Epiphania (Epiphany)


Angelo woke up the next night with his first thought being the realization that even though his body might have been technically dead, parts of him were definitely not. And based on what he felt resting against his lower back, parts of Ardoin were definitely not either.

It felt like his jeans and jacket were still on; Ardoin wouldn't go to the trouble of fucking him only to dress him up again. Besides, Angelo figured that Ardoin was a mite too egotistical to do it while Angelo was Sleeping, he'd want him awake for the whole experience.

Angelo wondered how long Ardoin had waited, curled up against him. Because he had no doubt that Ardoin had been awake before he was.

He opened his eyes and saw that Angelique and Sylvie weren't in the room. Hell, he could feel that Sylvie wasn't around. Or rather, it was what he didn't feel that told him.

It was taking Angelo's body a while to wake up completely. That meant he'd be in this embrace whether he wanted to or not.

(Where are the girls?) he asked.

Angelo could hear the grin in Ardoin's reply. (Gone.)

Fucking wonderful. (When will they be back?)

(Later.) Lips brushed against the nape of his neck. (Much later. But for now,) Ardoin's hand slipped lower, (It's just you and me.)

Angelo was able to move his hand and he grabbed Ardoin's wrist before it reached its intended target.

(Is there a problem?) Ardoin drawled.

Angelo realized that all of him could move now, but instead of getting out of the bed, he let go of Ardoin’s wrist. Then he turned over on his side and faced him, trying damned hard to ignore the lust the man radiated. (Don't bother, unless you're serious.)

(I don't feel serious?) Before Angelo had the chance to answer, Ardoin tilted his face upwards and kissed him in a way that left no question that he was damned serious.

As Ardoin’s kiss grew deeper, Angelo’s first inclination was to push him away and tell the grey-eyed bastard what he could do with this head game. Then Angelo decided to see how far Ardoin would take it. If Ardoin was as skilled in bed as Angelo suspected he was, he’d enjoy himself.  But that didn’t mean he’d lose control of the situation.

He broke the kiss. (You may be serious. It doesn’t mean you’re any good.)

Ardoin laughed. (Maybe later I’ll show you how good I am.)

(Oh?) Angelo's hands pinned Ardoin down on the bed. (Why not now?)

Ardoin effortlessly flipped Angelo onto his back so he was on top of him. (We have a car to pick up from the mechanic.)  But his lips traced along Angelo’s collarbone. (And we need to juice up. To make things more efficient, we’ll Share.)

Angelo tried not to get distracted by Ardoin’s mouth and tongue, which were descending to a place he was not comfortable with. Angelo had people. They did not have him. (What if I don’t want to?)

To his surprise Ardoin lifted his head and smirked at him. (Your lips still taste of the one you took last night. How did you feel afterwards?)

(Horny as hell,) Angelo admitted. (But you know that already or you wouldn’t have asked me.)

Ardoin gave Angelo a kiss filled with longing and heat, even though his lips were as cold as his own.  Ardoin’s mouth had that same honeyed taste that got Angelo as hot and bothered as the Broodmaster’s exploring tongue. And that tongue trailed along Angelo’s jawline before his mouth withdrew completely. (Sharing is a hundred times better.)

Angelo didn’t know about that but he did know one thing. Ardoin did want him. Even though he’d figured out that Ardoin had been the one who had sent the chambermaid into an artificial sexual frenzy, what Angelo felt from Ardoin was real. Real lust. And on Angelo’s end, it was mutual. So what if Ardoin was using him? Sex was sex. No more, no less. The only thought that nagged at him was: what did Ardoin want to use him for? Angelo had a feeling that getting laid was something Ardoin wouldn’t mind in the least, but it was not his main agenda.

He met Ardoin’s gaze. (What do you want?)

Ardoin’s finger skimmed down the length of Angelo’s hard-on, through the jeans. (You’ll see.) Then he got off the bed, and pulled some clothes out of the suitcase in the closet.

As Ardoin got dressed, Angelo stretched. (The car is at Kyriakou’s garage, right?)

Ardoin buttoned his shirt. (How did you know?)

Angelo smiled. (He’s the only mechanic open at this time of night.)

(How well do you know him?)

Angelo shrugged. (Well enough. Why?)

(He doesn’t speak English, does he?)

Angelo understood. (I’m translator?)

(I don’t trust him.)

Ardoin wasn’t such an idiot after all. Vasili Kyriakou targeted tourists and charged them much more than he’d charge locals. The tourists usually didn’t know any better, or if they did, they knew they were stuck so they paid whatever the crooked mechanic demanded. But Ardoin was wrong about one thing. Vasili was fluent in English. Except when it was to his advantage to pretend he wasn’t.

Angelo got up and went to the bathroom to wash his face. (You read minds. How can he cheat you?) he asked as he glanced up at the mirror. Then he gasped because he didn’t see himself in it. It was as if he wasn’t in the bathroom at all. He could see the new towels that hung on the rods, the dirty tiles of the shower and the entrance back into the room, but there was no trace of Angelo.

No reflection whatsoever.

Once the original shock wore off, Angelo thought back to the old wives tales he’d heard about what was now his kind. Theoretically, mirrors reflected images with souls. So if he had no reflection, that must mean he had no soul. Then again, he probably lost it two years ago and he had showed up in mirrors until now, so there had to be another reason.

Well, at least his face felt clean, even if he couldn’t see it. Angelo ran wet fingers through his curls. It would have to do until he got showered and that would have to wait until they got to Tallahassee, he was not going into this one again. Angelo was looking forward to a shower; it seemed like he reeked of Ari. He’d figured that the jacket would have Ari’s scent, but he felt like he’d taken a bath in the boy’s sweat.

Ardoin laughed as he came up behind Angelo. (I could read his mind if I chose to, but bon aime, it’s not as if I leave my mind so open that every thought filters through.) Angelo felt Ardoin’s strong hands massage his shoulders.  (You’re tense, cheri.) He kissed Angelo’s neck. (Don’t be.)

It was easy for Ardoin to say that. He wasn’t the one being seduced. Angelo hadn’t been seduced in a very long time, and he was quite confused. On the one hand, he wanted to shrug off Ardoin’s hands, but on the other, he had the urge to lean back, and let those hands feel him up.

Angelo turned around to face Ardoin. (I thought we had to go pick up a car.)

Ardoin squeezed Angelo’s shoulders. (We do. I’m just giving you a little bit of motivation.)

As if he needed any!  Angelo needed to regain control of the situation before he completely lost it.

  Angelo smiled and kissed Ardoin’s mouth hard. (I think you’ve accomplished that.) He managed to pry Ardoin’s hands from his shoulders. (Let’s go.)

