Luci wasn’t sure where he was at first, but when he tried to stretch in bed, memories began flooding his mind with the help of a handcuff rattling around against the headboard. He was trapped and held against his will for an unwanted family reunion. Luci looked around the room but Tooth was nowhere to be found, so he pulled up the comforter and sniffed the masculine scent of the bedding. He was still wearing Tooth’s T-shirt and it felt kinda weird. As if Luci had spent the night at his boyfriend’s and got to sleep in his T-shirt. Not that it had ever happened. The closest Luci ever got to a boyfriend was the unsatisfactory platonic relationship with Rick.
Luci remained in bed for five minutes. For ten minutes. He groaned to himself in annoyance. What if he needed to pee and was stranded here? Was he to pee in Tooth’s bed? He’d do that out of spite, but Tooth would probably make him clean it, so it wouldn’t be very useful. Out of lack of anything better to do, he leaned out to the bedside table and opened the drawer.
There was a half-empty tube of KY and a box of tissues, two energy bars, and a nail clipper. No condoms. The second drawer held a few paperbacks that looked second-hand at best and a plastic box with coins. Nothing of interest there either. Tooth seemed like such a bore.
Luci leaned over the edge of the bed, already barely able to reach, but he did manage to get his fingers into the edge of a box under the bed and pulled it out. It was a large cardboard container, not too light, and when he moved it, several elements jingled against each other. Luci frowned and pushed the flaps apart, glancing inside.
The first thing he saw was a thick steel hook formed of two balls attached to a ring. It lay on a bed of leather, and it took several seconds for Luci to register what it was. His head exploded with heat as he raised the leather to reveal a large box of condoms and what was, without a doubt, a stack of sex toys. Anal beads, a strangely-shaped vibrator with an attached remote control, a butt plug, a paddle, some leather restraints…
Luci’s face became a scorching volcano. He didn’t even dare blink, too flustered with what he saw. He didn’t understand what the strange leather with eyelets was for. A hood maybe? It looked as though Tooth wasn’t all that boring after all. Luci leaned out as far as he could to rummage through the box. His face was so hot it throbbed, and his imagination was taking him on a tour to kinkland with Tooth as the guide. There was a large steel dildo, and even touching it gave Luci the chills. What struck him was the dangerous, masculine vibe of all those toys. No pink rabbits that you usually saw in sex toy photos. Tooth was someone who was obviously not just experimenting with skittish girls. This was stuff he used a lot, or else he wouldn’t need a whole box of it.
Luci pulled out what seemed to be some sort of harness made out of leather, chains, and metal D-rings. His breath hitched, and he couldn’t help the tingle of arousal traveling all the way down to his dick trapped between his body and the mattress. His mind went back to the way Tooth had hit him with the belt yesterday. Could it possibly have a sexual association for Tooth? Even with Luci being a guy?
The door snapped open. This was the moment for Tooth to return to his room, just in time to see Luci with a harness in one hand and a steel dildo in the other. There was a strange silence at first, and the tension in the air became electrically charged even before the door closed, and Tooth’s heavy motorcycle boots came into Luci’s line of vision.
Luci dropped the items into the box with sweat prickling on his neck. He pushed the box under the bed even though it was too late to deny that he’d rummaged through it.
“I… I…” Luci looked up at Tooth, trying to wish away his arousal.
Tooth’s eyes narrowed, his face as if carved in stone. It was hard to say how angry he was. With Luci shackled to the bed, Tooth could beat him unconscious. If Tooth told Priest he did it because Luci tried to escape, Priest would probably believe him. When Tooth opened his mouth, the commanding voice did nothing to lessen Luci’s unwanted arousal.
“I do not appreciate you looking through my things. Is that clear?” No explanations, no embarrassment, nothing.
Luci swallowed, trying not to think about Tooth’s muscular arms on show. It wasn’t helping him calm down. “I was just bored. You’ve got quite the collection.” He laughed nervously, sitting up on the bed, curled up on the comforter.
Tooth stepped closer, all too close, and Luci had to raise his head to look at his face instead of the lines of his body underneath a white tank top. He couldn’t escape. If Tooth slapped him on the head or choked him, he wouldn’t be able to get away. The handcuff was like a steel snake, ready to inject its venom into Luci’s bloodstream.
