|Lizard on the Wall
Author: Guede Mazaka
"Good morning, sir." Straightening up, the man whacked Seth Gecko's hastily-drawn .44 away with a rifle butt, then slammed said gun stock into Seth's head. Crashing back into the rumpled bed, Seth roared into blackness.
The second time he woke that morning, Seth found himself handcuffed to a chair in some rich fuck's office, blood crusted all over his throbbing temple and some other American being tossed around the room in front of him.
Lifting bound hands to wipe the red trickle off his mouth, the skinny-shit, blind!-idiot grinned, entirely too cheerfully, up at the well-dressed Mexican who'd been doing the throwing. "You really shouldn't have done that."
"You shouldn't have killed my men, Mr. Sands," the Armani cocksucker replied coolly, leveling a gun at Sands' head. Already turning away, the spic bastard casually pulled the trigger, sending grey bits and blood splattering over everything: the collapsing corpse on the desk, the floor, Seth.
Flinching from the spray, he coughed and said, as politely as he could manage under the circumstances, "Who the fuck are you?"
"I am Hernando Garcia, and you are dead," the other man replied, wiping thick crimson streaks off his pistol and starting to aim it.
"Like fuck," Seth snapped, trying his damnedest to stay more angry than freaked. "I don't care if you're Cortez with his entire goddamn army. I want to know why. I paid--"
"You paid Barillo's organization," Garcia interrupted. "But Barillo is dead, and so is his only child and heiress. El Rey is my territory now, and I don't like Americans. In fact, I hate them." He leaned closer, adding spittle to the count of bodily fluids dotting Seth's face. "You gringos, you blow up your fucking cities and then you come down here for sanctuary. You come and you bring attention with you. Attention I don't need."
"No shit," agreed a voice. Garcia jerked, then spun around to stare disbelievingly at the man on his desk. The very clearly alive and breathing blind man.
"You-you-" Hernanny-fuck-all stammered, wildly swinging his gun towards Sands as he stumbled backwards.
And then the door behind Seth more or less exploded open. Ducking the splinters, he twisted about just in time to see another Mexican saunter in like he owned the shithole. Which, considering the really, really big pair of guns he was holding, was quite probable.
On the desk, Sands lit up like a trailer-park Christmas tree, filthy and crooked and lewd. "El! You ass-dragging bastard, you missed my resurrection!"
"He shot you?" the newcomer demanded, sounding far from pleased. El's glower wasn't even directed toward Seth, and shivers were rippling down his spine. Well, some still-functioning part of Seth's mind piped up, getting shortchanged with a name like 'The,' it wasn't that surprising that the man would be ticked off. And come to think of it, he had heard of some guy with that name-
//Mary, Mother of God, please protect me//, babbled Garcia, now completely bent around. An inch away from turning those nice crisp tan trousers yellow, he grabbed for Sands.
"Oh, fuck you," the blind…whatever drawled, lobbing a crystal paperweight into Garcia's arm, where it shattered into red fragments. Howling, Garcia staggered away, pistol bouncing back-and-forth between Sands and El.
//You-you're unholy!// the cartel dick screeched. //Damned! Dam-//
"Are we waiting for anything?" Sands inquired tetchily.
Ignoring the panicking Garcia, El crossed the room and helped Sands sit up. "Do you want to shoot him?"
"Thought you'd never ask," Sands smirked, snagging one of those huge pistols from the-the mariachi, Seth's inner tourist guide informed him, upon observing El's odd pants. Too late, Garcia finally steadied his gun. Before he could even find the trigger, six holes in his torso were fountaining blood. "Fuckmook," Sands sniffed. "Getting your brains blown out damn well hurts."
"You're already healed," El noted, combing the other man's hair back to expose a pristine scalp. A blissful smile on his face, Sands abruptly slumped into the mariachi's lean body, mewing as he…as he…Seth's mind gave up, completely unable to register what he was seeing.
His mouth, on the other hand, was apparently even stupider than his stirring dick. "I am NOT watching two fags get it on," he snarled.
"Fine with me," Sands retorted, flipping his borrowed gun to point an enormous black hole at Seth. And suddenly, all those half-remembered bar stories flushed clear of their obscuring tequila haze.
"Christ!" Seth yelped, jolting the chair onto its back two legs. "You! The ex-CIA agent and that mariachi with the guns-oh, fuck!"
El , the legendary conductor of massacres all over Mexico. El and Sands, the two men that had every single cartel from Texas down to Columbia pissing themselves. Who were rumored to be unkillable, and apparently, whoever'd mentioned that hadn't been smoking bad weed.
Frowning, Sands squinted white scars in concentration. "Bojangles? Why am I not shooting him?"
Looking puzzled, El lasered one scorching gaze up and down Seth, who was suddenly very aware of just whose brains were sticking to his face. A damn shame there weren't any towels around. An even worse shame that Seth was chained to a chair that wasn't giving him an inch, without a nice obscuring jacket behind which he could hide. "Vampire," the mariachi murmured, stroking the fingers of one hand along Sands' sharp cheekbones. Still firmly gripping a gun, his other hand slid across the low part of Sands' back to draw the other man closer to him. "He feels a little like them."
"Wha-" Feeling as if someone had glued his eyes to El's dark fire-flickering ones, Seth forcibly got his mind into gear. "Vampires? You go to any odd bars lately?"
"He's in sunlight, right?" Sands asked, leaning into the caresses. He slipped his still-tied wrists over El's neck, keeping the pistol directed toward Seth.
