Ivan is not a simple man, but his methods? They are simple. When all is said and done, Ivan knows: it is the simplest wounds that bleed the blackest.
Death, a true adversary will not fear; a worthy man fears neither death nor pain, being subject often to both. But dishonor?
Ivan has heard many stories of this "Intersect" who now kneels within his sight, brought low by the arrogance of his masters. No doubt, the CIA believes the man to be invincible; tales of his speed and prowess have spread even to Ivan's home country.
He doesn't look so invincible now. The "suppression device", as the man who sold it to Ivan called it, was Ivan's most preciously guarded secret. Without that discretion, perhaps Agent Carmichael would not have barged onto Ivan's compound alone, for reasons he has yet to divulge.
Oh, but divulge them he will. As soon as Ivan saw the simple gold band on the man's left hand, he knew how we would draw the truth out of his captive.
After a sufficient period of penance on Agent Carmichael's part, of course.
Nathaniel is certainly doing a good job of providing it. The sodomy, in itself, is not the true punishment; it is the cruelty but also the delicacy of the conqueror, the betrayal of one's own body in it's susceptibility to the dumb pleasures of the flesh.
None of Ivan's other men, for all of their seniority at his side, would have the patience or the balls to not only take Carmichael, but to make every effort to force the pizda to enjoy it.
Carmichael strains against the rope binding his wrists together and to the table leg in front of him as Nathaniel pounds into him from behind. His skin is slick with sweat; his face an exquisite study in pain and humiliation.
Oh, it is not the hard dick spearing him, again and again, his knees knocked open wide by Nathaniel's careless boot before Nathaniel dropped to his knees behind the stripped man - held open by Nathaniel's threats and stern commands. Carmichael's pain comes in the too-gentle hand that strokes him patiently as Nathaniel whispers what must be some very clever poison into his ear, stopping only occasionally to bite harshly at Carmichael's throat and shoulders. If the man lives through this, he will bear the angry, red marks of Nathaniel's teeth - the deep bruises of Nathaniel's grasping fingers and demanding lips - for many days to come.
Dishonor. Even the strongest adversary must fear it or else find no worth in himself. Even Nathaniel looks somewhat shamed as he works over their prisoner, even as his compatriots shout their encouragement and join him in ridiculing his victim.
Ivan will have to reassure his lieutenant, when this is done, that he has nothing to be ashamed of. Flesh is flesh, once it has been conquered. It is only he who is too weak to defend what he does not wish for another to take who should feel shame in the taking. Ivan will send some of his girls to Nathaniel tonight. The boy has proved remarkably reluctant to seek out the pleasure of their company under his own direction. Perhaps if he had not, he would not react to the use of Carmichael's body with such obvious enthusiasm now.
"Do you whisper sweet nothings to him, Nathaniel?" Ivan calls when the boy's groans falter and he hisses something else in Carmichael's ear that Ivan cannot hear. "Finish with him. I have many more men who would put Carmichael in his place before we get down to business." Ivan watches the horror of that sentence wash over Carmichael's face with some relish.
He thinks he can guess what is holding Nathaniel back from being done with the agent.
"Do not be afraid to enjoy him, syn," he suggests. "Have fun with him. Are you not having fun, Agent Carmichael?"
"You sick... bast- Ah..." Carmichael replies, as Nathaniel punishes his disrespect with a harsh tug of his scalp and a particularly sharp snap of hips.
"That sounds like a yes to me, Nathaniel. Give the little pizda more."
Ivan's flesh is not without its own weaknesses. Perhaps if he did not become so fascinated, when Nathaniel can apparently hold back no longer and comes riding Carmichael's now well-used ass, Ivan would not have been caught quite so off guard when the doors to his inner sanctum explode open and dozens of American agents flood in.
Carmichael disappears in the ensuing chaos.
So does Nathaniel.
It's not something either of them are ever going to forget... Chuck's not saying that. But it's not something he's going to let effect him, effect his relationship with Bryce, effect his marriage; no way. And Chuck makes that very clear.
"It's over now. We did what we had to do and-"
"What I had to do. Chuck... the things I did to you. The things I said..." Chuck not going to let what happened effect him. But, for an endless moment, he's absolutely terrified that Bryce is too badly damaged by the incident to say the same.
Chuck leans in close. He has to force himself to look Bryce straight in the eyes, though probably not for the reason that Bryce thinks.
Bryce kept him safe from Ivan and his goons, the only way he could, until help arrived. As far as Chuck is concerned, he was just as much a victim in all of this as Chuck. It just hurts Chuck to see the pain and shame in Bryce's face. And not just because they make it harder for Chuck to face his own.
"Bryce, he made you do those things! It was part of your cover-"
"I enjoyed it." It's a soft, simply-spoken confession. Alarming in its lack of emotion or inflection, except that Chuck knows Bryce and knows what he's doing. "I didn't fake that orgasm, Chuck," Bryce says harshly.
Chuck knows what Bryce's doing, and he won't stand for it.
He keeps looking Bryce in the eye, takes Bryce's hands in his own, and says, just as casual as Bryce is pretending to be, "And you won't fake the next one. That's all I'm saying. This doesn't change anything." And then he slips Bryce's ring - the match to his own - back on Bryce's ring finger.
Bryce's hands shake. Chuck thinks he might start pleading for reassurance, and then Bryce is wrapping him up in strong, desperate arms and saying more broken my than Chuckt ever heard him, "I'm so fucking sorry, Chuck... I'm so sorry..."
Chuck holds on to his husband and they try to let go together.