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Special Forces Chapter XXXXIII: Fadenkreuz

May 1992, Berlin, Germany

Hooch kept slipping a finger beneath the neck brace, either to ease the fit or to scratch underneath, until he muttered something to himself and controlled his response, sitting quietly in his seat and staring straight ahead - since he had no chance of looking anywhere else.

"You okay with that?" asked Vadim, glancing at him. He'd been looking out over the countryside that was rushing past, and slipped deep into thought. About them. About what he'd told Hooch. And why. And how he expected Hooch to react to it. Most of all, why. What had he felt he could, maybe should tell him.

"Better than the alternative." Hooch quirked a half-grin, his swollen eye opened a slit and the white was blood-shot.

Vadim smiled. "Yeah." He wanted to say more, but there was somebody on the seat across the aisle, and he didn't want to embarrass Hooch. Or himself. "Just a few more minutes."

Hooch nodded, the movement awkward. "How are they going to fit my neck size?"

"You don't know your size? Well … then, maybe, very carefully?"

Hooch leaned forward, lowered his voice, "have a sales assistant measure my strangulated neck?"

"Well, they should be able to do that without hurting your whiplashed back more …" Vadim heard the announcement for the Berlin station, and got up, offering a hand to Hooch, who looked up with surprise, but took the hand and allowed himself to be pulled up.

Vadim remained standing there, touching Hooch's body for a long moment, almost the full length of it, then stepped to the side, allowing Hooch to get to the door, then moved out.

Outside, they got a taxi, and the taxi driver, after a short conversation, took them to the main shopping area of the city, which had plenty of shops to buy a decent suit in. Vadim glanced around. "Dan hates shopping … it's odd to think that after five minutes, you won't start to fidget around and tell me you're bored." Giving Hooch a bright smile.

The smile was answered with a long, measured look, and with the ghost of a smile. "But I'm not Dan." Hooch let the words hang in the air, and turned towards a department store that looked rather posh.

"No, you're not." Vadim walked beside him until he noticed Hooch was heading into the store. "I think that way", he murmured, taking Hooch's arm and guiding him along the street. It would probably pay to see a specialist, and he spotted one that seemed nice and friendly inside, as well as calm, and, judging by the price tags, pretty much what they were looking for. "That's odd, but nice." Vadim grinned at the deliberate double meaning. Odd, but nice to spend time with Hooch instead of Dan. He was walking a touch too close to Hooch for it to be neutral distance.

"You know the shop?" Hooch shifted slightly to the side, a fraction away from Vadim, as they steered towards the shop.

"No. But looks alright." Vadim opened the door, and noticed that some guy in a nice suit in the back looked up, made eye contact and drew closer. Offering help without being pushy.

Hooch walked up to the man, looking him once over before visibly relaxing. "You speak English?" He even gave a small smile. "I need a suit, or two."

The shop assistant was young, early to mid-twenties, short, dirty blond hair, and he had a good smile, Vadim thought, when he answered. "Yes, Sir, of course. Do you have a particular … style?"

"Smart." Hooch shrugged, "smart and dark, one for special occasions."

"Of course, Sir." The shop assistant glanced down Hooch, assessing him quickly and politely, Vadim thought, then ushered him towards the back. "It really depends on the material", he explained, chatting about brands and gauging which price range was the one Hooch felt comfortable with, who nodded a few times, before he made clear that he really didn't mind the price tag, as long as the suit was as smart as possible and would make him look good in a sea of boring suits, back home. This cheered the shop assistant on to further efforts - he was likely paid a bonus.

Vadim pulled a chair closer and sat down, watching the interplay, while the young guy chose a few suits. Narrowing it down to about five, he placed them strategically around Hooch, who looked at each of them, taking his time to feel the fabric. Finally pointing at a black one and a charcoal one. He turned around fully to face Vadim, "what do you think?"

Vadim waved his hand. "I'd say, put them on. And get some shirts with it."

"Yeah." Hooch turned back to the assistant, pointing at his neck. "Can't remember European sizes, need a couple of ties, too." He added, when the sales assistant frowned at the bulky neck brace, "was in a car accident." Raising his brows, or one brow, rather. The other not very movable in the beat-up face.

"I'm sorry to hear, Sir." The shop assistant reached for a tape measure he wore in his pocket. "If you will allow, I'll see if I can measure it?" Stepping closer, smooth motions, very professional, and sliding the tape measure around Hooch's neck, who managed to stand still, despite the sudden urge to hit the guy. The young man gently checked that the tape measure had slipped under the brace, straightened it, then leaned back a bit and fiddled with the tape measure, checking and fiddling, standing close. He either was very professional or fully unaware.

"You got it yet?" Hooch's voice was quiet as not to disturb that goddamned tape measure, "or want me to bend over?" A sudden devil-may-care attitude came over him.

The shop assistant flushed, and the way he removed the tape measure again didn't seem quite as professional now. "That … erm, is all. Are you looking for a loose or a somewhat tighter fit?"

Vadim couldn't help it, he had to laugh, the words just invited being read entirely wrong. "I'd say, tight", he ventured.

"Definitely tight." Hooch dead-panned.

The shop assistant seemed a bit flustered still, but pointed Hooch towards a shelf with shirts. "I would recommend these. It depends what kind of sleeve you want, Sir, and of course the colour."

"Has to go with the dark suits." Pointing once again to the black and the charcoal ones. "Make me look like James Bond."

The shop assistant looked at Hooch, eyes wide, rabbit and snake and all that, then needed a full three seconds before he remembered what he was supposed to be doing, and quickly moved to the shelf, selecting a number of shirts, checking their sizes and makes. "You may … want to try these on", he said, wrestling with professionalism, which, Vadim thought, was incredibly endearing. Hooch could have that guy, he was perfectly ready to do whatever Hooch might ask of him.

"Yeah," Hooch indicated a nod. He took the black suit and the stack of shirts, vanishing in the changing room. A while later, he re-emerged. The collar of the shirt was open, allowing the brace room. The suit was okay, but merely okay, it didn't move along the lines of his body as it should. "Not tight enough."

The shop assistant fought to keep an even face, not looking at Hooch's eyes directly, trying very hard to focus. "We … there's a different brand. Please. I'll go and find a different cut."

Vadim smiled when the young guy rushed off, and got up. He leaned in to murmur into Hooch's ear. "An artist at work. This guy an opportunity, Hooch?"

Hooch raised a brow. "Could be. Too knocked up, though." He turned fully so he could face Vadim. Standing too close for mere buddies. "I have a deal to offer you. He's not part of it."

