Sabretooth: Blood Song – Chapter 9 – Pull the Stars from the Sky

I got my head but my head is unraveling
Can’t keep control can’t keep track of where it’s traveling
I got my heart but my heart’s no good
You’re the only one that’s understood

I come along but I don’t know where you’re taking me
I shouldn’t go but you’re wrenching dragging shaking me
turn off the sun pull the stars from the sky
the more I give to you the more I die

And I want you
and I want you
and I want you
You are the perfect drug
the perfect drug
the perfect drug

You make me hard when I’m all soft inside
I see the truth when I’m all stupid-eyed
the arrow goes straight through my heart
without you everything just falls apart

My blood just wants to say hello to you
my fear is warm to get inside of you
my soul is so afraid to realize
how every little bit is left of me

And I want you
and I want you
and I want you
You are the perfect drug
the perfect drug
the perfect drug

Take me with you
Take me with you
Take me with you
Without you
without you everything falls apart
Without you
it’s not as much fun to pick up the pieces

~ The Perfect Drug (Nine Inch Nails)

*****************************************************************

“Brought ya a prop, Morph,” Victor announced as he entered the west suite at Claudette’s. It was technically afternoon, just barely, but that was apparently quite early for the metamorph. “Ya need coffee?”

“I’m fine. Victor, I’m sorry – I never meant to upset you … before.”

“Blood under tha bridge – just lemme pick tha shape an’ we’ll get along fine.” He smirked as he took his prize out of the filmy gift bag he hadn’t asked for at the fancy shop near the hotel that morning. “I gotta new one in mind, an’ ya need t’ wear this.” He tossed it to the boy where he was sitting naked on the wide window seat.

The bottle was made of metal, glass, and black rubber, filled with a clear liquid. It looked like a hockey puck with a handle, or a tire ripped off of a car with half of the axle still attached. Stamped into the rubber were the words Bvlgari Black.

“Stark.” Morph’s posture slumped a little.

“Anticipatin’ tha client’s needs – I like that.”

“Please don’t call yourself that. You know you mean more to me than this.”

“It’s a transaction, boy. Clock’s tickin’ an’ it’s game on.”

“So you’re still angry with me – for how long?” His hand fisted around the bottle.

“Let’s wing it. Splash some o’ that on fer realism an’ suit up.”

Morpheus sighed and rose to his feet. “Metal suit or tux – or less?”

Victor arched an eyebrow at him. “I’m sensin’ ya get this request a lot?”

“Yes. It’s actually changed the demographic of how many female clients I get. You could call it ‘in the top five’ of requests from women, and some of the men, ever since Iron Man hit the national news.”

Victor crossed his arms over his chest. “Good. Practice makes perfect. Don’t want Iron Man, though – just Stark. Black bespoke suit, black shirt, red silk tie – feel free t’ fill in tha blanks fer tha rest.”

He held his breath as the change began – it was hard not to. When Morph’s Tony stood before him in the beautifully tailored suit, he sprayed the cologne on his hand before setting the bottle on the window seat. He rubbed the hands together and patted his – Tony’s – face, as if just completing a shave. The eyes changed last, and with the cologne helping things along, he could almost believe it.

“Hi,” Tony’s bright voice greeted him. He looked Victor up and down in his boots, coat, tight jeans, and yellow Monty Python t-shirt, the lips quirking into that infamous flirty smirk. “Love the shirt.”

Victor crossed the room so fast that his braid swayed and struck his hip. He took the sides of that pretty face in his large hands and held him still for a kiss. Considering Morph’s mood and feelings for him, the whole experience was better than he thought it could be.

When he let him have air, Tony looked up at him and the expression was full of wonder and fascination. “Are we lovers, then? Or do you want to be cruel?”

The illusion was almost perfect. Victor didn’t let his face go, studying the warm brown eyes. He smelled like Morph wearing Stark’s cologne, though – and the knowledge that the person looking back at him wasn’t the man he wanted him to be sparked his anger again. No matter how alluring the look of adoration and lust became on that pretty face, he knew it was a lie.

“Gonna fuck ya, flyboy – while we’re wingin’ it.” He picked him up and tossed him onto the canopied bed. “Strip it down – let’s compare notes on how that looks. If anythin’s a bit foggy, I got pics on my phone – happy t’ help.”

The clothes disappeared into the body, with the hands pressed over his chest. He didn’t need the photos. “Reactor?”

