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-Three

Warm wind blew Boyd's hair into his face. His eyes were narrowed and focused entirely on the building across the alley-like street.

The warehouse was just one of many in that area. Several had been renovated and reused for housing, stores, even a church a block away. They were unkempt, different heights and sizes, and used for different purposes. They crowded against each other like dirty children vying for the same toy.

The only thing they had in common was the graffiti covering their walls and their proximity to Dr. Ignacio Morones Prieto, a highway that ran the length of Monterrey and gave access to other main roads, including Av. Constitución on the other side of a Río Santa Catarina.

The buildings in this section of Monterrey were being used for such a motley collection of reasons that it didn't bring suspicion to the fact that this particular building had lights on late into the night even though the restaurant it housed had closed hours ago.

After weeks of surveying the place at various hours of the day and night under various pretenses, Boyd had determined the activity to be not only unusual but also very likely a smuggling group. As for what they were smuggling, he wasn't certain yet but if it was weapons then these could be people who were linked directly to Janus. If that were the case, then all the information he could gather on them could be well-utilized once they returned to the Agency.

This city was going to be Janus' temporary home base in just a few months and with the amount of traffic Boyd had observed going in and out of this building, it was very possible these people would be major suppliers. If he could neutralize them or at the very least get some solid information on the smugglers then it would be easier to track and destroy them later.

Boyd would not have necessarily thought they were related to Janus if it weren't for how good they were at what they did.

Even though he noticed the activity, he doubted it would have drawn many others' attention. The men who frequented the building often wore what appeared to be uniforms and they used the back entrance which led into a dark, truncated street where trucks drove past all hours of the night with supplies for the various restaurants. One side of the warehouse was protected by a large fence but on the other side the cinder blocks had broken apart and in their place they had just piled a lot of garbage and boxes.

The space in the rear did not have good visibility into the windows and the surrounding rooftops had an even worse view.

There were, however, other options Boyd had noticed.

He could go straight into the building itself during the day when the restaurant was open and slip up to the roof where there was a small, open window that let him see inside. However, the roof was unsecured and there was nothing to hide behind if someone appeared. Another alternative was to simply watch from the back street itself which gave him a great view of the activity at the back of the warehouse even if he couldn't actually see inside.

He mostly followed this plan and observed the men loading the trucks. They were usually carrying large crates and it often took them a while to get the property into the vehicles before they could close the doors. Boyd had been considering how best to get an inside look at the crates themselves; all he had so far been able to gather was that they, and the truck itself, were all stamped with a stylized version of '4FF.' He had no idea what the phrase meant but he assumed it had something to do with the actual name of their smuggling operation. He had noticed what may be a stylized version of that hidden in some graffiti around the area.

Eventually he decided that he had a few choices. He could wait for the off-chance that magically one day someone would drop a crate and the contents would spill out (which would be disastrous if they contained sensitive materials like bombs), he could crawl into one of the trucks when no one was looking then open and examine the insides of the crates and somehow get off before they stopped or anyone noticed him, or he could hope one of the crates would be stacked near him and left unattended long enough for him to investigate.

Overall, it was not a particularly easy situation. The men seemed to be unusually aware of their surroundings. No one had come close to noticing Boyd yet, but he wasn't about to let his guard down. And he couldn't just go sauntering in there with a stolen uniform like he usually would because they were all locals; even if somehow Boyd managed to not stick out, he still didn't know enough Spanish with the proper accent to pass off as being a native.

This had led to several nights of stakeout, which was good and bad. It gave him something to focus on other than getting to know the city better, but it also was a tiring, boring job, and he found himself wishing several times he didn't have to be doing this alone.

While there had been a time in his career as an agent that he would have preferred Sin not be there because he couldn't trust him not to blow their cover, now he would have liked to just have someone to talk to when they were watching from far enough away that no one would overhear a whispered conversation. Besides that, he wondered if Sin would be noticing anything he was missing, and it was possible that Sin could blend in well enough to walk right in with them. Even with Sin's reluctance to go undercover there was still a situation in which he would probably be better at quietly infiltrating than his younger partner.

Boyd shifted just barely; enough to lessen the cramping in one leg while also taking him deeper into the shadows. The particular dead end half-alley he was currently holed up in usually provided the best view of the doors but sometimes trucks parked in different places and blocked large portions of his line of sight.

He was lucky so far that night, not that it mattered. He was no closer to confirming what was inside those damn crates than he was the first day he'd discovered the place. After considering all the situations, he was pretty certain that if he didn't find anything by the following week he would just hop a ride on one of the trucks and hope it didn't get him killed.

So much time spent staring at the same scene was almost like meditating; he was lulled into boredom with nothing to catch his attention. He was still extremely aware of the environment - he'd be an idiot not to be - but it was hard not to let his mind to drift from one subject to another. Sometimes he thought about the layout of the city but since he spent the majority of his days doing that it wasn't a very interesting option. Other than that, drawing, and dealing with the heat, the only other thing that occupied his time in Monterrey was his partner.

The wind blew his hair into his eyes again, interrupting his thoughts and though Boyd's mouth thinned in mild irritation, he didn't shift. He was trying to stay as perfectly still as he could just in case anyone was watching. No one had so much as glanced in his direction yet, nor had they on any of the nights he had watched, but he was not about to compromise himself through stupidity.

One of the men came out of the building with an especially large crate that he fumbled with. Boyd's gaze snapped to him immediately, his eyes narrowing as he scrutinized the man's movements. The worker stumbled a little and the others seemed to be ignoring him. One edge of the box tipped down but before it could hit the ground, someone else appeared at his side and steadied it. The tension that had started to build in Boyd released slowly.

Disappointed, he settled further into the shadows to wait.

A knife blade suddenly pressed against Boyd's throat.

"Hola, chico," a low male voice whispered into his ear.

Boyd's froze in surprise, his heartbeat leaping while his mind raced. How the hell-- Despite letting his thoughts wander, he was positive he'd been paying enough attention that he was aware of everyone in his vicinity. The fact that someone was able to come up right behind him with a weapon was as astounding as it was disturbing.

He stayed perfectly still and silent, not knowing what could potentially set the person off.

