{chapter four}

It had happened far too quickly for him to think of any retaliation - any form of escape. And what kind of chance did he have to escape those iron fingers, didn't he know how they could grip the circulation out of a limb - the life out of a throat?

This was it. He was gonna die. He stumbled to his knees on the cold, uneven floor of the alley, and stared at the black-clad legs in front of him. Well, I tried, didn't I? he thought. Wish I'd said something different to him. Wish I knew what really rings a bell in that red head of his...

He lifted his head, sharply, staring fully into the man's eyes. They glinted in the dim light of the alley. A half-broken light from a nearby window sliced across the tight planes of the assassin's torso. Reven let his eyes flicker quickly down the man's body, and back up to his set face. He gritted his own teeth and dragged his courage round him like a security blanket. It'd be the last time he looked at that face, he reckoned, unless they met up again somewhere very hot and filled with guys in red with horns...

"Do it then!" he hissed. "Don't make me wait for it - I've done nothing to deserve torture. Just do whatever the fuck you have to, and then step over the pools of fluids I may leave behind me and get on with your work."

Inoue didn't need the lecture; he was indeed doing it. He pulled the mask up over his mouth and nose once more.

Drawing his knife back, he sliced it across the boy's stomach and up his chest, ripping flesh open and sending splashing blood onto the pavement. Again the knife sliced at the boy, and this time it tore down his arm, splashing blood across the wall. Inoue then sheathed his knife in a swift movement and drew his hand back, fisting it. With one accurate swing, it connected with the kid's jaw, and he watched a molar roll on the pavement and settle in one of the pools of blood.

Picking the kid up, he grabbed his knife once more and sliced off a large chunk of hair from the front, dropping that in the blood as well. He then grabbed the kid by the ankles and dragged him down the alley quickly, leaving streaking crimson trails in their wake...

And then he picked the body up and looked the kid over. Good, unconscious. Sighing, Inoue got on his bike, holding the kid in front of him and starting the engine, speeding off into the shadows of the alleys.

His face remained the same calm it had been in the cafe, though now the crease between his brows was more defined as he rode. Hair, a tooth, plenty of blood, drag marks... all of it would be identified as this kid. Others had seen them enter the alley together, they'd heard the noises of a fight. They'd see the signs and naturally, being human, they'd assume the worst; especially about anybody who crossed paths with the Midnight Assassin.

Inoue's reputation was intact, and now he had time to kill off the kid whenever he pleased. For now, perhaps some of that information could be useful.

Reven’s first thought was to wonder why Hell might need a couch, because he seemed to be lying on one. He could feel the cushion under his ass; the back pressing against his neck. It occurred to him he may be in Heaven instead – but then he dismissed that as ridiculous. Sort of life he’d led, that just wasn’t gonna happen. Then he wondered why the fuck he still hurt so much – wouldn’t there be some kinda compensation on death, like all your worldly pain and fear would cease?

Then he realised that he was feeling stuff and that kind of meant he was probably still alive. For a second, it didn’t register properly in his mind. Then a tear crept out of the corner of his eye and trickled down his cheek. He was alive.

But it still hurt like fuck! He felt as if his stomach had been ripped open and then things shoved back in without care for their proper place. He tried to move, and was shocked at how everything screamed complaint at him. His back felt scraped raw – his arm felt numb, and twice its usual size. His eyes peeled open slowly, their stickiness eased by his unconscious tears. He instinctively expected to be lying in a pool of blood, but everything looked clean around him. He wondered if the pressure around his torso was some kind of bandaging. Wondered why he needed it.

He struggled to make his mind work properly, as sharply as it should. Where was he? What the hell had happened?

His memory flashed a horrific scene. The shine of night on a blade – the glint in a soulless eye – the thump of fear in his belly. The sudden piercing of skin, the soaking sweat of despair.

And then nothing more. His mind rebelled from remembering anything else.

He bit hard at his lip to prevent his groans, and tried to move himself to look round. He was in a large room, looking like someone’s apartment, though it could have been some kind of showroom for all its emptiness; hardly any furniture, just the couch he was on and a couple of chairs. A table – a desk against the wall; thick, full-length curtains, and blinds as well, all in a pale, bland shade. A rug on the polished wooden floor; a number of doors, presumably to other rooms or the exit, all firmly shut. No pictures, no photos, no evidence of anyone’s occupation.

Seems to be Hell after all, he thought miserably. If he had a place like this, it’d be very different indeed. But as he seemed to veer from one near-death experience to another, that was also never gonna happen, was it?

