Matthias smiled. The guy really was a pretty little twink, with pale blue eyes and hair just barely red enough to avoid being called orange. He lifted his hand, and trailed a finger down Daniel’s jaw, then he lifted Daniel’s chin and brought his mouth down on Daniel’s hungrily. Daniel kissed him back, his own mouth and tongue eager.
Daniel tugged again on his wrists, and Matthias held him fast, pinned to the wall. His teeth nipped lightly at the skin of Daniel’s throat, just enough to make the smaller man gasp. With a swift motion, he spun. He pulled Daniel’s pants off while simultaneously tossing the guy onto the bed.
Before Daniel could recover, Matthias was on top of him, pinning him to the mattress. The guy still smelled scared, though underneath that he was starting to also carry the scent of arousal. Matthias collected his wrists with one hand again, then began exploring his body with the other. Daniel’s skin was soft and smooth beneath Matthias’s fingers, with barely any hair. Daniel’s back arched a little as Matthias’s hand moved lower.
He released Daniel’s hands to remove his own shirt. Daniel took the opportunity to sit up a little, and his hands went to Matthias’s torso. A tiny frown came to Daniel’s face when his fingers found the scars. Matthias moved his hand away, pinning it to the bed. With his free hand he fumbled a small container out of the nightstand. Daniel squirmed beneath him, wrapping his leg around Matthias’s.
His tongue teased Daniel’s nipple as he inserted a finger inside. Daniel groaned just a little, arching himself into Matthias. He yanked at his hands, trying to free them from Matthias’s grip. Matthias grinned just a little.
“Oh, god…” Daniel’s breath came in little pants. He lifted his head, and Matthias met the kiss. He continued working his fingers, enjoying the soft little moaning sounds Daniel made in response.
“Scared, yet?” He murmured the words into Daniel’s ear.
“A little.” Daniel moved his head up to kiss Matthias’s neck.
“Good.” Matthias lifted Daniel’s hips, and entered.
The kid was tight. For a moment, he was worried that he hadn’t prepared the guy enough and was going to hurt him. Then Daniel wrapped his legs around Matthias’s waist and arched his back, pushing Matthias in even deeper.
They came within seconds of each other, somewhat sooner than Matthias’s would have preferred. He rolled to the side to avoid collapsing on the smaller man.
After he’d caught his breath, he lifted himself up a little to look at Daniel. Daniel gave him kind of a dazed smile. “You okay?” Matthias raised an eyebrow.
“Mmmhmmm.” Daniel nodded.
He awoke to find himself laying half on top a warm, rather furry body. It took Daniel just a moment to get his bearings. He was pretty much glomping Matthias. His cheeks started to burn a little, and he was pretty sure he was blushing.
The guy had been a hell of a lot more gentle than he’d expected, especially after the talk about scaring him. It had been scary though. Matthias was twice his size, easily, and shit the guy was strong. It had been strange, realizing just how helpless he was in the other guy’s grip. Strange, and really kind of hot.
Now he just had to figure out how to get downstairs and get breakfast started without waking anyone else. He slid out of the bed, and started to congratulate himself for managing it without waking the guy.
“Make bacon.” Matthias didn’t open his eyes. “And coffee.”
“Pancakes?” Daniel shrugged. “I can also do some cinnamon rolls or something, if you want.”
“Hash browns, or maybe —”
“Bacon.” Matthias opened one eye just enough to glare at him. “Coffee.”
“I’ll make bacon.” Daniel smiled a little as he grabbed his pants. “And some coffee.” He left the room, closing the door behind him. He paused a moment at his sister’s door, and heard her still faintly snoring.
Matthias came down the stairs just as the coffee was ready. Unshaven, he looked something like a bear wearing boxer shorts. Daniel immediately grabbed a cup and poured coffee into it. “How do you like your…”
The big man took the coffee cup out of his hand and proceeded to drain it before handing it back. Then he headed toward the shower.
Daniel looked down bemusedly at the cup in his hand that had moments ago been holding scalding liquid. “Alright.” He shook his head. “Clearly not a morning person.” He laughed a little, then turned back to the kitchen to start the pancakes
After flipping the first of the pancakes, he glanced at the bathroom door. The scars across Matthias’s torso had seemed a lot like claw marks, and he was pretty sure the ones on his side were bullet wounds. The fact that the guy had scars like that and was still up and active was impressive in itself. They seemed long-healed though, which made him wonder just how the big man had acquired them.