Victor hesitated. “Naw, listen – bring tha top o’ the suit back.” He moved to grab pillows and stuffed them under the hips at the edge of the foot of the bed. “We’re gonna recreate a moment – feet up here.” He allowed the boy to watch as he hauled his dick out, but then ordered, “That tie should be playin’ blindfold.”

This time, he was able to sink deep when he’d opened him and Stark wasn’t afraid. He moaned and writhed with genuine lust and passion as Victor fucked him, and it felt so good that it was easier to forget it wasn’t real.

~ ~ ~

That evening, wearing a gray Hugo Boss suit and a white silk tie, he shadowed the actual Tony Stark at the hotel. During the conference events, it was easy to blend into the crowds and trail him from a discreet distance. Afterward, when the parties started, Stark ditched all of his handlers and returned to his suite alone.

Victor went to Danelek’s room, opened his connecting door, and flopped onto the perfectly remade bed so he could stare at the locked suite door and be tempted all to hell.

Keeping his ears focused on the sound of Stark moving through the suite, he flinched when his phone rang in his pocket. Growling, he yanked it out and stared at Stark’s contact photo. With a raised eyebrow, he answered it.

“My toaster’s swell so far.”

“Are you still in Chicago?”

Victor wasn’t sure how to answer that. Edinburgh had been an utter lie and this man wouldn’t be easy to dupe. Also, gauging what he’d want to hear was next to impossible. Rolling the dice by the slight note of need in his tone, Victor sat up.

“Gotta go soon, ain’t left yet.”

“If you waited, say … a day or two…”

The effort not to purr into the phone nearly choked him. “Why would I do that?”

“I need to stay – get back on the horse, all those ridiculous sayings… I can’t tell anyone. What happened … I can’t, but you already know half of it and I’ll … owe you two – if you stay until after this tedious conference is over.”

“Meet with me, face t’ face.”

“I can’t.”

“Then why’s it matter t’ ya if I stay?”

“A device I brought is missing. I can’t sleep…”

“I killed ‘im, Stark. Ya can relax.” He got up and went to the door that separated them. Tony was pacing at a distance, likely in the living room. He could hear a mechanical click and whine. Some part o’ tha suit?

“Yes – yeah … of course. No, you’re right, never mind. Enjoy some haggis for me.”

“Not goin’ t’ Europe yet, moved tha schedule. Don’t really see tha point if ya won’t meet up, but … I’ll stay. Ya know, most folks want me outta tha city they’re in currently.”

“I can imagine.” Stark began to tap his fingers on something in a nervous staccato rhythm. “The device disappeared after the intruder was here. So he’s been here twice – or there’s more than one.”

Victor couldn’t connect himself to the paparazzi’s death and he had his lie ready that the intruder had stolen Sammy Tucker’s phone, but this was Tony-fucking-Stark and giving him that phone was probably idiotic.

Can’t be changed now… Wouldn’t be wise t’ bring up Danelek neither, since they had a prior history. Ain’t no severed head I can lay at Stark’s feet t’ prove he’s safe. “Maybe it was stolen tha same night. Tha way ya keep joints like that hoppin’ back an’ forth t’ tha booze locker t’ drag up more bottles ain’t gonna make ya tha most observant fella in tha buildin’.”

“I need to sleep. I can’t do that here.”

Victor smirked. That was a problem he could solve. “Will they think it’s weird if ya shack up with some sycophant from one o’ those drunken nerd parties an’ take ‘em t’ their room?”

“I generally do that on my own turf…”

“Well change yer norm fer once. Pick up some tasty piece an’ go sleep in ‘er room. Ya wouldn’t be alone an’ any leftover bad guys won’t have a clue where t’ find ya.”

“I suppose that could work…”

“Ain’t ya missin’ tha parties ya need t’ go fishin’ in?”

“Yeah.” He let out a huff of breath and Victor could almost hear the metaphorical bootstraps being pulled up. “Yeah. Thanks for sticking around – pointless or not.”

“Wouldn’t be pointless if I staked out yer suite t’night, see if anythin’ comes creepin’ –”

“That won’t fly. No offense, but I can’t allow that.”

“Suit yerself. Call if ya want – or if ya get brave, tell me where t’ meet ya. Breakfast could be on me.”

“I have to go.”

“‘Course ya do.”

~ ~ ~

“Hello, Mr. Creed,” a friendly female voice called out to him from between the parked cars.

He looked up and recognized Yvette, about to get into a car that had seen better days. Grateful to see a smile pointed his way, he went over and offered a hand to help her into her car. “Hiya, Yvette.”