The sharp edge of the knife was steady at his throat and the man pressed against his back close enough that he could feel his muscles through his clothing. Lips moved against Boyd's ear as his attacker said rapidly in Spanish, "¿Qué coño haces aquí, chiquito lindo?"; idly dragging the knife back and forth as he spoke.

Trying to ignore his thundering heart, Boyd figured it was better to act stupid than miss something important with mistranslation. "No hablo español," he said softly so as not to disturb the blade.

His gaze darted around quickly, searching for possible back-up the man may have but he didn't see any. When he'd chosen that spot, he'd already figured out where all potential exits and weapons or distractions were but nothing was close enough; first he'd have to get away from the knife.

There was a soft snort against his ear and Boyd could feel the blade digging harder into his skin. "I said what the fuck are you doing here, pretty little boy," the man drawled in his ear.

Boyd automatically assessed the situation. The man was about Boyd's height; his hands were strong and he held his blade skillfully, making it impossible for Boyd to move even slightly without cutting himself. When Boyd shifted his weight he could feel the man account for it in his stance.

It was obvious that this wasn't an amateur.

Because of that, it was especially important that Boyd act like Kadin would. Even if Kadin's brash demeanor could get him in trouble, better that than endangering his cover and by extension Sin's and the mission.

"Sight-seeing," he quipped.

"You've been casing this place for days pendejito," the voice said, a hint of amusement in it. His breath was warm as it puffed against Boyd's ear, stirring his hair. "Haven't you seen all the sights yet?"

"Guess not," he said glibly. "Don't think I ever saw you."

The man made a noise against his ear and wrapped an arm around Boyd's chest from behind, trapping his arms and pulling him closer to his chest. Boyd could feel the man's muscles shift as he stepped back, tugging him further from the main road. Boyd tried to look down as best he could from the angle his head was tipped at but he could see nothing identifying on the man's arm. He wore black gloves and long-sleeved black clothing; nothing stood out.

Boyd let himself be drawn further into the shadows. Even though it was potentially more dangerous back there, the fact that the man seemed content to just talk at the moment meant compliance was the better option. Besides, it gave more time for the man to let his guard down and for Boyd to escape.

"I know that," the man said. "Not here anyway. I got the feeling you noticed me when I was tailing you though."

Boyd barely stopped himself from looking over his shoulder. He thought back quickly; he didn't remember being tailed prior to finding Julieta's so this man must somehow be connected. He could even be the leader of the group, which likely meant the man had been watching for people who noticed them.

Either way, Boyd took this as confirmation that whatever they were smuggling it was highly contraband, and was most likely weapons based on his observations and gut instinct.

"How sweet, even with your night job you followed me around during the day. Do you like me that much?" Boyd felt the man's arm tighten to hold him more securely but he didn't speak as he led him further into the dark.

The shadows fell around them more completely, the tall buildings cutting off the ambient light and streetlights. Sounds were conversely muffled and more prominent; the men talking at the warehouse became a distant susurration, the occasional loud laughter from the street in front of the building sounding far away and unattainable. Yet every time Boyd's sandals scraped the ground it seemed impossibly loud. He was entirely too aware of the warm breath at his ear, the strength of the arm holding him tightly, and the edge of the blade held steadily at his throat.

When they were near the dead end where the shadows seemed like a second night, the man turned Boyd. Faster than he could react, he was shoved roughly until he was trapped between the wall and the man's chest, while a knee was used to spread his legs. The position gave him even less of a solid stance and he had no way of successfully getting away. The stucco scraped against Boyd's cheek as the man kept the knife trained at his jugular.

Between one breath and the next, Boyd felt another arm snake around his lower body and suddenly the sharp tip of a second knife was pressing against his groin. Boyd froze completely as he felt his heartbeat thunder. The proximity of knives to his bare skin was alarming.

The dirty stucco pressed uncomfortably against him, the inconsistencies in the building material making some parts feel like little daggers stabbing into him. Adrenaline rushed through Boyd's but he had nothing to expend it on; he kept himself still and instead concentrated on getting a handle on the situation.

"Do something stupid and you become a eunuch," came the murmured threat. "And I doubt your lover would be thrilled with that."

Despite the man's taunts and the almost casual, amused tone he used, there was an undercurrent of danger in his voice. Boyd knew there was no question that the man would actually follow through with his threat.

He concentrated on breathing evenly and trying to slow his automatically racing heart as he tried to analyze the comment. It made him wonder exactly how much the man knew. He could have seen Sin and him when they were wandering the city. How they acted together at Lunar could have given anyone that idea about them.

But if this person had been following him more than the few times that Boyd had actually noticed then it was possible that he also knew where they lived, had maybe even looked through the studio while they were gone. He was certain there wasn't anything at their place that could blow their cover that wasn't properly hidden but once again, he wasn't sure if this man would be easily fooled.

"What do you want?" Boyd asked finally, dismissing all the sarcastic remarks that came to mind.

Another burst of breath near his ear as if the man couldn't help laughing at the situation. "You didn't catch me peeping into your house, pendejito," he drawled, gently prodding Boyd's testicles with the tip of the knife. "What do you want?"

Holding himself as still as possible to avoid the knives, Boyd knew Kadin well enough to say sarcastically, "World peace?"

"You have some cojones, chico." Boyd could actually hear the smirk in the man's tone. "But keep fucking around and you won't have any left." The knife pressed harder against Boyd's crotch as if to emphasize the point. "Are you alone?"

"Yes," Boyd said, knowing at this point it was in his best interest to comply.

"Ah, I see," came the low drawl. He didn't know if the man sounded disappointed or pleased by that knowledge. "Where's your boyfriend?"

"He's not my boyfriend. But I don't know; somewhere else. I don't keep track."

"Interesting." The man drew out the word. "You seemed like a couple of maricones to me."

"I dunno what that means so I can't say," Boyd replied unconcernedly.

Another snort of amusement and then the man seemed to get serious, as if suddenly remembering that he was supposed to be interrogating Boyd and not making idle chitchat. "Why are you hanging around here?"

Boyd could have answered any number of ways but he opted for being disarmingly honest. "I wanna know what's in the crates. Mind telling me?"

"Why are you interested in what's in the crates?" came the fast retort. "What business does a seemingly unemployed artist have looking into my warehouse?"

"Well, first I was just checking Monterrey out," Boyd answered idly, using one of the cover stories he'd concocted long before. Sarcasm didn't help so far so he went with the story that was just dumb enough to be true. As he'd learned at the Agency, sometimes fact was stupider or stranger than fiction.

