Sabretooth: Over the Edge – Chapter 7 – Scars Underneath the Skin

In the corner of your eye
I can see into your mind
A shadow beneath your smile
Something hidden deep inside
Silently you wait for someone to see you

And you gaze up at the sky
As the clouds are passing by
And you wonder for a while
What it would be like to die
Silently you wish for someone to save you

But you want to be alive
As the self-loathing subsides
And you will not be denied
So you push their lies aside
Violently you burn for someone to feel you

Claw your flesh from off your bones
Face that fire on your own
Embrace the life you thought that you could never know
Can’t erase the pain inside without a storm within
They left their lies like scars underneath your skin
The one you’re hiding in, the one you’re supposed to live in

~ Skin (Machinae Supremacy)

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

Victor came with no help at all, just from the strength of his harsher thrusts. When Tony pulled free and moved up, he tried to scoop as much of the mess into his cupped palm as he could from the trembling beautiful abs. The mutant knew what he wanted; they both wanted it.

Tony watched, rapt, as the lethal mouth opened enough to allow him to slip a pair of fingers in. He tipped his hand and let the pearly mess slide and drip from palm, down fingers, into the sharp maw. Keeping his hand still, he watched the long winding tongue undulate out to lick it clean.

“Geez, that’s hot. Not my usual thing, but damn. Why do you do that?”

The feral smiled tentatively up at him. “Do it cuz it’s erotic, but also t’ not waste it.”

“Um, why? Sorry, but ‘why’ is one of my favorite words.”

Victor’s smile turned into a smirk. “Protein, zinc, vitamin C … why not eat it?”

“Well, STDs, for one. Not a problem with you, but for the rest of us, it is. Safest way to play with that, not to mention your blood games, is within an established couple, and the couple that gets tested together stays together – unless she shoots you.”

“Personal experience talkin’?”

“Alas, my track record with relationships is the opposite of my successes elsewhere in life.”

“We got loads in common, then.”

“Pardon the pun? So back to the nutritional benefits of cum…”

Victor’s smirk stretched wider. “A lovin’ spoonful ain’t gonna replace a steak fer nutrition, but I been in ‘nuff dire cracks with an overworked healin’ factor t’ learn not t’ waste any shot o’ protein. Mostly though, it’s just sexy – ‘specially if I’m eatin’ yers.”

“And me with the inconvenient refractory period.”

“Get on yer belly an’ I’ll rim yer ass through that in no time.”

“Sweet talker,” Tony said with a chuckle, as he rolled off him to do just that. Only five minutes under that tongue’s ministrations changed his mind about what he wanted. “When you’re satisfied with how open and wet you can get me, hold me down with a paw and dig in, huh?”

The low growl sounded over his shoulder blades as the head moved back and forth, licking and scenting him. It made him shiver with renewed lust.

“Find yer slick, wherever tha hell it went, an’ I will.”

“Challenge accepted.”

In the end, he had to get up and fetch a new bottle out of the nightstand drawer. Turning to admire his bedmate with it clutched in his hand, he caught that expression of near-worship again seconds before it twisted into an evil smirk that might have worried him if it didn’t just finish the process of making him hard.

“Hold that tight an’ turn ‘round, bend over an’ gimme yer ass.”

“Shouldn’t I be on my belly as earlier requested?”

“When I’m ready fer ya t’ be there, I’ll put ya there. Do what I said, flyboy.”

Tony turned, grinning even as another shiver ran up his spine. He set his feet apart for balance and bent at the waist.

“Legs t’gether.”

“You want me to fall on my face? I’m not that sober.”

“Do it. Pull yer junk back so’s I can see it under yer ass, trap it with yer thighs. Ain’t gonna tell ya twice.”

“Crap, you are a sexy bastard…”

Not being touched at all after he obeyed nearly drove him to object again, but he knew it was a test. He remained still and silent with his fists, one clutching the lube, resting on his thighs.

The tongue slipped beneath his ass when it touched him and toyed with his balls before it scraped over them, feline barbs nearly buckling his knees, up to his already worked-open hole. Claw-tipped fingers gripped his hips, the needle points pricking skin as the tongue wriggled inside him and began to thrust.

“Holy shit, Victor…” He almost whined when the tongue slipped back out.

“Hush. Gonna make ya paint yer legs with cum first. Then I’ll lick ya clean an’ put ya on yer belly, tongue-fuck ya ready fer my cock t’ split ya. If’n ya drop that bottle, gonna go watch TV an’ practice tellin’ ya ‘no’ all night.”

“You are evil.”

“Yup. Got it?”

“Yes…”

He was as good as his threats. Tony’s fist around the lube bottle ached long before he came. It was weird to feel the slight curl of shame and distaste at war with pleasure and excitement as his cum spouted down his legs.

“Fastidious as a damn cat – I like that, boy … like it a lot. Gonna turn ya int’ a cum slut, maybe sooner’n later.”

Tony felt his face flush at being called ‘boy’. He didn’t care for it one bit, yet even that cranked his lust higher.

Victor stopped touching him and all he could do was stare at the floor and feel it as the slick cum dripped through the hair on his legs, some of it dripping on his ankles and the floor.

Tony flinched and straightened his back when Victor appeared, sinking to his knees in front of him.

“Keep yers t’gether,” he told Tony. “Only one ‘bout t’ spread is me.”

As Victor spread his knees wide, the thick, veined cock slapped onto the floor between them, forgotten. He looked up and met Tony’s gaze once, and then sank lower to lick every drop of cum from the floor.

“Oh my God…” That is beyond hot. Subservient as hell, nearly on his belly, while being the boss of me. I have got to get him to do that again – when I’m in the driver’s seat.

Watching, both shocked and mesmerized, he flinched again when the tongue got to his ankles and began to move up, licking and sucking at every drophead and trail of cum.

“Victor, please…” Don’t even know what I’m begging for – just more. More.

His cock was still half hard, and when the tongue got there, it licked the cum away in one barbed swipe up the underside and over the slit. The lips held the head and suckled once – only once – before the feral leaned back. When he rose, it was a symphony of power and grace that took Tony’s breath away.

Abasing himself one second, and then owning me the next – and I can’t wait to feel him do it, pointy bits and all. What the hell is he?

“Yer gonna kiss me, taste yer cum, suck my tongue – yeah ya know where it’s been. Suck it.”

Tony couldn’t think anymore after that, but when Victor stepped close, bent down, and the soft lips opened over his, he did it without question or hesitation.

Pressing lightly against him, he became aware again of the deliciously musky scent of the mutant. It was always there, stronger if either of them were aroused.

He tried to lift his hands to touch Victor, but an iron grip captured both wrists, squeezing nearly hard enough to make him drop the bottle. It almost hurt. When the kiss deepened, the hurt fired with it into a heat that shut his mind down. His kiss became more desperate and he didn’t realize he was in danger of injury from the long fangs until after Victor broke it and moved back.

Dazed, he barely reacted when he was lifted bodily and laid down on his stomach.

“Get up, Tony, on all-fours.”

It was a struggle, as was managing to remember not to let go of the bottle. Victor finally took it from him, his weight on the mattress behind him making it hard to stay upright where he was wanted.

The tongue, fingers and lube, none of it was good enough to soothe the ache inside and when the broad cockhead finally settled in place and began to nudge, he felt tears prick his eyes.

“Don’t gotta do a thing ‘cept get bred.”

Tony gasped and stared down at the blue light on the sheets as he was pierced. When it was slow like this, it could almost be frightening.

“Touch me, I need it,” he whispered, alarmed at how rough and broken his voice sounded.

“Ya want me t’ be a lover, or ya want tha beast?”

“I – both. I want claws, and … your bite.”

