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Special Forces Chapter V: Devils and Dust

September 1981, Kabul

"Right. You remember our dear departed president?" The Major looked so vicious Vadim felt anticipation. He was Vympel. Or he wouldn't know about the assassination of the president. Also wore the blue beret of the paras, but Vadim knew a predator when he saw one. He was far from good-looking, but the leathery, sinewy, lean, absolutely deadly body spoke volumes.

The others in the room looked up and grinned.

"Krasnorada will command the strike team. We make sure you guys get in and out like in a well-oiled pussy." The Major leaned in to Vadim. "You do like pussy, comrade, don't you?"

"I prefer my rifle, Sir."

The Major laughed. "That's the spirit." Vadim smirked, kept that shit-eating smirk in place while his heart pumped. Just banter. Just the usual stuff about sissy-boys. Oh fuck. He was Captain Krasnorada, leader of the strike force. That was it.

The plan was simple. Some goat-fucking self-stylised rebel leader was expected to show up in Kabul. Now, the family whose ancestor had been killed by the 'rebel leader's' ancestor had caught wind of that - and sold him for hard cash to the brothers in Socialism. There were probably other boons involved. They expected the target to be there tonight, had been briefed, and it was sufficiently high-profile that the KGB was willing to send spetsgruppe Vympel.

They were kitted out, ran checks, Vadim checked on his team, his own gear. He'd be splattering brains today. Kill half a dozen men.

He'd missed it. Missed how his body responded to the strain. He was back in training, back to lifting weights, running, press-ups, pull-ups, back to the shooting range. Took to it like a fish to water. Too fucking long. He pushed Gavriil aside when he came back from the shower. He wanted to keep that tension in his body, wanted to feel it build up, and he was too tired to play their little game. Or just too bored.

Then off in a helicopter, hovering like an insect-shaped curse over Kabul by night.

The sniper in the copter shot the guard on the roof. First class shot.

Vadim jumped out of the copter. The impact rattled his legs, hips, impact so hard he thought he had lost an inch of height, down down down the stairs, light on the rifle tearing bits of the house out of the gloom that had settled.

He heard shouts underneath, through the sound of his breath rattling in the gas mask. Opened a trap door, shot, then tossed a smoke grenade in, which began to hiss. Fired as well to disrupt any incoming fire, was carried by the momentum, took the sides of the ladder and just slid down without touching the ladder with his legs.

Vadim grabbed a shadow in the smoke, somebody with a rifle, slung a garrotte over the man's head and pulled him away, broke through the nearest door with a shoulder, suddenly stood outside, in an alley, saw covering teams on the corners, heard gunfire, shouts, screams inside. Held the garrotte, the man's head against his chest. Wanted to finish this guard and … that guard was not a goat-fucker.

* * *

Dan had been back in Kabul for a month, lingering in the city rather than organising the insurgents up in the mountains and villages, or across the border in Pakistan. That night, he'd been told about this important meeting of the rebel leader and was sent by his contacts into the safe house, to act as a Western envoy. He hadn't been happy with the whole set-up from the start, something stank and the fishy smell was nothing like an old whore's pussy. It was worse, but he had no option. Orders were orders, if he liked them or not.

They had just arrived in the building, waiting for the leader's contact to arrive, when Dan froze, listening carefully, thought he had heard a noise, like an angry wasp of the deadliest kind. Fucking Russian copters. He didn't have the time to talk nor warn any of the others before the light suddenly went off, plunging the whole building into pitch-black darkness.

Dan was the first one to react. "Out! Get him out, now!" He tried to locate the leader, would have grabbed him to try and take him out of the building, but the stupid fuck had panicked and moved across the room. He'd lost the location of the leader, but not his bearings.

Fuck, smoke grenade. He didn't have a mask, shit, of course not, the rag had to do, but he lost precious moments, covering mouth and nose to keep himself from choking. Eyes streaming, impossible to see in this hellfire. He crawled forward, kept to the side, coughing hard, but kept moving. Suddenly no air, instead a horrible pressure against his throat, and then an unrelenting force that pulled him with it.

Dan was fighting, struggling with every ounce of strength his body possessed, fought for his life, air, just breathing, was going mad, fought the force that swept him away like a puppet. Who the fuck was able to do that! Senses started to panic, jumbled, broken thoughts, fighting against his foe and for oxygen. He had it, he fucking had it this time, but the fight would never be over until he was dead.

* * *

Vadim took a few more steps, the other body fought him like crazy, then Vadim broke, back first, through another ramshackle door. Whoever lived in this place had just cooked, a spicy smell was in the air, and Vadim heard people scurry away, upstairs. He tore the gas mask down, dropped the man in the same moment he pulled the pistol.

Dan fell, knocked out from the fight and just gasping for air, coughing his lungs out at the same time, unable to see through blurry watering eyes. Retching and grabbing frantically with his hands at his throat. Air, air, air!

Vadim recognized him before his mind registered. He knew the face, knew the man. Remembered his smell. Fuck. He glanced at the door, kicked it shut again, eyes on the man.

The man he had shared warmth with. The man whose cock he had touched. The man who had pushed strips of goat meat between his lips. Who had tortured him until he wanted to die. The man who had stopped him going into the sauna forever. Who had distracted the Mujahideen so he could escape to his own side. The man who had broken his nose so badly it needed an operation to get back into any semblance of shape. The man Katya wanted to suffer. The whole lie collapsed. No team of Americans. Vadim had repeated the story so often he had almost started to believe it himself. One man. This. Man. Vadim wiped his face on the black camo, kept the gun trained on the coughing bastard.

May you never see me again, but if you do, watch your goddamned back.

My cunt.

Didn't keep you alive for this.

Vadim was sweating, every muscle in his body locked, because his instinct told him to shoot. Shoot him once and for all, end this sickening thing inside.

