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Special Forces Chapter XXXVI: NAAFI

February/March 1992, the Persian Gulf

Dan pulled the towel from around his hips and threw himself down onto the mattresses, lit fag dangling from the corner of his mouth. His hair dripped water onto the blankets, with single drops rolling over his skin. Vadim put the shining boot down to marvel at the toned skin, and wrapped up the polishing kit.

"So," Dan inhaled, "fancy a stint to my home country before heading to France?" Exhaling with a sound of contentment. He'd just come back from a particularly gruelling shift, and the first moment of relaxation was always the best. Right after wolfing down the food.

"Scotland?" Vadim had learned several Dan did not really consider himself a 'Brit', and that it seemed to count for something to call him Scottish or even Scots.

"Aye, Scotland. Land of the Brave." Dan grinned, stretched his legs all the way down to his toes before flopping back into a boneless heap. "We'll be in Europe anyway, and I'd like you to see some of the most beautiful parts of Scotland, especially the Highlands. Show you my peasant roots." He laughed.

"But you are my favourite peasant, Dan. Too much culture would spoil you, and make you moody, like I am." Vadim rested his arms on his knees, studying Dan doing his best cat impression: lying there like he didn't have a care in the world. He looked like he could revert from awake to asleep within a split second. "I'd like to see it."

"Good, that means we'll have a look at Edinburgh and instead of going to every bloody museum and historical site I get to enjoy the pubs, aye? And then, of course, off to the North. I want you to see the area I come from. It's just a tiny village, though, nothing interesting." Stubbing his cigarette out in a makeshift ashtray, Dan pulled a couple of pillows close and propped himself up.

Vadim smiled, but the thought struck him that, if it was such a tiny village, they would run into friends, acquaintances, and the whole host of Dan's contacts from his youth, childhood, and whatever time he'd spent there on R&R. And his family, obviously. His face darkened at the thought and there was unrest, suddenly. "We should be subtle. About ... us. About what we are to each other."

"Huh? What do you mean?" Dan's brows furrowed, scratching his scarred abs.

"Your family. If we meet them ... they don't know you are homosexual, or do they?"

"Why would we meet my family?" Dan's brows rose even higher, completely forgetting the second part.

"Do they still live in that village? Why else are you going there?" Vadim felt he was on thin ice, somehow. Of course a visit to the home village would mean a visit to the family. What else? And why not? It would be rude to not at least pay a visit.

"Aye, they do." Dan shrugged, "but wasn't exactly planning on staying over." Reaching for a water bottle, he took his time unscrewing the cap. "Last time I saw my brother, wife and kids, was when I visited my father shortly before he died. I was on R&R from Afghanistan." Tipping the bottle to his lips, he took an even longer time drinking. "It was right after the shit with the Muja corpses." Wiping his lips, "that's, what, how many years ago? Can you remember?"

"Five or six?" Vadim realised it was guesswork. He didn't know. He didn't want to remember, had pushed Afghanistan as far away as he could.

"Hmm … 84? Hang on, I forgot, I actually went up again in 87, when I got out of the army. Went to see my brother to settle some finances. I think that might be about it. Makes it five years." Dan shrugged, while Vadim didn't want to think about when his father would die. He was old, even frail by now, but he might still have five, ten, or fifteen years in him. Years spent away from his ex-daughter-in-law, with his brother and other relatives. But in essence, his 'old man' as the Yanks called it, was alone. A disturbing thought. "So, just that brother and his family? Are you not on good terms?"

"Sure I am, my brother has been dealing with my finances for years. He was the one who invested my money in property and sold the houses for good profit when I needed the cash." Dan shrugged. "He's a good guy, but I'm just not close with my family. Never got to see them regularly. Was always out and about, and figured it was a damn lot easier to stay away in case I got killed. Don't want anyone to shed a tear, aye?" He produced a mock-cheerful grin.

Vadim frowned, then sat down next to Dan, to run a hand through his hair. He hadn't realized all those years that Dan had been completely alone even at home. It made his guts clench. To refuse human contact only to make sure that he wouldn't be missed. He was speechless, shocked.

"Hey," Dan poked Vadim's ribs. "What's up? Did you think I was doing the job, all on my own for all those years, with a big loving family behind me?" He laughed without humour.

"No, but I didn't think it was that bleak. I thought there was ... more for you." More? Like a loving, supportive wife that watched his back and lived a lie?

"More? What the hell would that be? I fucked bimbos, got pissed with mates. Stuffed holes left right and centre, that's all I wanted and needed. Until …" He trailed off and mock-punched Vadim's ribs, more a gentle touch than anything. "No one at home knew what I was really doing. OK, SAS and all that shit, and my father was bloody proud, but I was on secret missions, and you know as much as I do that it's better for everyone on the outside not to know too much. Safer. For them, for me." He shrugged and smiled. "Besides, I got you, and now you're on my side, I have all I need."

"I was on your side for quite a while longer", said Vadim with that rare, tender smile. "Only not official. And not quite exclusive, but I've been yours for a long time now."

Dan smiled, leaned his head against Vadim's. "But you're mine now with all the bells and whistles, aye?"

"Official, blood and guts, breath and everything else." Vadim lay back on his elbows, taking Dan's head with him, looking thoughtful. "Do you want to visit your brother, then?"

"Do you think I should?"

"Wouldn't it be rude if you didn't? He's your brother. Just, you know, catching up. I can stay at the hotel while you meet him and his family, it's no problem."

Dan laughed again, this time the humour was back. "There are no hotels as far as I remember. Just B&Bs. Guess they'd be looking funny at us if we booked a double room."

"Then we'll book singles."

"Nope." Dan shook his head, "no fucking way."

Strange, Vadim thought, that it was easier to live as a couple in a mercenary camp than in one's own hometown. Well, 'easier' as in getting beaten up, ambushed, constantly sneered at - until the point when one had actually proven that one had more balls than the rest of them. "It's no problem."

"As I said, no fucking way. I'd rather not go back." Sitting up, Dan studied Vadim. "I don't give a shit what my family knows or not. I never told them I'm gay because it didn't matter to me if they knew or not. Besides, back then I wasn't quite …" Dan shrugged, couldn't find the right word, "anyway, five years ago I wasn't as much 'me' as I am now. So, we either fucking go as who we are, or we don't fucking go at all."

"Oh damn." Vadim shook his head. "What would you say? 'This is Vadim, my gay partner'?"

"No. More like 'this is Vadim. My partner'. Bloody unnecessary, the 'gay' part, isn't it?"

Vadim felt another wave of dread, just the thought of being exposed again, of seeing people - family - shocked, appalled and disgusted again. Why not simply let them live? Leave them their illusions? "Why hurt or disturb your family, Dan? For what? Why can't we just keep a low profile?"

"Why the fuck would they be hurt by who I am? And what the fuck does that matter to them? I am fucking me! If they have a fucking problem with that, they can shove it up their fucking arses." Dan had gone from mellow to extremely pissed off in a nanosecond.

Because. Everybody had a problem with it. Vadim remembered too well the hurt in his father's eyes, the 'how could we have helped you', the guilt, the shame. He didn't want to go through that again.

"It's their problem, not mine. If you want to get through your bloody life lying all the way, then guess what, Russkie, you can do it on your fucking own." Dan sat up, tense, dark eyes on fire.

"It's just that it's nobody else's business, Dan." Vadim stood, needed to take the brunt of the rage standing. Lying. No, just keeping a low profile. It wasn't lying. Not technically. "Why do we have to go ... out of our way to rub it in their faces?"

"What the fucking fuck do you mean with rubbing it into their faces?" Dan jerked, as if wanting to get up as well, but remained sitting, fists at his side. "I just am who I am, what the motherfucking fuck's 'rubbing' about that? Every stupid dripping cunt can eat the fucking face of her fucker in public, but if I simply turn up with my partner, that's 'rubbing it in'?" Dan did finally get up, naked or not, he was fuming with rage. "Fuck you, together with them, if that's your idea of leading your life."

Fuck you. Vadim's words died in his throat. He knew he was being a coward and now he was ashamed of that, too. He'd either get all that disgust, or Dan's rage. Dan was pushing him into it, but he just couldn't do it. He'd be ashamed either way, for what he was, for what he felt. Degenerate. Coward. Broken. He couldn't meet that bristling gaze, looked to the side instead. Standing there, feeling cold and numb. "Need shower", he pressed out, trying to make it sound normal and reached for his shower kit. Retreating so fast that, yes, the fact that it was 'running away' was really damned obvious.

Dan was still raging, even when Vadim had fled. Pacing the few yards in the hut, to and fro, while smoking a fag, and then another. Finally grabbing a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, he got his feet into trainers and stormed out of the hut with the third fag between his teeth and a water bottle under his arm. Knackered from the shift, knees aching, but he had to get rid of the aggression that was eating him up from the inside. Couldn't understand why the fuck Vadim behaved like such a coward, and what the fuck was bad about being together? If they'd survived the likes of Midge and his cronies, emerging victorious, what the hell was wrong with being who they were and being together?

He got himself into the gym, and ignoring the aches and pains of his aging body, he beasted it in a merciless regime, with more weights than he usually used, and many more repeats.

Vadim had a long, drawn-out shower, which didn't quite relax him. He could still feel that dread in his body, a very physical reaction. Body so tensed up from it, he felt stiff and weakened. Eventually he returned, to find Dan gone. Jean hadn't seen him, nobody seemed to have, and the Mess tent was also devoid of Dan. Left the gym. Vadim walked there and, sure enough, Dan, in the process of working his muscles so hard that he'd ache in a million places tomorrow. Vadim inhaled deeply, stepped behind the bench on which Dan was lying, and took the weight from his grip when Dan started to struggle pushing it up. Apart from another guy in the corner doing pull-ups, they were pretty much alone.

Dan was looking up, straight at Vadim. Face drenched in sweat, he said nothing.

Vadim crouched near Dan's head, elbows on thighs, head lowered, speaking in a hushed tone. "I'm not ready for that. I ... when I see that disgust, it still ... hurts me. I can't just shrug it off like you can. They ... called me all these things. The KGB. They said homosexual ... activity would extend my jail sentence. They insinuated ... things. Like I'd slept my way up, that I enjoyed to debase myself by getting fucked, that I'd raped my son ... all these things. I'm not ... not ready to face that kind of thing again, Dan. I'm not strong enough. I'm not like you." He stood, turning away because the dread was worse, had transformed into weakness, leaden weakness, the feeling and taste of defeat.

Dan did nothing, lay there, silent. Too shocked to the core to move a muscle. He hadn't ... hadn't known ... couldn't even make sense of any of his thoughts. Got finally up, felt more shattered than could have been caused by his workout. Every movement worth a lifetime of dread.

He still didn't say anything when he got up and wiped his face with the edge of his soggy t-shirt. Not even when he placed his hand into the small of Vadim's back. Finally a word, just one. "Come." Leading Vadim out of the gym and back towards the hut.

Vadim followed, felt the shame of being so fucking weak, but at the same time the touch had replaced Dan's rage. He didn't know what to expect, but he was glad that Dan didn't shout at him now, was glad for the contact.

Dan closed the door behind them, and took a step closer to Vadim, until there was hardly a hand's breadth between them. He touched Vadim's face, tracing the cheekbone, along the jaw line, until his fingertips merely rested on smooth skin. "I am so fucking sorry." Quietly, while looking at Vadim. No rage now in his eyes, just a deep seated sorrow. "I didn't get it. I told you I'm no fucking brainy, just didn't realise I am such an idiot." His lips twitched, trying to turn into a smile, "forgive me?"

"Nothing to forgive, Dan. Nothing at all. I'm not ... not ashamed of what I feel, but of what ... I see in people's faces. I can't explain all that. I can't take that from them, that ... disgust. It's better they think I'm ... that I fit in." Found it still hard to breathe, pressed Dan's hand to his cheek. "Maybe one day."

"Aye," Dan nodded and swallowed, "maybe one day." Remorse unveiled in his eyes. Too open, too readable, and too damn straightforward.

"Don't. You are ... good like you are. Your confidence, your balls." Vadim tried a smile and touched his forehead to Dan's. "We don't have to visit your family. Maybe ... hire a caravan, and we won't even have to deal with any bed and breakfast owners. There are always alternatives."

"I just wanted to be …" Dan trailed off and never finished the sentence, just shrugged, drawing in a deep breath. "Don't know if I want to go. Better to just stay far away." Shrugged again, "they say Sweden and Denmark are cool places. They marry in Denmark, you know. Blokes." Kept shrugging. "I don't …" didn't finish that sentence either and pulled his lips into a smile instead, before taking a step back. "Got to go for a shower." Turning away. Looking for his towel and soap bag.

Seeing Dan so flustered hurt. It hurt because it was his fault, caused by being a coward. Konstantinov. The torturer was right. He'd never fully recover. Shame was one of their weapons. And now they had hurt Dan, too. "Dan, I ..." I'm scared, I'm so ashamed, I'm so fucking broken. "... want to go. I want to see Scotland. And where you're from." Even if that meant being not welcome, worse, being hated and feeling another wave of disgust and disdain. "I ... can face it. I will face it. It's ... alright." And at the same time, he was scared, could feel himself shudder at the thought, because of the tension building up inside.

"We'll see, OK?" Towel and soap bag under his arm, Dan tried another smile while patting Vadim's shoulder. "Plenty of time left, we just decide closer to April, alright?"


Taking a step to the door, "I'll see you in a bit. Just ... shower, you know. Stuff." With that he slipped through the door, closing it quietly behind him.

Vadim nodded, wincing inwardly, wondered if he should keep Dan back, but didn't want to be hysterical. Just felt that horrible thing, being helpless, having made a mistake, with no way to repair it, no way to make it vanish. He rubbed his face, restless and nervous, sat down on the bed. How was it that everything was alright when they were alone and together, like in one of those fucking caves, but somehow, once outside factors were drawn in, they screwed everything up?