Boyd tilted his head slightly. "You know, drawing the interesting places and scenery, trying to get a legit job which is hard as fuck around here, and the restaurant was nice so I hung around a few times. Then I noticed the crates and I wondered what was inside, just 'cause everyone was all hush-hush about it, moving it at night and acting all weird, and I thought, hey, who'd give a shit if it was a bunch of ingredients or some such, right? You know," Boyd added as a casual aside, "I heard there's a pretty good racket in Monterrey for stolen and counterfeit art. A person can make a lot of money selling that shit, like if they had some source of it and they put it in a gallery and said it was real... There's a building four blocks over, great lighting, the landlord's ready to sell cheap 'cause her son just died and-- Well."

He shrugged idly with the shoulder the man's head was not hovering over. "When I noticed the crates were the same size and, far as I could tell, weight as those sorta boxes I've just happened to see in passing, I was curious what was up."

There was a long, almost incredulous silence. Finally the man released him, spinning him around and shoving him violently against the wall in one quick movement. Although they were technically face to face the man was silhouetted by the faint light from the opening of the alley, his features cast entirely in shadow. He seemed to be wearing a hood so Boyd couldn't tell what hair length he had or even the color of his skin.

"There's bread in the boxes," the man informed him in a tone that made it obvious that he was lying. "And I'm the baker. I get very touchy--" The blade rose to Boyd's throat again. "--When people touch my bread."

There was a hint of movement in the shadows and Boyd could barely make out the man tilting his head to the side, obviously staring at him intently. "So don't be a constipator. Don't fuck with my shit and I won't be an unhappy baker."

"Alright, alright," Boyd said, lifting his hands harmlessly in front of himself. He widened his eyes slightly to give an aura of innocence mixed with feeling shaken. "I won't touch your bread, dude, sorry. It's just... I mean, I don't got a job, so I just thought I could, you know. Help. That's all."

"Uh huh." The voice didn't sound convinced but there was once again a hint of amusement. "If I catch you sneaking around here again I really will cut your prick off. Got it, cabrón?"

"Yeah," Boyd said, then paused and eyed him. "Does that mean I can't go to the restaurant either? They got good food..."

There was another snort and then suddenly he was being wrenched away from the wall and shoved unceremoniously down the street. "Enough. No me chingues."

Boyd stumbled but caught his balance and turned. He tried to get a better look, but the shadows were too deep. Something glinted as the man shifted his weight, but Boyd couldn't tell what it was other than some sort of necklace. He didn't know what 'no me chingues' meant, but he was going to assume for the moment that it meant not to follow or bother him.

"Who are you, anyway?" he asked, honestly curious.

There was a brief silence. "Lo más chingón," came the drawled reply.

"The-- what?" Boyd asked, but a loud crash behind him caught his attention. He looked over his shoulder and saw one of the men stumbling against the building. The crate he had been holding tipped and hit another; both looked ready to topple and spill their contents. Before anything could happen, men swarmed over to steady the crates and rapidly yelled something to the worker in Spanish. It was too far away and quick for Boyd to catch anything other than them telling the man to be more careful and wondering why everyone was so incompetent tonight.

When he turned back to look at the man again, he was gone.

Boyd blinked in surprise and stared at the shadows. It was a dead end with the only exit past him. The walls of the surrounding buildings weny straight up with no way to climb them.

Where the hell did the man go? Boyd hadn't heard even a whisper of movement.

Boyd shook his head and muttered in Kadin's drawl, "The fuck is he, the Mexican Batman?"

He didn't stay long enough to see if anyone else would arrive to threaten his genitals and inquire about his day. Even if he didn't think the man was following him, he still wasn't going to be stupid. As a precaution, he wound through Monterrey on his way home, blending in at one point with a group stumbling through the streets to their next party.

By the time he returned to the studio the adrenaline had bled out of him, leaving him tired from the day. At first he thought the studio was empty but as he quietly closed the door he heard paper rustling.

He paused and silently followed the source of the noise. Sin was seated in a sprawl on the floor on the other side of the love-seat as he flipped through a dark-covered book. It took Boyd a second to recognize it as his filled sketchbook.

The tension left his shoulders. "You must have been very bored to pull that out."

Sin glanced up at Boyd through his bangs and raised an eyebrow. "You are a talented artist."

Boyd eyed Sin briefly, not certain initially if Sin was being serious or this was somehow leading to an insult. There was nothing in Sin's expression to imply anything of the sort. Boyd hesitated and then kicked off his sandals and walked over to Sin. The fuzzy rug was enjoyably soft beneath his bare feet. He narrowly avoided a bag of chips Sin had resting next to him and crouched down.

"Thank you," he said slowly, then furrowed his eyebrows. "Although, honestly-- were you that bored? That sketchbook has been lying there for weeks and I don't think you picked it up before."

Sin shrugged. "Yes and no." He turned the sketchbook over and pointed at a charcoal sketch of himself, smoking a cigarette and standing in front of Lunar. "You drew many pictures of me. Why is that?"

Shrugging, Boyd dropped to the floor and let his legs splay in front of him. "You were captivating that night," he said simply. "Other times I was bored or you caught my attention." He tilted his head and studied Sin's face, viewing him the way an artist scrutinized a subject. "Your features are intriguing and I suppose I like to look at you, so it only seems natural to record it."

Sin raised a skeptical eyebrow. "If you say so." He looked down at the picture again.

"I do say so," Boyd said matter-of-factly. He leaned back, digging his fingers idly into the fuzzy rug while he watched Sin thoughtfully. "What does 'meri'-- no, that's not it. 'Maricones' mean?"

Sin stared at him blankly for a long moment, mouth twitching although it wasn't obvious if it was from amusement or annoyance. "Someone called you a faggot?"

"Ah, is that what that was?" Boyd mused, more thoughtful than upset. "What about cabrón and pendejito?"

"Asshole and little asshole," Sin replied, giving Boyd a strange look. "Where the hell are you getting this from?"

"A man I met," Boyd said dismissively, wanting to get all the translations before he continued. "What about 'no me chingues'?"

"It means don't fuck with me," Sin replied, looking as though he were getting irritated by the lack of a decent answer. "Which man?"

