Chapter 2: Eavesdropping
Scott had tears in his eyes when he returned to his room. He immediately went to the dragon chamber at the back of the human quarters and stroked Narné, who nuzzled him gently and reassured him that it wasn’t over yet. But Scott’s heart was heavy.
He had known as soon as he had gotten close enough to see Derek. Derek’s posture was different. Instead of his usual arrogant stance, his shoulders had been slouched slightly and his body had curved in the direction of the Elder. And when he had spoken, he had lifted his hand slightly towards the Elder, as if subconsciously seeking his approval even though he wasn’t asking for it. And then, when they were alone and Scott was close enough to see his eyes, he had his final confirmation.
He had seen Mike when Mike was Ashton’s pet and the look was the same: slightly glazed as if reality had been removed from them and replaced by something – or someone – else. Dangerous. And the Elder had managed it in such a short time. Even if he managed to get Derek back, the Elder could easily do it again, and again. Until they declared war on the Elder and Derek could really fight, he was at the Elder’s mercy. Maybe it was better to leave him like this. But the longer he was like this, the harder it would be for him to break the Elder’s control.
He had almost gotten free just through Scott’s words earlier, after all. Scott had seen the near-break. Derek’s eyes had cleared for a moment, and he had looked at Scott, really looked at him, as if he were pleading for help. Then he had shaken his head and was back under the Elder’s control.
Scott knew that he was a good lure to get Derek out of the Elder’s control. Derek wanted Scott badly, so if Scott made himself available to Derek only if Derek rebelled, it might work. Not for long, though. The Elder might even be amused by it and allow it to happen, then take Derek again immediately after. Scott shuddered and wondered what had broken Derek.
Derek wasn’t averse to dangerous sex, Scott thought. He had handled a threesome with no problems, and was usually quite forceful during sex. Scott could see the Elder easily manipulating that willingness to experiment and be bold into something painful that could break Derek’s spirit yet that Derek would still be willing to do. And that was key, Scott thought. Derek wasn’t hurt by being broken. He was intact that way. He had to have gone along with whatever they had done, and given his permission, because it clearly hadn’t been done against his will. If it had, Scott would have no problems getting the Elder kicked out and declaring war on him. But because it was so obvious that Derek was unharmed, there was no way he could do that. Unfortunately.
Narné nuzzled him again.
Marisol and Jamie want to know what happened. What should I tell them?
“Tell them I’m handling the situation,” Scott said, not wanting to worry Jamie unnecessarily. If Jamie knew what had happened to Derek, he might do something foolish like declare war. And even though Scott might fantasize about declaring war, he knew the reality was not a possibility for them. Not yet, at least. Maybe once Marisol wasn’t trapped protecting her eggs they could, but not until then.
He did want to warn Jamie about the changing conditions a little, since it seemed almost certain now that he would have to sleep with Derek to restore Derek to his usual self and he had promised Jamie that he wouldn’t. Jamie had given him permission, but Scott had been convinced that this would be easy. It wasn’t. It was complicated, and he shouldn’t have been so blithe about promising away his most potent weapon with Derek. But he didn’t want to tell Jamie now. After all, it hadn’t happened yet and he didn’t even know for sure that it would happen. It was just a possibility right now. A very strong possibility. Maybe he wouldn’t say anything yet and see what happened. But no, lack of communication had hurt them before and he wasn’t going to fall into that trap again.
“Tell Jamie that I might not be able to keep my promise to him,” Scott said, wincing as he said the words.
“And what promise is that?” a voice said behind him.
Scott whirled. The Elder was in his doorway, intruding in his personal space. Eavesdropping. What all had he said to Narné? Nothing important, he reassured himself. He would have to be more careful.
“What the hell are you doing in my rooms?” Scott asked roughly, standing up from his crouched position next to Narné’s front claws.
“The door was open, so I came in.”