Dan returned after half an hour, more than double the time he usually took. Bringing with him a pack of biscuits, one from the stash he'd been sent by the Baroness and which he hoarded in the other hut. Cigarette between his lips, towel around his hips, his smile was pretty much back to normal when he stepped through the door. "Fancy some bikkies? Was thinking of getting a brew on."

"Tea?" Vadim checked the time. "Of course, tea." Nothing in the world that tea didn't make better, he heard Dr Williams say, and the thought of the older man was somehow reassuring. "Yes. I could start it? Or at least try and find milk."

"Aye, tea. Milk and sugar."

"I remember", said Vadim, lightly, glad he could get busy and do something, even if it was just making tea.

Dan threw himself once more onto the mattress, exactly the same way as before. He grinned up at Vadim as if nothing had ever happened, and Vadim served the tea and sat with him. Between biscuits and tea, Dan did not bring up the topic again, and neither did he later. Not a word. Not now, not through the night, and not the days after. Joking and grinning, the same irreverent, easy-going man as before, with the same appetite for sex and Vadim. The same arms that wrapped around Vadim at night and the same body that spooned behind him.

Vadim, however, didn't quite forget. Wrestled with the thought, and how to bring up the topic again. And most importantly, when, and in what way. He carefully examined himself, as he always did, and expected for Dan to bring it up, but it didn't happen.

One night, after sex, Vadim murmured: "We should book flights for Britain ... and I should call Dr Williams. I was thinking we could meet him and then go by train up to Edinburgh. Rent a car, and you show me ... your area."

Dan had drifted off, sated to the bones, and utterly relaxed. "Hm? Britain?" Murmured, he had hardly caught half of it. "Weren't we meant to go to Kiwiland when we're done in this place?"

"It's a long flight to New Zealand … I thought we'd stick around in Europe until Jean gets his ring on his hand."

"Mmm … guess that's right. Got a couple months to kill before our next destination. Heard rumours it's going to be the Balkans." Dan yawned, rolled onto his back and stuck his feet out of the blanket. Stretching his calves while his eyes remained half-closed. "Didn't think you … we should go?"

Vadim shifted, adjusted his body, rearranged his limbs until his head rested on Dan's shoulder and he could see the stubble on Dan's throat close. "I'd like to see where you come from. Where … they make people like you."

Dan chuckled in the back of his throat, which vibrated through Vadim. "People like me? You mean Scottish peasants, aye?" Twisting his head until he caught the tips of the short-shorn hair, kissing Vadim's head.

"My favourite type …"

"But if we go, how do you want to do it?" Dan paused for a while, the topic wasn't one he'd wanted to engage with again, but he was sated and mellow enough this time to gave it another go. "Twin rooms? Mates do take twin rooms, cheaper that way. Because, I swear, on everything that is important to me, that you won't get me to take single rooms. I will not sleep in another room from you. Not on R&R."

"Ah. Twin. Separate beds. That could work. And we'd just move the mattresses on the floor and still sleep together. I doubt we fit both into the same bed … not in case there's some … vigorous movements going."

"Or we just don't have any sex but at least fall asleep, squeezed into one bed. You can chuck me out when I'm snoring." Dan smiled. "And if we do go, we will lie when we're in rural areas. Aye?"

"Aye." That should work. Be careful where it counted and less careful where it didn't mean a thing. "And regarding your family? Should we meet up at a restaurant and have a friendly chat?"

"There are no restaurants, just pubs, and I don't think you'd quite fit into a Highland pub."

"No?" Vadim raised an eyebrow. What was this place that it was so very peculiar?

"No. You'd be sticking out like a sore thumb." Dan yawned and shrugged, he didn't feel comfortable, but wouldn't let on. Not this time. "I call my brother and let him know I'm coming, bringing a 'mate' with me, who happens to be a fellow merc and who happens to go to the same wedding of yet another fellow merc and mate, and who happens to want to get a chance of travelling round Scotland, so I happen to take him along." Dan shrugged again, "but I warn you, I am a shit liar."

"Dan, but we are comrades. Okay, we are more than that, but if we just stick to the official version."

"The official version, Vadim, is that: We. Are. Lovers. So don't start with that one again, aye?" Dan smiled to take the sting out.

"The other official version, then." Oh fuck, he was starting to think in Doublethink. Doublespeak.

"Whatever." Dan stretched his legs out once more. "I don't want to discuss it, OK? I do what you want and I take you to Scotland as a mate and nothing more, but I just don't want to talk about it." Yawning. "And besides, it is time to sleep. Aye?"

Vadim nodded. "Yes. To sleep, perchance to dream."

"Is that one of your depressing authors?"

"No, that's the Bard of Avon. Old Bill. William Shakespeare, your one true national genius."

"Oh shit, he's the one we had to read in school. Romeo and all that crap. A balcony and a stupid bint making great literature? I tell you, that bastard was a sadist and I'd like to punch the guy for every dreadful hour we had to spend reading that bullshit." Dan grinned.

"Really? Did it never strike you that that friend of Romeo's was quite in love with Romeo? And then Romeo falls for the girl?"

"Huh?" Dan rubbed his eyes, yawning again. "I can't remember jack shit, but if they got it on, that Romeo guy and his friend, even I would read it."

"As far as I remember, there's some evidence that they did … Some hints in the text. I can't quote it, but when I was reading it, I thought this guy -Mercutio? - was being very jealous."

"Hints? Oh come on, Russkie, I don't do hints. Give me full-on porn or nothing." Grinning, Dan poked and prodded Vadim until he lay on his side and Dan could cuddle up. "But if you ever come across a good porn book," yawning, "let me know, I'll read it, even though videos are better."

"You savage. I thought your favourite was the live thing?" Vadim's hand moved to Dan's flank, stroking the hip and thigh.

"Of course it is." Nuzzling the back of Vadim's neck, Dan grinned sleepily. "But sometimes a man's got to wank. Easier on the system."

"True." Vadim's fingers tightened on Dan's leg. "I'll let you recharge, then. It's in my own best interest." Chuckling lowly and relaxing against Dan, who'd already fallen asleep. He was pretty much awake, but would just try to sleep. Thinking, going through what had happened, retracing the day, the week, and then moving forward. Planning, as far ahead as he could. It still didn't sit quite right with him that Dan didn't want to talk about Scotland, but he respected that. Family was always a tricky business.

March/April 1992

Dan had promised Vadim that he'd organise everything, but he otherwise didn't engage in conversations about the plans. He happily talked about France and the wedding, even about his worries regarding the best man speech, but Scotland was strangely off limits. They'd go straight to the Highlands, that was all he'd told Vadim. Stopping over in Edinburgh later, flying from there to France for the wedding.

When the day came, Dan stood impatiently beside a Lannie, his bag slung over his shoulder, waiting for Vadim. "We'll miss the bloody flight!"

"Then we book another one." Vadim came closer, duffle bag slung across his back.

"And spend even more money? Bollocks! Get a shift on, Russkie."

"Relax. As long as the gate's not closed when we get there, we should be okay."

"Not my idea of a relaxing start to R&R." Dan grinned and slapped Vadim's arse before getting into the car.

Vadim gave a surprised laugh at the slap, which actually stung a bit, and he plonked down in the car. "Alright, alright." Watching Dan as he drove. "Like that would break the bank."

"I got to watch my money. Remember the farm? I want to get that done before this body breaks down." Dan flashed a grin, but the humour wasn't entirely there. More tense than usual.

"I know, but we have my money, too. And if we can't afford the work, we put it back together ourselves. And besides, even if one of us gets fucked up, there's still the other. We don't have to worry about it."

Dan shrugged, but got them to the airport in record time, left the Lannie in the car park to be picked up by one of the mercs later, and they legged it to the terminal, where the flight was being announced.

"See? It's not 'last call to Heathrow' yet", huffed Vadim. Running, however, right next to Dan. "The gate's still open."

"But not for much longer." Flashing IDs and tickets, they just about made it to the plane, where they threw themselves into the seats, catching their breath. "Right." Dan fastened his seat belt, "from Heathrow it's change-over onto a plane to Glasgow, then straight up along the West Coast. I got a hire car booked for us."

Vadim smiled. "We'll take turns driving. Do we stay somewhere overnight or when are we expected where?" Pulling the seat belt tighter and stretching his legs, getting comfortable for the flight.

"Aye, we stay in Glasgow for a couple of days. Didn't you want to have a suit made for the wedding? Besides, we'd arrive too late to drive up to my brother's." Dan turned his head and looked out of the window, staring at nothing while the plane began to move on the runway.

Vadim reached across the armrest and placed a hand on Dan's knee and Dan turned his head, looking at him through the shades, with clear surprise. Vadim took Dan's hand as the plane accelerated and finally lifted off. The land beneath them bleeding away and they were soon on the way to Europe. Scotland. Britain. The island nation that had taken him in. It felt odd, like a meeting with a stranger, even after Selection. He'd be walking around, not cloistered away in barracks, not training for any specific purpose, but actually encountering his adopted country. Not a mother- or fatherland, but a sanctuary nonetheless. "I'm actually looking forward to this", he said, as if surprised by the thought.

"Are you?" Dan was still holding onto Vadim's hand, the gesture a novelty, at least in public. Semi-public. "I didn't think you were."

"I'm curious. And it will be good to not wear camo for a while." Vadim looked at him. "I think it's a good kind of nervous."

Dan was looking at him, even pushed the shades off his eyes. His expression entirely neutral. "Aye, but you told me you didn't want anyone to know who we are. Are you still adamant about that?"

Who we are. Not what we are. Vadim frowned at the curious way to put this. What - answer: lovers. Who - answer: Dan and Vadim. How was the orientation thing part of the Who instead of part of the What? "I don't know how they will react, that's all", said Vadim, feeling the dread again, but fighting it this time.

"I don't know either." Dan shrugged, kept looking at Vadim, but when nothing else was forthcoming, he shrugged again. "Alright, I'll lie. Shouldn't be too difficult, even though I'm a shit liar. Am not exactly on intimate terms with my brother and his family, haven't seen them for a few years, but he does keep my finances in bloody good order."

Vadim nodded. "I'm sorry I'm such a coward", he said, almost tonelessly, again the dread replaced with shame.

"It's OK." Dan drew in a deep breath, "guess I should apologise for being pushy. I know they fucked you up, but it's hard to fully understand what it did to you."

Vadim pressed his lips together, looking around for the bustling stewards who were just getting the trolley ready behind them. Taking the moment to swallow and keep his composure, while Dan squeezed his hand.

"But I don't think you ever were happy with being gay, aye?" Dan asked quietly.

Vadim inhaled. "That's not … an easy question, Dan. It's not as simple as 'yes' or 'no'. Did I … did I wish I wasn't? Yes, I did. There were times when I cursed it. When I wanted to fit in, to not be a target. When I … was ashamed. But that's always from outside. It's when they fuck my mind. When they tell me I'm a criminal for sleeping with men. A degenerate. My … the masseur once told me I should never believe them when they told me I couldn't win because of my feelings. That was good advice. He said I should never believe that my feelings weaken me. When there's nobody else, just you and me, or just me, I'm not ashamed. It's part of me, I accepted it long ago. I know my life would have been different if I wasn't what I am", not who, "and it's certainly tougher, but I am not ashamed of you, or what I feel for you. It's what other people think of me, how they treat me for it, how they assume I'm a criminal for feeling the way I do. A limp-wristed faggot who slept his way up, another man's suka. That … that is tough to bear. To see that contempt and disgust in people's faces. And I know I shouldn't care, but it bites."

Dan shook his head, opened his mouth to say something, but shut it again. Couldn't come up with anything to say, just kept looking and holding that hand. Murmuring something under his breath, while leaning his head against Vadim's shoulder. Didn't get it, couldn't understand, because he'd never felt like that. Ironic, really, that he, the gay-basher, who'd fucked himself through dozens of bimbos, to prove he was a stud and straight as hell, couldn't give a shit about anyone's comments or thoughts. But what did it matter. Arguing anymore or trying to understand each other, wouldn't get them any further. Thus he said nothing and simply stayed close. Physical contact had always worked for them throughout the years, he'd simply have to cling to that as long as Vadim let him.

Vadim pressed his hand for a long moment and rested his head against Dan's. Hoped Dan would understand. Being gay didn't actually make him a happier or unhappier person. It didn't make him better, or worse. It just was. No reason to be happy about. Something like the blood type, or eye colour. "But it's good you're happy with it, Dan. Very good."

"Happy as in 'I don't mind it. It's fine. It's the way I am.'" Dan sighed, ignored the second steward, "that's the way we use 'happy' in English. Not running around ecstatically, shouting out to the world how deliriously happy I am because I am gay."

Vadim laughed softly at the image. "Okay. Then I'm happy about it, too. Most of the time, at least, unless some bastard mocks or attacks me for it." Remembering, he thought he'd stood his ground against Dan, back in Afghanistan, before they'd stopped to try and kill each other. But then, there had been different rules between enemies.

"There will always be people talking bullshit." Dan shrugged, "at least we're not in the same shitty position those guys were in, I was beating the crap out of. Back in the bad old days." Finally acknowledging a steward when they came past for the third time, sitting up to get his drink and morsel of food. He stretched as best he could, before leaning back in the seat. "Well, at least I get to show you my country. Scotland. That should be worth something, aye?"

"Everything, not 'something'." Vadim accepted his drink and food with a nod towards the steward. Trusting Dan to make the decisions when they'd be in the country. He didn't expect any kind of trouble, but was looking forward to actually seeing the places that had produced somebody like Dan. Moscow would very much remain off limits, so Scotland would have to do.

The rest of the flight was spent uneventfully, with Dan either snoozing or gazing out of the window. He never tired to watch the endless sky and the clouds beneath, wishing himself back into the Afghan mountains, a place he'd probably never see again, even though he hadn't given up on it yet.