The sound reached him before anything else. The slightest brush of air – a creak of wood underfoot. Someone else was here with him. He bit back a sob. He had no defences at the moment. He was vulnerable to anything – and anyone.

Upon hearing noise in the other room, Inoue paused his training—he remained perfectly still, with one foot high in the air and his torso down low by the ground. The soft patter of his sweat dripping onto the sparring mats was the only noise he made for a moment as he debated going to check on the kid. Releasing a held breath slowly, he stood back in an upright position and took three more breaths in and out to relax himself and get out of the killing mode.

Bowing his head and closing his eyes to clear out the last of the adrenaline, he then lifted his head once more and strode to the living room where he’d left the brat. The redhead entered the room and moved to stand before his Guest by Force, revealing himself as present. Red hair remained bound up at the top of his head so it didn’t get in his way, and all he wore were white bandages wrapped from halfway down his forearm to his knuckles for sparring, and a pair of skin-tight black pants for training and flexibility. Beads of sweat trickled down his bare upper body as he stared at the kid, evaluating.

He didn’t seem harmed too badly; Inoue had struck to bleed, not to kill. Plus he’d done a perfect job of binding and cleaning the wounds, so the kid didn’t really have much to complain about. The redhead’s chest rose and sank slowly, the muscles glistening with a light sheen of sweat in the low light of the apartment. He stared at the boy until they had eye contact and waited for useless garbage to be spouted at him as this one had habit of doing.

Reven felt the assassin even before he saw him - the goose bumps rose on his skin. He had no idea why he'd brought him here, nor why he was still alive, nor...


He was in his apartment obviously. He was totally at his mercy. Totally alone and defenceless.

Reven would have wondered if things could get any worse, but of course they kept doing just that.

He struggled up to a sitting position and forced his eyes to open fully. The assassin stood there, just a foot or so away from him, just out of striking range. Reven could feel fury from the man, but it was an icy feeling, not heated. It chilled him through to his marrow. He tried to read the emotion in the man's eyes, but found none. His eyes flickered over the body in front of him - he'd never seen him in anything but a total cloak of black clothing. Spectacular, he thought, admiring the perfect physique and the muscles just calming from some exercise or another. He felt thin and weak in front of him.

Yet so scarred - so horribly injured. His eyes traced the worst scar on the assassin's body, a wide, jagged swipe across his belly. It hugged the side of his tight abdomen - the end of it ran down into the top of the man's pants. Reven fought off an urge to run his fingertip down the scar - to run the sweat of his palm down the taut flesh, down into those pants that were like a second skin. He wanted to touch the assassin - he wanted to stroke the marks of his business. And yet he wanted to hurt him, too! Angrily, fiercely, mercilessly -!

Reven coughed, convulsively. He felt panic come over him. He wanted to say something - to plead his case again, to search for some tolerance in this man. To find out where the fuck the exit was, to get out while he still could -

Instead, he felt the familiar cold feeling washing over him. "I'm sorry," he said, simply, trying to raise a hand to his face, but he was too stiff, too awkward. "I'm gonna be sick. Like now!"

Inoue sighed and picked the kid up by the only clothing he'd left on the smaller body-his pants. He carried the dark-haired boy swiftly by the back of the pants and into the bathroom, where he dropped him unceremoniously in front of the toilet. Taking a seat on the counter beside the sink, the redhead watched and waited. He didn't have time for babysitting, but really there was no way to get information out of a person if there was vomit pouring out of them instead of words.

He waited until the kid seemed reasonably finished, and picked up a box of tissue from the counter, throwing it at the kid's head. It hit and landed on the floor beside the toilet, waiting for him to use it and wipe himself up. Inoue admired his bandaging work on the kid idly as he waited; he was out of practice for bandaging another party, though he was damn near perfect at doing it for himself. There weren't even blood stains showing through-- the kid was disinfected, cleaned and bound better than any half-assed nurse's job might be.

Reven felt better having lost the contents of his stomach. He'd not appreciated being hauled up and across the apartment like a kitten in a big cat's mouth, but it had shaken him up a little, and his limbs felt a little more like his own now. As he crouched over the bowl, cleaning off his mouth, he felt cautiously around himself. He couldn't believe he'd suffered such wounds but seemed both alive and also cleaned up. The bandaging he'd felt was all over his torso, and also down his arm. Only his legs seemed unharmed, though he could feel skinned knees and bruised thighs underneath his pants. He had no other clothes left, it seemed.

