.. | pariah society | chapter 5
A year had passed, faster than Toby could have ever realized. It was as if one day he just woke up, mystified, staring at the high ceiling of their lofty bedroom, and realized where he was. All of a sudden, with Milo's help they were building the largest rook the Northside had ever seen, and it was still growing. They were very near to encompassing the entire breadth of the outer city that they had once called home. All those kids out there, separate entities once, were acquiescent, if not loyal to them now. Riff had his hands in dozens of enterprises, from flesh pushing to information trading as the official pack leader. Milo had taught him well in setting up his racketeering schemes and how to run them smoothly, often using his own influence and reputation to begin a deal before handing it completely over to Riff. But it would seem his assessment of the blond had been uncannily on target; Riff was superb at what he did, almost flawless once he knew the inner workings of the underground. The smooth talker in him had flourished with a little practice, and alongside he had tremendous backing in the form of Milo, then later with his own growing reputation. That was Milo's plan of course- to set them up and let them go on their own. He had never intentioned himself to stay in the picture, yet his reason for that remained a mystery.
Toby knew very little of what went on actually, nor did he really desire to know. Riff had not told him and he had not asked, somehow sensing that what went on was best kept between the two leads. He wandered the streets alone, not wondering why he was no longer threatened by the kids he passed; he was, of course, as well known as Riff, but he didn't like to think of how or why. Something in his self-preserving mind made him want to remain as far removed from the center of things as possible, and yet by mere association he was in the middle of it. He hated it actually. The longer this went on, and consequently the less frequently Riff was home, Toby began to wish he could be another anonymous face in the crowd again. It wasn't that he'd forgotten his nightmarish experiences back when he lived an unprotect life, but one did want a balance.
Toby walked the sidewalk around the city center, cigarette in one hand, the other shoved in the pocket of Riff's favorite black coat. He wondered how the change had come about in Riff, and how he had missed it. Doubtlessly it had happened while he was away; it certainly didn't surprise him that Milo had been the catalyst. To see Milo operate was a sight to behold, what little of it he did get to witness. He was a man built on efficiency, who spun networks like spider webs from his very fingers. Everyone had a connection somewhere, human society was built on it, he'd taught Riff. And human society was also built on price. In the terms of drugs, sex, information or money, favors bought favors, and a connection was made and held, like two ends of a string pulled taut. It benefited both sides to keep their deal.
Milo had begun taking Riff out on contract trips a few months into it. At first it was jarring; Toby rarely knew where Riff was when he was gone and had no clue what had been accomplished when he returned. All he knew was that their numbers were rising, the money was coming in, new faces of rook kids became familiar ones, and he never suffered cold fingers again. Now, with the passing of the year Riff was doing them completely by himself and quite well in fact, if their current state was anything to judge by. Retaining fees alone kept them on the good side of wealthy, and Riff added to them regularly as their reputation grew along the underground. He'd put all of himself into making this thing live.
But these trips, they took so damn long sometimes. Toby had to force himself to get used to that too. Life did go on much the same when Riff wasn't around, though there were more disputes to settle and more questions than the thief found he wanted to deal with as proxy to Riff, a position that had just sort of come with the fact that they slept in the same bed every night. He'd rather have been able to go out and about, pick a few pockets to keep his talents up and just be away from people for a while. But ever since Milo had acquired this building, their new and permanent home through dealings and contracts with Ruston Mews, the construction company that had not a few dalliances in their line of work, he felt like a prisoner within it.
Milo had bade Toby and Riff to keep the top floor for themselves. The lower floors were arranged with the hierarchy of their organization, top to bottom, with lofts let out for ‘normal' tenants to keep face and revenue. It was so meticulously ordered that no one but those involved were the wiser to the real populace of the building and the means with which it operated.