“Thanks. I have to ask, and I’m sorry if it’s far too forward or completely off base … but you aren’t a banker, are you?”

Victor grinned. “Nope. Let’s call it real estate. If yer curious, I’ll tell ya this much – I need people t’ take care o’ my properties now an’ then. They get paid handsomely t’ live there, an’ tha job is just keepin’ tha place up an’ keepin’ it stocked. Once in a blue moon, I might could need ‘em t’ vacate fer a few days or longer, while I gotta be there. Unless they don’t mind stickin’ ‘round an’ bein’ comp’ny a bit – that’s it. I’m rarely in one spot fer long.”

“So it would involve relocating – anywhere interesting?”

“North an’ South America, Mexico, Europe, Canada, Russia – Japan … an’ South Korea – plus a new house in Vietnam an’ one on tha coast o’ Queensland, in Australia. Wanna buy an island in Antarctica, can’t find anybody willin’ t’ sell t’ me – yet.”

She managed to cover her surprise well. “I would have to discuss the idea with my husband.”

“Wish ya would. Be a pleasure t’ have ya.”

“Why me?”

“Folks that can take me in stride an’ treat me like a regular person are a rare thing.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. I’ll bring it up after dinner.”

Victor smiled. “Drive home safe.”

He drove home himself, resisting the urge to return to Morpheus and indulge in more games. He changed into soft lounge pants with a drawstring and nothing else, took the braid out of his hair, and went to find Lenusya with his phone clutched in hand – just in case.

She was reading in the library with a thick blanket over her legs as she sat on one end of a large brown suede couch. A leather-bound book of Shakespeare plays was held in her wrinkled fingers. Without a word shared between them, he laid down on the rest of the couch on his side and once she moved the book up, he put his head in her lap. The book settled on his shoulder and some of the fingers began to stroke and play with his hair.

“How are you now?” she whispered.

“I’m alive.”

“Have you eaten? I could get you something.”

“Not hungry.”

“Did you go to see Stark again?”

“Yup. He’s a fine distraction, but in a frustratin’ way. What’re ya readin’?” He let her take the phone and set it on the end table for him.

“The Tempest – it reminds me of you.”

Victor grunted. “Stark won’t meet with me, even though he asked me t’ stay in tha city ‘til he leaves, cuz ‘is suite intruder freaked ‘im out.”

“That’s only fair, since the intruder was you.”

“Didn’t do nothin’ t’ ‘im, not really – nothin’ he didn’t want. Only got upset when he realized I wasn’t who he thought he was with.”

“Did you bed him?”

“Played ‘just tha tip’ – guess maybe it was after he freaked out… He didn’t know it was me, though – tha blindfold was ‘is idea before I got there.”

“Victor … I know you don’t understand a lot of social nuances, but … that is rape, my darling.”

“Wasn’t, didn’t hurt ‘im – could’ve, but didn’t.”

“Physical hurt isn’t the only kind; I know you understand that. Do you want to hurt and terrify him?”

Victor frowned. “No.”

“You like him, you have for years. I’d guess you want him to see … you … as more than just an assassin. How does he make you feel?”

He sighed, relaxing a little with her fingers in his hair. “He turns me inside out. That song Perfect Drug, Nine Inch Nails – he does that t’ me.”

“So that’s why you’re trying to help him, even if you caused the problem he’s having.”

“Killed a man who wanted t’ hire me t’ kill Stark – second time that happened, too. Then took out ‘nother who wanted t’ sell nudie pics o’ tha man t’ a rag mag. Stark asked me t’ hunt an’ kill tha intruder – he actually said ‘make it hurt’. Even I can’t kill me, ‘parently, but takin’ out tha others fer ‘im oughta count. I got ‘is back an’ he knows it, but he won’t meet up.”

Lenusya flipped a few pages in her book. When she read some of it aloud, he sighed again.

“‘Hear my soul speak. Of the very instant that I saw you, did my heart fly at your service.’ Ferdinand to his Miranda.” Her fingers brushed down a sideburn. “Whatever your reasons why – there is no shame in how you feel. If you want something to ever have a chance to grow from it, however – you have to give the man the choice.”

“Ain’t love sweet love,” he retorted, barely holding in a growl. “Dunno even what tha fuck that entails. Thought I wanted t’ try t’ find out…”

“With the girl in New York – the one Ruth called about?”

