Disclaimers:  The characters Jack, Michael, Pearse, Vaughan, Angie etc. from 'Ultraviolet' belong to Channel 4/World Productions and the wonderful writer, Joe Ahearne

I am just taking them out to play with, and will return them as found.

No copyright infringement is intended, and no money has passed any hands.

This has all been done for love.

Title: Tightening Circles
Rating: NC17, m/m slash.
Pairing:  Jack/Michael with some Michael/ofc. 
Author:  Alison
Email:
ali@metadigm.co.uk

Warnings: Issues of forced consent, and some violence. This is a dark ‘love’ story. Jack’s a vampire. He doesn’t have a human conscience or morals.

Summary: Jack is given permission to compromise Michael. His plans alter as his motivation changes.

Thanks to my beta, David, for his advice and comments

 


 

Tightening Circles

by Alison

  

Michael sank to the ground, his gun dropping out of his hands. He leant his head back against the brick wall and looked up at the stars, tears obscuring his view. What had he done? He was such a fool. Manipulated by everyone, Kirsty included, and what had he gained? Nothing except the knowledge that Jack was out there, doing what he did best, creating trouble. Kirsty was lost to him. Frances probably hated him. Vaughan despised him. Pearse was concerned for his loyalty, and he had unthinkingly hurt Angie.

He stifled a sob and lowered his head into his hands, hating his life, his work and himself. It was all his fault. Vaughan had warned him but he’d carried on wanting Kirsty back, wanting her to fill the void that Jack’s betrayal had made in his life. He hated Jack too. His best friend, the man he’d given love and steadfast loyalty to for almost ten years. The man for whom he’d hidden, not very well, his love for his fiancée. The man who had been a constant companion at work and play. That man was now a vampire. Michael shuddered. He could still hardly believe it, vampires alive, well dead, and living in London, plotting and planning the overthrow of humanity if Pearse was to be believed.

He wiped his face, slowly standing and retrieving his gun. The gun said it all; he was still a part of the team. A somewhat reluctant and cynical part, but Pearse wanted him. To be honest he had no choice. He was, as Pearse had so succinctly put it, either for them or against them. No choice, he was human, that meant he had to be part of humanities defence against them.

He sighed, pocketed the gun, straightened his shoulders and walked home, feeling very unsettled. Jack had been revived for less than a day yet somehow Jack knew that he would be heading this way. He shuddered and hurried his pace, keen to get home.

 

******

 

“Why are you so determined to compromise him?” Jack asked for the third time, exasperation obvious in his voice. Becoming a vampire seemed to have changed him less than he would have expected, he still hated to wait, and now he was effectively immortal he would have thought he could have gained a modicum of patience.

“He could tell us much about the squad.” The shadowy figure in the large winged armchair waved a finger at Jack as he paced the length of the carpet.

Jack looked amused. “You know little about Mike if you think he would betray them. Mike’s a loyal guy with a strong conscience and a great deal of moral integrity.”

“Yet he betrayed you.” The man leant forward his youthful countenance at odds with the worldly wisdom viewed in his eyes. The flames from the totally unnecessary fire burning in the large grate giving his face a devilish look.

Jack shrugged his shoulders. “Look at it from Mike’s viewpoint. In his eyes I had betrayed him, humanity and perhaps more importantly, Kirsty. He intended to destroy both of us to ensure that I didn’t hurt her.”

“You defend him still?”

Jack grimaced. “He brought me back, oh I know for her sake rather than mine but still he did it and he’s hurting. I watched him.”

A low laugh from his companion made him turn and face him.  “You care about him still.”

It was a statement rather than a question, and Jack nodded moving slowly towards the chair next to the man and sinking into its soft comforts.

“That is acceptable as long as you do not allow your emotions to overrule our needs.”

Jack laughed. “I have no problem with that but I will not be part of any plan to destroy him.”

The man sighed. “We do not want him dead, had we wanted he would have been six foot under months ago.” The man frowned at him, resting his hand on the cane Jack had never seen him without, and knew for an unnecessary affectation.

Jack frowned. “What do you want from him?”

“Ultimately that he joins us but initially his knowledge of the Squad and the priest that leads them.” The man’s expression was bland but amused.

“And how do you expect to achieve that?” Jack asked impatiently. “You know that he hates and fears us,”

“Then you must change his attitude?”

“How the hell am I going to do that?” Jack said surprised. “Remember, he hates me as well.”

The man smiled. “We don’t think so. Had he hated you he would have found another way of convincing your ex fiancée that you were dead and gone for good.” He looked Jack firmly in the eye. “He also cares for you, Mr Beresford, and we insist that you find a way to either compromise him for blackmail or change his mind for good about us.”

“You’re very interested in Mike,” Jack said slowly.

The man smiled sitting back in his chair. “We have watched him for some time, he too has a lot of potential.”

“You watched both of us?” Jack continued pensively.

The man smiled again. “You both interested us so we set you up to arouse the suspicion of the Squad.”

Jack stared emotionlessly at the man before him absorbing the information he had been given.

“You clever bastards,” he said grudgingly. “You drew me in, compromised me and counted on the fact that my loyal and clever mate would search for me and try and help.” He looked closely at the other, but his face remained blank. “You assumed that the squad would use him to get to me. And then your plan came to fruition didn’t it?” He looked at the man again catching a flickering smile from the shrouded face. “They were impressed by Mike and brought him on board. You set him up to be part of the squad.” His eyes narrowed. “Was my neutralization part of it?”

The man shook his head. “No, Michael surprised us but on reflection it has worked out even better than we imagined.”

“You weren’t the one who imploded,” Jack said ruefully, rubbing at his chest.

The man nodded. “We want Michael Colefield, you want him. Find a way to achieve it.” He nodded as Jack realised he was being dismissed and stood from the chair. “Your friendship is probably deeper and more involved that you both realise. Remember, we have watched you both for many years and we know you well.”

And with that cryptic remark he turned his gaze from Jack and towards the fire.

Giving the large gothic looking room a frowning glance, Jack left. As he did so he wondered exactly how old his mentor and supervisor actually was, and why he still seemed to want to give the impression that he was human.

 

******

 

Michael was tired and resentful. Pearse had kept him out of the loop at the last briefing. He hadn’t realised it until later but now, sitting here on observation duty he realised that he’d been directed well away from the action. He wasn’t entirely sure what he’d done. A month down the line and they were back as a squad again. He’d made his peace with all of them taking time to really talk to Angie and explain why he’d done as he did. She’d been remarkably understanding, accepting his hesitant apology with charm.

Michael found Dr Angie Marsh a very icy, restrained lady, but on reflection he felt it was a façade to cover the turbulent emotions that she struggled with on a daily basis. She’d loved Robert Marsh with intensity. She still loved him despite the fact that he was now a vampire and had betrayed her family and taken her twin daughter with him. But he had no doubt that should he be restored, she would destroy him however painful it might be.

Michael wasn’t sure he had the resolve, courage or conviction to kill Jack should he ever see him again, and he had a sudden flash of understanding. Whatever they were following up Vaughan suspected that it involved Jack, so he’d been kept out of the loop partly for his own protection and as a precaution.

He gritted his teeth in pain and stared miserably out of the window. If Jack had died he could have mourned him and finally moved on. Knowing that Jack was still around, however changed, left him in limbo. He could neither mourn him nor forgive him. Michael groaned, unless he did something positive he was going to end up the male counterpoint to Angie Marsh, and however much he admired her, that thought chilled him to the bone.

The radio hissed then squawked distracting him from his misery.

“Operation Covert go,” came Vaughan’s voice.

Michael imagined the van carrying Vaughan and the armed soldiers squealing into the warehouse. In his mind he could see the men file out silently, firing at dark shapes and ducking as the shapes imploded into searing flames. Silently he counted and waited.

“Operation Covert a whitewash,” Vaughan’s disgusted voice came clearly over the radio. “All deployments return to base.

Michael shifted in his seat and sighed. So they hadn’t been able to find or even neutralise the suspected Code V’s. Irrationally he felt relieved, if Jack had been part of the operation and it had succeeded he realised that he would have felt very ambivalent about Jack being neutralised again. Shaking his head at his stupidity and continued love for a man who could no longer be called human, he fired the engine, put the car in gear and pulled out of the car park unaware of eyes watching his every move.

 

******

 

The weekend loomed in front of him. In his last job he would have been ecstatic at the opportunities a whole weekend would give him, now he felt lethargic and miserable. His old mates were busy, keen to have a drink and chat, but generally too involved in the job or their partners on the rare weekends available to them. He’d got tickets for the match on Saturday but his friends had been called up for extra duty following concerns over a civil rights march over the weekend.

Michael found himself driving over towards Kirsty’s place. He parked a couple of doors away and settled down to watch. A ‘Sold’ sign confirmed the rumours he’d heard of her move up North to a small independent school. He wondered if he had the nerve to knock on her door but decided against it. He’d already made her bait for the Code V’s. Jack had said he wouldn’t touch her, but that meant nothing. He closed his eyes grasped the steering wheel and rested his head on his arms.

Looking up a few minutes later he noticed a slight figure standing by the front door. Their eyes met for a few seconds until she broke the gaze and opened the door. Michael sighed; he wasn’t too sure what had been communicated. Not forgiveness, he doubted he’d ever receive that, but certainly less hostility that he’d expected. It had also been a firm goodbye. Michael sighed again, turned the engine and put the car in gear. Time to move on.

He didn’t remember making a conscious decision but his next step was to a club he and Jack used to frequent on a fairly regular basis. It was a little early for much custom but the bar was open. He ordered himself a whiskey and soda sat down in a large, comfortable chair and brooded.

Some hours later he had a collection of glasses and a pretty brunette on his knee. He had no clear recollection of where she had come from or how she had ended up on his knee, but he was glad of her company. She was giggly but sweet. Kissing her was no sacrifice although he was surprised at himself. One-night stands had never been his idea of fun and he had no intention of taking her home however drunk he might be.

As the night went on he drank more, smooched more and even got on the dance floor and danced. Another thing he seldom did being too embarrassed and self conscious to really let go. The drink however had loosened his inhibitions and he was moving without thought, not so drunk that he couldn’t think straight, but sufficiently drunk to be happy.

His partner sat on his lap on their return, and before he could do anything, had he wanted to do anything, she’d opened his flies and began rubbing his already partially aroused cock at the same time as kissing him hard. He struggled to say something but nothing seemed appropriate and he was getting very turned on. When the rubbing stopped, she fished his erection out of his briefs and covered his cock with a condom. Knowing what she was about to do did nothing to reduce the shock as she slowly impaled herself. When she began moving up and down him, making little twists of her hips bolts of pleasure thrummed up his cock.

“Oh, god,” he said breathlessly, receiving an enigmatic smile that challenged the Mona Lisa’s.

“You like this?” she said teasingly, laughing in his mouth as he groaned his answer. She kissed and suckled, seeming to enjoy kissing him under his chin and along his neck. He tried to reciprocate but most of the blood from his brain seemed to be centred in his cock, so he hung on tight and allowed her to lead.

“I’m going to come,” he groaned as her movements became wilder. She nipped at his neck and he came with a muffled shout.

Surfacing he felt the beat of the music alongside the beat of his heart. Looking at his partner he was reassured to see her looking a little wild eyed, although she had the same satisfied look on her that he’d noticed at the beginning. She leaned forward and kissed him.

“Thank you, he said inadequately, as she grinned. “Err, are you satisfied or do you…?”

His mouth was kissed as she pulled his hands down to her pussy, and unerringly guided him to her clitoris. He began rubbing her with one hand as he slipped his other hand beneath her tight top, loosened her bra and began to play with her breasts.

Again she kissed and sucked at him, her movements become wilder as he played and he was surprised to feel his flaccid cock, stir and begin to fill her again. The sensation was strange, the condom cold and sticky, but still enjoyable. He rubbed her and himself as they kissed and he fondled her breasts. Soon she was climaxing shaking with the force of her orgasm as his cock made another attempt to come.        

As he slowly came too for the second time Michael momentarily wondered if he’d taken leave of his senses. He looked around the place, other couples were making out near them and couple of grins turned his way as he sat back and tried to compose himself. He flushed, somewhat ashamed and very bewildered by his behaviour. He had no idea of the name of the woman who had just made love to him, and that in it sickened him. He had never wanted or enjoyed casual sex and as the feelings of guilt, panic and embarrassment began to overcome him, he realised that he didn’t want to do anything like this again. However good it had made him feel for a few brief minutes. 

“My name’s Melanie.”

Michael jumped retuning his gaze to his companion’s face.

“I’m Michael,” he said slowly. “Look, Melanie, I certainly don’t make a habit of doing this.”

Melanie put her fingers against his lips and smiled.

“I do, Michael, quite often so don’t worry. You were good, very good, and I like you, you’re cute.”

Michael blushed very uncertain that he felt at all happy about being called cute.

Melanie grinned as if aware of his discomfort, leaning forward to kiss him again. 

“So, do you want to do it again?”   

Michael swallowed. “Not here,” he said hastily. “I really doubt I’ve got it in me to give you another performance.”

Melanie giggled. “Want to go back to mine, sleep, make love, eat, have a fun weekend?”

Michael swallowed. He’d got nothing to do, no friends to meet and a gap to fill. Perhaps if he got to know her he’d feel less guilty about what he’d just done. He looked her over; she was a little younger than him, very sexy and certainly attractive.

Her elfin like face was enhanced by her short haircut. Her eyes were green and smiling, and her mouth full and generous. As he looked she licked her lips and pouted before giving him a wink.

“Do you like what you see?” she asked huskily.

Michael gulped and nodded silently. He had absolutely no idea what she was like as a person but he had nothing to lose, so…

 

~~~

 

Her flat was sleek, modern and expensive, not how he imagined from the brief impression he had of her. Both Venetian blinds and geometrically patterned curtains in warm hues of green covered the large picture windows. The furniture was leather, and looked sinfully soft and inviting as he stood taking in the sight, smell and sounds of her apartment almost by instinct. Idly he wondered what she did for a living before crashing on the sofa with exhaustion.

“Not here Mike, come to bed,” she cooed.

“I need the loo,” he said looking around as if one were liable to appear in front of him. She grinned, and he realised that she was very much less drunk than he was.

“I’ll take you,” she said, guiding his unsteady steps to the bathroom and leaving him by the door. The bathroom was also sleek, modern. The white starkness lifted by Melanie’s untidy clutter of cosmetics and brushes on all the available surfaces. A small Snoopy toothbrush stand made him smile at the same time as he felt how disgusting his mouth felt.

He relived himself and washed his face before leaning near to the door and shouting

“Do you have a toothbrush?”

Melanie sniggered and brushed part him opening the nearest cabinet and hunting around.

“Here,” she said, giving him a brief peck on the cheek as she went past.

He brushed his teeth and felt marginally more human as he blearily followed Melanie to the bedroom, allowing her to strip him before he fell into soft comfortable, cool sheets. He felt her get in and roll against him then oblivion hit.

He awoke to a hand on his cock and a tongue on his nipple, taking some time to remember who he was never mind who the woman was giving him a slow delightful hand job. The curtains were thick, but she’d drawn them back a little letting sunlight pierce the darkness of the room. He watched her face for a second amused by the lascivious expression. She grinned at him kissed his oversensitive nipple and lowered her mouth to his cock. He nearly screamed with excitement as she began a slow torturous sucking that had him holding tight to the bed in a desperate attempt not to buck and gag her. His orgasm was intense and he zoned out for a minute. When he came to, he was determined to give her some of the same pleasures he had just received.

They ended up a contended mass in the middle of the large king size bed as he slowly stroked her back and snuggled with her. He still wondered who she was, and why she’d taken up with him. He knew he wasn’t unattractive; he’d had his fair share of female interest when he and Jack went on the town, but he didn’t understand why she’d gone after him. That she was amazingly talented in bed was obvious, he couldn’t remember having so many orgasms before, and that made him a little uncertain. He was well aware that it was no longer only men who went out for sex, no strings attached. But his copper’s instincts were, well they were wondering just how she could afford this expensive place in Kensington, certainly not the cheapest part of London.

“Want lunch?”

He laughed. “We missed breakfast?”

She smiled and pointed at the clock.

Twelve thirty, yep they’d missed breakfast. He wondered just how much he’d drunk last night.  “Fine, I’d love to, then I better get going.”

She looked at him and pouted. “Why? I thought we could spend the day making love, then perhaps you could take me out for a meal tonight.”

Michael swallowed. “Why me, Melanie?” he asked. Trying to sound curious rather than desperate. “I mean you’re gorgeous, and sexy, and fantastic in bed, but why me?”

She grinned. “You looked so lost, lonely and cute I wanted to seduce you. I asked the barkeeper your name and if you were a regular. He told me a little, said you used to come in with a friend, but had both been absent recently. So I went for it.” She grinned. “You were very horny, Mike.”

“I’ve been celibate for some time,” he said as casually as possible. “Just the hand jobs to keep me going.”

She laughed. “I don’t approve of celibacy, I like sex, and for now I’d like to have sex with you. No strings attached, just good old-fashioned lust and pleasure. Are you up for it?”

Michael bit his lip; this was unbelievable, a woman offering him uncomplicated sex? Somehow he thought there had to be some catch. He failed to see why in the midst of unstinting gloom and failure he should suddenly have got lucky. Despite his uncertainty he nodded.

“I’d be a fool to say no, Melanie, and it’s too good an offer to resist. Just give me due warning when you’ve had enough, and we’ll shake, no hard feelings, and I’ll get out of your life.”

Melanie laughed, reaching over to give him a kiss. “Settled then,” she said smiling. “Go and book some where really good for tonight while I’ll rustle up some lunch.”

She slid out of bed, stretched and sauntered naked out of the room. Michael pinched himself, stretched out on the bed and felt a stupid grin cover his face.

 

******

 

The weekend had been fantastic, and for the first time in months he forgot about Jack, Kirsty, Code V’s, his job, his loneliness and his unhappiness. They’d exchanged phone numbers and made a date for the weekend.

Now he was back at HQ it seemed unreal. Vaughan nodded at him and continued to read the newspaper spreading over the conference table and Angie smiled briefly before returning to her notes. Michael examined his nails before rising and getting himself a cup of coffee and sipping it slowly.

The door banged and Pearse walked in. He looked a little tired, but better than he had done for some weeks. He handed out the days briefing and sat down slowly, smiling gently at Angie as she looked at him closely.

“I’m fine,”

Michael thought Angie looked unconvinced, but she nodded, sat back and waited.

Pearse rustled the papers and cleared his throat.

“We’ve got suspected Code V involvement in a financial crisis,” he said crisply. “Alongside the normal accusations of insider trading as shares in the company were sold just before their crash.” He looked round the table. “I want a thorough investigation of all the main players. A great deal of money has been made by someone very quickly.”

“Where does the Code V link fit in?” Michael asked.

“The police have been investigating one of the men recently and asked our advice.” He looked sharply at Michael before continuing. “The stories a little like your friend Jack’s. The main suspect has had just a little too much money and has been seen with some shady people, some of whom we know.”

Michael nodded not missing the glance that passed between Pearse and Vaughan.

“I assume he’s in the city and not the police?” he said trying to keep any sarcasm out of his voice.

Pearse glanced at him, nodding. “He’s some kind of financial whiz kid, but apparently the money he’s been making and spending has been excessive even for his potential earning capacity.”

“Knowing just how well paid some of them can be I really need to ask what the hell he brought?”  Michael looked curiously at Pearse.

“A yacht, villa in the south of France, Rolls Royce,” he shrugged. “You name it he bought it. One or even two purchases out of the ordinary on his salary wouldn’t have rung alarm bells, but he is obviously a very greedy man.”

Vaughan sat back and laughed grimly. “Do the rich ever have enough?”

Pearse looked back down at his papers. “Well in this case his greed has helped us get to him. I want him and any associates investigated. More importantly, I want to know what this money is being used for.” He looked at Michael. “Can you work on this?”

Michael nodded. “Some of the Fraud squad guys are my mates. I’ll ask them for some leads.”

Pearse nodded. “Good, I want you and Vaughan chasing this up. I want to know how they got to this guy as well. 

“Money,” Vaughan said simply.

Pearse nodded. “Maybe, but I’d like to be sure.”

 

