Preface: Book Two ~ Sin

This site is..

Based on an original story and alternate future by Sonny & Ais called In the Company of Shadows.

The story contains..

Slash (M/M), het (M/F) and graphic language, violence and sexual situations. Not intended for anyone under 18!

Side Stories

The Beginning ~ Emilio, Sin
Minuet ~ Chingón, Gioia
Rainbow ~ Ryan
A Morning in Cedar Hills ~ Kassian, Boyd
Preface: Book 2 ~ Sin
Vanilla ~ Emilio, Carhart
Sideways ~ Emilio, Carhart
Fool ~ Emilio, Carhart
The One Left Behind ~ Blair
-somnia ~ Owen
Scrollwork ~ Vivienne


Around the Compound Stories, a Series of Events:
Incident #1 ~ Rebecca, Sin


Our AFFN profile

Preface to Book Two


Written on 3/18/08 by Sonny

Timeline: Three months after icos Chapter 44: Smokescreen/late September 2021

Note: This is a preview of what's to come in book two, which is as of yet unnamed and unwritten. We intend to write several chapters ahead in the second book before we start posting, but in the meantime we will continue to release character biographies, story world information, and side stories as they are written. This is not the prologue to book two, which will have another prologue entirely.

The house was shrouded in darkness and shadow, only illuminated by the thin slivers of moonlight that broke through the oppressively overcast sky. Most of the windows were covered with thick, heavy drapes, turning the shadows darker and the silence deeper. The windows in the living room were open and showcased a dark, completely still night outside, giving the impression between the silence of the house and the stillness of the street that no other living soul was awake in the world.

Navigating the house was much like moving through an obstacle course for someone unfamiliar with the layout. Boyd used lights conservatively and never bothered to leave them on once he'd left the area; every room was nearly pitch black at night because of that. As Sin left the bedroom and wandered to the bathroom in an almost dazed, mindless state, it was obvious from the fact he didn't stumble that over the past few months he'd become very well-acquainted with every room and hallway.

A thin sheen of sweat still clung to his lean, muscular body from the nearly frantic bout of sex with Boyd earlier but he didn't seem to notice or care as he made his way down the long hallway. His eyes were glazed over, not entirely focused; at first it could be easy to assume that he was still recovering from post-coital orgasmic bliss but another glance would tell a different story.

His green, cat-like eyes seemed to glow wildly in contrast to the darkness that surrounded him but despite that, there was a vacantness in them that made him look simultaneously deranged and completely unaware of where he was going or what he was doing. It was the look of someone who had just woken up from, or perhaps was still caught in, a nightmare.

Sin stumbled into the bathroom and wrapped his hands around the edge of the sink, eyebrows drawn together as the sweat cooled on his bare skin, causing a slight chill to go down his spine. He licked his lips and squeezed his eyes closed, face screwed up in nearly a grimace of pain as he struggled to get himself together.

For a moment it seemed that it had worked, that he'd managed to suppress the madness that always lurked just beneath the surface. For the past year he'd been able to control himself, been able to forget the things that haunted him, had told himself that he really could be a functioning human being. It had seemed possible, especially because he was with Boyd, because Boyd believed in him.

But when he looked up and stared at himself in the mirror... He came to the conclusion that, once again, he truly was losing the already tentative grip he had on his sanity.

Although his hair had grown back in the months since his capture, torture, and the coma that had followed, he'd yet to truly regain the weight he'd lost; in fact, it seemed as though he'd lost even more. His body was as leanly muscular as it'd always been but now it was possible to get a glimpse of a delicate ribcage under his olive skin. His face was as sharply angular as it had been before Monterrey but now his cheekbones protruded more, simultaneously showcasing his exquisite bone structure and the fact that he was almost severely underweight. With the exception of his new tattoos (which he'd decided to keep because of the significance that his Jason persona now had to him) there were no longer any traces of the healthy man who had thrived in the Mexican heat.

It was exactly how he'd looked when his mental instability had been at its height. Despite the changes since the summer, it wasn't an unfamiliar sight.

But the face in the mirror was.

It was as if the ghosts that had haunted Boyd in those same rooms had shifted forward to haunt Sin as well. The mirror was like a portal, reflecting something impossible but was there anyway and would not go away. Although the face had the same olive complexion, high cheekbones, wide mouth and startling green eyes, there were distinct differences that caused Sin to stare in horrified alarm. The cheekbones weren't as pronounced as his, indications of a healthier weight and diet; the full lips were set in what seemed to be an ever present smirk while his own automatically turned downwards at the sides. The pale green eyes were wider, rounder, lacking the slight slant that his had... and then there were the tattoos, the scars.

A two inch slash through the left side of his mouth, the scar tissue barely noticeable after the years that had passed since it had been sliced open; the slightly crooked nose, evidence of the numerous times it had been broken and the slight nick through his right eyebrow. But if that wasn't indicative enough that these weren't his features, his scars; the numbers one and three tattooed at the front of each shoulder were. The numbers and other inked images were leftover evidence of a youth spent in violent street gangs in the slums of Mexico.

Sin sucked in a shaky breath and reached up to trace the reflection on the mirror with a trembling hand. The mismatched face didn't change and he shivered, suddenly freezing, as his heartbeat sped up.

It wasn't possible. He knew it wasn't possible.

But as he stared at his father's face, he couldn't tell himself that his mind wasn't showing him this. That it wasn't real. And that just made it worse, made it obvious that something really was wrong with him; that he truly was losing his mind.

