Happy Sexy Saturday, kits and kittens! Tonight I have a special treat from the Vault for you – a story I never quite finished. It’s the start of a sexy little tale starring a detective who’s looking for a serial killer and finds a monster instead…
This is one of those ideas I had that I might eventually flesh out into a full novel, but who knows! I’m still working on my Undertaker story, I have something new cooking about some very naughty gods, and I still have more Tentacles books to write. And witches. And well… And everything else! XD
I do hope you like it! Happy reading!
Warnings: NSFW/serial killer/mentions of murder/sexy times/self-fellatio/possible murder husband type shenanigans/strip club/brief gore
Detective Michael Zander took a seat at the bar, turning around just in time to watch as Superman flung his cape off into the cheering crowd. Green Lantern was twirling around a pole on the other side of the stage while Aquaman pranced over to entertain some guests in the champagne room.
Another titillating evening at Juicy Bruce’s, and tonight was Justice League night.
Michael had been coming here all week working a case, undercover as a patron and trying to pass as a normal civilian. There had been a recent series of unsolved murders, and all the victims were either male escorts or male exotic dancers from local clubs. Following the perp’s pattern, Juicy Bruce’s was his next target.
They had a vague physical description from one lucky young man who had managed to escape, and Michael was here now to watch and wait, hoping to catch a killer before he could strike again.
“Back again,” the bartender noted when he sat down, already pouring him a shot of cheap whiskey. “How’s it going tonight, Robert?”
“Good, good.” Michael was pleased that the bartender had remembered his drink of choice and his fake name, gulping the shot back with a quiet grunt. “Mmmm, just can’t get enough of all that lovely spandex.”
“Right,” the bartender chuckled, keeping his chin tilted away as he wiped down the counter.
Michael had already seen the scars he was trying to hide, a brutal twist of flesh that dominated the right side of his face and traveled down his neck beneath his collar. A house fire was the cause, he recalled, having run background checks on all the club’s employees.
The bartender’s legal name was William Staffe, but he went by his old stage name;
Vinnie Van Wham.
Vinnie to most, Van to a special few that worked here. No priors, squeaky clean, and he seemed quite shy about his injuries. They’d barely made eye contact since he’d started coming here, but Michael found Van incredibly attractive.
He had warm brown eyes, bronze skin and lush lips, and those long legs that must have looked spectacular wrapped around a pole. His dark hair had been bleached out and changed colors often, and tonight it was a deep forest green.
The scars didn’t bother Michael in the slightest. He had his own from a brush with fire that could rival Van’s, but he could cover his much more easily. Long sleeves in spite of warm weather raised some brows, but it fulfilled a simple function to prevent staring.
Van didn’t have that luxury.
Michael knew he was supposed to be canvassing the club, but he found himself watching Van instead tonight. It was easy to get caught up looking at him, but it wasn’t the terrible scars that held Michael’s attention so.
Van moved along the busy bar with incredible speed, filling multiple drink orders at a time and never once writing one down no matter how large. He was friendly, quick, and had a generous hand with the spirits if he was tipped well. He kept his head tilted away from the customers, only giving them the fair side of face when they spoke to him.
But if they got rowdy or if they were rude, Van would give them the full view of his horrid scars. It was then that Michael realized Van wasn’t ashamed of how he looked. He kept it at bay for the sake of others’ comfort, but he wielded his deformity like a weapon when he needed it.
It was impressive.
The night rolled on, the music a constant hum shaking inside his head. Every song sounded like the next with the bass cranked up to organ vibrating levels, and Michael refocused his attention to search for his suspect.
Tall, white, blond, missing a pinkie.
He had to be here somewhere.
Keeping with the pattern, he was due to take his next victim any day now, and Michael was not going to let that happen. He was tired of feeling so helpless, utterly exhausted with wave after wave of crime drowning his hopes to make the city safer.
Mayfield wasn’t the city Michael remembered from his childhood. It had always been rough around the edges, but now it was a cesspool of crime and violence. Citizens didn’t feel safe, the police were overwhelmed, and the mayor had been discussing putting a curfew into place.
Michael was struggling to do his part to make things better, but there never seemed to be any progress. Half the criminals he arrested ended up right back on the streets, and he wondered to himself what would happen if he was actually able to nab his nine-fingered suspect.
Post bail and go kill again? Flee the city and start killing somewhere else? Just claim he was nuts when he was cutting all those dancers up, end up in some asylum instead of death row?
