The Kiss of Enlightenment



Copyright July 2002

With a pitiful groan, Steve hauled his aching body out of his squad car and stumbled toward the ER entrance.  “I’m too old for this shit,” he muttered under his breath as he searched the familiar faces of the ER.  “I just don’t understand why the criminals keep getting younger and not older?” 

Catching the attention of one of the nurses, Steve asked, “Is Jesse still around?”   

“You just missed him.  His shift ended about thirty minutes ago.”  

“Just my luck.”  Steve limped to the nearest empty chair and, pulling out his cellphone, entered the number of his father’s pager.  The sound of someone calling his name made him jerk his head around too quickly and the muscles of his neck protested.  “Shit!  MacCallum’s here.”  Ignoring the pain, Steve vacated his seat and hurried down the hallway, taking refuge in one of the empty ER exam rooms.  

Barely cracking the door open, Steve scanned the hallway.  He slammed the door shut at the sight of the gay doctor striding toward him.  “Fuck!”  Steve searched the room for a hiding space and, spying a second door, crammed his large frame inside what turned out to be a claustrophobically small storage closet.  His cellphone rang just as he was forcing the door closed.  Groaning, he struggled to free it from the front pocket of his jeans.  

“Please be Dad.  Please be Dad,” he whispered as he raised the phone to his ear.  “Sloan here.” 

“Steve?  You paged me?”   

“Dad!  I need you.  Need you to find Jesse.”  Steve attempted to turn around and accidentally smashed his elbow against a shelf.  “Shit!” 

“Steve?  Is something wrong?” 

“Dad, can you find Jesse?  I’m down in the ER, in Exam Room C and I’ve got some cuts and scrapes that need looking after.”  The detective rubbed his sore elbow with his free hand.  “Nothing serious.”  //Nothing a little patented Jesse TLC can’t handle.// 

“I think Jesse’s gone.  Why don’t you let whoever’s working take a look at you and I’ll be there as soon as I finish rounds.” 

Steve gritted his teeth.  “MacCallum’s here, Dad.  And you know how I feel about him.”  The detective placed his ear against the door and listened.  Hearing only silence, he eased the door open and quickly checked the room.  Finding it empty, he stepped out of his hiding place and took a seat on the exam table.

 “Besides you, Jesse’s the only doctor I want touching me.  The only man I want….”  Steve’s words trailed off.  “Find Jesse for me, Dad.  Please.”  Steve carded his fingers through his hair and cringed at the memory of MacCallum accosting him the last time he was here.  

“I’m heading toward the doctors’ lounge.  He usually stops there before going home.  Umm… Steve?”

 The detective pulled off his shirt and hissed as the fabric scraped over the abrasions on his back.  “Yeah?” 

“When are you going to tell Jesse how you feel about him?” 

Steve carded his hand through his hair.  “When?  How ‘bout when the cow jumps over the moon?”  The younger Sloan sighed.  “I’m sorry, Dad.  But you and I both know Jesse’s not gay.  Hell, he’s dated almost every nurse in this hospital.”  Steve grimaced as memories of Jesse’s countless romances bombarded his mind, each one a fresh stab of pain to his lonely heart.     

“If there was the slightest chance Jesse felt the same way I did, I would be jumping his bones in five seconds flat.” 

“Son, that’s a little bit more information than I need to know.” 

Steve chuckled, imaging his parent’s blushing visage.  “Sorry, Dad.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had any….”   


This time it was the detective’s turn to blush.  “Handcuffing my lips now.”  Steve couldn’t help but smile at the sound of his father’s loud and boisterous laughter.   

“I’m almost to the doctors’ lounge, Steve.  I’ll call you right back.” 

Steve clicked off his phone and rubbed his eyes with his fists.  “Be there, Jessman.  Be there.” 

Unable to remain still, the detective slid off the exam table and moved toward the door.  Cautiously, he opened it and glanced up and down the hall, letting out a sigh of relief once he verified the coast was clear.  Closing the door, Steve answered his ringing cellphone. 


“He’s on his way, Son.”  

Steve closed his eyes in appreciation.  “Thanks.” 

“Would it be wrong for me to say… hope you get lucky?” 

Steve’s eyes snapped open.  “DAD!” 

“I was young once.  See you shortly.” 

Steve pocketed his phone and waited expectantly for his friend to show up.  The detective shook his head.  Friend.  Why did that word leave a sour taste in his mouth? 

His subconscious was quick to reply.  //Because you want Jesse to be more than a friend.  You want him to be your lover, your mate… the man who will love you for the rest of your life.//

“Yeah.  And pigs fly.”  Steve hoisted himself back on the table and groaned.  “One more time… I’m too old for this shit.  Too old to run after crooks and too old to pine after someone who will never, in a million years, warm my bed.”   