Landing in Heathrow, they had to navigate the moloch of an insanely busy international airport in an even more insanely busy capital city, and while they were waiting in the queue for 'EU citizens', holding their identical looking passports in hands, Dan turned to Vadim. "Have you actually been anywhere in Britain?"

"Apart from London and the …" Vadim paused, knew he'd slipped up, but also knew that he had to mask it well now, because, despite everything, he had no idea how Dan would react to the whole London episode from years back, "the little place, what was it called? Hereford? No."

"Ah, yes, guess they shipped you to Hereford via London, aye? Wouldn't surprise me, everyone seems to stop over here for everything."

"All roads lead to Rome." One day it might slip. One day. But not today. Ideally, never. Vadim had very few secrets, but this whole 'go off to London and commit a murder' episode - never mind the people he'd met there, Darren and … what was the other man's name again? He couldn't remember. He'd fucked him, had seen him bared and vulnerable and kind, but he didn't remember.

Dan grinned, stepping forward to the glass booth and having his passport swiftly examined before making it through and waiting for Vadim on the other side, who was still amazed that he could cross borders this easily. "I'm afraid I think London's a bit shit. Too expensive." He shrugged when Vadim turned up as well.

"It seemed very big, very crowded, and … not much else. But very free."

"All big places are. Go to Newcastle, and shit, you can't be freer than that. Or Glasgow, but you'll see for yourself." Dan chuckled, "good thing, though, we can fend for ourselves, because Glasgow is a dangerous old dump. Comes with the freedom." They didn't have to hurry this time and could make their way leisurely through the corridors to their destination gate, to catch their connecting flight.

"Want anything?" Dan pointed to a stall with hot drinks and sandwiches. "I could do with a cuppa, but coffee's shit around here, as far as I remember. Never got a single decent brew in this country. Usually instant or stewed acid."

"Tea? It's hard to make tea entirely unpleasant."

"This is the land of tea, I'd think even an airport will manage."

As Dan was turning towards the stall, fishing for his wallet, Vadim touched his shoulder briefly. "And something to eat - something small, like a Snickers."

"Snickers? Pah! You mean Marathon. Damned renaming of old favourites. But aye, I'll get you one, might grab one for myself." It took about ten minutes before Dan returned. Balancing a couple of paper cups and a handful of chocolate bars.

"Couldn't make up my mind." Dropping an assortment of Snickers, Mars, Bounty, Milky Way, Caramac, Galaxy, Curly Wurly and - worst of all - a large peanut butter energy bar - into Vadim's lap, then holding one of the cups out to him. "There you go. We've got half an hour if there's no delay. Feast yourself on the airport's finest." He grinned and sat down.

Vadim took the cup and glanced accusingly at the energy bar. "Peanut butter … will haunt me to my grave, aye?" However, that was the first one he ate, while Dan kept laughing. He still liked the flavour and it worked alright with the bitter dark tea to wash the cloying sweetness down. "If you want any of these … be my guest."

"Thought you'd never ask." In the next half hour, Dan worked his way through all of the chocolate bars, except for the Snickers, which he waved in front of Vadim's face as their flight got called. "Wasn't that the one you wanted?" Walking in front of him, like the proverbial carrot on a stick, while boarding.

Vadim laughed. "I'd tell you what I want, but then we'd get thrown off the plane for gross indecency."

"No Mile High Club for me?"

"What is that?"

Craning his head, Dan murmured, for once keeping his voice down, "it's the 'club' of all of those who've fucked in the loos of an air plane, high up in the sky."

"No. None of that for us. Not this time."

"Damn." Dan grinned and managed to sashay his arse in front of Vadim, to the mild shock of an elderly couple who'd already sat down along the aisle. Grinning, he got into the window seat, and the whole rigmarole of boredom started up again. At least the flight was mercifully short and they had barely time for a drink.

When they arrived, it was waiting, queuing, shuffling and waiting some more, before they got to their luggage. "I tell you what." Dan frowned darkly, as they stood around the carousel, trying to spot their kit. "I'll never fly anything but first class again. Civilian air traffic is shit."

Vadim laughed. "It certainly has more leg room. They must have designed those seats for people who are five foot six the most."

"I thought it wouldn't matter for a short hop, but bullshit. Give me a Hercules any day." Spotting his bergan, Dan snatched it off the rotating band, closely followed by Vadim who'd spotted his and just checked whether everything was in order.

"Done? If we're lucky we make it to the hotel in time for dinner. I'm bloody starving."

"You are always starving, Mad Dog."

"Aye." Widening his eyes, Dan produced a face splitting grin while waggling his brows. "I might be forty-two, but I'm always starving. And I don't mean food." Overheard by a somewhat confused looking girl, he flashed a grin at her, before heading out of the baggage hall. Shoulder to shoulder with Vadim, who figured escape was the best they could do now, and walking unhindered through the green tunnel.

In the arrivals hall, Dan swivelled slowly around, until he spotted the hire car sign and right beside it the info about the airport hotels. It took quite some time, with all those people in front of them, but they finally had the keys for a car and information about the hotels surrounding the airport.

"I didn't book anything, figured it wouldn't be a problem." Dan held the brochures out to Vadim. "Pick one, anyone. They are all modern and probably crap, but it's only for one night. Ramada, Express or Holiday Inn?" Waving the Ramada brochure a bit higher than the others, and the place had three stars at least.

Vadim shook his head and confirmed the decision. "Make it Ramada. Even though it reminds me of 'Ramadan'. What a shit name."

"As long as we get some food I don't care." They found their car without trouble, a medium sized, plain and boring vehicle, nevertheless perfect for the journey, and drove the few hundred yards into the hotel parking lot. The reception area was bustling, but Dan strolled purposefully to the first available clerk, a pretty blonde girl. She had the broadest Glaswegian accent when she opened her mouth to greet them.

"Do you have a double room free?"

"Yes, of course, Sir." She pulled out her reservations list and checked the free rooms before looking up at him. "Would you please fill in the form?" Handing the form and pen over to Dan, she acknowledged Vadim, who'd been behind him. "And what can I do for you, Sir?"

Vadim needed several moments even to understand her - more guessing than truly understanding her question, and he was very close to acting as if he didn't speak any English, which would have forced Dan to jump to the rescue. Dan had ordered a double. Whatever he said that seemed inconspicuous was, at the same time, offensive to Dan. Vadim's jaw muscles tightened, and he could feel his heart beat. If they got kicked out here, there were more options. He only hoped she wouldn't get unpleasant about it. "No, I'm … good. He is booking already."

"Oh …," her eyes widened, looking from one to the other, and then she smiled. "But of course, that's no problem."

Wasn't it? Vadim felt surprise, relief, and didn't quite trust the situation yet. He expected the hammer to fall. "Good. I mean, thank you."

Dan had filled in the form, even though there had been a moment of tension, pushing the form back to her.

She glanced at it and nodded. "I hope you will enjoy your stay here. Breakfast is between 7 and 9 AM, and we have a licensed bar as well as a very comfortable restaurant." Leaning across, she picked up a key, still smiling brightly. "Third floor, just take the corridor to the left." She handed the key to Dan, who took it with a nod and an all too relieved grin.

Vadim gathered up his bergan and followed Dan to the elevator, which, thankfully, opened very soon and allowed them to escape into the private space of the small cabin. Glancing at the mirror, Vadim noticed he hadn't flushed - even though he would have expected to, the way his head was feeling.

"Well, that wasn't all that bad." Dan smiled.

Vadim shook his head. "No, it wasn't. She … took it in stride."

"Of course, she's a youngster. The times they are a-changing." Dan grinned and leaned closer, to all intents and purposes about to kiss. Vadim glanced at the door, hoped it wouldn't open yet, and kissed Dan, too, couldn't really help it, wanted to, and just hoped the timing would be lucky.

His luck held and they didn't hear the 'ping' for the third floor before they'd moved slightly apart.

"Want to have a quick shower and then head into town for food?" Dan stepped out of the lift, "or a quick shower and a meal here, and then head into town? I'm starving, but I really do want a good pint of ale, the stuff you can't get anywhere in the world but the UK. Not that American bear's piss." They reached the room and Dan let them in. It was spacious enough, and while it was bland and meaningless, it would serve well for a night. The bed was certainly big enough.

"Just order the food to the room while I'm showering and it should be there when we've showered and changed. Saves time. I'm having something with meat or fish." Vadim set the bergan down and closed the door behind them. "Nice enough …" He undressed, headed to the bathroom, showered, all quick, efficient, washing the long flight off. It would be good. Different, but good.

In the meantime, Dan got the food sorted, and was already stripped naked when Vadim came out of the bathroom. "Food should be here any minute." Stepping into the steamed-up room, "I'll just have a shower and a shave and we're off into town after grub. I got reception to get us a taxi in forty-five minutes." Dan's ablutions took even less time than Vadim's, if it hadn't been for the shaving. Twice a day, and it wasn't getting any better.

His hair was still damp when he came back out into the room to the smell of steaks with roast potatoes and vegetables, and a couple of beers. Vadim was just arranging the cutlery, having dressed in what amounted to shockingly civilian clobber - dark blue designer jeans he'd got in Dubai on their last holiday, a nice dark grey jumper, flat polished shoes, with his outdoors jacket expensive enough to fit the whole composition.

"Bloody hell." Dan threw himself onto the bed with a bounce. "You look like a GQ model, or Mr Gay 1992."

Vadim laughed and shook his head. "Keep the flattery coming, Dan. You know I have a weak spot for that …"

Dan smirked, reaching to pull the trolley closer. They only had one chair and he was happy to leave it to Vadim. "If you're looking that good, then I better get you to dress me as well. After all, you packed most of my bag."

Vadim glanced at the bag. "I think the suede trousers. Judging by the weather, that might be just the thing for you."

"The what?" Dan had been lifting the lid off his plate, stopping in mid-motion. "I have what?"

Vadim smiled at him, the kind of satisfied smile that indicated one of his plans had come to fruition. "Oh. The dark brown suede trousers I had tailored for you on the basis of your favourite jeans."

Dan almost dropped the lid, and if he had had any food in his mouth yet, it would have spluttered across the room. "You had suede trousers made for me? Can it get anymore faggoty? Fucking hell, I thought you were the one uncomfortable with being gay, hadn't expected you to turn me into an uber-poof." Despite the words and the righteous 'outrage', amusement was tugging at the corners of Dan's mouth.

"Put them on and then we'll decide how gay you look or don't look", huffed Vadim. "I think they are fairly subtle."

"Aye, maybe, but don't you think I'm too old for being a designer-fag?"

"Not for me. Or did you have a different audience in mind? Jean's not here."

"Jean would piss himself with laughter if he saw me in that." Dan grinned, "but wait till I have my best man's outfit sorted, if he laughs about that one, I deck him. Groom or not." Dan finally put the lid down and picked up the cutlery. "Before I start eating, any more surprises? What am I going to wear on my feet, what on my upper body, and what on top? Eh?" Hardly able to suppress the grin.

"No, you're free to choose based on that the trousers." Vadim took the lid and set it down on the floor.

"You know as well as I do, that I haven't got a fucking clue, so you better give me a hand choosing the rest, if you want the things to go together." Dan grinned and started to eat, shovelling the food inside.

"Of course." The food was decent enough - probably another good reason to choose the best hotel in the available range. The steak at least was more than decent. When Vadim started to eat he noticed himself how hungry he'd been, the nervousness had suppressed the appetite. "I just like the smell of leather", he said, somewhat innocently.

"In that case," chewing then quickly swallowing, "why do we even bother with going out? We could just have a noseful of leather and fuck." Subtle as ever, Dan washed his mouthful down with beer, grinning. "Besides, I like the glint and coldness of steel, but did I take any blades with me? Did I hell."

Vadim laughed, but his body liked the idea, and the laugh was more husky than he realized. "We can always improvise." He grinned, soon finishing the steak, washed everything down with water, then dug into Dan's bag, finding the trousers, the shoes and the top. "Just put these on, then."

Dan finished off his beer, laughing when he saw how deftly Vadim pulled the clothes out of the bag. "I knew it! You packed the whole outfit, didn't you?"

"I plead innocent." Vadim's smile was anything but.

Getting up, Dan lost the towel and shook his damp hair. "Give us the kit, then, and you tell me what you think."

Deliberately turning his back to Vadim, Dan bent down, presenting his arse, which got him another, now huskier laugh, while stepping into the leather jeans. The suede felt warm and smooth, gliding up his legs. They fit like a glove, and when he closed the zipper and button, they felt and looked like a second skin. Swiftly stepping into socks and shoes, he threw the long-sleeved top over his head and slowly turned around his axis. "Content?"

"Ah. I knew it. You manage to pull this outfit off." Vadim stepped close, ran his hands over Dan's leather-clad ass. Great idea. Fantastic idea. "Works for me."

"I would have expected something better than 'works for me'. After all, how many ex-SAS do you think you'll find, who let themselves get dressed up like a Barbie doll." He grinned, "or was that 'Action Man'?"

"If I said you're making me hard, we would piss off the taxi driver, Mad Dog Action Man." Vadim laughed at him and pulled back. "Come on. Get your shoes and let's go out. And keep that thought."

"I've got my shoes already. Too distracted by my arse to notice, eh?" Dan laughed and snatched the jacket. Looking at it for a moment. "And where the hell did you get that one from? I don't recognise it." Slipping into the expensive outdoor jacket. Just as short as the top, and very definitely not covering his leather-clad buttocks.

"Same place I ordered mine. You warned me about the weather in the UK, so I figured these make sense." Opening the door for Dan.

"You're lethal in our Western consumer society, you realise that?" Dan shook his head, laughing. "Buying all that stuff that no one needs."

"Bullshit. We do need this stuff."

Dan pocketed the key and they went down into the lobby, where the taxi had just pulled up outside. "Let's see if I remember where to get pissed." Dan told the driver to take them into the centre of Glasgow, getting out at the edge of Merchant City.

