The warehouse has seen better days, its old brick walls blackened with soot and already crumbling in some parts. James approaches it at a leisurely gait, scanning the empty street for potential threats.
The few windows that are scattered over the front are barred with metal shutters which look like they haven’t been moved in ages. He can’t be sure, but in the lights of the dim street lamps it looks like they are corroded to a state where they’re stuck permanently. No exits but the door then.
Unlike the windows the heavy metal door looks brand new. There’s no visible handle, just a small pad with a flickering red light.
Pembrey 54B, 10 pm. Dress casually.
That had been all. A short message to his phone that he had been unable to trace. Less than a handful of people have that number which itself is untraceable. Or so Q confirmed with a huff when James inquired about it, telling him to worry about triggers and leave the thinking to Q. He’s a prickly one where his craft is concerned, their new quartermaster. James will try to remember next time. Maybe. Most likely not.
As it is, for now he has no choice but to trust that the message came from a safe source. Trust being a rather abstract concept for him, he’s armed with a knife in his boot and his new print-coded PPK/S. It feels right and familiar against his side, even if it came at the rather costly price of sitting through an hour of Q lecturing him on responsible conduct regarding tax money.
The light turns green and the door slides open without a sound as soon as he presses his thumb on the small touchpad next to the door. Interesting. Definitely MI6 then, nobody else who might have his prints is still alive.
If he were less jaded and still capable of surprise he’d admit that the inside comes as one. There’s no gunfire greeting him, only a stark and dimly lit anteroom, the heavy bass of music from somewhere in the back and the low murmur of conversation. The sounds are coming from the main area of the warehouse and when James’s steps into it he is surprised.
It’s as dimly lit as the foyer, decked out completely in black. Black walls, plush armchairs and sofas scattered over the whole area, some standing alone, some arranged in small seating groups. Everything right up to the barstools that line the bar at the far wall is made from black leather that looks soft even from a distance. A quick sweep of the room reveals that the patrons seem to be exclusively male.
It’s like a bizarre kind of gentlemen’s club. The special kind, James thinks as he confidently strolls deeper into the large room, if the scantily clad young women and men that are with the guests are anything to go by. Some of them look barely this side of legal. Prostitution then, maybe human trafficking. Not his business, so he wanders slowly through the room, looking for any indication as to why he is here.
He fits right in with his designer jeans and leather jacket. Some of the men are wearing leather, black like everything else in the club, almost melting into the cushions of the seats, visible only by the glint of silver belt buckles and the young flesh in their laps. The only common theme is class, everything here is classy and speaks of money.
His martini at the bar comes stirred. James sneers at the woman tending the bar. She’s beautiful in an androgynous way, nude lips and short dark hair with razor sharp bangs, but the bored and blasé look she displays makes her look ordinary. Maybe he’ll reconsider the classy part.
Or maybe he’ll give it a little more time, he thinks, when a petit brunette sidles up to him, pressing small breasts covered with only a leather bandeau against his arm.
“Is there something I can do for you, sir?”
“And what are you offering,” he asks, tipping her chin up with a finger.
Large brown eyes and full smiling lips. If James would try a little harder he could almost make himself believe that she’s legal. The thought arouses a stirring in his groin that he’d rather not examine too closely.
Not his business, James reminds himself. Besides, he needs to blend in and fucking on the job is part of the 00 job description.
“Anything you could dream of,” she coyly smiles up at him. James very much doubts that. He can think of a dozen things he wants that would make her run as fast as she can. But he still puts on a charming smile and slips a few bills that come straight out of the tax payers’s pocket in the waistband of her skirt.
He leads her to a sitting arrangement of plush sofas, choosing one on the far side of the room that allows him to overview almost the entire club.
“Go slow,” James tells her, his voice more clipped than he intended.
Inside he’s coiled with tension. He’s still looking for any clue why he is here, his mood souring by the minute when he doesn’t recognize any of the faces around him, can’t make out a signal or direction. He’s a highly trained machine, he can wait for days if he has to, but he prefers to know what he’s waiting for.
The girl slides into his lap with practiced ease and only smiles knowingly at his rudeness, ever the professional and most likely used to a lot worse. She partially unbuttons his shirt and when she touches him her lips are soft on his collarbone. Soft like his cock, whatever spark he thought he felt earlier gone. Even the blonde head bobbing between the thighs of the middle-aged man sitting in the armchair across from him sparks only mild interest in him.
James watches him grunt and sweat through what seems to be the next way to a heart attack and snorts decidedly ungentlemanly. This middle-aged bloke is probably only a few years older than him. Somewhere in the back of his head Mallory says it’s a young man’s game. Sod Mallory.
“Am I boring you,” the girl asks softly with a mock pout. She looks up at him from under her lashes with a look that would have appealed to him five months ago, but not today.
“Yes. You can go now,” James says gruffly, deciding that honesty is the quickest way to get rid of her.
He dispassionately watches her flounce off. Five years from now she’ll be either dead or at least look twice her age. James doesn’t want to have any part in it, however small.
