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Out Of The Frying Pan

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Marcus resolutely does not fidget under the bishop's dark green gaze. Tomas Ortega is a full ten years younger than him for all that his hair is largely silver, and could not have become the youngest bishop in Chicago's history without being an ambitious social climber. Marcus answers to God, not slick political animals, no matter how distractingly burly their shoulders nor how melodious their Mexican accents.

He gets to hear said accent again when Ortega interrupts Bennett's tirade. “Father Bennett, I am thinking Father Kim does not need to be present for this?”

Bennett blinks at the young priest standing at attention beside Marcus as if he'd forgotten he was even there. To be fair, Marcus sort of did too; Shelby is an infant in his eyes, his exclusion from anything exorcism-related a foregone conclusion. “No, I suppose not.”

“Thank you, Shelby, you may go,” says Bishop Ortega.

Shelby looks anxiously from Marcus to Ortega - he told Marcus himself that the bishop is his mentor - then back to Marcus again. “You'll check in, let me know what's up?”

“Of course,” Marcus says gently, intending no such thing until after it's all over, one way or another. “I'll come find you at St. Bridget's.” The infant leaves, and Marcus feels instantly lighter with that particular lamb out of the path of the slaughter.

Of course, that leaves Marcus alone in the path of Bennett, who is now brandishing a black envelope like an executioner's axe. “Your excommunication, effective immediately.”

Marcus scoffs, and then it hits him that this is real and he rails, feeling himself go into sickening freefall as the hand of the Church opens and casts him aside. He throws down his collar like a gauntlet and confronts Bennett about the murders, the dismemberments going on in this town, and Bennett shouts - actually shouts! Marcus hadn't known he was capable - at him to shut up. And then Bishop Ortega interrupts a second time.

“Thank you, Father Bennett, I will take it from here. You should get back to the papal entourage, yes?”  

Bennett’s nostrils flare, but he knows better than to argue with His Excellency. He shoves the letter of excommunication into Marcus’ chest (such pretty calligraphy, the artist in Marcus notes absently, for a document stripping him of his life's only purpose and technically damning his soul to hell) and lets himself be ushered out of the office.

“Tara,” Ortega calls down the hall.

A brief clicking of heels, and his assistant materializes at the door. “Yes, Bishop?”

“Father Bennett is new to the building. Would you help him find his way out?”

“Of course, Bishop. This way, Father.”

Ortega closes his door. “I’m sorry,” he tells Marcus, with every appearance of sincerity. “I didn't know he was going to do that.”

Marcus waves the sheet of paper at him. “Direct from Rome; that goes over even your head,” he says slowly, sensing the movement of currents around him he doesn't fully perceive.

“Didn't stop him from borrowing the authority of my office to present it in,” Ortega sniffs. “Well, if it was good enough for the doing, it's good enough for the undoing.” He plucks the letter from Marcus’ nonplussed hands. “Come, get on your knees and let's get you absolved.” He gestures imperiously.

Marcus finds himself kneeling before he's consciously decided to do so. “You can't do that. Can you?”

His Excellency’s smile is all teeth, dazzling and a bit predatory. “Of course I can. Haven't you heard? I'm a bishop.”

Not ten minutes after he lost it, Marcus regains the right to take communion. He was never the most diligent at attending Mass, but he finds knowing he can still fully participate means more to him than he would have thought. Bishop Ortega's hands linger on Marcus’ face after in benediction, surprisingly callused and unsurprisingly smelling of incense and fresh-cut flowers. Moved by an impulse he doesn't quite understand, Marcus takes his right hand and kisses his amethyst episcopal ring.

Bishop Ortega's breath catches audibly. Marcus flicks his gaze up without lifting his head; His Excellency is staring down at him, his eyes gone dark. “Marcus,” he says slowly, “do you want your collar back as well?”

“You know,” Marcus says just as slowly, “I'm not so sure that I do.” He can hardly believe what he's saying; he woke up this morning secure in the knowledge he would die a priest. “Only - there are demons here that need exorcising,” he adds, shocked at how reluctant he feels to admit it.

