Indulgence ©2006

By Jack Llawayllynn

Silentcrowstudio <>

Chapter 18: Mesmerized?

Matt woke on Thursday to an empty bed and the sound of Sin's singing voice floating back to him from the living room. Matt was used to Sin singing snatches of songs from time to time but he rarely had the opportunity to hear him sing unobserved and totally without pretenses. Matt rose carefully, easing off the bed so it wouldn't squeak and give him away. He padded down the hall silently and lurked in the shadow of the doorway watching Sin. He had both his leather jacket and Matt's lain out on the coffee table, an open tin of saddle soap balanced on his knee. Despite the mournfulness of the tune he sang he seemed to be in a very good mood. Matt recognized the song as one done originally by Bob Dylan. Again Matt was impressed and amazed at Sin's ability to take any song and give it that deep throated smooth intoxication that seeped into blood and bone and made a soul yearn to step into Sin's throat, curl up there and remain forever. He propped a shoulder on the wall and watched Sin work the saddle soap into the leather of his jacket with firm elegant fingers, listening to the haunting power of his voice.

Matt wished he could ask Sin why he had been acting so strangely the last few days. He had once told Matt that he never had sex for any purpose other than a thrill but the last few nights he had been very gentle with Matt, kissing and stroking with a soft hand. His usual thirst for inflicting pain seemed to have been, at least temporarily, sated. He had even let Matt fuck him again, the two of them tangled under the sheets, Matt savoring wrapping his arms around Sin's chest to pull him closer as he buried himself as deep as he could in Sin's ass, moaning Sin's name and near to tears with the intensity of it, Sin's hand coming up to clutch Matt's own hand gently over his chest where Matt clutched at him. Matt was enjoying this new side of Sin but it worried him too. Sin had praised him lavishly several times for how Matt had handled the cops and Matt did believe that Sin was pleased with him but sometimes he would catch Sin staring at him when he thought Matt wasn't looking. His eyes would take on a look of dark brooding, as though there was something nagging at his mind, worrying him. Twice Matt had called him Daddy just to prove to himself and to Sin that he could do it. He only said it in casual circumstances when he could catch Sin off guard and both times Sin had flinched as though stabbed with a needle but then he would chuckle as if at a joke. Matt knew that there was something there, something that Sin was chewing on in his head, obsessing over.

"What cha doing Daddy?" Matt asked suddenly in a playful voice, watching Sin very carefully as he said it. Sin jumped up, the tin clattering against the coffee table, the jacket sliding to the floor. Sin shot Matt a murderous look that simmered for only a half beat before his eyes went blank, hiding whatever emotions were churning inside. Sin stooped and swept the jacket from the floor and righted the tin of saddle soap.

"Just cleaning the jackets. How long have you been standing there?"

Matt shrugged and advanced into the room. Sin's eyes swept over Matt's naked body. When Matt neared Sin hooked his fingers into Matt's collar and pulled him in for a gentle kiss. "I don't like to think you were lurking behind me Matt," Sin said softly but there was a warning tone under laying the words.

"I wasn't," Matt said shrugging again. Sin clasped Matt's head in his hands and pulled him in close again, his mouth nearly touching Matt's.

"Now don't go lying about it and make it worse," Sin said so softly that Matt nearly missed the words. The scent of the leather soap filled Matt's nose from Sin's hands. Behind it there was the faint scent of sea salt. Matt had come to realize that the salt came from the fish tank, that Sin had his arms in that tank at least twice a day, either playing with his damn squid or cleaning the tank itself. To Matt it was just a part of what made Sin who and what he was, that wonderful blend of scents. Matt turned his face into Sin's palm and inhaled deeply. Sin's eyes flared, his other hand dropped down to grab Matt's ass. A knock at the door interrupted them.

"Are you expecting someone Sin?" Matt asked curiously.

"Yes. Go put your clothes on Matt." Sin released him and turned away toward the door. Matt was halfway down the hallway before he realized that he had moved to obey Sin without even asking who it was that Sin was expecting. When Matt returned in blue jeans and t-shirt he found Sin hunched over a mass of papers spread out on the coffee table, a large intimidating looking man sitting in the easy chair across from him. Matt started to go sit near Sin but Sin stopped him with his voice.

"Go make me an omelet Matt, I'm hungry," Sin said without even looking Matt's way. Matt hesitated a moment, his eyes meeting those of the man that Sin was most pointedly not introducing him to. The man's eyes looked a little shocked at the sight of Matt's greenish bruised face but he didn't say anything, nor even nod a greeting. "Now Matt, don't make me tell you again," Sin said darkly but still he didn't take his eyes off the papers in front of him. Matt turned toward the kitchen wondering why in the hell he tolerated Sin's shit.

"You fucking want cheese with that?" Matt spat out over his shoulder as entered the kitchen.


"Your friend too?" Matt called back, seething.

"No, he's leaving in a minute." Matt heard Sin add something else but the words were spoken too low for him to catch their meaning. The man laughed loudly. Matt banged the pan down onto the stove top and ground his teeth audibly. Sin and the man continued to speak together in low voices for a while and then Matt heard the man leave. He dumped Sin's breakfast onto a plate and carried it into the living room. He stood at Sin's shoulder a moment staring down at his head bent so intently over the papers.

