|Part II: Confessions of a Deranged Mind
Author: Guede Mazaka
//Just playing, I think, until we find out what we need to know. We'll go now//, El said over one shoulder as he let his two friends into the hotel room, closing and locking the door behind them. //After I get my…//
Raising one finger to point at the bed, Lorenzo somehow managed to convey disbelief, sly innuendo, and ridicule at all once. //What the hell is that?//
Not bothering to answer, El just dropped his head into his hands, then smoothed back his hair into a low ponytail. He glanced again at the bed, but nothing had changed. The American was still there, skinny body seeming even more waif-like in the large black folds of El's jacket, curled tightly around El's case. //This is Sands//, the mariachi sighed, crossing over to kneel down by the side of the mattress.
//You named it?// Lorenzo asked incredulously. //Now it's never going to leave you alone.//
//That's the point//, Fideo replied, slumping against the wall.
Ignoring them both, El slowly lifted a wary hand toward the guitar case. He settled the fingers noiselessly on its neck, then slid them down the rough surface and under Sands, groping for the handle. Murmuring restlessly, the other man shifted and El instantly stilled, waiting. But Sands didn't stir anymore, and, breathing in silent relief, El yanked.
"You worm-shitting son of a crackwhore!" Fending off the crazed man on the bed, El tossed his case over one shoulder into Lorenzo's startled arms, then wrestled for Sands' wrists. Nails scratched across El's cheek, leaving briefly-flaring trails of hurt, and then a knee slammed into his thigh, dangerously high up. Snarling, he headbutted the other man and then, while Sands was reeling from the blow, seized those thin wrists and yanked them up behind Sands' back, pinning the American between himself and the bed. "Good evening, El," Sands panted, unexpectedly going limp. "So, do you just have an allergy to asking me to do something, or did you want to fuck?"
"What the hell-" Lorenzo broke himself off, shaking his head. "El?"
"We're going out for a few hours," El told the man trapped beneath him. "Are you going to stay put?"
Cocking his head, Sands blinked very deliberately, the movement almost flirtatious in its air of knowing. "Can't I come?"
Heaving a resigned breath, El let go of Sands' wrists. Still keeping the other man crushed under him, he stretched out for the leather strips on the bedside table and grabbed a handful. "No. We don't know where they are yet," he told Sands as he tied the American's hands together, and then to the headboard. "I don't want anyone killed until we do."
"Baby," Sands snorted, curving to rub up against El. Twisting his head about, he licked at the underside of the mariachi's jaw. "So…you gonna kiss me goodbye, honey?"
Flicking a look at the other man, El pulled away and got off the bed. Snatching up his other case, the one with the guns, he flopped back onto the mattress. Tipped up Sands' depressed face with two fingers and kissed the clawing little psychotic till he could taste himself in Sands' tongue and throat. "See you later," El muttered, rubbing his already healing cheek as he reluctantly got up. As an afterthought, he set the case next to Sands' gasping form. "Try not to get us kicked out."
//You know//, Lorenzo growled, turning to go, //I'm not even going to ask.//
//Death does funny things to a man//, Fideo answered, serenely drunk. //Come on. We're due to play in an hour.//
"Fuckmook," Sands finally managed to get out, just as the door clicked shut behind the exiting mariachis. "Bastard piss-drinking fret-sucker." Moving up to lay parallel with the headboard, he threw a leg out to scoot the guitar case within reach. Sands draped himself over it as best he could, fingers tracing the rips and scratches on the lid as far out as his wrist tether would allow.
"El's got a lot of nerve," he grumbled. "No, you can't come because I don't think you can function outside of a fight, and I don't have time to babysit you. Here, let me leash you and get your cock jumping. Sorry, but I don't have time to do the full fuck right now, so have my guns and knives instead. Teasing jackass-just because you can jerk off with a guitar and a pistol doesn't mean everyone else is so talented. Some of us need partners that aren't made of wood and wire string."
And there lies the soft underbelly, Sands thought nastily. All exposed and helpless, just waiting for someone to stick a knife through it. Or maybe stroke it. Just a nice long skim down the center, and then back up to skritch along the chin…realizing he was grinding his stomach against the case's edge, Sands irritably shoved it away. Then reconsidered and nudged it up so he could touch the clasps. "Well, I could cut myself free. And to judge by that last comment, El thinks I will," he mused aloud.
Circling the metal bit with his fingertips, he tapped the first catch open. "On the one hand, doing what he doesn't expect might be interesting. On the other hand, he's much more creative when he's pissed off." Smirking at the blood-bordered memories, Sands maneuvered himself and the case till he could undo the second latch. "Yeah, I'm his bitch, all right. And don't you all wish you were me? Sex, death, and a tequila chaser. It's a good life. When I'm not stuck here-" smacked the lid up "-by myself."
Sands reached in, feeling gingerly about till he found the daggers. And then he hesitated. "Carolina. Well, hello. You know, he still talks about you. So fucking much that I know what perfume you wore, what you were wearing when you died, and where you're buried. Come to think of it, I should pay you a visit someday. After I-"
Except he had told El he trusted the mariachi. And he had trusted El enough to understand being (temporarily) handed over to Barillo, to forgive El for playing dead so goddamn well. The whole thing made Sands a little queasy, actually, because for the life of him, he couldn't remember whether he'd admitted that as an attempt at self-preservation, or as a vow of sorts. Of course, a month after El had forcefed Barillo lead, Sands was still sticking with the mariachi, which argued for the second scenario.
