|janecarnall (janecarnall) wrote,|
@ 2008-11-17 09:09:00
The Gambler – Part One
This is the first part of the third story that began with The Games (six parts) and continued with The Network (one part), and The Players (seven parts).
The story may be regarded as fanfic set in poisontaster's Keptverse. It is being written as part of wrimowrimo. I also updated the cast list here.
At just after midnight, Benton and Ray and Adam came through the back door, into the kitchen, cheerful and relaxed and all of them alive: Gerard stood up to greet them, feeling a weight leaving him.
Benton made a concise report: Three packages delivered safely for foreign transit, and the plane’s load split up and collected: all had gone well.
“Where’s the party?” Ray said.
“It’s been one hell of a week,” Adam said.
“It’s not over yet,” Gerard said.
The secure cells on the other side of the house were just boxes of stone and metal. The floor was cement. There was a flat metal shelf like a bunk or a bench. There were no external windows.
Gerard switched the light on and opened the door. Richard was sitting on the edge of the bench: George had cuffed his hands behind his back. The light had dazzled him: he was blinking and screwing his face up.
“Okay,” Gerard said. “On your feet. Let’s go.”
Richard tilted his head back against the wall and remained seated. He was still squinting against the light.
“Where?” he asked.
“To bed.” Gerard let audible impatience feed into his voice. “Come on, Richard, don’t keep me waiting. I’m too tired for this. Let’s go.” He waited, watching, as the frown against the light changed almost imperceptibly into a puzzled scowl. Willow, and Dana, and Adam, and Ray, all reported that when Richard had made use of their laptops and iPhones, he had taken no trouble at all to cover his tracks. Richard had expected to be caught at it: not tonight, perhaps, but real soon.
Richard got to his feet. He stood, swaying a little. After a moment, he came towards Gerard.
“I’m going to take those cuffs off when we get past the secure door,” Gerard said. “Not until. Walk.”
Richard had been in cuffs, in that cell, for something over two hours: it was past one in the morning now. He moved awkwardly, stumbling. Gerard gripped his arm.
Past the secure door, into the brightly-lit hall, with seven people all staring at him with varying degrees of dislike, anger, and resentment: with near-perfect satisfaction, Gerard felt Richard flinch down the muscles of his arm. Gerard had no objection at all to Richard having a healthy fear of his kids, but it was a damn shame it had come about because of his having to tear a strip off each one of them for being careless. George was standing nearest the secure door; Giles a little further off, but close enough. Whether Richard could see it or not, everyone in the hall except for Willow and Gerard himself was carrying. Willow was standing off by the front door, between Benton and Ray.
“What are you guys still doing here?” Gerard said, turning Richard, unlocking the cuffs. “Go home.”
He slapped the cuffs back into George’s hand outstretched to receive them. “My house, my slave, my security. Another time, keep that in mind.”
“Yes,” George said, and that was all. Richard had brought his hands round in front of him and was rubbing his wrists, looking from George to Gerard and back again.
“Just stand there,” Gerard said to Richard, and walked away. If Richard was going to bug out, if he did it here and now, they could always shoot him.
Dana was standing next to Adam, her arms folded in front of her, looking withdrawn and distant. Gerard stopped. She looked at him and didn’t smile: Adam was eyeing him warily.
“You did good,” Gerard told her. “Don’t let me see you again till Monday, OK? Adam, you make sure she spends at least half that time sleeping, got it?”
“Same goes for you.” Gerard looked at Ray. “Don’t let Benton keep you awake. You did a hell of a job this week.” He glanced at Benton. “Don’t let Ray keep you awake either. You both did good.”
He hadn’t spoken to Willow since George handed her the sheets of phone and laptop records: she looked up at him, the skin on her face puffy around the eyes and reddened.
“Will, there’s something I’ve got to say to you, and the rest of you bastards probably need to hear it too. We got called a bunch of bloody amateurs today.” He glanced at his watch. “Yesterday. That’s fine, we are. We really are. Nobody here’s a pro at this. But we’ll show them.” Almost to Gerard’s surprise, he found he meant it. He leaned closer. “Girl, we’ll show them what bloody amateurs can do.”
What he was looking for, happened: Willow seemed to stand a little straighter, a little taller. Her face got firmer – the lines of her jaw muscles changed.
“I work you hard and you deliver,” Gerard said. He wasn’t just talking to Willow any more. He glanced round at all of them, catching each gaze with his except for Richard’s – though the man was looking at him. “All of you. Now get out of my house.”
He added, quietly, to Giles and to Adam, “But we still have sixty-three Commerce reports to get through. I’ll see you Sunday morning. Do not let Dana come in with you.”
George hadn’t moved. He was still eyeing Richard with an expression of complete disapproval. Richard looked almost as dazed and tired – not quite – as he had the night he’d arrived.
“Go get some sleep. I’ll see you tomorrow afternoon,” Gerard said, taking hold of Richard’s wrist. He felt Richard flinch – it must be tender where the cuffs had pressed – and moved his grip further up Richard’s arm, his eyes on George’s face.
“For my pep talk?” George said, very quietly.
Gerard grinned, unexpectedly amused. “Hell, yeah. Now get out of here, we’re going to bed and I don’t want company.”
Richard climbed the stairs as if they were a mountain: he didn’t fight Gerard’s grip on him, but it seemed a struggle for him just to go on putting one foot in front of the other.
Behind them, they could hear the rest of the team leaving: the front door closed finally, and it was just the two of them. It hadn’t been just the two of them in the house since Monday morning. Given the odds of a runaway, or another delivery from Commerce, there might not be just two of them in the house again for days – even for weeks.
