Glaw wasn’t the same after Ciaran raped him. Shoved into the room by the Qolian, he visibly flinched away from the touch, silent and jumpy. Arik merely stared at him, his eyes trailing over the tense, bruised and shaking body and bowed head. Ciaran smirked and slung an arm over Glaw’s shoulder. The younger man stiffened and tried to pull away but couldn’t.
“We want information,” Ciaran said casually. “Since you didn’t give me any last night, I’m handing you over to Arik.”
The Uswian glared at Ciaran. “He was your toy, Ciaran,” the Uswian snapped icily. “I don’t take seconds.”
Ciaran smiled, red hair falling into mocking green eyes. “Jealous, Arik?” he teased.
The Uswian met his gaze squarely. “No, Ciaran. Angry.”
It was the first time he had ever gotten a straight answer out of the Uswian and for a brief moment, surprise flickered over his eyes. He straightened up, moving away from Glaw. “Seconds or not, he’s got the information we need.”
“Are you certain?”
“When am I ever wrong?”
Arik sighed. “It’ll be easier if you talk. Who gives you your orders?”
Glaw hunched over, refusing to speak. Arik nodded at the enforcer, which they hired for muscle to their missions. The man raised his hand, slamming his fist between Glaw’s shoulders, knocking him off the chair. He hit the floor with a loud smack. After a moment he slowly pushed himself to a sitting position.
“Who gives you your orders?”
Again Glaw remained silent and again the enforcer lashed out. Glaw fell to the floor again, gasping for breath. Arik rolled his eyes in annoyance. “Being brave isn’t going to help you.”
“Being brave has nothing to do with it,” Glaw got out. He curled around the pain and tried to even out his breathing. He flinched at Arik’s next words.
“Then make him say what we want to hear.”
The man grunted a response before he grabbed Glaw by his hair and jerked him to his feet. Without a pause he slammed his fist into Glaw’s face and as he fell, he moved his other arm, a knife cutting deeply across Glaw’s upper left arm. Glaw let out a soft cry as a thin ribbon of red splattered away from him as he fell. It was the first of many blows he took and by the end of the beating, he was barely conscious and his breathing came out in raspy, uneven intervals.
Arik snorted in disgust. “We got nothing. Take him to the cell.”
The enforcer snagged Glaw by the hair and dragged him out of the room, leaving Ciaran alone with Arik. The Uswian sat down in the chair behind the desk and pulled out a sheaf of paper. Ciaran brushed some of his hair out of his eyes and looked over at Arik.
“Angry, hm?” he asked.
“I’m all booked up,” Arik retorted acidly. “Go away, Ciaran.”
The Qolian was never good at following orders and so, of course, he got to his feet but did not leave, instead he headed over to Arik. Slinging himself over Arik’s legs he leaned forward. “You think too much,” he murmured. “There for, you take everything too seriously.”
He leaned in to kiss Arik but stilled when he felt hard fingers wrap around his neck and squeeze. Arik’s blue eyes narrowed behind his glasses. “I don’t like playing games, Ciaran.”
“Who said this was a game?” came the Qolian’s cryptic reply in his mind.
“You think everything is a game.”
A slender brow arched up. “And you would know this how?”
Arik frowned slightly. “How do you think? I was the one who found you.”
“Does that mean I’m supposed to be indebted to you? Because I bow to no one.”
“I know that. I’m not asking you to.”
“Good. Because you wouldn’t have me if you did.”
“And can I have you?” came the quiet question, blue eyes locked with green.
Ciaran smiled slightly, bitterly. “You’re the boss. You can have anything you want.”
He didn’t expect to be shoved onto Arik’s desk, one hand still wrapped around his throat, the other cracking across his cheek painfully. Arik glared down at him, an indecipherable emotion in his gaze.
“I don’t want you unwilling, Ciaran,” Arik hissed. “If I had wanted that, I would have gotten a two-bit whore to bed. I’m just sick of these games you play.”
“I was a two-bit whore, remember?”
Arik let him go with a sound of disgust and headed for the door, anger in his step. “Your toy can stay for one more day. Any longer than that and our plans will be ruined. I’m still running on a schedule.”
The door clicked shut and Ciaran slowly sat up, one hand going to his throat, the other to his cheek. He was still and quiet, his eyes distant. Then ghost like hands touched his, chilling him.
‘You pushed him too far,’ his inner voice said quietly.
Ciaran slowly smiled. “No. I pushed him to getting a spine.”