~~~

 

Michael couldn’t say why, but he’d taken against Mr Alexander almost from the first. The man was a genial host, cultured, sternly handsome, urbane and slightly older than Michael had initially assumed. He spoke with them at length about his business, and had been remarkably frank about his dealing in the city and the staff he had under him. He expressed no surprise at their request to interview their main suspect and gave his permission to talk to all the staff.  He gave Michael the shivers, he had no idea why but he didn’t like either his manner or the way he looked at them. Well actually the way Alexander looked at him. He seemed to treat Vaughan with polite indifference. When they left the spacious offices, Michael gave a sigh of relief. Vaughan looked at him questioningly.

“Didn’t like him,” Michael said shortly. “He made my skin crawl.”

Vaughan raised his eyebrows in amusement, but offered no verbal reply. Their next interview couldn’t have been more different. James Vender was a slight, somewhat pretty man in his early thirties. He was frightened and fighting it, trying to give them the correct answers but seeming to find it hard to concentrate. He denied everything, said he didn’t know what he was doing, and that he couldn’t remember the buying. Michael left much of the questioning to Vaughan; Vender seemed to respond to his authorative style. With Michael he became hesitant and desperate, almost begging for help. Michael caught Vaughan’s eye and they gave a brief excuse and trotted outside.

“I wonder if he’d tell me some more personal things if I was alone with him?” he said briefly to Vaughan.

Vaughan looked amused. “So I’m the authority figure, you’re the heart on his sleeve guy.” His smile was replaced with a frown. “It’s worth a shot, he told us nothing I couldn’t have found out from the police files, and he’s scared shitless of something.”

He nodded again. “I’ll be talking to that sexy bird in reception.” He winked at Michael. “I can leer at her boobs as she give me the insiders observation and maybe I’ll even get her to go for a drink with me.”

Michael smiled and thought fleetingly of Melanie. “I’ll join you later.”

Stepping back into Vender’s office he smiled briefly at the pale-faced man. “Do you want to tell me anything you couldn’t say in front of my colleague?” he asked gently.

Vender sighed his eyes filling with tears. “I’ve been such an idiot,” he said quietly.

Michael sat still and waited

“Everything was going fine, good career, good prospects, good money, nice house and car. Everything, then I got involved with him.”

Michael stirred slightly, but decided to keep the questioning to the minimum and waited for Vender to continue.

“He seduced me with his ideas, his passion his glamour. I wanted into his world.”

Michael leant forward a little; Vender was talking almost to himself. He thought he heard him whisper, “I wanted him.” when the door opened and Mr Alexander walked in. Vender went pale, glancing to his boss and then down at the floor.

“Found what you wanted, Mr Colefield?” he enquired pleasantly. “I thought I’d come and support Vender. He’s been having a bad time of late.”

Vender’s frame shook at the words and his head bowed even further.

“We were talking,” Michael admitted. His feeling of dislike seemed multiplied, and Alexander’s command of the shrinking man in front of him seemed unbelievable. Michael was not given to flights of fantasy, but he would not have been surprised to find Vender on his knees abasing himself before the man. The vibes in the rooms were mixed and powerful but Michael knew something was going on and that he would get nothing from Vender, not here and probably never. Vender had been warned.

He stood and moved forward to shake Vender’s hand. Vender raised his head slightly and gave him a small grimace. He nodded at Alexander, reluctantly offering his hand as the man put his hand forward.

“Goodbye Mr Colefield. It has been a pleasure.”

The handshake was longer than necessary and the look accompanying Alexander’s words was disturbing in the extreme. Michael was hard put not to shiver. He nodded, smiled politely and left the office.

 

~~~

 

In the briefing the following day he voiced his disquiet forcefully.

“Vender’s a pawn,” he said flatly for the third time. “Mr Alexander is the power in that firm, no one, and I repeat no one would do anything without his say so. He frightened the hell out of me.”

Vaughan sighed. “Come on, Mike. He seemed fine to me, a bit smooth but okay. I agree Vender was frightened, but he’s got due cause to feel that way.”

Pearse looked between them. “What do you want to do, Michael?”

“Investigate Alexander. Work our what and how he has such control over Vender. Find out whom gets the properties that Vender paid out for.” He turned to Vaughan in appeal. “You didn’t see Vender’s reaction to him, he was scared shitless.”

Pearse nodded. “I can see no problem in that at all, just maintain your investigations on Vender and look for links with the Code V’s.” He glanced at Vaughan. “Okay?”

Vaughan shrugged. Pearse turned towards Angie who had sat quietly through the briefing. “Anything to add?”

She shook her head. “Nothing other than agreeing that Michael’s description of Vender’s reactions certainly bears further investigation. I would agree that the man sounds terrified.” She looked over to Michael and smiled briefly. “I’d like to know why as well.”

Michael smiled at her with gratitude.

 

******

 

Michael and Melanie met for a meal at the weekend. They were at Melanie’s flat, relaxing. Michael lay along on the sofa and stretched, rubbing Melanie’s back with his toes. She smiled at him and arched her back before returning her gaze to the TV.

“Mel?” he asked.

She turned and gave him her full attention.

“What would you think was the relationship between two men where one seems terrified of the other?”

She crinkled her nose. “Are they peers?”

Michael shook his head. “One’s the boss, a powerful man. The other doesn’t lack for money etc. but when he’s with him he’s terrified and far too deferent.”

She pondered for a second. “You obviously excluded blackmail.”

“Too an extent, I may be very wrong but something is going on that I can’t quite grasp.”

Melanie nodded again. “Are they gay?”

Michael looked puzzled. “Not as far as I’m aware, why?”

She smiled. “Well like you I’d think blackmail or some kind of physical or psychological hold. Having a pretty one tracked mind,” she grinned briefly at Michael, “my mind turns to sex.”

“Surprise, surprise,” Michael mocked. “It’s all you think about, full stop.”

Melanie stuck her tongue out. “I got into some kinky stuff a few years back with a mate of mine. She wanted to get into some mutual BDSM and I was willing as long as we both knew what we were doing.”

“A woman,” Michael said, surprised. “I didn’t know you were bi.” He frowned in thought then licked his lips. “You know that sounds very appealing.”

Melanie laughed. “Typical hetro male response. Lesbians are a turn on.”

Michael nodded. “You bet.”

Melanie grinned. “Anyway, we got involved with a special kind of club and got clued into the life. Had a lot of fun for almost a year until she went back to Australia. I stopped shortly after that, couldn’t find a man or woman I wanted to top me.” She laughed at Michael’s expression. “I was the submissive partner.”

“You have got to be kidding,” Michael exclaimed. “You haven’t got a submissive bone in your body.”

Melanie gave him a sly smile. “Not with you sweetie,” she leered. “You are just too cute and cuddly. If we were to get into the scene, I’d be the top, you the bottom.”

Michael sat up and glared. “Cute!”

“Totally, a real cutie,” she laughed at his growl of annoyance. “What I’m trying to say is that we were aware that on the periphery of the consensual BDSM scene were people who entered into a ‘real’ Master/Slave relationship. We were told that some of these people, like some of the more aggressive tops, were dangerous and could take things too far and to keep away from them.”

Michael was both appalled and fascinated. “I can’t believe that anyone would willingly play slave,” he said slowly. “I’m beginning to think I’ve led a very innocent life despite being a policeman, but hell I just can’t imagine the mind set of anyone who does that.”

Melanie nodded. “Nor can I, Mike. Role-play and sexual kicks through bondage and domination I thoroughly understood. It was all a game, and when played right it was very satisfying. If you want my honest opinion, the two men you describe may well be in the Master/Slave roles, and outside the issues of mutual consent.”

Michael frowned in thought, jumping as a tongue licked up the side of his face.

“Want to play, little boy?” Melanie breathed huskily.

Michael suppressed a giggle. “Want to give me a good time?” he said hopefully.

“Going to show you who’s in charge of this relationship,” Melanie said with a grin. 

“Yeah, you and who’s army?” Michael challenged, allowing her to lead him into the bedroom.

 

******

 

A couple of days following his and Melanie’s conversation he had to report back on his investigations. Weary at his lack of results, despite extensive digging and calling in of favours with some of his ex mates, he decided to offer his honest opinion of the man he considered responsible. He threw the folder on the table angrily.

“Mr Alexander is so clean it’s unbelievable,” he said bitterly. “I’ve checked him out thoroughly and in my opinion his files been got at.”

“How so?” Vaughan asked.

Michael shrugged. “There are no leads, nothing to follow through and no one to have a little chat to, zilch. In my experience that’s just impossible in his kind of life.”

Pearse glanced at him. “What were you expecting, Michael?”

Michael bit his lip. “Well more on his relationship with Vender for starters.” He took a deep breath. “This is just a theory and a pretty tenuous one as well, but I wondered if his relationship with Vender was perhaps sexual, or at least started that way and has now progressed into total dependency and submissiveness on Vender’s part.”

Vaughan looked startled, Angie contemplative and Pearse thoughtful.

“Go on,” Pearse ordered.

Michael shrugged. “My suggestion is that Alexander gets his kicks from breaking people. Although I must admit to absolutely no evidence of that at all, just some unconfirmed rumours.” He glared at the folder. “I think the rumours are true, and that by choosing Vender, a work colleague as his victim, he gets things done that would appear to be counter to his interests and beyond his control. Vender is so under his spell that he does the deeds and takes the consequence.”

Michael took a deep breath and looked round the table.

“You didn’t like Alexander, did you”? Angie asked. “Do you think your antagonism is perhaps affecting your judgement?”

Michael took another deep breath and exhaled slowly. “Possibly,” he conceded flashing a tight smile at Angie. “I’m convinced however that Alexander is the one we need to be watching.”

“I don’t necessarily disagree with you, Michael,” Pearse said briskly. “But we need facts not supposition. As facts are limited in his case, we will have to let the Fraud Squad prosecute Vender and suggest that Alexander is worth keeping an eye on.”

Michael nodded reluctantly, brooding slightly as the conversation turned to Vaughan’s concerns at the constant Code V activity being reported.

“They’re getting more and more daring,” Vaughan said bitterly. “We can’t assume that because it’s daylight they aren’t about.”

Pearse nodded. “But they are still heavily restricted.” He sighed rubbing his brow with his fingers. “I’ve got one little news item to add, although I’m not too sure how relevant it is,” he said slowly. “On the surface we’ve got an ecology movement and civil rights group with some strange spiritual/religious links. A friend of mine’s daughter has got involved, and while he has no problems with the save the earth philosophy or the civil rights, he found the religious overtones unsettling. He said they were almost satanic in their observances and rites.”

Vaughan raised his eyebrow. “Seems little different from the usual fare but I can’t see anything in it for us.”

Pearse nodded. “I know, I’d just put it down as yet another dotty group if it wasn’t for my friend’s observation. He said his daughter seemed even more unwilling than usual to get up and go out during the day. Also she has become quite aggressive to him. I don’t think I said what my friend does, well he’s a vicar.” He stopped and pulled a sour face. “As he is an old friend, I asked Angie to see her as well. We went up at the weekend, spent some time with them and brought her back here because somehow she’s been infected.” He stopped.

Michael looked at him curiously. “There’s a but here isn’t there? You said infected, not bitten.”

Pearse nodded and gestured to Angie.

“I found no bite marks, I did however find a needle mark on the arm. I asked her what she had been injecting, and she denied anything. Her blood results certainly show no unusual chemical agents, yet she has all the hallmarks of a bite.” Angie shook her head slowly. “I don’t quite know how to deal with it, other than give her a blood transfusion. Nothing shows under UV.”

“Shit,” Michael said horrified, contemplating the horrendous possibilities that ampoules of altered virus or bacteria, or whatever could be in production to turn swathes of people into obedient Code V servants.

Pearse nodded. “It opens up an unsettling prospects, one I could do without,” he admitted. “I think the girl was a mistake, they can’t have known her father was a vicar.”

“Unless they wanted us to know.” Vaughan said calmly.

Pearse eyed him questioningly.

“Wild goose chase, feints, you know how they work,” Vaughan offered.

Michael narrowed his eyes. “You looked all over her for bite marks,” he said slowly.

It was Angie’s turn to look at him questioningly, and he flushed slightly, realising that it was time with Melanie that had put the idea into his head. “I mean could she have had sex or something and the bite mark be in a very intimate place.” He felt the flush recede a little as Angie’s eyes narrowed with interest. “You mentioned satanic type rites, and I just thought…” he trailed away as Angie stood and moved towards the door.

“It’s a thought, Michael, and thank you.” She looked coolly at Pearse. “I will need to ask both her father and her permission as she is under sixteen, will I get it?”

Pearse nodded slowly. “I’ll ring him.” He sighed and stood indicating that the meeting was at a close. “I want to know where the money is going, what kind of activity they are most involved in.” He frowned eyeing Michael and Vaughan carefully. “Be careful.” He nodded at them and left.

Vaughan sat back eyeing Michael with interest. “Something you’re not telling me, Mike?”

Michael shrugged his shoulders.

“You’re more relaxed and a perhaps a little focused on sex, don’t you think?”

Michael doodled in the corner of his paper. “I’m fine, thank you for your concern,” he said coolly.

Vaughan leaned forward. “Mike, what I’m asking is have you got yourself a girlfriend?  Because if you have she needs to be checked out.”

Michael sat up and glared at the man. “I have done so already, thank you. Is nothing private?”

Vaughan shrugged. “Not in this business, anything you do outside of the Squad that leaves you open to threats and blackmail is my business.”

Michael stood angrily, aware that what Vaughan said made sense. “Her name is Melanie Still. She works as a travel consultant and lives in a nice flat that Daddy funded in Kensington. We’ve got a fun relationship, nothing more nothing less. I’ve checked her and everything she says checks out, okay?”

Vaughan nodded. “Yeah, just leave me the details so I have them on record.” He looked at Michael grinned and shook his head. “Lucky bastard.”

Michael felt the tension drain out of him and grinned back.       

 

******

 

The next day Angie sought Michael out and sat down next to him. “You were right, I found the bite.”

Michael nodded. “How is her father coping with the knowledge of his daughter’s activities?”

Angie shrugged. “Pearse is dealing with that. Phlegmatically I think, his daughter has been a bit wild since she was fourteen.”

Michael grinned. “Having a priest for a dad can do that to some people. My dad’s a headmaster, I can’t tell you how bad that was for my image when I started Secondary school.”

Angie grinned. “Were you bad?”

“Not really, but I thought I was super cool. I think my parents were half amused and half furious for most of my teens.” He grinned. “Then I ended up as a policeman. Ironic really.”

“What about Jack?” Angie asked quietly.

Michael frowned looking at the floor. He risked a glance at her; she was waiting for him to talk an expression of interest on her face. “I met him during training and despite out opposite personalities we got on. We separated for a time then both got placements as uniformed constables in the Met.” He nibbled his lower lip unconsciously. “I’ve known him for well over ten years and he’s been my best mate for nearly all that time. We were very close.”

“You miss him?” Angie said gently.

Michael blinked a tear away. “Yeah, every damn day.” He swallowed turning purposefully to her. “But what about you? Robert was your husband and father to your twins. How do you go on, Angie?”

Angie shrugged her shoulders. “Same as you Mike, on a daily basis.” She shook her head as Michael began to stammer an apology. “No, I’ve had more time than you to come to terms with this. I hate him and yet I still love him, and knowing that a bit of blood could bring him back from the dead is torture.”

“Would you…”Michael hesitated afraid to finish his sentence.

“Would I do what you did for Jack? No.” She sighed. “Mike, Jack betrayed you and Kirsty, he did not though take a child into perpetual damnation as a vampire.” She shook her head. “I could forgive him leaving me, I know he wanted me to go with him, but to take our six year old daughter, that was and remains unforgivable.”

Michael reached forward and touched her shoulder gently. “I’m sorry,” he whispered. “I shouldn’t have asked.”

Angie gave him a half smile. “I asked first, Mike.”

“Why won’t you let Pearse or Vaughan help you?” Michael blurted out.

Angie smiled sadly.

“They both love you,” Michael continued desperately. “Angie you’re young still. Can’t you find someone to ease the pain?”

“Like you have?”

Michael shrugged. “I’m not sure what you know, but ultimately what I have is casual fun and sex,” he said truthfully. “I’m enjoying it while it lasts, but it won’t last forever.” He laughed briefly. “I’ve never had this kind of casual relationship before and while I’m enjoying it very much it could never fulfil me.”

Angie nodded, standing up and moving towards the door. “You’re a loyal person, Mike. Jack didn’t deserve you, Kirsty would have but she blew it. I’m a little like you and I think I gave all of my love to Robert. “ She smiled sadly. “I live for my surviving daughter and my work. Happiness is not something I expect to achieve again.”

Michael watched her go, distressed at her words. It was yet another reason to hate Code V’s. They ruined lives and families. He shivered. He was determined to get on with his life and to stop regretting and missing Jack. He turned back to the papers he had been reading. He was also determined to find something about his current obsession, Mr Alexander.

 

******

 

“Your friend is causing some problems.”

Jack looked up from his study of the newspapers in surprise. “What kind?” he asked curiously, surprised that he should be sought out, rather than invited to an audience.

“He’s investigating a very powerful backer, someone who can’t afford to be investigated. We’ve covered his tracks but your friend is nothing but tenacious.”

The man pulled up a chair near to Jack and sat down.

Jack smiled. “Puts terriers to shame,” he agreed.

“We need him controlled, and soon.” The man tapped his cane on the floor

“I told you, I’m working on it. The first part is in full swing and I’ve covered myself with a few little surprises” Jack smiled as he spoke, leaning back in his chair and placing his feet on the table. The man glanced at his feet but ignored them.

“Our backer has an interest in him.”

“How?” Jack was intrigued.

“He described him as a man who needed to be taught his place.” The laugh that accompanied this statement was dry and humourless.

Jack frowned. “I’m not sure that I like the sound of that.”

The man shrugged. “You will ensure that our backer has the opportunity to teach our young friend.” He said emphatically.

Jack shook his head. “I fail to see how having Michael beaten up will serve our purpose.” he said carefully lowering his feet and sitting back in his chair to watch the other man more carefully.

His companion smiled. “Our backer has other plans for Michael’s punishment. Ones that I am assured will leave no lasting marks and no broken bones but hopefully a long term psychological effect.”

Jack stood from the chair. “I insist on being with him when he is with Mike,” he said, masking the real concern in his voice.

The man nodded. “Of course, you will however conduct yourself circumspectly. Our backer will cross over in the future and you do not want to make an enemy of him.”

“But he’ll be one of us,” Jack jeered. “One for all and all for one.”

The man shook his head, a brief smile of amusement crossing his face. “Becoming one of us entails some change as you know, Jack. In some of us it is marked, others, you included, seem almost tailor made for the part. This man is ambitious, ruthless and dangerous as a human. We need his energy, money and drive, we intend that his ruthlessness will become channelled to a certain extent into the cause.” He stood and moved back towards the door he had come through. “Personal desires take time to fade, some never do. Dangerous men become dangerous vampires.”  And with that cryptic comment he left.

 

******

 

“You’re not still pursuing him, Mike?” Vaughan asked in exasperation.

Michael looked up from the computer. “No, I’ve given him a rest for a few days, it was getting to be too frustrating.”

“So what’s this?”

“I’ve been checking on Verner’s foreign interests. He looked at some very different properties while he was there. Varying from islands to large villas and castles. The only thing they had in common was their remoteness.”

“And?”

Michael frowned. “Many of them have been purchased but when I try and find out the new owners the information seems to vanish.”

“Rather like Mr Alexander’s,” Vaughan said dryly.

“Exactly!”

Vaughan shrugged his shoulders. “You’ve certainly got it in for the guy, Mike,” he said with sly amusement. “I would have thought the lovely Melanie would have reduced some of those frustrations.”

Michael blushed, hating himself for it. “Had you got something to tell me?” he asked pointedly.

Vaughan grinned. “Yes, get your coat. Pearse wants us to look into something fishy.”

“What?”

“Customs have impounded a boat and someone in the know wants us to check it over, so we’re going.”

“Medical supplies again?”

Vaughan shook his head. “I don’t know, we’ll get the details when we get there, Pearse seemed convinced the call was genuine and worth personal attention.”

Michael nodded, closed down the pc and followed Vaughan from the room.

 

******

 

“Go on, a couple more weeks.” Melanie’s voice was husky and he assumed she thought it was seductive

“I paid for a month of your time.” Jack said finally. “No more no less.”

Melanie crossed her legs coyly and laughed. “You can’t blame me for trying,” she said dulcetly. “He’s handsome, charming, sweet and extremely fuckable. I’m enjoying myself and I get this great flat added to the bargain.” She indicated the sitting room and beyond to the bedroom.

Jack nodded. “And I’ve paid you well for it so I’m afraid the gravy train finishes Friday.”

Melanie pouted. “He’s so cute. I get flowers nearly every time, every time we meet.” She glanced at Jack and sighed. “I really don’t want to finish with him. I know it was for the money and because he looked so nice, but I like him. Really like him, do you understand?”

Jack shifted impatiently in his chair. “I repeat it ends this Friday. I want you out of this flat by eight with no explanation to Mike, understood.”

She sighed. “Yeah, understood.” She looked at him curiously. “He’s a nice guy, you’re not going to do anything nasty to him are you?”

Jack glanced at her. “Of course not. Why? Do you really care?”

She shrugged her shoulders. “I like sex, Mr Beresford, but I’m not a prostitute. I’m still a little unsure quite why I took this on, although the money was good and as you know,” she looked at him sharply,” I need the money.” She stopped and frowned. “I told you, I like him, and I’d happily sleep with him for free. I suppose that’s the bottom line.”

Jack ignored her deliberately. He didn’t want this, he didn’t want her caring or involved. He wondered if he was going to take care of her, permanently. Trying to distract her he asked, “How’s he got on with all the stuff I asked you to introduce?”

She grinned. “He loves having his hole tongued. Had a fit the first time but he really gets off on it. Does a good job in return.” She grinned at Jack inviting him to share her amusement.  He raised an eyebrow in query. “Took to the anal beads like a duck to water, but I couldn’t get a dildo anywhere near him and the idea of bondage had him almost hyperventilating.”

Jack smiled widely. He could hear Michael’s voice and see his expression as she told him what she wanted to do to him.

“Just what was this bet all about?” she asked.

Her question threw him for a second until he remembered. “Kinks,” he said succinctly.

Her laugh rang out again. “Well he has some now, but I bet you he’ll call you a cheat.” She stopped eyeing him thoughtfully. “You must have a lot of money to go to all this trouble over a bet.”

Jack smiled. “I do.”

She looked interested. “Well if you want someone to do more business for you, get in contact.” She grinned. “Especially if it involves Mike.”

He nodded. “I will, but just remember I want you out by eight and I don’t want anything to go wrong. Am I understood, Melanie.” He held her eyes firmly letting her see the implicit threat. “And remember, you tell no one about this transaction, ever.”

“Okay, okay,” she said shortly moving towards the door and slamming it hard as she left.

Jack glanced round the flat, checked out the rooms and left.

 

******

 

Michael wandered over to the side of the boat and gazed down at the water. He liked the sea and had learnt to sail at an early age but never seemed to get the chance lately to put his knowledge into practice. Going out on the Thames with the River Police was the nearest he’d got for a couple of years, and at university he’d been too busy chasing women and enjoying field sports to get more than a couple of weeks sailing. Most of his recent holidays had been spent enjoying the sun and booze, although he had hired boats and explored the islands of Greece. He wondered if he could chuck it all in, move down south and get himself a boat. He could get his training updated and set off to Europe and beyond. Leave all the cares and misery behind him. It certainly had appeal. Nothing was keeping him in London any more. Jack had gone. Kirsty had moved up north. Francis was keeping her distance greatly unsettled by the discovery of the existence of vampires, and really despite the fun he was having with Melanie, he was lonely.

He turned as Vaughan came towards him. “Any luck?”

Vaughan nodded. “Customs kept them back, I think someone was suspicious as to why medical supplies were needed in such numbers on this kind of boat.”

“Have they tried to open them?”

Vaughan shook his head. “ They impounded them and put out some inquiries, Pearse must have contracts everywhere because it’s only four hours since they took them.” He checked the note in his hand. “Come on, warehouse four. I’ve got authority so lets take a look.”

Michael followed pulling his coat tight as the wind blew hard along the docks. Warehouse four was large and cold the fluorescent lights casting a cold glow around the place. The silent store man led them to the back, uncovering a tarpaulin and showing them the two caskets stored underneath. Vaughan grunted his thanks and stepped closer to look.

“They’re empty of Code V’s,” he said briefly. “The locks are blown.”

“If they ever had anything in them,” Michael remarked sourly. “Do you want to check them over?”

“We’ll get them near the doors and daylight just in case.”

Michael nodded looking around for someone to help. The cases were loaded on a forklift and deposited at the front. Cautiously, Vaughan opened the first case while Michael covered it with his gun. From where he stood the casket looked as if it were packed with bags of white powder. He relaxed, letting his gun down. Vaughan picked up a bag and looked at it curiously.

“So the leeches are into drugs now?”

Michael shrugged. “It makes money, but we don’t have any evidence that they are involved. Anyone could use these caskets.”

Vaughan stood up and nodded. “We need custom officials to see this. I’ll stay, you go and get them. I didn’t want them involved initially for obvious reasons.”

Michael nodded and walked back out into the cold light of day.

 

