Notes: Rosedale is an upscale, old money, area of Toronto, Queens
Quay is young, hip, vibrant and pricey. It's where many of the beautiful
people live. Only fitting Vic does.
Pretty Baby 2
Angyl and Rina
Disclaimers: The names belong to Alliance but they did
evil bad nasty stuff to the boys (blowing them to smithereens no less!) so
we decided it was our turn!!!
Cursing the cold, Mac Ramsey hunched his shoulders and flipped the collar
of his jacket up, trying to keep the frozen sleet from coming into contact
with the bare skin of his neck. Damn unseasonable weather, who could believe
that a week ago it had been masquerading as summer now... Now the
temperature had dipped past the freezing mark, sending most sane people home
to their warm homes and cozy beds.
But then, people who knew Mac nowadays weren't quite sure if he was sane
That aside, the teenage thief wouldn't normally be out on a night like
this except for the fact that the damn police had managed to track down the
warehouse he and the rest of the gang had been using as a clearing depot and
a place to crash and were even now sifting through the junk that had been
left there when everyone cleared out.
So, it was back on the street. All in all not a very appealing prospect,
especially on a night like this. He had money, that wasn't the issue. The
problem was that any decent hotel would have clerks who asked questions and
the prospect of crashing at one of the low end fleabags just didn't do much,
if anything, for him.
The wind gusted again, and Mac pulled the heavy brown leather tighter
around his torso, mulling over his options. A muted click accompanied this
act as he tapped the silver barbell that pierced his tongue against his
upper teeth, a habit he'd fallen into since getting the piercing several
months before. Waking up feeling as if his tongue was going to swell out of
his mouth was not an experience Mac wanted to relive, but once it had
healed, he'd found it to be entertaining if nothing else and, as it had been
an initiation rite, it had been unavoidable.
The past six months hadn't been easy, even with the cache Li Ann had left
him, and the Mac Ramsey who sat astride the gleaming black Ducati motorcycle
was a far cry from the worldly yet still innocent teen who had left his
hotel room looking for adventure. Gone were the fashionable clothes, the
carefully styled hair, and the laid back attitude. Mac now wore whatever was
handy, generally denims and flannels, his hair curled over his forehead and
ears, hiding the three silver hoops dangling from his right lobe, and his
attitude could best be described as suicidal.
In one night he'd lost everything that made up his life, and the one he
had been scrambling to build now revolved around one thing - revenge. A
passing thought made Mac grin, and he kick-started the motorcycle, knowing
exactly where he was going.
Traffic was light, and he made it out to Queen's Quay in under fifteen
minutes even if he was a good deal colder and wetter when he arrived then
when he had started the journey. Rolling the bike into the underground
parking garage, the thief wasted no time in bypassing the elevator security
and sliding inside, standing purposefully away from the walls.
A shudder that had nothing to do with the damp and chill that clung to
him passed through the Mac's tall, rangy body and he forced himself to
concentrate on the task at hand, not on the flashes of memory that kept
threatening to overtake him. Most of that night was a blur, but Mac vividly
remembered being pushed against the side of this compartment and kissed
until his knees gave out.
"Stop it," he growled to himself, angered because of the
feelings of arousal that threatened to claim him even now, this long after
the event. "Fucker was a cop trying to make a bust who just decided to
get a little extra in. Well, now he can give me back some."
Sporadic surveillance of the condo as well as clandestine record checks
had let Mac know that Vic the vice cop didn't live at this address full
time, in fact that he rarely, if ever, frequented this area. That was fine
with Mac, the last thing he wanted to do was to run into Victor Mansfield,
but if he did... The elevator ground to a halt and the thief indulged
himself in a brief fantasy of kicking the older man's ass from one side of
his apartment to the other - and then off the balcony.
Vic had no idea why he was here. Fuck, he'd been ready to sell this place
a few times. More than ready. Had even gone so far as having papers drawn
up, but he could never bring himself to sign on the dotted line.
How pathetic was that? Holding on to a place that he couldn't stand -
hated more than he hated himself - just because it was all that he had left
of his night with Mac. Mac Ramsey - a sixteen year old kid who'd become his
devil and his savior.
The stupid ass punk haunted Vic's every sleeping moment and most of his
waking. Mansfield had lost count of the number of sleepless nights over the
past six months. Nights when he tore himself apart for what he'd done.
Nights when the only thing that had stopped him from eating a bullet was the
desire to make that bitch Rictor pay for ruining the life of an innocent
kid. Screw what she'd done to him. He deserved it and he knew it.
But Mac, his pretty baby had been completely innocent. So sweetly giving
- so hot and vibrant under him, around him, working his way into Vic's high
security heart without even knowing it. And what had the kid gotten for his
innocent trust of Victor? Mac's father was killed while out looking for him,
his sister had turned up dead two months ago, and Michael Tang had put a
price on his own brother's head - all because Mac had slept with a man he
didn't even know was a cop until it was too late.
So here was Vic, well on his way to becoming a burnt out and bitter husk
of a man. When he wasn't working - Narcotics now, he'd gotten the fuck out
of Vice once he'd come off his month long suspension for disobeying Rictor's
orders - he was working his way through a bottle. Didn't matter what it was,
just so long as it dulled the pain enough to let him sleep.
The bottle of tequila in his hand had been full when he'd forced himself
to walk through the door of his own personal purgatory. It was now almost
three-quarters empty. The burn was pleasant, an almost enjoyable pain going
He'd thrown the doors to the balcony wide open to help keep him awake
when he'd started drinking.