He squeezed his eyes shut, covering his face with his hands as his breathing became heavier, more labored. For a moment it helped; he was able to block out the spectral image of his father and gain control of his scattered nerves. But in the darkness behind his eyelids there was a vivid, undeniable flash of empty green eyes, so dull and blank that it was obvious there was no life left behind them. Blood the deepest red and glinting in the dark smeared that familiar face and for a moment Sin's mind tried to show more, tried to venture down the jawline to the lifeless, open mouth, to the body below that was forever stained with unforgiving blood--

Sin snapped his eyes open again to free him of the sight but his father was still there in the mirror and now he was grinning, enjoying his son's trauma.

Horrified frustration and confusion welled up in Sin until he couldn't take it anymore. His father was cast in perfect detail in front of him and he wouldn't stop grinning; the glint off white teeth, the tilt of his head, the near-mocking of his vivid green eyes boring into him and Sin wanted it to stop, he wanted him to fucking stop, he didn't want to see it--

He smashed his fist into the mirror abruptly, the glass shattering beneath his fingers. He felt surrounded for a moment by scattered images of his father, appearing in every splinter as they fell and clattered to the counter; he was laughing in every single one, so amused that he could have such an effect on his son with just one subtle look.

"Fuck," Sin hissed, covering his face with his hands and digging his fingers into his sweaty hair. Blood welled up in the cuts on his knuckles, sliding along his skin like the sweat, like the fear, the same unforgettable red as the image that lurked behind his eyes. "It's not fucking real," he hissed, shaking his head back and forth repeatedly. "He's not fucking real."

But then a voice, a familiar drawl, whispered in his ear, "I won't let you forget what you did, mijo."

Sin spun around, eyes wide, and backed up against the edge of the sink. He stared at his father and knew he wasn't really there but it didn't stop his heart from pounding in his chest, it didn't stop his mouth from going completely dry. "You're a fucking hallucination," he rasped, shaking his head faster.

Emilio snorted and crossed his arms over his chest in that way he always did; shoulders thrown back and one hand gripping the opposite elbow as he stared at his son with a very unimpressed look on his face. "And you're a fucking nutjob who has hallucinations," he replied easily. "So who's the weird one here?"

"Why won't you leave me alone? Why the fuck are you haunting me? Why can't you just let me be ha--" Sin broke off, knowing he was talking to himself in the bathroom but not really able to stop himself as he shook his head in denial of what was happening. His chest constricted and he squeezed his eyes shut again, wanting this episode to be over, wanting this fucking horrible breakdown to end. "Why is this happening?" His voice was foreign even to his own ears; he was sure that he'd never sounded that lost, that desperate, that frightened before.

"Why should you get to forget what you did?" Emilio asked, one eyebrow raised at his son in the dark, their faces nearly identical due to the minor difference in age that existed now that Sin had grown older.

"What the fuck did I do?" Sin demanded, voice hushed and intense, eyes snapping open as he stared in desperation. "I don't know what the fuck you're talking about-- I don't remember what happened, I don't know why any of this is goddamn happening and I want it to fucking end because you're driving me insane!"

"Keep talking to yourself in the bathroom and your lover will think you're insane," Emilio said with a smirk, tilting his head to the side in a manner that always meant he was being mocking.

Sin stared at him incredulously, stared deep into the green eyes that were so like his own, and took a long shuddering breath before turning towards the wall and closing his eyes. "Fuck off."

There was a low chuckle behind him, the voice smooth and almost seductive. "I'll go for now, but you know it won't end here." Sin shuddered violently as what felt like icy cold fingers trailed down his spine, sliding over his hip. There was another phantom laugh and then his father's voice began to fade as he crooned, "Good to see you've grown up so good looking. Even if you are a fucking psychopath."

"Go. Away," Sin growled from between grit teeth, hands clenched into fists as he waited for the hallucination to retreat back into the depths of his mind where it belonged. Sin opened his eyes finally and stared down at the shattered remains of the mirror, idly wondering what the hell he would tell Boyd as an explanation. It would be something ridiculous and embarrassing, something that would make his partner laugh. It would be fine.

It would be fine.

But right now, he had to get out of the darkness of the house and away from Boyd before something else happened.

He stumbled out of the bathroom, feeling off-balanced and out of control, blood dripping from his clenched fist as he re-entered Boyd's bedroom and began hurriedly scooting into his jeans. The younger man stirred slightly, honey-brown eyes opening to slits. He was clearly exhausted but must have been woken by the sound of the mirror breaking.

"Sin?" he mumbled sleepily, eyes glinting faintly in the darkness. "I heard something break.. Everything alright?" He only then seemed to realize Sin was getting dressed because he added as a confused, half-asleep afterthought, "Where're you going?"

"It's stupid. I'll tell you later," Sin muttered in a low voice, not coherent enough to create a plausible lie at the moment. "Anyway, I'm going back." He tried to keep his voice even despite the hysteria in his head. "I'll see you later."

He hastily threw on the rest of his clothes, moving fast but trying not to make it obvious that he was in a hurry, and noticed that his partner had thankfully dozed off again. It wasn't unusual for him to just up and leave at random, but the speed with which he was trying to escape would have most likely caught Boyd's attention. He was out the door quickly, moving fast as he wrapped his undershirt around his injured hand in an attempt to keep a blood trail off the floor.

His mind was racing, thoughts confused and frightened, as he fumbled with the front door and half-stumbled down the front steps. As he headed out onto the dark streets, the shadows seemed to get darker, the darkness seemed to swallow him completely, and the fact that he knew it was all in his head, that he was still seeing things that weren't there, scared him the most.