“Yeah… She’s gone – dead end. Then I fucked everythin’ up with Tabs… Just wanna forget how it felt. Don’t need it anyhow. ‘Sides, it ain’t nothin’ but a way fer people t’ control ya.”

Gently, she shushed him. “Don’t worry about all of that.”

“Now Stark… That’s gone south so fast, gotta wonder if I fuckin’ dreamed it.”

“Do you know what you want from him?”

“Wanna fuck tha man.”

“As a notch in your belt, or something more? It doesn’t have to be ‘love’, neither of us are much interested in that, but sex … with someone you actually want, can be sublime.”

Memories of Bonnie crowded in at her words, but he pushed them away. Happy t’ take obsessive frustration with Stark over obsessive numb apathy any day. “Friends with bennies wouldn’t suck…”

“So you want to fuck him, and perhaps … be fucked by him?”

Victor closed his eyes. He knew she never judged, but it was still hard to discuss some things. “Yeah…” he whispered. “Want that.”

“There is no reason you can’t try. Not so long ago, he never would have called you or asked you for a favor.”

“When he ain’t bein’ an arrogant popinjay prick, Stark tries t’ be civil – with or without sarcasm – cuz that’s just how he is, but he don’t like me none. I know when I’m playin’ ‘convenient fiend’ by now.”

“He doesn’t know you. If he did, perhaps –”

“‘Familiarity breeds contempt’.” A low growl thrummed deep in his chest. “Need t’ quit chasin’ these fuckin’ white hats – they take one look at a rap sheet an’ rep an’ walk off with their noses in tha air.”

“Is that what the X-Force girl did? Perrin told me a different story.”

“Perrin should hush ‘bout my biz.”

“You are our business, darling.”

“Stark ain’t never gonna want me. It don’t matter. It don’t…”

“It may not, if you don’t want it to – but if you want him to feel differently about you, you’ll need to treat him differently.”

“I stopped…” he muttered. The memory was changing from gleeful semi-conquest to confusion and a strange feeling of loss.

“I’m glad you did.” Her fingers stroked his hair from his eyes. “Do you want to ask about any of it?”

“He wanted it, was sayin’ t’ come on, sayin’ he needed it – so I started t’ give ‘im what he wanted. He just freaked. Then ‘is handlers were bangin’ on tha damn door an’ he was afraid… Before that, ‘is scent, ‘is heat … it wasn’t a plan, t’ do it – ‘is heat drove me mad fer it – t’ have ‘im.”

“Darling, I’m sorry – I wish your instincts wouldn’t tangle you up like that. He was afraid because he agreed to be with someone and then they were gone and he didn’t know who was there, or if they would injure or kill him. There was that mess in Afghanistan… It’s possible no one knows everything that happened to him there except him. That information you found out, about Stane – that man was a father figure, someone trusted. He stole the reactor right out of Stark’s chest and left him to die.”

“Guess I can see that…”

“Also, the rest of us without healing factors have many other fears, such as whether we may be infected with a disease – some of which have no cure, and they can kill you. Of course, you can’t catch, carry, or pass on any sort of disease, but he doesn’t know that. He doesn’t know you wouldn’t kill him, or harm him to steal his technology. For all he knew, that intruder could have done any of those things.”

Victor’s body tensed. He could still remember the heat driving him on and how Stark’s fear hadn’t stopped him – only the fear of injuring him had. Bonnie was dead and he’d wrecked things with Tabitha before he knew he wanted her. If he had already ruined any chance he had with Stark…

“I think that’s enough of that topic – you’re strung tight as wire. Lie on your back.”

He shifted without question. When her hand slipped inside the drawstring pants and began to softly stroke his half-awake cock, he let his eyes close and focused on his breathing. The touch was far too light to make him come, but it did help him relax. He heard her put the book down on the end table and then her other hand was stroking his hair.

“If I pass out an’ start t’ twitch, get outta range,” he murmured.

“Hush… Try to sleep.”

~ ~ ~

Victor was woken by his phone. Lenusya had disappeared and Stark was calling.

His stomach swooped in a feeling not unlike nausea, but the healing factor did nothing to fix it. Taking a deep breath, he settled back and tried to sound unconcerned.

“Whattaya need?” he asked.

“Wow, I woke you up. Sorry…”

“Don’t care, Stark – told ya t’ call if ya needed t’.” His pulse kicked up a beat at the sound of that bright fast voice.

“I just got back to my suite, your plan was genius, actually slept – wanted to tell you I shouldn’t hold you up. I’ll stay at the conference today, but then I’m going back to California.”

