They came apart, sweating and panting hard. Tyrell slung his arm around Elliot’s shoulder and pulled him close, as they both fought to catch their breath.
‘Are you okay?’ Tyrell asked him, and Elliot nodded enthusiastically. If truth be told he was better than okay. Tyrell had led him up to the bedroom and asked him to close his eyes. Elliot had felt his trousers being slid gently off his hips, and soft kisses being placed along his thighs. Tyrell, without warning, had taken his entire length in his mouth and started to suck a gentle rhythm that was completely intoxicating. Elliot had hissed and arched his back off the bed, which made Tyrell smile around him.
The pace had steadily picked up until Elliot felt like he might lose his mind, his hands scratching at Tyrell’s scalp desperately.
‘Stop,’ he’d eventually groaned, when he realised he wasn’t going to last much longer. Tyrell had been confused, but Elliot was quick to explain.
‘I want to fuck you.’
The look of hunger was back in Tyrell’s eyes, as he kissed Elliot passionately. Elliot had been anxious about the sex itself, but Tyrell had guided him. There had been a few stops and starts as Elliot was concerned about hurting Tyrell, but by the end he had relaxed into it, and they’d established a hard and fast rhythm. When Elliot had felt a bit more daring he’d taken Tyrell’s hands and pinned them to the bed, remembering how turned on Tyrell had been when he’d restrained him earlier. As before, he’d been rewarded with a long, loud moan of pleasure.
‘That feels so good Elliot,’ Tyrell had gasped.
Elliot had found it felt so natural, and his release had been intense. During the final moments, Tyrell had moaned his name, long, and reverently. Not only did it feel wonderfully intimate, it reminded Elliot that what was happening was very much real.
Now, lying in Tyrell’s arms he hoped the other man felt the same, and that he’d been granted some temporary relief from the pain the evening had brought him. Elliot wasn’t normally a big fan of post-coital touching, but he experimentally traced gentle patterns on Tyrell’s pale skin. Elliot watched him closely, noting the spots where he was ticklish, and the spots that made him shiver with pleasure and come out in goose-bumps.
Elliot knew this moment of peace wouldn’t last forever though. He’d had it in the back of his mind that the events of the evening would come crashing back down on Tyrell, and he was dreading it. He was just glad that he’d been able to make him feel good, if only for a short time.
They showered and got ready for bed together, but their movements had been mechanical, and the silence uncomfortable.
‘Are you okay?’ Elliot gently asked when they got back to bed. Tyrell put his arm around Elliot again, but he felt tense.
Tyrell nodded but kept his eyes fixed on the ceiling.
‘Do you want to talk?’ Elliot offered awkwardly. Tyrell shook his head. After a few moments of silence he gently removed his arm and turned away from Elliot.
Elliot could tell he was trying to hide the fact that he was crying, but the gentle shaking of his shoulders, and occasional sniff betrayed him. He had no idea what was going through Tyrell’s mind, and he couldn’t even imagine how he was feeling, especially as he didn’t know what was in that note.
He had to assume Joanna was safe, but the whole situation was so confusing. Who was sending these clues, and what did they want with Tyrell’s wife? It seemed they were trying to destroy Tyrell’s life, but why not Elliot’s as well? Elliot felt guilty. Then plan had been Elliot’s, so why was Tyrell taking the fall? Unless he’d been more involved than Elliot had previously realised – who knew what Elliot was forgetting? If they were threatening Tyrell, they obviously feared he had some sort of knowledge or influence that could harm… what exactly? Whose side were these people on? Tyrell must hold some sort of key to something, but what? None of this made any sense; there were too many gaps in his memory. His head was starting to hurt again and he closed his eyes briefly.
He didn’t know whether to try and comfort Tyrell. He was still facing the other way, and had curled in on himself. Elliot place a tentative hand on his shoulder, and when it wasn’t rejected, turned to tuck in next to him and wrap an arm around his waist. Tyrell put his hand on top of Elliot’s and squeezed gently. Elliot took that as an invitation to snuggle in closer, placing soft kisses along Tyrell’s spine.
They stayed like this for quite some time until Tyrell’s tears subsided. Elliot carefully leaned over to check on him and found with relief that he was sleeping. He stroked his hand through Tyrell’s hair and kissed his temple gently. Even sleeping he still looked sad, his cheeks tear-stained and blotchy and mouth turned down slightly. Elliot felt a rush of protectiveness, quickly followed by anger. What the fuck had been in that letter?
He considered reading it, but quickly dismissed the idea, feeling guilty. Deciding there was nothing he could do until the morning, he shut his eyes and waited for sleep to come.
Tyrell woke up first, with dry eyes and a pounding headache. Leaving Elliot to sleep a while longer, he shuffled off to have a shower. When this didn’t help, he made his way downstairs for some water, popping a couple of painkillers as well. He gingerly took a seat at the table and rested his head in his hands.
