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Fight or Flight

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The kid begs so prettily.

It makes the predator in Victor perk up – the desperate sound of that please don't, the sweet smell of fear clogging up the air, the way the kid runs from him as if he could escape, as if he never heard that turning your back on someone who's bigger, stronger, infinitely meaner is the worst thing he could do.

Those laser eyes of his may be deadly, but his unwillingness to use them to defend himself for fear of hurting anyone makes him weak, makes him prey, and Victor lets his feral instincts take over as he pushes the kid to the floor with the full weight of his body, his hand tangling painfully in the kid's hair, claws pricking against his skin.

The kid struggles against the grip, half-hearted, his body limp and pliant. Victor wants to rip him apart, wants to taste his fear, wants the pleas to keep tumbling from those lush, bloody-bitten lips until his throat is too sore to form words.

Victor leans down and—

Stryker ruins the moment, calling him off like Victor's his personal attack dog to be ordered around.

One day, soon, he's going to kill Stryker and he'll love every second of it, every drop of blood he'll spill. Not just yet, though. He grabs the kid off the floor and pulls him up, enjoying the pained little sounds he makes. Dusts himself off and smiles at Stryker like he's only too happy to obey. "What now, boss?"


Funny thing is, caged and bound in Stryker's prison, the kid's less afraid than he was at the school, where all it took was a little rap against the window to send him running like a frightened animal. By all accounts, he should be cowering now, hiding in the far corner of his cell, not standing in the middle facing Victor down like a dare.

It's a curious thing. Victor wonders what's up with that, where that spunk is coming from now. If it's about the bandages covering up those deadly eyes of his so tightly that he's effectively neutered, or if he thinks he's safe here, that he's so precious to Stryker and his research that no one can touch him.

Victor's smile is full of fangs. "Think Stryker's going to come to your rescue again? Wanna take a bet?"

He pulls the door shut behind himself. It squeals like a dying animal, metal rattling against metal as the lock snaps shut. The kid jumps at the sound, but his face twists into a derisive little smile anyway, all contempt and no humor.

"You think you're worse than them? They're the ones experimenting on me. What are you gonna do? Rough me up a little?"

There's mockery in the smart-ass tone, in way he raises a challenging eyebrow. His naivety is almost sweet and entirely misplaced, but Victor has to admit that he likes the new confidence. Fear's nice and all, but there's nothing more boring than chasing down a quarry who gives up without a fight. It's in his nature to revel in the challenge of breaking his victims, and he can't break what's already broken. Better to have them think they stand a chance, give him the pleasure of ripping that hope to shreds.

Those instincts of his light up like Bradley's electric bulbs when Victor takes a few steps into the cell, closing the distance between them. The kid holds his ground even as the familiar scent of terror fills the room. "I can make you hurt in ways you can't imagine, kid."

Victor trails a claw across his cheek and down his jaw, not quite hard enough to cut the skin, but enough to leave a long, red line that stands out nicely against pale skin.

The kid swallows, his throat moving rapidly against Victor's fingers. "My name's Scott."

Cute. Like he's reading from the handbook of what to do when you're taken captive. Form a connection, make them see you as a person. Does that shit ever work? Victor rolls his eyes. "I don't really give a fuck. All you are to me is prey."

He presses down his thumb until Scott arches his neck and bares his throat, a thin line of blood trailing from the pinprick wound Victor's claw left.

"I can take anything you dish out," Scott says, defensive to the core even when his body is poised for surrender.

Victor presses closer, impossibly close, until he can feel Scott's body tense and shaking against his own, until the tang of adrenaline and sweat and blood invades all his senses. He bends his head and licks a long stripe up the side of Scott's throat, from the pulse point to his ear, wrenching a broken little sound from his lips. Smiling against clammy skin and taut, quivering muscles, Victor lets his fangs graze along the jawline.

"I was hoping you'd say that."