He was held still by arms that could throw a car, pricked by claws that could slice through stone. He almost swallowed his tongue when the cock pushed deep. Soft fur brushed his back, and then the teeth pinched his flesh over the points of healing bite marks.

“Do it … I want to feel you drink it.”

The fangs punctured the flesh, so sharp it took a moment to even feel the wounds. His head spun when the first hard suck hit his body. The cock pulled back and was shoved in rough, a brutality only stopped from injuring him by the amount of lube and work to open him beforehand.

Another hard thrust felt like it might split him, and all at once the alien wrongness of allowing a creature to wound him, to take his blood, began to build a scream in the base of his throat.

He heard a low mechanical buzzing sound and his eyes flew open. “I’m okay,” he gulped out, “I want this.”

Feeling drunk, he blinked rapidly, and when Victor growled, teeth still sunk in his flesh, he was glad he hadn’t spoken the name of the AI. The subtle warning sound over them stopped.

The fangs released him and the tongue lashed the wounds, the mouth covering them. When the bleeding stopped, the mouth began to kiss and suck the flesh, bruising it more. The pain made him gasp, even as the cock inside him slowed to become gentler. Dizzy and excited, he hoped it was a ruse and almost laughed out loud when it was. The thrusts went back to nearly punishing him as he was slowly able to get hard again.

Victor had likely been waiting for that. He shifted slightly, one palm slaping over the arc reactor and the other hand wrapped around Tony’s cock. He only held it, making Tony squirm to get more friction there.

Once Victor’s breathing finally began to quicken and huff, his heaving abdomen striking Tony’s back as he thrust, Tony used his shaking arms to push back onto that cock the moment it shoved in deeper and began to shudder.

He couldn’t stop shaking, legs and arms, as Victor came inside him. He was abruptly holding up too much of the feral’s Adamantium-enhanced weight and nearly collapsed under it a breath before Victor reared back and roared. Before the primal and glass-rattling sound stopped, Tony sank underneath it all and felt himself sliding away.

~ ~ ~

Tony woke staring at the ceiling. He was on his back in a spectacularly destroyed bed, with his legs bent at the knees and splayed wide. Between them, when he looked down, was a crown of wavy-curly blonde hair framed by heavy shoulders dusted here and there with golden fur.

There were fingers buried in his abused ass, playing with his prostate, and then the suction on his dick registered and he gasped as his back arched. He barely had time to wonder how long that had been going on when he began to come straight down the feral’s constrictor of a throat.

His hands flew down to grab those glorious shoulders and hang on for dear life as the orgasm tore through him, leaving him limp, weak, and breathless in its wake.

When Victor looked up at him, the obscene tongue licking a droplet of cum from the base of one thick fang, an amber eye winked at him.

“Welcome back, hero.”

“What … the hell did you do to me, oh my God. That was … insane.”

“Try’n t’ top New York. How’d I do?”

“Ask me again when the feeling returns to my legs.”

Victor chuckled and moved, composing Tony’s limbs for him on the way up to lie at his side. “Maybe we need ‘nother o’ yer hour naps.”

Shifting to face him made Tony reluctantly aware of just how messy his lower half was, with both tacky and slick sensations coating his ass crack.

“Did you … do it more, after I passed out?”

Ducking his head to avoid his gaze, the loose hair from the braided bun fell over Victor’s eyes like a curtain. “How pissed ya gonna be if’n I say yeah?”

“Huh. Ah, not pissed. Technically, I did okay that before.”

“Only twice, then.”

“Good to know.” He stretched, winced, and then gave Victor a sheepish little smile. “Shower, then a quickie nap.”

“Just gonna get dirty again, ain’t we?”

Tony rolled and sat up on the edge of the bed with some effort. He was shocked when sitting didn’t hurt. Muscles were certainly sore and he knew he’d been busy, but his ass wasn’t in agony.

Victor sat up behind him and gently kissed the fresh bruised bite. “Tried t’ be careful, after…” The scratchy stubble of the broad cleft chin settled on the point of his shoulder, away from the bite. “Are ya … hurt?”

In an uncharacteristic gesture of affection, wanting to reassure while still gathering his thoughts, he lifted a palm to cup the side of the feral’s face, behind the fang. The heavy head tilted to press into the touch.

“No, I’m not – a little sore, that’s all. I’m fine.”

“Ya said so before, but I sorta got tha impression ya weren’t talkin’ t’ me. Was I ‘bout t’ get zapped by yer pissy house?”

“Not zapped, but yeah, I was talking to JARVIS – don’t worry about it, okay?”

Victor lifted his chin off him. “Okay. Good t’ know ya got some kinda security in this pile o’ concrete.”

“Carry me to the shower?”

“Will, if’n yer serious.”

Tony chuckled. “Kidding. Come on. This will be a sex-free pre-nap shower – provided I can walk.”

“Gotcha. Offer t’ carry ya still stands,” Victor replied, while tightening the braided knot in his long hair to keep it dry.

~ ~ ~

Tony could look beyond the feral through the clear window and watch the stars in the night sky over a dark and peaceful ocean. At least, that was how his not-quite-nap had started.

If he had fallen asleep, JARVIS would have woken him in an hour, but Tony had already spent most of that time lying as still as he could while staring at Victor. His bedmate slept, presumably peacefully, beside him – stretched out like a cat in a sunbeam, with one paw on the arc reactor.

Thoughts wandering over everything that had happened since the mutant had appeared and shot his house, his memory snagged over something Victor had said about his dad.

The Technology of the Future exhibit at the New York World’s Fair put on by the infamous playboy inventor Howard Stark, long before he was saddled with a wife and son: Flushing, New York, 1943. Something doesn’t add up. Victor said he was there. Most of the intel I’ve collected placed him in Germany. SHIELD proved he was a member of the Gestapo in Berlin. Hank said Victor claimed he prefers not to lie – but that was a lie, without a doubt. Huh. Deflection – he doesn’t trust me – which, I guess I knew.

It gave him a sinking feeling, but he couldn’t really blame the man, not after he had freaked out over the truth down in the workshop.

I have to watch that. I can’t expect him to tell me difficult things he’s experienced if he gets attacked for it.

The plan had been to let Victor sleep the full hour, still amazed – and a little jealous – that he could fall asleep so easily. To his surprise, watching that powerful body at rest, purring no less, ended up making fresh lust creep into every pleasurably aching bit of him.

Stalker or not, he blows my mind and my body can barely keep up. Scary, wounded, passionate, funny, or even angry – he’s never boring. As for sex, his creativity and shameless lust – to say nothing of physical traits and talents – are off the chart.

Reluctant to wake him, he tried to relax, but his body didn’t want rest now. Watching Victor’s closed eyes began a craving that curled around his growing lust – to see those amber eyes looking at him with warmth and need.

One night stands don’t care, I’m nothing but a rich celebrity to land or use, and it’s all become hollow – boring, not worth it. Once Pepper slipped out of my grasp, everything else just feels … empty. Then Grendel here wanders into my life and turns it upside down, for better and for worse. Hardly any of that hour left… Well, he did ask for more consent lessons, and I know just the one we need. Odds are it’ll drive us both nuts.

Reaching out, he petted a soft sideburn with the backs of his fingers – on the hand the feral had almost severed.

The eyes cracked open like amber slits, glowing slightly. As they opened wider, Tony was captivated by the warmth in them – exactly what he had wanted – even if he didn’t know how to respond or deal with it.

“Hour’s almost up,” he whispered, and smiled.

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

A gentle touch of fingers woke him without fear. The food, rest, and excitement of mating had conspired with the song of the arc reactor to give him a rare gift – untroubled sleep. It soothed his upset and eased the pain of being chosen – and then set aside.