Victor struggled to sit up and wake up. “Don’t release tha suite ‘til yer original checkout date.”

“Why?”

“If ya wanna know who’s been in it, I can find out fer ya if I can catch a scent. Maybe even get yer doo-hickey back.”

“‘Doo-hickey’…? The signal box is probably long gone and sold to the highest black market bidder. Some big hunt for it isn’t necessary, I can make a new one; I just … wanted to say thanks. We can go back to being sarcastically distant reluctant acquaintances now, since you’ll need time to decide on a toaster upgrade and I need to get back to work.”

Victor frowned as his ears pinned and eyes narrowed. “Ya got me up at,” he moved the phone to glance at the clock on its face, “six o’clock in tha bleedin’ mornin’ t’ tell me ‘go away, ya bother me’?”

“And ‘thank you’, also… I have to clean up, find some spare sobriety, and get to a speech by ten o’clock or people I care about will skin me.”

“Lemme guess, in tha cold light o’ mornin’ after a decent sleep, ya remembered yer man card was in jeopardy so now ya gotta stand up on yer hind legs an’ blow off tha criminal element before somebody notices?”

“Ah … no, just saying you don’t need to concern yourself now and thanks for the help. Sorry I woke you up.”

Victor opened his mouth for a scathing reply, but Stark hung up on him. It wasn’t even an angry hanging up – hard to do with these little palm-sized phones anyway – but more like an indifferent busy man hang up. Growling, he dropped the phone onto the couch beside him and flopped back.

Finally noticing a white scrap of paper on the end table with his name on it, he picked it up. Lenusya’s pretty loops and swirls handwriting had written a phone number and a short phrase of explanation. He muttered it out loud.

“Goldilocks has questions.” Under that, she had added her assessment: that she liked the person a lot. It was practically code for carte blanche between them. He set the paper by his phone.

Thoughts of Stark persisted, but staring at the bookshelves didn’t give him any answers, and calling the man back just to chew him out sounded like something some needy bitch would do.

Already been whinin’ like a moonstruck useless skirt. He stretched, scratched his balls absently, and went back to staring at the books as time crawled by. I’m keepin’ that fuckin’ signal box. It can be payment fer services rendered.

Glaring at his phone, he noticed the paper again. Stark didn’t need him anymore but Goldilocks likely did, and it was finally a more humane hour to call a person. Willing to take any distraction at that point, he dialed the number, kept the chatter short and to the point, and made a breakfast date.

Better than goin’ back t’ tha hotel an’ sniffin’ after that arrogant bastard like I’m whipped or somethin’. Maybe I’ll call on Morph after breakfast an’ see if he’s in tha mood t’ be slapped ‘round wearin’ Stark’s face. Every masochist boy’s wet dream…

He got up with a grunt, grabbed the phone and paper, and headed for a shower.

Gonna dress t’ tha nines, one o’ tha bespoke suits, maybe – show tha li’l gal tha sorta life she could have. Maybe I’ll even bring ‘er a present. Hellfire, might just give ‘er Danelek’s briefcase cash an’ take ‘er shoppin’ before we go t’ breakfast.

In the shower, he jacked off twice, just to wear the edge down from both anger at Stark and the heat his voice alone had sparked. By the time he was rinsing shaving cream off of his neck, wearing a towel around his hips and another over his shoulders with his hair rolled in it, he heard Lenusya coming into the master suite. She arrived and leaned in the bathroom doorway in time to watch him put Agua Brava cologne on.

“Considering the cost of the suit you laid out, you could let me choose a more expensive cologne to match it.”

Victor glanced at her in the mirror and saw a mussed and tired teenage girl with a ponytail dressed in a fluffy green robe. “I like this stuff, it smells like tha woods o’ home.”

“So are you meeting your Goldilocks or going to see Stark?”

“Done with Stark. Gotta breakfast date with Goldilocks, might take ‘er shoppin’ first.”

“May I make a suggestion?”

He took his wet hair out of the towel and began to rub it dry. “Shoot.”

“Switch the black for something more striking. Your companion is fond of color and making heads turn.”

Victor smirked at her. “If ya wanna play dress up with yer feral paper doll, get outta tha underage years first – ain’t strippin’ down with ya lookin’ like that.”

“Very well. I’ll be in your dressing room laying out your clothes. You’re going to let me put your hair up, too.”

“Picky broads,” Victor muttered, trying to keep a grin off of his face.

