Home for the Holidays
by Amazon X
ac leaned on the hood of his Ferrari, fuming at the car's gall to break down on him in the middle of a rainstorm. Well, by rights, it WAS Vancouver, British Columbia. Rainstorm was the weather from October to May. It was just humiliating to sit there on the car, getting drenched, waiting for Victor to get there with his big, red pickup truck. He hated that truck. Victor drove it like it was an extension of his cock. It annoyed Mac to no end.
When Victor did finally arrive, shortly after the garage took Mac's car, he didn't even look at Mac as he threw his bags under the tarp in the back and got into the truck.
"So, how ya doing, Vic?" Mac asked, hoping to annoy him.
It didn't work. Victor ignored him.
"Nah, really, how are you? Rain got you down? Annoyed that we'll have a snowless Christmas?"
Victor spared Mac only a dark glance. Mac sat back, feeling pleased with himself. He'd actually gotten Victor to look away from the road. Sometimes, Victor actually let his hair down. Like the time he turned some skinheads into road kill to save his sister.
"Seriously, Vic, this won't be so bad, I'm telling you. You'll grow to love me!" Mac knew he was blowing smoke up Victor's ass. It was going to be miserable. Mac's building had been fumigated for Japanese beetles, and his apartment was uninhabitable. Who knew they would infest the walls when someone thought they would be good food for a turtle?
"Let me make one thing clear. This will be very bad. And the only thing I will grow from this is resentment towards the Director for forcing me into this. And so help me, if you leave my home in any other condition than the way you found it, I'll have your head stuffed and mounted over my television."
"Aren't you supposed to stuff and mount things over your fireplace?" Mac asked, just trying to make the annoyance go on a little longer.
"Why don't you just shut up, OK?" Victor said, gunning the engine a little.
"Wait! I get it. You don't have a fireplace! Wow, you'd think the Director would get you a place with at least the same amenities as I have. I mean, it's clear she likes you a hell of a lot more than she likes me..."
"Didn't I tell you to shut up?" Victor shouted.
"Oh, so wait... I don't get it..." And Mac was quieted as they drove into the parking garage of Victor's building. It wasn't a flashy glass tower condo building. It was just a plain brick building. Barely ten floors high. There was a crew of elderly people sitting out front under the wide awning when they walked around to the door. Mac was thoroughly annoyed that they couldn't enter the building through the garage. Thankfully, the rain had stopped long enough for them to get to the door.
Three nice women said hello to Victor, who addressed them all respectfully by name. They were very concerned about the new couple who moved in next to Victor, the unusual guests coming in and out of the building at all hours of the day and night. Victor assured Mrs. Hyman, Mrs. Gazek and Mrs. Lazzar that he would make sure everything was on the up and up. Mac smiled at the ladies, and was sorry he did.
"So, why are you staying with Victor during Christmas, young man?" Mrs. Lazzar asked.
"Oh, my apartment needs some work. Vic is just that sweet kind of guy."
"Victor is wonderful. You be kind to him," Mrs. Hyman said. They went back to their crocheting. Fully dismissed, Victor helped Mac with the three suitcases he felt was necessary to have with him. He led Mac in and promptly left everything in the living room.
"I don't have a guest room, so, you're couch surfing."
"Are you kidding? It doesn't even open up?" Mac sounded so pouty and spoiled. Victor would have thought he was cute, had he been a little less arrogant. Victor had no doubt that his partner was sexy, but the attitude precluded Victor from ever getting close to the man. It was something Victor would reinforce in his head. Even though the nights were sometimes long and lonely, he couldn't get himself involved in another work-related disaster relationship. Li Ann was pretty forgiving about things, and it did Victor's heart a bit of good that she was still friendly with him. With Mac, if it went south, he would be relentless in his abuse of Victor, more so than he was with the breakup with Li Ann.
Mac walked into the apartment behind Victor and took in the bright yellow walls, the wide-open kitchen, the far-too-hip photo art on the walls and was stumped.
"You really live here? I don't... are you sure the Director didn't want to give you a better place?" Mac was truly confused with the situation.
"Look, it's not your business, but to get you off my back, I'll tell you. I lived here when I was a cop. I had an arrangement with my mom to keep the place up out of my savings when I was away. When the Director sprung me, she offered me a condo like yours, a place on the water, anything I wanted. I wanted to be home. This is where I live. This is where I like. So, I moved back in."
"Who took care of the place while you were gone?"
"My mother. The one thing she was good for."
Victor walked away and Mac thought that should end the conversation. But he followed Victor to the bathroom, where he was holding a cabinet door open. "Towels, stuff like that. Hang it to dry. You're responsible for your own laundry, in the basement of the building. Save your quarters."
"Are you kidding? No laundry service?"
"Mac, look, if this isn't good enough for you, go to a hotel. This is how I live my life and I like it."
Mac held his hands up and backed out of the bathroom. Victor was a total Nazi about his apartment. If Mac wanted to get back in the Director's good graces, he'd have to stay with Victor. He went to his suitcase to find a dry shirt and pants to change into, not to mention some dry socks.
That was a total accident. How did he know that the car Dobrinsky made him wash was hers? It wasn't like he could know that. And he thought that adding the ground pumice to the washing reservoir was genius. It wasn't genius when he was forced to hand wash every car in the garage for the next month. And for further punishment, he wasn't allowed to stay in a hotel while his building was being worked on.
Then again, it was a bit exciting to stay with Victor. Mac wanted to find out just what was under Victor's thin veneer of cool and over-it. It annoyed Mac that Victor acted so arrogant and egotistical. As if Victor was any better than Mac because he was older. Yeah, five years, big fucking deal.
After changing in the bathroom, Mac walked into the living room and sat on the couch, noting that it was a soft fabric and not leather like his own couch. Victor's coffee table was wood, as was most of his furniture. There was a warm feeling to everything, even the beige vertical blinds, not a stark white. The yellow walls weren't so much glaring as they were warming. Yeah, maybe Victor knew how to make a home out of a boxy apartment.
"So... " Mac started. "What do you do for fun?" he asked, waiting for Victor to start a conversation.
"Not a lot, really. I cook when I get bored, which is why I've gained about twenty pounds. But I just joined a gym down the street. So I try to work out every night. I'm not much on using the agency gym."
"Nice! Hey, let's go work out then. I'm sure they have a thing where you can bring a guest. Maybe they'll think I want to join or something. Cuz... usually I'm out at... "
"I know, out at Tomie Tanaka's for a beer."