Vic's face had more than a few days' stubble on it, not that he cared,
and his jeans had been through more than a few wars and lost - holes in the
knees and the seams white with stress. His tee shirt, which had once hugged
a muscular body, was now loose from weight loss, and grungy from lack of
care. The circles under his eyes were cavernous and almost midnight blue in
color - another sign of lack of sleep, and there were stress lines etched
into his forehead.
"Six months tonight I loved you Mac Ramsey," he whispered into
the frigid darkness. "Six months tomorrow that bitch destroyed you.
Fuck I want her dead. I want her to rot in hell!" He snarled, hurling
the bottle at the wall, listening to the satisfying sound of glass
shattering - just like his life. Flinging himself back on the couch he
closed his eyes, "Gotta stay awake - at least gotta shut the fucking
doors so I don't freeze to death," he mumbled, his eyes closing
involuntarily. Wouldn't do to end up dead before he could find a way to
destroy Rictor. He was asleep in minutes.
Mac had been so prepared to walk into a warm apartment that when he
bypassed the electronic lock and opened the door, the frigid air that
greeted him came as a complete shock.
"Fuck!" the teen exclaimed, shutting the door behind him and
striding across the room to close the sliding glass door, sealing the cold
out and the heat in. "What the..." he muttered, turning slowly and
scanning the room as he realized he had just made a stupid and potentially
No motion greeted his slow surveillance of the living room, and there was
no noise audible except the incessant drone of the heater striving to drive
the damp chill from the air. Mac relaxed imperceptibly, then almost jumped
out of his skin when a raspy snore split the air.
"Jesus fucking Christ!" he swore, already halfway to the door
before it hit him that whoever had made the noise wasn't moving from their
position on the couch.
Taking a few deep breaths to calm his racing heart, Mac crept closer,
going against his better judgment to satisfy his curiosity. The smell of
alcohol grew stronger the closer he got to the sofa and the thief's mouth
twisted in an expression of disgust as he leaned in and got a face-full of
"Mansfield..." The word was breathed out almost gleefully, and
Mac's eyes lit up at the thought of what had basically been dropped in his
lap to do with as he pleased. Victor the vice cop. Asleep. Drunk. And all
Shoving aside the part of him that wanted to be concerned over the older
man's haggard appearance, and the part that wanted to relive the events of
half a year before, Mac leaned closer, running a finger over the cop's
Dead to the world - and cold too.
After waging a momentary internal war, Mac went in search of a blanket,
purposefully avoiding the master bedroom as he looked. No way was he going
in there if he could help it, just being here was bad enough as it was
Dropping the quilted throw he'd found over Victor's prone form, Mac
retreated to the overstuffed chair opposite it, contemplating his next move
as he waited for the other man to wake up and face what he had coming.
Vic wasn't sure of what had dragged him from his drunken stupor until he
remembered the last time he'd felt this prickling sensation at the back of
his neck. Not bothering to open his eyes he growled out softly. "I told
you last time you heartless blood-sucking bitch, that if I ever caught you
sniffing around me again they wouldn't be able to find enough of you to
identify the body. You've already ruined the kid's life, then there's the
lovely little side-trip through hell I get to live every day, you've had
more than your pound of my flesh Rictor - ain't gonna get anymore. So get.
The fuck. Out!"
When he didn't hear movement, Vic slowly turned his head and opened his
eyes. And decided that maybe he'd finally died and gotten the real hell he
deserved. "Mac... baby?" he managed to choke out, staring at
someone who looked like Mac, yet was tougher, harder, a more sinister copy
of the sweet young man who'd broken through his defenses six months ago.
Finally unable to bear the menacing stare from this tormenting
vision/apparition, he rolled away, trying to block out those laser sharp
eyes. "Not real, never real," the cop moaned, pressing his face
into the back of the couch.
"Oh I'm real all right," the younger man snarled, dragging his
hiking boots from the coffee table and leaning in, his fingers twitching in
anticipation of wrapping around the older man's neck. "You'll find out
just how real if you call me 'baby' again, Detective Mansfield."
Mac had expected the white-hot anger that swept through him at the sound
of the cop's voice, but what he hadn't anticipated was the bone-jarring
arousal that flooded him at the same time. Somehow that rough, velvety voice
had invaded his dreams, twining itself with whatever pleasurable ones he'd
managed to have since his life had been ripped apart, etching itself into
His cock twitched within the confines of his jeans, a fact that only
goaded Mac on in the course he was taking - the one that included ignoring
everything the other man said as a lie. "What? No kids to pick up
tonight or your boss decide you look too ratty for that now and put you out
"M-Mac?" Victor gasped almost inaudibly. No, it couldn't be -
but oh God it sounded like him, it was Mac's voice, yet harsher, crueler.
The venomous words registered dimly and were accepted as being deserved. He
owed this kid... so much.
Slowly rolling onto his back, Vic stared up at the ceiling. He wouldn't, couldn't
look Mac in the eye. "Don't work for her anymore," he mumbled
softly. "When I wouldn't turn over she suspended me and tried to have
me brought up on charges. IA had a field day. I switched to Narcotics once
they gave me my badge back, not that it mattered. Only one reason why I even
stayed. . ." Revenge, he thought to himself, cold, bloody revenge.
"Poor baby." Mac's reply was filled with vitriol. "Though
I suppose it does make getting those drugs you seem so fond of easier."
"What are you doing here, Mac?" Vic finally managed to choke
out, not really expecting an answer. "What do you want?"
