Title: "T&T: The Devil You Know"
Author: Mala
E-mail: malisita@yahoo.com
Spoilers: "To Shanshu in L.A."
Rating/Classification: 'PG-13', A/L, slash, angst, AU, language.
Disclaimer: Grrr, aargh and vroom!
Summary: The third story in my Tempted and Torn series. Angel brings the chase to the office and Lindsey's world continues to fall apart.

"I'm your man on the cross,
I'm the soul you have lost,
I'm the choice you regret,
one you wish to forget."
--"The Devil You Know," Econoline Crush.

He turned his chair, slowly, towards the glass, and stared out at the skyline of Los Angeles...the treasures laid out for the taking. Holland had promised him all this and more. In exchange for his soul. And he'd taken the deal. The bait. Because Lindsey had no doubt that the old man would deliver.

He flexed his motorized, prosthetic hand slowly...bending each finger and picturing the small microchip controlling each action. Green and silver circuits. The firm had whisked him to a private clinic this morning to have the hand fitted. It felt almost like real skin. Looked like it, too. The illusion was complete. Except that it smelled like the inside of a new car. And it made him feel like Luke freakin' Skywalker. He was tempted to stop by Versace later and pick up a black leather glove.

"'Your lack of faith disturbs me'," he quoted in a deep Darth Vader voice, amusing himself.

And then the door to his office swung open--so softly, he didn't even hear the lock disengage first. "Enjoying the Dark Side of the Force, Kitten?"

"Wh-what are you doing here?!?" he gasped, as panic, dread, and a shot of pure pleasure all zapped through his veins. He whirled the chair back around so quickly that his knees hit the side of his desk and the pain was as sharp as the vampire's dark gaze. "How'd you get past the security?" he demanded, absently rubbing one throbbing kneecap.

Angel dropped down into one of the plush chairs reserved for the clients, his broad shoulders taking it over and making it seem way too small. "You'd think Wolfram and Hart wouldn't fall for the same trick twice," he murmured, grinning his infuriating grin. "A few loose fledglings in the lobby and no one's the wiser."

Lindsey's hungry eyes moved over the double-breasted black suit, the dapper blue tie, and the shiny black dress shoes. Like every other up-and-coming associate in the building. Except beautiful. When Angel played attorney, he played it perfectly. Kitten. He swallowed hard. "What do you want?"

Fire leapt in the depths of dark brown eyes as one lazy eyebrow arched up. "I think you know the answer to that." The Cheshire Cat smile spoke of night...of the faded bitemarks under his collar...of the window swinging softly shut.

Bastard. "You can't stay here, Angel." He couldn't let the panic flood his voice...couldn't give the vampire that satisfaction. "I have a meeting with the partners in an hour."

"An hour...an hour is forever, isn't it, Lindsey?" Angel leaned forward, quirking both brows suggestively.

"I can't do this here." He shook his head, spreading his hands in supplication. "This could ruin me..." And ruination would feel so good. Too good. His heartbeat sped up. His mouth was going dry.

"You all ready are ruined," the vampire corrected. And then his eyes moved to the prosthetic--making the skin just above it tingle. "Although...it seems Wolfram & Hart's got you thinking you're whole...that there aren't pieces of you missing."

"You should know...since any pieces I'm missin' are because of you," Lindsey shot back, hotly, rising from his chair. He held his new right hand close to his chest as he skirted the desk and stalked over to where Angel sat, relaxed. "How much more of me do you want, Angelus? You can't squeeze blood from a stone. Why don't you just cut my heart out, set it on a plate and eat it for supper?" he hissed, furiously.

A husky laugh came in response and Angel reached out...stroking his thigh. "I think I like your heart right where it is. Beating. Inside you."

"No." He shook his head vigorously, yanking away from the seductive caress and turning back to the comforting view outside the window. "You like playin' the game. You like winnin'. You like gettin' the best of me," he accused. "You followed me into that alley...an' you came into my bed...and now you're here...because it gets you off. You feel all high and mighty, don'tcha? Makes you feel like you're in your evil prime again, doesn't it?"

There was noise behind him and he knew the vampire had risen from the chair...was crossing the short distance between them. And his voice was pitched low. "I wasn't in that bed alone," he reminded, without mockery. "And I wasn't so high either...you brought me down...so far down...don't you remember?"