Closing his eyes once more, the detective ran his hand over his bare chest and imagined another hand touching his body, making him burn with a hunger that could only be quenched by one Dr. Jesse Travis. 

Moving his hand lower, Steve adjusted himself.  “Dammit!  Why did I have to fall in love with the doc who doesn’t make house calls on my side of town?” 

The door opened suddenly and Steve jerked his hand away from his groin as Jesse entered the room.   

“Another run-in with the bad guys, partner?  Steve, you’ve got to be more….”   

Steve tightly clenched his hands in an attempt to control his traitorous body, the need to jump off the table and grab Jesse in his arms nearly overwhelming him.  Gripping the edge of the exam table, he focused his concentration on Jesse and discovered the young physician had gone silent.  Ignoring the pain of sorely abused muscles, he twisted around and grinned.  

“Thank goodness Dad found ya, Jess.  The last time I was here, MacCallum really gave me a hard time… almost like he was coming onto me.”  Steve shuddered at the thought of someone other than Jesse touching his body.  His mind and heart wanted Jesse and only Jesse.  “He just really made me feel uncomfortable and I would prefer not having him treat me.”  

The detective reached out and placed his hand on Jesse’s arm.  “I appreciate you doing this, Jess.”  With a nod of his head, he indicated the younger man’s state of dress.  “They told me you were finished for the day.  I hope I didn’t ruin any plans you might have had.” 

//In fact, if you don’t have any plans, what about you coming home with me and I’ll read you your rights.  You have the right to be loved and kissed and hugged and cuddled and….// 

“It’s no problem, Steve.  I didn’t have any plans.” 

The sound of Jesse’s voice startled Steve and he struggled to remember what it was he was talking to Jesse about.  Tightening his grip, he pulled Jesse closer, wishing he had the right to pull the younger man into his arms and kiss him.   

“You sure, Jess?  I can put up with MacCallum if you have a special lady waiting for you.”   

Jesse took a deep breath before answering.  “A lady?  The only lady I’ve got plans with is Sarah Lee.” 

 //Sarah Lee?  Who the hell is Sarah Lee?//  Steve gave his friend a quizzical look. 

“There’s a half-eaten Sarah Lee cheesecake in the fridge and I plan to finish it off tonight while watching TV, Jesse explained.”   

//Thank you, God.  I can deal with a cheesecake.  In fact, I wouldn’t mind eating a piece of that cheesecake right off your…..// 

Steve shook his head and tsk’d out loud, more so at himself than at Jesse.  “I was positive you had a new lady in your life.  The way you’ve been working out at the gym and going straight home after your shift at the restaurant… I just thought….”  He brushed his free hand across the front of Jesse’s t-shirt.  “You’re really looking good, Jess.  Sure you don’t have a woman tucked away somewhere?” 

“You think I look good?”  

Reveling in the simple contact, Steve smiled.  “Ask any woman in this ER and I’m sure they’ll agree with me.”  Unable to resist, he once again ran his hand lightly over his friend’s firm chest.  “Yep.  You are definitely looking good, Jesse.” 

“Can you give me just a second, Steve?  I need to borrow a stethoscope.”   

A sigh of disappointment escaped the detective’s lips when Jesse pulled away and left the room.  “Dammit, Sloan.  Keep your hands to yourself,” Steve admonished himself.   

A sudden tingling in his fingers had the detective examining the hand that had been stroking Jesse’s chest.  After a second, he brushed it across his chest, mimicking how he had touched Jesse.  He groaned as his body reacted instinctively.  “What I wouldn’t give to have you touching me for real, Jessman.” 

The opening of the door had Steve grabbing for his discarded shirt and spreading it over his lap to hide the evidence of his arousal.  Glancing up, he found Jesse standing in front of him, offering him an apology.  

“Sorry about that.”   

Steve noticed the flushed look on Jesse’s face.  “Where’s the stethoscope?  Did someone distract you?” 

“You could say that.”  Jesse pulled a small instrument tray toward him. 

Steve watched silently as the blonde physician treated his wounds, each brush of Jesse’s fingers stirring the hunger inside him.  The detective closed his eyes in agony and surrendered to the haunting image of those same fingers teasing over his hard, throbbing erection.  Lost in the fantasy of being loved by the man who had claimed his heart, Steve was caught completely by surprise by the touch of Jesse’s lips and fingers caressing his injured shoulder.  

“What the hell?”  Steve twisted around and stared in amazement at the man standing behind him.  Was his mind playing tricks on him?  Did Jesse actually press a kiss to his shoulder? 