~~~

 

They talked about anything but the case for most of the journey back, relaxing into their normal banter. Michael looked at Vaughan and contemplated his profile for a second.

“Do you think Angie will ever let Robert Marsh go?” he asked slowly.

Vaughan looked at him curiously. “Why do you ask?”

Michael shrugged. “I’ve talked a little with her and got to know her a little more and to like her, but she’s frozen up inside and my showing her just how leeches rise from the dead hasn’t helped.”

Vaughan pursued his lips. “Your little escapade showed Angie what she already knew about herself.” He sighed. “I care for her, but you already know that don’t you.”

Michael nodded. “So does Pearse.”

Vaughan sighed again. “She’s got her own little fan club but can’t see it for her obsession.”

“Which is?”

“Understanding just what drove Robert Marsh to become a leech.” He sighed. “She stays in that lab working on the remains and isolating herself from feeling anything.” He sighed. “She’s done a lot to help us, allicin, the garlic extract nerve gas was her idea, but it just doesn’t seem worth it sometimes.”

Michael nodded. “Ever wanted to get out?”

Vaughan nodded. “Frequently, but as Pearse say, if you not with…”

“Us you’re against us.” Michael finished wearily. “I know.” He hunkered down in his seat and brooded the rest of the way back to London.

 

******

 

For the first time, Michael wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about spending the weekend with Melanie but couldn’t figure out why. He dressed up in his favourite shirt and jeans, slid into his trusty leather jacket and drove to her flat. He parked in one of the spaces available for residents and their guests, sitting for a while thinking back over the past month. He hadn’t been entirely truthful with Vaughan. Yes he had checked Melanie out, and yes she had appeared to be in the clear, but he wasn’t entirely satisfied himself. He still couldn’t understand or accept her apparent motivation for picking him up. Neither could he see what she could gain from lying to him. It wasn’t as if he was cheating on a wife or in a public job, but something didn’t ring true. He shrugged his shoulders and got out of the car, the usual bunch of flowers in his hand, and pressed the entry phone to be let in the apartments. He walked up the spiral staircase his eyes taking in the cleanliness and glamour of the building as he did so. He nodded at a well-dressed couple descending the staircase, turned onto her landing and knocked on the door.

“Mike.” She kissed him enthusiastically and took the flowers with a grin. “Come on, sit, we need a drink before we go out.”

Michael sat on the sofa and closed his eyes. Melanie appeared holding a small glass with ice and lemon. He smiled took the drink and sipped it slowly, trying to unwind from the pressures of work and his constant suspicions.

“Still on for the club?”

He nodded. “Just need to rest and relax for a bit,” he said truthfully watching her as she sat next to him.

“Bad day?”

He laughed and gave her a brief kiss and a hug. “Bad week, but that’s life.”

She cuddled up next to him. He drank his gin, chatted a little and felt himself relax until he realised he was too relaxed. He focused his eyes blearily on Melanie who had sat up and was observing him expressionlessly.

“Mel, what have you given me?” he asked frantically struggling to sit up. He saw her wince before looking directly at him.

“I’m sorry, Mike,” she said carefully. “I can’t tell you how sorry. I was paid to seduce you and I did.” She grimaced at him. “What I didn’t expect was too like you so much, so this is hard. The guy who paid me to do this won’t pay for more, won’t hear about me doing it for nothing, he wants me out and away from you, tonight.” She stood. “This isn’t my flat, Mike, nothings real.” She moved towards the door.

“Melanie,” Michael struggled to get up. “Please, Mel, help me.”

She turned towards him, kissed him greedily before moving away, a tear sliding down her cheek. “I can’t,” she whispered. “He threatened me. I’m so sorry, Mike.”

The slam of the door echoed in his brain like a peel of doom. Michael tried to stand, tried to leave, but whatever she’d put in his drink made him helpless. He slid slowly to the floor and lost consciousness.

 

~~~

 

He came to with a groan, blearily opening his eyes, but closing them immediately as a sharp stabbing pain hit him. An attempt to move his hands failed, and a feeling of panic slowly began to build. He closed his eyes and concentrated on calming himself. Deep breaths he told himself, breath in and out slowly. Remain calm, think. After a few minutes he felt a little more under control. Before opening his eyes he concentrated on what he was feeling. Everything felt wrong, he was standing, but not on his own accord. Still keeping his eyes closed he tried to move his arms. Something was preventing him. His wrists were bound above his head and when he tried to move his feet he realised his feet were bound too. As the sensations flooded in and his sore muscles began to give him further information, he realised he was upright, his wrists and ankles bound to the corners of whatever was holding him up. Prepared, he opened his eyes again and met blackness. He closed his eyes in panic again and resorted to deep breathing.

“Think!” he said aloud. “Pull yourself together and think, Michael.”

The sound of his own voice made his feel better. He closed his eyes, opened them again and felt his eyelashes scrape along something. He could also feel material around his eyes, along his cheeks and the sensation of a knot behind his head.

A blindfold. He dropped his head in relief tempered by the knowledge that if whoever had done this wanted to remain anonymous, then perhaps he might get out alive from whatever he’d got himself into. He listened hard but could hear nothing at all. The silence was suffocating, almost worse than the darkness of the blindfold. He dropped his head again when he felt more than heard, the door open. He stood straight, turning his head towards the direction of the sound.

“Good.”

One word and Michael’s blood ran cold. He know that voice, he’d been pursuing the owner of that voice for some weeks now. Michael shuddered but kept quiet. What was he doing here? Wherever here was. He couldn’t have paid Melanie. When he met Melanie he’d never set eyes on Mr Alexander.

“The room is sound proof?”

Michael’s fear rose, he hardly heard the acknowledgement of the other person he just concentrated on listening for that voice. He felt hands at his face, tracing a line along his eyebrows and around his mouth. He drew a deep breath and kept quiet.

“Mr Colefield, how lovely to see you.”

Michael kept still with an effort. “Even if I could see you I wouldn’t feel the same way about you, Mr Alexander,” he said as calmly as he felt able.

A laugh greeted his words. “Fighting words, Michael. I don’t think, you’re very sensible to bandy words with me in the position you’re in.”

“And what position would that be, Mr Alexander?” Michael couldn’t have kept his mouth shut if he wanted to.

“I’ll show you in a minute, Michael, but first I have a couple of things to remove.”

Michael’s words froze unspoken as he felt the cold touch of metal along his face. The metal moved down and within seconds his shirt had been cut off him.

“What in god’s names are you doing?” he asked frantically.

A laugh greeted his words and the knife began cutting at the cloth of his jeans. He jerked forward but was held tightly round his waist. He clamped his mouth shut and tried hard to follow the instruction he’d given himself before. Breathe deeply breathe deeply he chanted silently. He was panting with the effort not to scream as he felt the coldness of the knife as it touched the skin of his waist, before cutting through the material of his briefs. A hand ran down his back, across his chest and down his legs.

“Very nice,” the voice murmured, and Michael’s anxiety level increased.

“Get off me,” he hissed trying to move away from the hands. A hand moved to his blindfold and before he could blink, he was eye to eye with the coldly handsome face of Mr Alexander.

“A very nice package, Michael,” Alexander purred, “But unfortunately one I will have to leave for another day. For now you must be punished and taught your place.” He leaned forward and reached for something on a table nearby. Michael’s eyes widened as he took it in.

“What the fuck…” he began, only to be gagged by Alexander’s hand. Alexander ran the strap across his chest and rubbed the handle of the whip on his face.

“I need to discipline you, Michael. I’m starting very gently tonight. Twenty-five lashes with this riding crop. You’ll feel them for some days but they will fade and won’t leave any marks.” He smiled as he played with Michael’s mouth. “It will teach you not to poke your nose where it is not wanted.” He leant forward and kissed Michael’s nose and then his lips, smiling as Michael jerked his head back, his eyes dark with horror. “You’re lucky you have such a delightful nose and mouth, and the sweetest of dark, broody eyes, otherwise I might just have sent someone to cut your nose off.”

Michael stared at him wide eyed with terror. “You’re sick,” he said with conviction. “You can’t do this, I’m a policeman, investigating is my job.”

Alexander smiled. “But I can, Michael, and you’re not going to tell anyone are you? I will deny everything. I’ll produce evidence that I was with someone else at the time, and witnesses to back me up. I’ll get other witnesses to say that you were seen in a BDSM club and received the beating as part of the sexual act.” He laughed at Michael’s expression of horrified anger. “I have all the power, Michael, remember that.” He gave Michael a hard kiss and walked behind him.

“Scream, Michael, I want to hear you scream.”

The first lash made Michael cry out, the second he bit his lip and refused to make a noise. The whip moved down, across the backs of his legs, along his arse, across his back. He never knew where it was going to land and soon he was crying and screaming. On the twenty fifth stroke he collapsed against his restraints, tears pouring down his face, his body on fire with pain.

Alexander lifted his head by his chin, wiped a few of the tears away and kissed him again, his tongue forcing it’s way into Michael’s mouth and taking up possession. Michael was in too much pain to fight back and suffered the invasion silently and passively. Alexander gave him a final kiss, stepped back and smiled.

“Until the next time, Michael.”

Michael sagged in relief as he heard the door open and the man’s footsteps disappear into the distance. He heard voices and he wondered fuzzily who the other might be and if he or she had witnessed his beating. He was holding on with tenacity to consciousness, fighting the siren need to give in and let go. A touch on his shoulder made him jump, and he looked up into Jack’s face. His pain overwhelmed any fear he had at seeing him.

“Come to gloat,” he mumbled.

Jack approached him. “You’re a bloody idiot, Mike,” he said dispassionately. His hands busy at the binding that kept Michael upright. “You had to piss off the most influential psychopath in England didn’t you, you fool.” He bent down to work at the feet. “There are two reasons you’re not dead or faceless. One, my lot don’t want you dead and would be very upset if you were mutilated, and two, Mr Alexander thinks you’re, and I quote. ‘A very sexy bundle of contradictions with fuck me eyes.’”

Michael groaned as his arms were slowly dropped down to his side and he could take weight on his feet. “He’s a fucking nutcase,” he said wearily, trying to stop from crying.”

“I know,” Jack said patiently. “I just told you that.” He held Michael close to him. “Come on, let me walk you to the bedroom and treat that back. You’re not going to be going anywhere for a few days.”

“I want to go home,” Michael murmured. “Please, Jack, I want to go home.”

Jack shook his head and half carried him to the bedroom. Michael gave in, allowed himself to be placed on his back, suffered the cleaning and the ointment, and made no comment what so ever as he felt a tiny pinprick in his arm and then, nothing.

 

