|Territory III: A Shot in Hell
Author: Guede Mazaka
El stared at the pile on the bed for a few seconds, but just could not figure out which lump had grunted. So he gave up and shoved in a hand, pushing the knots of bedsheets and limbs about until he'd made some room for himself. His fingers scraped by one particularly plump bit of flesh, and Sands' tousled head popped up. Along with a gun that bumped annoyingly against El's nose. "Bojangles, it is three in the morning-"
"Eight." El ducked to avoid the pistol as he gingerly clambered onto the mattress, holding the coffeepot and three mugs high to avoid spillage.
"It feels like three A. M. Therefore it is three A. M." Sands lowered the gun, but continued to whap El on the arm with it. "Why the hell are you-"
Sniffing. "Coffee?" Miguel's hand shot up and hooked over a half-covered back. A moment later, the rest of him wriggled out, but before he could get any further, Seth rocketed upward and yanked him back. "Hey!"
"Look, it's coffee. In this case, it's perfectly fair that everyone plays unfair," Sands haughtily informed the other man as he squirmed in and got his cup. The gun disappeared and he snuggled into El's ribs while draining the first half.
"Anyway, we only have three mugs," Seth added as he accepted his share while rubbing at his eyes.
"Bastards. Then buy another one." Miguel sulkily flopped himself across Seth and El's legs, then rolled over to stare from one to the other. He flicked his eyes down and kept them that way as he turned his face to press one cheek against El's belly. Then slowly slid up that way, rubbing warmth and stubble through thin shirt as he made his way to the hand that was still holding the coffeepot. Long dark lashes fluttered over tanned skin, and lips tentatively nipped at El's fingers.
"Quick study." Seth betrayed a bit of breathless admiration as he watched. "Hey, Sands. He's stealing your act."
Sands rudely slurped his java in response. "Imitation is the sincerest form of banality, and you, lizard ass, would be the connoisseur of the field."
El mostly ignored the banter, but kept his guns ready just in case as he tipped the pot up to let a trickle into Miguel's mouth. The other man sucked greedily at the fragrant brown liquid, then licked once at El's hand after the pot was pulled away. He settled back against El's chest, contented and pliant. "Are they always like this?"
"Only when we're not fucking with something," Sands snapped as he whipped down and clamped onto Miguel's throat, provoking a sharp gasp and a half-struggle. He caught the other man's hands as they flew up in instinctive fight, and Seth leaned over to pin down waist and legs while he leisurely made his way to El's jaw by way of Miguel's back. The mariachi quickly drained the last of the coffee, then collected mugs and maneuvered them and the pot onto the floor. Barely in time; the last cup clattered down when Sands turned his attack towards El.
Ravenous lips bit at his own, forcing him to grab the other man and lunge back. He twisted sideways, pulling Sands underneath him so his leverage was better, and conducted his own violent assault until he could feel the mouth beneath his nearly cracking from the strain. Then he eased back. Ran his tongue gently over Sands' gap-groaning one, ran his hands up and down the shaking sides till he stroked out the first mewl.
Miguel was still mostly trapped beneath him, moaning and blowing hot air into his stomach as Seth did whatever behind him. Two pairs of hands scrabbled his pants off, their fingertips scratching and swirling over skin, feathery needles redrawing the blueprint of his nerves. He shifted down-had to pluck more than a few weapons out of the way-peeling away blankets as he went, alternating between rough and gentle as he kissed the revealed flesh. Then stabbed his knee on something. "Shit!"
"What…" Seth's question coasted over his hip as the other man dug around in the bed. "Broken spring. Guess it worked its way through the mattress."
A head wormed its way out from under him and promptly smacked into Sands, who batted at Miguel. Which resulted in El hauling the other man back and sucking red spots onto his shoulderblades before Miguel did something stupid. Sands followed, snapping up Miguel's cries for a while before dropping down to lick at his cock. The younger man drew in a razor-sharp breath, then choked on it when he got pulled down onto El's erection.
"Take it you're fine," Seth muttered, nudging in beside Sands to share in the play. From his vantage point, El could occasionally glimpse wet pink lashing over straining crimson. Circumstances weren't often right for it, however, what with Miguel's squirming and rocking, and Sands' long hair tossing about. At one point, El thought he saw Seth accidentally suck in a few locks. But then nails dug deep into his thighs, distracting his attention. El bucked up fiercely and took advantage of Miguel's sudden relaxing to pry the other man's hands off of himself.