Before Steve could question his friend, Jesse dropped the bottle he was holding and sprinted for the door, repeating the words ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry’ over and over.  The detective slipped off the exam table and cursed as his sore right knee took the full brunt of his weight.  Gritting his teeth, he slipped his shirt on and rushed toward the door.  Unfortunately his feet came in contact with the spilled liquid from the bottle Jesse had dropped and the large man went down with a loud grunt.   

“Jesse!”  Steve pushed himself to his feet.  “Jesse!  Come back!” 

The detective stumbled into the hallway and instantly noted the door to the exit stairwell swinging shut.  He moved through it quickly and leaned over the railing.  Come on, Jesse.  I know you're in here.  Jesse?  Answer me!”  

Steve held his breath and listened, trying his best to locate the physician.  He refused to allow Jesse to escape, not after what had just happened.  The imprint of Jesse’s lips on his skin still burned and Steve had to know why the young man had kissed him.  Had to know if that kiss was an indication of something more than just friendship.   


Steve cursed under his breath at the sound of MacCallum’s voice.  He ignored the ER physician and started down the stairs.   

“What’s this I hear about you refusing to allow me to treat you in the ER?”  MacCallum reached out and gripped the detective’s arm. 

Silencing his growl of displeasure, Steve glared at the man.  “Back off, MacCallum.  You’re not my type.”  Jerking his arm free, he warned, “And unless you want me to report you to your superior, I’d suggest you don’t touch me again.  Now… if you don’t mind, I’m on the hunt for someone.”

 No longer able to ignore the pain in his knee, Steve gave up on pursuing Jesse down the stairs.  He shoved past MacCallum and raced as fast as possible to the ER exit.  Jesse’s convertible sped past him just as he pushed through the automatic doors.  Yelling Jesse’s name, the detective waved his arms and hobbled after the departing vehicle.   

After a few feet, Steve staggered to a halt and braced his hands on his knees, his lungs struggling for oxygen.  “Come on, Jesse.  Don’t run.”  


Steve stood in front of Jesse’s apartment and took a deep breath, trying to calm his racing heart.  Doubts assaulted his mind, slamming themselves against the truths he had clung to for so long.  In fact, as he was dragging his cellphone out of his pocket, Steve felt anger start to simmer just underneath the surface. 

 If that simple kiss was the evidence of Jesse’s feelings for him, then why in the hell had Jesse waited so long?  Just thinking of the time the two of them had possibly wasted, Steve allowed his anger to spill over into his voice as he shouted into his phone.  “I know you’re there, Jesse.  Pick up the phone.”  Lifting his hand to pound on the front door, Steve yelled, “Jesse!” 

Before his fist came in contact with the door, Steve found his arms filled with Jesse’s slender form.  The scared physician had come barreling out of his apartment and ran straight into Steve, causing him to drop his cellphone.   

Steve’s anger completely dissipated as he listened to Jesse’s heartfelt apologies.  He tried several times to interrupt the guilty confession but Jesse ignored him and knelt at his feet in order to pick up the broken pieces of the dropped cellphone.  Finally Steve leaned down and lifted Jesse to his feet.  Gathering his courage, the detective simply said, “Shut up, Jesse, and kiss me.” 

Afraid Jesse would protest, Steve swooped in and kissed him long and hard, moaning as he finally filled his heart and soul with the sweet taste of Jesse Travis.  Ending the kiss slowly, Steve grinned at the stupefied look on Jesse’s face.   

“Steve?”  Jesse shook his head.  “I’m dead, right?  No way in hell did you just kiss me.  I must be dead… that’s the only explanation.  I mean… you couldn’t have….” 

Steve slid his hands into Jesse’s hair, enjoying for the first time the silky feel of the blonde strands as they tangled around his fingers.  He pulled the smaller man closer, fitting Jesse snuggly against him.  “You talk too much, Jess,” he softly admonished.  “Just shut up and kiss me again.” 

Steve licked his tongue across Jesse’s bottom lip, tugging it into his mouth and teasing it with his tongue.  So caught up in the gentle mating of their mouths, Steve was at a loss to remember how he and Jesse had moved from the front door to the living room couch.  A contented sigh welcomed the weight of Jesse’s body as it settled against him, the physician straddling him and wrapping his arms around his neck.  

Jesse hid his face against Steve and whispered, “I truly have died.  Is this heaven?”   

Steve gathered him closer and nuzzled his neck, nipping a path to the sensitive area behind his ear.  “What do you think, Jesse?  Does this feel like hell?”  The detective tugged the blonde’s t-shirt free of his jeans and slid his hands underneath, raking his nails across Jesse’s nipples repeatedly until they were hard peaks.   

Smiling, Jesse arched into his touch.  “Gotta be heaven.  Most definitely.  Can I stay here forever?”  

Steve caught Jesse’s whispered words a second before the man softly kissed him.  “Forever, Jess.  Forever.”   

The end


Read Jesse's POV in... An Injury to the Heart