The younger man sneered at that, then flicked his tongue out over his
lower lip, the stud that impaled it flashing in the dim lighting. "The
list is long and varied, Vice-man, and exceedingly bloody." Noting that
Victor still refused to look at him, Mac stood and went to rummage in the
kitchen cabinets. "Don't you have any...ah!" He returned to the
living room, brandishing a bottle of bourbon in his left hand. The young
thief took a swig and grimaced at the taste, then licked his lips and took a
seat on the edge of the coffee table, leaning in over Vic and eyeing him
wickedly. "First and foremost would be giving you a taste of what fun
I've had since our 'date'. You game?"
Vic wasn't sure he was, but... fuck how he'd missed the younger man. Not
even a night and something about Mac Ramsey had found a home inside Victor.
And it hurt. Bad.
Although Victor was willing to take the lion's share of the younger man's
accusations and pain, there was one thing he wouldn't be blamed for. "I
didn't drug you, Mac. I tried my hardest to see that you weren't, but the
bitch overrode me and then decided to 'help' me along with it too. I didn't
want... Fuck, who am I kidding here? I wanted you so bad from the moment I
saw your picture that I let Rictor lead me around by the balls," Victor
sighed before trying to knock the bourbon bottle out of the younger man's
"And you're too fucking young to be drinking that stuff - especially
in my house. Put it back!" It was only then that he noticed the glint
of silver on Mac's lush, glistening tongue. Victor could only stare at the
younger man in shocked dismay. "Oh, Mac - what have I done?" he
almost sobbed, his breath catching, his eyes watering, and his throat
constricting painfully. Before he could think, it slipped out.
"Don't. Call. Me. That." Mac's voice cracked with the strain of
keeping it from trembling and he fisted his hand in Vic's shirt, dragging
the other man closer to him, staring into his bloodshot eyes. "Don't
ever call me that again or you'll think whatever your boss did to you was a
fuckin' party compared to it."
The younger man's breathing was short and erratic and his dark eyes were
wild and slightly unfocused as he shoved Vic back against the couch, then
took a deliberate swig from the bottle he still held. "You aren't my
father, Vic-tor - he's dead if you hadn't heard that choice bit of news - so
don't act like you give a shit what I drink or where." Mac took another
drink, letting his tongue play around the rim of the bottle and smirking to
himself at the reaction it drew from the cop.
"You know, maybe I should thank you, man. Not many people get
fucked, fucked over and then have their lives fucked up all in one day. It
did teach me something though - people are willing to do just about anything
for you if you give them what they want. It's pretty damn funny
actually." The misery in Vic's eyes was a treat and Mac lapped it up,
reveling in his ability to inflict pain on this man who had given him so
much. Who gave a fuck if Vic hadn't had him drugged - if he was even telling
the truth about it. He knew what was going on and had participated willingly
and enthusiastically. Another memory breached, sending cascades of auditory
and tactile ghosts over Mac's tightly strung nerves and he shuddered,
banishing the feelings with another gulp of the harsh fire of the whiskey.
Six months of anger, bitterness and, until now, unacknowledged resentment
seemed to coalesce in Victor at that moment. Before he'd realized it, he had
slapped the bottle out of Mac's hand, hard, was sitting up and in the
younger man's face. Vic didn't even notice the bourbon soaking into the
oriental carpet that covered gleaming bleached wood floors, his attention
was focused on the rebellious teen in front of him.
"Do you think that I wanted all of this Ramsey? That I wanted
you? I'm a fucking cop for Christ's sake - and I used to be a damn good one
until you and your happy little family decided to come to town. I had
orders, kid," he sneered. "Orders to help bring down the
godfather of an Asian criminal organization who was bringing contraband into
the country. So I was supposed to set up his youngest son - the one who was
known for almost every style of theft known to law enforcement - a criminal
in his own right. You really think I would want to fall for a thief,
especially a teenaged one? Can you say jailbait? Yeah, I really
wanted to throw my career away for the naive little larcenous brat of a
fucking crime lord! There's a fan-fucking-tastic career move for sure,"
Vic continued mercilessly.
"Oh and here's a news flash for you - I honestly can't say I give a
rat's ass that your old man is dead. Far as I'm concerned the only good
thing he ever did, other than raise you, was dying. Do you even know why
dear old 'daddy' was in Canada, junior? Son of a bitch was here to oversee
the shipment of guns headed for the States - and the hands of whatever
stupid ass teenager or junkie or idiot with a vendetta that could buy them.
That and the couple hundred kilos of China White he was bringing in as a
sideline. So forgive me if I don't mourn for the bastard, okay?" the
cop continued to spew venomously.
"But hey we all know fate is a bitch to rival my ex- boss, so guess
what happens? I get called into said bitch's office, given the assignment
from hell and get shown a picture of the kid I'm supposed to roll over. Then
I get an eyeful of you and my career, beliefs, hell my fucking life
goes right out the window 'coz I know, I know I can't do that to you.
Not that it matters because dragon lady slips me the same drug and all I can
fucking see, want, need is some snot-nosed baby with more
attitude than brains and I end up screwing myself royally by screwing him.
Fucking great career move, a cop committing statutory rape!"