For Toby and Riff it had taken some getting used to, sleeping in a great bed they could call theirs- first in Milo's lofts, then later in their own. After so many nights on dirty floors or some rickety old scaffolding, comforts such as clean mattresses and sheets felt almost... wrong. In the beginning Riff seemed even more uneasy about it than him, and often Toby would feel him wakeful all night as if he still felt like he had to keep watch. He knew that the blond was content though, he himself had made it so on that first night in their new "place", when Toby had first sauntered into the penthouse Milo had ordered prepared for Riff.
It was large, dark and cool. The bedding and walls were grey and steely blue, with black iron framing to the bedposts, in a clean, cool style Toby had never seen but instantly fit the blond so very well. Riff stood beside him, looking at the large bed and its two sets of pillows. He'd been quiet all day, reeling, Toby supposed, from all the sudden changes. There was an uneasiness between them, a questioning Riff had not spoken aloud. Toby knew it was his decision to make, as the blond would never bring it up himself.
"I'd sleep better," Toby said suddenly, "if you'd let me have the side near the window."
He could feel Riff's surprise at the subject and saw him peer askance from the corner of his eye. "But I thought you'd want your own-"
"-Because I like the morning sun and I know how you hate it." He tried to give Riff a reassuring smile to show his resolve. The blond's face lit up beautifully in response, and Toby knew there wasn't much more he could do at the moment to make life right for the blond kid who'd been his companion for so long. After all, he'd made a promise.
So they shared a bed, chaste as it was. Riff appeared more than content to merely sleep together, enjoy warmth and company. He was too shy to try to make more of it. Apparently, on a windy rooftop passionate kisses were one thing, but here in a soft bed, private and secret in the night, where such things could lead to more, his courage suddenly seemed to falter. He didn't want to push, he didn't want to force. He didn't want to make things awkward, so he made himself content with the status quo. Toby allowed him such decisions and assumptions on his own, since it was less effort on his part to do the same.
Then there were those early nights of tossing and turning. Toby was almost glad when Riff had started to go on his runs with Milo. It gave him something to do to feel like he was ensuring their safety with his own hands. After that began, though the times he was home were few and far between, he slept like the dead.
Presently, Toby climbed the steps into their building, amazed every time at how people buzzed around, unnoticing and unwitting of the unseen skeleton that had made this building possible. A small luxury hotel operated here on the first several floors, with the rest leased out to various offices and the upper floors kept as expensive living quarters. But what good was luxury living if it was done alone? The nights without Riff were lonesome, something that had surprised Toby, and here now Riff had been gone for another week. He didn't even know when to expect him home again.
It would seem, though, wishing made things happen. The door to their room silently slid open and the blond entered, dogged exhaustion dragging at his feet. For the most part he looked worn but alert, but changed in many ways from a year ago before this whole thing had started. Responsibility had matured him, had given his brown eyes a hardened look and sharpened his handsome features. His still-shaggy ivory hair fell into his eyes in loose curls and hid somewhat the overworked gloom that had not abated with the thought of being home again. Even back here he would probably not have more than a moment's rest.
Without a word he went to Riff and wrapped him in a welcome embrace. The blond leaned heavily on him, a great, relieved sigh escaping his lungs.
Toby helped pull his long jacket off and tossed it to the side, then reached around to pull the two handguns tucked away in their holsters right behind his hips, always hidden, but within reach. Riff had begun practicing with and then carrying them out early-on, at Milo's insistence. Toby and Riff had already gone through that row the day Riff had come home one evening, the guns' chambers empty, with the look of one who had killed for the first time. Toby knew that was part of it, and he was glad that Riff even had the luxury of weaponry like that, it gave him a palpable advantage over almost anyone on the streets, for guns were too expensive and rare to come by. But still, he had not slept easy that night for fear the killing hadn't been in self-defense, but that Riff had sought his victim out. Toby had lain awake, staring at the pieces where they lay on the table, almost invisible in the dark.
