Making It Count

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Based on an original series 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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Making it Count - Part II

Interlude 3.24

Uploaded on 12/26/2009

Boyd was silent as he slipped through the woods. The trees towered around him, moving faintly in the wind, the leaves a quiet rustle in the background. He was straining his ears for any slight noise out of the ordinary and he continually scrutinized the area around him. He searched for the smallest details to tell him which direction Sin may have gone and how close he was.

Sin was adept at moving through the woods practically unseen, so his trail was difficult to follow. Boyd had to pay especially close attention to tiny snapped twigs and the faint dragging of the leaves across the ground. He could see his lover's footprints appearing and disappearing like a ghost that flitted down to Earth and revealed itself occasionally, just often enough to remind the living of its existence.

Nearly an hour had passed since Sin had disappeared into the woods ahead of Boyd and a trickle of adrenaline kept Boyd's senses on high alert. Every short cry of an animal, every rustle of the leaves, every shift of a tree branch, and Boyd's gaze snapped over to identify whether the roles had reversed and his lover was stalking him.

It was the first time they'd decided to do training in a roleplaying capacity and Boyd found it to be intriguing. Sin was the target Boyd was meant to track down and incapacitate. They pretended this was a mission and even when Sin had gone into the woods, they'd already been in character. It was more fun than the typical sparring they engaged in and Boyd had the brief thought that Doug should have tried something like this during level 10 training.

There were times Boyd lost the trail completely and times he wondered whether he was even following the correct one. It was possible he'd lost Sin long ago and now he was following the tracks of an astute hunter.

Finally, moving slowly and silently, he spied his lover's form ahead of him, nearly hidden by the trees. Sin was moving calmly through the woods, his head tilting this way and that as he presumably searched for Boyd while at the same time ensuring that he left the least telling tracks as possible.

Boyd slid to a crouch and was especially careful not to make a noise as he shifted in a wide arc around Sin to move behind him. He crouched in the cover of the foliage and trees, pausing occasionally behind a tree trunk for a patient length of time to ensure his presence wouldn't come upon Sin too quickly. He moved closer bit by bit, his gaze zeroed in on his lover and occasionally darting around to consider how best to apprehend him.

The woods were thick and there wasn't much to work with. Although he could have fashioned a weapon, it would have made too much noise and it would have seemed like cheating. Boyd wasn't about to throw a rock at the back of Sin's head; he wanted to bring him down in hand-to-hand combat or it wouldn't truly be training.

He determined that his best chance for success was taking Sin by surprise from behind and adapting as quickly as possible to any of Sin's reactions afterward. With that in mind, Boyd moved forward more quickly, although silence was still his top priority. He wasn't going to have spent an hour tracking his partner down to ruin it by stepping on a twig at the last second.

When he was finally within reach of Sin, hidden behind trees and foliage to the side of where Sin was still moving, Boyd braced himself. Even hidden as he was, if Sin looked behind him at the right angle he'd see Boyd crouched there. Not wanting to take the risk, he positioned himself as best as possible and abruptly threw himself at Sin's back.

Sin turned around and immediately strafed out of the way, blocking Boyd's attack. There was nothing in his face to tell whether or not Boyd had truly surprised him or if he'd allowed him to get that close for the sake of the game. His expression was completely emotionless and intent. It was disturbing to look at Sin and see the way enemies saw him, without a flicker of compassion or familiarity in his pale green eyes.

The fight began in a flurry of movement with Sin delivering a series of decisive attacks that Boyd barely managed to dodge. It always caught him off guard to spar with Sin because of his extraordinary speed. Boyd was confident enough in his ability to say that he was now on par with Kassian and Jon, but with Sin it took him awhile to adjust to the sudden onslaught of sheer power that his partner possessed. It was something completely out of Kassian's and even Emilio's boundaries and one that Boyd always found himself unprepared for.

Even so, just the fact that he managed to dodge blows and land a few of his own caused Boyd's confidence to build and his performance to improve in the first full minute of combat. It didn't, however, prevent him from being slammed to the hard forest floor as if he were a mere ragdoll.

Boyd hit the ground and had already rolled away before Sin could hold him down. Sin kicked him in the stomach as Boyd started to stand. Although Sin was holding back his strength, it was only enough to make it non-lethal. The impact into Boyd's torso was enough to reverberate through him and throw him back.

Boyd recovered quickly. He ran at Sin and grabbed one shoulder at the same time as he jumped up, wrapping his legs around Sin's other arm. Boyd twisted his body, trying to throw Sin to the ground, but Sin was strong enough that even with that weight and momentum, he was able to catch himself. He grabbed Boyd by the back and flipped him to the ground yet again.

The air was nearly knocked out of Boyd, causing a pained whoosh of air to leave him, and he started to roll to the side. Sin barely let Boyd come to a stand before he was on him with another wave of furious attacks.

The fight continued, Boyd's attacks and blocks slower than Sin's but just fast enough to keep him free and moving around, until Sin suddenly wrenched Boyd around and snapped him back. Sin captured Boyd in a headlock, their bodies pressed together and Boyd gasping for air. Boyd could feel his heart thundering in his chest hard enough to be a physical ache, and Sin's arm against his windpipe was slowly siphoning his breath and ability to think.

After a moment of struggling, Boyd was able to get Sin off balance enough to gather his strength and flip Sin over, slamming him onto his back. When Sin hit the ground, Boyd felt a moment of triumph that he'd been able to take control away from his near-superhuman partner.

That feeling didn't last even a second. Sin hit the ground and immediately rolled to a stand. Sin had been holding back before but now his eyes narrowed, ablaze with green fire and almost frightening in their intensity. Boyd didn't even have the chance to straighten fully before Sin was on him.

Despite his increased awareness, Boyd still didn't know what happened.

One second he was standing and the next Sin had him pinned to the ground face down. Sin's speed was incredible to the point of incredulity; if Boyd hadn't been by Sin's side for years, he would never have believed some of the things he did would be possible. As it was, there had been no transition for him and it took a second for his mind to process what had just happened.

He grunted in surprise, his mouth open as he panted against the dirt and leaves and his blood sang with adrenaline through his veins. His eyes were wide with pain as Sin's fingers practically crushed his lower arms and wrenched them up behind his back at an awkward angle.