//Mother of-please, please. Please fuck me-oh, God.// Miguel's dazed-eyed head lolled back onto El's shoulder, staring blindly at the ceiling. He gnawed at air, more cursing prayers dribbling from the corners of his lips.
Sands smirked his way up Miguel's chest, taking a nibble there, a slurp there. El had twisted Miguel's wrists to his chest, and Sands covered the grip with his own for balance as he leaned forward for another long devouring kiss. "You know, I think we should take a break. Maybe do a massacre just once a week. Buy a monastery, or something."
Below, there was a strangled sound as Seth spit out the cock in his mouth. "What!?"
Miguel's face came forward to deliver a ferocious glare. "You want to-hell, you want to talk about this now? We've still got a general left!"
"Well, it's a shitty bed. They're all shitty beds. Not big enough, not bouncy enough-wait, that sounds a lot like your dick. Um-" Sands pretended to think while Miguel tried to rip out his throat with teeth alone. Fortunately for El's peace of mind, that change in position apparently did something marvelous for Miguel, who wilted halfway through and fell backwards. "-got enough wannabe pistolero nutballs around that want to stab us without adding mattresses to the list. And it's really too hard to carry a good bed around with us, so…"
So El was either completely thrown by timing and speaker, or he was mildly surprised that he hadn't had to raise the issue himself, after all.
It wasn't that he was getting tired. Maybe a little bored in between, but never during the fight. Persistent as she was, he still couldn't afford to let himself go. Snarling and odd as the other three were, he couldn't afford to stop paying attention. And it didn't matter how wide a swath he cut through the cartels and the armies; more would always rise to fill in the gaps. That was the nature of things. Even if he'd managed to break free of the pattern, he still couldn't reach back in and change it. He'd accepted that long ago as immutable law, and as such it had remained despite the drastic alterations in his life.
One of which-becoming her equal-probably had the greatest hand in this new itch to…not settle down, exactly. El had tried that once with Carolina, and since that catastrophe, he had gone beyond the man who had been happy with such a life. But now, he did have some real territory of his own, in a manner of speaking, and he was beginning to feel the pangs of its ownership. He wanted some kind of attachment: enough to support, but not chain. Something like what he'd managed to find with these three men.
Miguel's desperate whine abruptly brought him back to the reality of Sands' puzzled expression. "Anyone still standing in the bar? I think the pup's going to explode if we don't do something. Not that I'd mind, but Seth complains so much about mopping up-"
"Fuck off," was Seth's succinct reply as he wriggled back down and swallowed around Miguel's cock. Which, plus a slight upward jolt on El's part, was all it took to rip the climax from Miguel. His head whipped back and his mouth threw a high scream that seemed to tear out his backbone as well.
Wrung-out and half-conscious, Miguel mouthed indiscriminately at everything as El eased him off. He lipped at El's fingers, at Sands' nose as the other man took his place, at Seth's half-risen erection when El laid him across Gecko's legs. Soon groaning once more vibrated the air, beating it into thick folds. Seth heaved himself around to nip along El's shoulder and neck while Sands finished preparing himself and plunged onto El's cock. Promptly started squeezing to the rhythm of his purrs, nuzzling into El's teeth as they scored over cheekbones, jaw edge.
Sweet. Sweet like lime in alcohol. Sweet like acid-washed nicotine fumes. El let himself go loose and lazy, rolling up to meet Sands. Tracing Seth's tattoos with his nails, carding through Miguel's hair. He sensed the swell of pressure just beneath his skin, behind his eyeballs, and he dammed it up, waiting. Watching, and then watching for that one-
--and the walls shook themselves down, pleasurably destroying reality for a moment. El buried his head in the curve of Sands' neck and gradually slumped down, feeling the sweat and good ache wash back into him. His fingers were still tangled in Miguel's curls, and Seth's slowing breath was dotting his ear with dew. He languidly allowed his head to turn so he could lap at that air, taste it straight from the source as Seth obligingly rasped it out for him.
And then a bed leg broke, sending everything cockeyed. They didn't fall off, but for a second, it was very unpleasant.
Definitely time to stop using hotel rooms. Lousy cheap shit.