Now they clattered again on the same table as he set them down carelessly. "Have you eaten? It's still dinnertime," he said, guiding Riff towards the bed so that he may sit down, and went to work on his boots. The blond shook his head. Toby pressed the intercom button beside the bed and ordered a hot meal to be brought up from the kitchen of the hotel. Beside him Riff was having trouble with the buttons of his shirt.
"Did you sleep at all while you were gone?" the thief asked incredulously, helping him with the shirt, then finding no resistance when he pushed the blond to lay back and get beneath the covers.
"A little," Riff mumbled. He would be out like a light before his dinner got here.
Toby stretched out over the covers next to him and picked up his heavy hand. He turned it over, studying the calloused palm. "Riff?"
He hated the question he wanted to ask, but ever since his conversation with Cade so long ago, there was only one thought on his mind whenever Riff returned home. It wasn't that he was jealous, or that he mistrusted Riff, but the seed of doubt had been planted there tactfully, and it had grown. With Riff being who he was- handsome and good-natured, coupled with who Milo had made him into- shrewd, composed and sharp-witted, there was no doubt he would begin to catch the attention of people out there. There were men involved in his dealings, and... women. Anyone who might want anything from him, and if it would seal a contract, what was stopping the blond from making a sacrifice or two, or taking advantage of something if he wanted it? After all, it had already happened, after the third trip Milo and he had made in fact. Riff had come into their room with a strangely beaten look on his face, and had sat down on the bed and silently gazed at Toby, who still lay there, freshly woken from a nap-
"Did you get everything done?" Toby had asked, rubbing his eyes and trying to sit up in the bed. At Riff's silence, he reached out to him. "What's wrong?"
"I can't say," the blond answered.
"But something's bothering you, tell me-"
Riff's eyes had caught his right then, and he'd felt a little pull at his heart. "It was part of the deal," he reasoned. "A down-payment sort of thing. A gesture of good faith. If she was going to let us use her merchandise, she personally wanted something in return."
Merchandise. A fancy word for someone's string of prostitutes. Toby knew that half their rook's dealings were in the flesh, as they had plenty of ‘merchandise' of their own to offer for a quick profit, but the real money came when you could link up with someone else's house and take clients. Wealthy clients.
"What are you on about?"
"She wanted me," Riff answered quietly.
"I slept with her, Toby."
Toby drew back a little, as if the scent of the woman still lingered on Riff, though surely it had happened days before. Then the questions came battering into his head. A woman? Was it his first time with a woman? Had he enjoyed it? Would he yearn for more of such things? Toby was struck with the sudden fear that Riff would... change.
But as they stared at each other, he could see clearly how much it had hurt the blond to tell him the truth, and in that, saw his own guilt. He patted Riff's leg, shook his head, and quelled the anxiety that had welled up in his core. He couldn't make a big deal of this.
"So you gave her a little fun in the meantime," he said. "I guess women are funny creatures." Toby heard the lie come easily; he had almost no knowledge of women, only the surety that of course she had wanted Riff. He was young and virile and probably very cocky when out in his element; something that would have appealed to anyone.
"Whatever you do on your trips is your own affair, like you told me," he said, hoping to relieve his friend's guilt. "If it helps you get things done, then why should it matter what I think? You don't have to tell me anything if you don't want to, and I'll never think badly of you for it. It's just business. Even if it wasn't, I have no hold over you."
At that Riff had stood up, his fists clenched in sudden frustration. Toby watched his back, confused. Then the realization came: that tack had been the wrong one. He hadn't made Riff feel better, he'd made it worse. A long silence passed, during which neither could pretend he didn't know what the real issue was.
"What do you want me to say?" Toby asked softly, knowing quite well the answer.
"It doesn't make you angry, then?" Riff's voice was deceptively calm.
"Then I can go and sleep with anyone I want?"