"Okay. Whatever it is, I take it."

Hooch let out a faint snort, turning all the way back round again when the eager sales assistant appeared with another suit.

"I'll try that one." Hooch conceded and vanished once more in the changing room, from where he called out a while later, "can someone help?"

The shop assistant looked at Vadim, not sure what to do, and Vadim joined Hooch in the changing room.

"Buttons." Hooch commented dryly. "Defeated by fucking buttons."

"Defeated in the nicest way possible", murmured Vadim, closing the shirt buttons for him, enjoying the warm skin under his fingers. "Much better. You shouldn't gain any weight, and this will be really nice."

"No chance to gain anything on my next mission, except for parasites and sunburn."

"And there's that." Closing the last one, then reaching for the jacket, Vadim helped Hooch into it, stepping behind him to look into the mirror.

Hooch turned around and looked at himself. "Better." He announced, then stepped out of the changing room to where the sales assistant was waiting. "What you think?" The suit was sharply cut, the material exquisite, and it moved along the hard lines of Hooch's body in all the right ways.

"It was clearly made for you, Sir." The young man's hands were closed, almost fists, betraying the tension. But if he was seeking control, he had already lost, as he was up against Hooch. "Will it be anything else, Sir?"

"Yeah," Hooch quirked the brow of his good eye, "I want a black one for special occasions." Stepping closer to the shop assistant. "Really special. You get me?"

Again three seconds before the shop assistant managed to do so much as blink at Hooch. Vadim assumed that his nerves were extremely slow-firing, three seconds was excessive, but he was a civilian, after all. "Of course, Sir." Heading off to bring a black suit of the same make, and laying it out for Hooch. Eyes on the suit, not on the man.

"Thanks, buddy." Hooch returned to the changing room, on his own for a while, before he called out for help once more. "Getting stuck here …" When rescue came, he was standing in little more than a pair of briefs, trousers caught around his ankles, and unable to see what he was doing when he bent over, his head held up too high. Vadim bit down hard on the grin, but he dressed Hooch, trousers, shirt, then jacket, smoothing the cloth over Hooch's frame. "I did mention what suits make me want to do … didn't I?"

"And I did mention the deal, didn't I?" Hooch turned to face Vadim.


"What you think?"

"Makes me want to get some of those, too." Vadim grinned.

"That'll do for a wedding?" Hooch cocked the good brow.

"Absolutely. Who's getting married?" It slipped out, but on the other hand, they'd entered a stage where asking personal questions wasn't as bad. Not that Hooch couldn't still brush him off.

"Not me." Hooch suddenly flashed a grin that almost split his face. Entirely uncharacteristic and unexpected.


"Sister. I'm sick of wearing uniform." Hooch took a step back, turning slowly, then walking out of the changing room to allow the sales assistant to get an eyeful, too, who flattered him, stating it was a good fit, certainly a good look, Sir, and whether he could do anything else for him.

"My buddy wants a suit, too." Turning around, Hooch glanced at Vadim, before he retreated back into the changing room to take the suit off and to look over a range of shoes the assistant had brought.


Vadim got the tour of the shop again, looking at brands and the shop assistant seemed to find some of his confidence back when Vadim indicated that, yes, price wasn't what he was going for, and that they could speak German, something which seemed to surprise the young man. Vadim quickly decided which make he wanted and knew the size of his neck, of course. It didn't take long until he'd found a very dark blue suit that he liked, and a grey pinstripe that seemed serious, but fitted him very nicely. He spent more time on finding the shirts, and the ties, adding a little pile of cufflink boxes to that.

Hooch had gone outside to smoke a cigarette, then came back and sat down on one of the chairs, occasionally glancing up and otherwise flicking through a couple of magazines, which clearly did not catch his interest. He didn't look bored, though, instead blessed with infinite patience, as he sat as comfortably as he could, good eye half-closed. Dozing lightly while waiting for Vadim, who got his attention when he held a pair of cufflinks under his nose. Black obsidian, simple but polished to a gleam.

"You telling me I should buy those?"

"No, I'm asking whether you'd wear them if I got them for you."

"Yeah, and longer lasting than roses." Hooch let out a dry huff of laughter. "Thanks."

Vadim chuckled. "I don't do roses", he said, mimicking Hooch's way of saying that, then indicated for the shop assistant to start wrapping and bagging and running the totals for both piles.

Hooch stood at the counter, not even blinking when it came to paying the considerable sum, using a credit card that was gladly accepted by the sales assistant, who looked equally disappointed and glad to see them leave. A notion that Hooch ignored, like most things that were not of direct interest to him. Waiting for Vadim to pay his pile and get hold of his own assortment of bags, Hooch turned fully towards the assistant. "Where's the nearest public phone?"

"Just down the street. Turn left", the shop assistant said, opening the door for them.

Vadim nodded his thanks and they were back on the street. "I was wrong. You also got a healthy sadistic streak."

Hooch had to turn round fully to glance at Vadim, once again the good brow quirked up. "Do I?" He made a passable go at an utterly innocent and surprised look.

Vadim laughed. "Yeah. Never mind. Takes one to find one." He briefly placed his hand on Hooch's shoulder, to direct him to the phone he'd spotted, but also to touch him. "Over there."

Hooch made a movement as if he were about to glance at the hand, but it was aborted, because it would have been impossible anyway. "Give me a moment." With that he was off to the public phone. Inside, he was looking through the phone book, then fished for change and made a call. All in all it took no longer than ten minutes before he came back out.

" We need to be back in town at seven for dinner."

"Good idea." Vadim checked the time, slightly amused at Hooch's quick and efficient way to deal with anything. No-nonsense, and at the same time very considerate. "That's plenty of time. We could lock in the bags in the train station, and have a look what we can find in the toy shop."

Hooch indicated a stiff nod. "Figure we need a more specialised shop." Heading off into the direction of the train station. He was walking through Berlin as if he knew the place, even though he was only there for the second time. Orientation skills honed to perfection, particularly in an urban environment.

Vadim followed, not surprised when Hooch had the train station located just a bit later. Once they'd locked in the bags, he looked at Hooch. "Any idea where to find the specialist? I guess you could sweet-talk the shop assistant in that other shop to give you the details of the competition."

"What makes you think I could sweet-talk her?" An amused gleam became visible in Hooch's eye, "appealing to her sympathy for the poor invalid who had a 'car accident' in between buying more sex toys?" The amusement became more evident.

"Okay. Let's do another shop." Vadim really didn't want to be seen as the one who'd fucked Hooch up like that. "Don't want any accusing looks."

