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"Oh fuck me..."

"That's what I'm doin', boy."

"Fuck you, you know what I mean."

Usually, mouthing off to Emilein Tiefer, head of The Church, southeast Louisiana's most notorious best kept secret of a criminal organization, meant a knife to the throat (or dick, whichever drove the point home best). For Adam Gagnon, an always ever loyal righthand dog who was currently bent over a desk that cost more than every organ in his body ten times over, an exception could surely be made.

At least he hoped so.

"Oh?"

Tiefer stilled, cock still deep inside of Adam.

"'Fraid I don't."

Adamn whined. His cock was hard and aching, caught between him and the desk underneath him, his body painfully full. "Boss, c'mon..." He pushed back, desperate for anything. The drugs didn't help.

Tiefer pulled back, the head of his cock the only thing still inside of his subordinate. His hands firmly gripped Adam's hips and ass, keeping him at bay.

"Enlighten me."

"Christ, boss, just—"

"Did you mean to say 'Please fuck" —his voice dipped, catching low in his throat, a nice little mockery of Adam but rougher in a way that had Adam biting his lip— "me'? Hmm?"

It was practically a purr, punctuated only with the delicate rock of his hips as if he were handling china, pushing just a little bit more inside, far from enough.

"I'm sure that's what you must've meant..."

"God, fuck please Emi, fu—shit!"

A hand in his hair snapped his head back as he was slammed into, once, hard.

Tiefer's breath was against the side of his throat, teeth grazing his ear. "Never ever fuckin' call me that again if you wanna keep that fuckin' cock of yours, dog. It ain't yours to say."

"Sorry— please, sir I didn't mean—"

"Oh I know what you meant." Tiefer shoved Adam's head forward, pressing it into the desk, holding him trapped between the desk and his body, unmoving, as if he'd all the time in the world. The only thing betraying his need being the slight flush in his cheeks and the tremor in his grip.

"Try again: what did you mean to say?"

"Please...fuck me..."

"Please fuck me what?"

A sound somewhere between a huff and a whine.

"Please fuck me, sir."

"Now, Adam" — and Adam practically sobbed at the sound of his name purred like that, a rough and wanting promise— "you know what you're allowed to call me." Tiefer tightened his grip in Adam's hair. "Don't make me ask."

"Please fuck me, Father."

Father Emilein Tiefer, leader of The Church. That's what they all called him, officially any way. His sister who had run their little organization before him (and, depending on the stories, who had cut and/or fucked her way to the top) had been the one to come up with the moniker — after all, they were The Church. Despite the damnatio memorare he had made against her (after her death which he had also, depending on your source, had a hand in), Tiefer kept the title. Humor, it seemed, ran in the family, so "Father" it was. Few were able to address him as anything but; those who could were still usually allowed only 'sir' or 'boss' or, depending on his mood, 'Emilein.'

Then again, everything with him depended on his mood.

"Good boy."


"You called him Emi!?"

"Well it's not like I did it on purpose, doll," Adam said, taking a puff from the joint that dangled between his fingers. "I was a little preoccupied at the moment."

Jehan snorted as he flipped another page of MAD Magazine, only half reading. He was sprawled on his bed, the plush burgundy bedspread a mature contrast to his small frame and skinny legs, as Adam sat on the floor, leaning against the intricate footboard.

"Hope you still got your dick after that," Jehan said, looking up.

In response, Adam grabbed his dick through his jeans and earned a laugh.

"Lucky you" —his eyes were on the magazine again but obviously what little attention it had captured was elsewhere— "You know he beat a pig half to death just for laughing 'cause he overheard me call him that name? Fucker pissed in a catheter for at least a month."

"I'd heard."

"Emi must like you." There was a tease of a smile in his voice. "Should I be worried?"

"Nah, I'm just his dog. You're his bitch." Adam glanced up, not meeting Jehan's eyes. "Sorry."

"Don't be," Jehan shrugged. Tossing the magazine aside, he crawled over until he was lying on his stomach, sprawled on the bed, within Adam's reach. He reached down and plucked the joint from Adam's hand; Adam didn't resist. "You ain't wrong."

He watched Jehan take a long drag. "Still, right or wrong," he said as Jehan handed the joint back, the small shudder of a suppressed cough making his hand shake. "Coulda been nicer."

"Fuck, Adam, you're the nicest thing about this place."

There was a silence between the two of them, between Jehan in an oversized t-shirt and boxer-briefs lying on the too-big too-nice bed covered in juvenile magazines and hiding copies of Playboy under the mattress (not that there was much reason to hide them — Tiefer gave his pet whatever he asked for, within reason) and Adam fairly freshly fucked in his beat up rocker shirts and ripped biker jeans sprawled on a teenager's bedroom floor, both with invisible collars around their throats tethering them to The Church, to Tiefer.

Jehan was the first to break the silence.

"So, since he let you keep your dick, that mean he let you cum?"

Adam laughed. "Well if he hadn't, I'd be borrowing your shower rather than sitting here gossiping."

"Why? I'm right here." A grin. "Use me."

Another laugh, nervous this time. No one was really sure where Jehan came from — Tiefer had showed up with this all of twelve years old child one day and for the past four years, well, here he stayed — but everyone, member of The Church or not, knew one thing: Jehan Prêtre belonged to Emilein Tiefer, and God help whoever was fool enough to so much as look wrong at what Tiefer claimed as his own.

Adam, ever foolish, took a drag to steady himself. "You ain't my type, kiddo."

"Liar." There was no mirth in that. Jehan sat up, watching Adam. "You've kissed me enough times when you were drunk. And then some."

"Those were mistakes." Righthand man or not, mistakes were deadly in The Church.

"You sure like making mistakes then."

"If the boss knew—"

"Oh come on. Emi fuckin' knows, Adam. Y'all fuck each other all the time. He knows your scent. You think he didn't smell you on me after you came down my throat at that fuckin' gala?"

Adam swallowed thickly. The joint — now roach — dangled from his fingers. He stubbed it out. "So. He's known that long?"

"Longer. He ain't stupid. But y'all share everything. Booze. Intel. Whores. I'm just a glorified whore, so..." Jehan slipped off the bed, flush against Adam. "Might as well treat me like all the others."

"H-he never told me he knew."