And when in the midst of all that tension Tooth’s body stiffened, Luci raised his free hand to protect his head and clenched his eyes shut in anticipation of a smack. Nauseating heat spread through his stomach even as the fist didn’t come.
Only when he looked from under his arm did he realize Tooth had kicked the box farther under the bed. Looked like this wasn’t a joking matter. At least thanks to fear, the beginning of an erection was gone. He hated the captivity, not being able to make decisions for himself. It was time to shut up.
“I don’t want you to do this again, understood? You will get some shelves for your own stuff,” said Tooth, diving his hand into his pocket. The rattle of keys was like music to Lucifer’s ears.
“I don’t have much,” Luci whispered with his heart up his throat.
Tooth sighed. Now that the fear was gone, leaving pure adrenaline coursing through Luci’s body, the touch of those warm, coarse hands felt all too good, especially since they were there to let him out of the shackle.
“What about your bag?”
“It can stay on the floor.” The last thing he wanted was to set roots here. Luci swallowed as he watched Tooth’s arm from up close. He still remembered its weight, sleeping under it, grinding into Tooth’s body once the man had fallen asleep. Strangely enough, in a clubhouse full of dangerous men, being under Tooth’s arm felt the safest.
“No, I want my room tidy,” said Tooth, going off to the door. He opened it wide and disappeared for just a moment before returning with a thick mattress he pulled along toward the window.
“I’m clean.” Luci watched Tooth put the mattress on the floor and couldn’t help but feel a tingle of disappointment. “What’s that for?”
Tooth dropped the mattress to the floor and frowned. “For you.”
Luci licked his lips. “You not afraid I’ll run away at night?”
“No, I’ll handcuff you to the radiator,” said Tooth casually. He switched on the small electric kettle over the fridge and put two spoonfuls of ground coffee into a cup.
Luci stretched his arm, watching Tooth’s bushy beard. He wanted to tidy up all the stray hairs. “We’d be more comfortable on the bed…”
He didn’t expect to hear a snort in response. Tooth gave him a sideways glance. “You maybe, but I don’t like being molested in my sleep. Even less so by a boy.”
This morning couldn’t get any more embarrassing. There was no point in denying the truth. Despite the heat rushing to his face, Luci tried to remain stoic and pushed more hair down to hide his blush. “If you weren’t sleeping why didn’t you push me away, huh?”
Tooth pulled on his beard. “I didn’t want to embarrass you. You would squirm for the whole night so it was quicker that way.”
Luci groaned and hid his face behind his hand. “You got a boner as well, I could feel it.” Oh, God, could he feel it.
“Yeah,” said Tooth without a trace of embarrassment. “Was bound to happen with someone rubbing their ass against my dick. You don’t feel all that masculine from that side.”
Luci rubbed his face and got up without looking at Tooth. What a fucking cock-up. “Maybe I should just sleep somewhere else then?”
“No, all you need is a cold shower.” Tooth blinked when the kettle went off. “You want some coffee or tea?”
This had to be worse than when Luci gave a guy a lapdance and was so drunk he slipped and fell face-first to the floor.
“No, I’m fine.” He got his bag and threw it to the mattress on the floor. He was about to take off the T-shirt and give it back, but now felt all weirded out and stalled, unsure what to do anymore. Not to mention the fucking body tape on his back, covering his tattoo. This was some real bullshit.
Tooth poured the water into his cup, and the room immediately filled with the thick scent of coffee. “Get dressed then. We need to talk some things through.”
Luci turned his back on Tooth, but finally took the T-shirt off. Tooth had seen him naked yesterday anyway, and Luci wasn’t some blushing nun, even if the flush wouldn’t leave his face. He swiftly took off his pants as well and pulled out his own clothes from his bag, trying not to think about the box under the bed.
“I spoke to your father yesterday, and he wants to keep you here for now.”
Luci pulled on a pair of skinny jeans and a loose black tank top, trying to think of a way out of this mess. Tooth was clearly not going to help him escape. “As what?” he asked and turned around to his captor.
“A slave,” said Tooth grimly.
Luci’s eyes went wide, all the tiny hairs on his forearms bristled and before he could even think it, he made a run for the open door. He remembered the way out.