"Even after I toss it all to protect said snot nosed kid, I get
screwed over by the ex-boss, raked across IA's coals, suspended, and have
Rictor threaten to have me arrested on whatever trumped up charges she can, then
try to crawl into bed with me 'coz she likes the new Victor. Oh yeah, let's
not forget the transfer into another department that makes Vice seem like
the fucking boy and girl scouts of America in comparison, even that's not
"Neither, apparently, is six months of guilt and hell, drinking
myself into oblivion whenever I can, letting my conscience eat me alive. So
tell me Mac what is enough? You want my blood? Sure, I'm sure there's
plenty of sharp objects in this apartment that will let you get quick and
immediate access. You wanna take a chunk of my hide? Go for it - hell, feel
free to rip my fucking heart out, not that I have one according to you. No
wait, the mess would be a bitch to clean up - how about my gun
instead?" Vic unclipped his HK USP45 Tactical, released the safety and
shoved it at the teen
"Go ahead Ramsey - have a party. Oh yeah since I haven't written up
a will or anything, here's the keys to the place. Consider it your reward
for your righteous revenge against the evil mother-fucking cop who single
handedly, without ever truly caring about you or the consequences, destroyed
your fucking life in a cold-blooded, calculating and totally emotionless
manner," Vic continued, tossing the keys next to the youth. "But
whatever the fuck it is that you want - just get it the hell over with
because I'm sick and tired of the dancing and bullshit and my fucking life
in general. Here's your chance, Ramsey, go on, show everyone just what an
evil, unconscionable bastard I really am. Do the world in general and
yourself in particular a favor, and pull the fucking trigger!"
Seething emotions joined forces with the undiluted bourbon to make war on
Mac's empty stomach. Bullshit, that's all it was, complete and total
bullshit. Mansfield was just trying to fuck with his head, to save his own
skin, to... The weight of the semi-automatic pistol tugged at Mac's hand and
he refocused his attention on the smooth metal that filled his palm. What
would it feel like to pull the trigger? To plant a bullet between the cop's
hate-filled eyes, to end the vicious words that were even now eating at the
self-righteous fury that had possessed Mac and fueled his life, forcing him
to keep going when he was ready to give in, give up.
Would Mansfield's last expression be one of shock or would the sneering
twist of his lips remain? As his eyes filmed over, would he cast a last
scornful look on his killer, pitying him even in death? It wasn't supposed
to be like this. All Mac had wanted out of this night was somewhere warm to
curl up and hide for a while. He couldn't handle this, not now. His
foundation had been knocked off kilter during their first meeting and each
derogatory word Vic spoke succeeded in chipping away at what was left of it.
If only he could talk to his father, or Li Ann, or even Michael, but they
were all gone, the first two dead and the third wanting to kill him. The
only tenuous connection Mac had to his past was Victor, and the cop
obviously didn't care if either of them lived or died. Fine. If that was how
he wanted to play it, that's how they would.
Schooling his features into a hard mask, but unable to completely hide
the anguish in his eyes, Mac extended the gun, pointing it at the center of
Victor's chest. "Thanks for the opportunity, man. Won't bring back Pop
and Li Ann, but it's a start." A small tremor communicated itself to
the deadly weapon, then the air echoed with the sound of the shot and the
dull thud as the bullet embedded itself in the plaster behind the sofa.
Vic's whole world narrowed down to the younger man's words and Mac's
finger on the trigger. Then Mac squeezed it and Vic felt something inside
him die, just like he was going to. And he shut down.
Except he didn't die, the sofa did. It almost felt like he was under
water, or not really there, that slow motion, life flashing before your eyes
sort of thing. Turning his head he stared at the hole in the couch, then the
one in the wall behind it while his heart shut down and iced over. Something
cold and ugly was born in Victor. A raging hate, not of Mac, but of the
person, no persons, who'd done this to the sweet, innocent kid he'd known
only for a few short hours but would mourn the death of for the rest of his
Eyes burning with an unholy light, Vic turned to the young stranger
before him. "That your best shot kid? Tough luck, it's the last one you
All Victor truly wanted to do was to take the younger man in his arms and
hold him tight and safe, but he couldn't, instead he could only continue on
as he'd started this evening - making Mac hate him all the more. It was for
the best though, Vic thought, what little of his heart not yet frozen aching
painfully. It was better if all Mac ever remembered of Victor Mansfield was
that he was a bastard cop who'd stolen his life.
Taking the now dangling gun from Mac's trembling hands, Victor calmly,
almost icily, re-engaged the safety and re-holstered the weapon. Victor was
stone sober now, and colder then he could ever remember being. It was as if
everything had gone numb or simply iced over. Even his rage was cold, frozen
beyond belief. And it was all directed on one person. Rictor.
"Like I said earlier, the place is yours kid. Have a nice life. I'd
say see you around, but after tonight I seriously doubt that'll
happen." If he managed to do what he was planning he'd either be dead
or would have to disappear forever. Cop killers were always caught, and if a
cop killed another cop it was even worse. He'd have to make arrangements if
he got the chance, to see to it that Mac was protected and the condo turned
over to him legally with enough money to make sure he was well cared for
until he was old enough to work legally. But that was for a later time - if
he survived that long.
With a precise economy of movement, Victor stood, turned and, eyeing his
jacket and the younger man wearing it with something akin to regret before
shrugging fatalistically. Not like he'd be needing either one after tonight.
"At least try to have a happy life, baby," Vic murmured gently
as he strode out the door without looking back, only a single, regretful
sigh for all the might have beens that he'd never have a chance to see now.
Then he was striding down the stairs with a grim sense of purpose. He had a
sudden yen to go and see Diana Rictor.