"Please. Everyone knows how you are when you have too much to drink," Jehan said, leaning in close, "You think he'd ever leave his fuckin' pet all alone with you in the first place if he was scared he might get sloppy seconds?"

Adam grinned, sheepishly.

"Even if he didn't, you go slippin' and callin' him Emi too many damn times, he's bound to figure out you picked that up from me." A grin. "Even if I'm supposedly not your type."

Adam rolled his eyes. "Fine, I lied," He put his hands up. "You caught me. So...what're you gonna do about it?"

Grabbing Adam's wrist, Jehan stood, pulling the older man up only to tug him down with him to the bed, magazines falling to the floor.

"You said it yourself: you're his dog, Adam." Jehan pulled Adam down, kissing him softly. "Make me your bitch."


"You don't like it here much do you?"

Jehan peered up at Adam from behind his bangs. They were lying in Jehan's bed after a good two hours spent dirtying the sheets. Tiefer was out on business regarding an upstart rival gang — had been out for some days — and so left Adam and Daniel, his thirdmost trusted, in charge of seeing to matters at home; and Adam did, impeccably so as always, but with great attention to spending as much time as he could with Jehan while he could.

"Naw, Adam," Jehan drawled, "I just love being the child sex slave of a deranged mob boss. Really just gets my dick hard."

They had always been friendly, bordering on flirty, with Adam often being the one to make runs for sweets when he was younger or pickup beer or Playboy for him. It wasn't that Tiefer couldn't be kind, but that when people saw him they saw Death. Adam, however, could sweet talk and puppy dog eye his way into anyone's heart. So he made the runs and he made the drop offs and he saw this poor teenager with no one else really around and, well... It always felt like the right thing to do, to be there for him. After all, he knew what Tiefer was like too.

"Sorry."

"No, I'm sorry." Jehan sat up, the sheets pooling in his lap. Old scars littered his back. "I...I have a lot. I should be grateful."

Jehan had begged him not to tell Tiefer that they'd fucked or that they'd kept fucking — and Adam wasn't about to press Tiefer's mood after their little Emi incident. He realized, not long after, that Jehan had maybe stretched the truth a bit. Even if Tiefer did know that there had been a few slip ups, even if Jehan was just a kept whore like all the other cheap men he and Tiefer had previously indulged in, there was something perhaps a bit unwise in loudly advertising you fucked the mob boss' plaything.

"I can ask for anything — anything at all — and he'll give it to me. Make you get it, really." Jehan didn't look at Adam. "I have the world. Except..."

"Except your freedom."

A hiccup. And then —

"Yeah. Except that."

Adam was used to seeing people cry. In this line of work, it happened. Crying, screaming, begging... He was even used to seeing Jehan cry; Tiefer had on multiple occasions beat and fucked Jehan while carrying on "business" meetings as both a punishment and a challenge: don't ever think to fuck with the faggot head of The Church. But this time...

"Jehan..."

Adam couldn't deny that it hurt.

"I shouldn't have said anything."

Jehan hiccuped. "You're right, though." His body shook. "It's stupid to be this upset. Freedom isn't that important." Jehan wiped his eyes, breathing deep. "I have a roof over my head, I'm well fed, I'm alive... I should be grateful. He's sweet when he wants to be, he gives me the world, he's always made sure I came... I should love him."

"He's hard to love."

A laugh. "Do you?"

"What?"

Jehan turned to Adam. "Love him?"

Adam paused. "I'm loyal to him."

"Right. The Church's loyal dog." Jehan reached out, tracing Adam's jaw with his fingers. "It's why he gives you so much freedom."

"It's less freedom, doll, more a very long leash."

A scoff. "At least you've got a leash."

Adam kissed Jehan's hand and looked away. The boy was right — he at least had room to roam, room to fuck around, room to say no. He was part of The Church, not just The Church's open, dirty secret.

"And if he gave you a leash, what then?" he asked, finally meeting Jehan's eyes. "Would you take it?"

"Fuck, Adam, I'd take any leash from anyone who offered."

Brow furrowed, Adam clicked his tongue. "You should be careful who you let put a leash 'round your collar, Jehan."

Jehan recoiled. "Who I let?"

"I only meant—"

"You're the only person I've let do anything to me."

"— that there are people worse than Emilein out there."

"That so? Did he even tell you why I wound up under his 'care' in the first place?"

Adam didn't respond. He had been The Church's second hand for a few years before Jehan had arrived, but he had never asked. It was never his business to ask.

"My dad worked for him. Down the bayou. Ran smuggling from the gulf into the state. They'd been...friends." He more spat than said the word, his face scrunched up. "Ever since they were kids, actually. Still would've been too but dad wanted to go clean. Second son on the way, realized the money wasn't worth it. Apparently the sex wasn't worth it either."

"They were—"

"Shit yeah."

"Oh." Adam wasn't shocked. Tiefer slept around. Adam knew he was but one of Tiefer's boys — a favored one perhaps, his ever loyal dog — but usually Tiefer did him the courtesy of telling him about other men.

"So dad told Emi where to shove it and wound up dead. Money all dried up and a mother with a son and a newborn infant..." Jehan smiled softly. "Emi made my mother an offer: he'd take care of me, even set me up with a job, make sure I never had blood on my hands. She'd never have to worry about me. He even paid her. Still pays her. I never asked how much."

"Jesus."

"Ain't her fault. I had a choice. Of course I said yes, I was fuckin' twelve. I thought I knew Emi. Not well enough but he always brought gifts for us when he came 'round. Felt like Christmas when he dropped by. What kid says no to that?"

It didn't shock Adam. It should have, some part of his brain said, but it didn't. This was just what they did: promise the world with one breath and offer razorblades in the next. Their work wasn't honest; it was only dirty — the trick was to have just a little less shit on your face than the next motherfucker.

"If it means anything I wouldn't've said no either. Not in your position."

It was true: he still hadn't said no when Tiefer offered him a job when he'd been disowned and was slumming around, using a sharp tongue and a knack for other people to hustle coin here and lift cards there. And he'd been grown then, no stranger to life's lies or dirtied hands. Tiefer hadn't had to lie to him: he'd known up front he'd extort, he'd steal, he'd kill (and he'd known, based on how Tiefer had pushed him up against the dirty wall of the alley behind gay bar they'd met in, how he pressed against him, what else his "yes" may cost him.)

