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Rated: 13+ · Chapter · Action/Adventure · #2317605
In which there are awkward, familial, and steamy conversations
Kit is sitting at the edge of the pool, legs dangling in the water. Silo joins him. For a minute, the only sound is the swishing of the water as two pairs of feet move through it. When Silo does speak, it’s just to have something to say.

“You have the same tat Kam does.”

Kit shoots Silo a look, then glances down at the black snake circling his wrist. “All three of us do. It’s an ouroboros--means unity. We got them when Dad died.”

Silo can’t help lifting his eyebrows. “Your mom let your baby brother get inked?”

“My ‘baby brother’ is twenty-one,” Kit smiles before he can stop himself. “And he wants to do whatever Kam and I do. Only he got a green one, instead of black.”

Silo nods, but doesn’t say anything else. He doesn’t look at Kit either. Kit finally breaks the silence.

“Are you mad at me because I didn’t tell you what I did for a living, or for Other Reasons?”

“I’m not mad at you,” But Silo isn’t looking at him.

“Still a shitty liar, then.” Kit mutters. “KitKat?”

“You have an addiction to those things.”

“Yeah, but I’m also generous.” Kit holds a mini KitKat out to Silo. “You want it or not?”

After the screenshot of the unknown person from the CCTV footage had been printed, Talay and Em went back to Bangkok. Both had wanted to stay longer, but both had to go back to their other places of work or risk becoming unemployed. At least, that’s what Silo said to get them both out of the house.

That was two days ago.

And that threat hadn’t worked on Kit.

Silo takes the mini KiKat and pops it in his mouth. “This is green tea.”

“The color didn’t give that away?” Kit cocks an eyebrow at Silo—the opposite one that Kam usually does. “Are you going to tell me why you’re mad at me?”

“What, are we back at uni now?”

“Sure,” Kit’s words are light, but his eyes are serious. “I liked how we talked back then. What’s so funny?”

Now Silo’s brows are raised. “You’re going to call what we did ‘talking’?”

“That’s how I remember it.” Kit nods. “You actually told me when something was wrong, rather than dancing around the issue like you’re doing now.”

“Fine,” Silo looks down into the pool, rather than at Kit’s face. “When did you get recruited?”

“Right out of uni. I told you, my dad called in a favor—”

“Why didn’t you tell me?” It’s a petty question, but Silo asks it anyway.

“Was I supposed to?” Kit’s answer is not the one Silo is expecting.

If Silo says “no,” then that means one thing--it means he doesn't know, doesn’t care, never did, and never will. But if Silo says “yes”…

“Mm.” Silo doesn’t confirm or deny. He just makes that sound and hopes that Kit will keep talking and not make him give a definite answer.

“You didn’t tell me about Gulf and Nina.” Kit’s tone is more curious than accusatory, but he’s looking across the pool, rather than at Silo, so Silo can’t help throwing Kit’s words back in his face.

“Was I supposed to? I was asking you about what you did for Interpol.”

“It’s just small jobs, mostly.” Kit lets it go. “Gathering information, picking up and delivering packages, things like that. Nothing dangerous. At least, that’s the hope. It helps that I travel around a lot anyway.”

Silo says nothing, and Kit answers his silent question.

“I’ve been looking into why my dad died and I sent Nina that USB because it was addressed to her. I told Talay to call me if anyone else got involved.”

“Like your brother?” Silo is still looking down into the pool.

“Like Kam,” Kit is still looking at him. “Or someone else.”

Silo finally looks up, but before he can ask for clarification, Kam comes out onto the pool deck.

“Kit, where the hell are my keys?”

Kit turns from the pool to look at his younger brother. “Since when have I been in charge of your car or your keys?”

“You know where they are, or not?” Kam isn’t sure what kind of conversation he interrupted, but the looks on the faces of the other two men tell him not to ask.

“You’ve got something on your neck, Kam,” Kit smirks at the red and purple mark. “Is that from a bug or your boyfriend?”

“I’m going to 7-Eleven,” Kam ignores his older brother’s question. “Silo doesn’t have any Crio Bru in the house.”

Now it’s Silo’s turn to face him. “Neither does 7-Eleven.”

“Then I’ll get Bel the darkest chocolate I can find,” Kam grins. “He’ll have to be happy with that.”

“Give me two minutes and I’ll go with you. I’m out of KitKats.” Kit gets to his feet and goes into the house before Kam or Silo can say anything.