~~~

 

When he came to it was daylight. A glass of water and a note stood on the bedside cabinet. He slowly sat up, wincing at the discomfort on his backside and stretched for the water drinking it in thirsty gulps. He read the letter slowly.

Mike,

I left you Sunday at dawn. You’ve been asleep on and off for thirty odd hours. I’ve kept your back treated and given you water. The pain should be under control, but take it easy for a day or two. Clothes are on the chair.

You want to take Alexander down, so do I. He’s too dangerous.

 I will send you some information by email Monday night. I want you back here Friday night and I will give you more, a lot more. This will only happen if I am assured that this is just between us. Any smell of squad involvement and the deals off.

Jack

 

Michael looked at the letter blankly. He moved to the end of the bed and saw an exact copy of the jeans and shirt he’d arrived in. Feeling rather like a zombie, he slowly walked to the bathroom, showered and dried himself trying to check his back in the mirror. He could see marks all over his body but no bleeding or oozing wounds. Back in the bedroom he dressed, headed for the kitchen and ate the food left out on the counter. As he ate he stared round the flat. The flowers had gone, and all of Melanie’s personal effects, otherwise the place was exactly the same as before. He felt the hurt of Melanie’s betrayal like a dagger, even though he knew that underneath his apparent acceptance he’d been waiting for something like this to happen. What he hadn’t expected was Alexander, who would? He found that while he’d not expected Jack, he wasn’t surprised.

He shuffled back into the bedroom, gathered the letter, found his leather jacket still on the sofa and let himself out of the flat.

On the drive home he decided to wait for Jack’s email, use the information and if he got some results, meet up with him on Friday. He wasn’t sure that he could tell his colleagues anything about his altercation with Alexander. He had a horrid feeling that the man’s threats were not to be taken lightly. He reasoned that the experience told him nothing that he already didn’t know. Alexander was involved with the Code V’s; Jack’s presence alone told him that. What remained still unexplained was why had Melanie been paid to seduce him, and what Jack expected to gain from it?

Arriving home, he stumbled out of the car and made his weary way back to the security of his own place.

 

******

 

“This is not your decision. Mr Beresford.

Jack leaned forward across the table. “The man is a vicious psychopath and needs to be terminated.” He said unapologetically. “The only reason Mike is basically unhurt is because the guy wants him, pretty badly I’d say from the way he mauled him about on Friday.”

He narrowed his eyes. “He wants him broken then crossed over. His pet vampire.” His voice rose. “He’s sick and dangerous and you’re offering to give him eternal life. Don’t you see you won’t be able to control him?”

The man nearest him nodded. “He has a point,” he said to his companion. “We don’t want Michael Colefield destroyed neither do we need such a dangerous colleague.”

“He is necessary.” The man banged his stick on the floor emphasising his point.

“His money is necessary and some of his influence, “ Jack said sharply. “Surely he could be replaced, the items were brought by the firm, not him personally. We could transfer money without him knowing, siphon off the deals and go for it when the net closes in on him.”

“How are we going to achieve this?” The stick thrust towards Jack aggressively.

“I’m going to feed information to Mike.”

A laugh from the more sympathetic man in his audience echoed round the room. “Clever, very clever.” He settled back in his chair and grinned at Jack. “I like the way your mind works, Jack.”

Jack nodded, wondering if the older man was patronising him, but not caring as long as he got his point across.

The other man nodded slowly, dropping his stick and sitting back in his chair. “Okay,” he admitted somewhat grudgingly. “I must admit that recently I have begun to feel a little uncomfortable about him.” He looked directly at Jack. “How does this coexist with your scheme to compromise Michael?”

Jack grinned. “I’ve thought all of that through. Have you seen the Web Site?”

Both men nodded. “Very erotic, does the woman know?” asked the older man.

Jack shook his head and laughed. “No, but why should she care.” He smiled. “Did you know I’ve had a number of requests for information about him?” His smiled widened. “He’s going to die of embarrassment.”

 

******

 

The information from the promised email was tantalising close to helping Michael get something to hang on Alexander. He’d told the others that he’d got an informant who’d lost out to Alexander, but wanted to keep very much anonymous. They seemed to buy it. Vaughan was helping the drug squad over the caskets, and too busy to do more than listen occasionally. Pearse had agreed that Michael could pursue his search for information and as long as he kept going with his other jobs. Angie was busy in her lab, so he had little need to hide from anyone. His stiffness had been explained away by too much sport at the weekend. Vaughan’s response had been a wink and a grin as he caught Michael’s eye.

Michael worked late most nights, not wanting to return to his too quiet flat and have to face his memories over Friday night. His sleep was disturbed by flashback and nightmares where Alexander whipped all the skin off his back while Jack and Melanie made love in the background.

Driven by curiosity, he read up about BDSM and had been horrified and sickened yet perversely mildly aroused at some of the ideas and games. He still couldn’t see Melanie as a submissive person, nor did he think he could ever really understand the mindset. He could however understand a little more the idea that role-play and even props could, in the right hands, be exciting. He had to wonder if that was what Melanie had intended by introducing him to a few sex toys, but thoughts about her, or her purchasers, presumably Jack, intentions worried him so much he tried not to pursue them. He did however come to the conclusion that even if she were a prostitute, a very likely possibility, nothing he had done had the potential for blackmail. He’s been stupid maybe, but that was all.

Friday loomed on the horizon. Michael wanted to forget the flat, forget everything and drown his sorrows in drink. He also wanted to tell someone, ask for their advice, although he was sure he knew what it would be and he was pretty certain he didn’t want to take it. He wandered to Angie’s lab a couple of times, but while she had been friendly he was not encouraged to linger, so he left still undecided. By Friday night he’d decided. He’d go armed and prepared. He’d take anything that Jack gave him, but if Jack thought he could purchase information that way, well he had another thing coming.

The journey to the flat was smooth and familiar. Michael parked as normal, checked his gun surreptitiously and made his way to the flat. He gave his name and was buzzed up. Nearing the font door, he pulled his gun out and checked around the hall. He pushed the door and it swung open, obviously left on the latch. He counted to ten and walked in slowly, bringing his gun up and covering the hallway. Nothing moved, so he took a deep breath and headed for the lounge. Cautiously he again pushed the door gently and counted to ten listening hard. Again nothing moved so he took a deep breath and moved carefully into the room, keeping his gun up high. A faint sound to his left had him swinging round in response but his reflexes weren’t fast enough. Within seconds he was on the floor held down by strong arms. His gun was taken, and one by one the carbon bullets emptied on the floor.

“Not very friendly, Mike,” Jack’s voice said above him. “I did invite you, there was no need to be so cautious.” He moved off Michael and held out his arm. Michael ignored it, pulling himself up slowly. His almost healed back twinging mildly in complaint.

“Have you got the information?” He asked briskly, still not looking at Jack as he brushed himself down.

Jack laughed, something Michael had not expected to hear. “Nice to see you too, Mike,” he said with obvious amusement. “Now, let’s start again. Had a good day at work?”

Michael looked up at him in bemusement. “What the fuck do you care?” he said bristling with annoyance as he dropped in the nearest seat. “Just give me the information and be done with it. I don’t want to stay here any longer than I need to.”

“We used to be best mates,” Jack said chidingly.

“I was obviously a damn fool then,” Michael snapped. He sighed and changed tack. “Look, I don’t feel comfortable here, I don’t feel comfortable anywhere near your kind. I’m thankful for your care last week, but angry at your obvious collusion with Alexander.” He rubbed his temple wearily. “I question your motives, Jack. So sorry if I come over hostile, but that’s exactly how I feel.”

“Poor, Mike,” Jack murmured.

“And don’t patronise me,” Michael snarled. “I want to go home and try and sleep, so will you please just give me what I came for.”

Jack moved forward and showed Michael a computer disk. “It’s all on here Mike, all the damning evidence, although you are going to have to work very hard to make any of it stick. We are withdrawing our support, very subtly, so Mr Alexander is soon going to realise that he’s going to have to fight. “ He smiled. “He will fight, Mike. He’ll fight dirty so make it quick and water tight.”

Michael nodded his thanks and reached for the disk at the same time as Jack moved it out of his reach. Jack smiled again and Michael began to feel very nervous.

“It’s yours, Mike, but first we need to have a little talk.”

“Why?” Michael licked his lips nervously. “I thought we said everything that time in the playground. We’re on different sides now we have nothing to talk about.”

Jack shook his head. “We have a number of things to discus, Mike. First, my payment for the information.”

“I can give you nothing,” Michael said quickly. “Nothing, Jack. My job’s on the line just being near you. Whatever you pull I will not tell you anything about my people.”

Jack smiled. “I know, Mike. I know what I want and I’ll tell you soon but first lets discuss Mr Alexander and his actions last Friday.”

Michael closed his eyes in denial. “I don’t want to talk about it,” he said stiffly.

Jack ignored him. “You know what he’s into don’t you?” he asked directly.

Michael blushed slightly. “I’m not stupid or naïve. Mel made the suggestions and I looked up information about his lifestyle.” He shrugged. “It does nothing for me, and I fail to see what Verner gets from it, but…” He shrugged again.

Jack shook his head. “You know nothing, Mike. Alexander is not into lifestyles; he’s a rich, well-educated psychopath who can indulge in his fantasies. Verner isn’t playing his slave; Verner is his slave. I doubt that was what Verner wanted but Alexander gave him no choice.” He touched Michael who jumped and backed away. “Alexander wants to do that to you.”

Michael curled his lip. “Well he can’t, can he. I wouldn’t let him and I’m not stupid.”

Jack made a noise in his throat. “He could and he would if we let him, Mike. Get that through your thick skull. My lot are the only thing standing between you and Alexander’s lust for you.”

Michel felt his face glow red with embarrassment. He looked down at the carpet tracing the pattern in his mind as he spoke. “So why did you let him hurt me? Did it give you a laugh,” he asked wearily.

“Mike, don’t be so damn stupid,” Jack snapped. “I was told to, I’ve only recently managed to get the decision to stop him.” He glared at Michael. “But lets leave Mr Alexander and move on to other things. He reached forwards and flipped the lid of a laptop placed on the coffee table. “I’d like you to check this out.”

Michael glanced at the screen disinterestedly, frowning slightly as the pictures began to focus. He mouth dropped open and he grabbed hold of the arm of the sofa as he realised what he was seeing.

“Fuck,” the expletive was whispered. “Oh my god, no.”

The pictures changed at a constant speed culminating in a video of a couple making love on a large bed. Michael stared white face at the images of Melanie and himself. He felt nauseous and totally humiliated, unable to do anything more than stare uncomprehendingly at the screen in front of him.

The video flickered to a stop, words appearing underneath but Michael was too shocked to be able to read them. He dropped his face in his hands and closed his eyes wanting to pretend he’d imagined everything.

“There’s more, Mike,” Jack voice sounded amused and something else Michael couldn’t quite put his finger on. “Want to see it?”

Michael folded himself into a ball and tried to block Jack’s voice out.

“Melanie wasn’t aware if you’re wondering although I think she’ll be pleased at the attention she getting.” Jack laughed.

“Why?” Michael whispered. “Tell me why?”

“To compromise you, Mike. Make you more amenable to suggestion. A blackmail to ensure that you won’t go too far.”

Michael slowly sat up and stared wild-eyed at Jack. “Blackmail me to do what?” he asked incredulously. “This is humiliating,” he glanced at the screen and shuddered. “I’m not going to be blackmailed by it though, I’ve done nothing wrong.

Jack smiled at him and nodded. “You’re right, you did nothing wrong at all, maybe you might get a mild caution for stupidity, but nothing more.”

“Damn you,” Michael’s voice cracked. “Why?”

“Shall I tell you what was going to happen, Mike? What I had planned initially?” He looked at Michael who nodded quickly. “Melanie was to seduce you, and slowly introduce you to some kinks. She was going to suggest some bondage, her first, you second. That would hopefully go well and you’d be comfortable with her.” Jack glanced at Michael who remained silent, his eyes fixed on Jack. “One night, while you were bound and blindfolded she was to let someone else into the flat and after she had aroused you they were going to take over. Melanie would get out and leave you in the hands of the visitor for the rest of the weekend.”

Michael shivered. “What aren’t you telling me?” he asked quietly.

“The visitor would be a well know player on the BDSM scene. Someone who had seen you, watched some of you and Melanie in action and was confident that he could make you enjoy him.”

Michael was beyond shock. He sat mouth open, face white staring incredulously at Jack. “He?” he heard his voice quaver.

“We thought that being outed as gay and into BDSM might make your employment prospects untenable, Mike. You are employed by the church remember.”

Michael shut his mouth with a snap and tried to make his brain function.

“This WAS going to happen, care to tell me why it didn’t.” he asked as normally as he felt able.

Jack smiled. “Something rather unexpected, Mike. Something I hadn’t even realised although one of my ‘brothers’ seemed to see it.”

“What?” Michael was beginning to become impatient.

“I got rather aroused watching you and Melanie, Mike.” He grinned at Michael’s snort of disgust. “We still get aroused, still get the same old reaction. Fascinating that, but very satisfying. “He grinned again. “You don’t see anything unusual in that but what I neglected to mention was, it wasn’t Melanie that got me excited, it was you.”

Michael’s head shot up as he fixed Jack with a disbelieving stare. “Bull shit!”

Jack smiled. “I knew you’d say that, Mike. Apparently it’s obvious to some that we have a very strong attachment and a latent sexual attraction.” He grinned. “Mine’s no longer latent, I want you and I damned if anyone else is having you. So that’s why the initial plan never came to fruition.”

“You’re nuts,” Michael said shakily, pulling himself to his feet. “Totally loopy and I’m not staying here any longer.”

“You can’t get out of here, Mike. The phone no longer works and the doors are all electronically locked. The windows are latched and can’t be forced open and the glass is unbreakable.” Jack stood and faced Michael. “You are staying put for the weekend with me.”

Michael took one horrified look at him and rushed out of the room. Over ten minutes of fruitless escape attempts convinced him that Jack was telling the truth. He could not get out unless he co-operated. He returned reluctantly to the living room and leant against the door.

“I’ll leave the squad,” he said painfully still avoiding looking at Jack. “I imagined selling up and going sailing round the world. I’ve got nothing keeping me here.”

Jack shook his head. “Too late, I want you, we want you. You have no choice.”

“I refuse to accept this,” Michael said fiercely, clenching his fists. “I’m a free agent, you can’t keep me here against my will. Give me the disk and let me free and we’ll never see each other again.”

Jack walked towards him, grinning as Michael backed away. “I’ll offer you two choices, Mike. First, you take off you clothes, go in the bedroom and co-operate.” He grinned again. “I think that’s the best option but I’ll give you the second.”

He leant forward and captured Michael’s arms pushing them up over his head and pressing him against the wall.

“I tie you to the bed, strip you and force you while videoing the whole thing. I’ll paste in a figure of a man in my place, post the stuff on the web and release it to the widest possible audience, adding Alexander’s beating in as well.”

He hooked his leg around Michael’s ankle and drew his legs apart.

“Then I’ll look up your parents, retired and busy in Devon, and pay them a visit. “

Michael stilled, stopping his struggling as he was just hurting himself, and stared mesmerised and thoroughly frightened into Jack’s dark eyes.

Jack continued. “After that I’ll encourage the sect up north to take in and infect a few more school girls who attend that rather nice private school my ex fiancée now teaches at. Perhaps I’ll suggest they go after some of the teachers. Give them a few suggestions.”

He reached forward to kiss him. Michael squawked, trying to move his head away from the demanding lips.

 “Then I’ll give Francis a visit. We didn’t get on when I was alive, I wonder how she’d react to seeing me now?”

Michael was hyperventilating almost sick with anger and panic.

“So tell me Mike, what’s your decision?”

“Please,” Michael hated himself, he sounded so weak and pathetic but he was so scared. “Please, Jack. Don’t do this.”

Jack tightened his grip and leaned even harder on Michael.  “Choose, Mike, I want you willing but I’ll take you unwilling.”

Michael drew in his breath in a long shaky sigh. He stared into Jack’s smiling face and closed his eyes in despair. What choice did he have? He’d never be willing but at least if he co-operated Jack might not follow through on the other threats. He didn’t trust Jack but he had no choice. God he’d been so damn stupid, so sure that he could get wanted he wanted and leave.  “I’ll co-operate,” he said shakily.

Jack’s smile increased. “Good boy.” He put a hand over Michael’s mouth as he began to answer. “Go into the bedroom and get undressed, I’ll be with you in a second.”

He released Michael and stepped back.

In a daze of shock and panic, Michael walked to the bedroom and sank on the bed.

He dropped his head in his heads and tried to clear his thoughts. He was going to be raped, by Jack. His panic increased and he began to shake. Wrapping his arms round his body he slowly started to rock, his eyes open but sightless staring into the abyss before him. 

