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

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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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Interlude 3.21

Uploaded on 10/13/2009

The thrum of bass vibrated along the walls and shook the club like a miniature earthquake. After nearly an hour of the DJ playing an ongoing rotation of top twenty pop hits, the mellow groove of a series of trance songs appeared to be a welcome respite. The melodic beat slithered through the dimly lit room and little by little, the previously stationary patrons were beginning to move.

Women clothed in swaths of metallic fabric swayed to the beat, their eyes sliding shut and lips turning upwards. Heads were tilted back and cascades of shining hair tumbled over bare shoulders. The male patrons could only look on in awe as the combination of hypnotic music and drugs turned their female counterparts into living manifestations of temptation. Slowly the men joined the women and the dance floor became a thriving mass of moving limbs.       

Absent were the vulgar gyrations of typical night club dance floors. Instead, the patrons of Pathos moved as though they were in a trance. They moved as though the music was absorbing into their flesh, as if every sensation was magnified to the fullest extent and they were trying to ride it out as long as possible. They moved as though they were in slow motion, not wanting to wake up from a dream.
And in a way, it was true. At least 85% of the patrons were high on Pandora, the newest drug of choice. It was what Pathos was known for; that and the dark corners that enticed the more risque of the crowd. The patrons were a mix of socialites and politicians; the 5% elite of the city. There were also a few rare individuals who were beautiful enough to get in on looks alone. Their presence suited the more connected patrons just fine; there was always a use for fresh meat.

Sin had no desire to be groped or ogled. He was unmoved by the attention he and his father were receiving and hadn't derived any pleasure from the fact that the doorman had actually picked them out of the crowd from the back of the line and ushered them inside.

He'd thought they were brothers and Sin had trouble keeping a straight face when Emilio's face had lit up like a spotlight at the comment.

Sin navigated the crowd easily, slipping in and out in a way that was familiar to him from his time in Monterrey. His eyes flit over the patrons in their expensive designer clothes, the men wearing five figure suits and the women decked out in anything from nearly translucent fabrics to leather.

Nearly everyone was beautiful with an aura about them that exuded pure sexuality. It was almost overwhelming and Sin had no delusions that his father was already losing himself in the environment.

Sin looked over his shoulder briefly and wasn't surprised to see that his father wasn't even bothering to look for the target. He was leaning against a wall and smirking indulgently at a dark-haired woman with a pixie haircut, short shorts and heels that looked like needles.

With a shake of his head, Sin went back to his search. His eyes skimmed the perimeter and paused only when they reached the bar.

Apparently his lover had had no trouble getting in either.

It was hard not to stare at Boyd and Sin actually stopped walking in the middle of the dance floor to do just that.

Boyd was clad in close-fitting black pants that were tight enough for the shape of his ass to be clearly visible as he leaned over the bar. He wore a fitted indigo shirt that had the top two buttons undone. His toned arms, which Sin hadn't seen for the first year of their partnership, showed the lean muscles he'd developed in the last several months of training. His hair was pulled back in a low ponytail, some of it coming loose and brushing the sides of his face. His hair shone under the lights of the bar and Sin's fingers itched with the desire to touch it.

Sin wet his lips and jerked his eyes away, stepping around a loosely embracing couple and moving deeper into the depths of the club.

"Anything yet?" he muttered into his comm.

"Nothing," Boyd's voice murmured.

Emilio apparently didn't see the point in replying.

Sin moved past a trio of androgynous women and ignored it when one of them gave him a lingering smile. She was striking, with high cheekbones and large, intense eyes but Sin didn't even feel a spark of interest.

His eyes roved back to the bar and he saw Boyd talking to a woman with long black hair. Sin wondered if Boyd was flirting with her and couldn't help wondering if he should do the same. He wondered if it made him stand out that he showed no interest in anyone but at the same time, most of the patrons were so stoned on PD he doubted they'd notice.