When she returned, she was a Russian June Cleaver again with salt and pepper hair. Victor turned the stout wooden chair she brought backwards and sat on it with arms folded on the back. He set his broad cleft chin on his crossed wrists and let her do whatever she wanted with his hair. It took longer to get it dry than it did to put it up. He scrunched lower on the chair with pinned ears while she had the hairdryer blowing a racket around his head.

“Moments like this make me wonder if you would run from a vacuum cleaner.”

“Hardee har. Hate those air guns.”

She pulled the middle of the length upward and wound it into a bun higher up at the back of his skull than he typically did himself, and set it with the new hair stick blades she had given him last Christmas. He started to get up, but she pressed down on one shoulder to keep him there and began bringing out selected locks to be loose from the bun on the sides. They would hang down around his shoulders with the ends of the length of it at his back. From the front, it looked like he’d cut about four feet of it off and gave him a decent freedom of movement without cutting it at all.

“It don’t hide tha ears.”

“We aren’t trying to hide anything. Don’t put on any bones, teeth, or any of that ‘barbarian couture’, either.”

“Have it yer way,” he groused, though secretly pleased. She probably knew it. He got up and handed her the towel, walking off nude to go dress. When he appeared downstairs with Danelek’s briefcase, Lenusya met him in the foyer. She was still in the bathrobe, but carrying one of her king’s ransom big purses. “Well?” he asked.

She smiled and approached. “You look quite able to turn every head you pass.”

Victor smirked. She had chosen the newest arrival from Huntsman, one of his favorite tailors in London at 11 Savile Row. Companies that were older than him were often his favorite. It was a plum double-breasted bespoke suit with a teal shirt. The tie was plum and teal in a geometric pattern, with a pocket handkerchief. The tie tack and cufflinks were amethysts set in platinum. He was holding his Luxuriator sunglasses and the keys to the silver Aston Martin V12 Vanquish in his other hand.

Lenusya took the briefcase and he followed her to the lounge. She placed the cash inside the fancy purse. “You can’t expect a lady to lug that man thing around.”

“I def ain’t luggin’ a purse, neither.”

She chuckled. “I’ll put it in the car for you.”

Victor kissed her cheek and let her follow him out to the garage.

~ ~ ~

Goldilocks was perfectly coiffed and poised in yellow chiffon to the knee with blonde curls cascading around her shoulders over the white mink coat. A delicate cream-colored scarf adorned her throat and not one man around them knew she was a male – they were too busy staring at her long legs, or her slender feet in cream stilettos. A platinum chain dangled above her cleavage and the diamond winking there was overshadowed by her smile.

Victor sat across the table and smirked when she laughed. She was fascinating.

They were surrounded by brunching businessmen and tourists at the patio café of the Tavern on Rush steakhouse, a pricey spot on North Rush street. It was in the Gold Coast area and close enough to home to be a favorite, a choice helped along by the horseracing theme in the indoor dining areas and the bar. The patio was one of the best places to see and be seen, and after their shopping had taken them from breakfast to brunch, he intended to give them both a chance to show off.

He had enjoyed intensely watching her eat crab cake benedict with both gusto and perfect manners. The fact that she hadn’t commented on how he’d eaten his filets with shrimp just made the meal even better.

“So ya like livin’ here, or would ya rather pick ‘nother city?”

Goldilocks touched the back of his hand with perfectly manicured fingertips – the long nails were painted to match the scarf. “I adore Lenusya. Couldn’t I just stay with her?”

“Ya could, but there’s way more rules involved in livin’ there than in some o’ my other houses.”

“Rules like ‘you can’t invite your friends over’? Or tell anyone about you?”

“Among other things, yeah. Lenusya’s one o’ my partners – ya could be yer own boss more in ‘nother location.”

“I don’t really have friends. You and Lenusya are the first people to be kind to me – or even to acknowledge me – ever since my family threw me away for wanting to wear dresses. I could be a helper for her, keep her company. She’s lonely, I can tell.”

“Meet with ‘er on that topic, she can tell ya what ya’d be signin’ up fer. If she says yes, it’s fine with me. Now if tha rules an’ regs spook ya, we can set ya up in ‘nother house where ya only gotta deal with me once in a blue moon.” Victor gulped more of his sugary coffee. “Either way, ya’d still be in contact with ‘er – she’d be yer boss.”

“I’d rather be her assistant in person. I don’t like to be alone and I need … something constructive to do.”

