In the Company of Shadows

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!


Book One: Evenfall See Evenfall chapter list.

Book Two: Afterimage
See Afterimage chapter list.

Interludes list

Book Three: Fade
See Fade chapter list.


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Evenfall Chapter Thirty

Monterrey was filled with an amazing amount of people, sights, and sounds. Because he had been focused on getting the studio in a livable condition and filling the role of a newly settled foreigner by idly wandering the streets, Boyd had not yet spent a decent amount of time actually working on what he was supposed to be doing. Kadin Reed had been an artist before he became part of Sector 53 and he spent a lot of his time designing things like weapons and marking out battle plans on paper. Perhaps not surprisingly considering the fact he was a rebel, he was also not a stranger to mildly to alarmingly illegal activity. Boyd was never a particularly wonderful artist, but he could draw well enough for it to be obvious what he was sketching and some people liked his style. He also knew how to let his emotions bleed into charcoal; it was his favorite media, letting him stain parch white paper the deepest black that faded in irregular flecks to grey. And as for the illegal activity, he would use that angle if he needed to in the future.

He knew he would be walking around all day in the extreme heat so he ended up actually wearing a tank top. He didn't feel quite as exposed or vulnerable as he expected, but that was only because it had a high neckline and he was able to wear the large black cuffs around his wrists. He wore a beret partially to protect his head from the heat, but mostly because he was sick of his hair falling into his eyes so he tried to shove his bangs beneath the brim to hold them back. It was marginally successful, but strands kept slipping out. He ended up taking what he could get and ignoring it as best he could.

His first stop of the day was the bank; he had equal access to Jason's account and had been taking out just over the amount of money necessary each time he made a stop. That excess cash was hidden in secure places as the weeks passed, in areas that he had memorized but knew no one else would look. The Monterrey spring may have been making the tension slowly melt out of his shoulders but he was still aware enough of the future to plan for it. Even a best-case scenario after the convention included Sin and he being unable to access Jason's account for fear of it being watched and for that period that he expected to be a few weeks, they may not even have contact with each other. They would need to lie low, but it wasn't exactly easy to do so without any money. Yet he also knew that if either of them suddenly withdrew a large amount of money just before the convention, it would imply that they knew something bigger was happening, that they were planning for something more than just visiting a convention. And wouldn't that be the perfect way to compromise the mission or cast suspicion on themselves in the last few days after months of preparation? It was better to siphon off extra, small, amounts from the beginning; that would not draw any extra attention and there would always be a little extra somewhere in case Sin somehow managed to lock them out of the account again.

At the same time, he didn't want the money tucked around the apartment in case it was ever searched thoroughly; all it would take was even a single greedy but thorough burglar who had nothing to do with rebel groups or the American government, and all that preparation would be lost. So he utilized a number of places that varied in location enough that he was confident no amount of coincidence would ever allow for all the money to disappear. And if that ever did happen then it would be a good indication that something was very wrong and their covers could be compromised. At which point, withdrawing a lot of money at once could be a more acceptable, and less telltale, last resort.

Depositing the money in his third designated safe place took him relatively little time and he was able to concentrate on the rest of the day. A local art store provided him with all the supplies he needed, including a carrying bag. He spent the day wandering around the city, fascinated by the diversity of the people he saw and the number of languages he heard. Although almost all the signs were still in Spanish, there were sections of Monterrey that had signs in other languages as well. English, Mandarin, Russian, Hindi, Fijian... Sometimes he stopped, letting the rush of people pass him by like a river past a stone, and he just stared at a sign until he could decipher what it may mean. He carried his sketchbook by his stomach with loosely crossed arms and just closed his eyes, breathed, let the heat of the city seep deep into his skin and warm his bones.

Boyd did not think he had been this relaxed in... years, certainly, but possibly ever. There was no one there to judge him, no silence that overwhelmed his mind and brought him back to times he wished so desperately to forget. Even when he used to spend time with Lou he had not been relaxed as much as he was simply having fun. For the first time in a long time, Boyd felt like it was alright to just be himself and the anonymity in such a large city felt amazing after months of people watching his every move. Here, he was not his mother's son, here, he was not the monster's partner, here, he was not even Boyd Beaulieu. He was Kadin Reed, just another young man wandering the city in skinny jeans and floppy sandals, and no one looked at him twice. He was smiling to himself without particularly noticing it and the expression did not leave for most of the day.

Needing to become acquainted with the city, Boyd bought another map that was updated as much as possible to the reconstruction and he analyzed where they would need intel first. Then he chose to visit areas that were not important at all. It would have been strange if, being a total civilian, he ran around sketching particularly well-fortified areas within a few weeks of arriving in the city. Instead, he visited parks, walkways, tourist stops and ended up in Gran Plaza where he spent an hour sketching a statue of Neptune and his court at play in a pool of water.

