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Avon entered Blake’s quarters without announcing himself and began to undress without comment. Nothing needed to be said. Neither he nor Blake was on watch tonight, which meant that he and Blake were going to fuck before they went to sleep. 

He unsnapped the top stud on his jacket.

If they'd last fucked in Avon's quarters, he'd come to Blake's. If not, Blake would come to him. Nearly a year ago now, Blake had invited him to his room and made a pass—sliding his hand rather unambiguously up Avon’s arm. Avon hadn’t been surprised. Blake was homosexual, Avon was bisexual, and the other two men aboard the Liberator were heterosexual. Any man in Blake’s position would have done the same as Blake had. Avon had said as much, and that had set the tone for that night and all the others that had followed. Blake, clearly not wanting to spoil a good thing, had not pointed out that while Avon was the only possible choice for Blake, the same was not true for Avon. Avon had agreed because he had wanted Blake and known that he could have him without risking anything he didn’t care to risk, without asking for anything he couldn’t have. Avon firmly believed in pursuing only what one could have, and in this one respect, Blake was—uncharacteristically—a sure thing.

His jacket hung open, the front panel now a loose flap that transformed the garment from something elegantly fitted into something cheap looking---he removed it quickly. 

They hadn’t wanted what they did at night to matter, and so it hadn’t. Both before and after they’d started fucking, Avon had generally treated Blake with either sardonic politeness or sardonic impoliteness, while Blake had typically treated Avon with what seemed to be deliberate, pointed offhandedness. When they weren’t seething at each other, or laughing together.   

Blake was not an unremarkable man, but, with Avon at least, he was an unremarkable lover. Of course Blake, like anyone else, had his own little quirks and habits. In general, he seemed to have a thing about hands. He touched Avon’s hands much more often than any of Avon’s previous lovers had.  And when Avon penetrated him with his fingers, he seemed to view it as more than just preparation for the main event. He usually asked Avon to continue working him open significantly beyond the point Avon deemed strictly necessary. Avon had often wondered if Blake wanted his fingers inside him for so long because Avon couldn’t last long enough for Blake when Avon was taking him, if it wasn’t Blake’s way of prolonging an unsatisfactorily brief fuck. Unfortunately, five minutes inside Blake ruined him completely every single time.

Nothing much had changed, in the months they’d been fucking, though lately Avon could feel the anger, the tension in Blake’s body, hear it in his breath, as they had more or less the same perfectly ordinary sex they always did. Now Blake’s voice had an edge of something that wasn’t arousal as he told Avon whether something was good, or if he should go a little harder or slower, etc, but he’d still tell him, and he’d still ask Avon what Avon wanted, and Avon would still tell him a tenth of the things he wanted, and it would still be enough, somehow, to get Avon off hard.

"Just a moment, before you finish undressing," Blake said, and Avon’s fingers stalled. The top button of his undershirt was already undone.  "I want to show you something."

“And whatever it is requires that I be half undressed.” 

“You would consider that half undressed, wouldn’t you? No, I needed to find my nerve. It took a moment.”

Avon’s eyebrows went up.  His stared around the room, jarred out of complacency. Blake, afraid of something? Blake seemed to have an under-developed sense of danger, though whether that stupid bravery applied to anything relating to his personal life, Avon didn’t know. Avon had always assumed that Blake simply wasn’t burdened by the emotions that most put one at risk. The most important thing to Blake, Avon knew, was his fight against the Federation, and that wasn’t humiliating, just idiotic. Could the very fact that Avon didn’t have positive proof of Blake’s courage when it came to more personal matters mean, after all, that Blake’s nerve didnt extend that far? 

On Blake's desk sat two glasses of vitadrenaline, easily identifiable due to its distinctive red colour, and a large, open metal case, filled with vizdiscs. The box was perplexing, but the very clear message the drinks sent distracted him for a moment. Vitadrenaline’s properties were not aphrodisiac, but the drug reduced the male refractory period to nearly nothing.

Blake wanted him more than once tonight. Tonight, for the first time.

“Have a drink, Avon,” Blake suggested, as though nothing were out of the ordinary.

Avon strolled over to him and picked up one of the two glasses and sipped at the syrupy red liquid, concentrating on how little he appreciated the taste to keep himself from looking too pleased. Blake drank as well, his throat working visibly.

