After searching up and down the Old Quarter for several hours, I finally found my intended target right outside of Nicholby's, a well known trick bar located towards the end of the Old Quarter. I could have kicked myself for not thinking of it earlier, could have saved myself a lot of time and energy.
Oh well, too late for that, now.
He was standing near the entrance, trying to get some guy to buy him a drink, no doubt. When I approached him, he glared at me. "What is it with you, asshole?" he demanded. "First you take my meal ticket, now you want to take my next date too?"
"No," I replied. "You're the one I want to talk to."
He stared at me. "You came all this way just to talk to me, buddy?" Then he flashed me a grin. "Or maybe you're tired of jumping old bones."
It probably wasn't the most smartest thing to do but I laughed at the typical rentboy pick-up line. "I don't have much money, kid." Not unless I absolutely had to pay him, but paying him for sex wasn't exactly what I had in mind.
"I figured that, or you wouldn't have been Ivan's boy." He snorted. "Now I got no money either, thanks to you."
"Then what was with the offer?"
"Why'd you come here then?" he asked with more than a little annoyance.
"Told you, I want to talk to you."
He rolled his eyes. "Then talk."
"Not here," I replied. "Privately."
Impatience crossed over those rough-pretty features. "My time is money, buddy and I don't care whether you fuck me or read me fucking fairy tales, I don't do free dates."
I sighed because I understood so well from my own experience. "I already said I don't have a lot of money." Then I came up with an idea. "At least, not on me," I amended. "I've got more at my place."
His eyes narrowed with suspicion. "Tell me another one."
I met his hazel gaze. "What would a date with you cost me?"
"Same as if you fuck me. Fifty credits a pop," was his answer.
I laughed. "For how long?"
He shrugged. "For as long as you pay me."
Again, I could understand why he was so mercenary. That didn't stop it from amusing the fuck out of me. I reached into my pocket and felt for Ivan's wallet, realizing that the boy probably had seen it earlier and would know I stole it but I had no other money. I pulled the wallet out, opened it to find two twenty credit notes and handed them to him. "Consider this as the down payment."
His eyes widened, staring at the wallet, oh yeah, he knew it was Ivan's. Fuck me, this was definitely my night for fuck-ups. He snatched the forty credits, then smirked, like he knew he had me. "I think you're gonna split your take, buddy. No need to talk about this, just hand it over and I'll be on my merry way."
Now I was getting impatient. "I already told you, not here."
"Zat so?" His smirk turned nasty. "Maybe I need to play Good Samaritan and report that stolen wallet to WASP's drones."
Oh, so he wanted to play? I smiled back in a way that was more baring of my teeth without exposing fangs. "You go ahead and do that, kid. I'll end up in jail but WASP will get all the credits. Not you."
Boy didn't like that one bit. "You're bluffing."
I shoved the wallet back in my pocket and crossed my arms across my chest. "Try me. Buddy."
He glared at me when he recognized I wasn't about to back down. "Fine," he snapped. "Where're we going?"
I grinned. "The Nocturne."
On the way there, I learned his name was Lendal, or Len for short and he'd been working as an independent since his folks kicked him out months ago. I also found out he was younger than I thought.
I shuddered at the thought that Ivan knew damned well how old Len was because he probably asked him. And it made him even hotter for Len. Fucking pervert. Maybe it was a good thing I killed him after all.
And maybe not.
We reached the club and walked down the stairs, past the line and the angry people waiting there. Even if the bouncer didn't know me, he could sense what I was and that was enough to get me and Len in the door.
"Your place is this club?" Len asked incredulously.
"I have a room on the second floor above the club," I replied. Yeah, somewhere I didn't even know but he didn't need to hear that. "We can sit at one of the tables back there," I pointed towards the tables and chairs on the other side of the dance floor.
Len shook his head. "Not there. The bar. And you're buying me a drink."
I nodded, hoping like hell that Dimitri wouldn't eavesdrop but knowing better. "Whatever you want."
We ambled to the bar and sat down. To my surprise, Dimitri smiled charmingly at Len. "What'll you have, darling boy?"
Len gazed at Dimitri in awe and I remembered that Dimitri is gorgeous to look at. Even if he was a first class prick. "You," he breathed.
Dimitri laughed. "That can be arranged," he purred. "But first, a drink?"
"How about tequila? Straight up," Len decided.
"How about a slow comfortable screw, instead." Dimitri replied, grinning wickedly before adding, "Sloe gin. Southern Comfort. Orange juice."
Disappointment flashed in Len's eyes but he squelched it quickly. Something told me that Dimitri would be one date Len wouldn't charge for. "Sounds yummy," he says, giving Dimitri the look of someone who wanted to be fucked. Badly.
Dimitri smiled snarkily at me. "And what will you be having, Weasel?"