It would be handy if their target was also stoned but somehow Sin doubted it. Even if Rhys Penway was the type to get wasted in a public setting, his handlers likely wouldn't allow him to become a complete mess. And by handlers, the mission outline had referenced the iron inner circle of Rhys' father's organization, who routinely went out heavily armed.

Sin stopped his idle walk around the club and stood against the burgundy wall, crossing his arms over the too tight grey t-shirt he wore. "I don't think he's here yet."

Across the room, Boyd turned away from the woman under the guise of reaching for a drink. His voice came across quietly, "There's time."

Sin said nothing in response and debated approaching the other bar for a drink. He hadn't had a whiskey sour since Monterrey and it would at least give him something to do.


His gaze shifted from the side bar to his left. The androgynous girl with the soulful brown eyes was standing near him, her wide mouth twitched in a half smile.

"Hi," Sin said flatly, staring at her.

"You're beautiful," she replied, eyes practically caressing his features and the lines of his torso.

Sin snorted and leaned his back against the wall as he observed her face. Her eyes were dilated and her skin flushed, glimmering slightly with moisture. "And you're high."

Her grin widened slightly and she leaned against the wall next to him. She was rail thin and nearly completely flat chested. She could have passed for a teenage boy if it wasn't for the makeup. She reached out a hand and slid it along his muscular arm, massaging it with the tips of her fingers.

"Want to find a corner and fuck?" she asked bluntly.

Sin didn't react. The mission profile had stated that the regular patrons of Pathos were incredibly sexually outgoing.

"Yes," he replied flatly. "But not you."

Her face colored and Sin pushed himself away from the wall, turning away.

His mind supplied images of the person he did want to fuck. He couldn't help remembering the previous night.

Boyd on the couch, faced away and bouncing on Sin's cock. His blond hair had been loose; catching against his smooth back, slick with sweat. Boyd had been bent over as his long, pale fingers clutched the coffee table in front of him, the husky timbre of his moans growing louder as they'd fucked faster. Sin had gotten off hard on the ability to watch his cock ram in and out of Boyd's ass. He couldn't remember ever coming that violently.

Sin licked his lips and glanced at Boyd again from across the club. His skin looked flawless beneath the lights, his hair golden and silky; perfect. He was saying something to the woman and even though Sin could read Boyd well enough to know his eyes were void of interest, his full lips were lifted in the ghost of a smile.

Sin pictured himself fucking that mouth and had to force himself to look away. Apparently having regular sex turned him into a completely hormone driven teenager. Sin vaguely remembered having the same thought in Monterrey.

It wasn't long before Sin could feel a gaze burning into him and he looked over. The woman was gone and although Boyd hadn't left the bar, he had easily found Sin in the slowly writhing crowd. The disinterest in Boyd's eyes was absent, replaced by a smoldering brown gaze that flicked the length of Sin's body.

When their eyes met across the room, Sin knew Boyd was thinking about the same thing.

Sin ripped his eyes away but they moved back almost instantly of their own accord. Before he could even comprehend what he was doing, Sin tilted his head towards the dark hallway that led to the restrooms. He headed in that direction without waiting to see if Boyd would actually follow.

There was a tight ball of desire inside him that wanted, needed, to explode. In the week since they'd gotten back together, they'd only seen each other twice and it felt like it hadn't been enough. Even last night when he'd spent the night at Boyd's house for the first time in over a year-- it still hadn't been enough. It just left him wanting more.

There were no lights in the hallway or, if there were any, they'd long ago purposefully been left off for situations like this. Still, in the reflected light from the main floor Sin could see the glint off glass on what appeared to be the occasional picture hung up. His eyesight cut through the gloom and he could make out artistic closeups of what appeared to be Pandora pills. It was unsurprising, since Pathos made no attempt to hide what happened inside. It did however make him wonder what the place looked like in the light of day without all the darkness and intrigue.