"Yeah, I am," Seth answered hastily, frantically searching for a playable angle. "They didn't bite me. Listen, all I want is a little apartment, a good balcony, and a couple margaritas every evening. So what say you two go…do whatever, and I get back to my retirement pad?"
//El//, called a third voice. Two more mariachis poked their heads in, both heavily armed. The taller, less alcohol-reeking one took one look at Seth, rolled his eyes, and snorted, //Not again. You collect gringos now, or what?//
//Eat your mother's shit//, Sands growled back, bristling as he plastered himself to El. His expression grew decidedly blacker and, well, fucking terrifying. "Mine, you overgrown castrato."
"Fuck you, man. I'd rather screw a cow than El," the other mariachi reflexively hissed. Then confusion passed over his face. "What's a castrato?"
"Lorenzo, I would tell you, but you just insulted me," El muttered, sounding slightly more amused than irritated.
//Oh. Oh, shit, that's not what I-oh, fuck it//, Lorenzo swore violently, smacking the doorframe. //Whatever. Me and Fideo are taking off now, if that's fine. Your stuff is in the car.//
//Okay//, El replied. //Just one thing.//
//Don't kill him yet//, Fideo-by process of elimination-slurred. //She's not happy.//
"Yes, yes, exactly," Seth babbled, not having the slightest clue what he was seconding, except that it would keep him alive. "Never a good idea to upset a woman. Just pass me the keys to these cuffs, and I promise I'll forget this ever happened. You have my word."
"Goddamn, but you're out of it," Sands commented, good humor apparently restored as he draped himself over El's shoulder. "You were here, fuckwit. Doesn't matter that none of the kills are yours; the cartels won't care enough to fact-check before they come after you."
"You want to keep him?" El asked, startled, as he tilted Sands' chin up to regard his companion's pale face.
"Hell, no. Not really my style and all-" loud click as the gun facing Seth cocked "-but how about a mercy kill?" El was tellingly silent. Shaking his head, Sands sighed heavily and lowered the pistol. "Fine, we'll all listen to Fideo, and he can come. But you'd better make it up to mmmmph!"
//Really wish there was another way to shut the gringo up//, Lorenzo snarked, shooting an exasperated last look at the face-sucking. Not that Seth was paying much attention to the departing pair; prison branded a variety of lessons on a man, and none of them could be erased with any ease, if at all. Moreover, having to deal with Richie's little messed-up mind and then with vampiric strippers had done a number on Seth's libido. When it came to women, anyway.
El definitely wasn't a woman. And Sands, though as obviously cracked as a sidewalk, wasn't anything like soft in the way he was giving it up to the mariachi's savaging mouth. Mouth drier than cotton, nerves jumping hotter than a car hood under the summer sun, Seth could only stare while a tongue slurped out, licking up blood and other things from the corners of Sands' moan-stretched lips. Could only follow the bunch and shift of El's back and arm muscles as the mariachi made a slow meal of the kiss, as El devoured every single unborn complaint that Sands had ever even thought of voicing. "Mine," El rumbled softly, finally pulling back.
Seth tried to speak, croaked, and hacked to clear his throat. On the second try, he managed a credibly sarcastic tone. "Hate to interrupt, but I'm getting a cramp here."
"Cramp, I'm sure," Sands replied suspiciously, breathing a little short. "Denial's got such lovely riverside properties, doesn't it?"
Before Seth could respond, El stretched out a foot and, hooking it around the leg of Seth's chair, sent the already-teetering piece of furniture crashing backwards. For the second time that morning, pain blacked out Seth's brain.
Head hurt. Head should fucking die, it was thundering so badly. Wait, something was wrong there. Seth needed his head for…for…he could work on that later. First, what hap-
--oh, yeah. And, apparently, he was now handcuffed in a bathtub, under a gushing shower. Every single little drop that plinked against his bruised face felt like a giant skewer smashing through his skull. Then Seth looked up, and keeping his cranium in one piece became a moot point.
Standing outside the tub, but leaning in to sluice water through his hair, was a bare-chested El. Blood and shampoo stung Seth's wide eyes, but Christ, who cared?
"You're awake," the other man suddenly noted, causing Seth to jump and bang his temple against the porcelain. When the world settled back down, he refocused through the smudging fall of water, straining to make out details. So he could figure out what they were going to do to him. With him. Damn it, there just wasn't any good way to say it.
"No thanks to the triple concussion," Seth groaned, dearly wishing he could reach up and massage his agonized temples. Unfortunately, his wrists were very securely manacled behind his back, and his soaked clothing wasn't aiding movement, either. Why was he still dressed, anyway? "If I don't die from a split skull, then it'll be fucking pneumonia."
"In Mexico?" El rejoined incredulously, backing out and wringing his hair into a semi-dry ponytail. Kneeling down by the tub, he came up with one nasty-looking little dagger.
"Hey!" Seth yelped, scrambling as far back as he could against the wall. "You said you weren't going to kill me!"
"There's only one bed." Way too fucking calm, El casually reached out and pinned Seth to the tiles by the throat. Silver flashed, and half of Seth's shirt fell off. "I'm not sharing with someone as dirty as you."
Well, wasn't that a double entendre. Quadruple, even. "Why can't I take my own shower?" Seth rasped, nervously watching the knife deal with the rest of his clothing.
El's eyebrow rose. "I don't know who you are," he pointed out reasonably enough. "And being wanted dead by the cartels is not a very good recommendation."
"How rude of me," Seth muttered. He has this nagging feeling-besides the worry that his fucking dick would embarrass the hell out of him when El got down there-that he was forgetting something. Something important and certifiable. "Where's Sands?"