Mac stood there, frozen, as the door snicked shut behind him, his
unseeing eyes trained on the bits of stuffing bleeding from the singed hole
in the couch's upholstery. "I - " he began, his voice a broken
whisper in the still of the apartment. Nausea robbed the thief of his
ability to speak and Mac raced for the kitchen, making it to the sink in
time to violently lose the bourbon he had downed as well as what little food
he'd eaten that day.
"Jesus. Oh god. Oh fuck." Greasy sweat coated Mac's forehead
and he splashed cold water on his face in a feeble attempt to get some kind
of hold on his churning emotions. He hadn't meant to pull the trigger, had
only wanted to wipe that condescending sneer from Mansfield's face and
then... Thank god he'd managed to pull the shot, he hadn't wanted to kill
the other man - not really - just make him understand what real misery felt
After rinsing his mouth and spitting to clear the rancid taste, Mac
straightened, rubbing at his lips with the back of his hand to try and
cleanse the memory from his skin. "Need to get out of here." It
was too much to deal with. If he stayed here any longer, he'd go as nuts as
Victor apparently was.
Well you did take a shot at him, the nasty little voice of his
conscience reminded him.
"Yeah, well he screwed up my life!" Mac snarled into the empty
Like he made you sneak out of the hotel and go with him. Deal with it,
Ramsey, if you had stayed where you were supposed to, none of this would
Oh god, it was true, all of it. Mac sagged against the counter, fighting
another round of nausea, this one brought on by self-recrimination and not
shock. Shit, where had Victor gone? Considering what he had said, wherever
it was, it couldn't be good. "Stupid fucker," Mac growled,
sprinting out of the apartment and down the stairs, reaching the garage just
in time to see a dark green Stealth pull out onto the street, tires
squealing on the sleet-slick pavement. "Gonna get yourself
killed." Cursing the weather, the idiot cop and his own emotions, the
thief threw himself astride his motorcycle, kicked it into gear and pealed
out into the wet night, following the vanishing taillights of Victor's car.
The drive to Rictor's was relatively short, but long enough for Vic to
really think about what he was doing. Could he do this? Could he pull the
trigger on his former captain? He'd shot people before - but only as a last
resort and always at a soft target like a leg or a shoulder if he could help
it. He'd had to shoot to kill twice in his lifetime and the faces of each
victim were burned like a scar on his mind. Could he pull the trigger in
Mac's face chose that moment to dance across Victor's mind's eye. Young,
haggard, scared beyond measure, eyes older then they should have ever been.
Smoking gun in his hand. Rictor had done that. Had taken a na´ve kid,
albeit a less than honest one, and systematically destroyed his life in
order to get her promotion without ever caring what happened to Mac. He'd
lost his father, his sister, his brother, his family - everything ever
important to him. All for the advancement of Rictor's career. Oh yeah,
Victor could pull the trigger all right. It was simple retribution. An eye
for an eye and all that. Vic just chose to elect himself judge, jury and
Slowing to an almost silent stop in front of the elegant little townhouse
complex in Rosedale, Victor didn't notice the nondescript car across the
street, he was too busy checking his clip.
"You were right, the kid showing up tonight was his breaking point.
He's here and he's none too happy. You'd better get here fast or your
lookalike is gonna be a dead double," Dobrinsky murmured into his cell.
A year of watching Victor, waiting for the chance to recruit him, had
given Dobrinsky three other now fully trained operatives, but not the one
his boss really wanted. Mr. Mansfield had remained an elusive target - the
everyman hero who could do no wrong - until Mac Ramsey decided to pay Ace a
call tonight and set off a time bomb very few knew about, much less realized
had been ticking away. It had been sheer luck that the agent assigned to
watch Vic's condo tonight had caught a glimpse of the young man on the bike
tearing after Victor. It was the break the Director had been looking for,
she was about to get the man she wanted most for the little group she was
assembling. Victor was about to fall into her lap, ripe and ready. Dobrinsky
just hoped that she showed up before Vic did something really stupid - like
actually kill his ex-boss.
He liked Mansfield. He was a good guy, if a little too much of a bleeding
heart do-gooder. At least he had been until the Tangs came to town half a
year ago. Still was in many ways - a tarnished hero attempting to right the
wrong he'd committed, to pay his debt to a kid who had somehow managed to do
what no one else ever had in Mansfield's life - get buried inside the man.
He watched with more than a little uneasiness as Victor got out of the car
and very calmly made his way towards Rictor's front door. The Director had
better get there soon.
Gun checked and bullet in the chamber, Victor got out of the car and
walked silently towards Rictor's front door. Raising a fist, he thought to
knock, then after a quick scan, thought better of it, got out his lock pick
set and pulled on the leather gloves he had in his pocket - no prints, no
mess. The kid wasn't the only one who knew what to do with a pick. The door
swung silently open and Victor stalked into the darkened interior, moving
unerringly towards what was probably the living room, where a tv flickered.
Something wasn't quite right, but Vic couldn't put his finger on it and
didn't really care. Moving into the room he saw her sitting in an
overstuffed chair watching... Victor watching her. The place was being
monitored with a feed directly into the television.
What the fuck? More importantly who the fuck was this? She looked like
Rictor - and yet this was definitely not Rictor. His ex-boss was a barracuda
- this woman was a viper - much more deadly and even more lethal. And yet -
strangely enough, Vic liked her on the spot - until she spoke that was.
"Hello Victor, do sit down and join me, we have a lot to talk about.
Oh - and you can call me The Director, only fair since I now own your
What the fuck was going on here?