"Alright, Russkie, I figure we just walk along until we spot a suitable pub."

"Okay?" Vadim glanced around and stayed close to Dan without actually touching.

Dan realised all too quickly that he had absolutely no idea where he was heading, only vaguely remembering the city, and not having the faintest clue about any hostelries. Walking on, the last thing he wanted was to lose face and look like an idiot. Stopping at the sight of a traditional pub that looked welcoming. The sign said 'Bennett's', and it was otherwise fairly unremarkable. "What about this one? Looks good to me."

"Sure. Take point, I cover your back."

"It's a pub, Vadim, or bar, or whatever you want to call it. I don't think you need to cover my back." Dan grinned, as he purposefully walked into the establishment. Heading straight towards the bar, where a friendly landlord looked up with a smile. "What have you got on your pump?" Spotting the 80 shilling before the guy could point it out to him, Dan ordered two pints straight away. "Doesn't look too bad, does it?" Quietly to Vadim with a smile.

Vadim glanced around, seeing not quite the regular scruff he remembered from the pub in Hereford. Most seemed better groomed, and most were male. There were a few women, but strangely, these were sitting in pairs. And most of all, in a country where nobody ever made eye contact, the majority of the people in the room - that was, the men - eyed them with interest. In fact, he was pretty sure there'd been a hush falling over the room the moment they'd entered. "I sometimes wonder about your luck", he said, suppressing a laugh.

"What do you mean?" Paying for the pints, Dan handed one to Vadim before turning round to face the pub. "The music's good, the patrons seem to be alright, the landlord's a good chap, and the beer's from the hand pump. I call that good luck."

"Yes, quite. And I doubt any of the men will be going home with any of the women tonight."

"Oh …" Dan finally clued on and grinned into the room, catching a few somewhat interested smiles in return, despite his scarred face and the look of a man more dangerous than most. Or perhaps because of. Or maybe it was Vadim who got the reaction. "Best get ourselves a table then, aye?" Dan grinned contentedly and looked around for a seat in the rather busy pub.

Vadim scanned the room. "I guess we'll have to share", he said. "Or wait till some of the guys leave." But it was early in the evening, still. He really had no idea how things would go. Only that if the girl in the hotel had the regional accent, he wouldn't understand a word that was going to be said. But Dan was right: the music was good enough and put a little spring in his step.

Dan found a table with a couple of free seats on a comfortable looking bench. The guys at that table seemed friendly enough, and willingly shifted closer together when he asked if there was space. They had just about sat down, when the first of a barrage of questions started, right after an introduction of names. He hadn't quite expected to be taken in within seconds, and grinned at Vadim with surprise. Gay or not, they were still Brits and Brits just didn't do outgoing.

"You two from around here?" One of the guys asked, whose name was Martin, and whose accent was far easier to understand that the thick Glaswegian.

"Not really." Dan took a sip of his beer, "we've just come from Kuwait."

Vadim sat close to Dan, part by choice, part by necessity, and looked around the table, trying to work out the rules. Meanwhile, he tried the beer. Not something he'd ever really get used to, he preferred hard stuff to get drunk, but it was drinkable. "Through London", he added.

"Aye," Dan nodded, and downed half of his pint.

"Kuwait? Are you businessmen?"

Vadim shook his head. "Soldiers."

Dan grinned into his pint glass when he heard an audible intake of breath. "Well, not anymore, technically. We were. We're mercenaries now." It all came back to him all of the sudden, the way he'd played the girls, back in the day, and he added with a gesture of his scarred hand, "Vadim was spetsnaz, Soviet special forces, and I was SAS." Smiling innocently as if he didn't notice the reaction.

"You're taking the piss!" One of the guys exclaimed, but the way he leaned forward it was more than obvious how he wanted this to be true.

"Nope." Dan placed his hand on the table and tiled his head, so the scar in his face became more prominent in the light, "or do you want us to show off more of our scars?"

"Uhm …" said one of them.

Vadim looked between them and thought, how strange, that did draw instant reactions from pretty much the whole table. The mix of awe, incredulity, and, he'd swear, interest. The men were looking at Dan's scarred hand, and they apparently did believe. He laughed softly, not quite believing this himself. Suddenly oddly comfortable as Dan grinned at them, a broad, sharp grin that wasn't too far away from Dan's whole tiger thing. He shed his jacket, enjoying Dan's confidence and predatory glee. To him, the strangest thing was the fact there was no hiding. Just by being in this place everybody knew they were gay, and everybody else was gay or looking for gay company. Vadim looked into the faces and wondered who was seeking what. "Aye, we have the scars to prove it", he acceded, pulling the jumper down a little at the collar, to bare the old burn scar for a moment.

"And that, actually, is mine." Dan said out of the blue, earning himself some more stares. His predatory grin increasing in sharpness. "What, you don't believe me? Want to see the scar where he shot me in the shoulder?"

There was a gasp and one of the guys slowly moistened his lips, while another found his voice. "You really are taking the piss now."

"Am I?" Dan's brows rose into his hairline. "Since when were SAS and Spetsnaz friends in the last decade?" He leaned forward and pulled the neckline of his top down as far as he could, revealing a glimpse of the bullet scar and faint lines of some of the others, before he sat back.

The same effect again - more awe, and more interest. Vadim was sure that they would have free pick amongst the table if Dan kept this up. They probably already were free to choose. Likely, all they had to do was point at a guy and say 'You'. He doubted there would be more than a second's hesitation. "Let's say, the Cold War wasn't quite so cold for the two of us", he murmured, drawing a nervous laugh from the guy called Martin.

"It's a dangerous game, fucking a special forces soldier." Dan commented, lighting a fag.

"Not if he's tied up nice, eh, Dan?"

Dan's grin widened, pulling in a lungful of smoke. They'd never played this game together, had never played any game in fact, and the effect was like an aphrodisiac. "Aye, or a blade on his throat or a muzzle in his back, while getting fucked close to patrol." He showed his teeth in a sharp grin, while another guy, who'd introduced himself as John, was turning suspiciously red. Vadim, too, felt his guts tighten; yes, that fuck. That near-rape, that thing that could have got Dan killed, and him disgraced. Oh fuck. The memory never failed to arouse him, and he was lost for words. Their intimate history now teasing complete strangers.

"And the garrotte ensures there's no screaming", Vadim added, helpfully.

"You're not ... making this up?"

"You want me to show you?" Dan dropped his voice to a dangerous huskiness, and the guys were visibly torn between yes, please, and no, no, just a joke. Haha. Shocked, but completely enthralled.

"Show … what?"

Dropping his voice even further, Dan let the smoke escape his nostrils before he leaned close to the guy who'd asked. "What it's like to meddle with special forces soldiers …"

Met with a wide-eyed stare and a very visible gulp. "I …"

"You what?" Dan smiled with all the innocence he could muster.

"I …"

Dan turned to face Vadim, dropping his hand in his crotch, without the slightest attempt at hiding as he briefly stroked Vadim's cock. "Don't think he knows what he wants, hm?"

Vadim saw attention now on him, on the way Dan touched him, how very visibly Dan aroused him. He wanted to be back at the hotel now, fucking, getting fucked, as brutal as they both could manage, celebrate the very thing that aroused the civilians - their fucking deadliness, the fact they'd spilt each other's blood. His lips opened, to say something like that, let's get a taxi, but he couldn't think that clearly anymore. If Dan kept this up, they'd end up as the centrepiece of a gay orgy. He bared his teeth in a fierce grin and leaned in to bite Dan's neck, hard enough to sting, rolling the muscle between his teeth.

Dan sucked in his breath, then tilted his head, allowing a view onto the vicious bite as well as better access. All eyes around the table were fixed onto them, - attention growing all around. "Guess we are not …" briefly closing his eyes, "in the right place for this …" murmured, not that he had the faintest idea what the right place would be, but the way he felt right now, a comfortable pub was not it.

"You could ... " Martin again, clearing his throat, "try Club X, the only gay club in Glasgow, but …" he never finished his sentence when another guy, who hadn't said anything but his name yet, finished it for him.

"Or you could come with us. Martin and I live quite close." Gordon's voice sounded nervous.

Vadim turned his head, Dan's flesh only then slipping out from between his teeth, which had to sting, but Vadim could feel what effect that had on Dan. Could see it in his eyes, the way he breathed, the way Dan opened his legs. Pushing them apart. Looking at Martin, who had a rather plain face, but looked fit, and at Gordon, who did have good features, a fresh, manly attractiveness that was probably owed to good diet, exercise, and a healthy dose of vanity. "Sounds more interesting than our hotel room", murmured Vadim, in Russian, by way of speaking code. "Do you want them, tiger?"

Dan kept looking at the two men, not Vadim, answering in Russian, "I want them tied up and sweating, on their knees, and begging for my cock." And fuck, he didn't have a clue where that had come from, but didn't give a damn either. "And I want you to watch me fuck them," stubbing out the fag, he drew in a breath. Turning his head to glance at Vadim, then back at the others, still in Russian, "and then I want them to suck you off while I fuck you."

Vadim stared at him, at that crude, unashamed lust. Dan's coarse Russian, very much how a soldier would use the words, went straight into his guts, a knife that aroused him, badly. It suddenly became ironclad, not just a possibility, no longer a game. This was moving into dark territory, and part of him felt the heat rise, as he just nodded, then turned to the men. "Good", in English. "But we do play hard."

Martin's eyes had gone bug-eyed and he didn't say anything at all, while his mates stared at him. Gordon, though, nodded, albeit nervously. "We don't know either of you. You could be crazy killers."

Dan flashed a grin that was far closer to insanity than humour. "We are killers, just not of guys like you and Martin. We're killers because it's our job, and if you are worried, why don't you take your friends with you." Gesturing across the table, the others visibly cringed. None rose to the challenge, but every single one of them appeared tempted.

"I thought you liked mercenaries because they aren't safe", said Vadim. "As we're not wearing the camo, that's really the only reason, isn't it?" He leaned in. "If you want the real deal, it's without in-built security. It's risky, but so's crossing the road."

"So, what do you say? Still up for it?" Dan's dangerous grin was back, before he emptied his beer.

Martin nodded, quicker than Gordon, his cock had made the decision for them.


"You got booze?"

Gordon nodded, "there's an off-license on the way."

"That's it, then." Standing up, Dan took his time with the movement, until he stood to his full height. He was still wearing the jacket, but it only enhanced the breadth of his shoulders and the solid state of his body. Not a gram of fat, not anywhere, just muscles. "Hope you don't mind scars …" he flashed another grin, before he slipped out of the bench. "Nice to meet you." To those who stayed behind in silence, and who only nodded.

Vadim gave them a nod, thought that that stunned silence was part frustration, part envy, part debating whether they should join, but he assumed Dan had just steamrolled the whole lot so badly none of them would find his balls before they were out of the room. Almost light-headed at how simple this was, meeting up, making people hard, and then going to somebody else's home. The one time that had been similar he'd acted like a bloody beginner. Darren had found him pretty much like a lost puppy, but he had been weakened by the whole shit. By falling in love. Now it was Dan and him, on the prowl. He let Gordon and Martin go first, slipped into his jacket and murmured: "That was fast … I'm only glad we did manage some food before we went out."

"Just pissed off I didn't get my pints." Dan grinned, looked everything but pissed off, horny instead, with that glint in his dark eyes that Vadim knew too well. The edge was back, the old Dan, the man who fucked at knife point.

"What about pints later?"

"If we get back before last orders at 11, I've done something wrong." Dan grinned shark-like, before heading out after the guys.

Vadim grinned back, the situation really getting to him, but above all, Dan's recklessness, his pure balls to go through with it. Two strangers. He walked behind Dan and gripped his ass on the way out, kneading the firm muscle, which made Dan slow down, allowing some time, before they stepped into the street.

Martin and Gordon were waiting for them, hands in their pockets, jackets zipped up, braving the miserable cold and damp of Glasgow in late March. Gordon nodded at them, taking the lead. "It's just about fifteen minutes away on foot. Is that alright?"

Dan bared his teeth in another kick-ass grin. "Ask me to march twelve miles with a sixty pound bergan on my back and I might complain. This here is a doddle."

"Well, this place isn't the Afghan mountains", Vadim added, mostly to hit the same spot as Dan had.

Dan nudged Vadim when Martin's eyes went wide once more, but the guy said nothing. Seemed the soldier fetish went deep, and Dan was determined to find out what that entailed. How well would they obey an order?

They went onto their way, saying very little, with an awkward silence hanging between Martin and Gordon, while Dan just grinned and walked close to Vadim. Suited them well, the lack of attempts at conversation. Stopping over at an off-license a couple streets further down, they stocked up on booze, then went on until they entered one of the typical Glasgow streets with impressive turn-of-the-century buildings, boasting high-ceilinged tenements and granite fronts. Stopping on the steps in front of the entrance, while Martin fumbled with the keys.

"Been living together long?"

"A couple years", said Gordon. "Martin moved in when he came back from the States."

"Does that mean I'm getting to fuck another Yank? My last one was a jarhead." Dan grinned.

"Uh, no, he'd just been working there for a while", Gordon said, when Martin still didn't manage to get anything out.

Up the steep stairs, finally, with worn steps that betrayed age. The first floor flat had the high ceilings that the building had promised, and Gordon led them through into a large living room that had a fireplace - long since abandoned in favour of modern heating, the space now filled by a large plant with leathery, shining green leaves that stretched as far as the walls on either side.

Dan stepped inside and shed his jacket. The place was warm enough, but definitely not overly heated. Looking around, he watched Gordon switch on some low lights and Martin busying himself in another room, which seemed to be the kitchen. Gordon was holding out his hand to take Dan's and Vadim's jackets, when Dan went straight to the point.

"So, what is it you want? And do you both want the same?"

"I …" Gordon hesitated, glanced over to the kitchen. "I don't know."

