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Rated: 13+ · Chapter · Action/Adventure · #2317609
In which Kam and Bel confront the villain
The showroom is dark. Bel can see the shapes of the cars out of the corner of his eye. He can see the closed doors to the garages where the cars are customized, and the office where Kam makes calls to important sellers all around the world. There’s a hulking shape of a man in one corner, his face hidden in shadow, but Bel recognizes him. It’s the Gorilla--the member of Gulf’s security team who could probably squash Bel to a bloody pulp without even trying.

Gulf is standing in the middle of the floor, with Kam at his feet. He’s not in his tux anymore; he’s changed into more casual clothes. He’s still smiling, and that smile sets Bel’s teeth on edge.

“Nice of you to join us, Bellamy.” This time, the sound of his full name on Gulf’s lips doesn’t just send waves of irritation pulsing through Bel’s body, but rage as well.

Even in the dim light, Bel can see that one of Kam’s eyes is totally black. Blood streams from his temple, his nose and one corner of his mouth, and his face is a mottled combination of purple, blue and red. There’s bruises and scrapes along Kam’s arms too, one of which is wrapped around his side, like he’s trying to hold himself up.

“You said you wouldn’t hurt him!” Bel is shaking again, and this time he knows it’s rage.

“What I said was that there wouldn’t be another mark on him,” Gulf pats Kam’s shoulder, and Kam winces aloud. “You don’t want to make a liar out of me, do you, Bellamy?”

“Let him go, you son of a bitch!” Bel darts forward, ready to tear this jackass open with his bare hands. The Gorilla moves to intercept him, but a flick of Gulf’s hand sends him back to his shadowy corner.

“Oh, I should be very careful of the words that come out of your mouth, if I were you, Bellamy. No need to make your situation worse than it already is.”

Gulf flicks his hand a second time. The Gorilla moves to the opposite wall, and there is the snick of a lightswitch. The showroom lights come on.


Bel halts, his entire body turning to a chunk of ice.

Now he sees why Kam has not been moving.

There is a gun in Gulf’s hand.

A gun that is resting against Kam’s temple.

“You want your boyfriend back, right, Bellamy?”

“Why the hell else do you think I came?” Bel fights to keep his voice steady, but he’s not sure if it’s working. The way Gulf keeps saying his full name is grating on his last nerve. His fists are clenched so hard he can feel the nails digging into his palms.

Look calm, Bel. All you have to do is look calm. Gulf is the one with the gun, not you.

“Then let’s keep this really simple, shall we?” Gulf is grinning at him. “Like I said, your dad hurt some very important people to me. I don’t like it when people important to me get hurt. I’m sure you can understand that. But I can be reasonable if I need to be.”

“You call this reasonable?”

“Stop stalling, Bellamy. I know you have what I want.”

“You’ll use that gun anyway, so what the hell’s the difference?” It’s all Bel can do not to launch himself in Gulf’s direction.

No sudden moves, Bel.

Keep him talking.

“Smart boy.” Gulf’s going to savor this moment as long as possible. “The difference is you get to decide where the bullet goes: into your body, or into the bodies of your sister and your boyfriend. Your choice.”

“You motherf--” Kam surges up toward Gulf, but Gulf backhands him with the gun, sending Kam sprawling onto his injured side.

“Open your mouth again, and I’ll put a bullet through your head here and now, so Bellamy can watch you die.”

Both Bel and Kam freeze.

Gulf turns his gaze back to Bel.

“You just walk toward me, Bellamy, nice and slow, and give me that USB in your pocket.”

Bel reaches into his pocket and pulls out the USB, holding it up for Gulf to see. Behind Gulf’s back, Kam’s eyes lock with his, pleading with him not to do this, to turn and run the other way, and Bel’s heart stutters. Kam has never pleaded before, silently or otherwise.

Bel shakes his head ever so slightly as he walks toward Gulf.

It’s ok, Kam.

You’ve always been able to know what I’m thinking.

Please do that now.

Read my mind one more time.