Seeping into his awareness, Tony’s scent chased muzzy sleep out of his head and his eyes widened, all senses sharpening – his mate was once again in heat.

Regret and sorrow welled up to torment him. He ain’t yer mate. Faster ya drop that, tha less trouble it can drag ya through. Staring into those beautiful dark eyes lit by the ghostly night vision of starlight, he almost stopped breathing. Don’t care… Need t’ be ‘is, can’t care how.

Tony spoke, the tone soft, but hungry. He wanted him. He still wanted him. “Hour’s almost up.”

Victor moved closer and kissed him as a deeper purr thrummed in his throat. Tony was smiling at him and the tangle in his chest eased.

He ain’t angry no more. Still don’t wanna deal with my shit, though, I bet. Aim fer casual an’ fake it ‘til ya make it – he won’t change ‘is mind.

“I want to play a game – call it another lesson in consent,” the inventor announced with an even brighter smile. “You in?”

“Most o’ tha games I like end with somebody chokin’ on their own blood.” Victor thought about that and added, “Did make a couple folks choke t’ death on my blood, come t’ think o’ it.”

“Ah … yeah, no. This is a bed game, fun for both parties, although it doesn’t have to involve remaining in bed. First, allow me to introduce you to a concept I’ve become painfully familiar with, largely because of Pepper. I call this the three stages of ‘I don’t want to, but I know I will’: one is complaining, two is arguing; finally, three – pouting while you do it anyway.”

Victor arched an eyebrow at him. “Thought this was a lesson in consent.”

“Technically. Here’s the game: we can kiss and touch any way we like to make each other feel good, but no actual penetration with anything past kissing mouths, and no one is allowed to come. If one of us manages to make the other one come before at least an hour is up, the instigator isn’t allowed to come for the next hour, either.”

“Fuck that shit.”

“Oh, look – step one, in record time.” Tony winked at him and grinned. “Verbal skills are allowed.”

“Rules like that, I’m doomed.”

“Why? You can hold off forever.”

“Ya can’t, Old Faithful. I could make ya come with my tongue tied behind my back.”

“Quite the image.”

“What asshole dreamed this tease crap up?”

“An old girlfriend of mine – she wanted to get me to slow down and stay on second base longer.”

“I’m guessin’ ya didn’t do so hot. Did ya kick ‘er t’ tha curb cuz third an’ home’re more yer speed?”

“Ah, no, I broke it off because she shot me.”

“Solid reason. I can see both sides a bit on that, though.”

Tony snorted. “I bet you can.”

The inventor climbed up to lie on him and when he started to kiss him, Victor groaned into his mouth. The smirk that quirked over him at the sound fluffed his hackles up, spurring his competitive nature into overdrive.

“Ain’t gonna lose this li’l game,” he whispered up at him, the words almost a threat. “Yer fucked, hero.”

“Not for one hour – at the least,” Tony teased.

~ ~ ~

Not surprisingly, despite his earlier protest, Victor had Tony on the ropes in no time. He was splayed on his back as Victor lay cuddled up on his side, plastered to the inventor’s shoulder and hip. His extensive experience and skill with edging had ruined Tony while not allowing him to come.

“How’s Old Faithful doin’ now?”

“Asshole,” Tony accused, without real anger.

“That good, huh? Seems I got ‘im tamed – eatin’ outta my hand, almost. Who woulda thought?”

Victor grinned, bent himself double as if his cat spine was made of rubber, and wrapped his tongue around Tony’s dick again in a spiral, pulling it free as his hand squeezed the base like a cockring to keep him hard, yet giving him no real chance for release.

Tony groaned, his hands fisting at his sides. “God, I want you to blow me so bad…”

Victor straightened and leaned over him to meet his desperate gaze. He kept his expression casual, unaffected – knowing it would drive his lover crazy.

“That ain’t on tha menu, flyboy. See, cuz o’ how yer dick slides in an’ blocks my throat, then I bust out a purr that vibrates ya straight t’ yer fuckin’ balls right before I start t’ swallow ya deeper, an’ ya know I’m willin’ t’ pass out if’n that’s what it takes t’ make ya fill me with yer cum – that there’s ‘penetration’ o’ yer dick int’ my hot tight throat. So that’d break yer rules.”

Tony lay under him, staring and panting. “I hate you just a little right now.”

“Somebody told me recently t’ ‘use my words’. Was that ya, or some other arrogant prig with a goatee who was sittin’ in yer kitchen?” Victor went back to licking down his chest as Tony moaned and clung to him.

“No, that was me. I suck.”

“Later, maybe – after ya lose.”

Because he had discovered he could, he managed to edge Tony for nearly two hours, instead of one. The man had gone non-verbal, back-arched and glorious with dripping sweat and aching heat. Each drip of pre-cum that managed to tip over the edge and slide down the head was licked away by only the tip of his long tongue.

“Ready t’ concede tha victory?” he whispered, nuzzling his neck.

Tony’s trembling hand found and weakly gripped Victor’s forearm as the barest nod was given.

Sliding his outstretched hand down his lover’s slick body, he broke the hold and poised over the flushed dark and leaking cockhead. Carefully and slowly, he loosened his grip at the base of the shaft.

“Gotta confession t’ make,” he murmured, letting his breath puff the words over the full and glistening slit. “Just made ya hold off fer twice tha time limit o’ yer rules.”

The instant Tony’s eyes flew open to stare at him, Victor stuffed his throat full in one lunge downward and swallowed. Convulsing into orgasm, Tony’s body half sat up and his mouth opened wide. The scream rang in his pointed ears like sweet music as he thrummed the purr around his wet grip of that cock, wringing it dry in a few handfuls of thudding and skipping heartbeats.

He didn’t stop toying with it until just before the delicious aftershocks became a hypersensitive wince. When Tony collapsed, Victor moved and curled up at his side. He rested his cheek on a sweaty shoulder and listened as the near-scary heart rate and odd rhythm in the man’s chest settled, along with his breathing.

Scooting up higher, he nuzzled Tony’s hair and when he turned his head, Victor kissed the slightly open lips and breathed his breath into his lover’s body before inhaling Tony’s breath into his. Still unable to speak, the lips under his deepened the kiss.

It was sweeter than how they’d started the game, all challenge and play faded into the closeness of aftercare. The way he was kissed made his heart thump faster, but all urgency was gone, awash in a soft, gentle passion.

Loathe to stop it, he frowned at the gasping nature of the man’s breathing. Victor shifted to kiss his forehead, just to let him breathe.

When Tony shuddered, he groped for a blanket behind him, pulled it past him, and covered the inventor with it. As he slowly blinked and fell into sleep in his arms, Victor ignored his body’s hunger and let it fade while he held the smaller man, giving him his warmth.

“Ya wouldn’t wanna know what I’m thinkin’ now,” he whispered into the dark hair. “Not sure I do. Sleep…”

Victor remained awake and watched over him, monitoring the wounded heart beneath the arc reactor as Tony slept soundly.

~ ~ ~

Almost three hours later, Tony stirred before waking with a slight start. The way he moved his head, it was clear he couldn’t see in the dark bedroom. “Victor?”

Letting him relax to the sound of his purring, Victor didn’t answer with words. He curled closer around his lover and began to lick his chest, moving the blanket away from the reactor so its light would allow the man to see more.

Tony didn’t speak again for another hour, pulling Victor over him. Confident hands gently urged him to take his body, and it was languidly opened and filled, both of them moving slow and easy as Tony’s legs bracketed his hips.

Such a sweet slow mating might not have brought him release with another under him, but this one … he could barely breathe as he thrust, arms keeping his weight off, helping him to be easy.