"Outside, in the bedroom," El answered, stopping after he was done with the shirt and putting away the dagger. Taking up the soap bar from its wall niche, he started working up lather on Seth's stubble. It fucking burned when it touched the fresh scabs, but El paid no attention to Seth's cursing and wriggling. "So?"
"Seth Gecko, and fuck! Watch it, they whacked me with a rifle-fuck fuck FUCK!" Hissing and choking, he glared at the mariachi, who wasn't even looking at him, but at something on the floor. "You're doing that on purpose!"
El just squeezed a little tighter on Seth's throat, a brief warning, before his other hand came up and dispensed shampoo. "What happened with the vampires?" he asked, speaking louder so as to be heard over the furious snarling.
"I don't think so." Tossing the shampoo bottle somewhere, El smacked the shower peg down so the water came through the spigot instead, then dragged Seth under the stream till he was half-drowned, but clean. Yanking him by the throat out of the bathtub, the mariachi roughly rubbed him dry before effortlessly hauling the dazed man into the next room. Where Sands sat sulkily on the bed, one hand cuffed to the metal headboard. El dropped Seth next to the other American, fastened Seth's wrist-chain to the headboard as well, and then snagged a shirt and jacket from a nearby chair. "Try not to kill anything," El said, dressing himself. Slipping a leather brace onto one forearm, he looked expectantly at the bed.
"I said I wouldn't," Sands grumbled, flopping over two guitar cases. "And before you ask, I won't maim or otherwise do anything that won't heal in a few days. There. You happy?"
"Can I have my case?" El asked, an odd light sparking in his eyes. Flipping him off, Sands grudgingly shoved over one. El glanced at it, then at Sands. Even more reluctantly, the other man took back that case and pushed the second one across the mattress.
"Try not to blow up too much shit," Sands muttered, cuddling up to the remaining guitar case. "I still haven't tried the slow-roasted pork here."
Not deigning to answer that-how could anyone answer that?-El slung the case over his back, then bent over to add what must have been hickey the fifty-seventh to Sands' throat before heading out for a stroll. Either this mariachi didn't give a damn about what people thought, or Seth had just seen the forbidden and gotten his death sentence.
It had to be the first one, right? Immortal bad-ass gunfighters-they could kill anyone that mocked their masculinity. And he hastily scratched out that section of his 'Wit Under Pressure.'
"Seth Gecko, right? With the brother?"
Stiffening, he shifted his attention back to Sands, who with eyes would've been giving him a considering leer. Without pupils and irises, though, the other man's expression was positively demonic. "Yeah," Sands nodded, not waiting for a response. He molded himself to the guitar case. "Knew there was a reason I still keep ears in the ground-to the ground. They tracked you two to some dive around Tijuana, then gave up on finding your bodies after what, the sixth day of sorting through the ashes? Goddamn, what'd you do? Firebomb?"
"For professional interests, I take it?" Seth countered. "First tell me what the fuck is going on. Why can't you die?"
"Actually, you meant, 'Can I kill your bony little ass?' Well, no," Sands corrected, clapping his free hand on Seth's thigh. He eeled over to sit in front of the other man, displaying a smile that would've knocked off the Cheshire Cat's head with envy. "Same goes for El. And before you decide to experiment, I'd also like to say that it's still painful as hell, which pisses us off."
"Gotcha," Seth mumbled, unconsciously pressing himself back into the pillows. His wet jeans were beginning to itch, and his arms were that kind of numb that presaged incredibly intense pain once they'd gotten half a chance to relax. On the other hand, he didn't feel nearly as dizzy as he should've been, even accounting for adrenaline. "Who the hell's the 'she' you were chatting about?"
Instead of answering, Sands lifted a couple fingers toward Seth, then stopped short. "Bite me and I'll twist off your balls," he said quietly. After that ultimatum, the man ran surprisingly soft fingertips over the planes of Seth's face and neck. "Well, well. No vamp scars. Guess that just leaves plain fucked-up fate."
"I told you, I didn't get bitten," Seth growled irately, wriggling. Goddamn it, but he hated the feel of damp denim. "If I had, I'd be much more fucking ugly. And you'd be dead."
Sands laughed, mocking with a tinge of crazed. "You wish, honey. The way things stand now, I use those fuckers as ash-trays. Where's your brother Lionel?"
"His name was Richie. Is Richie-ah, shit."
"Dead, then." Probing at the scrapes and bruises clustered on one side of Seth's face, Sands seemed contemplative. "Bet you had to stake him." Humming softly, he allowed a few minutes of sullen silence to pass before asking, "Anyone else survive?"
"No." Abruptly buried in memories, Seth gritted his teeth and tried to remember that El appeared to be coming back, and that the mariachi would probably shove a shotgun up his ass if he hurt Sands. "There was a girl," he added, mostly to himself. "Almost made it with me. Stray two-by-four caught her on the way out."
"Yeah, that's about right," Sands mused. "Doesn't seem to kick in unless you're totally fucked six ways from sanctuary. Well, maybe it will. Maybe you'll just die."
"What?" But the skinny motherfucker already had one tight grip in Seth's hair, and Sands was a hell of a lot stronger than he looked. Letting Seth initially thrash his head in futile attempts to get free, the other man swayed forward and then brutally wrenched back, twisting Seth's neck.
"Shit. You came back."