Hooch shrugged and grinned, heading towards a set of dingy looking side streets, having a knack for picking up the atmosphere of places. He was right, because it became obvious after a moment that they'd landed in the red light district.

"Just don't like advertising what I do in the bedroom", Vadim murmured, glancing around.

"Understandable." Walking along the road and the windows that advertised the 'wares', Hooch had an uncanny ability to be left alone by doormen who tried to drag punters in, while at the same time avoiding to be hassled. Strangely blending in without appearing invisible, a presence that was oddly forbidding, and with him Vadim, in association. They made it to the end of the street, and found in a corner what they had been looking for. A shop whose window displayed every bit of kinky gear imaginable.

"Different generation, clearly." Vadim took a deep breath and entered the shop. The first thing he noticed was a smell of leather, silicone and plastics. While his eyes adjusted to the gloom inside, he could make out that at least half the shop was about clothes, but crammed in every space imaginable was a lot of 'gear': gags, dildos, lots of steel and leather. "Okay", he murmured.

"What about that: you choose, I pay."

Vadim stepped closer to some of the stuff and looked at it, figuring out what to do with it. Some was labelled, some had photos and left nothing to the imagination. Other stuff he could guess - other pieces were completely alien. He found things he wanted to try, though. Nipple clamps. He wanted to find out whether Hooch's were as sensitive as his. A more solid-looking blindfold next, larger than the flimsy thing they had. What else? There were more ropes, but Vadim thought of the state of Hooch's wrists and went for wrist and ankle cuffs, again fairly solid-feeling, heavy, and padded. Remembering the guys from Glasgow, he added cockrings, curious what they'd feel like and what Hooch would think of them. And there were chains that could connect the cuffs and various other pieces, placing them onto the counter, and feeling strange about it.

Hooch didn't look at the pile of toys, deliberately so, leaned closer to the sales person instead. "I'll pay. Just pack the things up. Got a couple more things to add." The shop assistant nodded, started to tally up the count, that was quite hefty - supply and demand. Hooch went back along the rows and picked up a whip with a flat end. Sturdy and flexible, then lingering no more than a second over an implement of leather, steel and chains, with weights attached. The picture left nothing to the imagination how this should be used, with the weights hanging from the parachute and pulling down the scrotum. He remembered vaguely that something like that had been used on him, but the memory of the encounter had become a blur of pain and need. He was curious, but not this time. There'd be opportunities for another encounter, he figured. Placing the whip onto the counter beside the packed bag, he turned fully to glance at Vadim with a half-cocked smile. "All?"

Vadim looked at the whip. "From my end." Okay. He'd try that out. Hooch clearly meant to be at the receiving end. "It's your body."

"No, not when I'm prisoner." Hooch turned back to the sales assistant and paid for his purchases, in cash this time, with a stash he kept in the back of his wallet. Clearly, he had a fairly good idea of what should and what shouldn't show up on his credit card bill. Besides, the shop wasn't the type that accepted plastic. "Get kebab at the station?" He'd spotted the place even though it had been out of the way.

"Yeah. I'll pay the food." The bill was fairly awe-inspiring, Vadim thought, especially after he'd seen the clothes he could get for a similar amount. Heading out, he again just followed Hooch. "What's the offer - or deal you're offering?"

"I'll tell you over dinner." Hooch grinned the customary half-grin, then headed off towards the kebab place, where they got doners with garlic sauce and chillies, before taking the bags out of storage and making their way once more back to Potsdam and the bungalow. Hooch - all the way - being in a rare mood, which could almost be described as sunny, except that Vadim knew it had to be anticipation.

When they got back to the bungalow, Hooch spread the clothes purchases out on the bed. "I'd go for the elegant one. You'll like where we'll eat."

"I'll have a good shave first." Checking the time. "Shower, then a coffee and getting dressed. And we should be fine for seven." Elegant. That was fine with him. He relished the thought, in fact, of this 'Yank' who knew about the good life, and seemed far more cultured than he'd have given any American credit for. He began to strip. "You planning to keep the anticipation?"

"Yeah." Pulling the brace off, Hooch rolled his neck and shoulders, rubbing at the back to ease some of the tension. "I'll get myself ready." 'Ready' meant more than a simple shave.

"Bathroom is all yours. I'll just make a quick call." He headed back into the kitchen, while Hooch was in the bathroom, as usual leaving the door slightly ajar.

Vadim dialled Dan's number, which rang a couple of times, before a member of the embassy staff picked up. Since this was the private number, it became soon clear who he was and that Mr McFadyen was in with Her Ladyship, but would be called to the phone immediately, and it should not take longer than a few minutes, and to please wait.

As promised, not much later, Dan's voice was heard, with unmistakable amusement in it. "I take it you are entertained well?"

"Hi Dan, good to hear your voice, too", Vadim murmured. "No, I'm not bored. Too busy spending money in Berlin. You'd be bored to tears."

"Somehow I don't quite believe that." Dan's smile was audible, and then a shuffle and the sound of a cigarette being lit. He took his time before saying anything else. "How is Hooch?"

"Starts to relax. Latest mission was hard on him, I guess. Takes him something to come down." Vadim kept an eye on the corridor for Hooch, then began to start a coffee. "Are you okay? Enjoying your holidays?"

"Aye, not doing much else than gym, pool, sunning, drinking fine booze and eating good food. And excellent company of course." Dan paused, "would you tell me I'm a bimbo if I told you I miss you?"

"No. I miss you, too." And he did. Would be good to be reunited, he thought. "Why don't you head out to the States, meet Matt? And join me here in a week? I could show you Berlin. This place is nice, good place to unwind. Not quite Dubai, but you'll like it."

"You really do want to parcel me off to Matt, aye?" Dan chuckled, a low rumbling sound. "I wonder what that means."

"Means I feel guilty for enjoying this." Vadim murmured in Russian, reasonably sure that Hooch didn't speak it. "I miss you, but I want you to have fun, okay?"

"Are you in love with him?" Out of the blue, while Dan stuck to English. Not feeling the need to switch, or not wanting to, unsure why.

"I care about him." Vadim's brow was furrowed. "I don't know what the feeling is, I haven't thought about it. Maybe like you and Jean."

"Jean's a friend, I'm not in love with him." The smile was back in Dan's voice. "As long as you're not in love with the man, then why feel guilty because you're having fun? Besides, I've been thinking … if you did fall in love with someone else there would be pretty little I could do." He suddenly chuckled, "except for ripping your guts out, cutting your balls off and stuffing them down your throat, of course."