As Bel moves one step at a time toward Gulf, Kam slowly moves into a crouching position. His movements are painful, but he’s moving. He understands what Bel wants him to do. Bel stops close enough for Gulf to reach out a hand for the USB.

“That’s right, Bellamy. Give it to me.”

“Stop calling me Bellamy, dipshit!” Bel launches his tiny body at Gulf, knocking the surprised man off his feet. Gulf’s black slams into the cement floor, the combination of that and Bel’s weight on top of him smashing the remaining breath from his lungs.

Bel throws a fist into Gulf’s face, attacking before the bigger man can breathe properly again, and Bel loses the advantage. He keeps one hand clamped tightly around the USB and wraps the fingers of his other hand around Gulf’s wrist. The wrist connected to the hand that’s holding the gun.

“Don’t. You. Fucking. Dare. Lay. Another. Finger. On. My. Boyfriend. You. Fucking. Bastard!” With each word, Bel slams Gulf’s hand into the floor, harder and harder until Gulf’s fingers loosen.


Gulf yells as his wrist breaks, but Bel doesn’t let go.

The gun is on the floor now, and Bel shoves it away. Out of the corner of his eye, Bel can see Kam taking on the Gorilla, his teeth clenched in both pain and rage, which is fine with him because that’s exactly what he told Kam to do.

Because wounded animals attack more aggressively, the Gorilla is the one taken by surprise, and Kam is the one with the advantage this time, ready to pummel him into unconsciousness. Bel grins like an idiot in the direction of his awesome boyfriend.

Until Gulf’s fist smashes into the side of his head.

Red and purple and green sparks dance in front of Bel’s eyes.

He slides off Gulf, and more sparks appear when his head connects with the floor.

“Wrong choice, Bellamy.” Gulf is on his feet, and he kicks Bel in the ribs.

Gulf doesn't kick him just once, but two, three, four times. Bel curls into a ball as Gulf’s foot continues to make contact with his newly healed stitches. He can feel something cold and wet on his skin, making his shirt stick to his side.

I’m bleeding again!

Nina’s going to kill me if Gulf hasn’t already.

Gulf’s next kick sends Bel onto his back, and Gulf kneels over him, grasping Bel’s collar and hauling him upright. His fist slams into Bel’s face over and over until Bel’s lip splits and his head lolls and his brain fogs up. He can hear Kam shouting something, but his ears don’t want to work properly anymore. It’s hard enough to breathe through the agony that’s starting to overtake him. Gulf lets go of his shirt, and Bel flops back to the ground.

“Thank you for bringing me what I wanted.” Gulf takes the USB from Bel’s slackened fingers. He smiles, stroking Bel’s hair back from his face. “Now you and your boyfriend can go home…if either of you can walk out the door.”

Bel just lies there, unable to move, unable to think.


Gulf’s body spasms, his eyes and mouth perfect round o’s of surprise. He sways, then drops on top of Bel, squeezing the remaining air out of the boy’s lungs. Bel gasps, not just from pain, but surprise. Over Gulf’s now still shoulder, he can see Kit making a beeline for the Gorilla, and knocking him off his feet. Talay is right behind him, helping Kam stand.

Someone else is standing in the doorway.

Face ice cold.

Eyes blazing fire.

A still smoking gun pointed at the place where Gulf had been kneeling.


“Bel? Bel, can you hear me?” Kam’s voice becomes clearer as the fog starts to leave Bel’s brain. He sucks in enough air to respond.

“Yeah, I can hear you. I can see you, too.”

“Not funny.” Kam kneels next to him, and Bel feels a shifting of weight as he yanks Gulf’s body off, and gently lifts Bel into a sitting position.

Bel winces under Kam’s touch, but forces himself not to cry out. He almost succeeds--the cry is a whimper instead. He hears Kam’s breath hiss through his teeth and looks up into Kam’s face. It’s pale under the bruises, and his eyes are darkened by worry.

“I just wanted to answer your question.”Bel tries to smile, but his lip hurts too much.