"Well, there, or a club to dance. You wanna come dancing with me?" Mac asked. There was a spark of hope. Dancing with Victor Mansfield, slow sexy beat, shirts off, rubbing in places where it felt the best. Yeah, that's what he wanted.
"Nah, thanks. Not my kinda music."
"Oh yeah, that's right. If it's not on eight-track, you don't listen to it." Mac was sick of Victor's picky musical tastes. Who the hell still listened to Delta blues? Much less on eight track tapes. It was his idea of hell. It was his idea of purgatory, actually. Someone was punishing him for his sins.
"Look, I like what I like... "
"Yeah, yeah, I know. You don't like change or new things, or a wrinkle in your routine. I get it. God, you'd think you'd lose bowel control if something wasn't exactly where it was supposed to be."
Victor tossed a dirty look Mac's way and went into the kitchen. Forget him. It was time for lunch anyway. And Victor was in the mood for something different. Not a steak, not pasta. Indian! Yes, he'd just found a very mild yet fragrant curry powder and he was dying to try it. He had zucchini, green beans and some fresh chicken breast. If he steamed rice, it would be amazing. Just as Victor was reaching for the Basamati rice, Mac showed up at the door to the kitchen.
"So, what's the plan? Food?"
"Yeah, I was going to make curry chicken. That OK by you?"
"Yeah, but hey, you got cable?"
"Yeah, the TV looks old, but that's just the cabinet. It's a HD plasma screen, you can see from any angle. Just turn it on and the cable is on through it. The guide will give you the list of channels and what's on. If you're in the guide, hit M for movies, S for sports or N for news. I forget the rest. Just use the guide, OK?"
Victor had stopped paying attention to what Mac was doing and was wrist deep in chicken breasts. Mac settled himself on Victor's couch and started flipping through channels. Canadian daytime TV was boring as HELL, but Victor's TV was SWEET! Soon, he found a soccer game and pulled his long legs up under him. It was Australian, since they were having summer there. Something about men running around in sweaty shirts and tight shorts made Mac's shorts a little tight as well. Just as a precaution, he rolled over onto his stomach.
Victor looked over at Mac as he watched the soccer game. The younger man wasn't even aware of how he ground his hips into the cushions of Victor's couch. Watching the young, tight ass undulate to no particular rhythm set Victor's thermostat rising. He turned his thoughts back to his meal, trying not to make the rice stick. And if he burned the chicken, lunch was sunk.
When he finally plated everything, Victor carried Mac's to him, unconcerned about eating in the living room. "Hey, eat it while it's hot. The curry is mild, despite the smell."
"I like the smell of curry."
Victor shrugged and sat beside the man. Empty plates were forgotten on the table as Mac and Victor became more involved in the game. It was a real battle, two teams of men refusing to give in for any reason. It went on for hours and Victor didn't even realize the sun had gone down by the time the game was over. He noticed the plates had congealed food on them. It turned his stomach a little.
Victor loaded the dishwasher and wandered back into the living room. "Hey, you wanna go to Tomie's for a drink?" he asked Mac. "It's boring here."
"I can definitely go for that." Mac jumped up and headed straight for the bathroom.
'Great,' Victor thought. 'He'll be in there for hours.' Victor decided he'd do his own bit of freshening up and went into his room to change his shirt. He had been wearing it for hours.
As Mac was exiting the bathroom, he called out to Victor.
"In here!" he called from his bedroom.
Mac walked to the door and watched as Victor slipped his light blue denim shirt off and into the wicker basket just inside his closet door. Victor's back was wide, strong with soft skin sprinkled with brown freckles. Victor grabbed a white t-shirt from his dresser and slipped into it, tucking it into his open jeans. As he turned to look in his mirror, he saw Mac at the door.
"Yeah?" Victor asked.
"Just waiting for you. Ready when you are," Mac said, trying to get his cool back.
"Yeah, 'kay." Victor pulled his jeans open a little more and Mac caught a glimpse of just a few dark, curly hairs on Victor's loins. He turned and left the room, knowing it was a bad idea to start having feelings for your partner, no matter how long it had been since you'd had sex. Maybe he'd meet someone at Tomie's and get a little thing going in the back room.
Tomie Tanaka's bar was not your regular kind of bar. It catered to a specific crowd, Mac and Victor being members. They walked in to the bar and went to their usual table, which was always free for them. Tomie's was the place where Li Ann broke it off with Victor. This was the place where Mac and Victor fostered their temporary cease and desist of ragging each other over Li Ann.
Tomie herself came over with their beers, asking if they were OK.
"Yeah, Tomie, why would you think anything was wrong?" Mac asked. Victor just took a deep draught of his Tsingtao Black, while he noticed Mac drank regular. He'd never noticed that before. Victor thought the regular was too weak. He liked a nice, strong beer, something that lingered on his tongue and coated his throat. Something bitter and thick... and Victor realized he needed to stop his line of thinking before he gave himself a hard on. His shirt wouldn't hide it, tucked into his pants.
'What the hell was going on?' both men thought to themselves. Victor was not sure why he was getting the sex-vibe around Mac. It never happened before. They'd been stuck in a car trunk together, and nothing. They had to spend endless time on stakeouts together, and zippo. Yet, now, it's all about how each one needs to not think about the other, and not get visible signs of arousal.
Victor ordered another beer, after quickly polishing off his first. Maybe that wasn't so smart, but they could stay in Tomie's all night if they wanted to. She had a few rooms that were really meant for prostitutes, but she didn't keep a stable anymore. So, she let good friends sleep it off in there.
When finally Victor had had enough of sitting on the stool and looking around at the other patrons doing their own thing, he looked up at Mac, who was doing the same thing.
"This sucks, man. We need to do something. "
"Well, normally, I'd be in a club cruising for some female companionship. But you don't seem to want to... "
"No weird stuff, OK? No uber-techno-nuveau-hip hop shit. I mean, I can stand some of it..."
"Relax, Vic. I know just where to take you."
They retired to Victor's truck and Mac directed Victor to Gastown, and to a club he'd seen open before, but never really looked too much into. He parked in the back and followed Mac to the door, past the line waiting to get in. The doorman shook Mac's hand then pointedly looked Victor over.
"He's with me, Johnny, no worries!" Mac said, grabbing Victor's shoulder and pulling him in the door behind him. "Just stay close to me until you get your bearings, OK?"
