Sabretooth: Crawfish Tango – Chapter 2 – Sentada

It’s dark in here, visions are flashing into my head
as I reminisce my reoccurring dreams and you said
I’m falling, falling for you babe
my feelings are getting stronger
So why don’t you stay with me for a little longer
Come here boy, come here boy yeah
Come here boy, come here boy

I know that my face is only too familiar to your sleep
I can see it in your eyes and I can tell by your body heat
Why are you taking so long?
You need me to come and find you, honey?
Set your mind at rest, let your dreams run free
Come here boy, come here boy yeah
Come here boy, come here boy

You know I’m no stranger in your dreams
You know I’m no stranger in your dreams
Oh and I’m craving, I’m howling, I’m begging, I’m pleading
You’re mine tonight, oh yeah
Oh and I’m waiting, I’m dying, I’m wanting and I’m needing
to show you the slut I am
where I’ll be touching and holding, caressing and giving you
every fantasy, yeah
I’ve got you dreaming and lusting, I’m burning and praying
for more of this ecstasy
come here boy, come here boy yeah
come here boy, come here boy
You know, you know
You know I’m no stranger in your dreams

~ Come Here Boy (Imogen Heap)

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

Victor leading him by the hand was a bit odd – was it meant to be affectionate and not just a joke?

Pepper would probably tell me to get a tarantula if I want a dangerous pet that freaks people out – but Victor isn’t a pet. So … what is he? What he may want to be might not be something I agree with. I’m probably skipping through a mine field and too horny to notice or care.

Tony still didn’t try to free his hand until Victor let it go. Being touched – being wanted – felt too good. With a shake of his head, he looked around to dispel his tangled thoughts.

The bathroom was like a large private spa. Not surprisingly, the shower was huge and the tub looked more like a Jacuzzi for eight people – maybe ten. One side of it had a raised and padded platform that he fully intended to be lying on in the near future. There was also a massive divan next to the shower that had potential.

Tony leaned against the tub platform. “We have to wait for this thing to fill? Should we turn on the news to watch the oceans drain while it does?”

“It goes pretty fast. Get up there, on yer belly. Gonna fetch yer alms lube.”

“Oh, hell yeah…” he said with a grin and got exactly where he had wanted to be.

Once Victor returned, he got the tub started and steam slowly began to curl around the room. Tony watched him wind the braid up and pin it into a man-bun at the back of his head with a small piece of hard leather and a carved thin wooden stick. To hide an amused smile, he set his forehead on his crossed wrists.

Some sort of herb smell was abruptly strong around them and before he could turn his head to look, those big hands were smoothing massage oil up his back.

“Is that sage?”

“Got it in one.”

“This is new. Oh, wow … okay, are you firm on the ‘I can’t put you on my payroll’ thing?”

“Don’t make me stick a washcloth in yer gob.”

“Gob? Now you’re British?”

“Collectin’ slang from ‘round tha globe is a hobby.”

“I see that. You love hearing me talk. Oh, God… Where did you learn how to do that?”

“Didn’t, just know what feels good t’ me. A masseuse comes in; it helps even me out, after… She’s probly better’n me at it.”

“Awesome. What’s her name?”

“No idea.”

Tony sighed but decided to pick his battles. Besides, it had taken him years to remember the name of his dishwasher.

It didn’t take long before the mutant had him turned into putty – putty with a distracting erection. Finally, there were fingers spreading his asscheeks open and a Sylk-slicked thumb began to toy with him before it eased inside.

“No rushin’ me,” Victor told him. “What I want…”

Counting breaths as only the sound of filling water struck his ears, Tony whispered to encourage him, “Tell me, Victor.”

“Wanna worship ya,” the feral replied in a rush.

Tony smiled. “Darn.”

A flash of the curling smirk was wiped out by a gruff bark of irritation. “Shut up.”

He would have laughed again, teasing him was a riot, but he gasped instead at the introduction of that tongue working inside him.

“Do you want me to be quiet? Don’t answer that, I like your tongue right where it is – unless you want to replace it with something bigger.”

He quit talking, but mostly because he couldn’t stop a groan as he was made ready for what they both needed.

The cleft chin is smooth – almost heaven. He’s such a weird combination of rough and soft. When he tries to be gentle, he seems to have no idea how to do it, so he overcompensates and it’s like watching a T-Rex try to be a butterfly. He’s better than I am at asking for what he wants, too – sometimes. Still, ‘light and fun’ as a theme seems to facilitate communication a lot… Maybe that’s where I’m messing up on the Pepper front?

The moment it all stopped and the mutant gripped and moved his hips, Tony bonelessly let him place him however he wanted to. Almost too hot for him, the water surrounded his legs up to the knees as he kept his arms folded under his head on the platform.

With a click, the lube bottle was closed and then he got what he had wanted since that insane moment in the women’s bathroom; except this time, the blunt thing was actually lined up and ready to stuff him full.

Replaying it over in his head, he could still feel the sting of Victor telling him no, and how he had pushed him for it…

Oh, hell.

Tony groaned again as he was filled from behind. Even opened so skillfully, for a cock slicked up and trying to be careful, the size of it still hovered on the cusp of pain as it pushed slowly deeper.

Again, it was a stunning mix of trying to be smooth and easy but not quite managing it at every thrust. The feel of the foreskin moving here and there was fascinating, to say nothing of the hot breath and press of the round front of the fangs at his back. When the barbed tongue licked wide, scraping up his spine, Tony cried out in pleasure. The lips moving to his bite scars and sucking at the skin was delicious torture.

“I want it,” he whispered, “do it…” He turned his head in time to watch the tips of the huge fangs slice in and stared as the suckling began. “Yes, drink… Oh God, do it.” The moment the tongue moved and the fangs started to pull out, he gasped. “No, not yet – I can take it… Do it, take more.”

