The music pulsed in Tooth’s veins as he left his friends from the Cleveland chapter and surveyed the room for more familiar faces. The mood was relaxed, and even Priest seemed chilled out for the first time since Lucifer came back crashing into his life. With his arm around Dolly, he was making rounds to speak to everyone.
And speaking of Luci, Tooth could swear he saw Milk walking into the room and did a quick turn around. No Lucifer in sight. Was Milk looking for the boy he was supposed to be guarding?
Tooth drank the last of his Coke and rushed across the room, straight for Milk, who faced him with a silly grin. The idiot was drunk.
“Where is he?” asked Tooth, leaning down for Milk to hear him better. Priest would flip if Lucifer fled the compound. And Tooth had to admit his own gut told him the boy shouldn’t go back to the streets. Despite the attitude problem, he was such a sweet thing.
Milk slowly backed away into the corridor, away from the music. “Chill out. He just went to pet the goat or something like that.” He kept smiling as if he’d just avoided a speeding ticket.
Tooth frowned and gave Milk a gentle shake. With so many people drunk, and guys from other chapters, he wasn’t sure about Luci’s safety. “When? Is someone watching over him?”
Milk waved his hand dismissively. “I just wanted to get a beer before I get back to him. He’ll be fine. Though he must really want to go.” Milk wiggled his eyebrows. “He offered to blow me for letting him out the gate.”
Tooth blinked, staring at Milk with anger simmering right under his skin. He grabbed Milk’s arm and pulled him toward the corridor. “Where is the little brat? Show me.”
Milk groaned and gave the beer a miserable look before leading Tooth down the corridor. “He’s got a pretty face, but you know me, I’m not into that, wouldn’t go for it.”
Tooth gritted his teeth. “Kat’s gonna leave you anyway once she finds out about some of the stuff that you actually do.”
“That’s just unfair, you know? I always keep it down to head only.” Milk led the way out into the chilly backyard. The music was only a muted background noise here. In the far off corner, Tooth did notice movement by the goat shed.
“Lucifer?” Tooth sped up, yanking Milk harder. How could the idiot just go off to have a beer and leave the boy here?
“Um… hello?” Luci’s voice came from behind the fence, and Tooth finally saw him running his fingers through the long black fur of the animal.
The uncertainty in his tone made Tooth calm down a bit. Maybe it was just a misunderstanding, maybe Lucifer had just been teasing Milk? “Could you come over?”
Lucifer emerged from the shadow at the back of the shed and came out from behind the fence into the sparse light of the yard. He looked up at Milk with no facial expression whatsoever.
Tooth let out a low groan. “Milk told me you offered him your... uh, services if he helps you escape tonight. Is that true?” he asked, looking straight into the bright eyes shining even in the low light. Lucifer’s pupils widened as if Tooth lit a flashlight in front of his face.
“What the fuck, Milk?” Lucifer hissed and pushed Milk’s chest despite the man being so much bigger than him.
Tooth rolled his eyes, watching Milk stumble a bit. “So he was just boasting?”
“No! He promised!” Lucifer raised his voice, his cheeks getting darker. “You promised, you dickwad!”
“Jeesus, kid. Shut up.” Milk grabbed Lucifer’s wrist.
Tooth frowned, looking at the slim hand held in Milk’s grip. The hell was going on here? “Promised?”
“Tooth, seriously? You gonna believe this vacuum-mouthed ex-hooker?” Milk said, but looked into Lucifer’s eyes and shook him.
“Why would you do this?” Lucifer tried to hit him, but Milk easily blocked it.
Tooth’s chest went up in flames. What did Milk call Lucifer? “Let go of him,” he growled, tightening his grip on Milk’s shoulder. He couldn’t quite look Lucifer in the eye, ashamed he’d left him with such a bitch.
Milk let go of Lucifer, pushing him back slightly.
The boy took a deep breath. “You think you can fuck with me like this?”
Tooth gritted his teeth, huffing. With Milk’s usually easygoing demeanor gone, Tooth had no qualms about whom to believe. He slowly forced himself to look Lucifer in the eye. “Can you tell me what happened?”
Lucifer’s gaze kept escaping to the sides, and he backed off to the fence. “He said he’d help me out, so I sucked his dick. Didn’t seem so fucking unhappy about my mouth back then.”
Milk groaned. “What are you trying to win here with your lies, boy?”