Tony lifted his head to catch a kiss and the passion he gave, lost in a bemused haze, drove Victor over the edge with a near-silent gasp against his lover’s lips and tongue.

They sank and folded like a silken cloth dropped into a gentle wind. Victor settled on his back and Tony stretched and cuddled in, laying his head on his shoulder. Clever fingers played with the thick and soft thatch of fur at the center of his chest as Victor circled his back with an arm, pulling the blanket around the man again.

“Thank you,” Tony whispered, and faded into sleep once more.

Not sure if he meant the blanket or the mating, Victor turned his head closer to the soft dark hair and let his lungs fill with Tony’s scent until he drifted into the darkness, untroubled by nightmares.

~ ~ ~

Victor woke in the dim bedroom when Tony shifted and moved to sit up.

“Sorry to wake you. I swallowed the desert, and if I don’t get a drink, I may perish. Seriously. You want one?”

“Only if’n ya hate t’ drink alone.”

“If that were true, I wouldn’t drink as much.” Tony got up to rummage in the little collection of bottles and glasses in the room. He returned with a clear crystal bottle that looked more like it held perfume, complete with an ornate stopper. “I’m going to drink from the bottle like a heathen, and you’ll want some, because this is a Macallan 1824 Series No. 6.”

Victor smirked at him in the beamed blue light from his chest as his pupils contracted to slits. That particular single malt ran around $5,000 per 750ml bottle, and he definitely wanted some. As the stopper was pulled, the rich scents of it mixed with Tony’s scent and the cloying sweetness of their mating.

“Impress me, what’s in it, just a few of them,” Tony said, taking a first drink.

“I smell ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, hint o’ cloves, then oranges, figs, apples – t’ name a few – plus other goodies. I can scent tha Spanish sherry seasoned oak casks they had it in, fer starters.”

“Wow. I need to take you with me the next time I can’t get out of some boring snooty tasting party.”

“I’m game whenever.”

Tony smiled, sat with crossed legs near him, and handed the slender bottle over. “Wouldn’t that cause a stir. Fury would hit the roof.”

Victor snorted and let the splendid scotch warm on his tongue before he swallowed it. “If’n nobody tattles on us, dad won’t find out.”

Laughing as he took the bottle back, he drank again and sighed. “He’s not someone I actually listen to very often, much to his annoyance – it’s a theme for me with authority figures.”

“Got yer tongue back, I see. Renderin’ ya speechless, gotta be a record, huh?”

“Probably.” He tipped the bottle to him, but Victor shook his head. “All mine, then.”

Victor swallowed a sigh. Tony Stark had retreated again – even while he sat inches away from him. Forcing the abrupt restlessness back down, he sat up to match him and reached out to touch the man’s knee with his fingertips. Tony didn’t pull away from the touch, but it was clear he intended to distance himself from how deep they had gone. The scotch was just another thing to hide behind. Victor cast about in his tangled head for a safer topic than what their mating had done to him – again.

“So this tease game bitch that shot ya,” he blurted out, going for broke, “she need killin’?”

Tony managed not to choke on the treasure that he was drinking as if it were swill, but he took the bait right off for avoiding the heavier topics. “Kathy Dare, and no. Sordid tragedy.”

Being astounded by his brash violent-themed crass talk was becoming a comfort zone for the inventor. Watching him closely, intending to learn how to put him at ease so he wouldn’t run away any further, Victor sifted through the facts he knew about the woman. He couldn’t recall what she looked like, but then, Tony might not be able to, either. If she hadn’t shot him, he likely wouldn’t have remembered her name.

“Oh, that’s tha one who shot ya cuz she couldn’t abide by tha non-exclusive clause she agreed t’ prior – then offed ‘erself over it later? Broads. They’re crazy, ya know.”

“Hmm. Two questions. How long have you been stalking me, and how deep does that disturbing misogyny actually go?”

“Started a bit before ya went t’ Afghanistan, but lookin’ up old news stories ‘bout a billionaire playboy is easy as pie.”

“So your penchant for film noir insults to the fairer sex…?”

“I do like some women. Fact that most skirts’re useless idiots who dunno their own fuckin’ minds ain’t my fault. I like tha ones that do know that shit.”

“You mean the ones who let you have anything you want?”

Victor sighed. “Nope. Some o’ ‘em gimme a solid non-negiotiable no, but we’re still friends.”

“Huh. I would give a lot to meet even one of your female friends. I bet I’d hear some interesting stories.”

“Frail that shot ya – she’s yer reason fer no relationships?”

“Skirt and frail? Geez, those are worse than broad. Curbing that just a tad would be great. No, she’s not the only one, she’s on a list, actually. Sunset Bain, knew her when I was an undergrad at MIT, seduced me to get security codes for my dad’s company. I was naïve and an idiot.”

“Young, dumb, an’ full o’ cum.”

“Ah, yeah. ‘Colorful’ doesn’t begin to describe you.”

“Thanks,” Victor said with a teasing grin.

“That wasn’t a compliment, per se. Last swallow, last chance? No? Okay…” Draining the bottle, he put the stopper back in it. “Set that on the nightstand? Pepper’s mom wants the bottle. Thanks.”

Steering him back on topic, Victor asked, “So they all worked t’ screw ya over ‘til ya said ‘fuck it’?”

“I just … decided it was less messy – for everyone – if I stuck with one night stand material.”

With a hopeful thump, Victor’s heart rose back into his chest. Keeping his tone teasing, he asked, “Gonna put Pepper in that barrel if’n she ever lets ya?”

Tony frowned slightly, his tone a warning. “We are not discussing Pepper.”

Shrugging, he inwardly cursed. Least I found that line. “Suit yerself.”

The inventor stretched, wincing slightly. “I hope I’m going to be able to walk tomorrow.”

Victor laid back and lifted his bent knees, thighs parting in invitation as he snagged pillows to lounge against. He handed one to Tony, who was raising his eyebrows at him.

“Sounded like ‘switch’ t’ me.” He arched his hips to lift his ass, and the man stuffed the pillow under his lower back, even as he shook his head.

“You’re incorrigible. I may need to sleep for days after the boys leave tomorrow afternoon.”

“Bet they ain’t as much fun as me.”

“That is likely true. With you in my bed, I feel like I can’t escape my own libido.”

“Good. If’n ya can’t get away, I get my fill.” He crossed his wrists under his head and waited breathlessly for his lover – his mate – to fill him again.

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

Tony felt like a moth pulled to a flame, and he fought just as much, which was not at all. The singe of the feral’s heat was a drug. He nearly cursed aloud when he couldn’t find the lube at first, so he talked instead.

“Can I be honest here?”

“Shoot.” Victor found the bottle with no trouble and handed it to him without comment.

“I know how to do a great prep, I swear, but you not needing it and for the most part not even wanting it – well, it’s one of your best assets. For us mere mortals, attending to prep while attempting to make it sexy and getting things just so for safety? Wow, sometimes, and this is awful to say, but…”

“It gets so tedious, every damn time, ya end up also tryin’ not t’ lose yer fuckin’ stiffy?”

“Ah, exactly, yes. Alas, it makes me sound like a selfish bastard.”

Victor unfurled his heavy gorgeous arms and sat up enough to reach him. He took the lube out of his hands and slicked his cock for him, making it erotic as hell with only a few strokes, while also making him painfully hard and ready. Then he wiped his fingers off on Tony’s chest, making a gleaming circle on the skin around the reactor.

“Most folks already think yer a selfish bastard.”

Tony let out a delighted laugh right before Victor leaned in farther, the long rough tongue lashing over his nipple. With a gasp, he muttered, “Present company excluded?”

Leaning back against the piled pillows, Victor smirked. “Maybe.”