Would just be easier to stick a bullet in him, Michael thought grumpily to himself.
Van brought Michael another shot as if sensing his distress, flying from one side of the bar to the other as he served up more drinks. There was a group of regulars who greeted him cheerfully, and Van mixed them a batch of margaritas without ever needing to be asked.
“You memorize everyone’s drink?” Michael asked when Van returned to take his empty glass.
“I’m very observant,” Van challenged, a smirk curling his lips as he turned his head to meet Michael’s piercing gaze. “Drinks, quirks, whatever. I’m a regular Sherlock Holmes. I can read people.”
“Oh?” Michael leaned across the bar. “So, you think you could read me?”
“Already read you and filed away from the first night you came in here,” Van scoffed.
Van pursed his lips, glancing down the length of the bar for a quick moment. All the customers seemed content, and he turned back to Michael as he replied, “You’re here on business. You never get any lap dances and although you tip the guys on stage occasionally, you’re not watching them. You’re always watching the crowd. Watching them watch the boys. Looking for someone. Definitely not someone you like, someone you hate… someone you’re trying to catch.”
“Not bad,” Michael said, genuinely impressed. “What else?”
“Most likely a cop,” Van said, now turning to face Michael head on. “I’ve seen you checking for a shoulder holster you’re not wearing. Old habit maybe. Plus, all the guys being killed lately and you’re here? Staking the place out?”
Michael raised his glass, knocking it back with a respectful nod.
“I can totally keep going,” Van said with a wink. “All night.”
“I bet you could,” Michael teased.
“Let’s see, hmmm. You’re wearing a Star of David, but I’m not sure if you’re actually Jewish.”
“And why not?”
“Didn’t think alcohol was kosher.”
“On the contrary,” Michael chuckled warmly, “Jews regard alcohol as a holy beverage. We drink wine to celebrate a mitzvah, we drink at weddings and births, and four cups for the first night of Passover. Wine itself has its own special blessing, in fact.”
“Oh, yes. There was a rabbi named Menachem Posner who once said that alcohol was special because it lowers the body’s resistances and allows the soul to shine through.”
“What if you get drunk and just turn into an asshole? Not really much of a shining soul, huh?”
“We’re talking about drinking in moderation, not getting wasted,” Michael laughed. He raised his glass, asking politely, “Will you drink with me?”
“Wanna see how shiny my soul is, eh?”
“I’d love to.”
Van snorted but poured himself a shot of vodka, raising his glass in a toast. “To shiny souls.”
“Mmm, what does that mean?” Van asked, licking his lips after downing the booze.
“To life,” Michael replied, pushing his empty glass to the side. He didn’t need to drink any more tonight, his senses already buzzing.
“To life,” Van repeated. “I like it.” He had to slide back down the bar to tend to other customers, but he returned as soon as he could and nodded at Michael’s neglected glass. “Need another?”
“No, thanks. I need to think.”
“About your case?”
“Anything I can do to help?” Van offered. “These guys here are like my family. If they’re in danger, I want to know about it.”
“And what makes you think they are?”
“You being here,” Van responded flatly. “You must have figured out the killer’s pattern and deduced that this place is where he’s gonna strike next.”
“Mmm, good theory, Sherlock.”
“I’m right, aren’t I?”
“Haven’t been wrong so far,” Michael said casually. “Hmm… Who knows.”
“So. Who’s your suspect?”
“I would be compromising the investigation if I told you I’m looking for a tall white man missing a pinkie.”
Van knew practically everyone in the club, and his powers of observation were on point. If there was a stranger among them with such a unique injury, he would certainly remember.
Michael couldn’t read Van’s expression, the bartender lost in thought before he finally said, “If I see him, you’ll be the first to know.”
“Thanks,” Michael said, disappointed that Van didn’t know their suspect. He watched him dash to the other side of the bar to tend to his customers, and he returned to scanning the crowd to pass the time.
Definitely wasn’t going to be able to think about Batman the same way after watching him twerk on an eager patron’s face.
Van came back again to check on him, pouring him a glass of whiskey from underneath the bar. “Try it,” he insisted. “It’ll help you think.”
“Mm.” Michael took a small sip, pleasantly surprised to find it rich and smooth. “Tastes expensive.”
“It is,” Van chuckled, lightly touching Michael’s arm. “I know it’s almost time to close up, but… maybe you wanna stay?”
Michael stared at Van’s hand, looking back to his face trying to figure out exactly what he was playing at. He found no deceit in the young man’s eyes, only a hopeful desire that he realized he also felt.