"You don't know?" Dan raised his brows. "That smells of bullshit. You got us here, after all, and it seemed to me you knew damn well what you wanted, back in the pub."

"It's just ... we haven't done this before."

"What, getting fucked by strangers?" Dan flashed a grin.

"No, this." Gordon moved his eyes from Dan to Vadim. "A couple. And … guys like you. Soldiers. Mercenaries." He shrugged. "Shit, this whole thing is a fantasy of mine, and now that you're here, I … don't know."

"And it's too much in reality?"

Gordon shrugged his shoulders, somewhat helplessly, but not agreeing either.

Vadim sat down on the couch, watching Martin bring in a tray with pint glasses of beer and a four-pack of red McEwan's export cans under his arm, looking up in surprise at the exchange. Surprise, or nervousness. Vadim didn't actually want to calm the guy down - it seemed very much like it was the danger that was attracting them. The not knowing, with plenty of things going on in their heads, probably their history as well, the things they did in bed and that fascination for soldiers. Vadim leaned back, one arm on the back of the couch, thinking about what Gordon had said, then nodded.

"Gordon." Finding that speaking somebody's name often put them at ease while also making them listen. "Question is, do you want the same thing? I know Dan, I know what he likes. That's all experience. We don't have that with you, so we need to know what you like. What you want." He looked up at Dan. "As Dan knows what I like … as you guys know what you like. If we're too much, I get Dan back to the hotel and no hard feelings." He laughed. "Well, in a manner of speaking."

Dan grinned at that, surprised when it was Martin who answered, while he was putting the tray and the cans down. The quiet one turned out to be the tie-breaker. Again. "Yeah, we do both pretty much want the same." Standing closer to his partner, "we do a lot of role-playing, to keep the sex interesting, you know. And we switch, but, like, neither of us is really a dom. So we met someone in Club X, just once, and that guy was into dominating, so he did it for us."

Switch, thought Vadim. Back in the world of confusing concepts, top, bottom, switch. And the thing Darren had called him. 'Prime slave material'. "And?" he asked, curious.

Martin shrugged, "was alright, but …"

"But?" Dan couldn't help but grin at Martin's American way of phrasing things, reminding him of Matt and - if he talked - Hooch. Not a bad thing being reminded of either of them.

"Not quite the 'real' thing?" Gordon finally found his voice again.

"That's easy, then. Tell us about your fantasies. Tell us about the 'real thing'." Dan took a glass and downed almost half of his pint. Not bad for a canned beer.

Vadim left the beer on the tray for the moment, interested to hear these strangers' fantasies, but didn't want to stare. Dan's typical way to just barge ahead. There was no question really who'd be the 'dom' in this game, and, if he was honest, he really wanted to see that, wanted Dan to run this. He studied the bodies, both fit and trim for civilians. Groomed, better than the average of what he'd seen of British men so far.

Gordon actually managed to turn beetroot red and said nothing, while Martin quickly went for his pint and buried his face in the froth. Dan waited for a moment, but when nothing happened, he finished his pint, put the glass back onto the tray, and in one swift motion pulled his top over his head and threw it over the back of the sofa, then sat down beside Vadim, grinning. Met by two sets of eyes, staring at him in what seemed either shock or disbelief at the deeply scarred but perfectly honed killing machine, with its history and purpose written all over it. "Still waiting …"

That did it, Gordon finally opened his mouth. "OK." Muttered, still staring at the body before him. "Shit." He took his pint and sat down on one of the comfortable chairs, opposite to the sofa.

"No worries. Chances are, we've already done it", said Vadim, softly, feeling Dan's skin warm and close.

"Guess we don't get what we want if we don't tell, aye?" Laughing nervously, Gordon took a few mouthfuls of beer, while Martin perched on the armrest of his chair. "We've been talking about this, trying to do it, but when we play together, it always means that one doesn't get what he wants." Another mouthful of beer, wiping his lips with the back of his hand. "And what we want is not to have any control. We want to …"

"… get fucked. Be made to suck." Martin continued.

"And we want to be tied up. Helpless." Gordon finished, while Dan was leaning closer, drawn to the words and the images they conjured.

"Our favourite scene is playing prisoners." Martin added after finishing his beer, and Gordon nodded. "Can you do that?"

Vadim leaned in to Dan, murmuring into his ear. "Good choice, these." He stood, liked the eagerness, the courage of these guys offering to throw themselves at the mercy of complete strangers. Mercenaries. Killers. "Dan is good at the prisoner game", he said, smiling. "Entertained me for a week or two, up in the Afghan mountains."

Dan looked at him, without saying a word, but with barely disguised surprise. Vadim slipped his jumper off, tensed his chest and abs, smiling at Dan. "Only, back then, he didn't take advantage of that Soviet he'd caught. I still think that was a bit of a waste." Smiling, part mocking, part tender.

"Well." Dan caught himself when he saw the awed look on the two guys' faces, as they stared at the perfectly chiselled body. Smooth, with hardly a scar except for the burn mark in the hollow of the throat. Dan stood up as well, placed his hand on Vadim's shoulder.

"At that time, twelve years ago, I was more into torturing the Commie bastard." With light pressure getting Vadim to turn around and present his back.

He didn't know which of the guys let out a shocked "shit!" and who was the one who inhaled a hissed breath, but both of them, when he turned to look, were moistening their lips and unable to take their eyes off the scars on Vadim's back, while Vadim felt it surreal that his old scars would have that effect. And Dan's hand on his shoulder felt good. Strong, firm, a commitment and a trust that would never be touched by anything.

"You did that?" Martin could hardly get the words out.

"He did. Hard to explain the scars when I managed to return to my side." Vadim glanced over his shoulder. "And I wanted him even then, the fucking bastard." Feeling the memory heat up his blood again, the memory of torture, of offering his body to appease the enemy. Well, at least he wasn't the only one who was horny because of these old stories. Their faces told the truth. Nice, uncomplicated truth.

Dan turned him around again, stepping half behind Vadim, only to grope his arse, grinning predatorily, and Vadim tensing, pressing slightly against him. Ready for anything, Sir.

"Helpless, you said. Do you have something to tie you guys up?"

Gordon nodded. "We … have toys."

"Toys?" Dan's brows rose. Fortunately, his question wasn't taken for the ignorance that it was, but the cue for Martin to jump up.

"I'll go get them. They're ... in the bedroom." Vaguely pointing towards another door, reluctant to take his eyes off Dan and Vadim.

"OK." Dan nodded, not having a clue what on earth 'toys' meant, wondering if they were going to be presented with a set of Action Men. That thought made him grin, but he soon forgot the funny side when he was met with a look in Gordon's eyes that was so hungry, Dan could almost taste the need on his palate. He suddenly had an image in his mind, which made him lean over Vadim's shoulder, hands busy opening Vadim's fly.

Vadim breathed deeply, hands motionless at his sides, being bared and presented. Fuck. And how much that aroused him.

"You want to get fucked. I assume you got condoms, lube, and get yourselves cleaned out first." Dan's cock hardened as much at the memory of a fist up his arse, as Vadim's cock did, freed, in his hand.

"Aye", said Gordon, staring at Vadim, who struggled to not speed things up by demanding anything. Anything more. Gordon left for the bathroom. Dan was stroking Vadim lightly, leisurely, when Martin returned with a large wooden box, unsecured, and set it down on the living room table, right next to the cans of beer.

Eyes on Vadim's cock, Martin didn't do anything for a moment, before opening the box and presenting Dan with the 'toys' inside, looking up with an eager expression.

Dan grinned briefly, "I will take a look. You better get into the bathroom, your partner's there."

Martin nodded, visibly swallowing, before his eyes were once again on the way Dan slowly stroked that cock, and how Vadim's smooth, pale skin seemed to glow in the low light.

"I want both of you naked when you return."

Martin nodded again, tore himself away from the display, and left for the bathroom. The sound of water running and loo flushing was heard for a long while thereafter.

"Hmmmm …" Dan smiled at Vadim when they were on their own, and he stepped in front of him, suede clad crotch pressing into Vadim's cock, which made him inhale, deeply.

"Oh fuck." Vadim reached for Dan's hips, pressing him closer for a long moment, just the feeling of leather was good.

"Best have a look at the toys, then, won't we?"

Dan let go of Vadim, about to step to the box, when he turned back. "And you better get naked yourself, aye?"

Vadim glanced over towards the bathroom, unsure what his role would be. They hadn't negotiated that. But then, they didn't need to negotiate. He looked at Dan for a long moment, who smiled at him, and trusted that Dan wouldn't go too far. Whatever went on in his head. He sat down, shed the shoes, socks, jeans, underwear, piled it up neatly, while Dan went through the toys.

"Holy shit." Dan let out under his breath. "I've never seen gear like that." Pulling out restraints, leather cuffs, harnesses, leather straps with hooks, buckles and metal fastenings, collars with heavy buckles, some strange clamps with what appeared to be weights, something else that made no sense until he turned it over a couple of times and realised they were two gags with black silicone mouth bits and holes in them for breathing. Blindfolds and metal cuffs, some smaller buckled gadgets that made no sense to him until he figured out what the metal ring was supposed to do, and a whole arrangement of dildos and butt plugs. Vadim watched him, but got the impression that whatever would happen, Gordon and Martin had, in their own ways, a few experiences more than they did.

"Holy fuck." Dan turned to Vadim, the assortment laid out on the table. "I think I missed something over the years." Holding the small metal-ringed leather straps up. "And I assume this is a cock ring, aye?"

"How should I know?" Vadim gave a short laugh. "Faced with all this stuff, I'm completely innocent." In Russian, though, to not allow their hosts - sex partners to be - an idea that neither Vadim nor truly Dan had a clue what they were doing. He picked up something that looked like it belonged on wrists: soft leather restraints that could be connected with metal rings and carabiner hooks.

"Innocent." Dan commented in Russian, switching fluently to English, "aye." He grinned. "Any idea what this is for?" Holding up the clamps.

Vadim took them from his hand, examined the pressure with a finger, noticed the blunted edges, like they were intended for something tender. He nodded. "I know what I'd use them for. It's a pair - two." He glanced down at his chest to give Dan the idea.

Smirking, with too many teeth on show, Dan took the clamps back and carefully placed them on the table, then returned some of the things to the box, including the collars, and kept an assortment of restraints, the cock rings, and the gags on display. He was exponentially fascinated with the dildos, keeping all of them out on the table.

"Time for another beer before they return." Opening a can, Dan poured himself a pint after glancing at Vadim's glass, still untouched. Patting the seat beside him, he sat back on the sofa, enjoying his second pint as Vadim sat down next to him, touching his thigh, hip, arm, shoulder. Dan leaned closer, letting his hand run over the smooth skin of Vadim's thighs, then groin, up to the chest, with Vadim's face twitching as if he was trying to fight the lust at the touch, tried to hold back. "Will you do what I tell you tonight?" Dan murmured with growing huskiness, "or will you want to be my 'partner'?"

Vadim shook his head. "I have … no idea." Prime slave material, he heard Darren again. How weird that it came back up and kept echoing in his mind. "What … would turn you on more? I think I could do either."

Dan leaned closer, lips and tongue travelling along Vadim's shoulder, neck, towards his face. "Are you mine?" Question answered with question.

"I … am." Vadim turned enough to kiss Dan. Deeply, passionately, just to show he was getting hungry for it, the touches and images keeping his lust on a simmering level. Hands running across Dan's naked chest, arms, to his powerful neck, the wild hair. "I … will do what you tell me", he murmured into Dan's ear. "Whatever that is."

Dan smiled against Vadim's skin, no words necessary, kissing his way to Vadim's lips, deeply once more, possessively. He was still kissing him, half leaning over Vadim, when the bathroom door opened and the two guys came back out. Naked, freshly showered, and sporting hard-ons. Stopping and staring at the two men on their sofa.

Vadim turned to look at them, old soldier reflexes demanded the need to respond to a change in his environments. He looked at the guys, appraising them. Not bad. They both worked out, if less obsessively than both Dan and him. But he assumed there was more competition to the gym in Glasgow, and they didn't have the time to work out in every free minute like they had done, all their lives. He gave them a nod, acknowledging the men to put them at ease, and saw them glance at the toys that were laid on the table - probably trying to assess what Dan had in store for them. Only that Dan would most definitely surprise them. Whatever you tell me, he thought and stood, too, but Dan shook his head and smiled at him, patting the sofa once more. Not you, the smile said, you are special.

"You." Dan pointed to the two guys, standing up when Vadim sat down again. "You wait here. Don't move. You'll be watched." He turned and walked into the kitchen. Not hearing a sound, he smiled to himself, as he closed the door behind him. Rummaging through the kitchen drawers, he found what he was looking for, and slipped it into the back of his trousers, feeling the familiar chill at the small of his back.

When he returned to the living room, he glanced at Vadim for a moment, who sat on the sofa, legs spreads and one pulled up, displaying the goods, as it were, then looked at the two guys. "So," slowly stepping closer, "who owns this flat, then?"

Gordon met his gaze. "I do … Sir."

Vadim inhaled, feeling his chest expand at the word. That word meant so many things, far more than this Gordon probably knew.

Dan's eyes widened, darker than before, but nothing else could have warned the civilian. Except for Vadim, who'd have seen muscles tense, the tiger ready for the kill. Dan moved, fluid motions, a killer who had not lost his deadly skills, and the next moment Gordon was grabbed from behind, hands pulled back, the blade of the sharpest kitchen knife at his jugular.

"Well, then …" Dan hissed, the body in his hands completely frozen in shock, "and now we play prisoner!"

Vadim was transfixed by the glint of steel against flushing skin, the way Dan handled the strong body, and the way the man responded to him, remaining hard. His lips twitched as Dan had borrowed one of his phrases, again refreshing the memory of their own prisoner 'games'.

Martin was trying to move but Dan barked at him, "Down! Get the fuck down and Do. Not. Move!"