 Kyriakou’s garage was a few blocks away. Angelo and Ardoin walked in silence, but to Angelo, the air was so charged, it said more than whatever pillow talk the Broodmaster might attempt. For the first time in two years, he could bathe in the ardent desire that seemed to be building upon each other’s without feeling the instinctive urge to consume it. But as they got closer to the garage, Angelo came to a complete stop because the nauseating cramping had returned; only now his guts were twisting and contracting. He doubled over in wretched torment, falling to the sidewalk and curling up into the fetal position.

Ardoin knelt down and stroked Angelo’s hair. (The night after is always the roughest, cheri. This will help in the meantime.)

He put his wrist to his lips, then pressed it against Angelo’s mouth.

For a second Angelo hesitated, remembering what Sylvie had said about a blood bond being formed when a juicer drank the blood of another. But then he reconsidered. It was only one night. Let Ardoin read his thoughts. It wasn’t as if he hadn’t already, and besides, it wasn’t as if Angelo was thinking of much besides how horny he was. He was feeling as sick as a dog now, so if this would help it stop, he was all for it. He voraciously nursed at Ardoin’s wrist.

“It won’t take much,” Ardoin whispered. “Just enough to tide you over until we Share a kill.”

If Sylvie’s blood was wine, Ardoin’s was Dom Perignon. Concentrated red-lightning that was so rich that only a few drops gave him a buzz.

Ardoin grinned. (That’ll do, for now. Later, we’ll Share more than just blood, oui?)

He pulled his wrist away and Angelo wobbled dizzily, falling backwards. He barely took any, maybe a few mouthfuls, but it did the trick. Angelo felt like he had a slight hangover, but at least the miserable queasiness and twisting of his intestines had gone.

The thought of hangovers made Angelo think of getting drunk. He knew himself, knew that no matter how he half-heartedly tried to fight it, he and Ardoin were going to have sex. And based on the teasing Ardoin had been doing up until now, it was gonna be fucking incredible. For a change, Angelo would actually get off on what was being done to him, not the desire he created in someone else.

As much as Angelo craved it, he dreaded it almost as much because that would give Ardoin power over him that he really couldn't afford.

 Not if he could help it. After they fucked, Angelo would slip off to a taverna, and get good and shitfaced, until he was numb. And if that meant he’d be stuck here while Ardoin and company took off for Tallahassee, well fuck it; it was better than being a slave to lust.

Angelo teetered a little but he managed to stand up, rebuffing Ardoin’s outstretched hand.

Ardoin’s arms enveloped him, keeping him steady whether Angelo wanted it or not. (What are you afraid of Angelo? Why are you fighting me?)

(Why are you trying to seduce me?) Angelo retorted.

Ardoin laughed. (I’m not ‘trying’ to do anything, ma cheri.) He released Angelo and smirked. (I already have.)

(In your dreams,) Angelo snarled.

(We are bonded. I feel everything you feel. Including your fear that you will lose that precious self-control you hold onto so tightly.)

Over the years, he had erected a fortress around himself, and now Ardoin had succeeded in blasting it open, leaving Angelo raw and naked. The idea that Ardoin was a voyeur to everything Angelo felt made his blood boil with towering rage. (Do you feel this, you fucker?)

Ardoin smiled but it was more like a baring of teeth. "If you want to psychically attack me," he hissed, "You'll have to do much better than that, my boy. Try this."

Angelo was instantly hit with a wave of fury that blindsided him so badly that he would've sunk back down to the ground if Ardoin hadn't caught him. (Don't test me, Angelo. The next time I'll let you crack your skull open.)

That only made Angelo angrier. (Salta gamisou!) Then he translated to make sure that Ardoin understood him. (Go fuck yourself. You think that threatening will get you anywhere? It won't.)

(It's not a threat. It's a promise.)

Angelo had no doubt about that. But he didn't care.

(Now, behave yourself, cheri.) Ardoin's lips brushed against his forehead in a strangely paternal way that made some of the resentment that Angelo had drain away. (You're a spitfire. That is one of the things that attracted me to you.)

But the look in those icy grey eyes showed Angelo what was unsaid. Angelo's behavior would only be tolerated as long as it amused Ardoin. How fucking generous of him.

(I know that you distrust me. That's wise, but by the end of the night, I will win that trust.) He let Angelo go.

Angelo snorted. (That's what gets you off, isn't it? You don't want to fuck me, you want to fuck me over.)

(It seems that this is the only language you understand.) This time Ardoin's fist connected with Angelo's jaw, sending the boy reeling.

For the first time the pricklings of fear crawled up from the base of Angelo's spine. Ardoin was not only bigger than Angelo, he was physically and psychically stronger as well. But along with that trepidation came the knowledge that he'd nearly made Ardoin lose his temper. Angelo's lips curled into a whisper of a smile. If he had to resort to violence then perhaps the Broodmaster wasn't in as much control as Angelo had thought he was.

He stroked his sore jaw. (Don't hit me again.)

(Don't force me to,) Ardoin replied.

Angelo realized that he was getting nowhere with being stubborn. He'd try a different approach. He leaned his head against Ardoin's body. (You don't need to come on to me, you know.) He flashed Ardoin a seductive glance. (And you don't need to win me over if you want to bed me.)

Ardoin's fingers idly stroked Angelo's cheek and neck.  (No?)

(No.) Angelo took Ardoin's fingers, slipped them into his mouth and ran his tongue over the crooks of each digit before sucking on them.

Ardoin moaned before pulling his fingers out of Angelo's mouth. "Watch what you wish for, jeune homme," he hissed. "You might just get it." He seized the boy by the shoulders and kissed him roughly for a moment before releasing him.

Angelo grinned wickedly. (Promises, promises.)

Ardoin wrapped his arms around Angelo's waist. (You're playing a dangerous game, little one.)

Perhaps he was. But at least it was his game and not Ardoin's. And at the moment, that was all that mattered.

Ardoin's hands slid down to Angelo's ass and cupped it. (It might be too much for you to handle.) He pressed Angelo against him, rubbing his hard-on against the boy's. (I might be too much for you to handle.)

Angelo's knees nearly buckled from the obvious desire that he could feel throbbing against his own and bit his lip in frustration because he knew Ardoin was only provoking him; teasing him with something he had no intention of giving just yet.

Ardoin's tongue flicked out and lapped at the crimson welling where Angelo bit. (Let's see if you can take what you dish out, ma cherie.)

Angelo gave him a lazy smile. (Try me.)

(I promise you,) Ardoin licked Angelo's neck, (I will.) He sucked at the skin before biting. Not hard enough to bleed, but definitely hard enough to leave a hickey. Or to mark him.