 

~~~

 

Jack walked into the bedroom and watched Michael. He didn’t need to be a mind reader to know what was going through Mike’s head.  “Mike,” he said gently. “Get undressed.” 

Michael stopped rocking, slowly fixed his eyes on Jack and stumbled to his feet.

“Let me help you.” Jack reached forwards and helped Michael out of his leather jacket. He soothed Michael’s hair, petting him gently as he assisted him out of his tee shirt and unlaced his trainers. He pushed him back onto the bed and pulled off his shoes and socks. When he reached to undo Michael’s jeans, he heard his breath hitch so he stroked Michael’s head again, taking his time to undo the button, pull the zip down and encourage Michael to shift forward so he could pull the jeans down his long legs.

Finally Michael was naked. Jack stood him up looking him over with pleasure and stroked his hand down Michael’s torso towards his limp and totally unaroused penis. Looking at him with his night vision he could see the heat reflecting from Michael’s face. Most of the rest of his body looked blue and cold. He gave him a quick kiss.

“On the bed, Mike.”

Michael looked numbly at him and slowly lay down. Jack was transfixed by the open, stunned looking eyes, the quivering mouth and the compliance. He found it a total turn on. Michael was never compliant; he was mouthy, witty and broody. Attributes that Jack also enjoyed, but the feeling of sexual frisson and desire he felt as Michael obediently followed his commands was arousing and exciting. He set those thoughts aside to be analysed later.

“On your stomach, Mike,” he said gently, not missing the sheer panic that flared in the eyes. He thinks I’m going to rape him, Jack thought amused. Oh Mike you just don’t know do you. I’m not going to rape you; I’m going to do something I think you’ll find even worse. I’m going to seduce you.

He reached for the massage oil and towel and clambered onto the bed. Undoing the bottle he dribbled a few drops on Michael’s shoulders and rubbed them in. He reached forward and began to stroke the oil into his tight, bunched shoulders.

“What are you doing?” Michael’s panicked voice came from the pillows.

“Sshh,” Jack said softly. “Relax, I’m giving you a massage.”

“Please don’t,” Michael’s voice sounded thready. “Please, just get it over with.”

Jack smiled, his assumption of Michael’s fears confirmed. “No,” he said softly, pushing forward and using his thumbs work at the knots he could feel in Michael’s neck. “Relax, Mike. Enjoy it, close your eyes and let me soothe you.”

He made his voice slow and hypnotic, continuing to rub at the tense shoulders. As he worked he continued to make soft sounds, feeling triumphant as Michael’s body slowly relaxed under him. Jack made no overt sexual touches, working his way down Michael’s broad, unblemished back, down his arse, making more soothing noises as he felt Michael clench and tense as he touched his well-shaped and tempting cheeks. He moved beyond to his thighs, and down his mildly hairy legs and along the arch of his foot. He was surprised how much he was enjoying this. How much pleasure he got from controlling Michael and more specifically, how much he enjoyed touching his former friend. He’d fed briefly before meeting Mike, and his human smell was only mildly distracting.

“Turn over,” he said gently, and smiled as Michael obediently did so, his eyes closed and his breathing slow.

He continued the massage along Michael’s smooth almost hairless chest, avoiding his stomach and concentrating on his pelvis and down his thighs. He felt Michael’s genuine relaxation as he lifted his leg to stroke down his calf muscle and along his foot. He repeated the movement on the other leg before moving up to his inner thighs, gently smoothing oil into the crease at the join of his legs and running his thumbs slowly and smoothly along the crease and down. Regretfully he felt he had to stop so he sat back, keeping a soothing hand on Michael’s leg. He had Michael relaxed and calmed. Now he could move forward, but he intended to do so very slowly. He had time on his side and he was going to make use of it. He stood and undressed in an eye blink and settled next to the drowsy man. Tugging the duvet over them, he pulled Michael into his arms and kissed his neck.

“Sleep, Mike. Sleep and I’ll protect you, keep all your nightmares at bay.”

Michael turned towards him and half opened his eyes. “I think you’re one of my worst nightmares, Jack,” he said sleepily. He yawned and looked puzzled.

“I’ll feature in your most erotic dreams soon, Mike,” Jack said amused, leaning forward and kissing him on the lips. “Sleep, Mike.”

He snuggled into Michael’s back and held him tight until he felt his breathing even out and his relaxed body become even floppier. When he was sure that he was asleep he relaxed his grip and turned Michael so he could watch his face as he petted him.

Jack couldn’t really say when he’d first accepted his attraction for Michael. Initially it had been a desire to hurt Michael that had prompted him to design his trap. He’d thought that the humiliation of the videos of him and Melanie coupled with the threats to his parents and friends might have kept him more or less in line, but his superiors had wanted Michael compromised, and he was not certain that he would manage that just on the evidence of his involvement with Melanie. The homosexual and BDSM scenario had seemed a particularly delicious and devious method, and he had enjoyed planning it. What he hadn’t taken into account was his own buried desire for Michael. It hadn’t shocked him, nothing did now, but it had surprised him until he looked back over his times with Michael. They had been close, very close best of mates, often inseparable always seen together. His involvement with Kirsty had reduced their time a little, but less than one might of thought.

Jack traced his finger around Michael’s mouth and eyes, along the tips of his ears and down the smooth tempting curve of his throat. He leant forward and smelt his blood and gently licked his skin to try his taste. He continued down Michael’s body, careful not to disturb him, smelling, feeling and licking his skin everywhere until he was certain that he would be able to detect him in a crowd and probably scent him some distance away.

Jack allowed himself a moments further reflection as he absorbed the feel, sight and smell of Michael. He acknowledged now that he’d set out to destroy Michael and Frances’ relationship, mainly because she had tried to take Michael away from him. He’d also gone after Kirsty precisely because he recognised that Michael was interested.

Jack laughed quietly and allowed his body to respond to Michael; gently rubbing himself between Michael’s arse cheeks as he continued to caress him. Michael stirred occasionally but was deeply asleep and Jack allowed himself a brief groan of triumph as he came. He hugged Michael to him before letting go to clean them both up.

“You’re mine, Mike,” he said quietly as he dressed, kissed the relaxed face once more, and headed out to feed.

When he returned some hours later, Michael was sprawled out in the bed still sleeping soundly. Jack undressed and climbed back with him, allowing himself to go into the trance like almost meditative state that helped him recharge his batteries and which he needed to perform for some hours. Throughout his trance he was conscious of Michael and as he felt him stirring he brought himself out of his trance and gathered Michael in his arms. As Michael struggled into full consciousness he decided to give him a wake up call to remember. He burrowed down to Michael’s hips, turned him over to face him and began to suck him, starting gently and languidly licking his slowly rising erection and lathering his balls. He enjoyed the twitching and murmurings his ministrations were causing and began to suck and play in earnest. Soon Michael was crying out, clutching at him and thrusting into his mouth. As he sucked he played with Michael’s balls and gently teased his hole, careful never to do anything that might panic Michael unduly. Soon Michael was moaning in desperation, his head rocking from side to side, his eyes screwed tight and his mouth wide open. Jack stopped sucking and replaced his mouth with his hand. He shifted up the bed, kissed Michael on the lips and whispered.

“Open you eyes, Mike,”

Slowly Michael obeyed, his writhing becoming more desperate.

“Look at me, Mike,” Jack ordered.

Michael looked at him momentarily before covering his eyes with his hands and shuddering. Jack took hold of his hands, brought them down to his waist and took Michael’s face in his own hands. He brought his mouth down and began to kiss Michael with all the pent up passion he had felt throughout the night. Michael moaned and sobbed under him, his body freezing as he felt Jack’s cock run along his belly. Jack maintained the kiss, allowing Michael brief snatches of air and rubbed his hand along the broad back and down to cup Michael’s arse possessively. Slowly he felt Michael respond, his cock getting even harder as they rubbed against each other.

“Mike,” Jack groaned, as he came, still managing to kiss Michael as he did so. Another of the benefits of not needing to breathe he thought to himself as he enjoyed the feeling of pleasure ride through his body. He lay back and looked at Michael. He was breathing fast and hard, his face covered by one hand as the other lay clenched in the duvet. Jack sniffed him, enjoying the smell and adding it to his catalogue of Michael aromas. He leant up on one elbow and kissed him gently. Michael froze before relaxing slightly sliding the hand off his face as he did so. He looked towards Jack, closed his eyes and quickly opened them again licking his lips in a nervous gesture Jack had never seen him use before.

“Please, Jack, stop it,” he said quietly, a look of desperation in his eyes.

“Why?”

Michael flinched. “Because it’s wrong, because of who we are, because it’s so damn stupid,” he said finally.

“Wrong how?” Jack said enjoying himself.

“We’re men, Jack if you hadn’t noticed.”

Jack grinned. “Oh that hadn’t escaped me,” he said, feeling and grasping Michael’s still very erect cock

Michael gasped trying to twitch himself away. “We’re straight and you’re a vampire,” he gasped desperately.

“I don’t think your as straight as you think, Mike,” Jack said wickedly, returning his attentions to Michael’s very erect member.

Michael moaned. “Up to last night I had never ever contemplated another man sexually,” he gasped.

Jack laughed, “Your cock doesn’t seem too concerned,” he leant forward and kissed him.”

Michael groaned and rocked forward.  “Oh please, Jack please stop, I can’t think.”

Jack laughed again. “I don’t want you to think, Mike, I want you to react, to enjoy yourself to relax and let me take care of you.” He leant down and made himself comfortable before reaching for Michael’s hole and tonguing it. Michael’s scream was all he could ask for. He alternated between tonguing and gentle penetration with his finger as Michael slowly went wild. Jack ran his finger up and down the pulsating shaft lovingly. He slowly increased the penetration rubbing gently until a loud scream from Michael assured him he’d found what he was looking for.

“Oh my god,” Michael yelled. “What the hell was that?”

“Your g spot,” Jack said wickedly. Want me to rub it again?”

Michael nodded frantically and Jack aimed for his prostate with more certainty enjoying the screaming and writhing as Michael came.

“Now you have to admit that was good,” Jack said smugly as Michael gasped like a beached whale. He held Michael tightly as he came down from his high. Michael slowly calmed down burrowing his head in Jack’s chest and crying quietly. Jack shushed him, rocking him gently, saying nothing pretty much aware of the thoughts that were trailing through Michael’s mind. He wasn’t a mind reader, he didn’t have that skill, but because of their closeness he could pick up Mike’s feeling and occasionally he could tell exactly what Mike was thinking.

“This isn’t wrong, Mike,” he whispered in his ear. “Come on, you’re far more tolerant than that. This just is two male friends who have for some time felt far more than just friendship for each other but never really understood it.” He nuzzled Michael’s neck. “I mean come on, both fancying the same woman, when did we ever have the same taste in women, Mike?”

Michael groaned, burrowing his face further into the bed and said nothing.

“We went on holiday together, dated together, drank together, worked together did everything together, I’m just surprised we never got round to sharing the same bed.”

Michael groaned again and kept still.

“We were constantly touching, and arguing, but stood up for each other when attacked by anyone else. We covered for each other’s mistakes.”

Michael turned towards Jack. “I covered for you,” he said bitterly. “It was always me covering for you, never the other way round.”

Jack laughed. “Yeah, you’re a goody two shoes, Mike. I forgot Mr Perfect never put a step wrong.”

Michael glared at him. “Fuck you, Jack.”

Jack laughed again. “Actually I was hoping to do that to you, Mike. At your earliest convenience but preferably sometime this weekend.”

Michael paled. “No,” he stuttered. “No, Jack you can’t do that to me.” He sounded hysterical at the thought.

Jack smiled. “Okay,” he said easily. “I’ll let you off it this weekend but I’m warning you, I won’t wait for ever.”

“There won’t be another time, “Michael said faintly. “I can’t do this, Jack. You embody everything I’m fighting against. Everything I fear, loathe and despise.” He pulled away from Jack’s touch.

Jack felt angry, but covered it with superciliousness. “I don’t think anyone else will believe you, Mike,” he said nastily. “Just remind me what we were both enjoying less than a few minutes ago.”

Michael went red and closed his eyes. “It was just a physical reaction to stimuli,” he whispered.

“Maybe, Mike. But I couldn’t see the restraints or the handcuffs, could you? You let me suck you off and rim you, in fact you were begging me at one point.”

Michael looked up at him, his face white and his eyes hopeless. “You’re videoing this as well, aren’t you?” he said painfully.

Jack just grinned. “Breakfast, Mike?” he said brightly, slapping Michael’s bum. “Come on, got to feed you up. You’ll need your strength for the rest of the weekend. I’ve got lots more things I’d like to show you.”

He pulled Michael up and just to demonstrate the fact that his resistance was futile, picked him off the bed and carried him in his arms to the bathroom. After an initial fight something in Michael seemed to break. He lowered his head and followed Jack’s instructions wordlessly, entering the shower and suffering Jack’s administrations without complaint. Jack tipped his head up and watched the tears rolling down his face with fascination. He touched Michael’s cheek and licked at the moisture on his finger.

“Poor, Mike,” he said half mockingly. “You suffer beautifully my friend, and somehow I find it so very erotic.”

He watched Michael clench his hands into fists and bite his lip to stem the tears. Laughing he reached forward and kissed him, nibbling gently at the slightly swollen lower lip.

“Understand this, Mike. This is no longer about humiliation or punishment or even revenge.” He tipped Michael’s head back and watched him closely. “It was initially but now it has become more about pure and simple desire, want and lust.”

Jack played with a nipple while he ran his finger up along Michael’s arse, keeping his gaze firmly fixed on Michael’s face.

 “You were my best friend, now you are my enemy, an enemy that I want to keep alive, to subjugate, to have and to own.” He laughed against Michael’s ear, increasing his fondling, enjoying watching the fight on Michael’s face between fear, disgust and arousal. “Fortunately my desires are seen as serving the greater plan, otherwise I would still be after you but much more discreetly.”

“I used to love you,” Michael said faintly. “I rather think I despise you now, Jack.”

Jack grabbed Michael by the wrists and pushed him against the cold tiles of the shower, smiling nastily at his hiss of discomfort as the cold seeped into his frail, human skin.

“You will love me again, Mike, I guarantee that,” he said sharply, reaching forward and biting non-too gently on Michael’s ear. The temptation to sink his fangs into him and mark him was very tempting, but Jack knew that Michael was too well observed for him to get away with anything so obvious. He pulled Michael into him and kissed him gently where he had just bitten him. “I adore you, Mike, stop fighting me, I only want to give you pleasure.”

Michael looked at him with dazed, confused eyes and blinked slowly. Mesmerised, Jack began to kiss him with real feeling trying with all the skills he knew from years of seducing women, and his newly acquired skills with men, to woo Michael and to please him. As Michael’s trembling stopped and his breathing began to quicken, Jack was glad that Michael was young and very horny after weeks of regular if not excessive sex with Melanie. He licked and sucked his way over Michael’s anatomy, and decided to spend the weekend driving Michael out of his mind with passion, but not to force the issue of anal sex, however much he might personally want it. He knew he would get his own way sooner or later, and he was arrogant enough to want to wait for Michael to be begging him when he finally took him.

 

******

 

Jack sat down opposite the shadowy figure and leant back in the chair.

“You look pleased with yourself,”

Jack smirked. “Oh I am, just had a very rewarding weekend with my ex best friend.”

“And?” the man raised his eyebrows in question.

Jack laughed. “Poor Mike doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going.” He stretched back and contemplated the ornate ceiling of the very gothic like room they were sitting in. “I’ve cut him off from his family and friends by threatening them, and I may be wrong, but I doubt that he relationships with his work colleagues is strong enough for him to confide in anyone of them.”

“You doubt?”

Jack nodded. “I’m almost certain. Perhaps Angie Marsh, but she seems such a cold fish I doubt Mike could ever open to her.”

The man nodded. “Robert described her as warm, loving and passionate when talking about her.” He thought for a moment. “We wanted him, we still do but we made a mistake with her.” He shook his head. “Children are not suitable for crossing over, this life is for adults.”

Jack snorted. “Your qualms don’t seem to be shared.”

The man nodded. “You are correct, I however would never have taken my son during his childhood, not that he was in anyway suitable material, but I digress. What would it have gained me? What can a child contribute in knowledge, wealth or wisdom?”

Jack shrugged his shoulders. “Sometimes a child can get into places where adults cannot.”

The man nodded. “However, we stray from the point of this meeting. Is the other trap set?”

Jack nodded. “Mike’s the bait, not that the poor sod knows it. It should start unravelling for Alexander in a week or two, He’s going to find it too hot for him so he’ll retreat somewhere.”

“Taking the bait with him?”

Jack nodded. “I’ve got everything covered.” He looked straight at the other figure. “I intend to send the tape to the squad, you realise that if they analyse it sufficiently it will give the flat’s location away?”

The man nodded. “Yes, we’ll make sure that Alexander has the deeds in his possession.” He hesitated. “You’re using the beating?”

Jack nodded. “I’ve left the voices in and added a threat to kill Mike if they don’t drop the investigation.” He laughed. “In the meantime we rescue Mike, ‘persuade’ Alexander to give us the necessary information, and assist the dear Squad to pick up the pieces because that’s all I intend to leave of him after I’ve done.”

The man nodded slowly. “They’ll have all the evidence they need to hang him by then I assume?”

Jack nodded.

“We get him off our hands without apparently having dirtied them, and more importantly without worrying some of our other backers, I hope you are going to make this demise very plausible and worthwhile.”

Jack laughed. “Certainly, they’ll trace it back to his ‘lifestyle’ and I’ll make sure Mike is suitably grateful for the rescue and willing to be a little more co-operative. I’ve always fancied being a knight in shining armour.”

The man grunted. “I doubt that your friend Michael will see himself as a damsel in distress.”

Jack grinned,” Perhaps not, he’s a little too big and masculine for that, but I guarantee he’ll be very very grateful.”

 

******

 

Michael wasn’t sure how he’d managed to stumble through the week. Only the disk containing some very damning evidence against Alexander had managed to keep his attention. The fraud squad had been delighted with the evidence, and were sure that within a couple of months they would have a sufficiently strong case to bring him to court. Because of the code V involvement, Pearse had given him permission to go over the evidence with his opposite number and it had been the stability of reporting to a familiar station and seeing old friends that had kept him from breaking down.

Every night he’d checked his flat and himself for possible surveillance. Every night he’d gone for drinks with his mates, and endeavoured to drown his sorrows. Every night without fail Jack had found him and with varying softly worded threats, forced him home before he could get a drunk as he wanted to. Each night he had responded to Jack’s advances and ended up in Jack’s arms screaming his name.

Michael felt so ashamed. He had no defence against Jack who seemed to have got right under his skin. Jack would touch Michael intimately, and against his will his traitorous body responded instantly. He was ashamed that his supposedly unassailable heterosexuality had been so easily disturbed by Jack’s words and touch. He supposed that Jack’s suggestion that they had always been attracted to each other had some basis in fact, all he could wish is that it had remained repressed. He was ashamed at his weakness and powerlessness when faced with his changed friend and at the feelings that Jack was engendering in him. But the list continued. He was ashamed as just how much he wanted Jack to touch him when the inevitable happened. Further more, he was ashamed at his tears and pleading and at what he perceived as his spinelessness. He wished he could feel anger rather than this gut wrenching shame, but Jack seemed to have sucked that out of him as well.

Michael didn’t like what Jack was doing to him, he didn’t like feeling so out of control of his own life. He didn’t like feeling possessed and confined, and he knew if he didn’t escape at the weekend he was going to go mad. He almost wished that he had to work the weekend, but Pearse tended to try and keep weekends free mostly for Angie’s sake, and because they all worked such long hours.

He’d come in to work with his bag packed in his car, arriving at HQ with more determination than he’d felt in days. Once inside, he’d become subsumed by reports and follow up left over from last weekend, and worked solidly until late in the evening. Saying goodbye to Angie, he clambered in his car and headed south for the coast. He’d contacted an old friend of his father’s and arranged for the hire of a small yacht for the weekend. As he travelled towards the sea he felt a sense of freedom blossom in him, and for the first time in weeks he felt content.

The yacht looked well cared for and he’d taken time to get to know it and feel comfortable with the space. He intended to take it out in the morning, and after a drink at a nearby pub, settled in the cabin and fell asleep soothed by the gentle rocking. Dawn found him ready to set sail and with a sense of adventure he cast off from the pier and set out. He’d confirmed his planned journey with the hirer and intended to tack around the coast for some miles and just enjoy the sense of being at one with nature.

The wind was strong but steady, and he rediscovered his old skills, slipping easily into his adopted role. He sailed, dropped anchor for a meal, watched the gulls and wildlife, spotted a school of dolphin and generally had a tiring but ultimately rewarding time. He returned to the harbour at dusk, and headed out to a pub for a bite to eat and a drink before heading back to the yacht. Returning to his berth he suspected nothing until he entered the cabin and saw Jack sprawled on his bunk.

“No,” he said, shaking his head in denial. “No, you can’t be here. Get out, leave me alone.”

Jack laughed standing smoothly from the bunk and reaching for him.

“No,” Michael screamed again and started hitting out at him. “You bastard, I was so happy. Go away, leave me.”

Jack stood silently a faint smile on his face as Michael struck out in fear and anger until finally he collapsed, sinking to the floor in exhaustion and sorrow. He felt Jack gather him in his arms and hold him tight.

“You’re mine, Mike,” Jack whispered. “Mine, I want to know everything you do. Sail by all means, but don’t leave me out of the equation because I won’t accept it.”

“Oh, god,” Michael said wearily. “Why won’t you just leave me alone?”

Jack said nothing, lifting Michael onto the bunk and striping his clothes off him. Michael lay unresisting and mute watching with fascination as Jack removed his own clothes in less than an eye blink.

“You’ll never get in here with me,” he said stubbornly. “The bunk’s too small.”

Jack grinned, “I’m holding you tight, Mike. That way I’ll know if you try any tricks.” He scooted in the bunk, gathered Michael up and enveloped him. “You know I rather like the enforced intimacy, it’s rather arousing.”

Michael froze, very conscious of Jack’s body pressing against him everywhere and worried that Jack’s hardening cock was placed just a little too near his arse. As if sensing his discomfort, Jack began gently rocking, pushing his cock slightly deeper into the crease, before stopping and kissing the back of Michael’s neck.

“Sleep, Mike, sleep in my arms and I’ll protect you, 

Michael sighed,” What I need is protection from you,” he said faintly.

He felt Jack’s laugh against his chest and wondered for the first time how Jack could feel so warm and so alive.

“Sleep,” Jack murmured, and almost against his will and definitely against his instincts, Michael drifted into sleep.

When he woke at dawn Jack was gone. He read the brief note resignedly.

Mike

See you at your flat tonight. Don’t be late. I have to make up for my amazing self control during the night. My cock and I are not talking, it needs you, and I need you.

Your lover,

 Jack

 

With sudden and unrestrained anger, Michael tore the note into tiny pieces and dropped then one by one over the side into the sea. He buried his head in his hands and gave in to his despair.

 

******

 

HQ seemed quieter, the frantic work of the previous weeks slowly either resolved or being dealt with by others. Vaughan was restless and impatient, oblivious to Michael’s quiet unhappiness. Pearse did look at him sharply, but returned to his office after giving a short briefing that basically left them following up small leads that had been allowed to lay fallow while bigger stuff took the limelight.

Angie had taken the day off, as her daughter was unwell. Pearse seemed to hope that it would allow Angie and her daughter some much needed time together. Michael looked puzzled until Vaughan explained that Angie’s high security and refusal to allow her daughter out after dark had led to some pretty intense mother daughter confrontations.

Michael thought for a while before venturing to ask some questions he realised he’d never entirely got clear.

“Vaughan, who actually pays for us?”

Vaughan looked up at him strangely. “What’s it say on your payslip, Mike?”

Mike shrugged. “Well that’s the point, I’m still receiving pay from the Met at a sergeant grade, but I’m not really employed by the police am I?”

Vaughan’s expression cleared. “No,” he grinned. “I’ve never really been clear, we’re kind of government but the Vatican contributes to our funding, so I guess we have joint pay masters.”

“Masters that might not necessarily want the same thing at times.” Michael said thoughtfully.

Vaughan looked at him curiously. “What brought this on, Mike?”

Michael shrugged again. “Been doing a lot of thinking recently,” he said truthfully. “I realised that there’s a lot I don’t know about this place and how it’s run.” He stood up and gathered his papers. “There’s a lot I don’t know full stop,” he said resignedly, aware that Vaughan was watching him carefully.

“That’s how it goes,” Vaughan said after a moments hesitation.

Michael nodded and headed back to his office. As he walked he wondered how come Jack and his kind knew about the funding for the Squad, and how many other supposed secrets they knew.

The end of work found him unwilling to leave. He asked Vaughan out for a drink, and had a companionable hour with him at the nearest pub before Vaughan said he had to go. Instead of going home, he drove into the centre and aimlessly drove around the sights stopping for some time to watch the Eye slowly turn in the twilight. Finally he stopped where he could find parking place and wandered the streets around Leicester Square watching the workers leave and the night dwellers ready themselves to party. Restless he drifted with a small band of potential clubbers and descended the stairs with them to a subtly lit drinking place. He sat some distance from anyone and nursed a small gin and tonic, watching the place as it began to fill up. A young woman sat next to him and tried to engage him in conversation but he smiled at her and shook his head, and she finally took the hint and left.

A couple of hours and further drinks went by and people came and went, some including him in their conversations, others ignoring him. It was much later that he realised that one man had sat by him consistently. He looked him over curiously seeing a tall, good looking and well built, blonde Scandinavian looking man. He was fascinated by the ring in his nose and made bold by alcohol he pointed at it and asked.

“Doesn’t it get in the way when you have a cold?”

The man laughed. “I have others in more interesting parts,” he replied in a faint accent.

“Yeah?” Michael said amused.

The man stuck his tongue out showing him a stud embedded at the back of his tongue. Michael looked at it curiously.

“My boyfriends love it when I give them a blow job,” the man told him, and Michael felt himself go red. “I personally get off on the nipple rings.”

Michael sat back deciding that he’d received far more information than he needed.

The man looked at him a smile on his face.

“Want me to show you how good this one can feel?” he asked, watching Michael like a hawk.

Michael felt the unwanted heat flare across his face as he shook his head. “No thank you,” he stuttered feeling a total fool. He could never ever recollect being hit on by a man before.

The man leant forward. “I could give you a good time, you look as if you need to be taken out of yourself.”

Michael shook his head again, edging forward in his seat. “I think you’ve made a mistake,” he said quickly. “I’m not interested in…” His sentence was interrupted as he was hauled to his feet and hugged and kissed.

“Mike,” said a familiar, hated voice. “Not being unfaithful to me already, I am disappointed.”

Michael pushed himself away. “Fuck off, Jack,” he said angrily. “Leave me alone.”

The blonde man stood up. “Want some help?” he asked. “I’d be happy to take you home.”

Jack looked him up and down. “You will leave Mike alone,” he said dismissively. “He’s mine, aren’t you Mike?”

Michael looked into Jack’s eyes and saw the real anger and threat there. He looked at the man, down at his shoes, back at Jack and swallowed.

“Yes,” he said faintly. “I’m sorry,” he said quietly to the other man as he was pulled out of the club and into the street.

 Jack marched him to his car, held out his hand for the keys and drove him back to his flat in silence. Once inside he pointed to the bedroom and said. “Get undressed.”

Michael swallowed, eyeing Jack with mounting concern and decided to obey. He stripped, closely watched by Jack and got into bed pulling the duvet up over him. Jack sat on the edge of the bed and looked down on him.

“I will no longer tolerate your disobedience,” he said coldly.

Michael opened his mouth to refute Jack’s right to tell him to do anything and closed it quickly as Jack hissed at him.

“Shut it, Mike. I told you at the beginning, you are mine and I will not tolerate anyone coming between us, male or female.”

“You know I wasn’t going to do anything with him,” Michael said desperately. “Come off it Jack, he was just flirting with me.”

Jack gave a short laugh. “If you had come here and been waiting for me as I demanded you wouldn’t have put yourself in such a potentially dangerous position.”

He glared at Michael. “That guy targeted you as soon as he walked in the club. I know because I watched him for most of the time he was with you.”

“Why?” Michael asked, both in question to Jack’s watching and the man’s supposed targeting.

“Because you look vulnerable, Mike,” Jack said sharply. “You’re not thinking straight, you’re drinking too much.”

Michael looked at him incredulously. “And who’s fucking fault is that?” he hissed at Jack. “Who’s the damn leech who’s unbalanced me, makes me drink, who made me so damn screwed up inside that I go and haunt clubs rather than return home. You damn well tell me Jack, because I’m sure we’d both like to know.”

Jack laughed unexpectedly. “Leech?” he said apparently amused. “Is that what you call us?”

“Yes,” Michael snapped, a little surprised by Jack sudden change of mood.

Jack laughed again, stripped and pulling back the duvet climbed into bed. He pulled Michael towards him and began kissing him. Michael tried hard to resist, fighting the inevitable.

“I’m going to make you mine tonight, Mike. Make you understand just how much you mean to me.”

Michael froze, shaking his head. “No, please don’t do that,” he said thoroughly frightened. “Please don’t fuck me, Jack”

Jack pulled him close. “Have I ever hurt you in bed, Mike?” he said soothingly. “Have I ever done anything you haven’t enjoyed?”

Michael gulped. “No, but then you’ve never given me the opportunity to say no have you?” he said bitterly.

Jack laughed. “I’ll let you say no, Mike,” he promised. “But by the time I’ve finished you won’t want me to do anything but take you.”

“Never,” Michael said with a certainty he felt far from feeling. 

 