That’s how Elliot found him a little while later. ‘Morning,’ he said sheepishly. ‘You should have woken me up.’
Tyrell looked up blearily. His hair was slightly damp and mussed from the shower, fringe sweeping across his forehead, and he was wearing a soft black jumper. He looked beautiful, but lost, and Elliot wanted to put his arms around him and kiss him, if only to distract him for a second. Instead he took a seat opposite him.
‘There was no need to, you were fast asleep.’ Tyrell said matter-of-factly.
‘Are you alright?’
‘Just a headache, nothing serious.’ The mood was inexplicably tense, and Tyrell was cold and closed-off.
‘Tyrell, what was in the note?’ Elliot asked softly, decided there was no point beating around the bush.
Tyrell ran his hands roughly through his hair and took a deep breath. ‘Be my guest, Elliot.’ He walked off to retrieve the note and silently put it in front of Elliot.
Elliot nervously unfolded it, and read over the words several times, willing them to make sense.
When he’d finished he was at a complete loss as to what to say.
‘She’s safe, that’s the important thing.’
‘So you missed the bit that said I will never see her again?’ he shouted, jumping to his feet and slamming his hands on the table. ‘Or the part that said she’ll be in danger if I even think of trying to find her? Or maybe you’re missing that this means I can never see my son. I don’t even know his NAME Elliot! How am I supposed to accept this, how Elliot, HOW?’ he roared, his voice cracking and eyes impossibly wide with fury. Elliot shrunk back, wrapping his arms around himself as if protecting himself from the rage-filled torrent of Tyrell’s words.
‘And perhaps you didn’t realise that I bought that fucking bear the day Joanna told me she was pregnant. That I wanted it to be the first gift for our baby. Did you know that Elliot? Did you?!’
Fuck. Elliot flinched like he’d been slapped. Of course he hadn’t known that, but Tyrell wasn’t thinking clearly by this point.
Tyrell seemed to realise what he’d said, and turned away to hide his face.
‘Tyrell, I-‘ Elliot started hoarsely.
The other man seemed to snap straight back into his anger, as he swung back round to face Elliot.
‘No, Elliot, you listen to me. Do you remember what I did after I received this news? This devastating, life-altering news? I asked you to fuck me.’ He laughed, an angry, bitter laugh. He had a crazy look in his eyes that made Elliot shiver. ‘That’s right Elliot, I took you up to the bed I share with my wife, and. Had. You. Fuck. Me.’ He spat the words viciously.
‘I’m so sorry,’ Elliot stammered, his eyes wide with guilt. ‘I thought you wanted… I shouldn’t have-‘
‘It’s not you Elliot. I’m not angry at you. You asked me, and I wanted it. I wanted it,’ he spat, looking as if he might be sick.
‘What the fuck is wrong with me? What kind of person am I?!’ His anger seemed to leave him, and he deflated visibly, slumping forward and resting his head back in his hands. ‘I’m not angry at you Elliot,’ he whispered.
‘I know. I’m still sorry though.’
Tyrell nodded mutely into his hands. Elliot moved round to his side of the table and put his arm around him.
‘Tyrell, I don’t think they’d hurt her. That’s not what any of this is about, it can’t be. This has all been a game to them; if they wanted any of us dead I’m fairly certain we’d be dead by now. I think this is some sort of test, or a way to keep us under their thumb.’
‘I have no idea. But my point is we have to keep trying to figure this out.’ Elliot rubbed his arm comfortingly. Tyrell kept his head bowed but he nodded.
‘Okay. Can I use your laptop?’
Tyrell nodded again.
Elliot didn’t bother with the pretence of asking for Tyrell’s password, it would have been insulting to both of them. He opened a browser window and mentally made a list of the all the facts and disjointed clues they’d discovered so far.
Deciding that the birthday card was more significant than they’d given it credit for, he typed the word ‘Oslo’ into the search bar.
He scanned the Wikipedia entry, and had a brief look at the tourist board website, before deciding this was a waste of time.
Going on a hunch he typed ‘Norway + Evil Corp’. An image caught his eye and he clicked on it excitedly. It was picture of a group of men in suits shaking hands outside a modern-looking office block. It was captioned ‘Evil Corp investors’ meeting, July 2002’.
‘Tyrell,’ he jabbed him in the arm, ‘take a look at this.’
Before Tyrell could get a look at the photo an error message filled the screen, and the laptop shut down. Moments later they were plunged into darkness as the power went out.
‘What the fuck?’ Elliot exclaimed as he tried to power the laptop back up, while Tyrell leapt into action, presumably to find some kind of light source.
Both stopped dead in their tracks when they heard a knock on the door.