Len blinked and I remembered he knew me as "Jamie" thanks to Ivan. He busted out laughing his head off. "Weasel?" he sputtered, laughing some more, "Your name is Weasel?" he asked me.
"Yeah," I growled, then said to Dimitri, "I'll have what he's having."
"I'll bet you will," Dimitri sneered, then ducked behind the bar, mixed the ingredients to make the Slow Comfortable Screw and handed glasses to Len and me. (Enjoy,) he Nightspoke, (Even if it'll make you puke your guts out.)
(Nice to know you're still the same bitch,) I retorted and took a sip just to spite him.
Ugh. Too icky sweet. Guess I'd just stick to water from now on.
Len liked it just fine though, downing the glass in no time flat. "Mmm, goes down smooth," he murmured to Dimitri, ignoring me completely. "Give me another one?"
Dimitri complied and set it down on the counter. "I could give you more than the drink," he said, his voice husky.
Len grinned invitingly. "What time do you get off work, blue eyes?"
Dimitri's hand cupped Len's cheek. "The name's Dimitri and I get off in an hour. Maybe less," he added, giving Len's cheek a promising caress before turning to serve another customer.
I knew how Len would take it but I felt obligated to warn him about that snake anyway. "Dimitri may look good," was as far as I got before Len interrupted me with, "Fucking understatement."
I tried again. "Okay, I admit, he's a looker but Dimitri is a bastard who chews up kids like you for dinner and spits out the bones." True enough.
Len laughed at my words. "You think I can't take care of myself, buddy boy?"
"I'm not talking about a pathetic chickenhawk like Ivan," I retorted.
Len's expression hardened. "Couldn't get Dimitri into bed, green eyes?"
"Please," I rolled my eyes, "you couldn't pay me enough."
"Yeah right," Len muttered. "Like you wouldn't give your right nut just to have one night with him!"
I gave up. "Whatever."
"No, not 'whatever,' Wea~sel," he taunted. "Guys like that usually go for pretty young things like you." Len smiled a little. "Yeah, that was part of why I decided to come with. I figured after we split the money, I could get lucky with you but compared to tall, blond and blue eyed, you're just a credit a dozen prettyboy piece of ass."
"Fuck you," I spat.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," Len dismissed, "just get this straight buddy. You already fucked things up for me with Ivan, don't even think you're gonna fuck up things with him!"
"Fuck things up with who, honeychild?" A familiar voice asked in a tone as smooth as honey. I looked behind Len and saw Angel Boy himself.
"Back off," Len snarled, "I saw him first!"
Angelo laughed. "Don't get your knickers in a twist, sunshine, I've already had him more times than I can count." Then he called out, "Ela, Dimitri, brought you a present." That was when I saw the bottle in his hand. A 750 ml bottle with weird letters on the label. I could also smell something familiar on his lips. The definite smell of licorice.
Now I knew what was in the bottle. Ouzo.
"I see you already had some, Angelo," Dimitri remarked, walking over in his direction.
Angelo put the bottle of ouzo on the bar. "Only a sip, cousin."
Dimitri reached out and pulled Angelo's face forward. "Efcharisto." He kissed both of Angelo's cheeks before pecking his lips.
"Anything for you, lover," Angelo drawled before taking off and disappearing into the crowd.
I suddenly realized that Angelo hadn't even acknowledged I was there.
"Zat's really your cousin?" Len asked.
"Yeah." Dimitri grabbed the bottle and muttered to himself, (You took more than a fucking sip, dear cousin of mine.) He uncorked the bottle and took a long swig before corking it again.
"What a douchebag!" Len exclaimed.
Dimitri instantly choked, spitting out some of the ouzo as he laughed. "Yeah, that's one word for Angelo."
"You talk real big when Angelo's not around, don't you, Dimitri," I baited, wanting him to hurt like I did. "You don't have the guts to say that to his face."
I thought Dimitri was gonna hit me upside my head but he didn't. Len did it for him, slapping my face. "And you're a fucking asshole," Len said quietly. "Dimitri can beat the shit out of that slut with two hands tied behind his back."
Dimitri's ice blue eyes gleamed with amusement at Len's defense of his honor. "My hero," he said in a teasing way that was surprisingly good natured. He cupped Len's face in his hands. "Let me show my appreciation," he whispered before leaning forward and kissing Len hard on the mouth. "Soon," he promised before moving towards a new customer at the far side of the bar.
I recognized that I was running out of time and while Dimitri would probably take care of my problem when he got tired of his new fucktoy and ate him but I couldn't take that chance. Dimitri might leave Len alive to spite me. Fuck, I had to do this. I reached back into my pocket, pulled out the wallet and put it on the bar. "Back to this."
"Yeah," Len echoed, "back to this."