Intimidated by the shouting, Martin scrambled to his knees, then down, flat on his stomach, as Dan kept shouting at him. Body tense, Martin moved his hands to protect his head, shuddering, no doubt with fear.

Vadim licked his lips and he set the foot down to bend forward, watching Dan easily handle two men.

"You!" Order sharply barked at the man on the floor. "On your knees, to the table. Bring back what Vadim is handing you." Dan nodded to Vadim, not needing any words. They both knew how to restrain a prisoner. They'd been there, done that, and they'd do it again. Right now.

Gordon was hardly breathing, his whole body flushed, heart hammering against his chest. So strong, Dan could feel it, the man in his arms like a puppet.

"Faster!" As Martin crawled over on all fours.

Vadim carefully selected the restraints - the leather cuffs - and took a few moments to assemble and connect them, preparing them to be used. No bruises from these ones, he thought. He let them dangle in front of Martin's face, and, following an impulse, he shook his head as Martin reached for them. "With your teeth", he said, deceptively softly, but he did hold them up so Martin could gather both in his teeth and crawl back.

Vadim looked at Dan, whose face had changed into a truly frightening smile, and studied the beauty of a helpless man held in check by a blade.

"Back onto your belly." Dan's voice deceptively soft as he felt Gordon's body sweat under his hands. Slick skin and frightened heartbeat, and yet, when he shifted the blade in his hands, dropping one hand down to Gordon's cock, he felt the hard-on. The man had never softened, and Dan grinned.

Martin dropped the restraints from his teeth and threw himself onto his belly, lying quivering, with his hands behind his head.

"You …" softly whispered into Gordon's ear, "you will now restrain him. Nice and tight."

Gordon did not move, just breathing, frantic, shallow, as the knife at his throat twisted gently.

"Do you understand me?" Dan repeated, the blade pressing closer into the throat. "Nod if you understand me!"

And Gordon did, a miniature jerk, and only then did Dan let him go. Gordon went to his knees, took Martin's hands, opened the restraints and placed them around his lover's wrists. Tight, as requested, but making sure he was still safe.

Vadim watched him, lazily stroked himself to keep the arousal. Something touching about one lover restraining the other, so Dan could have his wicked ways. He gave a toneless laugh, part of him knowing he was everything but immune to this.

Gordon remained kneeling, head lowered, only shifting slightly to remain at Dan's feet, but Dan did not touch him, instead pushed the second set of restraints between Gordon's teeth, while Martin remained flat on his belly.

"Get over there." Softly, but when Gordon tried to get up, he sharply ordered, "on your knees!" And Gordon did, crawling over to Vadim, with the restraints in his mouth.

"Tie him up." Dan smiled, the outline of his cock in the tight leather trousers hard and obvious. "Then send him back over to his lover."

Vadim nodded, as Gordon already dropped the restraints at his feet.

"Nyet", said Vadim, somewhat drawn out. "Into my hand." Stretching out a hand, forcing Gordon to go down with his teeth, pick them back up and push them in his hand, the man's eyes burning with arousal and lust at the simple game, and Vadim was tempted to pet his head. "Turn." The man scrambled around, offering his wrists.


Gordon bent down to offer his wrists closer to Vadim, who gingerly fastened the restraints, and ran his fingers over Gordon's tensed shoulders.

Dan had got down onto one knee, the blade of the knife whispering along Martin's spine. Rewarded with a drawn-out whimper, and a shuddering of the body that started to sweat. "On all fours." Dan murmured into Martin's ear. His voice gentle, just allowing himself to go with whatever came to his mind. "On all fours and legs spread. Arse in the air."

And Martin did, shaking, but getting himself into the position that Dan demanded, despite not having the support of his arms. His cock as hard as Gordon's had been, he knelt like a dog. Head low, face pressed against the floor, shoulders down, trying to keep them off the ground, arse high, and thighs spread.

"Pretty." Dan smiled, the dangerous smile of a predator, "don't you think?" To Vadim, while the blade caressed Martin's spread arse, causing his whimpers to intensify.

Vadim nodded and spoke close to Gordon's ear. "I think he looks very needy, your prisoner, Dan." The Russian accent really now only there to fuck Gordon's mind. "Now, head on over …"

And Gordon did, without hesitation, but with difficulty to keep himself on his knees, his hands were bound in his back. Just like his lover's, his cock was rock hard.

"Face him." Dan ordered, softly, nudging Martin's head up from the ground when Gordon came to a halt. Face to face, until they touched each other. Held in the stress position by nothing but the strength of their thigh muscles. The way Dan had arranged them they were perfectly presented to Vadim on the couch.

"Kiss." Dan murmured, when they didn't comply immediately, he delivered a hard slap onto Martin's arse, who yelped, and Gordon reacted the same way, his arse slapped hard by Dan's hand. "I said, kiss! And don't dare to stop, whatever happens."

They needed no more encouragement, desperately clinging onto the other's lips while their bodies shook with the effort of staying in the position, no hands to support themselves.

Dan grinned, watched them for a moment, before slipping the knife back into the waistband of his trousers. Walking over to the table, he stopped in front of Vadim, who straightened again, gazing up at Dan.

"Prepare them." Dan smiled, tenderness in his voice despite the order, as he took one of the dildos in his hand, "for this."

Vadim stood, picked up the lube, while Dan sat to take off shoes and socks, but the skin-tight leather trousers stayed on. He was the only one partially dressed, and he didn't know why, just that it felt right.

The two others were still kissing, just as ordered, and Vadim considered who to 'prepare' first. Probably Gordon. He squirted some of the cool stuff in his hand, nudged Gordon's legs further apart with a bare foot, then brought the lubed up hand to his ass, pushed a thumb in and felt the man shudder, but welcome him. Gordon groaned as Vadim pushed more lube in with two fingers, pushing them in and out, quickly, with power, which made Gordon push back, clearly willing. The heat and tightness inviting, clean, prepared. Vadim grinned at Dan. "This one's ripe." He slapped Gordon's ass, harshly, after he'd pulled out, and Dan grinned in reply, picking up a 'toy' of his choice. Two butt plugs, or, dildos to his mind, that would stay where they were supposed to stay.

Vadim then moved over to Martin, who tensed when he pushed in, none too tender. Pushing deep and hard with the slicked up fingers, using less lube in this case, which elicited another yelp from the younger guy. "Don't worry, you'll get fucked well tonight", he said to Martin, added more lube and again pushed in and out, with strength, really just to prepare him and drive home the humiliation. "Yes?"

"Yes … Sir", Martin managed to get out, but he'd forgotten about the order and Dan, who was standing between Gordon's legs.

"Did I tell you to stop kissing?" Dan demanded.

"N…no, Sir!"

"Punish him." Dan murmured, looking at Vadim, dark eyes as intense as the day he'd cut a word into flesh. "make him feel it, and make him watch in return. Make them understand they are doing this to their lover." Holding the second butt plug out to Vadim, who took it, still behind Martin.

"You heard him", Vadim whispered into Martin's ear, as he slicked up the toy that felt quite thick in his hand, thick and heavy, and positioned it at the younger guy's ass. He'd have loved to fuck him now, to 'punish', yes, hard and fast, and his breath accelerated. Slowly pressing in, Martin tried to pull back, but Vadim held him down with the other hand, almost doubled him over with pure strength until Martin very nearly kissed the floor. Ass bared, helpless, open to the assault, and Vadim relished the shudder and the way the guy's breath sounded forced as the dildo went in. Deep, against resistance and probably causing discomfort, but Vadim understood well how he would welcome that pain of being stretched and taken. And, he was right, Martin did push back eventually, with gritted teeth, until the thing was firmly lodged inside.

Gordon, too, cried out when the dildo was forced inside his body, breaching a hardly prepared muscle. Dan pulled back and pushed deeper, getting fucked mercilessly by the makeshift cock, until the thick girth was embedded as deeply in the tense body as it could. Staying there, held in place by the tight muscle itself.

Vadim looked up to Dan, eyes resting for a moment on Dan's cock inside the tight leather. Half breathless, half expectant, lips and throat dry again. "Sir?"

Dan smiled, a sudden recognition, a moment of eyes and soul laid bare and open. Mountains. Heat. Blood. Blades. Mercy and want. Dust and desert. A lifetime of extremes.

"Sit down." To Vadim, who sat back, also on his knees now, but still free to move his hands. Turning to the others, who were struggling to stay on their knees. "Keep him hard. Kiss, suck, lick. Don't touch, don't …" suddenly a thought, "don't look."

Glancing at Vadim, who seemed surprised, especially as Gordon dipped down to lick his cock, which made Vadim groan, made him want to take Gordon's head and impale him on his cock. It took all his willpower not to do that, especially as Martin went down, too, both men licking and sucking, but none quite taking him in. Vadim's lips opened and he tried hard not to move. Closed his eyes, couldn't bear watching them run their tongues down his length, especially when Martin went up his body, taking his nipple between his teeth, expertly sucking and chewing.

Dan went to the table and retrieved the blindfolds. "Here …" as if he were cooing to a dog, "come here … pretty men …" He stood near to Vadim, who turned his head, eyes closed, reaching for Dan's leg and pulled him closer, unable to speak, as every word would betray he was getting desperate. Martin and Gordon looked up, and Dan knotted the blindfolds over their eyes.

"Suck him." He ordered. "Kiss him. Worship his body, but Do. Not. Make. Him. Cum." And he stepped away, watching.

Vadim almost jumped to his feet when suddenly a hot mouth opened for his cock. Slowly, so very slowly taking him in, while lips were pressed to his. He didn't care which one of them, didn't want to look at them, was just kissed, and tasted. The other guy's need obvious, hunger and tenderness merging. It was really too much - no way he could even look at Dan, or protest, as the sensations threatened to just overwhelm him. He found a straining cock, pumping whichever of the two, and felt them press close, taking turns sucking him incredibly, excruciatingly slowly. "Dan …"

"No." Softly. "No mercy." Whispered, lightly slapping Vadim's hand away from the guys' cocks, while a blade ghosted across Vadim's throat, which made him freeze, and shudder. Just the memory of knife, and Dan, and heat, while both guys were now on his cock and balls. Vadim felt his control slip, felt he was starting to lose it, all he wanted was to cum, and be fucked, ideally both. He stretched his throat and groaned as one of those cunning bastards sucked on his balls.

"Do you want to get fucked?" Dan whispered in Russian. Lips caressing Vadim's ear.

"Yes." In English. Vadim couldn't beg, but he was ready to beg, would have begged.

"Do you want to be on all fours, being watched?" Still Russian.

Would you suck me off if you could?

Vadim winced, dizzy with lust, interrogator and Dan moving into one, but he was too far gone to be scared, or nervous, or even ashamed. Dan. Safe. Whatever happened. He opened his lips, moaned as he felt teeth on his balls, and nodded, just that. Nodded again, wanted to say yes, but didn't trust his voice.

"Then don't … move …" Russian once more.

"No." Not that he could.

Dan didn't interfere with the two guys, still blindly sucking, kissing and licking, went to the box instead. His hand hovered over leather and steel, glancing back at Martin and Gordon, before a slow smile spread across his face. That would do it, and nicely so. He returned to the tableau, slipping a leather collar around Martin's throat first, who groaned, but did not dare to make any other sound. Dan pulled the buckle snug, closed it, then did the same to Gordon, who was tensing, but like Martin, merely let out a suppressed sound while continuing to lick Vadim's balls, with Vadim flushed and sweating, taut with lust.

Dan leaned down, fixed a carabiner hook onto each of the D rings on the collars, then looked at Vadim with a smile, who met his gaze, unsteady as the sensations were threatening to wash him away, but unable to cum from this treatment.

"Watch …" Dan hooked his fingers into the back of the collars and pulled the men away from Vadim, who shuffled unsteady on their knees. Arranging the men to face each other, still blindfolded, he stroked their sweat damp hair briefly. "Aren't they pretty? I wonder how much they love each other … and I think I'm going to find out."

Vadim cleared his throat, knew that breathing was the answer, like with any kind of pressure, or pain. Breathing was the key, and he fought hard to keep it under control, but he wanted to cum, badly. "They are … pretty." And they were. Both men looked very nearly the same now. Short, sweaty hair, their personalities washed away by the primal response to lust, their features made anonymous by the blindfolds.

Dan smiled once more, his lips twisting into a grin after a moment, when he went back to the table and picked up a few items before returning to Gordon's back. "They'll be even prettier …"

Pushing his thumb into the corner of the man's mouth, who was forced to open it, Dan pushed the gag between Gordon's lips and teeth. Securing the leather straps with a buckle in the back of the head. Gordon whimpered, a suppressed sound, as breath hissed through the breathing hole in the gag.

"What do you think about him, isn't he even better now?" Dan murmured, looking at Vadim as he walked into Martin's back, repeating the treatment. Vadim stared, his throat tight just from watching Dan apply the gags, and his easy way of keeping the men under control. Not a moment of hesitation, nor shame.

Both men gagged, Dan pulled metal items out of his pocket. "Too curious to find out what those are like …"

Bending down, but never obscuring Vadim's vision, Dan fitted the first of the clamps onto Martin's nipple, who let out a tortured whimper, but his cock jerked nevertheless. Vadim couldn't help watch their reaction, notice how they enjoyed it, how, again, discomfort and lust mixed. Dan gave these out so easily. Continuing without a word, Dan finished Martin, then went onto Gordon, who was trembling and visibly straining to try and understand what was going on, but soon enough the clamps were biting into his swollen nipples, and he breathed harshly, body covered in a sheen of sweat, and Vadim winced in sympathy.

Regarding his work, Dan stood back, glanced at the two men who were kneeling opposite each other, before he walked back to the chest. "With those as the finishing touch?" Picking up the cockrings made of leather and steel.

They were beautiful things, perfect, and Vadim nodded, fighting hard to get even a semblance of reason. "What … what are you planning?"