Anna emerged from her room before Matthias was done in the shower. Her hair was sticking up in all directions. “You look like a scarecrow.” He offered her a plate of pancakes.
“You look like a doofus.” She took the plate. “Thank you.”
“You look like a dork.” He grinned. “Syrup?”
“You look like a fart.” She nodded. “Yes.”
“You look like a butthead.”
“You look like a nerd.”
“Well…” He stuck his tongue out at her. “You look like my sister.”
The two pieces made a slight clinking noise, and Matthias collected the pawn. Anna stared at the board, her tongue sticking out of her mouth as she pondered her next move. She moved her bishop. He countered by moving his knight into a defensive position, and then Anna let out a triumphant laugh as she moved her rook. “Checkmate.”
Matthias stared down at the board, then looked up at her. “And you’ve never played this before?”
“Nope.” She shook her head. “It’s fun though.”
He turned to look up at Daniel. “She hustling me?”
Daniel shook his head. “I don’t think so. I don’t think we owned a chess set.”
Anna was grinning when she looked back at him. “You owe me a pony.”
“You said if I won, you’d get me a pony.” Anna put her hands on her hips and glared at him.
“Stop glaring.” Matthias shook his head. “I’m not going to be intimidated by Pippi fucking Longstocking.”
“Who is Pippi fucking Longstocking?” Anna tilted her head.
“Anna!” Daniel shook his head at her.
“He said it first.” Anna frowned at her brother.
“It’s gonna be a long winter.” Matthias sighed.
Daniel slid out from beneath the covers and staggered downstairs toward the bathroom. His whole body felt deliciously sore. Matthias had kept him tied up for most of the evening, and eventually he’d had to ask for a gag to stop himself from waking up Anna. He caught sight of his reflection when he washed his hands, and noted that there were a few bruises on his arms. He chuckled a little. After that evening, they felt a little bit like trophies.
He shut off the water and dried his hands before heading back upstairs. Matthias had shifted a little. Daniel reached out a hand to touch his shoulder. “Hey budg —”
A heartbeat later he was flat on his back, pinned to the floor and with some horror realized there was a knife at his throat. Matthias blinked at him a couple times before cursing and withdrawing the blade. “Shit. Shit.” He shifted, letting Daniel up. “Sorry, kid.”
“What the…” Daniel swallowed, touching where the knife had touched his skin. “What the hell?”
“Sorry.” Matthias took a couple deep breaths. He shook his head, then rose and put the knife away. “I was dreaming.”
“I, uh…” Daniel sat up. He touched his throat again.
“Take the bed.” Matthias shook his head. “I’ll move to the couch.”
“Matthias…” Daniel levered himself up onto the side of the bed. “Do you want to talk about —”
“I don’t need therapy from my fucking whore.” Matthias grabbed one of the pillows before heading out the door.
Daniel sat, staring at the door in shock. He felt tears threatening, and blinked them away. God, three weeks of warming the guy’s bed and he’d let himself start to get stupid. He threw himself down on the bed and started to cry.
The kid was pretty quiet the next morning. It would have been a nice change, had it not left him feeling a bit guilty. “I’m going to head into town. Make a list.”
“Can we come?” Anna looked up at him.
Matthias hesitated, then glanced up at Daniel. “How long were you two in the area before getting stranded?”
“We never actually made it to the town.” Daniel shook his head.
Then nobody should be looking for them in the town. It was still a risk, but not a huge one. “Dress warm. Wear scarves you can put over your faces.”
Anna’s stream of chatter kept the silence in the truck from becoming too awkward. He’d let her ride in the front, and she was currently expounding on why Pinkie Pie being her favorite had nothing to do with pink. Matthias’s responses had become monosyllabic before they’d gone the first mile.
Daniel perked up just a little when he noted the town had a mall. Matthias glanced over his shoulder when Daniel sat up straighter to get a better look, then pulled into the mall parking lot. “Movie?” Matthias raised an eyebrow.
“Oooh, can I get popcorn?” Anna started bouncing in her seat.
Matthias glanced at him as they reached the marquee. “What do you want to —”
He rolled his eyes and gestured to where Anna was already ordering them tickets to the new Disney movie. Matthias just sighed and took out his wallet. Daniel found his foul mood starting to evaporate as he watched Anna ordering half the concession stand. Matthias managed to rein her in a little by simply handing her a twenty and telling her that was all she got. Anna retaliated by grabbing up her bounty and turning back to look at them. “What are you two getting?”