But Tooth blocked his way even before he got halfway there. “Where do you think you’re going?”
“Let me go!” Luci tried to untangle himself from the grip of strong arms which could as well be made out of iron. “I’m not gonna be obeying anyone’s orders!”
“Relax. I was joking,” groaned Tooth and gently nudged Luci away.
Luci pushed back at his chest. “It’s not funny! For fuck’s sake!” He pushed him again. How dare Tooth joke about this? This was his life now. Anything could happen. Luci had seen enough shit to know.
“Nothing’s gonna happen to you as long as you follow the rules. I can promise you that,” said Tooth. He once again pulled out the bundle of keys and, to Luci’s dismay, locked the door.
“What are the rules then?” Luci took a deep breath and looked up into Tooth’s eyes. It would be a lot easier to deal with a man less handsome.
Tooth showed him the bed and leaned his back against the wall. He folded his arms across his chest, exposing them in all their muscled glory. “Don’t run. Don’t disrespect anyone. Don’t get into fights, neither verbal nor physical. Do what you’re asked for. And do your schoolwork.”
Luci slowly sat on the bed. He would not put up with this shit. “What fucking schoolwork? I wasn’t lying. I’m nineteen.” He clenched his hands into fists on his knees.
“But you quit school, haven’t you?” Tooth cocked his head and gave his beard an absent-minded pull. “Your father wants you to do evening classes.”
Luci didn’t even care when his nails dug into his skin. “My father can go fuck himself,” he hissed. This was the last straw. He needed to go. School was one of the reasons he didn’t want to get found by the police once his mom died. He only went to school not to worry her. Since that wasn’t good enough, and she killed herself anyway, he didn’t want to visit that hell on earth for one more day.
“You can try discussing this with him after we see what happened to Suzy,” said Tooth, sipping some of the warm coffee.
Luci began combing his hair with his fingers. If he were to escape, he needed to play it cool. “Can I have my phone back?”
Tooth shook his head. “Will you be ready after breakfast? The ladies are making scrambled eggs for everyone.”
“I don’t have my proper comb, so I’m just gonna look like shit until I get one. When can I get the phone back?”
Tooth frowned. “There’s one in the bathroom. You can use it. And if you’re desperate, we can go to buy a few things for you after you take us to see Suzy.”
“Who are ‘the ladies’? Hangarounds?” Lucifer got up, understanding that no answer about the phone meant a ‘not now’. He fished a hoodie out of his bag. A sudden sadness came over him when he saw that his bag was almost empty. He had close to nothing.
“Yeah. They’re really nice. Mostly.”
“Let’s go then.” Luci pulled his hair back into a bun, because with all the tangles in it he looked so shitty he didn’t want to even look in the mirror. He stood in front of the closed door with his back to Tooth. He didn’t have to wait long to feel the immense warmth radiating off Tooth’s body when he joined him, reaching his hand through Luci’s personal space to open the door.
“So, my brother, is he a big deal in the club? Makes daddy happy?” Luci looked up at the tattoo on Tooth’s arm. The black and white design depicted a simple cross with a date from twelve years back and a ribbon with the name Tracy tangled around its longer arm.
The door opened. “He’s brash and hasty, but a good road captain. Why?”
“Just gathering intel so I know what to tell the police.” Luci pouted and raised his eyebrows as they walked out. He knew it was a tight rope he was walking on.
Tooth gave a low sigh. “Better not repeat that in front of the others. They might not be as understanding of your sense of humor.”
“Not like you, right?” Luci straightened up to seem taller, but Tooth still towered over him. “After all that bonding we’ve done at night?” Would he be able to squeeze some humor out of Tooth? It would lower the man’s guard.
“You don’t want any bonding. So far you’ve been nothing but obnoxious,” said Tooth, walking to the staircase. There were voices of several people coming from downstairs.
Luci’s lips parted, and he crossed his arms on his chest. “Whatever, we don’t have to talk then. You’re so rude. All I did was offer a friendly blow job.”
“I’d keep the friendly blow jobs to yourself as long as you’re here.” Tooth led him down the stairs, and already, the smell of eggs and toast made Luci’s mouth water.