It felt so strange, so … wrong, like he should fight it – and because of that, it felt good enough to shut his mind down. He was shocked to snap back into full awareness when the fangs left his bleeding flesh. A protest died on dry lips as Victor ignored the attempt to urge him further. Soothing and painful at once, the tongue and lips pressed down over the puncture wounds.

Their eyes met when the bleeding was stopped. Victor’s lips were smeared scarlet.

“Kiss me,” Tony whispered. The taste was sharp, ferrous … taboo. He licked it from the lips and deepened the kiss as the thrusts inside his body grew jerky and rough.

Victor broke the kiss and nuzzled his ear, murmuring, “Hard t’ hold it back, t’ be easy.”

“Don’t – I like it when you fuck me rough.”

“Could hurt ya.”

“You won’t, you don’t want to. Victor, I trust you, you know that – do it.”

The fingers gripped his shoulders and he watched the claws on one hand grow, rising up in an arch that pushed the lethal point out, and then the curl grew them to their full wicked length.

“Prick me with those – I love those things. Fuck me, do it how you want to.”

The growl he got sank into his balls, and when the cock slammed in hard and the claws broke his skin, he watched beads of blood well up. As the first one slipped and spilled a streak of red down his shoulder, Tony cried out as he came, writhing helplessly under Victor’s weight. The trapped mess sprayed up the side of the tub right as the water began to lap at his sack.

“Oh shit, oh…”

“Tony…?”

“Don’t stop – don’t you fucking dare stop…” The cock dragged back and shoved in, his speed increasing. “Fuck me, do it … push me…”

He cried out again, this time with a light-headed twinge of pain as the cock finally began to shudder and spill deep inside him.

“Yes … hell, yes…” he whispered to encourage the beast that thrust once more, until the thing stopped at last, still buried nearly to the root.

The nuzzling, sniffing, and licking started and it made a sharp chuckle burst from his lips as his brain started to spin. The cock barely softened at all in him as the water rose up past his hips.

“Keep it in, go again,” he whispered.

Tony moaned when the mutant withdrew instead. Large hands took over his body, and the claws were gone as he was picked up from the platform and turned.

The next brain spin was not pleasant, and he scrambled to grab hold of the forearms, leery of the rising water.

“Hush,” the rasping murmur sounded at his ear.

He couldn’t stop tensing until he was abruptly lounging on Victor in a formed chair on the other side of the tub. He twitched as the water rose higher.

“Let it have ya, it ain’t too hot. I got ya.”

Tony closed his eyes and listened to Victor turning a tap, his body tilting slightly when he reached over the edge to do it. They settled and Tony waited for his head to stop spinning. Victor’s arms held him in place loosely.

Geez, he can smell fear. Is he going to think bathtubs scare me?

An insane impulse to tell him about the water torture he had survived in Afghanistan almost got hold of his tongue.

I’m not sure a torturer would be empathy guy for that information. Has he done that to people? Tony felt queasy at the thought and then shuddered. With all those pointy bits, why would he use water? Man, I need a drink. “Mexico City,” he blurted out instead, “tequila and a lady pilot and low self-esteem, mine not hers, led to more tequila…”

“José Cuervo, ya are a friend o’ mine,” Victor half-sang in a surprisingly disjointed baritone as he murdered the old Country tune.

“Wow. You need a lonely back fence to sit on if you’re going to do that.”

The feral snorted and asked, “Did ya dance on tha bar or start any fights?”

Victor’s rich deep speaking voice rumbled up through the broad chest under Tony’s head. He vaguely wanted to crawl inside it, and then laughed almost drunkenly at the silliness of the thought.

“No, we never made it out of the hotel suite. I was a brat – fourteen. I was supposed to be in boarding school nowhere near Mexico, but I was bored and she was gorgeous. She worked for Stark Industries.” Tony shrugged. “It was fun until it wasn’t.”

“Drank too much.”

“Oh, yeah.”

Soft lips kissed his hair. “Meant me, ya need orange juice.”

“Now I know the secret of the orchard,” Tony whispered, laying the drama on thick.

The low gruff chuckle overhead sank into his bones, a confusing shift from the earlier stray fear. That uniquely leonine deep voice made him want to wallow in his companion – not at all a normal impulse for him.

This is usually the moment I begin to plot my escape, but there’s no workshop to hide in and I … don’t want to move. Well, that’s new. Despite the water, and his criminal record, I feel … safe. Is this what Victor’s pilot meant about the advantages of him liking me?

“Tha OJ’s in tha fridge, genius.” The voice half-purred through the words.

Tony couldn’t have kept the abrupt grin off his face with a power drill. Victor relaxed enough to tease me tonight: score. “What’s the deal, Tall Fanged and Furry – don’t I rate freshly-squeezed?”

“Nope, ya don’t.”

The temperature of the water he was immersed in crept up and unwound the tension in every muscle. Humor melted into muzzy contentment.

“This feels good. If I pass out, don’t let me drown.”

“Not even t’ shut ya up.”

The deep breathing that gently moved his body was mesmerizing. He barely noticed that his head had stopped spinning as he drifted off to sleep.

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

Victor set the large glass tumbler of cold orange juice on the nightstand where Tony would see it when he woke. The impulse to climb in and cuddle up warred with the desire to watch as Tony Stark slept in his bed – clean, but still smelling like a rag doll full of his seed and scent.

That ain’t all he smells like. A soft growl failed to cut the thought off. Ya know he don’t wanna jaw ‘bout that; bring it up an’ he’ll shut ya down, might could bail entire.

Having real time with Tony, not on a phone or in the middle of some shit-show, was a rare thing. He wanted to make it last but it was probably a one nighter.

Can’t help wantin’ t’ try t’ help, if’n he’d stand fer it – which he won’t. Got no way t’ give ‘im my healin’, anyhow. I ain’t what he needs t’ fix it, whatever it is. Think o’ somethin’ else before he figs out yer gettin’ down ‘bout it an’ sorts out why.