Tooth ignored him, swallowing hard. This was the core of the problem, and the people he trusted were only making it worse. “Milk, apologize.”
“What for?” Milk’s frown deepened.
“I’ll tell your wife what for. He took me to your room, you know?” Lucifer looked up at Tooth with his face tense.
Tooth took a deep breath. “The fuck? You did it in my bed?” he growled through Milk’s protests.
“No. In your room. You know, the one only three people have keys to.” Lucifer pursed his lips and crossed his arms on his chest. And even though he was talking to Tooth, he looked at Milk with ‘I told you not to fuck with me’ written on his face.
“Apologize,” snapped Tooth, digging his fingers into Milk’s arm. He couldn’t believe something like this was happening on his watch.
Milk took a step closer. “I’m sorry for lending you my dick. You seemed hungry. You thought I was gonna let you run, you little dimwit?”
“Shut up or I’m gonna relieve you of your teeth so you and your unborn son can look more alike!” hissed Tooth, squeezing his hands into fists.
That finally did the trick and Milk shut it. Lucifer leaned with his back against the fence, hanging his head enough to have his hair obscure his face. Tooth bit his lip, staring at his hunched shoulders and closed body language. “Lucifer, go to my room and wait for me until I’m done with this fucker here,” he said.
“Which room?” Luci whispered, clenching his fingers on the wires of the fence.
Tooth swallowed. “Not the torture chamber. Of course.”
That was enough for Lucifer to skitter away as if he were doing everything in his might to fly under the radar.
Milk took a deep breath. “Seriously Tooth, the kid was asking for it. He was making the advances.”
Tooth turned to look at the innocent-looking face that hid a mind dirtier than Tooth’s own. “Oh, and you graciously granted his wish?” he asked, walking back to the building.
Milk followed two steps behind. “Yeah, I mean he was all like ‘oh wow, I can see you’re packing’, and shit.”
Of course Lucifer would say that to someone like Milk. It was a small price for what Lucifer probably perceived as freedom. “And you believe he honestly just wanted to suck you off?” asked Tooth as they walked into the corridor.
“Well, clearly, he had ulterior motives. You heard him. Trying to blackmail me already.” Milk shook his head as if he got hurt by getting blown by a pretty boy.
Tooth stopped by the door to the basement and opened it with his keys. He then looked at Milk, letting that sink in.
Despite all the liquor flowing through his veins, Milk’s face was going slack. “Tooth, brother… you can’t be serious.” He took a step back.
Tooth had to force back a smile. There it was. Drunken panic. “I’m not gonna pull anything. You go first.”
“What’s it about then? We can talk here.” Milk looked over his shoulder as if there was anywhere he could hide.
Tooth smirked. “Go to my dental office, or I’ll change my mind about the treatment of choice,” he growled, already feeling satisfaction simmering in his gut.
“But we’ll talk, right?” Milk said before descending the stairs with the facial expression of a hangman.
“We will talk,” agreed Tooth, following him with a smile. He would enjoy teaching Milk a lesson. “Among other things.”
“Tooth, I’m not lying. The boy came on to me. Why would I hit on a guy? He tempted me into it.” He turned around in the tall, cold chamber.
Tooth joined him after a brief turn to a small supply closet and closed the door. “Five minutes ago you told me that he only teased you. What else did you lie about?” he asked, feeling at home right away. This cold, unfriendly room was his kingdom.
“I know, I shouldn’t have brought him here. Is that it? I wanted to give him a little scare, so he behaves,” Milk babbled all too quickly.
Tooth gave a low groan and squeezed his hands on a carton of milk. “So he sucks cock more eagerly?”
“He was eager enough already,” Milk muttered, but his gaze drifted to Tooth’s hands.
“Oh, cut the crap. You’re making me want to puke all over you.” Tooth put two cartons of milk on the steel table and narrowed his eyes at Milk. Now that he had a plan, his nerves were much more at ease.
Milk exhaled loudly. “What’s the big deal? I didn’t let him go out. He stays put, and he’s learned his lesson.”
“You taught him a lesson?” Tooth shook his head. “In what? Lying your way into blow jobs?”
Milk cleared his throat and finally shut up. It was the silence had Tooth craved all along.
He grabbed an old chair standing by the wall and pulled it closer, sitting with his front to the backrest. The hospital-like glow of the lamp above never failed to make him calm. “Take off your clothes.”
Milk swallowed and took a step back. “What the fuck, man?” A single drop of sweat beaded on his smooth-shaven throat.