“Well, call ‘er then, sort it out. I think I can trust ya, if she does. That job would def involve more perks – she gets spoiled rotten.”

The fingernails lightly scratched his hand as her scent warmed. “Are you one of those perks?”

“Sometimes – but not required. I try not t’ get in tha habit o’ fuckin’ tha employees – an’ I ain’t tha stayin’ kind.”

“You ‘try’, huh?” She winked at him.

“Yeah, an’ I often fail, if that sweetens tha deal any, but if ya aim t’ play, I’d wanna do that before – an’ after.” His smirk stretched into a lascivious slant. He was prepared to pay a fortune to give her the body she needed in order to be happy in her own skin – but he saw no point in wasting the one she had now.

He allowed her to pick his hand up, to suck on the index finger while everyone around them stared. She kissed the smooth place where she had seen the claw tear free before and then released his hand.

“I would like that.”

She was more than intelligent and ambitious; she was a siren and could be a serious asset to the organization – on her feet as well as on her back. She leaned her elbows on the table as he watched her, the arms making the cleavage swell.

“Ya gotta show me how ya do that.”

“You want to know all of the magician’s secrets?”

“Yup. ‘Specially how ya keep tha conspicuous stuff from showin’ in a filmy frock like that.”

“Shall I show you now?”

“After ya talk t’ Lenusya. Get that settled. Won’t make a diff’rence where ya live far as I’m concerned, I can fuck ya anywhere.”

“I hope that’s a promise.” She added more sugar to his coffee.

Victor drank it, smirking again over the rim. “What’re we callin’ ya, by tha by? Ain’t gotta be stuck with ‘Goldilocks’.”

She took his spoon and licked it before sending it down her throat. When it was returned to the table, he was grinning at the scents of heat and looks of shock around them. His custom-tailored suit pants seemed a little tighter as well – as theirs likely did.

“I want to be Wilhelmina Fredericks, so that I can go by Mina … but you can always call me Goldilocks. Any requests on details? Cup size preferences, for instance?”

“That’s purely up t’ ya, darlin’. One, I can have fun with any type, an’ two, don’t never change yer body or any damn other thing ‘bout ya based on what some other fucker wants. Has t’ be what ya want fer yerself.”

As she smiled and watched him with heavy-lidded bedroom eyes, her heat rising enticingly, he took out his phone and called Lenusya.

“C’mon an’ meet us t’ take this delicious creature t’ lunch. Yer call on placement, whatever ya want’s fine with me. I got t’ get t’ ‘nother appointment.”

Lenusya didn’t bother to hide a chuckle. “I assume the two of you have hit it off?”

“Yeah – I think she likes me.” He winked at Goldilocks. “She needs t’ know what’s required if she’s serious ‘bout bein’ yer personal assistant an’ roommate.”

“Of course she likes you – anyone with a taste for alpha males and enough sense to see the beauty in nature, would. ‘Tiger, tiger, burning bright…’”

“Get over here before ya make me blush – gotta rep t’ protect as a grumpy bastard, ya know. Wear somethin’ snazzy an’ have Marcus bring ya in tha Doozie.”

When Lenusya arrived and Marcus offered his hand to help her out of the gray Duesenberg, she was dressed like a movie star in a black with gold brocade Alexander McQueen dress with her long black hair piled on top to show off her gorgeous neck and her emeralds. Victor enjoyed his companion’s stunned reaction.

“Ya realize that there is tha same woman, right?”

“Yes, she told me…”

“If ya also like that sorta thing, make a play fer ‘er in tha ‘after phase’. She’s pretty fond o’ blondes, but not int’ tha dangly bits.”

~ ~ ~

The moment Morpheus became Tony Stark, Victor raised a hand to strike his cheek with the backs of his knuckles. The metamorph didn’t flinch or move, but the blow never fell. Growling, he stalked around him to the bed. He shed his suit and shoes as he went, tossing the suit onto the window seat.

“Get over here an’ fuck me.”

Tony’s beguiling mouth twisted into a dismissive smirk. Victor would love to accuse him of dipping into his own expressions, but he had photos of that one on the inventor’s infuriating mug.

“Does this mean the honeymoon phase is over?” One pretty brown eye winked at him.

Victor snarled and slapped his hardening dick instead. He settled on his back and glared at the boy with a huff of breath. “Shut up an’ fuck.”

He stared up at the mirror on the underside of the canopy and watched the muscles of Stark’s smooth pale back move as he impaled himself on his cock.