He sifted through the events of the night for something to focus on that wasn’t pure lust. The effort to dry off the boneless inventor while making him drink the first batch of juice had been entertaining.

Rusty on my aftercare skills – ain’t bothered in a while. So pick a symptom an’ take a stab at makin’ it better.

Going through the suite, he gathered up just a few of the Himalayan salt candle holders and relit the sage candles, setting them here and there around the bedroom. He went to fetch the gift of Glenfiddich and the lube bottle and set them on his nightstand before finally joining his lover in bed. Tony woke when he was pulled in close.

“OJ,” Victor ordered, pointing.

“I’d rather have what you’re having.”

“OJ first, hero.”

Tony sighed as he picked up the tumbler and propped himself up half against him and half on the pillow stack he was leaning on. Drinking down some of it, he held it out. “Top a fellow off?”

“Should make ya finish it first. That ain’t how ya make a screwdriver.”

“I improvise when necessary.”

Victor grunted and opened the scotch bottle. He poured a finger or two into the juice and then put the bottle to his lips and gulped some before setting it back down.

“Don’t break that one all over you. My palm still hurts.”

“Once is probly ‘nuff fer one day.”

“Also, I plan to get more of it than this – FYI.” Tony drank the juice without protest with booze in the glass. “Why did you break the bottle like that?”

“Danger ramps ya up an’ a li’l pain with my pleasure ramps me.”

“Before you, I wouldn’t have agreed – but those claws, the biting … yeah. I get it.”

The inventor breathed deep, seemingly finding the sage as soothing as he did – yet the silent introspective moment didn’t stand a chance.

“You and candles – less is more this time, you can be taught.”

“Himalayan salt candle holders purify tha air. Dunno how, but it’s good fer ya. Deal.”

“That particular salt emits a decent number of negative ions into the atmosphere when it’s heated. They – the negative ions – attach themselves to airborne particles like dust, pollen, smoke, and cause them to drop from the air.”

Victor purred at him. “Gotta get ya t’ say that crap on a phone message.”

“So you can choke the bishop to my scientific wisdom? You certainly have some weird turn-ons.” He started to relax under the purring but then tensed again. “Can I tell you something? I need to … apologize to you.”

“Ya already did an’ it ain’t necessary, now or then. Told ya that.”

“No, earlier, in the resort’s bathroom stall. You said no to fucking me, and I mowed right over that.”

“Don’t matter.”

“It does. Here I am trying to teach you consent –”

Victor snorted, unable to help it. “Still claimin’ that’s a legit thing?”

“Don’t scoff, I’m being serious, and yes, because it is a legitimate thing. I’m trying to teach you consent – and then I ignored yours because I wanted it, and … you were the only one concerned about my safety. That’s a crappy way to behave, and I’m sorry. That scent, though, your scent – it’s like sexual nerve gas, geez. If I could do that, I’d be downright dangerous.”

“Ya do, an’ ya are.”

“I’ve never experienced that except with you. I splash mine on after a shave and hope the superficial charm works when it needs to. I can’t … emit it … like a bioweapon for getting laid.”

Victor leaned in and nuzzled at his hair, scenting it. “Ya do, Tony – t’ my senses, when ya want sex, yer heat can mess me up.”

“It’s still not the same.”

“Maybe not t’ ya. Flatscans –”

“Humans … people…”

“Yeah, those. Yer precious civilization killed off or bred out most o’ tha wild instincts an’ talents ya might coulda had way back when. Lotsa mutants are in tha same boat, though, truth be told. Us ferals ain’t like that – we’re still tapped int’ tha wild things that tha rest o’ ya left behind ages ago.”

“Why do you still hate Wolverine so much? You said his claw lobotomy gave you an advantage. Shouldn’t you be wilderness buddies or something?”

The brief snarl that lifted his upper lip was involuntary. “Tappin’ int’ tha wild is partly why we hate each other – we ain’t tha same kind, ya know. Fer tha rest, don’t rightly recall why, an’ he don’t recall shit.”

“So why keep up the feud?”

“Not rememberin’ how it started don’t mean we ain’t given each other plenty o’ reasons between then an’ now. Ya gonna make nice with that Stane asshole after he tried t’ steal yer tech an’ yer comp’ny, just cuz yer both inventors? If’n he wasn’t dead.”

“No, and point taken, I suppose. Dropping it.”

“Much obliged.”

Tony drank more and chuckled. “I love it when you do that.”

“What?”

Craning his head up to meet his gaze, Tony smiled at him. “Talk like some grand old movie.”

Victor smirked down at him. “Finish that an’ stab me with yer dick already.”

“You’re so romantic, too.”

“May hafta give that up fer Lent; all it does is make ya bail.”

“I do not. Please tell me that’s a joke, and you aren’t Catholic. Seriously, I’d mind less if you really were into Voodoo.”

Victor arched an eyebrow at him. “It’s a joke.”

“Oh, good – in that case I’ll stab you with my dick.” He began to roll to his stomach, but Tony stopped him with a hand on his shoulder. “I still want to see you, quit trying to hide. How tight a fold can you put yourself in, cat-boy?”

Grinning, Victor slid down the pile of pillows, curled his lower body and lifted his knees until they were bent at his shoulders. With a chuckle, Tony rearranged pillows and stuffed a few of them under his ass before he set his knees on either side of it. His hands began to play and tease – letting their dicks harden as they touched and rubbed together.

“You know, I shouldn’t be doing all this barebacking, I swear I never do, otherwise. I don’t have a healing factor, and even though it’s safe in some ways, with you – it’s still not … something I should be doing. I also really don’t need to slip up down the road with someone of the non-mutant persuasion.”