He lifted his head, shaking back his long black hair. It was thick with dirt and sweat, but it still swung easily around his shoulders and down his spine. He drew a deep breath. "I know you're there," he said. "I know you want rid of me. I guess the only thing I have to bargain for and with is a few hours of life. Am I right?" He turned, to look up at the watching assassin, then clutched the toilet and hauled himself up to his feet. "It's OK, I won't make a fuss or anything. Life's a bitch, and then you die, right? And I'm on borrowed time. Tell me what you want to know - take notes, whatever. I'll tell you whatever I can, and then you can dump me back wherever you like."

He felt the jagged spikes of pain all over his body, but he was fucked if he was going to cry or whine in front of this automaton. "Come on then!" he said, sharply. "Just some water, that's all I ask. If that's not too much trouble." Like fuck it is, he thought wearily. The man's life was a bloody, lonely, violent, shocking thing. He wouldn't appreciate anything that caused him to deviate from his plans - from his total control.

Inoue picked up one of the clean rinsing glasses from beside the sink and placed it on the edge of the counter beside his thigh, then drew his hand away once more, watching the kid. It was unusual to see a body in his apartment-- it kept sending tingles down Inoue's spine.

Somebody making noise, moving about, jarring his senses over and over... it was a strange stimulus. The kid was right though, he was bargaining with borrowed time. Inoue should have killed him back in the event hall of the hotel. He was annoyed with himself for these weird feelings and... intrigues about the kid.

Also, there was a faint throb in his veins; a hum of constant pressure, the tight strings of sexual tension he was sure he wasn't the only one feeling. The continuous way the boy looked him up and down was obvious, and for Inoue, somebody in his home automatically meant he was going to or currently sleeping with them, since he was a boy. Memories poked hard at him but he ignored them and the tightening in his gut at the idea of pushing the kid over the counter and fucking him raw.

Where had his professionalism gone? It had been creeping away with each encounter where he let this boy, this piece of trash live-- and now that they were in the apartment together, it was out the window. He watched the kid drink and waited.

Reven wondered if he could get some food out of the man before he killed him for good. Something decent to drink, maybe, though the guy didn't look like he did any noxious substances of any kind. He could feel the assassin's eyes on him as he drank. He took his time - let the water run gently round his mouth, then dribble down his throat. He stretched his head back a little as he swallowed; knowing the pale skin would tighten up over his jaw, and down the tendons to where it joined his body. He was rather alarmed at his fascination with the man - and the way that his half-naked body seemed to nag at reactions in Reven that were way too stupid.

Guy probably never fucks, he thought, taking another sip. It'd interfere with his concentration. He couldn't help it, his eyes strayed to the assassin's groin. Allowing for the fact he was unaroused, he still looked pretty big. Reven liked girls. Reven also liked boys. And men liked Reven - he knew that. It had always been the way. The thought of this man liking him, though, was one that was more scary than thrilling.

His hand shook slightly, and some of the water spilled on to his bare chest, above the bandages. He felt the drops dribble down the channel of his ribs, and he caught the assassin's eyes there too. He sucked in a breath - he didn't dare wipe it away.

This was too weird. He had maybe hours to live - and yet he was looking at this man like he wanted him to take him; wanted him to use him however he pleased. And he, Reven, would welcome it.

This was the man who was going to kill him.

"OK," he said again, pleased that his voice didn't betray his shocking thoughts. "So the first two men are brothers, and they spend every week day in the same house. I know their cook - they share an unusual food fetish, so the time to catch them is at their dinner time. The next man lives on the other side of town - but every Wednesday he visits his mistress, just three blocks from Hellman's place. She likes a certain kind of chocolates, and I know the delivery boy." He couldn't help smiling - the boy was as sweet as his chocolates, though never as bold a flavour. "The next two share the same barber, and they could probably be persuaded to take appointments close to each other, though they must never meet." He tried to catch his breath - he didn’t know if the assassin was even listening, let alone finding anything useful.

The kid seemed even more interested in Inoue’s cock the longer he was left to ramble and look about as he pleased. Unmoving, he listened to the constant babble, memorizing the information and adding it to his current game plan. He knew most of the men on the list already, and while the brat had been asleep he’d researched on the ones he didn’t, their frequented routes, their jobs, their families and their habits. Every once in a while the kid would say something useful, and Inoue ticked off a little checkmark in his head.

When the brat seemed finished, Inoue said blandly, “Name?”

Reven, the kid answered. Strange as fuck name for a strange as fuck kid. It fit. He got off the counter and took the glass from Reven, then grabbed hold of the boy’s pants at the back again, carrying both items through the apartment to the kitchen. There, he put the glass down, then proceeded to the bedroom, where he tossed the kid on the bed roughly.