They reached the garage and Angelo almost rolled his eyes before remembering Ardoin's words about behaving himself. It was gonna be damned hard. He couldn't stand the mechanic.

And it was mutual. Kyriakou's eyes quickly looked from Angelo to Ardoin and his eyes narrowed in suspicion. "It didn't take you long did it," he sneered in Greek.

Angelo glared at him. "What the fuck is that supposed to mean?"

"Exactly what you think it does."

Ardoin's eyes flashed with concern. (Is he giving you any trouble, cher?)

Angelo rolled his eyes. (He's just a dried up old man with a tiny cock. Let's get the car and go, Ardoin.)

"You still have a filthy mouth, you skila," another voice suddenly rang out.

Oh no. Not him. But then again, considering that Vasili was his father, Angelo shouldn't have been surprised. Angelo looked in the direction of the voice and sure enough, it was Alekos. "You sure didn't mind when my filthy mouth was sucking you off," he cheerfully replied.

The old man glared at Angelo, then must have remembered he was pretending not to understand English because he forced a smile to form on his thin lips. "Go help the young man, Alekos," Vasili ordered in Greek.

Alekos ignored him. "What is he to you, Angelo?" he mocked in English. "Your sugar daddy? Your pimp?"

Angelo knew better, knew that it would only piss Ardoin off, but he shot off his mouth anyway. "Speaking of daddies, how is Nikolina?"

Alekos's daughter. The daughter that his wife had taken with her when she left him.  "Voulose to," Alekos spat. "I wasn't enough for you, you had to go and fuck my wife too?"

"You dared me. I took your dare. You didn't think I would. Not my problem."

And it wasn't. Alekos was one of the sponge divers that worked with Angelo's father. Married with a young kid, the young man approached Angelo one night and within days, they were having sex.

Alekos loved fucking around with pretty boys but only on his terms. He'd feel the boy up, and fuck him, but that was as far as it went. The boy had to do him. Which Angelo was willing to do; but only if Alekos did him as well.

That meant that any illusion that Angelo was a girl was shot to hell and Alekos resented every second of it. But that didn't mean that he was willing to give Angelo up. So he did things with Angelo that he'd never do with any other boy then gave himself over to Angelo's hands and mouth. That was a challenge to his manhood and only made him hate Angelo more, and after a while, he treated the boy with contempt. Until he made the mistake of calling Angelo a poesti, and dared him to seduce his wife, thinking Angelo had no interest in ladies.

Angelo proved him wrong and was soon sleeping with both of them. Alekos knew that Angelo was screwing his wife but the wife had no idea that Angelo was also fucking her husband. Angelo had enjoyed the whole scenario so much that he purposely made sure that he jumped someone else before each encounter so he wouldn't drain either of them. Things went on like this for a while. Until she caught them making out one night.

And left with their daughter the next morning.

The whole story spread like wildfire throughout the town and Angelo, who already had a reputation as the town slut, had gained a new notoriety. It was no big deal to him because he couldn't care less what the town thought of him. Alekos, on the other hand, had a reputation as a family man. His family had been well known and this scandal ruined not only his reputation but his family's. Alekos had to go back to live with his parents, which alone was a disgrace.

Of course, Alekos and his father blamed Angelo for everything, even though Alekos had been the one to approach Angelo in the first place.

Alekos's eyes glinted with malice. "Watch out for that whore," he told Ardoin. "You don't know where he's been. And with how many people."

Ardoin smiled coldly. "I'm sure you goin' to tell me, oui?" he replied. Angelo noticed that the Broodmaster was now using that same accent that he'd used when Angelo had first met him.

Alekos laughed. "White trash. I should have expected as much. No one else would be seen with a tramp like Angelo."

Vasili Kyriakou blanched. Of course he felt the same way but he was a businessman, and you didn't fuck with a customer. "Ela," he hissed in Greek to his son. "See to our client. NOW!"

Ardoin glanced at Alekos, then met Angelo's eyes. (Would he be missed?)

Angelo stared at him. Ardoin couldn't be asking him what he thought he was asking him. (Why?)

(I'd say he has something coming to him, wouldn't you?)

Hmmmm, Angelo wondered. (His father would miss him.)

(I'll take care of him.)

Angelo grinned evilly. (I like how you think.)

Alekos couldn't hear them of course, but he could tell by the looks Ardoin and Angelo were flashing each other that something was up. However, he wanted to just get Ardoin's money and get them both out of there. "Wait right there," he said to Ardoin. "I need to bring out your car." He turned around and went inside to get the paperwork.

(I see that Monsieur Kyriakou understands English,) Ardoin murmured, (It will be necessary in a little while, but in the meantime, I'll play along and you can translate.) Then he turned to the old man. "Thanks for workin' on my car. I sure do appreciate it."

Angelo translated for Vasili, adding the words "You better not overcharge us."

Vasili retorted, "I never overcharge."

"We'll see."

(What did you both say?) Ardoin asked.

(Nothing worth translating.)

Ardoin's eyes narrowed. (You better not be holding out on me, boy.)

(Trust me, I will tell you if he's pulling shit, okay?)

Ardoin cupped Angelo's chin and turned his head to face him. To an outsider, it would have looked like an affectionate gesture, which was why Vasili looked away. In reality, Ardoin was squeezing hard enough to shatter a Breather's jawbone, and he'd forced Angelo's head to the side. (You'd better.)

As if on cue, Alekos came back, clutching a bunch of forms. "Your transmission had to be overhauled," he told Ardoin. "Luckily we had the parts necessary to fix it."

"Lucky for me," Ardoin agreed. "And how much is this gonna set me back?"

Alekos looked down at his form then looked up at Ardoin. "About $500.00."

Ardoin loosened his hold on Angelo, his fingers caressing the boy's chin. (Is he cheating me, mignon?)

Like a cat getting his chin stroked, Angelo tilted his head back. He smirked at the jealousy flaring in Alekos's eyes. (Not if I can help it.)

Ardoin smiled. (It seems that your friend still has feelings for you. That will make things so much easier.) He stroked the nape of Angelo's neck, and then let his hand rest there.

Alekos threw Angelo a look of disgust. "Save that for his bedroom," he spat in Greek so the paying customer wouldn't understand.

"How about yours?" Angelo taunted.

Alekos turned to Ardoin, demanding: "Tell your little pet to watch his fucking mouth!"

Ardoin made a show of going through his pockets. "I only have about half your price."

Vasili was so infuriated that he dropped all pretense of not being able to speak or understand English. "Then you don't get car back!"

"But I need my car, and $500.00 seem like a lotta money," Ardoin protested. "Surely, you can give me a break?"

"No breaks," Vasili barked.

