Beast Without a Leash
Ciaran, Arik decided, was an annoyance surpassed by no one.
He glared at the thirty-something through his glasses, seeing the familiar trademark smirk on his generous mouth, brilliant green eyes as cold as ever.
“You let him loose,” Arik bit out.
“So?” Ciaran replied with a shrug.
“So? Six teams of researchers, politicians are dead --not to mention an ambassador-- because of your carelessness! And all you’ve got to say is so?” Arik railed.
He had his hands full already, explaining to the council that it wasn’t their decision to change the plan. A very unpredictable experiment was on the loose somewhere in the city and they had lost sight of him the moment he got out of a building. No traces, not footsteps, not even a hair could be found from the blade wielding menace that had swamped his mailbox.
“It’s not like it did us any harm.”
“It doesn’t matter!”
Ciaran smirked some more. “You sound like you care, Arik.”
“I don’t. I just hate cleaning up after your messes.”
Ciaran down right grinned mockingly.
“I don’t know why I put up with you,” Arik muttered.
“Because you want me.”
Arik glared at the Qolian. Inside the Uswian was seething with anger, but kept it under control.
Maybe it was the faint hint of vagueness in his eyes that tipped Ciaran off. Or maybe it was the way Arik was acting; slightly distracted from them all. Or maybe it was the fact that he was dressed up. Or maybe it was because Ciaran was trying to read his mind but couldn’t. Whatever the factor, Arik was very obviously preoccupied with something and Ciaran was curious as to what.
The Qolian sat up straighter. “What is it?”
Arik shook his head. “Not now.”
Green eyes narrowed. “Now is appropriate.”
“Later or not at all. I’m still uncertain.”
Ciaran pressed harder. “Arik--”
“You’ll know soon enough,” Arik said coolly.
Ciaran frowned. “I hate being kept in the dark.”
“You’ll just have to stay there a little longer,” Arik said as he headed for the door. “I’ll return later.”
Arik unlocked the door to their level and quietly stepped inside. It was three in the morning and the place was dark. He had expected Ciaran to have stayed up for a debriefing but he had guessed wrong. A buzz on his phone arrived shortly after his first step.
‘Not wrong,’ he read in Ciaran’s voice in his mind. ‘I’m in bed. Care to join me?’
‘Not even under pains of death,’ Arik retorted in his reply.
He could feel Ciaran’s smile at the reply.
One-word reply. Arik could read into it though, and all he received was mocking. He moved towards his room, all the while keeping up the conversation with Ciaran.
‘How so?’ Arik asked, curiosity filling the word.
Ciaran was silent for a long time. ‘I don’t know. It just is. Does it matter?’
Arik began to undress. Not replying instantly, thinking over it. ‘What do you think?’
‘You sound lonely, Arik. Why don’t you come into my room and I’ll keep you company?’
‘I’d rather sleep in a pit of vipers.’
Ciaran laughed out loud two rooms across. ‘That can always be arranged.’
‘Knowing you, I’m not surprised.’
‘The only person who amuses me is you, Arik.’
‘I’m flattered. Really,’ the Uswian muttered.
‘I just bet you are. One of these days I’ll taste you again. Until then--sweet dreams.’
The memory of the first time they had met came up with those words. Inside that limo on that cold night so many years ago, when Ciaran had gone down on Arik for a couple of bills and never craved anything as much as the taste of the Uswian since then. Arik sucked in his breath as the memory hit him with a good dose of lust and he spat out a curse as his body reacted.
“Sweet dreams indeed,” he hissed as he reached down to undo what the Qolian had created in his mind.
Faintly, just barely, could he hear Ciaran laughing again in his own room.
“Do you think he’ll win the election?” Ciaran asked the next day. Their current target was a high profile politician with interesting connections. Ciaran usually paid no attention to who they were dealing with, as long as it kept him entertained.
Arik glanced up from the book he was reading. “Do I think or do I know?”
Ciaran put one of the two small ear phones into his left ear and pressed the play button on his music player. “Do you know.”
“I know. I always know.”
“Care to tell me?”
Ciaran smirked. “Same old arrogance,” he replied as he turned the volume up.
“I could say the same about you.”
“You always do.”
Arik rolled his eyes but said nothing more. Ciaran stared at him for several minutes before he got to his feet and walked over to Arik. He leaned over the older man and slid his hand down the Uswian’s torso. “This song makes me want to fuck you,” he whispered in a sultry voice.
Arik willed his body to not respond. “And your point would be?”
“Wouldn’t you like to know?”
Ciaran brushed his lips over Arik’s ear, his hand moving steadily downwards. “I want to fuck you like an animal,” he whispered, voicing a single line.
Despite his resolve, Arik shivered and Ciaran smirked. “Back off,” Arik snapped.
Ciaran laughed and detangled himself from Arik. “As the leader commands.”
Arik glared at him out of the corner of his eye. “Do something useful.”
“Like jerk you off?” Ciaran mock-pouted as no answer came. “That’s no fun, Arik. You should at least-”
“It’s not meant to be.”
“Fine,” Ciaran said as he put in the other earphone. Ciaran left the room and headed down the hall. He mused thoughtfully through the tasks which were sitting on his to-do list still and with that headed to the garage level of the building, getting into Ciaran’s car. He started the engine and sped out into the street.
The drive was made in silence. Not even the radio was on as he steered with one hand and stared blankly at the road ahead.
The silence had taken his dream, his want.
Arik was cold.
But Ciaran’s smile was colder.