Time passed and after awhile he decided to walk around more. He passed Calle Pancho Villa, which brought him to what had once been a warehouse district. Several of the buildings had been renovated to include new businesses; there was a florist, a bookshop, a few restaurants, and much more. He held his map in front of him and walked like a tourist completely content to wander and he kept up the act even when one of the restaurants he passed caught his attention. It was named Julieta's and looked very similar to the other restaurants nearby, but something about it was a little off. There didn't seem to be enough customers for that time of day, which could have just been an unfortunate circumstance for the business, but somehow didn't seem likely to him. He stopped a few buildings down across the street from the restaurant, then turned and looked down at his map then up and down the street carefully, as if trying to check his position.

In his glance past Julieta's he realized that part of it seemed that several of the customers there seemed a little too casual; as if they were making an attempt to blend in and would be doing a great job if he weren't used to looking for that sort of carefully planned behavior. He looked down at his map with a frown and pivoted, continuing on his way with distracted glances at the street signs he passed. He didn't look back at Julieta's and was positive that even someone looking for suspicious behavior would not have thought his brief presence to be noteworthy. He had been just one of at least a dozen tourists or new residents on the street doing exactly the same thing at the same time. He planned to leave the restaurant alone for a few days then maybe stop by casually again, possibly actually go in to eat, so he could get a better idea of what was happening. But in the meantime he had other things to do. He continued through the city at a slow pace, stopping here and there to sketch something that caught his attention and otherwise just enjoying the relaxing freedom of the day.

As the sun slowly faded behind the clouds, the heat remained. Lights flickered into life around him slowly, like fireflies waking from slumber. Dusk set in, that period of time when it was neither light nor dark, when the clouds were tinged quiet shades of red and the air seemed to hum enigmatically.

Boyd watched the crowds shift slowly, from tourists and businesspeople to groups of friends wandering around and couples going out to eat. He felt a touch of nostalgia at that without really knowing why and slipped his sketchbook into his messenger bag to slowly make his way home. He had barely walked two blocks before he recognized the name of the street he was passing. It took him a moment of wandering up and down it before he realized it was the street Sin's job was located on. He remembered the address from when Sin had told him before, although he'd not yet visited.

He had to walk a few blocks down before he saw Lunar already slowly pulling people in for the pre-party drinks. Boyd amused himself with watching the people who were gathering into a line out front. Boyd had learned since Sin started the job that it was a very exclusive club. He could certainly tell that it seemed to be the case; the line was growing larger by the minute but most of them were being turned away. A man stood at the door with an unimpressed expression and a list he checked each person's name and ID against.

The line itself was interestingly diverse and Boyd watched each person idly as he passed. There were plenty of women wearing clothing that would be better classified as handkerchiefs and lingerie, men who wore everything from tight pants that they could hardly move in to clothing that was as full of metal and chains as the local hardware store. Several people appeared to be going for the mysterious look, including a tall man in a large hat and sunglasses that concealed almost his entire face, another man who wore a trench coat with the collar pushed up so his lower face was hidden, and a woman who wore a scarf wound all the way over her hair, looping down to her mouth and below so only her eyes showed. Something about the way she looked made Boyd believe she was not wearing the scarf that way for religious reasons. And between those extremes there was everyone else, including people wearing rather conservative clothing and several others who seemed to be business men and women who were stopping by Lunar to wind down after a busy day. Several of the people looked back at him when they saw him studying them and a few idly tracked his movement as he wandered past, including a gaggle of girls, a man in particularly tight pants, the man in the sunglasses and a woman in a low-cut red dress.

Boyd turned his attention from the line to the door and was just wondering if he would even be able to send a message in for someone to get Sin when he saw him in the corner at the front of the building, staring with half-lidded eyes into space while he smoked. Boyd could not help a twitch of a smile at that and he sauntered closer, keeping all his mannerisms exactly like Kadin Reed's. Closer, he could see that Sin wore a sleeveless black shirt and a pair of black pants that appeared to be made of genuine leather and actually hung at a decent level on his hips. With the silver of his lip ring and earrings glinting in the lights flashing around him and his expression distant and pensive, Sin looked amazing. Boyd had to force himself to keep walking and not stop to gawk. Sometimes he could not believe how attractive Sin was; not only in a manner that made Boyd's blood run hot, but also just in an almost tragically mesmerizing way. He was like the model of a painting at that moment and Boyd felt his stomach tighten just a little as he realized he honestly thought he was beautiful.

Boyd strolled right up to Sin and grinned at him lopsidedly just as Kadin would. "Hey."

Sin stared at Boyd in surprise, the cigarette dangling between his lips and eyes slightly wide. "What are you doing here?" His mouth twitched into a smile around his cigarette and his eyes automatically slid up and down Boyd.

Shrugging languidly, Boyd slouched against the wall by him and stretched his arms in front of him until they popped. "I was wandering around and realized I was close. Thought I'd stop by." His dark blue gaze surveyed the area idly. "So this is Lunar, huh?"