Angelo was losing patience. "Fuck it, Vasili, the car itself isn't worth $500.00, you're jacking up the price!"

Ardoin's grip tightened, nearly strangling Angelo. (Keep your temper in check, I told you, I'd take care of him.)

(Yeah? What are you gonna do?)

(To the old man? I'm not going to kill him, if that's what you're thinking.)

(Too bad,) Angelo replied.

(It's not necessary.) Then Ardoin moved closer to the Breather. "I was mistaken, it looks like I have $500.00 after all," he murmured, his eyes holding Vasili's.

Vasili's eyes glazed over. "Then no problem," he said in a dreamy voice.

"Papa!" Alekos rushed to his side. "Are you alright?"

The words were in Greek but apparently Ardoin was reading the tone behind it because he spoke really softly, not quite that soft speech that he called Nightspeech, but soft enough for Alekos not to hear it. "Tell him you're just a little dizzy," he commanded Vasili.

"Estanome zalades," Vasili repeated almost verbatim to his son.

Angelo gaped. (He heard you?)

Ardoin smiled. (In his mind. Persuasion really doesn't need anything verbal at all, but it helps my mental words to sink in.)

Ah. Ardoin was using some kind of mind control on Vasili. (How long will it last?)

(He has a very weak will, so I'd say, permanently. I'll see to him, you lure the son into coming with us.)

Very easy.

Angelo moved quickly and snatched the forms out of Alekos's hand. "Come and get it," he laughed, before running out of the garage's parking lot and down the block.

He didn't run very fast because he wanted Alekos to catch him and sure enough, the young man easily caught up to Angelo. Alekos tackled him from behind by wrapping his arms around Angelo's waist and forcing him down to the ground. Instead of struggling, Angelo twisted around, putting Alekos's face right against Angelo's crotch. This was going to turn out better than he thought.

Angelo grinned. "If you wanted to blow me, you could have asked."

Alekos lifted his head and pushed with all his weight, pinning Angelo on his back. "You should be the one blowing me, you slut!"

Angelo rolled his eyes. "Do you want the fucking papers, sweet Alekos, or do you want something else?" He shifted a little, so his crotch rubbed against the bulge forming between Alekos's legs.

Alekos's breathing grew labored. "Stop."

"You really want me to?" Angelo teased, rolling his hips rhythmically, getting hot and bothered himself.

"N-no," Alekos gasped and lowered his head to crush his lips against Angelo's.

It wasn't a kiss as much as it was a declaration of ownership; Alekos's mouth staking a claim on Angelo's, his tongue probing and taking possession.

Angelo ravished Alekos's mouth, grinding his hard-on into Alekos's. This probably wasn't what Ardoin had in mind, but at this point, Angelo had been teased all night and he was gonna get laid by someone.

Alekos changed his position and straddled Angelo's thighs. "You can do better than him!"

Angelo rolled his eyes. "Like you? Look, do you wanna fuck or not? He'll be looking for me soon and it wouldn't be good if he caught us."

"He's already caught you," Ardoin's voice suddenly called out.

Alekos turned to face Ardoin. "And what are you going to do about it?"

Ardoin knelt next to him. "Nothing." He stroked Alekos's cheek. "As long as he shares."

Alekos jerked his head away. "What are you, crazy?"

"No." Ardoin leaned forward and brushed his lips against Alekos's neck. "Just hungry."

Angelo understood the confusion in Alekos's dark eyes. Ardoin wasn’t a kid like Angelo was. Like all of the pretty boys Alekos bedded. Ardoin was a young man. A gorgeous young man who was now feeling Alekos up; his hands sliding under Alekos's shirt. And Alekos was giving into the caresses.

 Angelo wasn't surprised even though Alekos, like a lot of the men in the village, didn't consider himself to be gay or even bisexual, just because he liked a roll in the hay with a beautiful boy. Yet, now Ardoin was nibbling Alekos's ear and this time Alekos wasn't moving.

"I can't blame you for being jealous," Ardoin said, dropping the accent. "Angelo is quite exquisite."

"Angelo is mine," Alekos growled, trying to pull away but Ardoin grasped the back of his neck, holding him still.

Ardoin smiled, his eyes gleaming with cold amusement. "He was. He can be again." His lips moved down Alekos's cheek." But not alone," he whispered. "It's either with me or nothing." Before he could say a word, Ardoin's lips covered his.

Angelo watched all of Alekos's hesitation drain away as the kiss grew deeper and hungrier. Then, as if he were coming out of a daze, Alekos pulled away from Ardoin's kiss. "I don't do men," he sneered.

"No, you just do boys." Angelo smirked.

Ardoin flashed Alekos a look of derision. "Get them while they're young, is that right, cher?"

"Fucking adelfi!" Alekos's fist sailed towards Ardoin's face.

Only for Ardoin to catch his wrist midswing. "You're being quite uncooperative. Perhaps I should just take Angelo and leave you to your empty bed." He squeezed hard enough to show that he could break Alekos's wrist if he felt like it, then released him.

Alekos might have been an asshole but he wasn't an idiot. Calling another man a "sister" was not the brightest thing when the man was much stronger than you were. Alekos got off of Angelo with an apologetic look. "No offense meant," he muttered.

Ardoin clasped him on the shoulder. "None taken."

Angelo was not only getting frustrated, he was becoming very bored. (I thought you were gonna kill him,) he grumbled.

Not quite. (We're going to Share him,) Ardoin corrected. (But we need him sweetened first.)

(What are we gonna do, dump sugar into him or something?)

Ardoin laughed softly. (Actually in your naïve way, you've hit right upon it, only we won't be dumping sugar into your hot-tempered friend; there's another way to season him.)

(Yeah?) Angelo raised an eyebrow. (How?)

Ardoin stood up and held a hand out to Angelo to grasp. (Why don't you leave that to me, cheri. Trust me, you'll enjoy it immensely.)

Trusting Ardoin? That was a joke. However, Angelo was getting off on the way Ardoin was mindfucking Alekos….

Angelo took his hand and let Ardoin pull him upright. (And what do I do?)

Ardoin cupped Angelo's face in his hands. (Just be the sexpot that you are.) He kissed Angelo hard on the mouth and Angelo saw Alekos's hand clench into a fist. A fist he had to unclench because it would be useless and suicidal.

Now Angelo understood. He was the bait.

Ardoin let go of Angelo and this time, held out his hand to Alekos. "I'm sorry we've gotten off on the wrong foot, my friend. Let me buy you a drink?"

Magic words that no Greek man, including Angelo, could resist. He shook Ardoin's hand. "If you're buying, I'm drinking."

Angelo grinned. "Me too."

"The offer wasn't extended to you," Ardoin retorted.