And what would that be? Apart from you having offered to be his bitch. Like Gavriil? Vadim inhaled sharply through the nose. No. Never like that. Impossible. It had been a deal, nothing more. And to see him again, fresh from the struggle, panting for breath. Wanted him. Wanted him like he had in the mountains. No, not quite like that. He was healed, he was pumped up, he was alive, wanted to be alive, too, wanted to fight.

This guy was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. He wasn't the objective. Not the target.

End this, Vadim.

Dan couldn't sit up, tried to force his body, needed to know who the fuck had outsmarted him and had dragged him through a wall, but he retched again, gagging, eyes still streaming. Then the touch. The muzzle, cold steel, warmed from shooting, touching his forehead, right between his eyes. Breath suddenly didn't matter anymore.

Dan's hands that had been scrabbling at his throat moved into the back of his neck on their own. Knew what he was meant to do, hoped he might have a smithereen of a chance if he didn't pose a threat. Didn't believe it, though, didn't try to fool himself, even before he ever laid eyes on his captor. Fingers interlinked, body complied at last, and his head was forced up and back and then …

Silence. Shock. Moment of recognition.

His dark eyes opened, pupils widened until his eyes seemed black. Sweat on his face, running in cold rivulets down his neck. This was it. This was the end. If it weren't so fucking ironically pointless, he might have tried to barter for his life. Anything. But not this time. With this man, he had nothing to bargain with.

The muzzle slid down over the nose, down to Dan's lips. Vadim imagined those lips around his cock. Those cursing, sneering, spitting lips. He pushed them apart, placed the muzzle against the teeth, stared down into the dark eyes. "Wrong place", he said. "Very, very wrong place to be."

The steel tasted of brimstone and fire. Welcome to your very Private Hell, Dan McFadyen. "Guess I didn't watch my back well enough." Raspy voice from the coughing. Smoke and fear. Plain, all-encompassing terror.

This was it. It would be over, and Dan finally found out what it was like. His mind consumed by one wish, just one thought, 'over over over, let it be over and done with'. The tension unbearable.

Vadim leaned in, crouched, parallel like they had crouched when shaving. His eyes were wide, intense, could see the sweat bead.

Insane, insane, so fucking insane. The man, the touch, death and fear, and most of all himself. So absofuckinglutely insane and powerful, Dan was high on physical sensations and pure, crystal-sharp terror, surpassing any drug known to men.

Vadim was breathing hard, this was triumph, this was lust and desire, and he knew he was playing with a victim, savouring the moment. It was perfect again. Perfect like the yielding. He was addicted to this, and he just got another shot of it. The best painkiller in the world. Could smell him. Closer, even closer, forced the head back, brought his face close to smell him, touched his lips to the man's temple, caught a bead of sweat and licked it off his lips.

Dan almost collapsed at the touch of lips, ten thousand volt of electric shock treatment right into the centre of his brain, blinding his vision, taking his breath. Ragged, desperate, nostrils flaring, breathing around the steel. The gun the only familiar equation in this moment of utter insanity.

Dreams, he had had them every night. Memories of the mountains, until finally giving in to the most powerful image of all. Wanking off to smell, taste, feel of the Russian. This Russian.

My cunt.

But what he accepted in the darkness, had no place in the light. This was no fucking dream. "How fitting."

"Fitting?" Vadim shook his head, tried to pull away, out of the heat the other man radiated. "You don't give fuck about me. And that is why I will shoot."

Something broke. Just cracked and gave away. Something inside of Dan lost its mind to the insanity, and terror gave way to an unstoppable laughter. This time manic. He'd lost his mind and he'd be meeting the fucker in hell. He laughed, the alternative was to cry.

For you, my cunt, all for you, and because of you. But you'll never know.

The laughter cut Vadim like a knife. He felt mocked, thought it was defiance, but it wasn't, and it was. This man would die laughing. He had goosebumps all over his body. No mockery. This was something else.

Vadim glanced up as he heard more shots from the other side of the alley. He should be leading his men, coordinate the team. He was screwed. Had impressed the Major with a show of absolute balls, epitome of military bullshit, and now went AWOL again and cuddled with the enemy.

This enemy hadn't killed him. Hadn't. Because he wanted water. Because Vadim had screwed his mind. Touched him, pressed all the buttons on this man. He breathed hard, remembered the man's cock in his hand, his hand on his hips, remembered the way he tilted his head as he shaved him.

My cunt. Possessive. There had been no reason to not sell him to the Mujahideen. A promise, but a promise was nothing between enemies. Everything between men like them.

Somewhere up in the mountain, they'd lost something. Lost white and black and came out with grey.

"Or maybe I'm kidding myself", Vadim whispered. "I must be." Stared into those eyes, knew the face too well to shoot him into the face.

Dan stilled when pale eyes fixed his own, much darker now than he'd seen them before, except … except for that moment, when he could not accept. Just breathed through his nose, rapid, small breaths. The fear was back but the insanity remained.

This was it, then. This was it and Dan wanted it to be over, could think nothing else but every fibre of his being screaming for this to end. Now. End it now.

Vadim moved the gun to the other's throat, let it slide down, wished it was his lips, taste the sweat, taste the skin, feel it vibrate under that touch. He didn't want to touch him with a gun.

Dan swallowed. Couldn't help it. Fear of death as palpable as the sweat that was running down his face. He was just a man, after all. Just a man and all of a man. Like the other. Who leaned forward, placed his lips against Dan's and kissed him, not quite like those men in the yellow streetlight in Soho, but he wouldn't change places. This insane kiss was his and so was his life, at least for a few seconds longer.

The crystallised moment before death intensifying the touch of their lips, a thousand times and many more again. His first kiss, his last kiss. If he had any time left, he'd be addicted.

Suddenly, he was not envious of those men anymore.

"The leopard is a cruel lover. His tenderness breaks the gazelle's heart." Vadim kept his lips against Dan's as he placed the pistol against the left shoulder, could feel the muscle, sense the exact right spot, and pulled the trigger.