The man across him comes after an embarrassingly short time. James smirks, amused for a split second before he dismisses the poor sod and lets his eyes wander over the slowly but steadily increasing crowd. More people are filtering in from somewhere in the back where the heavy bass of the music can be heard.
The sofa next to James has a new occupant. Male East European, his mind provides, leanly muscled with deep set eyes and a prominent nose.
Here is James’s clue.
He wills himself to retain his careless slouch even if his heart rate just rocketed from zero to one hundred and he’s completely alert now.
Tarkarov is a terrorist, believed to slowly undermine national security with strategically placed moles. An alarmingly increasing amount of incidents from stock market manipulation to the deaths of several high ranking officers are linked to him, but so far all their efforts to take him out were fruitless. Tarkarov is a public person and it would be easy enough to just shoot him, but before he does that James needs to wring every last scrap of information about any subversive activities from him. This here might finally be the perfect opportunity to penetrate his circles.
His training kicks in and he weighs his possibilities. Win the target’s trust with shared interests, especially if those interests are eclectic and illegal. Extract information. Terminate. It’s frighteningly simple.
A boy is draped sideways over Tarkarov’s lap, face tucked against his neck. No, not a boy, a young man, James decides, considering the length of the slim legs that are kicking air where they are dangling over Tarkarov’s knees. He should have kept the girl if Tarkarov prefers his toys this young, give him something to bond over.
The boy seems to feel James’s intense scrutiny and, turning his head, shoots him a challenging look. A tangle of brown curls is the last thing James registers before the world stills for a small eternity, only to spin on its axis a second later. Not a boy, James thinks when he looks past the mask of insolence on his face.
This is Q.
He ruthlessly tamps down the beginning panic that threatens to make him light headed. Q whoring his arse just for kicks doesn’t seem to be something he’d enjoy in his free time. The remaining possibilities aren’t much better, considering that Q is little more than a lab rat. A brilliant and highly competent lab rat who saved his own arse more often in the short time they’ve known each other than James likes to admit. But the fact remains that he has no field training at all, whether he’s here voluntary or not.
His stomach roils when he considers the last option. Q could easily be one of the moles, more than able to manipulate the stock market with just a keyboard and his clever fingers. Despite the very real possibility his mind refuses to accept the fact. They aren’t friends, not even close to that, but James trusts Q. He has to, every time Q literally holds his life in his hands when he is James’s eyes and ears in the field. So far Q hasn’t failed him.
In the end, it’s only a small leap of faith. He stands and slowly walks the few steps towards the men, locking eyes with Tarkarov. He’s acting on instinct, years of training allowing him to easily feign the kind of arrogant confidence he doesn’t actually feel.
“I believe you have something that belongs to me,” he drawls, holding a hand out for Q.
“Is that so?” Tarkarov’s voice is low, polite with a trace of amusement. James just stares at him with a raised brow, and after a few heartbeats it’s there, the spark of rivalry that will be James’s hook to reel him in.
“Why don’t we let Tom decide that,” Tarkarov smiles coldly. The game is on.
Q is already out of his lap. The look of insolence has been replaced by a professional leer that looks frighteningly real. It’s a bit unsettling, even more so when Q holds out his hand and wiggles his fingers in an age old gesture. They keep wiggling even after James places four 50 pound notes between them. Two more notes are doing the trick.
“You have thirty minutes,” Q tells him, already sauntering over to the empty sofa.
James barely keeps himself from gaping. The cocky little shit.
He sits down, taking a second to look Q over who stands before him, waiting patiently. Apart from the clothes, black leather pants and an untucked and partially unbuttoned black silk shirt, he looks like always with his tangled hair and glasses. James snorts, only Q would manage to make leather look rumpled. It’s his face that makes him look like a completely different person, his usual open and almost boyish expression replaced with a strange mixture of challenge and sultriness.
As different as this version of Q is, James is still completely blindsided when Q turns his back to him and starts moving to the music coming from the back. Starting with a gentle sway his movements become rapidly bolder until he draws wide circles with his hips that have James’s world tilt and spin again. Q puts his whole body into it, arms raised high and his back arched in a perfect bow even when he bends his knees, grinding up and down in a slow dance.
That rumpled leather stretches tight over the surprisingly firm cheeks of Q’s arse and James can’t hold back a helpless groan at the way he feels himself harden at the sight. In less than three minutes Q gets him going effortlessly where the girl failed before.
“Stop it or you’ll regret it,” he grits when Q moves back slowly until he can put his hands on James’s knees, grinding his arse against James’s crotch in a filthy imitation of what James wants to do to him. As always Q doesn’t listen and leans back against his chest instead, turning his neck so he can graze his lips along the stubble on James’s jaw.
“Play along,” Q murmurs against James’s skin, his voice low enough so nobody can hear them. “He likes to watch.”
Despite their compromising situation the words are still entirely Q, curt and to the point. They do nothing to cool James’s sudden arousal. Instead they make him burn just that much hotter with the need to take the boy apart and show him whose game this is.