Alekos slung an arm around Angelo's slender shoulders. "I'll buy it for you, mungaki."

Mungaki? Since when? What was with this sudden affectionateness? Fuck it, a drink was a drink and if Angelo wasn't going to end up in bed with either one of them, he'd get something out of it.

"You just want to get me drunk to have your way with me," Angelo said coyly, resting his head against Alekos's side.

 Alekos's arm tightened around Angelo's shoulder. "I want to do a lot more than that," he murmured in Greek, nuzzling Angelo's neck.

"Uh-uh-uh," Angelo shook his head. "Anglika," he chided, then translated for Ardoin's benefit. "English. It's not fair if my friend can't understand you, sweet Alekos."

Alekos's eyes narrowed. "Since when are you ever fair?"

"You have a problem with it, you can always leave," Angelo said gleefully.

(Angelo,) Ardoin warned, (The idea is to entice him, not drive him away.)

Then he switched to speech that Alekos could hear. "Where can a man buy a drink?"

"The local taverna is down the road a piece," Alekos answered.

"First things first." Ardoin turned to Angelo and held out his hand. "The papers?"

Angelo had shoved them in his back pocket when he and Alekos began their tussle, so he disengaged from Alekos. Then he reached back, retrieved the papers and handed them to Ardoin.

Alekos's eyes nearly bugged out. "He just gave them to you?"

Ardoin laughed. "Shouldn't he?"

"Skata," Alekos remarked, "You really have him trained."

The comment pissed Angelo off, but he bit back the curse that he was dying to spit out. Instead he drawled, "And you never did."

Ardoin threw Angelo a look of death. "Pardon Angelo," he told Alekos." He hasn't had his distemper shots yet."

Now it was Angelo's turn to give Ardoin a dirty look. (Whose side are you on?)

(The side that's not going to starve tonight. Or did my infusion of blood make you forget about that? It will only last you so long.) Ardoin's voice hardened. (Despite what you may believe, the idea here is NOT for you to score points. Or to antagonize our prey. The plan is to unruffle his feathers a little, relax him and possibly bed him. Then we'll Share him, but if you keep on going at this rate, I'm just going to do it the easy way and kill him; leaving you to go hungry all by yourself.)

Angelo glowered. (Fine. I'll keep my mouth shut.)

(Good boy.) Then he whispered in Angelo's ear. "I'll reward you for it later." Ardoin nibbled his earlobe then bit it.

In spite of Angelo's irritation, he found himself responding. (And who's not being fair?)

(I never claimed to be.)

Alekos glared at them, then smiled thinly at Ardoin. "We'll see what happens by the time the night is over," he said quietly threatening.

Ardoin smiled back. "We will at that." Then he handed the papers to Alekos. "Let's get the car first, then we'll go to your taverna."

The garage was closed when they got back there. "I suppose Papa's asleep," Alekos told them. "Wait right there, and I'll get it for you." He went over to the garage door, unlocked it and slid the door upwards before walking underneath it.

(We're going to need it to dump the body after we're done,) Ardoin explained.

(Oh? And when are we gonna go to Tallahassee?)

(It's still early. We have until dawn to get there.)

So, some of the old wives tales were true. Angelo wondered what would happen if they didn't make it in time. Would the four of them turn to ashes?

Just the thought made Angelo want to think of something else.

Alekos drove the car out onto the parking lot, turned off the ignition and stepped out of the car. "Good as new." He handed Ardoin the keys.

"Is the taverna within walking distance?" Ardoin asked.

Angelo nodded. "Most things here are. You might want to park it at the motel."

"You're not trying to get rid of me, are you cher?"

Angelo smirked. "Would it make a difference if I was?"

Ardoin patted him on the head. "Behave yourselves, you two. I'll be right back."

"Will you fucking go already?" Angelo snapped.

"I'd watch that temper if I were you, boy." Ardoin's eyes gleamed. "It might get you killed one day." He stalked off to the car, slammed the door shut, and drove away.

"What's wrong," Alekos mocked. "You both having a lover's quarrel?"

"Sorry to disappoint you, but no."

"Whatever. It doesn't matter either way to me. I'm gonna have you anyway." Alekos forced his lips onto Angelo's; his kiss bruising, his tongue probing, licking Angelo's mouth as if he were licking away all traces of Ardoin.

For the first time tonight, Angelo was aware how warm Alekos's mouth was. And how good he smelled. A mixture of Old Spice, sweat, and the sweetness bubbling under his skin that was already becoming familiar to Angelo. It seemed to call to him, promising him more pleasure than he'd get from any sex with the malakas and as if it was stimulated by the delicious scent, his gums began to tingle.

He remembered what Ardoin had said about "sugar." And the fact that the blood he took from the Broodmaster wasn't going to last much longer. Maybe he could just sneak a little before Ardoin came back.

Angelo's mouth slipped away from Alekos's and trailed towards his throat.

Mmmm, yeah. Alekos's pulse throbbed against Angelo's lips, and it would be so easy to sink in his teeth and take what he wanted. But he didn't have to bite deep, he realized. He could just copy what Ardoin did earlier.

Yeah. That would work.

Alekos let out a moan as Angelo began to suck at his neck. Only for him to hear a growl from deep in Ardoin's throat.

When the hell did he get here?

(Touch one drop of his flesh or his blood and you're Trulydead,) Ardoin snarled.

Fuck-fuck-fuck! Angelo lifted his head and faced Ardoin. (I don't know what you're talking about,) he coolly denied.

Ardoin's muscles tensed, then he regained control of himself. (Don't do that again, or I'll use you instead.)

Angelo squelched the sudden rush of fear that was brought on more by the menace flaring from Ardoin, than by his words. (Don't get your undies in a knot. I wasn't gonna kill him, just sample.)

(Were you?)

(Maybe,) Angelo admitted. (Fuck it, you win. If you hadn't stopped me, I probably would have killed him.)

Ardoin looked more exasperated than angry which was -- as far as Angelo was concerned -- a good thing. He sighed. (At the taverna, do they have a place we can be alone for a few moments?)

(They have a door out back, near the stockroom. And a men's room…) Angelo's mouth curled into a mischievous smile. (That might give us enough time to-)

(Get your mind out of the gutter. When we get there, and ply him with a few drinks, we'll fix you up. Enough to satisfy you for a little while.)

The fact that the thought of it made him almost as hot as what he first thought Ardoin meant, didn't bother Angelo as much as it should have. As he wished it would have. (Alekos can drink a lot before he gets drunk.) So could Angelo for that matter. Much more than Alekos; which used to really piss the sponge diver off. The only one who could drink Angelo under the table was Dimitri.

