Glaw bit him.
Ciaran pulled back, running his tongue over the split flesh of his bottom lip, licking up blood. Dark hair fell into wide chocolate eyes full of anger, shock, and a little bit of pain. Ciaran chuckled softly as he dodged out of the way of the claw wielding fighter that he had held in his arms.
“You were too slow on the turn-around,” Ciaran told him in a mocking voice.
The youth’s eyes widened. “You--!”
Ciaran grabbed the man by the neck, forcing the closest thing in reach, his own claws through the jugular. The brutal pain made him convulse, his head snapping back, throat arching sharply worsening the cut. Eyes squeezed shut, he gasped for breath and it was all he could do to just stay conscious. Ciaran chuckled and pressed his lips to the pulse of his vein in his neck, his tongue flickering out against warm flesh.
Glaw shuddered in his arms. “You--”
“Hoping your fellow assassins will come and save you? Hoping Dierk will come and save you? Or not? Do you really want him to see you like this? Caught, trapped, in another man’s arms? But then again--he doesn’t care about you so why should it matter?”
Glaw’s eyes snapped open and he choked on his breath. Ciaran laughed as Glaw stared at him in horror. “How do you--how can you--?”
Ciaran licked his way up Glaw’s neck. His lips hovered above the youth’s, their breath mingling. “It is my job to know. Professionals survive alone.”
Glaw opened his mouth to say something but Ciaran silenced him the only way he could. He kissed him--deeply, passionately, bruisingly hard. Their teeth scraped together, lips cutting over each other. For a moment Glaw couldn’t move, too shocked to defend himself, but a quiet voice breaking over them brought him back to himself and he snapped his head to the side.
“Another toy, Ciaran?”
Ciaran lifted his head to look at Arik. The blood flow from the jugular had halted and Glaw was slowly falling into a shock. “I get bored easily. You know that,” Ciaran replied as he lifted one hand, made a fist, and slammed it into the base of Glaw’s neck before the younger man could move or shout a warning. With a soft exhalation of breath, Glaw’s eyes closed and he passed out, going limp in Ciaran’s arms. The redhead picked him up and looked at his teammates. “Well?”
Arik eyed the unconscious assassin. “What are you going to do with him?”
Ciaran smiled coldly. “What I do best.”
“Fine,” Arik said in a flat voice. “But fuck him later. Right now, we’ve got to get out of here. There’s another exit across the garage--”
“No. We’ll take the elevator.”
At that moment the stairwell door burst open and three bodies exploded through, skidding to a halt once they realized who they were facing. Three sets of eyes locked onto their friend in the redhead’s arms.
Ciaran arched an eyebrow. “I don’t know whether to take all of you or just Glaw here,” he mused. “You’d all make such wonderful entertainment.”
“You--” oldest of them began, furiously, desperately.
“I what?” Ciaran mocked as they moved towards the elevator. “I know who you are, who all of you are. And soon I’ll know more. I did say I’d have your lives.”
“Give him back!” Christian shouted, unable to move as they passed by him.
“Let me think,” Ciaran said as he stopped in front of Dierk. The swordsman was glaring at him with death in his orchid-tinted eyes, lips pressed into a thin line. Ciaran smiled. “No.”
Dierk’s gaze was answer enough. They would hunt them down now.
Ciaran chuckled. “I don’t think you’ll be needing him, Dierk. Not like you did before. I know you’re probably not too keen on sharing but oh well. There’s a first time for everything. And besides, you never wanted him to begin with.”
With a smirk, Ciaran swept past him and they stepped into the elevator, taking it up to the lobby. Only when they were in the car, with Glaw unconscious in the back seat. Ciaran started the engine and peeled out into the street carelessly. No one said anything on the drive home, they didn’t need to. The youth lying sprawled on the back seat said it all.
When they arrived, Ciaran braked to a rough halt and got out of the car. Arik got out to file the report of their mission hurriedly, while their expendable members picked up Glaw’s unconscious body.
“Make sure he stays alive,” he called after them cheerfully, but dropping the smile the moment they rounded a corner. It was becoming more tiring to work as a team already.
Ciaran sighed as he dug into his pocket for a cigarette and lifted it to his lips, lighting it. He took a deep drag and fingered the cut on his lip. It was crusting over and had stopped bleeding. Scraping the blood off his chin he headed inside, taking the elevator to their floor. With quiet footsteps he made his way to the study. He opened the door and leaned against the frame.
“I knew I’d find you here.”
Arik was standing near the window, the lights off, with moonlight falling over him.
Ciaran moved into the room. “Now I know why we split up.”
“If I had gone, you wouldn’t have him.”
“No. I don’t think you do.”
Ciaran was close enough to touch now and he had never been very good at staying away from temptation. He reached out and twined an arm around Arik’s waist, sliding against and around him. He tilted his head back slightly, grinning around the cigarette. Arik made a face.
“Cigarettes are disgusting,” he said before taking it out from between Ciaran’s smiling lips and crushing it out on the desk.
Ciaran arched an eyebrow. “Only to one who doesn’t understand it.”
“What would you know about understanding?” Arik’s arm moved, bracing against Ciaran’s back as the Qolian moved closer to him.
“Everything,” came the soft reply.
Arik frowned slightly, the expression quickly kissed away by the brush of lips against his. “Ciaran--”
“Ask me,” the Qolian breathed. “Ask me what I want, what you want.”
“I . . .” Arms tightened, mouths drew closer. “I want . . . you . . .”
Ciaran’s green eyes filled with triumph as he leaned millimeters closer, their lips nearly touching, answering.
“I’m all booked up.”
With a wicked smile that rivaled the momentarily expression of shock and anger on Arik’s face, Ciaran pulled away and headed for the door.
“Try again next time.”
And just like that, he was gone, leaving Arik behind to wonder if this was all worth it, if it was just a game to Ciaran.
It probably was.