"If you are thinking of dumping that on me Matt you better the hell think it over again," Sin growled and Matt jumped guiltily. He hurriedly set the plate down on the coffee table, careful not to put it on any of the papers. Glancing at them he saw they were house plans. Sin finally looked up at him.

"McKenna's place," Sin said simply, waving a hand at the papers.

"So, that guy, he's one of your lackeys doing research?"

"Yes. A fan you might say."

Matt snorted and nudged a plastic sack that sat on the floor with his foot. A can of dog food rolled out. Matt stooped to pick it up.

"You thinking about bringing a dog home Sin or do you intend for this to be my breakfast?" Matt asked nastily, pissed off that Sin hadn't touched his food and it was getting cold.

Sin glanced back up at him, his eyes blank, his mind obviously already back on the papers before him. "What? No, no dog. He said they left the dog at the other house. Seems their new maid has cats instead or some shit so we don't need that to distract the dog with. Just throw it out."

Matt set the dog food can back down, feeling a strong uneasiness. He had known all along that they would be going to kill McKenna but now that Sin was finalizing the plans and getting everything together Matt was beginning to feel fearful about it. It seemed Sin had given it a lot more thought than Matt had. He had every angle covered. At least Matt hoped he did.

"A maid? She'll be in the house too? How are we going to make sure we keep her contained?"

"She won't be there," Sin assured him, shaking his head slightly. "She's an illegal, working for McKenna because he pays her extra if she lets him fuck her. She's already been given the heads up to clear out for the weekend. She thinks that someone is going to report McKenna for hiring illegals. She thinks she'll just be steering clear for a few days until the heat is off so no, she won't be there."

"Sounds like you've thought of everything," Matt said, feeling a little better.

"I damn sure hope so. If I haven't then this is going to go very badly indeed for all of us."

Matt's stomach dropped again at the uncertainty he heard in Sin's voice.

"Now take your breakfast and go eat it kid," Sin said waving at the plate Matt had set before him. "I think you are losing weight. I don't want you to get to looking scrawny. Go eat."

"You told me to make that for you," Matt protested hotly, doubly offended now. There was no way in hell that anyone would refer to Matt as anything close to scrawny. He puffed out his chest a little as if Sin would notice.

"I don't want it. I just wanted to make sure you made something for yourself. Now go eat it, its getting cold and you are distracting me. I need to think."

Matt picked up the plate and carried it to the kitchen. He ate the omelet standing over the counter, staring at nothing, trying not to worry about what would happen if Sin did indeed miss a vital detail in his plans of murder.

* * * *

Sin was staring at the papers before him but he was thinking of Matt. He couldn't get the idea out of his mind that maybe he had gone too far with suggestion on the night Matt was beaten while under the influence of Miss Sylvia's tea. It bothered him, deeply, when Matt would call him Daddy. It was just not something that the kid would have done before, it wasn't in his character. Matt was a fighter and lately Matt hadn't been showing very much spark. Oh, he would sass back every now and then but more often than not he jumped when Sin said jump. Because of Matt's injuries Sin had not been pushing him, had been handling him with kid gloves so to speak but he truly wondered if he had brainwashed Matt in some way.

Totally distracted now from plans of murder Sin got up and paced the length of the living room. Glancing over he caught sight of the stereo and stopped his pacing long enough to dig through the CDs. He chose the Issues album by Korn and turned it up as loud as he dared, which wasn't very loud. He regretted that most about leaving his apartment. No one ever complained there, they were too afraid their neighbors would kill them for it. Here they complained about every little bump, rattle and moan.

Sin paced a bit more then went into the kitchen. Matt was just finishing his breakfast at the counter. Sin reached passed him and snagged a bottle of whisky from the cabinet, opened it and turned the bottle up. Matt gave him a surprised look, startled that Sin would start drinking so early but said nothing as he turned to rinse his plate out in the sink. Sin could see him in profile now, the dark colors of his bruises, and the soft sweep of his hair against the back of his neck. Sin stepped up behind Matt and slipped a hand under his t-shirt. Matt jumped, startled but immediately leaned his body back against Sin's. Sin let his hand continue upward, slowly pushing the material higher with one hand while he set the bottle aside with the other. He lingered over a nipple and leaned in to bury his face in Matt's neck, inhaling his scent like a dog finding a treat. He pushed forward to lean Matt over the sink and pushed the material of his t-shirt up into a bunch at the back of his neck. The long colorfully bruised length of Matt's back was displayed before him and Sin brought his hands up to smooth his palms over the entirety of it. He kept his hands gentle, not causing pain, just exploring. Sin liked Matt's decorations. He liked them a lot. He wished he could keep Matt bruised and battered all the time but he knew he couldn't. He hadn't liked these bruises as much at first but in the end he'd made them his own by punching Matt in the eye and bringing up an even more vivid bruise than he'd had to start with by raking Matt's back with his nails, the long furrows still visible through the scabs. Matt was sporting Sin's colors now and Sin liked it way too much. Sin stopped admiring Matt's back long enough to get the t-shirt pushed off over his head and then turned him around. His eyes swept over Matt's face, the left side now a mottling of lavender, green, yellow, and blue and fading black. Sin leaned in and kissed each of Matt's eyelids before moving down to his mouth. His hands went to Matt's fly and undid it, reaching inside his jeans to tug his dick out. Matt leaned hard against the sink cabinet as Sin slide down his body and took his cock in his mouth. Matt sighed between his teeth and put his hands on Sin's head, arching. Sin growled and Matt bit his lip against the pleasure but Sin didn't finish him off. Instead he suddenly stood and pushed Matt toward the living room.