“The hell?” Kam cocks an eyebrow at Silo. “Is my brother avoiding you?”

“Good question.” Silo turns back to the pool, so Kam can’t see his face. “Why don’t you ask him?”

Bel is restless. Em and Talay are gone, but Nina and someone Kam introduced as his brother are still around. They are now stuck in the umpteenth round of the Waiting Game, and he’s not allowed to leave the house. He tried once—just to go to 7-Eleven—and not just Kam, but Nina and Silo threatened to lock him in his bedroom until his stitches healed. Instead, Bel pokes around Silo’s house—which is huge.

He avoids the outdoor pool when he sees Silo and Kit out there—he’s not really in the mood to talk to either of them right now—and goes into the library instead. He’s out of reading material for obvious reasons and vaguely remembers seeing the shelves of books through the doorway that first night, but now that he’s fully conscious he wants to know if what he saw was actually real.

It is. Floor to ceiling bookshelves full of books. Some titles he’s heard of and some he hasn’t, but the covers and spines are worn enough that it’s clear they’ve been read more than once. There’s a big stupid grin on Bel’s face as he selects a title at random.

“That one’s hollow,” Nina’s voice sounds from the doorway. “I don’t think you’ll like what’s inside.”

Bel decides to take her word for it and returns the book to the shelf. “Why are you still here? I thought you’d leave with Em and Talay.”

“I’m worried about you, obviously. Are you feeling any better? About—what you saw on the file?” The look on Nina’s face makes Bel feel a little guilty for yelling at her the other night. Just a little bit.

“I guess.” Bel doesn’t really want to talk about it, but apparently Nina does.


“You don’t have to tell me dad would have died whether I stayed in my room or not. I know that. He probably did, too, and didn’t want me to see…that.”

Nina takes a couple of steps into the room, unsure if Bel will walk out again or not. “I didn’t know you still thought about that night.”

“Because I never told you.” Bel keeps his eyes on the rows of book's. “Therapy helped me talk about it, but it didn’t stop me from seeing it. So I stopped going.”

“You could have talked to me about it.”

“When you had other stuff to worry about?” Bel snorts. “It’s ok. I’ve talked about it, I just--need to stop seeing it, and maybe once I’ve seen that guy’s face and know who he is, it will help.”

“I really am sorry, Bel.” Nina puts her arms around him.“I didn’t know what was on there, really I didn’t; and if I had I wouldn’t have shown it to everyone like that.”

“I’m glad you did, though.” Bel surprises himself when those words come out of his mouth. “Because you would have had to tell Silo eventually, right? So we could figure out who killed dad in the first place? I was angry. Actually, I still am. But not at you. All you wanted to do was protect me. How were you supposed to know any of this would happen?”

“You’re right, I didn’t.” Nina agrees. “But that doesn’t make me any less sorry.”

“I know. I’m fine, Nina, I promise. Don’t worry about me.” Bel forces as much sincerity as he can into his voice. Nina has enough to worry about and Bel can take care of himself. “We almost have the answers, right? One more puzzle piece. What are we going to do once we find out who’s on the footage?”

“Silo gave Talay a screenshot of that man’s face. He’ll run it through facial recognition and then we can let Intelligence handle it from there.”

“But aren’t you CIA? Why can’t you handle it?”

Nina shakes her head. “I’m not here on assignment, so we need to let Silo and Kit finish this.”

“That’s the guy who showed up the other night, right?” Bel knows the answer to the question but asks it anyway. Nina nods.

“He’s the one who sent me the package in the first place.”

This 7-Eleven is the biggest that Kam has ever been to. The outside looks like a cruise ship, with outdoor seating and an enormous parking lot. Inside, there are cafes and a bakery upstairs, and a robot greets you as it zips around on rails attached to the walls—but only if you greet it first.

“Cute,” Kit has greeted the robot, and been greeted back. He told Kam the truth--he’s out of the green tea KitKats, but he also just wanted to get the hell out of Silo’s house for a while. From halfway down the aisle, Kam gives him a Look.

“Did you just call that robot ‘cute’?”

Kit flips him the bird. “I only said what you were thinking.”

“What I’m thinking,” Kam cocks an eyebrow at his older brother. “Is why you wanted out of the house so badly you volunteered to come to 7-Eleven with me.”

“The same reason you did,” Kit is looking at the array of KitKats rather than Kam. “I’m tired of the Waiting Game.”