Gerard stopped at the holding cell door, switched the inside light on, and opened it. Giles had done a thorough job. The mattress was gone – ripped open and stuffed into a sack in the garbage – and the cartons Gerard had let Richard have to put his clothes in had been shredded. The clothes he’d bought Richard were scattered in piles on the floor. The blanket was still there. The commode hadn’t been taken apart: it wasn’t made to be accessible, the worst a prisoner could do was block it.
“So, where do you want to spend the night?” Gerard asked. He was too tired for his voice to have any expression. He was still holding Richard’s forearm. He let go and stepped back, as he had done whenever he asked that question each night.
Richard’s throat moved. He had said, as often as not, “With you, Sam,” and each time Gerard had known he was lying. Not that it needed much guessing at. This time, staring at the cell, he said nothing at all. He turned and looked at Gerard. His throat moved again, a single hard swallow. At last he said, very quietly, “What are you going to do to me?”
“Take you to bed or shut you up in your room,” Gerard said. “Your choice. What’s it going to be, Richard?”
Richard shook his head. His voice was shaking. “You can do whatever you like to me,” he said.
Richard did not move or speak, though he was still trembling.
Gerard sighed loudly. “Come on, it’s late, I’m tired, you would not believe how tired I am – and I don’t want to play games, so don’t play games with me, Richard. Let’s hear a decision. In there or in my bed?”
Richard’s mouth opened. He swallowed again. “In your bed.”
“Okay.” Gerard took hold of Richard’s forearm again, and pulled shut the holding cell door with his free hand. It closed with a solid sound, that Richard would have heard before only from inside the cell, locking him in to safety and security. He’d spent all afternoon yesterday – Thursday – locked in there with Dana’s iPhone, making calls. He must have been damned sure he was safe in there. Gerard kept his grip on Richard’s arm steady, resisting the impulse to clench his fist.
The bed was a mess: George had called before six with his ideas about that report – which Commerce would probably spend the weekend chewing over, with news, good or bad, for Monday morning – and Gerard had been so tired he couldn’t really remember getting dressed, except that he knew he hadn’t greeted George in his skivvies.
“I should change these sheets. You take a shower,” Gerard said.
Richard nodded. His body was turned to go, and Gerard called him back. “Richard. Take your clothes off.”
Richard stopped. He undid his shoes, kicked them off, peeled off his socks, glanced up at Gerard, and his face went tight as he saw Gerard looking at him. He jerked his jeans down and stepped out of them, pulled off his sweater, pulled off the white t-shirt, and glanced at Gerard again. Gerard thought he closed his eyes before he took off his underwear and stood there naked. He was nice-looking, still too skinny, was going to need maintenance access to some kind of exercise routine if he was going to stay in shape. Richard picked up his pile of clothing and took it to the laundry basket, so he must have opened his eyes again. Gerard nodded.
While Richard was in the shower, Gerard checked his clothing, as Giles had checked each item now strewn on the floor of the cell. There was nothing: Richard had put nothing in his pockets, stored nothing along the seams, patched nothing in the fabric. The shoes were light and soft-soled, meant for indoor wear and tear: they looked almost as new, there was no sign that Richard had managed to incorporate any secret materials. So that was all right. Gerard hadn’t expected to find anything.
Fresh sheets on the bed. He wanted to hurt Richard. He was too tired to have sex, at least the kindly, gentle kind of sex where both of them came and nobody got hurt. He’d planned all along to keep himself on a leash and a limit, and have only that kind of sex with Richard. But he wasn’t too tired – he was getting a hard-on just thinking about it – to have the kind of sex where he made Richard scream because it hurt too much to stay quiet. He’d planned to make his slave – his canary – comfortable and relaxed about sleeping with him. He still needed to do that.
Richard was still towelling himself dry when Gerard walked into the bathroom. “Get into bed,” Gerard told him. He stripped off and walked into the shower. His own phone – which Richard hadn’t tried to use, at least not yet – he put on the shelf with the towels: he couldn’t miss Richard walking into the bathroom to take that down, being that unsubtle, and it didn’t seem to be Richard’s style. None of them could exactly afford to slow themselves down by locking phones with a security code. Richard had rifled their pockets, taken advantage of ten-minute coffee breaks, run errands upstairs and down and used this to cover searching overnight bags. None of his team had been really careless, except for Willow, but it had occurred to none of them to take the rigorous precautions they needed to with a slave loose in the house – except for George.
Thinking of that, it occurred to Gerard again how much he wanted to hurt Richard. And he could. Gerard’s hand went to his cock, already with half a hard-on, and thought about hurting Richard. Using his own belt, with the heavy buckle, that would cut into Richard’s flesh: beautiful hard blows, each one telling a red tale of pain across Richard’s skin, making him yell – he’d bite down at first, try to keep his mouth shut, try not to make sounds that he’d know would turn Gerard on, but he’d lose – Gerard would keep hitting him, thorough, hard, unstoppable –
Then Gerard was fucking him, hard, feeling Richard struggle against him, helpless, impaled, finally crying –
Coming in a spill of pleasure over his hand, Gerard lifted his head, breathing in, out, steadying himself. All the reasons he’d ever had for not buying a slave still existed, more so than ever: as did all the reasons he had given himself for never making use of Richard in that way, not least that hurting a man like that was a sure way to get to care about him more than Gerard could afford to care about Richard.
Richard had – smart guy – got into the side of the bed without an alarm clock or a reading light. He was sitting half-propped up against the headboard, his eyes fixed on the bathroom door.
Gerard put his phone down casually behind the alarm clock, without looking at Richard, and got into bed beside him, “Scoot over,” he said, and when Richard looked at him in tired bewilderment, pulled him into position next to him so that his head rested against Gerard’s shoulder. He switched the lights off, and slid his hand up to lie over the convict collar around Richard’s throat. “Good night.”
To Part Two