"Of course," Toby answered, his hands beginning to tremble with a sudden rush of an emotion he couldn't name. That after everything Riff had done for those around him, Toby could still break him so easily... But the thought of him with someone else-
Riff suddenly turned and came back to the bed, pushing Toby back on the pillows and leaning over him. Toby gazed up at him, stunned, with the breath knocked out of him a bit. Riff's hands clenched the thief's shoulders so tightly they would leave bruises. "You, then," he whispered, dark eyebrows drawn down. "I want you."
The thief's heart had leapt into his throat at Riff's uncharacteristic show of force. Toby found his body taut and trembling. Hot. For a few precious seconds the entire world balanced on the edge of a cliff, ready to go either back to safety or... what? Cade's words echoed in his head, He'll always ask it of you, but you'll never let him in.
Though his heart beat a rapid-fire rhythm in his chest, he couldn't bring himself to give in so easily. "Why is that all you want from me?" Toby whispered, breathing shallow, poised.
Riff let him go. The world slid back down easily into its normal place. "That's not all I want from you," he growled, "I just want you to want something from me. Anything at all!"
Such agony. Toby sat up and reached for Riff's face to draw him close. With the blond so wrought up, it was time to make a small concession; surely he could afford that much.
"I care for you," he said. "And I care about what you do and who you do it with. I lied before." Surely that was enough, must he admit more? Slowly, he said, "If you must do something like that with someone, then do it, for the sake of your contracts, but you have to tell me about it if I ask. Agreed?"
Riff had only given him a small nod and turned away, but ever since then, though he hadn't meant to, Toby had asked about it each time he returned. Sometimes the answer was no. Others... well, he didn't like to think about how many times Riff had gently nodded his head yes. And Toby had always wondered if these things happened because of the job or if they had happened of Riff's own accord, out of his frustration and loneliness. It was probably both, but the blond would never tell him that and that was certainly something he would never ask.
Toby lifted Riff's sleep-laden hand again and pressed the warm fingers to his lips. "Riff, was there anyone this time...?"
"A girl," came the gentle sigh, muffled by the pillows. "Twice." Nearly gone in sleep, Riff gently clenched Toby's fingers and pulled them close, wrapping around his arm like a child. "Stay with me for a while," he murmured.
Toby complied and laid down next to him, breathing in the smell of rain and cigarettes from Riff's clothes and hair. A girl... twice...
About an hour later a knock came at their door. Blinking away sleep, Toby disentangled the arm Riff had wound around and stumbled to open it. Behind him Riff snored quietly, dead to the world and still half-dressed. Their dinner, delivered while they slept, sat cold on the coffee table.
"Bella?" The young girl, youthfully sprouted at a tender age of fourteen, stood there huffing as if she'd run up the stairs instead of taking the elevator like any normal person. In the past year she'd cropped her feathery blond hair off short the way most girls of non-merchandise status wore it. Though her face was still slender and cute, she looked rather boyish.
"You should come and see this," she said, glancing behind him at the bed. "Riff has to come too. Kitch and Gherin found something."
But Riff lay in dead-to-the-world repose, his arm stretched across the spot where Toby had been laying. As much as the thief hated having to be in the middle of things, there were certain times when he felt he had to assert that position. Riff needed to rest and Toby would make sure he got it.
"Let him sleep a bit longer. I'll go," he said, smoothing his hair and clothes and casting about for his shoes.
When Dane awoke, he thought of sandwiches, cheese sandwiches. The kind he used to make when he visited Cade at that lofty house he kept at Ladbroke Grove. What had reminded him of that? Should he really be thinking of cheese sandwiches when he was dead? A dark, colorless ceiling loomed above him. His body refused to move, even his head, and what light there was in the room hurt his eyes. He closed them again.
"Hullo? Are you awake?" a soft, female voice said.
Now he knew he was dead.
"Toby! I think he's awake."