“Bit late t’ fuss now – lessen ya brought rubbers, I sure as fuck don’t stock tha damn things. Never wear ‘em, ain’t gonna.” He set his ankles on Tony’s shoulders lightly, working on keeping the claws in. “‘Sides, ya’d know ya ain’t fuckin’ me when they squeal like a pig cuz ya also forgot all ‘bout prep.”

Tony’s hands slapped Victor’s hips on a bark of laughter. “Okay, I admit it – you’re the perfect bed toy, even with that offensive potty mouth.” He leaned to snag the lube and tossed it on the bed after he slicked up.

The rough press in made Victor hold his breath and then the smooth full push to claim him again released it. He nearly moaned the man’s name but bit it back – not wanting to make him bolt.

It’s play, keep it light, that’s what he wants. Just play. Tony…

Victor didn’t close his eyes when he was mated; he wanted to watch his lover crumble apart as he took his pleasure in him. The fierce passion the inventor displayed in rut was as delicious as the soft surrender he sometimes gave him when pressed under Victor’s cock. He swallowed when it all became almost too much, feeling the hard beautiful thing thrust even deeper inside him as Tony pressed down lower over him. Gasping out, he kept his claws in the mattress.

“Kiss me,” Tony told him with quiet intensity.

Curling up to reach, the cock pushed deeper when the kiss stole his breath.

Tony broke it as his thrusts turned urgent. His arms gripped around Victor’s legs as he muttered, “Oh, geez, so good, I forgot how good, damn…”

‘Mine…’ Victor stared up at the heavy-lidded dark eyes, remembering his lover’s voice when he had said that word in his workshop. The memory of that moment, with Tony’s cock driving into him now as it had been then, was all he needed. He came quietly, spiraling into a euphoria that he already knew wouldn’t last. His seed spouted up his belly but he ignored it to watch his lover, trying to imbed in his memories the image of him in the midst of pure release.

Gleaming with sweat, Tony closed his eyes and a heartbeat later, he began to come. Huffing and groaning, he ground his body against Victor’s and rode out the delicious aftershocks, still thrusting, until it ended. He was left sucking in desperate breaths as he leaned his weight against Victor’s folded legs.

He’s perfect, he’s … everythin’.

Those shining eyes, the soft light dancing in them, opened to look down into Victor’s. For one moment, Tony was his – until the expression shifted and he looked away and withdrew.

“Got to move before something cramps. Wow.” He shifted away and flopped down over the lube bottle. “Ow.” Fishing it out, he handed it to Victor.

Stifling a sigh, he put it back on the nightstand and stretched out beside him in the scattered mess of pillows. Burying the urge to touch the man and draw him close, he worked on slowing his breathing until the claws retracted.

“Why’s it been so long fer ya? Ain’t no such thing as too busy t’ fuck. If’n all ya want’s a warm body, yer money’s ‘nuff o’ a draw fer volunteers o’ tha shallow stripe.”

“I’m perfectly capable of ‘too busy to fuck’ but usually it’s more like too distracted, too involved with … inventing things.”

Ain’t had nobody but me in a while. Victor wanted to be proud of that, wanted to wish it could turn into hope – but it wouldn’t. He’s here cuz I won’t tell anyone he smells ill. Makes me a safe bet an’ a sure thing – not a first pick. He’s also bein’ evasive, distant. Tha balls’re lighter, so I’ve served my damn purpose, I guess. Karma’s a bitch – if Tabitha could see me now.

The sound of the device in the scarred chest mixed with Tony’s irregular wounded heartbeat. It was as soothing as ever, solely because it was uniquely … him. Yet mating with him had a price. Wanting and unwanted, he hung in limbo, afraid to feel anything at all. Beneath a carefully constructed façade of sated indifference, emotions that only compounded his confusion began to tangle.

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

Tony lay on his back feeling every muscle slowly relax into post-coitus jelly – until he noticed that the bedroom was too quiet. He almost spoke aloud to ask JARVIS to play music.

Is Mr. Fluffy getting his brood on again? Well, that won’t do. “Tell me a bedtime story, old man – give me some crass intel on having a good time – maybe there’s something I haven’t done yet.”

“Man o’ tha world, huh – seen it all?”

“Most of it. Although, in the interest of full disclosure, as sex goes, I can’t say I’ve done it all. I’m too into getting some and getting gone in order to get back to working on projects. Elaborate slap and tickle efforts and whatnot take too long. I assume you’re a vast source of intel on the topic of erotica’s outer limits.”

“I’ve dabbled.”

“I bet. So – impart your wisdom.” The feral had all the body language of someone who was humoring him as he began to speak. Do I care? Any port in an awkward storm.

“When a bitch –”

“Yikes. Let me help you with that. When a woman…”

“Yeah. When they sit on yer dick t’ fuck ya in a limo, ya ain’t livin’ if’n ya don’t get their panties an’ drape ‘em over yer face when ya lean back.”

Tony frowned at bit, perplexed and slightly repulsed at once. “Why would you do that?”

“Aroma therapy – better’n tha sage oil durin’ a massage any fuckin’ day.”

“You are a bad influence – and weird.”

“Did ya or did ya not request ‘crass’?”

Tony sighed. “I did, my bad. I forgot your standards for that were lower than mine.”

“I’d need a periscope t’ get my mind outta tha gutter, fancy boy. ‘Sides, it’s a feral thing – pussy smells good, even dirty pussy.”

“Oh, my god, where is the off switch?”

“Yer just jealous, stumblin’ ‘round in that cage o’ stunted meager senses.”

“I’ll remind you of that heightened-senses advantage over by a dumpster someday.”

“Mmm, sex in a grubby dark alley can be fun if’n yer stuffed just right. Ya ever wanna try it, I know just tha spot.”

“Your fondness for luxury mixed with your craving for filthy slumming is quite unique.”

“Careful, now – even with all o’ that squeamish, talent like me can get addictin’.”