"It seems you have quite the ambitious night in mind, Blake, but why the vizdiscs?"  Avon flicked through the small silver disks with one finger. "Pornography?" He didn’t much like the idea of Blake watching pornos while they fucked, but it wouldn’t do to let on. He’d hate to look prudish—or worse, jealous.

"My personal vizlog."

That, he hadn’t expected at all.  Well, his vanity was probably to be spared, at least. Blake didn’t require pornos to keep himself entertained while Avon fucked him. But hecouldn’t see what that had to do with sex, which he had assumed they would be having. “A diary."  Avon grinned, masking his confusion.  "And it seems you're quite meticulous. There must be a hundred discs in here, at least." 

"I don't particularly trust my memory."

"Well now, you aren't particularly trusting, so that's not a surprise," Avon said. 

Blake frowned. "I'm not trusting?" 

"Don’t distress yourself, Blake. I should consider it a compliment,” Avon said, hoping Blake would take the hint and let the subject drop.  Blake had made a show of offering his trust to Avon at the beginning: offering it when it made no sense, offering it casually, and without any accompanying warmth. Not that he’d wanted warmth from Blake (not that he’d wanted it then, a treacherous voice in the back of his mind said), but that detail was the key to understanding what trust was for Blake—and wasn’t. Avon had pulled a gun on Blake, and Blake had ignored it. Avon had tried to abandon Blake on Cygnus Alpha, and Blake had ignored it. Avon had tried to convince Jenna to join him instead of Blake, and Blake had ignored it.   And yet, as it doubtless became increasingly obvious that Avon would never leave Blake, that Avon, rather than wanting to kill Blake, would readily die for him, Blake had begun hinting that he expected Avon to leave him or kill him. Avon could only conclude that Blake didn’t trust people; he simply used the appearance of trust—or lack of trust—to whatever purpose suited him. Of course, he would never explain any of that to Blake, so to change the subject he said, "You still have memory problems?" 

"Day to day, my memory isn't particularly good," Blake said, letting the matter go, to Avon’s relief, "but I assume that's down to our hectic lifestyle." 

"Our lifestyle. That's one way of putting it." Avon smiled in genuine amusement.

"Nights are worse. There are times when I wake up in the middle of the night disoriented. I can't tell dream from reality. When I do come back to reality--" he paused a little as he realised what Avon was thinking, probably seeing the smirk that twitched his lips, "When I do come back to reality, I like to know there's a record of who I am, what I've done, something outside of my own mind. I review the tapes, and I can sleep again."  

"You must have a remarkably clean conscience, Blake, considering your occupation. Has it occurred to you that there may come a time when reviewing your past deeds will make it impossible for you to sleep?"

"That’s a risk I’ll have to take," Blake said, not at all glib, a frown creasing his brow.

For a minute, silence fell between them. Avon had always admired that Blake was willing to accept the consequences of his actions, though he never planned to pay Blake that compliment.

 "All right. Why did you want to show me your diary?"

“Isn’t it obvious? I’d like a recording of one of our nights together."

Avon took another sip of the vitadrenaline to give his face and body something to do besides react to that statement. He was surprised Blake found what they did notable enough to document. It wasn’t particularly note-worthy sex, objectively speaking. He’d thought he was the only one who hadn’t been being objective about it.

And oh, how far from objective he’d become. He ached for it, on the nights they weren’t fucking. He’d never been that way with Tynus, and the sex had been about the same. It had perhaps even been a bit better with Tynus.

It was an odd request, a little  vulgar. He wasn’t sure he should agree to it. He would be doing something Blake wanted, without fully understanding why Blake wanted it. That sounded like a bad idea. But Blake wanted it badly, and he was intrigued, and flattered, and he’d already had an entire glass of vitadrenalize imagining again with every sip what it would be like to fuck Blake all night.

"For the sake of the historical record, I’m prepared to make the sacrifice. Assuming you are sensible enough to keep these out of the wrong hands," Avon said.

"Of course."

"Very well then."

He set his empty glass down on Blake’s desk and strolled through to Blake’s bedroom.  Blake’s quarters, unlike his own, were actually a suite of three rooms—the first contained a desk and recliner, the next Blake’s bed, the last a shower.

