Addergoole
Interlude: Emrys, Ambrus, & Manira

Regine was in her office, going over paperwork with Mike and Reid for the third night in a row. Chances were, she wouldn’t be back to their apartment until late. Ambrus was bored, restless, and, if he was willing to admit it to himself, more than a little lonely. He dressed, picking clothes that were currently in fashion, emphasizing the apparent youth of his beardless face and slim body, and hesitated, his hands over the torque, but, in the end, left it there. “Better to ask forgiveness than permission,” true, but leaving the collar off suggested intent. He didn’t want to suggest intent, should Regine choose to disapprove.

He brushed his hair and tied it into a ponytail and, his costume and his game face on, strode out into the halls.

There weren’t many people around, most of them in their rooms, or tucked in their lounges, but, of course, he had to pass Emrys, just moments before he reached his destination. He fought not to show tension, his face blank.

"Old man," the kid said, his voice on this side of civil, so Ambrus answered,

"Son," as levelly and smoothly as nearly three decades of training could grant him. Keep walking. His feet kept moving, but the ambling nature of his pace meant he was still in earshot (as the boy intended, he was sure) when Emrys sneered,

"Bootlicker."

He spun, the anger rising in him as it never did with anyone but this miserable, hateful bastard. "You little punk..." Never mind that they were the same size, that the kid had 20 pounds of muscle on him, he was going to...

"What?" Emrys sneered. "What are you going to do? You weak-ass little lapdog..."

Lapdog. Ambrus knew submission, as well as he knew lust, and fear, and pain, everything he had been made into. In a fit of pique, he slammed that all into the boy: pain, and pleasure, wanting it, fearing it, and the sensation of terrified obedience his first owner had fostered in him.

Emrys fought it. There hadn’t been a moment or a movement in his life the kid hadn’t fought. But, weak-ass bootlicker or not, Ambrus had years of experience cracking tougher nuts than this one. Slowly, fighting for every inch, Emrys dropped to his knees, his face flush with shame and misery.

Ambrus glanced around the hallway, sending out a brief pulse of stay-away. There was no need - yet - to make this public. He looked down at the top of the boy's dark head, wondering if he should have done this years ago.

"That's what I'll do," he said softly. He walked away, his steps deliberately thumping in time with his heatbeat, letting up on the emotional overload a little with each step, so that, by the time he rounded the corner, Emrys could pull himself to his feet again. That was a risk, of course, but he didn't think the kid would rush him, and, hateful bastard or no, he didn't want to leave him there on the floor for anyone to find.

The gamble paid off, and he heard Emrys walking away, his footsteps sounding stiff but not hesitant. Probably hadn't been the brightest idea, but, hell, the kid could hardly hate him more, could he? And besides, after years of suffering the bile he spewed, it had felt good to finally give him a taste of it back.

It had felt really good, he realized, to not be the one bowing down, for once. To not simply take what was given to him with a smile.

He was nearly at Manira's door by the time Emrys' steps had faded. He'd been thinking of going to visit Shahin, but this door was right here and... he hadn't really thought it through before he was knocking, but he managed to slide a cute and harmless expression on his face before she opened the door.

She was wearing the cutest little red skirt and a sweet white shirt that made her look both innocent and edible, and her eyes trailed up his body curiously, stopping at his throat. He felt a shot of hunger surge through him so intense that for a moment, he thought it must be hers, reflected back at him the way most human emotions did. But her eyes, when they met his, were sweetly innocent, and she betrayed nothing but a gentle curiosity and a little surprise.

"Hi," she said warmly. "I wasn't expecting to see you again so soon." He hadn't expected to come by so soon, but there was no reason to mention that.

"I can leave if you're busy..." he trailed off, leaving the suggestion hanging in the air that he'd much rather not leave.

"Oh, that's okay," she said without guile, smiling up at him. "What's up?"

He resisted nobly the straight line. 4-H club, he reminded himself. Classical piano. He kept on his best aw-shucks face, and made his voice match it - harder, he found, than normal, with this urge sliding through him to grab her by the hair and...

4-H club. Classical Piano. "I was just wondering if you wanted to go take a walk in the moonlight. Outside." No, genius, in the moonlight inside. Well, it was possible, down here.

She didn't seem to mind his sudden case of foot-in-mouth. "Can we do that?" she asked, her eyes nearly sparkling with excitement. "I mean, won't we get in trouble?"

If he played his cards right, he'd be getting in a lot of trouble... later. "Oh, no, it's perfectly fine," he said, letting a little mischief show, "as long as you're with an adult." He let it seem as if she was in on the joke - play along. I'm not really any more adult than you are, but they don't know that. It was always good to have an invisible they.

Her smile back was almost too knowing; oh, I know you're not an adult, but, again, it was gone so quickly he must have imagined it. "Well," she smiled back at him, all playful innocence again, "if it's not going to get you in trouble, I'd love to go walk in the moonlight."

"Wonderful!" He crooked his arm and offered it to her, feeling for a moment like he was in a Julie Andrews movie.

She smiled shyly at him, and set her hand on his arm lightly. Resisting the entirely inappropriate urge to whoop in triumph, he instead let her see a rather goofy grin taking over his face for a moment, and led her out into the moonlight.



Emrys forced himself to his feet, shaking off the lingering effects of Ambrus' attack, burning with rage and humiliation. His fists twitched with the urge to break something, hurt something. He stalked through the hallways, waiting for someone to look at him funny, to make some crack about his long hair or his so-close-to-human appearance, but the halls were empty. He passed Shahin's room, and paused. He could go in there, yell at her until she fought back, grab her, fuck her...

Yeah, no. He would let her come to him this time, not show up raw from a lost fight and cede the upper hand before they started. And as wild as she made him, he wasn't going to show up at her door just to hurt her.

Just to hit her, and watch her stone-and ice expression break and something human and fiery come out, as it had while she moved under him in his bed...

Clenching his jaw, he kept walking. The gym had a weight room. He could go there and blow off some steam.

Behind him, a door opened.

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