In the maelstrom of voices and images constantly present in his mind, Elias was searching for the thread connecting him to Jon. The fact that he couldn’t find it didn’t necessarily mean he was dead; just that Nikola had found a way to conceal him. But it still made his stomach churn in an unfamiliar way.
Peter Lukas’ presence in the archive became noticeable the second he stepped over the threshold. Elias didn’t like it. Every step the man took sent another discordant sound through his mind. But he was here by his personal invitation, of course. If Peter wanted to turn the Institute into a playground for his god, however briefly, then Elias had to accept that. After all, it wasn’t like Elias had never encroached on his territory. It was part of the game they had been playing for years.
The door opened and Elias stood.
“Peter!” he greeted, not too formally but not too warmly either, and approached his guest.
“Good to see you, Elias,” Peter said as he shook Elias’ outstretched hand.
When their skin touched, silence extinguished every single voice in Elias’ mind but his own. His eyes widened and for a second, his hand went limp in Peter’s grip. Judging by the twinkle in his eyes, he’d noticed. Elias’ lips froze into a smile. He let go of Peter’s hand, locked the door behind him and offered him a seat.
He tried to hide his indignation when Peter went around the desk and sat down in his chair, eyeing him expectantly. How could Elias object, when Peter clearly knew why he needed his help? Everybody seemed to know, and Elias could tell that behind his calm demeanour, Peter was revelling in his struggle. All part of their usual give and take. Though Elias had never before been in danger of losing so much. And that was something else oh which Peter was fully aware.
Elias simply let out a laugh and offered him a drink. Peter declined and beckoned him over instead. He complied without hesitation, did not resist when Peter grabbed his tie and pulled him down, lips rough from a lifetime at sea brushing against his earlobe.
“Get under the desk,” he demanded, “and suck my cock.”
Elias smiled easily through his outrage at having to experience this kind of humiliation in his own place of power. Nikola made him endure worse with every tape she recorded for him.
Once Peter had moved the chair back a little, he slipped under the desk, settled on his already protesting knees and swiftly opened the zipper on Peter’s trousers. Elias was a little disappointed to find him still soft; it was something he’d hoped to take care of fast. He didn’t have much time to waste.
He licked his lips and took Peter’s cock in his mouth, a loose fist curled around the base. The wet noises he made were the only distraction from the fact that the physical contact with Peter shut him off from the rest of the world. Elias couldn’t help wondering what kind of activities Peter was trying to hide from him this time. At least, if such precautions were necessary, Elias could be somewhat reassured that the Lukases were unlikely to conspire with the Stranger. And whatever it was, he would find out, eventually; perhaps the next time Peter came to him seeking a favour, a situation that would be easy enough to arrange, once the threat of the Unknowing stopped hanging over his head.
Despite his lack of enthusiasm, Elias couldn’t hold back a quiet moan when he felt Peter’s cock swell and twitch in his mouth. He dropped his hand in favour of taking him in deeper, placing it between his own legs instead, massaging himself lazily. Elias knew that for all his love of silence, Peter liked the sound of moans, the vibrations they sent through his sensitive flesh. And even more, he liked cutting them off with forceful thrusts.
It didn’t take long for Peter’s hands to twist in his hair and pull him down the full length of his cock. As he held him there, Elias starting to squirm, his throat working helplessly against the intrusion.
“They say your Archivist is quite powerful,” Peter said suddenly, and Elias felt a surge of pride that broke his concentration. He gagged and pulled himself free with one forceful movement, coughing and trying to regain his breath. It was all the respite Peter allowed him, not even letting him vocalise an answer before thrusting back into his mouth. This time, the grip in his hair was painful.
“Is it true?”
Elias gave a brief nod. It was all he could do, and the simmering humiliation began to burn in his chest.
“In that case, I would like to meet him.”
Elias looked up at him, and Peter let out a quiet laugh that ached in Elias’ throat.
“I’m not taking him away from you. All I want is a little fun. Agree, and you’ll have him back tomorrow.”
He kept Elias in place, waiting for his answer.