Luci was done with the stupid conversation and looked around the room Tooth led him to. It was strangely homely. Bustling with people, a big kitchen with cupboards and proper cookware around a massive wooden table where men sat with their plates. All of Luci’s cockiness dispersed when everyone in the room went silent. Priest looked up at him from above his food, as if he could see right through Luci.
There was a total of five men in the kitchen, and that included Bell, who stared at Luci like a wolf ready for carnage. The tension dispersed the moment one of the two women, a heavily pregnant redhead, waved at him. “You must be Luci. I heard you didn’t have any supper yesterday,” she said, putting a generous helping of scrambled eggs on a plate.
Luci pointed at himself. “Me?” He looked around, wondering who could have possibly said a word about him, and his gaze landed on Priest.
“Yeah, you,” Bell snarled at him. “We’re not gonna starve you and make you even more dainty.”
Luci squinted at his half brother. “Shut the fuck up.”
Priest downed his coffee and got up.
“Everyone shut up and eat. We’re about to set out soon,” growled Tooth, but a second later, his face softened, and he stepped closer to the stove. “Haven’t seen you for a while, Kat,” he said to the redheaded woman, who handed him a full plate.
“I’m busy preparing everything for the kid. You know Milk spends almost all his time here,” she said and kicked a chair occupied by a young blond biker, who was on the lanky side in comparison to the other members. The only thing that seemed out of proportion about him was a broad nose, far too big for his narrow face.
“Come on, babe...”
Tooth snorted. “Sorry, we should give him back just in time.”
Luci’s body was stiff, and he felt out of place in this new crowd. Two girls looked at him as if he had two heads, and Priest on the other hand avoided meeting his gaze.
Luci grabbed a cup of coffee to have something occupying his hands, but Kat quickly took it away from him. “This one’s lactose-free, you can take the other one.” She put the cup in front of Milk.
“I have stuff to do, I’ll meet you guys in an hour,” Priest said and made his way for the door.
Luci just stood there, disappointed, but he wasn’t even sure what he’d expected.
The other girl, a pretty brunette in a black mini dress, handed him the remaining eggs, but didn’t say anything, quickly reclining in the lap of a bald guy, whose pronounced Adam’s apple made Luci think of a vulture. Judging from the patch on his cut, he was a prospect. Still, a potential catch, Luci supposed.
Tooth’s gaze followed Priest out of the kitchen, as he chewed on toast, but he didn’t say anything, looking as grim as yesterday.
Only with the food in front of him, Luci realized he was in fact hungry. It was strange to have it made for him. He always had to care for himself. Only Rick ever helped him out.
“Will you be staying here longer?” the brunette asked from Prospect’s lap.
“We don’t know yet,” said Tooth for Luci. He cleared his throat “Everyone, this is Luci. Milk is my enforcer, and Kat’s his wife. You know Beelzebub.” He then gestured to a pudgy old man, who sat in the corner with a big mug of coffee. He had thinned white hair growing at the sides of his head, and he wore it tied into a ponytail, completely ignoring the fact the top of his head was as bald as a cooked egg. “That’s Don, our secretary. Then, Blitz the prospect and...” He stopped when his fingers indicated the brunette in Blitz’s lap, obviously not sure what her name was, but she quickly introduced herself as Angel.
“Hi,” was all Luci managed to utter before one of the girls butted in.
“‘Lucy’? That’s your name? Is it short for something?”
“It’s just Luci,” said Tooth before Luci could even open his mouth.
Great, so he didn’t even get a say in that? He faked a smile and munched on his eggs. It was nice to get some protein. Rick would always say it’s healthy.
“He’s going with us today, isn’t he?” Milk eyed him with a cocky grin.
Luci couldn’t have been more lost.
Tooth shoveled more food into his mouth and nodded. Don watched Luci from across the room, constantly tapping his fingers on the table.
“Can’t we just ditch him somewhere afterward?” Bell groaned, but it was obvious that he knew the answer to that.
“I wish,” Luci mumbled. He’d rather give lapdances than be here. Everywhere he turned was an unfriendly face.
“I don’t think Priest would want that,” Don said, never looking away from Luci.
“Shame that he didn’t stay,” said Blitz, cheerfully drinking his coffee. He didn’t seem to know what the situation was.
Tooth cleared his throat. “No, we can’t. The quicker you get used to it the better.”