Dan had no time to understand. Muffled sound of a silenced shot, so negligent compared to the shock-delayed pain that hit his body, spread from the shoulder and sent his body onto the floor, instinctively pressing against the wound, hand coated in blood. Dan screamed in pain.

He couldn't be dead, he was in too much fucking agony.

Vadim crouched, watched the other fight the pain. The pain was winning. "I'm giving you an alibi", he said, in Russian. 'I'm giving you so much more than that. I'm giving you your life. My desire.' He didn't think the other could appreciate it. He touched his lips, wondered when he had decided to act on that instinct. Fuck it, whatever.

He pulled the morphine loose from around his neck, placed it in that free hand that was desperately trying to do ... something. He wouldn't inject him. The SAS guy was perfectly capable to do that himself when the worst shock had worn off.

Dan wasn't sure if he understood anything at all. It was all too fucking insane and it couldn't be. Except for the pain, that was goddamned real, but then his fingers closed around the syrette with a will of their own, desperate to hold onto something. Realised too late he had reached for the hand, not the morphine. Insanity. Nothing but insanity.

Vadim licked his lips again, sweat and a kiss. "I'm giving myself a fucking alibi."

Alibi. The word got stuck in Dan's mind, while he pressed his hand against the shoulder, stared up at the Russian, and could only see snapshots: Eyes. Lips. Dog tags. Jaw. Stubble. Camo paint. Lips again.

Vadim stared at the other man's neck, that neck needed a dog tag with a name on it. He wanted the other's name. Badly. Then it hit him. Dan. He had called himself that, with the dushmans. I'm Dan. I'm a friend.

Vadim wanted, wanted to take him with him, not leave him here like this. Wanted to tell him why and wanted to torture the fucking confession out of him. Wanted to feel him underneath, wanted to hear him groan with lust, fighting him all the way, make it so much better for both of them.

"I'm at the tea house off the main market in one month. The one with the mosaics. You can finish it then. And there."

Dan was breathing rapidly, fighting enough of the pain to be able to listen. Uncomprehending, but memorising. Tea house. Market. Month. Mosaics. Too many fucking M's and he was ready to lose his mind again, but then there was Morphine, and Mercy.

More insanity. Vadim rushed through the door, reattached himself to his unit. Told a story about having seen a sniper opposite. Just a shadow on the window. Nothing more.

* * *

The Russkie was gone. Dan slammed the syrette into his thigh and succumbed to the wave that dragged him under. This shit was strong, but he was alive.

Dan fell half-unconscious back onto the floor, awaiting the rescue operation that was no doubt already on its way, scouring for survivors.

A month. He'd be there. Had to be.

* * *

Vadim was shouted at for breaking away. The Major said he had good instincts, but was a fucking loose gun. The Major grinned as he said that, an impossibly frightening grin that was not arousing at all, it was the kind of expression that could make men piss themselves. Vadim just about managed to not do that, but he flushed darker than a schoolboy found jerking off.

Reduction in pay. Always hit the salary. Got a load of odious tasks, even more odious than normal. He wasn't supposed to wander off by himself, sniper or no sniper. Not without communicating his intent in some way.

He did the things, inspections, shouted at people. Nowhere near good, but he felt he was making progress.

October 1981, Kabul

A month. One fucking long month for Dan, mostly spent in a piss-poor place that called itself a hospital, loitering in a twelve men ward somewhere in Pakistan. They'd gotten him out, the only survivor. Flown in a copter across the mountains, they didn't even have to find the bullet. Close range, clean shot, right through. He'd regain the full function of his shoulder.

The questions, though, after he'd come out of surgery, weren't quite so clear-cut. 'How could you be the only survivor?', 'Tell us, McFadyen, you were found in an adjacent building, how did you get there?', 'You were strangled, the garrotte was found in situ, who did this?', 'You must have a recollection, McFadyen, who shot you, at close range, and who and why did they shoot you up with morphine? The syrette was right beside your leg. Russian make.'

On and on and on, but he stuck to the one answer, the only one that would save his hide: 'I don't know. I can't remember. I did not see. I don't know. I am sorry, Sir, but I don't remember.'

He did and yet he didn't. Remembered, but no sense. Nothing made sense, except for the tea house in a month's time, in Kabul market.

They left him alone at last, realising the debriefing would go no further, and he was on his own. Day in day out utter boredom. Nothing to do except for thinking, remembering. Scent of sweat, touch of lips, pain of a bullet and greed and need so intense, he could not help but wank off under the thin blankets. Stealthily, silent, but with an inferno in his mind, behind closed eyes.

Three weeks later, and they let him out of the hospital. Arm in a sling, stuffed to the gills with painkillers. Full motor function would eventually return, but they warned it would take weeks before he was fighting fit again. He didn't give a shit what they said, exercising relentlessly, and running whenever he could, even unbalanced.

He had to be strong. Not sure for what, just a Month. Mosaics. Market.

* * *

At last, another week, and four weeks to the day of the massacre. Anniversary of the night an enemy had spared his life. Why. Only to take it? A life, or something more. Far more.

Dan had checked the place, knew everything about the market place in Kabul and the building where the tea house was situated. Done his recce several times, now walking towards the market. Usual camo trousers. Army boots. Inconspicuous t-shirt and long-sleeved jacket. Rag around his neck. And the goddamned sling that his arm was still stuck in. More weapons hidden on his body than angels were singing hallelujah, dangling from a Christmas tree.

He didn't know what he was doing, nor what he wanted, just that he had to do it.

To end it.

Or a beginning?

* * *

The tea house was an unlikely place to meet. Full of what passed as bourgeoisie in Kabul, shop owners, students. Dusty from the outside, the inner court a garden with springs, arcades sheltered from the sun.

Lice-infested carpets to sit on, and, of course, water pipes. Communal water pipes were a safe bet for TBC and worse, and Vadim didn't smoke. He could have gotten into weed, hashish, stuff didn't cost anything around here, but it required smoking, and Vadim was partial about his lung capacity. Always watchful. As if. As if he had ever, ever to compete again. Swim, hearing the roar of the audience even through the water. A maelstrom of noise.