Boyd struggled, trying desperately to buck Sin off him, to twist to the side or find a weakness in the hold but there was none. He was incapable of moving and they both knew it. Sin was too powerful for Boyd to be able to realistically counteract his hold. He collapsed with his forehead pressed against the ground, breathing heavily and squeezing his eyes shut.

The forest seemed especially silent and still around them with the absence of their fight. Without the sound of flesh striking flesh, there was only the faint chirping of the birds and the soothing rustle of the leaves to accompany them.

Despite that, adrenaline continued to thunder through Boyd's veins and he felt hyperaware of everything, including the weight of Sin's body pressing him down.

Sin reached down easily and removed the flexicuffs that Boyd had been carrying in his pocket; an added prop to the game of agent and detainee.

"What do you plan to do now, agent?" Sin demanded, cold and without an ounce of compassion. "I could kill you if I wanted to."

"If you planned to you would have already," Boyd returned evenly. Despite that, his shoulders tensed in anticipation.

The second Sin's grip shifted in order to use the flexicuffs, Boyd abruptly jerked his arms and tried to twist away. Sin accounted easily, as if Boyd had little more influence or strength than a child. The leaves scraped against Boyd's cheek as he struggled to break Sin's hold but the other man simply tightened his grip with one hand and expertly put the flexicuffs on with the other.

Boyd's wrists ground against each other painfully and Sin held Boyd against the dirt, pressing their bodies together.

"You're right," Sin replied flatly. His grip tightened powerfully on Boyd as he wrenched them closer together until their bodies were flush against one another. It forced Boyd into an awkward position, partially held off the ground. "But it would make more sense to interrogate you first."

"Ha," Boyd scoffed. "Try what you like. I won't talk."

Sin snaked one arm around Boyd's side, gripping his chin and pushing his face to the side. He spoke harshly in his ear. "Really? I heard that you sing like a bitch if your head is underwater for long enough."

Boyd's eyes narrowed. "You heard wrong."

"Did I." It was spoken as a statement more than a question and Sin's fingers dug into Boyd's face violently.

Boyd didn't reply. Before he could register what was happening, he found himself being spun around and slammed against the hard ground once again, this time on his back. His shoulders wrenched achingly in the movement, causing him to draw in a startled, tense breath.

"Do you think I'm playing with you, agent?" Sin demanded. His deep voice was low and intense, laced with an unspoken threat.

Boyd's fingers curled uselessly beneath him, scratching against the dirt. "No," he returned evenly.

Sin's expression remained hard, as if carved out of stone, as his strong hands dug into Boyd's body. "Then tell me-- do you want to do it here or do I need to drag you to the river?"

Boyd's expression was stony but he had a flicker of doubt as to whether Sin would actually go through with bringing him to the river. He didn't think he would and yet... "You know I can't answer your questions regardless."

Sin jerked Boyd's shoulders and growled low in his throat, "You won't right now but that will change. If your stamina for torture is anything like your stamina in a fight, I have nothing to fear."

Boyd's eyes narrowed at Sin's coldly sarcastic comment. Even though Sin probably didn't fully mean it, it still served to irritate Boyd since he'd made it longer against his partner than he'd expected. It wasn't his fault that Sin was a super agent, capable of the impossible.

"I didn't run out of stamina." He jerked at his arms and gave Sin a challenging look. "Let me go and I'll show you how much longer I can fight."

Sin's full lips twisted into a smirk and his long lashes lowered over his eyes as they narrowed. It was difficult to tell what he thought about the comment, whether he was truly amused by it or if he was still playing his role. Either way, he leaned closer until their faces were nearly touching and said in a low, even voice, "Do you think you could defeat me? I'm surprised you've made it this long against less formidable opponents."

Boyd glared coldly. "You don't know what I'm capable of. You may be unusually fast and strong but I've killed plenty of people in the past." He flicked his gaze along Sin dismissively. "Everyone has a weakness. I'd just have to find yours."

There was a brief moment of silence as Sin observed him before he arched one dark eyebrow and released Boyd's shoulders. Sin stood up without delay and stared at Boyd, silent and challenging.

Boyd didn't waste a second; he rolled onto his side and quickly but somewhat awkwardly scrambled to his feet. It was made more difficult with his arms secured behind his back but he didn't let it stop him. Once up, he immediately started sprinting away from Sin, knowing better than to try to confront the man when he didn't even have his arms free.

Still, the effort turned out to be in vain.

He was snatched seemingly out of the air and slammed back down to the ground before he could even comprehend what had occurred. A shock of pain moved through him. Lights danced in his eyes for a brief moment before his vision cleared and he saw Sin standing over him staring down. Sin was completely calm, his face set in the same flinty mask despite the fire of adrenaline in his eyes. He didn't say anything to gloat about his overpowering abilities; he just stared down at Boyd, in complete control of the situation.

Boyd laid still, his knees partially bent, his shoulders aching, and his blond hair fanned out around him collecting leaves and dirt. He watched Sin alertly, taking in his stance and his reach and in the process getting a clear view of his powerful body.

Even as he calculated how to try to get out of this, in the back of his mind he couldn't help noting how attracted he was to this side of Sin. The strength compacted in that body; the speed... Boyd wasn't used to being the recipient of an extended situation where Sin was completely in control and Boyd felt an especial thrill because of it. Usually Boyd could find a way to gain control of the situation but this time Sin wasn't letting him.

That didn't help him with trying to escape, though. And he wasn't ready to give up just yet.

He quickly ran through his options but there wasn't much he could feasibly do. Sin was too powerful and quick at the best of times, even when Boyd didn't have the handicap of his arms secured. He wouldn't be able to get out of the flexicuffs without the use of something sharp and it would take too long regardless.

If he tried to roll away again, he would just get caught once more. Physically, he was outmatched. That didn't mean he couldn't try something else, though. Maybe if he was lucky he could catch Sin off-guard enough to somehow escape.

Boyd relaxed against the ground for the most part, although he kept his legs and shoulders casually positioned in a way that would facilitate a quick attempt at a getaway. He raised his eyebrows and watched Sin steadily. "What do you want?"

"You to admit that you are powerless in this situation." Sin looked down at him from beneath a fall of black hair that had come loose from the knot he'd taken to tying it in. "You have no partner. No team. You are alone and weak."

