Set after Ats 2x9 ‘The Trial’
For the lynnevitational
Beta by glossing and lostakasha
Handholding by tabaqui
The horses ran in his dreams.
And in the rare times that Lindsey fell into a deep sleep, he was there again. With them, watching. Perched on the split, splinter-dry wood of the fence as the herd galloped through the pasture.
It was the eighties and owning wild horses was the current fad of the way-too-rich in Oklahoma. Lindsey never did know who actually had paper on the herd but he, along with more than half of the other seventh graders in his school, came here every afternoon. To stand in the sun and choose their horse and watch them run.
And run they did.
Mustangs and bastard thoroughbreds, quarter horses with no pedigree and the one that Lindsey picked out as his own. A red-roan Appaloosa mare that never stuck with the herd-- she might follow at a distance or take off in a completely different direction. Her soft spotted coat and short, coarse black mane and tail made her stand out from the others.
He’d seen her fight with the dominant mare, a solid white thoroughbred that stood at least three hands taller than the rest. He’d watched her rebuff the advances of the chestnut Mustang stallion that ruled the herd. And he admired her with a love that was not unlike the single-minded, pure-willed devotion he held for his mother, even after she’d left them all; Lindsey, his brothers and sisters, with their father.
Lindsey stole ripe, red apples from the A&P and saved them just for her. He’d duck into the pharmacy where they still served coffee with sugar cubes and palm a few while he pretended to be looking at the comics and condoms. Before long all Lindsey would have to do is show up, lean on the fence, whistle and the Appaloosa mare would trot over to him. Snorting and pacing as she took in his scent and finally standing still, eating fruit or lapping up sugar off his fingers and letting Lindsey scratch her long, strong neck and velvet soft ears. If any of the other horses tried to get close, Lindsey would laugh as his mare bit and kicked to keep them away.
He never had a pet; there were too many other mouths in the house and his father would not abide his hard-earned money going to feed a lower creature when it barely covered his bar bills. Lindsey never had any one thing desire his attention. Horse or human or dog or cat.
He would wake before the reality of his dream came crashing down and he would be in his office at Wolfram and Hart long before the others even thought of showing up. He knew that it put him on the Senior Partners’ radar, but as long as he kept winning the minor cases and partnering on the larger ones that were thrown his way, Lindsey figured it couldn’t be bad.
He coddled his clients, spent unbillable hours reassuring them and kept the big ones on speed dial so he could call them without hesitation. He had to hold back the humorless laugh that threatened to choke up from his chest and fall out from between his lips when he walked by Lilah’s office and heard her threaten one of her paralegal bootlickers. So much of what they all did everyday was such complete bullshit and she took it all so fucking seriously.
Lindsey never threatened anyone.
There were no dark curses of hot oil and tar, no growling about a beating or skinning while chained. In fact, after the second time he disciplined an employee who failed to complete a direct order, all of the help assigned to his cases became incomparably competent.
He remembered that first night. A limo and two henchmen that weren’t exactly human riding with him. Out into the suburbs, the neon lights so far behind them that Lindsey almost felt like he was in another country. A dark porch, a dog barking in the distance.
Lindsey remembered the way the man’s wife had wept while he’d whipped her husband, single tail leather that fell with a sizzle on skin. Blood running black in the dark down his pale back. Silent tears to keep the kids asleep. Quiet sobs that Lindsey was sure were meant to move him. To stop him.
Other than reflecting on their beauty, they never affected him at all.
He wondered if they’d ever be able to get the stain out of the totally impractical pale blue bedroom carpet and his shoulder burned. His cock was hard. The taste of copper in his mouth as he rode back to the city, his fingers tightening into an empty fist. Hardly able to not jack off right there in the slick opulence.
Two months later, the transgression had demanded something harsher because Lindsey wasn’t taking the fall for Russell Winters burning to ash.
“Are y-you going to rape me?”
The pretty woman asked as Lindsey’s men stripped her and he grinned. Shook his head. He wouldn’t deny that he was turned on, but his erection had nothing to do with her perky breasts, her curved ass or her total helplessness.
“No, darlin’. Just going to give you something to remember how seriously you fucked up by not following through on that memo.”
“I tried! I did … I really d-did.”