“Well, that's easy enough to fix. I'll hire you as a lay exorcist.”

“Hire me?”

“Forty-one years of service - that's right, I looked you up - should be rewarded with far more than a paycheck. But it's a start.” Ortega nods firmly and helps Marcus to his feet, then spins away and starts rummaging in the cabinets lining his office. “You'll be on retainer, attached directly to my office - aha!” He turns back, holding something in his hand, some kind of glinting strip- oh. Oh.

“Um.” It’s a choker necklace, a wide, woven band of tiny beads that Marcus horribly suspects might be actual blue-black spinels and pearls. The centre bears an enameled medallion of what must be Bishop Ortega's personal coat of arms.

“It's not as subtle as your old collar, but it should open as many or more doors for you anywhere in Chicago.” Ortega tilts his head thoughtfully. “If you're willing to wear it, that is.”

It would be more subtle to have ‘Property of Bishop Ortega’ tattooed on his buttocks. Marcus opens his mouth to tell him to piss off and then stomp out, but what comes out is, “I am. Willing.” His face burns; he's sure he must be flushing crimson.

Ortega's pleased look spreads the burn clear down to Marcus’ toes. “I was hoping you would be.” He fastens it about Marcus’ neck; the fit is closer but more flexible than his old (old? he walked in here wearing it less than an hour ago!) cloth collar, the beads cool and smooth where the other was stiff and a little scratchy. It's lighter than it looks, which is still heavy enough he won't be able to forget he's wearing it. God help him, but he likes it.

“Nobody-” his voice catches; he clears his throat and tries again, “nobody gives this much without asking something in return.” Especially not bishops.

Ortega grins like a much younger man. “You're right; I am asking something in return.” He plucks something else from the cabinet and folds Marcus’ hand around it.

Marcus opens his hand and stares. It's a house key.

“The pleasure of your company,” Ortega says huskily. “Tara can give you the address. A cleaning lady comes through at 1 PM; try not to startle her if you are around at that time. I get home at 6; please be there in time for dinner at 7.”

It's too much, much too much. He can't possibly. “I'll do my best.” What? “Thank you, Your Excellency.” What?

Ortega steps right up to Marcus until they're standing nose-to-nose, and murmurs, “Please, my friends call me Tomas.” And then he kisses Marcus square on the mouth, as confidently as he has done everything in this singularly bizarre encounter - but not so quickly. He lingers, leisurely nipping and sucking at Marcus’ lips, nuzzling Marcus’ nose with his own, drawing deep breaths through his nose and sighing his low, rumbling pleasure. Marcus feels like he's being savored, approved-of, and above all claimed.

He's just starting to get over his utter shock and try kissing back when Bishop Ortega - Tomas - pulls away with a regretful noise. “I’m very late for my next appointment,” he tells Marcus. “I’ll see you tonight.” He spins again - Marcus can't decide if it's a practiced move to twirl his clerical robes, or if he really is just that energetic - and hurries out of his office, leaving Marcus blinking there alone.

“What,” he says to himself, “the hell just happened?”


To be honest, he probably would think better of it and leave, were it not for the way Bennett screeches when he sees the collar.

“Shiny, innit?”

“It's medieval. What is going on in this town that a bishop will stake a public claim on a priest?”

“Ex- priest, remember? You saw to that. Really pissed him off doing it in his office without telling him, I think. Maybe I have you to thank for my change in fortune.”

Bennett gapes and shoves an envelope at him. “I wanted you to take note of the names I wrote on the back, but now I think you should also consider using these tickets as tickets and get out of Chicago before that man assaults your virtue.”

“Have you got a mental block? You defrocked me; I've no virtue left to assault.”

Bennett gives him a horribly earnest look. If he tries to give a catechism lecture on chastity, Marcus is going to spontaneously combust just like Bennett's zealot yesterday. “Good chat, thanks for the leads, can you drop me off at-” he dredges up the address of the bishop's residence. Bennett lets him go in troubled silence. Fucking hypocrite. You don't get to squawk if someone picks up what you cut loose.