Relieved he was in the mood to keep it light this time, Tony gripped his slick cock and helped it stab inside that amazing warm and tight heaven. “So are you going to let me fuck you as often as I can get it back up?”

“Much as ya want, any way ya want,” the feral replied, his tone dropping into that dark silken rasp.

Tony pushed inside deeper and shivered, not sure if it was the mind-melting grip on his cock or the low erotic voice that got to him. “Use your words,” Tony urged him, greedy and eager. “Dirty them up, if you like.”

“Wanna sleep at yer side stuffed full o’ yer cum,” he responded. “When I gotta leave, gonna keep it inside.”

Baffled, shower-happy Tony asked, “Why?”

“Cuz I wanna smell like ya bred me, fer as long as I can.”

“Wow.” Almost speechless again, he pulled back and drove in harder. “Okay, dirty crude is fun.”

In the end, he wasn’t equal to the mutant’s stamina, but he did manage to give him what he wanted. With the term ‘cum slut’ floating in his head, he learned many new little things about what could be erotic until the window began to lighten.

By the time he dropped onto his back he was a rag. The blonde curled up around him, forehead touching his shoulder, and panted warm breath against his skin.

“JARVIS, wake me – gently – at ten sharp.”

“Certainly, sir.”

The feral was silent, but Tony was afraid to ask what he was thinking.

Victor seems to tense whenever I speak to JARVIS. It makes no sense – he’s tech savvy enough to realize the AI isn’t a threat to him … isn’t he? Maybe not – if he thinks my house is a trap. It has to be his feral nature overriding any skills with social cues he has managed to learn to read in others. I certainly don’t give off ‘I’m out to get you’ vibes, but I can’t program JARVIS not to give my feral guests 1984 Big Brother heebie-jeebies.

Tony placed a hand on the heavy bicep he could reach and let his thumb stroke the soft skin over rigid muscle until the massive mutant relaxed again. He hoped Victor would sleep, but drifted off himself while he was thinking about it.

~ ~ ~

Skipping breakfast for coffee and some good old American/Canadian international relations (screwing Victor’s magnificent ass while bending him over the kitchen counter) turned out to be an excellent decision. He wasn’t entirely on board with the no shower idea, but too sleepy and too horny conspired against him.

“Gonna run fer tha shower now?” the mutant asked, not quite successful in hiding the slight snear in his tone as he yanked his lounge pants up and turned.

“I can hold off until you leave, if you’re not willing to join me in one.” Tony tucked things away in his pants, retrieved his coffee, and handed the other mug to Victor. “You are adept at driving me wild – no average sack buddy can convince me to delay a shower when I smell like the floor of a brothel. Bravo.”

Victor sat on one of the stools at the table and drank the sugar coffee down. “Ivy Leaguers… Ya never been in a real brothel, have ya?”

“Not Ivy League, MIT is a STEM-oriented school.”

The pointed ears pinned. “What tha fuck’s stem?”

“Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics – STEM. The Brass Rat boys aren’t as stuffed-shirt as the Ivy boys.”

“Coulda fooled me. Now an’ then ya don’t make a lick o’ sense.”

Tony smiled and drifted closer, still standing. “Actually, I have been in a brothel – on a dare during our college days – Rhodey’s fault. He insists now he kept forgetting my age at the time, but the ladies only saw my last name and didn’t ask for ID. It was fun, until I ended up fixing the wiring in their kitchen – my idea, and that was still fun, to be honest. Having a pair of beautiful nude women handing you tools is an experience not to be passed up.”

Moving behind the mutant, he leaned a forearm across the wide bull shoulders and finished his coffee. Handing it to him, he leaned down and licked an earlobe. The immediate shuddering response was entertaining. Both mugs rattled on the table when Victor quickly put them down.

“Ears huh, like the fangs? If only I’d known that – or remembered the fang-licking – during our game. So, in the interest of science…” He shifted and leaned both forearms on Victor’s shoulders, hands dangling. Tilting his head, he ran his tongue up the outside of the ear and then sucked once experimentally on the pointed tip. “Hello.”

Tony grinned. Victor growled low, a definite sound of lust. A moment later, he slid the ear tip into his mouth again and sucked it harder – more or less using blowjob techniques in miniature. A bit of teeth got things going, and he gleefully watched the feral’s dick get hard again in his loose pants.

Whispering into his ear, Tony asked, “Are you as stuffed as you wanted to be yet?”

“Don’t care if’n no more’ll fit, fuck me again…”

“Refractory period says you have to endure me sucking on your ears a while longer first.” The groan that got him made Tony chuckle as he switched to breathe on the other ear. “Care for a rematch?”

Victor’s whole body tensed under him. “Nope, cuz yer ‘bout t’ make me come in my damn britches.”

“Sounds like fun. Britches? Oh, that’s awesome. Are you sure you won’t shower with me? Your other end is going to stay nice and tight, after all – scrubbing the rest won’t disrupt your ultimate goal. Plus, your hair is going to end up looking like an ‘80s Pop princess if we mess it up any more.”

He got his way, after deliberately making Victor come in his pants via sucking on ears and pinching nipples. He would have called it revenge for the cum slut stunt, but then the feral pointed out that it merely proved his point – Tony was finding it erotic, fastidious or not.

Keeping the shower merely a shower was rough on them both. Tony dried off while watching Victor braid his damp hair into a thick heavy rope. The blonde got into his duffel bag and dressed quickly in black jeans and t-shirt. When he turned, Tony smiled at the band name and mascot depicted on the shirt.

“Disturbed? Are you a fan of the band, or is that just a helpful public advisory?”

Victor snorted, but didn’t answer. He sat on the end of the wrecked bed to put on socks and weighty combat boots. Apparently, now that the last morning was bringing their so-called date to an end, the feral was in a hurry to get it overwith. Tony was torn between wanting to slow him down and not wanting to give him mixed signals.

Turning away, he dressed in similar comfy clothes, sans the commando habit. When Victor had his things gathered, Tony followed him out to the black Hummer that crouched in the circular drive like the unknown monster from the Scottish loch in that Synchronicity II song by the Police.

He was about share the joke, but Victor surprised him by merely climbing in. He tossed the bag onto the passenger side. For some odd reason, it sat next to a wilted and browning white rose.

Tony moved into the space so he couldn’t immediately shut the door. He watched as the window was rolled down. Taking a breath, he plunged into a final question. It needed to be addressed.

“Have you told me any lies this weekend?”

Victor predictably dropped his gaze down to one side. “Maybe … one.”

“Maybe. Okay. Let’s take that at face value for now. What was the lie?”

“Ya know.”

“Yes, I do, but I count two, one being that you weren’t fine when you claimed to be. Tell me the other one.”

Victor lifted his head a bit, watching Tony through loose hair that had escaped the braid. “Never went t’ that exhibit yer pa had, with tha flyin’ car demo. Saw a documentary film ‘bout ‘im years later an’ it showed tha footage o’ that.”

“You didn’t go because you were in Europe, as early as 1941.”

“1939, Austria – never shoulda gone over there.”

“The expo was in 1943.”

“Yeah…”

“Why tell me that?”

“Didn’t wanna tell ya what I was doin’ in ‘43. Had no idea ya already knew.”

“I know very little, broad brush strokes, but yes. I didn’t really think about it at the time when you said that – I was too stunned to hear you mention my dad.”

“It was a nicer li’l white lie. Figured if’n ya knew tha truth…”

“I’m still standing here.”

“Fer now, maybe. Least this time, I’m tha one walkin’ away.”

“So I have to ‘earn it’ if I want to know more about some of the issues that are behind the problems I’m stumbling over or stepping on? How do I go about doing that?”