Seth mulled it over while he pulled on his vest and jacket, then scrutinized the faces before him. Nope, no joking there. Seeing Sands without a mocking expression was kind of creepy, actually. It made Seth almost want to twiddle the other man's cane just to check if the violent sarcasm was still there. "Can we go over this again?"
"Third time's the harm, but if you say so," Sands sneered, and Seth had to quickly squash his perverse relief. Like the bastard would ever change for anything. Except for El, but even then it'd be a long, loud and vicious uphill asskicking. "We have money. We've got even more now that Miguel's persuaded his Swiss cheese banker-slices that he isn't dead. So we're going into real estate."
"After this last general is dead, we are going to pick a few rest spots and slow down," El modified. "Not stop completely. I just have to see to some things, and it'll take a while. So it'll be harder to move around so much."
Some things? What the hell needed permanent residency-"Does this have anything to do with that weird property-whatever-the-fuck you got when she dropped Miguel into our laps?"
"Yes." El didn't elaborate. Probably because he knew Seth would stop following halfway through and not bother listening to the rest. The mariachi and the bastard-cat got all that supernatural shit just fine, so they could take care of it while Seth got himself yet more clothing. Jesus Christ, the amount of fucking shopping he had to do because of their fighting.
Actually, now that Seth thought about it, he was beginning to really like this idea of taking it a little easier. Hell, that's what he had come to Mexico to do in the first place, and while he wouldn't give up this shit for the world, living in the whirlwind occasionally gave him motion-sickness. Being able to step out for a few moments would be nice. "Okay. Great. You have any place in mind?"
"Some of the old monasteries we've stayed in. Other than that, I don't know yet." El adjusted his grip on Sands' waist, then nuzzled away the squeak. Rolling his eyes, Seth did up the last button and moved to go past them and out the door, but El caught him by the arm. "Wait a minute."
The mariachi nibbled along Sands' ear, rubbing his nose down the hairline. Seth didn't think he heard anything, but El must have said something because Sands snorted and put a bloody bite on the cords of El's neck. "Fine. But you better not take too long, or else I might start clipping that bubblehead's ears. Would improve his looks, don't you think?"
"Ow-" El's tongue flicked out "-oh. Oh…okay, promise not to maim, severely scar and otherwise modify the kid's preexisting traumas. Even if the puppy could use a few good whacks with a rolled-up newspap-nah. He'd like that way too much, so we should withhold the punishment to punish him. Oh, fuck your balls."
Contrary to his dismissive tone, Sands stuck around until El actually let go and stepped back before reluctantly leaving. While giving Seth a condescending pat on the cheek that was more like a smack, the little skinny son of a bitch. Well, it was a whole-day drive, so Sands would get plenty of time to make up for his goddamned missed half-hour of El-merging. Seth straightened out his cuffs and picked up one of his guns. "What?"
El tipped one shoulder against the wall, throwing a shadow over himself so he looked like dark lean hell decorated with silver chains. And he was silently staring at Seth. It felt like someone was sticking needles under Seth's nails, only with a trace of bizarre heat. Then again, that could describe most things that had to do with El. "I was wondering. Miguel. You think he'll go with this?"
"Sure. Why not?" Seth answered way too fast, but something was off here and that always messed up his rhythm. "It's you. And he's learning much faster now that we've all taken turns kicking his ass."
"I noticed." Still with the stare. What the fuck? Wasn't Sands the one who was supposed to deal with El's moody side-meowing shit liked pissing El off, after all. Like the morning's usual t-shirt argument, which remembrance made Seth turn and cough to cover up his smile. It had been a pretty funny shirt, but yeah, it was now shreds and Sands had gotten bundled into a spare mariachi jacket, so no point in reminding El. "You watch him a lot."
Oh, shit. That. Seth began to curse his overactive dick, then stopped as God knows who could be listening around here. "Yeah?"
"Yes." El didn't look upset or anything. In fact, he didn't have an expression at all. The word 'blank' must have been invented especially for him.
"Um, well…" Seth floundered in tact, then said to hell with that and resorted to his old style of bravado. "Nice ass, not bad in bed when he's being good. I'd have to be dead not to."
Boots creaked as, still calm and opaque, El took a step forward. And then another and another, until Seth found himself bumping against the wall. The other man's arms came out to rest palms on either side of Seth's shoulders, and his face drifted in until only a bare inch separated them. "You think?"
