Authors: Carys Weldon
“Is he being modest?” Leer took the beer that was set before him as Chaos nodded for the red wine to be poured.
I didn’t want to sound stupid, so I just waited for one of them to elaborate. It didn’t take long. Leer shrugged, took a draw on his beer and commented while he looked around, “I don’t think they’ll open up again for awhile. You pretty much cleaned the place out.”
So I turned to look at Chaos, and asked in my head,
what did you do?
I knew what he’d done. He’d gone crinos. Him and his posse had done some house cleaning. And then he’d hauled me home, put me in his bed. Probably expected me to be grateful.
All that went through my mind.
He shook his head. His lip curled a bit and he said, “Not grateful, Tee,” but he wasn’t looking me in the eye.
Leer asked, “What was that he’d given her? Rohypnol?” It was completely a ruse, like he couldn’t remember. Leer’s too astute. He knew the story. He was just digging into our business.
But I was stunned. Rohypnol? The date rape drug.
. No wonder I’d been fuzzy when I woke up. I hoped to hell that Chaos tore that guy a new asshole. What kind of a sick shit mickeys a girl without her permission? That’s total bullshit.
It didn’t take a brain surgeon to know that Chaos was annoyed with Leer. Yeah, he’d been listening in on everything. He knew that Chaos hadn’t talked to me about it yet. And he was taking advantage of the politics.
I felt hurt. I’m sure it showed in my eyes. So, that’s how he’d gotten me to his lair. No smooth talking required. I could just imagine how willing I’d been. Or completely out of it.
Chaos put something on the line there, to keep me, I think. He apologized. “I was going to talk to you about it here.” He spared an ‘I could kill you’ look toward his brother. But really, his attention was on me.
I went to move my hand off his leg, but his other hand dropped and held it there.
Leer didn’t seem to mind the tension at all. In fact, he watched it with total amusement.
We were on center stage with an avid audience, and I hated it. But it was amazing how Chaos blocked his brother out, and made me feel like all his focus was on me--which I know it couldn’t have been--but that’s how I felt at the time.
“I don’t clear clubs for just any zoned-out bitch.” Frustrated, he groaned, “I told you...I’ve been watching you for a long time.”
Maybe that explains my lack of success on the night scene for months. And my increasing number of suicide days that didn’t go anywhere. He’d put the word out? I wonder now if he had any idea how messed up I’d gotten in that time frame.
Don’t get the impression that Leer was being a total butthead, because he wasn’t. I think in a way that he thought he was helping Chaos. You know, pushing him to make the hook up or move on. In fact, I think he was the moving force behind Chaos all along--in everything. I mean, he propelled Chaos on the path up to alpha--always gave him a reason to push the envelope. And he really seemed content, back then, to let Chaos be the big dog, pun intended. But, to everything there is a season. I knew that. They knew that. That’s just how it is with garou. You gotta get out to live happily ever after.
So, to help matters, Leer drawled, “He’s been thinking you’re real fine for a long time, Tee, but he’s been having a little trouble stepping up to the plate.”
Funny, really, since Chaos had pretty much been bellying up to every plate--and crotch--in the city. Guess this just goes to show you; if it ain’t what you’re craving, it ain’t gonna satisfy.
“Don’t you have something else to do?” Chaos growled at his brother, eyeing him down.
But Leer just shrugged, smirked some more and swigged his beer.
The steaks arrived. We dug in, ate in silence. And finally, somewhere near the end of the meal, Leer said, “There’s another turnover rising in Pack City. You may wanna watch your back, brother.”
The neutral zone, a back to nature wolf reserve, secured by paperwork and Lobos International treaty. I grew up there. That’s really how I knew about Leer and Chaos. I hadn’t been back for a while. A lot of politics going on there, for a neutral zone. I’d heard the rumors that something was up, but then, something was always up there.
Chaos had taken the place over, but stepped out for breathers every so often--or so the grapevine said. I think he knew that the high profile, with his homeys in tow, was the best way to keep peace. I only went back when I needed to run a kill, go with the urges, that sort of thing. I was way overdue, judging from my pent-up issues.
The turnovers happened, actually, out of city, in the regular city--where we were. No fighting in P.C.
Chaos didn’t seem concerned. “I’d heard.” He’s such a fraud. Fronting the tough guy.
“Just thought you should know. You should probably make a move.”
“Or you could make yours.”
They were talking in tongues. Talking about takeovers? Was Leer barking up the alpha tree?
So, okay, I was definitely getting bad vibes between them. That was some dangerous ground to be in the middle of. So, they both wanted to control Pack City? I glanced around the room, listened up a bit. Yeah. Everybody was plotting, all right. I rubbed a hand through my hair, felt the frisson of nerve climbing my back.
I let Chaos refill my glass. No. I didn’t want to know what they were up to, but I knew--I knew it was too late, that I was already on the playing field. I drank half that bottle between their grunts, and I thought
Live Tee, while you can
Somewhere in the middle of that meal, I let my mind slip. Now, I didn’t really want to sleep with Leer. I knew that would end up in one of them dead, and probably me, too. But I had that creeping
who gives a shit
feeling. My days were numbered. I could see that by where I was eating. So, I let a fantasy fill my brain.