“Fer starters, ask me direct, ‘steada pumpin’ McCoy fer all he knows.”

Tony straightened and met his shrewd stare. “Of course you figured that out. What gave me away? Can you actually smell that I was around him months ago? I shower a lot.”

“A bit, yeah. Don’t need that, though – pretty much common sense ya’d go fer answers there.”

“Well, there was no pumping, I assure you. I just asked what you wanted me to – about what you are. You didn’t leave me any other options at the time. I bet you’d rather I didn’t get my information from law enforcement’s Acronym Soup. All they know are crimes, anyway – your criteria.”

“McCoy give ya good dirt? Tell ya all ‘bout how evil I am?”

“No, it was a scientific exchange about feral mutant biology and behavior. He was fair to you, actually, and helped me understand a lot.”

“Imagine that shit. Did ya land on Cueball’s doorstep that same mornin’ after walkin’ out on me?”

“Yes? We didn’t exactly have a plan to hang out all day, what with you being late for Helsinki, and me needing to get back to work.”

“Ya wanna keep on tha down-low, don’t ya, tha fact that we been fuckin’?”

“Preferably, yes – easier for both of us. Why?”

“Nothin’ – I’m sure it’s fine an’ dandy.”

Slightly pricked, Tony stepped back a bit. “Hank doesn’t know. He would have told me.”

Victor snorted and shut his door, almost slamming it. “Sure, flyboy. Bet he don’t. Gotta make tracks.”

Tony hooked his fingers in the open window and winked at the blonde. “Did he really bribe you with candy? If that works, I can use that. Was it the good stuff?”

That almost cracked the wry smirk into a real smile – almost.

“Bastard had Brach’s Butterscotch Discs. Def works.”

“Filing that away for later.”

“Ya plannin’ t’ let go o’ my door, or are we gonna stare int’ each other’s eyes ‘til yer law an’ order buddies get here?”

Stifling a sigh, Tony moved his fingers and stepped out of the way, squashing the impulse to try for a kiss.

His body language, real or a mask, gives the impression it wouldn’t be a welcome gesture. The most frustrating thing about that is, I have absolutely no clue why. I guess I should be glad he isn’t trying to kill me to keep me, and just leave it alone. “Be good, Mufasa.”

“Not bloody likely,” Victor groused.

The feral backed the Hummer up to turn it around, rather than using the roundabout. He did stop for only a moment and stared at him as if trying to remember every detail of his face and body – like he thought it would be the last time he had the chance.

Tony let the sigh go. “Don’t be a stranger,” he muttered, knowing Victor could hear him. It was the same thing he’d said in New York. Is he not aware that means ‘call me’? The mutant just stared at him before turning his head and driving away.

Facing the empty house, he frowned. Pepper might be another hour, especially if she was purposely trying to give them space. Rhodey and Coulson wouldn’t arrive for hours yet.

“Suck it up, get back to work,” he muttered, and went in.

~ ~ ~

The workshop was quiet, and since he had asked JARVIS to hush and let him think, a pin drop would have been loud. He moved over to the Trossi and stared down at the destroyed concrete beside the pad it sat on. He was still staring at it, lost in thought, when the keypad beeped. He didn’t have to look up.

Pepper rounded the corner of equipment and tables holding a tablet, and he took it when she handed it to him. Then she saw the mess.

“What happened? Are those … claw marks? Tony? What did he do?”

“Ah, that was, actually, collateral damage from … a good time.”

“He rips up concrete and cuts steel toolboxes for a good time?”

Clearing his throat, Tony took refuge in skim-reading the tablet. As he signed, Pepper watched him. She looked needlessly worried when he glanced up. He handed her the tablet and her stylus, and then shrugged absently.

“He got into it. Anyhow, concrete is cheaper to replace than my sheets.”

“Are you planning to … see him again?”

“Probably. Dual busy schedules, though.” He turned away to retreat to his desk again. “Oh, sorry – was this going to be a lecture about my bad taste in playmates?” He shot a charming smirk over his shoulder at her.

“No, it wasn’t.”

She followed him, but passed by to return to the door while schooling her expression into feigned casual interest. Hugging the tablet to her chest was a nervous tell he planned to ignore.

“If he can make you happy, I’m glad. Just … be careful. You know why. It’s a long list.”

“I know why. I’m not marrying Victor. He’s … fun and outrageously different.”

“And one of the oddest pet projects you’ve ever dreamed up. What are you trying to do?”

Tony sighed. “Make a difference? Show him another way? I’m winging it, here. No one else is trying anything beyond locking him up, executing him, or brainwashing him into a weapon – for our government, I might add. None of that works for long. Time for a new approach.”

“That – man – is a scary mess.”

“He is. He’s also weirdly a decent person by his own code, despite his problems and criminal record. I do love a challenge.”

“Good thing. Criminal records, plural, in the felony deep end.”

“Duly noted. I’m being careful.”

“You’re being deliberately vague. How does spending a weekend – in bed – ‘show him another way’?”

“Ah. I’m teaching him the concept of consent, which seems to run afoul of feral instincts at times. If I can get him to tone down the misogyny and non-mutant racism – bonus.”

“Toning down the murder for hire career would also be a plus.”

“Low-hanging fruit first, although my jury’s still out on whether or not most of his targets deserve what they get. Hydra deserves it. Your advice helped, by the way. You also can’t fool me; I saw how you waxed all sympathetic to his plight. You don’t hate him, or you wouldn’t have helped.”

“Thinking he’s a potential danger is all the more reason to caution you not to treat him as badly as you can some of your mini obessions. It has nothing to do with hating him, which I don’t. However, I’m not looking to add a sociopath assassin to my list of friends, or … playmates.”

“You have playmates?”

“No changing the subject after freaking me out all weekend.”

“Fair enough.”

“Besides, I’m constantly working. My boss is a full-time handful.”

“True. Has my schedule changed, Miss Pots?”

He arched an eyebrow at her and was rewarded with one of her little smiles that always changed everything for the better.

“It has, Mr. Stark. Rhodey and Agent Coulson will be here this afternoon at three. I moved your four o’clock, since I know you didn’t want to do that anyway.”

“You’re a treasure.”

“Uh-huh. It’s only moved to tomorrow at two o’clock, you still have to meet them.”

“I mean it – light of my life,” he called, as she went out the door and headed upstairs.

Turning back to his desk, he paused when he spotted Victor’s blunderbuss forgotten on a work table beyond it. Seeing it made him turn and he looked across the room at the roadster. The broken fang was still hanging from the windshield. He sat in his chair heavily with a huff and frowned.

“JARVIS, play me the new music from Victor’s collection.”

“Which artist or genre, sir?”

“Something old, jazzy or bluesy, but you pick. Thrill me.”

As a simple acoustic Blues song began, the lyrics made him sigh. JARVIS doesn’t know – it’s just a morbid coincidence. “What is this one?”

“A famous Blues song from 1936, sir: Sweet Home Chicago by Robert Johnson. Shall I change it?”

“No, it’s fine. Maybe he’s just a retro Blues Brothers fan.” Tony tapped the glass to bring up the keyboard and get back to work as the King of the Delta Blues singers crooned on.

Oh, baby don’t you want to go?
Oh, baby don’t you want to go?
back to the land of California
to my sweet home Chicago

Now one and one is two
Two and two is four
I’m heavy loaded, baby
I’m booked, I gotta go

Cryin’ baby
Honey don’t you want to go?
back to the land of California
to my sweet home Chicago

As he tapped on the keys to begin his next design, he tried not to think about what had happened in Chicago. Remembering the argument with Victor led to the memory of what the feral had said about him not kissing Pepper on the roof.

So clearly, he saw that.