Victor nodded and when they emerged from the long red hallway, it was like being birthed. The room was huge, flashing lights, what you expected of a dance club. The difference was, they were playing Deep Purple's "Hush". Victor loved that song! One thing he liked almost as much as Delta Blues was Seventies classic rock. The crowd looked a little young, but still closer to his age than the teeny boppers he was forced to mingle with when following Nikki.
They found a place at the bar and ordered beers, just plain Labatt Blue this time. Mac, of course, went for some designer beer from the states. God! How Victor was happy to have left Michigan. His father, career Army man, was appalled when Victor joined the Vancouver PD. It was an insult to not only leave the country but to serve it in uniform? His father didn't speak to him after that.
Mac had found a sweet little thing who was very proud of her lack of gag reflexes and was intimating she would love to show Mac her skills. He should have taken her up on it, but when he looked over at the tall blonde that was chatting up Victor, a pang of heat flashed through his head. Was that jealousy? How could he be jealous of Victor and another girl? It wasn't like she was Li Ann or anything!
The girl he was getting closer to, Rachel, was just as hot as you could find, and soon enough, they were mouth deep in each other. He'd all but forgotten about Victor until the man tapped his shoulder and said, "Hey, we should get going."
The blonde looked put out. Maybe she wanted to go home with Victor? Well, hell, that was Mac's job! But Rachel didn't seem to want to let go either.
"Vic, who's your friend?" Mac asked, pulling Rachel against him.
"This is Stephanie, man. Hey, um... like only two people fit in the cab of the truck... so..."
"Ah, you're ditching me? Dude, how do I get home tonight?"
"You guys live together?" Stephanie asked.
"Temporarily," Victor said. "But... that shouldn't be a problem... would it?" Victor looked pointedly at Mac's companion.
"Hey, this is Rachel, dude. That's my buddy Victor." She just nodded. 'Buddy?' they both thought. Where the hell did that come from?
"Look, I'll spare you the grief. I have a car. We can all go back to your place?" The look on Rachel's face screamed orgy, as did Stephanie's. Mac looked at Victor and there was a longing in his eyes. What he was longing for, Victor didn't want to hazard a guess.
OK, see you guys at my place," Victor said, and grabbed Stephanie about the waist and led her out to where he parked his truck. He held the door for her and let her in, closing it gently behind her. The walk back around to the other side gave him a view of Mac plastering Rachel to the side of her car, but he looked up at Victor, eyes heavy and sexy. He ground on Rachel, and Victor was fixated on the scene. If he wasn't blocking a car going by, he wouldn't have moved. And he was sure that Mac would have continued on until he dry-humped her and came in his pants.
The drive back was treacherous; not because of enemy agents stalking them, but due to Stephanie trying to get Victor's pants open to give him road head. He tried to gently tell her it was a terrible idea, as he would probably crash them, but she kept trying. Thankfully, they pulled into his garage and directed Rachel to a space where he knew his neighbor didn't own a car. They made their way into the building and Victor unlocked his door, trying to keep upright under Stephanie's assault.
He landed on the couch, with the young woman's body plastered to his. She couldn't have been more than 25 years old. Rachel had gotten Mac down on the other side of the couch and both women seemed to be heading south on them. Two zippers opened, and soon Mac felt hands in his boxers pulling him free and the warm wet mouth enveloped him. Mac's head lolled back on the couch as the delicious feeling slipped over him.
Eyes wandered over to Victor, who had Stephanie sitting in his lap, shirt and bra open. Victor had his hands on her breasts as he kissed her deeply. She was rocking against his thighs. Victor pulled back and nodded down. God bless young girls. They're so into oral now that the US president said it isn't sex.
With the girl on her knees, Mac watched her open Victor's pants and pull out his hard cock. Mac never hid the fact that he swung both ways, but his big front was he was only a pitcher. Seeing Victor's huge member, though, brought a tingle to Mac's ass. Almost a longing to be stuffed full of Victor, his ass pounded into the mattress, his cock rubbing delightfully on the sheets, and friction, oh God the friction...
Mac didn't feel the least bit guilty when he came without warning, which prompted Rachel to pull back and spit his semen in his lap. "Give a girl some warning!" she stated and got to her feet, making her way to the bathroom.
Victor looked over, seeing Mac's not-yet-soft cock sticking out of his fly, feeling the hot mouth on him, thinking about stroking Mac's length. He followed the line of Mac's body up to his face and Victor's eyes settled on Mac's mouth, with his pouty kiss-swollen lips. That mouth, what would it feel like on Victor, sucking him all the way down, nuzzling Mac's nose in his pubes, other hand stroking his balls. Oh, to have that boy on his knees before him.
"God! The two of you get head like shit!" Stephanie yelled, wiping a wet mess on Victor's jeans. She, too, went to the bathroom and Victor sat back, looking at the ceiling. Mac stared at Victor's cock as it went down, noting how it didn't go down that much. But Victor had a little more dignity and tucked himself away. He stood and looked at the closed bathroom door.
"Great, we both shot our loads and we have two unfulfilled girls in the head." Victor took a deep breath and turned to Mac. "Want a beer?"
"Yeah, sure." Victor went into the kitchen, and stayed there as the door of his bathroom opened and the two girls came out.
"OK, so... we're going. Bye!" said Stephanie. Victor and Mac noticed the two girls conspicuously holding hands. The door slammed closed behind them. Victor walked over and locked it up, then leaned back on it.
"That was a disaster."
"I haven't been that quick off the mark since... I was a kid."
"When was that, two years ago?" Victor asked, finishing his beer.
"Fuck you, Mansfield. I'm not a child. Even when I was one. If you need to pretend to be superior, then go do it alone. I'm tired. I should hit the... couch."
"Fine. Blanket and pillow are in the closet. Sweet fucking dreams, asshole."
Victor slammed his bedroom door closed and that suited Mac just fine. He sacked out on the couch, but not before trying to erase the vision of Victor's huge cock from his mind.
Laying on the couch, Mac wasn't even aware of the comfort level, but if he was hard-pressed to describe it, the couch was pretty comfy. Victor's body began to fill his thoughts. How often had he seen Victor in a state of possible undress? Well, they'd used the washroom together plenty of times, but Mac never had the inclination to look down. They'd been in the pool together. Hell, they'd been in the sauna together. How was it he'd never noticed Victor's body before?