Boyd's eyes narrowed. "I'm not weak."

In the middle of his sentence, he abruptly jumped up and snapped his leg out in a low spin, putting all his strength and momentum into aiming at the weakest part of Sin's knees. Sin was powerful but he was still human with joints that were susceptible to certain hits.

Sin's legs were knocked out from under him and Boyd was on him immediately, snapping his legs around Sin's throat and pulling him down into a hard fall with his extra weight. Boyd twisted in the process, his thigh pressing into Sin's windpipe as he choked him.

A normal man would have faltered when his breath was cut off but Sin grabbed Boyd's lower legs, which were wrapped around each other to increase the stability of the move. With a powerful burst of strength, Sin wrenched Boyd's legs apart and in the same move threw him across the clearing. Boyd was unable to stop himself before he rolled and slammed into a tree with a pained gasp. He fell face first to the ground and started to struggle to push himself up when Sin yanked him up. He spun Boyd around and slammed his back against the tree.

Sin's eyes were brilliantly green, alight with adrenaline and a dangerous undertone. His expression was intense and stony, without a flicker of emotion as Boyd twisted and struggled. Sin shoved against Boyd briefly, the entire tree shaking ominously in the movement. His muscles were stark as he held Boyd up by one hand without a problem.

"Do you give up?"

"No," Boyd snapped as he tried to kick Sin, who caught his foot without breaking eye contact.

Sin held Boyd's leg painfully to the side while he simply pressed his body against Boyd's free leg. Boyd was caught without the ability to move.

"Do you give up?" Sin repeated, his voice dropping.

Boyd stared down into Sin's gaze with half-shut eyes. His heartbeat thundered in his chest and he knew Sin had him. The attraction he'd felt before flared as Sin continued to dominate the situation. But there was still a stubborn part of him that held out, that didn't want to give the satisfaction of admitting his defeat.


He didn't even get the word out before he was flipped through the air. He hit the ground and cried out in pain. There was barely a fraction of a second before Sin dropped on top of him, his body holding Boyd down while his fingers dug into his shoulders and shoved him against the dirt. Boyd tried to twist or move his legs but he was completely helpless; Sin held him down in a way that took away every chance of escape, every chance of movement.

Boyd was trapped.

He dropped his mouth open and panted, his eyes nearly falling shut, his gaze intensifying as he watched Sin through his eyelashes. Sin's body was hard and heavy on top of him, with sweat shining on those powerful, exposed arms. Boyd could feel Sin's body thrumming with power while that cold expression drilled into him.

Adrenaline sang through him and he felt hypersensitive to Sin's touch. The feeling of their bodies against each other-- the violence of the fight and the way Sin had completely dominated him-- it all served to arouse Boyd.

He was used to being able to take control of most situations, by manipulating his way out of it or by being let up after he was caught in sparring. This situation was new to him; Sin moving Boyd where he wanted while Boyd's arms were secured behind him. Any time they'd come even close to something like this before, Boyd hadn't actually been held down for any period of time. He'd always had the options of using his arms, his legs. He'd never had his lover's sweaty body pressing into him while his arms were tied behind his back and he wasn't allowed to get away.

Being that vulnerable and helpless in front of someone like Sin would probably terrify most people. There was a time when it would have terrified Boyd. But after everything they'd been through in the past several years, Boyd trusted Sin completely and all he could feel was desire.

The attraction he'd been feeling became outright arousal that burned through him, intoxicating, and made him yearn to have their naked bodies rock against each other. He wanted to kiss Sin savagely and the fact that he couldn't, the fact that this was all in Sin's hands now, only made it hotter.

The intensity of his arousal caught him off guard and for a moment, he didn't know how to react.

Judging by the way Sin's eyes narrowed knowingly, he had immediately recognized the expression on Boyd's face. That flushed, heavy-lidded look of desire that left Boyd's lips parted as he breathed harshly from exertion and excitement at once.

Sin's lip curled and for the first time, a hint of his true self shone through the single-minded hostile role he'd been playing. His dark eyebrows rose, a filthy smirk twisting his full lips as his eyes roved Boyd slowly and deliberately. But when he spoke, it was still in character.

"I could do what I wanted to you right now, agent. And I suspect you'd like it."

Boyd tried to force the arousal out of his expression. He couldn't bring himself to let Sin win this part of the sparring, even if he'd already won physically. "Don't flatter yourself, rebel."

"Really." The word rolled off Sin's tongue and he moved quickly, almost in a blur. Boyd was spun around with his back pinned to Sin's chest before he'd even realized what was going on.

Sin clamped one arm across Boyd's chest and slid the other down to his crotch, squeezing in a way that would have been excruciating if he did it a notch harder. "So then why are you hard?"

Boyd grunted and drew a hissed breath between grit teeth. His eyes narrowed and he couldn't stop himself from pressing his head back. He was mildly irritated with himself for reacting to any of this in the first place. He wanted to continue with training; he wanted to prove he could remain professional around Sin. At the same time, he couldn't deny the way Sin's hard body was making his heart pound. He refused to break character and he jerked against Sin's hold.

"What's it matter to you?" he demanded. "That how they teach you lowlifes to interrogate?"

"And is this the way they teach you professionals to get out of interrogation?" Sin's low velvety voice asked quietly in his ear.

Boyd's eyes narrowed as he tried to ignore the way that tone got to him. He stared straight ahead with a doggedly neutral expression. "Are you planning to bore me to death before the interrogation?" he asked coolly. "Or were you going to get to it sometime this century?"

Sin's hands slid up and deftly undid Boyd's belt within the space of a second. His hand was sliding inside the depths of his pants before Boyd even had a chance to react.

Boyd started and automatically pressed back. His attention zeroed in on Sin's hand, on how much he wanted Sin to get him off. The rough slide of calloused fingers against his sensitive skin was torturous.

Still, he didn't let his expression change other than his eyes falling partially shut. "What are you doing?" he demanded lowly.

"I'm getting to it," Sin replied against his ear and squeezed before sliding his hand out and using it to yank Boyd's pants down entirely.

Boyd jerked as his bare skin hit the open air. He struggled against Sin's hold but that only caused Sin to hold him tighter. "I didn't mean--"

Sin's hand snaked down, wrapping around Boyd's erection and squeezing. Boyd's breath caught as Sin asked emotionlessly, "Didn't you?"