"Go lean over the couch kid, I want to fuck you," Sin panted, prodding him harder toward the living room. Matt went, stripping his jeans all the way off as he went. Sin had disappeared but came back naked, his cock shining with lubricant. Matt bent over the couch and Sin growled again before entering him. Sin soon had his rhythm matched to the heavy bass thump coming from the radio. When Sin started singing the lyrics Matt nearly started laughing but then he started really listening, feeling the way Sin's voice could worm into his head. Matt had seen him on stage once and had wanted to crawl up there and get fucked by Sin while he sang and now he was experiencing just that. Matt no longer heard the music from the stereo, he only heard Sin's voice. There was an edge to it that Matt knew no one else would probably ever hear, the edge of lustful fucking.

The phone rang and to Matt's horror Sin fumbled for it and hooked it off of the end table with a long finger without even pulling out.

"Ello?" he puffed, still going at it. "What the hell do you want Andy? Huh? What am I doing? I'm fucking my bitch and you're fucking up my rhythm. Now what the hell do you want man, I'm busy!"

Sin was silent as he listened to Andy on the other end but he never slowed and despite his claim he never broke his rhythm in the least. "What the fuck? Hell no I can't! Goddamnit Andy, this is too short notice!" Sin listened some more then finally stopped his pumping. "Okay, okay, yeah I know Doboot needs the fucking money. Yeah, yeah, I still have the contract. I haven't forgotten. Yeah, okay, I'll be there." Sin stood there a second, the phone in his hand, his dick up Matt's ass. Suddenly he hurled the phone across the room. "Fuckers!" he yelled. He looked down and saw himself still buried in Matt's ass and smiled before resuming his fucking.

"What the hell was that about?" Matt demanded.

"I gotta do a gig."


"Saturday night. FlyFur Dog canceled, the bastards. I wouldn't do it except that Doboot needs the money and I owe the owner of that particular bar a favor. It means that I have to head out to Andy's tonight so we can get our shit together, figure out what we'll play, practice a bit."

"Saturday?! But what about McKenna?"

"It's a late gig, we don't go on until nearly midnight. If we hurry we can do what has to be done and get back on time."

Matt frowned over that but let his mind be distracted by the fact that Sin was going to be leaving him to go practice with the band. "Can I come with you this time? Please?"

"Only if you shut up so I can cum!" Sin growled at him and hooked his hands around Matt's hips. Matt laughed but didn't speak any more. Sin finished quickly then finished Matt by sucking him off, the heavy music still pounding in the background. Sin slid up the length of Matt's body and kissed him deeply, letting Matt taste the cum in his mouth.

"Ready for a shower yet kid?" Sin asked, his hands sliding down Matt's sides. Matt had been careful the last few days of his back and had been taking shallow baths instead of showers. Matt nodded. He didn't think the water pounding on his back would be too painful anymore. It seemed well on its way to healing. Sin smiled and turned away to head for the shower. Matt went to pick up the phone, found it broken and unplugged it from the wall before he followed. They crowded into the bathroom but the phone rang again and Sin cursed and pushed by Matt to go answer it in the bedroom. Matt hoped he wouldn't break that one too.

Matt went ahead and turned on the water letting it warm before stepping in. Suddenly he realized he probably shouldn't wear his collar in the shower. Was it alright to take it off to shower he wondered? Would that piss Sin off or would it piss Sin off more if he didn't remove it and it was damaged? Matt reached up to touch the buckle, hesitated, touched it again. He couldn't make up his mind. Take it off or leave it on?

Sin had answered the phone only to find it was a damn telemarketer. He told them to fuck off and hung up. As he reentered the bathroom he saw Matt reach up to touch his collar. Matt's hands hovered, moved away, touched the collar again. Sin frowned. Could he not remove it on his own? He damn sure didn't seem to be able to make himself undo the buckle and Sin had told him the night he put the collar on Matt's neck that he was to wear it at all times. Was that stuck in the kid's head now? How much else was there just because Sin had put it there he wondered. Sin didn't say anything, just stood and watched. Matt's hands dropped and he shifted from one foot to the other before reaching for the collar again but this time his hands didn't even touch it. With a sigh Matt dropped his hands and turned as if to go in search of Sin. He flinched when he found Sin right behind him.

"Something wrong Matt?" Sin asked, watching him carefully.

"Uh, no, no nothing is wrong. I just..." Matt trailed off, suddenly and strangely hesitant to ask about his collar. Sin reached up and undid the buckle for him. The collar slipped off of Matt's throat and suddenly Matt felt more naked than he'd ever been in his life. He wanted to snatch the collar from Sin's fingers and put it back on. He could feel the blood drain from his face. It was almost as if Sin would just disappear into thin air if Matt left the collar off for too long. If Sin disappeared then who would be there the next time Daddy came calling with his bible? Again Matt struggled not to reach for the collar. Sin was watching him, his eyes dark and hard. The collar dangled from his fingertips right in front of Matt's face. Very slowly he lowered the collar to the sink counter top. Matt's gaze followed it down then shot back up to meet Sin's.