It wasn't any different in Victor's bedroom, either. He lay on his bed, staring at the ceiling... well, at the hole in his ceiling where his smoke detector/hidden camera once was. How did just looking at Mac's cock make him come? It wasn't his cock, it was his mouth. Oh, yeah, kissing Mac would be an experience. Having Mac suck his cock, that would be even better. Those juicy lips, hell, all over Victor's body.
Making love to a man was totally different than a woman. You could grab a little harder, kiss harder, nibbles could be turned into bites. It was part of what Victor loved about his occasional switch hit. He wasn't afraid to take two handfuls of ass and squeeze tight. Slamming his hips against a pliant body was all that life was about some nights. Victor wondered why the Director never mentioned any of his forays to the Davie Street stroll.
In the morning, Mac was roused by the smell of fresh coffee brewing and bacon frying. He sat up and looked over at Victor who was puttering around the kitchen, swathed in his bathrobe. Mac had no problems with nudity or his body, so he stood from the couch, completely naked and walked to the kitchen to get some coffee. Victor turned to him and stopped.
"You think maybe you could put a little something on before we eat?" he asked. Mac did not fail to notice how Victor's eyes lazily wandered over his body.
"Yeah, OK, sure," Mac said before wandering to the bathroom to relieve himself, snatching up his boxers from the night before. When he came out, Victor had laid out a full breakfast with eggs, toast, the afore mentioned bacon and a full mug of coffee. "Hey, Vic, this looks good. Thanks, man."
They sat side by side at the counter bar to eat. They were silent for a few minutes, but leave it to Mac to fill in the silence.
"So, what do we do today?" Mac asked.
"I dunno. I was thinking of doing some Christmas shopping. Something for Alice, my mom. Hell, I'll even get something for my dad. What about you?"
"Oh... well, my dad is... I don't know where he is. And mom, she's been dead a while. And I'm an only child, you know, so... I guess I'll get something for Li Ann, and the Director, and... Dobrinsky you think?"
Victor turned to Mac and waited. He waited for Mac to say him. Waited for Mac to say they'd have to split up wherever they went, so Mac could get something for Victor in private. That was what Victor was going to say, eventually. But if Mac wasn't going to get something for him, he wasn't getting anything for Mac.
They showered and dressed separately, Victor of course being interrupted twice when Mac just had to get in to brush his own teeth, then to see if Victor had dental floss. If Victor didn't know any better, he'd think Mac wanted to see him wearing only a bath towel around his waist. If Victor really thought about it, he enjoyed Mac walking around in his boxer shorts.
They made their way down to Victor's truck, passing the peanut gallery that had gathered to sit in the lobby. They wished Mac and Victor a good day as they left. Mac watched the scenery go by as he tried to think about what he could possibly get for anyone. He hadn't said it, but he wanted to get Victor something really special. What the hell would he get Victor if he could?
Victor pulled into the parking garage of the Pacific Centre, much to Mac's dismay. "A mall? Are you kidding?" Mac shook his head and looked around.
"This is a very nice shopping centre. Besides, this is exactly the place where I can find what I need to get for my family. Trust me, they're mall people."
"That explains a lot." Victor looked over at Mac, giving him the most evil eye.
"Look, when we get there, you can go do what you want, and I'll go shopping by myself, OK? Then, you can go anywhere you want, inside or outside the mall. I'll call you when I'm done, we can meet back at the truck. Sounds good?"
Mac nodded. Just what he needed! He took off pretty quickly, on his own and looked for things for the women in his life. For Li Ann, he got a special charm of a gold dog. That was the year she was born and she had a secret collection of dog collectibles for that reason. For the Director, he got a gold and diamond watch. He'd noticed she never wore one. Maybe someone hadn't gotten her the right one. It was the height of fashion, thin as a quarter and not much bigger around. For Dobrinsky, he decided on a gag gift. He briefly left the mall and ran down to Hemlock, where he knew of a small adult store, and he purchased the ladies' jack rabbit, the super set. It was a vibrator that had everything, pretty expensive. It was even luckier that the store gift wrapped it for him.
On his way back into the mall, he was really stumped on what to get Victor. The man was so damned particular. He didn't like anything he didn't get for himself. Mac knew next to nothing about him. He wandered into a music store, but no one made records or cassettes anymore, much less eight-track tapes. What the hell kind of music did Victor like?
A pretty young girl walked over to him and looked up with clear green eyes that reminded him of Victor's. She smiled up at him and said, "Can I help you with something?"
"Yeah, I got a buddy, a coworker, and I need to get him a gift. He likes... what the hell is that music... Delta blues. You know what that is?"
"Oh sure! Come on, let me show you what we have and I think you can make a good decision."
He followed her into the store where she showed him an interesting section with lots of blues CDs. Mac saw a name he vaguely recognized, Robert Johnson, and saw the large boxed set of his complete works. That was certainly something Victor would like. The biggest problem was that it was a CD boxed set and Victor not only didn't own a CD player, but he did not believe in digital music. The most he would go is magnetic tapes. Oh, sure, the guy was good on a computer, but he was better with books and maps and physical things.
"Why don't you get him a CD player, too?" the girl said. "Makes sense, right?"
He looked at her and yes, she was right. Victor had the sweet television and no sound system. He could get the man a whole surround sound system for the living room. And a DVD player! Yes, the girl was right! He looked at her tag that read "Rose" and he hugged her. "Hey, where can I get him a set up? And I need some DVDs, too."
She pointed Mac through to the DVD section and then to the electronics store across the mall. Funny enough, a young man waved to her and she waved back. She was a very pretty girl, but the guy was kind of geeky. Well, it took all kinds, didn't it?
He purchased a ton of stuff, all of it with pre-made gift boxes, and then to the electronics store where he drew a map of Victor's living room so that the speaker placement could be calculated. They worked it out and the geek, named Zack, which did not fit him, and Mac told him to deliver it Christmas Eve. He would make sure there was a reason for him to be there in two weeks. Hopefully, he could get back into his apartment by then.
Victor walked around the mall, with things for his sister, mostly teeny bopper stuff he could mail to her in Malawi, where she was helping a village with their irrigation system for clean water and sewage. For his mother, he got her a plane ticket, open-ended, to visit him in Vancouver. It was a single ticket, round trip. It would please her, but knowing it was a single ticket, she would never use it. She would never leave his father alone. Then again, it was a first class ticket on Air Canada. They did a good job with their first class.