"Charming way to say you're jealous." Vadim gave a soft laugh, and noticed the faint but good coffee smell spread in the kitchen.

"I'm not!" Dan protested, too quickly to be entirely believable. "Just … damn, I remember I told you I'd never be separated from you again. Now that I am I don't fucking like it." No anger in his voice though, instead a long slow exhale of smoke.

"It's Berlin, not East Berlin. Strange. They can't reach me here. I think they should have forgotten about me by now. So, no risk." Vadim inhaled deeply. "But I get you. Strange situation, isn't it?"

"Aye, but a fair one." Dan smiled.

"Is that the new rules … we spend time with friends every now and then?"

"I don't like rules. You know me, irreverent bastard and all that." Inhaling smoke, pausing, "but I figure if I want to shag others you can do the same. I wasn't made for monogamy, doesn't keep me from missing you, though. And occasionally wondering, when I have too much time on my hands - and I have a lot of time here."

"I can imagine …" Fair was fair, Vadim thought. Not that he wanted half as many men as Dan wanted. He might see how attractive they were, but he didn't actually go out of his way to make a move on them. Might have to do with what Dr Williams had said. He had to be careful with people. He didn't have to be careful with Hooch, though. This man relished what he gave him. "What are you wondering?"

"That I was just asking for a taste of my own medicine, aye?" Dan chuckled, then another sound and shuffle, as he put out the cigarette. "As for Matt, I've booked the flight, but he's only got three days. How long do you need me to be away?"

Hooch had come out of the bathroom, unseen and unheard, and retreated once more, silently closing the door, to give privacy.

"Hooch has a week. You're welcome to join us, or join me when you come back."

"That wasn't what I asked."

"I don't need you to be away, Dan." Vadim frowned. "Having the week here is good, but you're welcome to join us or me when you return from Matt. No problem. Just leave me a phone number."

A small pause, before Dan replied, "I'll be there on Tuesday, then." The day after Hooch had to leave. "I'll let you know which plane I get, aye?"

"Okay. I look forward to it." Vadim smiled. "Especially regarding the reunion sex."

"Just don't get too worn out." Dan grinned audibly, "not sure about me, I have to deal with an insatiable kid, but I'll do my best."

"I'll be fine … I'll have a day at least. … It's what, eight or five hours flight? Plus the time at the airport. Plenty of opportunity to recover."

Dan chuckled, "I'll be off Thursday night, you got Matt's number, and if you don't, I'm sure Hooch has. You have fun, aye? And tell him he's a lucky man to get you."

Vadim felt his throat tighten. "I will. You enjoy the kid. I'll head for the shower, then we'll be off to a restaurant in Berlin."

"A fancy one?" The grin became more and more audible.

"He requested I should wear the most elegant thing I have." Vadim laughed. "If you bring a suit I might take you there, too. The waiters will be shocked, if I show up with two absolute stunners within a week."

Dan laughed out loud. "Figures! Well, I'll see what I can do, for good food I might even get myself into a suit. Unless you make me buy another one."

"Not sure I want to be that cruel to a certain shop assistant."

Chuckling, Dan answered, "enjoy, Russkie, and I won't say 'think of me', because that would be fucking stupid and I wouldn't do it if I were in your place." His voice sounded warm. "I'll talk to you when I talk to you. For now, have a good time." Adding, in Russian, "love you, bastard."

"Love you, lapushka."

Dan's tender laugh was heard before the phone was put down.

It took a couple of minutes before the bathroom door opened and Hooch reappeared, wearing a towel around his hips. "Everything alright?"

Vadim nodded, smiling. "He's just this side of jealous."


"Because I normally don't do this. I'm not that interested in most men. I'm interested in you, though."

"Sex, kink, me?"

"All three." Vadim pursed his lips. "And he says I should tell you you're lucky to have me. Otherwise, nothing much. I mean, he does it all the time."

"Being jealous? Or taking opportunities?"

"Taking opportunities. Sometimes creating opportunities, like with Beauvais."

Hooch nodded, "no different to me, then." A sudden grin lit up his bruised face, "don't forget matchmaking opportunities. I'd never have fucked a jarhead if he hadn't set us up."

"There's that. Seems he thought you'd be a good pair, sex-wise. Not that I think Matt plays quite as hard as you do, but he is damned pretty."

Hoch grinned, "no, Matt doesn't play hard. He's so damned wholesome, he makes me forget all the shit." He shrugged, "nothing can touch that kid, don't think he'll ever turn bitter. And yeah, he's 'pretty'." Giving a huff of a laugh, Hooch pointed at the clock in the hallway. "Let's get ready?"

"Yeah. Shower and shave." Vadim headed into the bathroom for a spot of 'grooming', shaving, and a quick shower, used some lotion after the shave. He then went for the dark blue suit, white shirt, cufflinks, and found the polished dark shoes in the wardrobe.

Hooch had been dressing in the other room to have more space, and when he finally came out, he was almost completely dressed, in black suit and silk tie, with the brand new gleaming shoes and the obsidian cufflinks. Shirt still open and tie loose, he held the neck brace in his hand. "Accident victim?" Raising the good brow with an amused grin.

"I don't think it detracts from your attraction", Vadim murmured. "I like how that straightens your neck. Weird."

"Reminds you of a collar?"

"Yeah. It does." Vadim brushed his suit with his hands, enjoying the smooth, elegant fit. "But I think it might not be great for eating. So, as long as we keep your wrists bandaged, you should still be respectable."

"Does the strangulation show?" Hooch stood still for Vadim to close his shirt and adjust the tie, while checking if the marks were visible.

"The collar rides fairly high. You should be okay if you don't move your head too much. And if it shifts, I'll gesture." Vadim brought a hand up to his tie, straightening it. "Like this."

"How are they going to believe I am not just another domestic violence victim?"

"You don't look like a victim. You don't feel like a victim." Vadim grinned. "But you can wear that thing if you want to. Or I drop a remark about the car's insurance."

"Drop that remark." Hooch grinned back. "I called a taxi earlier, it should be here any minute."

And it was, turning up not much later. When they had settled in, the driver asked for the destination and Hooch answered, "Hotel Kempinski." Leaning back and flashing a half-grin at Vadim.

Vadim glanced at Hooch. "Nice." With clear appreciation. "And all I did was cook some steaks … not sure it's a fair compensation …"

"You gave me what I needed - and more." Hooch leaned to the side, the light of the street lamps threw his face into distorting shadows. "But let's get to the deal over dinner."