Very much against his will, Seth was rapidly becoming an expert on bizarre awakenings. And in his opinion, this one sucked donkey dick. Pants still wet and disgustingly clingy, body stiff with soreness, head ringing and neck screa-neck. "Wait…fuck! You fuck!" he snarled, reflexively lunging at Sands. Which strained his shoulder sockets something terrible, but so what? "You killed me!"
"Get over it," the other man snorted, dodging. "It would've had to happen sometime, and at least I was nice enough to do it quick for you. A fucking hell of a lot more pleasant than my first time."
"What. Is. Going. On?" Seth hissed from between jaws ground together so tightly the bones creaked. Flopping down onto his legs, Sands began fiddling with Seth's fly. "Hey, you-"
"--Want El to fuck you through the next century, don't you?" Sands murmured knowingly, pulling down the zipper. Sinking teeth into his lower lip, Seth fell quiet. "Blind does not equal complete oblivion, pretty reptile dickhead. I could feel you staring at him."
Taking out Seth's cock. Idly circling its flushing length once with a finger before taking a first, dragging lick. "Wish you were me? Not surprising, really; El is the fucking Kama Sutra in one damn tasty package."
Slurping loudly, following the rise of flesh with that acid-coated, nimble tongue. Tracing fire along pulsing veins. "Should mention something, though-" raking teeth, hard "-we resurrected together-" sucking off his own spit from Seth's skin "-licked the blood from each other-" wrapped that mouth around and swallowed for one mind-blowing second before pulling off.
"Screwed God and Satan and Destiny in one huge fuckfest," Sands grinned sensuously, then ran just the tip of his tongue over Seth's fully, excruciatingly erect cock. "Hand-in-hand, in possibly the most illegal and immoral vow exchange this side of hell. Yeah, I'm his, but he's mine. Got that?"
"Every word," Seth grated, voice harsh with sex and helpless fury. "But what is this, then?"
Long eyelashes blinking innocently over pale blank scar tissue, the other man twitched the stiff flesh between two fingers. "This? Just whoring you out, Gecko."
And Sands plunged that cock back down his throat, back into impossibly searing-wet silk. Whipping against the bedstead, Seth came so damn hard he nearly blacked out for the fifth time that day.
Going limp, he lolled his head back to stare blankly at the ceiling in the vague hope that somehow, those cracks and water stains would help make sense of things. They didn't. In fact, the longer Seth looked, the more frustrated and uneasy he felt. Cold, too: he was shivering.
In Mexico. During summer. Great, he couldn't even trust his own five senses.
"Now what?" he sighed, about two steps beyond aggravation.
Growling many-lingual swears, the man beside him scrabbled under a pillow to yank out a gun. Glancing over, Seth had just enough time to jerk away before Sands shot both pairs of handcuffs.
"Jesus Christ!" he yelped at the crazy blind man, tumbling off the bed. Now freed and ringed with pretty steel bracelets, his wrists were scorched. "What the fuck is wrong with you?"
"No eyes, no sanity, no service," Sands replied off-handedly, flipping open the case and rummaging in it. Producing a wrinkly white button-down, he tossed the shirt and a second gun-fully-loaded, by the weight-to Seth. Then he climbed off and dragged their shoes out from under the bed. "At least, not to that bitch. Welcome to the real Mexico, Lizard-Boy."
Seth would've forced some clarification out of the snickering prick, but just then the courtyard blew up. And right after that, some numbfuck kicked in the door.
"Vampire, vampire-oh, human," Sands noted, firing back as the two men clattered down a back staircase. Sidestepping the fresh corpse rolling down the steps, he nearly whacked Seth in the head with the guitar case. "Eyes front, Gecko. Ratio's worse on your end."
"What, more bloodsuckers?" Seth retorted, shooting blindly down the front to keep their escape route clear. "And how the fuck do you know?"
"'Cause it's my mutant superpower, sugarbutt," Sands crooned nastily. Cocking his head, he suddenly whirled to shoot through a landing window. Dust and icky slime promptly exploded outside. "Just like El can layeth the smackdown on you with his fucking pinky, even though you top him by what, a couple inches? And bad ratio means more people, genius; vampires are fishbait since they don't use guns."
"Maybe one-and-a-half inches," Seth muttered inanely. His gun abruptly clicked empty. "Shit!"
Heaving an aggravated breath, Sands rammed the guitar case into the back of Seth's knees, sending the other man toppling down the rest of the stairs and out the exit door. Snapping off a few last shots, he skidded after Gecko, diving as he hit the ground to avoid the hail of bullets outside. Cracking the case open, he flicked out more cartridges and they both reloaded. "Don't make me babysit you," Sands warned, carefully closing the lid over what looked like one damn fine guitar. "I'm jacked-off enough about your drooling over my dead-walking mariachi."
"Shut up or I'll put a bullet…fuck!" Seth snarled, with heartfelt feeling. Life had really dealt him a shit hand this round, and the bastard holding the royal flush would have to be someone like Sands.
"No, you won't," Sands replied, chortling as he crouched behind their dumpster-shield. "No point in wasting good lead. Count of three, we head for the black Cadillac at the end; that's our car."
Darting a peek out at their opponents, Seth hurriedly pulled back and hissed, "Are you fucking mental-goddamn it. Even if you are that and we're immortal and heal fast, there's fucking hundreds of vampires, and motherfucking AK-47s backing them up. They'll still rip us apart, and I don't know about you, but I for one don't feel like spending eternity in fifty-fucking-million pieces."
"Listen, skullfuck," Sands snarled, "I can feel who's out there, all right? I know it's a crapshoot. But so's staying here, and I know I can take care of the vamps at least."