For the Director, he got her a book series about famous female assassins. She'd mentioned it off-handed once, and Victor filed that information away. For Li Ann, he got a ticket to New York. She'd wanted to visit for the longest time. And while, Victor preferred quiet Vancouver, far be it from him to deny her the great white way and all the excitement that went with it. He booked her a room in Times Square, and got her tickets to that musical she mentioned, two tickets, so she could take a friend... or whoever she wanted. For Dobrinsky, he got a set of carving knives, to start him off. Dobie had taken an interest in Victor's cooking, so Victor directed him to the culinary school he attended twice a week, when classes were in.
What to get Mac, plagued Victor's mind. The man was so... particular. His musical tastes changed with the wind. He didn't read what wasn't on a website. And television was just sports and porn to him. His mind wandered back to music as he walked by a kiosk in the middle of the mall offering a satellite radio system. It boasted access to four hundred different radio stations and could get reception anywhere on the planet, and underground up to four hundred feet. As Victor spoke to the man, he realized there was a set up where Mac could use it in his car, broadcast it over a radio station and it was portable, to listen with headphones. It was perfect. He could get his music up to the minute and that was something he truly enjoyed.
When he was done, Victor called Mac and they met in the food court. Mac found Victor easily enough, sitting at a table by himself, feet crossed in front of him as he ate that French fries crap, with the cheese and gravy, and reading a magazine about cars.
"How can you eat that crap?" Mac asked, sitting beside him.
"It's Canadian, you should try it."
"Yeah, I got a news flash for you. You were born in Michigan. You're an American, man."
Victor looked up from his lunch and cleared his throat. "I got a news flash for you, too. We don't exist. We have no citizenship. We have no social insurance number. Those credit cards we use come from a bank run by the agency. They own us. I'm not an American, you're not Chinese... or whatever the hell you were."
"I was never Chinese, Victor, I wasn't born in Hong Kong."
This was information Victor had never had before. "Where exactly were you born, Mac?"
"England. Halifax, actually. My mother was so enamored of my father, she followed him all around the world. He allowed her to rest long enough in his hometown to have me. Then, they were off again. Left me with his parents a while, then, when she fell ill, and died in Amsterdam, he began dragging me along. And... you know the rest of the story." Which Victor did. His father left him, at twelve years old, with a business associate in Hong Kong he owed a great deal of money to. Mac became a sort of slave to the family, but quickly worked his way into the family, and into the Godfather's heart... and the rest of that story was history Victor didn't want to think about.
He stood and tossed out the remnants of his lunch and said, "OK, I'm ready to go. How about you?"
"Yeah, let's go." They gathered their purchases and headed back to Victor's truck. The drive back was yet again unremarkable. At the apartment, Victor quickly stored his things in his bedroom closet and went back out to where Mac was trying to shove everything in his suitcases.
"Don't worry, I won't peek. Besides, I don't care what you got for Li Ann."
Victor walked into his kitchen to begin dinner, taking a moment to pull a bottle of red wine from the rack under the sink. He opened it and left it on the counter bar while he pulled the steaks out. Mac looked on from the living room, but was drawn to the lovely looking slabs of beef.
"That's what we're having?" Mac asked.
"Yeah, you a vegetarian?" Victor asked, washing the skins of two large baking potatoes.
"No, man, just... those are some nice steaks."
Mac grabbed a glass from the rack over the counter and poured some wine for himself. Victor turned around and shouted, "Hey! That's for dinner! Red wine has to breathe."
"Then open another bottle. You do have another bottle, don't you?"
"I have plenty. But that's the one I wanted to serve with dinner. Now, you've disturbed it."
"Well, I'm sorry. But I like red wine."
Victor went back to his broiler and checked the temperature. They began drinking the first bottle of wine while waiting for the steaks and potatoes to cook. Victor made a fresh salad, then opened the next bottle. The two men sat next to each other not really talking, until the third bottle of wine got the better of Mac and he needed to ask the question.
"Dude, why did you leave home at sixteen?" He took a deep drink of his wine and waited.
"It's a long, shitty story, and I don't want to bring you down."
Mac poked Victor in the arm. "I know it's a long, shitty story. But I asked because I want to know."
"What gives you the idea that you're entitled to know about my past?"
"We're partners, and... I told you about me. You owe me." Mac tried not to let the anger in his voice seep out. He didn't want Victor to hear the hurt either.
"I owe you shit. What do you want to hear, huh? That my dad drinks? That he beat my mother? That I started fights with him so he'd beat me and get tired and pass out? Do you want me to tell you that I burnt the house down with him in it, but he survived and stumbled out? And I ran away that night so I'd never get caught? That she lied for me, never told anyone where I went, and now holds it over my head that she lied for me? And what, you wanna know what I did to survive on the streets in Toronto, don't you? Yeah, that's where I ran, Toronto. I learned really fast to ignore the taste of a condom. And I learned how to close my mind off to anyone who wanted a tight ass for a little while. That what you wanted to hear?"
"Vic... I... um..."
"I guess it helped that I was gay. Or bi. Or whatever the fuck you want to call it. Yeah, so, I like guys and I like girls. But the girls don't always seem to like me. And guys are just easier to fuck. So... is that what you had in mind?"
Sitting right next to Victor, Mac put his hand on his partner's shoulder. It was a simple sign of strength. The look Victor gave him was open and meaningful. It was a look of a shared past. It was the look of solidarity. Victor zeroed in on Mac's mouth, just looking at those lips. Were they getting closer to him, or had he had too much to drink? Well, he knew he had too much to drink, that's for sure.
Before Victor knew it, Mac's mouth was on his own, kissing him deeply. Victor leaned into it, pressed his mouth to his friend's. Mac was a friend. That was a new thought. It was different. They were friends. Not just thrown together, not vying for Li Ann, but friends.
They pulled away and Mac turned his head away. "I'm sorry, Vic. That was... I shouldn't have done that. You're all vulnerable and..."
Victor cut him off with another kiss, and pulled Mac out of the chair. He pushed the taller man against the wall and pressed his chest on Mac's. The kiss was strong, searching, and desperate.
"Mac, just... tonight, no agency. No other people. No one but us, OK? Can you do that?"
"Consider it done." Their mouths met again in fierce competition for control. Mac acquiesced, and allowed Victor to move him from the wall in the living room to the bedroom where they fell on the bed. It was so nice to kiss a man again, Mac thought. It was rough and sexy, it was so completely savage. Victor pulled at Mac's clothes, shirt off over his head and he attacked Mac's nipples while pulling at the button on his pants. Victor pulled back and said, "Why do you have so much fucking chest hair?"