"One more, but it's related. What is Lo más chingón?" He looked at Sin questioningly.

For a long moment Sin didn't answer. His eyes narrowed, mouth thinning into a line as he stared at his partner. The expression was not unfamiliar to Boyd; it was the one Sin typically gave Boyd when something occurred that displeased him. The sketchbook sat forgotten on his lap as he considered Boyd but after awhile the moment passed and Sin shook his head, raking a hand through his hair.

"It means bad ass motherfucker," he replied. "Now, who the hell is this guy you were talking to?"

"I'm not certain who he was but he called himself that. He caught me at the warehouse." Boyd quirked one eyebrow, continuing mildly, "Apparently he's the one who's been following us. I am not to go near there again or he'll cut off my balls and/or dick. By the end of the encounter he seemed to be changing his mind on which trophy to take."

Sin stared at him for a moment, his eyes narrowing even further. "Explain. In detail."

"Well," Boyd said calmly. "A man managed to come up right behind me with a knife, catching me completely off guard. He apparently leads the smuggling group or at least is in some position of power. He insinuated that he's been following us and somehow knows we're sleeping together. I gave him a cover story about illegal art but he didn't believe it and told me not to fuck with him. The only thing I got from him was that he says he's 'Lo más chingón.' I wasn't able to look inside the crates, either, but I'm positive now this is something like an arms dealer. He knew what he was doing-- he was good."

Sin sat up straight and stared at him intently, looking extremely displeased by what he was hearing. "Was he simply attempting to ward you away from his operation or did it seem as though he would retaliate in some way because you saw anything at all?"

Boyd considered that for a moment. "I think it was a warning. Technically I didn't see exactly what they were doing; I just saw crates going in and out of a building. Even if I were inclined to alert authorities, nothing would come of it without proof. And considering the fact that he could have killed me before I even knew he was there, he would know I don't pose a particular threat on my own. I think he was trying to scare me away but he won't bother me as long as I don't bother him."

Sin relaxed a bit, thinking about that. "I find it strange that this man was able to get the drop on you so entirely. And you say he just disappeared?"

"Yes," Boyd said with a slight pinch of displeasure in his expression. "Either I'm losing my touch or he was just that good. He reminded me of the more adept leaders of some of the groups we've run across. I also have no idea where he went when I turned around; there was nowhere to go. I suppose he could have had something like a grappling hook to reach the rooftops but I didn't hear anything."

"Hmmm." Sin didn't look entirely pleased by this either. "We will have to be more alert," he said, more to himself than to Boyd. "What course of action would be wisest concerning this man and his operation?"

"At the moment, unless he does something suspicious or continues to tail us, I say we leave it alone for awhile," Boyd said simply. "He could easily have killed me but instead he asked questions, and even when I was not fully cooperative he did nothing to retaliate. That leads me to believe that he was just investigating the person who was watching his illegal operation. We definitely need to do a thorough search of the warehouse and see what they're transporting."

Boyd paused. "Also, at that point we will have to decide who goes in. It's possible but very implausible that he would forget me but unless he did I doubt he would be pleased that I returned. At the same time, I don't know if it's really worth it to get you involved when at the moment he seems to believe you're simply my lover. As a representative of 53 and apparently now into the illegal art trade, Kadin Reed has a reason to look into that sort of activity. But unless he was trying to get in trouble, Jason Alvarez does not."

"True enough," Sin replied, although he didn't seem mollified. "Did you get a look at him?"

Boyd shook his head. "No. He was tall, solidly built, strong, and may have been wearing a metal necklace. There is absolutely no way I would be able to identify him short of possibly recognizing his voice. I did notice he had an American accent."

"Was there anything about his voice that should be noted? Was there any dialect?" Sin pressed, seeming intent on having some way to identify the mysterious man.

"No particular dialect in English. His voice was deep, smooth. By his pronunciation and sentence structure I could tell he's accustomed to using slang. He spoke Spanish fluently and also, it seemed, with slang. I couldn't place any dialect there, primarily because he spoke too quickly for me to understand, but his accent seemed slightly different than the natives."

Sin ran a hand through his hair and looked around the apartment, seeming displeased with every window, vent and door that he saw. "I feel like a sitting duck," he muttered. "I am fighting the urge to go look around down there."

"I'm not convinced it would do much good," Boyd said reasonably. "Normally I would be more paranoid but something about him made me feel like he'll leave us alone unless we bother him. If you want, far be it from me to stop you from additional investigative work, though I may wait a bit. He already had me against the wall with two knives once today and I had no chance to stop him. It would be stupid to put myself in a position for him to follow through with his threats before I've even given myself the chance to research who the hell he is."

Sin shrugged, agitated. "I feel as though I've been doing a poor job. Like I haven't been on guard enough. Maybe I'm getting soft."

Boyd raised an eyebrow curiously. "How did that transfer to you? I'm the one that was noticed, tailed, and eventually caught. Granted, I only felt someone watching me a few times and it's possible he was following more often, but for what it's worth he seemed to be quite good at surprise entrances. Maybe it's impressive either of us noticed him at all."

Sin made a face and looked unimpressed by this information. "No one should be able to tail me unnoticed, no matter how good they are. I'm supposed to be better."

"I don't know what to tell you, then." Boyd didn't know if he was mildly insulted by Sin's comment or not; as if Sin was saying Boyd was inherently weak so of course he was caught. On the other hand, it was true that Sin was better at what they did and should be superior to any tail with his experience. So, rather than being offended by something Sin was probably only irritated with himself over, he just flopped onto his back and stared at the ceiling with his hands beneath his head. "Like you said, you'll just have to be more alert."

Sin stared at Boyd for a moment as though he wanted to say more. Before the words could come out, his eyes were drawn to the way Boyd's shirt had risen up, the way his hipbones stood out of his pants. Sin moved as if to stand but ended up straddling Boyd instead, staring down at his partner from under his eyelashes.

"You're a distraction," Sin said flatly. "All I can think about is fucking you all the time." He shifted slightly so his growing erection pressed against Boyd to emphasize his point.

Boyd's lips stretched into a slow, roguish smile but he didn't move. "What can I say?" he murmured, watching Sin through heavy eyelids as he pressed his hips up against him. "It's a natural talent."