Sin nodded, taking a long drag from his cigarette as he stared at Boyd intently. Despite the fact that the sun's rays didn't entirely reach the Earth, Boyd had still managed to get a slightly golden tan during the course of the day. Sin couldn't take his eyes off his partner's exposed skin; it was probably the most of Boyd's body that he'd ever seen before and he tracked every motion, enjoying the sight of those lean muscles flexing when Boyd stretched. It was incredibly distracting to see for the first time and Sin continued to stare, eyes momentarily flashing to a bit of black markings that he spotted on the back of one of Boyd's shoulders. He didn't know what it was and hadn't been aware that Kadin Reed had a tattoo but he decided he'd ask Boyd about it later.

"Yeah. It sucks."

Looking over at Sin, Boyd smirked. "What d'you do, anyway? Hang out front staring people down?" It was a little strange talking to Sin in the manner Reed did, since even on previous missions they tended to be themselves around each other, but Boyd was not going to mess this up since they would be there for months. And he certainly was not about to slip character so early in the mission.

Sin exhaled slowly, causing smoke to drift into Boyd's face, to which Boyd made a slight face. "I'm taking a smoke break." He pushed away from the wall and flicked his cigarette, eyes focused on Boyd as he smirked. "I can bring you in if you promise to be a good boy."

It was probably strange seeing Jason Alvarez interact with anyone and likely many of those people in the line had been to Lunar enough times to realize this was the case, which explained why he could feel people watching them. But Boyd didn't care. He was here as his roommate and he needed to establish some sense of relationship with him early on in the eyes of the club just so if he ever stopped by again they would recognize him. Besides, he couldn't deny that some part of him felt a little smug that he could walk past everyone, stop by the hottest guy there, and talk to him without being turned away.

Boyd shoved himself away from the wall and smirked in return. "Hey, c'mon," he drawled. "I'm always on my best behavior." He jerked his chin toward the door. "So hurry up, give me some show 'n' tell."

Sin grabbed Boyd's arm and yanked it abruptly, temporarily causing a startled Boyd to bump into his chest and their faces to be inches apart. He locked gazes with him for a moment before stepping away and tugging Boyd along behind him. He ignored the gazes of everyone standing in line, especially from the group of girls who constantly tried to get his attention, and walked up to Johnny, the doorman.

"Who's the kid?" Johnny asked, peering at Boyd with an arched eyebrow. "Finally decided you wanted some candy?"

Sin made a face at Johnny. "Put Kadin R. on the black list."

"Will do, Jase," Johnny replied, looking amused and more than a little impressed. It seemed like he wanted to give 'Jase' a high-five.

As they entered the club, Boyd felt a mixture of confusion, attraction, and amusement. Being so close to Sin was startling, his hand on his bare arm, his face so close. He was glad he hadn't had the chance to think about it too much before he was referred to as 'candy.' And hearing Sin's voice murmuring the name 'Kadin'...

He could not help a grin as he looked over at Sin. "What kinda candy am I, 'Jase'?" he asked teasingly.

"I don't know yet," Sin replied, not releasing Boyd's arm as he led him deep into the main floor and towards the spiral staircase. His booted feet pounded up the metal stairs as he automatically avoided the small crowds of people. It was still early by the clubs standards so it wasn't very full yet. It was the time when he usually didn't have to pay much attention; the rowdy drunks typically didn't come out until after ten.

He took Boyd to the second floor and over to the gallery; a small area to the side of the staircase which had a couple couches and the most amount of privacy. "I don't have to really be on point for a couple of hours," He said quietly, leaning against the railing.

Skin still tingling from Sin's touch, Boyd casually walked closer. He pulled the messenger bag off and dropped it nearby so it wasn't as awkward, then leaned his back against the railing next to him.

"So you're saying I have you all to myself?"

"You do," Sin replied in the same low voice. His eyes did not leave Boyd's face, even as he absently toyed with the radio that hung from one of his pockets. It caused his pants to dip down a bit on that side and expose the chunky, black sideways cross that was tattooed to that hip. "So... Kadin. Do you like the club?"

Boyd's gaze drifted down to his hip and he studied the cross before looking back up to study Sin's face. The atmosphere of the club was getting to him; muffled music that he couldn't hear the lyrics to but could still feel the beat resounding in his chest, the darkness accented by flashes of light, the susurration of many voices indistinctly heard at once. In his black clothes Sin was half lost in shadows but there was plenty of light to see his expression, the dark glint of his eyes, the flash of his lip ring as he spoke. Boyd felt drawn to him, unable to look away; with the barest of smirks, he pushed away from the railing and stood right in front of Sin, tugging him down by his shoulder just enough to whisper into his ear, "I like hearing you say that name more."

Sin's heartbeat began to quicken at the feel of Boyd's breath on his face and he sagged against the railing, pulling away just enough so that their faces were directly in front of each other. He knew that Boyd was just being in character, playing his role, but it was driving him crazy. He licked his lips nervously, concentrating on keeping his arms at his side and fighting the urge to put them on Boyd.

"Yeah? Why's that?"

Absently playing with the collar of Sin's sleeveless shirt, Boyd's eyes sparked a bit as he murmured too low for anyone but Sin to hear, "It's my middle name."

Sin's eyebrows shot up and he gripped the railing. "Are you serious?"