Blake had obviously gone to considerable trouble with the setup.  He’d removed the wall panel beneath the hexagonal camera that ordinarily fed to Zen’s main screen and done some jerry rigging so that the camera feed hooked into a vizbox instead. 

“Impressed?”Blake asked, coming up behind Avon as Avon ran his fingers over the cables and circuits, inspecting the work.

“Surprised,”Avon said.

“Well, I am an engineer by training.”

“Are you?”

Blake shot him a glance, to see if Avon had genuinely forgotten, which he hadn’t, of course. But knowing Blake as he did, he would have been surprised indeed to discover that Blake remembered those sorts of things about him. Doubtless, if Blake forgot, it would be the result of Blake’s hectic lifestyle, he thought, and this time there was a bitter edge to his amusement at the remark.  

 “I must have mentioned it,”Blake said.

“Oh, you probably did,”Avon said. “Why should I remember every trivial thing about you?”

“Why indeed?”Blake said, obviously annoyed.

Avon turned his back on Blake and moved to Blake’s narrow bed.

**

With a touch of the flat his hand across Avon’s cheek, Blake angled Avon’s face towards the camera. Blake’s other hand turned his shoulder, turned his hip, dragging him back against Blake’s body. Blake’s smooth skin pressed close and warm against his back, Blake’s cock hard in the cleft of his buttocks. 

“Tilt your chin down a bit. There. There,”Blake was murmuring.

Touch could be such an impersonal, indiscriminate pleasure. Running a hand over warm skin felt good. Thus, he’d told himself, Blake’s desire to touch him was meaningless, though, he noted, Blake wasn’t generally particularly tactile, except with one of his own knuckles, which he often put in his mouth, and with Avon’s body, during their nights together. This time, though, Blake was touching him because he wanted to show him off, because he liked the sight of him, of Avon. That wasn’t quite so indiscriminate.

 Blake shifted against him, tightening his hands on Avon, pulling them towards some position Blake wanted to see him in.

 Avon looked straight into the camera and smiled a wicked, skewed smile. Blake breathed out heavily and gripped Avon’s hip with his left hand. Meanwhile Blake’s right hand began stroking Avon’s cock, almost as an afterthought, a little closer to climax.

He’d never known that Blake enjoyed watching his pleasure, that Blake touched him to see Avon react. Avon closed his eyes for a perilous moment, allowing himself to fall back into his own sensations. He arched his back and breathed out slowly, letting himself feel Blake’s touch. It was so good. But he couldn’t see Blake, and Blake could see him, and that shouldn’t be allowed to go on too long. He let another moment of blindness stretch out, this one more uncomfortable, letting himself feel his own disadvantage a little. Then he opened his eyes.

Blake shifted his grip so that his nails, rather than his fingertips, pressed into Avon’s hip. When Avon’s mouth dropped open, Blake murmured, “Wonderful. I was hoping to get that on the tape. Would you mind moaning a little, too?”

Their respective positions made it so Blake could whisper hints into his ear, could choreograph this encounter exactly as he liked without breaking the scene, while Avon had no convenient ear of Blake’s to do the same. But Blake wasn’t entirely in control. Blake had to do all of the asking, while Avon could simply put on a show.  With that in mind, he did as Blake asked, arching his back and groaning theatrically.

“Thank you,”Blake whispered, and Avon grinned.

Blake smiled back. Avon saw it as a grainy, bluescale image on the screen.  The shadows around Blake’s eyes were dark and engulfing, and they grew deeper as the smile subsided into something more serious. The image had a curious effect on him, dulling his sharp need to feel Blake’s touch into a desire merely to look at Blake.

Blake kept touching him, though, kept touching him until what Avon wanted reshaped itself around what he was getting—an unusual turn of events for him—and he wanted only to come. His eyes fell shut and his body tensed again and again, with and against the motion of Blake’s hand.

“You’re close, aren’t you?”Blake said, his voice low, but certainly not too quiet for the tape to pick up this time. Avon felt a flare of anger—there was no need to call attention to that, to make that part of their little script. It was always so easy, so humiliatingly easy, for Blake to get him off. And it was too soon—they’d hardly started. But Blake buried his face against Avon’s neck and breathed out a shuddering sigh. His lips moved against Avon’s skin, his hips spasming against Avon’s arse, while one hand played erratically, restlessly, against Avon’s hip and the other hand tightened around Avon’s cock.