Actually, yeah. Along with some other things, like the fact that Miguel was reasonably intelligent and could carry on a sensible conversation when El was busy wrestling Sands around. And that nights in Mexico could get a little chilly, so Seth liked having a large warm thing to drape over the side of him that wasn't touching El. But he definitely wasn't going to mention all that shit. Not without a team of wild horses and an absence of anything nearby that could remotely be turned into a weapon. "Well, under our current situa-ahgah-ation-fuck!"
Hand diving down the front of his pants. Seth's knees promptly followed standard fuck-himself-over procedure and wobbled. El glanced down, noted the circumstances, and pushed his other arm under Seth's for some damn-well-needed support. There was a swish as the zipper gave up and whisked itself open, and then Seth was whacking the back of his head on the wall, El's slight smile and the colored haze around it randomly floating in and out of his vision. And then the grin craned down to lick over a tattoo, which logically should've been lying flat on Seth's skin, but instead felt like it had turned into a gigantic bulging nerve that El could tease.
Ice suddenly grazed over his cock, but fire-fingers quickly wiped away its frost. So quickly that Seth thought he'd imagined it, but no, there it went again. Then the gun muzzle stayed, pressing up behind his balls and almost, almost making him scream like a girl. He bit down on his lip, used the blood to keep himself sane until El came up for air and lapped that away. And then the cold skated up his erection and disappeared; fingers massaged and pulled a very manly yell, thank you, out of him into El's all-consuming mouth.
"Oh, Christ," was the first coherent thing to exit his mouth after the other man let him breathe again.
"You can keep watching over Miguel if you want," El told his bleared eyes, the mariachi's own breathing barely ragged. "I still don't think he understands everything, even though he knows most of it."
Well, what the fuck was he supposed to say to that? So he didn't. Seth swiped sweat off his forehead and gave El a thumbs-up that wasn't entirely sarcastic.
Sands grumpily slid into the front seat and draped himself over El's guitar case to wait for the big broody killer-hen to finish up with Seth. Finish Seth, more likely. And what did he get? Rifle-happy pup in the backseat, sounding like he was as far from Sands as possible while still having even room to fiddle with his brand new head-popper. Mary on her knees, but Miguel had practically squeed when El had shown up with the sniper's rifle, and ever since then, he'd been about as attached to it as El was to Sands. And okay, fine, the guitar cases. But Sands was a hell of a lot more fun to sleep with, so fucking there.
He smacked the case underneath him to drive the lesson home, which provoked a start and then a mocking laugh from the peanut brain.
"What are you, anyway?" Miguel asked. Metallic clinks and clicks signaled him putting away the rifle in its case, and then the leather creaked as he leaned over the top of the front seat. "You purr and bite like a cat, swear like a bastard and fuck like a whore."
"And I'm insane," Sands smirked, sitting up so he could invade Miguel's breath-space. Didn't get a knee-jerk climax response like El or Seth would have, but like he wanted to. Gecko could play fetch all he wanted with the twit, and have all the scars for his pains; there was exactly one person who got to mark up Sands, and Miguel wasn't anywhere close to touching him. "Can't forget that, can we?"
Miguel snorted and pushed back. "I wonder about that. You aren't sane, obviously, but you function too well to be kept in any madhouse. They'd have to take you out back and put a bullet through your head."
Oh, sassy. Sands folded his arms across the seat and rested his chin on them, giving the other man his most creepily innocent smile. "Lucky for me that that wouldn't work now, isn't it? Or else I'd have a regular garden of blades on my back. Knife-of-glory, perennial. Needs shade and mucky soil, but actually does better when neglected."
"Whatever you say." Dry, dry tone. Pretty was getting a little complacent, apparently-thinking that he knew how to placate Sands. "Why is there a fake arm in here?"
"It's mine." The case's edge was jabbing into one of Sands' legs, so he wriggled until he could sprawl more comfortably over it. "Yes, of course it's mine," he said sarcastically. "El wouldn't keep something like that around--hah. Weirdo likes it more than I do. But Seth definitely wouldn't. He does still hang onto this .44, probably in remembrance for his dear departed fuckmook little bro-oh, did you not know? You want to know? You do, don't you."
"What-" Miguel stopped himself, then began again at a slower rate. "What…are…you …implying? Or can't you talk in a straight line, instead of circles?"