Boyd did not look away from Sin's eyes. "Yes," he said softly, drawing the word out slowly. "I nearly laughed before." He tilted his head just slightly, trying to get across without saying it aloud that he was referring to when they first got their assignments. He let his thumb brush the back of Sin's neck as he continued, watching Sin's lips, "There's a short story behind it but I won't get into it here."

Sin's lips parted slightly but no sound came out. He let go of the railing, placing a hand on one of Boyd's narrow hips. His fingers tightened slightly and he closed his eyes briefly, as he asked, "Does Kadin like men?"

The question made Boyd pull back just slightly. In truth, while he knew Kadin was bisexual he didn't know how much he was breaking character. He shouldn't be acting like this; Kadin was flirtatious from what he saw, but would he be in Sin's face in public? Would he be whispering in his ear? He just couldn't help it; seeing Sin in that outfit, watching him in a room full of people who weren't turning to stare in fear or disgust...

Opening his mouth to respond, Boyd didn't get to speak before loud static erupted from the radio at Sin's hip. They both looked down at it immediately as a woman's voice crackled, "Jason, what the fuck! There's a brawl on three, get over there!"

Boyd stepped back from him completely, looking to the side and feeling a little guilty for possibly jeopardizing Sin's cover. "You should probably get that," he said with a slight, unreadable smile.

Sin growled softly and snatched up the radio. "On it," he snapped, annoyance obvious in his voice.

He pushed himself away from the railing and stood up straight, staring down at Boyd. His face was unreadable for the moment despite the way his eyes seemed to burn in the dim light. "We'll talk later," he mumbled and stepped around Boyd, brushing against him as he headed to the staircase.

Watching Sin until he disappeared up the staircase, Boyd leaned against the railing and pensively turned his attention to the people he could see milling around the room below. He didn't quite know what he was doing, or even if he was glad or disappointed that they were interrupted. He stayed there for a few minutes before he pushed away from the rail, grabbed his bag off the ground, and strolled out of the club. Johnny gave him a knowing smirk as he walked past and Boyd just looked at him silently with an enigmatic smile pulling at one edge of his lips.

For the entire walk back to the studio, Boyd went over those few minutes in the club; every time Sin's eyes passed over him, the feel of his hand on his bare arm, on his hip, the heat of his body so near him. But then he thought about Sin's whisper, "Does Kadin like men?", and Boyd... just could not believe himself.

What the hell was his problem? He kept thinking he needed to give Sin a chance to be normal, he wanted him to be accepted by society, he wanted him to just be happy. But he showed up at his work and anyone who was watching very well could have thought Jason was gay. If that proved to be a problem in Sin's future interactions, it would be entirely Boyd's fault.

The worst part was that he completely had not intended that. He honestly meant to just go say hi, maybe walk around with him for a bit, act like a normal friend or just a roommate. But Sin touching his arm, Sin pulling him with and just being near him, by him, was enough to make the logic slip from Boyd's mind completely. He lost track of things like the mission, their cover, even the fact that Sin may not be interested. He became so self-involved, so obsessed with the idea of being around Sin, so taken by what he made him feel and the way his body responded, that he ended up being an idiot. The fact that he was acting like this showed how much constantly being alone with Sin and away from negative influence was affecting him. It showed what Sin could do to him.

Shaking his head to rid his mind of the thoughts as best he could, Boyd shoved their door open (they really needed to fix that) and dropped the bag onto the little coffee table nearby. Once the door was locked and he was able to pull out his drawing pad and a charcoal pencil, Boyd collapsed onto the couch and pensively drew for hours.

The rest of the night seemed to take an eternity to pass and Sin found himself being unnecessarily rough with the drunken patrons just because he desperately needed to take some of his frustration out on something. Cravings that had been stifled and snuffed out for years were boiling over inside of him and Boyd's strange behavior around him wasn't helping at all. It had to be his cover, it had to be him playing the part of Kadin Reed, it was the only thing that would explain it. It was the only thing that would make sense to him. Why else would Boyd touch him that way? Why else would he talk to him like that?

It was like Boyd didn't even realize that he was teasing him, it was like he was doing it without even knowing it; and despite the fact that Sin thoroughly enjoyed the brief touches, it frustrated him beyond belief and that frustration made him hostile, aggressive. He was thankful when his shift finally ended, thankful that he was no longer in danger of losing his temper completely and breaking someone's neck.

"Jase! Drinking tonight?"

Sin looked up at Estella and started to bark out an annoyed 'no' before he remembered Boyd's advice. He wasn't here to agonize over his pathetically adolescent hormones- he was here on assignment.

"I guess," he replied moodily and wandered over to where they were sitting in the break room.

"Yeah!" Estella cheered and poured him a shot of something golden. "Drink up, party boy!"

Sin sat down next to Johnny, who was apparently on break, and a couple other people. He didn't particularly want to talk to them, didn't want to be around them, but he ignored that and lingered there for over an hour. He answered their questions when they asked and tried to paste a neutral expression on his face so that he appeared somewhat welcoming. He didn't know if it worked, frankly didn't give a shit, and knocked back a few shots without even thinking about it.