The restrooms were at the end and around a corner. When he pushed open the door to the men's room, the flickering, pale light inside showed darkly painted walls, black urinals, and empty stalls. Words had been scrawled on some of the walls; graffiti and advertisements for free sex from patrons in the past, written with pale silver ink. The words were almost ghostly in the dim light, a faint afterimage against walls that looked so dark they were probably painted black. The ambiance it gave could have been why it was never washed off or maybe that much graffiti had been written in the space of one night.

His gaze was caught on a particularly vulgar excerpt near the furthest stall, the description automatically making him think of Boyd's pale, sweat-soaked body and those lips reddened and parted. The yearning inside him grew strong and he heard the door swing open behind him. He looked over his shoulder and was pleased to see Boyd, eyes burning with desire so strongly it nearly cut a hole through Sin.

Boyd barely paused at the door before he strode over, his fingers sliding into Sin's hair at the back of his head and tugging him down. He didn't wait for Sin to say anything before he captured Sin's lips in a salacious kiss.

The taste of Boyd's mouth fanned the flames that had been growing ever since they'd stepped out of Unit 16 in their undercover garb. Sin slid his hands down and squeezed Boyd's ass, yanking him closer until there was not even a centimeter of space between their bodies. The tight jeans Sin wore felt nearly painful as his hardening cock strained against the stiff, previously unworn fabric. He could feel Boyd's erection pressing against his own.

Sin growled lowly before tearing his mouth away.

"I could fuck you right here," he said against Boyd's lips, unable to stop himself from flicking his tongue out to taste them again.

Boyd dropped his hands to Sin's hips and squeezed, his fingers slipping beneath the waistband of Sin's jeans. The desire to get rid of the layer of clothing between them strengthened.

"Then fuck me," Boyd muttered, voice thick with desire.

Sin captured Boyd's mouth in another burning kiss. It was wet, sloppy and almost ferociously needy. He reached one hand up to tangle in the hair at the nape of Boyd's neck, still clutching Boyd's ass with the other.

His heart was pounding in his chest and the excitement was building. He remembered the fevered kisses they'd shared in the darkened alcoves in Lunar. He remembered Boyd always backing away before they could go too far.

Sin pulled away abruptly and shoved Boyd backwards as his pale green eyes narrowed. Boyd stumbled slightly, unprepared for the motion, and Sin repeated it, backing his partner into one of the cramped stalls.

He crowded Boyd inside, mere inches on either side of them, and he kicked the door shut behind him. There wasn't even a pause before they were on each other again.

Sin forced Boyd against the wall of the stall, causing Boyd's back to thump against it. The sound echoed in the empty tiled room and was quickly joined with the mingling of their heavy panting and harsh groans. Boyd seemed especially turned on by the way Sin was pushing him around.

They kissed fiercely and Sin wound his fingers in Boyd's hair, yanking out the tie and freeing the golden strands. He yanked Boyd's head backward and fastened his lips on the other man's neck, licking, sucking and grazing his teeth along the heated flesh of it.

"Oh fuck," Boyd hissed, arching his back and throwing his head back further.

His feet slipped against the floor, one leg going between Sin's while his other booted foot braced against the opposite wall of the stall. His fingers tangled in Sin's hair and his other hand slid across Sin's back as if he couldn't decide what he wanted to touch most.

Sin could feel Boyd's body straining against his own, his hips rocking against him. There was desperation in the motions of his body even though they'd had sex the night before. Ever since they'd gotten back together they fucked like every time it would be the last.

"Mighty convenient how the both of y'all disappeared at the same time," a low voice drawled in Sin's ear through the comm.

He ignored it and began ripping his belt open as Boyd leaned his back against the stall and anxiously shoved his own pants down. They tangled around one ankle and Boyd lifted the other foot around Sin's side and pressed it up against the opposite wall once again.