"Shit." Rubbing the barrel of his pistol across his brow, Seth frantically thought. "El?"
"Don't know, but he's not dead and not coming back here."
"Um…" Something gleamed dully ahead, halfway between them and the car. A pipeline. A gas pipeline. "Can you scare the vamps in a specific direction?" Seth asked, voice tight with anxiety.
"Like chickens," Sands snorted, though his expression grew a little thoughtful. "What?"
"Shot the gas. That's how I did 'The Pussy Zoo'-the bar." Reaching back, Seth curled his fingers around the guitar case's handle--and promptly got a pistol poking his still-sore temple. "Goddamn it, would you just relax? You'll need one hand free, won't you?"
Pursing his lips, Sands hesitated for another second before relinquishing the case and lowering his gun. "Break it and I'll make dice out of your backbone. And which way?"
"Uh…" Seth grabbed for Sands' free hand, spreading it palm-up so the fingers pointed at the pipe. With his index finger, he drew a curving path from one side to the other. "Like that."
"'kay." Before Seth could react, the other man was up and out, screaming some eerie banshee wail. Swearing, he fired three bullets at the gas line, then seized the guitar case and ran like hell under the exploding sky.
Gunfire zinged all around, some shots coming close enough to singe Seth. Ducking under the flaming cloud, he snagged Sands' elbow and yanked, dragging them around the stumbling, burning, howling vampires. Caught in the blast, some bloodsuckers immediately exploded, throwing up a grisly shield of flying limbs. Others lit and then whirled around in terror.
Sands yowled again, and before Seth's stunned eyes, the vampires mashed together into one panicking mob, stampeding toward the other gunfighters. Shaking his head, Seth leapt the rest of the way to the Cadillac, jerking at the door handles.
"Sure, you tell me to calm down…" Sands muttered sarcastically, bumping Gecko aside to unlock the doors. Scrambling over to the driver's seat, Seth handed the guitar case back to Sands and snatched the car keys, jamming them into the ignition.
"Do what I say, not do as I do," he replied absently, throwing the car into gear and fishtailing it past a flailing vamp onto the road.
"And you really, really want me to shoot you," Sands retorted irately, patting down the case for new nicks. "Head for the nearest cemetery-that's where we'll pick up El."
Taking orders from a blind man. Whose blowjobs were as spectacular as his words were vitriolic, and who came attached to a guy that made Seth's dick dance and mind shudder. Fucking hell, Seth cursed silently as they screeched up to the first turn. Which he vaguely recognized. Left should take him past a graveyard. Right would get him away from this shit…anyone could be ditched, right? Just took a certain finesse.
"Hurry up," the man sitting next to him said impatiently. "She's really fucking bitchy tonight."
Who the hell was he kidding? Seth hadn't noticed a single thing since he tore himself out of that hellhole strip bar and left his brother, dead by his hand, behind in the ashes. Right up until this shit. And El-God, Seth was so fucking far gone. Couldn't eat a bullet now, either, so no salvaging his dignity.
He steered the car left.
Scraping dried blood off his face, El studied both men separately before getting up from the mausoleum steps. "I told you not to kill him," he remarked to Sands, seeming a little peeved.
And didn't that make Seth feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The mariachi sounded exactly like his eighty-something great-aunt warning little Richie to leave the dead birds on the porch.
"I didn't," Sands protested, snuggling up under El's jacket. Allowing that, El unlocked the handcuff pieces from Sands' wrists, tossing them behind a nearby monument. "Technically speaking, all I did was facilitate the process. And anyway, don't we have more important things to quibble about?"
Producing a pack from somewhere, El lit up. "I'm not fucking you on a coffin," he commented in a resigned tone, apparently continuing some private argument. Flicking his gaze over to the wary Seth, he narrowed his eyes. "So?"
"Don't know yet," Sands breathed, nibbling up under El's chin.
"Don't know what?" Seth barked, taking a step forward. "And I'm not going another step with either of you unless-"
"-you get fucked-" Sands rasped, tone hostile.
"-I get some answers," Seth finished. "You owe me. You've kidnapped and killed me, and I'm still standing. I'm still standing, and now I happen to know there are some vampires a mile east of here."
"Four, actually. Young fuckwits," the other American mentioned, turning so his back fit snugly against El's chest. "You notice anything else weird? Gotten any faster? Grown breasts?"
"What the fuck is going on?" Seth hissed, coming up till less than a foot separated him from the other two men. That move was probably going to get him another gun to the head, but hell, it could only hurt so much. And he'd heal. He-lifting up a hand Seth knew had gotten grazed in the firefight, he glanced at it and swore, violently and creatively. "What the fuck is this?" he growled, shoving the half-gone scrape in El's face.
Calmly plucking the cigarette from his mouth, the mariachi slipped it between Sands' lips, then took Seth's hand in a light grip, examining it. "Not as quick as us," El noted. "But he doesn't feel the same as before."
Biting down on his tongue, Seth quietly called himself all kinds of idiot for holding out his hand. And concentrated as hard as he could on keeping his breathing steady. "Why," he said carefully, "Are the cartels suddenly using vampires as help? And how did they know where we were?"
"What's Mexico to you?" El asked, leveling an almost dreamy look at Seth. Letting go of the palm, the mariachi took back his cancerstick, stifling Sands' complaint by sliding in his gauntleted hand as a substitute. Accepting that, Sands settled back to mouth the leather. "Why did you come here?"