Lindsey took the super-heated iron from the gas flame, careful to keep his grip only on the thick, padded handle. She’d carry the livid scar on the inside of her thigh for the rest of her life. And perhaps next time she felt the need to go to the ladies room to check her eyeliner or refresh her lipstick or take a fucking piss, she’d remember that she was supposed to be tailing someone Lindsey had told her not to take her eyes off of. Not even for a moment.
“Not hard enough.”
Three hours later, in the wide expanse of his bed, Lindsey’s palm was still too warm. His ears rang with her screams and even after brushing his teeth twice, showering for thirty minutes and throwing the clothes he’d worn down the chute to the garbage incinerator, he couldn’t get rid of the acrid smell of burning flesh.
It didn’t stop him from coming with a rush that left him dizzy and relaxed.
Lindsey was never one for introspection. He didn’t spend any time wondering about his ability to torture and maim subordinate employees with such a calm exterior. He wasn’t curious about the way an orgasm felt even better with the taste of tears and blood on his tongue. He didn’t lie awake at night worrying about the state of his soul.
He slept deeply.
And the horses ran.
The Appaloosa mare’s neck was warm and soft and he woke feeling the grit of Oklahoma dust on his face and in his eyes.
Angel was on his knees. Drusilla had drained Darla and her body had been taken out of the motel room. Lindsey almost wanted to go with her, to be there when she woke from death. To see that sparkle in her eyes and the shimmer of moonlight on her hair. To feel newly cold hands warm on his body. Just once.
But here, right here was that fucking souled vampire. Sore with burnt crosses all over his chest and arms. Bruised from a fight. Broken with compassion for the human, freshly dead Darla. And he was on his knees. There was no way Lindsey was leaving this room.
He had Angel tied, wrists to ankles. Left on his knees, his chest stretched open as his arms were pulled back. Lindsey sent his demons out of the room with orders to stay right beside the door and he ignored the expressions that moved over their faces. Mild surprise, a touch of concern, a smirk of condescension.
Angel’s head was down and Lindsey lifted the vampire’s chin with plastic fingers. There were wet tracks from bottomless liquid brown eyes that reminded Lindsey of something … in his past. Crystals hanging on lashes and dulled shock and pain as if Angel was still reliving Darla’s death.
“You’ve already got what you came for, Lindsey. What are you doing here?” Angel’s voice was low, hoarse and dead.
Lindsey tapped his fake hand on Angel’s face and felt nothing but the familiar, low burn of anger inside him and the echo of movement where the prosthetic attached to his wrist. For one moment, music rang discordantly in Lindsey’s head, loud and off key. His music, his songwriting, his deepest, truest self and the one single thing that he had kept of his soul.
Angel had taken that from him.
Lindsey pressed his other hand over one bright red, large cross that was burnt with detail into Angel’s chest. Angel’s skin was warm and Lindsey couldn’t drop the contact. He moved it to another spot, purple and red in the pattern of a boot just under Angel’s shoulder.
“Too bad I didn’t get to watch this happen.”
Angel didn’t wince, he didn’t squirm or move. Instead, Lindsey could almost see a slow shudder work its way through Angel’s body. He could feel the change in the air around them. A charge of electricity that made the small, cheap motel room seem darker. It made Angel appear larger at Lindsey’s feet. It made every mark on Angel’s chest call to Lindsey with whispers of pain.
Angel leaned a single inch forward; Lindsey’s finger pushed deeper into a bruise. His stare never left Lindsey’s face and he heard the creak from the thick ropes that bound Angel’s wrists and ankles.
“Are you going to open those pants? Or do you want me to bite through them?”
Lindsey watched Angel’s eyes flicker between brown and gold. Guilt and need, desire that couldn’t hide, shadows of grief twisted like breath on the flame of a candle. He could feel Angel’s skin cool to match the tepid air-conditioned temperature and his own sweat tickled down under the collar of his shirt. The material stuck to the small of his back.
“Come on, Lindsey. You won this round, give me my punishment.”
By ninth grade, the thrill of running from school and heading to the pasture to watch the wild horses had worn off for most of Lindsey’s fellow students. It had only become more of an escape for him. His father wasn’t even trying to keep a job; he’d stumble home at three a.m. and fall face first on the stained couch in the living room. Passed out until afternoon when the house filled up with his hungry, lonely children and then he’d walk back to the bars that cashed unemployment checks or gave credit until the mail came.