“Or perhaps the day after tomorrow. Maybe the end of the week?”
Elias lowered his gaze and nodded slowly.
“Tomorrow it is, then.”
Peter let one of his hands slide down his cheek, wiping his thumb at a tear that had gotten caught in the corner Elias' eye during his coughing fit. There was not a hint of gentleness in the touch.
“And wouldn’t you like to participate? I know you like to watch.”
And before Elias could react in any way, Peter moved his head slowly up and down.
Jon stormed into Elias’ office, looking all but ready to start a fight. He stopped dead in his tracks at the sight of the man leaning against the desk.
“Who… Are you Peter Lukas?” he asked, trying to relax his scowl slightly as he looked at this person who clearly was not as much of a stranger to him as Elias had expected.
Elias was stunned, the direness of the situation briefly forgotten. “How do you know that? You have never met.”
He saw in Jon’s expression, in the way his mouth kept opening and closing without any words coming out that he couldn’t provide any kind of answer. For a moment, Elias was delighted, questions already forming on his lips. They withered when Peter laughed.
“You weren’t lying, Elias,” he said. “Your Archivist really is quite something.”
Jon set his face hard again. “And what exactly is the meaning of this?”
The compulsion washed over him, and Elias decided not to resist, for once. It would be easier to let Jon pull off that band-aid for him.
“I had to make a deal with Peter for your safety,” he said. The words simply spilled out with no resistance; he didn’t even have to think about them.
“Oh, you had to? Because you’re useless on your own?”
“It’s the result that matters, Jon.”
Jon snorted. “Figures. And what does he get out of it?”
“Sensitive information,” Elias answered. The compulsion remained, an insistent pull, and he allowed it to loosen his tongue. “And you.”
For a couple of seconds, Jon just stared at him. Then he laughed. It wasn’t even harsh, just disbelieving. “And I assume you don’t want me to take your statement?” he asked bitterly, turning towards Peter.
“Maybe later,” Peter replied pleasantly, “if you behave.”
Jon gave another bark of laughter. “You don’t seriously expect me to go along with this? This is insane.”
“A deal is a deal, Jon,” Elias said in a controlled voice. “I don’t think I need to explain to you how the world works. How our world works.” He nodded towards Jon’s hand that still bore Jude Perry’s mark.
“You get the favour and I pay the price, you mean? Of course. Can’t run the Archives without an Archivist, right?”
“This isn’t what this is about, Jon.”
“Oh, then what? The Unknowing? Congratulations, you’ve stopped it for now. Maybe we can rest easy for two weeks until Nikola finds another poor bastard to skin for her frock.”
“Jon!” he slammed his hands down on the desk. “This is not what this is about!”
“Enlighten me then!” he yelled, and Elias pressed his lips together.
“It’s because he cares too much,” Peter said with a hint of mockery. He smirked at Elias. “I’ve always told you that.”
Jon scoffed. He opened his mouth for a retort, but then Peter finally started walking towards him. He didn’t show it, but Elias could tell he was losing his patience.
“Don’t you dare-“ Jon began, taking a step back, but Peter had already reached him. All he did was put a hand around Jon’s wrist, and he froze. Elias could feel his connection to Jon snap, like a taut string meeting a sharp edge. After Jon's month of captivity, Elias felt the separation even more strongly. A reminder of how easily Peter could take what was his. He watched from his seat as Peter lowered his head and whispered something to Jon. But the sound didn’t reach Elias; he wondered if his voice would reach Jon if he spoke.
The expression on Jon’s face changed from fury to fear. Then he hung his head in resignation, but Elias could see his fists shaking. Still, Jon did not resist when Peter snaked a hand around his waist and started pulling him towards the desk.
“See how much better things are when you cooperate,” he said, keeping an eye on Elias.” It would be a shame if I had to break my promise to Elias about being gentle. You should be grateful that he’s looking out for you like that; others wouldn’t.”