Funny. Sands actually found this somewhat enjoyable. While Miguel and Seth both picked up on insulting vibes at about the same speed, the tail-wagger beat the reptile by a wide margin for actually comprehending said verbal abuse. "Well, what the hell do you think? I didn't put up with all that post-resurrection counseling just to get shoved off the lap of Satan."
"That's a nice name for him." Little chuckling lilt, with just a touch of the sardonic. "From the way I hear it, you bugged him into screwing the balls out of you."
"And from the way I hear it," Sands said meaningfully, tapping his right ear, "You're bugging him into playing hunting partner. Though I suppose that makes sense; ass-dragging bitch always did like to hang back and take out the stragglers."
Pause while that was fully processed. "We aren't talking about the same 'him,' are we? Of course not. I'm not that stupid, or blind-" nasty, nasty bite there, but Sands could care less by now "-and you know it. You're not even warning me, are you? Because I never went just for El." Miguel's grin sent amused, almost conspiratorial vibrations over the dividing space. "You have a weird way of giving a blessing."
"Want me to do it with a baptized bullet? 'Cause, you know, I'm always happy to oblige a fellow pilgrim." Necessary unpleasantries done, Sands let himself ooze back onto the seat and scooted over to make room for El, who was finally coming out. "Oh, and by the way, you'll never pry him away. Short vacation once in a while would do him good, but he's always going to come back here."
"I know that, too," Miguel muttered, a little resentful and a lot resigned. "I can't leave either. I don't want to, and you can't make me."
"Hey, I have no interest in messing with her and El's arrangements; took long enough to get a fucking interview with her. Just so everything's clear as revenge, Assassin Boy. Do your little contract thing, but don't forget which land's got your blood now." Sands melted into the warm sunshine and contently puddled himself for a few seconds before two doors, one the driver's side, opened. El dropped a sigh onto his face and then curled fingers under Sands' nape, using that grip to pick him up like a kitten and drag him onto a nice lap. "About time, Music Man. I-"
Hand in his mouth, thumb hooking around to toy with his tongue while leather smoothed over his cheek and chin. El started up the car as Sands savaged the gag, then yanked his hand out and ripped teeth up the side of Sands' neck, laying open a layer of sudden tingling pain that seared his nerves. Fuck. At this rate, he wasn't going to make it to their next stop.
//Stop that. You know why, and you agreed.// The thumb returned, smearing blood over Sands' lips. He twitched, and El skated nails under his jaw, gently scratching.
And he purred. Fuck it all-oh, now. Tongue in ear. Well, pride must bow before insanity. With that thought firmly in mind, Sands happily gave himself over to the task of licking clean El's bloody hand and squirming until the mariachi had to call for a rest break.
Miguel finished arranging the tools of his trade on the desk, then went over to the window and surveyed the setting.
The last high-ranking friend of General Marquez was a General Gusano, who visited his mistress every other week at a top-class hotel in Mazatlan. Naturally, he came accompanied by a huge retinue of handpicked soldiers. Combined with the fact that, while with the woman, he didn't ever leave the room, getting within range of the man was a rather difficult proposition. It was too short a notice to get a job on the hotel staff, so Miguel normally would have created a distraction somewhere-an explosion, maybe, or a fire alarm-and then gone in.
Now that he'd hooked up with Mexico's three immortals, however, distractions were no longer a problem. Hopefully. Sands had a frustrating tendency to escalate a simple skirmish into a city-wide invasion, and El might or might not stop him, depending on how well the circumstances suited the mariachi's taste for vengeance. Well, that was how it had been described to Miguel, though he privately thought the entire thing was more like pest control. It wasn't something worth getting confused by Sands over, though.
So El and Sands were going to draw out the soldiers, while in the room directly above the General's, Miguel and Seth were going to wait until Gusano went to sneak out the back way. Then Miguel would head for a balcony he'd picked out and would try to shoot Gusano while he was running for the cars. That way, it wouldn't match El's usual style and suspicion would therefore turn elsewhere. But that wasn't for another three hours, hence why Seth had decided that it was perfectly fine to nap on the couch.
Shaking his head at that, Miguel looked over his rifle one last time before going over to stare at Seth. How the man could even think of sleeping, when conditions could change so much in three hours-especially with the nutcase Sands involved. Miguel didn't get it.
Seth cracked open one eye, sending out a small beam of irritation. "What?"