~~~

 

Jack felt his fury drain as Michael challenged him. He so much wanted to move their relationship on, to claim him, to bury himself in him and know that he had possession of Michael’s body. He wished he’d been able to do this as a human but he certainly intended to do so now. He intended for Michael to see him as his lover, and for the image of the lover to totally obscure the image of the vampire/enemy. He knew Michael was an obstinate, driven man, and he had expected him to fight any attempt to dominate him, but hadn’t expected to feel so aroused by his inevitable submission, and consequently so protective of him.

He smiled wryly as he pressed Michael down into the bed and began to kiss him. As a human he’d been told that vampires were coldly analytical, that while they had emotions, they were always under the control of the intellect. In his experience he’d found that this was widely true, but he certainly was surprised but just how important Michael’s comfort and enjoyment was to him. He had intended to force him a few minutes ago, but he realised that he couldn’t. Everything he had done had been with Michael’s consent, a very coerced consent it had to be admitted, but he had seduced Michael and everything he had done he had made Michael physically enjoy. This was the same. He was going to fuck Michael, and he was going to make Michael enjoy every damn second of it.

Michael was writhing, his breath harsh and gasping, his hands automatically clasping Jack’s shoulders as Jack kissed him senseless. Slowly Jack moved his kisses down Michael’s body, taking more time in the places that he knew Michael was extra sensitive. He enjoyed each gasp of pleasure, the kisses that Michael made on his skin in response, the clasping and unclasping of Michael’s hands and the evidence of his arousal pressed firmly and proudly along his stomach. He stooped to chew at Michael’s nipples, eliciting further gasps of pained pleasure as he did so. He brought his hands down to continue the play as he continued to kiss along Michael’s flat stomach and down towards his groin, ignoring the straining erection bouncing near his face and licking and nibbling around his balls and thighs.

Michael’s cries were music to his ear as he heard his name groaned now and again in response to some stimuli. He crept round to lick and rim Michael, anticipating with amusement the scream as he began. He could send Michael mad by tongue fucking him, so he wondered why Michael was so resistant to the real thing. He gently tugged at Michael’s erection and balls as Michael writhed, groaned and cried out at each sensation, his hands stroking Jack’s back with firm, gentle strokes. Jack reached for the lube he’d placed at hand and liberally anointed his fingers and cock as he continued his rimming. Slowly he began licking and sucking along Michael’s cock as he gently prepared him for penetration. Michael was so overloaded with sensations he made no complaint as Jack opened him, even going so far as to move his hips down slowly on to Jack’s fingers in counterpoint to the finger fuck and the slow sensuous sucking.

Jack licked the pulsating cock lovingly continuing on his way up Michael’s body to kiss the trembling lips. “I adore you, Mike,” he said lovingly. “I think I love you in my own way and I want to make love to you. Would you like me to?”

He pushed his fingers carefully rubbing along the prostate. Michael cried out in pleasure and he repeated the rubbing a few more times.

“Can I make love to you, Mike,” he asked again, repeating the movements as he did so.

Michael moaned and pushed back against his fingers. Taking the moan as a yes, Jack kept his fingers moving as he knelt between Michael’s legs, wrapped them over his shoulders and positioned his very ready cock against Michael’s opening. Slowly but surely he began to push in, kissing every part of Michael’s anatomy he could reach as he did so. He felt Michael flinch and his erection fade, so he stopped and fondled his cock and his balls reaching and kissing them until Michael was again erect and moaning. He pushed again, keeping a wary eye on Michael’s response. Michael opened his eyes and looked up at him, his expression dark with arousal, but tainted by pain and the ever-present shame that Jack hated so much. He reached down and kissed him.

“I love you,” he whispered again, wondering how true it was. He certainly wanted Michael desperately, thought about him a great deal and adored him, but he was still prepared to use him to further the cause. Michael’s eyes widened and a faint smile appeared before he shut his eyes and arched into Jack’s thrusting, groaning as he did so. Taking this as a cue to push harder, Jack slid all the way into Michael stopping as his balls bounced against Michael’s arse.

“You feel fantastic, Mike,” he murmured, stroking Michael’s flushed, glistening face as he groaned and tossed his head in pain and Jack hoped some pleasure. He gave him a quick kiss placing more weight on his hands slowly pushing forward and just as slowly withdrawing. Michael moaned and grunted but didn’t ask him to stop. Jack continued, getting faster and trying to angle for Michael’s prostate. A shiver and yelp from Michael convinced him he’d got it right and with great satisfaction he proceeded to drive Michael beyond pain into the ultimate pleasure. Looking down at Michael’s passion filled face he smiled with triumph.

“Is it good,” he whispered, “Do you want me to carry on, to fuck you and come in you?”

Michael groaned but said nothing.

Jack stopped, leaning forward to nibble at Michael’s lips. “Ask me, Mike, beg me to fuck you.”

Michael writhed on him. “Bastard,” he groaned. “Do it, Jack.”

“Do what, my love?” Jack said wickedly.

Michael groaned. “Something please, Jack. Damn you, please you bastard, just fuck me.”

Jack laughed and moved with a corkscrew like action that had Michael screaming in apparent ecstasy.

“Jack, Jack, oh god, Jack,” he screamed again as he came shooting up onto Jack’s chest.

Jack laughed again pushing harder and faster into Michael until he felt his own release and pleasure surge through him in waves. He slowly pulled out of Michael, bent down to kiss the still pulsating cock and pulled Michael close to him. He kissed him and leant up on one elbow.

“See this? “ he said to the breathless man beneath him, pointing to his face.

Michael opened his eyes and nodded.

“This is my smug and satisfied face,” Jack said snidely.

“Bastard,” Michael said tiredly, closing his eyes.

Jack looked down at him tenderly with both satisfaction and triumph. Michael was his, and soon he would both know it and accept it willingly.

 

******

 

Everywhere he looked Michael could see his options narrowing. He was under no illusion that Pearse and the rest of the Squad would forgive him this time. He should have told them after Melanie had proved to be an entrapment. He should have come clean over Alexander’s beating and threats. He should never have returned to the flat and Jack despite the temptation to get information on Alexander. The truth would hurt, he would have Angie’s sympathetic sternness, Vaughan’s contempt and Pearse’s priestly compassion, and he couldn’t bear the thought of any of it.

Michael sighed laying his head down on the kitchen table in a forlorn hope that everything could just return to the way it was before Jack crossed over. He’d give anything to remain blissfully ignorant about Code V’s. To have been best man at Jack’s wedding and settled to being a good friend to Jack and Kirsty, and for life to continue as it always had done.

He sat up slowly rubbing his head thoughtfully. His preferred option was to run away, to sail to somewhere hot and bright and stay in the sun all day and on the sea at night. His second option was to kill Jack and try and put all of this behind him. His third option was to come clean and leave the squad voluntarily. His fourth option was to resign without explanation. The fifth option was suicide.

He looked at his options objectively. The first was possible. The second the one he should be going for. Put objectively, Jack was a vampire; he’d threatened his loved one, virtually raped him and was trying to get him to betray his colleagues. He sighed despising himself. He was too bound up with Jack, despite everything he had done to him, he still couldn’t see himself shooting Jack. Somehow he still loved the bastard. 