“So why didn’t you go back to Bangkok with Em and Talay?” Kam asks the obvious question. “You could find out who’s on the CCTV footage before the rest of us.”

“I’ll find out anyway,” Kit shrugs. “Doesn’t matter if I find out here or somewhere else.”

“So you’re avoiding someone.” Kam has found the Lindt bars, and is looking on the labels for the darkest one he can find. “You think there’s a one hundred percent of these things?”

“And just who am I supposed to be avoiding?” Kit knows the question is rhetorical, but he asks it anyway.

“You and I both know the answer to that.” Kam has found what he wants and holds out a package of KitKat minis to his older brother. “Here, just take the minis already.”

“You just made the decision for me?”

“Why are you asking me when you already know what you’ll choose?” Kam’s other eyebrow rises up to meet the first one. “Or are we just talking about KitKats? You didn’t just come back to look into dad’s death, did you?”

“What do you think?” Kit takes the package of regular KitKat minis from Kam and walks in the direction of the cash register.

“You know you can be attracted to someone and not be in love with them, right?”

Kam’s words stop Kit in his tracks.

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“He’s not in love with Gulf,” Kam’s taken the plunge, so he might as well keep going. “And he’s not in love with Nina. Silo loves you. He always has—he just won’t say it.”

“I know,” Kit turns back to face his little brother. “That’s the problem.”

Kit’s smile might be sad, but his eyes are cold, daring Kam to push more details out of him. So Kam doesn’t say anything. He just lets Kit buy his KitKats, while Kam buys his chocolate bar, and they drive back to Silo’s in silence.

When Kit parks the car and disappears upstairs without another word, Kam goes to look for his boyfriend. He finds Bel laying on his stomach on one of the couches in the library, his nose buried in a book.


Kam tosses the chocolate bar, which bounces off the side of Bel’s head.

“Ow! What the--”

“You’re welcome.”

Bel looks down at what Kam threw at him. It’s a dark chocolate Lindt bar, but that’s not what’s making him grin like a total idiot. What’s making him grin like a total idiot is the number that’s on the front of the Lindt bar, just below the golden label.

“100%?” Bel reads the number out loud as Kam plops beside him on the couch.

“My recovering boyfriend likes dark chocolate, so I got the darkest one they had. Do I get a reward?”

“Mmphh.” Bel has already unwrapped the chocolate bar and stuffed an entire square into his mouth, so that answer is muffled, but he nods his head to make sure Kam understands.


“‘N’a minu’.” Bel is enjoying the chocolate as much as he’s enjoying teasing Kam, who leans forward with a slightly puzzled expression.

“What’s a ‘minu”?”

Bel swallows, swinging a pillow at Kam’s head. “I said ‘in a minute’, you dork!”

Kam catches the pillow mid-swing, using it to pull Bel closer. ‘My ‘minute’, or your ‘minute’?”

“So impatient.” Bel breaks off another square of the Lindt bar and pops it in his mouth. Bliss! He doesn’t chew, just waits for the smooth and dark flavor coat the inside of his mouth, keeping it there for as long as possible.

“So tempting.”

Kam has dropped the pillow and pulls Bel toward him.

“Kam! Let go!”

“I want my reward, and I want it now.”

Kam’s face is millimeters from Bel’s. The wild look in the older man’s eyes makes Bel swallow the chocolate a little too quickly and bites his lips to keep from coughing. Kam’s eyes drop to Bel’s mouth.

“Stop chewing on your lips.”

“I’m not--”

Kam’s finger on Bel’s mouth stops him mid-protest.

“Stop chewing on your lips. Because I’m going to chew on them instead.”

And he does, drawing first the bottom lip into his mouth, and then the top, sucking on each one just a little bit before repeating the process a second time. Bel’s surprised squeak is swallowed up in Kam’s mouth. Bel’s hands--poised to shove Kam off before the initial kiss--slide from Kam’s shoulders to curl around his neck. The chocolate bar drops onto the couch cushion next to him.

“You taste like chocolate.” Kam stops kissing him long enough to murmur the words in Bel’s ear, knocking the half-eaten chocolate bar the rest of the way off the couch.

“My boyfriend gave it to me, and I want to finish it.”

One of Bel’s hands reaches toward the floor in the direction of his fallen treat. Kam snatches the tiny hand, kissing each finger tip and the wrist in turn. He blows kisses up and down Bel’s arm before returning it to intertwine with the other one around his neck, where it belongs.