Lindsey became a thief, stealing change from his father’s pockets while he snored and distributing it to his siblings so they could buy lunch at school. He was light-fingered and quiet, but there were those infrequent times that the old man would wake and Lindsey would freeze, his hand caught between denim and dimes, his face reddening. The beating would come fast and hard, belt whipped from jeans and Lindsey wouldn’t be able to sit back against the wood of his desk chair at school without tears immediately springing to his eyes.
As tempting as it was, he never missed a day. He knew that good grades and great recommendations from his teachers would be the only way out of this hell. And those few hours sitting on the worn boards of the fence with the mare standing beside him were all the time he was allowed for dreaming of a life outside of Oklahoma.
Midway into that second year, Lindsey noticed that the Mexicans hired to drop hay bales for the herd came more and more infrequently. The horses began looking like the wild animals they had been at the beginning, skinnier, rougher. Fights between the dominant mare and the lesser females came with blood in the dust and clumps of hair left rolling over the inedible dry grass.
There were no new colts in spring.
Lindsey wanted it to be hard. He wanted to hurt Angel, make the tears that fell from Angel’s eyes belong to him. He wanted to fuck Angel’s mouth, his ass. Come all over his chest and leave it spattered there. Leave his smell, his essence, his disdain and he wanted to leave Angel hog-tied and bleeding even knowing that the vampire would heal by the time they’d meet again.
He yanked down the zipper of his expensive satin blend slacks and saw in his mind the moment he shoved his cock between Angel’s lips. But it didn’t happen. Not like that.
Lindsey held his hard dick in his hand and Angel leaned closer. He opened his mouth and licked his tongue over the head of Lindsey’s cock. A long, slow, wet lapping touch that sent shivers down Lindsey’s spine.
He knew that he was sticking his hand in the piranha’s tank. He was skydiving without a parachute.
He was lusting after death and keeping his enemy close.
Angel’s nose pressed against Lindsey’s groin. Dulled teeth scraped with surprising gentleness over Lindsey’s cock, Angel’s tongue danced over all the right spots. It swirled in circles along the vein that ran thick and full along the underside of Lindsey’s dick and where Lindsey had wanted to dig his fingers in Angel’s short hair, pull and tear and hurt-- he was struggling just to hold. Just to touch. Hand shaking over the silk and smooth of Angel’s skull.
Angel leaned back and then forward again. His mouth moved from Lindsey’s cock to his balls and Lindsey spread his legs. The muscles of his thighs trembled and cramped just like they did the first time that he gave into the impulse and carefully, so fucking carefully, moved from sitting on the top board of the sun washed fence to the Appaloosa mare’s back.
Nonsensical whispers falling from his lips, a constant calming croon that was almost a song. Wordless lyrics of desire, the sound of a child that longed for his mother’s loving kiss and the sound of a man who had given everything up because nothing about him had value.
“Come on, Linds-,” Angel’s voice came from between Lindsey’s thighs. Cool breath from lungs that didn’t need air and goose bumps lifted on Lindsey’s skin.
She had left him in the dirt and then came back to smell him, nervously dancing around him as if to ask-- to say, ‘don’t try that again’.
There were three less mouths to feed after Lindsey’s fourteenth winter. The cold had been harsh, the flu had been unforgiving. Six less feet running down the creaky staircase, less hands turned palm up when Lindsey gave out stolen coins. He wasn’t the oldest kid, but even the two that came before him got in line as if Lindsey had been pushed bloody and squalling from between his mother’s thighs first.
He took their beatings. He fought anyone at the small school that dared to call them white trash. He did the shopping on the rare times that their father actually gave him money and he made sure that each and every one was tucked in under threadbare blankets on mattresses that sagged to fit without box springs or bed frames.
He did his own homework by the light of a single bulb at the kitchen table, a candle when the power went out in a storm or, more likely, wasn’t paid. He started looking at colleges and universities in his tenth year of school and was familiar with every grant, every loan, every single scholarship that he could work to his own advantage before the year was over.
He got a job when he was fifteen at a golf course by telling them that he was sixteen and he learned to give blowjobs without gagging to big tippers on the seventh and thirteenth green. He learned to let the men with the most money get down on their own knees and blow him. He gave everything he earned to his brothers and sisters.