There was a gentle movement of the bed and Dane forced his eyes to open again. His whole body felt... swollen. Above him he saw a face; fair skin, dark hair that was rather long, and obsidian black eyes that looked concerned, but tired. The pretty boy laid a cool hand on Dane's forehead. It moved then to his cheek and throat, as if searching for fever.
"How do you feel?" The voice was low, husky. The kind that used to send shivers down his spine when he prowled the alleyways before meeting Remy. But Dane couldn't answer, his throat hurt too much, so he just stared up at the other, blinking slowly. The boy looked off to his side and said, "Bella, go wake Riff."
There was movement in the corner of his vision as the girl scampered off. Dane closed his eyes again, unwilling to make the effort to keep them open any longer. The sensation of a cool hand on his forehead remained until he slid into darkness again.
Toby sat back. For a moment he'd thought the consciousness would keep, but like all the other times, the boy slipped away again. It was nearly dawn already, hours since Bella had called him down here.
The inseparable Kitch and Gherin had brought this kid in, relating the unbelievable story of what they'd seen while scoping out the bolls activity on the south side near Flagam Heights. Somebody had heard they had begun hitting the old hostels, and earlier Toby had sent the two down to check it out. They said they'd seen this kid fall down a fire escape, his limbs luckily catching in the grillwork and stopping him from going completely over the side of it. As any kid was an enemy of the bolls and therefore merited at least a little help, they'd grabbed him, naked if one could believe it, and dragged him off into the alleys they knew so well. Then, they'd brought him here.
Miraculously, there were no broken bones. His head had suffered more than anything, and his body was nearly completely black and blue with fresh bruises that would probably get worse before they got better, not to even mention the cuts across his back from where he'd fallen through glass. All those injuries were as taken care of as they could get. He would live if he could just come back to his senses.
Toby pulled the covers up to the kid's scruffy chin and sighed doggedly. No one knew who he was; he couldn't have been from their side of town. That was a problem.
The door opened and Bella darted in again, followed by Riff. He was bedraggled with sleep in wrinkled clothes and mussed hair, quite a different picture from his usual professional air. With groggy eyes he peered into the stranger's face, noting his pallor and shallow breathing. Toby told him he'd thought about taking him to a hospital, but he didn't want to do that, not without the kid's permission. Who knew if the bolls wouldn't drag him right out again.
"Um, Riff?" Kitch had appeared in the doorway. A tall youth of sixteen, his short, spiked blond hair had been dyed a striking shade of red. "Sorry to bother you up here, but there's someone come to see him."
Riff straightened, his eyes hardening. "Who knew he was here?"
"I did." From behind the lad, who stood there wringing his hands, stepped a familiar figure.
The hell..? Tall, lean form; short-cropped blond hair; cigarette hanging from his lip. Utterly unchanged. Cade shrugged off his outer coat, handed it and his smoldering cigarette absently to Bella, and advanced into the room without hardly a glance at anyone but the young man in the bed.
Toby moved so that he might take his place and be near his... friend? Companion? Never mind that, how in fuck was it that Cade had suddenly shown up again? Once such a prominent figure, in the year past they'd seen neither hide nor hair of him. In fact, their last real exchange had been in Milo's loft, when Cade had so challenged his hold over Riff. Since then, Milo had not disclosed what had become of his former constant companion.
"Toby?" Riff's hand was a little heavy on his shoulder. Coming out of his reverie and realizing he hadn't been breathing, Toby gave a shake of his head. It wouldn't do to be so flustered here and now with Cade so nearby. If Riff had ever been jealous or suspected anything he'd never said so, but Toby knew that not all of Cade's promise-filled gazes could have gone unseen.
"Well? You know him?" Riff said to the other by the bed. It was reassuring to have Toby in physical contact; this kid had always put him on edge. And without Milo's smooth authority, Cade's very presence was abrasive to his nerves, like waiting anxiously for a storm.
Cade stood up straight. "His name is Dane." His eyes passed over the thief to Riff. "He was alone when your boys found him?"