“Call my name as you come,”Blake asked. “Just once, Avon, just this once.”

Avon grit his teeth and jerked back against Blake. Fuck. Fuck. Oh, fuck. He was coming--so fast and hot and hard that he didn’t even have time to consider doing as Blake asked.

He became aware that he was gasping vocally, raggedly, and that Blake was stroking up and down his chest with one hand. He felt like he’d been slammed hard into a wall.

“Well,”Blake said, with some humour, “that’s all right. It was still very good.”

“My pleasure,”Avon said dryly.

**

“You haven’t asked what the vitadrenaline is for,”Blake said, after he’d padded over to the recorder and stopped it. 

 “I thought it was obvious. You want me more than once tonight,”Avon said. He realised that the effort of keeping his voice level had tensed his body against Blake’s.

“Actually, I’d like you to fist fuck me,”Blake said.“And I want to be hard while you do it.”

What?

Blake took Avon’s right hand and stroked it with both of his own, back and forth, looking into Avon’s face.

“Fist fuck me,”Blake said again. Avon was glad he was already tensed. It kept him from tensing again. Avon faintly recalled hearing that it was difficult to keep an erection while getting fisted. He’d also heard the sensation was absolutely incredible even without an erection. He wondered if it actually enhanced the physical experience to stay hard for it. It was just possible that vanity was the explanation for Blake’s behavior, instead. Blake might simply want to look his best for the recording.  But that didn’t seem likely. Blake treated his body like he treated nearly everything else—like he could take it entirely for granted that it would do whatever he wanted. Blake seemed so certain his own body would never betray him, which was strange, because the way Avon saw it, Blake’s body had already failed him utterly. Blake had been forced to forget himself, forced to become someone entirely different, for years and years. No, Blake’s reasons for wanting an erection had to be purely physical, as strange as that was.

“Why should I?” Avon asked. “It sounds like rather a lot of effort without much reward for me.”  In fact, that was quite untrue. Quite, quite untrue. The idea of doing something that…extreme to Blake appealed to him enormously. 

“Don’t expect me to try to persuade you.”

“That will be an unusual change.”

“Will it? I ask, you decide, Avon. That’s how it’s always been.”

“That is completely untrue, Blake. You aren’t at all above goading me into doing what you want. Nearly the first thing you ever did was tell me that you wondered how good I really was.”

“Oh!” Blake laughed. “Yes, that’s right. I suppose I shouldn’t use the same line again, even if it would be—“

“Rather apposite, yes.” Avon finished for him, laughing too.  “All right, Blake. You’ve asked, and I’ve decided. To do it.”

Blake pulled him close kissed him. “I’ll turn on the vizrecorder again, then?” He said against Avon’s lips, which seemed calculated, an attempt to use touch to make Avon agree to this request, too.

He considered whether he ought to say no. To suggest they turn the recorder off would mean all but admitting outright that he was nervous, though. Avon had never fisted anyone before, and the vizrecording would only heighten his habitual perfectionism, his need to perform flawlessly. He really didn’t like to put himself in situations where his life--or anything else he didn’twant to risk, like his pride--depended on executing a difficult and demanding task he’d never before attempted. And yet, he was well aware he did it often, usually for or because of Blake. Well, he could probably manage not to make a fool of himself. He understood the mechanics of it, and it was precisely the sort of careful work he’d trained his hands to be good at.

**

Blake hadn’t wanted any cam magnification to speak of, preferring a view of the full scene, which Avon thought demonstrated some degree of taste, at least. A close view of his fist working in Blake would have been—a shudder of something went through him at the thought—unaesthetic, although a wider shot revealed their slightly awkward maneuverings. They started out in a reversal of their earlier position, with him behind Blake, clasping Blake to him as he prepared him. He worked Blake open slowly, massaging and teasing, one finger, two fingers, three fingers. Then he cleaned his hands with a steri-swab and put on an ultraflimstex glove.  He might have saved time and trouble by putting the glove on to begin with, but he wanted the feel of his bare fingers inside Blake. He’d grown to need that, to love doing it. 

He was pleased to see that his right hand was entirely steady as he slid it into the glove. No matter the situation, he could rely on his hands not to shake—if anything proved it, this did. He was wound tighter than he’d been in months with nerves and with desire, too. He took greater risks constantly, yet the situation had heightened every possibility to a painful sharpness. He slicked the glove twice over.