Sin shifted in front of Boyd and lubed his cock with saliva as Boyd watched with unconcealed desire. His lips were parted and wet, his eyes heavy lidded and smoldering. Sin could vaguely hear his father's voice making another wan observation about their performance but he ignored it. He could barely even hear it over the sound of his heart pounding when he shifted down slightly and slammed his cock deep into Boyd's hole.

He was sure it hurt but Boyd didn't complain. He just threw his head back with a muffled groan and braced his foot against the wall. He gripped one of Sin's shoulders and when Sin's hips started to snap, Boyd moved in time with each thrust.

Boyd's voice echoed through the silent bathroom, his groans and pleas to be fucked harder growing louder and more desperate as Sin fucked him.

Twice the door opened and someone entered. Neither patron appeared very put off by the sight of three feet beneath the stall, by one of Sin's hands gripping the stall wall with a white-knuckled grip. They didn't seem fazed by the sound of Sin and Boyd's frantic sex.

Lewd comments were made and one plea to be invited to the party was extended but that was the extent of the interruptions.

Sin's fingers dug so hard into the top of the stall that he could feel it bending beneath his hand. He paid it no heed and slammed up against Boyd harder. His mouth hung open slightly as he stared into Boyd's golden eyes. They didn't break eye contact and hadn't since they'd started fucking. There was something about that fact that made the flood of pleasure that was building in Sin's gut want to release even faster.

"Fuck me deeper, baby," Boyd said low in his throat, sweat trickling down the sides of his face. His honey brown eyes were ablaze with lust and pleasure that sucked Sin in.

Sin bit down on his lip and slammed deeper, muffled grunts escaping his clamped mouth when Boyd's muscles contracted around him.

"Ahh, yes-- Harder!" Boyd growled, digging his fingers into Sin's shoulder.

Sin slid his free hand down to grip Boyd's ass as he moved even more violently, giving Boyd every inch of his barely lubed cock that would fit.

"Yess," Boyd groaned, breaking eye contact finally when his eyes rolled back in his head.

Boyd's mouth was open as he panted harshly, his expression the picture of ecstasy. Their bodies pounded against each other in desperate desire, Boyd's fingers like a vice through Sin's thin t-shirt while Sin was nearly getting lost in the feel of that tight, hot body encasing him. Boyd's hair jerked around his face each time Sin slammed into him, each time his back was pressed against the wall.

An especially loud moan echoed around them and Boyd started moving faster. Words spilled from his mouth in a rise and fall of breathy murmurs and echoing moans.

"Yeah, baby-- ohh fuck, just like that-- Oh-- oh, Hsin--"

"Target in sight, assholes," Emilio's voice growled impatiently.

Sin's hand spasmed against the top of the stall and despite his thundering heart and the desire running rampant through him, his motions stilled.

Boyd's body tensed, his hands tightening powerfully against Sin. His eyes snapped open into a glare, glittering from behind a curtain of disorderly blond hair.

"Stop and I'll fucking kill you," he hissed dangerously.


Boyd squeezed the tight ring of muscles that surrounded Sin's dick and Sin choked out a low groan. He started fucking Boyd more intensely and they moved against each other so violently that the stall rocked. The slapping sound of skin against skin surrounded them along with their increasing gasps and groans.

Boyd reached between his legs and started to frantically jerk his own cock just as Sin exploded inside him. The high of his orgasm was only slightly tempered by the knowledge that they were in the middle of a mission. He came so hard that for a moment all he could feel was ecstasy pounding through him to the rushing beat of his heart.

"Shit," Sin uttered hoarsely and pulled out, staggering slightly even as Boyd shouted desperately and ejaculated onto the floor.

Just as they both stilled there was the distinct sound of someone screaming that was quickly followed by shots being fired.

Boyd's eyes narrowed and snapped toward the door. His face was still flushed with pleasure but his expression became more serious despite the fact that his eyes were still glittering from the encounter with Sin.