Tooth smirked, ready to show Milk what it meant to be vulnerable. “Do it if you don’t want me to tell Priest about this. Do you remember what I asked you to do? Protect Lucifer and not let him leave.”
“It’s not like I hurt him,” Milk groaned, but the idea of Priest finding out must have triggered him into action because he took off his cut and then his hoodie. Even if Priest had issues with Lucifer, he was protective of his kids. Last time a guy tried to grope Astaroth’s ass, he ended up with a broken wrist.
“What makes you think that? He seemed pretty hurt to me.” Tooth opened one carton of milk and took a long swig.
“He was hurt because he didn’t get what he fucking wanted,” Milk hissed, getting rid of his clothes until he stayed in just his briefs and socks.
“All of it.”
Milk took a deep breath and pursed his lips, but he took off the few things he still had on and covered his dick with his hands. There, exactly what Tooth wanted.
“How do you feel?” he asked, watching him, relaxed.
Milk wouldn’t look him in the eye. “I don’t know. Like a sausage about to get roasted?”
Tooth laughed and drank some more milk. “Still better than having Priest know you betrayed his trust and fucked his son.”
“Okay, okay, I get it. Priest wouldn’t be happy, but the boy is like a fucking flytrap.” Milk’s gaze kept darting from the carton to Tooth.
“And that means what exactly?” asked Tooth, completely calm. Being here always brought back memories of tension relieved.
“It means he has the lips of a girl, but the forwardness of a guy.” Every twitch and stir proved just how uncomfortable Milk was.
Tooth pursed his lips. “Would you cheat a girl like that?”
“I don’t know. If she was a slut like him then maybe I would. Jeez. Since when are you so sensitive?”
Tooth snorted. “I’ve always been this sensitive. My cousin was just like him. And guys like you said the exact same things,” muttered Tooth, and for a moment anger got the better of him, giving his voice a raspy edge.
Milk’s eyes widened slightly. He must have finally understood that he’d stepped into quicksand. “Sorry, man. I didn’t know…”
Tooth raised his hand to silence Milk. “He’s a frightened little boy, who got abandoned by his father and who saw his mother die. He’s doing what he’s doing to get by somehow. There you are, promising him help in exchange for a deal and won’t even honor your side of the bargain? What kind of scumbag are you?”
The tension in the room became tangible. Something must have gotten through Milk’s thick skull, because he didn’t even try to throw any shitty excuses like ‘I was drunk’. Milk wasn’t exactly Tooth’s type, but it still gave him a little tingle of pleasure to see a bead of sweat run down the man’s stomach.
“You used his desperation to try it with a guy, and then you dare talk shit to him about it?” Tooth got up from the chair and marched to the sink, retrieving a simple metal bucket, which he dropped in front of Milk.
“What’s that for?” Milk asked, but the tremble in his voice suggested he had some idea.
Tooth patted the two milk cartons. “You’re gonna vacuum it all up, like a good boy.”
Milk’s face went completely pale. “Tooth… Brother… No… You know what this shit does to me,” he pleaded.
“You won’t die,” Tooth said, picking up the opened carton. He handed it to Milk with a small smile. “Bottoms up.”
Milk swallowed and reached for the drink with a trembling hand. “And the Lucifer thing stays between us?”
“As long as you repay him without breaking club rules.” Tooth touched the cool tiles on the wall, enjoying the peace of mind they brought him.
Sweat dripped from Milk’s pasty forehead, but he flipped the carton upside down and began drinking. His Adam’s apple bobbed with each huge gulp and he held onto the arm of the dentist chair as if that could help him. Tooth helpfully opened the second one.
“I don’t want you to drink alcohol for the next six months if that’s what happens when you do.”
Milk slowly nodded and got the next carton from Tooth’s hand without a word. He began drinking with less energy than the first one, and a single tear dripped down his temple no matter how much he clenched his eyes to avoid it. Tooth had known Milk for three years, and he’d never seen him shed a tear, so he must have gotten the point across.
Tooth patted Milk on the shoulder and slowly made his way to the door. “Use that bucket. I’ll be back in three hours. And if you soil my floor, you’ll clean it,” he said, looking at Milk through the gap between the door and its frame.
The miserable look on Milk’s face spoke of a job well done.
Tooth locked the door and turned the lights off to Milk’s protesting howl. He needed to remember to switch on the water in the basement later.