Blood rushed through him, travelled fast and flew faster. Vaughn closed the door. He shouldn't burn yet. But the wires got hotter and his palms were glowing. Sark’s naked silhouette disappeared into the dimly lit hotel room and Vaughn followed him inside, watched how he poured himself a drink from the minibar. There was nothing valiant about hitting a naked man, yet he’d do it. Jab, punch, thrust his fists into that unscathed, uncovered body. Whoever had described such a fight as a violent but graceful dance would be proven to be a dumb bletherer, who knew nothing about either practice. It’d be bloody painful, he’d make sure of that.
“You’re late,” Sark raised one eyebrow and bit his bottom lip.
He knew, he mocked him, so Vaughn let out a husky laugh. “What? We’re married now?”
You’re late. Where have you been? Have you been with Sydney? Are you still sleeping with her? Are you sleeping with Sydney Bristow? Michael! Answer me! Michael, please…
Lauren’s fake accusations and phony tears, while all the time it had been her betraying him… with Sydney… with Sark - fucking them in many different places, most of them in public. Maybe he’d try that one day, but tonight he had other plans.
The furrows on Sark’s forehead betrayed his pondering of the other man’s thoughts. It made Vaughn smile. So he leaned in and kissed him.
Then he hit him.
Earlier that day he had knocked on another door. The second floor of an apartment complex in Hollywood, with a courtyard and a heated pool.
“Vaughn! Hey!” Jenny had beamed, exposing extremely white teeth against her naturally tanned skin. “Will’s in the study.”
“Thanks,” he had said and got away with surprisingly little small talk until she decided to go out for groceries.
“Tell him I’ll be back in an hour or so.” Another big smile. “And take care of yourself.”
Meaningless and empty words. He had felt like an idiot when she had looked doubtfully at him, then cordially patted his arm.
“Hey, that suit looks good on you.”
They both knew he looked like an uptight high school teacher. But he had thanked her nonetheless.
Every blow he doled out, he got back. Still Vaughn would not finish until he was fully satisfied. With his own breath, he’d tear Sark’s lungs out. If Sark wanted to get his kiss in the end, he had to take bruises and burns as well.
Forget what you’ve been told, little boy…
“Fuck… what’s wrong with you? Oh fuck… fuck you…”
This was hot meat. This was metallic blood. And open sweat.
“So how’s it going?” he had asked casually and sat down beside Will on the desk.
“Fine. Back to normal. If ‘normal’ exists…”
Vaughn had looked at him. Those eyes were a different kind of blue. Bigger, soulful, less dangerous. Still blue though.
“If ‘normal’ exists? With that turn of phrase you should go work for a tabloid...”
Will had chuckled. “Sad, isn’t it?”
“Very.” Silence. “CIA comes with health insurance though.”
What the hell did he want anyway? He had survived Wisconsin and witness protection, at least in front of his family he had been rehabilitated, Vaughn had helped him get this job as an investigator. Ungrateful bastard… damn it. And what was with those apples and sandwiches he seemed to carry everywhere?
“Yeah, and life is a Monty Python song.” A bitter laugh and he had shifted uncomfortably. “So… what about Doren? She’s still alive?”
“You Americans lack art when it comes to foreplay,” he panted, wiping a trail of blood-mixed salvia from the corner of his mouth.
Such puerile complaints made Vaughn smile complacently, and he almost wanted to end it and kiss those tiny pearls of perspiration from the boy’s upper lip. He came closer.
“Oh Julian,” he whispered softly in the boy’s ear, “your British arrogance is beyond tiring.” Culture and self-importance aside, you are the quarry, my love. Vaughn took a step back and settled for the coquettish yet sincere Rose McGowan-esque smile. “As if fucking someone else’s wife in a dark alley would show more… cunning.”
A blink and a final blow. Jawbreaker. And Vaughn had tears of insane amusement in his eyes.
“What fabric softener does Jenny use?”
The sheets had been amazingly white and smooth, smelling like spring and violets and everything…
“Walgreen’s house brand,” Will had answered, laughing. And Vaughn couldn’t help thinking that he looked so much better when he didn’t make that consternated, anxious face. “Hey,” Will had lowered his voice then, imitating a nasal foreign accent: “Fancy a fag?”
So Vaughn had laughed and leaned back in the pillows that smelled so nice, and Will had rolled a joint, which they had smoked in silence.
“I should go…” he had muttered, because that precious world within the little white house with its courtyard, heated pool and fragrant linen should stay unharmed.
“Yeah…” Will had started, pausing to watch him get dressed. “Listen, about Sark…”
One last kiss.
“I’ll take care of Sark.”
There was something wrong with him. It was always awkward afterwards. Yet this time he didn’t feel like leaving.
“I’m not overly comfortable with the cuddling part, Mr. Vaughn.”
Sark smiled that crooked smile of his, which never failed to raise a cold rage in the beholder.
“Yeah, you save that for when you fuck your mother… if you ever find out who she is.”
Surrounded by betrayal, he might have hardened over the past year. And he might have damaged Sark on the surface of things, he might have screwed him violently, then pampered him with the most tender kisses and a blow job. But Vaughn knew, his verbal come-backs could be more elegant.
Still, he had touched on something, and there was a crack in Sark’s façade, his mocking grin thinned out.
Eventually Sark rose from their bed and nudged with his foot the pile of clothes on the floor.
“Say, Mr. Vaughn. Where did you get that hideous suit from?”
“Tippin’s girlfriend gave it to me,” he replied, torn between amusement and embarrassment. “After she cleaned out his closet…”
“Tippin’s girlfriend?” Sark faked indifference. Allison would be… Well, whatever…
“The cheerleader… you know, the intern from his paper back in the days…”
“Ah… the Persian kitten.” Tongue-clicking.
“She’s six months pregnant, Sark.”
Vaughn rolled his eyes. He was too tired to play games now. “Just… leave them the fuck alone,” he ordered curtly.
Sark’s brows rose. So this was what it was all about...
“Since you asked so politely.” There was silence. He bit his bottom lip. “You want to stay overnight?”
Vaughn let out a bitter chuckle. An amount of cynicism never left him. “So you can stab me in my sleep?”
“How about room service and a blue movie?”