Mac shut off the bike's engine and rolled it up to the curb several
buildings away from where Victor's car was parked. He'd spotted at least two
people watching the cop break into the upscale townhouse, but as to who they
were and what they wanted, he had no clue. Something was going on here, and
it wasn't good.
Unable to understand why he'd want to protect Mansfield, but needing to
do something in that regard, Mac eased himself off the motorcycle, cursing
silently as his soaked jeans clung to his legs, making each step a misery.
God he hated the cold, and it seemed he was destined to spend this whole
night that way.
Concentrate on the job, the thief reminded himself as he ghosted
up the walkway along the back side of the building, his keen eyes searching
for an unguarded entrance into the place. The windows of the unit he was
casing were guarded by a top of the line security system, not that its
presence deterred Mac for more then a few seconds. Fry the contacts, slip
the lock, and bingo...
The window slid up without a hitch and Mac prepared to boost himself into
the room when he felt a heavy hand clamp down on his shoulder.
"Planning on going somewhere, kid? I'd say entering through the
front door is more polite."
Cursing viciously and struggling to break free of the iron-hard grip on
his arm, Mac fought until he was slammed up against the side of the
townhouse and found himself gasping for breath while staring at a tall bald
man who's grin flashed whitely against his dark skin.
"C'mon, kid. Inside. Looks like it's two for one night for us."
Try as he might, Mac found it impossible to break free of the bald man's
grip and he finally gave in, following meekly along as he was dragged into
the elegantly appointed home. Maybe, just maybe, going along with whatever
this was would earn him a little leeway and if it did, he was out of here.
"Easy on the jacket, it's not mine," he griped, yanking his arm
away from the older man and giving himself a shake, sending a cascade of
water droplets flying out from his body as he was unceremoniously pushed
into the living room.
Mac opened his mouth to complain again, then closed it as he stared in
disbelief at the huge wingback chair where Victor Mansfield was sitting,
then at the other one where a handsome red-haired woman held court.
"What the fuck is going on here?" he blurted out, beginning to
think this whole thing was just another setup.
"What the fuck do you mean you own my life? No one owns me lady -
least of all someone I don't know from hell, and who happens to look like my
ex-boss to boot," Vic responded defiantly even as his watery knees
forced him into the nearby wingback.
"Correct me if I'm wrong Victor - but you came here with the intent
to kill Captain Rictor did you not? A little too late unfortunately -
she's... disappeared. Permanently. However, that does not change your
intent. Killing someone is a crime, plotting to kill someone is a crime -
plotting to kill a cop is a death sentence waiting to happen. Being a cop
yourself - well they'd probably let you go to prison, and make sure you got
into general. After all, that way you'd be dead and their hands would still
be lily white. Sensing a pattern here Mr. Mansfield?" the Director
replied calmly, her fingers steepled, elbows resting on the chair arms, her
leather clad legs crossed and her stiletto heels making them appear longer.
"However, I can offer you an alternative. Work for me."
"And just who the fuck are you?" Vic managed to choke out.
"I'm your last chance. I can offer you a career in law enforcement,
working for a govenrment agency and working for me. You'd be above the local
laws, above most of them. My organization is international in its scope and
it's authority. You'd be doing good work Victor - helping a lot of people
who needed it. Taking down criminals like Michael Tang and his ilk.
Preventing what happened to young Mr. Ramsey from ever happening again.
You'd have a great deal of authority Victor - and even more as you prove
yourself. You have potential Mr. Mansfield. More than I've seen in a long,
long time," the slinky redhead purred.
"So what's your answer - work for me, or prison?"
"When you put it like that - don't really have much of a choice now
do I?" Vic sighed heavily. Well, guess it could be worse, he could be
"Dobrinsky?!" he managed to gasp before he registered just who
his ex-partner was dragging in behind him, before he got a good look at the
slightly drowned looking thief he'd left in his apartment an hour ago, brown
eyes looking a little scared and a whole lot belligerent. Before Victor
heard the softly gasped "What the fuck is going on here?"
"Oh no, no way! No fucking way!! He is not part of this,
Director or whatever the fuck your name is. Leave the kid alone!" Vic
was out of his seat and ripping Dobie's arm off of Mac before anyone could
move, and shoving the youth behind him. "Mac has nothing to do with
this - let him go."
"Of course we will, Victor," the Director purred, "but
young Mr. Ramsey is in the country illegally. Mr. Dobrinsky, please see that
Mr. Ramsey is escorted to the airport and put on the first available flight
back to Hong Kong. I understand that your brother is very anxious to welcome
you back home, Mr. Ramsey," the red head continued to purr - this time
much more menacingly.
"Dobie, you touch him and I'll fucking break you," Vic growled
softly, his eyes flashing green fire as he positioned himself in such a way
that the bigger man would have to go through him to get to Mac. No one was
gonna hurt Mac ever again.
Turning to the viper, Vic sold his soul to the devil without a second
thought. "Okay lady you win - whatever you want from me, it's yours.
Whatever the price. Just leave the kid alone. You never saw him, he was
never here. This never happened. Just let him walk away and you've got me
The Director smiled ferally. "Still the white knight trying to save
the innocent young victim, Victor? Even after he tried to kill you with your
own gun," she tsked softly. "Very well. Mac Ramsey was never here.
My people and I never saw him. But you, Victor... you're all mine," the
older woman purred in absolute delight.
Mac wondered if he'd stumbled into some weird new age play or something.