Jehan simply shrugged. "I was twelve. My family was poor. My mother was naive. Please, Adam," Jehan said softly, lying back down and curling up against Adam's chest. "Don't tell me there's worse than him out there."

Adam reached up, carding his fingers through Jehan's hair. "Sorry."

" 's fine." Jehan's voice was muffled, face against Adam's skin. He looked so small.

They laid like that a little longer, the smell of sex still hanging in the air. Eventually, Jehan leaned up on his elbows and kissed Adam who didn't hesitate to kiss him back, and soon enough Jehan was pinned to the mattress with Adam deep inside of him, kissing every moan from his lips.


There were indeed people worse than Emilein Tiefer out there in the world, but to know so would require a world beyond the shutters of The Church's old plantation.

For Jehan, that world did not quite exist. Sure he caught glimpses — he was Father Emilein Tiefer's pet, flaunted as a protege one moment, a charity case the next, and a trophy in the face of all laws and gods, always a pretty doe-eyed thing to be paraded on the man's arm at social events, business backdeals, and face-saving spectacles of high and deadly society.

Adam was Tiefer's boy: everyone knew that the man took care of him and if there were whispers that the two were more than master and dog, well, whispers are all they were; Jehan was Tiefer's boy: a possession the man owned. There was no need for whispers in front of an object.

It had been at the gala he'd sucked Adam off at — some old money WASP bullshit where people whispered only to be polite (and even then, politeness lasted only so many drinks in) at a swanky old hotel that all three of them, himself, Adam, and Tiefer, looked just ever so slightly out of place, a trio of street rats in nice suits playing pretend — where Jehan met one such a person.

"Jehan."

He didn't look up at first. People usually paid him no notice if he wasn't at Tiefer's side and Tiefer was off playing socialite, leaving him to hang on the sidelines and drink more wine than he should; if they did ever notice him, they never bothered to use his name. Possessions didn't have names.

"Jehan?"

(He had to remember to thank Emi for leaving him that dignity; the man was the furthest thing from an angel but at least he always called him by his name. The illusion of personhood was powerful enough.)

"Jehan!"

He jolted, head snapping up.

A man with jet black hair and tanned skin dressed in a purple suit so dark it was almost black and matching slender tie stood before him. His fingers were covered in rings and his long nails were painted gold and just as bejeweled. Coupled with the ring he wore in his nose, the man looked out of place in the same way a rock star looked out of place among politicians. It was a refreshing sight.

"I apologize," the man purred, the hint of an accent coming through. "It is Jehan, isn't it?"

"Y-yes. Sorry, I..."

"Not used to anyone getting your name right around here?"

"Something like that, sir." He wasn't used to anyone knowing his name at all.

"I'm no stranger to it either. It's why I tell everyone just to call me Rex. Easier that way." The man extended his hand. "But I trust you to call me Ashmedai."

Jehan shook his hand. "Nice to meet you, Ashmedai."

"Ah, I knew I could trust you to get it right." He leaned in — pulled Jehan in, rather — with a conspiratorial grin. His teeth looked fanged, almost like a cat's. Or a vampire's. "Unlike the rest of these fat cats who think just because they own a thousand yachts or rig every election in the tri-county area, they don't have to learn a damn thing beyond their piggy little noses."

Jehan snorted. "You're enjoying yourself that much, sir?"

"Please, no formalities — we're all equals here, aren't we?" He released Jehan's hand and glanced around, as if they were sharing the world's greatest secret. "And of course, who wouldn't have a fucking blast trying to do business with a bunch of fat old bastards who use these social events as excuses to get shitfaced and try to fuck the little jailbait armcandy of every other bastard here, all behind their wives' backs? Can't think of a better way to spend my time. Can you?"

A smile, like he could read Jehan's own laundry list of places he'd rather be than here, a little more full of wine he couldn't even buy himself than he should be and left in a crowd of people who all knew he was less than a whore.

"I have to apologize, s— Ashmedai," Jehan said finally through a sheepish grin. "I'm about as useful to do business with as those men."

"I doubt that very much," Ashmedai said. His arm went around Jehan's shoulder, like they were two friends, like they'd always been friends. "You're Emilein Tiefer's boy, aren't you?"

"Not to be rude, but," —Jehan glanced aside at Ashmedai, noting how close they were, remembering the last time Tiefer caught someone merely looking at him wrong— "if it's business you're after, I'm happy to get Adam for you, he—"

"If I wanted The Church's little puppy, I'd find the mutt myself," Ashemdai hissed. "I didn't ask you if you got down on all fours and barked for your whoreson master, I asked if you were his boy." A pause, as if considering. Or recalibrating. "Unless that's what he likes in bed. Wouldn't shock me, the man fucked his sister before and after she passed..." He smiled, all genial pleasantries. "Not to be rude, of course."

"O...of course." Jehan grabbed his third glass of wine for the night from a passing server and took a gulp.

"So, you are his boy then aren't you?"

It was a question but they both knew the answer. The question was just a pleasantry.

"I am."

"What do you think happens to his boys? Once they've lost their...charm."

"What do you mean?"

In response, Ashmedai hailed a server with a tray of drinks and pulled out a flask from his chest pocket. He poured a large amount into one of the drinks, lifted it from the tray and toasted the server with a wink as she left before turning his attention to Jehan. "That girl, she's pretty, yes?"

"I guess."

"Unlike your beloved Father, you don't have to play gay for me, Jehan. If she came up to you after this whole shitshow were over and offered you her cunt, you'd take it, wouldn't you?"

Jehan didn't offer up the fact that he had never even seen a girl's cunt, outside of magazines. "Sure, yeah."

"Sure, he says!" Ashemdai laughed, taking a sip, his other hand squeezing Jehan's shoulder tight. "Pretty thing like that, of course you would! But she won't be so pretty forever, will she? And a pretty face and tight little ass is what earns such lovely tips."

Jehan watched the server glide around the room, smiling, targeting the guests whose drinks were on just this side of empty and whose hands so desperately needed a glass, doing just as brilliant a job as any. Surely, her assets were more than what Ashmedai described; yet still, he watched the men in the room (most of the men, at least) follow her when she turned, eyeline snapping from her face to her ass as soon as it wouldn't be too terribly gauche to do so (and more not even bothering to look her in the face when there was more distracting entertainment for the eye.)