"My brother-he broke me out of prison," Seth muttered in reply, staring over El's shoulder at the mausoleum. He tightened his grip on his pistol. "I had some friends down here who said they'd help us find a place. Then we were going to kick back and sit on our asses for the rest of our lives."
"Were," El repeated, something flickering across his eyes. "He's dead."
"Vampires," Seth shrugged. "Yeah. I killed that-that thing that took over his body. And then I blew that pit back to the hell it came from. Came down to El Rey, figuring I could enjoy life for the both of us, and said to fuck with everything else."
Nodding, El stubbed out his butt on the stone behind him. He began to shake out another cigarette, but Seth half-raised a hand. "Could I have…one?"
Regarding him closely, the other man proffered the pack. Seth slowly reached out to take one, then twisted to grab El's wrist, abruptly scooting up to smash his gun against Sands' balls. The other American stiffened, snarling, but El simply kept watching Seth. "Sands. Don't."
Sniffing haughtily at El's words, Sands nevertheless stilled.
"I wonder how long that would take to heal," Seth wondered, tone dark and breaking, as he nudged the pistol a little harder. "Probably would be very unpleasant, in any case."
"You've bled into Mexico," the mariachi replied, head slightly tilted. "She took from you until you had nothing left, except what you could take back from her."
"You marked yourself in that bar, with your brother's blood," El continued, running fingers along Sands' jaw. He scratched under the other man's chin, teasing out a soft purr. "So when you died, you could find your way back to life. But you still don't understand, and you're stuck in the gate. If she can, she'll pull you back."
"In other words, you're the fuck the vamps have been tracking. They and the cartels aren't teaming up; they're all just showing up at the same time, thanks to you. 'Cause those stupid iron-deficient batfucks are her pets, and right now, you're enemy numero uno," Sands added, voice rumbling and velvet. "Not us."
"So it's what, a two-step deal?" Seth asked sharply. "Same thing happened to you two, didn't it?"
"Yes. Then we fucked a lot, and they left," El responded, startling Seth with his uncharacteristically blunt crudity. Gecko blinked, shock loosening his nerves for just one moment-
--but that was still more than long enough. El's free hand belted Seth across the face, while below, Sands coiled and ducked out under El's arm, which sent Seth's gun skating away over El's thigh. Stumbling back, Seth tried to bring the pistol up again only to have a vicious grip crush it out of his hand. El yanked him forward; seizing Seth's other wrist, the mariachi slammed both hands up against the tomb's side, driving all the breath out of Seth in one burning whoosh.
And then El ate his fucking mouth out, making damn sure no air got back in. First struggling, then gradually collapsing against the stone, Seth watched woozily as the night-shadowed graveyard around him started to fade and char to black.
The heat suddenly jerked away. Gasping, Seth furiously gulped air as the world smashed back into focus. Hoped he wasn't whining at the cold absence, but didn't feel very optimistic on that note. A white face, glimmering like bone in the dim moonlight, rested itself on El's shoulder. "Surrender looks good on him, I'd bet," Sands murmured, a trace of wistfulness threading through his words. "Wish I could see."
"You don't want to kill him anymore?" El queried, eyebrow arching. Seth winced, but that only made the fingers wrapped around his wrists cinch even more tightly. Expression curiously pleased, Sands made a scoffing noise and reached out to finger Seth's split lip, collecting the blood.
"Bojangles lovely, at the moment that appears to be a bit of an impossibility." As if sampling a fine wine, Sands whiffed the fluid slicking his forefinger, then delicately lapped up all the scarlet streaking it. "And if there's going to be another rubberband man walking 'round my beat, I want him where I can see him." He paused significantly. "Long as you remember-"
Turning his head as far as he could, El kissed Sands till the other man moaned and fell limp against El's back. Seth briefly thought about taking advantage of the distraction, but then El shoved a knee between Seth's legs, which applied considerable friction to one rapidly stiffening erection. "Christ," he hissed, wriggling desperately against the mariachi. "Oh, fucking Mary…"
Clicking. Leather on his wrists, twining around the handcuff fragments.
El crushed one last kiss on Seth's lips before stepping back and nestling a gun under Seth's left ear. "Time to go," the mariachi said as he kicked a guitar case out of the tall grass, which statement momentarily mystified Seth. They'd just started, damn it! "They're coming."
A buzzing in the far recesses of the mind, faint but steadily increasing in volume. And Sands looked twitchy-well, the spastic fucker always did, but this was a noticeably different kind of twitchy. "Yeah," the other American seconded, unwillingly peeling himself off of El. "Hey, turtle-dick, don't suppose you've developed any useful abilities in the last five seconds?"
"Like what?" Seth rasped back, limping back towards the car under El's prodding.
"God's dentures, doesn't anyone pay attention?" Sands grumbled, snagging the case and slipping up to El's other side. "Or did you think I just screamed my head off at the vamps for the hell of it? How do you think El knew not to go back? This gig does come with some perks…well, for us, anyway. Maybe you're just dead weight."
Something was off with that dresser.
It wasn't moving, or smoking, or oozing. In fact, it wasn't actually doing anything that would distinguish it from the assorted other pieces of furniture in the old warehouse. But the damned ass-ugly cabinet still prickled at Seth.
Not that he was in any shape to go check it out, what with having his wrists tethered to the iron scrollwork arm of a dusty sofa. To his left, on the biggest fucking bed Seth had ever seen, Sands and the guitar cases were jumbled together in one little sated pile, El having temporarily silenced the other American by jerking him off while feeding him dinner. The mariachi himself was moseying around the edges of the warehouse, mumbling prayers as he slid his fingers across the walls. Seth wasn't quite sure how that would keep off the vampires, but Sands had sworn up and down that that was how their bullets were killing the bloodsuckers, so whatever. Maybe resurrection equaled automatic sainthood in Mexico.