“Too late. However, you don’t have to wait until we need to strike a deal over a mutual target to get me in bed. ‘Phones still work’, as someone I really enjoy having sex with once said.”

“Maybe if’n ya answered yers once in a while,” the feral muttered.

So that calculated bit of sacrificial cheer-up fell on its face. “I responded right away to your last out of the blue text – points for being in a firefight at the time, no less. It isn’t anyone’s fault that we’re both so busy, plus being on opposite sides of the globe most of the time.”

“Let’s not do this again, huh?”

“Which part?” Tony copied him and stared up at the reactor’s blue light on the ceiling.

“How ‘bout we stay outta each other’s work-related sandboxes from here on out?”

Tony grinned, unable to help it. “The effort to not make a litter box joke is hurting my face.”

“Hardeehar. Ya can keep yer global domination terrorist types an’ lay offa my petty criminals, mobsters, an’ general bottom feeders. Deal?”

“Hmm. No – I see a snag in that plan. You have a serious mad-on for Hydra but they definitely make a tick mark on my global terrorists side.”

“We can share Hydra.”

“Yay!”

“Goof.”

Tony sat up and faced him. Victor didn’t look at him until he reached out and touched his shoulder. The moment he began to speak, the blond looked away again.

“There are some lines I can’t promise I won’t cross if something like this comes up again, even if you’re involved. I have to ask. Paganucci was funding domestic terrorists. That doesn’t bother you? What if they bombed a place where you had friends?”

“They’d pay fer it.”

“That wouldn’t bring your friends back.”

“Humans kill each other all tha time. Take me an’ ‘im outta tha runnin’, that wouldn’t stop.”

Tony sighed and then smiled at him, though he was not quite able to maintain it. “I know. This is going to be one of those things where we just have to curb the shop talk and the morality discussions or we won’t be able to deal.”

“Yup.”

The mutant’s amber eyes finally shifted to look up at him. Tony would bet good money they were both pretending a lot right then.

“That mean yer gonna quit harpin’ at me ‘bout sexism an’ misogyny?”

“No, it doesn’t mean that.”

“Fuck.”

Lying back down and rolling onto his side to face Victor, he tried to morph the smile into a real one. “Nap break?”

“Gonna stay fer breakfast?”

“Sure.” Surprised when the feral didn’t move in to hold him, Tony scooted over and pressed into him. “I’m a little cold,” he offered for explanation. Something’s wrong, again – no clue how to fix it. Ice breaking maybe? Random questions often irritate him but anything is better than silent disapproval. After too long a stretch of that uncomfortable silence, he asked, “Were you born furry?”

“Nope.”

“So when did it, ah … mutate?”

“Didn’t McCoy already give ya all tha science dirt on me?”

“Well…”

“Was ‘round nine or ten. Mutation started, puberty went off at tha same bad time. It wasn’t a picnic. Ya done?”

“Puberty at nine? Eep. I can be, yes – about that at any rate.”

“Weren’t ya plannin’ t’ get yer nap on?”

“Call it a second, or fifth, wind – if you’re still in the mood to humor me?”

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

Victor pulled him in close and nuzzled his hair, partly to avoid his inquisitive expression. “One question. Shoot.”

“Why aren’t you still on the public version of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list? You used to be, on an older list – before the digital age.”

“Bad fer their image.”

“Ah, how?”

“Kinda embarrassin’ t’ keep me on it. They can’t do shit ‘bout me whether they catch me or not. Why advertise tha fact? They like fer those mugshots t’ change out now an’ then, when they get one. If’n I’m on tha list longer than tha Bureau chiefs are on tha job an’ no progress made on stoppin’ me, just makes ‘em look like chumps, don’t it?”

“Huh. I guess so.”

“Damn straight.”

“They’ve never caught you?”

“That’s a new question.”

“You know you’d rather talk to me than watch me sleep.”

A quiet growl sounded but faded quickly. “Not tha current crop, not fer long – but once they try an’ fail t’ execute a guy a few times, gets tougher t’ wipe that egg offa their faces.”

Tony let out a soft whistle. “What methods did they try to use on you?”

“Most o’ ‘em.”

“Old Sparky?”

“Yup.”

“Wow. What did that feel like?”

Victor frowned. “Felt like bein’ electrocuted.”

“Okay, duh. Sorry,” Tony muttered, looking sheepish. “I can’t help being a little fascinated.”

“Their bosses start measurin’ ‘em fer rubber rooms, too – if’n they insist a guy that looks thirty years old killed some idiot in 1920. Nowadays, they pretty much don’t bug me. Evidence that’s found an’ proven t’ be mine, they just set those on tha ‘unsolved’ pile an’ live t’ fight ‘nother day.”

“I know we can’t see eye to eye on this, but I feel bad for their families and friends – the people you kill. Not knowing why your loved ones died or who killed them – it’s a bad way to live. It never really goes away. Maybe it sounds trite to you, but people need closure – if they loved the ones who died. Didn’t you ever lose someone you cared about?”

Victor reached to touch the beads in his hair reflexively, but he wasn’t wearing the pieces of bone. Michel. Bonnie…

“Of course – sorry. I need to wash my feet more often if I’m going to keep sticking them in my mouth.”

Swallowing hard, unable to be angry with him for the slip, Victor pushed the black hole of loss down deep again. He waited to speak until he was sure his voice wouldn’t falter. “I got ‘closure’ in spades – it ain’t never helped an’ couldn’t bring ‘em back, neither, like ya said. Closure’s a bloody farce.”

“I’m still messed up over my parents’ car accident, which wasn’t even a murder, but it … was weird. Most people assume he was drunk, but that doesn’t make sense – Howard Stark didn’t go around driving into trees. He was allergic to screwing up. I often end up drunk, just trying to sort it out in my head – make sense of the loss … of my mother.”