"I guess she won't."

"Age is cruel to us all," Ashmedai said, all but pouting over the rim of his glass. "But she, well, she at least knows how to take care of rooms upon rooms of guests, anticipate their needs, make sure no man goes hungry...forgive me, Jehan," — and he did sound truly repentent, glass clinking as his long nails tapped the sides — "but can you ever serve The Church? Or just wet your master's cock?"

Taken aback, Jehan sputtered, "I...I'm not...I'm not useless, I—I can do things..."

"Has anyone ever let you? Taught you even?"

"No, but..." Jehan's hands shook, the wine glass threatening to spill. "I'm not just a whore." His voice sounded as small as he felt.

"Oh I don't doubt that. But ask yourself, where will you be when Emi looks for some younger, tighter cunt to breed?"

He downed the rest of his drink, winced once, and then smiled as if he hadn't completely upended a young man's world and security within it.

"Metaphorically, of course. Haven't seen that man fuck a cunt since his sister—and you know..." He yanked Jehan in close, voice a stage whisper. "Word is, she forced him, that poor bastard. Personally, I envy him: that woman, God rest her soul, could step on my dick any day and I'd thank her." He winked.

Jehan did not wink back.

"Oh forgive me, Jehan, I've forgotten myself!" He released his shoulder with a heavy clap. "I only say all these depressing things with the concern and wisdom of a man who has been where you once were."

"You...?"

"Was a man's boy? In so many words." Ashmedai lowered his voice, as if it were a secret, as if he held as many secrets as some of the men here had boats or whores and Jehan was the only one he could trust with them all. "I've been many things for many people."

"But you're..."

"Yes?"

Jehan hesitated, finishing off the rest of his wine in an effort to buy some time. He didn't know what this man was — eccentric, genial (overly so, like an alien wearing a person suit who only learned how to be human from television), not great at boundaries...

"We're all equals here, Jehan. You can say it."

"...fuckin' weird."

He hadn't meant to say that thought out loud.

An apology was on his lips, but Ashemdai only laughed. "I am, aren't I? But I'm also not any man's boy. I learned. I climbed. I think you could too, if only anyone gave you a shot."

He reached inside his suit again, hand passing his flask, and pulled out a card, black as pitch, that he kissed, leaving a light sheen of lip gloss against it, and handed to Jehan.

"You don't have to decide now. But before you find out what happens to those in the underworld who outlive their usefulness, I do hope you take your shot."

He clapped Jehan on the shoulder one last time and made to leave, hailing the same server and handing over both his and Jehan's empty glasses, before clapping his hands together. "Oh right! I almost forgot!"

Ashmedai leaned in so they were nose to nose, his index finger straight up and pressed against both their lips. "Don't tell Daddy about this little convo, hmm?"

"I..." Jehan blushed. "I won't."

"Excellent! What a smart boy. I don't even have to tell you to guard that card with your life, I bet. Because if he sees it, well..." Ashmedai turned to leave. "He may just excommunicate you."


"Fuck I hate that Chink bastard."

"For starters, Boss, he's Indian. I think. Maybe Jewish."

"Jew bastard, then."

"Second, can we turn down the racism a bit?"

Tiefer glared at Adam as he poured his second glass of whiskey for the evening. The study was dark, lit only by the fireplace. "Sometimes, boy, I wonder about your priorities."

Adam raised his brow, watching Tiefer set the decanter down on his desk, now much neater than it had been the last time he'd been sprawled across it.

"We're a fuckin' mafia an' here you are worryin' about what I call the Chink Jew bastard who is tryin' to fuck us all up the ass!" He downed the glass he poured, cursed, and fell back in his chair. "Somebody needs to kill him."

"And have his goons turn their sights on us? You really want Dante to step up and lead the Seven Princes? Dude's a psycho."

"Yeah but I hear the kid's dick's big."

Adam rolled his eyes. "Priorities?"

"Let me dream, yeah? Mais..." Tiefer gestured to the large chair in front of his desk before pulling out another glass. "Besides, psycho or not — huge fuckin' cock or not — I want that kid playin' for our team."

"You want him?"

"Wouldn't you?" Tiefer poured him two fingers of whiskey. "Motherfucker's notorious for the intel he gets."

"For his methods."

"Don't be modest. We all torture here. How many hands you broken, hm?"

"We break people, sure, but he...destroys them."

Tiefer's eyes glinted in the light as he handed Adam the glass. "And we don't?"

Adam took the glass but didn't respond.

"My boy getting soft on me?"

"No." Adam took a drink, looking just as he had when Tiefer first met him. "I just don't think it wise to play dangerous games."

"Honey, you know we ain't never been above destruction."

"You're right, we're not." Adam sighed. "Even giants fall."

Tiefer stood, his fingers ghosting over his empty glass before stalking over to Adam, his hands slammed onto the chair arms. "That's why I want that motherfucker and his whole fuckin' gang dead before they encroach too much on our fuckin' turf and topple us."

"How? Ashmedai doesn't fuck around and neither does his right hand, Dante. As for Caleb—"

"His bitch?"

"He's just as much his dog as his bitch, Emilein. Not everyone's like you. Ashmedai's been training him."

Tiefer laughed, pulling away. "Oh, what? Does he bark on command now?"

"I'm not joking!" Adam stood, nearly nose to nose with Tiefer. He slammed his drink on the desk. "What about Jehan? You give him all he asks but keep him tethered. Meanwhile everyone knows he's special to you — enemies included. You think they won't target him? You think they haven't already?"

"They won't," Tiefer said as if it were law. "He's special, but useless. And I intend to keep it that way."

"Why? If shit goes down, he deserves a fighting chance. Right now he's a lamb for slaughter. Why won't you make him a real part of The Church?"

"Because I see what's happened to you!"

Adam stepped back, as if burned.

"You know what this fuckin' life does, Adam," Tiefer snarled, stepping back into Adam's space, like a threatened dog. "As long as all he is is my stupid bitch, he lives. Who's gonna target the dumb little boy who at worst gets fucked brainless in a meeting or two?"

Tiefer didn't wait for an answer. "He's stupid and pretty and if he's just a pet then to the world he's another expendable body to warm my bed. Ain't worth a bullet. You, though..." He jabbed a finger in Adam's chest. "Mais, you're smart and loyal and god damn valuable. If I lose you, I'm crippled. You think our enemies haven't noticed that?"