He shook his head in despair at himself and continued his contemplation. The third option was terrifying, he couldn’t face the consequences, and the fourth was highly unlikely to be possible unless he had option one to back him up. The fifth one made him go cold with horror. All in all, he was now left with a lot of hard work and secrecy. He wondered if Jack had him watched, because he couldn’t see how he could know what he did during the daylight hours, and despite extensive searches, he’d been unable to come up with any evidence that he was being monitored.

Decision made he started by making a phone call to his father’s friend and telling him he was in the market for reasonable sized one man boat. As he finished the call he looked at his mobile phone contemplatively and mentally checked through his financial situation. He’d have to sell his flat and look at investing what he didn’t need to purchase a boat to maintain him in his new life style. Feeling almost cheerful, he stood and headed for the shower.

 

~~~

 

At HQ, the pace seemed to have picked up. Pearse had detailed a briefing at ten, so Michael took the time to check how the case against Alexander was progressing. His friend’s enthusiasm was reassuring, and the suggestion that Alexander was beginning to sense something about to break, heartening. Their information was making ripples in the smooth pond that was Alexander supposed life. Like all ripples they would get larger before slowly dissipating, and while Alexander was busy mopping up after one small wave, another ripple would be spreading.

Michael sipped his coffee and read the notes Pearse had distributed for the meeting with some interest. Now he had made a choice he felt refreshed and more in control. For the rest of his time with the Squad he was going to work hard to be productive. Perhaps when the time came for him to make a break and leave they’d feel more positive about him.

The meeting was long and complicated. Michael wasn’t entirely sure that he understood the implications of the missing scientist research. He had been interested in certain light frequencies and appeared to have been hunted and courted for his work. Angie, back at work as her daughter had recovered, discussed the fact that the leeches could cope with light in the opposite end of the spectrum to UV. She suggested that as the leeches could see in the dark their vision had to be adapted to use infrared. Pearse seemed to feel that this work was linked with the forest fires and the proposed nuclear winter.

Michael shook his head in frustration. “All my admittedly brief contacts with the leeches haven’t led me to feel that they want to wipe us out,” he said slowly. “Disruption of UV would destroy plant life and ultimately us. What would they feed on once we’ve died off?”

Angie nodded. “That’s the fascinating and worrying aspect of this science,” she admitted. “Like you, I can’t see that they want to wipe out their food source. I think it’s ultimately about control and also allowing them twenty-four access to the world.”

“Which would only be possible without sunlight,” Vaughan interjected.

“Which leads us full circle,” Pearse said quietly. “We’ve been so busy dealing with things on a day by day, week by week basis that I occasionally think we are missing the bigger picture.” He sighed. “Hoyle practically told us about the nuclear winter scenario and it’s not something I’ve ever been able to forget.” He stood up suddenly impatient. “I want all our resources on this and I want information from abroad.”

“Do we have equivalent organisations in most other countries?” Michael asked surprised that it had never occurred to him to ask before.

Pearse nodded. “More or less. The more catholic countries and much of the Caribbean have had no problem taking the possibility on board. I was lucky to have very tolerant and broadminded superiors which is how our little Squad has managed to become so effective.” He rolled his shoulders wearily. “I’ll get onto to some colleagues abroad, I want you to search around the subject, interview this scientist’s colleagues.” He looked at Vaughan and Michael before turning to Angie. “Angie, I’d like to talk more about your experiments.”

Angie looked at him sharply before nodding.

 

~~~~

 

There were times that Michael regretted dropping the sciences after ‘O’ Levels, and this was one of them. He hoped Vaughan was coping better than him, but the irritable looking man before him was not making too much sense. What he had grasped was that Dr Martin, the man they were searching for, had in fact been looking at how certain life forms survived without light. In his twenties he had been one of the intrepid band of cavers and divers that searched for new, exotic and bizarre life forms living on the edge. In his thirties he’d married and settled down to experimentation, publishing some papers that the irritable man in front of him had just finished writing out the references for.

Michael offered his thanks then headed for the personal officer to ask about Martin’s wife. The very attractive red head he found in the office was apologetic, but said she could not tell him much as Dr Martin and his wife were estranged. Relieved, Michael smiled at her with gratitude before heading for the door.

From the expression on his face Vaughan had found the whole thing as frustrating as Michael had. He drove out of the labs laughing at Vaughan’s contemptuous summing up of the man who he had interviewed.

“He treated me like an imbecile,” Vaughan said solemnly. “I thought of asking him if he wanted to write words down for me just to make sure I’d understood, but I had a feeling his sense of humour was rather underdeveloped.”

“We’re going to have to check out some of the articles and read them,” Michael said helpfully. “I’ll check out the web, you never know what might be on there.”

Vaughan grunted sliding down in the car seat. “I hate these type of investigations,” he said grumpily.

“Come on, it’ll be fun,” Michael said cheerfully. “And if we’re really lucky we might get a few days away in the Caribbean to check stuff out.”

Vaughan grunted again. “If you think Pearse will run to that you’ve got a screw loose,” he said impatiently.

Michael just laughed and concentrated on driving.

Returning home he showered made a meal and then sat down at the computer to download his e-mails. Finding little of interest he started checking out for boats and was fascinated by the amount of information available. Over the next few hours he amused himself working out what he would need to buy to survive at sea, and wondering what he could do to make money. His imagination had been fired by the thought of Martin caving and diving caves and seas in exploration. He wondered if he was too old or too under educated to become involved in such treks. He checked out some web sites on dangerous sports at the same time as pursuing his boat and was reading about sub aqua caving when a hand on his shoulder made him jump.

“Give me some warning,” he squawked as Jack bent down to kiss him. “My heart needs to beat regularly.”

Jack laughed in his mouth and pulled him to standing. “And my cock needs a regular work out,” he said lustily, licking up Michael’s ear.

“Get a Hoover,” Michael muttered somewhat bad temperedly, surprised by the laughter that shook Jack’s body.

“I’d much prefer your mouth,” Jack whispered seductively.

Michael flushed and shook his head mutely.

Jack sniggered in his shoulder and began to strip him. Michael struggled initially until he saw that Jack was more than happy to rip off anything that resisted.

“I’ll undress myself,” he snapped, very put out by Jack’s appearance. He’d managed to forget him by becoming involved in work and his plans for the future. Now Jack was here he could remember every detail and every sensation as Jack’s cock had slowly entered him. He remembered the pain and tried to keep that with him as his body and his cock had other ideas and began to respond to Jack’s touch.

“No, I want to undress you.” Jack pushed his hands down and went back to fondling and stripping him as Michael tried hard to remain indifferent. As Jack’s clever hands went everywhere, Michael gave up the attempt to remain unaffected and allowed Jack to play him as he was led to his bedroom.

The end result was exactly the same, excited beyond coherence he was slowly led to another fantastic orgasm as Jack pushed into him and whispered words of love and possession that he was finding harder to ignore. Thoroughly exhausted, a little sore and still buzzing, he lay panting on Jack’s chest tracing a pattern with his finger on the man’s warm skin. He watched the still chest and blew on one of the few hairs present and wondered just how Jack managed to feel so alive. As his breathing steadied he looked up to see Jack’s amused gaze look down on him.

“What am I to you, Jack?” he asked quietly.

He felt Jack’s sigh, an automatic action he reasoned. Jack shook his head and traced a finger along Michael’s face. “My human lover, and my ex best friend,” Jack offered.

“Do you really care anything for me, or is this a leech trick to screw me with the Squad?” he said levelly.

Jack grinned. “A bit of both,” he said cheerfully. “I’ve told you, Mike. I adore you and in my own way I love you.”

Michael shook his head. “Leeches don’t love,” he said quietly.

Jack sneered. “I suppose that priest of yours told you that.” He shifted impatiently. “Mike, I set out to make you mine. That may not sound romantic, but hey I’m a guy and a vampire, so live with it.”

“So I’m a possession, an inferior and a pet human?” Michael said as evenly as he could.

Jack grinned again. “You’re my human, so in some sense you are a possession, but not a pet. I’d have you better trained if you were.” He held up his hands in surrender as Michael glared at him. “Cool it, Mike it was a joke.”

“A not very funny one,” Michael said angrily.

Jack leant forward and captured his lips until Michael gave in and returned the pressure. They traded kisses until Michael broke away breathless.

“I told you in the beginning, I was and still am fuelled by lust, desire and need. Love has always been part of our relationship, it’s just I’ve always taken it for granted.” Jack smiled at Michael. “I always was a selfish bastard, Mike, still am, but never ever forget that I have always wanted you with me.” He kissed Michael again. “Now this is getting too maudlin for me. Tell me, why are you looking up the prices of sailing boats?”

Michael swallowed and started to lie.

 

******

 

“When do you expect Alexander to make his move?”

Jack shrugged his shoulders, contemplating the rows of computers in front of him “Any time now, I’ve got Mike under surveillance pretty constantly.”

The man nodded. “How is Michael coping?”

Jack grinned. “He’s on the verge of running. I’ve been checking his phone calls and emails and he’s trying to buy a boat.”

The other man nodded. “You think his usefulness as a member of the squad is at an end?”

Jack cocked his head in question.

“Has he told you anything?” the man expanded.

Jack sighed. “I told you before, Mike won’t willingly betray his colleagues. We’re still the enemy and blackmail won’t change that.” He leant against the door and nodded at the equipment in front of him. “We’d be better setting up full time electronic surveillance on them, keeping one step ahead and setting up little scenarios to keep them busy and away from the real business. We know they’ve been following up on Martin, Mike and his colleague were seen at the labs.”

The man nodded. “I know, and I don’t disagree with you, and it has been considered but found to be very difficult. Their headquarters is surprisingly well defended and bristling with technology.”

You do surprise me,” Jack said untruthfully.

The man smiled. “Hadn’t you thought about keeping an electronic tab on Michael?”

“I was considering a collar,” Jack said smilingly with inner amusement, “but no actually, Mike’s not stupid, he’d soon suspect if I was a little too obviously in the know. I can feel his agitation when I turn up unexpectedly and he knows I keep tabs on him somehow.” He walked across the floor and sat next to the man. “I also decided that should the squad be able to detect anything like that we’d both stand to lose.”

“I see,” the man smiled knowingly. “You’ve not been able to be as dispassionate as you first thought.”

Jack raised his eyebrows. “Have you any complaints about how I’ve been managing this?”

The man laughed. “No, Mr Beresford, to be honest you’ve been quite ingenious.” He laughed again. “We always thought your sly nature and cunning would be of considerable use to us, and I for one am glad to be proved so right.”

“What a character reference.” Jack said amused. “You’re just pleased to have me to compromise Mike. Have you ever been able to get near the Squad before?”

The man shook his head slowly. “No, they don’t recruit without a thorough investigation of everything. Michael has always been clean and professional on paper a very good candidate and one with a home made grudge against us.” He smiled. “They hadn’t been watching the pair of you for years, and they weren’t to know that you far more than Kirsty are his Achilles heel.”

Jack laughed. “I know Mike’s kept quiet about his relationship with me, he’s too ashamed for a start, so if we play this right they’ll never know what happened. We’ll get Mike and his knowledge and they will hopefully remain clueless.”

“You will have to lay low for a time.”

Jack laughed. “That won’t be difficult. I’ll let Mike fulfil part of his dream and we’ll make ourselves useful and keep busy.”

“Of that I’m certain,” the man said smiling broadly.

 

******

 

The week had followed a set pattern. Michael worked late, got home, ate, settled himself in front of the computer to surf the web, and Jack would turn up at around 11.00, They’d talk or spar depending on just how grouchy Michael was feeling and inevitably they would end up in bed.

Michael had given up pretending to himself that Jack didn’t turn him on, that he didn’t find sex with him exciting and fulfilling. But it didn’t mean that he was going to give in easily. He made Jack work for his pleasure while admitting to himself that it didn’t actually take much to make him excited, he just didn’t want Jack realising that fact. He also wanted control of his life back and was impatient to get going on his plans for a new life, however much there was the constant feeling in the back of his mind that he was playing in to Jack’s hands by leaving the squad. That was the piece of the puzzle that didn’t add up. He would have thought they would have put their effort into to compromising him for blackmail, but there again Jack knew him well enough to be certain that whatever they did Michael would not co-operate.

He had spent some time writing out an explanation to Pearse, Vaughan and Angie as to why he had felt it necessary to leave. He tried to be as honest as possible so that they would understand that he was leaving as much to protect them as to save himself.

He wasn’t entirely satisfied with it, but saved it on his pc and left it.

At work he found he was fascinated with tracing the connection between Martin’s work and the possibilities the future might hold if the leeches actually managed to achieve their suspected goal. Pearse had called a meeting to really thrash out the ideas they had gathered, and Michael had spent a considerable time reading articles, ringing other scientist and gathering as much information as possible. From Vaughan’s face as he entered the briefing room, he gathered that he hadn’t enjoyed his time anywhere near so much.

Pearse cleared his throat. “I want us to discuss every thing we know about the Code V’s known interests.” He said slowly. “We will then share our knowledge with our sister organisations abroad and try and come up with a more cohesive approach to deal with them more effectively.” He looked round the room. “Angie, would you like to summarise your investigations into blood related research?”

Michael watched Angie as she tapped her papers together and frowned.

 

“As you all know, my husband Robert was approached because of his investigations into blood disorders. Subsequent events have led us to believe that the Code V’s are looking at making artificial blood, and researching the way that diseases such as HIV and events such as radiation affect the blood.” She smiled dryly. “We are certain that blood so affected is somewhat poisonous to them.” She looked briefly at Michael before continuing. “We know from recent events that Code V’s can be regenerated by the application of their own kind’s blood on their ashes. Trials with human blood, or to be accurate, blood that has not been absorbed by a Code V leaves the ashes inert.” She smiled apologetically at Michael. “We also know that they have dabbled in fertility, unsuccessfully as far as we know and looked at infecting us via contact viruses

Pearse nodded. “Thank you, Angie. I know there is far more to be said on the matter including your own research but we’ll keep this first briefing simple.” He turned to Vaughan and Michael. “What have you uncovered? 

Michael cleared his throat. “From Dr Martin’s research papers it is apparent that he was looking into the survival of plant and animal life without sunlight. Organisms that live, breed and survive in the harshest climates.” He looked round the table. “These include the creatures of the deep, and as we know that Code V’s can survive water and don’t need to breathe, we can assume that they probably are involved in the investigation although I wonder if even their bodies can cope with the water pressure at the kind of depths we’re talking about.”

Vaughan nodded and added. “Everything that I find backs up Michael’s evidence.”

Pearse nodded. “We have Hoyle’s interest in a Nuclear Winter to add to the picture. My main assumption is that the fertility, the virus and many other little plots are just side issues. The main focus of research and effort is two fold, either to work towards allowing the Code V’s twenty-four hour access to the world without destroying their food supply. Or, getting rid of us completely and finding an alternative food supply.” He looked round again. “Are we agreed?”

Michael nodded his agreement, along side Angie and Vaughan.

“Fine,” he shuffled his papers together. “We concentrate on investigations that fall in those main areas, as well as following up any big financial angles.” He looked round at all of them. “I want you to write up your findings extensively and add your own analysis at the end.” He stood up. “I hope that greater co-ordination will bring us better results. We do not really know how co-ordinated the code V’s actually are outside of their own countries although Hoyle’s journey via plane suggests some degree of international organisation.” He wiped his face wearily and took a sip of water before heading for the door.

Angie slipped silently from her chair and followed him out.

“He doesn’t look too good,” Michael said concerned.

Vaughan nodded. “Angie’s worried because he won’t rest.” He shrugged his shoulders. “In his own way he’s as driven as she is.”

Michael nodded and together they left the room.