He lets himself in - with his key - and nearly turns tail again when he gets a look at the tastefully expensive front rooms, meant to flatter and intimidate all at once. It's the kind of place one entertains billionaires and foreign dignitaries, not a man grateful to wash his head under a dripping hose faucet. But he's always been too curious for his own good, and the greystone has two more floors.

The second floor is all yellow lighting, cozy furniture, Mexican knick-knacks - and a bishop plating tamales in his shirtsleeves, at least until he catches sight of Marcus.

“You came!” He relieves Marcus of his bags, setting them down under the rack where he hangs Marcus’ coat. Marcus notes that Tomas is barefoot, and tucks his shoes beside his bags.

When he stands, Tomas is right there, backing Marcus straight into the wall and caging him with his (absurdly muscular, now that they're covered by only a shirt) arms. “And you're on time,” he says, less than an inch from Marcus’ mouth, “I like that.” He closes the gap, staggering Marcus with another searing kiss, the claim in it even more blatant than before.

He gets to kiss back this time, opening his mouth to Tomas and shivering at Tomas’ groan of pleasure. Tomas shifts even closer, pressing their bodies flush all the way down, and yes, he's hard, and there’s no way he can't feel that Marcus is hard. A pit opens in Marcus’ stomach and rushes jittery heat up his spine, moving him to spread his palms against Tomas’ chest and then cling to his shoulders for support, for all that Marcus is a good two inches taller.

Dear God, he thinks dizzily, it's my first day as a layman and I'm about to get my cherry popped against a wall by a bishop.

He's just coming to terms with his lack of objection to that when Tomas eases off. He shifts his weight - and heat, and hardness of muscle and trapped erection both - away, and parts their lips with a tiny, slick sound that makes Marcus flush hotter than anything else that’s happened so far. “Hello,” Tomas murmurs.

Marcus licks his lips, and twitches at the way Tomas’ eyes are drawn to his mouth when he does. “Hello.”

“Dinner's ready,” Tomas says with visible effort. “We should eat before it gets cold. But first,” he reaches up and removes the choker he put on Marcus earlier today, setting it in a little painted dish on a table by the door.

“I didn't mind it,” Marcus says uncertainly. His neck feels more exposed than it ever did when he took off his old collar (something he usually couldn't wait to do when he wasn't working).

“I'm glad,” Tomas says, moving back into the dining area and continuing to set out the meal, scooping black bean salad out of a bowl and opening two bottles of beer. “But it's for outside, where you represent me. Inside my house, I want you to be comfortable.” He looks at Marcus slyly. “I have others for at home, if you like.” Marcus swallows hard, and Tomas’ smile widens. “But first, let's eat!”

The tamales are very good, and Marcus tells him so. Tomas looks bashful for the first time and says, “We're too far north to get all the ingredients my abuela taught me to use, but I've tried to adapt the recipe.”

“They could compete with Mexico City's finest and you know it.” It's the first time Marcus has said ‘Mexico City’ without flinching in eighteen months. Tomas looks sympathetic, not curious. Marcus squints at him. “You knew I was there.”

“I told you, I looked you up.” There's a lie in there, somewhere, but Marcus can't pin it down. Maybe just an omission.

“Before you sent Father Shelby to collect me from St. Aquinas?”

“You've met the girl in his parish. You can't say you aren't needed.” Tomas bites into another tamale.

“Right, two questions about that. One, how did you know I was even at St. Aquinas?”

Tomas chews, swallows, and says airily, “I'm a bishop.” Which is another evasive non-answer; Marcus sticks a mental pushpin in it for later.

“Two, why on earth did you install a boy barely out of seminary at the head of a mega-parish like St. Bridget's?”

Tomas holds up three fingers, then folds one down. “Shelby served admirably at St. Anthony's for several years first - don't be ageist.” Second finger. “Watching the St. Bridget's originals shit themselves sideways trying to come up with a valid objection was the most fun I've had since I got promoted.”

Marcus covers his mouth, trying not to choke or spray food everywhere as he laughs.