"Shit," Sin muttered more fiercely this time, fixing his pants quickly and hurrying out of the stall. Just as he stepped foot out of the bathroom, he heard Boyd following close behind.

The club was in a state of chaos.

The tranquil scene had been shattered and people were running, cowering behind furniture or foolishly screaming hysterically. Sin's lip curled in disgust and he wondered how civilians ever got anywhere in life if they acted this ridiculous over a couple of gunshots.

As if on cue, another series of them rang out and Sin's eyes narrowed as he ducked to the side and into the shadows of one of the alcoves as he surveyed the situation. He immediately spotted his father crouched behind the bar by himself as he exchanged gunfire with Rhys and six of his bodyguards, who had set up shop behind an overturned table.

Sin's eyes narrowed. His father was an idiot. "What the hell did you do?" he hissed into his comm, ducking down and out of sight as Boyd did the same on the opposite side.

"I told you I spotted the damn target," Emilio replied coolly. "Maybe if you didn't have your dick in Boyd's ass or mouth or whatever, you'd have heard."

"I'm sure you've never done that," Boyd said dryly into the comm, darting around the corner of the table to shoot at the bodyguards. His eyes were narrowed as he fell into the disaffected expression he defaulted to on missions. His gun hand was steady as he dispatched several bullets in a row.

"I'll have to tell Zachary what you think of our former partnership," Emilio replied calmly as if he wasn't in the middle of a gunfight that he had likely initiated.

Sin made a face and ducked down, scurrying over to where his father was casually leaned up against the back of the bar. Just as Sin sank down entirely, glass bottles exploded around him from bullets fired in his direction.

"What the hell happened?" he demanded.

Emilio shrugged casually. "We was supposed to regroup whenever the guy got here but you and blondie was nowhere to be found so I did shit my way."

"Walked up and started waving your gun around?"

"Some shit like that."

Sin scoffed, unsurprised.

Both of them began firing over the counter at the same time. There were eight guards with Rhys, who was nowhere to be seen.

"Boyd, is Rhys in your line of sight?" Emilio demanded over the comm.

"No," Boyd replied over the comm. "But he hasn't left. He's still behind the bar."

"Fucking cake walk," Emilio muttered, shoving a new clip into his gun.

Sin peered around the side of the bar and arched a brow. "You think?"

Emilio's pale green eyes flicked over to him questioningly before he also looked around and saw several more guards flooding into the night club. Obviously Rhys hadn't just been praying behind that counter; he'd called backup as well.

"Coño," Emilio muttered, making a face.

"Boyd, get cover," Sin grunted into his comm as the group began unloading on them. Glass flew everywhere, spraying against his face and arms. Chips of wood were blasted off nearby pieces of furniture and even the counter-top was soon riddled.

Sin could hear bullets slamming into the thick barrier that the lower bar created for he and his father. He wondered how long it would hold and shifted position, peering around the side again. Boyd had snaked his way closer to the opposite bar but the barrage of gunfire had forced him into one of the alcoves, not giving him the opportunity to do so much as shoot around the corner every so often.

"We need a plan," Boyd's voice observed calmly.

"Yeah this shit will go on all night and next thing you know, the fucking cops are gonna be here and I can't deal with no shit like that," Emilio agreed as a bullet whizzed past one of his ears. He yelped and brought his hand up, touching the flesh gingerly. It'd been grazed but at least it was still intact. "Why can't these dumb fucks just give up and know what's good for them?"

"Says the guy who's outnumbered 3 to 1," Sin muttered, making a face. His father never ceased to amaze him.

"Well then do something, super agent," Emilio drawled, glancing at his son. "And stop bitching."

Sin glared at him for a brief moment and just then, Boyd shouted that Rhys was on the move.


"Don't fucking pursue!" Sin shouted over the gunfire, violently smacking Emilio on the head.

There was no way for Boyd to move without becoming instantly riddled with bullets. He was barely even getting cover from the indentation in the wall.