St. Gecko. Muffling a sour laugh, Seth wriggled around till he could toe his boots off. All right, might as well count the blessings. He was immortal, he was being hunted down by the goddamn country itself-herself-his only sources of information and best chances of coming out on top were two men that were even more fucked-up than Richie'd been, and his dick yelled 'Praise the Lord' whenever the one came within fifteen feet of him. And finally, to top it all off, the dresser across the way was itching at his brain.
On second thought, it was probably a good thing they didn't need a preacher. The only one of that breed that Seth had ever come to like had been Jacob, who was permanently dead, the lucky bastard. At this moment, however, if any reverend had shown up, Seth would've broken their necks with absolutely no regrets. If God had a plan for him, then the Big Cocksucker could go fuck Himself.
"I don't think she allowed for three."
Flinching, Seth looked over to see El sitting down on the couch. Stretching out his legs to full length, the mariachi scooted down to rest his head on the back, cradling it on his arms as he stared at the ceiling. "After we worked out what we are, she couldn't track us," El continued. "But then, she didn't try as hard to find us as she has to find you…this might be a problem."
"No shit," Seth muttered, slumping down. "I get the impression this is a pairing thing. Your two friends, you and Sands."
"Fideo and Lorenzo aren't a part of this," El corrected, raising a long-fingered hand to rub at the bridge of his nose. "What happened to your partner? Dead?"
"Yeah. I think." Shaking his head, Seth regarded his clenched fists. "Actually, I don't know. There were two, maybe, that might have been, and they both went up with that damned bar." He closed his eyes, twisting around till he could lie sideways on the sofa, facing El. "You know, you're acting a lot more normal right now. Which is making me nervous."
Two clunks caused Seth's eyes to snap open, only to find Sands transferring the cases to the floor. "We both are," the other man said, oddly sober. "You should've seen us in Veracruz."
"Don't need to," Seth sighed, suddenly very tired. "I heard all about it. You really fucked over the cartels there-and why's she so fond of them?"
"They're strong," El offered dispassionately. "They build big houses, turn whole towns into their hunting grounds…she's forgotten that there's any other way for power to look."
"And you two are what, reminding her?" The bed creaked and footsteps came over, but Seth couldn't work up enough energy to care. After all, Sands and El were just going to screw like bunnies again, leaving Seth out to squirm around till he'd managed to get himself off. Thus sliming up what was left of his jeans. "Before you toss me out, you might want to check that dresser over by the mirror," he yawned.
Before he could drift off, however, someone cut his wrist rope and picked him up by the waist, slinging him onto the mattress. "Jesus!" he yelped, head shooting up to whip wildly about. "What the fuck-"
"Gecko, would you goddamn shut up for once?" Sands growled, climbing back on the bed. Easily rolling the still-disoriented man over, he proceeded to systematically rip the shirt buttons off of Seth. "In case you haven't noticed, we don't play by her rules," he mumbled around the bites he was impressing into Seth's chest. "Hell, I don't even think I remember what rules are."
"There's money in here," El called from over in front of the dresser.
"Hmm?" Shoving his hand down Seth's pants, Sands turned his head towards the mariachi. "How much?"
"Fifteen million pesos," Seth blurted, words elongating in a moan. Then his attention bounced back. "Wait. What? Where the hell did that…oh. Oh, great."
"Very great," Sands smirked, raking teeth over Seth's shoulder till it bled. Licking at the new wound, he came up with crimson-painted lips to comment, "That's enough for a coup."
Shuffling noises, then the sound of a zipper closing. Setting the newly-filled duffel by the guitar cases, El perched on the edge of the bed and leaned across to clean Sands' face. "I don't feel anything about the President."
"Yeah, me too. Anyway, messing with the cartels is more fun than politicking." Frustratingly, Sands removed his fingers from Seth's cock, rolling over to let El nibble roughly at his neck. "All right, scaly-balls," Sands muttered, grinding his ass down on Seth's entrapped erection. "Long as you keep us in funds, El can fuck you."
El, apparently, was a little offended by that remark. Pinning Sands' wrists together in one hand, the mariachi dragged the two of them over to the side of the bed, where he dug out another leather strip and one of those cross-ended daggers. Shoving so Sands flopped on top of Seth, El bound Sands' thin wrists to the footboard-damn, there was a lot of ironwork furniture here-and then slipped the dagger up the hem of Sands' t-shirt, following the spine. Freezing, the smaller man held perfectly still above Seth while the shirt was cut off of him. So still, in fact, that his muscles began to tremble, which in turn rubbed his and Seth's cocks ever-so-slightly together. Mashing teeth into his lip, Seth stared at Sands' ticking jaw muscle, trying desperately to keep his focus on the sweat beading there, and not the deep ache developing in his groin.
After tossing the cotton rags over the side, El flipped Sands from side-to-side in order to slice through the sleeves of Seth's shirt, which the mariachi also discarded. While brushing against both his companions, smelling of smoldering ash and scorched tequila. "El…" Sands whined pleadingly.
A good thing he still had a voice, because Seth had lost his own the moment El had gotten onto the bed. And fucking hell, but this was going to kill him. So what if he came back? It-damn. Sands was right. It was still going to fucking hurt.