Tomas winks at him and folds down his third finger. “When I finally trapped them into admitting their true problem was with his being black and growing up in foster care, I was able to bring the hammer down on a proper amalgamation with the former parish of St. Anthony's, installing a bus line between them in perpetuity. It runs half-price all week and free on Sundays.”

Marcus is reluctantly impressed, but. “Leaves Father Kim as a bit of a pawn, though.”

“Never! A rook at minimum.”

“Not a knight?”

“Shelby moves in straight lines.” Tomas takes a swig of beer. “I didn't drop him in there alone, either - over 90% of his St. Anthony's flock followed him. They've really livened the place up.”

Marcus supposes that's good enough. Back to his real question. “Why me? You have the authority to make a legitimate request, for an exorcist in active service. Why come dig me up?”

Tomas gives him a long look. “I have my reasons,” he says eventually, “but I'm not ready to tell you everything.” It's better than another lie, but not by much.

He sets down his beer and reaches across the table, touching Marcus’ hand. “Trust me anyway?”

And, hell, there it is. “I don't know why,” Marcus sighs, “but I do.”

Tomas’ eyes are so warm. For a man who doesn't move in straight lines - he can't, not and have risen so high - he’s been, for the most part, disarmingly direct with Marcus. “I'm very happy to hear that. I have a feeling your trust is a rare gift.” Marcus has nothing to say to that, looking down at his plate and feeling his cheeks burn, feeling Tomas’ gaze on him like another physical touch.


After dinner, Tomas offers him another beer and instructs him to sit on the couch while he loads the dishwasher and washes pots and pans. He rolls up his sleeves to do it, and the sight of the wet black hair on his forearms makes Marcus wish he'd accepted that second beer after all; this is far too much for any mortal to handle sober. Plus then he'd have something cold to press against his skin.

A few minutes later Tomas wipes his hands on a dishtowel and saunters over, sitting as close to Marcus as he can without actually sitting in his lap. “You look hot, and not just in the good way.” He fingers the topmost button on Marcus' shirt that's fastened, which is to say just below his chest. “May I?”

Well, that's one way to put the brakes on. Marcus nods resignedly and lets Tomas strip him down to his undershirt, revealing his wealth of scrawny muscles, stick-poke tattoos, and scars, scars, scars.

Tomas’ eyes are drawn straight to the worst one, on his right shoulder: a waxy oval of skin that had to grow back in from scratch, the outline blatantly that of a set of human teeth. “That looks like it hurt.”

“Thank God for antibiotics. In another time I'd have lost a lot more than a bit of rotator cuff.” He works around it just fine now, but it's never been the same.

Tomas leans in and kisses it. The skin there doesn't have much sensation, but Marcus still feels the heat of his mouth like a brand. The heat spreads as he kisses his way over to Marcus’ collarbone and up his neck. “You were expecting me to stop, weren't you?”

“I wouldn't blame you. I'm a mess.” Marcus is being pulled and nudged to face Tomas, whose hands are roaming freely over his upper body. His own hands can't seem to do much more than clutch at Tomas’ shirt like a life raft.

“Shhh, you are not. A warrior's scars are nothing to be ashamed of. The opposite, in fact.” He moves from Marcus’ neck to his lips for another of those deep, drugging kisses, and Marcus’ hands finally remember they can move - to Tomas’ face and neck, apparently, trying to hold him in place so he can give Marcus more of this. This heat, this taste, this feel of their slick mouths moving together, learning one another.

In time, though, the need spreads from his mouth and hands into the rest of his body, every wash of pleasure stoking a fretful restlessness until he’s writhing against Tomas, practically climbing into his lap. He groans against Tomas’ mouth, who chuckles and pulls away with a knowing smile.

“Do you need more, cariño?”

Marcus nods and looks down as he admits, “But I don't know how.”

“A true believer,” Tomas says, still warm, still not mocking.

Marcus feels compelled to clarify, “When I was young, maybe. Even once I knew that bit was all bollocks, it was still just - easier.” And a promise I could keep, he thinks, but he doesn't know how to share that without sounding like he's judging Tomas, who has clearly not kept it.