"Okay." Vadim couldn't help it, and reached over to touch Hooch's thigh, resting his hand there for several long moments. They sat in silence, each man deep in thoughts. Vadim mainly thinking about what to expect, what would happen next. And thinking of Hooch's body taking his cock any way he wanted him to. Hooch's face twisted in pain, but lust just as strong. He needed to think something else, quickly, but neither was thinking of Dan particularly helpful.

Hooch leaned back into the seat, eye half-closed, as the darkening city moved past them. They arrived well in time, and he paid the driver, before getting out of the taxi in front of the splendid building with its footman at the top of the steps that led into the establishment. Hooch adjusted his collar and tie, making sure his neck was covered, before glancing at Vadim with that small smile of his. The footman held the door open, greeting them with a bow, and they walked into the foyer. Taking in the elegant furnishings, as they steered towards the restaurant, where a maitre d' was ever so politely enquiring about their reservations, without even twitching an eye at Hooch's appearance.

Vadim took in the surroundings, distinguished and relaxed at the same time. People who dined here did so regularly and didn't seem particularly aware of the sophistication. Accepting it as a given. He followed the maitre d' who escorted them to their table, which was set into a quiet corner.

Hooch ordered aperitifs for both of them, before opening the menu to peruse the selection. "Buddy of mine told me to come here. Jeff, team member, his ex-wife dragged him across Europe some time ago."

"Very impressed." Vadim glanced at the prices and calculated them into pound sterling, comparing them to what he'd paid for other things so far. "I might drag Dan here." Grinning.

"Because he'd hate it?" Hooch smirked, good humoured.

"Yeah. Too much choice." Vadim indicated the menu. "Sounds all great."

"Better than rations. Not sure, though, if it'll be as good as the first bite after starving for days."

"That's one way to see it."

The aperitifs were brought, and Hooch took a sip, before studying the menu once more, finally deciding on a starter and main course. "Want to choose the wine?"

"Okay." Scanning the wine card when it was brought, they all sounded good, and Vadim asked the waiter which one he recommended. Going with the recommendation, he tried the wine and nodded, feeling somewhat self-conscious, while enjoying the ritual. How many levels away from Afghanistan or Kuwait. Or any other shithole they might end up in. Yugoslavia. Charming place.

They ordered their food, and Hooch made an appreciative sound over the wine. Spending a while in silence, which was nothing but comfortable. He had been talking more than usual, and being silent was his natural way. Relaxing in the comfort of Vadim's presence, until their first course was brought, which turned out to be exquisitely presented and delicious.

"You want to know the deal or eat first?" Hooch looked at Vadim over his food.

Vadim nodded, determined to make this food last, eating small bites, chewing with relish. "The deal. But I'm pretty sure that after this, I won't be able to not agree to whatever you want."

"I want you to take me prisoner." Deadpanned. "For two days and nights. No fight, no overpowering necessary. You'll have me, and you know I don't play."


Eating a forkful, Hooch kept looking at Vadim. "If I'm not healed up by next week I'm in deep shit. Can't afford any more injuries, but …" leaning closer, "I want you to show me my limits."

Vadim managed to swallow the bite of food, then looked at Hooch intently. "No visible signs", he repeated. "But serious." Prisoner. A game with very few rules. Safer than if anybody else did it, he thought. That answered the question 'why me?' "And no game." Vadim took a mouthful of the wine. "You think that will last you for a while? Because - I'd rather know you're safe … well, 'safe' when you're leaving."

"I'm leaving for a stint at Fort Bragg, then off to another shithole. No time not to be 'safe'." Taking another piece onto his fork, Hooch half-grinned. "After the two days and nights, all's fair. If I win, I get to fuck you, and vice versa. Sex. Fun. The other stuff."

Vadim nodded. The other stuff. Two more days to feed the darker craving, and then fun and games for the rest of the week. Hooch knew exactly what he wanted, and also how to get it. "I wonder if I should ask or whether you want me to guess … how you want to be treated. What presses your buttons. Authority, I get that, but … any more hints are welcome."

Hooch lowered his head while moving food onto his fork. Dark lashes shadowing his eyes. When his face came back up, he was so close, he didn't need to do more than murmur. "Pain. Nipples, cock and ball torture. Whipping. Humiliation. I want to know if I get off on it."

Vadim felt it was getting too warm in the room. "I'll do my best … to get you off, too." He smiled, feeling somewhat apprehensive. "I haven't done it like that, but I'm sure I can work it out."

"You're a natural, because you understand." Hooch drawled, voice low, before leaning back and finishing his starter. The wine was excellent, it was flowing freely, and by the time the main course arrived, they were onto the second bottle. The room was, indeed, getting warmer. "What you been doing with Dan?" The silent understanding that if Vadim did not want to, he didn't have to answer.

"We sometimes play." Keeping his voice low. It was surreal to discuss this here, but Vadim didn't mind, there was enough privacy. "But it's a game. With our history, Dan … wouldn't have it any other way. Sometimes he submits, but that's a game. I know if I force it too much, he'll snap and makes me feel it. That means it can never turn very serious. There's always … some safety barrier. I can be grateful that he allows me to fuck him. For years, that was a complete no-go area. That's fine, I … like getting fucked, so it was usually me. Most of the time, we have 'vanilla' sex. Passionate, rough sometimes, because I enjoy it rough. He can drive me up the wall when he fucks me slow, on our sides. I can't … cum when he doesn't give me a hand or something. He uses that against me …. Sometimes, I get tied up, but that's it. One thing he does is have some other guy fuck me while he watches. His friends, like Jean. Or Beauvais." Vadim inhaled deeply, while Hooch's full attention was on him. "But there's … something very dark in me. One time, when I was on patrol in Afghanistan, and I left the group only to shit, he jumped me, fucked me against a rock. I was the team leader. My patrol was easily within ear shot. And we weren't friends then, it was fucking dangerous, but it blew my mind. I wanted that. I wanted to be overpowered … and not asked what I wanted or whether it was good for me or anything like that. And maybe, after all these years … that would keep it fresh. Don't want either of us to get bored, you know?"

"I understand." Hooch regarded Vadim for a moment, his hand dropped under the table to adjust himself. The effect on him all too obvious, and thankful for the table linen. "Do you want me to do for you what you do for me?"

Vadim smiled, accepting that he was turned on, knowing that Hooch was deliberately building expectation and need. "You're not made of that. You wouldn't get anything out of it."

"I can do anything, and for a friend I would."