Rumbling in annoyance, Sands dropped the knife belt. "I'm insane, Carolina. Really. Truly. Those shithead doctors will probably say that since I know I am, I can't be, but what the hell do they know? Have they ever gotten their neck arteries ripped open? Did they spend three days in a fucking medieval torture chamber?"
Leaning back, he slumped into the pillows, rumpling up El's jacket so he could sniff the faint traces of sweaty mariachi and slaughter. "I must've broke just when El fell on me. That's when I died, anyway, and I can't remember giving in before that. And believe me, I would remember something like that."
Burrowing his nose deeper into the fabric, Sands sought out the scents of searing-hot steel and lime-laced alcohol. He discovered a pocket of ashy nicotine tucked neatly away in one fold, which he swiftly inhaled. "God, that's good," he murmured languidly, feeling the cigarette smoke sweep through his veins. Something occurred to him, and he chuckled sardonically. "Fucking mariachi godsend. Who can't manage to flick off the Lord Almighty without turning water to wine in the process. Hey, Carolina-he does mention you a lot, but not so much lately. And he's never yelled your name once. You know why he keeps tying me up?"
Sands paused for a moment, dramatically stretching out the tension for his absent audience. "Two reasons, lovely. Numero Uno-he thinks it'll help keep me safe. Safe from myself, which is stupid, because I'm very clearly not suicidal. And yeah, also appear to be immortal. Safe from the battles I don't have to fight, which is even stupider, because he knows damn well I. Love. That shit. Didn't before, oddly enough; I used to sit in bars and persuade people to go out and wage the good war, but that was pretty boring. I definitely didn't know what I was missing."
Outside, a gust of wind rattled the windows, making them sound like pool balls clicking against each other. The devil in a smoking jacket, racking up the souls of his night's work. "Second one, Carolina dear," Sands continued drowsily, "Would be El being afraid. I think I scare him, sometimes, because I don't care who I kill to keep that musical jackass up and walking. Don't know why it'd bug him; you'd think he would be overjoyed to have that attitude watching his back."
Yawning deeply, the American bumped the guitar case shut, then back over to him. He snuggled down between it and the headboard, wrapping fingers in the hems of El's jacket. "Whatever. Luckily for him, I like this-" jerked bound wrists "--and one of the benefits of insanity is that you don't have to rationalize kinks. So he can chain me wherever he likes, as long as he doesn't forget to fuck me good night."
Tread heavy with fatigue, El nonetheless tried his best to be quiet as he entered the room and set his case down. Taking the tie from his hair, he shook it loose, automatically glancing at the bed. And then he looked again, sore hands and worn-out throat temporarily forgotten.
"Yes, I stayed put," Sands snapped sleepily. "Stop staring already."
"The cartel has a hacienda at the east side of town," El said absentmindedly, sitting down on the bed and tugging off his boots. "And I think I passed a few vampire packs on the way."
"Yeah?" Sands mumbled, propping himself up on elbows. Still in mild shock, El removed the case that lay between them and laid down, one arm going out to undo the knots around Sands' wrists. He pulled the other man to his side, then methodically began to disarm himself, keeping back one pistol to slide under the pillow. "You're dusty," the American noted, sneezing a little.
"Fine," El snorted. "I know I passed some vampires."
"Should've saved some for me," Sands complained, nuzzling his cheek along El's side. Stealing the gun from the mariachi, he felt the barrel, then tutted. "Barely warm. You-" slurped a long streak on the steel "-losing your touch? Slowing down?"
"You're going to rust it," El scolded, snatching back the pistol and putting it under the pillow. When he turned back, Sands was holding out the leather lengths.
"You owe me," the other man declared.
Bending down, El traced out that pout with his tongue-tip, then took Sands' lower lip between his teeth and sucked till it bruised. "All right, all right," he mock-sighed, fingering the strips. Looped two around newly-unbound wrists, then twisted those arms behind Sands' back, drinking the air from Sands' lips while he reknotted the leather. Sucked up all those little trembling whimpers, stroked under his jacket to map ribs and breastbone. Grinding slowly against the other man, El craned his head to graze teeth over nipples, then came back up to allow swollen lips bite along the chords of his throat. He slipped hands down lean flanks, easing off first one pair of pants, and then the second. "You better now?"
"Oh…very much," Sands hummed lowly from beneath him, twisting to rub their erections together. Hissing at the catch-glide of stiff flesh and stretched skin, El fumbled for the salve. His fingers went into Sands easy as a lilting melody, and then he shoved his cock into that velvet heat, fitting like glove to hand. Rocking slow and nearly gentle, he stroked the climax out of Sands, and in return, the other man squeezed till El gasped, jerking and falling down.
"Hands," Sands reminded him. Groaning, El tugged the ties off the American's wrists, then rolled them both to the dry side of the bed. He curled a hand around Sands' buttock, massaging and caressing till the purr came. "Mmmm…stop leaving, you fuck."
"You know I'll come back," El whispered, almost asleep. "I always come back."