“Shh,” Tomas says again, as if he can hear Marcus’ tangled, jangling thoughts. “I can't promise to go easy on you, but I'll make it easy for you, okay?” Marcus nods again.

Easy's not the word he would choose; maybe inexorable. There's a momentum to it: letting Tomas tug him up the stairs, into a bedroom, out of the rest of his clothes; letting Tomas look and touch and kiss and, increasingly, lick as each new part is bared, until he's naked as the day he was born; letting himself look and touch in turn as Tomas struggles out of his clothes and flings them aside like they're more cumbersome than full episcopal regalia. He's bulky with muscle and good living, liberally sprinkled with thick black hair (a bear, whispers a corner of his mind that’s been hoarding this kind of information most of his life). Marcus feels like he's boiling alive.

“God, Marcus,” Tomas growls, “I’ve wanted you like this forever.”

“You met me this morning,” Marcus points out. They're kneeling together on Tomas’ bed, cocks touching but not quite braced against each other, bodies just far enough apart that he can look down and see that. His head swims every time he does so.

“Then today has taken forever,” Tomas declares, and guides Marcus’ arms around his shoulders. “Hold on tight, I'm going to take the edge off.” And he takes Marcus’ cock in his hand and starts jerking it. After the protracted tease of the evening it doesn't take long at all for Marcus’ tension to peak.

“Ah! Ah, Tomas!” His hips are moving on their own, urged on by Tomas’ free hand hot on the small of his back. Getting him to hang onto Tomas’ shoulders for support was a good idea.

“I like hearing you say my name like that,” Tomas says raggedly, “I want to hear it a lot more. I’m going to take my time with you tonight, Marcus.” He pulls Marcus close just as Marcus twitches and starts to come, and rubs his back as he shakes through it, watching Marcus’ face greedily.

He leans heavily into Tomas after, unable to hold himself up, and also desperate to feel Tomas’ skin against as much of his own as he can all at once.

“I've got you, Marcus.” Tomas steers him to lie down, pinning him under his weight, and it's perfect, grounding, the solid feeling of compression exactly what he needed to stop feeling so terribly adrift. “I have you, and I will have you,” Tomas says in his ear, “just let me take care of you.”

Marcus shudders out a long sigh and nuzzles the side of Tomas’ face, letting Tomas’ stubble scrape him, like an itch being scratched. “Sorry,” he mumbles, “didn't know I'd be like this.”

“I knew.” When Marcus stares, he amends, “or guessed. Hoped? Am so pleased to confirm.” He rummages in his nightstand and produces several hanks of silk. “I think these might help you relax. Will you let me tie you up?” Marcus is dumbfounded, but he's starting to think that's going to be a common occurrence around Tomas. Going to be - this ridiculous man is infecting him with his optimism.

Tomas is still looking at him for an answer, so he shrugs and says, “Go ahead.” Everything else Tomas has suggested has worked out pretty well; he'll see how this goes. In his newly-deflowered lassitude it's certainly easier than deciding himself what to do next.

Rope or anything harsher might have smacked a bit too much of his work, but these are lengths of silk scarf folded into flat ribbon and tied with quick-release knots. Marcus doesn't even think of himself as restrained - at least until he tests his bonds and remembers silk is pound-for-pound stronger than steel. The release loops are within reach (even of his toes, if he works at it), but he's not getting loose without tugging on them.

Tomas finishes tying his right hand (lower than his left, mindful of his missing chunk of rotator cuff, and Marcus is touched and baffled that he took that into account) then sits back and surveys him with satisfaction and hunger. “You’re so beautiful like this, Marcus.”

“If you say so.”

“I do say so.” He rubs his hands up Marcus’ ribs. “All spread out for me to enjoy, to give you enjoyment. You honor me with your trust.” He bends his head and starts suckling one of Marcus' nipples, and Marcus gasps at the intensity of it, still sensitive from coming so recently.

Tomas works him until the little nub of flesh is more like a pink thorn, the softest touches with his tongue radiating almost-painful shocks over his whole body. Abruptly he switches sides to give the other one the same treatment, rubbing the first soothingly with his fingers. Marcus squirms, feeling bizarrely close to tears.