Peter flashed Elias an indulgent smile, and he forced himself to return it. Then Peter pushed Jon onto his knees before sitting down on the chair in front of him. Before he could stop himself, Elias stood to be able to see. He watched as Peter freed his cock, already half-hard, watched him tangle a hand in Jon’s hair and turn his head slightly so that he was facing Elias, so he could move Jon’s lips across the side of his erection. A slow, deliberate motion that made Jon’s eyes widen with every inch he passed.
Shallow breathing filled up room, one final exhalation, and then Jon said quietly, “I will insist on that statement after.” That was all Peter let him say before he pushed into Jon’s mouth and silenced him.
Elias swallowed hard, his attempt at detachment wavering as he watched Jon’s lips stretch around the girth. They reddened quickly from the friction against the flesh, and when Peter pulled Jon back by his hair, Elias could see strands of glistening saliva on his chin as he gulped for air. Peter used Jon’s need for a break to lightly slap and rub his cock against his flushed cheek, the one in Elias’s view. Jon shuddered, his shoulders tightening, and Peter had to force his mouth open to thrust inside again.
“Get on your feet, Archivist,” Peter ordered. He kept his grip on Jon’s head tight, and it seemed to take him a couple of seconds to understand. Then he pushed himself up on shaking legs, bent over uncomfortably, his hands pressed against Peter’s thighs for support. Elias was so captivated by the sight that he almost missed Peter motioning for him to come over.
“Get him ready for me,” he said. Elias’ fist tightened around a small bottle of lube, and he went over to Jon. When Elias placed a gentle hand on his lower back, Jon nearly jumped.
“Elias has decided to join us, Archivist,” Peter said, confirming Elias’ suspicions. In response, Jon reached for his wrist and gripped it tight. And then he let out a small, helpless noise around Peter’s cock as he kept squeezing. A plea.
But there was not much Elias could do for him. A deal was a deal, and he had no trouble imagining the consequences if he ended up breaking it. The only thing Peter had to do to stop the Unknowing was to keep Jon far away from Nikola. The Archivist’s survival was of no importance to him. In the long run, it might even be detrimental to his goals. But for now, they were allies. And Peter had kept his word, as always. All Elias could do now was try to make it easier.
He set the bottle down and brushed a hand against Jon’s knuckles, stark white, until he relaxed his grip just slightly. Then he reached around and started opening Jon’s trousers. Jon’s fingers trembled, but he did nothing to stop him. He did not let go either, not even when Elias bared Jon’s cock, which twitched in Elias’ palm as he gave him a light, open-handed stroke.
Restricted by Jon's hold as it was, Elias let his hand rest on Jon’s hip while he opened the bottle of lube with the other. After spreading a generous amount above Jon’s hole, he coated his fingers in the fluid and slowly pushed one inside. Jon shivered, his hips stuttering slightly, and his grip turned to iron.
Even though Elias’ wrist soon felt numb, he made no attempt to shake Jon’s hand off. On the contrary, he relished the way it seemed to impossibly tighten, palm damp with sweat, as he added a second finger. Jon’s knees started buckling slightly, and Elias carefully slid his hand from Jon’s hip across his abdomen before he continued his preparations. He could feel Jon’s movements more closely now, the way he tensed and relaxed with the push and pull of his fingers. And when Elias slid his fingers in knuckle-deep, Jon let out an unmistakable moan.
Peter immediately cut it off with a hard thrust that had Jon’s body shaking.
Elias kept his eyes fixed on the back of Jon’s head as he fingered him open slowly, feeling the muscles beneath his shirt move with tension, trying to ignore Peter’s intrusive presence that had taken over the room. But it was impossible; every sound he coaxed out of Jon, Peter followed up with a violent push into his throat. It should have pleased him, the fact that Peter was enjoying himself, that their alliance with all its benefits for the Institute was secure for the time being. But instead, bitterness festered inside him, drawing the air from his lungs. He could hardly bring himself to look at Peter for fear of what emotion would show on his face.