Who was this woman and what was she talking about? When Vic grabbed him,
dragging him away from the guy who'd caught him, the young man almost fell
but recovered in time to come up against the cop's back. Sputtering out
half-formed protests to this treatment, Mac tried to push his way around
Victor, especially when he heard the news that he was getting sent back to
Hong Kong. No way, no how. He wouldn't last ten seconds there, not with the
price Michael had on his head. Yes, he had plans to go back, but they
included making his brother pay for what he had done, not ending up dead in
"You think you're sending me back there, you're crazy, lady!"
Mac growled in frustration when none of the others in the room paid him any
attention - and then Victor gave in, turning himself over to whatever it was
witch wanted. This was wrong, way wrong. "Just what the fuck do you
think you're doing?" he snarled, grabbing Vic's arm and yanking the
other man around to look at him. "I don't need a protector or someone
martyring himself to 'save' me. And you - " here he rounded on the
woman, jabbing his finger in her direction. "Guess what lady, I'm here,
saying I'm not isn't going to make me go away. Whatever you want from
Mansfield, I have a prior claim on him so you're just gonna have to wait.
You want to try to send me back to Hong Kong, go ahead, but you'll have to
catch me first."
"Mac, stay out of this," Victor ordered, trying to turn away
from the younger man and face his new boss once more, slapping the younger
man's hand down. "You don't know what's going on, so keep your pretty
little mouth shut."
Swinging back to the Director, Vic tried to smooth things over.
"He's just a kid, and one with a massive chip on his shoulder. You
pushed the wrong buttons, is all," Vic explained away. "Lemme take
him home and then we can talk, you can have Dobie follow me if you
want," the ex-cop wheedled. He wanted Mac away from this woman. Now.
She had the hairs on the back of his neck crawling. This was not good.
"Oh but Victor, I think I like this 'charming' young man," the
red head spat out softly. "He's got a nice set on him for one so young
if he thinks he can actually stand up to me. Perhaps... well, Mr. Dobrinsky,
what do you think?"
"The kid's got some impressive talent. You know that ring of thieves
that's been running out of that warehouse down in the industrial park, the
one they shut down tonight? Macky was one of the primary players. Not to
mention that the Tangs taught him quite a few 'interesting' trades that
could be worth our while. Our boy here speaks at least two other languages
besides English and Chinese - and he speaks dialcts of that - Cantonese and
Mandarin. I'd say he'd make a nice addition," Dobrinsky replied calmly,
ignoring the fury springing into Victor's eyes.
"No. Fucking. Way!" the cop bellowed. "You keep your god
damned hands off of him or no fucking deal. I am not going to let you use
him the way I did. I'm not letting him get hurt again - you got me?!"
"Oh but this isn't up to you, Victor. Now be an angel and sit. Come
join us Mr. Ramsey. I think perhaps I need to re-evaluate my assessment of
"Yeah, go sit down Victor. I want to hear what she has to say."
Ignoring the barely banked fury in the older man's eyes and the feeling that
he should be more then a little grateful for what Vic had tried to do for
him, Mac sauntered past the cop and toward the cozy little seating
Whoever these people were, they knew too much about him. The depth of
their information was unnerving as well as the fact that they seemed to have
his weaknesses pegged with laser-sharp intensity. But if they knew that, why
did they keep throwing his safety up in Victor's face as a threat? Ignoring
the question as unimportant for now, Mac dropped onto the damask tapestry
sofa and sprawled out, kicking his boots up onto the expensive fabric with
little heed for the muddy marks they left behind.
"So, you seem to know all there is to know about me, care to fill me
in on you?" The question may have been asked with studied nonchalance,
but even as he spoke, Mac was studying the room and the people in it,
working on an escape plan that would hopefully get Vic out of there too.
Even though he only dealt with the periphery of the Tang crime syndicate,
Mac knew danger when he saw it and this woman embodied the word.
"All in good time, Mr. Ramsey, all in good time," the Director
smiled, her eyes raking over the youth's lithe form and causing Victor's
teeth to clench even tighter - something that humored her to no end.
"Oh relax ,Victor, unlike some people around here, Mr. Ramsey
is just a little too young for my taste. You, however," the red
head got up out of her chair in a catlike stretch and stalked towards the
soon to be ex-cop. Running a blood red tipped finger down the center of
Vic's chest, she brushed up against him. "Clean you up a bit, make sure
you gain all that weight you shed pining for little lost Mac, and you'll be
just about right."
Vic backed hastily away, so fast he didn't realize the wingback he'd been
sitting in was directly behind him, and he found himself unceremoniously
sitting once more - caged by the prowling Director. "This was not
part of that deal I made. Work wise, you got me - my personal life is...
"Mine as well ,Victor - just like I told you before Mr. Ramsey
decided to join our little party. I own you now - you and your little Mac
too," the Director snickered softly, before sauntering away. God she
loved making grown men tremble in fear, not to mention the heated look she
received from young Mac as she went after 'his man'.
Foolish boys - she could read them both like books - the sexual tension,
the lust, the almost compulsive need to protect one another. These two were
going to cause her a lot of problems and disappoint a great many people at
the Agency, female and male alike, because it was obvious to anyone who knew
how to read people, as she did, that these two were going to be explosive
together - and probably for a very long time.
