Lucky hadn't been this angry in a long time. This...this hurt...this *betrayed.* Not since Faison had kidnapped him and taken away his life. Not since Helena and her programming had taken away his free will. "Stay. Away. From. Elizabeth," he growled as the red veil of fury dropped over his eyes.
"Elizabeth can make her own decisions," Morgan murmured, softly. So damn cold. Eyes like chips of ice. A fucking robot.
He took two steps forward, feeling the rage tighten his muscles. He balled his hands into fists, digging them deep into the pockets of his sweatshirt. What could anyone see in a guy like this? He didn't get it. Somebody who had no soul...no emotion...no heart. "She can make her own decisions...and so can you. So, I'm suggesting you *decide* to stay away from her."
"I do what I wanna do." Unblinking. Completely still. Almost...bored.
He knew it was deliberate. To rile him. To make *him* look unreasonable and immature. Maybe even to intimidate him into backing down. Ha. Fat chance. "And you wanna 'do' my girlfriend, don't you?" he asked, hotly. "What's wrong, Jason? Has it really been *that* long since you've gotten laid? Who was the last person you slept with? My cousin Carly? I guess after her, you'd *want* someone like Elizabeth...someone sweet and pure...to clean the dirt off your pipes."
Before he could even take another breath, hands grabbed his shoulders and he was slammed up against the wall. Jason Morgan moved like the north wind. Fast. Hard. Invisible. His teeth rattled in his head as the older man stared down, face still impassive. Only his eyes had changed. Blue fire, not ice. "You don't know anything about Carly," he whispered. A beat. Golden lashes folding once over his eyes and then rising again. "Or Elizabeth."
The "Fuck you!" tore from Lucky's lips before he could stop it. Propelled by indignant fervor..."Don't tell me I don't know Elizabeth. I *love* her. I've always loved her!" he reminded. "And I don't get *what* she sees in you."
Jason's hands seemed to loosen just a little. Not at bruising...not as firm. "I listen to her. You should try that."
"Why don't you try listening to ME?" he demanded, feeling angry tears prick at his eyelids. He banged his head against the thin plaster wall, hoping to knock the weak dampness away.
But the only thing that left was the pressured grip on his shoulders. "I'm listening," Jason murmured, crossing his arms over his wide chest.
Here was the opportunity. Completely expectant silence. And, suddenly, he couldn't say a word. His voice dried up...swears and threats and explanations tangling in his throat.
All he could hear was the blood pounding against his eardrums. Not even the softest scrape or sigh or breath came from Morgan. It was like being alone in the small, spare, room. Except that he wasn't.
He was hyper-aware of the few inches that separated him from this silent monolith...this...this *thing* hiding in a man's skin. The wild shock of light brown hair, the sharp face, the muscles fully visible underneath the tight black pullover and blue jeans...it was all a cover. Like an android, he thought. Not a robot. Jason was skin on the surface and machine beneath.
And the unearthly blue eyes seemed like proof.
"Lucky?" The barest hint of impatience, but not a single physical sign. No foot tapping...no jaw tightening.
"I don't get it," he whispered, helpless to stop the bewilderment from filtering into his tone. "I just don't get it, Man. Why you? Why does she run to *you*?"
Jason shrugged...a fluid motion. Nothing mechanical about it. "I don't ask questions. I let her talk. Do whatever she wants to do. I let her *be*. She says it helps. She says I just *know* what she needs."
"Just Elizabeth? Or does this talent apply to people besides needy, impressionable girls?" he asked, feeling the acidic burn of the accusation sizzling in the back of his throat. "Do you 'know' what *I* need?"
The soft-spoken mobster's eyes flickered...focusing first on the ceiling, as he sighed wearily, and then coming back to focus on him. "I know you *want* to control Elizabeth. Tell her what to do, what to say, who to be with."
Lucky pushed off from the wall, stepping forward and poking a finger at the hard center of the other man's chest and shoving. "But don't I *need* her? Huh? I don't need her and you aren't taking her away from me? You aren't stealing a part of me every time she comes to you?"
He shoved to no avail. "You don't *need* her, Lucky," Jason assured, quiet and unmoving. And unmoved.
"Then, tell me, Oh Wise One, what DO I need, huh?" he demanded.
For the second time in as many minutes, Jason moved like the wind. Too fast to see. Too fast to see...but not too fast to feel. And Lucky felt him all right...firm hips pinning him to the wall...fingers traveling up his arms. The faint impression of stubble against his cheek. And then...Oh God...his *mouth*.
He expected hard. He expected punishing. Blood in his mouth. A lesson. He expected...he expected (*Faison*sneering*leering*hands*tongue*)...and he stopped expecting. Stopped struggling and kicking.
Because Jason Morgan's kiss was gentle.
His lips were softly insistent...
Not a robot's. Not an android's. Human...so human.
And Lucky felt his anger breaking up, into a thousand tiny pieces that evaporated into the heat. In their place came something else. Calm. Safe. *Safe*? It was crazy...but, yeah, he felt safe. Like nothing could touch him.
Nothing except Jason's hands under his sweatshirt.
Jason's spiky hair under his fingers.
Jason's mouth on his...over and over again.
"I need *you*," he moaned, raggedly. "I need you."
He stared down at the sleeping boy curled in the center of the lumpy double bed. His pale blond hair stuck up in haphazard tufts and the tear tracks were drying on his cheeks...drying and disappearing. Leaving a smile behind.
On Lucky's face.
Because of him.
He sighed, pulling a t-shirt over his head and yanking it down over his chest as he absently scratched his belly.
Lucky had come looking for a fight.
And he would leave in one piece instead of a bunch of broken ones.
That was good, right?
He didn't quite understand why the kid had cried while they'd had sex. He was pretty sure that was a bad sign...but Lucky had assured him nothing was wrong...that he'd done everything right...that he'd done everything *more* than right. And he'd taken that at face value. That...and more.
Every sigh. Every gasp. Every whispered "fuck" and "yeah".
Every time Lucky's baby blue eyes had stared up into his with something...something like desperation...and like completion.
Over the last couple of years, he'd come to understand that men and women were pretty much the same inside. They needed someone to care about them. To listen to them. Sometimes to sleep with them. And, sometimes, to need them back. It made them feel better.
*"I need you."*
He hoped Lucky felt better.
He hoped Lucky never came back.
Because...next time...he couldn't guarantee he'd let him go.
Not for Elizabeth.
Not for anyone.
March 19, 2001.
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