By the time Johnny was going back to work and Estella was gathering her stuff to leave, Sin was regretting his decision to drink so much when he hadn't eaten all day. He reminded himself of the idiotic way he'd acted the first and last time he'd had anything to drink. "I'm going," He muttered and got to his feet, ignoring the way the world tilted strangely when he stood.

"Going to go have fun with that sweet little piece?" Johnny teased.

"Shut the fuck up," Sin muttered and headed for the door, ignoring Johnny's amused laugh.

He was confused enough about Boyd, he didn't need some random nobody making bullshit comments about it too. He took his radio off and started to drop it off with the others when it suddenly blared to life and Jess' voice demanded that he come to her office. Sin glared at the contraption and switched it off, feeling incredibly annoyed as he left the break room and walked down the hallway towards her office. He didn't know what she wanted from him and if it wasn't for the fact that he'd possibly jeopardize his job, he probably would have ignored her and went on his way. Since that wasn't the case, he stalked into her office with a thoroughly annoyed expression on his face.

She was sitting in the middle of her desk as usual, posing just enough to show maximum leg and cleavage but the expression on her face was strange. Although her wide blue eyes wandered up and down his body in the usual way they did, there was something about her posture that made her seem angry, defensive. Her slender arms were crossed over her chest, lips pursed slightly into a frown.

"Finally decided to stay and hang out?"

"Yeah, so?" Sin asked, voice anything but friendly. He didn't move closer to her and didn't say anything more. He narrowed his eyes slightly, wishing she'd get on with whatever the hell her point in calling him in here was even though he knew she probably didn't even have a real reason.

"So--" She hopped off the desk and crossed the distance between them. "So I was hoping you'd actually accept during a time when I would be involved." Her eyes narrowed slightly and it seemed as if she was almost accusing him of something but he had no idea what that was.

"Sorry," he said flatly, eyes burning into her impatiently, making it obvious that he was anything but genuine.

She looked away and took a long time to speak, as if she were fighting with herself on what she wanted to say.

"Jason." She trailed off and shook her head as she watched him, expression growing in hurt and frustration. "Don't you realize-- Don't you care how much it bothers me when you act like such a fucking ass?" She glared angrily, although it was unclear as to who exactly she was angry with at that moment: him for being so callous to her, or herself for actually caring.

"Why should I care about that?" he retorted, not changing his tone or expression. He knew he was probably being stupid- he was probably going to get himself fired- but the alcohol was making his tongue loose once again and he couldn't control it. And at that moment he was too annoyed, sexually frustrated and impatient to deal with her annoying and emotional rants.

Jess stared at him incredulously, the anger in her expression only heightened by the hurt.

"Because I like you, you fucking asshole!" she blurted, raising her hand suddenly to slap him in the face. Before it could connect with his cheek, he grabbed her arm violently, his furious, impatient glare merciless as his fingers dug into her skin.

She tried to yank her hand away but his grip was like a vice that she couldn't escape. She tried pulling harder but with her momentum and the fact that he didn't budge at all, she ended up rebounding against him. Her wide blue eyes stared into his angry brown ones with a sort of sick desperation and before he could back away, she was leaning forward and pressing her mouth against his.

Sin's eyes widened briefly and his automatic response was to shove her away from him, to get her out of his personal space, but something in him wouldn't let him do it. The part of him that was drunk, horny and out of control from weeks of frustration prompted him to stand completely still as her soft, red lips moved against his mouth. He could feel her heart pounding against his chest and when her trembling hands tangled in his hair and her tongue slid between his lips, something in him snapped and he began to respond to her heated kisses.

She moaned against his mouth loudly and clung to him, pinning her body against his as his strong hands slid down and wrapped around her. He kissed her frantically, not really knowing what he was doing and not really giving a damn as his body automatically responded to the way she writhed against him. He picked her up effortlessly and moved forward, dropping her roughly onto the desk as his hands slid up her back and clutched her with more force than was necessary. He ripped his mouth away from hers and kissed down her jaw, breathing hard as he lost himself in the moment.

"God yes," she whispered and tilted her head back, panting when his mouth fastened on her neck. She slid her legs open and wrapped them around his waist, pinning him against her.

Sin's mind was racing and he found that he couldn't really think straight, couldn't really process what was happening even as he slid his hands up her thighs and yanked her skirt up, hiking it around her waist and exposing a small, black g-string. He heard Jess' moans distantly, as if she wasn't right there in front of him, and covered her mouth with his once again when she began to beg him to fuck her. Her hands began to fumble with his belt, trying to get it open with shaking, excited hands as she panted against his mouth.

Somewhere in his drunken haze, he absently remembered the things his mother had told him long ago about what women liked and pulled the front of her shirt down with his free hand, closing it around one of her large breasts, rubbing his thumb against one of her hard nipples. She arched into his touch, hands trembling even more as she tugged his pants open and hurriedly tried to shove them down.

Abruptly, the mental image of him pinning Boyd against the wall of a hotel room in France popped into his head. The memory of Boyd's tongue in his mouth, his slender body crushed against Sin's chest, Boyd's rock hard erection pressing against his crotch- it caused something in him to twist and suddenly Jess' kisses lost their heat.