Being a cop was hard, the job thankless and gut wrenching at times. And lonely – fuck, was it so very lonely.
He knew then exactly what Van was asking for and he didn’t hesitate to accept, saying, “Yes.”
Van smiled, bright and gorgeous, saying quickly, “Great! Wait for me after closing.”
“I’ll be right here.”
Last call came and went, the dancers taking their final turns around the pole as the club got ready to shut down. There had been no sign of the suspect. Michael was diluting the sense of failure clouding his mind with some more shots, angry that he hadn’t made any progress.
At least he had an evening with Van to look forward to.
The bouncers were clearing out the stragglers, and the music had cut off. The overhead lights flickered to life, the spell of exotic neons and thick fog finally broken. It looked like any other club now, barren and dirty.
Van left the bar to help tidy up and hug some of his coworkers farewell. One of the bouncers was eyeing Michael suspiciously, but Van patted his arm and said something that eased his concerns.
It wasn’t long before Michael realized the club was totally empty, no one else left in the building except the two of them. He hadn’t seen Van for a few moments, turning his head when he heard music beginning to play. It wasn’t the usual thumping bass, but something classical with a heavy stroke of violin.
Van was up on stage, pantsless and barefoot, standing on point beside the pole. He looked relaxed, lifting his arm above his head as his leg rose up beside it. For a beautiful moment, both of his limbs were parallel and pointed to the ceiling in an incredible display of dexterity.
His extended leg swept down to the floor, strong hands grabbing the pole and suddenly swinging himself into the air. He twirled as if propelled by some unseen force, spinning gracefully as his long legs spread wide.
Michael had never seen anyone dance like this, instantly mesmerized. Every single one of Van’s movements flowed seamlessly into the next, slow and perfectly executed.
Van hooked one of his legs around the pole, spinning by the crook of his knee and one hand. His free leg extended outward and up, his back arching as he effortlessly turned his whole body upside down.
Michael couldn’t tear his eyes away from those lovely legs dropping into a full split, much less the enticing way his boxers briefs clung to his round ass. He moved from the bar to keep watching, well aware his jaw was likely hanging open as he stood in front of the stage.
Van’s legs closed and curled around the pole, his body still twirling slowly as he slid his hands down. He righted himself, using only his arms to hang on as his legs again split wide in another devastating display of strength and flexibility.
He clung to the pole like a lover, gracefully winding his body down as his feet finally touched the stage again. He was barely out of breath, smiling sweetly at Michael just as the song ended.
“Wow,” Michael breathed, at a complete loss for words.
“Uh huh,” Van said smugly, slinking to the end of the stage to sit down. He leaned back on his hands and lazily swung his feet. “Fifteen years of ballet. Used to be quite the dancer, you know.”
“Still are,” Michael praised, pushing himself right into Van’s space and holding his hips. “You shouldn’t have ever stopped.”
“Meh, not many guys are into seeing Freddy Krueger prancing around,” Van snorted with a self deprecating laugh. “Scares off the customers. So, I just take a few spins after we close down every night, keep myself in shape.”
“It was… beautiful,” Michael said passionately. “You are beautiful.”
“I can tell you actually mean that,” Van whispered, his lashes fluttering in honest surprise. “My scars… you don’t look through them or away from them… you see me. You really see all of me.”
“Yes,” Michael said, tilting his head forward and nosing along Van’s twisted cheek. He laid a kiss there, murmuring, “And what I see is perfect.”
“Sweet talker,” Van chuckled coyly, though he looked very pleased by the compliment.
Michael slid his fingertips up to the edge of Van’s briefs and gave the band a playful tug. “I only speak the truth, thank you very much.”
“Mmm, that’s something a liar would say.”
“The only lying I’m interested in right now is my body next to yours. On top of yours, maybe beneath it. I’m not picky.”
Van wrapped his arms around Michael’s neck, his teeth nipping at his lip as he purred, “Can’t even wait to get me home, can you?”
“Right again. You really would make one hell of a detective,” Michael drawled, arching up to take Van’s pretty mouth in a searing kiss.
While Van’s dancing had been endlessly graceful, his kiss was anything but. It was savage and rough, tearing into Michael’s lips like he was starving for a taste of him. Teeth clicked, tongues fought, and Michael absolutely loved every fierce second.