Blake pushed himself back up, with a groan and a playful grin that Avon didn’t return, from the prone sprawl he’d slumped into while Avon had been putting on the glove. Blake braced himself on his hands and knees, and Avon assessed the angle for a minute and then stood behind him, one knee on the bed, one foot on the floor. His eyes flicked up to the screen, to see how they looked. Blake’s face wasn’t visible, his own was. He looked a little worried, to his own eyes.  Blake would see that later, he thought, and looked back down quickly, freezing his face.

Blake breathed out. Avon was aware that he had been doing nothing for a little while, and that little while probably felt longer to Blake, given his position. The breath might almost have been a laugh. But Blake hadn’t been laughing, of course. Avon was simply losing his mind with the tension. He turned away from the camera entirely for a moment’s privacy, and closed his eyes, gathering himself back together, then he set back to work on Blake.

“This would be easier if you could relax more,” he told Blake as he pushed four fingers in. The fit was tight.  “Can’t you relax any more than this?”

 “No,” Blake said.

 Avon bit back a cutting remark, drew in a deep breath, and then simply kept his hand still for a moment so Blake could grow accustomed to the sensation. An advantage to penetrating Blake with his fingers—and eventually his fist—ought to have been that the urgency to push inside Blake would be gone. He could be patient, infinitely patient. Blake could have all the time he needed. Well, Blake would have all the time he needed. He would do it properly. But he was surprised at how difficult it was to resist pushing further, faster. He could twist his fingers, twist his whole hand into Blake hard and make him cry out in shock and agony.  Or he could just slide his cock in now and move inside him until Blake was delirious with pleasure. His cock jerked, and he pressed himself against the bed a little. It must be difficult for Blake, too, to wait. Blake wanted his fist inside him, had probably—fuck, had probably been imagining Avon’s fist every time Avon prepared him, every time Avon fucked him. Or perhaps not. He was getting carried away. Perhaps Blake, far from being mad with desire, was bored, frustrated, annoyed that it was taking so long. Blake seemed experienced, comfortable with the act, like he’d probably done this before and liked it, despite the way his body resisted it now. He probably had an experience with some past lover to compare this to, though it taxed Avon’s imagination to envision the event. It was difficult to believe that Blake had ever spent valuable time he could have invested in developing his political consciousness getting fisted. He resisted asking any stupid questions, like “is this good for you?”

Finally, finally Blake’s sphincter relaxed, and he added his thumb—carefully, as carefully as he could manage.

Sliding into Blake up to the knuckles made him forget to breathe, and it took long enough to work his way into the quivering muscles that when he did remember, the breath was a desperate drag of air.

“All right. My entire hand is inside you now, Blake.” Avon said, as levelly as he could. The sensation was so wonderful--strange and lush and hot, even with the glove on his hand. Blake let out a long, quiet gasp that knocked the breath back out of Avon’s lungs.

“Oh, god,”Blake said.

“You like this,” Avon said. “Don’t you? Even from me.” Torturously slowly, he closed his hand.

 

** 

“Avon,”Blake gasped.

“Hmm?”Avon murmured, coming back into the moment slowly. He glanced at the chronometer beside Blake’s bed. Half an hour had passed. He’d lost the time to the concentration that had left him almost entirely unaware of the sweat soaking his hair, the cramps that intermittently seized his back and then released it. At first, Blake had been very vocal, cursing and gasping out praise, but he’d slowly subsided into silent pleasure, and Avon had lost himself in the act. It was incredible, really. It felt more to him like Blake was held in his fist than like his fist was held in Blake—like he’d reached out and grasped Blake’s life in his hand. Not that he was about to tell Blake that.  Ever.

“That’s it’s--touch me—finish me off.”

“Keep very still. Still as you can.  If you move too much, I could injure you.”

“It’s--fine,”Blake said.

Biting his lip, Avon reached around for Blake, finding the first touch of his hand to Blake’s cock shockingly erotic. Blake, too, seemed to like it.

Avon stared at Blake as he came. Blake was caught between an unstoppable force--the pleasure Avon wrenched out of him--and an immovable object—Avon’s fist solid and dangerous inside of him.  Blake’s head was thrown back, his body drawn tight, using all of Blake’s strength, but not according to Blake’s own will. For once, for the length of Blake’s orgasm, he was everything that was impossible and excessive and inevitable to Blake.