His hand dropped from her breast and he stilled against her, even as she insistently ground against his crotch. He tried to get back into it- to tell himself that she wanted him and that he could finally do the things he'd been obsessed with for weeks- but he couldn't. He didn't want to do them with her, and the memory of Boyd's passionate kisses had been like a bucket of cold water on his erection. How could he touch Jess' breasts when all he could think about was Boyd's dick?

"What's wrong?" Jess panted, staring at him with wide, confused eyes.

Sin pulled back, hands sliding off of her thighs slowly as he blinked and regained his bearings. His face returned to the blank, unreadable expression that he always used on her and her face crumpled miserably when she saw it.

"Don't fucking do this to me," she pleaded. "You-- you were into it."

Sin began buckling his belt, backing away from her slowly until he was at the original distance. "Sorry," he muttered, feeling confused, off balance and mortified. "Sorry, Jessica."

He was surprised that he actually meant it; he knew what it felt like to have somebody you wanted lead you on and then push you away.

She stared at him incredulously and slid off the desk, turning away briefly as she fixed her clothes. She was silent for a long moment as she caught her breath. "You and that boy are together," she said flatly.

Sin blinked in surprise, staring at her back. "What?"

She turned around, crossing her arms over her chest and not looking as angry as she had a moment ago. Her expression was strange and seemed to be full of too many different emotions to choose from. "That red head with the beret-- I saw the two of you on camera. You-- you were so. It was so obvious that you wanted each other. But..." She trailed off and shook her head. "But I just wanted to be sure before I gave up."

Sin stared at her blankly. "Wanted to be sure of what?" He asked cluelessly.

"That you're gay," she snapped at him, temper flaring. "You could have told me before you--"

She stopped abruptly and stared at him for a long moment before she shook her head with a groan. "Oh great, did I make you feel that pressured? Now it's going to be some sexual harassment thing?"

Sin opened his mouth to tell her she was wrong but closed it quickly. Why bother trying to be honest when she was providing him with a convenient lie?

"It's okay." He studied the carpet for a moment and tried to figure out if he was supposed to say something else.

Jess stared at him, her wide mouth turned down into a scowl. She began fixing her clothing stiffly, eyes slanting away. "Well, I didn't want it to seem that way. I wasn't going to like, try to hold anything over your head. You're good at your job, no one can deny that."

Sin stared at the carpet, completely mystified. What was wrong with this woman? "I never said anything like that. I don't really know what you're talking about."

She sighed loudly and finally went around the other side of the desk, sitting down. "Just never mind, Jase. I'm an idiot. I don't even know what I'm talking about. Just... go. I need to stop being mortified and it's hard with you standing there."

Sin scratched the back of his head and squinted at her. "Uh. Okay."

He backed towards the door and turned around. She bid him a final, depressed sounding goodbye and he escaped into the hallway safely. He walked quickly down the hallway and out of the employee area, disappearing out of the club before anyone had a chance to ask him any questions.

When he stepped outside there was a surprisingly pleasant breeze and it helped to clear his mind somewhat of the drunken haze that his mind was still slightly shrouded in. He raked a hand through his hair and headed towards the studio, trying to figure out what the hell had just happened and failing miserably. He'd had the perfect opportunity-- he'd had someone who wanted him, who was willing, who had no idea what his past was and who did not fear him or think he would rape her, and he'd denied her. What the hell was his problem? Was he actually gay?

The question nagged him the entire walk home.

When Sin got to the obnoxious, broken door he pushed it open impatiently and entered the apartment with an annoyed scowl plastered on his face. He kicked the door shut behind him and stared down at Boyd who was stretched out on the sofa, drawing and looking incredibly peaceful.


Boyd blinked slowly and yawned, bringing a languid hand up to cover his mouth as he did so. "Hey," he said, sounding a little sleepy and questioning. Noting how annoyed Sin looked, he tilted his head and closed his sketchbook. "What's wrong?"

"I'm an idiot," Sin replied stonily and locked the door before he began ripping his clothes off angrily. "And I drank too much."

Boyd's eyebrows shot up, not able to help feeling surprised.

"Why, what happened?"

"Stupidity happened," Sin growled as he kicked off his boots and tossed his shirt onto the floor. "I knew that woman would get to me at some point."

There was a pause and then Boyd's eyes narrowed slightly as understanding dawned on him. "You... Wait, what? You and... Jessica...?"

"Me and Jessica," Sin repeated, sounding disgusted. He wandered into the bathroom without saying anything else and came out a moment later without the contacts in. His green eyes were flashing angrily and he yanked a crumpled pack of cigarettes out of his pocket, lighting one and taking a long drag.

"It doesn't matter. I fucked it up anyway."

Boyd was practically reeling from Sin's admission and he tried to ignore how the idea of Sin with this Jessica woman made him feel jealous, upset, and stupid. Just a few hours ago he had been hanging on Sin and Sin did nothing with him. Instead, he went to this woman. Was Boyd that unimpressive, or was Sin just mad that his male partner was all over him when he possibly wasn't even gay? He was definitely glaring at Boyd, but it just seemed to be because he was angry in general.