Returning to her 'throne' she turned to her aide. "Mr. Dobrinsky,
these two fine gentlemen will be added to the roster immediately. You will
see to their training - oh and make sure they clean up nice. Victor, your
resignation has already been tendered for you, and a letter dispatched to
your, parents," the director sniffed haughtily at that last word. She'd
made sure she knew everything there was to know about Mr. Mansfield,
and she was less than enamored of his parents and elder sibling. How they'd
managed to make someone like Victor she'd never know.
"You've decided to go away for two months - to 'find yourself' and
you will be in touch when you return. That flea trap you normally live in
has been condemned. Your things are being boxed even as we speak and will
put into storage at the condominium - your new place of residence. When you
return, you will become employed as a security consultant for a company that
protects government officials, and you will be the 'host father' of a young
man who's come to Canada from Hong Kong to study here," she smirked.
"Mac - say hello to your new 'daddy'. You will ostensibly be under
Victor's guardianship. You will attend any of the institutes of higher
learning here in the city - your choice as to which one and your course of
study. This is your cover. You will also live at the condo, with your own
room - sleeping arrangements I leave to the two of you, of course, but
appearances must be kept. Especially when Victor's relatives come to town. I
don't foresee you having the same problem Mr. Ramsey," the older woman
said matter-of-factly as she turned her attention towards Mac.
"Seeing as how no one will miss you, no one has been notified. You
too will be trained with Victor, considering that the two of you shall be
living and working so closely from now on, you may as well start getting
used to each other immediately. I suggest you boys find some way to settle
your differences and fast. I will not tolerate either of you trying to kill
the other, you're partners from now on, until I decide otherwise.
Welcome to your new lives, gentlemen."
With that, the Director stood and swept out of the room, leaving a
speechless Victor in her wake. He couldn't even bring himself to look at
Mac. God - he'd really, really screwed the kid's life up now.
"Hey, cheer up Ace," Dobrinsky slapped him on the back.
"You're gonna be in great company. The Director managed to snag Jacks,
Camier and Murphy as well. It's gonna be like a Vice reunion - the three of
us and the creeps from Asian Crime. And you get to keep playing with pretty
little boy toy too," the big man chuckled.
"Don't touch me. Don't talk to me. Don't fucking breathe near
me!" Victor ground out, still staring at the vacated seat. "And if
you ever call me Ace again or suggest what you just did, Dobie you're
gonna be living with your dick crammed down your throat - got it?"
"Whatever - Vic-tor, now move. You and Macky boy here got a date
with the trainers."
After listening to the Director's blithe pronouncement concerning his
future, Mac had been ready to blow up and rip a strip out of her leather
covered hide. The last thing he wanted was to be stuck with Mansfield full
time, especially with the older man as his 'guardian'. God, just the thought
of having to live with the cop made his stomach clench, though it felt
different then any normal apprehension he'd felt before.
A very vocal and crude protest died on the thief's lips however, when her
next comments drove home the fact that this was all he had to his life.
There was nothing else and never would be at this rate. Pushing the memories
of his life in Hong Kong to the back of his mind and swallowing hard to
cover any slippage of his bored expression, Mac remained silent through his
new boss's - hell, his new owner's blithe platitudes and breezy exit.
Maybe he had to take her shit, but he sure didn't have to take it from
whoever the fuck this other guy was. With a show of feigned insolence, Mac
waited until Victor stood then, using the older man's movements as a
distraction, launched himself at the Director's stooge. Using the momentum
he'd built up as he barreled into the larger man, Mac shoved him back
against the wall, pulling the collar of his tailored shirt tight around his
"Call me a boy toy again and the Vice-man over there won't be able
to find your dick to cram it down your throat if he does come after you,
The sudden pressure under his rib cage made Mac aware of the pistol the
other man had trained on him, but he didn't give an inch. "Wanna shoot
me? Go ahead though I don't think your boss would like it too much
considering I seem to be a piece in whatever fucked up game it is she's
Dobrinsky smiled at that and jabbed his gun deeper into Mac's ribs.
"Not if I don't kill you, Macky, and trust me, I know where to shoot to
make you wish you were dead while not granting the wish. Now be a good boy
and get moving, don't want to be late do you?"
Mac stepped back at that, his tension-filled body radiating anger, pain
and disgust with everything about the situation, himself included. Why was
it every time he went near Victor Mansfield his life turned inside out? And
why wasn't he smart enough to stay away?
Casting one last sneering glance at the Director's unruffled assistant,
Mac spat out a curse in Russian toward him, then looked over toward Victor.
"Looks like it's back to school for you, partner."
"Fuck you, Ramsey," Vic bit out without thinking. "Oh
right - been there, done that, and can't even say I enjoyed the ride."
Storming past Dobrinsky and the young man, who was now sporting a devastated
expression on his face, Victor let his fury carry him outside and into his
"What the hell am I doing?" he whispered, looking at his
reflection in the mirror dark glass. It would be so easy. Just swallow the
barrel and pull the trigger. But Mac would be left alone - with her.
No matter how cruel he'd just been, he'd never let his baby face whatever
was in store for him alone. Mac was his, whether he knew it or not. His to
protect and watch over. It was the least he owed the kid after screwing up
"You may hate me, Mac," he whispered as he watched Dobrinsky
escort the young man outside and to his bike with what looked like a stern
admonishment to follow closely. "But you're stuck with me. I'm gonna
make sure you make it through this in one piece - I promise. God, oh god,
baby... I miss you." Wiping a trembling hand over a suddenly damp face,
Vic turned to see Dobrinsky watching him with something akin to
understanding in his eyes. A slight dip of the head and a smile of
encouragement. Maybe things wouldn't be that bad after all