Vadim studied Hooch's face, his eyes, knowing Hooch would do whatever it took. Likely detached, though, going through the motions. Which, in a way, would make it unreal, would be an act, not lovemaking or sex or whatever that kind of thing was called best. "I'm not sure, Hooch. After the sessions courtesy of the KGB, I am not sure how I'll respond. There was a man, an interrogator, who dismantled me … he took me apart like you or I would take an AK apart in no time. Some other doctor reassembled me, but I keep thinking some of the parts … you know, are broken? They fill their space, but I'm not sure how much strain I want to put on them. The things he did … the constant beating, sleep deprivation, the way he got at me from all sides … they are very hard to accept. Sometimes, during sex, they come back. Then I feel the whole amount of shame and … wanting to die … and I feel like I'm about to vomit. I'm not sure I can risk it. Because that kind of humiliation isn't erotic. I have no idea what happens if you'd put strain on that old AK."

Hooch said nothing, placed his cutlery down and dabbed his lips with the starched napkin. Looking at Vadim for a long moment. His dark eyes were slightly shielded, but even so, the compassion and understanding was visible. "That's Dan's job, then."

Vadim inhaled deeply. "It's not that I don't trust you. I do. I want to play rough, but … I don't want you to do it for my sake, and I'm not sure how much of it I can take. Dan has a way to get me there, but I don't know how. And it's nowhere near what you like and do."

"It's because he loves you." Hooch smiled the customary half-quirk. "You've got history." He nodded, picking his cutlery up again, "it's that simple."

"I guess that's true." He'd sworn it a hundred times. But at the same time, Vadim hoped that Hooch didn't mind that. Besides, what were the rules of such a situation. He cared about him. He trusted him. He wanted him. He felt fully at ease with Hooch and he was looking forward to being alone with him again. "We've come too far. Got the worst of each other, and now the best, too."

"Part of me envies you. Part of me freaks out." Hooch continued to eat, before raising his glass, gazing at the wine, then taking a sip.

"You're, what? Ten, twelve years younger than I am? Plenty of time to form a habit and then a relationship with some guy."

"Yeah, but I'd rather skip torture, scars, and insanity." Hooch grinned.

Vadim laughed. "Best hint: Don't sleep with an enemy."

"Anyone could be an enemy." Hooch took another sip.

"I don't understand."

"You go out to get yourself fucked and instead you get fucked up." Hooch shrugged, "forget it." Raising his glass once more to clink it against Vadim's. "Want another bottle?"

"Yeah, why not." Vadim chose a hot sweet apple pastry dish for dessert, served with ice cream. He'd better go jogging tomorrow, after he'd slept off the wine. Easy to shed the discipline, he thought. "But if you want to wrestle for the top position, I'd be more than happy to oblige you."

"Wrestle?" Hooch had chosen the cheese platter and was leaning back, fresh glass in hand.

"Yes. Wrestle. No punches, no kicks, just wrestling. I might tell you the story of the Tajik that wrestled me when I was stationed near the Afghan border. It's their national sport or something, very silly of me to take the bet, but I was bored and a bit drunk. I ended up underneath him, all limbs that can be locked were locked, and he knew I was hard, but there was no way I'd let him fuck me - I was too stupidly proud … - so we continued to struggle, and he brought me off that way."

"You get off like that?"

"It had been a long time since I'd had sex, and half the fun was the fact that ... well, I'm as Russian as you can be, and we have that … superiority complex if it comes to non-Russians. The Soviet Union was as multiethnic as you can make any place, but the Russians always thought they were the best. Plus, I was an officer and he was just a soldier. I guess the double humiliation did it, too."

Hooch considered the idea, "I'll take that challenge, but not tonight." The dessert came, and it was as heavenly as the rest, going beautifully with the wine, which had both men tipsier than expected. "You know what completely threw me when it happened the first time?" Tongue loosened, Hooch grinned, "getting fucked really hard by some nameless freak, wanting to either scream or puke my guts out. That's when I came. Just like that. Completely blew my head off."

Vadim nodded. "I'd take that challenge."

"I bet." Hooch bit a piece off his cracker and cheese. "I wonder if I can cum with pain and fucking alone. No touching."

"Want me to try?"

"Yeah, and no risk you kill me for real." He managed to produce a grin, finishing off his glass of wine. "But I'm not sure about the latter if we don't get back soon."

"Well, wave the penguin over and pay." Vadim grinned.

Hooch huffed a laugh but did exactly that, and after he'd paid, they finished their desserts and the wine, and had a taxi called for them. Standing in the foyer, well tipsy, which made the situation all the worse, especially for Hooch, who wasn't sure if he should try to piss or will his hard-on down in any other way. He stood close to Vadim, far too close, their bodies touching all the way, and he didn't give a damn. On the contrary, when an extremely well dressed middle-aged couple entered the hotel, and looked disapprovingly at them, he suddenly felt a devil-may-care attitude, and ostentatiously ran his hand down the middle of Vadim's back, until it rested on his backside, copping a feel. And Vadim, being drunk, didn't care enough to be mortified.

"Shit, I'm horny." Hooch murmured into Vadim's ear.

"Same here." Vadim pursed his lips. "You think we'd get a room in this place? Maybe a double or twin or whatever they are called?"

"With all the toys back in the bungalow? No way." The footman waved to them when a taxi pulled up outside. "Besides, I want you to make me scream." Hooch grinned, somewhat drunkenly, and they managed to get into the taxi, with Vadim telling the driver where to go. It didn't take more than two minutes, though, before Hooch leaned close, his hand between Vadim's legs. "Has Germany got a law against illicit behaviour between men in public transport?"

"No … idea. British citizen. Fuck." Vadim groaned when Hooch touched him. He'd wanted that all day, but had known that he'd had to save it for the 'game' later. Hooch going so recklessly at him confused him, dizzied him, or it was the alcohol. It was good to be taken by surprise. He managed to lean forward. "Driver", he said, pretty clearly. "You get a hundred extra if you don't look into the rear, right? Just ignore us."

The driver glanced into his mirror, then nodded. "Okay." Firmly taking his eyes back onto the road.

Hooch chuckled low, a husky sound, leaning even closer while his hand kneaded Vadim's cock through the trousers. "You going to keep me tied up? Night and day? Make me wear that butt plug? Make me suck you, on my knees? Use my cock until I scream into the gag?" Leaning down, he sucked on Vadim's neck, the spot right above the shirt collar.

Vadim couldn't hold back the groans, reaching around to Hooch's shoulder and pressing him closer, shifting, couldn't get enough contact, felt ridiculously relaxed about kissing Hooch - another man! - in the backseat of a taxi, with the poor driver likely shocked and disgusted, but he didn't care. For once. Alcohol was the likely explanation. He had no idea what was taking him there, apart from the bloody need. His hand on Hooch's cock, the touch light because he kept getting distracted, tongues fighting, the heat just rising and rising. They wouldn't manage to make it to the bed. He had no idea how they'd even get through the door.