"He came out of a window," Kitch piped up. "There's no tellin' who else was inside, and we didn't bother to stay and find out. T'was hard enough getting him here without the bolls on our asses."
Cade glared at the boy as if surprised to hear an underling speak to him. "Get him bundled up, if you would," he said to Riff. "I'll take him off your hands."
Within the hour their two guests were gone, stealthily hustled away under cover of dark and the back door alleyway. Riff turned on his heel and went back to their own room without another word. Toby followed slowly, doggedly, reluctant to face the imminent row over Cade's sudden re-arrival. It was late, and staying up to watch over the stranger had taken its toll on his reserves. They undressed in blessed silence, and Toby crawled into bed, hoping Riff would do the same and there would be no discussion. Across the bed Riff was stripping off the last of his clothes for some real sleep.
"I have to go out again tomorrow," he said shortly. It would seem he wanted to avoid certain issues as well.
Toby schooled disappointment from showing in his face. "You haven't even been here a full day."
"It's the business, I'm afraid. Milo is meeting me downtown, I won't be late." Riff said with a wry smile. He didn't want to leave either; it was written all over his face. The other issues aside, he hadn't gotten nearly enough sleep.
When he crawled into bed Toby surprised him by nuzzling into his arms. With Cade around again, he suddenly had the great urge to be near Riff. "When will you be back?" It had always been pointless to ask ‘where will you go?" questions. Those never got answered.
"I don't know. A few days, maybe a week. Why? Will you miss me?" He couldn't help the silly smile that spread his lips. Cade had been forgotten, or banished, from his mind.
Riff's chuckle was low in his chest, lazy and content. No matter what problems lay between them, these were the moments that meant more than all the money and power he could muster. He alone knew what it was to love another being more than his own life, and he loved this boy, his thief. To lie quietly together was enough for eternity, if that was all Toby could give him. He was so contented in that moment, there, stroking Toby's dark hair, that he hardly gave another thought to Cade's sudden return, and what it might bring.
Riff was true to his word and left again, albeit later in following day. There were a few disputes he had to settle first, mostly concerning the territories of the kids whose job was to supply their flesh to clients; they were the rook's ‘merchandise'. It was a delicate thing to provide the right boy or girl in the right place due to the nature of these clients, several of which lay at the top of a company ladder somewhere, and whose identity, due to the contract, had to remain closely guarded. As a result, though, he ran late and had to bid Toby goodbye with just a wave across the building lobby as he donned his long black coat and hurried out. They'd only spoken a handful of words to each other, and now the waiting would begin again.
That evening the thief sat on the edge of their bed, flipping through a few books Riff had brought back with him from previous a trip. He had told Toby that he needed to learn how to read, but for now the pages and words looked alien, like little puzzles. That was when Cade suddenly decided to show up once again, uninvited and undetected, catching the thief in a decisive bout of fragile loneliness with uncanny timing.
"Good book?" he said suddenly, stepping from the shadows. He was dressed in his customary black, an oddly fitting color for one who moved around like a ghost. Toby nearly threw the thing at him in fright.
He recovered well enough. "I can't read," Toby answered. Their isolation was like a heavy weight hanging over him, made the room seem small and remote. Since that first day in Milo's flat they'd never been left alone together and here no one was ever around the top floor where the boss slept. Of course Cade would be aware that the night he chose to show up would be one where no one else of consequence would be here. They were truly alone with no hope of intrusion.
Cade sat next to him uninvited and took the book. He irreverently flipped through the pages. "I can teach you," he said. "But it's not that interesting. What do you need to read for?"
"Riff said I should learn." Cade sat so close, their sides were touching.
"Ah, daddy says so." He got up and took a turn about the room, looking interested and not at the same time.
"What are you doing here?"
Cade paused from looking behind the drapes of the window. Beyond them, the young night wore on. "I came to see you, isn't that obvious? Thought you might be, you know, lonely."