"I don't.. understand..."

Sin shook his head and exhaled slowly, staring down at Boyd through partially closed eyelids. "She wanted me. She was touching me, kissing me, begging me to fuck her--" The words came out almost mockingly, but it seemed that he was mocking himself. "And for a minute I wanted to, I wanted to rip her clothes off and fuck her on her desk," He continued, once again allowing the alcohol to take control of his mouth. "But I didn't."

Watching him with wide eyes, Boyd tried to ignore the fact that he didn't like the idea of Sin wanting someone that much when the someone wasn't him. Could he blame him? Sin had come after him before and Boyd had shoved him away. He knew Sin didn't mind his presence, he knew they were getting along so well; but that didn't mean Sin wanted him. It didn't mean that Sin would ever choose Boyd again now that he had options.

"Why?" Boyd asked hesitantly after a surprised pause.

Sin's shoulders sagged and he shook his head, raking a hand through his hair in frustration. "I just... I don't know. I just didn't want to anymore."

Sin looked at Boyd for a moment and then padded over to the kitchen on his bare feet, yanking open the fridge and pulling out a bottle of water. "Just forget it. It's stupid. You're probably tired anyway... Just go to sleep."

"I'm not..." Boyd began, but watching Sin only made him think too much, no matter what he was doing. Boyd was such an idiot. Why the hell was he like this, why did he always have to complicate matters? Why would Sin stop when there was a beautiful woman willing, when he had even admitted that he wanted her? Maybe... If it was a replay of that first time, maybe Sin was paranoid that he would hurt her. Maybe he wanted to go slower with her... Maybe he'd learned his lesson with Boyd. Maybe Boyd had just been a mistake and now he would become the experiment that helped Sin know what to do better with others.

That thought actually bothered him enough that he could not finish his sentence and he looked down at his lap, automatically reverting to the neutral expression he'd spent years creating. After a moment, Boyd nodded and dropped his sketchbook onto the table.

"Yes, I suppose you're right," he said calmly, walking over to his bed where he grabbed pajamas from his duffel bag and disappeared into the bathroom to change. He ended up choosing a long-sleeved shirt and pajama pants, even though he knew he would be incredibly hot. With all the other confusing thoughts in his mind, now he felt bothered by the idea that he'd been walking around with his arms showing all day, even if it shouldn't be a big deal. But his whole upper body was something that could make him feel vulnerable faster than anything else when it was shown.

When he came back into the main room, he didn't feel like putting his clothes away so he just tossed them out of the way of his bed, where they fell near the couch. He whispered only a soft,

"Good night," before he pulled the sheets up, and, curling on his side facing the main room, closed his eyes.

He was too edgy to sleep properly though and more than once he found himself watching through his eyelashes as Sin paced the living room in his boxers, chain smoking. He sat down a few times, looking frustrated and confused, and kept looking over at Boyd, who made sure to look like he was sleeping.

Sin put out his last cigarette and covered his face with his hands briefly, sighing softly. He sat that way for a moment, hunching forward on the couch until he sat up again and sent another distracted look at Boyd. But just as soon as his eyes rested on his partner, Sin looked away again, eyebrows drawing together in that same confused look.

He stood up and began to pace again, cracking his knuckles and sucking on his lip ring in agitation. It went on that way for several moments before his pale green eyes fell on the pile of Boyd's clothing he had carelessly tossed aside. Sin stopped pacing and gazed down at them for a moment before he slowly walked over and picked up Boyd's tank top. He looked at it for a moment and at first it seemed that he would toss it back down but instead he sat down on the couch again and rubbed his thumb absently against the fabric. He looked indecisive, baffled, and then after shooting another glance in Boyd's direction, he brought the shirt up to his face and inhaled, closing his eyes.

Sin stayed that way for a long moment and a loud, ragged sigh escaped his mouth. One of his hands found its way up to his lap and began rubbing his crotch absently as he kept his face buried in the shirt.

Boyd's eyes almost widened but he stopped himself. He couldn't quite believe that he was seeing what he thought he was. He forced himself to remain perfectly normal, with consistent breathing as if asleep, but his gaze was riveted from beneath his eyelashes.

A soft sound escaped Sin's mouth and he slumped down on the sofa, letting his long legs spread apart as he rubbed himself a little faster. He pulled the cloth away from his face and allowed his head to roll in Boyd's direction. Heavy lidded green eyes were staring at Boyd intently as Sin pulled his erection out of the slit in his boxers. The moonlight that streamed through the windows illuminated him perfectly and Sin was obviously extremely turned on. His hand began moving up and down quickly, full lips parting as he stared at Boyd.

He slumped down lower on the couch, one hand still clutching Boyd's shirt as his fist began to pump his cock faster. His eyes rolled back in his head and he began to pant, jerking off frantically, not caring that he was in plain sight of what he thought was his sleeping partner.