"You tell me who to fuck now?" the mariachi replied challengingly, smug smile touching his lips as he finally put away the blade. Coming back up, he casually dropped what looked like a tin of salve on the bed-and Seth's mind decided to melt like cheese in the microwave. "Fine. Who?" El asked, yanking off Sands' pants.
The other man opened his mouth to answer, then lost the words in a long low hiss when El licked down his backbone, not bothering to stop until…Seth craned his head…yes, that was a tongue flickering into Sands' ass. Kneading the mattress just left of Seth's head, Sands whimpered and pushed back, trying to force deeper thrusts. Tsking, El pulled away and down between Sands' legs, swirling bruises on the pale inner thighs before ducking out completely to lay a palm flat on the stretch between Sands' shoulderblades. El pressed down, trapping Seth's hands beneath the other American. Then the mariachi bent around to snag the salve and slick up three fingers.
And why, for God's sake, did Seth never fucking ever get to be completely naked for this shit? He'd been good-since 'The Pussy Zoo', anyway. So why hadn't it paid off?
Above him, Sands jolted up, then lunged down to sink fucking sharp teeth into Seth's neck. Bucking against that sensation, feeling yet more warm fluid trickling out into Sands' sucking lips, Seth managed something like the bastard child of a scream and a groan. Okay, maybe it was paying off. "But damn it," he panted to himself, "Can't it go any faster?"
"Nope," Sands replied, smiling manically as he jerked again. "El's a bastard like that."
"Am I?" the third man inquired rhetorically. He did something that arched Sands up and forward-fucking God. El was tugging Sands around by the fingers he was stroking inside the other man, Seth realized. Not that he had much time to dwell on El's methods, given that finally a hand was undoing his fly. Throwing back his head, Seth writhed and bent however he could in order to help that hand get his goddamn pants off. "I was thinking," El started to say, dropping the garment on the floor.
"Oh, fuck that!" Sands retorted. "Fucking Madonna, but you are not doing that again. Thinking during se-se-saaaaaaahpleasepleaseplease…"
Whimpers falling like pearls from his mouth, Sands wilted back down, rocking with whatever El was doing. "God, God," Seth moaned, dragging his newly-freed, fucking petrified cock along the side of Sands' thigh. Jingling, a third pair of trousers finally off the bed, and then a fingernail was scratching, featherlight, at the edges of Seth's anus. Occasionally pressing harder to slip in a salve-coated tip. Seth suddenly noticed that he couldn't see much past the hair plastered to Sands' forehead.
The finger shoved in all the way, shooting fire down every single one of Seth's nerves. "Fuck," he breathed, sweat leaking into his eyes to completely blur out his vision. Instinctively, his knees came up and bent, lifting his ass in a silent appeal. Considerately, El promptly added two more fingers. "Ahh…"
"El, damn it," Sands was bleating, almost crying with frustration as the mariachi continued to crook knuckles and scrape nails inside him and Seth. "Please. Please fuck me. Fuck him, fuck the nation, fuck whatever, but please fuck me. Now. First." His and Seth's breaths hitched at the same moment, both keenly feeling the sudden loss as the fingers left. "Please…" Sands gasped pitifully.
Rumbling a snarl, El shoved himself into Sands, then Sands into Seth in two swift movements. He locked his mouth onto the side of Sands' throat, working the soft flesh while he snapped his hips once slowly, then twice hard and fast. Blood dripped down from El's teeth.
Lightheaded and unfocused, Seth unthinkingly leaned up and lapped at the scarlet droplets, smushing his lips against El's in a gloriously awkward half-kiss. Rearing up, El slammed once final time into Sands, who yowled and thrashed, then subsided into uncontrollable shivers. Eyes fixed on Seth's dilated ones, El deliberately licked Sands' neck clean before leaning back, drawing Sands out of Seth as he did.
Levering the other American's limp body up to straddle Gecko's waist, El grabbed Seth's hips and shoved in, tearing a high scream from Seth. The mariachi craned down to bite into Seth's lower lip, raking a tongue across the other man's teeth, all the while pounding ferociously into the shaking body trapped beneath Sands. Who, recovering a little, lapped up the mixed blood and spit leaking out from between the other two's mouths.
Eyes falling shut, Seth stopped even trying to meet El's thrusting. Because fuck, but it was all he could do just to not shatter, to not drown in the heat and bloodiness and rough lust whirling about and through him.
And then the world switched off, breaking him anyway.
As awakenings went, this kind Seth didn't mind. Not at all. Slowly regaining consciousness, he muffled a snicker in the mattress. Rubbed at his wrists, which had apparently lost their bindings and broken cuffs sometime during his little nap. "Purrs?"
"Purrs," El agreed, nuzzling Sands' temple as he continued to stroke a lazy hand over the other man's belly. Mewling dropping down a note, Sands shuddered, then flopped out a hand and nicked Seth's nipple with a sharp nail.
"Fuck off," he muttered, redraping himself over El. "You sound like a girl when you come."
"Did fuck off, thank you," Seth retorted half-heartedly, fitting himself to El's side. Then he noticed a few new things in his head. Smirked. "Think we just fucked off the game, too."
"'s her problem," Sands mumbled. "Her gameboard. Speaking of, fifteen million pesos could do a lot of rearranging."
"Twenty-five million by midnight tomorrow," Seth corrected, nipping absently at El's skin. "I've got this feeling…"
"Later," El interrupted, tone brooking no opposition. "Sun's up. Three hours to rest, and then we're leaving."
Couldn't argue with that. Closing his eyes, Seth let himself be serenaded back to sleep by purrs and slurring Spanish ballads.