An uneasy feeling had settled in the pit of Toby's stomach. He wished Cade would stop pacing around the room, like a circling bird. "How is your friend?" he asked, trying to make some semblance of normal conversation, but it was useless. Innuendo hung in the very air, as it always had. Only recently had he been able to put a name to it. Long before, upon their first meeting when Cade had been speaking about Riff, he'd actually been making a promise. Or a threat.
"You shouldn't be here."
"Oh? Who says that? Your husband?"
"I do," he growled back.
Cade came to stand between Toby's knees. His fingers jerked the thief's chin up. "Why so mean all of a sudden? I had figured you to be so docile, so easy-going. What with those smoldering looks I always get from you." He leaned forward. "Besides, my place is on the other side of the city and it's raining. Would you send me so far away?"
"Yes." He was doing his best not to be forced back on the bed. He couldn't give the blond the upper hand so easily, even though his body was beginning to sing at appalling intensities from Cade's proximity, his heat, and the cool scent of rain on his clothes. At his answer the blond clucked his tongue and let off, but it was different from when Riff had given up that day he'd first admitted sleeping with a woman. Riff had been admitting defeat. Cade was teasing him.
"All right, I'll go if you say so. After all, your boy is Milo's favorite." He rounded the bed again and leaned close; once more taking Toby's chin between fingers and thumb. "It's a promise I'll make for you, even though I'd be breaking one to someone else." Cade's deep voice was a gentle vibration in Toby's ear. "I'll always do what you tell me to."
"Then go away," Toby hissed. His body contradicted his words; his face was flushed, his breathing hard, and if the blond leaned any closer he would be able to feel what he was doing to the thief. Chances were, however, he already knew that very well.
But Cade took a step back, and then left without looking back.
It was several hours later when Toby had finally made himself crawl into bed, that he realized the mistake he'd made. For Cade to make such a promise it meant a lot, from what he knew of the mysterious young man at least, but it was also very cleverly done. In anything Toby could say Cade would find a loophole- and use it. This time, it was the fact that Toby had neglected to tell him not to come back that night.
The bed shifted with new weight right at the moment when he was finally dropping into sleep. A warm body spooned against his back, and the scent of rain came to his nostrils. The room was dark and cool, the body against him hot and damp. Cade's lips were on the nape of his neck and he roughly pulled the thief back against him, his hands searching, finding, pulling loose clothing apart without hesitation. In his forceful grip there was an urgency that contradicted his previously cool demeanor. His breathing was heavy against Toby's shoulder, here, where his lips were now pressed and the thief could do nothing but grip the sheets in tight fistfuls, staring at the shadowy wall next to the bed and wondering why it was that his body felt so heated, so rigid and ready. He should move. He should turn around and push the other away. He should call for help.
Cade's hands had shoved the waist of his sleeping pants down and pulled up his shirt, exposing all the sensitive points of his torso at once, and triggering them all with artful expertise. Toby groaned in the back of his throat. It had been long, so long since he'd allowed something like this. He actually couldn't remember a tender touch in his past, if Cade's forcible pawing could be called such. Compared to his experience at the hands of Ender's minions, he supposed it was gentle enough. The body behind him was solid, the cock hard that bumped against him. Shivers of electricity raced down his spine when he realized he had no power here. He was trapped; Cade would have his way with him, just as the blond's eyes had promised from the day of their first meeting in that shabby loft with the broken window panes. He couldn't tell Cade to go away now; he couldn't do anything at all but allow it.
The blond was kissing, no, nipping his neck and shoulders, his hands working the thief's cock, his knee nudging his thighs just a little further apart.
"Open for me," Cade breathed, a hand snaking down to lift Toby's thigh. "Open for me so I can fuck you. That's what you want, isn't it?"
"Uhn..." Toby breathed, his wide eyes fixed on the blackness.
When Cade made that first push, he cried out hoarsely in pain. There was only a momentary pause for him to get used to it and an amused whisper in his ear.