"All you have to do is forget you ever met me." I patted the wallet. "Do that and half of this is yours."
Len stared at me as if I was a perfect idiot. "Yeah, like I'm gonna finger the boy who gave me money from the wallet he lifted? You think I don't have more brains than that, Wea~sel?"
"I don't just mean don't finger me. I mean you never saw me at Ivan's," I clarified.
"Duh, I get it." Len held out his hand. "Now, give me my money. Please?"
Ivan had a grand total of a hundred credits left, all in twenties. Even though I'd already given him two twenties, Len demanded three of the other ones, leaving me with only two. Pissed me off but he had me and he knew it.
Len pocketed his money. "Pleasure doing business with you, Weasel."
"Yeah, yeah," I grumbled, wondering if I should just slink off to the Playground and lose myself in some pretty bodies before remembering that I couldn't phase out on a full stomach. I couldn't even float down there in my own form because Angelo never taught me how. It didn't matter anyway. All the pretty bodies in the world could never make me forget how Angelo completely overlooked me. All the pretty boys in the world could never make me forget Angelo.
I didn't want to forget Angelo.
I made my exit from the bar and started walking towards the secret entrance, hoping I'd catch sight of Angelo on my way there.
No such luck, he was nowhere to be found. In fact, I didn't feel him anywhere in the Nocturne. Probably went out to hunt or get laid. Or both. I'd had my chance at the bar, I realized, that was why he'd chosen that particular moment to show up with the ouzo and I'd blown it by not saying a word to him.
From that moment on, I was on autopilot, barely aware of triggering the door to the secret entrance, closing it, going up the stairs, through the door and trudging down the corridor until I found myself in front of Angelo's room. Tears started streaming down my face. I'd lost him. He gave me chance after chance and I fucked them all up. I didn't deserve him.
The door suddenly opened and I fell backwards, my head hitting Angelo's carpet. (What the fuck are you doing here?) Angelo demanded.
(Waiting for you,) seemed like a glib answer but it was the only one I had.
(Well you've got me.) Angelo nudged my head with his bare feet. (Ela, Weasel. Are you going to lie on my carpet like a dead seal or are you coming in?)
My heart leapt at the thought that Angelo was at least giving me a chance. I scrambled to my feet, walked into Angelo's room and he shut it behind me. (Now I will ask you again,) Angelo said, his voice a soft threat, (what the fuck are you doing here, Weasel?)
(I wanted to talk to you,) I replied, trying not to sound as desperate as I felt.
(Did you?) Angelo retorted.
(Yeah.) I suddenly noticed that one of Angelo's eyes were darker than usual. A bruise covered his cheek and eyelids that was as black as his eyes. His lips were swollen and bloody and his face looked like it'd been stepped on over and over. (What the fuck happened to you?)
Angelo laughed bitterly. (Oh just a present from the Lord and Master to show how much he appreciated the present you left in the alley last night.)
Fuck. Ardoin had beaten the shit out of Angelo for my fuckup. (He really did a number on you,) I murmured, resisting the urge to take him into my arms.
I noticed something else about Angelo. His face was drawn and hungry. Starving. (You need to eat, Angel Boy,) I told him.
(I don't fucking care.) Angelo sat on his bed, leaning against the wall. (Besides, he's keeping tabs on me. Starvation is part of my,) he snorted, (penance. The second I try to juice up, Ardoin will be on my ass.)
Without even thinking, I bit into my wrist and Shadowdanced to the bed. (Drink,) I said as I pressed my wrist to his mouth.
Angelo angrily pushed my wrist away. (Shove it up your ass, I'd rather starve!)
Stubborn bastard! I crawled up on the bed next to him and pulled my dripping wrist backwards. Then I tilted my head back and exposed my throat fully. "Kill me then," I whispered, "I'd rather that than an unlife where you hate me forever!"
For a few heart sinking moments, there was nothing but silence and I was afraid that was willing to put his pride before his own survival. I realized I had to offer myself in a way that Angelo would accept. (Angel Boy,) I said in a calmer voice than I felt, (I know I fucked up in a way I'll never be able to make up to you. Let me just feed you enough to heal you. Then you can either finish me off or do whatever the fuck you want.)
Again, nothing and for a minute I wondered if Angelo was gonna just ignore me and let himself suffer. Then abruptly, he seized my wrist and I felt the reassuringly familiar pressure of his mouth as he greedily fed from me. As he juiced, I poured all of my emotion into my offering, as if he could drink my heart as he drank my blood.
Angelo's teeth went deep into my wrist and I gladly endured the pain, almost smiling through the torture of Angelo's deadly draw, knowing I'd finally done something right, the agony morphing into ecstasy as I grew more and more lightheaded.