“God, Marcus, you’re so - so raw, so open. You feel everything, don't you?” Tomas fondles both nipples with his hands now as he watches Marcus’ face. “So much pain - your body would tell the story even if I knew nothing about you. And still you let yourself feel. That's amazing. You amaze me.” He kisses Marcus again and squeezes his nipples oh-so-softly, rolling his hips to grind his hard cock against Marcus’ tender half-hard one, and Marcus chokes on a sob.

Tomas notices, of course, but he doesn't actually stop. He just hums and blankets Marcus with his whole body again, hugging him tightly and nibbling on his neck. When Marcus is a little calmer, Tomas sits up.

“You know, when I called St. Aquinas to tell them I was sending Father Shelby to remove you, a Brother Simon tried to talk me out of it. He called you a pitbull.”

He takes one more silk scarf and ties it around Marcus’ neck, flat and just snug enough to feel it, and all the while he keeps talking:

“That was a mistake on his part. You see, I worked with a pitbull rescue for a while. I know that they are actually sweet, loving animals with a mythos of violence built up around them. I became even more curious to meet you. And when I did I saw this in your eyes.” He rubs the silk - the ribbon - around Marcus’ neck. “That you could be this, maybe needed it.”

“Needed to be called a dog?” Marcus recognizes distantly that if he weren't so deep in - whatever this is, he'd be out the door by now.

“Needed to be rescued.”

He's so warm. The air in the room is warm, and Tomas is warm on top of him, and there is a kind of warmth radiating from all the points where he’s bound - where he's held, secure and somehow, impossibly, safe. And one of the points that binds him is Tomas’ bright, hot gaze. Somewhere inside himself he feels a click, like a pick sliding into a lock just right and popping it open. He exhales, some tension releasing that he hadn't been aware of. “Maybe.”

“That's it,” Tomas breathes, “there you are. Oh, Marcus, cariño, I'm going to make it so good, I promise.” He kisses Marcus breathless, tonguing him so deep Marcus begins to feel distinctly penetrated, and then sucks a hickey just below his collarbone. It pinches and burns; Marcus cries out and tries to grab at him, but he can't because his hands are tied, and remembering that he cries out again, softer and higher and more fragile than he'd known he could sound. He doesn't sound like himself at all.

Tomas doesn't stop this time. He sucks more bruises into random spots on his body: ribs and hipbones, the underside of one of his upper arms, his inner thigh. He nips lightly, but never sets his jaw for a proper bite, perhaps mindful of Marcus’ scars telling him that would not be welcome. He licks almost everywhere, until Marcus is as damp with saliva as with sweat. An observation filters in to Marcus through his dreamy haze of mounting arousal. “You have an oral fixation.”

Tomas beams up at him from his navel. “Give the man a prize!” He winks. “Actually the prize is for me, but you’ll like it.” Without further ado, he traps Marcus’ hips against the bed with his forearm and starts licking and then engulfing his cock.

“Oh, my God,” Marcus moans. He'd thought Tomas was working him over with skill and enthusiasm before - and he was - but from the frantic way Tomas moans back and grinds into the mattress (not even touching Marcus, clearly just to relieve himself), this act is a favorite. The suction at Marcus’ cock is incredible, the working of Tomas’ tongue and cheeks and - and throat, that has to be his - “God, Tomas.”

There's a small click and a slurping noise, and neither really register, but the slick touch that probes between his buttocks without so much as a by-your-leave definitely does. Although, he has to admit Tomas can’t exactly use words with Marcus’ cock in his mouth, and the finger doesn’t try to push in, just circling and rubbing at his hole, a gentle holding pattern. He supposes it counts as a by-your-leave after all, swallows and whispers, “Yeah, okay,” and Tomas rewards him with a deep swallow around his cock and glides his finger in easily.

It’s strange, so strange, part of another person wiggling about inside where no one has ever been, and yet it feels good. Every part of tonight has been like that: strange but good, caught up in the riptide momentum of Tomas’ confidence, his passion. His claim; even Marcus, with zero experience in these things, can feel it plainly.