“I like chocolate.” Kam sends a trail of kisses along Bel’s cheekbone, his jawline, up to his ear. His tongue flicks at Bel’s earlobe, and a little gasp comes out of the younger boy’s mouth. So Kam does it again, slower, and this time it’s a squeak. “I like it, but not as much as I like you.”


Another trail, across the opposite jawline, the opposite cheekbone, and back to Bel’s lips. Kam bites Bel’s lower lip again and his tongue licks the remains of the chocolate from the inside of his mouth. He only pulls back long enough to remove both Bel’s shirt and his own.

Bel turns to liquid in Kam’s hands as Kam’s teeth scrape across his neck, and the scraping turns to nips.

Nips that intensify the lower Kam’s teeth go.

Down Bel’s jugular…

Over the hollow of his throat…

Toward his collarbone…



“You’re biting meeeeeee.” Bel’s voice rises to a squeak.

“Don’t worry,” Kam stops only long enough to answer. “ I’ll be careful of your stitches.”

“Mmmmmmm…” Bel’s eyelids flutter closed in anticipation, and that little bundle of nerves is on fire as Kam’s teeth nip along Bel’s collarbone, then stop just above Bel’s ribcage. “Tickles...”

And now it’s not just Kam’s teeth on Bel’s skin, but his tongue.




“Are you two having fun?”

Bel falls off the couch.

The voice isn’t Kam’s.

It’s Silo’s.

Silo is standing in the doorway of the library, his hair and body still wet from the pool, arms crossed and eyebrows threatening to disappear into his hairline.

“Can we help you?” Kam turns to glare at Silo, who is standing in the doorway looking amused.

Silo cocks an eyebrow at him, coming the rest of the way into the room. “You two do realize this is my house, right?”

“Yeah, we know.” Kam matches Silo eyebrow for eyebrow. “And you were elsewhere.”

Silo flips Kam the bird.

“You can’t go do your boyfriend up in the bedroom or something?”

“It’s more fun to do him down here,” Kam flips the bird right back. “Don’t roll your eyes at me, Silo. I happen to know which shelves have books with condoms between the pages.”

Bel makes a little gurgling sound. Whether he made that sound because his boyfriend is casually discussing their sex life with Silo or the revelation that Silo has condoms between the pages of books—a confirmation of what Kam said about condoms in literally every room—he’s not sure.

What he is sure of is that Silo can see every single red and purple bite mark Kam left on his skin, and he scrambles for his shirt.

Kam glances at Bel before turning back to Silo. “Don’t make my boyfriend uncomfortable, asshat.”

“Don’t make me uncomfortable, asshat.” Silo only half means it, and he smirks at Bel. “Your shirt’s on inside out.”

“I like it that way,” Bel snaps. “You’re dripping pool water all over the floor.”

“My house,” Silo reiterates. “Gulf wants you. He left me four voicemails because your phone is off. You should probably call him back.”

“I know I said you could have as much time as you needed,” The regret in Gulf’s voice crackles through the phone. “But this is a VIP event. I need you.”

Bel’s phone has been dead since he first came to Silo’s and he’s only just remembered to charge it, which means it’s another couple of hours before he can call Gulf. Now he’s kind of wishing he hadn’t. As impatient as he had been to go back to work, he’s not exactly looking to work a VIP event his first day back at Gulf’s restaurant.

“When is the event?” Bel pushes the hesitancy out of his voice as he asks, but maybe a little bit slipped through, because Gulf still sounds apologetic.

“Tomorrow night. I wish I could push it further, but these are the kind of people who don't like to reschedule or be told ‘no’, and I can’t risk losing clientele like this.”

“It’s ok,” Bel glances up as Kam comes into the bedroom, knowing full well how his boyfriend is going to feel about this. “I’ll be there.”

“I’m really really sorry about this, Bel.”

“Don’t worry about it.” Bel reassures him. “It’s just bartending, I can do that without tearing my stitches.”

“Thank you so much.”

“It’s what you pay me for.”

Kam’s eyebrows shoot up, but Bel flaps his hand at him.

“Oh hey, Em said you figured out who’s trying to kill you,” Gulf says as though the thought had just occurred to him. “Something about a locked file on the USB her brother had?”

“Yeah,” There’s a weird buzzing in the back of Bel’s head. Why is he asking me this? “CCTV footage of the night my dad died, but we can’t see the face of the guy who did it.”