Tony couldn’t suppress a shudder at the thought of that private moment of breathless hope being witnessed by an assassin stalker.

My botched attempt to be with Pepper. Then she shot me down before the press conference when I tried to bring it up, and I couldn’t honestly blame her. I’ve been too spooked – or too singed – to try again, but there was … something … between us.

Tony stopped typing with a quiet curse and got up to fetch a drink. He downed it, and poured another.

You were an idiot. One look at a pretty redhead in a backless dress and off you went. You didn’t even realize the woman was Pepper until she turned, but you still went, and only partly to escape Coulson. You came on just like you always do when you start trolling for the next one night stand, and she knew it, having seen it in action often enough – like lots of other people in that room. She was worried about being seen as someone who sleeps with her boss to get ahead – she even tried to say so, but you weren’t listening.

The warmth of the scotch spread through him, but two wasn’t going to be enough and maybe ten wasn’t going to be, either. Resolutely pouring a third, he brought the bottle with him and sank into the couch.

She still went to the roof, though – to have privacy – and almost kissed me. If I’d come back with her martini, overcrowded with olives, where would we be now?

With enough scotch in him, maybe he’d find the answer.

Is there a balance between saving other people’s lives and saving my own? No, there isn’t. People being hurt by my weapons come first – they have to. Pepper understands … she also knows me – maybe too well.

The music continued, oddly singing about going back to California, to his Sweet Home Chicago.

Snorting, he poured and drank again, grateful for the distraction. “Mr. Johnson, you needed a better map.” What if Victor likes this song because I’m his Sweet Home Chicago, who happens to live in California? I better have more scotch down here.

He wanted to be angry about what Victor had done, and somewhere, deep and unexamined, he knew he was. Yet now, feeling the regrets – all over again – of the mess he’d made with Pepper, he had to face a few ugly facts.

If Victor were here at this moment, you’d screw him just to feel better. Band-aid or itch to scratch, that’s your thing.

Tony frowned at the unwanted memory of a woman he’d been with in college. He and Rhodey had crashed a frat party. She’d been twenty-three to his fifteen, tall and gorgeous – a psychology major from another school. She had blown his mind with her brain and her body, and he’d wanted to see her again. He wasn’t used to being told no, then or now. Her response had been wordy and pretentious – but he had swallowed it down as the best way to avoid feeling the way she’d left him feeling.

‘Sex for the sake of releasing tension and then moving on is easy, simple, clean and bloodless. Emotional attachment is complex, and risky. Where has loving people gotten you so far?’

His thoughts had arrowed to his dad – not where he had wanted them at that specific messy and humiliating moment – and the barb had sunk deep, intended or not. Howard Stark didn’t get told no, and he clearly didn’t care how much his son had tried to love him.

An idea floated, detached and buzzing, through his scattered thoughts as he drank: that there could be some odd correlation between that scathing lesson and Victor’s constantly morphing behavior toward him, but he couldn’t grasp it. It was psychology and emotions, after all, and so not his forte.

He said he pushed me, out in the Arctic Circle, because he thought I wouldn’t do it unless he mashed enough slut buttons – or something like that – and he wanted me too much not to try. In Chicago, he found me splayed and urging another man to fuck me. Instinctual response to kill the rival and win the mate, or taking a shot at something he assumed he’d never have? Does he really have no clue how awful that was?

Tony had never wanted to admit to himself that the young man Victor had killed had died because the spoiled rich brat he still was at times had wanted to do something risky and reckless – to combat stress, ghosts, and having to watch Pepper in a low-cut gown all night.

Was that risky and reckless enough for you? The guy was torn apart and thrown away like garbage! Messy, public – like a final insult, or barbaric warning.

Tony cursed again and drank – another long pull on a bottle that was never going to help him forget that. Shying from it, his thoughts swayed and crashed back to the bed, the tie blindfold, and the moment when lust had alchemized into terror.

The memory of the horror in that hotel suite was dredged up all over again, until anger and denial chased it back down.

He wouldn’t have killed you or ripped the reactor out of your chest. He can’t carry an STD. Even drunk, you knew he was being careful, almost gentle. You had no idea it was someone else until…

Wincing, he shied away from calling it what it was. He didn’t want to deal with that, or be that. His stomach flipped as he shoved it away. Now that he knew it was Victor, it was easier to remember it that way. Victor had likely seen it as mating, therefore sex, and that meant Tony didn’t have to call it the other thing.

Just call it sex – he’s damn good at it. If you can enjoy it with him, then the other issue doesn’t matter, does it?

His betraying stomach twisted again, the rising bile becoming the taste of the lie.

What the hell is wrong with me – I like screwing him, even after what he did. That has to be nuts. I want to call it sex and forget it! Why can’t I stop going in circles about it?

Rising to get the next bottle, he was still steady on his feet – but he no longer wanted to be.

Tony turned and aimed at the recycle bin, grunting when the empty bottle broke inside it. Opening the next, he left the glass on the counter and began pouring the scotch down his throat as if it could drown it all.

This is stupid. He gasped out a breath as he gripped the back of the couch. You know you wish he was still here so you could fuck him. When he looks at you like you’re a god, a gift, you wish it was true, so you let him … let him try to make you believe it.

Gulping at the bottle again, he let go of the couch to lean on it and squeezed his dick in his jeans. Its half-response felt like a betrayal. Letting it go, he did stagger.

“Sir, did you wish me to call Miss Potts, or Mr. Hogan?”

Tony glared up at the soft and concerned voice coming from the ceiling. His decision was instant. When he feared something, he often felt grabbing it by the handful was the only way to kill the fear.

“Call Victor.” He made it to the couch. “Call him now,” he ordered, and worked on killing the new bottle with a vengeance.

Silence reigned for a moment, and then the AI responded, “Dialing Victor Creed, sir.”

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

Victor turned away onto his side when Perrin moved off him. His gaze fell on the fireplace mantel, to the trophies of his failures: the crystal box held golden hair that smelled like lavender, and atop it, the Adamanium and diamond engagement ring Tabitha had rejected – from a distance of mistakes, more than miles. It still held her scent, from when she had placed it there. He had never touched either object since.

Perrin curled up against his back, soft lips kissing his shoulder. “You’re still melancholy. Are there questions you want to ask? I wish to help you, Victor – don’t let this sink you down again, please.”

“Wanna walk away from Stark – dunno if I can.”

“Does he know – how you feel?”

“Got no idea what he thinks he knows.” He frowned, but then took a chance. “Tha man fucks me blind, turns me inside out, acts like he needs it as bad, as intense, as me. When it’s over, he keeps sayin’, ‘let’s keep it light, it’s ‘sposed t’ be fun’, an’ then he jokes ‘bout me not askin’ ‘im t’ prom. Gotta translation fer that shit?”

“Odds are, he suspects or even knows you have deeper feelings, but that sounds like a warning not to pursue it.”

“Got me suspectin’ it’s Tony-speak fer ‘let’s have sex on my terms with no strings’ with a dash o’ ‘go away before tha cum starts t’ get sticky’. Can’t really blame ‘im, he was upfront ‘bout tha no strings shit.”

“I suppose. The ratio of honest interest he at times receives versus gold-digging intentions is bound to be rather lopsided. He may not know how to react to honest desire – or he’s afraid of it.”

“Or I ain’t what he wants, plain an’ simple. At least he knows I ain’t in tha gold-digger bunch – got my own gold. How he acts, though – like he wants a mate, not just sex – ‘til tha minute it’s over; then he runs away, even if he don’t move an inch. What tha fuck is that? Confusin’ bull – leaves me … well, feelin’ like shit, t’ be honest.”

“That’s why I wish he wouldn’t toy with you – what you feel for him is an honest want, which may be more – for you, at least.”