Bell got up and slammed his cup on the table. “A fucking male hooker is the last thing we need here,” he snarled, prompting an unpleasant silence in the room.
Luci lost his appetite but wasn’t about to look like a victim. “How do you know? Maybe one of your buddies is dreaming of me already?”
Tooth put his plate on the table, wiped his mouth with a napkin and straightened up to look at Bell. The air froze as if the kitchen was entered by an ice giant. “Shut your mouth.”
Kat looked between the three of them and cleared her throat, hurrying out of the room. The moment she was gone, Don casually lit a cigarette in his corner.
“This is seriously the most fucked-up thing that’s happened in ages. I’ll see you outside, I’ve got enough of this shit already.” Bell left his cup and plate in the sink and walked off.
Luci more than expected this sort of attitude, but as much as he hid it, it still hurt. He wasn’t some piece of trash to knock about from one place to the other. It wasn’t his brother’s place to judge him, he didn’t know what Luci had to go through in life.
“Anyone has anything else to say?” asked Tooth, looking around the room.
The prospect and his girlfriend pretended not to be there, and Don started making little smoke circles with a smile.
“A male prostitute? Priest must be fucking delighted.”
“Serves him right,” uttered Tooth before getting back to his meal.
So this was it. Luci was a punishment for his dad. His mere existence was enough to spite Priest. No wonder he didn’t want to talk to Luci, and just left the dirty job to Tooth.
The girl in Blitz’s lap cocked her head to the side. “But are you, like, gay, or gay-for-pay?”
Luci wanted to howl, but bit back all the nasty remarks his mind began to spew. “I’m gay.”
“You don’t have to answer. It’s not her business, is it?” asked Tooth, staring at the girl, who blinked, pressing back against Blitz.
Don let out a hoarse laugh. “More drama than at my home.”
Tooth could be imposing and scary, but having him around as a protector made Luci feel kinda safe. At least he would most probably not be strangled and dumped in some ditch by his own brother.
As soon as they were done eating, Tooth took Lucifer outside. Milk, Priest, and Bell already stood by their bikes, discussing something in lowered voices. Luci could only imagine what it could be. All he wanted was to let Rick know he was fine. He wouldn’t be able to go back to the Vanilla Lounge after all this, and he’d probably need to leave the state altogether. He’d have to start his life anew. Again.
Don was also there, with yet another of a never ending stream of cigarettes. “Everyone ready?” he asked, walking over to a large black bike.
Tooth sighed. “You’re riding with me,” he told Luci.
Luci eyed the bike he got spanked on just yesterday and groaned, but approached the beast in silence.
“Mom will find out, and she’ll go mental,” Bell said, still arguing with Priest.
Priest showed his teeth, and the folds on his forehead became so deep Luci half-expected his salt and pepper hair getting a bit whiter from the sheer strain. “She won’t know if you don’t tell her because none of the others would be stupid enough to meddle in my family’s affairs!”
Luci listened on without looking their way. Maybe having them argue at the right time would be a good distraction when he needed to make a run for it? Tooth pushed a helmet into his hands all of a sudden.
“Put that on,” he said with a small smile and pulled one on his own head as well. “How long will it take to get to Suzy’s place?”
“Twenty minutes?” Luci tried to put the helmet on, but it was too small with the bun at the back of his head, so he had to untangle his messy mop and then put it on. At least he wasn’t half-naked like yesterday.
Tooth narrowed his eyes at the remaining men. “Are we going? Luci says she can be out later during the day,” he called out, and immediately, Milk went off to his own bike, joining Don, who was already waiting for the others.
It wasn’t a big group, only six people, five bikes, but when Luci sat behind Tooth, looking at the coffin patch on the back of Tooth’s vest, he almost felt a part of it. Almost. He would never be good enough to prospect for a club, even if he wanted to, which he didn’t. He was more of a running type than a fighter. After some hesitation, he grabbed the steel bar at the back of the seat. The last thing he wanted was to get scolded for molesting Tooth in public. It was as if anything Luci did was a step in the wrong direction.
They eventually set out, and Luci found that holding on to the back made him feel less than safe, even though he could sense how proficient Tooth was at handling the bike. There were no unnecessary movements.