"All the way to the hilt. You were built for this..."
Then he started to move. A hand covered his mouth to silence his cries but between the slits of his fingers they still came; soft, whimpering moans rhythmic to the rocking of his body. After those first few moments Cade took no pity on him and his body's inexperience in that respect. He began to move quickly and forcefully, concerned only with his own pleasure it seemed but for the hand that still held him, stroked him.
Toby came with a hoarse moan, but the slick fingers never stopped their stroking, nor did Cade ever lose the tempo of his thrusting. His hot cheek was pressed against Toby's, his hair tickling his ear, his breath hot, moist. Their bodies slid together and apart, hot. At one point Cade threw the covers off and sweet cold air hit Toby's damp skin, causing him to momentarily forget the pain. But within moments that went away, numbed, and something was touched inside him that made him suddenly gasp, his eyes wide, in pleasure. That had never happened before-
"Do you feel it?" Cade hissed in his ear, a smile in his voice. He did it again, hard this time. Toby's cry was strained, desperate, and still, that voice in his ears. "You'll never tell me no after this," the blond continued, his breath huffing with his exertions. "I promise..."
The sweat began rolling down his body in that now-stuffy room, but he didn't notice or care. He cared only how his loins were singing a tune to his very core, and the thrusting of that powerful cock inside him. Cade's thrusts soon became hard enough to make Toby brace his outstretched arms against the wall in front of him to keep from getting shoved against it. The thief moaned loudly, clenched his teeth and pushed back. The low growl Cade breathed into his ear as he came was the only sound of pleasure the blond had made, and that alone was enough to finish Toby off a second time.
After orgasm Cade held him tightly back against him with both arms. Their breathing slowed, the sweat began to dry, and Toby didn't know when it was exactly that he allowed himself to drift off to sleep. He only knew his exhaustion, and the even press and retreat of a warm belly against his lower back.
When he awoke the next morning, feeling sore and dirty, used and confused, Toby was rather surprised to feel that Cade was still there, wrapped around him, his face buried in his hair and his lips pressed to his nape. The early morning sun had begun to stream in through the long windows and it was painful to his unfocused eyes. When he struggled to sit up he saw Cade blinking lazily up at him with a silly, self-satisfied smile on his face.
"You have to leave," Toby said. His voice was husky, strained.
"I am," the blond conceded, sitting up as well and taking a long moment to stretch. Despite his words, he seemed to not be in a hurry at all. He stood up from the bed and looked about for his clothes. Here, in the morning light, unabashedly naked and his short hair mussed up from a night's activities, Cade looked the most human Toby had ever seen him. He yawned and scratched his head, his normally sharp green eyes were lazy, and his movements were lethargic and even a little clumsy. Was this the same person who'd had such power over him last night?
Oh God, last night... He couldn't even fathom what it was that had happened last night. Sex had never been a large concern of his, which was much of the problem between Riff and he, but last night... last night... Cade had conjured such a want in him as he'd never felt before. What further humiliation could he bring upon himself than to allow something like this to happen, not with the person he cared for most, but with the one he did least? What was it Cade had done to him? Those long red scratches on Cade's thigh, had his nails left those?
The blond dressed as he watched. "You're quite a romp," he quipped, by now the haze having cleared from his eyes. With each moment awake he began to look more and more like himself.
"I'll come back." Cade slung his long black coat over his shoulder and turned towards the door.
"Don't bother." Toby sniped, wondering what in the hell he was going to say to Riff. One look into those brown eyes and he knew what the guilt would be. Hateful and excruciating.
"Bother? I'm doing you a favor." Cade leaned down over the bed again, making Toby lean back into the pillows. "Why? Because you liked it," he said. "Because when you're alone you're going to think about me, and when you think about me you're going to get hard." His lips barely brushed Toby's. "And when you get hard you're going to want me to fuck you again."
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