After duty, he went straight there, saw Soviet soldiers walking patrol. This place was close enough to government policy. He could drink tea here without getting poisoned. The owner looked at him with the expression of a doomed man, still, and it was true that Vadim's presence cleared out half the place.

He leaned against the wall, enjoyed the way the garden cooled the place, mellowed the light. Kept an eye on his surroundings, and drank black tea, sweet as hell, and the best drink in this place. Apart from vodka, but not on duty. His instructors had ripped him a new one when he had tried. Not something that was worth making a habit of.

He glanced up every time somebody entered, then gradually relaxed, straightened his legs, leaning against the wall, enjoying peace and quiet.

He won't come.

Yes, he will.

You shot him in the shoulder.

Damn good shot, too. Didn't scramble his lungs, no bouncing off the shoulder blade. Fucking first class shot. That's why he will come. That man only reacts when he gets hurt.

Debating with himself, pro, con, then pro, pro, pro again. The stricken expression. The way he had looked at him, had been close. The man wanted him. Might not know why, or when, but there was something, something pure and wild and feral in this. Something perfect.

And he wanted this man. Always wanted him, was growing obsessed, every waking moment he could hear an echo from the time in the mountains. That long mindfuck. Surviving on his guts, on his wits, on raw power. And the other … decency. Mercy. A depth that he could feel, that resonated with him. That bastard was as screwed as he was. They were spinning towards oblivion together. As long as he could control it, everything was good. But Vadim suspected that he only thought he'd control it. An uneasy feeling deep in his bones.

The fact he wanted that man so desperately. Had wanted him like the bullet, like death, like going home.

He'd touched those lips, and thought that was it, that was breaking through, deeper, getting more into him, into his mind. His own mind, too, twisted and dark as it was. But it left him wanting more, in a way that Gavriil couldn't manage. He wanted the danger of this man, wanted the knife's edge. That uncompromising presence.

One of them had to give.

And how far could he go that road? He'd imagined tying the bastard up and fucking him, hard, all night, for days and nights, oblivion, sate himself and the other, in something that would destroy the tension by destroying the other. Wanted to break him until he had eaten and drunk and devoured all that strength, all that resistance.

He'd let him go, afterwards. Leave him, and forget him, keeping the memory. He'd transform the man into some part of himself, store him away like childhood memories, a pure and simple victory. Feed off that for the rest of his life. Use it to get through the war and the struggle that was Moscow.

Dan. That was probably Daniel. SAS.

His eyes were half closed when he knew he was being watched. Watched in a way that was not cursory. As focused as a red dot on his brow. He scratched his stomach lazily. Heat-dazed Russian in a tea house.

What could go wrong?

* * *

Dan had been standing in the entrance, watching the Russian across the court. Watching an enemy with the intensity of a sniper, face, chest, hands, built, body and face again.

He didn't know why he had come, realised that a man who was not fully fit in this shithole Kabul was a target, and the sling made him into a prey, for all to see. Prey. He'd never be a victim.

Didn't know what he wanted except understanding. Needed to know. What was this thing. Nameless, greedy, coiling in his guts, poisoning his mind. Had accepted its existence, but he needed to know. Once and for all.

They'd end it today. He could feel the familiar steel against his arm. He'd end it, the unknown. Dan stepped out of the shadows of the entrance and walked into the light of the courtyard, eyes on the Russian.

Vadim's lips moved into a smile, slow, deliberate, just this side of a smirk. He nodded to the waiter who stood close, hoping to take his order, hoping he'd get finally lost. "Two more."

Gathering himself a little, one leg up to rest an arm on his knee, Fingers open, dangling in a show of relaxation. Vadim pushed himself up with his shoulder blades and sat a little straighter, acknowledging the other man's presence. Then looked up to meet the eyes. Ah, fuck, he'd rather leave to be completely alone, to do any of the number of things he had been imagining. Eyes, intense as always, the dark skin with that sheen of sweat that made Vadim want to smell him.

"Please, have a seat", he said, in English. "I have ordered tea. One of the few things we should have in common." The 'we' carried two nations, not two soldiers. Another smirk. One thing. Not the only thing. Not by any stretch of the imagination. He counted the articles in those sentences and was reasonably sure they were all in place. Plodding through the language wouldn't do, not now. Not when he tried his hand at courtesy.

Dan did not give the Russian a sign of recognition except for a raised brow. "Lemon in tea is barbaric." He smirked, didn't elaborate further. Sitting down on the chair opposite, sliding it backwards and diagonally away from the other. More room for himself and better observation. He sat down with parted legs, slouched, casual, open. Showed himself as someone who was sure of himself, who had nothing to fear, even in the face of an enemy and still wounded.

Vadim regarded him from under heavy lids. He was playing anaconda. Lie in wait, look relaxed, even sluggish. Saw with some satisfaction that the man was armed to capacity. He only carried the bare basics. A small holdout pistol, a knife, another pistol nestled in the small of his back. A garrotte behind the belt. Painkillers. Just in case things went out of hand.

He waited for the tea to be served, which was steaming and sweet. The waiter topped up the filled sweets which were standing on a small plate on the low table. Vadim wiped his face with his arm. So many ways to start the conversation. No fight this time. The man wasn't fit to fight, the arm looked weak, the way he moved was unbalanced. He had thought about it, had found it hard to concentrate on his duty up to this point. Yes, it grew into obsession. Had long since grown. Ah, fuck.

What do I do with you, Dan? I've said all the things I wanted. Done a lot of them, too.

Dan reached for the tea, enjoyed its potent sweetness. Took a sip and once again his brows raised a fraction. Dark, sharp shapes in his face, unlike the other's. Dark and light; night and day, he could piss himself with laughter at the worn out cliché, if he weren't so busy staying alive.