Victor nuzzled him again. “Weapon X mighta plugged a memory in my head o’ Ma jumpin’ in tha middle when Pa tried t’ take tha axe t’ me. Got no clue if’n she died between us or if that’s a lie. No real way t’ know near a century an’ a half later, lessen tha real memory claws its way up outta tha swamp someday.”

“Oh my god … an axe? The legendary Howard Stark decided neglecting me was a more efficient use of his time as a father, but he never went all The Shining on me. Whether or not it was a real memory … was your mother good to you, at least?”

“Don’t really remember. Sometimes, I guess – but she never cut me loose from what he was doin’ t’ me.”

“And no CPS, no police…”

“No nothin’ – it was tha wild frontier with native tribes still attackin’ farms now an’ then. Some o’ tha crops that farm an’ garden grew don’t even exist no more. Whole world was diff’rent.”

Tony sighed. “Topic change. Are you one of those assassins who say, ‘It’s just a job to me’?”

“Technically it is … but no – wouldn’t say that.”

“Why not?”

“Cuz I love what I do – most o’ tha time. Ya like yer work cuz yer good at it, ya get t’ use yer natural talents t’ make a buck – ain’t no diff’rent fer me.”

“Now I’m intrigued by ‘most of the time’. Why would you sometimes not enjoy it – especially since you claim to like killing and you get to pick your targets?”

Victor huffed out a breath. “There’s times I ain’t up t’ snuff, would rather go crawl in a hole fer a while, but gotta be takin’ care o’ business. I get done fast as I can then an’ go t’ ground, try t’ get my head back on straight.”

“You are me, I get that. Some missions come up when all I want to do is sleep, work on projects, get my itch scratched … or tinker on a car to relax. So you just work and play in general, no hobbies beyond the slang collection – besides stalking me?”

Victor hesitated, surprised when Tony gave him the time and space to make up his mind about opening up or not. What can it hurt? Might could be a non-felony feather in my cap. “Wait here, I’ll get my laptop.”

When he returned with it, Tony was smiling at him. “Please tell me your hobby isn’t internet porn – unless you star in it, because that would be awesome.”

Victor sat and turned it on, setting it between them on the bed. “No ribbin’ me ‘bout not havin’ holograms, neither.”

Tony put fingers to his lips and mimed locking them with a twinkle in his eye. It was adorable. Shaking his head a little to focus, Victor got the browser open and went to the website for the Sanctuary.

“This is one o’ my hobbies, but I’m on tha down-low with it, cuz it has t’ be a legit group without underworld ties, so…”

Tony sat up straight and leaned in. “Mum’s the word. Wait – big cat rescue and rehabilitation? Wow. They even have a state-of-the-art veterinary center onsite. Very eco-cool, I am officially impressed. Are you like Dr. Doolittle, can you talk to the animals and tell them they’re being rescued?”

“Don’t work like that, but I do spend time helpin’ with rehab, yeah – ‘specially when they’re gonna be placed at a reserve an’ gotta be taught how t’ hunt, if’n they were some rich asshole’s pet as a cub an’ dunno how.”

“That is beyond what I expected. So can anyone donate?”

“If ya want.”

“I want. I think an even million ought to do it. After all, I’ve become so fond of large predators lately.”

His wink and warm expression made Victor purr. He watched as Tony pulled the computer onto his lap.

“Does down-low mean I have to be an anonymous donor?”

“Nope, just me.”

“Excellent.” Tony began tapping away, lightning fast, to register as a supporter. He logged in and dropped a million dollar donation.

Victor chuckled. “Liane’s gonna freak.”

“Who is that?”

“She runs it fer me an’ plays go-between, so’s I can stay in tha loop. Remember when ya called ‘bout tha Memory Image Inducer an’ I thought ya were a woman wantin’ more phone sex? She’s who I thought ya were.”

“Oh, well – a female friend of yours, how about that. So if I hit ‘contact us’ and asked for a tour of the facility, would I get to meet her?”

“With a donation like that, probly.”

Tony handed the laptop back and Victor shut it down and put it on the nightstand.

“Would that be okay with you? I promise not to dig up secrets, I’m just curious about meeting someone like her.”

“Don’t bother me none.”

“Maybe you should go with me sometime, Mufasa – I’d love to see you teach Simba how to hunt.”

Victor smirked. “We could take ‘er an’ ‘er daughter t’ dinner. Mya’s too li’l t’ know better an’ loves lions, so I’m ‘er fave person.”

“That is a definite plan – my treat. We just need to figure out a when. Vancouver is a great city for a mini-vacation and I’m overdue for one.”

Having a plan, even if it didn’t happen right away – or ever – made him purr again. He turned toward him and leaned in to nuzzle the man, pleased when he seemed receptive more than simply tolerant.

“Not teasing you, but I’m sorely tempted to upgrade your laptop. Even state-of-the-art is obsolete right out of the box. The solution: eliminate the box.”

“Don’t that break yer condition o’ not handin’ me toys that make me a better criminal?”

“Hmm… Maybe that’s more negotiable than previously assessed.”

Victor brushed his lips over the smooth forehead and smiled. “‘Specially when yer horny starts kickin’ back in?”

“Undoubtedly – it’s inevitable, really.” Tony clambered up to sit facing him on his lap and kissed him. “Remember when you put me here in a ‘modified seal tunnel’? This is how that could have gone if I’d known then what I was missing.”

The make-out session that followed, with groping hands on both sides, became a pleasure all its own. Tony’s weight on his hardening cock turned into a low thrum of heat that almost relaxed him, rather than making him impatient to mate. His lover was warming to that again and it would happen, but this was something to savor.

Setting his lips almost on Victor’s, Tony whispered, “I have my moments when I don’t want to be touched, and then there’s times like now when I can’t get enough of it. This is good – just basking in pleasure, in-between getting our mutual freak on. I assume you’re on board – considering what I’m sitting on.”