Still, he was surprised that Jon was reacting that way to his touches. Under different circumstances, it would have been quite a pleasant surprise – if it had been his moment, and his alone. But he could not enjoy hearing Jon moan and sputter around someone else’s cock. What Elias wanted was to hear Jon beg; beg for more, beg for mercy, beg to fall apart beneath his hands until he couldn’t vocalise his pleas anymore. And above all, it should have been his choices, however ill-informed, that led him to Elias, not Peter’s petty whims.
He added a third finger and tried to take delight in Jon reactions, the way he clenched around him, his hips slightly rocking back against him whenever he nearly pulled out, as if he wanted to keep him in place. His arm was slowly starting to ache dully under Jon’s weight, his knees barely holding him up at all between Peter’s ruthless abuse of his mouth and Elias’s diligent preparation. But he held him closer still, wondering if Jon was only leaning into him so readily in his attempts to recoil from Peter.
A wet sound reverberated through the room when Peter pulled out of Jon. After a couple of seconds of quiet, Elias dared look up and realised that Peter was now finished with Jon’s mouth. Elias thrust his fingers into Jon one last time, aiming carefully to coax a breathless, uninterrupted moan out of him, a sound that made his skin prickle and heat rush to his groin. He wanted to hear it again. And again.
Instead, he stepped back and let go of Jon, trying to pull his hand out of his hold. In his daze, he seemed to notice too late; in vain, he tightened his fingers around Elias’s, to keep him in place. With the loss of contact, Jon started to visibly shake. He tried to say something. But Peter wouldn’t listen.
Pulling him up by his hair, Peter began manoeuvring Jon towards the desk, tugging so forcefully that Jon's feet, for all his attempts to remain rooted to the spot, slid easily across the floor. Elias wiped his hand clean as he stood and watched, trying not to let his gaze linger on Jon’s erection.
“Why don’t you have a seat, Elias,” Peter said genially, nodding towards Elias' chair, as he bent Jon over the desk with a hand on his neck. Elias walked over slowly, resisting the urge to take off his jacket or loosen his tie, unwilling to show how affected he was. When he sat, Jon's face was so close to his - impossible to miss the traces of tears and saliva on his cheeks.
“Jon,” Elias said quietly, almost a whisper, but Jon's eyes just kept darting around frantically, hands scrabbling along the edge of the desk, trying to pull open any drawers he encountered. But they were all locked. Behind him, Peter was positioning himself, cock in hand. He gave Elias a jerky nod.
Elias cupped Jon's cheek. Finally, awareness flooded his features, and his gaze centred itself on him. It grew dark when Elias placed his hands lightly on his forearms to keep him still. To hold him down if he had to.
Jon opened his mouth to say something, but it was in that moment that Peter pushed into him. His arms turned in Elias' loose hold, and for a second, Elias thought he would try to escape. Instead, Jon gripped his wrists again, painfully tight. An odd sense of relief washed over Elias.
His gaze remained fixed on Jon’s face, which was flushed with exertion, sweat beading at the temples. He was clenching his jaw tightly, as if he was determined not to let any sound through but quiet, laboured breaths.
Elias started when he spoke. “Stop looking at me like that.” Jon’s voice was so hoarse and quiet, pressed through gritted teeth, that Elias struggled to hear it.
He glanced at a Peter, whose movements had slowed slightly. “I can't, Jon,” Elias said. “You know it’s my duty to watch the Archivist.”
“That’s not... God, you’re really pathetic,” Jon snarled, and Elias' face turned to stone.
“Elias, you’re letting him talk to you like that?” Peter asked playfully. His movements had stilled completely now, but Elias could see how hard his fingers were digging into Jon’s hips. The pain was evident on his face.
“Is this the time to get distracted?” Elias kept his tone and his grip on Jon's arms gentle. It was difficult, tension building with no outlet.
“I would not tolerate such behaviour from my subordinates. If I were you, I'd find a way to teach him some respect. Don’t you agree, Archivist?”
He thrust into Jon so hard that he surged forward with a wince, the noise of skin against polished wood echoing in Elias’ ears.
“You’re letting him talk to you like that?” Jon mocked in a bitter voice, and Peter laughed. Gave Jon's thigh a slap that had him grimacing.