"If this fucking mission fails I'll shoot both of you homos," Emilio growled impatiently, leaping to his booted feet and taking out two of the men who were focused solely on Boyd. He got a bullet in his vest for the effort but it barely made him flinch.

Boyd used the distraction to roll out of the alcove and skitter beneath a table but just as he overturned it, half the gunfire once again shifted in his direction and Sin saw Rhys scrambling to the exit.

Irritation swelled inside Sin. He really didn't feel like dealing with a failed mission just because Rhys couldn't go to a club without half an army at hand to wipe his ass. What kind of person traveled with this much security? A faggot ass daddy's boy who liked to throw his weight around, Sin answered himself with a scoff.

On that note, he decided that Rhys was not going to get away. There was no way some skinny pathetic kid who was spoiled off blood money and liked to bully every little person who got in his way was going to get them put on probation.

It just wasn't going to happen.

Sin threw himself sideways and out of the side of the bar, rolling into a stand nearly instantly. He gripped the side of the bar and grit his teeth, bracing his foot against it.

"What the fuck are you doing?" Emilio shouted incredulously.

Boyd made a sound of surprise over the comm and shifted behind the table, focusing his aim solely on the guards who otherwise could have shot at Sin.

Sin didn't respond to Emilio and grunted, exerting all his strength to rip off the top half of the counter. There was a loud grinding sound that was accompanied by the whine of metal twisting. He growled low under his breath, eyebrows drawing together as his fingers dug into the jagged sides before it wrenched free.

He didn't pause or look at his partners before he flipped the rectangular slab. He reared it backwards seemingly effortlessly, swung it forward and released it.

There was a pause in gunfire as the jagged construct soared through the air and knocked violently into three of the guards. The others dodged out of the way and there was an extended scramble of confusion as blood and gore splattered on the floor.

Sin took off running and exited the club. He could hear Boyd and his father finishing off the remaining guards now that their cohesive organization had been shattered.

Sin's eyes scanned the perimeter of the night club for Rhys. He spotted the man frantically trying to unlock a dark colored town car. Just as Sin's feet began to pound against the rain dampened pavement, Rhys gained access and the car roared to life.

"Boyd, let him finish that shit!" Sin shouted, throwing himself forward just as the car began to glide away from the curb.  

"On it," Boyd's voice came across evenly.

Sin grabbed the top of the car and dug his fingers in, biting back a swear as his body slammed against it violently. He didn't entirely know what his plan was as far as riding the top of the car as Rhys swerved through the leanly trafficked streets of the downtown area. All he knew was that if for some reason Boyd didn't catch up with them in time, he was going to have to try not to slip on the rain-slicked roof. He could easily break his neck in an effort to get inside.

He ignored the alarmed honks of other cars and the sound of police sirens in the distance as he tried to keep his grip on the car. Rhys was swerving and driving as fast as he could without crashing and Sin's hand lost purchase on more than one occasion, although each time he was able to catch himself.

Just as Rhys took a sharp turn and Sin's entire body flipped over the side of the roof and slammed against the passenger's side, the Agency van appeared.

Relief sang through Sin and he hoisted himself up, trying to scramble upwards before he was dashed to the street. He could see the black van speeding past them in his peripheral vision before it took a sharp u-turn and screeched to a stop in the one-lane road that Rhys had turned onto.

Rhys shouted and slammed on the breaks. The car squealed loudly and Sin could smell burning rubber as it briefly spun out of control.

His hands slipped and he completely lost his grip, flying off the vehicle and tumbling a short ways away. He covered his head with his hands instinctively, thankful that at least he'd been able to hold on until the vehicle had slowed down to a near stop.

Even so, his head smacked against the pavement more than once and his cheek rubbed against the burning street.