“I’m sure Silo and Talay can figure it out,” Gulf sounds relieved. “Does that mean it’s all over now? Once you’ve figured out who’s on the CCTV?”

“I guess so, yeah.”

You’re not going anywhere. Kam mouths at Bel, and Bel flaps his hand again.

Hang on a sec.

“Good,” Gulf says. “Because I’d much rather tell my guests that Kam is your boyfriend and my special guest, rather than your bodyguard. Oh, tell him I want to talk to him about that Aston Martin that I want him to flip. See you tomorrow night.”
He hangs up before Bel can say anything else.

“You’re not going back to work,” Kam’s tone brooks no argument, but Bel argues anyway.

“It’s a VIP event, and there’s no one Gulf can call for backup. I mean, technically there is; but they’ll most likely be pulling double duty unless I go in.” Bel hesitates, then decides to try logic. “I’ve been gone for almost a week and a half. My stitches are healing, I’ve got Em and Gulf and you to keep an eye on me--”

“We still don’t know who’s on the CCTV footage.” It’s a lame-ass excuse, but Kam tries it anyway.

It doesn't work.

Bel rolls his eyes. “And staying here isn’t going to make anybody find out any faster, is it? Would it make you feel better if Silo said it was ok? Ow! Why the hell does everyone like flicking my ears so much?”

“Because it’s the only way you’ll listen,” But Kam has to admit that Bel has a point, both about being absent from work for so long, and consulting Silo.

Bel tries one more tactic. “He wants to see you, too. About that car he wanted to sell you. The Aston Martin.”

“He couldn’t talk to me about it while he was here?”

“I guess not,” Bel shrugs. “Probably a good thing, though. There were too many other things going on. We can still check with Silo if you want to, ‘dad’. Ow, again with the ears!”

“The word is ‘boyfriend’, you adorable kid.”

“Thanks, annoying jackass.”

Bel rubs both of his earlobes as he and Kam go downstairs. Silo is in the library with Kit, but they are on opposite sides of the room. Both of them look up when Kam and Bel come in.

“Gulf wants you back at work?” Silo makes it a question, rather than a statement.

“Tomorrow night,” Bel confirms. “How did you know?”

“You’ve been on sick leave for a week and a half, why else would he be calling?”

“You really think him going back is a good idea?” Kam asks. “What if he’s still being followed?”

“That’s what he’s got you for, right?” There’s a mischievous glint in Kit’s eyes. “Glaring at me doesn’t make me any less right, Kam. This is the part of the Waiting Game where you go about your business as usual, because there’s nothing else any of us can do. Both of you should go back to Bangkok, but I need to talk to your boyfriend first.”

Kit doesn’t wait for his brother’s permission, just grabs Bel’s arm and leads him out into the hallway.

“Give me your LINE.”

Those aren’t the words Bel expected to come out of Kit’s mouth.


“So I can contact you, obviously,” Kit does the same Eyebrow Thing his brother does, but with the opposite brow. “If I ask for your number, Kam might get the wrong idea.”

Bel is pretty sure what Kit’s saying is a Little White Lie, but tells him his LINE anyway as Kam joins them.

“If we’re going, then we might as well go now.” Kam glances at Kit. “You want a ride?”

“I’m good. Just take your boyfriend home.”

Kam raises his eyebrows, and Kit raises his back. An unspoken conversation seems to pass between them, then Kam nods and goes back upstairs to get his keys, taking Bel with him. Kit goes back into the library, where Silo is still planted in the far corner, pretending to be occupied on his laptop but doing a poor job of it.

“You really think letting them go back to Bangkok is a good idea?” Kit’s question is only partially rhetorical. Mostly he says it to try and get Silo to look at him.

It doesn’t work.

“You said it yourself,” Silo keeps his eyes on his laptop. “There’s not really anything we can do at this point except wait. They might as well wait in Bangkok. But if you’re that worried about your brother, then why don’t you go back with him.”

“I’d rather go back with you.”

Now Silo looks up. “Why?”

Kit smiles at him. “I think you know the answer to that.”

In a darkened room, another man is smiling. He’s received some good news from an unexpected source. News that will tie up every loose end to his satisfaction, provided no more mistakes are made. He has to play this very carefully, and then it will all be over.

The person he’s calling picks up halfway through the first ring. “Yes?”

“I found it,” The man doesn’t even bother to conceal the triumph in his voice. “Time to move.”

"27. Bait

read from beginning "1. Phone Calls in the Dark
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