"Now that we are both here …" Vadim took a sip from the tea glass. "We should use this to get some things straight." He loved that word for what it didn't imply. "No shooting, no fighting." He looked around, implied the witnesses, all the people here. They couldn't stop them, but the SAS guy tried to avoid civilian casualties.

"What a shame." Dan shrugged, "No fighting? That doesn't seem to leave much scope for 'conversation'." He took another sip, leaned back again, sprawled and used up all of his personal space and more. "I got rather attached to my knife in your presence."

Clear jibe, veiled hint.

Vadim touched his hip as if to indicate his own knife was close. The posture was a challenge, an invitation. He shifted, leaned forward. "You didn't come to fight. I've been obvious enough to get shot. Nothing happened. You are not here for killing me."

Dan grinned, mixture between a menacing grimace of bared teeth and a smirk of almighty proportions. It struck him as insanely amusing that he should have come to the tea room to kill the Russian. The mere thought was ludicrous. "I can still change my mind." Sipped his tea, watched the other.

What if he was wrong? Vadim thought. Then again, there was no humiliation worse than what had happened in the mountains. He had the scars to prove it. "Forget for five minutes what you are." Vadim nodded towards the tea. "As long as it takes us to drink. If you finish, you leave. If I finish, I leave." Trying to lay down rules. Simple rules.

"You're talking bullshit, Russkie. Neither of us can forget who we are, nor what we have done." Dan was toying with the slim, small glass in his and. The heat was soaking through his fingertips, travelling into his arm and through his brain. Heat. Perhaps it was heat that had brought him here, the heat he had felt night after night since that booze ridden encounter in London.

What we have done. That sentence resonated, and Vadim nodded, agreeing.

"You have more to lose than I." Dan studied the dark tea in its gleaming confinement, watched idle tea leaves swirl against the filtered sunlight. Enemies in conversation, at least he'd only get into shit, not unspeakable trouble. "Thus the question is, why are you here?" He leaned his head back, watched the Russian through half-lidded eyes.

More to lose? Possible. Vadim didn't care. This was costing him what passed for sanity with most people. Peace and calm and a fucking clear mind. 'I am here because I want more. More than shooting you. More than kissing you.' He inhaled, deeply, watched the dark liquid in the other man's glass. "To make offer." Snake coils slowly unfolding as he set eyes on his prey. "You. Me. Alone. No questions. No killing." He wanted to retract the last two words, even though he meant them, but it sounded cautious, nervous. As if he could be misunderstood. He leaned forward, stared into the other man's eyes. "No questions at all."

Too many replies in Dan's head. Replies along the lines of outright laughter, declarations of insanity and most of all the mockery of telling him to fuck off and die, and if the cunt really believed he was so goddamned motherfucking stupid to not believe the Russkie was out for revenge in ways Dan had probably encountered before. That one night. The night of Nothing.

He said nothing, though. Dan sat in silence, watched his tea, rolled the glass once across his smoothly shaved face, then tipped it against his lips and emptied it in one go.

He had to find out and he'd kill or die trying. "Aye. Where."

Vadim left his tea. Too fascinated by the way the other man's throat moved. "Now, that was hard part", he said, in English, a joke he cracked by instinct.

"I rented house." Vadim nodded towards the exit. "Across market. It has two exits, one front, one to the side." He smirked. "I'll go in through front, and you follow me from back. I'll open." Decrepit little place, but it had space, and relative calm. And close enough to the busy market to enter and exit with relative ease and as little risk as possible. Had planned this as a safe house, in case things went bad again.

'Don't bullshit, Vadim. You don't do things randomly.' "Plenty of escapes." He stood, felt anticipation, felt his body enjoying the idea. "I'll be upstairs. Lock door."

Dan dropped his head into his neck, gazed up at the Russian. "You insult my professionalism." He shook his head, placed the glass back on the table, stood up as well. A little unbalanced, but the way he coped with the weak arm showed that he had been exercising.

"Walk right into a trap?" Dan's voice remained low, "I told you once that you are ruled by your cock, but don't assume the same for me."

No, because you don't know, do you, Dan? You do not know, and you are desperate to find out. You sad motherfucker. Thirty-two years and not a fucking clue. "You have to do better than that."

Vadim shook his head. "I don't look like honeytrap, now, do I?" He laughed. "Yeah, that's me. Stunning beautiful KGB agent out to entrap poor unsuspecting enemy soldier." Voice so low it was only breathing. Saying the word KGB in jest made him suspect he was drunk or more reckless than he should have been. "I can't leave city. Or I would have found us nice cave somewhere." Only half a joke. He had considered it. Talk about being desperate. Strike that. Obsessed. "If you have alternative, go right ahead." And he wondered if he would suspect a trap or just follow. He would follow. It was too tempting.

Dan's brows again, raised for a moment, dropped the next. "I don't know about the KGB agent, but …" deliberately repeating the 'joke'. "I don't know about honeytrap either, but I do know about 'unsuspecting enemy soldiers.'" Dan's words could almost be construed as a joke on their own, but his face was hard. No doubt what he alluded do, but he dropped any allusion as soon as he had conjured it.

"KGB wears cheap suits", said Vadim. And when exactly have you become a specialist in male grooming? It was true, though. Every western reporter wore more expensive suits that fitted better. He opened his arms for a moment, indicating his camo, disorderly as it was.

Dan simply nodded. Hadn't taken long to drop your 'professionalism', had it, Dan? "I follow."

Insanity. Pure and complete insanity.

Vadim paid the tea, then crossed the market place, feeling excitement and heat that converged in his stomach - and below that. He walked straight past the Soviet patrol, leaned against the wall of the house for a moment, a cheap thing, a hideout, then unlocked the door and entered.

Inside, he shed his shirt, wiped his face with it, walked through the building, unlatched the other door. Went into the kitchen, took a plastic bottle of water from a bucket with water, opened it, drank deeply, then walked upstairs. The holster in the small of his back visible against the undershirt. Closed, of course. He didn't mean to continue all this shit. Not now. Not today. The stairs creaked under his weight, he opened the trapdoor, climbed in. Shutters closed. Drank more water. Last time he had been this horny had been a while. He knew exactly when.