"Liar." Sin's tone was hard and intoxicating because of it. He squeezed his fingers to the fine line between pain and pleasure and Boyd couldn't stop an aroused groan that wrenched out of him. He threw his head back against Sin's shoulder, his mouth dropping open as he drew in quick breaths. His head was spinning from being the extended recipient of this side of Sin.

Sin scoffed deep in his throat, a sound lost between cruel and pleased. "Pathetic."

Arousal and pride warred within Boyd at the comment and he grit his teeth, trying to jerk away. He struggled, his knees scraping against the hard ground, his hands crushed between their bodies. Unsurprisingly, he didn't get anywhere. He could hear Sin unfastening and yanking down his own pants with one hand. It was a measure of his strength that he had no trouble holding Boyd still with one arm.

When Sin yanked them together, Boyd could feel his lover's erection pressing against his bare ass. It turned him on more and he longed to reach down and touch himself so that he could alleviate some of the yearning. He jerked at his arms but the plastic tie only dug into his skin.

Boyd grit his teeth in frustration and shifted awkwardly. The feel of Sin's hands on him was driving him wild but he was unwilling to be the first one to break character. He squeezed his eyes shut and shook his head faintly, trying to drag himself out of the fog of lust that was overtaking him.

"So desperate to be used, aren't you?" Sin observed in the same detached tone even as he slid his arm around Boyd's neck.

Anger and something close to humiliation burned in Boyd's chest but before he could react or deny the claim, Sin's fingers were sliding into his mouth.

He made a helpless noise and, without thinking, closed his lips around the digits. He couldn't resist it, not when Sin was stimulating his mouth like a blowjob. Not when he could feel Sin's cock growing harder from the action. Not when the familiar feel of Sin's hard body pressed against his was a constant distraction. It was only after Sin began fingerfucking his mouth more thoroughly that Boyd realized what he was doing and how eagerly and easily he was giving in.

He breathed harshly through his nose as he tried to pull away. Muffled grunts and frustrated sounds escaped him but no matter how far he pushed his head back or tried to turn it, Sin's hand followed. He tried biting Sin's fingers but Sin didn't seem to care; his arm only tightened around Boyd's chest and the fingerfucking became harsher. Boyd nearly gagged, desperate to not give in at the same time he couldn't deny how arousing this was to him.

Sin wouldn't let him pull away until he was finished proving that Boyd would do whatever Sin wanted and Boyd could do very little about it. Knowing that inexplicably made Boyd's cock harden further, straining for attention between his legs.

Sin finally removed his fingers, allowing Boyd to breathe but before he could take more than a gasp he was being abruptly shoved forward. Boyd couldn't hold himself up. His body weight tipped and with his arms useless behind him, he fell flat on his face in the dirt.

He turned his face to the side and felt his body jerking as Sin yanked his pants and underwear the rest of the way off, ripping them savagely over his boots. Sin's movements were rough and unceremonious as he discarded the clothing and grabbed a fistful of blond hair to yank Boyd's head partially up.

A pained shout dragged out of Boyd, echoing around them. His body strained awkwardly, his lower body exposed to the cool air. He was helpless and vulnerable in Sin's hands, forced into whatever position Sin wanted, and his neck and back arched achingly. He groaned and breathed harshly through his open mouth, squeezing his eyes shut and shaking his head. Damp blond hair shifted around his face, some of it catching against his cheeks.

"Hurting me won't work," he hissed. "I won't talk no matter what you do."

"We'll see about that," Sin's voice growled hotly in his ear, his breath coming in ragged pants despite his steady voice.

Boyd couldn't deny the delicious thrill that went through him. Why the hell was he so turned on by this? Why was Sin being completely in charge, remaining aggressive without giving him a chance to react, and even hurting him in the process, all so incredibly hot to him?

He couldn't deny the reality of his body's reactions but even so, he wasn't ready to give up yet.

Boyd waited until Sin shifted again before he abruptly flipped onto his back and kicked up. Before his foot could connect, Sin effortlessly caught his ankle and twisted it. His grip was like a vice on Boyd, sharp and relentless, and Boyd writhed against the ground with a pained groan. Before he could attempt another strike with his other leg, Sin grabbed that ankle with his free hand and spread Boyd's legs open wide as he knelt between them.

Sin's striking features were masked with cruel amusement that Boyd had never seen directed at him before. He wondered if this was how people felt when they were the recipient of Sin's wrath, when they were foolish enough to try to fight him and think they actually stood a chance. It was clear that there was no chance. Sin was too strong; too fast; too dangerous.

Even as Boyd lifted his chin and narrowed his eyes defiantly, he couldn't help running his eyes over Sin. There was something exotic and wild about him and seeing him in this way only emphasized it. He was like a deadly creature, something foreign and frightening but something that a person still could not look away from no matter how hard one tried.

Boyd did try though. Because if he kept looking at Sin, he suspected that by the end of it all the older man would definitely win their game. When it came down to it, Boyd wanted Sin too badly to be able to resist him.

Hands shifting to Boyd's hips, Sin lifted him up and abruptly shoved his thick cock deep into Boyd's ass. Boyd gasped harshly for air. At some point Sin must have slathered his erection with saliva because the penetration wasn't as mind-numbingly agonizing as it could have been. Even so, it still sent a shock of searing pain through Boyd's body as Sin started fucking him hard.

Boyd's eyes widened as that hard cock started slamming into him. His fingers curled uselessly beneath him and he twisted, his shoulders aching from the pressure of being shoved against the ground. He grunted between gritted teeth and ignored the way the uneven earth ground harshly into his back as Sin pounded into him relentlessly.

He squeezed his eyes shut and his breath came in harsh sounds through his nose. The pain soon mixed into that familiar mix of white hot pleasure and it was difficult for him not to slam up against Sin to try to get it harder.

He was trying so hard not to make noise, not to respond, but then Sin shifted his grip and shoved Boyd's legs up and back until his hips were lifted off the ground. He was left wide open and completely vulnerable as Sin slammed into him deeper and more violently than before.

An aroused shout wrenched out of Boyd despite himself and his eyes snapped open. Sin's pale green eyes held a knowing glint of fire that sent a shock of desire straight to Boyd's stomach.