What if I ended up in bed with the two of them? At the same time?
Stupor? Or just stupid smile?
It didn’t last long. A quick vision of both of them, naked on either side of me, suckling my breasts, rubbing their cocks along my thighs. I felt--yes, felt--Chaos’s finger sliding inside of me, and a total wetness slicking my cunt.
Wait. That was real.
And it was intrusive, truly, when he snapped my eyes open by thinking
I’d kill, remember?
Guilty, I couldn’t look at either of them. I pulled his hand from between my legs, tried to smooth my skirt down. Worse, I knew that Leer and Chaos both had been in my head, experienced the whole sensation.
I muttered, “Fuck you both.” One of them had to have put it in my head.
Leer, of course, thought it was funny as hell. And Chaos... I think if I hadn’t been between them, would have climbed across the table and ripped his brother’s throat out.
Turning at the waist, toward Leer, I said, “You know what? I’m about as fucked up as I can be. I don’t need your bullshit.”
His gaze slipped past me. “But you want his?”
I didn’t know what I wanted. No. That’s not true. Right then and there, I made up my mind. I wanted Chaos. Not Leer. Not anybody else. I didn’t care if it was a short ride, or if he dumped me at sundown, or if I was dead by the next dawn.
Of course, I had to work through all that, while staring at Leer’s profile, watching him watch Chaos. And Chaos--he was waiting patiently, not even breathing.
I guess they’d been at that impasse many a time before, but it was a first for me. And a last. Remember how I said that I’d made up my mind that morning...one true love before I died? Well, this was my moment of truth. I knew without a doubt that I’d put myself in the hands of a madman, a man that had the world by the balls, and me by the--you know. Tit? Crotch?
No. He had me by the heart, in a strangling little chokehold that made it hard to breathe.
That’s why my answer came out real breathy. “Yeah. I do.”
Now, I can honestly say, it never appeared like Leer really wanted me. He was just there to push buttons between me and Chaos. Oh, I’m sure I could’ve walked out on his arm. Well, climbed out of the booth to do it. But that would’ve sparked a fight. Something I think Leer halfway wanted.
He freaking smiled then. And still his gaze was steady on Chaos. Too much delight, if you ask me.
So now Chaos was stuck with me. At least until Leer got up and walked out. But I hadn’t kicked his pride. I wondered what he’d do to mine.
Funny, but Leer didn’t seem to be feeling any kick in the butt. That’s how I knew that he was there to help us progress in our relationship. I’m thinking back, though, and wondering...was the plan laid out to weaken Chaos in the long run? I mean, a man’s tough until he has something to lose. Right?
Leer waited for Chaos to say something. So did I, I guess, but I wasn’t looking at him. I kept my eyes on Leer. Felt safer than turning toward a possible heartache.
Chaos cracked as he leaned back in a feigned relaxed pose, “I guess you helped her change her mind.”
Déjà vu to the conversation before I tried to walk out. Did I want his shit or not?
To Leer, I said, “You should get a life of your own, you son-of-a-bitch.”
He laughed. It sounded hoarse, quiet, under his breath. He was sure as shit amused with himself. I wanted to hit him. “Nah. I’m living vicariously through Chaos. He’s got enough going on for two of us, at the moment.”
It was just a cover. Leer had a ton of things going on back then. Including a plan to take his brother down. I felt it, but I was afraid to accuse him pointblank. I thought
I didn’t like feeling like his joke on his brother. But that’s how he left us, with me feeling stupid again, and Chaos trying to figure out what the hell he’d been up to.
Chaos and I spent a lot of time just being quiet. I guess that’s how we knew we were really meant for each other. It was okay for us to not think when we were together.
Leer looked back at us when he reached the door, and he smiled--more to himself than anything. But he intruded in our heads again by saying
enjoy it while it lasts, life is short.
Call me crazy, but I do think he wanted us to grab a little happiness. And he was damn right, life
short. Snagging a little pleasure while we could wasn’t unreasonable.
The minute the door closed behind him, Chaos turned to me, to watch my profile. I was still struggling with feeling like the butt of Leer’s private joke, and trying to figure out why he wanted me to be with Chaos. I mean, what was that all about?
“Don’t try and figure out his little head games, Tee. You’ll waste a lot of time. Believe me, I know.”
So, I swiveled in the booth and asked him pointblank, “Why is it funny to him, to see us together?”
My eyes may have been a little glassy from all the wine I’d imbibed. I was feeling a little reckless.
“I told you. I’ve been watching you for a long time.”
“And what’s that mean?”
He put his hand over mine and took several seconds skimming his thumb over the flesh on the back of my hand, picking his words. “It means I’ve been real careful to avoid you.”
That confused me. I tried to pull my hand out of his, but he tightened his grip, explaining, “I can’t afford to let anyone in, Tee.”
I got it. So he picked me because I was tough, I never let anyone in?
Yeah. That kicked me in the gut.
Fronting, I let out a little laugh, played the playa. “Whew. That’s a relief. I told you, I don’t really want any of your shit.”