Kam is scowling. “You’re bleeding again, you jackass.”

“It’s not like I asked Gulf to kick me.” Bel’s second attempt at humor falls just as flat. Kam’s hands are trembling as they run over Bel’s battered face. “You’re the one who looks like he’s been through a meat grinder. You’re sitting funny.”

“Couple of broken ribs, that’s all. They’ll heal.”

Broken ribs.

Gulf had broken Kam’s ribs.

Bel should have broken both of Gulf’s arms and maybe a leg instead of just his wrist.

“Then why the hell did you fight that Gorilla?” He glares at Kam. “You could have made things worse for yourself!”

“I always know what you’re thinking, remember? And I’ll always do what you ask me to do.” Battered forehead presses to battered forehead, and Kam wraps his arms tightly around the boy he loves, not caring that the movement makes his broken ribs scrape against each other. “I fought him because you asked me to. Because I had a better chance with him, and you had a better chance with Gulf. What better reason could there be?”

Bel takes a breath. “Gulf killed my dad.”

“I know.” One of Kam’s hands strokes through Bel’s hair.

“He killed your dad.” Bel is shaking as his adrenalin crashes.

“I know.”

“He was going to kill you.” Bel’s voice cracks. He’s not going to cry. He’s not going to cry. He can feel the moisture fighting to get out of his eyes and he closes them tight.

“Hey. Look at me.” Kam cups Bel’s face, waiting until the younger boy opens his teary eyes before continuing. “Everything’s ok now.”

Bel gulps, and Kam hugs him.

“You’re lucky everything turned out as ‘ok’ as this.” Kit is glaring down at the two amateur idiots who thought they could take on an angry villain on their own. “If Em hadn’t called, Gulf would have shot you both.”

“I told her to call Silo and Talay,” Bel matches Kit’s glare with one of his own. “I didn’t know she’d call you, too.”

“Before or after you sent me the email with Gulf’s confession on it?” Kit asks.

“I sent you the email before,” Bel answers. “And Em called the other two after. I knew exactly what I was doing. I thought--”

“Think about it harder next time.” Silo isn’t glaring. He just looks worried. About them. “On your feet, both of you.”

Bel looks around the room, at the body of Gulf, lying in the pool of his own blood, and the Gorilla still collapsed in the corner with Talay standing over him. “We’re going? We’re just going to leave--”

“Someone will be here in a few minutes to clean up this mess.” Talay says. “They’ll ask you questions, so answer them truthfully. Then we’re taking you to the hospital.”

Kam gets to his feet, looping one of Bel’s arms around his shoulder so the younger boy can lean on him. “I’m perfectly capable of driving my boyfriend to the hospital, thank you.”

“You’ve got broken ribs and who knows what the hell else, so I’m driving.” Kit’s tone dares them to argue.

Silo bends over Gulf’s body, removing the USB from the corpse’s hand. “And while you’re getting patched up, I’ll get this to the proper authorities.”


Kam looks at his battered boyfriend, who is shaking his head. Silo and Talay also look at him, but say nothing.

“What do you mean, ‘no’?” Kit asks what all three of them are thinking.

“I mean ‘no’,” Bel repeats. “As in ‘that USB won’t do you any good’.”

“Bel,” Silo is pretty sure the younger boy has a concussion from so many blows to the head, so he’s very patient when he answers. “This will help tie up all of the loose ends. I thought that’s what you wanted.”

“No,” Another shake of Bel’s head, more vigorously this time. It makes him dizzy, so he stops. “It really won’t.”

Silo, Talay and Kam stare at him.

“Bel,” Kit says. “Is there something you want to share with the rest of us?”

Bel grins. “I told you, I knew what I was doing. That USB won’t do you or anyone else any good at all.”

“And why is that?” Silo asks.

“I deleted the files the night I got shot.” Bel’s grin is so wide his lip splits back open, but he doesn’t care. “That USB is totally blank.”

"30. Loose Ends Tie Up

read from beginning "1. Phone Calls in the Dark
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