"For them to watch you." Dan's smile didn't seem entirely sane, as he waved Vadim over, holding the cockrings out to him. "But first … fix them." They might not have seen such things before, but they weren't ex special forces for nothing.

Handing the leather and steel items over, Dan leaned down between the two men, commenting quietly, "that would look so much better without hair. Shame we haven't got time to shave you …" Resulting in a violent jerk by Gordon, which brought the collar closer to Dan's hand and he took the hook in one. Martin's whimper stopped abruptly, when he took the hook of that collar in the other, and pulled him sharply closer.

Vadim shuddered, the build-up killed him, and he'd thought a shift in the Iraqi desert was bad. This was much worse. At work, he had to focus, and time passed quickly when he was focussing, but this, while it couldn't have been going for longer than half an hour, killed him. He reached for Martin's cock first, pulling him close by his cock and slipping the thing over the hot flesh, pumping him once, twice, for good measure. Then over to Gordon, who turned his face blindly towards him as Vadim fixed the cock ring as well, feeling the man shiver with need when he touched him and rolled his balls in his hand.

"You're lovers, aye? It's time to prove it." Hooking the carabiners together, Dan caused the helpless men's faces to touch each other, unable to kiss, the thick leather of the heavy gags preventing any contact.

Vadim remained on his hands and knees, watched the two guys, close but powerless, and couldn't help but want them. Them, Dan, anyone, really. He'd fuck either of them, or Dan, but that was out of the question. He'd get fucked, and he hoped it would be by Dan. But, truth be told, it didn't matter all that much right now - anybody would do, as horny as he was.

Dan looked intensely at Vadim, the heat rising with every heartbeat. Impossibly hot, unbelievably ready. This, here, for which he didn't have a name yet, it was driving him half insane with lust. Something inside of him, though, remained strangely detached and cool, knowing exactly what he was doing, which steps to take. Each second of control, every suppressed whimper, and each touch of sweat-slicked skin felt right.

Hands on the blindfolds, Dan leaned down, his husky voice a mere whisper. "Watch …" and as the blindfold came off, the two guys tried to move their heads, but their collars were hooked so closely together, they could only move in tiny increment and in perfect sync.

The moment Dan stepped over to Vadim, his whole attention was on his lover, ignoring the others. Nudging Vadim until he knelt on all fours, cock hard, weeping, as hard as it could possibly be.

"Have you got any idea how fucking perfect you are?" Dan's husky voice washed over feverish skin. Retrieving the lube, he took his time to caress Vadim's head, face, his neck, moving so close, his leather clad crotch nuzzled into Vadim's face, and Vadim opened his lips to trace Dan's cock with his teeth, ready to take it, lips, ass, both.

"Show me. Fuck me. Fuck me, Sir." The last sentence was spoken rough, gentle, with a hint of humour but no less intention.

"I will … soldier." Dan caressed Vadim's face, before stepping between his legs that opened further. Cold lube on his hand, he took his time preparing Vadim, who pushed back with every motion as slow, sure, fingers opened him and slicked him up, while the bound onlookers were making small suppressed noises, desperately trying to see everything.

The fingers were a good start, Vadim thought, but they didn't move deep enough, not enough power, not nearly enough force. He lowered his head, stared at the floor underneath without seeing anything, focussed on his ass, Dan's fingers, and what he needed, above all.

Dan opened his fly, allowing his hard cock to spring free at last, then reached to his back, pulled the knife out, almost in an afterthought. The blade whispered along Vadim's spine, who immediately understood what it was. Remembering the knife, and his body froze, especially as the cool tip lay in the hollow of the small of his back, as Dan positioned his lubed-up cock. "Ready, soldier?"

Knife, 'soldier', the knife was there, but not dangerous, more like a promise, or was it? Vadim didn't mind either way, if Dan wanted to cut him, alright, he'd take it, as long as he finally fucked him. "Yes, Sir", he breathed.

And Dan did, knowing each other so well, he knew exactly what Vadim could take, how fast, how deep, and always a bit more. Pushing further and harder to go beyond well known limits, Vadim met him with every thrust. Legs spread wide, tensing to add friction, and that pain of being stretched like that, but he was really beyond pain. Dan fit him so well, still using so much strength that Vadim could feel every thrust in his bones, groaning harshly when Dan got him just right, his body tensing in a futile attempt to achieve orgasm.

Dan groaned, feeling the eyes of the bound guys fixed onto them. Fucking Vadim, but never quite fast enough, never touching, never quite hard enough, never enough for Vadim to cum, while Dan got closer and closer.

Vadim was soaked in sweat, getting so desperate he was close to try taking those thrusts just with one hand on the floor, finishing himself off, but he wouldn't have the balance, not with Dan's strength. Desperate, and getting worse, the arousal approaching anguish. "Dan … Sir."

But Dan laughed, a short, breathless sound, and slowed down, no matter how difficult it was. His own body thrumming, sweat running down his temples, down to the small of his back. Control, not just over the others, but over himself as well.

Vadim shuddered, bit his lips not to beg. Didn't want to beg, but into that struggle he heard Dan's voice. "Come here …" to the others, who laboured hard to shuffle closer, while Dan moved within Vadim. Tiny increments, as slow as he could without screaming in frustration, and, again, making it worse for Vadim who'd have done anything to force him, force his release. The two men reached them at last, and while Dan's cock remained buried deep inside Vadim's arse, he unsnapped the gag bits that had been kept in place, pulling them from between desperately clenched teeth. "Get him off." Two faces staring at him, jaws half-hidden by black leather, but mouths free, necks locked together. "He's clean. Suck him. Cock, balls." Pulling out, slowly so slowly, until he remained poised, merely the head still clenched by Vadim's arse. "Get him off!"

A strangled groan came from Vadim at that order, his cock twitched, but still not enough. A hair's breadth away, impossibly close and yet not enough. Martin and Gordon scrambled to obey, strangled sounds from their throats as they managed to somehow get beneath Vadim, despite bound hands and the collars pulling viciously on each other's throats as they moved. Dan knew when their mouths had reached their goal, because Vadim's whole body shuddered, and he slammed that very second back inside. That was too much, the added sensation, that exact moment brought Vadim over the edge, with one mouth on his cock and sucking, another mouth busy with his balls - it wouldn't have been enough to get him there on their own, but that thrust did it, pulled the trigger, and with a strangled half moan half cry, Vadim came, thrust towards the other's faces, the motions near powerless, pure reflex.

Dan rode into the mindless release, letting lose and casting away control. Forgetting about anything but the body beneath his hands and the tight heat clenched around his cock, convulsing. Only a few more thrusts, and he crunched his eyes shut for a moment, tensed until all muscles stood taut, and came, deep inside Vadim, the sensation breathtaking.

Pulling out, Dan fought to regain his breath, but the first words, while his hands were still on Vadim's hips, caressing, were as sharp as before. "Get back!"

Martin and Gordon fell over when they tried to obey, struggling to get back onto their knees, but unable to find their balance. The two men were a heap of limbs and desperate sounds, their cocks so thick and hard, their balls so dark in colour, they seemed close to exploding.

Dan hadn't tucked himself in yet, when he leaned close to Vadim, kissed the shivering body, thighs, buttocks, base of the spine, which relaxed under the caresses. Vadim sank down to lie there, stretched out, unable and certainly unwilling to move.

Dan returned to the others, spent cock in his open fly. He didn't say anything as he pulled them back up to kneel once more. Ignoring the others, he turned his head to smile at Vadim, who regarded him, head tilted his way, glancing over his arm that lay close to his face. Dan's voice was tender, "get washed up when you're ready. I'll follow shortly."

Once the guys knelt once more, face to face, whimpering at the way the weights pulled on tender nipples, Dan retrieved the gags. He didn't use force this time, simply murmured with a sated voice, "take them." And they did. Mouths opened willingly to allow the gags back between their teeth, Dan snapped them shut, the blindfolds following.

Vadim closed his eyes for a moment, acknowledging the order, but didn't want to move, not just yet. Breathing for a little while, he slowly managed to get his hands on the floor and pushed himself up, into a crouch. Then standing, ass sore, but feeling great, tired, sated, he managed to find the bathroom.

Dan looked down at Martin and Gordon with that odd smile, caressing each head and the short damp hair, before he followed Vadim into the bathroom.

Inside, Vadim just flushed the toilet and started the water. He filled his hands with the cool, clean liquid and washed his face, running a wet hand across his neck, down to his pecs, then looked around. "I …" Seeing Dan, he stopped, and smiled. "Adore you."

Dan was about to laugh at the words, but the laughter got stuck in his throat and he tilted his head, smiling. "Why?" Reaching for the tap with hot water to clean himself up.

Vadim only stepped out of the way enough to allow Dan to wash himself, lips finding Dan's hot skin, smelling the fresh sweat, and his hair. "Because … you can make this stop." Vadim touched his temple. "You can kill all thoughts, all memories."

Dan shut the tap off, dried his cock and tucked himself back in, biding his time. Turning back to Vadim, he raised his hand and touched the temple at the same place, caressing the short hair. "All bad memories?"

Vadim leaned in to kiss Dan's wrist. "Everything. Those, too. I don't care about them anymore, and then they're gone." He placed a hand on Dan's ass and pulled him close and around enough, to kiss him. "You …" he murmured, "would blank out the sun, Dan. Everything."

Allowing himself to be kissed, Dan held Vadim close, stroking the smooth skin, before pulling back a little, murmuring, "I think we can have a lot more fun with those two guys."

"Oh, I'm sure."

Dan winked, placing another kiss onto Vadim's lips. "And I know exactly what I want to do to them. As I asked before, how much do they love each other?"


"Well, they're going to ask themselves that question tonight." Dan grinned, stepping away, but his hands remained connected with Vadim. "When we get back, I want you to remain silent when I separate them, and make sure the blindfolds stay on. Take Martin and prepare him on the couch. I bet those bound arms in his back are going to kill the guy. Civilians and all that." Dan flashed his teeth in an evil grin.

Vadim laughed. "Okay. I think I'll manage. And then? What's your plan?"

"I want him on his back, legs up and open, find something to restrain him, because you're going to fuck him with their nice selection of dildos, since they seem to be so fond of them …"

Vadim briefly closed his eyes, grinning. "Poor bastards. And they've been really nice to us. Especially to me."

"But that's what they want." Dan smiled with another tilt of his head. "And because of that we are extremely nice to them by doing what we'll be doing. Aye?" He patted Vadim's buttock.


"Since Gordon seems to react that much to knife and danger, he'll get what he wants, too." Dan winked, then opened the door, placing a finger onto his lips before they stepped out of the bathroom.

The two guys were still kneeling in almost the same way as before, their bodies under extreme tension. Dan nodded to Vadim, then stepped to the bound men and unhooked the collars, before turning away. Vadim moved in, placed his fingers between Martin's throat and his collar and pulled him with him. Martin doubtlessly thought it was Dan, and followed, insecure in his movements like he was expecting to collide with something, but Vadim just pulled him towards the couch.

Gordon's head was going wildly into all directions, trying to gauge what was happening, but Martin's presence was gone.

Wordlessly, Vadim nudged Martin onto the couch, then held him there for a moment, by his shoulders. "Don't move", Vadim said tonelessly against Martin's ear, then rifled through the box. There were leather restraints and more stuff. He saw something like ankle cuffs, but that wasn't quite what he was looking for. A moment's thought as he worked through the kind of thing he needed, and, sure enough, found it in the box. It was a leather piece, long, with two hoops that could be tightened, and Vadim slipped the hoops around Martin's legs, up over his knees, then pulled the middle part over Martin's nice, toned neck, before he took mercy and uncuffed Martin's wrists. "Don't move", he warned again, just as tonelessly, discarding the cuffs for a moment. "Lie down, on your back."

Martin lay down on the couch, struggling to orientate himself, moving very carefully, but then lay down. Vadim got between his legs, adjusted the leather straps that brought Martin's legs up, close to his chest, the weight of his legs supported by his neck. Vadim caressed the straining cock, gathered a drop of precum from the tip and rubbed it all around the crown. Martin whimpered, but Vadim walked around him and merely put the cuffs back on, in the front this time. There was nothing he could fix him to, which was a shame, and Vadim frowned, thinking if there was a way around it. There was another long leather strip, with a carabiner hook and he connected the cuffs again, pulled the arms up over Martin's head, and hooked the cuffs to the strip which he tied around the couch leg, shortening the strap to stretch Martin out and curve his back nicely.

Dan was watching, eyes fixed on the sight, and something deep, dark and full of lust once again stirred inside of him. The sight, the helplessness, and a body laid out for whatever they were going to dish out on it. He walked to the table, Gordon's head following the sound, but unable to make anything out. Dan picked up the lube and chose a dildo from the selection, by no means small and he wouldn't go near Vadim with that thing, but those guys seemed to be well into that sort of play. He stooped to pick up his knife, then handed dildo and lube to Vadim, grinning at him like a predator. "Take out his butt plug, and prepare him to get fucked with that thing." Dan whispered tonelessly in Russian, for only Vadim to hear, adding, "but don't make him come!" Then walked back to stand behind Gordon, who was getting more and more agitated and whimpered into his gag.

Vadim glanced at the size and thought that would take quite a bit of work, then nodded to Dan. He ran a finger around Martin's stretched muscle that kept the dildo inside, which caused more shuddering breaths, and shifting, but there was very little Martin could do in that stance. The sound when Vadim freed the dildo and pulled it out - slowly, working mostly with the natural resistance of Martin's body, was unlike any before. Like Martin expected the torture to end now, and welcomed that, and, at the same time, really wanted it back. Vadim looked over at Dan, grinned when he saw the downright unpleasant expression in Dan's eyes, a kind of fierce satisfaction.

Vadim put the plug away, squeezed plenty of lube into his hand, rubbing it into the reddened, stretched ass, doubtlessly cool and cooling, and at the same time promising more. He reached for another dildo on the table, in size between the one Dan had given him and the one that he'd just removed, and slid it in, in one quick motion, making Martin groan and tense, resist as he was stretched further.

