan said, and walked through the door, Horatio shutting it behind him.

"Have a seat." Horatio replied, motioning to the dark blue couch in his living room.

Ryan sat down and Horatio sat next to him.

"Alright, let's see it." Horatio smiled.

"Okay," Ryan replied, looking at Horatio, smiling back, "it's a double homicide, husband and wife, no kids. Both in their bed. Both hacked into pieces."

"Ouch. Sounds like rage."

"I thought the same thing. Back door had been jimmied. We're guessing that's how the killer got in. No prints, so he must have been wearing gloves."

"Hmm…" Horatio said quietly, thinking.

"Any thoughts?" Ryan asked somewhat quietly.

"I think…I think we're going to need a couple beers." Horatio replied, chuckling slightly.

Ryan almost laughed, but smiled instead, "Great idea, Horatio."

Horatio smiled back. For some odd reason, he really liked to smile at Ryan. He stood up, and walked into the kitchen. Opening the fridge, he grabbed two Coors Light and headed back into the living room. He set one beer on the table, and twisted the top off the other, a refreshing mist blowing out of the top.

"Here you go." Horatio said, handing the bottle to Ryan.

"Thank you very much. Fantastic choice, I might add." Ryan replied, sounding official.

"Nothing better than an ice cold Coors Light." Horatio said, twisting the top off his, and taking a drink.

"Ahhh." Ryan breathed a sigh.

Horatio felt himself take a sharp breath in at Ryan's sigh. He shook his head, clearing arising thoughts, and said, "Now, back to the case."

They worked for about an hour, before Horatio ran out of beer. He had a habit of drinking to fast when he wasn't necessarily thinking about drinking, and apparently, so did Ryan.

"Well…I guess I owe you a six pack sometime, huh?" Ryan said, taking one last drink of his now empty bottle.

"Ah, forget it. It was beer well drank."

Then a thought suddenly popped into Horatio's head.

"But, I do have a very nice bottle of 1986 Red Zinfandel in the kitchen."

"Horatio, I couldn't possibly. I'd feel horrible if I drank all of your nice wine."

"It's not like I have anybody else to share it with." Horatio replied, unintentionally hinting at his singleness.

"Okay, okay." Ryan gave in.

Horatio smiled at him for the third time that night. There was just something about Ryan. Horatio realized he wasn't moving towards the kitchen, and quickly cleared his throat, thinking that might help ease the embarrassment he felt for staring at Ryan. He stood up, and quickly made his way into the kitchen. He breathed deeply with his hands rested apart on the kitchen counter, trying to calm himself.

"What the hell am I thinking?" He thought to himself as he grabbed to wine glasses and the bottle of Zinfandel out of a cupboard. He pulled the cork, and walked back into the living room. Ryan was sitting there quietly, just looking over the case file. Horatio couldn't help but notice how cute his little ears looked. Then he couldn't help but imagine running his tongue along the edge and then taking that soft, succulent earlobe into his mouth and gently sucking on it…

"Horatio? Are you okay?" Ryan asked softly.

Realizing he was still standing halfway between the couch and the kitchen, Horatio shook his head, and walked over to Ryan.

"Yeah, I'm fine." Horatio replied, not giving any sort of excuse for his stop.

"Hey, that wine looks great. What year did you say it was?" Ryan asked, reaching for the glass Horatio had just poured for him.

"1986. Not bad, I'd say." Horatio replied.

Ryan took a sip, and looked pleased, "Not bad? I think it's great. Some of the best I've ever tasted."

"It is pretty good." Horatio replied after taking a sip himself.

They drank a few more glasses, and some how found themselves on the subject of golf.

"I once dated this chick who absolutely loved golf. Only problem was that she sucked at it."

Horatio laughed, really laughed, something he rarely did.

"How does he do it?" Horatio thought to himself.

"After two weeks, I'd had enough of her. Unfortunately, besides her I haven't dated a single person who likes golf as much as I do."

"That's too bad, Ryan. I love golf myself." Horatio replied.

"Well that's a first, I think." Ryan said, sounding amused.

"What is?"

"You just called me Ryan. Not Mr. Wolfe. You called me Ryan. I feel honored."

"Then remember it, Mr. Wolfe, because it's probably the last time I ever will." Horatio threatened.

Ryan looked a bit disappointed, and said, "Well, I guess I better get going. It's ten thirty. Thanks for all your help, Horatio. And the beer. And the wine."

He stood up as Horatio said, "Your welcome, Ryan. Be careful going home."

"Oh! There you did it again! I'm starting to like this Ryan business." Ryan teased as they stood by the door.

"Come on, Ryan. It's not that big of a deal, is it?" Horatio rolled his eyes.

"I guess not." Ryan turned to go, but thought of something else to say.

He turned back to Horatio's face, only inches away from his. Horatio's lips were parted just slightly, wavering a bit as he took a small breath in. Before Ryan could stop himself, he lunged at Horatio, taking his mouth in his. His hand curved around the back of Horatio's neck, his other planted on his chest. Horatio wasn't fighting, and Ryan was enjoying himself, but he didn't want to screw up, so he pulled away, dropping his hands to his side. A scared, meek look crossed his face as Horatio just stood there, silent as death.

Then, Horatio's hands gripped Ryan's shoulders, caressing them softly. He pulled Ryan towards him slowly. Carefully, their lips met, tense at first but seconds later Horatio's tongue was curled with Ryan's, they're lips constantly overlapping each other. Ryan's hands mussed Horatio's hair as Horatio kneaded Ryan's back, pushing him into him. Ryan moaned quietly, deepening the kiss. Horatio pulled away breathing heavily, as Ryan looked down, teeth clenched.

"Horatio…god I am so sorry." Ryan apologized.

"It's okay."

"What do you mean it's okay? I just kissed you. We just kissed. That's…not supposed to feel right."

"Does it feel right?"

"…yes." Ryan whispered.

"Then it's okay."

"Does it feel right to you?" Ryan asked.

"Yes, Ryan, it does." Horatio replied calmly.

"But…but…" Ryan drifted, burying his face into Horatio's warm, soft neck.

"Ryan…is this what you want?"

Ryan thought…did he want to be gay? Being with Horatio didn't have to mean he was gay…sort of.

"Yes, Horatio. I want to…be with…you." Ryan nearly broke down in sobs, kissing and caressing Horatio's neck.

"Shhh, son…shhh. It's okay. I'm here." Horatio said, rubbing Ryan's back.

Ryan's kisses moved up Horatio's neck, to his jaw line, stopping at his cheeks. Horatio turned his head slightly, capturing Ryan's lips with his.

Ryan broke saying, "Horatio…what about the lab…and everyone…what will they say?"

"Do we have to tell them?" Horatio replied somberly.

"Well…no, we don't, do we?" Ryan smiled, happy to be so happy with Horatio, even if it was just for tonight.

"No. They can just keep to themselves" Horatio replied, kissing Ryan lightly.

Horatio looked into Ryan's beautiful hazel eyes. "Whatever happens, happens." Horatio thought to himself.

"Come on…" He nearly whispered.

Delight covered Ryan's face as Horatio took his hand, leading him down the hall.