"Get in the shower Matt," Sin growled.

Matt felt that Sin was angry at him for some reason. He wasn't sure why but he could see that Sin was definitely not happy now. His mouth had taken a sour downward turn as if he tasted something vile and his eyes kept searching Matt's as if he were trying to look inside his head. Matt hurried through his shower, being so careless that he accidentally slung soap from his hair into Sin's eyes. He didn't even apologize, just rushed to rinse and flung himself out of the shower. He grabbed a towel, ruffled his hair with it, thoroughly dried his neck and grabbed his collar, buckling it on with shaking fingers. As soon as it was on snug he sank down onto the toilet with a sigh of relief, the towel sliding from his limp hand. He looked up to see Sin watching him, standing under the spray of water, his eyes red from the soap. He looked furious.

"What?" Matt asked, his own eyes flashing angrily. There was no way he was going to let Sin take that collar back off of him if that is what he was thinking about.

"What's your hurry Matt?" Sin asked. His hand reached out and turned off the faucets but his eyes never left Matt's. He stepped from the shower streaming water, his body long and lithe like a wet panther, his mannerism dangerous and carefully contained.

"I...I just was finished showering," Matt said, looking away, not willing to admit that he had felt as if having his collar off too long would mean Sin leaving him. Estaban had said Sin had never given a collar to anyone. Matt was the first and he intended to be the last. For some reason the collar had come to represent the bond between them for Matt and he wasn't going to let Sin break it. When Sin's long fingers reached toward Matt's collar Matt's hand leapt up and grabbed Sin's wrist, hard. His eyes flashed back up to meet Sin's, a desperate warning in his gaze.

"Mine!" Matt said between his teeth.

Jesus! Sin thought, it was a hell of a lot worse than he had imagined! What was he going to do about it? Could he deprogram the kid the same way he had programmed him? Would it mean feeding him an overdose of tea and beating him half to death? Sin's hand was going numb in Matt's strong grip. He didn't try to pull away or to reach further for the collar. Slowly Matt's grip lessened then fell away. Matt stood suddenly and pushed violently passed Sin. Sin watched him go, worrying and feeling like the devil himself inside. What the hell had he done? With an uttered curse he went back to the kitchen for the liquor bottle.

* * * *

Sin hailed a cab later that evening to take them to Andy's. Sin had been hitting the bottle most of the day but as far as Matt could tell Sin was still quite steady on his feet. They sat in silence in the cab for a long while, both lost in their thoughts. Matt kept chewing at a thumbnail, something Sin was not used to seeing him do and Sin was brooding. He couldn't stop thinking about the things he had made Matt repeat that night, the things that he had planted in Matt's thoughts. Hell, one of the things Sin had made Matt repeat was that he was Matt's Master and Matt had. Could Matt leave him now if he even wanted to or would he be forever enslaved in his mind? Sin wasn't sure how he felt about that...well, guilty for one but also strangely elated. He wanted to know that Matt was his, forever, to do whatever he pleased with. Sin shifted his eyes to where Matt sat chewing his thumbnail. Sin's eyes dropped to Matt's lips. He knew exactly how those lips felt wrapped around his cock. Suddenly his dick started hurting and he realized he had another raging hard on and his cock was cramped in his tight jeans. He shifted to reposition himself. The movement drew Matt's eyes to him and he saw Sin shift his dick in his pants.

"Again Sin? Damn, what were you thinking about?" Matt asked laughing.

"You...what else?" Sin grumbled.

Matt grinned and dropped a large hand into Sin's lap, his palm pressing Sin's dick through his jeans. Sin's eyes widened, surprised that Matt would do that in a taxi. Matt grinned sheepishly at him and Sin answered the smile with a wolfish one of his own. His eyes had become so predatory that Matt snatched his hand away afraid that Sin might actually attempt to fuck him right there in the taxi. Sin laughed out loud and reached over to squeeze Matt's knee. His hand lingered there a moment then swept up the inside of Matt's thigh. Matt's balls tightened and suddenly he found that Sin wasn't the only with a hard-on. Sin discovered that too when his hand slid higher. With a bark of laughter he suddenly lunged over and trapped Matt against the cab door, kissing him fiercely with whiskey flavored tongue. The driver gaped into his rearview mirror at them. Laughing Matt pushed Sin off.

"Asshole," he muttered to Sin but he didn't put any anger behind the words. It was becoming less and less disturbing to him lately to be seen as gay. So long as he was with Sin he didn't care what other people thought. Sin laughed at him and Matt felt the warmth of the sound down the entire length of his spine.

The cab driver seemed relieved to be rid of them when he pulled up in front of Andy's shitty little house with loose shutters and peeling paint. Sin led Matt up to the porch but stopped on the top step and turned back toward Matt smiling wickedly. He reached a hand out to hook the back of Matt's neck to pull him up for a stolen kiss but as his hand neared Matt's throat Matt's hand came up so suddenly and caught his wrist again that Sin jumped. Matt was protecting that collar again. Sin's heart thundered suddenly in his ears, his anger spiraling up and out feverishly.

"That's my fucking collar Matt. Don't test me kid or I'll rip it off your neck. I'll beat you so badly you'll be crying for the mercies of your Daddy."