Gordon tried to talk into the gags, desperate sounds as his head moved towards the sofa, clearly disturbed by his partner's groans. The cock ring ensured that his hard-on remained as before, despite the obvious agitation. Dan did nothing, though, stood absolutely still, while watching the guy on the couch being used and wanting more. Oddly touched by Vadim's choice of the smaller dildo, and wondering if he had been too reckless, but the way Martin pushed towards the intrusion, his cock and balls almost purple, the frantic sounds he was making, he knew there wasn't a limit. Not yet, not even close.

But Vadim's merciful stroke ended when Martin had fully accepted that size - that was when he lost the dildo, again to be left empty and needy, as Vadim moved to the bigger size, the one Dan had given him. Pressure and moving slowly, but, much like Dan sometimes did, with no mercy, no hesitation, giving Martin only the choice to take it. He winced at the size and the way it made Martin look, shameless and degraded in complete abandon, taking the huge thing.

Dan still did nothing, watching, allowing the heat to pool in his guts once more, until Gordon twitched when Martin let out a particularly desperate noise, trying to shuffle towards them. That was when Dan struck, lightening fast like before, the killer once more on the prowl and killing his prey. In one fluid motion jerking Gordon up in a choke hold, pulling the blindfold off the disorientated man, and pressing the blade against his throat. Almost breaking skin, right beneath the collar. "Keep still!" Dan hissed, and the body in his arms froze.

Vadim glanced over, a wicked grin at Gordon's obvious panic, and he pushed the dildo in harder, smiling at Gordon with something like glee. He was fucking this guy's partner, and they all enjoyed the sight.

"Look at him." Dan murmured, hardly above a whisper, and yet his voice seemed loud in a room where nothing but Martin's hissing breath was heard, as he frantically breathed through his nose. "Look closely at your lover. Look how that thing enters his body. Look how his arse is stretched." Gordon's eyes widened even more and his whole body shuddered, no matter how hard he tried to keep himself under control, with the blade an all too real threat. "We can fuck your lover until he goes insane with need, and never allow him to cum. Or we can grant him release." Shifting the grip of the knife handle, the blade pushed harder against the throat, and yet Dan handled it with that much perfection, it never broke skin. Nevertheless Gordon didn't dare to swallow. "I asked you before ... I ask you again. How much do you love him?" Pausing, while Martin let out choked screams behind the gag. "Do you love him enough to bleed for him? Do you love him enough to convince us to let him cum?"

Vadim saw every muscle on Gordon's body stand out at the question, the man's eyes wide, rolling like that of cattle trapped in a thunderstorm, as he clearly thought he'd get his throat cut in exchange for Martin's release. Dan had a way to put mortal fear into a man, part the knife, part his voice. Gordon shook so hard he'd need a steadying hand soon, as he said something against the gag, something that was pleading, and tears came to his eyes as he tried to nod and … agreed.

"Seems you love him enough." Dan nodded to Vadim, a strangely tender expression on his face, which was almost immediately replaced by vicious lust, as Vadim set about making Martin cum. Martin, who was screaming into his gag, as if trying to stop this insanity and keep his lover from sacrificing himself, but his body had other thoughts. He was too helpless, too far gone, and too lost in pleasure and pain as Vadim drove the dildo in harder and faster now, absolutely positive that Martin could take no more, then, with the dildo deep inside, he took Martin's cock in his hand, unwilling to suck him off. It didn't take more than one strong, hard, slick stroke to make Martin scream mindlessly into the gag, hips moving, cock twitching and shooting his load. Across his chest, over Vadim's hand, very nearly passing out, while Vadim carefully removed the dildo.

Gordon was crying and whimpering, held up in Dan's arms, his body both tense and shaking, cold sweat rolling down his skin, as the blade whispered once, twice, across his throat. Dan applied more pressure into the choking hold, leaning down without Gordon realising, whose eyes had rolled back into his head. He was paralysed with fear, clearly convinced he was about to die, when Dan's hand touched him, took his cock.

Vadim, still between Martin's legs, watched how Dan's hand brought Gordon off with one single touch. The stimulation was so extreme, Gordon nearly passed out when he convulsed. The blade left his throat while he came, and the arms that had been merciless before, were keeping him now in a secure embrace, gently lowering the shuddering body to the ground, where Dan knelt beside him.

"Time to get you two some quality time together, hm?" He murmured, immediately starting to strip the toys off the trembling man, who hadn't quite cottoned on that he wasn't dead and had just had the most mind-blowing orgasm ever. Vadim did the same for Martin, removing the straps, clamps, the gag, too, and felt a strange tenderness that made him lean over the young man and wipe his face, caressing him, the jawline, the thundering pulse under the skin. Alive, blown away.

"Aye, I guess these two should go into the bedroom", Vadim murmured.

Dan smiled, crouching down to take Gordon's collar off, caressing the throat as he did, and smiling at the tear streaked face when Gordon finally opened his eyes. "You really did think I'd kill you." He murmured, before giving in to the impulse and kissing the man, whose lips moved against his, as if Dan still owned him. "Silly civilians." Whispered, before he came back up and helped Gordon to sit, taking the restraints off the wrists, before helping him to move across to his lover.

"You …" Gordon's voice was rough and dry, "you didn't …"

Dan shook his head and placed a finger onto his lip to hush the other. "It's what you wanted."

Gordon stared incredulously at him, but finally lowered his eyes and nodded once. They reached the couch the moment Vadim lowered Martin's legs. It took a moment before the younger man regained some coherence, turned his head and looked at Gordon, smiling feebly. Dan didn't think he'd ever seen anything quite so emotional, when Gordon wrapped his arms around his partner, caressing each other's faces with their own.

Vadim moved back, as silently as if he'd had to leave the vicinity of a guard out on patrol. He went into the bathroom and poured hot water over two towels, wrung them, then rolled them up, and took two dry towels, too.

"Well." Dan cleared his throat, but forgot to say whatever he had meant to say, instead opening a couple of the remaining beer cans. Pushing one into each of the men's hands. "Guess you're thirsty, aye?"

Vadim returned a few moments later and handed one damp towel each to the guys, and one dry, giving them time to clean up after they'd quenched their thirst. The living room was a mess, but Vadim supposed they'd done that before. He slipped into his jeans and sat down on the other couch - the one that didn't have Martin and Gordon all over each other, shaken, tender, and he looked at Dan. Like they'd been when their soldiering had cut too close to the bone. For his part, he couldn't help but smile, a tired, sated smile that betrayed there was no darkness left in him. Right now, he was a man who relished in being sated and tired, with nothing haunting him.

Dan smiled back, giving a small nod before he got up from his crouching position. Walking over to Vadim, he let the guys clean each other up. He sat on his heels between Vadim's legs, looking up. "Guess we should be leaving, aye?" His arms went around Vadim's waist.

Vadim regarded him from under heavy lids, cool blue eyes serene and placid. "Four is big for any bed", he murmured. "Three works, four is plenty. And I'm tired."

"But did you enjoy it?" Barely murmured, ignoring the whisper from the couch when he added, impossible to be overheard by the others. "Before you ask, I have no idea where all of that came from."

Vadim flashed a quick smile. "I do, Dan. I know where that's from." He shook his head, still smiling. "You had it with you all the time. Maybe we haven't changed all that much?"

Dan tensed, his eyes searching Vadim's. "Are you saying I'm back in the mountains, cutting your flesh?"

Vadim shook his head. "I'm saying it takes a lot of strength to control a man, body and soul. Get into his head. Fuck his mind. You fucked mine. You fucked three guys tonight, Dan." Vadim raised a hand and touched the side of Dan's face, who smiled, pulling him closer. "But you no longer destroy."

"I'm bloody glad I … grew up." Dan's smile became even more tender, tilting his head to touch Vadim's forehead with his own.

Vadim switched to Russian. "But I don't doubt for an instant that Gordon would have cum if you had cut his throat."

A low chuckle escaped his throat and Dan's smile turned into a grin. "There is that, and it reminds me of a certain Russkie." Lifting his head, he smirked with all of his teeth on show.

"Wouldn't have been the worst possible death …" Vadim grinned back and yawned before reaching down to find his socks and shoes, forcing Dan to let go of the contact. He put them on, then stood to pick up his jumper, while Dan stretched, standing, looking for his top.

"Fuck. Call us a taxi back? I could use some shut-eye." Vadim gave another glance at the guys, who were still hugging and kissing, and would probably not stop for a long while yet. "Or maybe there were taxis in front of that pub?"

Dan was about to say something when Martin lifted his head and shifted on the couch with a wince, until he got into a sitting position. In discomfort, but smiling. So sated, he looked as if he'd drop off any second. "Wait. We'd just like to say something."

Dan slipped the jumper over his head and raised his brows, questioningly.

"Aye," Gordon nodded. "This was the most amazing thing ever. So fucking amazing, it blew our minds. Martin and I …"

The younger guy took over, "we were wondering if you are going to come back by any chance? If we could meet again?"

Vadim grinned. "That's Dan … an instant success." He gave another laugh, shaking his head, deeply amused. Of course Dan was irresistible. Mad Dog Dan, the reckless SAS bastard. He looked almost mockingly at Dan, who was scratching his head. "I guess we'll come through this city on the way back." If you want them. I'm game.

"Well … " Dan fished for his fags, absolutely desperate by now, but he hadn't seen any ashtrays, and smoking hadn't been on his mind. "Aye, we could come back here. We're off to the Highlands tomorrow, for about a week or so, and then back down along the East Coast, before heading into England. That's …" checking his watch and the dates, "two weeks, so we could be back here by the following weekend." One and a half weeks, plenty of time.

"Great!" Martin grinned from ear to ear, and Gordon nodded. "How much time do you have?"

Dan glanced at Vadim, "what do you mean?"

"You could stay the weekend." Gordon ventured, "you know … " hesitating, "24/7."

"24/7 what?"


Dan glanced at Vadim again, this time his eyes had widened in an almost comical display of 'not getting it'.

Martin added, helpfully, when Dan didn't reply. "Slaves. For a weekend. We like to be, like, dominated. You know ..."

"Oh." It took Dan a while before the grin returned to his surprised face, and he looked at Vadim, switching to Russian again. "Do you want that? A game of more than a couple of hours?"

"They ask so nicely for it", murmured Vadim. "And yes, I'd try this again." He moved over to Dan, placing a hand on his shoulder, squeezing it. "No problem."

"OK." Dan nodded. "We'll be back." His grin was answered by both men, and Gordon got up with some effort, walking over to a sideboard to fish for pen and paper, scribbling down their address and phone number.

"It's a deal, aye?" Handing the paper to Dan, who pocketed the address.

"Aye, we'll call the day before."

Smiling, Gordon held his hand out to both of them in a touchingly formal way. "Thank you. Oh, and do you want a taxi?"

"Cheers, but I'm fucking starving, will grab a kebab on the way to town and get one there."

"Alright." Gordon smiled and shook Vadim's hand, who held it with both his for a moment, while Martin waved from the sofa, quite happy to stay where he was without having to move.

"Before I forget." Dan turned back, already on his way to the door, fag packet in hand, "where did you get those toys from?"

"Those?" Gordon grinned, holding up his hand that showed faint red rings where the restraints had dug in while he'd struggled. "It's mail order, hang on, I get the catalogue for you." Retrieving it from a stack of magazines near the telly, he came back and handed Dan a colourful printed mag, quite thick as well. "We got the latest issue, but this one will do, they still have everything in stock."

"Cheers again." Dan grinned like a shark once more, rolling the catalogue up to stash it in the inside pocket of his jacket.

Vadim gave a silent laugh. Mail order torture. The thought was bizarre. Dan had had a taste of blood, and he assumed Dan would read this cover to cover.

"Best we're off, or we'll be falling asleep on our feet. Not that young anymore." Dan laughed as he waited for Vadim to get through the door. "Until the following weekend." He turned his head, "and … thanks." Smiling, he closed the door behind them.

Vadim didn't speak until they were outside in the dark, and he wanted nothing but put an arm around Dan's waist and get manoeuvred back to the hotel. Instead, he walked close, arm every now and then touching Dan's. "Strange. Didn't speak more than fifty words with them, all told, but I liked them."

"Aye," Dan nodded, leading them back to the centre, he stopped in front of a brightly lit kebab place. "You never know, we might get ourselves a strange set of weird friends in our old age."

"You have a talent for making friends …" Dan truly had. But that was alright. One of them had to be good with people.

Dan laughed and looked as if he were about to kiss Vadim, before he pulled himself back and ventured into the chippie to get a large portion of doner kebab, and some for Vadim. Vadim wolfed the food down, which made him even more tired, stumbling across a taxi just a little later.

That night, once they were back in the hotel, they slept dreamless and deep. Embracing each other and staying close, as close as anyone could get.

Special Forces Chapter XXXVII: Home Leave
Warning for Readers

The following work of fiction contains graphic homosexual interaction, violence and non-consensual sex. With this work of fiction the authors do not condone in any way any form of intolerance and injustice, e.g. racism, sexual harassment, incitement of hatred, religious hatred nor persecution, xenophobia and misogyny. Neither do the authors through this work of fiction promote violence nor make light of such grave matters as genocide, any taking of human life, murder, execution, rape, torture, persecution of sexual orientation.

By accessing this work of fiction you hereby accept and agree that this is a work of fiction and does not reflect in any way the opinions of the authors. The authors do not necessarily endorse the views expressed by the fictional characters.

By accessing this work of fiction you hereby indemnify the authors against all claims and actions whatsoever arising from reading the work of fiction.

All characters are fictional. Any similarities with living or deceased people are coincidental. In case of real life events, creative license has been applied. Special Forces is intellectual property of Marquesate and Vashtan. Copyright © 2006-2009. All rights reserved.


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Published 20 April 2008