"You could go on. You've got Daniel. He's smart, he's your third—"

"Fuck my third, Adam — you're my boy."

That was about as close to 'I love you' as Emilein Tiefer, head of The Church, had ever managed with him after all their years together. Up close, in the crackling glow of the fire, Adam could see it wasn't a lie, either.

"But so is Jehan." It wasn't Tiefer who spoke into the silence, but Adam. "He's your boy too."

If it weren't for the fact that his eyes were dry, the laugh that spilled from Tiefer could have been mistaken for a sob.

"Yeah, Adam. He's my boy too."

"What will you do when he's no longer so boyish?"

He pressed his palm to Adam's cheek, thumb tracing his cheekbone. "You're still just as boyish as the day we met."

"I was grown when you met me. He's still just the boy you bought off an ex's widow."

"Does that upset you? You an' your..." Tiefer made a face. "Priorities?"

"If you mean my morals, I left them the night I went home with you."

A kiss, gentle, for once, and brief. "Ever the good dog."

"Always your dog."

Tiefer smiled, as brief and gentle as the kiss he'd pressed to Adam's lips, before it quickly turned sour, his lips set in a line. "You two are close if he's telling you that."

"We're friends." A shrug. "We talk."

"Hm." Tiefer stepped away, the firelight making his eyes look almost red. "You're right, y'know that?" He stalked back to his desk. "You were grown — grown an' smart an' already such a fucking liability. But him? What great big world does he know outside of the one I've made for him?"

He grabbed his glass and decanter.

"I don't keep him because he's young, Adam." He poured himself another glass. "I keep him because he's mine. We both know I'm not a fuckin' pedophile."

He shot the drink back before throwing the glass in the fireplace, watching the shards scatter.

"I'm a god."


"You ever fucked a girl?"

With a hiss, the smell of cheap beer filled Jehan's bedroom as Adam opened a bottle for each of them. Tiefer was away up river so they had been left to their own devices once more.

Adam laughed and handed Jehan a beer. "Just jump right on in to the up close'n'personal questions there, huh?" They both sat side by side on Jehan's bed, Adam's leather jacket and boots strewn on the floor next to most of Jehan's clothes, save the boxers still low on his hips.

"We're up close'n'personal all the time."

"Only when Daddy's not home," Adam sang between sips of beer, earning an eyeroll.

"You didn't answer my question."

Adam shrugged. "Lots of 'em." He grinned like a high schooler cutting class to smoke and talk shit in the toilets. "What, got your eye on someone?"

Jehan laughed and swung his arms around the room. "Who, Adam? The only girls here're the Playboys under my bed."

"Hey now" — Adam struggled to keep a straight face — "you'd leave out Sister Trish?"

"Trish is a 40 year old bulldyke tank Emi keeps on payroll because she'd beat the shit out of him if he didn't." Jehan rested the bottle rim on his lips, a smile tugging at each end. "I don't think I'm her type."

"Stranger things have happened." Another swig. "So what? You wanna fuck a girl?"

"Kinda." Huffing, Jehan fell back against his bed, grip tight on the bottle, eyes shut. "Shit, Adam, I'd just like to fuck something for once. Figured a girl'd be nice."

"Mm. Well, ain't wrong there. It's pretty nice."

"What's it like?"

"Wet."

A snort. "That it?"

"And warm," Adam added, looking Jehan over. "Soft too. Little less work than fucking a man and just as nice. Different but nice."

"Hmm." He cracked one eye open at Adam, peering up at him. "I wouldn't know."

"Would you like to?"

Both eyes opened at that.

"How much have you had?"

Adam raised his one bottle. "Same as you." He plucked Jehan's bottle from his fingers and placed both on the ground beside the bed. "Want to fuck me?"

"I..."

"It's fine if not. Just thought I'd offer—"

Whatever else Adam had to say was cut off with a kiss as Jehan wrapped his arms around him and held him close. He pulled away only as much as was needed for air.

"I'll take that as a yes."

"You mean it?" Jehan hated how childish he sounded, like a kid on Christmas Eve being promised a present before morning. "No shit?"

Adam just kissed him, laughing. "Of course," he whispered between breaths. "Why wouldn't I? We're close'n'personal, ain't we?" He nipped at Jehan's throat before pulling away, leaning off the edge of the mattress and groping for his jacket. "Fair warnin'," he dug around in the pockets, "I know everyone's got their threshold so...ah!" He straightened up with a condom in hand. "If you're icked out about, y'know..." —he jerked a thumb backwards— "you can wear this."

Jehan simply grabbed the condom and threw it aside.

"I want to feel more than just The Church's dog's mouth around my cock."

"As you wish."

Tugging off his own shirt, Adam discarded it in the same direction as the condom before pouncing on Jehan, his arms around the boy's ribs, fingers groping along his scarred back and sides, mouth at his jaw, his collar, his throat, knee pressing between his thighs. His fingers found the waistband of Jehan's boxers and he tugged, exposing his hips, his thighs, his cock, flush and halfhard already.

He lowered his head, licking a long stripe along the underside of his cock before taking it in his mouth to the hilt.

"Adam—"

He pulled off with an obscene little pop, as wet as his lips. "Don't worry, Jehan." His hands were on his belt, tugging it off. "I promise you'll cum in me."

If Jehan's face wasn't flushed before, it definitely was now.

"Lend a hand?"

Immediately, Jehan was up on his haunches, fingers at Adam's fly, pressing button through hole and pulling the zipper down, desperate to let jean and cotton follow the rest of Adam's clothes to the floorboards.

"Fuck me..."

"Ah-ah," Adam smirked, bare and hard before the other. "That's your job this time, kiddo. Unless you've changed your mind..."

Jehan responded with a hand to the back of Adam's neck, gripping tight, pressure hard. "Get on all fours, dog."

Adam snapped his teeth at him, a growl in his throat that turned into a laugh, and complied as Jehan moved out of his way and kneeled behind him. "You really are our Father's boy, ain't you?"

"Shut up." It was harsh, admittedly harsher than either expected. "Sorry."

"Don't be."

"I don't wanna think about him."