Sin stared down at him and ignored the shiver that went through his body, instead keeping his face frozen in the same serious, almost displeased expression. With the disapproving glare firmly in place, he rocked his hips slightly but otherwise didn't touch Boyd. "You are proud of corrupting me, are you?"

"Hmm, maybe a little. But don't lie, Hsin," Boyd teased, his eyes sparking with a hint of mischief. "I think you did some of it yourself. You can take the credit."

"Who gave you permission to call me that?" Sin asked in an almost cold tone. He began rocking his hips harder, faster, the movement pressing Boyd against the rug.

Boyd's eyes slid mostly shut and his mouth fell partially open. He took a moment to respond as he was distracted by what Sin was doing. "All those times," he started quietly, his breath increasing. For a second he had to stop to think then said louder, "You didn't say not to, I figured meant I could."

Sin grunted and leaned forward, putting one hand on either side of Boyd's head and bracing himself with them, leaning down so that their faces were inches apart as he continued to grind against his partner.

"You're supposed to be my slave," he reminded Boyd in the same tone, eyes burning like green fire. "So you should ask permission to call me by that name, just like from now on you're going to have to ask permission to touch me."

Sin's eyes narrowed. The only indication that he was affected by the movements of their hips was the way his breath hitched slightly. "It seems as though I will have to keep you on a short leash if I am going to maintain my job and our... arrangement."

Boyd started to say something but it slid into a moan. He watched Sin, just a glint of his dark blue contacts between his eyelashes while his lips parted. He didn't bother hiding how Sin was affecting him but he did bring his hands from beneath his head, lifting one toward Sin's shoulder as he asked huskily, "And what if I do it anyway?"

Sin grabbed Boyd's hand before it could touch him and pinned it to the floor on top of his other wrist. "You won't."

An experimental tug didn't loosen Sin's hold at all and when Boyd tried again a little harder he realized that he couldn't get either hand away. His heartbeat quickened automatically, but the usual fear was muffled by the way their hips ground together and the fact that he knew Sin didn't intend to hurt him.

He didn't say anything; just watched Sin through darkened eyes and arched his back to get closer, trying to add more pressure, but Sin immediately moved away and avoided the contact. As he stared down at Boyd his lip lifted in something that could have been a smirk or a sneer. His breath came out in shallow pants as he continued to grind against Boyd and shook his head.

Boyd dropped back to the floor and panted, his eyes falling shut for a moment. The constant movement against his arousal was driving him nuts. Feeling their hips grind together just made him want to press against Sin, to rip off their clothing and run his hands all over his body. But he couldn't get his hands away, couldn't get close enough to touch him-- couldn't even kiss him from here.

"Fuck," Boyd whispered mostly to himself. Abruptly, he pulled harder at his hands but all it caused was pain in his wrists. When he tried to arch his back again, Sin avoided him. He opened his eyes and glared accusingly at Sin with an irritable, "Fuck, come on! Do something else!"

Sin's lips twisted in a definite smirk, still moving his hips at the same pace, in the same rhythm.


Boyd let out a groan that was half frustration and half desire. He tilted his head back against the floor and twisted as if to get away from the slow torture but that just made it worse. His breath was heavy and quick now and his narrowed eyes were darkened by lust and irritation when he looked back up at Sin. Hoping to be able to push Sin off him, he bucked his hips up firmly.

Sin didn't move and only responded by pressing down harder. "Behave," he ordered, voice low, husky and incredibly sexy.

"Ahh," Boyd groaned helplessly and dropped back down to the rug. He stared up at Sin, gaze clouded with desire, and tried to bring his scattered thoughts together. He was entirely focused on everything about Sin: their erections pressed against each other; that sexy bedroom voice; the burning green of his eyes; the well-defined muscles of his arms as he held Boyd's hands down. The glinting of light off that damn lip ring that Boyd wanted to suck into his mouth and twirl against his tongue and--

"Fuck," he said again with a hint of desperation this time. "Damn it, Hsin, please-- just-- do something!"

Sin gazed at him for a long moment before finally shifting and releasing Boyd's hands, although the look he gave Boyd made it obvious that he was still expected to keep them above his head. He pushed Boyd's t-shirt up and ran his fingers over the trembling skin of his stomach and down to his hips, which were barely covered by his low riding pants. Sin's tongue once again swept over his bottom lip absently and he kept his eyes locked to Boyd's as he slowly unbuttoned Boyd's jeans before dragging the zipper down.

"Don't move."

Watching his every move with intense eyes filled with desire, Boyd made a low sound deep in his throat that could have been distress or excitement; it was hard to tell. Despite how much he wanted to just jerk his hips or say fuck it and surge up against Sin, to touch and kiss him and do what he'd been wanting from the start, he complied with Sin's command. His fingers curled into fists but he kept his hands where they were, his chest heaving and every bit of skin Sin touched tingling even after his fingers were gone.

Sin yanked Boyd's pants down, freeing his almost painfully hard erection from the constricting denim so that it tented the fabric of his briefs. Those were ripped off next and Sin crouched there for a long moment, gazing down at him with a look that was pure hunger. Long fingers ghosted up one of Boyd's thighs and Sin slid his fingers around Boyd's dick slowly, lightly, barely even touching it before he moved his hand away with an arched eyebrow.

Boyd's eyes narrowed suspiciously when he saw Sin's expression and it took all of his control not to jerk his hips up for more contact. He breathed heavily, fingers digging into his palms, and warred with his need to have Sin do more and his pride in not complying with everything Sin wanted. But he was so hard it almost hurt and Sin just made it worse with that teasing touch...

"Touch me," he demanded finally, voice husky and eyes burning.


That single word made Boyd shake his head a little in denial, his eyes narrowing further. "Touch me," he snapped again.

Sin's eyes narrowed and his mouth turned down into a displeased frown. He made no move to put his hands on Boyd. "No."

Boyd grit his teeth and let his eyes fall half-closed, watching Sin as he tried to measure how serious he was, how much it would take for him to give in. But Sin didn't look like he would cave to demands and Boyd could hardly stand waiting.

"Fuck," he hissed and abruptly jerked one hand down, intending to do it himself.

Before he could even make contact, Sin was pinning both hands above his head again. "You'll fucking do what I say," he said in the same quiet, intense voice. "Or I'll leave you here."