I knew where he was going. But I’d told Leer different.
Yeah. And I felt--different. But that didn’t mean I was letting him know it.
“Look. Your brother was pushing buttons. I just backed you up. No harm. No foul. Right? Also,” I added this before he could respond, “no obligation. Capiche?”
seemed to go with the atmosphere. He was tough. I was tough. We didn’t need to feel anything to screw around with each other. Right?
I watched him close. More than anything, I wanted him to refute my words, to swear undying love for me. But that’s not real. He was protecting. Who doesn’t do that?
His adam’s apple did do a number or two before he shrugged things off, and poured us another round. Damn bottle was almost empty by then. We both drank up.
I guess he decided to really piss me off, then. He said, “So, you want me to tell you about last night?”
That felt like a challenge, straight up. I didn’t want to leave, though, so I said, “Sure. Let her rip.” Then I smiled, just for good measure. But I was gritting my teeth, felt sick all of a sudden.
He licked his lips, watching me with a keen eye. “I saw you the minute you walked in to the club, you know.”
“Right.” I didn’t believe that.
“Watched you slink your ass in, wearing that Gaia-damned mini-skirt that begged for attention.”
I was too big for it. It was too short. But I was beyond caring, wanted to be the real me, living on the edge, not giving a damn what other people thought, so, voila, I wore it, even it if was two sizes too small.
When I didn’t react to his words, he kept going. “Watched you climb up onto that barstool, order a drink, and cross your legs.”
My legs are long, and in pretty good shape. I reclined a little, myself, putting some space between us. I could just feel something building up in him.
The memory. That’s what it was. His muscles were bunching up, just thinking about how he felt while watching me, and what was going on.
I interrupted him. “Why didn’t you come over and say something? I mean, if you liked what you saw?”
Living for the minute, I kicked off a shoe and stuck my toes in his crotch, felt up the bulge in his pants. His hand squeezed me against him, held it there, just as sure as his gaze pinned me, too.
“I wanted to.”
I pushed with my toes. He closed his eyes briefly.
But then he said, “I have a little trouble concentrating in places like that.” He was referring to all the thoughts that whizzed past him in a crowded place. I think he stored all the info and sifted through it later, when he was alone. “But I narrowed in on you.”
That brought a little smile to my lips, and I dragged the wine flute to them, took a sip. “That surprises me. I mean, you always have a ton of honeys around you.” In fact, I remembered distinctly that there’d been a table full of women with him and his boys. That, at least, was a clear memory for me.
Must’ve got through to him, that I’d been watching him as much as he’d been watching me. His cock swelled beneath my foot. Instant arousal to full attention. I mean, he’d been semi-hard before, but knowing that I’d been looking at him, maybe seeing my own memory, jacking through my emotions when I saw him with chicks under both arms, did something to him. He sat forward, letting go of my foot. Not that I moved it. Just bent my knee a tad to give him room for the adjustment.
“Tee, I’ve been fucking hot for you for as long as I can remember.”
I laughed. “Now that’s bullshit.”
But it wasn’t coming across like it was. He had this serious glint in his eyes, and he was willing to me to believe him. You can’t fight that, not when he’s hypnotizing you like that.
“You had two kamikazes.”
That surprised me, that he was paying enough attention from across the crowded club to know what I’d been drinking.
“The second one had the drug in it. I watched the bartender making it, saw the sleight of hand, heard him tell you that he was getting off shift, watched you drink it in a big chug before I could get to you.”
So, I blinked a little. He wasn’t blinking at all. In an even voice, he said, “I reached past you, grabbed him by the throat, and yanked him over the bar, dead at your feet.”
My eyebrows went up. He was serious.
The picture swam in my brain, another surreal recollection. No wonder I’d buried it. Yeah. I remember that it had happened so fast that I hadn’t had time to back up, or anything.
Nobody really knew what was up. But the minute Chaos had reached for the guy, shifting to crinos, growling a roar of fury, his posse had broke out.
Picture me, too stunned to move, not knowing what the hell had happened. The drug had been a heavy dose, quadruple heavy, I’m guessing, because I was going woozy even then, and I’d only had it in my system for a few minutes, if that. Maybe it was laced with something else.
But it had been titillating, I know that. Because, as much as I was losing it, I was heating up between my legs. That could have been a reaction to Chaos in crinos. I’m telling you, he’s got some pheromones going on.
His voice wasn’t much more than a growl when he said, “I had to get you out of there.”
It was all coming back to me, though. A bouncer had jumped him, and then another. And one thing led to the next before the whole place was bloody.
I murmured, “I must’ve been stupefied, to not go crinos in that.” Usually bloodlust kicks in.
“You were limp, honey.”
“So, what did you do?”
Almost tenderly, he asked gruffly, “What do you think?”
Trying for humor, to ease his bunching tension, I asked, “Throw me over your shoulder, caveman style?”
He chuckled, relaxed a little, reached down and pushed my toes into his crotch again, nodding, “Yeah. That’s it.”
“I don’t remember that part.”
“I’m not surprised.”
“So...what? You let me crash at your place?”