 

~~~~

 

By seven Michael was hungry. He asked Vaughan to accompany him and they found a steak bar and chatted companionably throughout the meal. Michael thought it was ironic that he and Vaughan should be getting on so much better as he made plans to leave. He looked at the man and wondered what he would say if he knew that he and Jack was sleeping together.

They had a coffee, and then Vaughan took his leave. Michael settled back into his seat for a few minutes longer and contemplated his options for the weekend. He had to get away again, but he couldn’t visit any friend because that automatically made them targets. He decided he’d head down to the coast again and chance his luck for sailing. Perhaps if he kept company with strangers Jack might leave him alone. Decision made, he headed for his flat.

He was packing his bag when he heard movement. He checked his watch, it was too early for Jack, and Jack never made a noise. He grabbed his gun and went to investigate. Moving slowly to the living room he checked what he could see and came slowly into the room, gun raised. A sound near the kitchen made him swing round and sighting a figure in the doorway he called out.

“Put your hands in the air and come out where I can see you.”

Nothing happened for a second. Michael moved his gun impatiently and repeated himself. The figure stirred and moved forward at the same time as Michael became aware of movement behind him. He swung round in time to see another figure shoot. He felt a sudden pain, dizziness, and then silence.

 

******

 

It had happened. Jack read the terse words from his informant silently before texting back an affirmation that he’d received the message. He got on the bike and made his way to Michael’s flat using his purloined key to enter. He checked round the rooms and noted the overnight bag still open on the bed, and the gun on the living room floor. He glided towards the computer and switched it on, entering Michael’s password. Checking in his files he came across the letter to Pearse and read it quietly, unsurprised at Michael’s innate honesty, and well aware of the hidden emotions that were contained in the formal prose. He deleted it, checking through the files for other copies, quickly scanning through for anything else that would cause concern. He checked Michael’s emails and finding nothing inappropriate decided to leave the computer on to make it look as if Michael had been using it before he had been disturbed.  On top of the computer he left the video he’d made of Michael’s beating at Alexander’s hands, secure in the knowledge that none of the squad would come looking for Michael until he failed to turn up on Monday. Giving the room one last glance, he left as quietly as he’d arrived.

Once outside, he checked the phone for messages. They were taking Mike towards the south coast and presumably on to France. Confident that he could catch them, he texted back a reply for his informant to keep going until he relieved him, and set off on his bike.

 

******

 

Michael came to in a coffin, or that was what it seemed to be. He was blindfolded, gagged and tied, and when he tried to roll over he was stopped both times by a barrier either side. Wriggling up or down he came against the same obstacle, and when he tried to sit up, his head banged against a roof. Thoroughly frightened he tried to calm himself and think. Who ever had taken him was not a Code V. Or the henchmen sent to get him certainly weren’t. He’d seen them both fleetingly in his video sight. Michael shuddered, while he might have pissed people off in the past, the only person with a grudge, if that was the right word, against him at the moment was Mr Alexander. He shuddered again and felt very cold and miserable. His only hope was that Jack was having him watched, and that Jack would be able to rescue him. He laughed almost hysterically. He was supposed to be a big bad vampire hunter, and to whom did he look to for his safety but his is very own vampire lover. Could life be any more screwed for him?

The box shuddered and he felt himself lifted and carried, any noises from outside muffled by the thickness of his surroundings. The box was pushed into something else, and from the faint humming he could feel through the box, he assumed he was being taken somewhere in a car. He wondered what he had been transported in before. He assumed from the nausea that he and been drugged, and wondered if the fact that he was awake and alert was planned to frighten him even more. If so it was working, lying helpless while other people decided his fate was doing nothing for his sense of well being.

 

******

 

Jack’s informant had attached a transmitter to the boat the kidnappers were using and after storing his motorbike on board Jack set off in pursuit.  Watching the men man handle the casket he assumed Michael must be in rather roughly, he had a sudden urge to pull the heads off them both. With a struggle he conquered it, instead giving them time to take off before getting on his bike and following them. Checking the horizon and his watch, he reasoned that he had about four hours before dawn, and while his bike leathers and helmet would give him some protection, he did not really want to be outside after then.

Keeping back, and out of sight, he trailed the lorry for hours, until it came to a halt outside a large warehouse. He parked his bike and slipped inside in time to see the kidnappers man move the casket into the back of a Range Rover. Watching intently he saw Alexander open another casket, pull out a number of clear bags with powder in them and nod to the kidnappers. A conversation ensued, and using their preoccupation, Jack moved to the Rover, fixed a tracer underneath the chassis and vanished as fast as he had come. He watched the discussion come to a conclusion, waited for a second, and found himself totally unsurprised when Alexander turned on the men and shot them. Silently he observed the setting up of the scene, the open casket, the drugs, the money over the floor. One thief in the cab, the other halfway out of it. Grudgingly he acknowledged that Alexander was clever, and that he’d ruined any chance of him using the warehouse as a refuge.

Slipping outside to his bike, he pushed it clear of the warehouse, checked that the transmitter was working, and headed for somewhere where he could wait for a time until Alexander had gone. He would follow them at a distance and look out for somewhere to hole up until the evening. Until he knew exactly where Alexander was hiding out, he thought it best to be cautious. He only hoped that Alexander wouldn’t treat Michael too badly. He was well aware that Alexander harboured a number of feelings for Michael, and fortunately or unfortunately depending on how you looked at it, lust was uppermost. That being so he hoped that Alexander would be keener on gloating over his new possession than beating Michael senseless. He felt a sudden cold fury bolt through him at the thought of Alexander’s hands touching Michael intimately. Mike was his and his alone. Alexander was going to pay dearly for just taking what belonged to him, never mind handling it. His eyes dark with anger, Jack waited.

 

******

 

Michael felt like he was living through a nightmare. Alexander must have drugged him again because he awoke in the exact same position as the first time Alexander had assaulted him, tied, spread eagle to a frame. Alexander enacted the same performance, stripping him at knifepoint, fondling him and whipping him, but this time he didn’t have Jack’s help and the creams. This time he was left hanging as Alexander kissed him and fondled him some more. Eventually Alexander sat down reaching for a peach from a bowl at the side of his chair. He flicked open a penknife as Michael tried to calm himself, and proceeded to peel the fruit.

“That’s right, Michael,” Alexander said softly. “Do get yourself under control, my dear. We have a great deal to talk about. The police have made my life very uncomfortable in London, so I decided to retreat to one of my lesser known bolt holes for a while.”

He slipped a piece of peach in his mouth and chewed slowly. “Of course, I needed entertainment while I was waiting, and I thought immediately of you. Such an ideal opportunity to train a new slave, and you’re so very different from my normal choice.”

Michael wondered whether getting his breathing under control was such a good idea if he had to listen to Alexander talking.

“Such a handsome man, where as before I’ve always gone for pretty men. I’ve always find them quite appealing, masculine yet somehow slightly feminine.” Alexander popped another piece of peach in his mouth and chewed silently for a few seconds.

“I do like women, I’ve just always preferred my sexual partners to be men.” He grinned. “I think it’s something about taming strength as I’ve always enjoyed breaking my slaves to suit my somewhat exacting desires.” He took another peach slice and slowly sucked it into his mouth “Normal sex, well as near normal as I get, seems somehow so lacking, although I indulge in it with some very beautiful women on a fairly regular basis.”

He licked his lips clean watching Michael closely.

Michael closed his eyes wishing briefly that it were possible to stop his ears as well. He had absolutely no idea how he’d managed to attract a psychopath like Alexander; he reasoned he must have just been damn unlucky.

“I did a quick check on you and your companion before you came to interview me and was surprised at just how hard it was to find any information about you both.”

He sucked another segment of peach.

“When you think that I have some of the best information in the world available to me, that makes you very interesting.”

Great, Michael thought wearily. Belonging to the squad has just done wonders for my social life.

“Being involved with the vampires allowed me to go where others wouldn’t think of going, and I discovered you were a member of shadowy quasi governmental extermination squad.”

Does everyone know about us, Michael thought in bafflement. It’s supposed to be so secret.

“Now Vaughan did nothing for me, but you,” he smiled again. “Oh yes, you certainly did something for me. Broody, handsome and apparently tortured by uncertainty, a very sexy combination, and since I was about to loose Verner, well you seemed a fascinating replacement, I’m so looking forward to our time together.”

Lucky me, Michael thought hysterically. Please Jack, if you’re anywhere around come and save me. Please.

******

 

Jack was impressed by the security installed in the very upmarket building. He had spied a swimming pool to the south, and the farmland enclosing it made it very secluded. He crept into the farmhouse with stealth. He might not be detectable on any machine, but he didn’t want Alexander to have any warning what so ever. He was furious at having to wait until dusk before continuing on his journey, and his need for blood had delayed him further. Alexander had now had Michael in his possession for about sixteen hours, and he was going to pay for any mark he had made on Michael’s skin, never mind Michael’s soul. Michael’s soul was his to play with and he didn’t share. He hadn’t as a human, and he was even less willing as a vampire.

He listened hard and heard sounds from the basement, sounds that made him cold and angry, Michael’s screams. He discovered the door and slipped through the barrier his anger making it easier for him. The sight before him confirmed some of his fears. Michael was naked, hooked up to the ceiling by his wrists his feet barely touching the ground. Clamps and wires led from both his nipples and his testicles to a box resting on Alexander’s lap. He was comfortable settled in a large over plump armchair sipping a flute of wine as he played with his captive.

“Just say ‘please master’ and I’ll stop, Michael. It’s so simple, I really can’t see why you have to put yourself through so much misery.” Alexander said with teeth grinding insincerity.

Michael hung in the chains; his body covered with sweat, his breathing harsh, every limb trembling with pain. Jack could see whip marks up along his back, arse and thighs and bite marks around his neck. Alexander must have pressed the switch because as Jack watched, Michael’s body arched and he screamed in anguish. It was too much for Jack, with a growl he flung himself on Alexander and squeezed his neck. The shock on the man’s face was all Jack could ask for. With a restraint he wasn’t aware he had, he stopped from ripping his carotid artery out, and settled for ensuring that he was unconscious before turning to Michael and pulling the chains out of the ceiling. He carried him towards the bed and kissed him carefully as Michael’s eyes fluttered open.

“Jack,” Michael breathed, a look of such happiness crossing his face that Jack felt momentarily guilty. “Jack, you found me.” He smiled then collapsed.

Jack lay him carefully on the bed, removed the clamps, and turned him onto his front.

He searched the room, certain that even a bastard like Alexander had a first aid kid at hand, and tended Michael’s wounds. Like the first time, Alexander had worked to cause Michael maximum pain with minimum damage so what he needed most was to anaesthetise him from the pain. Jack worked quickly, before settling Michael and pulling the manacles off his wrists.

Once he was certain that Michael was comfortable, he turned to Alexander and viewed the room carefully. It was a veritable treasure chest of items all designed to inflict pain, and Jack intended to put them to full use. He hauled Alexander into an upright position, stretched him over a rack, stripped him and set to work. Standing back some time later he smiled evilly. Alexander was going to regret that he had ever been born, and he was going to be begging Jack for his death at the end.

Jack picked Michael up from the bed, covered him with a sheet and climbed the stairs. He did not want him seeing or hearing what he was about to do to Alexander. He placed Michael on a large comfortable bed, and sedated him. He then searched the house from top to bottom and took copies of the necessary files before returning to the basement. Alexander was just returning to consciousness as he arrived. Jack smiled sweetly at the sight of his bound and blindfolded figure and sat himself down to play.

 

******

 

The journey from the farmhouse had been long and arduous. Michael was in shock and barely conscious, and despite his vampire’s strength and stamina, Jack had been hard pressed to get them safely out of the country and to where they were now, months and miles away from the events in France.

 Jack watched as Michael’s sleek nude body shimmered in the moonlight as it sliced through the sea. He smiled as Michael swum back to him, pulling himself onto the pontoon to settle a wet kiss on his lips and drip water over him. He reached an arm round Michael’s lips and kissed back, pulling the wet body back toward him, rolling on top of him as he deepened the kiss and began rubbing against him. Michael laughed and rubbed back, stroking him arms over Jack as he did so and showing every sign of pleasure at Jack advances. Their kissing and rubbing was slow and languorous, both of them knowing where it was heading, but both wanting to spend as much time as possible getting there. They ended up sucking each other, intermittently breaking off to return to kissing each other.

“On your back, Mike,” Jack whispered, still delighted at Michael’s ready acceptance. His smugness when Michael finally admitted that he loved Jack being inside him was such that Michael had sulked for days after, only stopping when Jack allowed Michael to top him. Jack had enjoyed it, but he wasn’t letting Michael know that. He had a strong need to not only to be in control, but also to be seen to be in control, and screaming for Michael to do him did not fit in with his perceptions of their relationship. As far a Michael was concerned, topping Jack was to be an occasional treat and despite some grumbling, Michael seemed happy with their arrangement.

Jack slowly prepared Michael, licking and kissing him lovingly as Michael whispered how much he loved him and moaned at each and every touch. The ride was sweet, sensuous yet powerful as ever. Michael’s orgasm a delight of sensations that allowed Jack to relax his control and join him in ecstasy.

They lay side by side; Michael curled in Jack’s arms as Jack contemplated the man next to him. The rest, recuperation, exercise and pleasure had been cathartic for Michael. He’d become leaner, more graceful, less inhibited and despite a naturally solemn nature, he’d lightened up in ways that secretly delighted Jack. He loved nothing more than to hear Michael’s mischievous laughter as he teased and goaded Jack into do what he wanted. Jack found to his surprise that he wanted to please Michael, mainly he accepted because a happy Michael was such a joy to be with.

He had talked a little about Alexander, but had refused to tell Michael exactly what he had done to the man. The deep pleasure he had achieved from his torture and subsequent death were not things he wanted to share. He was well aware that that side of his nature was not something he wanted Michael to know about. Nor would he tell Michael that the squad assumed him dead, destroyed by the explosion that had taken out most of the farmhouse and wiped Alexander off the face of the earth.

He had also kept Michael unaware of his unconscious betrayal of the Squad. He had carefully reported all that he had learned from Michael as doped, exhausted, shocked and suggestible following Jack’s drinking of his blood, Michael had screamed, whimpered and cried out his fears and worries in his nightmares. Jack reasoned that the nightmares were connected to Michael’s strong moral principles, and the lack of certainty that he felt for his job. His hatred of what vampires had done to him and those he loved balanced against his disquiet of the squad’s methods of control. His conscience fighting his fears for what vampires had planned for humanity. And ultimately his continued belief, strengthened by Jack’s advances and his rescue, that vampires did have emotions and in some sense rights. Jack listened to this and more as Michael talked to apparent hallucinations of Vaughan, Angie and Pearse, begging them to answer him. Jack had been very relieved when they faded, although his superiors were delighted at the welcome information, and inclined to be generous.

Michael moved, and his scent permeated Jack’s nostrils as he lay contemplating the past. He wriggled a little as his fangs lengthened in anticipation. Michael raised his head, watching him expressionlessly, nodding slightly as Jack bared his fangs and asked permission with a look. Each time he permitted it, Jack felt his supposedly impassive and dead heart leap. He kissed Michael’s lips before licking his artery and pressed his fangs in to drink from his lover’s blood. The smell and scent of Michael was all invasive and addictive, his groan as Jack supped, erotic in the extreme. Jack was grateful that after much heated discussion Michael had eventually understood his desire to do this, and had been willing to learn to fight the compulsion to sleep. What Jack would never tell him was that he also needed to see Michael submit to him, and permit him control. Jack wasn’t stupid; he knew that his request took a degree of trust in him that he wasn’t sure that Michael would ever find. But the rescue and the care he had given Michael following Alexander’s abuse had gone a long way towards changing Michael’s attitude and Jack was quick to use it for his own purposes. He finished his tasting, licked the wound clean and kissed Michael’s before wrapping his arms round his lover and continuing the peaceful cuddling.

Soon this idyll would be over, and he and Michael would have to return to the real world. Jack wasn’t fooled for one minute that Michael wouldn’t struggle and rail against his fate, and in a way he was glad. He had feared that taking Michael’s blood would make him a little too much of a compliant tool. It hadn’t, and he supposed he ought to have known better than that. Infection made human’s more amenable to suggestion, and as Michael was one of the most stubborn human’s he knew, it had just made him easier to reason with.

“I love you,” he whispered blowing in Michael’s ear, and enjoyed the giggle that ensued.

“You’re just after my body,” Michael said contentedly. He looked sideways at Jack. “And my blood.”

“That as well,” Jack said kissing a slowly drying piece of skin and loving the way the moonlight made Michael glisten. He kissed along Michael’s spine, enjoying the faint hum of pleasure from the man bedside him.

“Keep that up and I’ll be ready for more,” Michael said sexily, grinning as Jack increased the kissing. He wrapped his arms round Jack and brought his mouth up for a kiss. “I suppose this has to end soon,” he said wistfully.”

Jack was surprised at the echo of his thoughts. Occasionally he wondered if Michael would be a mind reader when he crossed over.

“Would you like to stay here for ever?” Jack asked curiously.

Michael smiled and nodded. “Just you, me and the fishes,” he said quietly, nibbling Jack’s ear. “Here I don’t have to think about how I’m betraying my own kind, here it’s just you and me, and the sea.”

He licked the ear he’d just nibbled. “Here I don’t have to wonder about the squad, what they think happened to me, what you may or may not have done to Alexander and ultimately, what plans you have for me when this all ends.”

Jack smiled, Michael wasn’t anywhere near as under his influence as he should be. The others were right. Michael was different. Fortunately for their peace of mind and his, Michael truly loved him. It was in all honestly the only binding they had for him. He pulled him closer into his arms and kissed him.

“We will stay here for as long as you want,” he said confidently. “When you think you’re ready we’ll go back to Europe. Until then as your lover and protector I will not let anything happen to you.”

Michael smiled lazily up at him. “Nor I you,” he said teasingly. He kissed Jack back and sniffed him. “I do believe you’re beginning to smell a little of me.”

Jack laughed standing up and pulling Michael with him. Michael raised an eyebrow but said nothing.

“We need to take the dinghy and return to the villa,” Jack explained.

Michael nodded, reaching to slip on some shorts for the journey. They rowed in companionable silence, with occasionally smiles as they made the short trip to the private mooring. Once at the steps at the villa they climbed to the bougainvillea clad walls of their holiday retreat.

Michael walked to the sitting area and stood by the large picture windows looking out towards the sea. “I’m hungry, and I suppose you must need to feed.” He smiled ruefully at Jack before rubbing at his neck and stretching his back sinuously.

“If you do that again I won’t be going anywhere,” Jack countered with a hungry glint in his eye, enjoying Michael’s blush as it travelled from his cheeks to bottom out at the top of his shorts. He grabbed Michael and kissed him again with sudden desperate passion.

“You do know that I will not live without you, Mike,” he said fiercely.

Michael paled, his breath becoming shallow. “You aren’t living, Jack,” he said faintly.

“Semantics,” Jack said impatiently. “I will not allow you to leave me and die, Mike. You do understand that, don’t you?”

Michael paled even further. “I had hoped otherwise, Jack,” he said bravely. “I had hoped to appeal to your sense of fair play.” His mouth twisted in a grimace of distaste. “I’m a fool aren’t I, you intended this from the first.”

“Yes,” Jack said quietly. “I’ve always wanted you, Mike. I said that back in England, I say it now. You are mine.”

Michael looked up with tears in his eyes. “Then I am the biggest fool on earth, “ he said desperately. “I can deny you nothing, Jack. Just remember that eternity is a very long time to hate, so be very careful what you ask from me and why.”

Jack smiled sweetly. “I will,” he said gently. “Come, Mike. We have paradise before us, and as yet no demands to leave.” He pulled Michael back towards him and kissed him gently. “I will demand nothing from you that you aren’t happy to give.”

Michael smiled through his tears. “That’s what frightens me,” he whispered.

Jack smiled back and deepened his kiss pushing Michael towards the sheepskin rug that covered the cold tiles of the room. “And what I demand is you on your back, begging for me,” he whispered seductively in Michael’s ear.

Michael sniffed, trying to stifle a groan as Jack’s lips travelled down his bare torso.

“We could always do it the other way round,” he whispered back hopefully.

Jack grinned, he couldn’t think of a better way of distracting Michael.

“We could,” he said slowly, appearing to be considering it.

“We will,” Michael demanded, suddenly aggressive as he nibbled determinedly on Jack’s neck.

“Make me,” Jack challenged, secure in his knowledge that Michael would remember nothing of the conversation they had just had when he drank from him as he slept. They’d had the same conversation at least twice before, and each time Michael got nearer to saying ‘yes’.

Michael giggled and leapt on him, so that they collapsed on the floor in a tangle of limbs and desire. “I love you,” he said rubbing himself purposefully along Jack’s body.

“I know,” Jack said sweetly. “To know me is to love me, Mike. You’ve got to admit that.”

The growl that accompanied the direct assault on his erect cock was arousing in the extreme. Jack smiled happily to himself and let Michael lead. He was winning the battle for Michael’s soul and having a wonderful time of it. Life, or death, could not be sweeter.

 

The end.

Feedback welcome and positively encouraged.



 


 

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