Sin opened one eye as he lay sprawled on the wet road and looked up. Emilio and Boyd had already exited the vehicle and were dragging a kicking and screaming Rhys out of his car. Sin allowed both eyes to shut and his face to rest against the street with a sigh.

At least Emilio had let Boyd drive. In the near twenty years since his father's absence, the man still drove like a drunk teenager trying to win a drag race.

Sin lay there for a moment, hearing footsteps approach. He opened his eyes in time to see Boyd leaning over him, visually searching Sin in concern.

"Are you okay?" Boyd asked, holding his hand out.

Sin grasped Boyd's hand and allowed himself to be hoisted up. "Yeah."

Boyd didn't immediately let go of Sin's hand. His fingers curled against Sin's as he did another brief once-over of Sin, something troubled about the look in his honey brown eyes. It didn't leave even when his eyebrows drew down and he turned toward the van with a nod. "We have to get out of here."

Sin didn't argue with that. They moved quickly while police sirens drew steadily closer. Emilio was just finishing securing Rhys in back of the van when they drew near. The van was still running and Boyd automatically jumped in the driver's seat. Emilio and Sin got in and Boyd was already taking off before they had fully shut the doors.

Boyd drove sedately as soon as they turned onto a busy street and he dutifully pulled to the side along with all the other cars when the squads came blaring past them. His eyes were narrowed as he checked in the rear view mirror, presumably to make sure the squads hadn't paused. When he saw they were in the clear, he pulled back onto the street and started driving again, fast enough to get them back to the Agency quickly but not fast enough to draw attention.

Sin ran his fingers along his cheek. There was a streak of flesh missing where it had been rubbed off but it wasn't anything dire. He was pretty sure he had a mild concussion and possibly a sprained ankle but no injuries that would slow him down significantly.

He glanced to the back of the van and saw that Rhys was unconscious and hanging awkwardly from where Emilio had cuffed him to the bar along the wall. He looked skinny and pathetic dangling there and Sin's lip curled as he stared at the young man.

The Agency was after Rhys because his father ran Black Op, an up-and-coming rebel group that was making an attempt to rival Janus. Sin didn't care about that; what he did care about was Rhys's profile. He'd used his money and power to intimidate innocent civilians, cover up the rapes of women who had rejected him at clubs like the one they'd just left and the mysterious disappearances of anyone who rubbed him the wrong way.

Sin shook his head and turned in his seat. He wouldn't mind if Rhys got handed over to Shane for a few weeks.

"So," Emilio's drawling voice broke the silence abruptly.

Sin looked up and met his father's intense green eyes. He raised an eyebrow. "Yes?"

Emilio shrugged, sitting back in his seat and crossing his arms over his chest. He surveyed his son. "So that was some move, boy."

Nonplussed, Sin stared at him blankly. "Okay?"

Boyd's eyes flicked to the rear view mirror and then over to Sin, although he didn't say anything.

"Okay and what the fuck, kid? What are you, Superman now?"

Sin's eyebrows rose slightly. His father looked completely serious, almost disturbed, but Sin was still waiting for the punchline. "I don't get it."

"Hsin," Boyd said quietly, looking over at Sin with that same serious, troubled quality in his eyes. "You ripped up that bar with your bare hands and threw it. That shouldn't be humanly possible."

There was a brief silence and Sin's gaze went from Boyd to his father as they looked at him with varying degrees of concern and intrigue. "Well, I don't know what to tell you. It was just adrenaline."

Boyd shook his head, his tone reluctant. "I don't think it is, Hsin." He watched Sin intently before returning his eyes to the road. "In the years I've known you, there have been so many times you've done something that seemed impossible and I always wrote it off as adrenaline or just being you. But after a point, I don't think that makes sense anymore. And I wonder--"

His fingers tightened on the steering wheel and his eyes narrowed. "What if Owen's right?" He looked over at Sin. "What if they're doing something to you?"