“Fine by me,” he muttered, because Tony seemed to want a real verbal response.

“Tell me something you’ve done for me that you’ve never done before.”

“Ain’t never crawfished a bet before, lessen tha idiot involved got dead fer betrayin’ me.”

“It was for a good cause.”

“Mmm… Fuckin’ ya is a good cause.”

“See?” Tony smiled. “All this crawfishing – you sound like a walking Spaghetti Western.”

“Ya like my ‘anachronisms’ – even called me a mook. Nobody says mook anymore, flyboy.”

Tony moved off him and rolled onto his stomach, tossing the lube at him. “Shut up and fuck me again, you mook.”

“T’ tha devil with yer nap, then?”

The inventor frowned slightly but then wiped it away and gave him a wink. “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”

Victor moved over him and paused to nuzzle and lick his back between the shoulder blades, mixing in warm kisses as a knee spread the legs wider.

“How ya want it?” he whispered over the smooth skin, making the man shudder with heat.

“Worship me.”

The smirk melted into a soft smile. He nipped gently at the tip of a shoulder blade with his blunt front teeth and murmured, “Yes, Tony.”

He was opened more easily this time. Victor watched him try to thrust back on the trio of fingers stuck inside him. He slipped one of them out to play with the prostate again, taking him to the edge and then taking the touch away.

The sounds his lover made were coiling in his groin but he wouldn’t let it hurry him. Drinking in the pleasure he was giving, the sight of what it was doing to the beautiful body in his bed, he waited. Only when the hot lust banked into something he might be able to control did he finally move to mate him.

Even then, he toyed with the man, rubbing the dripping head of his cock against the loosened opening, letting him feel the pre-cum slick him more.

He was used to Tony’s habit of urging him to hurry and he had ignored all of his heated demands until they turned into breathless pleas and the gentle sounds of drifting pleasure.

Victor settled over him, lips brushing up the edge of his ear as he rumbled a soft purr. When he finally pushed in, slow and smooth, and began to fill him, Tony gasped.

Long before Victor allowed himself to come, he had reached under the sweating body in his hold and let his fingertips play with the leaking head of Tony’s sweet cock. Feeling him writhe under him took his breath away.

“Yer all I want,” he whispered into the soft dark hair. “Yer mine…”

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

Drowning in sensation and starving for it to be just like this, Tony was trying to hold at bay the nagging worry that he was probably confusing the feral – trying … and largely failing.

I keep telling him light and fun, no strings, is what we need to be and then I pull him into this over and over. He knows it, too – and he knows I do need this. More troubling is the fact that he obviously does, too. Truth is, if he didn’t, it wouldn’t be what I need. But he’s maybe being sincere, isn’t he? While I’m blatantly using him. I’m just making another mess … a likely dangerous mess.

“Tony…”

Turning his head accept it, the soft lips kissed his, breathing his name into his mouth before the kiss destroyed him. He tried not to think, to just feel.

Wordless and gasping, the feral came again and it wasn’t even the third time. Tony didn’t care about taking turns as he lay under that stunning strength. He only wanted to feel the hard cock enter his body and use it, fill it, transform it – into something that wasn’t broken.

Victor shifted slightly to hold his weight off on forearms instead of hands, and the hot soft fur and flesh settled over his back like an embrace as the thrusts began again.

I can’t pretend there might not be a fix for my problem – so what’s the harm in staying? Take this… “Do it again, I know you can,” he whispered, but he was still amazed when it did happen again. Then Victor withdrew, pulling him up, intending to roll him to his back. “No, don’t stop yet.”

Nuzzling and kissing lips soothed him but he couldn’t struggle against that strength – he didn’t want to. Victor moved him, put his hands under Tony’s knees, and pulled his legs up over the thick thighs. He was propped on his back on a slanting mound of pillows and as he remembered the time in front of the fireplace in his house, he sighed.

Fingers slicked him more with care and his cock twitched on his stomach. This was another pause to slow him down, to hold him off. He couldn’t care – it felt too good. Opening his eyes, he watched the feral watch him as the fingers toyed with him, pulling a groan from him.

“Come on,” he murmured weakly. “Again.”

He felt like he wouldn’t be able to breathe until Victor was inside him. When it started, he strove to feel everything. Then those thick fingers wrapped around his straining cock and he almost choked.

“Yer so beautiful,” came the low purring whisper over him.

Huffing short breaths as the fingers stroked up the shaft agonizingly slowly, Tony grimaced when he felt the feral’s magnificent cock nearly pull free of his body.

He gasped out, “Victor … oh my god, don’t stop.”

“Hush, now … I got ya.”

Tony watched, stunned, as the long back bowed almost double to reach, the mouth with the spikes and fangs leaning down, barbed tongue burning a path. Hot and wet, that mouth claimed his cock and sucked so lightly that his body shuddered and stretched up to push it deeper.

“Oh, shit … you have a rubber spine…”

Backing off it, Victor used his hand again as the claws there popped and slid out long. Their eyes met and Tony barely managed to nod – accepting the careful prick of the lethal shining tips. They pressed in a little more than expected and pain flashed over the fog of pleasure, jolting it. He saw a few beads of scarlet well up all along his shaft seconds before the mouth came down, swallowed it deep into that throat, and sucked hard.

Teeth clenched on a scream, his body jerked as it was stabbed roughly in shallow sharp jabs by the heavy cockhead still buried inside. He had no hope of withstanding it and came in an instant, fighting to thrust short and almost violently into that tight hot throat. The scream escaped as his orgasm strangled him – and then everything tilted and went black.

~ ~ ~

Tony came to with a jolt that set his heart rate into a tailspin until he got his bearings and realized he was alive. A wave of dizziness washed through him and he grabbed onto the heavy furry arm in front of his chest to stop the sensation of spinning. A shot of embarrassment over passing out with an irritation chaser over feeling embarrassed finally allowed him to speak. He was aiming for a lame compliment – but it came out all wrong.