Boyd slid his eyes closed again and couldn't help a desperate, tortured moan. There was a brief, confused spike of fear at those words but it was overwhelmed by the intensity of his need at that moment and the circumstances. He didn't even tug at his hands this time, he just let his fingers curl helplessly and tried to ignore the trembling that wanted to overtake his body as he ached for more attention. Sliding his eyes open, Boyd licked his lips and watched Sin.

"Please," he whispered hoarsely. "Touch me."

Sin stared at him silently for a long moment. At first it seemed as though he wouldn't do anything, but then he was leaning down and his mouth was hovering above Boyd's toned stomach, breath whispering over his skin as full lips began to trail hot, wet kisses down his body. Sin's eyes never left Boyd's, even when his mouth hovered over Boyd's cock.

His tongue slid across the head teasingly, the barest touch, before he pulled back a bit and watched Boyd silently.

Boyd's eyes widened and he stared at his partner, incredibly turned on. His body trembled from forcing himself to stay still. Sin had never put his mouth anywhere near his cock before and even that brief amount of heat was enough to make Boyd crave more. He started to say something then had to stop and try again.

"Please," he murmured, voice low and husky. "More."

Green eyes locked with blue and suddenly his cock was being covered by Sin's mouth. Full lips fastened around the tip and slid down, his tongue stroking it the entire time. The feeling wrenched a loud, "Ohh fuck," out of Boyd that slowly degraded into a moan. He hadn't had a blowjob in years; the feeling of something warm and wet encasing him was amazing, even better than he remembered.

His eyes almost fell shut but he couldn't look away from Sin, from his bowed head and that sexy mouth wrapped around him. He couldn't really believe this was happening; that Sin was doing this without having to be asked and Boyd knew that now he'd crave this feeling again. He wanted desperately to tangle his hands in Sin's hair, to fuck his mouth until he screamed and came, but he remembered what Sin had said and forced his hands to remain above his head.

At first there was more licking than sucking. Sin ran his tongue up and down Boyd's erection, never dropping his eyes, making the scene that much more erotic. He lapped at it like a cat and when a drop of pre-come formed at the head, surprisingly he tasted that too. The tease of Sin's mouth was like torture and when his lips finally wrapped around it again, he began moving his head up and down slowly, eyes slightly narrowed as his tongue dragged against the underside of Boyd's dick.

Boyd was completely incapable of looking away from those burning green eyes and he knew his own were wide with raw desire. But it wasn't enough; Sin was moving too slowly and the light drag of that lip ring combined with Sin's lips and tongue was driving Boyd crazy. He almost couldn't hold himself still; his hands twitched and his hips jerked briefly but he forced himself down, panting heavier with eyes turning a little wild in frustrated need.

"Oh God," he suddenly pleaded throatily. "Please, faster!"

Sin's mouth twitched up into a smug smirk around his cock and for a moment he continued with the slow, teasing torture until apparently deciding to take pity on the pleading young man beneath him. He seemed to be experimenting with the act at the same time as he performed it but no matter what he did, it felt incredibly good. When he sucked on the head of Boyd's erection, tongue swirling around almost curiously, loud moans fell from Boyd's mouth but when Sin finally began bobbing his head up and down, lips forming a hot, wet suction, it drove Boyd insane.

He didn't last long after that.

Familiar heat coiled in his stomach and Boyd could no longer keep quiet or even hold still despite how hard he tried. His moans rose in pitch and volume; his hands jerked down to tangle in Sin's hair. His hips jerked of their own accord and he was soon fucking Sin's mouth.

"Fuck," he said helplessly, "Hsin, I--" He didn't have the chance to say anything else. His back arched and eyes widened as he lost himself in orgasm.

Sin swallowed Boyd's come and never once winced or recoiled from the taste. He watched as Boyd shuddered and moaned, and Sin almost seemed unable to keep his controlled, unaffected facade going with the throbbing hard-on that strained against his jeans. After a long moment, he pulled away and sat up, still staring down at his partner with the same expression on his face. Boyd's eyes were closed, head flung back as he panted through his mouth, shuddering from the intensity of his orgasm. Sin watched him silently, waiting for him to regain his senses as he undid his own jeans and let them slide down his hips.

Finally, Boyd slid his eyes open and watched Sin through his eyelashes, gaze moving down to linger on Sin's erection. He looked tousled and sated, but despite how content he would have been to just lie there for a few moments to recover, he looked back up to Sin's eyes questioningly as if silently asking what Sin wanted him to do.

Sin grabbed Boyd roughly and spun him around before pushing him back down on his hands and knees. Although he didn't say anything, Sin's breath was coming fast in anticipation and he grabbed the bottle of lubricant that lay discarded near the furniture. He applied a generous amount to his erection.

"What do you want?" he asked finally, voice low and as rough as the jeans that crowded his thighs and rubbed against the bare backs of Boyd's legs.

Boyd looked over his shoulder and said hoarsely, "You to fuck me."

Sin's eyes were almost entirely shut, only the barest glimmer of green visible from beneath his eyelashes. He pressed his erection against Boyd, rubbing against him slightly as he licked his lips and gazed at him with a hungry expression. "How bad do you want it?"

Boyd's eyes were drawn down to Sin's lips; a trace of his come remained at the edges and his lip ring glinted dully in the light. "Fuck," Boyd hissed and pressed back a little even though, as he expected, Sin just pulled away.

Sin was driving him crazy tonight; constantly teasing him with what he could have without actually giving it. Even if Boyd had just come he could only stare at Sin's expression, his body, and feel Sin's already lubricated erection pressing against him for so long before he felt the familiar lust and impatience take over. His skin was sensitive and flushed, his blood already warm with the need for more. He knew what it felt like to be fucked by Sin and it seemed like the anticipation was killing him. But he knew Sin would just do the same thing again and rather than go through the torture, Boyd just skipped straight to begging.

"God, please," he pleaded. "I want it bad! Stop fucking with me and just fuck me!"

That same cocky smirk found its way across Sin's full lips and he didn't say anything else. He clamped one strong hand down on Boyd's shoulder and gripped it hard before shoving his cock inside Boyd, not giving him time to adjust before he began fucking him hard. Boyd let out a sound that was a groan and yell combined but Sin barely heard him. His eyes rolled back in his head, mouth falling open as obscenities dripped from his lips in a language that Boyd did not understand.