"Fuck," Boyd hissed helplessly, twisting against the ground. He wanted to get away almost as much as he wanted to push closer, to rock against Sin and get completely lost in the sex. He felt the desire building in him, something that he knew was going to grow more and more carnal; that would take away even his stringent hold on his control.

Their bodies slammed against each other, sweat starting to form on each of them, causing their shirts to cling to their skin. Boyd's toes curled inside his boots each time Sin speared him especially deeply and he couldn't stop himself from the aborted grunts and moans of being taken so hard by his lover.

The fact that his dick remained untouched was starting to drive him crazy. He struggled against the plastic ties, causing them only to dig deeper into his skin but unable to stop himself anyway. His mouth was open as he panted harshly, as mindless moans started taking over any other sound that left him.

"Jesus--" Boyd groaned, shaking his head back and forth. His voice was a desperate twist between stubbornness and arousal. "Oh-- fuck--"

"Have you stooped to begging, now?" Sin asked, his voice deep and rumbling between harsh breaths.

Boyd shook his head frantically and squeezed his eyes shut, eyebrows drawing down. "Like hell," he ground out, the words gravelly and low.

Sin said something, probably talking in character still, but Boyd was starting to get too far gone to be able to understand the words. All he could feel was desire growing overwhelmingly in him, wiping out all thought as his stomach started to knot.

Sin released his grip on Boyd's ankles and pushed his legs so that one was sprawled to the side while the other remained raised. Sin wrapped his fingers around Boyd's leg and pushed back as he snapped his hips faster in sharp staccato motions. His cock wrenched out quickly before slamming back in harder and deeper, hitting every nerve ending that made Boyd nearly scream before he could stop himself. Explosions of pleasure shot through his body and caused his eyes to snap open once again.

The trees were a blur before him, dark brown shapes that he couldn't focus on any more than he could understand if Sin was saying anything to him. He felt something; eyes watching them as they fucked frantically in the middle of the woods. But even then he couldn't bring himself to care. Sin's dick was a pulsing hot length pounding into him, branding Boyd as his. The thought was maddening and it whited out anything else in his mind.

Harsh, helpless gasps of air and moans left Boyd. He was so aroused it hurt and he wanted to touch himself so badly that it was all he could think about. He didn't even hear himself begging for Sin to touch him or let him touch himself.

Sin didn't respond and he didn't even seem to hear it. Desperate groans were leaving his mouth as he likely neared orgasm. His head was tilted slightly backwards and his lips parted as he growled low swears that Boyd was too far gone to properly understand.

He never would have thought that Sin could make him lose his mind with desire like this. He never would have thought that having his hands tied behind his back and Sin being relentless would make him burn so violently with lust that he was blind and deaf to everything except his lover's body slamming against his.

Somewhere along the way, the line between the characters they played and the people they were blurred, and Sin had won the game. The stubborn streak in Boyd was replaced by breathless gasps and a body that writhed against Sin's hold. Boyd had stopped caring about not letting Sin win and instead he had given up complete control. Somewhere along the way, his resistance was replaced by helpless compliance.

Sin started jerking against Boyd more quickly, his hot dick searing into Boyd as Sin's moans grew breathier and more urgent. When Sin finally came, Boyd's name slid off his lips in a low throaty groan that made Boyd shudder.

Even after, he remained hard inside Boyd. He continued to rock against Boyd as he finally took pity and wrapped his long fingers around Boyd's painfully hard cock.

Boyd threw his head back, writhing and groaning. The rough slide of Sin's calloused fingers across his sensitive, straining erection became the center of his universe.

"Oh fuck," he moaned desperately, his entire body trembling and expression twisting. His eyebrows drew up and his lips parted. His face was flushed as he mindlessly rocked his body against Sin's. "Oh please, don't stop, don't stop, I'm gonna-- Oh-- oh God don't stop--"

Sin's hand moved faster on Boyd's cock and that was all it took. Boyd's vision turned white for a moment, his voice cracking as he screamed.

He came harder and longer than usual, the intensity of it leaving his body trembling. He was completely overwhelmed by the orgasm, by the power of the pleasure that ripped through him and made his body snap and arch without him being aware of it. His blood pounded in his veins along with the pleasure, along with Sin's cock still moving in and out of him, and for a moment Boyd was so lost in ecstasy he wouldn't have even been able to say his own name if asked.

When it was over he was hanging in Sin's grip, panting harshly and still moaning helplessly.

When Sin finally let go of Boyd, he collapsed against the leaves without bothering to stop himself. His entire body was tingling from the aftermath of the orgasm and his mind was in another world. His mouth was open as he tried to catch his breath, as he slowly started to come down from that incredible high.

As Boyd lay there, he distantly felt his body tilt and then jerk slightly. After a moment, he realized Sin had cut the zip ties. Boyd's joints ached sharply as he started to work at straightening his arms, bringing them back to his sides. He lay on his back and clenched and released his fingers as he tried to bring feeling back to them. His entire arms, from his shoulders to his fingertips, felt uncomfortable with the needle-pricking of his arms regaining feeling and the blood starting to circulate properly again. He absently rubbed his wrist and looked over to see Sin lying on the ground next to him.

Boyd felt a surge of affection, disbelief and desire at the acknowledgment of what had just happened; at how he had never wanted his lover so badly as he did just a few minutes ago. He almost couldn't comprehend that it had been so intense.

It partially made him want to suggest they do this again sometime, and partially made him wonder how it was that essentially roleplaying being raped could have made him want his lover so badly. He would have wondered if there was something wrong with him if he hadn't already concluded long ago that there was and that it didn't matter because his and Sin's turn ons meshed so well. Not to mention, he knew he wouldn't have reacted the same if it had actually been happening with a real rebel. He'd been so aroused because he knew it was Sin, because it was a game he was playing with his lover to see who would come out on top.

They usually didn't get into competitions or games. Sin typically wasn't interested and Boyd knew Sin would ultimately win anything they tried simply because he was abnormally fast, strong, powerful, and good at everything he did. Boyd didn't remember ever having been fucked so thoroughly as he just had been, though, and the high still buzzed through him with intoxication.