It broke the tension, and made them both laugh. Victor sat up and pulled his own shirt off and pressed his body down on Mac's chest. Their mouths met again, hands roaming their bodies. Mac liked Victor's pronounced pectoral muscles and cupped them, like they were breasts. He liked that Victor squirmed every time Mac bit one of his nipples. Victor loved the feel of the bulge in Mac's pants against his thighs as they rolled from one side of the bed to the other. Victor knelt up on the bed and began unbuttoning his jeans.
"Do me a favor, Mac?" Victor asked. He hoped it sounded like an earnest request and not an order.
"Yeah, Vic, what?"
"Suck my cock," Victor said, sliding his jeans down his thighs. Mac watched intently as Victor pulled his jeans off, then slid his boxer briefs off, hard thick cock slapping against his stomach. He reached for it, but Mac cut him off, swooping in and sucking the head down his throat. Victor arched off the bed, hoping he wasn't choking Mac with his sudden move.
Moving up and down, sliding his tongue all over the head, and down the back, fluttering at the base where the vein disappeared into Victor's body. Victor's balls were as sparse of hair as the rest of his body, and Mac enjoyed sucking each one into his mouth, toying with it and making Victor giggle. He went back to sucking with purpose, almost bringing Victor off, but he stopped at the last minute and grabbed the base of Victor's cock.
"Hey, do you top or bottom?" Mac asked, wiping his chin.
"I top. That OK?" he asked, hoping.
"Yeah, you can top me. Just grease up and go, no prep work. I like it better that way."
"Yeah, OK." Victor reached into the bedside table for his lube, knowing the kind he used to masturbate was just as good for sex, but then he sat back a moment. "Wait, I don't have any condoms. I hadn't planned... on anything."
Mac looked up at him, close to exasperated. "You know as well as I do what they test us for."
Victor nodded, knowing Mac was right. They tested the agents for every ailment under the sun semi-annually. He lubed himself liberally and looked back down at Mac, who had arranged himself on his stomach with a pillow under his hips. He had a nice ass, firm and round, and begging for Victor to spank all pink and rosy. Two handfuls felt so good to Victor, squeeze and massaging. But he couldn't hold back any longer and parted the delicious cheeks and found the entrance to eternity.
Cock centered at Mac's hole, Victor pushed in slowly, no testing fingers to ease the way, and felt the cringe in the man under him. It was sweet, hot resistance. Mac grunted and squeezed the pillow under his chest.
"Yeah, that's good," Victor said, just before beginning to move inside his partner. Mac pressed against Victor's warm back, feeling the softness of his skin, the thin but apparent layer of fat over the muscles Mac knew to be there, having depended on Victor's strength to protect him several times.
Victor started slow but built up speed, thrusting into Mac's body, harder and harder. The grunting from under him alerted Victor that Mac was enjoying himself, but Victor also knew he needed to help his partner along. He grabbed Mac's hip and pulled backwards, bringing them both to lying on their sides. Holding that slender hip, skin hot and slick, Victor continued thrusting, reaching around to grasp Mac's hard cock. It was bigger than Victor originally thought, and he liked the idea that next, he would be the recipient of pleasure.
Mac's head swirled with heat and feeling and pleasure, feeling the lightning building in his stomach. It built up, charging his spine with pure excitement and energy. He bucked back against Victor, who continued to stroke his length and press into his prostate. It was Mac's undoing and he began coming, on Victor's hand and she sheet before him. He spasmed and squeezed his ass tight, bringing Victor off with him. Victor held Mac by the shoulders and bucked against his body, pounding his hips into Mac's sweet ass.
Both men collapsed against each other, trying to catch their breaths. Victor slipped his arm around Mac's waist and spread his hand flat on his stomach. Victor rubbed his sweaty forehead against Mac's sweaty back.
"Damn, Vic, if I had known you were that good in bed, I would have tapped you a while ago."
"Yeah, well, if I'd known your ass was that tight, I'd been in it from minute one."
Both men laughed. They could say these things now. They could admit they wanted each other. It would never have worked before, when they both thought they were in love with Li Ann. But maybe it needed to come to a good steak, several bottles of wine and a good fuck.
They ended up lying side by side on their backs. Mac thought he should lay in his own wet spot. He did like that Victor got up to get a washcloth for him to clean up with. Victor was a gracious host.
"Hey... uh... what happens now?" Mac asked. He wasn't sure what he would do, now. He and Victor had always had an antagonistic relationship. Suddenly, after three bottles of wine, they were lovers. It was new territory.
"Li Ann's gonna freak out when she finds out, you know?" Victor said.
"I thought about that. We can't tell her. Or the Director."
"She knows. Trust me. She watched. I haven't found the latest set of cameras and mics, but she knows. So... we should get some rest, I think. And... wake me up where you're up again, kay?"
The idea intrigued Mac, topping Victor. He rolled half on top of the other man and kissed him deeply. They spent a few moments there, kissing and cuddling, before settling down to sleep.
In the morning, they decided that the pouring rain was the perfect reason to spend the day in bed. Victor hadn't realized he was so agile, and decided he liked to play "who comes first?" while mutually blowing each other. By the end of the day, when both men were exhausted, Mac almost jumped out of his skin when his cell phone rang. It was the superintendent of his condo. The place was safe to go back to. How to break it to Victor...
Mac decided to spend that night with Victor. It was Saturday night. Mac decided it was better to spend the entire night in bed, mapping Victor's body with his mouth and hands, tasting and smelling and touching every part of Victor's body, and making sure that Victor knew every part of his. When they fell asleep that night, Mac cradled Victor's body on his chest, stroking the sleeping man's back and hair, comforting himself as much as he soothed Victor.
Victor woke up to the sound of the shower. He looked around and saw Mac's clothes laid out on the settee in the corner. He sat up and waited, unsure of what he'd say. Mac came out, towel around his waist, and smiled. "Hey, I got a call, and I can go back to my apartment. So, I'm gonna get over there, clean up and stuff. I'm sure there's a fine layer of crap all over my stuff. But... uh... I'll see you at the agency tomorrow, OK?"
It hit Victor like a ton of bricks; remorse and retreat. "Yeah, OK." Then, a kernel of hope. "Hey, you need a ride in the morning?"