(We don't need him drunk, cher. In fact, we don't want him drunk. We're just loosening him up a bit.)

Angelo suddenly remembered Alekos. (What'd you do to him?) he accused.


(He thought we were about to get a quickie in while you were gone, but you're back and he isn't saying shit, so I'll ask you one more time. What the fuck did you do to him?)

Ardoin smiled. (You're more perceptive than I gave you credit for, my boy. I've put him under.)

(You hypnotized him.)


Angelo wasn't impressed in the least. (So why don't you just do that instead of this whole song and dance we're gonna do with him?)

Ardoin mussed his curls. (Would you rather have him like a zombie, or have him offer himself under his own free will?) Ardoin's hands moved to Angelo's shoulders. (It's not half as amusing the first way and you know it. We're alike in that way. We like to play with them first.) He pressed against Angelo's back and nibbled at the nape of his neck.

And he liked to play with Angelo. Just the vibration of Ardoin's lips kindled little fires of passion that were rapidly spreading throughout his body.

Angelo turned around, more than conscious of the reality that it was only because Ardoin let him. (Unless you plan to do something about this now,) Angelo put Ardoin's hand around the hardness between his own legs. (Stop teasing,) he released Ardoin. (And undo whatever you did to him. It's wasted anyway.) Angelo turned away.

(Don't sulk. It doesn't become you, my beauty.)

(Neither does being all hot and bothered with nothing to do with it.)

(You will have something to do with it. I assure you, I'll make it worth the wait.) Then Ardoin moved in front of Alekos. "Alright, it's time for you to make yourself useful," he muttered in that really soft voice he used for Vasili. Then he switched back to regular Breather speech. "It took a while to find a place to park," he explained.

"Too bad it didn't take you longer," Angelo mumbled under his breath. He gave Alekos his most charming smile and took his arm. "Ela, Alekos. Let's go."

Alekos smirked triumphantly at Ardoin who did NOT look happy. "I need to lock up first." He walked over with Angelo still holding his arm. "Who will you be going home with?" he demanded in Greek, as he pulled the garage door down.

"Whoever is the nicest to me," Angelo demurred.

Alekos put the lock around the door and clicked it into place. "And if I'm nice to you, what do I get out of it once I have you in my bed?"

"Nothing because I don't think you want to fuck under your daddy's roof."

Alekos faced Angelo and pulled him against his body. "You know what I mean."

"If you're nice to me, I'll be nice to you, Alekos-mou. Aren't I always?"

"Eventually." Alekos glanced at Ardoin. "What're you doing with a guy like that anyway?"

Angelo was losing patience. "We've had this conversation already. We're done." He easily pulled away from Alekos, and walked ahead of both men, knowing they'd follow him.

And of course they did. Right to the taverna.

Angelo strolled inside, holding his head high despite all the dirty looks and smirks. His ears were even sharper than they were before and he could hear them whispering about him; wondering how he even had the nerve to show up here. He hoped to hell that his father wasn't here.

Fuck. He had to go to Tallahassee with Ardoin and the others. There was nothing left for him here. His cock wilted, and the excitement he felt turned into resentment. He sat down and waited, knowing and hating that Ardoin had him exactly where he wanted him. Shit, he wanted to die, at least that would give him an out, but even that option wasn't open to him anymore.

Angelo caught the eye of the proprietor and motioned for him to come over to the table. "Ouzo," he ordered.

"You have money?"

"Someone will be paying for it," Angelo told him.

"Well then, the someone can order it for you, Lambrakis." The proprietor walked away, dismissing him.

What was taking them so fucking long? The two men couldn't stand each other. Unless….

No. Not after he bawled Angelo out about doing the same thing. Ardoin wouldn't…

He would.

Angelo got up from his chair and was about to go find Ardoin when the two of them came waltzing in.

Angelo gave Ardoin a withering look, his eyes almost reflexively moving over Alekos, looking for any marks Ardoin could have made on him.

(There are other places, you know. The neck just happens to be one of the easiest places,) Ardoin said, clearly amused. (But don't worry your pretty little head. Unlike you, I didn't try to sneak in a taste when your back was turned. We just came to an agreement about you.)

(Did you?) Angelo asked as if he couldn't care less.

(We both want you. And will fight to have you if need be.)

Angelo was speechless. (He said that?) he asked, furious with himself for showing how much he wanted that to be true.

(We both did.)

Angelo quickly changed the subject. "I got us a table already," he said to the two of them. "And I want a drink." He met Alekos's gaze. "Now."

Alekos laughed. "Sit down, Angelo."

Angelo chose a seat and the two men sat on either side of him. "Hey, Mikos," he called to the proprietor. "Get me ouzo." He leaned his head on Alekos's shoulder. "He's paying."

Now the whispers were about Alekos, and how he could dare to be seen with the same slut who ruined his marriage. Of course, Alekos couldn't hear them, but Angelo knew Ardoin could.

The one thing that Angelo respected about Alekos was that he didn't care what people thought about him when everyone knew he and Angelo were carrying on, and apparently, he didn't care now.

Mikos ignored Angelo and looked at Ardoin, someone new, and not Greek, which was unheard of, since this taverna was not a tourist trap. "What can I get for you?" he asked in heavily accented English.

Ardoin turned to Angelo. "What do you recommend?"

"You like your drinks sweet?"

Ardoin smiled, as if he was enjoying his own private joke. "Very."

"Get him some Metaxa," Angelo told Mikos, pretending he didn't notice the snub.

"And ouzo for you as well?" Mikos asked Alekos.

Alekos nodded.

"Alright then." Mikos went to go get the drinks and returned with them moments later.

Angelo took the glass of ouzo and gulped it down quickly so he could get nice and legless as soon as possible.

"That's Angelo for you." Alekos signaled for Mikos to get Angelo more. "I swear he has a hollow leg." He drained his glass.

"That's a good thing to know," Ardoin remarked, taking a sip of the Metaxa. "You're right, Angelo. It's quite sweet."

Mikos snatched the empty glasses off the table and returned moments later, with a new glass for Alekos and a bottle of ouzo that he set down in front of Angelo.

"Where's my glass?" Angelo demanded.

"You're looking at it," Mikos replied dryly. "It's easier than refilling your glass a dozen times."

Alekos wasn't happy either. "You know how much that's gonna cost me?"

Mikos's lips tightened into a firm line. "You should have thought of that before bringing him here."

Angelo's eyes burned holes in Mikos's back as he walked back to the front of the taverna, laughing the whole time.

Well as long as it was here….

Angelo grabbed the bottle, pulling out the cork with his teeth and spitting it out. Then he took a long swig.

"Hey hey, easy," Alekos chided seizing the bottle from Angelo's hand. "What're you trying to do, pass out?" He put it on the table.