He rolled over and kissed Sin passionately, his fingers catching in Sin's hair and clutching when the heat and taste of his lover mingled with the reverberations of the orgasm still shuddering through him. He was overwhelmed by the moment and as Sin responded Boyd nearly didn't want this to end. But his limbs still felt shaky and his arms still buzzed annoyingly and it wasn't long before, gasping for breath, he broke the kiss and bonelessly flopped onto his back again.

Boyd turned his head to stare at the canopy shifting far above them. Now that he wasn't driven mad with lust, he could hear other sounds again aside from his hammering heartbeat. The background noise of the forest, with birds chirping and leaves rustling in the distance, started to trickle into his awareness.

He closed his eyes, letting the waves of pleasure move through him, and languidly listened to Sin's breath near him.

After a moment Sin shifted, pressing his upper back against the ground as he pulled his pants up. "You realize that someone has been watching us this entire time," he commented with calm indifference.

"I know," Boyd said lazily, opening his eyes and dropping his head to the side to look at Sin. "I was too into it to care."

"It wouldn't matter. We're capable of fighting naked if need be." Sin stood up and rolled his shoulders, staring down at Boyd contemplatively.

A roguish grin grew across Boyd's face and he ran his gaze down what he could see of Sin's body. The mental image of grappling naked with Sin, sweat coursing over their bodies, was intriguing to say the least. "Something to keep in mind for next time."

Sin's mouth twitched and he arched a dark brow. "I'm beginning to think my father was correct about you."

Boyd raised his eyebrows and finally pushed himself up so he was sitting. He looked around until he located his underwear and pants strewn carelessly across the clearing. It took a massive effort to stand and even once he was upright, his knees still felt unsteady. He ignored the sated buzz that moved through him and swiped his clothes off the ground. He had to shake them out to remove as much of the leaves and sticks as possible. When he turned around, he saw Sin flick his gaze along him briefly, taking in his half-naked body before it would be covered.

"Do I even want to know what he said?"

Sin shrugged briefly, turning his face away to peer through the trees that surrounded them. There were no sounds other than the water flowing along the river not too far away and the small woodland animals rustling in the trees. "He said that you, and others who are attracted to me on the compound, get off on the fact that I could murder you quite effortlessly if I wanted to."

Boyd considered that for a moment as he pulled his underwear and pants back over his boots. He didn't want to have to take his shoes off just to get dressed again. "I guess it's true enough. The power in your body is incredibly hot to me-- that's why I thought you'd be more my style in the first place. But I also like it when you're gentle because I know what you're capable of." He shrugged as he adjusted his clothing. "I'm attracted to you for a lot of reasons, though."

Sin nodded, still looking thoughtful. "Is that why you got turned on just now, though?"

"Yes. The way you dominated me and didn't give me a choice made me crazy for you," Boyd said bluntly, his gaze going distant. He wondered whether they would ever fuck like that again. He shook his head to himself and glanced at Sin curiously. "Does that surprise you?"

Another shrug and Sin reached up to adjust the loose knot his black hair was tied into at the nape of his neck. Despite the fact that he'd allowed his hair to grow out so long, having it near his face seemed to irritate him. "Not really. I'm just curious about it all, I suppose. I wonder if you would be as sexually attracted to me if I weren't a supposed super assassin."

"I'm sure I would," Boyd replied easily. He ran his fingers through his hair to remove some of the leaves and sticks that had caught in it during the roleplaying. "That's not the only reason I want you. When we first started having sex, I wasn't as into the aggression as I am now. I liked it rough but even that increased with time after being with you. But all along I've been attracted to your personality and looks. Your strength is just an added bonus for me."

Appearing satisfied, Sin nodded and went back to staring into the forest. "Should we seek out the eyewitness to our roleplaying?"

Boyd nodded and shook his hair out before brushing dirt and crushed leaves off his clothing. "I've been wondering who it is. It could even be the killer." He looked over at Sin and quirked an eyebrow. "Or the ghost."

A low scoff emanated from Sin. "And it begins."

Boyd grinned and started to head in the direction of the spot Cassie and Angela had talked about. "You know you like it."

"Your stubbornness?" Sin asked with a great deal of skepticism in his voice but after a moment his full lips twitched upwards. "Maybe."

Boyd gave Sin a pleased smirk. They headed through the woods, the trees shifting around them with the occasional colorful leaf raining down. They stayed alert the entire way, keeping watch for anyone. Twice, Sin tilted his head in a direction as if he'd heard something but Boyd never did and ultimately it was dismissed both times.

As they walked, the woods became denser. The shadows grew across the ground and despite the fact that Autumn was underway and the leaves had started to turn colors and fall off the trees, the canopy here seemed thicker. The natural sounds Boyd could hear in the background started to fall away and become more muffled somehow. It could have been his imagination but it seemed like there were fewer birds singing and the trees started to creak rather than rustle.

There was an ominous quality that Boyd couldn't quite place and he glanced at Sin to see if his partner noticed it. Sin was looking around with the same hawk-like gaze as he had before, making Boyd believe he was unaffected by what Boyd perceived to be a subtle shift in the environment.

He didn't know if he was just imagining the change. He'd had an affinity for ghost stories ever since he was a child and his dad used to tell stories in the attic, a blanket thrown over them in a makeshift fort while Lou and Boyd sat wide-eyed staring at him. Cedrick used to use a flashlight and flicker it on and off, aimed up from beneath his chin to cast his features in shadows.

Ghost stories reminded Boyd of that time and of the murder mysteries his father had started to write before he died. They made him feel nostalgic and he couldn't deny that he had a certain amount of interest in them. Especially since he didn't actually disbelieve in ghosts, although he didn't particularly believe in them either.

As they went deeper into the woods, Boyd decided it was probably a good thing they hadn't decided to walk there in the middle of the night.

He kept an eye out ahead of them, keeping in mind the directions they'd been given and following Sin every time he shifted in a different direction. Boyd's ability to navigate forests had increased over time, although he still had a harder time than in buildings or the middle of a city. When they reached the area Boyd thought the spot was supposed to be, at first he didn't see anything that stood out. The forest looked the same in every direction.

But as they pushed their way through some foliage, they saw a skinny, winding path that led into a deeper, darker area. They followed it to a small clearing that opened up around them, only a few feet across and crowded in by tall trees that would appear gloomy in the dark.