Their shirts were removed with equal frenzy, Van pausing his fervor only to caress Michael’s scarred torso and arms with reverence, both of them sharing a deep understanding without speaking a word.
Michael dragged Van’s briefs out of his way, eagerly mapping out the length of his fantastic legs with his hands. The ferocious kiss continued, Van wrapping his legs around him and Michael praying to God he had a condom in his wallet.
Van was impatient, hungry, already opening himself up with spit and urging Michael to get on with it. Michael forced himself to wait the precious few seconds to get the condom on and slick himself up with a small packet of lubricant.
Wrapped and slick, Michael pushed forward, folding Van’s gorgeous body right in half. He loved how flexible he was, supple and literally bending to his every whim. He couldn’t wait to be fully inside of him, grabbing his thighs and watching his cock slowly slip inside Van’s tight asshole.
Van groaned, stretching his legs back until his arms were holding them in place by the bend of his knees. He was folded in a tight little knot, his own hard cock bouncing right in front of his face as Michael began to slam into him.
Michael held him firmly, his hips bucking roughly and setting a thunderous pace that made them both grunt and moan as their bodies smacked together. It had been way too damn long for both of them, their involuntary celibacy evidenced by the eager desperation for every drop of sweaty passion. It was awesome to have such an enthusiastic partner, and Michael was already certain that this was going to happen again if he had anything to say about it.
Van was licking his lips greedily, staring down at his dripping cock and starting to bow his head. There was an odd moment of hesitation, and he stopped halfway to ask in a hushed voice, “Yeah?”
Michael’s eyes widened as he realized what Van was about to do. He had only seen it in videos online and in his own overactive imagination, feeling a renewed lurch of heat in his loins. He groaned, breathlessly urging, “Go on, fuck, Van. Yes.”
Van grinned and immediately wrapped his lips around the slick head of his own dick, his eyes fluttering as he savored his taste. He greedily sucked up the leaking fluids, beginning to bob in time with Michael’s thrusts.
The wet sounds of Van’s tongue and mouth working over his own dick were maddening, and Michael slowed down to encourage him to take his time. He didn’t want this to be over too soon, and he wanted to enjoy the show.
Van’s hands ran over his ass, teasing around Michael’s shaft inside of him before reaching up to squeeze his balls. This was definitely something he had done before, and Michael was totally mesmerized. Van was making an absolute spectacle of himself, sucking himself from root to tip and twirling his tongue around the head.
“Fuck,” Michael hissed.
Van’s eyes flicked up to Michael’s, pulling off of himself with a wicked smile. “Better hurry… I’m getting close.”
Michael growled in reply, resuming his brutal pace and gasping as Van began to suck himself again. Listening to him scream, his cries of pleasure muffled by a mouthful of his own cock, was so fucking hot.
He could feel Van clenching down on him, and he knew there wasn’t much time. He gritted his teeth, the heat in between his legs demanding relief. His thrusting became wild, erratic, every muscle of his body working towards his end.
One of Van’s hands clamped down on MIchael’s hip, his nails digging in as he growled demandingly. He pulled at Michael, rolling his body down to meet each slam and wordlessly commanding a flow of motion that suddenly became an out of body experience. They moved together as if they had done this for decades, their hips slotting together flawlessly and each collision delivering a wave of bliss that made Michael’s entire body ache.
Van’s cries were getting louder, tears and drool running down his face as his head frantically bobbed. He suddenly pulled off, moaning deep as he started jerking his cock, his fingers a feverish blur as he moaned, “Yes, yes, fuck!”
There was no power in the universe that could have made Michael look away from the beautiful debauchery of Van coming on his own tongue.
Van eagerly swallowed it all down and Michael was coming immediately, hissing pleasurably as his body finally released.
Van sighed, satisfied and content, his head falling back against the stage as Michael finished inside of him. He began to unwind from the tight knot he had folded himself into, his legs flopping by Michael’s sides.
Michael held him close, savoring the shudders in his thighs as he leaned down for a kiss. The residue of salty come was a welcome taste. “You are fucking incredible.”
“I know,” Van said with a cheeky grin, bumping their noses together. “You weren’t half bad either, you know.”
Michael snickered, kissing Van once more before pulling away to get them both cleaned up. Cocktail napkins and seltzer water did the trick, and he tossed it all away along with the condom in the trash by the bar. He sat down in a nearby booth and pulled Van in his lap.
“I suppose you’ve already figured out my name isn’t actually Robert,” Michael began, his arms curled firmly around Van’s waist. They were both still naked, and he was in any hurry to get dressed again.