"What do you care?" Angelo snapped. "The only difference is that I wouldn't be awake when you fuck me."

Ardoin's eyes met Angelo's, flashing a message.


He drank the rest of the Metaxa, then put the glass down. "Which way are the facilities?"

Alekos pointed towards the back. "Turn left, and you'll see it."

(Give it about a minute or it'll look fishy,) Ardoin said as he left the table.

Alekos grinned nastily. "I wonder if I should have told him which one was the men's room." The lettering was in Greek of course, and there were no pictures denoting which was which.

Angelo took another pull from the bottle and shrugged. "I guess he'll find out the hard way."

Alekos tossed back the contents of his glass, then snatched the bottle away from Angelo, topping off his own glass. "I'm paying for it, I might as well get some."

Angelo didn't miss the double-meaning of Alekos's words. He moved closer to the man, and licked the ouzo from his mouth, smirking at the outraged sounds coming from the other patrons. "Maybe you will."

Two minutes. That should be long enough. "I gotta go take a piss," Angelo said.

Alekos's eyes narrowed in suspicion. "Oh yeah? What a coincidence."

Angelo looked indignant. "And what are you suggesting?"

"I remember what we did, so don't even try that look on me."

"Whatever." Angelo got up from his chair and pushed it in. "I'll be back."

"You think I'm gonna wait around here while you and he are messing around in there?"

Angelo rolled his eyes. "You think I care?" he said before walking in the direction of the men's room.

He opened the door to the men's room and walked inside; his eyes flying to the closed stall.
The door to the stall opened. (Your timing leaves much to be desired.)

(He'd have thought it anyway, unless I waited until you came back.)

(You might as well come here then, cher.)

Angelo went inside the stall and Ardoin shut the door. (You said there were other places that can be used. Like where?)

(Like the wrist. Inside the arm. And here.) Ardoin unbuttoned his shirt and pressed Angelo's face against the area just below his breastbone.

Angelo's teeth sank in and Ardoin stroked his hair as the Nightchild drank.

Waves of pleasure swept through Angelo, and he wasn't the only one. He didn't know if it was the bite, the sensation of his sucking mouth and his lapping tongue or both, but Ardoin was definitely getting off on this.

Ardoin sighed, his breathing noticeably heavier. (If we take this any farther, the stall will be closed for a different reason. As tempted as I am to Share pleasure with you now, I don't want to do it here.) With a look of reluctance, he gently pushed Angelo's head away from his chest.

(That was… almost as good as sex,) Angelo remarked in awe.

(Almost?) Ardoin teased, leaning over and licking Angelo's lips clean.

Their connection was deeper now, Angelo realized. Ardoin's desire seemed to be building on his own, amplifying it, creating a weird kind of feedback. He shivered with delight. (This is a nice side effect.)

(You haven't seen the half of it. Wait until we Share our prey. Then you'll see how pleasurable our blood bond can be.) Ardoin buttoned up his shirt then turned Angelo's face up; appraising him. (Your lips are stained a little, but it only makes them look more kissable. It wouldn't do for any of them to see blood on your mouth.)

So all Ardoin had done a second ago was remove the evidence. Angelo quickly suppressed the disappointment he felt before Ardoin would feel it too. He opened the stall door. (Let's go back before he leaves in a huff.)

(He's not going anywhere.)

(How do you know?)

Ardoin smiled. (He'd lose then.)

He was right. As soon as they left the men's room -- stupidly together -- Angelo could see that Alekos was still there. With an empty bottle. Shit.

Ardoin ignored the anger in Alekos's eyes and sat down. "Pardon me for taking so long." He reached into his pocket and brought out a billfold. "Let me make up for it. I'll buy the bottle as well."

Alekos grumbled, his words slurring slightly. "Damn right." Then he turned to Angelo, who sat beside him. "Some things never change. Once a whore, always a whore."

"I think you've had enough to drink, Monsieur Kyriakou," Ardoin said, his voice dangerously soft. He pulled out a ten and laid it on the table. "We'll walk you back to the garage."
"Don't bother." Alekos staggered slightly as he rose from his chair.

"I insist." Ardoin glanced at Angelo. "Help him outside."

(You've got to be fucking kidding, Ardoin.)

Ardoin's tone left no room for argument. (Do it.)

Angelo went over to the stumbling Alekos. "Come on, I'll guide you"

They went on either side of Alekos and walked him outside.

(I don't want to worry about carrying another corpse from the hotel room. Where else can we go?) Ardoin asked.

Angelo thought a moment. It wasn't late enough for the pier to be empty of people or he'd suggest that. But under it….

(How 'bout under the pier? I've used it lots of times, and people won't question if we…if things get hot.)

(That'll do. Suggest it to him.)

Angelo whispered to Alekos, as if it was their own private secret. "Let's go to our favorite place."

Alekos glared at Ardoin. "With him?"

Angelo grinned wickedly. "He'll come along for the ride, but that's it."

They walked to the pier, went down the stairs, and went underneath; where Alekos's hands were all over Angelo the second they got there. Even this drunk, he remembered that he had to pleasure Angelo first.

Not that he was any good at it. That wasn't what Angelo got out of Alekos's pitiful ministrations. It was the humiliation in Alekos's eyes as he sucked Angelo off and his screams when Angelo fucked him. That, more than anything, was what made Angelo put up with Alekos's pawing.

 Tonight, that humiliation was increased by the fact that they'd have an audience. That didn't stop Alekos from unbuttoning Angelo's jeans and pulling down the zipper. "This had better be worth it," he muttered.

(Stop him,) Ardoin said.

(Fuck that.)

(We're running short on time so unless you want to spend it all on Alekos, stop him.)

Angelo read between the lines. He seized Alekos's hand before it could reach inside Angelo's pants. "It's okay. You don’t have to."

"B-but," Alekos sputtered.
Ardoin moved faster than thought, something he called Shadowdancing, and was instantly behind Alekos. He nuzzled Alekos's throat, and Alekos stiffened. "I told you, I don't do that shit."

"You don't have to do anything," Ardoin purred. "Just relax and enjoy it. You can tell yourself that you were too drunk to stop me."

Angelo could feel Alekos's reluctant arousal as Ardoin caressed him, his lips trailing down to the juncture of where Alekos's throat and shoulder met. Then his eyes met Angelo's and the boy lifted Alekos's shirt and suckled at his nipples.

Suddenly Ardoin's hand flew up to Alekos's mouth, smothering his whimpers. And the scream as Ardoin's teeth sank into his throat.

Angelo's mouth moved lower and he bit into Alekos's breastbone. It would become his favorite place to tap.