As they stepped into the clearing, Boyd felt a shiver move through him even though he couldn't say why exactly. It wasn't any colder here than elsewhere; it was something else about the place. Something that almost seemed... off.

"This is it," he said, looking over at Sin seriously.

Sin didn't respond at first. His pale green eyes were moving about the area and frequently flitting to the trees that surrounded them as if his already sharp senses were hyper-aware.

"Yes," he agreed belatedly.

Boyd turned in a circle, peering into the woods and seeing nothing that seemed amiss. "Do you see anything?"

"No." Sin frowned slightly and glared around the clearing. "But I feel like I should be able to."

"It's the ghost's veil," Boyd said ominously as he approached the northern edge of the clearing. "Annie has recognized your power and she's taken extra precautions to keep you in the dark."

Sin ignored the comment completely but not without rolling his eyes. He walked the length of the clearing and swept it with his eyes. "What would you intend to do if we actually found something that the police did not?"

"I don't know," Boyd said somewhat absently as he peered into the woods.

He thought he saw a flash of something slightly darker than the background move but when he tried to follow it with his gaze, it disappeared. He scrutinized the area he'd seen it and couldn't see anything that led him to believe someone was there. The shiver he'd felt earlier moved through him again and he abruptly walked back toward Sin. He didn't want to say aloud that he was finding the place to actually be a little creepy.

"I guess tell them about it," he said belatedly with a shrug, keeping his tone completely casual. "Or try to leave them a clue so a local can find it." He looked over at Sin. "Why?"

Sin crouched next to a rotted log and ran his fingers along it idly. "There are two reasons why I think we should not get involved," he admitted. "One is because of what I would likely be inclined to do if we actually found something."

"Which is?" Boyd asked, pausing and looking at his lover in mild intrigue.

"Probably do to them what I did to Jared," Sin replied calmly. He glanced over at Boyd with a slight frown. "I find it odd."

Boyd drew his eyebrows down and looked at Sin. He wasn't particularly surprised to hear Sin say that; it wasn't unusual for Sin to kill someone to protect or avenge innocents. "What's odd?"

Sin continued to run his fingers along the log, his eyes moving from Boyd's gaze to once again begin searching the woods. "That I even give a shit. This isn't something that I'm involved with or that I'm responsible for. I wish that I didn't have this bizarre inclination to avenge or help civilians. Annabelle believed it was guilt from the incidents in my past. I wish it would go away."

Boyd paused and studied Sin; that long, silky black hair that was starting to fall out of the knot again, the pale green eyes that could be so enigmatic, those sculpted features with those full lips... Even somewhat perturbed, Sin was gorgeous. Boyd could see how the inclination could frustrate Sin but for Boyd, it was just another part of his partner that made him who he was.

He shook his head to himself. "I don't think it's just guilt," he said, his gaze caught by Sin's eyes. "But the fact that you do care is one of the reasons why I love you."

A faint smile formed on Sin's mouth and he gave Boyd one of those rare looks that made warmth flood Boyd's body. It wasn't very often when Boyd could say that Sin looked truly and genuinely happy.

"Now that we're here," Sin said after dragging his gaze away and clearing his throat as if the moment had made him uncomfortable. "What would you like to do, Detective Beaulieu?"

"Investigate of course," Boyd said importantly. He looked down at the ground to see if there were any obvious indications of foul play, movement, or of what had happened. "I'm wondering about the footprints. How can someone just disappear without any indication as to how? There have to be tire tracks, footprints, drag marks-- something to show what happened."

Sin said nothing and didn't appear genuinely interested in the puzzle. He watched Boyd look around the scene quietly before asking, "If I hadn't agreed to come here, would you have come on your own?"

"Probably," Boyd said, pausing as he crouched near the edge of the clearing. He pulled some hair behind his ear and looked over his shoulder curiously. "Why?"

"Because I'm not entirely comfortable with that," Sin replied evenly, a frown marring his striking face as he shifted his gaze away. He crossed his arms over his chest, shrugging slightly. "What if you were to disappear without a trace?"

An amused smile curved Boyd's lips. "You believe in the ghost now?"

"No," Sin scoffed. "But obviously something strange is going on here. Something that cannot be readily explained, even by an assassin such as myself who excels in making people disappear without a trace."

"True," Boyd agreed.

He scrutinized the disturbed dirt. It was clear from the number of footprints that more than one person had been in this area in the last few days, but he'd determined that most of them were probably a few gawkers and the local law enforcement. Most of the tracks wove around aimlessly, as if the people had been searching for someone, and the prints he saw the most were accompanied by paw prints from a dog.

"But I would've been able to handle it even if I ran into the local serial killer," he added.

"Maybe. But without any information on who they are, how can you be so sure? If this person is skilled enough to have been causing people to disappear without a trace for years, who is to say what they're capable of or what kind of training they have?"

Boyd stood and turned back toward the direction of the town, although he paused before he continued his search. "I don't know," he said more seriously, watching his partner. It was true that he didn't really know what they were dealing with, especially since the atmosphere here was mildly disturbing on a level he couldn't explain. His eyebrows drew down. "Was that your second reason?"

"No." Sin's eyes roamed the trees around them once again. The thick forest that surrounded them somehow made his eyes look greener. "I just don't want you to become arrogant because of your improved abilities. And I mean that for all scenarios-- not just the one I gave."

Boyd raised an eyebrow, not sure whether or not he was insulted. He crossed his arms and straightened his back. "You don't trust me to know my own limits?"

"I don't really know if me trusting you has anything to do with it. I asked because I wouldn't want you to come here on your own because the situation in this town and these woods is strange and unexplainable at the moment and I would be concerned." Sin arched a brow and looked at his partner again. "But your answer implied that you are completely confident coming here on your own without knowing who your opponent might be. Either you're brushing it off as it being a crazy hick or you're assuming you can take anyone down. The impression given is that you're pretty sure of yourself now."

There was a moment of silence as Boyd watched Sin before he dropped his gaze to the footprints. He'd been trying not to contaminate the scene too much while walking around and it took him a moment to see where the footprints began that he attributed to the missing woman's.

Hers were smaller, lighter, and the only set of footprints in the clearing that walked in steadily, without weaving around. Judging by the stride and impressions of her shoes, she'd been walking a little slowly but otherwise with a purpose. Hers were the only footprints that suddenly and inexplicably disappeared just off-center of the clearing.