(FUCK!) Angelo withdrew and cradled my wrist. (STOP! I didn't go through all the trouble of Siring you and saving you from that fuckwit of a Keeper just to have you fucking die on me!)
(Can't die,) I giggled weakly, half-delirious.
(You know fucking well what I mean! Stop the bleeding!)
I stared at him. (What?!)
(Stop the,) Angelo paused a moment, then said in a soothing voice, (I want you to shut your eyes and focus on the blood flowing from your veins. Can you do that?)
I shut my eyes and nodded; concentrating on my veins, on the pain from bleeding out.
(Good,) Angelo praised, (Now focus on your wrist. So hard that you feel nothing else but the throbbing from your wounds.)
I followed his instructions, concentrating hard enough that I could feel my fingers pulsate.
(Do you feel the blood flow?) he asked.
(Imagine your veins narrowing, cutting off the blood flow to a trickle, until it has nowhere left to go.)
I visualized my vein as a straw and my mental fingers pinching it, stopping any blood from being able to escape.
(You can open your eyes, now, moro mou.)
I slowly opened my eyes and realized I'd done it. Angelo had just taught me how to control my bloodflow. Even as pissed as he was, Angel Boy couldn't pass up the opportunity to teach me. To protect me. (I'm sorry I doubted you,) I told him. (And Im sorry I jumped down your throat before you even had the chance to explain anything to me. I'm just not used to,) I blinked as the tears started running down my cheeks again, (anyone doing anything nice for me without some ulterior motive behind it.)
Angelo's hand cupped my cheek, his thumb wiping my tears gently. (I do have an ulterior motive, lover. I love to see you in beautiful clothes. And as for your room,) he pulled me onto his lap and stroked my hair; (I thought you'd want to have something of your own for a change. So when you were in my room, it'd be because you wanted to be. Not because you had nowhere else to go.)
I sniffled, leaning back into Angelo's arms, (You do have great taste in clothes,) I admitted. Then I remembered I still didn't know where my room was. (Can you tell me which room is mine?)
Angelo chuckled and I'd never been so happy to hear that sound that was uniquely Angelo. The sound that meant he'd forgiven me. That sexy laugh that made me melt inside. (The room two doors down. I didn't want you that far away.)
I changed position so I was now straddling Angelo's lap. (Can we kiss and make up yet?)
(I thought we already made up,) Angelo replied but I could feel him hardening underneath me.
He wasn't the only one. (Then let's start the kissing,) I suggested before pressing my lips to Angelo's.
Angelo wasn't used to letting me take the lead but he let me this time, opening his mouth eagerly to my exploring tongue. I licked away every drop of my blood, sucking and biting at his lips. Angelo started to roll his hips, his rigid cock rubbing against mine as our kiss grew deeper.
I broke and whispered, "Lay down, Angel Boy. Can't do much to you in this position."
Angelo raised an eyebrow playfully. (And what will you to do me if I do?)
(You won't know til you do it, will you?)
He grinned wickedly and slid down the wall so he was lying flat on his back. (Guess you'll have to show me,) Angelo teased, challenging me at the same time.
Instead of answering I tugged at Angelo's tank top and pulled it over his head, my lips and tongue tasting every expanse of exposed flesh. Gods, it felt so good to feel Angelo's skin, skin that was deliciously icy, that tasted of Angelo's salted spicy sweat. A moan escaped his lips as my mouth latched onto his nipple and suckled; my fingers already working at the button on his jeans.
My mouth moved just a little lower, closer to that magic spot that made Angelo's breath grow ragged with need and my cock so hard it felt like it was gonna burst. Angelo's chest pushed up against my lips, deep growls wordlessly demanding and I suddenly remembered why I'd fed him in the first place. "You don't have any to spare," I hissed between fully unsheathed fangs.
Angelo wasn't far behind me. "Do it, kaloz mou," he lisped between his own fangs.
I reached down and grabbed his crotch before my teeth sank in; fondling him as I sucked and drank. Angelo pushed me away just long enough for him to scramble out of his jeans before my lips and hands were on him; my fingers stroking him in rhythm to my sucking.
Angelo's fingers tangled in my hair, his hands reaching up to play with my nipples, the friction of the netting as it rubbed against them driving me crazy.
Angelo groaned as my mouth moved lower and I licked his shaft, biting and devouring it before my mouth finally took him and Angelo's desire rose to a fever pitch.
"Want you, naked," Angelo gasped between breaths as he gently nudged my head away. I quickly stripped and Angelo pulled me up so I was on top of him. Angelo's lips seized mine, kissing me passionately as if he couldn't get enough of me.
We spent the rest of the night making love to one another; saying with our mouths, our nails, our teeth and our tongues the things the both of us were afraid of speaking out loud but knowing that words were not necessary.