"Please don't take it from me," Matt said quietly as he snatched his hand away from Sin's wrist. Sin scowled down at him but didn't say anything. Instead he produced a small flask from his pocket and uncapped the lid. He held Matt's eyes with his own even as he poured he contents down his throat. With a regretful sigh over the empty flask Sin capped it, returned it to his pocket and turned to open the door, not bothering to knock before entering the house. It was small, dingy, dirty and empty. Sin led Matt through the mess and out through the back yard to a large garage. Inside the band was warming up. Sin stopped in the doorway so suddenly that Matt ran into his back.

"Fucking shit!" Sin spat and Matt peered over his shoulder to see what had pissed him off now. Mr. Silverman and Charles Debroy were seated at a table watching the band up on the stage that Andy had built in the huge garage. "What the fuck are they doing here again?" Sin demanded as he strode into the garage.

"Watching. Why the fuck do you have a problem with that?" Heath said as he stood up from behind his drums.

Sin sighed and shook his head but didn't answer as he vaulted up onto the stage and left Matt to fend for himself. Matt took a chair beside Mr. Silverman.

"My god Matt! What happened to your face? Did Mike do that to you?" Silverman gasped.

"No, he didn't. Well, not all of it anyway. Very little of it."

"What, are you going to try to tell me again that you walked out in front of a car?" Silverman asked bitingly.

"No sir, I walked out in front of a bible."

"What?" Silverman said, his eyes the perfect picture of puzzlement.

"Never mind," Matt said, shaking his head with a wry grin. "It's a long story but no, this isn't all Mike's doing." Matt touched his own face with his fingertips, glad that the swelling at least had almost entirely gone.

Silverman snorted and leaned back in his chair to watch the band.

"So what ARE you doing here?" Matt asked him quietly.

"Just taking an interest in a future investment."

"Is that so? What if he turns the contract down?"

"He won't and you know it," Silverman said looking over at Matt smugly.

"I knew you were up to something when you agreed to help me that night."

"Damn straight. I ain't a fool Matt, surely you have figured that out after working for me so long?"

"Yes sir, I have."

Silverman laughed and slapped Matt on the back. Matt winced and grimaced from the pain it caused but Silverman had already turned his head. Only Sin saw the expression cross Matt's face and his darkened dangerously. Matt shrugged as if to say that it wasn't Silverman's fault, that he had no way of knowing Matt was injured but Sin only scowled deeper before turning away to confer with the band.

"Okay, so we have this one practice to decide what to do tomorrow night. Did you guys get the play list knocked together already?" Sin asked casually. The others shifted uneasily.

"Yeah, we put one together," Doboot finally admitted. "We figured you wouldn't want to fuck with it."

Sin laughed. "You think I don't know you guys practice more without me than with me? Shit. Okay, so what is it then? Mostly covers?"

"Uh, yeah," Doboot nodded over his bass.

"Fine, what's the first on the list or do I get to know what the hell I'm supposed to be singing?" Sin's voice was rough and Matt sat up wondering if the guys knew him well enough to understand he was on the edge of violence. They must have because both Doboot and Andy stepped away a little. It was Heath that got up again to bring Sin a piece of paper. Matt was surprised to realize just how small Heath was. He hadn't really paid attention to the other band members before. Heath was only about as tall as Estaban, with a shock of shaggy brown hair that fell over his eyes. Sin ignored him and stared down at the paper in his hand scanning the list then crumpled it in his fist and tossed it out onto the floor. "Okay, let's do this. I don't know what you guys needed me here for, I am not the one who fucks up so much that I need to practice."

"Asshole," Andy muttered and then blanched when he realized that he had said it loudly. Sin just waved a hand at him to start to playing the damned guitar and so Andy played. Matt shifted his attention to Andy too. Andy was nearly as tall as Sin, wide in the shoulders and slim of hip but he didn't hold himself with the kind of confidence that radiated off of Sin. Andy struck Matt as somewhat of a simpleton. A genius on the guitar maybe, but not much else upstairs. Everything about his appearance and posture screamed "good ole boy from Kentucky with heavy metal guitar". Doboot on the other hand looked like something that had been dug up out of a gothic graveyard. Tall, lanky, thin of face, he had a permanent leer plastered on his mouth. His hair was multicolored, red, blue, black, and yellow. He too though lacked anything near Sin's charisma. The band was just background noise for one hell of a show called Sin. And it didn't take long for Matt to get caught up in that show, forgetting that anyone else was in the room, hell in the world, other than himself and Sin on the stage. Sin took on a different look up there, even in a shitty garage. Matt thought it must be the way the music got into Sin's soul and turned him mean, cruel even beyond his usual temperament. Matt too could feel his testosterone levels sore with the steadily increasing volume of hard pounding music and Sin's feral growls.

Andy suddenly fucked up the backup lyrics. Matt hadn't liked the way that Sin got so close to Andy when Andy was singing too and so didn't mind when the music stopped and Sin scowled at Andy.

"You fucked up," Andy complained to Sin.

"No asshole, you fucked up."

"No way man, I been practicing!"

"Then you have been practicing it wrong shithead," Sin growled.

"No way man, just admit that you fucked up for once!" Andy reached out and pushed Sin, not hard but definitely enough get his attention. Sin cocked his head to the side, his face suddenly thoughtful.