“I don’t think this will be necessary, Peter,” Elias said, his tone still light, artificial like plastic.
“I beg to differ.” Peter’s was jovial, but the gaze he directed at Elias was anything but.
Elias plastered on a smile for Peter. “Right you are.”
He tugged one of his hands free and flexed his numb fingers. They started to burn and prickle uncomfortably. Jon's eyes followed him as he rose. Then they wandered back to where he was working his belt open one-handedly, opening his trousers to free his cock. Elias only needed a few half-hearted strokes to get himself properly hard.
“You don’t need me to persuade your Archivist for you, do you?” Peter asked.
Elias shook his head. “Of course not.” He regarded Jon carefully.
His other hand slipped out of Jon's hold without meeting any resistance. Elias tilted up Jon’s chin, feeling the strain the position put on him. Pushing his thumb and index finger lightly against his cheeks, he coaxed his mouth open. It was hardly necessary – Jon opened up all on his own. Elias hesitated, listening for the familiar ticking of the clock, hoping to ground himself a little, but there was only silence. He sighed. Then he pushed inside.
It was a moment of pure bliss, the feverishly hot wetness of Jon’s mouth drawing him in, his lips, unwilling to part further, tight around his cock. Elias’s eyes fluttered shut. Not self-control kept him from claiming Jon fully, but the edge of the desk that now dug painfully into his thighs while he yearned for more. He took a deep breath. Let reality crash down on him in cold waves as he opened his eyes again and faced Peter, whose triumphant grin stung like a slap.
Elias’ thrusts into Jon’s mouth were slow and as shallow as the distance allowed, as Peter allowed, only the sensitive head sliding across Jon’s tongue. Elias could feel its every tiniest movement, could feel every single warm breath Jon exhaled caress his shaft. Thoughtlessly, he stroked Jon’s cheek, his jaw, feeling the muscle jump. He stopped when Jon locked eyes with him, but he did not move his hand.
His other hand, he’d dropped onto the desk to brace himself. Jon reached for it again when Peter’s movements picked up speed. He didn’t bother touching Jon, simply adjusted the angle until Jon was moaning around Elias’ cock, a guttural sound that vibrated through his core. And even through that, Jon never looked away from him. And he was still watching when Peter leaned forward and grabbed Elias’ tie to pull him into a rough kiss, forcing him onto the balls of his feet, forcing him just a bit deeper between Jon’s lips, forcing Elias’ mouth open so that he couldn’t hold back a shameful sound that cut through the silence that reigned in the room. Of course, Jon had heard it too. Elias saw it written on his face when Peter let him go again.
The only time Jon closed his eyes was when he came, digging his nails so hard into Elias’ skin that he drew blood. Then he just held on limply while he waited for Peter and Elias to finish. Elias squeezed his hand when Peter spilled himself across Jon’s back. For a moment, Jon’s grip tightened. Then he let go and pushed Elias’ hand away.
Peter's interest in Jon, if he'd ever had any to begin with, seemed to have waned now; he paid him no mind as he wiped himself clean with the tissues on Elias’ desk and zipped himself up. He didn’t even seem to notice Elias pulling out of Jon’s mouth still achingly hard and tucking himself away discreetly, unable to find the satisfaction he craved in the act. Then Peter rounded the table and put a hand on Elias’ shoulder.
“Pleasure doing business with you, as always,” he said.
“Thank you for everything, Peter,” Elias replied politely.
“I can’t fucking believe you.”
They both turned to look at Jon, whose raspy voice was barely recognisable. He pushed himself up on trembling elbows.
“We’re done here, Archivist,” Peter said, still in the airy tone of before. “Unless you want another round?”
Elias could feel the air in the room crackle, and he wondered if Peter could as well. A tape recorder clicked on.
“What I want,” Jon said through clenched teeth, “is your statement. That was our deal, wasn’t it?”
For the first time that evening, Peter’s face fell. For the first time, Jon smiled.
Decades of hard work were about to crumble before Elias, and he couldn't decide whether to interfere or simply sit back. And watch his Archivist.