Strong hands clutched Boyd almost violently, movements rough and staccato as Sin pounded into him relentlessly. His breath came in loud pants, mingled with low, deep moans as he gripped Boyd's other shoulder, using them for leverage as he slammed Boyd backwards onto his cock.

The sex was a little rougher than usual but Boyd welcomed it after all the teasing; he rocked back against Sin in hard, quick movements, his mouth wide as he panted harshly. Pleasured moans, half-formed words, Sin's real name and the occasional 'please' mingled together in breathy desperation until he barely made any sense.

With Sin fucking him like that, his cock once again grew hard and swollen. Bracing himself with one hand, he started masturbating with the other. His eyes rolled back and moans rose in passion as his body thrummed with pleasure.

Sin bit down on his lower lip and seemed to be trying to fight the moans that were spilling from his lips but he couldn't seem to help it.

"Oh fuck yes," he groaned as he slammed against Boyd even harder, voice growing louder. The pressure was building inside him and he moaned something nearly incoherent, something that vaguely sounded like a warning. Boyd had barely begun to understand the words before Sin came inside him. Sin stayed still, head hanging as he panted, hands still gripping Boyd firmly as he lost himself in the aftermath of his orgasm but Boyd was only vaguely aware of it. His attention was on his hand speeding up and the heat building within him unbearably once again. It wasn't long before he came with a strangled cry that he couldn't quite make into words.

He was overwhelmed for several seconds and the arm that supported him trembled with exhaustion. He sagged, trying to catch his breath, not caring if Sin held him up or not. After several moments of breathless panting with Sin hovering over him, he felt Sin's still swollen erection slide out of him and they both collapsed to the rug beneath them.

Sin grunted and lay beside him, closing his eyes briefly as he took several deep breaths as though he were trying to regain his bearings. He pulled his jeans up absently, zipping them but leaving them unbuttoned as one hand extended towards the coffee table in search of his cigarettes. The silence stretched for a long time, the room reeking of sex and sweat, but then finally Sin opened his eyes and looked at Boyd.

"I'm going to go check out that warehouse," he said calmly, switching back to the previous topic as if the intense bout of sex had not just happened.

Boyd didn't bother to pull his clothes back on at first; he just flopped onto his back and looked over with lazy curiosity. "When?"

Sin lit a cigarette and squinted up at the ceiling for a moment, rubbing his hand across his stomach idly. "Soon. Before it gets light at least. They are most likely still on alert at the moment so I'll give them time."

There was something about his tone that made it obvious that despite the way he'd temporarily lost himself in sex, he still wasn't over the fact that someone had bested him in some way.

Boyd nodded silently and turned his head to stare at the ceiling. Although he thought it may be better to wait, he could tell that Sin was not going to let this go. His pride was probably challenged by the fact that someone had stalked them without them knowing, and no doubt he wanted to check this guy out personally to see what was happening with him. Jason Alvarez didn't necessarily have a reason to go there but it was entirely possible that he would've wanted to check it out if he found out that his roommate and lover had been assaulted by someone who worked there. Besides, even if Boyd was certain what was in the crates judging by all the hints he'd gathered, it was true that he still hadn't positively identified the contents with his eyes, so that could be another goal.

With two people, they were afforded the luxury of a lookout.

However, Boyd couldn't deny that he would be a little annoyed if Sin could get the answer in one night when Boyd had been watching for weeks. He knew he was good at his job but it felt like Sin always had to be one step better at everything. The only thing Boyd had been better at before this mission was undercover work and planning, but after their stint in Monterrey no doubt Sin would be superior at that as well.

The thought was not a particularly pleasing one and for a moment Boyd could see why Kassian would have issues with Sin. At least Boyd was one rank below him; if they were the same rank, he would especially feel like he had to be competitive.

He sighed quietly to himself and sat up, making a mild face at the stickiness. He pulled his shirt off and threw it carelessly to the side, finally looking over at Sin again as he stood.

"I'm going to shower," he told him.

Sin nodded distractedly, appearing lost in his own thoughts although his eyes still scanned the length of Boyd's naked body almost absently. "Are you going with me?"

"Well, we could risk you getting lost trying to follow my directions or I could just go with and lead you straight there," Boyd said mildly. He turned fully, giving Sin a better view as he raised his eyebrows. "I would guess both our preferences would be I come with."

Sin grunted, not bothering to hide his open stare, and instead raised an eyebrow at Boyd. "I thought you already did that."

"Mm." Boyd tilted his head in agreement, a light smirk pulling at one edge of his lips. "That does tend to happen in your presence, even if you're a bastard sometimes."

One dark eyebrow rose and Sin gazed at Boyd coolly. "Oh?"

"You nearly made me beg," Boyd reminded him dryly. "I think you just like me at your mercy."

"Nearly?" Sin asked with a smirk. "I'm pretty sure you did beg."

Boyd affected a haughty expression. "No, I merely requested that you continue. It's only polite to say 'please' after all."

Sin snorted and pushed his shoulders against the floor before springing to his feet easily. "Whatever lets you sleep at night, sweetheart."

"'Sweetheart,'" Boyd echoed in amusement. "Don't you get a nickname too?"

Sin grabbed a sleeveless shirt from the floor that he'd apparently discarded earlier. "No."

He slipped it on and it clung to his chest, clearly showing his well-defined muscles through it. The collar of the shirt was ragged and looked just as threadbare as his jeans. That taken into account with his disheveled hair, perpetually shadowed jaw and the cigarette dangling from his lips made him look every bit the rebellious punk that he was supposed to be.

"Actually I want to go now. You don't need a shower, let's just go."

Boyd looked at him sidelong and thought about pointing out that of the two of them Sin wasn't the one covered in semen so of course he didn't care about showering. But rather than bother with that he just swiped his shirt from the floor to wipe himself off. It didn't take him long to get dressed again in a new set of clothes, this time with his hair pulled out of his eyes with a baseball cap. He glanced at Sin but didn't say anything as he opened the door and walked out.

There weren't many people on the streets so early in the morning, which was good and bad. It meant they could move quickly but it also made them more conspicuous and Boyd didn't think it would be particularly prudent to be obvious about where they were headed. Even if the man could probably tail them regardless of the precautions and even though Sin seemed intent on getting there relatively quickly, Boyd didn't feel comfortable with a direct route.