He stopped near where the woman's footprints disappeared as he considered what Sin said. "I am pretty confident now," he admitted, his eyes narrowing in thought.

Boyd frowned to himself and met Sin's eyes again. "But I'm not stupid. If I'd felt anything amiss, I would've left or not approached on my own in the first place. But this ghost or serial killer or whatever it is seems to only hit once every few years. If one person is already missing, why would the killer break their fifty-year pattern for me? It seems more likely the killer is someone who takes their time with the victim and is probably enmeshed in their routine right now. And unless the person we're dealing with is a clone of you, I'm fairly certain I would be able to get away even if they did come after me."

Sin nodded, and after a pause his eyebrows drew down slightly. "I'm sure you would. My concern for you isn't because I doubt your abilities. Our little training exercise more than proved that you're on par with Jon and perhaps even Trovosky now. It's because I care about you and I don't think I can deal with any more traumatic occurrences now that we're finally together."

Boyd smiled, undeniably pleased by the sentiment of Sin's words. "I'll keep that in mind and be especially careful, then."

He paused, experiencing what was becoming a familiar feeling of eyes watching them. He looked over his shoulder into the trees but the shadows engulfed anything that may have been visible. A mildly troubled look grew on his face, his eyebrows drawing down as he looked over at Sin again. "That reminds me, though. Have you felt like you're being watched back home at all?"

"At times," Sin replied without hesitation, looking at his lover more seriously. "But it's usually when we're together so I typically attribute it to agents keeping tabs or nosy neighbors. Why?"

"I don't know," Boyd said pensively, turning fully toward Sin and forgetting for the moment about the mystery laid out in dusty footprints at their feet. "For months, on and off I feel like I'm being watched, usually when I'm alone. There tends to be a rational explanation, like Mrs. Hensley peering through her blinds or someone I know stopping by, so I can't tell if I'm being paranoid. But the fact it hasn't stopped has started to bother me and I wondered if I was the only one."

"At the moment," Sin began, straightening and casting his hawk-like glare around the clearing sharply. "I think we both know you're not."

They met eyes briefly, unspoken words passing between them. Without hesitation, they both moved silently into the woods surrounding the clearing. Boyd could feel the presence of someone amongst the groaning trees; someone who had been watching them for awhile now. As he moved through the forest, Sin's familiar form at his side and occasionally disappearing for portions of a second behind tree trunks, he felt adrenaline grow within him.

He wondered if he'd been wrong; if the serial killer had returned to the scene of the crime and if the pattern would have escalated had they not been there to stop it. He wondered if the mystery would end here.

He strained his ears and could hear quiet sounds-- muffled breath, the shifting of weight, the crinkling of leaves. His attention zeroed in on those noises while he and Sin spread apart further, keeping each other in view while still starting to circle around their target.

The shadows darkened despite the relatively bright sky shining above the canopy. It was inexplicable save the fact that these woods were unusually thick in this area. Boyd could feel his heartbeat increasing while his thoughts grew quicker-- if this was the serial killer, had he been the one watching them have sex? Why would he do that? Why had he followed them here? If it wasn't the same person, who had been watching them earlier?

Whispers grew in front of them, mingling with the susurration of insects and the leaves rustling in the trees. Boyd wouldn't have listened to the words even if he'd been able to understand them, although he did note that they seemed to have two targets. Before their targets could do anything, the two agents moved in quickly and slammed them to the ground to incapacitate them.

Two very female, terrified screams pierced through the woods. Boyd looked more closely at the body struggling beneath him and he was surprised to see Cassie staring up at him with wide eyes and a mouth that wasn't stopping a rambling of pleas and explanations. Boyd glanced over and saw Sin had Angela pinned to the ground.

"Cassie?" Boyd said incredulously.

"We didn't see anything!" Cassie was protesting desperately. "We won't tell anyone!"

"Tell anyone what?" Boyd demanded, wondering if she'd overheard something she shouldn't have; something related to the Agency.

But Cassie's entire face reddened and she darted a nervous glance toward Sin and Angela.

Sin stared at Angela's blanched face, rolled his eyes and released her. His face was unreadable and it was difficult to determine if he was relieved that they weren't happening upon any real trouble or disappointed by the same fact.

"Um..." Angela trailed off nervously.

If it hadn't been clear before that Cassie and Angela had been the ones watching them have sex earlier, it was obvious now. Boyd released Cassie, watching as the two locals scrambled to their feet. He shook his head and stepped back, running a hand through his hair. The adrenaline that had built was still thrumming through him despite the fact there was nothing to spend it on.

Cassie straightened her clothes and looked between Boyd and Sin with wide eyes. Angela stood near her, close enough that they were nearly touching, and the uncertain way they held themselves with their shoulders hunched made it clear enough that they didn't know what to do. Cassie opened her mouth but Boyd held up a hand to forgo another round of rambling.

"Just-- go," he said in exasperation.

Relief won over the embarrassment and guilt staining their expressions. Without waiting for Boyd or Sin to change their minds, Cassie and Angela nearly tripped over themselves as they scurried away. Boyd stared after their forms until they disappeared between the trees, and only then did he look over at his lover.

The build up of adrenaline crashed around Boyd, and the creepiness of the woods surrounding them seemed at once embarrassing and unchanged. The hypersensitivity he'd been feeling to the dark, groaning trees didn't dull, yet he was glad he hadn't said anything to Sin because in the fact of two terrified voyeuristic teenagers scrambling away, the whole thing seemed silly. Here they were, agents for a secret organization, people who routinely fought for their lives-- and they'd been distracted by two girls curious about gay sex.

"Well then," Sin said flatly.

"I don't know whether to be amused or disappointed," Boyd admitted with a grimace. He ran a hand through his blond hair and looked to the trees. The shadows still engulfed the world around them and yet now, with the absence of eyes watching their every move, it didn't seem as mysterious. "I was actually starting to get excited about the idea of catching the killer."

"Despite myself, I was too." Sin smirked and shook his head, giving Boyd a sidelong glance. "But there's more interesting things we could be doing, anyway. Let's get out of here."

Boyd flashed an intrigued smile and followed his lover through the woods and away from the clearing that had inexplicably witnessed the end of so many lives.

Continue to Making It Count - Part III