"Damn Andy, when do you go and grow some balls?" Sin asked, sneering.

"Fuck you man!" Andy said loudly and pushed Sin again, harder this time.

Sin balled up a fist and drew it back.

"Michael Synn!" Debroy yelled, leaping to his feet. "Don't you dare!"

Sin's head turned slowly to face Debroy. "What the fuck did you say? I haven't signed a contract with you yet you dog fucker!"

"He...he said I could sue you if you hit me again!" Andy stuttered out triumphantly.

"Did he now?" Sin asked, his tone suddenly dropping to a flat monotone that was even more frightening than when his anger had been in his voice. He lowered his fist and stepped away from Andy and then off of the stage. "You been telling these boys to sue me Debroy?" Sin asked in that same flat tone.

"Only if you hurt one of them before the contract is signed," Debroy answered, his arms folded across his chest. "The contract will have a payment clause built in, if you hit them, you pay them, no questions asked." He didn't back down in the least when Sin moved in closer to him, crowding his personal space. Debroy just stared back at him, too used to cocky rock stars to be cowed by the newest Johnny-come-lately on the block. Too stupid to know that Sin was in no way another Johnny-come-lately. Matt rose to his feet, knowing that Sin was not only pissed as hell right now but that he had also been drinking on and off the entire day. Sin was usually at his most violent when drunk.

It was Silverman who diffused the situation. "If it's about the lyrics then hell, check them. No need to argue. Andy surely you have the lyrics written down somewhere?"

"Yeah, I do," Andy said, shooting Sin a smug look. He produced a file binder from a shelf and flipped the pages. Everyone turned to look at him as he scanned over them. His face turned from smug to sickly and he snapped the book closed. "I fucked up," he admitted.

"Thank you!" Sin said sarcastically and vaulted back up onto the stage. "Start it over...get it fucking right! If you weren't so fucked up all time Andy maybe you're brain wouldn't leak."

"Fuck you man, you smell like a damn drunk whore so who are you to bitch at me, huh?" Andy flashed Sin the finger and turned away. Sin looked like he might say something else but Heath wisely started tapping out a beat behind them and Doboot joined in quickly. Sin turned away from Andy and began to sing again. With a sigh Matt sank back down into his chair.

"Is he always like that?" Silverman asked Matt quietly.

"No. Not always."

"You say that like as if `not always' means `most of the time," Silverman said looking at Matt with pity.

Matt shrugged and looked up to see Sin staring dead at him as he sang, his eyes flashing. Matt shifted in his seat.

"It's as bad as they claimed," Debroy muttered to Silverman and Silverman nodded. "Maybe I ought to tell them to call it off. I think I've seen enough. We have to decide if we want to do this Simon. He'll make us rich but might turn around and break us with lawsuits over beaten fans and band members."

"Call what off?" Matt asked, leaning around to look at Debroy on the other side of Silverman.

Debroy shrugged a little uncomfortably. "The guys keep telling me that Mike is the best damn singer/performer they've ever seen but they are all terrified of him. I thought they were I told Andy and Doboot to fuck with him, see how far we could push him and still keep him from laying hands on any of them."

"You didn't! Tell me you didn't tell them to fuck with him on purpose! Not tonight! You don't know what kind of stress he's under! Call it off!" Matt started to rise, his eyes going up in toward Sin, wondering what the hell he'd do if Andy pissed him off yet again. They damn sure couldn't afford to have Sin go to jail right now, not now, so close to killing time.

Doboot chose that moment to fuck with Sin. As Sin backed away from the microphone Doboot stuck out a foot and tripped him. Sin kept his balance, barely. He shot Doboot an exasperated look, obviously thinking the bassist had done it on accident and didn't stop the set this time. Doboot shot Debroy a look.

"Well, so he's not totally unreasonable," Debroy muttered. "Maybe we can still do this."

Doboot though must have thought that it hadn't been enough to just mess with Sin a little so the next time Sin moved near to him Doboot stuck out an elbow and gouged Sin in the side. Matt groaned. This was not going to be pretty. Sin turned and slung the microphone into Heath's drums. Everyone clutched their ears at the horrific sound.

"What the fuck is wrong with you guys tonight?" Sin bellowed, cords standing out in his throat.

"It's you man, you're stinking fucking drunk and sound like shit!" Doboot said hotly. Matt flinched...Sin sounded great and everyone knew it.

"You're fucking with me, aren't you?" Sin asked suddenly, his head tilting to the side again, crow-like. "Why? What's up with that huh?"

"Debroy said to do it." It was Heath that piped up. "I said no, I'd have no part of it. You already broke my damn arm once and I ain't stupid. But Debroy, he wanted to see if he could control you."

"That so Debroy?" Sin asked as he jumped down from the stage and advanced on Debroy. This time Debroy didn't look so sure of himself and took a step back.

"Yeah, so? I needed to know if you were going to waste my time and money."

"I never fucking asked for your time or your money asshole. The only one of us here who is tight up for cash is Doboot and that's just because he can't keep his dick in his pants. How many kids now Do? Five?"

"Six," Doboot muttered and looked away, "the last was a set of twins."

"Child support is hell when you have six kids with five different women huh asshole?" Sin spat out. "You going to let this fuck head jerk you around just because he promised you money? Hell, we make money. We made money long before they came along."