How did Mac tell Victor the garage left a voicemail message that his car was ready and would be delivered to his condo later that day?
"Nah, thanks. The car is ready. Um... thank you for letting me stay. I... liked it. Thanks."
"Yeah, any time. My house is your house."
Victor got out of bed and followed Mac to the living room, disregarding his own nudity for once. Mac had packed his bags and hidden all the gift packages he's purchased the day before.
"Hey, do you need a ride now? I mean, it's not so great out..."
"No, Vic, thanks. I have a car waiting. I had hoped I wouldn't wake you..."
"Why? So you could sneak out and not say goodbye? So you could just forget what... happened."
"Look, don't make this more difficult..."
"No, don't worry, OK? See you tomorrow." Victor turned and went to his bathroom, closing the door behind him. He heard Mac leave as he flushed the toilet, and ignored the unlocked door as he began his shower. Fine, if Mac had second thoughts, wanted to sneak out, ignore the wonderful weekend they shared, then so be it. Victor had ways to cope with what happened. He'd go grocery shopping and stock up, make a few casseroles for the ladies in the building, and they loved him for it. He made them little individual portions they just had to microwave. Then, he'd do his laundry, strip the bed and wash the sheets with Lysol. He had plenty to do.
Come morning, Victor drove through the pouring rain to the agency, parked in the underground garage and walked towards the elevator. He looked around covertly, trying to see what cars were there. The Director's new Lexus, Li Ann's Aston Martin, Dobrinsky's Corvette... and Mac's Ferrari. He was there. Shit.
The meeting went as Victor thought, quiet, condescending, and completely boring. There was no new work, nothing that needed their immediate attention. International espionage agents were taking Christmas off. Victor stood to go, and almost jumped out of his skin when a hand settled on his shoulder. He turned quickly, and felt a rush of relief when it was Li Ann.
"Hey, how was your weekend babysitting Mac?" she asked.
"Fine. Walk in the park. We minded our own business." Victor walked away, intent on going to the agency gym to work off some energy in the pool. He just wanted to get everything out of his head. He didn't look back when he heard the familiar cadence of Mac in his square-toed black shoes, the ones that were shiny with the silver buckle on the side. He was thankful when the footsteps stopped.
The water enveloped him like cool blanket, letting him move back and forth. His anger burned off quickly, and was replaced by determination. He swam all afternoon, almost forcing the life guard to remove him forcibly. Victor walked into the locker room to shower and change. He hadn't noticed Mac in the observation room, and he didn't see Mac follow him into the locker room.
It took quite a bit of trying, but Victor filled his copious spare time with fix-it jobs around his neighbor's apartments, he red two books, and learned how to make a souffle that didn't fall. What he didn't like was that he was alone. It was difficult, with no work, no Li Ann, since she was on holiday in Hawaii, and much to Victor's dismay, no Mac. He'd lost all his friends from the police force, and after being released from jail and going to work for the agency, he didn't have a chance to make new friends, after trying to settle the gang situation in the lower B.C. area.
Buying a Christmas tree became a mission. Something not too big, not too small, not sparse but not so full that it would shed needles like mad. The perfect tree happened upon him at sunset, and Victor happily paid for it and shoved it into his truck bed. The gallery in the lobby were very impressed with the size and asked Victor if he had enough ornaments.
"Yes, I have plenty, but they're just the store-bought ones. One day, I'll have a family and we'll have the homemade ones." By the end of the night, there was a knock at Victor's door, and Mrs. Hyman presented him with a small box of crocheted ornaments for his tree.
"To make it warmer and homier." Victor loved them, and thanked his neighbor for her kindness. He had a good life, he had to admit it. If only...
It was Christmas Eve, and the Director hosted her annual dinner. It was in the agency conference room, catered by the finest restaurant in Vancouver. Victor dressed for the occasion, not in a tux like he had for the awards dinner, but nice enough. Mac wore a flashy suit, shark-skin or something like that. Li Ann was draped in layers of red crepe and satin. Even Dobrinsky had put a different colored pocket square in this night.
The place cards around the table were elegant, and were next to a large blue box with a silver ribbon. There were lovely amouse bouches at each place, which Victor gobbled without thinking. He looked up at everyone, who was staring at him.
"What? I'm hungry." It was said without anger, without remorse, as well.
Across the table, with his fingers, Mac raised his to his mouth and wrapped his tongue around it. The tartness of the crème fraiche and the smokiness of the bacon were absolutely delicious. Li Ann looked over at him and said, "Two of a kind, I tell you. No manners, either of them."
"More than you know, Li Ann. Tell us about your vacation." The Director presided over the dinner, ordering the wine and the courses. The steaks were just as everyone liked, and the stories went around the table. Until the Director made her way to Mac and Victor.
"So, gentlemen, how was your time together at Victor's apartment? I mean, after that failed attempt with the club bunnies."
"Club bunnies? When did this happen?" Li Ann asked. Dobrinsky sat up to listen to this story.
"We don't need to get into this..." Victor started.
"Oh, I have to hear this," Li Ann demanded.
"Well, it seems that our intrepid gentlemen went out dancing the first night that Mac was displaced from his apartment. Two lovely ladies accompanied them home, but much to the ladies' dismay, their stamina wasn't what they'd hoped for."
"Stamina? What are you talking about?" Victor spat. Mac just sat back and drank deeply of his wine.
"I mean that one glance at... shall we say each gentleman's roommate ended the romance with the ladies."
"What?" Li Ann said.
Of course, leave it to Dobrinsky to read between the lines. "Oh, you mean the ladies were going down on them, but when they caught a look at each other's packages, it was all over but for the crying!"
Mac dipped his head, trying not to scream. Victor just drank his glass of wine and held his glass up for another.
"Oh, Mac... I didn't know you..." The look on Li Ann's face was part confusion, part pity. Who knew what she was thinking. Certainly not Mac. She looked over at Victor, who was not making eye contact with anyone. Mac had had enough.
"So, Madam Director, what did you want to hear? I like looking at my partner? I like boys? And we did it while I was at Victor's place? Yes, to all of it."
Victor's head shot up. He was not prepared to come out to his coworkers, but the damage was done. He glared at Mac, reaching for his gun, but thankfully, he was asked to leave it home for the night.
"Shut the fuck up, Mac," Victor ground out.
"No, Vic, they want to know, we should tell them!"
