Nick knew his face gave him away then. “Fuck you.”
“You already did. Oh, but it was me wasn’t it? Doing the...fucking,” Smoothie said, intimately.
It was hard for anything either of them said not to be intimate, really. They were already slow-dance close and breathing each other in. A hall this big, standing this close, and the distance between Nick’s fist and Smoothie’s face had never seemed so long.
Smoothie went on. “Between you and me, I would have much preferred to have you under very different circumstances. It’s not usually my style, but...I’ve fallen victim to cliche. The terrible father figure in you calls out to the needy boy in me. I wonder if Hailey will grow up into a similar archetype, hm?”
Nick’s fingers twitched by his sides. They knew what was necessary. Like bullets loaded in a gun, they only had one destination. Ten well-worn delivery boys, dropping off bodies at death’s door like they were being paid minimum wage for it. It was just a matter of how. Maybe they’d wrap around his neck and hold on nice and tight. Or dig through his eyes until they reached the buried treasure of whatever mincemeat he had for a brain. Perhaps they’d bow into a fist and pummel his face until that sick little smile was splitting on his teeth. For now they were en guarde. Locked and loaded. Raring.
Smoothie was still going. Must have drowned him out at some point.
“What do you want?” he interrupted.
Smoothie smiled. “Just your compliance. You’re going to come with me and -”
“Nah. What do you want.”
“You’re trying to bargain? Now who’s the one being a cliche?” Smoothie tutted, wagging a finger.
Nick grabbed his wrist, holding him still. “You’ve got my kid. That’s going to change. Tell me how.”
Smoothie didn’t seem bothered by the tight grip, if anything, seemed to relish it. Nick’s fingers were more than happy to bestow bruises as a little amuse-bouche for what they had planned later.
“We’re going to take a little trip downtown, to the grand finale -”
“Smoothie, you ain’t listening. We are not leaving this room until I know where my kid is. Understand?”
“We already covered torture, Nick. I have no intention of letting you derail my plans for this evening. I know exactly how things are going to end. For you, Amanda, Hailey, everyone. I will have my cake and eat it.”
Nick rolled his eyes, tongue in cheek. “Not torture. An exchange. What. Do you want?”
“Oh, I see,” Smoothie breathed, eyes sliding up and down Nick’s neck. “But you can’t say it, can you? Hm? And if anything, I’m offended. You think that you can undermine a plan nearly a year in the making just by offering yourself like this?”
Nick twisted Smoothie’s wrist behind his back, using it to pull him against his chest.
“Yeah. Actually, I do. This is a one time offer, expires in less than a minute, understand? The full, ongoing consent of Nicholas Sax, huh? That what you want? Tick tock, d’you want my cock?”
Smoothie closed his eyes. Nick smelled bad. Good bad. Dirty-but-not-too-dirty laundry. Cologne that could poison rats. Layer after layer of dried spilled liquor. It’d be disgusting if not for the overpowering...musk. Body odour. Sweat. He could probably get drunk just by licking Nick’s skin.
Nick shook him. “Ten seconds, perv.”
He opened his eyes. “This will not be some ‘quickie’, Nick Sax. Understand? You will satisfy me completely. Then, and only then, will I tell you where she is. I want you in full headspace, do you understand? No grudging, half-assed efforts.”
Nick’s other hand wrapped around Smoothie’s neck. “You want me to be your daddy, right? To dominate you?” Hurt you?”
Smoothie’s lips twitched. He gave a small nod, arm burning behind his back.
“Then there won’t be anything half-assed about this,” Nick said, smiling grimly.