"Not big money though," Doboot muttered and Sin nodded.

"So, it's all about the money...that's what you think? Well, I don't need the money, I don't even want the money. I have a damn good job. All of us here know that Chains is dead without me. Just crap. It was proven when you brought in Ross. So, what's it going to be guys? Want to keep fucking with me?"

The band members silently shook their heads no. Debroy though got in Sin's face. "Stop talking to them like they don't matter! All you'd be doing without them is screeching into a microphone! They matter as much as you do!"

Sin sneered at him and turned away. Debroy shoved him in the back, hard. Sin spun on him but Debroy had already danced away, putting the table between himself and Sin. Sin's lips came up in a snarl.

"You can't touch me asshole. I'll see you rot in jail if you touch me!" Debroy taunted him.

Matt swallowed loudly. He knew Debroy had gone way too far this time but he also knew that what he said was true. If Sin touched him Debroy would run to the cops, screaming bloody murder. Sin though had slipped beyond reason and didn't give a shit. His eyes flashed pure insanity as he lunged up onto the table, scrambling over it to get to Debroy. Matt had seen it coming and was already in motion himself. He got between Sin and Debroy just in time, pushing the older man aside as Sin came in swinging. He knew it was coming and already there was litany running in his head, "please don't break my ribs, please don't break my ribs". Even though Matt already knew Sin would come in low his arms went up instinctively to shield his face and Sin's fist caught his ribs totally unprotected. Matt felt the air leave him in one great wheeze but he didn't have a chance to try to get the breath back. Sin's fist drove into his ribs again and again. Finally Matt came up against a wall and Sin's hands rose to clamp around his throat. Sin roared in rage, a ragged sound so fierce that Matt nearly pissed himself. Beyond Sin's shoulder Matt caught only the briefest glimpse of shocked faces and frozen bodies before his vision started to blur.

"Let go! Get off him!" Someone was bellowing near Matt's ear. Matt blinked, trying to stay conscious, trying to focus. Andy's large form loomed behind Sin, his hands trying to pry Sin loose. When that didn't work he leapt up onto Sin's back in an attempt to weigh him down to the ground. "I said let go!" Andy was bellowing again. "Stop it Sin! You're killing him!"

Andy was a large guy and Sin had to release Matt's throat to reach up and grapple with Andy, finally slinging him off his back, right into Matt. Andy and Matt went to the floor together in a tangle, Matt still hacking and choking in air. Sin snarled down at them then spun and stormed out.

"Holy fuck!" Andy said as he tried to untangle himself from Matt. "You okay man?"

Matt was nodding but couldn't answer. Andy was squatting by him now and he reached out to lift Matt's shirt, looking at the damage Sin had inflicted. Matt shivered, suddenly very aware that he had a hard on again, Sin's violence always seemed to do that to him, and Andy's hands were traveling up his ribs.

"I don't think he broke anything," Andy was muttering, unaware of what he was doing to Matt. Matt shook his head again, finally getting some air. Andy sat a moment longer, his hand on Matt's ribs. Matt's eyes rose to his and saw something there, something like yearning. There was a depth there too. Matt had misjudged him. His mind went a lot deeper than a good ole boy with a guitar. Matt pushed Andy's hands away.

"Help me up man," Matt said reaching out to take Andy's hand and let him heft him to his feet. Silverman and Debroy approached, both looking stunned. Matt gave no warning, just jabbed his fist hard into Debroy's mouth. Debroy's head snapped back and he fell heavily, clattering a chair on the way down. Matt pulled his other hand from Andy's stunned grasp and went to kneel down by Debroy.

"Don't ever lay your hands on Sin again. Not ever. Next time I'll kill you myself instead of taking your punishment for you," Matt growled down at him.

Debroy had one hand to his mouth, the other fishing a cell phone from his pocket. Matt snatched the cell phone away and slung it against the wall hard enough to shatter it. "Don't bother calling the cops Debroy. They wouldn't have time to get here before you were dead. You deserved that punch and you know it. I hear you do really good things on the business end for bands and because of that you can stay but do not touch Sin, do not taunt him and do not try to rile the band members against him, understand?"

Debroy nodded slowly and Matt reached a hand down to help him up. "Good, very glad we understand one another."

"So now what?" Doboot asked, "I guess we're done here for the night?"

"No," Matt said firmly. "I'll get Sin back in here, just don't fuck with him."

Doboot looked doubtful but said nothing as he went back to the stage.

"Why the hell didn't you do something?" Debroy demanded of Silverman. Simon had distanced himself from the newest fray and stood leaning against a wall, arms crossed.

"Matt was right, you brought it on yourself. No need for me to get caught up in your mess Charlie. Next time you decide to start pushing buttons you might want to pay more attention to what the buttons are actually connected to eh?" Silverman shot Matt a glance.

Debroy glared at Silverman but righted the chair and sat down in it, pulling a handkerchief from his pocket to dab at his lip.

Matt found Sin out on the front porch. He was still angry, pounding a fist into his palm and muttering but at least he was sitting down. Matt sat down on the step beside him. Sin turned his head toward Matt.