Oh sweet Lord. So. Far. Down. Lindsey gasped, shutting his eyes against the memory of the dark head resting against his pelvis...the fingers tracing investigative circles. "Would you purr if I did this, Kitten?"

"Stop it," he pleaded, all pretenses of bravado blown. "Holland could knock on my door any minute."

"I can't stop." Cool breath against the back of his neck. "I want to stop. I need to stop. But I can't. You're under my skin, McDonald. You're at the bone. I have to hunt you...to have you."

"Then what makes you any different from Them, huh?" He demanded, raggedly. "You wanna take turns seducin' me from one side to the other?" His knees were weak. The prosthetic felt like hot, melted, plastic and he wanted to rip it off so Angel could press his mouth to the scarred skin. But he couldn't. Not with the circuitry. He was stuck with it. Just like he was stuck in this.

"I don't take turns." Arms slid around him from behind, banding him in an iron grip. "I just take."

"Then just do it!" The harsh cry tore from his lips as he slumped in the older creature's embrace. "Go ahead...take me! Play with your little faggot kitten and have a good old laugh at the firm."

"You can play, too."

The tender kiss at the base of his skull was his undoing.

*

He stretched, lazily, twisting the big, black, leather chair from side to side and curling his bare toes into the plush carpet. He watched Lindsey struggle to button his shirt and fix his tie, noted the proud glint in the gorgeous eyes and the refusal to ask for help. Barely twenty minutes had passed since Angel had broken into Wolfram & Hart. Security had yet to beat on the door. And the vital meeting with the partners would go off on time. All would go back to relative normal.

None of those cronies would know that he'd been here. None of them would sense his imprint on their boy's lips...on his real skin...on his fake skin. Yes, even the plastic and tissue of the prosthetic had been marked now. Not an inch of Lindsey's body was his own.

Angel had missed the feeling of simple human warmth. He'd missed intimacy. And now he was going to absurd lengths to have it. To wrest it from a scared boy attorney who didn't want to acknowledge how much he, too, was missing. He was addicted to the challenge. The chase. The power.

Lindsey's pattered silk tie was perfectly knotted again. Every button on the Oxford shirt aligned with the correct hole. And the navy blue jacket held not a single crease. The only evidence of what had happened between them lay in the tilt of his fair head. And the nervous motion of his well-polished shoes. And the faintly swollen pinkness of his much-kissed mouth. "You'd best leave soon...I know they've gotten those fledglings staked by now."

"Worried?" Angel murmured, slowly straightening his own professional attire and pulling on his socks and shoes. "I'm touched."

"Yeah...in the head." It could've been a joke...a lover's quip...if the boy lawyer had been smiling. He moved to the door, unlocking it and casting a glance out into the hall before he turned and continued with his business-like concern. "If they catch you...my corpse and your ash will be sharin' the same grave. They don't give second chances."

He met Lindsey's eyes, then, and saw the wariness back in them. He wasn't sure if he was delighted by the sight...or disappointed. "Do we?" he wondered, coolly.

"Is this what you call a second chance?" His illicit prey only shook his head, lips drawing into a thin, bitter, smile. And he gestured towards the door. "I guess you could say...'better the devil you screw than the devil you don't.'"

Angel rose, slowly, and he responded to the altered maxim with the first thought that came into mind. And the smile he'd given the kitten that night outside Helen's Kitchen. A demon's smile. "If you screwed Holland or Lilah or anyone else here, I'd have to kill you."

"I bet you would," Lindsey whispered darkly, face as somber as a preacher's. And ten times more damning.

"It wouldn't be painless," he warned, hating the threat but finding himself unable to keep it back.

"It never is with you."

"I know."

*

When he was alone again...alone with the voices in his head and the knowledge of a room full of faceless men awaiting his arrival, Lindsey let himself kick the desk. And the chairs. One of them moved an entire six inches.

A hoarse moan tore from his lips. He curled up his prosthetic fingers once more, working out the kinks...and then flipped up his middle one. "Fuck you, Angelus!" he hissed as childish tears spilled down his cheek. "Fuck you...and fuck me."

And suddenly, laughs replaced sobs. He harshly choked the sound against his knuckles...the knuckles that no longer smelled like a new car, but like bergamot and clove and sweat and blood. Like a vampire's touch.

That's exactly what he was now: fucked. Well fucked.

--The End
--

June 2000.


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