"Then don't." Adam laid his head on his arms, his knees apart, exposed. He brought a hand to his mouth, spat, and reached down between his legs, past his hard cock, pressing in once, twice. "I promise I'd much rather think about your pretty face as you cum in me than whatever bullshit he's up to."

That earned him a smile.

"You know how this works?"

"Duh."

It was all bratty bravado but Adam wouldn't embarrass him by pointing it out. Jehan's hands found his hips, gripping along bone, and Adam withdrew his hand when he'd stretched all he could, the air momentarily cold against him until the boy's body pressed flush to his body, cock sliding against his ass, warm and slick.

"Shit..."

It took a moment — bravado deflated only somewhat by hesitation, the novelty of being on the other side, in control, almost too much — but the moment passed and all too soon Jehan had pressed the head of his cock fully inside of Adam.

"Oh God..."

Immediately, Adam rocked his hips back.

"Fuck!"

Adam laughed. "You said you wanted more'n my mouth."

Jehan dug his nails in Adam's hips, grounding himself. "It's so much," he whined.

"Move your hips, doll."

"I can't—I...I'll cum..."

"Thought you knew how this works?"

Jehan swatted his ass, earning a choked laugh-turned-moan from Adam. "I don't wanna just..."

"Men nut early all the time. It's fine."

"Easy for you to say! You get to fuck anyone you want whenever you want."

The silent "I don't" was left to hang in the air between them.

Adam got up on his hands. "Pull out."

"What?"

"Trust me. Pull out, sit back, and get comfortable."

Jehan did as he was told, sitting back against the pillows and watching as Adam crawled up the bed to him, planting kisses along his chest and throat and cheeks as he straddled Jehan's hips.

"You still dictate the pace, kiddo," he said with a wink before sinking down on Jehan's cock.

"Fuck."

Adam smirked, rolling his hips just so as Jehan gasped underneath him, hands finding Adam's hips, his sides, his ribs.

"Adam." His name was barely more than a groan. "Slow. Please."

"Whatever you ask."

Adam raised himself up, rocking forward, thighs taught, before sinking back down. "Good?"

"Mmn...perfect."

Grinning, he ran a hand through his blond hair, shaking the ends out. "I'm no soprano but I can girly it up for you." His voice trailed up into a moan, higher than his usual, not totally fake but definitely put upon.

Jehan shook his head. "No. I want you, Adam." He tugged at his arms until Adam was leaned over him, his hair curtaining their faces. "Nothing else."

Adam only kissed him, his hips moving steady, only at Jehan's pace, only at Jehan's request, as Jehan touched him back, his hips moving in tandem with his as small sounds escaped his lips, most swallowed up by Adam between sloppy kisses.

"When you're ready," Adam gasped, teeth grazing Jehan's bottom lip, "push me down." He grabbed Jehan's hands, bringing them to his chest. He slid one hand down between his thighs, pumping his cock hard, "Hold me down and fuck me 'til you're spent. You're in charge, kiddo..."

Jehan pressed down and Adam grabbed his wrists.

"Only when you're just about to cum."

He ground his hips down, his hand tight around his own cock.

"Adam I can't—"

"Just a little more—"

"Please, Adam!"

Adam released his wrist, bracing himself as Jehan pushed him back, cock almost slipping out as he pinned Adam to the mattress, hands finding the older man's hips again, steadying himself, slamming back inside.

"I'm gonna..."

His hand slipped against his own cock, friction hard to come by between spit and sweat and precum.

"Wait, Jehan—"

He was almost there.

"I can't, Adam, I—oh, fuck!"

He braced himself in Adam's skin, fingernails digging crescents in his flesh, head buried in the hollow of Adam's throat as he spilled inside of him, dick twitching with each spurt.

"Fu-uh-uck, Adam..."

Adam's fingers found his hair and pulled, twisting, his own orgasm following in one, two, three short strokes of his wrist, white arcing between them and body shaking, muscles contracting, but Jehan had already spilled inside him.

"Sorry," Adam gasped after minutes in silence save each other's heaving breaths. "If I'd gotten there before you, your dick would've really been in for a treat."

Jehan just laughed, breathless.

"Sorry? Adam, I think I just saw God."

"Oh." The dumbest grin lazily spread across his face. "Tell Him hi for me."

Jehan merely kissed Adam and settled against his chest, disentangling only once his cock softened and the mess between them cooled.

"I'm, uh, going to go shower. You're welcome to join me. I just need to get clean before..."

"Before Emilein comes home. Yeah..."

Jehan looked away, his expression sour, and slid gingerly off the bed, steadying himself.

Before he could stop himself, Adam blurted out: "He loves you, you know."

He watched Jehan grab a new pair of underwear and a t-shirt from an old chest of drawers in pointed silence.

"He just wants to protect you, he—"

"Please, Adam. Don't lie to me."

From where he was sprawled on the bedcovers, Adam looked up at Jehan who stood, so small, across the room from him. His eyes caught the white scar tissue covering his thighs, his ass, his entire back—all punishments (or pleasures) courtesy of the man that kept them tied together— before finally meeting his.

"I would never."

Jehan smiled, a sad soft thing, before stepping over to the bed and kissing Adam softly on the lips. "Wait for me?"

"Of course, sugar."

"You really are the nicest thing about this place. I'll miss you, whenever I finally get out."

And with that, Jehan stepped into the adjoining bathroom, leaving Adam alone in his room.

Now Adam Gagnon, secondhand man of The Church and Father Emilein Tiefer's most loyal dog, was many things; what he was not, he always maintained, was a snoop nor a snitch.

He was, however, a terribly curious man. And being a curious man, Adam couldn't help but wonder what sort of girl Jehan would want. Not that he'd ever be allowed one. Not while he was Tiefer's.

Not until he was out.

So when the hiss of the showerhead trickled through the bedroom door, Adam hopped off and lifted the mattress, revealing the array of porno mags. He swiped the lot and hopped back on the bed. "Let's see what pages stick..."

He picked up a magazine, flipping through the pages. Nothing stuck.

A pitch black card, however, fluttered free right into his lap.

"Fuck."

There were worse men than Emilein Tiefer in the world, and Adam was not about to let Jehan run straight to them.


Tiefer had made it in that evening, worn and pissed and barking orders before retiring to his office. Under any other circumstances, Adam would have steered clear. But the black card he'd lifted from Jehan's bedroom burned a hole in his pocket.