Denying himself has never been James’s forte, so he lets himself touch. Q’s hips are bony under his hands, different from a woman’s soft curves but not an entirely new sensation. Just a few feet left from them Tarkarov watches intently. James locks eyes with him before he slides one hand down, cupping it over the half-hard curve of Q’s cock, reveling in the quiet gasp his touch elicits from Q and the way the teasing friction against his own cock stutters.
The feeling lasts only for a few glorious seconds until Q twists around, slides into his lap and straddles his thighs, graceful and easy as if it’s something he does every day. James thinks how much practice it would take, how long Q has been doing this already and what he will do to Mallory because he allowed this insanity.
“How long have you been working here,” he grits out, clamping down a hand on Q’s neck and bringing their faces close enough for their noses to touch.
“That is none of your business,” Q says, voice low and hushed. His eyes are bright with arousal and an underlying look of steel that wills James to understand.
James thinks how much he’ll enjoy making M pay for this. The only thing worse than sending untrained agents in the field is keeping vital information from agents during an investigation.
“Focus, Mr. Bond,” Q says, and how the bloody hell is he still in possession of his full faculties. James is slowly losing his mind with the way Q circles his hips, the crease of his arse moving over James’s cock in a filthy slide that makes James sweat and leak into his trousers as if he’s the boy here and not Q.
It dawns on him with sudden clarity that the sole purpose of Q’s existence is to torment him in every way possible.
“Took you long enough,” Q says drily when James tells him as much, his thin lips quirked in that small smile of his.
Q keeps talking, it is what he always does, an endless stream of information and clipped instructions. James tries to keep up, he does, but all too soon he ignores the drone of Q’s low voice in favor of imagining what that clever mouth could do instead. Q would look pretty on his knees, even prettier with those red lips wrapped around James’s cock until he chokes on it.
Bloody hell, James can’t sit here and take this infuriating teasing any longer.
“For heaven’s sake, shut up or I will make you,” he says. His hands find their way to Q’s hips and slide around to cup his arse, the surprisingly round globes just enough to fill his palms. He guides Q, slowing him down to a sensual roll of his hips so he can enjoy the slow burn that’s building in his balls a little longer. Q goes with the change of pace, leaning back to brace his hands against James’s knees until his back is arched in a graceful bow.
“And how will you do that, James,” Q asks in a husky voice.
“Making you suck my cock would be a good start,” James growls. “I’ll have you on your hands and knees, fuck that little arse until you beg me to stop and give you more.” He wants to say so much more, but his wits are leaving him rapidly because the increasing friction where Q rubs the wet denim of James’s jeans against his cock is bloody perfect.
“Yes,” Q whispers, “right here, on my hands and knees, where everybody can see.”
James comes with a gasp at the mental image, cock swelling and wetting his jeans with a steady stream of come. It’s different from the orgasm that comes with a good fucking, less sharp, but it goes on for a long time, leaving him boneless and completely drained.
Q slides from his lap before James is even finished. James feels stupid with orgasm, but he notices that Q is still hard. He quirks a brow at him that he hopes indicates that he’s more than willing to help Q out with that.
His only answer is an almost imperceptible shake of Q’s head and a surprising kiss to his cheek.
“For queen and country,” Q whispers in his ear. He sounds composed, unfairly so and James feels the afterglow fade quickly and a sudden rise of anger that goes as quickly as it comes when Q kisses him on the mouth. Just a small, almost tender press of lips and a husked explanation of “he’s watching” before he saunters away.
It’s hard to remember that this is an investigation and Tarkarov is still watching him. A hooker coming in his trousers instead of leaving after a job would most certainly raise his suspicions. James almost cocked it up, letting his cock do the thinking while his competent but still wet behind the ears quartermaster mostly like saved the job. Damn, he must be slipping.
For now there seems no harm done. Tarkarov comes over and sits down next to James, regarding him with open interest.
“He’s never done that to me, the little tart,” he says crossly. “You must tell me your secret.”
James just smirks at him.
“Those boys are all the same,” he drawls, “pretty words will do the trick nicely. It makes breaking them later all the sweeter.”
Tarkarov’s shark-like grin is all James needs to know that he took the bait. Fraternizing with the likes of him is the last thing James enjoys, but he hopes their acquaintance will only be brief. Extract information. Terminate.
“Vladimir,” Tarkarov offers as introduction and they shake hands to James’s own introduction as Samuel, their smiles as fake as their names.
“I would love to chat a little longer, but I am afraid I have business to attend to,” Tarkarov excuses himself after a few minutes of small talk and mutual sounding out. “I hope I’ll see you soon, so we can talk about more — pleasurable things.”
Slippery as an eel and paranoid like the best of them, James thinks, watching him disappear through a small door in the back. He has half a mind of going after him and see what kind of business happens there, but age has taught him to choose his battles. He’s done here for tonight. Quite literally.
The chiming of his phone is a welcome distraction. A message flashes an address in Vauxhall at him. James recognizes the number as the same that sent the first message and huffs, in no mood to spend the rest of the night chasing through various locations in London. He’d rather have a beer and relive the memory of how Q’s arse felt against his palms.
Another message beeps at him.
30 minutes. You have unfinished business to attend to.
The real thing might be even better.