* * *

Surely, Dan had completely lost his mind and his brain replaced by an alien, how the fuck could he even entertain the idea of following that bastard? He wasn't fit for a fight, and why the hell should he believe the enemy a single word? He'd tortured that man, cut 'cunt' in his back, kept him alive, been granted life in return, and why the hell would any of that be a reason to believe he'd live?

Perhaps live, but how? He'd had time to get acquainted with some of the Russian's psyche and he'd never forget the answer to his question: Yes, I'd do it again.

"I'm a fucking idiot." Dan muttered to himself, following by tracking the movements, but taking a slightly different route, until he reached the house.

Back entrance. How ironic and how utterly stupid. Leave, you must leave!

He couldn't.

Trying the door, it was open and Dan drew the pistol, flicked off the safety and entered the gloomy house. Upstairs? Perfect place to shoot him.

Every fibre of his being alert, he expected a shot, kick, punch, attack of something-anything any moment. Still he moved forward, into the room, and closed and bolted the door. Bloody insanity. Ruled by his cock, just like the other, and he didn't even know where his cock was taking him.

Fuck, how pathetic. Thirty-two years, one rape, one touch, one kiss, one shot.

* * *

Vadim waited, drank more water, then pulled his lips away and splashed it over his face and neck. Cooling. He let the water drip down his face, stood with his back to the open trap door. There was a bed, wooden frame, a thing of ropes and blankets, primitive but sturdy. He pulled his shirt off, wiped some of the water from his neck over his chest. He'd kill for a shower. "Still not biting", he called out in English. "Come. Be my guest."

He turned towards the trap door, stayed away, a good three yards. Non threatening.

Dan didn't answer except for a small snort. Not biting, yeah what the fuck ever. Peered upstairs through the trap door and checked the surroundings. Decided he had gone too far already to return. The pistol had to go back into its holster, couldn't climb the ladder without a hand, the damned arm was still useless.

Step after step until his head came up above the trap door, amazed that he had neither been kicked nor shot yet. Pulled himself up and climbed out until he stood. Eyes acquainting themselves with the gloomy light.

The Russian. Standing and grinning, half naked. Dog tags resting on the bare chest.

Dan knew the rest of the body, but still stood transfixed, waging an inner war. What was more intense, the images and memories he'd used for wanking, or the real thing, standing there? Was that what he wanted? He didn't have a fucking clue. Something ... wanted something so intense he'd burnt his mind on it, scalded his skin and etched memories into his mind that made him forget wet pussies and soft tits.

"Not very ambiguous." Dan tore himself out of the musings, gestured with his chin to the bed. Bed. Nothing else. Left no room for interpretation.

Vadim gave a short, near-silent laugh. Ambiguous? What had ever been ambiguous about them? Double- and triple-layered. Ambiguous? Never. Most importantly, this place had no military authority that could kick them apart like dogs.

He drank more water, mainly to do something as he waited. Waited whether the Brit would bolt and run, pull a gun and tell him he was a pervert, a degenerate, something vile and disgusting. Or whether the man could be in the same room with him without shooting, fighting or otherwise trying to kill him. On equal ground, same level. For once. Vadim wiped his lips with the back of his hand, then offered the bottle, plenty water left, lukewarm. "I did say, no questions. I don't care." He shrugged, debated whether he should close the distance, but wasn't quite sure how the other would react. "Ah, and yes, I am offering."

"Offering what? Your arse, again? To be my cunt?" Dan sneered, the army had taught him attack was the best defence. He let the jacket slip off the injured shoulder where it had haphazardly hung, and dropped it down the right arm, delivering a kick to the worn garment once it landed on the floor.

If that is what it takes, thought Vadim, and was surprised. Did he go that far? Did he? Offer potential pain and discomfort, let a complete beginner do that to him. He doubted it would feel good. No confidence in the other's technique.

And then again, it would even a score. Few men Vadim wanted to do this, ever, had sometimes thought this was something he'd done when he was young. Not used to being the army bitch for some 'granddaddy'. They hadn't tried that in the army. Too tall, too much fighting spirit. And during special forces training, he'd been too exhausted and too wrecked to think much about that kind of activity.

Dan took a couple of steps towards the other, a safe distance away from the open trap door, reached for the lukewarm water.

One step between them, and the damp skin of the Russian's bare chest too close. The parameters had changed, but Dan couldn't fix their position. Hatred the path that he knew. Put the bottle to his lips, let lukewarm water run down his throat, all the time keeping the other in his vision. Wiped spills from his lips with the back of his hand.

Didn't know what he wanted, but wanted, needed, goddamned motherfucking wanted! Hiding insecurity beneath aggression while treading on unknown ground.

"So, do you offer, cunt?"

Just evening scores. When the Brit came closer, the doubt paled. If that is what it takes. Being the bitch. Vadim smirked, felt the heat rise. If the other lent a hand, it might even be good enough to sate him. "Guess I owe you one."

"Fuck you." Dan snarled. No, not that easy. He hadn't been a bitch, the bastard wouldn't make him one by proxy. Anger flared in dark eyes, lashed out like a cornered beast. "Fuck you, Russkie, you think it's that easy?" Dropped the near empty water bottle. "You owe me nothing, cunt."

Crossing the final distance, Dan's fist flew into the smirking face in the motion. He still had one good arm and he'd put it to use, to wipe that bloody superior sneer of the fucker's face.

Spooked. Reminding him of the night they met was not a way to get into this guy's pants. 'Could have known that, but you were too keen on being the smartass.' Vadim blocked the blow with his arm, diverted it, his free hand taking the fist and placed it against his chest, on his sternum, held it there. Relishing the fact that there would be no blow from the other hand. It was still too close to the solar plexus for comfort, but the comfort zone with this guy was narrower than a fly's ass crack.