He missed spending each long summer afternoon with the mare and the herd. Bruised apples taken from his palm and sugar cubes melting in his pocket. The sun beat down on his shoulders and dreams for his future stealing his mind away from the reality of right now.
Lindsey knew Angel let him push back. He knew that when Angel’s shoulders hit the cheap, rough carpet, his knees spread apart and his hands flat behind his back. Ankles cramped back to wrists and ass. The rope was thick and the knots were strongly tied, but nothing like that could ever hold a vampire as old as Angel.
Not if Angel really wanted to regain his freedom. Lindsey wasn’t that stupid.
And those precious facts did not stop Lindsey from kicking the rest of his pants from his legs; it didn’t stop him from sliding out of his shoes. His shirt and tie and jacket ripped off and Angel’s pants pulled over his knees.
Lindsey spit in his palm and added that moisture to the slick wet that Angel had left on his cock. He had wanted to fuck the vampire until he screamed. Until they both were broken and sated and bleeding. He had wanted to hear Angel begging under him, Angel pleading and whining and now he found himself wanting to feel Angel meeting his thrusts. Angel gripping him with his legs and holding him deep inside. He wanted to ride the vibration of Angel’s voice, chest to chest and lips on lips and his name coming from that mouth as they both were sliced open by honesty masquerading as passion.
As he began to enter Angel, Lindsey moved without thought. He shifted his weight and the prosthetic hand snapped off his wrist as he tried to hold himself up. Angel’s knees pulled perfectly apart, the tight pink wrinkled opening showing bare and vulnerable. His cock lying hard along the smooth ridges of his abdomen. His hands pushing his ass up off the floor and his mouth open, his eyes wide and wet and all the everything that had made Lindsey who he was came rushing in to the small motel room. Stinking up the air that surrounded them.
Memories on the bed and nightmares on the chairs, Lindsey’s father stood by the door. He shook the Sheriff’s hand as he gave up the keys to the house that Lindsey was born in. They watched as the officer made sure that every kid was out before he locked it up and pasted the ‘No Trespassing’ sign right fucking dead in the middle of the scarred wood.
Lindsey’s littlest sister clung to his hand and was inconsolable that she’d left her favorite, her only doll in a shoebox bed by her pillow.
Lindsey slumped on Angel’s chest, breath coming in hard, fast pants as he lifted his arm and the fake hand dangled as if broken from the stump of his wrist.
“Don’t let that stop you, boy.”
“I fucking hate you, Angel. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you.”
Lindsey couldn’t pass the buffet table at the golf course club without picking up the biggest apples for the mare. And this afternoon was no exception. He picked out the largest ones that he could find, snuck out through the kitchen doors and ran to the pasture.
A semi truck was backed up to the gate. The Mexicans that had delivered hay for three years were riding their four-wheeler ATV’s, rounding up the herd. Long whips cracking and CD players blaring as they chased the wild horses up the ramp and into the long trailer.
Lindsey’s mare was the last to go and she had to be beaten. White and black hooves snapped and one man went down, his machine plowing into the fence before stopping.
“Where are you taking them? What’s going on?”
They locked the door of the truck, left the gate open and slid up the ramp into the trailer as the horses stamped and neighed and crowded into each other.
“Casa de la matanza. Alimento de perro. Ningún dinero.”
“Slaughter house. Dog food. No money.”
Angel didn’t say a word, but Lindsey felt hands on his back. An all too brief, all too unexpected and so very unwanted moment of compassion and then they were separate once again. The ropes left on the floor and Angel’s pants pulled up. Lindsey stayed on his knees.
There was nothing left to say.
“I won’t kill them. But I never want to see them again, Lindsey.”
Angel shrugged his shirt over his shoulders, left it open and started to leave. Lindsey kept his eyes on the floor, seeing everything from the corner of his vision. He closed them as he felt the touch of fingers on the back of his neck. Fingers that could take his life as easily as they took his hand.
“I took your hand. You took Darla’s chance at a human death. Let’s call this one a draw.”
The time of owning wild horses was over, the fad had passed as the eighties became the nineties and the apples fell from Lindsey’s fingers as the truck pulled away, dust rising up from the road into the late afternoon sun.
He never knew who had owned the herd. He never saw the mare again.
He walked home alone, worn boots scuffing in the dirt.