“You’re bad for my reputation as a fast-moving lothario, you realize. That is my thing – it works for me.” He untangled himself to lie on his back. Finally daring to look over, he saw Victor’s soft expression get wiped away by the slightest hint of a wince. Stifling a sigh, Tony tried again. “That was meant as encouragement – you have some habit-inducing talents.”

“Why’s a one night stand with a stranger yer maybe never gonna see again yer ‘thing’? What’s tha appeal o’ that?”

Tony snorted and smiled. “You can’t possibly have gotten to nearly 150 years old, with your … habits … without ever having a one night stand with a stranger.”

“Done it lots. Askin’ what tha appeal is fer ya.”

“It’s … efficient, like I said. I get a need met and then it’s done and I can get back to what I do. If I wasn’t a hedonist, I’d be a monk.”

“Fair ‘nuff,” the feral muttered, glancing away. “I get it.”

“Why are you asking that?”

“Usually, I do it cuz runnin’ int’ somebody who wants me t’ fuck ‘em twice is kinda rare.”

“I can’t understand that, unless you ignored their consent. Otherwise, you’re too talented and entertaining in bed to only want it once. That bending in half thing, busy both ends at once – wow.” Victor didn’t answer, but Tony pressed. “Why did you ask me about the appeal of one night stands?”

“Some o’ ‘em … I’d wanna keep. If’n I gotta choice in tha sitch.”

“Oh.” Well, damn. Gift horse, mouth. On impulse, he moved closer and nudged his companion into gathering him in his arms again.

Ignoring thoughts about mine fields and noose wrapping, he lay in a warm embrace with afterglow still numbing his fears and tried to make sense of how he was feeling.

This isn’t what I want, long-term – but apparently I can’t have what I want. I keep bungling things. I don’t even know if … I have a future. The current test is not ideal, but it’s holding; it might buy me time. Geez… Time for what?

He stared at the heavy layered muscle of the forearm that held him close, felt the rise and fall of the barrel chest he was almost lying on as the feral breathed.

I don’t want to cross wires, here – but what’s the point of buying more time if I spend it alone in a crowd, unable to connect with anyone because they’ll find out the truth? I needed this. I … do … need this.

“Tony, I know ya want Pepper,” Victor whispered. “Sooner or later, one o’ ya’s gonna figure it out. Don’t worry ‘bout it.”

He’s already giving up. He’s done that a lot, at least around me, always expecting me to toss him out on his ass. Even then he keeps trying, though. Maybe I don’t need to worry about it, maybe – I need to take what’s offered, as long as we’re clear on what that is … or try to be.

The feral’s whisper made him hold his breath as a fang that had once been broken to save his life brushed his ear. “Don’t got nothin’ t’ fear from me. Oughta know that by now, huh?”

Tony swallowed hard. “Common sense says to worry about you. You’re the troll under the bridge, right? But my gut keeps saying that’s bullshit.”

“Maybe yer gut’s smarter’n yer head just now.”

“Yeah,” he whispered, and tried to smile. “Maybe.” He can smell my fear but he can’t always interpret it. Neither can I, sometimes. Finally, tucking his myriad fears behind yet another mask, Tony managed that smile. After that, the next dice roll was easier. “Do you want to keep me?”

“Not in a jar or nothin’ but … it wouldn’t suck…”

Chuckling, Tony snuggled into him more. “You’re adorable. Relax, Mufasa. I’m on board with making this a thing, if you are, until such time as I catch Miss Potts. I haven’t had much interest in anyone else. So … we can figure out a way to make friends with benefits work, as long as that’s where it stays – and on the down-low, like it or not. A challenge … but – I love challenges.”

The purring rumbled to a shaky start overhead and Tony let himself reach boneless levels of relaxation as sleep crept closer. He felt like a twisted rag but the feral was close, watching over him – and that made all the difference.

Pleasure that was physical but not sexual slowly spread through him. Coiling and warm, it was patiently building to nowhere, to no urgent need at all. He couldn’t stop the wet cluster of tears in his lashes over how it made him feel.

I’m not alone.

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

Author’s Note: “Sentada” is Spanish for “sitting”, another move in an Argentine Tango when the partner leading the dance has their partner “sit” on their thigh. It is one of the more sexy moves of the dance, and I’m using it as imagery for the sexual and sensual parts or “moves” of this chapter. In general, Victor and Tony are doing their own tango as they navigate this odd relationship they keep adding to. A tango can be very sensual while being performed by dancers with no sexual relationship at all. It could also be seen as a way to seduce someone.

Victor’s term “Crawfish Tango” refers to going back on a bet in a way that has to be done as a delicate dance to pull it off while not jeopardizing his professional reputation. I had fun with the imagery of a tango in this story, with the intricate give-and-take of these two very different men. For all the problems they have to contend with in order to be with each other, the chemistry and attraction they feel can sweep them away. Intense sexual chemistry can and often does happen between people who otherwise should maybe not try to date. Victor wants to keep Tony of course, while Tony continues to think he’s just in it for the great kinky sex – but is he? Perhaps Victor answers a need that Tony can’t acknowledge yet.

The Shining is a book by Stephen King. I snuck in another of Victor’s musical references: Takin’ Care of Business is a great song by Bachman-Turner Overdrive (BTO). José Cuervo is a Country song released by Shelly West in 1983. Mufasa and Simba from Lion King still belong to Disney. Lothario is a character from Don Quixote and a tragedy play called The Fair Penitent (1703) by Nicholas Rowe. The name became synonymous with a handsome and charming seducer of the love-them-and-leave-them variety. The Sanctuary and Liane and Mya are my inventions, from my story Redemption. Thanks for reading! – AnonGrimm  (@MET_Fic) (anongrimm-blog.tumblr.com)

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

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