So there he sat, hands clammy on the leather chair illuminated by the fireplace in already too-hot weather while Tiefer poured another two fingers of whiskey on the rocks and lit himself a cigarette, slowly leaning against his desk, staring down at Adam. He took a drag and then gestured to the new oriental rug on his hardwood office floor.

"Like it?"

"Boss..."

"Constance gave it to me." He took a long sip of whiskey. "Gesture of goodwill. Heh." He set his glass down. "Fuckin' pedophile."

"Boss—"

"Bet he's fucked at least thirty kids on that thing. Probably can spot it in a few of the films he's made too."

"Boss, I really think—"

"I don't really give a fuck what you think, Adam!" Tiefer snapped. "Because right now I think I just spent all day sweet talking a man who makes even my skin crawl all 'cause he knows the Seven Prince's second better than that psycho brat'd like and right now I think I'd like a fuckin' break."

"Well before you take your fuckin' break," Adam said as he reached into his pants pocket, "take a look at this."

He held the card between his fingers.

Tiefer snatched it from him. "Where did you get this?" It came out like a hiss.

"I found it." His hands shook. "In the Playboys underneath Jehan's bed."

"Where he'd know I'd never look." For a split second, there was something in his expression as he stared at the card in his hand, dark and calculating and on the wrong side of madness, that made Adam's blood run cold. "Speaking of..." And then his gaze pierced Adam. "What exactly were you doing looking through his porn?"

"I told you, boss, we're friends," Adam hoped his voice sounded convincing. "We—"

"Talk?" Tiefer set the card on his desk. "And what," he asked softly as he pulled out a cigarette and lighter from his back pocket, "do you two talk about when I'm away?"

His eyes never left Adam as he lit up and took a drag.

Adam was the first to look away. He slunk down in his chair, feeling terribly like he was in the principal's office, desperate not to meet Tiefer's eyes.

"Hmm?"

"About what he wants."

"He's got anything in the world," Tiefer said with a puff of smoke, "if he asks."

"Except freedom."

Tiefer slammed his fist on the desk. Cigarette ash fell to the floor. Snatching the card up with one hand and grabbing Adam's collar by the other, he pulled him up out the chair until they were nose to nose. "And is this"—he waved the crumpled card in Adam's face—"what you call freedom?"

"He's not asking to be set loose!"

"He's asking to be destroyed!"

"He's asking to be treated like a person, Boss, not a pet." Adam's hands found Tiefer's, gently prying himself loose. "He wants to know he matters to The Church. To you."

Tiefer swore, turning his back to Adam. His grip was still a vice on the pitch black card.

"Ashmedai is a death sentence. We both know that. But he doesn't. Give him a leash. Just give him a leash however short. He'll take it. He'll take you, Emilein."

"Oh, he will. I'll make fuckin' sure of it." A drag, steadying. "Now...get outta my sight, Adam."

"Boss—"

"I will not tell you again."

Adam did not protest. He retreated to the door as fast as he could. The moment his hand touched the knob, he heard Tiefer's drawl from behind him.

"Oh, an' Adam?"

He watched Tiefer, silhouted by the fire, rip the black card to pieces and let them fall onto the flames, as gentle as bird feathers or dust until they hit the fire.

"In the future, make sure your friends stay just friends. Clear?"

He didn't turn away from the fire as he spoke.

"Crystal, Father."

"Good dog."

The sound of that door closing echoed in Adam's mind long after he'd left the plantation or showered the panic sweat from his skin or even crawled into bed, his whole body on edge for The Church's justice to rain down on him. But twelve hours passed pain free. Then twenty four. Soon they were two days, four days, even six days out from that night in Tiefer's office and Adam was beginning to think that maybe, just maybe, things would be okay.

And on the seventh day, it all went to shit.


"Jehan, I'd like to apologize to you."

Tiefer sat at his desk, sprawled in his chair and idly loading his revolver. Jehan sat in his lap, right where he'd been ordered. At his side stood Adam, loyal as ever. At the door stood Daniel, gun in hand and pointed forward, a proper guard dog.

Before his desk stood three goons whose names he hadn't even bothered to learn. Three pitch black cards laid on the desk, one for each of them.

"See, a little birdie told me," —Adam shifted uncomfortably— "that you wanted to be a sho'nuff part of The Church, rather than a fuck toy."

He put the last bullet in its chamber.

"So let this be your lesson, p'tit."

He closed the chamber, his free hand snaking around Jehan's waist, keeping him still.

"In The Church, we deal with lowly traitors like the sick dogs they are."

He raised the gun.

"Un."

Bang!

"Deux."

Bang!

"Trois."

The final gunshot echoed through the office followed by the wet thunk of the last of three bodies crumpling to the ground.

"Daniel?" Tiefer settled his gun on the desk, his grip on Jehan's waist never abetting. "Take out the trash for us, yeah?"

Daniel did as he was told, dragging out each corpse one by one, before closing the door behind him. The lock shut.

"Follow me so far?"

Jehan nodded quickly. "Y-yes, Emi." It was the first time he'd seen a man killed in front of him. If he'd been younger, he'd probably have pissed himself.

"What did you learn?"

There was an edge to his question that permeated the eerie calm of the office.

"That traitors get put down."

"Lowly traitors, Jehan," Tiefer corrected, his hand cupping the other's face. "Lowly traitors get put down. The Church has no time or patience for fuckin' worms. But one of its chosen?"

His grip tightened, nails digging against jawbone.

"A Judas gets Hell."

He shoved Jehan off his lap and onto his desk, slamming his skull against the edge with a sick crack.

"Boss—!"

"Move without orders and I will fuckin' shoot you, bitch."

They were frozen there in a silence that could pierce eardrums: Jehan, pinned against the desk, head throbbing in pain; Tiefer, sleeves rolled up and hand resting heavy on Jehan's throat, body caging him where he was forced to lay; and Adam, in shock, beside the old desk chair, following orders.

"Imagine my sur-fuckin'-prise when Adam walked in with the little gift you got from Ashmedai an' ravin' 'bout givin' you a little freedom."

Jehan's eyes went wide, finding Adam. "You?" Shock immediately curdled into rage. "You rat—"

"No! Jehan, I didn't—"

"Shut up! Both of you!"

Tiefer pulled away just enough to grab his switchblade from his desk. He pressed the blade beneath Jehan's jaw, right against the carotid.