They had a system that Luci would pat Tooth on the shoulder depending on which turn they needed to take. The chill of the wind was getting to him despite the hoodie and being so close to Tooth now had an awkward quality to it after what Luci had done at night.
The trip through the empty streets of the rundown part of town was smooth. When they approached the tiny one-floor house Suzy lived in, Luci pointed to it over Tooth’s shoulder. He could only hope that nothing would happen to her and that the Nails would talk with their lips instead of fists. Especially since Suzy’s car was in the driveway.
Bell led them past her home, and stopped in front of an abandoned house nearby. They quickly dismounted, and Priest sent his son along with Blitz to approach Suzy’s place from the back, so she couldn’t run. As the two disappeared in the bushes, the rest of the group made their way to the front of the house. Luci knew it only had three small rooms so she didn’t have anywhere to hide if things got violent. Don and Father went ahead, already ringing at the door when Tooth’s meaty hand fell on Luci’s shoulder.
“I’m watching you.”
“Oh, my God!” Luci squealed in surprise. “Jeez! Don’t do that, you creep.” He pulled the hood on his head in a useless attempt for some protection.
Father groaned and rang again, and again, his shoulders stiffening.
Don spat out the butt of his cigarette. “Hey, Suzy,” he called out calmly, “we just came to talk to you.”
There was no answer.
“Maybe I should try?” Luci suggested and took a few steps closer to the door.
Priest gave him a long look, which could mean nothing and everything. “Go on.” He took a step to the side and pointed to the door.
Lucifer swallowed and knocked. “Suzy? It’s me, Lucifer. I’m here with these guys. They won’t hurt you.” He hoped so.
When nothing happened, Don sighed and started typing on his old Nokia.
Father sneered. “There’s no helping it,” he said and kicked the door. It just bounced off, and only a quick grab onto the frame saved him from falling through.
“What the fuck,” muttered Don, staring at the narrow corridor, with broken remains of a glass vase scattered around a loose bouquet of flowers. The house was completely silent.
Luci went in with caution, looking around the dirty walls. Tooth followed him close by, and Luci could feel the eyes on his back. Adrenaline coursed through Lucifer’s veins when glass crackled under his combat boots.
“Nothing here!” Bell yelled from the back of the house.
Don stepped into the kitchen, followed by Father, who grumbled beneath his breath. The stale air filled Luci’s lungs, and despite the sounds of rummaging coming from all around, the house seemed oddly quiet. As if time had stopped between its walls.
Luci slowly walked down the corridor, watching Milk and Bell pull out drawers from a cabinet and dumping their content to the floor. There was a half-eaten pizza on the coffee table, and next to it, a bowl of almost completely brown apples. It looked like Suzy left in a hurry, but it wasn’t because of them.
Luci looked at the open door to her bedroom, occupied mostly by a queen-size bed and a large antique wardrobe, with little space left around them. The curtains were drawn, and so the light came through the fabric, coloring the room in deep yellow. Luci walked in, hardly breathing. She wasn’t underneath the bed, was she?
Tooth seemed to have the same idea because he kneeled next to it and looked beneath the mattress with a sigh. “Did she leave town?” he asked absentmindedly, but Luci wouldn't answer that. How could he know?
With a bit of a slump in his shoulders, Luci opened the adjoining door and stared at the dark shape of his head in the small mirror over the sink. His hand went to the light switch, but what he saw in the white light made his stomach churn. Blood colored the floor and walls, the stench filling his nostrils like an old, clotted scab. He tried to back away from the pink tinted water in the bathtub, ignore the brown stains on the white tiles, but the smell was making him dizzy, the memory of his mother’s brain on the wall all too vivid.
His eyes rolled back and he was gone.
His body was heavy, and he could hardly move a finger, as if he were immersed in thick jelly. Cool, fresh droplets rained on his face, making creaks in the muddy darkness around Luci. He could smell coffee and spice, right next to his nose, radiating from warm fabric. He slowly opened his eyes, unsure of where he was.
The first thing he saw was shapely lips framed by a bushy dark beard. They opened, and teeth dug into the pink flesh. “Luci, are you back?”
“What a little pussy,” Bell said somewhere behind him.
“Shut your face, Bell!” Priest raised his voice.