Hooch was so hard when the car slowed down eventually and they pulled up in front of the bungalow, that he was ready to cum with just another touch. Letting out a frustrated sound, he moved away, searching for his wallet, but too horny to find it. "Shit."

Vadim managed to find his wallet, though, grinning brightly at the driver, handing him the money and the hundred marks bill extra. "Thanks." It was nice to be able to pay for such liberties, and knowing, of course, that the poor driver had seriously earned the extra cash. He turned towards the bungalow, fiddling with his keys, while Hooch really wasn't helping, running his hands all over Vadim's ass, until he finally found the key and managed to get the door open, both stumbling inside.

Hooch just about kicked the door closed, when he pulled off his jacket, flung it across the low table in the hallway, no matter how expensive the suit had been, and was working on loosening his tie and shirt, while toeing his shoes off. Back against the door, he could feel Vadim close, Vadim pressing in to kiss and touch all over his body, grinding up against him and trying hard to lose his suit as well, at least managing to open his trousers and push them down. Kissing the strangulation marks, sucking on them - not hard enough to create more blemishes, but hard enough to be felt, and Hooch groaned, hit his head back against the door, while ripping the tie off. Managing to get the last of the shirt buttons open, he bared his chest, throat, his whole body. For Vadim to take, to use.

He almost tore the belt out of the loops when he opened it, fingers working on the fly of his trousers, pushing them down together with the briefs. He couldn't step out of them, though, pinned against the door by the weight of Vadim's body.

Vadim just barely remembered the game they had agreed on, and it was fucking hard, because he was torn between two instincts - one was to grind against Hooch, keeping him pinned against the door, the other was to turn him around and fuck him, but the latter one was impossible without lube, oil, lotion, whatever, and it was even more impossible to stop and separate to get to the bath- or bedroom. Still, Vadim pushed himself away, just enough to breathe for a few seconds. "Down. On … your knees", he murmured, taking Hooch by the neck and half-forcing him down.

"Fuck!" Hooch protested, struggled, but the fight was born out of his need to get off, nothing else. Once down, on the cold, hard floor, he twisted to pull his trousers, briefs and socks off. Naked and needing, yet he remembered that this was what he wanted. Prisoner. Thing. Used, and his head moved forward, taking Vadim's cock deep, with more reckless gusto than ever.

Vadim groaned, deeply, mind blanking with the touch that was so fucking needed, and he knew he wouldn't last that long, wouldn't be able to tease Hooch and just wait, no, he needed to get off now - and keep Hooch interested and needy because that was part of the game. He grinned, taking Hooch's head and forcing him to take him deeper, which the Delta did, with uncanny skill.

Gagging reflex suppressed with his own need to cum, Hooch pulled his hands back, forced his throat to relax and his whole body just to take, and he almost came when Vadim started to fuck his throat roughly, leaving him no way out. Keeping him there, head controlled with both hands, Vadim moving quickly and with force, letting go of his need and when he came, he forced Hooch to take him all the way. Twitching cock buried deep in Hooch's throat, who couldn't swallow, gagging on the intrusion, and still just taking it.

Just a few deep, fast breaths, Vadim then managed to pull himself back together, pulled free and took Hooch's throat with one hand, not too much force, but showing off some of his strength. He half pulled, half pushed Hooch with him to the bedroom, who followed, had no choice, unless he tried to fight, and that was not an option.

Vadim released him near the bed. "Stay on your knees." He found the blindfold first, while Hooch gained balance on his knees, and slipped it over Hooch's eyes, adjusting it, and covering up most bruises, then the padded handcuffs. Hooch's wrists were bandaged, but even so, these ones wouldn't hurt. He handcuffed him roughly, arms on his back, pulling Hooch's shoulders back, chest muscles standing out more. Then paused just for a second to look at him, naked, horny, tied, blind. What a piece of art.

Hooch knelt, breathing noisily, but despite being merely handcuffed, he did not move, didn't fight. Prisoner, he'd made a deal, and he always kept his word. Just that he was going insane with the arousal, which was growing worse with the rough treatment and the bondage.

Vadim pushed Hooch's knees apart with his foot, making him more vulnerable, then decided he'd make life more interesting for him. He took the cockring next, took hold of Hooch's cock and balls, and fastened the ring, giving his balls a firm squeeze and pulling on his cock. Playing with it, but roughly, causing Hooch to make noises. Needy, lust-filled groans and, again, the desperate whimper. He didn't beg, but so close, too close. Trying to move towards the hand, hips jerking.

"My, aren't you a needy bitch."

Hooch shuddered and let out another desperate sound.

Vadim grinned, then released the cock that seemed very close to blowing. His hands trailing up to Hooch's nipples that were small and hard, rubbing across them, then taking one between thumb and first finger and twisting it roughly.

Hooch jerked, throwing his head far back into his neck, panting through parted lips. Lips that started to move, as if talking … begging.

That seemed to be the keyword. Vadim reached for the gag, hooked a thumb into Hooch's mouth to pull the jaw open, and slipped the gag in before Hooch could react. Closing it at the back of the man's head. "Shut up, cocksucker." In a low murmur, near his ear. "Nobody cares what you have to say."

Hooch shuddered, making desperate noises into the gag, his skin suddenly gleaming with sweat, when Vadim's hand slid back to the nipples, twisting and pressing and pulling on them. Slow, then harsh, gradually building up, until they were red and felt swollen to the touch. Only then did he add the cold metallic nipple clamps. The very moment the steel bit into tortured flesh, Hooch screamed into the gag, nearly lifting off the floor, ready to fight, because fighting was his first reaction, and Vadim's response was prompt and instinctive. Two slaps to the face, open-handed, not too powerful, he managed to restrain the first, violent urge, when Hooch fell back, breathing through his nose against the pain, the weights on the clamps swinging freely. Nostrils flaring.

"Never upset the captor. Never make him angry. He can destroy you. If you do, he will." Vadim stared into the blind face, tugging at the chain on the clamp that connected them, and Hooch screamed into the gag again, suppressed this time. "It costs me nothing to break you. You don't want me angry."

Hooch became still, very still, did nothing but breathe. A picture of concentration, his whole body tense, muscles in stark relief, but his cock still hard as a rock. Vadim ran his hand through Hooch's hair, took it roughly, pulled back his neck. "Do you understand?" shouted at him from no more than a few inches away, and Hooch jerked at the sudden noise. Disorientated from blindfold and lust. He nodded jerkily, best he could with his head pulled back like that. Never upset the captor. A nod. Yes. Never. He will destroy you. And destruction was above and beyond the lust.