"Mac, I can't believe you'd do this, just to get back at me," Li Ann said. "This is not the way to get on my good side."
"Your good side? Lady, you need to stop drinking the wine. This had nothing to do with you. This had to do with me and my partner finally admitting something we'd known about each other for a long time. Not once during the three days we spent together did we mention you."
Li Ann's chin went up. She was highly insulted.
"And Victor is better in bed than you are."
That was the straw that broke the camel's back. Li Ann stood, threw her napkin on the table and left, ignoring the gift for her. Mac sighed, and put the gift bag he'd brought for her on her chair.
"Will you make sure she gets that?" Mac asked, and stood to leave. The Director watched as Mac picked up his gift and nodded to the Director, Dobrinsky and then looked over at Victor, who was staring at his plate. Mac waited a heartbeat, then just went on his way.
The Director sat up and picked up her wine glass. "Go after him, Victor. I will talk to Li Ann."
"You enjoy this, don't you? You not only get to fuck your agents, but fuck with them. That fun for you?"
"Tell me one thing Victor. Did you, also, think that Mac was better in bed than Li Ann? Than even me? Think about your answer to that question, and act accordingly. Happy holidays."
Victor considered his choices a moment. Spending a day in bed with Mac was... pretty goddam special. The man still infuriated him. But they had a wonderful time. And they connected. And yes, Mac was better in bed than both Li Ann and the Director. He grabbed his gift for Mac, his gift off the table and started after Mac. He knew he'd catch up with the man in the garage. As predicted, Mac was putting his gift in the trunk, and stood looking at a rectangular box.
"Mac!" Victor shouted, but was ignored. It had to be done. Victor ran over to the car, seeing the presents in the trunk and grabbed Mac's shoulder. He spun the man around and looked up at him. Why did Mac have to be so tall?
"Don't go. Come home with me. I want to give you your gift. I have a tree in the apartment... Mac, please?"
"Yeah, OK. I'll meet you there. I don't want to leave the car here over the holiday."
Both Mac and Victor noticed Li Ann's Aston Martin was still in her spot. The Director would talk to her. Then have sex with her. It was modus opernandi for her.
Victor kept Mac's car in sight as he drove straight back to his apartment, parking near each other. Victor carried his gifts, wondering if Li Ann would take back the things she got for Mac and Victor. He didn't care. Mac was here, they could work it out. Victor would find out why he left so quickly.
Mac was thankful the peanut gallery had gone to bed early. The last thing he needed to hear was how wonderful Victor was. He already knew that.
The tree was bigger than Mac thought it would be. The hand-made ornaments smacked of neighborly gifts. But the hand-added strands of tinsel were just like something Victor would do. Victor went to the cabinet and pulled out a bottle of red wine, a nuveau Beaujolais that just arrived. Mac smiled.
"Why do you keep your wine under the kitchen sink?"
"Cool, dark place. Best for the reds. Whites are in the fridge." Victor popped open the bottle and poured it out for Mac. They clinked glasses and sipped.
"Why did you leave so suddenly? What did I do?"
"No, it wasn't you, Vic. It was just... so damned perfect. I could really get used to that. I felt... at home, here. With you, in bed. That's something I haven't had in a long time. And I was afraid to..."
"Ruin it?" Victor's eyes were soft, inquiring, loving. Mac just nodded. "I thought you knew by now that I wouldn't let that happen. I'd do everything in my power to stop that."
"What... I mean... what..." There was a knock at the door, interrupting the discussion. Victor rolled his eyes.
"We're not done with this conversation." He went to the door and it was two delivery men.
"I got a delivery for Victor Mansfield. That you?" The delivery man looked official. Victor's mind flew back to when a family of wise guys offered him electronics as a thank you for helping their princess.
"Who sent this?" Victor asked, blocking their way.
"I did," Mac said, pulling Victor back. "Guys, just bring it in, I'll do the unpacking."
"Like I offered." The men wheeled the boxes in and left them on the floor. Mac handed them a ten each, and they both gave him a dirty look. Great, he thought, extortive delivery men.
"Mac, what the hell is all this?" Victor asked, walking towards the boxes. Mac put a hand up to stop him.
"Open this first." Mac handed Victor the rectangular box. Victor looked at it dubiously, but opened it just the same. His eyes rounded and then he shook his head.
"The Complete Recordings of Robert Johnson. Mac... I... can't play CDs." Victor's face fell when he saw it was a CD set.
"That's what's in the box. You have a kick ass TV and cable set up, and shitty sound. Let me set this up for you, and teach you. Then, you can listen to your music all night long."
Victor looked up into Mac's face and smiled almost sadly. "How did you... Mac... I..."
"Victor, just say 'thank you', alright?" Mac smiled down at Victor and treasured the look of pensive delight on his face.
"Thank you. I... oh, I got you something, too." Victor grabbed the bag with Mac's gift and handed it to him. Mac smiled and led Victor to the couch to sit and open it. While Mac was opening the package, Victor turned on the Christmas tree lights. The star on top sparkled, making Victor smile.
"Holy shit! Victor, this is the latest satellite radio receiver! How... where did..."
"I saw it and the guy said that there were stations that played the absolute latest music. I immediately thought of you. There's a set up so you could use it in the car, or with headphones, but you're going to have to figure out how to play it in your apartment. That's just too far beyond..."
"Thank you, Victor. I love it. Thank you."
"You... used my full name. I... um... I like that. Thank you."
"Mackenzie. My full name is Mackenzie Lionel Ramsey."
"Victor Innes Mansfield."
"It's a family name. Be thankful my father didn't get his way and make it my first name."
"I'll say a prayer."
The two men looked at each other and it just clicked.
"I love you," they said at the same time. Victor laughed. Mac put his hand under Victor's chin and tipped his face up.
"Thank you, Victor. For making me stay with you."
"My house is your house."
Victor sealed his last words with a kiss, holding Mac's face, just stroking his cheeks. When he pulled back, and Mac looked into Victor's eyes, he knew he was home.
Notes: I thought it would be nice to write something other than X-files. Since, this was a huge part of Nick's career, a starring role in a series. He had final billing, which is some cases, denotes the most famous member of the cast. So, I decided to write that. This story was originally, sorta, written by someone else, and it was terrible. They had Vic moving into Mac's place, which really sucked. I don't like that idea at all. So, I turned it around, and added X-mas. I hope you all like it. By the way, a social insurance number is Canada's social security number.