Despite that, it didn't take them long to arrive at what for Boyd was becoming the rather familiar warehouse with the restaurant huddled in front.

As they slipped through the shadows along the side, Boyd couldn't help noticing that it was especially quiet. He raised an eyebrow at that and looked over at Sin, tilting his head as if to ask if he noticed anything strange or any presence nearby.

Sin's face was expressionless as he shook his head once at Boyd, indicating he didn't notice anyone either. They moved further into the shadows and although they weren't on a real assignment, it seemed as though he was in mission mode. They slipped into the back street where the confrontation had occurred.

Sin's eyes skimmed the vicinity and for a moment his mouth turned down in a slight frown. Whatever activity had been going on an hour ago had obviously ceased.

"Let's go in," he muttered and looked around.

Not only were there no entrances to the warehouse but there were no doors leading to any other building either. Sin stared up the side of the building before his eyes focused on the wide windows. The nearest one was several feet above his head but he jumped up easily and caught one of the small sills with his fingertips. It didn't seem possible that he would be able to pull himself up to the window but that is exactly what he did.

He stood at the edge of the window, blending in perfectly with the darkness. Although it seemed precarious, like he would fall off at any moment, he seemed completely unconcerned with the height and somehow was balanced well enough that he was in no danger. He peered into the warehouse with a slight frown on his face. Nothing could be seen from the angle and he shook his head at Boyd before looking up and carefully picking his way across the sill and pulling himself up into another window.

Boyd stared up at Sin with his eyebrows raised; it was obvious that Sin's method of scaling the building was most likely the same as the man's as there was no other explanation as to how he would have disappeared so quickly. However, there was no way Boyd would be able to reach the lowest window without something to stand on and even if it sounded like there was no activity at the moment he didn't think dragging something over to crawl up would be very intelligent.

Instead, he moved back against the wall and waited, watching Sin for some sort of signal.

Sin climbed higher for several long moments until he finally got to a window with an angle that allowed him the best view of the inside of the warehouse. He looked inside for awhile before glancing down at Boyd with a frown. Without a word he began climbing back down the side of the wall but halfway down he gave up on that and just dropped to the ground, landing in a crouch.

"Looks empty."

Nodding, Boyd walked quietly to the door and tried the knob. It was locked but that was to be expected. He took the baseball cap off and flipped it upside down, squinting in the dim light until he was able to pull a small pin out near the bill. Within seconds he had picked the lock and opened the door. Although no lights were on in the warehouse itself, there was enough ambient light through the window to see that there was nothing there. Boyd stopped just inside, not certain yet if he was impressed or irritated.

"Wow," he said in disbelief. "When you said 'empty' I thought you meant of people, not everything."

Sin walked farther into the room, looking around with a scowl etched into his features. "I thought you said they were unloading a bunch of shit?"

"They were."

Boyd put the pin back in place in the bill and turned in a circle, as if somehow the crates would magically appear behind him. When the room remained just as empty, he put the hat back on and narrowed his eyes. "This shouldn't be possible. There was too much cargo; even if they doubled the amount of men and trucks, there was too much in here to clear in an hour or two."

Sin stared at Boyd as if he was debating whether or not he'd gone insane and imagined the whole thing. "How do yo--"

Before he could finish his sentence, something caught his eye and he stopped, staring at the wall above Boyd's head.

Boyd looked at Sin strangely then turned and backed up a few steps to see the wall better. A demented looking smiley face leered down at them, the yellow paint glinting wetly even in that dim of light. Boyd stepped closer and reached up, running one finger through a trail of paint that was dripping down the wall. It was so fresh that it was wet; he didn't think it had been drying for more than a few minutes, if that.

Boyd raised an eyebrow and looked over at Sin.

"Well," he said, nonplussed, not even knowing what to say.

Sin's eyes flicked around the warehouse, taking in every entrance and every window in the area. There was obvious tension in his shoulders and he seemed torn between being frustrated and annoyed. "He's fucking with us," he muttered. "He knew you would come back."

"Seems so," Boyd agreed calmly. He looked around the room, remembering the piles of crates that had filled the place. He shook his head to himself and crossed his arms loosely. "I can't believe they cleared this so quickly." He was mildly impressed.

Sin ignored Boyd's comment. "So I guess I won't get to fight him. Not tonight at least." He seemed almost sullen as he said it.

Boyd looked over, checking if he was serious, but all he saw was Sin half-glaring at the empty room. He pivoted toward the door but watched Sin sidelong, feeling half-exasperated and half-amused. It figured that the thing Sin would note about this was being unable to confront the man who'd tailed them and not, say, the hundreds of missing crates with possible smuggled weapons tucked inside.

"Oh, don't say that," Boyd said sardonically. "Maybe if you wander for long enough he'll stop by to harass you. Or if you prefer I could be bait?"

Sin stared at Boyd as though he were considering the idea before shrugging. "Would you mind?"

"Oh not at all," and this time the sarcasm was dripping from Boyd's tone. "Why don't I just go out there," he pointed toward the door as if Sin could not understand, "and walk into the wall a few times, maybe crouch in the light more than shadows. You know, lure him out with my ineptitude. I could also have my pants undone for easy access castration. This sounds like a good plan."

Sin continued to stare at him blankly as he sucked on his lip ring. "Why are you always so eager to start taking your pants off?" He shook his head at his partner and headed towards the door.

Boyd stared at Sin incredulously when he saw that Sin seemed mostly serious. "That was an example of sarcasm," he said in mild disbelief. "Here's another: Right, because you could never say that about you either."

Sin snorted and exited the warehouse, throwing it a final hateful glance as he did so, as though it were the reason for all of his problems. "I couldn't say that about me. You, however, I think liked your mystery assailant groping your crotch earlier."

"One," Boyd said pointedly as he walked at Sin's side, "you are a nudist so you dropping your pants is far more likely than me. Two, did I not mention he had a knife in his hand? Some people are into that sort of thing but, for me, it's not exactly wet dream material."

"Uh huh." Sin cast him a doubtful look, shoved his hands in his pockets and began walking away.

"Now you're just messing with me."

Boyd couldn't see Sin's expression from his angle but he imagined a smirk on his partner's lips.

Continue to Chapter 34