“All right, Blake. I’m going to pull out now,”Avon said, in a mostly normal voice.

And then it was finished, or at least Blake was. Avon cleaned his hand again, which was painfully cramped, and eased himself down on the bed beside Blake. He could feel the heat radiating off Blake’s body, smell the scent of him—sweat and arousal. Blake’s hair was soaked, and the smooth expanse of his chest was flushed. Blake’s face was again visible to the camera, beautifully shadowed on the screen again. Blake pulled him down clumsily and kissed him with a warm, relaxed mouth, sighing into it. It was too much—entirely too much.  Unable to stop himself, not caring what he himself looked like, Avon clasped Blake against him, dragged his erection against Blake’s sated body and let himself come for a second time with a long, broken groan against Blake’s shoulder.

** 

When Avon opened his eyes, Blake was gone, and he was alone in Blake’s room.  He’d obviously slept very well indeed. He had never been in Blake’s room without Blake in it, before.  It felt pleasantly illicit, and he glanced around once more to make certain that—somehow—he hadn’t simply failed to see Blake (of course he hadn’t), and then stretched luxuriously and let his eyes slip closed again.

After a few more minutes in Blake’s bed, his eyes closed, but not asleep, he walked out of the bedroom and found Blake’s box of vizdiscs still out. It would be very easy to slide one into the player and watch it. He might be able to learn more of what Blake was planning, and even if he didn’t, he’d learn something about Blake himself. How did their brushes with death and their small victories really look to Blake? What did he think he was doing?

In that vein, Avon was not sure why Blake would leave the discs there. Perhaps it was an invitation to watch whatever he liked, or perhaps it was a statement that he trusted Avon not to watch them. That would be an odd change. That would mean he assumed Avon knew he shouldn’t touch them, and assumed he wouldn’t. Or maybe Blake simply didn’t care what he did with them. Other than destroy them. That, Blake would mind, he was sure.   He lifted the top one out and held it between his fingers, studying it. It was labeled with his name. Actions that had seemed, if not reasonable, then certainly inevitable mere hours before now seemed rather excessive. His treacherous memory left him unable to determine just how much he’d compromised himself.

It also occurred to him that now that, no matter how displeased he became with Blake, Blake would always have access to a moment in time when Avon was far from displeased, to say the least.  Blake would return tonight to his quarters, where an image of Avon would be the press of a button away. Avon would never again have the ability to truly deny Blake access to his body, to make himself unavailable. Of course, in the aftermath of a bitter disagreement, Blake was unlikely to want to play back last night’s pleasures, but that was no balm at all. It wasn’t precisely enough to make him feel spurned, but he disliked the idea of Blake choosing not to watch the tape almost as much as he disliked the idea of him watching it.

The problem, of course, could be easily remedied. He could easily corrupt the disc. Discs of this kind often became corrupted without any outside interference.  Blake might suspect what had happened, but he’d never know for certain.

Avon ran his finger along the other discs. Rows and rows of them. The truth was that there was one disc, and one disc only, where he really existed. He didn’t need to watch the others to know. Oh, he doubted Blake would see it that way. Blake probably mentioned him here and there, as he reported the day’s events. But the truth of the matter was, this was it. If he removed the disc, he effectively removed himself from Blake’s life. Blake’s life was revolution. Blake’s life was not Avon, and never would be, even if Avon fisted him every night.  Though today, in the aftermath of their night together, that thought didn’t have quite the edge it might have. In the end, part of why he kept their sex so perfunctory was because he hated to fight a losing battle, to try to drag Blake closer to him than Blake wanted to be. But Blake inevitably pulled him into losing battles, after all. And it had been so good last night.

He toyed with last night’s disc between his fingers. Blake had wanted this, after all. Wanted him like this.  It wasn’t the usual order of Blake’s life, but Blake wanted it to be something he remembered when he was trying to put himself back together, in the middle of the night. Destroying what you had because it wasn’t enough seemed rather stupid.  And part of what he would be destroying, part of what he had, after all, would be his own right to claim Blake’s trust, even if Blake hadn’t meant to leave the box there as any kind of gesture at all.

Avon slid the tape back in place between the others, strode out of Blake’s room and locked the door behind him.