“Don’t matter none. Gonna take what he’s willin’ t’ give an’ move outta ‘is way when he wants me gone.” He winced from just imagining Perrin’s expression, hardly able to believe the wretched words himself.

“We both know what you usually call that sort of arrangement in others.”

Victor almost growled, but his heart wasn’t in it. He’d faced an ugly truth on the flight up from LAX, and the empty feeling of loss had widened with every mile in between. In a desperate attempt to reject that truth, he had tried to scrub Tony off and out of him the moment he arrived in his suite, but the scent and the truth remained.

“Guess if’n that makes me ‘is bitch, don’t care. Blame tha inner beastie – he got claimed an’ then turned loose cuz tha fool had no idea what he was doin’. Can’t blame ‘im fer that, neither – he ain’t a feral an’ he dunno any o’ that shit.”

Perrin went still at his back, and then released a held breath to answer. “We need to be clear – your feral self feels that Stark took you for a mate and you submitted to him? That could be a problem.”

“Preachin’ t’ tha choir, boy.”

Victor twitched when the phone went off on the nightstand, playing a snippet of Black Sabbath’s Iron Man. The ringtone change had seemed darkly funny on the jet; now it just made him clench his teeth. Reluctantly, he glanced back at his bedmate.

Perrin frowned and sighed. “Do you want me to go?”

He did growl as he reached for the phone. “Yeah.” He waited to answer it until the boy left and closed the double doors. What tha fuck now? One deep breath helped the mask slide into place. “It’s yer nickel, shoot.”

“Victor…”

The name was slightly slurred. Anger morphed into a flash of feral protection instinct.

If he’s in trouble, or hurt… “Talk t’ me – where are ya?”

“Workshop. I need to know something.”

“Tell me.”

In the silence that followed, he heard a bottle being drained. He was home, and drunk.

“Why did you…? No, no, scratch that…” His breathing changed – he was upset.

“Tony, what’s happened?”

The inventor laughed, a humorless and bitter sound. “I don’t have a damn clue. I was working, thinking about screwing up my chance with Pepper. Then … the song. Victor, in Chicago, if I had agreed to meet you, would you have come to my suite?”

“In a heartbeat.”

“And if I wanted sex, would you have done it?”

“Tony, ya know that. Yes.”

“Then why…”

A cold and curling fear pierced his belly. “Why what?” The man fell quiet. “Tony…” The bottle again, the breathing uneven – he was getting deliberately wasted, alone.

“Nothing, I just… It’s nothing. I knew a woman once in college, and she told me that even if I want something, if I don’t like me much, that … she said that self-hatred can kill desire, can damage the capacity to feel, make it difficult to … accept affection. Would you agree with that statement?”

Fear twisted into confusion as he struggled to follow what the man was saying, while still afraid of what he might say.

“Agree with it?”

“Victor, yes – don’t be an idiot, you are not an idiot – if you hate yourself, if I do, it’s hard to let people in. Yes or no?”

“Yes.”

“It’s hard because we’ve been hurt. It isn’t our fault, right? Tell me it isn’t.”

“Ain’t our fault.”

“Victor…” The voice was shaking. “You didn’t mean it, tell me that – you didn’t mean it.”

He froze, barely able to breathe. “Didn’t,” he whispered, not daring to ask what he meant.

“Okay, okay…” His tone flooded with relief, Tony let out a sigh. “So help me out here, help me turn my frown upside down. You’re into this, the phone thing. Tell me…”

“Are ya askin’ if I want ya? Ya know I do. Tony … do ya want me t’ help ya feel good?”

The pause nearly choked him, but then the whispered slurred words almost killed him. “Yes … I do. How you look at me – I need that. I wish you were here.”

Victor swallowed hard. “If’n I had a way quick ‘nuff, I would be. I’d go back out there anyhow, if ya asked.”

“No, Rhodey and Coulson. Are going to be here. This afternoon – perfect. I forgot. I can’t be this trashed… I could fly your way in the suit. Where are you?”

“Canada.”

“That’s a … rather wide target. No offense to Canada…”

“Ya can’t fly wasted. Slow down, try t’ relax. Are ya at tha desk, roadster, what?”

“Couch.”

“Put tha bottle down, Tony – put it down an’ touch yerself fer me. Stroke a hand over yer chest, an’ touch yer cock.”

He heard the bottle thunk down on something. Tony’s breathing was still irregular, but he sounded less panicked as his belt buckle clinked.

“In the suite, if I let you in, if I let you…”

“If ya had lemme have ya, I woulda made ya feel good, gonna do that now. Take yer cock out fer me an’ touch it.”

“I wish I could see you. You need a phone like mine.”

“Hush, now. Grip that luscious cock. If’n I was there, I’d suck it. Remember how that feels.”

Coaxing him into it, his own body on fire with heat but forgotten, he lead Tony past that block of self-hatred he was all too familiar with and slowly began to lull him into feeling pleasure. The first reward of hearing his breathing change again, becoming more calm and relaxed, allowed him to calm, too.

“Do it,” Tony whispered, a gentle urging that made Victor’s body ache. “Touch yourself, too. If you were here now … Victor, come on…”

He was almost afraid he’d come just from the first grip around his cock, with that trembling whisper in his ear.

“Tell me you want me, Victor.”

“Tony, god – I want ya more’n breath. Stroke it fer me, come fer me…”

Victor let a purr loose and heard Tony grunt and groan, heard his hand abusing his cock as he came. He cried out, sounding surprised.

“Oh, geez, how do you do that? I couldn’t even get hard before, but you make me pop like a damn teenager. Get yourself off for me, come on.”

He couldn’t have held back if he was told to. Barely stroking, he let that ruined voice push him to come – let Tony hear what he’d done to him, how unraveled, raw, and undefended he felt.

“The way you fall apart… That really polishes my … wounded ego.”

Mere moments later, the inventor’s breathing evened out and slowed – and the ambient sounds around him abruptly made sense. Tony was probably not even holding his phone to call him; he’d had the house do it.

“Sleep, Tony…”

The man didn’t answer, likely already asleep. He could hear him breathing – the connection was still open.

Underneath the gentle breath, a quiet spinning song lulled Victor’s heart rate.

He held the phone to his ear and settled, not caring about anything else, and let the siren song of the arc reactor and the breathing of his mate soothe him into sleep.

FINI.

(Sabretooth will return in Unstoppable.)

 

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Author’s Note: Kathy Dare and Sunset Bain are women from the Iron Man comics. The psychology major from the frat party is my own invention. It often bugs me that casual references are made to Tony’s wild college days and few even seem to care that he was a teen boy for most of that. Victor doesn’t really balk at it because of his perspective from the time he grew up in, when a teen was a legal adult – and yet Victor goes after modern pedophiles with murderous results. “The Brass Rat” is what MIT alumni call the mascot beaver on their class rings. Tony can be seen wearing one in Iron Man 1 when he goes to the Stark benefit for fire fighters.

In the 1980 film Blues Brothers, the song Sweet Home Chicago is played, but with slightly different lyrics than the 1936 recording by Robert Johnson. “Lovin’ spoonful” is another of Victor’s musical references. The Lovin’ Spoonful is an American rock band that formed in 1965. Most average ejaculates produce approximately a teaspoon of semen, hence his joke. Grendel is the monster from the classic Beowulf. The Big Brother themed novel 1984 was written by George Orwell. This ends Over the Edge. As usual, if I find any typos, I’ll fix them as I find them.

For anyone reading my non-Sabey tales, I’m late on updating the other WIPs. I’ll get back to that, I promise. Thanks for reading! – AnonGrimm (@MET_Fic)

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PreviousSabretooth Series

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