Vadim leaned in, almost touching the other's face with his. "I'm offering, Dan. That doesn't mean I won't fight if you start one." Yes, and saying his name would put this guy more at ease? He released the man's wrist, carefully, slowly, as if warning, and placed a flat hand against the other's chest. Felt like he was trying to communicate with a spaceman.

Dan? Since when did the bastard know his name. Dan's arm was trembling with barely controlled rage. Caged tiger, unable to fight, anger in his face, dark eyes consumed by this fire. Heat. Deeply burning heat that was far more than anger.

"Fuck you." Hissed, Dan wouldn't relinquish control, not to the other, too terrified to realise that he had already lost control of himself. Too fucking close, could smell the heat of the body, the fresh sweat, the scent of hardness, demanding, power and strength that he had been seeking all his motherfucking life and had never found in any of his encounters with women.

"I fucking hate you, Russkie." Truth, intense and pure, pushing the other's hand off his chest, went for a low angle, intent on slamming his fist into the bastard's guts. Destroy that what he wanted; safer than to take it.

Vadim blocked the punch again, body moving in the short jabs of Sambo, all strength, some technique, all toughness. He wanted to stun the bastard, defending wasn't his style, he attacked. He shook his head, not comprehending, not sure what pissed that guy off so badly. He had followed him this far. It wasn't about anything more than just raw need.

Losing his patience. So close, within reach, and the other kept stalling. Vadim forced himself to breathe deeply. Not kick him through the nearest wall and rape him on the other side. He stared into the dark eyes, matching him for intensity. "Hate me. All you like", he hissed. He stepped one step away and half-turned, but kept an eye on the man. Another punch, and he would kick him right through the trapdoor.

"That's a fucking lot of hatred!" Dan snarled, at the end of his tether, none of the punches had packed, but the insecurity had been growing. Heartbeat racing, breath in short gasps, all the symptoms of fight or flight and he hadn't been able to do neither. Fuck this! He knew somewhere in his mind that he had no chance, but he had to try and beat the shit out of the other anyway.

To destroy what he wanted; wanted to taste, to bite, to touch, to grab, to lick, to hurt, to ... to … he didn't fucking know!

"Cunt!" Two steps, good shoulder, slammed his body weight into the half-turned other.

Vadim laughed. Go body to body when unbalanced. Brilliant idea. He moved, half turned, allowed the other to slip off him before making any real impact, then played his strength, his balance and his full weight and drove the fucker into the near wall. That might hurt his shoulder, but he didn't care. Enough was enough.

Dan caught a yelp in his throat, pain still blinding, but fleeting, bit his tongue instead, now that hurt worse than a motherfucker and he swore with every expletive under the sun. Or moon.

Suddenly confined, caught, and too near, far too close, scent overpowering, heat dangerous, wanted, hated, wanted some more.

Vadim held him to the wall with his body, legs carefully positioned to not get kicked in the balls, chest to chest, face close enough to feel his breath. Groin close, and fuck, the contact, the resistance of that body felt much better than what Gavriil could do with any part of his body. His hands left and right of that body, his right a little lower to block any punch, just in case.

Vadim felt the dark flood surge, fought the idea, fought the memory of knife and pistol. Not now. Not like that. Not again. It was simpler, force. But the other was no match with that fucked arm. And for once, that was not what he had planned. Okay, planned, but he'd much rather have him willing and desperate.

Dan had insults in his head, glaring at the Russian, meant to shout at the bastard, call him a cunt, a wanker, an arsehole, a piece of shit, a son of a bitch and a fucking fag, and said nothing.

Just breathing, almost frantic in short sharp stabs, his nostrils flaring. Body tense, everything but inviting, fighting the other, but himself even more. Fighting with every muscle against the weakening will to yield, to touch, to taste.

What do you want, what do you want, what do you want.

"What do you want?" Dan couldn't stop the words. Lies. What do I want. Tell me. No.

Show me, you motherfucker!

"You", Vadim murmured, voice rough. "Fucking want you, and you bastard know it. Doesn't take fucking rocket scientist." Risked more, got closer, groin to groin, heard his dog tag rustle as he shifted. Red Army. Shit. It didn't matter.

You. Word shot across Dan's brain. You. Again and again. Trapped, cornered, instinct for flight, too fucked for fight. Deer in fucking headlights for one moment, before being pressed into action by the Russkie's attempt to push his legs apart.

"No." Dan murmured, didn't know why the refusal, wrong. Stared at the face, too close; body, too hot; groin, too hard, wanted to invite in return. "No, fucker." Yes! Fucking yes! Since when had he turned into a dithering girl. Fuck!

Sharp intake of breath, anger jumped a notch, flared with burning consumption. Not at the Russian, but himself. He was a man, for fuck's sake, not supposed to stand frozen like a panic stricken bitch. Another breath, body tensed, ready for the attack.

"No!" Own body betrayed the word, Dan's good arm came up, around, pulled, clawed at the naked body. Closer! More feeling, more friction, could never be enough. Found his teeth attack damp skin and hard muscle, groaned with the murderous onslaught of sensations. Hissed in aggression, lust, greed, and the final knowledge of his surrender. To what he was, and what he wanted.

This body; the anger; this man.

Vadim closed his eyes as he felt the other's fingers digging into his muscle, and a groan escaped as he pressed in, groin to groin, feeling his own heat and that of the other man, reflecting, combining. Victory. The heady mix of victory and lust.

"Fuck." Hardly audible, Dan hissed between teeth and flesh, biting harder into the muscle, dizzy with the taste of sweat. Fingers clawing at the scars in the back, brutal handling with aggression fuelled by lust, hatred's companion.

Vadim's hand went to the back of the other man's neck, pressing the mouth against his flesh, wanting more, everything, while the free hand moved between their bodies. Needed two hands to open the other's belt, fumbling with it, the bastards had been designed to make exactly this less easy, needed all patience and rationality to get the fucking thing open, almost tore the buttons off, one hand forcing itself in to take the hot flesh that was ready and greeting him.