That fleeting feeling he’d had before, that it could almost be real, was gone. He brought his wrist up to sniff at the lingering scent of Tony’s cum, but his bedmate couldn’t smell like Stark even if they doused him with the rest of the Bvlgari Black.

~ ~ ~

Two rounds later, with pseudo-Stark panting beside him, Victor reached for his phone. He hit the speed dial for the real deal but the man didn’t answer it. The conference agenda would turn into party central soon enough.

So much fer that… Growling, he skated the phone onto the nightstand and thought about what he could do when an idea abruptly made him chuckle. He nudged Morpheus with an elbow. “Get up, Stark. We’re goin’ on a road trip int’ town.”

“I’m not supposed to leave with a client for work without arranging it with Claudette ahead of time.”

“We’ll beg forgiveness after, askin’ takes too fuckin’ long. She can fig out what t’ charge me, she’ll go nuts, it’ll be fun fer ‘er.”

“Where are we going?”

“Tha Park Hyatt’s Water Tower Suite. Here, be this guy fer tha trip. Ya can play Stark when we get inside the suite.”

He fetched his phone and punched up a photo of Danelek standing with Stark at the conference in Atlanta.

“Who is he?”

“My ticket t’ a really good night. C’mon, move it, gotta be quick. If we get there in time, I’ll let ya borrow tha car fer yer day off t’morrow. Also, be handy on tha way out when we’re done, if ya put this guy back on an’ check outta tha hotel fer me.”

“You killed him, didn’t you?” Morpheus smiled as he changed and became George Danelek.

Victor had risen and used a piece of sheet to wipe off with before pulling on his suit pants. “Whattaya think?”

Morph-Danelek handed him his dress shoes once Victor got his socks on. “Did you eat him?”

The glee made Victor smile, his first since he’d arrived to see the boy. “Yup. Tasted like yard bird, most o’ ‘em do – not sure why they call it long pig at all.”

 

 

*****************************************************************

Author’s Note: As Lenusya stated, she was reading from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. That was Ferdinand to Miranda in Act 3, Scene 1. “Familiarity breeds contempt” is a proverb. “Tiger, tiger, burning bright” is from the William Blake poem The Tyger. “Yard bird” is slang for chicken; “long pig” is slang for human flesh eaten by humans.  Allegedly, the closest thing to what human flesh tastes like is pork. Victor would certainly know that, but he’s going for the joke.

Lenusya is a lesbian, but stroking Victor to relax him in a non-sexual context is a trick she picked up from Perrin, my original character in my story Redemption, to which this story is a sequel. Needless to say, Lenusya and Victor have very customized (if sometimes seemingly odd) boundaries. Victor’s needs can at times seem unusual, but those who care about him have learned how to deal with that. I deliberately haven’t defined Lenusya’s mutant gifts too clearly, but Victor did meet and rescue her from a Russian crime ring that was dealing in human sex trafficking when she was ten years old. They have known each other for many decades, but once she reached puberty, they discovered that she can move her body anywhere along a scale of her potential ages. She could morph into a woman at age thirteen, and after having chronologically reached the age of seventy-five, she can also morph her body anywhere back along that age up to being a small child again. She retains her mind, experience, and knowledge of the chronological age of an old woman, but she can become any age younger than that at will. She can’t change into other people like the true metamorph that Morpheus is. It is unknown at this time (to them, I haven’t decided yet) whether this means she may be able to live for a very long time. I tend to think of it as a finite situation, but that she may be able to live far longer than the average person.

I randomly thought that Bvlgari Black would be a cool cologne for Tony to use, though probably not the only one. Mostly, I thought the bottle was awesome. Victor’s cologne is Agua Brava by Antonio Puig, launched in 1968. Among other things like Lemon and Juniper, its top notes include sage and lavender, scents we know Victor likes from my Overdrive tale. Pine is a chief heart note in it, for his love of Northern forests, and among its base notes are moss, sandalwood, musk, patchouli, and leather. This isn’t an expensive cologne, per se, but then in 1968, Victor wasn’t rich yet anyway. I wanted something to have sandalwood in it, similar to Logan’s Farenheit by Dior, but to be different and to smell “woodsy”. This one seemed perfect. Later on, I may have him experiment with some of Tony Stark’s cologne choices, but he’ll likely return to Agua Brava as something familiar that can give him the scent of forests when he can’t be in one. Thanks for reading! – AnonGrimm  (@MET_Fic)

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