"You're sleeping." Miguel squatted down, clasping his hands together. "There's only three hours to go."
"God, you need to learn how to relax." The eyelid went back down. Irked, Miguel poked until it lifted again. "What?"
Hm. How to put this. "I'm a professional assassin, you bastard. Maybe I don't have as much experience as you three in-general mayhem, you would say?-but I know what I'm doing here. And I am not lying down."
"Really." An arm went out and coiled itself about Miguel's waist. He snarled and jerked back, but too late; Seth dragged him onto the couch and tumbled them about until he was trapped between the other man and the back cushions. "Now you are."
Now he wanted to punch out that stupidly charming grin. His hands were stuck somewhere around Seth's fourth rib, however, so he could only do little ineffectual shoves. "Let go, you fuck. Who the hell do you think you are, anyway?"
"Someone who has better timing than you," Seth commented ironically, producing a pair of handcuffs from somewhere and using Miguel's flailings to snap them on.
"Stop copying El. It looks bad on you," Miguel snapped, struggling even harder. He tried dislocating his thumb so he could slip out of the cuffs, but Seth grabbed his hands and wrenched them above his head. And then the goddamn motherfucker scented up Miguel's neck. "Don't you-Christ-I-stop it. Stop it, damn it!"
"If I were El, you'd be passing out already." Surprisingly, Seth did actually pull back, though he didn't release Miguel's wrists. "Jesus, calm down. Think about this."
"Think about what-" This time, the complaint got cut off by a clever tongue stroking over the backs of Miguel's teeth, and a dizzying mix of coffee-stained alcohol air stole into his nose. Next thing he knew, his jaw was aching with the strain of spreading so far, and he was pushing back, whining for more.
Seth leaned back again, face contemplative. "So you aren't that far along yet. Listen, we're not normal-"
"-but you don't think it." The contemplation turned faintly exasperated. "Did it ever occur to you that even if you hadn't had photos, I could've still tracked Gusano's fucking paperweight of a watch? Or that your fucking fidgets are probably because you're smelling them screwing by way of the shitty plumbing? Or hell, that the El-Sands two-headed monster has a shitload of supernatural info feeding into their brains?"
"I…" Miguel closed his mouth and ducked his head, trying to rub off the heat rising into his cheeks. Fuck. Fuck. And fuck. He really hated the feeling of embarrassment, and the little self-reminder about the whole Rath-business wasn't helping, either. "Fuck off."
"Where? The museum-piece bar downstairs?" Seth eased back in, tucking into the curve of Miguel's neck and gently swirling his tongue into each hollow. His other hand started twiddling the buttons of Miguel's shirt out of their holes, callused fingertips rasping pleasantly over skin as they traveled down.
Miguel half-lidded his eyes, still not looking at Seth, but he did stop tossing his head around. Because it was beginning to feel heavy, wanting to tilt sideways and nestle closer to the spiced warmth. //This is just so…fucked up. And I haven't-things still don't…click.//
The other man murmured something into Miguel's shoulder, nibbling at its slope, then slumped off the couch to tug at Miguel's pants. Mind fogged and lips loose with moans, he vaguely realized he was grabbing onto the sofa arm and lifting up his hips so the fabric could slide off. Teeth grazed over his buttocks, sparking loops of liquid fire through him and weakening his joints so he drooped onto the cushions.
Seth was fussing with something. "Stupid goddamned…wish I knew how El makes these appear and disappear."
A pair of guns appeared on the sofa, plopping down next to Miguel's head. They drifted cool moon anise aromas into his brain, and it seemed the most natural thing in the world to lean over and lap at them. See if they tasted that good, after all.
"Holy fucking God." There was a harsh inhale, distantly ringing in Miguel's head, and then Seth was taking the pistols away with a shaking hand. Bowling Miguel over so a scorching wet wind could engulf him, entwine about his cock, and round off the edges of his vision to nothing but a circular button that shouldn't be there. So he reached up and got it out of the way, and the zipper that took its place.
Seth bucked when Miguel just brushed his lips over the head, and when he swallowed it all, the other man let out a muffled yell that tremored its way up Miguel's spine. Fucking white-hot no-mercy, and all he could do was try to send it back as fast as it came. But he kept getting distracted-lips there, tongue there, oh-God-teeth there-and he lost his rhythm. Tried to find it again, only to get even farther off track. And then fingers slipped in, brushed out his mind and his throat spasmed in a wild cry.