Alekos's blood tasted even sweeter than Ari's did. Shit, it was as if Alekos was fermented in ouzo. And although he had a high tolerance for alcohol, the ouzo hit Angelo almost immediately, intoxicating him and leaving him reeling.

Angelo realized what Ardoin meant when he said that their blood bond made Sharing more pleasurable. It was a fucking understatement. He was not only feeling Ardoin's passion: he was experiencing as it if was his own; and Angelo knew that the pleasure he felt as he drank was being experienced by Ardoin. It was if their ecstasy was merging, increasing, until it became a crescendo of rapture.

Within moments they dropped Alekos's nearly dead body, they fell each upon each other, and Ardoin taught him the difference between sex and Sharing pleasure.

Ardoin finally seemed to let go of all the restraint he'd held all night, seizing Angelo and ferociously kissing him, although it seemed to Angelo more like the Broodmaster was devouring him, biting his lips and sucking at them.

Angelo kissed back with a hunger matching Ardoin's; feeling like it was his soul being probed as much as the tongue probing and exploring his mouth. His hands untucked Ardoin's shirt and slipped underneath, caressing the same chest he'd been suckling at a little while ago. Then he broke the kiss, tugging the shirt. (You gonna take that off?)

(In good time. Don't worry about it now.) Ardoin gently pulled Angelo's hand free of his shirt and kissed it; removing the boy's other hand from under his shirt. Then he pulled Angelo down onto the sand with him and soon had Angelo writhing with ecstasy as his hands and lips rapidly drove the Nightchild crazy.

There was nothing gentle about it, but it wasn't rape either. It was just…much more violent than what Angelo was accustomed to. And it felt better than anything Angelo had ever experienced. Bites and scratches that seemed to make his whole body resonate with intense pleasure.  And when Ardoin actually drank from him, Angelo learned how arousing the act of taking blood could be. On both ends.

Angelo's passion was affecting Ardoin as much as his own was affecting Angelo. Double the pleasure. Each one bouncing off the other's, augmenting it each time, until it became so powerful, it swept Angelo under its current.

It wasn't until Angelo was actually able to think coherently that he realized that Ardoin hadn't even touched him anywhere below his waist and yet he was panting, almost ready to come. No one had ever done that before. No one had ever brought Angelo to this point, period. To where every nerve ending tingled from his head to his toes, and he was nothing but a tsunami, ready to come crashing down.

Then Ardoin's mouth finally went where Angelo had been craving so desperately, teasing, nibbling, and sucking, the wet cotton against Angelo's cock creating even more friction and stimulation than he ever could have imagined. Ardoin was right. He was damned good, and now Angelo uttered words he never had before.

(Take them off. Please.)

Ardoin grinned wickedly, his eyes shining with triumph. He didn't say a word, though. He didn't have to. His deft fingers quickly unbuttoned and unzipped Angelo's jeans; his hands pulling them down and slipping them off.

Ardoin ran his hands along Angelo's thighs, electricity crackling from his fingertips with every caress. Then his teeth and tongue joined his hands, his bites getting deeper and harder, taking a little blood each time, until he finally took Angelo into his mouth.

Even with this, Ardoin was obviously a master. He nursed at Angelo, his fangs raking across Angelo's cock, little pinpricks that sizzled. His lips and tongue rapidly bringing Angelo over the edge.

Angelo's body tensed, his nails digging into Ardoin's shoulders as he came violently.

But Ardoin wasn't done. Just one look at his eyes told Angelo what he wanted to do and for the first time, Angelo wanted him to do it.

He hungered for it.

Ardoin relieved himself of his clothes. Then he lay on top of Angelo and forced his way inside him, the pain burning deep inside Angelo but strangely feeling so good that he felt himself harden again. His nails sliced through Ardoin's  back as he fucked Angelo savagely. Rivulets of blood dripped from Ardoin and Angelo licked and tasted it. So sweet. He wanted more.

Angelo's teeth sank into Ardoin's neck and he drank as Ardoin thrust faster, his rhythm driving Angelo to the brink. And feeling that Ardoin wasn't far behind him only made Angelo go insane with desire.

Oh yeah. He was gonna come again.


Angelo's body shook as he came for the second time, Ardoin's teeth sinking into Angelo's shoulder, drinking at the same time. They were Sharing each other.

Ardoin trembled, panting as he climaxed.

(You were just like I knew you'd be,) Ardoin said as he pulled out of Angelo and lay beside him.

Angelo laughed softly. (I didn't even do anything to you.)

Ardoin's lips curled into a strange smile that made Angelo shiver in a completely different way than he had moments before. (Ah, but you did.)

And then Angelo felt it. The blood bond that he Shared with Ardoin had suddenly become a prison, a noose around his soul that he could not release himself from. Ardoin had just put a leash on him and Angelo was trapped.

(What the fuck did you just do to me?) Angelo demanded, his blood boiling.

(Bound you to me, cher. I told you I'd get what was mine.) Ardoin got up and got dressed. (I'd say that a little bit of sex is worth your soul, wouldn't you?)

Angelo gave him a look of pure hatred. (You were dicking me around. You fucking used me!)

(Not really. We both wanted it. I just…wanted it for other reasons as well.)

Angelo grabbed his pants and put them on. (Why'd you have to fuck me then?)

Ardoin smiled coldly. (I wanted you, Angelo. To bind you to me fully, we needed to exchange essences. Blood was only part of it.)

Ardoin wanted him. But only as a slave.

(I realized that it would take a lot to make you obey me, Angelo. Threats wouldn't work. Beatings wouldn't either. This is the only thing that works with you.)

(Fuck this.) Angelo stood up and bared his teeth at Ardoin. (Go find yourself another sucker. I'm gone.)

(Are you?) Ardoin moved much faster than Angelo and grabbed him from behind. (You have nowhere else to go.)

Angelo used all of his strength and wrenched free of Ardoin. (That's what you think. If you don't want me, I know who will. Someone as beautiful as you are.)

Ardoin's smile vanished. (Stay the hell away from her,) he growled.

Angelo laughed. (What're you gonna do? Kill me? Go the fuck ahead.)

(You're trying my patience, boy,) Ardoin snarled.

Angelo smirked. (You're not gonna do it,) he realized. (You need that last card because you don't have any other ones.)

(I don't want to kill you,) Ardoin admitted. (Don't force me to.)

(You're right, Ardoin. I'll go with you all to Tallahassee because I want to get the hell out of this shit kicking town. But don't think I'll be sleeping alone tonight. Something tells me that she'll be very willing. So you've fucked yourself.)

Angelo walked underneath the pier and along the beach, welcoming the ice caressing his heart as he went to look for Angelique.