Sin focused on his father and waited for him to say something sarcastic, something to mock Boyd's concerns, but the other man just nodded in agreement. A surge of irritation swept through Sin and he couldn't entirely explain why. But the idea that they thought something was wrong with him made him angry in an irrational way.

"I don't want to talk about this."

Emilio scowled. "Why? I noticed something was off as soon as I saw you, boy. When you chucked me across the fucking room like I was a stuffed animal."

Sin looked out the window and said nothing. He didn't know how to respond to the comment and he couldn't deny that it was true. A flicker of a memory overcame him for a moment and he saw himself opening his eyes in a stark white room. He saw himself ripping his arms free of the cuffs that restrained him and the odd way his body had felt. He remembered the confusion that had come with him being inconceivably repaired and not understanding how that could be after the massive trauma his body had endured in Mexico.

But even then, he banished the thought and shook his head silently.

Boyd's gaze was intense on the rain-slicked streets palely lit by the streetlights. He stopped at a red light and looked over, studying Sin's expression intently.

"Hsin, listen to me," Boyd said reasonably, his tone almost gentle. "You know I love you and I wouldn't think anything different of you even if this is true. But you know what you were like after Mexico. It never should have been possible for you to be fully recovered after that. And when you said you woke up in that building..."

He shook his head. "The Agency will do anything it wants to whoever it wants. You've been an exceptional agent since you joined but it seems like since Monterrey, you've been even more so. And if you weren't like that since a child..." He trailed off briefly and glanced questioningly at Emilio in the rear view mirror.

"He was always a freak but not this much of one," Emilio interjected, still gazing at Sin steadily.

Boyd gave Emilio an unimpressed look at the wording and then turned to Sin with a sigh. "It just makes me worry about you, about what it may mean. What if this is more far-reaching? I always thought the trauma of Monterrey is what ultimately triggered your episodes but since that's when you woke up in that lab, how can we say for sure? I don't want to get too far into conspiracy but at the same time, the implications are worrisome."

"Does it matter?" Sin asked stubbornly, still staring out the window.

Boyd watched Sin for a long moment and then looked away. He was clearly worried, his eyebrows drawn down. The traffic light turned green and the van started to move again, the city passing by outside the windows in ghostly shapes briefly lit by haloed lights.

"I don't know," Boyd said quietly.

"Fuck that," Emilio scoffed. "I think you ought to know if they're using you as a guinea pig for some super soldier project they're cooking up. It don't even have to be some crazy conspiracy theory shit like blondie is saying-- it could be something like instead of anti-crazy drugs they're actually pumping you full of steroids when you get your injections."

"That sounds ridiculous," Sin replied flatly. "I'm not going to sit around worrying about a foolish theory unless something happens to make me worry."

"What would make you worry, though, if you aren't already?" Boyd asked as he turned onto a three lane one-way that headed toward the Agency.

Sin grit his teeth and glared out the window, frustration growing. Why did they have to insist? Why did they have to go on? Why did everyone always have to find some kind of issue with the way he was?

"I'll worry whenever whatever you think they've done starts to malfunction," he said coldly. "Until then, I'm not going to wonder about something that might have been done to me when I'm the most fucking normal that I've ever been. There is nothing wrong with me."

Emilio stared at his son and scoffed quietly. "Alright boy, whatever you say."

"Right. It is whatever I say. And I say this conversation is over." Sin's eyes flicked from Emilio to Boyd. His eyes narrowed when he focused on Boyd. "Got it?"

Sin could tell that Boyd wanted to say something more. Concern was still strong in his eyes, in his slightly parted lips and the furrow of his eyebrows. But after a moment of meeting Sin's eyes, Boyd's expression defaulted back to neutrality. He nodded and turned an even stare on the street. "Understood."

Sin shook his head slightly and averted his gaze once again. His eyes narrowed into pale green slits and for the rest of the ride he remained broodingly silent.

Continue to the next interlude: 3.22, Pulling The Strings