“Oh for…” Matthias growled before looking over his shoulder. “Popcorn and coke?”
“Sure.” Daniel smiled.
Matthias shook his head as he carted Anna back to the truck. The girl had fallen asleep on his shoulder after complaining that her feet hurt too much to walk another step. “As much sugar as she ate, she should be carrying us back to the truck.”
“That’s actually a myth.” Daniel shook his head. “Sugar doesn’t really make people hyper. It just got that reputation because kids often just get excited by being allowed to have all the candy they can eat.” He shrugged. “Case in point.”
“It’s not going to hurt her any, is it?” Matthias frowned.
“No.” Daniel grinned as he shook his head. “I mean, not unless she does this every day or anything. But in moderation…” His grin faded a little. “She needed a day like this. Thanks for…” He looked away. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t trying to pry or anything, earlier.”
“I’m not a nice man, Daniel.” Matthias opened the door of the truck, and set Anna into the seat. “That’s why you hired me in the first place.” He looked up at Daniel. “Best you don’t forget that.”
“Well…” Daniel set the bag of toys next to his sister. “Sometimes you make it kind of hard to remember.”
“I did promise her a pony.” Matthias shrugged.
Daniel managed a smile. “You didn’t have to buy her one of each.”
“Yeah…” His voice was quiet as he looked at the sleeping child. Other faces flashed briefly in his mind. Blood and fire. “I did.” He shook his head. “Get in the truck.”
Daniel pulled the lasagna out of the oven, and set it on the table to cool. Anna and Matthias were engaged in another chess match. Based on the cranky look on Matthias’s face, he was losing again. Anna had quickly proved to be a natural at the game. Matthias, at least, had managed to beat her a handful of times. He hadn’t managed it once. For that matter, he hadn’t been able to beat Matthias either.
“Supposed to be above freezing tomorrow.” Matthias looked up at Daniel. “You know how to handle a gun?”
“I, uh…” Daniel shook his head. “I mean, I’m vaguely aware of the concepts involved, but I’ve never held anything more than a water gun.”
“Thought so.” Matthias nodded. “Best you learn the basics. At least how to reload.”
“I was wondering if…” Daniel finished setting the table. “Well, maybe if we shouldn’t see about getting some fake IDs.”
“You said you had a paramedic license?” Matthias raised an eyebrow.
“Yeah.” Daniel nodded.
“Then your prints are in the system.” Matthias shrugged. “Fixable, but pricey.”
“What are we talking?” Daniel frowned. “Five grand or so?”
“Off by a factor of about a hundred there.”
He winced. “Yeah, no way I can come up with that.” He sighed. “Was hoping that if…” He swallowed. “If they’ve lost our trail, maybe I could —”
“They haven’t.” Anna shook her head.
“Been a month.” Matthias raised an eyebrow at her.
“They’ll never stop.” Anna withdrew a little on herself. “They want her and they won’t stop until they get her and we can’t let them get her.” She curled into a little ball on the couch.
“Anna…” Daniel moved over to her, and put his arms around her. “We talked about this. It was just a nightmare.”
“It wasn’t.” Anna shook her head. “It real.”
“Daniel?” Matthias raised an eyebrow.
Daniel sighed. “The other reason we couldn’t go to the cops. Anna…” He held her close, rubbing her back. “Her story about what happened is a little…” He swallowed. “They wouldn’t believe her.”
“Tell me.” Matthias sat back on the couch.
“She said it…” Daniel rubbed her hair.
“They needed a virgin and I was young enough they could be sure.” Tears fell down Anna’s face. “A virgin with a spark.”
“Anna, it was…”
“It wasn’t.” Anna glared up at him. “His eyes glowed, Daniel. They were glowing and chanting and I saw the shadows moving and there were things there. They weren’t people things.”
“Stuff like that isn’t real, Anna.” Daniel sighed. “What happened to you was terrible, and…”
“It was real. Trent has a monster in him.” Anna glared at him through her tears.
“Trent’s a monster, Anna, but not like that.” Daniel tried to pull her to him again.
“Then why does he believe me?” Anna pointed to Matthias.
He turned, and blinked. Matthias was staring at Anna, his face just slightly pale. Daniel felt a chill go down his spine as he realized Anna was right. Matthias believed her.