He came back to the world choking on thick stuff that trickled down the sides of his cheeks while a sandpaper-silk tongue cleaned off his still-sensitive cock. Seth finished there and gasped his way up to Miguel's face, then licked off the ejaculate there in between kisses. To which Miguel, too utterly wasted, could do little except make soft breathless noises and let the other man swipe out his mouth.
"Jesus," Seth said. His lips moved, but nothing came out. He took in some air and tried again. "Jesus Christ. When do you think you'll be up for a repeat?"
"Wha…" But when Miguel actually considered the notion, he discovered that yes, accelerated healing covered that, too. Didn't do a damn thing for the schedule, though. "Right when we have to go kill Gusano. Fuck."
"Shit," Seth agreed. "Really getting tired of the killing going before fucking part of this."
And that break was starting to look like a very good idea. Miguel clearly needed to adjust a few things before he got completely back into the game, and goddamn, but he needed too much of this to ever get his fill. Nap first, though. "Fine," he muttered, unsuccessfully attempting to feign reluctance as he snuggled into Seth. "We'll do it your way. But if we don't wake up in time, then it's your fault."
"Yeah, sure." Seth got rid of the handcuffs and made a half-hearted stab at straightening their clothes before he finally settled down. Miguel took a few licks at the other man's tattoos before the lovely smell of steel and whiskey lulled him into sleep.
Two hours later, Seth did indeed wake them up on time. Barely. "Goddamn it. You stupid fuck!" Miguel snarled as he threw on his jacket and slung his rifle over his back.
"Shut up and calm down, damn it. The fucker's fat; we've got-" Miguel paid no attention and ran out "-fucking hell."
Seth mussed up his hair, then squared his shoulders and swung himself out of the room after the other man. He popped out one gun as he clattered down the stairs, then whirled into the hallway and shot the first two coming his way. "Another fucking day's graveyard."
Sands woke up pissed. Because he didn't have the slightest idea why he was up-oh. El wasn't in the bed, but instead was…"All right, I'll bite. Where the hell are you brooding now?"
Seth's grumble brushed past his knee. "He's lounging in the doorway. Now will you fucking shut up?"
"Oh, sorry, is the hangover still there?" Sands replied innocently with a deliberately raised voice. Two growls answered him, and the bedsheets rumpled around him as Miguel elbowed him, probably on the way to burrowing under Seth. "Your fault for draining the shine from the moon."
"That was only an hour ago," Miguel hissed. "If you would go back to sleep, we could heal and be fine."
Sands lifted an eyebrow. "What, and miss out on the enjoyment of having a huge, fluffy, well-supported bed?"
For extra emphasis, he bounced. Repeatedly. To the tune of their swearing, until a familiar grip slung him out of the bed and onto the rug. "Bastard," El murmured in what might have been an affectionate tone, if the mariachi hadn't been teasing two fingers up Sands' still-slicked ass. "You can't wait for anything?"
"Well, you insist on being…bo-bothered by…everything…" Hard flesh stretched him, and he locked his legs behind El's back, urging on the slow rocking thrusts. Lips worked their way across his collarbone, painting patterns into his skin that burned crimson in the black, and palms skimmed along his outflung arms to press against his own, restraining and cradling all at once. "What? Did you…hear something?"
"No. That's why I was up." El savaged his way up Sands' chest and throat to dip into Sands' mouth. Familiar but always-shocking lightning whipped its way out to Sands' fingertips, making him arch up and mewl. In response, everything sped up: the push and slide, the shared breath, the entwined hands. Everything, except the last kiss, which was sweet and languorous and too. Damn. Good. Sands lost himself in it, nails scraping loose of the cliff edge so he plummeted into the dark.
But El was there to bring him back out, caress the life back into him. He remembered the beat of the heart, the movement of lungs, and he relaxed back into a simmer, knowing that the coals would never go out. "So nothing to do today?"
"Nothing today," El echoed. "Nothing that we have to do. But anything that we want to."
And Sands laughed, because really, who would have thought? Odds like theirs, enemies like theirs-all beaten down into the shit. None of that had mattered, after all. The only thing that had counted had been who held the gun, and their guy had been better than the rest. Far better. "What I always love to hear, El."