Vadim stepped behind him and pushed him over, until he hit the floor with his chest, not having the use of his hands. "Down." Taking Hooch's hips until they were in the air, on his knees, legs open, cock dangling between them, hard, and Hooch's shoulders supporting his weight. Vadim slapped the presented ass with his bare hand, twice, three times, the slaps too loud in the room, except for the noises that Hooch made when he pushed his hips back and up, towards the hand that was hitting him. The pain and heat on his ass exquisite, each slap a stab of lust, going right through his bound cock and balls, reverberating in his nipples.

"You enjoy this, bitch", Vadim stated, hitting the buttocks again, mesmerized by what this did to Hooch, how responsive he was, how much in lust right now. He reached for the larger of the two dildos, some lube, too, smearing the cold stuff into the crack. Hooch wanted pain. He couldn't relax him much for this. Coating the dildo with lube, too, then took hold of Hooch's hips, holding him firmly as he positioned the dildo and forced it in with considerable strength.

If Hooch had screamed before, the screams were nothing compared to the sounds that were ripped out of his throat now, muffled by the gag. Tensing until his body was nothing but a rock-hard statue, he took the pain and the intrusion with sheer will, until it broke through the barrier, the threshold that separated a masochist from anyone else, and he lost himself completely. Where movement had ceased before, he now recklessly pushed back, towards the dildo, despite the restricted movement trying to force even more inside his body, to take him beyond the bearable. Lust and pain, intricately linked, and Hooch was mindlessly, greedily, taking it all and begging for more.

Vadim loosened the grip, allowing Hooch to move, and began to fuck him rough and deep with the dildo, watching how it slid in and out, feeling how the body accommodated the size, because it had to, and then sped up, knowing he had to ride that peak that came with the pain. Hooch wanted all the intensity he could get, and it wasn't pain any longer, but pain squared with lust.

Hooch was lost, completely. If the gag hadn't had a safety hole, he would have passed out, unable to coordinate his breathing. Nothing but agony, lust, and he suddenly tensed, lifting his whole upper body off the floor, despite the position he was in, and he screamed into the gag; screamed with pain and release, with need and years and years of lust and want and greed and everything he had never been meant to be, as he came so hard, even the cockring did nothing to stop the explosion.

Vadim gently pulled the dildo out, ran his hands down the sweaty flanks, relishing how Hooch shuddered, trembled, and pulled him back up to lean against him. Vadim embraced the man, kissing his sore neck and shoulders, breathing across the sweaty skin. Just holding for a long time, while Hooch was coming down, still now and then wrecked with ever decreasing shudders. Vadim removed the cock ring first, eliciting a small sound, then the nipple clamps, which had a more violent reaction. Hooch doubled over, hissing against the gag. Vadim wanted to keep him like this, and he wondered if that fit into Hooch's idea of the game. Likely not. He reached for the blindfold, but then kept it in place, and then, reluctantly, released him, and stood, looking down at him. The scent still in his nostrils.

Hooch was kneeling once more, lifting his head when Vadim left him, blindly searching for a point of reference, straining to listen for any sound. His chest expanded with each breath, fingers behind his back intertwined.

Vadim got rid of the rest of his clothes, putting them onto one of the chairs, assuming Hooch could place him in a general direction. What now. Getting the prisoner cleaned up would be good, but he'd have to remove the blindfold and the handcuffs if he'd order Hooch to do that by himself - never mind the mess on the carpet - but leaving him like that? He gave it some thought, then took the cuffs off and the bandages, too - he'd need to rebandage those anyway. Hooch remained still, head turning towards the movement and sound, but letting himself get handled. Perhaps not to antagonise, or perhaps he was just too exhausted.

Vadim used rope to tie Hooch up again, then pulled him onto his feet by his hair and dragged him into the bathroom. Hooch followed, like a parcel or a thing, and yet everything but a thing. Even when he was manoeuvred into the tub, despite letting himself being moved like a puppet. Vadim took the shower head to rinse him. The washing wasn't tender, not like he normally would do it - instead businesslike, rough, washing the ass and cock and balls, like Hooch was just meat, and making him move his legs and turn towards the water and soap. Hooch blindly followed, hardy making a sound, except for an occasional hissing intake of breath through the breathing tube. Vadim got him out of the tub again and rubbed him dry, with very little tenderness.

Hooch stood, hair still damp above the blindfold that remained in place. His body warred between relaxed and allowing anything that happened - and being tense, trying to listen to sounds and tracking movement. Standing with his hands back, legs slightly braced, and shivering as if he were cold.

Vadim had to remind himself again that touching and kissing wasn't what Hooch wanted. He seemed to expect something, maybe further pain. "Move." Pushing him roughly back to the bedroom, Hooch stumbled a few times, knocking blindly into doorframes and walls and furniture, until he reached the bedroom, not knowing where he was, but Vadim stopped him and made him bend over. He lubed up the butt plug, and pushed the thing inside, until it sat firmly in its place, and no amount of movement could dislodge it. Hooch groaned into the gag, but Vadim took no notice, instead took the rope off and rebandaged the wrists, only to put them back into the cuffs, but this time in Hooch's front. However, he used a length of rope to tie Hooch's hands to the bedframe, and made sure that the knots were tight enough to resist all fiddling.

Arms stretched out of his head, Hoch lay on his side on the carpet in front of the bed, fully concentrated.

Vadim took one of the covers and placed it over the man on the floor. "You will stay here." He'd much rather have him join him in the bed, but again, that wasn't the game Hooch wanted to play.

Hooch lay still, breathing, an odd sense of acceptance and relaxation about him. Calmness. Stillness. As if the darkness had no space.

* * *

The next two days were the most intense of Hooch's life, far more than any of his deployments. No battlefield, no close combat had ever been as deep-cutting as the combat with himself, and the final acceptance of truths that went all the way to the core. Never again forgetting what he learned about himself during the time, and when the two days and two nights were up, they changed into men once more, who laughed with each other, went sightseeing, supped in good restaurants and enjoyed a drink or two in one of the many bars and cafes. Fun and the 'other stuff', until it was time for Hooch to leave.

Vadim brought him to the airport, and the man who walked through the gates walked with ease and a relaxed grin, raising his hand in greeting as he turned around the corner and out of view.

Special Forces Chapter XXXXIV: Vaterland
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 17 July 2008