Dan's hips bucked at the touch, forcing his cock into the hand, couldn't stop even if he tried. Fucking lost, conquered by what he wanted, he punished the other's flesh for his weakness. His teeth biting with reckless cruelty into smooth skin and muscles.

Stinging pain only spurring Vadim on, going straight to his groin, straight to every muscle in his body. He tensed, pulling open his own belt, pressing into the body with his weight, knew the other couldn't escape, not this time, wall, touch, fist, he could feel how sweaty his palms were, stroked that cock.

Dan lost it. Pushed, groaned, bit harder, growled into flesh, attacked the other's back with renewed brutality at a whimper that escaped him. Hated this weakness, wanted nothing more than this heady, completely insane weakness. Addiction.

"Fuck, fuck, fuck." Dan knew the Russian had won, didn't care. No, wrong, fuck. Did care, had to, but couldn't. Body had taken over, sensations unknown and so goddamned wanted, couldn't get enough, never taste enough nor fight nor hurt and least of all get enough of the strength and hardness of the other man.

Vadim pressed against the body that was still fighting the fact it was him, rubbed and pushed against the other, knew that would be enough, like a dog in heat, whatever, the smell and strength, he had fucking missed this. Lowered his gaze, saw his hand pump, a quick hand job in the barracks, yeah, right, fool yourself, not that he had wanted to touch that cock, would have been willing to taste it, above all, had wanted that body close, should have cut his throat, remembered how he'd had him, and the bite added a spike to it that made him dizzy, the fact he'd had him, and could have him again.

Man. Cock. "Shit!" Dan hissed, friction. Heat, sweat-slippery hand and the insane lust that reached down to the marrow in his bones. Wanted the fucker. Hated the arsehole. Fought the cunt and rubbed, pulled, pushed against the bastard. Hard. Cock. Loved that fucking feeling of the fucker's cock. Word on repeat, hammering in his mind, the goddamned baseness of the whole thing, final understanding what the fuck he was.

Cock. Man. "Mine!" Growled, didn't realise. Too much, crashing down and pulling under and Dan would have nearly screamed, if not for the flesh between his teeth, buried deep into the neck muscle. The spasms that shook him with a new dimension of intensity, branded him finally as what he'd always hated before: a gay motherfucker.

Dan threw his head back against the wall so hard, the pain counteracted the crash-down of his orgasm, groaned between clenched teeth at the Russian's bite, eyes scrunched shut for a moment then wetness. Heat. Smell of sweat, lust, hatred and cum.

He wanted more.

The pumping and twitching, the way the man tensed, couldn't help it, was helpless now, completely and utterly in his hand, Vadim wanted this heartbeat to last, kept his hand busy, made him crash hard and good, felt the wetness up his wrist and arm and against his stomach, could feel his own climax come down, fought it, pressed harder into him, hips bucking, hand digging into the other's flesh, the taut ass, back, muscles shifting, remembered how the man had broken beneath him and came, biting down whatever sound was trying to come from his throat, felt the tension rip and himself crashing and burning against the other. Then staggered back, just barely still with all senses together, only just himself, breathless.

Dan tore his eyes open wide when the weight and violence left his own body. Fucking bereft. Blood pumping the too-fast heartbeat, panting for breath. Stood with his trousers open, shirt with large damp patches, his barely softening cock still out.

Stared. Shit. Holy fuck.

Dan didn't say a word, knew a defeat when he encountered one, had never lost a battle - and won - with such high stakes as this one. Couldn't feel the shoulder wound pounding yet, but felt the keen sensation of loss. Loss of weight, hardness and body.


Still battling for breath, Dan suddenly jumped into action, pulled the camo trousers back up, fumbled one-handed with the belt, forgot about the shirt and let it hang loose. Damp patches and all. Discarded any thought of the jacket, just had to get out.

Run. Dan, you fucking loser, running from the scene of your defeat?

"Fuck you, Russkie." Spat at the other, before taking a dangerous one-handed jump though the trap door and onto the ladder.

Run, Dan? Where from and to where. You'll never outrun yourself.

* * *

Vadim sat down heavily on the bed, wiped his face, could hear himself panting. Wiped the stickiness on the cover, could still feel it cling to his skin. Wanted a shower more than anything, wanted to wash the sweat away. He wiped himself down, pulled the trousers up, then moved to the trapdoor and shut it, then back to the bed, sat down. Fuck.

Could still smell him, still taste him. Not enough. He had risked a lot to get this, and it wasn't enough. He loved how the man battled him and himself, the guilt, the raw need.

Fuck you, Russkie. More defiance, even then. He rolled his shoulder, checked whether he could see the bite. Couldn't. Oh well, Afghan women bit. Everybody said that.

He saw the jacket discarded on the ground. Only proof the other had been here. Some kind of token of confusion, maybe fear. He doubted there would be anything in there. The man wasn't stupid.

The situation was absurd enough to tickle him. And Vadim gave a near silent laugh, resting back on the bed.

Special Forces Chapter VI: Sweat and Blood
Warning for Readers

The following work of fiction contains graphic homosexual interaction, violence and non-consensual sex. With this work of fiction the authors do not condone in any way any form of intolerance and injustice, e.g. racism, sexual harassment, incitement of hatred, religious hatred nor persecution, xenophobia and misogyny. Neither do the authors through this work of fiction promote violence nor make light of such grave matters as genocide, any taking of human life, murder, execution, rape, torture, persecution of sexual orientation.

By accessing this work of fiction you hereby accept and agree that this is a work of fiction and does not reflect in any way the opinions of the authors. The authors do not necessarily endorse the views expressed by the fictional characters.

By accessing this work of fiction you hereby indemnify the authors against all claims and actions whatsoever arising from reading the work of fiction.

All characters are fictional. Any similarities with living or deceased people are coincidental. In case of real life events, creative license has been applied. Special Forces is intellectual property of Marquesate and Vashtan. Copyright © 2006-2009. All rights reserved.


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Published 26 September 2006