"Sorry kid, I wasn't even angry at you," he said quietly. Matt didn't answer, he just slipped an arm around Sin's back and slid his fingers into Sin's back pocket. When he removed his hand he had a packet of lubricant between his fingers. He'd known it would be there. He held the packet up in front of Sin's face.

"There's some tall bushes right there beside the house," Matt said quietly. Sin grinned and snatched the packet from Matt's fingers, pulled him up by his arm and hustled him around the corner to the bushes and shoved him through them.

"You know just what to say, don't you, kid?" Sin asked laughing as he reached for his zipper. Matt dropped his pants and bent over, placing a hand firmly against the side of the house. Sin fucked him hard enough to make him knock his head against the wall a time or two. It didn't take long. Sin was already riled up and he finished within minutes, puffing and collapsing his weight onto Matt's back. Matt put the other hand up onto the wall to steady them and waited for Sin to recover himself. Finally Sin pulled away and Matt stood to pull up his pants. He had barely gotten them fastened when Sin spun him around and pinned him against the wall, kissing him harshly.

"I love the way your mind works, Matt," Sin said softly and turned away, tugging Matt with him. When they reentered the garage Debroy was still sulking and shot Matt a hateful glare. Sin saw the smear of blood on Debroy's chin and his fat lip and cut a glance over to Matt.

"What the hell did you do, kid?" Sin asked in an undertone.

"I shut that mother-fucker up, that's what," Matt said lightly and went to sit beside Silverman. Sin was grinning as he leapt up onto the stage again. He turned to look at Heath.

"Where were we?" Sin asked cheerfully.

"Uh, Ministry I think, `Just One Fix'," Heath answered and Sin nodded so Heath began to pound out the heavy beat and the others joined in. Matt saw Andy flash a look his way, then toward Sin, his mouth thinning into a hard line. When he looked Matt's way again his eyes were hard. Matt cocked a surprised brow.

Debroy leaned toward Matt and asked, "What the hell did you say to him to put him in such a better mood so quickly?"

It was Silverman that laughed though. He reached out a hand and plucked something from Matt's hair and laid it on the table...a large paint chip. "I don't think it had as much to do with what he said to the man as much as what he might have done for the man."

Matt just smiled mysteriously and turned to watch Sin on the stage.

* * * *

"Andy's gay," Matt said to Sin in the cab as they left after practice.

"No he isn't," Sin laughed, his mood still running high.

"Yes, I'm telling you Sin, the man is gay and he has it bad for you. He thinks he wants a piece of you but he's scared of you too."

Sin laughed. "Don't be ridiculous."

Matt shook his head. "I'm not imagining it Sin. He wants you."

Sin snorted disbelievingly but didn't argue further. "Let's go for a ride Matt, take the bike out and maybe hit a bar or two."

"Tonight? Is the shop even open?"

"No, but I'll call Stan." Matt didn't argue and Sin snapped open his cell phone and dialed the numbers grinning. "Hey Stan, it's Sin. Yeah, yeah, I heard. Look, I want to take the bike out...what? Yes tonight. Can you meet me at the shop in ten minutes?" Sin was silent a long time, listening. His eyes flashed over to Matt and he shrugged suddenly as if making a decision. "Yeah, okay. I know. You've told me several times already about how you fancy Matt's ass. Yeah, we'll all go out to the club. Bring Kim." Sin was silent for another moment then laughed. "Yeah, I know you wouldn't be seen dead there without him. Okay, meet you at the shop in ten." Sin snapped the phone shut then leaned forward to tell the driver the new destination to take them to.

Matt arched a brow at Sin wanting to know why Sin had been discussing his ass with Stan but Sin didn't elaborate about his end of the conversation. Instead he leaned over, wrapped his arm around Matt's head in head lock and rubbed the fisted knuckles of his other hand hard against Matt's skull. Matt laughed and pulled away.

"You'll like the club Matt," Sin said settling back again against the seat. "But," he added, holding up a warning finger at Matt, "you will have to mind me well there or you could get hurt, really hurt. Understand?"

Matt didn't but he nodded anyway...minding Sin was something he could do. "And you will not speak to me, or anyone else unless told you may."

Matt scowled but nodded. He didn't much like the sounds of this so far.

"Don't embarrass me there Matt," Sin said, his voice dropping to a very serious tone, his playfulness suddenly gone. "I mean it, obey me and we'll have a hell of a good time. If you disobey me there then I can't guarantee your safety. If they think you aren't really in my control someone may decide to try to take you from me."

"I don't think I want to go to this club," Matt said a little fearfully.

Sin laughed, cheerful again. "Come on Matt, you mind well most of the time so if you just stay on your best behavior we'll do fine. Besides, you'll enjoy this. Trust me. It will be your reward for tonight."

Matt nodded but still didn't like what he was hearing.

"Another thing...if I decide to take your collar off of you for any reason then you won't buck me on it. No grabbing at me or pulling away, you understand?"

Matt didn't answer him.

"Dammit Matt, swear it."

"Okay Sin, I'll trust you."

"That's my boy," Sin patted his knee affectionately. "Oh and if Razor is there leave him to me. No matter what happens, I mean it Matt, no matter what, do not try to get in his face or pull a stunt like you did with Debroy. If you touch Razor for any reason at all you'll be facing his wrath and mine. You won't like that, I promise you."

"How will I know who he is?" Matt asked nervously.

"Oh, you'll know."