“Y-yeah. Where are we?” Luci uttered when his eyes met Tooth’s. Now that he was awake, he was getting more sense of the situation. There was water on his face, and the steady warmth around his shoulders was bound to be Tooth’s arm. Had he fainted?
Tooth’s eyes narrowed. “Suzy’s house. Do you remember?”
Luci nodded and rubbed his forehead. His life was becoming a steady stream of embarrassing events. “I’m fine, I remember, I just… in the bathroom…” He groaned, unsure of how to communicate that he had this reaction to blood sometimes. Bell was right. He was a pussy.
Tooth let out a sigh. “I think you need a breath of fresh air.”
“Yeah, I think that would be a good idea.” Luci got up, still a bit dizzy, but already getting excited that this might be his chance for escape. But his hopes died the moment he thought that.
“Milk, make sure he’s okay,” said Tooth, slowly getting to his feet.
Milk nodded and gestured to the door, winking at Luci. A deep breath of unpleasantly stale air was enough for Luci to follow him. He wanted to be the fuck out of this house, but he still turned around to have another look at Tooth. He’d caught Luci. He must have stood close behind. A silly tingle spread in Luci’s chest against his better judgment, but when Milk poked him in the spine, it was time to go.
It was all too bright outside after exploring the dim innards of Suzy’s house, so he squinted and sat down on the driveway.
“Is Suzy dead?” Luci asked when Milk sat down next to him.
Milk scratched the bridge of his enormous nose. “No idea. Who knows, maybe we weren’t the only ones she owed money to,” he said, crossing his legs. In this position, his knee brushed against the side of Luci’s thigh. It could seem accidental if there weren’t so much space for him to occupy. Luci had more than enough experience with ‘straight’ guys not to at least try to take a hint.
“I was really scared when I saw all that blood. I feel a lot safer with you around,” he lied to stroke Milk’s ego.
And there it was, a glint of interest in the gray eyes. Milk grinned at him and sat up straighter, cracking a knuckle. “I heard it’s common for guys to have this reaction to blood when they’re not used to it.”
Luci chuckled and gently poked Milk with his shoulder. “I bet you’re used to this shit.”
Milk shrugged, and his eyes inadvertently slid over Luci’s thighs. “It’s no biggie. A man must be tough to be a Coffin Nail.”
“I hope this doesn’t offend you,” said Luci just to cover his ass, “but I find that kinda hot.”
Milk’s mouth stretched into a wide smile, and his knee started making small circles, massaging Luci’s thigh through the fabric. “No offense taken. You’re pretty for a guy.”
Luci winked at him. “I’m discreet as well. I think that’s why guys are happy to fool around and experiment with me. Blond hair and a mouth that never lets a secret slip.”
Milk bit his lip, watching Luci with a slight flush coming to his cheeks. “Is that an offer?”
Luci laughed and hid a part of his face behind his hand, pretending he was shy. “It could be,” he whispered. Milk was okay looking, but most of all, he could be a ticket out of the club if everything went well. Just needed a bit of… guidance. And Luci needed an ally.
Milk opened his mouth to speak, but a cry of triumph coming from inside the house shut him up. All the other men exited the building with wide smiles, and from the way Bell’s rucksack sagged to the ground, they must have found the drugs. Tooth was the first to pull off a pair of latex gloves, and he stuffed them into his pocket, walking Luci’s way.
“Found it,” he told Milk, who hummed a joyful melody, getting up to his feet.
“So, will I get a bonus for the kid?” he asked, walking over to Bell and Priest.
All Luci wanted was to be alone and not deal with this shit anymore. “What about Suzy?” he quietly asked and looked at Tooth for answers.
The dark eyes narrowed, and Tooth shook his head. “No idea yet. Someone must have taken her.” He looked back at the house. “Priest? Let’s have Prospect call the police and talk to them. We don’t want this pinned on us in case the neighbors saw us.”
Bell whistled loudly and shook the backpack with a big grin as he got on his bike. “Tonight we party!”
Luci went over to Tooth’s bike in silence, as his mind rolled over the things that could be now happening to Suzy. They weren’t besties or anything, but she was the nicest stripper/drug dealer he’d ever known. Caught between Blitz’s protests, Tooth’s scent, and the sideways glances he was getting from Milk, all he could think of was the search for a way out. And he knew just how to get what he needed.