Sin breathed noisily as he touched himself, chest rising and falling erratically as his hand slid up and down his erection. It seemed to go on like that for several moments and then his breathing increased and he began arching up, thrusting his hips against his hand, low moans escaping his mouth as he lost himself in some fantasy.

He continued to clutch the shirt even as the soft sounds rose slightly in pitch, the muscles in his body flexing and straining. He was getting louder and breathing harder, when suddenly a strangled cry escaped his lips and he came hard, streams of semen shooting up all over his chest. He muttered Boyd's name softly as he sagged against the sofa in apparent exhaustion.

It took absolutely every bit of control Boyd had to continue to breathe evenly and not react at all. He stared through his eyelashes at Sin, stunned and aroused. There was absolutely no mistaking what had just happened and his mind reeled.

He couldn't believe that Sin actually just masturbated in front of him, clutching his tank top and murmuring his name. The very same doubts he'd had within the same day were now debunked. Boyd couldn't believe that Sin chose him over a beautiful woman. He chose to stop when he was with someone who was begging for it, and instead he came back to Boyd, who had certainly been flirting with him but who had yet to say anything as blunt as, "Fuck me, Sin, I need you now."

This changed everything. Boyd had been leery of inadvertently scaring Sin away or limiting his choices by showing interest in him.

But after this... He should have felt bad for seeing Sin jerk off when he thought no one saw, but he figured it was Sin's fault. He shouldn't have been right in view of Boyd, even if he thought he was asleep, and he certainly shouldn't look so fucking hot while he did it. The main problem was now Boyd was painfully hard and he had no way of dealing with it without letting Sin know he was awake. The only saving grace he had right then was that he'd happened to lie down in the best way to hide an erection.

Sin shifted on the couch, looking exhausted but content. He grabbed Boyd's tank top and absently cleaned himself up with it before he froze and stared at the shirt. His expression clearly said, 'Fuck. I'm an idiot.' He stood, threw the dirty tank top in the laundry hamper Boyd had recently bought, and wandered by Boyd's bed, glancing at him along the way.

Boyd continued to act as if he were asleep and perfectly unaware of anything that had just transpired. It was that much more difficult when he could smell the musk and damp sweat from Sin's body as he passed by to get to his bed. The slight creaking of the bed springs as Sin dropped down to sleep was creating far too vivid of images in Boyd's mind that had nothing to do with sleeping and a lot more to do with Sin, naked and making those sounds again only this time against Boyd's skin.

Thankfully, his back was to Sin's bed so he could squeeze his eyes shut finally even if he didn't dare disrupt his steady breathing. He waited a long time until he was certain that Sin had actually fallen into an exhausted sleep, his body spent from the alcohol and orgasm.

Gritting his teeth, Boyd stood and made his way to the bathroom. He dropped his head back against the wall and masturbated to the memory of Sin touching himself.

His mouth fell open even as he forced himself to make no noise louder than a ragged exhale of breath. His hand was quick and rough against his erection, but he closed his eyes and imagined it was Sin's hand. He thought of his light green eyes staring at him so intently. Imagined that sexy little smirk and the timbre of his voice when he said his name. Sin's strangled cry echoed in his mind and Boyd thought almost obsessively about the shape of his body, the feel of those hard muscles beneath his hands and what it would be like to touch him all over without having to pretend it was casual.

Sin's cock was large enough on its own but it only seemed emphasized by the memory of his erection cast in contours of moonlight and shadow. What would his cock feel like rubbing against Boyd, bare bodies sliding with sweat, Sin's voice low and a puff of hot breath as he whispered in his ear, "I want to fuck you-"

Boyd had to actually bite his shirt to keep silent at that thought and he came so hard that he couldn't think clearly. There was a long, pleasure-filled moment when Sin could have burst into the room and Boyd would have been too caught up in his orgasm to notice or care. But he remained as alone as he had been and there was no sound from the other side of the door indicating that Sin knew he was awake.

He sagged against the bathroom floor, feeling exhausted. It didn't help that he stayed up far later than he should have, or that the last half of the day was a bit of an emotional roller coaster.

The irony did not escape him that they'd masturbated thinking of each other, despite being in the same apartment. They could just fuck for God's sake and use each other's bodies rather than their own hands.

It took him awhile to summon the energy to clean up and then he realized to a bit of dark irony that he dirtied his shirt as well, just as Sin had earlier. Apparently it was the night of getting semen all over Boyd's clothing. Luckily, he had an identical shirt in the bathroom to change into so hopefully Sin would not notice.

Silently padding back into the room, Boyd walked around the Japanese folding screens and tossed his shirt into the laundry carelessly. He paused at the edge of Sin's bed, watching him for a long time before he finally crawled into his own bed.

He remained watching Sin from beneath his eyelashes, listening to his steady breathing and watching the rise and fall of his chest. He studied the way his lips were parted and his eyes moved every now and then as if he was having a particularly vivid dream. The room was stifling even with the air conditioner running, making it difficult for Boyd to feel comfortable enough to relax for sleep.

But exhaustion pulled at him and, slowly, watching Sin until his gaze blurred into undefined shadows, he fell asleep.

Continue to Chapter 31