Scott’s eyes narrowed. He never would have left the door open but he couldn’t accuse the Elder of lying so blatantly. Besides, he wasn’t quite positive that he had shut the door, now that he thought about it. He had been so upset when he had come in. But he always shut doors, didn’t he? A clever lie, if it was one. But not one the Elder could ever use again because from now on Scott was locking his door at all times. He wondered if the Elder had gotten what he wanted from his spying.
“So what promise might you have to break?” the Elder repeated, as if Scott would actually answer.
“None of your business,” Scott said. “You’re not welcome in these rooms. Please leave.”
“Funny. I thought you and I would have a lot to talk about now that you’ve talked to Derek. He was most upset when he returned. As are you, I see.”
Scott flinched but didn’t move. Was his concern for Derek showing that much? Or had the Elder seen him upset earlier? Either way, they actually did have a lot to talk about, but he didn’t know how to have this conversation. He couldn’t just tell the Elder to back off Derek and leave the boy alone, after all, even though that’s what he wanted desperately to do.
A wicked smile crossed the Elder’s face.
“He’s such a beautiful, obedient young man. I’m surprised I’m the first, really. He craves a master in the bedroom and outside it.”
Scott’s hands squeezed into fists. “He doesn’t crave a master, he wants to be one,” he said without thinking.
The Elder laughed. “You know him so well!”
Scott’s cheeks burned but he refused to look away or show weakness. He did know Derek and he did know Derek’s sexual preferences, and being submissive was not one of them.
“He’s not the kind of man who would submit for no reason,” Scott said.
“But for a good reason, he would,” the Elder said, his wide grin looking like a shark. “Yes, for a good reason, he would do almost anything.”
“What could you possibly offer him that would make him submit to you?” Scott asked, the question bursting forth even though he didn’t really expect an answer.
The Elder laughed again, then reached out and stroked Scott’s cheek. Scott went stock still when he did, freezing as the other man slowly drew a finger down his cheek in an intimate manner.
“Don’t you wish you knew. Well, Scott, I’ve given him permission to pursue you and I see no reason to take back that permission. I think we both know that I’m in control of him no matter what you do to him temporarily. I’ll enjoy watching the chase between you and Derek.”
Again, heat flooded through Scott’s cheeks. The man was insufferable. But at least it was in the open now. Scott would be trying to help Derek recover himself, and the Elder was trying to break him. And the Elder knew that Scott was using his body as a lure for Derek in his attempts to restore him to how he was. But if the Elder knew all this and was just going to retake Derek afterwards, was it worth the effort? Wouldn’t it be better just to leave Derek and keep his promise to Jamie?
Narné, he thought. I need one of your visions about now.
He felt his dragon grumbling and he knew it was because his visions didn’t occur on cue, but he felt lost and didn’t know whether to continue with Derek or give up now.
The Elder shifted closer to him and in a flash was pressing against him. He blinked in shock. The Elder’s hand was caressing his cheek now, pulling it against the Elder’s cheek so that the Elder’s lips were against Scott’s ear. The man’s breath tingled sensuously against his delicate earlobe.
“If you wanted lessons on how to catch Derek, I could teach you.”
Scott gulped. The Elder was practically caressing him, his legs pressed between Scott’s legs, his hands imprisoning Scott’s face. He wanted to shove the man away but couldn’t figure out how to untangle himself without hurting the man. And he had to admit, the man was starting to turn him on a little. Not because he was attracted, just the sheer physical presence and maleness of him rubbing against his body like this.
“No thanks,” he whispered, trying to sound strong but instead sounding weak and hesitant.
The Elder chuckled, his breath again trailing over Scott’s ear.
“If you ever change your mind, I could show you all kinds of things, ways to keep your Queen satisfied and in line, anything you desired. But for now, just know that the option exists.”
The Elder untangled himself and turned, leaving the room without a second glance. Scott was left breathless and quaking, his body in high gear after the arousing encounter. He hadn’t expected to react like that to anything the Elder did. He hated the Elder. He feared the Elder. So how could the Elder get such a reaction out of him from barely touching him? Unnerved, Scott wiped his hand across his mouth and went to close and lock his door. Then he went back to Narné and just sat by his dragon, trying to figure out his next move.