“I suspected as much. But you don’t have to tell me.” Van was grinning from ear to ear. “I already figured out who you are.”
“You’re the one who took down that drug lord,” Van said confidently. “You are Detective Michael Zander of the MPD. Probably not a good idea to attempt undercover work when you’ve been in the papers so much.”
“Guilty,” Michael chuckled. “Know everything about me, do you?”
“Quite a bit. You’ve also hunted Nemesis,” Van said with a wink. “The state’s most notorious serial killer named after the Greek goddess of divine retribution?”
“I did not give him that name,” Michael snorted, not directly answering the question.
“Ah, confident that it’s a man?”
“I’m not at liberty to discuss any ongoing investigations,” Michael teased, leaning in to snag a kiss.
“How close are you to catching him?”
“Not very,” Michael said with a shrug. “Nemesis is more of a hobby. A hobby for a lot of cops.”
“A hobby?” Van snorted.
“He’s like Hannibal Lecter,” Michael explained. “Bigger than life, too fantastic to be real, and definitely too smart to ever get caught. Everyone wants to be the guy who catches him. Some cops think it’s multiple perps, all copying each other.”
“What do you think?”
“One guy,” Michael said firmly. “Someone with a deeply seated need for justice. Either he was wronged by the system or someone he cared about was. All of his victims have been criminals that have slipped through the courts, whether by mistrial or some other bullshit.”
“Hasn’t he killed innocent people?”
“None of his kills have been innocent,” Michael said, scowling faintly. “Don’t listen to the news. They’re full of shit.”
“What about that teacher he killed? No record, no priors, and a beloved educator.”
“Yeah, and he was a child molester with a stash of fuckin’ kiddy porn we found after he was killed,” Michael drawled. “Several former victims came forward after his death to tell us what he did. Trust me. Nemesis doesn’t kill innocent people.”
“You sound like you admire him,” Van mused, his fingertips dancing up Michael’s bare chest.
“There’s something attractive about being able to take justice in your own hands,” Michael replied honestly. “Especially when you know your perp is guilty? It would be nice to take care of ‘em, make the city a little bit safer without worrying about the courts fucking it up.”
“Like with your nine-fingered fiend?”
“Yeah,” Michael nodded. “We have DNA, prints, and a witness description. Should be a solid conviction, but all he has to do is try and claim insanity, and he’ll never see death row. That’s not justice for those men that died, not at all.”
“Eye for an eye and all that.”
“Exactly,” Michael said passionately. “Life for a life.” He huffed, a small laugh leaving his throat. “You know, I already know what I’d do if I ever caught Nemesis.”
“Oh?” Van’s brow rose.
“I’d thank him,” Michael laughed. “Probably buy him a damn drink.”
Van was studying him carefully, a bashful grin suddenly curling his lips as he swooped in for a sweet kiss. It was warm and passionate, oozing with emotion and leaving them both breathless.
“What was that for?” Michael blinked in surprise.
“Nothing,” Van said cheerfully. “Just saying thanks for a wonderful evening. I’ve got to get home and crash for a bit before my next shift.” He hopped up, stretching his lean body. “Mm, see you again tonight?”
“I’ll be here,” Michael promised.
They got dressed and parted ways with another kiss, Michael heading home to his apartment and collapsing right into bed. He could still smell Van on his clothes, drifting off to sleep with the sound of violins singing in his ears.
He awoke to his phone ringing incessantly, grumbling as he answered, “Hello?”
“Michael?” It was his captain. “Get your ass down to the warehouse on Fulton Street.”
“What is it?”
“You’re never gonna believe it unless you see it for yourself.”
When Michael arrived to the scene, he realized his captain was right. If he had actually told him what was waiting here, he would have called him a liar.
A tall man was hanging upside down from a chain attached to the warehouse ceiling, his skin flayed down to the bone from his toes to his throat. There was a silver tray with a large pitcher filled with blood, an empty chalice, and all of the man’s fingers lined up in a neat row.
Nine of them.
Michael couldn’t tear his eyes away from the horrific sight, whispering, “It’s the guy. It’s the guy who’s been killing all the dancers. It has to be… but…”
“Elaborate and sick setup?” his captain snorted. “No physical evidence, no witnesses? We both know who did this.”
“Nemesis,” Michael said knowingly, gritting his teeth. “But how? We haven’t released anything to the press! How could he possibly know?”
“I don’t know, but he left you a little love note.”