"The dog's innocent. Mostly." He glared at Adam. "He should know better than to touch what's mine. Let tonight be a lesson for you too Adam." The grin he flashed Adam did not meet his eyes.

"As for you, half the waitstaff were in my fuckin' pocket the night that bastard talked to you. Coupla my men had me suspicious but I never thought I'd hafta worry about you."

"E-Emi..."

"Why worry, I said! He's a good boy, I fuckin' said! He has the whole fuckin' world at his hands, that's gotta be enough for a po' boy like him!"

Jehan wasn't stupid enough to struggle against the knife at his throat. He was, however, stupid enough to challenge the man holding the knife there. "The fuck'd you know about that, Father?"

Grabbing Jehan by the hair, Tiefer dragged him from the desk, kicking his chair over as he went, knife still in hand, still close. He threw Jehan onto the oriental rug and stomped down on his ankle—hard.

"Because, boy," Tiefer snarled, his accent eking out with every statement that was punctuated with another stomp of his boot, another crunch of breaking bones, "I came from shit, climbed up from shit, an' now I run this goddamn shit you think you're too fuckin' good for!"

"Fuck...fuck, Emi, p-puh-lease..."

A kick to the jaw.

"Shut the fuck up!"

Sobbing, Jehan curled up on himself as best he could, fingers ghosting over his broken ankles, trying to shield them.

Tiefer brought the heel of his boot down on his fingers, grinding down against the floor and earning a gut-wrenching howl flecked with blood.

"Boss, please..." Adam hadn't moved an inch, just as commanded, but his face was white. "He didn't know better, alright? He's just a kid."

"No. He's not." Tiefer got on the ground beside Jehan, on hands and knees, grabbing the boy's broken ankles and dragging him under him before pinning him: one knee in the stomach and one hand on his throat. "He's a traitor."

The knife glinted in his hand as he sliced through Jehan's clothes, ripping them off him, and dragged the tip down his chest, his stomach, his hips, and down between his thighs.

"An' if he wants to be a traitorous little cunt so bad..."

The knife grazed past his cock, down farther, coming to rest in the cleft of his ass.

"Let's make him one."

If he hadn't been witness to its source, Adam would have sworn the noise that echoed through the office was inhuman.

Instead, however, it was ripped from the very human vocal chords of the beaten and crippled sixteen year old being split open with a knife in a terrible pantomime of fucking as Tiefer thrust the blade in one, twice, a third time, coating his fingers, hand, forearm in blood. He then jerked the blade upwards, cutting through the boy's perineum then testicles and finally cock with a wet crunch before dragging it right back down, fast and hard; blood vesseles, muscles, sinew, and skin parted sickeningly, butchered beyond repair, leaving blood and gore and shit in the blade's wake.

It took mere minutes to split the boy so much and yet the screaming seemed to go on forever.

Tiefer seemed unbothered; if anything, it spurred him on, yielding thrust after thrust and scream after scream. He finally threw the knife aside, forced Jehan's legs apart— spilling more blood and gore and shit, staining the rug almost black—and, undoing his pants, he pulled out his cock.

"Nn...don't..."

Half-aware, Jehan tried to pull away from Tiefer but between his broken ankles, busted wrists, and the white hot pain from what remained between his legs scalding his every nerve, he could only strain and whimper, utterly helpless like a dying pet in the gutter, as Tiefer pinned him down and pushed inside of him—or of what remained of him, at the very least.

"You were my boy." It came out sharp, punctuated with thrusts that left a wet squelch and scent of blood and worse in their wake. "But here, cher, I'm god and I—ain't—merciful."

Tiefer patted Jehan's cheek, as if they were family, as if he had loved him, as the boy screamed and screamed and screamed, his own blood staining his skin, sticking to his hair.

An eternity later, Tiefer pulled out, his cum and Jehan's gore leaking out of the hole he'd made. The screaming had broken into hoarse gasps and whimpers, but it didn't matter to Tiefer: his point had been made to both of his boys. He tucked himself back into his pants, bloodying them further, and snatched up his discarded knife.

"E-em...i..."

Slowly, he wiped the blood and feces that still flecked the knife across Jehan's cheeks, his lips, his chin, before spitting in his face.

"Here's your fuckin' freedom." He slammed the knife back inside of him, deeper and deeper and deeper, until he was elbow deep inside with his blade, until even the whimpers were ripped to shreds, until the small body underneath him no longer even twitched.

At some point, Jehan had vomited. It mixed easily with the rest of the mess.

Tiefer freed himself, wiping as much of the mess that clung to him off on the rug as he could. He stood, gingerly, before beginning to remove his shirt.

"I'm going to wash up and change my clothes," he said, as casual as if he were reporting on the weather, not looking at Adam as he spoke. "Wrap this trash in that godawful rug and put it in the van. I'll meet you out back." He pulled off his boots, then belt, then pants until he was completely nude. "You may move now, dog."

Immediately, Adam was at Jehan's side—and immediately Tiefer shoved him away. "Did I say you could fuckin' mourn?" His voice, though harsh, was choked.

"No, sir..."

"Then don't. Just do as you're fuckin' told."

Adam looked Tiefer over, slender and scarred and covered in gore. He dimly remembered the first time they had been intimate—not the first time they fucked—and had blurted out some dumb question about what turf war he got all those scars in. Tiefer had smiled then, cold and terrifying. "No one outside of my family has ever laid a hand on me," he had said, his delicate features and slight frame hiding a violence and bloodlust that few saw and managed to survive. He looked very much the same there in the office over the corpse of his pet.

That was Emilein Tiefer, head of The Church: delicacy and destruction all at once, always wrapped in barbed wire to never be the one hurt, even if it meant everyone around him was sliced to the bone.

That was the man who destroyed a boy on a cheap rug for daring to want for anything more.

That was the man he'd left his morals for.

"Yes sir."

Tiefer smiled sadly, reaching out to pat Adam's cheek; his hand was covered in blood and he quickly thought better of it. Instead, he left the office to find a shower and a smoke, calling out over his shoulder: "You've always been such a good dog, Adam."

"Always yours, Emilein."

There were worse men than Emilein Tiefer in the world, but as he wrapped the rug around Jehan's mangled corpse, Adam found himself struggling to name even one.