Or… well, he doesn’t have zero experience, does he? He’s been claimed once before, pierced and consumed and suffused - by God. The Church of God may not want him anymore, but this man of God clearly does, and Marcus finds he wants him back.

“Yes,” he says, “yes, Tomas, do it. F-” his breath fails him as Tomas sinks his finger deep and sucks hard at the same time, and he tries again, “Fuck me.” Tomas takes him at his word and pushes another finger into him right away. “Ahh!” He can feel it now, a burning stretch, but even that feels good, and Tomas can reach deeper, deep enough to touch something that sends a huge lurch of sensation through him.

“What?” he says nonsensically. Tomas scissors and swivels his fingers, then adds a third and nudges that spot again. He shudders, the wave of pleasure ripping a guttural noise out of him. Tomas holds him there, kneading him with exquisite, nearly-cruel precision, and then he groans around Marcus’ cock and presses deep again. It's all over for Marcus then; he makes another one of those soft, alien cries, long and wavering, wrung from him by an orgasm more powerful than he can ever remember on his own, ever.

Tomas rubs his belly throughout, other hand still in his arse but moving gentler now, suckling every last drop of come from his cock. When he flinches, Tomas lets him go and says, “Gracias, Marcus.” His voice is hoarse - from having Marcus’ cock in his throat, and Marcus is too dazed to decide if that's more or less shocking than being thanked. “I'm going to fuck you now, like you asked.”

Marcus feels pretty well-fucked as it is. His legs are like jelly when Tomas unties them and bends them up and apart. Tomas rolls on a rubber and, folding Marcus’ legs up towards his chest, sinks his cock in where his hand was. It doesn't hurt; he's too relaxed, too well-prepared, the thick, blunt shape of Tomas fitting right into the space he made ready for himself inside of Marcus as if Marcus was waiting all his life to have him there. Maybe he was.

Tomas seems to share his irrational thoughts. “So long,” he babbles, “I waited so long for you and now you're here, Marcus. I have you.” He thrusts into Marcus with all the strength in his thick, powerful frame, unstoppable as the pounding surf against the land.

“Yes.” Marcus is so wrecked, so oversensitized, that every time Tomas bottoms out feels like a small climax of its own. His face is wet; he doesn’t know when the tears started flowing but they well up again now as his voice breaks. “Yes, Tomas, you have me, yes.”

“Gonna keep you,” Tomas echoes, his own voice breaking, his own eyes wet as he stares into Marcus’ and his hips speed up. “Gonna- oh!” He rears back like he's being slammed into Marcus from behind, his mouth falling open, gasping. Marcus can feel his cock swell and pulse inside him, and for a crazed moment he wishes Tomas wasn't wearing the rubber, so he could leave something of himself behind. A mark, Tomas was here, where no one was ever expected to be.

Maybe, if I stick around, I can talk him into it. It occurs to Marcus, as Tomas unties the rest of him and gathers him into his arms, that there is no longer anyone to tell him where to go. He can stay in Chicago as long as he likes. He has a patron. He has a house key.

“What are you thinking?” Tomas asks him. Marcus is curled up against his side, head on his chest, toying idly with the thick hair there. It's starting to catch the same premature grey as Tomas’ head.

“I'm thinking there's a lot of work to be done here.” The city is rife with demonic activity, far more than a possession in a single family would account for. “I might have a go at being a kept man for a bit.”

Tomas squeezes him tightly. “A kept man doesn't have to work.”

“I do.”

“But you'll let me help you?”

“Yeah. Yeah, I will.” It'll be nice to have someone backing him up who actually likes him for once, and whom he likes. Tomas hasn't told him everything; he's talking around at least one secret he clearly, desperately wants to confess. But - there will be time, Marcus hopes. He allows himself to hope.

Tomas strokes his hair. If Marcus were any less tired, he would arch into it like a cat. “And Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” He kisses Marcus’ head. “Rest.”

And Marcus rests.