“Me?” Michael frowned and looked back to the tray.
There was a small card with his name written on it, throwing on a pair of gloves to examine it. As soon as he read what was inside, his heart dropped down into his gut like a stone.
It couldn’t be.
“Mean anything to you?” his captain asked gruffly.
“Nothing,” Michael lied smoothly, setting the card back down. “Pretty common Jewish saying for a toast. I must have a fan out there.”
“Or Nemesis thinks you’re a fan of his.”
Michael refused to give any other response, excusing himself from the scene. His captain allowed it, perhaps thinking he was too shaken up from a monstrous serial killer reaching out to him.
On the contrary, Michael was quite flattered.
He was also very confused.
Nemesis had always been so careful. It was sloppy to reveal himself like this.
Why did Nemesis leave him such an obvious clue?
Was this a test? A threat? Was his body going to end up in its own display?
Or was it something else…
Nemesis was a monster, ruthless and sadistic, a shadowy fiend that parents threatened their children with if they didn’t behave. He had always been this intangible creature and after years of hunting him, Michael finally knew exactly who he was.
Van, handsome and sweet Van who had totally and completely rocked his world last night. He recalled Van’s face when he smiled beneath him, how he had managed to look both vulnerable and yet so powerful when he danced…
This wasn’t a threat, Michael realized. It was an invitation.
Michael had told Van he would probably thank Nemesis if he ever figured out who he was. He sat in his car for a long time before he decided he was going to do much more than offer his gratitude.
He stopped by the station to pick up some files on his way home, feeling a noose drop around his neck. The finality of this decision was not lost on him, but he felt absolutely no hesitation.
Michael sat down at his computer in his tiny apartment to do some additional digging, the hour growing late as he searched for more information. He had checked out Van before, but he decided to look deeper.
His theory was that Nemesis had experienced great injustice somewhere in his life, and Michael wanted to find out what it was. William Staffe was squeaky clean, but John, his father, had a much darker past.
John had been arrested for fatally stabbing William’s mother, but he was amazingly never convicted. That same year, Van’s childhood home burned down. This was the fire that left him so disfigured.
It was ruled an accident, some sort of wiring defect, but…
“But, ah, the judge who had thrown out poor Kimberlee Staffe’s case for lack of evidence died the same night,” Van’s voice purred from behind Michael, reading the report over his shoulder. “Brakes were cut, and he had a terribly nasty accident. My second kill.”
Michael heard the click of a gun and froze in his seat. He didn’t even bother questioning how Van got in here, saying calmly, “Your father being the first, of course.”
“You cut the judge’s brakes and set the house fire to give yourself an alibi? Hmm, a bit dramatic, don’t you think?”
“Maybe a bit, but it was also an easy way to cover up my father’s murder-“
“Why are you telling me all of this?” Michael asked suddenly.
“You already have a fascination with Nemesis. Seeing your nine-fingered friend butchered so righteously mere hours after you were so kind as to give me his description? You would be suspicious. You would check the time of death and see that I have no alibi. I couldn’t let that happen.” Van chuckled, tilting his head coyly. “Besides, you said if you met me, you’d want to thank me.”
“Even better than that,” Michael said, gesturing towards the stack of files on his desk. “I want to help you.”
“Help me?” Van quirked his brows. He cautiously thumbed through the files, reading over the reports and keeping the gun pointed at Michael. “Rapist who got off because the prosecutor was drunk, murderer who got out on bail and is already suspected in a new death…”
“All wicked men who haven’t properly been served justice,” Michael said. “Yet.”
“Yet,” Van echoed with a sly smile. “Mm, what makes you think I’d let you assist me?”
“I think there’s another reason you revealed yourself to me,” Michael said, offering his hand to Van. “We see the world the same way. We want to protect the city and keep good people safe, we want justice served… no matter what.”
“There’s no going back after this,” Van warned quietly, a sadness in his smile as he accepted Michael’s hand. “You know there’s only a few ways this path can end. I accepted it long ago, but can you?”
“I know,” Michael assured him, lacing their fingers together. It was another pull on the noose tightening around his neck, his fate now sealed with this beautiful fiend. “It’s a risk I’m willing to take.”
“To help the city?”
“Yes…” Michael replied honestly, his gaze dark as he added, “and to be with you.”
“Well,” Van purred triumphantly, lowering the gun at last and bowing his head down to claim a fierce kiss, “I’d say we have plenty of work ahead of us then, don’t we?”