His mind had been made up during the walk from bathroom to bedroom.

Reven had very little use as an informant, though admittedly he had some, and if Inoue was going to waste his time babysitting the little cunt he might as well get other use out of him as well. It had been years since he’d even gotten hard; he didn’t masturbate any more. He found it a waste of time when he could be doing other things, and over the months he’d near forgotten that one could satisfy oneself should the desire arise, what with all the assignments he’d been taking on lately.

Sexuality sacrificed for legendry. He didn’t care.

But, since the opportunity was here, and Reven was going to die anyhow, he figured he might as well take it. Inoue reached around the boy to his front and unzipped the ratty pants, yanking them down and pulling them off, along with the underwear. With only bandages as clothing left on the smaller body, Inoue reached for his own pants and unfastened them, pulling them off as well.

He grabbed hold of Reven’s hips and forced them up into the air, propped on his knees, then leaned down, slicking his tongue between pale cheeks and over the tight entrance found there. He lapped over it several times before plunging his tongue in without warning or care for the boy’s opinion on this. Inoue thrust his tongue into the warm body only a few times before drawing away again and taking hold of his hardening length.

This is it. Fuck him, then kill him. No more playing.

He thrust into the boy hard, and didn’t give him time to adjust—the assassin began to pump into the tight body quickly, gritting his teeth as he felt his heart rate and breathing speed up once more.

Reven felt the man’s cock split him open, forcing wide the muscles that were used to a more considerate approach nowadays. He bit back his cry of pain. It wasn’t as if he hadn’t been taken like this in the past – wasn’t as if he hadn’t asked for it now, right?

He leant down on his arms, the injured one barely holding him, and he buried his head in the covers. He was damned sure he wasn’t going to cry. He had no right to have expected any compassion from the assassin. He felt the strength of the man in his grip on his hips, the heat of his body as he fucked him so aggressively. Maybe he hadn’t done it for a while – maybe his fucking was always like his murderous attacks. Reven would have liked to have seen the man’s face as he was taken, but that was an indulgence he had no rights to. His body was jerked back and forth on the bed, the covers catching up under his bruised knees, and the blood throbbing mercilessly again through his fresh wounds.

Not a single word from him, he thought, bitterly. Not a sound – of pleasure or not. His head hammered and he felt sick again as the assassin started to tense behind him. Despite the discomfort, he felt the stirrings of excitement in his own body – but there was no way the man cared anything for his satisfaction. And he needed all his own strength just to keep himself upright. His half erect cock bobbed painfully and with frustration between his straining legs, and he felt the cock inside him swell and start to spit its climax up into his tight channel. The assassin’s hands gripped even more painfully, and one of them reached up to Reven’s hair, the fingers curling themselves tightly in amongst the grubby locks and wrenching at them as he came.

The cock was pulled out of him, and Reven was pushed down further on to the bed. He rolled slowly on to his side, feeling the new aches in his body, panting slightly with it all. The assassin hadn’t moved back from the bed yet – he was adjusting himself carelessly, wiping a stray thread of seed from his belly, his cock lying against his thigh, still impressive even as it turned limp. Reven risked a glance up at him. The magnificent body stood there calmly, the heaving of his chest relaxing now, the shine of sweat cooling at his throat. The scars criss-crossed his torso, a couple of them raised a little with his exertions. The harsh, handsome face looked a little flushed, and the darkness in the eyes quivered with the hint of things he hadn’t seen before. Reven wanted to ask his name, but he knew he’d be scorned.

He wanted something from him, though, not just the satisfaction of his momentary hunger and the trail of his seed running down between his legs. Like a last request, right? he thought, mournfully.

He twisted his body slowly and painfully. He needed to be swift, but he didn’t want the guy to strike at him, thinking he was attacking. He knelt up on the bed, nursing his bad arm as he did, until he was almost face to face with the standing man. He put out a hand to the assassin’s head, and ran his fingers through the bright red hair. It surprised him how soft it was. It felt good against his palm. He felt the man tense.

“I wanted to know your name,” he said, hoarsely. “But I guess it’s of no use to me now.”

He was overcome with a sudden boldness that he knew he’d regret. But then – what the fuck did he have to lose? His fingers tightened in the hair and he tugged the head a little towards him. At the same time he lifted his own face and touched his lips to the full, angry mouth that had never spoken his name in return, although he’d told it to him. He had a fleeting impression of soft, rich flesh, and felt a damp breath of fury and shock. The taste of a deep, hidden passion – and the taste of death.

He sank back to the bed, completely spent.

[end chapter four]